I already told you about my crush on moisturizer. But I am also very enthusiastic about keeping my inner body hydrated. I know it is a cliché but I do believe that we need to nourish ourselves inside first. Without it, no matter what we do outside, the outcome is never gonna be optimal, to say the least.
Our body, aka this wonderful and powerful machine uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions. All those functions require water, plus we loose water breathing, sweating, and digesting food, therefore it’s super important to rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water, like soups, some vegetables like zucchini, for instance.
The amount of water everyone needs vary according a number of factors, such as the climate one lives in, how much one sweats, how physically active a person is and whether or not someone is having heath issues or a disease. And because of that one thing I do since ever is to drink some liquid all along the whole day. I try my best to never feel thirsty. And for that I drink lots of tea, kombucha, coconut water and water. Those are my fixes. And it has been for years. And I do believe it has helped my skin looking pretty good, my metabolism, my digestion… And speaking of digestion, keeping ourselves hydrated could help you to deal with constipation, a common feature among us, menopausers and perimenopausers.
And how ab out you? How do you keep yourself hydrated from inside out? Let’s talk.
This post is not about me convincing you, a non vegetarian, to become a vegetarian. This post is addressed to vegetarians or vegans or people who are thinking about becoming one of those. Because it is paramount to be a smart vegetarian. And by a smart vegetarian I mean, take B12 supplementation for Christ’s sake!
By any chance, don’t skip that if you are a vegan or a vegetarian. And don’t believe that you can get B12 by vegan sources cause that is not true at all. Only animal products (and very few of them) are good sources of B12. Only fortified with B12 vegan products can provide B12. Spirulina or algae are not sources. And if you are a vegetarian who eats eggs and dairy, be aware that they have little amount of B12 and you will become deficient eventually. Especially (but not only) when you get older. Because as we get older our body will depend even more of the right amount of nutrients to keep going, to keep working properly.
I, by any means, regret becoming a vegetarian. I would do it all again with no hesitation. However if I knew then what I know now, I would have taken B12, the right kind, from day one. Every single day. Because B12 is not only a vitamin from the B family. B12 is one of those vitamins that is essential to basically every process your body goes through. So, you don’t want to become B12 deficient. And if you don’t believe me, just read about Methylation. I will write soon about it, but for now, you can google it, if you want.
Let me tell you my B12 deficiency story, briefly:
I became a vegetarian when I was 16 years old. And I did because I always loved animals and back then for me, it made no sense to eat animals at all. So, one day I decided to become a vegetarian and ever since I have been a vegetarian. Ok, maybe a few years after that I tried sushi and something fish eventually but it was just a few times indeed. Nothing major, nothing that made me want to “unbecome” vegetarian.
When I decided to go vegetarian, even being that young, I read a lot about how to eat in a way that I would get all my nutrients in order to keep my good health. And since I was eating eggs and dairy I thought my B12 would be fine. After all, back then, at least the experts claimed that we had a liver storage that probably would last many years since we needed just a little bit of B12 to function. Hehehehe Knowing what I know now I can only laugh at this whole paragraph. So, by any means don’t register that information, Ok?
But I also learned that if by any chance, from that moment on I started to feel anything different, some health issue I should check my B12 cause it would be probably its fault. And even knowing that, when my health started to have some bugs, I did not check my B12. And I didn’t because in the beginning it never crossed my mind. Because the first symptoms in my view was related to Perimenopause. I was around my 36s. And I even went to my gynaecologist letting him know my concerns and all. He never ever told me about Perimenopause. And all I knew back then, by researching, was that a few years before you reach Menopause your period starts to get funny. That is why I was worried. I only heard about Perimenopause a few years ago, around my 43s, when I was reaching Menopause. And in my doctor’s view, I was way too far from Menopause to think my symptoms were due to it. In my mid 30s and in my early 40s. Not kidding. For him, I was perfectly normal.
But I wasn’t. At least not my normal. And that is why I kept on wondering and looking for some information. Worried all the way through.
In the beginning everything was kind of light. I am talking about my symptoms here. I started having problems with my period that up to that moment had been spot on. I also had some sleeping issues… Now I could credit to it, some other things like anger issues or my unwillingness to be a social being. But back then I had no idea I could. And to be honest, since everything was sporadically and light and they were not bugging me that much I was just monitoring it. Then, around my 40s, it hit me. Big time. I had a lot of little things going on but the major one for me was feeling really sick, like I had an infection (but I didn’t) or as if I was intoxicated (I wasn’t). And everything got worse after I took some courses of antibiotics. I had so many symptoms added to my shy list that me, a person who was used to never getting sick, not even having a mild headache or a cold, no PMS issues, had no idea how to deal with all of this.
And besides that, one of those symptoms or side effects were my inability to think properly, to absorb information. And yes, my memory was terrible as well. Even a fog brain I had. And all those things cloud your judgement, your ability to think and find answers. Of course that those things made my journey a lot harder. Cause to my surprise, when I really needed a doctor to guide me through cause I could not function properly mentally, I found none.
But thank God for internet. Bit by bit I was putting together more and more information about my condition. I found a great forum (Phoenix Rising) with lots of amazing insights and learned most of things I needed to, to put myself back on track. It took me years to get it right, to see the results, to Methylate properly again. But here I am, feeling myself again, almost there and just one certainty: B12 defieciency is a major bitch. So, don’t mess up with it.
Up to this moment I have no idea if my health set back was all caused by my B12 deficiency only or if it was a mixed of B12 deficiency and Perimenopause/Menpause. And yes, all the symptoms I had I could credit on its own to B12 deficiency. Because every Perimenopause symptom is a B12 deficiency symptom as well. All I know for sure is that everything I put back on the right track I did because I was working very hard to undo all the side effects of my B12 deficiency, to restore my Methylation cycle.
Maybe I should write a post telling my B12/Perimenopause saga so I can go deeper on that. I will do it soon.
By the way, as a vegetarian I never had any iron problem whatsoever. Just when my period went crazy and I bled for 3 weeks straight (being one of those weeks with a really really heavy flow) during Perimenopause that my ferritin (the iron storage in our body system) dropped for the very first time. Other than that, never was a big issue for me.
And again, be a vegetarian, but a smart vegetarian. Get your information right. Consult a good doctor. Your good health depends on it.
Last year I fell on uneven concrete floor and injured pretty bad my left knee. It was an ugly and an almost to the bone deep wound. I knew it will take a while to heal (it took about two months to completely close) and even more time for me to get rid of that nasty scar. And it is taking. But I am counting with some real good allies to heal it properly: a scar gel (Mederma Advanced Scar Gel) and a scar patch (ScarWay Silicone Scar Sheets).
First I started using the gel alone and as soon as I found out about the silicone patches I started using it. And they were great to make my high and thick scar fade and get lighter as well. In the past months the nasty purple scar turn into a pinkish scar that day by day gets lighter. Now I am back to the gel. I think the patch is great to make it gets flatter and the gel helps a lot to kind of erase it, if you know what I mean.
There are many other products, even serums to use in recent or old scars. They tend to do their jobs pretty well. I don’t know if my scar is gonna fade entirely. I will only know in a few months. My dermatologist told me that those deep kind of scars take about a year and a half to actually fade and only then I will know. But so far I am really happy the way it is compared to how it was. Plus, I have to confess that I am kind of attached to it now. It is part of who I am and it was part of my awakening year, so…
By the way, you can find them in any Drugstore or at the Amazon.
Yep, I am. I know that sweating is highly unpleasant and nobody with a sane mind would be glad to sweat. But I do and I can explain: maybe 10 or 15 years ago, one day, I noticed that no matter the weather, the intensity of the heat or the physical activity I was practicing I was not sweating at all. Not even one drop of it. I was not even turning on the air conditioner to sleep under a 105 F/40 C temperature. A fan was enough to keep me sleeping well. Go figure. Back then I thought this was due to my zen-ish state of mind, the fact I was vegetarian for years and also due to my daily Qi-Gong practice. It should be it, right?
Wrong. Very wrong, indeed.
Now I know why I was not sweating back then: I became B12 deficient and my methylation got all messed up. [I will make posts about B12 and Methylation soon, so I will explain them fully]. And thanks to it, a lot of things started to be off. Like a bad side effects. And one of those things was not sweating.
Plus not so long ago I found out that I have a MTHFR mutation (I am a compound heterozygous) which makes me a perfect candidate to detox poorly. And with my methylation off due to my B12 deficiency… I was in big trouble. And back then not aware of it.
After I realized my conditions (it took me a long time by the way) and correct them, little by little all things started to go back to its optimal function. I still have some things off but I am still very focus on dealing with them. Up to this point I will say I am at my 90% optimal self. Or close enough. And sweating was one of the things that I got back. Pretty soon. And sweating is not just an unpleasant thing. It has a great function because it is one way our bodies expel toxins and prevents diseases related to toxin overload. And since we live in a world full of toxins, in a world where we eat them, we drink them, we breathe them, we use them on our bodies, even choosing wisely, it is very hard to avoid 100% all of them, all the time. And even a little amount can bring some bad side effects, especially for us who have a MTHFR mutation and/or have the whole methylation cycle off.
That is why I am glad for sweating again. The feeling of being sweat wet everywhere is not a good one at all. On top of that, since I started using healthier deodorants I have had to deal with wet armpits as well since none of those are anti perspirant. And they are not because sweating is one way our body detox from inside out, as I mentioned before. Therefore something necessary. That is why the healthier options of deodorants don’t block that function. And the armpits sweat. And get wet.
But still, glad for it. Because usually, only when we lose something and find out how valuable it was, then we can appreciate that. Even when it is not something that pleasant. hehehe
For a very long time, I considered that any type of yoga was not for me. I tried a few times a class here and there but none spoke to me. None. So I gave up trying and I ended up falling in love with Qi-Gong, instead, something more aligned with me. And for years I forgot about yoga.
A few years ago, maybe 3 or 4, I decided to give yoga another try to see if there was any change on that. I don’t remember exactly why, though. Maybe a need to add extra exercise to my life? Anyways, I went for a Restorative Yoga with Reiki class because Reiki was something I have tried before and loved and guess what? I loved it. So much that I kept on practicing every week and even decided to try other types of Yoga to see if I like them as much as well. Yoga was for me, after all. And Kundalini was one of the types of yoga I decided to try.
However, the first class I attended I did not like it at all. And for 1 year I forgot about Kundalini. Until one day, when I was back to New York City I decided to try it again. And boom! I totally feel in love with. My instructor at Awakening in Greenpoint, Zita Harkaran had such an enthusiasm and a glow that I wanted to have that too. Plus, I felt so good… It was like something had lighted me up inside. So, I attended her class every week for the whole time I stayed in New York. When I returned to Rio de Janeiro, unfortunately I could not find any Kundalini classes and lost a bit the motivation to continue. But started reading about it.
At least that.
Because of my estrogen shortage and its side effects (vaginal dryness, low libido, underwhelming orgasms in particular) due to my menopausal state, in the back of my head, there was this voice whispering to me to pursue Kundalini because it could be a good addition to my recovery routine since Kundalini works with the Kundalini energy which is our holy sexual energy. A precious extra help to solve one of the remained things not yet solved, so I thought. And for that I should embrace it and practice more often to get the benefits.
Then last year, when I returned for my 3 months in New York City I decided to look for a place where I could practice more often. I would obviously keep attending Zita’s class cause she is such an inspiring teacher and I love her classes. And googling Kundalini near me I found a studio: Kundalini Yoga East. There they have this promo: you pay $39 and attend as many classes as you like for 30 days. Irresistible, right?
Then I started my 30 Kundalini days. Okay, I did not attend a class every single day but at least 5 or 6 days a week, I did. And from the very first class I was in love. Although it was really hard. The postures, the practice and the fact that back then I was completely out of shape due to my knee injury… It was hard. And my body got all sore for maybe two weeks til I got used to exercising again. But it was a good pain.
Anyways, the experience was so powerful and insightful that I got hooked. In the best way. I don’t know if my experience was that strong due Kundalini itself or a combination of Kundalini and my level 2 Reiki (that I had completed the day before my first Kundalini day). In any case, it was amazing. I am so grateful for it…
So many good things happened to me after I started practicing it. To begin with, I got my very own Kundalini glow. During my first week, I felt as if my Crown Chakra had became wider with a brighter light. (I also got a headache that went away pretty soon, so it was not all good). At the end of the first week on a Friday class some of my estrogen shortage side effects went away. I am not overstating. It did. Just like that.
Okay, for years I have been working with my sexual energy or Kundalini energy as you rather call it due to my Qi-Gong practice since it is the same energy used. Maybe that is why was that fast for me. But my Kundalini practice also helped with other issues that I was trying to deal with, with no luck, such as: going back to the dating game (after a long time not being able to actually make it happen, I did and for my surprise all went pretty smooth), thawing my heart ( I even ended up falling in love after a long time), becoming more vocal after being way too monosyllabic… And the icing on the cake: for the first time I felt I belonged to and that I was a spiritual person. My whole life I practice spiritual things like Qi-Gong, Meditation, Tai Chi and even Yoga but had never felt myself as a spiritual being. With Kundalini, I did. I guess that is what it is called Kundalini Awakening.
After my 30 Kundalini days, I kept up attending classes as usual. I loved so much to just give up. I even went to a White Tantric Yoga event in NY where we have to hold a posture for 30 or 60 minutes throughout a whole day. And it was an amazing experience. And not as hard as I taught it would be. Right after it I felt lighter. They say you would feel the difference some days later, but for me, that was it. I will definitely attend another one when I have the chance.
Since then I have been practicing Kundalini in regular basis. Even now that I am back to Rio. I practice on my own (everyday, by the way) and when I can, I attend a local studio that I love very much, Medicina da Consciência. Yep, I finally found a place here. I still have a lot more to accomplish and overcome as a B12 deficient, Menopausal and Messed Up Woman, but I am so grateful to have found a practice that I can feel it is helping me to go through all of those things…