The Dread Shed….

Its here….

 

As much as I tried to fight and prevent it, the day came where the “dread shed” phase of post pill recovery decides to kick in in force.

2 words….

Pissed off….

 

ok 3 words…

Devastated….

 

All the articles on diet and nutrition, health, wellbeing, stress and endless green smoothies were not enough to fight this mother of all evils and there is absolutely nothing I can do except wait it out…

 

However…

I have taken a lesson from it and this time round, I understand it…. this time round I am trying to nurture it and allow it to run its course safe in the knowledge that once I get through this, it should recover and bounce back to its previous health.  (I hope!)

 

Without further ado, here is the lesson I have taken from it:

The first time my hair decided it didn’t want to be on my head anymore I freaked out – I put it down to extreme stress (which was prevalent at the time) but I had no idea that it commenced 3 months after a brief break from my pill.  I had no idea that a pill could cause such trauma, I mean I’d been on it for years, it was always the thing that regulated me and kept my skin clear… it was wonderful…

I think this was the first sign that my body gave me to tell me something was wrong and I needed to take better care of myself – I didn’t listen.

This time, 3 months post stopping yasmin, I am seeing the same pattern – At first I had my hair extensions taken out and the amount of hair that came off my was just frightening, I know its expected as it should be what you would normally lose each day that stays in the extensions, but this was on another level…. I think it was the tension that decided to kick-start the shed ten fold…. my hair was a mess!

Proceeding this very quickly, over the past 2 weeks or so, I’ve suddenly started to find hairs on my clothes and quite a large amount of shed in the shower, or when I comb through it during the day – I look like I’m malting in force and I’m desperately trying to cling onto it …. I can’t imagine what it will look like if it thins out further, but this time round, I THINK, it’s not AS bad as the first time….

But….

After checking my blood work with the doctor for EVERYTHING and getting the all clear, I can safely take the lesson that the shed is due to my body simply doing what it needs to do to regulate itself and it’s not a permanent bump in the road.

I have learned that when you are on the pill, your body is flooded with synthetic estrogens, meaning there is no need to produce progesterone, which will in turn keep the balance.

I have also learned that when you stop the pill, your body comes out of “hibernation” and is forced to start producing and regulating hormones – but the endocrine system is foggy because its spent so much time asleep – I suppose it’s a bit like the brain fog experienced when you try to function after a slightly longer than expected nap.  Its crabby with you, its cranky at itself because its being forced to work overdrive to regain that balance….

Not only this but the pill limits your body’s ability to absorb the vital nutrients we need from food, especially the B vitamins and magnesium we need to keep us functioning optimally… the way I interpret this is that our “reserve tank” of nutrients is already depleted, and is desperately trying to replenish that tank so that it can to its work and balance us out, but this is on top of already having to balance out the cranky hormones on an empty tank of reserves – bit of a catch 22.

This can result in :

Acne (CHECK)

Mood swings (CHECK!!!)

Hair loss (CHECK)

I suppose depending on how quickly your body can regulate itself will depend on how quickly these symptoms ease off…  I’m sure there are also many other symptoms associated with this as well, but these have been the main 3 for me.

 

With the above in mind, I think its important for anyone considering coming off the pill, to start to change their diets and look after themselves optimally in advance of their last packet…

My humble advice would be to try to give yourself a foundation for an easier transition out of “hibernation” by massively increasing your good fats, cutting out refined sugars and carbs and eating more veggies than you know what to do with!  I would also recommend you take a good vitamin supplement to replenish your reserve tank and continue to do this for the proceeding months as you transition –  if your hormones are as sensitive as mine seem to be then believe me you will be grateful for it.  You can have a look at my medicine cabinet here:

In addition to this, have a look at replacing all of the chemical laden products that might be lurking in your toiletry bag, with some kinder, less preserved products – this will help keep your endocrine system clear, as nasty things like parabens and SLS are all known disruptors (and you don’t need anymore disruption believe me)

I can’t imagine how much more bi-polar I might have been had I not gone into nutritional overdrive before hand 🙂

Lastly, the best advice I can give is stick with it girls…. it’s hard, and its up and its down, but its worth it in the long run – so I keep reminding myself of this everyday when I see half of my hair in the bath or I feel like I want to commit murder… (I’m not always cranky though I promise 🙂 )

I’d honestly love to hear your stories on this issue as its such an important and overlooked subject – has this happened to you?

 

Love and Light ❤ xx

love and light

 

 

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My “Natural” medicine cabinet

The following is a list that I am currently taking as either a supplement for my overall health, or specifically to help me on my endo healing journey.

Morning:

  • Phil Richards Alkalising salts – 1 scoop in filtered water 30 min before breakfast (fresh lemon and a tsp of bicarbonate of soda will do the same)

With breakfast:

  • Vitamin B complex / Vitamin D3 / Zinc – these 3 in particular are what we are stripped of when taking  synthetic hormones
  • a good fish oil from well sourced, mercury free fish (anti inflammatory and essential for hormone production)
  • Sea Kelp (Iodine and nurtients)
  • Calcium D glucarate (D glucarate is extremely good for the liver)
  • Schizandra berries – (also extremely good for the liver and stress)

Afternoon:

  • Lilly of the Desert Aloe Vera juice 2 tablespoons in filtered water  (great for the gut and inflammation)
  • 1 x Vitex (a.k.a. agnus cactus/chasteberry) (hormone balance)

Evening:

  • Phil Richards Collagen formula – full of CoQ10 and MSM.
  • L Glutamine – 1 scoop of each in a glass of filtered water before bed.  (essential for gut and muscle repair)

Everything else I get from my the foods I eat.

Also lying around in my cabinet are the following:

  • Liquid chlorophyll – full of green goodness – but I dont take this a lot as I get iodine from the sea kelp and my green veggies.
  • milk thistle – I tend to only really take these in the morning after I have had a fair bit of alcohol.  I did take these every day but replaced them with schizandra berries.
  • NAC – I sometimes switch between this and L Glutamine before bed for a mix up (both very good amino acids that help with repair and recovery)

Superfood wise I have a good supply of the following that just usually get thrown into smoothies: (not all at once!) 🙂

  • Maca root powder – (***I have now switched to Vitex for a bit, I have stopped using this for a while as they are both hormone balancing)
  • raw honey
  • turmeric
  • bee pollen
  • raw cacao
  • spirulina powder
  • hemp protein powder
  • virgin coconut oil
  • chia seeds
  • flax seeds

Notes:

The Calcium D Glucarate, schizandra and Aloe vera juice were all recommended to me by Melissa @ http://www.cureendometriosis.com, she is an inspiration to everyone that is suffering from this condition and her site is well worth a look.

The Vitex I intend to only be taking for a month or 2 to help get these pesky neck spots under control whilst my body is going haywire.

To be honest I think this list is still in excess and I even would hazard a guess that if I went to a naturopath they may condense this list a little, however, when I think about the amount of artifiial drugs and potions that the hospital want to give you, its actually quite a good alternative which I feel is working for me…. what I remember, is for many years my body has been depleted of its micronurtients and its not an overnight fix to get it back to full health.

I am sure my supplements will change again as the healing process evolves… watch this space…

 

What do you think, have you had any experiences with the above? I’d love to hear from you!

 

Why I am an advocate of taking “time out” to learn

I appreciate it has been an increasing amount of time since my last post, that being said, all of the time and space spent in between this post and the last has not gone to waste.

I have been opening up and learning a whole new side to life, which is fundamentally essential to well-being. But let me try and explain how I have gotten to this point for you…

I am constantly reading articles online, “7 ways to do this for a healthy life” or “21 uses for that” “101 ways to ate kale” etc… it infiltrates my Facebook newsfeed and whilst 9 times out of 10 its fab advice, sometimes I find it a little overwhelming in the sense that there is just TO MUCH INFO out there to keep track of.

For example, what superfoods to eat everyday, or what supplements to take to help with a certain “ailment” that will cure cancer, or disease without the need for big pharma intervention… but after reading this minefield of information, one could run the risk of buying out the health food shelves and rattling with 50 plus different supplements everyday…. that in itself is by no means “natural” nor is it how the cavemen did it, and that in itself was my epiphany in the sense that I was just like, “stop Rach…just stop a minute”

That being said, I do still take some daily supplements and eat my superfoods (yep including kale!) but I take supplements and a diet relative to what I am trying to overcome – that being endometrosis – lets not lose track of my end goal here after all.  But, even then, I sometimes wonder what my body would do if I went completely “au natural.”  However, I am not quite at that point where I am willing to find out, as my body is still desperately trying to balance itself out and regulate my hormones and my cycle, after the many years of synthetic hibernation and endocrine disruption it was forced to endure by my naive and ignorant ways.

The way I have started to look at this minefield of information is relatively quite simple really – I take just a few key supplements in the morning with breakfast, and a couple before bed that specifially work on healing the gut and the body…. my diet in between does the rest for me. (Full details in my next post for anyone interested in having a look at my natural medicine collection.)   It is worth pointing out in a side note to this, that any that I didnt feel that “connection” with (sort of like that deep down knowing inside that its a bit pointless) I have just stopped or not bought, no matter how “fab” the product is…. and guess what? I’m still here 🙂

I have also come to realise what I can and cant eat over the last few months, since completely over hauling my pantry shelves and my fridge – I have slowly introduced food and even the odd beer (yes beer – wheat and gluten filled beer) and I have learned, and am STILL learning, the intricate ways in which my body reacts to what I eat, and more importantly, how to recognise what it needs…

When I first started out on my journey to heal myself from the chronic pain I was in, I never thought I’d be able to eat meat, have gluten or drink alcohol again, and now I know that that is not 100% the case at all.  For me, I can eat a little of what I like thoughout the month, as long as its on rare occasion. my inflammation levels are now ok and I survive just fine whilst enjoying my life. Meat is still a staple part of my diet despite it being advised against for anyone with endo, but I make sure it is from good sources and I have made friends with my butcher – I just make sure that the majority of my diet isnt all about meat.

I learned not to drink an espresso every day, or eat anything with gluten in from ovulation – mensturation as it affects my skin terribly now – no wonder people want to go back on the pill when the dreaded breakouts happen! But, what I can tell you, is since coming off the pill 3 months ago, despite the spots I have now inherited on my neck (of all places whats that about!?)  my body, in all its bi polar, haywire state at the moment, is now actually very very easy to read…  The moral of this story….

ITS OK TO HAVE A LITTLE OF WHAT YOU LIKE

How to read your body….

When we spend time in the quiet, away from the noise and chatter of life, whether that be through meditation or pure relaxation, we can tune into everything which goes on in our physical body and this is when we can tune in to what its telling us, its the perfect time to listen.

I have been doing lots of mediatation and reiki over the last month or so (more about this in another post) and I can very easily tune into what my hormones are doing, whether I have ant tension, how my gut is feeling, what foods I need to eat / avoid etc…

One I will pick out in particular though, when I am stressed out  and my cortisol is too high I find I suffer more endo pain in my back – like someone has wound me up on a coil to breaking point and my body is screaming at me to “wind down.”  If I don’t take some action and do sometning about it, whether it just be some simple breathing techniques, or an epsom salt bathfull of magnesium to relax me,  or something deeper like a healing meditation or a reiki, the pain continues to chip away at my mental state and strains me further, manifesting further pain… this is the important message.

TAKE THE TIME TO ADDRESS AND ACKNOWLEDGE PAIN

The mind – body connection is real, it is connected on every spiritual, energy, microbiome, cellular, tissue, muscular, skeletal and thought level… if you are experiencing pain, something is wrong. If the first thing you do is reach for a pill or a plaster to cover it up, you’ll never get to the bottom of it – the pill wears off and the pain returns.

Pain is a lesson in life, I am learning it is sent to teach us that we are either not fullfilling something deep inside us, or we are physically doing something to ourselves, unbeknowingly to hurt us – finding this out at the start can be a mine field, but tuning in and taking some REAL time out to relax and connect to our bodies will help narrow this down.

For me, I have learned that I needed to stop the following:

Physical

eating gluten / dairy / factory farmed meat and convenience food – all physical inflammation causers

covering myself with tv advertised beauty products full of chemicals and harsh endocrine disruptors…. because I’m absolutely worth it!

taking the pill

Avoiding intimacy because I was ill

Emotional

beating myself up over things I didnt get done

staying up late to watch TV

feeding myself negative “self loathing” thoughts… “you look like shit today” “this pain is never going to go away”

Metaphysical

closing off to the possibilities outside of the physical

ignoring my reiki principles

letting other people’s energy drain my own

Instead, I started to do the following:

Physical

eating colourful, natural, single ingredient food and pasture raised produce, incorporating lots of good fats  to nourish my body

using kinder, chemical free products on my skin, my hair and around the house – trust me there are some amazing brands out there better than anything in the supermarket.

understanding my cycle, my hormones and what they tell me throughout the month

embracing intimacy, even just something as simple as a cuddle at night

Emotional

feeling achievement for the things I accomplished

watching less TV and trying to sleep or at least go to bed earlier

practicing positive thoughts and praise “I look good today” “I am not in pain and I am healing”

Metaphysical

Opening up to the possibility of beyond the physical body – trying to connect to a higher wisdom through meditation

tuning into my reiki and practicing it more

protecting myself from energy vampires with simple visualisation techniques

By no means have I “mastered” any of the above yet. I am very much aware that I am still human and my ego can get in the way of what I am trying to achieve, I do still have the odd day of pain. BUT…. I am certainly a million miles away from the painful, miserable mess I was 6 months ago and I genuinely believe I am on the road to recovery into bigger, better things… more on that as it transpires.

I urge anyone reading this post that might be stuck in that horrible, depressive rut of pain and trauma, to give some of the above a try… I feel your pain, I’ve been there and let me tell you, you will never fully heal from anything until you treat your body with the respect it deserves, and trust the power of a positive mind and its possibilities – believe in yurself and you will get there, its a long road but worth every step.

Do let me know if any of this works, has worked, or even what works for you! I would love to hear your stories!

The perfect time to reflect….

Today has been a milestone day for me.

Milestone number 1 – Today I went to the hairdressers and had my thin, lifeless, post extension hair chopped off into a sleek and shaped bob….  I figured sod it! Start again with the growth, its easier for it to catch up and believe that the removal of toxic hormones will help it grow back thicker and fab, like it was before I became sick….

Milestone number 2 – This is the biggie…. I nailed my 40kg squat target at the gym.  Whilst this may not sound like much of an achievement, let me contextualise this: I am 5’1 and tiny… I am absolutely over the moon considering after my hernia repair I never thought I’d be able to lift anything of any substantial weight again, and I am also on day 3 of my period where I should be doubled up in pain – not squatting ~80% of my body weight, which might I add, set the foundation for what was a pleasingly strong workout today…..

Thank you to my lovely Iain for capturing this achievement for me – it isn’t a gym “selfie” It’s a reminder for how far I’ve come 🙂

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Next goal – increase by 10kg to achieve a pretty much 100% bodyweight squat – I say  pretty much because I cant remember the last time I weighed myself and its usually somewhere around this ballpark.

Reflection….

At my lowest, most depressed point of not wanting to go to the gym, being frightened of lifting weights, even being frightened of even lifting a bloody shopping bag at one point, to being frightened of being floored by endometriosis every month for the rest of my days and a general psychological feeling of ill health, I never in my wildest dreams thought this would be possible – it was a million miles away.

Today now I sit and think about it properly, I feel a humbling proud-ness in myself, for just how far I have actually come….  I will not give up…

health_is_a_journey

 

its been a while…

So first off, I write this and apologise to myself for the lack of upkeep to this journal of events.  I suppose with every good intent life is always thrown in the way!  Besides, some reflection time and soul searching has been achieved so time has not been left to waste.

Secondly, let me say the last month was a much smoother month in terms of my erratic hormones – they didn’t feel like they had “burst our of hibernation” this time round, they felt much more stable and I had much less cramp / extreme tears and pains etc…. I’m even on a longer cycle which is great! 28 days this time and those extra 4 days, despite the under-mount of apprehension, were a blessing and a joy to have…. my second “pill free / drug free” period and so far so good…. I feel a slight niggle, and a dull ache but…. It is only day one after all, so lets see how I go over the next few days. I sincerely owe this transition to the high fat / high protein diet with my interim supplements to give me that extra support, my body truly does feel much more nourished than ever – might I add, I have gained no weight with this “high fat” diet, because my body uses it to do what it needs to do, I take comfort in that …  Most of all I owe a lot of this to TeamB, they are such an inspiring bunch, if you feel down or defeated, they are there with their pearls of wisdom, and its like a little fitness family I’m grateful for them.

So…. onto my adventures… where to start!!?

I’ve taken a more holistic approach this month, mainly because I have been in a horrendously depressed and withdrawn mood for 2 weeks out of the month, snapping out of it only a few days ago – but not because I was depressed or because my hormones were erratic because I actually felt fine…. I was baffled by this I really was, but anyway, on my search for why, and thinking back to my earlier post  The 4 stresses and the power of thought I decided it was time to pick up my reiki and start again… I firmly believe that we are capable of fixing ourselves with the right thoughts, but I genuinely didnt know how or whether it was all a placebo…  Anyway, I found a reiki share group not far from me and I thought “sod it” I’ll give it a go….  something inside me was telling me to do it and get back in touch with the healing energy of the universe, so I did.

Needless to say I had fun and I love going I am so glad I found it!  It was great to meet so many like minded people, and not only that, there was much more to this group than just a reiki share – it teaches meditation and connection to the higher self.  Pure spiritual guidance from within – not from a bible.  Apologies if I offend any one religious here as I know it is a taboo subject… but I don’t need a religion to tell me the way, when we have all the answers in our own souls with our own connection to everything… everything, is of course one with the universe and all its energies after all.

So I’ve been there each week for the past month and dedicated specific time to the group, no gym, no other plans, just going there to be calm… and more importantly, I took the time for myself, to learn more about who I am, what its all about and why I feel the way I do and its been refreshing to say the least.  In 4 weeks, I feel a transition in myself to a much calmer and connected, centered me… I feel like one of those scenes in the movies where I’m still and everything else is rushing past me…. this is the best example I can find:

walk-at-your-own-pace-101-happy-quotes-and-tips

Alright I’m certainly not meditating in the middle of the street, nor am I meditating during working hours, but you get the feeling for where I’m going with this right? everything is just busy rushing by with the day to day – but in the grand scheme of things, none of it matters… we do what we do to survive, but to get drowned in the noise is to miss out on life.

It dawned on me in the last few weeks just how powerful energies actually are, and how easily we as people can absorb them from other people without realising….. it dawned on me that I was depressed for 2 weeks due the loss of a dear colleague at work and the impending funeral that was looming – I was of course upset in my own way, as Toussaint was a true gentleman and a joy to manage, and I miss his eccentric-ness… but I was picking up the depressed, negative and grieving energies of everyone in that office and it was taking its toll on me 10 fold….

Since learning a few techniques and ways to meditate these past few weeks, I have now started to protect myself and put myself in an imaginary bubble, and say out loud, I will not let any negative energy into it… This may sound strange to some, but to those that understand the fundamental basics of energies and how universal this stuff actually is, you will understand where I am coming from.

Essentially, negative energy can latch onto you, you can pass it to other people – the whole world is negative – just look at the news. Thats why everyone is so chronically sick…. negative thoughts, emotions, fear, hatred, racism etc… everyone has an opinion, everyone watches mindless TV and the most important topic of conversation is the latest celeb diet or what such a body is wearing…. people have lost touch with their true selves….  If everybody meditated for a few minutes a day and became more mindful, the world would be a much calmer, happier place – All you need is love – right? 😉

Maybe there is a little truth in the Matrix after all…

images (1)

I guess the point I am making here, is that holistically, we can make a difference our health and our state of being – I am trusting that the inner core of myself knows how to heal me and knows what it needs to do it, it just needs the outer me to listen and pay attention. I am not there yet, I am still learning…..

Love yourself…..

Nurture yourself….

Push yourself….

Rest….

and more importantly, understand yourself….

I personally think there is a lot to be said for energy healing – according to chakra teaching, endometriosis and and other reproductive issues can form due to a blockage in energy flow through the sacral chakra… if left un-resolved and everything else is neglected (i.e. diet and stress) it can manifest into physical ailments – this is where acupuncture and chi teachings also come into play – about having that balance and free flowing energy for your health.

I am of course only skimming the very tops of the surface of all of this as I really am still learning… but I take comfort in the fact that I almost gave up on the idea of the power of the mind last month then something inside me just made me connect to my reiki again, SOMETHING inside me made me go to this group and SOMETHING has led me to research in this area…. whether you are open to the ideas of energy, or you think life is all there is and nothing more here of after, whether this is just a placebo… if it works and starts to help me heal from within, if it heals anyone from within, then who is anyone to judge this belief….

time will tell…

 HigherSelf

 

The Alkaline Job

alkaline-foods-web  If I were to ask you about your chemistry lessons in school, would you remember the PH scale and those funky little testing strips that changed colour depending where it was in the scale?

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Sound familiar? Good…

The body soley relies on this PH scale for its health… the body, in its optimum state is alkaline… the problem is, our diets, especially the western diet, is mainly acidic…

So?

When the body is in a state of acidity, our cellular levels are not optimum – this means our entire wellbeing is compromised.

How?

Our bodies are made up of billions of cells – these cells need oxygen and alkalinity to thrive, these cells make up our soft tissues and our organs, and every single part of our body – if they are too acidic, they don’t function the way they are supposed to and this is how disease happens…. most disease stems from cellular malfunction.

Now, this information is KEY to optimal health – I’ve stolen some of this from Ben as it is too important not to share…

The mosquito does not seek to make the water stagnant, it seeks out stagnant water

images

This is the same for disease – disease doesn’t happen to people, disease and cancer isn’t part of our DNA at birth, it isnt “caused” by germs. Germs seek refuge in stagnant, acidic bodies – they will not harbour in healthy, alkalined bodies i.e. clear water – the mosquito does not live in clear water

 The Louis Pasteur and Antoine Bechamp argument

This is a very basic overview, but essentially, modern medicine, the treatment that gives a pill or a potion for everything, is attributed to the argument from Louis Pasteur. Louis Pasteur claimed that germs caused disease or resulted from genetic weakness, as such, everything required a treatment and this is mainstream medicine today….

On the other side of the coin, Antoine Bechamp claimed that germs thrive in malfunctioned tissue and that malfunctioned tissue stemmed from an acidic / nutrient deficient diet with a toxic lifesytle… he demonstrated how germs mutated into cancerous cells and how the bodily environment harbours a path for them to do this.  But, sadly, as always, money makes the world go round, and this would have been the end of patented drugs and the pharmacutical industry, so the Pasteur theory was accepted and became what is is today – a chemical concoction to mask one symptom and create 20 more unpleasant side effects… Don’t get me wrong, some modern medicine is absolutely essential and life saving and I am not suggesting otherwise, nor would I refuse it if I needed an operation etc… but for the main part, those sticky plaster pills are not “curing” those malfunctioning cells -drugs aren’t part of your “5 a day” right? Anyway, if you want to read about this in more detail, I have referenced a couple of sites for you below:

http://www.naturalnews.com/030384_Louis_Pasteur_disease.html

http://www.laleva.org/eng/2004/05/louis_pasteur_vs_antoine_bchamp_and_the_germ_theory_of_disease_causation_1.html

Conclusion

so…. now we understand how disease happens, we understand how WE have the power to do something about it, hell we can even reverse it….  Keep your diet “clean” and incorporate lots of alkaline foods into it…. and yes, alcohol is acidic, noone is going to stop you enjoying it now and again, and ok, meat is acidic, but maintain that PH balance and you’ll be fine, too much alkalinity is just as dangerous, everything has a balance – meat and 2 veg for a reason!

meat'n'2veg

Couldnt resist – I have a diseased mind! =)

The most important thing you can do for your health is maintain your alkaline levels How? since signing up with Ben, first thing in the morning every morning about half an hour before my breakfast, I drink a glass of filtered water with a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and the juice of half a lemon… it isn’t like expensive champagne, but it kick starts my alkalinity and liver for the day…. if you don’t like the idea of the bicarb, drink a hot lemon instead – give it chance to get through your system before you eat (then the next step is to eat the right breakfast) – you will see miracles in your energy levels – it even helps a hangover! Yes – that’s right, a hangover – I recently found that it neutralises that acidic left over alcohol feeling and refreshes the body…. much better for you than a pill… Throughout the day, I shove a wedge of lemon in my water – so for anyone who “doesn’t like water” (a concept which I fail to understand on any level) this should help give it some natural, healing flavour… MP_HealthyEating03 alk_chart  Do let me know what else you would like to see on this subject and I will post x

One step forward 2 steps back

Positive-Thinking-1

I’m feeling dreadful today, the pain has come back and for the first time in months I feel like I’ve been kicked in the groin again and I’m emotional, I want to cry.

I’m trying to see the funny side of my hot watery eyes and the unusually rare lump in my throat that I have now as I write this – bloody hormones! Making me feel like such a big girl.. But although knowing its my hormones in overdrive at the moment makes my mood more understandable and less “mard,” I still cant help but feel like if I do cry, I’m letting it win.

I’m picking out the good points in all of this though, I have to stay strong, I have to focus on the fact that yes, it hurts, it hurts just like the day it did when I went to hospital that first time when they said “it’s a hernia it can’t be endometriosis because you’re on the pill and the pain is in the wrong place”… yet here I am again, 7 months later, right on schedule with that consistent pain timed like clockwork to my periods and a follow up appointment at Gynecology looming over me tomorrow.. But yes, it might hurt like crap again, but at least this time round its REAL, its not synthetically brought on by finishing a packet of pills and yet it’s not floored me to the point of tears… (oh, wait….) and not being able to function.  It’s not radiating senseless pain through my back and down my leg like it was after my op at its worst, because my immune system was shot to bits and my body was a toxic mess of drugs and germs from the run-down acidic state I was in…

SMALL VICTORIES……

I’m proud of the decisions I’ve made to get healthy and to heal, I might not be there yet and although this hurts, I’m still here, I am walking around and feeling more connected to my humanity and the pain is much more localised than it was – this is a MASSIVE win.

I’ve gotten that inflammation down in my body by eating better quality food,  I’ve removed so many toxins from my life.  I treat my endocrine, my immune system system and my liver with the massive amount of respect they deserve and overall, I FEEL healthy – IT’s A HUGE STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION….

Yet. Here I sit.

Feeling miserable, as the golf ball sized ache throbs away in my groin AND my throat. Here I sit wanting to unusually cry the house down and I don’t know whether its because I’m upset that I’m still in pain, whether I’m upset because I’ve done this to myself with the few glasses of frowned upon wine and occasional “no no” of red meat that I shouldn’t eat, or whether I’m just emotional for the small victory because I know deep down, that the pain without those changes, would have been a million times worse…. This is me. This is my challenge.

I think I am going to go with the small victory….

 

My Song =) ❤

 

I will beat this

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PMS OFF!!!

Today I am really feeling the powerful effects of my wonderful hormones Well, in fact, I’d go so far as to say the past 2 or 3 days, but today, in particular, in between painting my living room and wanting kick off with my man for breathing – let’s just say, I have really felt the effects.

Now, I used to think that PMS was just “caused” by eating too much salty food and sugar. I used to think that PMS was just swollen boobs and a bit of water retention with the odd cry now and again if I lost an argument, but what I have come to realise, that PMS is actually a mighty powerful chemical reaction in the body that causes chaos… It is only this month I am REALLY feeling the effects of it. For the first time in however many years, these are no longer the synthetic nasty B-vitamin depleting packet hormones, but these are my REAL hormones, MY signals telling me exactly what is happening in my body and that’s actually pretty special.

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However, at the moment I think they are really out of whack and they don’t know what the hell to do with themselves after the lonnnggggggggg hibernation they have been on. To be honest, I’m not surprised girls want to go on the pill because for the last few days I’ve felt bloody awful and mithered – until I realised that it is just PMS… “Cue the light bulb moment!” As soon as I clicked that that’s all it was, I began to feel better and understand more about what was happening – sounds daft I know, I’m 30 years old and didn’t click it was PMS, but this is not the typical sore boob pill induced PMS I am used to at all… Let me try and explain

Causes:
The main science of PMS (in laymen’s terms) is the body drops its levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone ready for a period, because of the drop in estrogen, the serotonin levels are affected, which means the mood can change and drop in a heartbeat… THE FOOD YOU EAT can also dramatically affect the symptoms of PMS, but it is not the cause…

Symptoms:
Symptoms of PMS are very different from woman to woman but include (and not limited to)

Mood swings
anxiety
mild depression
water retention
sore boobs
headaches
insomnia
back ache
joint pain
food cravings
fatigue
headaches

So, on this lovely little list of things, over the past few days I scored the following:

Mood swings, fatigue, insomnia, back ache, a very mild depression…

Now, interestingly enough, when I was on the pill, my usual symptoms were: sore boobs, water retention, food cravings…

What a difference in symptoms when there’s nothing synthetic added…..

Treatment/relief:

I FIRMLY BELIEVE that the diet (I hate that word) plan, no wait – the nutrition plan that I stick to, hand on heart, about 98% of the time has contributed to the elimination of the PHYSICAL soreness and water retention, and also the food cravings… this is a massive help for any girl. The emotional symptoms are a little more complex to tackle as I am finding out, but can be tackled in the same way, so the best advice I can give you is as follows:

Keep your sugar levels stable – opt for high, fat high protein meals with some form of green veg for your 1st 2 meals of the day to keep sugars stable and stop the roller coaster of insulin and fatigue in the day – 2pm slump anyone??. (Good fat, like virgin coconut oil, RAW olive oil or grass fed butter – none of this sunflower / Canola oil shite)

Eat your good complex-carbs in the evening – (what??? I hear you say!) That’s right in the evening. Since I started doing this, my cellular energy levels have been replenished in the evening so I don’t feel the need to snack after dinner and I am not fatigued in the morning… this is especially important after exercise but I’ll go into that another time.

Avoid excess sugar and refined food – if you must eat sweet, eat raw honey or raw cocoa so you get the antioxidant benefits “fix” without the high GI spike that follows.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine, especially in that last week (I wish I’d listened to myself here after last night’s glasses believe me) Alcohol depletes the B-Vitamins in your liver which means your liver has to work harder to process the hormones in your body – when you already feel like you want to swing for someone due to your PMS, it’s probably a good idea to save that bottle of wine for another day because it doesn’t help your emotional wellbeing…

Try MACA powder – MACA is one of the most nutrient dense super foods for a woman to take. This clever food helps to balance hormones without adding anymore into the equation and helps lift the mood. “See my PMS busting Smoothie recipe here”

Get plenty of good Omega Oils – these are a huge benefit to helping inflammation and balancing hormones – we women NEED saturated fat to balance our bodies, it’s the biggest myth on the planet that “fat free” or “low in saturates” is good for us.
Eat oily fish, avocados, raw virgin coconut oil, flaxseed, virgin olive oil (never cooked,) chickpeas, animal fat from good sources, walnuts etc… All of these foods will help – I have never craved so many avocados in my life, there is something in my body that needs the nutrients from them so I am gladly obliging.

Take Vitamin D3 and B complex – best from sunlight every day, but a good supplement will help with those pesky hormones. The B complex will help keep your liver optimal to process the hormones.

Get Exercise – this will increase the serotonin levels and help lift the mood.  Go to the gym and whack 10 tons out of the punch bag if you need to get rid of the pent up PMS rage, or do some yoga if you need to get rid of the PMS stress – do whatever you need to do to get it out, without adding extra stress to yourself… i.e. don’t run a marathon if you’re knackered anyway, it will have the opposite effect and just deplete you further.

I have done all of the above, and aside from the drop in serotonin and lack of sleep, I feel great, I don’t feel bloated, I don’t feel sore, my back is still aching (but hey, that’s nothing new) but overall, I know how to deal with the majority of what is happening to me, and take it from me, it really does work. I just hope that in a few months when the chaos settles in my body and everything is back to normal, that the remaining symptoms disappear as well.

Do comment and let me know if you have any other good tips to add to this, I’m interested to hear them!

Diddy xx

 

PMS Busting Super Smoothie

This wonderful smoothie should help to pick you up and give you a host of INCREDIBLE nutrients to nourish your immune system – there’s enough goodness in here to keep you going for a few hours and its TASTY.

 

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Serves 1: you need:

 

1 Tbs raw cocoa nibs or powder

1 Tbs Maca Powder

1 Tbs Flaxseed

1 Tbs Virgin coconut oil (warmed up so its liquid)

1 glass unsweetened almond milk

1 Banana

a good squeeze of “choc shot” (Low GI natural vegan chocolate) OR another Tbs cocoa powder

 

Add to a blender and serve over ice.

 

Enjoy the lift in your mood from the Maca and the raw chocolate 🙂

 

A Quick Conclusion, Chiropractic and BALLS…

So I’m conscious that I never gave a full conclusion to my other posts “P-Day is upon me, ” and “Here comes the pain again” specifically for the endometriosis symptoms I am tracking.

As a quick recap, this was to test the theory, “change the diet, change the pain.” As I am now mid-way into my next cycle, I feel it is the right time to conclude and share my experiences with you.
Note – the key changes I made last month were as follows:

  • Minimal meat – no red meat, good sourced chicken
    Organic eggs only
    No Dairy
    Organic or good sourced (and extra) veggies
    Single ingredient food as much as possible
    No wheat / gluten!

Overall the test was a HUGE success. I was no longer the upset, depressed, incapacitated and stressed out mess I had been previously for the previous 6 months, my period came, I felt healthier during it, and straight afterwards when it was usually at its worst, the pain was minimal.
What I did notice, was that the “nodule” sized lump near my hernia repair, that rears itself around that time was still there, but that was about it…. it was only around 8 days after my period had finished, that I had some stabbing back ache in my SI joint which lasted a few days. However I am not sure if this was due to dead lifts at the gym, or the last bits of endo running its course for the month but it was there, for those few days.
Extra Mitigation
To tackle the back pain, I had my regular chiropractic adjustment, and it turned out my posture was off again because my body was in defence mode and protecting the area by tensing up (as she puts it) anyway, a quick few cracks and manipulating later and my posture bounced back and within a day, the pain subsided.
On top of this, my trainer gave me a Lacrosse ball to roll on to iron out my glutes. Let me explain – the most common cause of back pain is tight glutes – considering I am on a mission with the squat rack to tone up my derriere, and on top of my intelligent body putting itself in full blown defence mode, I can understand why they may have been tight… Anyway, this advice from Ben, once again is golden – Sit one bum cheek on a LaCrosse ball, and put your knees up, roll around on it, it’s like ironing the kinks out of a shirt – it feels bleeding awful, especially when you hit a knot, but it releases all the tension you don’t even know exists… do this a few times or day for a minute or so and you’ll see miracles – I did. Even my chiropractor was impressed with my flexibility and movement the week after doing this.

Conclusion

• A large success = Rachael 1 – 0 Endometriosis.
• Diet really does reduce inflammation
• Chiropractic will help your wonderful intelligent bodies re-adjust into a more natural, less defensive posture to help you manage your endo / back pain.
• Lacrosse Balls are awesome!