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Tag: health

Smoking in Public Places and Why it Makes me so Mad

Smoking in Public Places and Why it Makes me so Mad

As you can probably tell by the title of this post, I’m a non-smoker, as are all of my immediate family. I do think smoking is a dirty habit and I do get annoyed when people think it’s OK to smoke around myself and my children. I do understand that smoking is an addiction. I’m aware that once you’ve started, it must be terribly hard to stop. However, I also think that just because you have an issue that you can label as an ‘addiction’, it doesn’t automatically give you the right to make other people suffer along with you. Especially when they don’t consent.

My inspiration for this post came from a recent visit to a children’s play area with both of my girls. On one the hottest days of the year, we donned our hats and sun cream and headed to the park. The perfect Sunday morning jaunt. After we’d been there a little while, we were joined by a toddler and her grandmother. The issue was though, that the grandmother thought it was entirely acceptable to smoke on the playground. She showed absolutely no concern for the health of anyone else’s children, never mind that of her own granddaughter.

Smoking and health –

This blatant act, of what I believe to be anti-social behaviour, made me so angry. If she really couldn’t wait until she was in the privacy of her own home to smoke, the least she could have done was taken herself away from the children’s play area. I will never think it’s acceptable to smoke around other people and their children, public area or not.

It’s a well know fact that smoking is a contributing factor to many serious health concerns. According to the NHS, smoking is responsible for a whopping 90% of lung cancers, as well cancers of the mouth and oesophagus. Smoking can also cause significant damage to the heart and blood circulation, increasing the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Not to mention an array of respiratory diseases.

What about our children though? What are the effects of passive smoking? Well, children that are exposed to cigarette smoke are at far greater risk of developing health problems than those that don’t. Illnesses such as meningitis, persistent coughs and an increased risk of cot death are all associated with second-hand cigarette smoke. Asthma can also become worse if sufferers are exposed to smoke.

No excuses –

The thing is, in this day and age we have been so well-educated on the risks of smoking. Steps have been taken to protect the public to a certain extent, there really are no excuses for smoking. There are NO benefits to such a destructive habit. I’m absolutely sure that some people will disagree with my opinion, I’m sure there are people who believe that they can do as they please. To me this just shows ignorance, a lack of education and a lack of empathy.

 

How do you feel about smoking in public areas? 

 

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Nutrigen Vitamixin Sprinkles Review

Nutrigen Vitamixin Sprinkles Review

*This post was written in collaboration with Nutrigen. 

 

As a parent, I find it so hard to get my girls to take vitamins. The ones we’ve tried in the past have always been syrup based, or have been in sweet form. I struggle with this as they are often laden with sugars, colourants and artificial sweeteners. My girls struggle with them as the sweets option are usually really hard to chew and they just can’t stomach the syrups. They make them instantly sick, which is no fun for anyone.

I’m pretty sure other parents will have experienced the same thing and for that reason, I’m so excited to share my experience with Nutrigen Vitamixin Sprinkles with you! As with all products that I am approached to review, I spent some time doing my research on these children’s vitamins. The quality that stood out most to me, was that they don’t alter the taste, smell or colour of the food you serve them with. I really wanted this to be true, after all a product like that could be the saviour of all parents!

 

 

The daily dose of vitamins and minerals –

According to the NHS, there are certain amounts of vitamins that should be given to children on a daily basis. This especially applies if your children don’t eat a wide range of foods and let’s face it, toddlers and food don’t always go hand in hand!

 

What do I love about Nutrigen Vitamixin Sprinkles?

The short answer is everything! First of all, one sachet contains the daily dosage as recommended by the World Health Organisation for children aged 6 – 48 months. So one sprinkle per day over one of your child’s meals, will mean you’re helping to give them the best start in life that you possibly can. One sachet also contains a lot of the daily recommended intake for children up to 12 years old.

The thing I love most about this product is that it doesn’t promise you results, without being able to deliver. As I touched on earlier, my girls can’t stomach the syrup based vitamins and the sweets are just too difficult for them to chew. I sprinkle one sachet over my girls’ yogurt at breakfast time and they genuinely don’t know that it’s there. We don’t have any tantrums when it’s time to take their vitamins, that’s something that makes our mornings run much smoother than before.

Nurtigen Vitamixin Sprinkles don’t contain sugars, artificial sweeteners or colourants. They don’t alter the way our kids food looks or tastes and they are so convenient for a busy household. I’m so impressed with this product from Nutrigen and it’s genuinely something that we will continue to use.

 

 

The Nutrigen Vitamixin Sprinkles Taste Test –

We decided to put the Nurtigen Vitamixin Sprinkles to the test. I gave my two harshest critics their breakfast with Vitamixin sprinkled on top, the results are just what we’d hoped for!

 

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HomeDNA at Home Genetic Testing Review – Healthy Weight

HomeDNA at Home Genetic Testing Review – Healthy Weight

*This post was written in collaboration with HomeDNA. 

 

A little while ago I was contacted by HomeDNA to try out their at home genetic testing kits. I’ve always been intrigued by these services and so I jumped at the chance to take the Healthy Weight test. Like many other women before me, I’ve always been conscious of my appearance and have spent many hours in the gym, trying to shed those ‘extra’ pounds. I was curious to find out how my body works and what I can do to aid staying at a healthy weight.

 

What did I have to do?

 

First of all, HomeDNA send out a test kit to complete at home and send back to them. The test kit comes with four swabs that you use to collect cells from the inside of both cheeks. It’s so easy to complete the swabs and all you have to do is seal them in the envelope provided, fill in all of your details and send them over to the lab for testing. This process is super simple, then all you have to do is sit back and wait for your results to arrive in your inbox!

Once your test has been analysed, you receive a report with detailed explanations into each area of your genetic makeup, in reference to maintaining a healthy weight. The report makes is really easy to understand the ins and outs of what is going on with your body and it also gives you pointers on what you can do to enhance your lifestyle, helping you to achieve a healthy weight!

 

An insight into my results –

 

The healthy weight test analyses four body traits;

  1. Weight loss ability.
  2. Food.
  3. Nutrients.
  4. Response to exercise.

As someone who has spent a hell of a lot of their adult life in the gym, the response to exercise sections was something I couldn’t wait to find out about. The test gives you an idea of the kinds of exercise that your body responds to, so that you can create the perfect exercise plan for you. I’ve also tried many diets over the years, so I thought it would be good to find out what foods are good for me personally, when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight.

When my results came back, I was pleased to read that my weight loss ability is ‘normal’, that means that there are no more excuses! So if I feel like I’m carrying a little extra weight, it’s because I need to watch the kinds of food that I’m eating. Not because my body isn’t functioning as it should. My weight fluctuates naturally and since I’ve had children I’ve found weight loss harder to achieve. From taking this test I’ve realised that my body hasn’t changed irreparably and I can’t blame having children for an increase in weight, it’s just about balancing things out to maintain my healthy weight.

I also learned from taking this test that my fat loss response to cardio is ‘low’. Now, most of my exercise regime is made up of different types of cardio. I swap and change my plan between the exercise bike, the treadmill and the cross trainer. These days I do this around 4 days out of 7. Actually according to my results, in order to notice a difference from cardio training I should be exercising 5 – 7 days a week at a moderate to high intensity and for a minimum of 300 minutes per week. This was a real eye-opener for me as I’ve often commented on not seeing results from exercise and it seems there may be a reason for that.

 

The verdict –

 

These are just a few of the results from my test, the ones that really jumped out at me and what I was most curious to find out about. The report itself is pages and pages long, this test really doesn’t leave any stone un-turned. I still find myself going back to my results, this helps me to make the appropriate changes to my lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy weight is something that always has and always will be important to me. Even more so now that I have two girls to keep fit and healthy for!

I’m so pleased I took the healthy weight test from HomeDNA and I’m even more impressed with how in-depth and informative my results are. There are other tests that HomeDNA do too, including ancestry tests. I’m pretty sure they’ve not seen the back of me!

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Are our Screens Doing us Harm? The Importance of Reducing Exposure.

Are our Screens Doing us Harm? The Importance of Reducing Exposure.

When I think about how long I spend sitting in front of my laptop, I appreciate that it’s probably more than what’s recommended. Especially on the days when I don’t have time to take a break in between tasks. My screen time doesn’t end when I’ve finished writing though. When I do finally shut my laptop, you can guarantee that I’ll just migrate over to my smart phone and continue working discreetly on there. Throw in a little more time on the iPad and I’ve spent the majority of my day looking at a screens.

I know I’m not alone in this, but it really is shocking to think that screens are such a dominant feature in our lives. It appears that we’re now unable to go for long periods of time, without referring back to our trusty technology! I must admit that this wasn’t something I’d given much thought too until recently. Working is something that I love to do, so I don’t see spending time on my laptop or my phone as a chore. Often I’ve no desire to down tools, so I don’t and the hours keep on racking up! However, when I was contacted by Ocushield this week, it really hit me that I spend so much time looking at a screen with no concern for my health what so ever.

 

Photo Credit

What are the dangers of too much screen time?

Our computers are capable of emitting low-frequency and radio frequency electromagnetic radiation. This kind of radiation has been linked to many medical conditions including, but not restricted to; depression, Alzheimer’s and cancer. It’s frightening to think that something we use so much and on a daily basis could be so dangerous.

The symptoms of overexposure include; tiredness, headaches and dizziness among others. I for one have suffered with headaches on many occasions, when I’ve had a full day at my desk working on my laptop.

 

What can you do to protect yourself?

If like me, you need to use your laptop to work and if your phone is never too far away, there are a few simple steps you can take to make your working environment safer. Think about the following:

  • Sit a safe distance away from your computer screen, ideally around 10 – 12 inches away.
  • Take regular breaks, even when you have deadlines to meet. Walk away from your screen and have a breather.
  • When using smartphones and tablets, don’t hold them too close.
  • When you’re working, divert your eyes away from the screen at regular intervals. Blinking more often can be beneficial too.
  • Minimise glare from your screen by using a computer screen cover for eyes, you can get these for smartphones and tablets too.

 

Photo Credit

 

Looking after our eyes is so important, but it’s not always easy to down tools altogether to get away from our screens. Therefore it’s necessary that to take the rights step to protect ourselves from the effects of overexposure. After all, if we don’t look after ourselves now then our work will only end up suffering in the long run!

 

*This is a collaborative post.

 

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Taking Care of our Children’s Eyes with Vision Express – How Sun Savvy are You?

Taking Care of our Children’s Eyes with Vision Express – How Sun Savvy are You?

We all know how damaging the sun can be. As parents, we spend so much time worrying about the length of time our children are exposed to direct sunlight. We lather them in sun cream and replace their hats, what feels like a million times a day, all in the name of sun protection. More often than not, we make them sit under parasols and encourage them to play in the shade!

Even though we spend so much time and effort trying to protect our children’s skin from the sun, how often do we think about providing them with sunglasses to wear too? It wasn’t until recently, when we visited our local Vision Express store, that I learned the true extent of the damage the sun can cause to our children’s eyes. It’s surreal to think that we spend so much time worrying about our children’s skin, yet it’s far less common to worry about their eyes!

 

Did you know that by the age of eighteen, we have absorbed 50% of the total UV light that we’ll absorb in a lifetime?

 

Figures suggest that as many as 75% of parents are unknowingly putting their child’s eyes at risk, by not providing them with adequate protection when they’re out in the sun’s rays. Sunglasses are so simple, yet they do an amazing job at protecting our little ones. So with a little help from Vision Express, Hubs and I decided to invest in some quality eye wear for our girls. He and I also had new prescriptions, so we made the trip to our local store – it was time for new glasses all round!

 

Service with a Smile

 

Having done a little research into the kind of glasses that the girls should wear, I knew that they should have full UVA and UVB protection, as well as the CE mark of quality. Vision Express have all of this as standard. It’s possible to buy glasses from other places that don’t have all of the protection you need, so it’s always worth checking they’re going to do the job properly before you part with your cash.

 

 

Our local Vision Express store had so many cool styles for our girls to choose from. The biggest was totally taken with the Disney Princesses range.They’re unbelievably cute! She had purple Rapunzel glasses and the littlest went for a pink Frozen pair . We even had a little rendition of ‘Let it Go’ from the optician whilst she fitted them, which put a huge smile on their faces. Hubs and I went a little more mainstream with our new specs, pink just doesn’t seem to suit him! The fitting process was super quick, but made a huge difference to the look and feel of all of our glasses.

 

 

The staff at Vision Express were absolutely exceptional. We went in with two small and excitable children, parents you know what it’s like, but they looked after them and us with every ounce of enthusiasm and expertise. We can’t thank Vision Express enough for the guidance and service we received – would I recommend them? YES – without a shadow of a doubt!

 

 

*We were provided four pairs of glasses from Vision Express in exchange for this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own – we will definitely be back next time we need glasses! 

 

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