Tag Archives: food

Heaven Sent

So, in between all my rants, I do like to give a heads up for great companies. We are all about supporting small business in this household! If I can get something locally, or made by an independent business I will do my best!

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Why buy independant? Have I covered this before? Because frankly, you are helping someone’s dream come alive. Without entrepreneurs we wouldn’t have many of the companies we know and love. While I agree that most companies won’t ever be the global behemoths that occasionally are created, it feels nicer to be able to help someone’s dream and vision. And often you get something completely unique. Are we all over the 3 for 2 offers on gifts yet? I know I am!

It is worth being a little opportunistic on social media, Twitter, with which I have a love/hate relationship, is one of the best. If you sign up to feeds that might be interesting to you, you might find a company, person, business being retweeted or referenced. It is a great marketing tool for business, big and small and often free. But that is for another blog! The reason I even mention it, is because a couple of months ago I saw a tweet about a small company and intrigued I had a little look at their website. Well… what can I say?

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Let me introduce you to Heavenly Marshmallows and if you Click Here you will be able to check out their website and all the delicious recipes. Now I will hold up my hands here and admit – I haven’t had the pleasure of trying them. YET. It is on the list.

And I suppose that doing a review of a product that I haven’t actually had a chance to try (yet) but I have to be honest, every single person I have ordered these for have been beyond positive in their reviews. The first order was delivered to my home and I was blown away with the packaging and attention to detail. I have ordered a handful more for people and am so pleased with the level of customer care that I receive each time. This includes offering small touches that makes these stand out.

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I remember getting a message after my second order as the lady behind HM realised that it was being sent to another address and asked if I would like a note included. Simple little things like this. This is a small company that truly offers those small touches that make small companies stand out in a way that larger companies often can’t compete with. But let’s get back to the subject in hand. Marshmallows. Not any marshmallows either, these are marshmallows in such a gorgeous selection of flavours. And I will repeat again, if you missed it. MARSHMALLOWS! Little clouds of heavenly flavours. Again, I am sorry I have no first hand knowledge but have reliable information informing me that they are indeed heaven sent. 

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I really cannot recommend this company more, the price point is fantastic, the variety of flavours will suit every taste. The customer service is incomparable. And the variety of sweet treats available? There are not only marshmallows, although, why would you be looking any further? If you have an event, corporate, personal, need party favours? I would certainly give this company a look out. And the great news is that they also attend local market days, so it is worth checking facebook or twitter to see where they will pop up next and you might even snag yourself a freebie to try before you buy (one of each flavour). 

As well as the website linked in the body of the text, you can find Heavenly Marshmallows here: 

Twitter

Facebook

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Fit for danger

So last night a friend shared a diet that was followed by an actress in preparation for a film role. Having followed various links on same subject it is easy to see how quickly the initial article has been disseminated in to the wider world, with the message becoming blurred.

The reason my friend shared it was her concern over young girls coming accross this article, and more like it and influencing them. Girls look toward images presented to them in the various mediums, whether it is via social media, TV, film, magazines for idea of what they should look like. As girls grow up, they look around, outside their own immediate family, and peer group to understand what is normal, social norms, what is considered attractive.

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When you are told a diet that works is 80% just fruit and veg with the images next to it of the actress having lost 12 lbs … it sounds like the perfect solution. It seems deceptively simple and easy to stick to. So of course, this will be a great idea to shift those imaged layers of fat. But it is a diet. Diets are short term. Many athletes use diets when training. You only have to follow someone like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson on social media to understand the importance diet has when training. Actually please follow him, he genuinely is an inspiration.

We see it all the time as well on shows like Strictly Come Dancing, where the contestants lose weight, but what is actually happening is that they are toning up. Because they are dancing around 8 hours a day 5 or 6 days a week including the performances. This isn’t something most people will be able to replicate. It is an unrealistic look for people to attain.

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We need to change what we present to people, instead of advertising a quick fix, maple syrup diets, 80% diets that work in short terms, CRASH diets by any other name as a normal, and healthy way to get the body you want. Instead of focusing on the shape and size of the body, the focus should be on healthy living, doing things that make you happy and finding passion in your life, about spending time outside, finding a sport that you enjoy and doing it with friends, about healthy choices with food. It shouldn’t be about the size of your waist, thigh gaps, how prominent your hips or rib cage is.

The focus should be on healthy attitudes and eating, on being healthy, active and moderation. Of course there will always be sensational articles and sales pitches to do something quickly, to cheat, articles will be misquoted and torn up to suit an agenda. But if we can change the conversation so that teenagers see messages that are predominantly positive, so they are going to be able to make more educated choices about their life, so they are able to make more informed choices. So your body is not the most important thing in all transactions.

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Frankly Organic

So … organic food. It is something I was taught about when I was in primary school. I assumed that everyone was. And for some reason it stuck. I try to buy organic as and when I can. Luckily it has become more main stream as time goes on, and you can buy more products which are organic. 

However, there seems to be a misconception as to what Organic means, and people have high expectations. I have heard time and again complaints about the taste, that it doesn’t taste magic ( i am paraphrasing a little) and so there isn’t a strong enough compulsion to change from the usual fare. 

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Super food selection for health diet in porcelain bowls over distressed wooden background.

There is a lot of conversation about sustainability, animal wellfare, free from diets, much more encouragement on clean living, healthy eating, trying to avoid processed sugars. There are many reasons that people review their eating habits, it can be to become more healthy, because of illness, allergies, because you are aware of the environment.

Now, I have been nominally vegetarian since i was a teenager. I just don’t like the taste of most meat, it doesn’t appeal to me. So while I do, very occasionally eat meat, it is so little and often, it is easier to stick with being vegetarian. But I have also developed a animal milk allergy. Not to be confused with a lactose intolerance. I managed to get this far in life before succumbing. So it means I can’t eat cheese. It also makes it awkward as 90% of the time, if you say vegetarian, you get offered a cheese dish. 

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But I am going off track, just wanted to give a little background on myself – i have an appalling diet, I drink most of calories so if ever there was a candidate for cutting down on processed sugar, you are looking at her. However, the fact remains, many of us are developing bad habits with regard to good, and our taste buds are dulled. I love carrots, raw. I can eat them by the basket. Our shops sell the same food year around, fruit and veg is no longer seasonal. But this has the knock on effect of food becoming, to me tasteless. I much prefer a carrot from my garden. It tastes of something other than water. 

But what else is the knock on effect of such intensive farming? Well the way it was taught to me, all those years ago, is through the cycle of life, and pesticides. You see, to make sure the farmers get the best crop yield, they started using pesticides to discourage pests eating or damaging their crops. Now the consequence is two fold – one is that the bug eats a pesticide covered plant. It in turn is eaten by a bird. Bird is poisoned and dies. Dead bird is eaten by a larger predator, and so on up the food chain. The more begs eaten, the more birds dying…. but then also look at what happens to the chemicals, where do they go? Well into our water. It runs off when it rains, it turns up in our rivers, and again both we and other animals come into contact with the poisoned water. It isn’t so much that the water is caustic at first touch, it is the cumulative effect. Yes, this is simplified, but that is what stuck. It is about more than just the taste of the product.

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What does organic farming actually mean? Organic farming is different, when it comes to animal’s they are free range, and reared without the routine use of antibiotics, drugs and wormer. Organic farms use far less pesticides, and activity create havens for bees, birds and butterflies. Organic farms work closely with the environment and natural resources to protect healthy soil and clean water, as well as working hard to reduce green house gas emissions. If that isn’t enough, organic food allows you to know exactly what is in the food you are putting in your mouth.

So, please follow any diet you need or require, be it meat free, dairy free, gluten free, if you are cutting out sugar, carbs, adding in more fruit and veg – consider putting more organic into your basket. It isn’t about the taste, it is about so much more!

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If you want to read more – Click Here for the Soil Association website which has much more information and helpful links. Please note that although I have concentrated on food, because that it where I hear more complaints, there is plenty of other organic produce. It is worth keeping an eye out when shopping 🙂

Body Shaming

So body shaming, fat shaming, skinny shaming, slut shaming… it is all the same thing. It is taking a physical attribute and passing comment about it. Looking back at previous blog posts that somehow never quite made it to published.. it is just something that keeps giving. Below is a screen shot from my FB page – it was something I posted a year ago.

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Body shaming has been around in one form or another for as long as we can recall. Longer maybe. The ability for one woman to make another feel bad is limitless. As is a man to make a woman question her worth. And let us not forget, sex only sells when the object remains an object.

So is it just about sex? I really do hate to be crude, but on some level almost everything we do is to do with sex, or our need to appear desirable to others. So shaming another person by commenting on their size, is one way of deflecting negativity onto them.

But why, why is this worse that commenting on a poor wardrobe choice? (and I am the queen of poor wardrobe choices) Well, if my friend says to me, ‘Gill, I love your bold use of colour today, but maybe try sticking to a maximum of 3 in any one outfit’. That is fine, it is something easily taken on board, and you can adjust your future wardrobe choices with this constructive criticism in mind. But to comment on someone’s wardrobe choice, by calling them, slutty, asking for it, barely there, whorish (and I won’t go on but you get the idea) isn’t constructive. Sure, you are passing your opinion but really how is that helpful. Does it really matter if it isn’t to your taste, and why do you think they should care. There is a big different between offering some constructive feedback (although not always warranted or welcomed tbh) and just blurting out the first thing that comes to mind.

For me, worse than commenting on how someone is choosing to present themselves to the world – commenting on body type. We have all seen the bikini ‘meme’ – ‘how to achieve a bikini body, get a bikini, put it on’. And it really is that simple. The size of the body wearing the bikini is beside the point and actually none of your business. What makes it worse, for me, is that it is a lot harder to change something. Telling people to one the one hand ‘eat a beefburger’ is as helpful and hurtful as telling them to ‘stop eating all the burgers’. While to some it may be a logical, and simple sum – more/less food in will result in a more desirable body shape.

But it isn’t easy, whatever way you are approaching the situation, you are naturally slender, and find it difficult to put on weight. How do you think it feels to be constantly told you need to eat more fried food?! And if you are already at a larger body weight (I won’t use BMI because I am not a fan) then simply not eating doesn’t work. These things are not quick fixes, they are not something the person hasn’t considered every time they dress, when they catch themselves in the mirror, when they see you looking at them.

Everyone is going through things that a not visible, and frankly none of your business. They don’t want or need your judgement. I am not saying you cannot think these things, you are welcome to. I am not for a moment suggesting you repress your natural inclination or reaction to a person or situation. But just take a moment to think before saying something to them, either online or to their face. If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.

Side note : I want to touch on a subject getting a lot of press at the moment, and that is ‘plusisequal’ and various other plus size promoting that is going on at the moment. The fact is a lot of events still use models who are size 12/16 at the very most. Which is a massive slap in the face to ladies who are larger and would like to see how these fashions will realistically fall on their bodies. There is still the issue of needing to look desireable at a larger size, so if you are not rocking the hourglass look, you are just not the right , size, plus size. At the end of the day, every person should be able to wear what they want, and feel good about themselves. It is not a competition to see who can wear it better. If you want to make a change, do it for you. It is the only way that change will be long term. Remember that you are the one living in that body. No one else.