Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Are mobile phones killing us?

Earlier this year I read an article in The Australian about a recent international study on the health risks of mobile phone usage. Following that there were numerous stories in the papers and on TV about the very same topic.

What this study showed was pretty damn scary. Mobile phone users who were in the top 10% of highest usage (you're looking at as little as 30 minutes or more a day to be in this group) were up to 40% more likely to develop glioma, a common type of brain cancer!

Pretty scary figures when you think about it. I mean 30 minutes a day on the mobile? Surely that's pretty average for most of us??? I'd hate to think about how much time those who use their mobiles on a regular basis as part of their work day!

So, what can we do to avoid excess mobile phone usage you ask?
- use landline phones where possible
- text instead of calling someone
- avoid having your mobile within a couple of metres of you while you sleep at night 
- use a wired headset or speakerphone where possible

I guess the one thing we can all take from this is to be more mindful of mobile phone usage. I mean, back in the day we all got along quite nicely without them!

Do you try to avoid using your mobile on a regular basis?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Making Australia Happy

This morning I received an email from a friend with a link to Making Australia Happy, a series being produced by the ABC.

It's based on a current study being undertaken in NSW with a select group of participants who want to 'get happy'.
The study is run over 8 weeks and is hosted by coaching psychologist Dr Tony Grant.
Basically what the study looks at is whether it is possible to teach ourselves to be happy.
It looks at things like positive psychology, mindfulness, physical activity and diet.
Throughout the study the participants are tested for their 'happiness level' to track how making various changes in their life are having any kind of impact.

Did you know what few people realise that happiness can be cultivated?
50% of happiness is based on genetics
10% on life circumstances like possessions, finances etc.
40% on the choices we make

You can view the first 2 episodes on the website now. I would recommend checking them out!
And while you're there you can take the happiness test yourself.

Let me know what you think of the study! Do you think that happiness can be learnt?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sweet weekend - date night

For quite some time when I first started dating my hubby Friday night was also known as 'date night'.
It gave us the chance to catch up on our week and go somewhere nice for dinner or a movie or whatever it may be.

I adored date night as it didn't mean sitting together in front of the TV while one was on the laptop and the other reading a magazine. It was 'real time' together!

Somewhere along the line, like the majority of couples out there, date night slowly went from a weekly occurrence, to monthly, to every now and again...
Whether it be a long day at work or a lack of money or a busy schedule, life just caught up with us.

So recently it got me thinking - how important is 'date night' in a relationship?

In my relationship - well, we eat together most nights, we have cuddle time on the couch, we always catch up on how our day's been.
But you know what, while that's all well and good most nights, I think the absence of date night makes it feel like something's missing.

Ok, so granted we don't have children. If we did that would be all the more reason to make sure we included some 'us time' in our weekly schedule, that's for sure! But no matter whether it's just two people in a family or 6, quality time together is important for any couple.

So this week I made sure we locked in a date night. Last night we went to dinner and then caught a movie. And it was brilliant to spend some time together. What a great way to start the weekend.

So I guess this is a prompter, especially to all of you parents out there.
Schedule in a date night in the next week or two. You don't have to go all out. Even if you get take away and a DVD. Just spend some real time together. Chat about the things you used to chat about.
And enjoy each other :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

All things beautiful... November

Ok, so I'm a sucker for all things creative and original and I must say when I discovered the magical etsy.com I knew this would be a time-wasting wonderland of all things beautiful!

This month my fave find is from etsy seller urbandesign.  She has a collection of gorgeous photographs that take you back to the beauty of nature and the array of colours and details surrounding us each and every day.

I encourage you not to only check out her collection, but also others on etsy. There are some amazingly talented people on there selling everything from hand made clothing, to bags, to homewares and everything else in between.

Do you love etsy too?

Thursday, November 25, 2010


What are superfoods you say?
Nope, they're not faster than a speeding bullet and they can't scale the side of a high rise building with their bare hands... They're foods that just just that - super!
They're packed full of beneficial properties and they're a must for every person to ensure we live a long healthy life.
Below are some of my favourites:

Also called linseeds, this little miracle seed is rich in both fibre and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a building block of omega-3's.
Flaxseeds come in either seed or liquid oil form. The liquid oil is kept in the fridge and is great added to salads or into smoothies. It should not be cooked so make sure you don't use it the way you use olive oil.
If you are using the whole seeds you can either have them as is or grind them and add to cereals, porridge, fruit or yoghurt.
If you do grind the seeds try to do so on an as-use basis as they can go rancid quickly if you don't use them within the first day or 2 of grinding.
Flaxseeds have a great nutty taste and are easy to add into your daily diet!

Chia seeds
Chia seeds are relatively unknown to many, yet if we go all the way back to 3500 BC they were a staple part of the diet of  the Aztecs and Mayans! They're funny looking little things that are the highest plant based source of Omega-3, protein and dietary fibre.  Not only this but they are also a high source of calcium - containing over 6 times more of it than milk!
You will find them in your health food store and they come in both black and white seeds.
So which colour is better you ask?
Well basically they both have the same nutritional value so there's really no difference in which colour you go for.
I tablespoon a day is all you need. Add them to yoghurt, porridge, smoothies or when baking muffins, bread etc.
These little babies can carry up to 10 times their own weight in water so make sure you drink plenty of water if adding these to your diet.

Little balls of sweetness, blueberries are not only an excellent source of vitamin c and fibre but they also have wonderful antioxidant properties which help neutralise harmful by-products called 'free radicals' that can lead to cancer and other age-related diseases.
Best of all though they taste brilliant! I like to have them on porridge, in smoothies, on cereal, or with a little yoghurt and ground flaxseed.

Full of calcium, protein and active live cultures, yoghurt has more to it than meets the eye.
Live cultures act as good bacteria to help promote good digestive health, preventing bad bacteria from causing infections and diseases.
Most importantly, when you take antibiotics you are destroying the good bacteria present in your body so by eating yoghurt you are adding them back into your body, helping it return to a healthy state.

So everyone knows eggs are packed with protein. Protein promotes healthy muscles, skin, hair and nails. It is the building block of any living organism.
A diet high in protein is a great way to maintain a healthy weight and give you the energy to get through your day. My tip is to try to add protein to every meal (where possible) - this will encourage preserved muscle mass and fat burning while keeping you nice and full.
One egg contains 6 grams of protein and all 9 essential amino acids - the building blocks of protein.
And did you know, contrary to previous belief recent studies show that moderate consumption of eggs does not in fact have a negative impact on people's cholesterol!

Ok, so many of you may have never heard of this magical little seed but believe me, this one's a goodie!
Quinoa (pronounced 'keen-wah') is well known to those with gluten intolerance or coeliac disease as it's gluten free.
It's readily available in supermarkets (check the health food section) and when cooked it looks kinda like a cross between couscous and rice.
It's high in protein and so versatile.
In my attempt to change to a gluten-free lifestyle I am stoked I came across this little gem!
Simply give it a good rinse before you use it (a fine strainer under running water is fine for this) and then cook it like rice - for every cup of quinoa add 2 cups of water.
It's great as a porridge/muesli type concoction (add yoghurt, blueberries, banana, chia seeds or ground flaxseeds and a little raw honey) or for lunch with some roasted pumpkin, pinenuts, snow peas, corn, pesto etc... mmmmm... delish!

So these are just a few of my fave superfoods that I try to add into my daily diet but there are so many more! Almonds, green leafy veggies, goji berries, raw honey, oats... and the list goes on...

What are your favourite superfoods?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Auto-Immune Disease

Anyone out there living with an auto-immune disease knows the constant battle you face each and every day.
I myself have lived with Hypothyroidism, or Hashimotos Thyroiditis to be exact, for the past 8 years.

I was first diagnosed at the age of 21.
I was going through a fairly traumatic time in my life and I found myself utterly exhausted, depressed and miserable.
I didn't know what was wrong with me. My life seemed to be a mess (looking back now everything of course was so much more dramatic at 21 mind you) and I didn't know how to deal with what was going on.
I had recently gone through a very messy break-up and I had lost quite a bit of weight going on a very strict diet.
My body seemed to collapse and so did my world.

It wasn't until I was diagnosed with this disease that it all started to make sense to me.
I had been going home and straight to bed at 4.30pm - I was utterly exhausted. I was crying constantly (yes, the break-up didn't help here), I had put back on most of the weight I had just lost, and I felt totally unlike myself.
You see I consider myself to be a pretty damn happy person. I have always loved life and had a passion for each new day.
But during this time I felt like a huge dark cloud was constantly following me around.

So the moment I was told that there was indeed a reason for feeling the way I did I felt like the cloud had been lifted.
Sure, it meant that I would have to go on medication, of which I would be on for the rest of my life, but I wasn't going insane for no reason!

Since then I have learnt to live with my AI disease but it's only really in the past 12 months or so that I've decided to actually do something about my life and health.

I guess that's what this blog's all about really. My journey to get well. And that's the hard thing with AI diseases, thyroid diseases in particular. You see doctor's will tell you your levels (TSH, T3, T4 etc. - more on that later) are perfectly normal now and the medication is working fine, but the reality is that's not necessarily the truth.
Sure, I feel 100 times better than when I was first diagnosed, but still I know I still don't feel 100%. I know there's a better, healthier, fuller life out there for me.

The important thing I guess I'm trying to say is to trust your body and your intuition. Doctors can tell you you're fine but you are the only one who knows how you are.
Whether you're living with Hashi's, Coeliac Disease, Arthritis, Lupus... and the list goes on... learn to trust in your body and how you are feeling. It's ok to admit to not being ok.
And take control of your body. Do your research, seek second opinions. Everyone will have their own answers to your questions but you need to be the filter on what you take on board and what you don't.
Whether it's alternative therapies, nutrition, exercise, western medicine... there is a world of help and options out there.

What's your experience with AI disease?

Picapp Widget

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...