Posts tagged healing
Quick Scones, Gluten Free

I don't miss many foods now that I have to keep to a completely gluten free diet.

I don't have celiac disease, but I'm seriously gluten intolerant and eating gluten essentially shuts down my brain function. Debilitating brain fog that feels sticky and thick, headaches, difficulty forming sentences, crippling fatigue... it makes me feel like my brain injury is fresh. Which I HATE. So making a change to my diet to avoid all that was, and is, 100% worth it.

Sometimes I miss Montreal bagels, and real French pastries, but there is a bakery in Montreal that makes a mean gluten free croissant now, and they SHIP TO THE US! So I get my fix on occasion by ordering online

But good scones. Oh man, I haven't had one since I was a kid. Not too sweet, just the right crumb and texture, holds butter well... I've had few that are ok but they're all too sweet to be "real" scones in my book. I had pretty much accepted that I would never find a gluten free version that met my standard.

And then my husband made one by accident. And it was WONDERFUL. And fast, and easy, and all that good stuff.

So here's the recipe!

 

Gluten Free Banana Scones

Banana Scones

• 1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour (no gums! Get the recipe for my custom AP flour blend instantly when you sign up for my newsletter)

• 1 scoop vanilla plant protein - get my favorite from my nutrition partner HERE

• 1/4 tsp sea salt

• 1 tsp baking powder  

• 1 tsp baking soda

• 2 mashed bananas

• 1 egg

• 1 TBSP avocado or melted coconut oil

 

Preheat oven to 350º F - Makes 1 dozen mini scones

Thoroughly mix all ingredients together until fully incorporated. Dough should resemble fluffy cookie dough. Spoon golf ball sized amounts onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Use wet fingers to shape into little triangles, or to your liking.
Bake for 15 minutes until springy to the touch and brown on the bottom. 

Let cool completely before serving, and enjoy! 

•••

 Original/Plain Scones

Gluten Free Original Plain Scones

1 cup all purpose gluten free flour (no gums added to the flour mix!)

• 1 scoop vegan vanilla protein (get my fav from my nutrition partner HERE)

• 1 TBSP psyllium husk

• 1 tsp each baking powder and baking soda

• 1/4 tsp sea salt

• 1 egg

• 1 TBSP avocado or melted coconut oil

• 1/2 cup plain European style whole milk plain yogurt (also, no gums!)

 

Preheat oven to 350F Makes 10 mini scones

Blend dry ingredients together in a bowl until all one color. 
Blend wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then add dry ingredients to the wet and mix thoroughly.
Mix until fully incorporated. Dough should look and feel like fluffy cookie dough.
Drop golf ball sized lumps of dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Shape into triangles or desired shape with wet fingers.
Bake for 15 minutes until springy to the touch and brown on the bottom.
Let cool completely before serving, enjoy!

Apple Cinnamon and Pumpkin scone attempts are up next! Keep an eye out for those before Halloween.

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Eating is Hard
I have been working on this blog post for months. I started 6 months ago and then it sat here. I would open it periodically and stare at my screen, type some things, delete them, type some more, delete those. This is a very personal piece of my story that i haven't shared publically, but I want you to know the real and raw parts of my story. Not just the polished bits that can take over when you share yourself online. So I never gave up on this post even though I was tempted to trash it completely. Finally the right words came, but it got really long, so I broke it up into two parts.
Look for Part 2 on Monday.

In late 2007, I couldn't eat.

Seriously, literally, I was UNABLE to perform the act of eating food. Such a basic thing I never knew I took for granted, but there it was. I was in the hospital, unable to chew or swallow and my food was delivered through a tube in my nose, directly into my stomach. Forget room service! I had gastric service that would feed me while I lay in a coma.

On Nov. 24, 2007 I was hit head-on by a drunk driver while driving from the airport to visit my dad in Nova Scotia.

The feeding tube delivered calories (because I can't really call it "nutrition") while I was in a coma and continued to feed me even after I woke up. The tube came out after a few weeks but my body had forgotten how to eat. I remembered what do in theory, but my muscles and reflexes didn't do what they were supposed to. And the empty space where my front teeth had been made it even harder.

In the hospital with a feeding tube, 2007.

In the hospital with a feeding tube, 2007.

My toddler who is learning how to eat for the very first time in his life right now, chews, swallows and drinks better than me at that time. I was severely brain injured, my swallowing reflex was gone, and I had to relearn this most basic skill.

It all began with thickened water.

This gelatinous liquid was supposed to help train my swallowing muscles while minimizing the risk of choking, but my god, it was vile. Solid food wasn't any better. My meat, veggies, and potatoes were delivered in pureed stripes of pink, green, and white, which in my unwitting state, I happily spooned into my mouth. And coughed. A lot. Nothing seemed to go down the right way.

Then came the cups full of paste-colored Ensure, or fluorescent-but-somehow-chalky pink Boost.

Then the day came that I successfully chewed and swallowed a bite of banana.

Oh, hooray! That was such a good day. It meant I could stop eating purées and I was allowed to eat soft foods! REAL food. My missing teeth and broken jaw made anything crunchy a no-no, but oh, BLISS, I could have FOOD!!!!

But it was still hospital food.

My doctors and nurses said I could eat whatever I wanted though, as long as it didn't require work to chew. After being fed through a feeding tube for weeks, and lying motionless in a hospital bed, my healthy, athletic, 6-foot-one-inch, 170 pound frame had dropped to a very skinny and unhealthy 140 pounds. I was officially given the green light to chow down as much as possible because I needed to regain that weight, and I was burning insane amounts of calories to heal.

My first request was for fast food.

There's no way I could bite into a burger, but my seriously loving fiancé would go out and pick up whatever I asked for (often in the freezing Canadian winter weather), come back to my room, and take bites for me, chew it, and feed me like a baby bird. I'm not kidding. Talk about love, and that greasy, salty food tasted so, so good. 

My doctors, of all people, should have known the impact my nutrition could have on my healing, and especially the healing of my injured brain. But all they cared about at that time was the quantity of calories I was consuming. The quality didn't seem to matter and it certainly made my taste buds happy.

Now I know those fast food meals are engineered to excite our taste buds without providing the nutrition we really need, but back then, all I knew was that it tasted good, and made me feel  more "normal."

In the hospital with 8 missing teeth

In the hospital with 8 missing teeth

My Partial Dentures

My Partial Dentures

When I left the hospital, I was still missing eight of my front teeth. 

The ninth was so damaged it was just waiting to be pulled out. I finally had a partial denture made that made my smile appear normal at first glance, but it was anything but functional. I just wanted to feel like myself again so changing my diet was not at the top of my priority list.

Wearing my new partial

Wearing my new partial

I ate mostly home cooked meals, but I still reached for processed comfort foods almost every day. Eating wasn't fun. My partial didn't stay put. One afternoon when I was out with a visiting friend, we went to a popular sandwich shop for lunch and I ordered the roast beef and cheese. When we brought our orders outside and I took my first bite, I found I couldn't bite through the meat and the pressure on my front false teeth would flip them off my molars where the partial clipped on. I ended up picking the sandwich apart and eating it with my fingers. Eating an apple? Forget it. 

I wore the partial denture for 4 years and it limited my food choices in a big way because everything that went into my mouth had to be super soft, or cut up into small pieces. My diet gradually improved, but I didn't know how to eat for wellness and healing. I was wooed by health claims on food packaging and their loud, colorful promises. And my brain injury made me especially susceptible.  And although I was injured when I was 23, I couldn't get dental implants until I was 27 years old.

I just wanted to stay home where I could take my partial out and eat comfortably with a fork or spoon, missing teeth and all. I couldn't think clearly or do much more than get through each day, so I just ate what was easiest. Almost everything had to be cut up like I was a small child. I handled it well enough and I laughed about it a lot. But eating was hard. I was miserable.

When it was finally time to get oral surgery and install my dental implants, I was so happy that I didn't care that I was having invasive, reconstructive surgery. My surgeon removed metal plates, rebuilt my jaw, removed my wisdom teeth, and installed titanium posts that would eventually hold my new teeth. I was given some serious drugs for conscious sedation that made me so loopy and relaxed, I remember seeing chunks of bone leave my mouth and thinking, "oh, there it goes."

I. DID. NOT. CARE.

It was pretty amazing stuff but the elation I felt was completely real and independent of any drug. Throughout my recovery period, I remember being amazed as I ran my tongue over my implants, feeling the new posts that would give me my smile back. My whole face was in agony but I was smiling already.

TEETH. I would finally have teeth again.

READ PART 2: How Eating Became Easy...

 
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The Secret To Whole Health With Wellness Expert Danny J

“I am here to show up, and help, and love, and serve people.” - Danny J

REST, REBUILD, RECONDITION: Danny J healed herself with those 3 key actions. While her words are different, it's not too far removed from the food, mindfulness, and movement that I used to heal after my injuries. 

Danny Johnson or "Danny J"  is a wellness expert with over a decade of experience and first-hand knowledge of achieving wellness herself after her body stopped working properly, she gained weight despite doing everything "right," and she had to give up and give her body what it was crying out for. She is the creator of the Find The Money Project, is the co-creator of Social Academy, and she has coached me in taking full advantage of social media so that I can better reach and help you! 

I am so excited to share her interview with you! We talk mindfulness, adrenal fatigue, money, and what really matters, so sit down and enjoy our half hour chat. I broke it into two 15 minute parts so it's easier for you to watch. Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

“I  feel like I’m constantly learning, and I’m constantly pushing myself to see more and expand more, and to be whole I just think you need to address all those sides of yourself."

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What My Full Recovery From A Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Looks Like

On Nov. 24, 2007, I survived near death when I was hit head-on by a drunk driver. I fell into a coma, my body was a broken mess, I had to be resuscitated in the ambulance, and I was hospitalized for three months.

But after working hard to heal for over seven years, I achieved a full recovery.

My Whole Healthy | Maggie Yount | Broken humerus | broken bones |motor vehicle accident | Drunk Driver | TBI | Traumatic Brain Injury | Recovery

Not every victim of traumatic brain injury can say that. I think most probably can't. These photos are just a peek inside what my injuries looked like in the early stages of my recovery, and I know that NOT achieving anything close to a full recovery was a very real possibility.

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and I hope my story can inspire others and perhaps be a stepping stone to the next level of recovery for anyone who is a victim of TBI like me. Instead of writing about it, I made a  video so I could just talk to you. This is by no means a complete account of what I experienced following the accident, or what I still live with every day. But I think it helps me connect with you in a more personal way and shows a more accurate picture of who I am now.

After making this video, and even trying to write this little post, I know I thought of things to add, and promptly forgot them again. Like exercise (the aerobic type)! That helped me in a huge way. And I forgot to talk about it and only just remembered it now two days after recording the video. So there you go.

We've all experienced trauma, but it's what we do with it that defines us. Watch the video and let me know in the comments how you transform your trauma! Share this post if you found it helpful and let me know if you have any questions. I'm here for you. 

xoxo

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Why I Don't Count Calories and You Probably Shouldn't Either

It's Holiday time! This is my favorite time of year with all the good vibes, cool weather and amazing food. It's such a time of gratitude and celebration, and gathering around a table to eat together is something I love. Food is nourishment, for our bodies but often for our souls too. It should feel good. We have senses to experience the taste, texture, temperature and smell of food for a reason. Food is SUPPOSED to feel good.

But too often we just so caught up in the "supposed to" and "shoulds"  of eating and the joy is lost because we've come to care more about how we look, or we guiltily eat junk foods, knowing they're bad for us.

I love food and after having the experience of being "fed" through a feeding tube when I was in the hospital (I can't describe having flavored goop delivered to my stomach, through a tube that went up my nose, as anything close to pleasant), and being unable to bite into anything even verging on firm in the four years I wore partial dentures, I value every moment I get to eat and chew and sink my teeth into something delicious. And I don't worry about Calories. EVER.

The photo on this post is the breakfast I had the day after a full Thanksgiving dinner last year. I am not fat. I just eat the food, provided it's real food, and not too much of any one thing. I strive for balance, not deprivation.

I recently discovered gluten free croissants that I got shipped to my door from Baked2Go.ca in Montreal, and talk about the joy of eating! It's been YEARS since I had a croissant because I have a pretty serious intolerance to gluten. And I had kind of lost hope that anyone would be able to create a GOOD gluten free version of that yummy French pastry. But these... warmed in the oven, that crisp flakiness on the outside giving way against my teeth to the soft, layered, buttery inside... bliss.

Is it "healthy"? Nope. Fattening? If I ate them all the time, probably yeah. But do I care? No. Because it was a treat. And giving myself permission to enjoy a food I love, when I know it's still real food, made in a bakery, is way better for me than stressing, feeling guilty, or hating myself for indulging! All that does is release stress hormones that can contribute to gaining weight probably more than eating the food one time.

*** Obviously if you have medical condition or are under the care of a physician, you may need to take a different approach. And everyone is different. Do what is best for you!

Because of things like stress hormones and many other factors, getting to and maintaining a healthy weight is not as simple as calories in, calories out. The food and diet industry would like us to believe it's that simple though!
Why isn't it?
All calories are not created equal. Our bodies digest, process and use different foods in completely different ways. Take, for example, 100 calories of candy and 100 calories of broccoli. About five Hershey's Kisses would have 100 calories but 100 calories of broccoli (raw) is four cups!

There's not much nutritional value in five Hershey's kisses, and four cups of broccoli is a lot to eat, and requires way more energy to chew and digest. Carbohydrates and protein contain 4 Calories per gram and fat has 9 calories per gram. So while food that contains a lot of fat does have more calories, that doesn't mean fatty food will make us fat. Many fatty foods are also laden with sugar, but healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, while calorie dense, have a lot of nutritional value. Our bodies get a lot from just a little, and it's hard to overindulge on food that contains those healthy fats.

My rule of thumb is to just eat real food that doesn't come with a label or a list of ingredients. If I do that, I don't have to watch my weight because I don't fall into craving unhealthy snacks and my body gets all the nutrition it needs. I like sweets a lot, but I definitely notice that when I don't eat much sugar, I don't crave sugar. And vice versa, if I eat too much, I crave it ALL THE TIME and I have to make myself detox and make better choices. Date rolls (dates smushed up and rolled in chopped nuts) are my go-to to satisfy a sugar craving and replace the junk I might eat otherwise. Dried fruit is awesome that way.

As the holidays approach, maybe you're worrying about "holiday weight gain"? Well I have some good news for you... it's pretty much a myth. If you do gain weight at this time of year, it's probably more of a reflection of your overall lifestyle and weight as a whole, not a once-a-year anomaly, so if you do gain significant weight, take it as a signal that shifts need to happen in your life beyond declining dessert at Thanksgiving dinner.

So enjoy your holidays, and enjoy the food! Don't worry about the Calories, now or ever. Life's too short not to indulge a little bit. Just stay mindful and notice how you feel in your body. If you feel tired and cranky all of a sudden, think about what you ate. That might be more relevant than your previous night's sleep. Eat real food - the turkey, the stuffing, the veggies, the HOMEMADE pie made with real ingredients... avoid the junk - it doesn't serve you. And have a wonderful time!

XOXO Maggie


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