Sunday, 28 August 2011

Gut Week events

Well, Tuesday's event was a failure. Only my friend Heather and her son Jayden turned up, and they had driven me there. I was so disappointed. I thought the rain had kept people in but maybe it was the time of year and everyone is away for the summer. Yesterday's event went slightly better. I waited until 11.30am and no one had turned up by then, so thought that maybe no one else would by then. I was wrong. I had packed up all the things, except for the sheets of paper I'd sellotaped together, and was sorting out my receipt for the stationery I'd bought with the manager, when a woman and a little girl came in, saw the poster on the table and asked about doing the healthy living thing. I said that I was about to leave as no one had come and didn't think anyone would. So I directed them to the table with the paper on, got out the pictures of fruit and veg, gave them a glue stick and they got to work. A few minutes later a black woman with two little ones came in and I approached them and asked, would you want to do the arts and crafts and told them what it was. The oldest of the two, mabye who was four, joined the other girl, I gave her some paper and a glue stick, and the other girl shared the pictures, and they both were busy. I enjoyed watching them working. Two was better than none, which was what I thought I would have. I think next time I will do something during school term as I might get more takers. Next month is Organic Food month, so I might ask if I can do something again then. Watch this space.

Next week will be back to naturals.

Friday, 26 August 2011

IBS and Coeliac

Foods and food intolerances are not the only things that can set off IBS, esp with me. Anxiety can be another thing to set it off, and esp if you have generalised anxiety disorder like I have. When I am stressed, my internal body slows down so I end up with one certain symptom, and if I get nervous/excited, it goes the other way. So I try to keep my gut happy and not get too anxious, eg worrying about workshops, or get too nervous again about doing workshops. Sometimes it can be very hard for me to do this but I try.

Coeliac Disease. I mentioned this in my first post here because it was Awareness Week then. I am mentioning it again now because something has cropped up with my mum about it to do with the gut. My mum had a gastroscropgy a few weeks ago to find out how bad her Coeliac is, even though she had a low blood score for it. Despite that the results weren't what Mum expected, as it came out that she also has gastritis and a gastric ulcer, which she was told by her GP the othe day that the Coeliac could well have caused this. On the results sheet that Mum was given, it said to carry on eating gluten until her appointment with the consultant. So Mum did, and regretted it. Soon after starting gluten again, she began to get her gut ache and feel nauseous. The GP was perplexed as to why Mum was given this advice, and Mum has now stopped eating gluten. So if you do have a gastroscopy and you get the same result, stop eating gluten even if it says to do so. If you suspect that you have Coeliac, then do get it sorted out with your GP and hospital. One symptom is feeling tired, due to the gluten stripping the body of the essential vitamins and minerals, esp iron which you need to keep going.

Next post will be about how my two workshops went this week. I will just say that I hope the rain leaves off for tomorrow morning.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Love Your Gut

This week is 'Love Your Gut' week, and you can find more about it at the official website It is all about eating healthily to keep your gut good and working properly. And for me this is so appropriate and ironic as I suffer IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) which is all to do with the gut, and ironic because I have just had a bad flair up of it.

I think that one way to help your gut is to know what you can and can't eat. For instance, I know that I can't eat either raw or partially cooked (stewed) apples, as they give me one symptom of IBS (I have just found out). So I will now avoid this and if I eat apples, they have to be fully baked or cooked.

I also can't eat too much fruit, veg and other bits and pieces, as I did yesterday. With the apple, all of that caused the IBS flair up with me.

The other thing that I definitely avoid eating/drinking is cow's milk. I found in 2001 that I am intolerant to that and that also causes my IBS to flair up.

I would like to spread the word about loving your gut, so tomorrow I will be at Grove Park community library doing workshops about healthy eating and magic with children (will let you know how that goes) and on Saturday will be doing the same at Sydenham community library.
During the week I will be talking more about coping with food intolerances and more on Coeliac Disease. See you then.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Recycling out and about

This week was meant to be about healthy eating but I have swapped it with next week because then it is 'Love Your Gut' week and I want to celebrate by blogging about it and what I am doing where for it.

What recycling bins have you seen on your travels? I have seen lots and most of them have been in hospitals I have had appointments at, which is very good. Here are the ones I have seen.

Forest Hill train station - I noticed there are two bins there: one for paper/card and the other for tins and bottles. They are on both platforms.
Royal Festival Hall - I saw one there and think it's for all recycleables.
Maudsley Hospital - there were bins for all recycleables in the main outpatient building where I went to be assessed for Asperger's
Guy's Hospital - there are two big bins at the entrance to the Tower block for all recycleables. Also on the side of the hospital it says they are reducing their carbon footprint. But inside the dept where I had an appointment, there were ordinary bins.
St Thomas' - Again they had bins for all recycleables at the entrace to the main building, and they had ones for paper/card and tins/bottles in the corridor through the hospital. I know they have one for recycleables in the dental dept I go to, but due to being told my appointment had been cancelled (after getting there in the pouring rain), I didn't see it properly.

Also on the way to New Cross one day, I noticed some cow bins (recycling bins that are painted like cows).

All in all, my view at the moment is that hospitals are leading the way for recycling, which I think is very good.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Natural products with B

B is for Badger. There are two items by Badger that I buy and use and they are lipsalves and cuticle care ointment.

Lip balm sticks come in various scents and I have tried ginger, orange and lavender. Out of the three I prefer orange as I like citrus smells best. The lavender isn't so nice though.
Where to get them: You can buy them either from Sheel's at Lewisham, or So Organic at Greenwich.
Price: £2.49 each.
They also do lipbalms in a tin which costs a bit more at £3.99.
Green: The cover of the lipbalm sticks are made of plastic no 5, which I can recycle at my local Sainsbury's mixed plastic banks. So rating is 4/5.

Cuticle care ointment comes in tin pots. They last a long time and is easy to use.
Where to get them: the same as lipbalm sticks.
Price: £3.99
Green: 5/5, as they are made of tin, the same as tin fruits etc, so you can recycle them at home. Yay.

I like both of these, esp the lipbalm sticks, so will keep using those as they last a long time and come in different scents. Might buy the vanilla one next.

Next week will be out recycling again and not healthy eating as the rota goes but I will explain why then.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Chemical allergies

In my third children's book Georgina Queen of Clean, I am writing about using natural-made products with magical elements and have made out that the pupils can get allergies from using synthetic chemicals. Little did I know that this is true and I read a case in the paper last week, and it is called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. The headline was 'Housework kills me'. A woman had to give up housework because the chemicals in the cleaning products she used made her ill. Just a slight smell of the products brought on a severe allergic reaction inc inflamed skin, blood pressure soaring and blurred vision. She couldn't even set foot in a supermarket. The woman had to have homeopathy and acupuncture to help her problems it was so bad and it is only now when she uses natural and organic products that she can clean her house again.

So all those out there who don't think much about using these products, they can harm you. I know that two of my aunts didn't think much of them saying that there were only small amounts of them in the products. Well, what if there are up to five of these chemicals in one product and you use it twice a day every day. I think this all adds up, esp if you have sensitive skin like me. So I would like everyone to think about what they put on their skin, because health bodies have said that 60% of what you put on your skin does absorb into your blood, and if you use 4-5 products with 4-5 chemicals in, what does that mean? I let you think about it.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Textile recycling

What do you do with your old or unwanted clothes/handbags/shoes etc? Do you give them to the charity shop? Put them in a textile recycling bank? Or sell them on ebay? Well I do the first two, and haven't tried the last one yet, but dont' you wish that sometimes you could get money back on the clothes you don't want? Well, there is an answer to this if you live in the Beckenham area. A leaflet came through my letterbox the other day from a company called Clothes4Cash based in Beckenham at the Big Yellow Self Storage Co Ltd there. They buy unwanted clothes, soft toys and perfumes and will give you cash for them for various weights. 1kg = 50p, 10kg = £5 and 1000kg = £500. I would very much like to get cash back on any clothes etc that I don't want anymore but I don't know how to get there, and it is easier and more convenient for me to either give to the local charity shop or take the to nearest textile bank. I shall keep the leaflet though and have a good think about this as it is a v good idea.

If you find anything like this in your area, please let me know and I can blog about it to let others know.

Next time I will let you know what recycling bins I have seen in my travels, mainly to hospitals.