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5 nutrition myths that could be impacting your health

5 nutrition myths that could be impacting your health

With so many nutrition myths out there, it can be hard to sort the fact from fiction. Harriet Holme, aka the Healthy Eating Dr, is a registered nutritionist, doctor, and nutrition lecturer. Her no non-sense approach will help you to eat for health, starting with the nutrition myths you really need to say goodbye to!

1. Eating fruit is bad for you as it contains sugar

Many people believe that the sugar in fruit means they need to avoid certain fruits. While fruit does contain naturally occurring sugars, they also contain fibre (important for gut health), water, and antioxidants (important for general health), making them very different from eating a spoonful of sugar. Eating a range of colourful fruit and vegetables is a key component of a healthy, balanced diet.

2. Eating fat makes you fat

Previously it was thought that eating fat made you fat, and low-fat or fat-free products were the answer to weight loss. However, not only is this not true, but also reduced fat items often contain more sugar to make them more palatable.

Eating too much of anything can be stored as fat, but healthy unsaturated fats are an important part of healthy diet. For example, avocados contain omega 3 and oleic acid, that reduce blood pressure, while full fat kefir yoghurt has billions of friendly bacteria, that help not just your gut, but general health. Nuts used to be considered fattening, but a large study found a handful a day can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and also help with weight loss.

3. There is no need to limit your protein intake

Lots of people are worried about over-eating carbohydrates and trying to avoid fats, so protein seems like a healthier option, filling you up, meaning you are less likely to snack. Protein is essential to keep our bodies healthy, but any excess is converted to fat. Instead aim to have a balanced plate that is a quarter lean protein, a quarter of wholegrain carbohydrates, and half of fruit and vegetables, with a tablespoon of unsaturated fat.

4. All calories are equal

A calorie is the energy required to raise the temperature of 1g water from 14.5 to 15.5˙Celsius. The way this is calculated is in a laboratory, by burning the food, however, the food is not ‘burnt’ in our bodies, and people’s metabolism vary, so it’s a very rough estimate.

In addition, how the food is processed also affects the absorption and therefore how much energy you can use. A good example of this is sweetcorn. If you grind it down into a powder and make a tortilla, you will absorb far more calories, than if you eat whole sweetcorn kernels, as you will see most of them untouched, in the toilet!

Another concern with calories, is that instead of thinking about nutrient quality, it promotes prioritising quantity. For example, there is a huge difference in the number of nutrients you could consume in 500 calories of ice-cream, versus 500 calories of cabbage. The number of calories you need also varies according to so many factors – such as age, gender, lifestyle, activity level – that it’s hard to accurately predict exactly how many you need.

Some people say that if you want to lose weight, you simply need to create a calorie deficit, but that’s not true. What you eat is more important than the number of calories you’re consuming, and your gut health has an important role.

5. Meat is bad for you

In 2013, The European Prospective Investigation into cancer and nutrition reported that for the 448,568 participants, processed meat was associated with an increased risk of death, but no association was seen with unprocessed red meat. It is thought that the chemicals used to preserve processed meat, such as nitrites, are the problem.

Current UK guidelines advise reducing your intake of both red and processed meat to a maximum of 70g per day, however, there are lots of alternative forms of processed meat on the market now. If you’re desperate for bacon or sausages or ham for example, try the nitrite/preservative-free versions instead. Where possible though, eat unprocessed, lean meat that is rich in iron and a complete source of protein.

See Dr Harriet Holme's full range

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3 ways to live abundantly in today’s climate

3 ways to live abundantly
3 ways to live abundantly

3 ways to live abundantly in today’s climate

As we all ‘feel’ into our new normal, you might be feeling anxious about job loss, furlough, or revenue decreases – or all together closing – if you’re a business owner. It’s true: there will be continued changes in the economy. 

What’s also true however, is that the economy shifts based on the beliefs and actions of people. That means you and me. That means you have not only the ability to influence the economy positively by choosing to become your own economy. 

Through every economic downturn in history there have been outliers who’ve thrived, not by taking advantage of those who were suffering, but by turning constriction into opportunity and betterment for all. 

Disney was launched at the height of the Great Depression. General Electric hit its stride during the Panic of 1893, and Netflix introduced its streaming services in 2008 during the recession in response to video stores closing, setting it up to become the giant it is today. 

Watching the news and waiting for things to change is not going to be your path to financial success during these times or any time in the future. Lamenting about how the government and world leaders should do something ain’t gonna do it. Scanning the headlines and feeling anxious ain’t gonna do it. If you wait for someone else so that you can live the life you want, you might be waiting forever. 

So, how do you become your own economy so you can not only secure your financial wellbeing today, but also uplift the financial lives of the people you touch? 

3 steps to uplift your finances 

1 Change your mind

Decide that you’re no longer waiting for the economy to shift to have the kind of prosperity and lifestyle you desire. This simple act will have you notice opportunities that you would have missed while complaining about “how things are.”

2 Open your heart

When we open our hearts to ourselves and begin to see our own value, we are able to share that value with the world. Contributing our gifts to the world and receiving in exchange for it is part of being the change.

3 Take action

The smartest way of being your own economy is to start your own business so that you’re in control of how much you can earn. You don’t have to go and quit your job and torch your bridges. Start something on the side and nurture it.

The moral of the story

Don’t sit around waiting for someone else to make a change!

Don’t forget, the more abundance you create, the more you can become a source of abundance for others. When we’re in charge of what we can earn, we get to be in charge of how much we can give.

The economy is made up of the decisions and actions of billions of people. You may feel tiny in a sea of billions, but I promise you, your choices matter.

Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to create Facebook changed the economy. He was one guy. 

Jeff Bezos’ creation of Amazon changed the way we do commerce. 

The guys who invented the ability to accept credit cards on the internet changed the face of business forever.

The economy moves because people like you and I start thinking and acting differently.

If you want to live a life of choice and create more opportunities for others to do the same, start by choosing to become your own economy.

Kate Northrup is the bestselling author of Money: A Love Story and creator of The Money Love Course, which has helped over 5,000 students pay off debt and create abundance

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Laura Cloke Career fulfilment coach

Laura Cloke Career fulfilment coach
Laura Cloke Career fulfilment coach

Laura Cloke Career fulfilment coach

Each week we put the spotlight on one of our Product Partners so they can share their stories and inspiration behind their business. We will also be asking them a few questions around their challenges and successes.

This week we meet  Laura Cloke who is a Career Fulfilment Coach, what does that even mean we hear you say? Laura helps women in their careers forge ahead on the path they choose rather than the one chosen for them. And in these uncertain times, her advise and expertise has never been in such demand.

Meet Laura…

a career fulfilment coach who helps ambitious professionals to achieve big career goals. Based in Kent (UK) but coaching across the world, her action-orientated approach empowers her clients with the path, tools and mindset to transform their careers.

Her own career epiphany in 2013 led her to retrain as a coach and create a portfolio career she truly loves, that now sees her coach people towards true career fulfilment, lend her retail expertise to charities and promote choirs. It’s what she always wanted for herself.

Since then, Laura has been helping driven professionals to confront their fears and go after what they want for themselves too – from big promotions, a change of sector, city or profession, to turning redundancy into a valuable career opportunity.

Laura’s favourite product – 

Our quick Q&A…

1. What was your ‘on fire’ spark that made you start your business?

I first discovered coaching in 2013 quite by chance. I got involved with a project that required me to have two days of coaching training. We had to practice our coaching technique on each other and as I listened to how much everyone else was struggling, I realised how natural the process felt for me. It was at that moment I knew I wanted to become a coach. It was another 4 years and lots of work before I started my business but from that first moment, I could see how powerful coaching could be and I wanted it to be my career.

2. What has been your biggest challenge to date and how did you overcome this?

10 years ago, I was working in the retail industry as a merchandiser and I completely burnt out at work to the point where it affected my health and I got sick. I stopped being able to live my life fully and it made me hate my job. I realised that I needed to take control and prioritise my well-being. I set myself really clear boundaries, moved to the charity sector and any time I felt even the tiniest bit stressed at work I took a step back to see what I could change to make work more manageable. I feel so much more in control of my work now, and I’ve gone on to create a portfolio career so I can have even more control. I still have tough days, but I’ve learnt how to leave the stress at the office.

3. What has been your proudest moment?

Having a portfolio career means I have lots of variety in my work. When I’m not coaching, I work with a company called Vox Anima London to bring choirs from all over the world to sing together. Last year we had over 120 singers from America, Europe and UK sing at Cadogan Hall in London. We are only a team of 4 and it was such hard work, but seeing complete strangers come together to perform a beautiful piece of music with just two days of rehearsals was a magical moment.

4. What advice would you tell yourself if you could go back to the start ?

The most rewarding moments in my career have come from when I’ve stopped doing what I thought I should do and listened to what works best for me. I now have a portfolio career which gives me a combination of financial stability, variety in my work and control over how much work I do, which would never had been possible if I hadn’t challenged what my career could look like. 

The advice I would give my younger self is to have the confidence to follow what feels right for you and not be afraid to challenge what is expected of you.

5. Share a quote about your business or life that you stand by?

In my project Unconventional Mentors, I look to inspiring women for advice and inspiration from the way they have lived their lives. One of my favourite quotes is from the war correspondent Marie Colvin who was killed in Syria in 2012, “Bravery is not being afraid to be afraid”. Despite the very real danger from entering a war zone, Marie’s passion for telling the stories of those whose lives were devastated by war outweighed any fear she had of the danger she was putting herself in. Whenever I’m fearful of taking an action in my business or putting myself out there I think of her and remember that great things are done when you embrace the fear and do the thing that scares you.

6. What is your favourite product?

My favourite product is my CV Top Tips workbook. Writing your CV can be one of those tasks we ignore until we actually need it to apply for a job and then we rush it and hope for the best. The process can seem really daunting but it’s actually a great way to reflect on your achievements and something you can benefit from doing even if you aren’t applying for a new job. Your CV is usually the first step to getting a new job, so it needs to sell you. By working on it when you aren’t in a rush means you can prepare to showcase your best self and increase your chances of landing your dream job when it comes along.


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7 facts on healing crystals and how to use them

7 facts on healing crystals and how to use them

They’re praised as a must-have travel accessory by Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian used them to inspire her new fragrance line, Kate Hudson places them on her beauty products for an added boost of energy, and Adele credits hers with easing her stage fright. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the ancient art…

1. Every crystal has a different healing property 

At a time when self-care is key to our mental and physical health, more and more women are turning to crystals to support their wellbeing routines. Every crystal is thought to emit its own vibrations and energy field, thereby channelling healing properties.

When choosing a crystal, you should assess which one you are most drawn to. Experts even say that the crystal chooses you. Try amethyst for inner strength, citrine for positivity, quartz to relieve stress or agate to ease anxiety.

2. You can keep them in your bra

Many experts suggest keeping a crystal in your bra so that it’s with you throughout the day. If that sounds far too uncomfortable, keep them in a pocket or in your handbag. Some perform best when stored in natural light to ‘charge’ them, so a window sill or shelf works. Place them on your bedside table to absorb their energy while you sleep. 

3. Clear Quartz is the strongest crystal

This natural beauty has been on earth since the dawn of time. Today, it makes up 12% of the earth’s crust and is used in everything from jewellery to technology. It’s deemed the ‘master healer’ – basically the rock star of all rocks – and it is claimed to ward off negative energy, balance the body and boost the immune system. 

4. Hollywood didn’t invent the trend

While LA boasts a strong community of crystal fans, the natural rocks have actually been used in healing for thousands of years. From the Stone Age to the Ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans – crystals have long been used to treat ailments, ward off evil and unlock power. It’s said that Cleopatra bathed with Rose Quartz to harness its healing and anti-ageing properties. 

5. They should be ‘cleansed’ before use

If you’ve purchased your crystal from a store, others will have touched it, so it needs to be ‘cleansed’ from any other energies, ready for programming (we’ll come onto that). Hold it under running water, leave it out in the sun or moonlight, cleanse it with scent by lighting some incense, bury it in sand or soil for 24 hours, smudge it with sage or place it near to Clear Quartz, your ‘master healer’, if you have some.

6. Programme your crystal with your intentions

Crystals don’t need to be programmed to work their magic, but many see them as tools whose energy can be specifically channelled. It’s said that you should tell your crystal want to want to achieve during a short meditation practice. It’s a way of connecting you to your crystal to further enhance its performance. 

7. Use them to open your chakras 

Crystals can also be used to balance your seven chakras. Your body’s chakras are thought to be influenced by your thoughts, feelings and emotions (think of emotions as ‘energy in motion’). For this reason, they can become unbalanced. Chakra yoga, guided meditation and crystals can all help to restore harmony. Ask whoever you are purchasing your crystal from for information on which crystal correlates with which chakra

Shop your crystal healing kit

Quartz is a master healer stone, giving it excellent all round properties

Buy it now, £2.99, The Psychic Tree 

A kit is a great place to start if you’re a crystal novice!

Crystals for calm, £26.99, LOA

A special crystal elixir bottle is a great way to harness the energy of crystals.

Psychic Sisters crystal water bottle, £40, ASOS

Selenite will cleanse and recharge your crystals.

Selenite charging plate, £12, Etsy

How to use them at home

There’s really nothing difficult about using your crystals. While they do need to be cleansed every so often, once you’ve set your intent, that’s it. All that’s left to do is to enjoy them.

Some people like to carry their crystals around with them, either in their bag or a pocket. Crystal jewellery is also a great way to do this. One of our product partners, LOA, sell interchangeable crystal jewellery so you can swap as you like.  

Obviously some crystals will be too large to do this, so instead display them in your home. Not only do they look gorgeous, but by using various crystal placements, they can help with different issues. Here are a few simple ideas:

  • Placing rose quartz under a pillow can help a child go to sleep.
  • Put your hematite near the doorway of your house to provide protection
  • Apophyllite is great at bringing in positivity and uplifting, energetic vibes. Play this somewhere central like your living room
  • Want to attract money and success into your life? Then put lapis lazuli close to your bed
  • Struggle with working from home? Put azurite on your desk or in your workspace to help you say focused.

Other ways you can use crystals include incorporating them in your meditation practice, which can help deepen your practice and bring a certain outcome during the meditation – or you can try ‘infusing’ them with water. Add a crystal to a bottle and then when you drink the water, it imparts a little of their special properties from inside you.

Whatever your thoughts on crystals, we’re open to any practice that improves our mental health, or makes us feel content, safe and positive. Happy healing!

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Six tips on combining work and marriage

How to survive setting up a business with your husband
How to survive setting up a business with your husband

Six tips on combining work and marriage

It’s not an easy decision, going into business with your partner. After all, we all know how nice it is to get home from work, vent to your other half about what’s been going on in the office and then switch off from the day job until the alarm clock goes again the next day.

Of course, working together brings a whole other level of emotion and pressure into the mix, but it can be really fulfilling – even during lockdown.

When I first started working with my husband, David, it wasn’t just a new experience working together, it was a whole new industry too.

David’s business, Gas Angel, is a gas engineering company, and I hadn’t previously known anything about the sector other than sometimes, I needed my boiler fixing. Funnily enough, it was during a time when I needed my boiler servicing that I first met David on a dating website! Who knew ‘gas engineer’ would be such an exciting proposition for somebody looking for love!

Amy Mooney shares her tips on how to start a business with your husband

I had worked in the creative agency world for many years and had my own award-winning company that I co-founded with a good friend and colleague, but after having my second child I was feeling jaded with agency life. After months of soul searching, I decided to join David, using my marketing and brand skills to add a new dimension to the business.

When we first started working together it was so exciting. We were completely buzzing, it was a real novelty. We’d stay up late and come up with ideas together and we spent the first couple of months trying to bring those ideas to life – which was great for David because he’s such an ideas person but never had the regular support that encouraged him to focus on the creative and strategic side of the business prior to us joining forces.

However, you can sometimes be a victim of your own success and, as business started to boom, David found he was needed back out on the road again, repairing customers’ boilers, leaving me to work on the strategic and creative side of things.

It was difficult for him leaving this side of work to me, especially as he’d began to really enjoy coming up new ideas and working on the business and not just in it – he just didn’t have the time or capacity to work them up, but I did.

This caused a bit of friction and a good few arguments, so I asked him to trust me to deliver. Life was all consuming, I was so focused on our new baby boy, my then 8-year- old, as well as the business, he felt pushed out of everything. It was really difficult striking that balance.

I was really over-zealous and so focused on the business. But David was more focused on the marriage – he felt that our partnership, our marriage, was the basis for everything working well together – us, the business, our role as parents. I knew then I needed a better balance and he wasn’t keen on me being so work-hungry.

We also found there was a lot of ‘you’re not my boss’ ping-ponging between the two of us. The dynamics were really tricky at first, but we put some rules in place, and started to get into the swing of things.

After just over a year of working together, however, lockdown struck and changed everything. Now, we had the kids at home, we were unable to work from our City Centre office and David spent a lot of time out on the road – leaving me at home with the kids and home-schooling. I became pretty resentful – thinking irrational thoughts like, ‘I didn’t sign up to this’.

Amy Mooney shares her tips on working with her husband

Just as David realised that our circumstances before were the result of business growth and not personal choice, I started to realise, my frustrations weren’t David’s fault. We were in a situation that many people were in. It wasn’t about choice – nobody was keeping me at home in a sexist attempt to spite me. It was about doing whatever we had to do during lockdown to for the business to survive. And while we did have to lose a member of staff and furlough others, we were lucky that the business was still going strong, because, after all, people always need hot water and heating. We were an essential business, able to trade.

Of course, I knew how lucky we were, but this didn’t rid me of my frustrations. David reassured me that the work I had already done on the business was really positive, and that during lockdown, rather than work until 3am because I’d spent the day parenting and homeschooling, I should take a couple of weeks off, get used to the new situation and just chill. It was hard at first, but then I found I quite enjoyed taking the time out, filling the paddling pool for the kids and enjoying a G&T in the garden during the glorious heat wave.

Now I’m managing to strike a better balance of raising a family and building a business. It will never be equal time spent on each and I’m fine with that, but I’m back working on new ideas for the business, including some really exciting environmental work we’re doing – partnering with JUST ONE Tree to plant two trees for every customer who signs up to our cover plan to offset gas CO2. It makes me feel really purposeful to be able to make a difference to the planet from the comfort of my own home!

Overall, running a family business absolutely has its challenges, but I’m still convinced it was the right move. The kids get involved and excited about it too – pointing with glee when they see one of our branded vans drive by or providing a detailed critique of mam’s interview on the radio! And when the business does well, it positively impacts the family, so we celebrate as a family, which is lovely!

My tips on how to make it work

Running a business with your other half really can work – but I urge everyone to ask themselves the right questions before taking the plunge. There are many rules you can put in place to keep both the business and romantic relationships healthy – here are a few things I’ve learned about combining business with your relationship:

1 Define your roles

You need to be upfront and clear about what each other’s role is. If we ever argue about work these days, its because there’s a grey area around who’s expected to do what. You don’t want to feel as though somebody hasn’t done what you thought they were going to do or to be fearful of stepping on toes. 

Get it written down in advance, really define the detail of the roles, and sign the bottom of the page! It’s like a joint contract and it really helps!

2 Discuss work ethics

People can have different approaches to work. Some people really value a good work/life balance, while others can go full steam ahead and work around the clock. Neither approach is right or wrong, but you need to understand how each other works before going into business together – you don’t want to resent your partner for not pulling their weight, or equally, for not spending enough time with you or the kids.

3 Put some rules in place

We found that making a hard and fast rule that we were not to discuss work after 8pm was incredibly helpful. Prior to that, I might wake up in the middle of the night, panicking about a VAT return and waking David to discuss it. That really wasn’t healthy – what can you do at 2am anyway?

Pre-lockdown we also made a rule that one day a week, David has time to work on the business development side of things with me, so he doesn’t feel pushed out of the exciting stuff. He’s great at things like SEO and has loads of brilliant ideas on how to grow the business, so it’s not just good for the relationship, it’s good for business too and means we’ve got each other to bounce ideas off.

4 Practice acceptance

Accepting the fact that lockdown wasn’t David’s conspiracy to keep me at home with the kids was so relieving. I’ve been independent and career-driven for such a long time, and always went out to work, so admittedly felt angry and jealous that he got to go out to work. Once I was able to accept the bizarre lockdown situation for what it was, all that tension was released.

5 Make business fun!

Just as a manger or leader in the office might plan away days or offsite working to mix things up and inspire the team, we try to do that as well. 

Before lockdown, we gave ourselves one day a month where we’d go offsite to one of our favourite bars and restaurants, enjoy lunch, get planning and follow it up with espresso martinis. I couldn’t sleep after too many of those, but it was fun!

6 Take time out

Finally, a really key point that I’ve learned is that you must take time out as a couple. You can’t simply live as business partners. You need to ensure that you earmark quality time together to just be you.