16 May 2017
Weird things I’ve done, or I’m doing, for my health (and vanity). From ancient Ayurveda practices, to health trends that have become mainstream and things my grandmother would have done.
Apple cider vinegar
I am obsessed with Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). I travel everywhere with it. When I heard that it can make skin tags ‘fall off’ when applied topically, this practice seemed like a logical extension to my nightly ritual of an ACV and hot water before bed. If you haven’t experienced the joy of skin tags, they are one of those bizarre and totally useless side effects of pregnancy that make you feel even more dissociated with your ever-changing body. A skin tag is a small flap of skin that hangs off the surface and can be caused by hormonal changes or weight gain.
Treatment: Dab ACV on to skin tags daily for around two weeks.
Results: I had a small skin tag on my neck and it came off with a gentle tug after two weeks, bleeding slightly and leaving no scar.
Success: 5 out of 5
Teeth whitening gel contains some pretty strong stuff. I had some activated charcoal left over from when I used it to help get rid of a stomach bug, so the experiment began.
Treatment: Once a week, dab toothbrush in the black powder and brush teeth.
Results: Not as noticeable as the real teeth whitening stuff. It’s also extremely messy around the sink and leaves residue on your tongue and teeth. This is definitely one to be done at night and alone because your lips will be as black KISS’.
Success: 3 out of 5
I love my food, and wine, so I have been incorporating one fast day per week for the past couple of months so I can continue to have the occasional treat on my non-fast days. You’ve probably heard of the 5-2 diet. It works on the premise that by only eating 500 calories for women and 600 for men on two fast days per week (the equivalent of around five to six boiled eggs) and 2000 calories for women and 2500 calories for men on the five non-fast days, you provide your body with the rest our hunter-gatherer ancestors did when food was scarce and unpredictable. This rest provides organs such as the liver and kidneys, as well as your digestive system, with time to rest and repair. It is believed to help optimise digestion and detoxification, and lead to weight loss.
Treatment: I fast from after dinner Thursday to before dinner Friday, eating less than 500 calories in between. On fast days I usually consume a couple of carrots, two boiled eggs, a capsicum and lots of black coffee and water. I find it easiest to fast on a Friday because I’m usually so excited it’s almost the weekend that the day flies. I’ve only introduced one fast day per week because I’m not looking for weight loss, but rather to maintain my weight.
Results: It was tough the first couple of weeks but now I’m so used to it that it doesn’t bother me. I feel it has contributed to loss of visceral and stomach fat (my trouble areas). But I don’t have any evidence of this except for the ‘finger jab in the flab’ test.
Success: 4 out of 5
A few years ago I finally plucked up the courage.
Treatment: Look, there isn’t really any way to gloss over the fact that you have to place a hose up your bum and allow as much water to fill you up until you feel the urge to push it all out and with it any pesky bits of, well you know what. This continues for about an hour.
Results: I lost 5kg immediately and felt slim around the middle, but I never felt the buzz of energy or clearer skin that some people report. In fact I went straight home and slept for three hours. It’s just not worth the confronting and unpleasant process for me and I had to ask – was it really necessary? It’s also questionable whether it’s actually good for you.
Success: 0 out of 5
To help my body get rid of toxins I’ve been using a very gentle deodorant by Sukin organics that allows me to sweat.
Treatment: A couple of spray in the arm pits. A couple of sprays of perfume too.
Results: I’m not a big sweater but it’s noticeable that my underarms are damper than when using a conventional deodorant that seemed to block my sweat pores almost completely. No complaints that I smell either! Unless my friends are far too polite.
Success: 4 out of 5
This Ayurveda practice is said to help rid your body of toxins expelled via your tongue.
Treatment: Scrape tongue with a blunt metal object each morning. You can buy tongue scrapers but I use a baby knife. Wipe the residue on a tissue after each scrape.
Results: It’s fascinating and gross how much stuff accumulates on your tongue and how dirty it must be. Not sure if this is effective but it sure hasn’t hurt and it’s more effective than brushing your tongue with a toothbrush which just brushes the bacteria around.
Success: 3 out of 5
What are your weird and wonderful things you do for health and vanity? I’d love to hear, past or present.