Week 2 Review of The Purely Paleo Skincare Challenge Plus Added Bonus – Weight Loss!

Well I had hoped to show you some photos this week of my skin which is HUGELY improved since I first started the challenge but haven’t had a chance to get my friend to take any  and selfie’s just won’t do it justice! As a recap for those who aren’t familiar with what is happening this month I have ditched the hideously expensive store bought cleansers, toners etc etc in favour of the back to basics approach by Liz Wolf of Cave Girl Eats who has recently released a new book Purely Paleo Skincare. There are several tiers to this approach from using basic store bought ingredients to buying ready mixed aromatherapy type based products (which I will be reviewing soon!). I started with the initial basic approach of my good friends coconut oil, witch hazel and rose hip oil – all source easily and cheaply from my nearest chemist and health food store. So onto results…..

I continue to be super happy with how my skin is improving – the redness and scarring from the previous blind pimples are diminished and the coconut and rosehip oil have made my skin softer than it has ever been. Again no new breakouts hooray! Which was suprising as I had a few meals out this week which weren’t 100% Paleo but were acceptable. I am continuing with my evening primrose oil and cod liver oil tablets everyday. I have also found my favourite way to take my Brewer’s Yeast everyday is in a cup of bone broth – this is super yummy and a great breakfast on the go!


The only changes made this week will be that I will be forcing myself to go to bed EARLY! This is extremely important in the Primal/Paleo lifestyle and quality sleep is essential to wellbeing. Although it is difficult to achieve quality sleep with small children in the house I will be in bed by 8.30 -9.00 pm each night. I have often read that the sleep you get before midnight is the most restful, with some quoting than 1 hour sleep before midnight is equal to 2 hours! I do recall on the odd occasion I am in bed early and woken by the kids at 1 or 2 am I do feel like I have had a full nights sleep! Why haven’t I done this earlier in the Challenge you ask? Well I have had visitors and it is a tad rude to skive off early in the evening!



It seems my 2 pooches have no trouble with sleep!

The only other change is adding Borage Oil as my moisturiser rather than Rosehip Oil (or maybe alternating). After doing some more reading in Liz’s guide she recommends Borage Oil for those skin prone to redness, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea or acne. I have had rosacea in the past and still have a lot of redness in the chin area from scarring so I will be interested to see how the Borage Oil helps. None of the health food stores I went to carried it in liquid form but I am waiting for some to arrive in the mail from a Melbourne based business called Health & Happiness.

The Borage plant

Well that is about all for this weeks update. The only other thing to mention is that by returning to my strict Paleo diet I have lost 2 kg (almost 4.5 pounds for my US friends) in the last 2 weeks, this is without any form of exercise other than a Reformer Pilates class! I just want to say now that I do not follow the Paleo Diet as a weight loss tool but it is amazing to see the kilos drop off once you lose dairy, sugar and grains from your diet. I really don’t need to lose any weight, there is not much of me as I stand only 5 feet 2 inches! but I am happy with this little loss as I have really been unable to exercise since I had both my feet operated on last October for bunions so it has taken a bit of the tightness out of some of my clothes!

I did mean also to post another weeks worth of Paleo meal planning today but I am writing a guest article for another site so as soon as that gets done I will put one up.



PS. if you are looking to get your hands on a copy of Liz’s guide hang in there as I will be giving away a copy soon!

Mother’s Day – From Loathing to Loving

This time last year I posted about my first Mother’s Day on the old Nifty Mum blog (which is now defunct!) I thought I would post about what I talked about last Mother’s Day Eve.

Mother’s Day 2007  Why won’t this baby sleep!!!!

My little girl is now just over 3 months old – it has been a rough 3 months. A post partum haemorrhage, blood transfusions, a close family friend is killed in a work accident, and a baby that just won’t sleep. No, let’s qualify that, a baby that will sleep when she is rocked in my arms, is held by her father or grandfather but as soon as her tiny body touches the cot or anything that resembles a bed she is wide awake and crying. When she is 2 months old I am diagnosed with Post Natal Depression (PND).

I can’t take it any longer. In the weeks prior to Mother’s Day, in the wee hours of the morning, the fight to get her to sleep has got the better of me. The sleep deprivation and sheer exhaustion has seen me shake my poor baby in a vain attempt to get her to stop crying. I quickly put her in her cot and am shocked at what I have just done. I am a health professional – I know what shaking a baby can do. I am horrified and disgusted by what I have just done. So this is motherhood.

Mother’s Day….a celebration of mothers and motherhood. I can see nothing to celebrate. Why the hell would I celebrate these feelings of utter exhaustion and frustration. Even worse to not want my baby.

2007: Trying to smile for the camera

Fast forward 4 years which have seen me put on the wrong anti depressants (ADs) and wrong dose (so untreated), have another child, be diagnosed again with PND, put on the RIGHT ADs and RIGHT dose, seeing a psychiatrist, family counsellor etc.

Eve of Mother’s Day 2012

My little girl is now in prep at school and yesterday the mothers are summoned to attend the class’s Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea. We are escorted into class by the kids, given crowns to wear which they have made, seated at tables with hand made placemats and coasters. We are treated to songs, cake, pink lemonade and more. My little girl is beside herself as she waves to me while they sing their song and delivers my food to me. It’s hard to believe that I didn’t want this gorgeous little girl. The little girl that gives me huge hugs and asks me “do you know who the best mum in the world is?”….I play dumb “Who?”….”You are!” she yells out. This is my real Mother’s Day present….one you can’t wrap….one that you earn….even if it is the hard way.

2012: No need to “try” this time!

So to all those mums that are out there wondering why the hell Mother’s Day exists, wondering why we should celebrate the crying, the sleep deprivation, the exhaustion and all the others things that you don’t read about in the “baby” books and the things that no one told you about. It’s ok to feel that way. We all have different journeys of motherhood. Some of us enjoy every moment gazing at our children in wonder, our hearts alight with joy. Unfortunately, like me, some do not.

I have had to work hard at this motherhood caper. I know no one said it would be easy but if others had of been more honest about what to expect it mightn’t have been such a bumpy road.

So if tomorrow you are having the kind of feelings that I experienced on my first Mother’s Day just know that it can get better, it may just take a while and a little/lot of work.


Post Natal Depression – Do You Ever Recover?

I am yet to publish the story of my battle/journey with Post Natal Depression (PND) on this new blog. Some of you know the story but in a nutshell I have been suffering PND for the last 5 years – for 3 of those years I was unaware that the antidepressants (ADs) I had been prescribed where the wrong type & dose so I was effectively untreated for that time (which explained a lot!) Now finally on the right ADs there has been a huge improvement as well as seeing a psychiatrist and a family counsellor.

I had broached the subject of reducing my ADs with my psych back in October last year but we decided that although I was doing well the fact that my husband was about to leave for a extended period of time overseas this was not the time to test myself.

But how do you know that you are getting better?

The problem with PND is that you never really know how sick you are until you start to get better. You suddenly think “OMG was I really that bad?” When you go to the doctor with the flu or the like, there are usually obvious symptoms – temperature, sneezing, coughing, abnormal blood tests etc. But look at the list of symptoms of PND and you will be amazed by the sheer number of symptoms and how vague they are. From panic attacks, low sex drive to abdominal pains and headaches – it is such a grey area it is hard to put your finger on it. Putting this aside most mums hide the symptoms exceedingly well which makes it even worse for her and those around her.

So although I am still playing single parent I am pleased to say that as of last week I have halved my dose of ADs. It is not that I don’t want to take them, I am more than happy to take them if I need them but a few things have happened that make me think that I am on the path to recovery. These things may sound horrible to mums that have never suffered from PND but those who have will probably know what I mean.

1. I now instinctively kiss my kids good night when I do my final check on them before I go to bed

I hear some of you gasping thinking what the hell is she saying! I love my kids, I always have, but slowly the long held undercurrent of resentment for them changing my life so dramatically has started dissolve. One night I did it and it was a light bulb moment….I am finally becoming the mum I wanted to be.

2. Sleep

I have come to realise over the years my wish to control all things in my life has been my undoing, especially when it comes to children and sleep. I wanted them to sleep, they wouldn’t. They woke too early, I would throw the doona back in a rage, swearing under my breath about how much it sucked. But I think my fight with this demon is finally over. Yes, I still have the occasional crappy night and early morning but the difference now is I don’t fight it and I have turned off the instinctive want to whinge and bitch about it in my head. I don’t wake up thinking “for god sake what now?, go back to sleep!, I just need to sleep!” … now it is “well yep, I’m up again, lets just deal with this and get back to bed as soon as I can etc”….. by changing the way I cope and talk to myself I have finally brought some acceptance to this.

3. Playing with kids

I have never enjoyed playing with the kids as I could always think of more “important” things I should be doing like the dishes! Lately I thought back to my own childhood and realised I never remembered my mum playing with me (I am sure she did!) but I remember the obsession with the house being tidy and ordered. Did I want my children to think back and remember me like that? So I made it my mission to sit and play with them for at least half an hour, one on one, every day. To my surprise I actually enjoy it now I stop thinking about what I could or “should” be doing. This has even extended to sitting and playing with my friends young son on the weekend…..who would have thought it!

In saying all this, I don’t think I will ever be free of this demon called PND. I am sure it will stay hidden in the recesses of my mind and rear its ugly head at points along this “journey” called motherhood. However armed with the knowledge gained from my psychiatrist, counsellor and the amazing support of my friends (you know who you are! ) I am sure it will be less bumpy!