Category Archives: Life and style

Pinny chic: how to wear an apron like Alexa Chung

Alexa Chung almost won star baker on the Great Comic Relief Bake Off with her salted caramel brownies last night. Whatever. We’re more fussed about her Marni-esque apron-and-shirt chic

Much like Jesus with the water and the wine, Alexa Chung wearing a beige apron with a navy shirt – a little bit Marni, a little bit Jil Sander – on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off last night sounds blah, but will no doubt see the pinny evolve into a festival staple this summer. So do hold your breath and work out how to wear yours.

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Letter from Tehran: out for a jog

‘If my American friend, the runner, who visits our foul city regularly for work, can jog every morning in this poisonous air, so can I’

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Marathon training: recovering from the long run

You’ve managed your long run – but what now? Water and salad, or all the cake you can eat? Nutritionist Emma Barraclough gives the low down on the sensible way to recover

After a long run, you will have depleted the majority of your stored carbohydrate, ie your muscle and liver glycogen. This happens even if you do manage to keep up the generally accepted recommendation of an intake of 60g of carbohydrate each hour, as you simply cannot match energy expenditure with calorie intake during your run. So it is really important post-run to eat carbs, especially for those with a high glycemic index. Carbs initiate an insulin response, which in turn lowers your blood-sugar level by driving carbohydrate back into the muscles, where it is stored again as glycogen.

Fast-release protein is also needed by the body. If you do not fuel adequately with carbohydrate during your long run, your body can actually start to break down your lean muscle mass to convert the protein into energy. Taking in protein after exercise helps to prevent this. It also supports the repair of any damage to muscle tissue that has occurred due to the training load.

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Posted in Fitness, Life and style, Running, World news | Comments Off

Ah, the unmistakable scent of Eau de Terror

Maybe it’s the promise of virility that draws Anders Breivik and Islamic State’s Abou Bilel to Chanel fragrances. I just get lemons with a top note of Toilet Duck

As the leisurewear outfit Lacoste discovered during the trial of Anders Breivik, there is such a thing as negative publicity. Breivik’s proud displays of their pullovers, as he explained his reasoning for murdering 77 people, mostly children, led to Lacoste requesting police intervention to end his remorseless product placement.

Bad news for Lacoste, good news for Chanel, as it threw people off the scent of Breivik’s other big brand passion: Platinum Egoiste, Chanel’s cologne “expressing energy, light and virility, with the warmth of exotic woods”. His followers still ship him bottles in prison along with books and CDs and Knights Templar cufflinks, though one chap on the Commander Breivik Report online forum did express some queasiness: “I wouldn’t feel entirely comfortable sending another man some perfume.”

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Posted in Anders Behring Breivik, Chanel, Daytime TV, Fashion, Fragrance, Islamic State (Isis), Life and style, Margate, Politics, UK Independence party (Ukip), UK news, World news | Comments Off

Nigel Slater’s carrot and cardamom soup with herb ricotta dumplings recipe

A light, main-course vegetable soup with tantalising ricotta dumplingsScrub and roughly chop 400g of carrots. Cut 2 ribs of celery into short lengths. Peel and roughly chop an onion. Put the carrots, celery and onion into a deep pan with a couple of ta…
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Who says we should be able to cook more than nine meals? That’s enough for me

In a time-poor world, some of us enjoy the beautiful simplicity of assigning meals to each day of the week

A survey commissioned by Ocado has revealed that, despite owning, on average, six recipe books, Britons are stuck in a nine-meal rut. That is to say that we (or, at least, the 2,000 adults they asked) cook the same nine dishes on rotation, rarely introducing new, exciting concoctions to our repertoires.

This sounds like less of a rut to me, but rather an ideal amount of staple meals: seven dinners a week, plus lunches on the weekend. Job done. There’s no shame in following a routine – we’re creatures of habit, after all. And life is hectic enough.

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How to be a man in 2015

Being a guy used to be easy. Now it’s just confusing. Are you an ultra dad or a lumbersexual? And who’s the better role model – David Beckham or Louis CK? Max Olesker asks what’s happened to masculinity, and if it has a future Continue reading…




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Posted in David Beckham, Feminism, Gender, Life and style, Men's fashion, Society, World news | Comments Off

Ketamine control plan condemned as potential disaster for world’s rural poor

Repeated Chinese attempts to tighten controls on drug described as ‘David and Goliath struggle’ between poor and rich countries

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Posted in Caesareans, Childbirth, Clubbing, Drugs, Drugs policy, Drugs trade, Health, Health & wellbeing, Life and style, Pregnancy, Society, United Nations, Women, World Health Organisation, World news | Comments Off

Joanna Blythman webchat – post your questions now

Think you know how to eat well? Think again. Joanna Blythman went undercover in the food industry… now you can ask her about what she discovered

  • Read an extract from Joanna’s new book

1.20pm GMT

Judith Ellen Cordie says

Firstly, thank you for going undercover on behalf of the human race. My question is, how much of what I have read is being used in the food manufacture of Australia?

The ‘food ingredients’ industry, which is closely aligned to the chemical industry, is very global. I’m not an expert on Australia, but I’d guess that much/most of the material in Swallow This is relevant to Australians who want to know more about how their food is produced.

1.18pm GMT

Ghill De Rozario says

I would like to know what your views are on organic produce and GMOs. You seem to know the medical concerns regarding many additives. Do you also follow the science which states that GMOs are safe and that organic produce is not any better than non-organic produce? Or has your research uncovered new information on these issues?

The so-called ‘scientific consensus’ on GM foods doesn’t exist. Recently 300 distinguished scientists signed a statement urging the precautionary principle and warning of risks. Why listen to some scientists, not others?

1.15pm GMT

Dave55 says

Can you tell me what you think is wrong with adding enzymes to bread or fruit juice (and wine of course) to make it look and taste nicer, or in the case of juice, to increase yields and reduce waste? Why is this any different to adding yeast to bread to make it rise? And are you somehow under the impression that fruit juice doesn’t already contain dozens of enzymes naturally present? Does the word “enzyme” in fact scare you?

On your enzyme point: Many enzyme-modified ingredients are there to trick consumers e.g. to make fruit drinks look as if they have more juice than they do by making them look cloudy e.g. giving young cheese a “mature’ flavour. Also bear in mind that enzymes have allergenic potential. Respiratory problems from handling enzymes is a documented occupational hazard of bakery workers.

1.13pm GMT

ID3112310 has posted a lengthy question, which you can read in full here.
superfringe replied:

It amazes me how people are so quick to dismiss those with years of training, experience and expertise on the grounds of vested interests, yet lap up the comments of someone who as far as I can tell has no food or science qualifications and allegedly no vested interests.. oh wait she is selling a book.

Are you really suggesting that NO-ONE other than a scientist has the right to discuss how processed food is made? Do you really think that civil society can leave our food supply to food technologists/engineers operating behind closed doors? The day food processors open their factories and formulae to interested citizens, and stop hiding behind the creed of commercial secrecy, I’ll take a back seat. Until then, I’m investigating the processed food industry in the public interest.

1.08pm GMT

pnola says

Thanks for the fascinating article, which seems to have attracted more than its fair share of hostile comment from people obviously connected with the additives industry.
My question is this: I moved to the States from the UK, and I find that bread and milk last twice as long here. Is this because they contain more preservatives, or have they been irradiated?

My impression (only impression) is that food in US is even more processed/altered/modified and has more additives/controversial ingredients than in EU. For example, GM ingredients don’t have to be labelled in US. In EU they do.
I am often really shocked by the controversial ingredients/additives in products imported from US to EU. Hard to avoid high fructose corn syrup, for instance.

1.06pm GMT

Meta101 says

Hi Joanna

Do you think there is a problem in the food/health/lifestyle media of exaggerating the results of studies? Taking something that has shown a correlation and then attributing cause and effect?

It’s important to distinguish between one-off studies that might throw up ‘rogue’ findings, and more rigorous studies, in particular gold standard reviews. In the case of diet sweeteners, there’s now a body of evidence suggesting that they don’t help weight loss, and may cause other problems e.g. T2 Diabetes. I always look for a raft of science literature before leaping to any conclusion. Studies I refer to appear in End Notes in Swallow This

1.05pm GMT

SenseAboutScience says

We’d like to ask about the word ‘natural’ on food packaging. Does it have any legal/regualtory definition?

This is a question for philosophers :) Natural is a very debased term. Food processors/supermarkets use it as a heuristic “Good for me and my family”. I use it to refer to whole, unprocessed food, as opposed to processed convenience food.

1.03pm GMT

theremaybehopeyet says

Hi Joanna.

Is food more than simply a collection of chemicals and substances consumed by a person?

I agree with you. The main reason I wrote this book was because I think that in nutritional and taste terms, processed food is a sorry apology for real food. Sharing home cooked food with people we love/like is one of lives greatest pleasures. Factory food industry tries to tell we don’t have the time to cook. That gives it carte blanche to sell us low-grade, compromised, nutritionally impoverished products in the name of saving us time/money.

1.02pm GMT

Hi everyone, I’m here

1.00pm GMT

And we’re now live: Joanna Blythman will be answering your questions until 2pm. Leave yours in the comments field below…

8.00am GMT

You might find it all too easy to resist eating obviously processed foods – turkey drummers, ready meals, fruit “drink” or pappy mass-made white bread. Perhaps you check labels for E numbers and strange-sounding ingredients. And yet you will still find it hard to avoid the 6,000 food additives, such as flavourings, glazing agents, improvers, bleaching agents, or the hi-tech ingredients, such as permeates, polyols and cyclodextrins, that are routinely employed behind the scenes of contemporary food manufacture.

For my book, Swallow This, I gained unprecedented access to the world of modern food processing, an industry that takes advantage of the creed of commercial confidentiality to keep us in the dark about what we’re really eating. Even to me, a food journalist with more than 25 years of investigations under my belt, it was a real eye-opener. You can read an extract here.

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Three-quarters of supermarket chickens carry food poisoning bug

Nearly one in five samples highly contaminated and none of major supermarkets met targets for reducing campylobacterThree-quarters of fresh chickens on sale in supermarkets and butchers are contaminated with the potentially lethal food poisoning bug ca…
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