Thursday, 18 May 2017

ALTERNATIVES TO THE DAILY MAIL


The Daily Mail is literally garbage. Yet I still find myself perusing the sidebar of shame when I have a coffee break in order to find out the latest Kim K gossip.

Fuck. That.

I was sure I could find alternatives to the Daily Mail, or at least somewhere where I don't have to read the vomit that is routinely shat out by the likes of Piers Morgan and Katie Hopkins (by the way, blocking them on Twitter has been the highlight of my week). So, I had a browse, and I found some of the best alternatives for you that don't hate on the poor and immigrants! Enjoy:

ELLE UK 

In addition to their magazine counterpart, Elle UK has an online site for those wanting the latest and up to the date celeb gossip. The site also has a section dedicated to fashion and looks that are fresh from the catwalk - which is great if you like to keep on top of the latest trends in clothing.

VOGUE

With sections dedicated to Art and Lifestyle, Vogue offers a wider range of articles for readers. Their "Vogue Daily" section is great for finding the most recent news from top fashion designers and celebs. 

THE DEBRIEF

You can expect Made in Chelsea reviews, political articles, celeb gossip, and so much more on The Debrief. The site offers a bit more in terms of actual written content, and some of their recent pieces on the upcoming election are really well written/aimed at younger people who would like to know more about particular subjects. 

TMZ

If you wanna keep it old school, and just want a place for the recent celebrity news, then TMZ is for you. I mean, in the past the site has come under fire for their unethical methods and chasing celebrities - but on the plus side, it is Piers Morgan free, so at least there's that. 

THE FUSS

From reviews of the latest films and shows, to make up secrets and more, The Fuss is great for getting your daily fix of fashion and beauty content. 

E ONLINE 

If you're a red carpet junkie like me, then E is the perfect site to find live updates on outfits. It's where I find all of my best-dressed celebs during awards season. 

GRAZIA

If I ever buy a real life magazine, this is the one I usually go for. It's no-nonsense and has a great view of body positive fashion. The site isn't much different, and you can find all of the latest news on your favourite celebs in one place

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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

KICK THE SUGAR HABIT


Hello, my dudes. This blog post is all about sugar. How to be wary of it, where it can be hiding in your food, and just how it can affect your body.  Now, I’m no saint, I’ll have sugary treats here and there, but I’ll always make myself aware of just how much sugar I’m putting into my body. I’ve been so wary of sugar in the past week alone that I’ve lost 3lbs. Mad.

Anyway, I’ve teamed up with Home 2 Office Water Coolers in order to help you kick your sugar habit. I know a can of coke can be peng, but if you think about how it can come back to haunt you down the line, you might think differently the next time you want a can with your lunch.

GET SMART


For the average male, it’s recommended that 9 teaspoons of sugar be consumed a day. For women, that amount drops to 6 teaspoons. Now, how many cans of coke/alternatives do you drink daily? If on average you drink about 2 cans a day, you are doubling your recommended intake already. This is because your average can of coke has over 9 teaspoons of sugar inside. Grim af.

Other sneaky foods that are filled with sugar include:

  • BBQ Sauce – Around two tablespoons of the sauce holds two teaspoons of sugar.
  • Sports drinks – They’re advertised in ways to make you think they’re good for you. However, the average bottle of sports energy drink is host to 8 teaspoons of sugar.
  • Granola – Again, advertised to you as a healthy breakfast alternative. However, the average bowl of granola holds 6 teaspoons of sugar.
  •            Soup tins – Sometimes, homemade is better. But if you’re on the go, tinned soup can be a winner. Just watch out for syrups hidden in the ingredients list, e.g. sucrose, corn syrup and maltose.

HOW TO CHECK FOR SUGARS IN FOOD


In order to find out exactly how much sugar is in your food, you first need to check the total amount of sugars on the label. Usually “natural” and “added” sugars are listed separately. Sneaky eh. Anyway, natural sugars aren’t too bad. They occur naturally in food and are usually low in terms of calories and high in terms of vitamins and nutrients. Added sugars are the ones to watch out for.
Added sugars are found in the ingredients list of a product, and are listed in descending order of weight and not calories. So, the higher up on the list, the more sugar you’ll find in the product. Some added sugars to look out for include:

  •       Fructose
  •       Malt Syrup
  •       Sucrose
  •       Xylose
  •       Fruit Juice
  •       Glucose
  •       Agave Nectar


HOW SUGAR CAN AFFECT YOUR BODY


I’m really not in the business of scare mongering. Like, yolo and all that. But I am gonna briefly include some studies which provide some insight into exactly how dangerous high sugar products, such as fizzy drinks, can be.

Increased Cancer Risk

It has been found that drinking two soft drinks a week could increase your chance of pancreatic cancer by up to 40%. It’s also been found that drinking up to 1.5 cans of soft drink a day can increase the chance of breast cancer by 5% every year.

Increased Diabetes Risk

It’s thought that in the years between 1990 and 2000, a number of new drinks on the market led to the extra 200 000 cases of diabetes in the decade. It’s hard to think what that number is now since the market has only widened since then.

If you’re thinking of giving up some of your sugary drinks, Home 2 Office Water Coolers have teamed up with Knowsley Council to create the GULP (Giving Up Loving Pop) campaign. The campaign is running throughout May, and it’s to create awareness of fizzy drinks and the health benefits of cutting them from your diet. You can sign up to GULP challenge, which involves cutting fizzy drinks from your diet, on the GULP website.

Lemon and Ginger Infused Water


ALTERNATIVES TO FIZZY DRINKS


I actually quite like the taste of water, but I can understand that not everybody does. So, I’ve come up with some recipes for infused water. Infused water is a way to get some taste into your drinks, without the sugar.
Simply add any of the ingredients listed below into a large water jug, leave it to infuse overnight, and drink the next day! Alternatively, you can buy infusers from any high street store or supermarket.
  •         Cucumber, Lime
  •       Strawberry, Mint
  •       Lime, Ginger, Basil
  •       Orange, Cinnamon





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Thursday, 4 May 2017

ALTERNATIVES TO LUSH COSMETICS (UK)





Okay, so I'm a little bit pissed off with Lush in all honestly. I've been a customer of theirs for a number of years, and I really bought into their inclusive campaign. I also enjoyed the idea that they were vegan and cruelty free.

However, after seeing their Instagram post regarding overweight and obese health statistics, I'm finding it hard to buy my products from there. I probably will do in the future, but I can understand how some people can feel excluded from their seemingly inappropriate post. I won't link you to it, one because it's slightly triggering, and two because I don't want to link to them lol.

It really baffles me how a brand, who has nothing to do with health, can post about the impacts of weight on healthy diet. What's worse is the comments. When weight is mentioned ANYWHERE online, there is a sudden influx of  brand new health professionals telling larger women to lose weight. I absolutely hate that. Like I'm pretty sure if you smoke or drink alcohol you're classed as unhealthy, but because we can see weight, people think they have the right to discuss it openly and tell people how to take care of themselves. Absolutely sod off.

In any case, I've decided to find some brands similar to Lush, for those who are fed up with it, or would like to try their alternatives anyway. Enjoy!

THE BODY SHOP

Okay, so The Body Shop aren't fully Vegan, but they are completely vegetarian, comply with fair trade standards, and are completely against animal testing in all of their products. 

You can find a range of products on their website and in store. The only downside to The Body Shop, however, is that they don't sell bath bombs. Which, if you're like me, sucks. I love bath bombs, but there are alternative shops that sell bath bombs and similar products...

BOMB COSMETICS

I'm relatively new to Bomb Cosmetics, but I'm planning on ordering a haul from them soon, so I can make a review if anyone is interested!

Bomb are vegan and cruelty free, and much like Lush, all of their products are handmade. They offer bath bombs (called bath blasters - rad), as well as shampoos and other toiletries similar to Lush products. In terms of price, they're actually cheaper than Lush. However, they do not have any high street stores (yet) and all shopping with Bomb must be done online.

ETSY STORES

It's amazing what you can actually find on Etsy, plus it feels v good to give money to smaller up and coming shops that provide items very similar in style and quality to that of places such as Lush. For example, The Dirty Vegans offer soaps, bath bombs, gift sets and much more on their online store. 

You can also find vegan lip balms and body scrubs in stores such as The Okie Soapy Soap Shop, as well as vegan moisturisers from the Trawden Soap Kitchen


HOMEMADE

If you're militant about these things, and don't want to trust any of the stores above, or you just fancy getting creative, you could always make bath bombs and such things yourself! To make a bath bomb, all you need is some baking soda, epsom salts, your choice of essential oil, food colouring, and some olive/coconut oil. If you're after the bath bomb shape, you can also buy a mold from online stores like eBay for quite cheap, however, you can just freestyle it and make haphazard shapes if you want to. 

Mix all of the dry ingredients together, and do the same with your liquid ingredients (separately). Once both have been mixed well, add the two bowls together and mix until you have a slightly clumpy consistency. Grab as much, or as little, of the product as you want, and mold away. Viola! Your own bath bomb. 


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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

PALM OIL: WHAT IS IT AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT US


So about a week ago I discovered the giant impact that palm oil has on the environment. I’m actually upset that I've only recently heard about the impact of palm oil and that the palm oil industry is not talked about in the mainstream media.

WHAT IS PALM OIL?

For those who aren’t aware of the product, palm oil is a by-product of oil palms and is used in so many products found in the UK today. The tree which produces oil palms, called the Elaeis Guineensis, is native to Africa. However, in recent years, plantations of the produce are popping up in Asia and Malaysia to deal with the demand placed on the commodity. These two countries alone make up 80% of the world’s supply of palm oil.

Much like coconut oil, palm oil is solid at room temperature and is completely edible. You can find palm oil in almost everything at your local supermarket, including cereals, chocolate, and margarine. Even some washing detergents have the oil listed as an ingredient

Despite its popularity in the world, the growing production of palm oil is causing serious harm to our environment. Plantations are increasingly destroying tropical forests and peatland, which is home to so much wildlife.

As well as this, the deforestation underway is having devastating effects on our environment, and is accelerating the effects of global warming – this is because our rainforests protect us from greenhouse gases by absorbing them. Like for real this palm oil business is shit. I get it, it’s great for using in products, but it should be reasonably and ethically sourced.

It’s not just the wildlife that is affected by this business either, there are breaches of human rights by palm oil corporations – including the destruction of farmlands without permission. As well as this, the companies provide low wages and unsafe working conditions in order to keep up with demand.

There are sustainable ways to produce palm oil. This includes limiting the growing nature of companies and stopping their destruction of rainforests in order to create plantations. It’s thought that reducing the amount of space used by Palm Oil corporations will effectively reduce greenhouse emissions by up to 50%.  The RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) are committed to making the commodity as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible. They award companies who adhere to standards with a certificate to state that they are ethical, or are changing for the better. You can check which Palm Oil companies have the certificate on the RSPO website.

COMPANIES WHO SOURCE UNETHICAL PALM OIL

I was so surprised to find that a lot of companies around the world are not sourcing ethical palm oil. For real, if the companies below sourced their palm oil in an ethical way, we could protect some of the species that would come to danger under unethical and illegal farming in forests throughout Asia.

After a few hours of searching, I couldn't find a comprehensive guide of companies and brands to avoid if you’re searching for ethical and sustainable companies and products when shopping. So, I’ve decided to make one myself:

· Johnson & Johnson

· Aveeno

· Band Aid

· Benedol

· Benyln

· Calpol

· Clean & Clear

· Coach

· Imodium

· Johnsons Baby

· Listerine

· Neutrogena

· Sudafed

· Pepsico

· Walkers

· Mountain Dew

· Gatorade

· Tropicana

· Diet Pepsi

· 7UP

· Doritos

· Quaker Oats

· Cheetos

· Pepsi

· Lipton

· Pepsi Max

· Starbucks Ready Drinks

· Snack a Jacks

· Munchies

· Naked

If you shop own brand products, Tesco and Sainsbury’s have signed up to reduce the amount of palm oil used in their own products. With Tesco, they give customers a 99% guarantee that Palm Oil products in stores are ethically sourced.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

If you want to change the impact of Palm Oil on the environment, human rights, and the extinction of wildlife, then sign these petitions below. It takes like 10 seconds and it’s a good deed done for the day. Personally, I’m taking steps to avoid products with Palm Oil. It’s literally in everything though, so at the moment I’m taking the time to find brands who source their palm oil ethically. I think once I’ve done some research and found some products, I’ll write another post on shopping ethically? If you’d be interested please let me know!

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/171036

https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/s/forests-not-fires

https://www.change.org/p/protect-the-leuser-ecosystem-declare-it-a-world-heritage


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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

MET GALA 2017: TOP 5

Just a quick post today about the Met Gala. For those who don't know, the Met Gala is a fundraising event which is held each year in NYC. Those who are lucky enough to get invited are given a theme to adhere to in terms of outfits. This year's theme was Avant Garde. I'm pretty sure no-one actually managed to dress accordingly, however, which is pretty shocking!

In any case, I've gathered my top 5 based on how much I like the outfit, instead of how much adheres to the Avant Garde theme...

EMMA ROBERTS



The pink fur stole won this for me. I love the contrast and the whole outfit really suits her!

SARAH PAULSON 



Absolutely bangin'. Reminds me 50's glamour, but added with the sleek hair it looks really modern.

WENDI DENG MURDOCH



This print is so fab, and suits Wendi so much. Also I love her hair, mostly because that's my fave style...

ZOE KRAVITZ



I won't lie, I chose this because it reminds me of that one episode of The Simpsons when Marge buys a Chanel suit and tailors it lol.

GLAM


HALEY BENNETT


HOW AMAZING. This is my winner of the evening. The headdress, the sleeves, the print, the cut. All amazing. I wanna look this statuesque on my wedding day, fanks.



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© Gina Kay Daniel

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