Monday, October 29, 2012

Thyroid days

Thank you for the lovely comments on my post over the weekend. The kind words of friends can really be so powerful and reassuring.

I thought I'd share with you a little more about thyroids, because most people diagnosed with thyroid diseases are women.

The thyroid is a gland at the base of the front of your neck. It is the gland that controls your temperature, your metabolism, so many vital functions in your body.

When I was first diagnosed with Graves Disease (Hyperthyroidism) I was oblivious to the crucial role of the thyroid. I had a goiter in my neck and was so vain I was horrified because I thought I'd grown an Adam's apple!

When I had a severe reaction to the medication to slow the progress of the Graves Disease, and told I had only a few weeks to live, all I was worried about as they wheeled me into theatre was whether I would have a big scar *rolls eyes*. This was despite them saying how risky having the surgery was in a thyrotoxic state.

I now know an awful lot about Auto Immune diseases. 'Graves' little friend, 'Coeliacs',  joined the party three years ago. Apparently, this is quite common.

Lately I am so surprised by how many people close to me have thyroid diseases. Two of my closest friends have had their thyroids removed in the last few years and another very close friend is going through the nightmare of Grave's Disease at the moment.

I recently read a great blog post by Sarah Wilson, a blogger I started following when I gave up eating sugar almost a year ago. The fact that she blogs about Autoimmune Disease is an added bonus.

When I first read this post I cried, because it so accurately describes the bad days I have, and it validates me feeling this way. I no longer berate myself for crawling into bed or on the couch in a ball to wait it out.

For those of you who might be interested, perhaps someone YOU know has an autoimmune thyroid disease, this post is very enlightening...

For me its the lack of sleep, the noise (hard when you have children), the perfumes. It's the 'just coping'.

Hopefully when my new natural thyroid medication arrives tomorrow I will feel a bit more normal and can write some real blog posts!

Friday, October 26, 2012


I haven't joined in with the Things Im loving' lately. Or My Creative spaces.
I haven't even blogged much lately, or much this year.
I have lost followers...but I always said I didn't care. It probably isn't anything I've said...because I haven't said much...

I am searching, for where I fit in at the moment.
I am supporting my daughter through a tough time.
I am struggling with my health, really struggling. This journey has been so long and hard. It feels like it never ends. I just want to feel normal. For once.

every day.
But I am thankful.
For a new doctor with the knowledge and expertise I so desperately need.

I am thankful.
For a Paleo Diet that fits me perfectly.

I am thankful.
For the friends who never forget me when I feel invisible.

I am thankful.
For having hands that have the ability to create.

I am thankful.
For this is my journey.

I am thankful.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Creative Space : Summer PJs

Summer is on it's way here in Brisbane and the kids have been asking for some summer pjs.

For Master 9

and for Miss 11

more to come....

Joining in here ...  My Creative Space

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Coconut (miracle) Oil!

Today my lovely readers, I am going to introduce you to part of what we do in our house to keep healthy. I feel VERY passionately about this so imagine lots of jumping about and waving of hands.

I have been thinking of writing a post about why we use coconut oil for a while....and now I have converted a few friends I thought I would share.

About two years ago, a friend told me about how she'd switched to coconut oil and shared with me why. Interested, I googled 'the benefits of coconut oil' (go on! do it!) And check out the list of benefits on this article...

We then purchased our first jar of coconut oil.
my favourite brand, comes in an awesome jar! 

At first hubby complained that everything tasted like.... coconut (really?!). Personally, I thought it tasted great, especially prawns cooked in coconut oil! Yum!

Well... we are now two years down the track.

We only ever cook with coconut oil, it is the only thing I use on my skin, we use it for sunburn, cuts, burns, dry skin, chapped lips, to smooth my hair. Yep, straight out of the jar.

Lately we use approximately 1 litre of coconut oil per month for our family of five (lots of trialing of Paleo recipes).

Yikes I hear you say, isn't coconut oil saturated fat?

Yes, it is. And despite what you've been told.... saturated fat is NOT the bad fat you've been led to believe. Watch this video (PLEASE) then break out the butter people and (please) throw away the margarine!

I will try to explain (in my words) why WE use coconut oil.

We only buy organic cold pressed coconut oil (a litre costs approx $30 in Australia) and the following reasons are why:

*Coconut oil is rich in Lauric acid (read more about it here)

* Coconut oil has the highest smoke point of any oil (ie. it won't go toxic when you heat it to cook food)

* Coconut oil has a long shelf life (it doesn't go rancid).

* Because it is cold pressed it hasn't undergone any heating that can make other (cheaper seed oils) poisonous (eg. canola, sunflower, etc).

* Coconut oil has anti-viral, anti-bacterial properties. Our family is living proof of this. We rarely get sick.

In July last year Miss 11 had a bout of tonsillitis, earlier this year I had a head cold (coincidentally I had just started a new job and had run out of coconut oil three weeks prior!). That's over two years - five people including three primary school aged children. Incredible? Yes!

We NEVER have flu shots and we take almost nothing else (a little vitamin c, some olive leaf occasionally).. we DO eat a mostly fresh 'real' food diet (and I am a big believer in the contribution of real food to health).

This winter while everyone has dropped like flies around us with nasty, nasty flu, we have remained healthy and virus free. I swear it's the coconut oil.
My husband mentioned to me earlier this year, that our kids hardly ever get sick... he agreed, COCONUT OIL!!

Whenever I feel like I am getting a sore throat I grab a teaspoon of coconut oil and down it. Coconut oil is a lovely silky smooth texture that is not hard to swallow straight from the jar. I make a pot of fresh ginger tea, take a swig of olive leaf extract and rest. This works for me every time.

I have to be especially careful not to get sick as with two Autoimmune diseases, leaky gut and asthma I can't take oral antibiotics. Coconut oil is also very healing for the digestive system. Oh yes, this stuff is INCREDIBLE!!

We still use small amounts of olive oil, but never cooked and always cold-pressed, preferably organic. I use olive oil for salad dressing, when making hummus and bread for the rest of the family.

I probably sound like I am preaching, and jumping up and down and waving my arms about (ok, maybe I am..) but it really is incredible stuff and I want everyone to know about it.

Please read this link - it is really great....
Coconut oil - why is it so wonderful?

So I challenge you, check out the benefits of coconut oil, try it and see what you think! And if you are already converted, tell me your favourite thing about coconut oil!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mrs Readalots Bloggy Bookclub

I'm so excited to be hosting Mrs Readalots Bloggy Bookclub this month! Welcome Book lovers!

Mrs Readalots bloggy Bookclub
As per usual I couldn't choose just ONE book so I have chosen two books that I have enjoyed recently.

Friendship Bread by Darien Gee and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

Friendship Bread - Darien Gee
Friendship Bread is a book that I picked up at the library one day, not having heard anything about it before.
I love stories about women's friendships and I have to admit, I love this book because it is set in a small mid-Western town in Illinois (I spent a year as an exchange student in Illinois).
Friendship bread is about Julie Evarts who finds a loaf of 'Amish friendship bread' on her doorstep one day and a bag of starter with the instructions on how to 'grow' it and pass it on to others.
The starter dough multiplies or grows each time it is made, with the intention of passing it along to other people - like a 'bread' chain letter.
It can be changed and flavoured in many ways and I can see the analogy to how we are moulded and shaped by the different people friendships we have, although our 'starter' is essentially ourselves.
The friendship bread in turn grows many friendships and dreams in the small town. 
An easy read if you like books about women's friendships.

The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist I borrowed on the recommendation of a friend from the tiny (but well stocked) library at Waipu in Northland, New Zealand, when we were living back in NZ last year.
If you want a quick read, with meaning, this is it.

The Alchemist is the story of a young man, Santiago, who is a shepherd. He cares deeply for his sheep and feels they have taught him much, but has a dream of crossing the Sahara to see the pyramids, to find his treasure.
His quest to follow his dream doesn't go quite to plan and this little tale tells of his journey to reach his destiny.
My favourite quote from the book ...
" He was sure that it made no difference to her on which day he appeared: for her, everyday was the same, and when each day is the same as the next, it's because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises."

I have read this book a couple of times and it's a great read.

The Happiest Refugee - Book Review

The Happiest Refugee - Anh Do

Anh Do is a much loved Australian comedian and this book is his memoir.

Anh travelled to Australia from Vietnam, on a boat, as a young child. The book tells of a harrowing journey to escape their country at war and start a new life in Australia.  As debate continues to rage in Australia surrounding 'boat people' it was interesting to gain perspective from someone who has actually experienced the journey of a refugee.

Once in Australia life was full of hardship and heartbreaking moments. Anh's family worked tirelessly to forge out a new life. Anh's father leaves the family when Anh is still young and his mother is an amazing woman who works so hard to provide for her family, and give them all the opportunities of an education.

I was captivated by this moving tale and there are moments in this book where I cried, and other times I laughed out loud. 

I would highly recommend this amazing book.