What you wanted to know about healthy eating, straight from a nutritionist!

I know so many of you are very interested in healthy eating, as am I. But with new information about the topic emerging on a daily basis, it can become a total mind-field to know what right and what's not.So that's why I wanted to write this post, because after all, what better idea than to talk to someone who deals with it for a living?

Sarah is a naturopathic nutritionist and raw food educator based in Brighton & Hove.  She divides her time between one-to-one nutrition sessions, teaching raw food classes & raw chocolate workshops and giving health talks to local groups.  She attained her diploma in Nutritional Therapy with the College of Naturopathic Medicine, is a member of her industry professional body (BANT) and is fully insured with Holistic Insurance Services.  She keeps her knowledge up to date by attending seminars on relevant areas of interest, and has been kind enough to answer some questions I think we have all been thinking about.

1) With so much info out there about what we should or should not be eating, lets take it back to basics. What are the most basic guidelines for good nutrition?
1)With so much information and conflicting views out there on diet and nutrition it can feel very daunting at times.  There are two basic guidelines I would give for basic nutrition.  One is to make sure you're eating foods from all the main food groups that is (slow release) carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats along with adequate fibre and antioxidants (from fruit and vegetables) plus the often forgotten essential nutrient ~ water.  Another approach would be to strive to eat a 'wholefoods' diet where everything is as close to how it grows or is found in nature as possible whilst at the same time eliminating processed foods as much as possible.  This sounds simple but is a highly effective tool to achieve vibrant health through great nutrition.

2)Can you describe what a typical day of healthy eating should look like for the average person?  
2)In my view a typical day of healthy eating should include 8-10 portions of fruit and vegetables along with slow-release carbohydrates, low fat proteins and healthy fats which should come from nuts, seeds, avocado's, olives and all their oils.  Animal products if eaten should form the minority of a person's diet not the majority as is often the case.  Oh, yes, and 2 litres of water!  There are many good reasons for this kind of approach to diet.  Having said all this, I also advocate listening to your own body and giving it what it needs (within reason!)

3)We are a nation obsessed with diets, and always want to lose a few pounds.....what should we be doing or not doing, if we want to lose weight?

3)We are obsessed with weight loss and diets, this is true.  The weight and subsequently the health of our nation we are in crisis and this is set to continue, if we continue with the same eating and lifestyle habits.  Our eating has gotten out of control and our activity levels are worse.  Food has become so accessible (think fast food, 24 hour shops etc), is very cheap and with so much processed food now available, often very poor quality. We've lost touch with our body's own messages and for the many people who are continually on diets and still overweight, surely this is proof that diets don't work.  My advice for tackling this is threefold:
1.Make long-term healthy dietary changes. 
2.Start and continue regular exercise for life.
3.Seek out therapy for deep-rooted emotional issues if necessary.  With diet, rather than thinking about what not to eat, sometimes just by focusing on all the 'good' things like water (2 litres a day), 8-10 portions of fruit and vegetables, low fat protein with every meal and every snack and moderate amounts of slow-release carbohydrates some of the habits that contribute to our weight gain will melt away as the body finds its own balance.  Exercise is my other 'must' for weight loss; half an hour 5-6 times a week to start with at an intensity suitable for your level of fitness.  Finally, if there is an emotional-related reason for having excess weight then this also needs to be addressed via therapies such as hypnotherapy, counselling etc.

4)What do you think are the most common healthy eating myth's that people should know about? 
4)I have three.  The first is that dairy products are essential for calcium (question 8 talks about this in more detail), this is simply not true.  The other is that 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day is enough.  Ten is really where we need to be aiming for now.  Lastly, that we can get all the water we need from our food and drinks like tea, coffee and juice.  Again, this isn't the case.

5)How important is it that we read food labels and what is it we should be looking out for?  

5)Food labels can tell us so much from how much protein, sugar and good/bad fats are in our food to pointers about the quality such as organic status and also information about ingredients. Here are a few pointers but there are others: 
*Generally I would say that if there are several ingredients that you've never heard of then they're probably artificial ingredients and you don't want to be putting these into your body.  
*The nearer an ingredient is to the top of a list the more of that ingredient is in that particular food.  This can also help you make decisions about whether to choose an item.  
*Get clued up on multiple names for ingredients. For example, sugar can be called so many different things including sugar, honey, glucose, dextrose, fructose, maltodextrin, malt, maltose etc.  
*Whilst a few e-numbers are safe most are questionable plus we have no idea what effect multiple e-numbers have in our bodies.  There are online resources where you can find out which ones are which but again if there's lots contained in a product then my advice would be to steer clear.  

6) How important is it do you think that we have a good relationship with food? this is something I personally struggle with as i'm sure many others do, do you have any advice on learning to love food rather than have an emotional connection to it?
6)  Having a good relationship with food is critical for long-term health and happiness.  There is so much guilt around food especially for people who are overweight or have eating disorders.  Food can be a big emotional trigger for many and most often people may not even understand that deep rooted connections.  Because we have to eat to stay alive, it's also not something we can ignore as it's constantly there.  This is one of the reasons I emphasise the importance of seeking some kind of help such as counselling, hypnotherapy etc where necessary to assist you in making sense of what can be a very complex and deep-rooted issue.

7)Should we be taking supplements or can we get what we need from a healthy diet?  
7)This is a hotly debated subject.  Supplements can definitely help address a known vitamin or mineral deficiency.  Certain groups of people may also benefit from taking supplements such as vegans, pregnant and breastfeeding ladies and individuals with certain health conditions where we know a certain nutrient can help.  In an ideal world we would get everything we need from our diets but unfortunately we're not living in an ideal world and our food generally has significantly less nutrients in it today than, for example, 50 years ago for a number of reasons.  Therefore I do think there is a case for supplements on a person-by-person basis.  I would also stress that the quality of supplements on the market can vary significantly and high-street supplements can be questionable.  Quality can be seen as not only how absorbable a product is but also the quality of the raw materials and also whether they contain any fillers etc.  The only way to be really sure is to consult a qualified professional

8)There are so many people out there who are totally anti milk and dairy, what's your take on that?  
8)Aside from the often inhumane treatment of cow's within the dairy industry (google to find out more about this), my view is that dairy products, certainly in the quantity we are consuming them in the West, are not great for most of us.  Around the age of two we stop making the enzyme we need to break down lactose, the milk sugar in milk that many people have a problem with.  I believe this is nature's way of telling us we don't need milk after this age. Traditionally we would have only had milk from our mother's and around two is we would have been weaned (cow's milk after all is designed to support baby calves not baby humans).  Dairy products are also known the be mucous-forming and acidic in the body and the belief that they are essential to provide us calcium and various other nutrients, I'm afraid is also a myth.  This is demonstrated when you consider the level of osteoporosis in Europe and the US even though we consume mammoth amounts of dairy.  Conversely in the East, in counties like Japan, they have very low levels of osteoporosis and consume hardly any dairy products and lots of fermented soy soy products.  I think small amounts of dairy can be a useful, even a healthy addition to a person's diet but only when consumed in a raw, unpasteurised state from a licensed dairy.  In their raw form they are most nutritious and our bodies can fully utilise the nutrients contained within them unlike widely available pasteurised dairy products.

9)What are your top tips for those of us who are vegetarian?  what should we make sure we include in our diet?  
9)People following a vegetarian diet just need to ensure they're including plenty of calcium-rich foods in their diets (green veg, soy products, nuts and seeds) as well as getting adequate levels of plant-based proteins (eggs, quinoa, beans & pulses, nuts & seeds and soy products) and Vitamin D (eggs, butter and sunshine).  Essential Fatty Acids are also very important including especially Omega 3 is also important if oily fish isn't eaten which can be obtained from walnuts, pumpkin seeds and flax.  I always recommend that vegans should look at supplementing Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D.

10)I'm a huge believer in what you eat effecting how you look, are there things we should be eating that could benefit our skin?  
10) I agree that what's going on on the outside (ie our skin) is a reflection of how things are on the inside.  There are a number of nutrients we can be get through our diets which are particularly good.  These are Vitamins A (orange fruit & veg), C (green veg & citrus fruits) & E (wheatgerm & avocado's), antioxidants (dark purple/blue fruits), Selenium (wholegrain cereal, brazils, garlic, seafood & eggs if eaten) and Zinc (pumpkin seeds, eggs and lean meat if eaten).  Also fibre (wholegrains, beans, nuts & seeds, fruit & veg) and Essential Fatty Acids (oily fish eaten, nuts & seeds and their oils).   2 litres of water a day and a clean diet.

So there you have it, the best advice out there. I hope you found this helpful and have learned something new from it, I know I have.

You can find our more about Sarah and also get access to a variety of recipes at www.pure-people.co.uk or follow her on facebooktwitter or pinterest

You can contact Sarah at sarah@pure-people.co.uk or 07976 936363.



Sun Goddess Sunless Tanning Lotion

So those of you who live in the UK know we rarely ever get any sunshine, so the chance of getting a natural tan is pretty slim. Enter the use of fake tan, I usually use it about once a week to fake a healthy glow because I feel it just makes me look better due to my warm skin tone.

Sun goddess describe this product as "The Best Sunless Tanning Lotion on Earth!  By using only the finest and most luxurious ingredients in the world, this incredible sunless tanning lotion will instantly give you the Most Natural Looking, Darkest, Longest Lasting and Best Sunless Tan you have ever experienced!  This wonderful blend of natural ingredients also moisturizes and protects your skin, helping you look eternally Beautiful"  pretty bold claims right? they also claim it tans instantly, has shimmer in it,is fast drying, lasts for up to 10 days and smells amazing.

I know we are all different but what I look for in a self tan is for it to smell nice upon application, and once it develops doesn't smell too strong, easy to apply, moisturizing,fast drying and long lasting. So did this tick all the boxes?

Application-  I started off by making sure my skin was perfectly ready for tanning. (I have a video on my channel about how to prep your skin for tan) they suggest you apply it with the gloves provided which I did, but I much prefer applying it with a tanning mitt, I find it gives the most natural finish. (Please note I didn't apply it on my face as I use another product for that) The product is tinted which is always good as you can see where you are applying it, and your less likely to miss spots. It has a runny, thin texture that spreads easily on your skin, but the shimmer in it is pretty pointless in my opinion as it's only shimmery upon application, once you shower it off it's gone. I always tan over night and would never apply tan and then go out, but I guess if you wanted to the shimmer would be nice, it's just pointless for me.

Scent- The scent is has upon application is a pretty strong, chemical scent, that's not the most pleasant but After it develops on skin the fake tan smell most tan usually have isn't too strong, which is good.

Drying time- Due to the texture of this I was sure it would dry pretty fast and they claim it should be dry within a few minutes, but it did take a while to dry, so I would suggest doing it when you have time to stand around and let it dry for a good 20 mins or so.

Lasting time- This is a very long lasting tan which is fab, I would say it lasted a good week on me but it was a little drying.

It's suggested you wait 3 hours before you shower, and once I did the color I was left with was very strong. It does give a dark tan but it has more of an orange undertone to it rather than an olive one. It was very even on most of my body, but it did go patchy on my hands (hands are always hard to tan) and on the upper part of my arms. A few key points to note about this product are it's cruelty free, didn't stain my sheets and didn't transfer on my clothes, so those are all pluses in my book. I think if you like a strong looking tan than this will be great for you, but the tone of this just was not the best on my skin, I need a more natural, olive based looking tan.

The sungoddess sunless tanning lotion is only available to order online from the US here  and I also have a 10% off code for you which is  thesparkleicious  so if you add that at the checkout it will save you some money which is good because  a 236ml bottle will cost you $38.95, which is around £25, plus sales tax and shipping,so it's not the cheapest option out there, but it's a product I can see many women really loving, it's just not the one for me.


*PR Sample


Win A Chic Custom Iphone Case From Caseapp!

I have a fun little giveaway for you sparkleicious readers today, giving you the chance to win a super cute iphone cover! I have only recently got an iphone, up till now I had a blackberry (which I hated) and am now a little obsessed with my phone.......sad but true.

Because I love my phone so much I love making it look cute too (i'm such a girl!) by changing up the cover of it and so on, and I want to give you the chance to win one too!

So what do you have to do to win a Custom iphone case case from caseapp ?

1) Make sure you are a follower of this blog.
2) Leave me a comment telling me  what your "can't live without" app is, and please be sure to leave you email address at the bottom of your comment so I can contact you if you win.
3) Go ahead and like the caseapp Facebook page here  http://www.facebook.com/caseapp.net 

That's it! how easy is that?

The giveaway rules:

-UK giveaway ONLY.
-Only 1 entry per person please.
- Ask permission from your parent/guardian if you are under 16.

 - The winner will be announced on facebook and twitter, and email, but if they do not reply within 1 week another winner will be picked.



Bad For Beauty- Smoking!

So I came up with the idea of a series of posts that will talk about things that are bad for our looks, and the biggest one to start with is of course smoking. As a none-smoker (never have been) I know I can't say too much about giving up and i'm sure 99.9% of you know it's BAD for you, but do you really know the effects it can have on your looks?

One of most obvious things to mention is the fact it can give you cancer, we all know that one right? but did you know that is also damages your smile? smoking stains your teeth, making them appear not as white and can also cause gum disease and even tooth loss in some cases, so that's a pretty serious one to think about if your smile is important for you.

So much has been said about smoking being bad for your skin, and if i'm honest that's one of the main reason I never took up smoking (vain I know)  because the look of my skin is so important to me, and I want to keep it looking young for as long as possible. Let's just get it out there and say SMOKING CAUSES YOUR SKIN TO AGE PREMATURELY! this happens because smoking robs your skin of it's natural collagen and elastin, causing it to lose it's plumpness which makes it look youthful and bright. Smoking also deoxygenates your blood so your skin gets less nutrients, causing your skin to look saggy. 

One of the main things you tend to notice about smokers skin (sorry guys, but it's it's true!) is the dark circles. Smoking reduces your circulation which makes your skin appear lifeless and grey, and your dark circles even darker, so no matter how much sleep you get, your under-eye area will look tired. 

I could go on and on about the bed effects it has on your skin and more importantly your health, but i'm sure most you know it all already, but sometimes it takes something as silly as your looks to help you kick the habit as it's easy to ignore the effects it's having on the inside, but no so easy when you look at your skin and see the effects of your bad habits.

What do you guys think? are you smokers? does it effect your looks?



JASON Glowing Apricot Hand & Body Lotion!

Hands up if you are as obsessed with moisturizing your body as I am? didn't think so. At the risk of sounding rather strange, I love the feeling of soft skin, and the feeling of your body  oil, lotion or butter (see? i'm not even picky) sinking in to your skin.....so relaxing and pampering!

Enter the product we are talking about today, the JASON Glowing Apricot Hand & Body Lotion. JASON describe this as a " botanically rich, non-greasy daily lotion naturally delivers deep, long-lasting hydration. Brightening Apricot Oil relieves skin dullness while nourishing Almond Oil instantly hydrates extremely dry skin. With use, skin is soft, smooth and glowing with health."  and I have to say, I have not been this impressed by a body lotion in a long time.

Some key things worth mentioning about this product:

  • It smells AMAZING! as the name would suggest, it has a lovely fresh apricot scent that will leave you sniffing your arms for hours afterwards. (No? just me? okay....)
  • If you suffer from dry skin, products containing almond oil are a fabulous solution as they help to really soften the skin and moisturize it deeply.
  •  At £6.99 per 250 gr it's pretty good value for money, considering the fact it's free from parabens and phthalates.
  • The texture is pretty thick yet smooth and gives a sheen to the skin (as often happens with body lotion containing almond oil) so the fact it's in a tube rather than a bottle makes it easy to dispense  
I must say I have not noticed it having a brightening effect on my skin, but it does do a good job at leaving it looking, smelling and feeling fantastic, and if you are someone who likes to stay away from too many  chemicals in your products, this is the one for you.

JASON glowing apricot hand & body lotion is available here  

Have you tried anything by JASON before?


*PR sample 


How To Stop Biting Your Nails

I must confess, till about the age of 13 I was a big time nail-biter. I use to bite them down to raw little stumps, and could never paint them. I have since then stopped, and have not bitten them for years actually, but I can appreciate how hard it is to stop and how biting them gets in the way of you be able to feel proud of your nails, being able to shape and paint them however you like.

So why do some people bite their nails while others don't? it's simple really, it's a habit, and as we know, once something becomes a habit it can be ever so hard to break. Most women tend to do it when they are nervous or stressed as it offers a kind of mindless distraction, but ignoring the fact it doesn't look that nice, it can also disturb the growth of your nails and in some cases, cause infections.

So how do you stop?

  • One of the most common methods used when you are a child are using one of those horrid tasting things on your nails so you don't want to taste it. If it didn't work on you then, it won't work on you now.
  • Always have a nail file on you. As I said, it's a habit, but by not giving yourself the temptation of picking and biting a jagged nails, you  will end up breaking the pattern so every time you  feel the need to bite, file instead.
  • Keep your nails short and smooth so there are no rough corners to pick at or snag.
  • Use a nail hardener (Sally Hansen hard as nails is a gab one) as it the stronger your nails are, the less you will want to bite them.
  • One they are looking good, make sure you keep your nails looking good by painting them and using a cuticle oil, so you won't want to ruin how nice they look.
So there you have it, my top tips for the ultimate nails biter, or hopefully, soon to be ex-nail biter?



Balance me cleanse and smooth face balm.

During the cooler months I have really loved using cleansing balms, I love how nourishing they feel and even though my skin is oily, I enjoy using them to deep cleanse my face and give it a massage. This one by balance me comes from 100% natural origin and is suited to dry and sensitive skin, but as I said it works for my skin too.

The things that makes this cleansing balm slightly different to any others is the fact it's got oatmeal in it, so it give your skin a very soft polishing effect, clearing away dead skin cell and dirt. It also contains roman chamomile to help sooth the skin and mandarin to brighten your complexion, and would be perfect for more mature skin (a good mothers day gift perhaps?) as it's so nourishing. The way to use this is to warm a small amount of the balm in your hands till it softens, and then massage it all over my face, my eyelids and lashes (it removes eye makeup really well!) and then dampen the muslin cloth it comes with with warm water, and polish it off. It leaves my skin feeling really clean and smooth, but nourished at the same time.

I use this about once a week, usually on a pamper night as my skin is oily, but if you have dry skin using this daily would really help combat it. It has a very natural scent and a slightly more oily texture than most cleansing blames ( it's not that classic hard texture that most balms have, and the oatmeal in it helps to really smooth out your skin) and feels like a real treat on the skin, as well as doing a fantastic job of taking all your makeup off, and I mean all of it.

At £20 per 125ml it's not the cheapest cleansing balm on the market but it's affordable by any means. It comes in a tube rather than a tub and a little goes a long way so it will last you a while.

The balance me cleanse and smooth face balm is available here


*PR sample