Holiday health

Christmas holiday health dream team on brighter shade of green

Christmas, health, diet and wellbeing don’t usually go hand in hand, which is why I’ve taken away a dream team to help me through the festive period in a slightly better state – let’s call it damage control. Not only is it Christmas but I’m on holiday too so double trouble.

These health favourites are nothing fancy, and nothing complicated, just products that are natural, simple to use or take, easy to incorporate into a daily diet (however overindulgent it might be) and will hopefully mean the damage-remedy in January will be less of a mammoth task to manage.

Christmas holiday health dream team on brighter shade of green

From left to right:

Viridian Equinox Elixir – with nasty air con blasting, you’re lucky to get off a flight without sneezing or coughing so I take this herbal tincture with a bit of water when I’m in the air to ward off any bacteria or germs. Antioxidants are my number one in-flight essential and because Viridian Equinox is helpful for boosting the immune during a change of seasons, it’s perfect for travel too.

Viridian Digestive Elixir – I’ve made it a daily habit to take 20 drops of another great Viridian tincture, Digestive Elixir, after learning about the benefits of morning bitters from the experts at Grayshott Hall. This one supports the enzymes necessary for digestion and I’ve taken it every day without fail this holiday. I’m eating extraordinary amounts of food this holiday, some of which I’m not used to, so setting myself up on the right path first thing in the morning helps my tummy get through the day!

VeryWise EnergyWise – this is a new kid on the health block so I’ve taken it away to try. There are six oils in this new range of Omega 3 ‘shots’ by VeryWise, as Omega 3 is thought to be the cornerstone of heart, brain and joint health. Each variety is specially formulated for a different health focus and this one, EnergyWise, is the only one that’s vegan (the others contain fish oils). It’s got a lovely mixture of B vitamins, some caffeine (75mg) and the medium chain fatty acids (MCTs, as found in coconut oil) that support balanced blood sugar levels and metabolism. It tastes like a caramel espresso shot (yum!) and gave me a noticeable boost of energy. My only gripe is that the bottle and cap gets messy, reminding me of the way children’s medicine does, so don’t throw away its cardboard container.

Nosh Detox Raw Boosters – as I can’t take away my green veg and blender on holiday, these little sachets of health containing raw, organic, freeze-dried super powders are a portable substitute. A power-mix of alfalfa, kelp, chlorella and other greens for a quick way to balance any acidity from overindulgence; bread, wine, dairy or meat are the biggest culprits for an over-acid stomach and that means one thing: bad digestion, low absorption of nutrients, bad skin and weight gain. One of these green shots (pictured) can help rebalance the alkaline in the tummy, even with festive over-eating. Lemon water first thing in the morning also helps.

Nosh Detox Raw Boosters Brighter Shade of Green

I thought mixing with water rather than juice would taste terrible but it wasn’t bad at all and I’m definitely going to buy some the next time I go away.

Pukka Organic Coconut Oil – I’m a huge fan of coconut oil and use it practically every day so I wouldn’t dream of going away without it. Most tubs are huge but this one from Pukka Herbs is the perfect size for holidays, trips and overnight stays. Delicious on bread or toast, on skin and generally for health, coconut oil is a powerhouse for health and diet: its slow-release energy keeps you fuller for longer, it’s used by the body as instant energy rather than stored as fat and has an amazing power to increase the metabolism – not far off detoxing while you eat!

The Organic Pharmacy Detox – after reading my Raw Food Diet Challenge, founder of The Organic Pharmacy, Margo Marrone, kindly sent me her Detox capsules to try, telling me they’ll keep my tummy flat without having to slave in the kitchen for a raw food diet. I’ve taken them meticulously as instructed (three capsules 30 minutes before food in the morning and three caps in the evening after food) and I have to say my tummy would not be as well behaved and un-bloated for the copious amounts I’ve eaten this holiday, and with all the baklawa I’ve eaten, there’s no way my skin would have remained so clear.

I’ve tried a lot of detox and cleanse supplements over the years and this one is also gentle, as it says it is, i.e. no sudden rushes to the bathroom. The blend in the vegan capsules contains burdock root, alfalfa, chorella, slippery elm, psyllium husks, barley grass and other fabulously detoxifying herbs. Highly recommended as a supplement to any festive food and drink blow out.

Happy eating!x

Winter beauty splurge

Organic Pharmacy Resculpting Gel

Organic Pharmacy Resculpting Gel

In the woman’s magazine calendar it’s around this time of year the obligatory ‘Little Black Dress’ diet and workout is resurrected with keen intention. Exercises to ‘banish bingo wings’ and ‘smooth down your silhouette’ in time for party season are being published as we speak so it’s a good time to bring forward The Organic Pharmacy Resculpting Body Gel. It’s not a new product but following a recent trial, I’ve just squeezed the last drop from the tube and I must say, I was really really impressed.

From the cooling sensation on skin to the luxurious feel of the gel, it’s been my daily treat for the last few months. To make it effective, it’s packed with a plethora of circulation-boosting and skin-smoothing ingredients such as green coffee (coffee seed before it is roasted),  horse chestnut, pomegranate, kigelia, mountain ash, figs, chilli and peppermint.

The Organic Pharmacy says that “tests showed a decrease in thigh and waist size by 1-2 inches within 3 weeks.” While I didn’t drop a size I certainly noticed much much smoother skin.

Overall I fell in love with it and looked forward to using it every day but there’s a catch – quite a big one – it’s really expensive (£89.95 to be exact). This is indeed a lot to pay for a body cream but I expect it comes with a lot of research and development into the efficacy of formula and ingredients.

So while I don’t want to be responsible for the potential hole in your purse, it genuinely is a great product and if you’re planning a winter sun holiday it could be just the beauty splurge needed to feeling more confident in your bikini.

On the beauty desk this week….Organic Glam Nail Polish

Last week a few new products landed on my desk. My favourite was the long awaited nail polishes from The Organic Pharmacy’s Organic Glam range. Samples are still limited (hence a picture of the press release!) but what I have is a gorgeous creamy nude. Finding the right ‘nude’ polish is like trying to find the perfect pair of jeans. An eternal quest. But this is a great one…

Organic Glam new non-toxic nail polishes poster

The colour is soft (better photos to follow!), quiet and elegant without too much pink or brown. Fingernails look subtle and almost like you have no polish on, which is what you want sometimes.

Nude nail polish Organic Glam

Formulation: ‘free from the toxins usually found in nail polishes’. Free from DBP, toluene and fomaldehyde.

DBP is dibutyl phthalate – a common plasticizer used in glues or inks. Used to be used in nail polish but not since 1990s. It’s now banned in EU cosmetics and restricted in use of children’s toys too (source: Wiki) as it’s a suspected endocrine disruptor.

What does this mean? An endocrine disruptor simply means a substance that interferes with hormones in the body. Studies on animals and fish have shown hormonal changes with certain substances and the fear is that low-level exposure over a long period of time will cause similar effect in humans.

Back to the other ingredients – Toluene is a petroleum derived product found in low levels in crude oil. Used mainly as a solvent but temporarily toxic if inhaled – it’s been used as a drug for its intoxicating properties.

Formaldehyde is a gas that can be toxic but used for many industrial purposes. It’s also a good disinfectant and used for embalming. (According to Wiki) 23 million tonnes of formaldehyde were produced in 2005 around the world. There are safety issues surrounding it and it’s possible to be allergic to it.

Back to the beauty! There are 29 shades in the range – lots of pinks, reds and oranges with a few quirky shades for summer such as aqua and lemon. There is also gold and silver. Price £9.99 (11ml).

It’s great to have more choice of toxic-free nail polish. Others I really love include Zoya (with an impressive catalogue of hundreds of shades) and Butter London. Are there others you’ve tried and rated? Let me know!

Winter health – how not to get a cold

The Organic Pharmacy Immune Tonic

The Organic Pharmacy Immune TonicThe snow caught up with London today and it was freezing! So I thought I’d introduce you to my secret weapon for warding off a winter cold. Something we could all do with at this time of year. And this little saviour is the business when it comes to keeping away aches and pains, and it’s completely natural.

It is The Organic Pharmacy Immune Tonic.

This special tincture is a blend of herbs such as Cat’s Claw (great for kidney health), Elderberry and Thyme (great for fighting infection) to strengthen the immune system and keep you feeling fit against the raging elements outside.

Add a few drops in water (I recommend juice as it doesn’t taste sweet) and down it quick! Keep this up all winter and you might have a few less sneezes than expected.

I love it. Tell me what you use against the winter chill…

£10.76 from The Organic Pharmacy