Category Archives: Health

2018 Week 1 Summary

It’s been non-stop since we got back from our holiday.

Paris & Rome
Jetlagged, we had to pick up the bunnies from the sitter, get all their areas set up and ensure they were settling down ok.  I thank God that I ordered food and hay before we left for hols.

The only problem was Rome was particularly skinny and both bunnies were very stressed.  Paris settled down within 24 hours and was jumping around and happy.  Rome however decided to give me a 3 day strop.  I suppose it’s to teach me a lesson for leaving him.

I should have known he would be like this.  He is, after all, the one that nips you on the ankles if you decide to pat Paris before him.  Except I didn’t know and I couldn’t tell if his behaviour and weight loss was due to anger and stress or if he was actually sick.

He was eating and drinking lots of water though so I just fed him extra to fatten him up, watched him closely and by the 3rd day, he’d returned to his normal happy self.

How do I know he was angry and not sick?  Because he completely tore apart a grass ball he’s only occasionally played with since getting it in March 2017.  Within 3 days he turned it from a ball into a few bits of tangled grass.  He bit and dug at it with fervour.

The nail in the coffin was when he jumped onto my head via my face while I was lying down on the floor.  He has always been mindful and respectful of our heads and faces and has never put his claws near them, opting instead to jump on our backs, tummies, legs, shoulders etc.  As soon as his claws dug into my face and scalp when he could have just walked around, I knew there was something wrong.  He went back to normal after that which is how I knew he did it out of anger.

How else would a non-verbal animal show you how much you hurt and upset them?  As soon as he saw how much it hurt me, the anger stopped and he returned to normal.  Cheeky little bugger.

I’ve also spent a  whole day researching vets and trying to find one that is
a)  close to us and easier to get to (our original vet required a very long walk from the train station or hiring a car every time we needed to take them)
b)  rabbit friendly/savvy – rabbits, although the 3rd most kept pets (after dogs and cats), are still considered exotic and unfortunately not many vets know anything about them.
c) competent – after looking up reviews on google and facebook I’ve realised now that there are many vets who misdiagnose or will only diagnose after you’ve agreed to very expensive blood tests etc.   Money before welfare?  Take in a patient even though you don’t know how to deal with them?  Doesn’t fly with me.

I’ve found a new vet.  Fingers crossed they’re good.  They were recommended by the RWAF (Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund) and booked both bunnies in for vaccination tomorrow.  I wasn’t expecting them to be available at such short notice.  Our old vets said they didn’t have availability until next week (Sat).  Being able to register and book them in within 24 hrs is a  good sign.

Oh these bunnies are gonna love me.  Not even a week home and already we’re taking them to get injections!!  I wonder if Rome will decide to jump on my head again.  :/

House Stuff
No time for resolutions because our boiler wasn’t working as soon as we arrived and coming from the Philippines (which was 30’C) and Hong Kong (which was 20’C) to freezing cold (-5’C – 0’C) London was a shock to the system.  Can you imagine 0’C and we had no hot water or heating?

I actually turned on the oven and started boiling water on the stove so we could wash dishes (no fun washing dishes in icy cold water) and to warm up the lounge a bit.  We both went to bed without having a shower.

We actually both curled up under the covers while wearing our thermals and socks.  I was still wearing my down feather jacket.  All I could think was this is what a homeless person trying to keep warm in a nook with a cardboard box would feel like.  It just wasn’t happening – you just can’t get warm!!!

After a whole day of being cold and jetlagged, I pretty much got angry and told Tones to work it out and sort it.  He finally got it sorted and we had heating and hot water again after a day.  If that didn’t work I would have called a gas engineer.

The only reason why I didn’t call one straight away was because we knew it was a simple fix.  Re-pressurising a boiler is something everyone can do, it’s just the method that usually worked, wasn’t working and it took me getting really angry and telling him to look it up and sort it for Tones to do anything about it.  Why didn’t I do it?  Because even on the ladder, I can’t actually reach the filling loop – yes, I’m too short.

To top this off, our washing machine pump stopped working just before we left for holiday which meant clothes we used and were unable to wash before the holiday were still dirty and we had to add to it a pile of dirty holiday clothes.

Tones and I spent some time trying to work out how to clean out the pump, remove water from the machine etc. etc. but nothing we did fixed it and I had to call someone to come and sort it.

However, nobody can turn up until next week meaning our washing is just piling up like crazy.  I have now been attempting to do the laundry using the machine but manually (as in, catching water with a bucket and pouring it into the sink) emptying it out every time it’s required, which is about 3-4 times per wash cycle, approx. 3 buckets each time.  I know, laborious.

It’s taking me 3 hrs to do a wash that would normally take 1.5hrs but I feel this is easier than carrying a whole bunch of washing 10-15 mins walk away, sitting there and waiting for the whole wash cycle to finish and then carrying all those wet clothes back.  Come to think of it, it would take the same amount of time but at least I don’t have to carry it all.  I’ve done it before.  Wet clothes are really heavy!

At least, I’m still slowly getting through the huge pile of dirty clothes.  Clean socks and undies are important!!  Anyway, next time you so casually do a load of laundry like it ain’t no thang… spare a thought for me.  I tell you, I appreciate washing machines a hell of a lot more these days!

Joy & Tones
Tones is back to the daily grind and has been stroppy because he’s been tired.   He’s been tired due to lack of sleep.  He’s not sleeping well because the neighbours are noisy sometimes and I’ve been snoring.  I’m still sick from holidays.  Other than that, he’s been well.

I’ve reopened the online store and had to deal with so many enquiries including someone who kept saying they didn’t receive their item until I sent them a screenshot of the tracking to say that not only was it delivered but that they signed for it.  I’ve been waiting for a response and got none.  Seriously…. if there’s one thing I hate, it’s people wasting my time.

I’ve also had to book in a cervical screening for myself.  I’ve already done one last year but it came back inconclusive and they’ve requested I do another one.  This isn’t the best news.   Normally it’s just straight out positive or negative.

This hazy area could mean there’s something else wrong with me but it could explain why I’ve been getting sick a lot in the past year, feeling lethargic and why I’ve had to give up going to yoga too.  I was bleeding after every yoga class, to the same degree as the intensity of the class.  The more intense the class, the more I’d bleed, so I stopped going altogether and low and behold, the bleeding stopped too.  Still…. moment of truth this one…. cervical screening is next week.  I just hope the time out did the trick.

In other news, I’m working out how to eliminate mammals from my diet.  I’ve been yo-yoing around this issue of meat-eating out of habit and my own pleasure vs the life-long suffering and long, drawn-out and painful deaths of animals, for years.  It’s an internal struggle.  My love for food vs my love for animals.  There’s much more to be said but I’ll leave it for another time.

I’d tell you about our holiday but this blog is already very long.  So it’ll have to wait until next time  too 🙂

See you next week x


Learning about health via the bunnies

Sickness – this time it’s not just me, it’s the bunnies too.

Every morning when I go to let the bunnies out, as soon as I open the hutch door, Paris jumps out.  He never misses it, he’s out like lightening, his timing is impeccable.

Every morning when I feed the bunnies, as soon as it’s Paris’ turn to get his nuggets aka pellets, he runs, jumps and scurries everywhere in excitement.

This morning however, he ignored the opened door.  When I put his food out, he came outside to smell it tentatively, as if it were foreign.  He then ran back inside his hutch.

I took the food and put it right in front of his nose and mouth and he rejected it.  He sniffed it and turned his head away.

Not a good sign for a bunny.  They will never turn away their food, especially their favourite treats, unless they’re sick.

Immediately I got worried.  A bunny who hasn’t eaten in 6 hours must be taken to the vet immediately except, I didn’t know how long he hadn’t eaten for.

So I watched him.  Meanwhile my nose was running and I started sneezing over and over.  I figured I was just cold but this happens every single time.  I always think I’m just cold… but then it ends up the beginning of some kind of illness.  FANTASTIC.

You know, I already upped my probiotic intake?  So I’m not quite understanding why I keep getting sick.  Perhaps it was because we were out in the cold and rain for 3 days in a row.

Perhaps not much sleep each night has finally caught up with me.  Perhaps it’s been my diet.  We’ve been out and about with friends from overseas so I’ve just eaten anything and everything.

Most likely, it’s a combination of all of the above.  We’ll see how this progresses.

Meanwhile, ignoring my runny nose, I sat and watched Paris while googling his symptoms.  He didn’t eat, drink or go toilet.  He didn’t want me to touch him (this part is normal) but the abnormal part was that he couldn’t be bothered running away like usual, he just sat there in a ball.

GI Stasis – when the gastro-intestinal tract slows down causing the bunny pain via gas and build up of toxins in the gut that he can’t get out.  Usually caused by lack of fibre (if you give them too many treats, wheat, sugar etc).

It made no sense because I feed them Timothy Hay, which is their main source of fibre, every single day without fail.  They haven’t had any treats other than apple twigs (dried branches from an apple tree) and blackcurrant leaves (dried leaves from a blackcurrant plant) and oat hay.

Also they’re on an all natural pellet now which is wheat and grain free and made specifically of Timothy Hay, which I also weigh before giving them.  No overfeeding my bunnies these days.  Rome’s double chin made sure of that.  I’ve been weighing out their pellet servings precisely so they never get more than 30g of pellets a day.  It’s been like this since they turned 6 months old and they’re now already 1 year 2 months.

Another cause of GI Stasis is their teeth becoming too long – they won’t eat if their teeth are too long.  Makes no sense again because that’s what all the hay and twigs are for, to keep their teeth ground down.

Last cause – fur ball.  Highly likely because they’re moulting at the moment.  They can’t vomit or cough it out like a cat so the fur can collect and clog up their GI tract.

So I attempt to brush Paris to check how much fur he’s actually losing and find there’s hardly any fur on the brush.  How could he have a fur ball when he’s not moulting heavily?

2 hours pass and he hasn’t moved.  I start searching for vets that are closer to us than his current one but then he moves.  He creeps outside tentatively and eats a pellet.  He only eats a few and then runs back inside the hutch.

He sits in his litter.  I’ve never been so relieved to see him go to the toilet.  He jumps off and there are only 2 poos in there.  2!! And they’re covered in jelly/mucus – a sign that there’s something wrong with the GI tract.

I don’t yet panic because he starts to run around and eat all the other pellets.  So I chase him a bit for grooming to get as much fur as I can off him.  Even though the brush collects hardly any fur, I know that getting him moving around is good for his bowel movements.

I then pin him down to massage his stomach.  He doesn’t like it and keeps running away but I feel his tummy is like a hard bubble.  I finally get him still, I massage his belly softly, hoping to get any gas to move around and then I let him go.

About 15 mins later, he was in his litter again and he pooed.  It wasn’t as much as usual but enough for me to know he was ok.  All his poo was covered in mucous and chained together with fur.  It was his fur after all.  Note to self:  more regular brushing is required.

He also started eating his Timothy Hay again and then proceeded to run around and binky in his play area and he even had a drink of water.  Thank God.

He’s gone to sleep now but at least I know I don’t have to take him to the vet anymore.

So what did I learn about health from a bunny?
1.  Fibre is really important.
2.  A healthy gut is super important.  The moment anything compromises it, it causes all sorts of discomfort.
3.  When sick, stay off treats.  Stick to simple food, fibre and water.
4.  Always celebrate being happy and healthy again with a few binkies.
5.  Being observant for the signs of discomfort, resting and letting your body do what it does is the best way to get better quickly.

So, now that the bunnies have gone to sleep.  It’s time for me to do the same.

Good night!

Bikram Yoga: My body says No!

So, it’s been a while since I said we were returning to Bikram Yoga.

We went to one class which I felt absolutely fine in, as if I’d never left.

Soon after however, I caught a cold/cough and spent a week recovering.  I haven’t been sick like that in over a year.

Then just as I was recovering from that, my grandma passed away so I spent a week hiding away dealing with my grief.

I thought that was enough and I was better.

Committed to what I said about returning to Bikram yoga, I just went for my first class in 2-3 weeks on Tuesday.  This time, I couldn’t hack it.  I sat down a lot.  I felt emotional, my back was tight, I felt dizzy.

After class Tony just said “You looked weak.”

We had to go grocery shopping afterwards and I didn’t have the energy.  My back wouldn’t let up, it was like muscles tightening in my back more and more but stopping just before a cramp.

I started to feel anxious and the tension crept up to my neck causing a long and intense aching like my head was in a vice.  I wished right there and then I could just curl up into a ball and go to sleep but I had to walk home carrying heavy groceries.

Tony carried most of it but there was too much for him to be able to carry it all himself.  For the first time in over 10 years, I really wished we had a car.

After we got home, I just lay down and didn’t want to do anything.  I felt like I had my period and even started bleeding just like I had it.

My eyes were bloodshot.  I was not in a good way.

Before I went to bed I noticed a red mark on my hand.  It looked like an insect bite.  I ignored it and by the time I woke up, I had about 3 more insect bites on my palm and a couple on the back of my hand.  They were really itchy so naturally, I scratched them and the ones on my palm blew up into a full blown blistery rash that both hurt and itched horribly, by the end of the day.

Of course I consulted Dr Google about it.  It seems I’ve developed some kind of eczema caused by stress (and humid conditions) or I’m having an allergic reaction to whatever insect has bitten me.  If it’s  neither of those, I’ve contracted yet another disgusting skin disease from a sweaty mat.

As for the bleeding after exercise, it can be caused by stress.  Sometimes the stress on the body due to the intensity of the exercise can change the hormone balance, causing the body to act like it’s time to menstruate.  It’s either that or, it’s something a woman goes through before she gets to menopause (bleed between periods).

I have noticed however, bleeding only happens after exercise and the amount of bleeding correlates with how spent I feel after the exercise.   No bleeding happened during the time I didn’t exercise at all so it’s more likely caused by physical stress rather than menopausal.

Great.  (Read in the most sarcastic way you can hear it.)

Either way, it’s scary and all been triggered with Bikram and all those symptoms listed are a sign that my immune system is not coping well with stress.

It’s not like I pushed myself that much.  I sat out half of almost every standing posture after eagle but my body is telling me that even that was way too much for it to deal with!

I said I was going back to Bikram because I was in need of pain but this is not what I meant.

The good news?  My plan worked.  I went back to Bikram to help  me change my diet.  If I hurt enough, I’d learn to eat better.

Well, in the last 2 days we’ve eaten much better (no chips or cookies)and are more determined and motivated than ever to continue it.


All in order to help me recover quickly from these horrible ailments and so Tony doesn’t feel so “toxic” anymore.

Side note – we are still eating out occasionally and put no restrictions on what we eat when we eat out.

My bleeding stopped the next day.  The eczema is still there.  It’s only been a day so I’ll give it a week or so, to clear completely.

Since illness is a symptom of immune deficiency and we haven’t had kefir for a couple of months, I’ve started us drinking that again too.  Improved gut health through increased probiotics means an improved immune system and improved immunity means quick recovery and less sickness!

As for increasing the number of Bikram classes I attend, for now, for this body, it’s a complete no go.

Until my body starts dealing with physical stress a bit better and my immune system has improved, I am going to Bikram minimally.  I think once a week, if that, will do just fine and even then, unless I’m feeling super strong, I’ll probably spend most of my time sitting.

That will be interesting!  I have never walked out of a Bikram class and for the most part, until I got injured (pain in my butt), I never sat out any postures either.  Now I’m sitting out quite a bit.  To me this is already taking it easy.

It seems, I’m still learning what “take it easy” means.  So many times I think I’m taking it easy, that I’m pretty much lazing about and then I get sick, I get injured or I  post exercise bleed and get eczema – all indications of what my body really thinks of my version of taking it easy.

Besides, I achieved my purpose of going back, which was to eat better.  If I’m doing that, there’s no point overdoing it just ’cause.

As the teachers always say, you only do as much as you can, with the body that you have, that day.  My body right now, is saying “No way Jose!  Not today.  I do not want to play!”

If only I knew how to listen to it before it has to scream like this.  So much changes inside, you never see it until these symptoms come up and usually by then, it’s been festering for a while.  I wonder how you recognise it before it does this because that would be way more useful.

Isn’t it interesting though, that none of these symptoms came up until I did Bikram again?!  I guess that room is a pressure test, a great way to find your breaking point and bring symptoms up to the surface so you can resolve the issues!!

Well, we obviously could feel something was off, otherwise we wouldn’t have felt the need to go back.

The good thing is, at least I’ve started the process for change and healing now.  As with many healing crises, it always feels worse before it gets better.

I’m really hoping now that this is the worst and soon it will get better.  For now, I think it’s time to learn how to chill out even more and monitor my symptoms for improvement.

Doing Bikram Yoga Again because I’m Vane and Need Some Pain

We started going to Bikram yoga again.

I went to maybe four or five Bikram yoga classes in total over this last 9-12 month period.  One of them was accidental (ie I walked into the wrong room and sat there not realising, long enough to be too late for the class I was supposed to be in) and the other was forced (ie I couldn’t get into the class I wanted because it was full / booked out so went to Bikram instead).

The last 2 classes however were voluntary.  We went because we felt we needed it.  It only took a year to miss it 😉

The strange thing is, it’s not as bad as I expect it to be while I’m in there but by gosh I feel horrible afterwards.  My body aches and I’m always tired and I seem to be straining my neck a lot because I feel my shoulders and neck are so tense they cause me headaches for the next 2 days after class.

I’m also still losing large chunks of hair afterwards because my head drops hair when my body is hot and/or stressed.

Surprised I can still do the postures even though I hadn’t done them in ages.  Though my eagle is looking crooked these days and my initial back bends are more or less upright.

The rest of my postures are probably the same standard as they were before we stopped.  That is impressive.  It means vinyasa and yin have maintained our strength and flexibility overall so we can still do the movements we hadn’t done in ages.

So why did we feel we needed to do Bikram yoga again if the other yoga styles were maintaining/improving strength and flexibility already?  Vanity.

Bikram yoga is the only yoga that gets our skin soft and supple.  It gets rid of any lumps and bumps.  All the pimples and blackheads disappear because your pores open up and you just sweat it all out.

Bikram yoga is also the only yoga that’s gotten rid of my bingo wings, which have returned regardless of all the damned chaturangas I do and it’s not got to do with the postures but our diet.

You see, the only yoga that makes me change the way I eat is Bikram yoga.  That is because when you don’t eat well, you will feel it in that room or afterwards and after a while, you just get sick of feeling like sh*t all the time and so you either stop the Bikram or you change your diet.

Evidently I’m vane enough to go back just because I don’t like all my blocked pores or my wobbly arms and it’s the only way I know how to fix both.

Tony doesn’t like feeling “toxic” and according to him, Bikram yoga is the only thing that makes him feel like he’s eliminated all the toxins from his body.  He is convinced he’s wrung all the toxins out of his body through his sweat.

He is always the one moaning about not having enough vegetables and “eating too much junk”.  Those words are in inverted commas because he uses them every time he complains about the food we’ve eaten.  At the same time, he’s the one that’s always buying said junk and brings some home with him every day.

We now eat biscuits, cakes, crisps, crackers, chips, takeaway multiple times a day, every day and the only thing that’s going to stop us from continuing to do it is if we feel horrible afterwards.

Except, if you take the Bikram Yoga out of the following equations, we don’t feel anything but satisfied and full!

Eating Junk +  Bikram  Yoga = Feel Horrible / In Pain

Eat Well + Bikram  Yoga = Feel High as a kite

Whether you’re motivated by pain or gain, when it comes to diet, Tony and I have both found that Bikram Yoga is what is needed to make us change it.  So, we’re back.

Well, we all need something to motivate us to make changes / get in that room right?

Journey From Periodontitis to Super Healthy Teeth and Gums Naturally (plus my tooth powder recipe)


Those were the EXACT words of my dental hygienist after she peered into my mouth, during my visit to see her this week (yesterday) and checked my teeth and gums.  Yes, she was THAT enthusiastic about it.

My teeth and gums are now officially, “… so clean, I don’t have anything to do!!”  Yes, those were her words again.

I was really happy and still am.  It’s been 6 months since the last time I saw her.

She looked so baffled for a while.  She kept saying, “I don’t understand.” while she poked and prodded my gums and teeth looking for plaque to extract.  After 6 months, she expected that I would have accumulated at least some plaque but perplexed she said, “I can’t find anything!”

She even asked me what my dental routine was and if anything had changed because she was having such a hard time finding plaque she was “questioning (her) own eyesight”.

You don’t know how happy I am, much to the dismay of my hygienist – she cheered when she found a tiny bit of plaque.  “YES!!! I got some!!! FINALLY!!!”

It’s great when someone loves their job so much that she’s slightly offended when you turn up and don’t allow her the privilege of doing it!! Hahaha

I’m sure anybody would be happy to hear this kind of news but none more so than me.  You see, this was 3 years in the making!!  It sounds like a long time but then again, how long did it take for the periodontitis to develop?

After all, I suffered from severe “toothache” for at least 2 years before it became completely unbearable and by that point, the gum infection was so bad it was almost eating away at my jaw and I had a big cyst growing in my gum too.  Yup, that was my point of unbearable that made me go see the dentist.

There was nothing wrong with my tooth but the gum around it was pretty much infected and so swollen that the tooth had to be extracted so that the area with the biggest infection (and the cyst) could be cleaned out and given room to heal.

I was in a lot of pain, my gums bled all the time, they were very inflamed and they had receded to a point where I now have a huge gap between my two front teeth and slightly smaller gaps between all my teeth, when I didn’t have gaps before.

Initially, thinking it was gingivitis, the dentist told me to use Corsodyl for my toothpaste and mouthwash to help heal the gums.  I used it for as long as I could, to no avail.  Not only did my gum problems remain, my whole tongue went black!!!  Literally, black and the periodontist had to be called in.

This gum problem didn’t happen overnight.  This was years and years of poor dental hygiene.  Oh I brushed my teeth, thank you very much but for all my good intentions, I wasn’t doing it properly.

Not until after I lost my tooth, did my mum tell me that we have a family history of bad gums so I was “genetically prone” to gum disease.  Someone like me needs to take extra care when dealing with their gums!!

Thanks mum for telling me AFTER the fact!!  So, the outlook for my gums to ever be healthy, were not good.  I was told that it was going to take a lot of work.

After that entire ordeal and given my age (too young to be losing teeth), I was put on the dental surgery watch list and had to visit the periodontist and the hygienist, every 3 months, each for an entire year (They would call me and send me letters to make sure I booked in!).  That’s 8 visits to the dental surgery in the year after my tooth extraction!

In the second year, I had to visit the hygienist every 4 months and the dentist every 6 months.  I didn’t have to see the periodontist anymore.

Now in the third year, I’m back to normal and off the watch list and back in the good books, with only the normal half yearly visits.  With each visit, I got better and better feedback and it seems, my teeth and gums are now the best they’ve ever been!! YES!!!

So what’s the routine?  How did I do it naturally?   Here’s everything you need to know:

The Routine
Morning – Oil pull
Evening – Brush, Floss, Tongue Scrape

That’s it.  The hygienist looked at me funny when I said I only brushed once a day which made me think I should up it to twice but after seeing my teeth and how clean they were, she said, “Well, if you’re doing it thoroughly, I guess once a day is enough!”

So, here’s how you do it all (thoroughly):

Oil Pull
You will need 1 x spoon (we use a teaspoon) and coconut oil.

Get a spoon  full of coconut oil and swish it around your mouth for 20 mins and then spit it out.

You can read up on it elsewhere for more detail (there are books on this process) and I think you’re supposed to use a tablespoon of oil but my mouth ain’t that big, so 1 tsp is enough for me.  Also, you can use different types of oil but we like to keep it simple and use coconut oil for EVERYTHING.

The long and short of it is, the oil is supposed to pick up all the toxins and bacteria in your morning-breath mouth and then you expel it all when you spit it out.

The bacteria collected by the oil will be the type that likes to infect your gums and sit in/make your cavities, plus the toxins you’ve been emitting during your sleep. ie all the stuff you don’t want in your mouth!

We oil pull first thing in the morning, every morning.

You will need 1 x electric toothbrush and my special homemade toothpowder 😉

I used to use normal/manual toothbrushes but when you have bad gums, you’re just not going to do as good a job as the electric brush and you need all the help you can get!

This is the one thing that made a huge difference to my gum health so if you don’t have one and you have bad gums, get an electric toothbrush NOW!!!  It’s worth the investment – it will be a lot cheaper than the cost of tooth extraction!  Believe me, I know!!

To brush your teeth, simply wet the brush head, dab it quickly into the toothpowder and you’re ready to brush.

The trick here is to BRUSH YOUR GUMS and not your teeth.  Angle the brush so it’s brushing that section where your gums hold onto your teeth.  The brush will massage / vibrate / jiggle the gum so anything (no matter how small) that’s sitting between the gum and tooth will come out.

You don’t want ANYTHING to sit between gum and tooth, the relationship between your gum and tooth must be tight!!!  If you let anything get in between there, it festers and it’s all over red rover –  the hygienist will have a field day.  That festering is what causes your gums to bleed.

The periodontist told  me to concentrate all the time brushing, on the gums and if I want to, I can use the last few seconds to go over my teeth but it wasn’t necessary.

How many years had I spent doing it all wrong by spending all my brushing time on my teeth?!! I wish someone told me this a long time ago.  I really do.  Now, you’ve been told!

Another thing to note is that if you have a small mouth like me, you must find a toothbrush head that is small enough to fit all the way to reach behind the very back teeth!

As for the toothpaste / powder.  We don’t use store bought toothpastes anymore because after my tongue turned black and I couldn’t taste anything for a week, I decided to opt for a more natural approach to my gum health.

I’ve been changing and tweaking my toothpowder / toothpaste recipes for the last 3 years and we’ve been using a certain recipe which I thought was awesome for about 6 months prior to this one but it has caused staining / yellowing of our teeth over time, so since it turned out not so awesome, I’ve tweaked it again.

This one I’m sharing with you now is the one that’s got the best result so far (as per my hygienist’s comments above), minus the two ingredients which I suspect were most likely to cause staining.

Toothpowder** Recipe
Put all of the following ingredients into a pestle and mortar and grind until it becomes a fine powder and mixes evenly, then put the powder into an air tight container.  I use an old lip balm container that has a screw top lid.

1/4 tsp bentonite clay
1/2 tsp himalyan salt
1/2 tsp bicarb
1/8 tsp stevia (leaf powder)
2 drops clove essential oil*
3 drops peppermint essential oil*

*I made sure to find ones that were food grade and FDA approved for ingestion.  Even though we’re not swallowing it, we’re putting it into our mouths!  If at any point you do accidentally swallow, then all the  ingredients are edible.

** Note this is a POWDER not a paste so it won’t bubble in your mouth or even be the consistency or taste of your normal toothpaste in the slightest.  If using for the first time, expect something very different.  It will taste salty (I put the stevia just to mellow the salty taste), a little grainy until it melts, with a hint of mint.  You get used to it after a while.

This powder will last 1-2 months (maybe more) because you don’t need much at all.  As mentioned, just dab a wet toothbrush head onto it and whatever sticks to the toothbrush is all you need.

While I was researching different ingredients I noticed people would get all crazy about using bicarb because it’s harsh on the tooth enamel.  When you see how little is used on the brush and the fact that we’ve been doing this for 3 years and our dentists have told us both we have zero cavities and healthy teeth and gums, from personal experience, I wouldn’t worry about it.

I use interdental brushes.  They look like tiny bottle brushes and are what you need to use if the gaps between your teeth are too wide for floss.

Tips – Use a back and forth  motion approx. 10 times per gap.

Use a mixture of floss and different sized interdental brushes depending on the size of the gaps between your teeth.  There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to interdental brushes.  For myself, I have 4 different sized interdental brushes!!

You seriously need to test all the different sizes and use the size that fits perfectly.  How do you know which that is?  Try one size and if it’s too big (it bends when you try to push it through the gap), use the size just below.  If you push the brush and it easily slides through your tooth gap, you need a bigger size.  You push the interdental brush into the base of the gap (at the gum line).

Make sure you brush (interdental) / floss YOUR GUMS.  The goal is to get any bits out from between your gum and teeth that the toothbrush missed (as per my comments on brushing).  The interdental brush must fit snuggly into the gap so it brushes your gum and the bases of both teeth, on each side of the gap, all at the same time.  The floss must slide between your gum and the tooth you’re cleaning.

My dentist recommends dental tape over floss, I can’t say from experience because as mentioned, I use interdental brushes.  If you try to use the smallest interdental brush and it just bends because it doesn’t fit in the gap, then use floss/tape.

Tongue Scrape
We use a tongue brush to get rid of any residue left on the tongue before a final rinse.  This doesn’t contribute to healthy gums but I mention it because it’s part of our oral health routine.

These days, if I’ve ever been naughty and lax in my dental hygiene and my gums start bleeding (eg. several late nights falling asleep without brushing, sleeping over at other people’s places without your toothbrush, eating lots of chips and sugar and not brushing for whatever reason like that time when Rome rabbit chewed through and severed our toothbrush charger wire so our toothbrush ran out of batteries), I pretty much can stop the bleeding and get them back to healthy and normal within 24-48 hours just  by doing what I mentioned above.

I’ve been considering making a mouthwash but after you’ve cleaned your tongue and when you feel how clean your teeth are, a mouthwash really is not that necessary.   All you’ll really need it for is to get a burst of minty fresh!

Perhaps I’ll make one just for fun.

A note if you’re just starting out / need to get back on track:
I’ve noticed that the gum bleeding and pain reduces faster, if you add a drop of clove oil into the coconut oil you use for oil pulling and oil pull using that mixture, twice a day.

For severe gum pain, rub a drop of clove oil directly onto the gum before you go to bed (as mentioned, use food grade/ingestible essential oil that is safe to put directly onto skin) and the inflammation and pain dies down / is gone by morning.

Perform all the above dental routine twice a day until your gums stop bleeding (usually 24-48hrs for me) and then you can reduce to once a day.

Note that at the beginning, the gums will hurt and they will bleed so the feeling will be to avoid rubbing them with brushes but you must persist with it.  When I brush or floss (interdental brush) and the gum bleeds or is painful, to encourage myself to continue, I imagine that the blood is pushing the gunk out with it which is a good thing!

Just know that if you continue to oil pull, brush and floss (interdental brush), every day, twice a day, the gums will be a little less inflamed each time and eventually, they will have no more gunk to push out and they will stop hurting/bleeding.

Lastly, if it doesn’t work within 24-48hrs, visit the dentist/periodontist so they can monitor your current state and progress.

I used to hate seeing the dentist because it hurt every time they prodded in my mouth, I thought I had sensitive teeth/gums but that’s the whole point, it’s actually not supposed to hurt at all.

When your gums are healthy, they won’t bleed and the dentist prodding with their sharp metal tools, doesn’t feel like anything but pressure!

So if you’ve been struggling with your gum health, I really hope this helps you get it back to healthy and if you’re currently experiencing gingivitis or periodontitis, it takes work but you can fix it.  There is hope!!

All you need are the right tools and technique!  I might have taken close to 3 years but that’s because I was experimenting with various oils and recipes for toothpastes and toothpowders and getting tooth brushing lessons from my periodontist and feedback from my hygienist on whether my tooth paste was working!

You now have all of the information, for the things that worked, in one spot so should be sorted within days/weeks!

I’ve specifically  not put any brand names, sizes or types of brushes that we use (as you need to work out the sizes for yourself), or brands of ingredients used but if you want that information as a point of reference or if you just want to use the same stuff we do, feel free to ask.

If you do try this, let me know how it works for you.  I’d be really keen to hear how you get on and how slow/quick it takes.

Right now, all Tones and I have had is each other and our periodontist, dentist and hygienist and 3 years of experimenting on ourselves experience for feedback but since it’s worked for us, I really think it can help others which is why I’m sharing the info.

May you now have naturally healthy teeth and gums!! ❤

Avoiding Bikram Yoga and now Starting to miss it

It’s a short one today just to say that I’ve been avoiding Bikram Yoga and people are noticing.

“We don’t see you in the classes anymore!”

Well, it’s simple, I’ve probably done all of 3 Bikram classes in the last 5 months.

I actually lose less hair by staying away.  That is, I now have much more hair remaining on my head because I’m not exposing myself to the heat – I drop hair like crazy in the hot room.

But there are disadvantages like I don’t get to do toe stand anymore and camels are just as non-existent.  Not that I liked camels, I hated them.  And, I’m getting fat around my belly again.  Hey ho.  You win some you lose some.

So what am I doing instead?  Yin and the occasional Vinyasa.  On the upside my hips are opening up and my crow is getting better.  I’m hating the chaturanga dandasanas but hey… you win some, you lose some!

I’m loving the yin though.  Yesterday I fell asleep and only woke up to switch postures.  Ahhhh my life feels so much more balanced when I do yin.  Being a very yang person within my entire being, the yin actually helps a lot.

So yes, I’m starting to miss Bikram yoga.  I don’t miss the heat, I miss the postures and feel like I’ve forgotten how to move my body in those ways (eg holding awkward pose).  I probably won’t be able to do any of the postures when I go to a class.

Methinks it’s time to start looking at my posture progress again to see if having spent time away has made a difference.  Curious to find out.

Has it been a week already?

When you’re young, a day feels like eternity but it seems the older you get, 1 week goes by in a blink of an eye.

Highlights of the week:

Ada’s Visit
A friend from Australia that I hadn’t seen for over a decade visited.  She was in London for less than 24 hours but still managed to squeeze me in for a catch up.

I chose a restaurant near where she was staying.  It was the German Gymnasium at Kings Cross.  They serve… German food.  Ha!

Anyway, it’s in a Grade II listed building and named German Gymnasium because the building was the first, purpose built Gymnasium in England with funding coming solely from London’s German community.

The building was built in 1865 so we ate dinner (I had a German afternoon tea) inside a 150 year old building.

Yin with Sharky
Yoga which has been my life for so long, was pretty non-existent because – January.

You have to book ALL your classes in otherwise they’re all full due to all those well-intentioned New Years Resolutions people who disappear by Feb.

I managed to book classes from mid Jan through to Feb and thought by February for sure, the classes would start being freer but it wasn’t to be.

So I have spent many days not going to yoga because the classes have been booked out and I hadn’t booked myself in, in time.

Can you imagine?  Attempting to book yourself in 2 days in advance is still not long enough.  FARK!

I did manage to get to one of Sharky’s first Yin classes and I loved it.  She did a different method to the other teachers and allowed time for “rebound” between each posture.

Rebound is a savasana in between every posture to allow whatever released in each posture, to move through and exit or integrate into, the body.

The result?  I ended up getting really teary and emotional.  I actually felt emotions releasing from my body and I was so grateful to be able to feel them so I could let them go.

It only lasted a few seconds though because as soon as Tony saw me looking teary, “WHY ARE YOU CRYING?” came out of his mouth and it was so abrupt and harsh, I immediately cut off all emotions and went back to thinking mode.

I got skillz like that.

Actually, he managed to say it just like my mother used to.  I know he said it out of concern but I heard it the way my mum said it which meant “Stop being a pussy, you have no reason to cry and if you don’t stop I’ll fucking give you a reason to cry.”  That’s the mild version. 😉

So I stopped.  IMMEDIATELY.  I’ll just have to find a way to cry at times he’s not around so I can release emotions in peace.

Paris & Rome
Another week in peace.  Both boys are really happy and binky every day.

Paris does the cutest binkies ’cause he’s so chunky like a bulldog and bottom heavy.  So he looks more like a jumping goat or ram when he binkies.

Rome has started to jump on my arm and shoulder.  Last night he sat on my shoulder and every so often would turn to lick my face – cheek, eyelid, eyebrows, temple, forehead.  Then he’d jump down and jump up onto my other shoulder and tug at my hair.

I know he’s just looking for a way over the fence and using me as a viewing platform but I like to think we’ve developed a good bond plus I’m loving all my bunny kisses!  He loves kissing my nose.

He’s still incredibly mischievous, spends a lot of his time in meerkat position, listening out for what Paris might be doing and he’s completely chewed up the skirting board instead of the chew mat we gave him because he thinks breaking the skirting board will help him escape the fence.

We keep him fenced because although the more loving of the two, he’s also the trouble maker.

He is so curious he gets himself into all sorts of trouble – biting things he shouldn’t, falling off things he shouldn’t have jumped on in the first place and starting fights by annoying the crap out of Paris by not letting him have space.

The other day he fell down the stairs 3 times in one day (that I saw)all because he kept standing on 2 feet on the edge of the step and then leaning backwards.  Don’t ask.

He’s been contained in the hallway with plenty of run space including the stairs and the bathroom but it doesn’t stop him from attempting to  break the fence and looking for FREEDOM!!!

I’m also having a battle of the bathroom with him.

After a week of watching Tony and I go toilet (he’s in the hallway so we have to pass him every single time and sometimes he follows us into the bathroom), he stopped pissing and pooing anywhere but the bathroom!

He just chose to go in the shower because he can’t reach the toilet.

Unfortunately, we have to keep clearing his poo and pee before we have a shower and he gets very frustrated with us because every time we clean it, we’re effectively saying he’s not allowed to pee and poo there, and therefore he has nowhere to go toilet.

So then of course he’ll poo and pee outside of the shower as well as in the shower, using the entire bathroom floor as his toilet which makes it difficult for us to go in there and use the toilet ourselves.

I put a litter in the bathroom for him and it’s taken a couple of days but I think he’s coming around to the idea that this is his new place to go toilet because there is much less poo anywhere but the litter.

Although the chew mat I bought is completely intact for Rome, Paris’ is almost completely torn apart and non-existent.

Paris actually only chews the things we give him to chew and he knows EXACTLY which is for him and which is not.

A perfect example is that he has a cardboard box he chews on, we give them cardboard boxes a lot.  Yet, I’ve left cardboard boxes full of my eBay stock out right next to his play area without any fences.

He can walk right up to them and start chewing on them, pissing on them, whatever he likes really and he leaves them untouched!

He has identified what is ok for him and what will get him into trouble and he really has behaved himself so we’ve removed the fence and he’s running “free range”.

He actually just stays in his area!!  He’s recently started to explore under the couch but he has steered clear of the hallway and gone nowhere near the only fence that keeps him apart from Rome.

So far so good.  Unsure how long this will last but we’ll see.

Paris has also started to approach us more and nudges us for treats which is much better than running away!

Still hates getting patted but he tolerates it a bit more before running away.  He also has no problems standing on our feet when he’s begging and asking us for treats.  We didn’t teach him, he just does it.

Overall we have 2 very happy bunnies and we’re finally starting to understand their personalities.

Because only their scent is on their stuff, they’re not marking territory as much as they used to.

That means there’s barely any poo outside of their litter and hutch and they’re not pissing outside of their designated litters at all.  I knew they were supposed to be easy to toilet train!!

All they needed was to be separated and feel safe about what is THEIR space.

Our house no longer smells as bad (either that or I’m used to it) and I’m back to normal amounts of laundry.

That makes 2 good weeks in a row with them out of 5.5 weeks together.  It was a hectic start but we’re getting there!! YES!!

Last thing… last night I attempted to feed them rocket (again, I think it was my 3rd attempt at feeding them rocket, probably the 15th time to attempt to feed them some sort of fresh veg) and THEY ATE IT!!!!  That was their first ever fresh vegetable they’ve eaten.

And to test trust, I held the rocket with my mouth and had them eat it from me.  BOTH of them did it which means they’re both cool with sharing food with me.

YES!  After many weeks of rejection, I finally got acceptance.

I can’t have asked for more.  Patience, persistence, trust and love. That’s what these boys are teaching me.

And restraint… I’m learning restraint.  Sometimes I wish I could just SQUEEZE them and smother them with kisses because they’re so damned CUTE but that’s probably why they don’t let me hold them!

Here is a picture of them when they used to get along:

Paris & Rome



This is them in rapport even when separated.

Sleepy baby Paris
Sleepy Rome
Sleepy baby Rome. Notice the completely intact chew mat next to him (on the right) and our chewed up door frame (on the left). That’s just paint on the door snake.


Seriously, Tony skyped me one pic while he was with Paris in the lounge and Rome was doing the exact same thing while with me in the hallway!  In rapport, even when apart – there is hope for them yet!