Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life

Leave a comment

Why is my body failing me?

This is not really me,


I’ve been unwell for 11 days now. This cold or flu or viral infection or whatever it is seems to like me. I’m quite disappointed in my body.

I treat my body quite well. Sure, I indulge in a few beers or a glass of wine every now and then and I love a good piece of chocolate cake but come on; I’d rank high on a list of the most health conscious people who I know.  But for a second day in a row, I’m taking Panadol just to keep myself out of bed. Just when my chest is feeling better and I’m not coughing up a lung, the body aches decide to set up house.

And this post of unhealth comes exactly a year after my 53-year-old sister was diagnosed with cancer.  And her body failed her BIG TIME. She went from seemingly well to dead in less than 5 weeks. How does that happen?

How does a good person who spent their whole life doing everything right, suffer such an invasive, disturbing, shit-storm of a fate? It makes me wonder why I even bother to always eat right, exercise, tell the truth, pay my bills…all that “good person” stuff,  if anyone can be struck down in a month.

She didn’t even know what killed her. She died thinking that she had bowel cancer that spread to her liver, then lungs; rapidly. She knew there was nothing that doctors could do for her.

What she had was a very rare type of cancer called, NEUROENDOCRINE CARCINOMA. Although it is possible that she had the malignant cells in her bowel for up to 8 years prior to diagnosis, it was the aggressive nature of this rare form that raced through her body in the last weeks of life.

It was hard to accept that this was happening at the time and then when she died, I fell into a muddy pool of grief and regret.

Regret for choosing not to go home to Canada to see her and the grief was more for those left behind: her husband, her children, our parents, siblings, friends and co-workers. But I didn’t allow myself to get lost in it.

I knew stopping my life in the name of mourning was not going to do me any good and it certainly wouldn’t bring her back. I did turn to food.

There is probably even a post about me force-feeding myself lamington cake during fits of tears and stifled wailing. I do know it was during this time that I started this blog.

Now, I can remember her with love and a clear mind and not get too caught up in grief and regret; and without the need for cake.

I know not everyone is able to move on so quickly or so definitely. There are other family members who are still struggling with her death and it’s almost a year on.  I guess it is their journey and time will heal but that’s a moot point to someone stuck in that space.

I may not be grieving for my sister the way I did just after she died but that does not mean that I don’t wish things were different. Her battle has made me more aware of health issues but ultimately, I believe that everything happens for a reason.

Why my body is resisting the goodness I’m giving it, I do not know the reason. But it’s times like this when it is easiest to take note and decipher the message that is coming through.  My body obviously needs rest, nutrition and love…..things that I can give it myself, but is it enough? I’m sure my next post will be filled with how great I feel!!

Look after yourselves.


1 Comment

The Upside of Down

Considering I’m on a month-long get healthy kick, I haven’t felt very well since starting on August 1.

I was down for the count on day 2 with pain that I call withdrawal. Headache and low energy was surely due to lesser amounts of sugar and a ban from caffeine.

I have gone on and off caffeine for a year now but mostly; I have been caffeine-free. During the last week of July, when I knew another restriction period was coming up, I wasn’t as strict with it and consumed several cups of caffeinated coffee. I didn’t think my body would become addicted so fast, but it did. At least this time my headaches only lasted a day compared to up to 3 days in the past. Caffeine is one potent drug!  I even had to cancel a training session because I was in too much pain to perform.

Just when I settled into my newest regime of waking at 6:30am to meditate followed by 20-30 minutes of exercise, 6 year-old Master T got sick. He’s now on his 5th day off school but I contracted his illness on his 3rd day off. By his 4th day off, we all had it.

So, yesterday was a family stay at home, in bed day. All of us were unfit to be in public and Mr M had to have a day off work.

I must say, it wasn’t bad at all. Lazing in bed watching movies and the Olympics, napping on and off and having lots of extra cuddles is nothing to complain about. Mr M works 7 days a week most weeks so it’s not very often that a day in bed is possible. And how many couples with child (ren) would put everything else aside to spend 85% of the day in bed together anyway?

So next time the whole family is sick, why not take the opportunity to snuggle down to rest and re-connect. We may not be 100% better today but we are on the mend with a smile!

Now, it’s nap time again.

Remedies for the sickness.


Ways to Wellness for the Unwell

  1. Drink plenty lemon and honey drinks. Add 1-2 TBSP fresh lemon juice to a cup of boiling water. Stir in honey. Any measurements will do, it just depends on how tart/sweet you like it. Drink hot.
  2. Drink more. Plenty of water and fresh juices (if you have a juicer) are needed.
  3. Rest. Stay in bed. Be lazy. It’s vital.
  4. Sleep. Take Panadol/Tylenol if you need it to relieve body aches and get some shut-eye.
  5. Eat. Feed a cold, starve a fever.  Light meals like poached eggs on toast and homemade chicken soup/broth are age-old meals for the unwell. Fasting Restrict or limit all dairy if mucous is a problem.
  6. Go to the toilet. If you are not using the toilet several times a day, you are not drinking enough.  You want to release the unwanted toxins from your body.
  7. Supplement. Of course, vitamins and minerals are best found in the foods we eat but it doesn’t hurt to top up with a multi-vitamin or a daily vitamin C.
  8. Make and take. Apple cider vinegar is an all around daily tonic. Mix half a cup to half a cup of liquid honey to make a natural remedy for many ailments. Take 1 tsp 3 times daily.
  9. Think positive thoughts! I am well. I feel great. I am healthy.
  10. Hugs and smiles. It works for me!!!


What are nasal polyps?

Nasal polyps are small grape-like sacks that grow in the sinus cavity. There is no confirmed cause and there is no cure.

Symptoms are similar to hay fever and the common cold. When the polyps multiply, breathing becomes laboured. Some people suffer from sleep apnea and even lose all sense of smell.

Because there is no cure, the symptoms are generally suppressed by steroidal nasal sprays and prescription medication. For severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

I developed nasal polyps in 1994 but was misdiagnosed for a year. More than a year after that, I had my first surgery.

From 1996-2007, I struggled with these pesty growths, and asthma, trying several different western and eastern medications and lifestyle changes but with little relief. By 2006, I lost my sense of smell and taste for good.

In 2008, I had my second surgery. Within two months, the polyps were re-growing and my ENT would remove them in his office. After ten months of bi-monthly visits, he gave me the all clear to yearly check-ups.

Yearly checks were a mistake because come my first one, I was full up with polyps again. Once again, surgery was recommended.

He also recommended that I try a restricted diet and that maybe candida was an issue. I must say, I never had a big problem with thrush or other common candida issues. But alas, I gave it a go.

My doctor’s version of this anti-candida diet was not very strict, although I did think so at the time. He did not even restrict fruit!! I have to restrain for all the other culprits: gluten, dairy, all fermented food and drink (esp. alcohol), SUGAR, caffeine, nuts, dried fruit…..the list seemingly goes on and on.

I did feel much better; no more bloat or constipation. I did sleep better but my polyps remained.

On & on it went, until I started to cheat. Then I went on holiday to Asia and damn the diet. All food was back on the menu and I started drinking beer again.  I was on again off again from July 2010 until August 2011.

Then on August 15, I had my third surgery.

After my third nasal surgery....attractive, eh?

A week after, I started a very strict anti-candida diet, this time add to the resticted list: all fruit, all starchy or sweet vegetables. I did well for two weeks and felt great. I was over the moon when my sense of smell returned four days into the regime. Then my life changed and kept changing throughout September.

When I reintroduced potatoes, the sweet vegetables and apples I felt ok. But within two weeks, I was stuffy and congested and miserable.

Misery loves to eat so I started having the occasional hot chocolate with rice milk, then I was craving lamington cake. I must report that I was going through a very tough emotional time: I had just had a major lifestyle change and a death in the family. I ate cake…..and I cried. And this went on for…..actually it’s still going on. A piece of mud cake is taunting me right now.


On October 10, the local GP confirmed that indeed, the polyps are returning. So, true to my personality, I will go full force on all the naughties until I can convince myself to do another detox and restricted diet. At least I’m not drinking beer again. Too cold in NZ anyway!!!

Gotta go now. I have to murder a piece of cake.

Wanna read more about my journey? Check out my post on the I’m not fussy website :


1 Comment

Eat to live or live to eat?

Welcome to kai chronicles!!

Kai is a common word and its meaning varies depending on your culture. I have connections to New Zealand and Japan and that is why I have chosen to call this blog kai chronicles.

According to Wikipedia:

In Māori, Kai means “food” (this one is absolutely true and used by many kiwis).

In Japanese, Kai may mean “change” or “the action to correct” or “concerning oneself with” (I will check this with Japanese mates). Notice how Wikipedia uses the word “may”.

So now I ask the age old question: Do you live to eat or eat to live?

I seem to be living to eat lately but I go through stages.

I have been attempting to be dairy, gluten, red meat, alcohol, fruit, sugar, yeast, caffeine,  fermented food FREE off and on for nearly 18 months now. Actually since 2005, I have experimented with many forms of food restrictions due to health issues.

It’s extremely hard to do but I have been successful, for short periods of time.

AND, the thing is this: When on the ‘restricted’ diet, I feel better!!! But after 4-6 weeks, I crack and cannot cope unless I eat a whole cake and once I do that, it’s all off until I have the will power to start all over again.

This I  know for sure: I’m an emotional eater.

My latest attempt, which was successful for 2 weeks then I introduced apples, potatoes and some other ‘sweet’ vegetables and all was well for anther 2 weeks before I started to cave, was smack in the middle of some emotional turbulance so it was probably not the best time to give it a go.

I am now enjoying most of the restrictions except: alcohol, dairy(except pro-biotic yogurt which is good for tummy health), caffeine and mostly staying away from yeast. If I crave a peanut butter sandwich, I’ll eat it.

I’ve been practicing ‘presence’ for nearly four years now. I rationalise my food intake with the NOW.

If this moment is all we have, I say, “EAT CAKE AND LOVE IT”.