Read my UK lifestyle and money blog

matched betting box

 RSS Feed

Category: Healthy Living, Health, Food and Fitness

  1. Is being vegan expensive?

    Posted on

    The answer?  It can be as expensive or as affordable as you want it to be.  Pretty much like anything else in life.  You can choose the cheap car or you can choose a more luxurious car.  The same goes for food, drink, holidays, clothes, homewares, you name it.  Choosing to lead a healthy lifestyle is no different.  It can cost a pretty penny or you can choose to do it on a budget.

    One question I’m asked a lot as I am now 100% plant based (or vegan as it’s more widely and easily understood), is whether it is expensive.   My answer is yes and no.  No it’s not expensive if you stick to eating a diet stuffed full of fresh fruits and vegetables, but mostly veggies, that are in season.  But yes it is expensive if you start buying processed vegan food and junk food such as vegan cheeses and vegan mayonnaises, raw chocolate bars, meat alternatives and so on.

    If you keep it simple then being vegan can be done on a budget.  Keep it simple by keeping it as plant based as possible with no processed foods and then costs will stay down.  In fact, that’s probably a load cheaper than eating meat or cheese as they can be really expensive.  When I was vegetarian I loved cheese and it had to be the proper mature stuff.  It cost a small fortune!  Even milk is quite costly and yes, plant based milks are expensive, but you can easily make your own oat milk very cheaply.

    It’s funny really, as I was veggie for several years before cutting out all animal products completely and no one ever questions if vegetarianism is more expensive than eating a meat based diet, but as soon as you mention following a vegan diet then a lot of people will ask if it’s expensive to eat that way.  In fact, many people think eating anything healthy is an expensive and I often hear people comment how ‘healthy’ food should be cheaper.  I’m not sure where they are shopping as the last time I went to the supermarket I managed to buy a banana for 12p, yet a chocolate bar was closer to £1.  Many commonplace fruits and vegetables are very cheap indeed.

    Tips to save money and eat healthy

    Why being healthy doesn’t have to be expensive

    Like anything, being healthy or being vegan can be expensive, or it can be cheap and affordable - the same as most things in life.  It depends where you choose to shop and what level of products you choose to buy – savers, shop’s own brand, branded, luxurious, independent or organic. 

    Here are some of the ways eating healthily or following a plant-based diet can be more affordable:

    Keep it simple and eat a lot of fruit and vegetables

    Check out your supermarkets fruit and veg aisles and you’ll see a lot of prices well under £1 for large bags of goodness.  I often see comments on articles about healthy eating such as the introduction of the sugar tax, where people say something along the lines of ‘if you want us to quit sugar and eat healthier then make healthy food cheap’.  I really believe it already is cheap and I’m not sure where they are shopping!

    Over Christmas my local Tesco had big bags of vegetables on offer for 29p each!  2.5kg of potatoes for 29p!  Even today they sell a 1kg bag of carrots for 59p!  I can see around 9 large carrots in the bag and so that’s a lot of great healthy carrot stick snacks for adults of kids, plus plenty left over as a side of steamed veg for a couple of meals or more.  Eating affordable healthy snacks by creating your own from fruit and vegetables is totally possible.

    If you go organic, choose a subscription box

    Yes, organic food is at a premium and I totally think that is wrong.  We buy organic in our household as I believe it’s an investment in our health, the planet and wildlife. It is more expensive and I think this is wrong.

    Organic food needs to become the norm and accessible to everyone. 

    One way to get better value on organic fruit and veg and to ensure you get a good variety is to order a fruit and vegetable box each week.  The boxes should provide you with local fresh produce that works out cheaper in a box than buying the items individually, plus companies such as Abel and Cole regularly have special offers and new customer offers.

    Base your meals around vegetables

    If you base your cooking and main meals around the vegetables and some wholegrains then you can make meals more affordable as you’ll not be adding costly meat or cheese.  Of course there are meat alternatives, but we rarely use these and just stick to vegetables, wholegrains, herbs, spices, beans and lentils when cooking. This makes things a lot more affordable and probably even cheaper than a meat diet.

    If you start buying processed ‘healthy’ foods such as pre-packaged meals, dried fruit bars, meat alternatives and so on then the cost of eating healthy can start to add up.

    Instead, keep it simple and stuff your diet full of as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible to keep costs down.  Plus, if you fill yourself up on as much fruit, salad and veg as possible, you’ll leave less room for the bad food and stop reaching for the expensive snacks as you’re already full on the good stuff.

    Use supermarket coupon apps to save on healthy food

    I’ve just recently got into the supermarket coupon apps, also known as cashback apps, that give money back on certain items in the supermarkets.  They have loads of offers every day, on around ten or so items per major supermarket, where you can save money or even get 100% of the cost of the item back.

    There are regularly fresh fruit and vegetable savings to be made with these apps.  They even regularly have some vegan food included so you can try some of the branded prepared food with a discount.  The plant based milks have been on them too.

    I’ve signed up to GreenJinn, CheckoutSmart and Shopmium for virtual coupons via their smart phone apps.  You buy the product, upload the receipt and then get the cash back after.

    Bonus tip

    Another tip is to always remember to check for cashback if you do your grocery shopping online.  Sign up and always check for cashback at Top Cashback and Quidco for cashback.  Or try your luck at Boom25 for a 1 in 25 chance of winning your entire spend back.

     

    Leading a healthy (and plant-based) lifestyle can be as expensive or as affordable as you need it to be!

     

    Related blog posts
    How to go refined sugar free
    Why you need to reduce your refined sugar intake 
    5 tips to get a better night’s sleep naturally 
    Your ultimate inspirational guide to being truly healthy

    7 ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle
    3 Important Reasons to Choose Organic (other than your personal health)
    13 eco-friendly ways to start saving money in the kitchen
    Get 100% renewable energy with Bulb and save lots of money (over £250)
    Plastic is not fantastic – the dirty secret of where our recycling really goes

    Is being vegan expensive_

     

  2. Best juice recipes for health and energy

    Posted on

    Stay healthy when you work from home with homemade fruit and vegetable juice

    For the human body to stay healthy when you work from home and produce consistent and robust energy, a person needs to consume enough minerals, vitamins, and enzymes. Fortunately, all these can be obtained from fresh fruits and vegetables. But how can someone manage to take different types of fruits in a single sitting? Unless the various fruits and veggies are blended into one drink, consuming them all separately can be unmanageable for some, which is where juicing recipes come in handy for a quick and healthy energy boost.

    When working from home it can be tempting to reach for a sugary biscuit or an instant coffee for a quick boost of energy, but there’s a much healthier way.  Why not make a juice or two first thing to give you a natural and healthy energy boost in the morning and save the second juice for when you need more energy in the day, instead of reaching for those unhealthy snacks.  A carefully picked juice recipe can potentially help someone to attain enough energy for the working day naturally and healthily.

    I love to juice and to make smoothies on a regular basis when working from home.  I will often prepare one in the morning when I’m making the kids breakfast and packed lunches and have lots of the ingredients out already.  Then I’ll pop it in the fridge until lunch time or until I’m peckish.  Not only does this save me reaching for an unhealthy snack, but it also saves me time when I’m stacked with work in my working hours and would rather not spend time making a snack or meal.

    Tips to get started with juicing

    If possible I recommend choosing organic fruits and vegetables for the best health benefits.  There have been studies that show organic produce to have more antioxidants as these are produced when they have to naturally defend themselves from pests in the wild, whereas those sprayed with pesticides don’t have to fend for themselves so produce less.  Organic means they are not sprayed with chemical pesticides or grown in artificial fertilizer, so you’ll not be consuming any traces of these toxic chemicals.   

    Even if they are organic, and especially if not, make sure you clean the fruits and vegetables before placing them into a juicer.  Give them a good rinse under some cold water.

    Also, investing in a suitable juicer is a good idea, especially if you plan on making juicing a regular part of your diet.  A good juicer will last longer and will ensure you get the smoothest juice with the most nutrients retained.   It pays to read the various juicer reviews before buying any type of juicer to make some juice – you may be disappointed if you buy cheap, as the saying goes ‘buy cheap, buy twice’.

    We use a Sage juicer which was around £150 and is of high quality.  We are able to put the fruit and veg in whole to its wide chute, and it removes all the pulp, seeds, cores and so on for us.  This saves a great deal of time when preparing a juice as there’s no chopping involved unless we have to make the food smaller to fit down the chute.

    Another great tip is to make sure you are loading your juice with vegetables.  A ratio of around 80/20 of vegetables to fruit is recommended.  Though it is natural sugar, purely fruit juices are much higher in sugar in a concentration that you wouldn’t normally eat, as you’d never be able to eat all the fruit in one juice in one sitting, so this high sugar content can affect your blood sugar levels and cause a spike.  Therefore for optimum nutrients and less sugar, you need your juices to be mostly vegetables with some fruit to sweeten.  I mostly use a lot of leaves such as spinach or kale with lots of celery and cucumber, then just one apple or pear to sweeten, for example.

    Here are some juicing recipes with the potential to help you attain incredible health and energy for your working day.  They make random amounts and you can adjust the recipes to suit your own taste preferences and also quantity preferences.  Don’t be afraid to make too much though as you can always refrigerate your leftovers for a day or two.

    Green gusto juice

    One great benefit of consuming a glass of green gusto juice in the morning is obtaining healthy skin. The glow on the skin is triggered by antioxidants present in the juice, which include vitamins A, E and C. These antioxidants serve to eliminate harmful toxins that may otherwise lead to sun damage or acne. Vitamin A, in particular, is vital for cell regeneration and growth.  Additionally, the green gusto juice is incredibly hydrating which is essential for skin upkeep.  

    Simply place all these ingredients in your juicer and enjoy:

    • A big handful of spinach
    • Two green apples
    • A big handful of kale
    • Two celery stalks
    • Half a large cucumber
    • Half a handful of parsley
    • Half a lemon
    • An inch of ginger root

    If it needs to be sweeter for you then add an extra apple.  If you’re not used to the green juice taste then you may need to make sweeter ones at first and then reduce the amount of fruit as you get used to them.  To water it down more and weaken the overall flavour, then simply use more celery and/or cucumber.  You might want to use more watery vegetables to soften the taste until you are used to drinking vegetables!

    The best thing about juicing is you can adapt it to suit your own taste preferences.  For example, you can swap the lemon for kiwi or remove the ginger if you don’t like the taste.

    You can also alter the quantities of ingredients to make more or less, depending on whether you want a more intense shot or cup of juice, a pint or a larger drink to sip on.  I do quite often up my ingredients to make more than one drink and I store them in the fridge for later in the day.  They simply need a shake or stir when ready to drink.

    If you have a high quality juicer then you can simply put all the ingredients in whole and it will remove all the seeds and pulp for you!  We use a Sage juicer at the moment.

    Purple power juice

    The purple power juice gets its name from the main ingredient, the purple cabbage. Equipped with vitamin K and C, this juice is a superior immunity booster that also contains phytonutrients, which aid in fighting inflammation. This cabbage also contains a pigment that is packed with flavonoids including resveratrol. The flavonoid is tasked with protecting the user from certain cancers in addition to controlling blood pressure. This juice also improves the brain, eye and heart health, to name a few – there are really so many benefits to red cabbage!  Just Google and you will see.   As most of us won’t like the taste of the red cabbage juiced, the carrots and additional ingredients will disguise the cabbage taste.

    • One green apple
    • One beetroot
    • One quarter of a large red cabbage, or half a small
    • Two carrots
    • Three celery stalks
    • Half a large cucumber

    Again, the best thing about juicing is you can taste your creation and amend if you don’t like it!  Add more fruit to sweeten if needed or some ginger root for a kick if needed.

    View this post on Instagram

    Here’s a peek at my breakfast today. Some might argue smoothies are bad and they can be if overloaded with fruit. Here’s what’s in mine: ????1x banana ????1x chunk cucumber ????2x teaspoon matcha powder ???? big handful spinach ???? a chunk of iceberg lettuce ???? 2 scoops green powder (contains hemp seed, flax, ashwagandha, wheat grass, spirulina, matcha) ????mineral water . . . . . #wholefoodie #wholefoodmovement #wholefoods #plantbased #plantbaseddiet #vegan #vegetarian #nutritiousanddelicious #hbloggers #healthbloggers #eatyourgreens #healthyblogger #healthyliving #healthylifestyle #vegetablelover #healthyfoodporn #healthyeats #eatyourveggies #plantbased #plantbaseddiet #plantbasedfoods #healthymum #foodblogger #norefinedsugar #refinedsugarfree #quitrefinedsugar #nodairy #dairyfree #dairyfreefood #greensmoothie

    A post shared by Victoria: UK Lifestyle Blogger (@lyliarose) on

    Spicy stamina juice

    By consuming a glass of spicy stamina juice in the morning, you are guaranteed to spend the whole day feeling invigorated and ready for whatever the working day throws at you! This juice can open blood vessels which will increase oxygen flow, allowing you to stay active while feeling lively. If you are looking for a healthy and energetic drink, read on!

    • 25g fresh wheatgrass or 1 ounce readymade wheatgrass juice
    • Two carrots
    • Three celery stalks
    • Half a large cucumber
    • One green apple
    • A chunk of jalapeno to suit your taste buds (start small if you’re not sure!)
    • Half a handful spinach
    • Half a handful parsley

    Fruit fervor juice

    The fruit fervor Juice is probably one of the healthiest juices available and for a good reason; it contains a wide range of health properties. Such benefits include boosting energy, cellular repair, enhanced metabolism, and improved immunity. It also prevents the formation of cancer cells, detoxifies the body, reduces aging signs, diminishes inflammation, as well as lowering cholesterolslevels. This juice is easy to digest, has a sweet flavour and every single glass comes with numerous benefits.  It’s a very fruity juice, so great as a morning energy boost or once in a while treat!

    • One orange
    • Three green apples
    • Half a pineapple
    • A cup of blueberries
    • A handful of spinach

    A veggie vitality juice

    The last recipe was almost all fruit, so here’s an all veg to balance things out!  This juice is an excellent afternoon refresher or wake-up tonic.  It’s also delicious and energising. It contains live enzymes and nutrients that serve to feed every cell in the body. This juice also boasts hydrating powers and will keep you active and alert during the day.

    • One tomato
    • Two large carrots
    • One handful of spinach
    • Two celery stalks
    • Half a handful of parsley

    Each of the above recipes has vital components that are both healthy and delicious. The vegetables are loaded with phytonutrients that energize the body cells, keeping an individual rejuvenated all day long. These natural juices are a superior contrast to the sugar and caffeine ridden store concentrates, and they can be consumed in the morning, lunchtime, in the afternoon or even after work. The most important thing is to make a glass of fresh homemade juice part of the daily diet for a fantastic boost of vitamins and minerals straight into your system.

     

    More great work-from-home blog posts:

    The 5 ways I made £30000 money from home in 2017/2018
    5 tried and tested ways to make money as a UK stay at home mum
    How to deal with overwhelm as a work at home parent
    How to survive the half term when you work from home
    5 tips to stay healthy if you work from home

     

  3. How to make Christmas dinner on a budget

    Posted on

    Christmas can be a really expensive time of the year for families with travel costs and Christmas food shopping to take into account.  And that’s completely leaving out the stress of preparing for presents for the kids and gift exchanges! This can potentially wreak havoc on your wallet if you don’t plan accordingly, which is why this article exists – with lots of tips to help you make a delectable Christmas dinner and save money in the process.

    The key points involve reducing the cost down enough to make a fulfilling meal for everyone. In this current digital age, you can use the services of a grocery app to find the best values for the myriad of ingredients you might need. Then, gather up a handful of loved ones or friends who will be at the Christmas dinner party, and go value shopping for all the necessary ingredients.

    Here are some tips on how to make Christmas dinner on a budget:

    Vegan roast dinner 2017 - Lylia Rose - Victoria Sully

    My vegan Christmas roast dinner 2017 - a sprinkle of dried mint and lashings of gravy were added after the photo.  Yum!

    Decide on a budget

    Decide first of all either what your total budget is or how much you want to spend per head.  With Christmas Day lunches at pubs costing around £60 per head, your at-home meal should be an awful lot cheaper than this!  Once you have worked out your maximum expenditure, and then make sure you stick to it and are careful with your spending.  It can be tempting to buy a lot of treats at Christmas, but if you are on a budget and money is stretched, then you’ll have to hold back.

    Make a shopping list

    Instead of aimlessly wandering around the supermarket aisles choosing as you go, have a meal plan and write a shopping list for exactly what you need.  This should help stop you overspending as you know exactly what you need to buy and you just need to have the willpower to stick to your list!

    Choose organic

    Whilst you may think that choosing organic is expensive at first, some of the online veg box deliveries offer really good value and you can be sure you are getting high quality ingredients. Plus they deliver to your door which will save the time and money spent travelling to the supermarket. 

    Go to a farmer’s market

    A great way to support local farmers and also to save on produce is to pick up everything you need at a farmer’s market.  They often have great deals on fresh produce and can be really competitive on price with supermarkets.

    Choose value

    If the organic boxes and farmer’s markets are out of your budget, then go with the value brands.  You’ll be surprised at how amazingly cheap supermarket own brand vegetables and value ranges are, even at Christmas.  Often the supermarkets will have lots of offers on the fruits and veg you need to make Christmas lunch as they want to win your custom for your Christmas food shop.

    Get everyone to chip in

    Not with money, but with the food.  If you’re making the main meal, then why not ask some family members to bring desserts, others to bring drinks and another to bring the starters or canapes?  Make it a family affair and don’t feel pressured to have to provide for everyone if you can’t afford to.  Your loved ones will understand and be more than happy to chip in and bring a part of the meal each.

    Make everything from scratch

    While it might be tempting to buy ready-made canapes, desserts and frozen yorkies or potatoes, it’s often much better value (and tastier) to make your own homemade versions.

    Control the portion sizes

    Be sensible with the portion sizes.  Ensure that everyone has enough, but don’t overfill plates and end up with a lot of food waste which is wasted money also.  Cook enough for each person to have a good sized portion and a perhaps a tiny bit extra for those who will want seconds.  Leave the extra off the plates and in the kitchen so if it’s not needed it can be saved and eaten as leftovers instead of wasted.

    Keep it simple

    Have the star of the show (usually meat, but in my household a nut roast), potatoes, stuffing, yorkies and three or four veg.  Some condiments such as dried mint and cranberry sauce and of course gravy.  You can go all out and start creating cauliflower cheese and so on, but you can also keep it much simpler and choose a couple of tasty steamed veg that will do the trick and keep costs down.

    Check apps for money off coupons and cashback

    Make sure you make the most of every supermarket shopping trip moneywise by following these tips and also remember to check the Shopmium app for coupons and cashback in all the popular supermarkets.

    Use what you have

    Before writing a shopping list and buying anything, check your cupboards to see what you already have.  You might have some jars of condiments in there, packets of stuffing and a tub of gravy granules.  Don’t go out and buy it all again if you already have it at home.

    There we go.  Whatever your budget this Christmas for your dinner, make sure you don’t break the bank and follow these tips to be a little savvier with your festive food shopping.

     

    Related blog posts

    Making Christmas magical for your kids this year and affordable for you

    How to Save Money on Shopping All Year (not just in the Boxing Day sales)

    How to earn cashback on things you already buy!

    5 ways you can reduce your kitchen waste today and save money

    How to make Christmas dinner on a budget

  4. Discovering if I have any hidden talents with Genesis DNA testing

    Posted on

    Genesis DNA testing kit review

    You may remember that a short while ago I posted a picture of myself on my Instagram holding a DNA testing kit from Genesis DNA.  I’ve popped the image below to jog your memory if you don’t recall…

    View this post on Instagram

    ??‍♀️What are my secret talents? Who am I? Ever wondered if you have secret skills you don’t know about? I’ll be reviewing the @genesisdnalab DNA Talent Test at a blog near you very soon! ? I’ve just received it and will do my swab in the morning. You have to not eat or drink for 30 mins before, so I think first thing is the best time for me! ?? The results should reveal my full physical, mental and intellectual potential according to their website ??‍♀️ Being someone who has not yet discovered that one hobby or skill that I have mastered, I wonder if it will reveal to me a talent I haven’t yet even thought of that I will enjoy ??‍♀️ I have become so passionate about healthy living, plant based diets and exercise in recent years so perhaps that’s my calling? I will reveal the results when I get them! ?? Have you ever considered doing a DNA test? . . ✨ Get 20% off DNA tests at @genesisdnalab with code LYLIAROSE10/18 ✨ . . #ad #dna #dnatest #dnatesting #dnatests #genesisdna #genetics #decoded #dnakit #biotechnology #lbloggers #lifestylebloggers #whoami #curiosity #hiddentalent #genes #health #hbloggers #science #talentDNA #genetictesting #review #blogreview #ukbloggers #uklbloggers #reviewer #knowyourself #knowingyourself #knowyourselfbetter #biology

    A post shared by Victoria: UK Lifestyle Blogger (@lyliarose) on

    I received my results today so I want to share with you my thoughts and a review of the Genesis DNA Talent test.  Firstly, though, let’s start at the beginning as you may be wondering what completing a DNA test involves.

    How to complete a DNA testing kit with Genesis DNA

    Usually you would register and order a DNA testing kit from their website directly, but as I was sent the kit for the purpose of this review, I didn’t order online.  I guess my process is the same as if you receive a kit as a present.  It comes with instructions to register your kit at their main website using the special ID number unique to your kit.  You simply fill in a few quick details such as your name, age, email address and sex along with the box registration number to ensure that your results are sent to you when ready.

    The kit comes with everything you need to take two DNA swabs and clear instructions so you’ll know exactly what to do.  It’s totally pain free and you simply need to pop on some gloves and take a swab with an extra-long cotton swab in the side of your cheek.  You twirl it round whilst coating it for 30 seconds or so and then pop it in a test tube.  Then you repeat with a second swab.

    There’s no need to worry that you’re doing it wrong as they’ll send you a second kit if for any reason they can’t extract your DNA from your two swabs.

    Simply send the test tubes back in the envelope provided and await the email of your results!

    Genesis DNA testing review

    Why choose the Genesis DNA talent test

    I was at first offered an immune health DNA test which is very appropriate for this time of year, but my immune health is not something that concerns me.  I eat a plant based vegan diet full of superfoods, fruits and vegetables every day and exercise several times a week.  I don’t drink alcohol and I don’t smoke.  Whether it’s my lifestyle choices or a strong genetic immune system, I rarely get ill - this entire year I’ve had one migraine and one day where I was feeling under the weather, but that’s it.  I never get sick or ill.  It’s very rare for me.

    So I decided the immune test might not be so beneficial to me and they offered a talent test instead.  It definitely sounded intriguing as it promises to reveal:

    • Your physical, mental and intellectual predispositions
    • Which activities and professions could be your most successful
    • What potential talents you haven’t yet tapped into
    • How your genes affect your personality

    This certainly interested me as perhaps there is a hobby I have not yet realised I am good at or a profession I have never considered.  Maybe I’d have a light bulb moment in my head and realise my future career and potential. 

    genesis dna testing

    Through my twenties I never had a hobby or interest and always felt I was lacking one.  I wanted so desperately to be good at something and to have a talent.  I tried a few things and nothing ever stuck.  I was always so envious of those who had a skill or talent, especially those who had perfected their skill from a young age. Why didn’t I know what I was good at?

    It was the same with career choices.  As a child I never knew what I wanted to be. I never had a focus or set dream.  I flitted between wanting to be a teacher, a firefighter, a radio presenter and more.  I never knew what my skills were or what I wanted to be.  I had no set direction and this continued into adulthood.  I never had a set career in mind.  I was always hardworking and worked my way up in a company I was loyal to for 9 years before having children, but once I left to start a family I again realised I did not know what I wanted to be.

    I knew I didn’t want to return to the same job as it was demanding and full time hours, when I wanted to be with my new daughter more, and so I trained to be a childminder.  I think I was more passionate about running my own business and having more flexibility than the job itself and it never materialised as a house move took a lot longer than anticipated.  In this time I had already started a jewellery business and from this a passion for writing was rediscovered and I turned to blogging as a hobby and future career choice.  I am now a full time blogger - a blogger because I love to write.

    Yet I always wonder how long the blogging bubble will last and if it bursts, then what will I do next.  I have no idea.

    Perhaps my DNA test will help guide me to a suitable career choice or suggest a talent that I could be great at!

    genesis dna testing kits

    A breakdown of my Genesis DNA talent test results

    When my results were ready yesterday I was sent an email notification.  I had to login to my account and download the results – a 36 page A4 booklet!  It can be viewed online, but as it looked quite extensive I printed it out and read the whole thing.  Sometimes I find a huge amount of information easier to process on paper instead of staring at the screen for a long period of time.  But there’s no need to print and you can access everything totally online.

    The results are broken down into an overview, main recommendations and then detailed recommendations.  Let’s look at my results and my thoughts:

    Personality

    Apparently due to my variant of the COMT gene I have an increased level of dopamine and adrenaline which help to shape my personality.  I was somewhere on the middle of their scale which meant I was a ‘sensitive discoverer’ as well as a ‘warrior’.  I definitely like being called a warrior!

    My personality traits were a bit hit and miss to be honest.  It was a bit like reading a horoscope where some I could really relate to and sounded just like me, but others were nothing like me.  Perhaps genes aren’t always conclusive or maybe I’m not interpreting them correctly.  Here are some of the interesting points:

    • It says I can easily lose my temper which is true!  Not with friends though, but more with my kids! There’s only so many times I can repeat myself and ask nicely before I do lose my mind… put your socks on, put your socks on, put your socks on, put your socks on, put your socks on, can you please put your socks on, PUT YOUR SOCKS ON.  Job done.
    • It does tell me to break away from my professional life or else it will have a negative effect on my lie.  I’m certainly a workaholic and even more so since running my own business.  It’s important to take breaks and not let it take over your life, but that is sometimes easier said than done when you work by yourself and can only rely on yourself to get the work done!
    • It suggests I work on my creativity by listening to classical music.  I’ll just leave that one there…
    • It does say I can easily break addictions which I think is very true.  Some people are terrible at breaking an addiction, but I am strong willed and if I want to do something then my will takes over!  I also love an experiment and see anything such as giving up added sugar for a year (which I did in 2017) a challenge and one that I will succeed in!  Turn giving up something into a challenge and I bet you’re far more likely to succeed.
    • For my professional career, seeing as I have traits of both a sensitive discoverer and a warrior, it displays a whole host of varying career ideas: writer, fashion, artist, lawyer, nurse, waitress, broker, manager, lifeguard, the list goes on.  It’s not very specific, so at least now I can blame my genes for my indecisiveness when it comes to a career path!  It does say I need to decide which personality prevails in me to make a career choice, so can I be a warrior?
    • Pressure at work is apparently good for me and I agree.  I hate twiddling my thumbs and I need a lot of work to keep me engaged, so lots of deadlines and pressure – yes please.  I work best when I’m fired up with lots to do.
    • But then it says I need greater self-discipline which I disagree with as I am highly self-motivated and work well by myself, at-home, where others often say they’d be too distracted or procrastinate too much!
    • It says as I’m a warrior then if I’m not satisfied with my career then a change won’t be challenging – ‘hear hear!’ This should so be true for everyone!  Isn’t it so boring to hear those people moan constantly about their jobs they hate, but they don’t do anything about it?!  Life’s too short to keep working a job you detest – do something about it!
    • The diet section is probably relevant to everyone –consume more magnesium, don’t drink sugary drinks, do drink green tea.  Sensible advice for all I’d say.

    Genesis DNA testing review

    Memory and spatial orientation

    I have a high level of the BDNF factor so I’m predisposed to faster transmission of information from short term to long term memory.  This must be before I had kids and suffered baby-brain and mumnesia…

    It goes on to say I gain motor skills rapidly and memorise them even after a few days.  I’m a fast learner and can learn pretty much anything I set my mind to, especially anything academic.  Here are some of the points that are interesting from this category:

    • I might be a good driver.  We’ll have to ask my husband Ben’s opinion on that…
    • I may be good in maths, geometry and geography.  Yes I am!  Or at least I was!  I got an A in GCSE maths and GCSE geography and loved the subjects.  I ummed and arrrred about taking them at A-level, but was trying to release my more creative side and took drama and philosophy instead.  Doh!  I 100% should have continued with geography and maths and then who knows what career path this could have led me down.
    • It reminds me that cortisol is increased in stressful situations and also too much working out and lack of sleep… I know, I know.  I’m working on it.
    • I’m also predisposed to high blood pressure which is interesting as my Grandad has hypertension and my uncle did.  I’m hoping my lifestyle choices will help to keep mine down.

    Verbal skills

    I have high levels of the protein KIBRA which means I have high verbal communication skills:

    • Written and spoken communication isn’t a problem for me so it suggests a career with these.  This is good as my current career involves a lot of writing!  I love to write and hopefully I communicate well through my writing.  I’m always told everything reads well.
    • I don’t have problems with written work at school or work.   I’ve always loved writing, spelling and reading and always enjoyed writing essays!
    • I shouldn’t have a problem learning foreign languages.  Well I learnt German at school and found it relatively easy, so I took up French as a second language and struggled!  I don’t think I’m great at languages, but I just don’t have the time to learn one currently.= or the need.
    • Apparently public speaking and presentations are not difficult for me.  But they so are! I hate talking in front of large groups of people.  I hate the attention and all the eyes on me.  I went to a yoga class recently and had to introduce myself in front of around 35-40 people and my heart was beating so fast and palms sweating.  I’m definitely not comfortable speaking in front of large groups of people I don’t know.  I prefer small groups or 1-1s.

    Genesis DNA testing review

    Interpersonal relationships

    I have a higher sensitivity of the oxytocin receptor which means having a higher resistance to stress, emotional, optimistic and empathetic.  I don’t think I do have a higher resistance to stress.  Maybe more than others, but I still get stressed on a regular basis.  But perhaps we all do?

    • ‘Stressful situations aren’t problematic for you’… until I had kids…!  (Of course I’m always saying this in jest, but parenting is stressful!)
    • I find it easy to recognise lies and manipulation – yes I think I do.  I’ve known a few liars and manipulators and I can see straight through it, even when others can’t.
    • I’m kind.  Why, thank you :)

    Type of muscles

    My muscles contain an additional protein – alpha-actinin-3 (ACTN3 gene).  I may be good at sports that require high dynamics, muscle contraction and anaerobic effort.

    • Because I have an additional protein in my muscles I should be able to take part in sports that require high dynamics and strength.  I love to run 5km-10km and I also love the step machine at the gym and yoga classes.
    • I can easily build a muscular silhouette.  Ooh I’d better try this!  I do need to work on my bingo wings!
    • I’m apparently more suited to sprinting, but I never got on with sprinting.  I’ve always been good at and enjoyed long distance running.  I do 5km runs at the gym a few times a week and sometimes go up to 10km.  For 5km I run 1km per 5 minutes which I don’t think is bad.  I could push myself to go faster if I was racing.  I do sometimes sprint for a minute or so at the end of my 5km to really get my adrenaline pumping!

    Energy metabolism

    My energy is efficiently transported during physical activities, meaning I get fatigued slowly during exercise.  This definitely rings true and is why I like long distance running over sprinting and can sometimes keep going and going…

    • I am apparently talented in ‘sport’.  I’m not sure I am.  I enjoy running to keep fit, but I don’t think I’ve ever been talented in any other sports.
    • This section tells me to choose long distance, whereas the muscle section said short distance.  My genes are conflicted!
    • It tells me to include dark chocolate, green tea and cocoa in my diet to improve performance.  All things I love and all things that will give me more energy and also contain caffeine.  I use cacao rather than cocoa as it is less refined.  I choose dark chocolate that’s without added sugar so it’s healthier.  Anyone who knows me will know how much I love green tea!  These three foods could benefit everyone.

    Final thoughts (and save 20% off Genesis DNA tests)

    Wowsers, that’s only a tiny snippet of the comprehensive DNA report I received!  There’s a lot that I feel matches me and some that really doesn’t.  Overall  I found the process of completing the test and receiving the results a fun thing to do.  It was definitely interesting to see what levels of certain genes I have and what this should mean for my personality and health traits, even if they weren’t always accurate. 

    I’d definitely do a DNA test again, but I think I’d opt for something more specific like a health DNA test or even a food intolerance DNA test if I thought I might have intolerances to something.  I think DNA testing for health reasons is great to pinpoint a specific health problem or issue and could really benefit someone’s life.   For recreational purposes or for a nosey insight into your genes it can be quite expensive, so I think it’s more valuable if you have a specific purpose in mind.  That said, it does make a modern and unique gift idea!

    If you want to discover your hidden talents then you can find the DNA test I took here: https://www.genesisdna.co.uk/product/dna-talent-test/

    Save 20% off any of their tests with my promo code LYLIAROSE10/18

     

    “We focus our tests only on areas where we, with proper counselling, could change our existence positively and thereby achieve a stronger, longer and more quality-filled life.”
     - Genesis DNA

     

    Related blog posts
    How to go refined sugar free
    Why you need to reduce your refined sugar intake
    5 tips to get a better night’s sleep naturally 
    Your ultimate inspirational guide to being truly healthy
    3 reasons we get adult acne  

     

    Discovering if I have any hidden talents with Genesis DNA testing

  5. 3 reasons we get adult acne (including 2 natural and free ways to combat it)

    Posted on

    Typically, acne is associated with teenagers and young adults, but unfortunately, some of us are unlucky enough to get it even after we have crossed into our thirties! It doesn’t seem fair to have to battle signs of aging and teenage pimples at the same time, but it isn’t that uncommon either. Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier when suffering with adult acne though.  I have suffered my fair share of adult acne since I hit my late twenties and it’s only now I’m 33, five years after it got really bad, that my skin is finally beginning to clear thanks to some natural solutions that I’ve recently discovered.

    To understand adult acne and to find ways of reducing and treating the problem from the root, take a look at the following four common causes of adult acne and their respective solutions.

    3 reasons we get adult acne (including 2 natural and free ways to combat it)

    My skin is getting better all the time - read my natural solutions in points 2 and 3 below.

    1. Hormones

    Let’s get the obvious out of the way first because we all know that it’s the hormones that are primarily responsible for not just zits, but a bunch of other skin problems as well. Spikes in certain hormones usually make the skin susceptible to pimples, but shouldn’t the hormonal imbalance of the teen years stabilise by the time you reach your thirties? In a majority of the cases, that is true, but that is not what always happens and there is also another common cause for hormonal imbalance that often plagues women well into their forties, which is menstruation.

    While hormonal fluctuations before and during menstruation is natural, sometimes, a spike in the androgens, aka male hormones, is usually what brings forth those nasty cystic pimples on your chin, back and neck. Even though the hormonal imbalance will likely stabilise soon after, by the time the acne starts to clear out, it’s already time for another period! As you can imagine, this is a painful and seemingly never-ending cycle that you do not have any control over, and can only be countered with specialised medical treatment.

    For example, The Dermatology Clinic specialises in acne treatment by countering each symptom of adult acne separately. First, they will treat the painful outbreak to minimise the chances of scarring and then oral and topical medication will be prescribed to prevent the spots from breaking out in the first place. If you have adult acne that breaks out just before your get your period then you may wish to get it treated by a clinic like this to prevent permanent scarring.

    Sometimes it’s not hormones, but some lifestyle factors that can cause our adult acne.  There are also some natural ways to help combat acne and they don’t involve spending money either.  Check out the next two points.

    2. Stress

    Stress causes pimples, irrespective of our age because stress induces the secretion of cortisol and testosterone. Our bodies are programmed in such a way that when we get stressed, adrenalin is released into the blood stream as a natural reaction to that stress, alongside a small amount of testosterone which is the primary male hormone responsible for causing adult acne. In other words, the more stressed an adult is, the higher his/her chances are of developing acne issues during both their teen years and during adult life. Try to avoid stressful situations in general, but since that is not always an option, consider some of the common stress busting techniques, as mentioned below:

    • Meditate and practice breathing exercises for relaxation
    • Try yoga or Tai Chi
    • Run, lift weights, or play a physically demanding sport on a daily basis
    • Take frequent breaks during a long day of work
    • Sleep for at least seven hours a night

    I’m certain there are a wide range of reasons for my acne and hormones definitely play a part around my period date, as well as stress on a daily basis.  I’ve been practicing yoga much more for over a year now and find it very calming.  I also run several times a week and do my best to get a good night’s sleep.  I still do get stressed each day and really need to work on reducing my stress levels more as I know they are not good for overall health or acne.

    3. Sugar consumption

    The only difference between a child’s sweet tooth and that of an adult is that the child can be restricted, but an adult can pretty much eat whatever he/she wants to! Most adults who have a nagging acne problem that just won’t go away usually have high blood sugar levels, which leads to excess insulin secretion. Insulin directly affects the secretion of androgens, which are all responsible for boosting excess oil and sebum production in our skin. Of course, the high blood glucose levels could also be caused by conditions such as diabetes, in which case, management of the sugar and insulin levels with medication would be necessary. In general, though, most people with acne benefit from reducing or even eliminating refined sugar consumption completely.

    When my adult acne was really bad, my diet was really bad.  When my eldest turned one I got a job working from 6pm until midnight and so I ate my dinner really late, at around 9pm.  I chose a meal deal at the place I worked and made really poor choices.  I also carried around sweets in my pocket which I ate on my shift!  I’m sure the late nights, lack of sleep and terrible eating habits made my acne so much worse.  I ate really bad foods back then as it was just before I got really into healthy eating and returned to vegetarianism.  I was veggie for five years and now for the past year I have been vegan and consumed no animal products at all.  I also hate refined sugar and rarely eat anything with added sugars.  My acne has cleared up so much and I’m sure that cutting out sugar and dairy has made the biggest difference. It got so bad before this, especially when I was working late shifts and munching on sweets that it was all over my entire face.  Now I have a few pimples which is even so much better than say six months ago, when my husband Ben so lovingly shone a light on my jawline to enquire about my 50 or so spots under the skin!

     

    In spite of being extremely common, adult acne does cause severe self-confidence issues and it does affect one’s social perception as well. This is all the more reason to understand the causes and treat them before scarring can occur, which is even harder to get rid of than acne.  Try some of the tips we have discussed to help combat the problem.  For me the biggest improvement to my acne has been a move away from consuming animal products and sugary foods, as well as more exercise and yoga to help with stress relief.  It’s not an instant fix, but almost a year after making these changes I am now seeing massive improvements.

     

    Related blog posts

    How To Go Refined Sugar Free

    Why you need to reduce your refined sugar intake - the dangers of added sugar and its health consequences 

    5 tips to get a better night’s sleep naturally 

    Fighting Spots Naturally with Salcura 

    Your ultimate inspirational guide to being truly healthy

     

    3 reasons we get adult acne (including 2 natural and free ways to combat it