Eating for Health & Wellness

It’s January as I write this and now is the time traditionally that most of us look ahead to the new year with new goals and resolutions in place. If you’re anything like me, then getting in shape and losing weight is high on the list of things you want to achieve this year.

I previously weighed a slightly obese 17 stones, but as a 6ft man, I’d carried it well. However, looking at myself in the mirror one January morning 7 years ago, I made the commitment to myself that enough was enough and the excess weight had to go.

I tried the useful diet advice; eat less, exercise more, but as a results driven person, I just wasn’t happy that I was only shifting 1 or 2 pounds a week. I wanted more and it was sheer chance that I stumbled across the answer one day…

While browsing Amazon, no not the rainforest, but the colossal internet retail giant, their recommendation engine served up a book by the juicing expert. Intrigued, I clicked through to read the reviews, which gave overwhelming ratings and support to juicing as a way to not only lose weight fat, but to keep it off too. This was key for me. Have you ever lost weight, gained the plaudits, only to put it all (or more) back on again?

I was sold. I ordered a juicing machine and book to go with it and that decision was the start of a 4 stone weight loss journey over 18 months. I’d never tried freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juice before and as someone who doesn’t eat much fruit or veg anyway, I was a little skeptical.

But here’s the thing. While I hate eating celery raw, consuming celery juice, mixed with apple, pear, cucumber and carrot juice, you just don’t taste it. Juicing has changed the way I consume fruit and vegetables.

Losing 4 stones with a healthy juicing lifestyle has given me the following benefits:

I no longer get out of breath doing the simplest of tasks, which included climbing the stairs.

Shopping for clothes is now a pleasure as I know everything will fit like a glove when I get it home. (Before, it was always 50/450 whether I’d bought the right sized jeans, shirts etc)

I feel more energized. Every day.

A juicing lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to only consume raw juice and nothing else (although that is an option to kick start your weight loss). On the contrary, my food intake most days now consists of a raw fruit and vegetable juice for breakfast (or sometimes a smoothie) and the same or maybe a salad for lunch.

For dinner, I have either steamed or grilled mostly to limit saturated fat intake. Just recently however, I’ve started using a low fat fryer to give me extra tasty meal options but without the excess calories. Such self-contained miniature ovens are great for cooking low fat meals if you’re watching your calorie intake. There’s a fryer buyer’s guide site here where you can review what’s available.

If you’ve been overweight in the past but have since lost the excess fat, beware of the gremlins inside your head which will be goading you to have that cake, burger or pizza slice at every opportunity. My point is, it’s all too easy to pile the weight back on if you haven’t formed new eating habits and relationships with your food.

Do you have a weight loss story to share? Get in touch with us and tell us what worked for you. Everyone is different so there’s no one shoes to fit all. I’ve shared what worked for me, now over to you.

Thanks for reading!

Data Breach Security: Why You Need To Pay Close Attention

On average, how long does it take for a company to discover that a malicious security breach has occurred?

A couple of hours?  A couple of weeks?

According to the global report published by Ponemon Institute it takes nearly three months.

In 2013 the institute published its Post Breach Boom report in which it polled more than 3,500 IT security and IT professionals from organisations that had suffered one data breach at least during the last two years.  The purpose was to examine how data breaches had been handled and how well prepared organisations were to be able to prevent them from occurring.  Based on their findings, researchers discovered numerous trends that were worrisome in regards to information security.

Despite the amount of attention that has been paid to how important information security is, more than 50% of respondents were in agreement that over the past two years that data breaches had become more frequent and severe.  It also appears that in terms of detecting or resolving them, that organizations are ill prepared.  In fact, just 43% of those who responded stated that their organisations had the funding, personnel and tools for preventing data breaches.  That in spite of the fact of the widespread agreement that understanding what the root causes are for breaches can help to strengthen the security position of the organisation and provide vital insights into possible vulnerabilities and loopholes.

Breaches were categorised as ‘non malicious’ breaches caused by a third party, employee negligence or a system error and ‘malicious’ breaches involving information being stolen by a criminal insider or external hacker.  It was found that when the root cause resulted from a malicious attack or insider the average cost per record of the breach was much higher.

In situations where it has been discovered that there was a malicious breach, the average time it takes to address the issue is more than four months.  In one third of the reviewed cases, a third party detected the data breach an not the company’s security system.

What is worrisome is that 83% of non-malicious breaches included failure to or loss of degauss or wiping a device properly that contained sensitive data, with another 17% involving business partners, suppliers or contractors losing sensitive data that had been entrusted to them.

The figures hold up when quickly glancing at the list of financial penalties that the Information Commissioner’s Office has handed out for serious Data Protection Act breaches.  It is full of real life examples, which include hard drives that contain patient data that can be found on sale at internet auction websites after supposedly a third party supplied had securely destroyed them.  There have also been numerous incidents of theft and loss of unencrypted data storage devices, laptops, memory sticks, etc.

Whether these were actually malicious or not, the main reasons why a majority of cases failed to prevent breaches was due to inadequate security process or lacking in-house expertise.  This reinforces the need for not only proper procedures and policies, but also mechanisms for ensuring that staff are properly trained and followed up on.

All breaches cost businesses large sum of money.  In addition, they result in lost productivity and money, as well as damages to brand value and reputation.

Companies are advised to assess the risk of data breaches, not only electronic but document based too. Hiring data security consultants and document shredding services will help mitigate the risk of breaches in the future.

Choosing a Hockey Stick

Things To Consider When Buying a Hockey Stick

Playing the game of hockey can be the most exciting sport for you. Although there are so many types of hockey, ice and field hockey is loved by so many men and women all over the world. Year in and out, more and more people learn how to play hockey and this makes life better for them all since they get to be involved in new games and also activities. To play ice and field hockey as well as the other types of hockey, it is important for the very best hockey stick to be used. It is mostly advised that inexpensive wood or metal hockey sticks are purchased when you are buying a hockey stick for the very first time.

Left or right handed stick

For ice hockey: Making use of a right handed stick and a left handed hockey stick is not a decision that should just be made. You need to feel very comfortable about the side which you play better with or in. Make sure you choose a hockey stick that you feel comfortable playing. You can find this out by trying to use both sided sticks you take from friends or even the store and try using them.

For field hockey: Both left and right handed players can make use of the very same type of stick because both hands are used to control the stick. These sticks for field hockey come with a grip and shafts, at the end of which is a very flat area plus a curved hook that shows to the right. Players can hold it by making use of the right hand position at the base of its grip with the left one which is near the top of the stick.


For ice hockey: Selecting the right length stick is very necessary and it will noticeably affect your use of the hockey stick. Your hockey stick has to be long enough to get to your chin or close to your chin when you are standing in skates and the stick is in front of you vertically. All hockey sticks are designed to come in standard sizes which include intermediate, senior and junior. And you will select the one that is better for you. The wrong length of the wood will affect your game.

For field hockey: The length of the field hockey twig is very much or closely linked to your skill or height. If you are an expert field hockey player, the hockey stick has to be long to support make your play very easy. It will be best for beginners to rather use a stick that makes use of a stick that can reach a little higher than your waist.

Blade pattern of the hockey stick

For ice hockey: If you have decided to start with flat blade sticks, then your decision should already to be made. If you are going to have a curved bladed stick, then get one that just comes with a slight curve in addition to it. Forehand passing and shooting may be quite easier if you end up having a large curve. However, the back hand passing and shooting is mostly difficult. Try to master the handling and shooting of the essential blade outline even before you move to an advance curve.

For field hockey: These sticks for field hockey come with a grip and shafts, at the end of which is a very flat area plus a curved hook that shows to the right.

Flex – What is it?

This has to do with the measurement of how flexible or stiff the hockey stick you are using it. When you take a shot, the pressure that is applied with the lower hand makes the hockey to curve. This curve is the best, and up to its point due to the fact that it helps your shot when the hockey stick snaps back. One that has most flex which you can still curve even when you shoot again should be considered as the right flex. For your very first stick, going for a standard stick always works out perfectly.

The right hockey stick has a lot to do with how you play. This is why you need to be very careful how you choose your sticks and I hope you enjoyed this article.

Watch the video below we found which also gives a good explanation of choosing a hockey stick.


Hockey Accessories

What Are The Main Accessories For The Game Of Hockey?

Hockey accessories in this article affect both ice and field hockey.

Playing hockey is one of the best ways to relieve stress and exercise at the same time if it is not for you to take as a serious career. The most important hockey accessory is a stick. The hockey stick is mostly about 31” to 38” long for all types of hockey and has round handles as well as hooked ends which are mostly rounded on a single side and flat on one other which is used to dribble, push and strike balls.

What Hockey Accessories Should You Buy?

Hockey sticks were some years before now made of wood covered with fiberglass; however hockey sticks today are made of composite plastics and Kevlar. They are accessible in three different weight variations which include light, medium and heavy. A player needs to choose the right weight and length according to your individual comfort. Hockey sticks are designed for both right and left handed players. The grips of the sticks might be better with rubber or suede with absorbent suede.


The price of hockey sticks may range and can be quite high. Players also need to wear hockey shorts, socks, and jerseys, made of synthetic materials like nylon. Also, protective gear for players include shin, leg, wrist guards, knee and elbow pads, turf, mouth guards, and so on.

The goal keeper needs to wear gear for the full body safety of himself like mouth guard, helmet with a face net, chest protector, throat protector and others. Mostly, safety gear is made from rubber, fiberglass or plastic. All hockey equipment needs to be taken very good care of.

Those that need washing need to be washed, those that need cleaning need to be cleaned, and those that need to be kept in a clean and cool place also need to be there. This is the only way they can last long. Ice hockey is one of the most exciting and fun games all over the world. To ensure you are doing well with your ice or field hockey game, you can achieve and appreciate perfection with the right gear.

When you know how to choose or select the right hockey equipment for both ice and field hockey, you are able to have a lot of fun. Just like other sports, you might want to choose types that are not so expensive until you are able to make a decision if you want to play it for real or not.

Once your love for the game grows, you will then be able to achieve more and more. After you have bought your hockey stick, there is the need for you to buy the right accessories. All hockey accessories come in different brands which makes it quite difficult for people to choose. For ice hockey, you can go on to buy ice skates or skating shoes all the same.

Also, make sure you stay safe with the right safety gear to prevent any injuries. Injuries damage games. The right safety gear is the most important part of your gear. Even though it may not have a very big impact on your game, there is the need to be very safe no matter what.

A jockstrap is also needed. Some other alternative accessories are safety girdles that are needed to cover the main part of the body, and also hockey gloves.

If it is your first time, you might feel quite heavy but after a while, you will get used to carrying the extra weight around. Having the right safety gear will ensure you are safe and also enjoy the game.

Hockey has got so many followers all over the world and this is what makes it one of the best sports ever. There is even a Hockey World Championship for both ice hockey and field hockey. Owning and buying quality and long lasting hockey accessories is very important.

There is no way you should compromise with the quality of hockey accessories if you want to be safe after the game. Hockey game injuries can be very severe and also dangerous. This is why you need to protect yourself very well. Quality player’s bags should be purchased to help in keeping all needed accessories as well as the right maintenance methods.

I hope you enjoyed this article!

The History of Hockey

There are so many sports events and sporting activities all over the world. Hockey is one of these sports and is one of the most popular ones available today.

The history of hockey is almost the same as the history of golf since it is deeply got from any game that has to do with a stick and also a ball or rock that have been in motion for more than 1,000 years.

Hockey is a rough and crude form of sports and they have taken place or have been in existence for many years through South America, Europe and Egypt. Hockey started or began to form its stronger roots all through England in the sixteen and seventeen hundreds.

This was a double-crossing game that mostly brought together the whole village and other teams mostly had up to 100 players and these players mostly played the game through severe injuries and went through many days of playing hockey.

Hockey sports that we are aware of today started to form or develop at Eton University in England when they started formulating rules which was around the 1860s. Increased growth of hockey sports generated in the North of America when new settlers arrived at the continent. In the history of hockey, Montreal was accredited to be the first city that held the first game in the year 1875 by some college students.

The students then began to form more and more leagues and organizations then, rules of the game were also created. The game went on to grow and popularity increased. Hockey became very popular that Montreal offered in the year 1883, the very first World Championship for Ice Hockey. The growth of European hockey went on at the college level with more and more universities went on to form stern rivalries.

Some very dramatic rule changes were put into place that aided the progress of the game to go from ice to the field with 11 players while hockey accessories and equipment started to evolve too. The use of protective equipment also was introduced to include helmets, pads, protective eye shields, and mouth pieces have become better from the early days of hockey history.

It was not unusual not to wear head gear in the game of hockey until some few years ago. The Olympic Games helped to make the popularity of hockey grow more internationally and this led to it being played in the year 1924 at the Olympic Games but at that time, only male teams were permitted to play the game. Canada was one of the safest bets to win the gold medal since they won the very first 6 championships out of 7 gold.

From the late 50s to the 80s, the Soviet Union took over. Even though in the year 1960, the United States won its very 1st gold medal in the history of hockey, it was in the year 1980 “Miracle on Ice” where the American college amateur team beat the highly tipped to win Russian team. Hockey has grown and today, there are so many different types of hockey like ice hockey, inline hockey, field hockey and so many others.

What About Ice Hockey?

Ice hockey is a sport played on ice and it is a team sport. Ice hockey skaters make use of sticks to play this game and it is like the game of soccer where goals are scored in nets. Ice hockey is one of the most popular sports in the North American professional sports. The National Hockey League is the highest for men all over the world. Ice hockey is said to be a very interesting as well as special game which involves a lot of energy and love.

 And Field Hockey…

Field hockey is just like ice hockey. However, field hockey is played on a field and ice hockey on ice. 11 players play this game and there is always a keeper in the goal post. Both teams playing have goal posts.

It is important for hockey players to sleep very well, exercise and also eat very well. The key in making your hockey life the best is by following the right training schedules. Also, exercise more and try to adapt to extreme situations.


Here’s a great documentary film if you want to know more!