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health

Most people who try to follow a reasonably healthy diet will be familiar with the concept of a 'cheat day' – 24 hours when calories don't count, because hey, you havn't even looked at a square of chocolate in over a week.

One day off won't do any harm, right?

Well, not exactly.

As it turns out, just one day of binge eating can have a huge impact on your body's health. 

Researchers from the University of Loughborough asked 15 heathy people to eat a diet high in fat for just one day.

They indulged in three high-calorie meals including, sausages, bacon and fried eggs for breakfast, sausage rolls and cheese sandwiches for lunch, followed by a pork pie snack, then a burger and a chocolate chip muffin.

In total, participants consumed about 78 per cent more calories then the recommended amount, and by the end of the day, their whole-body insulin levels has decreased by 28 per cent.

Researchers say this result in highly “significant”, as over time, the pancreas could become dysfunctional, leading to an increased risk of type two diabetes.

The study concluded: “A single day of high-fat, overfeeding impaired whole-body insulin sensitivity in young, healthy adults. This highlights the rapidity with which excessive consumption of calories through high-fat food can impair glucose metabolism, and suggests that acute binge eating may have immediate metabolic health consequences for the individual.”

So, perhaps it might be better to spread your treats throughout the week…

We've all been there – late night, too many snoozes, barely catch the bus, no time to eat.

And while the notion that breakfast is the 'most important meal of the day' has been drilled into us from a young age, most of us choose to ignore this advice from time to time.

In fact, a recent Bord Bia study found that 13 per cent of Irish adults don't eat breakfast at all.

However, it look like our mothers may have been right all along, because new research has found a link between skipping breakfast and poor cardiovascular health.

For the study, researchers analysed the health of 4,052 middle aged men and women working in banks, all of whom had no previous history of cardiovascular disease.

Participants were asked to note everything they ate over a 15-day period, as well as their body mass index, cholesterol levels, smoking status, and level of physical activity.

Researchers then examined the build up of fatty material in the arteries around the heart and neck and found that those who skipped breakfast (or ate very little), had an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

What's more, this link held up even whether other factors such as smoking and high blood pressure were taken into account.

Researchers reckon this build up in fatty material is down to the fact that those who skip breakfast are more inclined to consume excess calories throughout the day.

So basically, no matter how busy you might be, skipping meals is never a good idea.

When you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing you worry about?

It's safe to say that in this day and age we all have a lot to worry about, however a new survey has revealed just what is on the nation's mind.

And, it turns out that work is the biggest worry for Dubliners.

businessman, client, coaching

Research by Royal London, a pension and investment company, questioned 1,000 people and found that 11 per cent of people in Dublin worry about their job, compared to just eight per cent in the rest of the country.

And just as much as we worry about work, we also crave some time away.

The survey found that 17 per cent of Dubs focus on travelling, which is above the national average of 13 per cent.

adult, book, business

However, along with work and travel, money tops the list across the whole of Ireland, with 37 per cent of the nation claiming that it's their biggest worry.

We seem to have our priorities in order though, as health came out on top of what the nation focuses on (37 per cent), while career came in second with 26 per cent and travel came in third with 13 per cent.

According to figures released by The Endometriosis Association of Ireland, approximately 10% of Irish women suffer from the condition and yet there remains a distinct lack of conversation around the topic.

But we're not alone. Women all across the world face difficulties in getting their symptoms acknowledged, and often feel isolated when a diagnosis is made.

However, in an effort to break the stigma, one American woman has taken to Instagram to share the truth about living with endometriosis, a condition whereby a woman’s endometrial lining grows outside of the uterus.

Thessy Kouzoukas, a creative director and co-owner of the fashion brand Sabo Skirt, posted two side-by-side pictures showing the extent to which her condition effects her body.

The two photographs, taken just five weeks apart, demonstrate a vast difference in the size of Thessy's stomach.

 

This is quite shocking to people. This is me. This is endometriosis. I never intended to share these photos hence why I'm naked, but my god I can't believe the amount of DM's I've received from girls who have endo too and feel alone. The left is my stomach 3 weeks after a ruptured cyst (5 weeks ago). The right is me now, on a drug called "synarel" that has stopped all my hormones and sent me into menopause at the age of 27. My upcoming trip to Greece along with this drug is in hopes to get me prepped and in the best condition both physically and mentally for an operation I'm receiving in late August. Endo is no joke. I'll be operated on for 7+ hours and hospitalised for a week. Please, spread the word about endo. And If you know anyone with bad period pain PLEASE tell them to get checked for this. And to my girls with endo.. you're not alone

A post shared by Thessy Kouzoukas (@thessy.k) on

This isn't the first time the 27-year-old has opened up her condition.

Earlier this year, she penned an incredibly honest piece for The Huffington Post, in which she described the unbearable abdominal pain experienced by endometriosis sufferers.

It read: “When I first got my period as a young teenager, I got labelled 'lazy' when I couldn't participate in certain sports at school, or 'drama queen' when I would take days off school because I was doubled over in the shower trying desperately to find relief from abdominal pain."

"We aren't told how much pain should be considered tolerable, or when too much pain could be an indication of something worse, like Endometriosis.”

For more information on endometriosis, visit www.endometriosis.ie. 

So, we're all aware of the physical benefits of cycling.

The low impact exercise can greatly improve cardiovascular fitness, increase muscle strength and flexibility and even lead to lead better posture and coordination.

But, the health benefits don't end there. A new study has found that choosing a bike over a car for your morning commute could actually help reduce stress and improve your work performance.

Researchers at Concordia University compared how different modes of transport affected the stress levels of workers.

The results suggested that cycling to work is the best way to start your day if you are feeling stressed.

Lead author, Stéphane Brutus, said, "Employees who cycled to work showed significantly lower levels of stress within the first 45 minutes of work than those who travelled by car.”

123 employees at Autodesk, an information technology company in Old Montreal, were asked questions about their mood, perceived commuting stress and mode of travel through an online survey.

Researchers only assessed answers from respondants who completed the questionnaire within 45 minutes of arriving at work to ensure a more accurate report.

Brutus notes that this time specification was the study's major innovation.

"Recent research has shown that early morning stress and mood are strong predictors of their effect later in the day," he explains.

"They can shape how subsequent events are perceived, interpreted and acted upon for the rest of the day."

He added, "There are relatively few studies that compare the affective experiences of cyclists with those of car and public transport users," says Brutus, an avid cyclist himself. "Our study was an attempt to address that gap."

What's more, previous studies have found that cyclists perceived their commute as being less stressful than those who travelled by car.

So, if you find you're constantly starting the day off on the wrong foot, a pedal-powered commute could be the answer you've been searching for. 

So, drying clothes indoors is pretty much the norm in this country. Our temperamental weather means there's little point in hanging our washing on the line and tumble dryers are far to expensive to run everyday (or at least that's what our mothers taught us).

However, it looks like we might need to find an alternative solution to our laundry-drying needs as new research has suggested that keeping wet clothes indoors could have a damaging effect on your health and your home.

Speaking to KisSpot, Dr Christine Cowie,  a senior researcher in Environmental Health with the University of New South Wales, said: "From a health perspective… many biological agents are found indoors and they usually thrive on dampness and inadequate ventilation."

"They have found that dampness itself has been a good indicator of risk of asthma and respiratory symptoms. There are other studies that show inhalation of fungal spores… are linked to allergic sensitisation and asthma."

So basically, damp air can contribute to the symptoms of allergies and asthma.

But, it's not all bad news, Dr Nick Osborne, Senior Lecturer at the University of NSW, explained the ways we can work to prevent any of theses issues arising.

“If you’re cooking remember to turn the extractor fan on", he told KidSpot. "Dry the dog off before you come inside and think about where you store your wet coats – put them on the veranda ’til they dry off.

"If it’s sunny get your washing out and make sure if you use a dryer that it’s vented to the outside. It all adds up".

So, if you've ever been cheated on you'll know all to well the toll it can take on your general wellbeing. 

Sad, lonely, hurt and confused, you'll ask yourself if it was something you did?

Of course the answers is no, and according to a new study, even asking yourself this question could be effecting you physically as well as mentally.

Researchers from the University of Nevada, Reno, surveyed 232 third-level students who had been cheated in the last three months, with the aim of finding out how their behaviours and mental health had been affected by their partners infidelity.

Speaking to PsyPost, M. Rosie Shrout, lead author of the study, explained, “We wanted to know if this emotional and psychological distress leads them to engage in risky health behaviours, such as unprotected sex, drug use, alcohol use, binge eating, or not eating at all.”

She added, “We were also interested in whether perceptions of blame played a role in their psychological distress and risky health behaviours.”

Results found that having an unfaithful partner can significantly affect your behaviour, your view of cheating and above all, your ability to trust.

Researchers also found that those who are worse effected are more likely to turn to alcohol and drugs, or develop eating disorders.

“Being cheated on seems to not only have mental health consequences, but also increases risky behaviours,” Shrout said.

“We also found that people who blamed themselves for their partner cheating, such as feeling like it was their fault or they could have stopped it, were more likely to engage in risky behaviours.”

It seems that damaged self-esteem may lower ones inhibitions toward risky behaviours, which may ultimately lead to poor physical and mental health.

However, it's important to note that the average age of participants was 20-years-old, meaning the results may be different for older age groups.  

Sleep! Don't sleep. Drink! Don't drink. Exercise! But not too much.

In the world we live in, it seems like every corner of the Internet is telling us something different. 

'Researchers' and 'scientists' who have been conducting studies for years on end will tell you the best way to live your life.

The best way to go to sleep at night.  The best way to eat your greens. The best way to have sex.

But, what do any of them know about you?

A recent article featured on Refinery29 brought up the issue of 'social jet lag'.

A research paper published in the science journal Sleep, said that sleeping in at the weekend or on days off is detrimental to your health.

"This routine is actually causing chronic fatigue and often triggers a terrible mood. Even worse, a new study reveals that this form of 'jet lag' can increase your risk of heart disease by 11 percent," explains R29.

I'm speaking for myself here when I say I couldn't be more delighted when I sleep in, and my mood is definitely boosted with an extra hour in bed.

The lead author of the study, Sierra B. Forbush, said: "These results indicate that sleep regularity, beyond sleep duration alone, plays a significant role in our health."

At first glance of this study, I would look away immediately. As I said above, I love nothing more than sleeping in at the weekend, and I bask in the glory of my bed when I have a day off.

And even though they are just my own views, a study published in New Scientist backs them up.

Just last month, the research paper found that brain cells ware out and can be destroyed if we're sleep deprived.

Experts suggested that lying in was a great way to combat this issue, which can lead to Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders.

So, who is right? Who should we believe? To sleep or not to sleep.

Alcohol is another tricky one. A study popped up this week claiming that "even moderate drinking can damage the brain."

It explains that even if you drink a mild amount of alcohol over the space of 30 years, the right side of your brain can shrink from its intake.

"The findings do contradict a common belief that a glass of red wine or champagne a day can protect against damage to the brain,” said one of the researchers.

However, another study published just last week said, "a glass of red wine every night may help people with their cholesterol and cardiac health."

A quick scan through EurekAlert, a science news website, shows similar views; 'Red wine compound linked to health!', 'Drinking with friends makes you happy!', 'Wine with dinner can improve the cardiovascular system!'

We're living in an age where people have the tools (hello, Internet) to voice their numerous opinions and 'findings', and while this can be a fantastic thing, it also lends itself to utter sh*te.

Something that is good for you may not be good for the person sitting beside you.

Sleeping in on Saturday morning is your saving grace, but could be Hell for your sister.

Drinking a glass of wine might calm you down, but make another person anxious.

I'm going to stop concentrating so much on what the Internet is telling me and concentrate more on what my body is telling me.

If I'm tired and want to sleep, I will sleep. If I'm sitting in on a rainy Tuesday night and fancy a glass of vino, I will drink it, happily.

While it can be great and beneficial to read these studies, believing every word will only send you into a spiral.

So, drink the wine, Sleep in. Eat chocolate. Listen to your body, and just do you.

Chocolate makes our hearts happy.

Seriously, having a bad day? Chocolate. Stressed out at work? Chocolate. Going through a bad break-up? Chocolate.

So, that's why we're SO delighted to find out that it's actually good for us.

Now, we know that at this stage a lot of studies are claiming that basically every food in the world is good for us, but we're definitely on board with the chocolate findings.

chocolate, cookies, cooking

A new study published in the British Medical Journal: Heart claims that eating chocolate in moderation can have a positive effect on lessening the risk of Atrial Fibrillation, a heart arrhythmia condition.

Currently, 8.8 million people in the EU suffer from it.

So, how does chocolate help the situation? Well, we all know that dark chocolate is good for us, so the question arises with other chocolate goods, such as milk chocolate, white chocolate and everything in between.

Brown Chocolate Cupcake

Tests carried out at the Danish Diet, Cancer and Healthy Study say that cocoa products contain a high contents of flavanols, which are basically antioxidants with anti-inflammatory benefits.

Studies found that those who consume two to six servings of chocolate a week were at a lower risk of developing Artial Fibrillation.

So, there you have it. Eat more chocolate.

Chocolate lovers rejoice! 

A new study, published in the journal Heart, has found that people who eat chocolate regularly may actually have a lower risk of developing atrial fibrillation – a condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate.

The Danish Diet, Cancer and Health Study examined over 50,000 people between the ages of 50 and 64 who were asked to provide information about their weekly chocolate consumption.

Researchers regularly checked in with participants over a 13-year period and found 3,346 cases of atrial fibrillation during that time. 

The results showed a link between higher levels of chocolate consumption and a lower rate of atrial fibrillation in both men and women. 

However, authors of the study did warn that although chocolate by itself is beneficial to hearth health, it is often consumed with added fat and sugar, which as we know, are not so good for our tickers. 

Victoria Taylor, senior dietician at the British Heart Foundation, said: "The type of chocolate eaten wasn't recorded either, therefore we can't directly translate these findings into recommendations.''

"We need additional research to look more carefully at exactly how much cocoa would need to be consumed and how frequently, to see the same benefit.

"If you eat chocolate, keep your portions small and go for dark chocolate with the highest cocoa content."

So basically, don't overdo it, but don't feel too bad either.

We'll take that. 

 

No matter how much you might love your job, there are few among us who don't find ourselves struggling against those classic Sunday Night Blues as Monday morning creeps ever closer.

And such is the extent of our weekly woe, many of us fail to realise the true potential of a well-spent Sunday evening.

Relaxing and unwinding before diving back into the working week is essential, but so too is putting a little prep and planning into ensuring a successful week ahead.

From brisk walks and at-home manicures to goal checklists, reclaiming your Sunday with our simple P plan has never been so easy.

Press pause

There comes a point on Sunday evening when you have to accept that the weekend is coming to an end, and it's time to look ahead and stop clinging to the last vestige of the previous days' festivities.

While it sounds harsh, there is no point in dragging your Sunday Fear into Monday morning because you were unable to draw a line under your days off.

Telling yourself you're simply pressing pause on your down-time until next weekend is a simple way to focus your mind.

Plan your week

Much of the anxiety brought about by Sunday night stems from concern over commitments and responsibilities awaiting us in the week ahead.

Take 30 minutes to sit down and consider the next five days, so you have a clear idea of what is expected from you.

It sounds like a bummer to consider work-related events during time-off, but it really helps to alleviate stress.

Pamper yourself

After you've accepted the fact that work is looming, and dedicated some time to considering the week ahead, it's time to focus on treating yo'self!

Why not indulge your hands with an at-home manicure from Sally Hansen which guarantees a salon finish without the price tag? With an incredible array of products which protect, condition and strengthen your nails, Sally Hansen provides you with all the tools need for a high-quality treatment from the comfort of your own home.

Taking the time to pamper yourself on a Sunday evening is a guaranteed way to relax, and ease yourself into the next five days.

Pound the streets

It's rare you'll return from a brisk walk and not feel much better than when you left.

Shake off the cobwebs from the weekend's excesses by grabbing your runners and going for a 30 minute walk around your neighbourhood.

Not only will it help you sleep better (something that is absolutely vital on a Sunday night), but it will help clear your head if your planning hasn't quite done the job!

Prepare your outfit

A very simple way to rid yourself of Sunday night fear is to prepare an outfit (from underwear to accessories) for the following morning.

Take the time to iron your clothes, and tidy out your handbag so your Monday morning doesn't involve frantically rooting through your laundry bin or fighting your way through mountains of receipts in search of your Leap Card.

Covering the little things makes Monday mornings so much more doable.

Praise and preach

Now is the time to truly relax… because it is still the weekend, after all!

Praise yourself for getting ahead of the game by tending to vital tasks, give props to yourself for taking the time to treat yourself, and remind your friends to do the same by getting straight on WhatsApp and preaching the good word!

 

Brought to you by
Sally Hansen

When it comes to nail care, Sally Hansen’s wide range of products guarantees a salon-quality finish … at a snip of the price. From treatments to polishes, the range is exactly what you need when you want to make nailcare a priority without breaking the bank. Available in pharmacies and grocery stores nationwide with prices ranging from €6.99 to €10.99.

Cellnutrition, the Galway-based mineral supplement specialists have teamed up with top Irish health and fitness blogger, Maeve Madden in their effort to rid the world of mineral depletion.

Quinton is a 100 per cent natural mineral supplement containing 78 minerals and trace elements. The product comes in two forms, Hypertonic and Isotonic.

Quinton Hypertonic work to fortify and energise your cells, making it the perfect go-to supplement for those mornings when you need that extra little kick.

The Isotonic form works to gently replenish the minerals and elements missing from your body while also aiding a good night’s sleep.

 

keep #hydration levels up in this #sunny day with #cellnutrition #quinton & enjoy the #BankHolidayMonday #UK

A post shared by Cellnutrition Quinton ltd (@cellnutrition) on

Quinton brand ambassador, Maeve Madden has made it her mission to spread word about the how she is beating the bloat herself and to help others do the same.

With a social media following of over 115,000, the former dancer turned lifestyle blogger has built a a loyal community of followers with whom she shares her secrets for becoming the best version of yourself.

“I am so excited to be working with Cellnutrition, since adding their products into my daily lifestyle, not only have I noticed a huge difference in how less frequently I have been bloating but even my followers on Snapchat and Instagram have seen a difference in a whole host of ailments that had otherwise stumped them as to how to treat them,” she said.

Maeve has always had a passion for fitness, health and beauty. The former dancer began her professional career at the tender age of 17.

She travelled around the world, performing and filming with Irish dancing super star, Michael Flatley, before her career came to an abrupt halt following an unforeseen injury.

Devastated by this turn of events, Maeve began to rapidly lose motivation and confidence, but with a little encouragement from her parents, she decided to move to London where she studied at the University of Westminster.

It was during this time that she became interested in a career in beauty, health and fitness.

‘’I felt motivated again, determined, because I found passion in doing what I loved to do and my biggest goal was becoming the best version of myself.’’

Since then, Maeve has had a successful modelling career, securing campaigns and working for high end brands, including Adidas, Treseme, Lacoste and Vichy.

She is also extremely respected in the fitness, lifestyle and beauty sectors, making her the perfect brand ambassador for Cellnutrition’s Quinton supplement.

 ‘’I want to share my secrets for success to becoming the best version of you.  Listening, learning and believing with passion it is just the beginning.’’