Jackie Parry – author


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Firm Butt Solution – It works!

Weed helps fight the flab!

Working hard? Have a free therapy session!

So, everyone wants a nice tight tush right?

Well, you don’t need a gym, you don’t need to pay your way to gain a pert posterior AND it doesn’t feel like exercise.

Actually, it is just like a therapy session.

Getting Weed!

Come to visit us (or any local land owner) and offer to pull up their fireweed!

The Benefits

  • You are outside, enjoying this fabulous autumn
  • It gives you a chance to let your mind wander
  • You are doing physical exercise without feeling like you are
  • In just a few days your butt tightens right up! Believe me!

Freebie!

Come here, far south coast of NSW, it’s like a free gym – I’ll even give you a cuppa!


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How I Cured My Migraines

I’m 99% free from migraines!

The most interesting thing I’ve learned is how to moderate what I eat and not feel as if I am missing out. It’s so obvious and!  I’ll get to that in a moment.

Since January 1st, I’ve:

  • Monitored what I’ve consumed
  • Moderated meat and fatty foods
  • Vastly reduced the amount of chocolate and alcohol
  • Consumed at least 3 litres of water a day – don’t guess it measure it otherwise you won’t drink enough!

This has helped reduce my headaches enormously, but I’ve found out other, non-food related tactics that also help.

A low-pressure system, i.e. a storm, will give me a headache (I’ve always known this can set me off, but a friend reminded me of it recently.)

If I over-heat I will get a headache. This could be working in 35 degree heat, but at a recent house-sit I took a dip in their pool. They heat their water via the sun – and it was like getting in a bath. While it felt pleasant, not long after I suffered from a headache – I felt it come on as my body warmed up.

How to manage my migraines

  • Keep cool – this means not only plenty of water to replace what I’ve lost (in additional to the three litres if doing physical work) but also pouring water on my wrists and neck, and even my head – cooling down properly, reducing my body temperature.
  • Plenty of water – 3 litres a day and much more if doing physical work.
  • Eat well – when I say I have reduced my meat intake, I try not to have it more than once a week and in this I am not including fish as meat. I eat a  lot of fish. I’ve lost weight and feel great. The main reason for doing this was to help my digestive system. I am an A+ blood type, which means I can process carbohydrates much easier than meat.
  • Stress – I have become adept at Choosing Happiness! It works – choose to be happy and content and you are. I also have a way of dealing with jobs that I don’t like. Recently I’ve been painting the interior of our caravan; it’s a fiddly, messy job (I am a messy painter). But as soon as I find myself losing my cool with it all, I remind myself, “at some point you will not be able to do this – so enjoy it while you can!” It works! I appreciate my health and energy.

UnravelTravel is my travel brand for gifts – take a look here… Choose Happiness is just one theme…

Vastly reducing my chocolate intake has helped. I try to stick to dark chocolate if the urge becomes too strong. Milk chocolate is almost an instant trigger (if eating a good quantity – a taste now and then is okay).

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What I came to realise

Food is connected with happiness. I don’t think I’ve been as happy as I am now. When things haven’t gone right I know I comfort eat. Now, as I am so content food is become just a fuel, something to keep me going – not something to indulge in – mostly…

Drinking a lot of water fills me up. So I eat less, keep hydrated, not only does this combats headaches it helps my skin too.

I am feeling great and looking great, even if I say so myself!

So, after just a few months of monitoring my intake, stress levels and body temperature, I feel I am in control. I am never without my stainless steel water container and constantly sip from it throughout the day – ensuring I consume at least 3 litres. (Mug can be purchased here.)

THIS IS KEY!

HAVING A NICE MUG/DRINKING VESSEL MEANS I KEEP IT WITH ME AND

CONSTANTLY SIP THROUGHOUT THE DAY!

My head has never felt so clear – ever – in my life! So that is a remarkable breakthrough.

Someone recommended I take Magnesium for migraines, but also for many other health benefits. So I am giving that a go as well.

Any questions or advice needed (or offered), please drop me a line.


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Migraine Advice Update Part 3

Great Migraine Advice

Tips on Combatting that Migraine

With the great advice and suggestions detailed in the previous blog, I’ve received more in-depth comments too.

“Foods that contain Tyramine, often fermented foods: Mature cheese, red wine, beer, sauerkraut, soy sauce (very high in salt as well, which wouldn’t help), vegemite and chocolate. Nitrites used in cured meat, Aspartame (there’s a reason why it’s not recommended for young children – it screws with your head!)”

I had to look up Aspartame and this is what I found:

From the NHS – UK Website:
Aspartame has been subject to more scare stories than any other sweetener, ranging from allergies and premature births to liver damage and cancer. Read more here.

Here’s a great article all about migraines, it mentions Aspartame as a possible cause.

It also talks about other triggers, many of which make perfect sense to me. What was most interesting that they say some women have a headache prior to their period. This was spot on for me too (see my previous blog here on combating my migraines).

This article talks about a study that “proves” Aspartame does not contribute to migraines.

However, despite mentioning a study that proved this fact, this is issued by the Aspartame Information Center.

More information on Caffeine

Image courtesy of Chaloemphan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Chaloemphan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, so supposedly if migraines are partly due to vasodilation, it could be good. But it also increases blood pressure, so it might cancel that out. It increases cortisol levels – the stress hormones – so I’d probably steer clear of it.”

 “Chocolate has some caffeine, but more theobromine – a similar chemical. It is, however, a vasodilator. Although it contains serotonin, the feel good hormone, migraines are also partly caused by an excess of serotonin.”

Fabulous – yum – recipe! An alternative to Chocolate

I’ve mostly read that chocolate is a no no. I’ve had very little over the last month. Thank you, Simon Hugh

Thank you, Simon Hugh Wheeler for offering so much valuable advice and this recipe.

Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“An alternative to chocolate is carob. I know it’s not the same, but for example, I’ve made a microwave, 1 min mud cake with carob flour, an egg, some sugar and a touch of cinnamon and ginger which is gorgeous.”

Simon goes on to say, “Carob has no caffeine, no oxalates (if you have kidney or joint problems, that can help), but has fibre, calcium, magnesium and vits A, B, and D, amongst other nutrients. It also has antioxidants and Gallic acid which is a mild analgesic – it helps to reduce cholesterol too.”

Find out all about Carob here.

Needless to say, I will be looking into carob recipes further.

What now?

Well, I’ll continue on my quest to monitor what I eat to see if I can nut out what affects me.

However, as I am eating everything in moderation, it may take some time. If I don’t have a migraine within a month of this experiment, I will be ecstatic as I usually have one at least once a month.

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When I lose control and binge on something yummy (yes, it’ll be chocolate), then I’ll monitor the results.

Image courtesy of cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Simple Solutions

I hope to solve my problem with the simplest solution – and I fully intend to solve it – watch this space.

Update: My research has revealed some incredibly interesting triggers and things to avoid… all will be revealed soon. BTW – I am winning the battle!


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Beating Migraines Update 1

Have I conquered my migraines?

It’s a bit early to say, but I believe I’ve made an improvement. Never has my head felt so clear!

What’s Worked For Me?

For over two weeks I’ve monitored what I eat, but that’s not the key – not yet, anyhow.

I’ve reduced my meat intake (but eaten lots of fish), this is mainly to help my digestive system.

I’ve moderated chocolate. I’ve eaten two squares of dark chocolate and didn’t like it one bit, it just tasted of sugar.

I’ve eaten one ice-cream and one iced coffee – that’s as bad as it got.

Other than that, it’s been fish, pasta, salads, porridge, eggs, fruit, noodles, vegetables and potatoes (on the whole).

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Keeping Hydrated

I’ve consumed at least three litres of water a day, monitoring it very carefully.

Findings

That’s the key so far, although it is too early to tell, but I am starting to feel that I didn’t drink enough and that is the main reason for my migraines.

Image courtesy of nixxphotography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nixxphotography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Headache

I did have a headache last Thursday. It certainly wasn’t a migraine and miraculously two panadol’s knocked it on the head almost immediately. Previously, Panadol’s/Paracetamol hasn’t worked for me for years.

What caused the headache?

That’s easy, it wasn’t anything I ate or drank, but I over did it. Moving from one house (house-sit), to our caravan (temporarily between house sits) on an extremely high-humidity day didn’t help. I cleaned the house we were leaving, then we had to empty the caravan (the annex was in bits, in the caravan) and then scrub the 24 ft caravan that hadn’t seen any cleaning products for many years.

Blowing Puffle-Valves

I blew one, actually several. The rain clouds were building. We had nowhere else to stay (well, we did have a lovely offer from a dear friend, but for some reason we were on a mission!). Noel put up the roofing iron, above the caravan roof, to help to keep the van cool. The hatches leaked slightly, so it put a stop to that too.

At 7:30 pm we both fell into bed exhausted (yes, we did shower). Our limbs screamed in protest, and I don’t think I drank enough water to replace what I lost.

Image courtesy of nuchylee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nuchylee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Next steps

I am still monitoring what I consume. I’ve succumbed to a massive T-bone steak – delicious and, well, I think that’s about as bad as it gets! Oh yes, I’ve had a few slices of bread, but still a fraction of what I had before. And, of course, I’ve had a little wine, but when doing so I’ve consumed more water to fend off dehydration – and I’ve only had a few sips here and there.

Taking Care – the Answer

If I had to give you an answer right now about the cause of my migraines, I’d say drinking enough water and not pushing it is the key. So today, on a stupidly hot day, we’ve worked on the caravan this morning (preparing to paint it) and come back to the house (next house-sit) and turned the air conditioning on. Time to do some laptop work and keep cool – taking care.

Other Answers

I’ve had a great response and bundles of advice about what sets off migraines. Some of it contradictory – which is more than interesting; some of it very detailed. I am hoping that I don’t have to get too technical by reading the labels on everything I eat. I’ll share some advice/suggestions soon – it’s all rather an eye-opener.

In the meantime –  has anyone else combatted headaches with water?

(Interesting in from boat-to-land escapades? Check out our latest adventures here).


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Health and Monitoring Migraines

Accidental New Year’s Resolution

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. Not usually.

I prefer to look back on the year and remind myself of all my achievements.

Quite by accident, on the first of January I decided to take action against my migraines.

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Morphing Migraines

Over the years my migraines have changed.

  • They were a short burst (one day) of extensive pain and vomiting
  • Then the vomiting eased but the pain intensified – sometimes to a frightening level
  • Then the pain eased – so less pain but now they last 4-5 days
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I can just about function with these ‘new’ migraines but I don’t really like how they travel from one side of my head to the other – I can feel them creep across my brain!

Drugs

The other problem is that I am taking more and more painkillers. I’m avoiding prescription drugs, but this has to change because:

  • Right now I take codeine with aspirin and throw down some panadol if I need an extra boost
  • Codeine will become a prescription drug next year
  • I’m fed up with popping so many pills
Image courtesy of yodiyim at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of yodiyim at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Action

As of the first of January (quite by accident) I’m listing everything I eat and drink. I include the time spent on the laptop, quantity of sleep, level of stress, bed time and the time I wake up.

Boring Diet

Consequently, I am making other changes:

  • I am avoiding chocolate
  • I’ve cut right down on alcohol (not a drop during the week and a small quantity Friday and maybe Saturday night)
  • I am avoiding chocolate
  • I am rarely eating meat (well, I am consuming fish). As an A+ blood type, my body finds it easy to digest carbohydrates but hard to process meat
  • I am avoiding chocolate (total success so far, by some miracle).
  • Did I mention the chocolate?
Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How

  • The chocolate is hidden in the fridge. I’ve recently been told that Australian chocolate has additional preservatives to prevent it melting as quickly.
  • I’m drinking a lot more water – ensuring my intake is at least 3 litres per day
  • The less chocolate and meat I eat – the less I crave it. So it’s becoming easier.

Results so far

  1. I have loads of energy (driving hubby nuts)
  2. I wake up less grumpy (hubby happy)
  3. My digestive system is working a treat (everyone’s happy!)
  4. My head has been quite clear for a week (again – everyone’s happy)
  5. I’m losing weight (yay me!)
  6. My perpetually dry lips are starting to repair (whoop whoop)
I'm back to my old self - only a better version!

I’m back to my old self – only a better version!

Relapse

I know I will struggle at times (Noel ate a meat pie yesterday and my stomach growled in protest!). When it happens I will just revert back to the better behaviour the next day and carry on.

I’m looking forward to reporting how I do. AND – why is this subject on my author blog? Well, sore eyes and head are rather important to avoid if I want to write!


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Shark Encounter That Changed My Life

Excerpt from This It It – 2 hemispheres, 2 people, and 1 boat

Tahanea Atoll is part of the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia. For an atoll, it is large, measuring almost thirty miles in length; the maximum width is just under ten miles. There’s a narrow entrance and a wide lagoon to anchor within. It’s uninhabited but visited occasionally by islanders from neighbouring atolls for fishing.

We anchored in clear, turquoise water a fair distance away from shore and the other three boats already there. We declined the offer of joining the other cruisers on a shark dive in the passageway – sharks weren’t my thing; I noticed Noel wasn’t that keen, either.

‘They won’t hurt you,’ they said. ‘The sharks there have no teeth; they can only suck the flesh off your arm!’

We weren’t sure if this was a joke or reality; either way, the outcome wasn’t endearing.

Anchored off Tahanea Atoll (in the Pacific Ocean)

Anchored off Tahanea Atoll (in the Pacific Ocean)

We took time to assemble, pump up, and off-load our large rubber dinghy; we wanted to snorkel on a reef, but first, we had to float our anchor chain. Finding a sandy patch to anchor in was a little tricky; between the anchor and the boat, the chain would snag on coral heads. The sharp coral can wear chain over time but, short-term, the chain causes damage. Our boat fenders were ideal floats. Every five metres, we lashed a fender to the chain to keep it floating above the living structure of the reef and to prevent snatching where the chain had been shortened when snagged. I kept one eye open for sharks.

With that job done, we puttered over to a coral patch, where we thought we’d be safe. This is where I learned I could walk on water.

On our way to dive

On our way to dive

There we were, having a jolly good time drifting along with the gentle current, watching colourful fish flash alongside vibrant coral. Noel swam about twenty metres in front of me, and something made me turn around. As I swung my head over my left shoulder, I practically touched noses with a black-tip shark. A cold rush of terror gushed into my belly as if a sluice gate had been opened.

My mate sharky

My mate sharky

Noting its teeth and bulky length at almost twice my height, I screamed, spun around, and flailed my way towards Noel. Running on pure adrenaline, I didn’t make the decision – fight or flight didn’t cross the wreckage of my mind, but clearly, flight had won the day. I can be calm when in immediate danger; meeting a shark so intimately had proven this wasn’t always the case.

As I thrashed my way towards Noel, I forgot to breathe, but my mind conveniently decided to voice its opinion.

You’re never going to out swim a shark! My thoughts tormented me; they were at odds with my physical emotions as if they were sitting back in a deck chair enjoying the show.

Any moment sharky is going to be enjoying lunch care of your left thigh.

But I couldn’t stop. I had leaped into sheer panic mode. I had no control of my actions, and it appeared that I couldn’t control my thoughts, either.

As I flogged my way nearer to Noel, he was blissfully unaware of my stress as he silently snorkelled in peace. He jumped two foot clear of the water as I grabbed his leg, clawed across his back, and sat on his shoulders.

Noel having a nice peaceful time before I came along!

Noel having a nice peaceful time before I came along!

‘What the…. what’re you doing, gerrrooofff!’

He pulled me down beside him.

‘Shark, there’s a shark!’ I scanned the area. Sharky was hiding somewhere, clearly having a good titter at my expense.

‘It grinned at me. It was so close I nearly kissed it!’ I said breathlessly. ‘I think we upset him by not going to see him with the diving excursion, and he decided to pay us a visit.’ Fear makes me ramble.

Noel laughed. ‘It’s okay. Let’s go over there. It’s a bit shallower, and we can regroup.’

We stood on a reef, where the water came to above my knees. I peered at Pyewacket way off on the horizon.

‘At least the dinghy is nearby.’

‘Well, it’s a few minutes swim to reach it,’ Noel said. My heart did a little flip.

‘Will you let go of me now?’ Noel said as he tried to unpeel my arms away from his neck. I’d become a remarkable human form of Velcro.

‘Oh, that’s interesting,’ Noel muttered as he managed to free himself, and I turned to look. I knew his cool demeanour didn’t always mean the situation was cool. And I was right. My mate with the sharp teeth circled us, clearly revelling in our situation. He had us surrounded. Round and around he swam; his black beady eyes watching.

Then he started circling us!

Then he started circling us!

‘Shit!’ I can be so eloquent.

‘Let’s head back to the dinghy,’ Noel suggested.

‘And how do you propose we do that?’ I asked with my knees knocking. I had found the thing scared me silly. I didn’t like any of it – the thumping adrenaline or trembling limbs. Blind panic and tremendous fear wasn’t something I experienced often; now it was becoming frequent!

I searched around the area and found two three-foot sticks to carry. I am not sure what I could have done if the blacktip fancied a munch. Perhaps poke him a bit and give him the hump? But it made me feel better.

My defense!

My defense!

Much to Noel’s amusement, I swam back to the dinghy in circles, so I could keep an eye on anything that lurked behind me.

That moment changed my enjoyment of dipping in the oceans forever, but I didn’t know I’d be gleefully jumping into shark infested water again… soon.


For more stories on our current escapades and more pictures: click here.

Our boat is for sale: click here to have a good look at our 1920s Dutch Barge.

Author blog: www.jackieparry.com

Travel blog: www.noelandjackiesjourneys.com

Horse: http://helpinghandforhorses.weebly.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackie.parry.7543

Travels: https://www.facebook.com/NoelAndJackiesJourneys

Horses: https://www.facebook.com/pages/For-the-love-of-horses/1048526295173146

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00OT9CWV8

Amazon book links

A Standard Journey: viewBook.at/astandardjourney

Of Foreign Build:  viewBook.at/OfForeignBuild

Cruisers’ AA (accumulated acumen): viewBook.at/cruisersaa

This Is It: viewBook.at/thisisit

Audio Excerpt Of Foreign Build: http://goo.gl/AnsKRr

Twitter

https://twitter.com/NandJJourneys

https://twitter.com/StandardJourney

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7157763.Jackie_Sarah_Parry?from_search=true

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jackieparry7543

Linkedin https://uk.linkedin.com/in/jackieparry

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113148478675680852619/posts/p/pub

Photo album of A Standard Journey: http://goo.gl/1QgMp2

Photo album of Of Foreign Build: https://jackieparry.com/of-foreign-build-photo-album/

Photo album of Cruisers’AA: https://jackieparry.com/pics/

Photo album of This Is It: https://jackieparry.com/photos-this-is-it/

A Standard Journey FB Page: https://goo.gl/uV7NGY

Cruisers’ AA FB Page:  https://goo.gl/2vEnkB

Of Foreign Build FB Page: https://goo.gl/VvLT3M

Listen to me chat to Carol Graham (Never Ever Give Up) about sailing, pirates, adopting horses, and surviving life! http://app.stitcher.com/splayer/f/69073/41215218

Amazing Facts & Watching Births & Deaths!

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I learned some interesting stuff this morning. Which is interesting in itself, as it is my birthday and I plan to do very little today.

While ‘playing’ on the internet, I found some fascinating facts about my birth date.

First, once I had put in my birth-date, they stated my age (44) – very helpful!

Some useless facts (1970)

Music
#1 R&B song: Stoned Love by The Supremes
Today – well it depends where you look. One said something about Tuesday in the title, which put me off as it is Friday today. Another had the ‘F’ word in the title. Yup, nice, I don’t want to know!

Movies
#1 Movie: Love Story
Today – The Hobbit –The Battle of Five Armies. I did notice that Annie is number 3. I simply adored this movie when I was a kid and can’t wait to see this one.

(Best Birthday present: EYES RIGHT! 😉  )

Books
#1 novel for 1970: Love Story by Erich Segal
Today – Unbroken by  Laura Hillenbrand

Price of a new car: $3,645.  In 2013 it was over $32,000!

Phase of the moon: Waning crescent – 25% illumination
Today: Waxing crescent 25% illumination
(Waning is getting smaller each night, waxing is getting bigger each night (think wax ‘on’!)

Apparently my tarot personality card is The Wheel of Fortune. That sounds pretty good to me.

World Population: 3,766,155,556. Today at 9:15 am it was 7,283,683,299.

Deaths and births
Here you can watch people die! And be born! Goodness. Actually, you watch the numbers change for births, deaths and population growth. The numbers change rapidly! Do they have someone sitting there logging up to the minute deaths!

A Sobering Thought
I found this last one shocking. But it is another neat reminder that my time is ticking away. I’m included in the numbers on the birth log, one day I will be on the death-log too, what a sobering thought!

Positive Thoughts
I think I’ll focus on the love and good fortune theme that runs through my birth-date. The best birthday present I’ve received so far is really – good health and happiness.

For everyone with a birthday today – Have a Great Day and don’t be sad you are another year older… it is better than the alternative.

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