Eat Less Exercise More A New Year Resolution

Eat less exercise more.

Once you understand this your diet will improve.

Pretty simple, isn’t it?

If everybody grasped this succinct truth, the Diet Industry would go out business overnight.

Although some argue that it isn’t a case of just eat less. It should be eat differently. It is quality, not quantity which matters. If you eat decent quality food, then you will automatically gradually reduce the quantity because the quality will make up for the quantity. More nourishing food is generally more filling and forms a healthy diet.

The problem is that in our society we are constantly being surrounded by food which essentially tastes good, but is very poor in nutrients. It is basically just a sugar rush. But as long as the demand from the masses is there for this junk food, the companies making it will keep on supplying it.

It is simple economics. In this case it is demand and supply.

What do you know, I’ve been on loads of diets and you’ve never been on one

It’s not rocket science. We know what we need to do to lose weight… It’s the willpower that is the problem ! Oh and also the choc addiction…

Reading around I discovered various suggestions for the secret of weight loss for the fat and lazy – just don’t have the calorific stuff in the house and when the munchies hit – invariably you’ll be too lazy to do anything about it – certainly not get off the sofa and walk to the shops – well it works for some.

To lose weight, eat fewer calories than your body uses. There wouldn’t be a dieting industry if people just understood that. The women in my family seem to think there’s a magic formula in diets that allows them to cheat this rule and they laugh when I tell them it’s as simple as that. “What do you know, I’ve been on loads of diets and you’ve never been on one”

One commenter in The Times went further suggesting that “It may sound drastic but the only way we’ll lose weight as a nation is to be put on rations. There is too much food available. Supermarkets, petrol stations, cafes like Starbucks and Cafe Nero, and Greggs which produce very low nutritional-high fat/sugary pastries etc.”

Happy New Year – and EAT LESS

How to Make a Christmas Gift Hamper

Christmas Hampers – How to Make a Personalised Gift Hamper

Many stores have an extensive selection of Christmas hampers and will gladly charge and arrange for delivery in time for Christmas. All you need to do is pick out items that you would like to include in the hamper and the store does the rest. Pre-packed Christmas hampers are also widely available and delicatessens’ will often provide hampers with produce of the country of your choice.

Make Your Own Christmas Hamper

How about putting together your own Christmas hamper as a gift? It needn’t be expensive or time consuming and with some imagination, you can create the perfect, personalised gift hamper.

Personalised Gift Hampers

Keep the person in mind who you are buying for – remember their interests and tastes (not necessarily yours!).  Choose your hamper theme, set a budget and begin your hunt for items for the hamper. Remember, if you sending the hamper by Royal Mail, the cost of postage may affect your budget, so from a cost and breakage perspective, avoid including heavy glass items in your hamper (with perhaps the exception of a small bottle of home made sloe gin). If you are personally handing it on, fill it to the brim – but make sure the person receiving the hamper is able to carry it home.

What to Put in a Home Made Hamper

Once you have a theme for your hamper, draw up a list of what you would like to include.

Aim to include something fun, beautiful and useful in your gift selection.

Here are two ideas for making personalised gift hampers to get you thinking:

Alternative Gift Hampers

Remember – a hamper can be created to suit all tastes – and that doesn’t necessarily mean food and drink just because it’s a Christmas gift!

Not everyone wants to indulge at Christmas – you can create a healthy christmas hamper and include some of the following ideas:

  • detox tea
  • luxury cereal bars
  • Health Food shop voucher
  • selection of vitamins
  • a skipping rope
  • box of low fat cereal
  • a tape measure
  • bathroom scales
  • bottles of energy drink

Eco Gift Hamper

Wrap gifts in newspaper for an alternative look and aim to buy your purchases from second hand or charity shops – don’t forget charity gifts are another unusal gift idea. Look out for books on waste management and recycling or ideas for allotment gardening; buy energy lighting bulbs, battery rechargers, can crushers, or soap savers. Your thrift will be appreciated!

With a little imagination, you will be giving the perfect, personalised gift by making Christmas Hamper.

Party Political Broadcast for East Africa Appeal

Tonight there is a Conservative broadcast pushing the ongoing East Africa Appeal.  The Tories have ditched there political broadcast in favour of charity appeal.

The Prime Minister and ministers will use allocated airtime to appeal for donations to charities working for East African famine relief.

Oxfam’s Humanitarian Director Jane Cocking said:

“This is a timely reminder that the crisis in East Africa is continuing to push people beyond their ability to cope. With months to go before the next harvest, and increasing conflict, we are still seeing thousands of people flee their homes in search of aid.

“The world’s largest refugee camp in the world, Dadaab, will soon reach 500,000, close to the size of the city of Manchester — as the Conservatives gather there, people continue to flee the famine in Somalia for Dadaab every day. They arrive hungry, weak and in need of emergency aid.

“Oxfam has so far raised more than £7 million for the people of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia and reached more than 2 million people with aid. But our response is still significantly underfunded and the crisis is only getting worse in parts of the region. People will need help for years to come in order to recover from the worst emergency in the world today.”


Three Filthy Cities – New York | London | Paris

“I absolutely loved filthy cities! Informative and accurate with great cgis!”

Dan Snow must have been relieved to reach the end of the recent BBC TV series: filthy cities, which has seen him faced with more unspeakable cocktails of undiluted nastiness over three programmes than most historians would care to experience in a lifetime.

In the final episode he waded through the squalor of New York as it would have been at the height of the Industrial Revolution, when thousands of migrants arrived every day from Europe. There were mountains of filth in the streets and the immigrants were crammed together in tenement slums infested with cockroaches. And yet the building of the Croton Aqueduct, the development of sewage plants and the discovery of electricity meant that New York became a gleaming monument to modernity in less than a century.

To celebrate the conclusion of the short series of Filthy Cities the BBC have produced a short compilation of Dirty Words and Filthy Phrases which I’d like to share…

Throughout the series historian Dan Snow took the travelogue in a whole new direction – with extraordinary, hands-on demos and state of the art CGI – he delved deep into the murky past in gruesome detail during defining periods in history.

More like this please!

Scrap for Charity – Give A Car

Give a car for charity

Guest post from Daniel who works for the innovative organisation that donates  proceeds of scrap cars to charity writes:

Cancel out your climate debt with Giveacar

Do you ever feel guilty, being a car owner? Are you one of those car owners who rarely drives, whose vehicle spends far more time sitting on a driveway than with the engine running? Especially with the recent stratospheric rises in petrol and car insurance, coupled with improving public transport infrastructure in urban areas; owning a car seems to be interpretable in one of two ways.

Either owning a car is irresponsible for the environment, especially in situations where perhaps it’s more logical not to own a car; or car owners are unfairly maligned, all tarred with the same brush, all portrayed as people who just don’t care about the state of the world.

Since January 2010, Giveacar has raised over £250,000 for a collective group of over 300 charities.

I don’t think either statement is true, for the record, but both of them have their points. There are some living situations where the price of public transport (even notwithstanding the steep rise in train fares in the UK) falls far below what it would cost to run and maintain a car. However, owning a car doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re environmentally and socially irresponsible. There are ways of driving which can help; such as, for example, changing gears when between 1500 and 2500 RPM can save up to 15% on your fuel.

Have you ever thought about donating your car?

However, there is another way to regain your balance with the environment. Have you ever thought about donating your car?

Modelled on similar US ideas such as, Giveacar is an innovative social enterprise that facilitates scrap car donation. One simple phone call is required; and Giveacar will arrange collection of your vehicle at no cost to you. Depending on the age and condition, it will either be sold to a car salvage auction or scrapped. The proceeds will be donated to a charity of your choice after the subtraction of a small administration fee.

Since January 2010, Giveacar has raised over £250,000 for a collective group of over 300 charities.

David Gregory - Under Pressure

High Blood Pressure Logo High Blood Pressure - Hypertension

Here you will find information about high blood pressure. Over the two years I worked for the Blood Pressure Association I became aware that increasingly people measure their own readings using home blood pressure monitors. Latest news ...research published in the British Medical Journal has revealed that people who monitor their own blood pressure at home have better blood pressure control. Read about the latest Blood Pressure Monitors - Automatic blood pressure monitors that don't require a stethoscope

What is high blood pressure?

Blood Pressure Monitoring Web 

Site Screen ShotBlood Pressure Monitoring

In July 2005 a website dedicated to helping people measure their blood pressure at home was launched.  Focusing on the importance of using accurate, validated blood pressure monitors the site provides up to date information about machine recommended by the British Hypertension Society and identifies the best online suppliers of these machines. Visit the Blood Pressure Monitoring Web site now (opens in new window)

Which blood pressure monitor is recommended?

Omron M6

Omron M7

New! Omron M10

Check Blood Pressure National Blood Pressure Testing Week

Each year the Blood Pressure Association organises the National Blood Pressure Testing Week as part of its campaign to raise awareness about the importance of knowing your blood pressure readings.  This years event is 11th to 17th September. Learn about what types of machines are available, First Aid kits and how to use them properly to get accurate blood pressure readings

"Know your Numbers!"

Salt and Health

Action on Salt and Health aims to combat the problems of salt and recently I optimised their web site for added value to both visitors and search results.
The main source of salt in the UK diet is salt added in food processing and manufacture. This accounts for around 80% of our salt intake and is hidden in foods, e.g. bread, some cereals, meat products and ready prepared meals. The amount of salt - sodium chloride - that we eat has a direct effect on our health and blood pressure. The more salt we eat the higher our blood pressure. This is true, not only in people with high blood pressure. but also in people with normal blood pressure.

Too much salt is bad for your heart.

Heart HealthCardiac Risk in the Young My work with Cardiac Risk in the Young involved helping to raise awareness of Sudden Adult Death Syndromes - SADS who are young and at Cardiac Risk primarily by developing their Web site and optimising it consistently getting top 10 listings for key phrases in search engine results. The SADS Web site was launched to compliment the work of CRY and is an additional resource for families who have suffered a loss or are concerned about symptoms which may indicate one of the several causes of sudden cardiac death through undiagnosed heart problems.

Charities supporting blood pressure and cardiac research


Back in September I was making the most of the opportunity presented by the Countryside Alliance protest - I headed out to the sticks for a spot of poaching and came across an entire hedgerow dripping with sloes. This year the sloes from Hope Cove holiday cottage in South Devon have been early and we've been in full production of both sloe gin and vodka

More recipes and miscellaneous stuff at the blog Top Banana

Eat, drink and be merry.


hooooNow only an hour from the North Cornwall coast so let's go surfing now.

On the home brewing front the National Home Brewed Beer Festival competition has been and gone for another year. As Richard  quoted "And gentlemen in England now abed, shall think themselves accursed they were not there"


  download the internet now!

Chocolate Box Cottage

Dave and Jan headed off to Lustleigh in Dartmoor National Park, Devon. A tremendous change from the past few years in London and we hope to be able to put our diverse skills to good use and earn a crust in between gardening, basking in the sun, surfing. eating cream teas and munching pasties with the Pasty Muncher - not necessarily in order.

Latest news - the south west now has antique chinese furniture available at Honiton and Lustleigh and coming soon will be a fantastic fabric warehouse outlet that will offer curtains, blinds and bedding for your home.

Ohhh Arrrhhh
watch your step down the dog dirt paths get in your of Land Rover

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