Monthly Favourites: Health Edition

I had a little think over the month of June and decided I wanted to make a monthly favourites focused on health and fitness. Now, I absolutely love trying out beautiful new lipstick shades, face masks and hairsprays but for me, nothing beats finding a new product that will encourage me to be a little bit healthier or finding a new class that motivates me to become fitter. After all, being healthy on the inside only enhances your beauty on the outside. So why not start there?

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I spent a while trying new foods, classes and challenges in order to pick out a few faves for my blog. But whilst doing this, I have actually created new, healthier habits for myself without even trying. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you don’t focus on the end goal, but focus on the moment.

Some of these products are things I know and love and just want to share with you, whilst others have come to me in the month of June, surprising and delighting all my senses! Plus with this dual monthly favourites (July is a Fitness based favourites), I want to include classes, youtube videos and IG challenges which have helped me to enjoy a healthy lifestyle at little to no cost.

For June, I’m going to focus on FOOD.

Choosing the clean and healthy option is not always so simple. Advertising cleverly makes you reconsider your position in the world and how little you mean within it, making you feel the need to buy their product to become something or someone that they show in their campaigns. We’re made to believe that our lives are insignificant, unfulfilling and powerless because we are not THIN, LEAN or PERFECT. Now don’t get me wrong here, I am an advertisers dream…You show me a picture of a beautiful girl, sipping champagne on a beach showing off her perfectly sculpted body and tell me it was a body butter she was using that made her look so breathtakingly beautiful – well, I’m sold, I want it! However, I try not to fall into these traps when it comes to diet products. I truly believe we should live a life we enjoy and if it means sneaking a few red wines into our evenings or enjoying a tub of Ben & Jerrys with your loved one on a Friday night, well so be it. My life is all about balance – so starting my day with a green juice, yet finishing it with a hot chocolate is the perfect way for me to stay sane yet slim. I don’t want to be someone who lies about my diet, what I put into my body and how I workout – I want to be someone that everyone can relate to, and to know that, if I can be a healthier, fitter person, well so can you.

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So onwards and upwards, here are my foodie choices which for the month of June have helped me to enjoy a lifestyle to be proud of.

Chia Seeds

Ok so these tiny little black seeds (which do come in white too) have been floating around the health blogger zone for quite some time now, but I just never got round to buying them. It’s a funny one this one, because I do not add these little dots of goodness to my foods to add to the taste or texture of a meal, in fact I can not taste them whatsoever! So why do I use them? Because of the nutritional benefits they add to my meals. Packed with Omega-3 fatty acids (great for your brain…I swear my IQs gone up!), ups your daily fibre intake and helps to build strong bones and teeth due to their high levels of calcium, these minisule seeds have mountain loads of nutritional value, and did I mention they help that belly fat budge!? SCORE!

So what do I add them to exactly?

Any smoothie I make (whack ’em in the blender whilst whizzing up a morning juice)

Add them to your oats in the morning

Sprinkle them over yoghurt, fruit and your cereal

Or just put a portion into that kale salad you’re making – wham bam thank you mam!

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Coconut Oil, Coconut Yoghurt, Coconut Ice Cream, Coconut Flakes, Coconut Water…COCONUT EVERYTHING

Obesessed? Maybe a little bit…I am just loving anything Coconut at the moment. My obsession started after finding a lovely yoghurt called CoYo which is a dairy free yoghurt made from Coconut Cream/Milk. They really aren’t lying when they say ‘Heaven in a mouthful’! It is truly scrumptious – extremely nice in smoothies, on top of your morning pancakes or just simply as a snack with fruit and seeds!

Now my diet isn’t necessarily ‘free’ of anything – I don’t have dairy free, gluten free, sugar free etc. I just have what feels right at the time. Just because a product is free of something, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily any healthier. So I didn’t buy this yoghurt because it was dairy-free, I bought it because I wanted to try a coconut yoghurt! And whether it’s free of anything or not, I absolutely love it! (Truly great for those who REQUIRE a dairy-free option).

So then from the yoghurt, I wanted to try the ice cream (well, frozen yoghurt) – I bought The Coconut Collaborative Raspberry Snowconut. Oh My. It it deee-lish. A great alternative for those who can not eat ice cream for dietary reasons, but also for those like myself with a sweet tooth who want something in these summer evenings that isn’t a Magnum Ice Cream that has no nutritional benefits whatsoever! At least with this healthier option, you’re getting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants with every mouthful! This is perfect to have with a bowl of raspberries, strawberries and blueberries for a healthy summer dessert.

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Bounce (my fave being Coconut, obvs)

I love, love, love these little tiny balls of energy! Price aside, these bars are perfect. They are handy little things to have in your handbag, gym bags and in your car for moments when you feel a little weak and require a boost. Packed with goodness and small and easy to eat on the go, these are a must for me. The only thing is, they’re a little expensive, so I suggest buying in bulk to save a little £££!

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Nuts and Nut Butters

So it’s no secret that I bloomin’ love nuts…(don’t be cheeky!) I adore almonds, cashews, peanuts, brazil nuts… almost every nut me thinks. Nuts are amazing for many reasons, including the fact they are really high in protein, fibre and omega 3 fatty acids (healthy fats!). And different nuts have different nutritional benefits. My favourite nut is the amazing Almond. Almonds can do wonders for your skin (being packed full of Vitamin E), can help lower your cholesterol, are good for your heart health and have been known to strengthen your immune system and bones too…and it doesn’t end there! They are probably the most nutritional nut around and they are delicious too! Try putting some Almond Butter into a Medjool Date as a treat (you can thank me later!).

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Urban Fruit

I came across ‘Urban Fruit’ whilst doing my weekly Ocado shop and got a little excited about the funky packaging and the fact that it was on offer too (sucker for a bargain!). It is literally a packet of baked fruit. No added anything. And having tried the Mango, Apple & Pear and the Pineapple, I will now forever add them to my basket! For me, this is a fantastic snack for being on the go, or a little evening treat to satisfy a sweet craving. Try them , you won’t be disappointed!

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Coffee Pots & Smoothie Holders

I’m aware this isn’t food, but I wanted to share these with you anyway as I’m a geek and get a little excited over decorative and slightly useless objects!

I always buy Douwe Egberts coffee (I think it’s the best tasting instant coffee) and I got terribly giddy when I saw they had teamed up with Orla Keily, selling their coffee in limited edition, beautifully designed glass jars. Although I have little or no need for them (although I can never have enough coffee), I bought two. I am imagining them to come in handy when making iced coffees or banana, date, almond milk and espresso iced drinks. Sounding good?

Then I also came across these very pretty glass cups from Asda (£2 only!!) which have great big handles and a lovely design on the front. Again, a perfect smoothie holder – great for the old IG photos and a bargain in my eyes (especially when comparing them to the prices of the Kilner jars which are double the price).

Last but not least, I saw glass milk bottles on sale in Lakeland and thought they’d be cute for smoothies, iced coffees and juices to store in the fridge. I know, I’m addicted to buying glass jars at the moment, but there’s worse things to be addicted too! The only issue I’m facing is, they’re not all fitting in my cupboards. I think I need a bigger kitchen…

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My tips on being healthier with FOOD:

Eat at the dinner table, not in front of the television

Thing about the nutritional value of food, rather than how many calories they contain

Have fun with it, be adventurous, be creative – try new foods and add spices, seeds, herbs

Don’t eat the same thing day in, day out

Eat healthy foods, not diet foods (don’t diet!!)

Allow for some cheat meals/snacks within a week so you don’t go crazy

Create a balance that will allow you to be your healthiest AND your happiest

 

Thank you so much for reading, I shall post July’s Monthly Favourites: Fitness Edition within the next few days also.

Jessica X

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