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Summer has arrived and for many of us, it means different things.

Longer, brighter evenings, beer gardens, a chance to get on a plane and lie by a pool…

We're halfway through the year and our New Years good intentions are more than likely waning fast – we've given up on the gym tbh. 

Thankfully, we have TV presenter and journalist Elaine Crowley is in the same boat as us and she knew she needed help in certain areas of her health – which is why she is the ambassador for Lloyd's Pharmacy Change Your Health Direction program.

The program aims to improve your health during the next eight weeks – from quitting smoking to helping you get on top of your exercise and nutrition. 

Sign us UP. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Elaine Crowley (@elainecrowleytv) on

Elaine can't praise the program enough, as she has been suffering from ''shocking insomnia'' and Llyod's have helped her find a cure – magnesium supplements.

She said, ''It's making a huge difference. I've tried sleeping tablets for years but this is helping – and zinc as well. I'm 41 now and I think your health priorities change a bit – it's not about what you look like, it's about the whole body creaking a little. I don't think we're getting everything out of the foods we're eating unfortunately so I'd take a few supplements every day.''

When it comes to other health niggles that she wants to nip in the bud, getting enough kip is the strong foundation she wants to build upon.

She said, ''It's well documented that I have depression, so if I don't get enough sleep everything psychically and mentally collapses. Tiny things like getting out for half an hour at lunch can make a huge difference.''

Image result for ELAINE CROWLEY ELAINE SHOW

Ok, so what about us who have fallen off the bandwagon? 

Elaine's advice is, ''Baby steps. Do something achievable. Like having one meal that isn't processed three times a week or only having meat once a day – tiny, tiny things.''

Sounds doable to us. 

While taking care of your health on a physical level is important, we mustn't neglect taking care our minds as well as Elaine understands.

She is managing her depression but says that the fact Lloyds' door is open for a chat is a great starter if you don't quite know how to tackle your mental health.

Something that doesn't help our mental health is the pressured environment of today's world and the ''having it all'' mentality.

Elaine is having NONE of it when we mention it and makes some great points. 

She revealed, ''You'll exhaust yourself if you keep chasing something that is unattainable. At one point last year all my hair was falling out from stress – you can't have it all.''

She continued, ''Be kind to yourself. Don't be looking at Instagram and television thinking, ''Oh my God their life is perfect'' – nobodies life is perfect.''

Her parting words of wisdom were, ''Having it all doesn't mean having the perfect job, house, and husband. Having it all means whatever makes you happy. Being happy in yourself is as much as anyone should expect you to have and be.''

And to that, we say hear hear. 

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As Minister for Health Simon Harris launched the first ever Asthma Awareness Week today, the Asthma Society shared some scary statistics about the illness.

Asthma-related deaths are on the rise, with one person in Ireland losing their life every five days as a result of closed airways.

Worryingly, two out of every three people with asthma do not have an Asthma Action Plan and are therefore at risk of a potentially fatal asthma attack.

Society is now calling on those suffering with asthma to get an Asthma Action Plan. Research was conducted after the troubling recent figures for asthma deaths were published, and are still on the rise.

Only 63 percent of the 1,000 people surveyed knew there was a 5 Step Rule for managing an asthma attack, and two out of three people with asthma haven't spoken to their doctor in the last six months. Three out of five people with asthma also don't use their inhaler all year round.

90 percent of people with asthma don't carry an Asthma Attack Card with them at all times, and 20 percent wouldn't know the six most common symptoms of an asthma attack, according to the Asthma Management.

CEO of Asthma Society, Sarah O’Connor, said: 

“It is truly frightening that asthma deaths are on the rise in Ireland. The survey results showed that, in the event of an asthma attack, most people wouldn’t know the necessary steps to take to save a life (the 5 Step Rule). 470,000 people in Ireland have asthma and 60% do not have their asthma in control, greatly increasing the risk of suffering a fatal asthma attack."

UK research into asthma deaths showed that having an up-to-date Asthma Action Plan made it far less likely that a person would experience a fatal asthma attack. Through Asthma Awareness Week, it is hoped that people nationwide will put an Asthma Action Plan into place.

Minister for Health, Simon Harris, said: 

“I am strongly supporting the Asthma Society’s campaign today, encouraging people to take control of their asthma. Asthma management is extremely important. It allows people with the condition to live a longer, healthier and happier life. I encourage everyone to put an Asthma Action Plan in place – it is the one of the best asthma management tools available.

"People with asthma can work with their GP or asthma nurse or phone the Asthma and COPD Adviceline for help to create their personalised plan on 1800 44 54 64.”

People with asthma should carry an Asthma Attack Card with them at all times. which details the 5 Step Rule for managing an attack and the symptoms and can be given to a member of the public. This card also contains the person’s emergency details including their next of kin.

Asthma Awareness Week will continue until Friday. To support the Asthma Society, text BREATHE to 50300 to donate €4. 

The society's free advice line is 1800-44-54-64 and don't forget to check their website for more information on managing asthma.

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A brand new campaign in England has been launched in order for beauty salons to encourage cervical cancer screenings.

Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust released a worrying survey in January revealing that many young women are put off from having smear tests.

According to the charity, eight out of 10 women surveyed stated that they delayed or failed to attend a cervical cancer screening out of embarrassment.

Online beauty marketplace Treatwell has claimed that cervical screening attendance is at a 20-year low, but the number of women choosing to have intimate waxing treatments is on the rise,

To combat the declining amount of women having smear tests, Treatwell has teamed up with Public Health England (PHE) to launch the "Life Saving Wax" initiative.

Over 500 Treatwell partner salons across England will place posters and information about cervical screenings in their salons today.

Beauty therapists are also being supported in their goal to talk to customers about cervical screenings and provide advice on where they can discover the right information.

A study carried out by Treatwell of 1,006 women aged between 25 and 34 revealed that almost half (47 percent) of participants said that they feel comfortable speaking with beauty therapists about personal topics.

Three quarters of the people interviewed stated that they would listen to their beauty therapist's advice.

The director of Screening Programmes at PHE, Professor Anne Mackie, says that the organisation is "thrilled" to be partnering with Treatwell on the campaign.

"Two lives are lost every day to cervical cancer but this needn’t be the case. Cervical screening can stop cancer before it starts as the test identifies potentially harmful cells before they become cancerous and ensures women get the right treatment as soon as possible," Professor Mackie states.

"The decline in numbers getting screened, particularly those aged between 25 – 34, is a major concern as it means millions of women are missing out on a potentially life-saving test."

Beauty director at Treatwell, Liz Hambleton, explains that beauticians are "uniquely placed" to discuss personal topics with customers;

"We see thousands of women booking intimate waxes everyday through Treatwell, so when we heard that women aren’t attending a potentially life-saving test due to embarrassment, we wanted to see how we could change this," Hambleton states.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"Just one conversation is all it could take to remind or encourage someone to go for their screening when invited."

Each year in England between 2016 to 2016, about 2,600 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer and more than a quarter of those diagnosed died from the illness.

A study published in the British Journal of Cancer claims that if everyone who was invited for a smear test went to their appointment regularly, an incredible 83 percent of cervical cancer cases could be prevented.

However, more than one in four women who are invited for a smear test don't have the procedure, says Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust.

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It seems incredibly cruel that whenever the sun comes out and the masses are frolicking through green fields with a warm breeze on their skin, hayfever sufferers are forced into miserable seclusion.

Everyone else gets through harsh winter weather by promising themselves better days when the sun comes out – for us, damp winter days are the highlight of our year.

But it's not all bleak – here are some top tips that will help you stay on top of the pollen.

Don’t hang clothes outside to dry

Yes, it’s great drying weather, but it’s also great pollen weather.

Avoid ‘high pollen’ activities

Well you couldn’t possibly be expected to mow the grass or trim the hedges in your condition; the hubby will just have to take this one for the team.

Skip the woodland walk

This is an obvious one, but avoid anywhere with a lot of vegetation. The good news is the pollen count lessens the closer you are to the sea, so you’ll just have to take a trip to the beach.

Keep windows and doors closed

Alas, the cooling breeze can’t be yours on a hot day. Stop pollen from floating into your house and invest in a few fans to keep you cool instead.

Quarantine the pet

You may not be allergic to cat or dog hairs, but if those little guys have been outside, they’re bound to have pollen clinging to their fur, so keep them out of main living areas.

Decontaminate

Change your outfit and shower whenever you get home as pollen has an irritating habit of clinging to your clothes and hair when you’re out and about. Gosh darn, the hubby will just have to make the dinner this evening…

Keep on top of housework

As if you're not suffering enough, it’s important you vacuum your house regularly and dust with a damp cloth to catch the sneaky pollen grains that do make it inside.

Wear sunglasses

These will help minimise the amount your eyes come in contact with pollen and wrap-around glasses giving you the best protection. At least you'll look cool!

Image result for brian the breakfast club sunglasses gif

And finally, don’t keep fresh flowers in the house

Because obviously.

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Having a healthy sex life is great – but having a sex life that doesn't negatively affect your health is even better.

Having a UTI is not a pleasant thing to go through – we can all relate with that discomfort.

When a (UTI) results in an antibiotic prescription, leading to an eventual gut imbalance, wouldn’t it be handy to know that self-care after sex can be a way of preventing it?

Deffo, we say. 

One of Ireland’s top Fertility Coaches, Helena Tubridy – a qualified midwife,  believes that there should be a Public Health Campaign to encourage After-Sex Self-Care.

She is calling on GPs to advise women and men to look after themselves post-sex.

She said, ''Not all cystitis cases or UTIs are as a result of sex. However, many of them are due to women (and men) not urinating or washing straight away after sex.''

She continued, ''The idea we get from films to ‘cuddle up’ after sex, or fall asleep shortly afterward is not a good idea. Sex causes bacteria to become lodged in the urethra (especially for women).''

So peeing straight afterward and having a quick shower is the best way to remove this bacteria and ensure a healthy urethra.

This is important info that all sexually-active women should know.

Men too should know, although it's less common for them.

Helena adds, ''There are lots of UTIs and kidney infections that are caused by reasons other than sex but at least we should address self-care as one possible aspect.''

Sounds good to us.

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If you’re looking for ideas for lunchtime … look no further. We’ve teamed up with Dubliner Lighter to bring you our favourite cheese recipes that are perfect for lunch.

Dubliner Lighter Courgette Fritters

These are so gorgeous and they’re ridiculously easy to make.

Makes 9 – 12 fritters, depending on size, and has 102kcal/100g

Ingredients

2 Courgettes, grated

85g flour

3 spring onions, finely sliced

2 eggs

100g Dubliner Lighter White, grated

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

Method

Place all ingredients together in a large bowl then mix until all ingredients are combined.

Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat, when hot, lower temperature to medium heat then add a drizzle of olive oil.

Drop large spoonful’s of mixture into the pan, use the back of the spoon to flatten fritters slightly and cook for about 4 minutes. Flip fritters over and cook for another 3 – 4 minutes.

Leave cooked fritters to drain on paper towel while you cook the remaining mixture.

Serving tip: Delicious served with a dollop of sour cream.

 

Dubliner Lighter Phyllo Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza? This one is seriously tasty and makes a great homemade alternative to the shop bought ones.

This recipe makes one pizza, and 241kcal / 100g

Ingredients

Makes 1 pizza

Ingredients

3 phyllo pastry sheets

Olive oil

2-3 tbsp passata

4 slices Dubliner Sliced Lighter Red

4 slices Dubliner Sliced Lighter White

Salt & pepper

Toppings: tomato, mushroom, rocket, peppers, onions, corn – really anything you love

Method

Preheat oven to 220°C / 200°C fan assisted and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Lay 1 sheet of phyllo onto the baking tray then lightly brush one half with olive oil. Fold pastry in half then brush the top lightly with olive oil. Lay another sheet of phyllo on top, making sure the edges are mostly lined up, then repeat above steps until you have 6 layers of phyllo in total.

Spread passata over the pastry then arrange Dubliner Lighter slices on top. Add your favourite toppings to your pizza then bake in the oven until edges are crisp and golden, about 4 -5 minutes.

Enjoy while hot.

 

Dubliner Lighter Sweet Potato Taco Fries

Sweet potato tacos are a real favourite of mine at the moment, perfect for a lunchtime pick me up, they’re tasty and warming.  In fact, they would suit any meal time. This one is simple to pull together, and of course it’s with Dubliner Lighter cheese which has 33% less fat.

This recipe serves 4 and has 104 kcal / 100g

Ingredients

– For the fries

2 large or 3 medium sweet potatoes

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

– For the mince

500g beef mince

1 onion, roughly diced

1 carrot, finely diced

1 red chilli, roughly chopped

1 packet taco seasoning

2 tbsp

tomato purée

1 tsp salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

1 can kidney beans, drained

– To serve

Dubliner Lighter White, grated

Crème fraîche

Fresh chilli, sliced

 

Preheat oven to 200°C / 180°C fan assisted and line a baking tray with tinfoil. Cut sweet potato lengthways into wedges then loosely arrange on prepared baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and a bit of pepper. Lightly toss.

Bake until cooked through, 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile for the mince, heat a large pan over high heat, when hot drizzle with olive oil then add the mince. Cook until mince is browned.

Lower heat to medium then add the onion, carrot and chilli. Cook until the onions have softened, 2-3 minutes.

Add the taco seasoning, tomato purée, salt and pepper, stir through. Add the kidney beans then leave to simmer on low heat until the sweet potato fries are cooked.

To serve, spoon mince on top of sweet potato fries then top off with a generous handful of grated Dubliner Lighter White cheese, crème fraîche and sliced chilli.

 

Dubliner Stuffed Aubergine Boats

This is a brilliant way to include Aubergine in your diet, providing you with fibre, vitamins B1, B6 and potassium. They’re also full of antioxidants (the skin especially), so if you’re not already eating them, start now.

This recipe serves 4 and has 133 kcal / 100g

Ingredients

2 aubergines

Olive oil

1 red onion, roughly chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp salt

125g cherry tomatoes, quartered

100g quinoa, cooked in vegetable stock

200g Dubliner Lighter Red Cheese, grated

Pine nuts, optional

Method

Pre-heat oven to 200°C / 180°C fan assisted and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Cut the aubergines in half lengthways. Using a sharp knife, cut a 1cm boarder inside aubergine halves, then use a spoon to help remove the flesh from the middle. Roughly dice the removed aubergine flesh and set aside.

Brush hollowed out aubergine boats with olive oil, place cut side up on the baking tray then bake for about 20 minutes until cooked and the edges are starting to char slightly.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Heat a large frying pan on medium high heat then drizzle with 1-2 tbsp olive oil. Add the diced aubergine and allow to brown slightly, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to medium low and continue to cook until aubergine is mostly cooked through.

Add the onion, garlic and salt and cook until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and cooked quinoa, cook for further 5 minutes until tomatoes start to soften and release their juices. Remove from heat and stir in 150g of the grated Dubliner Lighter Red cheese.

Spoon filling into the roasted aubergine boats and sprinkle each with pine nuts (or any other seed of your choice) and the remaining 50g grated Dubliner Lighter Red cheese.

Return to the 200°C / 180°C fan assisted oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese on top has melted.

Serve immediately.

 

Dubliner Burrito Bowl

Don’t spend a fortune at lunchtime buying these – not only are they expensive, but they won’t taste half as good as the one you make yourself.

This recipe serves 4 and has 110 kcal / 100g

Ingredients

For the mince

2 tbsp olive oil

500g beef mince

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 (400g) can chopped tomato

1 (400g) can kidney beans, drained

250ml beef stock

Salt & pepper

For the salsa

4 tomatoes, seeds removed & finely chopped

¼ red onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp fresh lime juice

½ red chilli, finely chopped (optional)

To assemble

4 portions cooked basmati rice

Cooked mince

2 avocados, sliced

Salsa

150g Dubliner Lighter Red Cheese

Sour cream

Fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Method

To cook the meat, heat pan on medium high heat. Add olive oil then add the mince. Break up large pieces with a fork and spread out over surface of the pan. Brown the meat, stirring occasionally.

Lower heat to medium then add the onion, cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook further 1 minute.

Stir in the cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. Add the chopped tomato, kidney beans and beef stock. Stir to combine, then leave to simmer on medium low heat until half of the liquid has been reduced, stirring occasionally. Between 15-20 minutes. Taste for seasoning, add salt & pepper as needed. Remove from heat.

While mince is cooking, make the salsa. Combine all salsa ingredients and stir together. Chill in the fridge until needed.

To assemble the burrito bowl, spoon a layer of cooked Basmati rice into serving bowls. Spoon cooked mince over about half of the rice, then spoon fresh salsa next to the mince, covering about 1/8 of the rice. Arrange half an avocado on top, then sprinkle generously with Dubliner cheese. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with sour cream on the side.

 

These gorgeous recipes are all made with Dubliner Lighter which has 33% less fat, for more great recipe ideas you can follow them here on facebook or here on insta.

 

 

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January is long behind us, and it can be tough to keep the ‘healthy living’ momentum going when something as concrete as a New Year’s resolution now seems so distant.

Luckily, there are plenty of simple, wholesome and healthy steps that we can all take every day to see an improvement in our health.

These every day, easy tips can make a huge impact on how you feel health-wise, and can improve your own sense of personal wellbeing.

  1. Get those steps in

It may sound daunting, but it is recommended that everyone takes at least 10,000 steps per day.  Start small – if you commute, get off the bus a stop or two ahead of the one closest to work or home, or if you drive, park 20 mins away from work. It might even end up being cheaper for parking.

  1. Simple Swaps

While giving foods you love up entirely is just being mean to yourself, making simple swaps can help you cut down on the dietary aspects you need less of while still enjoying your fave recipes.

Whether it’s changing regular bread for a low-sugar version, or your regular cheese for a lighter one, the smallest changes can make the biggest difference.

  1. Mind as well as body

There is no point in embarking on a healthy lifestyle change if that change doesn’t take your mental health into consideration.

Taking the step to change your usual 30 minutes of phone scrolling into a time for mindful meditation and reflection can help your mindset astronomically.

  1. Big plate, little plate

If you want to maintain or reduce your weight for health reasons, or simply incorporate more veg and fruit into your meals, the big plate, small plate method can help.

You can choose to eat your meals from two plates – a big plate, which should be full of salad and leafy greens, along with cooked or raw veg, and a small plate to hold your carbs and protein sources.

  1. Get a fulfilling nights rest

Sleep deprivation can cause so many things – from overeating to accidental over caffeinating, and nobody wants that.

While it might seem like a daunting task to add an hour or so of shut eye to your current routine, your health will thank you for it.

  1. Venture outside

Going outside is proven to be good for both your mental and physical health., We spend so much time cooped up in office buildings and sheltering from the Irish rain – why not take the opportunity to get out and about when you can.

Fresh air and relaxing in nature can relieve stress – a hugely negative lifestyle factor.

  1. Water water, everywhere

Ah water, the unflavoured spice of life.

There are too many benefits to getting your water in every day to list – but getting 1.5 to 2ltrs of water drank is one of the easiest ways to feel more energised.

 

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Knowing what ingredients we are putting into our bodies is vital. 

Salt and sugar might add delicious flavour to our foods, but often processed foods in particular are laden with them, leading us to go above our recommended daily intake regularly. 

Lidl Ireland has today announced that over 850 of their own-brand products are currently being assessed for ways to reduce their salt and sugar intake. 

The affordable supermarket brand have pledged to create a 20% reduction in added sugar as well as reducing salt levels by the year 2020.

In their sugar reductions, the brand will be focusing on reducing levels in items targeted to or enjoyed by children.  

For salt, Lidl will focus on everyday meal items, including ready meals, soups, pizzas, crisps, cakes and meat products.

'The food and retail industry can make a positive contribution to the prevention of obesity, so it s important we work in partnership to achieve a reduction in the amount fat, salt and sugar in foods eaten regularly by consumers, said  Minister for Health Simon Harris, commending the move. 

'I want to commend Lidl for this initiative to reduce the sugar and salt content of many of their own brand products to help create a healthier food environment.'

'This is something I hope others will replicate.'

The positive contribution to the nations' health will aim to fall in with the UK's Food Standards Agency targets for salt reductions. 

The World Heath Organisation has found previously that the consumption of excess sugars can contribute to weight gain and obesity. 

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One of the UK's most senior doctors, Professor Stephen Powis, has written in The Telegraph that weight loss advertisements which are celebrity-endorsed should be banned.

Professor Powis is currently the NHS' medical director, and has criticised well-known celebrities such as the Kardashians for promoting weight-loss products and aids such as teas, shakes and pills on social media, and has even called for Instagram to oppose them.

The doctor referenced the troubling statistic that more than one in 10 young people are affected by mental health issues in the UK, and are heavily influenced by body insecurity and famous faces encouraging them to lose weight.

He emphasised that mental health issues are one of the "most pressing issues facing out country".

SHEmazing recently wrote about the level of profit which people like the Kardashians can gain from the insecurity of their fans. 

Poor messaging can lead to dangerous consequences, and numerous organisations such as the National Eating Disorder Association have branded the Kardashian family’s representation of weight loss products as ‘triggering’ for those who struggle with eating disorders.

Professor Powis made sure to emphasise that impressionable young people look to these people for lifestyle guidance; "At what is already a sensitive and important time in their development, this group is especially vulnerable to pressures which trigger or exacerbate mental ill health," he writes.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#ad You guys all know I looove @flattummyco shakes. I've just restarted them (it's Day 2 today) and I’m already feeling so good. We had a huuuuge Christmas this year and between that, New Years and everything inbetween… I felt like it was impossible to fit in my regular work outs and eat healthy. But this program is giving me a kick in the right direction that I need. These meal replacement shakes are so good and they're helping me get my tummy back to flat. I’m already feeling amazing and I’m so excited for the next few weeks. Because they’re all about getting women back on track… they’ve got a 20% off sale going on right now, so if you want to start 2019 off right… trust me, you’re going to want to check them out. PS. I’m doing the chocolate program

A post shared by  (@kimkardashian) on

A shocking HALF of young girls say that they feel under pressure to lose weight, the doctor says that social media's ascension has escalated this pressure and both celebrities and the platforms themselves must take responsibility for their posts.

"Our young people are bombarded with ideas, images and advertising which set such a high bar for what they should feel and look like," he writes. "And yet there is little accountability for the impact this has.

"Where celebrities and the platforms which promote them exploit this vulnerability by pushing products like laxative teas, diet pills and other get-thin-quick solutions, they are taking the health of our young people in their hands and should act with far greater responsibility."

Activist and actress Jameela Jamil tweeted her support for Professor Powis:

Prof. Powis also suggested that practical measures should be taken to stamp out the 'exploitation' of youth, such as online platforms "banning adverts for products with a known health risk". YAS KING.

He argued that the NHS is working on understanding and treating mental health conditions in young people;

"Everyone, especially those engaging with young people like social media firms, and celebrities who profit from them, have a duty of care to do more for our health and wellbeing".

"The NHS can't keep putting out fires if some parts of society keep lighting matches," he concluded, using a pretty effective allegory. 

Kim Kardashian West has an especially long history of promoting weight loss products on social media, as well as her sisters, Kylie and Kourtney. Kim faced backlash in May for promoting appetite suppressant lollipops on her Instagram.

One of the world's most powerful women was literally telling other women and young girls NOT TO EAT.  The Good Place actress Jameela Jamil founded the i Weigh body positivity social media movement and Kardashian West "a terrible and toxic influence on young girls".

Jamil has consistently called out celebrities including Cardi B and Iggy Azalea for promoting 'detox' teas, claiming they're just selling digestion problems instead.

She also called Kardashian 'an agent of the patriarchy', for her incessant need to 'recycle self-hatred.'

Jamil herself experienced an eating disorder as a teenager, and skipped meals for years at a time. She spent money on "miracle cures and laxatives and tips from celebrities" which later left her with "digestion and metabolism problems for life".

The Competition and Markets Authority has announced a clampdown on celebrities who don't label their posts as promotional advertisements, but solid rules aren't in place.

NHS England's national mental health director Claire Murdoch expressed concern over the influence which these celebrities have young people at an "impressionable" stage in their lives.

"Both the celebrities themselves and these social media companies themselves should be more responsible," she told BBC Breakfast.

We're so glad the NSH are finally using their influential platform to steer people in the right direction. Time will tell what type of future diet fads will hold, but they're looking highly unpopular right now.

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So we all love brunch, it's become a bit of a Sunday institution.

There is nothing better than tucking into a perfect plate of Insta-worthy poached eggs.

Now, we don't even have to justify out Sunday foodie splurging, because brunch is good for your health, as discovered by Real Simple

5. Brunch foods often include healthy ingredients.

Eggs, avocados, salmon and whole meal toast make up some of the most popular brunch dishes.

All of these fresh ingredients are chock-a-block full of protein, nutrients and healthy fats, so get that perfect avocado toast picture and bask in your smug healthy glow.

That being said, we'll still be opting for fluffy pancakes and Belgian waffles occasionally. 

4. You get your beauty sleep. 

Making sure your body gets all the sleep it needs is important, so rather than getting up for breakfast, sleeping in for brunch could actually be good for you. 

Sleep is involved in the healing and repair processes of the body, including of the heart and blood vessels.

Sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. 

3. Socialising is good for the mental health.

Humans are social creatures, and brunch brings people together. 

"Interacting with others boosts feelings of well-being and decreases feelings of depression. Research has shown that one sure way of improving your mood is to work on building social connections," according to Psychology Today

 

A post shared by @bodybyaysh_ on

2. Getting out of the house is full of health benefits. 

It's good to actually leave the house during the weekend to do something other than party.

Strolling to your local bistro for brunch is a good way to incorporate a few extra minutes of exercise, and getting some sunlight on that Irish pallor is necessary for a well needed vitamin D boost. 

 

A post shared by Ciara O'Doherty (@ciaraodoherty) on

1. Brunch is well balanced

Most brunch meals have a good mix of carbs, proteins and healthy fats.

A multi-faceted brunch meal is often much healthier and provides you with better nutrients all round than grabbing something quick for breakfast and lunch. 

 

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 So, while we have you; don't forget to have your say in the inaugural SHEmazing Awards this May! It's time to vote, and you can do it right here!

Feature image: Pinterest

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Kissing is fun, everybody knows that. But who would have known that the act of smooching can actually give you HEALTH BENEFITS? 

Does it heal your broken heart, clear your skin and boost your immune system? You're about to find out.

Strap yourselves in ladies, here are each and every glorious health benefit of puckering up. You should probably find someone to practice on…you know, for the sake of your body. It's a temple, isn't it?

Just don't do it like this:

mr bean love GIF

According to a 2009 scientific study, when we kiss somebody, our bodies release hormones which can actually ease stress. In the case of men, it increases bonding too. We love a good bromance alert.

Oral healthcare, anyone?

Now, we're not saying that you shouldn't brush your teeth or use mouthwash, but allegedly, a good kiss marathon is great news for your teeth and gums. How? Listen up:

Andréa Demirjian, author of Kissing: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about One of Life’s Sweetest Pleasures, explains:

“When you’re kissing, you’re secreting more saliva in your mouth. That’s the mechanism that washes away the plaque on your teeth that leads to cavities.” A shift a day keeps the dental plaque away, girlos.

allison janney kiss GIF by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

It acts as a painkiller (Seriously)

Your achy, break-y heart deserves some attention. Especially when you've got some form of cramps, like your time of the month.

Apparently, some lip action actually helps to reduce the effects of chronic pain. Some savvy scientists at Current Pharmaceutical Design conducted some research into smooching, learned that the “cuddle hormone” oxytocin is packed full of analgesic painkilling properties.

Oxytocin s released whenever you kiss and hug your partner, so do it as much as possible, we say. Blood vessel dilation after a good kissing sesh is great for reducing aches and pains, so when you're on your period, pucker up. You NEED it, right?

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Hayfever or Bae-fever?

Anyone who suffers from allergies can rejoice at this news; apparently kissing eases itchy eyes and snotty noses (ew).

Researchers at Satou Hospital in Japan investigated the protective effect of kissing against allergies, and claim that locking lips for only 30 minutes can do wonders for the immune system.

It decreases the release of histamine (the chemical which is produced in response to allergens) as it relaxes you, and also can work miracles for eczema sufferers. Is there anything a great shift can't do?

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No pressure, honeys

So apparently, kissing can even reduce your blood pressure? We've all felt butterflies in our stomachs and a weakening of the ol' knees, as well as a quickening heartbeat, and now we've figured out that kissing passionately does even more:

Demirjian explains: “It gets your heartbeat revved in a healthy way that lowers your blood pressure. It dilates the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely, taking pressure off your organs, especially your heart and brain.”

Hot Diggedy Damn, we're 100 percent HERE for this science.

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Let's talk about sex, baby, let's talk about you + me

Your sex life gets some HELLA drastic improvements from kissing; the two go together like Grace & Frankie, like women and vibrators, like Netflix and chill. You get the idea.

Kissing is also WAY more likely to increase your chances of having an orgasm. Lord knows we could use some of those…

As Carol Queen, the staff sexologist at Good Vibrations, explains;

“Kissing is a powerful type of foreplay… it helps increase the chances that both partners will have a good and pleasurable erotic experience.”

sexy nun GIF by Originals

Face the Facts

So BASICALLY, kissing involves more than 30 facial muscles, which can be given a major workout from a good kiss.

According to Demirjian, tongue wrestling can strengthen your neck and jawline – very good news, as these are particularly tricky spots to exercise on a daily basis.

“Your mouth has a number of facial muscles,” she says. “When those are engaged in kissing, you can tighten and tone them.”

Tighten and tone, you say? Sign us up.

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2019 Mood

A perfectly-timed kiss can be the ideal mood booster. If scientists are saying it, then it must be true, right?

Puckering up can give your body a big-time release of happiness hormones, such as serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine. Ooh la la.

Those hormonal bad boys can help you relax, restore and revitalise your system. What more could you need?

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NOW do you believe us about scientific research? 

Grab that lad or lassie and get your smooch on, it's for your own benefit, and theirs too.

Your doctor has officially given you one prescription to visit the LOVE shack *winks* 

Get it, gurrrlllll…

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2019= New Year, New….Food bingeing spree?

Many of us began the year on a health and fitness kick. I say 'us', I don't actually mean ourselves included. Most people are still couch potatoes and the passing of time won't do much to change that.

80 percent of people will have abandoned their New Year's resolutions by February, which is a pretty high statistic.

The only thing that could tempt us to change our deviant ways and embrace the health kick is…luxurious travel destinations. Luckily for you gals, we've discovered the best value deals for your health-focused trips.

fail neil patrick harris GIF by bubly

Travel Republic have helped us to bring wellness to the forefront of our priorities…by having a selection of INSANELY stunning destinations to lure us towards.

Health and rejuvenation are the goal, and now it's never been easier to take a relaxing post-January break which doesn't negatively impact your lifestyle choices.

Sounds good to us, so what are the winners?

1. Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa: Killarney, Co .Kerry

The Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa is unbelievably magical, and offers unparalleled luxury overlooking the world-famous lakes of Killarney.

The spa at Aghadoe is honestly an oasis of pure serenity; the 10,000 square foot Resort Spa has 11 treatment rooms, relaxation areas, couples suites and a THERMAL SUITE.

The hotel has a fully equipped gym, conservatory-style indoor pool and outdoor terrace and some stunning local hikes and walking trails to enjoy.

If it's good enough for Gary Barlow, it's good enough for us:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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2. RedLevel at Melia Palacio de Isora – Tenerife

This is next-level privacy chic, and it's adults ONLY. The RedLevel at Melia Palacio de Isadora is located beside the Tenerife sea, where the excellent service and facilities will give you a classy, unique stay.

The destination has the elite SPA by Clarins on offer, as well as a private pool surrounded by Bali beds and a Pool Concierge service for the infinity pool. They also boast the LARGEST saltwater hotel pool in Europe, at a 5,000m2.

If you need the perfect place for relaxed rejuvenation with the best food you can buy, total seclusion and dazzling sunshine, this one's a winner. Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and embrace the wellness, if you've got the cash, that is.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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3. 137 Pillars House: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Ah, our personal favourite. This destination is NEXT. LEVEL. GORGEOUSNESS.

If a far-flung and exotic setting is your biggest wish for the great escape, look no further than the beauty of Chiang Mai. The tropical Thai paradise is famed worldwide for it's calm and serene vibe, and private space.

Nestled in lush scenery, the hotel boasts a luxurious spa, yoga classes, tropical gardens, a drool-worthy pool, a gym….and Tai Chi. Wowza.

The hotel has a variety of wellness packages on offer to suit the needs of every traveller; it's the ideal health-driven retreat. There are also millions of elephant sanctuaries nestled in Chiang Mai which make the perfect tourist treat.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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 4. Taj Bentota Resort & Spa – Bentota, Sri Lanka

The Golden Mile of Bentota beach is something of a gem, nestled along the southwest coast of Sri Lanka.

The setting is totally unique, with the hotel overlooking the idyllic Indian Ocean and only 40 miles south of Colombo; Sri Lanka's capital.

The relaxing resort comprises 162 rooms with sea or garden views, vistas of the Indian Ocean of the lush vegetation of the tropical shrubbery around the building. They've got two tennis courts, a health club with a steam bath and sauna and a fully-equipped gym. Oh, and don't forget about the outdoor swimming pool, a poolside snack bar and games.

Asia's most exotic sanctuary is without a doubt a great decision for those wellness and health fanatics out there to enjoy:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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5. Hotel Palazzo Montemartini: Rome, Italy

JUST LOOK AT THE POOL.

The prestigious Palazzo Montemartini is a boujée five-star hotel in central Rome, within walking distance from Termini Station, Baths of Diocletian and Michaelangelo's church of Santa Maria degli Angeli. Need we say more?

It's the ONLY hotel in Rome crossed by the Servian Walls, built way back in the sixth century BC. Wellness and holiday fans can find unique high-tech elegance in the location, with 82 rooms and suites and the ultra-exclusive Senses Restaurant & Lounge Bar

The exclusive SPA ExPure has pure unforgettable moments of relaxation. They've got massage and treatment rooms, colour therapy showers, heated swimming pools, saunas and Turkish baths. The dream.

We. Are. Drooling. It's the destination we want, but also the destination we NEED. 

There you have it, ladies and gents. The top five wellness and health destinations the world can offer, with opulent, lavish and sumptuous locations for y'all to visit.

You deserve this level of decadence, plus you'd achieve the most EXTRA of Instagram snaps.

Retreat to these magical destinations and never look back. Actually, screw that. Just don't ever leave? 

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