Daily Archives: January 8, 2020

My lifestyle for food, skin and health (or what little there is of it)

A few people will be astounded to learn I am nearly forty as a few people believe that they think I am in my mid-twenties, I don’t look my age apparently.   Have been told by a lot of people that they believe me to be incredibly young, three or four years ago were the last time I tried to buy alcohol and was asked for ID because the seller felt I was seventeen, which wowed me.  Maybe he just fancied me?  But I have had straight female friends who are much younger than me have their mouths drop open when they realise I am fifteen years their senior.

I believe it has something to do with how I treat my skin and what I like to eat and drink.  I took Honour Blackman’s advice when she was on a show when I was around eleven years of age that she has never washed her face, she uses only moisturiser with some cotton which she dabs and never rubs.  I do indeed wash my face but never put soap on it ever, I wash with plain filtered water, hot first then ice cold, I do use a moisturiser about once a week which is Nivea crème, I use this crème on my face, elbows and knees, my elbows and knees are as smooth as a child’s.  I drink cranberry or raspberry juice twice a day, I drink a lot of water with very, very watered down fruit juice concentrates, I have never really been one for tea or coffee, I never grew up.  I drink around six pints of fluids a day if I am not having a bad day, on bad days my body can’t keep fluids down.  I drink green tea about three times a week and a hot honey and lemon most days.  I love berries and eat them daily, prunes, raisins, dates when I have sugar cravings.  Chicken and fish being my main meats with lamb once a week if I can afford it; lately lamb is a once a month treat.  I love pickles and sauerkraut and I aim to eat a whole cup full of green leafy vegetables per day.  My diet has to be gluten and lactose free because of intolerances which make my illnesses much worse, two years ago I was hospitalised with bronchitis only to find out that with other symptoms I had, I had severe intolerances and my health has improved vastly since shifting onto a free from diet.  I consider my diet to be a semi-paleo, Mediterranean and Asian diet these days.  I say semi-paleo because I like beans and pulses and I will eat gluten free rice, pasta, oats and potatoes, hard-core paleo dieters will slap my wrists for those.  Despite all of this I am very overweight still, though slowly losing the weight since the shift.  I am around forty pounds lighter than I was before the lifestyle change.

I will admit that temptations do set in and I often sneak in gluten and lactose into my diet with severe ramifications which affect me for three to five days after eating them, I have done this around once a month since the change.  I am getting tired of this and getting to the extent that if I don’t have enough fruit and vegetables in my day I actually feel really ill, so it has got to the extent that I need to eat around five pieces of vegetables and a fruit a day in order to feel relatively ok in comparison.  I am happy recently that I have found free from Paninis, hot dog rolls, burger buns, naans and tortillas which don’t take like cardboard, so the idea of becoming totally gluten free permanently is more doable.  I have found lactose free whipped cream and single cream, which also helps and the other day on TV I learned that Hotel Chocolat does lactose free options which is exciting, because I love truffles, which they do lactose free – I generally don’t like chocolate much though because it clogs my ears up sometimes, so chocolate is a once a month treat and it is usually only about three or four mouthfuls. 

I am impossible to cater for food wise because of my allergies.  I am intolerant to gluten and lactose, allergic to pineapple, flax/linseeds, camomile, thyme, shouldn’t really eat eggs as it gives me wind, should avoid binging on chocolate due to ear blockages, there is an unknown spice at the local take away which also causes my mouth to burn and swell, never knew what that was!  Beef can affect me in a bad way if I eat it more than once a week; I eat starchy foods but not too much because that affects my body too.  Certain candies can make me extremely hyperactive mentally and sometimes physically which can be dangerous when ill.  I am really difficult to cater for since discovering these allergies and reactions.  When explaining to a friend at Henry’s school a few months ago called Dee, she shook her head looked at me and asked “what do you eat”?  At the time I was good for seven months solid, without breaking my free from diet at all and I had 9 weeks of what I call, normal health, then I caught a cold and thought fuck it all!  I never did get that streak back.  Purely because the government cut our benefits by £200 a month, so the above diet I had is no longer possible!  At the time it was very strict, I only had gluten free products once a week to satisfy beans on toast cravings or ham and pickle sandwich cravings.  I still ate eggs a lot though, but it was a windy time.  I had health, but I stank, but that was OK for me, unless I was on a bumpy ride on a bus.  I ate fish, poultry and lamb, salads and vegetables, I made sauerkraut three times a week, I had lactose free cheese and omelettes with samphire and spinach.  It was tasty, but boring and predictive and being on benefits I can’t afford to eat as regularly as a normal person should.  I can’t afford it on a strict paleo diet, whether it benefits my health or not, I do not have the money for three prime optimum meals per day.  My doctor is concerned with the lack of certain vitamins my body isn’t having because of food cost.  In fact so much so, we’ve recently become members of a food bank, referred by my son’s young carers group.  They’ve recommended the only food I should buy is the food I need, the food for my son and Paul should come from the food bank.  It is a sorry arrangement, but something we can’t refuse at this stage. 

That’s my situation. 

It baffles me that I eat all these fruits and veg with a piece of meat or fish a day and yet I am still not getting enough nutrients.  I can’t afford nuts, I can’t afford to have meat more than once a day, I can’t afford, seeds, I can’t afford red meat, or canned fruit, or exotic fruits which are highest in vitamins.  I can’t afford avocados, or shrimps etc. 

What I can afford and have almost always in my kitchen available to me are chicken legs, cans of tuna, sweet potatoes, potatoes, gluten free pasta, gluten free rice, gluten free porridge, prunes, dates, apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, spinach, kale, carrots, peas, onions, ham for sandwiches, gluten free bread, sweet pickle (not entirely allergy free), mayonnaise, baked beans, parsnips and sweetcorn, swede and cod fillet.  That’s all we can afford for me.

I have eaten this diet and only this diet with the occasional food from Paul and Henry, such as crisps, biscuits and fish fingers (not allergen free) for about a year and it is sending me insane.

I could afford better food if my doctors were able to get a grip on many of my symptoms.  My illnesses dictate that I need tissues for my sinus problem and I need an average of 12 to 20 boxes a week just for the sinus and chest problem!  That is how much mucus I produce in a week, 20 boxes worth; I get no extra financial support for this.  I also need regular sprays for sore throat, Vaseline because my nose gets sore and dry, hay fever tablets because of my other allergies; I need approximately 12 to 20 painkillers a week.  I was told by my consultant that I need to have Canestan ear drops (as they do them as ear drops too) as often as possible but they said they won’t pay for more than a certain amount but you can buy them over the counter at £5 a week on average.  I need to have these drops all the time and I am not overusing them apparently, despite my fears.  Because my ears seem to have a permanent inner skin infection, which in layman’s terms means I have a permanent ear infection, try living with that!  Because of my digestive problems I was told to bulk up on specific vitamin pills which the NHS cannot provide, so again, I need vitamin C, calcium, for some reason kelp and zinc primarily and have been recommended to double doses per day.  I need a psoriasis medicated specific shampoo and body wash, again unavailable on the NHS and this costs me £12 a fortnight for the strength I need.

So when you look at all that, you can see how I can easily come into debt and cannot afford a better diet, whilst being on benefits.

If doctors got a handle on my symptoms I would instantly become £45 a week richer.  I was told recently that our local NHS is struggling to the extent they no longer do hearing aid repairs, so I was told to go to boots, so I guess I will be paying for that too?

Ho hum, there you go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Social media following corps

This post is about what I call “The social media following corps” and how I feel about social media in general – it is not a rant, it is just an opinion and one that many people find both interesting and strange regarding my view of it all.

I have many social media accounts purely to try and network if I can, usually my time whether sick or not, dictates that I don’t really have time to squeeze in too much conversation with people who may not ever actually be involved in my offline life.  Many people, who follow me on the social networks I am on, are lucky to get a reply from me about once a month, but certainly over two thirds of my followers don’t even get that much attention from me.  It is confusing for me to understand how many people in the world of social media have full-time jobs, families, write as a side-line and still have time to spend twiddling away on mobile phones talking to thirty individuals a day and manage to remember and even get upset if someone has not replied to them for a set time frame and will go to the extent of deleting the said individual.  Where do people find the time to do all this and remember thousands of individual on their social media following page?  I can’t be like that – no more than I can do what my aunt and cousins constantly request of me, which is to take photographs and videos all the time on my mobile phone to prove to them that this certain day was as great as I said it was, that I did indeed go to the Severn Valley or Dudley Zoo, they want photographic proof all the time and I am just too busy living the moment to remember to pull out my phone every five minutes and I am made to feel alien because of it.  Is it really so weird to enjoy the moment without pushing buttons and capturing it all for the world to see?  Must I really take a photograph of that gluten and lactose free cheeseburger I found in Rugby that time?

I feel the world of social media can sometimes become too silly and compulsive.  By trying to capture the moment it often ruins the moment and makes the moment less personal – it’s that way for me anyway!

I like checking twitter and seeing who has made effort to try and communicate with me and I do try to reply to those I feel have something worth replying to.  Most of the time however I just say thanks for the heads up or thank you, or whatever it is usually just short and sweet and usually I hardly get anything back other than the same old same old.  I will always praise where I feel praise is truly due, I will not make a polite comment just to boost someone’s ego that is not me, I am very honest about my opinions of other people’s work.  I am not just nice for the sake of it, if I comment nicely to you, then you in my opinion are worthy of that comment and you should feel proud of yourself for doing great work.  My criticisms are there to help you along, improve you and I don’t usually bite that hard when I do so, I am tactful.  I am not like the guy who once told me that they believe that something I wrote was a one night bender after booze, that is just rotten and cruel and not very specific and constructive, it is just criticism for criticisms sake.

I have never understood the culture of follow Fridays.  I like and appreciate that people share my name with their followers, but I often wonder why?  I don’t do that myself and some people have unfollowed me for it as I rarely mention other people in my tweets unless I am specifically talking about them or to them.  I only follow people I find interesting and that goes for all social media and blogs, if I am following you, I genuinely like your work and I am interested in you as a person.  I am also quite an introvert with new people so it can take me awhile to try and make a conversation if I am the first one to start any kind of conversation.  I am a cautious person when conversing with new people because I have been raised in a very aggressive, uptight and insecure environment, where a relative of mine had their throat cut once just for looking at a person and allegedly smirking at them.  So you can understand my caution.

I am not anti-social, I just find it difficult to meet thousands of people’s expectations all of the time, every single day, when they are not actually involved in my personal offline life.  I always try to visit other bloggers who follow me here, but sometimes it is not always easy to get around some of their blogs and I am a bit of a luddite, if technology is difficult I don’t give it much time before I think “ugh, I can’t get my head around this, I have to go” because complicated technology makes me quick to anger.  Some people over complicate their blogs and that is where I think a lot of bloggers go wrong.  They hide things behind this tab and that tab and every time you go to their page their oldest introduction page is the first thing you see – whereas really it should be your latest post.  Because some people have so many tabs that their latest post could be hidden behind any twenty of those tabs, not the one you think it might be.  It is a crying shame as there is a lot of talent out there with people who just don’t know how to present their work appropriately.

Another thing which sort of upsets me regarding social media is the idea that because I am a writer, I must have had a book published somewhere, anywhere and that I must promote it to these other writers who are following me and if I never do that (and I never have) they question my authenticity as an author.  “Oh, but your profile says you are a writer and you follow me and you have retweeted my promotions I need to do the same for you”, yes but the problem is I am unpublished formally and I unlikely to have anything published within the next two to three years, realistically.  So they start to tell me how Amazon is a great medium for becoming published or other self-publishing places, I keep telling them I am not yet ready for this because there are some personal issues I need to clear up first but they never understand.

You see, I have been told that there are some medical conditions the doctor suspects I have, but our area has a two year waiting list to investigate anything let alone get to have a first appointment with a consultant – nobody is ready to hear that because they want my work and they want it now and these are just other writers, they are not even agents, publishers or anything like that.  It is both confusing and frustrating.

There are agents and publishers who know of me and like what little they know of me so far and they do try to send me prep talks from time to time, but really they know my situation too.  For the past several weeks I have been confined to my bed and house, my illness, whatever it is, is taking such a big toll on my body I can barely move these days.  So, I am fearful of many things because of this – as I spoke about yesterday, I am fearful of death.  I do fear that something has a tight grip on my body that maybe nobody will see the novels I have finished or half finished, the only thing the world will ever see is whatever I can manage to stick here on my blog. 

I am that sick that I am not even planning a future anymore.

Things should improve in about two or three years’ time, I don’t know why I have this idea that it will, because there is something at the back of my mind which keeps telling me that in 2023 everything will improve.  I don’t understand what it is, maybe it is the subconscious realisation that in three years’ time I will be forty and I have always heard people say and I have always believed it to be true as I have witnessed several women in my past, that life begins at forty.  So, maybe it is that, maybe it is something in the universe telling me it is just a health blip which will correct itself in three years’ time or maybe I am just being dumb.  But there is definitely something biting at me that my life will vastly improve by 2023.

 

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