Sun, Sand & Septicaemia! (part one)

Cancer & Me, Health & Beauty, What's Happening?

Well that was NOT part of the plan when my family and I decided to go on a dream family holiday to Mauritius!

My husband and I worked, saved and planned for months. We were so excited to finally be going and once there, it was as close to paradise as I could have hoped. We were all having the perfect time – until…

A few days in I started to feel unwell.  There was a medical centre on site and a nurse gave me some rehydration sachets.  I did keep saying that it felt more like a bladder infection but it was considered dehydration.  I know that with a colostomy dehydration is an extreme issue, so I was furious with myself that I had become dehydrated.  But the sachets didn’t help, in fact when I tried to drink one, I instantly threw it back up again – sexy!

Back to the medical center where it was agreed – it was a bladder and possibly now a kidney infection as well but not to worry, oral antibiotics and you should feel better in a day or two.  Sorted.

Not so.  By the next day I was convulsing, vomiting and had a temperature of 40c.  The medical team sent me straight to hospital.  I can’t lie, the journey to hospital was petrifying. It was an hour and a half away. I had to go by taxi on my own because it was too far for an ambulance to come and Husband had to stay with the kids. I had no idea what to expect when I got there – a posh private clinic, or like something off an episode of panorama.  The hospital was fine, basic, but fine and the staff were really wonderful.

Arriving at hospital I was delirious and writhing in pain. The doctors wouldn’t give me any medication until they ran tests, sorted my insurance and had my passport so the next hour was pretty awful and involved a lot of tears as I played the worlds smallest violin to myself.

Quick side note: I couldn’t be admitted until my insurance was sorted and they took my passport as a guarantee of payment which I didn’t have with me, the nurse seemed to think  couldn’t be admitted (more crying/violin playing) until thankfully someone was able to come and help me be admitted without my passport.  There was security on all the doors so no one can leave and they only removed the drip and cannula once the bill has been paid.  I understand why, but I really was reminded how lucky I am to live in a country with a National Health Service.  It might not be perfect but at least you never have to fear being turned away from a hospital like I nearly was, or worry about paying the bill – that truly is amazing.  But anyway – back to the story…

I was diagnosed with a chronic bladder, kidney and blood infections – septicaemia.  It was the septicaemia that was causing the convulsing and fitting.  I had non-stop drips running for three days with antibiotics, liquid and painkillers.  Honestly I can’t explain how ill I was.

The only other time I have felt that bad was when I was having chemo and a junior doctor gave me the wrong amount of morphine and I overdosed.

Because the hospital was so far from the hotel, it wasn’t easy for my family to visit so I spent most of the three days I was in there contemplating being severely ill again. Obviously it’s not like my cancer was back but being hooked up to machines day and night, having numerous scans and tests – it all felt far too familiar and took me back to an emotionally dark place.

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Getting to sit and watch the sunset

As there was a medical centre at my hotel, my consultant (after quite a lot of negotiation) agreed to let me convalesce in the hotel with the medical team supporting me.  I couldn’t get out of bed and was on a lot of medication but who cares… I was back and with my family for the last few days of holiday.

The day I was released I saw a blog post from Consciously Healthy which seemed to sum up just how I was feeling.  The author Emma was reflecting on how after a long recovery, she stopped giving her mind, body and soul the attention it deserved, till eventually her body gave-way again.  This was exactly how  felt.  I know I didn’t have cancer again and my life is full of people and things that I love, but slowly my life had returned to crazy busy with little down time and having septicaemia made me realise it was time to have a little rethink!

I will be writing more about how and ‘if’ the rethink happened in a few days so check back or sign up for part 2…

Are there any times in your life when you have had a rethink?  Or any tips for anyone else having a rethink?  Please leave a comment and share you stories with us.

Come join me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

With love XX

©

Clean Cocoa Coconut Bites

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Family Matters, Health & Beauty, Journey Back to Health

This is based on a recipe from Honestly Healthy a fabulous cookbook full of healthy clean recipes that I can’t recommend enough.  What I love most, especially during my 100 Healthy Days and since giving up processed sugar is the snacks and desserts section.  Yes they can be clean and here is one of my favourite at the moment….

I made mine slightly differently to the recipe to keep a cupcake type vibe which I knew would be more appealing to my little fussy easters.

  • 10 fresh pitted Dates
  • 50g Cacao powder
  • 25g raw Almonds
  • 200g Coconut Flakes
  • 30g Agave syrup
  • 1 tbsp Xylitol (I actually didn’t use this as I wasn’t able to get any in time)
  • 2 tbsp Water (I used filtered)
  • I also added tiny Coconut Flakes for dusting

This recipe couldn’t be easier – Pre-heat the over to 180

Chuck the dates, cacao powder and almonds into the blender and blend until it becomes a sticky paste (I don’t have a high powered blender so this did take a while and a bit of digging it out from under the blades and restarting but that was fine).

Chuck in everything else and blend till its a touch choppy consistency.

I popped my mixture into small cupcake cases, as I’ve said I knew my kids would prefer it and I thought it would make transporting them easier.

Pop in the oven for 10 minutes.

I then sprinkled very fine coconut flakes over the top.

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Allow the bites to cool completely before eating and there you have it.  Yummy goodness to pacify any sweet tooth and no nasties.  My husband actually didn’t believe I hadn’t included any sugar they tasted so good.

Happy eating! x

The Re-Energiser Mini One Day Detox

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Health & Beauty, Journey Back to Health

My lovely friend Nikki is a little fountain of knowledge when it comes to leading a gorgeous healthy life.  A while ago she emailed me about a Re-Energising Mini One Day Detox she was planning telling me that she decided to do the detox because she had been feeling really sluggish and tired, she had seriously low energy and just generally felt worn out and run down.  She had also been drinking way to much coffee.

Basically feeling like she needed to press the reset button – think we can all relate to that feeling without really knowing what to do.

So what Nikki was doing on her day….

Firstly she chose a quiet day, when there wouldn’t be too many temptations, and then kept to this plan…

  • Morning
    • Green tea or warm water with lemon juice
    • Coffee enima (optional but think they can be bought on the internet)
    • Green Juice
    • 20 minutes of exercise.  This can be a jog, yoga, running up and down the stairs, just get moving!
  • Lunch
    • Green tea or warm water with lemon juice
    • Green Juice
    • Eat cucumber
  • Afternoon
    • Green Juice
    • Eat some cucumber
    • Do some gentle stretches
    • Relax or do some sorting around the house etc…
  • Dinner
    • Chamomile enima
    • Green Juice
    • Herbal tea
    • A good 8 hours of sleep
  • Drink 1.5 litres of water.  Nikki boiled the water, aded a green tea bag, waited for it to cool then put it back into the bottle to sip throughout the day.

Ever since she emailed me about it I have been dying to know how she got on because I actually think this sounds like quite a cool day.  I finally caught up with her this week and she said

“I felt fantastic, I can’t explain what a difference it made.  We had family staying the week before it had been so busy and I felt so depleted but after that day, I felt so well again and just boosted.  Plus the bloating I was feeling from too much indulging on rich food was gone.  I can’t recommend it enough.”

Well that’s me sold!  This will for perfectly into my 100 Healthy Days so I have actually scheduled my detox day in my diary for 3rd August so I don’t make any other plans and am going to have a quiet Sunday with the family where I can detox and recharge.  Will let you know how I get on but if you are feeling like you need a re-charge, maybe its worth a try?  What do you think?  Any detox tips?

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100 Healthy Days – And So It Begins

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Journey Back to Health

Today is Day 2 of 100 Healthy Days.  If you have read my blog previously you will probably know that I am a total sugar addict, adore carbs and live for cheese.  Anything that your not supposed to eat on a healthy diet, I am totally and irrevocably in love with.  And its true love, the kind that lasts a lifetime.  So how do I break up with this love?  I figure its by loving myself more?!

My Green Juice - Kale, Cucumber, Avocado, Celery and Pineapple

My Green Juice – Kale, Cucumber, Avocado, Celery and Pineapple

I’m tired, I have put on weight, I had cancer which has strong links to diet.  I go through phases of eating well then eating crap then somewhere in the middle and this is what has led me to 100 Healthy Days.  I have seen the 100 Happy Days on Facebook and 100 Active Days on Twitter, there seem to be many versions of this 100 day campaign going on so I decided to make my own that would suit me.  They say it takes 30 days to make or break a habit so I am hoping after 100, it will become standard behaviour, even to a sugar-freak like me – that’s the plan anyway?!

I have found many versions of healthy eating and exercise, all with varying degrees of strictness so here is what I am going to do – I am not ‘giving up’ anything.  I know me (surprisingly) and if I do that, I will do nothing but think about what I can’t have and be eating chocolate covered ice-cream before you can say Green Juice.  This for me will all be about making better and healthier choices; for me that means;

  • Making fruit and vegetables the bulk of my diet.
  • Drinking at least 2 litres of water a day.
  • Drinking a Green Juice everyday.
  • Switching white for wholemeal grains.
  • Choosing homemade food from fresh and clean ingredients.

That sort of thing.

Book-Cover-2X8lTc1A few websites I have found valuable in deciding how to do this are Deliciously Ella and 100 Days of Real Food (you are allowed wine in this one, result) and Cookbooks wise it’s, Honestly Healthy by Natasha Corrett and Vicki Edgson and Clean and Lean Cookbook by James Duggan.

I don’t believe good health just come’s down to food, it’s exercise too.  For that my mantra will be Move More!  So even if it is just to walk somewhere locally that I would normally drive too, that will be more movement and get me my ‘Move More’ gold star for the day… Ohhh, I may actually make a sticker chart to hang next to the kids,  such a geek, I know!

Sticker charts aside.  My first day went well eating wise and today has gone well moving wise.  Tomorrow I’m hoping for a bit more of a combination of the both.  But I am pleased, all moving in the right direction.  Just knowing I have decided to do this for 100 day’s seems to have made a big difference in my dedication to what I’m doing.

Coincidently, flicking through Good Housekeeping last night I found an article about giving anything up for 100 days and the impact it can have (what are the chances) and the author was specifically referencing the website Give It 100, you can do absolutely anything as long as it’s for 100 days and the site encourages users to post a daily blog charting their progress.  They are inspirational and worth a look even if you aren’t sure about going ahead, or maybe you will be inspired to do 100 of something else.

Clean Banana Breakfast Pancakes Recipe under Delicious Healthy Recipes

Clean Banana Breakfast Pancakes
Recipe under Delicious Healthy Recipes

Needless to say I will be updating my progress intermittently throughout the next 100 day’s, don’t worry you won’t be getting daily updates, but if you don’t already you can follow this blog by popping your email address in the box to the right (on a computer, below on your phone) and clicking follow and get updates straight to your inbox.

You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter, for in the moment thoughts!

Wish me luck! Nx

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 25 – Oat Bath

Complementary Therapies, Health & Beauty, Health and Beauty Tips

Nourish Your Skin

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 25 – Oat Bath

An oat bath is often recommended for kids who have chicken-pox which is actually how I found out about it.  But it’s not just chickenpox’s that its good for, Oats and Oatmeal are fantastic for the skin.

How?

Put some oats in a cloth and tie it around the bath tap so that as the bath is running the water is coming through the oats and cloth.  This will produce a wonderful milk from the oats.  Another little tip – I often use a hair band to secure the fabric around the tap.

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Why?

  • An Oat Bath is Cleansing – the oat particles stick to dirt and dead skin cells allowing them all to be washed away.
  • It’s Soothing – which is why it is often recommended for chicken-pox or eczema.
  • Its Moisturising – the oats restore moisture into the skin and balance the skins natural pH.
  • It’s Protective – the milk from the oats leaves a lovely protective layer over the skin that makes you feel like you’ve moisturised as soon as you get out of the bath.

Happy bathing x

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 24 – Super Smoothie

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Health & Beauty, Health and Beauty Tips

Love a Super Smoothie

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 24 – Super Smoothies

I love a smoothie.  I just love imagining my cells being flooded with goodness as I drink them.  So yummy and the fruit helps settle my sweet-tooth as well.

My real tip though is use Coconut Water in place of Milk.  Great if you want to cut down on lactose and Coconut water is fantastic and rehydrating your body naturally.  And the Coconut flavour goes great with fruit.

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My Favourite Smoothie Recipe

  • 250ml of Coconut Water
  • 10 Strawberries
  • Handful of Blueberries
  • 1 Banana
  • Tablespoon of Oats (keeps you fuller for longer)

Also, hoping the summer weather stays, you can chuck a lot of ice cubes in to make it seriously refreshing.

Happy smoothing x

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 20 – Savoury Biscuits

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Health & Beauty, Health and Beauty Tips

Little bite size of yummy

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 20 – Savoury Biscuits

This is a slight variation on some savoury biscuits that I found on the internet.  I basically have added ground oats and Linwoods amazing Super Foods mix of Milled Flax, Sunflower, Pumpkin, Sesame Seeds & Goji Berry mix and reduced the sugar to make them a little healthier.  My kids love them so they make a really good alternative to sugar additives loaded packets of biscuits.

  • 1 and a half cups of flour – whole wheat flour if you are being really good.
  • 1 tablespoon of Sugar
  • Half teaspoon of Salt
  • Quarter cup of Water
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of Ground Oats
  • 1 tablespoon of Linwoods Mix
  • 4 tablespoons of Butter

Basically pre-heat the over to 250 and grease a large baking tray

Mix everything together in a large bowl.

Roll the pastry mix.  I always find it super sticky at this stage so you will need lots of flour to stop it sticking.

Cut shapes with a cookie cutter & put on a well-greased tray

Pop in the over for 5-10 minutes or until nicely golden brown

And enjoy!

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 18 – Honey Mask

Beauty Treatment, Health & Beauty, Health and Beauty Tips

Yummy Honey

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 18 – Honey Maskimages-1

Honey makes are great mask as it helps reduce and prevent wrinkles & softens the skin.  Plus it couldn’t be easier.

  • Cleanse your face so lovely and clean
  • Rinse with warm water to open your pores
  • Smoother your face in lovely Honey
  • Leave for 10 or 15 mins and wash off.
  • Admire your lovely honey skin!

Happy masking x

 

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 16 – Go Green

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Health & Beauty, Health and Beauty Tips, Journey Back to Health

Flood Your Body with Goodness with Green Juice

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 16 – Go Green

The thought of drinking a Green Smoothie can be a little scary, mainly because it doesn’t sound great.  It is an acquired taste, but the fruit is essential as it helps balance out the bitterness.

images-5I have found the most wonderful recipe on an awesome website for you to look at, it even includes a Beginners Juice with a softer taste so if you are interested but not 100% sure where to start, you need to visit 100 Days of Real Food.

Honestly, give it a go, it’s not that bad and the benefit is immense – balance your body’s natural pH, flood your body and cells with goodness quickly and effectively, breaking down the fruit and veg in the blender lessens the load on the body’s digestion,

You can make your juice and put it in a jam jar so you can take it with you when on the move..

Happy juicing x

 

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 5 – Clean Banana Pancake

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Health and Beauty Tips

Be warned, once you try this recipe, you will not be able to stop eating them!

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 5 – ‘Clean’ Banana Pancake

Easiest recipe ever!

  • Take one large banana and two eggs.
  • Mash the banana
  • Whisk the eggs
  • Mix the banana and eggs together
  • Cook like a pancake

photo copyAnd that’s it!  A delicious healthy clean dessert which includes one of your 5 a day!

In this picture I have added a little no-fat yogurt and some blueberries – yum yum yum!

Just one tip – the batter is thicker than a normal pancake mix so make sure you spread it thinly and move it around the pan more – unless you want to do the American style smaller and thicker pancake – this batter is perfect for that.

Happy eating! x