Friday, 30 January 2015

Travel: Holiday Snippets

Well hello there...

I've just returned (I say just, it's been over a week now, sob) from a lovely week in Lanzarote, with my boyfriend, we had such an amazing time.
It was so nice to get away from the miserable English weather, and enjoy a week of sun and relaxation. 
I thought I'd share a few snaps, of what I got up to! 

Let's get started...

 1 & 2. We stayed at a gorgeous hotel, called Los Jameos Playa - it's an amazing hotel, with lovely grounds, a heated pool (In January it's a must!) and very friendly staff.
We went all inclusive and were completely spoilt for choice! Each evenings dinner had a theme, and the dishes tailored to a variety of different countries.
 We had a German night, Italian night, Asian night, Swiss night and so many more!

3 & 4. The hotel had a little pond, with the prettiest fish. We also spotted lots of vibrant green birds in the palm trees, around the resort - I'm not sure what type of bird they were, but they are so pretty.
5. There were flowers and plants dotted all around the grounds, they even had landscape gardeners tending to them every day. I love bright, colourful flowers, they always make me so happy.

6. Most of my days were spent lounging by the pool, catching some rays, having a dip in the water and just relaxing. Bliss

7. As we were all inclusive, we had unlimited drinks. I mostly stuck to my usual water and green tea, but I did treat myself to the odd fruity drink. I loved the Hawaii cocktail, it's non-alcoholic (Nobody wants a nasty afternoon hangover!) and it tasted delicious!

8. I bought this beautiful dress online, just before Christmas.
 I love the pretty flower design and the cut is super-flattering. Oh, and I got my legs out! Before my weight lossI would cover myself up from head to toe in black, baggy clothes - it felt amazing to wear something so pretty, and feel confident wearing it!

A big thank you to my lovely boyfriend, for taking some of these amazing pictures!

I hope you enjoyed this 'Holiday Snippets' post, Are you planning a sunshine trip soon? What's your favourite holiday destination? Have you ever been to Lanzarote, if so, what did you think?

I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.

Let's be friends!
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Love Laurenx

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Lifestyle: Tips For Starting A Healthier Lifestyle

Well hello there...

Now, I am no healthy eating expert... but I do have a couple of tips and tricks to give you a helping hand, if you are trying to start a healthier lifestyle. 
You may have noticed I emphasised the word, healthier... it's because I don't believe in eating a 100% healthy diet, all of the time.
I eat healthily 80-90% of the time and have the occasional treat or reward meal.
It's important to treat yourself every now and then, if you constantly deny yourself or cut out food groups to lose weight quickly, you may lose some weight, but once you resume to eating normally, the weight will pile back on. 
This is a healthy lifestyle change, not a quick fix. 

(Catch up with my weight loss journey here here and here)
Tip #1
Drink up
Drinking water helps to keep your skin clear, aids digestion and stops you from getting dehydrated. 
If you find you are prone to headaches, it may be because you aren't drinking enough water!

Struggling to drink enough water?
Try these tips:
1. Always make sure you have a bottle of water with you wherever you go, in your car, at your desk and in your handbag. 
2. Eat more fruits and vegetables, their high water content will help you to stay hydrated.
3. If you find water bland or boring, try adding in some fruit to jazz it up
 (lemon, lime, orange and strawberries are all delicious)
4. Drink green or herbal teas, they also count towards your water intake for the day

I drink at least three litres of water per day, it's probably the best health tip I can give you.
Water is calorie free, so guzzle away to your hearts content. 

Tip #2
Feeling fruity
This seems pretty obvious, but eating lots of fruits and vegetables will do wonders for your body!
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, while also helping to whittle down your waistline. 

Tips for upping your fruit and vegetable intake:
 Try freezing grapes, berries or bananas for a refreshing snack 

Blend your favourite fruit with some 0% fat Greek yoghurt to make healthy ice-lollies or a smoothie

Add peas, sweetcorn, mushrooms or cherry tomatoes to your pasta

Have some carrot sticks or celery with salsa, houmous or your favourite healthy dip

Swap chips for sweet potato fries

Stuff your usual chicken mayo sandwich, with lettuce, tomato and cucumber and either skip the mayonnaise or opt for the light or extra light versions

Making a pizza? Add mushrooms, peppers, spinach and extra tomato to your usual margherita, or you can even add chicken or tuna, for some protein.

Pizza fiend? Check out my healthy pizza wrap recipe here.

Tip #3
Breakfast of champions
Don't skip breakfast! I find that when I don't have time to eat breakfast, I always crave sugary foods mid-morning, which isn't good for my body.
 If I am in a massive rush, I at least grab some fruit or a granola bar, to eat on go!

Try poached or boiled eggs, with a slice of toast.

0% fat Greek yoghurt with fruit 
(I love raspberries and blueberries, I always stock up my freezer with berries, as they can be quite expensive to buy fresh all of the time)

Cereal with skimmed milk or 0% fat Greek yoghurt and frozen berries
(I don't like the taste of full fat or semi-skimmed milk, so I always opt for skimmed.
But, you could have semi-skimmed or almond milk - if you're not a fan of skimmed)

Smoked salmon on a slice of wholemeal toast is heavenly, especially with a poached egg on top!

Tip #4
Move that booty
Try some gentle exercise, be it a long walk, half an hour of yoga or even dancing around your bedroom for 20 minutes to your favourite tunes. 
Any exercise - no matter how short, is still benefiting your health.

I personally prefer to work out at home, it's free, private and I can look like a sweaty mess afterwards and not even care!
Exercise DVD's are great, there is such a wide-variety - you can easily find one that suits you.
Try Amazon for cheap deals.

Wii Fit - I love playing on the wii, I prefer the Just Dance games, as I find that I am concentrating so much on getting the moves right, I'm burning calories and I don't even realise it!

I also like to throw in some sit-ups, lunges, squats and stretches to tone up.

I aim to work out 3 times per week, I have a full-time job so I don't always have time to work out more than that. I find it's a good balance for me.

Tip #5
Tracking your progress
I use the MyFitnessPal app to keep track of my daily calorie intake, it's a pretty straight-forward app to use.
You simply input your current weight, height, age and goal weight, the app then calculates how many calories you need to consume each day to lose between 1-2 pounds per week.
This app might not be for everyone, but the key is not to worry about going over your daily calorie goal once or twice per week.
 It's when you constantly over-eat that you aren't going to see any difference in your weight.

It's also important that you don't lie to yourself, if you had a sneaky biscuit at work or a slice of cake because it was your friend's birthday - enter it into the app, don't feel guilty - we're all only human and are bound to have the occasional slip up.

I also take photographs of myself, every time I reach a milestone.
I find that seeing your progress, helps to motivate you to keep going and reach your goal!

Tip #6
Set yourself an attainable goal
When I first started my weight loss journey, I had a lot of weight to shift. 
(3 stone 11lbs, to be precise)
I set myself a goal of losing two stone in four months, that may seem like a long time - but it equates to a loss of about 2 pounds per week. 
It's taken me just over six months to lose four stone, it's been a battle but I am so much happier, more confident and I feel healthier!
For example: If you weigh 12 stone and want your goal weight to be 10 stone, give yourself at least 4 months to lose it!
It's realistic, achievable and if you put your mind to it - you can do it!
I would also advise having a goal weight or even a dress size in mind, it really helps to have something to work towards.

Tip #7
Reward yourself
I have a reward meal or snack, once per week - twice if it's been a particularly crappy week!
If you're craving chocolate, have a bar - just make sure you stop at one, and that you log it into your food diary.
Don't feel guilty about rewarding yourself with something that you love. 
You won't gain weight by having a curly wurly once a week, as long as you don't have one every day and it's within your calorie intake for the day - enjoy it!
I would recommend putting your reward chocolate bar in the fridge, because it's cold, it lasts longer!

I hope you enjoyed this 'Healthy lifestyle tips' post, Are you trying to lose or maintain your weight? Do you have any tips or tricks?
Would you like me to do another healthy lifestyle tips post?
I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below!

Hopefully we can support in each other, in achieving our goals - feel free to drop me an email or tweet, be it for advice, support or just a chit chat :)

Want to connect?

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Love Laurenx

*I just wanted to quickly say; I am not a nutritionist, healthy eating expert or fitness expert, I am not saying that I work out 7 days a week for hours at a time, starve myself or deny myself anything.
I am just trying to be healthy and share some weight loss tips that have worked for me*

Monday, 5 January 2015

Travel: Winter Sun

Well hello there...

I am off on holiday to Spain on the 14th of January, for a week and I can't bloody wait! 
I work in the hospitality industry, so I can't go on holiday in the summertime, as we are always busy - plus our hotel is closed from January until March.
So, I always go out of season - but it's cheaper than in the summer and at least I can enjoy a week of sun in January, instead of the possible wind/rain/hail/sleet/snow England will be facing!
So, I thought I would put together a little list of my Winter Sun essentials!

Let's get started...
Hand Luggage
Passport, tickets, various travel documents and money - or I won't be going anywhere!
I like to keep all of my travel documents and passports in a plastic folder, so I know where everything is, and I won't lose anything!

Magazines, a good book - for some in-flight and poolside reading

iPhone, to Instagram the classic passport/ticket picture, of course!


Make up: Lip balm with SPF, pressed powder and brush

Compact mirror, for any in-flight touch ups

Notebook and pen, for all those lists!
I always make a list of everything I need to pack in my hand luggage, and suitcase and I tick each item off as I pack it.


Chargers for my phone and camera - I always find it easier to keep them all together in my hand luggage, in case my suitcase happens to get lost

Travel sickness tablets - just in case, I suffer quite badly from motion sickness, so I'm not the best of travellers

In case of emergency: 
Headache tablets, hair bands, cotton buds, travel-size toothbrush
 (Again, in case my luggage gets lost!)

Sucky sweets - for any ear-popping situations
I love sherbet lemons, rhubarb and custards or milk bottles - sweets are my weakness!

Eye mask and ear plugs - for some in flight snoozing!

Healthy snack - plane food is always quite unhealthy and overpriced - I like to bring a Nature Valley or Quinoa bar for quick, easy, on the go snacking

I hope you enjoyed this 'Winter sun essentials' post, Are you going on holiday soon? What are your travel must haves?

I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.

Let's be friends!
Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin

Love Laurenx