Category Archives: Food

A CF-Kitchen smoothie

Welcome back!

Since my last blog post (almost a year ago), I’ve had quite an eventful year.  We had a hospitalisation, I went travelling around Europe for six weeks, and (the biggest news of all) … Lachie and I got engaged.

With all of this happening, I let the blog slip by the wayside a bit.  But now that it’s the new year, I’ve decided to relaunch.  And with an upcoming wedding (not until the end of the year), I have even more incentive than before to keep Lachie healthy, and to look my best for the wedding.

So with that in mind, here are my smoothie recipes.  I make one of these smoothies most mornings (it’s about the only way I can actually make myself eat breakfast), pour out half the mixture for myself, and then mix through a few spoonfuls of protein powder for Lachie’s smoothie.  We have hospital-grade Sustagen, but just use the recommended amount of whatever protein powder you prefer.

It’s quick, easy, portable, and gives us both some fibre and probiotics to help with digestion as well.  My Thermomix has built in scales which makes it really easy, but if your blender doesn’t have that you can pre-measure everything.

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Berry Smoothie

  • 200g frozen mixed berries (I use half raspberries and half blueberries)
  • 50g rolled oats
  • 200g Greek yoghurt
  • 200g milk
  • 3 scoops of Sustagen

Mix all ingredients except the Sustagen in a blender for about 3 minutes (use Speed 7 on the Thermomix), or until smooth.  Pour out half the mixture then add Sustagen.  Mix for another minute and then pour the remaining mixture into a separate glass.

Mango spinach

  • 200g frozen mango
  • 50g baby spinach (optional, but you won’t be able to taste it at all).
  • 200g Greek yoghurt
  • 200g milk
  • 40g shredded coconut

Mix all ingredients except the coconut in a blender for about 3 minutes (use Speed 7 on the Thermomix), or until smooth.  Pour out half the mixture then add coconut.  Mix for another minute and then pour the remaining mixture into a separate glass. (You can add a bit of coconut into the non-CF smoothie as well if you like.)

What’s your go-to breakfast?  And for the people with CF, what do you do to make supplements taste better?

 

 

 

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12 things I learned from #12monthsofgoals

january

Last year, rather than setting any new year’s resolutions, I set my sights a bit smaller – January resolutions. And then at the end of the month, having knocked almost all of those goals over, I started again. Setting new goals every month was really valuable for me, and this is what I learnt:

1) Concrete goals, flexible path

For me, goals worked best when I was working to something definite, but the way to get there wasn’t set in stone. One of my first goals was to complete one of those ‘couch to 5k’ programs, which meant I had to do 12 runs of increasing difficulty over the course of the month. If I slacked off one week (and I did), that meant I had more to do the next week. If instead I had been aiming to run three times every week, slacking off one week would have meant that I’d missed my chance to meet the goal at all, and made it easy to justify giving up.

2) Focus on forming habits

I think a month is a good period of time for setting goals, because it’s not long enough to really be intimidating, but it is long enough to form a habit. Once you’ve been doing something for a month, you’ll likely to keep going. For instance, I didn’t commit to making my bed every day for ever and ever, I just committed to doing it for a month. And since then, I may not do it every day, but I definitely do it most days, and I’m happier because of it. (Seriously, when I get into a freshly made bed at night, it’s basically a gift from past Tess.)

3) Find the projects that will make life better

Forming habits is good, but sorting out things that were bugging you once and for all is even better. One month I resolved that I would finally sort out the living room. We’d more or less put the furniture down wherever it would go when we first moved in, and had been putting off sorting it out again ever since. Once I made the living room one of my goals we actually did it, and now it is a much cosier, more attractive space.

4) Some things aren’t right for me

There have been a few times when I’ve set goals, tried them, and then given up mid-month because they weren’t making me happier, or helping me achieve anything I wanted. One of the big ones was writing daily ‘gratitude’ posts on Facebook, which I tried more than once last year. And in the end, it just didn’t work for me. I always felt as though I was bragging, or would find that the things I was most grateful for on any given day felt too private to put on Facebook. Or I felt the need to come up with new, interesting things every day, rather than the most honest thing. Eventually, I started writing down things I was grateful for in a little notebook that no one else would see, and that was a much better fit for me.

5) I don’t always know what I want

I’m glad I didn’t set resolutions for the whole year, because over the year, I found three big new things to get excited about and give my energy to. I started this blog, I got involved in the local CF charity, and I booked a 6-week trip to Europe. If I’d set annual resolutions, I would have had to set the resolutions aside to pursue new things, or I wouldn’t have done the new things. As it was, I was able to come up with goals each month that reflected my new priorities.

6) Sometimes it just isn’t your month (but 30 days isn’t long enough to slip too far)

I had one month where a few bad things happened to me, and I came unstuck to some extent. I don’t think I achieved any of my goals that month. Setting monthly goals meant that when the end of the month came around, I could simply re-set, figure out where I had slipped the most, and focus my energies there. And in the scheme of things, not exercising enough/eating badly/just about anything else for one month won’t really have any lasting detrimental effects.

7) Partial success is still success (aka, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take)

One of the biggest themes throughout the year was trying to exercise more (from a baseline of approximately zero). In different months, I had different targets, like completing a running program, exercising a certain number of times per week, doing specific classes at the gym, and so on. The truth is, I almost never met my monthly exercise-related goals. On the other hand, I substantially increased the amount of exercise I do, and that is entirely because I was setting myself specific goals in this area.

8) Priorities will (and should) change throughout the year

Making goals monthly means I was able to change my goals to fit with  the ebbs and flows of my life. At a time when I knew I was going to be busy at work, my goals were mostly focused on self-care. In the lead up to Christmas, one of my big projects was making Christmas cards for everyone. As the weather gets warmer, I’d make goals that were focused on actually enjoying the summer.

9) Buy nothing new for a month

No, seriously, try it, it’s easier than you think.  And it makes you think more about what you actually need.

10) Accountability helps

I used to post my goals on Facebook every month, and include a bit on how I’d gone the previous month.  That accountability really made me focus on my goals, and being able to say that I’d had a ‘good’ month always made me feel fantastic.

11) Don’t forget about the fun

I know what makes me happy. The problem is, they sort of get lost between the things I have to do, and the easy distractions. I try to make some of these things actual monthly goals as well, so that I actually do them. Sometimes its little things, like going to the beach more, sometimes it’s bigger things, like throwing a party, or attempting some kind of cooking challenge. But for me, monthly goals are about what will make me happy, not just self-improvement for its own sake, and the fun goals are part of that.

12) Direction matters

I liked the monthly goals, but I had something of a scattergun approach in setting them, and I didn’t always think about why I was doing them.  This year I’m taking a hybrid approach – I started thinking about the big picture in terms of what I want from the year, and then tried to come up with monthly goals that will move me in that direction. So, here’s hoping that works out for me.

What were your new years resolutions? Are you still going with them? Why not try monthly goals? What is one thing you could do in February to move you closer to your  big-picture goals?

When the penny dropped

I thought I’d share something a bit personal for once. About two years ago, I’d just started going out with Lachie. I knew he had a disease called cystic fibrosis, and I knew he had to take a bunch of medicines every day. (I also knew that the need to do physio every night put something of a dampener on a new romance …) But that was all I knew. I didn’t realise how serious it was. That changed after his second clinic visit into the relationship. He’d been feeling unwell (more so than he’s let on to me), and his weight and lung function were down a bit, so he and his doctor had decided he should be hospitalised. I hadn’t realised that was a possibility, so when he called me to tell me this, I freaked. Even though he tried to make it sound like a routine thing, it didn’t feel that way to me. I didn’t know how worried to be, so I went for expecting the worst. When I got home that night, I handled the whole thing very maturely. I drank a bottle of wine and then started googling cystic fibrosis. Big mistake. As far as conversations with new partners go, ‘Wikipedia says you have ten years to live, and also can’t have children. Is that true?’ isn’t a fun one. Later I found out that the life expectancy figures were out of date. Still later someone explained that numbers like that were a lagging indicator, and Lachie would probably be better than that. Eventually I stopped stressing about every clinic, and started focusing on the stuff I could do to help. But that first night, when I was alone, and drunk, and first realising just how sick he was, was awful. I guess the point of all this is – I know it can be hard to talk about your illness. But sometimes it’s better if the people you care about learn about it from you.

Blogging 101 and a belated introduction

A month after I started this blog, I’m still getting the hang of things. I’ve just started the WordPress Blogging 101 course, and the first assignment is a basic introduction. So, here is the intro I probably should have used as my first post.

This is a recipe blog about cooking for someone with cystic fibrosis, with a focus on providing a high-fat diet in a household where not everyone wants to eat like that. Most of the recipes involve adding cream or cheese, or other high-fat foods just before serving, in order to create two slightly different meals – one high in fat, and one with less fat. This dish and this dish are good examples of what I mean.

I had three main reasons for starting this blog. Firstly, I knew that if balancing my partner’s need for a high-fat diet with my own dietary requirements was difficult to me, it would be for other CF families as well, and I hoped that this blog could be a helpful resource. Secondly, I’d been considering starting a non-specific cooking blog, and realised it made more sense to structure it around the way I actually cook these days, which is driven by the balancing act of our very different dietary requirements. And finally, CF can be an isolating illness, and I hoped starting this blog might help me get more involved in the CF community.

So, thank you to everyone who’s read and commented on my blog so far. And I’ll have more recipes up soon.