Fitness Rockstar Spotlight Interview

A few weeks ago a fabulous and very exciting opportunity came up to work with Julia Buckley and her online gym so I had to participate – I love working with people who share the same ethos and outlook on life as me. Julia offers an incredible online workout programme which you can do in the comfort of your own home – for a fraction of the cost of a gym membership or personal training, you can achieve amazing results!

To spread the word of her online gym and newly published eBook “Ignite” to accompany the online workouts, Julia has set up a group of Fitness Rockstars – and I’m lucky enough to be one of them 🙂 What is a Fitness Rockstar?!

The Fitness Rockstars are a collective of people with a mission to make the world a healthier, happier place.

We’re not professional athletes, or even what many would consider typical “fitness people”, but we all appreciate the privilege of having the ability to move our bodies and we’ve all experienced having our worlds rocked by the astounding difference fitness and health has made to our lives.

Neither are we celebrities, or in a position to spread our message to millions of people, but if something we post can help light the fuse that helps anyone to discover myriad of amazing benefits of doing what takes to be fit and strong which ripple out into all areas of life, then we’ll feel like stars for sure.

To help us Fitness Rockstars get to know one other, Julia conducted a small interview…

  1. For me, fitness is all about: Feeling great! There’s nothing more exhilarating than the feeling of blood pumping through your veins, pushing your body to the limit and achieving those fitness goals 🙂 I love the feeling of motivation, determination and productivity which I get when exercising – it makes my whole day feel more positive, active and worthwhile. It also helps my body confidence and makes me more time efficient in other tasks.
  2. I get most excited to do my workout when: I’ve had a bad day… If I’m feeling down in the dumps then the best way to clear my thoughts is to have a good workout session; it helps to channel my frustration/ anger/ negativity into adrenaline and motivation to do that extra rep, run that extra kilometre, or to hold the plank an extra 10 seconds.
  3. When a workout really pushes me to my limit, I think to myself: Wow, great work! I’m always positive when working out as I love the feeling of progressing, seeing results and achieving the goals I’ve set out for myself.
  4. I’m most likely to skip my workout if: It’s raining outside. I suffer quite badly from SAD and the weather/ seasons really affect my mood (which is quite volatile anyway) so the rain outside will dampen my spirits and tempt me to just stay warm inside with a cuppa!
  5. In a group fitness session I’ll be the one who: Puts the tunes on – you can’t have a good workout in silence, it’s all about the motivational bangers to take your mind off the strain/ pain!
  6. The item of exercise equipment I’d most hate to go without is: My yoga mat! I can’t be doing sit ups (or any ab work for that matter) on the cold hard floor – or even worse, the other day, on the wet grass 😥
  7. The last thing I usually do before starting my workout is: Take a selfie at the gym… (Shamefully I will admit to it!!) Yes I’m one of those people who snapchat when they’re at the gym; I mean, I’m going to get hot and sweaty so I’ll be out of snapchat action for the next hour or so…
  8. My top 5 workout music tracks are: 1. Pump It – The Black Eyed Peas; 2.Run the World – Beyonce; 3. Just Like Fire – P!nk; 4. Light It Up – Major Lazer; 5. Stronger – Kelly Clarkson
  9. If I start feeling ‘meh’ about fitness I give myself a boost by: Putting on one of my favourite workout tracks! I love music, dancing and all things related so nothing will give me more of an energy boost than a heartfelt song by P!nk!
  10. The most important thing I’ve learned about fitness in the last year is: Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s easier said than done of course, but there’s nothing worse than comparing yourself to that ultra lean, super fit, uber defined muscleman lifting the equivalent of five times your body weight or that skinny yet toned girl in the gym – it helps no one and will just get you down! Everyone has their own diets, workout regimes; and it’s discovering what’s best for YOU (in terms of lifestyle choices, daily routine, work schedule etc.) which is the important thing.

Let me know in the comments about your fitness regime – What motivates you? Are you working towards a particular goal or just want to maintain a good level of fitness? Do you workout in the gym or at home?

Check out the other rockstars’ interviews by searching for the hashtags #JuliaBFit and #FitnessRockstars on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

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Mindfully, Moni x

OMG Tea Matcha Review

As part of Thrive Magazine‘s blogger project, co-hosted with OMG Tea (Organic Matcha Green Tea), I was commissioned to create two matcha recipes accompanied with social media posts, two recipe videos (which was so exciting and new for me!) as well as a review of OMG Tea‘s matcha powder…


For those of you who don’t know much about matcha green tea and are confused about what I am talking about, matcha is a powdered green tea grown in specific regions of Japan. Matcha green tea is absolutely incredible in terms of nutrient content as it contains over 137 times the antioxidants of standard green tea, as well as a ‘feel good’ amino acid derivative called L-Theanine. It is also known to improve mental focus and awareness; boost your metabolism (i.e. you can burn fat faster and easier); detoxify the body as it contains cleansing chlorophylls; help fight diseases; and have anti-aging properties.


Now, as a healthy food blogger, of course I’ve heard the plethora of amazing health benefits of matcha powder, and tried the superfood in a variety of ways – in smoothies, sifted and drunk as a tea, sprinkled over oatmeal etc. However, to be honest with you, I was not particularly taken by the craze of matcha – it is definitely for an acquired palette as the taste of matcha is quite strong; it is the chlorophyll and amino acids that give matcha its unique rich taste. I was also not so convinced that I could notice any significant difference in my concentration levels or metabolism – that was until I tried OMG Tea Matcha.


What makes OMG Tea special is that it is the highest quality matcha powder that you can find on the market – you can even tell by the colour of their matcha which is a lighter, more vibrant green colour than other brands of matcha which have a darker, duller colour! I most certainly felt much more energised and relaxed after starting to incorporate their matcha in my meals – blended in smoothies, sprinkled over my breakfast porridge bowl, at afternoon tea time… It was the increase in concentration levels and reviving feeling that most took me by surprise, and as a student I need to be in a focused and stress-free mood, I will definitely continue drinking OMG Tea daily for an energy boost – it’s much healthier and more effective than coffee! It’s now part of my daily routine and is the perfect way to put that extra spring in your step and feel more motivated 🙂 Taken daily, OMG Tea has helped me (and my parents) to shed a few pounds and keep generally fit and healthy.


All in all, I most certainly recommend you try OMG Tea ASAP!

Remember to use the hashtag #mindfullymade on social media platforms to share with me your creations 🙂

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Mindfully, Moni x

Matcha Chia Pudding Parfait

MATCHA CHIA PUDDING PARFAIT (with accompanying video recipe HERE or see below for embedded video!!)


Ingredients:

For the chia pudding:


For the smoothie:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 mango, frozen
  • 200 ml Cocofina coconut water {use discount code MONIFOLLOWERS15}
  • Handful of raspberries


Method:

  1. Mix the chia seeds and matcha powder in a small bowl or glass, and pour in the plant-based milk. Stir well until all the ingredients are incorporated before adding the agave nectar, if using. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 3-4 hours.
  2. Remove the chia pudding from the fridge. Transfer half the chia pudding into another bowl or jar (if serving two) and top with fruit and/ or Go Green Wholeplus Toppers.
  3. Add all the smoothie ingredients into your blender, except the raspberries, and blend until smooth. Pour about 2/3 of the smoothie over the chia puddings.
  4. Add the raspberries to the remaining smoothie mixture and blend well. Pour over the tropical smoothie.
  5. Top with fresh fruit & ENJOY!


Remember to use the hashtag #mindfullymade on social media platforms to share with me your creations 🙂

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Mindfully, Moni x

Greenyilicious Oatmeal

GREENYILICIOUS OATMEAL (with accompanying video recipe HERE or see below for an embedded video!)

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Ingredients:

Suggested Toppings:

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Method:

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the greenyilicious oatmeal in a pan until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps.
  2. Cook the oatmeal on a medium-low heat until the milk no longer separates from the oats, when stirring with a wooden spoon, and the desired consistency is reached. (Note: Some people like to add in the mashed banana after cooking but I do this before cooking; it’s completely up to you!)
  3. Carefully remove the oats from the hob and allow to cool for a few minutes whilst you prepare the toppings/ wash the fruit.
  4. Pour the oatmeal into a breakfast bowl and smooth out the top, using the back of a spoon.
  5. Sprinkle with your desired toppings & ENJOY!

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Remember to use the hashtag #mindfullymade on social media platforms to share with me your creations 😃

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Mindfully, Moni x

Choco-Coconut ‘Bounty’ Oatmeal

CHOCO-COCONUT ‘BOUNTY’ OATMEALIMG_7277

Ingredients:

Toppings:

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Method:

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the choco-coconut oatmeal in a pan until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps.
  2. Cook the oatmeal on a medium-low heat until the milk no longer separates from the oats, when stirring with a wooden spoon, and the desired consistency is reached. (Note: Some people like to add in the mashed banana after cooking but I do this before cooking; it’s completely up to you!)
  3. Carefully remove the oats from the hob and allow to cool for a few minutes whilst you prepare the toppings/ wash the fruit.
  4. Pour the oatmeal into a breakfast bowl and smooth out the top, using the back of a spoon.
  5. Sprinkle with your desired toppings & ENJOY!

IMG_7279

Remember to use the hashtag #mindfullymade on social media platforms to share with me your creations 😃

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Mindfully, Moni x

Guest Blog Post: Amy Mia Goldsmith

5 Foods to Ease an Upset Stomach

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Whether you had a stomach flu or simply ate something bad, your organism will not respond quite well to certain types of food. During this period you might experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and it is recommend altering your diet, at least until your organism stabilizes and starts digesting foods normally. But before you condemn yourself solely to toast and crackers, you should try implementing these few foods into your diet plan, as they are known to be some of the best stomach soothers:

  1. Bananas

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Bananas are known to be natural antacids, meaning they contain vital nutrients which can normalize the stomach acids and firm the bowel movements. Because they are so rich in fiber, pectin, potassium and vitamins, they can be easily digested and actually serve as a great energy booster, which is another plus, as stomach problems are known to drain your energy and leave you feeling exhausted. This is why bananas are generally recommended as breakfast foods or pre and post-workout snacks.

  1. Papaya

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Fruits are known to be generally quite healthy because they are so rich in vitamins, but it is a well-known fact that they should be avoided during stomach issues, because their acidic levels could harm the stomach flora even further. But every rule has its exception and in this case the exception comes in the tasty form of the tropical papayas. Papayas are known to be quite rich in papain, an enzyme that aids with digestion. These enzymes help break proteins and create a stable acidic environment. This is also why papayas come in many supplement forms and are used to treat stomach ulcers, certain allergies and even some sports injuries.

  1. White Rice

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In the last couple of years the complete hype about white foods being bad for you has resulted in many people simply cutting certain foods like white bread, flour and rice out of their nutrition. Contrary to popular belief, plain white rice holds many benefits, especially when it comes to easing stomach pains. It has the ability to absorb the gases and acid in your stomach and solidifies your stool. This helps especially with diarrhea or similar issues in the digestion track. White rice is also a good idea as it can replenish your energy; make you feel satiated without upsetting your stomach further.

  1. Ginger

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Considered one of the healthiest foods, ginger has many great properties that are used to treat all kinds of diseases and health issues. For many years, ginger has been praised as one of the best remedies when it comes to alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. Not only does it have anti-inflammatory components that help reduce the stomach pains, but it is also regarded as a substance which eliminates intestinal gases and soothes the intestinal track. Depending on your ache, you can consume ginger in fresh form or perhaps mix up a cup of ginger tea. It is very important to remember that a recommended dose is 4 grams of ginger per day.

  1. Apple Sauce

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When it comes to stomach aches, an apple a day will certainly not keep the doctor away, at least not if you consume them in a fresh form. Fresh apples are known to contain high levels of fructose which can be very upsetting for the stomach. On the other hand, this fruit is also quite rich with pectin, which helps soothe the symptoms of diarrhea ad constipation. In order to get the most out of these health properties, it is recommended to consume apples in a form of applesauce, as cooked down apples will help with digestion.

 

Lastly, it is really important to create a well-balanced nutrition that will help you get all the essential nutrients without doing any harm to your digestion track. This can be accomplished by mixing up some probiotic and prebiotic foods and forming a synbiotic your body desperately needs. Personally, I use and recommend the SCD Lifestyle diet plan. Try to manage a diet that contains all the essential nutrients needed for a body to function properly.

Here are some gut healthy recipes:

Strawberry Smoothie

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image credits

Simply blend half a cup of low-fat yogurt, milk and frozen strawberries and enjoy your instant synbiotic mini meal.

Toasty Breakfast: A combination of toasted whole-wheat English muffins with low-fat yogurt and bananas makes a nutritious and healthy breakfast idea.

Chicken Salad Sammie:

When you feel ready to step up the game, mix up a bit of mayo, low-fat yogurt, celery, cut-up chicken breasts and spread it on whole-grain toast for a delicious afternoon snack.

Savory Yogurt Dip:

A light everyday snack which contains low-fat yogurt, minced cucumbers, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of fresh dill makes a tasty dip or a toast spread.

After you have cured your stomach ache and feel ready to get back to your regular nutrition, it is a good idea to start slowly by implementing some of the above light snacks and gradually introduce other foods.

About the author

Amy Mia Goldsmith is a personal trainer and chief editor at Beausmith blog, a healthy lifestyle blog. She has a degree in nutrition and her goal is to teach people to live a healthy, happy life.

Early Bird Snacks Review

As a student, I’ve always been a fan of weekly snack box services which deliver a range of delicious and nutritious food products right to your door – there’s no need for the weekly shop. I have tried out several companies but none were quite like Early Bird‘s Snack Box!

Early Bird deliver 5 deliciously healthy snacks and 2 unique teas every week, designed to help through the working week. To make snacking time that little bit better, the TasteBox also contains music and art from up and coming artists, creating a festival feeling every week!

What I love, is that each TasteBox is unique not only does Early Bird provide 5 snacks and 2 teas, the design of their TasteBox also contains new monthly illustrations from emerging artists (it feels like an exclusive invite to an indie concert!) I think it’s inspirational to see a company giving back to the creative community – it creates such a positive and loving vibe.

From the initial moment of delivery, I feel in love with the vibrancy of the box and then was so excited to open it up to reveal the goodies inside! I like how there’s a mix of sweet and savoury amongst the 5 snacks to really curb those mid-afternoon hunger pangs and cravings. The packaging is really convenient as each snack is in a bite-sized plastic bag which you can slip into your handbag/ rucksack and pull out as and when, without having to rip into loads of exterior packaging.

Another reason to love Early Bird is that they include all the nutritional information for each snack in a handy little leaflet so you can keep an eye on those numbers and remind yourself about how healthy and nutritional these snacks are! Guilt-free snacking in a pleasurable atmosphere is all I can say about Early Bird – I just LOVE the idea of including an exclusive link to an EB music studio mix up 🙂 Great fun and wholesome food.

Mindfully, Moni x