It’s Been Awhile…

Yep… I dropped off the face of the blogging world but I am currently trying to make a comeback! 

For anyone who has read my last post Thailand was amazing…. that type of paradise that you only read about but there’s hot lady boys and ping pong shows. If you haven’t been there go, seriously go there now it’s amazing.Thailand however was not good for my diet.. I was incredibly sick and bloated while I was over there. I think the timezone stuffed with my body clock and nothing ever really sorted itself out. So while I was halfway across the world I vowed to go and see a nutritionist when I got home and that is exactly what I did. 

I went and saw a lovely lady in Auckland who is a dietitian at Mission Nutrition. She has put me on a low FODmap diet which has worked wonders. I don’t eat any fruit (apart from berries) and some vegetables are out of bounds BUT it is working. I haven’t seen my stomach this flat and non-bloated in months. For those of you who are slightly unsure what a fodmap is, it’s (crudely speaking) a diet that is low in all kinds of sugars. The letters FOD stand for short chained carbs that are found in a lot of common foods which are believed to cause excess gas and liquid in the intestines so by omitting these foods it is supposed to help. 

All said and done it’s still difficult (whinge I know) but having to bring your own meal to a restaurant is something that I find extremely awkward. I’m sure that this will get easier over time and I’ll feel less embarrassed about it but for now I find it hard. 

I am going to stick with this diet although I have been granted a few days of leave from it every now and then which is awesome!

If you want to read more about FODmaps – http://ibs.about.com/od/ibsfood/a/The-FODMAP-Diet.htm

Here’s to a less bloated belly and a welcome back to the blogging world

 

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That Itchy Vagina

…and by itchy I am meaning candidiasis, also known as thrush.

Thrush is a medical condition in which a fungus called Candida albicans overgrows. This fungus is normally found in the vagina but when other bacteria called lactobacilli stop doing their job properly it overgrows causing a yeast infection to occur.

It is estimated that three quarters of all women will, at some time during their lives, experience a thrush infection. Some of the symptoms include itching, burning and pain during urination and/or intercourse. I am jealous of that one quarter.

Perhaps now you are wondering why I am ranting about this but YES I have it, again. They believe that it can be caused by many different factors such as illness,  medications or stress. The key word in that sentence is MANY which means that anything can bring this ridiculous condition on. As I am currently on practicum I have experienced all three. I have lost count of the amount of colds and sore throats I have had over the past eight weeks and have gone on new medications to try and assist my bloating.

Treatment has been difficult. I get recurrent thrush and am currently take a fluconazole tablet once a fortnight to keep it in check. Now I have been trying to wean myself off these tablets as they can be harmful to your liver and up until now I have been fine. As I can’t get into see my doctor until next week I am relying on anti-fungal creams to help lesson the symptoms as these no longer get rid of it for me.

As far as prevention I have tried most. These included:

  • Wearing less tight clothes
  • Always wearing a liner with underwear
  • Eating acidophilus yoghurt
  • Avoiding perfumed and coloured soaps and bubble baths

None of these seem to make much of a difference.

My big advice is to eat healthy, stay active and get as much sleep as you can! Don’t get run down and listen to your body and take a break when you need it

 

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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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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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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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The Benefits of Exercise

Having endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) means that I am constantly on the look out for ideas that others have found worked and one that kept popping up was simply getting out there and doing some exercise.

Research has shown that doing medium-high intensity exercise like running and cycling can help lesson the symptoms. Regular exercise helps to reduce estrogen and prostaglandin level – two hormones that are released during our cycles. Yoga and Pilates can also be used to stretch the pelvic tissues and muscles that can be bound together by endometriosis, not only that but it helps to reduce stress which can also aggravate inflammation in the body more.

With PCOS exercise has been shown to help with our insulin sensitivity and cholesterol. When we exercise the glucose (sugars) are taken from the blood and moved to the muscles, this lowers the need for insulin at that time. When we are able to effectively manage insulin then we are able to manage the testosterone in our body, the cause of our PCOS symptoms.

Exercise and Me

Now I am a slight exercise nut. I admit that it is probably a slight addiction but the benefits of getting out there and being regularly active are just too much to ignore. I try to do some kind of physical activity at least 5 times a week. I mix this up with both high intensity aerobic exercise and strength training as well.

My best advice when jumping on the exercise train is to simply start and stick to it. Find something you enjoy doing! I started off doing a lot of classes that were offered at the gym like step and pump. These classes meant that I was surrounded by like minded people that helped motivate me to keep going and helped when I had no idea where to find equipment. I also bought Jillian Michaels DVD, “30 Day Shred,” which allowed me to do a 20 minute workout at home.

Any questions you have about my workouts feel free to ask

 

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