I’ve had a really busy, fun summer with no time for any blogging. Here’s a summary of what I’ve been up to and how that’s impacted on my ME and my diet.
Firstly my health has taken a leap forward over the summer. This had started to happen in June/July when I began to do the school run more and more reliably on my normal (non-electric bike). My physical stamina has continued to increase, and I have noticed that I can now push myself physically with minimal ill effects afterwards.
We have been away a lot over the summer, visiting family and going on holidays.
Visiting Family and Train Travel
The first week of the school holidays we went to visit my family. It’s a 3+ hour drive, and I wasn’t confident that I could drive that distance, so my husband drove us down, then came home to work and I booked train tickets for the return journey.
Travelling by train is something I couldn’t do for a long time because I couldn’t walk the length of the platform, and this train journey involves crossing London, so there’s quite a bit of walking involved. I was thrilled to feel confident that I could handle the journey with 2 kids and some luggage.
Unfortunately my son and husband (who was supposed to be collecting me from the station) both came down with a tummy bug (caught from swimming in a river) so the journey home was more eventful than planned (my son clutched a sick bag the entire journey, but thankfully didn’t need to use it). However, I managed well despite the extra stress and having been up with my poorly boy the night before the journey.
We did two weeks camping, with friends, split between Norfolk and the Netherlands. This was where I noticed the most improvements. Last summer I was using a mobility scooter to get to the toilet block from our tent and did not join in many activities, spending most of my time lying around.
This summer I took my bike and no mobility aids. I felt confident that I could walk to the toilet block, and if for some reason I had an unusually bad day, my hubby could drive me in the car. What I managed exceeded my expectations. I was pretty much like a normal person. Here are a few highlights:
- Helping pack and unpack the car and pitch the tent (As you can see from the picture that’s a big job!)
- Spending 2 hours in a water-park: – very noisy and lots of stairs to get up to the various flumes (I did this multiple times as we had free entry every day on our Dutch campsite)
- Walking round an amusement park and going on adrenaline inducing roller coasters
- Sightseeing in Amsterdam and Delft
- Cycling 26 km in one day (bike paths in the Netherlands are a dream come true)
- Socialising with friends and drinking some alcohol.
- Shopping for food and cooking (an integral part of camping, and with several teenagers in our group, there was a lot of food shopping!)
There were times that I did need to rest, but they were rare, and did not dictate the pace of the holiday. All in all this was a wonderful time, and it was great to catch up with friends and have fun with the family.
Yes – another holiday! I know we’re very lucky and we had a good reason: my brother and his family are living in England for one year (they usually live in the States), so we are trying to spend as much time with them as possible, and hence grabbed a week away with them.
This holiday was at a slower pace than our camping trip (my SIL is 8 months pregnant), but 8 people in a holiday cottage with plenty of rainy days can be challenging. I did sneak off for more rests during this week, but I also managed a walk up a really big hill and days out to farms and castles with plenty of walking.
Getting Ready for the New Term
If you have school aged children then you’ll know that inevitably some time has to be spent kitting them out for the new school year. My daughter has just moved up to secondary school, so she needed completely new uniform. Of course the boys have also grown so we needed to try their uniform on and work out what new stuff they needed. Then there is the dreaded shoe shopping and labeling all the new clothes.
I managed all this without feeling completely drained and overwhelmed by it.
My Summer Diet
With all this time away from home my diet had to adapt. Whilst away I didn’t have access to my blender or juicer. This meant no green smoothies or vegetable juices. However, I still focused on getting plenty of vegetables into my diet. For breakfast I often made frittatas with vegetables, and for lunches/dinner I usually had lots of salad. We also made Haloumi kebabs when we had BBQs (Haloumi cheese with peppers, onions and mushrooms) – yum.
Additionally I wasn’t drinking Kombucha Daily. To compensate for this I bought some probiotic tablets (Udo’s Choice Super 8) and had one daily. I also took 2 magnesium tablets daily (more than I take at home, but an acceptable dose according to my nutritionist), to avoid any constipation that may have occurred with my change in diet.
Whilst sticking to a basically healthy diet, with plenty of vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats I also allowed myself to indulge in holiday treats. In particular we visited some excellent ice cream parlours in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands seems particularly well adapted to food allergies, with even our campsite shop selling gluten free bread and cereal and all the ice cream parlours labeling whether their products contained gluten or lactose. We even found a pancake house that had gluten free pancakes.
Most of the time now I feel like a normal (without ME) person, who happens to be quite unfit or a bit lazy. I feel like a switch has flicked, from ME mode back to normal. I know I still have less stamina than my healthy friends and I do still need to pace myself a bit, but I don’t think a stranger would guess that I was ill, and I don’t want to use that label myself anymore.
I am hoping that as we move into the term time rush I can maintain my new found status and continue to improve, so that soon I will describe myself as recovered.