Busy busy!! 

‘Busy busy’ is the phrase Andrew and I use for Seb’s constant ‘on the go’ attitude!!! 

Can you believe he is 14 months old!! A lot has happened since I last wrote… And I am trying to get back into the habit of writing…. But my my it is hard!! 

I’m back in work full time, I have a ‘busy busy’ 14 month old little boy… Who took his first steps yesterday!! My RA is flaring intermittently, and I am desperately trying to get some exercise in (this bit has been very tricky… But new year, new beginnings and all that!!).

I am trying to put together a bit of a plan to get you up to date with the last year in short bursts, as I just don’t have the time these days to write pages and pages… Currently as we speak I am in work, expressing breast milk for Seb, trying to get some signal in this hospital!!! 

Right… Lunch time, and time to get some fresh air and a bit of natural light!!! Hopefully see you soon! 

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Progression Continues 

I know I start every post with ‘blimey, it’s been a while!!’ But it really has!! And time just keeps ticking by!! 
It was RA awareness  last week, and apart from changing my cover photo on Facebook, I have done very little by way of raising awareness. But I think next year I will do my best to be more prepared and do something more creative!! 
Life is very full at the moment with lovely groups and enjoying the summer weather with Seb!! He’s growing fast, and I’m just very grateful that he is a typical boy, and choosing not to move much!! 😀 he did roll over yesterday… But hasn’t bothered to do it again!! And standing… Bless him. No interest!! But he is one heavy bugger, so I don’t blame him really!! When he does start moving, and building up some muscles he’s going to be one strong little power house!! 
My reading around nutrition continues, and still fascinates me!! And I am now becoming a fermentation queen, with sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, coconut milk kefir and a ginger bug all on the go. Individually they are so easy… But with a 7.5 month old and all of them together… It is a lot of organisation!! But well worth it!! Since adding a probiotic supplement and increasing my intake of fermented foods and drinks I have definitely seen an improvement in my health again!! 
Really, I am pain free (sleep and stress are my biggest triggers at the moment, so as Seb is poorly at the moment, I am waking with some aches and fatigue…. But it goes within say, 10 mins??!), my joint range of movement is gradually improving (I can now crouch fully (and get back up!!), and even kneel on hard wood floors!!), I’m regaining some muscle definition in my wasted legs (hooray!), and I must be getting stronger as my daily weight lifting session (carrying a 20lb Seb around) is gradually getting heavier with very little ill effects!! My only complaint is my right wrist… I have a superficial swelling on the dorsal aspect of my right wrist that has been there since January… It inhibits active, combined wrist and finger extension… I can’t tell if it’s effusion under the extensor retinaculum impinging on the tendons, if it’s carpal joint effusion again impinging the tendons or if there’s a tendon problem… Or even a subluxed carpus. I asked for an USS guided injection at my rheumy clinic, but the declined the USS, saying it will be easy to inject… I’m going for it on 6th July, I’d prefer they know what they are injecting… But to be honest the lack of extension at my wrist is driving me so mad that I am just accepting the offer of an injection and hoping for the best!! 
I’ve been back to the student nutritionist, not much change to my protocol really, but I am now getting a stool analysis, mag RBC and HTMA done to look into why I’m still getting some niggly symptoms (right wrist mainly, my CRP is still slightly raised and some degree of anxiety and fatigue). Hoping it shows up a few more things to work on to finally get me back as well as I can be in time for my return to work!! Can’t believe I only have 3 months lefts!!
I have started weaning little Seb. We’ve gone down the baby led weaning, which is great fun and very messy!! He isn’t a natural at chewing and swallowing… But he’ll get there!! It’s been so much fun I’ve started a Facebook group called paleo/primal baby led weaning, and it seems to be going quite well. Come and join us if you fancy? 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/661954620615760/ 
And finally, I got a new job today (still on maternity leave until October), as a Specialist Rheumatology Physio… So hopefully once I get my foot in the door I can start spreading the work about beneficial lifestyle changes to hopefully help my patients!! 

Always on the go!! 

Struggling to find time to check in with you guys!! Life is so busy!! And that is SUCH a great thing!! I’m busy, because I can be!! 
I am feeling great! Still not 100%… But I am getting there bit by bit everyday!! It’s so amazing to see how much better I am compared to 2 months ago!! In yoga this week i crouched down onto my haunches… Probably for the first time in over a year (I was on meds then too!!)… Today I took a brisk undulating walk with my baby on my back… 
  

I’m gradually building muscle, whilst maintaining a healthy 9 stone… My yoga teacher even commented on how much better I look (and perform)!  

Life is great!! Long may these improvements continue!! My right wrist is my next target… I can’t extend my fingers and my wrist at the same time 😦 so waving is pretty difficult… 
Keeping finges crossed!! Hope you are all feeling good and making your way to recovery!! Nx

March Update… The nutritional naturopath appointment

I am trying to get a post up at least once a month… but time is a tricky one!! All day, every day, I think about food! In amongst looking after and playing with the ever growing Seb. (This blog has been half written for over two weeks now!!)
I’m still getting to grips with making food in advance or in bulk – to be honest I’m getting pretty good at it, but it’s the fitting it in, with Seb… my worry is when I go to work, how much time will I have for shopping, and cooking… therefore I’m getting the practice in now!! I think I’ll have it to a ‘T’ by the time I’m back at work, as Seb will be older and I will be able to send him out with his dad for the day and crack on! I’m starting to get a few ‘favourites’ together, and they are SCRUMPTIOUS!! Still missing tomatoes, and spices… but what can you do?! Eat them and suffer, or avoid them and feel capable!! I have also, this week, begun fermenting my own drinks!! Last weekend, I went to watch a friend compete in a duathalon (run, cycle, run), and at the café nearby they sold kombucha (£2.30)… it was DELISCIOUS! So… I hunted down a SCOBY, and got onto it… my first brew is ready to start tasting on Thursday (19th March)!! I also dug out my water kefir grains, and have finally started to rehydrate them today… so another week, plus three brewing days and I should be ready to start drinking kefir too!! Can’t wait!!

First brew of kombucha!!

First brew of kombucha!!

I had planned to blog a couple of weeks ago before a nutritional naturopath appointment that I had… but time has got away with me, so instead of a precursor to the appointment, I will give you the summary instead!
The appointment was with a student from the College of Naturopathic Medicine, I had gone to an open day back in October with the hope of one day studying nutrition, and at the open day I got talking to one of the lecturers; she mentioned I should attend one of their student clinics – which costs £25 for an initial and £15 a follow up (which is considerably more affordable than the cost of going to a qualified naturopath!)
Prior to the appointment I got my GP to do some blood tests… I asked for Vit D, Mag RBC and inflammatory markers such as CRP, ESR… my GP was pretty receptive, however, they did my Mag serum, and my Vit D wasn’t back in time for the appointment!! So… not really hugely useful! Although it did throw up that I was significantly iron deficient.
I also had to fill in a history sheet and food diary for one week, that aspect was easy because I still keep a detailed diary, and send it on to her. Along with these, I also sent her some questions of my own regarding supplements (magnesium, probiotics, and multi-vits) and testing (stool testing, mineral balance).
Following the consultation these were her recommendations:
1) Chew, chew, chew
2) Ensure water is filtered, and not drunk around meal times
3) Increase beetroots, and leafy greens – methyl donors
4) Eat watercress, rocket, Endive, Chicory, or Artichoke before a meal to help the liver
5) Eat papaya/pineapple with food to help digestion
6) Ensure calcium rich foods – Bone stock, kale, cabbage, broccoli, brussle sprouts, figs and small boned fish
7) Avoid eating raw cabbage and cruciferous veg due to goitrogens
8) Add ginger and turmeric to foods to help with inflammation and gut mobility
9) Drink Cherry active or Tart cherry juice before bed for melatonin and mobilising uric acid
10) Add onions, mushrooms, pumpkin, squash, carrot, asparagus, avocado… not really sure why as I eat all of these in abundance!! Perhaps in the week that I sent my diary I didn’t have many?
11) Eat iron rich foods – liver, dark leafy greens, red meat, dried fruit (again, I already eat these)
12) Add 1g of wakame daily soaked in water
13) Add 1 Tbsp. ground in water in am and pm to help bulk stool
14) Increase exercise – walk x30 mins 2xday, Tai chi, yoga
15) Take Magnesium Glycinate 2 tablets 3xday
16) Take 1g of Bifibacterium Bifidus daily
17) Take 1 tsp of fish oil a day
18) Take Pregnancy Complex 2 tablets once a day
19) Take Hemagenics Iron 2 tablets once a day for 4 weeks, 1 tablet once a day for 4 weeks, then get iron levels re-checked

Well, it’s nearly a month since I went, and I haven’t yet got onto all the supplements, she did suggest a couple more, but said to hold off until we had my vit D levels back, and to hold off on bromelain until I see how the effects of papaya or pineapple work…
The reason I haven’t got started on all the supplements is that I didn’t want to start them all in one go then feel rubbish, or Seb have a reaction to something and me not know what it was. So I first started with the Iron, and typically, we both got struck down with diarrhoea… I don’t think it was anything to do with the iron, but as it started the same day as the iron, we stopped them until things cleared up… that took a couple of weeks. So then we went back on the iron, all good, then after a few days I added in the magnesium, a few days of that, then I added the probiotics (Or it may have been the other way around), few days, then I added the fish oil, few days of that… and as of tomorrow, I will add in the pregnancy multi-vit…

I have a few thoughts on the brands that they have recommended, and I may swap some stuff – for example the fish oil has rapeseed oil, and soya lecithin in it, amongst other things, so think I’ll change brand, probably for a cold pressed cod liver oil, when I’ve run out of this as I am working hard to eliminate those additives in my usual food.
I haven’t added the flax seed yet… dubious about that due to the problems AI conditions can have with seeds, again, I may try it as an introduction at a later date, however, it is to add bulk to my stools, and since adjusting a few other things (eating pineapple, rocket, chicory etc. before a meal, avoiding drinking at meals, wakame, filtering water, supplements) my bowel movements have been much better, so why rock the boat.

The advice regarding the food wasn’t hugely revolutionary. I was already doing most things, but it was a useful reminder on a few things, such as not drinking water with food, and to chew properly. Plus the information about rocket, chicory, etc. and pineapple/papaya was interesting, and does seem to have helped, plus the addition of wakame has helped get things moving too!

So how do I feel?
Pretty good. I had a bit of a fall off the wagon 2 weeks ago, I just became ravenous, hungry all the time, so I started snacking… and it got ridiculous, I was snacking (only on fruit) constantly… eating our families weeks’ worth of fruit in 2 or 3 days… and ohhhh how I paid for it!! Pain EVERYWHERE!! So I have got strict with myself again, and I am (almost) only eating at meal times, and if I eat any fruit (maybe less than a cup full) it is with a meal. And hey presto, I feel so much better again. Less fatigued, less swollen, stronger!! I have also ensured I am eating lots of good fats at meal times.
My pain is currently located in my right hand (dorsal aspect of the wrist – limiting middle finger extension!!! And wrist extension if my fingers are straight!), and my left thumb.
I probably don’t have full knee flexion (and a little bit of swelling is felt in either knee from day to day), but it’s getting there… and during my yoga sessions, I certainly don’t have very good range of motion anywhere compared to a year or so ago… but I’m working on it!

Introductions planned… well, after my hunger surge, I spoke to a guy who is about 2 years ahead of me on this journey, and one of his first introductions that he managed to add was grass fed butter after a period of healing, and this would add some great nutrients and fats to my diet… and hopefully would make eating out a bit easier. So if this good period continues, and I keep off the fruit and snacking, then I’m going to give it a go!! Exciting!! I’m very aware that it might not work… but I feel I’m starting to feel ready for this. And if it fails, it fails, I won’t have lost much, and I’ll know more about the direction my journey is heading.

If it goes ok, then maybe I might try some coconut milk kefir (as the kefir grains would be from milk), to add some more probiotic food to my life!! In fact, I need to get some coconut to start making my own coconut milk!!! One thing at a time Nina, one thing at a time!! (I’m now busy making bone broth, cooking fat, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, face cream, magnesium oil, magnesium body butter, mag-a-hol… I’m becoming the ultimate queen of the home!! Don’t worry, I’m looking after Seb too!! And he is growing mighty well!!)

One other possible introduction that I might try (this will probably take me past the summer as I am so slow at my introductions) is black pepper…

So… I have my follow up with my nutritionist in April, and some plans to add butter. I’m hopefully going to have a couple of brews going of kombucha and kefir… and I will continue to be very busy with my beautiful baby!!

Increased knowledge leads to so many more questions!! I guess I’ll just keep reading!!

I have always been interested in health… And my understanding of health and how to be healthy has evolved over time… More recently it has evolved exponentially in my personal attempt to manage my RA naturally. It is a brilliant and enlightening journey, and I wonder how I would be managing presently, had I not changed my diet so drastically back in august (see this previous post).

This new journey I am on has made me very aware of so many things that could be affecting my health… But unfortunately this knowledge adds to one aspect that greatly affect my health… Stress!!!

I know that stress is a huge precursor of all ill’s! Put in a very poignant post here by the Paleo Mom.
And now I’m not at work, my stress levels are vastly reduced! But I have ‘that’ type of personality! If I’m going to do something I want to do it perfectly (but this is unsustainable and leads to stress!) if I’m going somewhere I CAN NOT be late (although, weirdly I often am (only minutes, not really late) but I stress and get very grumpy at the same time!)… So I am constantly trying to battle daily chronic stressors.

So where is this leading? Well, now, it’s not just me is it? Now, I have a beautiful baby boy to look after and set up for life… And of course in my mind I must do absolutely everything to ensure that I facilitate his healthful growth perfectly!!

This means that in my head I am constantly worrying about these many external ‘things’ that can be and are detrimental to health…. EMF, Plastics, heavy metal exposure, diet, vaccinations and so on…..

EMF, electro-magnetic fields… There’s lots to be said on this topic, and some very clever people know some very clever stuff and write about it lots… But to summarise see this blog post by Phil…. And this pod cast touches on it about 20 minutes before the end. How can that not make you worry about your child?! (Even just re-reading Phil’s post now has made my tummy flip)…And the worst thing is? EMF’s are everywhere… So even if I turn off all our devices and wifi router, next doors is still there, and so are all the devices at work, in hospitals, in every building we walk past… So how much of a difference is me turning off my devices?? And how realistic is it? They can be off, but not all the time, else I wouldn’t have bought the thing. So they will still be on, and as Seb is always near me, so therefore, he is near these wifi devices working away…. And lastly, I’ve used them most of my adult life…. So the damage is done, and it may not show in Seb, but what about his children… It will effect that far down the generations. Of course I’ll do what I can, but i can’t control the external factors, so I am working on trying to NOT worry about this health hazard… And breath!

Plastics… So now there’s BPA free, but what else is in plastic that we don’t yet know about that could be making us ill… That will be the next ‘X’ free product? The answer? Don’t use plastic….! Ok, I can work with that, but it takes time to transition. Yes I could bin all my plastic storage containers, and replace with glass/Perspex/steel… But there’s a cost implication here, and yes I’m a perfectionist, but I’m also… Let’s not say tight, but frugal. So, I have stopped heating up anything in plastic, it always gets put into a pan and warmed on the hob… But still Sebs bottles (I’m breast feeding, but he does take some expressed milk from a bottle so family can help out with care if needed) are plastic (and BPA free) and there’s no getting around that.

Heavy metal exposure – from all sorts, but the main thing that has been worrying me is water… To filter or not to filter, to filter drinking water, or to filter ALL household water?

Vaccinations – so much conflicting information! Here’s a pod cast from this past week by Paleo Baby that looks at all the evidence that’s out there… He’s had his first set, I don’t feel informed enough to defy medical advice, and I had my vaccinations (although now have an autoimmune condition) and his dad had his vaccinations (although he got all the illnesses vaccinated against!!)… So what should I do… or have done? I guess I’ll keep reading, feel guilty, then work on telling myself that there is no point feeling guilty, I’m only doing my best… and maybe I’ll feel better informed to make a decision I’m confident about for the next one!!

Diet – when seb eats with us I will ensure he eats the best food he can. But what about when he’s at nursery, grandma’s, school…. Arrgghh!!

So what do I do?? I guess I just do my best, limit the ‘bad’ stuff as much as I can, and know that I have done everything in my power to love and protect Seb as well as I can. The added stress I put on myself probably isn’t doing either of us very much good…

So we’ll limit wifi/mobile devices, we’ll eat well, go outdoors often and play lots… And hopefully instil a healthy life and attitude in my beautiful boy to live a long and happy life!

The year of 2014… The beginnings of Seb, and a rocky ride with my RA into 2015

The year of 2014…
I know it’s a little late to be trying to recall all of what happened in 2014, but I thought I’d try!! As I’m just sorting out my diaries and calendars, and about to throw out the old calendar…. So here goes! (I guess if it didn’t go on the calendar (which many things often don’t!) it won’t get mentioned here…)

January…I can’t believe how long ago this journey started! I had my implant taken out in November of 2013… that barely feels like yesterday! And so, from then on Seb was part of our thoughts.
My friends Alison had her baby boy Ethan on the 14th January, and Jo and David had their twins Leon and Logan on the 18th January.

My mum and dad visited the Lake District, and we joined them for a walk around Ullswater:

Mum and Dad on the Ullswater Steamer

Mum and Dad on the Ullswater Steamer

Ullswater from the Steamer on a cold January morning

Ullswater from the Steamer on a cold January morning

I began my acupuncture course, and generally felt like I was working constantly, what with working weekends, and the course taking up two weekends as well…. What a contrast to this January!! I also attempted to do the photo-a-day challenge by Fat Mum Slim… but managed less than 10 days…. Excellent start to a New Years Resolution!!

Photo a Day Picture...

Photo a Day Picture…

February continued in the same vein as January, with acupuncture courses filling my weekends, working and being on call…

March brought Miranda at Manchester with Jan and Karen… Such fun! And a little break away, just the four of us to Ingleton for fresh air, good food, and walking (Seb was now more than just a thought, and was quietly growing inside me, and we had just found out!!)

Ingleton hol March 2014 118

April was pretty quiet, Zeus went to a fun agility show in Sandbach and did very well (of course!),

Zeus!!

Zeus!!

and Riva debuted in her first champ show (the HWVA)… she behaved very well and didn’t come last!! Zeus and Riva met up with their sister and half-brother there too…

The Family!! Happy to say our two are the ones not needing to be held in place!!

The Family!! Happy to say our two are the ones not needing to be held in place!!

May brought Daisy’s Christening, in which I did some photography, and boy did I feel it in my shoulders after that!

Ste and Daisy!

Ste and Daisy!

Jan and Karen came to visit, and Bill went to an all you can eat Chinese with the family… and ate steak and salad! Poor old Riva had her hysterectomy too, and we stayed home and cuddled that weekend, while Andrew started the first of his Lakeland Trail runs up in Staveley.

Staying at home in the beautiful springtime weather!! (Riva was hiding in a shady bush!)

Staying at home in the beautiful springtime weather!! (Riva was hiding in a shady bush!)

In June we had Sebs’ 20 week scan… and chose not to find out if he was a boy or a girl… best decision ever!! And then off we drove all the way down to Lands End with the dogs and camping gear for a brilliant camping holiday with beautiful weather… I’m just gutted I couldn’t eat much of the fresh seafood while I was there… or drink the local brew!! Bad timing really, but still a lovely holiday!!

Truely the best was to spend a holiday!! Camping, sun, sea and sand!

Truly the best was to spend a holiday!! Camping, sun, sea and sand!

By this point I had also started my blog… what a journey that has turned out to be!
July saw Andrew continue his Lakeland runs, and I went off to the big smoke with the family on the train to see Monty Python at the O2 Arena which was brilliant!!
We looked after Daisy in August whilst Ste and Annette went to Blackpool to watch Mamma Mia, the following weekend I went down south with Layla in her campervan to Boomtown,

boomtown-line-up-2014-webunfortunately my RA was getting really bad by this point and I had gone off sick once already. The pain left me feeling low and lacking the ability to fully enjoy the experience, as walking, siting, standing even eating was incredibly painful, add that to being 6 months pregnant and you get one unhappy bunny. So sadly, looking back, I left early with Lois and Tony, but all in all it was totally the right decision. Due to the levels of pain I was experiencing, I took the plunge and went Autoimmune Paleo, and cut out Gluten, Dairy, Sugar, Nightshades, Legumes, Pulses, Nuts and Seeds… And the improvements went from there!!

By September I was feeling well enough to return to work, albeit in a non-clinical role, but it was good to get back in to the work place and feel useful and able again. My Birthday came and went rather uneventfully, taking a walk in Goyt Valley with the pooches, and going for a meal with Andrew to the Hanging Gate before staying over at mum and dads.

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Taking a break at Goyt Valley

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My diet was so miraculous in its pain relieving, that I attended an open day at the College of Naturopathic Medicine on the 1st October, which was really inspiring, but due to Seb’s imminent arrival I decided to not go ahead this year… But it has really sparked an interest in learning more about this area of health.

36 weeks pregnant... 2 more weeks and Seb arrived!

36 weeks pregnant… 2 more weeks and Seb arrived!

The following week my Maternity leave began, and right on cue the little man was born two weeks later on the 26th October!! What an amazing experience!! The body really is a pretty amazing thing, and I am so proud of what I have achieved in not only growing and birthing the most perfect little boy… but also in continuing to feed him all the nutrients he needs to continue to grow into a gorgeous bouncing little blue eyed boy…. I love him so much!!

Just a few hours old... My beautiful baby boy!!

Just a few hours old… My beautiful baby boy!!

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November saw the last two of Andrews Lakeland Trails up Helvellyn and Ullswater at the start of the month, and we finished the month by going to the Stampers house warming do. In between I was obviously preoccupied with learning to look after my baby, and he was exceptionally well behaved at the Stampers! Here are a few lovely photos from this busy time… I’m just bursting with pride, so sorry about the over kill!!

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In December Seb attended his first wedding (well, evening do at least!)

First Wedding

First Wedding

He had also been attending baby groups since November, and had his first Christmas Party and met Santa on the 13th.

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Christmas celebrations!!

Christmas celebrations!!

Sadly, on the 21st December his cold got progressively worse, and we were admitted to Preston Hospital with Bronchiolitis and had a 4 day stay, getting discharged on Christmas day. Santa popped by to visit him and brought him a few presents on Christmas morning though so he wasn’t forgotten!!

Seb and Santa

Seb and Santa

Finally we saw out the year at our house with a few friends, and Otto!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

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The family portrait!

In summary… I’ve had a great year, not least because not only has the arrival of Seb been just the most amazing and perfect addition to our family, his conception has led me to get off my bum and do something proactive about my autoimmune condition!! I thought I was being proactive… certainly in a way I would have been pleased with were I a patient of mine… but since going off sick, and reading constantly about nutrition and healing, I have learnt soooooo much, and I have now realised that by taking the medication and going about my life without a second thought, was in fact insanely passive!! I have taken control of my body now… yes things aren’t perfect… yes I still wake feeling pain, yes I still can’t walk up Helvellyn, yes I still feel exhausted some days and want to just sleep… but those feelings are soooooo much less than they were, and the positive feeling I get from knowing that I am doing the best for my body and the best I can for my baby really does make it feel so worth while… and dare I say it? Easy!! Who needs cake when you can have health!!

Here’s to an ever increasingly healthier 2015!!

Re blogged from The Paleo Mom… Some very similar habitual resolutions that I too am aiming for!!

Happy New Year!  For me, like many, the start of a new year is a time of reflection.  I look back over the last year, appreciate my accomplishments, note where I fell short of my goals, and think forward to the year ahead with optimism, determination and resolve. Habit Formation (for resolutions or anytime) When…

http://www.thepaleomom.com/2015/01/habit-formation-new-years-resolutions-2015.html

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,900 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 32 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Merry Christmas Everybody!!

Merry Christmas everyone.

I know it’s been a while since I last posted. I’ve been busy being, and loving being a mum!! 😀

Sadly on Sunday Seb’s cold worsened and he was admitted to hospital, and we’ve been here ever since. But still, I’d rather he get well and come home safe and sound than rush home to spend Christmas at home (although I am devastated that my first Christmas as a mum is being spent in a hospital bay).

Andrew has been a star, looking after the dogs, and prepping loads of food to make sure I stay as healthy as possible. I’m not making the same mistake as I did when Seb was born!!

As a breast feeding mum the hospital is providing me with food. They have a gluten free menu, and a dairy free menu… Frustratingly, the gluten free menu only had options such as ‘with gluten free bread’ or ‘gluten free dumplings’ etc… Plus everything had legumes and nightshades.

And the dairy free menu was packed with gluten… Therefore, only one meal was both gluten and dairy free… So for Monday – Thursday I had a banana for breakfast, and for both lunch and dinner I had tuna salad (minus the boiled egg and tomatoes…). Not exactly nutrient dense, or very varied! Plus, although tuna is a healthy option, it is a fish that should be consumed in moderation due to its possible mercury content.

Breakfast choices were cereal or toast… Cheap to feed the masses, yes. Nutrient dense… No. Especially lacking in valuable nutrients for healing, and very much lacking in choice for people with dairy and gluten sensitivities….

Thankfully, Andrew brought me a selection of nutrient dense meals 3 times a day, including fish, grass fed beef, organ meat, oysters and plenty (nay, copious) amounts of vegetables.

Thankfully I was there to support and feed my baby, not recover from an illness or surgery. But still, the quality of my milk is directly dependent on the nutrition I consume, therefore my baby needed better menu choices for me on the menu. And thankfully I have an understanding of good nutrition, and a partner willing to do the cooking and leg work for me to get it. But other people in the hospital aren’t that lucky, and they still need the nutritional support to heal.

Since learning what I have about nutrition, and seeing menu choices in hospitals both that I have worked at, and been a patient at, I feel it is an enormously important task to encourage and create change in the food that is served to people who are trying to heal and get out of hospital, whether they are people without disease merely having an elective ankle operation, or an elderly immunosuppressed patient.

The importance of food, and it’s healing properties NEEDS to be pushed more in hospitals. The emphasis is so heavily on getting patients out of hospital, to receive community based care back in their own home (which I totally agree with for a large proportion of cases), yet we provide nutrient deficient fuel for their bodies when they most need quality. Of course there is a cost issue (which will be a huge part), but the other issue is a complete lack of understanding and knowledge around the importance of nutrition…

This needs to be redressed.

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Time flies when your a mum!

Hi there!! Just a quick update…

So, firstly… My how times flies!! I don’t know how mums do anything other than cuddle, feed and socialise with their yummy babies!! 🙂

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Update on my post partum flare… I got back to my clean eating and have stuck to it since getting back from hospital!! It has most definitely helped, the aches and pains have eased, but I am still managing a certain amount of pain.

It’s so difficult to be able to balance all the variables… Last weekend I did lots of dog walks with Seb and Andrew… And my knees blew up like balloons. Epsom salt baths sorted those in 2-3 days.
Over this week aches and stiffness have crept up on me in the neck and shoulders – from lots of lifting an ever increasingly heavy chunky monkey (Seb.. Not Andrew!!), and broken/disturbed sleep.
And this weekend I did some silly stretching of my right wrist to try to avoid it stiffening up at a Christmas party… But instead, just flared up my Oarsman’s Wrist!!! This I have managed with mag oil, avoiding aggravating it, and today my friend did some acupuncture… So fingers crossed… Although not, as that hurts!!

My new addition to my natural management of my RA is magnesium… In the Epsom salt baths and mag oil (homemade!)… I’ve only started this week, and there is SOOOOO much to learn about minerals and their balancing! I haven’t done any testing yet to see what my levels are, but since a huge proportion of the population is deficient in magnesium, it’s my first port if call!!

Next on my list to add are: fish oils, essential oils, kefir/kombucha, fermented veg… (Bought my mum a book on fermenting and going to set her the task of keeping me stocked up!!! I just don’t have the time or the wrist strength for all that veg prep yet…!!).

There’s lots to consider adding to my routine, it’s quite overwhelming… But I remember how overwhelmed I was before changing my diet… So as long as I take things one at a time, surely I’ll get there… I could just do with a good straight 10 hours of sleep…..!!!! Ha!! Never again I suspect!! (But I don’t mind, because my little boy is perfect!)

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