Today I had a Health Scare

Today was a day I won’t forget!

Today I was sent to the specialist with the suspicion that I might have a thrombosis in my leg. A number of growing symptoms over the last days and weeks had led to me visiting my general doctor and there I was, after the doctor’s visit, full of fear, a recipe for blood thinners in my pocket, so that there was no risk of me ‘dying over the weekend’, before this could be checked by the specialist!

Luckily I got an appointment for the same day with the specialist. I cannot tell you the fear and worry I was in, on my way to his praxis and then in his waiting room! Well, I also don’t really take those sort of news very well, as you can gather…

Now I am so so relieved as the verdict was „no thrombosis“! Believe me, I could have kissed that doctor when he told me!

But this was a loud wake-up call for me!

In the last months, but maybe even year, I had slipped too frequently from my health-food-journey and from my resolution to move a lot more. I had gained weight as a consequence and don’t really feel as fit and healthy as I‘d like to. That stings especially when you are a health coach and want to walk your talk at all times!

Today’s scare has finally brought me back to my senses! My parents health was not too good and chances are high that genetically I carry that heritance. But genes are only what prepares the terrain, it is to a large extent lifestyle and nutrition that leads to harvesting from that terrain or from another, cleaner one. This means that with the right food and right habits we can not only free ourselves from migraines, pains and chronic diseases, but we can also lay the foundation for our overall health for now and the years to come. It means that we can live in peace with ourselves, knowing that we are doing our best. Not perfect, but the best we can.

Because to be honest: the worst part in today’s worry was the feeling of fear and guilt! Guilt for not having followed my own advice and for having overdone it with my 80/20% rule (eating healthy 80% of the time and enjoying whatever you want for the remaining 20%), letting it slip too often into a 50/50 thing or even worse. Well guilt is never good, but today it served me into cherishing again this one life and one body I got and to start afresh!

Time to realize that NOW is the time to enjoy life and live well.

NOW is the time to start again with supporting my body and my mind with healthy and preventive food, habits and behaviours.

Because this is what I help my clients with, so why should I treat myself worse? But between late nights at the computer, not moving much and eating sweets and bread when stressed, I did treat myself worse…

Admittedly this is a long story to also tell you, why I have been absent from here and why I am back with this blog post for you today.

It’s that I felt such a strong need to connect with you, as I don’t want anybody to go through health scares like the one that I had today! I also don’t want anybody to suffer from migraines and headaches or other chronic health issues. To this day I am still so grateful to have found a way to free myself from my migraine many years ago and it’s my passion to see others achieve the same and help them start on their path to health.

That’s why I want to invite you to talk with me if you have health issues that are troubling you and that you want to tackle. So that YOU can feel as fit and healthy as you want to!

My 1:1 services are available in English and Italian besides German and I am here to support you in any of those languages. If you are ready to take action (and why wait any longer?) simply reserve a free 30-minutes slot to discuss how I can help you. Just click here: http://bit.ly/deintermin.

To your health! So that you can live your full potential and enjoy every day of your precious live!

Martina

My very first Migraine and what it taught me

My very first Migraine and what it taught me

I still remember when my very first migraine hit me

I remember it like today, very vividly, laying on the bottom bunk bed in this Austrian hostel my school class was staying in for our ski week, way back, when I was 12 years old.

Read on or watch the video to find out what happened…

 

There were some very important lessons for me in that experience, but I would only find out about them much later.

 

I remember my school mate Inga taking care of me, just being there with me, while all the others were having the huge final party in the dining room at the other end of the building. I could hear them and was upset that I could not be with them, but more upsetting was this terrible pain in my head and this nausea which caused me to have to lay completely still. I had no idea what it was and was quite worried that something horrible was happening to me. Well, in a way, it was. It was my first migraine attack as I should understand only years later. Somehow I did not make this connection straight away. Well, with 12 years I didn’t really know that such a thing existed.

On that day I had just tried to cope with everything coming me way and so it continued in the evening. I had to cope with an unknown pain and with feeling the usual outsider.

That feeling of being the outsider had accompanied me that whole day. It was day 6 of our week in the mountains and all week long I had had to overcome my fears.

Being quite a fearful child I had not wanted to go skiing down slopes at all, I had tried to get the option to go cross country skiing instead, but it turned out that it was not an option in that area, so I had to go along with everybody else.

I’d done my best, trying all week to fit in, learning in the absolute beginners course how to do the plough to come safely down some very gentle beginners slope just behind our hostel. It was kind of okay, not too frightening, since it was not high up. There was just a few of us in the beginners course, all the others were rushing eagerly to the lifts every morning, to take them high up into the mountains, so they could race down again and again.

Paradise for them, horror for me.

 

My paradise would have been to curl up with a book and look out to the mountains through the windows. But that was not allowed of course. I had to participate. Good girl that I was, always obeying, I did as I was told.

And so I did on that last day, where we were to walk a mile or so to another lift that would bring us up onto the highest mountain there. I remember sitting in that lift and feeling so scared when it took us higher and higher and deep clefts were far far underneath our dangling feet with the skis on. I remember that horrifying moment when I had to get off that lift, on that white icy peak and feeling completely lost and tense by fear.

I was one of the last coming up and all the others were already gathered, so eager to head for the steep slopes waiting for us. Me, I could not imagine going down those slopes at all. I was wondering if there was another way to get down again. I could walk, couldn’t I?

But of course that was not possible, I was not allowed to leave the group and had to comply.

Thing is that I don’t remember how strongly I expressed my total fear and horror. Did I express it at all? Did I tell one of the teachers? Did I tell them how afraid I was? To be honest I think I didn’t, because I needed to be the good girl. So I kept my fear inside, maybe a few of the closer school mates knew, but to the outside the only thing they could see was that I was always hanging behind, not wanting to start skiing down that really steep first slope.

Of course at one point I could not hold it off any longer and had to start curving my way down in the plough mode I had learned. Everybody else was already standing at the foot of that slope looking up and waiting for me.

I started to go into plough modus, points of the skis inwards, heels outward, making a nice V that would allow me to go slow, slalom in slow mode. Except all of a sudden I had that irrational notion that I would go fast in that very moment between one turn and the next, when my body would face directly the slope.

Not sure why, but from then I panicked

 

I panicked and I was unable to do that plough mode anymore. The slope was too steep, this was new for me, I was all alone up there at that point, nobody there to talk me through it, make me reason again.

So I did the only thing that I thought could save me: I went sideways and slid down like that, snail slow, driving my school mates really mad at me for taking up all their valuable skiing time and of course I imagined that they were all laughing about me and probably they did.

But at that moment I did not care about that, I was deeply frightened and only wanted to get off this scary mountain.

The rest of the way downhill is a blur, I think the slopes were not that steep anymore after that first bit, so I think I was able to ski down in a more appropriate way after that. But what I remember is that pounding pain in my head when we were walking back from the lift to the hostel. I felt so sick and the only thing I wanted was to lay down and be still.

That’s why you saw me laying down in my bunk bed at the start of this story. With my first migraine and many more to follow in the course of the 28 years after that…

Why am I telling you this story?

 

Well, what do you think is the reason behind the onset of my first migraine? Reading this story one could think it was caused by extreme stress, right?

From a first view I would agree here and say that it has been at least triggered by stress. But how do we explain then that I was able to almost completely eliminate my migraine when I changed the food I ate in 2007?

So you see, the causes are intricate. In that time, 12 years old, I was already full swing in my transformation to a woman and my body was trying to keep up with all the hormonal changes. I think my body had been under stress from the age of 9, when I grew 18 centimeters in one year. At least that fast growth had brought me the benefit of outgrowing my overweight self into a finally thinner version of myself and I found myself suddenly the tallest in class but also the first one with her period. Make that physical stress paired with the emotional stress of being the odd one out again…

For all the years until 2007 I thought I got my migraines because of stress.

 

It often set in on Saturday morning, so I assumed that the stress at work during the week was now taking its toll on the first day I could relax.

In 2007 I still had that same stress at work, but in order to lose weight I changed a few very fundamental things to what I ate. And after a few weeks I was surprised to notice that I had had no migraine for a while or only very rarely in comparison to the almost weekly appearance before that.

The things I eliminated from my diet were the very things I had loved and eaten a lot of since my childhood. Comfort foods. Bread and pasta and cookies and cake. Sugary stuff: chocolate, anything warm with sugar & cinnamon, like pancakes, semolina, rice pudding. I could go deep here about the emotional reasons for a little girl and later woman to crave such food, but let’s just leave it a that for this time. What I wanted to show with this is that from my point of view today, with my nutritional knowledge and experience, I had put also my body under stress for all these years. It did not like to be filled up with gluten and sugar and lots of simple carbs. It does not mind a little bit of that, but the daily load of those ingredients was too much.

Back when I was 12 years old the physical stress combined with the emotional stress triggered my first migraine attack, because my body could not keep up against it any longer.

When in 2007 I took out the physical stress caused by the wrong food, my body was able to cope with emotional stress without too much disruption.

Because our bodies are little powerhouses, they are miracles, they are resilient and they cope with a lot of things for a long time. Until it gets too much. Then they try to make us aware. Through pain, through disease, through something that is supposed to make us alert, to listen to our bodies and find out what they need, what we have to change.

So in hindsight, I learned a lot from my very first migraine. I learned that stress for sure did have an impact on me. But I only learned about the other part, the food related part, much later. Because I did not know that there could be a connection, that I had to listen deeper. Now I know and it took me only 30 years to find this out! That’s not what I want for others to happen. I don’t want anybody having to waste that much time of their one precious life!

So that’s what I help my clients with!

 

I teach them how to listen deeply to their bodies and their mind and soul so that they can find out what they need to change in order to free themselves from migraines and headaches and get their life back.

That’s why in my praxis as a Health Coach and Headache & Migraine Expert I work on stress reduction on all levels and take a very individualized approach for each client as each has their unique needs.

On the physical side we have a look at nutrition and I teach my clients small step by step changes that don’t make them feel deprived.

On the emotional side we investigate their general stress levels and what causes the stress. Then we define easy steps for them to diminish the stress and work on self care and confidence.

So what is your very first migraine story?

Did you get any aha moments, connecting the dots with your own migraine history? Maybe, like I used to, you thought it was stress that caused your migraines? Or maybe you thought it got triggered by red wine or the piece of chocolate or that cheese you ate at dinner? While for some people there might be a distinct set of single trigger foods, my experience has shown me that most migraine sufferers will be able to eat those again once they clean their diet from inflammatory foods like simple carbs and once they also take care of their emotional stress factors.

If you are intrigued to connect the dots for yourself as well, I can offer you my free guide in which I provide 5 steps from my toolkit for headache and migraine free living. One of these steps is about the topic of introspection which we touched on a little bit in this article, of doing your own detective work around the causes for your headache or migraine. If you want to check it out, you can sign up for it here.

Or if you are ready to take a deep dive and really get to the bottom of your migraine, book a free strategy session with me. You will be astonished how great you can actually feel again!

How to make Your Health soar with the Food Mood Diary

How to make Your Health soar with the Food Mood Diary

 

The Food Mood Diary is a powerful tool I have used for many years to discover how food and my emotions affect my wellbeing, my digestion, the severeness and frequency of headaches and overall energy.

And even how food affects my emotions and how those impact my body.

You see, there is a very strong connection we need to bring to the light.

As Health Coach I deeply believe in bio-individuality and that every person needs something different to really thrive and be healthy.

No food is the same for everybody and I help my clients to find out what their individual needs are.

 

So as I do with my clients, I also want to encourage you to buy a journal to document your meals, your day-to-day activities and how your hunger or digestion relates to your overall wellbeing and your emotions. And how all this relates to your headaches or migraines, if that is what is making your life not as wonderful as it could be.

 

Journaling and having a food diary is a way to see patterns, both healthy and unhealthy.

I have been able to discover patterns that were holding me back from having balanced energy throughout my day and realized when I was stress eating.

Journaling is both powerful and profound for these reasons – it gives you insight into your day (and sleep as well!).

So set yourself 15 minutes a day to complete your diary. I like to set the alarm on my phone to remind me in the morning, at lunch and before bed.

While you are filling in your diary, continue to stay free of negative judgments. If negative feelings arise, or if you feel guilty slipping and eating something you consider “bad,” please remember that recording this information is important and will help you to see the connection between what you eat and how you feel emotionally and physically.

And please please please be gently to yourself! Rather than criticising yourself for having eaten something you think you should not have, try to be understanding and caring with yourself! There are always deeper reasons behind our cravings and our emotions and the journal helps you to discover those.

I would say big kudos to you for actually starting out on self-discovery with keeping a food mood diary! That is such a wonderful action to take for your own wellbeing and you only deserve a high five and a big hug for that in my world!

As you are starting out on your journey I would wish for you to become conscious of the food you consume. Try to eat with awareness and chew every bite 30 times.

I recommend that you use the food mood diary for at least 3 weeks, so that you really can see the patterns. In this way this journal will be your blueprint for your unique healthy body. If you tend to get a migraine only once a month, then try to keep the diary practice for longer, so that you can catch the reason behind it.

If you have already started to eliminate certain foods, then look for imbalances as you remove foods that might cause your headaches or migraines, and as you add back in foods. Notice how your body feels and how your mood is affected. Did you have a great sleep that night or did you feel tired after eating a certain food? Even if you think a food is “healthy”, it may not be healthy for you. Discover your blueprint. The more you use your food diary, the more enlightening this will be for you.

To make things easier for you I created a sample food mood diary, so that you know what things to look out for.

You can download it by filling in the form below.

As always: happy thoughts!

Martina

How to Kickstart Your Happy Painfree Life

How to Kickstart Your Happy Painfree Life

 

The weeks leading up to Christmas, Christmas itself and also New Years Eve have been filled with temptations and I did not feel like saying no to most of them.

Needless to say that I had to endure a couple of headaches and my digestion is not at its best and with that my mood.

So one week into January I really felt the urge to jump onto the happy healthy wagon again.

As a result this morning the juicer got his first spin of the  year and produced the most delicious, dark ruby red juice: tangy, sweet, slightly bitter, slightly spicy and a powerhouse of nutrients.

What a joy to start the day with such a healthy boost! And actually prepping the fruit and veggies and afterwards cleaning the juicer is not too bad, but in my mind I often made it sound cumbersome and then juice did not happen.

Today was different, because i have a big ‚why’! I know I want to feel great in my skin again so that I can live to the fullest and so that I can help you do the same!

So let me tell you what makes juice so great for us and what was in mine today.

Juicing extracts 70% of the goodness from a plant minus the insoluble fiber, so it’s super easily digestible and all the vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients get into our bloodstream within minutes, starting to do their miracle work in our cells.

Just some of the positive results to which consuming raw juices might contribute are:

  • Increases energy
  • Alkalizes the body
  • Reduces cravings
  • Improves immune system
  • Helps loosing weight

Since it reduces cravings it is one of the best things to do when you want to change your nutrition in order to eliminate your headaches or migraines or other health issues. When you add juicing to your routine you will find sticking to a new way of eating much easier.

But back to the juices and what could be a drawback:

Since the insoluble fiber is not present anymore juices can spike blood-sugar levels, so it is helpful to have a high vegetable /low fruit ratio. Also not going overboard with root vegetables like red beets and carots is worth considering.

Generally there seems to be some agreement that green juices are considered best, as dark leafy greens are filled with flavonoid antioxidants, Vitamin C, K, B6, E, Magnesium, Calcium and much more.

However there is also some controversy around the content of oxalates in kale and other fruits and vegetables. Some recommend to only consume those when they are steamed or cooked to reduce oxalate impact, but it seems to be an ongoing debate.

As often there are so many different opinions out there, so I choose to consume raw kale in moderation, I don’t add it to every juice or smoothie but rather rotate the fruits and veggies I use.

Everything in balance is a good rule of thumb

Some examples for green juice combinations are:

 

  • For the beginner: 2 handful of spinach leaves, 1 cucumber, 2 apples, ½ lemon
  • Advanced: 4 kale leaves, 2 sticks of celery, 1/2 cucumber, 1 apple, ½ lemon
  • Hardcore: 8 kale leaves, 3 apples, 1 lemon, a piece of a fresh chili pepper or a small piece of fresh ginger

 

My juice today was more of a gentle ease into the juicing again, so I did base it on root vegetables. It made over 34 ounces/ 1 litre and we had half of it in the morning, half in the afternoon instead of a coffee.

 

  • 2 large beets
  • ½ cucumber
  • 2 carots
  • 4 small apples
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 mandarine
  • 1 lemon (including ½ of the peel)
  • 1 inch of ginger

 

One general tip: there are some fat-soluble vitamins, like Vitamin A, so if you want to help the absorption of those add a few drops of sesame oil or another high quality oil to the juice. If you want to avoid blood sugar spikes you can eat something with a healthy fat and protein with or shortly after the juice. However in this way the absorption of the juice is not optimal.

As always it is your own responsibility to find out what is best for you and see how you feel.

If you suffer from diabetes or take blood thinner medication or any other medication please speak with your doctor before starting to consume juices. For example the Vitamin K in dark leafy greens can be counterindicative if you are on blood thinners.

So, I aim to have a freshly prepared juice at least 3 times a week.

What about you? Are you joining me?

 

Do you want some more juice recipes?

You can find a free e-book with 2 juice recipes and many other recipes here.

 

Happy thoughts!

 

Martina