“Goodies” they should be called “Baddies”

good vs bad food

My little girl changed crèche recently in an effort to be more local and find some play friends before she starts school next year. It is going really well and the crèche is so lovely with a view of the DART ever half hour – this is such a novelty, which by next week, I am sure will be quite a normality. One big change is the making up a lunch every morning, which is nearly raided by the time 9 o’clock comes. She LOVES her lunch box and the fuss of packing it into her school bag. The crèche has a no junk food policy – which is excellent as I am a mean mom when it comes to junk food. This leads me onto my initial question of who in their right mind coined the phrase “Goodies” referring to the array of junk food with little or zero nutritional value. Should these band of junk foods be called “Baddies” – well I have taken matters into my own hands and called them just that.

Summer is a disaster for keeping a reign on junk food – Eabha got into a bad habit of eating ice pops every day and packing a lunch for the beach but insisting on eating all the junk first. And then on the beach, most mums will bring ample supplies of “baddies” to share and of course Miss Lewis will gobble them all up.

Each time Eabha asks for jellies or ice pop – which is quite often, I now stick to my guns and the rules are:

  1. You can only have 2 Baddies a day! An ice pop is one option in our house but the jelly jar rule is you have two hands so just 2 jellies from the jar please 🙂
  2. Sugary juices are a No No and it is amazing when children are offered water they will in fact be happy with it. If they are thirsty they will drink it.
  3. I make Cookies and Banana Bread which is a healthy option for a “Goodie” option
  4. I explain that Bad food contains a LOT of sugar which eats the white on your teeth leading to trips to the dentist 😦
  5. Digestive biscuits/Rice Cakes with Nutella or Peanut Butter is a favourite.
  6. Shopping is a mine field as it can lead to Bad food over load but stick to your guns.
  7. Hot cereal going to school to put fire in their bellies – Weetabix or Porridge are my top two.

I am sure you all remember the sheer excitement going to birthday parties as a child, as Bad food was not as intense as it is now. Kids don’t have this type of excitement any more it was all about the food back then now it is all about the party bags and the cool stuff that is given out. More pressure for parents! It is scary the amount of children obese and not only eating junk, but also getting a very bad food education. Can you imagine what these kids will be serving up to their children. It is a great injustice we are doing to our children and grandchildren for that matter. Manufacturers have a huge part to play and I don’t know how they sleep at night – but they will only produce a product if there is a demand. So yes it comes back to the individual house hold and you can say NO to the Baddies. It would also make my life a lot easier as it is very difficult to reign a 3-year-old away from junk food when she feels everyone else is eating it. So, there are moments when I cave in, but on the whole I try to stay true to myself and by saying NO to Bad food I believe it is in the future that this hard – and hard being the optimum word – work will pay off. And here are the reasons why:

  1. Not only do I save lots of money in my shopping Bad food can be expensive.
  2. Healthy child – save on doctor, dentist etc
  3. Giving my child a good food education – you may not think it, but yes you are responsible for putting the type of food that your child will serve to your grandchildren – so make it a good food education!
  4. Less instances for obesity or other underlying causes that increased intake of sugar can bring – these also include hormone problems, concentration and behavioural problems – the list is quite long and in my opinion not yet fully understood as this is a new problem. There are also lots of other nasty refined foods in junk that go below the radar and are not fully understood.
  5. We can put pressure back on the bad food manufacturers by just not purchasing. They will produce the food that the masses will buy – lets buy the Goodies and leave the Baddies.
  6. The environmental impacts to Bad food are massive and the list will explode if I delve any further so I will leave it right there.

Dermot O’Neill’s Secret Garden

I have always been interested in gardening. As a teenager I grew shallots, lettuce and drank Nettle tea. As a child, I was responsible for the family hens and family pets. It was an area I knew I would eventually have a very fruitful relationship – pardon the pun!

My husband and I bought our first family home one year ago this month. The gardens were as unkept as the house! BUT, we saw the potential in both areas and when we bought it we really knew it would turn out just as we visualised. Well, we are a year in and we have really worked hard and learnt so much and yes, finally things are starting to take shape. My husband took some Youtube tutorials and created an amazing patio and raised bed in the front – YouTube is full of amazing tutorials, don’t be afraid to get DIY’ing.

One person I have to thank for getting my gardens up and running is Dermot O’Neill. Dermot’s  TV show – My Secret Garden. The show is easy to watch, very informative and the amount of tips you pick up are great… I am even planning on getting some Hen’s from the rescue centre in Wexford for Christmas!!

Gardening is hard work but so rewarding and once you strip your garden back and sculpt it into your personal space you can sit back and enjoy it 🙂

Watch on RTE’s Realtime Player HERE

And you can also purchase Dermot’s Book – My Secret Garden – putting it on my Christmas wish list (a little early I know, but never too early for a hint hint!!)

GreenMe.ie – Find them at Electric Picnic!


GreenMe.ie is proud to be part of the Global Green area of this year’s edition of the Electric Picnic festival (Friday 30 August – Sunday 1 September, Stradbally Estate, Co. Laois, Ireland) marking the 5th time that this website makes it to one of the greenest
and most eco-friendly music festivals in the world.

GreenMe.ie is the leading Irish green consumer website and social campaign promoting greener and more sustainable ways of living in a simple and realistic manner and offering independent info on green products and services. The website is not just for the
green “purists” but for everyone who wants to be greener. Through the website and social media forums GreenMe strives to help to make informed decisions about ecofriendly lifestyles. It’s your trusted source of information, from green news and tips to environmental blogs, product information and advice for a greener lifestyle.

At this years festival GreenMe will be returning with the hugely popular welly up-cycling station using

old materials/clothes/bits’n’bobs to fashion new-style funky wellies sure to be the envy of fellow festival revelers. Last year thousands of up-cycled wellies could be seen glittering and boppin’ to the wee hours and it was delightful that this creative recycling idea captured the imagination of so many young people who happily embraced the notion of upcycling. Should the weather turn out to be sunny (fingers crossed), fear-not, GrrenMe will help you upcycle your sunhats, your sandals or whatever you wish. Pictures of last years creativity can be seen on our facebook page.

Additionally, this year there will be an information stand with simple tips/ideas/recipesetc. to live a greener lifestyle. Some of the crew is deeply involved in high-level recycling and biomass activities should any of the more serious greenies wish to visit and have a chat.GreenMe will also have some face painters on hand using face paint made in-house with common kitchen ingredients which children (or adults) can make if they wish. (This recipe for the face paints will be available at the information stand also)
A multi-media information and broadcast point will also be running in the tent and theGreenme.ie roving reporter will be touring the Global Green area interviewing all of the other Global Green community sites which will be streamed in the tent after on-site
editing via our multi-media broadcast point. In this way, GreenMe.ie hopes to provide useful information and directions about all of the activities ongoing in our Global green community as the weekend progresses.

Greenme.ie counts with almost 4,000 followers on twitter and over 1,600 on their facebook page. The communications manager will be busy broadcasting the goings-on around Global Green via social networking to the techno-savvy assistants, promoting
upcoming activities throughout the weekend, sharing fun pictures with participants etc.. In-keeping with the Global Green community spirit, GreenMe will be hosting an open mike evening on Saturday where poets, singers and musicians alike are welcome to join in or simply sit and enjoy.

Finally, keep an eye out for some members dressed up in funky retro-traditional stempunk gear. A reminder how we can invent out future by drawing from the past!

Tesco Club Cards – a little scary how they sell off your data!!

Yes I have a club card and I love getting the coupons and money off vouchers – until recently. I have a problem with really large and aggressive multinationals buying shelving space, marketing intensively and especially if their product or manufacturing affects the environment negatively.

A piece in the Sunday Times – Business Section – 18.08.13 – Pg 5. Titled “Every Little App Helps” scared the wits out of me.

Dunnhumby is the worlds leading customer science company and in essence what they do is analyze your shopping to the point that they “hold tens of billions of snippets of information in its Clubcard members, from addresses and telephone numbers to what brands of aftershave they use.”

“Three years ago Tesco bought out Dunnhumby’s founders for a reputed £93m(€109m) and the analytics firm has since become an even bigger money-spinner. Last year it delivered pre-tax profits of £60m on revenues of £147m. An estimated two thirds of Dunnhumby’s turnover comes form selling information from its Clubcard database to consumer goods companies, such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble.”

So basically, one of UK and Irelands leading retailer – Tesco,  owns one of the worlds leading customer science company – Dunhumby. It sells snippets of your information to key consumer goods companies giving these companies ever increasing knowledge and hold on your shopping, they only want to make it into your basket everytime – making the marketing more intense and we are unaware of the massive part we all play in this cycle.

My Clubcard has been put out to pasture! I love to get something back from Tesco but not at the cost of my personal shopping habits and its not like they are dipping into their pockets giving me my €7 in vouchers – can you imagine how much the likes of Unilever and Procter & Gamble pay them for your personal information even down to the brands of aftershave you use…..!

The Honest Company – What’s Inside – Baby Bath Products!?

If you are a regular reader, you will have already read about my love affair with The Honest Company. An American company co founded by the stunning Jessica Alba – in a quest to give her children really honest and pure everyday personal and home cleaning products. I recently came across a section on their website called “What’s Inside” and it gives a really simple and graphically pleasing account of exactly the information we need as consumers, to make an informed decision about the products we use.


So in this graphic The Honest Company talks us through Conventional Baby Bath Products!!

What's inside conventional baby bath products?

The Big Upcycle Event – 23rd & 24th of August…

The Big Upcycle Market

Lynn Haughton founder of The Upcycle Movement is so passionate about Upcycling and the Environment it was natural that we got on like a house on fire when we met last year. It is great to see Lynn getting so proactive about her passion with the upcoming launch of The Big Upcycle Market. Ireland needed an expo for all the creative and amazingly professional and functional items that are being made. Upcycling can be something that everyone can enjoy and you don’t have to be a certain type to appreciate the excellent craft that is Upcycling. I even have a love for Upcycling myself and have completed quite a few projects – check them out here.

I am sure this Market will be a massive success and it is a shame that I will be in Cork to welcome the arrival of my sister Sue’s second baby tomorrow 🙂 But I will be here for the next one and hope to have a stall there too!!

Best of Luck Lynn and of course Gwen xx

For anyone interested in The Big Launch Night that is Friday from 5pm – 7pm.

Location: The Stillorgan Park Hotel, N11 Dublin

Date: Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th of August

Time: 11am – 6pm on both days.

The Honest Company – “What’s Inside” Food Supplements?!

This is a little topical right now, as reports in the media lately suggest that food supplements are just a ploy by organisations to fool you out of money. I do agree there are a large number of supplements available that contain a fraction of what it says on the tin! I recently started on an Organic, Vegetable based multi vitamin to keep a pep in my step and I am taking the Solgar range. The Solgar brand couldn’t have come more highly recommended by my Aunt, who is a nurse, with years of experience and lots of courses under her belt in eating organically and the teachings of British nutritionist Patrick Halford.

The Honest Companies – “What’s Inside” information section on their site contained an excellent graphical explanation on Food Supplements.

Check out the other “What’s Inside” information Blog Posts on my Blog if you like this you will like all the others too!

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