-S T R E S S –

-STRESS –

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The six lettered word that undoubtedly will affect us all in a period or in some way in our lives. Recently, let’s just say we’ve got better acquainted and we’re the closest of friends we’ve ever been! However, not in a good way. This is something, that no matter how hard I tried to maintain or keep at bay it is something that has severely affected me. To the point where my health has been affected and I have been advised rest for 2 weeks or more. I wanted to start 2019 on a positive note by proactively looking into stress a little deeper and sharing my tips so far on how to deal with the stress the best we can.

Definition: “Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure. Pressure turns into stress when you feel unable to cope” (NHS)

Once your body’s “fight or flight” response is activated an array of symptoms start to occur. This can be anything from your heart racing, your breath quickening, and your muscles tensing ready for action. According to Google, “This response was designed to protect your body in an emergency by preparing you to react quickly”. However, things turn serious when this is a repeated action. Again, consulting the wisdom of Google “But when the stress response keeps firing, day after day, it could put your health at serious risk”.

So why do we do it?

There are multiple factors involved depending on our contextual situation. This can range from school, to work pressure, Uni, exam stress or it can appear in any area of our lives. The area I repeatedly found difficult to maintain was “exam stress” now this is not just a category for adolescents or those in uni, we all take exams in some points in our lives, sometimes to level ourselves up in our jobs.

But how do we combat it?

Repeatedly, nowadays all we hear is “self-care is so important ” or “take time for yourself” with profits in the beauty industry sky-rocketing as this relatively new areas has become one of the latter trends of 2018. Now, I don’t know about you but whenever I saw “Himalayan detox salts” or “relaxing bath salts” whilst perusing Cult Beauty or my holy grail site The Covetuer I always questioned their use, or whether they were worth it? But then I soon realised that they are a tiny part of a much larger and important picture called ‘relaxation”.

My tips so far for relaxation when recovering from stress or stress-related symptoms;

It’s all about the little things – whether that is your Himalayan bath salts, which I must say I have bought and had an “ohhh I get it now” moment. My favourite is https://www.cultbeauty.co.uk/therapie-himalayan-detox-salts.html  which are great at £10 which last a long time. My favourite routine is to pop Suits on my laptop, spray some Lavender Aromatherapy oil and relax in a hot bath. These salts are a great little addition.

Music –Music has been and always will be a large part of my life. Regardless of genre, I love most music and when I don’t listen to it, it does affect me. I need that emotion written into the melodic chimes of Piano or relaxing percussion hidden in undertones of a song. During periods of stress or anxiety, I have two usual playlists I go for on Spotify. The first is called “Stress Relief”  – (linked below ) and the other is called “Yoga and Meditation” (also linked below)

https://open.spotify.com/user/spotify/playlist/37i9dQZF1DWXe9gFZP0gtP?si=ItvFyqusQuOY6bO7j5sFG

https://open.spotify.com/user/spotify/playlist/37i9dQZF1DX9uKNf5jGX6m?si=GecHRuS1S0aSSyyh3Pu6NQ  

Food –  another crucial and key part. I know that if I eat better more legumes, nuts and leafy greens I will feel better in the long run. That said, sometimes comfort food is the best calmer when you recognise the taste and it takes you back. I love to cook, so sometimes there is nothing better than whipping up some comfort food. Particular favourite being from the UK is a plant-based Sheppard’s Pie. Make sure you also don’t restrict yourself too by having some of your fave dark chocolate or a G&T with a close friend or partner.

Digital Detox – Sometimes the best thing to do is to just switch it off and I love to just leave it hidden beneath some books away in my room and to forget about it for a day.

Friends and Family – To recover from stress it is never an instantaneous thing, so surround yourself with the ones you love and who love you. Even if it takes a good cry or a laugh about a shared past time, sometimes that’s all it takes.

So to wrap this blog post up… sorry for the ramble. Take time for yourself otherwise further down the line it can affect your health, don’t make the mistake I made by putting your health at risk. Even if it’s just 30 mins a day to set aside, it may make the world of difference. So chat, laugh, cry, relax and cook and in one of those things they may just take some stress away.

Leave me any recommendations for products or tips that have helped you relax or manage your stress, I would love to know!

Happy New Year and See you in the next blog post!

 

 

 

 

-My Energy Balls Recipe-

 

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These little balls of energy are packed full with oats and sweetened through the use of dates and peanut butter.They are best to be kept in the fridge to extend their life.But for me, they are that recipe that I just keep coming back to.They are an absolute staple in my household!

Time:20 mins 

Makes:10-12 depending on size

Ingredients:

  • 340g of dates – I tend to pre-stock these in my kitchen as these are staple when making vegan or more plant-based sweet treats.
  • 3-4 generous tbsp of peanut butter  – or for a softer consistency mix with Almond butter for a more true nutty taste.
  • 227g of rolled oats – I tend to use basic porridge oats are they tend to blend together just as well as any other oats.
  • 20g of dairy free dark chocolate – but make sure it’s 70% cocoa solids are the higher the percentage, the better the taste of the gorgeous dark chocolate.
  • 1-2 tbsp of seeds – you can use chia seeds but I love to use mixed seeds to get a variety of textures which will compliment the peanut and/or almond butter.

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img_5507.jpegInstructions – 

1.) Pre – soak the oats for 6 mins in warm water and then leave them cool before putting them in a food processor until they are in the consistency of a paste or form a large ball.

2.)Now finely chop your chocolate in small pieces so that it can be added into the food processor with the your nut butter of choice, oats, mixed seeds and then mix until everything is combined.But don’t over process the mixture as I personally prefer having bigger chunks left in the mixture.

3.) Now mould and roll into 15 small/ medium sizes balls and place on a baking tray and pop into the fridge for 15 – 20 minutes.Then store in air-tight container to make them last, otherwise you may lose the moisture from them.

*For extra crunch – I love to use crunchy peanut butter and a handful of granola to add an extra crunch to the little balls of goodness!

 

Let me know any other healthy/plant-based treats that are your go to!

See you in the next blog post!

 

 

 

 

-My Current Skincare Routine-

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Skin Care – I think is the key to good makeup and basis to most things.Through face-mapping you can tell what works for you and what areas of your lifestyle be that diet or hormones that need attention.I am not a skin care expert but I wanted to share how I went from having bad Cystic Acne to good clear skin.Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a work in progress but I think through a better relationship with exercise and food, I’m nearly there.

So overall my skin care routine involves 4 steps-

1.) Micellar water – to remove impurities and any makeup. I love this La Roche Posay one – https://www.feelunique.com/p/La-Roche-Posay-Effaclar-Purifying-Micellar-Water-200ml IMG_4715.jpg

2.) A light toner only on my non problematic areas – Again, I love this La Roche Posay one  – https://www.feelunique.com/p/La-Roche-Posay-Effaclar-Clarifying-Lotion-200ml?q=toner%20la%20roc&q_typ=a&q_cat=product&q_dep=Skin%2CToners

3.) A clearly and light moisturizer for my problematic areas – No surprise here, this La Roche Posay one has been life changing in terms of keeping breakouts at bay and dramatically helping the area of Cystic Acne – https://www.feelunique.com/p/La-Roche-Posay-Effaclar-Duo–40mlIMG_4718

4.) A moisturizer for the rest of my face which are not as problematic – This light one from Liz Earle is gentle and soothing on combination skin and has moisturizer my skin before making without looking like a shiny sweaty mess! –https://www.feelunique.com/p/Liz-Earle-Skin-Repair-Moisturiser-NormalCombination-50ml?q=liz%20earle%20moistur&q_typ=a&q_cat=product&q_dep=Skin%2CMoisturisers

Over the years I have tried and tested many different brands natural and non-natural but by far La Roche Posay and Liz Earle are a good medium that work for me.They both help to keep the skin clear and clean but still moisturised.

I hope this may help, for when you need some clarity through the blur that is the dozens of different skin care brands out there.But if you have a consistent problem, I would recommend seeing a dermatologist as their advice may help you get to the root of the problem – I know that it certainly helped me!But at the end of the day, no one has perfect skin and everyone’s skin is different.I would love to learn more about natural skincare so if anyone has any recommendations – please send them my way!

Thank you so much for reading!

See you in the next blog post!

 

Banana Bread Recipe

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IMG_6146.jpgUsually, I follow a recipe to a t. To the gram, to the ounce.But ever since I had a mishap, I have fallen upon the most amazing recipe for Banana Bread.It’s not fully vegan, but does not contain any dairy or eggs but it does contain flour therefore it is not gluten free.Nonetheless, it is so moist and dense while being enough to satisfy your hunger and hold your appetite for hours in-between meals.

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 285g/8oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 over ripe + 1 perfectly ripe bananas
  • 50 ml extra virgin or even better vegetable oil
  • 50ml cup almond milk
  • 225g/8oz cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/356 F. Grease a 2 lb loaf tin, while adding greaseproof paper underneath and over the sides allowing the loaf the be easily pulled out once cooked.(*This means the shorter sides will be exposed and not covered with any greaseproof)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, chop and then mash the bananas until they form a thicker consistency. Add the brown sugar, oil, vanilla, and almond milk, and whisk together.
  3. Once you have done that, then sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, and cinnamon
  4. Transfer the batter to your prepared pan, and top with the extra banana slices.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes, then cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes longer, until a knife or kitchen utensil inserted in the centre comes out with just a couple of crumbs.
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IMG_6145.jpgLet me know and contact me with any Banana bread recipes or if you have tried this one out and let me know how it went, I would loved to hear from you!
Love always
 x

 

Recipe sourced and combined from these lovely sites:

 

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5 tips for Moving Forward and Moving On..

No matter who you are, no matter where you live there are always going to be situations where moving on is a crucial part in order to carry on with your life.In this I am simply sharing my own experience of how to move on from a person you had feelings for, or were in a relationship with.

1.) Self Care 

This is so important.Run yourself that bath, indulge in that dark chocolate or have a G&T because although these things won’t replace the feelings in your heart, they will however help it.Gradually.

A personal favourite is to listen to music or podcasts as it keeps my mind active and stops it from lingering back to old memories of the person.

2.)Surrounds yourself with the best gals and guys 

As clichéd as it sounds, having your best girls or guys by your side whether that is to simply text your frustrations to or have over for a pizza and catch up.From personal experience talking to your closet friends about your feelings and being as open and crazy as you feel at the time, is simply the best way start to wade your way through all the feelings you have had inside.

3.)Allow yourself time

Give yourself the time and space to get over whatever or whoever it is you need to get over.They may have felt the best at the time, but long-term they most likely weren’t, because if they were you wouldn’t be in this situation.

4.)Editing out 

I know.This one sounds a tad harsh but it really helps.Even if it’s only a few photos from your phone, a text message from them or even the little things that trigger a memory or your mind to jump to them.Do it, delete it.If you do it subtly, bit by bit it will get easier.I wouldn’t recommend doing it all at once, because sometimes it can make it much worse because it’s drastic, so just do it bit by bit.

5.) YOU WILL get through this – Self belief 

Trust me, you will get through this. You are enough.If they don’t want you, it’s their loss not yours.If they are other people in the picture, if you can, try not to compare yourself because as I said earlier it’s her or his loss for not treating you the way your deserve to be treated.

In terms of feelings, moving on is a tough feeling we all experience at some point in our lives.But someone once said to me ” Don’t ever change, you are great as you are” and that has really stuck with me, because not matter who you are, you are enough and are great just as your are.There are going to be times when you feel like Beyoncé and don’t give two damns but there are going to times where a song, a perfume or photo triggers what feels like a never-ending waterfall inside and out. And that is ok, it’s perfectly normal.We are all human, so surrounds yourself with your best gals/guys and family and with support we will all get through this and we will MOVE ON from them.

 

 

April Podcast Favourites

In the month of April, there have been so many Podcasts out and about, with amazing guest hosts that I have 100% been using when at the gym on the treadmill, having a clear out or just generally wanting to listen to something but not have to physically watch it.

1.)Talking Tastebuds-Venetia Falconer 

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/talking-tastebuds/id1287395967?mt=2

I absolutely love this podcast, partially because host Venetia is such an engaging speaker but also as the guests for season 2 have been particularly fab.My personal favourites have been the Hemsley sisters, Zanna Van Diik, Carly Rowena.As each guest is individual,  not at any point does it feel formulaic or repetitive.The first episode I watched was Delicously Ella’s episode (a personal inspiration) and it was so interesting to have a more informal interview, without the normal facade you receive with normal media interviews.

2.)At Home with Lily Pebbles and Anna Gardner

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/at-home-with/id1228706016?mt=2

I recently stumbled across these lovely ladies podcast while perusing Anna Gardner blog.Instantly, after watching the first episode, I was hooked.With the main line of guests being CEO’s, Founders and  Editors, what really stuck with me was that these were strong, successful and independent women.Whether they started at Liz Earle beauty or were the current residing editor at Glamour Magazine, each of the episodes shows how these women started off in the industry and how that journey led them to be where they are today.With rumours of a second series being finalised, I look forward to seeing what other strong business women they will interview in season 2.

Let me know your favourite podcasts, I am dying to find new and interesting ones.And follow me on Instagram and on here for weekly blog posts!

Love, M x

My current work routine – for arms and obliques

As a continuation from my last post here is my current arm workout routine;

Warmup

  • 10 minute sprint on treadmill, to increase my own cardio ability or
  • 10 minute ergo rowing session or
  • 5 x 1 minute fast rowing  with 30 seconds rest in between

Workout 

  • 40 x dumbell bicep curls (alternating each time)
  • 10 x push ups
  • 10 x diamond push ups
  • 20 x tricep dips
  • 20 x pilates Grasshoppers (side note: make sure you squeeze  your gluten when you bring your legs up, to really feel the burn)
  • 100 x butterfly twists
  • 100 x criss crosses
  • 1 minute plank
  • 1 minute up and down plank
  • 1 minute hip touch planks
  • 20 x overhead tricep dips

 Warm Down 

10 minute cycle, up and down with increased resistance to make peddling harder

We do tend to change it up, but I am currently working on my stamina for running, as it is something I just love doing and am passionate about.Whether that is on the hills on a misty morning or running on the treadmill at my local gym.It is also a great time, to catch up on any missed podcasts, I have a few firm favourites, that I regularly go to which will last me for the duration of my run.That will be up in a blog post soon!

See you in my next blog post!

Meghan