Following on from my research-based article earlier this week on whether organic food is actually better for our health - this blog offers advice on seeking out alternatives if organic choices don't fit the budget.
It recently emerged that the NHS has been ordered to prioritise patients who have endured long waits for routine treatment. However, problems with our health service have been evident since two-thirds of A&E units missed their winter wait time target, despite a mild winter by British standards.
This October, it will be 10 years since that fateful morning I discovered a crescent shaped bald spot behind each of my ears. I had no idea that day I was about to lose every hair on my body and that it would never grow back, as of yet.
It's a month on since Robin Williams died, on August 11th, and I've been doing some thinking. I've been thinking about why we were so attracted to Robin Williams and why his passing had such a powerful affect on us.
The number on the scale or on the tag on my dress does not define who I am as a woman. I have worked with many women for whom the number on the scale dictates not only their mood for the day but how they feel about themselves as women, wives, girlfriends, mothers etc etc.
Living as I do at the side of a river and with many beautiful lakes in the area I have no shortage of inspiration. Painting in oils is my preferred medium although I must admit oil painting can get a bit messy at times! I often work as a motivational speaker aboard cruise ships enabling me to travel the world, but always carry a sketchpad and paints in my luggage.
Last week, I was nominated to do the Ice Bucket Challenge, but I declined the invitation. I came up with 10 reasons why someone might say no. Let's start with three bad ones.
It is not a particularly new concept for one to want to track their performance and development when it comes to certain activities but the ability to be able to this is quickly picking up pace due to the ongoing development of Quantified Self.
We breathe approximately 25 thousand times per day without thinking about it and yet most of us are getting it wrong, to the detriment of our physical and mental health.
Is organic food actually better for our health? Well, it should be. Organic agricultural practices mean avoiding chemical fertilisers - using instead crop rotation and natural nitrogen sources like clover, composted manure and seaweed. Pesticides are severely restricted and routine use of antibiotics and other drugs is banned. That means we should be ingesting far fewer chemicals ourselves.
Now don't panic, Plant based doesn't mean you need to become a vegetarian. It just means you shift the emphasis from animal foods to plant foods - your meals and snacks need to be heavy on the plant foods and light on the meat, fish, diary or poultry. It's a very simple but amazingly affective diet shift which brings some extraordinary health benefits.
My brother wrote about his experience of having a sister with an eating disorder and it literally broke my heart into a million pieces. I wanted to share with you all his own words, because this is a family disease!
For about five months, my 'writing about health' thing has moved over to Instagram. And while it is an amazing platform, it doesn't do justice to the complexity and importance of understanding the science and the why behind a lot of what I choose to do.
I have been sitting in a hospital bed in an isolation room for the last five days... Being mindful allows me to notice thoughts and feelings as they arise - this is an incredible evolutionary ability of the human brain. Observing and accepting sensations and thoughts for what they are allows me the opportunity to pay attention to, and choose my responses based on, what is most important.
As the mother of a severely disabled child, I know first hand how parents of sick and disabled children can be bullied and pressurized by health professionals, and are often vilified and criminalised, just by virtue of having what is known to the system as a "vulnerable child".
It may come as a surprise but you don't need to train to be skinny (and for what it's worth I'm not anti the word 'skinny'). Up to 80% of our weight is driven by what we eat, and so if you're super disciplined with your food you can get there... It's a habit you need to build, nurture and embrace.