Spring is in full swing and Summer is fast approaching, you might be reaching for the sun cream and dreaming about beaches but give a thought to those who can find the Summer months a struggle. People who suffer from asthma, allergies and other respiratory problems often find the summer months can trigger their symptoms making it a tough time for them. It can be especially tough for young children who want to be outside playing but who can’t due to their illness.
If you suffer from asthma, allergies or another respiratory problem there are some steps you can take to try and minimise exposure to things that can trigger their symptoms.
- Minimize exposure to smoke, this includes cigarette smoke, BBQ smoke, fires, candles and any other forms of smoke.
- If you are planning strenuous activities outdoors for yourself or your child with asthma, allergies or other respiratory problems check the air quality on the Defra website before leaving home.
- Use allergy-proof bedding and wash bedding once a week to get rid of dust mites which can trigger allergies and asthma symptoms.
- Mould can trigger asthma symptoms but there are things you can do to reduce the risks. When having a bath or shower use an extractor fan, fix any leaking faucets, clean any obvious mould and use a dehumidifier if possible.
- As much as you love your pets if you or your children suffer from asthma pet dander can be a trigger so keeping pets out of bedrooms and off of furniture can help reduce the risk of triggering symptoms.
My sister has asthma so growing up I was always aware of the symptoms and what to do in case she had an asthma attack. It is important to know the symptoms so you can help someone if they have an asthma attack. The infographic below has a lot of useful information about asthma including the symptoms of an asthma attack. I was shocked to read that 3 people in the UK die due to asthma related symptoms each day, I was also surprised at the difference in the number of people who have asthma in different parts of the UK with Scotland having the highest numbers.
‘Sourced from http://www.meds4all.co.uk/blog/asthma-news/asthma-in-uk.html‘
You might have noticed a lot of delicious foodie photos on my Instagram feed lately, if not you can see them here. I don’t normally post a lot of food photos to Instagram so you might be wondering what I have been up to. Along with a selection of other bloggers I was taking part in the Upbeat Blogger Challenge, the aim of the challenge was to improve my knowledge of protein and learn about the important role it plays in my diet (something I didn’t know a lot about before the challenge).
The challenge was set by Upbeat who produce delicious dairy protein drinks. Upbeat are passionate about protein and recently conducted a study which revealed a lot of interesting facts about our knowledge of Protein. As it turns out there are a lot of misconceptions about protein, one in five wrongly believe that all protein rich foods are unhealthy and high in fat and a fifth don’t realise that it is essential to consume protein daily (I wasn’t aware of the importance before the challenge). The study also included a list of the top ten items us Brits mistakenly believe are a good source of protein, the list includes, cereal, pasta (guilty!), butter, rice, chocolate, beer & wine (who’s going to own up to this one?), biscuits, chips, instant noodles and crisps. There are a lot of items which are a good source of protein including items in the table below, this gives a small idea of the amount of protein that is found in different food sources.
Now I have explained what the challenge is all about I thought I should talk about how my diet normally is, sadly it’s not great! My diet is pretty atrocious if I’m honest, I don’t normally eat breakfast, or lunch and although dinners are usually healthy with meat and veg I snack more than I should, especially in the evenings.
The challenge started with a delivery of healthy, protein filled food which included; meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, pulses and dairy items. I started the week by researching healthy meals that I could make using the ingredients I had received and was pleasantly surprised at how many delicious recipes there were. I wrote down a meal plan for the week which included, porridge with fruit, muesli, toast, scrambled eggs and salmon, chicken stir fry, turkey burgers with sweet potato chips, salmon fish cakes and lots of other tasty meals. Below are photos of some of the delicious meals I made during the challenge.
At the end of the challenge I felt like the healthier diet and protein had a positive effect. I felt fuller during the day which meant I wasn’t snacking as much and I felt less bloated which I think was down to eating less carbs than normal. I also felt like I had more energy which is a big thing for me as normally mid afternoon I start to feel really tired and end up grabbing a sugary snack or fizzy drink. During the challenge I found myself choosing Upbeat drinks and fruit rather than the unhealthy items I would normally eat, this is something I will try to keep up going forward.
Now I know more about protein and the benefits it can have I will be looking closely at how much protein is in the items I am eating. Something I learnt during the challenge was that we are supposed to eat around 1g of protein for every kg we weigh. I do find this a struggle sometimes so I will be picking up a couple of bottles of Upbeat so I can top up my protein intake on days where I haven’t eaten enough protein filled food. If you want to give Upbeat a try there are four delicious flavours to choose from; Strawberry, Mango and Passion Fruit, Blueberry & Raspberry and a delicious new flavour, Chocolate & Orange! The drinks are delicious, I really like both the Strawberry and the Blueberry and Raspberry. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the Mango & Passion Fruit or the Chocolate & Orange but I’m sure they are great and I have them on my to-buy list for when I next go shopping.
You can pick up a protein boosting Upbeat drink at your local Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury, Holland and Barrett, The Cooperative, Ocado and selected petrol stations.
Recently, my nephew has got me thinking about religion and spirituality. He has been learning about religion at school and has been full of questions and stories on the subject. It’s a topic I enjoy discussing as I find all the different beliefs and ideas really interesting.
As a child I went to church regularly and my sister was baptised, I wasn’t baptised as I didn’t ask and my parents wanted it to be my decision which I think is the right thing to do. In the end I didn’t ask to be baptised and as I got older I moved away from attending church and haven’t been in years.
I know this might sound strange but I can’t make a decision on whether I believe in god or not, I’m just not sure. What I do believe is that there is something else out there, this can’t just be it. I believe in life after death, that we move forward in some way whether it be coming back to Earth as someone or something else or whether we move on to somewhere different. I do think perhaps we have a lesson to learn in life and depending on whether we learn it or not we move forward or have to come back until we learn it.
Something else that reaffirms my belief in spirituality and life after death is the fact that when I was very small I told my mum I used to be a man who drove a tractor. Now is that a child’s overactive imagination… possibly, or could it be that I was a man and drove a tractor in a past life…
I could talk about this subject all day long. Everyone has a different opinion and belief and that’s why I find it so interesting, it’s a never ending subject because the reality is nobody knows.
*In collaboration with TheCircle
I have said it before, but I really struggle with eating breakfast and have done since I was a teenager. I don’t usually feel hungry in the morning so don’t bother eating anything, there’s one problem with this, I am really hungry by lunch time and end up grabbing something quick and usually unhealthy.
I know this has to change and decided to make an effort this year to eat three meals a day, I have to be honest and say I am finding this really hard especially eating breakfast. Thankfully I was recently contacted by Flahavans the Irish oat company who asked if I would like to create some recipes using their delicious oats. I thought this would be a great opportunity to try a few different recipes and maybe even find something I really like that will help me achieve my three meals a day goal.
The first thing I decided to make was a fruit smoothie with the added extra of oats. The weather is slowly getting better so juices and smoothies are making more of an appearance and the great thing about juices and smoothies is you can change the flavours so you don’t get bored. I decided to make the main flavour of the smoothie strawberry and then added a banana and a small hand full of raspberries, the oats transform the smoothie from an average smoothie to a delicious wholesome breakfast which is great for on the go.
If you like the look and sound of the fruit smoothie then I have listed the recipe below for you all to try. I will be trying different variations of the recipe with a mixture of different fruits so I can find a few flavours that I like.
- 1 cup of milk
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 banana
- 10 large strawberries
- A small handfull of raspberries
- In a blender pulse the oats until they take the form of a powder.
- Add the milk, vanilla extract and blend.
- Chop up the banana and strawberries.
- Finally add the chopped banana, strawberries and raspberries. Blend until smooth and enjoy!
- Tip: If you prefer your smoothie cold you could use frozen fruit or add a couple of ice cubes at the end.