Thursday, 20 December 2012

There's a Search Engine for that! Google backs injured servicemen's Dakar Rally Challenge

Google has today announced its backing for Race2Recovery, the group of injured soldiers aiming to become the first disability team to complete the Dakar Rally.  Google has offered the Race2Recovery team significant financial support to help benefit their final preparations ahead of their challenge.

Race2Recovery is a rally team racing to inspire people who are injured, disabled or facing adversity by being the first team of predominantly injured servicemen to complete the formidable Dakar Rally in South America, January 2013.  The team, whose motto is ‘beyond injury – achieving the extraordinary’, consists of people from all backgrounds and walks of life: injured servicemen, former soldiers, sailors and airmen, and generous people with no military background who have given their time and commitment to the endeavour.

Since appearing on the BBC’s Top Gear programme in 2011, the team has gained significant public and media attention and will be the subject of a five-part documentary, airing on Eurosport on consecutive nights from 24th December.

Through its racing activity, Race2Recovery has committed to raising money for a charitable cause close to the hearts of its team members – the Personnel Recovery Centre at Tedworth House. Based in Tidworth, Wiltshire, Tedworth House is one of five Personnel Recovery Centres that have been established as part of the Defence Recovery Capability.  

The Defence Recovery Capability is an MOD led initiative in partnership with Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion to ensure wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women have access to the key resources they need as they recover.  Race2Recovery has already raised well over £100,000 for the Personnel Recovery Centre at Tedworth House but has its sights set on achieving a much higher target.  Donations to the fundraising campaign can be made at

The Dakar Rally, formerly known as ‘The Paris-Dakar’, is an annual off-road desert race organised by the Amaury Sport Organisation.  The race is considered the ultimate driving, mechanical and navigational test, stretching over 9000km of extreme mountain and desert terrain with only 40%-50% of all competitors completing the course. Since 2009, the race has switched to South America, with the Dakar 2013 starting in Lima, Peru on 5th January and finishing, via Argentina, in Santiago, Chile on 20th January. 

The Race2Recovery team has already shipped its fleet of ten race and support vehicles to South America and the drivers, co-drivers and support team will arrive in Lima, Peru, on 1st January.

Dan Cobley, Managing Director at Google UK, said: "Google is pleased to be supporting the team’s racing endeavour and we will be following their progress with great interest. We wish them well."

Captain Tony Harris, 31, one of Race2Recovery’s rally drivers who is a below the knee amputee as a result of injuries suffered while serving in Afghanistan, said: “For a global brand like Google to support the Race2Recovery team in this way just shows how far we have come.  We are delighted that they have shown such faith in our team by making such a significant investment to our racing activity.  We have worked extremely hard over the last 18 months to build this team and, without the support of our sponsors, we would not have even been able to get to the start line.  As it is, Google’s sponsorship has given the team an extra lift ahead of our Dakar Rally challenge and we are all extremely excited to get to South America and start racing.”

People wishing to find out more about Race2Recovery or make a donation to the fundraising campaign should visit Or Google Race2Recovery.

Monday, 10 December 2012

What can a diabetic eat?

What can a diabetic eat? Well, pretty much what they like, so long as they do it in moderation.

A well-meaning acquaintance seems surprised at what I eat. I pointed out to him that the diabetes nurse at my health practice had told me that, generally speaking, a diabetic can eat any type of food they want, but must be careful as to the quantity.

She had also pointed out the dangers of consuming too much carbohydrates at the same time. She pointed out that if you had Spaghetti and a sauce that you would be advised not to have garlic bread at the same time.

She said that a glass of beer or wine with a meal should be OK too. But that drinking to excess would not be a good idea for a diabetic.

Another point that she made I found interesting. She advised that the sugar replacement fructose should never be used by diabetics and that it would be advisable to stop eating fruit. She advised that if you wish to continue with the 5 a day fruit and vegetable ideal, just eat extra vegetables.

As for sugar in coffee and tea? That is now a thing of the past. The fact that I can now no longer enjoy the rich and satisfying taste of brown sugar in my coffee (or can no longer enjoy myself at real ale festivals) is a source of disappointment to me, but it is a price that has to be paid to ensure my long term good health.

Slimsticks Launching At Boots

You can help your diet along with Slimsticks, which is launching at Boots stores all over the country.

Costing £24.99 for 30 Slimsticks, they are powder-filled sachets. You just mix them with warm water to make a tasty drink in either vanilla, strawberry or malt flavours.

The main active ingredient is Slimjac™, a blend of Konjac, palm oil and oat oil.

Within minutes of drinking a Slimstick, Konjac expands in your stomach to help make you feel full.

It's a natural source of soft fibre which will help regulate your blood sugar.  

After Three hours, the fine droplets of palm oil and oat oil will get to work, suppressing hunger pangs and reducing your desire to snack.  

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) says Konjac, the main ingredient in Slimjac™, is proven to help with fat loss and fullness. But Slimsticks can only help with a calorie-controlled diet and an active lifestyle.

Franco Beer, the MD of Inovate Health, says: "With Slimsticks, you can eat what you like. You'll just feel like eating much less,  boosting fat loss minus the crippling hunger pangs."

Take one sachet of Slimsticks three times a day up to one hour before eating, by adding the powder in the sachet to 50 to 100ml of warm water and then stirring, knocking it back and following with one more glass of warm water. It takes one litre of water to hydrate one gram of Konjac, so drink plenty.

Slimsticks is being launched at a watershed time in the world of slimming supplements and aids sold across Europe. This is because from December 14 this year new guidelines from the EFSA come into force.  After this date products carrying dubious and unproven slimming claims, not been approved by EFSA will be withdrawn from the market.

Slimsticks has no adverse side effects. Vegans, vegetarians and those suffering from lactose or wheat intolerance, type two Diabetes and Coeliac Disease are safe to take Slimsticks.

(EDITOR: As a recently diagnosed Type 2 Diabetic I am keen not only to find out about new products that might be able to help me keep my blood sugar levels  under control, I also like to share this information  with fellow diabetics.)