So I think I can safely say I win the award for the least festive post, but it’s also kind of timely. T’is the season of consumerism and all that goes with that, so bear with me…

The reality? The Great Barrier Reef only looks like this after a saturation filter.

 

“The future of all life now depends on us” Sir David Attenborough warned, in that glorious voice you can only pay attention to.

The final episode of Blue Planet gave us a stark look at the impact of human behaviour on marine life; shock was promptly followed by sadness. This immediately brought about a rallying call on social media to do more to protect our environment. Even MPs got involved- a flurry of tweets ensued, pledging their alliance with ‘backing the blue belt’. Since then it’s all sort of died down. Well it is Christmas, and we need to dash off to buy ALL the things.

At work this week I was (trying to) organise contributors to speak about the subject of plastics in our oceans. Nearly all were too busy to come on camera, not too busy to tweet about it though…

 

This got me thinking. It’s one thing declaring how heart broken you are on social media, and how disgraceful we are as a race, but what are we actually going to do about it? Fair enough we can lobby MPs and get them to sign up to #backthebluebelt, and help increase marine protection in the overseas territories here but once we’ve tweeted our MP then what?

 

Whenever I hear the word ‘plastics’ I usually think of Mean Girls (if you know you know right?) but now I just think ‘mean humans’. It’s a never-ending chain. Plastic manufacturers aren’t going to stop- they make a mountain of money from our mass consumer habits, and government changes can take an age, so ultimately I think it’s down to us.

No one wants a grumpy Octopus…

 

Last week I made a note of all the plastics I used in one day and was horrified. From my toothbrush, to food packaging, the fork I used at work, to the cup for the water cooler, even the plastic wrapping on the dishwasher tablet (why though?)

So imagine if everyone I know stopped. Just stopped using as much plastic. Then imagine if everyone they know stopped. Imagine if ALL humans stopped. We’ve survived the 5p plastic bag charge so why not go further?  Just one person might not seem like a lot, but if you just think ‘fuck it, one person isn’t going to make a difference’ then nothing would ever change. Yes I did go and watch the Lorax recently (thanks Wordy) and if you haven’t seen it, do it. Just take a reusable drinks bottle with you…

 

SEVEN WAYS WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE NOW

 

 

  • 1. CWARFEE

How about that daily coffee on your commute? The UK throws away an estimated 2.5 BILLION cups a year, and there are only TWO places in the UK with the facilities to recycle them (a standard recycling mill cannot separate the material in the cup that makes it waterproof) and don’t forget about all those lids either, or the extra sleeve, and the stirrer, not to mention the individual pods we use at home…Jeez.

Just take your own cup in- Pret offer 25p off a coffee if you provide your own, which is going up to 50p in January. Hurrah! Also this makes use of all those cute cups you buy that just sit in your cupboard gathering dust. Some coffee shops offer a free drink if you buy a reusable cup from them, and they also make great Christmas gifts too!

 

Much happier now…

  • 2. WATER BOTTLES

What about the 38.5 MILLION plastic water bottles we use in the UK? Only half of these get recycled…

I realised I was buying two bottles a day on some occasions which is insane. Yes I bloody love an Evian, but I also love having money to spend on something that I can’t get for free.

I bought a massive one so I could make sure I was drinking more water, and for some reason bringing my own water bottle to fill up at work also made me drink a load more water too. Win win!

So treat yourself to a bottle and think of all the other glorious things you can spend your cash on instead. Just make sure your bottle is BPA free.

While you’re at it, add to your amazon order some Tupperware and let’s cut down the amount of cling film we use.

 

  • 3. UTENSILS

Use your own cutlery. Our work canteen charges 5p to use their plastic cutlery if you bring in your own lunch, and rightly so. You can use their regularly cutlery for free! If you can be bothered to make your own lunch you can be bothered to open the draw to grab a fork too.

 

  • 4. DITCH THE STRAW

Now I likes me a Gin, but I never drink it with a straw. The only Straw I need in my life is my darling man (it’s his surname) so let’s ditch the straws for all our other drinks too. Just Google the video of the turtle having a straw pulled out of its nose. You’ll never want to use one again. So many pubs and bars have jumped on this and if you are a bar/café/restaurant owner you can join up to Straw Wars here. http://strawwars.org/

 

  • 5. GNASHERS

Ditch the plastic toothbrush. I never even thought of this until I made a note of all the plastics I used in a day. Yes we don’t use that many every year but think of all the billions of people, it all adds up.  I know a few people that buy Bamboo toothbrushes, just make sure you can actually recycle them. A few sneaky companies sell ones where you have to remove the bristles before recycling, or it just gets dumped, which defeats the object obvs.

There’s a really interesting post written on ‘My Plastic Free Life’ about how biodegradable some of these toothbrushes really are, pig hair anyone? You can read her post here.

  • 7. IT’S A WRAP

Food packaging has to be the WORST. It’s actually ridiculous. You buy your apples on a plastic tray, wrapped in plastic, then you put them in a plastic bag (although hopefully not now) and take them home, just to ditch all the plastic. WTF. It’s fairly easy to buy plastic-free fruit and veg, shop at markets and smaller shops where they’re not as packaging obsessed, or just buy them individually and don’t use a bag. You should be washing them anyway, so it literally makes no difference.

 

I think half the problem is councils don’t make it easy, or clear what can be recycled and how. Maybe this is something we need to address more? Scandinavian countries, and places like Germany are smashing it at recycling, it’s such a shame we’re so rubbish at it. Pun intended.

This is an important subject, and I do feel passionately about it. I think the more it’s talked about and passed on the better. I went diving in the Great Barrier Reef last year. It made me really sad how bleached everything was, and I felt so guilty for even being there, but it was an incredible and humbling experience.

Let’s clean up our acts and clean up the oceans. If you want to know HOW it all ends up there, check out this Green Peace article here. https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/plastic-end-ocean/

 

To find out about what to do with your food packaging read here.

Bored of your regular Netflix? Watch Chasing Coral here.

Other useful links:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-36882799

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-40654915

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/28/a-million-a-minute-worlds-plastic-bottle-binge-as-dangerous-as-climate-change

 

HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ONE AND ALL, spend it with those that matter and the people you love, whoever they are,

 

Jem  xx

This is not a sponsored post.

So as a result of my exclusion ‘diet’ I’ve embarked on a mega lifestyle change in terms of what I eat. The thing is I kinda get bored easily and its not always fun to just wolf down a few apples.  I’m a busy person and always on the go so I’ve invested in a Breville Blend Active and it’s Uh-MAZING!!!

There are heaps of other blenders out there, I just wanted a simple one that would mix everything, pulp and all, and crush up anything frozen I have.  I’ve had juicers before but you lose so much just drinking juice and you miss out on all the good stuff!

Buying fruit and veg in bulk is handy for making smoothies and juices, so I always go to markets or hit Aldi and Lidl, although in this heat everything goes off kinda quick- even in a fridge for some reason, which is even more reason to eat your greens and eat up all the fruit.

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Mmm, FRUITY!!!

Banana and Blueberry Choco Smoothie

So my first yummy concoction had to be made up with my favorites- Blueberries and Bananas and what’s a little treat without a treat- so I added some cheeky chocolate of course.

Here’s what’s in it:

  • One banana (frozen)
  • Two massive handfulls of washed blueberrys (my hands are teeny tiny so I chucked in a load more- why do people with Eczema have such tiny hands????!)
  • One and a half dessert spoons of milled Linseed, with sesame, raspberry and blueberry (this gives it some ‘bits’ so it’s not just a smooth ass smoothie)
  • Koko dairy free chocolate milk (add as much as you want but don’t over fill, if you want a thicker smoothie obviously add less and vice versa)
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Be prepared- freeze those little fruits the night before- but don’t forget to chop the banana, they are impossible to slice once frozen (yes I did break my best knife trying to chop them- I’m a chump I know)

 

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Add it all together and give it a good whizz!

 

 

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The finished product, yum yum YUM!!!

I’m going to venture into making juices from vegetables so I will add updates as I go.

Smoothies are great as a brekafast drink, to take to work, as a snack to fill you up and also really good in this hot weather!!!

I genuinely do feel better for drinking these, and there’s infinite combinations to get all the goodness- just make sure you wash all your fruit first and where you can choose organic.

To purchase the Blend Active try

Amazon

, bargain central.

My skin seems to be on the up a little (scared of typing this as I might jinx it but it’s kinda fitting that as I’ve started to eat better and exercise regularly my skin is improving… funny that…)

Have a great week everyone,

Jemma x

So in my last post I said two things have affected my skin, well the first was hayfever, TOTALLY expected that,  the second was heartbreak- DEFINITELY didn’t expect that.

In many western cultures we think that diet affects our skin and bodies, in a lot of the eastern cultures emotions are associated more with skin and health issues. I think it’s a real combination of the two. I was stupidly in love with this boy, for over two years of my life, which isn’t mega long but long enough.  He was my best friend and he smashed my heart to pieces.  It physically hurts.   The pain isn’t just emotional, it’s physically unbearable and with it comes the sleepless nights, the constant headaches, the emotional rollercoaster of anger, sadness, endless tears and the inability to think or feel anything else, and then came the lack of appetite.  I’ve lost 7lbs in two weeks, I was too upset to even eat.  I didn’t care about myself enough to eat.   He was my world, and I was dumb enough to think he meant what he said, Bastardo!

Being cheated on and lied to is the worst feeling.  Breakups are like a death, a person suddenly has to disappear from your life.  I didn’t want this and it’s very difficult.  I find myself welling up. A lot.

My doctor has often told me my skin problems are stress related, well this feels next level.  I must admit after 6 weeks I’ve started to eat a bit more ‘normally’ but one thing I will say- heartbreak is shit for the soul but does wonders for your waistline.  It’s not worth it though.  He definitely wasn’t.

I think emotions really affect my skin.  Not only am I not eating properly and feeding my body with the nutrients it needs but I am not getting enough sleep to function and my brain is switched off.  This all leads to a downward spiral, a catch 22- I’m feeling particularly bad about myself and my self esteem has hit rock bottom.  Of course this makes me think about my skin, and I drive myself nuts thinking about it, and now it’s really suffering.  Seems so unfair- you go through all that crap and end up looking like a lizard!

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Now what to do about myself?  I’ve wallowed in self pity and now I need to pick myself up.  I’ve been running like Forest Gump and hitting the gym like never before, exercise is so good at making you feel better.  I can’t recommend this highly enough, if you feel sad, lost and down please try running.  It clears your head, and yes it does make you think about things but you feel free too.  It certainly has helped me, and my speed during those angry thoughts has improved a lot!  Just make a happy playlist and steer clear of those sad songs…

Some of my friends and people closest to me are going through such tough times, it puts things into perspective,  it might FEEL like someone has died but I remember how it felt to lose my beautiful Mum and this obviously doesn’t compare.  Why should I let some selfish boy bring me down?  I AM a Sensitive Shell but I need to protect what’s on the inside and the outside of that shell and the purpose of this blog is the pursuit of getting happy on the inside and out and finding the best way to heal my soul and my skin : ) and I hope it can help you too.  There are so many sad and lost souls out there and I know all of you who suffer with skin conditions feel this even more, because people can see it.  Pain on the inside isn’t visible but it hurts just the same.  He was a stupid boy and I’d like to stick to the belief that there are good guys out there.

So here’s to the future, and here’s to getting a happy shell on the inside and out.  I have a blank, sad and lonely canvass and I need to fill it with goodness and love.

Now I have a spin class to get to so I’ll speak to you all soon,

Let’s do this! xxx

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So yes it’s been a while since I last posted.  I WAS doing really well on my exclusion diet- I discovered not eating dairy really sorted the rash type Eczema that appeared all over me, and strangely (or not) I discovered that the lack of processed food in my diet really paid off!

I laid off dairy for a month and sort of followed The Eczema Diet book (see past post).

Here’s the results after a month:

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Skin on arm after quitting dairy : )

 

 

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Hands before exclusion (I’d been to the stables so excuse the nails…), and below hands after (skin is still dry but the splits have gone!):

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I felt like I was really making progress, when you’re careful with your diet you start to be careful with everything else- like regular moisturising, only using good products etc. Then I got struck with two things- one I kinda saw coming, which is the dreaded HAYFEVER, and the other I definitely did NOT see coming and I will write about that in my next post… The summer for me is always tough, anyone with Eczema knows heat= sweat and often irritated skin.  My hayfever is very much driven by tree pollen, I get horrific rashes for no reason and even red lumps under my eye.  This year has been particularly bad, even the skin on my face got all red and cracked.  No amount of exfoliating or moisturising treatments have seemed to heal it.I went to the doctors and was prescribed some supersonic antihistamines.  I hate getting MORE things on prescription, having Eczema is so frikin expensive! After two weeks on constant scratching I’ve now quite the antihistamines and low and behold my skin is improving.  I’ve stopped using any sort of perfume at the mo as my neck is super sensitive. How have you all got along with hayfever?  It’s so annoying.  I work outside a lot and I actually had to film a piece about hayfever too and I was sneezing like a trooper.  Its easier to deal with if you can stay indoors but I’m an outdoors type of girl. I swear I never used to get it.  I know I’m literally allergic to air sometimes but I have a horse and even though I cant fill the hay nets I’ve never had it this bad.  It does affect your life and it really gets me down.  Summer means shorts, dressed and more skin on display, no fun if you have Eczema or any sort of skin condition.  I think we should get a special clothing allowance- especially after all the money we pay on prescriptions!!!! Good luck this summer- it’s tough out there! xx

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ARGH!!!

It’s the itch that can never be itched- the never satisfied scratch! I seem to have gotten into the habit of waking up clawing myself : ( I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been stressed and upset/eaten the wrong things/slept in bed covers washed by something I’m allergic to or if I’m actually just allergic to myself!

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My skin would be in SERIOUS trouble right now if I had claws like this!

I’ve been trying so hard not to scratch but sometimes I do it without even thinking. The first thing I do when I wake up is scratch and then I get mad at myself for doing it.

What does everyone else do to try and stop this?

When I stay at my boyfriends I wonder if I’m allergic to his duvet, but then most of the time I’m fine.  There’s just no consistency with Eczema whatsoever.

I’m thinking the diet will help but it’s very early days.  I wonder if heat affects it- as spring is here the nights and mornings are certainly warmer.  I hate sleeping fully wrapped up.  Maybe I need to go back to being a child and sleep in gloves.  I remember my mum used to sew ribbons on so we could tie them, or I’d just wake up without the gloves.

I seem to have developed a rash all over my stomach too.  I’m trying to keep a record of everything I eat and how I feel but it’s tough.  There’s so many factors that affect Eczema.

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My stomach (although it’s pretty much all over my body right now)

After reading about people coming off steroids I really want to do this but I just can’t yet.  I’ve also read blogs of people who have quit moisturiser.  I am ADDICTED to moisturiser and can’t imagine not using it.  I’m going to try not to use it on my stomach and see if it just heals somehow.

How is everyone’s Eczema?

Love J x