Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie/Milkshake

Strawberry Kiwi SmoothieEven though I can have dairy again I still don’t like milk.

Unless I’m baking with it or making hot chocolate with it.

Call me crazy, but I don’t ever remember being forced to drink milk as a child except for one time when I was being babysat with a friend by her grandparents. They were also forcing me to eat a sandwich heavy dressed with mayo. That was not a good day.

With my continued dislike of milk in mind, I am still making smoothies and milkshakes with dairy-free milk.

I started making this Strawberry Kiwi smoothie last summer when I had a lot of strawberries and kiwis in my grocery delivery. It was easy to prep both for freezing to use later. Two weeks ago, I used up the last of my frozen kiwis and strawberries then wondered, why haven’t I shared this with you?

Oh, right. I’ve been writing.

Well now you get this just in time for the strawberries and kiwis showing up in the market. You can use frozen strawberries from the frozen food section, but if you have the time to do it, I recommend buying fresh and freezing them yourself. When they are in season the prices go down, which makes it cheaper than buying a package of frozen berries. I normally buy my berries when they are on sale, making them even cheaper.

If this is your first experience with one of my smoothie recipes, I do not make them for meal replacements. I do not use protein powders or other things you might find in a meal replacement smoothie/shake. I try to keep them limited to just what you will find in your pantry and refrigerator because I see them as a quick snack rather than a meal. I prefer to chew my food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

If you don’t like hemp seeds or are allergic, just use your favorite dairy-free milk. Or regular milk if you swing that way. The maca root powder can be omitted, but I find that it gives the hemp milk a milky-er feel.

Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie/Milkshake – serves 1

1 cup filtered water

1 tablespoon hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds)

2 teaspoons maca root powder

4-5 frozen strawberries

5-6 slices frozen kiwi

1 tablespoon nut butter of choice (optional, or use a tiny amount of Sunbutter or tahini if allergic to peanuts or nuts)

1 tablespoon raw local honey (or other sweetener of choice)

Add water, hemp hearts, and maca root powder and blend until milky. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

Life Hacks for Chronic Fatigue: Laundry

rolling cartFatigue is a bitch. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. When you deal with chronic fatigue, it’s the bitch’s bastard  on crack. I hate it and I don’t know anyone who actually likes it. My entire body feels like adamantium was injected into me in my sleep, only I don’t get the benefits that Wolverine does. Everything is heavy and the ability to lift my arms without the accompanying muscle fatigue is an astonishing circus feat. It doesn’t matter whether fatigue is caused by a chronic illness, autoimmune disorder, weak adrenals, or a vitamin deficiency, it all feels the same in the end and even I can’t tell what is causing it.

When this all started over five years ago and I was stuck in bed when not at work the only things I could force myself to do was fix dinner and do the laundry, with some help and shortcuts.

We have rolling hampers which I bought at a big store that is now out-of-business. I used one of the hampers as my laundry basket so I could push it instead of having to lift it. Even with that “hack”, Chaz had to start switching the laundry out for me and bring me the laundry himself.

When the fatigue creeped back in full-force after my car accident in December, I knew I needed to make alterations again because needing a nap in the middle of folding laundry is not normal. Not normal for healthy people that is.

I considered using one of the hampers again but the act of stooping over to push the hamper would wear me out. So, I went searching stores for something I could use. One of those rolling baskets at the laundromat would have been great.  I found one like it at The Container Store, but it was too small. One of the sales people stopped to help me because I was obviously looking for something I couldn’t find.

I explained to her what I wanted, but never explained why. I don’t need to tell everyone I meet the multiple reasons why I get fatigued. I didn’t need to justify why I need a cart to push my laundry around. I refuse to explain myself to complete strangers. I don’t care if I left that store and she thought I was lazy because she doesn’t matter. My health and how I take care of myself does.

I left the store with the above rolling bar cart that she showed me last because all the other options would be too taxing on me. The bonus of the cart is that it folds up when I’m done and while doing laundry, I can use the bottom and the basket to store folded items.

Economy of motion is something I learned in Aikido. Use the least amount of movement/energy in a fight because you don’t know how long the fight will last. I use this principle a lot in my daily life, even when fatigue is not an issue. When it is an issue, I will sit at the dryer and fold the clothes as they come out then add them to the cart. Why pull everything out, wheel it somewhere to fold, and fold it all when you can save some energy when you need it? I’d like to say I do this all the time, but I don’t. It’s just helpful when I’m too exhausted to do much.

Sometimes you just need to think outside the laundry basket to find ways to help you deal with the constant fatigue.



Gluten-Free in Las Vegas: Planet Hollywood

Planet HollywoodOur last full day in Las Vegas and I decided I wanted to go to Planet Hollywood for lunch. Neither of us had been to a Planet Hollywood and I figured since we went to Rainforest Cafe, why not?

We learned the hard way not to assume that Planet Hollywood the restaurant is not in Planet Hollywood the hotel. I was a bit hangry and fatigued when I discovered we needed to walk down to the Forum Shops. I hadn’t eaten yet and being sick plus the adrenal crash from the car accident and the traveling was taxing my body.

Planet Hollywood 2The restaurant does not have a dedicated gluten-free menu so they send the chef out to let you know what they can make safely for you. The chef that came out to talk to me appeared put out that he had to leave the kitchen and he was not pleased that I had no idea what I wanted. Hello, we were just seated and I didn’t have time to look at the menu. That said, he gave me all my options and answered all my questions to my satisfaction. Our server was confident in her knowledge of what was and wasn’t gluten-free, too, and was willing to double check with the kitchen for me for my own assurance.

Planet Hollywood 3Because I was so hangry, we started out with nachos. Yes. Gluten-free nachos IN A RESTAURANT! They were the best damn nachos I’ve had in years. They use shredded cheese instead of cheese sauce.

And now I want nachos…

Planet Hollywood 4I had a burger again. If you are new to my blog, if I find places where I can eat a gluten-free burger while traveling, I’m all in. That is a gluten-free bun my burger is on and there was supposed to be BBQ sauce, but there was something in it I couldn’t have so it came out without it. The fries are not gluten-free so I had a salad instead.

Let’s recount. I had nachos. I had a burger. I had a salad.

I was a pig.

I did not go to market. I did not stay home. I did not have roast beef. I did not cry, “Wee! Wee! Wee!” all the way home.