On Amazon

Astrid Brown (Author)
Find all the books, read about the author, and more.
See search results for this author

Google Website Translator Gadget


Traffic: google-analytics.com

The website of Author/Writer and Psychic Medium Astrid Brown. Making the most of 'YOU' i.e. how to achieve well-being and beauty from within ourselves. A truly holistic blog providing information on all aspects of psychic mediumship, spiritualism, philosophy, holistic therapies, nutrition, health, stress, mental health and beauty with a little bit of Wicca for good measure. Feeling and looking good is as much a part of how we feel inside as the outside.

Twitter /Pinterest follow



Flag Counter



I am a great believer in Karma, but just what is it? Karma comes from the Sanskrit and ancient Indian Language with the underlying principal that every deed in our lives will affect our future life. For example, if we treat others badly during our lifetime we will have negative experiences later on in that lifetime or in future lifetimes. Likewise, if we treat others well we will be rewarded by positive experiences.

Featured post


Today I am blogging about inexperienced Psychics/Mediums. There are many psychics/mediums around who give the profession a bad name, t...

Search This Blog

Archive of past posts



Tuesday 25 September 2012


Scientists reveal the uncomfortable truth behind the Desk Derriere (and how to beat it)

With more than 15 million Britons working behind desks, our bottoms are getting bigger – a problem that has been dubbed ‘desk derriere’.
A recent study that scanned the buttocks of inactive people found muscle was shrinking and breaking down due to lack of exercise.
The research at Tel Aviv University also showed that fat cells thrive in the buttocks of those who lead a sedentary lifestyle, causing thick layers of fat to develop deep inside muscle tissue.
Here we explain why your backside is expanding – and the simple steps you can take to combat desk derriere . . .
A recent study that scanned the buttocks of inactive people found muscle was shrinking and breaking down due to lack of exercise
A recent study that scanned the buttocks of inactive people found muscle was shrinking and breaking down due to lack of exercise
Insufficient activity and a poor diet are the main causes of desk derriere but other factors also play a role
Insufficient activity and a poor diet are the main causes of desk derriere but other factors also play a role.
‘The hip flexor muscles, found at the front of the hip, become overactive and tight if an individual spends all day sitting,’ explains Chris Jones, professional head of physiology at Nuffield Health.
‘In response, the three key muscles that give the buttocks their shape – the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus – become less responsive and generally underactive, leading to poor muscle tone.’
The gluteal muscles are necessary for stabilising and controlling movement of the pelvis, legs and lower back.
‘When the bottom and stomach  muscles become weak and the  hip flexor muscles become tight,  Lower Crossed Syndrome can develop,’ says Anne Elliott, lecturer at the London Sport Institute, Middlesex University.
‘Symptoms include lower back,  knee or ankle pain and in some cases limited movement.’
The flat width of an office bottom may also be attributed to the length of time spent sitting.
The Tel Aviv study showed that preadipocyte cells – the precursor to fat cells – that were exposed to sustained mechanical loading, such as being sat on, developed into fat cells and accumulated fat twice as quickly as normal fat cells.
‘The results suggest that if you sit down for a long time, you are more likely to store fat in your bottom,’ says Professor Amit Gefen, who oversaw the 2011 study. ‘They also imply that the width of a bottom may be increased by sitting down.
‘When our work was published, many experts contacted me to say that they had seen this phenomenon in obese patients.’
Of course, many overweight people simply have a tendency to store fat in specific places.
Women especially are prone to store fat on the bottom, says Chris Jones. ‘This is due to an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase, which dictates where fat settles in the body. Females store more fat around the hips, while males tend to retain more around the waist.’
‘Unfortunately, you cannot spot-reduce fat,’ says dietician Anna Raymond, who is spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association.
‘Luckily, the fat on the buttocks isn’t as metabolically active as that on the stomach – fat that deposits around the waist releases enzymes that contribute to the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.’
However, it is crucial to cut down  on sugar, says nutritional therapist  Dr Elisabeth Philipps: ‘Simple carbohydrates lead to the secretion of insulin, which increases the body’s ability to store fat. They also sap energy, so you feel less like exercising.’
Drinking lots of water will also help with fluid retention. ‘Those sitting at desks all day often forget to drink enough,’ says Anna Raymond. ‘Dehydration may cause you to reach for sugary snacks.’
Finally it is important to get enough of the right types of fat: ‘You can improve skin elasticity on your bottom with  two portions of oily fish a week or an omega-3 supplement,’ Raymond adds.

It is possible to determine whether your gluteal muscles are functioning properly or if you are at risk of developing desk derriere with a simple exercise.
‘Lie flat on your tummy and bend one knee to 90 degrees so that the sole of  the foot is facing the ceiling,’ says  Chris Jones.
‘Keeping the foot facing the ceiling, slowly lift the leg five inches off the ground by squeezing your buttock on that side and then hold it motionless in the air  for 30 seconds.’
‘You should be able to hold the leg perfectly still, with any sensation of tension being limited to the buttock itself.
‘If the lifted leg shakes a lot with the effort or you feel tension in your hamstrings or lower back, the gluteal muscles are not correctly switching on and engaging.’

Tennis ball
To release the hip flexor muscles and reactivate the gluteal muscles, give yourself a sports massage.
‘Take a tennis ball and slowly roll over the hip flexor muscles where you feel it to be tight,’ recommends Chris Jones.
‘If it feels tender, hold the ball and  apply gentle pressure to the area for about a minute or until  the tenderness  has diminished.’
Do this between five and ten minutes a day, repeating five days a week until there is no tension.

‘Dry skin-brushing stimulates circulation and helps relieve water retention in the area,’ says Dr Elisabeth Philipps.
‘Using a long-handled brush, always work towards the heart, concentrating on the backs of thighs and buttocks  for two minutes every day before showering.’
Exercise is crucial because it involves dynamic loading (carrying weight while moving) of the muscle cells, which inhibits fat accumulation and burns stored fat.
Cornel Chin, a personal trainer who has worked with Leonardo DiCaprio, suggests incorporating simple exercises into your daily routine.
‘Climbing the stairs, but walking two steps at a time, really engages the  gluteal muscles,’ he says.
‘Work out at your desk a couple of times a day too: do ten slow buttock squeezes followed by ten squeezes that you hold for two seconds, and then ten pulses (very quick squeezes).’
‘Any exercise with explosive movement that abruptly clenches the muscles – basketball, netball, squash, tennis and even cricket – is excellent. This uses the entire muscle and therefore works the deeper fibres.’
David Cameron’s personal trainer, Matt Roberts, recommends the following three daily exercises:
Step Up
1 Stand straight in front of a bench or elevated surface.
2 Step up with one leg and follow with the other. Return to the starting position.
3 Repeat 12 times to see some  benefit, and each set three times  for optimal results.
Straight Leg, Donkey Kick
1 With your knees and forearms supporting the body go on all fours.  Face the floor and ensure you  maintain a straight back.
2 Straighten the right leg outwards and behind you whilst keeping the left leg in a bent position at 90 degrees.
3 Keeping the right leg straight, lift it up and toward the ceiling as far as is comfortably possible. Return to start position and repeat with your left leg.
Standing Abductor Raise
1 Holding on to a chair for balance,  start with your feet a hip-width apart.
2 Without bending sideways at the waist, lift your leg out to the side – no higher than 45 degrees – using a slow and controlled movement. Hold for one second and return to starting position.

Follow Me on Pinterest

Maggie Brown (Author)
Find all the books, read about the author, and more.
My Zimbio Top Stories
Follow astridestella on Twitter

Monday 24 September 2012


The following article below is from Yahoo Lifestyle. I am surprised a study was necessary. For years I have observed the trolleys of obese people in supermarkets and have noted their trolleys crammed high with sugary drinks, bags of crisps, biscuits, and other high fat and sweet things. The vast majority of these trolleys contain little or no fruit and vegetables nor wholegrain bread etc. Sugar is highly addictive when ingested it gives a huge buzz and surge of energy and very quickly drops leading to more cravings. This does the pancreas no favours at all for to combat the increase sugar the pancreas has to produce enough insulin to deal with all this sugar in the blood. It is one of the causes of Type 2 Diabetes. But as well as all this sugar these drinks contain additives some are very acidic which damages the enamel of the teeth, some additives such as sunset yellow (colouring) are known to create hyperactivity in children, sadly these sugary drinks are often given to children as a way of keeping them quiet rather than spending time with them.

I'm not saying we should ban fizzy drinks but these should be limited and can safely be included in a well balanced diet but certainly not to the excess as some people have become accustomed.


Three new studies published in the United States this weekend reaffirm a link between sweet soda and fruit drinks to an epidemic of obesity that is sweeping the US.

Consumption of these drinks has more than doubled since the 1970s, and the rate of obesity among Americans during the same period reached 30% of the adult population, said the authors of a study published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.

The first study, which involved more than 33,000 American men and women, showed that drinking sugary drinks was affecting genes that regulate weight and increased the genetic of a person to gain weight.

The researchers used 32 variations of genes known to affect the weight to establish a genetic profile of the participants. They also determined the participants' eating habits, their consumption of sweetened beverages and exercise practices.

The other two studies showed that giving to children and adolescents calorie-free drinks like mineral water or soft drinks sweetened with artificial sweeteners resulted in weight loss.

The first was conducted at Children's Hospital Boston, which examined 224 overweight adolescents who were encouraged to consume water or light sodas for a year.

These teens gained only 0.68 kilograms of weight during this period compared to 1.5 kilograms in another group that consumed sugary drinks.

Yet another study was conducted by researchers at the VU University Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and involved 641 children aged 4 to 11.

Half of the group drank sweet and fruity drinks while the other half the same drinks with sugarless sweeteners.

After 18 months, children who consumed the low-calorie drinks gained 6.39 kilograms on average compared to 7.36 kilograms in the group that drank sugary fruit drinks.

"Taken together, these three studies suggest that calories from sugar-sweetened beverages do matter," said Doctor Sonia Caprio of Yale University writing in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"These randomized, controlled studies ... provide a strong impetus to develop recommendations and policy decisions to limit consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, especially those served at low cost and in excessive portions, to attempt to reverse the increase in childhood obesity," she added.

Follow Me on Pinterest

Maggie Brown (Author)
Find all the books, read about the author, and more.
My Zimbio Top Stories
Follow astridestella on Twitter

Saturday 22 September 2012


A beauty blog this time, I'm always looking for new products to try especially if they are inexpensive as I don't believe you have to pay a lot for products. At the moment I'm trying a couple of Avon products and before you knock this company, they have been around a long time and their cosmetics have come a long way. You don't have to find an Avon representative either as you can buy directly online.

The first product I'm trying is this one.

Avon Ideal Flawless Matte Mousse Foundation

I'm using the shade "nude" this is a good colour match for me in fact it was difficult to tell where I had applied it. It's a very light foundation and gives light to medium coverage and has a matt finish, It's also very easy to apply and doesn't feel sticky or just sit there as some mouse foundations I've tried in the past and I'm impressed by it. It's very reasonably priced even at it's full price as it's on offer just now at half price.

The other product I'm using is this one

Anew PRO Line Corrector Treatment with A-F33

The jury is still out on this one as this is the first day I've tried it so I will follow up my findings on this product but its light and disappeared into my skin and doesn't have a greasy feel. I'm lucky to  have been blessed by good genes as I don't have many lines for my age and they are not deep, it helps having an oily skin, though when I was younger I cursed it however it's paying benefits now.

It's claims:

Gel lotion formulation with patented+ A-F33 for Avon's ultimate in fighting fine and deep wrinkles. 30ml. Our fastest wrinkle fighter EVER +U.S. patent All cosmetic product results are achieved with continued use.

I'll let you know if it's claims stand up, it's active ingredient appears to be Retinol.

Follow Me on Pinterest

Maggie Brown (Author)
Find all the books, read about the author, and more.
My Zimbio Top Stories
Follow astridestella on Twitter

Friday 21 September 2012


Hoping: Holly Pereira, who desperately needs a lung donor, has made a YouTube plea for more people to sign the national organ donor register

Is there anyone out there who will save my life? YouTube transplant plea by Holly, 19
  • Holly has cystic fibrosis and has only 20 per cent lung function
  • It would be amazing if more people signed up even if it's too late for me, says brave teen
  • Marks growing trend of patients making heartfelt appeals for organs online

Hoping: Holly Pereira, who desperately needs a lung donor, has made a YouTube plea for more people to sign the national organ donor register
When most young people place a video on YouTube, the aim is to share a cherished moment or favourite song.
Holly Pereira hopes it will save her life.
The 19-year-old cystic fibrosis sufferer fears she will not see her 21st birthday unless she receives a double lung transplant.
She has made a haunting, three-minute video about her plight which she hopes will persuade viewers to sign up to the national organ donor register.
‘There is nothing more I can do,’ said Holly, whose father John is a plastic surgeon, at the family’s country house in Buxted, East Sussex.
‘If I can get just a few people to sign up to the register which in future saves lives, even if it’s too late for me, that would be amazing.’
Holly was diagnosed at 18 months with the genetically inherited disease, which affects the digestive and respiratory systems. 
Despite daily medication, she has only 20 per cent of her lung function left. 
She has spent six months on the national transplant register and is desperately awaiting a call to say that a donor has been found.
The Pereira family’s position is doubly heartrending as Holly’s brother Jake, 18, also has cystic fibrosis and will need a transplant at some point.
In the black-and-white clip on video-sharing website YouTube, she says cystic fibrosis ‘makes the smallest, everyday tasks, like showering, walking or taking the stairs very difficult as I get out of breath very easily’.
'Being put on the list means that my chances of survival without a transplant may mean I only have a few years left to live.
'Due to the lack of organs available I may find it hard to find a suitable donor. I am very small and my blood type that I am means I may have a longer wait.
    ‘This could be 18 months or over and during this time my illness may get progressively worse, which means I may rely on oxygen to breathe and may not be able to get around properly.
    Scroll down for video...
    Haunting: Holly describes what life is like with cystic fibrosis and says she almost can't imagine what it must be like to be able to breathe properly 
    A chest x-ray of a patient with cystic fibrosis
    Illness: Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that causes the build up of thick sticky mucus in the lungs and digestive system (see xray of a CF patient, left). Both Holly (right) and her brother have CF
    Holly says simple tasks such as climbing stairs are difficult for her
    Holly says simple tasks such as climbing stairs are difficult for her
    'To be able to receive a new pair of lungs would mean that my life would be significantly better, I would be able to do things I can’t do at the moment.'
    She ends the video by urging people to sign up to the organ donor register and saying how, once she does not need them, she will give 'any of my healthy organs away'.
    She reminds viewers that the most crucial step is to let close family know what organs they would wish to donate as they have the final say after death.
    Her grandfather David Nicholson, 67, said he was in tears when he watched the video, which she posted without telling her family.
    His wife Carol added: ‘We are very proud of what she has done and we want people to come forward and register so it gives youngsters like her a chance in life.’
    ■ To sign the confidential NHS organ donor register, click here.

    VIDEO: A plea from the heart... Watch Holly's video here... 

    Follow Me on Pinterest

    Maggie Brown (Author)
    Find all the books, read about the author, and more.
    My Zimbio Top Stories
    Follow astridestella on Twitter


    Another feature on chocolate albeit this is a negative one. We already know that chocolate makes us feel better especially in women and most women if truthful will tell you when they feel down they will reach for chocolate. However I still feel chocolate does have good health benefits, I am referring to dark chocolate here for one ounce of dark chocolate does give us our daily iron requirements as well as being rich in flavonoids which are anti oxidants. I do feel this article is somewhat misleading however and confusing because I feel its confusing the milk and sweet variety of chocolate bars, these are more associated with  the overweight and obesity. 

    The experiment detailed below where they fed 'M&Ms' to rats, these are milk chocolate and sugar coated with added colouring agents. Any nutritionist will tell you what refined sugar does, whereby it creates sugar highs and lows and the low sugar levels lead to cravings. If you eat refined sugars milk chocolate bars, cakes and biscuits this leads to a huge surge in blood sugar levels giving an instant hit and surge of energy, however this surge does not last long and drops dramatically leading to craving for more and I feel this is what has happened with this experiment. 

    French women are well known for their slim figures and they eat chocolate regularly however its small amounts of good plain chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa solids, this is satisfying and does not lead to the craving associated by consuming milk chocolate confectionary.

    Chocolate can create same high as opium: Links found between obese people and drug addicts

    • Study looked at natural brain chemical of enkephalin
    • It's an endorphin with similar properties to opium
    • US researchers found it surged as rats ate M&Ms
    • Drug then stimulated brain area releasing chemical
    • After that, number of M&Ms eaten more than doubled

    It’s certainly a good excuse to have when you’re slumped on the sofa and feel like you're simply obliged to finish off that shiny tin of Quality Street.
    Chocolate has an effect on the brain similar to opium, according to a study that found amazing comparisons between obese people and drug addicts.
    In the study, a natural brain chemical called enkephalin - an endorphin with similar properties to opium - surged as rats began to eat M&M chocolates.
    Addictive: Chocolate has an effect on the brain similar to opium, according to a study that found comparisons between obese people and drug addicts
    Addictive: Chocolate has an effect on the brain similar to opium, according to a study that found comparisons between obese people and drug addicts
    When a drug was used to stimulate the dorsal neostriatum - the brain area releasing the chemical - the number of M&Ms eaten more than doubled.
    In the brain, enkephalin binds to molecular ‘receptors’ sensitive to opiate chemicals to reduce pain and produce pleasurable feelings.
    Previous research mostly linked the dorsal neostriatum to movement, and recent work suggested it also plays a role in reward-driven behaviour.
    But study leader Dr Alexandra DiFeliceantonio said the extraordinary findings showed comparisons between and drug addicts and the obese.
    Opium links: The researchers looked at the same brain area which is active when obese people see foods and when drug addicts see drug scenes
    Opium links: The researchers looked at the same brain area which is active when obese people see foods and when drug addicts see drug scenes
    She said: ‘This (study) means that the brain has more extensive systems to make individuals over-consume rewards than previously thought.
    'The same brain area tested here is active when obese people see foods and when drug addicts see drug scenes'
    Dr Alexandra DiFeliceantonio
    ‘The same brain area tested here is active when obese people see foods and when drug addicts see drug scenes.
    ‘It seems likely that our enkephalin findings in rats mean that this neurotransmitter may drive some forms of overconsumption and addiction in people.’
    The findings of the University of Michigan researcher and her team have been published in the US journal Current Biology.
    In their paper, the scientists concluded: ‘Opioid circuitry... could in this way participate in normal motivations and perhaps even in generating intense pathological levels of motivation to overconsume reward in binge eating disorders, drug addiction and related compulsive pursuits.’

    Follow Me on Pinterest

    Maggie Brown (Author)
    Find all the books, read about the author, and more.
    My Zimbio Top Stories
    Follow astridestella on Twitter

    Wednesday 19 September 2012


    Article below from the Daily Mail, and I have to agree bread has been demonised for too long. I am a great believer in a well balanced diet and there is no reason why bread shouldn't be part of that. It contains vital nutrients and minerals even white bread though ideally granary and wholemeal are best. Carbohydrates should form the bulk of the diet


    Your body is a complex machine, it is constantly going through various chemical changes, taking nourishment to all its working parts and taking away waste and in order to do this efficiently it needs not only sufficient fuel but good quality fuel.


    So let us use the pyramid as a guide. Firstly water we are composed of 70% water so it stands to reason we need to replenish this constantly. Water is used up in the removal of toxins, such as sweat, urine/excretement and respiration, so 8 good size glasses are required daily. Ideally this should be plain water and no harm will come of adding fruit squash providing it's not sugary and some of this could be fruit juice. As for tea and coffee, this should be in moderation as the caffeine contained is a diuretic, this causes the body to excrete more urine, so if you must drink tea and coffee  for every cup you drink, drink a glass of water. Don't wait until you are thirsty either, for when you feel this symptom you are already dehydrated, a little and often is the key. Skin suffers dreadfully when we are dehydrated, because it is not such as an important organ such as our internal organs, it will be last on the list. Our skin is constantly being renewed and on average the upper skin layer, the one you can see, it is roughly a period of 28 days from the time the cells are created until they die and are sloughed off. In the deeper layers of the epidermis the cells are plumper however as they mature they become drier and tougher due to the protein Keratin, this forms protection, however if they don't receive adequate water the skin will look dull and loose it's lustre. (More about this process in 'Skin care')

    Next layer up in the food pyramid is cereals and cereal products, these ideally should be wholegrain and not refined. Wholegrain has much more nutrients, it takes longer for the body to break down, thus keeping the blood sugar levels stable for longer and provides the body with fiber. We need fiber for our intestines to help them work properly, preventing constipation and try to see fiber as a brush to sweep out our intestines of any toxic matter that can accumulate there and cause trouble later on. Fiber has little if any calories so plenty can be ingested. This layer forms what is known as carbohydrates and it is these that are the main source of fuel. These starches are broken down in the body to eventually form simple sugars to be used by our body's cells for energy. In a balanced diet the bulk of which is carbohydrates.

    Next layer up is the fruit and vegetable layer and to receive adequate vitamins and minerals we need a good balance of both. Fruit and vegetables are also rich in fiber. Leafy dark green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and savoy cabbage are rich in iron, needed to make red blood cells and also vitamin C, this too is needed to form red blood cells. Vitamin C is a water soluable vitamin, it dissolves in water and a common mistake is to over boil green vegetables, all the vitamin C is thus transferred to the cooking water, so the best way to cook these vegetables is by steaming or microwave. The body cannot store water soluable vitamins like vitamin C so adequate levels need to be ingested daily.

    Now a common mistake some people make if something is good for you they will take more, its not so much a problem with water soluable vitamins, however some vitamins are stored in the body in the liver namely vitamin A and high levels can be toxic and dangerous. With vitamin C however by taking copious amounts thinking it will do you good, all you will do is manufacture expensive urine as the body can only use so much and will excrete the rest. Too much vitamin C can cause diarrhoea and because vitamin C is ascorbic acid, will irritate your anal region. Vitamins and minerals are easier absorbed from food than as supplements too. Fruit and vegetables are a rich source of roughage/fiber and I mentioned this earlier. Another important aspect of fruit and vegetable are what's known asBioflavonoids  these are plant pigments that are largely responsible for colors of many fruits and flowers.

    Beneficial Effects 
    • referred to as "nature's biological response modifiers" - modify body's reaction to compounds such as allergens, viruses, and carcinogens
    • powerful antioxidants by giving protection versus oxidative and free radical damage
    • prevents formation of oxidized cholesterol through antioxidant effects
    • greater antioxidant effects than Vitamins C, E, Selenium, and Zinc 

    Next layer are Proteins and split here into two sources, the Dairy source, which is milk and milk products such as cheese and yoghurt and meat, fish and pulses (pulses are high sources of vegetable proteins e.g. lentils, beans) and nuts.

    Proteins are the building blocks of the body and necessary for growth and repair of the body's tissues and classified into two groups, complete proteins e.g. found in animal foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products such as yogurt and cheese. Soybeans are the only plant protein considered to be a complete protein. And incomplete proteins such as beans, peas, nuts, seeds, and grain. A small amount of incomplete protein is also found in vegetables. This is why it is important to have a varied and balanced diet  to provide all of the essential amino acids and form a complete protein. Oily fish are a rich source of omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids which can help reduce the risks of heart disease. Seafood in general contains an abundance of essential minerals which include, iron, zinc, iodine and selenium. Fish is also a good source of vitamins, which maintain healthy nerve tissues, strong bones and teeth and a glowing complexion.

    Now we come to the tip of the food pyramid it is these foods that should be consumed sparingly, fats, oils and sweets, which include cakes and biscuits which are generally made from refined sugars and flour. We do have to consume a little fat (if you are on a fat reduced diet because of gall bladder disease etc consult with your medical practioner) as we need some fat for fat soluble vitamins. Fat as well as a source of stored energy is our insulation under the skin and protects some organs such as the kidneys.


    Vitamins are only required in very small quantities. There is no chemical similarity between these chemicals; the similarity between them is entirely biological.
    Vitamin A: good for your eyes.
    Vitamin B: about 12 different chemicals.
    Vitamin C: needed for your body to repair itself.
    Vitamin D: can be made in your skin, needed for absorption of Calcium.

    Mineral Salts

    These are also needed in small quantities, but we need more of these than we need of vitamins.
    Iron: required to make haemoglobin.
    Calcium: required for healthy teeth, bones and muscles.
    Sodium: all cells need this, especially nerve cells.

    It's important to remember we have all of those components in the right amounts as if we don't have enough protein in our diets, we wont heal properly, not enough carbohydrates and we will be lacking in energy. Too much fat or too much carbohydrates will cause us to become overweight if we don't balance the amount of fuel (food) with our activities. Many vitamins work together and some cannot be absorbed unless the other is present e.g zinc is absorbed better with trace copper and vitamin C is needed to make haemaglobin in the blood as well as iron. The key is balance and the food pyramid will give a rough idea into the daily amounts and proportions to achieve this.

    Not a grain of truth: Bread has been 'demonised by TV nutritionists and is a vital part of our daily diet'

    • Scientists dismiss 20 years of warnings that bread is responsible for fatigue, stomach pain, bloating and headaches
    • People are going without vital vitamins and minerals that are contained in each loaf

    From hot buttered toast to the simple sandwich, bread was once the staple of the British diet.
    But in recent years it has suffered from a serious image crisis and has become something of a health bogeyman, a food to be avoided and resisted.
    Now nutrition scientists believe that most of the health alerts about consuming bread are myths.
    Beneficial: Nutrition scientists have dismissed 20 years of warnings that bread is responsible for fatigue, stomach pain, bloating and headaches
    Beneficial: Nutrition scientists have dismissed 20 years of warnings that bread is responsible for fatigue, stomach pain, bloating and headaches
    Researchers at the British Nutrition Foundation said that people are instead going without vital vitamins and minerals that are contained in each loaf.
    And they have dismissed 20 years of warnings that bread is responsible for a range of symptoms, including fatigue, stomach pain, bloating and headaches.
    They also dispute that wheat allergies are on the increase.
    Lead researcher Dr Aine O'Connor said that despite a massive downturn in bread consumption, Britain's obesity crisis is the biggest in Europe and continues to worsen.
    She said that sliced white bread, in particular, had been unfairly 'demonised' by health campaigners and TV nutrition shows.
    Dr O'Connor said that wheat allergies have not risen, but many people are are now incorrectly convinced they suffer from wheat intolerance or an allergy to gluten (the protein found in wheat).

    'Health professionals need to dispel the myths,' she told The Sun. 'Bread is an important source of nutrition.'
    Sales of bread have been dropping since the 1970s. In 1974 the average Briton got through 2.2lb (1,029g) of bread a week, by last year it had fallen to 1½lb (700g).
    A survey by the University of Portsmouth in 2010 found that one in five British adults believes they are allergic to a food, with most blaming wheat.
    Meanwhile, low-carb diets such as Atkins and Dukan haven’t helped either - the claims that carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to rise, preventing the body from burning fat, have put many off their lunchtime sandwich.
    Yet despite this, bread is often the food people crave the most.
    Many dieters name their greatest weakness as toast in the morning or irresistible basket of warm rolls on the restaurant table.

    Follow Me on Pinterest

    Maggie Brown (Author)
    Find all the books, read about the author, and more.
    My Zimbio Top Stories
    Follow astridestella on Twitter

    Sunday 16 September 2012



    Known as the "silent killer", high blood pressure rarely has obvious symptoms.
    Around 30% of people in England have high blood pressure but many don't know it. If left untreated, high blood pressure increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
    The only way of knowing there is a problem is to have your blood pressure measured. 
    All adults should have their blood pressure checked at least every five years. If you haven’t had yours measured, or you don’t know what your blood pressure reading is, ask your GP to check it for you.

    What is high blood pressure? (HYPERTENSION)

    Blood pressure measures how strongly blood presses against the walls of your arteries (large blood vessels) as it is pumped around your body by your heart. If this pressure is too high it puts a strain on your arteries and your heart, which makes it more likely that you will suffer a heart attack, a stroke or kidney disease.
    Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) and it is recorded as two figures:
    • systolic pressure: the pressure of the blood when your heart beats to pump blood out
    • diastolic pressure: the pressure of the blood when your heart rests in between beats
      For example, if your GP says your blood pressure is "140 over 90", or 140/90mmHg, it means you have a systolic pressure of 140mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 90mmHg.
      You are said to have high blood pressure (medically known as hypertension) if readings on separate occasions consistently show your blood pressure to be 140/90mmHg or higher.
      A blood pressure reading below 130/80mmHg is considered to be normal.

      Who is most at risk?

      Your chances of having high blood pressure increase as you get older. There is often no clear cause of high blood pressure but you are at increased risk if you:
      • are overweight
      • have a relative with high blood pressure
      • are of African or Caribbean descent
      • eat a lot of salt
      • don't eat enough fruit and vegetables
      • don't do enough exercise
      • drink a lot of coffee (or other caffeine-based drinks)
      • drink a lot of alcohol
      • are aged over 65
      If you fall into any of the groups listed above, consider making changes to your lifestyle to lower your risk of high blood pressure. Also consider having your blood pressure checked more often, ideally about once a year.

      Prevention and treatment

      You can take steps to prevent high blood pressure by:
      • losing weight if you need to
      • exercising regularly
      • eating a healthy diet
      • cutting back if you drink a lot of alcohol
      • stopping smoking
      • cutting down on salt and caffeine

      If your blood pressure is found to be high, it will need to be closely monitored until it is brought under control. Your doctor will usually suggest changes to your lifestyle and, sometimes, medication to achieve this. Find out more about how blood pressure is treated.

      Could you have high blood pressure?

      At least 25% of adults have high blood pressure. Get tips on how to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.

      Follow Me on Pinterest

      Maggie Brown (Author)
      Find all the books, read about the author, and more.
      My Zimbio Top Stories
      Follow astridestella on Twitter





      I am often asked various questions pertaining to the spirit world and various aspects of the psychic, here are some of them: I will in time feature more questions and answers as this webpage evolves

      Q. Is a psychic or medium a fortune teller?
      A. It may surprise you to know psychics and mediums are not fortune tellers
      Q. Is it possible to forecast the future?
      A.Well not 100% and this is because of free will.
      Q. What is free will?
      A. Free will is YOUR right to decide what you want to do about a situation, it is a choice
      Q. How does free will affect a situation?
      A. Well before we incarnate as Spirit in a human body, we decide on what experiences and challenges that will benefit our spiritual growth. However we are given the choice (free will) as to whether we go through with the experience or challenge. In effect we are allowed to change or mind.
      Q. So are you saying we all know what lies before us?
      A. Well in a way we all do. Remember we are 'Spirit' in a human body and your spirit does retain a memory but it is deep in our subconscious. This memory is retained deeply for a reason to help us fulfill our experiences and challenges we ourselves chose. However it is also at this deep level so we are not so aware. If you knew what lay before you would you go through with it? Probably not but we still retain this memory deeply and this reflects in our Aura.
      Q. So what is the Aura?
      A.The aura is The Aura is an electromagnetic field that surrounds living bodies, this includes people, animals, plants and crystals and is composed of several layers that are constantly moving. The Aura links us to whats known as Universal energy i.e. that is all the knowledge in the Universe past, present and future. It is on this aura that psychics are able to tap into and access your past, whats going on in the present and the possible future and I say possible specifically if your goal or desire is dependent on other people, for remember every person involved in a situation has free will.