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My cats having a nap ❤love

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Why You May Be Not Getting Results…

DumbbellsA lot of people complain on why their workout regime is not bringing results. The following points are made to help you determine why:

  • Do you allow sufficient recovery time? For weight training, you need to rest every body part for at least 24 hours. This is so the muscle fibres repair and come back even stronger and bigger!
  • Are you putting your mind into the muscles you are working? The brain-muscle connection is key to really target a specific body part and for quicker results.
  • Do you create a challenge? Each time you do the workout, add extra reps or weights. This is absolutely crucial to getting results.
  • Do you change your workouts every 4-6 weeks? Muscles get bored too (just like us!) and do not respond efficiently if they are used to the routine. You must surprise your muscles and hit them at different angles.
  • Concentrate on good form. It’s not about the time you take, the amount you can lift or the number of sets you do. Focus on quality, not quantity.
  • Do not be afraid to lift heavy. If you think that the heaviest thing you can lift is a handbag, time will prove you wrong. You can carry beyond what you think if you give it time. In addition, lifting heavy is what really makes a difference to your physique.
  • Do you get at least 7 hours of sleep each night? Sleep is the time when your body starts recovering, building muscle mass and releasing growth hormones.
  • Remember that it’s 80% diet and 20% exercise. Food is what makes the exercise sculpt you in a specific way. You need to provide enough energy for your muscles by eating healthy carbs, plenty of protein and healthy fats. In addition, eating every 2-3 hours.
  • I recommend that after your workout, you take a good quality protein shake and 1 or 2 bananas so you have quick proteins and quick carbs.

Challenge: How about you don’t ‘check yourself out’ in the mirror for another week or two? Just do what you got to do, and don’t worry about the results yet! It’s a psychological thing, as when you look at yourself everyday, your eyes will try and look for little details and you feel like you’re not getting anywhere. If you completely forgot the mirror for another month, and you finally look in it, you will be surprised. Your eyes will notice the real new changes because you haven’t refreshed your memory for a long time.

Remember: Muscle fibres are like jigsaws. Every workout you do, inserts a new jigsaw over your existing muscles, to form a bigger picture. You don’t form a jigsaw in one second, but you gradually do it by time, adding more and more muscles to your body. So every little helps!

Why butter is good for you…

butterButter is always seen as the bad guy, due to the cholesterol, saturated fat and maybe the propaganda behind it! However, I don’t label foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad’. I think too much of anything, including the harmless, angelic water can be harmful. Moderation is key with food whether you’re eating carrots, apples, chicken, chocolate, ice-cream or anything else. In addition to that, I always support natural foods and butter is natural, being around for thousands of years and it’s a prime part of many cultures. Here are some of it’s benefits:

  • Full of minerals, including selenium (a powerful antioxidant). It has more selenium than whole wheat or garlic. In fact, it contains a number of anti-oxidants that protect against the kind of free radical damage that weakens the arteries.
  • Supplies your body with iodine and vitamin A, needed by the thyroid gland which helps the healthy functioning of the heart and cardiovascular system.
  • It contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), short and medium chain fatty acids which gives excellent protection against cancer
  • Contains lecithin, a substance that assists in the proper assimilation and metabolism of cholesterol and other fat constituents.
  • It is shown to help with growth and development, gastrointestinal health, arthritis, and helps protect the immune system.
  • Good dietary source cholesterol.

I noticed that most benefits noted above actually help with weight loss. Antioxidants, vitamins, medium chain fatty acids, all help to pump up your metabolism and of course, your overall health. Fat is not bad for you. Society is blaming natural food labelled as ‘fat’ for global obesity and poor heart function, when over-processed foods and lack of movement is the reason. However, the best butter you can eat is raw, organic butter from grass-fed animals because pasteurization destroys nutrients.

So please, have real butter instead of…
cantbelieve

‘Fake’ butter that can contain trans fats, additives and preservatives.

 

Sources and useful websites:

http://www.thankyourbody.com/butter-evil-good/

http://www.bulletproofexec.com/butter-is-better-for-your-brain-and-now-your-heart/

It’s even beneficial for children with ADHD: http://pennyarcos.hubpages.com/hub/butterforADHDbraindevelopment

What are you really putting on your skin?

1374It is important to realise what ingredients are contained in the cosmetics we use everyday. People usually assume that if a product is on sale at a supermarket or a drug store, it must be safe. However,  The Food and Drug Administration agency does not review or approve the vast majority of products or ingredients before they go on the market. Also, products labelled as “hypoallergenic” or “Natural”, can “mean anything or nothing at all,” according to the FDA.

I would recommend to visit www.ewg.org/skindeep/ which is the Environmental Working Group’s cosmetic database. You can search thousands of products to see how safe/dangerous they are from a rating of 1-10 and to also see what effects they have on the human body. If a product you are looking for is unavailable, you can simply ‘Build Your Own Report’ on the top left hand side of the screen. On the website you can also find a user’s guide, myths on cosmetic safety and shopping tips.

Some people would think that a lot of things we consume like over-processed foods or things we do in our everyday lives such as spending hours on mobile phones can cause harm, so why should we care about the cosmetics we use? Firstly, what goes onto your skin enters your body, just like what you put in your mouth enters your body and sources say that our skin absorbs 60% of the products we use. Secondly, further research into the topic of what are the actual ingredients involved will surprise you. Here are just some:

  • Placenta: Human and animal placenta help to condition hair and skin
  • Crushed Beetles: Used commonly in red lipstick and blusher. According to The New York Times, when they are full of cactus juice, the insects are boiled, dried out and crushed.
  • Infant foreskin: Full of antioxidants, natural growth factors and proteins, it is often used in anti-ageing products.
  • Whale vomit:  Often used in perfumes, and apparently present in Chanel perfumes
  • Dynamite is found in exfoliators, natural toothpastes, deodorants and powders
  • Bull semen is used in some European salons to condition hair
  • Rust:  Used for the colour pink in make-up
  • Wool wax: Produces lanolin which provides protection against chapped skin, and provides moisture
  • Fish scales: Gives shimmer and sheen to the product.
  • Chicken bone-marrow: Used in moisturisers for its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Decaying animal fat by boiling animal carcasses to help in the production of  lipsticks, eye shadows and soaps.

It’s not just the ingredients that are used in products, it’s the lack of information contained on the label. I want to know what is in my products, choosing to use it or not is another choice.

Sources and useful websites: 

http://www.buzzfeed.com/skarlan/13-surprising-and-gross-cosmetic-ingredients

http://www.totalbeauty.com/content/gallery/gross-ingredients-in-beauty-products

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4188/Chemicals-in-Your-Beauty-Products-Infographic.html

Taking Risks

Take ‘riskseveryday. Risks can be anything from saying “hi” to a stranger, to talking in front of 2000 people spontaneously or even asking someone out. We all have our comfort zones and the more we get out of them, the bigger they get! I know individuals who can’t walk in a class when they’re late because they’ll get embarrassed in front of “all those people”, or others who refuse to walk in Harrods because they don’t look like they “fit in” and also people who refuse to make eye contact with teachers. Why squeeze in a little tight space when you can get out, explore and discover to widen your comfort zone? I’m not going to get into various reasons to take your risks. I’m going to say to just do it. Without too much thought, just do it. Taking risks is not an ability, it is simply a choice. Expanded your comfort zone? Hey, there’s more to roam!

What risks did you make today?

You do have a choice!

You always hear that you have a choice, but what does it actually mean? Usually, people think that they have a choice when there is a decision to make. However, I think differently. I believe that you have a choice in how to live every moment in your life. Every moment in your day can be special, you don’t have to win the lottery or travel to another country to have special moments. For me, those little moments in the day are actually what makes up my life, memories and smiles. Regardless of the decisions you make, rules in your house (if you live at home with family), or any ‘barriers’, you have that choice. Be free! Freedom doesn’t mean that your parents let you out the house whenever you can, it is simply a thing from within that makes you truly free in how you live every moment, emotions, actions, and reactions. Choose to make the most out of every moment in your life, and love it!

For example, I had a big argument with my mum the other day, and it lasted for 30 minutes. It was rage. Shouting, screaming, swearing and just pure anger. Afterwards, I thought about all the energy we wasted on that fight. I told my mum that we could have used that energy to create peace. We could have cooked something together, danced together, even given charity online. However, was it really wasted energy? No, because we learnt something from it. Choose to make the most out of your mistakes. Learn from them and carry on. Not everyone gains the same lessons from mistakes, so praise it when you truly learn from your mistake. Let it help to develop yourself.

Essentially, you choose how you spend your energy, you can use it to create peace, happiness, and love in every moment in your life. Regardless of where you live, who you live with, rules, or any barriers. That is freedom.

In my eyes, there are two ways of doing something. Say you want to tone up and slim down. You can do it because you hate your body, you dislike your physical features and want to change. And you can do it because you love your body, want to improve yourself, and want to discover and grow with yourself in your amazing body and journey. There are two ways in how you eat that tub of ice cream. Enjoy it, make the most out of that moment and smile as you eat it, or think ‘this is going to make me fat, I’m going to regret this, I hate my life’. There are two ways to do almost everything, enjoy it and make the most out of every moment! You have a choice!

Consistency

Consistency is one of the keys to reaching your goals – whether it’s a health/fitness goal, a studying goal or just a new habit to get into. How many times do you start something, just lose track of it and forget it? When you started eating healthily and just thought, “Agh…forget it”, or when you wrote that study timetable and never looked at it again.

Why does that happen?

  • Maybe you are not fully focused on your goal. You need to set a strong intention on why you want it and how you are going to get there.
  • Maybe that goal is not actually what you want. Have you fully researched and understood what you are really looking for?
  • Consistency! It can be a habit to get into, you are not just going to automatically eat healthily everyday or stick to that things to do list. You take it step by step. You listen to your body and move at your own pace.

So… if you are trying to adjust your eating, and find that piece of cake staring at you, it is okay to eat it. As long as you don’t make it a consistent habit. Doing those workouts once won’t get you results right that second, so don’t keep looking in the mirror every 5 minutes. It needs consistency, time, and patience. My goal is to develop my consistency!