Saturday, 30 March 2013

IBS? Do Try Kefir

Many many people have IBS but still there is no definitive cure. If you suffer from it, you will be familiar with the unpleasant symptoms such as bloating and cramping after meals. I have it myself and used to get very bad tummy pains after breakfast. I also have seborrheic dermatitis which has gradually got worse. I searched for a possible link between these two conditions and found out about Leaky Gut Syndrome, supposedly where the gut has increased permeability and lets toxins escape into the body causing ill health. This is a controversial theory and conventional medicine does not recognise the condition. However the treatment suggested will probably benefit people with IBS. If you have Leaky Gut Syndrome/IBS, it is recommended you increase your intake of probiotics and decrease intake of sugar which kills good bacteria- hard I know. This is because there are theories that suggest people with IBS have a shortage of good bacteria in the gut. As around 70% of your immune systems lives in your gut, I think it make sense to try to do all you can to treat it. Probiotics are found in fermented foods. Yoghurt is good but Kefir is even better. It is a much more sour version of yoghurt and contains loads more beneficial bacteria. You can make your own by ordering kefir grains in the post, pouring milk over it and leave it to culture overnight. Your kefir grains will grow and grow and soon you'll be able to make batches very quickly. I've been drinking kefir for a couple of months now and still been having a few sugar binges and I can tell you that kefir has made a HUGE difference to my symptoms. I no longer get painful cramps in the mornings and my seborrheic dermatitis was relieved for a bit but has unfortunately worsened again due to sugar binges. The taste can take a bit of getting used to but you shouldn't find it too hard to bear if you like natural yoghurt. You can use kefir to make delicious fruit or veg smoothies too. You can use it to soak porridge overnight, over cereal instead of milk and I hear you can even cook with it. My favourite way to drink kefir is plain but I do like to make a delicious peanut butter, banana and maple syrup smoothie with it occasionally. I can give you kefir grains for free if you are interested and live in the UK. Just leave a comment and I can email you privately to get address details :)

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Ren Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream Review

I'm in love. I got a 15ml sample size of Ren Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream with my Hydra-Calm Cleansing Milk and I want the world to know how good it is. I will definitely purchase the normal size version of this when my normal moisturiser runs out. I apply after cleansing- duh- when my skin is still slightly damp as this apparently helps your moisturiser to be more effective. As soon as you start massaging it in, it disappears into the skin like a dream. There is no residue. I repeat no greasy, filmy sticky residue. It is stunning! As there is no residue, you can continue to apply the cream until you feel like your skin has had enough. It left my skin feeling wonderfully protected for a day of walking outside in the harsh winter weather- Scotland. The ingredients are great for sensitive or dry skin and this is the second Ren product I whole-heartedly recommend. However if you like your moisturiser to have SPF, this is not for you. As for me living in Scotland, I think trying to avoid the rays of the sun is probably more harmful than good! I'm very happy to have discovered Ren and look forward to trying more of their products. You can buy this for £27.00 from bathandunwind.com or Marks and Spencer.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Review- Ren Hydra-Calm Cleansing Milk

I normally use a foaming face wash- Organic Surge Daily Care Facial Wash to be exact. However the winter has really taken a toll on my skin and I wondered if a more gentle cleansing milk might be a better option. I chose Ren after some deliberation. I did want to try one from Trilogy as I love their moisturisers but Bathandunwind.com offering free gifts for their first 100 Ren customers sealed the deal. I've never tried Ren so this way I get to try a few of their products. I love luxury skincare however it's so hard to find lines that aren't packed full of chemicals. Happily Ren is free of parabens, sulphate detergents and other crap. In my opinion, people really need think to about just how many chemicals they slather on their skin each day. Anyway on to the review. The milk is more like a cream. It has a very mild pleasant fragrance that I swear smells sort of orangey. I massaged really well into my skin which felt luxurious and then splashed off with tepid water. My skin felt lovely and clean and not at all tight. I highly recommend this to those with sensitive, dry skin or those who simply just want a nice basic cleanser. Although I've heard some reviewers say it doesn't remove thick makeup too well so perhaps it is better off as a morning cleanser. Now for the price tag. I've always spent a lot of money on skincare that is definitely disproportionate to my income, so I didn't think £18.00 was too much to spend. I bought my 150ml bottle from bathandunwind.com but it is also available from Marks and Spencer for the same price. UPDATE: I've also tried just wiping it off with cotton wool instead of rinsing with water and skin feels great

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Blue Shirt Gold Skirt

Bought a very tiny, very tight gold pelmet skirt in Topshop late last year. It takes quite a lot of courage for me to wear, it is completely arse skimming so a pair of tights are kind of a must if you want to feel protected. If you prefer to feel the air between your legs then that's fine too. The material isn't exactly flattering especially to my post week long junk food binge self but tonight I was feeling brave. I love the skirt although I am bit scared of it. It's good to step out of your comfort zone with your clothes sometimes but I always team it with long sleeves and limited- if any cleavage. So to go out to dinner this evening, I decided on a blue shirt from Gap. What do you think?

Monday, 11 March 2013

Natural Nail Trend- On Cheap Buffers

What with the natural look being in at the moment, I thought instead of painting my nails to go out to dinner tonight, I'd buff them. This was obviously a spur of the moment decision as I bought my buffer from mini Sainsbury where I was also buying nude tights to wear with a desperately short gold skirt- more on that later. It was only a three step buffer so my hopes were not high, the file obliterated my poor nails. Serves me right for being a little over enthusiastic. N.B never use a cheap file, my sister who is a beautician tells me most nail files are way too rough for natural nails. Step two- the ridge remover part was ok but I don't think I have any ridges. Step three, the actual shine part was a disaster. I buffed the crap out of them but I was rewarded with the most feeble shine. I suppose you really do get what you pay for. I will rescue them with just a coat of Blush by Jessica. Think that's about a tenner from John Lewis.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Estee Lauder French Nudes- Nudité Review

Anyone following Spring Summer '13 beauty trends will know that the nude or "your own nail but better" look is big at the moment. I'm thrilled that this is in fashion as I love nude nail polishes. Estee Lauder has released a lovely nude collection and I decided to try the Nudité colour. Now apart from perfume, I've never tried Estee Lauder cosmetics so I didn't know what to expect when I picked it up from the makeup counter this morning. At £14.50- available at all Estee Lauder makeup counters nationwide- this is pricier than OPI or Leighton Denny so I hoped it would be worth the money. The packaging is undeniably gorgeous and glamorous and makes you feel very grownup when you apply it. My only quibble is the brush, I don't think it allows for perfect application. There was a bit of streaking that was sorted out with a second coat. I topped it off with a coat of Seche Vite for shine and to minimize chipping. I have to say I absolutely love the colour and is extremely flattering to my rather pale skin tone. It looks very sophisticated and basically I couldn't stop looking at my fingers the whole night! Other nudes include a milky pink in Ballerina, a chocolate colour in Bittersweet and So Vain, a sort of shimmery taupe.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Graze boxes-totes amaze.

I love Graze boxes. They are soooooo cute and my particular package gives me the perfect mix of healthy snacks mixed with a few sweet treats. If you are health conscious (like me) but would still like to snack on yummy things then Graze is perfect. A weekly box gives you four little punnets which you could take to work or class and would greatly reduce the temptation to buy chocolate or crisps. My favourites at the moment are Bounty Hunter- a lovely mix of dried cranberries, coconut flakes and chocolate, Vanilla Seeds- which I like to mix with breakfast cereal or organic yogurt and Copacabana- a mix of dark/milk chocolate buttons with brazil nuts. Graze has also inspired me to make yummy dark chocolate, fruit and nut mixes, myself for when I run out of my weekly supply. I love how good nuts are for you but find them difficult to eat. So I usually have nut butters like almond but now I find brazil nuts slip down better with a teensy bit of Green&Blacks dark chocolate (70%). A good thing too, since brazil nuts contain healthy doses of mono-unsaturated fats which are great for your hair and skin and are a good source of protein. Snacks containing fat and protein are ideal as the protein combined with the fat promotes satiety and therefore (hopefully) you will be less inclined to make bad nutritional choices!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

No Meat Challenge Day 6- Trying New Things

Although we said good riddance to veganism on day 3, I'm awfully glad that we are still veggies for the rest of the challenge. It has made us more adventurous in the kitchen. I love food and cooking but can get set in my ways. This week we opened one of Madhur Jaffrey's cookbook and tried a kidney bean curry. It was pretty good. However my favourite curry by far was one that we ate today. It was Madhur's hard boiled egg curry in a dehli sauce. It contained cream, chilis, tomatoes and yogurt and was very filling. I wish I had taken a picture. I'm pretty sure that if we hadn't tried the challenge, we would have never discovered how delicious egg curries could be!

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Vegan Challenge Day 4.

Ok... So the vegan challenge didn't work out. Well it did for three days. We are switching to vegetarianism for the remainder of the challenge. And believe me, it will be a challenge. I absolutely adore red meat and chicken and fish... I have decided that while eating loads of fruit and veg is great and nuts and seeds and beans..... I believe that eating only those things is just too restrictive. On top of that I think there is substantial evidence to suggest that meat should be part of a human's diet. For example although dark leafy green vegetables are a great source of iron, meat sources of iron are more readily absorbed by the body I'm not saying we should eat meat by the truck load in fact quite the opposite. I've never thought it healthy that a lot of people have meat as the main focus of the meal but I do think it should play a role in our diets once a day, a few times a week. Why still keep up the challenge if I think meat is so great? Because you can have too much of a good thing. We were eating too much of it, especially red meat, not to mention we nearly always choose organic meat. That IS expensive. So it will give our bodies and our wallets a welcome break. Hopefully after the challenge, we'll be able to have a few vegetarian days a week and not see meat as the main part of the meal.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Vegan Challenge- Day 1

For two weeks my fiancé and I are going to follow a vegan diet. To reduce the chances of me breaking the challenge I am going to post my food intake and thoughts here. We are mainly doing this for health reasons as a sort of cleanse. We both eat rather too much meat and want to give our systems a rest as well as see if we feel any better. I also would like to see if we lose weight. My stats for Day 1 are 54.85kg, I'm 5ft 5. I will post his later. Today's diet will be: BREAKFAST Banana with peanut butter. Fruit smoothie. LUNCH Houmous with vegetables Gluten free oatcake with marmite. DINNER Chickpea curry made with lentils spinach cashews and coconut milk. Drinks: Herbals teas, such as Yogi and Pukka. Won't be drinking much black tea as the tannins hinder the absorption of iron