New Year, New Job, New Start in the Big Smoke @capitalliving #placestorent #london #wheretolive #propertysearch

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Happy New Year to all of you wonderful readers, we hope you’ve had a great night celebrating and are optimistic and excited about all that 2014 has to bring. If, after you’ve recovered from your hangovers, you’re starting a brand new job (and life) in London, then hopefully this post will be very helpful to you.

 

Like many before you, the prospect of starting a new job and life in our Capital may be a little daunting, with its busy lifestyle, super savvy Londoners and endless string of bars, nightclubs, cultural sites and so on. So, when we met up with Capital Living owner Adam Goff, we finally found something that might just make the adjustment to city living that little bit easier.

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What is Capital Living?

Well, in short it’s the answer to all your London living needs. If you’re a professional coming to London to live, there is always the risk of paying a fortune for living somewhere not so nice, and with Capital living, they run a professional house share which provides everything that is needed for you to enjoy minimum fuss and maximum lifestyle in London.

Sounds good, tell me more…

Ok, so to keep it simple you pay one monthly bill which basically includes everything except your laundry and food. Which is great because you get the highlights of things like Sky TV +HD Flatscreen TV thrown in, your Council Tax paid for, a weekly housekeeper and there are no hidden charges. Capital Living also position its properties a short walk from the nearest tube stations, so your commuting time is efficient for wherever you have to get to! It really does almost sound too good to be true, and that’s what we thought until we actually visited Adam in one of the properties, which was incredibly impressive! Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 15.48.33

But who do I live with?

Well, this is the clever part, sometimes you just have to uproot and head to the Big Smoke all on your own, and that often means you’ll know little or no one which can again be a hugely daunting prospect! We’ve all been there and in fact Adam has been there himself too, which is why as well as the property renting side of things, he knew that it was important that he built communities. This is a really nice personal touch, as you are placed in properties which fit to not only your financial capabilities and location specifics, but also your compatibility with other ‘members.’

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Capital Living doesn’t like to refer to its tenants as ‘tenants’, to help build this community and make you as the consumer feel that you’re getting the service you’re paying for, everyone is treated like part of a members club, which may sound a bit odd from the outset, but actually fits the abode you are renting. There are also social mixers which take place on a regular basis which allow you to instantly meet new people, which can often be quite difficult in London, and all members have access to an active and engaging online forum on Facebook where you can share stories, photos from some of the mixers and generally stay in touch with the rest of the community.

Where did the idea come from?

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 15.48.03Well, its founder Adam Goff has always been a savvy entrepreneur ever since he left university. From a humble online student ticketing service through to mobile phone assistance and eventually property, he’s gained knowledge and know how along all of his entrepreneurial journeys, making each business a little bigger and better than the last. The real turning point to kick start Capital Living however, came from his own experience of moving to London from the Midlands, the idea of huge rent and bills in the most sort after locations came hand in hand with small dingy flats with dodgy landlords. Thinking about what he would want out of living in London, Adam carved out his ideal renting plan and got to work. Soon after, Capital Living was born, and with his team, like his other projects its just seems to be getting bigger and better.

The Big Snoochie Summary

So, you live in these lovely properties with like minded people, who following careful research from Capital Living, seem to have similar interests and lifestyles to you, there are no hidden charges so you can manage your money wisely, so what’s the catch?Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 15.55.33

Well, we struggled to find a catch really, its like being placed in an up market house share, which if you’ve dreamed of living in London gives you the setting and lifestyle that you can only imagine comes with a big city rather than the over priced nightmare flatshare dives which happen far too often.

The only real catch is that to maintain this standard of living, you initially have to meet Capital Living’s criteria for application, which first and foremost starts by being a professional in London.

So if you think that Capital Living might be right up your street, we would definitely encourage you to try a new way of flat hunting in London, its unique, luxurious and comes with an affordable price tag too, so give it a whirl and get in contact with Adam and the team here.

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Its Burgundy Wednesday which can only mean #Anchorman2 is out today! Here’s our review #film

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Back in 2004, Anchorman birthed a fan-favourite character in Ron Burgundy and has since gone on to become a cult hit, blossoming into an oft-quoted piece of pop culture. 9 years later, Ron and the team are back by popular demand for another helping of improvised one-liners, celebrity cameos and Brick…being Brick, and the sequel is a worthwhile, if at times over-indulgent follow-up.

Directed by Adam McKay, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues takes place in 1980’s New York, with Ron (Will Ferrell, who co-wrote the screenplay with McKay) now married to co-anchor Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate). When Ron loses out on a promotion to his wife and is unceremoniously fired, he accepts an offer to join rivals GNN – the first 24-hour news network – and quickly reassembles his old team, including Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), Champ Kind (David Koechner) and weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell). Only slick anchorman Jack Lime (James Marsden) stands in their way of success.

At its best Anchorman 2 is a hilarious, inspired comedy that manages to tap into what made the original work, effectively giving us more of the same. As the old adage goes, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, and that certainly applies here. With that said, there is an unexpected but very welcome satirical through-line offering up a light commentary on the importance of good journalism that’s tackled in entertaining fashion.    Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 14.12.50

With many scenes given the improvised treatment (the first cut was 4 hours long), unsurprisingly not every gag hits its mark. Some of those unamusing moments involve an over-indulgence in Brick’s eccentricities, whilst other lapses occur when Ron interacts with African-American boss Linda Jackson (Meagan Good). Particularly when you consider how much the film gets right, it’s disappointing that the filmmakers felt the need to resort to humourless racial jokes.Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 14.13.20

Thankfully, Ferrell’s charm helps to ease the uncomfortable nature of these lazily written scenes, and needless to say he’s at the forefront of the film’s best moments as well. Indeed, If God put Ron Burgundy on this Earth to have salon quality hair and read the news (Ron’s words, not ours), then similarly Ferrell is the man who has been ordained to play him. Elsewhere, Carell’s lovable oddball Brick scores many laugh-out-loud moments, though scenes with Kristen Wiig’s love interest come off as awkward as opposed to funny, whilst Rudd and Koechner both deliver solid turns returning to their supporting roles.

It’s rare for comedies to get a sequel and even rarer for those sequels to be any good. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues proves to be one of the few exceptions, and though it doesn’t quite outdo its predecessor there is plenty of new material for fans of the first film to laugh at. Here’s hoping we won’t have to wait another decade for the inevitable conclusion to the trilogy.

3.5 Stars

Remember your awkward teenage Summer with @Thewaywayback #filmreview #film

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If you love Sam Rockwell as much as we do, then you’ll be queuing up to watch him in this quirky Summer coming of age flick which hits cinemas today.

The film follows shy 14-year-old Duncan as he goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend’s daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.

Nothing overly dramatic happens in this film, it’s just more of a reminiscent and nostalgic journey into all of our uncomfortable adolescent selves where we’re discovering new things, good and bad, meeting new people and most importantly having that very awkward, lonely teenage Summer.

The film boasts a great cast and starts very well. We see a new Steve Carell, no longer a slap-stick comic character, this time a straight talking stepdad which any teenager would find offensive and domineering. Toni Colette is the ‘glass half full and things could be worse so I’ll put up with it’ mother of Duncan and Sam Rockwell is the saving grace coolest guy in town who runs (rather haphazardly) the Water Wizz water park.Screen Shot 2013-08-28 at 08.35.07

These are only half the key characters in the film, but immediately you see a pattern forming. These characters are very clearly stock and presented in an almost formulaic approach to what you would hope would make a good/poignant/funny film. In addition you have the constantly drunk neighbour – who provides a monologue of comic proportions as the family arrive at their Summer home; her overly confident sharp talking tween son, additional neighbours who turn Carell and Colette’s characters into relatable drunken parental figures around the dinner table and finally there’s the shy inquisitive beautiful girl who doesn’t conform to her bimbo girlfriends and inevitably becomes the object of Duncan’s affections.Screen Shot 2013-08-28 at 08.34.40

These all sound like the recipe for a classic coming of age tale, and if they had all come together perfectly The Way, Way Back would have been one of those must watch films, but something just doesn’t quite gel together. You will probably be willing this film to be much more enchanting than it actually is and will most likely find sanctuary like Duncan, at the Water Wizz water park where Sam Rockwell dominates. His effortlessness and ease provides a distinct contrast to the rest of the cast who feel slightly more contrived, which some may argue is a testament to his talent as an actor.

But by no means is this film unwatchable, there are some brilliant moments of comedy, and over arching reminders of many of our teenage experiences plus some brilliant performances across the board in their own rights. It’s hard to put a finger on what exactly doesn’t work, but you certainly do come away trying to work out what could just make it that little bit better

3 Stars

The Way, Way Back is out on general release from today.

 

 

 

 

@katscapades tells us to forget the Yo-Yo diet and embrace the #monacodiet #beauty #health

Once again, our health, fitness (and travel) guru Katrina Santos-Baron (www.katscapades.net) shows us how to live healthier…and maybe lose a few pounds in the process! So have a good old read, take the points on board, give it a whirl and let us know what you think!! 

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One fitness quote said, ‘it takes 4 weeks for you to notice, 8 weeks for your friends and 12 weeks for the rest of the world’.  I started a Weight Loss Challenge last March but had a major relapse when I had friends come to stay for two weeks! (oops!) I almost gained what I just lost, so I discovered the importance of juicing and decided to do an Alpha-reset (5-day juicing detox) to get back into shape. Juicing has been a habit since then. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot of things, and discovered my passion for running. So taaaaaaaaadaaaaaaaaaa, I’ve lost over 5.6 kilos and just above 10cm (3.9 inches) around my waist. Yaaaaaaaaaahooooooooooooooo!

I’m so loving a healthy lifestyle. For me, it’s not just a fad or an excuse to sometimes splurge in the organic section of the supermarket. It’s way beyond counting calorie intakes or trying to join the ‘green’ club. It’s giving utmost value to ourselves, like valuing something that you’d been meaning to have and finally got it (just like when I received my first Chanel bag – it was treated like a V.I.P.!). Taking care of our body is a must, it’s the only one we have!

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I was never really a fan of crash diets. I was too skinny before anyways. In fact, I used to eat a lot! Like 3 cups of rice and meat plus a lot of sweets on one sitting three to four times a day! However, as they say, our bodies start to change as we reach the age of 25. Though I believed I had a healthier lifestyle since I moved to London (except for the cake moments with my best friend – which occurred on most days of my London life, ooops), I kinda felt this body-changing-after-25 particularly when I got married two years later. The joys of cooking and discovering amazing eating places, plus the ‘dining bond’ with my hubby (with no exercise) during the first 8 months of our marriage resulted to unpleasant muffin tops! And there I was, tempted to try different crash diets but I thought best not to. Motivated to lose weight eventually paved the way for me to really get hooked into maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

I recently had some dietary advice from a Monaco-based nutritionist  that really helped me on my fitness journey. I admit that I’m not 100% following it (I’m still human by the way), but it’s good to have it at the back of my head which acts like a little voice whenever I’m about to cook, do my grocery shopping and as I put my trainers on. I shared it with some of my friends and they’re happy with the results. This may not be new to you – I’ve known some of the items he shared before I met him but it didn’t just remind me, it also made me more aware about the importance of what we eat and do to how it affects our body

  • THE GOLDEN RULES OF NUTRITION
  • Do not ever starve yourself. When you starve, your metabolism slows down. You might be losing weight but gaining more afterwards, also known as the yo-yo effect. Like what C. Helgoe said, ‘if weight loss is your only motivation, and you jump into the latest fast being used by Hollywood stars getting ready for Oscar gowns, your program is likely to backfire’. Remember, your diet should be eating more of the right foods at the right time.
  • Eliminate flour, gluten and junk in your meals. I know this is super hard, eh?!
  • NO to dairy products – milk and cheese, huhuhuhu…. Goat’s cheese is ok (it’s not from the cow :p)
  • Here’re the good news – carbs are ok! YES! But only until 2pm.
  • Eat fruits only in the morning as most fruits have high sugar content.
  • Salt = Cellulites. Yikes!
  • NO to GMO too – choose organic.
  • Drink protein shakes for breakfast (could be mixed with fruits) and drink another one in the evening (without the fruits)
  • Fats will only be burned after 40 mins of cardio since the first 40 mins are only for sugar-burning
  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep for cells to regenerate properly (natural anti-aging)
  • [Goes without saying] Drink loads of water
  • Don’t forget the veggies!

LET THE MONACO DIET BEGIN:

So here’s how my daily diet and activity looks like:

  • Between 6:30 to 7:00am: It’s cooking time! So meanwhile, I’m drinking Juice PLUS+® Complete Vanilla or Chocolate Shake. I like it how it is so I only add water. Maybe one day I’ll try making smoothies with it.
  • About 7ish: My hubby and I normally have eggs for breakfast. Eggs are packed with protein and healthy fats – good for muscle growth and burning body fats partnered with superfood – avocado and spinach served with green juice on the side.

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Once in every 2 weeks, I make tapsilog (a Filipino dish composed of beef, eggs and fried rice but I cook it a non-stick frying pan – so no oil or sometimes a tiny bit of organic olive oil). Oh, try frying tomatoes with olive oil and basil – they go well with the eggs too!

  • Between 8am to 11am: I have some fruits on my working desk.
  • Around 12ish: I’m happy with a salad especially during the heatwave in the Riviera. Have you seen my crispy lettuce with strawberry salad dressing? If not, please click here. Sometimes I eat rice or whole wheat pasta with protein and fiber (so that’s meat and veggies). I also try adding some twists to the traditional dishes such as including spinach to spag bol sauce for instance served over gluten-free pasta or zoodles (zucchini-made-like-noodles). Who says healthy food is boring and tasteless?! I disagree! 🙂

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  • When my hubby gets home at 5pm: We have an early supper mostly composed of protein and fiber (I also cook with carbs for his packed lunch the next day but I try not to eat carbs during this time, til 2pm, remember?!). Sometimes I make another glass of fresh juice.
  • Between 7pm to 8pm: Trainers on, off we go running. Since it’s been too hot lately to run by the beach, I’ve been running lately at the treadmill (3 – 4 times a week). If we get hungry after the run, we just boil 2-3 eggs each eating only the white. Bye, bye yolk!
  • 9pm: Juice PLUS+® Complete Vanilla or Chocolate Shake
  • 10ish to 11ish: Bed time!

Cheat day once a week is OK but if you sweat your ass off the gym and become aware of what’s good for the body and not, you’ll still resort to eating more of the right food and feel [a bit] guilty if not, therefore limiting unhealthy intake (if I used to eat up to 6 cupcakes at one sitting, now, 1 cupcake is enough during my cheat day).

When trying to lose weight, it is also important to think of these:

  • Why are you doing it. It’s an awesome feeling being able to fit into the clothes you want to wear, waking up with a flatter tummy, notice your skin looks younger and glowing everyday without putting on cosmetics, being able to run faster and be more mentally alert during working hours. As for me, I DON’T WANT TO BE SKINNY, I WANT TO BE FIT. I’d like to prepare my body as healthy as possible – who knows, we’ll have a baby soon? 🙂
  • Keep a diary of your progress. I did 🙂 It didn’t happen overnight, didn’t happen over a period of 10 days as well. It took me months and learned a lot along the way (and still learning!). Aside from my messy notebook, I also documented my progress @katscapades in Instagram and thru my previous blogs:
  • Do the alternatives. Take the stairs instead of the lift, walk to the grocery instead of taking the car or bus, go for a fresh morning walk instead of snooze-snooze-go-away bed mood. Just be active. Move a lot. Y’know what I mean 🙂
  • Read the labels. Geesh, I really do spend time reading labels (in French) at the supermarket!
  • Be fun and creative! Sooner or later, you’ll discover that healthy chef within you.
  • Nobody’s perfect. You may feel you’re behind your regime but don’t panic – slow progress is better than no progress at all.
  • Connect with like-minded people. Share and start inspiring others too – it’ll make you feel like a million-euro-monaco-baby!
  • Take the holistic route. Have a balanced diet, regular exercise, fill your life with laughter and love. La vie est belle!

Cheers to a healthier us! xoxo

P.S. I just called it the ‘Monaco diet’ since the nutritionist is based there. Results on individuals may vary, consult your doctor first. But overall, I recommend a healthy lifestyle 🙂

Let’s juice it baby with the Alpha Step: 5 Day Reset #weightloss #health #lifestyle #juicing

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Our travel writer Katrina Santos-Baron took a break from travelling to glamorous locations and instead spent the last week on a health trip that didn’t even require her to leave her home town! She shared her findings with Snoochie Boochies to show the benefits of tackling weight loss and healthy living through juicing, and more specifically the Alpha Step: 5 Day Reset. 

Follow her journey here and on her amazing blog: http://katscapades.net

Over to you Kat! 

Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 13.19.59Two months ago, I decided to go on a Weight Loss Challenge as I wanted to lose 5 kilos (11 lbs) that I gained over the last few months.  I started it as I was coming into the realisation that married life is not an excuse to gain more inches around the waist! And I found along the way, that there’s more to life than just losing those ‘muffin tops’ I gained from a happy marriage  *giggles* and fitting once again into my size 8 dresses, jeans and stylist’s clothes, what actually happened was that I rediscovered the beauty of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. And who wouldn’t want to wake up with a flatter tummy?!

Looking back at my diet, I realised I was eating a lot of oily and processed foods, particularly when my husband and I had a few friends over from our native Philippines. (I was cooking a lot of Filipino delicacies, such as binagoongan, ginataang alimasag, sinigang, rice and all for 2 weeks – not to forget the deserts on top!  – oh, good times). I applied the polite portion principle though. During this time, I noticed that my skin started to breakout and I almost gained what I just lost. Phew… So, being inspired by some of my fitness partners, I bought a juicer and I started juicing various produce.

I can officially announce that my juicer has been the busiest machine in my kitchen! I’ve been experimenting lots of different mixes, I find it de-stressing. My husband and I have moved on to replacing one meal with 1-2 cups of freshly made juice (mostly dinner) and this has been going on for few weeks now. Over this time, I noticed that I’ve lost 3 kilos and few cm off my waistline. Yahoooooo! Well that comes with also working out almost 5 days week, a holistic approach is the key!

I also noticed that with juicing, my skin got clearer with a pinkish glow effect, and I am more energetic especially when I do my usual fitness exercises.

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Its not just me who has seen the benefits:

One of my friends who inspired me to start juicing also shared her juicing experience:

“I have been juicing on and off for almost a decade already. But seriously juiced (everyday) just this year. Our family doctor recommended a recipe to make us healthier and have glowing skin noticeable in just a week. So we tried it – it was great! We went back to it this year and I really noticed a big difference in my energy levels so continued my research (since that recipe tasted horrible) and found a whole heap of new recipes to try. 

Since I started juicing, I noticed I got more energy and my skin was just glowing. There is that rosy pink glow to it. I can do so much more in the day than I used to. The energy is the most important change that I noticed. I became stronger. Also, I am a frustrated runner. My knees hurt everytime I tried to run, even for just a few seconds. But more recently I am able to do a minute of running, alternating with brisk walking then running again. I’m faster now. I’ve always known it has got to be the juicing. And just today, I discovered that cucumbers help lubricate your joints. I juice cucumber a lot, so now I know why all of a sudden I can run for a bit longer. I got hooked. And been sharing the benefits of juicing to my friends since.”

You can see why my friend is my juicing guru. We’ve been talking about different types of juicers (centrifugal vs masticating juicers and how we can’t wait to get our hands on Hurom HU-700), various juice mixes and health advice.

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The Alpha Step: 5 Day Reset 

As I got more serious about juicing I’ve started an Alpha Step: 5-day Reset. This means that I’ll be eating no food for a period of 3 days but instead, replacing all the meals with 100% fresh veggies and fruit juice every 3 hours up to 6 times a day and consuming 10-12 cups daily, then slowly introducing protein on Day 4 & 5 then back to eating clean and regular exercise.

Here’s a helpful quick-start article by Drew Canole about this – please click here. I don’t think I have the symptoms of poor digestion as mentioned in the article but I believe my body deserves a break from heavy food intake. Drew also stated that, “Alpha Step”…is the beginning step in any new workout regime or fitness goal. Okay, game.

So here’s my Alpha Step Diary:

The day before:

I started to read few articles and blogs about Alpha Step so that I get a clear understanding of what am I getting myself into. I got really excited, unfortunately, and planned my grocery shopping for the following day.

This is it. Day 1:

  • Weight: 57.7kgs
  • I had warm water with lemon as usual (let’s call this L-H20 and this is different from squeezing lemon on drinking water under room temperature; to cut the long story short, the difference is the water temperature)
  • I had a banana-kiwi smoothie for breakfast since bananas do not go in the juicer. I blended it well to ensure that it’s less thicker than a normal smoothie, almost close to the juice texture.
  • I quickly went to the shop nearby and picked few essentials
  • I’m glad I had a good 60-min cardio at the gym last Saturday as this programme prohibits excessive exercise / lifting weights for 5 days. I just did few squats at home.
  • I did the normal no.2 in the morning (sorry I had to write this in case this changes along the course)
  • Three hours later, I juiced 4 celery stalks, 4 carrots, 2 red apples, half beet root and a handful of spinach
  • My next juice was 4 big tomatoes and 2 small carrots – kinda sour…
  • I was drinking loads of water squeezed with lemon all day
  • I felt kinda dizzy, maybe that’s my body adjusting or I was just spending too much time infront of the computer, anyways, I kept on reminding myself – I can do it. Here’s my work desk with my juice (sorry it’s a bit cluttered, I usually clear it up after):

My work desk

  • I really wanted to stuff my mouth with the leftover M&Ms.. Lol.. But I thought, it’s not worth it!
  • My husband picked me up to do grocery shopping and we spent nearly £85 on produce! Okay, this is not a cheap diet but I know it’s a good health investment.
  • I got a bit hungry so I made beetroot, carrot and cucumber juice – not my favourite mix so I had water with lemon immediately
  • This is the most challenging bit: cooking salmon and aglio e olio for my husbands dinner. Okay, okay, okay… I had to hold my breath and focus on my goal: detox to lose unwanted fats and be healthier. Fine.
  • Of course I had to go to the loo frequently due to the amount of liquids drank all day (not to do no.2 – just want to make it clear)
  • For the first time in months, I felt sleepy at 9:30pm and went to bed early.

Ain’t That Easy. Day 2:

  • Weight: 56.5 kilos – I already lost 1.2 kilos
  • I had the same in the morning: L-H20 plus banana and kiwi juice-like smoothie
  • I didn’t take any fiber supplement as advised and there wasn’t a change in my toilet routine, I was still able to do no.2 at around the same time (sorry, it’s gross but I have to include it)
  • I juiced greens for lunch: broccoli, bell pepper, granny smith apple, cucumber, celery and parsley.

Green Juice

  • The dizziness had gone and I felt energetic. However I am paranoid of the pimple-popping-detox-result. I’ve read few blogs and they’ve experienced severe breakouts during the juice fast. Thankfully, no red spots on my skin yet. I guess that’s because I’ve been juicing already and been avoiding greasy junk food prior to this.
  • The green juice made me full for the next few hours until late in the afternoon. I’ve been eating Juice Plus Chewables (made from real fruits and veggies in chewy form – it melts before it even goes down to the esophagus so I guess it’s okay).
  • Another challenge: I prepared roast chicken, potatoes with onions, red and yellow bell peppers for my husband’s dinner – now that made me hungry! I was okay the whole day until this came along! I thought it was going to be easy but it made me crave for hot food!  The whole house smelled of roasted chicken and I realised this is not easy.
  • So I made a juice: half of a red bell pepper, 1 apple, 2 carrots and 2×1″ ginger. I don’t know what I was thinking – it really tasted awful.  I only had few gulps and I had to bin it… I felt really bad, I hate wasting food!
  • To give myself a little treat, I made my one of my favourite mixes – beet, carrot and apple, my comfort juice (others call it the ‘Miracle Drink’) and went to bed at past 10ish

I’m Still Alive: Day 3:

  • Yes, I’m still alive! lol. The thought of ‘no food’ was a bit scary to begin with but thinking of all the benefits from juicing and upon reading the testimonials, obviously this plan is created for a nourishing detox and I woke up happier this morning. It’s the last day anyway and tomorrow I can insert egg whites in my diet, then fish the day after.
  • This morning, I weighed 56.1 (dropped almost 1 lbs), lost 2.6cm off my waistline and no breakouts – yahooooo!
  • After the usual L-H20, I had a smoothie made of 2 bananas and a cupful of strawberries for breakfast and that kept me full for hours (I’ve been drinking water with lemon in between as well)
  • Normal toilet routine – meaning my digestion is still good 🙂
  • Got a bit hungry so I prepared a juice made of 1 pack of asparagus, 2 tomatoes and 1 carrot.

Aspharagus Juice

  • At around half 5 in the afternoon, I made an orange juice (using 6 oranges). Did you know that oranges are good for the skin? That’s one beauty secret revealed!
  • I wanted to join my husband in the gym at around 7ish but I opted not too since the plan prohibits excessive exercise as I mentioned earlier. I also have loads of unfinished work to do anyways…
  • Like in the past two days, the most challenging bit comes when I prepare dinner for my husband. I cooked Spaghetti Bolognaise (another favourite). I thought to myself, “It’s okay, Kat. Few more days and you can eat a polite portion of SpagBol. You’ve come this far, so don’t give up”.  Hope you don’t get me wrong, I’m not depriving myself – I’m detoxing just for 5-days!
  • For dinner, I made 1 beet root, 1 carrot, 1 apple, 1 cucumber, 4 celery stalks and handful of parsley.

Smiling on a Gloomy: Day 4:

  •  I woke up on a gloomy and rainy morning but I feel lighter. I went to the bathroom and I weighed 55.3kgs (1.7 lbs lost) and dropped 1cm off my waistline. No breakouts on my skin apart from a dried tiny spot on my forehead (I had this before I started the Alpha Step!)
  • I had 4 boiled eggs whites on a empty stomach replacing one juice consumption. I was so excited to have egg whites. I seemed like I’ve never felt as excited as this about egg whites in my entire life! That was filling and I had a good burp (excuse me!).
  • Banana, strawberry and kiwi smoothie for brunch at 11:45
  • I realised my no.2 didn’t take place (I hadn’t taken any fibre supplement yet)
  • I made another green juice: 3 celery stalks, 1 cucumber, parsley, broccoli and 1 lemon. Tangy, tangy…
  • I had another 2 egg whites for dinner 🙂
  • I was sleepy at around 10ish but was watching a movie with my husband, so ended up staying awake until about midnight. I was a bit cheeky and tried one of his M&Ms..but apparently, I was surprised that I didn’t like the taste – I can sorta feel the green juice on my tongue mixed with chocolate, nasty. Anyway, at least it puts me off from getting another one.

I Survived! Day 5:

  • Last day of my Alpha Step.  It’s so sunny outside so I wore my trainers and went for a quick walk around the neighborhood. But before that, I had 3 boiled egg whites for breakfast. I weighed 54.8kgs (1.3 kilos / 2.9 lbs lost) and dropped another 1cm off my waistline. I feel that my energy’s back to normal, actually I can run but I just thought maybe I’ll give it few more days.
  • After the walk, I grabbed a freshly made juice from a local juicing cafe. It’s called Sun Kissed made of mango, orange, pineapple and passion fruit  It was so refreshing!
  • I was a bit stressed for missing out my normal morning toilet routine yesterday, glad it went back to normal today (see I told you, it has to be documented!)
  • For lunch, I juiced 3 apples and 2 carrots.
  • After hours and hours of writing reports, etc for work, my husband and I went to the gym at 6:30pm. I had a banana before (that’s not part of the programme, I just had one). My friend, was also there and we did 30-min cross training session, 30-min cycling session and spent 4-mins rowing.
  • For dinner, FINALLY!!!! Tadaaaaaa…….

Fish

  • Okay, it may not look that exciting for you but I was so looking forward to eating dinner with my husband. Since Monday, I was just having juice while he was eating the food I cooked. He had rice with this fish but I just had the fish meat (I seasoned this fish with tomatoes, shallots, spring onions, lemon, ginger, pinch of salt and pepper and little olive oil popped in the oven for 15 mins covered with foil then another 15 mins without – just in case you want to find out the recipe).
  • Very Happy!

My conclusion on the Alpha Step detox

That’s my Alpha Step experience, the first detox program that I’ve tried. I lost 3 kilos (6.61 lbs) and about 4cm off my waistline. I originally wanted to become skinnier, basically get my pre-married shape back but really beyond that, I did this because I want to be healthier (shredding off those unwanted ‘muffin tops’ is a BIG bonus, wink*… plus the glowing skin). Of course I won’t binge on food after fasting for 5 days. Slowly, I’ll go back to eating clean foods and will avoid junk food as much as possible.

If you are looking for a detox programme without losing the important nutrients needed by our body, I think this one is for you. Don’t worry about not having carbs, it’s just 5 days anyway! Just make sure you consult your doctor first especially if you are undergoing medication.

I suggest that before you do this, get a juicer and insert this juicing habit in your daily life. Try replacing one meal, preferably at night, with 1-2 cups of freshly made juice like what I’d been doing before this detox program (and will be doing after). Then see if you think you are ready for the Alpha Step. Otherwise, juice anyway. And keep juicing, baby!

Here are quick tips about juicing:

  • Have the right mindset. Be beautiful inside and out.
  • It ‘s really important that you connect with the people who are also into this. It’s helpful to follow blogs, Facebook pages and Instagram posts. I’ve downloaded ‘The Everything Juicing Book’ by Carole Jacobs and ‘The Funk Fresh Juice ebook’ by Jason Vale in my iBooks.
  • Get a good juicer. Currently, I am using an Electrolux centrifugal juicer since I didn’t really know what to get at first. Now, I’m saving up for a Hurom slow juicer (it’s about £360!). Also consider if it is easy-to-clean as you must clean your juicer every after use.
  • Make sure you wash your fruits and veggies properly, you’ll never know! Also it’s better to use a plastic chopping board instead of a wooden one. Do not chop meats using this chopping board – get a separate one for that.
  • Do not store produce in the fridge for long. They only last for few days. I know it will take you several trips to the grocery weekly but believe me, it’s all worth it. Plus you get to burn those extra fats by walking to the supermarket!
  • Be prepared for frequent toilet visit.
  • Even busy people can make this a healthy habit.
  • Juice greens! Juice those superfoods that you can’t eat – at least you can cover your nose when you drink!
  • Juice less fruits at night – they’re good during the day or before the work-out. How about a refreshing apple-carrot juice after a 5km run?
  • Drink your juice immediately, you don’t to lose those nutrients!
  • Drink warm water with lemon first thing in the morning – it alkalizes your body.
  • If you feel you haven’t juiced enough, try Juice Plus Chewables (I used to eat Haribo gummies whilst working, now I replaced it with these all-natural fruit and veggie chewies)
  • Get a juicing journal or save your juicing mixes in your iPhone notes. I like taking pictures too.
  • Try, experiment, enjoy!
  • Just think of your health, really. That’s about it. Benefits will follow 🙂

Happy Juicing and cheers to a healthier us!

Catch up with the very first #innocentinspires event with @innocentdrinks

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A few weeks back we reported on the fantastic Innocent Inspires event held by our friends at Innocent Drinks. With influential speakers such as James Cracknell, Charlie Dark from Run Dem Crew and Dr Pixie McKenna speaking, we felt totally uplifted and healthier after the event.

The aim of this very first Innocent Inspires event was to help us all find ways to ‘Live Well and Die Old’ so this included easy ways to exercise, how to eat healthier foods and keep not only your physical but mental self well. We learnt a hell of a lot that night and cant wait to see what the next event has to offer, but if you missed this one, fear not as the lovely people at Innocent Drinks have shared some fantastic videos from the event.

If you want to find out more about the future Innocent Inspires event then make sure you click here! 

To kick start here’s a fantastic overview of the whole event:

And if you want to watch the speaker talks in full, just sit back, relax and press play!

James Cracknell

Charlie Dark, Founder of Run Dem Crew

Embarrassing Bodies Dr Pixie McKenna

 

How to look elegant and fabulous when pregnant #pregnancy #fashion #lifestyle

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Well it really does seem that 2013 is going to be a big year for babies… what with the hotly anticipated Royal baby due this Summer in the UK, and the queen of reality TV producing a suitable heir to the Kardashian throne over in the US. With all this going on, it seems that the world is going baby crazy!! Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 21.54.11

So whilst we all wait with baited breath to see who has the cutest kiddie later this year, we can’t help but spend our time doting on who made the right (or wrong) fashion choices throughout their pregnancy.

So lets start with the not so good shall we? Poor old Kim Kardashian – she is getting it in the ear quite a lot about her  pregnancy clothing choices. But should we really be giving her such a hard time? Shouldn’t you be proud of your beautiful bump? Of course, so why when wearing such tight gear is she getting such a telling off? Well, maybe squeezing into a leather dress when pregnant is a little over board (and may be a little too restrictive for baby bump), but she looks happy and healthy so we’ll let this one slide.

If you want to show off your beautiful bump when out and about, how best should you do this? Well here’s a selection of choices which we think look lovely and elegant:

Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 22.05.141) Balancing the Bump. 

Here you can look stylish and ready to take on the world as you head out teaming a tight top with a fashionable jacket to balance it up, and then some great skinny jeans to remind yourself that yes, you still can fit into them, and yes, you still look fabulous!

 

 

2) Blooming in boho chic Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 22.12.26

The queen of mastering a fashionable pregnancy is Nicole Richie. With Summer quickly approaching its going to be all about cute sandals and floaty dresses (the perfect combination to show off your blossoming bump and glowing complexion). You can find inspiration from Nicoles’ A Pea in the Pod collection – a perfect excuse to do some internet shopping!

Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 22.21.503) Go all out Glam! 

Who says you don’t know how to party when pregnant? On a (relatively relaxed) night out, make sure you still turn heads and dismiss anything dumpy by saying hello to sensational pregnancy wear. Take some inspiration from Peaches Geldof (yes, we never thought we’d say this but…) she looks so fabulous in this vintage looking frock which says ‘I’m pregnant, proud and fabulous’ Who says this look is just for celebrities, get creative and get out there!

So there you go, three simple ways of looking pregnant and perfect at the same time! So Kimmy K may not be our style guru of 2013, but at least she embraces her bumps and curves as every woman should.

But if you are looking for the ultimate style sensation then in our book there really was one lady that managed to capture it all when she was expecting and that was the amazing Angelina Jolie – check out her capturing all of our top three tips for pregnant fashion – what an inspiration!

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If you have any fun fashion tips for all those pretty pregnant ladies out there, make sure you let us know here and on Twitter @mysnoochiebooch.

Happy Shopping!