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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This post contains press samples.


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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This post contains press samples.


 

Exante Diet Weight Management Review

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When Exante Diet first contacted me about testing some of their range a couple of weeks ago, I was slightly sceptical. I’m not really one for diets and wasn’t looking to drop a few pounds in time for the summer. After a further look into the product, I could see that not only can Exante Diet help you lose weight but also help you manage it. With so many fad diets around, it’s easy to become obsessed with your weight, and 9 times out of 10 whatever weight you lose you will gain back twice as fast once you stop.

Whilst I’m not necessarily looking to lose weight, Exante Diet can help manage your ideal weight through it’s range of different plans and selection of nutritionally balanced pre-prepared meals and snacks delivered to your door.

Exante Diet offer a huge range of meal-replacement products including prepared meals, soups, shakes, bars and more. Unlike typical low calorie diets, Exante Diet puts an emphasis on weight control and management offering a wide range of high-protein low-carb options to fit nicely alongside a healthy lifestyle. Having recently introduced a new wholesome range of pancakes, granola, crisps and even a chip shop chicken curry, your everyday favourites have just been given the Exante treatment allowing you to have a little bit of what you fancy without the associated guilt.

With a number of plans to choose from, there’s something for everyone. The Man Plan is designed especially for men or for those with a higher metabolism. The idea itself is really simple; once you have selected the correct plan, you simply login and choose which products you want online and they get delivered to your door.

With every product expertly portioned and packed with over 22 vitamins and minerals, I was eager to give them a try for myself to see if they are actually as good as they sound. So what did I think? :


Exante Diet Mushroom Pasta

Firstly, I love carbs, so anything pasta based is already a win. This microwavable pasta meal is made with wholewheat pasta, button mushrooms and chicken-style pieces for that extra boost of protein. The sauce is creamy and makes for a nice quick meal. Served with a side salad this makes a decent sized evening meal. [4/5]

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Exante Diet Protein Porridge

I’m already a huge fan of porridge so I was looking forward to swapping my usual oats for the Protein Porridge from Exante. Unfortunately it didn’t match my expectations. I found it quite watery, where as I prefer it to be more smooth and creamy. Maybe I made it wrong or maybe it’s a bit of trial and error on this one. Either way I added a handful of berries as per the serving suggestion on the back and ate it. [2/5]

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Exact Diet Chocolate Orange / Toffee Nut & Raisin Bar

Cereal bars are a great idea for when you don’t have enough time to prepare a meal. The Meal Replacement bars  from Exante come in a variety of flavours and are great for when you are on the go. With the right amount of sweetness and soy protein goodness these are just as good (or even better) then many shop bought alternatives. I could definitely see myself keeping a a few in the car with me, especially the Chocolate Orange ones! [5/5]

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Exante Diet Protein Chips Salt & Vinegar

A packet of chips/crisps that count as part of your plan? yes you heard right. These protein chips were one of my favourite items I sampled. The size of the bag is over generous and the seasoning is just right. They have a light, crispy texture to them and are perfect for an afternoon snack. [5/5]

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Exante Diet Strawberry Jam & Yoghurt Crunch Bar / Double Chocolate Chip Cookie

I was excited to try both of these as they sounded so good. Part of the Deliciously Different range, the Strawberry Jam & Yoghurt Crunch bar is another great alternative to the typical cereal bar. High in protein, fibre and full of vitamins and minerals, the bar has all the goodness you need to get your day off to a good start without all the sugar.  [4/5]

The Double Chocolate Chip Cookie on the other hand was a bit disappointing if I’m being honest. I don’t know if it’s because cookies are my downfall, but something just doesn’t work here. I found the cookie quite hard to eat as it’s so dense and packed full of protein. You can really tell that it is a ‘diet’ product. Furthermore I’d describe it as a savoury snack rather than sweet as I found it quite salty. If you’re after that sweet fix, Exante have much better alternatives to this. On the plus side, the cookie is a good size and it is very filling so I guess it’s doing it’s job. [2/5]

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These were only a selection of the samples I received. If you want my opinion on any of the other items I was sent, please leave me a comment down below.

Whether you’re looking to lose some weight or just have a better control and understanding over what you are eating Exante have your back. With no subscription required and free next day delivery you can start Exante Diet as soon as tomorrow.

Visit Exante Diet for more information here.

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