Let’s talk about… thrush… baby

This article includes PR samples

 I’ve suffered with thrush for as long as I can remember. Since having the kids its only got worse. I’m now on a maintenance plan through my GP. I manage my diet because I know that, for me, sugar is a massive trigger. I talked to Bupa’s expert, Dr Samantha Wild for some advice. Here’s what she had to say.

What is vaginal thrush?

Vaginal thrush is a yeast infection that can make you feel sore and itchy around your vulva and vagina.

It’s common – about three-quarters of women will have it at some point in their lives. Up to one in 20 women have repeated (recurrent) thrush infections. You can get thrush at any age, but it’s most common in women who are in their 20s and 30s. Men can also get thrush, including on the penis.

What are the most common symptoms of vaginal thrush?

You might not have any symptoms of thrush, and not realise you have it or need treatment. If you do get vaginal thrush symptoms, they may include feeling itchy and sore outside your vagina and a thick, white vaginal discharge. You may also experience soreness and discomfort when you have sex and when you go to the toilet.

What are the causes of vaginal thrush?

Vaginal thrush is caused by a type of yeast. Normally, this lives harmlessly in, or around your vagina, alongside healthy bacteria. But if it grows more than usual, this causes thrush.

There are several things that can cause you to develop thrush, including taking antibiotics, being pregnant, and having a weakened immune system. More research is needed, however there is a small amount of evidence that suggests some types of contraception, such as the combined contraceptive pill, may increase your risk of getting thrush.

Self-help advice:

Speak to a medical professional

thrush

Getting medical advice as soon as you notice a problem can help to get rid of your infection quickly and prevent complications. There’s no need to feel embarrassed about speaking to your doctor or pharmacist about any ‘unusual’ symptoms you’re experiencing – we’re here to help.

Often, you can get treatments for thrush over the counter, and you can get these from your local pharmacist. If your vaginal thrush symptoms get worse or you’re experiencing it regularly (more than four times each year), speak to your doctor. 

Avoid using perfumed products

If you have thrush, you might find it helps to stop using soap or perfumed shower and bath products around your genital area. Instead, it’s best to use water or non-perfumed moisturising cream – if you’re unsure what type to use, ask a pharmacist for advice. 

Other perfumed products such as feminine deodorants, biological washing powder and fabric conditioner may increase irritation and are best avoided.

Practice good hygiene

To prevent triggering a recurrent thrush infection, make sure you maintain a healthy lifestyle, keep your immune system strong, and practice good hygiene. You can do this by taking regular showers (and drying yourself properly), avoid wearing tight-fitted clothes, avoid douching (washing out your vagina with water or special douching fluid), and washing your hands frequently.

If you have thrush, it’s also best to avoid sexual activity until the infection has completely cleared up. Thrush isn’t a sexually transmitted infection but does share some similar symptoms with other infections; so, it’s a good idea to rule these out. Thrush symptoms can also be triggered after sex. 

Confide in your loved ones

It can be tough to deal with a recurrent health problem, particularly if you feel embarrassed. It can be a huge relief to speak to your close friends or family (whoever you’re most comfortable with) about how you’re feeling. If it’s causing you to experience a low mood, remember that your doctor is available and will support you, too.Alternatively, you can find support through reputable sources online, for example the NHS, Patient, and Bupa.

I hope this article has been helpful to you. I’ve found that taking a probiotic specifically designed to target the intimate areas has benefited me hugely and over the last couple of years I’ve had less infections which I believe is attributed to this. I use Optibac. Their product ‘For Women’ contains friendly bacteria strains especially found in the vaginal & urinary tracts, scientifically proven to reach the intimate area, and to complement the vaginal flora. It’s suitable for women of all ages and is backed by over 30 years of research.

Keep the conversation going by commenting below, or follow us on Instagram.

What are the benefits of bone broth in your 40s?

This article includes PR samples

At this point in my life, I’m grabbing at straws for anything that might benefit my health and wellbeing. I recently purchased a gua sha in a sad attempt to iron out the life lines on my face and reduce the puffiness in my eyes. I vow to use it everyday and make it a part of my skin care regime but ask me again in three months time and I have a feeling it will be very much discarded like many fads. Today I very much enjoyed my little ritual and the extra couple of minutes of self care it offered.

The other ‘trends’ I’ve been looking into are collagen supplements and I’ve started experimenting.

The importance of collagen

 benefits of bone broth

Natural Beauty, Wellness Expert & Co-Founder Of New Generation Beauty Brand, Raw Beauty Lab, Sonia Bainbridge explains;

‘Collagen is the structural protein responsible for keeping your skin looking plump, glowing and wrinkle free. However, you lose collagen at the rate of 1% each year after your mid-twenties which causes fine lines and wrinkles to become more prominent.

Most women don’t notice any changes until they approach their 40’s and this is primarily because the rate of collagen degradation increases as you approach menopause.’

So how can you increase collagen production? One simple answer, for some, is bone broth!

What is bone broth?

Belinda Blake, a nutritional therapist and clinic tutor for the Institute for Optimum Nutrition (ION) says;

‘The broth made from bones can be an excellent food for women in their 40s. The long, slow cooking of bones in a liquid which includes a little acidity (either wine or vinegar) helps to draw out minerals locked into the bone matrix, including calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

These are in a very bioavailable form and may help support strong bone health at a time when the breakdown of our own bone tissues may start to exceed that of new bone formation. 

You can tell when a bone broth is rich in collagen as it will set to a jelly when chilled, forming gelatine. The gelatine, plus mucopolysaccharides like chondroitin, glucosamine and hyaluronic acid which are also found in bone broth, have all been shown to help support joint health and protect against the effects of ageing and degenerative disease throughout the body.’

Made from scratch

 benefits of bone broth

Meera Bhogal knows too well the ill effects of food intolerances having spent years experimenting before she found her remedy. She passionately shares her secrets on her website, Meera’s Made from Scratch.

I was keen to understand more about the hype around bone broth so went to Meera to find out more. She explained that bone broth is an ancient remedy known for easily absorbed nutrients, gelatine, and collagen; which are both thought to support and help repair the lining of the digestive tract. This broth can be drunk warm or added to dishes as a stock substitute. She says;

‘Women going through menopause benefit greatly because the loss of estrogen and hormonal changes will have an even more significant impact on our collagen levels.’ Meera’s broth is handmade with organic chicken carcass (the source of collagen) with other gut-friendly ingredients such as turmeric and apple cider vinegar. I was lucky enough to try some and it really was truly delicious.

My collagen journey

The last three months have been somewhat of an experiment for myself. I did actually purchase a supplement and interestingly, although I can’t really tell yet, my hairdresser commented on how much thicker my hair was. I’ve also had a couple of comments about my glowing skin. So there you go. Maybe there is something in it?

Do you feel like we are in a race against time to preserve ourselves? What do you do to help slow the inevitable ageing process? Comment below to keep the conversation going and hang out with us over on Instagram.

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4 ways you can keep your aging parents safe

While gals in their 40s are always looking for ways to be healthier and ensure they can still do everything they used to do in their 20s and 30s, their parents are another issue. The older you get, the older your parents will be, and this means they may require more care and support. And of course, you’re going to provide that care and support to say thanks for raising you and making sure their quality of life remains as good as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to keep them safe, but how?

Move closer to them 

aging parents

Moving closer to your parents will make sure you can look after them in case anything happens. If they cannot move in with you due to any number of reasons, you can at least try to be as close as possible. 

Being closer to them will allow you to respond immediately. You don’t want to be on the other side of the country if something happens, so being able to act quickly can put your mind – as well as theirs – at ease. While moving house is not always convenient, it’s something to consider as your parents get older. 

Consider care options 

If moving house isn’t on the cards right now, you can look at other options, especially if your parents have suffered an illness or a fall that has affected their mobility and overall health. 

There are many care services to consider, such as care homes, while live-in care has become an increasingly popular option for elderly folks who do not want to move out of their house. With this, a professional carer will be on hand at all hours to provide support and company, which can make it easier for you if you do not have the time to drive back and forth due to other family or work commitments. 

Check-In regularly

Sometimes, you don’t need to be right by your parents to keep them safe. It might be that they just want you to check in regularly so you can see how they are doing. 

A phone call every night or every other night is often enough, especially if they live far away and you can’t nip over for a quick chat and a catch-up. You could also buy them a smartphone with messaging apps so you can get immediate responses. 

Let them keep their independence 

aging parents

Your parents’ independence is crucial for their wellbeing, so allowing them to maintain this independence can be beneficial for keeping them safe. 

While you might think that they cannot take care of themselves like they used to because of old age, there’s a chance they will surprise you. They don’t want people to coddle them but instead let them live their lives and feel they are in control, which will keep their mental capacity in excellent condition. 

Taking care 

While not all parents will require all-day care and support immediately, it is something that may happen to your mother or father (or both). If you know your options before something happens, such as an illness or a fall, you can make sure they can enjoy the rest of their life with independence and support.

Are you currently dealing with your aging parents? Let us know by commenting below or connect with us over on Instagram.

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The best ways to stay well as you age

Aging gracefully isn’t always the easiest thing to do but there are some tips and advice that can give you a better chance of doing so. You must remind yourself that you matter and that the better job you do at self-care the better you’re going to feel overall.

Below are some of the best ways to stay well as you age. Put these into practice and it won’t be long before you’re on your way to improved health and more happiness. Getting older can be hard on your mind and body but it can also be a beautiful and rewarding journey if you approach it in the right manner.  

Take care of your physical body

stay well as you age

One of the best ways to stay well as you age is to take care of your physical body. There are many ways to do so such as getting enough sleep and exercise daily. Also, address aches, pains, and discomforts as soon as they occur instead of putting them off. Have a doctor you can visit as needed and keep the number of an emergency dentist handy. It may also help to do yoga or stretch often to remain loose and build more strength and stamina. Your new routine may also include strength training as well as other fun activities that get your heart rate up.

Lower stress

Stay well as you age by finding useful and productive ways to lower stress. Too much of it can be debilitating and cause you anxiety and anguish. It may be that you write in a journal, review your gratitude list, or head outside for a walk when you’re feeling overwhelmed. These are just some of the best ways to reduce stress and reset when you’re experiencing tension and uneasiness. Know what your triggers are and try to avoid them or at least prepare for them when you can. Acknowledge and notice your feelings and have healthy outlets for releasing any negative emotions you’re harboring.

Challenge your mind

stay well as you age

Mental health matters and plays a significant role in how you feel overall and function. Improve and boost your mental health by staying challenged and engaged in life. Find a job and career that makes you think and problem-solve and do some crossword puzzles in your free time. Start a new hobby and socialize with others so you’re always taking in new thoughts and perspectives.

Cook healthy meals

A nutritious diet will also help you achieve better wellness and keep you on track to feeling great. Stay well as you age by cooking healthy meals for yourself and packing healthy snacks to bring with you on the go. Consume more fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins and try to cut back on the refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, and sugar. You’ll have more control over the ingredients and what you’re putting in your body when you grocery shop and cook at home. It’ll be easier to maintain a healthy weight and you’ll have more natural energy when you eat right. There are so many benefits that it’ll be worth your efforts to prepare meals yourself.

What do you do to stay well as you age? How are you preserving yourself? Let us know by commenting below or connect with us over on Instagram.

How to make money from home while you sleep!

The last two years have been turbulent to say the least. So many careers have been affected by the pandemic. For some of us, jobs as we knew them have changed for the better and some for the worse. I , for one, know that having my husband have the flexibility to work from home has been hugely rewarding and has boosted our family. But for many, the changes have been hugely unsettling and life changing. Sometimes, in life, we need to make an adjustment and although it might seem and feel impossible, it could lead to something wonderful and bring us closer to financial freedom.

Lucy Griffiths was as a TV journalist for over 20 years, with an incredibly fascinating career working with some of the world’s biggest television stations as a TV reporter and producer, interviewing; Barack Obama, Tony Blair, Hillary Clinton, and celebrities like; Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and Victoria Beckham. Lucy’s career took her from flying on Air Force One with the President of the United States to being in the middle of a refugee camp in a war zone. 

Seeking a new passion

When Lucy’s son was born in 2015, she experienced a traumatic birth, which left her suffering both anal and urinary incontinence and she knew her life wouldn’t be the same again…  after much soul-searching, support and coaching, she set out to find a new passion and purpose for her life. 

Lucy turned to the online space and created a course, which tapped into both her coaching expertise and her experience of being on camera, to help other women, particularly, to find their confidence to spread their message. She created a training course, but soon realised due to demand that she could turn it into a digital course and sell it on repeat (literally making money whilst she slept or spent quality time with her son – all through passive income). She has now sold this course 50,000 times over and has generated over 1million in revenue. This $19 course paid the family’s mortgage and bills throughout the pandemic where her other income streams dried up. 

She’s helped coaches and consultants, pet-preneurs and horse whisperers, ballet instructors and beauty therapists, to turn their expertise into digital products that sell on repeat and she hopes with the book she can reach even more people. Here, she offers us her top five tips.

1. Brainstorm ideas

How to make money from home

Allow yourself the space to brainstorm your ideas. Free flow and don’t restrict yourself or negate those little ideas that could become something truly remarkable. Give yourself the space with a big piece of paper and just start writing. Allow your creativity to unfurl and see what ideas come forward. 

2. Talk to your audience and then niche down

Talk to your people and find out what they want to buy from you. Test and validate your idea to know that people really want and desire it. Are people being polite: “Oh, that sounds interesting”, or do they really want it: “OMG, where can I get it?”. If they are your target audience and they get excited by your idea, then you know you’re on to something.

3. Niche down 

Be selective with who you are creating a course for. You’re not making a course for everyone; you’re making a course for a select slice of the online world that needs your knowledge and experience. They will identify with you because they are a reflection of you. There’s a saying in the online world, “there are niches in the riches.” It’s true. 

4. Create your course

How to make money from home

This is the big one! Use the audience research as the starting point for the course, and create what your people want and need from you. This will help you to structure and map out your course.  Put your passion and soul into the course and share your experience with your audience. Done is better than perfect, so take action and avoid procrastination. There may be times you want to throw your laptop out of the window, but the promise of making money while you sleep will carry you through the challenging times. 

5. Create a sales machine to sell it

When you’ve gone to the effort of creating a course, you want an audience to sell it to. And it’s no point selling it once; you want to sell it again and again. This means creating an online sales system to sell on automatic while you get on with the business of life. It means you can live more and work less because you have an automated process to make money while you sleep!

Lucy’s book, ‘Make Money Whilst You Sleep’, is her latest avenue through which to create more of a ripple effect empowering others to move away from the hustle mentality that can lead to burnout and mental health struggles, instead encouraging readers to reclaim living their lives the way they want to, using their expertise to bring passive income. 

Have you every thought of a career change or have you been forced into a situation where you’ve had to dramatically change the way you work? Keep the conversation going by commenting below or follow us on Instagram.

5 tips for fulfilling your business ambitions after 40

Turning 40 is around that time of life that many of us feel the call of a midlife career change

And no matter how established you are, it’s never too late to start again and find something more fulfilling

If you have a passion for a particular field and a specialist skillset, starting your own business could just be the venture you need to give you that much-needed new lease of life.  

There are many perks to owning your own business. It’s a chance to determine your own hours, be your own boss and do something that you love. 

But it’s a hugely challenging venture too. So if you’re not sure where to start to pursue your entrepreneurial business ambitions after 40, check out these five tips for success!

1. Go with what you know 

business ambitions

You don’t have to be an expert from day one – starting a business is a learning curve 

But whether it’s a lifelong talent that you’ve always wanted to turn into a trade, or a field you’ve already worked in and want to go independent with, it should be something you’re passionate enough about to make it your full-time job. 

2. Start small 

It’s tempting to start tackling big projects right away. 

But they say that slow and steady wins the race, and in business, it’s best to go at a pace that is realistic and sustainable. 

This may mean that you don’t give up your current job straight away – if it’s feasible, look into maintaining your business part-time alongside your existing role. Even if you cut your hours, having the guarantee of a stable income will make the challenges of setting up your business easier to handle. 

3. Explore support 

You’ll find that a lot of small business support can come from a range of unexpected sources. 

And whether you need help with funds and finance or other practical advice, your local chamber of commerce will have links to networks that can support your business. 

Alternatively, explore external opportunities to inspire growth and support the launch of your business. For instance, if you’re looking to get your name online with an SEO campaign, consider consulting with an agency such as Leeds-based Maratopia Digital Marketing for guidance. 

Whatever you’re planning on tackling as a business, don’t feel obliged to take it on alone. 

4. Find a mentor 

business ambitions

No matter how experienced you are in your field, there’s always more to learn – particularly if you’re striking out on your own. 

And opportunities such as networking events can help you find friends in your industries to mentor and support you on your entrepreneurial journey. 

Certain industries such as the CIPD (the professional body for HR professionals) run member-to-member mentorship schemes which can provide you with a fantastic support network. 

5. Set goals 

Setting goals is great practice in any venture. 

Whether it’s a set number of sales per month or an income target, it’s always healthy to have something to aim towards. 

These are just five tips for starting a business after 40. Wherever you are in your career, we hope these tips help you build a fulfilling future. Tell us about your future goals by leaving a comment below or connecting with us over on Instagram.

How to ease into perimenopause: Tips and advice for a happier adjustment

Perimenopause is a time of change. Each woman’s journey will differ, but it can be an uncomfortable and confusing time for most women. Luckily, there are many ways to feel better during perimenopause. You can try hormone replacement therapy or natural supplements to relieve your symptoms.

You could also try meditation, yoga, or acupuncture to make yourself feel more balanced. Here we will discuss how you can ease into perimenopause to reduce the effects.

Stop smoking

One thing you can do to help ease into perimenopause is to stop smoking. Smoking causes several health-related problems, but it also contributes to menopause symptoms. Quitting is easier said than done, but you might be able to make it happen with patience. You can try nicotine patches to help you stop, visit a Vape store for nicotine-free vape liquids to substitute for smoking or chew on gum to ease your cravings during the early weeks of quitting

Reduce or eliminate alcohol intake

Perimenopause

Many women find themselves drinking more during perimenopause. This can lead to many problems. When you drink alcohol while going through perimenopause, the effects are even stronger and more pronounced.

Avoid drinking alcohol as much as possible during this time in your life. If you do drink, try to keep it limited to only one or two drinks a night and for every drink of alcohol, have at least one glass of water to stay hydrated!

Maintain a healthy weight

A common symptom of perimenopause is weight gain. Hormones fluctuate during this time, making it tougher to control your appetite and maintain weight.

The first step to easing into perimenopause is maintaining a healthy weight. Eating a balanced diet and incorporating physical activity can help with this. You might also try eating more fibre or drinking more water to curb your appetite.

Additionally, you should get plenty of sleep so that your body has time to recover and regenerate hormones. Sleep deprivation can lead to decreased energy levels and increased levels of stress hormones like cortisol. Finally, if you suffer from night sweats, wear loose-fitting clothing, so you aren’t uncomfortable while sleeping.

Add calcium to your diet

Perimenopause can make you feel tired and irritable. You might notice mood swings or other symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal dryness. One way to ease into perimenopause is by taking calcium supplements. Calcium supplements are often recommended during perimenopause because they can help reduce the severity of symptoms. They are also helpful for protecting bones in the long term, which may be an issue during this time since perimenopausal women are at risk for osteoporosis. Plus, calcium supplements have reduced PMS symptoms like cramping, bloating, and mood swings.

Try natural remedies

There are several ways to ease into perimenopause. One way is to try natural remedies. These remedies are usually herbal and can be purchased in-store or online. Some common natural remedies include soy, vitamins, minerals, herbs, and essential oils. All of these items have different benefits for perimenopausal symptoms. For example, soy may reduce hot flashes or vaginal dryness, whereas minerals could help with mood swings or headaches.

Are you going through the perimenopause? Share your experience with us by commenting below or join our community on Instagram.

10 reasons why women over 40 should adopt a Mediterranean diet

I’m always sure to have a bottle of extra virgin olive oil in my cupboard. I’m such a generous drizzler. I have an unnatural obsession with olives and I pretty much eat them every day. The Mediterranean diet always fascinated me so when I was given the chance to speak to Dr Simon Poole and share our passion for this incredible way of life, I jumped at it.

Dr Simon Poole MBBS DRCOG is a Cambridge-based medical doctor, author, broadcaster, commentator and is an internationally renowned authority on the science and application of the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. So I’d say he’s pretty much the best human to give us his top 10 reasons why us old broads should look at adopting this way of eating.

1. Managing the Menopause

Mediterranean diet

As a practicing doctor, I see many women in their late forties and early fifties with very troublesome perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms. Hot flushes and night sweats, so-called vasomotor symptoms, can be especially intrusive. It has been known for some time that diet can be effective in significantly lessening some of these symptoms which can have a dramatic benefit to quality of life during the hormonal changes of the menopause.

Whilst individual foods or supplements have been promoted for these effects, the most convincing evidence is that the Mediterranean diet is the best nutritional prescription for the challenges of the menopause. One particular prospective study of 6000 women in Australia showed that those consuming a Mediterranean diet of vegetables, pasta, fruit and red wine were twenty percent less likely to have significant vasomotor symptoms, whilst those with a high sugar, “western” style diet were 23% more likely to be affected.

2. Preventing Heart Disease and Stroke

As we reach our forties and beyond, it is even more important to embrace a lifestyle which is enjoyable as well as healthy. Maintaining good physical health can be a challenge, but it is possible to significantly reduce the odds of heart disease and stroke by making some relatively simple changes to our diet.

The prestigious annual US News Report expert scientific committee convened to assess the merits of different diets has, for the fifth year running, awarded that accolade to the Mediterranean diet. This is because of the body of evidence which supports its ability to protect us from the commonest of medical conditions. For example, the Predimed Study – a large randomised controlled trial based in Spain showed that participants on the Mediterranean diet were thirty percent less likely to develop heart disease, even showing by ultrasound that potentially dangerous cholesterol plaques in the carotid arteries of many people in the trial regressed, thereby reducing the risk of stroke.

A separate study conducted by the University Bordeaux showed an extraordinary seventy eight percent reduced relative risk of stroke in people regularly consuming extra virgin olive oil, perhaps the single most important ingredient in the diet. 

3. Achieving Weight Goals and Avoiding Diabetes

Mediterranean diet

There are numerous diets promoted for weight loss, many of them difficult to sustain for a long period of time, some restrictive and frankly unpleasant. Research has shown that calorie counting is less effective than choosing the right types of healthy fats and low GI carbohydrates and that is important that a diet results in consistent travel towards a healthy weight and is enjoyable and therefore more able to be sustained in the long term.

The Mediterranean diet performs as well as most other diets for weight loss and also reduces the risk of developing diabetes by as much as forty to sixty percent. This is based on a number of beneficial effects of the diet – from the wholegrain carbohydrates and low levels of processed foods with added sugars, to the effects of extra virgin olive oil directly increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing sugar spikes by slowing the absorption of carbohydrate meals. In the Mediterranean, bread and pasta is almost always combined with extra virgin oil, adding great flavour, increasing satiety and a feeling of fullness at the same time as ensuring a slow and low glycaemic rise. 

4. Reducing the Risk of Dementia

Our generation has seen a dramatic increase in dementia affecting the over sixties and a failure to find medications to reduce its devastating consequences. Yet in the traditional lands of the Mediterranean – the mountains of Greek islands and the harbours on Italian coastlines, there are very low rates of dementia. This is thought to be due to the diet and lifestyle and perhaps in particular because the colourful vegetables, herbs and spices and ubiquitous extra virgin olive oil are so rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, protecting our bodies, including our brains, from harm.

A study from Thessaloniki University in Greece showed that a tablespoon of high polyphenol extra virgin olive oil, instantly recognisable by its beautiful fruity, deliciously bitter and peppery flavours, reduced progression of disease in people with early dementia in comparison with those given low polyphenol, poor quality olive oil.

5. Protection from Breast cancer

Mediterranean diet

It is said that a woman’s lifetime risk of developing breast cancer in western societies is as much as one in seven. These are uncomfortable odds, yet we see much lower rates across the countries which follow the traditional Mediterranean Diet. The researchers who led the Predimed study found a reduced risk of breast cancer of sixty percent in those participants on the Mediterranean diet. This may also be due to the presence of foods rich in antioxidants as well as a reduction in consumption of processed foods, which we know increase the likelihood of developing cancers. 

6. Improving Wellbeing

It is good to talk about a diet which reduces the risk of diseases and which therefore increases the chances of healthy aging with a good quality of life, but there is an even more positive effect of the Mediterranean diet for people who adopt this pattern of eating at any age. Wellbeing is a concept which is difficult to define and even more elusive to measure scientifically.

Researchers at the university of Granada however, not only found lower levels of depression in university students scoring high adherence to a Mediterranean Diet, but their wellbeing, sense of energy, and social functioning parameters were also much higher. Maintaining good mental health is important for us all at any age, and especially key for children passing through vulnerable stages of adolescence and leaving home for university. 

7. The Joy of Food Preparation

Mediterranean diet

Women have traditionally been at the centre of home making and food preparation for the family, although we must be careful not to reinforce gender stereotypes. That said, preparing delicious Mediterranean meals from scratch is such fun and so rewarding that it might be difficult to keep other family members out of the kitchen. On a serious note, learning to cook Mediterranean style together with children at the weekend is a wonderful experience.

8. A Diet that is Value for Money

There is a perception that the Mediterranean diet is more expensive than a standard, more processed western diet. The reality is a bit more complicated than that. Although supermarkets often offer price reductions on processed foods, fresh seasonal vegetables and wholegrains can be inexpensive and a very affordable alternative.

A good quality extra virgin olive oil is not an industrial product and its production costs cannot be compared with cheap refined oils. But the health benefits are clear to see. Often buying in larger quantities can reduce the price per litre and make regular consumption of fresh extra virgin olive oil much easier to afford. Preparing food from scratch is cheaper than buying ready meals and much better for us. To some degree, it is perhaps also about valuing good food and considering it as a higher priority call on our income in comparison with other expenses . 

9. Increasing a Sense of Community

In the Mediterranean time is spent “breaking bread” together with family and friends. Being part of a community where time is spent in company (a word which incidentally derives from the od Italian “con pane” – with bread) and enjoying food together has been shown to improve health and longevity in itself. A focus on the Mediterranean diet is also a focus on communal enjoyment of the sharing of food. 

10. Sustainability

A pressing reason for our generation to eat healthily is not only to increase our chances of a long and healthy life, but to also play our part in reversing climate change for the sake of our children and future generations.

The Mediterranean diet is lower in red meat and industrial processed foods. It is a plant-based diet based on local seasonal fresh, natural foods and extra virgin olive oil at its heart can be well produced such that the olive tree is not only capable of flourishing in arid, almost desert environments with minimal water use, but sinks 10kg of carbon for every litre of extra virgin olive oil produced. 

You can learn more about the Mediterranean diet by reading Simon’s latest book, The Real Mediterranean Diet. This book demystifies why a Mediterranean diet and lifestyle can improve the health of everyone, young and old. Explaining its origins in Ancient Greece to the modern day, this book is packed with recipes, photography and the science that joins up all the dots.

Keep the conversation going by commenting below or joining in with our Instagram community.

Thinking of leaving the corporate world? Top 5 tips for making the leap

Our 40s seem like the optimum time to take stock and really think about how happy we really are in all aspects of our lives. Career wise we might be stuck in a rut. Imagine you have a power house job in the corporate world but decide to find your own focus and create a business around yourself? This is exactly what Claire Antill did. She advocates that we are all ‘more than what we do for a living’. Here, she shares her experience leaving the corporate world.

‘At 40 I left a ‘stable’ corporate job in a company I’d worked in for over a decade. I stepped away from security to set up my own creative business venture during a global pandemic, because there is never the perfect time, right?!

Why did I do this? I’m someone who has always measured their value through what I do for a living and what others think of me. Since school, I’ve always been a study, and a grafter.  If I want to do something, I learn everything there is to know about it and then strive to make it work. 

However, despite working in high profile roles, companies and institutions, I felt that there was an invisible barrier stopping me achieving my potential, whatever that was. I felt like I was always waiting to be found out. 

Then the identity change of motherhood hit (I’m a mum of three very close in age). Suddenly, I could no longer be all things and work all the hours. If you’ve experienced it you’ll know, it’s like walking a tightrope, with people just waiting for you to fall. 

Leaving the corporate world

You spend your whole time apologising for not doing or being enough. Stepping through the minefield of daily office politics erodes your confidence and self worth. You can also feel like an easy target.

I had never thought of myself as creative, these are skills that are not encouraged. Working in male-dominated industries (politics & energy) in the corporate world, I tried to mould myself on those around me and downplayed my ‘soft skills’ of being a mentor, communicator and builder of successful teams. 

The breaking point came for me when my twins started school, which is a whole new milestone to contend with. School hours and work hours simply don’t match up. You then try to condense more into less time and have to make sacrifices right, left and centre. 

No more. I decided to take my experience and my skills to go it alone and create something new. 

I had retrained in social media marketing and then advertising while on my second maternity leave. So I created a business helping e-commerce businesses to grow and thrive, built around a life they want. It’s about building meaningful connections and creating stories to resonate with people. 

Leaving the corporate world

I love what I do.  It’s very rewarding to tap into creativity and work with others to achieve their goals while shaping the life that I want for my family.  i

I’m most proud of the fact that I have re-defined my self-worth on who I am as a whole person and not just through my work. 

To inspire others to take action I have written a chapter for a best -selling book called Step Aside and Rise where 21 women share their stories of how they have got out of their own way and overcome challenges to succeed.’ 

We talked to Jo Swann, a hugely successful director at Chocolate PR and asked her for her top five tips for taking the plunge.

1. Remember why you left in the first place

We move on because we are moving away from something that didn’t make us happy, fulfill us or align with us. Remember your move will give you the chance to be who you REALLY are and take the control back.

2. Be brave

Leaving the corporate world

It’s not easy ‘starting from scratch’ – leaving a highly successful corporate career – but remember you are NOT starting from scratch. The career you have built up – whether you loved or hated it – is still ‘collateral’ – it is still proof of your knowledge, experience, and provides credibility. Don’t sweep this under the carpet as many do, make it work for you by highlight elements that showcase your level of expertise.

3. Be prepared to be you

When you have a blank slate this is an exciting place to be as it means you can really show up as you – but yet many of us don’t when we become business owners initially! This is because we feel we have to fit into a certain box, or feel we still need be ‘corporate us’ to be seen as professional. This can waste years of not really attracting your ideal clients so please dive head first in and let people see the real you!

4. Try not to compare yourself to others in your space

This is HARD – but it’s not helpful. If you follow people who are further along their journey than you, you are not comparing like for like and so not being fair to yourself if you then see them reaching goals you haven’t yet. Also watching others too closely takes your eye off your own path and you’ll become confused, distracted and misaligned which makes for marketing that wanders off track.

5. Get yourself some recognition early doors

Be it media exposure, a startup award, endorsement from an industry body. Our minds are not always kind to us and you may well suffer bouts of imposter syndrome feeling that you are not good enough and have made a terrible mistake leaving your ‘safe’ job! Third party recognition helps you build up your self belief as when others trust you it’s easier to trust yourself, and it builds up trust with your audience too.

Are you thinking of making the leap? Let us know about it by commenting below or follow us on Instagram.

Interesting facts about the Canary Islands

facts about the Canary Islands

I guess that you have heard the name of the Canary Islands before. It is easy to understand that they are a complex of islands. And also you might know that it is a popular travel destination. But what other interesting facts about the Canary Islands do you know? Having just returned from Fuertaventura – one of the most popular Canary Islands I wanted to share some facts for you today.

Let’s state some basic facts about the Canary Islands before we move on to more fun information. The Canary Islands is a Spanish archipelago, and it is located close to the northwest part of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean. This archipelago consists of eight islands, the largest of which is Tenerife. They all are famous for their beautiful beaches and their stunning natural landscapes. You can roam around the islands easily by hiring a car from Enjoy Travel. Sitting back in a comfortable car and enjoying the view is the best way to get from one amazing place to another.

Since we have covered the basics, let’s learn some fun facts about the Canary Islands – one of the most popular holiday destinations for UK tourists.

How were the Canary Islands formed?

All eight islands of the archipelago were formed by volcanic eruptions that occurred about 70 million years ago. Their location hints that they used to be part of Africa. There are still active volcanoes in the islands, and the last eruption was recorded in 2021.

It is worth mentioning that the volcanic mountain El Teide is the third tallest volcano in the world, and the highest mountain in Spain.

facts about the Canary Islands

Giant Lizards

The gallotia goliath, a giant lizard, used to live in the Canary Islands. There are bone remains which prove that this type of lizard existed, since it is now extinct. It is believed that they could grow about 1 metre long.

The Canary Islands and the canary

Most people think of a canary, the small yellow or orange songbirds, when they hear about the Canary Islands. This leads them to believe that the islands got their name after those birds. However, this is not true. The reality is that the opposite happened; this adorable bird species was named after the Spanish archipelago.

How did the islands get their name?

Once the first European settlers got ashore in the Canary Islands, they were met with what seemed like big dogs, and this is why they named the islands ‘Islas Canarias’. Canarias is the latin word for dogs. It should be noted, however, that there is some speculation that what those Europeans had seen was not really dogs, but seals.

facts about the Canary Islands

A whistling language

Silbo Gomero is a language that, instead of sounds that correspond to words, use whistle sounds to communicate any message. What is great about this type of language is that whistling can travel further than shouting, meaning that people that are very far away are still able to hear and communicate with each other. This language is used in La Gomera, the second smallest island in the archipelago.

We hope you enjoyed these interesting facts about the Canary Islands and that it gives some food for though for your next family holiday there!