Just Curious: “Should you go to bed early and have a lie-in when you’re tired?”
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“I’m an NHS doctor – this is the truth behind the biggest social media nutrition myths”

Making sense of the endless amount of health information online can often feel like an impossible task. Social media may have democratised health and wellness content, but it’s also made it hard to know who to trust. Search for any trending health topic and you’ll be met with a barrage of videos, all featuring different claims, with many pushing products, supplements and treatment protocols for you to buy. It’s exhausting – and with one in five of us now turning to the internet as our first port of call when we’re looking for health advice, that lack of clear-cut information is also deeply concerning.

Few people are as familiar with the issue as Dr Idrees Mughal – or, as he’s better known on TikTok and Instagram, Dr Idz. Alongside being an NHS doctor with a master’s in nutritional research, Dr Idz also runs hugely successful social media accounts where he debunks the latest claims in diet and nutritional science. Here, he shares the four biggest myths currently circulating on social media and reveals the truth behind the misinformation.

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3 folate-rich recipes to up your intake (plus, why it’s so important for all of us)
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Still looking for Easter eggs? These treats have added nutritional benefits…
Prodigy / £1.50
Stylist team-tested, these little salted caramel eggs contains no refined sugar and each contain 10g of prebiotic fibre. Both the wrapper and carton are recyclable, too
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Cocoa+ / £11.99
Boost your protein intake with the world’s first high-protein chocolate egg. It contains 50% less sugar and 4x more protein than your average supermarket milk choc number
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The Raw Chocolate Egg Company / £3.99
Dairy-free and organic, this luxe vegan egg is made from 85% cacao – the level at which cacao retains more of its antioxidant properties
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Bird & Blend Tea Co. / £24.95
White chocolate and matcha is an elite flavour pairing, and one that comes with some serious antioxidant properties. Matcha tea also contains vitamin C and magnesium
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Wizards Chocolate / £3.99
For anyone who just wants a bar rather than egg this Easter, this sustainable option is infused with 50mg of CBD – proven to help promote relaxation and stress-relief
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Cox & Co / £9
Looking for a dose of rich dark chocolate? Cox & Co’s egg is made from 60% cacao, is sweetened with honey *and* has been topped with a sprinkling of anti-inflammatory bee pollen
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Can’t face the gym? 7 low-impact strength training moves for a stress-free workout
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The most delicious and beneficial condiments and spreads, according to nutritionists
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Clare Hole is part of the Cambridge University Boat Club and will be taking part in The Gemini Boat Race 2024 on Saturday 30 March in Putney, London. You can watch it live on BBC1 from 2pm.

Rowing involves lots of early mornings… with lots of 5am starts, so it’s important to have as much ready the night before as possible. I’ll try to have my bag packed, food prepped and clothes all laid out. This means all I have to do in the morning is get dressed, grab breakfast and head straight out the door for training.

For breakfast, I always have… toast and jam with a cup of tea (no matter what time I get up). Following a morning training session, I’ll have a second breakfast of yoghurt and granola to refuel and set me up for a day of studying (I’m currently reading for an MPhil in Population Health Sciences).

When we’re not on the water, I stay fit by… doing regular strength and conditioning sessions, as well as spending time on the rowing machine with my squad. This helps build up our strength and fitness to support the technical changes we make in the boat. Sessions on the rowing machine can be long steady-state training or high-intensity pieces. These are a great way to see numerical evidence of improvements in our fitness and, although they’re tough, I love the rush you get after a hard session. Doing S&C in the gym has also greatly improved my awareness of how I can maximise my muscles to harness more power in the boat; it’s a nice mental reset during the week.

It’s important to recover well after a hard erg of row… and I like to go for a walk and do some stretching to keep myself moving. Both of those activities give me time to mentally reflect on the positives and areas of improvement from the last session. Nutrition is also key to recovery, so I like to refuel with a big meal – spaghetti bolognese is a favourite!

I often feel nervous before a race but… once we’re rowing, I am usually completely absorbed by the task at hand. Rowing is a real team sport, and I love that aspect of it. When a cox makes a call for a change or a push on the opposition, I have absolute trust in my crew to fully commit to the call. We spend many hours training together as a squad and this level of preparation gives me so much confidence and drive during a race which allows me to put my nerves to good use. I also try to focus on what is within my control and not let the ‘uncontrollables’ stress me out; if I know that I have done everything possible to the best of my ability, that thought greatly reduces my stress levels both during and after a race.

Snack-wise, you’ll find me nibbling on… a snack bar or energy gels during a session. Jelly Babies are also a firm favourite among rowers. After a session, I usually have protein powder or yoghurt for a snack before eating a proper meal.

To wind down in the evenings… I love rewatching TV shows that I’ve seen a hundred times before. That level of predictability is so comforting. Finding time to switch off from rowing and studying is an incredibly valuable part of my daily routine and helps keep me balanced and relaxed before going to sleep.

I juggle my degree and rowing to maximise sleep… and that’s really benefitted both my focus in classes and improvements in training. Prioritising sleep was a big learning curve when I first came into the sport as it was often difficult to fit in university work or socialising before an early bedtime, but a good night’s sleep makes me so much more efficient in the day – so it’s definitely worth it.

5 ways to use ankle weights to supercharge your workouts (and why they’re so effective)
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Looking for a light brunch recipe? This beetroot and barley tabbouleh is perfect

Spring’s finally here, with the evenings drawing out a little and daffodils and blossom in full bloom. Having that bit more daylight can have a radical impact on our mood and energy, as well as our appetite for some fresh and colourful food.

This gorgeous beetroot recipe makes the perfect spring brunch. And it’s as nourishing as it is aesthetically pleasing: beetroot is packed with nutrients and its benefits range from helping to lower blood pressure and improve athletic performance to having powerful anti-oxidant properties that may help to ward off disease. Even the tabbouleh, along with providing some texture, is a great source of fibre. This recipe calls for a scattering of pumpkin and sunflower seeds to add to the plant count and boost levels of vitamin E and magnesium. Ideal for a weekend brunch.

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Image credits: Stylist; Getty; Dr Idz/Penguin; Discover Great Veg; Strong Women; Prodigy ; Cacao+; The Raw Chocolate Egg Company; Bird & Blend Tea Co.; Wizards Chocolate; Cox & Co; Boat Race Company Limited/Row360; Café Cùil
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