Gardening on a Budget: 7 Top tips

Gardening on a Budget: 7 Top tips

by Guest Contributor

2 July, 2018

By Andy Baxter, MD of Internet Gardener

In this guide, Andy Baxter, MD of Internet Gardener helps prove that gardening doesn’t need to be an expensive hobby, offering some top tips for those wanting to have thrifty green fingers.

1/ Keep your space limited

There’s a common misconception that you need a large garden or a huge space to be a good gardener. This is simply not true! The latest trend of ‘urban gardening’ involves the uprising of city gardening – making the most of small spaces to grow your own produce and flowers. This commonly includes keeping your own mini-garden in planters on window sills and ledges, but balcony gardens are also becoming popular, as well as rooftop gardens! Making the most of the space you have will save you money, as you won’t feel like you need to invest in a bigger property with a larger garden, or rent out an allotment. Additionally, you’ll naturally be more efficient with limited space, as you’ll have to be really selective on what plants you want to invest in.

2/ Recycle all the way

One of the benefits of gardening is that you can re-use a lot of the components. Many people spend hundreds on new compost, whereas hardy plants don’t need anything fancy. In fact, reusing soil or dirt from previous plants is totally acceptable, especially if you’re feeding minerals and nutrients to the plants using your own home made compost, which brings me onto the next point…

3/ Make your own compost

Collect your kitchen waste from fresh produce, such as vegetable cuttings, egg shells, leftovers and fruit peels. You can get large tubs for outside spaces for pretty cheap, but even if you don’t have much space, keeping this in your own little ice cream tub under the sink or somewhere else dark will still work.

4/ Keep seeds and grow them next season

The best thing about gardening is that you’re literally growing the next years crop! Make sure to collect the seeds from each plant and keep them stored away somewhere dark and dry until next year. You could even plant them again this season, if your gardening space is warm enough.

5/ Grow fresh produce

I know it sounds obvious, but why not double save by growing your own vegetables! Cheap salad and vegetables to grow include spinach, cress and spring onions. There are a load more as well, such as starting your own herb garden. Having to buy this consumable can get quite expensive since herbs always need to be so fresh, so you’ll be surprised how much you can save by having your own pot of basil on the windowsill!

6/ Use anything as pots and planters

Don’t spend loads on expensive and fancy pots for your plants! The plant won’t know any different, as long as it’s the right size! Honestly any old container will suffice, especially if you’re starting out with seedlings. Try using old mugs and glasses that you no longer need, or have broken handles. Things such as biodegradable egg containers are great for starting out seedlings too.

7/ Use your own weedkiller

Those who are fans of organic gardening will like this one. Instead of spending a lot of money on harmful weed killing devices, try using vinegar, which you’ll find is just as effective. You can even use salt to deter slugs and snails from chomping your salad. Gardening doesn’t need to be an expensive hobby, it should be accessible for everyone. With a little planning, even the most thrifty among us can start their own garden in no time!


How to Challenge Your Mind Through Events

How to Challenge Your Mind Through Events

by Guest Contributor

22 June, 2018

Interview James Vogl

You recently launched Cerebral Gym - can you tell us about your mission and the types of events you're hosting in the upcoming months?

We are working towards having multiple live full-time permanent Cerebral Gyms where people can come and work-out their minds, for an hour or two in the same way that they go to workout their bodies in traditional gyms. World class trainers will lead classes in subjects as diverse as learning to play bridge in an hour to opera appreciation. The content will then be integrated online and via our app to reach a larger audience too. In the coming months, we have individual pop-up sessions at Mortimer House, on improving your backgammon, a parenting workshop, studying the actual text of the Quran, a seminar on Risk and a fiction book club. On the 13th May, we have our launch day at The House of St Barnabas which will showcase all of what Cerebral Gym will have to offer when we open next year: ten speakers, multiple classes, debates, games tournaments, food and drink and a live after-dinner show.

How has your background as a former professional poker play turned hedge fund manager inspired you to start the business?

I always enjoyed playing games and was clearly drawn and driven to backgammon, poker and trading for the financial rewards. But when I look back now at the twenty years I devoted to these areas, it was the process of learning and the amazing people I met and went through that journey with that was special. It doesn’t matter what you are learning if you enjoy it and are passionate and are often all-consumed. I think given the right environment everyone can take something more out of their leisure time especially when they mix with other inspiring people.

How do you think we, as adults, challenge our minds after formal education? Why should we push ourselves to learn something new?

People do this in different ways: traditionally you would have to read widely or in a more focused way on a specialised subject. Today you can watch a TED talk or listen to multiple podcasts etc.. The last thing in the world the majority want to do is go to a night school after a long day of work. Nothing currently exists where you can walk into a luxurious, buzzing environment full of young people hanging out, debating, eating and drinking and listening to music. There is not much more rewarding than expanding your mind and meeting new people on this journey but it doesn’t have to feel like work. If we can create an environment where you don’t realise you are learning but are just having a great time and come away having learned something new or having been challenged I think we will have succeeded.

What is so valuable about physical events? Can't we find out everything we need to know online?

Someone once told me to never ask them a question you could Google. But this leads to a pretty sad and lonely world. Perhaps I am bias… Eight years ago I recognised a girl I had seen around for about a decade but didn’t ever know her name. We were sat by chance next to each other at a Jewish Book Week lecture. I can’t remember even what the lecture was about but I have been married to Nikki for seven years now!

You're hosting a large-scale event in May. Which speakers are you most excited about hosting?

I am excited about all of them but I am especially excited to hear Dominic O’Brien eight times world memory champion as well as Emma Sinclair talking about setting up tech innovation labs in refugee camps for UNICEF.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

In 2004 I was a 23 year-old professional poker player and was undecided whether to go to Vegas for the World Series of Poker that year. A friend of mine who wasn’t a poker player and even thought it wasn’t the right way of life for me said to me “if you are going to be a poker player, you better do it properly and you need to be in Vegas”. I won the first event there for $400,000 and it changed my life.

James Vogl

James Vogl, 37, is a former professional backgammon and poker player. He won a World Series of Poker bracelet at the age of 23 in 2004.

He went on to trade equities and credit at Goldman Sachs, before becoming a proprietary trader at Manro-Haydan commodities, then joining Moore Capital as a macro portfolio manager. He became a partner of Graham Capital LLP in May 2012 where he had sole responsibility for running a portfolio of over $1 billion.

In September 2017 he left to set-up Cerebral Gym full-time, an idea he first conceived of six years ago when he challenged his gym personal trainer to become conversational in Mandarin, rather than complete an Ironman the following year. James was delighted to lose the bet.


For tickets to Cerebral Gym’s upcoming events, visit cerebralgym.com


Thieves of time

Thieves of time

by Guest Contributor

22 June, 2018

by Dominic Irvine

“I don’t have the time to do what you do.” The implication is that somehow I have more free time, a less demanding job, or fewer family commitments. I must have heard this comment said to me dozens of times. It’s nonsense. I’m married, have a family, and along with my colleagues, run a successful business. What makes me a bit unusual is on top of these things, in my late forties, I have also been lucky enough to become a record-breaking cyclist and author. I’d like to say it’s because I am talented, clever, genetically gifted and brilliant. But sadly, that’s also nonsense.

My two biggest revelations have been:

1/     Extraordinary performance requires a huge amount of time and effort and a relentless drive to keep improving what you are doing. It doesn’t matter whether you want to be a brilliant artist, musician, baker, investment banker or sports person, there is no substitute for graft. It’s harder than you think and takes longer than you might like.

2/    Time is perishable. You cannot save time, only spend it. Think of it like a hotel room, if the hotel cannot sell the room that night, it cannot store that unused night up for a busier period – the revenue opportunity has gone and will never come back. The key challenge is how you spend time not how you save it. We cannot change the number of hours in the day, but we can do something with the hours that we have.

From my experience I have found five thieves of time and found some solutions that have helped me recover precious hours to spend on becoming a record breaker and author whilst still being a full-time working dad and husband.

Television

It’s really easy to slump in front of the TV and start watching. There’s a good reason for this, a lot of very clever people have made some very engaging, entertaining and informative programmes. Once you get into a programme, stopping to go away and do something else is really hard.

  1. Don’t start watching it in the first place. You can’t get engaged by a programme if you are not watching it. If you do watch a programme, choose to watch a specific programme, not just anything.
  2. Make TV time a virtue, watch your favourite programmes whilst on the treadmill or an exercise bike or doing the ironing.
  3. Put the TV in a separate room out of the main living area of the house (if this is possible). If you then want to watch it you have to go into the television room. It thus becomes a conscious decision to watch.

Social media

Keeping in contact with friends is great and social media is a wonderful tool for this. Tracking it all can become an addiction that both eats up time and reduces the quality of our thinking by reducing our focus on the task at hand.

  1. Give yourself a few time slots in the day when you do check social media. Turn off the alerts.
  2. Reduce the number of platforms you track – a bit more of a challenge as some people like some platforms better than others. But the more platforms the more time it takes.
  3. Create some rules for yourself about your own posts – what would make them really engaging for other people? Help other people by making sure that if you do post something it is well worth the read, such that people look forward to hearing from you.

Internet

Those clever people who sit behind the search engines we use and the pages we browse, know how to target us with specific information likely to draw us into exploring more and more pages of content. The major challenge of the internet is curating content into usable, useful formats that provide the information we need. The rest is distracting noise that just gets in the way.

  1. When opening your favourite browser, with your mug of coffee ready to be entertained, ask yourself “What question am I seeking to answer?” It might not seem much of a thing to do but it will force you to think about what is it you want to know – Are you exploring holiday options, If so, what aspect? Recommendations? Reviews? Flights? Be clear about what you are doing and it will help focus both your time and enable you make better choices of which sites to explore.
  2. Decide on your time limit for browsing. I.e. allow yourself ten minutes, or half an hour and decide what you are going to do afterwards before you start browsing so you know why you need to move on.
  3. Subscribe only to the number of sites / feeds you can realistically follow and read. There is nothing to stop you changing your subscriptions as your needs change. If you are seeking advice or insight, make sure the credentials of those providing it are adequate – do they really know what they are talking about or is it just a lot of vacuous opinion?

Smartphones

What a brilliant tool a smartphone is. It can do so much stuff, and as a result can be so distracting.

  1. Turn off the alerts except on critical apps. Emails, by definition rarely require an instant response, whereas a text can sometimes be a little more urgent. Consider keeping the alerts on for critical people and off for everyone else.
  2. Turn off all alerts at night. Sleep is so important to performance that it is not worth squandering on browsing.
  3. Put it somewhere where it is just a bit inconvenient to use. If in bed, leave the phone in another room. If out and about, put it in your bag or pocket. If in the car, stick it in the glove compartment.If you really want to be good at something, stop complaining you don’t have the time and take a good long hard look at the things you currently spend your time doing. Are they helping or hindering you in achieving your ambitions? From my experience, changing your habits around these five activities can liberate 10 to 20 hours a week. Just think what you could do with that time.


Author: Dominic Irvine

As well as his consultancy business, Dominic is a keen ultra-distance cyclist – he actually holds the current record for non-stop cycling on a tandem from Land’s End to John O’Groats and regularly takes part in ultra-distance challenges.

Dominic’s consultancy focuses on leadership, performance and innovation. With his colleagues, he has grown the business from developing executives using coaching, to the design and facilitation of international conferences, culture change and leadership development for multinational blue-chip companies across the globe. He also regularly produces blogs that explore key leadership and people development issues.


Getting to grip with coffee: a guide on types of coffee

Getting to grip with coffee: a guide on types of coffee

by Guest Contributor

22 June, 2018

by Gavin Dow, MD of Coffee Central

It seems overwhelming sometimes when trying to get your head around all the types of coffee. Many people get confused on the difference between a Latte and a flat white - let alone the individual flavours of each bean! Gavin Dow, MD of Coffee Central is here to help, talking us through the different types, flavours and best coffee globally; including what to look out for as a beginner.

1. Understanding the location

The first trick to understanding coffee us to know is where your coffee has come from. The same way that people pay attention to the grapes that go into their wine, the geographical region that your coffee has originated is very important in the flavour! Firstly, be aware of the ‘coffee belt’ that runs around the world between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, where the majority of coffee is grown. Then, understand there are three main regions: Asia Pacific, Africa and Arabia and Latin America. Once you get to grips which of these three regions your coffee has come for, you’re off to a good start.

2. Get the flavours right

Secondly, each region’s coffee has a very distinctive characteristics. The coffee spectrum runs from being very full bodied to lighter flavours. Asia pacific has deep aromas of herbs and spices and typically produces very full bodied coffees. Africa and Arabia is the oldest coffee region in the world, and are medium bodied and often more fruity and floral. Lastly, but not least, latin American coffee has less body than the rest and is lighter and more acidic.

3. Brewing is important

One you understand the flavours of the beans itself, the next step is getting to grips with what kind of brew is most suitable. Depending on how you brew your beans has a huge effect on the flavour and style of coffee. The traditional methods of making coffee are Espresso and French press, but many more exist out there. Percolators are becoming increasingly popular, producing a rich and strong flavour.

4. The right style of coffee

Finally, it’s just as important to know the style that you want to consume your coffee. This is the part that most people have some idea about, how much milk and sugar they prefer. However, a lot of people are guilty to sticking to what they know, and don’t dare order anything other than their normal ‘flat white’ for example. However, there’s a whole world of new and exciting coffee styles out there, and knowing the different methods and components of a Cappuccino to Macchiato will help you explore the many variants of coffee available.


First Time Sailors Fear Naught! Tips for Your Inaugural Boating Holiday

First Time Sailors Fear Naught! Tips for Your Inaugural Boating Holiday

by Guest Contributor

12 June, 2018

It’s easy to understand why sailing has become more and more popular in recent years. The focus required to control the boat and the feeling of freedom on the open ocean are just two reasons why people return time and again to the high seas. For first-timers, a few days at sea might seem like an unnerving way to spend a holiday. Yet, with a little forward planning, preparation and sense of adventure, anyone can grasp the art of sailing and enjoy a holiday at sea.

1. Keep it light

Unless you are travelling on a super yacht, bear in mind that cabin space is usually extremely tight. Only pack the absolute essentials to avoid clogging up limited walkway space with unnecessary items. It’s also worth using a holdall or rucksack rather than a hard suitcase, as they can be folded away once you have unpacked.

2. Stay protected

The idea of sitting on the top deck with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair is probably the reason you decided to book your sailing holiday in the first place. However, being at sea does not mean you can forget to respect the sun and protect your skin. In fact, the reflection of the rays on the water intensifies the potential for sunburn and all it takes is a cooling sea breeze for you to forget your SPF and get a serious burn. Stay vigilant and make sure you bring enough sun cream, and a sun hat, after all – you want to make sure the is trip is memorable for the right reasons!

3. Plan for the worst

Noah Silliman / Unsplash

Noah Sillman / Unsplash

Whilst it’s important to only pack the essentials and be wary of the sun, you should be making room for inclement weather essentials too. Even if the forecast is sunny, things can quickly change at sea and to enjoy sailing in all conditions you’ll need waterproofs to protect you. Brands like Musto and Helly Hanson have sailing clothes with moisture wicking base layers and warm inner linings to keep you cosy and dry. Then you can enjoy the seriously exhilarating experience sailing in stormy waters without getting cold and miserable.

4. Keep your sea legs

Taking to the water can gives you a way to switch off from life’s stresses, and simply connect with nature. Although, if it’s your first time staying on a boat, you could end up feeling a little woozy. Make sure you have seasickness pills on hand just in case, so that if you do feel unwell, it doesn’t spoil your relaxed vibe. As well as the medication, try standing on the top deck and focussing on the horizon to restore your balance; spending long amounts of time in the cabin can exacerbate seasickness symptoms.

5. Don’t go sparko

Whilst a sailing trip is a wonderful opportunity to disconnect from your everyday life for a few days, you may want to bring your phone and other electronic goods on your trip. Remember that it can often be tricky to find a plug socket on board. If possible, bring battery powered chargers for electrical items to ensure that you can use them on your trip. If you are likely to have your phone on you whilst on deck, investing in a waterproof case is a clever idea too. Sailing is a truly unique experience and a fantastic way to see the world so once you have prepared for your first sailing trip, the only thing left to do is relax and enjoy yourself!

Read more from Ed at http://thespoondraw.blogspot.co.uk 


Why you should learn how to code

Why you should learn how to code

by Guest Contributor

8 June, 2018

By Sukh Ryatt
Managing Director at intranet software solutions provider Oak
www.oak.com

With the digital revolution in full swing, programming is perhaps one of the most valuable skills to hold. Whether you are looking to expand your career prospects, or even if you just fancy a new hobby, coding has the potential to open endless opportunities.

There are tonnes of reasons why learning to code is a good idea. Due to the skills shortage, there is a constant demand for Programmers and Developers in professional environments, as well as a high volume of freelance roles. Whilst freelancing isn’t for everyone, it does offer the unique opportunity to work to your own time scale, which can do wonders for your work/ life balance. As technology is so prominent nowadays, it will remain a valued profession, and so being computer-literate is essential!

Learning to code will influence your approach to work, as you’ll become a real stickler for detail. Proofreading will become second nature; you will gain detective-worthy problem solving skills; and you’ll be determined to get it right the first time – especially when one misplaced comma has the power to wreck an entire project!

Even if you’re not interested to pursue development as a career, there are very few modern job roles that don’t involve some form of tech element. Being savvy to key concepts and knowing very basic code can improve your communication and collaboration skills with others, as you’ll have a better sense of what to expect in terms of quality and timescale.

If you’re a total novice, it’s advisable to teach yourself code before splashing out on an expensive course. You can think of this as a trial period, to discover whether it’s something you’d like to do professionally, or simply something to occupy your spare time. There are tonnes of free online resources and tutorials you can follow, regardless of your skill level, or expertise.

For first-time programmers, Codeacademy offers a selection of interactive projects that are great to get some guided, hands-on experience. The courses are accompanied by straight-forward articles, allowing you to really get a grasp on the various concepts covered, such as ‘user centred design’ and ‘back-end web architecture’.

Another great option is Free Code Camp. Here aspiring programmers can gain valuable work experience by completing projects for non-profiting organisations – a great way to get your foot in the door!

For those who are slightly more experienced, Hacker Rank lets developers compete in challenges and competitions to expand their skill set. The community element is a great platform to share ideas, and make problem solving a real group effort.

If you decide development is the career path for you, there are tonnes of relevant degree subjects, such as Computer Science and Web Development, that can help you to truly hone your skills, ready for a professional environment. If you are seeking a career change, and don’t want to commit to 3 years of university, there are some legitimate online courses that can help you embark on your new career path. For example, Makers Academy, which is Europe’s leading Web Development boot camp, offering practical experience and job seeking assistance.


How to practice active mindfulness

How to practice active mindfulness

by Guest Contributor

28 September, 2017

By Paul Joseph, Director and co-founder
Health and Fitness Travel
healthandfitnesstravel.com

When we think of mindfulness and the process of becoming self-aware of our emotions, thoughts, feelings and senses, most of us envision a method of passive meditation.

Although this may ring true when practiced by its founding Buddhists, the reality is, we do not need to be physically still and shut away from the world to find our inner-calmness. In today’s fast-paced society, where finding a spare hour (or six) is nigh on impossible, this is most certainly a good thing! Active mindfulness is concerned with maintaining an introspective state of consciousness whilst engaging in everyday activities. Still a bit confused? In the following guide, Health and Fitness Travel, the wellness holiday specialists, turn the spotlight on mindfulness, complete with key tips on how to practice and apply it to your life.

Silence is golden

In the age of communications, the power of silence is wholly underestimated, underused and often even feared. Dedicating time for solitude, even if it’s just five minutes on the train with your eyes shut and earplugs in, can be immensely beneficial to your mental health. It encourages self-reflection, and nourishes and heals the mind. Research has also shown silence to relieve stress and amplify sensitivity to sensations, sounds, emotions and thoughts; an essential principle of mindfulness.

Challenge core beliefs

Often our barriers to success, whether personal or business related, are due to a (sometimes unconscious) stubbornness to challenge our beliefs. Using a ‘thought diary’ identifies destructive thoughts by allowing you to be mindful and aware of how you would feel if these were, in fact, not your beliefs. This technique is especially helpful in challenging how we perceive ourselves, others and the world around us.

Mind(ful) of what you eat

No, this does not mean starving yourself! Take a delicious fresh orange. Eat it slowly and deliberately, paying attention to the sweet citrus taste. Notice how the segment bursts with flavour and spreads over your taste buds, and how your jaw moves as it masticates. Mindful eating not only helps us enjoy what we are consuming optimally, but also recognises our emotional and non-hunger related triggers which inevitably cause us to overeat and feel guilty.

Mindfulness meditation

To take time away from the world and reflect in peace is truly the pinnacle of mindfulness exercises. While meditation is beneficial for our well-being, the magic of this deep relaxation practice lies in how it encourages awareness of our present. Try to maintain a narrow focus to start with i.e. the air as it moves into and out of your lungs, then begin to acknowledge thoughts, feelings, senses, form and emotions. If your mind wanders return to a focus on your breath.

Be accepting

Working on acceptance helps with patience and trust that life will unfold as it’s meant to. It also supports an innate tolerance of life’s rollercoaster, allowing us to remain at peace despite emotional turbulence. Practice by naming emotions: ‘anger’, ‘elation’, ‘sadness’, feeling them and letting them pass without judgement. Understanding that our emotions are fleeting, helps limit the anxiety and worry that tends to pull us out of our present.

Listen to be heard

We have all been in that situation where, no matter what you say, you are just not being understood. Next time you feel this way, take a step back, don’t just focus on the words being said. Pay attention to the tone, examine facial expressions and body language, and no matter what, remain present in the conversation. Mindful listening exists on the premise that listening is the key to real communication.

Be mindful when exercising

Combining the tranquillity of mindfulness with the increased cognitive and physical activity of exercise seems counterproductive, yet they are inextricably linked by the associations of health and wellbeing. Pay attention to the positioning and feel of your body and its individual muscles, notice the environment, your posture and breath with each movement and physical advances will follow suit. Being mindful during exercise will aid proprioception and help you find your form.

Remember, mindfulness is a journey and if you fall off track, simply take a breath, re-centre yourself and the rest will follow. However, if you feel in need of some added motivation why not learn to practice active mindfulness in a beautiful location at one of our healthy holidays.


→ For advice, guidance and booking visit www.healthandfitnesstravel.com or call 0203 397 8891

About Paul Joseph:

Wellness Travel Specialist and Entrepreneur, Paul Joseph, is the co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel, a global leader in wellness holidays worldwide. Always ahead of the curve in pioneering new health programmes that revive the soul, boost fitness or address serious health issues, the worldwide wellness tourism industry has now become a multi-billion sector, growing faster than travel in general. Paul has a wealth of PR, Marketing, Sales and Management experience in the health and tourism industry, consulting leading hotels on their wellness strategy and contributing regularly to broadcast and media interviews.


About Health and Fitness Travel:

Health and Fitness Travel is a global luxury wellness travel company that originated in the UK in 2010 and is committed to providing healthy holidays that enhance and change lives. Created by Paul Joseph and Adam Heathcote as a result of their passion for health and fitness travel and offering bespoke holidays to improve people’s well-being to lead happier and healthier lives.

Health and Fitness Travel offers clients a tailor-made seamless service with the very best health and fitness holidays, handpicked by its expert team, together with exclusive and added value packages with the best deals. As leading specialists, Health and Fitness Travel has also created their own collection of trademark healthy holidays in various destinations which include Fusion Fitness™ BodyBreaks™ and Discover Recover™, offering clients the best value and holiday experience.


For more information visit: www.healthandfitnesstravel.com


Moving from home with a chronic illness

Moving from home with a chronic illness

by Guest Contributor

27 September, 2017

By Liam Richards

Moving away from home can be hard enough for a normal person but it can be even harder for someone suffering from a chronic illness such as chronic fatigue syndrome (this link will help you learn more about the illness).

I personally moved from home for university whilst suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and come back in the summers, I was worried prior to this what it would do to my health so spoke to my hospital to gain advice. The tips I am going to give are both recommendations I received and things I have discovered living away from home. I am in no way a health expert and these tips may not work for you as everyone is different.

Social /

My first tip is one that helps you when you are suffering from low spells or relapses, build a support network. A support network consists of people who will be there in your time of need to give you the boost you need, advice or just someone to talk to. They could be family, friends, medical professionals, colleagues/tutors if you are at university or online such as forums. By building a support network you will know who you can talk to whilst experiencing certain issues from your health or just moving away from home in general. If you feel uncomfortable talking to those close to you, an alternative could be to use forums with other CFS sufferers such as Phoenix Rising which is one that I have used in the past.

Food /

My next tip focuses on saving your precious energy and that is to do online shopping. By doing this will be able to save your energy and be able to have a great selection of food rather than just a local corner shop. This leads onto my next tip which is to eat healthily which is easier to do online as you don’t have to worry about carrying it all home and have the option to a wide healthy range of foods.

By eating healthily, it can help to improve your some symptoms, avoiding processed foods can help your body lose less energy as it will be breaking down more natural foods. Some may find it hard to prepare healthy food so it helps to do meal preparation when you have spare time, saving precious energy when you need to cook in the evening after a long day when you will lack motivation and possibly end up ordering an unhealthy takeaway or ready meal. When the meals are prepared in advance it makes it a lot easier when you might lack the motivation as you just need to heat it up and possibly add some fresh ingredients to add variation.

Rest /

Rest is vital when you suffer from a chronic illness and the outside world can interfere with this so it is worth making purchases that can help to limit this. Earplugs or noise cancelling headphones are great if you live by a busy street or with noisy house mates/neighbours. If you suffer from photosensitivity, it helps to have black-out curtains or an eye mask to limit the light. This should help reduce the provocation of migraines, in turn allowing you to relax to the best of your ability.

Software /

There are multiple types of software that can help with both studying and working. The most helpful one I have used is Claroread, it reads highlighted text from your screen helping to reduce the fatigue on your eyes as well as helping with proofreading as you can hear what your text sounds like. This helps you to spot errors when checking over emails, assignments, or essays. Another helpful piece of software for writing on the computer is Dragon Naturally Speaking, which allows the user to talk into a microphone and it will type the words for you. This allows the user to rest but still work from the comfort of their bed if they need to. It might also be of help to use a calendar that syncs on your multiple platforms, this will help function like a second brain and help to remind you of upcoming events or create to-do lists for each day.


Hopefully, these tips can be of some help to those with a chronic illness for when they are moving or deciding whether to move from home. Most of these tips come from my experience of my first year at university but can be applied to those who are working as well.


How to stay fit and healthy while travelling for business

How to stay fit and healthy while travelling for business

by Guest Contributor

27 September, 2017

By Paul Joseph, Director and co-founder
Health and Fitness Travel
healthandfitnesstravel.com

It’s relatively easy to maintain your fitness whilst you’re in the comfort of your own surroundings, with the local gym just down the road and a schedule of weekly fitness classes. Yet, when travelling for business, the disruption of your daily routine can leave many neglecting their health and fitness whilst away.

With studies revealing the benefits of exercise for increased concentration and productivity, together with reduced stress levels and insomnia, maintaining your fitness can offer great perks when on a business trip or corporate wellness retreat. Here, Health and Fitness Travel, the wellness holiday specialists, share some helpful hints on how you can stay fit and healthy on a wellness holiday, so that you can perform at your peak whilst travelling for business.

Pack your active wear

It may seem obvious, but this is rule number one, so that you don’t use the fact that you don’t have your trainers or swimsuit as an excuse not to exercise.

Get your body and brain active

Make the most of high-tech gym facilities and on-hand personal trainers on our wellness retreats. Exercise will not only improve your fitness but it’ll also increase your energy levels and reduce stress, meaning that you’ll be able to concentrate more and perform better in meetings.

Swim for success

Swimming is full of health benefits and is a holiday staple when in a hot country, so make the most of this activity and fit in a few swift lengths in the pool or ocean before breakfast. Get your heart pumping and benefit from the relaxing effects of being in the water.

Add variety with fitness classes

Try something new to keep your body and your mind alert, with a wide range of complimentary fitness classes available. Experience everything from spinning and kickboxing to yoga and Tai Chi on one of our fitness holidays, for a physical and mental health boost.

Explore on a run or a walk

When free from business meetings, the easiest way to explore the surroundings and maintain your fitness, is to go for a jog or a walk around the area. Ask the concierge for the most picturesque route and discover the beautiful scenery whilst upping your heart rate.

Try an outdoor activity

If you have a free evening or afternoon, why not try out an outdoor activity to improve your fitness and unwind from stress. Play a game of tennis with work colleagues on an activity holiday or go for a bike ride, which will also benefit your mind with fresh air and give you time to think.

Eat healthily

Where better to embrace healthy eating than at a wellness retreat, where trained chefs can whip up both delicious and nutritious culinary delights. By fuelling your body and mind with the right nutrition, you’ll be able to perform to your best in important meetings.

Make day-to-day changes

These range from using the stairs rather than the elevator, to swapping a business meeting at the bar for a business meeting over a game of golf or tennis.


→ For advice, guidance and booking visit www.healthandfitnesstravel.com or call 0203 397 8891

About Paul Joseph:

Wellness Travel Specialist and Entrepreneur, Paul Joseph, is the co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel, a global leader in wellness holidays worldwide. Always ahead of the curve in pioneering new health programmes that revive the soul, boost fitness or address serious health issues, the worldwide wellness tourism industry has now become a multi-billion sector, growing faster than travel in general. Paul has a wealth of PR, Marketing, Sales and Management experience in the health and tourism industry, consulting leading hotels on their wellness strategy and contributing regularly to broadcast and media interviews.


About Health and Fitness Travel:

Health and Fitness Travel is a global luxury wellness travel company that originated in the UK in 2010 and is committed to providing healthy holidays that enhance and change lives. Created by Paul Joseph and Adam Heathcote as a result of their passion for health and fitness travel and offering bespoke holidays to improve people’s well-being to lead happier and healthier lives.

Health and Fitness Travel offers clients a tailor-made seamless service with the very best health and fitness holidays, handpicked by its expert team, together with exclusive and added value packages with the best deals. As leading specialists, Health and Fitness Travel has also created their own collection of trademark healthy holidays in various destinations which include Fusion Fitness™ BodyBreaks™ and Discover Recover™, offering clients the best value and holiday experience.


For more information visit: www.healthandfitnesstravel.com


How to avoid falling out with your business partner

How to avoid falling out with your business partner

by Guest Contributor

26 September, 2017

By Anthony Bennett
bennetthay.co.uk

Myself and Robin Hay co-founded the bespoke hospitality business Bennett Hay back in 2010. We now employ just over 200 people. Robin and I have worked together for the last 20 years, which is one of the main reasons we decided to set up Bennett Hay.

We found we had very complimentary skills, which I’d argue is an extremely important factor in a successful partnership. At the beginning we spent a great deal of time independently capturing what’s important to each of us before sharing our thoughts, just to double check we had the same drivers and passions – which, thankfully, we did!

Photography on behalf of Bennett Hay © Daniel Lewis.

Here are my top tips to avoid falling out:

Rather like any relationship, you have to keep the communication open and honest. Be up front with any issues and make time for debate.


Agree decision-making processes, allowing both autonomy and combined thinking. Pre-agreeing structures and processes lessens the likelihood of a fall out at a later stage.


Plan for growth and recognise the need to adjust behaviours and job roles as the company grows. Co-founders must be prepared to adapt to the changing business landscape; pre-empting eventualities from the very outset, and meeting up monthly to discuss the proposition, can help pave the way in future.


Sleep on a big decision before making it. Jointly agree to give each other plenty of time to reach an outcome; that way, you reduce unnecessary stress.


Hear each other out. You’ve entered into business together and both partners will possess different skills and experience; tap into and use it at all times. You never know what you’ll learn and discover from each other. A business can only ever grow if it’s challenged after all.


Stay true to your vision and business integrity. Continually believe in what you are here to do and where you want to take the business.