14 invaluable insomnia solutions

Posted on February 28th, 2013

Hey, I’m not alone. I’m not the only sad soul trapped in the insomniac vortex going by the comments on my recent I’m an insomniac get me out of here post. Respect to you all who shared and reached out. And a big, virtual hug if you’re going through tough times just now. I know your relentless, inescapable pain. I do.

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image via tumblr

So many of you shared such great tips following my post. Thank you! So generous. Let’s spread them about, shall we?

1. Avoid caffeine after 2pm. Caffeine stimulates the production of stress hormones, and inhibits the absorption of the hormone adenosine, needed to give us a sense of calmness, which can contribute to sleep problems.

2. Try an evening breath meditation – Patty. Sometimes I’ll do

30 minutes of left nostril breathing to really activate my parasympathetic nervous system (the rest and digest part of us).

3. Eat green leafy veggies. To increase magnesium levels, which calms and supports the nervous system.

4. Exercise during the day – Lucy.

5. Ultra Muscleze Night. Someone at Bioceuticals read my post and sent me a pack of this. Which was very thoughtful. The stuff has been working really nicely. I take a scoop at night before bed and it chills me the fork out. Read more

Recently I told A Current Affair what I thought about coconut oil…

Posted on February 26th, 2013

It screened last night on Nine’s repeat channel Extra. I think they got it…Didn’t catch it? Well, I thought I’d do a little catch-up post on the stuff. Coconut oil, that is.

Raspberry Ripple, recipe in my I Quit Sugar book

Here’s a rundown of why coconut oil is so good for you.

Here’s a rundown of 19 clever things to do with coconut oil once you’ve bought a jar of the stuff.

Want to know how coconut oil makes you lose weight?

And some extra info on which fats are the best for cooking and eating cold….

If you’re wondering which brands to buy…I use a few different ones, based on price and also the taste (some are too bitter)…always buy organic and always buy “virgin” “cold-pressed” and unrefined.

* Melrose (a good, cheap one that can be found in some supermarkets and most health food stores)

* Oil4Life (extracted without heat and possbily the best flavour of the lot)

* Nuigini (lowest carbon miles – comes from Papua New Guinea – and comes in a great sealable jar, perfect for re-using for storing pickles etc)

Hope that helps… and feel free to post questions below.

the exercise mistake I used to make

Posted on February 20th, 2013

Oh, we get competing messages, don’t we. The latest befuddlement that we’re trying to get our heads around is this “exercise myth” idea. In the “everything you used to think was right is wrong” vane, it’s now being suggested (ready for it?) that…

exercising can make us fat.

What do I think of this?

Photo by Rachel de Joode

Glad you asked, because it’s become a little project of mine lately – to wrap my head around the science of it all, and to encourage people to back off a little. To be gentle. To enjoy exercise and not use it as a self-flagellating mechanism of misery.

First, I should say…I used to do a lot of exercise

I used to self-flagellate. I used to run soft sand races and compete in 24-hour mountain bike races. I ran 10km to work when I edited magazines. And back. I went for 3-hour bush runs on weekends. I went to the gym, did chin-ups on first dates (and didn’t that end badly), and could beat my boyfriends in arm wrestles. Yes, it was an ego thing, too.

But a few years back it took its toll (the ego stuff as well). I kept trying to exercise hard. I kept getting injuries. And eventually I had to accept, that this way of doing things was somehow not right.

We are not meant to push ourselves. We are meant to move and be energised and get blood flowing…but beyond that, it’s just dumb and ineffective.

Exercise does not work for weight loss

Indeed, we’re designed to NOT lose weight when we exercise.

In his book Big Fat Lies, David Gillespie touches on the science that explains that we are designed to NOT burn off a lot of energy when we exercise. This is what enabled us to keep going and going all day and not waste away.

Then there’s the psychological element. If you’re doing exercise just for weight loss, don’t bother. Let me rephrase that. Exercise. Move. Keep active. But don’t expect it to make you lose a lot of weight.

A study compared hunter-gatherers in Tanzania with Western folk. It calculated the participants’ typical daily physical activity, energy expenditure and resting metabolic rates and found the former do move more, but they weren’t burning more calories. In fact, they found their metabolic rates the same as sedate Westerners. That’s the way we roll. Calories in doesn’t equal calories out. We’re far more complex than that.

To put things in perspective:

To burn off a piece of white bread you have to run up 20 flights of stairs.

In fact, it can make us fat!

A Time magazine cover story a while back – ”Why exercise won’t make you thin” – looked at all the evidence and found exercise may actually cause us to consume more calories than we expend, therefore negating the hard, sweaty work on the stair master. It jolted me awake when I read it. The article went as far as to say our over-exercising obsession is adding to the obesity epidemic. Read more