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Greenlid – A New Take on the Compost Bucket

If your compost bucket gets mucky and smelly more often than you would like, then here’s a great idea – a compostable organic waste container. Use The Greenlid like your normal kitchen’s compost bucket, but when it gets full, toss the whole bucket away.

Animal whisperer calms panther

Is it possible to really talk to animals? Any pet owner would resoundingly respond with a YES. And anyone who has ever owned a cat will know just how much can be said with nothing more than a growl, a purr or a raised tail.

Yoga mats with a sense of humour

brogamats

If you’re looking for something a little different in terms of your yoga mat, you should check out brogamats. As they say:

founded on the belief that yoga practitioners defy simple categorization, and include people of all all walks of life, all genders, all Lululemon budgets, and all levels of earthy pretentiousness

I love the concept of the quiver of arrows mat which looks like, yup you guessed, a quiver of arrows as you stride into your yoga class:

quiver yoga mat

True to the “bro” tag, brogamats are made extra long and extra thick to take into account the (usually) larger frame of the male yogi. Other fun items in their inventory include the burrito bag to carry your mat, or perhaps the downward facing log mat bag.

Very cool. I want!

Eat less, know more

snack food

You’ve probably never heard of ghrelin, but it’s a hormone produced by your stomach lining when your stomach is empty. Ghrelin tells your brain that you are hungry. It also seems to help you learn and remember.

When you are hungry, you need to focus your entire system on finding food in the environment

Next time you need to learn something new, or perform well on a test, go in slightly hungry and you’ll perform better.

Seaweed Light

Seaweed light

Nir Meiri has developed a light made out of seaweed. Seaweed is essentially an algae and has been used throughout history; as food it is a rich source of iodine, in a medicinal capacity, seaweed has been used as wound dressings and of course, it is used in the health and beauty world as a tonic for the skin in seaweed wraps and as an ingredient in soap. Given its rich history, it is only a wonder that it hasn’t been used more for decorative purposes.

Halloween and the great mental health debacle

Although I’m the last person to be overly politically correct, the insensitivity of a couple of major supermarkets over mental illness is rather distressing. How anyone thought “mental patient fancy dress costume” and “psycho ward” halloween outfits would not cause offense is beyond me. But given this, I don’t really think we should dwell on the negative too much. Rather, take the opportunity to get more awareness towards mental illness and the very helpful organisations that work with people who suffer from pretty much anything from mild depression through to schizophrenia.

One in four people in the UK are affected by mental illness.

So, without further ado, here are some positive links to mental health charities in the UK:

Mind

Mind is one of the foremost charities in the UK that helps people with mental health issues. They

won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect

Mind provides support and advice to anyone experiencing mental health problems.

Mental Health Foundation

The Mental Health Foundation helps people survive and recover from mental health problems through research, campaigning and developing of practical solutions for better mental health services.

Rethink Mental Illness

Rethink has been working since 1972 to help people with schizophrenia, bipolar and personality disorders to recover and live better lives.

Sane

SANE’s vision is

to raise public awareness, excite research, and bring more effective professional treatment and compassionate care to everyone affected by mental illness.

Young Minds

YoungMinds specialises in helping children and young people who suffer from mental and emotional health issues. They deal with tricky issues such as self harm, eating disorders and depression in children and young people.

The surfing duck

surfing_duck

Nature never ceases to amaze – look at this duck, surfing it’s way around.

The five foods that will help you sleep better

Bananas

Believe it or not, Bananas have been called the “sleeping pill in a peel”. They contain potassium and magnesium which are both known muscle relaxants as well as an amino acid that your body converts to serotonin and melatonin – both aid in relaxation and sleeping.

Cherries

Cherries are one of the only foods to contain melatonin. Melatonin is basically your sleep hormone, responsible for controlling how tired you feel. Your melatonin levels are controlled by, among other things, light levels and hues and, well, cherries. Tart cherry juice with less sugar is a good substitute for the fruit if it is out of season. About an hour before bed is the recommended time to help put you to sleep.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is soothing and rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium which all help you fall asleep. For a delicious oatmeal cookie recipe, and an Ayurvedic approach to sleep, see the excellent Soul Foodie Blog.

Warm Milk

The mainstay of parents the world over, warm milk in a tried and tested sleep inducer. Amino acids in milk help release serotonin and the calcium helps you relax.

Almonds

Magnesium, which almonds contain, help promote relaxation and is also rich in amino acids which, just like milk, release serotonin and helps us sleep better. Like bananas, they also have potassium a good muscle relaxant.

You’ll soon be eating insects

cricket

To get 1 Kilogram of meat from cattle, we need about 6 kilograms of cattle feed. Naturally, we feed cattle cereal and grains, so we have to consider the cost of irrigation and land that we use to sustain our addiction to eating steak. And this is for intensive livestock farming rather than more humane lower density grazing based farming methods. Raising livestock accounts for around 40% of the agricultural output in the West. It’s pretty clear we need to reconsider what we eat and how we farm.

Enter Insect Farming

Humans have always eaten insects. In fact, in many cultures in South East Asia and Africa, some insects are considered a delicacy. It’s odd then that despite a growing world population straining the current food supply, that we haven’t yet fully embraced insects as a viable and alternative source of protein. But things are changing. A growing number of studies have identified insects as a viable source of protein and an efficient one toboot. We can farm insects pound for pound for a fraction of the cost of cattle.

It’s not just the protein. Bugs are full of vitamins and fiber as well and are more efficient in terms of the amount of nutrients they contain compared to unhealthy substances and calories. Locust, for example, are very high in iron, creckets are an excellent source of lean protein.

What’s on the table?

So what insects are you most likely to eat? Well the house cricket is one of the most common insects used for human consumption. The life span of a cricket is only about 8 weeks. Farming crickets usually involves feeding them a combination of chicken feed and vegetables such as pumpkins, as well as leaves from morning glories. The meal-worm is another popular insect. Despite their name, they aren’t actually worms. Instead they are the larval stage of the Darkling Beetle.

You’re probably already eating them

Lobster, shrimp, snails and crabs are considered delicacies in our diet, and these creatures are closely related to insects. So the only thing holding you back from trying a cricket taco or meal-worm mince is your perception and “gross” factor.