Favourites this Friday

This week, I officially completed the International Citizen Service (ICS) programme.  That will confuse some of you because I got back from my placement in Bangladesh a couple of months ago, but this week I finally submitted my Action at Home report, detailing how I have continued to advocate for women’s rights around the world and promote volunteering.  So as I join the prestigious ICS Alumni, I thought I would share some my favourite photographs from my placement.  I love these pictures; I love looking at them because they instantly take me back to my host-family, to my wonderful team of volunteers, to the friends I made, and a time when I felt like I was really making a difference.  These are memories, and photographs, that I’ll treasure for ever.

Friday Favourites

A selection of highlights from around the internet this week plus a couple of personal favourites.

I loved this article by Hadley Freeman in The Guardian this week.  Green Is The New Black looks at the rise of wellness bloggers and whether you should really believe all that they say.  Personally, I think it’s great that there is so much more discussion about healthy eating but I’m really not a fan of fad diets of any kind.  All the evidence seems to suggest that genuine food allergies are very rare and that cutting out entire food groups is detrimental to your long term health.  Not to mention that this is a booming industry – the gluten-free food market alone is now worth more than £175m – and a lot of these bloggers and recipe books call for some really expensive ingredients.  I think the best thing you can do is get to know your own body and experiment with works for you.  If you have concerns about the effect of certain foods, then do your research and get professional advice.

And whilst we’re on the topic of food, The Guardian also came up with this really interesting article about how to eat healthy and save the environment.  The US Department of Agriculture are due to publish their latest dietary guidelines and the advisory panel have, for the first time, have recommended that the guidelines include environmental sustainability.  I’ll be keeping a keen eye out for what happens; one of the reasons I decided to go vegetarian 18 months ago was because of the environmental impact of global meat production.

If you need some inspiration this week, head over to TED and check out these eleven TED Talks…perfect when you’re feeling in a bit of a rut.  I’m signing myself for those thirty-day challenges – as soon as I decide what!  Please share your ideas for thirty-day challenges in the comments section – either something you want to do more of or a habit you want to break – and let me know what your favourite TED Talk is.

My favourite things this week have included the hottest day of the year so far (I just love London in the summer, even if it did get a bit sticky), some beautifully sweet nectarines, and spending time with some good friends.

deckchair, stripy, regents park, sunshine, empty

The London sun shines on empty deckchairs in Regent’s Park