Monday, 31 March 2014

The Food Doctor - Hormone Balancing Programme

I recently received a parcel from Rhiannon and Alice at The Food Doctor, London.  And here are my thoughts on what was inside...

They sent me three supplements as part of their Hormone Balancing Programme. 

1 bottle of Nutri Advanced MegaMag Fem Balance
1 bottle Eskimo 3 Fish Oil (Pure Omega 3)
1 bottle Optibac Probiotics: for every day

I think you can buy them as a package here which might be more economical...

First up - what are hormones and why are they important?
Well since you asked and to put it very simply.... hormones are our body's chemical messengers. They effect a huge number of processes in the body including mood, development, growth, sexual function, metabolism and reproduction... So its basically vital that the body is hormonally balanced - otherwise we just couldn't function.

What causes hormones to become unbalanced?
When you think of unbalanced hormones, you might think its just women going through menopause who are affected - but in fact lifestyle, STRESS, medication, diet or pregnancy can all also cause an imbalance in anyone..

I am not sure if my hormones need balancing - I haven't had them tested but as I am currently under a lot of stress...they probably do need re-adjusting... The cortisol knows how to trickle its way in and I have to work really hard at cooling the system and managing it. 

And as I am currently finishing my degree, I welcome ANY kind of extra nutrients that are going to support and help my brain functioning. So out of all of these products, my favourite would be the Omega 3 fish oils. I do eat a lot of fish already so I am sure my brain already gets good doses of Omega. 

I am not a huge supplement taker and I wouldn't advocate it for everyone - I used to be but now only occasionally take Vitamin C, Multivitamin, Magnesium etc.. I worked somewhere last summer where EVERYONE was popping supplement pills all the time - you could actually hear the crunchy / rattle sound when they walked.

It is well known in the food / health industry that having a healthy gut can have a huge impact on overall health. The health of the gut depends on which nutrients the body will absorb. I wrote a university essay last year on functional foods and chose probiotics specifically to write about - I scored highly in this essay and did a wide amount of reading on the subject. Many, many studies have shown that there is not enough evidence out there to suggest that probiotics are widely beneficial. I would take them briefly if I had been on antibiotics or was going abroad - but not all the time. 

Finally - the MegaMag Fem Balance: I think its sometimes great to have a powder that has everything you need in it. You have to mix this with water and drink it - you get used to the taste but its not the most delicious thing in the world - I wonder if it tastes different / better in smoothie? The powder contains Vitamin B6 and its not advised to take this long term. I like this powder for its high dose of Magnesium and Vitamin C. I've taken Magnesium Citrate before for anxiety and it really works. 

To conclude - this Hormone Balancing Programme will work for some people but not everyone - not least because different things work for different people. I am not a huge advocate of taking supplements - studies have shown that they aren't always effective and those who do take them are likely to be well-nourished and take an interest in leading an active and healthy lifestyle already. 

Always seek professional advice with products like these - don't just buy them and start pill popping. I'm sure Alice is on the end of the Food Doctor telephone and happy to answer any questions. Alternatively, comment below and I will get back to you asap. (that sounds like a voicemail recording..)

Ruby rocks Bury St Edmunds

At last - no more university lectures - ever! So weird to think that in 5 weeks, my degree will be completely finished. I can hardly wait. I went home this weekend for a bit of R&R. It was a fun filled weekend that I have been looking forward to for weeks. 

We watched Joanna Lumley in her new documentary interviewing Will i am - one British star meets an American international superstar. It was amazing. Do watch it on iPlayer / YouTube if you get the chance. 

Then - a trip to Norwich, which is the most beautiful city. Although shame about the football team (I'm a massive Ipswich Town fan so it was a miracle I even set foot in Norwich). But - I went there to see the Reduced Shakespeare Company perform a Comedy of Errors - totally brilliant and we roared with laughter. I stuffed myself full of the most delicious pasta (prawns, chilli, linguine...) pre theatre too in Jamie's Italian. So so good. 

NEXT was fun and games with Ella who I wish I saw more of. She starred in a play at school last week, which as always, I had to miss.  We were both at home for Mother's day, which was so special. Here is our "make up free" selfie for Cancer Research...

The final part of the weekend (there were other great bits but I'm only giving you some of the highlights) was taking my parents and a few other friends to see Ruby in her UK tour of Sane New World which came to Suffolk - the Apex at Bury St Edmunds - so a great excuse to go again - I had only seen it once before. She was sensational as always. Beg, borrow and steal a ticket to see it - although its selling out and there are not many dates left..! We laughed and laughed. Everyone who I knew in the audience thought it was so great. You can't fail to not learn something from that kind of an evening - so informative, thought provoking but so so funny.

I didn't want the evening to end - Ruby and I walked back to her hotel for tea after the show and I was so tempted to check myself in for the night as it was so beautiful and calm. I think Ruby fell in love with Bury St Edmunds - its a great town (not quite a city??) - very peaceful and amazing shops / architecture / loads of history. And compared to the other places she has been, it sounds idyllic. I looked a bit like Hansel or Gretel on the short walk to the hotel - constantly checking over my shoulder / dropping bread crumbs so I would find my way back to my car - but the producer very kindly gave me a lift so all was well.

And now - back to business for the final push of my degree. But it was such a special weekend. 

Revision and dissertation beckon so I must go...

Thursday, 20 March 2014

From Bump to Buzz - Tom and Gi Fletcher

Remember when I posted that super amazing video of Tom Fletcher's wedding speech ?

And remember that amazing video with the pumpkins and that announcement ?

Well THIS one tops them all - From Bump to Buzz: enjoy with tissues nearby:

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Being Kind - Thought for the day

I'm going to be bold and say: I am good at being kind. I can say that because:

I won the kindness cup at school - it was huge and came with a cheque for £100. 

I also wrote this, which Ruby shared with the world on her website.

The below post came from a new friend of mine - called MIRANDA (I KNOW!). She is amazing. We met on Twitter - she found me - I LOVE how social media connects people like that. She writes an amazing blog. Do read it. She is very kind. 

So the theme of this post is BEING KIND - and I leave you to end your weekend / start your new week with this advice: 

(note: I advocate being kind to everyone, not just the unkind but I do like this picture)

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

First Kiss

20 strangers were asked to kiss for the first time... to cute not to share!


Monday, 10 March 2014

Mindful Monday and Hitting the Nail on the Head

You know when you make a suggestion and someone tells you "You've hit the nail on the head." - its very uplifting and confidence boosting.. Well that happened to me this morning:

A very good start to the week!

So stay tuned for #MindfulMonday - but try and be mindful everyday - its a difficult skill that takes lots of practice.

Busy and Better

At LAST, I feel back to my normal self. 

No more hot / cold sleepless nights, permanently needing to be within arms reach of a box of tissues and being at the mercy of:

Tissues, Paracetamol, Beechams, Lemsip, Olbas Oil, Sudafed, Orange Juice and Blueberries... 

YES - I gave myself that concoction and it seemed to work. Phew.

Last week was a busy one - 
  • I went to my first Opera (La Boheme at the Royal Albert Hall)
  • caught up with a friend who I hadn't seen for more than two years
  • embraced pancake day like I never had before (had heaps of Chocolate spread on mine)
  • gave a group presentation on our idea of a possible Obesity intervention 
  • AND went to see Ruby's new show SANE NEW WORLD which is touring the UK at present
That last bullet point deserves a whole blog post of its own so bare with me...

THIS WEEK is equally busy - one of the things Ruby addresses on her tour is our OBSESSION with being busy... we've all got to be seen to be doing something all the time. 

Anyway - my busy week this week consists of 
  • seeing Miranda Hart perform at the O2 in her first stand up tour - so excited about that
  • meeting Laura Collins for the very first time as she is in the UK for EDIC. That will be amazing and no doubt emotional and v special
  • (hopefully) handing in two pieces of work early...
  • making progress with my dissertation
  • celebrating a friend's birthday
  • Meeting up with lots of FEAST people who are in London for EDIC and there is also a special fundraiser for Charlotte's Helix
I will definitely be ready for a night at home by the end of the week for some R&R.