Good food = good mood | Listening to your body | Perfect diet and balanced intake?

Sometimes i think i give off the image that i have a “perfect, balanced diet and intake”….. Or maybe i don’t. But i think i can give off the image that i always eat vegetables, always have balanced meals and always listen to my body… which isn’t always the case.

I mean, if listening to your body was easy, then everyone would do it. But it is not always easy to listen to your body or interpret your signals. 

Sometimes tiredness can be interpreted as hungry so you eat something instead of actually going to sleep. Sometimes (or quite often) i can eat just out of boredom. Sometimes i drink coffee instead of eating (or sleeping) (but then realise it is food or sleep i needed, not caffeine). Sometimes i eat more food than my body may call for, just because it is delicious. When i am stressed or anxious or nervous i can feel too sick to eat or lose my appetite and not eat because i don’t feel hungry, and sometimes the stress can lead to stress eating. I follow my cravings and try to listen to my body and eat regular meals but listening to (my) your body and interpreting the signals isn’t always easy. It is not just the body and hormones that send physical signs, but the mind also plays a role in hunger and what you eat.

 

 

The truth is i don’t always have a perfectly balanced diet, i am just like anyone else and can have days i overeat or days where i undereat. I can have days where i eat lots of processed food with little to no vegetables all day.

Of course, in a way you could see that the ability to overeat and not feel guilty or compensate is a sign of health and balance. But also the ability to eat less than usual when i am not hungry and not feel like i “Have to eat”, like i once did in the past when recovering from my eating disorder.

I am writing this post just to be honest. Listening to your body sometimes means you overeat or undereat. Sometimes you think you are listening to your body but you aren’t actually because there are different thoughts that are interfering with the physical signs/how you eat.

Some people can’t listen to their body, especially if hormones and hunger signals aren’t working as they should. Whether it is because you never feel hungry or you never feel full. Or maybe you have a far too negative relationship with food so you don’t trust your body or can’t judge right portion sizes. Or maybe you are going through very stressful times or feel very anxious or worried which affects your hunger signals. Or maybe you need to gain or lose weight which means you need to eat more/less than your body signals for. Or maybe you are taking medication that affects your hunger levels.

In all those cases, then maybe following a meal plan or more strict form of eating (i.e eating at certain times and having certain meals planed and measured) can be helpful, instead of just eating whenever and how much you want.

The one thing i have realised throughout my years is that regular meals with focus on “whole foods” is what makes me feel best – physically and mentally. Food and eating impacts so much more than just giving you a satiated feeling. It impacts your thoughts, your energy, how you feel. The food you eat becomes the building blocks in your body and part of your cells.

 

 

For me personally, whenever i go through times when i don’t really listen to my body and maybe i overeat/eat lots of processed food, or times when i undereat it always impacts me in different ways. More tired, sluggish, don’t feel as great about myself, end up bloating and getting stomach pain. Not to mention it usually impacts my skin as well if i consume too much of certain food . Such as the times i end up consuming a little too much sweetener ex. i.e i add sweetener to yoghurt/chia pudding or drink too much diet soda, it gives me this weird feeling and i don’t feel so great in my body/ in myself after a while. So it is not just eating too much chocolate or bread or overeating, but also consuming too much sweetener and “low kcal/sugar free” foods that can give me that strange, not so great feeling.

 

 

The times i eat regular meal times with predominantly whole foods (i.e vegetables, grains, tofu, legumes, nuts) is when i feel best. Nourishing my body with frequent/regular meals is when i feel best physically and mentally. And when i listen to my body, that is naturally how i eat.

The quote, good food = good mood really is true. (I hate the term “good”, “clean”, “bad” “healthy”, “unhealthy” when it comes to describing food because no food is good/bad/healthy/unhealthy.. it is all about the amount you eat, not to mention it is very individual on what is healthy or unhealthy. There is food which has more nutrients than other foods, but that doesn’t meant the food with less nutrients has to be bad… it is about the amount you eat.)

I like to eat rather big meals 2-3 times a day, and usually some smaller snack 1-2 times a day depending on life/if i am hungry or not. Sometimes 2-3 meals a day with no snacks works, othertimes i am more hungry and want to snack.

Why am i writing this post…? Well because i wanted to share with you that normal eating and listening to your body isn’t always perfect. We are just humans and our thoughts, cravings, feelings impact how we eat… not just the physical hunger signals. Even things like what others are eating, ads we see in our daily lives impact how we eat. Example if you are with friends or family and they eat or buy some food, you are more likely to eat as well even if you aren’t hungry. Or if you see an ad for some new food you want to try, or maybe you smell freshly baked buns or bread you might go buy and eat some even if you weren’t actually hungry…. that’s called being a human.

Food is more than just energy and nourishment. Food can give you a good/happy feeling, it is a social thing, it is delicious and can make you want to eat more.

The problem of course is when people begin to abuse food and rely on food to make them happy, such as emotional eating – when food and eating gives them a calm or happy feeling.

I really hope this post helps someone and makes you realise that a perfect diet or a healthy diet isn’t always eating the same meals at the same time each day. A balanced and healthy diet can sometimes mean that you eat more or eat less than your body calls for – even if that of course shouldn’t be the goal. The thing is to not feel anxious or guilty if you do overeat, instead just get back to your regular meals the next time you eat.

Also remember, that people only post some of their meals online, i don’t post all the meals i eat and don’t post about the times i undereat or overeat, so don’t base your own intake off of what people show online because you never really know how a person eats.

 

 

 

Moving city to study | Life change the past 2 years & 8 tips for moving to another city

This morning i was reminded of the fact that this day, 2 years ago, i was on a train with my (3) packed bags on my way to Gothenburg. Ready to start a new life.

So let’s backtrack for those who haven’t followed my previous blog or my life story.

At the end of high school, 2015, i was extremely stressed which led me falling back into depression and struggling with alot of anxiety. I struggled with depression and anxiety (again) for about 1-1,5 years until summer 2016 when i realised i needed to make a change, and i made more than one change which i will get into later.

I had moved city before and lived on my own during spring 2016, but that had been a bit of a disaster for my mental health, and if anything it just made me worse. After moving home again, after my school term was over i realised i needed to make a change. I couldn’t keep feeling and struggling the way i was. I had no life motivation and just tried to fake a smile.

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I applied for school in Gothenburg, hoping to get into 1 of the 2 programs i had applied to. I was extremely nervous thinking, 1) what if i don’t get in, 2) what if i do get in and don’t find anywhere to live, 3) what if i get worse and sicker if i move, 4) what if i don’t make friends if i move… (Because in my previous uni i had been very lonely and hadn’t made any friends.

I spent almost the whole summer 2016 working which was very beneficial for my health, as i felt like i had something to do and it got me out of the house almost everyday. But at the same time i worked LONG hours and couldn’t say no to work, so i think i worked 17 days in a row, or something like that. So it was also mentally and physically tiring.

At the same time, i had made the choice to go vegan spring 2016. I ended my relationship with my boyfriend at the time. I stopped taking birth control (which i think was one of the factors making my depression worse… just speculation though). I began taking different herbal medication for my depression, anxiety and sleep problems. (Note, i believe you should talk to a doctor and make your own decision whether you want to take anti-depressant and anxiety pills, try herbal medication or take no pills at all. Each to their own.) And finally the end of summer i moved city.

I feel like a completely new person compared to who i was back then. I still struggle with anxiety time to time and i have had my moments where i have been very sad, low and not had any life motivation. But it has never been as long lasting or as deep as it was back then.

In 2 years i have moved housing 5 times. I am glad to finally have my own place after 1,5 years… but it is also good to live with others and moving around meant that i got to see alot of the city i live in. So i choose to see the positive, even if i didn’t always feel positive when trying to find somewhere to live.

I have finished 4 terms, i.e 66% of my program and only have one year left. However i think i will continue studying and maybe trying to work part time with something health and nutrition related.

I have stepped outside of my comfort zone alot more. When you move to a new city you have to do things that scare you. Trying to make new friends, meeting new people, even trying to find a new gym and going to new places can be scary at first.

I feel like i have become alot stronger mentally and grown alot more. A little less insecure, even if i still struggle with insecurity and self esteem… i am trying to improve it!

My blog and blogging has changed alot, hahah.

It feels like each year that passes i say that i feel more balanced, but it is true. It is like with each year that passes and each year i get older i get more mature and more balanced. Small things that once bothered me don’t matter as much. I find more balance in different areas of my life. Of course, when school starts again i might not say the same thing….

Moving was one of the best decisions i have made in my life, even if there have been ups and downs.

I thought i would share some tips/things i have learnt from moving the past 2 years:

  • You might not feel ready to move, and that is ok. But you have to be honest to yourself if you think you can manage it. This is especially for those suffering with mental illness such as eating disorders or depression. Be honest with yourself… will you be able to manage living away from home, being more independent and still making choices that will help you recover? Because the illness will want you to move away from home just so that you can get sicker and follow all your routines/sick habits and not be disturbed. So be honest if moving away from home/to another city or country, would be helpful or if you should wait.

 

  • Try to make friends from the get-go. This is easier if you move to a city to study, it may be harder if you just move to a new city/country to try to find work or just for the experience. But i regret not being more proactive trying to make friends and socialize in the beginning…. i didn’t go to all the activities for the new uni students, so i could have missed out on meeting people.

 

  • Join groups or activities to try to find friends or people with the same interests.

 

  • Walk/cycle around the city/where you live. It is much easier to see new places, and put together the locations/pieces and locate yourself if you walk/run/cycle around! Maybe walk around a new place one day each weekend! You might find small cafes you love or new locations you love!

 

  • Make connections and facebook friends! It was through facebook connections that i got all the living places i have lived at (apartment from where i live now, as that is through a student housing queue).

 

  • Which brings me to…. if you are moving to a city to study, sign up for all the housing queues! And don’t forget to pay the fee (i almost lost my housing queue for Stockholm because i forgot to pay one summer, haha. I think i have 5 years in the queue now though which is good! Though it can take alot longer in the queue to actually get an apartment.)

 

  • Keep in contact with people and don’t isolate yourself. This is key if you live on your own. If you have housemates you will atleast be surrounded by other people. But if you live on your own, it can be a good idea to call friends or family, or someone atleast once a week!

 

  • If things don’t work out… whether it’s financially, you can’t find anywhere to live, you don’t like what you are studying, you feel too lonely or you feel you can’t cope living away from home, then that is ok. It is ok to be honest with yourself and realise things didn’t work out… that doesn’t make you a failure. It makes you strong for listening to yourself and your intuition and realising that things didn’t work out. Maybe you just need more time or to move back home or move to another location, depending on why things didn’t work out. It is not a failure, remember that!!

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So there are just some of my tips and things i have learnt/wanted to share with you.

*I think it is easy for me to move away from home/move to other places because i never really get attached to places or people. So i have it easy to just pack up and move. But also because i am so independant… which can be a negative thing because i never ask for help either, even if i am struggling. But i think when you are very independant and good at sorting things out yourself then it’s easier to pack up and move, compared to if you are very attached to places or people or always feel the need for family/comfort etc* (I do miss my dog alot, which i think is the worst thing about moving.)

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If any of you have moved to another city or country to study/work/travel, i would love to know how it went/what you learnt/your experiences etc

Heatstroke – Signs and symptoms | Myself/my experience

In this post, i am going to talk about something very important which i think many should be aware of in this current heatwave… and that is: Heat stroke.

I have had/suffered heat stroke several times before in my life so you would think that by now i would realise the symptoms before it goes too far. Though when it comes to the sun… i seem to have no limit and can be out in the sun all day everyday and not really thinking about the consequences. I was like this, even as a child.

Back when i was between 8-10 years old i suffered my first heatstroke and it was a rather serious heatstroke. I had fallen asleep on one of the floating mattresses in the pool when we were on holiday in Spain. It was the middle of the day and the sun was shining hard and i hadn’t drunk enough water so ended up becoming dehydrated and got heatstroke. The rest of the day (and next 24 hours) is pretty much a blur where i just felt nauseous and sick, and the rest of the holiday i had to stay in the shade.

That wasn’t the only time i have suffered heatstroke/heat exhaustion, but that was one of the most serious times. 

However, just this summer i have suffered from it twice…. the first time was in May when the heat first struck. I never mentioned it on here (i think i wrote i didn’t feel good/was living on Resorb and water to get me through the work day.) but with work, school, not drinking enough water, drinking too much caffeine, stress i ended up getting heat exhausation. But i never really reflected on it…. mostly just that i was dehydrated, felt nauseous and extremely ill as well as my skin was very warm. However i still managed to go to work the next day even if i had spent the previous night both freezing cold and overheating.

Yesterday however i suffered from heatstroke (or heat exhaustion) again…. and if i am honest, i am writing this post because i need to learn the signs and symptoms so that i don’t end up in a dangerous situation where my body can’t cool down it’s temperature. (Note: I have not spoken to a doctor either of these times.. so it’s just a self diagnosis, but i am pretty sure it is an accurate self diagnosis.)

p.s i would recommend that if you think you – or someone you know – is suffering from heat exhausation or heat stroke, call the doctor. Don’t be like me and try to just cool down at home. Ring someone/a doctor, just incase. It is serious!!!!

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Let’s start off with… what is heatstroke?

According to MayoClinic:

“Heatstroke is a condition caused by your body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. This most serious form of heat injury, heatstroke, can occur if your body temperature rises to 104 F (40 C) or higher. The condition is most common in the summer months.”

And what is heat exhaustion? According to WebMD:

” Heat exhaustion is a heat-related illness that can occur after you’ve been exposed to high temperatures, and it often is accompanied by dehydration.”

So… since Sunday i have basically spent several hours each day out in the sun where it has been between 27-30 degrees. And i have not spent any time in the shade. And Tuesday-Thursday i had an evening workshift which meant i could spend some time in the sun before work. I.e Several hours in the sun where i didn’t drink enough water, then during work where it is extremely warm and little oxygen and i barely drink any water at all because i forget and can’t go to the bathroom when i want/need to, as well as drinking caffeine and not consuming so much salt.

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Then on Friday i had a freeday from work and it was going to be around 32 degrees. Perfect i thought, i can be out in the sunshine. Not thinking about the consequences.

I had begun to feel sick, nauseous and warm on Thursday. I felt this weird tired, heavy and breathless feeling. It was hard to breathe and my muscles felt heavy and i just felt a little out of it.

And i didn’t feel much better on Friday, but i still went out into the sun. And there i lay for a few hours drinking barely any water, drinking caffeine instead of water, sun shining right down on me.

After a while i began to feel extremely nauseous, i could barely breathe and it was just short shallow breaths. My skin felt tight and i felt like i was burning up but also cold… a sort of cold and clammy feeling on my skin. And despite feeling warm and being in the sun i was not sweating at all.

The 5 minute walk home was awful. My muscles couldn’t carry me. I couldn’t breathe. My heart  was racing. The first thing i did when i got home was just lie on my bed and try to breathe which i did for c.a 30 minutes before i got up and poured myself some water and a salt/fluid replacement tablet. Just that little effort made me feel dizzy and according to my phones health app i had a pulse of around 120 just resting. (Which is the same pulse i had when i had to go to the emergency room due to pancreatitis).

My whole body hurt. My eyes hurt – as if i had burnt my eyes. I couldn’t really see.  The skin on my face felt tight and hot. And i felt very nauseous…. after a while i tried to eat something but it just came back up again, my stomach not being able to handle anything apart from small sips of water.

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Eventually i realised i had to cool myself and my body down and i did this by wetting towels and putting on my head and putting ice cubes in a plastic bag and putting on my wrist, ankles and face. After c.a 20 minutes i was already feeling better.

I felt colder/normal temperature. I could breathe normally. My pulse slowed down. I could see better/didn’t feel so orientated. I lay there for about an hour with the cold towels and ice cubes slowly melting. Feeling more like myself again.

And eventually i could drink some more water and stomach some watermelon.

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Why am i writing this? Because it is such an important topic to bring awareness to. I see people out running midday in this heat and that can be extremely dangerous. Not to mention elderly, children and pets all have an increased risk of suffering from heatstroke. And people with different illnesses – including cystic fibrosis or other lung illnesses have an increased risk of suffering from heatstroke. It can be fatal, and if i am honest…. i am just lucky i haven’t suffered anything fatal yet.

I should have called the doctor yesterday. Not being able to breathe, pulse racing and feeling like you are about to faint is not a good sign, and if i hadn’t been able to decrease my bodies temperature it could have caused serious problems.

From now on i need to learn to drink more water, but also i need to salt more because of my CF (which means that when i sweat, i sweat more salt than regular people.) But also less caffeine and not spending several hours in the sun and then going direct to work.

I need to learn to put limits on my sun exposure. Yes, i can spend several hours in the direct sun and will gladly be in the sun during the hottest hours… but for my own health it can be good to limit that exposure. Not just for the heat, but also for my skin, minimize risk of skin cancer and heat exposure/heatstroke.

Make sure you are drinking enough water, mix between being in the sun and shade and also check on your pets, children and elderly so that they aren’t getting overheated! Also be smart and don’t be out running/overexherting yourself in this heatwave… instead either workout inside in cool areas or stick to working out when it is cooler in the morning or evening and LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. If you feel tired, nauseous, not so well… rest!

For the next few days i am not going to be out in the sun… before work, instead i will just focus on doing at home work/computer work and give my body a break from the sun rays. Also have a party i am supposed to go to this evening after work, not so sure if i will go or not after yesterdays experience. I am pretty sure drinking alcohol 24 hours after heat stroke is not a good idea.

 

**To those wondering… the recipe and IG photo were scheduled. And i began to feel better/able to use my phone again around 7/8pm.**

Life thoughts | health, life, gratitude, bullying

Recently i have been listening to alot of “real life” documentaries that are around 20-30 minutes long and it has gotten me thinking about alot of things in life.

To hear all these stories from people, everything from travel stories, murders, bullying, sickness, breakups etc etc

And i wanted to share some of the thoughts i have had.

1 …. We should not take life, or people in our life for granted. You NEVER know what could happen.  Of course, that doesn’t mean we should live a life of fear worrying that things could go wrong. And it doesn’t mean you should live a pessimistic life, always thinking things could and will go wrong. It just means that we (myself included) should take time to be grateful for things in our life. If we have a house to live in, if we have family or friends or someone close to us, if we have legs so that we can walk, arms so that we can carry, eyes so that we can see and ears so we can listen. Because there are people out there who don’t have any of those things. Just the simple and small things in life that we take for granted could be the things others miss out on and wish they could experience as well.

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And that brings me to my second point. We should not take our health for granted. Of course, so many people – myself included don’t have the best of health. Maybe you have pains or aches, maybe living with mental illness or chronic stomach pains, or maybe like myself you have both a chronic illness as well as mental illness… but we can’t let that stop us. We still have some form of health and we can make the best of that situation.

Which brings me to the third… i am going to sign up to be an organ donor as well as sign myself up to the tobiasregistret, basically a swedish register for people who want to/can donate stem cells. I don’t actually know if i can donate stem cells or all my organs because of my Cystic Fibrosis, i.e i am not allowed to donate blood unfortunately because of my illness but also certain organs i am not allowed to donate because they are/can be affected by CF in the future. But i feel like signing up to those two registers are two small things i can do to maybe save another life. I know many are against organ donation and stem cell donation, but i personally feel that if i could save another persons life i would and will do that (and i highly suggest you think about it as well.). Think about if it was you who needed an organ or your child who needed stem cells…..

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I know that many (or at least a few people) with Cystic Fibrosis end up needing new lungs and if only more people would sign up for organ donation then maybe more people would be able to keep living life. (Of course it is awful that another person would die to save another’s life… but that person would have died anyway… )

Third…. why do children bully…. I mean children aren’t born with hate or with racism or homophobia… that is something they are taught. Just like with fears – that is something they are taught from their parents or environment. It is so incredibly sad that so many children are bullied and so many children that bully others. There can of course be many reasons as to why children bully others, but it breaks my heart how many people – both children and adults are bullied for things they can’t even control, or just because someone or a group of people have decided to hate on that person. And even worse when that children or adult is bullied so bad that it causes them to commit suicide.

Fourth….At times i wish i was more free and could just travel the world. Several of my friends have taken gap years to travel and spent 6-12 months working or travelling in other countries and all i can say is that i moved from Ireland to Sweden and i can’t even remember the last time i left Sweden. I want to travel more but there are so many things stopping me, but i feel like i am missing out on so much in life. But at the same time i don’t have that desire to back pack for 12 months or to leave everything behind and live in hostels and party in Australia… that isn’t something for me.

I have plenty of other thoughts from these documentaries/life podcasts i am listening to, but these were just some thoughts i wanted to share. Feel free to share your thoughts about these topics… or anything else you want to share/comment.

Maybe i will write some more thoughts after listening to some more of these podcasts – they are perfect while on my way to work, or when doing the dishes or even when brushing my teeth/hair and getting ready in the morning!!

Working out in the morning fasted or in the evening fueled up?

I know I have touched on this subject before, but I wanted to write about it again. Working out… when is the optimal time?

Working out in the morning fasted or later on in the evening after eating several meals?

To start off, I am the type of person who likes to work out in the morning and most often fasted i.e before breakfast. This is something I have done for several years so I am used to it as well as it suits my lifestyle. I.e I wake up, drink some coffee, do some online work and then go to the gym, workout and start my day. And then I’ll be in school studying or in lectures until 3-5pm and then home to meal prep and by then I am so tired so I just wna tot lie in bed….. so working out in the morning suits my lifestyle. But recently I have instead been working out in the evening… for numerous reasons. Either I have had 8am lectures which I have needed to go to, or I have felt too stressed with school work so have just wanted to start at once so haven’t prioritized the gym in the morning or I just didn’t have the energy or motivation to workout in the morning… then instead later in the day I will feel energetic and motivated and want to go to the gym. And I must say… it is a huge difference working out in the evening after having eaten 2-3 meals before hand. I feel more energetic and like I can keep working out…. I do admit, the sun and warmth makes a difference as well. During the winter when it is dark and grey the last thing I want to do is leave the house in the afternoon and feel far less energetic.

The one problem with working out in the evening is that it doesn’t always happen… i.e I know that if I workout in the morning I 1) am filled with energy for the day/morning& feel more focused, 2) My workout is done for the day and I know that I can do whatever for the rest of the day i.e if I decide to go out with friends or do other things I don’t have to prioritize the gym, 3) Stomach ache won’t prvent me from going to the gym…. You know sometimes after eating several meals the bloat kicks in or I eat something that gives me a stomach ache and then I can’t workout, so working out in the morning also means that it is done and if anything comes up throughout the day such as stomach pain or extra school work it won’t affect my workout.

So… when is the best time to workout? When you can fit it into your lifestyle. Whether it is 30 minutes on your lunch break or 45 minutes while watching tv in the evening or in the morning before you begin work or school.

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The best is to eat something before hand so that you have energy for your workout. Or if you workout fasted in the morning then make sure to eat a big meal the night before so that that energy will fuel you during your workout the following morning.

And no, fasted cardio is not better or better for fatloss than non fasted cardio. You still burn the same amount of energy and even if your body uses more “fat” when doing fasted cardio, it will not make fatloss higher the rest of the day or over a longer period of time, because once you eat carbohydrates you body will use that glucose for energy i.e burn glucose.

It is like when people say “eat fat to burn fat”… basically if you eat a lot of fat, your body will use that fat you ate for energy… so it is not your fat stores, but it is the fat you eat that you burn making you technically burn more fat, but just the fat from the food. If this makes sense.  I.e eat a lot of carbs and your body will use a lot of glucose, eat a lot of fat and your body will mostly use the fatty acids for energy.

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What about which workout form to do? Well the best form is the exercise you enjoy. However I would recommend everyone to do some form of resistance training or strength training because having strong muscles is so important, especially the older you get. Not only will it make you stronger it can also help with posture and if you fall when you are older you are less likely to injure yourself because you have muscles that can support you. So even if you can only do body weight exercises that is still great and a way to work your muscles and build strength!

If you have any more questions about this topic, don’t be scared to ask 🙂