Finding nemo?

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a good festive season and 2019 is treating you well so far.  As always it’s a time for reflection, consolidation and resolution.

This update is a bit later than I planned as the omega-3 blood test results took longer to come back than I anticipated.  Apologies!

I have started seeing clients from home for my 1:1 Diet business, which is great.  So far I’m not missing the daily bustle of an office which is a big surprise.  I thought I’d struggle with spending so much time in my own company but as yet that’s not been an issue.  However do I ensure I get out of the house regularly for both exercise and a change of scenery.

You may remember that I was looking into improving my health and vitality and started taking a wheatgrass supplement in November (see previous post here for more information).  I also subscribed to a good quality omega-3 supplement that provided a blood test to identify your levels of omega-3 and -6.  I started taking this on 10th December and sent my blood test off the same day.  They did say it could take 15-20 business days for the result to be returned, and mine came through yesterday.

As expected, this was not good, but worse than I thought.  The analysis measures the amount of omega-3 and omega-6 oils in the red blood cells.  You are given two scores: an Omega-3 Index result and an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio.

The Omega-3 Index is on a scale from 0-12.  Anything under 4 indicates a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.  A score of 8 and over is good.  I scored 2.

A good ratio between the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the cellular membranes is important for a strong immune system and aids the body in dealing with infection and injury.  A desirable goal is 3:1 or less.  A ratio of 5:1 is borderline.  However it’s common in the West for a ratio between 10-20 due to the amount of processed food and vegetable oils in the diet.  A ratio higher than 5 can increase the amount of chronic inflammation in the body, which may lead to the development of joint problems, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and obesity.

The scale used to illustrate the results ranges from 1 (good) to 15 (poor).  My result was 37.1:1.  Clearly room for a lot of improvement!

They recommend taking omega-3 every day and a second test after 4 months, as the life span of a red blood cell is 120 days.  I bought a six-month supply and will do another test around the five-month mark.  I am very aware that the information is provided by a company with a commercial interest in selling omega-3.  However, regardless of where I source the supplements, I think it’s pretty obvious that I need to do something about the lack of omega-3 in my diet.  The health community is clear that the majority of people suffer a deficiency (here and here) so I’m not alone.  I don’t regularly eat fatty fish or marine fatty acids as part of my diet.  I will investigate where these can be sourced from, other than the obvious fish which I don’t like (except Nemo, he’s cute) and continue with the supplements and see if my test results improve.

I am definitely feeling some benefits of taking both wheatgrass and omega-3 daily for the last month (six weeks for wheatgrass).  I have more energy and am sleeping better.  I have also noticed an improvement in the strength and condition of my hair and nails.  I tend to suffer with hormonal skin breakouts linked to my menstrual cycle and these have reduced.  So far, so good.  It’s not cheap, but what price health?

As always, if you have any questions about the 1:1 Diet, wheatgrass or omega-3 oil get in touch for information or a referral.  Thanks for reading 🙂

 

Accreditation’s what you need…

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I was waiting for my training date to become an Independent Consultant for the 1:1 diet by Cambridge Weight Plan.

The course was last Wednesday in Southampton (a trip to the seaside to boot!) and I submitted my accreditation exam on Friday.  I got a phone call on Monday to advise that I’d passed with 96% (the required passmark is 85%) so I was really thrilled with that.

This means I am able now to take on my own clients and help them with their own weight loss journeys.  If you’re on Facebook you can find my page here.

I am not expecting to start seeing anyone until after the festive period, but who knows, there may be people wanting to start dieting before then.  If so, I’m ready for them!

As an aside, I am still taking the Omega oil and wheatgrass and will update on those in a separate post later this week.

Green, green grass

I thought I’d post a short update on progress.  I’ve been taking the wheatgrass and vitality juice shots since my last post – about 12 days.  I certainly feel better for it, and fought off a cold that was brewing faster than I usually would.  It’s early days though, and I have six weeks’ worth of wheatgrass still in the freezer.

I only had 10 shots of the vitality juice as this was a freebie when I placed my wheatgrass subscription.  I have ordered some more as I liked it so much.  It tastes good – made up of pomegranate (34%), red grapes (34%), goji berries (17%), raspberries (10%) raw aloe vera and matcha tea – and goes well in my morning smoothie, but would be easy to drink as a shot on its own.   This one has anti-oxidant properties and is meant to boost energy, while the high levels of vitamins and minerals should improve my immune system, support blood cell development and assist with healthy skin, nails and vision.  I’ll take it for another month and see if I notice any changes.

The wheatgrass is slightly less palatable, but not awful; tastes a little bit like kale and is very green.  My friend takes hers straight but I found this repeated a bit much for me (apologies if TMI!) so I add it to a small amount of apple juice.  It’s easily drinkable that way, but can also be added to smoothies or other drinks or food.  As it’s frozen in individual sachets it’s really easy to serve with no messing about measuring etc.  This is meant to contribute to healthy energy levels, reduce tiredness and fatigue, boost physical and mental performance and support a healthy immune system.  I need all of those at the moment!

The Arctic Omega-3 oil finally arrived today, from Norway via Poland for some reason!   I was beginning to think it would never get here.   I  will update in a week or so on how I’m getting on with that.  I have sent off my blood test for analysis though, so can get the results in a couple of weeks and then see if taking it daily makes any difference to my omega-3 and omega-6 ratio (see my earlier post for more information on this).

If you’re interested in the juices, drop me a message and I can give you a referral discount code.

That’s it for now, I’ll have more to update on later this week.  Thanks for reading 🙂

 

 

All Change

Yes I’m back again and things are changing.  I spent sometime in the Outer Hebrides over the summer, which allowed for a period of reflection and contemplation.  On my return I decided I fancied a change of career.  I was able to negotiate leaving, and my last day was at the end of September so I have spent the last few weeks enjoying some downtime and researching various things.

Some of you will know that I have been losing weight over the last year or so, having lost over five stone so far.  I achieved this with the Cambridge Weight Plan and have decided to become an independent consultant for their newly rebranded 1:1 Diet to help others who wish to lose weight as well as continuing my own journey.  I am waiting for my training course place and hope to be ready to go with my own clients in the New Year.  Exciting times!

I have also been looking at improving my health and vitality generally and, after speaking with a friend of mine, have just joined the Wheatgrass Juice Club started by Dr Britt Cordi, a molecular biologist.  Fresh wheatgrass juice can contribute to enhanced energy levels, reduce tiredness and fatigue, boost physical and mental performance and support a healthy immune system.

Britt’s juice is flash frozen to  retain as much of the good stuff as possible and there is a 4-week trial with a 110% refund guarantee if you don’t notice a change.  It seems like a win-win, particularly with a 50% off Black Friday deal (result!).  I started this morning, so will update on how I’m getting on.

The frozen juice shots arrived packed in dry ice which was pretty cool, with a free two-week trial of their Vitality juice included.  This has anti-oxidant properties, boosts the immune system and helps with healthy skin, nails and vision.  All good things.  It’s also delicious!

As well as wheatgrass, I’ve been looking at research into omega 3, 6  and 9 levels and the impact this has on our body and long-term health.  I eat very little fish so have always been a bit concerned about it, but have only recently had the time to spend time investigating.

Modern diets generally mean that we have a predominance of omega 6 fatty acids compared to omega 3 ones in our cells.  The recommended ratio is 5:1 but most people have a ratio between 10:1 and 20:1 due to the amount of processed foods, farmed meat/fish and vegetable oils in the Western diet.

A ratio higher than 5:1 can increase the amount of chronic inflammation in the body, which can lead to the development of joint problems, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and obesity.  I definitely want to reduce my risks of developing any of these.

One company I was recommended offer a very pure omega-3 oil, sourced in Norway, blended with cold-pressed olive oil from Crete containing omega-9 fatty acids, which helps to maintain healthy blood vessels, heart health and controls blood sugar levels.  They recommend increasing the intake of both omega-3 and -9 fatty acids, along with a reduction in omega-6 ones to prevent the development of inflammation and cardiovascular disease.

They also supply tests for you to check your omega 3 and 6 levels before starting a course of supplements, and again 180 days later to see how much your levels change.  I am expecting my ratio to be pretty high, unfortunately.

I have ordered my first batch and they should arrive shortly.  The oil also comes with a sample of a vitamin K2 supplement, which is meant to assist in delaying the development of age-related osteoporosis and arterial stiffness.  I shall be bursting with energy in 2019!  Who knows, I may even have renewed vigour for the dismal dating scene. Lol.

I’ll be updating with how I get on with my new career as well as the health supplements.  If you’re interested in the wheatgrass juice or omega oils drop me a message and I can refer you on.

Thanks for reading – come back soon 🙂

 

 

 

Aloe goodbye

So my Forever Living product trial is over, they’ve all been given back and my bathroom cupboard looks sadly empty. I’ve enjoyed the experience and am grateful to jenniferpow.com for giving me the opportunity to try them.  My top six are pictured, and I’ve placed an order already.

What this last week has confirmed to me is that the older I get, the more I prefer tailored products.  By that I mean products that are designed for one specific purpose rather than having a variety of uses. Creams and lotions that are designed for face and body don’t give enough nourishment to my face now I’m no longer in my twenties (or thirties, come to that!) and my hot picks reflect that.

The multi-use products are great value though, and would be good as face and body moisturisers for teens upwards of any gender.  The lack of strong fragrance definitely makes them suitable for the men I know who run a mile from anything “girly”.  And although I’m not a fan of the packaging, I think it probably helps make a lot of the products non gender specific.

I’d definitely give some of the ranges as gifts to friends (particularly the Relaxation products) and would recommend them to pretty much anyone.  I have a couple of weddings coming up later this year so may well have to resort to the weight management shakes to get rid of those pesky last pounds before hand!

They are available from your local Forever Living supplier, or you can order on-line from thefabulouslife  and say “Aloe” to some new products.

 

 

 

Aloe Fresh

Today’s review is of two slightly less glamorous products – hand & face soap and ever-shield deodorant.

The hand and face soap has a subtle fragrance and lathers well.  It seems quite mild and is fine as hand soap as it doesn’t dry the skin.  I’m not sure I’d want to use it as a face soap personally, but I have heard other people say they use this as a baby wash and a shampoo so it’s clearly a useful one to have around.  It would also be good as a shower gel for those (particularly men) who don’t like scented products.

I use handwash pumps in the kitchen and bathroom, but prefer those that are anti-bacterial.  I know that aloe vera does have some anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, but I’m not sure whether this product does.  I’ll have to do some research.

I wasn’t sure initially about the deodorant as it isn’t an anti-perspirant, which I usually prefer.  However I gave it a go and was impressed.  It is a big stick and glides on easily.  It has a subtle fresh fragrance, and you don’t get sudden whiffs of it during the day as you can with other roll on or stick deodorants.  It has very few ingredients so is pretty natural and will leave your underarms nice and soft too.  It also doesn’t leave white marks on your clothes – result!

Unfortunately I had to stop using it after a few days as I had a reaction to it.  I suspect this was due to the Triclosan;  I have a skin allergy to zinc and, having done some research, have discovered that Triclosan is often synthesised with zinc oxide.  This trial has been very educational!  I also looked up to see if others had experienced reactions to this product and couldn’t find any negative reviews.  I knew I was special…. 😦

I am sad I can’t use it, as I think this is a great product – and really reasonably priced.  It’s £6 for the stick and it lasts around 9 months.  Great value!

Not long left with the trial and only a couple more products left to review.  Shame, as I’ve been enjoying it.

Aloe body

I have both these aloe lotions in my trial pack, and I must admit I am not entirely sure what the difference between them is.

The packaging of the lotion says it contains jojoba and vitamin E, while the moisturising lotion says “with collagen and elastin”.   The brochure says they are both formulated with jojoba oil, collagen and elastin; so the only difference seems to be that the aloe lotion contains vitamin E.  However scanning through the ingredients list on the moisturising lotion shows that also contains vitamin E.  Colour me more confused….

They are both described as maintaining the skin’s natural PH balance while moisturising, and ideal for face, hands and body. The moisturising lotion says it is also good as a primer for make up while the aloe lotion can be used as a toner, conditioner, after sun, post-shave balm and emollient.  As they seem to be pretty much the same product I struggle to see why they both exist and why they have such different uses promoted. I’m sure they could both be used for the same things.

They, not surprisingly, have similar textures and fragrances and I’m not sure there’s a need for either in my skincare regime.  Neither seem that rich for a body lotion or hand cream to me, and I’d have to apply them more than once during the day.  I definitely don’t find them as moisturising (or as nicely fragranced) as the lavender and aloe massage lotion in the Relaxation range. The Propolis creme is definitely better for my “more mature” skin as a face cream too.

I think I may just have to accept that I’m not the target audience for either of these products! I’m pleased to have tried them though and would recommend either (not both!) to those looking for a multi-purpose, easily absorbed lotion.