Category: Health (page 1 of 2)

In this page, I will share all the post about health and wellness.

Yoga for Mind, Body and Soul

It’s now become 10 years since I first went to my yoga and meditation class in Gothenburg. I remember how I used to love those 90 min classes late in the evening because it was a time that was only dedicated to myself and my practise. My teacher was from Norway but he lived and worked in Sweden. He had changed his name to an old Indian version of his own name, and he had practised yoga for over 30 years back then. I recently looked up if he’s still a teacher at the same place, and he is, isn’t that amazing. 40 years of yoga knowledge. He was the first teacher that inspired me to pursue yoga for my own mental health and spiritual evolvement. Years passed and I had some rocky years in my early twenties, but I still always came back to yoga, even if I had a longer break. I took classes of yoga at the gym, did some on my own in my student flat, whatever so that I didn’t totally lose the connection.

When I moved to Stockholm in 2014, I took some yoga classes at the gym and there were many different teachers there. Most are only into yoga as a fitness alternative and that isn’t the whole experience of yoga according to me and many other yogis, it’s a much more wholesome and spiritual and inward experience and development that is beyond anything physical. Out of all those average yoga gym teachers there was one that stood out in the crowd, he always used the right terms for all the asanas and always referred back to the ancient traditions of yoga; unlike many other yoga teachers in Sweden.
Although I didn’t stay for very long in that gym membership and for some reason got stuck in a 2 year membership at a place I didn’t enjoy as much.

I recently switched back and booked a yoga class and to my surprise the same teacher is still there and having classes. It seems that he’s been practising yoga for 30 years and is such a huge inspiration not only to me but everyone who comes to his classes. The class always begins with some 5 minutes of talking about the intentions, the planet movements and moon placement in different astrology signs and what it means to us. I love the feeling of being totally connected to the 25-30 people in the class and share the same experience as I do in the same time and space. That feeling is quite remarkable and powerful, it can truly change the world for the better.

I plan to attend a yoga retreat in the end of the year in India, although I haven’t decided on what or where to go for it. Would be nice with some place in south India, such as beautiful Kerala or similar. I will let that thought mature in my head through the year and decide on it until summer time.

Peace and Love,
Kimmi Madeline

Psoas muscle, Solar Plexus & “dharn” | Ayurveda + Western Medicine

I have experience of going to a physical therapist for what I would describe the condition as restless legs, although this was never diagnosed nor was it ever mentioned by anyone. While I’ve been having my sessions, I have tried to get to the bottom of the problem. It isn’t that big of a deal really, that’s why I haven’t prioritised it until now; it’s just been at the back of my head. We’re not meant to sit still all our day in front of a desk, and years of doing it has taken it’s toll I assume. I realised that I want my body to be as healthy as possible for my age, and sitting still is surely not going to help me nor is it going to fix the whole “restless legs” issue. I have now been able to connect three different areas of knowledge about the same isse; Ayurveda and the Chakra system and Western medicine.

It all started when I was coming back home from a trip to Paris, and we were sitting in a bus from the airport which was unfortunately located 80min outside of Stockholm. We were coming home late in the evening, which I didn’t think much of at the time of booking, but during the bus trip I cursed my former self for even thinking of booking such late tickets. I had this creeping sensation in my legs as if there were something crawling underneath my skin around my knees and thighs, I couldn’t even describe it properly. If I moved around my legs it became better, but only for 2 seconds, so I sat there forcefully trying to move around my legs for the entirety of the trip. If one doesn’t go mental then this might. I let this situation pass and didn’t think much of it until I found myself in a similar situation and I put two and two together. A cinema visit late in the evening, which was basically the same time, having to sit still in the same spot and not being able to get up (unless I wanted to be a pain and let the whole row know my pain).

Months passed and I started getting really frustrated, turning down friends’ offers to go to the cinema or anything that required late evening sitting still. The criteria for seeking professional help has always been, if it interferes in your daily routine, so I went to the doctor.
Said and done, tests were completed, results came back and nothing was wrong physically. Just to be on the safe side, CAT scans were done and some weeks later the results came back – nothing abnormal! The doctor suggested me to contact a physical therapist if my issues continued – I gave the issue a rest for almost a year.

During my first visit to the physical therapist she did a bunch of physical exams, looking at my spine, checking my legs when I’m lifting something, the flexibility etc. One of the tests involved massaging to the right and left of the navel while I was lying down. I am a very high pain tolerant person, but this pressure of her fingers in my stomach hurt like hell, more so on one side than the other. She said that it’s the hip muscle, more properly called Psoas muscle that seemed tense or short. I wanted to know more, so I have ever since read a lot about it, trying to massage myself, and doing the exercises that were given to me by her. Now to the interesting part.

Throughout my whole life, I have heard about the punjabi/hindi word dharn which is basically an imbalance in the solar plexus area, or what some call it a “navel displacement”. The Ayurveda and ancient Indian way to describe this has never really had a good equivalent in Western medicine and I believe that is why there isn’t a holistic view on this problem. I fully believe that the psoas muscle being strained and tense is only ONE way to describe the problem.  The other connections to the same problem are the 3rd chakra, solar plexus being imbalanced which causes physical symptoms in the body after going long enough with the imbalance. How do we resolve this problem?

The Chakras. Solar Plexus is the Yellow wheel in the core of the body

According to my physical therapist I only needed to do my exercises that she had given me, which I’ve done for a year and haven’t noticed a huge change in posture nor the core strength which is key here. Changing habits is the main key here. Being more active and not sit still for longer periods of time. Take breaks, walk in the nature, do yoga and stretch. Practicing mindfulness and meditate daily has started to create a shift in me lately. I can sense that when I incorporate both Western medicine and the old ancient Indian Ayurveda find solutions to dharn; it will work. It’s not an easy solution, I believe it’s more of a lifestyle change, back to how we used to be; hundreds of years ago. We’ve become too convenient and lazy lately, that’s only the truth. It’s harsh but if we don’t do anything about it now, the issues will just increase.

If you have an issue with restless legs syndrom or psoas muscle, try looking at your body as a whole. Listen to your body, what does it need that it so desperately wants you to notice? More movement, more healthy food and/or more calmness?

I will keep you posted on my progress and will post a video on Youtube in a few weeks on this topic.

Namaste,
Peace and Love,
Kimmi Madeline

 

Ayurvedic Health Potion – My Morning Routine

When I wake up in the morning, at 5:00 am (I know it sounds early, but I decided not to adapt completely to Swedish time after coming back from India), I start by making my health potion. I start by boiling up water and while it’s getting to the right temperature I start adding all the different herbs and spices into my large 50 cl cup. I believe it’s important to have a large cup for this health potion, because otherwise it becomes too strong and not as easy to drink. I heat it up again after I’ve drank half the cup, because I’m a very slow drinker.

The ingredients that I use are:

  • 1 tsp of organic matcha tea from Japan
  • 1/3 tsp of ashwagandha (ayurvedic herb)
  • 1 dash of tulsi powder (holy Indian basil)
  • 1/4 tsp of organic ginger powder
  • 1/3 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 dash of organic turmeric
  • optional: raw unprocessed sugar to taste (I try not to add any sugar, but in the beginning it might help with the taste)
  • boiling water
  • oat milk or any other vegetable milk substitute of your choice

I add all the dry ingredients in my cup and start pouring a little boiling water at a time to mix all the herbs together. I fill up slightly more than half the cup with boiling water and add oat milk to fill it up, that is also depending on taste and preference.

I feel energised and very refreshed by drinking this health potion. My hormones are getting back into a nice balance, I can really feel my body changing for the better with these simple steps towards a more healthy lifestyle.

After drinking the tea, I go on with doing my yoga exercise routine, mostly just for 15-30 min, but I intend to increase it gradually.

Hope this is helpful to anyone out there, and let me know if you have any questions and I will get back to you.

Peace and Love,
Kimmi Madeline

Bucket list for 2017

It's been very inspiring to read other people's promises and goals to accomplish during the next coming year. I want to take a moment and document at least some of the things I would like to do and complete during the year of 2017. Without goals and something to look forward to it's easy to just get stuck in a wheel of the same mundane things.

(The list is not ordered chronologically.)

  • Travel. A weekend in Berlin, London and Scotland is already on my list for short 3-4 day trips. Other trips will be planned depending on plans and/or business plans and vacations.
  • Vipassana meditation. I really hope that I will be able to complete a Vipassana during a trip to India or in Sweden. I believe it might be more possible with India since I can go during next winter. I don't think there will be time for that during summer in Sweden; and I want to have good weather when I go to the Vipassana centre. I'd rather have that experience alone but I'll ask a friend or two if they want to join. Share the experience.
  • Writing my book. I have had a long break from my book writing due to personal reasons. I need to reevaluate my story direction and almost start over my writing, unfortunately. I will make a plan for the book during my current India trip now in December 2016.
  • Meditate daily. I know I've been having this on my list for ages, and it comes back every now and then, but it's crucial for my mental health to wind down and be peaceful on the inside.
  • Exercise 2-3 times a week. Yoga, Pilates and weight training.
  • Improve my stamina by starting to jog. Apply for a 5km run with a friend to have as a goal.
  • Practice to be more mindful.
  • Watch Darren Hayes' musical in London or somewhere in Europe whenever he is finished with it.
  • See the one-man-band Assemblage 23 live for the first time (of many). Waited for around 8-9 years. Those lyrics he writes are some of the best in the genre of futurepop/EBM.
  • Practice riding a bike and become more confident again. It's been years since I knew how to, and I guess you never really forget, I just need to be good at driving it in traffic as well.
  • I don't plan on taking my driver's license during 2017, but I plan on practicing driving again and be more confident in traffic. I knew how to 2-3 years ago but that was before my laser eye surgery. Now I need to spend weekends every now and then to just get into the routine and then eventually when it's in my priority I will apply for and take the license.

What's your bucket list for 2017? Share and link to yours below so we can all take part and be inspired. 

Peace and love,

Laser Eye Surgery – 2 year 10 month UPDATE

Last month I made an update on Youtube regarding my PRK/Laser eye surgery. I got the first surgery done on 12th of Dec 2013 and the follow-up surgery for my left eye was done in March this year (2016). The reason for the follow-up surgery was to remove the scarring in the eyes that occurred after the initial surgery. After a lot of waiting and treatment with different eye drops over the course of 2 years, we finally did the first touch up surgery to correct the “haze” in the eyes that caused blurry vision.

I have made a follow up video where I talk about the next steps, and what we intend to do onwards in the process of solving the issues. My next surgery for my right eye would be scheduled for the beginning of next year and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the outcome will be just as good as the left eye. Check out the video below if you’re interested in the current situation and how it’s going. Subscribe to my channel over at Youtube if you’re interested in knowing when I upload a new video.  Write to me over at Youtube or down below in the comments if you have a question or asking for advice, I’m happy to answer and give my opinion since this is a topic close to me.

Peace and Love,
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Sugar isn’t the Answer

I’m currently trying my hardest to sugar-fast in my diet. I didn’t eat all that much sugar before but it’s still good to be aware of what we’re putting into our bodies. I’ve never really liked candy and those kinds of sugar sources, but I love a piece of chocolate every now and then. Or a delicious piece of cake!
I had to read up on what the daily recommendation of sugar really is and it’s shocking to know that you easily get that amount by the products we eat daily. These days it seems like all kinds of food products contain added sugar, to the extent that it’s not healthy for us. Bread, yogurt, light-products, granola and much more are not sugar-free anymore, unless you really look out and read on the labels.
Most people I speak to about this would react in a way that if you’re not unhealthy and overweight, I shouldn’t have to worry about my sugar intake. I don’t agree. We all have a responsibility towards ourselves and our body to eat the best we can and to not put junk into our bodies. We want to grow old in grace and in a healthy manner, without any unnecessary sickness due to something we could have changed in our diet earlier in our lives.

The recommended daily intake of sugar shouldn’t be more than 30 g for adults, and that is around 5-7 tsp of added sugar in all kinds of ways. Real fruit is not counted in that amount, since it contains fibers and it’s more filling because sugar (fructose) isn’t the sole ingredient.
If you’re ever unsure of what is considered to be high sugar amount in products when reading on labels, you can go by these measures:

  • more than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g is high sugar amount
  • 5g of total sugars or less per 100g is low sugar amount

To start the journey of cutting down on sugar is to identify what products in your cupboard are actually high or medium in sugar percentage, and replace them with healthier options. Also identify the products you normally buy where the sugar is hidden and are marketed as healthy but in reality contains  a lot of sugar. You will be surprised of how many products are looking healthy but they’re not.
In the beginning it will be difficult, it is very hard to cut down on sugar, but you need to do it gradually. Replace one thing at a time. Try to eat as natural and sugar-free breakfast as possible, to not feel so tired and lethargic in the middle of the day when the blood sugar gets low.

 Let’s start the journey towards a more sugar free diet. 

Peace and Love,
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Why Should I Drink Dairy Products?

When I was around 17-18 years old I got some blood tests done for my allergies, and I had a lot of new allergies that I didn’t have as a child. The tests came out positive on a lot of food substances, such as milk protein and wheat. I was in such a denial and I didn’t want to face it since I loved butter, cream and all kinds of dairy including products. At this time I went ahead and tried substituting milk with oat milk, and it wasn’t as popular in the stores so it was hard to get hold of.
I didn’t like it, mainly because I compared it straight on with milk. Now I know that it’s impossible to compare one thing with a totally other, it’s not really meant for drinking as it is like we do with milk. I gave it a couple of tries in different recipes, and got more used to it.

Many people in my surroundings have over the years gotten lactose intolerant, and many believe that it’s the same as milk protein allergy. They’re two totally different bodily reactions. I’m not going to get into that subject, if you’re still unsure of the difference, there are many articles on Google and Wikipedia to get a better understanding.

I have also since I got my allergy tests done many years ago, started eating more and more vegetarian food and trying to educate myself more about the industry. I’ve never eaten eggs since I’ve always been severly allergic to them, so in a way I’m basically vegan. But in most other ways, I’m not. The important thing about the diet is not what we call ourselves, it really doesn’t matter. I don’t call myself anything in particular, I find it unnecessary to put labels on people and for others to put you in boxes just because of a diet choice.
However, I have started questioning the reason why we’re told from a very young age (at least in Sweden and in Nordic countries), that milk is important for us and our bodies. Why?
It seems to be pretty clear that a major part of the population has trouble digesting milk when they become older and adults. What does that tell you? It might not be something we truly require to survive.
We might need the different types of nutrition found in milk, but milk is not the only food that contains calcium, vitamin D and protein; it can easily be found in other alternative products or fortified milk substitutes which we’re not sensitive towards.
I do believe we need milk when we’re babies and growing up when we’re infants, and that milk is called breast milk. Either with a bottle or breastfeeding, I’m neither for or against either of those choices. Bottom line is that the breast milk is actually made for us humans, which cow milk isn’t. The cow is producing the milk for their baby calves, and when I truly thought about that, I felt sad. We’re really taking away the milk that is made for their babies and drink it ourselves, how selfish isn’t that? It was mind boggling when I started questioning how much we truly NEED milk in our lives.

I eat milk products every now and then, but I try to keep it at a minimum since I started thinking about these things. I have also noticed that the more milk I have digested in my body, the more hormonal acne I tend to get. Ask around, experiment, especially women; is milk the reason behind your breakouts? Do we truly need milk in our diets?

Just some food for thought, what are your ideas and thoughts about this subject?

Peace and Love,
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Allergies and Diet Choices (YouTube)

One of the biggest topics of my life has been allergies and dealing with them in the best way. All the way from checking the ingredients list on all food packages to learning how to cook allergy friendly. During my whole childhood, throughout my teenage years and now into my adult life, I’m finally starting to come to terms with my allergies and learning to cope with them. I want to share my experience with you all and bring you my best tips and recipes of allergy friendly food.
I made a first video in a series of many more to come, that only touches the subject on the surface, to give you a gimpse of what I will be creating in the coming months.

Excuse the bouncy video, it was made with my selfie stick and smartphone due to main camera not working.

Hope you enjoy this video, and if you have any suggestions, comments or questions, please leave them in the comments here or over at YouTube. You can always find me on Facebook, Instagram and on YouTube. 🙂 Hope to talk to you there!

Peace and Love,
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Documentaries I Loved Watching

During the recent couple of months I have watched quite a few documentaries that were all worth watching. I have listed them all so anyone who is interested in learning more about the world we live in, is able to just pick one from this list. I only try to watch films or documentaries that are teaching me something new, or makes me think and reflect. From time to time I still watch commercial films or series only for entertainment, but mostly I enjoy getting some sort of intellectual satisfaction from what I’ve watched. Whether it may be an art film that is based off a true story or if it’s a documentary teaching us about our society. So without further ado, here is my list of nine documentaries all worth watching. I have graded them with stars for you to easier see which ones I recommend the most.

  1. True Cost *****
  2. GMO OMG ***/****
  3. Food Matters *****
  4. Cowspiracy *****
  5. Forks over Knives *****
  6. Living on One Dollar *****
  7. Blood brother *****
  8. Fat, Sick and nearly Dead ****
  9. Supersize me ****

 

Some comments for each item in the list:

  1. A must-watch for anyone interested in what goes on behind the fast fashion market; everything from the textile workers to the production of the textile material that is used in the textile industry. It’s harsh, raw and very true – just watch it. You might never want to support all the big fast fashion brands just after watching this. Check out Fashion Revolution online in case you’re more interested after seeing this.
  2. I couldn’t totally decide whether to give this a full 4 star because of the first half of the documentary. I thought the guy who is making this documentary seemed to be against GMO just because he felt like it, and that he THOUGHT it was bad for you. It annoyed me that he based the first half of the documentary only on emotions of himself and his children. Why does his children have to be involved? If you still get passed that mark and continue watching, it gets more interesting and more data is brought up to surface.
  3. Despite being a few years old, this documentary was totally amazing. I sat glued in front of the television/Netflix and my wish is for everyone to watch this. Totally worth it if you’re interested in what you put into your body.
  4. Produced by Leonardo Di Caprio. Need I say more 😉 On a more serious note, it’s about how our diet choices are affecting the environment and the animals and people living on our planet. It’s one of the best documentaries to watch before making any lifestyle changes in terms of diet.
  5. The same as above, minus Di Caprio. I truly recommend watching these two if you need to choose two that has to do with diet and healthy living.
  6. Wow, this documentary made me shed many many, oh so many, tears. It was such a heartbreaking story. I love that the guys chosing to make this film made it as their university project and went to South America to actually live the reality instead of just writing about living on one dollar a day. Truly inspiring.
  7. If no 6 makes you cry, not sure what this one does to me. Maybe it’s because it’s close to my heart, since it has to do with India. A guy from the US travels to India to help children that have HIV/AIDS. His dedication, his interest, love and compassion is just so contagious and it’s beautiful to watch. So beautiful that you will shed some tears here as well. One of my favourites…
  8. I think it’s a great healthy living and food related documentary. It might not be super relevant for me since it deals with a lot of overweight issues and how to overcome those by going on a Juice diet for a while and then going over to a plant based diet. I found it inspiring despite not struggling with those issues, it’s still a very motivational and powerful documentary. Seeing their journey is sometimes enough to feel inspired.
  9. It’s a little old, it dates 10-12 years back and when McDonalds had Supersize menus in the US. I believe they have removed those options now (perhaps after this documentary was made). It’s about a guy eating only McDonald’s food for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 30 days. He cannot walk more than 5000 steps a day, since that’s what the average American walks every day – that is not a lot of steps. It’s recommended that everyone at least walks 10K a day, and is active for around 30 min a day. Worth watching, but it will disgust you from ever entering a fast food chain ever again. I have made my promise, not eating McDonald’s after seeing that show. Neither will my future kids.

 

Peace and Love,
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My LASEK Eye Surgery Experience (2 year post op)

Hey guys,

I have made several videos on my LASEK (No Cut) eye surgery experience over at YouTube if you are interested in checking them out. I had initially thought I’d just do a few and then everything would be normal and healed, but I ran into complications. I got haze (scar tissue) in my eyes and it made my vision a bit blurry and not so sharp. I am according to tests passing a driver’s license vision but I can’t really read signs off a distance. It’s a tricky problem and it’s been 2 years and almost 5 months post the first surgery.

5 weeks ago I did a follow up touch up surgery of my left eye to try to remove the haze and it’s been healing up well. I have days when I get worried that my vision is slightly blurry again, but I believe it has mostly to do with dryness at the moment. Keeping my fingers crossed that it’s going to be successful.

If you want to check out my latest video on the LASEK (No Cut) surgery experience, you can take a look at it below. I have received so many questions and concerns over these 2 ½ years and I am amazed over the caring comments I’ve gotten from all over the world. I can’t tell anyone if you should go through with your surgery or not, I am only here to tell you my experience. I haven’t even reflected on whether I regret my surgery or not, there’s really no point in thinking about the past. I made the decision in all good thoughts and in a way the result is better than having to pop in contacts every day and getting tired/dried eyes at the end of the day so I had to use glasses. I don’t miss my glasses at all, since I had such a bad eye sight prior to the surgery. It’s such a luxury to wake up and be able to see the time and look at my phone without looking for my glasses first. I have tried looking at the bright side after all these complications, it’s hard some days, but most days I’m grateful that it’s not worse than it is right now.

Check out my other videos by going in to YouTube following the link below.

Thanks for watching and let me know if you have any questions, concerns or if you want my advice.

Peace and Love,
Kimmi

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