Thursday, 31 March 2011

day 5 and 6 of the holford liver detox diet

Day 5:

We're definitely feeling less of an energy dip after lunch. Em's blood sugar has been completely stable and she seems better equipped to deal with stress, before it would really bother her and she would almost always have an increase in blood sugar.

L's complexion is looking awesome, and we are all feeling super refreshed in the morning!

Day 6:

A true test of diet; We had friends over for dinner. You know what? They loved the food selection. We made an almond flour quiche, a yoooooge salad, pesto, hummus, guacamole and a raw cheesecake. Loving the raw cheesecake!

L and I also managed to do a gym session, a spin class and some yoga. Em chose to do yoga instead. Feeling really productive right now!


Tuesday, 29 March 2011

day 4

all woke up feeling much better, did some yoga and went for a jog before work. Definitely more productive than yesterday. We've all noticed that we're drinking more water than before and L's dry skin patches have reduced a lot. But my skin has had a break out, some wierd rash. According to Janet, Em's nutritionist, it's it's probably just toxins.

Guacamole has been our favourite snack food of the day, we rolled it up in nori and it was delicious!


Sunday, 27 March 2011

day 3 of the liver detox diet!

We have all been super-headachey today, according to the book it is a completely normal symptom. But I for one am not loving it. Em has already gone to sleep

We didn't manage to do any exercise today, feeling like sleep is the best option.

I've gone for liquids today; soup, smoothie, lots of water and herbal teas. I've also been snacking on berries and apples. Really can't do anything else.

Em has had lentil soup, a greens smoothie, avocado, nuts, herbal teas, and lots of water.

In fact, L is the only one who's managed to eat mostly solids; boiled egg, fruit and seed salad, seeds, nuts, corn on the cob, herbal teas and water.

Must. Sleep. Now.


Saturday, 26 March 2011

Day 2.....

Day 2:

We all felt a bit funny today, can't really explain it. Hopefully it's just a detox symptom and not a cold. L and I tried the raspberry-tahini shake from the book. Three words: DON'T DO IT! Oh my god, so goopy and nasty. Even with the xylitol it was all wrong, it is not a flavour combination you need in your life.

Em was laughing so hard at our squeaming that she almost managed to choke on her salad. You've to be careful, that shake is hazardous ;)

We went to a spin class and did some yoga, that pepped us up quite a lot. Gots to kick those toxins out!

Until tomorrow!


Day 1 of the liver detox....

Day 1:

Today we tried to do something from the pre-set recipes in the book but....none of them looked appealing or, in Em's case, doable. So Em had quinoa and amaranth porridge for breakfast with a fresh vegetable juice and L and I had a boiled egg with a fresh herb salad.

Lunch at work was a salad, Em chose one of a bean variety, L had a steamed mackerel salad and I went for a roast vegetable salad.

any snacks throughout the day comprised of nuts, seeds and (in mine & L's case) dried fruit.

Dinner was a simple vegetable soup.

So far, we've not noticed much. Em found the food very filling and felt as though her blood sugar balance had benefitted from the diet, but she does note that it's not that different from what she usually eats.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

The Holford 9-Day liver detox diet

you guessed it...image borrowed from
This week Em's nutritionist, Janet, suggested that she try the holford 9 day liver detox diet (without the fruit). We've decided to join her, so the next few posts will all be about the holford diet and how we get along. From what we can tell there aren't that many reviews, so expect this to be your one stop shop for daily reviews and any tips we might discover over the course of the diet.

First off, allow us to briefly explain what the diet entails;

According to the book which is available from all good book stores and amazon, we've got to cut out dairy, wheat, meat, caffeine, alcohol, bad fats and fried food. Which is easy because the only thing we consume on a regular basis from that list is meat.

The labelling of "wheat" as a food not to eat isn't entirely true, because the book actually refers to grains with gliadin in (even though the main focus is on wheat). It lists wheat, spelt, rye, barley, kamut and triticale as grains to avoid. You are allowed to replace these grains with oats, amaranth, buckwheat, corn, gram flour, maize, millet, quinoa, and rice.

All dairy is off the list including any products with milk solids and/or whey in. Colas, diet colas, caffeinated drinks, all coffees (that includes decaf) and black tea are also verboten! In case you didn't know it means forbidden. Instead you are encouraged to drink weak green teas, roobois, red berry or rosehip teas, lemon and ginger teas, herbal teas, water and fresh juice.

So what are you to eat?

Nuts and seeds, nut butters, tahini, fresh fruit and veg (with a cap on fruits that are high in sugar or starch), sprouts, specific grains (listed above), whole rolled oats, baked/boiled/poached eggs and fish, with lots of fresh juices, water, and antioxidant-rich caffeine-free teas. If you need some sugar the book suggests a dash of xylitol, but from the looks of things you could probably use stevia.

A selection of very specific supplements is also on the must list

Thankfully the Inspiral kale chips are allowed on the diet, we've become a little addicted to them!! soooo nice!

ooh, and of course exercise is a must!

Why don't you join us? we begin in two days (we've got a bit of supply shopping to do before hand), but remember to speak to your GP or health practitioner before embarking on this!


Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Elysambre liquid eyeliner in plum the review

image borrowed from
rating: 3/5, available from lovelula for £11.29 (+p&p).
Hi everyone. This is my first post and I am so excited! Today I'm posting on the elysambre liquid eyeliner and I've gotta say that I wasn't that impressed - as you can see by the 3/5. I'm not so sure about the score, I'm feeling that maybe I've been too generous but let's leave it up to you to decide.

I don't know what it is about elysambre, their products are clever and the packaging is equally clever, they just aren't that consistent.

I ordered the plum eyeliner and the colour is more like a dirty dull brown which has put me off. Oh yeah, and when I received it it came in a plain old bottle. Not that swish shiny one you see in the picture.
On the plus side, the applicator is beautifully designed and is so easy to use; the eyeliner goes on smooth, with barely any need for corrections (and I type this as a struggling liquid eyeliner lover. It's a love/hate relationship. I love liquid eyeliner but I hate applying it, the eyeliner knows that my feelings towards it are tarred and is confused by my incompetence when it comes to get this too, right??).

Back to the eyeliner pros: It is easy to remove and it's staying power is pretty good.

I don't know, maybe I need to try another colour.

What do you think? Have you used elysambre liquid liner?

let us know in the comments!



Sunday, 20 March 2011

rope swinging; check-ch-check-check-check check it out!

It's not something most people discuss, is it? But it's actually a great - and fairly cheap - way to strengthen your core and your arms. You can do it with a partner or on your own and it's loads of fun!

check out mark sisson's informative post on what could be your favourite new way to exercise

Friday, 18 March 2011

Maxima Fitness Treadmill MF-2000-ProFX Review

We've had a few e-mails about fitness equipment and truth be told, we don't use much of it. We have an exercise ball, a manual treadmill (which we think is a York treadmill, but we got it on freecycle and it is quite old) and a set of weights. Other than that it's yoga books, pilates books and a handful of exercise dvds that have been gifted to us.

But because you lovely readers (namely Fi) have asked about home fitness sets we decided to do a bit of investigating. That is when we discovered that Sarah - my workmate, featured in many a TBT post - owns a treadmill. And Sarah's treadmill isn't just any treadmill it is a Maxima Fitness Treadmill, the treadmill that has been getting rave reviews on amazon. Apparently they come and set it up for you in your home!

So, after a bit of sweet talking and the promise of some macadamia cookies, we were given a tour and access to the Maxima Fitness Treadmill. Let's talk features:
  • The treadmill folds away without difficulty, which is perfect for making the most of your space.
  • It's provided with 3 sets of weights, which have cute storage slots on each side, and a sports bottle.
  • It has built-in speakers and a plug for you to connect your mp3 player up, for music while running. The speakers aren't very loud but it does overcome the problem of headphones falling off.
  • An LED console display featuring speed, distance,time calorie, pulse incline, track, and speed profile.
  • 48 built in programmes.
  • A speed range of 1 - 18 kilometres per hour
  • An incline range of 1 - 16%
  • A manual programme feature for specific distance, time or calorie consumption targets.
  • A safety cut off cord.
What we thought:
It is so easy to use, I jumped on without taking a second look at the manual and it was amazing! It was easy on the joints, for some reason every time I use a treadmill at the gym my ankles and knees end up feeling really weak. But my joints were left feeling fine, which was such a relief because I really hate that feeling.

L LOVED it! lol, she spent an hour and a half jogging on it. and you guys should know that L hates gym treadmills, she hates our manual treadmill and refuses to go out jogging when Em and I decide to brave the weather.

Because of Em's diabetes she had to take it slow, so she opted to increase the incline and walk at a gentle pace for 20 minutes.

Most importantly Sarah and her husband love their treadmill, they both use it everyday and they swear that this treadmill alone has helped to increase their fitness level and stamina. As far as they are concerned it is money well spent, saving them on gym fees, parking and other fitness equipment.

Have u used a maxima fitness treadmill? or do you have your own favourite home gym item? let us know in the comments!!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

goodness direct apples for juicing - Just. Say. No!

Oh my goodness, where to begin? Usually we love our goodness direct buys, they are cheaper than our local supermarket and they have a broader range of healthy cosmetics and specialist foods.

But in this instance, they fell short. It all started when we noticed that GD had a promotion going on with their juicing apples. Being bargain magpies we clasped at it with both hands and awaited our package in the post....

Upon arrival, everything seemed ok. That is, until we opened the box. The apples were smushy, while not a real word it's the only sound that we can come up with that fully encapsulates what we saw. Anyway, we sorted through the 5kg of apples and dug out the 1.8kg that still had edible bits on.

You'd think that it stopped there, but oh no...these apples had something to prove. We used them in mixed juices and everything seemed ok, we were all feeling a bit nauseous but that could have been due to anything....up until we were forced to use up the last bit before they succumbed to their mushy fate. big mistake. We each spent saturday night hauled up on the sofa drinking chamomile tea, our stomachs ballooned to epic proportions, cursing the blasted apples.

Will we buy them in the future? Hell no! Lol, never ever again. It probably was just a bad batch but we won't be risking it again.

Monday, 14 March 2011


As you've probably guessed; we are big believers in integrated medicine. When we found out that our local spa was offering one hour treatments of reflexology for £20, we jumped at the chance....well, Em and I did. L needed a bit more pushing.

For those of you who are looking for a potential solution to your individual health problem, it's important that you know that there is no shame in looking for a solution.We can't tell you how many times we've had a smug clinically healthy person roll their eyes at our delving into traditional chinese medicine, ayurveda or even massage. It's easy to judge when you've never needed anything more than a paracetamol or some antibiotics to fix you. But we're sure that you know this. If you have any doubts, speak to your health practitioner and do some research. If after all of that you feel that the procedure is right for you then try go ahead, and if not then at least you know a little more about what suits you and what doesn't.

We were won over to it a few months ago when a friend of L's (who also has endometriosis) was singing the praises of reflexology. She said that she had so much more energy and that the reflexology had helped to reduce her endometriosis symptoms. So, in true TBT spirit we did a bit of researching:

  • This study found that reflexology helped to significantly reduce anxiety in breast cancer and lung cancer patients, and one of the three pain measures used showed that patients with breast cancer experienced a significant decrease in pain. But the researchers did note that this finding needed further verification.
  • This 2007 study found that when a nurse reflexologist taught partners how to perform reflexology on patients with metastatic cancer pain in the hospital, an immediate, significant decrease in pain and anxiety was observed. Little change was observed in the control group who received usual care plus attention.
  • In the interest of balance,this study found that no significant differences between GP care and GP care + reflexology in the management of chronic back pain. A main effect was found for pain reduction, irrespective of either group, however trends in the data did show that pain reduction was greatest in the reflexology group. But the trend was not great enough to say that GP care + reflexology was better than GP care alone.
We purposely selected articles from science journals, purely because the publication of articles are a little more objective. Lol, that's not to say that all scientists are objective, and all complementary medicine is not. You get people pushing their own agenda in every field, we're all human after all.

Anyway, we digress;
The treatment lasted for 40-50 minutes in total, the first ten-twenty minutes were spent discussing medical history, providing personal details (name, address, weight, date of birth, GP) and discussing any health concerns we had.

Our reflexologist was called Karen, she gave us a full introduction to reflexology and explained which body part, organ or gland each area of the foot corresponded to. She was very attentive and her attitude really added to the experience.

What we thought:

L says: A-mazing!! I am so glad that Em and Layla forced me to go, I went in first (in true guinea pig style) and when I came out Em and Layla were looking at me in awe; I am naturally quite pale, I have fair hair and fair skin, following the reflexology I came out with lovely rosy cheeks and a warm glow. Loving it. It's improved my circulation which has helped keep my dry skin patches at bay.

Em says: I loved the treatment, it was really relaxing and I've already booked my treatment for next month. In fact, I've booked everyone's treatment for next month....shhhhhh!!! It has helped bring down my blood sugar - the week before my treatment my blood sugar had been pushed up out of my normal range (mainly because of stress at work, I eat a very healthy diet and exercise every day.) and it was doing me no good, since the treatment 1 week ago my blood sugar has come back down to my normal range and remained that way. I'm so pleased!!

I say: Lol, anything I say now will sound cliche following Em & L's reviews. I found it so relaxing, I too came out with really rosy cheeks and a warm glow. I'm not usually pale, all in all it accentuated my olive complexion...which is nothing to complain about! More notably, I was the only one who suffered from detox effects; I was up until 3 in the morning with a massive distended stomach and can now no longer sleep on my front which isn't a problem. On the recovery side of things my stomach and abdomen is much happier. I'm not bloating up, burping (yuck), or getting dark lines under my eyes.

We're really happy with our first treatment but as with everything, people will respond differently to different treatments and as this wasn't a scientific study we can't say that all of the things that happened after the reflexology was a result of it. Either way, we loved it.

Have you ever tried Reflexology? What did you think?

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Laverstoke Park Farm Buffalo Ricotta Cheese Review

Rating:10/10, available from Laverstoke Park Farm in 300g portions for £4.75.

Produced at the luscious Laverstoke Park Farm, this biodynamic, organic ricotta cheese is the winner of a 2 star Gold Award at the Taste 2010 Awards, and is made from their own buffalo milk. yum, yum, YUM!! Oh my, this cheese is so nice. We've been smearing it over buckwheat crackers all week. We LOVE it!! Can we use caps anymore??! Lol!

Funnily enough this doesn't aggravate my tummy like the buffalo milk and has proved to be quite soothing.
As you know, we've been working our way through the buffalo range at Laverstoke Park Farm and we can safely say that it is all delicious! The ricotta is so light and melt-in-your-mouth-like that few words can describe just how happy it makes us.

Have you tried it yet? Let us know what you think in the comments!!!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Our Favourite Rosewater

As we've mentioned before we LOVE floral waters. They are great for hydrating and toning the skin, and they smell amazing. They can also be used over make-up. Our two favourites are Rose water and Orange Blossom water (which we'll post on next week!)

Traditionally, Ayurveda recommends using rosewater as a toner. It firms and hydrates the skin, is suitable for all skin types and regular use can clean and tighten the pores. It also has antispetic and antibacterial properties which can allegedly help to prevent acne, pimples, and wrinkles. It's also naturally soothing and astringent which makes it perfect for treating sunburns and stressed skin.

Rosewaters astringent qualities helps to reduce inflammation and stops sweating. It can be used for hot flashes and prickly heat with great effect.

Our favourite Rose water is Pukka Organic, available from feel unique for £10.75 (+p&p)
Image borrowed from
The fab thing about this Rosewater is that it is also edible, so feel free to use it with water for a refreshing drink or even throw a little in when cooking! Otherwise spray liberally over the skin!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Figs and Rouge Balm in Rambling Rose - The Review

image borrowed from

Rating: 3/5, available from Lovelula for £3.49 (+p&p) and feelunique for £3.49 (including p&p),

The figs and rouge is an all purpose balm that comes in an 8ml tin. Now, we have no problems with this balm in principle, in fact the contents is really nice on the skin and it can be used for absolutely everything. The packaging is beautiful and we will reuse it as a container, it's also 100% recyclable.

But as we've said before, we are not a rich household. We weigh up all of the options before we commit to a purchase and, to be honest, we didn't realise it would be so small. This review grade is more about volume than quality. There's just not enough. Yes it's a handy size, but it's also small enough to disappear into the abyss that is my handbag. If you are looking for a little present for someone, it is safe to say that this is a good product.

In terms of its bargain factor it works out at 44p per ml, whereas Trilogy Everything Balm works out at 28p per ml. It really does all come down to the price!


Ingredients: Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Organic Beeswax, Organic Rosehip Oil, Organic Calendula Extract, Organic Rose Geranium Essential Oil.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Suki Skincare Sale

Hop on over to Secret Sales for up to 50% off Suki Skincare. Fab. Secret Sales is a members only sales club that we have been using for years, sign up is quick and rewards are reaped soon after. Check it out!
P.S. We know, we've been so rubbish with posting this week but we promise to make it up to you!!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Kenwood kMix BLX510 Blender Review

This week has been so busy! We've also found out that we'll all be commuting for the next few months which means posts aren't going to be as regular but we'll aim to do one post every other day.

Tonight we're reviewing our now deaded blender.

image borrowed from

Appearance: As far as kitchen appliances go, this one is gorgeous. It looks sleek and sits on the worktop nicely, sparing us precious space for food preparation.

Ease of use: It's straightforward to use, easy to take apart and easy to clean.

Performance: It's been a difficult blender, the first few times we used it it was perfect. By the fifth use it was starting to become temperamental and we sent it away for servicing twice. In both instances everything checked out OK and it was sent back to us. For a brief period after both services it would work...and then...nothing. Towards the end we had to keep on pressing the 'pulse' button in order to blend things. A few days ago, Em was cleaning the jug and it cracked. The water wasn't super cold and she wasn't alternating between hot and cold water, it just decided to crack. We contacted the helpline who told us that they don't offer replacement jugs. Phooey.

All in all, it's lasted us for one year and was definitely not worth the £60 that we paid for it. We're sorry Kenwood (and all Kenwood lovers) but when stacked up against other Kenwood products and, indeed, other blenders this product is really not worth the money. Blenders like this should be investments not opportunities to throwaway money.

Rating: 0.2/5

Any blender recommendations?

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Black mascara Round 2

                                        < This is the place where the picture   >
                                        < usually is. This text will do more      >
                                        < for your lashes than this product.     >                                                                   < Ohhhh yeahhhh, feel that mystical    >
                                        < screen glare impart your lashes        >
                                        < with mascara illusion                        >
                                        < (patent pending)                               >**

Rating: 0/5. Totally useless and available here, here and here, ok, not there.

Ok, ok, we know that the economy isn't what it used to be. And we understand that changes have to be made here and there to turnout products of equal standing at lesser cost, what we don't understand is when subtle changes are made to turnout products that don't do what they are supposed to do and bear no resemblance to their original.

Why did you do this to us honeybee? For the love of all things holy in healthy cosmetics, whyyyyyyyy?????

It's been a tough few days, at first we were in denial. Now we are in the bargaining phase of our mourning. So far we've offered our mascara a better shelf in the make-up cupboard, chocolate, a promise to never remove it, and even money. . . It turns out that honeybee cosmetics truly back mascara lives to a high ethical code that mere humans could never understand. That, or there's been another gas leak at the TBT house. Either way, one thing is for sure; this mascara sucks.

Our original post was here but it no longer stands. If you'll excuse us, we've got to put on some Gloria Gaynor, make some cake and try and get our groove back, "At first I was lost, I was petrified......"

**Disclaimer: this screen glare will do nothing for you apart from possibly make you squint, which will make your eyes look smaller and (relatively speaking) your eyelashes look approximately 0.01% more volumised.