It was 5:15 a.m. one morning that I got a message from my maid.
She was man down with a tummy bug and would not be coming to work.
We rely so much on our maids, don't we?
They really are an important part of our families.
So she wasn't coming to work. It's school holidays. I'm thinking, "Oh crap! Not just one child but now two to sort out."
Anyway, snacks got packed. Toys and entertainment packed. Blankie for naptime packed.
And we all went to work.
But in between receiving the message and getting to work I got so stressed out. My whole plan and morning-time routine was now out of whack .
And along came my 6 year old who said , “Mom. It's Ok to be stressed. It's ok but you need to calm down and breathe. Breathe, Mom.”
Don't you just love that what you say to them comes right back at you at the most appropriate time?
I breathed and reached for Relicalm.
It's like a large cup of tea - it has the same ingredient as tea l-theanine - which helps to calm you. Now you know why that cup of tea works so well! Relicalm also promises 5 hours of calm . Just what I needed!
And that is the kind of stress that we all dealing with - not the fight or flight - that is part of our evolution.
There was no fight for me and no physical escape route that I needed to take.
It was all mental but our bodies release chemicals for the physical fight or flight. Snce we're not in a situation that requires physicality those stress chemicals start to cause havoc on our body’s systems.
Let's take a look at the impact of stress on our body -
Memory - Long term exposure to cortisol is linked to shrinkage of the memory part of your brain. A Finnish study found that patients with persistently high cortisol levels were 3x as likely to develop Alzheimer's.
Head - Studies have shown that an increase in the stress hormone adrenaline can cause migraines. People who have tension headaches tend to translate their stress to muscle contractions.
Heart - reggular feelings of being highly stressed can lead to an increased risk of a fatal stroke. High cortisol levels are more likely to have high levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol. Long term stress is a factor leading to raised blood pressure.
Skin - skin conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis can worsen when you are stressed.
Digestion - emotions and the gut are closely linked. Think of butterflies in your tummy. But also runny tummy, a sore tummy, indigestion and heartburn .
Immune system - Ongoing stress can deplete the body's resources to fight infection . Studies have shown that those under long-term stress have lower white blood cells - the guys that fight the bacteria and viruses that cause illness.
I know that when I was diagnosed with pneumonia in August ‘17 it was a result of long-term stress. My immune system was at rock bottom .
Mood - stress can leave you unable to concentrate, inefficient and accident prone. The ongoing release of cortisol and adrenaline - the stress hormones - disrupt levels of the feel good chemical - serotonin . This may lead to depression.
So what's a girl to do? -
1) Breathe! Really.
When you're under stress your breathing is rapid and shallow. Breathe through your nose for a count of 5 and out for a count of 6.
Do this 5 times .
He who half breathes, half-lives.
2) Get Moving
Chase your children in the garden, what about a game of touch rugby? Turn up the radio and dance! Go for a walk around your complex or on the road .
3) Create a list of activities and people who bring you Joy
Make time to do something that makes your heart sing .
I love crocheting and I am making a blanket for our king size bed!
P.S. Stress suppresses your body's production of testosterone which helps control abdominal fat.
Book an initial call at no cost and let's identify your top 3 current challenges.
P.S.S - You can't be a great mum, wife, employee and friend if your stressed out and struggling with your health....
I'm so thrilled to be able to share this with you.
I hope you find this a useful tool.
Something to put on your fridge door or in your diary....
Do you think that you only need probiotics after antibiotics?
Only 6 more sleeps till Christmas!
Our tree is up and lights flashing off and on 24 hours a day.
We’ve just celebrated J’s 6th birthday and preparations are in the making for 25 December when we’ll be all together with extended family.
It reminds me of Pink’s song from a few years back – this used to be a fun house, now it full of evil clowns! – Christmas can do that can’t it?!
But let’s not forget the reason for all of this celebration and togetherness….
Anyway, I’ve always thought that probiotics were something that you took after a course of anti-biotics.
Hands up if you thought that too!!!
Well it turns out that probiotics are even more important to take than just after antibiotics.
Our bodies have more than 20x the amount of bacteria to living body cells. And the bacteria in our digestive system have a huge role to lay in keeping us healthy.
A healthy digestive system and an immune system that is in great shape are imperative to your health and ability to fight infections.
The right bacteria have an important role to play too.
There are of course, good and harmful bacteria.
Harmful bacteria can cause infection or produce substances that lead to inflammation or cancer especially in the digestive system – think colon cancer.
What you choose to eat has a big impact on the balance of good vs. harmful bacteria in your gut.
As a result this has an impact on your overall health. Probiotics are the good bacteria made in your gut
Eating probiotics makes an impact in a number of ways;
As we age the amount of good bacteria declines so supplementing is a good idea.
There are 2 groups of good bacteria – and they help to control the bad guys.
The resident bacteria in your gut are;
Probiotics help to fight infections -
You can find probiotics in fermented foods and supplements. These are foods that include probiotics;
Buttermilk, yoghurt, cheese, kefir, lassi, leban, cottage cheese
Fermented vegetables, pickles in brine
Miso, tofu, tempeh, tamari, shoyu, soya yoghurt (all from soya)
Sourdough bread (from wheat/rye)
These foods listed above don’t contain Lactobacillus and Bifido bacteria that colonise the gut.
These foods contain other strains of probiotics.
And just like a tourist, they come to visit the gut, populate it with goodness and then move on after about 10-12 days.
They assist in making vitamins and converting lactose from milk sugar to lactic acid.
It is this lactic acid that creates a slightly acidic environment which constrains disease causing germs
These transient bacteria are Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, Lactobacillus casei, L.sporogenes, Streptococcus thermophillus.
When considering a probiotic supplement then look for at least 1 – 25 billion living organisms
And your 2 core resident bacteria – Lactobacilli acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum
There are also foods that are a forerunner to probiotics called, not surprisingly, prebiotics!
They encourage the growth of the 2 resident bacteria,
they help to lower the pH of the colon,
keep blood sugar levels even and
for people who have liver disease, and prebiotics can help to reduce ammonia levels.
Two common prebiotics are FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides –yup they’re sugar molecules) and inulin.
These are some sources of FOS –
bananas, barley, soya beans, Jerusalem artichoke and chicory.
Some sources of inulin are onions and garlic.
Prebiotics work together with probiotics to feed and speed up the growth of the beneficial bacteria.
What can you do to get the benefits of probiotics?
Try to reduce the elements that destroy probiotics from your lifestyle like;
Supplement with a probiotic supplement that has a variety of strains and at least 15 billion Colony Forming Units.
Welcome to Part 2 of What's in my Tablet Box...
Meet Zinc, my main mineral!!!!
This mineral is an absolute must have in your health box.
It is needed in more than 100 enzymes and it is involved in more body functions than any other mineral.
It’s also fairly common to be zinc deficient. This is as a result of soil losses and food processing losses.
Where do we find zinc?
Red meat and liver.
The zinc found in animal sources is better absorbed by the body than those sources in plants.
It is possible to obtain adequate zinc from plant sources, though. Whole grains are rich in zinc – wheat, rye and oats.
Pecan and Brazil nuts contain high amounts of zinc. And pumpkin seeds are considered helpful to the prostate gland.
What is Zinc for?
Zinc is required for
What does Zinc do?
It is involved in many body functions.
It aids the liver in detoxifying alcohol but drinking alcohol flushes zinc from the liver.
So you’ll need to take extra zinc after you have indulged in those cocktails!
Zinc helps the body to use and maintain levels of vitamin A. This action may help to keep healthy skin cells and make new skin cells.
In one study of macular degeneration the supplementation of zinc resulted in significantly less vision loss.
We all need our eyes so what a good idea to add zinc each day…
It is needed in energy production. Do you feel tired and lethargic?
Maybe it’s time to up your zinc…
Zinc is important to the male sex organ function and reproductive fluids.
It is helpful in treating infertility by improving sperm count and motility of the sperm.
It helps in digestion.
Zinc attaches to over 300 enzymes (structures made of protein that break down other molecules).
It is needed by the body to use amino acids from the food we at. It also helps to break down carbohydrates which are a source of energy for the body.
It supports immune function.
Zinc helps to boost the immune system in fighting the common cold and prevents the progression of viral flu symptoms.
It supports insulin activity.
This is especially important for people who have diabetes. Zinc binds to insulin. Insulin is stored in the pancreas and is released when glucose enters the bloodstream. Zinc allows digestive enzymes that are needed for insulin to bind to cells so that the glucose in the bloodstream is used by the body for energy and not stored as fat cells.
Zinc helps with your taste sensation.
A study done with anorexic patients found that by increasing their zinc intake their appetite and taste function improved. Of course there is more to anorexia than just not eating. But by not eating their zinc levels would be low and so they would have a reduced appetite. A vicious circle.
It can speed up recovery time post op. (I’m thinking post C-section, tell your friends who are preggers).
Zinc is useful in treating skin problems like acne, dermatitis, bedsores and boils.
Teenage acne has been successfully treated with zinc supplementation.
If only I had known this when my brother was suffering the worst of acne. He was staying in a back packers at the time and living on baked beans. Nothing wrong with baked beans just not for every meal for every day….
As we grow older the absorption of zinc is reduces as well as our intake.
This is because our digestion is not as good as it is when you are younger AND you tend to eat less so there is less nutrition to be gained.
When we are pregnant our need for zinc increases. This is probably because we are growing another human who requires zinc too.
PMS and using birth control pills are associated with lower zinc levels.
Have you ever noticed white flecks on your nails? This could be a sign of low zinc levels.
Being under stress causes the body to use more zinc.
Have you ever wondered why you have a white tongue? It could be a sign of low zinc levels!!
It has also been found to improve behaviour and IQ in children who may be deficient in zinc.
There is a product for children called Zinplex. It comes in a liquid form and tastes great. Ask my Boys!!!
Both my boys take it from time to time.
When I notice that J is getting a cough or post nasal drip then he'll get Zinplex for a few days.
When M is teething that usually brings on a snotty nose and I give him Zinplex which seems to stop the runny nose.
In two studies, extra zinc was given to Alzheimer’s patients.
The improvements in cognition were dramatic.
It seems that a deficiency leads to plaque forming and nerve cells being destroyed in the brain tissue.
Do you know an older someone? Make sure that they are taking zinc…
How much zinc?
The RDA is 12mg.
The average American consumes 10mg.
We can safely assume that we also are somewhere close to that number. The result? We’re short on zinc.
I use a product called Zinplex. It provides 9.5mg of elemental which means available zinc per 50mg. I take 100mg twice per day.
When I’m fighting off a cold or infection then I take 150mg twice per day.
A side note…
Cadmium is a toxic trace mineral that COPIES Zinc. Ther is no benefit to cadmium and yet it is found in our foods!!
Its toxicity is kept under control by zinc.
Whole foods have a beneficial ratio of zinc to cadmium. BUT when a food is processed and refined then zinc is removed from the food and cadmium dominates.
It is found in coffee, tea, shellfish, sugar, white flour and white rice.
Chat soon, Lee
If you know of another mom who’s looking to bring harmony & health to her life, please share this with her.
She’ll appreciate it and so will I…
Click here to get quick meal ideas for your kids