Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life

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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!!!

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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.