Since MS entered my life like a lightning bolt, I’ve spent a lot of time debating whether or not to follow special MS diets. After doing a little homework on the various diets out there and road testing a few (credit card has taken a real pounding!), I’ve come to the decision that most are not sustainable & are not for me. No matter how much I try, Kale and I will never be best friends! #msdietsmeh…
Each of us with MS follows our own food journey and what works for one isn’t going to work for others. what is it they say – “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”; but we mustn’t get all judgy wudgy over each others diet choices!
There are no hard and fast rules, you’re not sent straight to MS hell if you don’t follow Swank or OMS etc. The one thing I think we can all agree on is that you do have to rethink some of your food choices and write your own diet rules. A little bit of what you fancy does you good…
I’m no diet expert, but I have to follow my gut as to what I should and shouldn’t eat. My gut says ” MS diets are not a cure, eat healthy foods and partake in healthy habits like drinking lots of water and avoiding junk food* (* I’ll come to that later)” and you’ll find a happy balance that works for you”
My gut is very wise and knows me very well, and let’s be honest, it’s common sense stuff really – you have to find what works for you – mind, body, soul & tummy. If these are all fighting against each other, you’re fighting a losing battle! I’ve found that prebiotics & the 5:2 diet help to recharge my ever decreasing energy levels.
I’ve removed a hell of a lot of “baddies” ( those oh so yummy processed delights) from my shopping list and and am constantly trying out new “goodies” and we seem to have a happy balance now.
I eat healthy whole foods including bread, lean meats, nut butter and other so-called “bad foods.” My gut and I also thank carbs, like eggs and other so-called “problem” foods for making it possible for me to live a normal life with MS.
* As for junk food, well it’s ok to be naughty every now and then, as it’s my reward for being a good girl ( most of the time!) Goodbye quinoa & Hello Micky D’s – naughty but nice – hell yeah!
I’m no Mary Berry or Deliciously Ella, but MFH & I do try and cook all our meals from scratch and we are eating a much healthier diet now. We are a real tag team in the kitchen and are slowly turning into Fannie and Johnny – only those of us of a certain age will know who they are!! (Amelia Freer is our fave go-to cookbook).
I thought it might be nice to start sharing some of my healthy but super delicious finds – Here’s my first batch – hope you like them…
I adore frittatas and as some days you don’t feel like cooking but yearn for something tasty for breakfast, why not make up frittata muffins to keep in the fridge for quick snacks or meals. Frittata is a natural at breakfast and making mini ones using muffin trays is a brilliant idea. It’s great fun, super easy and quick (always my preference) and they are simply delicious. And pretty much any filling goes… all you need to do is whisk eggs in a bowl ( as many as you like)
- Grease the muffin tray with coconut butter (or olive oil).
- Choose your fillings and put a small teaspoon in the bottom of each muffin tray then spoon over the whisked egg until they are just filled.
- Bake in the oven on a medium heat, roughly 150°c for 10 mins or until they are cooked through.
- They are fluffy and light and a lovely way to feed a busy breakfast bunch AND they are great hot, warm or cold. Play around with the fillings, use leftovers and make sure you add in flavour.
Try these egg ‘muffin’ fillings:
- Sundried tomato, chilli & paprika
- Beetroot & Feta
- Roasted Squash and Sage
- Avocado, Spinach, chives & basil
Dreamy Coconut Pancakes
These are seriously yummy pancakes; they crisp nicely on the outside but are very fluffy and soft on the inside. Just add blueberries and coconut as they work so well together here, but you can swap these for your own favourite combo.
Serves 2 – You’ll Need:
- 35g coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- a pinch of sea salt
- a pinch of vanilla powder, or a teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 medium eggs, preferably free-range or organic
- 130ml coconut milk
- coconut oil
- fresh blueberries, coconut flakes
- maple syrup, to serve
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the eggs, then slowly add the coconut milk, mixing with a wooden spoon until you get a smooth batter (you might need to add a little more coconut milk, depending on the thickness of your coconut flour – the batter should be quite runny).
- Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. When the oil is hot, spoon in 2 tablespoons of batter for each pancake.You will need to cook them in batches.
- Leave to fry until completely cooked and brown underneath, then carefully flip over and cook the other side. Transfer the pancakes to a plate and keep them warm while you cook the remaining batter.
- Serve in a stack with fresh blueberries, coconut flakes, and maple syrup. Alternatively, press the fresh blueberries into the batter in the pan, so that they’re cooked into the pancakes.
You could also use frozen blueberries rather than fresh. Put 2 handfuls and a few tablespoons of water into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer –this gives you lovely, dribbly blueberries with a purple ‘sauce’.
Sweet Potato Cakes, Tiger Prawns & Ginger-Saffron Yogurt
I love a good sweet potato cake. Sweet potatoes have a great colour and they are more nutritious than potatoes.
You’ll need (serves 4)
- 3 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled (approximately 750g)
- 1 egg
- 25g coconut flour
- 3 spring onions, chopped
- 1tsp sea salt
- a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper
- coconut oil, for frying
- 16 raw tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
For the ginger-saffron yoghurt:
- pinch of saffron threads
- 125g coconut yoghurt
- 1tsp finely grated fresh ginger
- 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- a squeeze of lemon juice
- 1tbsp freshly chopped coriander (optional)
- 1tsp freshly chopped mint (optional)
- Steam or boil your sweet potatoes for 10-12 minutes until soft. Drain and dry the potatoes in the pan for 1-2 minutes, then mash them until smooth. Mix in the egg, coconut flour, spring onions, salt, and pepper. Form 12 lime-sized balls and press these into patties, about 1cm thick. If making ahead, chill the cakes in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.
- Add ½tbsp boiling water to the saffron threads and leave to cool. Remove from the water and mix them into the coconut yoghurt with the ginger, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Squeeze a little lemon juice. You can add coriander and mint as well if you wish.
- Put 2tbsp coconut oil into a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the cakes for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
Quickly sauté the prawns in a non-stick pan in a little coconut oil for 2 minutes on each side, until pink and cooked through. Serve the patties with a dollop of ginger-saffron yogurt over the top and the prawns on the side.
Simple Prawn, Coconut, and Aubergine Curry
This is completely addictive and simply divine. Once you’ve tried it you’ll be hooked. It’s so easy to make – easy peasy, lemon squeezy!
You’ll need (serves 4)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely grated
- 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 red or green chilli, deseeded (if you like) and finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 aubergine, grated or cut into fine julienne
- 100g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 300ml vegetable stock
- 250ml coconut milk
- 200g raw tiger prawns, peeled
- 1 large handful of baby spinach
- Heat 1 tbsp of the coconut oil in a large pan and fry the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli for 2-3 minutes to soften, stirring frequently. Stir in the spices and season well with a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue to fry over a medium heat for a further 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Transfer the mixture to a mini food processor and blend until smooth, adding a splash of water if necessary to loosen the consistency to a paste.
- Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining coconut oil. Add the paste and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the aubergine and sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring to coat it in the paste, before adding the cherry tomatoes. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10-12 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk and prawns and cook for 3-4 minutes until the prawns are pink and cooked through and the sauce has just thickened. Stir in the spinach, wilt for a minute, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Simply Divine Nutty Banana Ice-cream
I defy anyone not to get all weak-kneed over this little bowl of heaven! If you have never thought of using bananas to make ‘ice-cream’, prepare for a real treat. Their texture once frozen and blended is like the most delicious, creamy sweet ice-cream you’ve ever tasted. The addition of nut butter here adds some healthy fats and plant protein, to slow down the release of fruit sugars from the banana.
- 1 ripe banana, peeled, sliced and frozen
- 2 teaspoons of almond or hazelnut butter
- 3 tablespoons coconut or almond milk
Slice and freeze your banana the night before you make this.
In a small food processor or blender, whizz up the banana and nut butter with 2 tablespoons of milk. Push the mixture down the sides of the bowl and add another tablespoon of the milk. Use just enough to get it whizzed up smoothly without becoming runny. Eat immediately, as it defrosts quickly (although I’m sure I won’t need to tell you twice!).
Don’t judge me for going rogue and following my own sensible eating plan. I’m actually turning into a bit of an MS foodie & love sharing my favourite healthy eating cookery books & giving a little inspiration in the kitchen. Enjoy your food journey…
(By Amelia Freer – From the book: Cook. Nourish. Glow)