Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

This is somewhat off topic I know but I just had to share with the world how I found a way to stop my gallbladder attacks.

I have read and tried a lot of remedies on the internet about how to stop my gallbladder from contracting (an attack) (including knocking myself out with whiskey) and this is the only one that I’ve found that works for me 100%. It prevents a full-blown attack if you can feel one coming on and it stops an attack in its tracks if you are in the midst of one.

Buy yourself some apple cider vinegar and apple juice. I read that freshly squeezed apple juice is the best to use but I purchased apple juice 98% apple concentrate from the supermarket for $1.90 for 2 litres and that works for me every single time.

Put some apple cider vinegar in a glass (as much as you can cope with drinking). I generally put 1/3 of a cup or less and top up with apple juice and drink the lot. Be prepared for a bit of dry reaching. The cider vinegar is not the nicest but it is better than white vinegar. I’ve tried white vinegar and it didn’t work for me.

I’ve had gallbladder attacks for almost 2 years now and my gallbladder is half full of stones. I’m scheduled to have my gallbladder removed at the end of October 2010.

I could have tried the natural remedy suggested by Dr Hulda Clark but I simply could not bear the thought of drinking the olive oil and epsom salts. I was also a little worried what would happen if I had a large stone and it got caught in the duct. If you can bear her gallbladder cleanse then try it and let me know how you go 🙂

I have learnt over time how to predict if I am about to have a gallbladder attack. Hot skin is one of the first signs that something is not quite right. I had hot skin tonight so I decided to drink a quarter of a glass of apple cider vinegar and some apple juice  to fill to half a glass and so far so good. I also burp a lot of can feel a light pressure in the upper abdomen on the left or right side. I was told by my surgeon that having pains on the left side is very rare.

I have also stopped minor gallbladder attacks through relaxation and YES YES YES I have been told that anxiety and gallbladder attacks go hand in hand. I suffer great anxiety and I am hoping that when the gallbladder is removed my anxiety will lessen but my surgeon tells me anxiety and gallstones are unrelated. Everyone whose had gallstones tell me differently.

I stay away from dairy foods, alcohol and cigarettes (a cigarette at night after meals will definitely bring an attack on in the middle of the night!). I also stay away from red meat, seed breads and oily/fried foods.  Pork and gravy are definite no go zones for me! I also drink a glass of apple juice (high concentrate) every day.

There is apparently a link between estrogen dominance and gallstones as mentioned in Jenny Birdsey’s book about natural  progesterone so for women who are having PMT issues and/or gallstone issues you might want to check out www.npan.com.au to see if you have any of the symptoms associated with progesterone deficiency like I most definitely do.

Good luck, try my simple solution – it definitely works for me 100% every time but it only gets rid of the pain not your stones!


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One major problem I’ve found when dealing with many people who try their best to hold down employment is their in ability to concentrate/focus on what is required.

I know with me, I used to read line after line after line until I got the information to actually sink into my brain. This kind of ability is very hard to deal with expecially if you are on a deadline to get work done and under  pressure to perform.

It’s very sad we have to resort to these kinds of methods out of desperation to keep our jobs.  I was told to try a high strength iron tablet for tiredness which does work, I take a high strength Fish Oil tablet, Spirulina and Berocca (vitamin B).  I must admit though, in times of desperation and pressure, workers need to rid their brain of fog to perform up to standards and in my opinion, employers do not make enough allowances for employees who are hampered by prescribed medications to keep their mental health functioning.

Unfortunately, very little options are available to boost performance/brain power  for those who are desperate to hold down their employnent or they lose their income, their house, their self esteem and their livelihood.

Over the years I’ve acquired various ideas to alleviate brain fog from medication use. Some of these might not be ethical but I’m going to write about them anyway because I know with me my job was so important to hold down and it was virtually impossible working on 450mg of Efexor XR, various anti-psychotics and being able to process information all of the time not to mention coping with the lack of motivation I felt.

First we have the unethical ways I have colleced over the years that people use to eliminate brain fog:

1. No Doz Plus  This product is a caffeine tablet that is meant to keep you awake and stimulate your cognitive functioning.  The downside of No Doz is it can become addictive. From what I’ve seen of it’s contents, it contains more caffeine than a strong cup of coffee. The caffeine is the substance that gets the brain moving and provides clarity and a buzzing energy aiding performance in the workplace.

2. Go for a very strong coffee (say 50ml or more). If you are like me, I am sensitive to caffeine so am unfortunately unable to drink coffee nor decaffinated for it brings me down to a deep depression.

3. Coke-a-Cola will give you a high/buzz and get you going and thinking logically and help you focus on the tasks at hand. Have you buzzing around the workplace in no time. Try guzzling a can of Coke early morning after a good breakfast but watch for the rotting teeth from consistent use though. Perhaps Diet Coke (no sugar) would be better for the teeth.

4. Red Bull – gives you wings! I’ve tried the small can of Red Bull early mornings and it yes it does give you a brain boost and helps you run run run however if you are susceptible to high amounts of caffeine I would recommend staying away from it. The larger the person the more Red Bull is required to have an affect. I generally go for the larger bottles of Red Bull as they get me through the day a lot longer. One needs to be careful when taking things such as No Doz and Red Bull together incase these drugs  react to any prescription medications you are already taking.

5. Now this is a little bit risky but I’ll share it anyway. I worked with a collegue who used to take 2 No Doz and drink a can of Red Bull every morning before work. She was a high flyer/heavy partier on weekends and needed to be on the ball at all times during work so this combination helped her boost her brain power.  I’ve never tried this so I don’t recommend it unless you are a large person and not susceptible to caffeine.

6. Nurofen or Nurofen Plus – contains codeine. Codeine can be very addictive but it will give you a slight brain buzz and help you focus on your work. There is also Panadeine Forte (only available via prescription) and Asprin Forte (available over the counter) which I have tried  but wow what a brain power boost! Be careful if you are allergic to asprin as it can make you vomit. Nurofen and Nurofen Plus will give you constipation and long term use can cause stomach ulcers/rotting lining and can become addictive so it is to be used in moderation.

7. For a more natural approach try very cold water to wake the brain up. Drink lots of it for energy as water makes ap a major percentage of the brain so keeping your body hydrated is most important for good brain function.

8. Freshly squeezed juices – fruit and/or vegetables are so important for energy. I drank these religiously every morning and night. If you don’t have the motivation to clean your juicer (an arduous job!) then purchase freshly vitamised juices from health food stores. Mix and match your fruit and vegetables to make a healthy juice that will make you feel SO GOOD throughout the day.  Try this website: www.juiceville.com.au for a world of information on juicing goodness, recipes and health and nutrition benefits.

Vitamin C tablets – 1000 mg x 3 or 4 per day – chewable. Not very expensive but I take them just before lunch and I feel a great boost of energy afterwards. Highly recommend them but remember they must be “chewable”.

Any other tips from people to eliminate brain fog please do share them with us.

A change of diet is also most important to keep your cognitive brain function working at its optimum level. See my older posts on foods to boos your mood which are most helpful in helping with brain power and concentration levels.

If you have any other ways you’d like to share about how to keep your brain at optimum performance levels while taking medications for mental illnesses plese do share then here for others to read.

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We all know that the last thing we want to do is cook when we feel like garbage. I was going to email this recipe to a friend but I thought hey why not share it with the world instead?

My focus has always been on foods to boost your mood and beat depression (see my previous blog entries and Diet tab) but when I absolutely do need to cook a meal I try to do something that is not only relatively healthy but easy.

My cooking style has changed over the years. I’ve gone from following every ounce of a recipe to shoving it all in a bowl (mind measuring), mixing it around and sticking in a pot to cook. I call it Nigella Lawson style!

Cooking when you are not well doesn’t have to be an arduous task at all. Most of us would prefer to buy take away right? There’s only one problem with that – the expansion of our gut!

So, to add a little home cooked spice to your life, give this recipe a go:


  • 8 chicken thighs (preferably free range/hormone free & skin off – we don’t need extra fat do we!). You can use chicken breasts or pieces here if you like;
  • 450g can of apricot halves in nectar or juice;
  • 1 packet of dried french onion soup (45-60g).


  • Chop the chicken roughly into sizes that suit you;
  • Throw them into a casserole dish;
  • Throw on your apricots and a little of the nectar (about 1/2 a cup);
  • Sprinkle the french onion soup mix on top;
  • Give a quick mix around;
  • Put the casserole lid on and microwave on high for 20 minutes (1000 watt oven) (stir half way through cooking).

Serve with some white rice (brown is ideal for depression sufferers). I bought a rice cooker which is great, just shove in a cup of rice in the cooker, fill to the relevant line with water, shut the lid, turn it on and walk away for 20 minutes and your rice is done. No glug, no mixing, just perfect!

You can’t get easier than that.

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