Every month, Anne Winslow of Quest Therapies hosts two sessions dedicated to relaxation and visualisation. An hour of sitting back, closing your eyes and doing absolutely nothing but listening to her calming words – it is absolutely wonderful. …
On Monday morning, something very exciting was announced… Grimsby is getting it’s very own 10K race!
Every now and then, new health and beauty trends come to the forefront of the industry, and the latest seems to be aloe vera. Aloe vera is said to have been used for thousands of years as medicine and for beauty thanks to its soothing anti-inflammatory qualities, and now this ingredient can be found on the shelves of high street health food and supplement retailers.
I first came across aloe vera gel and juice drinks in late 2014 after being introduced to various aloe products – creams, drinks and even cosmetics – and became incredibly intrigued by the benefits listed, which included improved skin quality, a healthier digestive system, increase in vitamin intake, hair growth and more. I had a little trial and then returned home to do some more research.
If you do a quick internet search for aloe vera, there are many websites shouting the benefits, including this one from MarieClaire.co.uk (Aloe Vera Juice Benefits: They Seem To Be Endless…), but there are also those sharing the risks of some manufactured aloe products, such as this article from Shape.com (Ask the Diet Doctor: The Truth About Aloe Vera Juice). After a lot of consideration, I decided to give an aloe vera juice drink a try, but stuck to a brand that is sold in well-known retailer Holland & Barrett; Aloe Pura Bio-Active Aloe Vera Juice (cranberry flavour).
By no means am I an expert in any part of this field, and this is not an accurately measured test. This is simply how I have found taking aloe vera juice for the past four months.
It seems that not many people enjoy the taste of aloe vera, but in my opinion, it really is not that bad! Of course this will vary from brand to brand – my particular choice in product does have an added cranberry flavour – but the taste could be a lot worse. Plus, it can be mixed into other juices, smoothies or water if wanted, although I take 20ml of the juice straight twice a day.
This was my main reasoning for trying aloe vera juice. I have eczema and used prescribed steroid cream every day, which I knew wasn’t the answer to my problems; what I really wanted was to improve my skin from within.
I’d say that after around one month of using aloe vera juice, the quality of my skin had improved; I was generally less itchy and reduced the amount of steroid cream I was using from roughly once a day to once every two to three days. Now, four months later, I do not feel a need to use my steroid cream – at all! I do still have irritated patches once every now and again but on the whole my skin looks and feels…wait for it… normal. I am able to use high street brand face and body moisturisers with out using medicated creams first, which is what I used to do everyday.
It may be worth noting that I first started drinking aloe vera in January when my skin tends to be slightly more sensitive than usual thanks to the cold weather and warmth of central heating, but on the whole, I do feel this juice has had a positive impact on my skin.
Digestion wasn’t particularly a worry for me, in fact it is something I had not thought too much about, but since taking this juice, I personally feel that my digestive system has improved. I won’t got into too much detail but, on the whole, I do not feel as bloated as I did before drinking the juice – and that is with keeping my usual diet.
Of course, every body reacts to products differently, and advice should be sought from an expert. And it goes without saying to always read the label of the product. As I mentioned before, this is a very brief account of how aloe vera juice has helped me, and I will certainly be keeping an eye on any more affects in the future.
What if you were told you could have a night in with the girls, drink cocktails, play games and indulge on nibbles whilst raising much needed funds for a very deserving charity? Well, you can! Macmillan Cancer Support, the charity dedicated to providing advice and support to cancer sufferers both during and after diagnosis and treatment, have a brilliant new fundraising campaign that gives you the ultimate excuse for a girls night in.
Throughout May, the charity is inviting women across the UK to get the girls around and host a Macmillan Night In – and they have some fantastic tools and inspiration to guide you along.
Firstly, you sign up on the Macmillan Night In website to create your Night In page for you and your friends, and from here you choose your date and send invitations – then the fun begins! Macmillan has some fab ideas to decorate and cater your night, from drinks, desserts and snacks to games and DIY decorations, and these can be pinned to your very own Night In Pinboard. This is certainly a must-do while you wait for your free Night In Kit to arrive in the post.
In the kit, you will get your information pack about hosting a Night In, a donation box, cocktail stirrers (complete with nicknames for the night) and Dare or Donate – lots of fun is to be had with this! And, of course, an all important reminder of what your money can achieve.
Sadly, somebody close to me was diagnosed with cancer last year and the treatment is still ongoing, which is why I have decided to host a Macmillan Night In with my friends – and I can not wait! A fun night with some of my favourite people whilst raising all-important money.
Visit the Macmillan website here, and sign up for a Macmillan Night In here.
Last year I discovered a love of yoga, and it is something I have been going to at least once a week ever since, which is why I was very excited to hear about a brand new studio opening up in Grimsby town centre.
The Yoga Studio, located within The Attic Spa at Grimsby’s Abbeygate, has been opened by Claire Roach, an instructor that I have heard nothing but excellent things about. Claire hosted a launch night last weekend to showcase the studio before it officially opened. We had drinks and little cupcakes at Abbys Upstairs before being taken over to the studio for a sneak peek.
The studio is freshly decorated in a subtle purple shade that is bright yet relaxing, and Claire has a whole shelf of yoga mats and the softest blankets for relaxation. There are several qualified instructors taking classes which includes beginner, intermediate and advanced yoga, ashtanga yoga, pre-natal yoga and pilates.
Classes at The Yoga Studio can be booked by calling The Attic Spa on 01472 722444, and more information will be available on the website, coming soon.
This coming Monday marks the start of Organic September, a whole month dedicated to organic produce, from food and drink, to beauty products and clothing.
Every year, the Soil Association organises a campaign that aims to raise awareness of the benefits of buying organic and the positive impact it has on sustainable food, animal welfare, the environment and the economy. Last year, the theme for the month was ‘Small Changes, Big Difference’, and it has been reported that sales of organic food increased by 9% during this time. It is because of this success that the Soil Association is again encouraging people to make one small change for the month of September.
Helen Browning, Soil Association Chief Executive said: “If everyone makes a small change, like switching to organic milk or choosing an organic moisturiser, we can make big strides towards a healthier world. By choosing organic, you help protect wildlife and make sure we have more bees and pollinators to support biodiversity, while choosing an organic beauty product or an organic t-shirt will not only give you peace of mind that what you’re putting on your skin is better for you but also that it’s caring for the people in developing countries, who are producing cotton and herbs.
“It might not seem like these simple changes could make that much difference – but together, everyone’s small changes can add up to a really big difference for a kinder, green and better food and farming system.”
In addition to making a change, whether it’s buying organic honey and wearing organic cotton clothing, events will be taking place across the country. You can vote for your favourite organic products in the 2014 Organic Awards, with categories ranging from food and drink and eating out, to skincare and clothing, or take part in Organic Beauty Week, starting 8th September, or Organic Fashion and Textiles Week, which takes place from 12th to 16th September.
Plus, the Soil Association are giving away a year’s supply of electricity from Good Energy, the supporters of Organic September 2014. All you have to do is tell the Soil Association what organic products you’ve bought this month. More information about this is available on their website.
Here in Lincolnshire, we have an abundance of organic farmers and farm shops selling organic produce, and many of the area’s spas and salons choose to use organic products too. If you’re interested in experience organic, or would like more information on living an organic lifestyle, this is the month to find out more and give it a try.