Archive for August, 2019

Legalisation of marijuana – why won’t the rest of the world follow suit?

Posted by Amy Aquilini

“Oh no! she said the ‘M’ word.” The crowd gasps as she sits back and researches the plant as a whole – not just reaping it’s benefits.

Something quite amazing to us North Queenslanders is how over in California – over in ‘the states’ they have restaurants where the key ingredient is marijuana. There are people walking down the street smoking a joint, and it’s completely normal! What about how there are less people addicted to prescription painkillers because they smoke weed. Let’s use a different word to ‘people’, say ‘patients’ would the government see it differently then?

It is estimated that 20% of adult Australians suffer from some form of chronic pain. Why is it that the Australian Government, or any Government for that matter, can dictate what you do to your ‘own’ body after you turn 18 years of age? And i’m not talking about those other heavy drugs that have absolutely no medicinal properties what so ever. I’m talking about marijuana, the plant that holds 8+ medicinal properties and so many health benefits!

It shouldn’t be up to any other person regardless of their rank or training what you ingest or inhale. As kids were taught “your body, your rules.” but, is that really the case?

Last year, a large review from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine assessed more than 10,000 scientific studies on the medical benefits and adverse effects of marijuana. One area that the report looked closely at was the use of medical marijuana to treat chronic pain.

Marijuana, or products containing cannabinoids — which are the active ingredients in marijuana, or other compounds that act on the same receptors in the brain as marijuana — are effective at relieving chronic pain.

In 2016, 85% of Australians favoured the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, rising from 69% in 2013. Which brings me to the question – why are pharmaceutical companies being able to bribe Australian Politicians? Prescription pain killers are becoming an increased cause of death by overdose. Whether people take prescription pain killers for recreation or because the pills have been prescribed to them – PEOPLE ARE DYING HERE!!!

People say the Government is making too much money off marijuana so they won’t legalise it, yesterday I was reading a blog piece from the Cannabis Executive on how California has the biggest legal marijuana market in the world, despite the black market. It got me thinking about our laws here in Queensland, but also in Australia as a whole. This is what I found:-

My views as a whole are pretty simple… don’t just legalise ‘medical marijuana’ because recreationally, there will still be abuse because as a whole, it’s still illegal. Legalise marijuana and build super dispensaries like they have in different states in ‘the states’. I found out they also have dispensaries with drive thru’s now! A major issue with marijuana is there isn’t enough education on the plant. The views in Australia also need to change, marijuana needs to stop being seen as a harmful illegal drug and it needs to start being seen as a plant with different medicinal properties.

That is not to say there shouldn’t be any criminalization surrounding the plant what so ever. Teenage/childhood marijuana use can affect learning ability, attention, memory, coordination, balance, judgment, and decision-making. While it may not be as problematic for adult use as once believed, there are still plenty of good reasons to discourage weed smoking in teenagers (other than the fact that in most states, it’s still illegal).

Speaking with a person currently in that industry recently, we got to talking about how there needs to be a scale similar to that of measuring alcohol consumption (breathalyzer) for measuring THC consumption. I know they have the swabbing technique in affect but that only tells you weather the person tested has THC in their system, not the level of THC in their system. Simple – Make it 0.05 as well. I’m sure somebody can invent something that measures THC if there isn’t something already out there…

I believe the world would benefit so much from microdosing with cannabis!

Practitioners of microdosing are taking small amounts of cannabis in order to reap the medical benefits of THC while avoiding its psychoactive effects that can interfere with the demands of daily life.“Microdosing is something that is very personal. There is no magic bullet for all patients; it is different for each one.”Michelle Ross, Founder of IMPACT Network

“Most people don’t know about microdosing,” says Michelle Ross, founder of IMPACT network, a nonprofit organization that uses empirical medical research to find new cannabis-related treatments for patients. “They just blast their system with cannabis or high amounts of THC, and that is not always the best approach for whatever condition they have.”

While microdosing has typically been associated with hallucinogens like LSD, many experts now believe that the threshold for the medical benefits of THC is far lower than many people think.

www.leafly.com – microdosing guide

I also believe EDUCATION is key! And this is what Australia is missing – studies of the science behind marijuana similar to that of the states, but Australia is much smaller than the states and reality is we are so far behind with our knowledge and views – that all needs to change.

Aquo Xx

Sleep trackers – good or bad?…

Posted by Amy Aquilini

The other morning I was watching Sunrise, one of the very few times I get to because in our house, Blippi is life… Long story, hopefully you NEVER have to find out! They were talking about the different sleep trackers out there and when I first started my fitness journey I thought the Fitbit Charge and Charge 2 were the bee’s knees… how wrong I was. This segment caught my attention because sleep has become very important to me! And I will do everything in my power to protect it!

High tech wrist watches and smartphone apps have been developed to help monitor our sleep patterns. These trackers promise a lot, with some saying they measure the time you spend in each stage of sleep. Although, it might be fun to pore over data you have collected about yourself, it is important to keep the pros and cons in mind when using these new sleep tracker technologies.

Most sleep tracker apps and watches use a device built into most smartphones that senses movement. This device measures how much movement you make during your sleep and this data is then used in an ‘algorithm’ to estimate sleep time and quality. How sensitive each device is to movement and the algorithm used varies between products. This can greatly affect their accuracy.

Popular trackers, such as the Fitbit Charge, include a sleep mode that aims to provide sleep time and restlessness.

Some wrist sleep trackers claim to also estimate sleep stages – the Jawbone UP breaks down sleep time into deep and light stages. The new Jawbone UP3 has added sensors for measuring skin and room temperature to help indicate deep and REM sleep. The Basis B1 estimates REM sleep in addition to deep and light sleep stages by measuring heart rate.

Sleep trackers that only use an accelerometer (such as smartphone apps) cannot accurately measure sleep stages. That’s because an accelerometer only monitors movement, and there is little difference in movement between the sleep stages. You move a similar amount in deep sleep and lighter stages of sleep.

While most trackers can estimate fairly well when a person is awake -v- asleep, they are not very accurate and most likely, something will go wrong. For example, you could be lying still but be awake. In the case of the phone apps Sleep Cycle or Sleep As AnDroid, your partner, child or even your dog could impact the amount of movement and noise detected by the device, changing the sleep data.
Research on some of these sleep trackers suggests that they provide a general estimate of sleep but that they can give misleading information.


A 2012 study data with adults who wore an older version of the Fitbit tracker found that it overestimated sleep time by an average of 67 minutes. Another study in 2014 found the opposite effect in children. The Fitbit One underestimated the children’s sleep by 105 minutes.

Users should not expect these devices to recognise change between sleep stages. This is because they rely on movements, whereas sleep stages are defined by brain wave activity and other body indicators (eye movements etc.) measured in a laboratory sleep test.

The Basis B1 is one of the few trackers on the market that says it can track REM sleep in addition to light and deep sleep. The device claims it can do this because it includes a heart rate monitor in addition to an accelerometer. However the research on what this claim is based has not been published yet and so cannot be properly assessed.

For most people, using a monitor to track sleep isn’t going to be a problem. In fact, it might help some people understand and review their sleep and wake patterns, and this may ultimately improve their sleep. For example, noticing a pattern of repeatedly going to bed late and sleeping less than required may help the user adjust their sleep habits to allow for longer sleep.

In general the sleep tracker apps and devices will give you a good overview of how long you sleep but they can only tell you so much. You have to use the data to figure out what’s working for you and what isn’t. If you think there is a problem, regardless of what the sleep tracker data is telling you, talk to your GP.

These devices raise awareness of sleep health and sleep issues. Over time they could show if you are getting less or more disturbed sleep that you might expect. This might lead you to seek treatment or change lifestyle habits. See Understanding and Helping Poor Sleep as a good starting point.

Ok, so summing up, always remember the following… These are consumer products, and most have not undergone scientific evaluation. Don’t put too much trust in these devices to accurately monitor sleep. A single night is not always a very accurate reflection of your general sleep; one night’s “data” shouldn’t be cause for alarm. If you tend to worry about your sleep then it might be best for you to avoid sleep trackers, or only look at the data occasionally. Have fun! Collecting data about yourself can be very interesting. But just remember sleep trackers tend to point to general trends in your sleep as a whole.

Aquo Xx

Bamboo nappies are life!

Posted by Amy Aquilini

When our first son was born, we started using huggies nappies – because you know… So many people rave about how good they are…. WRONG! I could seriously sue them for what wearing their nappies did to my poor little boys bum! For ages we couldn’t figure out what was wrong (It took like a year!) Until I started buying different brand of nappies for during the day and slowly slowly his bum started to clear up. I’m only guessing – but that’s the only reason that could be.

Now I know some of you are probably thinking “but how often were you changing him?!” With a whole heap of attitude attached… Now, I can’t stress enough that wherever he went, whoever he was with, they were always very vigilant with changing him. I mean my mother and mother-in-law have always been that bit more proactive that me!

So before bub #2 arrived I started to research things like most eco friendly nappies, world’s best disposable nappies, healthiest nappies and started to educate myself on all things nappies.

Research

Choice Australia – https://www.choice.com.au/babies-and-kids/baby-clothes-and-nappies/nappies/buying-guides/disposable-and-cloth-nappies

Healthy Mummy – https://www.healthymummy.com/choice-best-disposable-nappies/

Good baby diapers – https://goodbabydiapers.com/bambo-nature-diaper-revie

These are just some of the sites that helped make up my mind on the direction I was going to take in regards to nappies. When my second bub was a new born I used pampers premi nappies but now I use bambo nature, they are so absorbent its not funny! I forgot to change my toddler before he was put to bed, he was in the same nappy for 13 hours and his nappy was full like it was going to explode! There’s full – then there’s omg so full! I am so in love with bamboo nappies now, there is no way I will ever go back to using any other disposable nappies!

I eventually found sites like House of Nappies and The Nappy Shop and I started ordering my nappies in bulk and worked out the cost of buying bamboo nappies in bulk compared to buying Huggies from woolies. Now, I wish I could say that they cost relatively the same cost – yeah, no… Bamboo nappies DO NOT COME CHEAP! However – they are the best thing on earth!

So it turns out… Bambo nature nappies (the head honcho of bambo nappies), are $201.85 for a month of nappies, I can’t just run down to the shops and buy them, but the nappy shop has AFTERPAY! –

BrandBambo NatureHuggies
Pants size 50.77c ea0.40c ea
Nappies size 5$1.09 ea0.46c ea
Newborn size 1$2.02 ea0.31c ea

So before you all have a fit, like my husband did – think of it like this – it has solved a problem that has been present on and off for over a year, I have tried EVERY. SINGLE. BRAND. OF. NAPPIES. OUT. THERE! My poor little boy says as he holds his bits “Sore, change, cream, goo.” – Translation: “Mummy, I’m sore af! I need to be changed, I need cream, and I think nappy goo will suffice.” It is the cutest thing ever.

I also decided to make my own wipes because nappies are expensive af! And because then we know what’s in them. So I buy Viva paper towels (don’t buy cheap, I did, they aren’t strong enough) and a jar of coconut oil (whatever is on special). I fold the paper towel in half (I fold two rolls at a time), boil the jug, mix 1 heaped tablespoon of coconut oil and 1 cup of boiling water and let the coconut oil dissolve. I use the huggies containers to put them in because I had them already, but while writing this article I decided to see what’s out there – and I didn’t find anything of interest, the huggies containers seem to be the most convenient.

EDIT:- So as I was writing this I discovered another – much more time saving – way to use the wipes. All those hours wasted folding the paper towel! What I found was if you run one end of the roll under the tap for a second and then turn the roll up the other way and set aside – the water will transfer throughout the roll making it easy to slide the cardboard cylinder out of the middle. Then squash the roll into the container, add the mixture, then just roll the sheets out and break off as needed – OMG SO MUCH EASIER!

It was now been an entire week where the only nappy that is used on both my boys is bambo nature and I have noticed a significant change. I no longer hear “mummy sore sore!” There is a massive cost difference to those brands you can but at Woolies or Coles, but you do what you have to do for your kids. The element of afterpay makes it a bit easier as well and I have become quite frugal with all my other expenses. Follow some of my other blogs to see how you can also reduce your spendings.

Aquo Xx

The day your walk turns into a run…

Posted by Amy Aquilini

So today, 06/08/2019 – After telling myself this morning I was going to have a lazy day after my night last night… and the few before that. I’ve had to share my bed with not one, but two little germ infested poo poo platters that are my sons. The big one has been running scary temperatures and has a cold and the baby is so congested! Poor thing – I’ll say that because he’s currently asleep, haha!

OK SQUIRREL

So today, my walk, turned into a run! OMG! Even if it was just three 100mish bursts on my 3kmish walk around town pushing a pram. People are still unsure about my dedication to my healthy lifestyle, even though I’m now a size 14 from a size 18/20. After my first child i weighed 102kg. 102kg! I will never forget that number as it’s the same weight as the biggest barramundi I caught. I slip up every so often and have something naughty.

I vow to never, ever, ever return to looking like this again!

Me in the 80kg category. (don’t have any pics of me at 102kg)

I was once told “It is ok for you to stray from the path of a healthy lifestyle, but you can’t loose site of your goals and you have to be able to return to a healthy lifestyle.” For me – I WANT IT SO BAD! I want to transform into a sexy, tight assed, fitness model to prove to the world that it is possible to look like that, it just takes a magnitude of self-motivation and dedication. You have to be extremely disciplined! And more – you have to want to do it for yourself rather than your husband, boyfriend etc. My husband constantly tells me that I don’t have to do it for him, he loves me the way I am. I reply – “Pfft I’m not doing it for you, i’m doing it for myself, to better me.

And with that – people will be waiting for you to fail, so they can say I told you so in a snide way. You need to lose that want for acceptance of others, you don’t need it. I’m on my way there and it feels great!

I would like to aim to create something like the following. These are just a few ideas that come to mind.

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 21: Model Bridget Malcolm attends call backs for the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Midtown on August 21, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
Kayla Itsines – top Australian fitness model
An advocate for something i’m passionate about = I just haven’t put my finger on it yet.

Anywho – Just a quick little blurb about my exciting experience today, I’m off to start baking lunch snacks.

Aquo Xx

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