International Women’s Day #BeBoldForChange

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This March 8th is International Women’s Day; a day of empowerment for women and girls everywhere. International Women’s Day is a day for recognising female achievement globally and striving for equality across all genders.

IWD was first celebrated in the early 1900’s which coincides with a huge year for women in sport, the first Olympic games to include female athletes.

Women are still a minority in a lot of sports but we are slowly closing this gap. So many of the main sports in the UK are dominated by males; football, rugby, cricket. Women are forced to move to America to pursue a professional football career as the sport is ‘taken more seriously’ over there. But that doesn’t have to be the way, the more women take part in sport and support other women the bigger we can make this. With campaigns like #ThisGirlCan promoting female sporting and exercise and MyProtein’s own take on the #BeBoldForChange campaign we can encourage more and more women to get active and strive for their own excellence. Click here to see their truly inspiring video depicting the history of females in sport.

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So if you do anything this International Women’s Day, get active. Go for a run, find a local women’s club or if you don’t fancy it yourself, go to see a women’s sports team play. The only way we can fix this is by bridging the gap.

I’m sure many of you are wondering why we still need International Women’s Day…I mean we’ve come so far. But we’re not there yet. IWD is not only about fighting for yourself but fighting for equal rights for all women all over the world. No more inequality, globally. Together we can do this. #BeBoldForChange

 

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How to survive the down days

Everyone has down days, days where no matter what you do you don’t feel yourself. The most important thing to remember on days like these is that it’s okay. You’re allowed to not always feel 100%, but I know it’s not ideal to spend your days wallowing so here’s what I do to help myself relax when my mind is going 100 miles an hour.

Don’t be alone

Find some time to see the people who’re important to you, see friends or catch up with family. Being alone only promotes overthinking and, while I do not promote repressing emotions, it can be nice to take a break from stressing to surround yourself with those who love you.

Find something you enjoy

Today, I wasn’t feeling great so I called my little brother and we went and baked cookies at my dads house. It was so nice to get out of the house and be do something fun, rather than be stuck inside doing housework all day. It’s so important to take time out of our busy schedules to have fun!

Relax

Take a bath, put on some relaxing music and chill out. Everyone needs to take time to find their off button and just take a step back from the real world whether that’s for an hour, or just 5 minutes. Try to find a bit of you time in everyday, I really like the Headspace app and love their guided meditations…although I definitely don’t take time to do these enough.
It’s so important to know how to look after your head, and everyone is different! So take some time and try to find what makes your brain happy.

Protein Milkshakes?!

I’m sure you’ve all seen the hype over the new Mars and Snickers Protein Chocolate Bars. I personally have been dying to try one since their release, what I didn’t know was that they have also released Mars and Snickers Protein Milk Drinks…Protein Milkshakes!

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I tried the Mars drink and my boyfriend had the Snickers, both bought for £2 in Tesco. We used the drinks as a bit of a pre-workout pick me up and I can honestly say I was pleased with the result. Today was leg day so I needed all the energy I could get. While they don’t quite taste the same as a Mars Milkshake they aren’t far off, the only downside being a strange slightly tangy aftertaste, but nothing that abnormal to the average Whey Protein user.

Here’s how they fared up when compared to MyProtein Whey (Coffee Caramel flavour):

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So despite being a hell of a lot higher in Fats and Carbs they do have a high Protein level. If you’re trying to loose a bit of body fat I wouldn’t suggest them everyday but for a treat or for a bit of a change once in a while, why not swap that protein shaker for a milkshake?

Top Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun

While this may come as a shock to some of you, in the past few weeks England has been lucky enough to witness near 30 degree heat! This glorious heat wave has however, meant that a large portion of the population are now suffering with sunstroke. Us Britton’s aren’t used to the blistering sun, especially not in our own country, so here are my tips on staying safe in the sun this summer.

  1. SUNCREAM! This should seem obvious but I know that I for one get caught out regularly, especially as I am so fair skinned, even if you’re ‘just popping to the shops’ make sure you put on suncream. Sunburn is hugely overlooked as a severe problem in the UK but “8 in 10 cases of serious skin cancer could be prevented through enjoying the sun safely and avoiding sunburn.”  (cancerresearchuk.org) Stay safe and don’t risk it. 
  2. DRINK UP Hydration is so important when staying healthy, especially when your body is at risk of overheating. (Read my blog post all about hydration here.) Drinking more water will help your body to avoid dehydration which can lead to heatstroke if you’re not careful. So, if you feel tired, dizzy, if your mouth feels a bit dry or you’re just thirsty, go and grab a glass of water.
  3. STAY IN THE SHADE I know everybody wants a tan but try not to spend all day in the sun. By exposing your body to direct sunlight for hours of end you are upping your risk of sunburn and heatstroke so take breaks, sit under a tree or sit under a parasol, anything to break up your time in the sun.

But do have fun! I know these are cliche tips but by simply looking after yourself you’ll find that the sun isn’t all bad, it is a great source of vitamin D and is perfectly safe if you look after yourself. So lather on the suncream, pack a water bottle and go and enjoy the sun while it lasts!

Adidas Gazelle| Review

So this past weekend I have finally got my hands on a pair of the Adidas Gazelle’s! I’ve loved the look of these shoes for a while now and I can honestly say they’ve lived up to my expectations. The shoes are so comfy, low rise leather and suede trainers with a slightly built up sole. One feature I wasn’t so sure on initially was the in built arch, on the inner sole of the shoe. The arch comes slightly higher than my natural arch, however after walking around in them for a few days I came to discover this is not a problem at all. The suede isn’t ideal if you’re looking for waterproof footwear but this can be rectified by buying a waterproofing spray. My only complaint isn’t necessarily to Adidas themselves, but the shoes have obviously been so popular that when I went to buy a pair they only had one colour in my size, so I didn’t have as much choice as I would have liked. They aren’t the cheapest of shoes but given the quality and how beautiful they are, I’d say they were worth it.

Monthly Favourites…FOOD EDITION!

Now if you follow me on Instagram it’s no secret that I LOVE food! Over the past month I’ve been experimenting with some quick and easy meals that are… somewhat healthy. I am currently in the middle of  figuring out what my body needs, maro-nutrients wise, and these meals seem to be the best ones for energy, and over-all health so far…

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Meal 1 is the old classic, Burger and Chips! For this I used a Linda McCartney veggie burger (as always!), a slice of red onion, both cooked in coconut oil and some light cheddar cheese grated on top. By having the burger on a bed of spinach rather than bread I was reducing the carbs and fat, which I then replaced with extra home cooked chips! To make the chips simple cut up a potato, here I have chosen chunkier wedge style chips, and put them on a tray in the oven with a splash of oil and some chilli flakes. Take them out of the oven when they begin to go brown and crispen up and enjoy!

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Meal 2 is actually a favourite breakfast of mine at the moment which again features…a veggie burger! For this I scrambled some 2 whole free range eggs, and just as the start to go slightly brown I added a table spoon of cottage cheese. I know what you’re thinking…cottage cheese…really? Personally, I hate the stuff but as a vegetarian I am constantly looking at new ways of getting in my protein levels and cottage cheese is so full of protein that I figured…why not! Anyway, mixed in with the eggs and a dash of Jamaican Jerk spice, you can hardly taste it, it just makes for extra creamy eggs. I then added my greens, string beans, which were steamed until they went nice and soft. Yummy!

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Finally, the ultimate…protein oats. I don’t always have this much chocolate on my oats but I  was feeling adventurous. For my day-to-day oats, add 70grams of oats to your bowl, add enough boiling water to cover them all up and leave for about 2 minutes for them to go all fluffy. Then, add 1 tablespoon of your favourite peanut butter and…1 or 2 Reece’s peanut butter cups…and enjoy! This isn’t the healthiest of recipes but if you are just trying to maintain general health then having a small amount of chocolate doesn’t hurt and if you’re going to eat chocolate then make it Reece’s because that stuff has bare amount of peanut butter protein in it…

How to Keep a Happy Head

We all do it, we over think and we panic until you’re so stressed out you can’t see straight. I think I must do this to myself at least once every day, it’s become a habit, a habit I am desperate to break. 

Stress is annoying, but it can have physical effects on your body too, as well as just making you a little grumpy. This is why we all need to take a step back and de-stress. I’m one of the worst for it, from stressing about exams to screaming because I forgot to pick up a pair of socks, I am a stress head! But I’ve come to the realisation that I don’t need to be so stressed. So here are a few tips that I will be following for the next few months to help de-stress my life. 

1. Meditation 

Now by this I don’t mean sitting crosslegged on a mountain with a pot of green tea, unless that’s what you’re into. Meditation can take anywhere from 3 minutes to a few hours, whatever you works for you, and you can even do it in your own bedroom. I use the app Headspace. Now I’ll admit to you know I should use it more than I do, but that’s one of my goals from now on. Headspace uses guided meditation to allow you to separate your mind from your hectic schedule and take a moment to relax. If you’re like me, and if I’m reading this I’m guessing you are, this could be exactly what you need! I really struggle to relax myself but after five minutes using headspace I’ve found my sanity. 

2. Fruits and Veggies! 

I know this isn’t what you want to hear but when this is a huge problem facing most of Britain. You get stressed, so you have a chocolate bar (or 5 if you’re me), and then you’re more stressed that you ate the chocolate, and the cycle continues. Binge eating is a real problem and is something so many people struggle with on a daily basis. Now, I’m no expert but in my experience if I don’t give in, I don’t binge. What I mean by this is, if I can resist the food altogether I’m fine however, if I say “oh I’ll only eat one” I end up eating a full packet! So try snacking on fruits like bananas and grapes, though they are high in sugar these are natural sugars and are better for you in the long run. 

3. Relax

My go to stress reliever is to jump in a nice hot bubble bath and watch a Kathleen Lights video, honestly she’s hilarious! If baths aren’t for you then why not play on a video game, watch a movie or read a book. Whatever you enjoy that can take you away from the worries of everyday life. Even if it’s just for an hour, it’ll give your head the rest it deserves. 

4. Sleep

Sleep is so important! I can’t stress that enough, if your body doesn’t get the amount of sleep it needs it can’t repair, it can’t fight illness and it can’t get on with all the things it need to do to make you happy. So settle down half an hour before you’re going to bed, put your phone down and watch ONE television program, read a chapter of your book or listen to music or a podcast. Anything that you don’t have to pay too much attention too so your brain can slowly switch off and wind down for a good nights sleep. 

5. Exercise 

Worse than fruit and veg…exercise! But exercise doesn’t have to be scary. Try going for a walk, a gentle jog or a bike ride to get your blood pumping and those endorphins rushing around your body to make you feel like a whole new person. I love the sense of achievement when I go out for a run when I didn’t think I would, and endorphins make everyone happier! Another thing I love to do is stretch, I don’t stretch as much as I should be yoga, Pilates or just a bit of stretching in your living room will free up your aching muscles and make you feel so much better. So whether you’re trying your hand at tennis or just walking to the shops, give it a go. 

 And finally…breathe 

I know, I know, the most cliché saying, but honestly taking a deep breath and removing yourself from the situation can really let things cool off. So pop to the loo, go get a drink or take a walk to the shops and think about things in perspective. Nine times out of ten if I’m feeling stressed out thinking about the big picture brings me away from the boil. Don’t let things out of your control get to you, just let them pass you by and keep being the happy, stress free person you know you can be. 

Infallible Matte Max Lip Colours | Review

I recently purchased two of the new Infallible Matte Max Lip Colours. At £6.99 each of these new lip pens claim to give you a non drying ombre to full matte colour that lasts up to 8hrs. The lipsticks are enriched with micro-oils to make them a moisturising matte lipstick. They are a new gel to powder formula that comes with a sponge applicator in the lid. The product is kept in the base of the product and you can get more product onto the sponge by clicking it back into the base.

The new lip pens are a part of the Sculpt Collection:

  • Sculpt Base Foundation
  • Infallible Sculpt Palette
  • Infallible Sculpt Blush
  • False Lash Sculpt Mascara
  • Sculpt Brow Artist
  • Super Liner Black N Sculpt

I purchased shades 002 Like A Virgin, a light girly pink, and 006 Disturbia, a fiery orange based red. I trailed 002 Like A Virgin for 7 hours and here’s what I found. 

  
10:45 | The colours apply well and are highly pigmented but they are immediately drying out my lips. I’ve not lined or applied lip balm to my lips as I want to see how the product fares out. I had a full day of singing so was interested to see how it would cope.  

11:30 | I have reapplied to the centre point of my mouth as I could feel the product wearing away. 

14:20 | Reapplied the product again over the full lip. I did eat a chocolate bar and some product again came off. 

16:30 | I removed the product. A dry line has developed on my inner lip which is very uncomfortable and visable when I speak. 

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While I did receive many compliments on my lip colour whilst wearing this product it was very uncomfortable to wear and impracticale. Hopefully, if I wear this product over a lip balm then it will last longer before of clumps together. 

This product can be found in Boots, Superdrug and Online; £6.99. 

Christian Louboutin Nail and Lip review

Christian Louboutin, one of the most influential shoe designers the world has ever seen, known for his classis red sole. But do you know where the red sole originates from…
The legend goes that two years into his designing career Louboutin was working on an Andy Warhol inspired shoe, but felt the design was lacking something. Sat near-by his secretary was painting her nails…red. He took the bottle from her and began to paint the sole of the shoe, and the rest, is history…

“The red sole was born from red nail polish. I am giving back to nails what the shoe took from the nails many years ago.”

  
Unsurprisingly, Louboutin have not let us down on their packaging with both products arriving in their glossy black box with classic red detailing around the edge. The nail polishes come in a small glass bottle, cut in an almost spherical pattern with a black gradient rising from the bottom. The handle of this unique nail polish bottle was inspired by the Ballerina Ultima, the world’s tallest heeled shoe, which were created for the Royal Ballet and auctioned off in 2011. The 8-inch heel gave the inspiration to the 8-inch handle on this nail polish. The polish has now expanded to three main collections; pops (bright and spring like), Noir (darker, gothic shades) and Nudes (pretty self-explanatory) and then the classic Rouge Louboutin. I have the Rouge Louboutin, a gorgeous bright classic red. The polish is very highly pigmented with full coverage using only two coats. It has a very thin consistency, and although this means the lacquer glides on beautifully, I would have preferred a bit more substance. I would recommend buying the base coat, as the polish doesn’t fill in any lines you may have in your nails and the colour really does make them stand out. Overall, this isn’t a real problem, the polish chipped slightly but no more than your average polish and the pigmentation means that it really is a wonderful polish.

   

   
Last August, Louboutin released their lipstick line to complement their ever successful nail polish line. The lipsticks are available in three formulas; Velvet Matte (available in 9 shades), Silky Satin (available in 20 shades) and Sheer Voile (available in 9 shades). The lipstick comes in a vile like case with a small crown as their clasp and a ribbon tie. The individual tubes represent the lipstick inside, the Velvet Matte tube has a brushed matte black, the Silky Satin tube has a glossy finish and the Sheer Voile tube has a pattern weaved around the outside. The lipstick also comes with a tiny mesh bag to prevent and scratches on the tube when carrying the lipstick in your bag. I have the Silky Satin Rouge Louboutin and it certainly lives up to its name. To apply, the lipstick has a rich creamy consistency which glides onto the lips. The pigmentation is very high, only having to apply one coat to achieve the desired effect. The colour match to the nail polish is almost perfect and the lipstick itself has a very nourishing quality and is especially wonderful if you are prone to dry lips. The colour really does last, I wore this colour out to my birthday meal earlier in the month and the colour lasted through the meal and for drinks afterwards, only needing to be touched up once. This colour really gives a chic classic look.
Now the only question left, are they worth their extortionate price tag? Honestly, the Louboutin beauty ranges are amazing products which truly give you a feel of decadence. However, they are extremely high end and there are some dupes that are very close to the quality of these if you don’t want to splurge on these pricey products. They really are a statement piece and for the beauty fanatics out there they are an essential to your collection, but for the everyday person…it’s up to you whether you splash the cash.

Failed Veganism? | Update and lifestyle changes!

As you will know if you’re reading this I have decided to revamp and relaunch my blog! I thought i’d give you a little update.

I have recently firmed an unconditional offer to go to university next year! I will be studying Sports and Exercise Nutrition starting in September. I’m so excited to get started and learn about something I’m passionate about. I will definitely be writing a university series closer to September with some tips and tricks about moving out, shopping and handling your food shopping!

As many of you will know, in late June last year I decided to go vegan. Now I’m gonna be honest, I’m not still following this diet, because about a month ago I chose to start eating dairy again. This isn’t just because I missed having a bar of chocolate to get me through college, although I did! While I had thoroughly researched veganism and planned healthy balanced meals which gave me all of my protein and fats, I wasn’t following through on this. I was eating more and more meals which consisted of meat replacements and bread, rather than kidney beans, quinoa and sufficient veggies. I wasn’t giving myself enough fats and was therefore craving carbs and fatty foods, like my vegan sausage sandwiches. Now don’t get me wrong, in no way am I slating the vegan diet or saying it’s unhealthy as I know plenty of healthy vegans. It just didn’t suit me. I am an avid gym goer and I just wasn’t seeing the same results as before when I had the protein from dairy in my diet. Even with protein supplements from pea or soy I wasn’t happy. So, to start with, I introduced eggs back into my diet. I decided I wasn’t going to buy my eggs from the supermarket as I wanted to be completely sure they were from good healthy chickens. Now the only way to know this is to go to a farm and see for myself, so that’s what I did. Luckily for me there’s a farm in the village near to where I live so bright and early Sunday morning Paul and I pulled up outside the farm and went to meet some chickens.  Not only were the eggs cheap at almost 3 dozen for £6!! There is such a difference in quality to ordinary free range eggs. I know it’s not always convenient to buy your eggs from a farm, but it is easier than you think and setting out time once a week to go, buying in bulk and organizing your meals will make this easier.

I’ve chosen to change my diet this way because my current goals are to bulk and gain weight, muscle and size. I’ve joined started training with Muscle Honeyz and they’re really helping me to focus on my goals. I want to get bigger and stronger and I’m working my arse off to reach these goals. In a few months I’ll do  progress post so you can all see how far I’ve come!