Category Archives: Health

We Are Never Having Any More

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The words, they hit my heart like a freight truck and they rip it wide open each and every time.  I’ve heard it said to others in front of me as well as directly to me.  In front of others, I smile and laugh, because really the world would very much agree with those words, even if they didn’t have the struggles I have had and am having to bring life into this world.  Children are perceived as a burden to be limited to one, two at the most.  Alone, however, they are a wound too deep, too raw to ignore and laugh at.  It is no laughing matter.

As a teenage girl, my only dream was to bring forth life into this world and my heart saw many beautiful little souls calling me, ‘Mama’.  Nothing else mattered to me, not fame, not success, not a career, not money, for, when I am at the end of my days those things aren’t going to keep me company, nor are those things going to make this world a brighter, more beautiful place.  I have battled fertility issues to get to where I am today, fighting every day to bring another child into this world.

Fertility issues and hyperemesis already eat away at my confidence as a woman.  Pregnancy and bringing forth life into this world are two of the most natural parts of womanhood, or so we assume, and yet so many of us suffer from the feeling that our bodies are somehow inadequate, a failure in many ways.  We cannot get pregnant, or, if we do, we are literally fighting daily for our life and that of our unborn child as we hit complication after complication.  It isn’t helped by those around us falling pregnant seemingly easily, or breezing through text book pregnancies with multiple children.  There must be something wrong with me, we think.  Why is my body no good at nurturing life?

“We are never having any more.”  The words they sting.  They rub tons of salt onto that gaping hole of inadequacy and confirm all my fears and beliefs that I am no good.  I am no good at this thing called motherhood.  I am no good at the very thing that sets me apart from a man; my ability to grow and nurture another life.  If even my husband has no confidence in me to go through this again, then I am clearly no good.

I can fully understand why he feels that having more is not a good idea.  I battle daily to care for my daughter, to care for myself and give the best to my unborn child.  I fight sickness and SVT and SPD.  I have legs that are on fire caused by some unknown burning, itching rash.  He had to witness me haemorrhaging after the birth of our first child, and see me collapse twice and have swarms of medical professionals rush into the room, and be ill and bedridden for most of her first six months.   No, it isn’t easy for me to bear children, and I am very blessed to have carried three, and hopefully soon to deliver a second into this world.  Maybe we won’t be blessed with another, and that is fine, I am truly beyond happy with two.  But to have someone take away my choice, without giving a second thought to how I feel, as they can’t cope with me being so ill is such a blow to who I am as a woman; to my confidence; to my dreams.  I have already sacrificed so much to get to where I am; please don’t take my dreams as well.

I cannot change my husband’s mind.  I cannot make him understand how it feels to be me and why it is so important to me.  I cannot guarantee him that I will be any different or any more capable of carrying another child problem free even if he were to consider it.  All I can do is pray.  Pray for healing, not just physically, but emotionally.  Pray for affirmation of who I am.  Pray for understanding.  Pray for grace to get through each and every day I have left of this pregnancy.  Pray for a miracle.

A Few Germs Can Be Good For you

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Last Sunday, we attended a birthday bring and share celebration.  Miss E had lots of fun eating, dropping food on the ground(by accident) and then refinding it and eating it.  After she had finished eating she pottered around in the garden, picking at the grass, digging in a bunch of stones and just being generally curious.  later in the afternoon someone we didn’t know came and introduced himself to us.  Mr P and I got talking to him and Miss E continued to potter about stepping on and off the decking where she had earlier been eating.  It transpired this guy was a Dr in a hospital.  We chatted some more and all of a sudden out of no where he yells, “NO!!”  At the top of his voice.  It terrified me, and I started looking round in a panic wondering what sort of emergency was taking place.  “No!!  We don’t eat that, it’s been on the ground, yuck yuck!!”  I look down to find Miss E stood with a piece of her own tortilla chip that she had obviously dropped earlier on while eating.  She was looking at this man like he had completely lost his mind, which, quite frankly, I do believe for a moment he had!  From his reaction you would’ve thought she was about to chomp down on some cat poo or something else equally as horrid and hazardous to her health.

It totally bemused me.  Here’s a newflash folks, getting dirty isn’t dangerous!  Eating a tortilla chip that’s fallen on the ground not so long since isn’t going to kill you either!  Everywhere we go these days there are dispensers for hand sanitiser, you can even buy bottles of the stuff to carry round with you in your bag just in case you need to fend off any terrifying germs.  Cleaning product companies are always coming out with an even better formula to fight those germs that creep into our houses under the cover of darkness.  I mean, just how on earth did our grandparents manage to survive as long as they did without all of these ways of fighting the germs?!

Folks, we need more dirt; we need more kids to pick things up off the floor and have a nibble, why?!  Because their health depends on it.   A child’s immune system needs to be kept active and well honed in order to be able to protect him/her from the real threats out there.  When a child grows up in a super sanitised environment, their immune system becomes bored.  There is nothing for it to process, and, a bit like an under stimulated child, it’s going to make its own fun.  It picks on innate things and the body then becomes allergic to these things just because the immune system needs to have something to exercise with and keep active with.  This may lead to asthma, pet allergies, food allergies etc.

Our homes and lives are too clean and this has an effect on our children.  We have two dogs, two gerbils and now two fish, so Miss E spends her days petting these animals, lying on them(the dogs that is…don’t think the gerbils would appreciate it much), crawling in and out of the dog bed.  When she’s outside, she’s free to pick up dirt and let it sift through her hands.  She often needs a clean set of clothes after playing outside.  And she is forever finding some bit of dropped food on the floor.   And we don’t use any chemical based cleaning products.  However, out of all her friends, she has to be the healthiest.  Her friends suffer from various food allergies and eczema.

So just remember we need a little more dirt in our lives and can be a huge boost to our immune system 🙂

How Much Dairy Do We Need To Consume?

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A friend of mine, who decided that as soon as her son turned one she would no longer be breastfeeding him as he could then drink cow’s milk, posed a question recently on Facebook asking other mums who have been in this business longer than she and clearly would know more.  “How much cow’s milk should a one year old be getting in a day?”  The answer, which totally horrified me, came back that the government recommends (ah, those lovely “experts” again) 12 fluid ounces a day.  That’s 340ml.  That’s besides any yoghurts, cheese etc the child may eat in a day.  WOW!!  It really is no wonder that so many children and now grown adults are allergic or severely intolerant to dairy.  That is a LOT of dairy and unnecessarily so.  People eat dairy for two reasons: protein and calcium.  But is it the best source of both and do we actually need it?  My answer is no and no.

Our food needs to be made up of 80% alkaline-forming foods and 20% acid forming.  Our bodies love and crave alkaline conditions.  We all know our bodies need some protein in our daily diet for growth and repair and the maintenance of body tissues.  A lot of people seem to think the only places this can be found are in meat and dairy.  Animal proteins contain unhealthy saturated fats and actually create acidic conditions within the body.  And if our bodies become too acidic it leads to a loss in minerals, including calcium.  It is also a fact that people who eat meat especially red meat more than 3 times a week are more prone to osteoporosis and arthritis than those who eat fish and a more vegetarian based diet.

Taking in a lot of dairy also messes with the stomach and upsets its balance so that it cannot effectively absorb calcium(one of the reasons you’re ingesting it to begin with).  And, as has already been mentioned, so many people cannot digest dairy proteins which leads to various problems including sinusisitis issues,runny bowel movements and other allergic reactions.  Also, because protein cannot be stored in the body, too much protein becomes toxic to the system which puts strain on the liver and kidneys.  This excess protein also makes the body even more acidic which causes the body to release more calcium and other minerals from the bones to counteract the acidid conditions it so hates.

Can you see the vicious cycle the body’s under?!  So, how then, do we ensure we get the right amount of protein and calcium in our diets if we are cutting out/reducing the intake of dairy and meat?

Good sources of protein include: eggs, quinoa, tofu, meat(in SMALL quantities), fish, beans and lentils.  Fresh vegetables such as broccoli, peas, corn and runner beans are also good sources of protein.  Eating these will help reduce the acidic environment in the body as well.

What about calcium?  All calcium needs of the body can be supplied by eating a diet rich in seeds(especially sesame seeds), tofu and dark green leafy vegetables.

So, how much dairy does a child or adult need to consume in a day?  My answer to my friend was, simply put, very little to none at all!

Some Days Are Just Like That

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Some days are meant to be days of rest.  Some days are destined to be snuggling under the duvet days.  Yesterday was one such day.  We missed our Thoughtful Thursdays due to me being so ill. I decided to cut down on drinking so many cups of tea in a day at the end of last week.  I could get through about 8 cups in a day and all that tea and milk just wasn’t good for me as my sinuses were never clear.  So I cut it out.  I cut down the first few days replacing my tea with hot water and lemon then just stopped drinking tea altogether.  I always knew people could get caffeine withdrawal from stopping coffee, but I didn’t expect the same awful symptoms or at least not to the same degree with tea.  The first few days I was just totally drained and really cranky with really blocked sinuses(I had hoped this would go away with cutting out the milk), then on Wednesday night I only got  hours of sleep due to a teethy baby, so yesterday was awful.  I had the worst migraine, felt sick, if I lay down I was slightly better, but in any sort of upright position it just wasn’t good.  I also developed really bad pain in all my joints.   We spent the day in one room.  Thankfully some new books came(bought with a voucher which we received all for filling in a questionnare on Barefoot Books!  Brilliant!)Today, I am still in a lot of pain from the waist down so walking and bending are a nightmare, but my headache’s gone and so has the sickness.  Now I just need to beat this tiredness and hopefully I’ll feel much better.  I did a search for withdrawal symptoms and here’s what it said on about.com :

 

Symptoms begin around 12-14 hours after cutting out the caffeine and are usually at their worst from 24-48 hours after(no kidding!) and can last up to 9 days(OUCH!).

Symptoms include the following:

-chills/hot spells

-decreased alertness

-difficulty concentrating or thinking

-digestive issues (constipation, nausea/vomiting)

-fatigue, lethargy, sleepiness

-headaches from moderate to severe

-irritability from moderate to severe

-restlessness

-insomnia

-muscle stiffness/pain

-sinus issues

 

So, that’s how my days are.  How are you?!  🙂  Have you ever given up caffeine for any reason?  Did you have any similar reactions when you cut it out?

When All Else Fails, Get Out In The Fresh Air

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We’ve had a difficult weekend here to say the least.  Quite dramatic happenings that have left everyone quite stressed and frazzled especially Miss E.  She is having a hard time unwinding from the events.  Yesterday she was clingy and screechy, and oh so sleepy wanting a nap in the day which doesn’t happen these days.  Again, today, she was very weepy and clingy in the morning and after a few hours up needed a nap.  I am struggling these days with low energy levels still and finding it hard going getting through the days.  As exhausted as I was this morning, I felt that both Miss E and I could do with some time in the fresh air.  The weather hasn’t been great recently, but today was dry and the sun was shining.  We set off to the park up the road.  It was quite chilly, but it was so nice to let the fresh cold air blow the stress and mess away from our minds.  Nothing changed, but we came home more relaxed and a lot happier than we had been before we left.  It’s amazing what even 30 minutes of fresh air can do for your overall wellbeing.

 

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If things are a bit stressful in your life right now, and you’re feeling overwhelmed, try a little walk in the fresh air, or even just going outside and being still.  Inhale and allow the air to cleanse your mind and soul of the frustrations.  Allow the sounds of nature to soak in and soothe you.

The Big Food Switch

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As part of my plan for battling Candida Albecans, I was supposed to only eat organic meat and vegetables.  This is because non-organic meat is full of various antibiotics and other manufactured goods fed to the animals which then get into the body as we eat the meat and these things aggravate my condition.  We have put off this switch due to fear of the price of meat and veg when going organic.  Due to trying to rid ourselves of the millstone of debt around our necks our food and toiletry budget for the month is pretty tight.  So we have avoided this subject, wishing for the day when we could do this.  My dearest friend and her family have always eaten organic since she and her husband got married.  They get weekly veg and fruit box deliveries etc.  This is a fact that I have always known, and always wished we could do.  My sweet friend has had so much influence in my life for good far beyond what she could ever think or imagine.  Because of her, when we discovered we were to become parents we knew we would cloth diaper and that breast feeding was a definite.  My friend and her family recently moved to England.  It is wonderful to have them nearer by, and be able to keep in touch better.  So, during a recent phone chat the topic of organic food came up, and after great discussion my husband decided it was worth a try at least for one week to see if we could cope and what difference it would make.  So, on  Thursday, our first delivery from Abel and Cole arrived.  My friend uses this for meat and a more local scheme for fruit and veg which we will probably do as well, but for the first time we got everything in one place.

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The thing that put me off doing these veg boxes before was the fact that I had no control over what came in the box.  I mean what would I do with half the stuff?  What if I didn’t get enough of things I DID want?  On my friend’s advice we gave this a go, and sure enough, a box of veg arrived with a celeriac and the salad box contained a kohlrabi.  There were also not enough, in my mind at least, potatoes.  Our meal planner for the month contained a meat and potatoe pie(on Thursday) and then a roast dinner later in the week.  What to do?  Well, after a bit of googling(wherever would we be without it?)we discovered that celeriac can be used like a potato.  You can boil it, mash it, roast it etc.  So, I figured there was nothing to lose in trying it this once.  And do you know what?  We loved our meat pie with celeriac in place of potato!  Today we tried the kohlrabi which we liked raw while chopping it up and also steamed with our roast dinner.  And after all that, we still have 4 potatoes left over!  We have also discovered that with the meat we are fuller quicker and for longer than with non-organic supermarket meat, and because it doesn’t shrivel away to nothing, the same weight does twice and in some case 3 times as much as the same weight from the supermarket.  I was expecting to have to buy certain things again this week, but due to the fact the meat is so good and hasn’t disappeared into thin air, I won’t need to buy so much this week.  Our portion sizes have reduced which can only be a good thing as we ate a LOT, and Miss E who was giving every impression of being a vegetarian as she refused all meat since the first month or so of her self weaning, has decided that organic meat is worth eating!

So, to sum up, we are pleased we made the switch to organic and to veg boxes because:

-it’s nutrionally better for us

-it widens our horizons

-it forces us to get creative with what’s in the box

-our tastebuds get a work out and a livening up

-it’s good for Miss E to try out vegetables we wouldn’t normally buy just picking from the supermarket

-the meat isn’t pumped full of water to make up the weight content

-the meat is free of all antibiotics and additives which are so bad for us

-the meat doesn’t shrivel away into nothingness therefore a smaller portion of everything keeps us fuller for longer and also means we can make more meals with less!

-it is only marginally more expensive and the benefits far outweigh the very small price rise for a weekly shop

 

If you would like to give organic a try, live in the UK, and would like to use Abel and Cole for anything(they are a really lovely bunch by the way even the delivery man stops for a chat!) please tell them that account number 565098 recommended you when you sign up.

War On Germs

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Seeing as we all fell victim of the norovirus and flu, I vowed while I was very sick that I would being disinfecting pretty much everything that our hands touched or Miss E snotted over.  Today, I finally felt up to it.  As we are trying to eliminate nasties from our house as much as possible, a bleach solution was not an option.  I got out my trusty friend, tea tree oil.  I put a good few drops into my basin and filled with warm water (probably too much as my eyes stang a little from the vapour!).  And then I got to work……all door handles, light switches, tables got a wipe down and all Miss E’s toys including all her ball pit balls got washed.  Some may say I went slightly overboard, and when my husbands arrives home very shortly, and the smell of tea tree oil assaults his nostrils he will probably say the same, but why take the risk of those germs infecting us again? 🙂  Do you have any natural products you use to disinfect your house after a bout of sickness?