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Period week is probably the hardest time of the month when you are trying to be healthy.

Thanks to those hormones, all you want is to crawl onto the couch under a blanket with a bottomless carton of cookie dough ice-cream.

While cramps, bad skin, back and breast pain on the menu, there are good food options you should try and include in your diet to make you feel better. 

Iron is your friend…

Losing blood probably means you are running low on iron, which makes you feel weak, tired, probably moody, and could lead to anaemia.

To prevent it, choose food that provides a good amount of iron, such as clams, mussels, red meat, leafy greens, beans and legumes.

Dark chocolate is also a good source of the mineral, should you need another reason to always keep a supply at your desk. 

… and so is vitamin C

To enhance iron absorption, you need to make sure to get enough vitamin C, which also helps you feel more energised.

Good sources of Vitamin C are kiwis, oranges, mangoes, strawberries, as well as broccoli and peppers.

Don’t forget magnesium 

While magnesium is essential to prevent premenstrual syndrome (whose effects include mood swings, irritability, anxiety, bloating, fluid retention, breast pain or headaches), it is also an important nutrient you need during your period, as it helps relieve muscle pain, stress and tensions in the body.

Go for bananas, nuts, spinach, porridge, quinoa and dark chocolate and you should meet your daily needs.

Calcium calms the cramps

Calcium has been shown to help reduce menstrual pain so if you suffer from cramps, watch your calcium intake.

Dairy products are obvious sources of calcium but almonds, kale, broccoli, oats, spinach, beans and tofu also provide a healthy amount of the mineral.

Good fats are anti-inflammatory

Salmon, sardines and mackerel are among the good sources of Omega 3, a fatty acid that helps combat inflammation. If you don’t like fish, avocado and rapeseed oil also contain a lot of Omega 3.

 

Do as well as you can, but no pressure…

We know it might be hard to find motivation to go to the gym and reach for healthy food at that time of the month, but maybe you could, say, eat your ice-cream, but have a healthy stir-fry beforehand to make sure you get all the nutrients you need?

Sorted!
 

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We are encouraged to practise mindfulness on a daily basis, right?

And while many of us understand it to be an approach which can impact positively on our mental health, recent studies have suggested that mindfulness can actually impact on our waistline too.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina have established that by focusing on each mouthful of food consumed, the individual increases their likelihood of losing weight.

Dividing 80 participants into two groups, researchers encouraged the first to practice mindful eating which required each individual to pay attention to feelings of hunger, avoid distractions and savour tastes, while the second group were not required to do any of this

Without restricting calories or following a nutrition plan, the first group lost 4 lbs over the course of 15 weeks while the second group lost 0.6 lbs.

Explaining the basis of the study, Dr Carolyn Dunn said:"Mindfulness is paying attention to your surroundings, being in the present moment."

"Mindful eating is eating with purpose, eating on purpose, eating with awareness, eating without distraction, when eating only eating, not watching television or playing computer games or having any other distractions, and not eating at our desks," she continued.

Commenting on the findings of the study, she asserted:"People did increase their mindfulness and they did absolutely decrease their weight”.

Sounds like we might need to start 'losing' the remote around dinner time, right?

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When your exams are just around the corner, food is probably the last thing you have time to worry about.

Long gone are the healthy days of wholesome food and regular exercise, you decide to survive on chocolate bars, takeaways and energy drinks.

Sorry to disappoint, but this is the worst thing you can do to your wallet, your body, and therefore your brain.

To function properly and get you through this challenging and stressful time, your brain needs to be fed properly and regularly. Meals don’t have to be complicated or time consuming if you follow our list. 

1. Pasta, rice and complex carbs

Ensuring a good level of energy during your studies is essential to make the most of your time and not feel sluggish.

Include wholegrain rice, pasta, porridge and bread in your diet, as well as starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and pulses. 

2. Nuts

Good fats are essential for your brain, especially Omega 3 which are said to boost your memory.

When you get peckish, snack on almonds, walnuts, cashews and seeds to make sure you cover your needs.

Fatty fish are also a great source of Omega 3 so if you want to get a takeaway, go for a plate of sushi and a salad.

3. Fruits and vegetables

To get as much nutrients as possible, make sure to include fruits and vegetables in every meal and snack you have.

Kiwis, grapefruits, peppers, tomatoes, parsley and oranges for example are great sources of Vitamin C, which helps combat fatigue.

Overall, the more colourful your plate the better! (and we are not talking about pouring Skittles in a bowl and calling it dinner.)

4. Eggs

An excellent and cheap source of protein (to help build those brain cells), eggs might also improve memory according to a recent study.

Eggs and avocado on toast are a delicious, quick and super healthy meal that is perfect for the exam season.

5. Drink water!

Ditch the energy drinks and go easy on the coffee.

The one and only drink you really need during your exams is water as your cognitive functions and learning abilities decrease massively if your body is dehydrated – which happens even before you feel thirsty.

Aim at a minimum of 1.5l a day. 

Extra tip: SLEEP!

Going to bed at 5 am before an exam in order to catch up with all the classes you missed is the worst idea.

Sometimes, getting a good night of sleep – allowing you to show up with a refreshed mind and functioning brain – might actually be more useful than a last minute learning bootcamp. 
 

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'Avocado hand,' as doctors are calling it, is a new phenomenon that has prompted the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons to warn people about the practice of slicing.

Apparently, improper slicing of avocados can lead to nerve and tendon damage – which is a very upsetting revelation. 

"People do not anticipate that the avocados they buy can be very ripe and there is minimal understanding of how to handle them," Simon Eccles, a former Royal Society of Medicine president of plastic surgery told The Times.

avocado, close-up, color

He also added that his hospital endures a Saturday 'post-brunch surge' of such injuries, and he sees four patients each week due to avocado hand.

Some people even require surgery to fix the issue, and they may never regain full use of the affected hand.

The injury has become so common that doctors are now calling for safety warning stickers to be put on the fruit (btw, we had no idea avocados were fruits until today).

Avocado Fruits

To avoid giving yourself avocado hand, place the avocado on a flat surface with your hand on top and gently make incisions around the outside. When you are de-stoning the fruit, wrap it in a towel and leave only the stone exposed.

'Use the edge of a heavy sharp knife to chop into the summit of the soft pit, so that it is slightly buried. Holding the knife, so that the pit is stabilised, use a towel to twist the pit out,' David Shewring, vice-president of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand, told The Times.

Next time you want to make guacamole – be careful, ladies. 

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Our Instagram feeds would feel incomplete without a stylised snap of our superfood salad, or a table flat lay shot of Sunday brunch, mimosas included.

But according to new research, we shouldn't actually be snapping photos of our food before we dig in.

As well as the social faux pas of making our food go cold and preventing everyone at the table from eating in the pursuit of the perfect picture, a study has shown that paying too much detail to the appearance of our food makes us enjoy the overall experience less. 

Overexposure to food, brought on by looking at it for ages to create that gorgeous picture, leads to pre-satiation.

The study established 'sensory simulations as an important mechanism underlying satiation, and provides behavioural evidence that simple evaluations can produce sensory-specific satiety.'

This basically means that you're bored of the food before you even start eating it, and where's the fun in that? 

'When we Instagram, we inherently must focus our attention on the item in the picture, even for that very brief moment,' the paper's co-author Professor Joseph Redden told The Independent

'This can have a range of effects on later enjoyment.'

So essentially, spending so much time 'gramming your food means that you're taking less time to enjoy it, which can ultimately lead to you not getting as much satisfaction from the meal as you could have.

And we'd much rather eat the perfect meal at it's best than get a few extra likes on Insta. 

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There is nothing better than heading out for brunch with the girls every Sunday, or sharing dinner and drinks with your partner, but all that fanciful feasting can add up.

A new survey has revealed how much the average Irish person spends eating outside the home every month, and it tots up to a grand total of about €100.00.

Around 55 per cent of people spend over €100.00 to eat out each month, while only 7% spend less than €50.00.

The survey by Taste of Dublin also showed that almost four out of ten of us eat out at least once a week.

Irish women are also more likely to eat out weekly, with 40 per cent of us paying the brunch bill once a week, when compared with Irish men.

The lads were just behind us in the polls however, with 35 per cent enjoying a meal out each week.

 

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Only 8 per cent of frugal foodies eat out less than once per month or rarely. 

The survey also portrayed  the importance of bar and restaurant reviews to food fans, who make sure to look up public opinion of a venue before sinking their teeth in.  

84 per cent of people say they are more likely to head to a well-received restaurant, with only 3 per cent saying they don’t read reviews. 

 

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'Most of us are spending over €100 each month eating out, which reflects the demand for tables we are seeing in Irish restaurants and matches the anecdotal stories we are hearing from our expert chefs and restaurants,' said Taste of Dublin Managing Director Avril Bannerton.

Now we're hungry…

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We all remember a time when we thought we were too mature to be at home and have our mammy feed us – but honestly, how many of us wish we could go back home and have our dinner handed to us every evening?

The gals at SHEmazing! HQ gave a unanimous hands up, as did Spin 1038 presenter, Daniella Moyles.

The model and DJ spoke to us about growing up in Ireland and her favourite family meal times.

"I don't miss [family meal times] because we still have them. I miss having someone cook for me every night!" she said as her mam, Pauline, sat by her side.

 

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"Family meals were really important in our house," said Pauline. "It was a chance for us to all get together and have a chat."

However, Daniella realises that family time is very different nowadays.

"It's a totally different scenario. We grew up differently to kids that are growing up now. My dad was a chef and he worked long hours so it was always, me, my brother and my mam at the table for dinner. 

"I didn't realise it, but they were great times. And at the weekends my dad would be there, so it was great to have everyone together."

 

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If you grew up with siblings, then you'll know that dinner time wasn't always peaceful, and it was the same for Daniella.

"My brother is four years younger than me so I always saw him as the baby.

"I'm sure we had terrible fights at the table growing up, but the worst I can remember is pulling a rug from under him and he cracked his head on a plug," to which Pauline sighs, "Oh God yeah, I remember that."

But even with all the fights (and head-bashing), Daniella says that they were still a "special" time.

We all remember these family meal times so fondly, it's a wonder why they aren't so popular now, but Daniella puts it down to one sole thing; our phones.

 

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"I don't think the biggest distraction is TV or anything because we live in a world where everything is on demand.

"It's our phones that are getting in the way now. Mine is practically glued to me no matter what I'm doing," she said.

We think it's time to put the phones away, have the chats with our family, and enjoy meal times once again.

As Daniella's mum said, "it was a priority then," and still should be today.

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It is no secret that Dublin has become a real foodie hotspot in the past few years.

To help you eat your way around the city and make sure you don’t miss on the good stuff, we have made our own list of the food you absolutely need to try at least once in Dublin. 

So, without further ado…

A brownie in Industry

We love Industry for the beautiful design and lifestyle offering, but there is another reason we visit the gift shop on a regular basis: their dark chocolate and sea salt brownie.

This small piece of heaven is one of the best brownies we have ever tasted, gooey, rich in flavours and so satisfying. 

 

It's a brownie sort of a day #homemade #chocolateseasaltbrownies #brownie #chocolatebrownie #midweektreat

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A pizza at the Dublin Pizza Company

You would almost miss it when you walk past it but this tiny shed on Aungier Street serves the most delicious woodfired pizzas, made with organic ingredients.

And if you don’t want to eat it by the counter, you can now order it from the comfort of your couch. 

 

Easily the best pizza in Ireland

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Chicken wings from the Canal Bank Cafe

The chicken wings from this cafe on Leeson Street are so tasty they may actually change your life.

A warning – be prepared to get your hands dirty, as the sauce will pretty much go everywhere, but it will be more than worth it. Best wings in the city! 

 

Canal Bank Wing Lunch #instafood #foodie #wings #canalbankcafe #lovindublin #dublin #tasty #hotsauce #frankshotsauce #lunch

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Mushrooms on toasts in Fia

This little cafe in Rathgar never cease to amaze us and the Mushrooms on toast, one of Chef Keith Coleman’s signature dishes, should be in the brunch food Hall of Fame. 

A carrot cake at Queen of Tarts

Whenever we are craving something sweet during a shopping session in town, Queen of Tarts is a place that always comes in mind.

This tearoom is super tiny so you might have to queue to get a table (especially on a rainy Saturday), but their incredibly tasty and moist carrot cake is also available for takeaway.

 

A burger in Bunsen

When we need a really good burger, Bunsen never fails to deliver.

A big juicy meat patty, a sweet bun, and a well-balanced combination of pickle, onion, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mustard and mayo are all it takes to make our mouth drool. 

 

A pint in Grogans

According to some Guinness experts, Grogans serves the best pint in Dublin – as well as a deadly toastie.

We love the atmosphere of this pub right in the city centre, especially when the days get warmer and everyone is drinking outside. #heaven

 

A tasting menu at Forest Avenue

Why does Forest Avenue not have a Michelin star yet is beyond us, as the food Chef John Wyer creates there is pretty mind-blowing.

It might seem like a lot at first, but the 5 course tasting menu for €55 is actually amazing value for the fantastic experience you get.   

A cannoli in Dolce Sicily Cafe

This small Italian cafe located under The Design House has made a name for itself thanks to the delicious Italian style ristretto coffee it serves as well as the most delicious cannoli you could find outside Italy.

A food tour with Fab Food Trails

You think you know Dublin until you enrol in a tour with Fab Food Trails. During the 3 hour stroll, the guides will surely bring you to places you have heard about (who would say no to a stopover in Sheridan's?) but also some hidden gems you had never heard of.

Between two bites, you will also learn a lot of interesting facts about the culture and history of our beloved city.

A steak in the Butcher Grill

An absolute must for meat lovers. You dine in an intimate and comfortable setting, where the staff are lovely and the food is out of this world.

If you can, order a side of mashed potato – and eat the entire thing (you won't regret it!). 

A lunch at Bastible

We will agree with the British Vogue on this one: Bastible is definitely on the list of the places you need to visit when in Dublin.

This contemporary bistro on South Circular Road serves the most delicious and refined food in a pleasant casual atmosphere. 

A prawn toast with yuzu mayo at Hang Dai

Trust us, these will be €7 very well spent. With their contemporary Chinese menu, this subway-style restaurant on Camden Street reminds us what real Chinese food can be, far, far away from the 3 in 1. 

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Look, we all know life can be hard, and there are occasions when you deserve some serious TLC.
 
And then there are other times when life is totally going according to plan, but you still crave some major pampering and me-time.

Hey, we get that –  it's calling treating yo'self.

Whether life is running on rails or careering off them completely, here are 8 situations which always require you treat yo'self pronto!

1. Someone eats the food you've been looking forward to all day.

Situation: The feeling of utter despair that envelopes you when you realise you live with a thieving so-and-so, who would happily chomp their way through your food, is oh so real. 

Remedy: Take a deep breath, make a mental note of their deception, plot their downfall, order a takeaway and have a long bath while you're waiting for it to be delivered.

2. There's no hot water for a much-needed post-gym shower.

Situation: Peeling off your work-out gear only to find yourself shivering with one outstretched hand beneath a freezing cold torrent of water is worthy of multiple meltdowns.

Remedy: Jump straight into your fluffiest dressing gown, and while you're waiting for the water to heat up, give yourself some pre-shower prep with a little body brushing. Not only will it keep you warm, but it will do wonders for your stress levels.

3. You realise you've been rocking a funky foundation tidemark all day.

Situation: After a relatively good day with the other humans, you arrive home to find that your neck and face look like they belong to two different people… and not ONE person thought to tell you.

Remedy: There's really nothing for this other than a few hours of alone time with a DVD boxset and McVities Nibbles. 

4. The clothes you ordered online make you look like a potato.

Situation: You (willingly) maxxed out your credit card and now you're surrounded by a mountain of garments which only belong on a bonfire.

Remedy: Grab your phone and immediately Google 'Celebrity Worst Dressed Lists'. It may not be kind, but hey it will make you feel better.

5. Your gin buddy cancels at the last minute… and you're ready and waiting to cut loose.

Situation: You've been looking forward to a night on the tiles for over a week, and your so-called mate cancels on you due to a cold you're certain could be fixed with a few gins.

Remedy: Do NOT instantly grab a facewipe and remove every smidgen of makeup you've just applied. Instead, hijack someone else's night out, and make the most of that lipstick.

6. You lose your Leap Card mere hours after topping up by €50.

Situation: You top up your Leap Card BEFORE you find yourelf in the red, and lose the damn thing just hours after filling it with money.

Remedy: Like your funky tidemark situation, some scenarios require alone time. Take to the couch in your cosiest pyjamas, fill a bowl with your favourite chocolate, and eat your way through those feelings of frustration and irritation.

7. You wake up in foul humour, trudge through your day in foul humour and come home in foul humour.

Situation: You woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

Remedy: You treat yo'self old-school by lighting candles, pouring wine, eating chocolate and pampering yourself like the queen that you are.

8. You spend days on a project for your boss only for it to be shelved at the last minute.

Situation: Your boss reminds you why you hate him by dropping the ball on a project you worked your arse off on.

Remedy: Chocolate. And gin, ladies. Chocolate and gin.

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Researchers have found that 'diet' foods can actually make you put on weight and contribute to an array of other health problems.

Scientists from the University of Georgia conducted a study and found that even though high-fat foods are often targeted for obesity, it's actually sugar-laden 'diet' products which cause the most harm.

In the study, rats were fed the equivalent of 'diet' foods (high in sugar but low in fat) and saw that this actually made them put on weight when compared to a balanced rodent diet.

Image result for fat free food products

The study's principal investigator, Krzysztof Czaja, said: "Most so-called diet products containing low or no fat have an increased amount of sugar and are camouflaged under fancy names, giving the impression that they are healthy.

"The reality is that those foods may damage the liver and lead to obesity as well."

Krzysztof continued: "What's really troubling in our findings is that the rats consuming high-sugar, low-fat diets didn't consume significantly more calories than the rats fed a balanced diet.

"Our research shows that rats fed a low-fat, high-sugar diet, the efficiency of generating body fat is more than twice as high — in other words, rats consuming low-fat high-sugar diets need less than half the number of calories to generate the same amount of body fat."

The unbalanced diets also caused chronic inflammation in the intestinal tract and brain. which Krzysztof believes damages the vagus nerve, which controls sensory signals, including the brain's ability to determine when you're full.

"The brain changes resulting from these unbalanced diets seem to be long term, and it is still not known if they are reversible by balanced diets," she said.

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Being pampered is luxury enough, so imagine being pampered while munching on some delicious treats.

That's what Callan & Co has introduced to its salon. And it won't be your run of the mill food either, because the salon has teamed up with Cocu Kitchen to bring you an entire menu of snacks, breakfasts and energy pots.

Whether you're having your hair done or getting a make over by one of Callan & Co's top make-up artists, sit back and relax, and enjoy the food the salon has on offer.

Whether you want a wrap, porridge, an energy pot or even some soup, it'll all be available for you to enjoy in the salon.

When you arrive, there will be a Cocu menu waiting for you at each of the salon stations to make sure you won't miss out.

All you have to do is place your order with a member of the Callan & Co staff, and within minutes, your delish breakfast or lunch will be sitting in front of you.

Looking at the menu, we can't wait to try this experience out.

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You know when you're just about to take a big bite out of a lovely meal… and then a fly lands on it.

Most of the time you swat it away, right? Well, turns out you should probably bin it.

Why? When a fly lands on your food, it apparently gets sick. As in, it actually throws up on your grub. Lovely…

Image result for fly on food

A recent survey asked participants what critter would make them run a mile from a restaurant: Rodents, flies, cockroaches, ants or snakes?

The majority said that cockroaches would make them flee, however scientists say that flies carry twice as many germs on them.

Flies aren't able to actually chew their food, so they have to throw up enzymes in order to slurp their grub up.

Image result for fly on food

So, basically if a fly lands on your sambo and wants a bite, it will puke on it.

Also, flies like to eat things that we find revolting (trash, rotten animal carcasses, faeces), so the real danger when a fly lands on your food is actually it's body.

Germs from all those disgusting things a fly lands on clings to the hairs on the fly's body, so they pick up a host of bacteria and viruses.

So, moral of the story? Don't at anything a fly lands on. We definitely won't after finding this out.

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