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Posted on March 2, 2017

#BFitBFree with Claire McGrath & BFree Oaty Loaf

fitness/ Health

Bfree Oafy Loaf

A nutritious and delicious alternative to porridge

Yesterday morning, was like no other Wednesday morning. Myself and a small group of health conscious bloggers got into our best #FitFam gear and made our way to the super spacious and creative Iconic Offices, for an intense yoga session with fitness expert Claire McGrath to celebrate the exclusive launch of the new BFree Oaty Loaf.

BFree6

The WFF Fitness PRO started us off with a few breathing exercise. She then went on to speak about the power of the mind and how we can hold ourselves back by having negative thoughts. Similarly, surrounding ourselves with positivity and good vibes can have a positive impact on our lives – these are some of the main premises of yoga.

bfreebfit

After regulating our breathing and injecting positive energy into the room, we did a combination of various yoga movements such as the downward dog, the halfway lift and an arm balance pose that I likely would have never attempted to do previously due to not having the strongest core or upper body strength. Thankfully, Claire was incredibly helpful and patient with us all as she guided us one-by-one with poses that required a little more effort –  no paramedics were called, phew! Following our workout, we went on to the next room to get a taste of the new BFree Oaty Loaf.

BfreeBfit

I’m already a massive fan of the BFree wraps so to avoid sounding biased about the new Oaty Loaf, I will say this: it tastes very much like traditional soda bread except it is free from yeast, gluten, wheat, nut and soy! This means if you have any food intolerances (like myself) or if you simply want to healthify your life, then you can enjoy this oaty loaf without compromising on taste! First impressions? Not only is it light & fluffy, but it didn’t leave a bloated feeling in the tummy after consumption as most other breads have done for me in the past.

BfreeBfit

Made with certified gluten free oats, the bread is the perfect morning alternative to porridge. Every two slices of Oaty Loaf provides you with the same amount of oats as 1 bowl (40g) of porridge and is high in fibre with no added sugar making BFree Oaty Loaf a nutritious and delicious breakfast for the whole family

BfreeBFit

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The BFree Oaty Loaf will be available from Dunnes Stores nationwide from March 6th, Supervalu from the end of March and in Tesco nationwide from April 3rd  for the price of €3.49 🙂

A massive thank you to Claire McGrath, Revolve, BFree, Iconic Buildings and everyone who contributed to the success of yesterday’s launch!

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Posted on September 11, 2016

Teatox: 6 things I liked about Yo Tea

Health/ product review

yo-tea-2

I can already sense some of you diehard fitness fanatics judging me as I write this. But before you start going on a rampage about how much you dislike the idea of teatoxing, do hear me out. I was in no shape or form trying to lose a ton of weight when I first started this 28-day teatox – If anything, I could probably do with a few extra booty gains!

One of the main reasons why I decided to give Yo Tea* a try is because prior to starting it, I had fallen off track: I was incredibly stressed with work and other things so my diet was nowhere near where I wanted it to be, gym was no longer bae, I really needed something to give me a boot up the bum and Yo Tea did exactly that for me!

I took it for 28 days. Once a day for the first week because I wanted to introduce it to my body very gradually. And then after a few days or so, I started taking it in the morning and evening, as per instructed.

Yo Tea offers a highly effective detox solution based on an ancient recipe that was originally created to help with digestion. The special combination of plant extracts, herbs and Oolong Green tea, helps with the purification of the body’s cells.

Drinking Yo Tea tea daily, combined with regular moderate exercise and a sensible eating regime will help you to safely achieve your detox goal.

After reading up on Yo Tea, I thought it would be safe for me to start using it for a much-needed pre-holiday detox. So without further ado, here are the six things I liked about taking Yo Tea:

1. The toilet seat isn’t your best friend

Apologies for being so blunt, but I’m sure this is what most people would assume when it comes to teatoxing: In one end and out the other just as fast! Surprisingly enough, I didn’t pass stool excessively with this tea. They say it takes 8 hours for the laxative effects to kick in but for me it was usually within an hour. I don’t mean to over share, but I do think it’s important to highlight these things, especially if you plan on having one before taking an hour long bus journey to work, or God forbid, are staying over at a new partner’s place*awkward*  So to answer what you’re thinking, I didn’t spend a whole month with the runs! Again, apologies…

2. It helps remove harmful toxins

The only times Yo Tea had a laxative effect of me was when I ate junk food. Any time I nibbled on something even as little as a few nuggets from Mc Donald’s, I’d find my stomach getting crampy, noisy and then…. I’m sure you can figure out the rest!

3. It helps put you in the right mind set

Because of the unpleasant experience that can come from eating junk food while on Yo Tea, I found myself avoiding cheat meals a lot more than usual. Rather than snacking on ice cream or crisps, I’d have a homemade protein instead. It really put me in the right mind set of wanting to eat healthier.

yo-tea-4

4. It increases energy levels

I found myself going to the gym a lot more once I started taking this tea. I went at least three days a week, and sometimes even five! I slowly started to see my energy levels increase because of it and the gym became bae again 🙂

5. It reduces bloating

This is a massive one for me. Everyone who sees me tells me I don’t have a pick on me, however I do suffer from bloating and my stomach has always been a problem area for me. Taking Yo tea helped reduced the bloat for me and I even felt less sluggish after eating heavier meals.

6. It tastes like regular tea

Being a teatox newbie and seeing the awful effects teatoxing has had on people around me in the past, I just assumed this tea would taste awful too! It doesn’t. Yo Tea looks and tastes exactly like regular tea, it even tastes a bit sweet so you don’t always have to add a sweetener to it!

yo-tea

These are six things that I liked about Yo tea and this is how my body reacted to taking it. No two people will react the same way to a product because everyone’s body is different. Just remember, you can’t out run your fork and a tea isn’t a magic bullet for weight loss or good health. Do your lunges, eat your greens and if you can get Yo Tea as an addition to an already healthy lifestyle, then you’ll be all the better for it! 🙂

You can get a 30-day bag supply of Yo Tea (€29.95) exclusively from Therapie Clinic in store or online.

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*Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for review purposes, but all views and opinions are my own.

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Posted on May 3, 2016

10 juicing tips for beginners

Health

juiing tips

I’m no professional when it comes to juicing. However,  I do feel that I’ve been juicing  for long enough to know that freshly made juice tastes better when consumed within 20 minutes, the juicing strainer can be an absolute pain to clean after using carrots, and some fruit and vegetables are just not that juicable!

So whether you’re new to the wonderful world of juicing or thinking about joining, here are some of my tips for starting off – lord knows I needed these when I first got into it!

  1. Don’t assume you need to spend an arm and a leg on a juicer. There are plenty  of juicers on Amazon that do the same job as big brands for only a fraction of the price. It’s all about knowing where to search!
  2. Do juice on an empty stomach as the nutrients are absorbed quicker. I tend to juice in the mornings as it give me an energy boost and it also helps me make better food choices throughout the day.
  3. Don’t overdo it with the fruit as fruit tend to be high in sugar. When I make a glass of juice, I usually use two vegetables and one fruit – sometimes even half a fruit is enough of a sweetener!
  4. Do mix it up a bit. Rather than making the same juice all the time, do experiment with different ingredients. This morning, I added a red bell pepper to my carrot & ginger juice and was so surprised by how well it turned out!
  5. Don’t substitute eating your fruit and vegetables with juicing, it’s not the same thing! I usually juice vegetables that I wouldn’t otherwise eat. This gives my diet a wider variety of veg!
  6. Do keep in mind that juicing alone isn’t going to make you healthier. Regular exercise, drinking water and eating healthily are still as important as they were before the juice craze!
  7. Don’t assume that all fruit and vegetables can be juiced. Bananas and avocados for instance aren’t juicable because they don’t have enough water content. However, they’re blendable, making them better suited for smoothies!
  8. Do make your health a priority. Rather than just juicing for the sake of looking healthy (or Instagram), have a goal in mind. Whether you’re looking to clear up your skin or lose weight, use ingredients that will help get you closer to your  health or beauty goals.
  9. Don’t down your juice in one sitting, take your time to let your body digest it properly. I don’t usually have my juice on the go, but when I do, I try not to gulp it down in one go.
  10. Do bear in mind that moderation is key and that too much of anything isn’t good for you!

Happy juicing all 🙂

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Posted on November 17, 2015

5 ways to make your workouts fun

fitness/ Health/ lifestyle

workouts fun

I often get asked how I find the motivation to get up at 6 o’clock in the morning, get into my workout gear, drive all the way to the gym for a morning session, and then carry on with the rest of my working day. Now putting aside the fact that I am a bit of a crazy person (aren’t we all), I think one of the main reasons I am able to find such motivation is because I know how to make my workouts a bit more enjoyable.

Naturally, I’m the type of person who easily gets bored. Be it a job, a hobby, people – yes, people. I just get sick of things very easily. That’s why switching things up in the gym is a must for me. Now by no means do you have to be a gym member to make exercise more fun, all it comes down to is being creative with your workouts!

So now that you have the back story, here are my top tips for making exercise feel less like a chore:

1. A killer playlist

Music, music, music. MUSIC. I really can’t stress it enough! A kickass playlist – excuse my French – will keep you going throughout your workout. A good techno remix does the job for me, but some people might like to listen to their favourite artist – whatever works for you! Just try not to get too carried away because you might just find yourself doing the Single Ladies dance in the middle of your workout!

2. Join a class

Some people hate dancing, but absolutely love swimming. Others can’t stand both but enjoy boxing. The point is, there is something out there for everyone. Once you find a class that doesn’t seem like a drag to go to, then you’re half way to becoming a #FitnessFanatic!  My advice is to try everything at least once, because you never know what might work for you. I tried a Boxfit class recently and loved it!

boxing fitness

3. Have a plus one

By nature, we are social creatures. So partnering up with a friend is always a good way of making exercise more pleasant. Not only does it make you look forward to your (super fun) workout, but the chances of you sticking to your exercise plan are much higher when you have someone to exercise with. Also, there’s always a bit of comfort in seeing your bestie struggle with burpees as badly as you – very fun indeed!

4. Set a target

Setting a target before your workouts can add a game element to them. If you set a goal, you will have something to strive for and as you will soon come to learn, there is nothing more rewarding than being able to push past your limits (or what you thought were your limits). What makes setting targets fun is the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel afterwards. Not sold? Try it! 

5. YouTube

And for the times I don’t wake up at crazy hours to go to the gym……YouTube of course! I genuinely don’t think being a gym member is a must if you want to keep fit. Obviously if you have other fitness goals, then you’d need to lift a bit more than the 2kg dumbbells you have at home! But if exercise is just a means of staying healthy, then YouTube is the name of the game! Because there are so many fitness channels, it is near impossible to get bored! Some of my favourite channels are Blogilates, Tone It Up and Fitness Blender!

If you want more tips or tricks for making workouts more bearable, feel free to add me on Snapchat @FilomenaKaguako 🙂

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Posted on November 3, 2015

5 health shots that are good for your body

Health/ health benefits

drink up health shots

I always find that health shots are great for a quick pick-me- up. Being a non-coffee drinker and a complete energy drink foe, I have to find other ways to give myself an energy boost. Spirulina shots are usually my go-to, but recently I have been experimenting with a few others which are quite beneficial too.

Here are some shots you might want to try for either giving your body a little detox (hangover day), giving your immune system a boost (flu season) or simply because a shot of tequila on a Tuesday afternoon just doesn’t sound quite right……

1. Lemon, Ginger & Cayenne

When you mix a cleansing food (lemon) with a nausea relieving food (ginger) and an inflammatory reducing spice(cayenne), beautiful things happen! This trio is a classic juice shot that is thought to help give the metabolism an aul boost. The combination of these three ingredients makes for a rejuvenating shot that can help reduce inflammation and bloating too.

Directions: Mix the juice of ½ a lemon with an inch of fresh ginger. Add a dash of cayenne pepper and take as a shot.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

A shot of straight ACV is definitely the easiest option of the five – well, as far as making the shot goes anyways! ACV isn’t exactly the easiest thing to stomach, and I salute anyone who is able to take it without puckering. Regular shots of ACV help improve digestion, and it is also said to help improve the texture of the skin. If you’re only starting off, it’s a good idea to mix the ACV with water.

Directions: Mix half a shot glass of ACV with water and toss back. Don’t forget to breathe!

3. Beetroot

beet juice

I love my homemade beetroot juice so it really is no surprise that I had to throw it in with these other health shots. A shot of beet juice can help improve stamina, so it would make for a great pre-workout shot. Beets also have anti-inflammatory properties that help combat premature aging. Instead of making a single shot of beet, I would suggest making a full glass and taking it in shots as regularly as you need.

Directions: Find my homemade beet juice recipe here.

4. Matcha

Matcha is a concentrated form of green tea and as you probably already know, green tea is loaded with antioxidants that can give benefit the body in more ways than just one. However, when you drink green tea, you are only drinking an infusion which means a lot of the health benefits are reduced. When you consume matcha, you consume the full leaf, meaning you get the full benefits. It helps with blood sugar regulation, reducing blood pressure, and most importantly, anti-aging (I don’t sound beauty obsessed at all!)

Directions: Mix 120ml of water with 1 tsp on matcha power in a glass to dissolve the powder. Pour into two shot glasses. One for now, one for later 🙂

5. Spirulina

A lot of people automatically think of chicken, eggs and fish when it comes to protein, but spirulina is actually one of nature’s richest protein sources. It is a blue-green algae found in fresh waters that is a complete protein, meaning it has all the essential amino acids we need to live. It is a natural detoxifier that helps boost the immune system and promote healthy digestion. I usually take this once a week.

Directions: Mix ½ tsp of spirulina powder with water in a shot glass and knock it back!

As well as the many other benefits that can come from taking these shots, they will give you the buzz without a crash! So instead of going for an energy drink the next time you need a quick boost, why not try one of these? Your body will love you for it! 🙂

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Posted on October 27, 2015

The truth about carbs

Health

good carbs vs bad carbs

A low-carb diet has never been my thing. I have always been a firm believer that all foods should be consumed in moderation. That’s why I continue to be baffled by those who are constantly carb-counting or totting up their calories half-way through the day. In my eyes, carbs are not the enemy.

What a lot of people don’t realise is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with carbohydrates. Provided you eat the right ones and in the right quantities, carbs are needed for our brain and body to function normally. And I’m not just saying this because I am a carb addict – or bread addict – to be precise. I’m saying this because I have made a recent discovery that I’m going to share with you.

The human saliva contains an enzyme which helps breakdown starch into sugars. This means that biologically, we are supposed to eat carbohydrates – Mother Nature wants this for us people! It just comes down to whether we eat the right ones or not.

There are two types of carbohydrates: complex carbs (the good) and simple carbs (not so good). Complex carbs take time to digest. These include whole and unrefined grains, fibre and vegetables. Simple carbs on the other hand, provide the body with a quick burst of energy. These include refined starches and sugars added during food processing.

Good carbs

good carbs

Unrefined grains

Unrefined grain products like brown rice, whole-grain pasta, beans, whole wheat bread, buckwheat, oats etc are considered to be good carbs. They are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre, which are all essential to your health. Because they are slowly digested, they cause a slower change in blood sugar levels.

Fibre

Fibre is a good carb that isn’t digested by our body. However, it is needed for intestinal health as it aids with digestion and ensuring that damaging toxins are excreted from the body. Foods high in fibre include leafy greens such as broccoli, beans, lentils, apples and pears.

Not so good carbs

bad carbs

Refined starches

White-flour breads, pasta and rice. Crackers, biscuits and other baked packaged foods are all considered as refined carbs. The bran, hull and fibre are removed from the grain during the refinement process meaning they contain little to no fibre and a lot of minerals and nutrients are lost.

Refined sugars

Refined sugars are probably one of the worst things you can feed your body with. These include sucrose, lactose, molasses and fruit juice concentrates. High level of sugar consumption can lead to extreme fluctuations in energy, more sugar cravings and mood swings.

In a nutshell: good carbs take time to digest in the body and as a result, you stay fuller for longer. They include whole-grain foods and vegetables. Bad carbs give you a sudden burst of energy and as a result cause a fluctuation in blood sugar levels. They include sweets and refined starches.

So before you unfairly black-list some carb-loaded foods, ask yourself this: is it a good carb or not? 🙂

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Posted on August 24, 2015

Irish Fitness Gurus that will inspire you to hit the gym

fitness/ Health

irish fitness gurus

We all know that social media is absolutely saturated with fitness addicts, healthy eaters and dedicated gym goers. I’ve personally found Instagram to be one of the best sources when it comes to finding fitness motivation. While there are plenty of international fitness junkies out there like Jen Selter (I honestly think she should trademark that ass), I do find it more inspiring to follow the journey of those who are closer to home and based on Irish soil.

I think the transformations that some of these ladies have undergone are unquestionably mind-blowing and I honestly think that anyone who has even the slightest interest in health, fitness or both, should see these images for themselves – I am actually in awe!

Stephanie O’Quigley

stephanie oquigley

Instagram: @stephanieoquigley

It took Stephanie two and a half years of healthy eating and exercising to lose five stone and now she is committed to that lifestyle. While she likes to keep her body guessing with different types of exercises, HIIT training works the best for her. She eats a high protein diet and tries to avoid dairy. For more on Stephanie’s eating habits, check out her blog snappedup.ie or Instagram.

Kelly Donegan

kelly donegan fitness queen

Instagram: @itskellydonegan

Kelly Donegan is the ultimate health and fitness queen. Her life revolves around clean eating and making sure her abs are in check (no wonder they’re perfecto!). Finding fitness was a massive saviour for Kelly as it gave her a new outlet to be successful. She has participated in competitions in the past and she continues to throw herself in challenging environments. She is currently developing her website kellydonegan.ie, but has plenty of workout inspiration on her Instagram.

Faces by Grace

faces by grace fitness

Instagram: @facesbygrace23

Here we have yet another remarkable transformation of a driven and focused gal . Not that she needs much of an introduction, Grace Mongey, widely known as Faces by Grace is a qualified MUA and beauty blogger. While I think she is extremely skilled with a makeup brush, I find her fitness journey the most inspiring. Her hard work has led to her becoming the brand ambassador of Miss Skinny Fit Tea and an idol for those looking to embark in a life of health and fitness. For healthy recipes, fitness tips, and more, check out her YouTube and Instagram.

Grainne Nash

grainne nash fitness guru

Instagram: @insta_gra_88

Last, but not least, is Grainne Nash. A dedicated weight lifter who is currently prepping to compete in the Nabba and Ribbf bikini competitions.  She is committed to clean eating (full fat clean food up to 10 times a day) and pays frequent visits to the gym. Just looking at these photos is enough motivation for me! For progress photos and more #fitspiration, check out her personal Instagram account @insta_gra_88.

I commend every single one of these ladies for being so devoted to their health and fitness. I think it is evidence of strength, courage and an exceptional work ethic.

I truly find them inspiring and think they are evidence that making the right diet choices and being consistent with workouts, eventually will pay off. While all four of these ladies are huge fitness influencers for me, I would be delighted if even just one of them inspires you to start being the best version of yourself!

And because no fitness post is ever complete without a motivational quote, here is one of my favourites…..

It’s a shame for anyone to grow old without ever seeing the strength and beauty of which their body is capable of

Thanks for reading my post, hope you all have a meaningful and productive day 🙂

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Posted on August 13, 2015

How to get back to healthy eating after a holiday

fitness/ Health
how toget back to healthy eating after a holiday

Lisbon, Portugal

Let’s face it, when it comes to holidays, many of our healthy eating habits go way out the window: alcohol consumption increases, lazy days out in the sun become a norm and the technique behind leg raises become a  long and distant memory.

I for one know all too well about this – especially on the alcohol side of things! After having spent a week in Portugal, I think this article and all the practices that come with it are very much needed! If you follow me on Snap Chat (@FilomenaKaguako), then you would know exactly what I’m talking about.

So if you happen to be on the same boat as myself and are in desperate need of a post-holiday detox, or if you just want to get back to healthy eating after falling off track, then here are some tips that may help:

1. Get straight back into it

Don´t leave it for too long before you get back to healthy eating. It might not seem like it now, but the longer you wait, the harder it will be. Make a plan to start no later than three days after you arrive because  the last thing you want is for your holiday indulgences to develop into bad habits.

2. Meal Plan

As you probably know at this stage, meal planning is so important. Without planning ahead, making unhealthy food choices becomes very very easy. Make a list of all the things you need to get to recharge your body. Think green, think protein, think water. Steer clear of junk food!

3. Water, water, water

Whether it’s lemon water, cucumber water, coconut water or just plain H20, your body needs to rehydrate after all those days you spent relaxing in the sun. Drinking your eight glasses a day will give your body a reboost of energy. It’ll also clear your mind and  improve your mood meaning you will spend less days sulking about being back – speaking from experience here!

give up drinks

4. Go alcohol-free

Yes, I am deadly serious. If you’re a drinker, then one can only assume that a lot of drinking rules were broken while you were abroad. Cold beers, fresh bubbly and cocktails were probably on the daily menu. Going alcohol free for a few weeks will do your body some good, as well as that it, it will help your bank account!

5. It’s all about shut eye

Sometimes, we don’t realise how tired we are until we actually get back to our sweet beds. So be sure to give yourself a good amount of shut eye the days following your arrival. Not only will your body thank you for it, but it will also take the sting out of getting back into the routine of waking up early for work.

6. Socialise wisely 

When making plans to meet with friends, try to make arrangements to meet up during the day. I always find that making evening plans can result in eating out (or in other words, overindulging), followed by a few drinks in a bar. I think this is less likely to happen when you meet up during that day.

Those are my top tips for now and I hope you find these suggestions useful and even decide to put one or two things into practice! I’m slowly getting back on track myself, as I spent a lovely evening in the gym yesterday and felt so much better this morning! Remember, it’s okay to fall of track, so long as you get back up. It’ all about moving onwards and upwards! 🙂

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Posted on July 14, 2015

8 ways to motivate yourself to exercise

fitness/ Health

8 ways to motivate yourself to exercise

Finding the motivation to get up and get moving doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Thankfully, I am a morning person who also happens to like Mondays. I know, I know, I sound like the devil right now! But I promise you, Mondays and early mornings really aren’t that bad!

However, being a morning person doesn’t necessarily mean that I get into my gym gear every single day at 6am on the dot. I too go through phases where I find it impossible to put on my sports bra never mind the rest of my fitness gear! Every now and again, my motivation to workout goes out the window and I really need to push myself to get exercising.

If you’re anything like me (and by me, I mean human), then you probably know what it feels like to lose motivation to workout. So today, I’m going to share with you some of the ways I like to stay on top of my fitness game. Hopefully one or two of these things will help you find the budding gym enthusiast lurking inside you!

#1 Buy new workout clothes……. and put them on

You know how excited you get about wearing new shoes or using new makeup products? Believe it or not, you can get equally excited about wearing new gym clothes (provided that you actually like them!). Buying new gym clothes will make you want to wear them and wearing them will get you into the right frame of mind to workout. According to researchers, the act of putting on workout gear alone motivates people to start exercising.I think this calls for a trip to Lifestyle Sports!

#2 Set a goal and track your success

Setting fitness goals is the best way to track your success and to see how far you’ve come – or if you’ve made any movements at all! Forget the scale for the meantime, and instead, take pictures of your body on a week-to-week basis to track your progress. As I mentioned in 7 reasons your ‘diet’ isn’t working, sometimes a scale isn’t the best indicator for how well you’re doing since it doesn’t differentiate between fat weight and muscle weight.

fitess inspo 9

#3 Follow Instagram Fitness Gurus

I can’t even begin to count how many inspiring fitness gurus there are on Instagram. I don’t know about you, but I for one know exactly how it feels to go from “I’m not in the humour for this” to “damn, I better up my squatting game” after going through my Instagram news feed. Sometimes it only takes one account to make me want to hit the gym! And since we are on the topic of Instagram perving, I might as well ‘fess up and tell you that Jen Selter is enough motivation for me!

#4 Set up a rewards system

Knowing that you will treat yourself after having a positive fitness week is always a good way to keep yourself motivated. That little light at the end of the tunnel won’t seem so little once you get to it! So give yourself a lye in a marathon of your favourite TV series as treat! There are many ways you can reward yourself for reaching your goals, and while this may mean a sweet treat, it doesn’t always have to be that!

fitness inspo 2

#5 Find a gym buddy

Some people can be very self conscious about going for a run alone, or going to the gym without any company. That’s why having a gym partner can much such a difference when it comes to staying motivated. This person can be your voice of reason when you feel like giving up, and also a bit of healthy competition for you!

#6 Make a plan and stick to it

If your desire to exercise depends on whether or not you’re in the mood for it, then you won’t be seeing any results any time soon! Sorry to break it to you, but you will never be in the mood to exercise four days a week and you will never WANT to choose snacking on almonds instead of a packet of crisps. Make a diet and exercise plan and stick to it. Don’t rely on your mood to get things done otherwise you will be waiting for a long time.

fitness inspo 3

#7 Make it fun

Running isn’t the most exciting form of exercise out there. But if you’re body is in good working order, then you don’t have to restrict yourself to just that. You could go swimming, take up zumba, or even  pilates! There are so many fun ways to exercise. I recently bought a step to do step aerobics so that will keep me going for a good while until I get bored of it!

#8 Surround yourself with motivation

Whether this means covering your room with post-it notes filled with inspiring words, or watching endless videos of Ted Talks on YouTube (things I know not of….), is completely  irrelevant. So long as you surround yourself with things, people and words that will keep you motivated, that is all that matters. When it comes to fitness, your mind usually gives up well before your body does, so it’s all about getting yourself to the mental state that will keep you going.

And if the motivational quotes don’t work, the reward system is pointless and you just can’t seem to be getting on with your fitness partner,then just do it for the “holy f***, you got hot!”

Have a good evening all 🙂

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Posted on June 23, 2015

9 foods for a flatter tum

fitness/ food/ Health

lean abs

You can do all the abs in the world, if you wanted to. But, if you don’t pay attention to what goes into your mouth, then all your hard work will most likely go to waste. “Abs are made in the kitchen,” is probably one of the most used lines by fitness fanatics,and I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you, but it is true – if you want to get rid of ab flab, you need to make wiser food choices.

The good news is, that there are a lot of tasty foods out there that actually encourage weight loss around your midsection, so you don’t have to confine yourself to a life of leaves and tasteless meals.

Here are some foods that can help trim down a few inches on the waist:

Salmon

Salmon, along with other seafoods such as tuna and mackerel, are a great source of omega-3 acids. These fats can help reduce a few inches off your midsection by making your metabolism more efficient. They also contain ab-friendly proteins –hello, six pack!

Eggs

Eggs are loaded with protein and filling properties. Eating a heavy dose of eggs will help keep you full which will make you less likely to overindulge on unhealthy snacks. As for the protein, eggs are highly praised by dietitians for how much protein it has (about 6 grams per egg).

Apple

Foods that have a high water content tend to take up more room in your gut. This means you stay full for much longer and consume less unhealthy foods through out the day. The hunger busting properties in foods like apples and pears can surely help you get the midsection you’ve always wanted.

leafy greens

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli help shrink your waistline because they’re low in calories and high in calcium. Calcium is needed for muscle contraction so the more greens you eat, the quicker you’ll see results.

Beans

Beans are often avoided by people because eating too much can give off gas (just calling a spade a spade here!). But, a lot of people don’t know that they help burn fat and develop muscle. The best part is, they minimise the whole “I just ate a horse” look – so it’s a win-win!

Quinoa

Quinoa has become a recent addition to my diet. This grain looks like a mix between brown rice and couscous, and is very high in dietary fibre and protein. A serving of quinoa can fend of hunger as the day progresses so it’s a good idea to have it early in the day! Oh and it’s pronounced keen-wa, in case you were wondering! 🙂

abs are made in the kitchen

Green Tea

Green tea can help fire off fat by stimulating the body to burn ab fat. Consuming green tea on a regular basis helps cause your metabolism to work at a faster weight. Since fat is stored as fuel for the body, a metabolism which consumes fat at a faster rate helps you drop a few extra pounds – guess it’s time to ditch those diet teas!

Greek yoghurt

Greek yoghurt contains more protein than regular yoghurt. As you probably already know at this stage, protein is essential for building muscle mass and trimming down on a few inches. When choosing greek yoghurt, be sure to go for the unflavoured kind which is full of sugar. Oh and remember, your body burns more calories digesting protein than it does digesting carbs!

Skinned almonds

Not only do almonds contain fibre and protein, they also contain magnesium, a mineral that is needed to produce energy, build muscle tissue and regulate blood sugar. Since having a stable blood sugar level reduces cravings, almonds make for a great healthy snack – just make sure you avoid salted almonds (sodium makes you retain water which puffs up the belly – that’s not exactly the aim here!).

I hope you found this useful, if you’ve started eating any foods to trim down the tum, do let me know! 🙂 xx

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5 drinks every ‘dieter’ should try

Health/ Nutrition

5 drinks every dieter should try 2

I’ll be honest, I’ve never been big into dieting. I don’t even like using the word ‘diet.’  I just think that moderation is key when it comes to healthy eating or weight management, and that nobody should ever deprive their body of what it needs. So if you want to practice healthy eating habits and shed a few pounds along the way, then here are five drinks you might like to try:

Coconut water

Anyone who knows me well would tell you that I am a completely addicted to coconut water. Not only because it’s unbelievably refreshing, but because I do notice an instant boost in my energy levels when I consume it. It also keeps me pretty full on the days when I don’t have a big breakfast. If you’re looking after your weight and want something that is low in fat, calories and sugar then this is your winning ticket. I wrote a full article on the many benefits of coconut water here.

Green tea

The antioxidants in green tea have a lot of health benefits for your body. As well as stimulating the body’s metabolism and speeding up the weight loss process, they also stimulate your muscle cells to use more fatty acids when exercising.  That means your body uses carbs at a slower weight. With more carbs in your body, you can exercise for much longer time and burn more calories which helps with the whole weight loss process. I like to call it the Domino effect!

Lemon water

Poor digestion could be a reason why losing weight may be difficult for people. If your digestive system isn’t working properly, it stops your body from getting the nutrients it needs to burn fat. Drinking lemon water can help improve digestion by increasing acidity in the stomach. Lemon water is definitely my go to drink when I feel guilty about having a cheat snack, it is also a great hangover cure! (everything in moderation right?)

lemon water

Beet Juice

Beets are widely-known for helping the natural detoxification process of the body. They help toxins be excreted from the body, keeping the blood and liver purified. Beet juice can facilitate weight loss by increasing stamina. It’s been said that those who had a glass of beet juice before their workout lasted up to 15% longer. So if you’re a fitness junkie, then you might want to stack up on some of this stuff! Here’s how I make my homemade beet juice.

Cucumber water

Cucumber water is another one of my faves. Since it adds a bit of  flavour to regular water, it makes drinking 8 glasses a day a lot easier! Not only that, but cucumbers act like a natural diuretic to help get rid of excess water and bloating – hello bikini body! 🙂

Although there are several other drinks out there to help you achieve your fitness goals, I think these five are a good start!  So rather than reaching for calorie – laden beverages over the summer, try one of these instead.There’s no way you won’t fall in love with at least three of them! 🙂

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Posted on May 20, 2015

Sesame and honey bars

Health/ recipes

sesame and honey bars cover2

I have a terrible habit of eating on the go. For some strange reason, I feel like time passes quicker when I’m chewing! So unless I have some sort of healthy snack prepared with me when out and about, I just end up at a corner shop buying something that makes me feel like I’ve wasted my morning workout –my inner dialogue never stops judging me for it!

My go-to snack have always been my infamous protein bars. But I’ve decided to give peanut butter and nuts in general  a bit of a rest for a change (no pun intended!) and start reintroducing more seeds to my diet.

Sesame seeds are flat little seeds with a nutty taste. You’ve probably come across white ones in baking, but they also come in yellow, black and even red. For this recipe I will be using white sesame seeds and like most of these recipes, there is always room for variety! Once you get the swing of things, you can start adding your favourite nuts and seeds to this recipe.

For now, you will need the following ingredients to make basic sesame and honey bars –

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 140g sesame seed
  • 280g honey
  • A pinch of sea salt (optional)

 Directions:

1. Heat up the oil in a saucepan and then add in the honey. Bring to boil before adding the seeds.

sesame 1

2. Throw in the seeds and mix continuously for about 8 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken and caramelise.

seasam seeds boil

3. Once the seeds begin to change colour, you can remove from the heat and flatten onto a lined baking tray or in this case, greased tin foil.

sesame seeds flattened

4. Cover up and put in the freezer for about an hour. Once it hardens, remove from freezer and break into parts.

sesame seeds honey

Although they are quite hard to break, these bars have quite a chewy texture. They are perfect for conquering sugar cravings without the guilt! If you want to have them for snacking on the go, wrap each bar individually with tin foil!

Hope you get the chance to try this recipe out! These bars are so simple to make and yet so tasty! 🙂

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