Mirror Mirror on the wall whose the thinnest one of all….

This title certainly grabbed my attention on a fellow bloggers page (keepupwithdee).

She talked about the medias involvement, attitude and blatant encouragement to pick yourself and (in particular) other women apart.

To generally not feel that great about yourself if you’re not the ‘right shape’ or the ‘right size’.

What is the right ‘shape and size’ any way – according to the media that changes depending on what mood they are in!

Curvy frames and slim frames seem to go in and out of ‘fashion’.

Here are some examples of celebrated curvy women:

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Here are some examples of ‘celebrated’ slim/ petite women:

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Have you heard about the ‘thigh gap’??

Well let me enlighten you, it’s a craze/ trend to have a gap between your thighs when you stand with your feet together.

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Some women naturally have it some work hard to try to get one, some don’t care.

I fall into the last category! lol

Who comes up with this stuff?

Who decided that it’s ‘cool’ and that’s what we should all aspire to look like?

If that same person convinced every one tomorrow we should all have elbows that face inward I wonder how long it would take people to book in for surgery?

The media encourages women to compare themselves, to their friends, family, celebrity’s on Tv, in magazines, people we see in our every day lives and criticise ourselves and others if they don’t fit  into the category of size and shape that is currently in ‘fashion’!

I feel like it would be wrong to say I wouldn’t have fears and worries about the people I love, if they were at polar ends of the spectrum eg. obese or very under weight.

For me my concerns would come from a place of love.

I am motivated from a positive place of HEALTH and there is nothing shallow about wanting and supporting the people you love to be healthy.

In some ways I think it’s human nature to want what we don’t have (like Kim Kardashians bum)! But to become obsessed by it, to the point that we no longer enjoy the pleasures this life has to offer would be such a great shame.

It’s not realistic….It’s not right for every one and it’s not the truth!

Reading lots of Bikini models Blogs I have been reassured they don’t look chiseled, buff without an ‘inch to pinch’ all year-long. Most of them only look like that when they know they have a competition or photo shoot coming up and they have to do a lot of preparation to get ready.

Photo shop, if you haven’t already learned photo shopping a picture can dramatically change some ones appearance and it’s used in most pictures in magazines most of the time. It can change colours, whiten and straighten teeth, get rid of blemishes, spots, wrinkles and is used a lot to change the shape and appearance of some ones body! When women look at magazines and aspire to be like those models or celebrities they are aspiring to something that’s not real!

Click the link to a YouTube video for just one example!

My hopes for the future:

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That women stop comparing themselves to other women in such a negative way.

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I hope that what ever end of the spectrum some ones at, if they decide they want to live a healthy life that they get tons of support!!!! 🙂

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Never wish to be some one else.

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That women become more stubborn and concentrate on having a healthy life, healthy attitude, healthy mind, healthy body and Ignore the media. 🙂

That women dress to flatter their figure and embrace their different body shapes.

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There is nothing wrong with admiring someones style but my hope for the future is that young girls ‘role models’ are not based solely on looks, but on their character, strength, determination, beliefs and out look.

Here are some of my role models:

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  1. Anita Roddick, a British -born international businesswoman, human rights activist and environmental campaigner, best known as the founder of The Body Shop
  2. Katie Piper, was attacked with Acid (set up by her ex boyfriend). She used her experience to help other burns victims and featured in two documentaries. The first focusing on how much her life had changed since the attack and her treatment for the burns, the second focusing on inner beauty and people’s judgments towards burn victims. She’s still very much interested in fashion and always looks immaculate, she’s a model, Tv presenter and book writer and has set up a foundation charity to support other burn victims.
  3. PINK (Alecia Beth Moore Hart), first and fore most a fierce and intelligent music artist, amazing live performer with a bit of a punk rock image and most successful artist of her generation, having sold over 45 million albums. She is also a prominent campaigner for PETA and regularly talks about her love of animals and veg gardening in interviews! 

I’d love to hear who some of your female role models/ ladies you look up to are and why.

x

Well being, home remedies, natural products DIY

If you didn’t know already I LOVE natural products and I love making my own products and remedies too.

I like knowing what goes into the products and that they are doing me some good and are safe to use.

Lots of items needed can be found in your garden, your kitchen, at health food stores and online.

Here are some ‘must haves’ for your store cupboard for DIY natural remedies and toiletries:

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  1. Carrier oils, these are oils that don’t have a strong scent and blend well with and dilute essential oils, my favourite one to use is sweet almond oil, I use it so much, I’ve nearly run out!
  2. Plants with medicinal properties, Aloe Vera is a brilliant plant to have potted on a sunny window sill, it has many uses and its fleshy pulp can be used internally and externally.
  3. Dried flowers such as marigolds, dandelions, chamomile, rose petals, Borage, Lavender if dried well on news paper on a sunny window sill can be stored in air tight containers and used in bath oils, soaps and in other home made remedies many have medicinal properties.
  4. Cider Vinegar is used alot as a cleanser and in hair tonics removing any residue build up.
  5. Food products such as honey, oats, ground almonds, milk can be used in baths and in face masks, as well as many fruits and veg and even eggs.
  6. Ground almonds, ground oats and fine sugar make excellent exfoliator ingredients.
  7. Coffee grounds are often used in the treatment of cellulite and puffy skin, it is thought the caffeine gives the skin a plump taught effect.
  8. Herbs from the garden can be used in scrubs in cooling eye brighteners and other home remedies including teas.
  9. Bees wax and hard or ‘set’ coconut oil are excellent for making hand and lip balms.
  10. Having a variety of dark glass bottles/ bottles with droppers are essential for storing home-made remedies.
  11. A foraging or identification guide-book is a MUST, so that you don’t misidentify plants and run the risk of putting something toxic in or on your body!
  12. Having a variety of essential oils is what makes making your own remedies and products fun, as-well as boosting the health benefit and well-being benefit of your product! You can tailor it to the individuals needs, I always follow my nose when I am choosing which oils to include,(above in the picture are a few of my latest additions)!

I will be including some recipes in my future posts.

x

 

 

Health and fitness motivation

My Health is really important to me, there is cancer in my family, I have a back injury and I try to take good care of myself and my family.

For me it’s not just aesthetic, I mean to treat my body much like a well oiled machine, I love life and I want to be around to enjoy it and to do that to the best of my ability I need to take responsibility.

If you have read my previous posts you will know I do treat myself or have ‘cheat days’ I eat take away once a month or so, I do eat a ‘proper’ pudding once a week but I also look for healthy alternatives and my healthy choices massively out weigh my naughty treats. 🙂

I talked in a previous Post ’10 ways to boost your health and well being’ about moving your body more and alot of the key points were about eating , sleeping and treating your body better.

I am going to share with you some of the pictures I have gathered that I use on my screen savers, stuck to the fridge, as back ground pictures on my laptop etc to be a constant reminder that I need to be conscious of how I treat my body.

 

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What motivates you to eat well and look after your body?

x

Celebrate Easter with a little well-being……

If you haven’t already check out my Review for ‘Mama Teas’ – This spring re booting my determination to drink more Herbal teas ❤

Mama Tea

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter Well being tea from Mama Tea

This Easter, put the chocolate eggs to one side and take some time out with a soothing cup of herbal tea. Easter is a time for renewal; take some time for you and make some plans for your well being…..

Creating a Well Being Plan doesn’t need to be a massive project; it is the simple steps that make a difference…..

MEDITATE

Meditate with Mama Tea Well Being Teas

Create a space and some time for meditation. Even if this feels difficult at first, persist. Research shows that a little meditation every day is extremely beneficial for mind and body.

Three quick meditations from Natalie MacNeill from the Huffington Post (link here):

Stress Shaker (releases stress from your body)

Start by taking a few deep breaths then bring your awareness to whatever is causing you stress.
As you become aware of what’s bothering you say, “I’m willing to move forward and see this differently.”

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Update – Trying to boost my health

These are just my personal key points I have been focusing on, I know every one has different needs and really I just want to share some ideas 🙂

I’ve always been interested in health and well-being and new products on the market and new ideas. I’ve been watching alot of ‘health and fitness’ videos and reading lots of fitness blogs lately.

Currently my  key ‘Health boost’ points I am focusing on are,

  • Drinking more water
  • Drinking more Herbal teas (for cleansing/ health boosting properties)
  • Finding healthier alternatives for different products
  • Eating more fruit
  • Finding healthy ways to boost my energy levels

So far I am continuing to re -fill my bottle of water and keeping it by my desk,

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Having a green tea with a tsp of honey in the morning, it’s a tip I heard on some ones youtube video – (i find green tea really bitter and a tsp of honey does the trick for me).

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My ‘Health Food Haul’ gave me lots of good ideas and inspiration  for healthy alternatives, Agave syrup is one alternative sweetener that has now become my ‘go to’ sweetener especially in baking and I use a tiny bit of coconut oil for cooking; I also love rapeseed oil instead of melted butter on dinners.

coconut oil

I have been making a conscious effort to make myself a small bowl of mixed fruit every day usually with lunch including things like half a cut up apple half a cut up banana, ki wi, grapes etc the colours make it very appetizing I’m finding variety is the key and to serve it cut up in small bite size pieces.

fruit salad

I’ve also been making myself fruity smoothies more frequently.

I have found Matcha green tea (powder) in a smoothie to be my savior on days when I need a boost and I need my energy levels to keep me going that little bit longer.It can be bitter on it’s own but works well in a fruit smoothie. Hooray for matcha green tea!

matcha green tea pow

I am also interested in finding out more about these products as I am yet to try them.

research this juice plus 2essencecaramel choc shake

If any one else has any other suggestions of products or tips of things I could add to my diet/ life please let me know (take a look at my other Health/ well-being posts to see what else I have already tried)!

x

Health Food Shop Haul ‘Reviews’

1970531_10153888834195697_979286043_n[1]  First up is Agave nectar a healthy alternative to sugar.

Made from a plant named Agave, it is a low GI sweetener so perfect for avoiding sugar highs and then a crash. I would liken the taste to caramel and I had it on ‘American pancakes’ (Recipe on my Blog) with pear, Greek yogurt and Nuts.

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Kallo Belgian dark chocolate organic rice thins   1782070_10153888835450697_1574645164_n[1]

This snack list of ingredients although are not considered health foods are all ingredients I recognize which is a good thing! Low in calories, slow energy releasing (the cracker is made with brown rice). These crackers were moreish, sweeter than I imagined, how ever not very filling and I had to eat them very slowly to avoid eating the whole pack in one go! I think you get about 6 in a pack this size. You MUST keep them in an air tight box or they will loose their ‘crunch’.

1798021_10153888838815697_984505098_n[1]  Dark Chocolate ‘go Do’ and Beyond Dark chocolate drops.

Both of these are very small.

The 60% Sicilian dark chocolate bar with almonds was a ‘mini’ handbag sized chocolate bar. It was a nice chunky chocolate bar and satisfying to bite, although I didn’t find the flavor to be very strong and found it a bit ‘cocoa powdery’.

Beyond Dark chocolate drops – mini bag, these are SO flavorful 70% dark chocolate drops, they are almost fruity.  They are high in Anti oxidants, they have produced other flavors but the anti oxidants are highest in the dark chocolate drops. The process the company use result in a very smooth dark chocolate.

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These little ‘wonder seeds’ are high in omega 3 fatty acids, high in fiber, they are very similar to flax and sesame seeds. When mixed with liquid they produce a gelatin substance, lots of people add them to smoothies, cereal mix, granola bars, and yogurt. I make my own bread so it seemed natural for me to add it in with my other mixed seeds, as I didn’t fancy the gelatin substance it produces in wet dishes much. It gave a nice nutty flavor to the bread.

1000633_10153888837545697_1539489605_n[1]   Dry Roasted and flavored chick peas.

Although I found these moreish and liked the tomato and Garlic & herb flavor, I didn’t like the consistency that dry chick peas made in my mouth when chewing them (similar to eating chick pea flour) – you definitely need to have a drink to hand. But it was a good alternative to a high fat- high processed snack and would be good to put out with nuts etc in small bowls if you had guests visiting.

Manuka Honey nuggets with lemon   1781984_10153888839775697_670296939_n[1]

As chance would have it soon after purchasing these every one happened to have sore throats and these were a very pleasant alternative to lozenges. Although sweets are not considered a ‘health food’ Manuka honey is well known for it’s many beneficial properties such as it’s healing and antibacterial properties. These were a nice subtle flavour and very authentic tasting.

65444_10153888841875697_754496208_n[1]   ‘Yo Yo’ sweets.

Pure fruit no added nasties! These are a brilliant alternative to high sugar – high processed sweets! They come in small rolls (similar looking to a liquorish roll) and with the brightly coloured packaging are aimed at children (and health conscious parents). The actual sweets are quite dull in colour green/brown but the taste is intense fruity and naturally sweet. We think the Pineapple flavour is the best one!

Smooth Cashew butter  1186817_10153888833565697_1131764297_n[1]

Why do nuts taste so much better when they are roasted? OMG this is sooo good! 100% roasted and blitzed Cashew nuts. It’s really tasty, I had it on toast! I usually make my own nut butters but I didn’t have any Cashew nuts. Cashews, as with other tree nuts, are a good source of antioxidants. Alkyl phenols, in particular, are abundant in cashews.[14][15] Cashews are also a source of dietary trace minerals copper, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus.[16]

acai berry    Acai Berry juice drink.

The Acai Berry comes from a type of Palm tree, also classed as a ‘super food’ this fruit is high in vitamins and naturally in it’s pulp form is not sweet. I poured myself a glass of the juice and decided pretty much after the first sip that it was too ‘sickly’ sweet to enjoy as a glass of juice and from then on added it to smoothies.

It was much more palatable this way.   acia smoothie

good hemp Good Hemp ‘milk’.

Hemp milk or hemp seed milk, is a drink made from hemp seeds that are soaked and ground into water, yielding a creamy nutty beverage. It is marketed in health and fitness publications as a “new health food hero’.

 To consider this milk is where I went wrong it’s got a savoury grassy/green flavour, and while it’s a nice refreshing savoury flavour (it also has a hint of sea salt) , I wouldn’t have it on cereal or in my tea! I added it to my smoothies for the health benefits. Hemp seeds contain a three-to-one ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids and other nutrients include magnesium,phytosterolsascorbic acidbeta-carotenecalciumfiberironpotassiumphosphorusriboflavinniacin and thiamin.

I’ve still got a few bits from this haul to Review that I will probably use in Recipes,

Hope this gives you food for thought!

x

Health Food Haul and Reviews :)

In my never-ending quest to try different foody products and learn about new things I am sharing with you my ‘Health Food’ haul I ordered online from Holland and Barrett.

I will Review each product in one way or another, describe the health benefits (in this case – as it is a ‘Health Food’ haul) and of course talk about the taste!

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Max the dog helped me un pack…..

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and then proceeded to steal my coconut!

These are the items I will be testing out, some of them I will be using in recipes and I’ll be telling you about the heath benefits of each product.

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