Tuesday, 9 February 2016

System Reset Restore

For the past couple of weeks, it has been all about me and resetting and restoring systems and phones and computers - some intentionally and some just through plain and simple rushed not thinking stupidity. Today, however, will be about a different system reset and restore - the lowdown on Milk Kefir (pronounced - ke as in kettle and fir as in fear). This post is long overdue and if you follow my blog you may be wondering if it wasn't all just pie in the sky and that I have intentionally forgotten about it. So did it work??? When my doctor asked for my blood results to be sent from my Insurance Company who did my blood tests in August or July last year, I was so disappointed because I received a text message from my doctor's rooms to say that my Cholesterol had gone up excessively. I was totally despondent. I wasn't on a total health binge at the time, I was drinking copious amounts of coffee and although I wasn't binging totally on junk, I wasn't dieting as such, but had also just finished a ten day or 14 day (memory relapse here) juice fast and if that is not sacrifice and discipline and a touch of deprivation then I don't know what is.

It was on the 23 November 2015 that I received the disappointing news about my cholesterol. The plan was to go redo my blood tests straight away. My doctor had given me a request form to go and have them done at the end of December, but I thought I would have them done earlier and then go and see her to discuss the way forward. Life happened as it always does and procrastination, as usual, got the better of me and I only went for the tests on 17 December and by that time, any thoughts of healthy eating had disappeared and I was baking up a storm and eating a bunch of junk for almost two weeks. Surprise - surprise, my Thyroid, Sugar and Cholesterol were all normal. I double checked with the doctor's assistant as my doctor was away and I was worried that the locum had made a mistake. She called back to confirm my cholesterol was normal.

I started my Kefir journey on the 23 November 2015 16 November 2015 (see this post)  so I can't totally credit the Kefir for the normal cholesterol results because that was too soon, but I would say it was a huge part of it and a combination of absolutely no coffee for 32 days. I had my first cup of coffee, the morning Mark and Chad went to Lesotho on their bikes. That was on the 4 December 2015, we woke up at 3.45 and I NEEDED coffee and lots of it - 3 cups. I did a full 3 weeks of green juicing in November, but with the fibre so not officially juicing and broke my fast the night of Chad's Graduation, but then continued with clean eating until the end of November. I had been drinking a glass or two of red wine, Merlot (heart healthy apparently) almost every night for at least a month before the juice fast and after the juice fast and I changed to Flora Proactive Margarine after my fast. According to the Virgin diet and the Whole 30, by eliminating food sources that can cause food intolerances, like dairy; grains; wheat and nightshades, you can reset your body to almost new. I tried all of these diets prior to 2015 and didn't stick to any, so it is not the diet that makes one motivated, it is your mindset (currently my mindset has left the building).

Now for the Kefir conclusion. I have lived on Gaviscon for as long as I can remember. I get severe bouts of heartburn or acid reflux that it burns my throat until my voice is hoarse. I never ate minced meat (ground beef) for most of last year, the reflux was so bad. I was taking Nexium every day for years and prior to that Lockit and prior to that Nexium until I discovered that my hair was getting thinner and falling out in bunches (not in chunks like someone on Chemotherapy - nowhere near that amount). My brush was full of hair all the time, cleaning it daily didn't help, it was always full of hair and looked like I never washed it or cleaned out the hair. When I washed my hair, my hands were full of strands of hair and I only realised it after a new hairdresser commented that I have very thin hair. My nails also stopped growing and they just peel all the time. All my research lead to it being the Nexium as well as possibly Hypothyroidism which I have, but the side effects of long term Nexium use, was pretty scary and that is also how I came across Kefir. You may want to stop reading now unless you are interested in the benefits and side effect of Kefir, because TMI!!!

I have not had a single Gaviscon tablet in over two months, I ate those things like sweets!!! Can you get addicted to Gaviscon - I don't know, but besides the heartburn, I craved those tablets and honestly ate them and craved them like they were sweets. I had my last Nexium around mid-December. I weaned myself off them slowly in case of the production of lots of acid due to the sudden withdrawal of the Nexium. I have eaten Mince and Pasta, Babotie, Curried Mince; Mac and Cheese with Mince, Lasagna a few times and I have only had manageable heartburn a couple of times which woke me up. Lying on my left side when I sleep stops the heartburn. In December for the first two weeks, I made double meals so I could freeze them and not have to cook that much over the holidays and mince and chicken was the easiest to cook and freeze. I just had to cook the pasta; rice or sides. I have eaten cake and biscuits and bread and junk and my gastritis pain has been minimal. I won't lie the Kefir made me feel very bloated when I started eating normal foods with Kefir and fruit for breakfast after the three week cleanse.

One night when I first started eating normal foods, before the biscuit and cake binge, I had severe gastritis. We had lamb chops, green beans which I fry with onions in olive oil after steaming them and peas and butternut, I never had rice and gravy. That night I woke up with such severe pain in my solar plexus and my back, I honestly thought it may have been a heart attack because I could not breathe and the grip was just getting tighter and tighter. The only thing I had in the house was Valoid, which makes me sleep and I thought drugged sleep would work. I was also very nauseous, which also made me take Valoid and I sipped on Chamomile Tea with no milk and sugar, which is very good for digestive and tummy troubles. Eventually hours later, the pain subsided and I fell asleep. I thought I would have to go back on the Nexium, but since then I have had a niggle only.

Just after Christmas, I developed a UTI and because my doctor was away, I treated myself with Over The Counter Meds and stopped taking the Kefir, because Doctor Google said that Kefir can mimic yeast infections. I doubt very much that it was the Kefir and it was more than likely the washing powder we were using. Mark was buying OMO Auto from a Client as factory rejects, the packaging damaged only, but it came in a clear packet, so could have been anything. We all know Mark and his bargains at double the price and half the value. When the soap foamed so much it was coming out of all the crevices in the machine and I developed a UTI, I said no more. We tried the washing powder for a month - no thank you. Washing machine functioning again, no white soapy residue left on clothes and no more UTI.

I also felt that I was eating unhealthy foods, so I would give the Kefir a break. I wasn't doing the actual cleanse, I was using Kefir in my smoothies in place of yoghurt. The Kefir Milk Cleanse should be done together with a clean, relatively raw and unprocessed diet. When I stopped the Kefir, I froze the grains as recommended everywhere online, but they won't grow now. I have tried for a week now and just get a watery slimy mixture that I throw out and rewash the grains with milk. I will give it another week and buy some more - now I am back to Ayrshire Yogurt smoothies. The Kefir really did help my reflux and gastritis pains, because I have done juice fasts often and cut out foods that cause food intolerances and this is the first time I have been able to go without Gaviscon and Nexium. As for my hair and nails - my nails are still struggling, but for the past 3 weeks, they have not peeled and although my hair is very long at the moment, probably the longest it has ever been, it is still thin, but when I wash it, I don't have my hands covered in strands of hair. I have also been using coconut oil or a mixture of olive oil; castor oil and rose water on my hair every day since December (more on that in another post).

Would I recommend a Kefir Cleanse - most definitely. I certainly don't believe it cures cancer and you would need to sieve through all the ailments it is said to have cured, but definitely aids your digestive system. To not suffer from acid reflux and eat just about everything I couldn't eat before, including the minced meat Mark has bought from Spar more than once and not take ANY medication for it, is nothing short of a miracle. I can even eat Chocolate now - eating Chocolate would cause the reflux to hit the roof, not literally, but close enough and I lurve Chocolate. OK, that is not a good thing, because I have been eating far too much chocolate with no nasty effects and that is a very bad thing. I honestly feel so much healthier when I go on my crazy green juice cleanses and Kefir cleanses. I sleep better, I feel better, my skin is clear, but Oh my word it is so darn hard to get back on track and I am struggling at the moment. I just cannot get back into it, alway the elusive Monday...

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