Sarah Short Circuit

Heal, Nourish, Nurture

Tag: Books

Marce Conference books

I indulged at the International Marcè Society Conference for Perinatal Mental Health in getting a few books!

ūüďóEyes Without Sparkle by Elaine Hanzak – the first book I read about a lived experience of postpartum psychosis.

ūüďėAnother Twinkle In The Eye. Contemplating another pregnancy after perinatal mental illness by Elaine Hanzak – haven’t been able to read this yet despite borrowing a few times from the library. May bring me closer to making peace with my decision.

ūüďô Beyond The Baby Blues by Catherine Knox, Benison O’Reilly & Seana Smith – a must have after hearing Dr Vijay Roach speak at the Gidget Foundation breakfast and chatting with Catherine personally.

ūüďóA Mother’s Climb Out of Darkness. A Story about Overcoming Postpartum Psychosis by Jennifer Hentz Moyer – Jennifer is pioneer spokeswoman for education and support for postpartum psychosis and shares her lived experience in this book. This can be a tricky book to find.

ūüďėThe Polyvagal Theory. Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions Attachment Communication Self-Regulation by Stephen W. Porges – been on my wish list since meeting Holly Bridges¬†at the MINDD forum.

ūüďôScared Sick. The role of childhood trauma in adult disease by Robin Karr-Morse with Meredith S. Wiley – how our innate fight-or-flight system can unexpectedly become an agent of chronic illness if overworked in the early stages of life. This intrigued me with knowing the SD Protocol.

If you can’t find me you may find me curled up with a book…

MINDD 2016

The MINDD Foundation is committed to improving the lives of children and families by promoting a holistic approach to healthcare and living. After last years MINDD Forum changing the direction of my healing and recovery there was no way I was missing the MINDD Forum this year, especially with the key note speaker being Kelly Brogan.

Dr Nancy O’Hara was back again this year speaking about ‘It wasn’t me it was my germs’; love this concept! We are depleting our microbiome of the nutrients we need by the way we lead our lives. The majority of our immune system resides in our guts. Gut dysfunction is associated with germs including parasites and yeast. It was interesting to learn that a clostridia infection, a bacteria in our gut, has been found to associated with psychosis. The way to treat gut dysfunction is with nutrition as fresh, organic, unprocessed foods that are varied and rotated; probiotics to control inflammation and encourage gut movement; remove stressors; ¬†and the best way to detox is a minimum of 1 stool per day.

There is no such things as junk food; it is either junk or food

– Nancy O’Hara

Great talk on effects of food on anxiety by Trudy Scott, eating real, whole, good quality foods is the foundation to maintaining optimal mental health. A lower risk of depression and anxiety was found with traditional diet of vegetables, fruit, fish, grass-fed meat, and whole grains when compared to western and modern diets in an Australian study by Jacka 2010.

Diet intervention

Trudy Scott

Food is Medicine but there is no “one size fits all” diet. Great talk on Using Bioindividual Nutrition to Personalize Therapeutic Diets.¬†Julie Matthews spoke about how dietary intervention is at the foundation of healing. Individuals have specific dietary needs and diet needs to be bioindividually applied. Keep an open mind as you may need to use a particular diet in the short term or further restrict a diet or prioritize one diet over another or apply more than one dietary principle to improve function with the goal of the least restrictive, most varied diet possible.

no one size fits all

Julie Matthews

What an awesome way to spend a Friday with these inspiring wellness rock stars at the MINDD Forum Food is Medicine day. I loved the cooking demos learning from the best of the best Alexx Stuart, Jo and Isaac Whitton from Quirky Cooking, and Helen Padrin and Charlotte Carr. From digestive calm soup to lemon cheesecake panna cotta to best butter chicken ever to pantry essentials in an non-negotiable hour of power. Nourishing your family with quality, real food is simple, basic to basics home cooking. Change the way we do our shopping and change how we approach new ways of eating. Teach our kids real food, take time to spend with our kids, talk with our kids makes a difference when going through change.

Food is Medicine

Top: Alexx Middle: Isaac and Jo Bottom: Helen and Char

I had the honour of meeting Kelly Brogan MD‬. Kelly is such an inspiration to me and I am extremely grateful to Kelly for her focus on maternal mental health including postpartum psychosis and showing us that we do have ‪‎capacity to heal‬. Thank you MINDD Foundation for bringing Kelly to Sydney.

Kelly

Kelly Brogan and me!

Listening to Kelly Brogan speak about the root cause of depression and anxiety and the power of our food was awe inspiring. We need to stop looking at the symptoms and start asking WHY? The whys are sugar imbalance, gluten sensitivity, nutrient deficiencies, and thyroid autoimmunity. Depression is an inflammatory response, a symptom not a disease.

Medication is not better than doing nothing. We don’t know what medications are doing to our microbiome. We are passing the damaged microbiome onto the next generation. The principle mental health intervention needs to be dietary recommendations.

We have knowledge inside us how to interact with food in a healing way but it is hijacked early with processed foods. We have to get back to food as information for gene expression and our microbiome. We need to speak to our nervous system in a different way.

Your body’s ability to heal is greater than anyone has permitted you to believe.

“Through the alchemy of my darkest nights I heal and thrive. Today I rise!”

A beautiful and moving video shared by Kelly Brogan at the end of her talk which had most of the room in tears. We as women will transform this world!

Today I rise

Kira Sutherland spoke about the basic principles of healthy living for optimal wellness are natures 7 healers, of which most of us manage to achieve 2-3. However, if we achieve exercise this cascades into other areas and we are almost always then able to achieve all 7 healers. Exercise helps us to be better adapted to stresss, strengthens our immune system, improves our gut flora, helps our organs to detox, has been shown to be just as good as anti-depressant medications but with positive side effects. 

Exercise

Kira Sutherland

Other speakers included Erica Peirson on hypothyroidism in children on how brain development and every cell is dependent on the thyroid horone, pregnancy is a stress test on the thyroid and how the microbiome should be nurtured as much as the newborn itself; Elizabeth Mumper spoke about the Management of Prenatal and Postnatal Risk Factors of Autism and that so many things have changed so quickly for our kids and the basic recommendations for pregnancy include a well-balanced, organics, non-GMO diet, green your home, reduce stress, get enough sleep, regular exercise and avoid toxins; and Annalies Corse on Maternal Health and the nutritional considerations for conception, pregnancy, birth recovery  and the 4th trimester, and that it can take greater than 6 weeks for recovery after birth as this transition can be very stressful both emotionally and physiologicaly which can then further deplete us of nutrients and energy, with a labour + c-section birth the hardest delivery from an emotional point of view.

The postpartum period is a time when women tend to be amenable to health counselling; this provides a tremendous opportunity for promoting lifelong healthy habits.

–¬†Annalies Corse

Help the brain heal the gut. A major aha moment for me listening to Dr Carlo Rinaudo talk about the role of the vagus nerve. If the brain is not working properly you have reduced brain-gut activation affecting gut and immune health. The vagus nerve is our largest cranial nerve connected to many different organs in our body.

Low vagal nerve activation results in

  • reduced gut motility
  • reduced release of digestive enzymes
  • reduced blood flow which reduces repair and nutrient transport
  • leaky gut leading to inflammation and autoimmunity

The typical response for low vagal tone is a sympathetic dominant state: adrenal stress, anxiety, poor sleep, hormone imbalances and poor posture. The vagus nerve stimulation has used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions, stress, anxiety and depression.

I had vasovagal syncope‬ (fainting) after the birth of my son in the weeks before developing ‪‬postpartum psychosis. The pieces of my health puzzle are starting to come together.

Vagus Nerve

Dr Carlo Rinaudo

Right time, right place meeting Holly Bridges with a lovely long chat with Holly about the polyvagal theory and the 3 responses to stress: flight, fight and freeze. Our body goes into survival mode, into a state of safety, into a shut down response thanks to a weak control of the vagus nerve. With the help of neuroplasticity it is possible to reconnect the mind-body connection and re-engage the brain.

Holly has a fantastic, easy to read, easy to understand book explaining the polyvagal theory and how this impacts people with Autism. A huge piece of my health puzzle has been ‘reframed’. Thank you Holly!

Reframe Book

Holly Bridges

My books from the ‚Ä™MINDD Forum 2016.¬†¬†So grateful to get my copy A Mind of Your Own signed by Kelly Brogan MD. Finally got my hands on Bubba Yum Yum’s The Paleo Way and get it signed by Char and Helen.

books

Books from MINDD 2016

Save the date for the third weekend in May 2017 for next years MINDD Forum!

 

Functional Nutrition Course

 

Down to Earth

I finally got my very own copy of Down to Earth by Rhonda Hetzel. This has been my go to guide for everything simple living from housework to life stages to savings to finding your rhythm. I am so grateful for the numerous times I have borrowed this book from the library. This week I was looking forward to meeting Rhonda this week on The Simple Home book tour! She has been such an inspiration in the changes I have made in my life.

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Rhonda and I at the Library Talk

On Thursday I attended Rhonda’s library book talk at Kogarah Library¬†talking about all things simple living. Rhonda chatted with us how she went from overwhelmed, stressed and burnt out to taking control of life, being self reliant, happy and content in her simple home. Rhonda stopped work and had to replace the income and reduce the cost of living so she started with her food budget. From trying different recipes, new¬†ways of shopping, ways of storing food and not wanting to waste food, Rhonda made her food from scratch and found that it was easier, cheaper, tasted better and was fresher than store bought food. From her food Rhonda moved to reducing the chemicals that she was brining in her home. Rhonda was all about taking the good parts of the old ways and bringing them into the now, simple living with a focus on her home. We all have a busy life and we can pick and choose different possibilities of simple living, and once you are organised usually things are easy on a day to day level.

So many gems of wisdom

  • There are a wide range of things possible to a simple home
  • Being organised is important
  • Buying things we keep, like clothes, are assets and we should look after them
  • Money is a tool
  • Choose local over organic
  • Make your own laundry liquid
  • Many don’t look after themselves, be kind to you
  • Craft used to be part of housework

Check Down to Earth out in your local library or get a copy from Biome. You can also listen to Rhonda here at The Slow Home Podcast.

A big thank you to Rhonda for sharing her know-how and her new book The Simple Home with us. It was a pleasure to meet you and thank you for signing my copy of my book Down to Earth.

 

 

 

Mrs Wishy Washy

Since first reading Down to Earth by Rhonda Hetzel I have wanted to give it a go in making my own laundry liquid. I thought it would be hard, time-consuming and fiddly. How wrong I was!

I made my first batch just before Christmas and this has lasted just under 3 months including many washes for night time toilet training. No longer washing day or night cloth nappies gave me a great opportunity to start to make my own laundry liquid. For laundry powder and liquids suitable for cloth nappies look here.

Laundry Liquid

Laundry Liquid Step by Step

There are only 3 ingredients to homemade laundry liquid, 4 if you count the water. Soap, washing soda, and borax.¬†The recipe I started off with was Rhonda’s blog Down to Earth Have you tried homemade laundry liquid, and Homemade laundry liquid revisited. However I was not keen on the borax, as I think ant poison straight away and I am unclear of the environmental impact. Rhonda’s blog posts have some great comments and tips at the bottom from many of Rhonda’s readers.

The recipe I choose to use was Melissa from Frugal and Thriving, a borax free recipe. This week I made my second batch.

My product cost:

  • 7.95 soap
  • 3.99¬†washing soda 1kg
  • Half an hour of my¬†time

Cost of Ingredients:

  • 7.95 1 bar of soap
  • 1.00 1 cup of washing soda

Total for 10 Litres = $8.95, that’s less than a $1 a litre!

Many of the recipes I found on how to make laundry liquid or powder recommended using any old soap, or sunlight soap, or lux flakes for ease of use.¬†Soap ain’t soap!

  • Lux flakes Ingredients:¬†Soap, Perfume.
  • Sunlight Soap:¬†Sodium Tallowate, Water, Sodium Cocoate, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance, Etidronic Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, CI 11680, CI 16255, Potassium Hydroxide.

Sure this may be the cheap, standard option but I want my laundry liquid to be safe to use with no nasties like fragrance, perfume or EDTA. I refer to my Twenty8 Additive card when I am out shopping to check what ingredients to avoid in my personal care products. You can also refer to Chemical Maze or Skin Deep to look up the ingredients and check for yourself what is safe for you and your family.

I went looking for soap and I choose Dr Bronners Pure Castile Unscented bar soap; safe ingredients but compromising on palm oil, sorry orang-utans.

I choose the unscented soap so that I can add my own essential oils and know the quality of the essential oils that are being used with my laundry. I choose what is safe for me and safe for the environment, nothing synthetic or adulterated. I add 3-5 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil to each load as a stain remover as well as its high anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antiseptic properties. Every few loads I will add 3-5 drops of Tea Tree essential oil to a load for its anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties.

Tips

  • Use a pot just for soap making – just to be safe. I share my soap pot with my mum.
  • Best made when¬†children are not around.
  • Washing soda can be found in most supermarkets, look on the top or bottom shelves.
  • Have enough containers handy to store more than 10L of liquid as you need space in container to shake before use.
  • The liquid is more like gel and will separate, it is still good to use.
  • Have a scoop to store with your liquid. I choose to re-purpose my plastic 1/3 measuring cup dedicated to laundry. (I have stainless steel measuring cups for cooking).
  • Have a smaller working container for everyday use and decant as needed out of the larger containers. I use a large 10L ice cream tub from my local cafe.
  • Any of the first aid oils would be a great choice to add to your laundry liquid and will give a beautiful and fresh aroma to you clothes and linen.

If you are more a powder than a liquid person, check out Stuart’s¬†recipe.

If you are not keen on making your own laundry liquid, Jo from Down to Earth Mum has some great tips on how to choose the best laundry liquid or powder. My favourite store-bought eco-friendly laundry liquid is Kin Kin Naturals. Some other great laundry options can be found here and here.

Mrs Wishy Washy was a popular children’s¬†book from my 1990s school days¬†which I can still picture in my mind when I do the washing!¬†Have you tried making your own laundry liquid?

In Praise of Slowness

“Rescuing the next generation from the cult of speed means reinventing our whole philosophy of childhood”.

“In Praise of Slowness: How a Worldwide Movement is Challenging the Cult of Speed” by Carl Honor√©.¬†A compelling read that I can relate to in so many ways. How we are controlled by time and a fast paced society. From the slow food movement, meditation, health care, parenting, leisure time, work and schooling, slowing down can be positively beneficial.

“Perhaps the greatest challenge of the Slow movement will be to fix our neurotic relationship with time itself”.

Brooke at Slow your Home has interviewed Carl on her podcast The Slow Home¬†Carl Honor√© Talks Technology, Good Slow and Getting to Know Your Butcher ‚Äď SHP009¬†. Its well worth the listen.

Here is Carl’s TED talk: In Praise of Slowness.

Back In Six Weeks a novel | Sharon Gerdes, Author

Kate wants it all-her career as a food scientist, her sexy pilot husband, and a family. After the birth of her second child a postpartum psychosis derails her plans.

Source: “Back In Six Weeks” a novel | Sharon Gerdes, Author

Via: Postpartum Psychosis Awareness Facebook

Book available here.

Rebuilding from the inside out

My life had crashed down around me and I was literally left holding the baby. I never heard of Postpartum Psychosis, let alone heard of anyone getting through the ordeal, so I was left floundering for answers why. Why had it happened to me?

As I searched the net reading stories of other women and their experiences I discovered Rebuild from Depression. It struck a cord with me as I had a idea¬†that part of the reason as to why I developed Postpartum Psychosis was that I was deficient in some sort of nutrient or vitamin or mineral, and that giving birth had depleted what little of this something I had left thus tipping me over the edge. I was focused on Omega 3 as I already knew that I had a fatty acid deficiency with having ‘chicken’ skin since I was a teenager. I knew from my university studies that¬†researchers were starting to investigate fish oil tablets as a treatment for depression. I read the free¬†chapter on ‘Deficits in a World of Plenty’ from Rebuild from Depression on how deficiencies in Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, B12, B6 and folic acid are implicated in depression. This¬†catapulted me to find more information about nutrition in our modern world.

Through blog hopping I stumbled across Changing Habits and loved the philosophy around nutrition, eating real food and making simple healthy changes in our lives. I borrowed the Changing Habits book from the library and was transfixed with the knowledge it contained and presented in simple chapter by chapter achievable changes.

I started small and simple, one change at a time to help rebuild me, to give my body what it needed to heal, all the while educating myself more on what what my body needed to heal from Postpartum Psychosis. I absorbed as much as I could through Cyndi at Changing  Habits, I attended the one day Changing Habits workshop in March  2014, and with dedication listened to everyone of the Up for a Chat podcasts, following up the said books, other podcasts, and influential people that sparked inspiration in me.

Following Changing Habits and Up for a Chat, I attended the Awaken the Change Within Retreat 2014.¬†This concept of rebuilding resonated with me during a session with James Colquhoun from Food Matters who recorded a live Up for a Chat podcast¬†with us during the retreat. Thinking about how your body builds a child James talked about how he and his wife prepared to become pregnant, rather than to wait and see when they will fall pregnant. James talked how he and his wife¬†sought expert advice on hormones, and began eating a more ancient diet like fermented foods, liver, bone broths, and other traditional foods which was different to how they were currently eating a¬†cleansing,¬†vegan/vegetarian diet. James’s philosophy was ‘What is the best way to make a baby?’. We face a lot of problems with nutrition these days, and there is no way we can not be exposed to chemicals. This is a huge challenge facing humanity, an epidemic of health. James believes that if we get preconception, gestation and the first 6 years of a child’s life right you can set up a child for a new future, not a degeneration of the species from poor nutrition. James mentioned Dr Cate‘s Deep Nutrition book where she studied facial shapes of women who have births too close together¬†don’t allow body to regenerate between birth so amount of nutrients available to subsequent children is diminished and they show signs of degeneration of species. James believes that there are ways to eat and live to regain and pass on that legacy of being as healthy as possible to people.

I now am rebuilding my self inside and out, piece by piece, cell by cell, mouthful by mouthful and thought by thought. I am nourishing my body with the goodness it needs. I am at peace with the idea I do not have to ‘rush’ to have another baby to have the ideal age gap between my¬†children. The more time I take to heal my body now the better the outcome will be for me and my family. Though I do not know if a better diet and lifestyle will act as a prevention to Postpartum Psychosis, I certainly feel better for eating real foods and living a slower, simpler, less stress lifestyle and that has to be good!

 

Changing Habits 21 Step Reset

Winning Streak

Last year I was was on a winning streak. Competitions pop up on Facebook all the time and I usually just ignore them. But I thought to myself ‘What have a got to lose?’. Writing 25 words or less is not going to hurt me and liking a post/page is simple. And guess what! I won, not just once but four times. I had an amazing year scattered with¬†unexpected prizes.

From KitchenAid I won a double pass to Cake Bake Sweets Sydney Show in March 2014. I got to spend an amazing day out with my close girl friend exploring everything baking and so many cakes! We got to meet the amazing Jo Richardson from KitchenAid, try a Alcohol Infused Breakfast Shot Cake Pop (think bacon, gatorade, maple syrup and whiskey mixed together) from the Pick your Poison Girls  and see Adriano Zumbo from a distance throwing macaroons to the crowd.

2014-03-21 010 Zumbo

Macarons

In August 2014 I won a $50 voucher for¬†Intimo Lingerie thanks to¬†Carren’s Couch¬† podcast Episode 18. ¬†I got this beautiful bra, the colour is exquisite and it is a perfect fit despite not having tried it on. I had been wanting to give Intimo a try since listening to the Up For a Chat podcast¬†about Cathy’s story. I can’t wait till I next need to purchase a bra!

2014-12-25 016 Intimo

Intimo Bra

From TriNature Lifestyle I won a double pass to Better Home and Gardens Show Sydney in September 2014. I was grateful for a simple day out with the family and my son enjoyed a train ride. Thinking it was a renovation style expo we were pleasantly surprised with the show and spent a lot longer than planned not even making it to all the stalls. We found many things that had been on our wish list like a salt lamp, Amazing Oils Magnesium oils, my long lost favourite strawberry and apple jam, and new sun glasses. We also reacquainted ourselves with our favourite wine man Gordo who now is with Tamburlane Organic Wines!

Recently in December 2014 I won a Headspace Meditation 3 month subscription from Postpartum Progress. I first heard about Headspace through the Up for a Chat podcast with Tim and Ness and the relationship with self. After listening to the podcast I downloaded the app (look for white background with an orange circle) and it sat in my phone. Whilst I was away at Awaken the Change Within Retreat, my sister borrowed a book from the library, loved it and passed it on to me. It was Headspace by Andy Puddicombe. A few weeks later I was reading Postpartum Progress and there was Headspace calling out to me. Over the next three months I will embark on path to mindfulness, I will keep you posted how it goes.

Thanks to competitions my life has been enriched though great days out, trying out amazing products and now I am learning about mindfulness. So next time you see a competition pop up in your news-feed, give it a go, you never know where it may lead you!

 

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