The other morning as I was getting washed, it occurred to me that it's been over a month since I embarked on this new natural beauty quest and change in eating habits, moving towards a more natural and organic diet/beauty regime.
I guess this has become my new obsession, but this makes it sound like it is just a fad and it's not. I am totally committed to it and I'm not intending to revert back any time soon. It's like a switch has just flicked on, that I don't intend to switch off, unless financial circumstances should dictate, that is.
I'm still using up a few stashed beauty products that don't fall into the category of natural/organic, mainly because I don't like waste. Each time I use another one up, it's quite exciting, moving towards using all natural products in my regime. The odd unused toiletry/makeup item I may either pass on to Little Bird, who hasn't yet fully come onboard, (but I'm hoping that somewhere along the line she may be influenced and follow suit) or I may donate a couple of unused items to the charity shop, if I don't get around to using them soon.
Likewise, I'm using up items in the food cupboards and gradually replacing them with organic alternatives or just not replacing them in some cases. I'm trying to slowly introduce more smoothies, nuts, seeds and healthy foods, eat a little less meat and pay more attention to portion sizes all round. I can't say I have seen any immediate effect, but these things can take time. I am not dieting, so I don't really expect any drastic weight loss.
As I run out of specific products, I look for replacements. I'm finding more and more sources of these, as I look around online and in the shops, which is very encouraging. I've found a few bloggers and YouTubers that are inspiring me on a daily basis and I enjoy reading their blogs and watching their videos.
I've also been reading another very interesting book on diet and nutrition, from which I have had another small epiphany of sorts about my eating habits and nutritional status. The book in question is this book by Dr. Jana Klauer .
The author is a medical doctor in the US who has worked closely with obese patients in Park Avenue, New York to try to help them to lose weight and instigate healthier ways of living. It's been sat in my book pile for probably a year now and I've just got around to reading it.
It is basically a diet and healthy eating plan, but one based on cutting back on sugary snacks and processed food and one which at it's heart points out the importance of healthy eating, exercise and an adequate calcium intake to enable the body to better metabolise food and burn fat and to help patients achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Like with Chopra's book, this book, which does have some similarities in that it too suggests eating fresh and organic foods over processed and frozen, highlights another very interesting area, which has immediately resonated with me, namely that of calcuim intake. I think I have probably always had a low intake of calcium. I don't eat a lot of cheese, drink a lot of milk, or eat other calcium containing foods and I am sure that I must be taking in far short of the recommended 1200mg per day of calcium that is supposedly required by an adult (In the US). I think here the normal recommended amount is 800mg (according to my bottle of supplements), but don't quote me on this.
I'd been thinking lately of using Spirulina, asuper food to help add calcium to my diet, as I have always had problems with my teeth and nails, and think I may have been deficient for a long time. Reading this book, however, has made me realise the importance of this particular mineral to my metabolism, as unbeknown to me it apparently aides the metabolism of fat.
As a consequence, I am now starting to take calcium and vitamin D supplements, as much of the calcium we do ingest does not get absorbed by the body unless vitamin D is also present, as this vitamin is required for absorption. It is very early days, but it feels like the right thing to be doing, especially as I age and bone density becomes more of an issue. The supplements I am taking at present are very inexpensive and available from the supermarket, as well as health food outlets, pharmacies, etc. I am also trying to eat more dairy products to ingest more calcium this way too, although trying to stick to lower fat versions as suggested in this book.
I have now also started taking the Maca powder for hormonal balance and energy, which I find very palatable, as it has a slightly malty taste and I usually add it to yoghurt or smoothies. I'm hoping that by taking it before I hit the menopause I might be able to minimise any hormonal imbalances and symptoms. We'll just have to see what happens.
This whole process of instigating healthy changes is ongoing, and is a veritable minefield. There are constant health warnings about various food products which can become very confusing, so I continnue to try to eat everything in moderation, although I am trying to steer away from highly processed white carbs where possible.
There may be other things yet, which I find out about, that might necessitate the instigation of more changes. I am finding that my cravings for sweet things are reducing, although I do allow myself a little organic chocolate here and there if I feel the need. You've got to still eat the things that you enjoy, but instead of eating a whole bar, I will limit myself (usually) to a few small squares. I find it does help me keep motivated.
The whole process, however, with regard to taking charge of my own health is long overdue. Sometimes in life it is easy just to plod along, completely oblivious to what your body needs and not even know that we are just not providing it from our diet or lifestyles. Sometimes, books can provide knowledge that can just nudge us in the right direction. I'm hoping that this is the case in this instance.
Disclaimer: Please note that in writing this post, I am NOT advocating that anyone reading should take any of the above supplements. Indeed, some of these are not recommended for some people, especially those prone to kidney stones or for persons who are under 12 years old, pregnant or hoping to get pregnant in the near future. Please consider carefully and consult your own doctor or health professional if necessary, before taking any health supplements. In addition, my taking of these supplements does not mean that I am not always trying to eat a healthy, balanced and varied diet, which is the obvious ideal.