Confessions Of A Carer Reclaiming Her Health

Confessions Of A Carer Reclaiming Her Health

Giving the best of me will always equal giving the best to you! This week I have been taking a massive dose of my own medicine. My health is first and foremost again. It’s true, when you are a carer and have so much on the go it is easy to lose sight of yourself, how you are feeling, your own health (physical and mental). So quickly can aches, pains and niggles start to rear their heads. We go on, ignore the subtle signs from our bodies and ‘get on with the job at hand’. I have gone from being in a rather active occupation (personal trainer) to sitting for long long periods behind the computer, especially when the kids are at school or Matthew is having healthier periods. I became less active due to an Achilles injury in both the left and right legs which led to poorer food choices too. Being less than mindful of what is happening for me and the creeping in of old habits has led to a number of issues. Some include: Neck and back pain, pain in my hip joints and in my feet Increase in weight – not just a few kilo’s either Less quality sleep due to later nights or ‘fitting in the work when I can’ More glasses of wine & coffee Increased tiredness and decrease in energy levels Poorer food choices for a ‘quick fix’ The list goes on. I am sharing this because my message to you is strong: ‘Take care of your own health and wellbeing otherwise you simply cannot give the best of you to...
Does the food we eat really affect our mood?

Does the food we eat really affect our mood?

These days I get about in a few online women’s business groups.  These are mostly women who are fiercely passionate about educating and supporting families in and around health, happiness and well-being. I couldn’t give up the chance to have a few of them come and share their love and passion with you. This week we have the beautiful Teresa from “Thelma & Terese” who is talking all about the relationship between “food and mood”.  She has even gifted us a wonderful nourishing recipe at the end of the blog mmmm. Terese is fiercely passionate about spreading her health message and has an abundance of information on her website if you wanted to check it out (scroll to the bottom where we have all of the links)! Over to you Theresa!     Does the food we eat really affect our mood? Absolutely it does. Feeling irritable, tired, uncomfortable and guilty could be a result of skipping meals, too much caffeine/alcohol, too much refined sugar or overeating. For a stable mood, we need to be eating a balanced whole-food diet at regular meal times with nutritious snacks in between as needed. However, there are many other factors that contribute to how we feel when we look at the way food interacts with our brain and GUT. Neurotransmitters Our brain uses neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine as communication signals to communicate with the rest of our body and tell it what to do. Balanced levels of neurotransmitters in the brain improve mood, sleep and increase alertness. These mood-affecting chemicals and precursors like tryptophan are made of amino acids found...
Harsh lessons for my chronically ill son

Harsh lessons for my chronically ill son

It is no surprise to me that my son who is now approaching 15, over the past few months, has been resisting his medications, treatments and physiotherapy that keep him well and maintain his baseline health for Cystic Fibrosis. What is surprising is that it has taken until nearly 15 years of age for him to do it.  I figure that some of the social delays he has, have contributed to this.  But he is most certainly in his teens, physically and mentally.  He is incredibly strong willed and stubborn.  When he has made up his mind about something, there is not a whole lot you can do to change his perspective. When my boys were young and as I was bringing them up, I tried hard to teach them to listen to what their body was telling them and to adjust their behaviour accordingly.  Sore tummies or headaches, and anything in between, always followed with a discussion about what led up to the event or the symptom.  Trying to identify the trigger. What I was trying to do was gift them self-awareness.  I knew from being a teen myself and reading literature about teens with Cystic Fibrosis (and chronic illness in general) that the teen years were going to be tough.  Especially for Matthew dealing with CF. My theory was to teach them to understand that the things we do, the food we eat, the drinks we consume and the environment in which we live can significantly affect how we feel and how our body performs.  By doing this, I hoped, no I trusted that they would grow...
3 Ways to Boost Your Energy & Clear Your Mind

3 Ways to Boost Your Energy & Clear Your Mind

Are you a carer or parent who feel’s like they are running on empty?  Not sure where the next burst of energy is or how on earth you will get through your day?  Perhaps you are surviving on regular coffee and sugary pick-me-ups?  It is such a common and easy pattern to get into!  I know, because I have been there. It is no secret that as busy caregivers we run the risk of burnout and exhaustion.  We have the best of intentions, trying to be and do everything for everyone.  Ensuring our loved one’s are taken care of, receive their treatments, medications and other therapies.  Taking care of the household, not to mention everyone’s mental health!  Many of us try to work full or part-time too.  The responsibility list can be unrelenting. Then BAM!! Out of nowhere you get sick, really sick.  It takes you a loooong time to recover, but you must keep going right?  Because no one will do the work for you. No one else can provide the level of care you can and do.  But when you are down and out, providing the level of care that you expect of yourself seems near impossible doesn’t it?  You tell yourself, I can’t afford to get sick.  Something has to give. YES SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE!! In no uncertain terms, you MUST take care of yourself.  I know it seems impossible and a whole lot overwhelming.  It is ‘just another thing’ to put on your ever-growing list.  I get that, I do.  I have been there myself.  But I ask you this: While you are taking care...
Nourish Your Mind & Body in 5 Ways

Nourish Your Mind & Body in 5 Ways

To keep us at our best, we know how important it is to nourish our mind and body! We also know that in order to operate at an optimum level and perform everyday, we need to ditch the sweet sugary snacks, processed foods and reduce stimulants such as coffee.  These cause issues with your blood sugar levels, contribute to dehydration, will give you a ‘foggy head’ and will lead to adrenal fatigue (stress hormone).  This is not where we want to be.  I for one don’t want to be concerned about my health when I need to take care of the one’s I love. Check out my 5 strategies to help you nourish your mind and body below:   Hydration Consuming at least 2 litres of water per day is essential for normal bodily functions. Lemon squeezed in a glass of water first thing in the morning is a great way to wake up, is a boost to your immune system and your liver will love you for it. Fail to consume enough and your body will not be able to function properly.   Whole Foods It is no secret that when it comes to food, fresh and colourful is best. Vitamins/minerals, proteins, fats & complex carbohydrates are essential in our diet. Processed food has excess sugar & chemicals will negatively affect our health. These foods really do give us an abundance of energy, nourish every organ and contribute to clearer thinking and better overall performance.  Think fruits, vegetables (green leafy’s), complex carbohydrates, lean protein & good fats.  Flavour with beautiful natural herbs and spices and you are on to a...