Tag Archives: lifestyle

My Favourite Eye Cream

As we all know, one area of the face that ages the quickest is the eye area 😦

If using an eye cream is not part of your daily routine, I would recommend adding it in now – you can’t use a normal face cream on your delicate eye area and eye creams are developed to help with a variety of problems that only occur around the eyes, such as; bags and dark circles as well as lines and wrinkles. A good eye cream is an essential in my opinion 🙂

I suffered with puffy eyes and dark circles long before I noticed any fine lines but when I saw those starting to crop up, I knew I needed to find a really good eye cream that would treat all of those areas. Easy peasy you may think…unfortunately not. My search went on for a good couple of years. I tried expensive creams, cheap ones and everything in between and nothing seemed to noticeably help. Until I tried Boots Time Delay anti-ageing eye cream. 

Boots eye cream

I can honestly say, this is the best eye cream I have ever come across at a really affordable price (usually between £5 and £8). It seems to treat all the issues in the eye area in one handy cream. I have recommended it to lots of people who are now using it and most recently recommended it to my sister and she has agreed that she really can see a difference ❤

I can certainly tell if I have run out and not been able to use it for a couple of days…and that to me says it all. I now have at least 2 in my possession at any given time, which is handy as I keep giving one away when I recommend it! LOL! 😉

Definitely a product worthy of a blog post recommendation from me to you 😀

With love, Tash ❤ x

Egg & Kale Pitta Pizza

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Say whaaat? Look at those perfect soft boiled eggs 😀

This egg and kale pitta pizza is the perfect lunch when you fancy something quick, healthy and easy and you have a hankering for pizza 😉

Ingredients

  • Wholemeal pitta
  • Tomato & olive pesto (I used Sacla) – 1-2 tbsp depending on how much you like
  • Curly kale – handful
  • Soft boiled egg x 1
  • Cheddar cheese – sprinkle
  • Chilli flakes – sprinkle
  • Salt & pepper – sprinkle
  • Chilli rapeseed oil – to drizzle – optional (I just looove chilli rapeseed oil)!

Directions

  1. Boil an egg for 5-7 minutes – depending on how runny you like the yolk (I sit on the fence and go for 6 minutes) and pop in a bowl of cold water to stop it cooking
  2. Cut the wholemeal pitta in half and lightly toast
  3. Spoon the pesto on the pitta
  4. Sprinkle the cheese
  5. Wash the kale and pop it on top
  6. Chop the soft boiled egg and add it to the pitta
  7. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and chilli flakes
  8. Pop under the grill for a few minutes until the cheese has melted
  9. Drizzle the chilli rapeseed oil over the top
  10. Devour!!!

Enjoy! 😀

With love, Tash x

Counting Calories – My Experience

A couple of years ago, I started using a popular calorie tracker out of curiosity and with a view to keeping on top of my calorie intake. I didn’t particularly have any goals as such, my diet was pretty healthy and I exercised regularly but I’d heard of this app and I thought I’d give it a go. Probably not the best decision for someone that has already had a brush with an eating disorder.

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I used it solidly for about 6 months before I woke up to the detrimental effects the app was having on my health and well-being.

When you think about how much time you have to put into using a tracker to count the calories of every ingredient you put into a meal and every morsel you put into your mouth, you soon realise that it is akin to having an eating disorder and not only is it easy to become obsessive, in order to do it right… you have to be obsessive!

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The app gives you the option to put on weight, maintain weight or lose weight. Before even really thinking about whether I needed or wanted to lose weight, I had chosen the ‘lose weight’ option and clicked on the recommended 0.5 kg loss per week which reduced the amount of calories I was allowed per day.

Even though I was already eating less than my body needed to maintain a weight I was actually happy with, I felt guilty if my calories went over my allowance for that day. On the flip side of this, I was elated when I was under my calories and even treated it a bit like a competition to ensure that this happened.

The app requires you to weigh yourself weekly – something I had stopped doing many moons ago. Even though I know that if I am working out regularly and eating well, my weight either doesn’t change or increases slightly along with my muscle tone, I still did as the app told me to and weighed myself and thus became more obsessive about the numbers on the scale than my overall health.

Unfortunately, a calorie tracker doesn’t account for quality of nutrients; healthy fats for example are really high in calories but the health benefits far outweigh the calorific value.

I personally love avocado and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on my salad and if you add both of these items to a chicken salad, you are adding 120 cals for 1/2 avocado and 118 cals for 1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil = 238 cals!! And that’s if you stick to a measly 1 tbsp. of olive oil… is that even possible?? 😉 Avocado and extra virgin olive oil might be high in calories but consuming them benefit your hair, skin, nails, cardiovascular system and have cancer fighting properties along with many, many other health benefits. Cutting out or restricting healthy fats also means lower levels of necessary nutrients are absorbed, especially the fat soluble vitamins such as; vitamins A, D, E and K.

I like to eat quite regularly and sometimes I found that if I had a good breakfast such as porridge with nuts and fruits, a healthy mid-morning snack and a good healthy lunch with some healthy fats, I ended up with hardly any calories left for my dinner. If you add a workout into the calorie tracker, it gives you back the calories that you’ve burned so I’d end up working out even if I was tired or really didn’t feel like it just so that I could have some dinner without feeling guilty for going over my calories.

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All in all, it was a miserable experience for me and not one that I will be repeating. If you really need to lose weight and struggle with portion sizes etc. I can see how tracking your calories will help and it’s also handy to use it to understand and track the nutrients you are getting from your diet and what you are missing but using it daily for months on end just didn’t work for me and I’ll only ever use it now as a quick refresh on my nutrient intake.

I managed to find the right balance for me and my weight has stayed the same within around 2 kgs for a few years now and yes I am heavier now than when I was as a size 6 – 20 year old but (as anyone that knows me knows), I didn’t let that girl eat! I now manage to eat well and still have treats when I feel like having them and I am a happy and healthy maintainable size 8-10 with a full and happy tummy and a healthy relationship with food.

So…how did I find that elusive balance and find my ‘happy healthy’?

  1. I went back to eating by looking at ingredients rather than at calories – if it’s got millions of ingredients in it that I can’t even pronounce, let alone understand – I don’t eat it.
  2. I exercise 3-5 times per week and this includes doing a yoga based workout at least once per week.
  3. I drink 2-3 litres of water per day as a minimum.
  4. I eat regularly.
    1. If I ignore my hunger pangs, I end up making bad choices and reaching for the processed sugary snacks every single time.I snack on healthy foods and snack bars… again by looking at the ingredients.
  5. Some healthy snack bars look like they have as much sugar and as many calories in them as a choccy bar but you have to think in terms of nutrients and ingredients. If the sugar is coming from fruits and not from added refined sugar, it is more nutritious to have the healthy snack bar. 
  6. I only drink alcohol occasionally.
  7. I don’t eat sauces with every meal, preferring to taste the flavour of the food rather than sugar laden sauces such as ketchup and I actually find them really sweet.
  8. If I am craving a sweet treat after a meal, I’ll try and have a fruit tea, some greek yogurt or a decaffeinated coffee with a tiny dollop of sugar free caramel syrup and these usually do the trick.
  9. If I really want some chocolate or a bag of crisps, I have some.
    1. I used to restrict ‘treats’ to weekends only but found that it would get to Friday night and I’d eat a weeks’ worth of chocolate and cakes in one sitting… the old binge eating!! Such a bad habit and overloading the body with sugar and saturated fats like that is not good for your blood sugar levels. A little bit every now and then, however, doesn’t hurt. It definitely works better for me not to restrict.
  10. I stopped worrying about what size clothes I was buying and concentrated on how they looked and felt.
    1. I want a nice peachy bum, (who doesn’t??) and I do squats and lunges and use weights to get it! Unfortunately, having a larger, more rounded bum means I can’t fit into a size 8 pair of jeans anymore. Something I used to want to change. Not anymore, I am happy with my size 10 bottom thank you squats 😉
  11. I try to eat healthy foods 80-90% of the time and allow myself to have the odd pizza or burger once or twice a week maximum.
  12. I try to make as much as possible from scratch at home, preferring to make my own burgers, muffins etc.
  13. I steer clear of white processed carbs; white pasta, rice and potato.
    1. I still eat carbs as they form an important part of a healthy diet but I choose to eat wholewheat rice, bread and pasta or lentil and chickpea pasta, sweet potatoes, etc. White processed carbs don’t agree with me so this is an easy decision to make. Sometimes I do have the odd couple of chips or white bun on a burger but it is rare.

 

Balance to me is about being happy with the look and feel of your body and the weight you naturally reach when you are eating as healthy as you can without depriving yourself of the things that make life fun.

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With love, Tash x

Food is Fuel

Fruit and veg

Food is fuel… we hear that all the time but do we really take the time to think about what it means?

To me it means that everything I eat should be feeding my body with all the nutrients it needs to be able to function at it’s best. It’s about choosing premium nutrition over processed rubbish. It’s about focusing on your long term wellness over that short term satisfaction you get from eating something full of all the wrong stuff. It’s about getting your endorphins from a workout, not from chocolate cake.

Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate as much as the next person and cake…well don’t even get me started… it’s delicious! I still eat these things but I don’t eat them as part of my daily diet. They are treats and I treat them as such. I eat well during the week and then at the weekend, I can have a slice of cake (or 2) and not feel guilty for putting rubbish into my body.

 I still go out during the week, have dinner with friends and live my life but 9.5 times out of 10 I choose the healthy nutritious food on the menu, yes I am that person and I am proud to be! I don’t have a dessert unless I really, really want it, but if I really, really want it, I will have it.

It’s not about deprivation for me, it’s about creating and keeping healthy habits that make you think twice before diving headfirst into a tiramisu 😉

I don’t believe in restricting diets, quick fixes and miracle pills. I believe being healthy and leading a healthy life is hard work, perseverance, will power and above all else…loving yourself enough to want to nourish every single cell within your amazing body every single darn day. Saying that, it is also important to allow yourself the unhealthy stuff once in a while…we can’t all live clean and healthy lives constantly…that would be very boring!

Learn to listen to your body!

Your body is so finely tuned, it will tell you what it doesn’t like. Whether you are getting a bad tummy, feeling sluggish, getting headaches, etc. it is your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right.

A few months ago, I went to see an Acupuncturist and during my first consultation she asked me about my gut health and bowel movements.

Well, ignoring my natural instinct to be embarrassed to be talking about poop, I explained that no matter how healthy I was eating, I always had either a runny tummy or didn’t go at all and rarely had a ‘normal’ experience in that department.

She asked me what I typically drink in a day and I answered that I drink at least 2 litres of pure water a day, 1 cup of coffee in the morning, green tea throughout the day and occasionally a smoothie for breakfast. She then asked what temperature the water I drink throughout the day is usually at. I replied “freezing cold” – I like my water refrigerated! She told me that was my problem and if I could drink my water and the majority of my drinks at a minimum of room temperature, I would see a huge difference in my tummy health almost immediately. She was right!

It turns out that every time you drink freezing cold water, your body rushes lots of blood away from your vital organs and intestines to your stomach to warm it up so that your body can process it and use it…leaving your organs without the precious blood it needs to function properly. Well, it sounds obvious now doesn’t it but for years I was completely oblivious to this!

Now I add boiling water to the water from the refrigerated tap in the office and use tap water at home and let it warm slightly before drinking it instead of keeping a bottle of tap water in the fridge and I can say it has made such a huge difference.

I now have a very happy healthy tummy!

My body reacts very badly to sugar. If I eat something with refined sugar, I get a huge sugar rush sending me sky high where I get giggly and act delirious and then crash to the floor with an almighty thud. It’s become something of an amusement to all my colleagues at work if I ever decide to eat some of the office sweets (which is not very often). 😉

I can’t eat donuts anymore. The way I feel after eating one is not worth the few minutes of pleasure at all. Not even at the weekend. I hardly even get the sugar rush, I just get the slump! 😦

People that eat bad things regularly are less likely to notice how it makes them feel because feeling like that is just part of every day life for them.

Once you start to clean out all the rubbish from your system, you will notice the adverse reaction your body has to all the bad stuff and this will help you learn to eat the right things. After all, why would you want to make yourself feel sluggish?

You tune yourself into the hum of your own body and I can tell you… you become your own little miracle.

Look after yourselves – there’s only one of you.

Tash x