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.

How To Deal With Physical Setbacks

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Be it an injury or limitation, physical setbacks are sometimes the most trying on not only our fitness and health lifestyle but on your mental health as well. Lately, I had to take some time off due to a physical injury for the first time ever and it was hard to go through, which is why I decided on writing this blogpost…

Tip #1 Try to remain active in any way possible

Unless you are severely injured or on bed rest, it’s beneficial to be active, if not immediately then when you feel slightly better. However, please remember to consult your doctor about your injury and what kind of physical movement you’re allowed to perform. If you have an arm injury for example, you can still go for walks and train legs.

Tip #2 Start small

I had a back injury a few months ago and did not work out at all for 1 month and when I started again, it was only walking and a few arm workouts. When you’re recovering, do not rush into your workout, you will only hurt yourself more, take it easy for at least a week, you will gain your strength again due to your muscle memory.

Tip #3 Nutrition

Do not try to severely cut your calories to make up for not working out, you will only slow down your metabolism. On the same line of thought, do not binge eat your stress away, instead stay constant with your healthy eating habits, your body needs it to recover.

Tip #4 Breathe and Don’t fret

The worst thing for me was the guilt; I wasn’t active for a month and I was afraid that I was losing muscle and progress and that all my hard work would go in vain. But that was clearly not the case, I built my strength back up in 1-2 weeks and got stronger. So don’t let the stress get to you and keep your mind busy with other things such as; reading, music, art or anything that interests you and is stimulating for your brain.

Hopefully, this helps you during your recovery, thank you for reading and please like and follow for more posts.

Healthy Grocery Haul List (Quarantine 101)

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During our current global situation, it’s often difficult to get a sense of staying healthy when stocking up has become the main priority of a lockdown. This is why I made this grocery list, to help you save time and have a good structure of what to buy. This is what I based my grocery haul on so here it is.

PROTEINS (easy to store/freeze so stick to your usual)

  • Chicken Breast
  • Beef
  • Eggs
  • Fish- Salmon/canned tuna
  • Beans/chickpeas
  • Plant-based meats
  • Protein Powder

CARBS

  • Quinoa
  • Gluten-free Pasta/ veggie pasta
  • Potatoes/ sweet potato
  • GF flour for baking bread etc.
  • Oats

FATS

  • Milk – almond, oat or any plant-based milk
  • Olive oil/ Coconut oil/ Avocado oil
  • Almond Butter
  • Nuts – almonds, walnuts…
  • Seeds – pumkin, chia

VEGGIES & FRUIT (Buy mostly Frozen)

  • Bananas (easy to freeze)
  • Frozen fruit- berries, mangoes
  • Broccoli
  • Baby carrots
  • Stir fry veggie mix
  • Spinach

SNACKS

  • Popchips
  • Popcorn
  • Fruit/nut bars or protein bars (Lara, Quest, Rawbar)
  • Dark chocolate (Sweet switch)

ADD ONS

  • Coffee/ teas
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Honey or any sweetener of choice
  • Carb Smart Chilli Sauce
  • Carb Smart 1000 island dressing

I hope this is helpful in any way possible, you can add or leave out anything from the list and customise it for your own needs, this is just to give you a basic guideline. Thank you for reading and stay safe, xoxo.

Self Care is Free…

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When we think of self care nowadays, we immediately think of luxury spa days, trips away and treating ourselves to an item on our Wishlist and while it’s absolutely fine to do that, sometimes we forget that self care is more than that. Self care doesn’t have to be materialistic or cost money, here are a few ways that self care can be free yet more meaningful…

#1. Consuming Meaningful Content – one way I include a lil self care on a daily basis is by listening to a podcast everyday and listening to whatever I feel like in the moment. Sometimes I choose on health health and self development and sometimes I just listen to music. This can be reading a book, be it fiction or non-fiction. With the hustle mindset we have around us, it can be natural to feel like everything we take in needs to be work or study related, but that’s what self care is for. So your next task is to consume something that will please you; whether that is a book about Greek Mythology or a series binge on Netflix.

#2. Saying No – this is something we all take for granted, we often feel obligated to please others and do what they ask of us but sometimes it’s alright to say no. If doing something does not serve any purpose and only drains you, then declining is doing yourself a favour. This can be opting out of an event, saying no to plans to spend time on yourself or saying no to helping someone else do their work before completing yours. It may seem selfish, but once in a while, it’s okay to say no.

#3. Being In Nature – taking a walk or going for a hike is a great day to shut off your mind and get in tune with your body. It is also helpful to do this without anything else distracting you, although listening to music and podcasts is self care, when outdoors it’s best to let your mind wander, you’ll find that this is when deeper ideas and thoughts emerge. Quiet time is essential and you wouldn’t want anything to distract you from enjoying your surroundings.

#4. Taking The Day Off – take a day off to do whatever you want to do, that can be baking, reading or absolutely nothing. Blocking some time off just to yourself is a great self care idea, sometimes we spend so much time around people that we forget to listen to ourselves.

#5. Give yourself permission – we often restrict ourselves in several aspects of our lives but sometimes we need a break, so take a day and allow yourself to do what you want. A healthy mindset means balance; if you want a night of Netflix and popcorn or to indulge in a sweet treat, have it! I believe in healthy living, but I also believe in enjoying the little things in life.

#6. Let go of the Guilt- this is something I still struggle with but it’s a critical part of our mental health… you need to let go of the guilt. We need to stop feeling guilty if we eat something unhealthy. Instead acknowledge that you had something less than healthy, but that you enjoyed it and there shouldn’t be any regret. Don’t let something that you ate rule your emotions, you need to learn to enjoy your decisions.

I hope this post helps you in some way and that you find something useful here. Let me know how you prefer to practice self care and please follow for more posts like this one.

5 Books You Should Read

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Reading is an essential part of my every day life and I find it hard to believe that at one point in time it wasn’t really my thing. I really became a book addict when I was around 15 years old and since then, I haven’t gone a day without reading a few chapters. Now I’m not asking you to read a book in a few days but a few pages a day is beneficial. Of course, I started with paranormal romance as my guilty pleasure (it may still be, don’t judge me) and then I delved into self-help books and psychology books. Status Update – I’m a self help junkie.

I believe reading can either be about losing yourself in another world and living thousands of different lives or it can be about growth and attaining knowledge. I find pleasure in learning and we learn every single day.

I have read all of the following books down below. They are self-help books that take different approaches towards personal development and I think that no matter where you are in life right now, you can find at least one which speaks to you.

 

1. The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey – definitely one of my favourites and one I keep going back to. This book has helped me understand my issue of procrastination and has taught me how to deal with it. Discover ways to improve your work ethic and surprising factors that actually harm your productivity. I’ve definitely seen an increase in my productivity after implementing the tactics in this book and it has helped me decrease the feeling of burnout.

 

2. Hyperfocus by Chris Bailey – if you find yourself easily distracted or unable to focus on one thing for a period of time, then this book is for you. Tap into your superhuman focus and learn to work smarter, not harder. (PS. I’m in hyperfocus mode right now)

 

3. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma – this book was not what I expected, I’d advise you to be patient at first when starting the book. I was sceptical about it at first and thought I wouldn’t be able to finish even half of it, but I was pleasantly surprised. Despite the book’s steady pace, it’s an enlightening read, it touches on mindfulness, human psychology and ways we can create a brighter life. Definitley recommend this one if you’re feeling a little lost or out of balance in your life.

 

4. The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes – I simply enjoyed the way the author voiced her message in this book, she eases you into the practice of gratitude in all aspects of your life without thrusting you into the ‘Gratitude frenzy’ going on all around the media (you know, the gratitude morning routine). It focuses on all aspects such as; wealth, health, relationships and many more. Again, as one who is often sceptical, I thought the book was all about the law of attraction and although it seems that way, I found another aspect to it. Just by reading the book I started to notice the things around me, it developed an awareness in me that has remained even months after.

 

5. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson – this book spoke to the sceptic in me, in other words I now live by this book. This was said to be the self help book for people who hate self help and it is a pleasure to read it. Now is there swearing every 3 minutes? Yes. Does it make it even better to read? Hell yeah, it does.To be honest, I often hear people say that you always have to be happy and grateful, but I am not always those things and I know you aren’t either. Social Media and even self help influencers indirectly lead us to believe that it’s wrong to feel that way, but it’s not. It’s okay to not be okay and this book teaches you that. 

 

Now before I go into a self love rant, let me leave it at that. As Always thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope you found something useful here and I would like to remind you that it’s not just about reading the book, it’s about implementing the methods and advice in it. Unfortunately, we can’t just absorb a book’s powers, we have to put in the action.

Lots of love to all of my readers and please follow for more posts like this, xoxo.

6 Podcasts You Need To Listen To

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I believe that what you consume affects your mindset and therefore your life, but this doesn’t only mean your nutrition, it also means the content you feed your mind with. This is why continuous scrolling through instagram or facebook is discouraged, they give you a false, perfect outlook on life which doesn’t match your own life and this either motivates you in the short term or it bruises your self esteem and demotivates you. It’s usually the latter. So, filling your days with mindless or irrelevant content often does more damage than good, even if you get a small shot of satisfaction, that will pale in comparison to the feeling of gaining knowledge and a deeper insight.

These podcasts range from self help to fitness and motivation. They are great to listen to during a workout or when you’re performing mindless tasks. They are listed below in no particular order and I do urge you to give at least one of them a try because you’ll have the chance to connect with a wider community and possibly with yourself.

1. Earn Your Happy – Lori Harder – listen to enlightening conversations on how to empower yourself, advice for entrepreneurs that can be applied to your everyday life. This podcast delves into psychology, the world of business and everything you want to know to unlock your true potential.

2. Kalyn’s Coffee Talk– I love listening to this podcast whenever I feel a little lost. It focuses on a healthy mindset and achieving a balanced lifestyle, as well as helping you face truths often buried deep in your mind. A fair warning, once you start an episode you’ll want to finish it in one go, so make sure you allocate the time for enjoying this one.

3. The Model Health Show – I’ve actually just started listening to Shawn Stevenson’s show and it’s already one of my favourites. You get to learn the truth about nutrition and the myths behind weight loss, as well as discover a balance between the two. Highly recommend.

4. The School Of Greatness –  Lewis Howes – the name couldn’t be more appropriate. I find myself craving for the moments I get to listen to Lewis Howes’ s advice on pursuing a career, cultivating creativity and his riveting conversations with the most influential people. This is one you won’t want to miss.

5. The Lavendaire Lifestyle – Aileen Xu – this is for more for my de-stress and relaxing routines (you’ll understand when you hear her voice). The podcast explores the hardships of careers and goals, fuelling your passion and promoting self love.

6. The Health Code – funny, entertaining and informative. This podcast is the best combination of health advice mixed in with comedy. Learn about healthy hacks and balancing your career, fitness and relationships.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post, all of the podcasts mentioned above are my personal favourites. Let me know if you have any recommendations of your own, I’d love to give them a try. Have an amazing day, xoxo.