Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life




It’s day 16 of my NO wheat, dairy, yeast and alcohol fit and it’s not going well. It’s not like I’m “cheating” or anything but I’ve not been well, I’m sensitive and I find myself wanting to devour a loaf of raison bread or any other comfort food (mainly bread).

Master 6 loves raisin toast so it’s in the house most days. I am grateful that my sense of smell is dead and I do not have to be tempted by wafting aromas of cinnamon and warm raisins as I make his third piece. Meanwhile, I’m spreading another rice cake with chunky peanut butter.

It’s been over a week now since I contracted a cold that has shifted to my chest and considering I have weak lungs already, it’s messy. I also have a sore throat and the obvious sinus congestion but I am not willing to seek the help of western medicine….yet.

I returned to my weekly yoga class yesterday where I had to “take it easy” on the advice of my instructor. She made me realise that, YES I’m still sick and I need more rest. I do push myself physically on occasion, mostly when I shouldn’t do at all. But then, I got a wakeup call.

Whilst in a wide legged forward stretch, I nearly lost the plot. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes and luckily I could bow to the tri-coloured carpet for solace. Some deep breaths took it all away. I stuffed the emotion down deep in my soul not even knowing where it was coming from. But later it resurfaced at the dinner table.

As per the norm, I made the menu for the evening’s dinner and prepared the feast alone: BBQ drumsticks, rice, sunrise carrots and steamed spinach. I like to cook and don’t mind preparing meals for my family. Dinnertime is not my favourite time of day because of the constant dramas created by Master 6. He’s one fussy bugger and kicks up a fuss at the table 90% of the time.

The dinner that caused my breakdown.

He did his usual whinge at the fact that I put a carrot on his plate but it was Mr M’s reaction to the BBQ chicken that set me off. Drumsticks are a bitch to cook on the BBQ because they take so long and usually burn a bit. I marinated them in a homemade teriyaki sauce before cooking so the sugars caused some additional burning.  When I told Mr M what the marinate was, he gave me, ‘Oh, that’s why’, with a look that was full of disappointment.

I could feel the tears brewing again as I forced a carrot in my mouth. As I chewed and tried to swallow, the bottled up feelings left over from the morning said, ‘Oh no, we don’t want any more of your suppression down here…get rid of it now,’ .  I felt the ugly cry invade my face and couldn’t sit there as Mr M ate and Master T picked and complained so I got up and left the room.

I had every intention of getting over it and returning to my meal but as I sat in the lounge overhearing a casual conversation that eventually escalated to a fight for an ice cream dessert, I couldn’t go back. I felt so unappreciated and tired that I just left Mr M to clean up and Master T to cry himself silly over carrots vs. ice cream while I showered and went to bed to read my MiNDFOOD magazine. Nearly 12 hours in bed did some good.

I woke this morning and felt slightly better. After my regular morning routine of mediation and the 5 Healing Tibetans, I made the boys pancakes for breakfast.

I’ve decided to forgo fitness training and other strenuous activities until I am better. I was considering starting a 2-week anti-candida diet this weekend but have also passed on this thought. Although I am trying to do what’s good for my body, sometimes it doesn’t work in your favour. Until I’m over this chest cold, nutrition; rest, relaxation and reading are my priorities.

My new regime.




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The World’s Most Popular Drug

Did you have a coffee or tea this morning?

Caffeine laced drinks and products are consumed by millions the world over. Does that make us all drug users…..and possibly abusers?

The truth is: Caffeine is a drug.

Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee, tea, cola and cocoa beans. This, of course, does not mean caffeine is limited to these products. There are countless other soft drinks, lollies, ice creams, energy drinks, chewing gum, supplements and medications on the market today that are enhanced with caffeine.

Many people consume hundreds of milligrams worth of caffeine per day and would never guess they may be dependant on or addicted to a stimulant.

What happens when you stop –  cold turkey?

There is a very high chance of experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as: headache, nausea; feeling light-headed, tired, moody, depressed and irritable. These symptoms may continue for 2-8 days so it is easy to reason why so many people just continue with their daily caffeine fix.

How much caffeine are we talking about?

  •  250ml cup of instant coffee (1tsp)  = 60-80mg
  • 1 oz espresso = 90mg
  •  250ml cup of black tea = 40-60mg
  • 250ml cup of green tea  = 25-40mg
  •  375ml can of Coke = 50mg
  • 100g chocolate bar = 20mg

It is hard to pin point the safe levels of caffeine without doing a scientific experiment first-hand. It all depends on who you ask.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand say:

“There is currently no recognised health-based guidance value, such as an Acceptable Daily Intake, for caffeine. However, a FSANZ Expert Working Group analysed the available literature in 2000 and concluded that there was evidence of increased anxiety levels in children at doses of about 3 mg of caffeine per kilogram of bodyweight per day. The anxiety level for children aged 5-12 equates to a caffeine dose of 95 mg per day (approximately two cans of cola) and about 210 mg per day (approximately three cups of instant coffee) for adults.”

Is there any reason to stop?

According to the Havard Health Publications, caffeine is not only safe, but may also have some benefits.

“Studies show that the risk for type 2 diabetes is lower among regular coffee drinkers than among those who don’t drink it. Also, coffee may reduce the risk of developing gallstones, discourage the development of colon cancer, improve cognitive function, reduce the risk of liver damage in people at high risk for liver disease, and reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease.”

There are some health conditions that will not benefit caffeine intake: like candida. Caffeine can feed candida and would aggravate excess candida symptoms that may: abdominal pain, thrush, depression, urinary infections, rashes, acne, white coated tongue and food cravings.

Some people may not tolerate caffeine very well and experience over-dose like feelings such as: restlessness, nervousness, excitement, insomnia and gastrointestinal issues.

Although there is no proven evidence that says caffeine is harmful to an unborn fetus, it is widely known and accepted that caffeine should be limited to (the equivalent of)  one or two cups of coffee per day.

I personally have “gone off” caffeine several times. Each time I endured 2-3 days of physical pain in the form of severe headaches and nausea.

I am currently off caffeinated coffee but have been having small doses of caffeine in decaf coffee and chocolate, occasionally. I do not drink green or black tea at all.

Yesterday I was unwittingly served a caffeinated coffee  and was not aware of this until 1-2 hours later. I  noticed that I was jittery and scatter-brained and couldn’t figure out why. When I was told of the coffee mix-up, I rationalised my confused state to the excess caffeine.

There’s no denying it: Coffee and caffeine products are big business and keep getting bigger. It does make me wonder though….

Do we need to be stimulated all the time? And are we just trading off one drug for another?

Cigarettes are no longer in fashion and are now a known health hazard but coffee, tea, cola and energy drinks are very sociable, acceptable and consumption is on the rise……for the moment.