Category Archives: health

Guest post: Four Ways Your Behaviour Affects Your Child’s Development

There is no doubt that children are little sponges. Even though it seems like we spend most of our time trying to get them to listen to us and pay attention to what we ask them to do, they are there, absorbing what we say and do. Anyone who has ever turned beet red with embarrassment after our child uttered an unfortunately-timed swear word can testify to the fact that children are paying far more attention to what we do than they let on.

Recent research even confirms this, finding that our behaviour can influence every part of our children’s development, from social skills to physical health to moral development. While children often look up to celebrities, athletes, and super heroes, as a parent, you are your child’s first and most important role model. Here are four key ways that your behaviour can affect your child’s development.

Body Image
How we see and talk about our bodies can directly impact how our children see themselves. Children even as young as three can begin to develop negative body images, and although it tends to impact female children more than males, some male children do develop a poor body image.

As a parent, if we are constantly talking about dieting or complaining that our stomach is too big or our butt isn’t perfect or we are afraid to get into a swimsuit because we feel we don’t look good enough, our children can begin to believe that there is such thing as a perfect body and that only perfect bodies are worthy of love and acceptance. On the contrary, when we practice accepting our bodies and making choices becuase they are healthy rather than because they help us look better in a bikini, we are teaching our children to respect and honor their bodies and make choices to be healthier.

Substance Use
If you are a child of the 1980s or 1990s, you likely remember the famous anti-drug PSA where a father is asking his son where he learned to do drugs. The son looks into his father’s eyes and says “I learned it from watching you”. Whether we like it or not, our children’s decision to smoke, drink, or use drugs is intricately tied to our decision to use those substances. Addiction is generational and children of parents with substance abuse disorders tend to use drugs as teenagers or adults. Likewise, parents who don’t smoke, drink or use drugs send the message to their children that life can be enjoyed without using dangerous substances.

If you do happen to suffer from drug abuse or alcoholism, the best thing you can do for you and your child is to seek help. In doing so, not only will you save your own life, but you will be able to be a better parent. In addition, you will be a great role model for your child, showing them that sometimes we face hard things in life but we can make the choice to work hard and overcome obstacles. You will also show them that mistakes don’t define you – it is what you do to overcome them that will.

Work Ethic
Researchers from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business found that the single most significant factor in determining our work ethic is the work ethic of our parents. Children who see their parents as hard-working, able to solve problems, and in a career they love learn to see work as fulfilling and meaningful. They also learn to solve problems using critical thinking and hard work rather than assuming that difficult problems just can’t be solved.

Likewise, parents that complain about their jobs day in and day out or who tend to back out of committments teach their children that hard work is a hassle, something to dislike, or perhaps even something to avoid altogether.

Kindness and Manners
Finally, as the key people in our children’s lives, we are responsible for teaching our children how to interact with those around us. Parents who are aggressive or violent in their relationships teach children to respond to others similarly. Likewise, children learn to respect others by watching their parents. Moreover, children learn who is worthy of respect by watching their parents. If you treat your restaurant servers, trash collectors, the person in a wheelchair at the store, and the homeless man on the street with kindness and respect, your children will learn that all people have value and are worthy of respect. If you yell at a server because your order is wrong or use hateful language to describe a religion, disability, culture, sexual orientation, or way of life, children will grow up replicating that behaviour.

As you can see, your behaviour has an important impact on your children and the way they navigate the world. This is good news though – if we want our children to do good in the world, we have the power to model that behaviour for them. When we look at our children, we can truly “be the change you want to see in the world”.

Author Bio:

Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.

Patrick Bailey

Guest post by Patrick Bailey

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Vaccine Science Revisited by James and Lance Morcan

I have received a free e-copy of the book Vaccine Science Revisited: Are Childhood Immunisations As Safe As Claimed? by James & Lance Morcan to review. You may find out more about the authors on their website.

Vaccine Science Revisited by James and Lance Morcan

Here is the book blurb.

An unbiased, neutral, fact-based investigation that simply allows the science to do the talking on childhood vaccinations. Written by father and son investigative journalism/research team Lance & James Morcan, with a foreword by medical laboratory scientist Elísabet Norris, VACCINE SCIENCE REVISITED is possibly the most well-referenced work yet to explore this contentious healthcare subject.

This exhaustively-researched book avoids all rumor, conjecture and anecdotal evidence, and steadfastly focuses on what the latest medical studies actually reveal about vaccines listed on the immunization schedule. One by one the ingredients of the vaccines being manufactured today are put under the microscope by comparing peer-reviewed, published studies.

By collaborating with a professional medical advisory team and utilizing investigative journalism methods, the Morcans have painstakingly sifted through the world’s best scientific research papers. They analyze the most reliable and untainted studies in order to uncover true and accurate data on vaccine safety.

No matter your level of education or experience – whether you are a doctor, layman, scientist, nurse, med student or new parent – be prepared to be surprised by many of the medical research findings in VACCINE SCIENCE REVISITED: Are Childhood Immunizations As Safe As Claimed?

I was surprised to receive this book, as I hadn’t requested it. However I set to reading it with high expectations as I had previously really enjoyed Silent Fear, a fictional thriller by father and son duo, Lance and James Morcan.

I’ve always been aware that childhood vaccination is a contentious topic, particularly with regards to the MMR vaccine. Every so often it hits the news headlines with possible links to autism and other health issues. We decided to vaccinate both our sons as per UK guidelines. I think I thought at that time, they would then be immune to these illnesses forever, having had mumps three times myself as a child. Of course I subsequently found out this was not the case for son1, so we repeated all his vaccinations back to those from babyhood, starting about 6 months after he finished chemotherapy.

Chicken pox is one illness that is not routinely vaccinated against here in the UK and son1 caught this when he was age 3. Luckily his immunity prevailed every time there was an outbreak at school whilst he was on chemotherapy. But it meant yet another needle to check his immunity, every time he was exposed. When I found out that chicken pox is routinely vaccinated against in some other countries, it did cause me to question why not in the UK, each time he had to undergo this test.

So with all my personal experiences, I thought that this would prove to be a very interesting topic to gain some insight from this book. However the book is divided into parts with what I was hoping to read about towards the second half of the book. The start of the book after an interesting forward seemed to focus on smallpox in the 1700s and Dr Jenner whom I remember learning about at school. I was just about coping with this section but when the book moved on to focus on cells, I began to switch off. It was getting too technical and not holding my interest. I was not even 15% through the book yet.

Unfortunately there were no hyperlinks for the chapters, so I couldn’t attempt to fast forward to see if part 2 would prove more interesting. In the end, I’m sorry to say I just gave up on this book. A shame as I could tell that the authors had invested a huge amount of research into this topic. I’m sure it is probably a must-read for those in the medical profession.

Vaccine Science Revisited is available on Amazon, currently priced at £1.99 in  in Kindle format. Unfortunately too complicated for me.

Update – The e-version of the book I received was a PDF copy. I have since been assured that the kindle version contains chapter hyperlinks in the index.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

12 Days of Clink Street – Uberdacious by Simone Santivari

I love taking part in book tours but when I was offered free rein to select any book of my my choice from Clink Street Publishing, it was a bit like being handed a blank cheque. I am used to being asked if I wish to review a particular title, but this time there were nearly 500 titles to choose between! I decided to narrow it down to one genre, namely food and drink, from which I selected Uberdacious: Eat Yourself Healthy by Simone Santivari.

Uberdacious: Eat Yourself Healthy by Simone Santivari

Here is the book blurb.

Simone Santivari has a passion for food and healthy living that inspires everyone around her.

Uberdacious: Eat Yourself Healthy is the culmination of thirty years of fun and culinary creation in her kitchen, exploring the possibilities for a predominantly macrobiotic diet. Her cooking uses simple whole foods and largely organic ingredients, removing refined products and using only natural sugars, like fruit.

Much of Simone’s approach has been inspired by her loving husband, James, who has multiple sclerosis, and for whom Simone always strives to develop the best dishes to support James’s health and wellbeing. Anyone wishing to take responsibility for their own health will benefit from Simone’s approach. Her simple but delicious recipes and snacks are accompanied by advice and information on natural remedies and holistic treatments.

Stories about food, life and Simone’s great loves are dotted throughout this vibrant cook book, and Simone hopes that her recipes and approach to healthy living will help every reader become even more Uberdacious!

When I chose this book after reading the blurb, I assumed it would be mainly recipes with the stories interspersed. However I found that the recipes don’t start until over halfway through the book after following Simone’s life-story. This was fascinating to read, as Simone has certainly led an interesting life, although sad to hear about Simone’s husband James being diagnosed with MS. And I’m sure those of my followers who love entering my giveaways will be interested to hear that Simone tells of her lucky competition wins including 3 holidays.

And then the recipe section also contains lots of healthy eating tips. I’ve sometimes thought about buying flours other than white or wholemeal, but never really known where to start. The book has now introduced me to black and red rice which I had never heard of, so I shall be looking out for those in the shops. Lots more products that I have never heard of, but I’ve now bought a jar of St Dalfour jam, which is just sweetened with apple juice. Plus there is a natural remedies section after the recipes.

Uberdacious is available on Amazon, currently priced at £9.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A great book which has certainly opened my eyes to healthy eating ideas. Although a shame that the e-version of the book didn’t include the cookery illustrations which are in the paperback.

I have tried out the Crunchy Wholewheat and Oat Biscuits recipe from the book. This is a sugar-free recipe which can also be adapted to gluten-free if desired. Ideal for me, as I’m trying to reduce my sugar intake, although I only wish to replace with natural alternatives and avoid the likes of aspartame.

Crunchy Wholewheat and Oat Biscuits

Crunchy Wholewheat and Oat Biscuits

Son1 did comment that they were rather plain and son2 who usually always raids the biscuit jar has been eating these much slower. To me, this is a great result, as my aim is to reduce their sugar intake as well as my own, but because it is a gradual path, I probably need to use more agave syrup temporarily until their palates adjust.

Crunchy Wholewheat and Oat Biscuits

Now that we are into December, I’m planning to try out Simone’s mince pie recipe next.


I’m participating in the 12 Days of Clink Street Christmas blogival. Do take time to browse round some of the other posts, which cover a wide range of reading matter.

12 days of Clink Street Christmas blogtour

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Disclosure. This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

Guest post: Common Keto Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

I understand, it’s hard for you to gauge your progress when you’ve only followed the ketogenic diet for a week or two, or even a whole month. The magic happens internally, and the only way for you to record your progress is using the weighing scale or measuring parts of your body (and how you feel too, to an extent).

A lot of beginner’s screw things up at the beginning once they realize things aren’t as straightforward as it was thought to be.

Here are some common keto mistakes beginners make and how YOU should avoid them, so your keto journey doesn’t have to go through hiccups and you can maintain your ketosis stage.

Obsessing over the scale!!!

If you’re stepping on the scale when you wake up, before lunch, after lunch, and after dinner, then STOP! This obsession will only lead to disappointment. Your weight changes throughout the day, especially after meals.

When you’re frequently disappointed, you’ll start to self-doubt that may lead you to throwing in the towel.

Sure, you’re on a low-carb diet … But you really think your weight isn’t gonna change after a meal? Be reasonable!

Woman on weighing scale

Photo source: https://pixabay.com/ (Creative Commons license)

The best time to step on the scale is the morning when you wake up. If possible, every morning, around the same time for consistency. Keep it fair to yourself, and don’t fret too much about the digits on the scale! Write down what you see every morning for the next few weeks.

Once you see a pattern emerging, you’ll thank yourself for doing this.

Too much meat, bro

Yeap, too much protein can be counter-productive for you in a keto diet. When you’re in a low-carb diet, your liver can convert amino acids into glucose for energy, in a process called gluconeogenesis. Fancy, huh?

Remember, the point of entering ketosis is to prevent the body from using glucose as a main energy source. The protein you consume should only be enough to maintain muscle mass.

You should be keeping your daily protein intake below or at 1 gram of protein per day, per kg of body weight. So, if you weight 60 kilograms (133lbs.), keep your protein at 60 grams a day.

A good place to estimate your keto macronutrient needs that suit your goals is by using a keto macro calculator (like this one from Perfect Keto.)

The wrong mentality

A lot of people start with a diet to lose weight in a short period of time. It is possible, but you must be realistic.

An internet “guru” can claim that he lost 15 lbs within the first week of a diet he discovered (followed by a link to a course you have to buy), just as I can claim I have found the eternal cure to cancer. Don’t be fooled by these crazy marketing claims.

If done right, you can lose a lot of weight (2-10 lbs) within the first week, because your body loses WATER WEIGHT, not fat. And this too, depends on so many factors such as your metabolism, how active you are, and so on.

In the medium term, due expect weight loss of only 1-2lbs a week, and even a slower rate in the long term. You can’t get discouraged. Following a ketogenic diet is a lifestyle and a commitment in the long run. When you’re not there mentally, you’re gonna give in to sugar cravings and the hunger, which will kick you out off ketosis!

Taking the wrong types of fats/proteins

Keep your fats in check. Fats are a necessary part of a keto diet, but not all fats are good. Processed fats, such as hydrogenated oils and partially hydrogenated oils in junk food, fast food, and margarine should be avoided.

Avoid processed vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil soybean oil, and a few others.

The best proteins to take on a Keto diet are plant-based proteins, not to say you can’t have animal meats, though. Too much fatty meat has been linked to heart diseases and high cholesterol levels. You should not follow a ketogenic diet just to lose weight, but to have a healthier life in the long run.

Keto protein supplements are a great way for you to meet your protein needs when it’s not convenient for you’re a strict-protein diet.

Take-Home Message

To every keto beginner out there, you need to have a lot of patience and commitment. Do your research, stick to your plan, be honest to yourself, and the results will come forth. As mentioned, you may lose a lot of weight initially, but don’t expect it to be like that the following weeks!

Guest post by Sarah Peterson
“Sarah is the Content Director at Perfect Keto, with a mission to help as many people as possible achieve optimal health and well-being.”

Sweet Victory Products review and giveaway

For the last 2 or 3 years, I have become more aware of how bad sugar can be for us. It is known to be one of the worst foods for a variety of common diseases like arthritis, cancer and autism. I enjoy cakes and biscuits far too much to eliminate them, but I do try my best now to reduce my sugar intake. I’ve made a few little changes like always having fruit with my porridge instead of sugar and sometimes opting for something like a cheese scone or slice of fruit bread rather than cake.

So I was delighted when Sweet Victory Products contacted me to offer a free hamper of some of their products to review. They had seen my Zollipops review, which is one of the products they stock. Their aim is to help as many people as possible to change their relationship from High Sugar to Sugar-Free and healthier alternatives. This is exactly what I would like to do, if only I had the willpower.

Sweet Victory hamper

It didn’t take long for a beautifully packed basket to arrive which contained all the following goodies.
Virginias B-San white chocolate coated digestive biscuits no added sugars 130g
Diablo sugar free chocolate chip cake 230g
Jim Jams no added sugar milk chocolate spread 350g
Sweet Switch No added sugar Premium Belgian milk chocolate confetti 22g
Sugar free gummy sweets pick and mix 100g
Sugar free sweets pick and mix jar
2 sugar free cherry lollipops
2 Tplus+ immunitea vitamin tea orange and blueberry sachets
Cadbury highlights reduced sugar hot chocolate 11g
Cadbury highlights reduced sugar fudge flavour hot chocolate 11g

Sweet Victory hamper

So focussing on the individual products and starting with the digestive biscuits, which son2 was over the moon to see, as chocolate digestives are his all time favourite type of biscuit. I don’t think any of us had come across a white chocolate version previously. These contain zero sugar, and are sweetened with an ingredient I haven’t heard of called maltitol. We all enjoyed these. I haven’t done a direct price comparison on any of these products but I would certainly be happy to pay more for these sugar free digestives when I consider how quickly we get through a regular pack in our household.

Virginias B-San white chocolate coated digestive biscuits no added sugars

Next the cake. Once again sugar free and sweetened with maltitol and acesulfame K. I’ve not heard of this sweetener either. However I wished that I hadn’t looked at the ingredient list, as 16 E numbers sounded rather excessive. Luckily I didn’t look until after I had tried it. The boys enjoyed the cake, but I only thought it okay. Like many shop bought cakes, it tasted rather synthetic to me. I’m much more a fan of a homemade cake.

Diablo sugar free chocolate chip cake


And the chocolate spread. Jim Jams is a brand that I heard about earlier this year and have been unsuccessfully looking out for, so I was very interested to try this. Again this contains maltitol rather than sugar. Rather than just spreading it on toast, I decided this deserved a recipe.

Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate Croissants)

Ingredients (makes approx 4-5)

250g puff pastry
approx 75g Jim Jams chocolate spread

Method

Preheat fan oven to 200 deg C.
Grease baking sheet.
Roll out the pastry.
Cut pastry into similar sized rectangles.
Spread a length of chocolate spread along one edge of each rectangle.
Roll each rectangle up from that edge.
Place on baking sheet.
Cook on middle shelf of oven for about 10 minutes.
Remove from baking sheet immediately and place on cooling rack.
Serve either warm or cold.
Enjoy.

These were delicious warm. We all enjoyed them. For a store cupboard essential like chocolate spread, I definitely plan to switch to the Jim Jams brand in future.
Pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant)

And then there were four types of sweets. Firstly the Sweet Switch chocolate confetti which look very similar to smarties. The product name on the website indicates that these are made from premium Belgian milk chocolate, but this isn’t particularly promoted on the packet, with just a small mention of Sweet Switch address in Belgium. Tasty but again I wished I hadn’t looked at the packet, as I was confronted by 8 E-numbers. No added sugars, but more sweeteners that I hadn’t heard of – maltitol again plus sorbitol and steviol glycosides.

Sweet Switch No added sugar Premium Belgian milk chocolate confetti

And then the sugar free Gummy Pick & Mix Sweets with all our favourites like cola bottles. The packaging advises you to refer to their website for ingredients, but as it is a pick & mix product, you would need to look at each sweet type individually. I only looked at the cola bottle page, which does show that they contain pork gelatine, so I feel that this ought to be highlighted on the Pick & Mix webpage itself.

Sugar free gummy sweets pick and mix

Wow what a lot of different varieties of sweets in this pick and mix jar. Just looking at it brought back happy memories of visiting the local sweet shop as a child. And just think, these are all sugar free. There are a few familiar brands like Werthers and Mintoes, nether of which I realised did a sugar-free variant. But mostly just dip in for a tasty surprise. Again you would need to refer to individual sweet webpages for ingredients, but you can request for a particular sweet to be excluded. All of Sweet Victory weigh-out sweets can also be purchased in 100g increments. With Halloween round the corner, these would be fab for Trick or Treat.

Sugar free sweets pick and mix jar

And of course lollipops. I didn’t get to try these myself as there were only two and both boys wanted one. However they said they were good. These are sold in packs of 10. Again more unknown sweeteners on the ingredient list – acesulfame K again, plus sucralose and isomalt.

sugar free cherry lollipops

Next for a cup of tea. This was very pleasant and apparently contains an immune boosting blend of beneficial herbs, green tea, fruit and 50% RDA in 9 daily essential vitamins; Vitamin C echinacea and ginseng. I’ve never really thought about tea in the context of free-from but according to the website, this is gluten-free. So does that mean that some teas contain gluten? I never knew. This is sold in boxes of 15 sachets.

2 Tplus+ immunitea vitamin tea orange and blueberry sachets

And finally the hot chocolate. This is marketed as a low sugar product, rather than sugar-free and is something I have purchased previously. So I already knew that I liked both flavours. However I just scanned the barcode with my food scanner app and found that they still have 3g (original) or 3.4g (fudge) sugar in an 11g product. That is not really low sugar in my opinion.

Cadbury highlights reduced sugar fudge flavour hot chocolate

After sampling all the goodies, I had a look round their online store and can certainly see plenty of other tempting products, including some which would make lovely gifts. I think I would like to give the Xylitol a try, to see how that works in baking. And I also noticed that they stock Real Good Tomato Ketchup which is another product that I have previously reviewed. I have looked for this in vain at a couple of local branches of the Co-op, so very pleased to identify an online stockist.

And I was pleased to see that delivery costs are very reasonable, starting at £3.55 for second class. There is also a reward points scheme. I am definitely happy to recommend Sweet Victory Products.

But looks like I need to do some research into sugar substitutes next. Find out a bit about maltitol, acesulfame K, sorbitol, steviol glycosides, sucralose and isomalt.

And I have an offer to pass on to my readers – 10% off your first order at Sweet Victory Products with discount code: YABM10

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a hamper of treats from Sweet Victory Products to one lucky winner. What a tempting prize bundle. Contents will be similar to those that I received.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear about your favourite reduced sugar treats.

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Disclosure. This post is a review of products I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

Guest post: Coconut Oil – Miracle House Hold Remedy

Coconut oil has several uses that make it a super household item that you must always keep it in your home. It can be used in food for better health, in skin and hair care products and as a natural treatment for certain diseases in certain medicines. If you are unaware of benefits coconut oil, this blog is dedicated to you.

Coconut Oil and Weight Loss:

Coconut oil has magnificent health benefits for you. Coconut oil contains High-density lipoprotein cholesterol that is healthy cholesterol which helps in elimination of fat lipids from the body by carrying them to the liver. In addition to this, coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that fight against harmful microbes in your body and maintain the balance between healthy and unhealthy bacteria. This keeps your gut flora healthy and as a result, your digestive system improves. Similarly, there are two reasons behind weight gain either it is the weak immune system or weak digestive system. Taking coconut oil resolves both of these issues. In addition to this, the saturated fatty acid in coconut oil reduces your appetite naturally and helps to maintain sugar level. All these benefits aid in weight loss. You can cook your meal in coconut oil or just eat a tablespoon of coconut oil in the morning.

Coconut Oil and Hair Care:

Shampooing and conditioning are not all that your hair requires for thickness and shine. You owe to show some extra love to your hairs by taking advantage of nature’s gifts to keep your hairs healthy. One of these is coconut oil. Do you know why people living in Tropical coastal areas have thick and shiny hairs? The most suitable answer is that they use naturally extracted coconut oil on their hairs. Coconut oil contains a chain of fatty acids such as capric acid and lauric acid that behaves as an antifungal and anti-bacterial that kills the bacteria and detoxifies the scalp. In addition to this, Coconut oil also contains vitamin E that helps to protect the skin cells on the scalp, reduces oxidative stress in the scalp and improves blood flow which results in better hair health. According to Home Remedies for Life, Coconut oil is among best oils that can be used for better hair growth. However, using extra virgin coconut oil is a better option as compared to other commercially available coconut oil as they also contain mineral oils that reduce its efficiency.

Coconut Oil for Skin Care:

Coconut oil is one of the perfect moisturizers you can apply to your skin. As mentioned previously coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties, not only this it is also a natural coolant. Therefore, if coconut oil is applied to the skin it can help in reducing sunburn, itching or burning. In addition to this, the mono-saturated fats present in coconut oil promote collagen growth that makes the cell wall stronger and Vitamin K aids new cell production that helps in reducing stretch marks. Coconut oil can be used to get rid of skin conditions such as rashes or eczema as it fights against bacteria and nourishes your skin.

You can also use coconut oil to prevent bacteria enter your dead skin. Coconut oil also contains healing properties. You can apply it on wounds and the Multi-Chain fatty acids will boost up the healing process.

DIY Coconut Oil and Sugar Scrub:

Coconut oil is used in various skin care products however these products are filled with harsh chemicals. Therefore, we are sharing a recipe to make exfoliator at home. You will require:

  1. ½ cup of Sugar
  2. ½ cup of coconut oil
  3. Few drops of essential oil or Lemon juice.

Mix all the three ingredients and use once a week. Sugar granules will remove the dead skin that will help coconut oil penetrate in the skin easily which will nourish your skin. You can use this scrub on dark patches on your body to reduce them.

Coconut oil for Dental Health:

Oil pulling is a method used for dental health as coconut oil has antimicrobial properties performing oil pulling with coconut oil can help in preventing tooth decay and tooth loss. However, on the other hand, multi-chain fatty acids will make gum stronger that will result in less gum bleeding.

Coconut Oil as Makeup Remover:

You can use coconut oil as a makeup remover; it will also hydrate your skin and will keep it moisturized without any side effects.

Author Bio:

Jane Scott is currently working as a nutritionist at a renowned firm. With an experience of more than a decade, she is considered as a go-to person in her field of work. She also writes blogs for her website Home Remedies for Life.

Guest post by Jane Scott

An energy boost

I have just started a new job and there is lots to learn during the training period, which I find can be quite exhausting. Especially as I have to juggle it with family commitments.  Plus it is a shift role, so a mixture of early starts, late finishes plus night shifts again, which I’ve recently had a few months break from. So I was very pleased to be offered a free energy boosting goody pack from Pharmaton.

Energy boosting goodies

I received the following products.
75ml thisworks deep sleep pillow spray
Neom Energy Burst On the Go Mist
50g Nutriseed raw Maca powder
Boots £10 gift card (to purchase Pharmaton Vitality Capsules)

Pharmaton Vitality Capsules

So on my next shopping trip, I popped into Boots to buy a bottle of the Pharmaton Vitality Capsules. This contained 30 capsules, currently at an RRP of £9.49, for which the recommended dose is one tablet daily. I decided to take the full packet before telling you what I thought of them. The packet indicates that they are clinically proven against tiredness and lack of energy. Would I find that so?

The first 2 days didn’t go too well with me getting a bad headache overnight. The packet does warn that headaches may be a common side effect. But after that, things improved and although it is difficult to say with any certainty, I feel that overall I was probably more energised. During week 4, I did my first night shifts in several months, and I felt that my body adjusted back better afterwards.

Pharmaton Vitality Capsules

Pharmaton Vitality Capsules contain a special blend of vitamins and minerals, including the unique G115 ginseng extract. The idea is that they work with your body’s natural metabolism to relieve fatigue and restore vitality, and also help keep you stay mentally and physically alert. They can be taken every day for up to 12 weeks. (For the relief of temporary periods of fatigue. Always read the label).

And of course I tried out the other goodies too.

thisworks deep sleep pillow spray

The pillow spray is great. You just spray it on your pillow and the top end of your duvet. Then smell the delightful fragrance of lavender, vetivert and wild camomile as you drift off. Lavender is one of my favourite scents so this was perfect for me.

Neom Energy Burst On the Go Mist

The Neom mist has a lovely fragrance too and is 100% natural, but it comes in a very tiny bottle. I can’t see the size details on the packaging, but I’m guessing 5ml, so it won’t last me long. I’ve already used over half of it. Basically you spritz it above you or on your wrists, then supposedly breathe in through your nose for a count of 7 and out through your mouth for a count of 11. However I found that I couldn’t breathe for anything like this length, so I’m just doing it as slow as I can manage.

And finally the organic maca powder. I had never heard of maca, so I had to do some research. I found that the Incas have been cultivating it for 1000s of years in the high Peruvian Andes, boosting their energy at such a high altitude. More details on Wikipedia. The packet says to add 1-2 teaspoons to your smoothies, shakes, juices and healthy bakes. Well I decided to use it in my not quite so healthy chocolate cookie recipe.

Double choc chip cookies with maca

Double Choc Chip Cookies

Ingredients (makes about 13)

200g butter
200g plain flour
50g cocoa
1 heaped teasp maca powder
120g soft brown sugar
1 egg
few drops vanilla essence
1 tbsp milk
100g chocolate chips

Method

Preheat fan oven to 170 degree C.
Grease 2 baking trays.
Cream together the butter and sugar.
Beat in the egg.
Add the vanilla essence.
Sieve in the cocoa.
Add the maca powder.
Sieve in the flour.
Mix together.
Mix in the chocolate chips.
Mix in milk if mixture is too stiff.
Spoon balls of mixture onto the baking trays.
Bake in pre-heated oven for about 12 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.
Serve and enjoy.

Double choc chip cookies with maca

Delicious. Everyone gave these the thumbs up.


And here are some more simple tips to help you make the most of your day and get your energy levels back.

  1. Stay Hydrated

It seems obvious but make sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day. According to the Natural Hydration Council, dehydration can reduce the ability to concentrate and impact cognitive and physical performance. NHS choices recommend that you drink at least 1.2 litres of fluid a day which is roughly 6-8 glasses of water. The best way to remind yourself is to keep a glass or bottle on your desk and set yourself a target amount to drink by the end of the day.

  1. Eat right

Make sure that you eat the right foods at the right time. It is tempting to reach for high fat, high sugar products when you are tired but these will leave your energy levels crashing, making you feel irritable and still hungry. Keep a pot of nuts such as almonds or cashews at your desk for when you need an energy boost.

  1. Get a good sleep

According to the national Sleep Council, your bedroom should not be an extension of the house. So don’t use the bedroom to eat, watch TV, work or talk in – the bedroom should be used for sleeping. Plan a consistent sleeping schedule by trying to get the same amount of sleep every night and at similar times. Move all screens out of the bedroom and try to avoid staring a bright screen an hour before bed, as the light keeps your brain awake leaving you struggling to drift off.

  1. Move it

If you feel your concentration failing, don’t reach for another coffee or sugary snack – get moving! Even low intensity exercise like a brisk walk around the block at lunch can help reduce the feeling of fatigue.

I’d be interested to hear your top energy boosting tips.

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Disclosure. This post includes a review of products I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

Guest post: Benefits of Portion Control

Overeating is a common habit these days. People don’t realize that they are overeating. Larger portions have more calories obviously and make you eat more. It causes problems like obesity, diabetes, etc. So, if you are looking for a healthy lifestyle, portion control should be a priority for you.

Practicing portion control can help you to be satisfied by eating less food, which is beneficial for you, both physically and financially.

Here are a few benefits of portions control that can encourage you.

  1. Digestion Improvement:
    Portion Control can help you improve your digestion and metabolism by not overeating with lots of food in every meal. It will assist in weight-loss as well because your portions will be smaller and the ingestion will be able to take place smoothly.
  2. Helps in Managing Calorie Intake:
    To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. When you are practicing portion control, you would want to eat something that would keep you full for some time since the portions are small.
    Bulking your meals with vegetables, oats, and fruits is one of the easiest ways to manage portion control because they fill you up and are calorie free!
    A proper amount of healthy food will supply your body with essential elements without eating extra.
    Practicing portion control will help in managing calorie intake and it also helps in maintaining blood glucose control. It is well-noted fact that increase in our waist size is directly proportional to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is closely related to diabetes.
  3. Money Saving:
    It’s pretty evident that when you eat smaller portions, you tend to spend less money. You also save money that you spend on junk food because when you practice portion control, you plan to eat healthy food to keep you full instead of junk food, that makes you crave for more and adds to binge-eating.
  4. Increase in Your Satiety:
    It might sound strange but it is a fact, eating less makes you feel full. When you eat less, your stomach shrinks with time, and the feeling of satiety comes quick. Thus you prevent overeating.
  5. Increased Energy:
    Research says that eating smaller portions boosts people’s energy and productivity. Eating irregular meals can lead to problematic issues like a feeling of depleted energy and irregular eating habits. Having increased strength will also help you engage in physical activity, which is essential for good health.
  6. Helps Fight Illness:
    Smaller meals that are taken throughout the day help fight certain illnesses. Eating smaller portions with healthy ingredients give a better regulation of blood glucose levels and is linked to reducing cholesterol and chances of diabetes.

AUTHOR BIO:
Michelle Hannan is a nutritionist, and she’s on a mission to give you all the information you need to lose weight successfully. She also blogs regularly at https://www.hcgdietinfo.net/

Michelle Hannan

Guest post by Michelle Hannon

Guest post: How Yoga, Meditation benefit the Mind and Body

We as humans have come a long way and if you will ask me that whether we are happy about it or not, I will have a mixed answer. The modernity has brought us ease and comfort, but it has also brought the fierce competition with it that do not let us relax entirely. The thought of what will come next is almost destroying the inner peace of one’s self.

To say that a car ride is not what we want would be absolutely wrong but a small walk to the nearby mart or the bar with the company you like or even alone can do wonders to you internally and externally both. But somehow, in all the luxuries and races we have forced ourselves in; we are forgetting that the inner peace is more than you need for a better life.

One of the most significant and brightest person that ever lived once said that.
A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the constant pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness. – Albert Einstein

For many of us the comfort lies in the luxuries, that the future will bring with the efforts we will put today, but what will happen to the peace we need today, ever thought about that? I have so many things that can be a suitable answer to this question, but yoga or meditation has been proven to be the best solution up till now.

According to several types of research, taking out some time for yourself and shutting down the world has proven to be effective for you not just mentally but physically too.

  • BENEFITS TO THE BODY

Yoga has been in practice since a human cannot imagine but with every passing time, the popularity of this method of relaxation and reducing weight is being known to everyone. Celebrities around the world are going crazy over yoga as it does so much in so little time.

Following are the benefits that yoga, meditation holds for our body.

  1. Better health
  2. Flexibility
  3. Better diet
  4. Reduces back pain
  5. Cures the hangover
  6. Better cardiovascular health
  7. Improves digestion
  • BENEFITS TO THE MIND

According to a research conducted by Dr. Cahn, if people allow themselves a session of yoga on a daily basis, they can rid of the anxiety and depression they are going through, and for better results, a vegetarian diet can be opted.

Many psychiatrists even ask their patients to meditate every day even if it is in the comfort of their bedroom and not with a professional.

Meditation is considered as a religious act in some religions. Like, in Christianity, the practice is not common in every school of thought but the tradition of desert fathers from the early times who use to isolate themselves individually or in groups, used to pray (spoken or sung) in synchronized breathing, is now a practice of some schools. In Islam, Muslims consider their daily prayer as a form of meditation as they spend that time alone with their God. In Hinduism and Buddhism, the pundits and Buddhists meditate for years for spirituality.

Following are the benefits that yoga, meditation holds for the mind.

  1. Stress management
  2. Emotional health
  3. Better sleep
  4. Mood booster
  5. Clears your mind

Author bio: Michelle Hannan is a nutritionist, and she’s on a mission to give you all the information you need to lose weight successfully. She also blogs regularly at https://www.hcgdietinfo.net/

Michelle Hannan

Guest post by Michelle Hannon

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Self care for pain relief plus giveaway

Between work and family, I have a busy lifestyle with not much “me” time squeezed in, so I was pleased to be offered a free self-care package from Combogesic.

The package included the following goodies aimed at helping me to relax, unwind, and relieve stress – the perfect combination for a much needed self-care routine from my hectic schedule.

Spa at Home Candle (cedarwood & vetivert)
Bath Bomb
Tea Tree moisturising Korean face mask
Boots £10 gift card

Self care from Combogesic

Whether you struggle to overcome back pain, headaches, period pain or muscular pain, here is some expert advice from GP Dr Dawn Harper on effective pain relief and self-care techniques to help ease the symptoms:

BACK PAIN:It might seem obvious but poor posture is one of the most common causes of back pain. That said, most of us don’t know what good posture is or how to correct bad posture. Over time bad posture generates an increasing amount of pressure on your back which can lead to persistent aches and pains. The trick is to try and not stay in the same position for too long.  Whether you’re sat in a chair at home or at your desk in the office, it’s important to keep re-positioning yourself, taking frequent breaks and moving around to prevent your back becoming stiff.”

HEADACHES:Dehydration is a common trigger for migraines.  With busy lives, it can be difficult to remember to keep drinking fluids, so try drinking a glass after every bathroom break as a regular prompt.  Drinking between two and two and half litres a day might help reduce the frequency, severity and duration of your migraine attacks.

PERIOD PAIN:A light, circular massage around your lower abdomen can help reduce pain.  Alternatively, try some stretches aimed at easing the pain.  For instance, lie on your back with your legs straight out, bend one knee and pull it up to your chin. Hug your knee with both hands and hold the position, then repeat on the other side.”

MUSCULAR PAIN:Use a foam roller, you often see these at the gym, but they can easily be used at home and are very affordable. A foam roller is what can only be described as a padded log. You use it by laying the roller underneath the sore or tender muscle and you simply roll on top of it, allowing the pad to press against the sore or tender muscle. The rolling movement is good for local blood circulation and applies pressure, helping reduce muscle stiffness.

I do always try to drink plenty of water, but I don’t think I manage as much as 2 litres. I had better try harder, as I’ve always suffered from lots of headaches. And I know I’m guilty as regards posture, since after a day at work mainly on screens, my favourite form of relaxation is sitting with my laptop, writing a blog post.

But a foam roller is something I must get myself. I’ve been having physio recently, due to tearing a muscle in my foot and it is something that my physiotherapist has particularly recommended. Pity there wasn’t one included in my self care package along with the other goodies.

I really must focus more on taking time to look after myself, from the inside, out!

Combogesic pain relief

And if you do need some pain relief, then Combogesic is an innovative pain relief product that combines paracetamol and ibuprofen into one convenient tablet, to deliver over 30% more pain relief than taking either ingredient on their own.

Furthermore, its double action formula works faster than the maximum dose of over the counter ibuprofen alone. Combogesic has a much simpler dosing routine, requiring consumers to take 1-2 tablets up to 3 times a day. Visit www.combogesic.co.uk to find out more.

Combogesic comes in packs of 16s (RRP £3.99) and is available to purchase at the pharmacy counter in Boots.

You may see a review here from my other half, when he tried Combogesic last year.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a self care goody bundle to one lucky winner. It will be fairly similar to the goodies that I received, although the face mask and candle may possibly be different brands. What a nice pampering prize.

comper friendly badge

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d be interested to hear your top tips for self care and pain relief.

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

Disclosure. This post mentions products I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

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