Stuffed Dates GF, DF & Paleo

Hello there!

Chewy, creamy stuffed medjool dates – Perfect for indulging in at Christmas

This is a recipe post for stuffed dates, dairy free, gluten free and paleo which are perfect for Christmas treats, would make an amazing home made Christmas gift or could even be made at Easter for a fabulous alternative to chocolate eggs. It is paleo, gluten free, dairy free and free from refined sugar. As it is made with dates, its (sadly) not low carb but I will look at adding in the nutritional information so that those of you tracking carbs can work out whether its something you can allow as a treat.

Its been a while . . .


I should mention that if you are reading this in current time, then it is just THREE days before Christmas (2018) -eeeeeekkkkk! I am officially sorted, with presents picked and wrapped, food delivered and ready for the big day and nothing left to do but watch cheesy Christmas films and get into the Christmas spirit.
Its been quite some time since I have posted on my blog and I apologise to those who have been left wondering where I have been. To summarise, last Christmas my mum had a serious heart attack, leaving her with Hypoxia (a form of brain damage/ injury) and in the new year (Jan 2018) my grandfather passed away. This was followed by my husband and I moving house (over 65 miles from where we had been living) and the impact it had upon my health. As a result (and a broken computer!) I have taken some time away from my blog to just focus on my life. However, I have continued using Instagram, sharing various stories and information, so if you want to keep up to date with my goings on, I recommend you follow me on there as I share all sorts of things from food finds (shop bought foods that are clean or free from) to tips that can be beneficial to those of you with chronic health issues.
Although i am posting this recipe now, I actually made some of these last year for a Christmas treat and loved them. Even family and friends who had been unsure (as they said they were not big ‘date’ fans) said that they loved them. They are very much like toffees or caramels in a box of chocolates (for those of you who are American you would call them Candies), they taste very moreish!

Storage, sourcing ingredients and Swaps


The version photographed is made with peanuts but it is possible to swap them for seed butter, coconut butter or even tigernut butter making it nut free (I have made them using almond butter and hazelnut butter). You can chose to coat them in chocolate or leave them as they are once you have stuffed them. I used 70% chocolate from the shop but you could easily make your own chocolate.
If you find it difficult to find medjool dates you can try using smaller dates, which I have also tried but the texture and taste isn’t as great. Medjool dates are squishy, soft and give them that caramel taste. I buy my dates from Ocado or Waitrose and in the past have frozen them as it keeps them for longer.
For storage, I recommend keeping the dates in the fridge once made as it adds to the texture (as it makes the chocolate snap and the nut butter filling a little harder and the date more chewy). You can eat them at room temperature but serving chilled is my personal opinion.anretxE

Useful Websites

For home made chocolate recipes check out Tabithas Edit (previously Tabithas kitchen) and for nut butter recipes check out The Nourished Coeliac.
If you decide to give these a go, please let me know how you get on and what your thoughts are!

For those of you who are reading this in current time – Merry Christmas and I wish you health and happiness for 2019!
Peace out
Emma x

Print Recipe
Stuffed Dates
Stuffed medjool dates with a creamy nutty filling, coated in dark chocolate. Can be made nut free too! Dairy free, gluten free, sugar free, egg free.
Course Sweets
Prep Time 20
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
Dates
Ingredients
Course Sweets
Prep Time 20
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
Dates
Ingredients
Instructions
Making the Stuffing
  1. To make the stuffing you need to place the desiccated coconut (you can use flaked coconut too), into a blender and blitz until it becomes a paste.
  2. Once the coconut is paste like, add in the nut butter, vanilla and coconut oil (melted) and blitz until combined
  3. Using a knife, carefully cut open (but not completely in half) the medjool dates removing any stones or pips. (The dates should be able to open an close like a book).
  4. Line a tray or plate with some foil or a silicon mat and place the medjool dates on to it.
  5. Take one date at a time and using a teaspoon, scoop some of the mixture and stuff it into the middle of the date. Place back onto the plate/ tray and continue until all of the dates are filled.
  6. Place the dates in the fridge to chill while you melt the chocolate (or make the chocolate if you are making your own)
Coating the Dates
  1. If you are using chocolate bought from the shop, you need to melt it to coat the dates with. To do this fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Once it is boiling turn the heat as low as it will go and place a dish over the pan (the dish should be just a little bigger than the pan so that it sits above the water line).
  2. Break the chocolate into squares and place into the dish, stirring occasionally to help melt the chocolate
  3. Once the chocolate is melted, turn of the heat and then taking one date at a time, coat them in chocolate. It helps to use either toothpicks or two forks to roll the dates in the chocolate and then fish them out, placing back onto the plate or tray for them to set.
  4. Once all the dates have been coated, place them back into the fridge to chill. They should set in about 30- 40 minutes.
  5. For decoration purposes you can always drizzle some left over chocolate onto the dates once they have cooled. I did this using 80% chocolate.
  6. Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days (they can last longer), or freeze them. I freeze batches and take out what i want to eat, each day. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

You can make homemade chocolate if you don't want to use shop bought. Its fairly easy to make, here is a link to a simple recipe on Tabithas Edit (previously Tabithas Kitchen).

You can use desiccated coconut or flaked coconut - I have used both kinds when making this recipe and both work well.

Nuts, seeds or other - If you don't like or can't use nuts then seed butter is a great substitute, however for those who can't use seeds either try using tigernut butter. Idont know if its available to buy, but i have made my own. To find out how to make it, try Emma's recipe on her blog The Nourished Coeliac.

To coat or not to coat?
You can chose not to coat your dates and leave them plain. They still taste really nice, the chocolate just adds a bit of luxury making them feel more like a 'treat'.

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Egg Free Cookies – paleo and low fodmap

Egg Free

These cookies are paleo, egg free, dairy free and can be made with a wide variety of sweeteners (maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar and erythritol have all be tested!). This recipe has minimal sweetener due to me trying to lower my sugar intake, but if you want to make them an extra treat you can add in a little extra sweetener and it won’t affect the recipe ( I have tested them with various levels of sweetener).

This recipe is a remake of one of my older recipes. Since discovering I can’t tolerate eggs, it’s been difficult to find recipes for most things as they always tend to contain egg – ugh! I don’t tolerate huge amounts of flaxseed and can’t handle chai seeds and these are the ingredients usually used in most egg free baking (doh!).

In place of the eggs I have used a gelatine egg which has worked out really well. Once the cookies have cooled down, they have a wonderful crunchy, crumbly texture. I haven’t yet tried making them vegan compliant but I would like to try, and I aim to use agar agar as a replacement for the gelatine. If anyone decides to try this before me – please let me know how you get on!

Other Recipes

For more sweet AIP and Low FODMAP treats check out my other recipes such as breakfast bars or chewy cookies.

If you are lucky enough to be able to eat eggs, then check out my original paleo cookie recipe or my crunchy paleo biscuits which are delicious (I tried them before I found out I couldn’t eat egg).
Whilst I have been testing these cookies to be egg free I have also made them in a range of flavours such as dates and chocolate, double chocolate chip, chocolate and pecans and plain with brazil nuts.

AIP compliant
To make these cookies AIP compliant you can use tigernut flour (i have tested them with tigernut flour). Omit the cacao powder and either use carbo powder or go without. You also need to omit the vanilla but could use either mace or cinnamon in its place (use 1 teaspoon). Good AIP fillings include dates, raisins, and figs.

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Print Recipe


Egg Free Cookies - paleo and low fodmap

Course Sweets

Servings


Ingredients

Course Sweets

Servings


Ingredients


Instructions
  1. Turn the oven on to 150’ C (300'F)

  2. Line a baking sheet with a silicon mat or greaseproof paper and lightly oil using the extra tablespoon of coconut oil.

  3. In a bowl combine the almond flour, cacao powder, coconut sugar (if using honey or maple syrup leave out), bicarb of soda, vanilla and salt. Stir to combine.

  4. Chop the nuts and add into the dry mixture. Chop the chocolate and place aside for now.

  5. In a sauce pan add the coconut oil, the coconut milk and if using maple syrup or honey, add in here. Turn on the heat very low to melt the ingredients and stir to combine.

  6. Turning off the heat, sprinkle the gelatine over the melted oil and immediately whisk to combine.

  7. Pour the liquid into the dry mix and stir to combine.

  8. Add the chopped chocolate into the mixture and stir once again to combine.

  9. Using a cookie cutter to shape, on the greaseproof paper press a heaped tablespoon of the mixture into the cutter and use your fingers to flatten out into the shape of the cutter. Lift the cutter carefully, leaving the shaped cookie behind.
    Allow two finger spaces between each cookie to allow for spreading.

  10. When all of the mixture has been used up place the baking tray in the middle of the oven and cook for 24 minutes.

  11. Once cooked turn off the oven and allow the cookies to remain in the oven for a good 20 minutes before fetching out and allowing to cool on a rack. As the cookies cool down they will firm up and develop a nice crunchy texture.

  12. Keep in an air tight container for up to 4 days.


Recipe Notes

Gelatine - Make sure you use the orange can if you are using Great Lakes gelatine. You want to use gelatine, the kind that gels, not collagen which doesn't act like a binding ingredient.

Sweetener - If you don't want to use coconut sugar, you can use maple syrup, honey, erythritol or any other kind of sweetener. If you want the cookies to be sweeter then you can add more into the mix. However, if you are following a low FODMAP diet then don't use more than 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar as large amounts are higher in FODMAPS.

Flours - I have made these cookies using tigernut flour as well as using half and half with almond flour.

Fillings - If you want to avoid chocolate or don't want to use nuts then you could use tigernuts, dates, dried fruit, or even carob drops.

Coleslaw – paleo, egg free and low FODMAP

This recipe for coleslaw is not only Low in FODMAPs, egg free and paleo, but it can be made AIP compliant too.

FODMAPS’

FODMAP refers to a type of elimination diet used by people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) to help identity foods which may be causing them digestive issues. FODMAPs is an acronym using the words Fermentable, Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, mono-saccharides and polys. These are types of sugars or molecules in foods that ferment in the gut causing bloating and other painful symptoms. By cutting out foods that are high in FODMAPs a person struggling with IBS can reduce their symptoms.

AIP

AIP stands for Auto Immune protocol and is another form of elimination diet. People who struggle with an autoimmune condition can follow this way of eating, helping them to eliminate foods in their diet which may be exuberating their symptoms such as joint pain and skin disorders.

If you want to find about more about either of these diets then check out my posts Low FODMAP diet and AIP Diet. Here you will find all everything you need to know, including other resources and websites that can be helpful on these subjects.

Other Recipes

This recipe is egg free (as I don’t tolerate eggs) and most coleslaw recipes us mayonnaise to give it that creamy taste. If you can eat eggs they you can always use normal mayonnaise. Alternatively you can make your own, check out my recipe for homemade mayonnaise here. If you can tolerate onions and want to make traditional coleslaw then check out my coleslaw recipe here.

For meal ideas to serve the coleslaw with, then check out my recipe for low fodmap / AIP burgers here. For those who can tolerate onions and are not AIP then use this burger recipe here. Or you can serve it with salad and fish cakes which is AIP and low FODMAP or with meatballs (not low FODMAP or AIP).

Notes

Method – I make my coleslaw in a large glass pyrex tub with a lid. When I make the sauce, I make it in the dish, and then add in the veggies after. To combine I clip on the lid and shake to mix all the ingredients. It makes things easier as there is less washing up – yay!

AIP – if you are AIP then you will need to omit the mustard. To add a savoury flavour in place of the mustard you can either use garlic leaves (if you can find them; I buy from Ocado and freeze as they are not in store for long) or use a little horseradish sauce. I haven’t tried the horseradish yet, but it’s one of the only ‘spicy’ ingredients that are allowed on the AIP diet so makes a good substitute. If you are not following a Low FODMAP diet and are AIP, you could always add a finely chopped garlic clove to the mixture to give it a bit of zing!

You can also make your sauce mix in the blender and add in a few tinned artichokes. Artichokes are great for adding creaminess to a recipe, and they are also very good for you!

Additional ingredients – if you want to add a twist, you can use lemon juice in place of the vinegar. For those who are not AIP you can add in a pinch of black pepper or cayenne pepper for an extra punch
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Print Recipe
Coleslaw - paleo, egg free and Low FODMAP
Course Condiments
Cuisine English
Passive Time 10 Minutes
Servings
Ingredients
The Veggies
Course Condiments
Cuisine English
Passive Time 10 Minutes
Servings
Ingredients
The Veggies
Instructions
Prepare the Veg
  1. Take a shape knife and carefully slice the cabbage into thin strips. If the strips are long, you may want to cut them into smaller pieces. Add the cabbage to a colander ready to wash.
  2. Wash the carrots (and peel them if you wish), then using a julienne peeler, cut them until all of the carrots have been used up. Place aside until needed.
  3. Using a sharp knife, slice the green parts of the spring onions lengths ways so that you are left with long strips of green.
  4. When you have done this, chop them into shorter strips, pieces about as long as your little finger. Place these in the colander with the cabbage and wash for a minute or two, then allow to drain.
Make the Dressing
  1. Place the coconut yogurt, mustard (or horseradish) apple cider vinegar, garlic oil and salt into a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  2. Add the cabbage, onion greens and carrot and mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  3. Cover the bowl or transfer to a container and keep in the fridge.
  4. It should last about 5 days (although I have had mine for up a week!!).
  5. Serve with salad, burgers and avocado for an easy yet tasty dinner.
Recipe Notes
  • If you want to make the coleslaw extra creamy you can add in extra coconut yogurt or you can blend the dressing mixture and add in some canned artichoke hearts.
  • You can use red or green cabbage, this recipe has been tested with both types

AIP & Low FODMAP Burgers

Finding an AIP Low FODMAP recipe for burgers is pretty much impossible but not anymore – yay! This recipe is egg-free, dairy free, gluten free, paleo, AIP and low FODMAP. They are really easy to make and can be frozen too.

If you want more details on the Low FODMAP diet or the Auto Immune Protocol, take a look here at my post The Low FODMAP diet – a basic guide or Autoimmune protocok – the basics.

Serving Suggestion

Serve these burgers with some salad leaves, sliced avocado, Low FODMAP / AIP coleslaw and roasted sweet potatoes for a great tasting dinner.

More AIP Low FODMAP Recipes

For more AIP and Low FODMAP recipes check out my posts Salmon fishcakes, Meatballs, Yuk Sung and Lamb Curry.

NON AIP Ingredients

For those of you are not AIP try adding in one tablespoon of ground black pepper and one teaspoon of mustard powder for an extra spice kick!
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Print Recipe
AIP & Low FODMAP Burgers
Great tasting burgers that are full of flavour but without high FODMAPs and using all friendly AIP ingredients. Serve with salad, some coleslaw, roasted sweet potato and some avocado for a really satisfying dinner.
Course Main Dish
Cook Time 25 Minutes
Passive Time 10 Minutes
Servings
Burgers
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cook Time 25 Minutes
Passive Time 10 Minutes
Servings
Burgers
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180'c (350'F)
  2. In a bowl add all the spices, herbs and sugar. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the minced beef into the bowl with the spices etc and stir to combine.
  4. Using a burger press or your hands, shape the mixture into four burgers.
  5. Place the burgers on a baking sheet and cook for 25 mintues
  6. When cooked served with some salad, coleslaw and roasted sweet potatoes for a great tasting dinner.

Low Dose Naltrexone For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Lyme Disease

This post aims to give you a little bit of background on Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) along with some examples of research on the drug. It also gives details on my personal experience of taking it (which I have been on since 2015), to help with my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) as well as chronic Lyme disease.

What is Low Dose Naltrexone?

Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) is the name used for the drug Naltrexone, which was originally approved for use by the Federal Drug Agency (FDA) in 1984. The original dose of 50mg was used with the purpose of helping addicts of heroin and other opiate drugs.

Naltrexone blocks opioid receptors and blocks the reception of the opioid hormones that our brain and adrenal glands produce, called Beta-endorphin and metenkephalin. In layman’s terms what this means is that endorphin receptors are blocked, tricking the brain into producing more endorphins, which are the body’s natural form of pain killer; this in term stimulates the immune system. Many of the body’s tissues have receptors for these endorphins and enkephalis – virtually every cell of the body’s immune system!

In 1985 a physician called Bernard Bihari (MD) discovered that Naltrexone when used in much smaller doses (approx. 3mg* once a day) could have a positive effect on the body’s immune system, hence the name ‘low dose’ Naltrexone. He found that the medication worked best when taken at bedtime, noting that it was able to enhance a patient’s response to infection by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Later in 1990 Dr Bihari found that other patients in his practice also benefited from using a low dose of naltrexone. Patients with cancers such as lymphoma or pancreatic cancer benefited from the drug – in some cases the results were (positively) dramatic. He also found that some people with Auto-immune diseases (such as Lupus) often showed prompt control of disease activity while taking LDN. *The optimal adult dosage for LDN has been found to be 4.5mg

What health issues can be helped by LDN?

Since these discoveries were made, there have been many research studies carried on the use of LDN, and alongside Dr Bernard Bihari (MD), there are many other physicians and researchers who have noted beneficial effects of LDN on issues such as ;-

  • Cancers such as bladder, breast, carcinoid, colon and rectal, liver, glioblastoma, lung, lymphocytic leukaemia (chronic), Lymphoma (Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s) and malignant melanoma, Multiple myeloma, neuroblastoma, ovarian, pancreatic, prostrate (untreated), renal cell carcinoma, throat and uterine cancer.
  • Auto-immune disorders such as ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Alzheimer’s, autism spectrum disorders, hereditary spastic paraparesis, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, post – polio syndrome, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Primal Lateral Sclerosis (PLS), Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, transverse Myelitis
  • Other Auto-immune issues such as Ankylosing Spondylitis, Bechet’s Disease, Celiac Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, CREST syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, Dermatomyositis, Dystonia, Endometriosis, Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Myasthenia Gravis (MG), Nephrotic Syndrome, Pemphigoid, Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sarcoidosis, Scleroderma, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Stiff Person Syndrome, Systemic Lupus (SLE), Ulcerative Colitis and Wegener’s Granulomatosis.

When people read this extensive list of disorders that LDN can help, they may at first think that
LDN is some form of miracle drug! However there is simple explanation and it’s because all of these disorders all share one main thing – the immune system plays a central role!

Research

Doctor Ginerva Liptan is a woman who has written many books and blog articles on Fibromyalgia (FM) and the uses of LDN for its treatment. Dr Liptan is a specialist in FM and has had over 20 years of research, not to mention personal experience. She developed an interest in the subject after she became struck down with the disease during medical school. In one of her blog posts (on the medical website health rising), Dr Liptan stats that a Stanford University study showed a 30% reduction in pain in 2/3’rds of FM patients. The study found that 2/3rd’s of patients benefited significantly, with most receiving a 30 -40% reduction in pain (although some experienced a 60% reduction). However Dr Liptan also notes that the best results occurred when her patients combined the use of LDN with therapy to reduce muscle tightness.

Cree BA, et al., (2010) carried out a pilot trial looking at the effect of low dose naltrexone on the quality of life of Multiple Sclerosis patients, at the University of California. The study, involving 80 people, looked at the effects of LDN on quality of life of patients with Multiple Sclerosis. Significant improvements were found in areas such as mental health, pain and self-reported cognitive function. However no impact was observed on symptoms such as fatigue, bowel and bladder control, visual function or sexual satisfaction. The only adverse effects of taking LDN were patients reporting vivid dreaming during the first week of treatment. (Annals of Neurology 2010;68(2):145-150. Link here).

For CFS patients, there was the suggestion of LDN being combined with another drug (Trazodone – an antidepressant) to help with symptoms. Unfortunately however, a study was never commissioned but I am sharing this link from the Health Rising Blog as the comments underneath the post are quite helpful. There is a combination of current patients using LDN- noting their experiences as well as information that they have come across about the drug.

I would also suggest taking a look at the ‘Treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’ article on the Health rising blog too. It not only discusses the use of LDN for CFS but at the bottom of the page, it has a TON of links that may be helpful (such as other LDN websites, organisations and even social media forums where you can talk to other people who are already taking LDN).

Younger J, et al., (2014) carried out research in to the use of LDN as a novel anti-inflammatory treatment for chronic pain. The results suggest that LDN may be a successful form of treatment for chronic pain but more research with larger patient participation is needed.

Kariv R, et al., (2006) carried out a pilot study; Low Dose Naltrexone for the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The study assessed 42 IBS patients reporting on degrees of abdominal pain, stool urgency/ consistency and frequency. After 4 weeks of LDN (0.5mg) per day patients showed an overall relief in symptoms and noted a number of pain free days. Using global assessment, the results demonstrated a 76% improvement.

Here is an article post titled ‘Top 22 scientific health benefits of low dose naltrexone’…. Im including it as part of the research section as it does refer to a few decent studies. However I do think the post is a tad biased as some of the studies (e.g. Those carried out with MS patients) have recently been re-tested only to find that there was no improvement in patients pain or other symptoms.

Overall there are TONs of research studies on LDN but many of them are too small or based on short term use. There are no studies looking at the long term implications of using LDN in any condition. There are also lot of contradictions – one study will show patients with improvements, whereas others will say there was no difference!

However I wouldn’t let that stop you from trying LDN if you are able to get a prescription. I will give more details below on my personal experience of using LDN as well as a few examples from other people I know who are also taking it.

My experience

I started taking LDN in December 2015 and although I had a rocky start, I soon began to notice the advantages of this little wonder drug! To begin with I foolishly began taking the medication on Christmas eve – which was a BIG mistake!!! I felt incredibly wired and couldn’t sleep at all – making me feel dreadful the next day, even though I had started on 0.5ml of the medication. I did sleep better the next night but had terrible nightmares and woke up a number of times sweating with my heartbeat racing! After a few days I began sleeping a lot better but the nightmares and night sweats continued for a few days as well as fluctuating each time I increased my dose (by 0.5ml).

Eventually after about two weeks I noticed I was sleeping much better. Before LDN I would spend hours trying to fall asleep, then when I did nod off, I would wake up about 4-5 times a night. Then I would wake super early and not be able to get back to sleep. I would wake feeling like my head was thick with fog, I found it hard to focus/ concentrate and I felt generally dreadful. I would spend all day feeling like I wanted to go back to sleep!

Since being on LDN I have found I generally sleep better – however I do find that if I don’t stick to a decent sleep hygiene**, my sleep does suffer. Overall I find that I sleep without waking so many times in the night and I find I take less time to fall asleep. Although getting better sleep might not seem like much – personally for me, my sleep is crucial to how I feel the next day. When I sleep better I tend not to have such a painful neck, I don’t feel as dopey (sleepy) and I feel much more able to manage my day and symptoms.

On a day where I have slept dreadful, I tend to find I will hurt myself more (accidently tripping over, walking into door handles, cutting myself on things); I will usually drop more things (which is how I have broken so many glasses!!), forgetting things I am in the middle of doing, such as the sink filling up or forgetting to shut the back door (after letting out the dog). I find my neck pain unbearable, showering and getting dressed takes much longer (than it already does) and I feel like I am one straw away from the camel’s back from being broken!! These are the days I tend to cry because I feel so frustrated.

**Sleep hygiene is basically following various habits or practices which aim to encourage the body to sleep better at night. It can involve going to bed at the same time each night, allowing your body time to wind down naturally so avoiding large meals an hour before sleep, not using blue light technology an hour before sleep, having your room at an optimal temperature, using a black out blind and for some people, using ear plugs.

I personally believe that using LDN in conjunction with other treatments can give the best results – Like Dr Liptan found that MS patients had the best results when using it with muscle therapy.

Since I began LDN I have talked to many other people either thinking about trying it, or already taking it and most of the people I have come across agree that it has had some kind of benefit. These benefits have included better sleep, better pain threshold (being able to tolerate pain better), a decrease in brain fog, overall improvement in all symptoms and improved immune system (get less colds, infections).

Where to get LDN?

Although Naltrexone has been FDA approved (at 50mg), the dosage of 3mg-4.5mg has not yet been submitted for approval as there is no current long term research for the drug. One of the reasons for this could be due to the fact that studies can cost many millions of pounds.

In May 2006, Professor Jill Smith of the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine carried out an open-label trial that tested the use of LDN in Crohn’s Disease. As a result, the National Institute of Health granted her $500,000 to continue the study on a larger scale and placebo controlled scientific trials of LDN in Crohn’s Disease.

In the UK LDN is unlicensed (‘low dosages’ of 3-5mg) and therefore can be tricky to get hold of. In some forums (health forms for Lyme / CFS) I have come across many people who buy LDN from abroad. The issues with this are (1) you have no guarantee that what you are buying is safe and (2) they usually come in capsule form, meaning you need to open it up and work out the correct dosage – this would be quite tricky if you are trying to get 0.5mg!

As naltrexone IS a licensed drug in the UK (full dosage of 50mg), it’s possible that it can be prescribed for a condition other than that for which it was licensed, if the doctor feels it’s an appropriate treatment. However, when a doctor prescribes a drug ‘off-license’ (for treatment of an illness that the drug has not been approved for) they are directly responsible! This means that it’s highly unlikely that your GP will be willing to prescribe it.

There are some specialists that WILL prescribe LDN, such as those treating patients with MS and Fibromyalgia. Unfortunately it usually depends on the Doctor. If they are quite holistic in their approach and are well versed in the current climate for LDN you may be on to a winner. The best approach to take is to print off as much research as possible and take it with you to an appointment with a specialist in your area. It might be worth joining a forum for your health issue and finding out what other people have experienced. If someone in your local town has been prescribed the drug, you may have a higher chance of convincing the specialist.

Private prescription

I get my prescription from my private specialist who I see for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Myalgic Encephalopathy. I had been seeing this doctor for almost 2 years when LDN was suggested as a form of treatment. I had been doing other things to help manage my symptoms such as changing my diet and setting a better sleep hygiene routine – in order to reduce inflammation/ reset circadian rhythm. My doctor writes me a prescription and I then send this on to a prescription delivery service where I then pay for the item (£20 per bottle) and they then post it out to me. The company that I use (who deliver the LDN directly to me) is Dickson Chemist who are based in Scotland.

Alternatively you could try a service like this one at Prescribe4me. It offers consultations with specialists who deal with prescribing LDN. You have to fill in a questionnaire which is then passed to a doctor who calls you back. There is no guarantee that the doctor will prescribe LDN for you – it will depend on your illness / other issues and other health circumstances. This service costs £30 (to speak with a doctor and £14 for the prescription and then the cost of purchasing the prescription). I don’t have any experience with it, so I don’t know how good/bad it might be.

Types of LDN

LDN comes in four types of medication, they are pills (capsules or tablets), Liquid, cream and sublingual drops. I have only ever used the liquid, which comes in a bottle and I draw it out using a syringe.

The form you take will all depend on your needs. Sublingual drops are helpful for those who struggle with absorption, whereas LDN cream is often used by children who don’t tolerate additives (which are often found in the liquid form). If you are building up your dose and need to do it very slowly then liquid LDN would be the easiest form to take.

Other

It is recommended that LDN is taken at night and the reason for this relates to the diurnal nature of endorphin secretion. Dr Bihari’s explanation is this …

“The reason the hour is important is that 90% of the endorphins are made in the middle of the night, between 2 and 4 in the morning. If a small dose of naltrexone is taken
in the late evening, generally at bedtime, generally endorphin production is boosted as much as threefold, 300%. The naltrexone itself is gone in about 3 hours, but the
endorphins remain elevated all the next day. So the naltrexone doesn’t significantly block the endorphins but does cause them to rise.”

If you are still unsure about LDN as a form of treatment for you then take a look at the following documentary. It’s a Norwegian documentary a (with English subtitles) and follows two presenters who go to find out what LDN is all about and it’s so called ‘super drug’ title.

Norwegian Documentary LDN – English Subtitles

Feedback

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post – I hope it has been helpful to you. If you have any further information to add or want to tell people about your experience using this drug then please leave a comment below.

Links

MS Trust https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/low-dose-naltrexone-ldn

Low Dose Naltrexone – http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org

LDN Database – http://www.ldndatabase.com/

Journals/ Articles
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3962576/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17080248

http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org/ldn_trials.htm

https://www.ldnresearchtrust.org/ldn-clinical-trials

http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/02/cfsme-patients-response-low-dose-naltrexone Facebooktwitterpinterestmail
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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for ME/ CFS & Lyme

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy – What is it?

This post about hyperbaric oxygen therapy, sometimes called HBOT or HBO, aims to give you some basic information on what it is, how it works and where you can go for treatment. I also give you some information on my personal experience with it. I am using HBOT to help manage my Myalgic Encepalopathy (ME) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme disease and all the symptoms they bring!

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (or H-BOT) is simply “Breathing pure oxygen at higher than atmospheric pressure in an enclosed chamber” (The Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Trust). A patient sits (upright) in a specialised chamber, (sometimes referred to as a ‘tank’) for 60 – 90 minutes, wearing an oxygen mask (like a diving mask) while the chamber around them is pressurised to a certain atmosphere (or depth), usually 16 or 32 feet. This is done by sealing the chamber (air tight) and then the atmosphere being compressed by releasing the air form the chamber. The mask that a patient wears is attached to two pipes (one on the left, one on the right). Pure oxygen is pumped through the pipe on the right which the patient breaths in and the left pipe takes away air that has been breathed out.

In most centres where HBOT is used, the sessions are referred to as ‘dives’ (as Oxygen chambers are usually used by divers and the masks/ equipment used is usually from the diving industry). The chambers usually look a little bit like metal domes from the outside and will have one or more circular windows just like you get on the side of ships. The windows are usually there so that staff can keep an eye on the patients.

The chamber that I use has an intercom system so that the staff can talk to the patients (or patients call the attention of the staff while in the chamber). It also allows the radio to be played so that patients an listen to music while they are having their dive.

How It Works / Research

The pressure in the chamber forces oxygen into the body saturating haemoglobin, flooding cells, body fluids and tissues. Even if a person has blocked or reduced blood flow, it can still help to restore function to damaged cells and organs.

There are lots of different uses for HBOT from carbon monoxide poisoning to physical injuries. For example research by Staples and Clement in Sports Medicine (1996: 22 (4)) 219-227) suggests that when HBOT was used in conjunction with physiotherapy, recovery time from injury was reduced by 70%. This includes treatment for joint, muscle, ligament and tendon injuries and studied injuries in footballers in Scotland. Research by Bekheit et al (BMJ Open Gastro 2016;3: e000082. doi:10.1136/ bmjgast-2016-000082) showed that HBOT simulated colonic stem cells and induced mucosal healing in patients with refractory ulcerative colitis showed clinical improvement by the 40th cycle of HBOT, with a decrease in bowel movements a day as well as an improvement in CD44 markers (a marker for stem cell activity).

In the Journal of international Medical Research, Yildiz et al (2004; 32: 263 – 267) carried out research to find out the impact of Hyperbaric Oxygen (HBO) in Fibromyalgia patients. The paper was titled “A New Treatment Modality for Fibromyalgia Syndrome: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy”. Their findings suggested that there was a significant reduction in the tender points as well as a significant increase in pain thresholds in the HBO group after the first 15 sessions.

Research by Elke Van Hoof, et al, (2011; 37-49) Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Volume 11, issue ) found that there was an improvement in CFS patients who undertook hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Their paper titled “Hyperbaric Therapy in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” found that there was an improvement in fatigue (fatigue decreased), an increase in levels of activity as well as an improvement in reaction time. The paper does however state that although trends were found more data is needed in order to make firm conclusions.

The Multiple sclerosis (MS) Therapy Group says “Hyper-baric Oxygen Therapy (HBO) involves breathing pure oxygen, through a mask or mouthpiece, under an increased level of pressure. Under pressure the body is able to absorb more oxygen and the whole body is saturated, both tissue and blood, with oxygen.

It is believed that the oxygen disperses any fat globules in the blood, thus reducing the risk of damage to the nerves and myelin sheaths. Pressure is the crucial part of delivering oxygen to the body in sufficient quantities. HBO is not a cure for MS but it can help limit damage to the nervous system and promote healing. Many people find it helps relieve symptoms like fatigue, blurred vision and bladder problems”.

Overall there is mixed information and viewpoints as to whether HBOT actually helps. Most research out there suggests it can help to speed up recovery, which is one of the reasons many sports people use it alongside other treatments (e.g physiotherapy) as it means they can recover quicker and get back to playing sport! But with regards to MS, CFS and ME there is less supporting evidence that it can help with recovery. In fact some researcher suggests that it doesn’t have any impact at all (Bennett and Heard, 2004 – based on a meta-analysis study), whereas other researchers suggest that it does (Perrins and James, UHM 2002, Vol. 29 – No 4, Mini Forum on MS and HBOT).

However, PLEASE don’t let the negative comments put you off from trying it – I will explain why below, in the details about my own experience.

My Experience

Using HBOT for ME/CFS and Lyme Disease

I started HBOT in May 2017, starting with two weeks of saturation at the Milton Keynes Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre. I wanted to see if it would be any help to managing my symptoms from ME/CFS and Lyme disease. Saturation is where you have daily or frequent treatment which ‘saturates’ or floods your body with oxygen. For ‘other health conditions’ (other than MS) saturation is usually two weeks of treatment, going to one session per day. For MS the saturation period is usually four weeks.

The first week was to allow me to settle into the treatment and see how I got on with it. Usually when you first go for HBOT you will start on the shallowest ‘dive’ (the lower atmosphere), which was 16 feet. This is because some people can experience ear problems – think of when you go on an aeroplane and the pressure changes as it takes off. On my first dive I felt really queasy and got really hot (but I was wrapped up in lots of clothing as I am usually cold!). Once I had removed a few layers of clothing (and the Staff turned on the electric fan inside the chamber) I was fine (and the other people in the chamber were lovely to me!). After that I wore thinner clothing in the chamber as the temperature gets quite warm as the pressure drops. The second week I went to 32 feet and had no issues. After the initial saturation I continued going just once a week. The reason for this is because I live so far from the centre. Ideally the centre suggests you go twice a week (but you can go more) to maintain optimal oxygen levels.

When I did saturation I started to notice some improvement in the first week towards the end of the week. I felt less pain in my neck (I get horrendous neck pain) and I felt like my head was less fuggy (I get a combination of a foggy / fuzzy head, but its more commonly known as brain fog; it feels like when you first wake up and feel half asleep). I also slept in the day time too – which is something I haven’t done for years as it stops me from sleeping at night (but I found I was ok sleeping at night too). I also felt less sleepy/ drowsy after a session, feeling more like I had properly woken up (which is not something I usually feel!).

After saturation, I noticed the difference when I stopped going every day. I found that I would start to lag and feel more tired the longer it had been since my last session. I also noticed a massive difference when I was unable to go for a few weeks. I recently stopped going as a family member was seriously ill. Then the centre closed down for Christmas, so I haven’t been for about 2 months and I am REALLY feeling the difference. I cannot wait to get back to it.

Why You Should Consider n MS HBOT centre?

If you are considering trying HBOT then I highly recommend going to a local MS ran HBOT centre as they are FULL of helpful people as well as people who will be battling health issues just like you. When I first went to the MS centre for HBOT I was amazed at how many people I came across who (although had a range of health issues) they all seemed to ‘get’ me. They didn’t think following a special diet was weird, or doing various natural therapies made me a ‘hippie’. I was suddenly surrounded by people who had heard about ME and Lyme disease. I was talking to people about various techniques and books that I was reading (e.g. Dr Joe Dispenza) and they knew what I was talking about!!! It was BRILLIANT!!!

Not only did these people understand what it was like to have to constantly manage my health, they also had tons of their own experience of dealing with a long term health condition. They understood the struggle; they were happy to discuss the treatments that they had tried or knew about. It was like a big melting pot of knowledge, experience and information.

I also have to say that the staff are amazing too. They were reassuring when I first went for treatment and they made sure that I understood that HBOT doesn’t work for everyone. They explained that some people just don’t notice a big enough change so don’t continue with treatment, whereas others notice a big difference so continue with maintenance sessions.

If you are still unsure as to whether it is for you then let me tell you that I have come across people who suffer from the following issues and have found it beneficial – Multiple Sclerosis, CFS, Lyme Disease, Heart issues, problems with eye nerve damage and people who have had physical injury (such as falling of a motorbike at top speed on a racetrack!!).

I recommend just going along to an MS HBOT centre and spend half an hour just talking to the staff and the people who are using the service. Nothing is more helpful that talking to people who have actually tired something. I should also point out that MS HBOT centre in Milton Keynes is run by volunteers, many whom are suffering with MS themselves.

Where Can I Go For Treatment?

There are many Multiple Sclerosis (MS) ran HBOT centres. They usually allow non-MS patients to use their service. As well as oxygen therapy they sometimes offer other services such as massage, reflexology and other helpful natural therapies. There is a charge for the treatment. The Centre that I go to charges £20 for 2 HBOT sessions (if you go for just one session, you still pay £20). There are charges for extra sessions and the other therapies (prices correct as of Jan 2018).
For more details on the Milton Keynes MS HBOT centre, take a look at their website (or google search Milton Keyenes Multiple Sclerosis HBOT Centre).

To find your nearest centre you can have a look on the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Organisation website. This trust was founded in 2009 by a man called Peter McCann. He started the trust after he had used HBOT himself following a serious illness, (he states that HBOT saved his life). The trust is said to “provide help and information to the public and healthcare professionals on hyperbaric oxygen treatment and seeks to promote further research into the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy”.

There are privately run HBOT centres but they can be much for expensive. One of the centres that I looked into was charging £45 for a 45 minute session. If you do an internet search for Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy you will find a list of centres that are local to you.

You CAN buy a home tank system that you use at home. They are usually portable although they are bulky and not the same as a tank at a centre. The home ones usually have you lying down. They are also incredibly expensive. I looked into one and it was about £8,000! Don’t forget that you would also need to buy replacement oxygen too – this would be an on-going cost
For more details on home use HBOT have a look at Oxy Health’s website.

Feedback

Thank you for taking your time to read this post – I hope you found it helpful. If you have anything to add or any questions then please leave a comment below. I appreciate you taking the time to feedback your thoughts.

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You Are The Placebo – Book Review

You are the Placebo –Dr Joe Dispenza

You Are The Placebo – By Dr Joe Dispenza

Book Review

This is a review of the book ‘You are the placebo’ by Dr Joe Dispenza. I will talk you through the various sections and chapters, giving you an idea of the types of subjects that are discussed and will finish off with some information on how I came across it and how it’s helped me.
I would like to point out here that this book is incredibly detailed and very heavy with science including some quantum physics. The detail it goes into is exceptional, but it can also make hard reading, especially if you have a chronic health condition that impacts on your ability to focus and read. I personally have read the book twice as it took me so long to read, that when I finished it I had to read it again to get my head around it all! (I am starting it a third time as it still hasn’t sunk in!) Don’t get me wrong, it’s an amazing book and loved reading it, but there is SO much information that it can really be confusing if you are not feeling 100% and are trying to read!

As the book is so detailed and complex I have tried to keep the review as simple as possible and have avoided going into any science stuff! If the review leaves you feeling like it’s too complex then I would suggest not giving not giving the book a read for now as the book is so heavy with details!

If you are unsure then I recommend going onto amazon and downloading a sample of the book so that you can have a read of the first chapter or so and see what you think. You don’t have to have a kindle to read books from the amazon site; you can download the kindle app (onto your tablet, phone or computer) and read it via the app. The sample doesn’t cost – it’s normally a chapter or two and it’s enough to give you an idea of whether you like the book or not.
The book is split into two sections; Part one is ‘Information’ and part two is ‘Transformation’. The information part teaches you all about how the placebo effect works, a bit of history about the subject, how the brain can be tricked into thinking something that’s not actual, how attitudes, beliefs and perceptions can impact on how we behave and see things; it discusses quantum physics and how it relates to the mind. It tells you three success stories and gives you the base information of how to prepare for the transformation.

The transformation part explains about mediation, how it works, how to do it and what happens with your brain when you do meditation. It also has a chapter that walks you through an actual mediation – you can download a copy of this audio meditation from Dr Joe Dispenza’s website (It does cost but it’s not very expensive) or you can record yourself (or someone else) reading the script of the meditation and use that to listen to instead.

It has a total of twelve chapters and at the end there is information about the author and details for the studies and research that is cited/ referred to within the book.

Chapter By Chapter

Preface / Introduction
Before the book begins its chapters, in the preface you are told the story of how Dr Joe Dispenza came to be the man he is today. It explains how a serious car accident was what led him to energy work, meditation, science, and quantum physics and of course – writing this book. The introduction gives you an outline of what the book is about, how to use it and what the book ISN’T about!

Part One

(Chapters 1 – 10)
Chapter One; This chapter is one of the most exciting first chapters I have ever read in a book, because it’s full of information about placebo studies. It tells the story of a man who overdosed on placebo drugs – displaying all the symptoms of an overdose, except the tablets he took were merely sugar pills!!! It tells of heart surgery that never happened (where the patients STILL showed a 67% improvement!) and a story of a man incredibly sick from a voodoo curse was cured by the doctor preforming a ‘un-doing voodoo!’ All the research and studies that are mentioned in this book are cited at the end so you can source and read the full articles if you want to.

Chapter Two ; This chapter looks at the history of the placebo and the various types of ‘placebo’, such as hypnotism magnetism and the ‘Nocebo’. It tells of how research over the years has adapted original theories, how theories have changed, the meeting of Western and Eastern medicine and how neurobiology comes into play with the placebo.

Chapter Three is where things really start to get thick with science as it begins to look at the placebo effect in the brain. It talks about conditioning, how our brain works (and how thoughts are made), and the definition of thoughts and feelings.

Chapter Four looks at how the placebo effect impacts on the body; it also explains about DNA, genes and epigenetics and how stress and negative emotions affect the body and impact on DNA/ genes.

Chapter Five is about how thoughts change the brain and the body. It gives examples of how people have used the power of their mind (thinking, imagining) in order to physically achieve things that they desire – this is called mental rehearsal. It also touches on how the brain does this, what happens when this happens and how intention and emotions can turbo charge this process.

Chapter Six discusses suggestibility – when something is suggested to a person and whether they take it up. One of the most common types of suggestibility would be hypnosis. This chapter looks at suggestibility and how it works. It’s another very technical chapter and it looks at how acceptance, belief and surrender all impact on a person’s suggestibility. It also looks in great detail at the subconscious mind and how to access it.

Chapter Seven – This section looks at attitudes, beliefs and perceptions – where they come from and how they affect us. It also looks at how the environment and your perception can impact on them.

Chapter Eight is titled the quantum mind as is where your mind will likely be blown (if it hasn’t already!). It gives a little bit of background on the subject and where ‘reality’ and ideas about what it means originally came from and where it stands today. It looks at energy and how it is defined in quantum terms and how being ill (with disease) impacts on the type of energy that you receive.

Chapter Nine tells three stories of people who have put energy work (like what Dr Dispenza teaches) into practice and as a result have been able to completely change their life!

Chapter Ten
This is where it starts to give you the information you need in order to start the transformation. Everything you have read up until this point will have been giving you the knowledge and understanding to put into practice techniques that will enable you to be the placebo and change your health/ life.

Part Two

– (Chapters 11 – 12)

Chapter Eleven;This is the ‘transformation’ section, where you learn in depth about meditation, how to do it effectively, for how long, at what time and what happens to the body.

Chapter Twelve is changing beliefs and perceptions: Meditation. This is the final chapter of the book where you are talked though a guided meditation. If you have purchased the audio download or CD with this on, this is when you would listen to it. I personally didn’t read through the meditation – I listened to it as I found it easier.

Afterword; the book finishes with some final words from Dr Joe Dispenza wihc is then followed by an appendix which has the script for the guided meditation. It’s followed by end notes where you can find the referencing for all of the studies, research and information cited throughout the book.

My Personal Experience

I bought this book after it was recommended to me by my friend Emily who I originally met via a Facebook health group. I can honestly say that it’s one of the most fascinating and amazing books that I have ever read and I was blown away by it. I struggled a little with getting into it at times and understanding it, especially on days when I wasn’t feeling fully alert. I thought it was really well written and I loved how it was backed by lots of research – I think that’s the nerdy Psychologist within me (I did my BSc Honours in Psychology!!). I think the only down side with it is that some people might find it too ‘deep’ and a bit heavy to read. It does ease into the sciencey stuff and it gives lots of examples which help to give you a better understanding. The one down side that I found a tad annoying was that the audio Meditation that accompanies this book is paid for separately, meaning in order to follow the meditation you had to buy a copy. It does give the script so that you can record yourself reading it out, but really – who has time to do that?!. I also hate to say it, but I found Dr Joe Dispenza’s voice grated on me a bit and I found it hard to get into the meditation. It might not be a problem for some people but I often find if a person’s voice grates on me, I can’t listen to the audio. I have however found other guided meditation audios that I can listen to so It’s not such a big deal.

Rating

I was going to give this book 4 out of 5 but then I decided that nope, its definitely worth a whole 5 stars! You see I was going to deduct a star for the fact that some people might find it hard to read as it is so science based, but I have since discovered that you can buy the book on audio download and have it read to you! Yay! I wish I had known this before – I may even go and buy the audio book because I am in the process of trying to read this book a third time (as its still not quite sunk in!).

Other Useful Books

If you liked this book review, you may be interested in my other book reviews on similar books, such as You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, The Magic by Rhonda Byrne, How To Heal Your Life When No One Else Can by Amy B. Scher.Facebooktwitterpinterestmail
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How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can – Book Review

Book Review

This is a review of the book “how to heal yourself when no one else can” by Amy B. Scher. I will give a little bit of information on what the book talks about and a list of the sections and chapters so that you can get a good idea of whether this book is something that you would like to read. I will also give a little bit of information on how I got into reading this book and how it’s helped me so far.

Genre wise I would say it’s a self-help book, a healing book (with techniques that you can follow) and in some ways it would also fit into spiritual books as some of the practices that it talks about have a history within religion or a spiritual background.

How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can – Amy B. Scher

How To Heal Yourself When No One Else Can by Amy B Scher

This book has a total of 271 pages and is split into three sections and eleven chapters. Section two (chapters 3-10) is further sub-divided into three parts.

Section One

‘An Introduction in to the Energy Body and Self-healing’ (Chapters 1 – 3)
It starts by giving a bit of background into Amy’s story and how she has tried and tested many ways of healing after being diagnosed with a variety of health issues including late stage Lyme disease. It also looks at what ‘the energy body’ is and what self-heal is, explaining a little bit about past life energies and generational energy, finished up with a brief outline of her three step approach to healing.

Section Two

‘A Tried and True Healing Process’ (Chapters 3 – 10)
This section is also dived in to ‘parts’; part one is chapters 3 and 4. Part two is chapters 5 and 6.Part three is chapters 7 – 10. These chapters are the bits where you start to learn about the various techniques and practices that can help you to heal. Each technique or practice is discussed in enough detail for you to understand how it works and how to use it effectively. You don’t have to be at all religious or spiritual to practice any of the techniques but if you are it explains how you can incorporate this into them (i.e. the wording that you use – in religious terms you may direct your focus or ‘voice’ your desires to god. Someone who is not spiritual or religious can just talk out loud to the universe or talk to their inner being).

Section Three

‘Final Insights and Encouragement’ (Chapters 11 -12)
This is the section that pulls everything you have learnt together. Its sort of a wrap up of the book giving you an idea of where to start, some final tips and guided direction.

Chapter by Chapter

Chapter One Is all about Amys story and how being sick lead her to trying different treatments. It talks about her relapses and how she started looking to more holistic and natural techniques to help deal with her stresses and underlying emotional issues, which she believes were holding her back from full recovery.

Chapter Two disucces Amys approach to mind – body – spirit healing and starts to explain how stress, negative thinking and ‘energy’ impacts on the body.

Chapter Three – Part One
Chapter three is split into three parts; part one expalins about how to surrender and stop ‘fighting’ against the body and allow yourself to move with the flow. It explains about how surrendering can help you and gives the first two practices that can help you to do this; they are chanting and grateful begging).

Chapter four discusses how to create a more solid foundation for yourself in order to heal and discusses grounding, the body’s polarities, energy cross overs, your thymus gland, focusing on better thoughts, Amy’s perspective of the law of attraction and journaling.

Chapter Five – Part Two
Part two goes on to discuss blockages and starts with chapter five, explaining about the sub conscious mind. It then goes on to discuss how to access the subconscious mind using muscle testing – what it is and how to use it as well as other useful tips. Chapter six then starts to look at learning the ‘language of your body’. This is about listening to what your body is telling you via symptoms, it talks about how to connect with your body, using your symptoms as clues to deeper issues that you might not be aware of. It also explains about the chakras of the body and how they are linked to certain health issues and what they may mean.

Chapter Seven – Part Three
Chapter seven talks about changing your relationship with stress and begins by explaining and looking at unprocessed experiences that we may be holding in our body. It talks more about using muscle testing to help identify past events or emotions that we might be holding on to unknowingly. It then gives two different techniques that can be used to help clear these unprocessed experiences (once we have used muscle testing to work out which events are holding us back). It’s within this section that you will learn about ‘thymus tap and test’ and about the ‘Emotional Freedom Technique’ (EFT).

Chapter Eight looks into releasing harmful beliefs, explaining how harmful beliefs can hold you back and block you from healing. It then gives two techniques that can be used to help to clean harmful beliefs, explaining in detail each technique so that you can decide which feels better for you and works best for you. The first technique is called the ‘sweep’ and the second is chakra tapping.

Chapter nine looks at transforming unhealthy emotional patterns such as negative self-talk, draining vocabulary and negative thought loops. Each of these (as well as a few other types of unhealthy emotional patterns) is explained in the book. It discusses ways of over-coming these types of negative emotional patterns and gives another technique called the three hearts, which can also be used to help deal with unprocessed experiences.

Chapter Ten discusses fear – what it is, the different types of fear, how it impacts on your life and how to overcome it. It looks at various ways of clearing these negative emotions and again goes through the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and chakra tapping as well as other tips and ideas to help clear these negative emotions.

Chapter Eleven has a diagram of the ‘Healing Tree’ which is discussed at the start of the book. It is accompanied with questions which can be used with muscle testing to help you to identify where to start your healing journey. For example using the diagram and doing muscle testing you can ask “would it the most beneficial for me to work on _______?” and you could say “Chakras”. If muscle testing gave a ‘yes’ answer then you could start to use the techniques give in the book around chakras. This chapter also gives tips and other advice on how to help clear negative emotions as well as explaining the importance of creating a new routine.

Chapter Twelve is about moving forward in your healing journey. It discusses how you will likely have ups and downs and how to deal with them. It gives you a few tips on recognising the signs that you might be healing and explains how ‘baby steps’ are important. There are a few final reminders and a final note from Amy.

The End
The book finishes with some questions for those who read the book as part of a book club and additional resources.

Rating

I have to give this book a whopping 5 out of 5.
I’ve read a lot of books of this nature and I have to say that this is a good ‘all-rounder book’. What I mean when I say that, is that it gives you an insight in to a whole range of techniques and practices without going into too much detail. It’s very ‘to the point’, clear and easy to follow. All the techniques are talked though step by step and if you want more help Amy has a website and Facebook page where you can watch videos and ask further questions. Throughout, there are references to studies and research on the various techniques so that you can find out more if you want to.

I think that anyone who has a chronic health condition or reoccurring health issues should consider reading this book, because it helps you to understand how past experiences and behaviours may be hindering your ability to be well. Now I am not saying that your health issue is in your head – not at all, but the way we behave can be detrimental to our recovery (but we might not realise we are even behaving in such a way).

Now, I know that CFS/ ME and Lyme are two of the most tricky chronic health conditions that you can have, firstly because the NHS are pretty much useless in treating CFS/ ME and tend to slap the label on you and leave you to shrivel up and be alive but not living! Secondly they are incredibly behind on the Lyme issue that they still insist it’s ‘not possible to have an infection years after a becoming infected’ (oh really, let’s not talk about malaria or syphilis shall we – doh). And both of these conditions (ME/CFS & Lyme) are often slated by those who ‘don’t buy into it’ and regularly tagged as being “all in the head”. Those of us with these issues will know it’s not in our head, but there can be underlying issues, relating to how we behave and react emotionally that could be holding us back and triggering relapses.
For example as we go through life and deal with situations we can get stuck in behaviour patterns that can keep your ‘fight of flight’ system turned on. When this happens your body does what it has to in order to fight (whatever perceived threat it faces) or flight (run away from the perceived threat). The body doesn’t realise that the threat that you are faced with might be losing your job – it only responds to the body’s trigger of stress. It stops your body from doing silly things like digesting food or healing, because as far as its concerned, you are being chased by a tiger and need to stand up and fight or take flight, therefore it floods your body with adrenaline in order to do either of these things. If you are in a constant state of worry and stress because you think you may be losing your job, your body will be in a constant state of fight or flight. Even after you have lost your job and your circumstances change, your body can still be in this state and it starts to take its toll. Unless you take steps to take your body out of this state, no matter what drugs you take to heal your body, whatever herbs, supplements or foods you eat – until you fix that stress response, your body will never fully heal.

So that’s why it’s important to read a book like Amy’s – especially if you have been through a number of cycles of healing only to relapse again. It could be that some of the behaviours that you have, which at one point in your life would have been crucial to you getting through a situation, may now be holding you back.

You don’t even have to be religious or spiritual, the practices can just be used and seen as tools you use to help destress and allow yourself some time to zone out whenever you need to.

My Personal experience

I came across Amy’s book via a health coach who I follow on Instagram, who holds monthly book clubs (Amy’s book was the chosen book for that month). The title alone grasped my interest as I have health issues myself, and when I read about Amy’s experience with Lyme disease (which I also have) I felt that I had to at least read what the reviews had to say. I bought my book from Amazon as the reviews were so good and a lot of the things that people were saying connected with my own story and how I also felt.

Many of the practices and techniques were new to me, or were things I had heard of, but didn’t know what it entailed. I found the book so easy to read that I read a little bit every day and I was able to complete the book in just a few weeks.

Since I started the book I have been practising a few of the techniques daily or at least every few days and they can really help me to relax and let go of tension. Its also helped me to identify past emotions that I believed I had dealt with, but may actually still holding me back.
As a result of reading Amy’s book I have gone one to purchase a quite a few other books within the same genre, some related to the techniques that she discussed and some by the authors listed in the additional reading list.

I aim to also review a few of the other books that I have read that link to Amy’s book and the techniques she discusses, so watch out for other up-coming reviews.

Other Helpful Books

If you liked this book review you may also be interested in my other reviews of similar books, such as You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, The Magic by Rhonda Byrne or You Are The Placebo by Dr Joe Diszpena.Facebooktwitterpinterestmail
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AIP Breakfast Bars- low FODMAP, low carb with SIBO SCD, vegan and nut options

These AIP breakfast bars are Paleo, low FODMAP, low carb and can be adapted to be SIBO SCD and vegan compliant. They are similar to a Kellogs Nutrigrain bar except without the grains and refined sugar.

If you didnt want raisins/ sultanas and blueberries you can add other fillings in place of them them such as fresh cherries (not low FODMAP) or strawberries, figs, seeds, dried pineapple and banana or even chocolate chunks if you can tolerate cacao. I have made them with sundried banana and chocolate chunks before and they were just as delicious.

Variations

For a vegan option you can use agar-agar (1 tbsp will be enough) in place of the gelatine or guar gum (1 tbsp). Follow the same steps as you would the gelatine – whisking it with water before adding into the mixture.

Nut Option

If you tolerate nuts then you can use nut flours and or seed flour / butters. You can swap for the exact same amounts. If you use sunflower seeds, omit the baking soda otherwise the mixture will turn green! (Its not harmful, its just an alkali reaction between the soda and the sunflower seeds). I mostly make my bars using almond flour and hazelnut butter as I have successfully reintroduced these into my diet.

SIBO SCD

For SIBO SCD you will need to omit the bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) as its classed as “illegal” (in other words it’s on the “no” list!). It won’t made a huge difference to the bars as they don’t rise much during cooking.

Low Carb

If you wanted to reduce the carb count even further you can omit the honey entirely or you can use powdered erythritol or stevia instead. I would use the 30g of erythritol (based on my experience of using erythritol) but if you have a sweet tooth you may want to add a little bit extra.

Although I have called them breakfast bars they can be eaten as a snack or even a dessert. I like to heat mine up (in the microwave for 15 seconds) and serve with paleo ice cream. My favourite dairy free ice cream recipe is by Kelly from The Spunky Coconut. Its called Swiss Almond Dairy Free Ice Cream, but it can be made without the nuts/ nut milk. To make it, I use all coconut milk. Paired with a hot breakfast bar it makes quite a treat!!!

AIP Breakfast Bars

Servings 15 bars

Nutritional Information (per bar)

Total Carbs 10.6g
Fiber 2.4g
Net carbs 8.2g
Protein 2.8g
Fat 6.6g
Calories 104 Kcals
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Print Recipe
AIP Breakfast Bars
These AIP breakfast bars are so versatile, you can make them with a range of fresh and dried fruit. Try swapping the raisins and sultanas for dried pineapple and banana for a tasty tropical twist!
Course Breakfast, Sweets
Cuisine English
Prep Time 10
Cook Time 26
Servings
Ingredients
Course Breakfast, Sweets
Cuisine English
Prep Time 10
Cook Time 26
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 160'c and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Use a little coconut oil to grease the paper as it helps the mixture from sticking to the paper once it cools!.
  2. In a bowl combine the tigernut flour, desiccated coconut, vanilla, salt, baking soda, saltanas, raisins, lemon juice, honey, coconut milk and nut butter. Stir thoroughly until everything has incorporated.
  3. Chop the dates into small pieces and add to the mixture, then stir once more to combine.
  4. In a jug add the gelatine (agar-agar or guar gum) then add the hot water, cold water and whisk immediately until its becomes white and frothy.
  5. Pour the gelatine mixture into the bowl with the tigernut flour mix and give everything one final stir, making sure everything has combined.
  6. Scoop the mixture into the baking dish and using your fingers or a spatula, press the mix into the tray.
  7. Take the blueberries and press one by one into the top of the mixture, dotting them about. Try not to press them into the edges of the mixture as they can go soggy making a mess when cutting the bars up.
  8. Place into the oven and allow to cook for 26 minutes or until the top has turned a golden brown in colour.
  9. Remove from the oven and turn out onto a cooling rack and remove the greaseproof paper carefully - leave to cool for 20 minutes.
  10. Once cooled cut into bars or squares and allow to cool fully before placing in a container in the fridge. Use greaseproof paper or foil to separate layers so the bars don't stick to one another.
  11. Serving Suggestion : Eat whilst warm (or reheat in the microwave for 15 seconds) and serve with Paleo Ice Cream!