In today’s culinary setting, ‘food staples’ can be considered those types of food that are often one of the key ingredients, or commonly used ingredients through many dishes, used both regionally and culturally throughout the world. A food staple by today’s standard might not necessarily be the main, or base ingredient, but most certainly can be the dominant or enhancing flavour of a dish. It is especially true if a particular flavour is used frequently throughout many dishes of a specific region or demographic of people. Traditionally though, in a time where food export and imports were much less, or non-existent, staple foods would make up a dominant part of a population’s diet. These foods would be readily available and native to the region and climate to those that consumed them. Food staples, in a traditional sense, would supply a large portion of a person’s energy and nutritional needs. Fifteen edible plants in the world have provided 90% of the world’s food energy intake, with two-thirds being comprised of rice, corn and wheat. Did you know Quinoa, a popular grain in North America, originated from high in the Andes Mountains of South America? Besides these staple grains, along with tubers and root vegetables, there are also those unique flavours that are commonly used in regional cuisine throughout the world. Read on to see what we’ve highlighted.
Chili peppers are the backbone of Mexican cooking. Chili peppers contain capsaicin, which is found to fight cancers, prevent sinusitis, protect the heart, relieve congestion, reduce inflammation, are a rich source of Vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and help to burn fat.
Ghee is renowned for its medicinal and rejuvenating properties and provides nourishment while keeping the digestive tract lubricated, to aid in the elimination of toxins from the body.
Caribbean & Tropics:
Pineapples have anti-inflammatory and digestive benefits. Pineapples also contain antioxidants, support immune function and protect against macular degeneration.
The Shiitake mushroom is regarded as a symbol of longevity, due to health promoting properties. Shiitakes may effectively lower cholesterol, strengthen the immune system, help prevent the growth of cancerous cells and aid in weight loss.
Olives provide dozens of health protective nutrients such as; hydroxytyrosol – a phytochemical linked to cancer prevention and bone loss prevention. Olives also provide iron, fibre and copper.
Coconut is used plentifully in Thai cuisine and is packed with calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B. Coconut is also beneficial in supporting thyroid function.
Grapes are recognized for reducing cholesterol and may fight some of the signs of aging, while reducing possibilities of some cancer growth.
It is no secret that the potato is the commonality amongst regional dishes in Ireland. Potatoes are low in calories, high in fibre and offer protection against cardiovascular disease and cancer. Potatoes are also a good source of many vitamins and minerals including Potassium.
Throughout history, every culture has used food as a means to preventing and treating illness and disease, as well as to promote general good health. In ancient Egypt, the Egyptians praised lentils for their ability to enlighten the mind. In ancient Greece and Rome, honey was used to heal wounds, and in China sprouted grains and beans were used to treat a range of illness, including constipation. You can see that all over the world, since the beginning of time, and still today [less commonly in North America due to western medicine], food has played a major role in how our bodies act, react, heal and thrive.
What are your favourite or staple ingredients that make their way into many of your dishes?
#foodstaples #cuisine #healingfood #regionalfoods #cooking
What another [insert descriptive weather term] day folks, and a great day to eat some soup; I'll give you a little history on why. The word 'restaurant' comes from the French word restaurer, which means to restore. Beginning in the 16th century the word 'restorative' was used to describe rich and highly flavoured soups or stews capable of restoring lost strength and vitality. In other words our modern day restaurant industry was born from sipping soup. Restoratives were the first items on restaurant menus since Boulanger's Restaurant in the 18th century. Broth (Pot-au-feu), bouillon and consume all began in 18th century restaurants; it was classic French cuisine that generated many of the soups we love today. So in a way, you can think of every soup you sip today as sipping the founding part of our culinary history.
If you're not convinced yet about downing a bowl of soup in the month [supposedly] leading to summer, then here are a few more things to consider:
1) Soups are very easy to digest and aid in healing of the digestive tract. The ample amounts of nutrients found in soups, due to their usually larger varieties of vegetables, are readily absorbed and assimilated in the body.
2) Soups save you money. Unless you're eating lobster bisque on a regular basis, soups generally cost significantly less than other meals, and you can make so many different combinations. Soups are one of the best ways to utilize leftovers in the fridge or use your fresh seasonal garden vegetables. So take this into consideration; if you or your family plan on taking a vacation this summer, why not add soup regularly to your meal plan in advance and save yourself some money to go towards that sweet vacation.
3) Soups are convenient. If you make a large batch, it's so easy to portion and freeze so when those unexpected family members call you 30 minutes out of town to tell you they're coming over, you whip out the soup, toss in a pot and in less than ten minutes you impress your guests with your home cooking skills. Plus if your house is not smelling so fresh because you weren't expecting company, the aromas of the soup will cover that too.
4) Soups are an easy way of utilizing all those wonderful nutritional seasonal veggies. If you're like me, your garden sometimes produces more fresh veggies than can be eaten in a day. Usually I give some of them away, but you can easily use your over-abundance to make health hearty, whole food soups.
5) Soups help you feel cool. Sorry I don't mean that they will help you in your coolness level with your friends, but ever wonder why your mom told you to drink hot tea in the summer? Well, hot soup has the same effect. It helps your body feel cooler. If it's just way too hot out, don't worry, you can always have a chilled soup, like gazpacho, too.
6) And in celebration of our 'month of comforts in The Comfort Kitchen', what can be more comforting than the heart-warming bowl of soup that just came from a homemade pot?
That is why I love to make and eat soup, any season!
#comfortfoods #comfortkitchen #soup #comfort
Keto and Exercise – A Symbiotic Relationship
Written By: Miriam Colomby - Women's Only Health & Fitness, North Bay ON
You may be thinking ‘if the keto lifestyle is so effective for weight loss why should I exercise?’
As both a certified Fitness professional and follower of the keto lifestyle, I have come to realize that there is an important symbiotic relationship between the two. Once you are a keto adapted fat-burner you will have a more stable energy supply and experience superior endurance.
It is important to know that any weight loss without the addition of exercise – strength training in particular – can result in fat and muscle loss.
This is where fitness comes in:
1) Strength training maintains your muscle mass, supporting healthy bones, strength and posture.
2) Cardio (and exercise in general) increases your metabolism so you are burning more calories both during activity and at rest.
3) Stretching and other movement-based practises reduce stress thus lowering cortisol levels that would otherwise hinder weight loss.
4) Exercise enhances your mood enabling you to make better lifestyle and food choices.
If you are sedentary or new to fitness a good start is to begin daily walking. Start with small achievable goals. Park further from your destination, take the stairs, or walk around the block. You’ll find that your increased activity will help improve the way you think, feel, and move.
When you are ready to add strength training you can start with some simple body weight exercises at home with little or no equipment. Choose multi-joint movements such as squats or exercises that mimic ‘real life’ movements (sitting/standing, bending down to pick up a laundry basket or a child, etc.) If you are unsure how to begin you may want to attend some fitness classes or hire a Personal Trainer for a few sessions to get you started.
Adding low impact workouts such as Pilates or Yoga is a great way to maintain flexibility and help your body adapt gracefully to the changes of this new lifestyle. As your body adapts and becomes stronger you will have to ramp up your workouts to keep your body challenged so you don’t plateau.
Remember, health is a journey, not a destination. Take your time, be kind to yourself and enjoy the process!
Owner Women’s Only Health & Fitness
North Bay, ON
160 Main West
For more information on how you can incorporate fitness into your lifestyle in a healthy, empowering and positive environment , visit Women's Only Health & Fitness website today, call 7058459288, or email Miriam at email@example.com
So, you’ve heard about Keto by now, maybe one too many times even, and “how great it is.” You've maybe even seen some of the success stories and felt inspired by them. Or, you've been nudged way too many annoying times, to “just give it a try, and you’ll see,” by well-meaning friends or family, who you don’t even want to hear them say the word one more time. It seems that every week a new person in your circle, family or a co-worker has jumped onto the Keto train, and now your interest is at least peeked.
Perhaps, like so many, you have tried out 'diets' in the past, and you don’t mind the thought of being a few pounds lesser, maybe in preparation for summer or some special event. Even still perhaps, maybe you're one of the many people who deal with low energy or chronic illness: Hypothyroidism, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Arthritis, PCOS, Fibromyalgia; or one of the dozens of other ailments holding us back, that have claimed to be relieved through a Ketogenic lifestyle. As always, I am not here to diagnose anyone, or validate any diet or lifestyle change for anyone, but merely to provide some information and insight. The fact is, only you will know if it’s for you, and you will start in your own time, if and when you are ready. [Always check in with your own health care and wellness teams on any uncertainties, and to determine if a lifestyle change would benefit you in any way]
If you are though, for whatever reason, at the point where you are ready, or strongly considering jumping into Keto yourself, but feel overwhelmed at the prospect of a lifestyle change; I am here to offer a few tips. Before we go further though, one of the biggest things to always remember and keep in mind throughout your own personal journey, is that we are all at varying places in each of our lives. We have different backgrounds, experiences, support system, finances and different health conditions and goals. The person choosing Keto for rapid weight loss is not the same as the person considering Keto for addressing a health concern. I don’t like to refer to Keto as “a diet,” in fact I try to steer clear of that terminology [diet] altogether for its often grave and unrealistic long-term expectations. Keto is more of a lifestyle change, that although starting off a bit tough, does allow for some growth, or modifications after a certain point, depending on a few conditions; but we will cover that towards the end.
So, how do you begin? Because the daunting truth is that when you think of such a drastic lifestyle change, flashes of your current busy schedule comes to mind, and you become overwhelmed with no idea where to start. If you like to be a planner, those thoughts aren’t necessarily going to help kick start your new journey. Or, you might be of the demographic of people who feel as though they have hit their proverbial ‘wall’ whether through a plethora of attempts at weight loss, or the longstanding desire to lose weight. Or, even still, you are the person who through their chronic illness or health ailment is finally fed-up with feeling the detrimental effects of chronic illness; to the point that they wake up one day and decide to jump full force, two feet in, never looking back. Whatever the category, these tips may help to ease some of the burden or stress, free up some time, or just give you a much needed positive perspective on the great journey your about to embark on.
On a bit of a personal note, I was of the category of 'chronic sufferer' through Hypothyroidism, for which the onset was due to the removal of my thyroid, 8 years ago; and in much of the case has been an uphill battle, in the dark, for years. For anyone with Hypothyroidism, you know all too well the toll it can take on your life and the energy that is robbed from you due to chronic fatigue, and a slow metabolism; that’s only two of the symptoms. I’ve battled brain fog for so long I almost just gave in to it as a new reality, but I am here to tell you that there is a hope to leave that all behind and return to your vibrant self. “We are not designed to feel that way. Period.” From starting strict Keto, through to a now modified Ketogenic/paleo lifestyle; along with intermittent fasting, I have been able to regain my life, energy and focus, while boosting my metabolism and losing excess weight, caused by low energy. [I will be sharing a more in depth perspective of my own experience, in the coming days]
Before starting, make a note to be gentle and kind to yourself; you’re human after all, and you’re not going to be perfect. Just don't give up on yourself though, even if you have to navigate through a few things to find what works best, and is right for you. Trust in your own instincts and intuition. One of the worst things we can do is put too much stock into what a single ‘expert’ has to tell us. Often times people are treated as a category and not an individual. Always be cautious of anyone’s advice who also has something to sell you; they may not be giving you the best advice for YOU, as they are for their own pocket book. Always do your own research and collect a variety of information from various resources to use as your personal reference. The more you know, through your own research, the better facilitated your journey into progress and wellness will be.
Now, here we go…
One last thing I want to mention, is that a strict Keto eating regimen does not necessarily have to go on forever; to the point that you feel like you have to be careful how you eat for the rest of your life, and start to lose enjoyment around your experience with food. It typically takes 3-5 days for your body to use up glucose before it goes into ketosis (fat burning mode). If you maintain ketosis for 5-6 weeks you should become fat burning adapted, and find that you can start to add in a larger variety of veggies, some occasional fruits, and even some very occasional starchy veggies and pasta (in moderation) without throwing yourself out of ketosis and back into glucose burning mode. This is a conscious decision you, as an individual, will have to explore at that time, especially as it may slow down rapid weight loss; if weight loss is your goal. Or, you may find that reintroducing some foods will trigger negative responses from ailments you may have. For additional reading on Keto and its complimentary connection to intermittent fasting, click on the following link... [All things Keto].
Thank you for taking the time to read these tips, and if you are considering starting Keto, I wish you all the best in happiness and health!
[For anyone who would like to connect regarding Hypothyroidism specifically, please don't hesitate to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org I look forward to hearing from you!]
#ketotips #weightloss #keto #lowcarb #tips #eating #health #wellness #lifestyle #nutrition
Apple cider vinegar: Its potent health benefits and aid in weight loss.
Part of any healthy diet, lifestyle or well-stocked kitchen, should be apple cider vinegar. Besides its great taste and use for many recipes and dishes, apple cider vinegar is one of the most potent, natural health staples to have on hand at all times.
Here is a list of just some of the benefits that ACV possesses...
Fasting is a voluntary withholding of food for periods of time. These periods can be for several hours or several days. In extreme fasting cases this can last weeks at a time. Fasting is not starvation, but merely the controlled absence of eating [a practice not recommended for those who are underweight]. Starvation is the process that occurs when food is withheld for prolonged periods of time outside of the control of the individual; starvation is neither deliberate nor controlled.
The practice of fasting has been on record since the beginning of human history, but has been almost all but forgotten in our modern day way of living; outside the practices of fasting that are currently a part of several religions. Fasting is also practiced for other spiritual reasons, for health and healing. As the length of a fast can vary, shorter terms of fasting can be referred to as intermittent fasting; a pattern of eating that cycles between fasting and eating, typically during each 24 hour day. Some of us may not realize that we are already practicing intermittent fasting in our daily lives. For example, if you refrain from eating between the hours of 6pm through 10am the following morning, you are engaging in an intermittent fasting period. It is during this time that your body is in ‘repair’ mode; going hand in hand with the necessity and benefits of sleep. A common type of fast is the 16/8 split, where the individual consumes food during an 8 hour period only and refrains from eating during the remaining 16 hours of the day. The term ‘breakfast’ actually refers to breaking of the ‘fast’ that occurs, for many people, through the night. It could be argued that, by our very design, intermittent fasting is more natural than eating several meals each day, throughout a 12 (or more) hour period. Humans are able to function without food for extended periods of time. Have you ever asked yourself why you're eating 3 meals every single day? In our busy lives today, just the thought of having to plan and prepare a minimum of 3 meals for ourselves, and families, can cause overwhelming stress and a negative perspective towards eating.
In history, some very influential individuals agreed, practiced, and taught that fasting was the most powerful natural healing solution. All cultures of the world have practiced fasting in one form or another. In fact, the body’s natural response to illness is to refrain from food; and the reason we don’t feel like eating when we are sick.
Hippocrates, who is known as the father of modern medicine stated, “…to eat when you are sick, is to feed your sickness.” Benjamin Franklin, an intellect and proponent to fasting, said “…the best of all medicine is resting and fasting, better than all other forms of ‘medicine.’” Fasting has a purification effect in the body, through a process referred to as ‘autophagy.’ Our bodies are designed for a ‘store and release’ process. Mahatma Gandhi, another advocate to fasting, said ‘…that a genuine fast cleanses the body mind and soul.” Jesus, who also fasted himself, said “this kind can come out by nothing, but by prayer and fasting” – Mark 9:29; referring to satan and his plagues’ stronghold on an individual. The bible itself has dozens of references prescribing fasting of varying intent, specification and length. Groups of Buddhist monks engage in regular intermittent fasting by abstaining from food each day from noon, through until sunrise the following day. Muslims, of Islamic faith, practice intermittent fasting during their holy month of Ramadan, and is regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam. The fasting of Ramadan lasts each day from dawn until sunset, for 30 days.
What happens to your body when fasting?
On a cellular and molecular level, fasting increases the opportunity for your body to adjust hormone levels, to make stored fat more accessible. During periods of fasting your cells initiate important repair processes and change expression of genes. Some effects that occur in your body during periods of fasting include:
Insulin is the key hormone involved in storage of food energy. Eating increases insulin, which is then stored in two separate ways. First, carbohydrates are broken down into individual glucose (sugar) units, which can be linked into long chains to form glycogen; stored in liver or muscles. There is limited storage space for carbs, so once that limit is reached the liver starts to turn excess glucose into fat by the process called 'de-novo lipogenesis.' Some of this new fat is stored in the liver, but much is transported to create deposits of fat in other parts of the body; with almost no limit to how much fat can be created.
When we fast, the process is reversed; insulin levels drop, which signal the body to start burning stored energy. When blood glucose falls (is used up), the body takes glucose out of stores to burn for energy - glycogen, being easier to access is broken down first into glucose molecules providing energy for the body’s other cells. If glucose levels, through carbohydrate consumption, are not replaced, the body’s glucose stores are used up, providing energy for up to 24-36 hours. Once used up, the body diverts to breaking down stored fats for energy. This is where ketosis comes in. This is the process of burning stored fat for energy, and part of the equation to the effectiveness of rapid weight loss, as experienced by so many people who practice a ketogenic lifestyle, for its benefits in weight loss and overall health improvement. Simplistically, the living body only exists in two states, the fed state (high insulin) and the fasted state (low insulin). We are either storing energy or burning energy. A balance in this process should cause very minimal, to no, weight fluctuations.
In addition to weight loss and insulin sensitivity there are other noted health benefits, such as the reduction of inflammation; a key factor in many chronic diseases. Fasting promotes heart health in that it may reduce bad ‘LDL’ cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar and insulin resistance; all precursors to heart disease. Studies also show that fasting may help prevent cancer, in addition to some cases, where it may help reverse some cancer growths. Fasting also has benefits to brain health. In addition to clearing ‘brain fog’ and increasing ability to focus, fasting may increase the brain hormone BDNF, and may aid in the growth of new nerve cells. There are numerous studies indicating that regular and periodic fasting have age defying effects that promote anti-aging. Fasting, and in particular, daily intermittent fasting, has the ability to simplify one's lifestyle. Focusing on 1-2 quality meals per day, as opposed to several, saves time, increases body repair time, saves money, reduces stress and aids in overall wellbeing.
Fasting gets a bad reputation in today’s society, as a partially forgotten practice. Even more cunningly though, in a commercial society that is obsessed with spending, consumption and over indulgence, we are quite literally programmed to be always thinking about food; in a way that has become so unhealthy and unnatural to our design. Eating should be a pleasure, not a burden or a chore, and certainly not an influence on unhealthy habits and poor ideals of ourselves. When we dare mention fasting nowadays, we generally get eye rolls or concerned looks. The truth is, that of the 1000’s of cultures that have practiced fasting, along with the 100’s of millions who continue to practice for religion and other spiritual based faith, over the course of time, fasting in some form or other, has been practiced by billions.
Intermittent fasting, at its core, allows the body to use its stored energy (fat) in a physical way, and rid the excess body fat we carry. In a spiritual way [for those that follow], the bad energies and oppressions we carry can also be purged away. Life is about balance, and the practice of fasting allows that balance to take hold, in our physical (and mental) real estate. Fasting is the balance to food consumption.
When looking at the keto process, in relation to its effects in weight loss, we see how it’s possible to achieve this ‘fat store’ burning process through extreme reductions in our carbohydrate intake. This should ideally be a temporary process that allows our body to become fat adapted; meaning fat burning adapted. This typically occurs by the 5 – 6 week mark, once being in ketosis. It would be somewhere at this point that we could make the decision to continue with rapid weight loss through severe reductions in carbohydrate consumption, or for the ‘good news,' folks - we can slowly start to incorporate more carbohydrate foods back into our diet. This would however, depend on the individual and their personal goals. Some, who are on keto, are trying to lose larger amounts of weight than others. Intermittent fasting can be a complementary practice to eating keto. If you typically eat every 2 - 3 hours, your body will be in a constant state of using incoming food as energy first and may not reach the point of using up stores of fat; the reason why dieting can often times be a huge challenge. With the higher fat consumption of a keto diet, you tend to experience little, to no, dire cravings; another advantage of a keto diet. All in all, it's up to the individual to decide what their goals are and to design a plan that works best for them. It’s ok to try something and realize it doesn’t work for you, then try a different approach; don’t be discouraged with your process or progress. And as always, do your own research as well. Nothing is more valuable to your progress than knowledge.
Disclaimer: Please remember that every ‘body’ is different and will have different experiences and different outcomes. Always research for yourself the risk and benefit to any major lifestyle change, including fasting. The intention of this article is not to diagnose, validate for, or advise any individual. It is strictly for information purposes and to provide awareness. Fasting can be a danger to some people, for certain medical reasons. Always speak to your own health care team before venturing into something you are unsure of.
#fasting #intermittentfasting #keto #ketogenic #lowcarb #insulin #weightloss #healthy #lifestyle #wellness #diet
Thank you for reading!
Hey everyone! ... it’s been a hot minute here, but I am glad to be back creating at the Artisan Food Co. desk, or in my case, the cutting block. After having taken some much needed time to focus on my twins, I am resurfacing into the world of food, once again. This time, it will be to showcase what I have continued learning on my journey with food; including healthy (mindset) living, while providing insight into, and sharing in some of my experiences. I will continue to let you in on, and keep you up to date on my latest projects as they develop. I have been working hard to bring a variety of research and information, in regards to our connections with food, and convey the passion and drive behind it. Although I will not be doing catering or have a storefront for the time being, I will be working on and developing my brand online, through the digital media community, which I hope will bring you deeper into the world of food and lifestyle with me. My work online, on a more rounded platform, will include: food and health related blogs, recipes, idea sharing and chats [more info here... About], plus a few extra things up my sleeve I’ll keep for later. My revamped website is now a hub for ‘healthy eating and lifestyle!’
Starting in April, I will be launching ‘all things Keto' month [click here...All things Keto] in an effort to highlight some information pertaining to that lifestyle. Most people have heard about ‘Keto’ but not everyone understands what it is. My intent is not to convince anyone of anything but rather to share info and experience regarding various aspects of food and lifestyle. As some of you may know, I love to explore all that the world of food and healthy living has to offer. With my culinary training, and background in studying holistic nutrition, I enjoy immersing myself into the many different eating and lifestyle regimes, for better understanding and insight. As I have mentioned, I will be blogging my healthy eating and lifestyle journey in an effort to share my experiences, engage in healthy dialogue and answer your burning questions. Each month I will focus on a different concept, while continuing to offer additional resources and insights along the way.
[The month of May will be 'Comfort Kitchen;' honouring Mom's and their comfort cooking, while celebrating Mother's day all month long]
I want to give a warm thank you to all those who continued to follow me and check in on me in me during my temporary hiatus. I would love to share a bit of that aspect of my life as well, for those who would like to continue reading about it [click here...Blog].
In closing, I do hope you will join me on this platform, to discover, discuss and share our human experiences together, around food - the good, the bad and the ugly. I hope that I can inspire you to not only love and appreciate food for its life sustaining properties but for the beauty it brings to the world and warmth to our hearts. If you are someone who struggles with food in any way, be it through unhealthy habits or a lack of desire to be creative with your meals then I think this just might be the place for you! It's time we build and repair our relationship with food again, or in some cases for the first time, so we can begin to live the healthy lifestyles we so deserve.
In the meantime, please click on the links at the bottom of the page to follow me, for regular updates, on both facebook and instagram. Thank you!
With love and appreciation, Tanya
Nootropics are used to enhance cognition and provide cognitive benefits that include the enhancement of memory, creativity, motivation, as well as other executive functions of the brain, like hyper focus and attention – for optimal brain function and health. Nootropics can be sourced by either commercial supplementation or natural occurring substances. [For the sake of keeping things as natural as possible on this page, and in a sense more simplistic, I will focus strictly on the natural occurring sources only.]
It should be noted that the term ‘nootropic’ was coined by Dr. Corneliu E. Giurgea, a Psychologist and Chemist, who was known as ‘the godfather’ of brain pharmacology and cognitive performance research science. [For additional reading and interest… [www.noomind.org/corneliu-giurgea-biography/]
So, what are some natural sources for nootropics?
If considering 'nootropics,' always do your own research, particularly when it comes to supplementation, as not all sources are created equally, or with the greatest care. In the meantime, try some different natural sources to give yourself that little brain boost. I can already say, most of the natural sources listed above are staples in my every day...especially coffee, amiright!?
Thank you for reading!
…After 5 years of running a restaurant and a catering business, a location move, and the ultimate decision to sell my café and catering business, I became an exclusive stay at home mom, over the past year, to my now, 2.5 year old twins. I made this decision in order to be the full-time support system and caregiver to one of my twins, who due to a pregnancy complication, causing a traumatic brain injury (TBI), was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. For anyone who knows anything about Cerebral Palsy or has a beloved family member with this condition, you know all too well the tremendous support and care they can require on a daily basis, as is our case, full stop.
Although Cerebral Palsy differs from person to person, my daughter’s case is one of the most extreme diagnoses,’ causing high tone, spasms and major mobility issues. Over the past year we have worked very hard together, through long days, to develop therapeutic regimens that would work best for her needs and progress. This included daily physio, exercise, massage and stretching techniques, along with occupational therapy, speech therapy and many many Doctor and specialist appointments, both in and out of town. All of this was, and continues to be, necessary in order for her to utilize the various mobility devices available to her; ones that she was originally not able to use, due to high tone issues.
My time has otherwise been spent researching, often into the early hours of the morning, different techniques that could help in her mobilization, as well as bring a sense of quality and morale to her life. Along with study of the physical processes and mechanics that we had to learn for her movements I have been, and continue, studying the beautiful world of Neuroplasticity and all its wonders. It has been a fascinating journey to say the least. Anyone with children, and especially those with complex needs know that you would literally go to the ends of the earth for them. And so, I continue to feel honoured to take this journey along-side my two daughters; two souls that have taught me more about life in two years, with little words, than all of my previous 30-plus.
One of our biggest struggles, besides the mobility portion has been the process of her learning to eat. This meaning, we had to create a system that was able to adequately provide her nourishment, entirely on healthy and whole foods, instead of processed formulas or tube feeding. I know that in some cases this is unavoidable, but I can only speak to my own experience. The thought process being that if we could work hard together, with the desire, and learn how to eat food by mouth, we would give it every shot we could. She deserved my full efforts, and I’m so astoundingly proud of her, every single day! After over a year of dedicated and diligent work she is now able to successfully eat from a spoon, a feat she was never expected to reach, having been expected to require a G-tube to feed.
Although she still has a long way to go, I am so happy for her and that she has come so far in such a short time. We will continue to work hard every day learning from one another, while sharing our story with the world and those it might help or inspire.
#cerebralpalsy #cpawareness #ttts #twintotwintransfusionsyndrome #neuroplasticity #health #wellness #healthylifestyle #nutrition
Tanya is a classically trained, Red Seal Chef, and former restauranteur and caterer, with additional studies in Holistic Nutrition and business. Having food as her foundation she continues to build on her interests and knowledge base in the study of the body, mind and brain connection. She now spends her time as a Mom of twins, researcher and writer, while continuing to participate digitally in the culinary world with her company, Artisan Food Co.