Learning More About Sustainable Food

Here in the UK we all love to eat, in fact over the year we consume tons of food that probably most of us don’t really think to much about.

We all want something that tastes good, is easy to get our hands on and quick to prepare but the back story behind how our favourite foods get to us is a pretty complex one and also something that we all need to give a little more thought and consideration.

Sustainable food is something that starts at the very beginning and over the past few years a lot of work has gone into getting the farmers, fishermen etc to change their way of working to make the detrimental impact on the environment far less.

The ethos behind sustainable food is taking into account the environment, health, social and environmental concerns.

Farmers are moving on from using conventional fertilisers and swapping over to an organic way of farming. This is one way in which this can help the environment, the animals and the workers.

There is still a lot of work to do in this area but with time and knowledge I am hopeful we will continue to see changes.

Back to use now as there are plenty of thing we can do to help in the home by following these guidelines and I have listed below:

Shop Local And Seasonally – Our high streets are sadly becoming a thing of the past with large supermarkets and internet shopping bringing us such competitive prices the pull is pretty great but taking things back to basics is what we need to do.

I also find that shopping locally and getting more hands on with your approach food is great for the children and gives them a far greater knowledge of where food comes from.

We managed to get some delicious apples from our local green grocer the other day and created some delicious deconstructed toffee apples that we all loved!

Shopping locally from the butchers and green grocers allows us to support small business and buy local and seasonal products that have a huge impact on the way we eat.

Buy Organic – Buying organic can put people off as the price tag is generally a lot heftier then ordinary produce. The benefits of the quality of the food and the impact on the environment are certainly worth those extra pennies though.

Promote Heath And Wellbeing – We are fast becoming a glutinous nation and steps need to be put into place now to educate ourselves and our children on healthy eating, balance and food waste.

Choose Fair Trade – Wherever possible try to keep an eye out for the fair trade symbol on packages. They go to great efforts to insure their producers get a good deal and put so much back into social and economic opportunities for people.

Cutting Back On Animal Origin Foods – My sister turned vegan a fair while ago now and a lot of her decisions were based on the impact on the environment eating meat and it’s byproducts have.

I don’t think this could ever be a move for me but I am certainly putting in place wats to cut down on meat a few timed a week and switch over to milk alternatives such as soya and oat milk.

We are also big fish fans in our house but we are opting to cut back on spies such as cod that are facing danger of being wiped out due to over fishing.

I hope this has given you all a little food for though…excuse the pun! I would love to know if sustainable food is something you already do something about and if you have anymore tips I could try out.

*collaborated post

Glaucoma:Everything You Need To Know

*Guest Post

Glaucoma is the number one cause of permanent blindness in the world, with 600,000 of those affected living in the UK. It’s expected to affect up to 76 million people worldwide by 2020, with only half of people in the UK being diagnosed before irreversible damage is caused.

Symptoms can often go unnoticed, which is why raising awareness of the condition and the importance of early diagnosis is key to preventing permanent blindness.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the collective term for a group of related eye diseases categorised by damage to the optic nerve (which connects the eye to the brain). The most common type of glaucoma being chronic open-angle glaucoma, which gradually gets worse over time. It usually occurs due to the build-up of pressure inside your eye.

All eyes should produce and drain a fluid called aqueous humour, but glaucoma sets in when not enough of this is drained away – or too much is produced – causing an increase in pressure. Most cases of glaucoma are symptom-free, making it difficult to be detected until later on in life, but without treatment, it can cause permanent blindness within just a few years of diagnosis.

It’s undetermined as to precisely what causes glaucoma, although there are certain things that can put you at a greater risk of developing the condition. Factors such as age, ethnicity, family history and other medical conditions such as diabetes can all contribute.

What symptoms should you be looking out for?

Glaucoma progresses slowly over time, not affecting your sight immediately, meaning that you may think you don’t need an eye test. However, it’s important to attend regular eye tests to ensure any changes or certain conditions can be spotted as early as possible and treated straight away, to avoid any permanent long-term damage.

There are no symptoms in the early stages of glaucoma, but by the time symptoms appear there has already been a certain degree of damage. The first symptom you are likely to notice is a loss of peripheral vision. This is likely to have an effect on both eyes, although one may be worse than the other. Blank spots may appear in your field of view and even at this stage, the damage to your eye could already be advanced. If you notice this happening to you, visit your optometrist or GP immediately. A less common form of glaucoma can have symptoms including:

– Sudden or intense eye pain

– Redness of the eye

– Headaches

– Tenderness around the eyes

– Seeing rings around lights

– Blurred vision

Again, if you experience any of the above symptoms make sure you book an appointment urgently, advising your GP or optometrist of the symptoms you’re having.

Can glaucoma be treated?

Glaucoma can be identified easily during an eye test – which is why routine eye examinations are vital.

At Leightons Opticians & Hearing Care, you can have an Ultimate Eye Exam, which is like an MOT for your eyes. It involves a number of checks, including checking the pressure inside your eyes, testing peripheral vision and an OCT scan (Optical Coherence Tomography scan). An OCT scan is like an ultrasound for your eyes, taking images of the tissue behind the eye and the many layers of the retina – producing 3D high-definition scans.

Once diagnosed, the treatment you have is dependent on the type of glaucoma you have. Treatments can consist of: eye drops, laser treatment or surgery. Regular eye tests are important after diagnosis so that your optometrists can continue to monitor the condition and check the treatment is working successfully or not.

Remember – early detection is key to early diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.

Talking To Teens About Vaping

Parenting is hard work at every single stage. You start with the sleepless nights and endless feeds, move onto the temper tantrums of the toddlers years, hit those awkward in-betweens years until you finally get to the dreaded teens!

For me I think the transition of no longer being the person they always turn to for advice and the person they confide it the hardest part of them growing up. There as so many other people in their lives now that they hold of great importance that Mum is often pushed down the pecking order and certainly for me my opinion on pretty much everything isn’t really valid.

When it comes to subjects such as what they are wearing or eating for their lunch then it not really to much of a problem but when it comes to more worrying subjects such as drug taking and smoking then this is something I find important they can feel comfortable approaching me to talk about and not just take for gospel the facts they come across on the internet or chat about with friends.

Both of these things can have a huge impact on their lives and being an inquisitive teen very tempting to try for themselves. For me as long as they are armed with all the information possible about how these decisions can affect every aspect of their life and I have given them the physical and emotional side to it then I am happy that they can go onto making an informed decision about what path they take when these temptations come their way.

However something that is pretty new to the UK and something I have very little knowledge about is vaping. It has taken off in a huge way and has been labelled the ‘safer’ alternative to smoking but there are mixed views on how safe it actually is.

Vaping – inhaling and exhaling vapour through an aerosol type device is being dubbed the ‘safer’ alternative to smoking. With this label and the fact the vapours come in appealing flavours such as strawberry, mango and even salted caramel the pull to teens is very strong.

I know that I have had several heated debates with my teen regarding their safety and being such a new product there is certainly a lot of conflicting advice out there, but below are a couple of the things I feel it is important to talk through with your teens about:

Unknown Chemicals – Different brands use different chemicals in their vape pens that could potentially cause harm to growing lungs and mouth.

Can Lead To Smoking down The Line – In several studies it has been proven that people who start by vaping then move onto smoking itself. Although they may think they are harmlessly experimenting with a safe alternative they could infect be putting themselves on a slippery slope.

Don’t Follow The Crowd – As I said before vaping has been dubbed the new and cool thing to do and is becoming increasingly popular. Peer pressure will be extremelly strong when there is temptation like this all around and I hope that my teens can make informed decisions on wether they really want to follow the crowd or not.

My biggest tip though is the same for any tricky and worrying subject…just keep those lines of communication open. Allow them to be inquisitive, be as honest and you can and hope that by this they will choose the right path.

*collaborated post

David Lloyd Clubs:The Start Of Our Family Fitness Journey

All the start of the year I wrote a post on the reasons that I wouldn’t be making any resolutions this year and was going to aim for longer term goals so there was no pressure to getting a huge long list of unobtainable goals completed by the end of the year.

Plenty of changes have sprung to mind with being more organised and procrastinating less…I can safely say this one is very much still a work in progress. One of my lifestyle changes however was to rekindle my love for fitness along with the rest of the family.

Going back three years…pre blog! I was an absolute gym bunny and nothing would get in the way of my daily training. This was all well and good but at times the Mum guilt would set in and I would feel bad for prioritising this time just for myself. This alongside trying to work hard to build my blog meant that sadly my exercise was the thing that I let go.

So with a pretty substantial weight gain and the pressure of spending quality time with the family I wanted a facility that could entertain, motivate and bring pleasure to us all through exercise and I knew this was going to be no mean feat.

The majority of gyms are solely for over eighteens and if the do have crèche facilities the hours tend to be limited and due to this very hard to book into. Then comes the teens and preteens who are often not allowed to use the gym equipment or join in with classes because of their age so get left out completely.

Thankfully David Lloyd Clubs have come to my rescue and asked me to try out their very family mined facilities for the next few months to see if it is possible to enjoy fitness as a family.

David Lloyd – Purley has recently undergone a huge makeover and no stone has been left unturned when planning this club which in one of the largest in the area.

There is something for everyone from a game of tennis on the numerous indoor and outdoor courts, the chance to take a dip in one of there two pools or just relax in the hot tub or sauna. There are workouts galore from a huge variety of group fitness classes to doing your own thing in the state of the art gym area.

If relaxation is what you are after then they have a fabulous cafe bar offering a huge variety of hot and cold meals, giving you the opportunity to grab a quick coffee or sit down with the family to have a tasty meal.

Your meals can even been served in the dedicated children’s area that has its own soft play area.

But for me the real attraction is their DL Kids facilities that allow the children to be cared for in the creche, older children have a huge variety of activies to take part in allowing them to have fun and meet new friends.

There are even specific classes put on for the family to take part in together such as family circuits and family spin they we can’t wait to try.

I really have only scratched the surface of what they have to offer here so please keep an eye on my Instastories to see what we are getting up to and I will be back on here very soon to let you know how we are getting on with this new and exciting journey.

*We were given a family menership for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions.

Lloyds Pharmacy-More Than Just A Chemist

Last week I was asked along to the Saatchi Gallery along the Kings Road by Lloyds Pharmacy to have a chat over breakfast about what they have to offer.

I went along with the preconceived idea that Lloyds was small chain of pharmacies offering a place to pick up prescriptions and grab a few basic toiletries that you may need.

As the morning went on and in between me stuffing my face with yummy pasteries! this image was firmly squashed as I will informed of the huge range of services they offer aside from you day to day needs that every chemist offers.

Flu jabs and cholesterol testing, own brand beauty products at a fraction of the price of well known makes, individual skin analysis that allows you to get the best beauty regime to suit your own skin type.

I really have just scratched the service here but I wanted to tell you more about the prescription delivery service as this really stuck in my mind and I’m sure would be an invaluable service for so many families.

Family life is becoming becoming increasing more hectic for all of us with work, school runs, after school clubs and everything else that fills our day, and it is a struggle for all of us and anything can free up valuable time they could be better spent with our family is always going to be a bonus.

This is where something like the Lloyds home delivery perscription service come in to save endless trips to the doctors to pick up prescriptions and then traveling and waiting for medicines at the chemist.

If like me yourself or your child has regular medication that is needed Lloyds can take the hassle of it all out of your hands by managing your orders online and having them delivered to your chosen address.

For me this would be a huge time saver and massively illiminates the chance of forgetting to order your medicine or standing for ages in long queues with bored children.

With over a third of us wishing we could have a couple of extra hours in the day and 43% of us feeling stressed and irritated about never ending to-do lists I’m sure this would go well towards reducing one of life’s day to day anxieties and make for an easier time.