Dear Jasmine 1 August 2018

Well, it feels like forever doesn't it! 4 months have passed as I've been completing part of my medical school internship in New York and also applying for my first ever doctor job in New Zealand (and getting my first choice, hooray!) and thus heavily neglecting any blog writing.

While I was away I continued to receive messages and read them and ponder them (and there are more than the ones below, I'm sorry I figured answering a few was better than answering none and I hope to get to the rest!), but just wasn't able to put any time aside to draft a response. I thank you for your patience in waiting for these replies and I hope the time that has passed has given all of you more clarity too! Although your need for my answer is probably gone, I think others will still find value in your questions.

Without further delay, the second edition of Dear Jasmine.

Dear Jasmine,

Thanks for sharing your knowledge with the world and spreading such a positive message. I can honestly say that reading your blog has helped me immensely. :)
I remember you mentioning that you probably suffered from metabolic syndrome and were insulin resistant, and that you healed yourself by following a ketogenic diet. Could you tell me a bit more about that? Did you follow a specific plan? How long did you follow the diet before you saw improvements in your overall health? I think I might be dealing with similar things as you used to, and I'd be really thankful for advice.

Sending you alllll the good wishes from Amsterdam to New York

Read More

Dear Jasmine 22 April 2018

This is the first ever instalment of "Dear Jasmine", inspired by the book Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. As a teenager I was obsessed with "Dear Dolly" and the sealed sections of teen magazines where people could anonymously write in with their deepest darkest secrets and questions. When I read Tiny Beautiful Things, loaned to me by my dear friend Christabel, it sparked an idea that I could use my blog platform for something similar and the idea filled me with excitement. 

The whole idea of social media is for interaction and connection! What better way to enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts than to introduce a more interactive element to my blog.

So I thought I'd give it a crack and added the "Dear Jasmine" anonymous form to the blog so that anyone can write in without fear of even me knowing who they are. Below is the first of the letters received...

Dear Jasmine,

I would love to know what you (as someone with a history of depression) do to look after/keep tabs on your mental health on a day-to-day basis - ‘self care’, if you will. I’ve recently been diagnosed with depression & anxiety and been prescribed antidepressants which I’m responding really well to; however I don’t want to be on them forever, or rely on them as the sole caretaker of my mental health, and I’d like to get some good ‘mental health habits’ in place to help look after myself.

Sincerely, M.

Read More

The Macronutrient Psychology

Recently, I posted the macronutrient basics, which you can read here:

Now I want to talk about the mindset behind this. You can have all the knowledge of nutrition, and still be unable to effectively implement this because of your mindset. In fact, this is really common. And I still have to consciously think about this myself. As someone who use to be obese, my mindset is continually requiring refreshing and resetting. Because my body was once much bigger, and I consciously made it become smaller, I have lost homeostatic regulation. My body does not naturally maintain my new weight. I have to consciously do that, with a combination of mindset adjustments and continual nutrition habit adjustments. You might think this sounds tiring - it is! There's a reason long term weight loss for obese people has success rates as low as 5% - maintaining is hard work! But as frustrating as it is, I consider it a worthwhile price to pay for what is essentially a second lease on life.

So, lets get to it, the macronutrient and weight loss mindset (I recommend you review the above mentioned post first):

Read More

Reflecting on a year in

I started this page almost exactly a year ago, very unsure of why I felt the urge to and what I planned to use it for.

In that time, a lot has happened. I think it's safe to say most of my readers are historical readers who somehow stayed with me from 5 years ago when I first started writing anything on the internet at all. A special thanks to you lot because if you hadn't somehow re-found me or stuck with me I'd basically be writing to the thin air.

I think I've finally realised why I like writing in a public medium.

Read More

How does she afford it? Part 1

Apparently, I've recently been made aware, a question people seem to ask about me is how I afford my lifestyle.

I've never really considered that people would wonder this, because I don't consider my lifestyle particularly extravagant. In saying that, I live very comfortably, but there are sacrifices in some areas (which are easy to forget when looking at the areas where I don't necessarily sacrifice much, like travel...)

The great news with financial decisions and being financially literate and responsible is that you don't NEED nitty gritty details and a finance degree. What you do need is a) a basic understanding of math (everyone bags on math at school, but I still maintain it's a vital subject for life success) and b) a conscious (and somewhat subconscious) awareness of and commitment to giving a damn about your finances.

Read More

The Calorie and Macronutrient Basics

I would posit that the "obesity crisis" is one of psychology, above knowledge. Of course we want to know what to eat, but ultimately - you can lose weight eating absolute garbage if you so chose to. It's much much more than the macronutrient ratios you eat, especially when it comes to maintaining the change.

However, in the interests of sharing knowledge, I want to share the technical knowledge - the basics. Because no matter where you're at with the mindset, the building blocks of "what to eat" are always at the forefront of everyone's minds. This kind of information is widely available all throughout the internet, so we're not reinventing the wheel here, but this is my attempt to condense hours and hours, pages and pages, many peoples opinions, down into one (reasonably) simple piece of reading about "the basics". Here we go.

Read More

The 5-Week Habit Forming Challenge Idea


Okay, so hear me out for a minute on this. 

There's so many challenges and gurus around nowadays, selling custom meal plans and workout plans of all descriptions. Most of them have been designed in a way that requires as little time of the creator as possible (which makes good business sense - simply sell a plan with minimal editing required e.g. adding starting body weight to change calorie intake numbers - and it's the fastest way to make money).

Read More

Where have I been

The first half of 2017 - well, March to June - has been rough for me.

It's been the toughest 3 months I've faced in several years. There's about 5 billion reasons why it's been tough. I guess I feel like talking about some of them, but just know that I can't really get across an entire 3 months of thoughts in one post and certain things I keep private so, it's not able to be the full picture. But, lets touch on it:

Read More