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Just after my 50th birthday when I wondered what on earth was going on with me – my body seemed to be falling apart quicker than a Primark bikini and my brain forecast was foggy with more than a sprinkling of high level anxiety and forgetfulness – I decided to look at a menopause symptom checker. It didn’t make for particularly jolly reading, but it did set my mind at rest that what I was feeling was perfectly normal for a woman at my ‘time of life.’

As I went down ticking off almost every one of the symptoms on the menopause symptoms list, I vowed to take myself in hand and deal with the most debilitating of them. Hitting the HRT was the first step and within a couple of months the fog cleared, the energy soared and I began to feel a lot more like Lisa pre 45 years old – and it was great. With HRT I felt like I’d dealt with the major menopause symptoms that were bothering me in one fell swoop, but there were still the niggling aches and pains that hindered my workout attempts, making my walk-runs and zumba classes a little less joyful than they had been a few years back. So, I was delighted when I was contacted by one of the UK’s leading health and wellbeing brands, Neo-G, who asked whether I’d be interested in trialling their newly launched liquid vitamin supplement, Daily Defence. ‘Yes, yes I am’, I replied…

Neo_G_JointI went for the Daily Defence Joint Health with Extra Calcium which is specifically designed for 50 plus and was the ideal choice for me, but before embarking on my three month trial, I wanted to find out a bit more about the company. I was impressed with the calibre of their products – Neo-G designs and develops medical grade orthopaedic and sports supports which are supplied to medical professionals, therapists and various sport markets across the world, so their move into liquid nutrition to support healthy bodies and bones makes perfect sense. I was sold!Neo_G_DrinkSo, how did it taste? Not gonna lie (as the young ‘uns say) it took some getting used to. A daily 20ml serving was recommended and on first swig it was just about palatable – it tasted a bit like thick toffee with a lemony/metal after taste. However, bear with me…once I took in the suggestion of drinking it ice-cold and diluted with fruit in a smoothie kind of way, things were a lot better – enjoyable even! I would spoon my serving into a glass with crushed ice and mixed berries and it was lovely and refreshing. Not only was I getting in a couple of my 5 a day, I was also boosting my joint and bone health with a whole heap of vitamin and mineral goodness. Neo_G_Daily_Defence

Obviously,  joint problems aren’t just an issue for some of us menopausal women, there are a host of common aches and pains suffered by many of us everyday – stiff neck, painful knees and hips, tennis elbow and shoulder pain are just a few.  Even if you’re one of the lucky ones that doesn’t do the ‘neanderthal crouch to present day upright man’ when hobbling to the bathroom in the mornings, it would be sensible to start thinking about maintaining and strengthening your joint health before problems develop – and that’s the aim of  Neo G’s Daily Defence Joint Health – to keep bones and joints supple and strong to help prevent deterioration. 
 Developed by nutritional experts, Daily Defence Joint Health contains a powerful combination of three active ingredients which are scientifically proven to help maintain healthy joints from the inside out:
Copper — Copper has a host of properties which help maintain everyday joint health. It helps maintain the connective tissues in the body, which includes bone and cartilage and is a natural anti inflammatory.
Calcium  — Calcium is well known to support the growth of healthy teeth and bones, but also supports muscle function so it’s  highly beneficial for maintaining healthy joints. As bones can weaken with many joint conditions, calcium is essential to support the growth and repair of healthy bones before problems arise.
Vitamin D — Vitamin D supports growth of healthy teeth and bones, as well as maintaining normal blood levels and muscle function. The NHS Choices website reports that 1 in 5 of us has low Vitamin D levels, so it’s important to keep it topped up.
Along with the 3 main ingredients, Daily Defence Expert Liquid Nutrition also includes those popular joint helpers, 

Glucosamine Sulphate, Chondroitin Sulphate and Hyaluronic Acid.

So, how has it worked for me? Well, 2 months in and I’m getting less aches and pains than normal – this could be a combination of the supplement and the HRT plus the fact that I’m doing daily stretching exercises that I think are so important – especially when, like me, you’re as flexible as a plank of wood! But I am definitely going to carry on taking my special ‘joint and bone cocktail’ every morning as I’ve always believed in the power of a good nutritional supplement to complement a healthy diet and I feel that Neo G is a particularly well developed addition to my daily health and wellbeing. Plus if it can keep me on the dance floor for the next 50 years – which is what I’m intending – then that’s a definite bonus!

Lisa_Barrett_Glowology

You can find Neo G Daily Defence Joint Health  at Boots HERE and it’s £18.49 for 24 servings. Find out more about Neo-G and their health and wellbeing products, HERE.

*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used.

 

 

 

Oh I knooooow! It’s Monday. It’s raining. The alarm is buzzing like an angry bumblebee caught in a glass and all I want to do is pull the duvet back over my head and put an OOO (Out Of Office notice people) on my whole life…Or at least I did, until I worked out ways of making waking up and getting proactive, a lot easier. I’m not saying these tips always work, but they sure as hell have helped me 99% of the time. And as I’m a S.A.D sufferer and a flip flops-and-beach-for-life kinda girl, I’m guessing – and hoping – that they will help you too…

Well, the party is finally over for 2017 and it’s time to get into the groove of 2018 – a fresh, new and shiny year! I’ve never been one for setting New Year resolutions as I feel they put too much pressure on yourself to be unrealistically perfect and then make you feel crappy when you (invariably) break them. And all that dry January malarkey – why on earth would anybody do that to themselves in the coldest, gloomiest, most depressing month of the year? Surely a tipple or two is medicinal for us SAD sufferers – in moderation, of course. However, I do like to have a sort of fluid – very fluid – plan of action at the beginning of the year to ease me along the path to health and happiness. Here are my Top 3 Health Goals for 2018…

Who else tries to limit themselves to 10 minutes max on the Daily Mail Online? And who else fails miserably, winding up goggly eyed, scrolling through stories about which Z-list celebs have just secured a £10,000,000,000,000 contract to be the Face of Flatulence or whatever new perfume/makeup/clothing line is hoping to be the next Kardashian inspired money making hit? I really hope I’m not alone here! Now, apart from the reality TV tripe, there is often a story or two that catches my eye, like the recent one by extremely talented novelist, Raffaella Barker, where she writes about feeling invisible at times and imparts the ways she has helped overcome that. So, my question to you is: Do you ever feel invisible?

As a child, I used to look up to my mum as if she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen – I still do! The waft of her Rive Gauche fragrance as she glammed up at her dressing table, ready to go out on the town with dad, the perfect roast dinners she made on a Sunday and her health and beauty rituals such as massaging in a face-full of cold cream before sleeping and the sharing out of spoonfuls of Cod Liver Oil with the family.

Glowology Lisa on beach

Since I gave up competitive swimming at 16 – I was a National champion and had a TV appearance on Tomorrow’s World and Grandstand (yeah, I know!) – my super speedy athlete’s metabolism, used to the 5am swimming sessions and healthy lifestyle, was abruptly sabotaged by late night partying, mid-day rising, junk food and dry Martini and lemondes. Within a few months of no pool action, my hard earned six pack had deflated and my thighs expanded and I found it hard to deal with. The body that had been a treasured temple was quickly becoming a flabby bedsit and I didn’t know then, but that excess weight that engulfed my body and that I’d never had before, was going to plague me for years and years to come

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I always remember my lovely Nanny Ciss saying ‘You should be grateful’ when I turned my nose up at something, whether it was a ‘nice bit of liver’ for dinner *shudders* or when I came second in the swimming club gala. Grateful? But I wanted sausages and chips and I wanted to win the trophy. I didn’t get what I wanted, so as far as I could tell there was nothing to be grateful for. As I grew up though, I realised, clever old Nanny Ciss knew a thing or two about leading a happy life and being thankful for what she had.

When I think about being grateful now, as an adult, I understand it all much better. While I was having a bit of a crappy day recently, it only took five minutes for me to switch my mood from yuck to yay and this is what helped…

The dog. Of course, I was going to say that first 🙂 My big, shiny, loveable Labrador Troy. It doesn’t matter that I’m being grumpy or shouting at Stressed Husband or one of the kids, my dumpling dog always forgives my moods and brings me a sock or pair of pants from the utility room as if to say ‘cheer up mum, here’s a present’. Awww. dirty socks? Nice – not. But I’m just grateful for him ‘presenting’ me with something – it’s his way of telling me he cares!

Troy_the_dog

My house. It took a while to get the building work out of the way with lots of stress, dust and family arguments, and even though it still isn’t finished exactly how I would’ve liked it and it smells of damp dog, it has lots going for it: It overlooks the river, it’s big enough for my 3 big kids and their gaggle of friends and the parties. I guess I’m feeling a bit sad now that we’ve got it on the market (news updates to follow) but for now, it’s home and I’m grateful!

The_house

Friends and family. Of course, they’re top of the list, but today, I think Troy was the winner and got top mention as he managed to bring me not just one pair of socks and a lovely pair of unwashed boxer shorts, but a pair of slippers today too. And all, I might add, were in his mouth at the same time! Still, it only took me a quick scroll through my texts and a peek on Facebook to see how many lovely friends I have (and I don’t mean just ‘Facebook’ friends but real ‘if you’re down, I’ll listen to you moan and cheer you up’ type friends.) I’m well aware that not everybody is lucky enough to have such wonderful friends and family and so I am always grateful for that!

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Being healthy. What more can I say? I moan about my aching hips – but will never give up swinging them about while I’m dancing! I grumble about my dizziness and other menopausal type symptoms which get on my tits (and talking of tits – they’re getting droopier by the minute so I’ve got to moan about those too) but all in all, I’m so, so grateful to be healthy.

So there we have it. My reasons to be grateful today and I’d like to say a big thank you to Nanny Ciss, God rest her soul, for instilling in me that I really ‘should be grateful’  instead of moaning about stuff that doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Love you nan. 

What are your reasons to be grateful?

 

 

 

Image: Toast
Image: Toast

I felt compelled to write a quick post on self esteem to the women or girls out there who might be feeling crappy about themselves because of the hurtful and ignorant words of Loose Women’s Jamelia. In case you don’t know, she said plus size clothes shouldn’t be available on the high street and women should be made uncomfortable when they go in a clothes shop and can’t find their size! Really. She said that.

 feeling good

I planned this post for a Monday, as we all know that Monday is the day we are most likely to feel a bit under the weather. In my case, with the house refurb from hell, living away from the family home with the kids while Stressed Husband is still there and trying to lead a ‘normal’ life, keeping the house, kids, husband – and dog! – happy, I sometimes feel I let myself and my feelings take a backseat. Bet you do too sometimes? Here are a few tricks I use when I need to lift my mood and feel a bit more ‘together’…

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In the Glowology household at winter, you’d be forgiven for thinking we are a family of cave people as we grunt our inaudible morning greetings on the landing and it’s me, in particular, that loses that summer spring-in-my-step round about mid October. With this in mind, I decided last year that as moving to an all year round sunny climate is out of the question – and for the sake of my poor, suffering family – I’d have to get a grip.  So, for the first time ever – I’m definitely coping better with the lack of light and here’s why:

attractive accessory confidence

It’s that time of the year when the party invitations are coming in thick and fast…or not. If they are, the thought of meeting new people or being expected to mingle and shine could be worrying you. And if the invites are a little low on the ground you might be wondering why: Am I not a nice person? Doesn’t anybody like me? Talking to friends and family, it’s clear that us women are much more likely to worry about what others think of us than men. In fact, Liz Wilde, Life Coach and author of numerous beauty and wellbeing books, recognises that low self-esteem can be a major factor in holding women back from accepting new challenges (or invitations) and can also prevent us from making the most of everyday life. Luckily for us, Liz is more than happy to give us her professional confidence boosting tips to help kick those nagging worries into touch…

lovely bath scrub

Being a self confessed beauty junkie, I usually know when there’s a buzz in the air – a new product or service which is causing a stir among the beauty bloggers and writers out there. So, when I’d come across more than a few rave reviews about natural beauty company St Grape, I knew I had to find out more. As luck would have it, ‘cosmetic Karma’ had already set to work and the lovely people at St Grape actually contacted me first! I was delighted when they asked if I would like to give 5 lucky readers the chance to win a pot of their best-selling, super-smelling Aqua Bliss Bath Scrub. Once I’d tried the product and understood what the fuss was about, I knew I couldn’t refuse such an offer…

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Image credit: andresr / 123RF Stock Photo

For those women over 40 who haven’t exercised since school – or for those of us who start with good intentions but consign the trainers to the closet after just a couple of trips to the gym – this blog post is for you! I’ve asked my own ‘Mrs Motivator’, Anny Hooker, fitness expert from Personal Best Studios, for her top tips to give us a kick up the flabby derriere and get us exercising regularly…

Image credit:123RF Stock Photo
Image credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Thinking about dieting in the winter never quite feels right with the weather getting colder, the days getting darker and the call of the carbs upon you. In fact, I can almost hear a collective inner cheer from women around the country as they dig out those forgiving big, cosy jumpers. But, instead of focusing on losing weight, why not think about what we should be adding to our diet to benefit our looks and keep us full of vitality whatever the season. Expert Osteopath and Naturopath, Nadia Alibhai, shares her favourite beautifying foods…