Archives for category: Bypass surgery

I have lived another year, it is not my birthday on 8th July it was the first anniversary of my by-pass operation. Is it a milestone or millstone across my chest.

The scar is still red and raised it appears like I have an earthworm attached between my mammory glands image

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I have had numerous suggestions on how to make it less visible:
Cover it -do not wear low cut tops
Bathe topless – sunshine is good for healing
Bio oils – rub in
Vitamin E oil- buy best capsules you can, burst a capsule rub in the oil and take one also

 

Recently I read an article by Robin Korth called the Naked Truth where she talks about a man’s reaction to her aging body. I quote

“As I looked in the mirror — clear-eyed and brave — I claimed every inch of my body with love, honor and deep care. This body is me. She has held my soul and carried my heart for all of my days. Each wrinkle and imperfection is a badge of my living and of my giving of life. With tears in my eyes, I hugged myself close. I said thank you to God for the gift of my body and my life. And I said thank you to a sad man named Dave for reminding me of how precious it all is.”

I believe I have earned my scars, wear them do not cover them, it does not upset me and I am not going to spend money on buying clothes to suit you. Look away. Number two well hum. Bio oil has caused allergic reactions and had no effect on my carotid scar, so I am sticking with Vitamin E, literally and time, scars do fade and change with time.

Am I back to me? Are you well? You look so much better!
I could write a whole book on words – sentences not to say to people who are ill or convalescing. Simple rule do not tell me – ask me how I am, then try and listen or the conversation is over. Let us talk weather, soccer or the latest book.

Well no, I am not me not the one you new two years ago, I am like my house, we have torn bits out of it, created new better spaces, the snag list is long and new problems, needing renewal an repair raise their heads. I mean to say in the foundations and walks of me, that you know I am creating, building and renovating me, as I am today. Within the mess an chaos I transmute into an iteration of the me I want or hope to be.

They talk about post-traumatic disorder for soldiers but they now also recognise it for people going through cancers and other illnesses. You wake up in intensive care after the operation the trick is knowing and living with the body and person who you wake up as, learning as a child does what this body can do, what the mind an heart can comprehend. The best advice I can give is give yourself a hug and say thank you to your spirit guide, God whatever that you have that extra year(s).
Live large my friends.

 

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This is written for Women, whether you are having the operation (or looking after someone).

You will have a scar 6 – 10 inches long running down the middle of your chest and for some people there may be longer scars on one or both legs from just below the knees to the ankle. You will not be able to drive for upto 8 weeks, you need to sleep sitting up, you cannot make a cup of tea or coffee because you cannot lift a kettle. You are going to be in a lot of pain and discomfort and this could go on for months (or not).

REMEMBER this is NOT medical advice

So I am going to give you my shopping list and things to do:

To do list:
Get someone to clean and iron for when you come home you will break your ribs again if you do it too quickly. If you have a garden and it’s summer either ignore or give the responsibility to someone.
Have the numbers of people who will act as taxi drivers and the number of a taxi firm.
You will need some cash for things, so visit a cash machine.
Make sure you have a phone one that has credit and does skype/FaceTime and email/whatsapp is best. Learn to use it and remember the charger.
Get waxed everywhere, it makes stitches, stickers, bandages much less painful to remove.
Make sure you have stocked up heavy goods at home.
Fill the freezer ( more advice in later blogs).
Change the bedding
Organise a list of friends, family and relatives to visit, help,etc
Sort out your clothes so that they are easy to locate and easy to put, choose the bigger loose comfortable stuff. Shirt type tops dresses are best as easy to slip on.

Find or buy and put in a safe place:
A thermometer, paracetamol, ibuprofen gel (tablets not recommended), cream for babies bottoms,pen, paper, post it notes, baby wipes or facial wipes, antiseptic gel, tissues, favourite perfume, some personal care treats.

I used a couple of 500ml mineral water bottles for drinking as jugs were too heavy. I kept one in the fridge the other by the bedside, add a few pieces of lime or lemon rind, it makes it really refreshing.

Vitamins: vitamin C (500mg minimum), a general multivitamin, vitamin E capsules, take them if you believe. The Vitamin E capsules can be squeezed and the oil used on the scars, better than Bio-oil in my view and the recommendation of Plastic surgeon.

Pillows:  you are going to need three or four so make sure you have them to spare just for you. I also used a V shaped pillow to keep me supported. There are many available choose the one you like. This is not the one I bought just an image.

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BRAS

This is a nightmare, they tell you to buy a soft bra, I bought a masectomy bra, sports bra, wireless bra – DO NOT WASTE MON£¥. If you have great mammory glands not an A/B size you need to take care in choosing your support. My absolute favourite is GENIE type bra or equivalent from ASDA(Walmart) or other stores I paid 6.99. Or look for tops with support, never for work for my size but you may be OK. Get a size larger because your weight will go up initially due to the fluids in the operation, then You will lose weight. Anything too tight is painful, since I could not get a painless bra and other complications I ended up with red sore places under the breasts – baby bum (bb) cream worked a treat! Soaked soft dressings in the freezer also helped ease redness and heat in he wound or frozen peas in a plastic bag and then a sock all worked.

Packing for Hospital
There are two stages to this process before the operation and after – admission & recovery.

Admission
No jewellery, no nail polish, had you hair dyed and cut, all waxed and threaded, been to the dentist. Now packing – the wash bag toothpaste, brush, floss, hairbrush, hair ties, face cream, lip gloss or a small tin of Vaseline, body lotion, wipes, small pack tissues, roll on unscented anti perspiration, baby wipes, small bottles of body wash, conditioner, shampoo. You need flip flops and or slippers, the former to avoid getting foot fungus, so many people complain I thought I would tell you.

Clothes: night clothes any 2 sets, underwear 3, socks, set of day clothes and a shawl.

Food: a late night snack, drink of your choice.
Medicines take them with you.

Entertainment
I took my ipad and phone, little bit of cash and credit card. Check the credit of minutes on your phone I racked up a £300 phone bill and T-mobile never warned me or told me madam you are well over your limit. Buy a package of extra minutes or do missed calls. As my daughter said it was a small price for your sanity!
I had loaded it with Apps, books,and games. I bought wifi when I got there!

Recovery

Pack a larger back with night dresses or pyjamas that open to the waist, I had five kaftans made with zips down the front in soft cotton, the best thing ever, i lived in them. For day wear loose easy to slip on soft tops and joggers. Good walking shoes. Get them to bring in things that make you feel good.

For food anything high in potassium as your levels will fall dramatically, dates, bananas also prunes, linseed to make your bowels move ASAP you are out if intensive care! Dry biscuits if you have nausea.

Bed Sores
When my bottom and bottom of my spine began to get sore I got an air mattress, a special cushion and a swimming ring. The first two came via the district nurses, the latter I bought. I also used the bb cream. If you let the sores actually develop it will take a very longtime to recover, so take early precautions.

I was rarely hungry and I only wanted sweet or spicy food, for the first time in my life I got told eat anything, but you need nutrition & protein to mend and recover. So here is

Chicken Biryani

800g – 1 kilo of chicken pieces on the bone
1 tablespoon each of ground ginger and garlic
1 teaspoon ground cardamom green
Juice and rind of a lime
Salt to taste
2 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli, if you do not have mix cayenne and paprika
Mix together well
Leave to marinate for an hour

Now add:
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon each of coriander & cumin powder
500 ml yoghurt
Piece of cinnamon
3 cloves
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon tomato purée
Optionally add fresh coriander stalks and chopped green chillies. Leave to marinate again for as long as you can overnight is good.

Rice:
Basmati rice only otherwise make Paella.
Soak 2 cups of rice in cold water
When ready to cook fill a pan of cold water add, salt, 2 bay leaves, 4 cloves black, teaspoon pepper pods, cinnamon stick,2 brown and 4 green cardamoms. 1 tbsp toasted cumin or caraway seeds. If you do not want these spices in the rice put in a piece of muslin (bouquet garni)
Bring to boil add drained rice and cook for about 7min take. Couple of grains out, press down and if no hard bits drain immediately, if not give a minute more try again. It must not be totally cooked.

Make a purée of 2 large onions or use eazy onions can, 1 inch ginger 4cloves garlic, 2 green chillies, some coriander stalks and mint leaves if you have.
Now take a large casserole or pan with a tight lid, add a teaspoon of coconut oil
Add whole spices: bay leaves, cloves, cumin, cardamoms
Fry until they sputter, now add powdered spices – 1 tbsp garam masala,1tsp each turmeric, chilli powder salt to taste.
Stir fry for 30 seconds. Keep heat high add onion mixture stir well for 3-5 minutes, now add chicken pieces a couple at a time, until all in now add remaining marinade, stir well. Cook for 5 minutes, add some of the rice water or stock about a small cup full.

Now layer half of rice on top, sprinkle with garam masala, roast onions, herbs. Now add another layer of rice, spices onions and herbs. Over the top you can add saffron dissolved in 4tablespoon warm milk. Put on a tight lid.

Cook on a very low heat if possible put a griddle pan under the pot and allow to cook for 20 minutes. Check chicken is cooked. I have left it in a low oven for an hour at 140C. Eat with plain yoghurt.

To serve decorate with herbs, roasted onions, boiled chopped eggs. I also do a chunky salad of red onion, tomatoes, cucumber & lemon juice. Seasoning to your taste.

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I was looking back at updates I provided to family and friends  and I noticed that every time I left hospital I was convinced it was the last. Every operation has it’s dangers and there are risks of complications. A CABG is a bigger operation so carries greater risk, in the coming I am going to go through some of the complications.

A week after my second admission to hospital I completed the walk from my home to the ASDA store over a mile away. This walk is significant it is my test walk, and I completed it in under 30 minutes and I got through the incline without problems. I felt that this was going really well, my HEART was well. Before my operation I had reached the stage that I had to stop about five times up the final incline and I was totally exhausted.

A Test Walk – this is a walk that tests your heart and you do regularly, it needs to include an incline or inclines, my route has a couple of gentle inclines and one though it is not very high it goes on for more than 200 metres. The target pace is one that gets me there in about 20 minutes, and I know that I can complete the inclines without resting or loss of breath if all is well with my heart and lungs. I always kept a record of the time and performance on the test walk.

Obviously a two mile walk may be too easy for some and too hard for others, choose something you will do regularly all year round.

A week later I was having problems walking at all and I was in an agony of pain, again! Complication 1 – allergies or side effects to medication
Complication 2 – pleural effusion, fluid build up in the lungs,

Symptoms of Pleurisy

Pain in the chest
Pain in the muscles of the chest
Persistent cough
Fever & General malaise
Pain is worse on inhaling and exhaling deeply or coughing

I always thought pleurisy was a complication of tuberculosis and kills poets, novelists Catherine Medici, Benjamin Franklin in history, what was I doing with it in this present time? So I cannot breathe, cannot walk and I am doubled over in pain, hand me that paracetamol and tromadol NOW!

The Cure – if pleurisy is not severe just painful take diuretic tablets and painkillers. You cure it by deep breathing and coughing. So to cure yourself you have to cause yourself lots of pain every hour by taking six deep breaths and coughing up anything that will move out. Masochism, I went to see a physiotherapist who used to torture me, she made me breath properly! Stand straight! Walk fierce! She also said I did not breath correctly, it’s true. I also had massages sitting up, and used steam with olbas oil. I chose not to use diuretics, probably a mistake, but I was wary of medicines after my latest experience.

There are different types of breathing- to learn more read yoga books, watch videos, read self help improvement volumes and writings to get the technical words, this is my experience. Breathing correctly is an important skill that I had to learn and practice.

Breathing 1

To breath without pain, breath in the stomach.
The stomach goes out as you breath in and goes in as you breath out. How did I do it so wrong and not notice? This type of breathing was the only way to reduce the pain of pleura friction. I used to put hands on my stomach and watch them go up and down.

Breathing 2

To clear the lungs of the fluid and push it upwards, breath deeply fill every bit. First empty the lungs breath out, do the last hoo to,get the last bits. Now breath through the nose fill the stomach, get the lungs full,the rib cage should come out. Now the sternum ( The scar area) your breasts should be pointed, juste when you think no more. Do a last couple of sniffs to get more in. Now breath out through the mouth, regulate the flow let the air come out, keep going pull in the stomach as if you are going to get in to a pair of jeans that are too small. Empty the lungs pull in that rib cage, now just as it feels like it’s done do a couple more hoo, hoo, out for those last bits of air. Do not let the shoulders rise, they actually increase lung capacity, but it feels like it. Breathing in front of a mirror helps.

If you feel phlegm cough to get it out, look up, controlled coughing. Or take a deep breath and let out in a controlled huff sigh

Breathing 3
Inflate the lungs. For this exercise I am trying to open the lungs only. So I put my hand on each lung rib cage so I can feel it move. Breath out, pull the stomach in, now breath in through the nose, do not inflate the stomach just feel the burn as you open up the lungs, start at the bottom and then fill to the top. Sounds simple but when it hurts where the pleura ( lung lining) rubs and causes pain you only breath in The top of the lung.

I also walked regularly through the day, sometimes for only 5 minutes, other times much longer. Walking was the only way I could last waiting for the next dose of painkiller. Things seemed to be improving, the length and distance of walking was improving slowly. After a time it seemed like I would get periods without pain. Surely I was getting better now?

My appetite was severely reduced I wanted highly flavoured food, sweet, spicy or sour. So the recipe I liked was Tom Yum Soup – vegetarian or chicken not prawns.

Quick Tom Yum Soup

Bouillion soup powder or stock cube, litre of water
Add finely chopped:
ginger or galangal 1 inch
3-4 garlic cloves
1-2 stalks of lemongrass
2 chillies
4 kafir lime leaves
Many times I added frozen garlic and ginger and bottled lemongrass to make it quicker and as it was painful chopping.

Add to the liquid and set to boil for at least ten minutes.
Now add vegetables of your choice or what you have finely chopped: carrots, broccoli, pak choi, mushrooms, baby sweetcorn, mangetout, capsicum. Again I added chopped stir fry packs to spees things and I did not have energy

Let them cook for a couple of minutes.

Now add tofu or cooked chicken.
Now add flavours : juice of 2 limes, 1 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp soya sauce, 2 tbsp fish sauce
Taste and adjust to your personal taste.

Chopped: bunch of Basil leaves, coriander. Keep some for decoration.
Put in a bowl and enjoy.

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I chose this Picasso painting to show you how the first week feels. You know that you are there, but you are surrounded and overwhelmed by so many things.

The colour is the uniform of the staff who surround you and tend to you constantly and it is also the pain which you associate with them. The construct is the confusion, unreality of the situation and fear. There are nights when I hear this man shouting for help, darkness and his family leaving him brings about insecurities that in any normal circumstance he would never allow to come to the fore. Another wants to go and feed her cat, then we have a lucid conversation about her grandchildren. So the I is hidden, lost changed but can be seen in the shapes and flashes of non-blues across the painting.

I found this painting as the closest image of how I feel, and the importance of holding on to the non- conformity that is me, at the heart of this process.

One week after my operation I wrote a post to family and friends which basically said that I had completed the first stage of the challenge and would be going home to the next 12 weeks to recovery. I had already understood that this would not be a linear journey and there were going to be bumps and reverses, I was not to know exactly how many. There is a song I have always found evokes the fragility of life and the instance it can change from sorrow to joy.
Transmutation and evolution, slow change and cataclysm .

The film is Kal Ho Na Ho
Kal Ho Naa Ho (Eng Sub) [Full Song] (HQ) With Lyrics … – YouTube
► 5:23► 5:23
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOOe2_2UMEQ
15 Jul 2011 – Uploaded by thebollysongs3

In these weeks I was brought face to face with the consequences of heart disease, I lost a beloved aunt to a heart attack and a special friend to complications after heart valve surgery.

My surgeon also told me that the operation had gone well, but there had been complications, as I had vasculitis, which is an inflammation of the blood vessels and that as a result he could not guarantee how long this would add to my life. What! Excuse me! F***! Disbelief I am going through all this for what?

Here is a hard truth, knowledge no matter how bad is just that knowledge! It can save you, destroy you or transform you or you can just store it. It is only through application does knowledge become more than trivia! The fact that King George III died on the toilet is trivia, it was useful in a pub quiz!The fact that I had another illness was not going to change my life and goals, but it helped me to understand my allergies, symptoms and reactions.

I go home, have a great meal and a hot cup of tea, I walked around the supermarket and scared people with my scar. The sun is shining, I am alive. Normality here I come! The hospital had given me a bag full of medicine including candesartan, frusemide and bisoprolol – an ACE inhibitor, diuretic and beta blocker. Knowledge, remember it’s your body, know what you are getting and taking, it was so hot and I had no swelling so I did not take the frusemide and unusually I take the bisoprolol at night, it suits me better that way. Within a day I went from being wellish to exhausted, new pains and the symptoms of severe angina on day two I called the ward and went back, my blood pressure was very low.

I was back in a safe place and my brain could now function, Sherlock Anita stepped up, what had happened, what were the variables? The ONLY significant change was the candesartan and vasculitis – I react strongly to things, well my vessels do. I am a mathematician by training, So I created a table and recorded the time, reactions, sensations when I did the door to door walk in the ward. In the morning after the drug I was, breathless, dizzy and had chest pain, it took me nearly ten minutes to complete the walk and thirty minutes to recover. By night time it was much easier and I was down to four minutes, first thing next morning before taking the drug I had background symptoms only and I was down to three minutes. I was able to use the data table to convince the doctors and stop taking the drugs. I probably threw the baby out with the bath water, but I always accept the consequences of my decisions, so two days later I went home.

Back on the road again!

This is one of my favourite quick meals:
Spicy egg white Omlette

Chop a spring onion, half a chilli, half a tomato or what ever you have I have used capsicums, onions (red or white), mushrooms, spinach,

Separate two eggs, ( keep yolks put in fridge) whip up the egg whites, some people like a soufflé Omlette, I just whip gently, add small amount of salt, pepper and coriander. Use a nonstick heavy frying pan, add a very small amount of oil sauté vegetables for a minute, now add egg whites and stir until egg is setting. Now turn out carefully onto plate, either traditional or frittata.
I eat with salad (avocado, spinach tomato), granary toast or beans.

After an operation we are momentarily disorientated uncomfortable and yet happy, euphoric – relief at waking up. But more importantly to note we are full of anaesthesia such as morphine, all very happy drugs. As they leave our system they cause withdrawal and bring us low and may make us tired, negative and even depressed.

I was connected to tubes, ports, machines, catheters and looked like a good candidate for Victor Frankenstein experiments. Most patients have both legs covered in bandages and another covering the whole of the sternum join about 8 – 12 inches. Time is a myth, you sleep you throw up, you throw up and slowly you come out of the stupor to true wakefulness. That is when the pain kicks in –

do not be a hero, take the pain killers!!

When it’s safe you will come out Intensive care unit into a surgical ward, where they look after you, remove the appendages over time and then get you performing routine bodily functions. Tick them off : drinking, breathing without oxygen, urinating, emptying your bowels, eating, coughing, burping, sneezing, laughing and last but not least walking. I tell you the last five hurt. They will give you a rolled up towel to press to your chest, some of us hold onto it like a babies blanky, but it is an amazing low tech device to stop you from breaking your sternum again. Do not open doors, hold your towel, when you want to cough or sneeze press towel to sternum your ribs need to rejoin, do not pull them apart, use the TOWEL.

The rule: drugs are not offered unless someone with knowledge and experience feels you need them. So if they say would you like a laxative say YES please fast! Being constipated after and before an operation can be excruciatingly painful and dangerous. Do not think “I do not suffer from constipation I do not need this”, just do it!

Eat bananas, your potassium level is very low. Take deep breaths and as soon as they allow walk. Have healthy snacks brought in or stored at home, you need to be eating well to recover, nutritionally rich foods. Nuts, seeds, oat biscuits, fruit are good. If you are diabetic or on warfarin check with the nurses.

You are in recovery and will be in grief this is normal, you have lost something important – the YOU, that lived that manic life, the healthy you, optimistic you and some of us find ourselves afraid. It is normal paranoia, it will go quickly, if you work with your body.

Recuperation (recovery), a period of physical and/ or mental recovery and can be as short as 8 weeks and as long as a year. I thought it would be the former not the latter.

I was walking well by day three and had conquered the stairs by day five, then before day seven I was on my way home. I am safe, home, it is just a walk in the park now, you have done it so many times before. Get well and live. Little did I know.

A Recipe? Really folks, I have just come out of major surgery! oh ok! What do I miss in hospital?

Tea, I hate the tea in hospital with a vengeance and when I am not well I like ginger tea without milk or sugar, sometimes a bit of honey! And always lemon.

Traditional Indian Ginger Chai for Two

In a small pan add two mugs of cold water
Bash one green cardamom, half a teaspoon fennel seeds, a clove and add to water. Some people like a couple black pepper seeds too. Wash ginger Then I peel and slice an inch of ginger add everything to the water, turn on the heat.

If you are not going to add milk add a slice of lemon peel. I bring to the boil and leave to simmer at least 5 minutes, look at the colour and smell. For me it’s ready I strain add honey and lemon juice.

BUT this is the traditional recipe:
So add tea of your choice a heaped tablespoon, let it come to the boil and give a strong colour at least 2 minutes now add a cup of milk and let it come back to the boil, now you want a rolling boil for at least two minutes for that authentic taste, the longer the boil the better the flavour. Strain and drink. It is hot take care!
Add sugar to taste

On July 8th 2013 I had my bypass, they call it an elective, but it’s like having a shot gun to your heart playing Russian roulette when you elect to sign. This is the story of that event:

Natasha will tell me that I should not capitalise this or that but really it does not matter as this is my account of this latest period in my life! I am not spiritual or alternative, maybe if I had been, I would be in a different place. There are those that BELIEVE! I would quite like a massage but really Reiki, power healing, crystals ok a nice chunk of diamond or ruby may make me feel better for a few hours but chanting, bell ringing no no that was a radio programme I was listening to campology, sorry campanology.

I have now accepted this has to happen but my wish now is to get there without another mishap or mis sharpen heart attack! My life will then be in the hands of Leonadis Hadjinikolaou, you have to be able to say the name of the man who will do something that you hope you will never do – hold my heart in his hands.

I will now collect another set of scars to go with the others including the one on my neck! I feel and look OLD, but I know it will be better after this. On Thursday I am getting my hair dyed, and threading done, after talking to Ritu I my also get a full body wax! Doctors / nurses do not stitch and staple across hairy parts, please! It hurts a lot!

Today, I got approved for one of those never never credit cards, except this is 15 months, I have put the kitchen on that. This is a new experience and better than the deal offered by many, it’s sensible and strange option for someone who generally pays of her cards at the end of each month and saves before she buys, except property! Have to wait for the card to come to order tiles, hob and hood, the last of the big things.

11 days to go woke up early as I forgot to switch off the alarm. Heard Nishant coughing must give him fruit today and blackmail him to stop smoking for the final time! So many jobs to do today and an afternoon at the university looking at learning materials.

I am trying to pretend it is not happening, but it will, and if I can keep busy it may pass me by. Someone said you will be alright it’s a routine operation. A routine is the way I Mark papers, bake brownies, clean, get ready. It is not having your ribs opened by saws being used to make kitchen. It is not routine to stop your heart and lungs, while you are alive! I could rant but I won’t .

The definition of routine is – A sequence of actions regularly followed.
Regularly meet people who wear glasses, have diabetes, had Lasix surgery, failed Maths, up to now I only knew five people who had had open heart surgery, but apart from one they were OLDER, in fact during my time in hospital most people were in their seventies and eighties. Only two people were younger and both had childhood cardiac disease. This is not routine.

I decided to cook and put food in the freezer an idea doomed to failure when your kitchen is being destroyed and rebuilt. However I did make my no added sugar and very very low fat fruit cake.

Vin’s Fruit cake

600 ml hot strong brewed tea ( I prefer black tea, but you can use tea of your choice)
500g mixed fruit ( I buy the cheapest)
200g dates, figs, apricots, cranberries ( luxury fruits – your choice) chopped finely
2 heaped teaspoon Mixed spice / cinnamon
Rind of lemon or orange or both (your choice)

In a large bowl mix all ingredients and leave to marinate / soak. I have been known to leave for a couple of days.

2 cups whole meal flour ( or half & half)
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup seed mix flax, sesame, sunflower, walnuts (optional)
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs ( I have used just egg whites – 3)

Sift and add all ingredients to the fruit. Mix so you cannot see dry ingredients, it should be soft and floppy of spoon, but not a runny batter. If it’s too dry and stiff add fruit juice or smoothie mix. I put it into two lined and greased loaf tins, bake at 160C for about a hour. Test using a skewer, but as iced fruit cake should give of that wonderful smell of spiced cake when ready. I like mine moist but you may prefer it as crumblier cake.

Healthy, fabulous, sin free treat

Healthy, fabulous, sin free treat

Options:
I add booze for Xmas cake version and use more luxury fruits.
I add in a grated apple, soFt pear sometimes.

It is your cake make it your way.

Women Heart Disease & Food conversation.