Archives for the month of: January, 2014

The last days of supplements are nigh. Have you repented? Sometimes I think that this new found healthy lifestyle is actually detrimental for my health. Woke up this morning with a black eye and busted knuckle from training but that probably won’t stop me from going again today. Maybe I am just self destructive or maybe I am Bruce Lee reincarnated (definitely the latter considering I always played as Marshall Law in Tekken).

 

Today I have decided to write about spirulina (and no that isn’t Cinderella’s twin sister who ended up living a life of forced manual labour after her sister ran off). Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae originally found in tropical lakes. It was first noted to have been used by the Aztecs as a daily food source and naturally harvested from lakes. Now it is produced commercially in man made ponds and lakes. 

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Looks less like a supplements and more like something Scooby Doo should be running away from.

 

So what is the big deal and if it is so good then where are the Aztecs now (a victim of their vengeful Gods who I am now genuinely afraid of). Well it contains a super high amount of protein for starters. According to the Aztec God of knowledge (wikipedia), it equals the protein in eggs and most meats and has way more protein than most plant based sources (such as lentils, chick peas etc). In fact it is so high in protein that NASA and the European Space Agency are proposing it to be one of the primary foods to be cultivated during long-term space missions. Now I’m starting to think that maybe the Aztecs just up and left Earth for Mars.

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Actual image from NASA of a Martian Aztec

 

Spirulina has also shown promising affects to help tackle autoimmune diseases (CROHN’S). A bacteria found in the gut called Candida has been known to worsen the affects of these autoimmune disorders and while Spirulina is not a cure for it, it has been found to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut and prevent an overgrowth of Candida. Spirulina is nutritionally awesome and a great source of protein especially if you are vegetarian or vegen.

For my tune I have pick a conscious hip hop classic from back in the day. Hip hop is not just an art but a way of thought.

 

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Man this 12 Days of Supplements thing is taking ages. Seemed like such a good idea when I started. It still is a good idea but I am just being lazy. Plus I have loads of other things I want to talk about. But lets stick with the supplements for now and not get sidetracked. Anyone remember magnesium from primary school science? Burns with a bright light and therefore awesome? It looked like the chemical equivalent of a HADOUKEN! That is actually the chemical term. Check any chemistry book. I dare you. Well it is also a super cool supplement.

According to the NHS (anyone that pronounces that ‘nahus’ has been watched way to much Ali G aaaiiiight) it helps turn the food that we eat into energy and also helps produce the hormones that are important for bone health. Taking vast amounts of steroids decreases bone density so this is an important supplement. Usually it does not need to be taken as a supplement as we should be getting all we can from a healthy and balanced diet. Hands up if you are currently having a healthy and balanced diet. Exactly.

Check this bit below from WebMD:

Severe magnesium deficiencies are rare. They are more likely in people who:

  • Have kidney disease
  • Have Crohn’s disease or other conditions that affect digestion
  • Have parathyroid problems
  • Take antibiotics or drugs for diabetes or cancer
  • Are older adults
  • Abuse alcohol

Ahhh see anything interesting there. How about the bit where is says ‘Severe magnesium deficiencies are rare. They are more likely in people who have CROHN’S DISEASE OR OTHER CONDITIONS THAT AFFECT DIGESTION. SAY WHAAT! For reals y’all. Seriously I feel like less of a moron now for taking it without question. But still it is always good to question.

So while this may not necessarily help my Crohn’s, it will help other factors and parts of my body that are affected by my Crohn’s and this goes back to my original reason for starting this blog. No doctor told me that there could be a chance I was magnesium deficient and that could affect my bones and energy because they don’t look at the body holistically. They focus on one area and try and fix it without considering the fact that they might be doing damage somewhere else. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful because I am very lucky to have been seen by some amazing doctors under the NHS but there comes a time when I have to take my health into my own hands.

Finally I would like to appeal to everything reading this. I would like to put together am IBD meet up group based in London to give other suffers a place to voice there experiences, good or bad, and generally just share what they have discovered about themselves while having this disease. Also I would like to use it as an excuse to find some good, IBD friendly food places to ransack. If this is something that you would like to be involved in or you know anyone that has any form of IBD that you think may benefit from talking to others in a similar situation then please get in contact at tranquiltummy@gmail.com. I am hoping to organise the first meet at the end of Feb or beginning of March so spread the word and get in touch. Thanks.

Beat time. A tune that should be an IBD anthem. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR! New year, new resolutions, same world. Not sure what that is supposed to mean (my own cynicism probably). There is quite a few things I want to talk about including carrying on writing about supplements. Still finding all that stuff really interesting. Firstly the reason for my hiatus. It is mainly due to my health. I finished my job just under a month about and came out of it during a flare up. Spent the next week or so in bed and took me quite a while to recover. To be honest, I am only now starting to feel a little bit normal. Back to training and eating healthy.

One thing that I am in the process of coming to terms with is the lack of stability in my life. I went to the hospital yesterday and there is a very real possibility that I will need another operation in the future. Obviously I am going to everything I can to prevent that and that means fully changing my lifestyle. I have already improved leaps and bounds in my diet and I have stopped drinking. Didn’t even drink on NYE. How good is that? Very good I hear you say. Thank you. But that conversation got me thinking about how much my life is like a wave. Massive ups and downs, the goal being to make the most of the peaks to prevent the troughs.

I have an exciting and horrible feeling that this is going to be a make or break year for me. I have given myself a couple of months to get myself back on track. But I now need to start thinking about making sure my life takes into consideration my disease. Don’t worry if I am not making sense. I actually don’t really understand what I am saying but I am trying. That is all I can do right. I am also going to be organizing a meet up for other people with Crohn’s. It hopefully will be in conjunction with UCLH but if not then it will just be at a coffee shop somewhere (location ideas accepted, I was thinking Leon’s). As soon as I have more of a plan finalized then I will let y’all know.

So the supplement I wanted to talk about was Omega oils and fish oils. I have always been told to take them for my joints and skin. But why? I don’t know? Do you know? No? Well let me carry on then. Rude. These omega oils (predominately omega 3 and 6) are known as essential fatty acids and the reason it is so important that we take these as supplements is that our body does not make them ourselves (itself? I don’t know the proper grammar for that) (actually I don’t know proper grammar full stop (grammar pun…boo ya)) (seriously what the hell is a semi colon).

They are mainly found in fish oils but generally people don’t eat enough fish (hence the supplements). They are super duper for the heart and have been known to reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease. AND (check this out), Professor Bruce Caterson of Cardiff University showed that the essential fatty acids in fish oils “switch off enzymes that cause inflammation and pain of arthritis”. I literally copy and pasted that last sentence from the Guardian website so it must be true. How super cool is that. Anyway give them a go along side your new years resolution to eat healthier and generally be less of an awful human being. Not saying you are but that is what new years resolutions do. ‘Oh I suck at this’ or ‘oh I need to do this’. Seriously no one cares that you change your whole life in January. Fix up for the rest of the year and people will notice. And that is my angry rant over. Man I feel happier.

New Years TUNEAGE!!! This dude is from Brazil and is awesome!