Are Hidden Calories Hindering Your Weight Loss?

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If you’ve been diligent with eating healthy and tracking your calories for a while now, yet you still haven’t lost any considerable weight or fat, then hidden calories may be the reason why. We often think that when we’re eating ‘healthy’ then we should be losing weight. But weight loss and fat loss are a little more more complex than that.

Losing weight often comes down to calories in versus calories out. This means that to lose weight you would have to be in a calorie deficit, in other words, using more energy than you are consuming. When you are in a deficit, your body will turn towards other sources of energy, usually fat. This is where the difference between weight loss and fat loss comes in as the former usually does not focus on composition and the latter focuses on retaining muscle. But this is a bit more complicated and is meant for another post.

Moving on, if it all comes down to calories, then that means you can be eating healthy and not lose weight if you are in a calories surplus or on maintenance. This brings us to hidden calories; sometimes the foods we eat have way more calories than we think they do. This doesn’t mean they are bad for you, only that you have to be more conscious of your overall energy intake. You do not want to waste calories on certain things or think you are in a calorie deficit when the opposite is true.

So, let’s look at some of the hidden calories most common in our diets and what you may want to be aware of. Keep in mind that these foods are by no means bad for you. They are not ‘evil’, they are just higher in calories and when consumed in large amounts, add up to your overall calorie intake. I enjoy these things in moderation or I try to find lower calorie alternatives, but I do not obsess over them. The importance of your fitness goal is turning it into sustainable habits and eventually a lifestyle. So, let’s get into it!

#1. Dressings & Sauces

Salad Dressing
Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery on Pexels.com

Eating a salad is healthy and most salad dressings and other sauces are considered healthy. However, dressings are often higher in calories than the whole salad, especially when you are eating out. For example, on average 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette has about 75 calories, similar to ranch dressing and 2-4 tabelspoons of that can add up. So skipping out on the dressing or opting for a lower calorie version may be a better option.

#2. Cooking Oils

Cooking oil
Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

We cook almost everything in oil and forget to calorie track it at times. Cooking a meal in 2-3 tbsps of oil does add calories to your overall consumption and may be the reason why you are not in a calorie deficit. 1 tablespoon of olive oil has about 120 calories and the same goes for avocado oil. You can simply be more mindful of the amount of oil you use and add it in your calorie tracking to be more accurate.

#3. Smoothies/ Smoothie Bowls

smoothie bowl
Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV on Pexels.com

Smoothies and smoothie bowls are considered the epitome of health. It took the media by storm as every influencer started shoving smoothie bowls into their cameras. But it’s easy to loose track of how many things we’re stuffing into a blender or how many things are added to the smoothies we buy. When it comes to a smoothie, it’s best to keep things simple and aim for high protein.

#4. Almond/Peanut Butter

almond butter
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Almond butter is a staple in my grocery hauls. I love it it my oatmeal and on toast and you probably enjoy nut butters too. But they are higher in calories than you might think; 1 tablespoon of almond or peanut butter has about 100 calories. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it, but do so in moderation so that you can have more control over your energy consumption.

#5. Protein Snacks

veggie chips

Last on my list of tricky foods are protein snacks. Protein snacks are often marketed as ‘healthy’ and great for your fitness goals. But processed snacks sometimes contain a lot more than just protein, they are often loaded with sugar, preservatives, and calories. Whenever you buy them it’s beneficial to check the ingredients and composition so that you know what you are consuming.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and found something useful from it. Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or dietitian and the tips I share are based from personal experience. Nevertheless, I hope you like and follow to join our health boss community, xoxo.

What I eat in a Day (Cutting Edition)

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Hey guys, welcome back! In this post I’m going to be sharing what a normal day of eating during lockdown is for me. Obviously there have been some changes in the way I eat lately because my energy expenditure has decreased and my cravings have changed, nevertheless this is to help give you some inspiration if you’re running out of ideas. I’d like to preface that you do not have to follow how I eat because nutrition is something very personal, which is why I avoid sharing how many calories I eat in a day. However, I thought that a post like this could be fun and give you some ideas. Let’s work on improving our nutrition not restricting it. (If you want more what I eat in a day content, check out my instagram @healthbossblog) So here is what I eat in a day…

overnight oats

I admit my appetite has been hectic during lockdown and I assume I’m not alone in this. Lockdown has probably done a number not only on our physical health but our mental health as well. I personally found that I’m not as hungry in the morning as before, since I don’t can’t to the gym during lockdown, so I have breakfast a little later than usual. I am also currently intermittent fasting, with the 16/8 method which is why I usually break my fast around 11-12am. If you want to know more about how I intermittent fast, let me know down in the comments, but break my fast with some camomile tea with apple cider vinegar and honey. Then a typical breakfast for me right now is protein oats or eggs with gluten free toast.

Contrary to what you might think, I still enjoy certain foods like bread and cookies as long as they meet my caloric needs. My method of cutting isn’t as strict because I plan to take it slow and continue with it for at least a few months. Which is why I take it day by day and I don’t stress about it much. Although I’ve researched about other methods of cutting, I’ve tried to reappropriate certain methods to my own lifestyle and nutrition requirements and I urge you to do the same by starting slow.

Healthy Lunch Ideas

A typical lunch for me looks like this, usually a source of protein like chicken breast or lean beaf (since I can’t have fish), with a source of carbs (quinoa, potato gnocchi, veggie pasta, or sweet potato) and some type of greens. My meals are definitely balanced, and it varies from time to time. I won’t lie there are days where I just want to eat toast, and that’s alright because I listen to my body, I eat intuitively and I don’t stress about it much. Dinner is usually the same, sometimes I have a snack in between but that depends on how filling my lunch is although I do have coffee with unsweetened almond milk throughout the day.

Rice Spring Rolls

Dinner that day was pretty quick, using leftovers from lunch and rice paper wraps, I made gluten free spring rolls with an asian hot sauce. They were surprising low in calories but quite filling and they’re definitely one of my go-to meals. Plus I recently got into eating with chopsticks recently and although my skills are debatable, they are worth the experience when eating spring rolls and rice noodles. Usually I have a black decaf after dinner with some stevia when my fast has already started and that is it for a day.

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post, please like and follow for more what I eat in a day’s. Thank you for reading and I look forwards to seeing you again, xoxo.

5 Tips on Eating Healthy

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Healthy Habits

Hey guys, welcome back to the blog! Today’s post focuses more on how to eat healthy and keep yourself accountable. It’s unrealistic to think that establishing a healthy lifestyle is without its ups and downs. Even though it seems like most of us have it handled, it’s easy to lose track of life and our eating habits, especially in lockdown. Although I stuck to eating dairy and gluten free foods, I didn’t feel as good about my nutrition a few weeks ago. I didn’t feel like I was having balanced meals and I found myself binge eating almost every night. I wasn’t eating for fuel or because I was hungry, I was eating out of habit.

A month ago, I gradually started to get back onto my previous eating habits and slowly started seeing changes in my mood and energy levels. Since my goals are different to everyone else’s, these tips aren’t based on any particular goals such as weight loss or fat loss, although they are beneficial for them as well. Rather than that, these tips are useful to implement if you want to start or get back to eating healthy. My advice is to implement the ones you see fit to your lifestyle, so here they are…

#1. Food Substitutes

You don’t have to deprive yourself to eat healthy, you can simply substitute or adapt your favourite foods for healthier options. Substituting doesn’t necessarily mean less calories it means choosing foods you know will fuel you and that are wholesome with less processed ingredients and more nutrients. For example, substituting regular pasta with chickpea or lentil pasta, regular chocolate with a vegan/sugar-free alternative or choosing popcorn or pop chips over regular potato chips. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy food, in fact after cleaning up my nutrition again, I found that I’ve enjoyed my meals more because they are more mindful. If you want more substitute ideas, check out my post on a sample grocery list.

Food Substitutes

#2. Intermittent Fasting

One habit I’ve gotten back into is intermittent fasting and it’s helped me a lot with binge eating. I opted for 16/8hr fast and it’s been useful for stabilising my nutrition, because between 7pm till 11 am the next day I don’t focus on food and it’s sort of liberating. Of course, if you suffer from critical binge eating then this method may not suit you, however if you need a technique to keep you accountable then this one might be worth giving a try.

There are many videos explaining the different methods of intermittent fasting; 2/5 day method, 14/12 hr method etc. You can find one which suits your lifestyle better and remember to start slow. It’s counterproductive to try out too many habits at once and if you take it to the extreme you might find yourself burning out. Remember to go at your own pace.

Intermittent Fasting

#3. Intuitive Eating

Even in a calorie deficit, I like to eat intuitively and choose the meals I feel like my body needs. Some days I feel like I need more food than other while some days are more carb focused and that’s ok. Eating healthy does not mean forcing yourself to eat broccoli and steamed chicken everyday, instead choose things that will fuel your body and make you feel good. Most of the time I enjoy carbs in every meal and sometimes I have breakfast for dinner, it’s all about listening to your needs. Now if you feel like your body is craving fries, try making them in the oven or air fryer instead of buying regular ones.

The whole point of intuitive eating is also eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full. Don’t feel like you have to eat because it’s a certain time only because you’re hungry. If you feel like your hunger cues are messed up, try drinking water before and asking yourself if you’re actually hungry or if you’re bored or stressing. However, listen to your body and never deprive yourself if you’re hungry.

Intuitive eating

#4. Accountability Partner

I found that finding someone to accompany you in your journey to healthy eating is very beneficial. Not only can you keep each other accountable but you have moral support. When I started intermittent fasting, having someone join in made it much easier, we both would break and start our fast together. Your partner doesn’t even have to be living with you, it can be a friend over the phone or it can be your digital community.

Accountability

#5. A Healthy Eating Mindset

If there’s one thing I want you to take from this, it’s that the key to eating healthy is achieving a healthy eating mindset. This isn’t a 2 week diet or 1 month plan, these are small steps you can take towards a healthier lifestyle. So if the words in your head are ‘restriction, no carbs, and no fat’ then you’ll be doing more harm than good. The last thing you want is to start labelling foods as bad or good because you can have the foods you enjoy, banning them is not necessary.

Also, don’t assume that once a person assumes a healthy lifestyle that they’ll have the perfect diet all the time. It’s normal to lose track every once in a while, don’t be too hard on yourself you’re only human. I want you to have fun with it, this shouldn’t be a punishment, learn to create your own healthy lifestyle.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and let me know your healthy eating advice/habit down in the comments. Please like and follow for more posts like this one and follow to join the journey to living a healthy lifestyle that’s realistic. Thank you for reading, xoxo!

Breakfast Oatmeal Cookies

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These almond oatmeal cookies are a quick healthy bake and are great for weight loss. They are rather filling which is why this recipe yields about 8 cookies but you can easily double it. They are also lower in calories than my usual cookie recipes because they are made with oat flour rather than regular gluten free flour but feel free to check those out as well. More Cookie recipes here.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar / sugar substitute
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp almond flakes + pumpkin seeds

STEPS

  1. Combine eggs, sugar, and spices.
  2. Blend the oats coarsely into oat flour and add the baking powder.
  3. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet.
  4. Form dough balls and spread each one on a baking sheet. Press the almonds and pumpkin seeds into the cookie, you can also add raisins.
  5. Bake for 15 mins at 180°C until golden. Allow to cool down and store in an airtight container.

So that’s the quick recipe for this week. Thank you for reading, please like, share and comment if you’d like to try this recipe out and follow for more quick ideas like this one, xoxo.

5 Tips to Stay Healthy During Lockdown

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Lockdown has been tough on all of us and just when we thought it was over, it came back to slap us in the face again. This is the second lockdown we’ve gone into and I have to admit that it’s harder than the first one. We find ourselves stuck in the house, unable to go to the gym or get our steps in (unless you luckily have an at-home gym) and thus we’re mostly inactive throughout the day. This means that our energy expenditure lowers significantly and you may be worrying about putting on weight or losing your gains, but I want to share a few ways that you can stay healthy during lockdown. However, I’d like to preface that these tips can be helpful even out of lockdown, for example if you don’t have access to a gym. These tips are from personal experience only, so adapt them to your body and your needs.

Let’s get started…

#1. Don’t Stress About the Little Things

We’re already dealing with enough stress during lockdown and we don’t need to add any unnecessary stress onto that. So worrying about losing muscle or putting on weight is not going to help, because there is nothing wrong with either of those things. Most of us, including me, stress too much about things that won’t even alter our lives, however I don’t want to belittle these emotions because they are very real and hard to control. I still want to reassure you that those things don’t matter in the long run.

#2. Do What You Can

It can be hard to stay active during lockdown, but you can find ways to use up your energy through home workouts, yoga, dancing, skipping rope or any way you’d like. Simply find a way to keep your body moving, it will help you feel much better both physically and mentally.

#3. Trust Your Body

Sometimes you need to trust your body to regulate itself, for example when I got into lockdown, my appetite decreased along with my energy expenditure. So if your body is asking for food don’t deny it, restricting yourself will not help, but if you feel like you’re constantly binge eating and things are going out of hand then you might want to try implementing some structure into your day like intermittent fasting.

#4. Mental Health Matters

Do not neglect this aspect of your life in such critical moments, your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Take time to unwind because if you’re working or studying during lockdown, the boundaries between productivity and relaxation are blurred. Do not punish yourself for overeating or not exercising either, the best thing to do is to start back up the next day as you usually would. Punishing yourself only puts unnecessary stress on your mind and body.

#5.Be Mindful of Your Nutrition

Lastly, being more mindful of the things you consume will help you stay healthy during lockdown, while eating something that doesn’t form part of your usual diet isn’t going to harm you, try to have wholesome meals as much as possible, ensuring you’re having carbs, protein, healthy fats and veggies. If you want to binge eat a pack of chips, make sure you’re doing it intentionally as in actively deciding that that’s what you want to do instead of mindlessly eating, but also make sure you have healthier meals throughout the day.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post, please like and follow for more and follow my Instagram @healthboss_blog for more food pics and recipes.

Check out How to eat Healthy on a Budget!

The Best Gluten Free Croissants

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Decent gluten free croissants were a myth, something I dreamed of but couldn’t have. Unfortunately. if you go gluten free it means you forgo pastries and you’re left staring at the real thing in instagram posts and through café windows. Usually, decent gluten free croissants are hard to find because pastry needs gluten to rise and get that flakiness, which is why most croissants are often hard and dry. But after craving gluten free croissant for almost a week I decided to take a risk and try making my own. I looked up several recipes but they all seemed too complicated and took too long or too many ingredients so I decided to try making my own recipe. Now, I expected this recipe to go horribly wrong and I had prepared myself for utter disappointment and inedible croissants, so you can imagine my shock when the croissants came out golden, flaky on the outside and soft on the inside. This has to be the best gluten free croissants I’ve ever had and to confirm it, I had my whole family try it out; including my non gluten-free dad who loves the real version yet went for seconds.

I honestly had to make sure I wasn’t dreaming because how the hell did they come out so good on my first try?! My second thought was sharing it with you guys because it would be a shame not to. The process is really simple and you most likely have all the ingredients you need for this recipe. Unlike most croissant recipes, this one doesn’t require complicated ingredients or 8 hours of prep time. So here it is…

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g Gluten Free All Purpose flour (I use one that’s great for bread recipes)
  • 4 eggs
  • 250ml Almond Milk (or any milk you like)
  • 1tsp Vinegar
  • 2tbsp Coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1tbsp yeast
  • 3/4 Stick of Butter

STEPS

  1. First add 5 tbsp of warm water to a bowl and sprinkle your yeast over it to activate the yeast (skip this step if you’re using activated yeast). Do not mix, let rest for 10 mins.
  2. In a separate bowl, add in your dry ingredients; flour, sugar and a pinch of salt if you’re using unsalted butter. (You can add the dry yeast here only if you’re using the activated one).
  3. In another bowl, mix in your wet ingredients; milk, 3 eggs and vinegar.
  4. Now come back to the activated yeast (should form a slightly foam) and stir it well.
  5. Combine the wet and dry mixtures along with the olive oil and the yeast. You can use a hand mixer for this but I suggest using your hand since you will be kneading the dough.
  6. Once the dough has properly formed, let rest for about 30 mins.
  7. Then dust your surface with more flour and scoop out the dough, start kneading with a bit of flour so that it doesn’t stick.
  8. Roll out the dough into a thick square, slice about half of your butter into thin slices (you can roll the cold butter between two pieces of parchment paper to form a slab.
  9. Place the layer of butter at the centre of the dough and fold the sides like an envelope.
  10. Repeat this process with the other half of the butter, so that you have 2 layers of butter in the dough.
  11. Now place the dough into the freezer for about 20 mins. This will make it easier to roll it out once the butter is firm.
  12. Make sure to clean your working surface, dust it with flour and take out the dough to roll it out into thinly (about 3-5mm).
  13. Preheat over to 200ºC.
  14. Slice the dough into triangles (isosceles) and start rolling from the bottom of the triangle towards the tip, so that it forms the shape of a croissant. (I’ve only included the two pictures below for reference).
  15. Place the croissants on parchment paper and mix the remaining egg for an egg wash. Gently brush each croissant with the egg wash so that they become golden brown.
  16. Bake the croissants for 20-25mins or until golden brown on the top and bottom. Enjoy them warm or store in a cool dry place and reheat when necessary.

If there’s one recipe you need to try out from me it’s this one! These croissants did not last long in my house but I will definitely make them again. If you have any recommendations or recipe requests please let me know down in the comments. My next challenge is making pain au chocolat and I can’t wait to use vegan chocolate in a similar recipe. Thank you for reading and checking out my blog, please like and follow for more posts like this one, xoxo.

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

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Healthy Eating on a Budget

You may think that eating healthy is expensive and will run you dry, but this belief is far from the truth. While eating healthy can be costly, it can also be cost-effective if you apply a few of the tips down below. I think this discussion couldn’t come at a better time, especially in the current state of the world, so today we’re going to be going over a few tips to help you eat healthy on a budget.

Tip #1. Buy Frozen Veggies & Fruit

Fruits and veggies can sometimes be pricey, for example; blueberries are one of the most expensive berries. Which is why the best option is to buy them frozen; as they are just as healthy and they are prepped when they are in their prime stage. Moreover, you can use these in smoothies, your oats or stir fries.

A few good options are:

  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • kale
  • berries
  • mango chunks
  • veggie mixes

Tip #2. Choose Whole foods Over ‘Fake Foods’

By fake foods I mean, if you have to choose between your $100 Protein powder and actual fresh protein, choose the whole food. Making the right choices and prioritising is essential in eating healthy with minimum cost. Instead of buying 20 protein bars, buy filling whole foods that are less processed, because you may think that one ‘processed’ food item is cost effective but when you add up the amount you may be buying in a month, that adds up. So remember to look at the big picture and that inexpensive isn’t always the best option.

Meal Prep and How to eat Healthy Eating on a budget

Tip #3. Meal Prep at Home

Eating out is usually more expensive than eating at home and you can be even cost effective by planning your meals or meal prepping for the week. This will help you plan you monthly food budget and avoid any food waste.

Tip #4. Make a Grocery List & Stick to it

Often we find that we go to the supermarket with a budget in mind, but end up exceeding that by an unreasonable amount and that’s because we all get distracted by and tempted by things we don’t need. This is why planning ahead can be beneficial, if you know which meal you have planned for the week, it’s easy to make a list and buy only what you need.

Tip #5. Don’t Buy in Bulk

Avoid buying fresh vegetables and fruit in bulk, if it’s possible try buying them weekly or once every two weeks. This is to avoid any wastage as most of the time, buying veggies in bulk means some goes bad before you get a chance to use it.

However, buying other ingredients such as grains; oats and quinoa, in bulk is a good idea.

Granola Recipe and cheap ways to eat healthy

Tip #6. Make Your Own Recipe

Sometimes making a product at home is much more cost-effective than buying at the store. For example you can make your own gluten free granola or protein bars at home rather than buying the overpriced product at the store. Moreover, these products often contain unnecessary sugar and preservatives, which you can avoid by making your own.

Check out my easy and quick Gluten Free Granola Recipe.

Tip #7. Support Local Markets

Local produce is often less expensive and a great way to support the community. Try finding your produce at a local farmer’s market, you’ll often find that it’s more cost-effective than buying at a supermarket. In addition, this means you’ll avoid unnecessary packaging/plastic used in stores, making your shopping and lifestyle more environmentally friendly.

Tip #8. Baby steps

When starting a healthy lifestyle, it’s not practical to jump into the gluten free, sugar free or vegan world, because you’ll feel lost and you’ll find the cost overwhelming. Instead you should approach it steadily, for example, buying 10 different brands of almond milk is not the way to go. What you should do is start by making some healthy food swaps, you can check out a list of my grocery staples right here.

Healthy one pan meals

Tip #9. One Pan Meals

One pot or one pan meals are quick, inexpensive and everyone loves them, besides it doesn’t get any easier than throwing some protein and veggies in a pan and calling it a day. Stir-fries are also a great options for this and the best part is you can cook in bulk and save for meal preps.

Tip #10. Try Grocery Delivery

I’ve seen two types of grocery delivery services; one where you select a few meals and you’re set the ingredients for those recipes and second, where you put together a grocery basket and have it delivered. Either way, these are a great way to eat healthy on a budget and brands such as; Thrive Market and Hello Fresh claim to save you a considerable amount of money through their services so it’s definitely worth trying out.

Final Thoughts

To summarise, it’s definitely possible to eat healthy on a budget and you should never feel pressure to completely jump to the other side. Balance is key so take it step by step and you’ll find what best suits your lifestyle. The important thing is not to let your eating habits or food itself rule you, you control your habits. I hope you enjoyed this post, please like and leave a comment if you did and feel free to follow for more posts like this one. Thank you for reading, xoxo.

What I eat in a Day (Cutting)

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Hey guys, so I just started cutting about a month ago and I thought I’d share what I eat in a day. Please keep in mind that every body is different and our caloric needs vary depending on gender, height, weight, and activity level, which means you shouldn’t determine your nutrition on what I eat. This is just to give you some inspiration and to share my progress. Also, let me know down in the comments if you’d like to know how I’ve been dealing with the cut. Keep in mind, I only eat this way during the week, I allow myself more flexibility on the weekends.

With this cut I’ve aimed to up my protein and healthy fats while slightly lowering my carbs. My calories have dropped compared to my bulking phase but it won’t remain like this for long; I will gradually increase my calories to maintenance level with time.

Healthy Breakfast For fat loss

BREAKFAST

Definitely still my favourite meal of the day! I usually have breakfast around 10am, consisting of two eggs with gluten free toast and almond butter every morning. I usually train right after breakfast so this is a filling meal and it’s balanced with protein, carbs and healthy fats, giving me the energy I need for weight training. I also had coffee with almond milk right after.

Healthy Lunch Ideas

LUNCH

Lunch hits at about 2pm for me and I keep it pretty simple with chicken and veg, I always love to add the carbs smart 1000 island dressing, which is a low calorie dressing. I’ve also been sticking to chicken breast most of the time as it’s more lean than dark chicken meat and I make sure I have a healthy serving of greens. I also have my second cup of coffee after this because I love it!

SNACK

My snacks vary each day but on that day I had a few almonds and blueberries, sometimes I have apple slices with almond butter instead, but again I kept it simple with protein, fats, and carbs. I also have a bowl of popcorn from time to time if I’m craving something salty. I snack around 3-4 pm.

Healthy Dinner Ideas

DINNER

My last meal of the day right before 6pm, I had beef stir fry with chickpeas. I always use lean grass-fed beef, it’s great protein along with the chickpeas. Again I’m addicted to this banting dressing! I also had a piece of Sweet Switch 70% Dark chocolate after dinner; it’s dairy and sugar free! I usually have tea after, I’ve been loving this Chocolate Roobois Blend, or if I’m being reckless I have coffee, but I’m still working on stopping that. (Just keeping it real nobody’s perfect).

Check out my last what I eat in a day Bulking edition right here!!!

Thank you for reading this post! I hope you enjoyed it, if you did please like and comment. Follow for more posts like this one, xoxo.

Minimalist Skincare

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I understand that not everyone has the resources or the care for a 10-step skincare routine, some of us want a minimalistic approach that is still effective. So I’ve decided to bring you 3 skincare products you do not want to live without. There are days when I don’t want to go all out on my skincare routine, but I always make sure to get these three in. Taking care of your skin doesn’t have to be expensive or take a lot of time and this post is to show you that there are no excuses. If you want to check out my full skincare routine, you can do that right here and even pick out what you want in your regimen.

#1. SPF

Ancient civilisations used a variety of natural products to protect their skin from sun damage; Ancient Egyptians used extracts of rice, jasmine, and lupine plants. Chemists invented the first sunscreen in 1930s, made with a mixture of cocoa butter and red veterinary petroleum and it has evolved over the years since.

Sunscreen protects your skin from UV rays and you should always wear it, regardless of your skin colour or tone. UVA light is responsible for premature aging and skin cancers. You should even wear sunscreen when it’s covered, when you’re inside and during winter, because over 80 percent of the sun’s rays can pass through clouds and glass and even snow reflects UV rays. Therefore, you need SPF to decrease your risk to sun exposure and damage. I always aim for broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher, you can also opt for water-resistant or hypoallergenic sunscreens.

Benefits:

  1. prevents premature ageing
  2. lowers the risk of skin cancer
  3. helps prevent discolouration and maintains your skin tone

#2. MOISTURISER

Moisturising is essential for any skin type; it balances the skin and applying it daily helps with both dryness and oiliness, which can help reduce acne. Moreover, keeping the moisture in your skin helps reduce the signs of ageing and wrinkles, so do not skip out on moisturiser.

Benefits:

  1. Maintains the balance of your skin, protecting it from irritation.
  2. There are Different types of moisturisers for each skin type; oilfree lotion or richer creams.
  3. Your skin fails to regenerate cells without moisture, moisturiser gives you a healthy complexion

#3. CLEANSER

Cleansing is a highly important step in your skin care routine and while over-cleansing is a thing; a gentle cleanser is still necessary to remove impurities and the build up of bacteria and sebum. This is essential in preventing breakouts and keeping the skin fresh. There are several types of cleansers; gel, cream, foaming and milky. Find the one best suited for your skin type; foam cleansers tend to dry out the skin. Here’s a tip; if your skin feels tight after use, the product is too harsh for your skin.

Benefits:

  1. Removes the build up of bacteria, makeup and impurities from pollution.
  2. Balances the pH of your skin
  3. Essential in allowing your skin to absorb other products

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed this minimalist post. Please like and follow for more skincare tips and let me know if you’d like to see a budget friendly skin care routine, xoxo.

3 Fitness Myths

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Hey guys, I thought I would address one of the major problems in our society today regarding women and young girls. I’m sure that, just like me, you grew up with the idea, that losing weight was the best possible thing to happen to a girl. Being told that we lost weight was a compliment and it made us feel better about ourselves. We were fed the ‘diet mindset’ by society and the media, throughout our lives and we ended up fearing our weight and food. That mindset is still very present and it is still destroying the mental and physical health of so many girls. DISCLAIMER: I know that simply saying these things won’t solve our problems, it will take a lot more to do that, however I do hope to increase its awareness.

1.DIETS ARE THE HOLY GRAIL

I want you to think about how many times you’ve said ‘I am going on a diet’ in the past. Just saying those words gave you a feeling of relief, but why is that? Growing up as young girls we are led to believe that the slimmer or the skinnier you are, the better. Moreover, we are duped into believing that skinny equals healthy. I remember when I was overweight and would go for a checkup, doctors would always tell me to lose weight. However, no showed told me the right way to do so and I delved into the world of endless diets. Long story short, none of them lasted long or had lasting effect.

One thing we need to establish and preach is that food is not the enemy. Instead of banning foods and being afraid we need to have a healthy relationship with them which takes time. That means making the healthy choices most of the time and indulging occasionally, but most of all knowing that ‘healthy’ doesn’t mean punishment or steamed broccoli everyday. You don’t need a cheat day once a week or the guilt of enjoying food you love. Our main goal should be a sustainable healthy lifestyle. I want you to view the food you eat as energy for your workouts, because at the end of the day, that is how your body processes it. You need energy to lose weight and thus food.

2. CARBS MAKE YOU FAT

Now it is true that some bodies react better to carb intake than others and low-carb diet can make you lose weight however carbs do not make you fat. Let’s break down why you may think carbs make you fat. When we eat carbs, our body breaks it down as glucose, thus rising our blood sugar and our pancreas in return produces insulin which signals our cells to use up the glucose. 50% is used by our brain and our muscles and liver store the glucose as glycogen, so as you can see, extreme low carb diets can have a debilitating effect on your health and muscle growth. Finally, the rest of the glucose is stored as fat, which is why people are afraid of carbs.

However, know which types of carbs are best for your body. Stick to complex carbs such as oats and quinoa and avoid simple carbohydrates that spike your blood sugar and provide little to no nutrients. You do not have to eliminate carbs completely from your nutrition, it isn’t sustainable and besides carbs release serotonin (your happy hormone) so don’t deprive yourself. There is only one way you can put on weight or fat and I clear that up down below.

Now, let’s get the gist of all of this. The only way you can lose weight is through a caloric deficit through nutrition or increased physical activity, similarly you will only put on weight/fat if you are in a caloric surplus. If you are working out; combining resistance training with some form of cardio, your body needs the carbs and the calories. Someone who is not active at all would require the same caloric needs. The key thing to understand is that no one’s nutrition can be exactly the same and you will have to change your nutrition throughout your fitness journey.

For example; right now I am trying to build muscle in my end goal to have a lean physique. Which is why I am in a slight caloric surplus and it’s a carb fest for me (I am literally having a bowl of overnight oats while writing this). In a few months, I will slightly decrease my carb intake simply to help my body burn fat faster (your body will still burn fat if you are working out, regardless of your carb intake). I am definitely going all out on my workouts but I am enjoying the process. I like to call this lean bulking.

3. WEIGHTS MAKE YOU BULKY

This is one I hear pretty often and I have to confess that I used to believe that as well when I was younger. Many women believe that if they pick up a dumbbell that’s heavier than 2kg, their muscles are going to puff up in 2 seconds, but that is not the case. For a woman to be able to bulk up like a man, she would need a ton of supplements/drugs. We don’t have the levels of testosterone that men have, therefore lifting weights will not give you a manly physique, instead it’ll help you lose fat and achieve a lean build much faster.

Lifting weights has done a lot for my physical and mental health. We’re led to believe that we need to override on cardio to achieve our ideal body, but I call that torture. I do incorporate cardio into my workouts in the form of HIIT training but I mostly focus on resistance training. One thing to takeaway from this is to try out different types of workouts and choose the one you enjoy doing, not the ones you dread.

Let me know your views or other myths down in the comments. The main objective is to create a healthy community and encourage this mindset. Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. Please like and follow for more, xoxo.