Natural Remedies: Coconut

OK so I am currently on a small coconut buzz at the moment I can’t get enough of the stuff; Coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut flour… pretty much anything that starts with coconut I want it and I want it now. So I decided that maybe I should actually see why this stuff is good (or not good) for me…

Coconut has been classed a wonder food because of the multiple health benefits that it has:

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Improve digestion
  • Fight off viruses
  • Regulate hormones
  • Lose weight
  • Increase metabolism

All of which are extremely important for the side effects that both endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome have and well I’m willing to try anything that means I don’t have to go back and have more surgery.

Besides from all of these benefits it actually tastes amazing. I have taken to stirring it through my porridge and chucking it in my juices in the morning to create a different taste om nom nom. Something that I used to make all the time while completely sugar free was chocolate, yip sugar free chocolate. In a bowl mix together coconut oil, dessicated coconut and cocoa – tastes exactly like coconut rough (need I say more).

So I can probably safely say that my coconut buzz isn’t going to end anytime soon especially with my new found knowledge of how good it can actually be for me.

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Fructose Free and Veggie Juices

As it’s coming into summer there is a multitude of different fruits coming into season some of which I totally love like grapes and pineapples, unfortunately something I was eating was giving me terrible cramps and by terrible I mean almost couldn’t move terrible. I was at a loss of what it could be until one day I didn’t have them and it was the one day I hadn’t packed any grapes for my lunch. With this new found knowledge I decided to trial going fructose free.

For the past three days I have avoided all fruits and surprisingly I am far less bloated and feeling a lot better. I will continue to keep them out of my diet for a whole week and then try and reintroduce some to see how my body reacts because I’m not too keen on getting rid of all fruits indefinitely because I like them far too much!

A good thing that has come from this is the motivation to start juicing again. I like to start the day off with raw fruits and going fructose free meant that this was no longer possible and eating a bowl of spinach for breakfast didn’t really seem too appetising for me. So I grabbed out my juicer, dusted it off and started experimenting. After only having a few I realised the impact that apples made on homemade juice… they make it taste nice. Luckily I am getting used to the juices I am making and am quite a fan of one particular green juice…

  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Ginger
  • Mint

I am worried that all the digestive problems are an indication that my endometriosis is back in full swing as these are some of the symptoms I was having before my surgery but I will try all diet fixes first before I consider going back under the knife.

 

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Exercise: Super Sets

So lately I have been extremely busy as uni has just finished up for the year and I am now heading off for an 8 week practicum so I can begin to understand what teaching is really going to be like, so forgive me for my lack of posting on here recently.

Exercise

I decided that I was getting a bit bored of my gym routine that I had so decided I was going to change it up and put in a whole heap of supersets.

So supersets are used for strength training that can be used to add intensity and help bust through weight loss plateaus. The idea is to do one exercise and instead of resting you do a different exercise and alternate between them for the desired number of sets.

With strength training it is important to change your routine every 4-6 weeks to ensure that you don’t plateau and I decided that supersets would change it up completely. The benefits of super setting are

  • Saves time – going from workout to workout with no rest means that workouts are shorter and more efficient
  • Increases intensity – especially if you’re working the same  muscle group
  • Easily able to overload your muscles without having to use extremely heavy weights

I normally have three strength training days a week – one for back and shoulders, chest and arms and finally legs, so have worked my super sets around this. I’m planning to do them for three weeks and then do targeted for the next three weeks to ensure that I am changing things up to keep my workouts interesting.

My supersets are not just strength training though I love to sweat so I decided to incorporate some cardio in as well… a typical set for me looks like this

  • Chest press, 30 sec skipping rope, push ups, 30 sec skipping rope

So far I am absolutely loving this style of training and would recommend it to anyone. I have found that it has pushed me further than targeted and I need to challenge myself to complete my reps. There is lots of information online about super sets for beginners or comment on here if you would like more detail about what I do!

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Natural Remedies: Magnesium

Magnesium is a key mineral in human metabolism and can be found in many healthy foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds. Magnesium is needed for more than 300 chemical reactions that occur in the human body and because of this it is extremely important that we are getting enough in our daily diet but unfortunately it seems that the average person isn’t getting an adequate supply.

I started taking a magnesium supplement after having a talk with a natural health professional about natural things that I could take that might help stop or prevent many of the symptoms that I was having with my endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome.

Magnesium is able to control inflammation. A lack of magnesium has been linked to unwanted increases in the inflammatory process. It is also able to help maintain blood sugar levels something that is very important with PCOS. An added benefit of magnesium is that it can help reduce the feeling of fatigue. Magnesium is needed for cell reactions that take place in the body that allow energy production to occur – without it we can’t produce it.

So far I only have good things to report from taking a magnesium supplement and would definitely recommend you to look into it if you have endo or PCOS

 

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H = R/E

A simple equation really; one that comes from a book by Jodi Picoult that caused me to ponder on how our experiences are able to influence our views and the way we respond to the people around us.

“A mathematical formula for happiness: Reality divided by Expectations. There were two ways to be happy: improve your reality or lower your expectations.” – Jodi Picoult, Nineteen Minutes

If I look back at times in my life where I have been absolutely devastated or disappointed by something I can see that it is related to the expectations that I had for that particular situation. Some of these things are ridiculous like just expecting someone to do or say something and they don’t. I also look at some of the best things I have done and often it was because my expectations were so low for that particular experience that the reality far exceeded anything I could think of.

After reading this book I looked critically at my life and the expectations I had for things – my relationships, my study and my fitness. I realised that I had extremely high expectations that were actually bringing me down when I was unable to achieve them in the time I had given myself. I came to the conclusion that I had to make a change; for some things I did decide to lower my expectations – I would rather be relaxed than stressed all of the time; and others I decided to change my reality – I made up a proper workout schedule with set exercises and routines.

Now I don’t believe that this situation is going to apply to everything in life; we can’t troop through life believing that if we have low expectations for everything we are going to have great happiness. I think that in order to achieve our goals (or greatness) we do need to push ourselves out of our comfort zone at times and set high expectations for ourselves so that we have something to work towards but I also think that in situations where it feels like everything is going pear shaped we need to have the skills to critically look at our expectations for that situation to get to the bottom of why we are unhappy.

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Natural Remedies: Licorice Tea

Now saying that I like tea is probably something of an understatement. Some of my favorite shops to go and visit are tea shops and usually result in me spending more on tea leaves than I ever will on clothes…

Despite this love up until recently I had never tried licorice tea. I think this had something to do with me feeling sick even thinking about eating black licorice BUT after reading some articles on the benefits of it and it being on special I thought why not and bought a box of the stuff.

I am now addicted.

The licorice root smells exactly like licorice lollies but doesn’t have as strong a taste… when it first hits you it doesn’t really taste like much but the sweetness really hits home in the after-taste which will linger on and on helping to kick any sweet cravings I have.

Why drink it?

Licorice tea has a few things that are really beneficial for people with endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome such as…

  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Anti-spasmodic properties
  • Has been known to ease PMS

Not only that but it can be used to….

  • Protect the stomach lining especially from medications that can damage the mucous membrane and
  • Relieve constipation as it is a mild laxative

How often?

After reading some articles on this tea specialists say to take this tea three times a day for no more than four weeks as licorice can build up sodium in the body.

I find that having one each morning is enough for me to notice a difference in some of the symptoms I was having. The box I got will only last for four weeks so I’m going to have a break from it for a little while after that but I definitely will be getting it again

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Fill Yourself with Love

I used to view self-love as something that meant we were being arrogant or egocentric but lately I have come to realize that true self love means to care about and take responsibility for oneself. Self love differs from narcissism as I believe that self love is not about an admiration of our physical or mental attributes but rather an understanding of our strengths and weaknesses; being honest about who we really are.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “Love of Oneself” – Charlie Chaplin

At the end of the day knowing how to love yourself is extremely important. It is something that is at the core of our wellbeing, joy, self-empowerment and the ability to create and enjoy the kind of life you truly want. I have learnt that it’s almost impossible to enjoy happiness if you are not at peace with yourself.  

Knowing yourself means that you are no longer plagued by indecision and self doubt. You are able to view yourself in a positive way meaning that self hatred which can cripple you in every area of your life can be abolished.

As I gained a deeper understanding of holistic health I realized that I needed to look at the people and things that I have in my own life. I realized that there were things in my life that were actually slowly bringing me down. So I decided that I would let go of all these negative things in my life. I think I was surprised at the sense of relief I got after doing this, I felt lighter and happier in a way. I have found that I now have a more positive attitude which has meant that I have approached situations feeling far more confident in myself because I have become more aware of my strengths and weaknesses.

I challenge you to look at your own lives. Are there things that you should be freeing yourself from so that you are able to love yourself?

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