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Category: Healthy Living, Health, Food and Fitness

  1. AuCuTee S5 Sleep Therapy White Noise Machine Review and Discount Code

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    Do you, your children or most importantly perhaps, your baby have difficulty sleeping?  I may have the solution for you.  Today I am going to review the AuCuTee S5 Sleep Therapy White Noise Machine which I was recently sent to sample.  I also have a discount code for AuCuTee should you decide you wish to purchase one yourself.  Not only is it brilliant for helping to sleep, but there are a range of other uses for this product.  So whether you suffer from insomnia and are looking for a solution or you like to relax with methods such as yoga, massage or meditation, a sound system could be ideal for you.  Read on to see how this sound machine can be used and my review.

    What is a white noise machine?

    AuCuTee S5 Sleep Therapy White Noise Machine Review and Discount Code

    A white noise machine is a device that has pre-set white noise and soothing sounds programmed into it.  It has sounds such as fire crackling, rainfall, waves and birds chirping.  They are designed to mask out any other sound distractions that could be preventing you or a child from sleeping, or even to drown out sounds that may wake you up.  If you have trouble getting to sleep then a white noise machine can help to block out distractions and even racing thoughts through the mind as you begin to concentrate and listen only to the white noise instead.  It’s aim is to promote healthy sleep and a restful night, but it does have some other uses too.

    What can a white noise machine be used for?

    • Difficulty sleeping in adults
    • Soothing children back to sleep
    • Helping baby to sleep soundly
    • Practising yoga
    • Relaxing and meditating
    • Background music and noise during a massage
    • To mask symptoms of tinnitus

    AuCuTee S5 Sleep Therapy White Noise Machine Review

    AuCuTee S5 Sleep Therapy White Noise Machine Review and Discount Code packa

    AuCuTee S5 Sleep Therapy White Noise Machine Review and Discount Code Unbox

    AuCuTee S5 Sleep Therapy White Noise Machine Review and Discount Code unbox

    The product I was sent comes well packaged in a sturdy white modern box.  I wasn’t sure what to expect at all as I’ve never had a white noise machine before, but I thought the presentation was very good.  I didn’t know if it would be cheap and tacky, but I felt it was presented well and immediately looked like a high quality product.

    I chose the white version as it fits with our white walls and décor well.  In the bedroom we have white bedside tables and drawers so it will blend in perfectly.  There is a dark grey version also if you prefer a darker colourway.

    The machine itself is very light to handle and basic to use.  It’s not complicated at all.  It comes with instructions, but I think it’s self-explanatory.  There are 20 pre-set sounds to choose from and there’s also a timer of 30, 60 or 90 minutes to choose from.  This is ideal if you want to set it for a period of time to fall asleep to.

    I will probably try it to sleep to when I have issues falling asleep, usually because my mind is too busy and any little sound really irritates me and prevents me from drifting off, but I really wanted to use this for relaxation and meditation purposes.  I do yoga regularly and it makes the whole experience calmer and more relaxing with this machine.  The relaxing bird chirping noise or even lullabies playing softly in the background alter the experience and allow my mind to drift off elsewhere totally forgetting about my lists of things to do and busy work life.

    Destress with a white noise machine

    Meditation is something quite new to me and I want to learn more about it and practice it regularly.  I often get stressed with the hectic work-life balance of being a full time freelancer working up to 50 hours a week whilst also running a busy household with two children aged three and six.  Life is often chaotic and nonstop, so it’s important to take a moment to clear the mind, relax and breathe every now and then.  If only for five minutes a day it’s something I want to make a habit and part of my daily routine.

    I tried this yesterday with this white noise machine and really enjoyed it.  I tried the chirping noises and also fire crackling which is probably my favourite sound.  It just needs to be quite quiet as it’s too distracting if it’s played too loud.  I lay on my yoga mat spread out with palms upturned and closed my eyes for ten minutes listening to the sounds.  It was so relaxing and I could have lay there for a lot longer if I didn’t have so much work to do!  It’s a start though and it made me feel calmer, but revitalised for the day ahead.

    Many busy parents turn to alcohol for stress relief which is terrible for health, costly and poisoning the body.  I think it’s much better to find healthy ways of destressing and simply switching off, closing your eyes and listening to soothing sounds for a moment each day could be really beneficial to most of us.

    Overall thoughts

    AuCuTee S5 Sleep Therapy White Noise Machine Review Discount Code

    Overall I am impressed with the machine and I wish I knew about these when my children were babies!  We often put Reuben in the kitchen to sleep in his bouncer as the noise of the dishwasher and washing machines sent him to sleep!  This machine would be the perfect addition to a nursery to soothe a baby and as it’s portable it can be taken on holiday or moved with ease from room to room.  My six year old still sometimes wakes up in the evening and uses a musical teddy to go back to sleep, so I will share this with her also as another way for her to drift back off.

    I’m impressed they have so many uses and are quite a versatile object.  I will be able to use it for relaxation techniques and my children will use it as a comforter in the middle of the night.

    Where to buy a white noise machine and your discount code

    Here are all the links you need to check out AuCuTee and purchase your very own white noise machine, along with a discount code for 15% off your purchase:

    UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07B3M6L93   (15% OFF discount code: aucutee15)

    US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079GTJ3SW    

    Main website: https://aucutee.com/

     

    More sleep related articles:
    Tips to help your child get a better night’s sleep
    Different sleep habits around the world
    How to help your child have a relaxing night's sleep
    10 tips to sleep better in hot weather
    5 tips to get a better night’s sleep naturally
    Your Guide To A Better Night's Sleep

    AuCuTee S5 Sleep Therapy White Noise Machine Review and Discount Code

    I was sent this item in exchange for my honest review

     

     

  2. Vegan coconut and green matcha energy balls

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    Two staple ingredients which have been in my cupboard for a few years now are green matcha tea powder and coconut oil.  I’ve written before about my top 5 beauty uses for coconut oil as well as my experience of oil pulling.  Both blog posts are from early 2015 so I can safely say I’ve been using the stuff for well over three years and continue to do so.  It’s boomed in popularity in the last year or so and I believe matcha tea has too.  I see both products everywhere and rightly so.  For the purpose of this blog review and recipe creation I was kindly sent both products by Indigo Herbs to try their organic versions of each.

    I’m no stranger to Indigo Herbs and I’ve used their amazing superfood powders for a couple of years.  Their website is full of the most delicious ingredients which are perfect for smoothie lovers, health nuts and anyone wishing to inject more nutritious goodness into their life with ease.  There is a wealth of information about each ingredient as well as handy recipe suggestions and a blog full of expert nutritional advice.

    Related Vegan Berry Smoothie Bowl Recipe

    Vegan coconut and green matcha energy balls with Indigo Herbs photo

    I wanted to use the ingredients together to come up with something that was not only nutritious, but also delicious and easy to make.  It’s been a while since I’ve made some healthy energy balls and I had some medjool dates just screaming to be used!  It’s the first time I’ve ever had medjool dates at home.  They are pretty expensive so I usually use regular dates and soak them in hot water first to make them stickier.  The medjool variety I have are very smooth on the outside which is deceiving as inside they are so unbelievably sticky.  This makes them the perfect binding ingredient for energy balls and all sorts of raw vegan desserts, even without soaking first.  Just remember to extract the stone from the dates.  I simply break them apart gently and remove by hand. 

    I also wanted to make something other than a green tea with the matcha.  I always have some matcha in the kitchen and drink matcha charged green teas almost daily.  I’ve never actually used any of my matcha powders for anything other than tea!  I’ve seen it used in other recipes often so it was time for me to experiment.  The thought of some GREEN balls also quite excited me!  With the trees in our garden overflowing in full green leaf and the grass looking more vivid than ever in this glorious summer weather we have been experiencing, I’ve been feeling very at one with nature and the colour green.  It’s so beautiful to see the green everywhere in England this time of year.  It’s fast becoming one of my favourite colours representing life, renewal, energy and all things natural.  I even recently had a green pedicure!  That’s how green I am currently feeling!

    Vegan coconut and green matcha energy balls recipe

    Vegan coconut and green matcha energy balls with Indigo Herbs 2

    Energy balls are one of my favourite vegan snacks to make.  They are so quick and easy to whip up and you can eat them right away, usually.  They also require no cooking and can be very versatile to use whatever ingredients you currently have.  You just need a food processor to chop all the ingredients super fine and to blend them together evenly at high speed.

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups oats
    • 1 1/2 cups coconut chips
    • 1/3 cup raisins
    • 1/4 of a cup of coconut oil**
    • 8 dates soaked in hot water (I used medjool)
    • 1/2 teaspoon to 1 heaped tablespoon matcha powder*
    • Desiccated coconut and chia seeds to roll in

    *If you are new to matcha then you may find it very earthy and grassy.  It can be quite overpowering if you are not used to the flavour.  I used one heaped tablespoon and it’s very grassy.  I love it as I use green powders all the time and I’m used to this.  Start with less if you’re new to it and build it up to more as you get used to the flavour and start to love it!

    **Luckily we’re having a heat wave so the coconut oil is in liquid form, but if it’s set then just stand the jar in a bowl of hot water to melt.

    Method

    • Soak the dates in hot water for around ten minutes (we use distilled water at home).
    • Pop the oats and coconut chips in the blender and pulse until the chips are much finer.
    • Add the matcha powder and blend until mixed evenly.
    • Pop the dates, raisins, a tablespoon of the date water and coconut oil in and pulse again.
    • It won’t take long and the mixture will clump together to form a big ball.
    • Now it’s ready to form into balls.  Roll small chunks of the mixture into balls in the palms of your hands.
    • Roll a few of them in desiccated coconut or chia seeds to decorate if desired.
    • Pop in the fridge for a while to set and enjoy chilled, though they can also be devoured right away and taken in lunchboxes or in handbags for snacks whilst out and about!  Even my three year old loves them!

    Vegan coconut and green matcha energy balls with Indigo Herbs 3

    Benefits of Indigo Herbs Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

    Coconut oil has so many uses from healthy cooking oil, to dessert making right through to mouthwash and moisturiser!  The possibilities really are endless with this natural lovely smelling and summer perfect ingredient.  Coconut oil is high in healthy saturated fats called medium chain triglycerides which can increase fat burning, reduce appetite and even boost brain function.  Coconut oil can help to promote heart health and increase the amount of good cholesterol called HDL.

    Benefits of Indigo Herbs Matcha Green Tea Powder

    Matcha comes from green tea leaves, but these plants are shaded in order to boost their nutritional content.  Minimal processing is involved to preserve the extra nutrients.  Once harvested, the leaves are dried and stone ground to a fine awesome bright green powder called matcha.  It has been shown to contain as many as 137 times more antioxidants than regular green tea.  It contains EGCg which has cancer fighting properties, contains L-Theanine allowing us to be calm and relaxed but alert at the same time, it’s great for skin with anti-aging properties and boosts the immune system to name but a few benefits.

    Vegan coconut and green matcha energy balls with Indigo Herbs 4

    As expected I am impressed with the matcha powder and coconut oil I received from Indigo Herbs.  Their ingredients are always very high quality and I especially like the fact both of these are organic too which is better for us and the planet.  At 500ml the coconut oil is great value for money as I usually get a 300ml jar for around the same price.  The matcha powder is available in four grades and Indigo Herbs only sell the highest ceremonial grade.  This means the tea is the best quality and very nutrient dense.

    I’m already an avid user of both of these products and will continue to use the Indigo Herbs versions in numerous recipes.  I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this company for wholesome nutritious ingredients which are delivered in a timely fashion, well packaged and from a company who truly seem to care about the health and knowledge of their customers.

     

    What to read next:
    5 Myths about Powdered Greens
    An inspirational guide to eating healthier
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    An introduction to Healthy Vix
    Green Goodness Smoothie Recipe
    White Mulberry, Cocoa and Chia Balls Recipe

    Vegan coconut and green matcha energy balls

    I was sent these products for the purpose of this review and if you know anything about me you’ll know they’re right up my street and products I genuinely use all the time!  Visit me here on Instagram to check out more of my healthy eats!

    Sources:
    https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil#section1

  3. Achieve natural beauty with these holistic health tips

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    What better way to feel more beautiful than to follow a care routine that supports you, as much as it does the environment? The following tips form part of a careful selection of sustainable products in which you can use to integrate the principles of conscious consumption (like reducing and reusing) to help you attain natural beauty.

    Start with a super supplement

    Achieve natural beauty with these holistic health tips moringa plant

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    Known as the ‘Miracle Tree’ - the first recorded use of the Moringa plant was in Northern India and dates back to 2000 BC.

    This medicinal herb is a nutritious substance that would serve as an incredible addition to your diet. It is a superfood that is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and a powerful antioxidant agent that supports the immune system, promotes the efficient functioning of major organs and encourages supple skin and healthy hair growth. To find out more about the benefits of Moringa, visit Mommy Authority, which you can find here.

    What makes Moringa even more marvelous is that it’s amazing for the environment. The Moringa Oleifera is a fast growing, drought resistant and multipurpose tree that is known to:

    • Promote sustainable economic development
    • Assist with water and air purification
    • Reverse deforestation
    • Improve biodiversity
    • Improve soil fertility
    • Increase food security

    By using this supplement for its expansive health benefits, you increase the demand for this miracle substance and empower the potential that it can have on impoverished communities, water and food security, as well as the fight against global warming.

    A touch of turmeric

    Achieve natural beauty with these holistic health tips turmeric

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    Turmeric has been used for a variety of applications for many years, with residue (found in pots) dating back as far as 2500 BC. However, it wasn’t until 500BC that this golden root became known for its medicinal properties, forming an important aspect of a natural and ancient Indian system of healing known as Ayurvedic medicine - which is still relevant today!

    Known as the ‘Golden Goddess’, Turmeric powder is a nutritional, non-toxic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cancer-fighting substance. Curcumin is the primary bioactive component of turmeric which promotes its many health benefits; such as improved brain function and heart health, combating arthritis and depression, as well as helping to detox major organs while boosting immunity. Turmeric is also a great product to include in your beauty regimen, applying it as a key ingredient in the following ways:

    • A nourishing face wash to promote healthy and glowing skin, reducing signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines.
    • A healing facemask; reducing inflammation, stress, and scarring. This serves as a suitable solution for eczema and acne.
    • As part of a facial scrub for removing facial hair which is a result of hormonal imbalances. 
    • A pigmentation-reducing paste for stretch marks, scars, and spots. 
    • A hair-mask for relieving dry scalp and dandruff.
    • An oily paste for gently exfoliating and smoothing cracked feet.

    With turmeric, you can reduce your expenses on personal care products by reusing this versatile spice in a variety of ways and applications. Ensure to purchase brands that support the Sustainable Spices Initiative; which educate Indian farmers, support trade, and promote a positive environmental impact.

    Aloe Vera vroom

    Achieve natural beauty with these holistic health tips aloe vera

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    In ancient Mesopotamia, as far back as 2,200 BC, it’s documented that Aloe was used for its cleansing effects and seen as a divine plant.

    Today, Aloe Vera gel still has a variety of benefits that promote overall vitality. When ingested, the antioxidant compounds help detox the body, reduce blood sugar levels, and strengthen the immune system while fighting bad bacteria. When used topically, it has a bunch of beneficial impacts, including:

    • Moisturizing skin
    • Reducing wrinkles
    • Promoting hair growth
    • Eliminating dandruff
    • Healing sunburn
    • Preventing the buildup of dental plaque 

    If you want to make the most of this amazing plant - grow it yourself! Otherwise known as the ‘Oxygen Bomb’ - Aloe Vera can increase indoor air quality in your home through purification processes. That and it’s a lovely plant that simply brightens up any room just by being in it.

    Once the leaves become big and luscious, you can harvest the gel yourself - saving you money and reducing any waste from product packaging. The gel can also be frozen, so you can also save some of your time in the process!

    We have used these natural products for many years, and with correct and conscious practice - may continue to do so for thousands more. These simple tips are a few of the many ways that you can integrate sustainability into your beauty routine. What’s best is, by having consideration for the environment and the impact you may have it, this makes you beautiful on the inside too.

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  4. The Bumper Guide to Why Your Child Should Horse Ride

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    Are you always on the lookout for a new hobby for your child to undertake? We’re sure you’ll agree that there’s nothing worse than your children sitting around the house, glued to a computer screen and getting in the way of your hoovering! Well, have you ever considered horse riding as an outlet?

    Though horse riding may be an expensive hobby, that certainly shouldn’t put you off as there are hundreds of reasons why your child should give horse riding a go! Courtesy of horse nutrition specialists Spillers Feeds, we’re going to give you a solid five of the most important reasons to take your child down to the local stables.

    The Bumper Guide to Why Your Child Should Horse Ride

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    There’s a tangible boost to their confidence

    Much like sports and drama are said to be key in helping boost your child’s confidence – so too will horse riding. The thinking here is that horse riding can prove difficult when you first start out, but as you develop skills within the disciple you start to become more confident in yourself. Eventually they’ll be thinking to themselves ‘if I can do that, I can do anything’! 

    All ages are welcome

    It would be reasonable to think that horse riding would be for the older children, wouldn’t it? Well, guess again! Some children begin their adventures with horse riding from as young as three years of age, whereby a pony and your toddler can get to know each other a little better – and maybe even grow through life together! 

    Typically, though, you’ll find that most riding schools will cater to the ages of six and above. At this age you’ll find they’ll be able to sit properly on a fully-grown horse, whereas at a younger age they’ll to be sat upon a pony or a smaller horse. They’ll also have a greater sense of spatial awareness, so they will be able to go on treks with the horse now that they can identify potential hazards and steer well clear of them.

    Riding builds character

    There’s a direct correlation between the usefulness of many of the skills gained in horse riding and skills you will need later on in life. Think I’m exaggerating? Patience and discipline are key traits in becoming a better equestrian and obviously will go a long way in the future. 

    If your child is lucky enough to look after their own horse they will also be instilled with a sense of responsibility, accountability and most importantly a caring nature – which is very helpful for inter-personal skills.

    There are plenty of fitness benefits

    You might think that because they’ll be sat on a saddle for most of the experience that they won’t get much of a workout – but you couldn’t be more wrong! Horse riding encourages a full bodily workout because your core is doing most of the work, as well as your legs getting the workout of helping you to keep your balance. It is also fantastic for posture!

    It’s great fun!

    Everyone always seems to forget this bit when trying to convince your child to do a new activity, but it’s worth remembering that horse riding is an incredible experience! You get to experience nature in all it’s glory while often going out with groups so it’s a fantastic way to make friends. 

     

    What to read next

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  5. Worrying Symptoms? When to See Your Doctor

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    The health services in the UK are under increasing pressure, and simply securing an appointment with your doctor often seems like an uphill struggle. Typically, you try to access medical assistance as you are concerned that some symptom or other aspect of your health needs attention, but are often met with the news that you will have to wait days or even weeks before a doctor can see you. Depending on the nature of the ailment, by the point you actually see a doctor, it could have gone away on its own, or got much worse.

    In 2017, the UK’s average waiting time for a doctor’s appointment was thirteen days, but over 40% of patients ended up waiting more than a fortnight. However, this period is eclipsed when compared to the same pinch being felt by the US, where the average wait for an appointment is twenty-four days. In Boston, patients have to wait an average of fifty-two days to see a doctor.

    This can present a real issue for those patients who are not necessarily ill but have noticed symptoms that could be a sign of a more serious condition. They know that they should consult with a GP before any early signs potentially get worse - after all, they are always told to do so by awareness campaigns - but they don’t want to be wasting a doctor’s time that could be given to a person who is actually ill. Male patients are particularly in the habit of putting off medical attention, but this can have devastating consequences.

    If you notice any symptoms that worry you, or changes that don’t feel quite right, cast aside any doubt and get to your GP as soon as possible. If the symptoms turn out to be benign, they will be happy to put your mind at ease, but if there is something more serious, they will be glad to have spotted it early. Here are some of the symptoms you should always get a medical opinion on.

    Worrying Symptoms When to See Your Doctor

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    Breathlessness

    Most of the time breathlessness is a normal reaction to high altitude or periods of vigorous exercise, and the severity of the breathlessness you experience will depend on how physically fit you are. But breathlessness that has not been prompted by such triggers can be a sign of an underlying condition, particularly if accompanied by other symptoms. The causes of breathlessness can range from allergies to anxiety, but gradual emergence of symptoms can be an indication of a heart, lung or blood vessel problem.

    Unexpected Loss of Weight

    Weight loss is among the most desirable of symptoms, and with so many people working very hard to lose weight, the idea of doing so without trying sounds ideal. But in cases where steps have not been taken to lose weight, and body mass is still dropping, it could be brought on by a range of triggers. Stress is well known to cause unexplained weight loss, so difficult periods in life can be the root of such symptoms in the short term. Over a longer period, however, unexplained weight loss can be attributed to conditions such as Parkinson’s, stomach ulcers, diabetes, thyroid issues or even cancer.

    Unquenchable Thirst

    Of course, we depend on water greatly and feeling thirsty is simply the body’s way of reminding you to get a top up when you need it. Most recent medical advice suggests that one to two litres of water a day should suffice, but warm climates, high salt intake and frequent exercise will cause increased thirst. But if you begin to notice that no matter what or how much you drink, you feel thirsty, can cause serious damage quite quickly. Illnesses that cause vomiting or diarrhoea can lead to dehydration; while thirst accompanied by fatigue and blurred vision can be an indication of diabetes. These conditions are easily treated, but can be dangerous, so make sure to get it looked at sooner rather than later.

    Head Pain

    Headaches are very common, and most people get one every now and then. They can be brought on by any number of triggers, such as cold or flu, dehydration, hangover and eye strain. However, if you are experiencing headaches for long periods or with regularity, and if they are accompanied by other symptoms, then seek medical attention. If you feel nauseous and overly sensitive to light during headaches, it may suggest you are suffering from migraines, while jaw pain and double vision could indicate inflamed arteries, which should be looked at urgently. Headaches following an injury, especially along with stiff neck, confusion or drowsiness, should be referred to an emergency medical unit.

    Moles and Freckles

    Freckles and moles tend to develop in the first few years of life, and are a result of areas dense in melanin within the cells of the skin. Freckles are common in fair skinned people and can darken in sunlight, and moles are also common, with the average person having around thirty of them on their bodies. Freckles and moles can fade or completely disappear over time, but any changes in size, colour or prominence should be examined by a medical expert, as it may be an early sign of skin cancers.

    Misdiagnosis

    Doctors are highly skilled and well educated professionals, but they are human, and every now and then, they can make a mistake. Not to mention, they are under great pressure to meet certain targets, and this can prevent doctors from taking the time they need to make an accurate diagnosis. Such mistakes can have significant consequences, whether the wrong treatment is prescribed, or missed symptoms develop into a serious condition. If you believe you have suffered an illness or injury as a result of medical misdiagnosis, immediately seek the assistance of another doctor.

    You might also be entitled to compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, loss of earnings and other expenses. To find out how to make medical negligence compensation claim in the UK, consult a legal expert who is a specialist in this field and who will advise you how to proceed.

     

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