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Essential Nutrition
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WIN WIN WIN!

A SELECTION OF MY FAVOURITE NATURAL MAKE UP, SKINCARE AND TOILETRIES - worth A WHOPPING £250 (€300)!

Did you know that up to 60% of what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your blood stream? Or that 1 in 8 of the ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors?

By using natural personal care products you can help to decrease the toxic load on your body. Therefore, as a special Valentine’s Day gift, I’m giving one lucky winner a selection of my favourite natural personal care products.

The following goodies are included:
Skincare from Dr.Hauschka
Mineral make-up from Barefaced Beauty
Haircare from Faith in Nature
Shower gel and body lotion from Weleda
Virgin coconut oil from Viridian 
Travel minis and hand sanitizer from Bentley Organic
A selection of mini skin essentials from Green People
A selection of aluminium-free deodorants from Bionsen 
teapigs matcha green tea (skin protective antioxidants!)

Enter here http://tinyurl.com/bgl6489

Competition closes 13th February (UK and Ireland only). The lucky winner will be randomly selected and announced on Valentine’s Day.

Best of luck!
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It’s the cold and flu season again and I’ve had lots of questions about which foods or supplements can help prevent colds and flus. So here are my top 5 scientifically proven nutrients to supercharge your immune system!

1. Eat a clove of garlic every day.
Garlic contains allicin, an anti-viral and anti-bacterial agent. Allicin is so potent that it has been proven effective against the most antibiotic-resistant strains of MRSA. What many people don’t realise however, is that cooking garlic destroys most of the allicin, so garlic is best eaten raw. Easy recipes which contain raw garlic include hummus, guacamole and bruschetta. If you’re not a fan of raw garlic make sure to let garlic stand for ten minutes after chopping before cooking, as this helps to keep the allicin intact. 

2. Add mushrooms to your meals.
Mushrooms contain beneficial compounds known as beta-glucans, which galvanise the body's immune system. They have been shown to protect against cancer, bacterial, parasitic, and viral pathogens. All mushrooms contain these beneficial compounds but levels are especially high in maitake, shitake and oyster mushrooms. Try adding shitake mushrooms to a stir-fry or risotto.


3. Have a handful of nuts or seeds every day and keep some zinc lozenges in your medicine chest.
Nuts and seeds are packed full of zinc. Zinc increases the production of white blood cells, which fight infections. It's a good idea to keep zinc lozenges in your medicine chest. A recent review of 13 scientific studies concluded that when taken within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms, zinc lozenges can reduce both the severity and the duration of a cold.

4. Have some yoghurt every day.
Natural live yoghurt contains friendly bacteria which help boost the production of white blood cells, helping to defend against pathogenic bacteria. Add to your porridge, muesli or smoothie in the morning to supercharge your day!


5. My Top Tip! Take a Vitamin D supplement in winter. 
Vitamin D is synthesised in the skin when we are exposed to sunlight, and is a common deficiency especially in winter. Scientists at the University of Copenhagen have discovered that Vitamin D is essential in activating our immune system. Low levels mean that the T cells, which are responsible for immune health, remain dormant and inactive. This means they are unable to react and fight off serious infections in the body. Vitamin D is present in some foods like oily fish. However the levels are quite low so supplementation is extremely beneficial in winter.
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A lot of my clients seem to be opting for granola yogurt pots from a well-known high street store. Many people buy them as a healthy breakfast/snack but don’t realise that each little pot contains a whopping 320 calories and the equivalent of 6 teaspoons of sugar!

I have developed a much healthier (and cheaper) version. I promise it tastes just as good and can be made in a couple of minutes. You can always make a few pots in one go and store them in the fridge to save time on busy weekdays.

My healthy crunchy berry and yogurt pots
To make the crunchy topping: Heat 1tsp. coconut oil (or olive) in a pan. Throw in 1tbls. oats, 1 tsp. xylitol (or sugar), 1 tbls. mixed chopped nuts and a pinch of cinnamon. Stir in the pan until toasted. This takes about a minute. 

Fill about 1/3 small glass with berries (I use strawberries and blueberries) and fill the remainder with live natural yogurt leaving some space at the top of the glass to pop your topping. 
This is full of antioxidants (in the berries), healthy bacteria and protein (in the yogurt) and fibre, zinc, selenium and B vitamins (in the crunchy topping). 

A tasty and nutritious start to the day!
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Win Win Win!

I am a big tea lover. I blame my nationality – we Irish have the biggest per capita tea consumption in the world. Given the countless health benefits of green tea (energy, skin health, antioxidants, fat loss...) I was excited to try out teapigs matcha green tea. I wasn’t disappointed.

teapigs matcha green tea has a subtle and slightly sweet flavour. The fact that matcha has 137 times more antioxidants than regular green tea is a big plus.

I've teamed up with my friends at teapigs to offer a lucky winner the chance to win an online nutrition consultation and some teapigs teas worth £117. To enter the competition check out the link below:

http://www.teapigs.co.uk/articles/win_teapigs_treats_and_a_personal_online_nutrition_consultation.htm.

Good luck!
Caroline

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Calling all chocoholics- fancy a FREE box of Butlers Dark Chocolates this Easter Sunday!

New research has found that those who eat chocolate a few times a week are slimmer than those who eat it less often. Scientists believe this is due to ingredients in chocolate which support weight loss. While this evidence is still in its infancy, this isn't the first piece of positive research on chocolate. We also know that dark chocolate is packed full of antioxidants, which mop up free radicals – unstable chemicals which contribute to ageing. Unfortunately, it still boils down to moderation so eating ten Easter eggs this Sunday won’t help you shift the pounds or turn back the clock! However, enjoying moderate amounts of dark chocolate may offer some interesting health benefits.

This Easter Sunday 3 lucky winners will be randomly selected to receive a box of Butlers 200g Dark Chocolate Ballotin. To be in with a chance to win click here http://goo.gl/lfNmI and “Like” my new Facebook page. Make sure you share this message with friends and family!

If you’d like to learn more about chocolate and how it is made check out the Butlers Chocolate Experience – Ireland’s ultimate chocolate discovery tour – www.butlerschocolates.com/chocolateexperience.


Happy Easter!
Caroline
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Yesterday I was invited to join an expert panel on Voice of Russia Radio discussing Food Scares in the Media and how they impact on consumers.

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Hummus is so tasty and healthy. It's also incredibly easy to make. For a twist on the traditional hummus see the recipe I have written for Olive Branch:
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