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healthy living

Drinking tea is a staple part of our daily routine. It heats us up as we shiver in the kitchen at 7am, it calms us down after a stressful day at work and apparently, it could help us live longer.

According to scientists, drinking green tea regularly is linked to living a longer and healthier life.

The study analysed 100,902 people who were split into two groups. All of the participants had no history of heart attack, cancer or strokes.

One group were habitual tea drinkers and the others were non-habitual tea drinkers.

The team discovered that the people who frequently drank green tea shortened their risk of heart attack and stroke by a massive 20 percent.

The team believes that a 50-year-old who drinks green tea regularly lengthens their life span by 1.26 years.

Dr Xinyan Wang of the Chinese Academy of Medical Science in Beijing, commented: “Habitual tea consumption is associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease and all-cause death. The favourable health effects are the most robust for green tea and for long-term habitual tea drinkers.”

The beverage is full of polyphenols which help protect against cardiovascular disease.

Green tea is also enriched with antioxidants for clear skin, and metabolism-boosting properties, it's no wonder it's such a popular beverage. 

It is important to note that this study was conducted in China, where green tea is the most popular hot drink. Researchers stressed that the results are only linked to drinking two cups of green tea per week.


‘Freshly Chopped’, the healthy food company, has now reopened on Baggot Street as ‘Freshly Chopped Innovation Kitchen’ following a complete redesign of the menu and service model, creating a more streamlined preparation and ordering system, making enjoying Chopped even easier and faster. The outlet will also innovate by regularly trialling new menu options and product ranges, which could then roll out across the Chopped network.

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The Baggot Street outlet was the very first Freshly Chopped, opened in May 2012. Since then Freshly Chopped has expanded to include over 50 outlets throughout Ireland and internationally. The Baggot Street location was selected to showcase the new Freshly Chopped experience as it was immediately popular with the local community in a vibrant area of ever changing dining options and brands.

At Freshly Chopped Innovation Kitchen you can opt to ‘Grab and Go’ from a selection of pre-prepared wraps and salad bowls, based on the most popular combinations. But the real innovation is at the order station where the 3 step process promises ‘speed without compromise’. Choose your salad, add your protein and then your salad dressing to create your perfect salad bowl. As all the elements are freshly pre-prepared in store, your chosen combination, in either a salad bowl or wrap, delivers the same great fresh taste, but with a tighter turnaround time!


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There’s a range of new salads on the Chopped Innovation Kitchen menu which, combined with your choice of protein and then salad dressing, makes for a wide range of flavour combinations to suit your personal taste:

The Bruce Leaves

The Lob the Goob

Poke mo Thoin

Mambo Italiano

Garden of Vegan

Chopped Harvest

Asian Salad


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Get your day off to the best possible start with the new healthy breakfast range, made fresh to order. Choose from a range of hot options: Quick Oats, Protein Pancakes served with Fat Free Frozen Yoghurt or delicious savoury omelette wraps made with your selection of Dubliner or Feta cheese, bacon, tomato, carrot and onion. With new menu options, treats and more, expect an exciting experience every time you visit the Chopped Innovation Kitchen.

Brian Lee, co-founder and managing director of Freshly Chopped commented: “We’re excited to unleash Freshly Chopped Innovation Kitchen on the world. Baggot Street is the perfect location to unveil our unique, new vision as it was not only our very first store to open back in May 2012, but is an area that is a centre for food creativity and innovation in Dublin. We’re thrilled that our Innovation Kitchen will be at the centre of this thriving community, a community we have been very happy to be a part of for over 7 years.


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“Our delicious new range of grab & go boxes and snack pots are also the ideal meal or snack for those on the go, any time of the day. The new-look Baggot outlet is a first of its kind for Freshly Chopped, but we may look to expand the concept to other locations around the country as we continue our expansion.”

You can find Freshly Chopped Innovation Kitchen at 148 Baggot Street Lower, Dublin 2



Commuters arriving into Dublin’s Connolly and Heuston stations on Wednesday morning next (April 17) will be invited to go bananas – all in the interests of healthy eating.

There to welcome passengers and help get their day off to a healthy start with the gift of complimentary bananas will be Fyffes mascot Freddy Fyffes.

Marking National Banana Day, now in its third year, the celebration supports the national drive to encourage better and more-healthy eating habits.

As Emma Hunt-Duffy, Fyffes marketing manager puts it: ‘This is especially important for young and growing children’ and a reminder to adults to ‘think bananas’ when it comes to choosing a wholly-natural and nutritious convenience food or main meal accompaniment.

Get ready to go bananas on April 17 and join Fyffes in making Ireland a happier and healthier place!


Coca-Cola’s most recent results have shown that there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of Diet Coke sales.

The company have said that sales of the once popular drink have fallen seven percent on the same quarter last year, which is continuing the decline that begun in 2008.

But why is the popularity of our favourite diet drink falling so rapidly? We KNOW it can't be because of their advertising…

Well, according to The Independent, there are two possible reasons.

Firstly, analysts have associated the recent results on consumer awareness of the obesity risks that are connected with drinking sugary drinks.

Euromonitor noted that, “as consumer awareness of the risks of a high sugar diet has grown, the sugar content of regular Coca-Cola could hinder the company as the consumer agenda increasingly switches to looking for healthier food and drink options.”

But, as Diet Coke has no sugar in it, you may wonder why this would affect healthy eating habits? Consumer health awareness has also made people wary of the potential dangers of ingesting chemically produced sugar substitutes, like the ones found in Diet Coke.

The other possible reason is that within their own brand, Coca-Cola have developed a number of healthier alternatives, and the increase in their sales has contributed to the diminishing of other products.

For example, both Coke Zero and Coca-Cola Life have seen an increase in sales since their production began.

So, if they really are that much better for us, we should probably get used to the idea of switching over ourselves. We just really hope that they put the same effort into advertising their new drinks that they did with Diet Coke…



The end of the year is always a time for reflection about the months gone by. We look back on what’s happened over the last 52 weeks, we tune into all the “best of” shows and we wonder how the days came and went so fast.

December is also a month when we begin to think about the year ahead, and set new goals to replace ones that might have fallen by the wayside over the last while. We’ll definitely lose that stubborn extra stone this year, or finally get back to the gym, and we definitely WON’T be smoking/eating takeaways/getting stupidly drunk in 2015. Definitely not.

January is a great opportunity for a fresh start. As the year draws to a close it’s easy to slack off on our diet or fitness regime, or stop giving 100% at work. We say we’ll do better next year. No need to worry just yet.

But when you think about it, January is just another date on a calendar. If we really do want to make 2015 the year of self-improvement, why wait nearly three weeks to start? If our aim is to really get on top of things and start holding ourselves accountable, then why not start doing that right now?

Not only will we be giving ourselves a fighting chance at actually achieving our goals, but we’ll have a wealth of preparation behind us. So if you’re considering getting back into the gym, research prices now and check out the facilities in your area. If you’re planning a new healthy eating regime, try to exercise more restraint than usual over the next few weeks, so January’s crazy diet plan isn’t a total shock to your system.  

If you already know what you want to achieve, let tomorrow be your new start and not some arbitrary date next month. You don’t have to go into full-on dedication mode, but allow yourself to get used to the idea of a new you. It will make things so much easier in January, believe me.

Yes, a start date that just so happens to be the first day of a new year certainly has a good ring to it. But why put that pressure on yourself? If you could enter the New Year having actually made a start, no matter how small, on your 2015 goals, you’d feel so much more at ease about what lies ahead.

So let’s stop calling them New Year’s resolutions. They’re simply our resolutions, our goals and our hopes. And they can be achieved at any time, not just when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st.



From not eating a day before a weigh in to stripping down completely naked, new research showed that women go to extraordinary lengths to make themselves feel better about their weight.

A study for a healthy living campaign by Splenda, found that women are so obsessed with losing weight,  they invent a number of tactics to appear thinner.

Apparently, 49% of the women questioned said they stripped down before weighing themselves and more than half admitted to going to the toilet before stepping on the scale.

All in the hopes of appearing lighter, nearly 9% said they took off their jewellery before a measurement and an extreme 2.5% admitted to not eating the day before a weigh in.

Some women even lied about shedding a few pounds because they didn’t want to be branded as weak and others proudly accepted the praise when announcing weight loss, even if it wasn’t true.

Healthy cooking guru Nadia Sawalha, who is the face of the Small Steps campaign, said:

“We would urge people to forget these dieting rituals and enjoy a healthy lifestyle which includes a balance of exercise and eating sensibly.”