About this blog

Hello and welcome, this blog is about the things I do, love and love doing, namely Fashion, Dancing, Singing, Music, Cooking, Reading, Writing, Blogging.... I'm not an expert in any way in any of those disciplines, I just love doing them... ;)

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Give yummy food to your tummy buggies...


This week, I'm sharing with you a recipe from 'The well-fed microbiome cookbook' I wrote about on MBAI here.

By Kristina Campbell

The recipes are divided in two phases: the first one is about repairing our gut, the second one about revitalizing it.
The following recipe is taken from phase 1. Recipes from phase 1 follow an adapted low FODMAP diet and are mostly for people with gastrointestinal/digestion issues such as constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and/or bloating, which are linked to IBS or IBD.
IBS stands for irritable bowel syndrome, and IBD for inflammatory bowel disease. IBD may be better known as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC), two chronic diseases characterized by various inflamed segments of intestines (Crohn's), colon (both), and/or rectum (UC). IBS is a more obscure condition that is usually attributed when all other diagnoses have been ruled out. 
This diet may help these conditions; however, they are not therapy replacement. IBD, as well as IBS, are serious conditions that need appropriate medical attention.
In the first part of the book, she does explain that healthy eating is a commitment and that it may be easier to sort out our cupboards before filling them with new ingredients. So I did, then I went shopping:
My well-fed microbiome shopping trolley
 There was one recipe I had my eye on when I was preparing my menus and shopping list: fruity yogurt, nut and seed parfaits!
Please note that in this series, I'm not going to give out the recipe as I think it wouldn't be too fair on Kristina Campbell if I were to share her hard work for free, right? I do think, however, that her book is lacking a couple of pictures to show how the recipes are supposed to look like, so here are mine:

Soooo good!!

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Miracle Cure for cold sores!! Tested and Approved.

This is an exclusive sneak preview of Monday's new blog post on My Bugs And I and trust me it is a good one!!
My Bugs and I is  a blog  talking exclusively about gut flora and general microbiota. Articles talk about their impact on our diet, health, immunity, and sanity. Check it out over here.

A Miracle Cure of cold sores! There, I said it!

I know, I know, as a scientist, I should never think/say/write about miracles, but... After suffering from cold sores for 35+ years, this solution is nothing short of a miracle!
OK, rewind, let me tell you my own story!

When I started this blog, I also started a probiotics cure. My reasons for this were multiple:
  • I'm on a healthy diet path and the right microbial strains in your gut can help you digest your food nicely, whereas the wrong ones can extract more energy than necessary and store all in fat (if you'd like to read about this, follow here
  • I'm lucky to be gut-healthy but a few of my family members are suffering from either IBS or IBD (the differences between these two diseases will be covered soon), I therefore may be carrying genetic predispositions to developing an auto-immune disease. Auto-immune diseases can strike a person with genetic susceptibilities at any age, anytime, following environmental random events (stress, medication, alcohol, ...); and a healthy gut may delay such impact (if you are interested in knowing more about this, please come back soon)
  • Last year, I was ill for 4 months non-stop as I was picking up bugs from my son's nursery; the right gut strains can help you modulate your immune system to fight illnesses (here
  • If ever I should fall ill with cancer, a healthy microbiota would help me fight the cancer through helpful modulation of my immune system, help me with side effects, and help my chemo or else medicines achieve optimal efficacy (here)
I had no idea, however, what impact it would have - if any - on my weight, wellbeing, or health. This is the reason why I haven't mentioned probiotics yet as I was doing my own experiment.

The first time I realised a difference
A few months ago, I felt the usual tingle on my lip that is so typical of cold sores. As every cold sore sufferer, I carry my Zovirax everywhere so I was able to quickly dab a little bit on where I felt 'the dreaded' was going to appear.
Then, what happened? NOTHING... Nothing happened, no cold sore appeared!
I know that this happens to some lucky cold sore sufferers, but for me, never in my 35+ years of cold sores experience, have I ever managed to stop  the growth of the virus. Zovirax helps the process go quicker but the pain, the vesicles, the scabbing, and the scar steps would always occur.
That's when I started to wonder if it had anything to do with my probiotics as I hadn't changed anything else in my life. Because life happens, I forgot about my miracle cure.

The second time confirmed my hopes
Last week, as I waking up, I felt the tingle again. Unfortunately, a few vesicles had already appeared and I had little hope I could stop the process. How wrong was I! After massaging a bit of Zovirax on them, the vesicles 'expired' after about 4 hours the way they usually do after 4 days. All I was left with was damaged skin that was going to scab and heal, so i used Compeed to speed up the process.

How I think it worked
Probiotics, Bio-Kult
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
What I didn't know though is that a certain strain present in Bio-Kult (Lactobacillus rhamnosus) has been shown to help activate macrophages to eliminate the herpes simplex virus type-1 (responsible for cold sore) (here). Macrophages are the weapons of our innate immune system and they have been shown to orchestrate a multitude of anti-herpetic actions during the first hours of the attack (here). This specific strain contained in my Bio-Kult is therefore boosting my immune system to produce natural anti-cold sore actions right from the start.
- Lactobacillus plantarum
Another strain contained in my Bio-Kult, Lactobacillus plantarum, has also been shown to stop the spread of the virus (here).

The way Zovirax works is well known: the active ingredient is 5% aciclovir. Aciclovir is a drug that transforms into a form that inhibits and inactivates the spread and growth of the herpes virus. The way different people respond to it is variable. In my case, I usually don't see much difference; with probiotics as part of my diet, I saw a massive difference as I think both actions of probiotics and Zovirax combined to completely stop the growth of the virus.

Compeed contains a hydrocolloidal gel  and is well known to accelerate skin repair.

My Miracle Cure recipe
  1. Two Bio-Kult probiotics pills every day with water and food. If you are under antibiotics, it is advised to take four tablets of Bio-Kult per day but at different times than when you take your antibiotic (as your probiotics will be killed by the antibiotic if you take them at the same time!).
  2. As soon as you feel 'The' tingle, massage some Zovirax. Repeat as advised on the notice. If you caught the tingle when the vesicles are already present, massage the cream until vesicles are flatten and 'dead'.
  3. Dry the surface and apply a Compeed patch. Replace your patch as advised on the notice.

What have you tried for you cold sores? 
Do you have any miracle cures you would like to share?
Feel free to share your stories in the comments here below, I'd love to read your tips.

See you soon,

PS: Please note the Amazon images are affiliate links. 


Friday, 6 November 2015

Thinkrolls - recommended tablet game for toddlers

As a parent, I am always on the look out for new ways to stimulate my child's mind. Maybe because I have a boy who hates puzzles and crafts, I am desperate to find interesting activities other than train tracks and animal farms!
I came across this game on my kindle fire tablet because it was free! If I'm perfectly honest, I originally downloaded it for myself because it looked like a fun and pretty game, and - come on - FREE!!!
On a Eurostar trip back to London a couple of months ago, my son was a bit agitated so I gave him to tablet for the first time. I know at nursery they have iPad sessions so he knew how to handle ours.
Soon enough, he was hooked on the game. Most of you would say it's really bad to get them used to computer games and I would normally agree but hear me out.


Thinkrolls is a game of strategy for toddlers and children aged 3-8. My son was barely 2 and 1/2 when he started so they are definitely capable to achieve the first levels at that age.

The basics of the game are that each window screenshot is a maze through which you have to guide a funny character. Obstacles need to be moved or used to go through the right path. 

The first levels are easy, you just need to eat biscuits or move boxes but as chapters difficulty increases, it becomes more and more strategic.

At later levels, strategic actions include moving a cushion to jump from to get out of hole, or fill the hole with the box, move balloons to clear access or extinct fires with ice cubes using moving platforms.

At the age of 2 and 1/2, my son is able to achieve all chapters at the easy setting which is for children aged 3-5. He can also achieve the first levels of the hard setting where observation and choices are the skills developed even further.

What Amazon says about it:
  • 207 challenging levels with mind-sharpening puzzles
  • Easy mode for ages 3-5, hard mode for ages 5-8
  • Experiment with gravity, heat, buoyancy, speed, friction, elasticity & more
  • Enhance logic, observation, spatial cognition, memory
  • Track progress for up to 6 player profiles
  • 22 hilarious super smart characters to play with
  • Original soundtrack and sound effects
  • Supreme design, eye-catching artwork
  • Language neutral game-play
  • COPPA compliant

Highly recommended!!!!

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

8 motivational tips for an enjoyable blogging experience

This is a presentation I prepared for my colleagues who were curious about my blogging experience with my Science blog Science is So Sexy! I thought I would share it on this blog because through it, I managed to gather my thoughts on blogging!!

I hope you like it :)

Friday, 20 March 2015

The Fabulous Door Monkey

Hi everyone,

Today, I'm sharing with you an item that helped us sooo much in our cot-to-bed transition.
We were all dreading this moment: Is he going to sleep in a new bed, is he going to get out constantly and cry to stay with us, is he going to wake up during the night, creep up downstairs, open the door and run on the street, all on his own?
So many worries, apparently they are normal but that doesn't make them less perturbing!

The transition to toddler bed became quite a sudden need for us when our LO decided that his cot was too small and so easily climbable, why hadn't he thought of it before really.???. So in a hurry, I did a quick search on Amazon for a cheap but sturdy toddler bed he would like and enjoy.

The toddler bed

I think the choice was quite obvious for us as our son loves cars and trucks and the perfect cute one turned out to be the cheapest one too!!! yeahhhh So we purchased this:

Unfortunately because we had a cot and not a cot bed, we also had to purchase a mattress that fit this new bed!!! Eeeuurrgghhh

If you don't know what you have:
  • A cot mattress is 120x60 
  • A cotbed or toddler mattress is 140x70 
I'm very happy with the purchase I made, again on Amazon, the mattress is very soft and comfy but firm enough for a good night sleep:

So that was the bed sorted!! For about £140! I say: result!!!

That evening after we got all the bits and pieces, we tested it: I built the bed next to his cot and we asked our LO which bed he wanted to sleep in. He was so curious about the new pretty bed, he jumped on it straight away!! Relief!!!!

We read the story in his new toddler bed

He was soon fast asleep with his head firmly on the head board for orientation
 The day after, we got rid of his cot and he never complained!!

Now the next issue was how to keep him in!!!!!!

The fabulous Door Monkey

We tried the usual gate but unfortunately as our LO is a little monkey he easily climbs over these!!
We thought about installing a bolt on his door but I thought that was a bit mean and I would feel like I am keeping my son in prison!

After a long search on Amazon for the right solution for us, I found the Door Monkey!!
It serves two purposes really:

1. Keep your child in his room
2. The finger proof design makes it super safe

At first, I was a bit worried that we would have to keep his door ajar and that would distract him because we've never done it before. But it doesn't seem to bother him. Also, it's so convenient when I want to check up on him: I don't need to be super careful with opening the door, it's already open!!!!

When he wakes up and he wants out, he tries to open the door but can't, if he wants to close it, he can't either so his fingers are safe!!
My LO is quite strong and the house a new build (=not solid) but he hasn't broken anything yet. The Door Monkey is equipped with soft rubber grips so when your LO goes crazy on the door, it keeps it quiet :)

So comforting to know that your child is safe in his room at night and not wandering about!!!

If you are wondering how it works, you just have to clip it on the door, takes 1 second to place it or remove it!! It's that good!!!

How do you do to keep your LO inside his room and in bed? 

See you Soon,

Sharing is Sexy