Wellbeing: In case of emergencies…
With schools breaking up shortly, prep for holiday health with the St John Ambulance Universal Plus First Aid Kit – everything you need for common accidents, plus a first aid leaflet/£16.80 from stjohnsupplies.co.uk. And here are my tried and trusted products for trips near and far:
✚ Derma E Hydrating Facial Wipes/£9 for 25: one-stop cleansing and softening wipes, based on plant ingredients; they’re plastic-free and 100 per cent compostable with recyclable packaging. Also: Simply Gentle Organic Cotton Buds/£2.25 for 200, with biodegradable stems.
✚ Compeed Blister Mix Plasters/£4.39: a must for sore heels, toes or corns. Available nationwide.
✚ Sea-Band/£8.74 for a pack of two wristbands to help nausea and vomiting: position the band’s stud on an acupressure point on your inside wrist. For adults and children. Sea-Band Mama! Ginger Lozenges with Folic Acid/£4.60, may help to alleviate morning sickness.
✚ Viridian Nutrition Travel Biotic/£24.95 for 30 capsules: contains a probiotic shown to prevent traveller’s diarrhoea and stomach upsets. Take one daily for five days before travelling then during your trip.
✚ Dr Scurr’s Zinopin Long Haul/£24.50 for ten capsules (for each return flight): this natural supplement formulated by a consultant surgeon helps reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis and puffy ankles on flights over two hours.
✚ De Mamiel Altitude Oil/£28 for 10ml: a blend of antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic herbs to help clear your head and protect your immune system on germ-friendly planes and public transport.
✚ Fire Angel Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarm/£24.99: this portable device detects poisonous gas, which has no smell or taste. Inhaling CO can cause chronic ill health. High
levels can be deadly, with deaths from faulty appliances recorded in hotels and rentals. (See nhs.uk for symptoms.)
✚ Better You Magnesium Gel/£11.95: fast-acting gel for joint and muscle aches and pains or post-flight stiffness.
✚ Terranova Avena Sativa & Tart Cherry/£16.80: natural remedy that may help jet lag, tension and insomnia.
✚ iS Clinical Sheald Recovery Balm/£43 for 60ml: brilliant for sunburn – a father whose small son was very sunburnt was astonished at its almost instant calming and healing effect. (If you have nothing else, apply cold milk.)
If footwear could win an Oscar, my colleague Rosalind and I would vote for FitFlops, the genius brand pioneered by entrepreneur Marcia Kilgore. Actress Uma Thurman loves them so much she has her own FitFlop Edit, #Forsuperwomen. Like millions of others, we are devotees of these brilliantly designed sandals, shoes and boots, which take you anywhere in style and (hallelujah!) comfort. I wore the Superchic Woven Ballerinas/£90, to a glam dinner and skipped home at the end. Rosalind’s vote goes to the ‘light and airy’ Lulu Mirror Cross Slide Sandals/£59.95. For trotting round town, we’re both wedded to our F-Sporty Uberknit Crystal Sneakers/£89.95 – lace-ups you can pull on. Your feet will thank you.
Being ‘hangry’ – hungry and angry – is a real phenomenon, experts agree. When blood sugar levels drop, you’re more likely to snap at people. Stress-related hormones are released along with neuropeptide Y, a chemical that can make people more aggressive. Nutritionist Ian Marber (ianmarber.com) told me many years ago that blood sugar levels start to drop two to three hours after eating, which explained why I would feel faint, shaky and irritable if I didn’t refuel. Ever since then I always carry some nuts in my bag or – a new discovery – a Bounce Protein Energy Ball. These filling, gluten-free, vegetarian bites tide me over nicely. My favourites from the range of 12 are Cacao Mint and Almond/£2 each at Waitrose.