health

Sugar High: The Big Come Down

Sugar and I have been close for a very long time. For about as long as I can remember. After lunch in junior high, it was routine to have a Twix bar after my pizza or bagged burrito, and though I did become educated in the ways of healthy eating, I still have that routine sugar craving after a meal. Usually now I have something with the words "gluten free!" "organic!" or "rich in antioxidants!" smeared all over the packaging, thinking that it makes it okay. When I say "thinking" I mean...like, not really thinking that at all, just sort of excusing. Falsely. I'm just lying is what I'm doing. 

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It's never been a real problem. I have a healthy metabolism, and yeah I've gotten a cavity or two but the cool thing about sugar is that it doesn't effect any other parts of you except for your teeth. Right? 

WRONG. 

I recently turned 28 and though I still feel relatively invincible, I began noticing what could only be described as a chronic state of fatigue mixed with a yeast infection. Grooooss, aw man, why me, what?? I'm healthy though! I totally don't deserve this! Or do I? I do? 

There have been a lot of fun-to-hate Whole Foods'esque catch words that have blown up in the last few years. I'll spare you the list. The one I'm about to say is: CANDIDA. It's a real thing. It's so real that it can actually cause your digestion to completely poop out (no pun intended -  actually, pun intended, mainly because you'd be facing constipation - baddum ching! yay poop jokes), farty behavior, sensations resembling a constant UTI or bladder infection, and in a woman's case, a nonstop super PMS. This means irritability, depression, blorpiness, sore boobs, water retention, what the pizza community calls The Works. Oh and since candida feeds off of sugar, you tend to crave it a LOT. This doesn't just mean candy either. Breads, pastas (glucose), starches, cheese, alcohol, juice, anything that digests as sugar in your body. 

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What does "candida" even mean anyway? Well, the word itself describes a specific micro-flora in your intestines. It's a good guy. Thing is, it usually grows slowly. But if you've recently experienced anything that could throw your digestive bacteria out of whack (such as an illness, antibiotics, or sudden binging) your stomach freaks out and suddenly candida bacteria are growing much quicker than usual. 

So How Do I Beat This Thing?

Not easily! Can't sugarcoat it, it's a doozy, but one worth the effort. Get comfortable with the color GREEN. I'm currently undergoing treatment and opting for the holistic route. It's not a bad way to go. There are lots of actual Candida Cleanse kits you can check out from any organic grocer, or get online. I've been seeing an acupuncturist who directly aids in unblocking my energy flow, as well as taking herbs to support my digestion through this process. I also take liquid chlorophyll everyday in water which oxygenates and cleans blood, as well as a liquid vitamin B and acidophilus. As for diet, I'm off gluten, booze, dairy, candies, chocolate, ice cream...and let's be real, this is difficult. I'll have a little bit of coconut milk ice cream (and I mean a LITTLE) a few times a week. However, I've discovered that the less sugar I eat, the less accustomed to having it I become - and in turn, the less I crave it. Oh, and hydration is such a major factor in this process!! Having plenty of water in your body keeps you energized, which leaves little to no need for a sugar high. Often times we are not getting adequate oxygen to our brains and think we need energy (i.e. food) to wake up. While calories are definitely necessary for a functional brain and body, they can both also be damaged by them when used irresponsibly. Be sure you're drinking and eating enough water (consume leafy greens, low glycemic fruits like raspberries and blackberries, juicy vegetables like cucumber), paired with a healthy amount of physical activity. Work the body, stretch it out, keep it hydrated, and you'll feel like a champ. 

Honestly it's really basic stuff. When I really think about it, I'm pretty happy that my body has a limit. There are always indicators so it's important to listen to the ol' bod and make sure you're treating it well. I'll watch myself clean my apartment top to bottom then reward myself with an ice cream sandwich. Feels like I've been cheating on my body with a much sleazier partner. Overall I'm excited about this, and look forward to passing out less often, and feeling the best I can in this one glorious lifetime. 

Questions? Comments? Lemme at 'em. Live long and prosper, my folks! 


That One Time in Australia - BRUNCHES + BEACHES

Earlier in the year I spent a week In Sydney and the surrounding area. I've been reflecting on the time I was there, and realized that basically anywhere that had dreary weather has been floating around in my mind. Los Angeles has been parched, and to experience a little bit of the Australian rain and wet air again would be a dream come true.

The Stockton Sand Dunes near Port Stephens. Whale vertebrae pictured below.

Oxford Street + Paddington

There seemed to be a strong emphasis on healthy eating, which was what I found in London as well! This isn't a trend I'm bothered by in the slightest. Pictured: The Hill Eatery

My favorite restaurant I encountered, called Bootsdarling was the best brunch I'd had since Puerto Rico. If you happen to be in the Darlinghurst area, don't miss this spot, and order one of everything.

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Bondi Beach. I do love the rain but was pleased to find the temperature perfect and the skies clear for my days here.

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Strolling around Bondi in the evening. Marvelously beautiful.

The Satellite Cafe! Loved this spot. A great option for vegans and vegetarians looking to get their brunch on.

This is not to be missed. I had no idea what I was ordering but I got it purely based on the fact that the ingredients included "fairy floss" and "magic".

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STEADY MORNING JAM (and meditation!) RATATAT - CHERRY

Hey guys. There's something I wanna talk about. 

As of late, my fella and I have decided that taking a break in the morning to meditate could lend itself to our lives in a pretty positive way. Being a sensitive human is a cool gift, but as all other sensitive humans know, it's a thing that requires maintenance, attention, and love. This can come in many forms, whether it's

  • treating oneself to a home cooked meal
  • having an illuminating conversation
  • making love
  • watching a movie
  • watering and talking to your plants
  • stretching and strengthening
  • enjoying an expansive view
  • picking fresh fruits or vegetables
  • feeling grass or sand or cool water between toes
  • maintaining eye contact
  • writing in a journal
  • sharing a quote or idea
  • creating art
  • feeling the sun on skin or drops of rain
  • spending time with animals
  • hearing a song you forgot you loved
  • crying
  • eating with intention
  • walking
  • watching the world move...

...this list is making me happy, if you have anything to contribute to it please let me know and I'll make another post of everyones ideas!!

ANYway. What I'm trying to get to is this. There are many, many ways to accomplish self-maintenance, but beginning with a simple sit in silence is one of the most beautiful introductions to a steady day that's ever been invented. There's definitely a reason that meditation has passed the test of time, and even gained popularity in recent years. There is a science to it, as well as a deeply personal spiritual value. It covers many angles and truly establishes balance within our Selves. The "Selves" meaning the mental, emotional, and spiritual. This is the holy trinity of everyone, and is within us all. 

Phil and I decided to start at five minutes. I haven't regularly meditated for years, and there is something of a process to undergo when you're first starting out or reintegrating. Lots of old stagnant energies get shaken awake in order to go up and out, clearing your senses more and more. These come in the form of emotions and actions, and should be treated with understanding and compassion. From feeling elated to feeling the bluest of the blue, meditation is meant to gently shake off the old dirt and mud to reveal the jewel beneath. It can be scary, exciting, and eye opening. Having a partner to embark on this path with, though not required, is always welcome. 

Five minutes a day makes a world of difference. Yes, the blinders fall away. Yes, it can be a challenge. Yes you will awaken to things that may conflict with your standard way of living, but you will always find out why, and you will always grow from it, so long as patience is given a chance. Eventually the world will seem small, and you will feel even smaller, and infinitely huge all at once. That's called Cosmic Consciousness, by the way. Pretty cool stuff. 

Just to emphasize how little of a commitment five minutes is, I bestow a song upon your day. This is an old favorite, and is (perfectly) just over five minutes long. Give it a listen while you update your pintrest, scroll through twitter, or check facebook and watch how quickly the song ends. That was over five minutes of your life which you for whatever reason may often think you don't have. Try to not flake out on your own growth. Offer yourself five minutes to med. You don't need anything but your own ass to sit on. Seriously. That's all it takes. Sit. Breathe. Use a mantra if you'd like, which can be anything from "love" to "Ohm" or whatever else you find inspiring and beautiful. I know Christians who meditate on "God" or "Jesus" and other people who use no mantra at all. Let your eyes drift closed, and simply be. Thoughts are fine, scratching your arm is fine, checking the time is fine, making notes in your notebook is fine. Don't stress about what is "right" or not, just go with it. Whatever "it" is to you. If you find a method that works, make it a part of your life. Eventually you may want to extend your practice, or it will start happening all on its own! I'd be surprised if it didn't, actually. 

Enjoy the track, guys! May the force be with you (because it already is). 

Just as a side note, I'm 100% always open to questions or comments. Feel free to leave a comment here, or send me a private email. :)