I’ve had some up and downs with my health and for most of the year I have been feeling pretty cronky. Finally this autumn I have started to find out the causes. So our new home will, I hope, also allow me to develop a healthier lifestyle and outlook.
I have thyroid issues (hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease) and adrenal issues (not yet sure whether it’s adrenal fatigue or Addison’s disease) and will need to learn a new way to take care of myself and Mr J.
The added stress of the house sale and purchase has helped to knock me for six, which in turn has impacted on my adrenal glands’ ability to function the way that they should and so, at the moment I’m spending most of my day in bed with Archie the cat at my side.
The one big positive of this is that I’ve had plenty of time to do some research, thinking and planning about how to incorporate the changes we need to make. For the thyroid issues I’ve found Izabella Wentz’s book Hashimoto Thyroiditis, Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating The Root Cause immensely helpful, as is her website, thryroidpharmacist, and for the adrenals, Adrenal Fatigue, The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James L. Wilson has been an eye-opener.
My diet will be changing from the not too unhealthy (topped up with love of cake) to carefully monitored, organic, fresh and in season foods.
I have stopped all caffeine and am cutting out gluten (see my gluten free Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe below) and am learning that some foods I shouldn’t be eating at certain times of the day. It’s a faff and goes against my instincts but those instincts are, evidently, now wrong for me.
This new eating regime is being supported by an array of supplements because both the thyroid and adrenal issues mean that I have not been absorbing many of the essential elements that are vital to one’s wellbeing. Whilst normally eating a sensible diet would provide sufficient nutrients, I need, at least for the time being, to supplement that diet with boosting levels of vitamins and minerals. My day is organised by my alarm clock gently reminding me which supplements to take at what time and now that I have them pretty much organised, I am really starting to feel the benefit.
Fortunately we are just about to have plenty of space in which to grow lots fruit and vegetables, to keep chickens and ducks for eggs (and possibly meat).
Lots of the physical work that I would have undertaken will for the time being, have to be done by others, mostly Mr J. So I will be exploring ways in which to find extra help, from friends lending a hand to volunteers looking for the experience of working on a smallholding, like WOOFing. I love being out in the garden, in the fresh air and especially when I can then eat the results of my work, once my strength has returned I will be tending my new fruit and vegetable plot as much as I can.
So, in just four days time we will get the keys. Eek, I’m so excited! I am really looking forward to the next couple of weeks as we move to our smallholding, settle the first of our chickens into their new environment and take the time to explore and enjoy our new home.
My 'Moving Home Celebration' lemon drizzle cake
4oz lightly salted Butter2oz unrefined Caster Sugar
Finely grated zest of unwaxed Lemon
4oz finely ground Cornmeal
1 tsp gluten free Baking Powder
1oz icing sugar
Finely grated zest and juice of unwaxed Lemon
1 tblsp hot Water
Preheat oven to 375F, 190C, 170 fan, gas mark 5.
Grease and line or flour a 9 inch round tin or flan dish.
Cream butter and sugar, add egg yolks and mix well. Stir in grated zest of one lemon.Whisk egg whites until light and fluffy and add to wet ingredients, stirring gently.
Fold in cornmeal and baking powder and pour into prepared tin or dish.
Bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 25 minutes. Check that it is fully cooked using a skewer (if it comes out clean, the cake is ready).
Leave to rest for a couple of minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to rest for 5 minutes.
Prepare drizzling by combining the icing sugar, zest and juice of lemon and hot water.
Turn cake onto a serving plate and spoon the lemon drizzle over the top. Leave to cool.