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Stuffed Aubergines recipe - National Vegetarian Week

Posted on: May 10 2021

This week, 10-16 May is National Vegetarian Week. Diet can have an impact on multiple sclerosis, and some people use it as a way to contribute to the management of the condition. Click here to read more about diet and supplements with our Choices booklet. Here, this recipe for stuffed aubergines is a great swap packed with protein and tasty vegetables for a meat-free meal. Why not give it a go this week? STUFFED AUBERGINES .jpg

Stuffed aubergines

Serves 6

  • 4 large aubergines
  • olive oil
  • 100g quinoa
  • 250ml boiling water
  • 150g sun-dried tomatoes in oil, roughly chopped, plus 2 tbsp of oil from the jar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • large handful of parsley, about 15g, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C fan. Cut the aubergines in half and place on to a baking tray. Score the flesh with a knife (being careful not to cut all the way through), drizzle with olive oil and salt, and roast for 35-40 minutes until soft. Once soft, remove from the oven and leave to cool.

2. Turn the oven down to 180°C fan. While the aubergines are in the oven, cook the quinoa. Place a medium saucepan over a medium heat and add the quinoa and boiling water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 12–15 minutes until the water has been absorbed. Once cooked, remove from the heat and leave to one side until cool.

3. Using a large spoon, scrape the flesh out of the aubergines and on to a board. Roughly chop into pieces then put into a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, pine nuts, harissa and quinoa. Season with a large pinch of salt and pepper.

4. Using a tablespoon, scoop equal amounts of the mixture back into each aubergine skin. Place them back on the baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the parsley on top before serving. 

From Deliciously Ella Quick & Easy: Plant-based Deliciousness by Ella Mills (Yellow Kite, £19.99).

Apprehensive about lockdown easing? MS-UK Counsellor Kerry has some advice

Posted on: May 10 2021

MS-UK Counsellor Kerry Trevethick shares her words of advice on how to manage the easing of lockdowns across the UK, as the end of restrictions is in sight and how to be kind to yourself during this time.  Kerry Trevethick - MS-UK Counsellor.png

Across the UK, lockdown is easing and whilst many people can’t wait for restrictions to be eased and be able to socialise with friends and family again, many others may feel anxious or apprehensive about returning to things we haven’t done for a while and our old routines. Lockdown may have been difficult for many reasons but it provided a level of certainty and clarity on the rules and what we were to expect. However the easing of restrictions is less clear cut, and this can be stressful and anxiety provoking.

There are a range of different emotions that you may be experiencing such as:

  • Anxiety and worry
  • Stress
  • Low mood and depression
  • Anger
  • Confusion or feeling conflicted
  • Feeling unsupported
  • Feeling unsafe
  • Grief and loss
  • Powerlessness

It’s important to acknowledge that these feelings are valid and reasonable, and just like it may have taken time to adjust to going into the first lockdown, it may take time for us to adjust to life post-lockdown. It is okay if it takes time to adjust to life changing again.

Some people may find it very difficult in making decisions about how to keep safe now, who they should see or avoid, where should they go or not go - this is normal. For a long time, these decisions were made for us. We may feel that the responsibility of this decision making is too much, but you can take things at your own pace and remember there is no rush to get back to your old routines – you can be in control of how fast things move for you but be wary of avoidance as this can help maintain anxiety.

For some people, life post-lockdown will look very different. Maybe you have been bereaved, lost a job or had a relationship breakdown, and it is okay to feel this grief and there are organisations that can help you.

There are things that we can do to help ourselves manage our feelings as lockdown is eased and these are outlined below:

  • Keep healthy habits – just as this was important in helping us cope when lockdown first began, habits such as eating well, getting enough sleep, physical exercise and being out in nature, these things can also help us cope now.
  • Pace yourself – don’t let others put pressure on you to do things that you don’t want to do but do try and gently challenge yourself to increase the amount of activities that you feel comfortable in doing.
  • Control the things that you can – restrictions have meant we haven’t had much control over our lives recently but there are things that we can control and it is important to remember this. It can also be helpful to find ways to let go of the things that are beyond our control.
  • Focus on the here and now – restrictions can change so quickly and this can feel stressful, focussing on the present can help. We can only do our best with what we have right now.
  • Talk to people – talking about our feelings to people we trust can be really helpful, you may even find that they have similar feelings too.
  • Get support from an organisation – if you are really struggling with your mental health then support from an organisation or counselling may be helpful. Talk to your GP or local mental health team. Organisations such as Mind and Anxiety UK can also help.

 

Foot drop exercise masterclass with Alan Pearson

Posted on: May 07 2021

It is a pleasure to be able to put together a series of masterclasses around exercise and education in MS. I spend a lot of time working and educating people around their symptoms and seeing the effects that MS has on their bodies, whether walking, sitting or tasks of daily living. By helping people have better knowledge and understanding about their MS symptoms, it allows people to have more independence and improve their quality of life. Alan headshot 3.jpg

As a Level 4 Exercise Coach for Long term Neurological Conditions, I have been working with people with MS and other neurological conditions for the past nine years and if you have been following our online classes or joined in one of the many information sessions from our fellow professionals, you will be building a wealth of understanding that will help you on a day to day level, reduce symptoms and help maintain a more stable condition. 

People with MS experience different symptoms with their condition from muscle weakness, fatigue, spasms, numbness/ tingling, difficulty walking, coordination, balance issues, are just a few symptoms associated with MS.  One of the many symptoms I am asked about is foot drop, the inability to lift the toes and flex the foot at the ankle. Many of you may have found yourself walking normally and then after some time your foot starting to drag or catch on the floor, maybe having more trips and falls, a high stepping gait or throwing the leg out to the side when trying to walk.  

During the next masterclass, I will address some of these areas and demonstrate some exercises that can be beneficial for foot drop. I will talk about types of equipment that can be used like foot drop stimulators and foot orthosis that assist for the foot drop condition.  

The exercises will help to support a better functional capacity and help maintain a more neutral foot position. We will also look at the global effects that it has on the rest of the body when sitting, standing and walking itself.   

If you like the sound of this masterclass, please come and join us!  To register for the session, please click here. There is a suggested donation of £5, but you can donate any amount from £1 to attend.  

Meet Kylie, one of MS-UK's Community Champions!

Posted on: May 04 2021

Hi everyone, I’m Kylie, I’m 40 years old and I’ve recently applied to become an MS-UK Community Champion. My awesome friend (that I’ve only met because we both have MS and ours paths crossed) told me all about MS-UK and the great work that they do for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and what it meant to be a Community Champion. Kylie Aggio.jpg

It’s going to be great to help raise funds and awareness. I also love meeting and talking to new people and it’s a role that has no pressure and stress attached to it, so it is perfect!! I’m very excited to be a part of #TeamPurple!

So, just a little bit about me. I was diagnosed with MS eight years ago. I had no idea that I had anything wrong with me until in the space of a few weeks I developed many symptoms of MS. It started with tingling in my fingertips, then my toes and just spread like wildfire from there. I consider myself to be very lucky as a few visits to the doctors, I was admitted to hospital where I remained for a week while I had intravenous steroids, an MRI, and a lumbar puncture. By the time I went to hospital, I could barely walk, bounced off of walls and couldn’t even hold a knife and fork anymore.

I came out with my diagnosis of MS at the end of that week and started a disease modifying drug just a few months later once funding came through. I know that other people’s diagnosis journeys to getting a diagnosis have been a lot longer, so I am grateful that it happened in the way that it did. I’m very much 'a glass half full' kind of girl, with a decent amount of stubbornness, so I worked hard on a long recovery when I got home. I have an amazing fiancé that helped me to get quite literally get back on my feet. I have permanent symptoms that remain and symptoms that constantly come and go but I’ve just learned to live in a different way. There are always ways around things. I wouldn’t change having MS because I’ve met the most fantastic people and it’s changed me in a very positive way. It made me realise that I had to cut stress out of my life as much as possible as it is absolutely my number one trigger for a relapse. It’s taught me that actually it’s okay to say no (still working on that!), and it’s also given me back my love of arts and crafts. Although MS can be hard and challenging at times, it can also bring great gifts with it.

If you'd like to find out more about becoming one of our Community Champions, click here or contact our Fundraising team on fundraising@ms-uk.org