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Category: Healthy Living, Health, Food and Fitness

  1. Tips to get beautiful healthy hair naturally at home

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    I’ve recently had my hair cut to the shortest length it’s ever been.  It’s been getting shorter and shorter at each hairdressers appointment over the past year and I think I’m not happy with the length - above shoulder, but long enough to tie up.  I love to go the gym almost on a daily basis and running is my favourite.  It was becoming such a pain to have long hair (my hair was always below breast before, so far down my back) when running as it distracted me.  Plus trying to wash it every day I gymed was such an effort.  I wanted a style that was no longer in my way or so challenging to wash so regularly.  Going shorter has been so much more convenient for me and I actually really like it.  I think it quite suits me.

    How to get beautiful healthy hair naturally at home

    My hair isn’t yet greying (well, the odd one) and it’s always super shiny.  At 33 I’m very aware that I may start to grey soon and my current natural hair regime may come to an end.  I don’t currently dye my hair and it’s in much better condition for it.  I worry that when it greys I’ll want to dye my hair, but I hope I can find a suitable natural and lesser toxic alternative to the mainstream dyes.  My hair does seem to be thinning slightly, or perhaps I am imagining it!  If it ever did get really thin then I’d definitely look into some alternative options such as wigs or gentle hair extensions.  If hair loss was ever extreme then there are options such as a hair transplant or for men there’s even a procedure called Advanced Tricho Pigmentation which creates the impression of more hair follicles and hair than there actually is.  It’s good to know nowadays that we do have options to allow ourselves to feel confident in our own skin and with our own hair.

    Luckily for now my hair is still enjoying a youthful glow and is in great condition.  I want to share with you my tips for how to get beautiful and healthy hair naturally at home:

    Don’t dye it

    I think this is a hard one for most people, especially females.  I think every female I know, aside from me, dyes their hair on a regular basis!  I always think how awfully damaging that must be to the environment.  It’s become normal for everyone to dye their hair all the time.  I see pictures of me when my hair was long and dyed and it looks in poor condition.  I did originally use temporary dyes and they made my hair look amazing, but it was the dye that made it look amazing.  I had to keep dyeing it every few weeks to keep up with the glossy amazing hair.  It didn’t last otherwise.  Now my hair is dye-free it is naturally in good condition and stays that way.  Plus you'll save so much money!

    Use natural products

    Most mainstream brands use harsh chemicals in their products, which is probably so your hair comes to depend on them and you have to keep using their products.  That's their plan!  Many of the chemicals are not really good for your hair and they are not good for the environment or even your health.  I always use natural plant based products for my hair and have done since changing to a natural beauty regime perhaps five years ago.  My hair is in better condition for it and it stays that way.  Dyeing hair and using chemical products is quite literally poisoning your hair and scalp!

    Drink lots of water

    We all know drinking lots of water is good for us to stay hydrated, but it also gives us great skin and glossy hair.  Water is not all equal though and for nine months I have been drinking distilled water at home which is pure H2O.  I’m sure it’s taking effect as my skin is clearer than it’s ever been and my hair is healthier too.

    Use soft water if possible

    If you have soft water then it’s a lot gentler on your hair with less mineral build up.  It’s even possible to wash your hair with water only if you live in a soft water area.  I did try it, but we have hard water and I had a lot of build-up in my hair.  There are lots of claims that the ‘no-poo’ method works well with soft water.  I’ve even investigated having a filter attached to the water entering our home to make our water softer.

    Eat a nutrient rich plant based diet

    “The healthiest diet for your hair is the healthiest diet in general—one that is based on real, whole foods and mostly plant-based.” — Maria Marlowe, nutritionist (source)

    Though the hair we can see is not alive, the hair follicles it comes from and the part of the hair within the follicle is very much alive and needs feeding!  A diet rich in raw fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes and wholegrains that nourishes all parts of your body with all the vitamins and minerals you need will keep your hair looking great.

    Choose a gentle brush

    I currently use a tangle tease sort of brush that has soft bristles without balls on the end.  It’s very gentle on the hair and with multiple layers and lengths of bristles it helps to pull the natural hair oils through the hair giving a nice gloss finish.

    Avoid hot showers

    Opt for a warm shower instead of a boiling hot shower.  Extreme temperatures can be damaging to hair.  As much as a scorching shower might be pleasurable, it’s not always great for your hair.

    Wash your hair less

    I’m guilty of not always following this one, but because I’m regularly at the gym.  I get so sweaty that my hair looks greasy if I don’t wash it, so often I have to wash it every da.  If I don’t go to the gym for a couple of days then I won’t wash my hair and it always looks in amazing condition.  I always find hair looks best the day after it’s washed.  Washing too much can strip hair of its natural oils and then you depend on the shampoo to make your hair look great instead. 

    Basically going back to nature is the best thing for our hair; eating natural foods, using natural products and being gentle to it.  These tips aren’t going to be a quick fix, but over time they will be totally worth it.

     

    More hair raising articles:

    Why I stopped water only hair washing after 11 weeks
    Review: NEEM Sweet Orange and Cedarwood Shampoo
    How a healthier lifestyle in 2018 could affect your hair

    The best natural hair and beauty products for the summer
    A peek at my new short hair and the most fashionable styles for 2018
    Hair mistakes you are probably making

    Essential items for a minimalist hair care routine
    Where to get affordable hair extensions that don't ruin your hair

     How to get beautiful healthy hair naturally at home

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  2. The link between sleep and good health

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    These days, we are often guilty of thinking of sleep as being somehow inessential, or something that you don’t need much of. But the truth is far from this. Actually, sleep is a hugely important part of your life, and of looking after your health, and it’s something which you should make sure to try and get enough of if you really want to take care of yourself. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the links between sleep and the rest of your health and life. As long as you understand this, you should be able to find a way to get more sleep, better quality sleep, and so improve the quality of your life to no end.

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    Mental Health

    One of the biggest ways in which sleep affects your health is in your mental health. If you fail to get enough sleep, it leads to a number of serious mental health concerns. Among these are anxiety, depression, stressful thoughts, and the inability to keep a sense of perspective on things. However, conversely if you do get enough sleep, it will mean that you are more likely to feel happy, and to be able to manage your own mind much more effectively. There is the trouble of a bad cycle starting here, in that once you start to lose sleep, it affects your mind management abilities, which in turn affects your ability to sleep. It is therefore important to make sure that you are doing whatever you can to get as much sleep as possible, for the sake of your mental health and overall well-being.

    Heart Problems

    If you don’t get a lot of sleep, there is an increased chance that you will have heart problems in the future. This is clearly something you don’t want to happen, and a particularly important part of your health to keep an eye on. If you are struggling to work out how to actually get enough sleep, you should think about approaching it from a number of angles in order to make it that much more likely to happen. Once you start to look into it you will see that there are many ways to approach it, ranging from using natural medicine for insomnia to trying to keep your stress at bay.  Good nutrition and exercise are also important.  See the end of this article for links to plenty of 'how to sleep better' type blog posts. Do that, and you will get more sleep, and your will have far fewer problems with your heart.

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    Stress

    You are considerably more likely to be stressed if you don't get much sleep, and that stress will in turn mean that you sleep less often and less well.  It is important you make sure you stop this cycle in its tracks as soon as you can. There are many ways to manage your stress, but one of the most effective is meditation. If you meditate every day, you will find that you are much less stressed, and your sleep will be of a much better and deeper quality practically immediately.  If you've no idea where to begin then search for some YouTube videos to guide you, or try yoga which can be very relaxing and mindful.

     

    Related blog posts

    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

     

    The link between sleep and good health

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  3. Vinnie’s Eatery Review – Cheltenham’s Vegan Plant Based Restaurant

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    Today I want to share with you my favourite plant based restaurant in Cheltenham.  Vinnie’s Eatery is a vegan restaurant in Cheltenham (with some veggie options too) that I absolutely love.  I’ve been three times now and I’ve been equally impressed with the food every time.  We last went on Sunday just gone and I want to share with you my review.

    I have mentioned Vinnie’s a couple of times on my new Healthy Vix blog which you can read here and here.  It’s featured in my top vegan restaurants in Gloucestershire post.  Even though I’ve only been three times so far, the food has been outstanding each and every time.  It’s one of those places that I knew I was going to love, even before I first went.

    I can’t quite remember how I heard of it, perhaps my friend Liza who is always in the know about new places and what’s happening locally, but last summer we went to a vegan fair in Cheltenham and arranged to go for lunch there.  To our surprise they had a stand at the fair, we got talking and couldn’t wait to pop over for lunch.  That day they were serving Mexican plant based vegan food and it was absolutely delicious.  Back then they were 100% plant based.  Even though I wasn’t then as I was still consuming some dairy (which I’m not now), I loved the whole ethos and totally vegan vibe.  I knew I was heading to a vegan lifestyle, I just hadn’t got there at that point.  Now I have and with all the knowledge I now have, I will never return to consuming any animal products.

    In 2017 I also had a no added/refined sugar challenge.  I went a whole year without.  Vinnie’s were perfect as they don’t use refined sugar, even in their vegan desserts.  The desserts are made with plant syrups if needed and not white sugar.

    Everything about Vinnie’s was spot on and exactly the sort of restaurant that appealed to my needs and the way my own healthy living journey was going.

    Vinnie’s Eatery Review – Cheltenham’s Vegan Plant Based Restaurant

    Vegan chickpea burger (hiding under the salad) with a homemade nut bread bun

    Unfortunately they are only open in the day times Wednesday to Friday and for special evening events.  This means I am very limited to when I can go there as I am in Gloucester weekdays and have my kids at the weekends.  It’s definitely an adult friendly café with no children’s menu.  I quite like it as a kid-free treat when we can go.  That’s why me and Ben have only been twice together so far!

    Using the link up above you can check out my first review after going with Ben, but here I’ll share mine and Ben’s second experience.

    The eatery, as always, was spotlessly clean and cosy.  I sat on a bench against the wall which was so comfortable with large boho style cushions to lean my back against.  There are always lots of hanging plants dotted about which I find my gaze drawn to each time I’ve been.  I have hanging plants at home so it’s something I love.  It also gives a clean, natural, healthy impression, so suits Vinnie’s. 

    I tried the toilet again and as in my first review it was spotless.  I had my retainer in so had to brush my teeth after eating and even though I dropped my toothbrush down behind the sink, I was amazed there wasn’t a speck of dust or dirt in sight.  They are very clean indeed, as all restaurants should be.  It’s also great to go back to a place several months later and see that the standards remain so high.

    Our food was also spot on.  We were hoping to have the un-shepherd’s pie, but sadly it was sold out, so another time.  We did have the vegan burgers and they were yummy!  Everything is so colourful, fresh and tasty.  Every mouthful is enjoyable.  That’s what I’ve felt on each visit – every single mouthful of everything is divine.  The food is cooked wonderfully and very homemade.  Even the bun was a homemade nut bread and it was scrumptious.

    We had a slice of vegan banoffee pie to finish which was on the counter and so couldn’t be resisted!  I rarely have desert when eating out as I still avoid refined sugar after my challenge, so it’s a rare treat to be able to have a pudding.  When I did eat desserts I never would have chosen a banoffee pie, but there’s something about Vinnie’s where the food is made so well that I like things I wouldn’t normally like.  For example, I did opt for no BBQ sauce on my burger as that’s a flavour I really can’t stand, so they gave me a tahini sauce.  It’s another thing I’d probably not usually eat on its own unless it’s in something like hummous, but it was delicious!

    Vinnie’s Eatery Review – Cheltenham’s Vegan Plant Based Restaurant - banoff

     

    Vegan banoffe pie

    To drink, Ben had the chocolate smoothie and I had the green smoothie.  Both were as the food was – every mouthful really delicious.

    I’m really hoping we can go back again soon when we have a kid free day.  I’ve my eye on the scrambled chickpeas on nut bread toast.  I’ve been dying to try some scrambled chickpeas for a while now.  Vinnie’s is highly recommended by me for delicious vegan food in Gloucestershire.  The food is really made to perfection and I’ve so far nothing bad to say at all about the food. 

    My only criticism would be that they don’t open in the evenings so we can go for a kid-free dinner once in a while.  I saw they used to and they did a vegan cashew cheese pizza, if I remember rightly, and I’m gutted I never made it to try one.  If they open in the evening again we’ll definitely be booking a babysitter and popping along!

     

    Related blog posts

    My Very Honest UK Vegan Campout Review ­ (as a family)

    My Favourite Healthy Eating Quotes

    Easy Chunky Veg Vegan Soup

    Vegan coconut and green matcha energy balls with Indigo Herbs

    Week-long vegan challenge saves enough carbon dioxide to fly to the moon and back

    5 Easy and Nutritious Vegan Breakfasts to get 3 of your 5-a-day

    Vinnie’s Eatery Review – Cheltenham’s Vegan Plant Based Restaurant