I thought hot yoga was going to kill me

2020, the year that many are hanging on to for big things to happen. Meanwhile, I am just trying to navigate through the last year in my 20s without being blind sighted (no pun) by another crazy Anaphylaxis episode.

70% of my instagrammers voted for me as the worst looking kid – sorry Will

So let me rewind to 4 months ago. I had been going to hot yoga classes once every week for a few months and this time I was trying out a new venue with Classpass and taking my friend along for her first ever yoga experience – exciting!

For anyone that has not been to a hot yoga class, imagine a dark room with sauna heat and slow movements on the matt while you concentrate on your breathing. It works up a sweat while you stretch and unwind from your day, I loved every minute of it. But 15 minutes into this class and my eyes started to itch. I gave it a little rub and it started to water and I felt the area around my eyes tighten, feeling worst every minute. At first I simply though this was my contact lenses reacting badly to the sweat and me rubbing and it would eventually calm down.

It didn’t.

I turned over to my friend and whispered – ” are my eyes ok they feel weird?”. And imagine being in a quiet room with only the sound of air flowing in your nose and exhaled out through your mouth and then a loud “OH MY GOD”. I immediately jolted out of the downward dog position and left the room and rushed into the changing room.

The next few minutes went so quickly with my eyes swelling every second. Now this is the first time anything like this has every happened to me. I’ve only ever been aware of my allergy to prawns and even when I eat prawns i just get a slight itch in my throat and swelling on my lips which dies down after 10 minutes. But this, this was something else. I took my contacts out because at this rate, my eyes were going to close shut and my friend jumped into an uber with me to UCLH which was a 5 minutes drive away. But in the uber, my throat started to feel funny and my nose was completely blocked, by this point I couldn’t even open my eyes.

We walked into A&E and before I could say much I was rushed straight into the back and put on a bed with a drip and adrenaline injected into my body. I honestly felt like everyone was staring at me every time I managed to force my eyelids up. I always wanted to be famous, but not in this way.. The doctors checked every few minutes because my throat had started swell, even my voice was going funny and the nasal passage was their main worry, not the eyes that attracted all the attention.

Thankfully the swelling in my throat began to tame itself and I was kept in there for a few hours to monitor my pulse and heart rate (adrenaline in your body can sometimes have bad side-effects). The eye’s however stayed puffy for a few days and only got back to normal after a week, plus I had a new accessory to keep with me, my epipen.

It has been 4 months since then and I have had another reaction, not as bad but a similar start with the eyes. This time I was just sat at home and it randomly started, so maybe it was not the hot yoga. But until I find out in my allergy clinic due soon, I am left quite baffled at what is causing this.

The doctor’s have said that you can suddenly be allergic to something you have eaten or done all your life, which does not help. I have had a few suspicions like:

1.essential oils (don’t have this at home though)

2. contact lenses (but I wear these every day and do not usually have issues)

3.cake ( I had cake on both occasions of my allergic reactions but I have also had cake

And I havn’t had any change in make up or creams that would impact me. So I invite all of you to have your guesses but I will confirm once the tests speak for themselves. Either way, I am sharing this story mainly to make everyone aware that this can happen to anyone, even if you never had an allergies before! Be extra cautious, if you ever feel an itch or swell, especially around your throat, call an ambulance and don’t take the risk. I severe and sudden allergic reaction can be a deadly matter if not looked at immediately!

The other reason I am sharing this story is to say that if you have a chance to opt in to private healthcare at work make sure you do, I wish I did as I am currently waiting months to get any allergy tests done and most private healthcare insurers won’t cover me now because this is a “pre-existing” condition. So I have no choice but to wait until I get an appointment and have some tests taken, until then I just have to keep my epipen close and my wits closer.

Body Confidence – The Good & Bad Days

Here is a matter that I hold close to my heart. Sometimes taking the time out to sit here and write makes me feel so much better because I try and break things down in my head and type it on the keypad. I am a very happy, drama free and positive person in general, but some days I can wake up and feel so shit.

Am I the only one?

I have realised in the past two years how much food really impacts more than just my physical well-being but my mental perception. Many of us are body-conscious and no thanks to the society we live in and the media portrayal of perfection, it is so easy to feel like you are not good enough. Sometimes I find myself two hours deep of scrolling through “insta-models” pages comparing myself to them and isolating all my physical imperfections. But then I have to remind myself that it isn’t real life! I would say that I am confident in myself and love everything that I am but when I have days of eating bad food, especially anything that makes me bloat, it has a direct correlation with my “feeling shit days”.

With my intolerance test showing that I was intolerant to many things I love, I was determined to cut these out of my diet but it gets hard when you’ve grown up on rice and bread (being Asian and German).  Soya, wheat, yeast and dairy are my main triggers. I’ve realised that cutting these out also reduce any bloated feeling or tummy pains. Then I noticed, that eating these actually have so much more of an impact on my body than I thought.

When I have yeast or dairy, I get discharge and bad skin – all of these contributing to a lower self esteem on those days.

On the other hand, when I cut everything out and stick to my workout routines, I feel energetic, toned and fresh.

The fact of the matter is, not every day will be great and we all have bad days, what helps me is having an early night that night and starting the next day with a good sweat and healthy breakfast – that will always kick start your good vibes. Take a look at how your diet affects your feelings and self-esteem and make a conscious habit to remember – you’re body is a temple and what you feed it can either nourish or poison. You do not have to be a carb-free vegan, but everything in moderation and understanding your body is the key.

How I Lost 4.5Kg in 4 Weeks

Before I start this post, I just want to say I am no nutritional or fitness expert. I do a lot of research and experiment with different types of activities. Last year after two semi-successful pole dancing classes, I realised how weak I was in my upper body and core and doing weights in the gym made me realise how weak my back was. I was constantly having lower back pains and I needed to concentrate on building my strength without rushing to my weight goal.

Majority of the weight loss I saw was after the Christmas sluggish period where most of us probably put on a few cakes and glasses of wine. Before I found out about my yeast intolerance, I decided to just cut out refined sugar and lower the carbs in January. On top of that I went completely alcohol free. And there you have it – the secret diet…

lose belly fat

Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? Think again. All I do is crave sugar in the winter and especially when it’s gloomy outside, which it always is. I had to swap chocolates with fruits and nuts but the truth it, while I had withdrawal symptoms and the sugar free flu for the first week of Jan, the cravings subsided in the next weeks and soon I wasn’t constantly thinking about brownies and wine. I did have a week of intermittent fasting but I realised it became too hard with the physical training I was undergoing.

In terms of fitness, I do have a PT (aka my boyfriend) which helps me with focusing on target areas through free weights and body weight, at the same time I also upped my cardio. I started to go to the gym twice a day, at least two times a week. The first session would be a body targeted weight session and the second gym visit would consist of 25-30minute cardio with 10 minutes abs.

With all these factors, I managed to lose 4.5Kg in January which was impressive for my standards! However, since then the weight loss has admittedly plateaued. Possibly due to the alcohol being re-introduced into my diet once – twice a week.

But it was impossible not to drink in February seeing as it is my birthday month, a very serious affair. With all the celebrating and cheat meals, I managed to keep my weight stable ( thanks to the gym) but since then I have upped my game in the gym and in the kitchen and I continuing to tone.

With all these factors, I managed to lose 4.5Kg in January which was impressive for my standards! However, since then the weight loss has admittedly plateaued. Possibly due to the alcohol being re-introduced into my diet once – twice a week. But it was impossible not to drink in February seeing as it is my birthday month, a very serious affair. With all the celebrating and cheat meals, I managed to keep my weight stable ( thanks to the gym) but since then I have upped my game in the gym and in the kitchen and I continuing to tone.

The truth is, I have never liked to weight myself because I found it could sometimes be so de-motivating if they scales do not reflect the hard work. We all know muscles weight more than fat so as you tone your body, your weight won’t fall as much. And while I have only lost another 0.5kg since Feb, I can see a continued loss in body fat through pictures tracking. I continue to do fitness class to keep the heart rate high, like the one I did recently with Modibodi to launch their new sweat proof gym leggings ( what a treat!) .

modibodi

But what I am extremely proud of is my commitment to Yoga. Since the beginning of this month I have gone twice every week and it has already stopped the lower back pains AND strengthen/tone my core muscles. I have said this before, but this time I really am going to give monthly updates on my diet & fitness progress. Next update will be to share more yeast free, low carb, candida friendly and nutritional recipe’s that have helped me cut down on some body fat. I still have a long way to go but I’m moving in the right direction!

What are some of your health and fitness tips/challenges?

Mel Tries: Intermittent Fasting, The Easy Way to Lose Weight?

I am a big believer in trying different things and making changes to your lifestyle to understand your body better, because we are all different. With my vegan detox that I tried last year, it became evident that dairy wasn’t my friend so whilst I’m not vegan, I have cut down on my dairy intake and it has done my body and skin so much good.

When I first heard about intermittent fasting, it was from a gym-freak friend of mine so I immediately dismissed it thinking I would never be able to do it. But then I knew someone more normal who started it and lost weight, that was enough to motivate me.

So what is intermittent fasting – to break it down and simplify it, you eat within a 8 to 9 hour window and fast for the rest of the day. So in theory, if you start eating at noon you have to stop by 8pm. Most women find a 9 hour window more feasible and still effective.  The argument is that whatever food you eat is used as energy by your body for the next 12 hours, and only after those 12 hours does your body actually start burning fat. If you want to read about on intermittent fasting in more details, I found this resource extremely easy to understand. Continue reading “Mel Tries: Intermittent Fasting, The Easy Way to Lose Weight?”

Natural Skincare Must Haves

I have never had horrible skin, the occasional spot here and there when I am stressed or about to come on, however, I do suffer from dry skin and blemishes. There are so many skin care products out there, and if you really want something good for you then you have to be prepared to spend the big bucks right? Wrong.

Well maybe half wrong. I am strong believer that mother nature has the answer to many things. When I’m ill I stay away from medicine and have honey, lemon and ginger tea. I also notice that what I put into my body is what comes out of my skin so if I have had a naughty weekend filled with sugary foods and dairy, then I will no doubt wake up with mount Kinabalu on my forehead.

There are a few natural products and ingredients that I have used as my main skin care products that have really had a great impact on my skin’s dryness and appearance and you can easily afford them and introduce them into your every day skin care routine. Continue reading “Natural Skincare Must Haves”

Mel Tries – A Vegan detox

After this alcohol, sugar – in fact just calories in general, filled summer that I have had I decided to give my body a cleanse. Not only am I attempting #SoberSeptember, I am going Vegan for 10 days too (for the first time everrrr). Why? My skin was so bad by the end of summer and I was always feeling bloated. I’ve been trying to cut down dairy anyway as I’ve noticed a direct correlation to my bloaty feeling and I am sure gluten is instigator too.

There are a few things being a 10 day vegan has taught me, I have entered the vegan realm and live to speak about it: Continue reading “Mel Tries – A Vegan detox”

5 of Southeast Asia’s unhealthiest dishes that you simply must try

We all know my love for southeast asia and it’s cuisine. After all, it is what I grew up with and even after moving to England I have managed to find some great, authentic eats like Roti King to kill my ever so often craving for home. It probably is for the best that I don’t have a hawker center with chicken rice for $3 outside my house, it would be a problem. A lot of the favourites aren’t the healthiest, however, once in awhile everyone deserves to indulge on a cheat meal – and you might as well make it count.

“Everything in moderation, even moderation”

Here are some of the famous Malaysian/Singaporean dishes that really bring in the calories – you will probably need a detox after but it is almost so worth it for those 10 minutes of spice heaven. Continue reading “5 of Southeast Asia’s unhealthiest dishes that you simply must try”