Double Chocolate Paleo Scones

Double Chocolate Paleo Scones

I thought I would throw my own offering into the paleo baked goods recipe pool by giving a shot at creating my own. I got inspired to create a paleo version of a chocolate gluten-free scone made by a local coffee shop here in North Idaho that makes excellent GF chocolate scones. But alas they use a traditional GF flour which still includes grains like rice and tapioca. GF flours can also often use legumes.

For those of us following the AIP with autoimmune issues and grain sensitivities, these are still a no-no. 😕

Another challenge I have with many paleo recipes is many use almond flour, and almonds for me are a high allergen. That plus many AIP’s can’t/shouldn’t eat nuts…

Not that any recipe is perfect for all people, but hopefully this chocolatey cakey scone recipe will be useful and yummy to some of my fellow AIP/Autoimmune/Lymie/Mast Cell/Histamine/“_______” friends out there ♥️. Gotta say I think these are a success 😋

Preheat oven to 350.

1 cup coconut flour

1 cup cacao powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cardamom (optional)

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup organic vegetable shortening

1 cup organic honey

8 organic eggs (from hens not fed corn or soy)

1 cup organic chocolate chips (soy-free)

Mix dry ingredients well, add wet ingredients until well integrated, then stir in chocolate chips.

Place batter drop style on parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for 12-18 minutes depending on size. Use toothpick if unsure of doneness.

GF

Paleo

Vegetarian

Eat in moderation, not a low calorie, low fat or low sugar food 😉

The Judgement & Scrutiny Of Living With Chronic Illness 

(*disclaimer at the bottom of article)
Judgment. 

Scrutiny.

 Those words immediately evoke feelings of negativity. Living with chronic illness is negative and difficult in itself, but have you ever stopped to think that almost every person batting a chronic illness also gets “insult added to injury” (literally) by being judged and scrutinized in everything they do?….. What they post on social media, every choice they make, every event they attend or don’t attend, everything they eat and every purchase they make? Yes. This is a huge part of living with chronic illness. 
   Can you imagine suffering from a condition and all of a sudden even “normal” activities and decisions come under the watchful and judgmental eye of everyone you know?
What do I mean? 
Example: “Shelley” suffers from chronic Lyme. All her friends and family know this. They know treatments are expensive and Shelley spends a lot of time at the doctor. Shelley also says no to a lot of family functions and activities with friends. Shelley also shares her struggles on social media and everyone knows she is struggling financially as well due to all her medical expenses. Some of Shelley’s family are very negative; they knew Shelley when she was active and vibrant and can’t understand how this sickness seems to go on and on without end. They think her posts about illness are attention-getting and that Shelley is needy, especially being that she is single and they think therefore she is trying to get sympathy. They think she is pathetic. Some of them let her know and express their anger. Some of them no longer speak to her at all.
Shelley also feels like she can’t win when it comes to socializing….
(NO) When Shelley says no to an event or dinner (or has to leave early or rest in the middle):
People think Shelley is being a drama queen again, or lazy, or being anti-social, etc. 
“She always says no so why bother asking”
“She is so self-absorbed with her problems. If she just got out more and acted normal she would feel better”
“Sickness has become Shelley’s identity. If she just stopped owning it she wouldn’t be so sick” 
“Shelley is not as sick as she thinks she is. Lyme is an excuse”
“Shelley has some kind of social disorder and is using sickness as an excuse”
“There she goes again, lying on the couch in the middle of a party. Apparently she wasn’t getting enough attention…”
(YES) When Shelley says yes to an event, or dinner: People think
“how can she be sick in bed yesterday and out today looking normal today?”
“She is such a liar, she said she couldn’t go out his morning and there she is tonight out with friends”
“She must be getting better, finally this Lyme thing is going away”
“You look good! You look healthy, you must be better”
“How can she afford to go out when she was just posting her Gofundme yesterday?”
“All this posting on social media about being sick, and yet when I see her she looks fine”
“Should she be eating that?”

You see I am Shelley. If you are ill and reading this, you are Shelley. And I know dozens and dozens of Shelleys that have the same experiences. 
Most people don’t think twice about going out to eat, taking vacations, hanging with friends, going to movies, buying a pair of shoes…

But when you deal with chronic illness things are a little different. Have you ever considered how much judgment someone who is sick receives? And this is on top of all the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and financial suffering. 
That’s why I write. Because most judgment comes from naivety and simply not understanding. 
I have to deeply think before I post anything regarding my illness; TMI? Who’s my audience? Sharing info with fellow Lymies versus relatives that are going to roll their eyes at another health post?

Am I going to get negative backlash?

Are people going to get the wrong idea?
I also think twice before I post anything about going out, being with friends, or anything that has to do with spending money….. 

You see guy can buy new shoes if you need them without a second thought. But if I do I have to assess who might judge me knowing that I struggle financially. See what I mean? And I also don’t want to hurt that friend that I said no to yesterday when I felt super fatigued when they see me out with someone today because I rested and feel a little better.

I also struggle with guilt and and moral questions whenever I do something fun or spend a little money. Am I “allowed” to have fun? Can I justify a purchase for myself? Even though I am. It by any means extravagant (I rarely go shopping, buy clothes, and almost never eat out) I feel funny when I do and feel I have to answer for myself to everyone I know. 
Conclusion. 

This isn’t a perfect essay, and I didnt touch on a lot (including judgment and negativity from the mainstream medical community that doesn’t understand certain chronic illnesses), but there are tons of bloggers out there and they are doing a great job being a voice for this community. All we can do is try our best, and have an extra dose of grace as we raise awareness to those who would judge us. 
*Please note that this essay is on the topic of judgment and scrutiny; There are a LOT of kind and understanding people who do take the time to learn, ask questions, talk and give support. Thank you all my friends and family that fall in this category. 💚

  

Just ‘Cause You’re Sick Doesn’t Mean You Can’t…..

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Yes you are in bed most of the time. Yes you feel like that possum that got hit by the truck. Yes you are kind of stuck and down in the dumps. You can’t do most of the things you want to do, so it is easy to get depressed, feel worthless and a burden on society. We’ve all been there, no matter what point in our illness we are in right now.

So since it is so easy to focus on the “can’ts” (which lead to feeling worthless), here are some “can’s” you can do right from your bed. And please don’t put these ideas down as cheesy, maybe some are but it’s the little things that sometimes make the day brighter.

 

Image1. Write Thank You Cards “just because”. Are there people in your life that you love and appreciate? How good would it feel to surprise them with a random thank you. Don’t be afraid to fill it full of detail about everything you love about them. And don’t be afraid of the digital Thank You! Are cards a little passe for you? Or maybe you can’t even get to the post office? Send a Facebook message or tribute post praising your friends and family for how fabulous they are.

 

Image2. Movies! Make it through the AFI top 100 Films list….or Best Musicals…or whatever list you choose. Okay I admit to growing up watching a lot of movies, but it is something I really enjoy and I appreciate the old ones as well as the new. Sick in bed might be the perfect time to be able to say  to someone “Why yes I have seen every film starring the great Cary Grant. Who of course was born as Archibald Leach in England and was a circus performer.” (yes, bedridden=time) There is no shame in being a film aficionado! (and may I add that binge watching television series is a lot of fun as well). Make a check list and tick it off as you go, at least you will feel accomplished 😉

 

Okay, these next 2 might be tough for those suffering cognitive issues (I went through years of struggling with reading)

Image3. Catch up on the Classics. Pride And Prejudice, Moby Dick, Tom Sawyer…….. there is a ton of classic literature out there that most of us haven’t read. Sick in bed is the perfect time! Now like I said I went through years of having trouble reading, When I tried I would re-read the same sentence or paragraph over and over and just not be able to take it in. Plus I had Lyme-induced dyslexia and Lyme-induced reduced visual acuity. So what I found (that I still love) are audio books. Especially now with smart phones this makes audio books very accessible. Audible (an Amazon company) has basically saved my life!

 

Image4. Discover art. Whether you are artistic or not everyone can enjoy sketching or drawing. Get some good art paper and some nice pencils, or even water colors or pastels. You might awaken the artist in you.

 

Image5. Scrapbook. Get colored paper, stickers, fancy scissors, glue sticks…. have fun.

 

Image6. Photography. Subject matter is of course limited in your bedroom, but if you are able to take short walks or sit in the back yard just play around taking photos. Try different angles and lighting…. lie on the ground and look up, walk a few steps and look down…you will be surprised at the hidden treasures all around. Play around with your photos editing on your phone or computer. The possibilities are endless.

 

Image7. Get some fish. Fish are easy no-brainer pets. If you don’t want to mess with filters and taking on too much work, get a Betta fish, just make sure the tank isn’t too small. Fishy likes space too after all. Fish are therapeutic to watch and it is nice having something to care for.

 

Image8. Learn. If your poor diseased brain is up to it find subjects of interest and learn about them online. The information out there is limitless.

 

All these ideas are just a starting point. I think just making a list that fits the parameters of where your health is that you can check off will give you a sense of accomplishment. Whatever you decide to do take the step and do it, you deserve it.

10 Of The Causes Of “Fibromyalgia”

10 Of The Causes Of “Fibromyalgia”

As (most) of us know Fibromyalgia is a symptom not a disease itself. Here is a really intelligent list of some of the causes (link in title). One not listed here is of course Lyme which causes Fibromylgia-like pain, especially while herxing.

Diet For Autoimmune Diseases Published Study

 

I had to share this post thanks to Paleo Mom. It is a study on the effects of a Paleo Autoimmune Protocol for patients with autoimmune diseases. I follow a pretty strict elimination diet that falls into this category.

http://www.thepaleomom.com/2014/02/first-clinical-trial-using-paleo-diet-autoimmune-disease.html

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Learning To Live Again

I spent some time reading your posts tonight. I must admit I avoid reading the the blogs of fellow Lyme sufferers most nights of the week because I have to be in the right mental state to do so. The reason is that you break my heart. A lot of times I cannot help but respond when moved; to encourage you, let you know I am praying for you and of course when appropriate, do my best to advise and share with you.

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I have walked this path and (although I find myself mostly better) I do continue to walk it with you. I have noticed that as my complaints and symptoms slowly ebb away I feel less and less compelled to post and share. However I been thinking over the last couple weeks that this may be a mistake. Does the story simply end when the physical pain is mostly gone? Is there nothing more to say when fatigue doesn’t knock you flat?

I think there is more to say at this stage in the illness journey than ever because I am no longer bound by the limitations of how I am physically feeling and the mental and emotional devastation that come from that place. First, before I go on I am thinking my experience is a bit different than a lot of the stories I read because there are so many very young and lovely ladies on here that are suffering greatly who are still very young. You are in high school or your very early twenties, and your life has come to a halt because of your illness. You may not be able to finish school or enjoy all the activities that your friends enjoy, but have hope! You are young and you have been diagnosed and (God wiling) are getting proper treatment and will have an amazing life ahead of you. I also read the stories of some equally lovely ladies that are older, are married and have children (many who have adult children), and you are having a very different experience where you also suffer the difficulty of feeling that you are not there for your families.

    Pardon me I am meandering a bit, but I guess what I am trying to say is that I relate to all of you in different ways, but I am not quite in the same place either. I am now 35 and single. I find myself to be in this strange in between place where I am no longer young and yet my life has certainly not followed the logical chronological order that should have transpired at this point. So I am kind of being “kicked out” of the chronically ill club and well, where do I go from here? This may be a strange analogy but I feel like Eliza Doolittle at the end of My Fair Lady when she sobs “What’s to become of me? what’s to become of me?”. You see Eliza has her whole life in front of her and her future has changed for the better but everything she was and made her “her” is gone. No more flower girl, no more peers who work in the same circle as herself, just a complete paradigm shift.

It sounds dumb I know but there is some fear in moving forward. Why? Because I am no longer in “survival mode” where life was all about just getting through the day…just making it through work…. just doing the bare minimum. Living in this mode is how I have spent most of the last decade of my life and now in a way has to be unlearned. I am having a shift back into life which I must say is wonderful! There are a thousand things I have always wanted to do that I can now (God willing) start doing. I am unexpectedly running into….dun dun dun dun….fear. But what if I still can’t? What if the reason things don’t happen for me in life can no longer be blamed on a disease but instead cannot be realized for other reasons? Hmmm… This is where faith comes in. This entire journey has been one long test of faith. The interesting thing is that you think of faith as being a simple thing, and in fact it is. But it is also something that we continually learn and grow in throughout our lives. The faith that got me through my hardest days physically and emotionally…through my toughest days, is at it’s base the very same that I need now, trust God. Pretty simple. That said I think it is more my reaction to that belief and the choices I make in regards to that belief that are different. God calls us to different courses of action throughout our lives and according to our circumstances. His gentle words to trust remain constant, but now I feel Him telling me that the time of apathy is over, now is the time to walk and leap instead of crawl.

     Now I must share with you that I am an all or nothing thinker. So I tend to put the pressure on myself that my entire future depends on every little step or decision, my entire life depends on what I do right now! As I am writing this I am finding peace in knowing that faith comes in the steps just as much as in the giant leaps. God is calling me to “trust” and “obey” (His go to words to me over the last several years). The responsibility on my part is to spend time with Him and rest in the fact that every step forward while walking in obedience is a step towards the future He has planned for me.

Deep sigh. Whatever happens it is all good. 🙂

 

2014

As we are coming to the end of the year it is always significant for me because another year has gone by and being that my birthday falls in December 31st I am a year older on the first day of the year. This has always been bitter sweet, usually with more bitter because of all the “lost” years.
This year I am instead looking forward to God’s blessing, favor and provision over the next year. I am praying that my feet will walk in His footsteps, that I will shed any footholds of the enemy, that He will bring me to complete freedom, that He will heal my body completely and I will experience all the joy and freedom that is mine in Christ. I am also praying that I will see the fulfillment of His promises and that this will finally be the year of miracles and joy.
If you feel led to join me in this prayer it would be a blessing. Please also let me know if The Lord has put any prayers on your heart for this coming year. Now is an amazing time for God to put hope in your heart and a direction and purpose for a new year.

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