Forming healthy habits for mind and body

Posted on: 15th January, 2018

Category: Health

Contributor: Hannah Dare

This time of year is a great time to start a new routine of self-care, for showing your body and mind a bit of love and getting into some good healthy habits. There are a lot of colds and flus around so it can be a good idea to pay attention to immune boosting nutrients, plus your digestive system might need a bit of TLC after the excesses of Christmas. And finally if you are feeling a little low – which happens to us all! – there are a few safe and natural things you can do to boost your mood.

Firstly, to ward off colds and flus, it is recommended to take a good strong dose of Vitamin D3 every day. Nutritionist Patrick Holford says: Most people in the UK and Ireland are short on vitamin D for at least six months of the year, putting them at increased risk of infections, cancer and heart disease. One study he refers to found that people with lower levels of Vitamin D were 40 per cent more likely to get an upper respiratory tract infection than people with above average levels. Since good Vitamin D levels have also been shown to boost our mood, and strengthen our bones, in Organico it is one of the few supplements we would recommend to nearly everyone, at least all winter long. If you are interested in starting a new Vitamin D routine, we find the most reasonably priced and best absorbed Vitamin D3 is the spray by BetterYou – it comes in different strengths for different ages.

We are also seeing great results this winter from the A.Vogel Elderberry and Echinacea syrup – it can be made into a soothing hot drink or taken straight off the spoon. Elderberry helps to fight viral infections while Echinacea is excellent for both warding off and reducing the severity of colds. If your chest feels at risk you can add some drops of Bronchosan (also called Ivy Thyme tincture, it is excellent for the chest – I take it if my lungs feel irritated and the feeling simply goes away). Another of my favourite home remedies to soothe a cough is a Carrageen Hot drink – check out our blog if you want the recipe. It’s incredibly easy to make and can be drunk by adults and children alike.

We’re all aware of the importance of a healthy gut to our overall health but a lot of people struggle with how to regain and maintain digestive health, especially if you have had to take antibiotics this winter, or have overindulged over Christmas. In Organico we have had great responses from people adding Molkosan to their diet. Molkosan is a Swiss prebiotic drink made from whey, which you dilute and drink with water. Prebiotics are foods which help our gut bacteria to grow and flourish – they create an environment within which healthy bacteria can multiply. Molkosan also helps to counteract the uncomfortable effects of too much rich and acidic foods (coffee, wine, meat – all those nice things). I would even go so far as to say that for those of us who are pretty healthy, taking a prebiotic such as Molkosan is a better option than taking a probiotic – except for the very young, elderly or if you are on antibiotics, it now seems that increasing the foods that feed our good bacteria can be more beneficial than consuming capsules of bacteria.

We also encourage people to eat Sauerkraut a few times a week, and to eat as much raw vegetables as you possibly can – it’s one thing you can never overdose on! The fibre from vegetables is essential for the health of our friendly bacteria.

If you are feeling a little low at this time of year in addition to Vitamin D3 and improving Gut health I would advocate focussing on boosting your Omega 3 levels. Eating oily fish two or three times a week is very important, but Patrick Holford says we should consider omega-3 supplements if we are concerned about mental and emotional health: The most comprehensive review and meta-analysis of 19 trials concluded that ‘the use of omega-3 fats is effective’ both in both in patients with major depressive disorders and milder depression. Most studies on antidepressant drugs report something like a 15 per cent reduction in depression ratings. Three studies on omega-3s report an average reduction of 50 per cent – and that’s without side-effects – most showing an improvement in just three weeks. He suggests that we should all be supplementing approximately 1000mg of EPA/DHA. And since omega-3s also benefit our heart, sharpen our brain and soften our skin, they won’t go to waste. There are huge variances in the quality and purity of fish oil supplements though so do make sure you are buying one from a high quality very pure source.

Another thing I tried recently and thought was very effective was Patrick’s suggestion of taking regular doses of chromium to help boost my mood. He says that if you feel that you never can get enough sleep, often feel sleepy in the day and crave carbs and sweet foods then you might have what’s called ‘atypical depression’. Chromium, the essential mineral that helps stabilise blood sugar, has been proven to relieve atypical depression within days at a dose of 600mcg. Patrick recommends starting with mcg taken at breakfast and lunch, saying Its effects are felt within three days, if not within hours.

If you can’t find what you are looking for in your local Healthfood shop, we have approximately 2000 products on our online shop – and if you are looking for something that isn’t up yet just drop us a line on organicobantry at We are always delighted with feedback!

And if you are in Bantry and are in need of a delicious and healthy lunch pop into the cafe and say hello!

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This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
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8th March, 2018  ·  

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

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Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

Check out this new upbeat indie-folk track Edges, released today from Inni-K with a video by Myles O'Reilly. Inni-K will be performing at Levis’, Ballydehob on Saturday 24th February, with support from Sam Clague.
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16th February, 2018  ·  

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