Plastic- you ain’t so fantastic

plastic-water-bottles

Ever notice how when giving recommendations to prevent sickness or remedy any ailment all beauty/ health columns include a recommendation to drink water?

Oh you have acne? Drink more water

A kidney infection? Drink more water

You want to lose weight? Drink more water

Migraine? Drink more water

Wrinkles? Drink more water

So naturally drinking more water was one of the first changes I made and now I feel headachy and grouchy if I don’t drink at least 2 liters every day. I used to buy a 2 liter bottle of Ballygowan water at the start of the week and then keep refilling it up from my kitchen tap filled, Brita jug each morning – I did this to save on the cost of buying bottled water every day and also to reduce the environmental effect which throwing out a 2 liter bottle would have.

It’s only through some late night Google-ing I learnt the following scaryness about this practice:

  1. Plastic containers have codes on their base and each one refers to the type of chemicals the container has been made from.  Take the Ballygowan bottle Code ‘1 PET’, unfortunately for me it turns out PET degrades with use and can contain trace amount of Bisphenol A (BPA) which is amplified if exposed to high heat- such as being left in a car (which I’m always doing) or re-used. If you want to know more about the codes and what they mean and which ones to steer clear of I suggest a look at this
  2. BPA is a synthetic chemical that has been used to make certain plastics since the 1960s, including plastics found in food and drink containers. BPA can leach into our food and drinks. In fact studies indicate that most of us already have BPA in our bodies and one study showed that 90% of Europeans have traces of BPA in our systems.  More on BPA can be found here.
  3. A growing number of health experts, consumers groups and national governments (Canada recently declared BPA was a toxic chemical) are becoming concerned about the health effects that can be caused from high-dose or long-term exposure to BPA, including;
  • Heart Disease
  • Intestinal Damage
  • Infertility and Reproductive Issues
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Behavioural Changes in Children
  • Premature puberty in children
  • Neurological problems in infants
  • Permanent damage to foetuses in pregnant women
  • Miscarriage
  • An increasing number of occurrences of breast and prostate cancer

Of course there’s also evidence to suggest that there isn’t any problem with BPA’s (read what the Irish Food and Drink Industry say in support of BPA here). However I’m going to go with my gut here and steer clear.  My take on these things is we’ve no come back if these researchers and scientists turn around in 5/10 years time and go:

‘oh yea, actuallllllly, it turns out we were wrong and BPA- it’s mad dangerous and harmful. Oopsies! Sorry about that everyone!’.

So i is going to be safe, not sorry.

That’s why I’m currently looking high and low for a 2 liter BPA free water bottle which doesn’t cost the earth. The closest I’ve come is this 1 liter bottle.

If you come across a 2 liter BPA bottle that delivers to Ireland and doesn’t cost a bomb please please let me know!

Dirt Cheap Epsom Salts

epsom salts1

In keeping with the last post about relaxation let me introduce you to the magic that is Epsom Salts. They are a brilliant detoxifier and a great way to turn your bath-time into a bonafide spa treatment!

All you need to do is pour 2 cups of the salts into your bath and soak for just 20 minutes to get the following benefits:

  1. Ease stress by replenishing magnesium in the body. Magnesium helps produce serotonin, a mood elevating chemical.
  2. Ease PMS
  3. Flush out toxins and heavy metals from the system- great when doing a detox
  4. Relieve cold symptoms
  5. Relax and ease muscles
  6. Reduce inflammation
  7. Relieve pain and headaches
  8. Relieve asthma
  9. Treat bruises

Here’s Epsom Salts secret sauce… it’s sooo bleedin’ cheap! I bought a massive tub from The Health Store for about 2 yoyos!

Epsom saltsP.S. I wouldn’t bother wasting money on the ‘Dead Sea Spa Magik’ brand which is sold in most pharmacies around Ireland, as it’s double the cost and seems to do the same job as the less fancy looking Mr Epsom.

P.P.S When I’m having a bath I tend to leave out the harsh and drying Bubble Bath and replace it with a few drops of yummy lavender essential oil instead.

Acupuncture: Ouch or Ahhh?!

acupunture2

Ahhh, definitely, ahhh! Let me tell you why…

I’ve been experiencing reoccurring shoulder pain of late and was advised during a very fancy massage in the Ritz Carlton (ooooh, excuse me!!) to go see an acupuncturist, as apparently they can do more on stubborn lactic acid knots in a shorter time frame. So I that’s the reason I turned up on the doorstep of a lovely Chinese lady, named Dandan in a housing estate in Dundrum last weekend.

The first part of my visit was a full body review, she asked me to fill out the longest questionnaire ever, covering my entire health and wellbeing. She questioned everything from my eating habits, to energy levels to more intimate things. She also took my blood pressure and had a goo at my tongue. At this point I remind her that I was only visiting for my dodgy shoulder but she explained Chinese Medicine takes a holistic view of the entire body and believes that if one organ or area is paining you, you should look at the body as a whole and see what else could be negatively effecting that area.

After this she concluded that my recent dodgy digestion system and reducing energy levels were due to all the raw fruit and vegetables I am eating lately. She said raw food was putting additional stress on my spleen which was having a hard time digesting the food in its raw form and that all this additional digestion work was also effecting my energy levels. She recommended I eat more cooked vegetables in order to help out my system. I was pretty blown away by her insight as she was spot on on everything!

I then hopped up on to the acupuncture bed where she firstly worked on rectifying my digestion problems. This involved sticking acupuncture needles into my hands/ stomach, around my shin bones and one seemingly random one at the very top of my head! Let me assure you- none of which are in any way painful. She then placed a heater over the needles so the warmth travelled down the needles and into the muscles they were in contact with and left me there for about 15 minutes… And my God did this feel good! It was the most relaxed I have been in a long long time, I actually felt completely out of it!!

Then I turned over and she placed the needles around my shoulder, which was followed by a short but yummy massage.

acupunture1

The appointment last 90 minutes and cost me €50.

Results: The relaxing effects of the procedure lasted all weekend and I experienced the most amazing night’s sleep and almost immediate rectification of my digestion system. Since then I have only eaten cooked vegetables and have noticed a great improvement in both my digestion and energy. Also, after one or two days of quite intense stiffness the guarantor knot in my back evaporated away! 🙂

An embarrassing side note: We decided that my sore shoulder wasn’t anything complicated nor did it require a ‘holistic’ approach to improving it… Basically I was carrying around a heavy handbag on the same shoulder all the time and just need to alternate it in future… Doh!

If you are interested in visiting Dandan here’s her website: http://acupuncturedundrum.ie/

Face Mapping

As I mentioned in a previous blog I’ve suffered from cystic acne on my chin for most of my twenties, along with these beauties I also tend to ‘break out’ with some whoppers resembling a 3rd eye between my eye brows. After years of trying every spot cream possible and nothing working I decided to ask why these spots were appearing and get to their route cause. That’s where Face Mapping comes into it.

Face mapping (FM) is based on the belief that the body provides an outside view of the body’s internal health and originates in Chinese Medicine.

According to Chinese Medicine, pimples refer to congestion or imbalances in the body and the best way to treat a spot is to actually treat the source organ by eating foods that revitalise and nourish it. Here are the lists of body parts and the organs that are affected:

Forehead – Intestinal Area

Middle Forehead- Liver/ Detox Elimination point

Cheeks – Lungs

 Nose – Heart Area

 Jaw – Kidney Area

 Shoulders – Digestive Area

 Chest – Lung & Heart Area

 Upper Back – Lung Area

 Around the Mouth – Reproductive Area

I know she’s a bit evil looking but this pic explains it all pretty well…

ABG Face Mapping Zone

So back to my mug then. This all made perfect sense to me- the ‘third eye’ spots I was getting in between my eyebrows were due to all that yummy alcohol I was indulging in and the spots on my chin were due to some lady part issues I was also dealing with.

Since I’ve kicked off a new ‘relationship’ with booze and spent time nourishing my liver with liver boosting foods (blog entries on that below) I’ve noticed a lack of spots between my eyebrows (however I did produce a lovely red one after a recent blow out in the Vintage Cocktail Club!). Again since I’ve began work to rectify my hormone imbalance I’m also happy to report a staggering lack of cystic acne on my chin.

I’ll post ways to boost the other organs over the next few weeks, but if you want to know more in the mean time check these informative links out:

http://www.skinacea.com/acne/acne-face-map.html

http://everydayglow.com/banish-breakouts-part-i-face-mapping-to-diagnose-cause-of-acne/

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