I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with chronic fatigue as it really explains how this disease works and what you can do to better yourself while living with it. To make the story short Dr Sarah Myhill advise all of her patients to embark on a Paleo Keto diet as the first treatment of chronic fatigue.Hence my decision to give it a try.
The ketogenic diet consists mostly of meat, fish, non-starchy vegetables, olive and coconut oil, dairy( which dr Sarah Myhill is against and that is why she named her regimen Keto Paleo diet) to name a few. Out are grains, legumes, most high fructose fruits, starchy veggies such as potatoes and root vegetables, SUGAR, and any high carb food. It is, for this purpose, advisable to use a macronutrients tracker when embarking on this diet as you are required to keep your net carbs intake below 20/25 grs a day. The app I use is CarbManager , which works out your macros for you.
Some people,especially if they have been living on high carb diets for long, find it easier to transition slowly into this diet; I, on the other hand, went full out and started immediately on 20gr of carbs a day 8 weeks ago.
A little side note is that while on a ketogenic diet you will excrete a lot of sodium from your body and that means your electrolytes will be out of balance.It is therefore VERY IMPORTANT to consume higher amounts of salt and potassium than normal and magnesium too. I normally put a tablespoon of Himalayan pink salt on my 2lt water bottle and one teaspoon of potassium chloride and drink it throughout the day.P lease do not underestimate this step as if you do you will most likely suffer the so-called keto flu: headaches, nausea, muscle cramps and other very uncomfortable side effects. Keep your water intake at at least 3lt a day.
Now my experience:
Week 1 and 2: I was prepared, I researched ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks. My breakfast would look like avocado,two fried eggs and two slices of nitrate free bacon. Lunch would be salmon with olives and feta cheese,dinner steak with asparagus and cheese. Snack for me would be some nuts( macadamia) and one or two squares of 85 percent dark chocolate(this is not strictly keto and not advisable if you are a sugar addict,but works for me). I did not feel particularly hungry but I did experience some headaches and during the really hot weather spell in London, I actually fainted on the tube because I was not taking my electrolytes!! I used keto sticks to check the ketones in my pee to make sure I was entering Ketosis. You can purchase them cheaply on Amazon.Ientered ketosis on day 3 .
Week 3 and 4: I upped my game and decided to become more inventive with food to avoid boredom and to remain enthusiastic: almond muffins with mascarpone, chia puddings for breakfast, bacon and egg muffins and so on. I also learned Erythritol is the best sweetener on this woe, it is safe on teeth, does not cause digestive issues, great for diabetics, does not spike insulin and measure cup for cup like sugar. Its carb content can be dismissed when macro tracking. A couple of days I did not come to work prepared and ended up being unable to find anything suitable to eat and starved until I got home, which was awful. Prepping is key!!
Week 5 and 6 : my ketosticks started showing no traces of ketones so I thought I had somehow eaten something I should not have but after chatting to a few people on facebook keto groups I realised that after a few weeks your body start utilising those ketones instead of flushing them out so if you want a reading of them you need a blood monitor. So I purchased on amazon for around 20 quid but the strips you need to use to measure ketones are crazy expensive, roughly one each. Anyhow my measurement was 1.2( anything between 0.5 to 3.5 is considered the ideal range)and was happy about it.M y ibs seemed to have settled but my energy had not yet improved. I had lost at this point around 3kg.You can have some white spirits while on keto but be careful that you will get drunk very easily.I had one glass of white wine and I was smashed.
Week 7 and 8: I started to snack less and feel less hungry in between meals which is a sign of fat adaptation. My energy started to improve a little but, maybe it’s TMY I entered constipation land.I then upped my fibre intake via chia seeds and a supplement with aloe vera to try and balance things out.I decided to switch to decaff coffee as caffeine was making me very jittery and I purchased MCT oil (guess where? Yes amazon again) which I pour into my decaff as it boosts ketones production and helps with energy levels. So far so good.No more weight loss for me as I was careful to add lots of fats on my plates and keep an eye on calories to make sure I was not fading away. Started adding double cream or butter to decaff coffee too.
So this is where I am at 8 weeks in, I am not craving bread, pasta, fruit or sugar at this point. My body has started to change, feels and looks more defined even though I have been slacking at the gym. I am enjoying learning new recipes and experimenting. A slow cooker can be your friends on this diet/lifestyle to save you time and money. At nighttime, I take a magnesium supplement which really helps me relax and sleep better called Natural Calm. Constipation has not completely eased off but I am working on it.
If you have started this journey or are thinking about it and have questions please do comment below and I will try to respond to the best of my abilities.This is my experience,my journey and so far I am loving Keto.
I attached a few pictures of the foods I have been enjoying so you can see that keto is not just bacon and steaks.
I have been meaning to write this post for quite some time;mental health is something very dear to me and sharing with you my experiences I hope will be helpful for some while being somehow cathartic for me.
My encounter with anxiety happened when I was 21 and I had my first panic attack which I erroneously mistook for a heart attack ( I am sure many of you anxiety sufferers will relate to this). From that moment on I have had bouts of extreme anxiety,depression, OCD episodes and hypochondriac tendencies. A nice mix I’d say.
Medications and psychotropic drugs are often demonised with the ill effect of stigmatising and turning mental health into a taboo.There is nothing worse than hearing your friends saying ‘ You should not take that stuff’, as if my idea of fun is popping pills morning to night.At the same time the imprudence with which GPs hand out antidepressants is somehow shocking.So where do we draw a line?
Well, first of all let’s straighten something out: mental health problems are health problems. You would not tell someone with a broken arm :‘ I am sure you are fine, it’s just a phase,don’t think too much about it, it’s all in your head’.Secondly, I always advise seeing more than one doctor ,especially when it comes to depression/anxiety.I do not believe GPs are trained in this particular field and honestly my brain is way too important to be messed with uncareseely.
My diagnosis was generalised anxiety disorder: catastrophising everything,worrying about a plug left switched on, thinking a cold would lead to imminent death and so on. Things that when read aloud might make you laugh but when lived on a daily basis can send your life into an abyss of fear.
I pretty much tried every antidepressant that there is: Prozac, citalopram, sertraline, mirtazapine and ultimatly venlafaxine. From my understanding, venlafaxine is one of the newest types of medications that are able to work on both serotonin and norepinephrine.It is usually prescribed when all other medications have failed( at least this is what my doc said) and it is aimed at both depression and anxiety.
I actually pushed my GP to prescribe this mediction as they were kind of unaware of its effects or benefits.Anyhow we started off at 37.5mg for a few weeks and gradually incresed to 75mg. Everyone who has been on meds knows they come with side effects and psychotropic drugs are no different,actually worse.Here are the side effects i experienced while on 75mg venlafaxine for the first 3 months:
interrupted sleep: this was the most troublesome side effect I experienced with venlafaxine and I was on the verge of giving up. I would fall asleep easily and wake up a couple of hours later and so on through the night,resulting in me being drained of energy every day.Eventually at the 3 month mark things started to improve and now I can sleep more or less six hours uninterrupted.
weight loss: unlike most of the therantidepressents,withvenlafaxine my appetite diminished.Nothing major to report here ,I did not lose significantlyamount of weight.
Loss of libido : this is something that happens with all SSRI and SNRI but somewhoe,while on venlafaxine, I have not experienced it to such a high degree.
Constipation: only occured during the first few weeks,i just upped my fibre intake.
Alcohol consumption : YOU SHOULD NOT BE DRINKING while on medication but we all know that is not always possible .Anyhow I get drunk way quicker on the rare occasions I do decide to drink.So be careful
These are the main side effects I experienced. I have now been on venlafaxine for about 2 years and my dose has been adjusted to 225mg daily.I do not know how long I will be on it but I am trying to take small steps.Many times in the past I have quit meds only to relapse a few months later and having to start from scratch.(in my experience when you quit a med and you start it again months later ,it does not seem to have the same effect as before.I don’t have an answer for that.sorry)
The advice I would like to pass on is this: If you make the conscious decision that you want to start medication for your anxiety/depression please beware your symptoms will very likely get worse before they get better. It’s not just a saying. Be prepared for it. Write down your symptoms if it helps. Sometimes doctors will prescribe some benzodiazepine for a couple of weeks to help with this. Also remember that for the first 10/12 weeks you might not notice any significant improvement: give the meds time to build up in your system before deciding to give up or switch. Ask a friend or a relative to keep an eye on your behaviour to see if they notice any major changes. Finally: nobody can understand you better than yourself. Be kind to yourself, life is about mistakes, successes and fails.No one has a perfect life.Anxiety/depression should not define you as a person, rather encourage you to be an even better person. If you feel like resting then rest if you feel like running please run. Allow yourself time to heal and recuperate. Most importantly: LOVE YOURSELF.
I hope you will find this piece interesting and of use.These are my personal experiences/views. I am not a doctor nor I claim to be . I am just a regular guy who is trying to share with others.Have a fantastic day.
today’s post is going to be a little different a little more personal: I decided to share with you how I handle my anxiety disorder, what little tips I can share, what supplements I use and what books I recommend. Anxiety can be a very debilitating condition so I hope that through my experience someone can find some useful tips and ideas.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, what you will read is my PERSONAL experience living with an anxiety disorder diagnosed by a GP and a psychiatrist. I am in no way trying to diagnose, but simply willing to share with you a few tips that helped in my long battle with anxiety.
I had my first panic attack at 21 while still in Milan, at the time I thought something was wrong with my heart but it turned out I was experiencing severe anxiety. Not much was done back done apart from dispensing some drops to take at nighttime to help me relax and sleep.
I am now almost 37 and over the past 16 years, I have been through it all: depression, nervous breakdown, severe anxiety, trips to A&R …the whole lot. At the beginning of this journey, I was simply trying not to think too much about my anxiety which would normally manifest itself with heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, racing thoughts and the overwhelming feeling I was going to die. I partied my way through it, clubbing and dancing the night away somehow created an escape, hours of fun that would allow me to really let go. The partying introduced me to recreational stuff that in the long run actually made my anxiety worse, much worse. Over the past 10 years I have been prescribed several antidepressants and several anti-anxiety medications to try and stop my meltdowns and my crippling anxiety, most of them would work for a while then they would stop. The side effects and the withdrawal from one to the other for me have always been agony as I am very sensitive to psychotropic drugs. I then decided to try CBT ( by this time I have developed a phobia of toilets, or better still I was scared of not having one around me if I needed to go)which unfortunately I didn’t find very helpful. Eventually a couple of years ago my GP and I decided I should try venlafaxine(a newish type of antidepressant) and that kind of worked for me.N o drug is magic though, and I am a firm believer that while for some medication is essential, a 360-degree approach to the problem must be taken. And this is what I want to discuss with you all today.Sorry for the long introduction but I wanted to give you a better picture of where I am at before dispensing advice
.So one of the first things I did was to completely change my diet, which meant ditching most of the processed food, learning how to cook from scratch and most importantly for me ditching the white stuff aka sugar. A friend of mine ( Hello Phoebe!) recommended a series of books from author Sarah Wilson about quitting sugar and they ended up to this day being my go to and my bible. Cooking also gives me a sense of accomplishment which is really soothing if I am having a bad da y. You can find them here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Books-Sarah-Wilson/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A266239%2Cp_lbr_books_authors_browse-bin%3ASarah%20Wilson.
My new approach to food means eating lots of veggies( raw,boiled,steamed etc) paired with a good source of protein( salmon,t una,sardines,chicken,lean b eef,e ggs,tofu etc).I tend to use buckwheat as my grain of choice,as its easy to cook and wuite nutriti ous.When it comes to sugar I dont buy cakes or fizzy drinks , but i like to always have 85 per cent dark chocolate in the house for when i crave something sweet and I always have raspberries in the fridge as well which i like to add to my morning porridge or to a bowl of yog urt.Having said that I am no saint and life is meant to be celebrated so If I want to have a tiramisu from time to time I will certainly have it without any guilty feeling.A word about coffee: one little espresso in the morning is the most i can tolerate as if i drink more than that my adreanl glads will go crazy and I might end up having really bad anxiety for the day. Stimulants are not my friend and I dont think they are anxious people’s friends eit her.For the same reason I like to avoid sugar laden stuff. As a result of all of this I ended up getting leaner but also not relying on crap food for energy throughout the day and actually enjoying prepping my meals.
The second step for me was listening to my body: if i need rest I will rest , if I feel like sleeping all day to recharge that is what I will do ,again without feeling guilty about it.My anxiety comes with chronic fatigue as well and as much as I would sometimes like to have more stamine ,unfortunatly that is not possible and I am learning to be ok with it.Physical activity has always been a hit or miss with me as i long to wok out yet i dont always have the energy so twice a week works for me : some weights and some corselene excerci ses.Running unfortunaly ,not quite sure why , makes me very anxious so that is a no no for me. Yoga on the other end i found it quite hard as standing still was an impossible task for me but I might give it anther shot.
When it comes to supplements , it is all so incredibly confusing and it takes lots of errors before you can get it right.Also bear in mind that what works for me might not work for you.Anyhow this is the list of what I am currently taking right now :
ME TIME: time for myself is essential, i recharge when i am alone.Cleaning my room,tidying up,doing a face m ask,watching a crime mystery drama on netflix and so on. I long for these times and i always try to tresure t hem.My passion for skincare and make up is also an outlet for my anxiety and it allows me to feel truly happy and content.All of this does not mean I dont enjoy being with friends because I do!But it means time speant alone for me is also very important.
PET THERAPY5 years ago a little, during a very low time in my life a little (not so little acually) fluff ball ended up in my garden and I started feeding him and eventaully this cat moved .He is been with me ever since , and I hinestky could not be more thankful : the calming effect a pet can have on you is beyond words. I f i am feeling very restless and anxious he would just lie on my chest and its purring would be so conforting for me. Please if you think of getting a pet go visit your nearest shelter , do not buy!!
These are some of the tools I use alongside conventional medications,which once again I do not demonise but are for some like myself a necessary evil to cope with day to day life.There is probably a lot more I would love to share with you but maybe I will save it for another post where I will go more into details about what living with anxiety actually feels like.If you have any other tips or tools you want to share please do so in the comment section below, I would love to hear your stories.May you all have a great anxiety free day !
Hair is something we all feel very attached to but unfortunately for many as we grow older we tend to either lose it or we experience thinning, breakage and so on.
I am a 36yo male and about 5 years ago I noticed the hair at my temples and by my crown area was getting sparser and sparser so I immediately tried to research what I could do to help prevent any further hair loss. Minoxidil kept popping up online and when chatting to friends so I dug a little deeper.
Minoxidil is a drug that used to be administrated to treat high blood pressure, but it is now the only FDA approved drug for the treatment of hair loss.It works by prolonging the growth phase of the hair follicles. Men have usually advised the 5% strength while women the 2% one.
It comes in a lotion that you can apply in the affected area, but the company Regaine offers also a foam version. Bare in mind Regaine is just the branded name for Minoxidil and you can purchase generic minoxidil at a cheaper price.Having said that I have only used Regaine over the past few years so my review reflects that.
When I purchased my first bottle of Regaine I was shocked at the long list of side effects listed: weight gain, troubles breathing, dizziness, pains in arms, swelling and so on. I decided to give it a try regardless, aware of that fact that during the first month you could lose even more hair as the drugs work by pushing out unhealthy follicles.
And men it did: I applied the spray twice a day, 12 hours apart, and during the first couple of weeks I noticed, during every shower, that I was losing lots of hair and my kind of freaked out but I stuck with it and I am glad I did.
By week 4 the hair shedding kind of stopped but I still did not notice any new hair growing until around week 8 and from then it has been a great success. Not only I did not lose any more hair but I finally noticed baby hair growing both in temples and crown area.
Another thing I noticed is that my hair was getting a little darker ( a few colleagues asked If I had dyed my hair!). After the first 6 months, I was so pleasantly surprised and not having any side effects that I decided to keep using it. Now a few years in I still have all my hair and no more receding hairline.
One drawback is that if you stop the treatment, within a month or two you will start losing your hair again so this is something that needs to be part of your daily routine.
I know there is also a pill called Propecia that GPs in the U.K. give for hair loss but I haven’t researched that much so I can’t give you my personal opinion.
If you have any questions please fire away and be sure to follow me on Instagram
I have been busy trying new potions and lotions but I can quickly share with you what I am currently using as part of my skincare routine and I am loving. Just hop to my instagram account and have a look. Some of the products shown I have already reviewed and some are in the pipeline 🙂
just a quick one today: the website Dermatica is offering online skin consultations and offers tretinoin (retin A)0.05% on a monthly subscription for £19.95 plus £2.95 shipping cost.
You will first need to fill in a questionnaire and then you will get a call back from a practitioner to discuss your best option(if you are anti-aging or acne concerns or both) and to start your prescription.I joined today and I will keep you updated but the service so far has been incredibly smooth, friendly and professional.
in my land of sleepless nights, overworn contact lenses and depleting collagen, I am always looking for an eye cream that can make me look like I had 10 hours sleep, that can erase any signs of fatigue, wrinkles, tears of joy and sadness and that can pretty much make me look 15 again!The amount of money I spent over the years in the search is embarrassing but I might, i say ‘might’, have found the best eye cream yet!
SKINPEP is a small company I talked about before on my Instagram account and they offer a couple of eye creams and the one I am talking about is called ‘ dark circle eraser eye cream’:
I ordered it about a couple of months ago and I have been hooked ever since. It has a lightweight yet very hydrating feel to it, it comes out with a kind og goldish tone that helps to minimise dark circles immediatly but what really sold me was the ingredient list that i have to share with you:Matrixyl, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Transforming Growth Factor, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, MAP, Ascorbic Acid, Aloe Vera Ext, Niacinamide, Witch Hazel Ext, Panthenol,CO-Q10, Green Tea Ext, Algae Ext, Vit E, Red Ginseng Ext, Ginkgo Biloba Ext, Grape Seed Ext, Resveratrol, Adenosine, Retinol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cucumber Ext, Lecithin, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Ferulic Acid, Laminaria Ochroleuca Ext, Soybean Seed Ext, Shea Butter, Evening Primrose Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Allantoin, Chamomile Ext, Padina Pavonica Ext, (Wheat) Germ Oil, Rose Flower Ext, Willow Bark Ext, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Bisabolol, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Dimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Laureth-7, Laureth-23, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Chlorphenesin, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Sodium Chloride, Disodium EDTA PEG-240/HDI Copolymer Bis Decyltetradeceth-20 Ether, Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane.
Where to start: the first ingredient is Matrixyl(aka Palmitoyl pentapeptide-4) is the first ingredient and a very powerful peptide shown to be very effective in plumping up fine lines. the list is pretty impressive with ingredients such as niacinamide for brightening,re tinol for retexrurising,an tioxidants,om egas,so othing ingredients like allantoin,hy aluronic acid and collagen.
Science facts aside , this eye cream pucks a punch especially for the very reasonable price :£14.99, you can also order a 2ml sample from their website for £2.99.
It works beautifully under makeup and on its own but what really impressed me is that my dark circles and bags have significantly diminished since using it and I also love the immediate brightening and softening effect it gives.
If you are looking for a good eye cream that does not cost the earth,th at is well formulated and effective then I highly recommed this one.Let me know if you tried it ,if you love it and generally what you think of it.
a quick one today. I decided to try both the Makeup Revolution conceal and define and the Charlotte Tilbury The retoucher and see which one I liked the most.( Shape and define retails for £4 and is available at Superdrug, The Retoucher for £25 and is available on line and at most Department stores in the U.K)bf
I applied them a few hours ago to give them time to settle and I did not use any powder to set them as powder on my skin tends to accentuate my line!
I am wearing the Makeup revolution on the right side and The Retoucher on the left side.
IMPRESSIONS: Shape and Define offers better coverage but dries quicker and I found it a little harder to blend. The retoucher is way creamier but provides a minimum amount of coverage.In terms of settling into fine lines, they both do a pretty good job.As far as the eye area is concerned I think the texture of The Retoucher is more suited as it blends like a dream. As an overall concealer and spot treatment Shape and Define wins hand down since the coverage is great without ever being cakey.When it comes to longevity, again, Shape and Define wins in my eyes.
CONCLUSION: If you are looking for a great coverage concealer that is pocket-friendly and super versatile then Shape and Define is for you.If the eye area is your main concern and you prefer creamy, hydrating textures with a slight sheen to it then The Retoucher is your friend.
I hope everyone is doing fine on this cold Tuesday morning…
I want to thank anyone who has been visiting my blog over the past ten days since the launch, I really appreciate it and I hope you are enjoying it.
Skincare is the air I breathe, and I am always on the outlook for something new, exciting or simply that works. I have been a fan of Perricone MD for years, I love most of his formulations and his approach to diet as a crucial part of skin health.
Face firming activator is one of their most iconic products ( it used to be called Formula 15 years ago and was reformulated in 2015 to make it even more powerful)
So let’s get to it
WHAT IS IT: a daily treatment to help smooth out fine lines, as well as deep wrinkles while improving the overall texture and luminosity of the skin. I would advise to use it no more than once a day and if used during daytime SPF is a must.
WHAT’S IN ITDMEA, This ingredient is a nutrient that occurs naturally in our brain(found also in sardines and salmon), in small amounts, and facilitates the synthesis of acetylcholine. Used topically it’s been shown to help specifically with sagging and loss of firmness.Alpha Lipoic Acid: a very powerful antioxidant that specifically targets and improves skin texture and lines.Glycolic acid: most effective for treating fine lines, acne, blackheads, dullness, oiliness and uneven texture. Dead skin cells are sloughed off revealing smoother, brighter, younger-looking skin.
HOW TO USE IT once a day on perfectly cleansed face and neck. follow with moisturizer and SPF.
WHO IS IT FOR anyone concerned with sagging, loss of firmness and elasticity, fine lines and dull skin. Thanks to glycolic and alpha lipoic acid, this treatment could benefit
also blemish prone or clogged skin types.
MY OPINION this product works very well on my skin. My pores shrink when using it and I definitely noticed a reduction of my fine lines especially on my forehead.I use it in the morning after I cleanse and I follow with my moisturizer.
If you are looking for a product that really delivers, look no further…you will see results pretty quickly.
Face firming activator retails for £95 for 59ml(twice the size of standard serums)