Liebster Award

Written by: Helen

Thank you Sunhara at Fizzy Sun for nominating me.  Anyone reading should definitely check out her blog which has some great beauty tips.  I like the idea behind this as it creates an opportunity to meet other bloggers and also to find out a bit more about them.  The Liebster Blog Award was created for smaller bloggers who do not have as many followers as other bloggers might have. Liebster is a German word that means sweetest, nicest, kindest, dearest and beloved. I hope you enjoy!


Rules for Liebster Award:

  • Post 11 random facts about yourself
  • Answer 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 11 bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to do the same
  • Let the bloggers you have nominated know they have been nominated

So, 11 random facts about me:

  1. I once got lost up a hill, in Herefordshire, with my dog for several hours with a broken phone. (It was also middle of summer I might add).
  2. I have an irrational fear of sharks (did you know they can fit through plugholes?)
  3. I have 2 older sisters, Rachel and Liz, and a younger brother, Michael.
  4. He may have been before my time but I love Steve McQueen (who doesn’t?!)
  5. My favourite TV show is Supernatural.
  6. I once broke my arm doing gymnastics (well, ok..technically I wasn’t doing gymnastics but I was at gymnastics and tripped over a mat.  I’m clumsy ok!)
  7. I was half an hour late for my wedding (but he waited, a fact I’m sure he sometimes regrets…)
  8. I’m an animal lover and, at the moment, I have a dog called Tess and a cat called Tiger.
  9. I was once mugged on the way back from the Chinese takeaway (they only took food but, I mean, they took my food!)
  10. I once reversed into a house (it came out of nowhere).
  11. I love writing and have some poetry and short stories published on the web.

My answers to Sunhara’s questions:

1) What is your go-to beauty product?

My Eve Taylor cleanser.

2) What would be the colour of your walls in your dream bedroom?

Light purple (that’s my plan when I finally get round to decorating it anyway!)

3) Your favourite food item?

Due to my old pregnancy cravings I still have a soft spot for hash browns but on a healthier note I also love porridge.

4) A brand you will always love?

Disney (unless you skipped childhood and went straight into adulthood, who doesn’t like Disney?!)

5) Who was your inspirational blogger?

Lee at Fit Foodie FindsShe was really one of the first blogs I read properly.

6) Your first blog post was…

Not New-Year Resolutions

7) Favourite pair of shoes?

These!  (Although due to practicality reasons and potential broken ankles I don’t wear them that often!)  Oh, and I also love my fluffy Eeyore slippers 🙂

hel's i5 356

8) What song is playing on your I-pod right now?

Shawn Mendes- Life of the Party.

9) Favourite season?

I like being warm so I have to say summer (although summer and warmth don’t always go together here in the UK…)

10) Your childhood pet-name or nickname?

I’m afraid nothing very interesting, sometimes shortened to Hel.  My brother had a few nicknames for me but I won’t repeat them.

11) Your dream job?

I love writing and would love to publish a novel and be able to write full time. 

 

Questions for my nominees

  1. What was your first pet?
  2. Where did you go on your favourite holiday?
  3. As a child, what did you want to be when you were older?
  4. What’s your favourite sport/ exercise?
  5. What was the last good book you read?
  6. Tell us your celebrity crush
  7. What’s your favourite thing in your make-up box right now?
  8. Which of your posts have you most enjoyed writing?
  9. What is one thing you would definitely put on a bucket list?
  10. What’s the first thing you’d do if you won the lottery?
  11. What have you had for dinner today?

My nominees

1) Good Health Girl

2) The Savvy Student

3) No more cinderella

4) Home Life With Heather

5) Style Me Daring

6) Annia’s World

7) helloelibeth.com

8) Rosencrafts

9) Courtney does beauty

10) Healthy Cake Recipes

11) Sky Full Of Stars

Don’t forget to check out Sunhara’s blog, and the other blogs I’ve nominated.  Thanks for reading!  If you want to subscribe to my blog just pop your email address in the box on the right.

 

Fit Food Friday: Turmeric

Written by: Helen

6 health benefits

I’m often surprised by the health benefits we can receive by including certain foods in our diet.  And to get these pretty powerful healthy foods we don’t have to travel to a distance country, climb a mountain and fight off wild beasts in order to pluck some mystical fruit from a strangely named tree.  These are simple foods that we can pop to the shop or supermarket for.

One such food is Turmeric.  Turmeric is much more than just a spice to liven up a curry.  It is packed with medicinal qualities and I’m always looking for dishes I can include turmeric in.  Here are a few reasons why:

 

1) Anti-inflammatory

This is probably one of the properties that turmeric is best know for.  This also could be why it is beneficial to so many disease conditions.  The reason it’s such a good anti-inflammatory is due to a compound called curcuminoids, particularly curcumin which is a hefty anti-inflammatory.

 

2) Cancer protection

The list of diseases turmeric offers protection against is pretty long.  In studies it has been shown to prevent the growth of certain cancer sells, as well as stop further growth of existing cells.  A pretty compelling reason for including turmeric in your diet.

 

3) Liver health

It is believed to help protect the liver from damage and keep it healthy.  It seems this could be due to different elements but its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties will help.

 

4) Prevents Alzheimers

It does this by helping in the removal of plaque build up in the brain.  The antioxidants in turmeric help to fight off the free radical damage which can cause this disease.

 

5) Heart Health

Turmeric helps our heart and cardiovascular system by helping to lower cholesterol and preventing excessive blood clotting.  This reduces our risk of heart attack or stroke.

 

6) Arthritis

It’s the anti-inflammatory element which helps with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.  People suffering from this who regularly consumed turmeric reported some relief.  One study of people with osteoarthritis of the knee found that their pain when climbing stairs was reduced more than those who took ibuprofen (Arthritis research UK)

 

There are other benefits we can gain from this spice.  One suggestion is that it may help our immunity and, if suffering from a cold, we could mix a teaspoon with some warm milk.  This is certainly one food that I find fascinating and always make sure there is some in my spice rack.

It is worth speaking to a health professional if you are thinking of taking it in supplement form as turmeric can however clash with certain medications.

One way to use turmeric is with roast potatoes.  Part-boil the spuds, then drizzle with some oil and mix with turmeric before putting them in the oven to roast.

Share any turmeric recipes you have on the TFF Family page and leave your comments below.  If you’d like to subscribe to the website pop your email address in the box above.

 

 

What Works With Sugar Warnings?

Written by: Helen

sugar4

Unless you’ve been on some sort of long-term Arctic expedition, you’ll have heard about the the rising dangers of obesity, diabetes and other lifestyle related issues, and of the dangers of too much sugar in our diet (if you have been to the Arctic you’re excused, welcome back and please read on for more info).

Despite the fact we’ve all heard of the issues, the problem still isn’t going away and in many cases it’s getting worst.  Why is this?  It’s  certainly not because we all actually want to be obese or  have health problems.

The problem governments are having is effectively relaying the importance of a healthy diet across to the public.  They have tried various ways; one effective method has been making food labelling clearer and using the traffic light system on packaging (in the UK).  However, I’ve seen a couple of nutrition articles recently that mention a method that I think is particularly useful.

The first was in my Healthy Food Guide magazine.  Personally, I know about calories and I can recognise a meal or food with too many calories, and yet even I was surprised when they listed the amount of time it would take to ‘walk off’ certain Halloween snacks.  When they presented the information in this form it really did make me think about the effect unhealthy/calorie heavy foods have on the body.  Some examples they used were:

  • Hot dog with ketchup- 250 calories/ 95 minutes of walking
  • Small lollipop- 50 calories/ 19 minutes of walking
  • Toffee apple- 135 calories/ 51 minutes of walking
  • Handful of chewy sweets (30g)- 105 calories/ 40 minutes of walking

Does anyone else find those figures a little surprising?  For me the idea that for eating one hotdog I would need 95 minutes of walking to burn it off, or 40 minutes for a handful of sweets, is more provoking than knowing the number of calories.  This message really hit home when, not long after, I read a BBC news article along the same lines.

The article was based on some research from the US and it showed that signs which warned shoppers how much exercise they would need to do to burn off calories from sugary drinks encouraged the shoppers to make healthier choices.

The study spanned 6 weeks and they used brightly coloured signs in corner shops in Baltimore, with their main target being teenagers.  For example, one sign said it would take 50 minutes of running to work off the 250 calories (equating to 16tsps of sugar) in a 590ml bottle of fizzy drink, sports drink or fruit juice.

That message is simple and yet powerful.  Unsurprisingly the message made a difference to those that saw it.  35% of those interviewed said they saw the signs.  Out of those people 59% said they believed the sign, and 40% said it had altered their behaviour.

In terms of the impact it had on the sales of sugary drinks in the shop, the figures show that, in just six weeks, it was working.  Sales of large bottles of fizzy drinks went down from 54% to 37% of all purchases.  The percentage of teenagers who chose not to buy a drink in the shop at all increased from 27% to 33%.  The study added that this change in behaviour continued for several weeks after the study had ended and the signs had been taken down.

I can imagine that this approach would work.  I think it’s a straight forward message that packs a punch.  It’s something the consumer can see and understand instantly.  Not everyone counts calories, but when we can see how much exercise it would take to burn off the calories consumed in one sugary drink or snack it really brings the message home.  I find it similar to when a drink is translated into teaspoons of sugar; no matter how many times I hear it I still find it quite shocking (8 teaspoons in a can of coke, seriously?).

The idea that consumers can understand the message at a glance is perhaps why the traffic light system with regards to package labelling has been implemented in the UK.  However, I also think it helps to bring in an element of the ‘shock factor’ to it.

I know that I’ll be restricting my toffee apples, hotdogs and sugary drinks this Halloween (actually are hotdogs really a Halloween delicacy?  I’ve never associated them with Halloween before; for me they involve cinema or Ikea visits but I digress…).

I’d be interested to know what you think about this approach.  I’d be particularly interested to hear from anyone outside of the UK about what approaches are used in your own country.  Leave me your comments below and you can subscribe to the blog via the subscription box.

 

Here is the link to the BBC article if you wanted to read further http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-29645062