My journey toward better health

I’ve struggled with being as healthy as I can for as long as I can remember. And now looking back it is no wonder! The food I mostly ate when I grew up was mostly rubbish, even when I thought I was being health conscious (and for example drinking lots of orange juice, which we thought was good for you back in the 80s).

Many years ago I was diagnosed with PCOS (Poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome, a syndrome that means you have excess androgens in your body) and I resolved to do as much as I could to be healthy in spite of that. I bought a book about PCOS and the knowledge that there was back then, and resolved not to eat sugar or processed food, or meat that was organic. That actually worked and I could get off the Metformine (a medicine controlling insulin levels in your body), but I still had rashes and severe eczema, and didn’t feel healthy despite what the blood samples told me.

A few years went by and my eczema seemed to get worse every year, despite my eating lots of vegetables and being as healthy as I could. Or so I thought.

It got so bad I went to another so called expert who once again gave me a prescription for antibiotics, a four month-cure that made me lose appetite altogether until I couldn’t stand it any longer.

I thought: ”Is this supposed to be my life? One course of antibiotics after another, and not being able to eat hardly any food when doing those. So I started trawling Pub Med for articles, and lo and behold – there were a lot of research out there that those so called experts had never even heard about (I checked with the doctor afterward). There is always some research going on, and while I went through life many more studies on health had been published, with new insights.

I learned the benefits of kefir. I learned the benefits of a low-FODMAP diet, and the Paleo-diet and a lot of other things.

Since then I

  1. Eat right (even better than before).

I mainly eat Paleo, i.e. non-processed food, mostly organic (I am extremely sensitive to pesticides), no gluten or sugar, plus a dose of healthy fats and probiotics in the form of kefir which we make ourselves

  1. Exercise

I go for long walks ever day. I started with them because I had problems with my eyesight, but now I find myself growing addicted to them.

I also do yoga. Longer programs when I have the time and energy for it, and shorter programs for the rest of the time like these yoga poses that I do every day.

  1. Live clean & Green

We have minimized chemicals in the home as best we can, and have done that regularly since before the kids even. We only use non-chemicals for cleaning, like Enjo.

We live in an old house which has naturally good air condition – the drawback is that we need to heat it up with firewood ourselves during the winters, but it’s worth it to feel healthy.

  1. Focus on sleep

We light a candle every night in the bedroom and try to limit artificial lights, which means switching the phones and ipads to a lower light setting, and preferably not using them at all.

The walks I take during the mornings or mid-days also help with my circadian rhythm, or should do in theory at least – some winter mornings here in southern Finland can be so dark, but I try to be outside whenever the sun shines to get my body to understand when it is day and when it is night.

I also take a bath almost every night with  some lavender oil in the bathwater. Lavender has been proven to have a calming effect, and it smells so lovely.

But the new thing that has the most impact on me lately is meditation. More and more doctors are prescribing meditation, which is a really old practice that everyone should be doing in my opinion!

It is really hard to meditate, especially now that I’m an adult and in charge of other people than just myself. Back in the day when I studied to be a psychologist, we often had relaxation and meditation sessions, and it felt so easy. But not now when millions of thoughts flit through my brain, and my body just wants to be tense all the time. I bought an app, and thought that perhaps that would motivate me more, because if I’ve put out money on something I definitely want my money’s worth, and it has made a tremendous difference in my life!

I can’t tell you enough how much I love Calm, and the calm, soothing voice of Tamara Levitt. I meditate 1-2 times a day, and I am already starting to see a difference in my life. She always says on the app: ”You don’t meditate to get better at meditating – you meditate to get better at life” and that is just such an apt description! I feel as if the knots in my body and mind are unwinding as I breathe and just let go of all the emotions and memories and to do-lists that pop up in my mind.

I had sort of resigned myself to a life of constant pain (because of injuries during giving birth) and eczema that kept recurring and sleep that became worse all the time, not better, but now all of a sudden I find myself not even worrying about that, and just taking things one day at a time enjoying my walks in the woods, the books I’m listening to and just watching the ever-changing nature around me, and just breathing. Just breathe.

 

 

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