Lately I’ve been reflecting on where I am along life’s journey and I feel so blessed to have come this far. Things weren’t always this good and I remember the days when they weren’t; I was feeling nauseous, lethargic and completely pulled out of shape by life.

Now I have a job, a business and a life I love and even though most days are pretty good,  there are still some when I know I need to recharge, relax and rest my body and mind. A couple of years ago,  I made the decision that I would work part-time on both my business and my career, as I recognised that I needed time built into my week to restore my energy, to rest and relax. I also wanted to do normal things like go for a walk mid-week and find the time to drink tea on my sofa in the middle of the afternoon. Today is one of those days…!

As I write this, I have the sun beaming through the window in the kitchen, the candles are lit throughout the house (and they smell delicious) and the birds are singing in the trees in the back garden – it feels great! This for me is living. I’ve realised over recent years that the simple things in life are truly the best things and they bring me so much joy and happiness.  So nowadays, my mission is to cook good food, carry out work I enjoy and make a difference in some small way to the world and spend as much time with my family as possible.

 

Reduced energy levels and solutions

Even though life is great, there are times when my energy levels dip and I know that I need to boost them. It was only during a conversation with a colleague that I’ve learned that the UK and US guidelines for vitamin levels are much higher than those countries in the Netherlands.  What this means is that even if I’m suffering with a vitamin deficiency, it may not show up, as our tolerance levels are so high we may never meet our NHS requirements. However, if you live in Sweden or Norway, the standards are much lower so you would receive the treatment or supplement you need sooner than you would in the UK.

I’ve since researched this and cannot find anything on the internet that explains it simply so I can share it here, but having talked this through with a GP, they confirmed it’s true. Our UK guidelines are much higher compared to other European countries. It came as a shock to me, as I would have expected all countries to follow a similar guidelines. In the UK, B12 measurements/tolerance are 500 compared to Sweden and Norway which is 150. This shows that you would receive the supplement much earlier in those countries than the US or UK. Here’s a link which highlights these differences https://health-boundaries.com/what-is-a-healthy-b12-level/

As I couldn’t get guidance from the NHS, I headed to my second go-to-place, Holland & Barratt. They’re always so helpful, pluis everything in the store is natural and made without nasty chemicals (something I’ve been trying to avoid for a couple of years now).  I explained that I have a vitamin D deficiency and that I have these tablets on prescription but, I’m still feeling fatigued and my energy levels are low too. They explained it’s common for people to struggle with low energy at this time of year, and recommended a product to complement the vitamin D supplement my doctor prescribed. They suggested the ‘Better You, Boost’. it’s a Daily Vitamin B12 Oral Spray which claims to help boost energy levels. Vitamin B12 contributes to normal healthy red blood cells, it provides a reduction in tiredness and fatigue, it normalises your metabolism and above all it comes in a handy size spray.  Since taken it I’ve felt a huge difference in energy levels and the way I feel, I feel much more energetic.

Kelly Gaston vitamins

 

A top-up with multi-vitamins

In addition to this, I invested in multivitamins for both the boys and Richard and I too, so every day we each take one to provide us with that extra boost.  We are making every effort to eat our 5-7 a day, but it can be hard at times, especially when life gets busy. We decided to have a top up that won’t do us any harm and will just provide us with the additional vitamins and nutrients we need.

The boys take the Minavit Kids Health multiviatmins and we take the A-Z Multiviatmins & Minerals, both bought from Aldi.  They’re inexpensive and provide that additional boost for everyday health and wellbeing.

 

My skincare must-haves

Earlier this year, I found some new products which I absolutely love from three of my favourite places to shop; Neals Yard, LUSH and Forever Living.  They’re all paraben free and natural and I’ve bought several products from them all over the last year or so.

The Neals Yard products smell delicious and my favourites are the Frankincense Hydrating Cream, the Wild Beauty Balm (a bestseller) and the Orange Facial Oil. They’re all such lovely products and I’m so pleased I came across these products at the Edinburgh Wellness Festival last year.

I’m also in love with Neals Yard Facial Oil and I use so many of their products as they’re so sumptuous and smell amazing! My skin has improved as a result of using their products and I’m in love with them.  Another favourite is the Aloe Nourishing Serum (Forever Living), I attended a friend’s spa party and the consultant used this – it was so soft on my skin I had to buy it and I’m pleased I did.  I’ve always struggled with my skin, especially when I was younger, and I’ve never quite had that flawless complexion, but using good products makes all the difference for me.

I also use many of the LUSH products. Not all of their products are paraben-free, but I use the ones that are, especially the Lavender Sleepy Cream.  I use this on the boys every evening before bed and I massage it into their feet – they love it and it really does relax them.  Richard and I use it too and I also use the Neals Yard Lavender Essential Oil on a hankerchief and put it inside our pillow case. Iit helps to relax us and it makes the bedroom smell delicious.  A word of warning though, if you use too much it can act as a stimulant, so be careful as that’s the last thing you’ll want to do with little ones at bedtime.  It’s hard enough getting them to sleep at the best of times!

One of my favourite products from LUSH is the Hand & Body Lotion Charity Pot. Iit’s only £5 and it’s a handy size to fit inside your handbag and smells delicious. But my favourite thing about it is that a proportion of the money goes to different charities and you can choose which charity it will go to by choosing a hand and body cream of your choice. Each one has a different charity on it –  this one goes to ‘Pregnant Then Screwed’, a charity dear to my heart as I know so many women and friends who have been let down by their employer after becoming pregnant.  I still can’t believe this type of thing happens nowadays, it’s appalling!

 

Time For Tea

This afternoon I had a friend over and we sat and drank some of my most favourite tea from the PUKKA herbal collection. It’s a box that provides a range of teas including; ‘elderberry & echinancea’, ‘lemon, ginger and maunka honey’, ‘night time’, ‘three mint’ and ‘detox’.  Detox is my favourite, it smells and tastes delicious and we just topped up our cups several times.

This is my first post of this kind and I was wary about doing it as I didn’t want to come across as a health expert. I’m far from it, but wanted to share my experiences with others. As the seasons change, things begin to change within us, we feel as though we need more sleep and our energy can be lower. I wanted to share this with you to hopefully help you to find some products that can give you that much-needed boost.

It’s not quite hat season yet but, it won’t be long and I’m all prepared for it with my new Joules Pom Pom hat, I loved the colour and the Pom Pom is so cute.  I’ve now packed up all my summer things and I’ve bought a few new additions too for Autumn/Winter – it’s the perfect excuse to freshen up your wardrobe.

These products are not part of any advertising campaign – I’ve not been sponsored. They’ve all been included in this blog as they’re my favourite products right now.

Thanks for reading! I hope I’ve provided you with some tips and techniques to get a restful night’s sleep, and to feel energised throughout the autumn and winter days.

Kelly x