Let’s be honest: modern life is hectic, and juggling work, family, and home commitments can be tough.
Keeping ourselves fit and healthy is the best way to make sure we keep all those plates spinning, but all too often, when things get busy we put our own wellbeing at the bottom of the list. Diet can be one of the main areas that suffers, with skipped meals, convenience food and erratic mealtimes all threatening to undo those good intentions.
Now I’m a big believer in eating healthily, and getting as many of my vitamins and minerals as possible from my food. But when family life gets particularly manic, I find supplements a lifesaver. Supplements are a great backup for a balanced diet, and a really convenient way to give yourself a boost when there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
This month, I've been working with Swisse, Australia’s #1 multivitamin brand, who produce supplements made from a unique blend of ingredients, including botanical extracts. The Swisse philosophy is based around three elements: health, happiness and wellbeing, with the aim of helping us maintain our health rather than taking action once there is a problem. All Swisse products are made to scientifically supported formulas and with high quality standards and rigorous testing, so you know you’re adding a premium product to your diet.
Trialling the supplements
I’ve been trying the Swisse Ultiplus Immune & Elderberry one-a-day supplement over the last few weeks, to see if it makes a noticeable difference compared to my usual multivitamins. Ultiplus Immune & Elderberry is a multiple nutrient formula, designed to support immune function and combat fatigue and stress - perfect for those crazy-busy times.
There’s a whole host of vitamins and minerals working hard here, let’s take a look at the key areas they’re supporting.
- Immunity - it’s no coincidence that we get ill more easily when we’re super-busy; it’s because our immune system is struggling to cope with the demands we’re putting on our body. Ultiplus Immune & Elderberry contains Vitamin C, zinc and copper, which all support the normal function of the immune system to help keep those germs at bay.
- Tiredness and fatigue - Vitamin C and magnesium work hard to combat tiredness and fatigue, perfect for when those magical eight hours of sleep just aren’t happening.
- Energy - the body needs Vitamin C, magnesium and copper to support energy production and release; Ultiplus Immune & Elderberry contains all three.
- Stress - did you know the body’s cells can be protected from stress? Vitamin C, zinc and copper do the job for us, and yes, you’ve guessed it, Ultiplus Immune & Elderberry contains these too.
When you see just how many nutrients are packed into the Immune & Elderberry formula it’s no surprise really that each tablet is pretty big and it does take a little getting used to in the first couple of days.
They’re designed to be taken two to four times a day, so they’re really low-maintenance. I’ve been taking them with breakfast and dinner, as that's when it's easiest for me remember to take them, even if I'm travelling. They’re vegetarian too, which isn’t always the case with nutrient formulas.
So have they made a difference? Well, I have one child in nursery and another in school, so between them they bring home bugs from two 'germ factories' every day. As a result, I pretty much always have a bit of a sniffle but after a fortnight on the tablets, I noticed I was sniffle free. I can't say with 100% certainty that it's down to the supplements, but it does seem to be.
Ultiplus Immune & Elderberry is just one of the wide range of Swisse supplements. There’s a product to support every area of your health; immunity, energy, beauty & body, bone care, eye, heart & omegas, and women’s health. I’m keen to try out a couple of other Swisse products that support areas of my own lifestyle which could benefit from a little extra help.
Women and men have different nutrient requirements, so it makes sense to choose a supplement that’s tailored to your own body. Women’s Ultivite one-a-day is a multivitamin designed specifically to support women’s health. 39 ingredients target energy production & release, immune function, bone health, red blood cell formation, hair, skin & nails, and heart function - all in one tablet. Phew!
Hair, skin and nails can easily suffer at the hands of a hectic lifestyle, and when this happens they’re on show for all to see. Ultiplus Hair Skin Nails one-a-day is a multiple nutrient formula designed to target these visible areas with all the nutrients they need to look their best. Biotin, zinc and selenium help support and maintain healthy hair, skin and nails, while Vitamin C aids collagen formation. When I ran out of the Immune + Elderberry, I switched to this one. It's only been a week but I can already see a difference in the rate of growth in my nails.
As I wash my hands all the time while cooking, they're always breaking. I'm hoping as I continue taking the supplements, my nails will keep coming through faster and stronger and I might even manage some nail polish this summer!
Overall, I'd say if if you’re looking for a convenient way to supplement your diet with nutrients that are tailored to your own personal needs, the Swisse range is a great option.
Another big perk of working with Swisse has been the opportunity to have lunch with none other than the stunningly gorgeous and talented Alesha Dixon, Swisse's UK Ambassador.
Alesha Dixon is a singer, dancer, television personality, Britain's Got Talent judge, mother, and one of the country’s most loved stars. Her 2015 album ‘Do It For Love’ marked her return to the music business with a reinvigorated, energised outlook on life.
Alesha, the Swisse team, myself and five other bloggers met for lunch at The Riding House Café in London's W1, a beautiful venue I've eaten at a few times in recent months - the standard of food is always excellent.
This time was no exception, as they put on a special menu, with dishes designed to reflect some of the key vitamins and nutrients contained in the Swisse range. Amazing!
It’s clear from the moment you meet Alesha that she looks after herself. "Sure!" you may protest, "Wouldn't we all with a hair and make up artist on hand for every occasion?!" but honestly, that only works on screen. You can always see a lot more with the naked eye and I can assure you that Alesha is just about perfect. I hate her (just kidding).
Her skin glows flawlessly, her eyes are bright, her hair is thick and glossy, her figure is flawless and toned. Honestly, she’s gorgeous, and while I’m sure her genes play a big part in all that, hard work and self-care does too, so it was really inspiring to chat with her about how she looks after herself.
As we tucked in to our healthy lunches, we chatted to Alesha about the challenges of balancing the many roles she fulfils in her busy life, especially now that she is a mum to Azura, who will be three later this year. And Alesha really is busy, she'd just come from a round of interviews when she dropped in for lunch, and as we finished dessert, she was being whisked off to another interview. That requires some serious energy!
Fruit and veg play a big part in Alesha’s diet, as she believes it’s important to start with a good foundation and that is what you’re putting into your body. She also loves fish and high protein salads which she makes with quinoa and avocado, as it’s so tasty and contains all the essential fats you need. Living a busy life, especially when on tour, she boosts her energy levels in the morning with bran flakes or porridge, and drinks plenty of water and green tea throughout the day.
I was pleased to hear that Alesha doesn’t eat like an angel 100% of the time, and believes in treats now and then. I’m a big fan of the 80:20 rule so was pleased to hear that it works for her too. The same goes for fitness. Alesha likes to stay healthy and strong, and when she can’t make it to the gym, she loves taking her dogs (of which she has 5!) for walks over the fields.
We all were curious to know how Alesha balances her busy home and work life. Alesha agreed it's tough to be away from her daughter when working and that she misses her, but that ultimately she wants her daughter to see her go out and earn a living doing something she loves. She wants to be that kind of strong role model. I love that! As Alesha points out, having two working parents is a reality of the world we live in today, and that's not something we should have to feel guilty about.
We all nodded in agreement, and I found the lunch with Alesha and five other strong working mums really inspiring. We realised we're all in the same boat, all trying to make it work and look after ourselves, our work and our families. It's a juggling act, and we're all proud to be juggling. Anything that helps with that, be it vitamin supplements or grandma coming over to look after the kids once a week is a-ok with us!
Swisse is exclusively sold in Boots. Let me know if you try it!
This is a commissioned post for Swisse.