Viridian's L-Theanine & Lemon Balm Supplements - The Original Teatox

I would absolutely class myself as a health advocate but what I believe to be healthy varies from anyone else I know.As a child I dreamt of becoming a doctor but in the 80's a doctor was deemed to be a 'mans job' so I put it on a back burner. However, I've never been able to shake the itch to become a doctor and now as a thirty something I'm working my ass off to achieve my honours degree at home; so I can finally try to get a placement at university doing medicine - if I never achieve it I'll be happy in the knowledge that I at least tried and at least I have learnt so much over my many years studying and researching.

One of the things I have learnt is how each bodily system functions, how one small change can affect another system immensely and as someone who suffers from a range of autoimmune and genetic issues I do try to ensure I'm taking in the adequate amount of vitamins, supplements and minerals but due to those issue, my body doesn't function correctly and it cause issues with malnutrition which then comes with it's own set of difficulties. The main problems for me are fatigue, pain, weight fluctuations and ensuring my cognitive function stays high.


I've tried most brands of supplements and I do test out many unusual supplements which I will be featuring on here because I believe they can help so many others who are in a similar boat to myself. L-Theanine is one of those supplements and it can be found in both the theaceae family (tea family) and the Boletus Badius family (mushroom fungus) - If you've ever jumped on the green tea bandwagon then it's probably because of the theanine in the green tea as it's that component that does all of the good work.

Once digested L-Theanine converts to L-glutamate in the liver and intestines and it can cross the brain barrier which makes this a fantastic product for those who need to improve cognitive function, reduce their stress, improve their depression or mood disorders and to relax any mental fog. It doesn't only help mental function, it actually improves anxiety, it helps to keep blood pressure under control and promotes an increase in alpha waves which help to reduce problematic things such as OCD, phobias, sleep disorders and fibromyalgia. I have fibromyalgia which was so bad a few years back I couldn't leave the house, I walked with sticks and I rarely slept and went days without sleep was tough - hellish almost.

Lemon Balm is another useful herb which doesn't come from the lemon family as some would believe but rather the mint family - crazy huh? the leaves are typically used in medicine for digestive upsets, bloating, gas build up, colic, reflux, nausea and even colic. If you suffer from lady problems then you'll adore lemon balm too as it also helps to reduce the amount of cramping each month, reduces migraines and headaches that come from the hormonal problems such as the menstrual cycle and lemon balm helps to smooth out that dip in mood that can come during or before your cycle.

Both these herbal ingredients are fantastic on their own but together they're a powerhouse!


The supplements that I tried were by L-Theanine & Lemon Balm capsules by Viridian via the Nutrition Centre. Viridian are a leader in supplements and believe in offering ethical products which gets them extra ticks in my opinion, they make a charity donation with every purchase and you can send back your bottle for recycling or simply reuse it yourself. Their products come in apothecary style dark glass bottles which also get major ticks as I believe that all supplements and herbal products should be sold in this way as it improves shelf life and keeps them from going bad. These are suitable for vegans, they're free from sugar, salt, yeast, wheat, gluten, soy, lactose, preservatives and artificial colours and the ingredients are 100% active.

When I purchase any form of health or well being product I research the heck out of it, I check it's sources and the dosage amount purely because some will advertise as having an ingredient when in fact it's so far under the recommended dosage radar that it won't do a thing. Bio-availability is also another issue as some supplements can't be used by the body unless they're paired with a buddy (vegetables and a fat source for example - if you eat veggies with no fat your body can't use the vitamins and minerals as they're not bio available, if you add a little butter to your veggies or a healthy oil your body can take all of the vitamins and minerals it needs). Viridian are one of those brands (in the top three) that factor in these concerns so you know you are safe and ultimately you're getting your money's worth because the benefits that are being advertised by the brand can be achievable if you take the product as directed.

Taking these capsules was a doddle because they don't  taste. I've tried some supplements that were horrible, beefy or mouldy smelling - if you sniff this jar you'll smell a mild tea scent which is quite nice too (I wouldn't recommend sniffing jars, people may think you're a tad crazy). The recommended dosage is one to two capsules per day, I've been taking two and I honestly have seen and felt a huge difference!

I didn't believe I would but I found within the first week I felt more awake when normally I'd be struggling to keep my eyes open. I also found I became more focused as my foggy brain cleared and my moods have definitely improved - no PMS for me this month and my emotions have been on a pretty calm even-keel so the hubster is a happy bunny too. I suffer from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) which is so painful and I've noticed that this has disappeared for the most part with only a couple of problematic days. While it's not a listed benefit I've also lost weight! unexpected but greatly appreciated as I have had a number of issues with my thyroid and of course the lack of energy meant that doing as much exercise or moving about was tough, now I can and it's wonderful.

The bottle size contains 30 capsules, I'm nearly finished these and I will be buying more but this time I'll purchase a 90 capsule bottle as I can't go back to struggling to stay awake during the day as I hate living like that, it's just not fair on my family and as a working mama bear (and starting a new job) I need to feel refreshed and vibrant each day.

So would I recommend these? I absolutely would. I've not had any side effects (I'm very sensitive to supplements and prescription meds normally), they were easy to take and the benefits were visible quickly. They're from a trusted brand who don't hold back any information and I love that you can reuse the bottles. As a sensitive celiac sufferer they don't contain wheat and gluten which makes me so happy because there's many brands out there that don't cater to us and while some might believe a product is gluten free there can be hidden gluten which makes us very ill.


The Nutrition Centre sell lots of amazing brands such as Viridian, Bach's (I adore Bach's), Better You (who make the tastiest vitamin sprays ever), JASON Skin care, REN, Pukka Herbs and many more. You can pick up your own L-Theanine & Lemon Balm here (link) if you want to get in on this action - if you suffer from erratic moods, fatigue or pain disorders, autoimmune conditions and even SAD then I 100% recommend these supplements.

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* My original bottle was a pr sample but I've since purchased this again - all opinions are my own. *

Exante Diet || What's It All About....?

I like routine. I like plans and I like order. Anything new in my already planned lifestyle throws me off and that causes lots of stress and lots of comfort eating. Throw in some dysfunctional thyroid issues and voila... you have a weight issue. Granted I'm not overweight but I much prefer to be within the lower or middle range of my BMI as it helps my reduce the issues caused by my autoimmune conditions and health is far more important to me than fitting into a size zero ever will be. 

I've been most sizes at some point in my past. I've also tried many diets from Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Atkins, Cabbage Soup and 5:2 to name a few. None of them worked as I couldn't fit them around my already busy lifestyle - too much prep and planning to work which eventually stressed me out so I thought I'd have to resign myself to yo-yo dieting. I recently heard about Exante and figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a try especially since I was hoping to make my lifestyle easier with a recent change of job and hubster changing his working pattern too - quick meals that I could slot into free spaces in my day-to-day life was starting to sound very promising. 

A quick visit to the Exante website I entered my details on the BMI checker and it advised me that the best plans were - The Simple Solution or the Stabiliser Maintenance Plan was shown which fitted with what I was already knew and it confirmed that this wasn't a money grabbing situation. Reading that this could also help me with the 5:2 diet was an added bonus as the 5:2 diet was advised to me by my doctor to help curb my hypothyroidism weight gain but I always fell flat on the 2 low calorie days. 

I received a variety of products to try from snack bars, milkshakes, pasta carbonara, spaghetti bolognese, maple syrup pancakes and drink mix. I figured this would give me a good basis and help me to find out if this is something I could introduce into my life.

The meals included:

Pasta Carbonara // I've not tried this yet but it's carbonara, what's not to love?
Spaghetti Bolognese // I've not used this yet also but it looks relatively easy to use and I do love a good bolognese.
Maple Syrup Pancakes // I've still to use these but my sons are already trying to get in on this pancake action.

Snack bars - Hells YES!

Hot Cross Bun Bar // I didn't get a hot cross bun taste from this, it actually reminded me more of a cookie dough. It's nice but wasn't my favourite of the three bars.
Lemon & Yoghurt Bar // I didn't expect to like this bar but out of the three it was my favourite. Not too sweet, just the right amount of lemon and yoghurt and very filling.
Peanut Butter Bar // I was full halfway through this bar! that's a win in my opinion. It tastes typically like peanut butter from a jar but in bar form. It's gorgeous.

Milkshakes flavours are varied and I enjoyed them all but loved the hazelnut. I'm a huge fan of nut milks anyway so this was an added bonus. Some of the flavours I've tried include:

Hazelnut // Tastes like fresh nut milk. It's really tasty and fresh.
Vanilla // Typical vanilla without the overly fake vanilla taste.
Banana // Ba-Na-Na all the way.
Strawberry // Strawberry but done really well.
Lemon and Raspberry // This one surprised me, it was really fresh and nothing like anything I've tasted. The raspberry comes through more than the lemon but it was really lovely.

Overall there wasn't any milkshakes that I couldn't fit into my lifestyle.

The surprise for me was the Elderflower and White Wine flavour drink mix. This is so simple to use as you simply mix in two or three teaspoons of mix to a 250 ml to sparkling water - this drink is so mouthwateringly delicious and doesn't taste powdery or synthetic. There's also plenty mix to make many glasses of drink. 

Starting off on this journey I was 9 stone 1 and I have lost three pounds, I'm not sure if it's because I'm snacking less as these products really do fill you up or if it's fluke. I'll continue on and report an overall opinion as soon as I have one but as far as ease of use, taste and product range the Exante Diet is a winner for my busy lifestyle so I'm confident it can fit into most mothers and most workers lives too. 

You can find out more about the Exante Diet over on their website.

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* PR Sample - I chose to review this *
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Spring Polish Change Up || CND Vinylux

It's been lovely weather recently and I've placed a focus on my current wardrobe and accessories. I love changing things up slightly to fit in with the current season and spring is one of those seasons that fits my inner bohemian perfectly. There's usually a few things I change first and then use those as building blocks for the rest of my seasonal style. Those things are shoes and nail polish. 

CND is a brand I've used for gel manicures but never as a home polish. Deciding that I was going to start with some CND Vinylux Weekly Polishes was the first step. Browsing Just My Look I honestly felt like a little child in a candy shop because they had so many lovely colours narrowing down my wishlist was pretty-tough. It may have taken my three days but I managed to somehow get my list down from: 
Lush Tropics  // Bright green
Bicycle Yellow // Bright sunshine yellow
Mint Convertible // Pastel mint green
Azure Wish // Bright baby blue
Studio White // Opaque white
Thistle Thicket // Pretty lilac

I finally realised that Mint Convertible and Studio White were the perfect spring choices as the rest were more summery. Don't get me wrong I love to rock a bright polish but in spring I much prefer pastel or muted tones - I also find spring tones pair well with autumn tones making them much more cost effective. 

This is Studio White and Mint Convertible. The perfect pastel pairing and both work well together or alone. I found the application was amazing and Mint Convertible only really needed one coat to become fully opaque but being used to applying two coats I swatched twice for the image above. The Studio White is so pretty when worn alone and looks more high fashion than it does Tip-Ex (who applied Tip-Ex to their nails as a schoolgirl?). The polishes lasted three and four days without chipping which was amazing as I find most chip after a day or two, overall I'm completely sold on tis brand. 

Both polishes were cheaper costing only £7.90 rather than the typical £10.99 RRP.  You can check out the range of polishes over on Just My Look but I warn you it's tough trying to narrow down the choices as there's so many. 

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* PR Sample - Polishes colours were chosen on my own *
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La Roche-Posay || Effaclar Anti-Blemish System

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Anti-Blemish System is a three step skincare system that's specifically aimed at combating problematic skin issues such as adult acne, hormonal blemishes and irregular skin textures. 

I've always had combination skin which had a tendency to break out mid-cycle that worsened as a teen and cleared up as a late teen - now that I'm an adult I've found I'm trying to gain control over cystic acne. This adult acne causes big boils to overtake my face and believe me they're painful, they don't cause whiteheads but due to the increased sebum my blackheads have also become more pronounced which affect the look of my skin and it's texture. I hate it. It's so bloody frustrating too.

I think I've tried everything possibly in my fight again the dreaded 'spot' and some things have helped temporarily and others have simply made things worse. The main products that improved my situation were Skin Shops Silver Serum and prescription antibiotics but as soon as I stop using them the acne comes back with a vengeance.  

So I originally purchased this set because it's been majorly hyped over the last year and it's had excellent reviews from consumers and bloggers. I figured ah, what the hell let's give it a shot because I've tried everything else in this skin fight. 

Included in this set: 

Effaclar Purifying Gel Cleanser // Step one is for cleansing. The gel cleanser is supposed to purify and remove excess sebum while also getting rid of impurities. The end results should be clean, clear and soft skin. I actually found this to be a good cleanser but only at certain points in the mouth, for the rest of the time it felt as though it almost made things worse as though my skin felt clogged and coated? This may have been because I was extra hormonal at that point and my skin does get oilier but my thinking was it should have been good enough to still have combated that. 

Effaclar Clarifying Toner // Step two tones and refines the skin while reducing the appearance of pores and improving the look of dull skin. This was a winner, it's fantastic at cleaning even the toughest mascara's and is sensitive enough to use twice a day. It's cooling, unscented and is just fab. 

Effaclar Duo [+] // Step three treats the issues that get us down - excess oiliness, blocked pores, whiteheads, pimples, boils and uneven skin textures. The duo is so easy to apply and has a gel to cream texture which exfoliates while repairing. I applied this religiously but.... it didn't make a difference. 

This set is supposed to target oily and blemish prone skin and in many other cases it really has but in my opinion it fell flat. I didn't notice a difference at all from the Duo and the cleanser was problematic - the toner however was amazing and so worth buying this set for. I'm not going to say this was a dud only because my skin is so up and down and hormonal - if you're someone who has a regular cycle or has mild skin issues then maybe it will work for you but I'm not done with this though, I will try it again just to be sure once my skin gets to a somewhat regular regime.  

If you want to give this a try I purchased my set from Escentual

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Kegel 8 Ultra 20 Electronic Pelvic Toner || Let's Talk Taboo

I've never been one to shy away from taboo subjects in hope of inspiring or helping others, I really don't mind causing a stir or having people think I'm a weirdo if it stops other people from feeling down or worried - today's subject is of course the female pelvic floor and the issues that come when it's not toned, fit and healthy. Most people believe that these issues only really happen to older ladies but the reality is they can happen to anyone of any age but more so those who have had babies or pregnancies. 

I myself have had three large baby boys in quick succession (over three years, with my first two being only eleven months apart - shocking I know). My first pregnancy resulted in a mediolateral episiotomy (large diagonal cuts through the muscle) and my final pregnancy resulted in me being sterilised a few months after with a long bout of poor health
which of course meant that exercise was out of the question (damn walking was out of the question for a while). 

Long story short, my pelvic floor and basically every muscle large and small sucked, and sucked pretty badly! I definitely did see and feel the effects and tried to do the usual pelvic floor exercises, I actually struggled to hold one squeeze for ten seconds and started shaking all over - it was tough! Even when I managed to up my manual squeezes to ten for ten seconds I still had issues with my back, stomach and toileting habits. 

I really think that it's a shame that us ladies can't discuss these topics don't you? Especially given how many of us will suffer from varying degrees of this over the course of our life? 

Symptoms of weakened Pelvic Muscles Include...

♥ Bladder Leaks // Coughing, sneezing and even jumping can result in embarrassing leaks. 
Constipation & Straining // When the muscles are loosened things aren't held in as they should, this causes 'kinks' which can stop the poop from travelling down the normal route. 
♥ Tampons Not Working Perfectly // Again this maybe due to loser muscles or prolapses altering the shape so the tampon can't sit as snug as is needed. 
♥ Pot Belly // When your muscles aren't tight your belly sticks out, this may make it look like you've put on weight. 
♥ Lower Back Ache // This may feel worse around your cycle also, it can be debilitating for some. 
♥ Wind That's Uncontrollable // Yup it's true, wind may accidentally slip out causing embarrassment. 
♥ Lack of Sensations or Pain // This really needs no explanation, sensation can be lost in the vaginal walls if your pelvic floor area is looser, similarly some ladies experience pain from having a prolapse. 
♥ Constantly Needing to Visit The Loo // When things are loser it can push town on your bladder and other organs, this increases the sensation of 'needing to go' even if you've just been to the toilet. This alone can stop ladies from getting a good sleep, affects work and confidence. 
♥ Prolapse (Bulging into the Vagina) // This will look like a lump or bulge that's pokes into the vaginal area, this bulge worsens when pushing on the toilet for example. 
♥ Increased Vaginal Discharge // When everything is been pushed on the body naturally increases lubrication to protect itself. 

Typically the pelvic floor muscles are weakened when they are stretched - being constipated, pregnancy, heavy lifting, health problems that lead to severe coughing or sneezing; weight gain and also hormonal changes can lead to overstretching and greatly affect this area, that's why many older ladies suffer once the menopause hits. Also if you don't exercise that area then your age won't stop it from happening; you can be young, never having had any pregnancies, have a healthy BMI and no hormonal areas but the area will still slacken because it's not being worked - just in the same way any other muscles slacken when not in use. 

The Kegel8 Ultra 20 Machine works in a couple of ways, it comes with both a probe and electrode pads. The probe works by being inserted into the vagina and gets straight to the problem area by toning the muscles and tightening up the pelvic floor. If you can't use the probe or even need an extra boost then you can apply the four sticky electrode pads to your stomach, back, legs or basically anywhere that needs firming, toning or pain relief as it works in a similar way to a TENS machine. The unit allows you to run two things at once on different programmes - for example you can run the probe at a very low beginners programme and the electrodes at a higher programme say for pain relief. I've tried a few programmes now and initially I was really scared (having previously tried Slendertone machines that zap you *eeek*) but the Ultra 20 doesn't hurt or even leave you uncomfortable, you can set it up and clip the unit to your trousers or belt and go about your day (in the house at least) as normal - I'm now happily on a 40MA (power and strength, this level really works your muscles) for around 45 minutes per day. I have used the pads alone for my stomach (to help cramping) and my back (to help backache). 

While I've only been using this for a few days I will be using this daily for the recommended twelve weeks so will be reporting back regularly on how well it's performing. It's important for me to really let you know the pros and con's because (hopefully) this works in every aspect and can help others in a similar situation, there's nothing worse than having to alter your life or being to embarrassed to discuss this with your doctor. 

There are lots of products on the market to help improve this situation but my opinion was that an electronic product allows you to really customise your exercise to suit your personal tone and needs. Honestly I'm much more likely to use an electronic anything than a manual when it comes to exercise and yes that includes intimate exercises, if you're similar or have issues relating to a weakened pelvic floor you may want to check out Kegel 8's range of electronic and manual products (for men and ladies) you can do so by visiting the Kegel 8 website.

Ladies let's not make this subject taboo any longer! Girl Power! 

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Taylor Swift Wonderstruck || A Look Back

Taylor Swift launched her first perfume back in October 2011. The perfume was called Wonderstruck after a lyric in her song 'Enchanted' which is something like ' I'm wonderstruck, blushing all the way home.' 

At that point I wasn't phased by Taylor, I didn't listen to her music, I wasn't interested in trying celebrity scents or even normal standard branded perfumes - yup I was a perfume snob and not ashamed to say so. Most regular readers will know that my love for perfumes comes from the notes inside and not the brand attached, I found that so many brands had started to become too similar which really turned me off. Those promising deep and heady sandalwood notes, sultry amber's notes or fresh and summery blackberries always failed to impress me as each of the notes blended into blah- floral type notes, which then translated onto me as a big chemical stench. 

I took to custom perfumers and Etsy creators to design the perfect perfume and perfume oil blends but Etsy eventually stopped the custom forum and the international posting rules changed so that whole affordable, but custom perfume phase went straight out of the window. While on the search for some new perfumes I ended up back on the high street and came across Wonderstruck - it was the bottle that drew me in initially because it was so cute and not what I'd have expected from Taylor Swift.

Googling the perfume I found it contained notes such as freesia, apple blossom, raspberry, vanilla, honeysuckle, white hibiscus, amber, sandalwood and peach. 

I mean it had amber, raspberry and sandalwood notes! that alone made it worthy of a trial so I purchased a bottle and sprayed dubiously. What should have been a too sweet, chemical noted smash in the face turned out to be oh-so-sultry and oh-so-feminine at the same time; it really smelled grown up! The perfume starts off with a warming but slightly sweet fragrance that then becomes more floral while still being quite warm. The dry down leaves a scent that's really quite summery but on a hot night; the amber and sandalwood are the key notes in this for sure as you can clearly pick them out from the first hit to the dry down. 

Factoring in the cute bottle, the true smelling notes and the sultry complexity of the overall fragrance I hold my hands up and say 'I was so wrong' wrong to have judged the book perfume by the brand name because this stands up against even the most luxe brands. It's also super affordable which gives it a huge thumbs up because most celebrities tend to hike up the prices don't you think? I suppose you really are just paying for the name with those ones. 

You can pick up Wonderstruck from Boots for £13.50 for the 30ml. She's also launched an Enchanted Wonderstruck version which I'll need to test out, fingers crossed it's as good - if not better than this version. 

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