Wednesday, 18 September 2019

NRI lecture

Natural Resources Institute lecture




About This Activity
The NRI held a taster lecture to explain what the NRi are doing in the direction of Food Security in this changing world.
When Did The Activity Take Place?
08 October 2015
Reason(s) For Undertaking The Activity
After taking a year of extended science at university last year, I found Public Health nutrition very interesting.  I am keen to find out what the NRI does in order to consider learning more about the food situation. Thinking there may be a possibility of furthering my education in this area.
Knowledge Or Skills Gained
During the lecture I was surprised to learn so much about the shortage of food throughout the world.  The waste of food in countries such as the UK was also a shock for me.  I will definitely be thinking more about how green I am with my food waste and also packaging and recycling.  Learning just how much of a direction we are heading globally, I feel it is important to try and help spread the message to others too.
Impact Of The Activity
Obviously, I would like to get to know NRI so much more and learn from the other lectures what they are finding.  Therefore I have written the coming dates in my diary. I will be far more aware now of how I may be able to learn and pass on the message in the future by making presentations to the public or perhaps getting involved in research in latter years.
Overall Reflection
Globally, the situation with food reaches far wider than simply thinking about what to cook for the evening meal.  My education today has impacted my thinking as to just how different we are in the world from our neighbours.  I will be interested to keep an eye on current affairs,  global warming information regarding growing crops and generally finding out where both the NRI and government are going with their research.



Friday, 26 July 2019

Seminar at Kings College London

Seminar at Kings College London




About This Experience
Looking at cardio vascular health and saturated fats.  Held at Kings College London and supported by the Alpro Foundation.  

Much evidence was shown in respect to the above.  Cohorts had gathered information in support of plant based eating and the link of cardio vascular health.  
When Did The Experience Take Place?
10 March 2016
Supporting Evidence
Product brochures containing much dietary information. Photo graphs of the slide presentation and of the outside of Kings.  Plus the confirmation email of my booking.
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Overall Reflection
This synopsisum was informative to me in relation to my studies.  More and more I am realising the benefits of eating a diet lower in saturated fats and higher in PUFAs.  This demonstrated that a plant based diet may make these nutrients more readily available.  

A plant based diet does not exclude meat.  Rather is a diet focused more on consumption of vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and certain unsaturated oils. The recommendation was to include around 1/3rd meat and 2/3rd plant based.  
The speaker was keen to point out that this diet can be subject to error by the consumer.  If he were to consume more wholegrain bread in the diet, this may be bread which needs carving; making the consumer prone to carving a larger portion of 50g rather than the recommended 30g.  Shop bought bread may contain higher levels of salt than desirable.  Therefore, a risk may be imposed to consume more salt.  

While every diet discussed seems to have arguments for and against, I can clearly see the benefits of eating a full spectrum of colour in a plant based diet.  Variety and balanced, this diet may well have convinced me that a lower intake of animal based fats may be beneficial to health.  Also, I am keen to get out and buy a Nutribullet!

A final side note to take away from the evening,  there is some limited studies on menopausal women and symptoms of  menopause such as hot flushes.  Soya bean products are thought to lower the symptoms in these women.

While watching the speakers and taking mental notes, I could see how the knowledge they have may have come across to the audience as easy to understand with one speaker, yet less easy to understand with the next speaker.  This has also helped with my own presentation skills for the future and any speaking I may need to do.



Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Time away from everything; including learning

Spending time with my precious family this week in Majorca has been eye opening.

Planning and booking this trip over 18 months ago was an easy decision. We knew as a family we would need time, like the final of the Euro when the score is 0-0. This time gave us the much needed time to figure out our new family dynamics. 

The twins have now left school, after successfully (we hope) sitting their GCSEs. I am fatherless. Still thoughts of Dad consume my mind every day. Occasionally tears flow. I dreamt the other night that he text me and said he hadn't really died. Yet wouldn't tell me what had happened. Upon waking I was cradled by my ex husband, also my best friend who was on holiday with us. 

What I would do without him God only knows. Though like most couples (which I think we are once again) he can also drive me bananas. 


Part of me was considering bringing my human nutrition book. Wanting to learn, needing to learn. To be the very best student I can be in the coming year. 

Instead I read an autobiography about Caroline flack. 


While taking many photos. 
"Listening" to Caroline's story reasonated with me massively. Which got me thinking. 

I do love uni. 
Yet being away, I have realised 

Friday, 21 June 2019

My results are all in

So it seems somehow, I passed.

Amazing news isn't it?  There was just one disappointment which was Biochemistry in my exam.  22%

22%? Well I felt I had done so so so much better than that.  Yet, worry not, I do feel I understood the content and I also passed the module as the other elements were great marks.  Pleased for sure!

Overall a 50% pass for Biochem.  Not bad as I missed so much of that.

The other results were amazing.  My PDP (the thing I added blogs to) got a whopping 85% which I was really so super glad about. I was hoping for a great score there.

Nutrition exam came away with 67%.

All modules were at the very least a 2:2 and most a 2:1.

This first year doesn't count towards the final grade marks yet I have learnt so much about what I may need to do to get a first (I'd love one of those!) and to be honest, I know it's not going to be handed to me on a plate.  Yet it seems incredibly possible depending on what else you might have going on in life.  For me, I need to work a little less on people's hair styles and spend far more time reading and in the library.  This coming year should be far far more interesting. Much less about the core science and more in which I'm hoping to relate to.  Immunology, cancer, metabolism etc.  I am doubly sure I will be learning so much about myself too and how I can help myself with my own health and diet - she says as she takes a sip of her latte - which would be amazing.

Emailing my tutor who was going to show me some good examples of well written papers and essays got no reply.  Well, it is the summer holidays.  My brain is a little tuned out too!

Yesterday I took a call from my mental health advisor from uni who is quite on the ball in all departments.  She is keen for me to continue to take care of my mental health and feels my physical health is all part of the difficulties dealing with the mental.

To be totally open on this blog though, I have definitely realised that I need to be comfortable in the skin I'm in.  I'm a person who loves to be at home, sitting at my desk and not being overly social in public.  That's just me.  It's who I am.  Realising that has enabled me to create a much better inner peace.  Ok, so here's the hippy in me showing through now.

I have so many super ideas on how I can create my ideal life and living from the beauty of my laptop. I am super keen to make this happen.  It just may mean some more late nights, which I am not so great at.

Today, my son takes his last GCSE and in two days, my daughter finishes too (did I mention they are twins?)  I cannot help but feel like punching the air saying "I've done it!" as I realise I actually lived long enough to watch them grow up!  Sounds daft now but when they were tiny I was an anxiety filled mess who really wanted to live long enough.  I would lie awake counting my heartbeats as it pounded with palpitations (these are the days before I knew I was allergic to gluten!).
Next year (early) they will be able to drive which will give me so much more free time.  Although leaving school, they are going to be at college which is directly next to the university! Amazing.

Hoping this will all work out well, I am continuing with putting as much time as possible into my blog posts and youtube videos in the hope that it really doesn't matter how many slipped discs I'm dealing with or what level of arthritis.  I can still work and keep myself doing all the things I love.

I'm excited for the future.  Just wishing I wasn't filled with doubt about me actually being able to make it all happen.

What about you?  How is your future looking?  Are you confident?


Sunday, 2 June 2019

Biology results are in!!!

Yesterday,  a little notification popped up in our nutrition student Facebook group.

"Biology is up."

I was out with the children at the time and took a deep breath.  The internet was intermittent where we were and it was definitely not a time to make things all about me.  I whispered to my son, "I'm about to get an exam result."

Not realising that this was actually also a mark for the entire module.

So, carefully I logged in. It all felt so alien to me after just a short spell of time not logging in.  Those people who log in throughout every day to get results.  Bit more committed than me maybe?

As I clicked here and there I realised things were looking GOOD.  Relieved, excited and a little proud of myself I noticed that I had 67% for my exam! Chuffed to bits.  Had there not been that silly 30% essay mark in this module I am pretty sure I would have got a first.  However, scraping a 2:1 with an overall of 60% impressed myself.  Not going to complain about that at all.

Chuffed.
Chuffed.
Chuffed.

Meanwhile, we await the rest!

Good luck with yours.  Any results in yet?  What did you get?


Friday, 31 May 2019

Thoughts of the summer holiday.

So here we are at the end of May.  I have been off now for around 2 weeks and things are going crazy inside my head.

Part of me really misses university so so much.  Part of me loves being at home.

Interestingly, I have started to drop some weight while doing not much different. Which does make me wonder about the theory of stress and cortisol.  We know this one by now don't we?  Do we?  Yes we do.  Stress keeps us from digesting stuff properly! I also recently heard about a bit of a craze regarding cryotherapy and weight loss.  Apparently it stimulates leptin in the system.

Interesting stuff.

So, last week I almost moved home.  I was having a big dream about buying this huge house and letting out part of it to create a type of getaway for those who want to either learn to cook, or be cooked for and have a place to chill while doing some country walking.  Yet thinking on, I have decided to stay in my house and hopefully get some home improvements done.  This also brought me to a place of thinking about helping children and giving back, making a difference.  I'm a very loving giving person that only those who get close to me tend to see.  Otherwise I can seem stern, yet I'm not.

Speaking to a client of mine who is managing director of a fostering agency, I might well go down that route.  Sounds crazy I know. I still dream of all the same things I have always dreamt of.  Writing and creating information online for those who wish to improve health through nutrition.  If I can do that while also taking care of a loving little baby who is waiting for it's forever home then what an amazing adventure that would be!

This brings me to a place of thinking should I really go back to university.  The amount of stress I endured and the health issues and even right down to the palpitations, it is crazy.  Then bizarrely as I sit writing this blog, one of my university besties texts me out of the blue to organise dinner with the other of my uni besties.  So the universe works in crazy ways. I really owe it to myself to get registered as a nutritionist and that means passing this degree.  The time will fly I know. And perhaps once this home improvement work is done I can begin the path to foster these sweet little babies.  Who knows....


The end of the term

I can't quite believe I'm typing this but the term has ended.

Making it to the end, against all odds I have to say I have given myself a pat on the back and I feel very proud of hanging on in there until it's all over.  Chuffed.  Chuffed.  Chuffed.

Exam time has given me a buzz, as always and I hope I have done enough to pass.  I feel I have.  Not without putting in the time and effort though.  Night after night, day after day I have worked hard in the beautiful university library.  I love it here.  Very grounding and really gets you to work.  What a great space.

What has helped me?

I found that going over old exam papers was by far the best way of revising for this first year.  Many of the questions were repeated and it gave me the skill to learn how to properly read the question and indeed how to answer them too!  I felt that reading over the powerpoint slides again just confused me.

Many of the questions gave us a choice of 10 and we had to answer 7 of them.  About half of these were repeated the past 3 years and me and my classmates came to the conclusion that this way likely to be a pattern for this year too.  Focused, I attempted all of them yet to be honest, I struggled with the renal system (kidneys etc) and couldn't get my head around it despite giving it several hours attention. Instead, I decided to quit trying and focus on other areas where I could gain more confidence and likely more marks.

Feeling very much like I was dreading the biochemistry exam (the last one) I was entering the room slightly nervous.  There was no need though as I honestly feel I really took the bull by the horns and managed to do well as I could have.  I applied for E.C (extenuating circumstances) due to missing so many lectures on this subject.  That all happened around the time that I lost Dad.  Poor Dad.  Sorry to keep blaming you Pop.  Obviously I am/was glad to be on hand to make everything happen in relation to organising the official things.  Mum needed my support that's for sure.

Without having a belief in myself (despite being against the odds), spending time in the library and going over those old exam papers, I'm not sure I would be as confident.  Let's wait and see now but everything crossed, I'll let you know what the outcome is in a few weeks time!