How has your week been? I’ve been in training most of the week and all of Saturday, so I’m looking forward to some down time on Sunday. Here are some of the interesting health and wellness stories I’ve found this week.
Are you an oily person? This is a fascinating piece on the backstory of the two powerhouse essential oil companies, Young Living and DoTerra and how they’ve moved into the mainstream. (The New Yorker)
Middle age can fatten you up if you don’t increase your physical activity. (Science Daily)
Do you have a cast-iron pan? I have a few and I absolutely love them. They need a lot of love and attention, like a little pet. (Bon Appetit)
Women aren’t nags, we’re just fed up. (Harper’s Bazaar)
Why most diets fail. A first hint: diets are short term, lifestyle changes are for life. (goop).
Have you been following the vaginal mesh scandal? (The Guardian)
It’s nearly the beginning of October and hopefully we’re all getting to grips with packing school lunchboxes during the week. Here are some nice lunchbox tips. (Cup of Jo)
The bacteria in your gut may be shaping your waistline. (The Economist)
Have you tried mediating before eating? (Bon Appetit)
I had a little cry after reading this article. It’s shocking how many women feel that their doctors don’t listen to their concerns or take them seriously. (The Cut)
Are you sober curious? I probably am and am part of the trend of millennials that are choosing to drink little to no alcohol. (The Pool)
How many hours do you sleep a night? The shorter the time you sleep at night, the higher the risk of diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and weight gain. (The Guardian)
Any type of exercise can reduce cardiovascular risk and early death, even vacuuming or taking the stairs, as long as you get at least 150 minutes (that’s only 2.5 hours!) a week. (Vox)
How’s your week been? We’re in week 3 of the new school / work routine and we’ve finally started to find a new rhythm. And autumn looks like it’s finally here. Let squash season begin!
My recent yoga challenge has opened me up to what this practice can do for my body. The next challenge is to build up towards some proper inversions. They promote calm and can help release shoulder tension. (Shondaland)
True happiness is elusive but working towards good physical, spiritual and emotional health is a constant. (The Pool)
How do you know if you have a problem with your drinking? (Refinery29)
Proper education around food and nutrition in schools could be a way to reduce obesity. (The Guardian)
Education about food also includes gaining proper cooking skills. Here’s what happened when a single dad learned how to cook. (The Kitchn)
Taking a break from dieting may improve weight loss. Dieting is temporary, good eating habits are forever. (Science Daily)
I love these Sunday meal prep ideas. (Healthyish)
I’ve been talking a lot about self-care and ways to destress recently. It’s so essential. Here are five more ways to feel less stressed. (Healthyish)
I love this profile of Oprah, especially this line, “When the shoot is finally over, I am taken to the teahouse, a romantic, open-air stone structure Oprah built for the sole purpose of reading The New York Times in the morning while drinking her tea.” She’s living her best life! (Vogue)
I’m mixed race and have spent a lot of time and money relaxing my naturally curly hair. I’ve always known that the relaxers the hairdressers use to straighten hair are incredibly toxic, but it’s only in the last year that I’ve been able (i.e. found the courage) to stop relaxing my hair and embrace my natural curls. It’s horrifying how many more chemicals there are in products targeted at women of colour.(Popular Science)
Are rising carbon dioxide levels decreasing the amount of nutrients in our food? (Politico)
I love the look of this fig and bacon recipe. (Bon Appetit)
Did you know that your gut microbiome has a circadian rhythm, similar to the one in humans? And their daily rhythms affect us in many ways, such as affecting when in the day our livers best metabolise drugs (it’s usually the morning). (The Conversation)
People will like you more if you ask them questions. (New York Magazine)
We’re squeezing the last bits out of summer and starting to think about school. I can’t believe my little boy is about to go into his first year of school. I predict quite a few tears on his first day! I’d love a few tips from moms who’ve done this before.
In other news, I just received my diploma, so I’m officially a nutritional therapist. Now that I’m about to launch my own practice, I’ve been gravitating towards anything about how to launch a business and how to market myself. I would love to see any tips you’ve found useful!
I love kombucha so much and was fascinated to read this secret history of my favourite beverage. (Food52)
Is wellness an epidemic or is it that people don’t feel good and are starting to care more about what they put in and on their bodies? (The Cut)
I’m on day 4 of this 30 days of Yoga challenge and really enjoying it. I’ve been gravitating towards more calming exercise recently, so the yoga has been great to add in with my daily walks. (YouTube)
And it’s a good job yoga is a form of resistance training, because this form of exercise (over cardio) is ridiculously good for you. (Time)
“Frequent use of multivitamin & mineral supplements is effective in increasing micronutrient intakes, decreasing prevalence of most nutrient inadequacies, and decreasing risk of deficiencies of vitamins B6, B12, C, and D in the U.S. adult population. In other words, taking supplements is not just a way to have expensive urine. They can help prevent nutrient shortfalls resulting from modern lifestyles and food choices.” (Nutrients)
I’m a fan of conscious meat eating – knowing the provenance of your meat and what it’s been fed. The most sustainable option is much smaller quantities of higher-quality, mainly grass-fed meat, along with less dairy, more fruit and vegetables, and less processed food. (The Guardian)
“Wellness, I came to realize, will not happen by accident. It must be a daily practice, especially for those of us who are more susceptible to the oppressiveness of the world. I began to understand why she described the practice of self-care as a means of political warfare, how even getting more rest or drinking more water could be viewed as an act of defiance—radical, even.” (Healthyish)
Did you know that there’s a connection between gut health and athletic performance? There are specific bacteria that may help athletes recover from a tough workout faster. I’m intrigued! (Science Daily)
After a long hiatus, I’m bringing back this weekly round up of things I’ve loved around the internet. There’s so much good stuff out there right now that I’m itching to share.
Do you put together a weekly budget for your family? I love this food budget diary series, mainly because it’s a great sneak peek into what people eat. (The Kitchn)
How to jazz up your scrambled eggs. Yum. (Bon Appétit)
Chromium is an incredible, underrated mineral. If you have big sugar cravings (especially in the late afternoon!), this is one to check out. (Well+Good)
I talk a lot about serotonin – it’s such a powerful happy hormone that we can boost through food and lifestyles. These are some great tips to keep your serotonin levels up. (Mark’s Daily Apple)
Have you been watching ‘Doctor in the House’ on the BBC? Personally, I love the approach on this show – a GP with a functional medicine approach spends two months working with individual patients to get to the root cause of what’s ailing them. The cases so far have been fascinating – definitely worth a watch. (BBC iPlayer)
And speaking of Dr. Chatterjee, the GP featured on Doctor in the House, he’s written a fantastic blog post about how diet can improve symptoms of depression. He says: “the nutrients you put in your mouth have a severe impact on your brain.” Wise words.
How to raise a feminist son. (New York Times)
Mindful eating can help weight loss. (The Guardian)
It’s Christmas Day! Today feels like the culmination of a lot of happy planning and it’s been great to see the day unfold, with a very happy three year old running around.
We had a very slow morning of presents, coffee and scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. Then an amble down to church for the Christmas Day service and then back home to make Christmas lunch. We’ll probably go for another walk later, to enjoy the quiet local streets and maybe nip into the local pub for a festive drink, before heading home to get cozy in front of a few Christmas films. How’s your Christmas been?
Here are a few links for you to browse in your downtime this week. Have a great Christmas!
Three types of knives for tiny chefs. I love this – J really enjoys helping me in the kitchen so this is a really good way to get him thinking about knife safety. (The Kitchn)
Who else is obsessed with Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa? This is a great profile of her. Very interesting to see her recipe testing process. (Eater)
Have you ever considered making your own tinctures or tonics? This is a lovely starting point. (Lenny)
When did you start making your own Christmas family traditions? We started our own a few years after we started going out, with a Christmas bauble tradition and it’s been really great to see our collection grow over the years.
I really want to try this cider braised pork shoulder recipe. (Carnal Dish)
This cookbook from Jessica Koslow, the owner of Sqirl, looks great.
Behind the scenes of photographing a cookbook. (Chronicle Books)
I’m so excited about Christmas. Are you? It feels particularly poignant this year, as J is getting older and better understands the meanings and traditions around this very special holiday. We’ve planned loads of Christmassy things, like trips to a pantomine and to the Winter Wonderland fair in Hyde Park.
And I’ve finally planned the Christmas day menu and have made a mammoth Abel and Cole and Ocado order for the two day feast. I can’t wait! Have you planned your Christmas menu yet? What have you got planned?
The juice tour of LA made me laugh (a lot). (Lucky Peach)
What a great tip for taking the seeds out of pomegranates. (The Kitchn)
An oral history of why many African-Americans from the South carry hot sauce in their bags (really!). (Eater)
What does normal feel like to you? (LaTonya Yvette)
In praise of the only child. A nice read, especially more of my friends are having their second and third children and I stay resolute in only wanting one. (Tantrum XYZ)
Would you ever join a cookbook club? I love this idea – what a great way to try a cookbook before you decide to buy it. (Serious Eats)
Have you fallen into the current obsession for hygge this winter? This piece goes into the darker side of this Danish lifestyle mantra. (The Guardian)
I’m still using my Instant Pot loads and converting others to the sheer brilliance of it. It will really will change your cooking life. (Bon Appetit)
Have you read Zadie Smith’s new novel, Swing Time yet? I’ve started it and am loving it so far. I’ve enjoyed all the publicity she’s been doing around the novel, including this interview with Lena Dunham and the Proust Questionnaire in Vanity Fair.
We all need this reminder, post Brexit and US election – how to argue fairly.
I loved these tips for hosting a festive dinner in a small space with not a lot of money. Pot lucks are very underrated!
If you’re like me, seeing what’s happening in the world is putting a fire in your belly and now you’re wondering how to direct it. This is a nice piece on simple things everyone can do to make a difference. Call / write your MP and elected representative! I do this a lot and it really does help – promise!
How to navigate a mid-life creative detour.
This recipe for fruit roll-ups looks great. An easy way to get lots of phytonutrients in.
I loved this profile of Jessica Koslow and her restaurant Squirl – her passion for food is infectious.
4 women talk about going sober for a year.
It didn’t feel appropriate to do my usual link round up today.
If you’re upset and angry about the events of the last week, and even the last six months, if we add on Brexit, here’s a list of organisations you should consider helping, either through your wallet or skills.
The Fawcett Society: This organisation campaigns for women’s rights in the UK.
Refugee Council: They work to support and protect refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.
Repeal: This organisation is on the front lines of the fight to change Ireland’s abortion laws and give Irish women safe access to abortions.
Liberty: They campaign for civil liberties and human rights in the UK.
Emily’s List: This organisation helps pro-choice Democratic women get elected.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): They work hard to protect free speech and fight against injustice.
Anti-Defamation League (ADL): This organisation works to actively combat hate, discrimination and anti-Semitism.
The Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC): They fight hate groups using education, litigation and advocacy.
Council of American Islam Relations (CAIR): They defend the civil rights of Muslims.
Planned Parenthood: The US’ leading sexual health and reproductive healthcare provider.
NAACP: They’ve worked tirelessly for decades to protect the civil rights of people of colour.
RAINN: The US’ largest anti-sexual violence organisation.