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!

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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!!)

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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!!

My return from maternity leave (from wordpress!!)!!

Hello… I’m trying to get back to normality with my blogging. Sebastian is a dream, sleeping so well most of the time, feeding well (and frequently), so I’m taking advantage!! I probably should be sleeping when he does, but I’m not very good at that! So we will see how things go!
Sadly I haven’t kept up with my food diary over the last few weeks, but I’m getting back to it.
I have had a little flare compared to how good I was feeling pre-partum, part of this will definitely be due to the effort/trauma of the birth (which by the way, was minimally traumatic thankfully!! Everything went really well… but it’s still a pretty big thing for your body to go through!), another reason is likely to be the changes in hormones, and the transition from carrying a little human being, to no longer incubating, plus… as Sebastian decided to come early I hadn’t managed to cook as many mini meals in preparation as I would have liked. So, this meant that I managed to take my own food for the first two days in hospital, but as Sebastian wasn’t feeding well enough (according to the midwifes), they kept me in for another two days, in which I decided to just eat the hospital food. Now I didn’t feel awful straight away, and as I was in hospital I wasn’t doing a huge amount, so I didn’t notice much. But once I got home and had stairs to navigate I realised I was back to going up and down one step at a time. I had severe pain in my ankles, left more than right (which although has settled considerably, hasn’t gone, and has led to a very sore and lumpy left Achilles), knees, and hands.
On my first night back at home I indulged in a take away curry…. Mmmmmmm!! It was soooo good!!
But in the morning I got back onto my clean eating straight away, and even declined helping out with the leftovers . The food just isn’t worth the pain at the moment!! (well, the curry was totally worth it, but I had already broken my clean eating for two days prior…!)
Recovery from this flare is much slower than it was when I started my elimination diet, (I could probably do with doing a bit of a detox fast, but as I’m now breast feeding I don’t think I could cope… I’m always so hungry and thirsty anyway!!) I’m currently left with a sore and lumpy left Achilles, ankles that are ok… but don’t particularly like being taken to end of range, and stiff slightly swollen PIP joints… eases as the day goes on. I also think that I have slipped into the habitat of snacking on fruit which is leading to too much sugar in my diet… so that is my goal over the next fortnight or so!!
I have also developed:
Anterior knee pain from doing so much sit to standing with Seb in my arms!! This is totally due to deconditioning, and I am already working on some simple strength and balance work, with a view to getting back to yoga as soon as my teacher lets me!
Low back pain, and neck pain from the relative inactivity and poor posture that breastfeeding causes… I’m working on my BF technique!! And hoping that as I get better at this, my posture will improve, and also, as I get fitter and stronger my muscles will support me better anyhow!! (I really aught to use my chair that’s in the bedroom, but in the day I tend to use the settee… easier and softer… but likely adding to my aches!! (Bad physio!! Slap on the wrist!!)
And some of my thumb pain I hate to admit is probably from increased internet and Facebook browsing whilst being relatively inactive… as TV is just so rubbish, and there is so much information out there that I want to absorb on hormones, supplements, mineral balancing, essential oils and autoimmunity overall!!

But in general, considering how I was before I started this diet… I am still WAY healthier and in much less pain!! Plus, I don’t like to brag too much… but I was back into my pre-pregnancy jeans after one week, and I’m pretty chuffed with how my figure is coming along already!! (To be honest, its better than it was before I got pregnant!!)

18 Days post partum.

18 Days post partum.

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I plan to continue with all these changes for the rest of my life, it has been such an eye opener! Getting pregnant with Seb could well be the absolute best thing I have ever done for my body and health!! 

New arrival has halted all efforts at blogging!!

Sorry it’s been so long since I last posted… I had plenty of plans for lots of posts, restaurant/pub reviews etc… But someone had other ideas!! 2 weeks earlier than planned my beautiful baby boy decided he was joining the party, and I couldn’t be happier!!!

So without further ado, I’d like to introduce Sebastian Nicholas!!

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