Smiles don’t lie, so make yours amazing with @dentek #teeth #competition #hygiene #health #beauty #IMCONVINCED

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We all know that beauty is big business. This year think beyond what you wear, how you style your hair and what you put on your face – remember that a smile, yes a smile, really is the key to everyday beauty, and you wouldn’t want to mess that up now would you?

A smile is the most universally recognized facial expression, it signifies happiness, and is the key to you telling everyone else that all is right in the world! So if you’re worried about your smile, never fear, we’ve been introduced to a nifty little solution in the form of DenTek Easy Brush Interdental Cleaners, which have just started launching in the UK.

Get me some to try!! – COMPETITION TIME!

If you have a quick read below, hopefully you’ll agree that we’ve sold this pretty well, because, well, we here at Snoochie Boochies have given it our tried and tested approval!

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So if after reading up on Dentek,  you’re convinced, and want to give it a go, then all you need to do is tweet us @mysnoochiebooch with the words #IMCONVINCED #DENTEK and we’ll pick a lucky winner at random to send a Dentek goodie pack to. It couldn’t be easier.

Who is Dentek?

DenTek, is the leading oral health care brand in the US and provides a full range of interdental products that help prevent a range
 of serious health conditions and diseases. These include lung disease, diabetes, blood clotting and inflamed arteries- a major risk factor for heart disease.Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 13.05.11

Why should I give it a go?

1) Follow in the footsteps of the worlds beauties.

Kate Middleton, Julia Roberts, Kylie Minogue & Jessica Alba are renowned for their smiles – and it takes less than 10 minutes a day to implement an oral hygiene routine – much quicker than applying make-up and a faster route to a more confident smile!

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2) Wear it with pride!

Be proud of your smile. Go Beyond Brushing with DenTek to help remove food and plaque. Flossing every day is an investment in you and your overall health, particularly your heart health

We’ve given it a go ourselves and it ain’t half bad!

pinkA smile, wouldn’t be a smile without good teeth, and having given it a go, we do think that Dentek may revolutionise the flossing market and become the best way to look after your pearly whites. Dentek provides a new way of flossing (yep flossing that bit that we all need to admit we probably don’t do as regularly as we should!) The Dentek brushes are neat individual brushes that are much easier to manage than that traditional floss string rubbish. It’s like a little sidekick for your toothbrush that gets deep into the crevices of your teeth (ewww!) and manages to find all that extra nasty stuff that your toothbrush might have missed.

If you brush it along your gums, it tickles too! (always a good sign!) and although this is the gross bit, unlike the traditional flossing methods, you really do see what you pick up from your teeth, which may not be what you want to see, but certainly shows that its working! We then followed this up with a little mouthwash and ta-dah! We felt like we had a new set of gnashers!

Whats the science bit then?

We always like to get a little technical for you, so here’s a few (not so fun) facts…

1) Poor oral hygiene can affect you and your family’s health… Brushing without flossing is comparable to cleaning only 65% of your body leaving the other 35% dirty1. By flossing daily with a DenTek Floss Pick, it will reduce the amount of bacteria from the mouth that can enter into the bloodstream. This can trigger INFLAMMATION in the ARTERIES, which can increase the risk of HEART DISEASE2

2) DenTek’s Interdental Cleaners remove bacterial plaque, a major cause of gum disease. GUM DISEASE has been identified as a Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 13.01.50risk factor for both HEART and LUNG DISEASE as well as DIABETES3.

3) 90% of all cases of bad breath can be contributed to harmful bacteria that is not removed by brushing, flossing or gargling4. DenTek’s Tongue Cleaner removes the source of bad breath, the oral and debis bacteria that reside in the groove and curves of the tongue – places where a brush just can’t reach. Leaving your tongue dirty can lead to conditions even more horrific than halitosis – GUM DISEASE, PLAQUE, BLOOD- CLOTTING and INFLAMED ARTERIES5. 
So by ensuring you add a 10-minute interdental regime to your daily routine, you could help prevent a number of serious – and expensive – conditions from occuring. Go ‘Beyond Brushing’ with DenTek for interdental cleaning, promoting good health beyond just your mouth.

 

Remember, wear a smile, one size fits all!

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FRIDAY FLASH!! – New Year, New You, New Nails with @biosculptureGB #beauty #nailcare #beautyflash

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Well, it really is all done for one more year! But don’t feel drab feel fab as we have a beauty flash for you!!

Introducing for 2014, Bio Sculpture’s pre polish treatment!

This treatment is a health based pre treatment that nourishes your natural nail and allows the nail to strengthen and grow once the polish is applied.

This makes the Bio Sculpture experience unique as this manicure will help your nails instead of damaging them like other gel manicures.
Make looking after you’re nails a new year’s resolution this year with Bio Sculpture and start 2014 in style!
Have a great weekend all! x

Plan ahead and sort out your new years hangover RIGHT NOW!! @verywisenutri @nutricentre #health #hangover #newyears

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 13.11.23Do you remember the morning of January 1st 2013… we assume it came part and parcel with a stinking hangover right? Then your family came round wanting to spend New Years day together and all you could think of was crawling under your duvet praying that the room would stop spinning, and knowing that there is not enough paracetamol in the world to stop this pain in your head. 

Well to stop this happening all over again, our friends at Very Wise Nutrition have been doing their research and have some handy hints to get you back to your A-Game come 2014. 

So here we go…. Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 13.10.21

When it comes to drinking, it’s all about damage limitation, look after your body and your body will look after your hangover.  Shona Wilkinson, Head Nutritionist at www.nutricentre.com shares her top tips to hangover-proof your Christmas!

Power on with Protein!

“Before heading out, make sure you eat a meal containing lots of protein (fish, meat, nuts, seeds, eggs, tofu) before you go out. Protein takes a long time to digest so it helps to line the stomach. Also as a preventative measure, take a milk thistle tincture before you party as this helps the liver deal with the toxins that will be introduced to the body.  Before bed, have a snack to help balance blood sugar levels – try marmite, humous or peanut butter on wholegrain toast, ‘’ explains ShonaScreen Shot 2013-12-16 at 13.12.07

Face facts!

Woken up looking like the bride of Dracula with last night’s make-up smeared all over your face?  Let the power of fruit enzymes get your skin glowing in no time!  MyChelle’s new festive White Cranberry Cleanser, £8.50 from www.nutricentre.com naturally exfoliates, cleanses and brightens.  Willow Bark and Totarol™ help bring balance to oily and blemish-prone skin conditions. Pomegranate, a super fruit rich in antioxidants and naturally exfoliating fruit acids, protects against environmental aggressors, while keeping pores clear and skin calm.

Get juiced!

Resist that fat Cola and try a natural nutrient booster instead.  Shona suggests ‘’In the morning, have a smoothie made of banana, kiwi, flaxseed, cinnamon and spirulina and omega 3. This will ensure a good supply of vitamins and help balance blood sugar levels.’’ Add some Omega 3 to make for the ultimate hangover smoothie, VeryWise’s new OmegaWise with mango and peach tastes great and contains your RDA of Omega 3 and Vitamin D, £8.80 from www.verywisenutrition.co.uk

B Prepared

According to Shona, ‘’Alcohol destroys your body’s vital energy boosting and nervous system protecting  B vitamins.  Ensure you keep your B levels topped up the day before a big drinking session with a B complex’’Quest’s new Mega B 50, £6.69 for a month’s supply from www.nutricentre.comScreen Shot 2013-12-16 at 13.12.22

We asked Shona some questions on hangovers to help separate the fact from the fiction…

1. Can food really help with a hangover or is it a myth?

Hangover symptoms show that the body is suffering from dehydration, mineral loss and low blood sugar, as well as the presence of toxic metabolites of alcohol. We can use food to prevent or reduce hangover symptoms, because certain nutrients are used for the body’s detoxification processes. We can use food and drink to counteract dehydration and nutrient loss caused by drinking, as well as to support balanced energy levels.

2. What should you eat before you go out and why?

The best foods and drinks to focus on are those which promote liver function. Firstly ensure you have protein (eggs, meat, fish, beans and lentils) because some amino acids facilitate detoxification, particularly of acetaldehyde which is thought to be a cause of unpleasant hangover symptoms. Secondly ensure you have antioxidant-rich fruits, fresh vegetables and leafy greens because they offer protection from free radicals which are considered another cause of hangovers.
Overall, it’s important that you do eat before drinking to slow the absorption of alcohol and additionally reduce the irritation that it causes to the stomach. Include healthy fats such as an olive oil dressing to slow absorption of alcohol, thereby slowing the work for your liver.

3. What should you eat the next day and why?

Start the day with a protein- and nutrient-rich breakfast.  Ideally choose eggs, because they are rich in cysteine which is needed to break down acetaldehyde. Try a healthier cooked breakfast of poached eggs, green leafy vegetables, grilled tomatoes and wholegrain bread. Keep your energy up by having plenty of slow release carbohydrates from wholegrains and vegetables.
Keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water, or even better drink coconut water as it’s naturally rich in electrolytes which helps to better hydrate you – like a sports drink but without artificial sweeteners. You could also have a fruit smoothie. Alcohol consumption results in dehydration which contributes to symptoms such as headache and fatigue, so this is very important.

4. What foods and drinks should you avoid (before and after drinking)?

Before, during and after drinking it’s best to avoid sugary foods and drinks, because alcohol consumption tends to play havoc with energy and blood sugar control. Refined sugars will compound this problem so it’s better to focus on protein and unrefined carbohydrates which release glucose slowly.
After drinking it’s best to avoid caffeine because it could worsen the dehydration.  Finally, after drinking the stomach may be irritated so it’s best to avoid very spicy or fatty fried foods.  It’s not wise to start drinking alcohol the next day because it prolongs the period of time for which your liver is processing alcohol.

So there you have it, get yourself ready for a new year without the hangover hang-ups!!! 

If your New Years resolution is going to be a health kick – you’ll need a shot of this! @verywisenutri #health

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Already planning your New Years resolution? If so, maybe a health kick is top of your list, and we’ve found a brand new product that may be able to help you start 2014 with a healthy bang!

We hear all about the health benefits of omega-3, we think we know where it comes from, fish, oily food etc, then we get told something different, and basically we get all confused…one of  the biggest problems is knowing how much makes a difference to our lifestyles? I mean, do we need to eat ten fish a day to get enough Omega 3 in our diets? Who knows, its all a very big head ache!!

Luckily, one brand of health oils has done all the thinking for us (phew!) VeryWise is new range of delicious tasting multi-nutritional health oils, which are designed to deliver high levels of omega-3 goodness, in a convenient and great tasting shot.

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How does it all work?

VeryWise oils use a proprietary process called WisdOM-3TM, where the omega-3 fats are broken up into tiny droplets, mimicking the action of the digestive juices. In this form, they have been found to be much more absorbable– even up to 100%. VeryWise oils are the only products on the market which are manufactured using the unique WisdOM-3™ process, which make it ultra absorbable in the body, more so than any other omega product on the market.

Right.. thats the science bit, now how good does it taste? 

They are then flavoured with natural fruit extracts to make creamy and tasty syrups that have no fishy smell or taste, but provide all the same benefits as fish oil. VeryWise supplements therefore provide an excellent alternative for children and any adult who finds it difficult to take standard fish oils, particularly those who may have issues with absorption of fats. Unlike some health oils, which taste less than desirable, all VeryWise products have been carefully flavoured, to ensure that they are great tasting for both adults and children when taken directly as a shot (or from the spoon) – or added to any cold drink such as water, fruit juice or milk.

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So what do we get in the pack and how much do I need to fork out?! 

The VeryWise range includes six oils which are all individually targeted towards specific health needs (e.g. brain health, joint health, heart health, metabolism, energy, and general health) and accordingly have their very own prescriptive mix of added nutrients including vitamins, minerals, natural extracts, plant sterols and energy boosting natural additives. The VeryWise range can be a great ‘all-in-one’ answer for those of us who don’t want to take several different supplements.

The six VeryWise products in the range include:

  • OmegaWise, omega-3 fish oil, plus vitamin D for general wellbeing, £8.80 for 150ml
  • JointWise, omega-3 fish oil, plus vitamin D, glucosamine and rosehip, £9.80 for 150ml
  • BrainWise, omega-3 fish oil, plus vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, K and folic acid, £9.80 for 150ml
  • CardioWise, omega-3 fish oils, plus plant sterols, vitamins, CoQ10, £12.90 for 150ml
  • MetaboWise, omega-3 fish oils, plus plant sterols, vitamins, CoQ10,  £12.90 for 150ml
  • EnergyWise, medium chain triglycerides, B vitamins, cartanine, taurine and caffeine,     £4.95 for 150ml

When can I get hold of some?

Verywise hits health food stores nationwide in January 2014, perfect for that post Xmas health kick. Need to keep up to date with when it officially hits the shelves, or want to find out more? Then click here.

 

Time to get your running shoes on and look FABULOUS! #exercise @proD_running #prodirect

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 Thinking you could do with a revamp for your running shoes. Are your trainers playing tricks on you and making you feel like they should still be in your wardrobe? Well, take the plunge and get yourself ready for a running revolution from the worlds largest online sports retailer Pro Direct. Its Pro Direct Running range have some of the newest and most stylish shoes for you to choose from, and here are some of our favourites. 

 

Asics Gel-Kayano 20 – Black/White/Gold – £125.99

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The Kayano is the most popular and successful of all Asics’ models, with its dedication to technical excellence maintaining its reputation as the gold standard of running shoes.

With over 18 million pairs sold since the trainer’s introduction in 1993, the Kayano 20 is here with innovative new FluidRide and FluidFit technology, with all the features that made the Kayano what it is today.

Key features:

  • Impact Guidance System (I.G.S.), allows the foot to perform in a natural manner.
  • GEL, Asics’ most famous of technologies located in the rearfoot and forefoot to counter shock during the impact and toe-off phases. 
  •  FluidFit technology replaces the Biomorphic Fit Upper seen in previous versions. FluidFit consists of a webbing of stretchy overlays along the midfoot and forefoot for a more adaptive and personalised fit.
  •      Gender-specific fit and cushioning, the men’s version has an offset 3mm lower than the women’s model.

 

Puma Mobium Elite Glow – Lime Punch – £89.99

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The Puma brand is always at the forefront of innovation, and their Mobium Elite Glow running trainers are no different.

With PUMA MoveCELL technology, they’ve developed the first ever trainer that adapts to your foot, rather than your foot adapting to the shoe.

Key features:

  • ·         PUMA MoveCELL is designed to expand and contract right along with your foot, inall directions.
  • ·         Lightweight upper combines breathable mesh with synthetic overlays for asecure fit.
  • ·         Uniquely sculpted, IMEVA midsole that expands and contracts along with the movement of your foot to mimic the “windlass mechanism”.
  • ·         The outsole of the PUMA MoveCell takes this functionality to the human foot in the form of Expansion Pods. The size, shape, and location of the pods are based on the bones and fat pads of the human foot. 
  • ·         The BioBands is a finely tuned elasticized band that runs through the outsole in a ‘figure eight’ design. It works dynamically just like your foot’s tendons: the more force applied, the more spring it returns.

Nike Free Flyknit+ – Volt Electric Green/Wolf Grey – £109.99

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The Nike Flyknit+ combines the stability and shock absorbing properties of a traditional running shoe, with the comfort and unnoticed feel of a sock.

Available in huge range of vibrant designs, the Flyknit+ is sure to remain at the forefront of running innovation for years to come.

Key features:

  • ·         The revolutionary Nike Flyknit upper delivers a compressive, second-skin fit that secures your foot over the Nike Free midsole.
  • ·         For ultimate flexibility, the shoe’s Nike Free 5.0 midsole features flex grooves to promote natural motion and help increase stability and foot strength.
  • ·         Ultra-light Flywire cables are woven into the Flyknit upper and connect to the laces, offering a dynamic, supportive fit that adapts to your foot’s movements.
  • ·         To construct the upper, polyester yarn is fed into a proprietary knitting machine, creating little to no waste and minimizing weight so the shoe’s incredibly efficient to produce. 

adidas Energy Boost – Electricity/White/Black – £98.99

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The adidas Energy boost promises to give you 15% more energy return than any other running trainer.

And with the all new Boost foam midsole, with extraordinary comfort, you’ll be able to keep going for longer.

Key features:

  • ·         Upper comprises synthetic overlays and ventilated air mesh for a super lightweight finish.
  • ·         Boost foam runs the full length of the trainer, giving 15% more energy compared to any other premium trainers.
  • ·         PU welded stripes and a one piece construction provide a seam free upper and ultimate comfort.
  • ·         A brand new heel counter, which ‘locks’ the heel in place while still allowing some natural vertical movement.

So what are you waiting for, its time to get out there and get running!! 

Dear Skin, how much do I love thee? And how much do I spend? @katscapades #health #beauty #skincare

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@katscapades is back and this time she’s getting up close and personal with her skin! So read on and don’t forget to follow her blog too!

I’m one of the billion people who spend money on skincare products. My spending habit from five years ago is vastly different from how much I invest now when it comes to taking care of the largest organ of my body. I’m grateful that my parents passed on the good skin genes and I’ve always wanted to maintain it, more so, improve it. Who wouldn’t want a healthy and younger looking skin all the time?!

I’m not denying that I also went through the stage of break-outs and unhealthy looking skin during some periods of my life.  Ergo, I was also one of the billion people victimised by aggressive marketing campaigns on skincare products – which actually did more harm than good at times – not just my skin but also my budget!  Glad the skin cells regenerate every 7 days (according Standford School of Medicine) and thank God I’ve got a job to recover my unwise-impulsive-skincare-shopping-habit – that’s learning it the expensive way!

Over time, I’ve realised that the importance of a healthy-looking skin goes a lot deeper. Reading various articles also helped me discover and rediscover facts about skincare. Dedicated to everyone who’d been asking me about my skincare secrets and to all my readers out there, I’m more than happy to share (publicly as I’ve been sharing a lot via private messages, skype and chitchats over a cup of green tea) the things I use and do and most importantly, how I prioritise my budget when it comes to my skincare expenditures.

So I’ve created a skincare spend-o-metre starting from the highest to the lowest:

SPENDING LEVEL: HIGH

1. Kitchen Machines

a. JUICER. About five years ago, I didn’t care that we had an existing juicer at home and I had no idea what joy it could bring into my life back then.  However, as I moved to France with my husband and learned the importance of juicing along the way.  I initially bought a juicer for just under a €100 and now investing into a €400+ Hurom Slow Juicer. My skin benefited a lot from juicing fresh vegetables and fruits and my juicer has been one of the busiest machines in my kitchen.

Frequency of Spending: Twice – one for my previous juicer and one for the slow juicer.

b. In-home alkaline water ionization technology . Actually this came into our home first before the juicer. “Drinking plenty of Alkalized water will maintain the pH of our bodies neutral, between a healthy range of 6.8 to 7.8, ideally 7.4. This neutral pH, not acidic-not too alkaline, prevents our immune system from malfunctioning or getting weaker and prevents diseases developing and keeps it strong and healthy” (click here for the source). To put it simply, healthier body = healthier skin. After careful research and consideration, we chose Kangen by Enagic USA but this machine comes with a huge price tag (you may want to close your eyes like we did when filling up the order form and handed the payment!).

Frequency of Spending: Once in a lifetime (filters have to changed yearly though)

 2. Fruits and vegetables.

You’ll probably notice that it’s cheaper to buy a big pack of Haribo Gold Bears or Doritos rather than a 100g of blueberries-rich-in-antioxidants or a bag of vit-c-filled-oranges for snacks; it’s cheaper to fry pork chops or grab those processed foods rather than making your own pesto sauce or making a hearty salad with the 5-a-day component. If I have €20 in my pocket and drop by at the mini supermarket, I could easily fill my shopping basket with junk with that amount versus going green – but I’d rather not. Fruits and veggies can also be used for some D.I.Y. skincare treats at home such as the famous diminishing-dark-circle-around-the-eye cucumber and avocado-super-face-mask to name a few (but to be honest, I haven’t done one in a long time since I love eating or juicing them!).

Buying organic produce also brings these green love goodies on this high spend-o-metre level. But trust me, it’s worth it.

Here are the usual fruits and veggies that I incorporate in my daily diet which are good for the skin: spinach, avocado, lemon, banana, cucumber, carrots, oranges and the following depends on their availability: berries, broccoli, mangoes, tomatoes and sweet potato.

Frequency of Spending: Daily.

3. Good exercise outfit.

I strongly believe that when you like what you’re wearing, you exercise better. Sports bra, running shoes and others to complete the fitness outfit are quite pricey! Make sure you buy comfortable and long-lasting items. It’s worth checking outlet stores too 🙂

Okay what’s the connection with skincare? You’ll see later on.

Frequency of Spending: Once in six months (sometimes more if I reward myself from working out)

SPENDING LEVEL: MEDIUM

1. Nutritional Supplements.

As I become more health conscious, I’m so paranoid of what I put in my body including what fitness drink or vitamins to take. I choose Juice PLUS+® since it’s plant-based and super safe even for pregnant nursing women and kids. JP Complete (choco / vanilla shake x 6 cans) costs around €160 inc. VAT and JP premium costs €76.75 per month, including VAT and delivery, that makes it €2.55 per day of full nutrition from 26 different varieties of fruits, veg & berries – which you cannot get that amount of nutrition under €3! In total, both JP Complete and JP Premium capsules cost €3.85 per day (or like buying a cup of cappuccino everyday). I thought it’s quite pricey (esp for people like me who don’t buy a cup of coffee daily) but equating the costs vs the nutritional benefits makes sense so it goes under this level of spend-o-metre.

JP Premium

Frequency of Spending: Monthly

2. SPF protection

I do invest into a good sunscreen protection especially when I’m out and about. I use Avène Sunblock – it’s more expensive than generic brands since it comes in a smaller bottle but I’m happy with its light fragrance, easy-to-apply texture without leaving those annoying white marks like other sunscreen creams do and it provides ultimate protection while being gentle on the skin. I also had the privilege of visiting Avène’s Hydrocentre and their team showed me how they make their products. Please click here to read the full story.

Avene

Frequency of Spending: My Avène sunblock was part of goodie bag from my previous trip at their Hyrdrocentre (yahoooooo, freebies! love the perks!). But I’ll probably be buying it once a month depending on how much I go under the sun during summer (less frequent during winter).

3. Make-up

Well, I just have a few essential things in my Make up bag. I opt to be make-up free most days of the week.  I think that my skin needs to breath and make-up clog my pores – oh that’s just me. I put make-up at this level of spend-o-metre since they are expensive pretty little things plus they must come with a gentle make-up remover, however, they last a long time since I hardly use them 🙂

Here are some of the make-up free, no-filter, no-edit selfie shots I’ve taken using my iPhone since I started juicing:

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Frequency of Spending: Once a year.

4. Facial Cleanser

Here’s another revelation: after cleaning my face with a paraben-free facial cleanser (I use La Roche as seen on this post), I spray Avène Thermal Spring Water on my face and leave it til it gets dry before I moisturise.

Spray

Frequency of Spending: Every 6 weeks.

5. Fish

My husband and I eat fish at least 2-3 times a week. Fish is more expensive than meat here in South of France (not sure about your area – hope it’s the opposite as fish is supergood and yummy!). Salmon and other cold water fish are high in protein which can help to speed up the skin’s natural healing process according to Glamour.

Frequency of Spending: We buy supply good for a week, so weekly.

SPENDING LEVEL: LOW

1. Daily moisturisers

JLo said in an interview a few years ago, if there’s one thing she’ll teach her kids, it will be to moisturise. Moisturising is a skincare essential. I used to be obsessed in buying the mid-range to expensive pots. Oh I loved seeing them lined up in the special section of my bathroom back in my London days. I fell in love with Liz Earle’s Organic Moisturiser, Mandelular Sensuous Body Soufflé by Sanctuary and of course, my super Molton Brown products. Moreover, I kept collecting bottles from other brands too. Can you imagine what  my bathroom looked like then?

Don’t get me wrong, I still love Liz Earle and those nicely packaged creams but like what my husband told me, if you find products that are good for your skin, stick with it. Nowadays, I’’ve been using the affordable Oil of Olay Day and Night Cream for the face and for the body, I use Nivea Soft Cream daily (under €5).

I’ve also read somewhere that experimenting on different products may be harsh to our skin. Well, it’ll be a quest to find what really suits your skin type before sticking on it and I’m not stopping you if let’s say Crème de la Mer is the one that works for you but living a healthy lifestyle can save you from spending too much on creams and reallocate your budget such as sustaining the juicing habit.

Frequency of Spending: Face creams last upto 6 weeks and 7-10 days for the body cream shared between us

2. Other Basic Toiletries

I try to keep a low maintenance practice on the basic toiletries such as body wash (currently, we are using Dove); deodorant (I always use the DEOROCHE SPRAY – an all-natural potash alum spray with no colouring agents and fragrance plus it’s paraben free; and hair removal tools i.e. Veet facial/body easy-wax strips and Venus razor.

Frequency of Spending: Between 2-3 weeks

3. Green Tea and Eggs

Super cheap anti-oxidant polyphenol-rich green tea’s good for the skin too and eggs too – I don’t take them together though :p

Frequency of Spending: Between 2-3 weeks for a pack of green tea and every 3-5 days for the eggs

SPENDING LEVEL: NADA

1. Running 

It’s free and it makes me sweat! “Sweating is our body’s way of helping to keep our skin clean. Every day, toxins build up in our pores that need to be released. If they’re not, then our skin can break out and cause pimples, rashes and other skin infections. By sweating out these toxins, our skin stays cleaner and, over time, it will appear to look healthier than ever” (please click here for the source). Amen.  Since I started running, I haven’t had any breakouts.

2.Hydration

I don’t count the water bill on my skincare spend-o-metre as I charge it under monthly household expenditures (which by the way is included in our rent!). On top of juicing greens, I drink loads of water throughout the day and avoid sodas and other fizzy drinks. I know coffee has benefits too but I don’t drink coffee, I prefer green tea (a good source of antioxidants too).

 3. Sleep

My best friend used to have this pink pillow with a caption – Live Now Sleep Later. I’m not denying I went through that kind of lifestyle which was so-against skincare 101. According to Day, who wrote the book, Forget the Facelift, “Your skin, and your whole body, goes into repair mode when you sleep. It’s repairing and restoring and rebalancing”. My gorgeous uni friend once said, “if I sleep late, I don’t feel better the next day. If I don’t feel better, I don’t look better”. Hear, hear! Oh you must see her well-maintained skin too! In the past few years, I try my best go get 8 hours of sleep daily and I think I’m pretty good at it (*wink). Day added however, “do not oversleep as it can actually increase skin cell breakdown”.

 4. Smile

Smiling is always free and it always adds glow to the skin.

Hope you find this useful. Remember having a healthy glowing skin comes from the inside out. It’s living a healthy lifestyle – proper diet, regular exercise with good sleep and hydration plus the help of the skincare products that work for you. Don’t forget to smile too! It’s important that we take care of our skin – it’s the only skin that we have 🙂

@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 🙂