Monday, 20 May 2019

Period Performance: How Your Menstrual Cycle Effects Exercise

So, who out there bins off going to the gym or attending their fitness class when it's their time of the month? I know I often do, the thought of dragging yourself all the way there when you're low on energy and feeling really rubbish is just exhausting. Recently, after forcing myself to go to the gym during that horrible week period, I've realised that there has been a correlation between lifting heavier and the phase of my menstrual cycle. I wanted to look into this and after a little bit of research, I have found the following information, which I hope will be of help to many on how to train and what is recommended nutrition-wise during the different menstrual phases.

Follicular (first 14 days)

Within this stage your Oestrogen levels and Testosterone levels are at their highest, you have improved insulin sensitivity and a decreased appetite, reduced muscle soreness and your strength and energy levels are higher. Your body is getting ready and releasing an egg to be fertilised. Testosterone helps build muscle, and Oestrogen helps build the connective tissues that bind muscle to bone, this is the ideal time to tone up.

From day 5 to 14 of your cycle, is your peak phase. You'll feel strong and energised as your oestrogen levels are rising leading up to ovulation. Now's the time to work harder than usual in the gym.

Scientists at Sweden’s Umea University found that women who use weights in the first two weeks of their cycle get the best results.

In this stage females will be able to lift heavier, try and incorporate weight and resistance training and eat a more carb and protein-rich diet. 

Luteal (second 14 days)

Within this stage your Progesterone levels are higher meaning that your Metabolism increases, allowing for more food to be eaten daily. Females will also become more insulin resistant meaning that you won't be able to digest carbs as well. 

Your temperature rises during this stage, to create a warmer, more fertile environment for implantation of the fertilised egg and the development of the embryo, but as a result, you may sweat more during exercise and find it harder to go the distance.
You'll burn up calories faster than at any other time. 
Oestrogen levels are at their lowest during your period which could make you feel stronger (this is the effect that I've often felt) but be careful as Testosterone isn't particularly high - so don't push yourself too hard as you could make cramps worse. 
Eat a more protein and fatty diet during this time and incorporate rest days (which is great for this time of the month when you have crazy cravings!).

I hope these notes can help you plan your training and maintain a healthy diet throughout the month!


Sunday, 31 March 2019

Bangin' Booty: Going for Glutes

Second post of the year here - I feel I've been slacking slightly but sometimes you can lack inspiration. I've been working hard on some personal stuff, getting a new job and making sure my head is in the right space. 

I haven't done a fitness-based post in a while and thought I'd treat yah! 

I don't often separate upper and lower days at the gym - mostly because I get soooo bored when isolating upper and doing back/arm stuff on its own. Don't get me wrong though, I LOVE a booty workout and when my legs feel like jelly the next day I know I'm doing something right! 

Soo here are a few things that I do to get the pump going... 

1. Russian Split Squats

2. Jumping Squats alt with Squats & lift with dumbbell 

3. Partial Deadlifts

3. Glute Bridges alt with Hip Thrusts

5. Mountain Climbers alt with Hip Extensions 

6. Seated Leg Curls

7. Lying Leg Curls 



Friday, 4 January 2019

2018 Beauty Round-Up: My Favourite Finds

I can't believe it's already 2019! Where did that go eh? 2018 was a heck of a year. I thought I couldn't top 2017 in learning lessons and more importantly learning who and what is worth spending time on and making sure that I take a moment to relax - easier said than done. I'm still working very hard on this one and those who know me are very aware that my relaxation can only start when every inch of my house is pristine and there's nothing left on my to-do list. Anyway... enough about this, I'm writing a post on my favourite beauty finds of the year! Here they are...

1.This Works Perfect Legs Skin Miracle and Perfect Legs 100% Natural Scrub 

The This Works Perfect Legs range is incredible. I use the scrub once or twice a week in the shower. I often use products like this to try and target cellulite on my bum/upper thigh area, I've had it since I was about 18, we are women and this is natural! But, you can't blame me for trying to smooth it out a little and this product does just that! After a shower or if I have my legs out Perfect Legs Skin Miracle is great. This product is a tinted moisturiser that gives you a little glow. 

2. Illamasqua Colour Veil 

So this is such a handy product that comes in 5 different tones and honestly, there is one to suit everyone. It can be used as a blusher, lip jelly or eye base-I've used them for all of the above- they are absolutely fabulous! 

 3. bareMinerals Barepro

I've bought this concealer three times in a row, which is a big deal for me! I think I'll be sticking to this one for a good while - unless anyone has any other suggestions? It's one of the only concealers that doesn't dry out my skin and that's pretty hard to come by for me! 

4. Verso Hydration Serum

Winner winner chicken dinner! This Hydration Serum, whether used before work or before bed works wonders. I have very sensitive skin that is pretty bipolar in that some days it can be a dewy dream, and others dry as a desert. I usually use this serum before bed and the next day my skin is looking fab and fresh, although, on the off occasion that I wake up with a dry forehead or nose, two drops of this sorts me right out and brightens up my whole complexion. 

5. Mio Liquid Yoga 

Bath time favourite - Liquid Yoga. Mio strikes again with another fab product. I'm really loving alternating between the gym and yoga at the moment- one clears my head and the other helps me to think- but with all this exercise I do tend to get really achy muscles and this product is perfect. Plus, it smells like Deep Heat or Tiger Balm, so what's not to love!

6. Touch In Sol Non-Stop Swift Black Liner

The only liquid eyeliner that has given Kat Von D a run for her money! I treasured this product whilst I had it but alas, due to using liquid eyeliner every day for my wings I ran out pretty fast. It is only £9.50 so I should go buy another but I instead have returned to my trusty Rimmel. I will be buying this again because the precision was immaculate. Anybody who wears liquid eyeliner daily should invest in this stellar product. 

There you have it! My top Beauty products of 2018. If anybody tries these out please let me know what you think, I hope that they don't disappoint! 


Sunday, 25 November 2018

Maintaining Motivation: When The Going Gets Tough...

Since finishing university and entering the working world I've found myself often falling into a bit of a hole. Motivation sometimes escapes the best of us and recently I've had conversations with multiple friends about how they have struggled over the past year or so. After two or three years working, it starts to feel a bit repetitive, day in, day out, tube there, tube home. I know two friends who are currently feeling this way, one is thinking about switching things up and moving abroad, the other is still trying to find her motivation and I hope that a few of my words on here will give her a little something, a hand, because we've all been there and we know that we'll be back at some point in the future. It's getting to know yourself, what keeps you happy, motivated and energised day to day for the good things to come!

Respect Your Body
This can be a number of things but taking time to respect your body is key. For me this means eating a healthy diet, heading to the gym or practicing yoga. I'm not lying - it's science! Giving yourself those happy endorphins is going to make you feel soooo much better. Also, I think its pretty obvious that you're gonna feel a lot better whipping yourself up a fresh meal rather than having a greasy takeaway. I'm not saying to not treat yourself, far from! I'm a big believer in treating yourself to a chocolate brownie or a pizza but if you're feeling rubbish, rubbish food is not gonna make you feel any better.

Take a Break
Don't overwork yourself! Learn that there's a time for 'go' and a time for 'stop'. If you don't set these boundaries your work is going to be a lot less productive and the quality of your work will slowly deteriorate, the lines will blur. Your time is vital to maintaining a happy state of mind. Whether your you time is reading a book, taking a bath or meditating, whatever your thing is make sure you're taking at least 10 minutes a day to let your mind rest and restore.

Keep the Balance
There's a reason people say balance is key. Work, play and relax! Take time for all three, you can't fully appreciate each one without the others. If you're working hard and have to stay late at work treat yourself to that glass of wine, go for cocktails with the girls but still attend that Boxercise class on Saturday morning. That said if you're knackered, sleep in! Listen to your body, there's a reason why it asks for different things.

Keep Those That Matter Close
Keep those that are positive around. You know what pushes you further when you're feeling down - bad vibes! If you're in a negative environment it's going to rub off on you. Over the past two years, I've started to recognise those friends that have a positive impact on my mental state and you know what? I spend a lot more time with them now and this makes me a hella lot happier!

Try Something New
I love trying new things. I realised a few years ago that I used to hold back from the unknown, you see I'm a fairly organised person and when I don't have order I can get stressed and anxious. Slowly, slowly I started to introduce doing new things, whether they were new activities, going to new places or even spending more time with new people and I realised that I love it! Don't get me wrong, there's always a chance that you're going to stumble across a few things that you don't like. This weekend I went to my first ever spin class and went wreath making and I bloody loved both! Trying new things gives you a chance to learn more about yourself and isn't that fun? 

Learn to Say No!
Don't want to do it? Just say no. Too tired? Say no. Too stressed? say no. We are all scared to say it but the reality is nobody really cares that much, you're allowed to say no and you won't be penalised if you say it occasionally.

Don't Let your Anxt Win!
Often when you lack motivation you don't really want to leave the house. Here's an example: It's a Saturday and you've not made any plans, so what do you do? I know I've had days sitting at home feeling sorry for myself and it can get to 7pm and you've not even left the house - but you know what, kick your ass into gear! Head out for a walk, go do your weekly shop, start your Christmas shopping or go visit a friend, because I'll tell you a secret, sitting doing nothing... does nothing. Crazy, I know right?! Even if you feel really rubbish, sometimes you've gotta force yourself, because at the end of the day YOU are the only person that can maintain your motivation!

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Back to Blogging: Best Bits

It seems I always go through peaks and troughs when it comes to blogging. I tend to stumble over hurdles, whether its writer's block or simply being overly busy with work and seeing friends. Blogging has always been a hobby to do in my spare time, and when time runs out, unfortunately, this is the first thing that it effects. So, I managed to miss out writing anything for you guys for the whole month of October. I'd like to say loads has happened but to be honest I'm taking a whack at prioritising different things at the moment and it's making me feel a lot better. I'm glad that I've managed to muscle up the time to write a blog post because I've got a few things that I'm loving at the moment, whether its fashion, beauty of lifestyle bits. 
So here they are...

1. Feminists Don't Wear Pink 

Let's start with something I've been banging on about over and over... Feminists Don't Wear Pink and other lies by Scarlet Curtis. I urge everyone, male or female to have a read of this book. It's a collection of essays from a variety of different women about what feminism means to them. The goal of the book is to help the reader come to their own personal understanding of the word, because lord knows it's got some pretty negative connotations these days - let's not get me started! It's funny, witty, real and heartfelt. 

2. Mio Liquid Yoga 

Bath time favourite - Liquid Yoga. Mio strikes again with another fab product. I'm really loving alternating between the gym and yoga at the moment- one clears my head and the other helps me to think- but with all this exercise I do tend to get really achy muscles and this product is perfect. Plus, it smells like Deep Heat or Tiger Balm, so what's not to love!

3. OGX Orchid Oil Shampoo
Unless you haven't realised, I've really tried to go fairly natural and eco-friendly recently, whether its beauty products that I'm using, recycling a bit more, my weekly food shop or cleaning products. It is a bit of a struggle when you have certain products that are great and you just can't let go of them... BUT I have found the perfect shampoo- I say this but I often have to change shampoo every 2-3 months otherwise my hair gets used to it- alas, at the moment this is my perfect shampoo! Sulphate-free and super hydrating, this shampoo allows me to leave my hair for a few days without washing (which by the way is a pretty big deal for me). Also, a pro for anyone that's looking to use this who colours their hair, it's great for protecting colour and locking in moisture!

4. Morphe x Jaclyn Hill

I was lucky enough to get these babies through work and for now, these are FOR SURE my go-to brand for make-up brushes. They are super smooth. These professional brushes are made from a natural blend of sable and goat bristles and are 100% animal cruelty-free <3

5. Why Buddhism Is True 

So, for this one I took an image from the internet because my book is looking pretty rank right now, God knows how many tube journeys and bus routes it's been on. Now the front cover of this book doesn't do itself justice at all. People will read the front and think - ahh this is going to be a book about how we should all be calm, try meditating and seek enlightenment. Well, not quite. I'm in love with this book, and with only 80 pages left I hope Robert Wright doesn't somehow screw it up with such a short space to go. The book looks at the science and philosophy behind Buddhism from an evolutionary psychologist's perspective. Now, Robert himself looks at the paradoxical view of Buddhism and shows both pros and cons to meditation and enlightenment. This book has made me look at things in an entirely different way, the difference between feelings, emotions, essence all of which are human-made. I can't rate this book enough if I could make all my friends read it I would! 


Sunday, 9 September 2018

The Best of Brunch

So, anybody who knows me is well aware of the fact that I'm a bit of a brunch enthusiast. What's not to love?! Pancakes, eggs, sourdough, corn fritters - you get the deal. It's delicious and since moving to SW London I've tried out my fair share of brunch spots. I thought I'd put together a list of a few of my favourites...

Milk (Balham) & Milk Teeth (Tooting)

Best for: Menu variety 
Whether you're after a typical Eggs Bennie or you fancy something a little more extravagant. How about a Young Betty? Or The Convict? My personal favourite has to be Sweet Maria, corn fritters with poached eggs, halloumi, avo and kasundi <3 They also have THE best chai latte at the Tooting branch, I always get sad when I can't grab it in Balham. 
Price: £7 or £9 if you add eggs or bacon

The Ivy Cafe (Wimbledon)

Best for: Special occasions
If you're looking for somewhere that is a little classier but the price isn't too bad, then The Ivy Cafe in Wimbledon Village is perfect. You can actually book here, which is uncommon with most hip and cool brunch spots nowadays, and its worth it. I've tried to get in a few times without booking but succeeded just the once. I ordered the hot buttermilk pancakes with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, Greek yoghurt, lemon balm, and warm strawberry sauce. I also asked for additional caramelised bananas - DELISH!
Price: £8.95 or £10 with added banana 

Brickwood (Balham, Clapham or Tooting)

Best for: Your standard brunch spot
So I know my description doesn't scream and shout but Brickwood is just that, your typical brunch spot. You'll find all the usual go-tos for brunch food. I especially love their toasties. 
Price: Ranges from £6-12 

TOTA (Tooting)

Best for: Drunch
An all-time fave of mine, not only because they have some absolutely fab cocktails, but also because anywhere that has a fish finger sandwich on the menu is my kinda place! A lovely spot for brekkie, lunch and/or dinner. Here's a photo of the three buttermilk pancakes with apple and cinnamon, maple butter and an extra side of banana - cos it's me! 
Price: Usually £8.25 but an additional £1.50 for banana (criminal I know)

Saucer & Cup (Wimbledon) 

Best for: Cheap and cheerful
The cuuuutest little brunch spot, and right by my gym! This is a hidden gem perfect for a cheap and cheerful brunch without compromising any quality. I've previously had a sausage sandwich on my first trip here and most recently avo, eggs and mushrooms on sourdough. They also serve up a lush Matcha Latte!  
Price: Starting at £6 

My newest love: Mud Cafe (Tooting)

Best for: Flavours and food
First of all, they serve Ozone coffee - dare I say it THE best coffee in London sourced from NZ. Their dishes throw brunch up in the air, spin it around and come crashing back down onto the menu with some delish twists and turns. Welcome to the table Huevos Rancheros: a large taco with refried beans, avocado, pickled red onions, garlic cream, fried eggs and the option of chorizooo - YUM. A little more expensive than the other spots...
Price: This dish was £10 but so worth it! 

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