Review: Little Daisy Self Care – 100 Days of Menopause Affirmations

We were sent the 100 days of menopause affirmations jar for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

I’m a really big fan of the power of positive thinking in helping you on your way towards a happier outcome in life. Back in 2012, I had a bad accident and ended up needing two emergency surgeries on my back. At risk of permanent damage and paralysis, I spent nearly a year in excruciating pain and unable to function. The experience left me in permanent pain, with nerve damage and numbness throughout my lower body.

With a whole raft of physical problems to deal with, my mental health really suffered and I found myself in a very dark place. I was sent to rehab to help get me walking again, and slowly I began to recover myself physically and mentally. I would never be the person I once was, but I made a decision to not let my pain define me. I decided to focus not on the things I’d lost, such as being a more physically active mum, I lost my career and it damaged a number of important relationships. I chose instead to look at the good things which had come out of it all. Like being able to spend more time with my son, being able to be there every single day after school and during the holidays, plus it gave me my blog which took me to all kinds of places and it introduced me to so many new and amazing friends.

Little Daisy Self Care - 100 Days of Menopause Affirmations

Positive thinking really helped get me out of that hole, so when I find myself in a tight spot, or a dark place, I try and think of the lessons that situation is teaching me, or the people it is showing me who are there for me. I’m by no means Little Miss Sunshine, but being able to see the stars from the gutter is a gift I really appreciate.

Which, long story short, brings me to the 100 Days Of Menopause Affirmations jar from Little Daisy Self Care. I’m 47 now and like most of my mid-40s friendship group, I’m experiencing some menopause symptoms. I’m not quite knee-deep in night sweats and HRT, but there are changes happening which need managing.

As I said previously, I try and tackle all the bumps in my road with a positive, let’s try and see the bright side attitude, so that’s what I’m trying to do with my very impending menopause. I am reassured, just like Fleabag, that the menopause is usually pretty bloody awful, but once you get to the other side, life begins again and all kinds of good stuff is waiting for us. And that’s very good to know, but easy to forget when you’re in the thick of it.

Little Daisy Self Care has an Etsy shop which stocks, amongst other things, little jars full of affirmations for various times in our lives. There are journal prompts and mindfulness prompts, and many more. I’ve done daily affirmations for various things before, and whilst not every affirmation will be useful, I generally find it’s a good exercise to engage in, especially if you’re trying to be more reflective and positive in your approach to things.

Little Daisy Self Care - 100 Days of Menopause Affirmations

The Little Daisy Self Care jars have been created by Alison, an experienced councillor. She’s helped many ladies work through their menopause and through that work she was inspired to create the 100 days of menopause affirmations.

There are 100 affirmations printed on little colourful pieces of card in each jar. Each card has a different affirmation related to menopause symptoms and positive thinking. The jar also comes with a QR code, so you can access a breathing technique demonstrated by Alison to help you with your self care.

Some examples of the menopause affirmations include:

  • I will take the time and space I need to adapt
  • I love myself exactly as I am
  • Some days can be difficult and that’s okay
  • I listen to my body and give it what it needs
  • I am just hot stuff!

I have been enjoying dipping in and out of this jar. I’ve popped it on my desk at work, so when my mood drops, I can pick a card of positivity out of the jar and reflect on it for a few minutes. If a card doesn’t hit the spot for me at that moment, I’ll pick another one and put it back, because in a few weeks or months time, it might just be what I need at that point.

Whilst we will all approach the menopause differently; a good vitamin regime, HRT or other medical or alternative therapies will form the main thrust of your approach to dealing with the menopause. I do believe in the power of positive thinking, and if these little daily affirmations can help you over a bump in the road, or help you see a glimmer of sunshine through the clouds, then that can only be a good thing.

I really love the branding too, and that’s it’s presented neatly in a jar. Each little colourful card is a scrap of potential joy. It’s just nicely put together and I like that you can scan a QR code for some extra self care if you need it.

Little Daisy Self Care - 100 Days of Menopause Affirmations

Each jar costs £12 and would be a useful gift for someone experiencing the menopause, or a small treat for yourself, especially if you’re looking to approach menopause positivity.

Little Daisy Self Care jars are available from Etsy.

Review: ProVen Probiotics Fit for School Supplements

AD – We were asked to try ProVen Probiotics Fit for School supplements in exchange for this review. All images and opinions are our own.

With the end of August in sight, our attention has firmly towards back to school preparations. We have shopped for new uniform, new shoes, new stationery and we are pretty much back to school ready. One thing we always do, is remind him about the importance of handwashing and good hygiene, anything to minimise the inevitable back to school coughs and colds he will no doubt catch and bring home.

Giving the boy and his immune system a bit of a back to school boost is something we always do. He is so prone to picking up bugs it’s unbelievable. He regularly takes a multivitamin, and during the peak of the pandemic, he also took extra Vitamin D supplements.

Review: ProVen Probiotics Fit for School Supplements

We were sent some ProVen Probiotics Fit for School supplements to try. They are designed to help support your child’s immunity and wellbeing. They are chewable tablets which are strawberry flavoured and they have been specially formulated for children aged 4-16 years old.

Each tablet contains 12.5 billion of the unique Lab4 acidophilus and bifidus friendly bacteria combined with vitamin C to help maintain immune function and general wellbeing.

ProVen Probiotics Fit for School supplements are vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and dairy free. They have been tested in two clinical trials so far. The studies showed that ProVen Probiotics Fit for School can have these results –

  • Days with a cough or cold halved (49% reduction)
  • Days with a blocked or runny nose reduced by a third (33%)
  • Number of days with a sore throat reduced by 24%
  • Need for antibiotics reduced by 27%
  • Absenteeism from school due to coughs and colds reduced by 30%
  • Visits to the GP reduced by 43%
  • No side effects

These benefits are excellent to read. My son has been taking them for about a week now, he’s generally full of beans anyway, but leads a very active life and can feel run down quite easily. He is also very prone to getting bad ear infections and colds. He really likes the taste and says they make him feel super-powered, which is always good to hear.

Review: ProVen Probiotics Fit for School Supplements

I really like that they are packed with Vitamin C and they also have probiotic qualities, which can help him to maintain a healthy gut. Each tablet contains 12.5 billion of the unique Lab4 acidophilus and bifidus friendly bacteria combined with vitamin C to help maintain immune function and general wellbeing.

Fingers crossed that taking these will help him to stay well throughout his last year at primary school. Like most kids, he’s had far too long outside of school this year and I’d hate for a cold or bug to floor him again.

Each box of ProVen Probiotics Fit for School contains 30 tablets and costs £14.99. They are available from Boots and directly from their website.

Health: TestCard – the easy home UTI testing kit

Gifted. We were sent the TestCard UTI testing kit for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

It can feel a bit embarrassing, but most of us at some point in our lives get a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and some of us, if we’re really unlucky, can be especially prone to them. A UTI can be uncomfortable, and getting an appointment to see or speak to your GP can take a bit of time, so the new UTI home testing kits from TestCard can really help to speed up the process.

Health: TestCard – the easy home UTI testing kit

If you think you might have a UTI, the common symptoms are:

  • Pain or a burning sensation when peeing
  • Needing to wee more often than usual
  • Wee that looks cloudy
  • Lower stomach ache, or pain in your lower back
  • A temperature

The TestCard UTI Test Kit is really easy to use. You can order a kit online, or pick one up from your local chemist or supermarket; download the app (available from both the App Store or Google Play) and follow the simple instructions.

Your postcard sized testing kit contains two test strips, each carefully sealed and wrapped, ready for use when the time comes. The little kit also includes a set of instructions if you need them.

The UTI Test Strips are a bit like a dipstick, you just dip it into your urine sample briefly then use the smartphone app to scan your results. The app provides a detailed analysis of your urine, with results that will be easily understood by your GP.

The results screen will indicate a clear yes or no and will tell you if you need to seek medical advice and treatment. The results are completely private and secure; you are the only person who can decide if you want to share them with your doctor.

If you do have a UTI, the best thing to do is speak to your GP who will be able to talk to you about the best course of treatment for you; or prescribe some antibiotics to help clear up the infection.

Health: TestCard – the easy home UTI testing kit

Taking the test using TestCard is a very simple four step process.

1. Produce a sample of wee in a clean container. Open the test and scan the QR code using the app on your smartphone.

2. Dip the testing strip into your urine sample, but don’t go over the “max wet” line.

3. Hold the testing strip at the top, and then scan the strip using the app making sure you align the strip to the blue guides on the screen.

4. Check your result. At this stage you are given the option to share your results with a medical professional.

This is a really speedy and efficient way of helping to manage and take control of your own health. Being able to have the information you need when you speak to your GP can save so much time and help you get the treatment you need quicker.

The TestCard home UTI testing kit costs £10 for two testing strips, and is available to order online or from your chemist or supermarket. The app is free to download; the results are instant which can get you back on the road to good health or peace of mind in an instant.

For more information about TestCard, visit their website.

Chronic Pain – How I’m helping myself

I have chronic pain. Every morning I wake up and I have to take painkillers so I can start my day. Alongside the pain I also am pretty numb from the waist down. I work hard to make it look to the outside world that I’m normal. Beyond the occasional hobble or fall I pass for average.

Back in 2013 I had two operations on my back. They were meant to stop me being in so much pain and to give me back some quality of life. They were reasonably successful; but every day I’m in pain and every day I wake up with numb feet and legs. I know that (hopefully far) in my future I’ll need to use a wheelchair, but until then I’m doing what I can’t keep myself on my feet.

Chronic Pain - How I'm helping myself

In September last year I turned 42. I took a look at my life and realised I spent too much time working and not enough time on me. After some serious consideration I joined a gym. This was a huge step for me. I’ve not really exercised since before my operations and although I walk a lot, doing proper exercise is a big deal.

I decided that I was probably horrifically unfit, so I decided to start with swimming and aqua classes. I’m glad I decided to take things easy at first, because starting to exercise again, even gently really hurt. After about four months I was starting to feel stronger and fitter. I’d lost a bit of weight and was ready to dip my toe into some of the classes.

I opted to start with Zumba Gold, this is a really low impact version of Zumba, perfect for people needing low impact exercise. After quite a few Zumba Gold classes, I added Tai Chi and a physio class called Body Maintenance into my weekly gym schedule. I hurt, but I feel great!

Since I’ve started exercising more I’ve lost a decent amount of weight. I’ve dropped a couple of dress sizes and I’m feeling stronger. I’d like to say my pain levels are less; but exercise will always hurt me and I need to manage that by being sensible, resting and taking my tablets like a good girl. I’d rather be active and working to be fitter and stronger than sat in my chair feeling gloomy about it all.

While I’m doing all I can to stay on my feet for longer; the reality is that like many people I will in the next decade or so need some aids around the house to help me. My husband does a lot of the bending and lifting around the house. My son helps me with anything I might struggle with, like emptying the washing machine. I already sit down to do most of my food prep and cooking in the kitchen, but grab rails in the bathroom will be useful soon and I’m pretty wobbly on the stairs, so we might need to install a stairlift, or at least give it some serious consideration in years to come.

I feel so much better for joining the gym and generally being more active. It’s good for mind, body and soul and I definitely need a bit of all three. A year ago I would have looked at myself and thought I was not the gym going type. Even when I joined I was fully prepared to hate it; but being there is one of the highlights of my week. I can really tell when I’ve not been for a few days, my mood drops and I feel physically sluggish. I think even though the exercise does make me hurt, generally my underlying pain levels are slightly less. It feels good to be more in control of it, rather than it being in control of me.

This is a collaborative post.

National Feet Week – Putting your best foot forward

AD/Gifted. Over the last few months I’ve increased the amount of exercise I’m doing in a bid to shift a few pounds. I’m making an effort to walk a lot more and I’m also going to a few dance classes a week. As a result, one of the things I’ve found myself doing is looking after my feet a bit more, without happy feet I can’t dance my socks off! This week (13th-20th May) is the first National Feet Week, so I’m taking a look at what that’s all about.

National Feet Week is a new initiative to draw attention to the importance of looking after our feet. Most of us take our feet for granted and only really start to notice them when problems start. A couple of years ago I realised that I had a fungal nail infection, and it was at that point looking after my feet became more of a priority for me.

National Feet Week - Putting your best foot forward

My husband is a runner and regularly sees a Podiatrist to have his feet cared for properly. The running has taken its toll on his toenails and he gets thick skin on his heels. His feet always look so much better when he’s been to the Podiatrist and he’s always much more comfortable.

A Podiatrist can treat or advise on –
  • Athlete’s Foot
  • Blisters
  • Bunions
  • Corns
  • Footwear
  • Gout
  • Heel Pain
  • Insoles
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Sweaty Feet
  • Toenail Cutting
  • Verrucas

So it’s well worth booking an appointment if you have any concerns at all and definitely worth seeing a Podiatrist if you’re a runner like my husband.

Neatly trimmed nails, smooth heels and moisturised feet are essential if you want to wear sandals this summer. I try my best to look after one of the hardest working parts of my body and keep my feet looking good all year round. During this first National Feet Week I’ll be making sure I take extra special care of my own feet, and my son’s feet too, because his little feet work just as hard as mine.

There are a few things happening during National Feet Week which you might want to take part in. There’s a Twitter party on Monday 13th at 7pm, look out for the #NationalFeetWeek hashtag. You can also join in the #LaceRace where you race to get the fastest time for tying your shoelaces.

I hope you too can find time to pamper your feet during this National Feet Week!

Find your local Podiatrist at

Disclosure: I was sent a box of pampering feet treats in exchange for this blog post. I have not been otherwise compensated for my time.

Health: Could you live without deodorant?

Last week I conducted a bit of a personal experiment. I gave up deodorant. It’s a bold move for someone living in a civilised society, but I thought I’d give it a try.

Over the years I’ve become increasingly aware of, and concerned about the chemicals I apply to and rub into my body. Deodorant has long had a slightly worrying reputation, many contain aluminium and parabens which have been linked to cancer.

I’m also trying to reduce the number of products I use and as a household we are trying to reduce waste.

Health: Could you live without deodorant?

Before I began my experiment, I ran a quick audit of my lifestyle, just to gauge how much I was likely to sweat.

  1. I work from home on a laptop, most days my physical activity is a quick walk to school and back and some light housework.
  2. I’ll take a bath or shower every day and give myself a good scrub.
  3. I go to the gym twice a week for a swim and an aqua class.
  4. Sometimes I walk the dog for an hour.
  5. I change my clothes daily.
  6. I don’t drive, so most local journeys are done on foot.
  7. I’m not an excessively sweaty person.

I surmised that I was unlikely to get too sweaty, and if I did I could just have a shower. It’s also January which is the least hot and sweaty month of the year, if I did this in August I suspect there might be problems. I’ve added a Smell Rating for the end of each day.

Day 1

Got up, showered and spent the day toiling over a laptop. No school run for me today, just a quick dash out to Cubs and back. Smell rating 0.

Day 2

Tuesday is usually a bit of an out and about day for me. Showered, did some work, walked to the shops, picked my son up from school, took him for a haircut, went home, cooked etc. Late that evening I detected a slight odour, but only if you got right up in my pits, but the boys said I was fine. Smell rating 1.

Day 3

Off to the gym this morning, skipped my shower as I’d have one before I got in the pool. Hopped on the bus because it was chucking it down, but there’s still a 10 minute walk at the other end. Noticed that my armpits were smelling a bit, but figured the shower, 90 minutes in a chlorinated pool and another shower would fix that. Chlorine is an excellent deodorant. Smell rating (eventually) 1.

Day 4

Another quiet at home day. Realising that deodorant is a necessity for me. Scrubbing keeps on top of things and not inviting people to sniff your pits is helpful. Feeling a bit self-conscious now. Smell rating 2

Day 5

I’d like this to stop now. It’s Friday and I went to the gym again for another shower/swim/shower session which does help to keep on top of things. I’m careful not to choose an overhead locker for fear of wafting unwelcome smells around the room. Smell rating, back to 1.

Days 6 and 7

Weekend and that brings with it a whole change of pace for me and the family. There’s a round of kid’s parties, shopping, housework, meal prep and dog walking. I’m feeling really aware of myself now; real or imagined I feel like I’m smelly. The boys assure me that I’m perfectly acceptable, but I’m bored with it now and just want to stop fretting about being socially unacceptable and put some deodorant on. Smell rating, it feels like 10 but it’s probably 3 or 4.


I like to look, feel and smell clean. Even with showering every day, it took me right out of my comfort zone and it’s going to take more than a week for me to break this habit. Standard deodorants might not always be the most healthy; so I’m going to look at changing to one with fewer chemicals, or an organic one from a company like Weleda.

These days more and more people are switching to solid deodorants; like the deodorants from German company, Ben and Anna which is vegan and cruelty free; or dusting powders from Lush. Finding a deodorant which works for you, fits with your lifestyle and keeps you comfortable in your own skin is so important.

I’ve also realised that the deodorant I’m currently using (it’s a Dove spray one) is fine for two days, even with a good scrub between those days. The chemicals in it keep me dry and odour free for 48 hours, even though it’s not a 48 hour one. So perhaps I can halve my deodorant use without too much of an impact on my social acceptability.

For me there are a few options on the table for where I go from here. At the start of the week I asked the question, can I live without deodorant? My answer is no, but I can change my deodorant habits and find a balance that works for me and my lifestyle, and I can move to a product with fewer chemicals.

Could you give up deodorant? Could you?

Health: Could you live without deodorant?

Putting Marks and Spencer Opticians to the test

In August, M&S opened a branch of Marks and Spencer Opticians in their Manchester store. It’s been two years since my last eye test, so I went along to try out their new service. I booked my appointment at M&S Opticians online, which was quick and easy to do, my appointment was confirmed and all I needed to do was turn up on the day.

Since my good friend Claire at She Eats discovered she had a brain tumour during an eye test, it’s been in the back of my mind that I must get mine tested. Thankfully finding a brain tumour is pretty rare, but your eye health is a good indicator of your general health and can flag up conditions you might not have been aware of. Regular eye tests are a good thing, so don’t put them off.

Review: Putting Marks and Spencer Opticians to the test

I went along to Marks and Spencer Opticians in Manchester. It’s located on the first floor next to the cafe. Feeling a bit nervous, I made my way upstairs and booked myself in. I was early so I spent a few minutes checking out the frames and trying a few pairs on.

I was ushered into a room where they did a few tests on me. Danielle was really reassuring and talked me through everything. For the most part all I had to do was sit and look while they blew air onto my eyeballs, took photographs of my retinas and did a test where I had to press a button each time I saw a flashing light in my periphery. It was very thorough.

Review: Putting Marks and Spencer Opticians to the test

After the testing I was taken through to see the optician, Mohammed. He spent some time checking what my prescription was, I don’t think it’s changed much in two years, which is reassuring. He also had another look at my eyes and discovered that there was something a little bit amiss with one of my optic nerves. We had a chat about that and about how much sleep I don’t get. He suggested I use an eye wash a few times a week and he sent me back to the testing room to do a more thorough version of the peripheral vision test.

I was understandably feeling a bit on edge at this point, but everyone was really reassuring and Mohammed the optician spoke to me again afterwards, once he’d checked the results and explained that it was just a small anomaly and wasn’t affecting my eyesight. It’s probably something worth keeping an eye on though.

Review: Putting Marks and Spencer Opticians to the test

It was time to choose my new glasses. I’m a bit funny about my glasses, I like a particular style and round glasses do not suit me. There were hundreds of pairs to choose from, I spent a lot of time looking for what I wanted. I couldn’t find anything which really appealed in the ladies section, so I had a look at the men’s glasses. I was in luck, there were so many of the style I liked in the men’s section.

Review: Putting Marks and Spencer Opticians to the test

Glasses at M&S Opticians start at £40. I chose the “Favian” frames, which are described as “flattering, easy to wear frames – a great choice for men”. These were £80 for the frames and another £30 for the lenses, so just £110 in total. I’ve previously paid A LOT of money for glasses, so I thought £110 was a really, really good price.

Two days later I got the call to collect my new glasses. I was impressed at how quickly they’d come back. I went into town a few days later to go and pick them up and was met by Paul, who took some time to fit my glasses. With them being men’s glasses they were a little loose, so the arms needed to be adjusted to fit me properly. This was done while I waited and I left, happy with my new specs.

Review: Putting Marks and Spencer Opticians to the test

I was really impressed with Marks and Spencer Opticians; they were very thorough and I felt very reassured after my tests. I also thought their prices were very competitive, I couldn’t find any fault with the service I received. I’m absolutely delighted with my new glasses. I think they look great on and they’re really comfortable to wear too.

For more information about M&S Opticians, or to book an appointment, visit their website.

I was invited to review Marks and Spencer Opticians and given a pair of glasses in exchange for this review. Nevertheless, all images and opinions are my own.

How to strengthen your Pelvic Floor in your 40s

When I get together with some of my closest mum friends, the conversation generally lurches from holidays and skin care, to things we wouldn’t discuss with anyone else. One of these hot topics is incontinence, apparently trampolines are the trigger for most of my friends. It’s a fate I am keen to avoid. I’m not at that stage yet, but I’m keen to keep my pelvic floor in good health.

When I was pregnant, my pregnancy yoga teacher really drummed into us the importance of doing our pelvic floor exercises. She used to suggest we did them while waiting for traffic lights to change, or when certain adverts came on. Eight years later I’m still doing them when I hear the Go Compare advert. The trouble is, I’ve never been sure if the pelvic floor exercises I’ve been doing were correct, or if they were effective.

How to strengthen your Pelvic Floor in your 40s

Now I’m in my early 40’s I’ve started to make a few changes to try to keep myself healthy and fitter than I have been in recent years. The menopause will hit within the next ten years, so I want to try to make sure my reproductive health is as good as it can be. Part of that is having a stronger than strong pelvic floor. I decided my usual exercises weren’t enough, so I ordered a set of Kegel balls from Sent to Thrill.

Sent to Thrill was set up by a mum of 3 young children. She struggled to find products that would help her. Sent to Thrill began as a search for a product to help improve pelvic floor strength and they realised that good pelvic floor is the first step on a journey to increased body confidence and improved sexual health.

The Svakom Nova Kegel Balls cost £36 and include full instructions and a velvet bag to keep them safely stored away. There are three kegel balls included in the set; a single ball (49gm), a double ball (75gm) and another double ball (95gm).

They are made from body-safe silicone and they are phthalate-free and they are 100% waterproof. I chose them because they had a silicone “string” attached which I felt would make them easy to insert and remove after use.

How to strengthen your Pelvic Floor in your 40s

The instructions are very clear. They suggest using them for half an hour a day while you are active; that is stood up and doing something. They will be considerably less effective if you’re sat down or lying down. I decided to start with the smallest ball and to wear it for the half an hour it takes for me to shower, brush my teeth, blow dry my hair and sort my clothes out for the day.

The instructions suggest using the smallest ball for 30 days; then increasing the size for another 30 days and then moving onto the heaviest Kegel ball. I have used this set for a couple of weeks now. I’m still using the smallest ball but it’s very comfortable and I doesn’t feel intrusive. I wear it for around half an hour a day and it’s not until I’ve removed it that my pelvic floor muscles ache gently and let me know they’ve done some work.

Your pelvic floor muscles support your bladder, bowel and womb; keeping your muscles in good condition can help prevent prolapse and incontinence. Having a strong pelvic floor can also help to improve your sex life and can give you stronger orgasms.

How to strengthen your Pelvic Floor in your 40s

There’s no bad time to start exercising your pelvic floor. You are usually advised to exercise during pregnancy and afterwards. But the sooner you start, the stronger your pelvic floor will be. If we all did our pelvic floor exercises, or used Kegels, then we could stave off the threat of incontinence for much longer, maybe even forever.

For more information about pelvic floor exercisers, visit the Sent to Thrill website.

How to strengthen your Pelvic Floor in your 40s

Disclosure: I was sent this set of Kegels for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.

How I conquered my Diet Coke addiction

I was addicted to Diet Coke. Until November 2017 I would routinely drink about two litres of the stuff a day, served fridge cold in a glass stacked with ice. Beads of icy condensation would form on my refreshing glass after glass after glass of Diet Coke. But I gave it up, and here’s how and why I did it.

I don’t really remember when I started drinking Diet Coke. I think it was in the early 2000’s and my first few cans were from the vending machine in the college I worked in. From memory, I’d found regular Coke too sweet and I wanted something like Coke but not as tooth-tinglingly sweet. It wasn’t so much the diet aspect I enjoyed, but the cold refreshing, thirst quenching nature of the drink. I was soon hooked and drinking one or two cans a day.

How I conquered my Diet Coke addiction

As the years went by I started drinking Diet Coke at home too. It probably started as a cold one after work and developed into the several litres a day habit I ended up with. I knew that regardless of the minimal calories I was ingesting, Diet Coke probably wasn’t that healthy for me. When I was pregnant I shifted to caffeine free Diet Coke, but soon shifted back. I’ve flirted with the odd month or two without caffeinated drinks over the years, but I always went back to Diet Coke.

Whenever the concerned voice inside my head mentioned that Diet Coke probably wasn’t that great, another voice would remind me that the school nurse encouraged me to drink lots of fizzy drinks as they would fill me up so I wouldn’t eat (who gives that kind of advice to a teenage girl?). I would also tell myself that there were so few calories in it I was doing myself a favour by drinking it. Of course now we know different.

In 2017 I’d spent several months being under the weather or just plain poorly. I knew I needed to make some changes, so in November I undertook a serious detox plan. It was pretty horrible but it did work and I felt better for it. During the detox I gave up pretty much everything except fruit, vegetables and water. When I came out the other side I was no longer craving Diet Coke.

Caffeine is a drug and it’s highly addictive. Where I can I try and opt for caffeine free options in all kinds of things. There are even caffeine free pre-workout supplements (click for source) which if you’re a gym goer could help improve your performance and energy levels.

I’ve probably had 15 years of drinking Diet Coke under my belt. Did stopping make me feel any different? Well, yes. Once I’d gone through the caffeine withdrawal headache, I felt much better. I have gone from having under three hours sleep a night to getting almost double that on average. More sleep also makes me a nicer, more humany human.

Tips for giving up Diet Coke

Mentally prepare yourself. Giving up isn’t easy and you will probably get a headache and a raging thirst for Diet Coke.

Find a few alternative drinks that you can drink instead. I’ve started drinking more water and I mostly drink very weak sugar-free cordial with ice. My current tipple is no added sugar Vimto and I also like an orange squash. I make mine very weak so it’s more like a flavoured water than anything.

Keep a note about when you stopped and what is different for you. You will probably find you’re sleeping better. If you’ve got a Fitbit this can help monitor your sleep. Seeing an improvement in this area was a big motivation for me.

Reward yourself. For me giving up fizzy drinks entirely is fairly unrealistic. Every week I choose a few interesting cans of fizzy pop and put them in the fridge, my current favourite is San Pellegrino. When I feel like a treat I will crack open a can. A little of something nice is good for you, two litres a day, probably not so much.

That’s how I gave up Diet Coke. I’ve been Diet Coke free for over two months now and I feel happier and healthier for it. I’m very pleased that I’ve managed to step away from my Diet Coke addiction. 

How I conquered my Diet Coke addiction

Review: Higher Nature Kids Vitamins

Getting kids to take their vitamins can be a tricky business. We’ve been trying Vital Vits and Smart Focus from Higher Nature – an independently owned business that’s based in the UK. Higher Nature make high quality, ethical and well researched nutritional products for the whole family.

After pushing for tests for a number of years, over the summer my son was finally diagnosed with having an iron deficiency. We were sent away with some dietary advice (which we’d already been following for forever) and told to come back in a couple of months for a re-test. What was clear that however good his diet is, he still needed top ups of iron and other vitamins to keep him healthy.

Giveaway & Review: Higher Nature Kids Vitamins

The worry is that he has inherited a genetic blood disorder – Alpha Thalassemia Trait from my side of the family. There’s not a lot that can be done if he has, he will just need to look after himself, which means taking vitamin supplements and getting lots of sleep, amongst other things.

The problem is supplements are often boring or taste horrible. Kids vitamins and supplements have come a long way in recent years and are easier and more enjoyable to take. We’ve been trying some of the children’s health range from Higher Nature, specifically the Higher Nature Kids Vital Vits and Higher Nature Kids Smart Focus.

Higher Nature Kids Vital Vits

The Higher Nature Vital Vits (£14.99 for 90 tablets) contain 19 of your essential vitamins and minerals (including Iron) and is a good all-rounder. They are suitable for children aged 3+ and you take just one a day. The Vital Vits are designed especially for fussy eaters to support their daily diet.

They come in three delicious fruity flavours with fun-shaped characters – mango robots, lime aliens and raspberry teddies. They are small-ish, chewable tablets and they’re really easy to take. These supplements are gluten, lactose and dairy free and don’t contain any artificial preservatives, colours or flavourings. They are also suitable for vegetarians and vegans and have not been tested on animals.

I’ve tried them and they’re really fruity and not at all chalky. My son really liked them too and would gobble them all up if we let him (which is why we keep them out of reach). These are a real winner for us; knowing he’s getting a daily vitamin boost is a weight off our minds too.

Giveaway & Review: Higher Nature Kids Vitamins

Higher Nature Kids Smart Focus

These Higher Nature Smart Focus Jellies (£9.99 for 27 jellies) contain omega 3 EPA and DHA with omega 6 GLA, all of the essential omegas in one delicious fruity jelly. The jelly is free from added sugars and artificial sweeteners. The jellies have been formulated to help children keep focussed in the classroom.

Getting kids to take fish oil supplements can be tricky. Thankfully my son thinks these jellies are a bit of a treat. They’re intensely fruity flavoured and have no fishy aftertaste which is a bonus. They’re best taken with food, so we usually give my son one with his breakfast.

I think we all need a boost sometimes, especially with the cold and flu season coming up. My son needs an iron boost and taking a multivitamin every day will help him to absorb iron better too. It’s peace of mind for me and the building blocks of good health for him.

For more information about Higher Nature Vitamins and Supplements, visit their website.

We were sent these products for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.