We need to talk about Boots and the way retailers showcase ‘weight management’

I have been shopping at Boots for as long as I can remember – well, since my teens that’s for sure. I also adore pharmacies – and[...] read more

Ways to keep healthy in winter: Cytoplan supplements

Like many of you I have been run off my feet in the last few months. With work & family demands tearing me at the seams and often making me feel frustrated that one or the other has to give, at times I lack time and energy to workout daily for longer than ten minutes and eat my lunch on the move or while working at my desk. Add to that late nights and the body rightfully starts to rebel. That’s when a good supplement plan comes into play and I am grateful to Charlotte Fraser, who while wearing a PR hat, also happens to be a mother, who can relate to pressures those of us who balance family and work face daily, and is a qualified nutritionist as well. First, she recommended Cytoplan supplements to me (my daughter is already huge fan of Cytoplan’s Nutribears, about which I wrote here and which thus far allowed her not to succumb to colds & viruses of the cold months), while also helpfully making some suggestions based on my lifestyle choices. Luckily for me, I was also guided by Cytoplan founder/managing director & registered nutritional therapist Amanda Williams and now I can share with you my Cytoplan supplements journey of the last few months. The fact that I am still standing after very busy and festive December and haven’t succumbed to colds and flu that have been making rounds is the testament that supplements, chosen with intention and knowledge, can help make up for our personal shortcomings when it comes to diet & lifestyle.

Cytoplan takes nutritional advice very seriously, so if you want to have ‘personalised’ supplement recommendation, you need to fill their comprehensive questionnaire online, which takes into account your medical history, lifestyle, hormones & emotional problems you might be going through among other things. To be honest I ‘chickened out’ of doing it, as it is quite lengthy & does take time to complete it (being thorough when it comes to choosing supplements is a very good idea and the fact that Cytoplan offers this for free is a testament to how seriously they take their clients wellbeing), but Charlotte kindly acted as my nutritional fairy and based on the things that I told her, she recommended some Cytoplan supplements to me in early autumn ( I am sorry to say I am not a fan of Krill oil but take BareBiology fish oil  (liquid or in capsule) daily), as in her opinion ‘they represent the different aspects of the range, but are also good for skin health at this particular time of year. Vitamin D is, of course, the one that you should also consider as that is one of the most common deficiencies come the shorter days – however, you can also get that from natural food sources’. (Galina’s note: I use ‘Better You’ Vitamin D spray daily from October onwards, both for myself, as well as for my children, as the brand makes it for adults, babies and kids. My spray provides me with 1000 IU in one spray, but if your blood test shows you are low on it, based on your doctor’s or registered nutritionist advice, you can increase it to 3,000 IU in dark autumn and winter months, when we feel the lack of sunshine quite acutely). Now, apart from Vitamin D & BareBiology, I stopped taking any other supplements from October, so I can see & feel how my body responds to Cytoplan. I put three to the test, Super B Extra, Wholefood Zinc & Cherry C & throughout the post added advice & comments from both Amanda & Charlotte, to give you a well-rounded view of my experience.

The Super B Extra tablets (an example of their Food State range, 60 tablets), £15.90

Charlotte Fraser: ‘One of my personal favourites, and a popular one amongst my nutrition clients. I take two at breakfast, but if I am dog-tired or jet–lagged, I might take two at lunch too. These are brilliant for revving up your energy, but also keeping you super chilled – wonderfully supportive to the nervous system. Of course they are also very good for skin health too. You can’t store B vitamins in the body, so you will urinate out any excess. Super B Extra is fast acting and it contains good levels of magnesium as well to combat stress and help relax muscles. B vitamins are great for also making the glass half full – I think of B for ‘bounce :)’.

The recommended intake on the tablet box states ‘2 tablets daily, can be increased to 4 tablets daily if required as food supplement or as directed by your practitioner. This supplement shouldn’t be used as a substitute fora varied diet’. I take two tablets (the have a slightly flat oval shape, making them fairly easy to swallow) after breakfast with a small glass of water and after taking it for about three weeks, I noticed that overall I became slightly milder in my general attitude to life, which when you are particularly busy, is a very welcome bonus. Somehow I became more subdued when dealing with stressful situation and while the grumpy gremlin in me hasn’t disappeared completely, I multi-task more efficiently and am calmer. Now, having been taking it consistently for three months, I can feel the difference it makes to the nervous system & think it is definitely the one to be taking on a regular basis when you deal with stressful situations on a regular basis. It helps make you a better person of sorts .)

Wholefood Zinc (7,5mg, 60 capsules), £13.20

Charlotte Fraser: ‘This is made from hydroponically-grown brassica (a member of the broccoli family). Zinc is a hugely important mineral and one that I find a lot of clients are deficient in. It is a particularly good idea to top up Zinc levels in the Autumn months, more as an insurance measure. It is of course the ‘vanity’ mineral, great for skin, hair and nails, however it is super important for helping to maintain optimum gut health, boosting the immune system, maintaining hormonal balance, growth, libido, brain function & helping to combat depression – the list is too long to mention. Everyone can benefit from some additional zinc in the lead up to Christmas when the bugs are flying, just to bolster one’s immune system. The best time to take Zinc is supper time. If you don’t like the capsule wholefood format, Cytoplan do a Food State variety called Zinc & Copper, which is nice too.

You don’t feel an instant difference taking zinc. You slightly have to reach the end of the tunnel and then look back, and then you wonder how it is that you now see the world in colour; you aren’t conscious of a particular ‘Eureka moment’, but you realise that you feel significantly different from when you set out along the tunnel. It is more gradual, but Zinc can have a very profound effect on someone’s physical health and mental wellbeing. The dosage I prescribe for Zinc differs depending on clients’ individual circumstances – there are maintenance, therapeutic and clinical doses.’

Following Charlotte’s advice I have been taking one capsule of zinc in the evening, after dinner and just as Charlotte described, gradually, within a few weeks, I find myself calmer and not as fussed compared to let’s say the run up to Christmas last year. Yes, there were the usual jitters along the line ‘how will I get everything done on time’, but I kept my head on, genuinely smiled outward and just got on with the ticking of the items of my daily ‘to do list’. Now, as we dive into January, after various indulgence and family travels, I feel like a better version of myself, ready to tackle the excitement and work projects that lie ahead.

The Cherry C (whole food Vitamin c 200mg, 60 capsules), £15.50



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CRiL Reviews: Nutty launch from That Protein

A lot of things related to our diets & nutrition are becoming contested, as nutritionists & dieticians are battling in their war of words with influencers & food bloggers, the latter often with much bigger followings than people who are actually qualified to give us advice relating to our eating habits. As I have regular conversations with brand founders of supplements brands, as well as nutritionists, I choose the supplements that I use carefully, never waylaid by marketing hype. Lately protein has been a subject of a documentary on BBC & that made my trial of That Protein new launch, Nutty Nutty Peanut Butter Super Protein, particularly interesting & timely.

That Protein was founder by the lovely Irish woman Darlene McCormick. Darlene has been voted Northern Ireland’s Top Businesswoman, but before starting TP, she owned one of Ireland’s top PR firms, which she sold, in order to follow her passion for plant based nutrition. By creating her own company & brand she puts her products into the limelight, while she works tirelessly in the background, replying to my messages & customer enquiries herself. She also loves spending time in her kitchen, developing new recipes that she shares regularly on her social media pages, as well as trying the ones that her customers send her. Some of you would be interested to hear that she is vegan & so are the That Protein powders. She also makes sure that her products are dairy free, non GMO, are high in fibre & Vitamins like B1, B2 & B6 & don’t contain refined sugars or sweeteners.

Now, to proteins & the role they play in our bodies. Our bodies require different types of food, with the three building blocks being carbohydrates, proteins & fat. On top of that we need to add vitamins & minerals, which stimulate enzymes & chemical reactions in our bodies. Another important element is of course water! As a rule of thumb we need about 60% carbs, 10-15% proteins, which depend on your activity levels & 25% of fats, minerals, vitamins & fluids. Like with everything in life, we all need to achieve balance, which depends on many factors & our individual traits, bodies & DNA.

Proteins are our body’s building blocks. As well as helping to build muscles, they support repairs within our bodies, help digestion & assist our immunity system. We mostly get proteins from meat, fish, milk products, eggs, nuts and from some vegetables. Then there are the complete & incomplete, as well as high- and low-quality proteins, which refer to the amino acids they supply. Few foods are purely one element and most of our sources of protein also supply us with either carbs (vegetable proteins) or fats (animal proteins). Meat & fish eaters probably get enough of proteins, but need to be conscious of the amount of fat they consume. Equally, vegetarians need to make sure they don’t miss on the vital nutrition block and get enough amino acids essential for building protein (muscles). When we lack protein in our diet, it can lead to anaemia, tiredness and potentially weakened immune system. Interestingly enough our brain, with its main source of nutrition being glucose, would make a very bad dietician, as it doesn’t take into account whether glucose that we consume comes from protein, vegetables or fat.

The BBC1 documentary I mentioned earlier was focussed on the popularity of protein supplements and the high-protein diet favoured by athletes and body builders. The latter often consume excessive amounts of protein daily, which can lead to unpleasant side effects and potentially serious illness, if this goes on for a prolonged period of time.

As a meat eater, I do get enough protein through my diet, but there are days when things get hectic and that’s where supplements like That Protein come to play the leading role. Mix three heaped table spoons with your preferred milk or add into your smoothie and that allows you to fuel the body in the right way. As protein contributes to growth and maintenance of muscle mass, I often take it after my workout and that gives my body exactly what it needs to recover after an intensive exercise session.

This limited edition


Peanut Butter Protein powder contains
[...] read more

New Year, your DNA – iamYiam

As always new year starts with bombarding us with suggestions for the ‘new you’ – new diets, food fads, supplements, gym memberships – which on most occasions do nothing, but overwhelm us at the time when we need to gently transition from the season of festive indulgence back to busy lives in a cold time of the year, when body needs nurturing, not detoxing. Granted, some of those marketing tools have become somewhat less aggressive, but it still ends up putting you under pressure to ‘perform’. Instead of that, what I want to put forward for your consideration is the one tool in your arsenal that can help you make the right decisions for YOUR body thanks to the science and which can lead to profound changes and long-term benefits for you that you will see and feel. Say hello to a


DNA kit
[...] read more

Terranova Green Child supplements for the kids

With so much confusing advice circulating about our own eating habits – what’s in, what’s out?- it is even trickier to find consistent guidelines on what we should be feeding our children.[...] read more

Christmas gifts part two: brands & products

As I said in part one of my post on Christmas gifting, I try to choose and buy my gifts mindfully, hoping that the person for whom it is meant will be genuinely surprised and delighted. At the same time, I prefer to buy & thus support brands or people who combine business acumen with humility & passion for what they do, as this resonates with me as a person. So, shall we begin?

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For the make-up lover


One of the best things related to make-up that I came across this year is a set of make-up brushes designed in collaboration between Bathing Beauty and[...] read more

On Nutrition & Fertility: Q & A with Emma Cannon & Victoria Wells

Being a woman is not easy, whatever your age. Advice on how best to navigate our path to health, beauty and happiness can be tricky and that is one of the reasons why London’s top fertility specialist Emma Cannon and I decided to choose regular topics to talk about, related to female well-being and fertility and this is the first of such Q & As, dedicated to nutrition and fertility. I compiled a list of questions, alongside my website readers, while Emma answered the questions together with her clinic’s nutritionist Victoria Wells. I hope you will learn something new and find the advice useful and relevant to your body’s current needs.

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How important is the diet for female fertility?

We have known for years that the food we eat affects our ability to conceive, so eating healthily can improve our chances of getting pregnant and support healthy pregnancies. You need to be aware that certain foods and drinks are known to lower fertility and that both under-eating and over-eating can contribute to infertility. More specifically, certain nutrients can support each phase of the cycle, for example B vitamins are required to support the release of the egg and support implantation. Relatively simple changes can increase your chances of getting pregnant.

 Is our emotional state affected by how we nourish our bodies with food?

Our relationship with food is often a reflection of how we care for ( managing stress & getting enough sleep ) and nourish ourselves. We must not overlook the need to feed our fertility on an emotional level, as good emotional health is important prior to conception and throughout pregnancy. Remember that food influences our mood and energy levels, so by eating natural, rather than processed foods, you will help to improve your emotional stability.

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Can you talk[...] read more

Kid’s Super Hero from Bare Biology

September heralds the beginning on a new school year and the reaction of kids varies from utter excitement to contentious sulking. It will probably take a few weeks for both parents and the kids to adjust to the new timetables, after-school rota of activities, endless play-dates and demands of the new year but there is a helping fin from Bare Biology in the form of a liquid Super hero.

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I have reviewed Bare Biology’s Lion Heart Sicilian lemon Omega-3 fish oil in April and am happy to report that not only to I continue to take it daily, but my penguins are now happily demanding their own Super Hero oil Omega 3 Fish Oil right after breakfast, before we make a dash for school.

What makes it special and why should you consider giving it to your child? Well, to start with, Melanie Lawson, brand’s founder, is a mother of three and we all know that being a mother often gives you extra inspiration and motivation, especially in unsteady and worrying times we currently live in, when nutritional content of the food can be somewhat lacking and children face growing pressures since the moment they step over the school threshold.

Omega 3 is essential for children’s development but many kids don’t like the smell or the taste of fish, leading to many arguments in the kitchen table. What to do? One single 1ml


drop of Super Hero contains the same amount of Omega 3 that
[...] read more

Lowering your cholesterol: a simple nutritional solution

Even if you don’t have issues with your cholesterol ( you never know, as you don’t feel it ), I am sure you have been hearing about it from relatives, friends or reading about it in the press. Many people consider cholesterol to be a bad thing but in fact it is a ‘fatty, waxy substance essential for life’ and in the recently published book


‘Eat
[...] read more