Hurray! 10 Healthy Birthday Cakes to Celebrate in Style

Hurray! 10 Healthy Birthday Cakes to Celebrate in Style | The Health Sessions

 

Julia Childs was right: A party without cake is just a meeting.

I’m all for birthday indulgences, but sometimes you just want your treat with a little less refined sugars, butter and accessory bloating. The good thing is: you can have your cake and eat it too!

These 10 celebratory sweets prove that you can bake the most tempting treats from wholesome ingredients like spelt flour, coconut yoghurt, almonds, spices and fresh fruit, without compromising on taste.

No matter if your food style is vegan, gluten-free, raw or Paleo, this sweet selection of birthday cakes has got you covered. Time to celebrate!

Read more >Hurray! 10 Healthy Birthday Cakes to Celebrate in Style



30 Ways to Entertain an Active Toddler When You’re (Chronically) Ill

30 Ways to Entertain an Active Toddler When You're (Chronically) Ill | The Health Sessions

 

Moms don’t get to be sick. And yet, we’re only human, no matter how much we’re trying to be superwoman.

Unfortunately, resting up in bed when you’ve come down with the flu or having a flare-up day is not really an option when you have a active toddler at home and no last-minute child care options.

Now, I don’t see too much harm in letting your child watch a bit more TV than usual when you’re too ill to lift your head from your pillow. But when your illness lasts longer than a day or two, you probably don’t want your little one constantly glued to a screen.

Luckily, with a little imagination and motherly love, you can still keep your two – or three year old entertained indoors while you’re sick on the couch. What works for you obviously depends on the kind of illness you have, how bad you’re feeling, how long you’ve been sick, your toddler’s personality and your family situation.

But here’s a big list of activities to get you and your toddler through a sick day and be a chronically awesome parent.

Read more >30 Ways to Entertain an Active Toddler When You’re (Chronically) Ill



Illness and Identity: Redefining Who You Are When Your Health Changes

Illness and Identity: Redefining Who You Are When Your Health Changes | The Health Sessions
Photo by Mon et Mine

 

The house I grew up in will be sold in a few days time. As I go through boxes of childhood memories stashed away in the attic and wander the half-empty rooms I spend such a big part of my life in, I can’t help but think how much of our identity is tied to our circumstances.

The places we live in, the people we surround ourselves with, the roles we play and the things we do, they all become a part of who we are. We literally define ourselves by our profession and habits. One of the first questions we ask strangers is: “So what do you do?” And yet, we usually don’t answer with a list of our activities, but with statements like: “I am an administrative assistant/nurse/graphic designer.”

But when you become severely ill and lose the ability to work, socialize or do the things you love, how we label ourselves and interact with the world changes. There’s an erosion of self where everything you used to think about yourself is challenged by the new limitations of your body. Would you still describe yourself an outdoorsy, fun-loving teacher if you’ve been too sick to be in a classroom of nature for months? But if not, then who are you now that chronic illness chips away at the things that defined you for so long?

Read more >Illness and Identity: Redefining Who You Are When Your Health Changes



Get Your Greens On: 19 Revitalizing Recipes to Enjoy More Spring Vegetables

Get Your Greens On: 19 Revitalizing Recipes to Enjoy More Spring Vegetables | The Health Sessions

 

Aah, Spring. My favourite time of year.

After those grey winter days, there’s nothing better than feeling the sun of your face and enjoying new life: brightly colored tulips, blossoming trees, ducklings in the pond and vibrantly fresh fruit and veggies.

Spring vegetables are bursting with vitality and nutrients. Leafy greens like baby spinach, Swiss chard and watercress are packed with vitamin C and chlorofyll, the powerful green pigment in plants that allows them to convert sunlight into energy. Watercress even ranks number one on the list of most nutrient-dense foods.

But don’t underestimate the nutritional power of spring veggies such as peas, leeks, asparagus, radishes and rhubarb! Each of these seasonal favourites turns out to be an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants and disease-fighting phytonutrients. Fennel even is traditionally used to help with digestive problems, while artichoke and dandelion support liver health and your body’s natural detoxification process.

Plenty of reasons to get your daily doses of greens in! Have a look at these 19 fresh, colourful and vibrant recipes to enjoy more spring vegetables all day long. 

Read more >Get Your Greens On: 19 Revitalizing Recipes to Enjoy More Spring Vegetables



Rolling with the Punches: PJ from Pajama Daze on Living with Multiple Chronic Conditions

What’s it really like to live with chronic illness every day? How do you deal with the physical symptoms, emotional turmoil and practical problems? In this interview series, real life ‘spoonies’ share their stories and tips.

Rolling with the Punches: PJ from PajamaDaze on Living with Multiple Chronic Conditions | The Health Sessions

PJ runs the motivational and inspirational website Pajama Daze for people with chronic illness, pain and fatigue. She’s currently writing her first book. 

 

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m 61 years old, retired on disability. I earned a BS Ed and an MA in Communication, am a Certified (PA) Holistic Health Educator, and was a Fellow of the PA Rural Leadership Program. In my previous life I worked in radio and television in both advertising and documentary production. I’ve worked in a couple of independent films, as well having published various pieces of freelance writing and photography. I also worked in community health education for several years.

I am currently writing my first book based on my website Pajama Daze for people with chronic illness. I’m also doing what I can to save pollinators through local projects and my website Posies for Pollinators.

I’ve had asthma all my life, arthritis and minor subluxations at various sites for much of my life, uterine cancer in 2002, three mild heart attacks in 2005, and another in 2008, caused by vascular spasms. It was discovered in 2010 that I have an uncommon disease called Fibromuscular Dysplasia (FMD), which causes abnormal cell growth in my carotid, vertebral and renal arteries, as well as other problems with connective tissue. I suffered with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for 10 years after my heart attacks, but went into remission last summer, thankfully.

 

When did you first get sick?

I first became noticeably symptomatic with FMD in my mid-30’s, though it would be more than 20 years before I was diagnosed. I suffered from severe, debilitating migraines and dizzy spells which, thankfully, have become less prolonged and severe, but still crop up from time to time.

Read more >Rolling with the Punches: PJ from Pajama Daze on Living with Multiple Chronic Conditions