How badly do you really want to recover?

Thinking about recovery, the two most important questions that come up to my mind are:

  1. Do you really want to recover / How badly do you want to get better?
  2. How much time per day do you spend doing things that truly contribute to your recovery?

I know exactly how damn hard it is to motivate yourself while being totally exhausted & suffering from other severe symptoms. I’ve been there & sometimes I’m still there! However, I want you to know that only YOU have all the answers to your healing! You made yourself sick in the first place, so you’ll be the one to pull you out of this. I don’t mean that you shouldn’t ask for help or seek advice & support from different sources, but please don’t forget: YOU HAVE TO TAKE ACTION, YOU HAVE TO MAKE THE CHANGES & ONLY YOU’LL BE ABLE TO HEAL YOURSELF! Don’t wait for someone or something to show up in your life & heal you. So, the one thing that you have on your side is time. The question you have to ask yourself is:

Do you spend your whole day distracting yourself from your current disease? (Watching tv, browsing through social media, playing video games…)

The truth is, at least my truth is, that there’s no one miracle cure out there. It’s a change of your daily habits, thoughts & diet that will get you out of your current situation. I think that recovery means changing many little things – you absolutely have to change most of your habits!

It’s important to get your body into a healing state in order for your body to do the work. This is done by doing many little things differently than you’ve done before. I truly believe that one cannot heal while sticking to old self destructive habits & thoughts. When it comes to CFS, everyone has a different recovery plan, so don’t try to compare your recovery to someone elses. Be Your own healer & stop searching for answers outside of you. Take your time & start implementing small little changes in your daily routine. Eventually these small changes will lead to big changes. But most importantly, don’t give up, stay consistent & be patient! Don’t aim for perfection, aim for progress, because consistency will ALWAYS beat talent ❤

Gluten free almond cake

Note: preheat your oven at 165°

Ingredients:

  • 200g grounded almonds (almond powder)
  • 50g corn starch (in France its called Maizena) or potato starch
  • 100g Stevia sugar (powder form)
  • 4 whole organic eggs
  • 100g butter (I guess coconut oil can be an option)
  • 1 small package of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of vanilla

Preparation:

  • In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, baking powder & starch
  • Add the 4 eggs
  • Add the grounded almonds & vanilla
  • Let the butter melt in a pot & add to the other ingredients
  • Whisk everything together
  • Put in a baking sheet
  • Put into oven (at 165°,  for 30-40 mins)

    Voila! Bon apetit 💖

    Golden milk

    You all probably know that desire for a sweet warm beverage, right? Something like coffee or a hot chocolate! For me personally, that craving was not only about that beverage, I was actually missing the entire ritual of sitting down, relaxing and drinking something warm and sweet. As I cut out caffeine and dairy, I had to find something new to replace my coffee & I found it!! 

    GOLDEN MILK

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup of almond/ rice or coconut milk 
    • 1 tsp of turmeric
    • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
    • 1 tsp of coconut oil
    • A pinch of black pepper to help the absorption of turmeric
    • 1 tsp of raw honey (optional) 

    Preparation:

    Mix all ingredients in a pan and let it slowly and lightly boil. Blend with a mixer. 

    Turmeric is known for its anti inflammatory effect. It helps with skin and health conditions. Furthermore it has a warming effect on the body and helps to regulate blood sugar. What fascinated me the most, is the fact that different studies have shown that it has same or even better effects as pain killers, anti depressants or diabetes medication. Plus, it’s much healthier than coffe! So why not give it a try?! 

    Dairy & gluten free recipes (quick & easy)

    Banana pancakes
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    Ingredients: (4 – 5 pancakes)
    2 small ripe bananas
    3 organic eggs
    1 teaspoon coconut oil
    1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk ( or any other milk replacement)
    2 tablespoons gluten free oats
    Cinnamon
    Coconut oil for the pan

    Instructions:
    1. Mix all ingredients together with a blender.
    2. Add more almond milk if the batter is very thick.
    3. Heat a small pan and add coconut oil.
    4. Scoop two heaping tablespoons of batter into the pan. Spread a little into a circle. (Don’t spread too much, if the pancakes are too thin you’ll not be able to flip them)
    5. Cook until bottom is brown and top is set around the edges. 6. Flip carefully and continue to cook until the other side is brown.

    Enjoy with a little bit of peanut butter on top 😀


    Red lentil soup

    image

    Ingredients: ( 2 portions)
    85 grams red lentils
    1 large onion
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    500 ml water
    Cumin, sea salt, pepper, paprika powder
    Lemon wedges and chopped mint for serving
    Almond milk (optional)

    Instructions:
    1. Wash the lentils.
    2. Cut the onion in small pieces.
    3. Put the olive oil and the onion in a large pot and fry until onions become gold.
    4. Add the tomato paste.
    5. Add the lentils.
    6. Fry for a couple of minutes and add the water.
    7. Add salt, pepper, cumin and paprika powder.
    8. Let the pot on the heat till the water starts boiling.
    9. Take the pot from the heat and use an immersion blender to quickly blend the soup, but not completely puréed.
    10. Put the pot back on the heat for another 15 – 20 minutes.
    11. Add some unsweetened almond milk for creamy taste (optional).
    12. Mix again with the blender until desired consistency.
    13. Add some fresh squeezed lemon juice and fresh mint leaves.

    Bon appétit! 😀

    My way back to work..

    Hello beautiful people ❤

    In the past, I prefered publishing tips & tricks rather than personal stories on my blog. However, this time, I’m sharing a personal story…
    I found my way back to “work”! By this, I don’t mean 8 hours a day 5 days a week. I decided to start very slowly & gentle with 3 – 4 hours per week. I don’t get any money for this job, as it’s voluntary work. Thus, I still have the possibility to call in sick when I don’t feel very well. This was the most important condition for me. I don’t have any obligation, thus I’m less stressed & anxious about this whole new situation.

    It all started with the refugee crisis. Thousands of people from Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan & other countries fled their homes since the outbreak of civil war & other dramatic circumstances. People who payed thousands of dollars to reach Europe on leaky, overloaded vessels with faulty motors. Many of them didn’t make it to Greece & have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. I couldn’t watch those horrible pictures & videos any longer. At this point, I knew I had to do something to help those people once they reached Europe. I decided to register as a volunteer. It all started with sorting donated clothing & distributing them to the refugees. My first “job” was a 4 Hour work day. I was so nervous & overanxious. I barely slept the night before, constantly having those feelings of “Am I able to do this?”. My mum accompanied me & it reduced my stress a bit. However, the time passed quickly & I had so much fun! I met the most beautiful & grateful children that day. Even though those people lost everything, they had bigger smiles on their faces than all Europeans together. I went home with a feeling of warmth, joy, enthusiasm, pride & happiness. I haven’t had those feelings in a long time & for a short moment, I felt like my old self again. I’m not gonna lie, I had some problems dealing with the whole situation at the beginning. I found it hard to zone out, after seeing all those tragic fates. Some of you might probably think, that I’m crazy doing this “job” which is so emotional. However, it was the wisest decision I’ve ever made in my life. To be honest, I don’t do it for the refugees only. I do it for myself, because helping others helps me to feel better. Volunteering helps me to provide a healthy boost to my self confidence and self esteem. It definitely increased my life satisfaction & gave me this sense of accomplishment. I think, that people like you & me, who are suffering from chronic illnesses, absolutely need this feeling of being needed again. I handed over most of my responsibilities during the last 1.5 years. I had some moments where I completely felt useless & unable to do certain things. I also realised that doing things for my own never gave me this sense of accomplishment as volunteering. I work in a refugee camp once a week now. Preparing the food & distributing it to the refugees. It is physically demanding, but I recover quickly from it. Volunteering definitely helped me to get better during the last weeks. Not only physically but also mentally. This is my first big step into a “normal” life again. For some of you it might be a very small step, while it’s a huge one for others. I only want you to know that recovery is possible. I’m still on my way & not where I want to be. It’s not always easy. I still struggle a lot, but I realised that most of my struggles are rather mentally. I still have this fear of not being good enough. However I’m working on myself every day. I want to tell you, “stop comparing yourself to others!” Your recovery is different from my recovery. Focus on the things that make you happy. And last but not least, we should all be more thankful for all the things we have in life. The bright smiles of the refugees taught me to appreciate every little thing in life. We have so many things to be grateful for. Let’s start to enjoy these tiny little moments 🙂

    Have a wonderful day full of gratitude and positivity ❤12345

    I’m back!!

    Hey beautiful people! 🙂

    I’m finally back!! After a very very long time of not blogging, I’m back to say hello to you guys. There were lot of things going on during the last weeks. As some of you might probably know, Europe is in a real refugee crisis at the moment. Thousands and thousands of refugees from Syria and other countries are coming to Europe, seeking a safer and better life. Families, men, even children on their own. Germany is one of those countries, which said “yes” to a large number of refugees seeking asylum. I saw so many things on TV, heard so many horrible stories. So many people drowned in the Mediterranean, while they were fleeing from bombs in their home countries. Seeing all these horrible pictures, I realised how lucky I am being born in a country where I’m free. I also felt ashamed. I kept complaining during the last year and was completely unhappy with my current situation. Till I noticed the refugee crisis and had the chance to meet refugees, talk to them and saw those beautiful and traumatised children with a big smile on their face. That was the moment I realised how small my problems are, in comparison to some real issues out there. I decided to help those people. Even though I’m not 100% recovered yet, I knew I had to contribute something to the current refugee situation. I started volunteering. This was the best decision I’ve ever made! Helping others helped myself and literally gave me energy and joy! However, how I started “working” again will be published in my next article.

    Now back to my real story… last month I was in the south of France, visiting my family, with my mum. At the same time, my mum and I did a road trip and visited Monaco, St. Tropez, Cannes, Nizza and some other beautiful and small places at the French Riviera. It was so beautiful!! Never saw this part of my native country and honestly I fell in love! I’m also one year older now! 😛 I celebrated my 23 birthday…oh yeah, 23 years old now, it sounds so so old and mature. Honestly, I still feel like a child! Especially during the last year, where I had no choice but to hand over my responsibilities and most tasks. I still have those little moments that make me feel sad and unsatisfied with my current situation. Moments that make me cry, because sometimes, it’s so hard to watch everyone around me live a “normal” life, while I’m still constantly exhausted and resting most of the time. However, I guess that’s just human to feel desperate and exhausted of being exhausted some times 😉 We’re all just human beings who undergo a lot of emotions and feelings, and from what I’ve learnt, suppressing those feelings can be very harmful and can lead to serious diseases. That’s why I cry, that’s why I write diary, that’s why I listen to music and that’s why I’m writing this blog. Because, before I became ill, I was suppressing all negative feelings. Always pretending that everything is fine, as I was scared to show my real self. Crying in front of people was a sign of weakness for me. WAS! Nowadays, I think that it’s very purifying and cleansing to cry and to acknowledge negative feelings. You have to let those feelings come up, in order to say good bye to them. Feelings are temporary! So leave them the space to show up, but not control you 😉 However, I’m back! After weeks of adjusting to a “normal” routine again, I’m finding my way back to life. To be honest, I did not stick to any routine or goal(s) the last weeks. No daily meditation, no daily yoga, no daily walks. I was completely knocked out, exhaused, and definitely had a lack of self motivation. Occasionally, I managed to have a good old meditation or yoga session. It always made me realise how good those little sessions make me feel. That’s why I told myself, that I absolutely have to get “back on track” with my daily routine. So here I am. Finding my way back from the couch to a daily routine. I set some new intentions and goals for the week. One of them is to start my day right. I realised that the first thing you do in the morning has such a big influence on your entire day. We probably all know that first grab to our phones, checking all social media accounts. I realised that this habbit is full of bad energy. Starting my day with my phone, makes me feel even more tired, depressed and unproductive. That’s why I decided to not look at my phone at least one hour after waking up. I decided to use that hour to make some morning streches, have a good breakfast and set positive intentions for the day. I realised that I feel more motivated and positive, just by changing my morning routine. My next goal is to meditate and write dairy regularly again. It keeps my thoughts “clear” and helps me to focus on the important things again. That’s why I recommend you guys, to change your morning routine. Replace a bad habit by a good one. Try to spend less time at your phone and on social media, try to go for a short walk or meditate instead. You’ll feel the difference, I promise. Your mood will increase and you’ll feel more energised. Imagine a habit beeing a road. If you ride this road several times, day after day, you’ll become used to it and you’ll don’t even realise that you do certain things. Same thing with our phone, we don’t even notice how often we check our phones. Recently, I read an article saying that people who check their phones constantly, are more likely to get depressed, because they’re trying to improve their negative mood. People being phone addicted are more prone to moodiness and have bigger issues to focus their attention on certain things. Plus, we all know how unhealthy this habit can be for us. That’s why I would like to encourage you, to replace your “phone time” by another thing that slowly becomes your habit. Your health will definitely thank you!

    Let’s all focus on the good things again, the things that make us feel alive. No matter what you’re going through, you decide what you are and who you want to become! 🙂
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    The importance of creating daily habits!

    Hello guys! 😀 A couple of moths ago, I read the quote “your daily habits define who you are” under an Instagram picture, it opened my eyes and I realised that I needed to change something about myself. Talking about a daily routine, while being sick and mostly house bound, is hard and almost unbelievable, but it´s manageable. A couple of months ago, I was “living” my life, without having any routine or purpose. I woke up, ate crap, felt crap, was lying on the couch the entire day and distracted myself with the TV or the Internet, completely disconnecting from my body and reality. I was constantly scrolling through Instagram and Facebook pictures, admiring the life of others, while hating my own. Seeing people grow, having fun, traveling and living their life is very hard, while being chronically ill. Comparing my life and myself to others just made me feel bad, depressed and more sick. I knew that I had to change something! The turning point in this journey was Toby Morrison´s online program, from CFS Health Center. I don´t want to go deep into that topic, but everyone who suffers from Chronic Fatigue syndrome or a similar chronic illness, go check out his homepage: http://www.cfshealth.com/. His entire program gave me hope that recovery is possible, as Toby himself suffered from CFS for years and is now 100% recovered. The main step of this program, is to build a daily routine and baseline, to find your way back into a “normal” life again. It helped me a lot to realise, that I can still do certain things to get myself back on track. His guidelines helped me a lot to motivate me and do the best I can with what I have. However, it´s very important to know that the entire work is up to yourself. Change is not easy and as soon as we get kicked out of our comfort zone, we tend to get scared. Nevertheless, we absolutely need to change in order to get healthy again!! That´s the same point with developing new habits. We have to step out of our comfort zone, to grow and change. Most people tend to exaggerate in those moments. Everyone knows this moment when they feel like “ok this is the day I will change some things in my life”. Just one advice, don´t try to change too many things at the same time, because you´ll certainly get overwhelmed! Focus on one single thing. Start very small! What do you want to change? What do you want to incorporate into your daily routine? For me it was yoga, meditation and writing a diary. However, I did it step by step. I started with 5 minutes of meditation per day and now, I´m trying to meditate 20 – 30 minutes daily. The other activities followed over the time. This doesn´t mean that you have to do the same. Simply choose something that makes you feel good! As I struggled a lot with sticking to certain habits at the beginning, I summarized some advises for you, which helped me to stick to my habits:

    • Choose one habit and focus on that one for one month.
    • Choose a habit that is easy and realistic.
    • Choose a habit that is measurable (such as, 5 minutes of meditation daily).
    • Make a plan! List your habit on a calendar (start with 1 month) and tick your activity off your timetable as you finished it.
    • Don´t get angry with yourself if you don´t stick to it, see it as learning experience. Try again tomorrow.
    • Try to train your mind, and visualize. Focus on the things that would go right instead of what can go wrong. Visualize how you´ll feel after you accomplished your activity/ task.
    • Don´t do too many things at the same time. Set your priorities. What is your goal?
    • Look for a role model. Search for people who model the habits you want to stick to. Try to learn from them.
    • Know the benefits of your habits. Personally, I wrote down the benefits of meditation and yoga and read through them before I do my exercises. It motivates and encourages me to stick to them.
    • I find it easier to do the activity first thing in the morning. Hence, I have no excuses in the afternoon and I feel refreshed and ready for the day.

    In a nutshell, choose something that you enjoy, that is doable, but also has a bit of discomfort. Personal growth begins the moment you step outside your comfort zone! Creating new good habits will help you build a structured routine and certainly let you feel and be more productive. Good luck! 😀

    Tamara xx