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How to eat chocolate more mindfully and savour every moment

Chocolate and Love, whose award-winning dark chocolate is organic, Fairtrade and ethically produced, shares its tips for achieving the ultimate chocolate tasting experience

Place a piece of chocolate in the middle of your tongue and allow it to melt slowly. Coat your whole mouth with chocolate so all your taste buds are activated.

If you chew, less flavours will be released. Look for fruitiness, acidity, sweetness or bitterness. Note how the flavour can change during the seconds you’re tasting. There’s a distinct beginning, middle and end. Like a little flavour journey, with different notes emerging at each phase. The texture should be smooth and velvety, not gritty. Fine chocolate has a long and pleasant aftertaste.

6 Vegan Bars

There are more than 400 different natural flavour notes in chocolate which become infused in the cacao bean. What do you taste?

Here are some examples:

FRUIT red berries, black berries, banana, passion fruit, raisin
FLOWER rose, jasmine, orange flower
SPICES pepper, licorice, cinnamon, vanilla
ROASTED tobacco, tea, cocoa, roasted nuts, caramel
NUT fresh nuts
DRY wood, soil, leather, hay
OTHER milk, mushrooms, olive, bread, honey

Remember to cleanse your palate with water between tasting different chocolate.

For more chocolate tasting and storage tips, visit Chocolate and Love.

Health

The weirdest – and most unnatural – beauty trends of the last decade

From ear makeup and half-shaved heads to nose hair extensions and vampire facials, the strangest – and most infamous – beauty trends of the last decade have been revealed

The hair and beauty buffs at Hairtrade.com have compiled a list of the strangest trends to have swept the nation since 2008.

These are the trends that hit the headlines for being super bold and creative, and only the most confident beauty enthusiasts could pull them off. Here are their top 15:

1) Nose hair extensions

This involves cutting up false eyelashes and sticking them around the inside of each nostril and is possibly the weirdest beauty trend to be born from the internet to date.

2) Nude eyelashes

Beauty aficionados across the globe opted to ditch the traditional black mascara when this trend hit, instead opting for a pink-hued makeup look and intentional nude-coloured lashes created by using liquid lip colours.

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3) Ear makeup

An area of our faces previously overlooked by makeup geeks made a high fashion comeback in 2016 when Louis Vuitton painted models’ ears for the SS17 shows.

4) Glitter roots

Glitter roots have become the “must-have” fad during festival season, but it’s not really appropriate for a day in the office. Not to mention it’s extremely messy!

5) Using household items to apply makeup

Kitchen utensils, bra padding, and Christian Louboutin shoes were all used to apply peoples’ make up – but it screams “impractical” and “unnecessary”.

6) Kylie Jenner lip challenge

Before Kylie admitted to getting lip fillers, fans attempted to recreate her statement pout with DIY-style suction cups – with dreadful results. 

7) Zig-zag hair partings

Jagged hair partings were the ultimate choice for girls wanting to keep it casual yet still make a statement, but unless it’s done with precision and expertise, you could end up looking slightly dishevelled and unkempt.

8) Skinny brows

A long time ago in an alternate world to the one we now live in, tweezing almost everything away until there were just thin lines above your eyes was the done thing.

9) Dyed armpit hair

Feminists took the body positive movement a step further by growing out their armpit hair and dying it neon colours.

10) Eyebrow wigs

Human hair and synthetic eyebrow wigs are a great solution for ladies wanting a more defined brow shape, but with the number of eyebrow products on the market now, they do seem a little bit over-the-top and redundant.

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11) Faux freckles

Cosmetic companies have even been making “freckle pencils” and “freckle tattoos” in response to this odd trend that is supposed to celebrate natural beauty, but rainbow freckles and metallic freckles have even become a thing too!

12) Vampire facial

Otherwise known as PRP (platelet-rich plasma) facials, this contentious procedure was put under the microscope when Kim Kardashian West tried it out during an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. It essentially involves taking the blood from a patient, processing it in a centrifuge to extract the plasma – which contains platelets and growth factors – and then re-injecting it into the face… weird!

13) Reverse manicure

Painting your nails has been a ‘thing’ for decades, but had you ever considered painting the underside of the ends of your nails too before this trend hit?

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14) Half-shaved head

Celebs such as Rihanna, Natalie Dormer and Avril Lavigne took hair styling to the next level when they donned a half-shaved look – a look that only the most confident, stylish and edgy personalities could ever pull off.

15) Vajazzle

Glamorising your nether region isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, but it was certainly a hot topic of conversation for a few months.

Health

Want to beat bad breath? Increase your ginger intake!

Nutritionist Alix Woods shares five health-boosting benefits of ginger 

New research has found that ginger stimulates an enzyme contained in saliva which can break down foul-smelling substances. But that’s not all that’s great about ginger. This ‘superfood’ is associated with a number of health benefits – from promoting fresh breath to better after-taste qualities and much more.

Here are five reasons to include more ginger in your diet: 

  1. Anti-nausea support – ginger has long been known to support various digestive symptoms, such as nausea, indigestion and bloating. Studies report that the root eases morning sickness in pregnancy and helps to relieve nausea in general.
  2. Pain relief – ginger has anti-inflammatory properties from ‘gingerols’, the active antioxidants which have been found to reduce arthritic, joint and muscular pain.
  3. Support weight loss – ginger has the ability to burn fat, triggering thermogensis which might be helpful if you’d like to shed a few pounds.
  4. Balance blood sugar – ginger helps regulate insulin and the breakdown of carbohydrates (glucose) and fats, which can help to maintain blood sugar and energy.
  5. Lower cholesterol – studies have shown that by taking 3g of ginger powder daily, LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol and triglycerides were reduced.

Easy ways to consume more ginger 

One of the easiest ways to increase your ginger intake immediately is to take a supplement. Here are two which are relatively new to the market: sense_joint_bone_150-800x800

Sense for Joint & Bone 

As well as ginger, this formula contains numerous superfoods, such as rosehips and bananas, which are both said to help prevent joint damage and inflammation. It also contains turmericto help bone healing and formation and offer protection from joint and bone-related disorders.

Liquid Health Digestive Care

liquid healthThis unique combination of ginger, bladderwrack, aloe vera and marine collagen (alongside other powerful ingredients) has been designed to help support the body’s defence and immune systems – and could prevent you from catching that winter cold! Liquid supplements are highly concentrated and often contain more ingredients than if you were to take lots of different pills. The liquid form is easier and quicker to absorb too.

 

 

 

Health

Warning: ‘Gluten-free’ products might not be what you think

Gluten pioneer Dr Kenneth Davin Fine says food labelled ‘gluten-free’ isn’t always what you think

Think you’re following a gluten-free diet? Not so fast.

A physician who is said to be a pioneer in discovering and diagnosing the problems with gluten says many products touted as gluten-free today are not.

Dr. Kenneth Davin Fine, who is a gastroenterologist and creator of Oro-Intestinal Fitness Products, as well as gluten and food sensitivity diagnostic laboratory EnteroLab is said to have brought gluten sensitivity to the public consciousness more than 20 years ago.

He says that during those early years, gluten-sensitive patients usually experienced significant improvement in their health on a “gluten-free diet” but his patients have told him in recent years they have seen fewer improvements.

“Products can now be labeled ‘gluten free’ even if that food contains up to 20 parts per million of gluten,” he says.

“While that doesn’t sound like a lot, a little gluten can go a long way in the reactions of the most active immune systems.”

Dr Fine says gluten is a protein found in the cereal grains wheat, barley, rye, and oats and is a mixture of proteins which causes illness in people with either celiac disease, (when the immune reactions to gluten damage the intestinal tissues visible on a biopsy), or (more commonly) non-celiac gluten sensitivity, which is diagnosed when symptoms and intestinal dysfunction are present in the absence of such changes on a biopsy.

Recent studies found that most (but not all) celiacs could eat gluten without resulting in damage to their small intestine. But, in his research, Dr. Fine has found that only about half of celiacs or non-celiac gluten sensitive patients can tolerate oats. He says “gluten-free oats” is a misnomer and may be responsible for symptoms experienced by people who think they are eating a gluten-free diet.

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Dr. Fine believes the gluten sensitivity epidemic is caused by:

  • A combination of greater immunoreactivity in most people stimulated by mainly environmental factors (stress, exposure to hormones in food, medicines, pollution, and possibly EMS (electrical muscle stimulation) from electronic devices).
  • The way many foods have been altered by producers so they can be manufactured in mass quantities more efficiently.
  • Widespread use of stomach acid-inhibiting medicines.
  • A general lack of breastfeeding from 1955-1985 (when synthetic infant formula was falsely touted to be more healthy than breast milk).
  • Public health directives recommending that the public should eat mostly grains
  • An evolution of agricultural practices leading to hybridisation of grains to increase their gluten content, and more widespread use of herbicides and pesticides.

Dr Fine says that, recently,  there also has been a significant increase in the mass marketing of products said to assist the gut microbiome in digesting food. The microbiome is the genetic material of all the microbes – bacteria, viruses, and fungi – in the body.

He claims the best way to keep a healthy gut and microbiome is to eat the right foods. “Researchers have sometimes detected a different microbiome in obese individuals compared to non-obese individuals; although this has attempted to be the blame for the obesity, it cannot be ruled out that their microbiome is different because they make different, and perhaps less healthful food choices,” he says.

According to Dr Fine, other reasons for a poor microbiome are frequent exposure to antibiotics, the bactericidal chlorine added to public water, improper sleep, stress, and diets heavy in meat, cooked food (as opposed to raw vegetables or salads and fruit), and “junk food” and other sugar-laden foods.  This is all typical of the modern lifestyle, which Fine says is a primary contributor to poor overall health.

“If you really want to achieve a healthy body, you must have a healthy intestine and intestinal flora,” says Dr Fine.

“And when it comes to immunologic food sensitivities, one must really be more restrictive of antigenic foods than was necessary years ago because of the progression of this immunologic epidemic.”

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Win a year’s subscription to Holistic Scotland Magazine!

Fancy winning a year’s subscription to Holistic Scotland Magazine for you or a friend? To enter, all you need to do is help us out with some feedback for our friends at Feel Good Pass.

Feel Good Pass is a new wellness pass designed to make wellness more affordable and accessible for people in Scotland. But before they can launch this fantastic pass and bring you some seriously good offers, they need to know what you would like!

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