Monthly Archives: June 2015

Stories I loved this week.

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Photo by Joshua Earle

Happy Saturday! I’m so thrilled that this day is finally here. By the time you read this, I’ll have completed my first year Biomedicine exam and handed in my 2,000 word paper on Crohn’s disease. Whew. I’ll be taking a well-deserved break from studying for a few months and will pick up some of the things I’ve had to put on pause for a bit – blogging, recipe writing and reading books that aren’t textbooks!

How we treat each other work really matters. (NY Times)

The rise of the spornosexual. (Aeon)

Why do women apologise so much? An interesting article on when sorry is anything but. (NY Times)

I love this message – exercise should be a higher priority than your career. Without good health, you’re nothing. (Time)

What I’m reading now – Gut: the inside story of our body’s most underrated organ.

I can really relate to this – friend shedding is good for the soul. As you get older, you don’t have time to see everyone and it’s so important to surround yourself with people that bring happiness, not joy vampires. (The Pool)

The rise of the latte papas. (Stylist)

Stories I loved this week.

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Photo by Sébastien Marchand

I’m off to see Blur today in Hyde Park with a girlfriend and I’m unbelievably excited. I’ve been a fan since I was 15 and it’s always a thrill to see them live, especially in such an amazing location. It’s been a busy week of working, studying and paper writing – how was your week?

So many women ‘fake it til they make it’, but never really feel like they’ve made it. Even celebrities have imposter syndrome. (The Pool)

A good starter guide to inflammation. (Well + Good)

It’s something you subconciously know when you’re pregnant but the call of comfort food can be strong when you have so many hormones flying through you. What you eat when you’re pregnant can affect your children. (Guardian)

Interesting cultural norms on thanking your parents. The comments section is definitely worth a read.(Cup of Jo)

The cult of Audrey Hepburn. The cult of Audrey Hepburn. I can’t wait to check out this exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. (Guardian)

Things I Love: Psycle

I took my first Psycle class back in January and I was hooked.

I had been watching Psycle ever since it opened last year, but weirdly kept making excuses about why I couldn’t go. Too tired. Still breastfeeding. Feeling insecure about my body. Frankly, feeling a bit intimidated. I can’t explain it (the mind is a strange thing), especially since I love Soul Cycle  (and have been patiently waiting for it to come to London) and always try to get in a few classes when I’m in New York.

I had a gap in freelance contracts in January to study for my semester one biomedicine exam and finally got up the nerve to head to a class. And one class was all it took for me to get addicted.

I love heading to a class first thing in the morning – usually the 7:30am or 8am class when M does the nursery dropoff – and getting that early morning endorphin fix. I love the friendly atmosphere, the enthusiast instructors, the plush soaps and facilities. But most of all, I love how each workout is different, depending on the instructor.

Some instructors are all about the choreography – making me feel like Beyonce on a bike – others are about those tough hill climbs and pushing you to the absolute limit with the resistance. The music is always amazing and I leave each time drenched in sweat (my sign of a good workout) and feeling like I’ve worked my absolute hardest.

Insert sweaty, redfaced picture! :)

Insert sweaty, redfaced picture! 🙂

At £20 a class, it’s not the cheapest, but you leave feeling like you’ve gotten value for money. The cost per ache metric. Interestingly, they’ve recently partnered with Class Pass so there is the opportunity to get a bit savings there. Check out the Oxford Circus studio and the newest studio in Canary Wharf – you won’t regret it!

P.S. Here’s one of my favourite Psycle tracks.

Stories I loved this week.

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Photo by Skyler Smith

It’s finally Saturday and I’m going to spend the day studying, relaxing and hanging out with my two boys. What are you up to? Have a gander at some stories I enjoyed reading this week.

How many steps should you really walk per day? (NYMag)

Such a lovely oral history of one of my favourite films, Clueless. (Telegraph)

Why women struggle with self-promotion and what to do about it. (goop)

How to eat meat thoughtfully. (Guardian)

Not very reassuring news for women looking for flexible working in the UK. But it can be done! (The Pool)

I Tried It: Oil Pulling

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Photo by Thomas Lefebvre

I’m a huge fan of natural health and beauty products and really try to stick by the adage, ‘if you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin’.

This past February, my Nutrition lecturer mentioned oil pulling and alternative dental hygiene products in one of our classes and this naturally piqued my interest. I had been thinking about this a little bit already when doing research in natural children’s toothpastes for little J, and hearing the feedback from my fellow students that had already been oil pulling for a while was very intriguing, so I decided to try it out.

I opted to use food-grade extra virgin coconut oil for my oil pulling – I figured if it was okay to eat, it would be okay to swish around my mouth.  I usually buy coconut oil from Chi, Biona, Fushi or Lucy Bee and try to pick up a few whenever I see them on sale in Whole Foods or As Nature Intended.

Oil pulling is apparently best to do in the morning, before you eat or brush your teeth, as it helps to get rid of the bad bacteria that accumulates overnight and has been shown to reduce the number of Streptococcus Mutans bacteria (the bacteria that causes decay and cavities) in the mouth, especially when done with coconut oil, which has anti-bacterial properties. I started off with a tablespoon of coconut oil. I let melt in my mouth for a minute and then swished it around gently for as long as I could manage. The first time, I could only last for ten minutes and I eventually built up to the recommended twenty minutes.

Oil pulling takes time to get used to. Over the twenty minutes, the oil liquefies in the mouth, getting bigger as saliva and mucus get added. When it got too much, I would spit a bit out, otherwise all the liquid would make me gag! When you’re done, it’s really important to spit the oil into the trash, not the sink, otherwise your pipes will get clogged!

It took about a week for me to notice results. My breath was definitely fresher throughout the day and my teeth and gums became less sensitive. But something strange happened. Parts of my teeth became whiter, while some, specifically my top four front teeth, developed a bit of staining. At first, I thought that I needed to focus more on swishing the oil around the front of my mouth, so I became more diligent about that. After a week, there was no difference.

I started to think about the things I was doing after I finished oil pulling in the morning. Drinking my usual fresh squeezed lemon juice with water, grated ginger and turmeric? That couldn’t cause any problems. Eating an omelette? Again, shouldn’t cause an issue. Drinking a cup of black coffee? Okay, that’s probably it. What I’ve since learned, is that oil pulling makes the teeth slightly more porous, which means you need to be careful about what you drink for a few hours afterwards.

Happily, my dentist was able to remove the stains after a fairly brutal clean and polish.

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I am still a fan of oil pulling, but am not willing to give up coffee for it. I’ve decided to try incorporating it into my night time routine instead to see if that makes any difference at all.

Have you tried oil pulling? I would love to hear your story!

Stories I loved this week. 

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Photo by Ståle Grut

Happy weekend!  I’m going to be busy studying for my final Biomedicine exam this weekend, but in the meantime, here are some stories I loved this week.

Nice to see what a lot of us already know backed up by science – exercise makes you better at work! (Grazia)

Can you guess how much sugar is in these foods? The Haribo one was a shocker! (Guardian)

The Fed & Fit podcast has some great tips on how to avoid 5 sneaky everyday toxins. (Fed & Fit)

Could you fit at least four hours a day on your feet? A new study think we sit too much at work. (Guardian)

I struggled to embrace ‘mum’ as part of my identity and the rise of ‘mum’ as a diss was part of that. No one wants to be mumsy!

Getting natural with makeup, skincare and homecare. 

SkinPhoto by Anna Sastre

A few of my girlfriends have been chatting over email this week about natural beauty and cleaning products. As I was adding my two cents into the mix, I realised that over the past two years, I have completely overhauled my beauty bag and cleaning cupboard into something that reflects the principle, ‘if you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin / clean your house with it.’  And according to the Times, more and more consumers are starting to think this way.

I’ve used Ecover and Method products for a long time, but I used to buy lots of mainstream beauty products, like Chanel, Bobbi Brown and MAC. Then as I read and researched more into skincare and ingredients like parabens, SLS and the like, I realised what effect these things had on the body and specifically, the endocrine system, the system that produces hormones like estrogen, progesterone and insulin. A lot of these ingredients disrupt the endocrine system and affect the way your body produces these essential hormones. And to add insult to injury, it’s hard for the body to get rid of the ingredients and many tend to be stored in fatty tissue in various parts of the body.

I like to use Think Dirty, an iOS app to check the ingredients in homecare (soaps, detergents, etc) and beauty products to make sure I’m buying the right things for my house, myself and my family. It was through Think Dirty that I discovered that some of my Bobbi Brown products weren’t as bad as I thought!

There are a few amazing websites to get natural / organic beauty products in the UK. I really like Naturismo and Content Beauty (they have a shop in Marylebone which is super cute, you can lots of samples). I also love checking out the latest in Whole Foods and As Nature Intended as well. The staff are generally quite helpful and you can usually find quite a few bargains too! I’ve recently discovered rms beauty – an amazing natural beauty line by a make up artist called Rose-Marie Swift. The concealers and tinted moisturisers are coconut oil based and amazing for the skin. I also love her lip2cheek product, made with coconut oil and shea butter and no lead (!) (most lipsticks have lead in them as a by-product of the manufacturing process) and looks amazing on the cheeks and lips! I also love Dr Hausckha, Korres and beauty counter.

Like loads of other beauty bloggers, I love to use coconut oil or Egyptian Magic as a moisturiser for my hair, face & body. Egyptian Magic is especially brilliiant as it’s only made from olive oil, beeswax, honey, bee pollen, royal jelly and bee propolis, which are all super nourishing, healing and moisturising.

When it comes to household cleaning products, I really like Ecover, Dr Bronner’s and Dayleford Organics, although my mother tells me that vinegar, lemon and water that do the job just as well.