Beauty, lifestyle

Teatox – fad or fab?

By Jasmine McRae

Jasmine sets to share her newfound and honest insight into the mysterious world of teatoxes.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt self-conscious about your body. I know I have. As young women we almost feel expected to try every diet, workout routine or new fitness fad in the book. And where does it leave us? Skint and frustrated at our lack of results.

I delved into the mystical world of Detox Teas at the end of last year. I was absolutely desperate for that summer bod; looking and feeling fabulous. Teatoxes are usually between £20 and £50, depending on the brand, the length of time you’ll be using them, and whether they contain any special ingredients or supplements too.

Hunting for a bargain, I ended up on the TeaMi website; a company that specialises in the topic. They have teas for everything: metabolism boosts, better sleep, increasing your cognitive function (no, really), and weight loss. Their basic weight loss teatox program costs an eye-watering £49.99 and comes with two bags. One contains the Skinny Tea, which claims to energise you, reduce hunger and increase fat burning. The other is the Colon Tea, which literally just makes you need to crap. A lot.

I had really high hopes. Well, if you spend the equivalent of a fortnight’s food shop on a few tea bags, you will want a decent product, right?

In all honesty, I enjoyed the Skinny Tea aspect of the detox. I loved the taste, but I love green tea anyway, so I was winning from the beginning. Although, I didn’t feel like suddenly running a marathon, nor I did see any fat burned. I still felt like I needed my usual pint of coffee in the mornings to get me going. So minimal effect really.

And then it was the Colon Tea. These teas, no matter what brand you buy, are essentially laxatives, and need to be drank before bed. The adverts say that they ‘cleanse’ your body, but it’s really more like some sort of lava that flush out of your system.  hated it. It tasted awful; hints of black liquorice and overtones of dishwater. Precisely eight hours after you drink it, you’ll need to be within about two meters of a toilet, which isn’t ideal if you have things to be doing the next morning.

It took me about three weeks of suffering with through this Teatox to realise that it was just another fad. There are countless manipulative (read: sponsored) Insta-famous girls brandishing their tea infusers on social media. Companies like this just exploit our insecurities, and want us all to spend £50 for a ‘quick-fix’. It really doesn’t work.

I gave up the Teatox, and although it was heart-wrenching to chuck it in the bin, I am actually so much happier. My sleeping pattern is back to normal, which is working wonders for my mood and focus in day to day life. Eating healthily and moving more is making some of those extra pounds shift a little bit.
But the best part? Being able to leave my house to get to university, or even go for a jog, without having to lock myself in the toilet.

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lifestyle, Mental Health

5 things to do to help relax your mind

Relaxation is so important, physically and mentally. Physical relaxation often comes more naturally than mental relaxation, physical relaxation can include napping, showering/bathing, sitting on the sofa doing absolutely nothing. Knowing how to relax your mind can be something that needs to be learnt and can seem impossible to achieve, especially if you suffer with anxiety or another mental illness. So to help you on your way to looking after your ever so important mind, here are 5 things that could make your mental relaxation time a little easier and more successful.

 Take a step out – Read a book or a magazine, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Reading is great escapism and the focus can really distract your mind from what you’ve been worrying or stressing about lately.

Focus on your breathing – Count as you breathe. Start by counting to 3 as you breathe in, 3 as you breathe out and from there work out what’s comfortable for you.

Try active relaxation – I’ve recently found that gentle exercise can help your mind settle down tons. Try to find a yoga or Pilates class and if not, you tube have great tutorials and you can great apps as well. Taking a walk at your own pace can also be great, whether it’s 15 minutes or an hour.

Get creative – Writing is a massive outlet for me, I could write for hours and it’s so relaxing. Whether you want to write, doodle or paint whatever you do, try not to worry about the final product, you don’t have to be good at what you’re doing, just try to enjoy it. Lighting a scented candle can help along with creativity and relaxing your mind too.

Listen to music – Listen to your favorite songs, turn the volume up if you like and sing along or dance. Just have fun because once you are, your mind will be transported to somewhere serene, or pop on your headphones, lay down, close your eyes and just listen.

Try to practice relaxing your mind around 4 times a week and if you find one that works well for you, stick with it and you’ll soon see the benefits.

lifestyle

Let’s talk sexual positivity

Sex, what is more frowned upon in our ever judgmental society? There are so many people having sex at this very moment and yet there are so many people being made to feel it’s wrong. I’m here to tell you it’s not.

I don’t want to come across as sexist but when it comes to sex a lot of the time for boys is great, something to be proud of but if you’re a girl you’ll know that’s usually not the case, if you’re a girl if you’ve done it, you have no self-respect or are labelled as vile things. That’s a load of crap, honestly sex is something that yes, should be spoken about mainly because we all need to learn about safe sex and STD’s, we need to be told about available contraception but also because the only way for anyone to feel comfortable about sex is if it’s spoken about. Sex doesn’t make you dirty or mean you deserve less respect just because you’re having it. Sex is something that if done safely (unless you and your partner are both STD free and are trying for a baby) can be fun and enjoyable (sorry mum and dad) and when in the moment shouldn’t be taken to seriously, you can laugh at yourself. Sex is healthy and completely natural, remember that.

Whether you’re a guy or a girl, sex is okay, sex is a great part of relationships (though not essential) and you should never feel ashamed, your sex life is your business!

Last but not least, ‘No’ is okay too. Saying no is never something to feel guilty about, at any stage. Whether you’re fully clothed, naked or half way through, ‘No’ is always okay!

For any sex info you may need, follow the link below..

http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/sexandyoungpeople/Pages/Sex-and-young-people-hub.aspx

Uncategorized

Why diets suck

So, I think pretty much all of us at one stage in our lives have tried a ‘dreaded diet’, people trying to lose weight to be like the shiny magazine models whose edited bodies are plastered everywhere, trying to get inside your head that this is the only ‘norm’ – and fair enough, there’s nothing wrong with looking like that, there’s nothing wrong with looking any certain way, but not when you’re putting your body through hell. Anyways, 9.999999 times that diet has failed right? Why? because diets suck.

When you’re dieting, it’s usually all based on calorie restriction.  Carbs are bad!! Don’t eat sugar!! No fats!! This is why it never works! When you’re restricting yourself, your brain tries to go against you, therefor why you get huge cravings because you’re not satisfied with what you’re eating and this can end in binges. Your body is in a caloric deficit and will be running on nothing. The same goes with carbs, so many diets out there say to reduce your carb intake to barley nothing – this is stupid, your body’s cells need glucose which we get from carbs like potatoes, pasta, even fruits, to turn into energy, depriving it of that is going to cause your body to want to shut down, you’ll be fatigued and feel like shit. These diets ARNT going to work for a long period of time, they’re unrealistic, make you obsessed with your weight and can ultimately be dangerous to your physical and mental health.

Harder to do than say is too really try appreciate yourself for who you are, if you’re happy with your body then who the hell cares how much you weigh as long as you’re healthy. And really, if you do want to become healthier, the plant-based lifestyle really is the best, our bodies thrive on fruits and veggies and carbs. If you’re eating less calorie dense foods and replacing them with foods like these plant foods that you can eat more of for the same amount of calories, you’re going to feel fuller and more satisfied. Diets are total shite and you should never make yourself and your body unhappy trying to lose a few pounds, it’s really not worth it. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to lose/gain weight, as long as you’re being kind to yourself in the process. Love yourself. Diets suck.

 

Mental Health, Uncategorized

How Anti Depressants Ruined My Life

Okay so the title might be mildly over dramatic but, it’s how it felt. I was recommended   anti-depressants as part of my treatment, I saw it as giving up and giving in, but still they were pushed upon me. It’s the biggest mistake I have ever made, people can easily become so reliant on them, and I felt less of a person.

But not even that, anti depressants caused an increase in appetite that I didn’t feel capable of suppressing edging me from a size 8 to a 12, and maybe at some points beyond, this ruined my confidence and pushed me further into depression. It all happened so suddenly, and even after taking them the changes that they’d made to my body I can’t easily reverse. Yes it sounds like a sorry excuse for gaining weight, and yes I am going to get my body back to a point I’m comfortable with but that’s not the real point here.

Anti depressants are being prescribed to a worrying amount of young people, in the UK the NHS is stretched more and more each year, with waiting lists for adolescent mental health exceeding a year in parts of the UK. The statistics for young people’s mental wellbeing get worse and worse by the year, with exams getting harder and more pressure being put on them. The real need is NOT for anti depressants to be prescribed, but instead first supporting schools to better support students wellbeing and more funding into therapies and NHS psychologists.

Mental Health, Uncategorized

Things I have learned during recovery

Recovery can be a terrifying concept, change is scary especially if you’ve not been okay for so long. It’s okay to be scared to be worried, I certainly was.

It’s been a few years now since I turned my families lives upside down, suffering from a mental illness not only effected me but all of my family, for so long, and I couldn’t be more grateful for everything they did for me. Now I’m on the other side I can tell you, recovering is weird. It isn’t quick and my God is it not easy. 

You have to force yourself to get up every morning, you know that staying in bed will make you miserable, however much you want the world to disappear getting up and dressed makes such a different to your day.

Everyone is different no two people’s brains are identical, heck maybe not even similar. Everyone recovers at a different pace, and it’s okay to not move as fast as everyone else.

Don’t be so hard on yourself, it’s not going to happen overnight, you’re not just suddenly going to feel okay. A relapse can show you how far you’ve come, and how to push on from there.

Cut out all toxic people, we live in a culture that would would rather be nice than truthful but when it comes to recovery you’ve got to be selfish, you come first and that’s ok. Taking away negative influences from your life and surrounding yourself with positive people makes the world of difference.

Medication isn’t for everyone I know so many people who swear by anti depressants which kept pushing me to continue taking them, but the truth is for me they only made me feel less of a person, I’d rather be me than that. I found what worked best is to constantly push myself, but that could be entirely personal preference.

It’ll get better in the end, I never believed it, and if I hadn’t of tried so hard perhaps it wouldn’t have. But in the last two years my life has changed entirely, sometimes I forget, but I couldn’t be more proud.

These are just my own personal tips and tricks, if you’ve got any of your own leave them in the comments below.

*This post is based purely on personal opinion of someone who’s experienced a mental health issue, not that of a qualified proffessional* 

lifestyle, Mental Health

Radio 2’s Mental Health Week

So this week is Radio 2’s Mental Health Week. Firstly, I think it’s actually massive progress that such big names are holding weeks like this to raise awareness that is absolutely needed. Not enough people see mental health as a real issue that needs to be obtained or as something that can be spoken about openly.

I’m here to say that it can be spoken about and it should be, the more people begin to talk about it the faster developments will be made to end the stigma around mental health. No one should feel afraid or ashamed if they are dealing with any type of mental illness, no matter what your age, help is always deserved.

There are more and more people that are finding out that they have a mental illness everyday, and it needs to be spoken about it needs to be recognised and understood. In Britain mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental health disorder. Are people ready to talk about this yet? To address the problem? No, because it’s not taken seriously enough, 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions or help at an sufficiently early age.

If you’re sitting there and are or have been worrying for a while if maybe you need help or may have a mental health disorder, don’t be afraid and ask for help, tell someone, mum, dad, nan, friend? In the long run it will be a lot easier than suffering in silence, speak out!

You can find more about BBC’s mental health week here 

If you’re struggling, the Samaritans are always there to listen.

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116 123 (ROI)