Eco Friendly March, week one


As I wrote about, in a post last month, click to read Here, I am going to try and be a bit more eco friendly in the month of March.
So for my first week of challenging myself to be a bit more eco friendly, I am going to:

  • Buying organic and fairtrade
  • No food wastage 

Buying organic is something I have wanted to do for a long time. I used to be quite good at buying organic, but for some reason I don’t do it as much any more. But organic is not only good for the environment and the people growing them, but they are also a lot better for me as you won’t be getting all the chemicals from spraying, but they are also suppose to have a lot more nutrients in them.
Fair trade because it is just better for the people of the world.
And no food wastage, because I am a bit tired of find fruit and veg that have gone past eating stage and end up throwing it out. Firstly because I have paid good money for it and second because there are just being waisted way to much food on the planet every year.


So for this week I am going to buy organic and fair-trade groceries when possible and to calculate how much more it has cost me that week to do it. 
And I will come up with solutions to cut food wasting.


Stay tuned for my update next Monday 
Mia
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The month of March


So in January I did post mostly with the tag Healthy January, click Here to see, and in February my post have mainly been focused on Valentine, click Here to see
So continuing in the theme of themes and because this is something I have been thinking about as a personal thing to do for a long time, I thought I would make March Eco friendliness, natural month or something….if you have a good name, please let me now.
Not waisting and mending instead of buying something new, has always been a part of my childhood and some of the things I was brought up with still sticks to this day. But I also think that now a days things are very disposable and it is very easy to fall in to that way of life, I know I do that all the time. So lately I have been thinking a lot about how I could make some small changes in my life to be more eco friendly and natural, so what better way than to blog about it to keep me motivated.


I have a few products I have been wanting to make a review about that is more eco friendly and natural, and I want to try out more in the month of March, to review and see how they stand up to other products.
But I also want to set myself some challenges during the month, like small or big things I can do in my every day life to be more environmentally aware. My plan is, that I will try out things for a week, then do a “review” on how I got on and if it was something I would easily be able to continue with.


Now this isn’t an idea to convert others or a way to force people to be more eco friendly, this is simply me thinking “I should really find out what else I should recycle other than glass and cannes” or “I wonder if this is good for me” way to many times without doing anything about it. So thought if I find this interesting, the people who are reading my blog might also?


So if you know of ways to help the environment with everyday things and you want me to try it out, please let me know and I will try my best to try them out for one of the weeks……if they are not to crazy! Also if you know of any products that fits into this category that you want me to try, then also, please let me know.


Write any suggestions in the comments down below or send me a tweet @mia_olander 


Mia
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Romantic pampering for one


So today is Valentines day and I am going to be sitting alone tonight as my husband is working. Now we don’t really celebrate Valentines day in a big way anyway, but for some reason it sort of feels wrong not to celebrate it a little bit despite being alone. Kind of like when I was on the couch alone being sick this new year, it just didn’t feel right to waist a perfectly good celebration.
So I have come up with a plan for tonight to have an evening of pampering, so if you are alone this evening or having a girls night, this might be for you. But don’t let this be just a pampering night on valentines day, make sure you always make some quality time for your self, because if you are not nice to your self, then why should other people be.


Now I am still trying to be more healthy, so I have found a few snacks that are still a treat, as no good pampering night is any good without treats, but these are just a bit more on the healthier side. I will be having Booja Booja ice-“cream” that is a good alternative to dairy ice-cream, that is organic, soy and gluten free, made without refined sugar and taste incredibly yummy. There might also be a few of BeyondDark chocolate buttons involved in tonights pampering…….or not might, there will be! (read more about them by clicking Here).

That is the treats sorted out, now on to the pampering part of the evening. 
I have planned:
A relaxing bath with The Eco Bath London, Muscle and joint pain Epsom salt bath soak, this stuff is so good and really relaxes all my muscles and my back, making me very relaxed.
Apivita, express beauty with pink clay mask, with is a gentle cleansing mask. 
A few candles and dimmed light is a must to get really relaxed 
And to keep hydrated and taking care of beauty from the inside, a green lemonade, click Here for recipe.

Time for  pyjamas 
Followed by Origins Drink Up Intensive mask, for ultimate hydration 
Then a little pampering manicure with my No.7 polishes in the colour Beanie. This is actually one of my favourite high street nail polish brands, as the base coat and top coat make the manicure last a long time, the brushes are rounded making them easy to apply, and the Beanie colour is the most used colour during winter, as it just seems to go with everything.  
My current favourite hand cream from Raunsborg.


For tonights entertainment, I have picked out 3 of my favourite romantic movies to choose from, Amélie, Chocolat and Roman Holiday. They are all perfect if you are having Valentines alone, because it all involves women who are independent, but who finds love, might be in different ways, but love non the less.


Hope you all have a wonderful Valentines day.
Mia
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Thoughtful gifts


A few days ago I posted a Valentines day gift wish list, click Here to read, but maybe you don’t celebrate Valentines day in a big way and just want to give a small thoughtful gift, maybe your budget don’t stretch to a big present or maybe you just want your valentines gift to be a bit more personal. Either way, a thoughtful gift is special because it is thoughtful, not because it cost a lot of money, so here are five ideas that can work for both men and women that you can get for under £10 or maybe even just costing some of your time…….and they don’t just have to be given on Valentines day, they can be given all year round.

I just did a blog post reviewing The five Love Languages (click Here to read), so I think the obvious first thoughtful gift idea would be to learn someones love languages. Now Valentines day isn’t far away, so if this was something you wanted to do for this valentines, it might be a bit of a squeeze time wise to read the book. But it could simply be giving the book as a present with a card or a card on its own, saying you will learn their love language and speak it, to make them feel extra loved.


Second is a little “care” package involving an activity they love, like if a man likes watching sport, a package with their favourite drink and snack, with a card saying “promise I won’t disturb next time your favourite team is playing”. Or if for a woman that likes to take baths, maybe a bath bomb and a candle, saying “I will draw you a bath next time you need a bit of pampering”.


Knowing someones favourite cake and baking it for them is another great way to show you know them, plus a cake baked with love always taste the best. My husbands favourite is Lemon drizzle cake.


Doing something for them they don’t normally like to do them self. Like in our house, my husband hates ironing his work shirts, so ironing all his work shirts for him and giving him a card saying I had done that for him as a valentines present, would probably mean more to him than an expensive gift. But it could also be vacuuming the car or cleaning the kitchen cupboards.


Planing a day or afternoon out, which sounds expensive but doesn’t necessarily need to cost a lot of money or any at all. Finding out what the other person likes to do outside the house, it could be bringing a thermos flask of tea and going to your local park to feed the ducks. A lot of museums and galleries are free to visit and some even have a picnic area, so you can bring a romantic homemade lunch for when you need to rest your feet. My personal favourite is V&A and having a picnic by the Diana memorial fountain, but my husbands would be to visit the London Imperial War Museums.


There are so many thoughtful gift to be given, this was just a few. I think the key to any successful gift is finding out what the other person likes and why they like it and then you can`t really go wrong, or at least you should be getting points for effort.


Mia
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Valentines gift wish list


Valentines day is just around the corner now, so here are my classic Valentines day gift ideas with a bit of a difference and things I would be dreaming of. It might give you some ideas for what to get the lady in your life, a list for you to pass on as a hint to someone or maybe for you to buy yourself a gift this Valentines day.


For the women that loves Jewellery, there is only one option in my opinion, the beautiful Chelsea bracelets from Carat are so dainty and beautiful and would make any girl very happy I think. Carat’s stones sparkle like no other, and it is where I got my wedding ring from, which you can read more about, by clicking Here. There is a design for any style, but my personal favourite is the Arrow white gold finish, which is actually 50% off right now and the Cross white gold finish, both extremely beautiful. 
£26.00(sale)-137.00 www.carat.co

Second is because I love the sent of this and taking baths, so a good one for someone who likes baths and pampering. It is the Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil. I used to have the body shower and body lotion, that literally makes you smell like you have been rolling around wild roses, so this couldn’t be more fitting as a valentines gift. 
£30.00 www.renskincare.com


I love chocolate like most people, but Booja Booja is one of my favourite chocolate truffle brands. Not only are they organic, dairy free and gluten free, but they are also the best tasting chocolate truffles I have ever tried, especially the Hazelnut Crunch. So for this Valentines I am dreaming of the Booja Booja Special Edition Gift Collection Truffle Selection No.2, containing Rhubarb and Vanilla Fool, Hazelnut, Banoffee Toffee and Almond Caramel. 
£13.95 www.boojabooja.com 


Now if you like your bubbly or the women in your life does, then Nyetimber Classic Cuvee would be an excellent choice. We had this wine at our wedding, mainly because we thought it be perfect to have an English sparkling wine at our wedding, now that we got married in England with Danish guests (click Here to read the story). We had heard so many good things about this English sparkling wine and it did not fail, I will actually go as far as to say that this is the best sparkling wine (champagne) I have ever had.
But I think the one I would put on the Valentines gift wish list would be the Nyetimber Rose, as it couldn’t be more appropriate for Valentines than this.
£29.99-45.00 www.nyetimber.com

I am personally not a big fan of red roses, but an obvious choice, if the one you are giving flowers to for valentines loves red roses. But for me it is all about the white flowers, also the reason I am doing an all white flowered garden in our new home. My favourite flower scent is gardenia, I have always been drawn to the beautiful and magical scent. I have tried having potted house gardenias several times, but they are a very sensitive/temperamental plant, so I have never been able to get very many flowers to bloom on them. But at a visit to a gardening centre last fall, I discovered that you can get a garden gardenia, that should be a bit more hardy. So the perfect flower to give me this valentines would be a Gardenia Jasminoides for my new garden, reminding me of love every time it flowered. 
£18.99-50.00 depending on size. for online purchase www.crocus.co.uk

Mia
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The Five Love Languages – Book review


I have just finished the second book by Gary Chapman and since Valentines day is just around the corner, there couldn’t be a better time for me to do a bit of a book review on them, since it is about love.
I didn’t actually feel like I needed this book personally as I felt I was quite good at expressing love and receiving it, but I had heard a lot of people talking about the five Love Languages. So since I am always so intrigued about human emotions and how we are all different, actually one of the most interesting things in the world in my opinion, I just had to read the book. 

Now I will just say that I am normally not into “self help” books, but this is literally a book I think everyone should read, as it just makes so much sense, how we understand love in different ways.
The author is a marriage counselor and have found that the way we express and receive love can be divided into five different groups, but with variations. So essentially if you are giving love in one way but the person you are giving it too are not understanding love in that way, the person might not know that your are actually showing that you care about them.
I had this feeling after reading them, Now I get it! and it made me realise so much about my self but also about the people around me that I care about, so really happy I decided to read this despite thinking I didn’t needed to.
For an example, I once had a friend that would always buy me presents for no reasons and she would always be so happy when I gave her a present, but she wasn’t really a person who would ever say something nice to you and was quite selfish. I now realise that it was because that was the way she understood love was by receiving gifts, so every time she was giving me a present she was actually telling me she valued me as a friend. Now if I had known that then, we probably would have still been friends today. So this book is not just about understanding the love language of you partner, but a way to understand and give love to everyone in your life.
I also like that it is so easy to read, there are no boring long psychological paragraphs about human psyche, just straight to how we as humans give and receive love.
Now the book is written by a Christian american, which is very prominent in the books, which means the scenarios might look very different from every day life of someone living outside of the states or isn’t Christian. But that shouldn’t put you off reading this book, as it might just require you using your imagination a bit more and imagine a bit of a different scenario than the one described in the book. It is about how we understand love and not about where you live or your religion that is important, so just take what you feel you can use from the book.


I have read, The Five Love Languages – The secret to love that lasts, which is more aimed at couples.
Then I read , The Five Love Languages – Singles edition, despite not being single I liked that this book also covered how to understand the love languages of other people in your life, like friends, family and coworkers.
Both books are available on www.amazon.co.uk 

Getting healthy and in shape. Part 2, what works for me.


So 2014 is going to be the year I get back to a healthier, happier, fitter me. But because of not really having been able to do a lot of exercise the last three years, because of a broken ankle, I am sort of starting from the bottom again. 
I have been trying to get out of the house as much as possible since I broke my ankle, but I had a lot of complications with it, so there were long periods of time where it just wasn’t possible. I am now finally at a place where I can once again build up my fitness levels and become more active once again, but I also know it won’t happen from one day to the next, having been through this once before. Read about that in part 1 by clicking Here.

I am also going to be changing my diet up a little. I am already quite good at eating healthy, but I have definitely been falling a little in connection with often choosing easy meal option, while we have been busy renovating our new house and not having a kitchen for a long time.


I am quite fortunate in having gone through all this before, because it doesn’t seem as daunting this time, as I have obviously been able to to it before, so know I can do it now.
I do have to be careful of not putting to much strain on my joints on the leg where I broke the ankle, but I think that is the case for anyone who are starting to get active from the button, as you joints are not use to the strain and you are more likely to do damage if not careful. This was one of the things I was very much aware of last time and this time. So first thing that I know work for me, are the right shoes. I was lucky that I got a gift certificate to a sports shop that specialise in custom footwear  last time, so I was filmed running on a treadmill, where they found that I twist my foot inwards when I run because of a high arch, meaning that my trainers need to have arch support, for my ankles and knees not to suffer any damage in the long run.
My husband actually have the same thing, and for years he had trouble with his knee, but since getting insoles in his trainers and football boots, he hasn’t had any problems since. So very important to get the right foot wear for you.


Second thing that has already been a bigger help this time is a running app for my phone, as the one I have gotten also includes other activities beside running, like walking. Last time I would time myself walking the same route to see if I had improved, but this app just makes that much easier, as you can track the distance you have walked, the time it has taken you and your average speed. This is especially great for when you have days you don’t seem to see any improvement, that you can compare how much you have improved since your first walk.
Last time I started off with a 20 minute walk, but this time I am able to start of with a 40 minute walk, just because I am a more active person now than I was 8 years ago and I have been doing physio as part of ankle recovery. I do that walk about 3-5 times a week and I walk in a tempo where I am flushed and a little out of breath after the walk.
Then when you find the walk to easy, you add in a bit more distance and slowly work up to the time you want. If you want to start running, that comes when you are able to walk 45 minutes to an hour without being out of breath and if you walk any faster you would be running anyway. You want to put the walk down to a 20-30 minute distance again, a few times a week. For every 4-5 minutes you want to do a slow run for 30 seconds and slowly week by week, add on 30 seconds of running one week, and take off a minutes of walking the next. 
If you do find that you are starting to get knee or ankle pains, stop running and start doing some exercises to strengthen the muscles around your joints and maybe see a doctor. Then try the running again a few months later. Very important to listen to you body, pain isn’t always gain!


You will also find that starting to exercise will take up a lot of you energy and you might feel more tired than before starting the regime, so make sure to take the time out to be tired and don’t arrange a lot of plans in your calendars, try and have as open a calendar as possible in the beginning, it is about focusing on you and your health. You will have plenty of time to be sociable when you start getting the reward of extra energy when your body gets use to the exercise. 


Another great thing I have found helps me get motivated to go on my walks, is audiobooks, something exciting that you are eager to hear what happens next is a good way to get you out of the house if you only allow your self to listen when on walks. I am currently listening to Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch, that I got via Audible.


Third for me is diet, as exercise and diet go hand in hand. So I am cutting out white sugars, white pasta, white rice and white bread. have fruit and vegetables at every meal and a daily juice, and making my own healthy meals, so I know exactly what is in them.
I am obviously not being religious about this, as it can make your life a bit miserable, but as a good guideline for my diet most of the time.
And I am definitely not going on a diet, I don’t even own a pair of scales, it is all about being healthy for me.


Hope you found some of my tips helpful and please tell me in the comments down below if you are trying to get healthy and what helps you. Or if you are finding it hard and need a bit of encouragement, please write as well.


The running App I use is the Runtastic that works with a gps in your phone. for more information visit www.runtastic.com


And for more information on Audible, visit www.audible.co.uk


Mia

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Getting healthy and in shape. Part 1, my story.


About 8 year ago I decided to take my own health in my own hands and do something about feeling better physically, but also mentally, as I was over weight and just not that happy in the mood department. I come from a very un-active family, where the only excise my family did was bicycling when growing up, and it wasn’t for the benefit of being active, because when living in Copenhagen, it is just the most common way to get from A to B, meaning it can be quite slow and not really get your heart rate up. So when I met my husband, who had a car, my activity levels dropped to almost nothing, resulting in me putting on weight, losing energy and just not feeling good in general.

We then moved into a flat right across from a gym, so there was no longer any excuse not to join and start getting into shape. I had joined a gym several times before and failed, but looking back, I think the main reason I failed was because I didn’t understand the benefits of it and the fact that I was put on a program that was way more advanced than I was or wasn’t suited to me. 
But this time I was very lucky, because the trainer at the gym, that helped me with my program, understood that it if you have never been active, you shouldn’t just throw yourself into training, but ease into it, letting your body and mind adjust and not feel overwhelmed. 
I understand how it can be difficult for a trainer that has always been active to think, they just need to get active, because it comes easily to them, but we are all different and what comes easily to some will not be easy for others, that is just the way of life. So I was so lucky getting a trainer that was able to see that.


The trainer set me up with some simple warm up and a few simple exercises, that I was suppose to do 3 times a week. On 3 of the other days I would go for a 20 minute brisk walk and last day would be a relaxing day. Then when I slowly started to improve, I started to ad exercises and minutes to my walks. So over a year, I ended up being able to run for 30 minutes straight (not having been able to run EVER) and lift my own body weight. A long way away from where I started. I felt happier, healthier and not to mention, I had a great posture.


But not long after that, we moved to London, and if you are from London you will know, gyms are crazy expensive and far apart here. And my long walks along the beach in Copenhagen was replaced with long walks on overly trafficked roads, that is, when I was not to busy working 16 hour makeup jobs, so all my hard work just fated away.
Then on top of that, something very unfortunate happened 3 years ago, I broke my ankle quite severely on a ski trip, which I won’t get to much into. But after a lot of hospital visits, treatment and operation, I am now ready to get healthy again.
I won’t be joining a gym, as I don’t feel like that is for me anymore, but I will be getting a lot more outdoor exercise and going back to healthy eating again. 


I will do a part 2 to this post, explaining what I will be doing this time to get back into shape from scratch and what I find helpful last time and this time.
Pease leave a message telling me your experience and what you found hard or useful.

Click Here for part 2.


Mia

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Surviving Winter


If you are like me and find that when 1st of January hits and the Christmas festivities have gone, sunny spring days somehow seem like light years away (despite this january being surprisingly sunny and nice). Then you might find some of the winter survival skills, I have picked up during the years, helpful.
I have actually come to enjoy winter now, through a lot of testing what works for me, so this is what I have found helps for me and maybe you will find some tips that works for you too.

First one is get active, it is very easy to just curl up on the sofa with a nice movie when it is miserable weather outside, but going for a brisk walk is probably the best way to fill up your body with energy. As a danish saying goes “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad choice of clothes”. So I have invested in some good rain proof gear, to go out and conger the weather in, as no one will die from getting a bit of rain on their face, as long as you don’t get soaked and cold on your body.

 

Second one is candles, I stock up on them to make sure I have enough at all times. This is definitely a very scandinavian thing to do to survive winter blues, as you will find candles burning in most scandinavian homes during winter, the reason being to bring light to your home in the dark winter days. It can be so depressing when your home starts to go dark at 4.pm and strong electric light doesn’t make it better, so light up those candles for a cosy soothing light.
And there is nothing like curling up on the sofa with a nice movie, AFTER you have been for a walk, and have the room bathe in candlelight, to make you all warm and cosy on the inside and forget about the dark and cold weather outside.

 

Third is NOT to start a diet in january. Your body has been spoiled doing winter, getting lots of fat and calories, so no wonder if is a shock to the system, to all of a sudden be getting far less calories and fat than it needs to keep the body warm during the cold winter months. I find the best way is to get the calories you need, but by eating healthy, which in turn will give you more energy and help support your body’s immunesystem to fight off the cold and flue bugs. And you can always start the diet in the spring time, when the weather starts to get a bit warmer.
Read my Healthy January post Here.

 

Fourth is to make sure that you’re getting the vitamins you need. Did you know that a lot of people that suffer from a winter depression is caused by vitamin D3 deficiency? I was quite shocked to read that myself in Mark Hyman’s book, The UltraMind Solution, a very good read by the way. It is so easy to get a vitamin D deficiency, as we are constantly being told to be careful of the sun, which makes us almost avoid it all together, but it is the biggest source for our bodies to get vitamin D. 
Finding this out has been so helpful to me, as I was definitely suffering from vitamin D and C deficiency. So I now make sure to sit in the sun for 10-15 minutes whenever there is any. Eating a more vitamin enriched diet and taking supplements in the right dose for my body. 

 

Fifth is antioxidants. Green and black tea (and even coffee), has antioxidants in them, just make sure to let your tea bag steep for the right amount of time when brewing it, as a teabag need to steep at least 3 minutes to the right amount of antioxidants from it, but depending on the tea if it needs longer. 
But another great way to get antioxidants are berries, and because fresh berries might be more expensive during winter and in some cases might have travelled a long way to get to your grocery store. The alternative can be frozen berries, as they are plucked when they are ripe and then frozen immediately after, optimising nutrition content. So why not start your day with a berry smoothie or ending your evening with a sorbet, just by blending up frozen berry and banana.

 

And last, six is probiotics. The add saying “keep your tummy happy for better health” is actually right, as the right bacteria in your stomach is part of a good immune system. 
For a long time I thought that I was doing my body good by eating probiotic yoghurt every day, turns out I was actually upsetting my atomic more than I was doing good, as I was lactose intolerant. 
When talking to people about probiotics, most people think it is something that is naturally in yoghurt, but it is actually something that is added to yoghurt when they are advertised as probiotic yoghurt. So that means you can just as easily get probiotic in capsule form. Obviously if you don’t have a problem with dairy and find the best way to get you probiotic is eating yoghurt, that is a good way too.

 

Hope you found some of the tips useful and if you have a tip, then please leave me a comment telling me what you find useful to surviving winter.

My 2013 and my 2014

2013-2024

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