Is this the world’s best natural deodorant? It’s even military-approved

Is this the world’s best natural deodorant? It’s even military-approved

This natural deodorant made for soviet soldiers is a game-changer.

There are few better people to road test a deodorant’s effectiveness than a soldier in active combat. With the threat of attack, nil laundry facilities and limited access to showers, building up a pretty ripe stink is a guaranteed hazard of the job.

So when a friend suggested I try Lavilin, a natural deodorant which had been developed during World War II for the soviet army, my interest was piqued.

Now I consider myself somewhat of a natural deodorant connoisseur. I’ve tried dozens of pit pastes, crystal roll-ons and sprays in my search for the most tenacious deodoriser on the market. I wouldn’t consider my body odour to be particularly offensive, but if I’m going to invest in a natural deodorant, I want to be sure I won’t clear a room if I decide to sport a polyester-blend in January.

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And while many brands claim to keep the stink away for up to two days, none had been bold enough to boast their deodorant could still be effective seven days after initial application.

Founded by biochemist Ziska Hlavin and commercialised in 1974, the Israeli deodorant brand has garnered a cult following in the US, Russia and Europe.

Since launching in Australia in 2017 to little fanfare, the products – which are aluminium, paraben and phthalate-free – have quietly been attracting a very solid fanbase. The brand’s local website now has hundreds of four and five-star reviews, with customers raving about the product’s tenacity. The website also cites a study by the Institute of Skin Research in Tel Aviv, backing up its effectiveness. “A single application of Lavilin 002 is effective for 6.28 days on average,” the website states.

So with a slight degree of scepticism, I tried two sample packs given to me by a girlfriend (who is a complete convert).

You can buy a trial sachet for $4, which will give you two applications (or 14 days of sweet-smelling underarms) while a tub – which the website claims will last you a whole year – will set you back $34.95. The formulation contains a probiotic as well as zinc oxide, arnica, calendula and chamomile. It does contain talc, an ingredient which I usually avoid, however much of the controversy around talc has been associated with damage to lungs from inhaling particles.

Considering the product is a cream and confined to the underarms, I’m willing to make an exception on this occasion.

The directions are very specific – if possible, spend the weekend deo-free (and for the sake of others, stay home). This allows any other products which have built up to be completely gone prior to applying.

On Sunday night, apply a raindrop-sized amount to the centre of each underarm after a warm shower, and spend the next week enjoying fresh smelling ‘pits.

The first time I applied the deodorant, I didn’t notice any B.O until about day three. And while I hardly came near to recreating the conditions of direct combat, I did take a few long, brisk walks which broke a slight sweat.

The second time I applied it, though, on Thursday, I stuck it out for six days, each day asking my four-year-old son – without doubt my toughest and most honest critic – if mummy smelled yucky. It wasn’t until the morning of day five, when my question was met with a scrunched-up face, that I decided it was time to reapply.

By the time I’d made my way through the second sample pack I was remaining deo-free for six days without issue.

I’ll admit the desire to slather something under my arms every morning was hard to resist, and if you’re used to wearing an aluminium-containing anti-perspirant it might take a while to get used to.

While the only wars I’m in these days centre around things like whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher, knowing that I’ve got one less task in the morning feels like a victory.

You can find the deodorant here.

These are the ground rules for healthy pizza consumption

These are the ground rules for healthy pizza consumption

Melissa Meier is the dietitian who will finally tell you that yes, pizza can be a part of an overall healthy diet (if you follow these parameters).

Nothing beats a slice (or two or three or four…) of a delicious pizza.

Carbs covered in oozy gooey cheese – what more could you want on a Friday night?! Often packed with saturated fat and sodium, however, I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that takeaway pizza is definitely classed as a treat food in my books.

Nonetheless, some choices are a little healthier than others. Here’s what you need to know.

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What are the healthiest pizza toppings?

Ham, salami, prosciutto… these deli meats are toppings on the vast majority of pizzas – and I’m sorry to say that if you’re a big fan, I’ve got some bad news.

Processed meats are chock-full of sodium and saturated fat, both of which are bad news for heart health, so they shouldn’t be consumed on the reg. In fact, processed meats are linked to bowel cancer, so ideally should be avoided altogether.

On the healthier end of the spectrum are veggie and seafood pizzas (think: prawns, mushroom, capsicum), which tend to contain less sodium and saturated fat than their meaty counterparts.

Of course, cheese is part and parcel of any pizza – and while cheese can easily be a part of a healthy diet, eating too much of it can really ramp up your total kilojoule and sodium intake, so it’ll pay to take it easy on the cheese front.

Thick vs thin vs stuffed crusts: what’s the difference?

As a general rule of thumb, thin crusts are a healthier option than thick, but there is a lot of variation between outlets, so it’ll pay to read up on the nutrition information.

What is a sure thing, however, is that stuffed crusts are at the bottom of the pecking order. Usually filled with cheese, stuffed crusts ramp up the kilojoule content of an already kilojoule-packed meal, so I’d suggest skipping it, at least most of the time.

How much pizza is ok to eat in one sitting?

A whole pizza can add a whole lot of unnecessary kilojoules, sodium and saturated fat to your diet, even if you’re choosing a healthier choice (like a veggie pizza on a thin crust), so I’d advise against the whole pie.

The other thing worth considering is that pizza on its own is rarely a balanced meal, so I’d suggest balancing it out with extra veggies on the side, like a big side salad. For the average Joe, that means two or three slices of pizza along with veggies on the side is a good place to start.

If you’re out, an easy way to do it is to split a pizza between two or three dinner buddies and order some fresh sides to go with it. If you’re at home with takeaway, I’d suggest serving yourself your slices on a plate rather than eating from the box, to help avoid overdoing it.

The verdict on pizza: how much is too much?

You might be surprised to hear this from a dietitian, but if pizza is your absolute favourite meal, I think eating it once a week is perfectly fine, especially if you stick to the above parameters.

A healthy diet isn’t about perfection – but instead, eating healthy wholefoods the majority of the time and balancing it out with your favourite treat foods to fill up your happy cup every once in a while. If that means a week of whole grains and tonnes of veggies is complimented with a few slices of pizza on the weekend, then that’s fine by me.

Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based accredited practising dietitian. You can connect with her on Instagram @honest_nutrition.

Bad news, night owls, early risers tend to be happier

Bad news, night owls, early risers tend to be happier

A new study has examined the connection between your body syncing with your daily schedule and psychological conditions.

Are you the type of person that springs out of bed naturally in the morning, or do you have five alarms set that you’ll inevitably press ‘snooze’ on every single one?

If you tend to wake up naturally with the sun, it means your body clock is healthily in sync with your daily schedule and circadian rhythm. If not, you could be more at risk for depression and anxiety.

A recent study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry examined data from 85,000 participants across the UK and found that those with an inconsistent sleep cycle-a trait usually associated with night owls-are more likely to experience mental health issues.

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“We found that people who were misaligned from their natural body clock were more likely to report depression, anxiety and have lower wellbeing. We also found the most robust evidence yet that being a morning person is protective of depression and improves wellbeing,” lead author Jessica O’Loughlin, of the University of Exeter told Science Daily.

“We think this could be explained by the fact that the demands of society mean night owls are more likely to defy their natural body clocks by having to wake up early for work.”

An out-of-sync body clock bodes poorly for those who do shift work, too, as a previous study of more than 28,000 Brits pointed out. It showed that shift workers were 33 percent more likely to have depression than people who didn’t work irregular schedules.

“We know that shift-work alters the circadian rhythm, that is our normal sleep-wake cycle which matches day-night cycle,” said Luciana Torquati, lead author of the study and a researcher at the University of Exeter in the UK.

“This disruption can make people moody and irritable, and lead to social isolation as shift-workers time-off matches family and friend’s work and life commitments.”

On the flip side, our sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo noted in an article for Body+Soul, 97 percent of with depression report sleep disturbances: “Happiness hormones serotonin and dopamine are partially regulated by the circadian rhythm: so disrupting this delicate internal clock by lack of sleep or social jet lag impacts their biochemical pathways, and as a result, your mood.”

2nd Sydney COVID case confirmed as exposure sites list grows

2nd Sydney COVID case confirmed as exposure sites list grows

Urgent contact tracing is under away in NSW after a second case of coronavirus was discovered.

A second case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Sydney merely hours after an eastern suburbs man tested positive last night.

This second case is a household contact of the man, aged in his 60s, who had a saliva test on Tuesday, returning a positive PCR test today.

The man is not a returned overseas traveller however he does work as a driver transporting international flight crew.

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“Urgent investigations into the source of the infection and contact tracing are underway, as is genome sequencing,” NSW Health said in a statement.

“Close contacts are being urgently contacted and asked to get tested and isolate.”

New exposure sites have been announced by the state health authorities, with anyone having attended the below venues at the dates and times listed being regarded as a close contact.

They must immediately call NSW Health on 1800 943 553, get tested and self-isolate for 14 days from the date they were at the venue regardless of the result.

NSW exposure sites:

Bondi Junction: David Jones Bondi, 11am to 11:40am on Saturday 12 June 2021

Bondi Junction: Event Cinemas Bondi Junction, 1.30pm to 4pm on Sunday 13 June 2021

Bondi Junction: Myer Bondi, 11:40am to 12:15pm on Saturday 12 June 2021

Bondi Junction: Harry’s Coffee Kitchen, 3pm to 3.40pm on Tuesday 15 June 2021

Bondi Junction: NAB (in Westfield), 2.45pm to 3.10pm on Tuesday 15 June 2021

Bondi Junction: Sourdough Bakery, 12:40pm to 1:10pm on Friday 11 June 2021

Dubbo: PKs Bakery, 7:30am to 8:45am on Thursday 3 June 2021

Dubbo: Reading Cinema Cinema 5 – Wrath of Man, 6:30pm to 9pm on Wednesday 2 June 2021

Forbes: Brew Coffee Bar, 7:30am to 9:20am on Wednesday 2 June 2021

Moree: Amaroo Tavern, at 4:50pm to 6:30pm on Friday 4 June 2021

Moree: ASSEF’s clothing store, 3pm to 3:30pm on Thursday 3 June 2021

Moree: Gwydir Thermal Pools Motel and Caravan park (reception only), 1:45pm to 2pm on Thursday 3 June 2021

North Ryde: Cemetery Cafe Macquarie Park, 1pm to 1:20pm on Tuesday 15 June 2021

Redfern: Wax Car Wash Café, 12pm to 3pm on Monday 14 June 2021

Vaucluse: Belle Café, 9:15am to 9:50am on Friday 11 June 20211:20pm to 1:50pm on Saturday 12 June 202111:30am to 12pm on Sunday 13 June 2021

Vaucluse: Field to Fork Vaucluse, 12pm to 4pm on Friday 11 June 2021

Vaucluse: Rocco’s, 10:55am to 11:30am on Monday 14 June 2021

Vaucluse: Washoku Vaucluse, 12pm to 1:30pm on Saturday 12 June 2021

Zetland: Coles, East Village Shopping Centre at 11am to 1pm on Monday 14 June 2021

Zetland: Taste growers, East Village Shopping Centre at 11am to 1pm on Monday 14 June 2021

Is Halo Top really better for me and can I eat the whole tub?

Is Halo Top really better for me and can I eat the whole tub?

They might have a lot less calories but it’s what else is added that you need to watch out for, says Melissa Meier.

High protein, guilt free, plant-based… there’s lots of ice creams in supermarket freezers with catchy marketing phrases plastered all over the packaging that make you think you can have your cake (or in this case, your ice cream tub), and eat it, too.

But are these ‘healthier’ ice creams really that much healthier? And can you actually down a whole tub without feeling guilty?

Here’s what you need to know.

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Ice cream vs. high protein ice cream

To set the scene, here’s the low down on the nutritionals for a run-of-the-mill vanilla ice cream. Per 100 grams, you’re in for about 190 calories, 4 grams of protein, 7 grams of saturated fat and 18 grams of sugar.

High protein ice creams (think: Halo Top and FroPro), on the other hand, offer around 140 calories per 100 grams, 7 grams of protein, 3 grams of saturated fat and 8 grams of sugar.

So, high protein ice creams tend to have less total kilojoules and sugar than regular ice cream, along with slightly less saturated fat and a little more protein.

The ingredients list, however, is where the real differences lie. You see, regular ice cream has a relatively short ingredients list: it’s made with a combination of milk, cream, sugar and a few additives.

The ingredients list on high protein ‘healthier’ ice creams, however, tend to be looooong – and often contain sweeteners, additives and lots of words or numbers you mightn’t even recognise.

So, what’s healthier?

The above nutritionals might make you think high protein ice cream is healthier than regular ice cream – but I’ve got other ideas. Sure, higher protein ice cream might have less kilojoules and sugar than the real deal… but is the difference really that big in the grand scheme of your whole diet? Not really.

Plus, higher protein ice creams tend to contain a stack of unnecessary additives and sweeteners, which I’d suggest you’d be better off limiting.

At the end of the day, ice cream – regardless of the form – is just that: ice cream. It should always be considered a treat food, never a healthy snack.

With that in mind, I’d encourage you to choose whatever ice cream takes your fancy and enjoy it mindfully, once in a while, in small portions (read: don’t down the whole tub, even if there are only 300 calories in it…).

Sure, there are a lot of people who might want to cut back on kilojoules and sugar, but opting for a so-called ‘healthier’ ice cream is not the way to do it. If your diet consists of so much ice cream that it makes a huge dent in your total intake, then there are bigger fish to fry than sweating over high protein versus regular ice cream.

Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based accredited practising dietitian. You can connect with her on Instagram @honest_nutrition.