health

Summer Slim Down: Week One!

Hey beautiful people! Today I am doing something different. I have not spoke about exercise yet on my blog, simply because I haven’t been able to do it the past few months due to health issues and having surgery. Now I am one month post op, I have started to ease back in to fitness and next month I will be joining the gym! This summer, my goal is to get fit and healthy and see how far I can go in two months! It is essentially the beginning of my fitness journey.

I believe in living a healthy lifestyle through good nutrition, positive thinking and of course fitness. So I thought it would be quite fun to document my fitness journey! It will help to motivate me to continue and track my progress and perhaps give you some ideas about your own fitness journey.

My Goals

  • Lose Body Fat, Particularly from my stomach and upper arms-  My ultimate goal is that I want to get my body fat percentage down to 20/22%. I will be tracking my progress through this mostly and also by taking other measurements.
  • Tone Up!- Like most people, I want to tone up. Surgery has left my stomach very weak and I would love to build up strength and feel strong. I would love bigger thighs and a nice booty wouldn’t be bad! ;D
  • Eat Better- Diet can always be improved and I have been slacking. I want to really focus on eating as clean as possible with the occasional indulgence. I do not believe in counting calories- instead I will focus on eating colourful, balanced plates of food and drinking plenty of fluid. To get to where I want to be, its going to be 70% diet and 30% exercise.
  • Stretch More- I used to be very flexible after doing cheerleading and dance for most of my life, but since all of my health problems cropped up, I do not stretch much anymore and I want to get back to my old bendy self!

My Starting Stats

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  • Body Fat Percentage- 25%
  • Height- 5’3
  • Weight- 117lbs
  • Waist- 27 inches
  • Upper Arm- 10 inches
  • Thighs- 18.5 inches
  • Calves- 12.5 inches
  • Midsection- 32 inches (below belly button, above hips)

I love my body as it is, but I want to be fit and strong so I can live my healthiest life and function at my best. As a part of my surgical recovery, it will be important to build strength particularly in my stomach as it has faced so much trauma and is very weak right now. I hope you enjoy this new segment for my blog and I will update every week! See you soon!

 

One Month Post Op Update: How Am I Doing?

Hello everyone! It has been one month exactly since my operation in May. That is so crazy to me and the time has flown by. I’m about a third of the way through the recovery process but honestly I am feeling really good, so I thought I would share a few things with you about what it has been like recovering from major surgery.

(For My Health Story- Click Here.  I am writing this post assuming you know why I had surgery, but if not you can follow the link  to find out why I had surgery! )

 

Week One

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Just Before I was Discharged From Hospital!

The first week of recovery was really, really difficult. I felt drained physically and emotionally and my body was not cooperating with me at all. I had real difficulty with gas pain and my chest felt like it was permanently being crushed. I was waking up in the middle of the night and I couldn’t eat much. However, after lots of peppermint tea, healthy eating and forcing myself to walk when possible, this passed after about a week and a half, and I started feeling more human.

Week Two

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The second week, I definitely did not rest enough and I pushed myself quite a bit. Luckily, this did not cause too many issues but my stitches became quite raw and sore which is part normal, but part likely my fault for moving to quickly. I needed a hot water bottle and painkillers quite a lot in the second week.

Week Three

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Out And  About!

The third week was where I was really seeing improvement and I am completely off pain killers at this point. I could walk further than before and stand for longer periods of time- admittedly not a very long time but it was progress. Emotionally, I felt incredible. That has been the biggest success following surgery as it has given me an overwhelming sense of joy, gratefulness and relief. The swelling had massively gone down by this point and I was thoroughly enjoying being over a stone lighter and being able to wear all the clothes I want!

Week Four Up  Until  Today!

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I had a normal healthy period, which was a really good sign as I had my left ovary and fallopian tube fully removed and part of my right ovary removed. I didn’t have that much pain either which was a huge bonus! It came as scheduled which was great because I didn’t get any unexpected surprises…

Physically I feel amazing, but I know I am not fully there yet. I feel a bit weak and my incision still needs more time to heal before I can return to a lot of activities, including work. My checkup is in 10 days and I am going to ask my surgeon if I can go back to the gym. I am desperate to work out and build up strength where I can. My health is so important to me so I am crossing my fingers and toes that I am allowed. Mentally, I feel really good too. I miss work, but I know I can not go back yet due to the nature of my job, and I am looking forward to the future as I have lots of exciting things happening this year. After recovery, I am going to be focusing on my fitness journey as it will be the best possibly time to kick my butt into gear, do my squats, eat more veggies and put my body and health first for good.

I have felt overwhelmed at times because although my recovery is going extremely well,  I feel a little impatient because I want to do so much when I can not, but I know that If I carry on how I am going, I will be back to normality in no time. My boyfriend, best friends and family have constantly been supporting me, and it is not all bad because my being at home all the time means spending lots of time with my kitty, Gustavo. I truly and very happy and glad that this will all be over soon.

Thats it for my little update! Thank you for reading and make sure to follow so you never miss a post!

Lots of love,

Elizabeth xox

 

 

 

 

10 Things That Make Me Happy

Time for a lighter more upbeat post today! I am sharing with you 10 things that make me happy! I encourage you to do the same as listing things that make us smile or that we are grateful for can really uplift our moods and make us feel really happy. So lets jump straight in! Here are the 10 things that make me happy!

1: My Cat Gustavo

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How can you be anything but happy staring at this adorable little crazy things face.  Gustavo, otherwise known as Gus, is my boyfriend and I’s rescue kitty whom we have had since April this year. He’s a beautiful, loving little cat and I love him very much.

2: Tea

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Tea is cheap, easy to find and so satisfying. I instantly feel relaxed when I have a cup of tea. For some reason, tea just changes my mood and I can not get through a day without a cup.

3: Being Outside On A Sunny Day

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Being outside when it is sunny for a walk, picnic or day out uplifts my mood and it is such a treat as England is not typically a sunny country. We have been fairly lucky in recent months so I am enjoying every minute of it.

4: My Boyfriend

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Every girl deserves someone who makes them feel as loved, spoilt and cared for as my boyfriend makes me feel. I know that is incredibly cheesy, but I am genuinely so happy, content and glad that he is my best friend and partner in crime.

5: My Best Friends

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Our friendship bracelets have cocktail charms on. That is the kind of friendship we have. Rarely do I go a day without talking to these two beauties, I love them very much and they always brighten the room!

6: Animals In General

 

 

It is not a secret that I am an animal lover, but I really care about animal rights and conservation. I am a dedicated vegetarian and my dream is to do lots of charity work with animals and conservation teams. Animals are so intelligent and kind when we love them the way they deserve to be loved. They make me so happy and always put a smile on my face.

7: Pretty Dresses

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I instantly feel good about myself when I am wearing a pretty, flattering dress. Vintage style dresses are my favourite but i also love bohemian style clothing and even the occasional cocktail dress!

8: Keeping A Journal

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Recently I started a bullet journal, but i have been keeping a diary for over 10 years and I honestly feel it is the best way for me to vent my feelings and remember events (aside from vlogging on my youtube channel- link on my home page) It is so calming and fun!

9: Healthy Food_20170528_204747

My happiness is intrinsically linked to my health. I feel crap when I eat junk food and I feel good when I eat clean. I actually wish I ate clean 100% of the time but realistically this will never happen because I love cake too much.

10: Blogging/Vlogging And My Followers

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You all leave me lovely comments every single day and it is hard not to be happy when you are part of such a lovely community. I am so grateful for each one of you that follows my blog/youtube channel/instagram because it keeps me going and motivates me to carry on. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I hope I can give you back even a sprinkle of the happiness you give me.

Lots Of Love

Elizabeth 

xox

Lets Support Each Others Social Media! (follow for follow & I now have twitter!)

Just a quick post to say that after years of saying ill never get it, I finally got twitter. I know, I have officially conformed to the world of social media. However, I felt it was necessary to help grow my blog and share my posts (and random thoughts) so I decided to bite the bullet and go for it! I would love to follow all of my blogging friends on twitter so leave your twitter names in the comments and ill head over and follow your accounts! Leave me any of your others socials and ill go check them out! xox

My Twitter Username is:

MsElizabethShan

Whilst you are reading I thought I would use this post to promote my other socials. I do follow back everyone who follows/subs me because I love supporting our little blogging community! My other social links are :

Youtube Channel

Instagram

Facebook

 

Thank you for reading! Leave me a comment to let me know if you want me to check out your socials/blog. To grow ourselves we must first help each other grow. See you again soon xox

I am a treeStrong limbed and deeply rootedMy fruit is bittersweetI am your mother (3)

 

Please Be Aware Of Bloggers Stealing Content!

Just a quick post with evidence to say that I have noticed my blog posts are being directly plagerised by another blogger who goes by the name bodyengineernavi at the blog F Club.  I noticed they are copying other posts also from other bloggers so please report this blog and check your content is not being stolen. I posted a blog post called “eat your way to beautiful skin” and they have copied everything down to the photos and just changed it to their name.

Copied Post By Bodyengineernavi.wordpress.com

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My Original Post 

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I work really hard and spend hours on my blog posts and I am really upset that people will directly plagiarize my hard work and others hard work. Please be wary of who is following your blog and be wary of accounts like this. I have filed a plagiarism claim and and letting others know about their stolen blog posts. It would be greatly appreciated if you report this user as here on wordpress we all work so hard to run our blogs and produce content and people like this should not be allowed to use this platform.

I hope you understand me making this post. Sorry for a negative post today guys but I will not sit back and let people do that with my content.

 

 

Dealing With Guilt After A “Bad Food Day” Or Binge.

This topic I am talking about today is really important to me, because I believe this is something all of us experience at some point in our lives yet none of us seem to talk about it enough. Some of us can just “get over it”, but others can really struggle with feelings of guilt after eating junk food or overeating in general. I personally can feel very disappointed in myself and annoyed at myself after eating a certain amount of junk food or having a takeaway. I know that I do not have it enough for it to be something of concern, but I still find myself beating myself up when I over indulge or have too much of something I deem as junk.

 

Why Do We Feel Guilty After Eating “Bad Food”

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Naturally, it is understandable. Foods that have particularly high levels of sugar can cause absolute havoc on how we feel and it is important to understand how sugar works on the body. Like recreational drugs, sugar releases opioids and dopamine. It also has been shown in studies to affect our brain in ways similar to addictive drugs, causing addictive behaviors such as bingeing, withdrawal, and cravings. Furthermore, too much sugar can directly cause anxiety and irritability.  This is called reactive hypoglycemia, or a “sugar crash” and we have all heard of it: that feeling of happiness after eating a tasty but junky meal, followed by feelings of guilt, irritability at one’s self and sadness once the spike of sugar has worn off. This is because too much of the sweet stuff causes your body to release an excessive amount of insulin to process all the sugar. This leads to a too rapid reduction of blood glucose, or blood sugar levels, causing your body to release adrenaline to compensate. This is the “fight or flight” chemical that causes the anxiety and irritability and it can affect us all in different ways, hence why some of us feel more guilty than others.

Let’s be real about this. We know that things like pizza, cake, sweets and chocolate are not the most nutritionally dense foods. Does that mean we should just not eat them? No, of course not! Too much of anything is bad for you, so it is important to have a balanced diet and indulge in treats now and again IN MODERATION. However, after sugar fueled binges, our bodies need time to recover and if we do not follow the right steps and do everything correctly, we end up in a vicious cycle of eating clean for a short period of time, followed by bingeing on crap, followed by eating healthy again to compensate, leading to low moods, guilt, weight gain or maintaining weight if you are trying to lose it and overall feelings of poor body image and low self-esteem.

How Do We Recover After A Bad Food Day/Binge And Overcome Guilt?

The first and most important step that I would recommend is going against the title of my blog post, and that would be to stop referring to things as good and bad food days. I simply titled it that to grab your attention, because I know we all associate it as that. (Hehe got you!)

Acknowledge that harboring feelings of guilt and shame associated to food does not help the situation. It’s just food. One pound equals 3500 calories. Even on a “terrible” day, it’s hard to overeat by more than 3500 calories. Even if you have, what’s a pound anyway, what’s even two pounds or three pounds? It is not a lot and you are not going to jeopardise your health after a day or few days of over indulging. Also, those feelings of guilt only worsen how you feel because guilt is an emotional response that has stressful triggers that can cause poor digestion or indigestion, which physically makes you feel rubbish. Guilt is impermanent and it will go away in the same way that all the food you have eaten will also go away.

If in the moments following a binge or overindulging session you feel this way, try walking and moving. This will speed up digestion and help the food pass out of the system a bit quicker and can release positive endorphins that can improve your mood a bit. In the morning, start the day off with some hot water and sliced lemon as it will make you feel refreshed and it will soothe your tummy. If you have just eaten, wait for the food to go down a bit and then have a cup of peppermint tea when you are calmer and more relaxed as it will relax the stomach muscles and make you feel more at ease.

How To Stop It From Happening Again

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If you feel trapped in a cycle of over indulging or bingeing then there is likely more going on under the surface. To stop consistently eating things that are making you feel unhealthy, you need to address the reason why that it is happening in the first place rather than guilt tripping yourself every time it happens. You can learn from your eating habits and learn to make better ones without beating yourself up about it constantly. Start to keep a food diary and time log of when and what you are eating and also your mood at the time.

How do you feel in the morning? Are you tired/lethargic/ready to roll back in to bed or are you buzzing and ready for the day ahead?– You might need more sleep and a more substantial breakfast. Make sure you are hitting 7-8 hours of sleep a night and that on waking you have a healthy breakfast such as porridge and fruit. This will set you up for the day and prevent bingeing and cravings. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.

Are you bingeing/over indulging late at night?- If so, you are likely not getting enough nutrition in the day or you are under-eating during the day. When your body is starved both of nutrients and food, it goes in to survival mode and will start reaching for any food that is available and you go in to a state of eating anything and everything. This is why I think diets and calorie counting suck, because you feel restricted. I never count calories. I just try to eat intuitively and make healthy choices during the day and I try not to beat myself up when I eat something unhealthy. Try having fruit instead of sweets and make sure you are getting enough healthy carbohydrates during the day to keep your glucose levels steady and energy levels regular.

Learn To Love Food- 

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Food is such an amazing thing, It is the fuel for your body and natures best medicine. When you eat a diet full of whole, natural foods such as beans, pulses, legumes, whole-grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds, you really do feel fantastic because your body is getting everything it needs. Try incorporating colour in to every dish and eat the rainbow. I really do hate calorie counting in any form so I make sure my diet has variety, balance and colour. Food is to be enjoyed, not to be feared and having treats now and again is okay. In fact, I encourage it! A healthy diet is all about moderation so if you want a cupcake, have one, just make sure you are still getting everything you need in your diet.

Know When To Get Help

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This will not be the case for everyone but some of us may have a deeper issue. Guilt now and again is very natural. In our society we are wired to be watchful of food, and guilt is very common. But, there comes a time where guilt and other emotions towards food can develop in to something more sinister.

If you find yourself doing any of these things or seeing a close relative or friend doing these things, you/they may have an eating disorder:

  • Constant dieting.
  • Hiding food or food wrappers.
  • Eating in secret.
  • Eating to the point of discomfort or pain.
  • Self-induced vomiting.
  • Laxative use.
  • Excessive exercise.
  • Frequent bathroom trips after eating.
  • Excessive Guilt And Shame Around Food

However, never assume someone has an eating disorder. If you are concerned for your self or a friend, you need to tread very carefully. If you are concerned for your self, I would recommend seeing a psychologist or doctor and checking out the B-Eat Website (I will link below) For guidance and information. Please read this first before you approach someone about your concerns as it can be a very touchy, deceptive illness.  Remember that an eating disorder is not just about food, it is an actual mental illness and is very emotionally tied to the person.  Click here for more info.

I do hope this post was of some use to you. Here on my blog, I want to encourage and help others to live a healthy, happy, beautiful life and that is my main goal. If you have any questions feel free to drop a comment or send me a message privately! Thank You for reading and see you soon! xox

 

 

Eat Your Way To Beautiful Skin!

Before I start can I just warn everyone of “bodyengineernavi” who has literally copied and pasted my blog post and posted it as their own. I’ve reported them but just be wary your posts are not being copied.

Today I am sharing with you five foodie tips to help you get beautiful, clear, glowing skin! I love any beauty regime that requires me eating food so I thought this would be a fun little post to do! A good skin care regime starts from the inside, so here are a few foods you can add to your diet that have amazing skin benefits!

5 Foods For Gorgeous Skin

Dark Chocolate

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“Chocolate? Are you serious Elizabeth?” Yep! And yes, I was excited when  I discovered this also. Chocolate, or in particular raw cacao, contains anti-aging antioxidants called flavonoids, which fight free radicals to protect your skin from UV damage and prevent the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and skin discolorations. A couple squares a day to keep bad skin at bay? Yes please! (Do not eat a whole giant bar, but a couple of squares a day will do no harm!) Or better yet, get raw cacao powder and add it in to smoothies and meals for a chocolate flavour and glowing skin!

Flaxseed

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Flaxseed is so easy to add in your diet and it is very high in omega 3. Eating more omega-3 fatty acids can help tame inflammation and improve acne breakouts. It is also really high in fibre and is an overall superfood. I like to sprinkle it on porridge in the morning! Flaxseed also contains Phyto-estrogens. These are natural chemicals found in plant foods (phyto meaning plant). They have a similar structure to the female sex hormone oestrogen and have been found to help keep our natural hormones in balance which is very beneficial for hormonal acne.

Brazil Nuts

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Deficiencies in minerals such as zinc and selenium have been noticed in some of those who suffer skin issues such as acne and breakouts. Brazil Nuts are a great source of   selenium and so easy to find in all super markets. Selenium helps to actively increase the number of infection-fighting white blood cells in the body and strengthens their fighting power. They also contain vitamin E, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium and iron which are all essential to skin health and repair.

Tomatoes

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Tomatoes are another common food which is high in selenium and Vitamin E and C. Tomatoes are very cheap and can be added in to a whole host of dishes. The most benefits are produced when you eat them raw in a salad, or even on their own!

Avocados

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Great for sufferers of dry skin, avocados are high in Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which act as a natural moisturiser for the skin, helping to keep it supple and soft. Avocados can also be mashed and used as a face mask to get instant glowy looking skin!

 

I hope you enjoyed todays post and learnt something new! Please follow my blog so that you do not miss a post! I post around 3 times a week minimum! Thank you so much for reading, see you soon!

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