Imperfectly Pure – My favourite new Wellness website

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OH so many health blogs out there. Get fitter, healthier, happier – just use these simple steps – IT WILL TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE.

*cynical face*

I am a self confessed door mouse. I love my reading, my bath and my bed. I manage to walk 8,000 steps a day, but that’s it. Oh….and I really love my food. When I saw the founder of Imperfectly Pure Katie Robertson doing HIIT [for those of you who don’t know this stands for High Intensity Interval Training] I damn near fainted. Katie smiled at me, and asked me to look at the rest of the website, and I am so grateful I did.

80% Natural, 20% Naughty, 100% Wellness

Well that sounded right up my street, particularly the naughty bit.

Katie is also a fully qualified Personal Trainer, Spin teacher and Bikram Yoga Teacher living and working in London and just about to finish her official training as a nutritionist. She also gives one to one Wellness Consultations. A Wellness Consultation involves an extensive review of your medical history, lifestyle, diet, stress relief mechanisms, and exercise habits, as well as your wellness goals, expectations, and level of commitment to achieving your goals. This allows Katie to create short term wellness goals, which are both manageable and achievable for you. This will cover everything from exercise, nutrition, mastering you mind, and more!

I can honestly say there is something on there for everyone, and for seasoned food lovers like myself, I can reassure you, the emphasis is on being healthy…not thin. I have found quite a few things that have helped me out with my various health struggles. From Co Enzyme Q10 to help with energy, to delicious Cauliflower & Oregano bread [gluten free] The health benefits of Magnesium for PCOS, and nutrition advise if you happen to be pregnant. [And some exercise tips if you should feel inclined] After launching in July of this year, in a few short months she has gone from strength to strength and has ventured out to produce her own bespoke, plant based, organic skin care products. I was lucky enough to test out a toner and night time oil for her over the last 2 weeks.

My night oil is Soothing and Nourishing and contains:

  • Borage Oil: very moisturising and encourages cell renewal. It is also anti-inflammatory
  • Marigold Oil: good for sensitive skin and is also very soothing
  • Jojoba Oil : nourishing and replenishing
  • Plus essential oils of Turmeric, Rose & Lavender – 3 very special essential oils, great for inflammation, calming and female balancing (with the Rose)

My toner contains:

  • Lavender – calming
  • Chamomile – soothing
  • Neroli – anti – ageing

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Compared to the money I have spent over the years on skin care products that promise flawless skin, and being over 40, with skin that tends to be on the dry side, her products are not only very reasonably priced but honestly…just lovely for your skin. Katie will take details of your skin type and allergies before she creates anything for you, and of course ask for your personal preferences. I like her products so much, that apart from my beloved Argan Oil from Morocco, everything else has gone in the bin!

The toner is utterly refreshing and doesn’t make your skin feel tight after using it. The oil is quickly absorbed and doesn’t ‘sit’ on your skin. Both products are best applied after a bath or shower, and after light exfoliation [Katie can supply this too if requested] The next morning, my skin still feels soft and supple, and lasts throughout the day….what more could anyone want really! Also knowing that these products are completely plant based, organic, and without animal testing is also a huge bonus.

With the internet awash with health/wellness websites, I really urge you to check this one out. The right amount of positivity [without being OTT] and fully inclusive for everyone. I have learnt so much from the site in the last few months [my Co Enzyme Q10 arrived today in the post!] and my skin is looking fabulous. Katie has a real passion for what she does and posts regularly. She is also on hand for Bikram Yoga, Spin Classes [I have heart attacks just watching those!] and of course private sessions as a Personal Trainer. And don’t worry, she will work at whatever level you happen to be at.

You can find Imperfectly Pure at

http://imperfectlypure.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/imperfect_pure

https://www.facebook.com/ImperfectlyPure

And all contact details are available on the above.

As for me, I’m looking forward to ordering some more skin care products off her, and I might just get a one to one Wellness Consultation with her. Onwards and Upwards!

NB  Imperfectly Pure logo used with permission of Katie Robertson

Photo – Lisa Jenkins

 

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Independent News Sources & Websites

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I have been wanting to do this for quite a while. In the last year, I have become more and more frustrated with the bias in our mainstream media, [and frankly, too much drivel] and I wanted to find alternative voices. I have asked friends and colleagues to contribute ideas and websites. I have purposely not added any write ups to each website as I want people to investigate them in their own time. Some have questioned Al Jazeera being on the list – due to Qatar’s financial involvement  [although I do think they produce fairly balanced articles.]  And some have questioned RT [Russia Today] due to their bias. However they do have an American and UK page I have discovered.

Not every website will be to people’s pleasing, I am aware of this. I wanted to give a varied list, that is all.

And please, if you think I have left any off the list, let me know. But they must be independent. They are in no particular order. There is no preference.

Mother Jones – http://www.motherjones.com/

The Nation – http://www.thenation.com/

Think Progress – http://thinkprogress.org/

RT [Russia, America, UK] – http://rt.com/uk/

Left Foot Forward – http://leftfootforward.org/

France 24 [English and French] – http://www.france24.com/en/

Addicting Info – http://www.addictinginfo.org/

Another Angry Voice – http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/

Middle East Eye [Middle East & North Africa] – http://www.middleeasteye.net/

Media Lens – http://www.medialens.org/

Truth Out – http://www.truth-out.org/

Media Diversified – http://mediadiversified.org/

Asian Correspondent [Asia] – http://asiancorrespondent.com/

Rappler [Philippines & Indonesia] – http://www.rappler.com/

The Big Eye – http://www.bigeye.com/

Alter Net – http://www.alternet.org/

Global Voices – http://globalvoicesonline.org/

All Africa [Africa] – http://allafrica.com/

Sleuth Journal – http://www.thesleuthjournal.com/

Democracy Now – http://www.democracynow.org/

Exaro News – http://www.exaronews.com/

Al Jazeera English [Middle East] – http://www.aljazeera.com/

Real News Network – http://therealnews.com/t2/

El Plural [Spain] – http://therealnews.com/t2/

Publico [Portugal] – http://therealnews.com/t2/

KPFK News – http://www.kpfknews.org/

IMEMC [Middle East] – http://www.imemc.org/

Narco News [Latin America] – http://www.narconews.com/

Rabble [Canada] – http://rabble.ca/

The Intercept [global] – https://firstlook.org/theintercept/

End The Lie – http://endthelie.com/

Notizie Radicali [Italy] – http://notizie.radicali.it/

Equal Times – http://www.equaltimes.org/

Al Monitor [Middle East] – http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/home.html

The Atlantic – http://www.theatlantic.com/

NPR – http://www.npr.org/

Media Matters – http://mediamatters.org/

Positive News – http://positivenews.org.uk/

AMTV – http://www.amtvmedia.com/

Photo Courtesy of Media Studies Resources – http://media.edusites.co.uk/

A Poem for Mother’s Day

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Mother

 

This is for you

The mothers

The ones I borrowed

Spent time with

Talked to

Rested head on shoulder

A warm hand on my face

Brushed hair from my forehead

Sat on their laps

And wept

 

The mothers who adopted me

Over days, weeks, months, years

Not of your blood

But still you showed me love

To fill the caverns of my heart

Fed me more than just food

I sidled up to you whilst cooking

Offered up the child in me

Time and time again

Never rejected

 

My mother would thank you if she could

Smiling from ear to ear

Whisper close

“Darling girl, you may have lost me

But look what you have gained

A multitude of mothers

An ocean of love

Full to the depths

Limitless

To mend your broken soul.”

 

[Image taken from HD4 Desktop Website]

Daughter – A Poem for Chinese New Year

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Daughter

 

‘You. Are a daughter of the dragon.’ My Chinese godmother’s beam at me.

 Standing awkwardly in my Cheongsam.

They feed me soft, sweet longevity buns,

press money into my palm.

‘May you live 100 years.’

 

Only 21, born in the Year of the Ox

Steady, strong, dependable, and stubborn

There is no Dragon in me,

I am made of earth.

 

Born on the highest peak in Hong Kong

The clouds above me, the people below,

On colonised soil. A nearly barren rock

Traded for opium and human lives

I have no Chinese ancestors to call upon

To say prayers and burn incense to.

 

Respect is never given to my elders

An imposter in the country that carried me

with love into this world.

These wise women say to me

‘You are of this place, a daughter of this land.’

 

‘May the strength of the dragon rise up to meet you.

May you never forget where you come from.

We will be with you, even when our bones

have turned to dust.

Where the earth meets the sky,

you will always belong.’

 I am a daughter of the dragon, May I never forget where I come from.

 

 

 

Edited by John Siddique – http://www.johnsiddique.co.uk/

Photo Courtesy of Chinese New Year Blog.Com

Disabled Dating: I am not a freak, I am not a fetish [Feminist Times piece 15th April]

 

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I was five when I had my first boyfriend. Being only five, I liked him for the following reasons: he had floppy hair, big brown eyes, and wore a denim jacket to class – it was 1978. He was a bit different from the other boys, and being a bit different myself, this seemed like the perfect match.

We would hold hands at break time and I invited him to my birthday party. Naively I thought this is the way it would always be. I would ask a boy out, he would say yes, and we would be happy until I found the next love of my life.

I remember the first time I heard, in hushed tones, “such a pretty girl, such a shame about the ‘handicap’.” I wondered why on earth a limp and a bit of a clenched hand was considered ‘a shame’; I had lived in a family home where I was considered perfect, just the way I was. As I got older I started to notice there were no girls or women who resembled me on TV, in the magazines, or in school, and I began to realise just how different I was. There still aren’t; disabled women remain hugely unrepresented in the media.

The teenage years hit, and with them came the loss of non-judgemental behaviour from my peers. I was told no one dates “spazzy girls”. I was a freak, unattractive, undesirable, and no one would ever want me.

We can all agree that objectification is wrong, however, to have sexuality entirely stripped away from your identity can damage your development just as much as society’s constant bombardment of over sexualised images. What infuriated me then, and still does, is that the choice to express myself sexually – in a relationship or out of one – was laughed at… or worse, fetishised.

A few years ago, on the advice of a friend who had once been a high class escort, I joined a disabled dating website. Actually, their first suggestion was to buy myself a male escort, but as I could not afford the £1,000 for a night of passion (yes, £1,000 – I spat my drink out at the cost; give me £50 and send me to the nearest sex shop please!) I opted for the dating agency. I was in between boyfriends, and not that fussed, but realised that I had never ventured into the world of disabled dating before, despite having cerebral palsy myself.

I dutifully put myself online and waited for the messages to arrive. 48 hours later the first message popped up, from a good looking man describing himself as “able bodied” but saying he had “no problem” having a disabled girlfriend. “How very gracious of you!” I snorted, but I gave him a chance.

Over the course of the next two days things got very interesting. He assumed I was in a wheelchair (I’m not). He assumed I did not work (I worked 2 jobs, and still do). He assumed I had very little sexual experience (HA!) and he was also under the assumption that I could not care for myself. All of these things added up to making him very horny indeed; I am not a naive woman, but I honestly didn’t know whether to laugh or be suitably shocked at the erect penis that popped up on my screen. When I calmly responded that none of those things applied to me, the response was droopingly swift. At that point I laughed… and laughed hard.

So, I find myself in two categories: desexualised or fetishised. Neither represents me. All adults have a right to a healthy sexuality and a choice in how they express it, disabled or not. A disability should not make me feel like less of a woman, or ashamed and embarrassed about my sexual desires. They do not define me, but they are an integral part of me, just as my disability is.

We need to stop seeing disabled women as odd or unrealistic when they express their desires, or in TV shows where they are still treated as side show freaks. They are human and those feelings are real. If we are working towards a more inclusive society, disabled women need to be seen as  whole individuals. I fear though, we still have a long way to go.

Lisa Jenkins is Arts Editor for God Is In The TV Zine and contributor to The Quietus. She also happens to have cerebral palsy. Follow her @lisaannejenkins

– See more at: http://www.feministtimes.com/disabled-dating-freaks-fetish

Roots

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Roots

Like the branch that had been ripped away too soon

Thrown out with the storm of life

My roots were lost to the wind the day you left

I tried to bury the essence deep

Never forgetting, keeping your image burned on the inside of my eyelids

Like a scar I never wanted to be rid of

30 years on I look for you in every female face I see

Every colour, every creed

I search for the eyes that say

‘I know you child’

 

I carry you with every step, every thought, with every waking moment

At night, when the darkness folds over me like a blanket

My mind tells me you are here again.

The word ‘mother’ slipping from my lips like an ancient incantation

Willing you into my world again

Your roots are strong, they curl around my heart

Keeping me safe

I will hold onto them tight,

Watch, wait for you, as the lines crease my eyes

And the grace of age flows over my face

 

 

[Image Courtesy of 3 Plus International]

Words – A Poem

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Words

I always knew I had them in me

The words

They would tumble through my mind

With a force, an insistence that I let them out.

And yet, I kept them hidden

Fear that they would mean nothing, ill chosen

Inarticulate

My fear kept me silent.

Until the fear became my inarticulation

And it was ‘speak’

Or be crushed by a life of ‘What If?’

And the words became my hope, my joy, my belief

The words now form peaceful rivers in my mind

Giving voice to joys long forgotten

And I am free