5 THINGS I LEARNED DURING VEGANUARY

5 THINGS I LEARNED DURING VEGANUARY

Its been a while, but I’m finally back with my first post of 2019! So much has happened over the last few months I had to take a step back from my blog and focus on myself. It hasn’t been easy but I finally feel like I’m coming out of the other side. I’m not one to share much of ‘myself’ but maybe I’ll do a life update at some point if you’re interested?

Anyway, new year new me. This time last year I rejoined the gym and joined forces with Herbalife to help me achieve my fitness goals.

I’ve never been one to diet or obsess with over how I look but there were definitely a few areas I wanted to improve. After incorporating the range of Herbalife products into my daily routine for a month I had some pretty amazing results and felt I was able to manage my weight better while getting all the key nutrients I needed.

After a pretty dreadful end to last year I feel like I lost all motivation and ‘let myself go’ so when Herbalife reached out and asked if I would like to be take on the Veganuary challenge, I knew it was time to focus on myself again and get back to where I wanted to be.

What is Veganuary?

Launched in the UK , Veganuary is a registered charity that encourages people to try going vegan for January.

Whilst I have never been a massive meat eater I have never considered going vegan so thought this would be the perfect opportunity to learn more about a vegan lifestyle.

So what have I learned?

1. When changing to a vegan diet it’s important to make sure that you are getting your daily intake of nutrients and vitamins. Meat is a key source of iron, protein and the vitamin B12 which keeps the body’s nerves and blood cells healthy. Whilst switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet has many health benefits if you don’t make sure you are eating the right foods you can easily become deficient in certain areas.

Research is key here, putting together balanced meals can be tricky at first will soon become part of your everyday life. If you do have any concerns about getting enough of the good stuff you can also include supplements into your routine.

For me, I use Herbalife Formula 1 with an added scoop of Oat Apple Fibre. The soy-based meal-replacement shake contains 25 essential vitamins and minerals and contains 18g per serving. Whether you have switched to a vegan diet for a lifestyle choice, weight-loss or any other health benefit Herbalife make it really easy to make sure you are getting your daily intake of nutrients. Used as part of a healthy diet, the Formula 1 Shake can help you lose weight safely. I’ve had such good results with it in the past, you can read more about it here 

2. Vegan food doesn’t have to be boring. With more and more people going vegan than ever before there is definitely more demand for good vegan foods than say 10 years ago. (and we’re not just talking about Greggs vegan sausage rolls). I was really surprised by the range I found and how many supermarkets were supporting Veganuary. It made it really easy.  I even found vegan pizza! Life. made.

3. There are health benefits to a vegan lifestyle. Since I have switched to a vegan diet I can definitely feel a difference. I never used to eat much meat anyway, but switching out dairy for vegan alternatives has made me feel considerably less bloated. I wouldn’t say I have decreased my intake of calories over the period but with the combination of nutrient rich food, fibre and Herbalife meal replacement shakes I feel much more healthier overall. I have also noticed that I feel more energised than ever. When I have had times that I feel like I needed a pick me up (around 4pm usually) a cup of Herbalife Instant Herbal Tea sorts me out!

4. It can seem very daunting at first but the key is research. The truth is out there, you’ve just got to look! If you were considering going vegan but are unsure how to do it I would suggest doing it gradually. Cutting out meat, diary and eggs as well as many other animal derivatives in one day can be hard! Trust me, your food shop is going to take considerably longer! Luckily from years experience as a vegetarian I found the transition much easier but don’t give up or feel bad if you do slip up – you’re already doing much better than most.

5. Oreos are vegan. Once I discovered this I knew I was going to be okay. Once you get through the initial cravings you will realise it not difficult to be vegan and you don’t  actually need meat or animal products to survive this world.

I would like to thank Herbalife for encouraging me to give this a go. I was unsure at first but feel like I have learned so much during Veganuary!

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This post contains items gifted by Herbalife –  all views my own


 

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MY DAILY ROUTINE WITH HERBALIFE

When I was first contacted by Herbalife to try their range of products I was interested to see if they would fit into my daily routine and what benefits I would see or feel from testing out the products.

I had already used the shakes and some of the protein bars a couple of years ago so I was already familiar with a few of their products but never really committed to it.

I’ve never considered myself to be unfit or unhealthy but over the past year or so (maybe with age!) Ive found it harder to keep weight off certain areas and probably haven’t been the healthiest I could have been. The time felt right to make a change so I was put in contact with Phil, a Herbalife member who asked me what I wanted to achieve and then recommended the products which would help me get there. He gave me a lot of useful tips about diet and talked through the benefits of each of the products.

My aim was to lose a stone but gain lean muscle, I don’t want to be skinny, just toned. I go to the gym twice a week and have a PT session once a week too so matching the products to my lifestyle was important.

So what were the products that we decided on?

and from the Herbalife 24 range:

I eat fairly well on a daily basis so I didn’t have to make too much adjustments to my diet. My biggest downfalls are not eating regularly and snacking. Ive made much more of an effort to eat at regular times – Phil recommended eating 5 times a day – 3 meals and 2 snacks and gave me some pointers as to what I could eat at each meal time.

So how do they fit into my everyday routine?

I start everyday with a Formula 1 shake, If I’m going to the gym I mix it with the Protein Drink Mix to help me with my workout. If I’m just having the Formula 1 mix for breakfast I will mix it with 250ml of semi-skimmed milk. I have tried a number of the different flavour formulas over the last couple of years and my favourite changes all the time; at the moment my favourite is vanilla and the good news is that they really do keep you full! If I’m adding the Protein Drink Mix I will just mix it with 250ml of water. Every morning I also have 2 Fibre and Herb tablets and a Multivitamin to make sure I’m getting all the nutrients I need for the day.

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On the days I’m going to the gym, I use a sachet of the Hydrate Electrolyte drink to keep me hydrated during my workout, which always goes down well! After the gym I have another ‘protein’ shake using the Rebuild Strength Recovery Drink powder. Like the Protein Drink Mix, you also just mix this with water.

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The other two meals of the day I have a mix of complex carbohydrates and proteins. I eat fairly well so haven’t had to make too many changes. I’m a lot more aware of portion sizes and making sure I make the time to eat lunch – I never really ate lunch before! I try and prepare it the day before so I always have something to eat at work so I’m not tempted to snack!

Talking of snacks, if I do feel hungry throughout the day I always make sure I keep a Protein Bar in my bag – these things are SO good! It definitely helps when your having a sweet craving. I also keep the Thermo Instant Tea with me too, which gives me that extra boost of energy when I need it. I currently have the Lemon one but I’ve heard the Peach one is the best so I’m looking forward to trying that next!

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I’ve been using the Herbalife products for around a month now and can already feel the difference. My initial goal of losing a stone is almost in sight, I have lost almost 10lbs without having to try that hard and can definitely see the difference around my waist area – my work trousers fit so much better!

Herbalife really does help you manage your weight safely. I have found that the products fit into my everyday routine nicely and has really helped keep me focused alongside the gym to help me achieve my goals and feel better about my body. After a month I’m still feeling really motivated and committed to both healthy eating and exercise; I know getting to where I want to be isn’t going to happen over night but I’m willing to put in the work!

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MY FITNESS JOURNEY

When it comes to health and fitness I have always considered myself to be average. I wouldn’t say I have ever been overweight or underweight but just somewhere in the middle. I have always lived a reasonably healthy lifestyle, make the effort to eat well and have always considered myself to be fairly active.

I had never considered myself as unhealthy and had no real urge to ‘better’ myself because of this. I have never obsessed about weight and until recently never weighed myself – I still believe it’s more important about how you feel then what the scales say but in terms of stats and setting goals, having the data there in black and white is a real motivator.

Over the last couple of years I’ve found it harder to keep the weight off certain areas and have become far more aware of how my body looks- and it hasn’t made me feel that great!

When I hit 30 I knew it was now or never so I joined a gym for the first time in my life. I had a holiday booked so had something to work towards and enjoyed going. However once I returned I found it hard to get motivated to go back and would go every so often. Then I moved house. Then Christmas happened. There was always something stopping me from going or that I would use as an excuse not to go, to the point I cancelled my gym membership all together.

Early January I rejoined the gym and decided this year is the year. Since then I have been going 2-3 times a week and finally feel like I’m getting back into it. On top of the gym I also have a outdoor PT class once a week which really encourages me to push myself and keeps me focused.

As well as getting back into fitness, I have been trying to eat much healthier too. Don’t get me wrong I’m not going to deny myself the odd treat but just be more conscious about what I put in my body. The two biggest downfalls for me is not planning meals and just grabbing something quick and portion control. Being on the go a lot means I don’t really make time to eat so I just grab something when I can (or not at all) so the plan is to eat more often and try sticking to set meal times so I have a bit more of a routine.

I was contacted by Herbalife to see if I had any fitness or nutrition posts planned for the New Year and thought this would fit perfectly with what I want to achieve in 2018 so over the next couple of months I will be putting there products to the test alongside my new found motivation.

I will be using products from both their core range and ‘H24’ range – a sports nutrition range to fit in with my everyday life to see if they help me get to where I want to be. The products range from meal replacement shakes to protein bars and electrolyte drinks to keep hydrated during workouts – I’ll do a full post on how I have fit these into my everyday routine soon so stay tuned!

So what do I want to achieve?

Ideally I’m looking to loose a stone of ‘fat’ but gain lean muscle and just generally tone up everywhere through exercise and healthy eating habits. I’m feeling really motivated at the moment and feel like the goals I have set myself are realistic and achievable so I’m excited to see how the next couple of months go and share this journey with you.

Have you set yourself any health and fitness goals this year?

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2018 GOALS

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Happy New Year! It seems five minutes since I was thinking about the things I wanted to achieve during 2017, but here we are again!

Before I start, I would just like to say a huge thank you to anyone who has taken the time to support my blog over the past 12 months, I can’t believe I’m celebrating 3 years already.

I don’t really believe in New Years resolutions so I never set myself any in 2017. Instead I set myself a number of things I wanted to focus on or achieve during the year which I found much more motivational. Looking back, some things I have succeeded in, others not so much, but thats okay. The goals I set myself were mainly to do with my blog and growing it. However this year has been BUSY and I haven’t been able to commit the time I had wanted to blogging, I even considered giving it up on more than one occasion but I’m still giving it my best.

In terms of traffic to my site, this year has been the best, and in particular the last quarter has been my best in terms of views and visitors since I started my blog, despite not really posting much! Theres still a few things on my to-do list from last year I’m going to bring forward to 2018, the rest are going to be more personal goals to keep me focused during the year.

01. Blog redesign. I know I have been saying this for sometime now so I really just need to get on with it. Along side this I want to focus more on improving my social media platforms. I feel that I lost interest in instagram this year, however I’m going to start posting a lot more and not concentrate about the images fitting a certain ‘theme’ – I want it to be a lot more personal and hope to see an improvement in terms of numbers and how regular I post.

02. Open myself up to more opportunities. Make an effort to network more and attend events to help support my blog. I went to my first blogger event and have worked with some great brands this year but need to find the time to put ‘myself out there’ a bit more.

03. Get healthy. I wouldn’t say I’m unhealthy but I do have a tendency to over indulge from time to time. Who doesn’t order pizza every week? When I focus on something I can usually achieve it, it’s just that initial motivation to get going again. Ive had 2 months away from the gym now so its time to kick myself back into gear now. Im going to also be more aware of what I’m eating and try to eat a lot better this year!

04. Plan a big holiday. Although I went to Paris, Barcelona and had a summer holiday to Gran Canaria in 2017, I put travelling on the back burner due to saving for the house. I hope we are able to do a big holiday this year and do a few city trips, I think we deserve it! I have a few places in mind so watch this space.

05. Make my house a home. Although we have only just moved in we have started to transform the house into our ideal space already. Theres a few bigger projects which we plan to do in time but house goals for this year would be to finish the downstairs. We are hoping to have a new kitchen at some point and I would love to have the fireplace replaced in the lounge. The areas we are going to concentrate on are the lounge, kitchen and garden. I hope to bring a load of house-related content to my blog through out the year too!

I think thats enough to be getting on with for now. I’m feeling really motivated at the moment so can’t wait to get started.

Have you set yourself any goals this year?

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CHRISTMAS 2017

CHRISTMAS 2017

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No doubt by the time you get around to reading this Christmas will seem like a distant memory, but I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays nonetheless!?

Christmas was a bit different for me this year, I woke up in my own house! Not to do things by halves, we moved into our new house on 18th December so to try and get settled in before Christmas whilst working full time jobs was… fun! But worth it.

I usually spend Christmas at home so not to do the usual family traditions on Christmas morning was a bit of a change but I’m all for making new traditions and hopefully next year everything won’t be so rushed. We woke up really early on Christmas morning admitting defeat around 6.30 and finally getting out of bed. As usual I received some amazing gifts, I’m definitely feeling pretty lucky right now to have such a good group of people around me.

So what did I get? first up I got some Hunter wellies. I’ve been saying I wanted to get a pair for some time now – I ruin so many shoes walking the dogs, so these are going to come in handy! To go with the wellies I received matching Hunter socks and a The North Face puffer jacket to keep me extra toasty when its cold! Speaking of the dogs, they received the Aesop Animal Body Wash, perfect for after a muddy walk – It smells so good and I’m sure they will love it too.

Next up was a bunch of Nespresso goodies – a Citiz + Milk machine, a 200 capsule box set and a pair of cappuccino cups. I don’t know how I survived without a Nespresso machine before, I’m even more addicted to coffee now, there’s so many options to choose from! I’m looking forward to making a drink and getting stuck into Decembers box from The Chocolate Society. I’d never heard of the brand before but the chocolates look so good.

Staying on the coffee theme, I received some Lush products from my Secret Santa at work – I love the coffee mask, you can read about it here! I wonder how they knew?!

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Other grooming products came in the form of the GlamGlow Power Rangers Rita Repulsa Mask and some sleep sprays from This Works. I haven’t slept well lately so these couldn’t come at a better time and they work like a dream!

Other items included tickets to Fall Out Boy, a new Diptyque candle, Ciroc Vodka and the latest Cereal City Guide for Los Angeles to complete my collection.

I also treated myself to a pair of crisp black and white Nike Air Force 1s in the sales, I’ve never had a pair of them before and i’m not 100% convinced I can pull them off but i’m going to try!

After exchanging gifts we went to my parents for lunch and had a pretty chilled afternoon and evening as we were both working boxing day.  Overall it was a great first Christmas, hopefully next year we will be a lot more settled and able to host ourselves –  I’d love to cook the Christmas dinner for my parents one year so they don’t have too!

Working in the hospitality industry means Christmas is usually short and sweet but its what you make of it. I hope you all had a great festive period?

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Oh I also forgot to mention, a fifth member of the family was added on Christmas day. Everyone meet Luna – she’s settled in so well and definitely rules the house already!

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