Chronic illness tip: 
Remind yourself how far you’ve come!

 

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of just how far we’ve come!  Especially when we’ve allowed our inner bitch to rant and rave at our so-called shortcomings for too long.

 

 

A year ago I was pumping countless pharmaceuticals into my body. Thinking that the array of nutraceutical’s was actually helping me counteract some of the side effects of these medicines. The thought of being without analgesics was a pipe dream. Something that could only happen with a cure to what ailed me. I couldn’t imagine the sheer magnitude of pain I would be in without my four hourly codeine, my massive dose of Pregabalin or the relief of naproxen. But look at where I am now. I have been medication free since 29th November 2016. This year so far, has flown by in a heartbeat. So I’ve never stopped to acknowledge the length of time I’ve been without the crutch of analgesics. It’s not easy. Don’t get me wrong. You inevitably take steps back, because at the end of the day, I have a chronic pain condition, multiple in fact. But I haven’t so much as taken a paracetamol. Not for any of my aches or neurological pains, nor for a crippling headache. I decided to feed my body instead. I made the decision to give my body her best chance of coping and with any luck one day, overcoming this, just by being mindful of the nutrients I give her. What I put in my mouth inevitably means the difference between living and existing, between coping and falling apart. I have to remind myself that, I have a lot of making up to do. The damage caused, the imbalances due to the concoctions of medicines I’ve been taking, need to be healed. I have more work to do than when this all began. I am backpedalling in a sense, but that’s ok.

 

 

 

I watched a program recently, featuring a woman with fibromyalgia, ME and Hypothyroidism. A doctor spent extensive time with her, essentially living with her for extended hours. To get a real sense of how she lives, how she’s coping if at all and how he could potentially help. She was unsurprisingly, on a multitude of medications, suffering debilitating fatigue and just fighting through everyday. Familiar? What surprised me was that this doctor’s advice, to help improve her quality of life, was to make drastic changes to her lifestyle. If you watched the program you’ll know what I’m talking about. But his argument was that mindfulness, a healthier diet (cutting out processed foods and refined sugars) and reducing her dependence on pharmaceuticals, would make a difference to her level of daily struggle.

 

 

 

I tell you what, never have I watched a program like this and smiled to myself. I haven’t had this support or suggestions from a medical professional involved in my care. The things I have done, result from countless hours of research, reading and refusing to accept the “take the pills and deal with it” mentality I’ve had from doctors. Honestly, my medical care has been complicated; it is for all of us. But what exacerbated this for me was transferring my care from the south of the country, to the north where I’m now residing. My GP here actually said to me that, I had to just come to terms with the fact that this was my life now. This was his response in 2016 when I went to talk to him about the increasing incidences of neuralgia, the debilitating exhaustion, the inability to leave the house for days on end, leading into weeks. The lack of sleep, the frustration, the side effects, the sheer inexplicable cocktail of symptoms that just made my life, hell. He told me I had to accept that’s how it was for me now, that accepting that would make it easier. That I just had to make the best of it. Well then. Luckily for me I’m a stubborn S.O.B. I won’t be told what I can and can’t do and I’m CERTAINLY not going to “settle” for an incomplete life. For an existence that doesn’t resemble living. So, to that doctor, I’m sorry for the disrespect, but FUCK YOU! I WON’T settle. I won’t stop fighting to be better, I won’t let you delude me into thinking that if your pharmaceutical solutions don’t solve my problems, that that’s the be all and end all of the matter. I WILL learn, I will investigate, read and experiment my way to better health, despite your tunnelled, out dated views on health care.

 

 

(It’s a good job I’m not a vlogger…a video of me speaking/yelling that rant would have seemed on fast forward!!) 

 

 

I choose to remind myself – this battle, it’s a journey.  There is no way to predict where this will lead me or you.  Don’t look forward to the future thinking “Where will I end up”, there is no end.  Just continued development and growth.  Choose to whole-heartedly believe that no matter what trials you face today, you are stronger and wiser than you were yesterday, a week ago and years into your past.  No matter how bleak it may seem, this is NOT your final destination.  Life is not about an “end goal” or a “destination”.  It is a rolling road that twists and turns and forks.  Sometimes you will be winning, sometimes it will feel like you’re losing, but that’s ok. It’s just the balance of life.  At the end of the day, the most control you have over…. well anything really, is how you choose to react to it.

 

Think of it this way; we are always changing shape, for years we may be a square, so we learn to put ourselves through the square hole and all seems hunky dory with the world.  But then one day you wake up and you’re a triangle, yet you still try to fit yourself through that square hole.  When that doctor said I had to accept my circumstances, to me, what it really means is, accepting change.  Accept that a triangle can only fit through a triangular hole.

 

My body changed, I changed, so I have to reshape my life so I can fit in it.  Yes it’s different, but different doesn’t have to mean hard or bad.  I have accepted that I will, in my lifetime, continue to “change shape”, so I choose to roll with it, to make myself amenable and excited for the unknown that change can bring.  Let yourself get excited, If not now, when?  After all…

 

 

“You will never be as young as you are right now”

Neil Pasricha

 

 

This journey will forge strength in you that you never thought possible.  You are a goddamn Warrior!!  Hold your head high, pop those pills, slap on that magnesium oil and shout out to the universe, “I got this. BRING IT!!!”

 

 

Much Love

Adeana

XOXOX

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Your five-a-day and your Health.

 

It’s all very simple, yet we are all (mostly) guilty of living a provincial existence. At least to some extent, where true nutrition was concerned, I definitely was. Until, something like Fibro knocks you on your ass (as it did me) and gives you a massive wake up call and smack in the face; to sort that shit out!!

 

So then, lets look past getting your five a day; how many of us actually do, regularly, honestly? I don’t mean lets eat twenty a day, I’m sure none of our waistlines would truly thank us for that. But lets look at how we can all include more nutrients in our diet. Even for those run-around people, this is valuable information. It’s not just the chronically sick that can benefit from a wide range of fruits and vegetables in our diets!

 

The importance of your five-a-day for minimizing disease risk:

 

Let’s just clear something up before we start; juicing is NOT ‘healthier’ than eating whole fruits and vegetables. For one, we are losing the healthy dietary fibre. When we make juice, we are obviously extracting the liquid, which does however, contain all the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients or plant chemicals (I will be covering these more in depth later on) but leaves behind the pulp, the part that contains the fibre. Having said that, juicing does make these nutrients easily absorbable, not to say that we don’t need dietary fibre. It’s important to realise that for the majority of us, our digestive systems have become impaired from a lifetime of making less than optimal food choices. Whether it’s purely dietary related or whether you have a chronic illness, or even stress, which further impairs your body’s ability to digest (read more about digestive issues in the post Fibromyalgia and your Microbiome & Chronic illness tip; cut out the caffeine) it’s worth noting that juicing your veggies, essentially “pre-digests” it for you, giving you a better chance of absorbing more of the goodness. Think of it in terms of having an intravenous health boost.

 

There is so much that you can do with the pulp left over from juicing. I’ve used it in my smoothies, to make freezable dog treats for the dudes and you can also use it in a variety of baking recipes. It doesn’t just have to go to waste!

 

Now then, lets further clear something up; yes, we need dietary fibre, BUT it’s worth remembering, some vitamins and minerals are damaged by cooking, so eating them raw, is in fact, better for you so far as nutrient intake. So, despite the fact that you’re not technically gaining anything by juicing your veggies rather than eating them raw, how often would you potentially eat your five portions a day, let alone eat them raw? Most of us, only consume 3 of our 5 a day recommended intake of fruits and veggies, with 1 in 5 of us barely eating any at all. When you look at it like that, juicing is a great way to start to introduce more of the good stuff into your diet, especially if you’re regularly having smoothies and other veggies in your diet to make up for the fibre deficit in your juices! So technically, provided you have more of an emphasis on vegetable juices, green juices’ as is the rule of thumb, then you’re on the right track, as your consuming them raw, in terms of vitamins and minerals. Plus, lets not forget that you can only physically consume so much in a day; no one would actually consume 8 carrots and 4 parsnips before breakfast!! But juicing makes that possible!

So what can you gain from juicing…

  • Increased water intake.  Simple but essential.  Fruits and vegetables have high water content, and by juicing them you’re not only increasing your water intake through something yummy, but it has the added bonus of vitamins and minerals.
  • Vitamins and minerals minus the fibre, can be absorbed in the most efficient manner and in quantities you’d struggle to consume whole.
  • It becomes so easy to add a wider variety of plants to your diet.
  • Promotes weight loss.
  • Increases energy and boosts your immune system.  Feeding your body an abundance of nutrients, and keeping your pH balanced, makes you feel energised.  Because juicing enables these nutrients to be utilised by your body immediately, it’s like having a caffeine kick in a morning!  Raw juice also contains biophotonic light energy which can help revitalise your body!
  • Supports brain health.  There is a lot of research citing the connections between gut health and brain health.  One research study claims that drinking raw fruit and vegetable juices three times per week, reduces your likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 76%.

 

 

Right then let’s talk a bit more about these lovely nutrients. As I’ve said, your getting an array of vitamins and minerals from your plant based foods. What you’re also getting is phytochemicals. This is something that is still being widely researched, but we are aware of at least 4000 phytochemicals that occur naturally solely in plants. When I say plants, I’m not just referring to salad; it includes all whole foods, everything from fruits, veggies, grains and beans. We need to educate ourselves on these phytochemicals and what benefits they have for us, they need to be as well known as the most common vitamins; as the benefits we already know about, can have an astounding effect on our health. The research into these phytochemicals is suggesting that they work synergistically with vitamins, minerals and fibre in these whole foods, to promote good health and lower disease risk. Nature is friggin awesome!!

 

Of what we know so far, phytochemicals may act as antioxidants, protecting and regenerating essential nutrients and potentially working to deactivate cancer-causing substances. If you’ve read The China Study, or watched any of the many health documentaries on Netflix, this won’t be new information to you and the research behind this is astounding!!

 

When you think of antioxidants, we know that they protect our bodies against the damaging effects of free radicals, the unstable oxygen molecules in our bodies that attack healthy cells and transform DNA. Then when you consider that the mutation of our DNA in our cells, can lead to the development of cancer, under the right conditions; increasing our intake of whole foods with antioxidants, is a no brainer. This topic is covered in so much detail in the aforementioned amazing book called The China Study, I fully recommend reading this book as it will truly open your eyes about how everything we eat becomes part of us, the good and the bad!

 

From there, it nicely leads us onto metabolic regulators and hormone modifiers, which do wonders for our health. As the name suggests quite clearly, these phytoprotectants regulate our metabolism and the latter, works to keep our hormone levels nicely balanced. The reason this leads on nicely from the cancer protecting properties of antioxidants, is because, some cancers’ known causation is an imbalance of hormones in the body. As for metabolism regulation, the benefits of that are clear, we all want a healthy stable metabolism!!

 

When you really think about it in terms of us, with our heavily medicated delicate, painful bodies, how likely is it that these pharmaceuticals are taking control of such things; our metabolism, our hormones, in such an unnatural way. They upset the very clever balance, of how our vessels should be naturally supported by the whole foods our beautiful planet has to offer. Nothing does a better job, than nature.

 

Unsurprisingly, the most expensive vitamin pills CANNOT provide the same health benefits as the real thing. The nutritional diversity of whole foods provided by our earth, is far from being understood, so it stands to reason that even the most “complete” supplements fall short of matching the sheer complexity of fresh fruit and vegetables in terms of disease protection.

 

I mean seriously, if we don’t know all of the phytochemicals offered in these plant-based foods, how on earth can we begin to replicate that in a supplement pill?? Let’s stop embarrassing ourselves by trying to “out do” nature, the notion is down right preposterous once you get into it!!!

 

I know I’ve been talking about this in a rather general way, but consider this; if there’s research to suggest that plant-based eating can essentially ‘turn off’ the progression of cancer, why wouldn’t it have a massive benefit for us, for what we’re dealing with now?! My knowledge on nutrition is limited, granted, but just knowing and putting to use these small little things all adds up. Adding turmeric root to a juice for an anti-inflammatory effect; using bile movers such as beetroot to ensure your bile ducts don’t become congested, as this can also cause pain in the body. All these little things add up. Like I’ve said before, it’s just a jigsaw puzzle. These are just little pieces that will one day make up the whole.

 

For all the things we do to try to combat our daily struggles, this is for sure, the easiest and most enjoyable change you can implement today. No waiting for your pain to become that much more bearable so you can take that gym class, or waiting for the fog to clear so you can crack the first chapter of your epic novel. No waiting required. And it helps, it truly does. So your pain won’t go away in a day and you won’t wake up a stone lighter, but you’re loving and nourishing your suffering body. Your body doesn’t want to struggle, as much as your mind tries to tell you you’re against each other, its bull.

 

Something I’ve learnt along the way, which to be fair, took a very long time to truly sink in and take on board is; our actions MUST be in line with our beliefs. That goes for your hopes, your dreams, everything. You must bring yourself in line with all the things you want for your future. Want to be better? Healthier? Not in pain? A normal life? An energetic boundless adventure of a life? Start living that way now. No matter what it is that you want, you have to accept that to get there, your actions need to reflect your dreams. You wouldn’t wish for a toned slim body and eat burgers and fries everyday, would you? This is no different. You want your body to heal, to do what it is capable of, so treat it that way.

Your body is created to do miraculous things, feed her so she can!

 

Much Love,

 

Adeana

XOXOX

Nutritional healing:

 

I guess you could say that it all started for me in early 2016.  That’s when I first started researching the use of nutrition to heal.  Thinking that I couldn’t even consider doing something as drastic as plant-based, I started focusing on all the information out there regarding added sugar.  I was finding literature linking artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame with either the onset of, or incidents of flares amongst fibromyalgia patients.  The more I read the more I was convinced that going sugar-free was going to help me reduce inflammation and with any luck, pains – at least levels of.  I was successfully completely sugar-free (not counting natural sugars such as fructose) for about 4 months. My problem came when I tried to eliminate Gluten along side it.  Having already given up most flours already, I thought it would be easy.  Hahahahaha.  That’s all I have to say about that!!

 

 

Anyway, I did feel better during my time sugar-free and most of the principles it taught me, stuck. I think the biggest difference I saw was in my fatigue. When I look back on it now, I realise how it started the habits and knowledge of more whole food options and alternatives. As luck would have it, it’s been a good foundation for what I’m doing now, in as much that my pantry is already pretty much stocked appropriately and I know what to do with these previously foreign ingredients. Bonus.

 

Most importantly, I had a wealth of smoothie recipes in my arsenal, which has been a staple for me over the past year, and in turn, led me to research the differences between juicing and smoothies. On my recipe hunts, I would come across all these yummy sounding juicing recipes and I wondered whether I should add this into my routine, what were the benefits of this over my morning smoothie? As it turns out, it’s a beautiful combination. It’s not particularly that one is better than the other; at least that’s how I’ve taken it. The principles are the same, but with juicing your cutting out some of the dietary fibre.

 

 

For me, I’ve found that I’m consuming more nutrients by juicing, alongside my smoothies. Quite honestly, a smoothie will fill me up so much, I haven’t got room for more than one a day, but with the addition of juicing, I feel I’m increasing my vitamin, mineral and antioxidant intake exponentially. The one thing I am conscious of is making sure I am making juices with plenty of vegetables. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s all about having a fresh orange juice every morning. Experiment. Play around with recipes you find, make them your own. Aim to get your juicing leftovers to look like a rainbow!  You’ll soon be putting together yummy juices and feeling a whole lot better for it!! You’ll be pleasantly surprised how different even your favourite fruits and veggies taste when juicing, for the better! My top tips for beginners:

 

1: There is a massive market for juicers now. You can pretty much spend as little or as much as you like. The main thing that you need to know is that; there are centrifugal juice extractors and masticating juicers or cold-press juicers. Now cold-press juicers yield more juice and the fact that they’re slow juicers, means they don’t heat up the same as a centrifugal juicer, meaning less incidence of damage to those nutrients your hoping for. Having said that, during my grueling research when buying my own, slow-juicers within my comfortable price range, weren’t getting the best reviews. I didn’t want to over spend on my first juicer, as let’s be honest, it’s an experiment in lifestyle. I wanted to be sure it would become a daily part of my routine before breaking the bank! I bit the bullet and went with a centrifugal juicer, which was given rave reviews. It was a steal at £35 and I haven’t looked back!

 

2: When your researching juicers, my biggest tips on what to look for would be; ease of cleaning is ESSENTIAL! The last thing we need is something complicated to take apart and clean, so check it’s also dishwasher friendly, for those bad days, when feeding ourselves high nutrients is EVEN more detrimental!! Look for something with a reasonably decent sized chute, the less chopping and prepping you have to do, the more likely you are to stick with your new-found love. Lastly, take note of the jug size; they’re easy to fill when making a fruit and veggie cocktail! Other than that, trust the reviews, you can’t discount real-life experience with a product.

 

3: Not sure where to start with your search for recipes? Think of your favourite veggies, get yourself on google and go from there. You’re obviously more likely to instill this in your daily habits if you enjoy what you’re making. Find just 2 or 3 recipes and stock up as required.  As a side tip, if I see something on offer or reduced in the supermarket, I get my ass on google and search, “strawberry juice recipes” for example, then I can pick up anything else I may need whilst I’m out!!

 

4: Stick to organic, not only will it taste better, it’s also much better for you. I made the mistake of buying regular carrots…wow-did it taste different, even the colour was less vivid! Lesson learned!

 

5: Don’t be afraid to omit or add to a recipe you’ve found. I’ve found that celery in particular, can be quite an overpowering flavour, for my taste. Usually if a recipe calls for more than one or two stalks, I’ll either replace it with something like an apple, or just go with less!  

 

6: I have tried refrigerating and freezing juices, but to me they’re never the same. I like to make mine fresh when I want it and drink straight away.  There’s plenty of debates out there regarding the loss of nutrients as the fruits in particular, oxidize.  Some people say to drink straight away to get the best out of it, others say the loss is negligible.  I’m inclined to believe the former, as to me, when I’ve experimented, the taste difference is massive!

 

7:  Over time, your taste buds will change. Invite that by trying new things, things you might not have necessarily eaten or liked before, you’ll be pleasantly surprised I promise!

 

8:  The biggest piece of advice I can give you, is to have at least one easy, go to juice that you can have on a flare day.  Something that takes no prep, with potentially just one or two ingredients.  When the pain, fatigue or any of the countless symptoms is playing up, it’s even more imperative to get that nutritional goodness.
 For me, it’s carrot juice.  I always make sure I’ve got carrots in stock so that, on a bad day, I can still muster up just enough energy to whizz them through the juicer.  I don’t peel or chop them, most of the time I don’t even wash them, depends on how they look really.  Even then, they’re just getting a quick rinse.  It’s got to be quick and effortless.  The longer I spend in the kitchen, stood prepping food, looking down at my chopping board, the worse my neck can get on any day, but on a bad day, it takes all but minutes.  Be kind to yourself and remember, just a small amount of effort on these bad days when all you want to do is stay in bed, will pay off dividends in the long run!

 

 

A smoothie bowl and a fresh juice in the morning is my staple, it really does set the tone for the rest of the day. Occasionally I will have a second juice in the afternoon, as a pick me up, as I don’t drink coffee or any caffeine anymore, remember?! LOL

 

Before juicing, I would drink my smoothie, like a normal person.  But as you’ve probably noticed by the pictures (especially if you follow me on Instagram.) I always have my smoothie in a bowl now, topped with a combination of nuts, seeds, fruit, whatever really.  The main aim here is to get my digestive juices flowing.  When you’re having a smoothie and a juice for breakfast, essentially liquified foods, you want to make sure you’re activating your digestive fire and creating an optimum environment to assimilate nutrients.  Chewing is the first step in digestion, not only does your saliva play a massive role in digestion, but it also sends signals to activate your entire digestive system.  So, having something to “chew” in my smoothie, definitely helps with this process.  I even steal little bits of fruit/veg/seeds as I’m making my smoothie and juice, so the process has started before I even sit down to eat it.  I realise now that having a smoothie and just drinking it, isn’t giving me the best opportunity to really make the most of the goodness I’m ingesting.  

 

 

 

It’s amazing really how much can change in such a short space of time. I’m sure we are all acutely aware of this, it’s the nature of chronic illness, it can change everything. But it’s also true of the other end of the spectrum, not all change is bad. I have to remind myself of how far I’ve come over the past year. How many habits I’ve changed for the better, how many obstacles I’ve overcome, how much I’ve leant and most importantly, I really feel like I’ve grown as a person.

 

 

 

I’ve built new life habits, carving a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle for myself over the past couple of years. The knowledge I’ve gained in so many areas that used to just live in my inquisitive overactive nighttime brain, I’ve now been able to research and delve into, that in itself, has been a fabulous journey. I’m so thirsty for more information. It gives me a newfound sense of excitement about where my journey will lead me.   There is still a long way to go for me, a lot to learn, but I can’t envisage ever quenching this thirst I have to expand my understanding of the world I now find myself in. It’s important to hold onto these passions and inspirations we have, it’s the most important fuel of hope, to keep us going, one day at a time, one foot in front of the other.

 

Much Love

Adeana

XOXOX

 

 

 

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Clean Eating for Chronic Illness.

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food –Hippocrates

Before I start delving into my journey, I want to cover some of the basics. Some of the blindingly obvious truths about our typical western diet and lifestyle that have completely changed the way I feed my body.

 

This is not a new concept. You may already be Vegetarian, Pescetarian, Vegan or Plant-based and already know all of this. To me, I knew to a degree as I think we all do, but didn’t follow. Let’s be honest, plant-based goodness is no mystery to any of us, had your 5-a-day yet?! But for a long time I didn’t feel I HAD to change. As awful as that may sound.   Our Society is ignorant (for the majority) to the Animal Welfare argument and unfortunately, it’s doing nothing for our health. We value taste over ethics, price over goodness and habit over longevity. I’m guilty of it and paying for it.

 

My need for convenience and speed has led me down this path I’m now walking. As odd as it may sound, I’m thankful. Without this life altering assault on my body at what I like to tell myself is at “such a young age (LOL)”, has forced me to investigate, to learn, to pull back the veil over my eyes and see things as they really are, with an open mind. So yes, I feel guilty and shameful for my ignorant and selfish actions to this point in my life. I took it for granted, making blinkered food choices solely focused on ease, taste and affordability. How wrong was I. These things I now know, I can’t un-learn, I can’t un-see the “behind the scenes” devastation of Animal Agriculture. Without sounding like I’m minimizing the terror and suffering occurring on such a massive scale to these poor defenceless beings we consume, it does in fact, reach so much further than this. The argument has so many folds it’s hard to count. From Greenhouse gases, deforestation, ocean dead zones right through to carcinogens on our plates and antibiotic resistance in our future.

 

Did you know:

 

Raising animals for meat produces more greenhouse gases than the entire transport sector.

 

That 750,000 pus cells per milliliter are ALLOWED for milk to be considered fit for consumption and sale.

 

That the World Health Organisation classifies processed meat as a Group 1 carcinogen-the same group as tobacco smoking, asbestos and plutonium!

 

What the actual effy-Jeff…

 

How has Medicine moved so far away from the their most revered oath;

 

First do no harm – Hippocrates

Having said that, if you’ve ever been curious to discover the updated version of the Hippocratic oath, you may have snuffed as much as I did at the section, which stated;

 

“I will prevent disease whenever I can but I will always look for a path to a cure for all diseases.”

 

*You can read the original and the updated versions in entirety here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippocratic_Oath

 

For us plagued with chronic illness, it’s laughable – for the most part. Prevention and cure hhmm, more like medicate and forget.

 

In honesty, what gets me most is the “prevention” aspect. Don’t get me wrong, of course there’s prevention strategies. Vaccines are an obvious example. But when you start to delve into this world, reading about the hundreds of studies linking diet to a multitude of chronic illnesses, the majority of which, are our leading causes of death. When these studies span at least six decades, all pointing in the same direction, the correlation between animal products and our biggest killers; cancer, heart disease, diabetes. It’s easy to start to question WHY. Why isn’t there more of, if any, emphasis on the role of diet in health? Why is diet not considered a preventative measure for Heart Disease? Why are we advised to eat in a manner that profits the meat and pharmaceutical industries but not our wellness? It all boils down to money.

 

 

Just consider the fact that 80% of pharmaceuticals are sold to Animal Farmers. Even the World Health Organisation says we are nearing a post antibiotic era in medicine. That’s frightening. All these drugs, from antibiotics, antifungals, steroids and hormones (just to name a few) that are fed to the animals we then eat, accumulate in the dead animals tissue, moving up the food chain for our consumption. Is that cheeseburger really worth dying of a simple infection, one that for so long, has been easy to treat? The day may very well come.

 

I genuinely believe that one day, we will see an omnivorous diet in the same light that we do smoking. The evidence is there, has been for decades, but we choose to ignore it over our dripping beef burger scoffing habits.

 

There is so much information out there on this subject, I’ve only touched on a couple. The volume of health ramifications warrants another blog post; no doubt I’ll be touching on this subject a lot as I move forward. If this has wetted your appetite to find out more, don’t forget that we live in an age where information is literally at our fingertips, we just need to be willing to look, but more importantly, open to change. Remember, if you don’t change anything, nothing changes.

 

I for one, will be taking the lessons learned so far, putting them into practice, not only for the countless compassionate reasons, but selfishly, for myself, for my health.

 

I want and need to nourish my body, not punish her…

 

Much Love

Adeana

XOXOX

Here goes…I’m prepared for the fact that this post will undoubtedly divide the nation. Don’t worry; I was once where you are. Protesting those ‘caffeine dissing’ nut-bags. You see, I’ve always known that there are clear benefits to the occasional brew, more so when it’s high quality, fresh and organic. No brainer right? There’s even studies which suggest that coffee consumption can reduce your risk of developing Parkinson’s, just to throw one health benefit out there. But here’s the pincher, are we all adhering to enjoying in moderation, and the aforementioned quality of what makes it into our favourite mug?! Or are we just chugging down our eighth cup of the day, whilst mumbling incoherently about our health induced reasoning for adding that extra espresso shot………”I’m health conscious damn it, I’m reducing my risk of Gallstones!!!”

 

So, I want to share with you some of my practices, which, for me, have helped to improve my fatigue, at the same time having secondary effects of reducing my woe with other irritating daily struggles too.  The more I thought about this, the more I realised that a) I’m not an expert at the notion; “why use 3 words when 1 will do”. B) I’m northern and we have a tendency to a1) chew your ear off and b1) not know when to shut up. (I think I’ve accidentally proved all my points with that paragraph-ooops) So, I realised it would be best to separate my tips into stand-alone Blog posts; otherwise, it’s likely to rival War and Peace, albeit in slang.

 

Before I begin, referencing all future posts of this nature, whether you have tried some of these hacks, are a dab hand, or even better, you want to add to them, I’d love to hear your feedback on what works for you.  Let’s share the wealth and help one another to get back to a more fulfilling life.

 

Let’s begin by cutting out the caffeine.  

 

Ok, okay, I hear your concern, gasps at the shear horror and that glimmer of a tear.  Trust me, this took a long time for me to accept.  I have to add in here, that I wasn’t just a come a day, go a day caffeine consumer, but a “don’t even look at me let alone attempt to converse with me” kinda coffee drinker.  That was my vice.  Coffee.  Black.  Like tar.  No matter your vice, whether it be tea, coffee or one of the many variations of caffeine fuelled soft drinks and energy drinks, let me tell you… they lie.  You may feel that initial kick, but how long is it before your shuffling to the kettle or the fridge to partake in another dose of its zing?  It is all a farce.  You’re not feeding your body with a nutritious fuel to help you get going.  Quite the opposite, particularly for us sensitive sufferers.  You could be inadvertently feeding your insomnia, anxiety and stress levels and most importantly, having an adverse effect on your already suffering Digestive System.  Let’s face it, very common factors throughout the chronic illness spectrum.

 

I’m as guilty as they come where coffee is concerned. I could easily consume into double figures a day. This links back to my post “Fibromyalgia and your Micrbiome” as it wasn’t until I started my research and work with that, that I discovered some of the damage I was either causing or, ‘adding fuel to the fire’ with my black-tar addiction. It was without fail, the FIRST thing I did in the morning; kettle on, eyes barely open, let the dogs out, drink the magic, steaming elixir AND breathe.

 

Trouble is, once you learn something; whether its read or seen in person, you can’t UN-learn it! You can’t catch your partner cheating and just forget about it, having no emotional response. It was the same (but clearly not as dramatic) when I started delving into this topic of caffeine and how as it turned out, he wasn’t my friend and cheerleader after all!! Part of me wanted to rewind. I read something that felt all too familiar, my jaw dropped, ‘OH NO, coffee is making it worse”. I genuinely thought to myself as I digested the obvious words in front of me,  can I just close the browser and pretend I didn’t just read that?! Erm, nope. Not possible.

 

So, brace yourself Warriors, I’m about to drop some truth bombs. There’s no going back from here…

 

Now you know my previous coffee-loving routine, imagine my horror to learn that; when you drink coffee on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning, you’re stimulating Hydrochloric Acid production. Seems harmless right? NO. Whether it’s first thing in the morning or as a meal replacement, drinking coffee to induce this HCl production can actually make it difficult to produce enough HCl for necessary digestion. This is particularly prevalent when talking proteins. If you lack the required amount of HCl for protein digestion, these foods can pass into the small intestine before being broken down properly. You don’t need to do any thorough research to discover that undigested protein is associated with a whole host of health issues. Add to this the fact coffee is a laxative, stimulating peristalsis and promoting gastric emptying BEFORE necessary digestion and nutrient absorption; it’s no wonder we rattle with our nutraceutical intake!! For me, IBS being a keen player in both my Fibromyalgia and exacerbated by the irritation of my Endometriosis, the last thing I should be doing is putting more unnecessary stress on my digestive tract. That’s before I even delve into the malnourishment side of the debate! Knowing what we know now from the endless research into the Microbiome, the health implications of having an unbalanced and unsupported network, how could I continue with my morning ‘pick me up’ after discovering the potential damage I was causing.

 

Onto Acid Reflux and Heartburn. I’ve suffered, (well suffered is a bit strong a term, more of a nuisance really) with this for many years, but it’s an irritant that seemed to get worse with the evolution of my chronic issues. The correlation between my illnesses becoming unbearable, leading to giving up work and the increase in coffee consumption is a clear cause for why this minor issue seemed to become a daily annoyance. Furthermore, heartburn and reflux seemed to trigger my costochondritis, which would painfully linger on way after the initial catalyst had disappeared.  What I was unaware of before is that coffee relaxes the esophageal sphincter, thus allowing the contents of your stomach to come back into the esophagus and burning your delicate lining with HCl. Unfortunately, this does cross the border into all caffeinated drinks, as it’s thought that caffeine is known to be responsible. The bastard. From this your initial saving grace could be decaffeinated.

 

I’m going to let that hang there for a while because I’m about to burst your bubble. Sorry. Although I’m unaware of proof (please correct me if I’m wrong) but there are researchers that believe there are other compounds in decaf coffee, which also contribute to acid reflux issues. 

 

I know, we can’t seem to catch a break can we!!

 

Quick survey; how many of you supplement the likes of Vitamin D, Magnesium, Iron? If you think this conversation was painful to this point, you may want to make a brew now before your views are irreparably damaged. I would easily class myself as a heavy coffee drinker. I don’t know the accepted definition of the term but I think it’s an easy assumption to make. I have been supplementing my Vitamin D and Magnesium at particularly high doses for a couple of years now (amongst others). Making use of Epsom salt baths and transdermal magnesium oils to help alleviate some of my muscular pain. Imagine my horror to discover that coffee affects iron absorption in your stomach and in particular, your kidneys ability to retain calcium, zinc MAGNESIUM and other important minerals. Dagnamit. This is the last thing we need. We are as a majority, already magnesium deficient. All those well researched and expensive supplements essentially going down the drain.

 

Ok. If you’ve made it this far, take a deep breath. I’ve got one final and arguably one of the most important points to make. Living with chronic illness is HARD. Disregarding the physical for a moment and talking about our mental health and well-being. We live with daily assaults on our emotions, from one end of the spectrum to another. Keeping it remotely together some days is an impossible feat. You know where I’m going with this. We all know how coffee can give us that energy kick we so desperately need at times, but do you realize how and with what consequences? So, when you get that increase in your heart rate (for me on a bad day it caused sickening tachycardia and palpitations, but I’m not going to dwell on that for the moment!) after your 5th yummy cup’o’Joe, in the background, stress hormones, cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine are released. They are your “fight or flight” response. We’ve all heard of that. These chemicals increase your heart rate, blood pressure, diverting oxygen and nutrients to your muscles to enable either a fight, or a flight response to danger. But, for what they turn up, they also turn down. It’s basic biology that during a potential threat situation, all non-essential functions take a back seat. Digestion is one of them. Disturbing your digestive health once again. Not to mention the “stress” effects of igniting this “fight or flight” chemical assault. Feeling jittery much? From here it’s no massive leap to consider the wider effects this has on our emotional wellness. Keeping your body in a perpetual stress cycle, inevitably having a knock on effect to your mood. Like we need something else to throw us off balance!!

 

Now then, what you do with this information, whether it’s new to you, a reminder or old and obvious news, is entirely up to you.  I hope you take a little more time contemplating what will best serve you, as I have done.  I have been caffeine-free for a few months now and it’s nowhere near as bad as what I thought it would be, so don’t despair.  Do what’s right for you, whether that’s to eliminate it completely, as it was necessary for me, or whether you’re just going to intermittently replace it with a refreshing, fruity, caffeine free herbal tea.  It’s all up to you.  It’s no quick fix or cure-all, but it’s a step in the right direction, a piece of the jigsaw, for me I’m sure of this.  Whatever your view, just remember to show yourself love, nourishing and fuelling your body in a loving way to move forward.  You’re a Warrior, you got this!!!

 

Much Love

Adeana

XOXOX 

You don’t have to have a chronic illness, for the worlds perception of you, particularly through social media, to be seen through rose tinted glasses.

 

Some truths.

 

So it’s 11am on a dull and chilly Friday morning. I’m dressed, but not in a socially acceptable form. I threw on what I had on last night just to let the dogs out when I got up. My hair is still in yesterday’s greasy messy bun, all the messier for it and I haven’t had a wash yet. I’ve literally just fed the dogs, boiled the kettle and sat down thinking of how social media posts portray us in a manner which is so unlike true life. The irony of filters is not lost on me. I’m guilty of it. We all are, for the most part. Our best moments go on Instagram, Facebook, twitter, whichever one is your vice. I may post my “smoothie bowl” healthy breakfast; What I didn’t post was the fact I didn’t eat again until 7pm because I just couldn’t muster the energy or will to prepare anything. I don’t post the fact that I was up for 3 hours in the night, unable to sleep from symptoms (initially facilitated by Franks “poo alarm” going off at 2am may I add!) that I’m now acutely aware of due to the inconvenient but necessary disturbance to let my disabled dog out!

 

I may post cute vids of training with my dogs. What I don’t post is that I’m using this to satiate them until I’m awake, pain controlled and energised enough to walk them. In a technology era, where all information is literally at our fingertips, not only are we sold “snippets” of news in the media, we do it ourselves, on social media. It’s like a job interview. We hide who we are and what we are actually doing in an attempt to portray ourselves in the best light. What are we truly gaining from this? Likes? Followers? We have the ability to be so connected with each other, with the world nowadays, but we are less connected. How has this happened? I’m relieved that I am lucky enough to have close friends I can share all the “packaging” bits of my life with, face to face. The bits that don’t make it to social media. The stuff that makes up the bulk of my existence. 

 

Take my Instagram account for example. From that, you’d think I spent all my time, eating (not entirely untrue lol), walking the dogs and doing something creative. It’s laughable really. How can I post about the hours I spend in distress because of my illness and the knock on effects of that? How can I post about loneliness, feeling inadequate, guilty, the pain? How can I use my Instagram account to portray the reality of my life, that I am living day by day, hoping with all my might for the future but at the same time, scared shitless? These platforms just aren’t geared for that. I can’t pretend that I really want them to either. The accounts I follow, I do because they either inspire me, make me laugh or coo! That’s why we spend so much time in the cyber world, it makes us feel good, as long as we don’t sit and compare ourselves, that shits depressing!! 

 

So in a way, this blog is my outlet. My truth section, the packaging. This is where you get to hear the bits inbetween my posts on social media. The truth behind some of the glossy photos. Tell you the truth, it’s absolutely LIBERATING!! 

 

The only trouble is, there is a flip side. You guys will understand this. I’m either revered as “coping” on social media, OR seen as lazy, milking it, or worse, a charity case by those in my life that don’t understand and quite frankly, don’t have a lot to do with me so really don’t know the truth of the matter in either form or exaggeration! To me, I feel I reside quite firmly in the middle. Yes I have days where coping is an up hill battle. Days where despite knowing my reasons for seeming this way, I see how people can perceive my actions (or lack of specifically) as lazy. But I do my best. I try with everything I have to keep positive and unfortunately, social media plays a huge role in that, in me feeling like I have achieved SOMETHING. It has its place, I can’t deny that. It’s hard to remember the world without it and I’m probably of the last generation that ever will! 

 

Is it so terrible for any of us, no matter what your journey entails, to want to be seen from our best light? To celebrate the little wins, no matter how small to some. In fairness, so much of my research into managing my conditions was instigated by some form of social media. Something which fuelled me to go on a rampage to collect all the information I could and to put something new into practice, anything that helps! 

 

My Blog is here to serve the middle. Not the before, not the after. I’m not here sharing with you my cure all technique to how I got my life, body and dignity back in “30 short days to your dream life” PAH! I’m not here, writing this to sell you my latest book or to convince you to sign up to my life coaching. (For clarification, neither I have, the thought is quite laughable!) I’m not trying to sell you ANYTHING. I’m just telling my story, from where I’m at now, the uncertain middle and one can hope, into the “after”. To show that a life’s transformation is not as simple as side-by-side comparison shots. OR buying a subscription, detox tea or gym pass. There is NO fad diet for life. You can’t fix it in 30 days by doing butt crunches. Life is a journey, its ongoing. This is mine.

 

Much love

Adeana

XOXOX

 

 

As chronic suffers, I think we can all agree that we are continuously and tirelessly searching for an answer to cure what ails us. Unfortunately for so many of us, a medical cure is yet to be found. So techniques of management and improving our quality of life, more our ability to live a life, becomes somewhat of an obsession. Like I’ve discussed before, it’s an individual journey, no one size fits all, so the experimentation is an absolute necessity.

 

I guess you could say that this journey began with my first dietary research, which led me to sugar-free. But I feel more recently, that my work on my Microbiome has directly influenced my current fight against Fibro! So I thought it’s a good place to start…

 

A bit about your Microbiome;

 

Definition;
The microbiome is defined as the collective genomes of the microbes (composed of bacteria, bacteriophage, fungi, protozoa and viruses) that live inside and on the human body. We have about 10 times as many microbial cells as human cells.

 

There is a huge amount of research on this. The findings are suggesting that an unbalanced Microbiome can be a cause for a whole host of issues, they’ve even linked it to the onset of Parkinson’s. If it floats your boat, click the link below to read more on this:

 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170302133859.htm 

 

Realistically, this isn’t hard to grasp; we are what we eat right? So naturally, what we are fueling ourselves with, will directly impact the functionality of our many and complex systems.  So simple.  How can we expect health and wellness when we aren’t supporting such a huge community within us.  I know from my research and time sugar-free, that the amount of additives, preservatives, random animal products in unexpected foods, the never ending names for refined sugars and their scary health implications themselves, that even the best of us, when we really start to dig into what we are putting into our bodies, would be horrified.  I know I was.  Ever looked at that innocent Jar of pesto in your cupboard, read through and understood the ingredients?  A simple pesto made from basil, olive oil, pine nuts and parmesan.  Made in a jiffy in your own kitchen…not so innocent when you check a supermarket label.  It took me a shocking amount of time and energy to find one that doesn’t contain nasty potentially Fibro exacerbating if not causing, added sugars!  You can do this now, check your cupboard for the most basic of things…you’re definitely getting more than what you paid for!  Scary thoughts, but I digress once again…

 

So, this knowledge led me to a company called Synergy. I’m not going to harp on about that, but just to say, they have an excellent Microbiome program designed to support, balance and detox your gut community. It has worked wonders for so many, with chronic illness or not!  (If you want further information on this, just drop me a comment!)

 

During my “reset” period, working on my Microbiome, I had some of the best days I’ve had in years!! Unfortunately, it didn’t last. This is not to say that I think it didn’t work, it did. But as we all know when you’re doing any kind of “detox”, we are all vulnerable to fall ill, or just generally feel down right awful! Which ultimately, I did. And it lingered. I became desperate to rekindle those good days I’d had, so the research began.

 

I knew from the onset that I had to drastically look at how I was fueling my body. What nutritional support I was giving and how that could be impacting my struggles. I knew that there were pharmaceutical factors for my fall on this regime, that detoxing was bound to be harsh considering the amount of analgesics I’d been popping for the last couple of years. Despite the fact I was already medication free, I knew that my system needed “cleaning” and in doing so I would open a proverbial can of worms! From my research earlier, I knew that it was possible to support and balance your Microbiome with diet. Eliminating processed foods and refined sugars, eating a variety of fruit and vegetables with an emphasis on leafy greens; introducing an array of fermented foods, probiotic’s and avoiding things like antacids, which in honesty, I’m a bugger with!!

 

Although diet is your number one, there are environmental factors which can affect your Microbiome; stress, sleep patterns and exercise all play a role.  Knowing this, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the lack of support my pre-fibro lifestyle was giving my system.  In honesty, in many ways it was a damn right assault on my very being.  Chronic stress, sleep deprivation, long working hours, skipped meals, mug shots counting as meals and an endless supply of black tar-like coffee to drag me through yet another frustrating life hating day/week/month.  Intermittently fuelled with wine therapy… to break up the monotony and spare my sanity for an evening!  Familiar?  If anything, a part of me is thankful I’m no worse off than I am, I mean Jesus, what was I thinking?!  If you abuse someone, you wouldn’t expect all sweetness and giggles, hugs and rainbows would you?   

 

Anyway…

 

I wrote on an earlier post “Fibromyalgia is a Jigsaw Puzzle” about trying a treatment for one symptom, feeling like it doesn’t work and moving on to the next thing, but that timing and more importantly, the order you address these issues can be as crucial as the the treatment/experiment itself. So with this in mind I spent time thinking about how I could trace back an issue to it’s simplest form. For me, when my fatigue is through the floor, everything is worse, my pain, my fog and obviously my mood. So I decided making a difference to my sleeping patterns was at the top of my list. I appreciate that sleep in itself is not directly influencing my level of fatigue, we all know it’s a different kind of tired, one we wouldn’t wish on anyone. But, I couldn’t remember the last time I had woken up feeling remotely rested, let alone actually slept through for more than a couple of hours at a time. So I figured, it is as good a place to start as any!

 

The plan from here, to research (yet again LOL) and implement practices to feed and support my Microbiome, with an initial focus on improving my sleeping patterns.  For me, what happened with my next step was nothing short of amazing!  

 

From inviting pictures on Instagram, to exciting blogs, I discovered the world of juicing. WOW was I hooked.  From night one, I slept.  Not only did I wake up without the memory of tossing and turning and being generally frustrated and painful, I was actually awake.  No hours of fog and zombie like cloud which I was so familiar with, which could last easily into the afternoon.  I actually felt rested.  There are no words to describe how amazing that morning, and subsequent mornings have been for me!!  I want to talk about this more, but it gets me off topic, so be assured my next post is on my juicing journey and forging these new habits!  You can also follow me on Instagram @crispy1984 to see what I’m making, have a laugh at my gorgeous Pugs and their antics and hopefully, be inspired as I’ve been by others! 

 

What I’ve talked about here is all very basic, from the Microbiome to obvious nutritional weapons against the array of symptoms we suffer.  The note I want to leave you with, the point of this post if you will; never underestimate the power of the simplest of things, the small changes and alternatives that can have a massive impact on the struggles with Chronic illness.  Believe that the world we live in, offers relief in abundance, that natural complementary therapies can actually tip the scales in your favour!  Keep your mind open to the possibility of healing, at least to a degree, one symptom at a time!  

 

Much Love

Adeana

XOXOX

 

 

Write about what you know…

 

You here that a lot, write about what you know, share your knowledge. I don’t claim to know a lot, because I don’t. I’m less about what I know and more about what I feel.

 

I feel there’s more to life than the restraints of our known human capabilities.

 

We cannot know everything. It’s impossible. But we can feel most things. Empathy comes from our intuitive understanding of how something we’ve never experienced might feel. Having an emotional response by experiencing an event within another persons’ frame of reference.  Having said that, I believe it crosses into all living beings, not just humans.  I know I’m not alone when I experience true grief at the sight of an animal suffering.

 

The more you feel the more you know.

 

How do you know someone loves you, you feel it. In what they do, how they act, their eyes. It’s not tangible. It’s not a fork. You know your holding a fork because our eyes perceive and our brains interpret the object as a learnt object, a fork. But what happens when the object cannot be held. We know that gravity exists. I’m no scientist but fundamentally, we feel it, we feel an anchor to the earth. We feel the weight of it, the security, the grounding force of it. But we cannot see it. But we know it’s there. Unless your phoebe Buffet.

 

Ok we can see the effects of its existence, but the ‘thing’ itself cannot be seen. The same is true of love, we see the effects of it, but love itself cannot be seen.

 

So how can I claim to know the things I feel? Well, it’s just me. Call it blind faith. So many have it. Despite my more polytheistic-coated agnostic beliefs, I do however have faith. Just in something different. I believe in so many things. I believe we’re not alone in this universe, knowing that I will never “know” this in my lifetime. I believe that there are forces at work in this universe that we simply cannot understand or begin to fathom. But, just like gravity, just because we can’t see it or touch it or use any of our sense of awareness to prove it, does that automatically disprove it??

 

I believe we are more than our mortal embodiment. I believe that mortality itself is an idea that’s been ingrained in centuries of teaching to bring an answer to an unanswerable question. I believe that there’s been souls walk this earth throughout our history that knew this. The minority. Those who were discredited by our growing patriarchal greedy society. I believe these forward thinkers encompass what humanity truly means. This has been lost in a sea of beings that covet an ideology of tangible knowledge. An existence of explanation. A name to everything. An all consuming knowing of what, where, how and importantly, why. But maybe that’s just it. Maybe we’re not supposed to know. Maybe that’s what makes us human. We’ve all seen the science fiction movies, where knowledge becomes downfall, for one reason or another. In so many genres, an increase in knowledge or intellect decreases our emotional capabilities. What makes us fundamentally human is this lack of knowing. But of feeling. Do we really want to sacrifice more of our emotional awareness for intellect? To lose more than we already have. Take dogs for example, they can smell cancers, smell a change in a persons pheromones to predict a seizure or hypoglycaemia; there must have been a time when we held similar abilities.

 

Our brains capacity is of continuous study, yet the question of consciousness remains a mystery. How do all these neurons and synapses result in consciousness? Questioning. Dreaming. Unpredictable emotions. Yes we can understand to a degree the casting in certain emotional events. As in, fight or flight, the role chemicals have in creating a sense of fear etc. but does this understanding equate to explaining our consciousness. No, I don’t believe it does.

 

We are always looking outwardly for something for fulfillment. Money, love, children, religion. To fill something inside us, to make us happy. It’s becoming mainstream now that the capability for happiness is within. Within us all. We just have to tap into it.

 

A failure in this answer driven existence is that it mutes our listening, our intuition, and our self-actualization. We don’t need that job, that perfect partner or 2.4 children to be happy. Neither is that lottery win or best selling book going to quench this thirst we are all born with.

 

We are sheep. We are queuing for the answers to questions we didn’t ask, but have been drilled into us almost purely by DNA. But which is reinforced from the moment we can begin to experience growth of consciousness.  This just leads to an overwhelming feeling of dissatisfaction and the worst part is, we don’t even know why we are dissatisfied so we name it with “something” thats missing, a promotion, a car, a lover.  Life becoming a perpetual cycle of waiting to be happy once we have achieved the thing we’ve blamed for the emptiness.  Even now we are surprised to feel the disappointment when things just don’t live up to expectations when we “fill” that void, so we set more goals….it’s never ending!

 

I believe this fact-based society is our downfall, our Noah’s Ark. This may sound crazy but when you even briefly think about the consumer society in which we live, and continue to grow exponentially in, how can we continue like this? The advertising industry links back to what I was just saying about filling these voids, they want you to believe that consumerism will somehow help on this road to fulfilment!  How can our Mother Earth continue let alone thrive in this neglectful existence we are preaching? She can’t. Hence we can’t either. When did we lose our connection to our home, our planet?

 

Our evolution is her demise.

 

How can we know more, yet do less? How can we know how to care for her, allow her to thrive, how can we have this consciousness of right and wrong yet live in the wrong. All this looking for answers, for facts, for tangibility has left us disconnected from her truth. From our truth. From true humanity. How can we live in a world where so many suffer? Living in this answer-craving, consumer dominant world has only left me more bewildered. Questioning the humane in humanity. I am happy to live a life of not knowing, never having confirmation of these things I lay my faith in. What I can’t live with is the assault we perpetually target on our being. Earth is our being, our home. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her incredible ability to conjure the conditions for creation and for endurance. What the fuck are we doing; one question I wish I had the answer to.

 

The scariest thing is. It’s too late. The damage we’ve caused is irreparable. They say children are our future. This statement does not fill me with hope, just look at what we’ve taught them. Look at the tools of destruction we’ve passed onto them. Only for them to be left with the devastation. Without the tools we once had for a soulful existence. Faith. Trusting. Belief. We have given them the gift of hate, of destruction, of questions that need an answer, of holes that need filling, of materialistic existence. In my view, the snowball effect commenced centuries ago, the more of our intuitive selves we lost, the more momentum it gathered. With each passing generation, snowball speed increasing; we have inevitably lost sight of so much, losing so many intrinsically human attributes along the way.

 

It might very well seem like an unjustified ramble. You’re not entirely wrong. However, what I would like to say to conclude today’s jibba jabba is that; we need to trust ourselves, have faith in our hidden ability to live life intuitively. To strive for feeling more, believing that feeling will lead to knowing. Have faith. Give love to feel it.

 

I feel strongly that this is even more pertinent with chronic illness warriors. Whoever you are, whatever your battle, if you don’t already, find something to have faith in. Find something that lights you up, a reason to get out of bed. A purpose to guide you through the loss and fog. Anything that gives you a sense of living again. You can craft a new, brighter life than before, despite the struggles. There is always light in the darkness.  You are the author, the only limitation is your imagination.

 

With Chronic illnesses across the spectrum, we are told to learn to listen to our bodies, to rest when we need, get back to a more intuitive way of living.  This is from a medical profession which I’m thrilled is advertising the benefits of meditation and mindfulness.  Is the medical profession leading us back to our roots, to pick up the gifts we once had.  I can’t stress enough how much I believe in our ability to self heal.  I’m by no stretch of the imagination saying that a healthy diet and daily meditation will cure cancer, but what we need to focus on is quality of life.  Your definitely not doing anything wrong by living more intuitively, to support your body through any kind of ailment.  No doctor would consider a healthy plant driven diet, meditation or gentle exercise contraindicating to most issues.  At the end of the day, it’s complementary. The power of the mind and positive thinking is thankfully something we are running back to, you see it more and more these days.  For that, I’m thankful to be of this generation, to be a child of this era.  We can all be the change we want to see in ourselves and the world!! One day at a time, one foot in front of the other, spreading kindness.

 

 

Much Love,

Adeana

XOXOX

 

“These things happened for you, not to you!”

Light is the new Black, Rebecca Campbell.

 

Ok so I’ve had a very recent realization. I’m actually listening to my body. All this time I’ve been punishing myself for the things I can’t do when in fact I’ve actually been becoming more in tune with the needs of this vessel I live in and thus, working towards my true purpose. In that I hope at least.

 

I’ve given myself down the banks more times than I care to recall. Thinking I’d failed for having to give up work, for being unable to do so many of the things that I once took for granted. But here’s the thing, I was listening to my body!! For so long I kept hearing from my array of specialists that I needed to slow down and listen to my body. This seemed impossible. How do you have a life when you need to slow down as much as I deep down, knew I needed to.

 

 As usual, the fear came down to money. How will I survive if I don’t work? What will I do and how long will it be before I’m fit and well and bloody superwoman so I can get my ass back to the expected grind? Day in, day out.

 

It’s only recently that I’ve started to wonder if this can be different. Yes I had ideas and ambitions when I left work, still wanting to make it in a patriarchal society believing that my blood sweat and tears would equate to at least a steady income. But how is it so many others seem to manage this without the blood sweat and endless tears? There’s got to be another way!

 

 As much as I sit here thinking I’m not a writer, I feel there’s at least a part of what I’m doing here that’s shining my purpose. I think I’m meant to share my life. This almost seems uncharacteristically normal of me, but I don’t mean this in the traditional sense when someone wishes to share his or her life with another. I’ve always had a knack for inadvertently avoiding the crowd. What I mean is, I think I’m meant to inspire people, to share my stories and to give them a glimmer of hope.

 

 I’ve always considered myself a plain Jane, the mundane, the two a penny. At the same time also feeling like the black sheep. But as I’m growing I’m really starting to believe that I’m not. At least not in the way I thought. I don’t shy into the background and I’m finally seeing that and grateful for it. Please don’t misinterpret this in a sense of a need to gain some sort of false “celebrity” status, that’s not my intention. I guess what I mean is, I can either choose to use my gifts for good or evil, be the villain or the hero. Yes an exaggeration in terms, but why not? It’s up to me how I choose to interpret the turmoil’s in my life, and if we twist these things on their heads and call even a negative experience a ‘gift”, then I can use that experience to do good, surely?

 

It’s funny really, I read somewhere recently that we live in a society of ‘before and afters’. I can’t argue with that. We are bombarded on social media with the starting point and the end point, whether it be a diet, a spiritual awakening or a complete life overhaul. I don’t know where my journey is going or what my present feeling of purpose will turn into, all I know is that I’m sharing the middle. The unsure bit, the time before the “after”.

 

Like the wise Rebecca Campbell said, “these things happen for you, not to you”. Please don’t underestimate the power of inverting things in this way, of looking at things from another angle, thinking outside of the box. I can honestly say that if I can dream of a silver lining to all of this, to this upheaval in my life, it’s that if I can help just one person. If I can ramble into the abyss of the World Wide Web and only reach one soul, a soul who needs to know they’re not alone, then it’s all worth it.

 

Much Love,

Adeana

XOXOX

“You can’t change the wind but you can adjust the sails.”

 

I just love this quote. I feel like it fits nearly every conceivable adversity one could face. In my case, I can’t change the fact that I have Fibromyalgia, but I can change how I approach dealing with it! For me, that was a game changer!

 

As much as it may not appear that way to some, I am constantly striving for new ideas, new avenues to explore to find a “better” way of dealing with it that fits me, my symptoms and my circumstances. Because that’s the thing, there is no ‘one size fits all’ with this monster, there is no magic pill or treatment, just a series of management techniques which either work or don’t. It is as individual a beast as we are ourselves. The nature of this beast is so multifaceted, that the approach has to be multimodal.   The endless list of symptoms which go way beyond pain, are a constant assault on your body, senses, emotional and mental well being. Hence you can’t attack this thing with one weapon, you need a whole bloody arsenal, and knowing which tools are best for which job is a minefield!! It gets even more complicated. When you consider that treatment A for fatigue let’s say, will only work if you’ve already found a management technique for restful sleep. So you may try treatment A and think, “this doesn’t work for me” but in fact, the timing just isn’t right.

 

 Simply; It’s a jigsaw puzzle.

 

 You may pick up and put down four pieces before you find even one that starts to slowly build that bigger picture. And just like a jigsaw, we need lots of those little pieces in place, before we can even begin to see the end result. Trust me, I’ve picked up and put down a ridiculous amount of pieces, some I think were even mixed up with mine from another puzzle. Sorting my pieces from foreign pieces has taken me a long time. Thankfully I finally feel like I’m left with all my own pieces, albeit, still in disarray. But at least now I know that each piece, even if it doesn’t fit in place right now, it’s my piece none the less and I can put it aside knowing that one day, it will slot in just nicely, building up that bigger picture, when it’s needed.

 

 This isn’t to say that I haven’t struggled with my mindset or that I haven’t spent ridiculous amounts of time feeling “lost”! It took me a while to realize this and get here…

 

 I cant recall the day, the week or the month that everything just seemed to float away but I found myself in a sea of “what if’s” with too many unanswered questions to move forward.

 

 I like organisation, I like busy. I am at my best when I am run off my feet. I haven’t been run off my feet for longer than I care to remember. Everything slipped through my fingers and before I could take stock and appreciate the life I was leading, I no longer was. Seemingly, in the blink of an eye.

 

 I’ve always been of the mindset that missed opportunities create regrets, not to say I haven’t missed opportunities, there’s been plenty, followed by regret. But for a long time I took opportunities in front of me, using the information I had at that time to make the best decision I could with the knowledge I had. This lessened the regrets, because they were conscious choices I was making.

 

 Do I wish I had traveled, ofcourse. Do I regret that job in the east, no, because it taught me wisely about the institutions I wanted to work for and give my all to. The same of relationships, yes I’ve experienced toxic relationships, hurtful, self esteem beating encounters which have left my soul in distress.   I’ve been taken advantage of, made a fool of yet I’ve still dared to dream. All to be left here single.

 

 But this is something I cannot regret. It’s not even something I necessarily want to change. These challenges taught me so much, I met so many people, stored a lot of stories, some painful but mostly amusing. I’ve never craved to keep up with the jones, that’s one thing I am truly thankful for. I don’t feel the race of marriage, family and mortgages. I wont settle. It has to be right, I guess to my own detriment but hey, a conscious choice remember. I would rather be single than in an unhappy marriage, be a single parent or just feel envious of the grass next door.   I’ve always pictured an unconventional life for myself. Never a clear indication of how it would differ, but imagining a ‘normal’ life in my future never quite fit for me.

 

 So I found myself at an impasse. Too sick to go back. Too sick to move forward. I feel like I have spent the last year traveling down numerous lanes of self healing, to which I have felt little or no benefit. Not enough to even begin to function normally, let alone get back to work and back to living again!!

 

 I wasn’t able shake the “fuck it” attitude?! Stuck in a perpetual existing cycle rather than even a shadow of living. Then, I had the “jigsaw” epiphany.  

 

And so I’m trying to…

 

“Shed the shame, be bold, be true and most of all, be brave!”

 

 

I won’t get there overnight. I know I will stumble more often than successful steps forward. But all these little things that in my dark hours I feel amount to nothing, are just the first pieces of the puzzle. As time goes by, the picture will build and things will become that bit clearer.

 

Much Love

Adeana

XOXOX