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Friday, November 5, 2010

More than a pretty face

Westport produces the world’s supply of Botox – more than a wrinkle buster, it’s also a multi-tasking medical treatment: 8, 9

BEAUTY TEENS

Girls get serious about hair, make-up and more: 4, 5

HOME WORK

Top 12 lessons on managing child’s first year at school: 11

Picture: iStockphoto

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CHINESE TAKEAWAY Eight packs of noodles put to the test: 12


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2 News front Kate O’Reilly WHAT’S ON ■ ALLERGY WORKSHOP: Anaphylaxis Ireland is holding a workshop for the parents of children with severe food allergies. The workshop will be facilitated by dietitian Caroline O’Connor and will take place at the Radisson Hotel, Little Island, on Wednesday, November 24 from 7pm to 9.30pm. This workshop costs F10 and pre-booking is required as places are limited. The booking form can be downloaded from www.anaphylaxisireland.ie or you can call 0818 300 238. Forms should be returned by November 15. ■ JAN DE VRIES: Naturopath Jan de Vries will visit the Ardboyne Hotel in Navan on Monday next, November 8 to give a lecture on ‘How to Live a Healthy Life?’ The lecture aims to encourage people to start taking responsibility for their own health through good nutrition, exercise and a positive attitude. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Navan Women’s Refuge. Tickets are F10 and are available from Next to Nature Healthstore in Navan Shopping Centre, tel 046-9027916, or on the door. ■ MANDALA WORKSHOP: To create a mandala is a way of meditating and being creative at the same time but you don’t need to be an artist in order to create a beautiful mandala, says Karen Hansen, who is giving a workshop tomorrow afternoon in Cork. Entry is by donation to cover heating and material costs. To find out more give her a call on 086-3641230. ■ MEDITATION WEEKEND: Stepping Into Stillness is a weekend retreat which teaches simple meditation techniques. It will be given on a donation basis by Jane Killingbeck in Kenmare from November 12 to 14. Jane says that this weekend requires no experience, and no belief, just curiosity, and openness to the possibility of change. There will be a free introductory talk next Friday evening, for those who would like to find out more. For details call Jane on 023-8843067; www.steppingintostillness.eu ■ HEART CLINIC: The Irish Heart Foundation will hold a free Blood Pressure and Cholesterol testing Clinic at the Community Centre, Ballinlough on Wednesday November 10 from 10.30am to 12pm. For further details call 021-4505822 or if you have questions about stroke or heart disease you can contact their Helpline 1890 432787. ■ MALLOW AWARE: Mallow Aware Support group is now a year old and meets every Thursday night at 8pm in Le Cheile Family Resource Centre (next to Gilbert Centre), Fair Street, Mallow. The group is open and welcomes anyone who suffers from depression or an anxiety disorder and feels in need of support. Aware support groups are confidential and offer a safe and friendly place for those who wish to overcome the isolation and loneliness of depression. Check out www.aware.ie for further information. Items for inclusion in this column can be sent to koreilly8@gmail.com

FeelgoodMag

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Over active bladder (OAB) symptoms can be distressful, a mother tells Arlene Harris of her experience

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EVEN in ten of people suffering from one or more over active bladder (OAB) symptoms have not discussed it with their GP, according to a recent national survey by Astellas Pharma Ireland. OAB is a medical condition that affects an estimated one in six Irish people. The condition, which is characterised by a sudden and frequent need to pass urine, causes great distress for sufferers and can be magnified by embarrassment and the desire for secrecy. Siobhan Carroll (not her real name) has four children and has suffered from OAB since her first daughter was born. It is only now, 12 years later, that she has decided to seek help for the condition which severely affects her everyday life. “Ever since Aoife was born, I have had problems with my bladder and it became worse after each child was delivered,” she admits. “I can never be out of reach of a toilet as I need to go all the time and any bit of exertion will cause embarrassing leaking. “I have had to wear pads to prevent accidents in public as over the years I have been caught out. But after finally opening up to my friends, I have realised that I am not alone,” says the 41-year-old. “And the knowledge that this is quite common has spurred me on to talk to my doctor who is referring me to a consultant. “I am beginning to hope that there

LET’S TALK: Prof Declan Keane, consultant urogynaecologist National Maternity Hospital and Chairman of the Continence Foundation of Ireland with model, Ann Marsh. Picture:Jason

Clarke Photography

might be a light at the end of the tunnel.” Professor Declan Keane, consultant urogynaecologist at the National Maternity Hospital, and chairman of the Continence Foundation of Ireland, says it is important for people to talk about this issue which although commonplace sees many people suffer in silence. “Like many other so-called ‘embarrassing illnesses’, the more people talk about it, to their families, friends and doctors, the more awareness we can generate,” he says. “This will help people realise that they are not alone, that many people are in the same situation and, most importantly, that they can speak to their GP about it and get appropriate treatment.”

And the professor says there are many ways in which people can help themselves. “OAB can be minimised by reducing the amount of liquid intake on a daily basis to no more than one or two litres,” he advises. “There are also pelvic floor exercises that you can undertake, in conjunction with dietary changes. Medication may be also be used, and for those patients whose symptoms prove resistant to medication, there is the option of having Botox injected into the wall of the bladder.” “But the first step is speaking to your GP about it,” he adds. ■ Visit www.continence.ie and www.2womenshealth.com

HEALTH NOTES FROM Monday until Friday next an innovative free online GP ‘surgery’ will assist smokers who want to quit smoking. The online surgery, staffed by GPs, will offer smokers the opportunity to seek instant healthcare professional advice on quitting smoking in a confidential environment. The GP surgery will run for the week through Pfizer’s Quit with Help website, www.quitwithhelp.ie, and will be open from 12-3pm and 6-9pm. During the online surgery, a doctor will answer questions to anyone wishing to get advice about quitting smoking via a private Instant Messaging conversation online at www.quitwithhelp.ie. This maintains patient confidentiality. The GP will be able to offer advice on the issues raised by the patient, discuss potential treatment options available and refer the patient to the most appropriate source of help. The Department of Epidemiology & Public Health at UCC, in collaboration with the Living Health Centre, is conducting a major health and lifestyle survey which includes a measure of 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure in a group of 2,000 men and women aged 50-69 years. This study in Mitchelstown will shed light on the scale of the problem of under diagnosis and over diagnosis of hypertension. The work is being carried out in collaboration with Professor Eoin O’Brien, professor of cardiovascular medicine in UCD.

A panel of experts will discuss tuberculosis, www.irishexaminer.com www.irishexaminer.com

sity Hospital, the forum will be hosted by the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre. It takes place on Tuesday next from 7.30-9pm in Lecture Theatre G01, Brookfield Health Science Building, College Road, UCC. All are welcome and admission is free.

SMOKING AID: GPs will offer smokers a free online ‘surgery’ to help them give up smoking during which a doctor will answer questions to anyone wishing to get advice about quitting. Picture: iStock

At least 30% of Irish men and 10% of women are affected by their own snoring and that of their partners. Snoring can also be a sign of a very serious medical condition known as sleep apnea, which is thought to affect up to 6,000 people in Ireland. “Given that many people are hesitant to seek help for their snoring, it should come as no surprise that the majority of Irish people with sleep apnea and other problems related to snoring remain undiagnosed,” says Professor Yves Kamami, ENT surgeon at the Fitzwilliam Private Clinic. “Snoring disorders range from simple snoring to the more serious conditions such as obstructive sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome (OSAHS).”

Toni & Guy is hosting a charity day in all salons in aid of Barretstown on Sunday. All staff are working for free on the day and 100% of proceeds from appointments will go towards the recent outbreaks in the Cork and Kerry Barretstown, to help rebuild the lives of those region and modern technologies used to affected by childhood cancer. detect, monitor and treat the disease. New alAll Toni & Guy salons and the Metro Spa ternative strategies to control infectious diswill be open from 11am to 6pm for appointeases will also be presented. ments as normal on the day, and all cusChaired by Dr Mary Horgan, consultant tomers will receive a F20 giftcard to use physician in infectious diseases, Cork Univer- towards their next appointment.

www.irishexaminer.com feelgood@examiner.ie

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010

Editorial: 021 4802 292

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In profile THE SHAPE I'M IN

Tom Dunne

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RESENTER of a magazine-style talk show on Newstalk, Tom Dunne is married to chef, Audrey McDonald, which he says keeps him “quite healthy,” though he admits to not exercising much. “I don’t exercise, not since our second child was born. Her arrival coincided with the start of the show on Newstalk and the two together just meant I didn’t have time,” says the dad of two — his daughters, Eva and Skye, are aged four and two, respectively. Once a lead singer with band, Something Happens, Tom hails from Drimnagh, in Dublin. Tom Dunne’s show on Newstalk 106-108 fm goes out on weekdays, 9am-12pm. What fit are you? I’m not in too bad shape. Up to recently, I walked to and from the Dart, but I find pushing the kids in the buggy, carrying them up and down stairs, and to the park, keeps me fit. Do you have any health concerns? I have bad allergies, which includes brutal hay fever in summer. I find antihistamines don’t leave me in great form. I think I lose a bit of my zest when I take them. Some days, I’d rather have the syndrome. What are your healthiest eating habits? Being married to a chef has changed my eating habits. I eat a lot of salads and low-fat foods, such as lean meat, chicken and fish. We eat very well and I’ve found that if you develop a taste for good food, you really look forward to it. What’s your guiltiest pleasure? Probably pizza and starchy foods. I love potatoes and bread. I have to stop myself eating them. What would keep you awake at night? Something I’m not happy about on the show could prey on my mind, but I’m aware of my thoughts, and, though I’m a natural worrier, I have been able to change my thought patterns.

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change about your appearance? Being taller would be great. What’s the best book you’ve read recently? The Elfish Gene, by Mark Barrowcliffe. It’s about someone growing up in Coventry, whose life is taken over by the game Dungeons and Dragons. What’s your favourite smell? Freshly-cooked food — I love when you walk into a house and there’s something like fresh chilli. What trait do you least like in others? Self-satisfaction. What trait do you least like in yourself? I should be much easier on myself and not be my own worst enemy.

Visit www.bettertogether.ie to see how you can get involved in charities, clubs and associations in your community, or vote for your favourite cause to help win €3,000 cash. Get involved today and help make Ireland Better Together! www.bettertogether.ie ������� �� ��� ���

Do you pray? I do, occasionally. It’s like repeating a mantra, a positive thought. What would cheer up your day? If I get up in the morning and the sun is up, then all is good in the world.

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WIND DOWN: Radio presenter Tom Dunne relaxes by sipping a glass of wine and chatting with his wife. Picture: Gerry Grace

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How do you relax? With the children, there’s very little time to relax, but I find a glass of wine, or chatting with my wife, great. Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? I’d have to have John Peel, the legendary DJ, also Phil Lynott — and Luke Kelly, from The Dubliners. What would you

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xxxxxxxx Young aspirations Schoolgirls want to look grown up earlier, reports Deirdre Reynolds, and XH - V1

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they are now demanding more adult treatments like Brazilian waxing and Botox

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Striving to be beauty teens

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EMEMBER the days when a girl’s beauty regime consisted of a splash of Clearasil and dab of lip balm? Not anymore. From intimate waxing to fake tanning and acrylic nails, today’s teenagers are embarking on gruelling grooming regimes that would make even Paris Hilton look unkempt. That’s according to salons across the country which have reported a spike in the number of under-18s seeking grown-up treatments such as Brazilian waxing, laser hair removal, teeth whitening and even botox. It used to be boys, booze and cigarettes that kept the parents of teenage girls on their guard. Now it’s hardcore beautification that’s giving the mums and dads of school-going daughters sleepless nights. It’s no longer just mum who’s booking in for a Brazilian –—the barely-there bikini wax made famous by shows like Sex and the City, says beautician Elaine Butler Doolin of TV3’s Celebrity Salon. “Recently we had a group of students from a local private girls’ school book in for Brazilians,” says Elaine, who runs Bespoke Beauty in Donnybrook, Dublin 4. “At the time, we didn’t know that most of them were only about 15. But one of their mums overheard them talking about how they were getting it done for their Junior Cert results night and called us. “I phoned one of the girls to say that we would require passport ID before we would do the treatment — suffice to say, she cancelled. And within the next half hour, all of her friends had cancelled too.” Under European Law, under-16s are prohibited from getting such painful and costly treatments without the consent of a parent or guardian. But that hasn’t stopped image-conscious teens here from chancing their arm — and increasingly, salons are being forced to police the age of prospective clients. “We have seen the age of girls looking for intimate waxing getting younger and younger,” says Elaine. “The youngest girl I have done leg waxing on was 11 years old, with her mum present. Teens and pre-teens are developing much faster these days and unruly body hair is seen as embarrassing. Being a teenager is difficult enough without being bullied over being too hairy. “I have no problem with teenagers having a basic bikini wax [anything outside the line of their swimsuit] — but I doubt those Junior Certs were getting Brazilians for swimming class.” Popularised by the J Sisters in New York, the infamous Brazilian wax leaves just a ‘landing strip’ of pubic hair — and as such, is a look commonly associated with skimpy undies or none at all. The idea of their little angel sporting a trend synonymous with porn stars has mums on popular parenting forum Mumstown.ie stretching for the chastity belt. “The first thing that would spring to mind is that my daughter is having sex,” says one worried mum of the eye-watering hair-removal treatment. “Why else would they go through the pain of having such a sensitive part of their body waxed? If my daughter asks for anything like this, I’m

Feelgood

TEEN IDOL: American actress and pop singer Miley Cyrus is one of the most popular idols of the pre-teen and teen market. Picture: Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage

seriously investing in a chastity belt!” “Noughties teenagers are seriously high maintenance,” adds another mum. “Just look at Cher on The X Factor — the hair extentions, make-up, nails, tan.” From squeaky-clean convent girls to WAG-wannabes in the space of one generation, teen girls are getting older younger, agrees Owen Connolly of Counsellor.ie. “As a society, we are developing faster — physically and emotionally — than ever before,” says child development expert Connolly, co-author of Parenting for the Millenium. “The fashion and beauty industries are pumping out products and services aimed at the young. This generation of teenagers has been the most pampered ever, so we’re left with a whole slew of young girls who want to look and dress like pop stars and WAGs. “Spoiling our children during the Celtic Tiger years is now coming back to bite us — teenagers now see ‘wants’ as more important than ‘needs’. “But we can’t just blame the media,” he adds of the Miley Cyrus effect taking hold in school yards throughout Ireland. “When you have parents getting fake tan and pedicures done on their child for their First Communion, it’s no wonder that girls no longer want to leave the house without being done up.” Staring coquettishly over one shoulder with the make-up and attire of a 20-something on the town, the online photo gallery of entrants into the controversial Teen Queen UK contest is telling of the times. Last year, the beauty pageant for 13-19 year olds — which has just taken its mini-model hunt to these shores — was blasted as a ‘perverts’ shop window’ after posting the bust measurements of finalists on their profile. Despite moral outrage over the increasing sexualisation of young girls, Connolly urges parents here not to panic. “Whether they’re four or 14, all girls will want to emulate their favourite pop star,” he says. “It doesn’t mean they’re doing so with any sexual understanding. They’re simply thinking: ‘They are beautiful and I want to be beautiful too’ — it’s the adults who use the phrase ‘sexy’.” Gone are the days when acne was practically a rite of passage, says Louise Kehoe of Beautiful U. “Most parents are supportive of non-invasive treatments that can boost a teenagers self-esteem and prevent bullying,” she says. “It’s common for boys aged 13-18 to have facial treatments

to treat conditions like acne.” “Teenagers are more aware of treatments now due to shows like America’s Next Top Model. “In the past, waxing, tanning, facials and nails were something a teenager might get done for a special occasion. Now I have teenage clients who get these done monthly or more regularly. “I’ve even had to refuse parents wanting to get their three year-old’s ears pierced. My policy is that the child must be old enough to understand the treatment.” It’s not just topical treatments that are proving popular with super-preened teens though. They’re also turning to laser technology for hair-free bodies and Hollywood smiles. “I get a few teenagers coming to the clinic each week looking for laser teeth whitening,” says Addis Arshak of BriteSmile, Dublin, which operates a strict over-18s policy. “Although there’s no health risk, I prefer to err on the side of caution. I only make an exception for teenagers with severe staining with parental consent.” In the belly of a recession other practitioners may not be so conscientious. When Glee star Charice Pempengco, 18, admitted she’d had botox to ‘look fresh on camera’, it sparked fears of copycat face-freezing among teens. “In Ireland, the cosmetic market is unregulated and that’s a huge worry,” says Dr Rizwana Khan of the Hermitage Clinic, Dublin. “There are some instances when Botox and fillers can be given to underage clients for medical reasons, but we’ve also had to point-blank refuse others. Parental consent is an absolute.” That’s not a problem for some nip/tuck teens. “I know of cases of dads paying for breast implants for their 16 or 17 year-old daughters, which is even more worrying,” says family therapist Owen Connolly. For the majority of parents, however, preserving their child’s youth is top priority these days. “With the technology available to teens nowadays, parents have to be extra vigilant,” warns Siobhan O’Neill White of Mumstown.ie, who has two daughters. “Teenage girls will always push boundaries. We have to find a way to strike a balance between allowing them to express themselves and letting children be children.” “I’m sure every parent would love to lock their child away from outside influences,” adds Connolly. “But while children may be presenting a lot more like adults, evolution simply doesn’t allow us to move that fast. “There are stages of development that everyone has to go through and regardless of appearances, we don’t reach true maturity until our 20s.”

This generation of teenagers has been the most pampered ever, so we’re left with a whole slew of young girls who want to look and dress like pop stars and WAGs FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010

I MODEL MYSELF ON CHERYL COYLE

MAKING SHAPES: Teenager Charlene Breen, pictured right, models herself on glamorous celebrity, 27-year-old Cheryl Cole and says adults read too much into young people’s interest in beauty treatments. Picture:Photo by Niki Nikolova/FilmMagic

Feelgood

Get fit for autumn: Week 6

RIGHT BALANCE: Edel O’Sullivan who has three weeks to go to her wedding on track for fitness with trainer Gillian O’Sullivan.

Picture: Mary Browne

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EAVING Cert student Charlene Breen from Enniscorthy, Wexford reckons it’s grown-ups who are becoming more cynical — not teenagers less innocent. The well-groomed 17-year-old has been going for beauty treatments, including intimate waxing, spray tan and acrylic nails at local salon Beautiful U since she was 14. “Some people think if you’re getting bikini waxing done you must be getting up to something,” says Charlene. “But for me it’s about looking well and feeling right about myself. “Practically everyone in my year wears fake tan and a few of my friends get waxing done as well. On special occasions I’d get the whole lot done — waxing, nails, tan,

hair and make-up. “It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting up to anything,” adds Charlene, who models herself on 27-year-old Cheryl Cole. “Adults read into it too much.” Mum Veronica fully supports — and subsidises — her daughter’s monthly salon visits. “Charlene does ballroom dancing, so that’s why she started going to the beautician so young,” she explains. “During the summer, she pays for it herself — otherwise I pay for it. “Girls now are definitely maturing a lot earlier than we did — Charlene looks older than she is. I’ve no problem with her getting treatments done, but I would draw the line at cometic surgery.”

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010

WHEN you take your first running steps you must have a target within your sights. At the start of her eight-week schedule with personal trainer Gillian O’Sullivan, one of Edel’s aims was to run 20 minutes without stopping, and the great news this week is that goal has been reached. While it was challenging at times, Edel remained totally focused and motivated throughout, and she is “absolutely thrilled”, adding the effort has definitely been worthwhile. She also has a word for all endeavouring athletes out there. “I never thought I would be able to do it,” she says. “I hadn’t ran for years, so it is great to know that if you put in the practice you can do it.” Her biggest fan is her young son Matthew who is now partial to the odd bit of exercise himself. When the four-year-old sees mum and dad doing their drills he gets down on the floor and does his own stretches and exercises. He also pretends he is doing triathlons (Brian is training for the Barcelona triathlon). Edel is delighted to see Matthew is benefiting too and is now enjoying his own routine. She says it all comes from seeing them train With just over three weeks to go to the wedding, trying to fit in training can be challenging, but she is getting there. ■ www.gillianosullivan.ie — Therese O’Callaghan

For exercise routines with Gillian O’Sullivan, visit: irishexaminer.com/feelgood/autumnworkout


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6 New perspective

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Pharmacy gives behind-the-scenes expertise, reports Helen O’Callaghan

Timely intervention F

OUR out of five Irish people presenting to GPs have a chronic condition, anything from asthma to Alzheimer’s, heart disease to hypertension, obesity to diabetes. And the number is set to rise, with the estimated doubling of the elderly population over the next 30 years (25% of the population will be aged over 65 in 2041 compared with 11% today). According to a recent SLAN survey, 90% of over-40s have at least one risk factor for chronic (long-term, not curable but treatable) illness. So it’s timely that a new health management service is being rolled out nationwide in independent pharmacies. The brainchild of husband-and-wife team Garvan — a pharmacist — and Sheena Lynch, Intervene allows patients visit a clinic for in-depth education on their condition or attend a regular treatment programme, both of which take place in their local pharmacist’s private consultation room. With the latest Irish Medicines Board survey confirming that one in four people now uses the internet to research an illness or drug treatment, Sheena Lynch says Intervene – which has been running at Lynch’s Pharmacy in the Cork suburb of Douglas for the past two years — is about “putting in people’s hands the information they need to manage their condition”. “In an information age, it’s ironic that people can easily get lost in information. They end up on spurious websites or they find themselves in an area of a website that’s detailing the last stages of a disease. This can be very frightening when a diagnosis has only just been made. Most chronic conditions are on a sliding scale through mild, moderate and severe, yet the scary information’s very readily available,” says Ms Lynch, citing the case of an Intervene client, one of whose parents had just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. “She happened across a website that detailed the symptoms of severe Alzheimer’s — psychosis, aggression, how a person dies. She was very distressed. Through Intervene, we dealt with the issues she’d face in the short and medium-term, which put her mind more at ease.” More than 20 independent pharmacists have signed up to Intervene, with a further 70 nationwide looking to join the group. An Intervene health management clinic runs for 30 minutes and costs F45. It covers: ■ comprehensive overview/explanation of condition, anything from asthma to arthritis or irregular heartbeat to Parkinson’s disease ■ information on every clinically-proven treatment option, ranging from drugs, supplements, diet and exercise to music/art therapy and alternative therapies, provided their effectiveness is backed up by sound science ■ how to live with the condition. “Clinics are very practical,” says Ms Lynch. “A chronic condition can’t be cured but it can be managed — so a patient with arthritis will be given specific exercises to reduce pain and increase mobility, as well as nutrition/recipe plans and stress management techniques. We tell them about gadgets that make life easier — scissors that will allow them cut or a device to turn the tap more easily, if they’ve got arthritis in their hands. Intervene’s customised six-week pro-

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I’m trying to lose weight

Picture: Getty Images

grammes (about five hours) cost F245. “People mostly come for weight loss, cholesterol and diabetes management. Intervene is like a health coach. The diabetes programme, for example, monitors patient condition, advises on nutrition, lifestyle changes and exercise activities. It explains the drugs the patient’s using and how these help. Clients are given a log-in to a section of www.intervene.ie with a password specific to information relating to diabetes. “Time-poor GPs will have a resource to manage conditions and Intervene clinics will lead to GP-referrals. Also, GPs haven’t really,

up to now, been able to prescribe alternative remedies. Now they’ll be reassured that alternative remedies available through Intervene have sound science behind them,” says Ms Lynch, who cites sage and Omega 3 fish oils as helpful in treating Alzheimer’s and herbs such as boswellia and choline as beneficial for emphysema patients. “Chronic conditions are bombs that drop into people’s lives,” she says. “Intervene aims to give control back to the patient.” ● Visit www.intervene.ie to find an independent pharmacist offering Intervene.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010

CORK woman Helen Walsh, 47, is a stay-at-home mum. She and husband Kevin have an eight-year-old son, Tomás. Helen has participated in Intervene for the past year. “I’ve been dieting since I was 16. I was never a thin girl. I did Weight Watchers, Unislim — the lot. I’d lose weight initially — then it’d all pile on again. “I have insulin-dependent diabetes. I also have coeliac disease. With two conditions like that it’s very difficult to lose weight. Being overweight and having diabetes, I found it hard to reduce my food intake without doing harm. When I was concentrating hard on losing weight, my diabetes suffered. To lose weight I have to do it while being mindful of everything else, such as the medications I’m on. “I went to Intervene because I wanted to lose weight without it having a negative impact on the diabetes or the coeliac disease. I go every week for 40 minutes. At Intervene, I feel they know about my two conditions, RIGHT CHOICE: Helen about the medicines I’m Walsh wanted to lose weight but was taking and the effects of concerned it might have a negative impact on those — her diabetes and they’ve got an all-round coeliac disease. Picture: picture. In Denis Minihane other weight-loss programmes, you say you have these chronic conditions and they’re sympathetic, but they don’t know the implications. “I wasn’t doing a lot of exercise before Intervene, but they gave me low-impact exercises to help start me off. I walk 30 minutes a day. There’s no pressure to lose two pounds this week, four pounds next — it’s what feels comfortable for me. I was never an adventurous eater, but I’ve now got a lot of new recipes — chicken and cashew stir fry, orange and fennel salad. I eat more vegetables now. My diet’s more varied. “Between September 2009 and May 2010, I lost two stone five pounds. Then I found I had an under-active thyroid so the weight started to pile on again. Now I’m on medication for that. I’m still trying to get the balance right.”


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Psychology Over-eating and under-eating are both cries for attention and nurturance

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Design your body in time for Christmas New Mum Nicole who has a 7-month old son “Hypoxi Treatments are gentle and they require minimal effort. I found that my energy levels had actually increased greatly. I was presently surprised by my results, after only 8 sessions I was back to my pre-baby Jeans. After 6 weeks I had lost 2 dress sizes and 12.1 inches. Thank you, Hypoxi.”

New Mum? Our Gift to you this Christmas

6 WEEKS FOR THE PRICE OF 4 Offer valid until 10/11/10

HYPOXI Centre Cork, Corner House, Village Green, Douglas West. T: 021-4368535 E: info@hypoxicentrecork.com www.hypoxicentrecork.com

Tony Humphreys

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EOPLE who over-eat or under-eat always know why, but they ‘know’ at an unconscious level, because to live with the consciousness of the threats experienced (and the threats are likely ongoing) would be unbearable. We know that these people are in deep distress for the following reasons: ■ The protective responses created accurately mirror inner realities. ■ The protective responses created accurately mirror outer realities. ■ The protective responses provide powerful substitutes for what is missing in their lives. As regards the first reason, when a person eats when she is not hungry or does not eat when she is hungry, she is projecting outwards a deep lack of inner nurturance. In her over-eating, she attempts to fill the void within with the substitute of food. In her under-eating, she draws attention to the famine of inner love, and, thereby, gains substitute attention. In each response, what is created are powerful ways of spelling out the inner, loveless reality for those who have the eyes to see, the ears to hear and the heart to feel. Until the person finds somebody who reads her eating behaviours accurately, she will cling tooth and nail to her protective responses. The outer realities of the person’s life are also mirrored in her creative responses, because in both the over-eating and the under-eating, she ingeniously manifests the starvation of love she is experiencing in her relationships with the significant others in her life — parents or relatives or peers, or some or all of these individuals. If the source of her not eating when she is hungry is due to her rejection of her body and the compulsion to get to the ‘perfect’ weight, how then is her not eating reflecting a lack of loving? Sadly, female and male children encounter many derogatory messages about their bodies from a significant other, but there is a lack of loving present in the criticism — a conditional relating — ‘if you only had the perfect body’ or ‘if you had less weight’ or ‘if you only looked more like your sister’. Ultimately, all human problems can be traced to a lack of loving, but the target of the rejection experienced may be the body, intelligence, specific behaviours, educational endeavours, sexual expression, creativity or spirituality, or some combination of these human expressions. Too often, we underestimate the effects on a child’s wellbeing when her person is confused frequently with specific expressions of self. Whatever the source, it will manifest itself in some way or other in protective responses. For example, some female children who have been sexually violated may starve themselves so that they do not develop an adult body. The intention here is not to attract sexual attention — that would be far too threatening. The love and trust that is lost when a child is sexually violated is overwhelmingly traumatic and the frequency, intensity and duration of these neglects add enormously to that trauma. Children and adults alike will do anything to not to be re-traumatised, but in a world where they have not been safeguarded, their responses necessarily have to be of a protective nature. To speak the truth would be highly dangerous.

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EMPTY FEELING: Bingeing is often an attempt to fill the inner void with food. Picture: Getty Images

The outer realities revealed are the ones that had to be internalised, so that the outer relationship with, say, a parent who has been highly critical of your body, becomes the inner rejection of your own body. The intelligence of this internalisation is often missed but, if, for instance, a father says to his teenage daughter “Who’d ever fancy you?” then for that daughter to assert “I’m happy with how I look” would mean risking further ridicule — for example, “you must be blind as well as ugly.” Furthermore, for the daughter to bring to consciousness that what her father says is totally about himself, would also be extremely risky — even life-threatening. No, she will wisely personalise what her father says, until such time that she finds the unconditional love she deserves and it is this that will help her gradually separate out from her father’s unloving projections of his own, dark interiority. The third reason for knowing that the person who over-eats or under-eats knows, is the creativity of the protective responses to temporarily ease the pain, fill the void and reduce the emotional and other threats. The individual who over-eats fills the void with food (metaphorically representing ‘nurturance’) and the person who starves herself to the point that her bones are protruding through her now very thin flesh, draws attention, alarm, fretting and concern from others. However, despite all the attention, no change occurs because the attention is of a substitute nature and not for her unique and sacred presence. Nevertheless, substitute attention is better than no attention at all and she knows that all so well. Health care professionals and caring friends and relatives can be tremendously helpful when they view the person who is either over or under-eating as the expert. Any attempt to control or to provide advice, and, even worse, admonish, is always counterproductive. Dr Tony Humphreys is a clinical psychologist, author and international and national speaker. His book The Compassionate Intentions of Illness is relevant to today’s topic.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010

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Cover story 8 xxxxxxxx

Success xxxxxxxx story

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While celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Kylie Minogue use Botox, Helen O’Callaghan says the beauty product, manufactured in Mayo, has a wider popularity

MADE N IRELAND

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N a clear day, you can see Clew Bay and Croagh Patrick from the top floors of a glass-fronted factory in Co Mayo. The beauty of the landscape is ageless, requiring no enhancement at all. Which is why it’s no small irony that one of two immaculate-looking plants at Allergan Pharmaceuticals Ireland — located just outside Westport, on the Castlebar road — produces the world’s supply of Botox, the beauty product that defies time and gravity and is claimed as a godsend by millions in pursuit of pucker-free brows and flawless complexions. Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell has used Botox . Kylie Minogue has tried it, as has Jennifer Aniston, while Courteney Cox has admitted to using it sparingly. But the Botox fan base is no longer restricted to celebrities. Kambiz Golchin, a consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon and a facial plastic surgeon based at Dublin’s Beacon Hospital, says his first Botox patient in 2006 was a Dublin street fruit-seller. “I’ve got clients ranging from athletes to postmen to shop-keepers. It’s popular and affordable.” To put the popularity of Botox in the kind of economic terms favoured by business boardrooms, worldwide sales of the wrinkle-smoothing product stood at F1.2b in 2009. And — though we’re in the midst of recession — Allergan this year (quarter two, 2010) reported 7% earnings growth for the cosmetic aid that’s produced by men and women from the likes of Westport and Castlebar, Louisburgh and Tourmakeady at the tree-secluded factory located on a 30-acre campus in West Mayo. Once people start getting injections of Botox into specific facial muscles, so as to temporarily paralyse them — banishing for a while frown lines and crow’s feet — there’s no going back, says Allergan corporate communications manager Janet Kettels. “Botox taps into that mega-trend of people wanting to look and feel their best. The effect is to make them look less tired and stressed. The biggest impact of the recession on Botox was at the end of 2008. People started to spend longer times between top-ups, returning for treatment every five or six months instead of every four. Once people see a cosmetic effect, they don’t want to stop using it.” But Botox isn’t just about a pretty face. Medically, it’s used to alleviate symptoms in about 20 conditions. In Ireland it has been approved for therapeutic use in disorders including: ■ hemifacial spasm, a neuromuscular disorder characterised by unpredictable, involuntary twitching of facial muscles on one side of the face ■ blepharospasm — uncontrollable blinking, which can progress to functional blindness

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Sales worldwide of the wrinkle smoothing product stood at F1.2b in 2009 WORK FORCE: Pat O'Donnell, vice president and managing director, Allergan Pharmaceuticals says the Allergan Westport plant has the largest concentration of employees in one location, outside of corporate HQ in Irvine, California. ■ cervical dystonia, which affects the neck, making it difficult to hold the head up straight ■ foot deformities in children with cerebral palsy ■ post-stroke spasticity (clenching/twisting of hands/feet) ■ excessive sweating. Currently, Botox revenues are split 50/50 between cosmetic and therapeutic uses, but this may be set to change with what Kettels calls the product’s “robust pipeline”. The majority of Allergan Pharmaceuticals Ireland’s (its parent company is US-based Allergan Inc) 800 employees work in the sterile pharmaceutical ophthalmic plant at the Westport site. Two hundred work in the biologics plant, where Botox is made. “The manufacturing plant in Westport is the largest Allergan Inc has worldwide. It also has the largest concentration of employees in one location, outside of corporate HQ in Irvine, California,” says Allergan Pharmaceuticals Ireland managing director Pat O’Donnell. The good news for the one in four employees, who work at the Botox end of things, is that the product has been authorised for migraine patients in both the US and in Britain. “We’re talking about chronic migraine, which means 15 headache days a month, of which at least eight have a migraine element. Chronic migraine affects about 2% of the population, not enormous numbers, but a population very debilitated by the condition, which needs a new medication,” says Kettels. Allergan is currently working with Irish

regulators around applying for a licence for the use of Botox in migraine patients here. Typically, patients receive 33 to 39 small injections of Botox into specific locations in the forehead and side of head. Treatment effects last for around three months. Botox is also being investigated as a treatment for overactive bladder in patients with multiple sclerosis and/or spinal cord injuries. Once called ‘the most poisonous poison on the planet’, the bacterium clostridium botulinum, from which Botox derives, was first identified in the 1890s. Highly potent, it can cause botulism, a rare but serious paralytic illness. The first medical application for Botox came in 1989 — to fix crossed eyes and uncontrollable blinking (blepharospasm). The realisation that Botox had potential as a beauty treatment came in the 1990s, when a Canadian ophthalmologist noticed her blepharospasm patients were beginning to lose their frown lines. Today, cosmetic use of the product has soared — this year, five million people in the US are estimated to have used Botox for beauty reasons. Dr Patrick Treacy, medical director at Dublin’s Ailesbury Clinic, describes the bo-

tulinum neurotoxin as “elegant and specific” and cites the cosmetic uses to which its derivative, Botox (and the British variety Dysport) can be put. “They’re used in the upper face to treat frown lines and crow’s feet. Increasingly, both are used with other facial rejuvenation procedures, such as facelifts and eyelid surgeries. Botox is also used to diminish vertical ‘lipstick’ lines and smile creases.” Kambiz Golchin, who trains doctors on how to inject Botox, says the product can be used to get rid of most facial lines. “I use it around the neck to improve the jaw-line and around the mouth to improve the smile. It can be used to re-shape and contour the face. Ten years ago, it wouldn’t have been used as much on the lower part of the face. “I also use it before and after other cosmetic procedures. If Botox is used in advance of laser resurfacing — a procedure to help tighten the skin and improve texture and tone — you get a much better result. If it’s used after a facelift or eyelid surgery the result’s maintained for longer.” Frozen-faced celebs and poker faces represent the scary ‘when-Botox -goes-wrong’ side of the story, but Dr Treacy says side effects are “uncommon, generally mild and generally transient”. They include nausea, fatigue, flu-like symptoms and rashes in areas distant from the injection site. “The needle can cause bruising, pain,

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010

redness, headache and local numbness. The most common bothersome side effect is unwanted weakness in a muscle, which generally resolves in a few weeks.” He also points to anecdotal suspicions among patients that the effect of Botox’s British counterpart, Dysport, lasts six months compared to Botox’s four months. “Various clinical studies have shown no difference between the two. However, my own experience would tend to favour the patients’ anecdotal beliefs,” says Treacy. Since Botox came to Westport in 1993 (Allergan Pharmaceuticals Ireland was established here in 1977), almost 26 million vials have been distributed globally. “In the early ’90s, people hadn’t really heard of Botox. Now they use it as a verb — ‘I’ve been Botoxed’,” says Pat O’Donnell. The MD is vague about the type of work done by the employees (average age, 40, evenly split between men and women, generally parents of young families), who are involved in producing the wrinkle-smoothing wonder. “The manufacturing process is commercially sensitive. If you know the product, you know it’s filled into glass vials.” That this globally sought after elixir of youth is produced in a far flung corner of Ireland is a wonderful success story. But there is also a practical and problematic reality, defined by the North-West region’s relative remoteness. Allergan Pharmaceuticals Ireland — along with other companies represented by the Mayo Industry Group — is campaigning for an upgrade of the N5, which links Co Mayo through Roscommon and Longford and on to Dublin. “We don’t have a large bulky product like some other companies,” says O’Donnell. “The issue for us is the remoteness and perceived lack of access. If an Allergan colleague flies in from LA, by the time he gets to Dublin he has flown 11 hours. He then has to travel to Westport. The road to Longford is okay, but by the time he gets to Westport he feels he’s at the end of the world.”

IRISH LINE: (from left), Jennifer Aniston, Kylie Minogue and Courteney Cox are just three of the many celebrities who use Irish produced Botox as a beauty aid. Picture: PA and Getty Images

REAL UPLIFT: Anne McGrath, who has dystonia is helped by botox injections. Picture:Billy Higgins

I would be in dreadful discomfort but for Botox

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ATHFARNHAM-based Anne McGrath, a 58-year-old retired Bank of Ireland worker, has suffered from spasmodic torticollis (cervical dystonia) for 10 years. “I’d had the flu and I had very bad head and neck pain. I noticed when I was walking that my head was pulling to the left. It was very distressing. Try as I could, I’d lost control of my neck, of my ability to look straight ahead. “I couldn’t figure it out and wondered if I was imagining it. Fortunately, my GP realised straightaway what it was. She sent me to a neurologist. Even when I saw him, I was in denial. I kept thinking it would go away. “Instead it got worse. Having a muscle spasming the whole time, sending your neck and head in one direction, affects your whole body posture. Your body goes into a twist to compensate for the neck being crooked. “It’s a very embarrassing condition. In the beginning, I used to feel I couldn’t go out. I felt people were staring at me, wondering why I couldn’t look straight ahead. “Every three months, I get four injections of Botox. They can only inject into muscles that are plumpish so they inject different places different times. How good the effect is can vary from one treatment to another. “I would be in dreadful discomfort but for the Botox treatment. It makes my life as normal as it can be.” * Visit www.dystonia.ie.

Medical therapy

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LOSTRIDIUM botulinum, from which Botox is derived, was once considered for use in bacteriological warfare. Today, Botox is a medical therapy used in treating 20 difficult conditions. “It’s most commonly used in neurological problems, but it can be used beyond that,” says Professor Michael Hutchinson, who is consultant neurologist at St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, where 300 patients are treated with Botox. “We’ve been using Botox since 1988 for dystonia, a group of movement disorders that are due to disturbance in the functioning of the basal ganglia area of the brain.” Dystonia can manifest in different ways including spasmodic torticollis (twisting of the neck that causes the head to be turned abnormally to the right or left), uncontrolled blinking (blepharospasm), writer’s cramp, and a spasmodic dysphonia, which hoarsens the voice. Treatment with Botox injections sees the substance rapidly taken up into nerve terminals that supply the muscles. Botox blocks the nerve’s ability to produce a particular chemical, so the nerve terminal degenerates. Treatment takes about a week to have effect and the benefit lasts three months, at which stage the therapy must be repeated. “Botox is the best treatment for these conditions. There are oral medications, but they have side effects. One drug, for example, can cause dry mouth, constipation, nausea and problems with concentration. Oral medications bring a 20-30% improvement in the condition, whereas Botox brings a 70-80% improvement. And Botox has very few side effects. If the injection goes into the wrong muscle, it can cause unwanted weakness. Rarely, it can cause difficulty swallowing when injected into neck muscles.” Botox is not without disadvantages and limitations. It’s expensive. One ampoule (100 units) costs F180. (A patient with spasmodic torticollis would need 200 units, a patient with blepharospasm 30 to 40). Treatment has to be repeated. And — while it’s also used in spasticity due to stroke and in multiple sclerosis — Professor Hutchinson uses it in only a small percentage of such patients. “If more than two or three muscles are affected, Botox isn’t useful. In order to control spasticity, you need big doses, thereby risking side effects.”

WIDER APPEAL: Prof Michael Hutchinson, consultant neurologist at St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, says Botox is most commonly used in neurological problems. Picture:BILLY HIGGINS STAFF


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10 Medical matters

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Dr Niamh Houston

FAMILY

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Dr Niamh Houston is a GP with a special interest in integrative medicine. If you have a question about your child’s health email it to feelgood@examiner.ie or send a letter to Feelgood Irish Examiner City Quarter Lapps Quay Cork

SHOULD I get the flu vaccine? This is my first pregnancy and my baby is not due until next February. I caught the ‘flu last year and it wiped me out for a few weeks. Will the vaccine protect me and are there any risks to my baby?

A. As you get older most women notice that maintaining their usual weight becomes more difficult. In fact, the most marked weight gain in a woman’s life tends to happen during the years leading up to menopause. The hormonal changes of menopause may make you more likely to gain weight around your abdomen, rather than your hips and thighs. But these hormonal changes alone aren’t to blame for weight gain after the A. While catching the flu menopause. Instead the weight gain is during pregnancy rarely causes due to a combination of lifestyle and birth defects, pregnancy can ingenetic factors. Muscle mass naturally crease your risk for flu complireduces with age. If you don’t do anycations such as pneumonia. thing to replace the lean muscle you Studies show that viral illnesses lose, your body composition will natlike flu and colds usually last urally shift to more fat and less muscle three times longer in pregnant — which slows down the rate at women. Flu is a serious health which you burn calories. risk for everyone, but is even For some women, genetic factors more serious for groups such as play a role in weight gain after pregnant women as they do not menopause. If your parents or close have the same ability to fight off relatives carry extra weight around the the virus that could potentially abdomen, you’re likely to do the cause complications in the same. But this does not mean you pregnancy. cannot prevent weight gain or reverse Pregnant women are more it after the menopause. In fact not dolikely to be hospitalised for ing something to lose the excess complications of the flu — esweight will have serious implications pecially in their third trimester. for your health. Excess weight inAs the flu vaccine is not recomcreases the risk of high cholesterol, mended for infants under six high blood pressure and diabetes. In months it is especially importurn, these conditions increase the tant that mums-to-be get imrisk of heart disease and stroke. Excess munised to help reduce the risk weight also increases the risk of variof their babies developing comous type of cancers, including colon plications due the flu. Getting caner and breast cancer. Research vaccinated during pregnancy suggests that gaining as little as 4.4lbs offers your baby some protecpounds (2kg) at age 50 or later could tions after birth. increase the risk of breast cancer by Flu season can begin as early 30%. as October and last as late as There’s no magic formula for preMay. October or November is venting weight gain after menopause. the best time to get vaccinated, You can control your weight by simbut getting vaccinated later is ply sticking to the following exercise still wise. The flu vaccine does and food basics. Move more. Any FLU DANGER: Flu can be a serious health hazard to a pregnant aerobic activity will help you shed not contain the live virus and woman. Picture: Getty Images excess pounds or simply maintain a cannot give you the flu, but it takes about two weeks to work. healthy weight. As a general goal, Even if you’ve been vaccinated in previous include at least 30 minutes of physical activyears different strains of flu come round ity (such as a brisk walk) in your daily rouevery year and the vaccine changes annually. contaminated surface and then touch your tine with strength training exercises at least eyes, nose or mouth. Some women develop fatigue and muscle twice a week. Always see your doctor if you have trouaches due their immune system responding Eat less. You need about 200 calories less ble breathing or if flu-like symptoms don’t to the vaccine. It is also safe to get this a day during your 50s than you did during vaccine while breastfeeding. If you are con- improve or get worse after three to four your 30s and 40s. To reduce calories withdays, or if after feeling a little better, you cerned about vaccine preservatives, explore out skimping on nutrition, pay careful attendevelop high temperature, rigors, chest pain, tion to what you’re eating and drinking. thiomersal-free options. nausea or vomiting. To prevent the flu during pregnancy, get Don’t skip meals, this can lead you to the flu vaccine. Do not use the nasal spray overeat later. Include more fruits, vegetables Q. I’ve never had excess weight but reflu vaccine — “Flu Mist”. and whole grains and lean protein. cently I’ve started to pile on the pounds. To reduce the risk of contacting flu durSuccessful weight loss at any stage of life ing pregnancy; wash your hands often, avoid I’m 51 years old. Is it due to a change in requires permanent changes in diet and my hormones and how can I stop the crowds and close contact with people who exercise habits. Commit to the changes and middle-age spread? And how risky is have a cold. you’ll be guaranteed to enjoy a healthier Germs are often spread when you touch a weight gain after the menopause anyway? you.

NOTE: The information contained in Dr Houston’s column is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a doctor first

I

Catherine Shanahan MUM’S WORLD Feelgood

F guilt is the price we pay willingly for what we are going to do anyway, I am paying in spades for an upcoming turn in the sun. It is that rare breed of trip, off-limits to kids, where adults can sunbathe and swim without recourse to life-saving skills and where a book bought at the airport has a healthy chance of being read. It is a journey to four-star glory where sunshine is sure as taxes, buggies are for sand dunes or golf courses and where bedtime battles are nothing more than a clash between willpower and one final drink. This five-day foray into the country of kasbah and souk is exclusive to a group where reason is reasonably well developed and conversation is not in a loop. It is unlikely anyone will ask “Where is my Ninky Nonk?” or “Who stole the Pinky Ponk?” or that I will wake to a

blue-eyed assassin training a toy pistol on my face. There will be no barging into my bedroom because those who approach will be old enough to know what is meant by “Do Not Disturb”. I will not have to jump from the shower half-rinsed to referee a barney or stop someone being lynched, suds soaking into the carpet. I will breakfast and dress without bustle or fuss, taste what I sip, eat my own toast, and enjoy hot food while it’s hot. Nights will meet the requirement of sleep, undisturbed by the two-year-old’s cutting of teeth and her thrashings in search of her blankie. Or I can stay up ‘til dawn and then go to bed in the knowledge that no-one needs to be fed before midday. Or I can shop ‘til I drop with no-one to shout “Stop!” and that is surely

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010

worth something. My only dilemma will be what to wear and whether the sun is drying out my hair and if pool boy can top up my factor. And yet I am beset by misgivings galore — the guilt I am feeling is hard to ignore. What kind of mother leaves her children behind with no-one but daddy to keep them alive? Five days is a lifetime if someone gets sick and I am not at their side. Or what if an ash cloud keeps me at bay or air traffic controllers strike for more pay or somehow the sky falls in…. Or what if I go and have a wild time, what child will remember in 20 years time that their mother went off on a skite? At the end of the day there’s no place like home but it’s easier to appreciate when you’ve been gone. So here’s to clear skies, warm days and long nights and forgetting any regrets.


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New experience 11

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Hazel Gaynor shares her midterm musings after her son’s first school days

Learning lessons

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CAN’T believe my son’s first midterm break is over and Christmas is firmly on the horizon. But although these early school days have gone quickly, Max has learnt so much already — and so have I. Lesson 1: The first rule of school is: don’t talk about school. Any attempts to talk about the school day, especially straight after school, will be greeted with total silence, or at best, “Erm, I can’t remember”. Really, you can’t remember — even though we’re just driving out of the school gate? More subtle questioning tactics over a drink and a snack at home may produce some small nuggets of information, but you’d still have to be Sherlock Holmes to put all the pieces together and draw any firm conclusions. So, I remain mostly unaware of what my child is doing at school — which is probably just as well. Lesson 2: Packed lunches are a lottery Don’t expect all of the packed lunch you lovingly crafted, bleary-eyed, at 6am to be eaten (see lesson 3 below). “I didn’t have time”, the child wails. Funny how he always find time to eat the yoghurt and cheese. Explaining to your child that the sandwich is the ‘main course’ may, or may not, help in this matter. Lesson 3: Raw vegetables will come back We all understand the healthy eating policies in our schools and do our best to cram ‘five-a-day’ into the small plastic container with Buzz Lightyear on the front, but as sure as eggs are eggs, the carrot sticks, tomatoes and cucumber will come back uneaten. Lesson 4: Get to know the other parents at the school gate You may be frazzled, looking less than your best and rushing straight off somewhere else, but make sure you take a few minutes to chat to the other mums and dads. You may, like me, discover that someone lives around the corner or knows one of your friends, or reads your blog (help!). These parents will become a vital support network as you go through the school years. Lesson 5: Do homework straight away Don’t turn the TV on. Don’t have people coming round immediately for a play date. Sit at the kitchen table and help your child with their homework while they have a drink and a snack. Once the cartoons or toy trains come out homework will not be appreciated. Lesson 6: Check the school bag every day School comes with lots of information. Most days there will be a letter about something important, something to take into school, notices about illnesses at the school. You may also find banana skins, half-empty yoghurt pots and stray grapes floating around among books and pencil cases. Lesson 7: Empty the lunch box as soon as you get home Especially on a Friday, when it is very tempting to hurl the entire school bag into a

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STARTING UP: Hazel Gaynor and her five-year-old son Max who has just started school. Picture: Billy Higgins

We all understand the healthy eating policies in schools and do our best but as sure as eggs are eggs, the carrot sticks, tomatoes and cucumber will come back uneaten corner, fully intending to sort it out later. And then Monday morning comes around and you discover a small lake of apple juice at the bottom of the bag.

takes to wake a child when it is dark outside and when the eagerness of the first few weeks has well and truly worn off. Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier.

principal Smile at them both at every opportunity. You never know when you might need them to smile back.

Lesson 8: Get a big kitchen calendar You will need plenty of places to record all the holiday dates, early closure dates, birthday parties, things to bring in on certain days, PE day, play dates etc. Failing that, consider hiring a secretary.

Lesson 10: Mornings are stressful No matter how organised you think you are, the mornings will be frantic. By the time you’ve got yourself and the children to the school gate, you’ll feel like you’ve just run a marathon and look like you’ve just emerged from a week in the wilderness.

Lesson 12: School + Boys + Trousers = Holes My son has an uncanny ability to wear holes in his trouser knees by just looking at them. If your child is an exception to this rule, please, please, tell me your secret.

Lesson 9: Waking up is hard to do Never underestimate the amount of time it

Lesson 11: Get to know the teacher and

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010

■ Hazel’s blog is: www.hotcrossmum.blogspot.com


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12 Food survey

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OODLES OF NOODLES E

ATEN by millions of people around the world every day, from breakfast to dinner, noodles are an easy carbohydrate to cook. Even those you plop into boiling water, to cook the traditional way, are easy and don’t take much longer than pot-style noodles, which need to be left sitting in simmering water for four to five minutes and stirred during the process. The most convenient of all are the fresh, straight-to-wok varieties, which are not dried, but are kept moist in vacuum-sealed packs. Most noodles taste the same, and as a rough rule of thumb, it’s best to use thick noodles with heavier meats, light ones with more delicate flavours. Thin noodles are usually used in Chinese noodles soup dishes called ramen, with flavours such as chopped spring onions, bamboo shoots, and, typically, some thinly-sliced meat, such as pork steak and hard-boiled eggs added to stock. These soups make simple, quick dinners. In this case, even dried noodles can go straight into the pot. Rice noodles are the most subtle and don’t overpower fish, vegetables or chicken. Egg noodles have eggs added to the usual wheat noodles, while glass noodles are usually made from mung bean flour. Like pasta, noodles can be overcooked, so follow Amoy rice noodles straight to wok, two packs of 150g F1.97 (F13.13/kg) Made from 34% rice, with potato starch, lactic acid and barley extract. Despite the rice base, there is still some gluten in this product. Salt at 0.1g is low, sugars at 2.6 are high, but low on additives. This is a good product, which is ideal to throw into a wok or frying pan with some thinly-sliced vegetables and some leftovers for a quick, supper dish. Good for soups, even added to basic chicken stock with leftovers. Yes, it’s low on flavour but this is not a bad thing as it helps to enhance other tastes. The bad news is that they are expensive.

Roz Crowley

instructions on the pack for best results. And just as some brands of pasta deliver a soggy texture, if you find this happens, undercook and rinse the noodles in cold water, after cooking, and reheat before serving. Value-wise, a large pack of noodles is much better than a small pack of instant/pot ones. We tried a few instant/pot types searching for a good one. See our results below. We have given the kilo price for best comparison.

Blue Dragon Express fast noodles, 375g F2.32 (F6.18/kg) MADE in Thailand, so no marks for low carbon footprint, these five blocks of light noodles need two minutes in simmering water. Made from wheat flour, palm oil, a few acidity regulators and a thickener, salt (listed unhelpfully as sodium) is a high 1.5g per 100g, and while a serving of one 75g nest is enough per person, salt is still high. A 75g portion has 340 calories, about 100 more than a large baked potato. The noodles absorb flavours well and don’t stick together, even when left for a while. A good, convenient product at a fair price. Score: 6

Score: 7.5

Orient chow mein noodles, 250g, 89c, Lidl (F3.56/kg) IN a carton resembling those we see on American TV programmes being tucked into as quick-fix food, with chopsticks, it’s comforting to have a supper for 89c. The box contains two sachets, one of sauce, the other noodles, which are both emptied into the cardboard box and microwaved for four minutes. The noodles contain wheat four, water, rice bran oil, salt. Calories are fair, at 137 per 100g, but, as the flavour has no depth, I expect anyone would eat the whole 250g. This would mean eating a very high, 1.32g salt (listed it as sodium, which is 2.5 times lower). There are additives — lactic acid (E270), sodium phosphate E339, sodium carbonate (E500), and DL-Alpha-Tocopherol (E307). Score: 1

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Tesco Light Choices chicken and mushroom flavour noodles snack in a pot, 61g 95c (F15.57/kg) Boiling water is added to this plastic pot, then the lid is replaced while the noodles cook for five minutes. But the lid was so flimsy we needed to put a plate put on top to keep the steam in. Light in colour and taste, but not on price — per kilo, these work out at double some samples. Even after the water was added, the dried peas and sweetcorn were still dried out and the texturised soya protein seemed to take the place of real chicken. High sugar, at 2.5g, and 1.2g of salt along with a calorie count of 220 make it a poor, expensive-per-kilo product.

Sharwoods medium egg noodles, 375g F2.09 (F5.57/kg) Well-established as noodle manufacturers, these medium egg noodles, from Sharwoods, take just four minutes to cook in boiling water — less than pot noodles. With no artificial colouring or preservatives, the ingredients list is short with wheat flour, 5.5% egg, and a high enough salt content of 1.38g per 100g. Reliable, these noodles don’t get soggy easily and the four minutes is plenty to allow them to cook. Tasty and firm-textured, they are a good foil for strong flavours. 100g is enough for at least two people. All tasters liked these. Score: 7

Score: 1

Marks & Spencer stir fry wok egg noodles 220g F1.45 (F6.59/kg)

Pot Noodles Beef & Tomato Flavour 90g F1.29 (F14.33/kg)

McDonnells super noodles barbecue beef flavour, 100g F1.15 (F11.50/kg)

IN an attractive pouch, these noodles have a satisfyingly short list of ingredients — durum wheat semolina, pasteurised, free-range egg, sunflower oil, a low 0.18g of salt and just 115 calories per 100g serving. These can be added straight to the wok and taste and texture are quite meaty. A few vegetables would be enough to make a tasty meal. Price fair. Wrapped as one pack, not so good for single servings, but price is fair. Made in Britain. A good all-rounder.

THIS carton needs boiling water added and to be left for two minutes, stirred, and left for another two minutes with a sachet of tomato based sauce to mix in. This comes with a high 379 calories per pot and salt of 0.59g — more than half our requirement in a day. Saturated fats are high enough, at 2.1g. Eight percent tomato accounts for most of the taste and nutritional value, along with yeast extract, which gives the beefy taste. Soya pieces provide the texture of beef, but there is no sign of beef otherwise (pack says beef flavour, not beef). Peas and onion and modified starch provide some texture. Flavour enhancers, including monosodium glutamate. Expensive per kilo.

THIS pack of noodles has a sachet of sauce to be added to the saucepan once the water comes to the boil and the noodles are added, taking four minutes in all. The noodles just about manage to stay separate, even when left for half an hour. The sauce is tasty and the flavour is almost naturally beefy, but there isn’t a sign of beef on the ingredients list. Instead, a collection of added flavourings and enhancers. The noodles are made with water, wheat flour and palm oil, which itself contains the antioxidants butylated hydroxyanisole, ctric acid, propyl gallate and salt. 1.5g salt per half pack is very high. Most tasters liked these noodles best of the quick ones.

Score: 2.5

Score: 2

Score: 7.25

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Male health

Play safe with boots I

F you play a field sport, such as hurling, football, soccer, or hockey, the quality of your boots is as important as anything else you do or wear on the field. Your foot cushions your interaction with the ground. “When you put a boot on that structure, it should be in harmony with how your foot performs,” says Dr Ezio Margiotta, one of the world’s leading foot specialists. “You need to look at the geometry of the studs, at the outer surface of the boot, at how the inside interacts with the foot. The only way a person expresses themselves in football is how the foot interacts with the boot and how the boot interacts with the ground.” Getting that interaction wrong won’t prevent foot, ankle and knee injury, but it can minimise the risk of injury. That makes boot selection — and a proper training regime — vital elements of your fitness and health. “The best predictor of a new injury is an old one, so don’t get injured,” says Dr Margiotta, who is based in Switzerland, and ranks the FIFA Sports Medicine in Football Certificate among his highly regarded qualifications. “Another risk factor for injury is being un-

RIGHT BOOT: Pelé left, has been involved in partnership with Dr Margiotta in the development of new football boots, one of which is pictured here.

Deirdre O'Flynn MOSTLY MEN

der-conditioned and under trained. And the vast majority of weekend players are unprepared for rigorous training and playing.” And while, only the minority of men turn into a Robbie Keane or Kevin Doyle, it’s worth knowing that the risks of acute injury in professional football were three orders of magnitude greater than those in the construction, manufacturing and service sectors of industry, using a risk analysis and injury surveillance approach. “When I speak to parents, I ask would we accept that there be no standards around the protection and role of bicycle helmets or school shoes?” says Dr Margiotta, who has been involved, in partnership with FIFA Player of the Century, Pelé, in the development of a new style of football boot which

he claims reduces the potential for injury. “Why would we change our logic when it comes to boots? We all want to buy the best we can and we want to improve the message to the consumer that they can make informed choices when it comes to selecting boots.” Pelé Sports, a range of football boots and apparel, is a celebration of Fuetbol Bonito (beautiful football) inspired by the life of Pelé and the unique style in which he

Nutrition plays crucial role in aiding athletes

Wellbeing group to hold monthly forums

NUTRITION has an important role to play in allowing athletes to train and compete hard and to recover quickly. That’s what sports coaches, personal trainers, fitness professionals, PE teachers and health professionals were told at the National Dairy Council’s (NDC) Fitness & Health Professionals Seminar in Dublin recently. “The ability to apply the science of sports nutrition into everyday practices is important for athletes,”

THE Wellbeing Foundation has restarted its monthly open meetings in Dun Laoghaire under the new title of Wellbeing Forums. The holistic mental health organisation had suspended its gatherings during the serious illness of founder Dr Michael Corry, who died last February. The new Wellbeing Forums will take place twice monthly, on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Each meeting will explore a different topic of mental health or general wellbeing, and will begin with a short talk by Dr

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says Ruth Wood-Martin, performance nutritionist for the Irish Rugby Football Union. Helen Brophy, chief executive of the NDC said that, if athletes want to train and have a chance of winning, they must replace what they lose in terms of dehydration and helping their muscles. “Milk has so many natural nutrients and naturally occurring electrolytes that many sports dietitians are recognising that milk has a role in the nutritional strategy of athletes of all levels.”

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ANTIVIRAL ELDERBERRY: Pukka Herbs new Organic Botanicals Elderberry Syrup (F12.90 for 120ml) contains a naturally sweet and soothing blend of organic black elderberry, manuka honey, ginger and thyme, which has been designed support the respiratory system and seasonal health. This antiviral formula can be used by all the family when needed as a natural safeguard to help fight off irritating coughs and colds.

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Áine Tubridy, psychotherapist and partner of Dr Corry. The aim is to give those attending an understanding of the topic, demystifying it in terms of current medical or psychiatric labelling, offering frameworks to explain symptoms, discussing the range of therapies available, and teaching some basic skills. The venue is the Institute of Psychosocial Medicine, 2 Eden Park, Glasthule. Time is 7.15 to 9.15pm. More information on this and other events at http://wellbeingfoundation.com/events.html

played the game. It is partnered with Goals For Life, a charity raising funds for the Little Prince Children’s hospital in southern Brazil. Pelé Sports performance boots are currently being trialled by League of Ireland players Chris Turner (Shamrock Rovers), Shaun Williams (Sporting Fingal) and Mark Rossiter (Bohemians) as well as 2010 All-Ireland GAA Football Champion Ray Carey. ■ Further information on the Pelé Sports range can be found at www.pele-sports.com

DId you know... At least 10% of binge eaters, anorexics and bulimia sufferers are male (Source: South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), UK)

STAY WELL THIS SEASON

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MUSHROOM TONIC: Adults may also be interested in Pukka’s new Organic Botanicals Mushroom Formula (F22.60 for 90 capsules) which contains organic reishi, maitake and shitake mushrooms. Pukka says this antiviral formula increases immune health and bolsters the body’s resistance to stress (a primary cause of poor immune health). The new Pukka Organic Botanicals range is stocked by health stores nationwide, or available online at www.pukkaherbs.com.

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SUNSHINE VITAMINS: In the winter months our daily exposure sunlight decreases which means that our bodies are manufacturing less vitamin D. In the past few years there has been a lot of research into the importance of vitamin D in maintaining good health and preventing disease. During the winter months you may consider taking a supplement like Solgar’s Vitamin D (F8.95 for 50 capsules) Solgar’s Sunshine In A Box (F35) is designed to provide ‘feel-good’ nutrition and banish the winter blues. It contains vitamin B-complex, which helps stabilise mood and hormonal changes, rhodiola, a herbal remedy designed to boost energy and support the immune system and vitamin D3.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010

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VITAMIN BOOST: When our immune systems are overworked, Vitamin C supports the production of antibodies to help strengthen and support immunity, helping it work more effectively. A.Vogel Nature-C (F6.45) contains extracts of Acerola, Passion Fruit, Sea Buckthorn, Prickly Gooseberry, Blackcurrant and Lemon which are all naturally rich in Vitamin C. One tablet contains 1000mg of vitamin C Pukka’s new Natural Organic vitamin C (F16.40 for 60 capsules) is 100% naturally derived from Acerola cherry, Amala (Indian gooseberry), lemon and rosehips. A daily serving contains 250mg of vitamin C and Pukka says the bio-availability of food source vitamin C in this product ensures that the vitamin C is easily absorbed and stays in the blood for up to 12 hours.


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Super-shiny glosses are being overthrown by stronger lipsticks

Emily O’Sullivan

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IPSTICK is back, in a big way. It’s been on the ascendant for a while, as lipglosses start to look a bit girly, a bit flighty, a bit whimsical, and maybe even a little bit passé. Right now, super-shiny lips are over-exposed and saccharine. And I’m quite relieved the end is nigh: not only is lipstick stronger, cooler, more punchy, but it’s also a helluva lot nicer to wear, and this season with the rise of a more powerful look for women in terms of fashion, lipstick is the number one accessory. I may still rage at the telly and talk radio daily, but I’m not raging at my lips anymore, which is one small but good thing. The bottom line is gloss is irritating: it wears off ridiculously quickly (especially if you actually use your lips for anything other than talking), it’s a nightmare to wear out on a windy day (that hair-stuck-to-lip look is never good), it frequently has a gritty feel to it (glittery glosses have consequences) and if you don’t fasten it properly before you chuck it in your bag it creates a ferociously inappropriate mess. And so we whoop with joy at the new lipstick reign, but that doesn’t mean our old-school lippy is without its problems, and this season with the new deep berry tones, dipping into a deep pink, a dark purple or a scarlet red isn’t as easy as you might think. Anyone who has looked back at photos of themselves in the ’80s or ’90s will see a slightly odd grey-face staring back at them behind the bright red lipstick. We had different ideas about how we dressed our faces back then, and slapping on a massively bright or deep coloured lipstick without any regard to what else was on our face (cheap blusher, no concealer, pan-stick-style foundation) doesn’t do anyone any favours. If you are going to go for a directional new shade, then you need to have a concealer, a tinted moisturiser, maybe even a loose powder or a radiance enhancer on hand to banish the grey. This season’s lipstick sits atop of a perfectly velvety, perfectly polished, silk-like

The news on ... HAIR OILS

Watch your mouth

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OKAY, so in terms of great things to love it’s not really up there with reclaimed parquet floors, but it’s a current love. It comes from having what can only be described as Def Leppard hair — dry, scrunchy, crunchy even, and a bit on the wrong side of wavy. Hair oil has saved me from the unremitting horrors of my hair. My first discovery was the Shu Uemura oil — divine; next came Moroccanoil — also mighty good. Now there’s a new one that could possibly replace both the others — Kerastase Elixir Ultime, F15. I like it best used almost as a styling product. Frizzy tresses begone.

TAKE THREE COLD WEATHER CREAMs Most of us need to change our moisturiser for something richer as we enter the colder winter months. Here’s three goodies to take you through to spring, perfect for combating the drying elements of central heating and harsh winds.

complexion. It’s best to wear bright shades with a nude eye, or with a sweep of liquid eyeliner, but remember to use a concealer under the eye area (Bobbi Brown’s Tinted Eye Brightener is the biz), and sweep a bit of nude eyeshadow across the eye area to get rid of any ruddiness or greyness. Creating the looks at some of the top catwalk shows, such as Balenciaga, John Galliano, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Stella McCartney, Global Creative Director of Max Factor, make-up artist Pat McGrath went for a deep berry-toned palette of colours. And her secret? “To achieve a velvety finish,” advises McGrath, “dust loose powder over the lips through one ply of tissue.” It’s important to use a lipliner with strong lipcolours, but

make sure to blend, blend, blend so there’s no harsh line at the edge of the mouth. It should stop bleeding — but it shouldn’t be visible. Another essential to wearing strong colours is to have your lips in tip-top condition. I went out in a scarlet lipstick last week that clung to our dry lips in all the wrong places and by lunchtime I looked like I was suffering a plague-like affliction. Just a quick and very gentle brush with an old dry toothbrush and a good lip balm should be enough to keep your lips in reasonable shape. If you’re going for a long lasting lipstick formulations have changed for the good, but they can still be a little bit drying so smooth on a little balm and you’ll be good to go.

Lush Skin Drink, F17.90. A great option for winter, Skin Drink is perfectly tailored to drier, more dehydrated skin. Healing and soothing aloe vera is mixed with emollient oils, and butters of evening primrose, cocoa and almond. It’s also got fresh avocado and is suitable for vegans. Hydra Zen Neurocalm Day Cream, F50.29. With a melty, velvety texture, this intensely moisturising cream is a lovely option for winter and is boosted with soothing and calming complexes. Boots No 7 Time Resisting Day Cream with SPF 15, F23. You still need to wear an SPF through the winter so this is a good bet. Moreover, it’s got a very rich texture that keeps the skin well hydrated throughout the day. And anything that resists time is all right by us.

STUFF WE LIKE Clinique High Impact Lip Colour SPF 15, F19. This is a great lipstick for anyone making the transition from gloss. It’s juicy and high-shine, but it’s also long lasting, so it gives good deep colour. Try Red-Y To Wear, a corally red that’s great for autumn. Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture, F31. It’s a toss up between this and Tom Ford’s lipstick for title of “our fave lipstick ever”. Ford’s offering has superior packaging, but this little number isn’t doing too badly.

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Max Factor Colour Collections Lipstick in Midnight Plum, F10.45. We like this one. It’s dark so you need to be a bit brave to wear it. It’s dark tone also means that it’s a better one for after-dark, but if you’re looking for a more directional shade then this is a great option.

LIP SMACKIN’: from left, clockwise: Max Factor Colour Collections Lipstick in Midnight Plum, Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture and Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Lipstick.

Maybelline New York Colour Sensational, F11.49. Colour Sensational is a great lipstick range, it has an impressive choice of shades and a nice glossy and hydrating effect. If you’re not into red tones, go for the hot raspberry shade Pink Punch. Green People Cherry Lipstick, F12.40 at greenpeople.co.uk. If you like your lipstick to have a more natural edge, then try this offering from Green People. It’s the first certified organic lip-

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010

stick in Britain and is made with cupuacu butter and virgin coconut oil. Check out the Cherry shade — a soft red. Bobbi Brown Lip Colour in Black Maple, F22.50. I love Bobbi Brown Lipsticks — they feel slightly old-fashioned in all the right ways and the colour is deep, while the texture is comfortable. Be bold and try their deep Black Maple Shade — it’ll bring out the chic Goth lurking within. Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Lipstick F23. This is actually a really good lipstick — it stays in place very well, it’s comfortable to wear and it gives a wonderfully deep saturation of colour. Our favourite shade is Stay Scarlett, which gives a real burst of bright, slightly orangey red colour. It’s quite brilliant.


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Natural health

Q

I HAVE had a stubborn fungal infection in my big toenail for the past 18 months. I have tried a number of conventional remedies to clear it. Most have worked, but it keeps coming back. Is there anything natural can use to get rid of this condition for good?

Megan Sheppard Do you have a question for Megan Sheppard? Email it to feelgood@examiner.ie or send a letter to Feelgood Irish Examiner City Quarter Lapps Quay Cork

well also. Follow up by flossing between each tooth with wax-free dental floss, then get a small interdental brush — these look a little like a tiny bottle brush — and brush between each tooth, ensuring that you remove food particles from between the gum and the tooth. There will be a lot of blood at first, but this is a sign you are doing things effectively. Obviously, you shouldn’t be brushing or flossing to the point where there is bleeding due to excess pressure. You simply want to remove bacterial build up and make it difficult for bacteria to take hold in the future. Rinse well using salt-water (I keep a bottle of pure water on the bathroom shelf — 300ml with a teaspoon of Himalayan crystal salt dissolved into it) or add two to three drops of goldenseal tincture to a shot-glass of water then swish and rinse. Adding a drop of goldenseal tincture to the interdental brush will also really help to deal with the bacteria causing the issue. Finally, choose toothsoap products over toothpastes, or add a single drop of liquid castile soap to your toothbrush, this is effective and gentle on sensitive gums.

A. This is one of those conditions which indicates that your immune system could do with some support, as it should normally work to eradicate the organisms rather than allowing them to take hold. To bolster your immune system, you will need to work internally, and since it is a long-standing fungal infection you are dealing with you should focus on supporting your thymus gland. The thymus is where the T-lymphocytes (T-cells) are produced — these are the cells responsible for fighting fungal infection. Sea vegetables are a useful addition to the diet since they contain significant amounts of available iodine, and if you are not keen on eating these, then nascent iodine is a wonderful supplement worth trying. Take 5-10 drops three to four times a day. Be sure to take the nascent iodine on an empty stomQ. As aloe vera is so popular ach, and remember that frequent for skin problems and first aid, I small doses are more effective than was wondering if I can use the larger amounts taken less often. plants themselves instead of the My favourite topical remedies for bottled gels and lotions. We have fungal nail infections include essenseveral growing successfully. tial oils of manuka, tea tree, or lemon balm — all of which need to A. Yes you can. This is a wonbe applied neat to the affected area derful first-aid plant to have on with a cotton bud. hand since it is so effective in FLOWER POWER: Essential oils such as tea tree or lemon balm healing cuts, burns, cold sores, Picture: iStock can help with fungal nail infections. Q. I am 28 weeks pregnant and spots, rashes and inflammation. am having trouble with my gums. It also makes a wonderful beauty mask and They always bleed when I brush my teeth. helps with dark circles and puffiness under pregnant women, particularly during the But sometimes the bleeding occurs for no the eyes. reason at all. Can you let me know if there first few months, is that the simple act of It is important to note that you need to brushing the teeth can cause an involuntary is anything I can do to remedy this? use the inner gel from the leaves. Slice them gag response, making it difficult to spend lengthways and scoop out the clear gel. You the necessary time brushing thoroughly. A. Pregnancy is a hormonal rollercoaster can also slice the leaf open and apply the gel I have found the following technique to ride, and bleeding gums can be one of the side directly to an injury and hold it in place work well for treating bleeding gums many symptoms experienced by women using a bandage or sticking plaster. Keep any whether you are pregnant or just have gum during this time. I have discussed this with remaining gel or opened leaves in the fridge issues: choose a soft bristled brush with a dentists and holistic practitioners since it is for up to three days. narrow head (Sensodyne has a very good such a common issue, and all seem to agree Aloe vera is also good for internal use, and one), and brush gently from the gums to there is a ‘loosening up’ of the gums during has been shown in large scale trials to be the tip of each tooth — a little like the pregnancy as a result of the hormonal successful in relieving IBS (irritable bowel ‘flick’ motion we were taught as youngsters, changes. This means it is easier for food parsyndrome) symptoms. However this is one but more gentle and on both sides of the ticles to become lodged in hard to reach application where you should purchase a teeth. This helps to stimulate the gums and places within the gumline and between the ready-made product for internal use over usprovides a gentle massage. teeth, and this then causes bacteria to thrive. ing the aloe in your garden since it can cause Brush the chewing surfaces of the molars The other dental hygiene issue often facing diarrhoea if not prepared correctly.

Megan puts the spotlight on:

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VER the past couple of weeks we have looked at some of the hidden benefits of ordinary vegetables, now it is time to focus on the secret life of fruits: PRUNES Contain: Vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, betacarotene, folate, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, fibre. Benefits: Prunes are highly under-rated and should certainly qualify as one of the superfoods. They are rich in antioxidants which help to protect the body from free radical damage and slow down the ageing process. High in minerals, vitamins, and fibre, dried plums are so much more than just an effective laxative solution.

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APPLES Contain: Vitamins B3, C, K, E, betacarotene, biotin, folate, calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, fibre. Benefits: An apple a day really does go a long way towards keeping the doctor away — with studies showing that this fruit works to reduce the risk of developing several types of cancer, protect the brain from degenerative conditions, and lower cholesterol. CRANBERRIES Contain: Vitamins B5, C, K, betacarotene, folate,

Fabulous Fruits calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, fibre. Benefits: Cranberries have long been used for their healing action on the urinary tract. It is a great remedy for cystitis as the berries contain a compound which prevents the bacteria from sticking to the lining of the bladder, which means it is easily flushed from the system. They have a similar effect on the bacteria which causes plaque, decay and gum disease — so eating these berries is great for your oral health as well. Cranberries are gaining a reputation for preventing the formation of kidney stones and certain types of cancer.

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LEMONS Contain: Vitamins B3, B5, B6,

C, E, betacarotene, biotin, folate, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, fibre. Benefits: I always start the day with the juice of half a lemon in warm water, as it helps to cleanse the liver and aids digestive function. Another fruit with anti-cancer activity, lemons are better known and appreciated for their assistance in the treatment of coughs, colds and flu due to their natural antiseptic benefits.


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