Plastic pollution myths busted!

There are some myths currently floating around that could be harmful to the environment so I’m here to help with some mythbusting facts.

Myth #1

If I recycle my plastic waste I’m not harming the environment.

Fact: Many types of plastic cannot be recycled. Additionally, if non-recyclable items contaminate a bunch of recyclable products all of the recyclable items will be sent to a landfill.

This is why I can’t stress enough that COFFEE CUPS SHOULD NEVER BE PLACED IN A RECYCLING BIN.

Coffee cups are in no way recyclable. If these non-recyclable products contaminate the products being sent recycling, all of that recycling goes straight to the tip.

What you can do: Reduce use of all plastics. Bring your own coffee cup on your coffee run. Use canvas tote bags for all of your shopping and produce. Stop buying plastic toothbrushes (go for bamboo). Take advantage of this code for 15% off all purchases at Sand Cloud: VICK_Y15. Sandcloud.com has a selection of glass water bottles, metal straws and environmentally friendly organic sunscreen (packaged in a tin instead of plastic). You can feel really good about saving the planet with your next session of retail therapy.

Myth #2

Plastic pollution in the ocean isn’t harming humans.

Fact: Leaching of chemicals from plastics into our waterways not only affects our water but our food too. Large pieces of plastic break down into smaller pieces called microplastics. These microplastics are mistaken as food by sea creatures and are frequently ingested. The smaller fish that consume these plastics are consumed by larger fish until it gets to the top of the food chain, you and me! Do you really want to be eating food that is potentially contaminated with harmful chemicals?

Myth #3

Ocean plastic pollution mainly originates from dumping rubbish in the ocean

Fact: Plastics from all over the land can end up in the ocean, no matter where it was dumped. Most of the plastics that are now in the ocean originated from every day items that you and I use frequently – bags, bottles, caps, food containers. If we begin limiting the use of plastic in our lives we can make an impact on the reduction of plastic in the ocean.

Share your plastic reduction tips in the comments. My latest effort in waste reduction involves the use of beeswax food wraps and reusable ziplock bags to store my lunches for work! What’s yours?

Plastic pollution spreads disease

Coral reefs are one of the ecosystems most susceptible to climate change, but their complex structure is also vulnerable to many other threats, most of these are sadly caused by humans.

It’s apparent that our plastic usage is affecting the life of coral reefs. Recent scientific research estimates 11 billion pieces of plastic contaminate our vital reefs! Plastic waste that is caught on coral reefs has shown to contribute to increased rates of disease within the coral, as stated by the study.

Plastic pollution

Plastic items such as bottle caps and toothbrushes which are commonly made of polypropylene, have been shown to become heavily inhabited by bacteria. For the research, the research group studied 159 coral reefs at the Asia-Pacific region where most global reefs are located. They inspected roughly 125,000 corals checking for tissue loss and lesions. The greater the amount of plastic that was entangled in the region’s reefs, the more disease they discovered.

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Microorganisms often come with plastic, and the plastic adds stress to the corals as they cover daylight and reduce oxygen supply making conditions that enable certain pathogens (microorganisms that cause disease) to flourish. Such plastic waste can even cut open corals’ sensitive skin, exposing them to further infection.

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A great star coral infected with black band disease
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The solution

In recent studies, research on cross-species coral hybrids, inoculations with protective bacteria and even genetic engineering has been established. Researchers produce coral embryos by in vitro fertilisation (IVF), coral tissues of the infected ones are compared and its DNA can be preserved in a cold storage equipment. An increased focus on coral microbiology and application of laboratory culture techniques could serve as the string of hope and provide a lifeline for the ‘Rainforests of the Oceans’.

It’s time for a sea change

Everyone can help tackle the problem by reducing plastic usage. Science proves that small behavioural changes and collective efforts can lead to wide-scale transformations.

Allow harassment victims to speak up without judgement

When someone is ready to open up about harassment (sexual or otherwise) they have experienced from another person DO NOT ever by any means respond with a

“But he/she’s really nice”

“They’re always nice to me”

“That doesn’t sound right. They’re so nice. They probably didn’t mean it”.

Why?

Because every time you respond in that way you’re making the victim feel COMPLETELY invalidated.

Victims already often find it difficult to speak up against harassment. If you invalidated their experience, do you think they would have the confidence to speak up again?

  • Do you ever wonder why victims of harassment speak up so infrequently?
  • Do you blame victims for not speaking up in the first place?

If you answered yes to either of those questions then you are not understanding how damaging it is to invalidate a victim. And even worse, it is damaging to not believe him or her.

If a person is finally ready to disclose their experience of harassment all you need to do is listen.

Listen well.

Poor posture: headaches and more!

Do you currently work an office job or spend a lot of time sitting in front of your desk working on your computer or doing endless paperwork?

Do you get any pain, aches or discomfort in your neck, shoulder and back? Chances are office posture could be a contributing factor and we will be covering tips on having a good posture.

What are the effects of a healthy posture?

Healthy posture habits help prevent common neck, shoulder and back problems or reduce symptoms if they are already present. They are also good to improve your mood and energy throughout the day.

Here are some tips for 3 different scenarios:

1. Sitting in front of the computer

– Keep your monitor at eye level, and place your keyboard close to your body – Sit in a chair with back support to avoid slumping

– Make sure your feet are firmly planted on the ground, or use a footstool if your feet don’t reach the ground

– If possible, use a desk that can be converted to a standing desk to lessen the strain on your spine

2. Talking on the phone

– Avoid tilting your head or holding a phone between your ear and shoulder.

-Use a headset or headphones when possible to keep your head in a neutral position.

– Use a speakerphone when able to avoid tilting your neck.

3. Texting on the phone

– Try to keep your phone screen at eye level to avoid bending your neck

– Keeping your neck relaxed and avoid shrugging your shoulders

– Use your index finger to prevent overuse of your thumb

 

Any other tips?

Yes! Just some general ones:

– Keep your muscles loose by taking standing or walking breaks every 30-45 minutes.

– When possible, give your eyes a rest by looking away from your computer every 20-30 minutes and focusing on distant object such as something outside your window.

These are just general office posture tips.

It is still best to see a qualified physiotherapist if you suffer from any pain, aches or discomfort so they can perform a thorough assessment to find the underlying causes and develop a treatment plan for you.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments.

Five ways to increase your metabolism

Do you have a slow, sluggish metabolism impacting on your overall health?

Thankfully there are a few ways you can increase your metabolic rate.

Your metabolic rate is the number of calories you burn in a given amount of time, also known as calorie expenditure. The faster your metabolism, the more calories your body needs to function. So, how can we speed it up?

1. Strength train

The effect of exercise itself will increase your metabolism but if you also combine this with strength training exercises it will lead to the growth of muscle mass. The amount of muscle you have is directly associated with your metabolic rate. More muscle equals a higher resting metabolism, that is, metabolic rate when the body is at rest. Muscle loss is often associated with older age or a calorie-reduced diet. It’s important to continue promoting the growth of muscle mass so you are able to increase your resting metabolism which will significantly allow your body to burn more calories.

2. Move your body

Those very basic day to day activities such as standing up regularly, doing household chores, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or even fidgeting all count as getting your body moving! This particular boost in metabolic rate is known as non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). In severely obese individuals, NEAT can account for a considerable portion of the daily calorie expenditure. Although the recommendation of moderate intensity physical exercise is 30 minutes per day, even light activities like walking around or your household work will boost your metabolism which is going to give you an advantage in the long run.

3. Do high intensity workouts

One of the most effective forms of exercise is high-intensity interval training (also known as HIIT). HIIT is a form of interval training which incorporates short bursts of workouts at intervals of often little rest in between. The positive effects of HIIT on your metabolism remain long after the workout is complete.

Try this HIIT workout and let us know how you go!

200m sprint (run or row)

20 kettlebell swings

15 box jumps

10 push press

5 burpees

30 seconds rest

Repeat 4 times

4. Eat protein

Eating sufficient amounts of protein is essential if you want to maintain or build your muscle mass. There are also many other health benefits of eating protein in your daily food consumption. All food leads to a temporary increase in metabolic rate however, this effect is much stronger after eating protein than after eating fats or carbs. Protein actually increases metabolic rate by 20–30% verses carbs and fat which only increases it by 3–10%.

5. Drink green tea

The benefits of consuming green tea are well known. Not only does it contain antioxidants aplenty and various nutrients it also boosts metabolism quite effectively. Studies have found that the consumption of green tea is associated with weight loss, especially around the belly. There are polyphenolic compounds called catechins present in green tea which stimulate fat oxidation and boost energy expenditure. This effect is even stronger when combined with exercise.

If you don’t enjoy the taste of green tea, or want to give your body a real boost, I recommend Tegreen capsules which contain the equivalent of 6 cups of green tea in one capsule. You gain all of the beneficial properties of green tea without burning your mouth on a cup of steaming hot tea.

I love receiving feedback because it’s so valuable! Here are some Tegreen (plus exercise) Before and After shots.

Note that belly fat is reduced by using Tegreen in conjunction with exercise as the boost in metabolism from the tea assists with extra expenditure of calories during exercise.

Comment below or send me an email at fullcupwellness1@gmail.com to find out more information about supplementation with green tea and to place an order for Tegreen. Mention this post for 15% off all TeGreen supplement purchases.

Eat the Rainbow

The simplest way to ensure your meal seems adequately healthy is to note the colours on your plate (I’m looking at you beige and brown, bangers and mash). Or in your bowl (I’m not talking about a bowl of M&Ms!).

 

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Burrito Bowl recipe

 

The colour of your food (also, not Skittles) can give you useful insight into which vitamins and nutrients are present in your fruits and vegetables. This is because the pigments that give the food their colour happen to reflect different wavelengths of light back at your eyes, which is how our eyes detect colour!

Red

Red coloured foods contain lycopene (a carotenoid with a bright red pigment) and vitamin C which are both potent antioxidants that can provide protection against oxidants throughout our digestive system and in our lungs. Vitamin C and lycopene are able to enhance our immune system and protect us from cancer. Some lycopene-rich fruits to feast on are watermelon, tomato, dragonfruit (my favourite fruit!) and pomegranate.

Just a handful of strawberries per day could keep gut inflammation away

Yellow and orange

More carotenoids but this time they’re yellow and orange. The carotenoids in yellow and orange fruits (and green kiwi fruit) include beta-carotene which is converted to Vitamin A in our body. There is also lutein which is great for eye health, zeaxanthin (also for eyes) and cryptoxanthin. These antioxidants also work on boosting our immune system which is always a good thing. Especially since it’s our immune system which is our first line of defence against cellular mutations. Those mutations can end up as cancer if they aren’t caught in time! Orange foods to choose include fruits like oranges, mangoes, pawpaw, passionfruit and kiwi fruit.

Green

Some of the antioxidants present in green foods are glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, which contain cancer–fighting compounds. Also present are lutein and zeaxanthin which are great for eye health. Green fruits and vegetables also contain plenty of other phytonutrients to help keep your brain healthy. Feast on asparagus, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale, Chinese greens, rocket (AKA arugula which is just so fun to say) and watercress. I always try to make sure I have some green poking out on my plate. Throw some side salad on your plate of steak and mash!

Blue

Blue foods contain anthocyanins, along with the ever abundant lutein and zeaxanthin. Again, these antioxidants protect cells against cancer-forming compounds and prevent  brain disease through neuronal degeneration. Have a snack on blueberries and dark cherries — blueberries are more than just delicious! They contain more age-defying and disease-fighting antioxidants than any other vegetables or fruits.

Purple

Purple fruits are packed with flavonoids such as resveratrol. Flavonoids are the best for immune health, healthy blood vessels, stabilising blood pressure and can also have vision and cognitive benefits. Purple foods you ask? Try handfuls of red grapes, blackberries and mulberries. RED WINE is also full of resveratrol which is why a glass of red wine a day is so good for you! Just remember to limit it to just the one glass. Keep your liver happy.

Other than receiving nutrients from these foods there are other benefits to be had when enjoying fruit and vegetables.

Just a handful of strawberries per day could keep gut inflammation away.

Findings from a new study will be presented at the 256th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society through an article titled “Dietary intake of the whole strawberry inhibited colonic inflammation, restored immune homeostasis and alleviated gut microbiota dysbiosis in dextran sulfate sodium-treated mice.”

“The sedentary lifestyle and dietary habits of many people in [the USA]—high-sugar, high-animal-fat, but low-fiber diets—may promote colonic inflammation and increase the risk of IBD,” state the authors of the study.

Decreased inflammation of the digestive system through the use of fruits like strawberries would have a huge positive impact on patients suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). IBD is chronic inflammation of parts or all of the digestive tract.

Inflammation in the gut has huge impacts on us all, not just IBD patients, so look after your health because you’re worth it.

Discover some fresh seasonal fruits and veggies at your local greengrocer this week!

Be prepared with knowledge – Strokes

Australian National Stroke Week is this week so let’s have a spotlight on stroke awareness.

National Stroke Week is the Stroke Foundation’s annual awareness campaign. National Stroke Week runs from 3-10 September. It is an annual event which aims to raise the awareness of stroke within the community and encourage Australians to take action to prevent stroke. Throughout the week, all Australians are encouraged to:

• Be aware of what stroke is, how to recognise a stroke and what to do

• Live healthy to reduce the risk of stroke

• Get a regular health check

What is a stroke?

A stroke happens when blood supply to the brain is interrupted. Blood is carried to the brain by blood vessels called arteries. Blood contains oxygen and important nutrients for your brain cells. Blood may be interrupted or stop moving through an artery, because the artery is blocked (ischaemic stroke) or bursts (haemorrhagic stroke). When brain cells do not get enough oxygen or nutrients, they die at a rapid rate.

More than 80% of strokes can be prevented

How do you know if someone is having a stroke? Think F.A.S.T.

F: Face. Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?

A: Arms. Can they lift both arms?

S: Speech. Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?

T: Time is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.

A stroke is always a medical emergency. The longer a stroke remains untreated, the greater the chance of stroke-related brain damage.

For more information on stroke make sure you contact the Stroke Foundation. If you or someone you know has experience a stroke, this foundation are a fantastic source of information, and can refer you on to specialised programs for support, treatment and prevention. Go to strokefoundation.com.au.

Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability

Reduce your risk

There are some stroke risk factors that you cannot do anything about, such as older age, family history, being male or already having a prior stroke. But for most Australians, you can reduce your risk and help prevent stroke by taking some simple steps:

Make time for a health check for stroke risk factors

Know your blood pressure and keep it down. You can control your blood pressure by changing your diet and lifestyle, particularly through regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. The lower your blood pressure, the lower your risk of stroke. Your doctor can help you to regularly check your blood pressure or ask our friendly staff to check for you today.

Our bodies need a hormone called insulin to turn sugar from our food into energy. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body becomes resistant to insulin and it does not make enough insulin to keep up. This means your body has difficulty absorbing the sugars from food. If you have diabetes it is important to keep your blood sugars within a recommended range. Consult with your doctor or diabetes educator about management of your blood sugar level. Irregular pulse or irregular heartbeat is known as atrial fibrillation, or AF. To find out if you have atrial fibrillation, a doctor or nurse will check your pulse. If it feels irregular, they may refer you for more tests. If you experience symptoms such as palpitations, faintness, breathlessness or weakness, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Did you know stroke kills more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer?

Take charge of your own health and live a healthy lifestyle

Keep active. Being inactive can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, overweight and obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Over half of Australian adults do not do the recommended amount of physical activity. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most (preferably all) days of the week.

Eat healthy. Healthy eating is important for reducing your risk of stroke. Obesity, being overweight or having too much body fat can also be a contribution and affects a number of risk factors. Your diet should contain vegetables, fruit and grain, lean meats, poultry and fish, reduced fat milk and yoghurt. Substitute sweets for nuts or fresh fruit and steer clear from sugary drinks.

Quit smoking. Smoking doubles your risk of stroke. Within a month after a person stops smoking, blood pressure returns to its normal range. The risk of heart attack and stroke starts to drop immediately after a person stops using tobacco products, and can drop by as much as half after one year. After fifteen years your risk of stroke and heart attack is almost the same as that of a person who has never smoked.

Reduce alcohol consumption. Drinking large amounts of alcohol increases your risk of stroke through increased blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity and irregular heartbeat. Drink no more than two standard alcoholic drinks on any day to reduce harm from alcohol-related disease or injury.

 

Kinder Surprise but for adults who love shiny things

I was always a sucker for the ubiquitous $1 lucky dips at the markets. I couldn’t resist uncovering the surprise that is hidden inside those beloved Kinder Surprise eggs. To this day I still have difficulty walking past a lucky dip. I need to see what’s inside!

Do you like uncovering the secret within a lucky dip prize too? Are you attracted to shiny objects such as sparkly jewellery? I certainly am, and I prefer to support small businesses.

Below is my review of 2 small businesses that hide beautiful jewellery within gorgeous scented products. Scented Secret and Royal Essence.

Scented Secret

I placed an order for the Lemon and Lavender candle at Scented Secret and received the shipping confirmation quite quickly. The package ended up with a terrible courier company and ended up in some warehouse somewhere. After a little kerfuffle I finally received my package and excitedly unboxed it. (Subsequent deliveries have been quick and painless so this was only a one off situation.)

The package arrived in recycled packaging right down to the cardboard box. I love the focus on minimising the carbon footprint and using all recycled materials. 

Scented Secret Lemon and Lavender soy wax candle
Sterling silver earrings from within the candle

I burned the candle until the wax was all melty and scenting the entire room with the incredibly relaxing yet uplifting combination of lemon and lavender. Then, after peaking a few times to see if I could see the little foil-wrapped package, I eventually spotted it hidden behind the label of the candle. I fished it out and opened it carefully. 

From within the little package I discovered these incredible sterling silver earrings. Gosh darn I’m in love with them and how they sparkle.

Check out the entire range at: https://scentedsecret.com.au/scented-secret-candles/

They even have a ginger bread candle for the upcoming holiday season. It sounds delicious! You might or might not want to gift one to yourself this Christmas.

 

Royal Essence

Ordering online at Royal Essence is quick and easy and shipping is even easier. I ordered the Rainbow Unicorn Ring Bath Crumble. When my package arrived I immediately fished out the little foil-covered package inside the bath crumble, which is exactly like a crumbled up version of a bath bomb. Before I opened the little packet I noted that the scent of this bath crumble is vibrant and sweet, I smell spun sugar mixed with sweet berries

This Rainbow Unicorn Ring Bath Crumble is from the Fairytale Collection which is full of mermaid tears and sparkles. And of course there are exclusive jewels inside each delicious smelling product.

Royal Essence Rainbow Unicorn bath crumble

There is a guaranteed aurora boreale jewel inside every item in the Rainbow Unicorn Collection.

The ring I discovered inside the Rainbow Unicorn Bath Crumble

Royal essence also has a Christmas range online now and I am very tempted by all of it. For 10% off all your orders at Royal Essence use the code FULLCUP10

Plant a tree without planting a tree

You can now plant a tree and help the planet without even getting your hands dirty.

I have often thought about planting a tree but I have no idea how or where to do it with permission. My small apartment balcony is hardly the place for a tree!

There are currently a bunch of companies that plant at least one tree per purchase of their products or services. Here are some of them:

Tree Lyfe

“Live every day with intention.
Wear our bracelets as a reminder that you have the ability to create your own reality. #plantyourfuture
Each bracelet plants a tree and is a daily reminder that you too can reach incredible heights.”

So far Tree Lyfe has planted around 12,000 trees. They are planted in Haiti, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Nepal, and Indonesia. Local workers from these poverty-stricken countries are hired and trained to plant the trees, providing jobs which help lift the families from poverty. The local families then benefit as the workers can provide food, education, and health care for their families.

In addition to the benefit to the environment Tree Lyfe also has a focus on mental health.
I’m all for breaking taboos around mental health and keeping the conversation open around mental health in order to reduce stigmatisation. It’s a cause close to my heart.
Each bracelet stands for more than one planted tree. It serves as a reminder of our own personal growth that can grow along with the tree that was planted with the purchase of the bracelet.
Scroll down for my Tree Lyfe review.

Ten Tree

At tentree, our goal is to become the most environmentally progressive brand on the planet. We don’t want to just reduce the negative impact of the apparel industry, we want to use it as a vehicle for change. Our purpose is to revitalize our environment and inspire a generation to believe that they can do the same.

Baron Fig

Buy a Book, Plant a Tree endeavour is our way of giving back in appreciation. It’s our way of showing thanks to you, our customers, as well as to the environment. So far your purchases have helped plant tens of thousands of trees since we launched, with more being added to that number daily. For every Confidant you buy, we’ll plant a tree.

WeWOOD

High-quality and eco-friendly timepieces that give back to the environment. For each watch sold WeWood plants one tree allowing our customers to not only look stylish in their new WeWood accessory but help the environment.

4EST Shades

At 4EST Shades we fell in love with the idea of crafting beautiful products from sustainable materials. Our dream resulted in the creation of this wonderful collection of sunglasses. We are also dedicated to giving back, so with every purchase made we donate to have two trees planted. Rest assured you won’t only look good, you can feel great knowing you’ve helped make for a greener Earth!

Review time

I gave Tree Lyfe a go and I am pleasantly surprised with the products I have received.

The quality of each woven bracelet exceeds expectations and the size of the bracelet is very easily adjustable to allow a perfectly comfortable fit.

Each sticker and bracelet provides a person with motivation and positivity, which is exactly what I feel I need in my life especially this week in particular. Every time I look down and see these trendy pieces on my wrists I feel a boost of inspiration and sometimes that’s all we need to keep us going.

In regards to keeping up the conversation around mental health awareness, check out the Tree Lyfe website for the Inspiring Stories from young people who have shared their own personal traumatic experiences. These personal stories can help inspire us to keep going through those challenging times in our life.

Tree Lyfe is offering a 10% discount on all purchases through this affiliate link or it’s as easy as using the code FULLCUP10 at the checkout.