Monday, 26 September 2016

REVIEW: HoneyColony Equilibrium Energy

 Today I'm bringing you my first ever review on this blog - of HoneyColony's Equilibrium Energy: a new superfood formula. I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. 

Equilibrium energy is comprised of 12 different superfoods, including ginger, blue algae and bee pollen with the main ingredient and the base of the formula being raw honey. The Energy supplement was really designed for anyone who leads an active lifestyle and while that definitely doesn't describe me, the benefits it's designed to bring (naturally stimulating the nervous system, enhancing brain function, supporting muscle relief, and providing anti-inflammation support) would really help me as a chronically ill person. So I was pretty intrigued by it. 

I've actually never really tried a superfood supplement before--I've barely even had standard supplements. I guess I'm just a little sceptical. But I cast my scepticism aside to give this a try. My first thought was how expensive the product looked. The jar is dark brown and is apparently Biophotonic meaning only sunlight is let in to improve the formula. My next thoughts were about the texture and taste of the product itself, neither of which are particularly desirable. There's a tar-like texture that's also quite gritty, and the taste is really hard to describe, but it's not especially pleasant. I did find myself not looking forward to taking it, especially as I often feel quite sick in the mornings. You could put it into a hot drink or smoothie, but I don't drink either first thing. That being said, it didn't make me gag or anything, and I did get used to it after a few days!

So did it help? I wouldn't say taking Equilibrium Energy gave me MORE energy, it was more like it made me less tired? I didn't necessarily feel like I could do more, but what I did do made me less tired than usual, and I found myself needing less naps. Mentally I definitely felt a little clearer, less fatigued. I was pleasantly surprised to see some results from taking the supplement, though I did feel like I would have been better able to assess the effects if I were able to take it for longer. 

Would I buy it for myself? Probably not. It was nice not to feel as tired for a couple of weeks, but the high-quality and small-batch nature of the product means it is quite expensive. Couple that with shipping and customs fees to/in the UK means it's just out of my price range really. However if I did live in the US, I might consider it, especially for a little boost during busy times. HoneyColony actually offer an auto-ship deal, which is both an excellent idea for those of us who are forgetful and it comes with a decent discount, too.

On the whole, I was pleased to see some results from taking Equilibrium Energy and while taking it long-term is not an option for me, I'd certainly say it's worth giving it a try if you have the financial ability to/aren't inhibited by shipping and customs fees like I am!

Find out more about HoneyColony's Equilibrium Energy here 

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Chronic Illness and the Seasons

For me, Autumn is the best season to be chronically ill. In theory, summer should be best, because it is (again, in theory) hot and warmth is good for my joints, but the problem with summer is the clothing. I pretty much have to wear lace-up boots that cover my ankle and have a sturdy sole, and while this is fine for me apart from on very hot days, it does not fit in with other people's perceptions of what my summer footwear should consist of. This past summer, I did finally find the perfect pair of sandals from Dr Martens and while I love them, I couldn't wear them all the time because they just aren't supportive enough.

It isn't just the footwear that causes a problem in summer though, it's the rest of my clothes. I have to keep my body warm, because cold limbs = pain, stiff, locked joints and general badness. And unfortunately, I have a body that is tough to keep warm. I can go all the way to about 23 degrees (with minimal exercise) and still be happy in jeans or 200 denier tights. Again, this makes me look a bit weird. It's only on the (very rare) occasions that we have a hot enough day or if I'm away in a hotter country, that I go bare-legged.

My personal favourite season is winter, the antithesis to summer. I can wear all my layers and my boots without standing out, but the weather is often so cold that, no matter how much I like it, it's almost impossible for me to stay warm enough to be comfortable, especially out of the house.

This leaves Spring and Autumn. Spring pretty much has to be dismissed outright because I am NOT a pastel-shades kinda girl. Which brings me to Autumn. All those things able-bodied people romanticise Autumn for are pretty essential for me as a person with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome. Autumn means I can wear my jumpers and my scarves and my big coats and my boots and not only not be out of place, but be bang-on re appropriate seasonal clothing AND warm and comfortable. Autumn means not being quite as cold as in winter. Autumn means russet and forest green and grey and black and all those other colours I like. Autumn means justifiable reasons to stay in (it's cold, it's dark, Bake Off/Strictly/Period Drama du jour is on) which makes me feel better as a person who often has to stay in. Autumn means hot drinks and blankets and stews and soups which are all things that make me feel more comfortable. Autumn means comfort full stop.

And comfort, as a chronically ill person, is one of the end-goals of any scenario. It's rare I'll find myself pain or fatigue free, or sans any kind of symptom or side-effect, but if I'm experiencing these things while comfortable, I can cope much better. I can be better-humoured.

If you're chronically ill, which season is best for you? And if not, what's your favourite season in general?

Sunday, 4 September 2016

August in Review

Honestly, August mostly sucked. I'm not really sure why--I just feel like it did. There were some high points: I went to Newcastle for a couple of days with my friend Debbie and had an amazing time with glorious weather and it was so nice, but other than that, August hasn't been so great. There's some stressful stuff going on at work, I had a tooth out, I had to cancel lots of social plans and, right at the end of August, my hip partially dislocated leading me to spend the first 2 days of September bed-bound. Funfunfun. 

Books Read in August
Potion Diaries: The Royal Tour - Amy Alward
The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts - Annie Darling
Just Haven't Met You Yet - Cate Woods
Geek Girl 4.5: Sunny Side Up - Holly Smale
Geek Girl - Holly Smale (reread)
Darkfever - Karen Marie Moning (reread)
Bloodfever - Karen Marie Moning (reread)
Faefever - Karen Marie Moning (reread)
Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning (reread)
Shadowfever - Karen Marie Moning (reread)

Favourite Book of August
Potion Diaries - The Royal Tour

So I read LOADS in August! Way more than any other month so far this year. Unfortunately loads were rereads and I still cannot remember how to make them count again on Goodreads so they can't strictly go towards my goal for the year. I LOVED Royal Tour, which I knew I would after loving the first one last year. I also really enjoyed The Little Bookshop which is really funny and features a 'hate'-to-love relationship; my favourite kind! I was really in the mood to reread Geek Girl after reading the summer special, and then I was in a reread phase so I reread one of my fave guilty pleasure Urban Fantasy series; the Fever series. It's dark and sexy and totally addictive. 


Films Seen at the Cinema in August
Suicide Squad
The Shallows
Finding Dory

Lets just not talk about Suicide Squad okay?
My bf and I saw Nerve and The Shallows in the same day and it was the perfect double feature actually. Both about 90mins long, both thrillers, but one commercial, kinda pop-y and the other a bit more indie, tense and art-y. I really, really enjoyed them both though and thought Blake Lively's performance in The Shallows was exceptional. I also really liked Finding Dory!


Catch Up On This Month's Blog Posts

Again, not much of a blogging month in August, as I wasn't feeling great!
I shared my Chronic Illness Positives as well as the latest of my Etsy Addiction posts. I also talked about the struggles of healthy eating when chronically ill, and shared my top films to watch when you aren't feeling great!


Next week I'm going down to London to celebrate the launch of my friend Laure Eve's book The Graces (it's amazing, go buy it) and then spending the weekend at a family event. I'm also going to the ballet for the first time in ages to see Giselle. I'm super, super looking forward to the release of Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, the sequel to Six of Crows which was one of my favourite books last year. I'm excited to see The Magnificent 7 and will almost definitely end up seeing Bridget Jones' Baby! Plus we have Poldark and Strictly Come Dancing are back on TV - very exciting.

This last 4 months are my favourite of the year, so I'm really hoping things pick up!