Sunday, 1 May 2016

To Snack or Not To Snack?

Hello lovelies!

I'm here again with another lifestyle-y, clean eating-y, weightloss-y post. Hmm.. need to think of a better way to phrase that!


I hope you all don't mind that my blog posts have gone a little in this direction but as I'm a busy student (on teaching practise at the moment..eek!) I have very little time to wash my hair let alone be investigating what beauty products I like but the one thing that I am doing is consistently (or trying to) be eating clean and getting my gym sessions in. Therefore it's all I can really write about unless you want to hear about what lessons I'm doing every day which I think is doubtful!


So today's post is going to tackle the age old question to snack or not to snack?


I feel like most people are coming round to the idea that 5 meals a day warrant a healthy diet. In an ideal world all five meals would contain pasta for me but the extra two are in fact snacks.


In the morning in between breakfast and lunch I usually have some nuts. Almonds are my absolute favourite. I keep a bag in my handbag at all times! They give you that boost to keep you going. That extra protein doe! And if you're in the USA check out this website Nuts.com they have such a huge selection of different types of nuts(and types of almonds!!) that you can get in different quantities. They ship to the UK but not Ireland yet unfortunately but I'm tempted to place an order with them using parcelmotel..


In the afternoon in between lunch and dinner is when I can either be the best healthy girl going or the biggest binger going, I get home from college, teaching practise or work and I'm starved! STEP AWAY FROM THE WHITE BREAD ALICE! I used to have a vegetable juice at this time which is such a great way to get extra greens in, they genuinely do fill you up and I grew to love the taste. The only issue for me with them which is lame excuse is that it requires you to have a lot of fresh veg ready to go at all times which like I said being a busy (and poor) student can be difficult and the machine I have is a b!tch to clean! So I've stepped back from them at the moment and I opt for some fruit or rice cakes with peanut butter or home made vegan basil pesto.


Snacking keeps us going, it stops me from overindulging because once I'm hungry I need food pronto, I mess up when I'm hungry. Keeping that dangerous level of hunger away is my aim!

Nuts.com also have some really great information around healthy snacking,why it's important to do so and what to snack on. I'm no expert but they have some over there that can vouch for me when I say SNACK time!

The lovely Nuts.com is promoting healthy habits and would love for everyone to join in. They aren't paying me to talk about the website or giving me any freebies and to be honest I've really stepped back from blogging and not to be rude but I ignore most of my press emails these days. But I couldn't ignore Nuts.com's passion for this healthy lifestyle and when looking at the site I got lost looking at everything they had to offer there is so much! I really just wanted to share it with you all instead of keeping it to myself. So check them out and let me know if you place an order or if you learn something new from their great sources of info. I'm definitely going to be trying some of their healthy snack recipes for studying and concentration (hello exam season!!)


So what's your opinion on snacking? Do you just steer clear out of fear of overindulging or have you found snacks that keep just the right amount of full until your next meal?

Comment or write me on twitter, would love to know your opinions! @alibowring 



 Until next time,

All my love,

Alice May 

xx

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

How I stay motivated with my weight loss/healthy lifestyle journey

Hello all!

I am really excited to write this post because I know it's something a lot of people struggle with, especially with it being January and making new years resolutions!

I have lost just over 2 stone since I began this journey. Over Christmas I took a little break from being completely intense with my workouts and eating but I basically maintained the whole time (well a little 3lb gain but that's gone now so all good!). I am back on track now and have even upped the amount of times I hit the gym so all very exciting!

So what do I do to stay motivated? Read on for my tips!

Set yourself small goals

Everyone usually has an end goal that they want to reach such as loose a certain amount of weight, run a certain race etc.. but I think it is really important to set yourself some smaller realistic goals.
Some that i have set for myself are

  • Go to the gym three times this week
  • Decrease time in running 500m 
  • Drink at least 2 litres of water

These are just three small goals that are all achievable and will give you a sense of accomplishment when they are achieved. I can say I can tick all of those and am constantly setting little mental goals for myself.

Watch Documentaries 

I genuinely feel this is something to which I owe a lot of my motivation too. Netflix has so many different documentaries on sugar, weight loss and healthy living. I have watched almost all of them! My favourite one is Fed Up which is mostly about sugar and the effects of too much of it. It really puts you off indulging especially on these cold nights where you want a cup of tea and a few biscuits. Also a recent RTE one documentary called Sugar Crash was brilliant so if you have access to the RTE player I highly recommend that one too.

Follow Fitness Instagrammers

Most of my feed on instagram is filled with 'real life' women(and some men) who have successfully lost or are loosing weight. They are so inspirational and usually very honest which makes me feel like all the hard work does eventually pay off. If you would like me to compile a list of my favourite instagrammers- let me know!
Also I would recommend unfollowing any pages that post tonnes of food pictures that are unhealthy like cakes, creamy pasta dishes etc... they just make you want to eat everything in sight-trust me. 


Talk to your family/friends

Don't keep your efforts a secret tell your family and friends what you're planning on doing and update them. They will probably notice a change in you mentally and physically even without telling them but you're more then likely going to receive positive feedback and encouragement which is so nice to hear after you've busted your ass in the gym and the kitchen. I know Irish people can't take a compliment but learn to, you deserve them! When someone tells me how great I'm looking or simply likes a picture of my healthy meal on instgram it gives me a smile and all those little smiles help encourage you to keep going!


Those are some of the way in which I stay motivated but ultimately motivation must come from within it is an inner drive that influences the selection and the persistence of tasks.
I know that sounds wishy washy but trust me I've just spent all day studying for a cognitive psychology exam and one of the topics is motivation so if the psychologists say it well then it must be true! hehe

I hope you like these type of fitness/weight loss/healthy/lifestyle posts. It's obviously a huge part of my life at the moment so it's something i enjoy talking about. If there is anything in particular you'd like me to write about comment below or tweet me! 

Love Always,

Alice xx

Monday, 19 October 2015

Weight loss: The first two stone are gone, but how?!


Hello my loves,

For the last three months I have been on a healthy living/ weight loss journey and so far I'm down two stone so thought I would share what I'm doing and then perhaps update as I continue on with this new lifestyle change.

The key words in that first paragraph are lifestyle change. I probably sound like a broken record as it's something everyone always says but it's true. There is no quick fix, not fad diet you have to simply treat your body like a temple and go from there.

I have enlisted the help of a personal trainer and this was the best decision I could have made because he makes up a plan for me where I do two one hour sessions of training with him per week as well as a detailed description for a third day to do myself. He also gave me a meal plan with guidelines on what to eat and when to eat. Having him waiting for me in the gym twice a week means I'm forced to get up and go because either way he'll charge me as well as he holds me accountable so I'm less likely to go off plan or decide not to go to the gym by myself on the day I don't meet him.

What do I do in the gym? If you're familiar with crossfit at all the type of stuff I do is like that. My trainer is an 'aspiring cross fit athlete' so obviously he likes and believes in the method so does it with me. It's lots of body weight exercises such as planks, squats, burpee's, mountain climbers and so on some of which I'll then do with weights, actual weights like dumbells, kettlebells and dead lifts and a little cardio with a 50 calorie row to warm up at the beginning and a little run on the treadmil at the end. Gone are the days of sweating it out on a treadmill for an hour and heading home.


I'm sure you've heard of the term 80% diet 20% exercise and I 100% agree with it, I have only missed one workout the entire 3 months but there are weeks where my diet isn't the best and I notice things like not loosing any weight, feeling lethargic and just crap in general so I am a convert. The gym for me is fun because I can feel myself getting fitter and stronger(I dead lifted 40kg the other day, how insane!!) but even my trainer when after the first 6 weeks and I had a big loss said you can tell you're eating really well because you can kill it in the gym and go home and eat crap but you're numbers are telling me you're not.

What am I eating though? My diet is really simple and now that I've been doing it for a while it all makes sense. I have breakfast, snack, lunch, vegetable juice, snack and dinner everyday. All of my meals contain protein sometimes animal proteins such as eggs, chicken or turkey but also in nuts(I have a crazy love for almonds). I have brown rice but can have other grains such as buckwheat or millet but to be honest I love rice and it's the easiest for me to cook so I stick to that. I have it at lunch time with vegetables and protein and at dinner I have raw veg and a protein so usually a salad. At that time of the day I don't need carbohydrates so it makes sense to not have them that late. I can see why my Granny always had her dinner in the middle of the day now, I feel like that's what I do!
My snacks are nuts and seeds. The nuts keep me full in between breakfast and lunch and the seeds between the juice and dinner are more so I don't snack on other 'bad things'.


So that is basically how I have lost the first 2 stone out of a lot more that I need to lose but this is just the beginning and so far I'm loving it!
I can do a blog post on a what a normal day of eating looks like if people are interested because if I include anymore in this post It will be a novel!
Keep on an eye on my YouTube as I plan on making a video about it all soon but in the mean time I'm always posting my meal prep and workouts on instagram so make sure you're following me there, my user name is AliBowring (same as twitter).

Until next time have a great day and I will talk to you soon,

Alice May xx

Saturday, 8 August 2015

How to survive a Long Distance Relationship


Hey everyone!
I recently started a relationships seres on my YouTube Channel. I've decided for this one I would write a blog post along side it so let's get cracking! To watch the video you can click here.

The Background 

As you might know I went to Brussels in Belgium where I studied for 3 months as part of an Erasmus programme. This of course meant that I was apart from my Boyfriend of a year and half(at the time of leaving). Although some of you are probably rolling your eyes thinking 3 months- that's nothing! Well then good for you and I'm glad that you think so but for me it was a really scary thing. Seán and I live very close to each other so it's very easy for us to see one another on a very regular basis we also met through mutual friends so our nights out with friends would mean we were both there too not because on a plus one deal but because they are both of our friends. Basically, we spend a lot of our time in each others company. Oh and did I mention we are madly in love so believe it or not we really enjoy being together?
At the end of the day this was an experience I couldn't pass up so I decided to put 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' to the test.

Tip One:
Have open, honest communication. This is a must for a relationship full stop but for long distance it's the key to succeeding. Before you or your partner go make sure you talk about how you're feeling about the pending separation. Is your partner supportive of the change? I don't think I could have gone if Seán hadn't been so encouraging of it. I would have felt guilty for leaving him behind which I did anyway to an extent but knowing that I had a cheerleader at home made me feel so much better.

Tip Two:
Skype. Skype became my best friend while I was away. Viber is great for phone calls(so I've heard I don't use it) as is Facebook calling which we used when the internet wasn't as strong in my apartment but nothing beats seeing each other. Seeing the smile you love and not having to imagine their body language and facial reactions. We had dinner dates over Skype and we watched TV shows over Skype(timing to press play proves difficult with time delays!). It's the closest thing you're going to get to being in the same room so take advantage. I personally hated using my phone for Skype/Facetime. Having your laptop sit open in front of you means a bigger screen and if you're like me free's up your hands for those grand hand gestures you need for telling stories.






Tip Three:
Make plans. Whether this is plans for when you/he/she returns makes plans as to what you're going to do. Are you going to move in together? Are you going to go for a weekend away together? or if they are coming to visit make plans for that trip. Seán came over to me for a week during Easter break and we spent the entire time I was away up until that point planning it. His flights were booked before I even left for Belgium so straight away we had something to look forward to.  We organised day trips we would take, over night trips, what we would do on Easter... the list goes on! It was fun planning it together and even more fun doing it all together when he arrived. I also loved being able to show him around where I had been living, what I had been doing and the people I had been hanging out with.
After I picked him up in the airport



















Tip Four:
Make time for one another. Of course don't sit at home all day on the phone to your partner but you have to set aside a time that is dedicated to talking to them, replying to an email or whatever it is you plan on doing to communicate. It's easy to let your schedule get too busy and miss out on time with your loved one. Long distance is not easy and it takes work so make sure you clock in your hours. Also if you are living in different time zones you need to plan a lot more, I was lucky because I was only an hour ahead of Seán but someone I know that was over 8 hours ahead said what she did was email when she went to sleep and he would get it when he woke up as a first morning smile. Something like that anyway!

Tip Five:
Have an end goal. For me this was obviously coming home at the end of the 3 months but I wanted to just quickly add this one because if you are in a long distance relationship with no end in sight what really is there to look forward to? Long Distance Relationships can go on for years but ultimately you can't have one forever you will have to be together at some stage so really think about where it's heading. Will one of you move to the other? If not maybe you need to reconsider a few things.

Verdict:
I can now testify that absence does make the heart grow fonder or at least when it came to my Relationship. It was the most difficult 3 months of our relationship with tests and trials but ultimately the reason it was so hard was because we missed each other a lot because we love each other a lot. I am so glad I went away for many reasons but believe it or not I being away from my Boyfriend is one of the positives because now I know I don't want to be without him and if that's not love I don't know what is.

If anyone has had an experience with a long distance relationship, how did it work out for you? What are are you tips that I didn't include and do you disagree/agree with mine?

Make sure you check out my YouTube video on this topic incase you didn't already read enough!

I hope you're all well,

Love,
Alice X