Magic pills

Even before I was diagnosed with PoTS and EDS, I suffered from horrific migraines.

For anyone who has never had a migraine, or thinks they have (if paracetamol get rid of it, it’s not a migraine) – a few days before (predrome), I will be extremely fatigued, sensitive to noise, light, touch, and smells. Then my head will feel like it’s in a vice and I’ll get terrible nausea accompanied by flashing lights, a numb face, needing to wee a lot, feeling weak, having no spatial awareness and a lot of other things. For a few days after (postdrome), I will also be extremely fatigued and my whole body will feel bruised.

Nothing over the counter touches them and sometimes even my prescribed triptans don’t completely. At their worst point, I was sometimes getting more than one a week, lasting 72 hours each.

My turning point was a Neurologist that I was referred to through my PoTS consultant who is wonderful. He prescribed me Topamax, an anti-epileptic which has been found to prevent migraines. The relief was almost instant. They reduced in severity and frequency (I had to tweak and up my dosage a few times as my body got used to the drug).

However, there are issues with the drug and pregnancy, quite big risks….and in all honesty, if something can damage a baby growing, then really how good is it for you? So after a meeting with my Obstetrician last year (very odd having one when you’re not pregnant I can tell you!), we decided that I would slowly come off the tablets and see how my body found it.

After three years of taking them, and how severe the migraines were before, it was very scary but over the past six months, I have been very very slowly weaning myself off of them. Last night, I took my last one.

I still get some migraines but they are different. Sometimes they are what I now know are ‘silent migraines’ (migraines with all of the post and pre drome but no head pain) and sometimes they are a migraine but not as intense as they used to be. They are most certainly less frequent.

So now I feel like I’m starting over. I need to look after myself a lot more – eat better, exercise, meditate, keep as stress free as possible – and hopefully I can keep a lid on them. Until a baby comes along and then those pesky hormones might have something else to say about it!

Big hair, don’t care?

Those of you who have known me for a while know about my quest for bigger, bouncier hair with long-lasting volume. Products that I use and have bought a multitude of, I will write about in another post – this one is about shampoo.

Since I stopped taking the pill my hair and scalp have changed considerably. Add that to hair that it about as much use as a baby’s and I was having a bit of a problem. Apparently, get the shampoo right, treat your hair and scalp well and great hair will follow. With that in mind, what have I been trying and what do I recommend?

shampoo

My current hair care options

Eucerin – All the dry shampoo that I use and a lot of stress had sent my scalp a little insane, basically it was all peeling off and very sore. I’ve heard about their sensitive skincare range and thought this shampoo was worth a go. Not cheap for shampoo but two washes and my scalp was lovely and my hair incredibly soft (no great if you’re me so I use sparingly) 8/10

Unite Weekender – Unite is something I will talk about more in my products post but essentially, not many people know about it and it’s great. This shampoo contains a lot of protein and is great for people who use a lot of products or do things like swim a lot. I use this once in a while when I feel like my hair needs a repair. 7/10 (only because I get no volume)

Mane ‘n Tail – yes, that’s proper pony shampoo for use on actual ponies and it works GREAT on us humans too. I even bough this in Liberty’s! Those in the know who have been using it for a while report a longer, thicker, more controlled head of hair (or mane). For me, it makes it silky but not in a ‘slipperly little buggar’ way, actually it feels a but like it’s coated in something silky rather than my hairs are too silky. Anyway £7ish a bottle and the lather is amazing. 9/10

L’Oreal Elvive Fibrology – Yeah you’ve seen the adverts, that woman saying her hair is all ‘hellllloooo’ and Blake Lively promising you’ll have hair like hers. It’s ok, it’s not great. I notice a small difference after having used a different shampoo but no crazy difference over time. Certainly not the effect I was expecting from the adverts. I think you perhaps need to use every single one of the products in the range, all in one go – something I’m just not going to do. 6/10

Lush Big – now this is what I thought the above would do. It has sea salt in it for that bit of ‘grab’ to your hair but it also has a nice lemon scent and lots of coconut oil to stop it drying out. On just having washed, my hair is as soft as with any other shampoo but a bit later in the day, it has a great bit of grit for adding more texture to. I’m sure if someone with hair a bit less ‘baby’ that mine used it, you’d get great results. Have to occasionally use my Eucerin between using this as it drys my scalp a bit but I’d still recommend it. 9/10

In summary, I think I’d buy a second bottle of any of these if they had run out but for what I’m after (volume and control), I’d pick the Lush Big.

Quick, easy and tasty curry

Prawn curry

10mins and perfection

I usually have an issue with home-made curry. It doesn’t taste quite right, has nothing on a great take-away and is a bit of a disappointment. Until this one. It takes ten minutes to make and tastes great. At 222 calories per serving, it’s also great if you’re watching your calories or doing the 5:2 diet – even for a fast day! So – quick and easy prawn curry. Serves 2.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp medium or hot curry paste (I use Patak’s)
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red pepper, halved, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 whole red chilli (or chilli flakes)
  • 1 tbsp mango chutney
  • 3 large, ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 150ml half-fat coconut milk
  • 200g prawns (cooked or raw)
  • 100g baby spinach leaves
  • coriander and lime juice to serve

Directions

  1. Heat a large pan and add curry paste, water, onion, pepper, chilli and cook for 4 mins until softened
  2. Add chutney, tomatoes and coconut milk and simmer for 3 mins
  3. Add prawns and spinach, cook for 3 mins until prawns are pink and spinach has wilted
  4. Serve with a squeeze of lime and coriander leaves

And THAT’S IT! Eat and enjoy. By Mimi Spencer for Daily Mail

Superwoman!

In a effort to ‘fix myself’ a little and try and get my health back on track, I’ve taken to clean eating, and also trying a few of the superfoods and random things that you find all over Pinterest, all the time. Those crazy Americans sure like a health fad – and so apparently do I!

So, what have I been trying, and what do I think of it?

*sorry it’s a long one!* **I’ve not been paid or forced at money-point to write any of the below**

Maca powder – the ground up root of some super amazing Peruvian something or other. Basically it fixes everything. I decided to try it because it’s supposed to balance out your hormones, be great for your skin, hair and circulation and give you more energy (among a serious list of other things including helping CFS, depression, anxiety, fertility, endurance, muscle building, clarity, acne….YEAH, I KNOW). The first time I tried it, I used WAY too much – my smoothie tasted not good, I could have drunk a dirty puddle and eaten a scabby horse. Still, at least I knew it did something. About half a tea spoon seems to be ok for me. I don’t know what it’s doing to my hormones but it does something to my energy. There’s different types, so work out which one you want before you buy, this site is good.

Gelatin  – this started because I’ve been reading a lot of things about bone broth being really good for healing your stomach, the main reason for that being the gelatin that is formed in the process of making it (something to do with gelatin and collagen, I’m no scientist but it makes sense). I had an issue with sourcing the pasture fed, organic bones locally to make broth and came across some articles that said adding (organic, pasture fed) gelatin to your diet can do a similar thing, enter gelatin powder. Now, this one completely dissolves in hot or cold water, so can be added to anything, even plain water (although it makes it taste a little sweet). If you want to make cool jelly sweets like I did, you want this one. I’ll admit I’ve seen no benefits yet aside from AHEM going to the loo a lot easier (which for someone with bendy insides is a great benefit)…but it’s only been a few days. I’ve found bones on the internet, so I will try making broth but there’s a warning for people with histamine issues just FYI.

Tulsi Tea – I found this when I was searching for ways to CALM THE F*** DOWN and balance my hormones after coming off the pill. It’s basically an organic herbal tea. It’s wonderful. Really. Tastes ok ish, although they do some different flavours that do all different things, I have the original one and I feel calmer. I mean, I’m still angry about things, but just a gentle range, no longer migrane inducing hatred, which is an improvement after a four days of having one cup a day (usually with my gelatin dissolved in it). There’s also this recipe for Tulsi Gelee sweets which I want to try!

Matcha – It’s green tea but better – super concentrated! If you’re diligently chugging back green tea because it’s supposed to help you lose weight and be super good for you, don’t bother, get this instead. It’s not cheap but lasts a while. I can’t drink it straight but I add it to my smoothies and go zooming along! Much better than a coffee if you don’t like hardcore caffeine, and much better for you.

Coconut everything! – oil, yogurt, water, milk…. coconuts are just great. I cook with the oil instead of olive or sunflower as it doesn’t break down at high temps. I eat the yogurt with my granola and honey as it’s dairy free (the taste and texture takes a little getting used to, this one is the nicest I’ve found). The water, get this, is full of electrolytes – no need for energy drinks or tabs! Ok, it’s grim on its own but stick it in a smoothie and it’s more than just a fruity/veggy delight, it’s isotonic!

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I also tried this today as a snack, chocolate replacement bar.

Now, while it was ok – it really wasn’t chocolate, at all.

I’d say it’s more like smushed dates.

Palatable, even quite nice if you’re expecting a fruit bar but if you’re expecting a chocolate-y delight.
No.

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Now this, this was nice.

A definite taste of coconut produce (if you’ve eaten the yogurts, you know what I mean) and bits of actual coconut in it but it’s a fairly good chocolate milk substitute if you have it nice and cold.

Plus, it’s full of electrolytes so could replace your sugar filled isotonic drink! They also do a coffee flavour one.

 

Next on my list:

Moringa – the ground leaves of some super special, nutrient rich tree.
Supergreens Powder – all different kinds of anti-bacterial, super amazing, probiotic grasses!

There’s info on some of the things I’ve talked about and also other ‘superfood powders’ that you might be interested in, from a far more reputable and amazing source, Get the Gloss, here.

My bridal prep and wedding skincare

I am and have always been a complete product junkie, so the wedding was a great opportunity to try out some lovely skincare products and make sure that I had a great base for my make up artist to work with.

I started using these a good few months before the wedding to give my skin time to have a new cycle and really get used to the new products. I really loved them all and will continue to use them for now – until I find new ones I want to try!  Continue reading

Meet the new me.

A Chicken-y bride!I’ve always wanted to be a different person. Never been quite sure of who I am or how much I like ‘me’. So now that I’m a ‘Mrs..’ and have a new name, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to reinvent myself a little, shake off the old things that I don’t like and make a positive start to married life.

I have decided that the new Mrs Me:

  • is (self)confident
  • through mindfulness and meditation, will try and be more happy ‘in the moment’ rather than worrying
  • will spend more time with friends and family

This new woman might even try and blog more. If I can think of things to say!