I woke up at about 4am feeling like I was being drowned. After getting up and going to the bathroom I realised that this was due to the fact that I had mucus running down the back of my throat and into my chest (lovely). That’s right, I have ANOTHER cold. It seems as though I have barely recovered from the last one, and now I am sitting in bed next to a mountain of tissues, struggling to breathe as I am slowly suffocated by my own bodily fluids. I do not handle colds well. They make my glands swell, my throat sore, and they inevitably work their way down to my chest, leaving me out of action for up to two weeks. I can only remember one occasion where I’ve had a “normal” cold – runny nose, sneezing, congestion, but nothing to keep me bed-bound.
It hardly seems fair that I should be struck down so soon after recovering from the previous bout – I have been taking my vitamins, eating very well, exercising, etc. The only area I have been slack with is sleep – late nights and early mornings have been the norm for the past couple of weeks as we strive to finish this album by our deadline. Perhaps my unhealthy sleeping patterns are to blame for my weakened immune system. Maybe I underestimated the importance of maintaining my sleep-routine during this busy period.
What’s more, I had a photo-shoot this evening for the CD booklet! Hopefully Warren (my photographer and designer) will be able to Photoshop my red nose away!
Anyway, rant over. Now for a new recipe:
High-Fibre Protein Cookie Dough
- 1 tbsp tahini or nut butter
- Cold water
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 2 tbsp – ¼ cup wheat bran (depends on how much you fancy)
- Gradually add small amounts of cold water to the tahini/nut butter, mixing well between each addition until mixture is pale, thick and creamy.
- Add the protein powder and gradually add more cold water, stirring continuously until you reach your desired consistency (some like it thicker than others). Depending on the brand of protein powder, you may want to add a pinch of xantham or guar gum to thicken.
- Stir in the wheat bran and enjoy!
This morning’s oatmeal experiment produced the following DEELICIOUS bowl:
Fibre Frenzy Oatmeal
- 40g (1/3 cup) oat bran
- 20g wheat bran
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp golden flaxseeds
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tbsp wheat germ
- ½ serving (15g) protein powder
- 1 tbsp peanut butter (optional)
- Place oat bran, wheat bran and flaxseeds in a pan with 1 cup of the water.
- Bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Add another 1/3 cup water, let thicken, then add another 1/3 cup.
- When the mixture is thick, add the egg whites and keep stirring. Add the remaining 1/3 cup and keep cooking until you reach your desired consistency.
- Remove from heat and stir in wheat germ and protein powder.
- Serve topped with peanut butter, if desired.
It made so much that I almost didn’t have a breakfast bowl big enough! Yet I didn’t feel at all stuffed afterwards – just perfectly satiated.
Mid-morning I made a batch of Protein Brownies, based on April’s Zucchini Brownies. I was feeling experimental, so I made lots of changes:
Dark Chocolate Brownies
- ¾ cup egg whites (or whites from 6 eggs)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (or pureed carrots, butternut – whatever you like. I actually used a mixture of carrot, butternut and sweet potato, as I didn’t have any pumpkin)
- ¾ cup wheat bran
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 3 scoops chocolate protein powder
- 3 tsp vanilla essence (yes, you read right. I like my vanilla)
- Sweetener to taste ( I didn’t add any as the protein powder added a mild sweetness)
- Pinch salt
- Pinch baking powder
- Mix all ingredients together until well combined.
- Pour into a lined and sprayed 8×8 square pan and bake at 180/350/Gas 4 for about 25 minutes (careful not to overcook, or they will come out dry).
They were tasty (though admittedly I prefer them with one less scoop of protein powder and I missed the added grated veg), but what took them to a whole new level was the “icing” I made to go with them. You MUST try this – it’s heavenly!
Mali’s Homemade Chocolate Nutter (pun intended)
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 4 tsp water
- 1 sachet (or to taste) sweetener
- Mix the first three ingredients together in a small cup and microwave for about 30 seconds, or till melted.
- Add sweetener and mix until smooth.
- Eat on its own or atop your muffins, brownies, oatmeal, cottage cheese, etc!
And since colds and flu are back in discussion, here’s a revised version of the homemade lemsip:
Hot, Spiced Remelemon*
- Large wedge of lemon
- Small pinch cayenne pepper (go easy – you can always add more, but once it’s in, it’s in!)
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- Dash mixed spice
- Sweetener to taste
- Boiling water
- Boil the kettle (or as my husband would correct, “Boil the WATER, not the kettle.”).
- Meanwhile, give the lemon wedge a squeeze, catching the juice in your favourite, most comforting mug (every detail counts when you’re ill).
- Throw the partially-squeezed lemon wedge into the mug and pour over boiling water till mug is filled.
- Add spices and sweetener and stir well, so that no sneaky lumps are swimming around (trust me; a lump of cayenne pepper is not something you want exploding in your mouth).
- Sip slowly, allowing the warmth and spice to soothe your throat and clear your airways (be careful not to burn yourself in your eagerness). You may need to stir a few times throughout drinking to ensure even distribution of the spices.
(*my own word – copyrighted as I type. You witnessed it!)
When I was sick as a child (which was an unfortunately frequent occurance), my grandmother used to tell me to make onions a staple. She would make me homemade onion cough-syrup, and tell me to eat raw onions and even slice one in half and leave it next to my bed. As a youngster I was not so keen on the idea of giving onions the privilege of sharing my room, but now that I’m older and marginally wiser, I realise that sometimes Safta (Hebrew for Grandma) really does know best. As such, my lunch was about 90% onion:
Immune-Boosting Tuna and Onion Salad
- 1 whole onion, diced (red or white – I used white as it was all I had. I prefer red though.)
- 1 raw beetroot, peeled and diced
- Few sundried tomatoes, sliced
- 1 can tuna
- 1 clove raw garlic, crushed or finely chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil*
- Salt, pepper and mixed herbs to taste
- Place onions on a plate a sprinkle lightly with salt. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients.
- Add the other ingredients to the onions, combine and serve straight away, or (if you find raw onion a little harsh) leave to sit for an hour or so before serving.
*I’m not worried about including lots of good fats in my diet, but if you’re concerned then you can reduce the amount of oil or replace it with something fat-free. I personally believe that healthy fats are vital for good brain function and fat-loss, as long as they are not abused.
Hope you’re all feeling healthier than I am!