In this page, I will share all the post about health and wellness.
The Pandemic has opened up our eyes to how vulnerable we all are and how important good health really is. It might be hard to accept that we can’t just eat junk food and not move our bodies without it taking a huge toll on our health both physically and mentally. We are just not as strong as we can be to battle these new types of viruses that can hit us at any moment. It’s apparent after this year that no one was expecting the year to turn around to something so huge as a pandemic to hit the whole world. We’re all still trying to manage how this has affected our daily lives even if we haven’t had any near and dear ones being affected by the virus negatively. We’re all waiting to either get it and get it over with or trying to stay away from the risk as much as possible. There has not been enough conversation about how this has mentally affected us as individuals and as a society, the struggle to cope with uncertainties such as these.
I remember in the beginning of the pandemic we all thought things would turn to be better until the summer and everyone was convinced, at least in Sweden, that things will turn around. In hindsight, I think it wasn’t based on any data or evidence, it was just pure hope. We hoped that things would turn around until the summer, because in a cold country like Sweden and the Nordics, the summer is so precious to us. We crave the summer like no one else, because we’ve been starved of sun and heat for the rest of the year. Summer means freedom and it means that we’re off from work to hang out with friends and family. Sometimes it means that we travel and explore, go out for drinks and basically everything we’re not supposed to do in a pandemic.
The whole world was watching Sweden and if people didn’t know the difference between Sweden and Switzerland, they for sure know by now. We didn’t ever have any full on lockdown. Every store and everything has been open the whole year. There have been guidelines and common sense advice to the whole population of what to avoid and what to do, but there has not been any rules up until now.
Now we have a few regulations regarding public gatherings, such as parties and formal activities, for the amount of people meeting in such constellations to not exceed 8 people. It has taken the whole year for the Swedish government to take this type of “extreme” decisions and put them in place.
The online world sometimes seems to think this is an issue only for the year of 2020, and the common joke has been that things would somehow be normal after new year. I really hope people don’t believe that just because it’s a new year things would actually become normal. We have to hope for the best and that a vaccine actually can stop the spread. I pray for the world to recover from this.
However, one thing that I do notice as a positive effect of the pandemic, has been the focus on the importance of a good diet and have a healthy approach to exercise. When we all were confined to our four walls and many people had to work from home, it started becoming obvious how important it really was to move around. I saw so many people, often the same people, take lunch walks every day ever since March. I am thankful that there was no lockdown in Sweden, because we were able to move about and still get the essential business done. I think that each country has to find the ways that suit them of course, and for a country like Sweden it seems hard due to laws to have a complete lockdown. It would require some law changes from what I understand, and that’s a whole different issue. Forcing people to do something is not in Swedish nature, so I understand why it could seem off for other countries watching Sweden’s approach from afar. The media doesn’t always cover the reality of the situation either. It’s not as extreme as it might seem. People were mostly adhering to the advice of social distancing. We’ll see what the future will hold.
I have also been following India and their approach on how to handle it. I have friends and family in India, so it’s important to keep track of what goes on there. Keeping fingers crossed that the curve which has been going down will keep going down there and that the virus ends its spread there. It’s so much harder with a huge “continent” type of country like India, to try to get everyone to adhere to restrictions but also to make everyone understand why we have to. Education level varies so much in India, and it’s what makes it so hard to have one way that will fit all. Such a big challenge to tackle. I pray that things will be better there soon so we’re able to also visit India soon again. It feels like ages ago, even if I was just there in January this year. Before the madness began…
Next post: some things I’ve done to keep busy during the quarantine and staying at home this year.
Peace and Love,
The silent crack between my teeth after I had just bitten into a peanut that was inside a Punjabi Samosa, was sounding louder in my head than to anyone else. I knew what was wrong. The apparently nut-free samosa had deadly peanuts inside of them. I was sitting by the palm trees along the beach near Marine Drive at a café. So far away from any hospital and so far away from knowing what I would do if anything severe happened. Million thoughts always run through my head in these moments, and it might sound like a cliche but it’s very true. I believe I am not the only nut allergic person who have these near-death aha moments.
– What if this is it? This is the moment when I die.
– Do the people I love know that I love them? Near, far and everyone in between. I’m not even close to being good at expressing my love for certain people in my life and what they mean to me.
After such an experience I become very emotional and mellow, as if I don’t know anymore what really matters. The core values and the core most important life ingredients are being questioned and once again reevaluated. These short moments of fear become eye-openers and make me wake up.
To be continued…
Peace and Love,
I rarely write about products on this blog, but today I am making an exception. I have struggled with severe winter depression half of my life (or more), which is also called SAD (seasonal affective disorder). It occurs to many people living in the darkest northern hemisphere due to the lack of light during daytime hours. The symptoms of winter depression or SAD is usually lethargy, tiredness, anxiety and depression. It slowly creeps in on you during the autumn months and when November hits I am usually so down in the dumps that I don’t know who I am anymore. Can anyone else relate to this?
I went to a salt spa with light therapy a few weeks ago, a session that lasted 45 min. The room was covered in rock salt crystals and the walls were filled with several light therapy lamps that were giving off “normal daylight” which one would get during the summer when it’s sunny. Walking out from that session, I had no expectations. It was dark and gloomy outside, it was even raining. I felt like the day had just begun and to my surprise I felt a bit happy (afraid to make that huge claim when I am not used to it). The effect of this lasted a couple of days, when I noticed myself not feeling as tired in the evening as I used to. It was too good to be true and I didn’t dare to connect it to the light therapy at all.
A week passed by and I did my research into light therapy lamps to buy and have at home. One side of me thought to myself, why should I have to go to this extreme just to get some daylight. But the reviews on the websites were telling me otherwise, they were all raving the lamp. I ordered it directly. I have named him, La Luz.
I sat with La Luz every day for 30-60min a day, sometimes when meditating and sometimes just having it on while I was on my computer. I didn’t think that anything actually happened within me at first. After the first week of using it constantly, I can honestly tell that it had made me changed. I felt lighter, not as depressed and lethargic as before. I had the energy to be awake much longer in the evenings and the energy lasted much longer.
I am just sharing this here in case anyone else is feeling the same and wants to give it a chance. Do your research and find the lamp that will suit you the best. I chose one from the brand Lumie, but I’d assume there are several other out there.
Who would have thought that light makes such a difference in our bodies, that it can totally change our moods?
Peace and Love,
I made a video about a year ago where I mentioned that I transitioned over to Aluminium-free deodorants because of all the studies linking the high amount of aluminium in the arm pit area to breast cancer. It’s not been proven, but there are a lot of studies that point in that direction. After about 6-8 months of trying my best to stick to aluminium free deodorants, it just didn’t work for me in stressful situations or when working out. I constantly felt that I either had to reapply throughout the day or bring a long an extra T-shirt that I could change to because of the drenched T-shirts I was wearing after just half a day at work. I didn’t feel comfortable when summer was approaching so I had to revert back to aluminium deodorants. I was really sad that I couldn’t succeed with continuing on my natural journey since it seemed like it had worked for so many people. I guess everyone is different and we all sweat differently. I think for me it was mostly during stressful situations and at work where it was cold in the office, that I found myself sweating more.
Long story short, here I am again with another go at going aluminium free. With the help of this brand that is Swedish, called C/O Gerd. It’s a unisex deodorant and it was the only one left in my local chemist. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s gonna do it’s magic. I will be providing an update in some weeks from now, because they usually say that it takes many weeks for the body to get rid of the traces of the aluminium deodorant.
C/O GERD UNISEX DEODORANT. Bought at Apotek Hjärtat, Stockholm.
Peace and Love,
It’s now become 10 years since I first went to my yoga and meditation class in Gothenburg. I remember how I used to love those 90 min classes late in the evening because it was a time that was only dedicated to myself and my practise. My teacher was from Norway but he lived and worked in Sweden. He had changed his name to an old Indian version of his own name, and he had practised yoga for over 30 years back then. I recently looked up if he’s still a teacher at the same place, and he is, isn’t that amazing. 40 years of yoga knowledge. He was the first teacher that inspired me to pursue yoga for my own mental health and spiritual evolvement. Years passed and I had some rocky years in my early twenties, but I still always came back to yoga, even if I had a longer break. I took classes of yoga at the gym, did some on my own in my student flat, whatever so that I didn’t totally lose the connection.
When I moved to Stockholm in 2014, I took some yoga classes at the gym and there were many different teachers there. Most are only into yoga as a fitness alternative and that isn’t the whole experience of yoga according to me and many other yogis, it’s a much more wholesome and spiritual and inward experience and development that is beyond anything physical. Out of all those average yoga gym teachers there was one that stood out in the crowd, he always used the right terms for all the asanas and always referred back to the ancient traditions of yoga; unlike many other yoga teachers in Sweden.
Although I didn’t stay for very long in that gym membership and for some reason got stuck in a 2 year membership at a place I didn’t enjoy as much.
I recently switched back and booked a yoga class and to my surprise the same teacher is still there and having classes. It seems that he’s been practising yoga for 30 years and is such a huge inspiration not only to me but everyone who comes to his classes. The class always begins with some 5 minutes of talking about the intentions, the planet movements and moon placement in different astrology signs and what it means to us. I love the feeling of being totally connected to the 25-30 people in the class and share the same experience as I do in the same time and space. That feeling is quite remarkable and powerful, it can truly change the world for the better.
I plan to attend a yoga retreat in the end of the year in India, although I haven’t decided on what or where to go for it. Would be nice with some place in south India, such as beautiful Kerala or similar. I will let that thought mature in my head through the year and decide on it until summer time.
Peace and Love,
I have experience of going to a physical therapist for what I would describe the condition as restless legs, although this was never diagnosed nor was it ever mentioned by anyone. While I’ve been having my sessions, I have tried to get to the bottom of the problem. It isn’t that big of a deal really, that’s why I haven’t prioritised it until now; it’s just been at the back of my head. We’re not meant to sit still all our day in front of a desk, and years of doing it has taken it’s toll I assume. I realised that I want my body to be as healthy as possible for my age, and sitting still is surely not going to help me nor is it going to fix the whole “restless legs” issue. I have now been able to connect three different areas of knowledge about the same isse; Ayurveda and the Chakra system and Western medicine.
It all started when I was coming back home from a trip to Paris, and we were sitting in a bus from the airport which was unfortunately located 80min outside of Stockholm. We were coming home late in the evening, which I didn’t think much of at the time of booking, but during the bus trip I cursed my former self for even thinking of booking such late tickets. I had this creeping sensation in my legs as if there were something crawling underneath my skin around my knees and thighs, I couldn’t even describe it properly. If I moved around my legs it became better, but only for 2 seconds, so I sat there forcefully trying to move around my legs for the entirety of the trip. If one doesn’t go mental then this might. I let this situation pass and didn’t think much of it until I found myself in a similar situation and I put two and two together. A cinema visit late in the evening, which was basically the same time, having to sit still in the same spot and not being able to get up (unless I wanted to be a pain and let the whole row know my pain).
Months passed and I started getting really frustrated, turning down friends’ offers to go to the cinema or anything that required late evening sitting still. The criteria for seeking professional help has always been, if it interferes in your daily routine, so I went to the doctor.
Said and done, tests were completed, results came back and nothing was wrong physically. Just to be on the safe side, CAT scans were done and some weeks later the results came back – nothing abnormal! The doctor suggested me to contact a physical therapist if my issues continued – I gave the issue a rest for almost a year.
During my first visit to the physical therapist she did a bunch of physical exams, looking at my spine, checking my legs when I’m lifting something, the flexibility etc. One of the tests involved massaging to the right and left of the navel while I was lying down. I am a very high pain tolerant person, but this pressure of her fingers in my stomach hurt like hell, more so on one side than the other. She said that it’s the hip muscle, more properly called Psoas muscle that seemed tense or short. I wanted to know more, so I have ever since read a lot about it, trying to massage myself, and doing the exercises that were given to me by her. Now to the interesting part.
Throughout my whole life, I have heard about the punjabi/hindi word dharn which is basically an imbalance in the solar plexus area, or what some call it a “navel displacement”. The Ayurveda and ancient Indian way to describe this has never really had a good equivalent in Western medicine and I believe that is why there isn’t a holistic view on this problem. I fully believe that the psoas muscle being strained and tense is only ONE way to describe the problem. The other connections to the same problem are the 3rd chakra, solar plexus being imbalanced which causes physical symptoms in the body after going long enough with the imbalance. How do we resolve this problem?
According to my physical therapist I only needed to do my exercises that she had given me, which I’ve done for a year and haven’t noticed a huge change in posture nor the core strength which is key here. Changing habits is the main key here. Being more active and not sit still for longer periods of time. Take breaks, walk in the nature, do yoga and stretch. Practicing mindfulness and meditate daily has started to create a shift in me lately. I can sense that when I incorporate both Western medicine and the old ancient Indian Ayurveda find solutions to dharn; it will work. It’s not an easy solution, I believe it’s more of a lifestyle change, back to how we used to be; hundreds of years ago. We’ve become too convenient and lazy lately, that’s only the truth. It’s harsh but if we don’t do anything about it now, the issues will just increase.
If you have an issue with restless legs syndrom or psoas muscle, try looking at your body as a whole. Listen to your body, what does it need that it so desperately wants you to notice? More movement, more healthy food and/or more calmness?
Peace and Love,
When I wake up in the morning, at 5:00 am (I know it sounds early, but I decided not to adapt completely to Swedish time after coming back from India), I start by making my health potion. I start by boiling up water and while it’s getting to the right temperature I start adding all the different herbs and spices into my large 50 cl cup. I believe it’s important to have a large cup for this health potion, because otherwise it becomes too strong and not as easy to drink. I heat it up again after I’ve drank half the cup, because I’m a very slow drinker.
The ingredients that I use are:
- 1 tsp of organic matcha tea from Japan
- 1/3 tsp of ashwagandha (ayurvedic herb)
- 1 dash of tulsi powder (holy Indian basil)
- 1/4 tsp of organic ginger powder
- 1/3 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 dash of organic turmeric
- optional: raw unprocessed sugar to taste (I try not to add any sugar, but in the beginning it might help with the taste)
- boiling water
- oat milk or any other vegetable milk substitute of your choice
I add all the dry ingredients in my cup and start pouring a little boiling water at a time to mix all the herbs together. I fill up slightly more than half the cup with boiling water and add oat milk to fill it up, that is also depending on taste and preference.
I feel energised and very refreshed by drinking this health potion. My hormones are getting back into a nice balance, I can really feel my body changing for the better with these simple steps towards a more healthy lifestyle.
After drinking the tea, I go on with doing my yoga exercise routine, mostly just for 15-30 min, but I intend to increase it gradually.
Hope this is helpful to anyone out there, and let me know if you have any questions and I will get back to you.
Peace and Love,
It's been very inspiring to read other people's promises and goals to accomplish during the next coming year. I want to take a moment and document at least some of the things I would like to do and complete during the year of 2017. Without goals and something to look forward to it's easy to just get stuck in a wheel of the same mundane things.
(The list is not ordered chronologically.)
- Travel. A weekend in Berlin, London and Scotland is already on my list for short 3-4 day trips. Other trips will be planned depending on plans and/or business plans and vacations.
- Vipassana meditation. I really hope that I will be able to complete a Vipassana during a trip to India or in Sweden. I believe it might be more possible with India since I can go during next winter. I don't think there will be time for that during summer in Sweden; and I want to have good weather when I go to the Vipassana centre. I'd rather have that experience alone but I'll ask a friend or two if they want to join. Share the experience.
- Writing my book. I have had a long break from my book writing due to personal reasons. I need to reevaluate my story direction and almost start over my writing, unfortunately. I will make a plan for the book during my current India trip now in December 2016.
- Meditate daily. I know I've been having this on my list for ages, and it comes back every now and then, but it's crucial for my mental health to wind down and be peaceful on the inside.
- Exercise 2-3 times a week. Yoga, Pilates and weight training.
- Improve my stamina by starting to jog. Apply for a 5km run with a friend to have as a goal.
- Practice to be more mindful.
- Watch Darren Hayes' musical in London or somewhere in Europe whenever he is finished with it.
- See the one-man-band Assemblage 23 live for the first time (of many). Waited for around 8-9 years. Those lyrics he writes are some of the best in the genre of futurepop/EBM.
- Practice riding a bike and become more confident again. It's been years since I knew how to, and I guess you never really forget, I just need to be good at driving it in traffic as well.
- I don't plan on taking my driver's license during 2017, but I plan on practicing driving again and be more confident in traffic. I knew how to 2-3 years ago but that was before my laser eye surgery. Now I need to spend weekends every now and then to just get into the routine and then eventually when it's in my priority I will apply for and take the license.
What's your bucket list for 2017? Share and link to yours below so we can all take part and be inspired.
Last month I made an update on Youtube regarding my PRK/Laser eye surgery. I got the first surgery done on 12th of Dec 2013 and the follow-up surgery for my left eye was done in March this year (2016). The reason for the follow-up surgery was to remove the scarring in the eyes that occurred after the initial surgery. After a lot of waiting and treatment with different eye drops over the course of 2 years, we finally did the first touch up surgery to correct the “haze” in the eyes that caused blurry vision.
I have made a follow up video where I talk about the next steps, and what we intend to do onwards in the process of solving the issues. My next surgery for my right eye would be scheduled for the beginning of next year and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the outcome will be just as good as the left eye. Check out the video below if you’re interested in the current situation and how it’s going. Subscribe to my channel over at Youtube if you’re interested in knowing when I upload a new video. Write to me over at Youtube or down below in the comments if you have a question or asking for advice, I’m happy to answer and give my opinion since this is a topic close to me.
I’m currently trying my hardest to sugar-fast in my diet. I didn’t eat all that much sugar before but it’s still good to be aware of what we’re putting into our bodies. I’ve never really liked candy and those kinds of sugar sources, but I love a piece of chocolate every now and then. Or a delicious piece of cake!
I had to read up on what the daily recommendation of sugar really is and it’s shocking to know that you easily get that amount by the products we eat daily. These days it seems like all kinds of food products contain added sugar, to the extent that it’s not healthy for us. Bread, yogurt, light-products, granola and much more are not sugar-free anymore, unless you really look out and read on the labels.
Most people I speak to about this would react in a way that if you’re not unhealthy and overweight, I shouldn’t have to worry about my sugar intake. I don’t agree. We all have a responsibility towards ourselves and our body to eat the best we can and to not put junk into our bodies. We want to grow old in grace and in a healthy manner, without any unnecessary sickness due to something we could have changed in our diet earlier in our lives.
The recommended daily intake of sugar shouldn’t be more than 30 g for adults, and that is around 5-7 tsp of added sugar in all kinds of ways. Real fruit is not counted in that amount, since it contains fibers and it’s more filling because sugar (fructose) isn’t the sole ingredient.
If you’re ever unsure of what is considered to be high sugar amount in products when reading on labels, you can go by these measures:
- more than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g is high sugar amount
- 5g of total sugars or less per 100g is low sugar amount
To start the journey of cutting down on sugar is to identify what products in your cupboard are actually high or medium in sugar percentage, and replace them with healthier options. Also identify the products you normally buy where the sugar is hidden and are marketed as healthy but in reality contains a lot of sugar. You will be surprised of how many products are looking healthy but they’re not.
In the beginning it will be difficult, it is very hard to cut down on sugar, but you need to do it gradually. Replace one thing at a time. Try to eat as natural and sugar-free breakfast as possible, to not feel so tired and lethargic in the middle of the day when the blood sugar gets low.
Let’s start the journey towards a more sugar free diet.