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McDonald’s launches mini outlets for people wanting lunch on-the-go

The new McDonald's mini outlets
Need to grab lunch on the go? (Picture: McDonald’s)

McDonald’s is launching new mini outlets with a reduced menu to serve meals faster, with the first open on Fleet Street in London.

The outlets have been opened to help out those who don’t have long for lunch, or who need to grab lunch super quickly so that they can get back to their desks.

Due to the focus on takeaways, the outlets have no in-store seating.

It’s almost like grabbing a quick sandwich, except you get to treat yourself to fast food.

Don’t worry about queues, either – as you’ll have to order your food using a touchscreen, with a limited selection of menu favourites on offer, including Big Macs, McNuggets and wraps, all of which staff will have ready at peak times.

The new outlet is being trialled on Fleet Street before rolling out to other areas.

The Mcdonald's touch screens
You’ll need to use touch screens (Picture: McDonald’s)

Henry Trickey, head of IT for McDonald’s, said: ‘Changing tastes, new technology and more competition mean we need to continue to innovate.

‘We know that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ and that’s exactly why we are launching McDonald’s to Go.

‘We want to trial different formats in different locations, depending on customer needs.’

Honestly, we think it’s a great idea – it’s so often people find themselves (unfortunately) too busy for lunch, and have to grab something less substantial to eat at their desks.

And while McDonald’s might not be the healthiest of options (unless you go for a grilled chicken wrap, of course), it’s a great idea for those who want to avoid long queues and need to head back to the office ASAP.

MORE: McDonald’s is launching spicy chicken nuggets with a Tabasco dip

MORE: The McDonald’s bacon roll has been voted the best on the high street

Pilot dresses up as Batman to fly rescue animals to their new homes

Florida man dressed as batman standing next to his private jet
‘Batman and Robin’ have saved the lives of animals across Florida and beyond (Picture: Mediadrumimages/ChrisVanDorn)

Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it’s a man dressed as Batman flying through the skies.

Yes, we know that line is from Superman but it’s Gotham’s Dark Knight that Chris Van Dorn dresses up as when he flies animals to safety.

The 26-year-old adorns the superhero suit every time he rescues cats and dogs, taking them to their forever homes.

After his family adopted a dog, Chris saw the hard work of the volunteers who had saved the pooch from an uncertain fate

He was then inspired to start his own not-for-profit charity Batman4Paws, combining his love of animals, flying, and his childhood icon.

Batman and the kitten he rescued
No Catwoman for this Batman, just little kitties (Picture: Mediadrumimages/ChrisVanDorn)

When his family took in a happy go lucky Australian Shepherd, later named Mr Boots, Chris had just got his private pilot’s license.

He mainly operates in Florida but goes out of state to deliver other animals to rescue centres, no kill facilities and foster homes.

He even has a ‘Batmobile’ (it’s basically a two-door Honda Civic).

‘As a child, I looked up to the values that superheroes such as Batman stood for and thought that would be the perfect vessel to embody the spirit of goodwill,’ he said.

Batman with a dog he rescued
On his way to rescue some pets (Picture: Mediadrumimages/ChrisVanDorn)

During his missions, Batman is frequently accompanied by his faithful canine companion Mr Boots or Robin.

Like all great comic book heroes, Mr Boots has his very own origin story.

‘Mr Boots was found wandering around the woods in Alabama emaciated and covered in fleas and ticks.

Rescue dog giving chris a lick
Kisses for Batman (Picture: Mediadrumimages/ChrisVanDorn)

‘With the help of Dog Liberator and another non-profit named PilotsnPaws, they organised and facilitated the transportation and rescue of this scruffy looking pooch to me.

‘It was their hard work that inspired me to start my own charity last year.

Chris flying his jet, not in uniform
Off duty (Picture: Mediadrumimages/ChrisVanDorn)

‘Seeing the harsh depressing reality that shelter pets have to go through every day, oftentimes being put down at no fault of their own, are what motivate me to want to do my best to find cats, dogs, and other animals forever homes.

Batman with a dog he rescued
The Dark Knight will rise and rescue a pet near you (if you’re in Florida or thereabouts) (Picture: Mediadrumimages/ChrisVanDorn)

‘It’s a great feeling to serve my community and there’s plenty more to do. My motto is “til every cage is empty!”

‘Start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can to be the change.’

MORE: Amazing sanctuary introduces abused animals to mistreated children to help both heal

MORE: 16 stunning black cats who are looking for their forever homes

MORE: Can you legally smash someone’s windows to rescue a dog from a hot car?

Feel guilty about flying this summer? Here’s ten ways to reduce your carbon footprint

Does jet lag make your depression worse?
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

August is here which means the UK is in full summer swing, but holiday season is having a drastic impact on the planet.

It’s estimated that a long-haul flight from London to New York generates around 986kg of CO2 per passenger – more than an average person creates in a year in some countries.

Short-haul flights don’t contribute as much but, due to their affordable prices, more of them are being booked every day.

Airlines have already taken measures to slash their emissions, but ultimately reducing the amount we fly is going to be the best solution. Even 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg has pledged to stop using planes.

If you already have a summer holiday in the pipeline for this year, there are a number of things you can do to help reduce your carbon footprint in general – just maybe think twice about booking a flight next time.

Here are some instant ways to reduce your carbon footprint now.

Give up meat and dairy

5 common myths about nutrition (and the truths) Ella Byworth
Going vegan can help the planet (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk)

One of the best ways to combat climate change is to give up meat and dairy. Studies have shown that the meat and dairy industry produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Raising livestock requires energy, water, food and resources – which are having a negative impact too. In fact, PETA reported that a single cow used for milk can drink up to 50 gallons of water per day – or twice that amount in hot weather.

They suggest that one person going vegan can save approximately 219,000 gallons of water a year.

For hardcore meat-eaters, adopting a ‘flexitarian’ lifestyle, and only eating meat on selected days is a good place to start.

Buy local and seasonal

Buying food that’s local and in season is a great way to reduce carbon emissions. The less a product has to travel (e.g. from the other side of the world) the less fuel is used to bring it over.

Check to see which foods are in season as they’re likely to be sourced locally, in the same country, which prevents unnecessary air miles.

Start composting

Composting is an organic way of recycling food waste and, done correctly, it stops the production of harmful greenhouse gases such as methane.

The process involves breaking food down with the help of fungi, worms, bacteria and oxygen. The end product is a nutrient-rich compost that is great for gardening and farming.

Instead of throwing food waste away, purchase a compost bin and try it for yourself. The best things for the heap are fruit, vegetables, teabags and egg shells.

Buy second hand clothes

The ‘fast fashion’ industry has come under fire recently for its negative impact on the planet, but there’s definitely a demand for it. One recent report found that 50 million throwaway outfits will be bought this summer.

Changing our fashion culture is essential to help the planet.

Fast fashion is wasteful. Clothes are made quickly with large quantities of non-renewable resources and they’re often priced cheaply for customers. Lots of these ‘trend-focused’ styles get thrown away within a year. Discarded items are left in landfills where they produce methane as they decompose.

Purchasing second hand, vintage clothes is a great way to reduce the demand for new clothes and boycott the fast fashion industry. Recycling is the best way to be sustainable in this area.

Wash clothing with cold water

Around 80-90% of the energy used by the washing machine goes towards heating, so switching to cold water helps decrease a carbon footprint.

Also, instead of turning to the washing machine, take garments into the bathroom and give them a steam when you have a shower. This will not remove stains but will freshen clothes that need a lift.

Unplug devices

If they’re plugged in, devices still use electricity – even when they are not in use. This standby power is also known as ‘vampire power’ because electricity is still consumed by the appliance.

Reduce the amount of electricity (not to mention your household bills) by switching off anything that’s plugged in at the mains when it’s not in use.

Use a laptop instead of a desktop

Drawing of someone writing an email on their laptop
Using your laptop can cut down (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Many laptops use 50% less power than desktop computers and they’re often equipped with more eco-friendly features, such as power saving modes.

Some laptops also made with recyclable material and have re-usable or rechargeable parts.

Drive less

It’s estimated that reducing the miles on a regular car from 15,000 to 10,000 a year will save more than a tonne of CO2 – which is about 15% of an average person’s carbon footprint.

So it’s simple – walk, bike and bus more. Or if driving is a necessity, think about opting for an electric car.

Get planting

Planting trees is a great way to offset your carbon footprint. Through the process of photosynthesis, plants and trees absorb carbon dioxide alongside potentially harmful gasses, such as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, from the air.

They also release oxygen – in fact, one large tree can supply a day’s supply of oxygen to four people.

Get involved in carbon offset schemes

These are the most effective ways to offset your plane travel. Essentially, it works like a balancing act – offset something that causes carbon emissions with something that helps reduce them.

Some of these schemes involve producing clean energy technology and other projects focus on large-scale tree-planting.

Those who are flying can make their flight ‘carbon neutral’ by using online calculators to work out the emissions for their trip, before paying the offset company the amount to reduce the same amount of emissions elsewhere.

MORE: Environment crisis won’t be stopped unless we improve access to contraception

MORE: Glastonbury 2019 clear-up shows not everybody got the memo about the environment

MORE: You’ll get 20 fewer pints on holiday this summer thanks to falling pound

Birds Eye’s fish finger lasagne gets a big nope from British folks

Birds Eye fish finger lasagne picture as a whole and a slice
What do you think? (Picture: Birds Eye)

Brits love fish fingers, Brits love lasagne. But perhaps not together.

Birds Eye’s latest concoction of the two, then, just doesn’t do it for us.

After it released a recipe for the Italian dish on Facebook, swapping out the minced meat for fish fingers, people have expressed their disdain.

Bizarrely, the household brand added 30 breaded fish to its own white sauce, spinach, peas and other bits and bobs.

Now, we’re no culinary snobs and have been known to throw the odd ingredient together in the name of sustenance but this is just an abomination, a clash of cultures.

And hundreds of other Facebook users agree.

One person wrote: ‘Omg no. I love lasagne and love fish fingers but some things are not meant for each other.’

Another echoed their thoughts, adding: ‘I love fish fingers but would give this a miss’.

Others, for whatever reason (anarchists), said they were intrigued by the hybrid and would be trying it out.

‘That looks delicious, need to have a go making it, yummy,’ gushed one, while another said: ‘omg that would be my food heaven!’

While the combination might sound like a sin to you, it seems there’s a lot of interest in fish finger lasagnes.

Great British Bakeoff winner Nadiya Hussain had her own recipe in her book Nadiya’s family favourites.

But she’s been known to mix and match all kinds of traditional favourites in the past.

So maybe if it’s good enough for Nadiya, it’s good enough for us. Might have to visit the frozen aisle soon.

If you want to make it yourself, you can visit the Birds Eye website for the recipe.

MORE: No one is impressed by this ‘vegan lasagne’ which looks more like a stacked salad

MORE: Man orders eggs Benedict at a Tesco cafe and was served this ‘monstrosity’

MORE: A hummus ‘milkshake’ mixed with banana is here and it sounds questionable

This new podcast aims to tackle stigma around the morning after pill

Illustration of naked couple in bed together
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Great news for podcast lovers – a new sex positive show has just landed.

The new podcast addresses the taboo surrounding emergency contraception as well as the stigma surrounding the morning after pill.

BBC Radio 1 presenter and writer Alix Fox hosts the landmark podcast titled, My Morning After.

The series, which has been created by emergency contraception brand ellaOne, is made up of four episodes and is available to download from today, 1 August.

Each installment invites journalists, healthcare professionals and activists to share their experiences, thoughts and advice on emergency contraception.

Alix told Metro: ‘At present, there is a yawning silence surrounding emergency contraception.

‘No-one tends to talk about it until they’re in a position where they might want to access it – and even then, they often don’t feel empowered to speak up, ask questions, or indeed, know what questions to ask.

‘They don’t know what’s on offer; where to get it; or how it works. The result is that huge helpings of additional anxiety are ladled onto the already high-stress scenario of having had unprotected sex, or intercourse in which your usual contraceptive method has failed.’

alix fox will present the new sex positive podcast
Alix presents the new podcast (Picture: Joe Plimmer)

Guests on the bill include activist Gina Martin, Period author Natalie Byrne as well as Dr Annabel Sowemimo, founder of the Decolonising Contraception collective.

Each episode presents discussions around chosen topics, such as the double standards surrounding birth control.

Alix said: ‘Among many people, there’s also a sense that emergency contraceptives are something only feckless, irresponsible or “slutty” women choose, the sobering “morning after” a regrettable or careless hook up – another way in which that nickname perhaps proves noxious.

‘There’s a lot of – often sexist – judgment associated with emergency contraception being linked to encounters that are casual, rather than committed.

‘The podcasts help bust these taboos by talking in open ways, with guests from a variety of different backgrounds, plus additional input from anonymous contributors to EllaOne’s #MyMorningAfter stories – a collection of true stories about real life emergency contraception experiences.

my morning after sex podcast is in collaboration with ellaone
The podcast is available to download today (Picture: ellaOne)

‘By ensuring we spoke to a broad range of folks from different areas of the country, diverse backgrounds, varying family situations and religious standpoints, we got a true overview of what people believe and feel about EC, and there’s a high likelihood that listeners will hear tales and viewpoints they can relate to, as well as ideas and info that might not have been on their radar.

‘I want listeners to be left with solid overview of what emergency contraception is available; an accurate idea of how it works; the facts and information required to make educated personal choices; and the confidence to then feel empowered and equipped to act upon them.’

The arrival of the podcast comes just a week after the BBC announced that it would be launching a new show, ‘Brown Girls Do It Too’, discussing sex among British Asian women.

My Morning After podcast series can be downloaded from Apple, Audioboom, CastBox, Deezer, ihEART, Radio.com, RadioPublic, Spotify, Stitcher, Soundcloud and TuneIn.

MORE: Nine women open up about what anal sex really feels like

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B&M is selling a beauty fridge for £34.99 and shoppers are loving it

Pictures of beauty fridges
Have you got a beauty fridge? (Picture: Partytildawn/B&M)

B&M has launched new beauty fridges so that you can keep your products cool.

Okay, so they’re basically just mini fridges, but they’ve been advertised as teeny fridges just for your beauty stuff.

B&M took to Instagram to show off the product, featuring a photo of a grey fridge filled with serums and creams.

The fridge costs just £34.99, and is big enough to fit a lot of your favourite skincare products.


Beauty fridges aren’t anything new – with many influencers having been using them for a while, but people over on Instagram have been getting excited for B&M’s version.

One person said: ‘Omg I love this!’

Another wrote: ‘This is revolutionary! I want one.’


The best products to put inside the fridge are facial tools, face masks and creams, setting sprays and mists – this is because they’re a great way to preserve natural and organic beauty products and help them last longer.

Cooler products can also reduce the puffiness of your face, tighten pores and stop your skin from getting irritated or red.

And of course – there’s no harm slipping in a chocolate bar beside your face mask – y’know, just to snack on while you practice your beauty regime.


In other B&M news, the store is selling CBD oil for just £1.

The CBD tongue shots are available in three different strengths: 100mg, 300mg and 500mg – and they all come in a mint flavour.

Each box contains four ready-to-use foil sachets which contain 1.5ml of CBD rich hemp extract.

B&M is the first variety retailer to stock the product – and alongside the shots, the store will also be stocking a range of Hemp based beauty products, which come infused with Hemp oil to nurture the skin.

This includes the Cold Pressed Hemp seed oil, which is a natural moisturiser and apparently helps make your skin feel smooth and soft while acting as a barrier and preventing moisture loss. The CBD and Hemp ranges are available in selected B&M stores nationwide.

MORE: Birds Eye’s fish finger lasagne gets a big nope from British folks

MORE: McDonald’s launches mini outlets for people wanting lunch on-the-go

A cute cat managed to travel all the way to France without her owners knowing

A picture of Squish with his owners
Squish managed to travel all the way to France (Picture: Paul Brown /SWNS.COM)

A cute cat has enjoyed a 1,500 mile road trip after hiding in her owner’s caravan when they went on holiday to France.

Jane and Paul Brown thought they had left their eight-year-old cat Squish back at home in Leeds, when they went off for a week-long holiday last month.

However, after arriving on a ferry a day later, they found Squish crawling out of a storage area as they ate lunch.

She was probably hungry, the poor little thing.

Jane and Paul took her to the vet, where they had to pay £500 for a rabies injection and pet passport.

Because of the jab, Squish wasn’t allowed to leave France for three weeks – so Jane had to fly back home as planned and Paul had to stay with the cat. A total nightmare.

Paul with Squish
Jane and Paul found Squish in the caravan (Picture: Paul Brown /SWNS.COM)

The pair were in France during the hottest period in the country’s history, so Squish was kept cool with wet J-cloths, cool packs and a fan.

Jane and Paul, both aged in their 50s, had reached Lille and Reims in the north of France when Squish was discovered in the first week of July.

They continued to Troyes and Autun in the south of the country – their original holiday destination.

They then travelled north again to Le Touquet to try to avoid the heat before taking a ferry to Hull, East Yorks., from Zeebruge in Belgium.

Jane, a Reverend at St Mary’s Church in Garforth, said they were worried Squish might fall seriously ill because of the scorching temperatures but that she’s back to her inquisitive best in temperate West Yorkshire.

She added: ‘We set off on holiday and unbeknown to us the cat had stowed away in the caravan.

‘Squish is a very nosy cat so she must have gone inside to take a look before Paul shut the door without realising.

Paul and Jane with Squish
At least Squish got a holiday out of it! (Picture: Paul Brown /SWNS.COM)

‘When she came out to say hello she looked very pleased with herself.

‘We were really worried and thought, ‘oh my goodness, what are we going to do?’

‘She was obviously really hungry so we got her some food then rang our local vet for some advice and went from there.’

Jane added: ‘It was bad luck that Squish and Paul had to be there during the heatwave.

‘He kept her cool with ice packs on top of and below her body and he also used a fan.

‘During the day she just had to lie down and do nothing, she could only really get up for a drink or some food.

‘In the evening when things cooled down she was a bit more lively.’

Luckily, Squish is back home now and enjoying the English weather after a really sunny holiday.

Let’s hope Jane and Paul check all areas of the caravan before setting off again (or just find a cat-friendly holiday instead).

MORE: Juno the cat looks absolutely furious at all times

MORE: RSPCA is looking for people to cuddle cats and rabbits

Constipation: What is it, what causes it and how can you treat it?

An illustration of a man in the bathroom
Are you suffering with constipation? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Constipation is common and lots of us have experienced it (if you haven’t you’re lucky – because it sucks).

Constipation affects people of all ages, and it can usually be treated at home or with simple changes to your diet.

Let’s just look at what constipation actually is, first.

Constipation is when you haven’t had a poo at least three times in a week.

It is also often difficult to push out and larger than usual, and is very dry, hard or lumpy.

You may also have a stomach ache and feel bloated or sick.

So if you’re having uncomfortable poos and feel like you’re pushing a watermelon out of your butt, you’re dealing with constipation.

There are lots of reasons someone might be constipated.

This includes not eating enough fibre, not drinking enough fluids, not exercising or being less active, ignoring the urge to go to the toilet, changing your diet or dealing with stress and anxiety.

Some medications can also cause constipation.

Illustration of a woman sat on the toilet
If you’re having to strain, something isn’t right (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

In some cases, constipation can be a sign of a medical condition, such as IBS or inflammatory bowel disease – the first of which is very common and can be treated at home with over-the-counter medications and diet, and the second of which will need medical attention.

IBD is usually joined by other symptoms including chronic weight loss, dark red rectal bleeding and abdominal pain. If you have any of these, it’s important that you go to your doctor.

Treating natural constipation can be done with lifestyle changes.

This includes making changes to your diet to make your poo softer and easier to pass, drinking more fluids and less alcohol and most importantly adding more fibre to your diet.

A daily walk can also help you poo more regularly.

Constipation may be coming from the way you’re pooing. If you’re slumping over when you’re on the toilet, that’s not going to help.

A good way to poo is by adding a low stool to your bathroom and resting your feet on it while going to the toilet, or raising your knees above your hips.

An illustration of a woman on the toilet
Are you sitting on the toilet correctly? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

If you’re really struggling with constipation and can’t seem to get things moving, a laxative should help, which you can get in supermarkets, but you shouldn’t rely on these long-term.

However, if these things don’t help, and you end up being chronically constipated, it’s time to see your doctor.

While it may not be a medical condition, long-term constipation can lead to faecal impaction – otherwise known as a blockage – where poo has built up in your bowel or rectum.

The main symptom of this is diarrhoea after a long bout of constipation.

Your doctor may prescribe stronger laxatives or an enema – or they might send you to the hospital if things deteriorate.

It’s important to keep an eye on your bowel habits and not let things deteriorate.

If you start to get worried about your constipation, go to your GP.

With all things bowel-related, it’s best to get checked out – because your bowel can say a lot about your overall health.

MORE: Is your poo normal? Signs your bowel movements aren’t as healthy as you think

MORE: Polycystic ovary syndrome: What are the signs and symptoms of PCOS?

What a student thought was an ingrown hair was actually a sign of a rare type of cancer

Michael Crocteau, 21, was shocked when he was diagnosed with an incurable cancer his freshman year of college - having mistook the symptoms as an INGROWN HAIR. See SWNS story SWNTingrown. A college freshman was shocked when he was diagnosed with an incurable cancer after mistaking the symptoms for an INGROWN HAIR. Michael Croteau, 21, was diagnosed with pseudomyogenic hemangioendothelioma (PHE), an extremely rare cancer which affects the skin, muscles and bones, in May 2018. The student started experiencing tightness in his right knee and quadriceps during summer 2017 and developed what he believed was an ingrown hair on his right thigh that September.Michael and his mom Susan Williams, 52, a nurse, became concerned as the mass began to grow and started to appear infected when he returned to college after Christmas.
Michael Crocteau, 21, was shocked when he was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer (Picture: Justin Serna /SWNS.COM)

When Michael Croteau, 21, noticed a mark on his right thigh, he assumed he just had an ingrown hair.

The student was also experiencing tightness in his right knee and thighs at the time, but he ignored his symptoms until his mum Susan Williams, a nurse, became concerned.

Susan spotted that when her son returned home over Christmas, the ‘ingrown hair’ had grown and looked infected.

Michael was referred to UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, by his dermatologist, who suspected that the growth might not be just your usual blemish.

The student was diagnosed with pseudomyogenic hemangioendothelioma (PHE), an extremely rare cancer that affects just one in one million people, according to the EHE Foundation.

The symptoms for pseudomyogenic hemangioendothelioma (PHE), which Michael Crocteua mistook for an ingrown hair
The mark Michael mistook for an ingrown hair (Picture: Michael Crocteau /SWNS.COM)

The rare type of cancer affects the skin, muscle, and bones. In Michael’s case it had developed into hundreds of tumours which had moved into the bone, muscle, and tissue of his right thigh.

Michael said: ‘I noticed a bump on the outside of my right thigh in September. I could feel it underneath the skin, it felt like there was pressure.

‘It began to change color and I started to think it was an ingrown hair.

‘I had never had one, but I didn’t really know what else it could be.

‘I did dig at it, but there didn’t seem to be a hair there.

‘It became raised and started to look infected. My mum suggested we go and get it looked at.

‘It was a real shock. Cancer had never affected me.

‘It was something I never thought would happen to me, especially at this age. It freaked me out.’

The symptoms for pseudomyogenic hemangioendothelioma (PHE), which Michael Crocteua mistook for an ingrown hair
When the mark grew and looked infected, Michael’s mum became concerned (Picture: Michael Crocteau /SWNS.COM)

Amputation was brought up as an option, but this was ruled out by an orthopedic surgeon.

Doctors in Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center decided to instead treat Michael’s tumours with an experimental oral chemotherapy drug and  radiation therapy on the thigh to manage the pain.

This treatment can’t cure Michael’s cancer, but the aim is to stop the growth of his tumours.

As his type of cancer is so rare, there’s a real lack of research into treatment options.

Michael has no clue of his prognosis – as his mum puts it, he could be around for ‘one month or six years’.

The symptoms for pseudomyogenic hemangioendothelioma (PHE), which Michael Crocteua mistook for an ingrown hair. Michael Crocteau, 21, was shocked when he was diagnosed with an incurable cancer his freshman year of college - having mistook the symptoms as an INGROWN HAIR. See SWNS story SWNTingrown. A college freshman was shocked when he was diagnosed with an incurable cancer after mistaking the symptoms for an INGROWN HAIR. Michael Croteau, 21, was diagnosed with pseudomyogenic hemangioendothelioma (PHE), an extremely rare cancer which affects the skin, muscles and bones, in May 2018. The student started experiencing tightness in his right knee and quadriceps during summer 2017 and developed what he believed was an ingrown hair on his right thigh that September.Michael and his mom Susan Williams, 52, a nurse, became concerned as the mass began to grow and started to appear infected when he returned to college after Christmas.
Michael had poked and prodded but couldn’t find a hair (Picture: Michael Crocteau /SWNS.COM)

‘Sarcoma is generally slow growing and there was a small risk of it spreading like wildfire,’ explains Michael. ‘It’s not extremely aggressive.

‘It doesn’t usually respond so well to chemo or radiation.

‘But the options I was presented were amputation from the hip down, or to just monitor it and hope it didn’t grow or spread. There is no cure. We have chosen that option.’

Now a year on from his diagnosis, Michael’s family are focused on making the best of his remaining life. They’ve also started a GoFundMe page to raise money for his treatment.

Thankfully his tumours haven’t grown, but doctors have spotted two small spots on Michael’s lungs.

‘It’s absolutely devastating to hear there is no cure for your 20-year-old son who just finished high school,’ said Michael’s mum, Susan.

The student was diagnosed with pseudomyogenic hemangioendothelioma (PHE), an extremely rare cancer which affects the skin, muscles and bones, in May 2018
The student was diagnosed with pseudomyogenic hemangioendothelioma (PHE), an extremely rare cancer which affects the skin, muscles and bones, in May 2018 (Picture: Justin Serna /SWNS.COM)

‘We don’t know how long he has. It could be one month or six years.

‘Currently they are monitoring the spots on his lungs. But he will always be living with cancer which is the toughest part for our family.

‘Because it’s so rare, there is not much research being done on it, so for us it’s a waiting game.

‘Right now the focus is to give Michael the best quality of life he can have.’

Despite his illness, Michael is still studying at Kilgore College, where he’s on track to begin a nursing program.

He’s sharing his story to encourage people to be proactive if they notice an unusual change in their bodies.

Michael said: ‘The goal is to live a normal life for as long as I can.

Michael Crocteau wearing nursing scrubs
He’s continuing to study for a nursing course (Picture: Michael Crocteau /SWNS.COM)

‘My tumours have remained the same. They haven’t gotten any smaller but they haven’t gotten any bigger either.

‘It’s so hard to tell what will happen because there is not much research into my type of cancer.

‘They aren’t sure how it will develop in the future.

‘It’s a scary thought because it’s impossible to plan for.

‘I try not to think about it and live each day as best I can. But there is always this big ‘what if’ over my head.

‘If you notice anything out of the ordinary with your body, get it checked.

‘Early diagnosis can be the key in the treatment of so many cancers so if you notice something wrong, go to your doctor.

‘It could be the thing that makes the difference and save your life.’

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Five exercises that can help you sleep better

illustration of woman stretching in bed after a good night's sleep
Getting your body moving could be the key to a good night’s sleep. (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Sleep is an elusive beast for so many of us.

Anyone who has experienced the frustration and exhaustion that comes with insomnia will know that they will try just about anything to help them drift off – and stay asleep.

But before you resort to pills, potions or embracing a nocturnal lifestyle – there is something really simple you can try that could improve the quality of your sleep. Exercise.

You may think it sounds too good to be true – but working out in the right way can really help in your quest for regular slumber.

We asked Joshua Pearson, fitness expert at Exercise.co.uk, for is advice on how to use fitness to help you sleep better – and he had some really practical suggestions.

‘Generally speaking, almost any variety of exercise has a positive impact on your sleep,’ Josh tells Metro.co.uk.

‘It’s even believed to affect your circadian rhythm (body clock) to help regulate when you fall asleep, depending on the time of day you exercise.

‘It also elevates your body temperature, so when it drops several hours after exercising, you can start to feel drowsy. There’s more to it than you might think!

‘With that being said, however, not all types of exercise are created equally.

‘We’ve cherry-picked our five favourite and most effective ways to get that consistent sleep pattern in place.’

1) Burpees

Burpees are an extremely exertive full body aerobic exercise, meaning that it is a huge calorie burner.

You can do them anywhere, anytime (within reason) and it will be ridiculously useful to burn off extra energy, both physically and mentally.

Burpees are an excellent way to help you be more tired when you should be and regulate your tired feelings back to what they should be throughout the day.

2) Squats

Squats are a much more variable exercise than the burpees.

That’s useful on its own, letting you use them differently depending on how you like to exercise.

They can be used as an anaerobic weight training exercise, or a cardio exercise as part of a circuit.

Either way, they burn a massive number of calories because they demand the work of large muscle groups like your glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves and pretty much everything in between.

That’s incredibly effective not only for calorie burn, but for raising your resting energy expenditure too.

That’s what helps you to use more energy even outside of your workouts and help you drift off to sleep without that excess energy on a night time.

Illustration of two people lying in bed together
‘Walking is a great way to exercise the body while calming the mind.’ (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

3) Swimming

Swimming is another awesome full-body cardiovascular exercise that is outstanding for several things.

It’s up there with the best cardio exercises since it uses every part of your body efficiently, and it raises your heart rate at the same time.

It builds muscle and burns calories, which are the big benefits of the above exercises, while helping you to do something functionally effective too.

The increased energy burn plus the cardio benefits of increased lung function and heart health can help you relax more comfortably with more energy burned after you’ve powered through some lengths of the pool.

4) Walking

Taking things down a notch, walking is a simple, convenient and effective way to help sleep as well.

It may seem a little basic, but bear with us.

Walking is a prime example of LISS (low-intensity steady state) training; the principle is that you’re burning calories over a prolonged period.

It won’t get your heart rate up like a lot of more intensive exercises do, but it is great for calming you down while still exercising.

In fact, it burns more fat per calorie burned than most other exercises could dream of (just not as many calories in total; bare that in mind).

Even right before you go to bed, walking is a great way to exercise the body while calming the mind and putting you in the best possible position to drift off peacefully.

To help settle your mind, focus on the movement of your body while you walk; the feel of your feet on the floor and the sounds around you. This will help you keep present and focused, which is proven to help wind your mind down and prime you for sleep.

5) Yoga

Cobra, lotus, warrior, downward dog

Yoga comes in too many different forms to mention here, but we’re going more specific with the more calming and relaxing poses.

Things like the cobra, lotus, warrior, downward facing dog and even the tree pose are all awesome ways to stretch out your muscles, get some good isometric exercise, and really centre yourself.

Yoga really comes into its own when you focus on your breathing throughout the stretches.

Concentrate on your exhalations and inhalations to again focus the mind and bring it into a relaxed and peaceful state to really reap the benefits. It’s actually a great example of meditative exercise.

illustrations of woman sat on the edge of a bed
‘Exercise is also a proven and brilliant way to reduce anxiety.’ (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

‘Give any of these five exercise strategies a blast to wipe off extra energy that might be contributing to keeping you awake at night,’ suggests Joshua.

‘It’ll help get yourself into not only a better night’s sleep, but a better sleeping routine altogether.

‘Exercise is also a proven and brilliant way to reduce anxiety, stress and lower blood pressure, all of which can be major inhibitors to sleeping on a night, so you’ll get the knock-on benefits of this too. Break a sweat and sleep well.’

I am Team GB

Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’.

Inspired by the achievements of Team GB athletes and the amazing efforts of local community heroes, Team GB has created ‘The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day’, which will take place on the 24thAugust.

Over the weekend, there will be hundreds of free and fun activities across the country, put on by an army of volunteers; the ‘I am Team GB Games Makers’.

To Join the Team and be part of The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day sign up at: www.IAmTeamGB.com

This workout could seriously improve your sex life

Illustration of naked couple in bed together
How’s your stamina in the bedroom? (Picture: Ella Byworth)

It’s a commonly held belief that having sex is a great workout.

Missed the gym this morning? Don’t worry – a 30-minute reverse cowgirl session will probably have the same effect.

While the amount of calories burnt and the fitness benefits of having sex varies wildly depending on your position and just how vigorous you decide to get – it can’t be denied that having good sex is easier when you’re fitter.

Particularly if you’re a fan of the more athletic positions. If you’re lifting someone in the shower, you want to know your biceps aren’t going to give-out halfway through.

And then there’s the stamina. Ever run out of beans right at the crucial moment? It isn’t fun for anyone involved. Like any endurance activity – you need to train your heart and lungs if you want to keep going for longer. Particularly if you want to go for round two.

‘Sex is all about lust and being in the moment,’ says Sarah Gorman from SPN.fit.

‘However, if your body is feeling fit and strong then you can improve your endurance, you can hold up your own body weight and you can control your own movement, slowing things down when you want and then speeding them up when the time is right.

‘Having a sense of control within your own body is extremely empowering to yourself and to the person that you are with.

Illustration of naked woman working out with a dumbbell
‘Having a sense of control within your own body is extremely empowering.’ (Picture: Ella Byworth)

‘To be able to have that same amount of control within your body – to be able to use your internal muscles to hold back and then let go at just the right moment is even more empowering and sensual.’

‘These are five areas that you can focus on for help in your fitness and sex life: Inner thighs, pelvic floor/abdominals, upper body, glutes and endurance.’

The best workout for better sex

We asked Sarah to break it down. Try these exercises to target each area and see if you notice a difference in the bedroom.

Inner thighs

The inner thigh area is a major turn on for woman and for men. Being able to hold somebody tightly in between your thighs or grip around them with your inner thigh muscles is very sexy.

Wide leg squat 

Hold onto the back of a chair with your legs wide apart and turn out from the inner thighs (almost like you are trying to wrap the inner thigh to the front of the body).

Sink into a low squat with your knees over your ankles, and pulse eight times – small pulses, not bouncing – then straighten up in the legs.

Repeat this four times – or until you feel the burn.

Plié hold

In a standing position – holding the back of a chair, lift the heels away from the floor so you are pushing into the balls of the feet. Bend the knees and keep the inner thighs turned out.

Pulse the knees, focusing on using the inner thigh, and push out towards the back of the body – small pulsing moments.

Knee squeezes

Lying on the floor on your back, place your feet on the floor, knees to the ceiling, hip-width apart.

Place a ball or cushion between your thighs. Lift your pelvis up to the ceiling so you are creating a ski slope or bridge with the spine.

Hold the position and then squeeze the ball or cushion eight times. Lower your hips down to the floor, lift again and repeat four times – or until you feel the burn.

Pelvic floor and abdominals

This is important for physical control, externally and internally.

Cat-cow stretches

Get into four-point kneeling – all fours on your hands and knees.

Arch the back up into cow and then back through to cat. Focus on using the lower abdominals and the pelvic floor to begin the movement.

Feel as if you are drawing your sit bones inside your body. Repeat slowly for eight repetitions and then do small quick movements for eight. Repeat four times.

Chair squats

Stand holding onto the back of a chair. Raise onto the balls of your feet and bend your knees keeping the back straight as if sliding down a wall.

Hold this position and tuck your pelvis under your body as if you are trying to tuck your pubic bone up towards your navel.

Repeat for eight slow counts and then eight quick repetitions.

Squeeze your glutes as you do this and again feel as if you are drawing the sit bones inside your body and the lower abdominals in towards the spine.

Illustration of naked couple on bed smiling at each other
Working your core and abdominal muscles will give you better strength and stability. (Picture: Ella Byworth)

Upper Body

This is great for holding yourself up above the other person and controlling your movement.


Hold a plank position, drawing the abs in and keeping the hips raised but not above the back. Draw the shoulders away from the ears and hold.

Bear hold

Like a plank, but bring your feet slightly closer to your hips, hovering your knees an inch off the floor. Hold for as long as you can.

Bear raises

From the bear position begin to raise your hips up and then lower back down to the hover position. Repeat eight small raises and do three sets of this.


It’s all about the bum. The pelvic thrust is initiated from the glutes. Get those muscles activated and you can go on and on.

Squat pulses

Start with your feet in parallel. Sit down as if you’re sitting on a chair or stool. Pulse small movements down with the weight in your heels and  the outside edges of your feet.

Squat pulses with raises heels

From the same squat position, holding onto the back of a chair, lift your heels and repeat the pulsing squats.

Squat step outs

From that same position, step alternating legs out to the side and then back in again, taking your leg to just beyond hip width.

Keep alternating the step outs.


How long can you go on for? Round two anyone?

Mountain climbers

From a plank position with straight arms, draw alternating knees in towards the chest as if running. Keep the pace up and keep your structure solid.

Sumo burpees

From a wide squat position, jump up in the air.

As your feet land, reach your arms out and place them on the floor under your shoulders. Then jump both legs out to a wide plank position.

Next, jump both of your feet back in towards your hands and reach back up into the starting squat position.

Repeat this move as quick as you can for as long as you can.

I am Team GB

Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’.

Inspired by the achievements of Team GB athletes and the amazing efforts of local community heroes, Team GB has created ‘The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day’, which will take place on the 24thAugust.

Over the weekend, there will be hundreds of free and fun activities across the country, put on by an army of volunteers; the ‘I am Team GB Games Makers’.

To Join the Team and be part of The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day sign up at: www.IAmTeamGB.com

Daily Fitness Challenge: Can you do perfect leg raises for 30 seconds?


Leg raises are a simple and effective move to target your abs and build your core strength.

Unlike crunches, leg raises target your lower stomach muscles, which can be tricky to tone up.

Try this challenge for 30 seconds without stopping – and you will seriously feel the burn.

Our daily challenges are perfect to try at home, at the gym or in the park. They are designed to get you moving every day.

Throughout this Staying Active summer series, fitness experts Elia and Amanda – both qualified instructors at Flykick – will be on hand to show you how to do each challenge and give you their top tips.

Check back every day to see what the next challenge is – you could even film your progress to make a record of how far you’ve come.

The aim is to be active every day for six weeks over summer. Today’s challenge will test different muscle groups and help to improve your muscle performance.

These daily challenges can be done on their own, or you can include them in larger workout – it’s totally up to you. As long as you’re moving, that’s what matters.

The bottom halves of a man and woman lying on a mat in the gym with their legs raised
The movement should come from your core – not from momentum. (Picture: Getty)

We know doing the same fitness routine every week can get really tedious, trying a new challenge every day will keep your fitness fresh and fun – and you might even learn some new moves.

How to do leg raises

Start lying on your back with your legs straight and together. You can lie on a yoga mat to make it more comfortable.

Keep your legs straight and lift them all the way up to the ceiling until your bum lifts just slightly off the floor.

As you lift your legs, you spine should stay flat against the floor – don’t let it arch. Iv you’re struggling, you can put your hands flat under your bum for extra leverage.

Keeping them straight, slowly lower your legs back down till they’re just above the floor. Hold for a moment.

Raise your legs back up. The entire movement should be slow and controlled. Use your core to lift your legs, rather than momentum.

See if you can keep this going for 30 seconds – or longer.

I am Team GB

Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’.

Inspired by the achievements of Team GB athletes and the amazing efforts of local community heroes, Team GB has created ‘The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day’, which will take place on the 24thAugust.

Over the weekend, there will be hundreds of free and fun activities across the country, put on by an army of volunteers; the ‘I am Team GB Games Makers’.

To Join the Team and be part of The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day sign up at: www.IAmTeamGB.com

Spill It: How much booze a 26-year-old video journalist drinks in a week

Spill It: pints of beer on a colourful background
How much does a 26-year-old man drink in a week? (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

It’s easy to be a tad cagey when it comes to discussing how much alcohol you really drink.

The UK’s rampant drinking culture means you can be judged if you don’t drink at all or if you drink too much – although the line between an acceptable amount of booze and a worrying number of pints can be tricky to see.

Our weekly series, Spill It, is taking an honest look at how much we really drink, without the beer goggles.

Each week we ask someone to keep track of their drinking and spill all the details – from what they drank and how much to the reasons behind each glass.

Last week we followed someone who ‘doesn’t really drink’… but still managed to knock back 13 units.

This time we’re looking at the drinking diary of Chris, a 26-year-old video journalist living and working in London.


A disclaimer to begin with, if you don’t mind: I think it would be beneficial (well, for me) to date this drinking week as the final seven days of July a.k.a. peak UK heatwave, a.k.a. the only period in my life that I can truthfully say that I’ve applied Factor 50 on the British isles.

Please factor this into your thinking before judging me on my week of Absolute Units. Done? Okay here we go…

It is 29C and I have trekked across London from work to the barbers. If anything, I am extremely loyal. If you’ve chopped my hair without delving too deep into my personal life then I will die for you, no matter which London postcode I’ve ended up moving to. I have had three barbers my entire life, they are extremely worthy allies, and because of this I’ve had to arrive via two tubes – including six stops on the Central Line – and looking like a slug on the other side of it.

Sat in front of the mirror I have never seen a human look so dehydrated, yet so grossly wet at the same time. I’m offered a routine drink on the house. I choose a bottle of Carlsberg. The week starts so innocently.

Units: 1.6


I leave work at 3pm on the *actual* day that the UK officially records its highest-ever temperature.

Sparkling cocktails have been delivered to the newsroom. I grab two on my way out and drink them on a bench at Kyoto Gardens while watching the peacocks. I do not do this alone, I have to stress.

Embarrassingly, even more so when I write this down now, I am signed up to a craft beer subscription service and on Thursdays we roost. So I crack open a can of a citrus beer while reading other people’s reviews on Twitter about how ‘hazy’ it is.

Units: 3.8


My girlfriend’s brother is visiting and so we go to the place where any Londoner out-of-ideas goes: mini-golf. I buy a round of pints on entry to seek his approval and demonstrate value. Drinks don’t go beyond that one round of pints.

Units: 2.3


After trying and failing to organise a pub trip in the WhatsApp group, a friend heads over to my flat and we drink three bottles of beer each (also an office freebie) while Chromecasting pre-season Championship football.

It’s our shared uni pal’s engagement party from 5pm and so we take another can of IPA for the road. We’re quickly reminded of just how fancy our pal’s fiance is when we’re greeted with 50 bottles of Prosecco on arrival, and more vol-au-vents than I know what to do with.

I drink minimum one bottle of Prosecco to myself and then take three Ubers home after my girlfriend rolls her ankle leaving the party and insists to sit on the pavement to inspect it (but crucially because she’s been sick out of the window of an Uber pool and the other drivers are sensibly cancelling rides on-sight).

Units: 22.9 (approximately…)


Immediately, the ankle does not look good. It has swollen to resemble a leg that has somehow quicksanded into a gammon joint and we spend most of the day in A+E, desperately hungover, questioning our life decisions.

Units: 0


I’d arranged after-work drinks nearly six weeks in advance and in a sick twist of fate that day is somehow still today.

It’s the last fleeting afternoon of sunshine and so we take three to four cans of lager each to Kensington Gardens and stay until the sun has gone down.

I strategically buy a round of beers at a nearby pub to avoid being roped into doing karaoke in Central, and then I make my way home after having a ‘swift half pint’ at last orders.

Units: 6.4 units


It is Tasty Tuesday. Let me quickly explain.

Seemingly everybody I went to school with has ended up working in London (in favour of Maidstone, who can blame them) and so one Tuesday per month ten of us get together for a meal. There is a ‘manifesto’, and rules stating that the ‘host’ (on-rotation) must pick a secret eating destination within zones 1 or 2, and then a pre- and post-pub either side of it within a 10-minute walk away.

I am greeted by a chorus of boos for saying that I’m sticking to a two-pint maximum for the night, but I stick to my guns and resist temptation. I am so very good.

Units: 3.2


I cancel my beer subscription and sign myself up to 12 months at the gym.

Units: 0

Total units this week: 40.2

Total units in a week recommended by the NHS: 21 units

Spill It is a weekly series out every Friday. To get involved email jessica.lindsay@metro.co.uk

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Simple trick lets you see when a Tesco offer will run out

Trick to see when a Tesco offer will expire
How can you know how long a deal will last? (Picture: Skint Chef)

Deciphering deals and making the call on when to bulk buy can be tricky.

Sure, a supermarket might say biscuits are on ‘special offer’, but what if they’re actually referring to a year-long price drop? What if those same biscuits will be even cheaper next week? Should you buy a load while they’re cheap or ignore all those sneaky marketing tactics?

One easy trick might help to make these difficult decisions a touch easier.

Naomi Willis of Skint Chef reveals that there’s a simple way to find out when a deal or discount at Tesco is expiring – so you can see whether it’s time sensitive enough to justify buying in bulk.

Here’s how you work it out.

Look for a discount or offer, usually marked with a little yellow sign. You know, the bit that says ‘Save 50p’ or ‘buy one, get one free’. If you look at that yellow section and look below the actual offer, you’ll spot a six digit number.

Trick to see when a Tesco offer will expire (Picture: Skint Chef)
The six digit number is the date the discount will end, written backwards (Picture: Skint Chef)

It turns out that number is a date, written backwards to keep it subtle. That date is when the offer will end.

So for example, if the number underneath the offer is 190810, the offer will end on 10 August 2019 – so in that case, it’s probably worth stocking up when you see it.

If the number is 210101, the offer will end on 1 January 2021. You really wouldn’t need to rush to get this deal, as it’ll be going for ages.

Trick to see when a Tesco offer will expire
Watch out for it and avoid unnecessary bulk buys (Picture: Skint Chef)

This is all quite handy, as it answers the question of ‘should I actually be convinced by this deal?’, adding some time pressure when it’s needed. The trick can also help you avoid food waste, as you’ll no longer be bulk-buying items that you could have bought at a discounted price week after week.

The same number is featured in Asda, so do keep an eye on the price labels when you’re doing your grocery shopping. Soon you’ll be spotting the date every deal expires without realising you’re doing it.

The only thing you can’t figure out is whether a better deal is coming up. That’s something supermarkets would rather keep top secret, we reckon.

But bargain-hunters, it’s best not to get caught up wondering whether the grass will be greener. If the deal is on something you’d normally buy full price, it’s a decent saving, and the purchase fits into your budget, you go right ahead and buy. There’s no need to go on a spending guilt trip because if you’d have waited two months you could have got an extra 10p off.

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MORE: People are using this super simple chart to save loads of money each year

Bounce your way to a toned bum and thighs with this rebounding workout


The gym is boring. Treadmills are tedious. Wouldn’t it be more fun if we could inject some childlike joy into our workout routines?

Rebounding could be the answer. Tough enough to get you breathless and work every muscle in your body, but fun enough to get you laughing like a maniac – you might find yourself quickly hooked by this bounce-based activity.

If anything can encourage you to get excited about working out it has to be the prospect of bouncing on a tiny trampoline with a club-worthy soundtrack. We’ll take that over hill sprints any day.

As well as the fun element, rebounding is an incredible way to tone your bum, legs and core – to keep your balance and power your body upwards you need some serious stability, and your lower body will be firing. It’s no wonder rebounding classes are booming in popularity in the UK.

Leigh Cronin is 53 and has arthritis. She is living proof that rebounding can have significant benefits for everyone – no matter your age or ability.

‘Somebody recommended I try Bounce – because it’s really good on the joints,’ Leigh tells Metro.co.uk.

‘I came along to the class and for the first time in my life, I felt like I loved exercise.

rebounding class - people working out on mini trampolines
‘It just makes you feel young. Honestly – I feel ten years younger.’ (Picture: Getty)

‘I hate the gym, I have always hated exercising, but I just love the energy of Bounce. I love the girls here – they’re all brilliant. A lot of them are very young, but I feel really connected with them all.

‘It has helped me massively. In every way. My arthritis is really good at the moment. My legs are a lot stronger and I have so much more energy. If I don’t come for a few days I feel absolutely lost.

‘I think it’s a good way of exercising because it’s fun, there’s no high-impact on the joints, anybody, at any age can do this. It just makes you feel young. Honestly – I feel ten years younger.’

What are the benefits of rebounding?

Provides increased G-force

Having an increased gravitational load improves your health and helps your body by strengthening your musculoskeletal systems.

Improves endurance

Bouncing for more than 20 minutes at a moderate level of intensity will help to improve your anaerobic fitness and strengthen your heart, so you can keep going for longer.

Improves balance

Rebounding increases your responsiveness to the mechanisms in the inner ear which are responsible for your sense of balance.

Boosts core strength

The balance needed to stabilise your body will help to strengthen and tone the muscles in your abdomen and the surrounding areas.


All you need is a mini trampoline and a small amount of space. Or you can attend group classes. And you don’t have to be super-fit to try it out. It’s even suitable for people returning from injury.

Full-body workout

Rebounding involves every muscle group in the body – which means you can improves tone in every area.

Eleesha De Silva is a professional dancer and one of the lead instructors at ((BOUNCE)) in Kennington, London.

‘It is so different to any floor-based workout that I’ve done. It’s actually three times more effective as well because of the added gravity and G-force of the trampoline,’ she explains.

‘You actually lose weight a lot faster than with other forms of exercise – on average you can lose around 200 calories per class. The workout and the intensity of the workout is only what you make it. That’s why we’re able to welcome all ages and abilities.

‘It really has become a family.

‘We call our attendees our “Bounce Army” because we’re unstoppable, we’re a force to be reckoned with. The ladies don’t just come here for the workout, they come for each other.

‘I am a professionally trained dancer. I’ve been dancing since I was two. After I finished my training and I was auditioning, I really wanted something different to keep myself fit.

‘I didn’t think I would like anything more than dancing – until they said, go and do it on a trampoline, so I thought – why not give that a try.’

((BOUNCE)) classes are available all over the country – at more than 200 venues.

Their signature class is one hour and features 45 mins of choreographed dance-cardio jumping routines and finishes with 15 minutes of toning.

But there are loads of other class variations too – including Bounce Blast, Bounce Bootcamp and Bounce Balance.

I am Team GB

Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’.

Inspired by the achievements of Team GB athletes and the amazing efforts of local community heroes, Team GB has created ‘The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day’, which will take place on the 24thAugust.

Over the weekend, there will be hundreds of free and fun activities across the country, put on by an army of volunteers; the ‘I am Team GB Games Makers’.

To Join the Team and be part of The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day sign up at: www.IAmTeamGB.com

‘World’s biggest’ full English breakfast has 135 items

Shepherd's Place Farm creates the World's biggest English breakfast, the Terminator 3, with 135 items
Would you dare attempt this 135-item breakfast? (Picture: Shepherd’s Place Farm)

We all reckon we could handle a massive plate of a full English breakfast treats, especially after a hangover… and then usually end up halfway through our hash browns feeling like we need to lie down in a dark room.

So, no, we have no expectation of being able to finish what Shepard’s Place Farm in Misteron, near Doncaster, is describing as the ‘world’s biggest’ full English, called Terminator 3: Judgement Day.

That name isn’t an exaggeration. While the breakfast doesn’t have Arnie’s accent, it is absolutely massive; made up of 135 items.

Those items, if you’re wondering, include black pudding, bacon, sausages, hash browns, eggs, beans, tomato, mushrooms, and – of course – plenty of toast.

All those items are quite pleasingly arranged on a huge plate, which all adds up to a weight of over a stone.

This isn’t just a breakfast designed to meet the demand of some especially hungry customers. As with most meals this big, the Terminator 3: Judgement Day is an eating challenge.

Picture: Shepherd's Place FarmWorld's biggest English breakfast - If you can finish it, you get free breakfast for a year and your name on the wall of fame
If you can finish it, you get free breakfast for a year and your name on the wall of fame (Picture: Shepherd’s Place Farm)

Getting a plate is £20, and if you finish the entire meal you get your name and picture up on the wall of fame. You could probably put that on your CV.

Winners will also get free breakfast from the cafe for a year, so it’s a worthwhile thing to attempt if you live in the area.

The creation of the challenge comes after diners managed to complete the Terminator 2, which was half the size of this absolute unit.

Completing this edition of large amounts of food isn’t impossible – professional competitive eater Kyle Gibson (Kyle v Food) has managed to finish the breakfast in just 28 minutes. Impressive.

If you aren’t after the glory or free breakfast for a year, and just crave a giant fry-up out of sheer curiosity at what you can shovel into your body, you could attempt to make your own 135 item breakfast at home (or even go bigger! No one can stop you!).

You’ll need quite a large frying pan or multiple hobs on the go, unless you’re unbothered by your tenth fried egg going cold before you’ve even touched your beans.

Or you could just have a normal breakfast. That’s fun too, right?

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Baby names inspired by gems and fancy rocks are a big trend right now

baby on a blanket with clenched fist
In need of some baby name ideas? (Picture: Getty)

About to bring a small human into the world, but have no clue what to call them?

Never fear, for there’s an abundance of baby name trends you can hop on to ensure your child is cool in name, if not in nature (that bit’s not in your control).

Way back in the heady days of late 2018, baby naming experts predicted that gemstone names like Amethyst and Amber would be big in the year ahead.

Lo and behold, they were right. Or they’ve manufactured a trend to fit their predictions.

Either way, names inspired by gems and other fancy rocks have been officially declared as a trend by the people over at NameBerry.

Before you rush to the classic Ruby (good luck getting the Kaiser Chiefs out of your head for the rest of the day), it’s worth looking at the more unusual gemstone options out there.

While gem names in general are rocketing up the popularity charts, classics like Jade and Ruby have hit a plateau, while Crystal and Diamond have seen a dip.

Onyx, meanwhile, was one of the fastest rising boys’ names in 2018, and looks set to continue this trajectory this year and next.

The good news is that a lot of gem names are still fairly rare, despite becoming trendier, so if you jump on the bandwagon now you can avoid your child having the same name as seven other kids in their class.

Amethyst, for example, was only given to 166 baby girls last year. It’s definitely on the up, though, considering that back in 2010 only 62 girls received the name.

Or you can go simple and sweet with Gemma. That’s not a crystal type, but pays a nod to the whole gem trend.

Gemstone inspired baby names:

  • Agate
  • Amber
  • Amethyst
  • Emerald or Esme
  • Garnet
  • Ivory
  • Jacinth or Jacinda
  • Jasper
  • Jet
  • Larimar
  • Lazuli
  • Onyx
  • Opal
  • Pearl
  • Ruri
  • Sapphire
  • Slate
  • Topaz

Don’t panic if you hate all the options above. We’re not offended, promise.

Handily enough there are plenty of other baby name trends this year to provide inspiration, including plant-themed names, vintage names, and even nineties options.

The most popular names for girls remain Olivia, Sophia, and Lily, while for boys the toppers are Muhammad, Noah, and George. So perhaps avoid those if a name’s individuality is of the utmost importance.

And if you fancy doling out some pity for names that are apparently doomed to go ‘extinct’, try Sharon and Neville.

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All the ways your dark chocolate habit could be good for your health

why dark chocolate is good for your health
Time to stock up (Picture: Getty)

If you can’t go one day without gorging on some chocolate – you might be surprised to learn that it could be doing wonders for your health.

Now, let’s get one thing straight, we’re not talking milk and white, but plain (unflavoured) dark chocolate – the higher the cocoa percentage, the better.

As it turns out, dark chocolate is not only a great pick-me-up but it also has a number of health benefits.

Here are all the ways that your dark chocolate habit could be helping your mental and physical health.

It could reduce your risk of depression

Most people are aware that munching on chocolate has glorious mood-boosting powers, but scientists have focused the extent of its feel-good properties – and they’re quite astonishing.

A study, consisting of around 13,000 adults, found that eating dark chocolate can reduce the risk of depression by up 70%.

Key compounds in dark chocolate – such as flavonoids and phenylethylamine (PEA) – have a similar mood-boosting effect to cannabis.

Its feel-good properties have prompted thoughts around it being used as a potential alternative to antidepressants – depending on the patient of course.

Can improve blood flow and blood pressure

The flavonoids in dark chocolate help support the production of nitric oxide in the inner cell lining of blood vessels – this helps to relax blood vessels and improve blood flow, which in turn, lowers blood pressure.

Excellent news.

It’s great for your skin

The flavonoids in dark chocolate can also help protect against sun damage.

Just make sure you don’t ditch the suncream – you’ll still need plenty of that. Chocolate on its own isn’t enough to protect fully against the sun.

Dark chocolate also prevents the breakdown of collagen – the protein which keeps skin plump and youthful. So in other words, if you can’t afford high-end anti aging serums, just make sure your cupboards are stocked full of the brown stuff.

It makes you feel good

Not only does chocolate taste good but it makes you feel good too, and there’s actual science behind it.

When dark chocolate is consumed, the brain releases endorphins – chemicals in the brain that create feelings of pleasure. In fact, chocolate contains PEA, which is the same chemical that your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. Aw.


Don’t be fooled into thinking that fruit, vegetables and fish are the only foods rich in antioxidants. Dark chocolate is too, and it also contains minerals such as magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium and iron.

Antioxidants are important as they help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which can play a role in heart disease and cancer. The more antioxidants you consume the better.

Reduce levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol

Research has shown that cocoa can reduce levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol (also known as LDL). But not only that, it also raises levels of ‘good’ cholesterol, which can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

It can help you lose weight

Contrary to popular belief, a small portion of chocolate can actually help you shed the pounds.

A square or two of dark chocolate can leave you feeling fuller for longer, and less likely to snack before your next meal.

Consuming a small amount of dark chocolate, will also help curb sweet tooth cravings – helpful for those trying to lose weight.

It also contains healthy fats, which slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, consequently preventing an insulin spike (which directs sugar straight into your fat cells).

Good for your brain

The benefits don’t stop there – dark chocolate can be good for your brain too.

Cocoa has been seen to improve cognitive function in elderly people and its anti-inflammatory qualities have proven beneficial in treating those with brain injuries like concussion.

One study also found that eating dark chocolate led to an increase in gamma frequency in the cerebral cortical regions of the brain – the areas involved in memory and sensory processing. Results point to dark chocolate having significant brain health benefits.

Could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes

Snacking on a small amount of dark chocolate every day may improve insulin sensitivity and, as a result, help to control blood sugar. So eating it (in moderation) may delay and even prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

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You’ve got to change the way you wash up frying pans after you use them

You're washing your frying pan wrong
You’re cleaning your frying pan all wrong, sorry (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

So you’ve just cooked a fry-up (not one made up of 135 items, sadly), and are being very responsible by washing up your frying pan immediately after.

Stop right now.

Thank you very much.

That pan needs some scraping before you touch.

It turns out that you really shouldn’t clean your frying pan by immediately running it under water in your sink.

Instead, we’re all supposed to leave our pans to cool after use, then scrape away leftover grease to either reuse or put in the bin, then wipe leftover oil out of the pan with kitchen roll. Do all of that before giving your pan a good wipe down.

You may be wondering why, and the answer is the same as the justification for many other things we do: our world is polluted and burning and we need to make some attempt to save it.

Oh, and you’ll also avoid clogging up your pipes and causing a big old mess.

When you rinse your frying pan immediately after use, you splash all the oil leftover inside right down the drain.

This is bad, because oils, fats, and grease congeal and cause blockages, which can lead to all sorts of unpleasant stuff like clogged drains and explosions of sewage.

But it’s also bad because all those oils make their way into our water sources, further polluting our lakes, streams, and seas with nasty stuff.

The warning about cleaning frying pans without just tipping oil and grease down the sink comes from the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra, if you prefer something a little more catchy), who have launched a campaign to reduce the amount of oil the nation is dumping into our waterways.

Close-Up Of Bacon Frying In Pan
Look at all that delicious grease. Please do not pour it down the drain (Picture: Getty)

They say that even one litre of oil poured down the sink (which, no, you wouldn’t do all in one go, but it all adds up) can pollute one million litres of water.

Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Enivornment Agency, said: ‘Most people agree that water is a precious resource but too often we take it for granted and don’t see how our actions have a direct effect on the local rivers, lakes and beaches we all care about.

‘Our campaign intends to change that by urging people to use water wisely and to think before pouring cooking oil down the drain or flushing a wet wipe away.

‘We know that everyone has a duty to preserve and protect water and the campaign will also work with industry, water companies and other regulators in the longer-term to cut down on wastage.’

Okay, so you shouldn’t tip oil and grease down the plughole… what should you do with it?

If you’d like to get really eco-friendly, you can reuse it.

Let’s say you went a bit overboard with the oil for frying some onions. Once you’re done, just pour the remaining oil into a container, keep it in a cupboard, and use it the next time you need to fry something. It’s worth labelling your containers or just remembering what’s inside, as obviously you might not want onion-infused oil to make pancakes.

You can do the same thing with remaining grease, such as after cooking bacon. Again, just pop it in a container and use it to fry whatever you fancy.

Used oil and grease should stay fine to use for a week or so, but you could also freeze it in ice cubes to really stretch its potential.

If you aren’t keen on reusing your oils, instead you can just chuck them away.

After frying, let the oil or grease cool. If it hardens, scrape it into the bin. If it stays liquid, pour it into the bin.

Do all this before you even attempt to clean your frying pan. Once you’ve properly disposed of or contained your oil, you can go ahead and give your frying pan a scrub. Easy.

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How to pretend you know about beer

People are celebrating beer festivals
Beer lovers clinking glasses in celebration of their good taste and refinement(torwai/ Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Beer geeks, as a demographic, are difficult to pin down. If I meet someone who’s into wine, I assume that they attended an international boarding school in Geneva, and now spend their time flitting between the Groucho Club and English National Opera.

A degree of class-based resentment might kick in, but I will find their knowledge of wine intimidating, and attribute them with the icy sophistication of a Bond villain. I might, all things considered, be more likely to bang them.

When someone is into beer, on the other hand, I’m like… fine? Even ‘you probably listen to the National, live in Stoke Newington, and wear flannel shirts’ seem like outdated cultural signifiers.

These days, basically everyone is into craft beer – you can buy all the big hitters in any supermarket – and, as such, I’ve never felt the need to pretend to know about it.

Anyone who would be impressed by the fact that I’ve heard of – and can just about stomach drinking – Goose Island IPA is not someone I would want to impress.

But I have spent the majority of my adult life working in pubs, bullshitting my way through conversations about beer with some of the most boring men on the planet.

So if, for whatever reason, you feel the need to portray yourself as a beer connoisseur… here are some handy tips for pulling it off.

Oh, and it’s also International Beer Day.

‘This tastes hoppy!’

This is the all-time classic bullshit thing that people say about beer. It’s a nonsensical statement – all beer is made with hops (a flower with a weirdly cannabis-esque smell) and therefore all beer tastes hoppy.

But in practice, the term is used to describe richer, stronger and perhaps slightly bitter beers – particularly IPAs – rather than standard lagers.

It’s not a general rule but the stronger a beer is, the hoppier it tastes. Do you know what? I don’t actually know whether that’s true (I care about the topic so little that I refuse, on principle, to do further research) – but it sounds like it could be. And that’s what this guide is all about.

‘This tastes malty!’

‘Malty’ refers to the grain beer is made with, which is most often barley – although wheat and maize are also used.

As with ‘hoppy’, all beers are to some extent malty. But unlike hops, which taste kind of bitter, malty beers have a sweeter flavour – think nuts, toffee, caramel, and toast.

‘Malty’ is often used to describe strong, dark ales, as well as stouts and porters (think Guinness).

This tastes fruity!

I like my beer like I like my own personality…fruity! Just a funny little joke there that you could try out for yourself down the pub.

This descriptor would obviously apply to flavoured beers like Timmermam’s Strawberry or Apricot (both delicious but unlikely to win you the respect of a hardened beer stan) but sometimes fruity flavours are a little more subtle.

For instance, lots of IPAs are brewed with hops which lend them a hint of grapefruit, even if they’re not marketed as such.

So swilling your glass thoughtfully before announcing ‘yes, a strong hint of grapefruit to this one’ is usually a safe bet. Unless you’re drinking Guiness.

See also: ‘this is citrus-y’ which is pretty self-explanatory. If you don’t know what citrus tastes like, I can’t help you.

And if you wanted to take ‘citrus-y’ further, you could spice things up by using ‘tart’ or even, God forbid, ‘funky’.

‘This taste bready!’

This is something I only ever say in disgust. Despite the fact that they share the common ingredient of yeast, beer should not taste like bread. The biggest offenders for this are pilsners, but it’s fairly common in amber ales too.

So there you have it. Good luck convincing people that you know more about beer than you actually do – I’m sure they’ll really respect you for it.

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