I’ve just come back from a really lovely, relaxing weekend away, which is great as usually those words in combination do not necessarily result in the word relaxing as it is like a military operation going anywhere, and so difficult not to eat something that makes me ill, and also to negotiate all the stress for me and everyone else that this palaver entails… I’m a difficult guest, which I really don’t want to be in any way, and it is not easy, but I achieved what I needed to achieve i.e. I had a great time, and didn’t eat something I shouldn’t, which is a real triumph for me and everyone involved.
Life can be so stressful, and stress is so difficult to live with, it seeps into your very being and is so hard to root out. I was given a lot of warmth, acceptance, good conversation, (and a wonderful massage), which really did help me feel better; I realised on returning home that my heart palpitations were reduced, which I have been having for quite a while, especially in the evening for some reason. The day after getting back I had a heart monitor fitted for the week (what fun!). My first thought was oh no! I’m not having so many palpitations, what if the monitor doesn’t pick them up, which is just so daft! But I worried immediately that the doctor, which ever one I end up seeing, will think I’m a fantasist who exaggerates, or worse, and write as much on my record; so many of the health conditions I live with have such varying and contradictory symptoms, and none are well understood medically, so I often feel this way, and I don’t think this is an unfounded fear. But the sensible reaction would probably have been, great! I’m having less palpitations, they’re obviously stress related and helped by relaxation, massage and self expression etc. and not ANOTHER dreadful thing wrong with me to get stressed about. The mind has such funny ways, you have to keep a real check on it. It’s like training a wildling (Game of Thrones reference, sorry), or rather not, because I think my mind is quite
cowardly knackered (it’s tired and wants a lie down, all the time, so that it can avoid everything it doesn’t have the energy for, which some days is literally everything, and I have to be relentlessly dogged to get anything done) and you couldn’t say that of wildlings as they’re nothing if not brave. Anyway, I needn’t have worried, they were back before too long, with a vengeance… I’m sitting here now with this machine attached to me, so we shall see what it comes up with…
I WAS REMINDED THIS WEEK OF:
a) how many wonderful and diverse people there are out there in the world and what interesting lives so many people have.
b) how cut off I can be from people and and so many aspects of life in general because of my health.
c) how I actually do exist as a person who can be out there in the world without shriveling into a ball of utter cringe and inferiority at how much of a lump I am and how embarrassing the things I say can be! God help me.
d) how brave I have to be, daily. How I should give myself kudos for this.
e) how cowardly I have the urge to be constantly and how much I have to override this (is this the human condition? Please say it is!).
f) how difficult it is to manage type 1 diabetes, and how impossible it is for it not to channel your personality into its mad, jittery funnel, as it affects how you feel, how you talk, and how you present yourself, especially as I am so sensitive to everything, go up and down a lot and generally feel like crap. It’s actually a nightmare. Could be worse, but let’s not tempt fate…
g) how even if things are very challenging, there is usually a way you can make it work somehow.
h) how much some people are able to achieve in a day, like they stretch time out and take control of it.
i) how we are all such sensitive and complex beings, and so blessed and cursed and everything in-between, and that we need each other in this life.
j) how important a sense of humour is
k) how far I have come, coping with so much, and now able to cope with more, and much better, thanks to the plant-based diet I eat, which nurtures me everyday.
THANK YOU PLANTS!
l) how important it is to recognise positive growth in whatever way possible, which isn’t easy as it’s far easier to feel blah about everything than to recognise your achievements, especially if things are challenging, which they generally are.
m) how I mustn’t let other people’s (most likely fleeting) judgments, or my perception of them, define me, or be an emotional sponge.
n) I must take relaxation seriously, and learn to relax
o) that everyone loves soup, it has limitless variety and it is the easiest, best, most economic, wholesome and welcoming dish to serve to guests to your home.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
i’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I truly do ♥ you soup
Cream of coconut root vegetable soups are my favourite, they’re so beautifully satisfying, comforting and versatile. This recipe is one of my most used variations, I am so taken with it. It is beautifully smooth, flavoured, satisfying and nutritious. Garnish with a drizzle of extra coconut cream on top, fresh basil, chives, cooked kale or roasted seeds. Have with crouton, bread, or dumplings (many veggie sausages or patties are great in soup, especially those that contain whole pseudo-grains). Have it as spiced or plain as you fancy, for this recipe I have gone with a simpler natural flavour. Any which way I guarantee you’ll love it. Soup is the best food, and this vegetable soup is a real winner.
I’ve added cannellini beans , but butter beans or any smooth textured bean would be equally lovely. You can cook it without beans, but added protein is always a good thing, filling and nutritious, and they do really add to the overall flavour and texture in a lovely way.
Below, I served the soup with an olive, cannellini bean and buckwheat meat(less)balls (same recipe as the sausages only shaped into a smaller ball shape) which was extra hearty and a good alternative to bread for me. And also a squeeze of lime, which is tasty, but optional ♥
- 2 large parsnips
- 1/4 large sweet potato
- 1 large carrot
- 1 small onion
- 1 cup (1/2 can) of cooked cannellini beans, or other pale, smooth bean variety of choice
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1/2 can coconut milk plus more for drizzle garnish
- 2 tbsp bouillon powdered stock
- 2 large pinches of salt, to taste (I prefer black salt, but sea salt is fine)
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 400ml can coconut cream (less if tin is all dense cream, make it half, or to your preference)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- Filtered water
- Lime, optional
- Freshs chives, basil, optional
Saute finely chopped onions, the salt and the bay leaf in the oil on a low heat with the lid on for 10 mins or so, stirring occasionally, until tender and sweet.
Chop the veg, the smaller the quicker they cook. Transfer to pan and cover with a generous amount of water, and add the seasoning and the beans. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 mins or until veg is softened.
Remove the bay leaf, add the coconut cream and blend.
Serve as is, or with a drizzle of coconut cream, a squeeze of lime and chopped chives and basil, or whatever you enjoy.
You can add all sorts of veg to this soup, celeriac, turnip, celery, chicory, swede, the list goes on. I recommend having a higher proportion of parsnip than the other veg, that's my main tip, and also that fresh herbs bring any soup (and meal!) alive, here I have used chives, but also basil, coriander, parsley... so good!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN SPOOKS! ♥
I’ve been reading… Iris Murdoch’s ‘Henry and Cato’
I’ve been listening to… Fingathing ‘You Fly Me’
I’ve been watching… Girls Season 2