Relief, Belief and Understanding

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Three and a half months may have gone speedily for some but dragged out for others. For us here at Families in Trauma, it has gone very fast due to the upsurge of interest in our work – which I am glad from that point of view. However, sad also for those who have suffered and families who are mourning.

Our eLearning course is to be launched next week – which seems like it couldn’t be more needed – a leaning post – to get us through these really tough times. We have been getting feedback from a few who have trialed the course. Our first podcast, was released through our social media pages – a discussion around the very supportive method of eCPR – emotional CPR – so so sorely needed just now especially.

We have also been busy developing workshops online (yes we do have a bit of Zoom fatigue too ūüôā ) but it seems to be an ideal way to interact with people at this time. We have a number of podcast discussions arranged to discuss what the different services in Fife are offering during this extremely pressured time period for families on the ground.

And finally, please remember that as well as creating our own resources, we can also help signpost to other organisations who we have worked along with. This often is an unsung service, and yet we have personally spoken with a number of individuals from various services in Fife and Scotland – who just weren’t aware of the vital services in their midst. So please, contact us if you need to – and we can often do the legwork for you – or we may already know exactly who you need to speak to.

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To Kale or not to Kale??

Gluten-Free Sweet Kale Chips with Honey Recipe - BettyCrocker.com
Kale crisps anyone?

All about kale ūüėä

So I’ve decided to share a few little recipes I’ve tried out, just to break up your day a little. While focusing on recovering from trauma, while emotional and mental healing is essential, we often dismiss physical needs. Healing needs a holistic approach but I’ve decided just to focus on one vegetable or fruit at a time so that maybe if you fancy trying a recipe you don’t need a whole shopping list to try it, you only need to remember one item because being honest with you, I love cooking but if someone gave me a recipe that needed loads of ingredients right now, I’d probably ignore it. So this first one is going to be all about kale. 

So first a little (very little) bit of history. Did you know that kale is thought to be one of the first brassica to be cultivated? I didn’t. And the large and course leafed kales are grown to feed cattle and sheep. There, told u it was only a little bit.

There are some health benefits I’d like to share with you now and I take no. 10 with a pinch of salt and I’ll explain when I get there. 

  1. Kale is among the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. 
The Life Impact of Kale [Ingredient Guide for Health, Animals ...

2. It is loaded with powerful antioxidants. 

3. It is an excellent source of vitamin c. 

4. Kale can help lower cholesterol. 

5. Its one of the world’s best sources of vitamin k. 

6. There are numerous cancer fighting substances in kale. 

7. Kale is very high in beta-carotene. 

8. Kale is a good source of minerals that most people don’t get enough of. 

Gluten-Free Pesto Kale Seed Crackers (Paleo, Vegan)

9. Kale is high in nutrients that protect the eyes. 

And finally the one I say take with a pinch of salt and I say this because it has to be part of a healthy diet.. 

10. Kale should be able to help you lose weight. 

So I won’t bore you with more information since we are probably all having a little information overload just now, or I have a seriously small brain…. What can we do with this wonderful food? Any recipes I write I have tried for my own health as I was diagnosed with chronic ibs 9 years ago, so my recipes usually have to be very low fat and dairy free. 

The prep is the same whatever way you want to cook kale, remove the stalk as it is very tough to eat. 

1. Very quick this one, remove stalk, slice thinly and steam until tender. If you don’t have a steamer, I don’t, just boil it but for a little less time than you would steam. 

View Kale.jpg Clipart - Free Nutrition and Healthy Food Clipart

2. Same prep but pan fry gently in some butter (I use dairy free spread, works the same) season with salt and pepper. 

3. I like this one for comfort food personally. Prep and cook the kale like either no. 1 or no. 2, whatever u prefer, then mix through some mashed potatoes. If you wanted it to all be done in one pan just throw the kale in with the potatoes for a few minutes then mash it all together. Saves washing up doesn’t it. 

The Best Recipe for Kale Mashed Potatoes | Foodal

4. This is a guilty pleasure one for me and my family. Great snack and still really good for you. Remove stalk, rip the leaves into bits around the shape of a crisp. I personally use low fat cooking spray and season before I place in the oven, but if you want to deep fry them it takes about a minute and you season them after. So with the oven method I lay them on a tray evenly and put them in a low heated oven for about 10-15 minutes until the edges start to go slightly brown but not burnt. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. I like salt and pepper on mine but you can try any seasoning you fancy. Try different spices out, nice bit of chilli for a change. Great to experiment with flavours with the kids as well. If you don’t eat them all at once (they are addictive) they store perfectly fine in an airtight container. Good luck finding self control with this one. 

Crispy Air Fryer Kale Chips - Vegan and Gluten-Free - Simple And ...

So, I hope you find these ideas useful guys, the little kale snacks are a great way to get more veg into kids, even hiding it in the mash. You have to be cunning sometimes, I know this all too well. I hope you enjoy them, and stay safe. M

“Still I rise” Maya Angelou

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How could I possibly add anything or take anything away from this wonderful piece shared time and again, and which resonates even more strongly during this most difficult time the human race is facing. Needs no explanation.

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“Still, I rise” Maya Angelou

How could I possibly add anything or take anything away from this wonderful piece, shared time and again – as it resonates so deeply within the human heart – and even more during such a time as this. Needs no explanation

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#Mentalhealthawareness Day 3 – Raw, handwritten and powerful!!

Written 2 months into lockdown, basically in isolation with my sick cat for company………………

So goes our contribution from one of our members who kindly wrote this piece for sharing during this #mentalhealthawarenessweek. We had been going to edit it, and pretty it up for publication – but after reading it – seeing the beautiful paper it was written on, feeling the hand writing, knowing the deep emotions that were poured into it – how could I possibly even think of doing that??? This is just one of the many expressions of what people are going through during this very strange era.

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Why are reflections important, especially during this Covid crisis? Do you see things in black and white? Or, do you recognize that its never really that simple – there are many varied shades in between? Well, if we are not careful we can get quite overwhelmed with our thoughts very easily. During this #mentalhealthawarenessweek we are being given time to slow down slightly and think about how we can do to be kind to ourselves, take the time to contemplate on where we are going and reflect on what we are learning. Think of our lives in terms of different shades – never just black and white!

If we can use this time productively, it will likely not feel like such a waste of time. Many of us are realising that we are being given time to reevaluate where we want to be heading in the future and have made some drastic changes. Others have decided they want to make smaller changes – as that is all they can cope with and finally some are just struggling to stay alive day by day. Whatever stage we are at – let’s not judge each other – just remember that we are all struggling in one way or another and we all need some compassion, care and reflection time. Enjoy those starry nights whenever you can.

Take the above images – stunning in their solitary starkness – and yet a reminder too that we are all connected – in one way or another. We all look on that same moon every night and have done so for generation after generation. Even if we would rather not think about being connected to some individuals ūüôā , its that connection that draws us all together. And connection is the thing we are all seeking – whether we admit it or not. It is a basic human need – and sometimes we use our animals to fill that need too. I was reminded of that recently by a friend who put it so eloquently “the world is my home and people are my family”.





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Sparrow First day out 2020 - _354b[32241]


This has to be one of the most beautiful calming sounds for our minds. It reminds us that nature still goes on, seasons come and they go, the world still turns on its axis giving us the ever changing seasons – and despite whatever is going on in the world – some things are eternal – they never change. And for us – that feeling can be so comforting and strengthening in times of trouble.

Click on the link and enjoy 1 minute relaxation.


Death of What??

This blog comes tinged with a bit of sadness today due to having suddenly lost a family member.  It is always a shock to take this in, no matter how long we have been expecting it Рbut for us we only ended up with 3 weeks Рso we are still trying to process this as a family.

Death of a loved one can and does bring very mixed, confusing emotions.  If it is a young person, most people feel that it is unfair and they have been cheated ; if it is death of an older one Рthere always seems to be that feeling that it was still too soon Рno matter what their age.  Yes, death is an age old enemy. For those with faith in something else it can be a sustaining power, but nevertheless the sting of death is powerful for everyone.

However, this recent experience has got me to thinking of individuals I have interviewed who have undergone the cruelest of trauma in their life.  They they often speak of the grief of losing hope,  and, the death of all their hopes and dreams.    This can often be as painful as the sting from losing a loved one in death for example Рand is often much misunderstood.

They are often told that they ¬†shouldn’t feel like that ¬†– after all…… we still have life! ¬†But, it really depends on what kind of life we are living and what we have been robbed of. ¬†This could be hopes of a future with another person, ¬†seeing our children grow up strong, healthy and happy, having good health, ¬†strong physical and mental health, a good job, a decent house and so it goes on …… ¬†All of these things are only natural desires in all of us – and yet some have to deal with situations in life that bring them to their knees and hating life itself. ¬†This can lead to suicidal feelings – so please – never underestimate these feelings. .

If we know of anyone who is feeling like this – its good to remember the old saying “there but for the grace of God, go I”. ¬†We could all be suddenly in a situation we cannot cope with and struggling to find out how we actually got there! ¬†So if we have a friend or family member struggling, don’t just dismiss them and think that “everyone goes through these things – we all just have to man up and get on with life.” ¬† We live in a world that needs more understanding and compassion, not less!! ¬† ¬†Reach out to those suffering and share what we can with them – it makes the world a far better place, not only for others – but for ourselves too!!