My thoughts on the Pandemic
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,
News: Migration to New Domain
I didn’t intend for my break from this blog to be as long as it became. It started with some issues with WordPress that I needed to get resolved and then I figured that I wanted to migrate my previous site to a new domain. So now we’re finally here, Moon over Mumbai. Welcome to my new blog space!
I am intending for this blog to be my private space where all hobbies that are connected to writing will be expressed at and have a place of their own. All poetry and book related writing will be found here from now on, and my old site kimmimadeline.com will eventually be shut down.
I am working on a separate site where I will have everything related to nutrition, holistic health, Ayurveda and Reiki healing. I look forward to sharing that site and my project with you all very soon.
Peace and Love,
Winter Essentials for your Skin | Natural Beauty
- Face pack made of: chickpea flour, turmeric, milk or vegetable milk, almond oil, aloe vera gel, rose water, yoghurt (optional). Once a week. Apply the mixture to the face and let dry for 20-25 min and wash off while you scrub it off at the same time.
- Lip scrub: organic raw sugar grains, honey, olive oil and aloe vera gel. Mix all ingredients
- Bedtime serum: coconut oil, argan oil and rosehip oil. Mix together 5 drops of each in your palm and blend together in your hands, apply gently on your face with light strokes and dont forget your neck and collarbones. Also apply this under your eyes and on your eye lids before going to bed. Any leftovers on your fingers can be used on your eye brows to make them grow more and rub the rest on your hands as a moisturising hand serum.
- Drink plenty of water to hydrate your skin from the inside. The winter time dries our skin a lot so we need to take care of it with the right nutrition and water intake. Aim for at least 2 liters of water a day and remember to listen to your body and give it more the days you’re feeling dehydrated.
- Use sun protection even though it’s winter time. The sun rays are always there even if it’s a cloudy winter day and you need to protect your skin from the harsh UV rays that damage your skin much faster. I usually just use it under makeup and let it sink in a bit before applying the rest of my routine. The sun protection in the foundation is not always enough since it can rub off throughout the day.
Yoga for Mind, Body and Soul
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,
Psoas muscle, Solar Plexus & “dharn” | Ayurveda + Western Medicine
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,
Ayurvedic Health Potion – My Morning Routine
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,
Laser Eye Surgery – 2 year 10 month UPDATE
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.
Why Should I Drink Dairy Products?
When I was around 17-18 years old I got some blood tests done for my allergies, and I had a lot of new allergies that I didn’t have as a child. The tests came out positive on a lot of food substances, such as milk protein and wheat. I was in such a denial and I didn’t want to face it since I loved butter, cream and all kinds of dairy including products. At this time I went ahead and tried substituting milk with oat milk, and it wasn’t as popular in the stores so it was hard to get hold of.
I didn’t like it, mainly because I compared it straight on with milk. Now I know that it’s impossible to compare one thing with a totally other, it’s not really meant for drinking as it is like we do with milk. I gave it a couple of tries in different recipes, and got more used to it.
Many people in my surroundings have over the years gotten lactose intolerant, and many believe that it’s the same as milk protein allergy. They’re two totally different bodily reactions. I’m not going to get into that subject, if you’re still unsure of the difference, there are many articles on Google and Wikipedia to get a better understanding.
I have also since I got my allergy tests done many years ago, started eating more and more vegetarian food and trying to educate myself more about the industry. I’ve never eaten eggs since I’ve always been severly allergic to them, so in a way I’m basically vegan. But in most other ways, I’m not. The important thing about the diet is not what we call ourselves, it really doesn’t matter. I don’t call myself anything in particular, I find it unnecessary to put labels on people and for others to put you in boxes just because of a diet choice.
However, I have started questioning the reason why we’re told from a very young age (at least in Sweden and in Nordic countries), that milk is important for us and our bodies. Why?
It seems to be pretty clear that a major part of the population has trouble digesting milk when they become older and adults. What does that tell you? It might not be something we truly require to survive.
We might need the different types of nutrition found in milk, but milk is not the only food that contains calcium, vitamin D and protein; it can easily be found in other alternative products or fortified milk substitutes which we’re not sensitive towards.
I do believe we need milk when we’re babies and growing up when we’re infants, and that milk is called breast milk. Either with a bottle or breastfeeding, I’m neither for or against either of those choices. Bottom line is that the breast milk is actually made for us humans, which cow milk isn’t. The cow is producing the milk for their baby calves, and when I truly thought about that, I felt sad. We’re really taking away the milk that is made for their babies and drink it ourselves, how selfish isn’t that? It was mind boggling when I started questioning how much we truly NEED milk in our lives.
I eat milk products every now and then, but I try to keep it at a minimum since I started thinking about these things. I have also noticed that the more milk I have digested in my body, the more hormonal acne I tend to get. Ask around, experiment, especially women; is milk the reason behind your breakouts? Do we truly need milk in our diets?
Just some food for thought, what are your ideas and thoughts about this subject?
Allergies and Diet Choices (YouTube)
One of the biggest topics of my life has been allergies and dealing with them in the best way. All the way from checking the ingredients list on all food packages to learning how to cook allergy friendly. During my whole childhood, throughout my teenage years and now into my adult life, I’m finally starting to come to terms with my allergies and learning to cope with them. I want to share my experience with you all and bring you my best tips and recipes of allergy friendly food.
I made a first video in a series of many more to come, that only touches the subject on the surface, to give you a gimpse of what I will be creating in the coming months.
Excuse the bouncy video, it was made with my selfie stick and smartphone due to main camera not working.
Hope you enjoy this video, and if you have any suggestions, comments or questions, please leave them in the comments here or over at YouTube. You can always find me on Facebook, Instagram and on YouTube. 🙂 Hope to talk to you there!
Peace and Love,
Documentaries I Loved Watching
During the recent couple of months I have watched quite a few documentaries that were all worth watching. I have listed them all so anyone who is interested in learning more about the world we live in, is able to just pick one from this list. I only try to watch films or documentaries that are teaching me something new, or makes me think and reflect. From time to time I still watch commercial films or series only for entertainment, but mostly I enjoy getting some sort of intellectual satisfaction from what I’ve watched. Whether it may be an art film that is based off a true story or if it’s a documentary teaching us about our society. So without further ado, here is my list of nine documentaries all worth watching. I have graded them with stars for you to easier see which ones I recommend the most.
- True Cost *****
- GMO OMG ***/****
- Food Matters *****
- Cowspiracy *****
- Forks over Knives *****
- Living on One Dollar *****
- Blood brother *****
- Fat, Sick and nearly Dead ****
- Supersize me ****
Some comments for each item in the list:
- A must-watch for anyone interested in what goes on behind the fast fashion market; everything from the textile workers to the production of the textile material that is used in the textile industry. It’s harsh, raw and very true – just watch it. You might never want to support all the big fast fashion brands just after watching this. Check out Fashion Revolution online in case you’re more interested after seeing this.
- I couldn’t totally decide whether to give this a full 4 star because of the first half of the documentary. I thought the guy who is making this documentary seemed to be against GMO just because he felt like it, and that he THOUGHT it was bad for you. It annoyed me that he based the first half of the documentary only on emotions of himself and his children. Why does his children have to be involved? If you still get passed that mark and continue watching, it gets more interesting and more data is brought up to surface.
- Despite being a few years old, this documentary was totally amazing. I sat glued in front of the television/Netflix and my wish is for everyone to watch this. Totally worth it if you’re interested in what you put into your body.
- Produced by Leonardo Di Caprio. Need I say more 😉 On a more serious note, it’s about how our diet choices are affecting the environment and the animals and people living on our planet. It’s one of the best documentaries to watch before making any lifestyle changes in terms of diet.
- The same as above, minus Di Caprio. I truly recommend watching these two if you need to choose two that has to do with diet and healthy living.
- Wow, this documentary made me shed many many, oh so many, tears. It was such a heartbreaking story. I love that the guys chosing to make this film made it as their university project and went to South America to actually live the reality instead of just writing about living on one dollar a day. Truly inspiring.
- If no 6 makes you cry, not sure what this one does to me. Maybe it’s because it’s close to my heart, since it has to do with India. A guy from the US travels to India to help children that have HIV/AIDS. His dedication, his interest, love and compassion is just so contagious and it’s beautiful to watch. So beautiful that you will shed some tears here as well. One of my favourites…
- I think it’s a great healthy living and food related documentary. It might not be super relevant for me since it deals with a lot of overweight issues and how to overcome those by going on a Juice diet for a while and then going over to a plant based diet. I found it inspiring despite not struggling with those issues, it’s still a very motivational and powerful documentary. Seeing their journey is sometimes enough to feel inspired.
- It’s a little old, it dates 10-12 years back and when McDonalds had Supersize menus in the US. I believe they have removed those options now (perhaps after this documentary was made). It’s about a guy eating only McDonald’s food for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 30 days. He cannot walk more than 5000 steps a day, since that’s what the average American walks every day – that is not a lot of steps. It’s recommended that everyone at least walks 10K a day, and is active for around 30 min a day. Worth watching, but it will disgust you from ever entering a fast food chain ever again. I have made my promise, not eating McDonald’s after seeing that show. Neither will my future kids.
Peace and Love,