Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

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Yummy!

I make banana bread a lot. It is a fantastic way to use up those bananas that have gone just a bit to brown.
This recipe is simple but so delicious, AND healthy! And if you use gluten free oats its even a gluten free recipe.

It’s super easy to make, give it at try!

You will need

200g / 5 dl oats, which you will grind into a flour using a hand mixer or processor.
3 medium Bananas
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 table spoons sugar or xylitol
1 tablespoon melted butter or oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla sugar for my swedish friends
A hand full of frozen Raspberries or blueberries.

First you grind the oats into a flour.

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Grind up oats

Once thats done you stir in the baking powder, baking soda and sugar. (if you’re using vanilla sugar you can add that at this point too) I’m actually using xylitol here instead of sugar. The bread will taste exactly that same, it’s just a bit healthier.

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All the dry ingredients

In a separate bowl you mix the bananas in to a mush (I use that same hand mixer as I did for the oats). Then pour in the melted butter and vanilla extract (unless you already put it in with the dry ingredients)

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Mixed bananas and butter

Then add the two mixtures together and stir well before adding the frozen berries.

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The wet and dry ingredients have been mixed and lastly adding the frozen rasberries

Pour (or scoop, the mixture will be quite thick) in to a bread tin.
Sprinkle a bit of sugar on the top and if you want you can put some oats and seeds on top too.
Bake in the oven for 25-35 min at 200 degrees. When the skewer comes out dry-ish its done. Start checking at about 25min but if the bananas you’ve used were really mushy you might need a few more minutes.

Try it and let me know what you think!

 

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This one turned out dark and crusty on top because I sprinkled raw sugar on it before going in the oven. Tastes lovely!

I don’t worry to much about the Big Day

This summer I will have been married to the love of my life for 13 years. 13 years!
I love that! I feel like we’re now an old married couple. Although I’m sure couples who have been married much longer look at us and think our marriage is still in its infancy, haha!

Not everyone knows this, but I was really sick during our wedding. We got married in Christchurch in England even though we lived in Sweden at the time. I’d been sick the week leading up to the wedding, mainly really bad nausea and lack of appetite.
Everyone either thought I was nervous about the upcoming wedding or that I was pregnant. I was neither, but at the time I thought maybe I was more nervous than I realised and this is how my body reacts?

Well, I don’t remember all that much about the wedding I was so focused on keeping myself together. And during our wedding night I got a really high temperature. Richard wanted to take me to the hospital, but since we were flying back to Sweden just two days later, I wanted to wait until we got back. We got back to Sweden and the same night I woke up with a sharp pain in my stomach and I was taken in to hospital. It turned out I had a abscess in my appendix.
I was in hospital for almost a week, and I was fine in the end and have been ever since.

But as I told this story to a friend of mine not that long ago, she asked me if we’d ever thought about renewing our vows? You know, to make up for the ‘ruined wedding’ so I can have a day to remember.
I told her that that thought had never crossed my mind.
And it hadn’t.

When we got married I had never even been to a church wedding before. And for some reason we decided to get married in England even though we lived in Sweden, which was a tricky ordeal in itself, nevermind I had very little idea of what a wedding is supposed to look like. We even forgot to send out wedding invitations! All we knew was that we wanted to be married to each other, and we weren’t to concerned with everything else.

If I had got married today, I would have done everything differently. Apart from the man I married; he would have stayed the same.

But here’s the thing:

I don’t think back on our wedding much at all.

We have some wedding pictures up and I can sometimes make a comment about how young we looked or something like that.
To some that might seem sad.

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Young, happy and ill!

But I really don’t care to much about that day.
I got what I wanted out of it:
A husband.
A marriage.

Who cares how the day actually went down when everyday ever since have been a blessing (well, mostly anyway) ? I wanted a loving marriage I can sustain every day, not just have One Great Day.

I don’t believe in “Great Days” If you put to much energy and focus in to one day, like a wedding, the birth of a child, a big party, Valentines day, what ever that seems SO important at the time, you might end up disappointed if things don’t go exactly to plan.

Like me being ill during our wedding,
Or someone planning on a natural child birth but end up having an emergency caesarean.

Think about what it is that you want out of that day.
For me it was a marriage, not a wedding. Hopefully when you give birth you want a child, not just a great memory of the birth.

And usually it’s the things you’re less worried or stressed about that end up being the best memories. Just chill and enjoy.

I’m not saying you can’t have both. Of course you can have a fantastic wedding day and a great marriage. And I really hope you do!

But I’m not bitter about the fact our wedding day didn’t turn out the way we’d planned. We’ve had plenty of memorable moments in our lives since that day.
That day was just the first day of our lives as husband and wife, and I am to busy with the rest of our journey together to be bothered by that one day.

xx

Why I don’t weigh myself

I thought I’d write about my weight, or should I say; that lack of knowledge of what I weigh, because it’s a big insecurity of mine. And I have a feeling I’m about to face this demon of mine sooner rather than later.

So here’s why.

I stopped weighing myself years ago after having spent most of my adult life trying to loose weight. I’d struggled with disordered eating on an off for years. I weighed myself daily. If I had lost weight, I had a good day. If I had gained (Hello, water retention during that time of month), even the tiniest, I was in a foul mood all day.

Isn’t it funny how a number can make us feel so insecure, fat and miserable?

IT. IS. A. NUMBER

A number that NO ONE cares about, but yourself. Well, and your doctor if you’re unhealthily overweight.
Do you care what the number is on your co-workers, your mums, your friends scale? Would that number determine wether you like him/her or not? Wether she/he is worthy as a person? Because that’s exactly what I used to do to myself, and I know a lot of women, especially, still do to themselves.

Now, I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with weighing yourself. If it works for you as a motivator to loose that unwanted access fat, or keep on track, then fine!
Good for you!

But if you start to realise that your mood is set by a number. If that number decides wether you will have a good or a bad day, than maybe you should take a step back and think. Is there any other way you can see if you’re making progress? How do you feel? Are your jeans getting tighter?

That number on the scale doesn’t tell you how much of that weight is muscle, fat or water retention from the carb-binge last night. If you want to know a healthy number to track, get a body fat measurement done professionally and track that monthly. That will tell you if you’re going it the right direction.

But most importantly.
A number, any number, doesn’t get to decide weather you’re good or bad, a success or a failure. Only You can do that!
And here’s that thing; There is no magic number that will make you good, a success or worthy.

You already are.

Just as you are.

Right now.

Even with the excess fat you might have.
You are great, just as you are and just as you want to be! There’s nothing wrong with wanting to loose fat, if you really need to, but if you think a magic number will make you feel good about yourself, you might be disappointed. You are fantastic Right Now!
The number on the scale, it’s just a number.

I feel great about myself and my focus has shifted to what my body can do, not how much I weigh.

But I’m not perfect. Far from it.
I’m telling myself all this stuff and I believe it.

At least in theory.

Because for now I’m happy not knowing. At least I think I am, because maybe I’m just hiding? I can go happily on with my day not knowing and not putting any value to my weight, which, like I said above doesn’t matter anyway. But if I truly believe that that number shouldn’t have an impact on how I feel about myself, I should be fine with stepping on those scales, shouldn’t I?

I need to work on that. I am working on that, hence me writing this post and putting my insecurities out there. I told you I’m not perfect. But I try to work on my insecurities. Because life is all about personal growth, isn’t it?
And we can’t grow unless we step out of our comfort zone, and in my case as it seems, on to the scales.

xx

11 Things NOT to say to a parent of an autistic child

We have two boys with autism and as a ‘Special Needs Parent’ we hear a lot of things and there are some things we simply do not want to hear. I know there are lots of lists like this out there, but I thought I’d share what I’ve actually heard myself and why I don’t want to hear it.

1. “He/she doesn’t look autistic.”
Really? What is he/she supposed to look like? Autism doesn’t have a “look”. He might look “normal” to you but it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

2. “It could have been worse.”
Yes, it can always be worse. I have a lot of things to be grateful for in life, as do you, but autism is hard for everyone living with it and that statement is really patronising.

3. “But I’m sure you wouldn’t want him any other way!”
This is a tricky one.                                                                                                                                            I love that my eyes have opened up to a whole other world, that I get to raise autism awareness and that society is becoming increasingly more accepting of autism. Everyone is equal and should be treated as such, disability or not. But in the end, this is MY child and I want what is best for him just like any other parent.
Would you say this to a parent who had a child in a wheelchair? I love my children for all they are, but if I could take away their autism I would, in a heartbeat. If I could take away their struggles and pain, I would.

4. “Will it get better as he gets older?”
Better? Can he learn to adapt around our neurotypical society you mean? In some ways yes. But you have to understand that every step of the way is work, really hard work. For him and for us.

5. “I heard that autism can be cured by cutting out dairy and gluten. Maybe you should just cut those out?”
First of all, its not as simple as it sounds. Yes, I’ve heard about this too. Just because we’re not doing it doesn’t mean we don’t know about it. There is no proof that it works. Some studies showed that some autistic traits in some children can decrease by excluding dairy and gluten, but this is usually in children who already have digestive issues. Mine don’t. I’ve tried twice (within the space of a few years) to cut out dairy and gluten from my boys diets. It is really hard, time consuming, expensive and it didn’t work. Which leads me to no 6

6. “He’ll eat when he’s hungry”.
No, he won’t. My boys will not eat if they don’t like the food. When they lost weight and were risking malnourishment I pulled the breaks and decided that nutritious whole foods (as much as possible) were better than them living of gluten free toast with jam. Because that’s pretty much all they would eat. They didn’t like hardly any of the gluten/dairy free stuff, and No, it didn’t matter if I made it myself. They did not eat my gluten free bread, or meatballs, or fish fingers. Even if I did my best to make it look like the original. My boys are picky eaters on the best of days.

7. “My child used to do that…” (insert…)play with baby toys, recite whole movies, hit or kick strange children, not have friends, have a meltdown in a shop, not answering when spoken too…the list goes on and on.
Did they? Mine still do.

8.” Do you think it was the vaccines?
No, I don’t. The vaccine theory has been disproved over and over and still people refuse to accept that!

9. “What’s his special interest?”
Not all children on the spectrum have a special interest or obsession, just like a neurotypical child can also have a special interest.
Joshua does have an obsession with trains and lifts, but Harry has several interests that vary, but not one that he talks about 24/7 like Joshua can about his. Being autistic doesn’t have to mean you have one.

10. “I know all about autism. I have a … (insert appropriate; neighbour, cousin, student…) who is autistic”.
The first rule of Fight Club… I mean “Autism Club” is:                                                                                 If you’ve met one person with autism you’ve met ONE person with autism.
The second rule of “Autism Club” is:                                                                                                       If you’ve met one person with autism you’ve met ONE person with autism!

All joking a side, this is something we talk about a lot.

Every one is different, that includes people with autism. They are all individuals and none are the same. Yes, they obviously have some things in common but it’s called a “spectrum” for a reason. Two people with autism will not have the exact same traits or react in identical ways to input. Just look at my two. They are really different. They have autism in common but are still individuals.

11. “We are all on the autistic spectrum more or less.”
This really gets under my skin. No, we are NOT all on the spectrum. Like I said in no 10; we are all different, autistic or not, but autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder. It’s a whole other processing system.

Bonus!
I understand that you love talking about your (neurotypical) children, but sometimes you might not realise that some things kind of stings, because these are things I don’t get to experience with my own. I’m not saying you can’t talk about your kids, just be aware of this.

So here are
3 Things that sting when we hear.

1. “It so much work taking my kids to all their activities.”
I understand it’s hard work driving your kids around. But I would love for my children to have their own social life and hobbies.

2. “I never see my kids, they are always out playing with their friends.”
Your child is building his/her independence which is normal for a growing child. Again, I would love it if my boys had friends to hang out with. Independently.

3. Moaning when your kids want your attention or talking to much TO you.
I would give my right arm to have a proper conversation with my boys. One where I don’t have to fight for every word that comes out of them, or when the conversation is on mutual terms, not just being bombarded with facts about trains.

So there you have it. I welcome any comments or questions.

xx

There are more than one side to a story

I apologise in advance for a rather long post, but it’s something that I’ve been thinking a lot about. Perception and reality. Our reality is our perception. And it’s important to understand that others live in another reality because they have a different perception.

We’ve been having some issues with Joshua being teased at school. I’m reluctant to call it ‘bullying’ because I don’t believe he’s being targeted to be bullied.

Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t think teasing is right, and I do have zero tolerance to bulling. And as I’m sure any parent feels, I would upheave heaven and earth to make sure my child was never bullied again.

But its not that straight forward.

A child with autism, like Joshua, or any other social communication difficulty see things differently. It’s not as simple as him saying “Mum, I’m being bullied by X because he did this to me” .
Often times he tells me that he’s been teased, but when I ask him specific questions about who, how, where and when, he can’t tell me.
He might tell me that X teased him during morning break.
But he can’t always tell me what was said.
And even if he can, he can’t tell me any other facts, like ‘the boy who called you a Sh**, was he with someone else that he might have been talking to?’ Joshua can’t tell me.

There are kids at his school that play Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto. These games are from 18 years, so I do not know why parents would let their children play these games as I think it’s completely inappropriate for 10-11 year olds to play games meant for adults. We don’t let Joshua play these games, but obviously he’s curious about them since he can hear other kids talk about them. He has asked us countless questions about the games and why he can’t play them when other kids his age are. We’ve explained that we think he’s to young and its not appropriate for him, but what other parents let their children do is not our business and we have no say in what they let them do.

But because Joshua isn’t allowed to play these games he feels like he’s being teased when other children are talking about them.

A couple of weeks ago I walked him to school and as we got there he pointed to a boy a bit further away and told me that it was ‘X’ one of his “bullies”.
So I said; Ok, how about you try to avoid him today?
Joshua says ok, and then I leave. But I stop not to far away and peek from behind a tree. And what do I see? Well, if it isn’t Joshua, walking straight up to this boy and talks to him.
Not the boy going up to him, but Joshua going up to the boy.

I can understand it in a way. In a world where social understanding and communication is really difficult, for Joshua it might be easier to go up and talk to someone he knows might tease him, than to someone he doesn’t know what the reaction is he’s going to get. But I can see how he’s an easy target.
If a boy persistently comes up and talks to me about a game I’m playing and I’m telling him how great it is, is that really teasing?

We’ve talked to the school several times about these issues.
At times, yes they have been teasing him knowing that he’s not allowed to play the games, but most often he’s the one who’s been striking up a conversation with them, asking lots of questions because he’s curious, which is fine, except for the fact that when they then talk to him about it he feel like he’s being teased, even if that’s not their intention.

Another problem is that Joshua has very selective hearing. At break he’s mostly by himself, in his own world thinking about things. But if someone close by would mention a ‘sensitive’ word, like a swear word, he will immediately look up and make assumptions about what’s been said. There have been incidents, told by other children, where kids have been talking near Joshua but not to him or about him, and he’s picked out words and taking it as teasing. Even if it had nothing to do with him.

There are several people on the playground who will keep an eye out for Joshua, both staff and other pupils who are really good with him. And on the occasions where he has been teased, these children have told a teacher whats happened, actions have been taken and I have been told about it. But these are rare.

Not to Joshua though. To him, he’s being teased daily.
Yes, I’m sure it happens when no one else is looking, but Joshua isn’t completely innocent.
We’ve talked to him over and over about avoiding these particular children, and if they do say something that upsets him, to ignore them.

So it’s very hard to simply tell children not to ‘tease’ him, when thats not their intention.

But it’s equally as important to take Joshua seriously.
This is his reality.
His perception of events.

We have to teach him in each scenario how he could have done things differently or see things from the other children’s point of view.

This is very hard to do without him feeling like we don’t believe him or taking him seriously. It is also very hard to do when he can’t always tell us what happened. And the reason he often times can’t tell us what happened is because he only pick up snippets of events and patch it together, sometimes with a bit of imagination thrown in.
Several times he’s told me how a boy who’s bullied him has been sent to the head teacher and been expelled as a result of the bulling. I know for a fact that hasn’t happened, it’s probably what Joshua would wish happened, but it’s hard to follow a straight line of events when he keeps taking detours into fantasy land.

This is tricky. Because what is reality? Reality is our own perception of what is currently happening.
It’s like when a small child falls over and cries and the parent then goes “Stop crying. It’s not that bad, you’ll be fine” We might think that we’re building their resilience (because there will be far worse things happening as we grow up than a scratch on our knee). But for that child, his/her reality is that it is hurting and wants to be taking seriously, even if we don’t think it’s “a big deal”.

Teenage heartache is another example. As adults we might smile and say “Don’t worry, the pain will go away. You will have many more heartbreaks before you meet ‘the one’ ” Not really comforting is it?
In that moment, the pain for the teenager is excruciating and he or she need to be recognised for the reality they’re in.

We need to validate their feelings.

I can not simply tell Joshua that the teasing “is not that bad” because his perception is that it is that bad.

Children with autism and social communication difficulties have problem understanding that others do not know what they know, see what they see, think what they think. So if we contradict him when he tells us something he believes to be true, in his mind we are lying. Not because he’s stubborn or narrow minded, but because he can not understand that others might have another perspective.

What we have to try to do is to teach him other perspectives and build resilience. And we have to do this one situation at the time because for him it’s almost impossible to transfer one scenario to another and and think ‘Aha, this is similar to what happened yesterday, I wonder if I misunderstood again?”

So one day at the time we try to unravel situations and see how we can help him make sense of things. To help him understand that others have another perspective and might perceive events differently.

xx