One of my guilty pleasures is watching You Tube videos of women younger, prettier and more successful than me extolling the virtues of various make-up items, homeware and foods that help to keep them younger, prettier and, well, more successful then me. Joke. I do watch them but I am under no illusion that buying the products they recommend is going to make me a new person. I just like getting ideas for my home and tell myself that I can make myself look a bit more awake if I follow their tutorials… alas, ‘spoonie’ fatigue means I very rarely have a go.
My spoonie fatigue has led me to consider what I would put into my favourites list though. I am currently off work, due to my MS struggles, and it has allowed me to spend my days resting and ‘putting myself first’ – much needed as I am going through a bit of a stressful time (see this post for how I am trying to help myself though it). Putting myself first basically means that, for this week at least, I have spent time surfing the web and trying to do all the ‘self-care’ activities that I find benefit my MS. So, a bit of something different from me, but read on if you fancy seeing what things I’m enjoying and finding helpful at the moment – some MS related, some not, but hopefully all interesting! I should add that I’m not being paid to mention any of these items.
I was recommended magnesium oil on one of the many MS forums that I visit, when I complained about cramping and spasticity in my legs and feet. I already take Baclofen (a muscle relaxing drug) before I go to bed, but I was finding that my restless legs were starting earlier and earlier in the night so started looking for something I could use alongside the Baclofen. Muscle spasms and cramps are reportedly a sign of magnesium deficiency. Now, I’m not sure if I am deficient, but I thought that there would be no harm to trying one of the oil sprays that my internet friends have tried and recommended. I now use it every evening and have definitely noticed a difference in the cramping – I used to be awoken every night with my toes in full-on cramp mode. I can’t say whether it is working due to the magnesium or the actual act of taking time out to massage it in to my feet and legs, but it is helping. I imagine it would be a good thing for those often on their feet or those who do lots of exercise, too.
I recently read the book ‘Mrs Hemingway’, by Naomi Wood and really, really enjoyed it. I didn’t know very much about Ernest Hemingway, apart from the fact that he was an author, before reading it, but I really got a glimpse into his life, from the 1920s onwards. This book tells the stories of his 4 wives, and the writing is brilliant, really evoking the atmosphere of the time and, although it is fiction, it is based upon letters and memoirs of Hemingway’s wives, so feels very ‘true to life’. I liked the book so much, I was inspired to start reading some of his work as soon as I finished. Let’s just say, I couldn’t quite get into ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ as much. But I’ll happily take any other recommendations!
I’ve been pretty obsessed with the social media website Pinterest for the past few years; it’s a place where I can get ideas about food, fashion, kids stuff…. well just about anything. The idea is that it is a virtual pin-board; somewhere where you can look for items that suit your taste and keep them all in one place. Much of our home decor is loosely based on ‘pins’ that I have seen and saved, I have been able to find free crochet tutorials that I would never have known about, and I can search out healthy plant-based food with a just a few words in the search bar. Currently, I am scoping out ideas for both our garden and my daughter’s 7th birthday party – if I am ever lacking ideas, I know that I will find some there. You can see all my likes and follow me on Pinterest here.
I have been a fan of peanut butter forever. I know that it is a love-it-or-hate it food, but I think growing up with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in Canada helped it to become a bit of a favourite. Before I started the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis programme, which recommends a low saturated fat, dairy free diet for those who have MS, I would be the one eating peanut butter on toast for breakfast and peanut butter cup ice cream at any opportunity. With OMS, I can still have peanuts, I just need to ensure that I eat them in moderation and without all the nasty oils that usually accompany them in peanut butter. So, imagine my excitement when this came out:
Nakd ‘Peanut Delight’ bar – just dates, peanuts and a touch of sea salt. It is amazing and definitely satisfies that craving for something sweet and nutty… and it is good for you. Unfortunately, it is very hard to get hold of where I am, so I am very tempted to buy in bulk from Amazon, where it works out much cheaper than buying individually.
As mentioned, a lot of my time this week has been spent resting and most of it has been on the sofa. This last favourite won’t be for everyone, but if you enjoy horror and suspense films, this one is for you. We watched the brilliant ‘Get Out’, by the director Jordan Peele. It was laugh-out-loud funny and creepy at the same time and the acting was ace. Highly recommend!
These are just a few of my favourites from the past few weeks. I’d love to hear if there is anything that you have been particularly enjoying too.