OSHUN white

Last month OSHUNwhite sent me a 14day teeth whitening oil pulling kit and a copper tongue cleaner. What with always being in front of the camera, I am always wanting whiter teeth. In January 2015 I took part in a study with the BBC to test the effectiveness of over the counter teeth whitening kits. The results came in and no one’s teeth had been whitened to a degree where it was noticeable to the human eye. This is because the active ingredient in teeth whitening kits isn’t strong enough and can’t be strong enough due to EU regulations. Many people get teeth whitening products sent over from the US because their rules and regulations are different. I have never used anything stronger than can be bought in the UK because I always get nervous about them damaging my teeth and only having myself to blame for being so silly. This was the reason why Oil Pulling has intrigued me for some time now.

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Oil pulling has been practiced for thousands of years as part of the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda. The practice involves swishing a small amount of oil around your mouth for 5 to 15 minutes each day. Traditionally, unflavoured coconut or sesame oil would be used.

Oil pulling works to reduce the levels of harmful bacteria in the mouth, which are pulled out with the oil. This delivers a powerful, natural oral detox, resulting in reduced plaque, long-lasting fresh breath and a beautiful white smile.

~ OSHUNwhite

OSHUNwhite offer a 14 day kit, one sachet each day first thing in the morning before eating breakfast. This is really handy because if you’re staying at friends let’s say, you don’t have to carry around your great huge jar of coconut oil, you can just pop a sachet in your bag. They offer 4 flavours, Crushed Lime, Wild Cherry, Spearmint and Peppermint. The flavours really help to distract you from the fact you have coconut oil filled with toxins in your mouth…

I tried the Crushed Lime flavour. The guidelines say to swill it around your mouth for 5-15minutes, on my first time I lasted 5! I was SO disappointed in myself but its such a new and surreal sensation that I just couldn’t keep going any longer. Luckily like with most things practice made it better and more tolerable, however, even after the full course I still only managed 10minutes max! (what a wimp!)  I think for me it was the oily texture, yes I know it’s coconut oil before you say anything, it just didn’t feel like something I should be holding in my mouth for that long. Although I must say, the Lime flavour definitely helped!

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As much as I hate to admit it (because I was rubbish at it) it actually did work! I’ve heard mixed reviews about Oil Pulling so it was nice to be able to experience my own results. My teeth felt cleaners and glossier and they looked whiter so it’s definitely something I want to be able to learn to love. So thank you OSHUNwhite for introducing me to oil pulling and making it a nicer experience with such great flavours and convenient kits!

To get your hands on an OSHUNwhite 14 day kit head to their website here.

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Here’s to naturally healthier, whiter smiles!

Char x

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Easy Peasy Preparation with MyFitnessPal

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail 

This was something that one of my P.E teachers used to say when it came to exam time and it’s something that has always stuck with me.

It is really applicable to my competition prep. More so when it comes to meal prep. Unfortunately in my flat of five, we have one small fridge to share so meal prepping my whole week’s worth of food on a Sunday just isn’t an option for me. Without this option, it could be incredibly easy to slip into ‘I’ll just snooze my alarm a bit longer and buy food while I’m out.’ That is not the trap you want to be falling into. I wake up super early every single morning so that I can make my food for the day and spend some time for myself over my breakfast. Breakfast is my time to myself before a crazy busy day ahead so it’s important that I make that time in the morning to keep a level head and connected.

So how do I do it?

Some people choose to have a nutritionist or service plan out their food for them. Whether that be in creating meal plans for them, or having a delivery service that brings you your ready made bespoke packages- like Fresh Fitness Food. I haven’t used anything like that in my prep. Artur, my trainer, will tell me my calories and macro breakdown for the week and then it is on me to make sure I make food to fit to these.

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There is one tool that I couldn’t possibly do that without and that is an app called MyFitnessPal. It’s great it’s a food database where you can put in your nutrition goals and macro breakdown. For example this week I was on 1800 calories a day, 70g Carbs, 200g Protein and 80g Fat. So I was able to pop that into MyFitnessPal and then enter my food for the day to add up to this.

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The food diary is broken down into four sections: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks. Due to my prep and eating more than three meals a day I just enter extra food into the sections. Under each header you have a button (+Add Food)  you can enter into the search bar and find your food and measurement to enter. If for some reason you cannot find the product you are after, you can create your own food and use the nutritional content section from the back of your package (ingredient) to input it into the app.

It is really great having this app to help me, since I can only prep on the day it just makes life so much easier. When you have your food prepped, you know that that is what your body needs and when and you’re less/not likely to end up grabbing something on the go.

PREPARATION IS KEY!

I’ll plan my food in the app the day before so that I know if I need to buy food and know exactly what I’m getting up to make in the morning. When doing it all yourself, it really couldn’t be any easier!

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The normal version of the app is available for free, or if you have further needs there is a premium version you can purchase from the App Store too!

Whether you’re in competition prep, looking to lose weight, or just curious about what you have been eating then MyFitnessPal is my recommended food tracking app.

Happy Tracking!

Char x

Review: Motion Nutrition

 

Unfortunately for me, used as recommended, these products are not for me. I read the list of ingredients and everything sounds wonderful but they taste too earthy for my personal preference. They are smooth and the Post workout is better than the Pre, but where I’m used to sweeter Pre and Post workout shakes, they are just too earthy for me. However I have found that they are nice blended into smoothies for example:

Pre Workout Breakfast Smoothie:

Blend:

  • 1 scoop Motion Nutrition Pre Workout Energiser
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 200ml coconut water
  • 1 handful spinach

I found that the fruit added in sweetness and made it much more palatable to my personal taste preferences. I obviously cannot speak for their other non-vegan products, and imagine the whey protein is obviously creamier and sweeter than these products so if you aren’t vegan it would be worth giving the Organic Whey Protein a try as its free from nasty artificial additives. Head to their website here.

Char x

REVIEW: THE HEALTHY BODY KIT

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In January The Healthy Body Kit sent me their January box to review. Healthy Body Kit is a monthly Health and Fitness subscription box. Each month it will either be mainly health or mainly fitness focused. The January Box was Health focused.

The Healthy Body Kit is a monthly subscription for women who have a keen interest in Health, Fitness and Organic Skin Care; a fully body approach to health and wellbeing.

~ The Healthy Body Kit

I was very excited when this box landed on my doorstep for what treats and samples I would find inside. I am always keen to try new things that are set out to aid my training/ improve by health and wellbeing.

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So what was inside?

  • Terre Verdi Facial Oil
  • Chia Co Chia Seeds
  • Love Your Blender- Super Berry
  • Buff Bake- Chocolate Chip Protein Peanut Butter
  • Health span Elite Performance Greens

The products were great, however I could only have 4 out of 5 of them due to being vegan. I gave the Buff Bake to my best friend and gym parter who did not complain at all because she loved it. Chia seeds are one of my ultimate favourite snacks made into chia seed pudding. Love Your Blender is a great way to boost the nutritional content of your smoothies or protein shakes and the same for the Performance Greens. Unfortunately the Facial Oil was not for me, it was too floral for my personal tastes, I tend to go for something unfragranced when it comes to facial skincare, but has made me consider a different kind of facial oil rather than a cream.

The boxes are £11.99 per month if you opt for a monthly subscription and go down in price per box if you opt into a 3 month or 6 month commitment. I think the boxes are a great Idea if you are are new to health and fitness and what some help finding products that are suitable for you. Due to the products inside being sample size, it means that you aren’t buying a product with 30 servings in just to find that you don’t get along with it.

Unfortunately it isn’t the product for me because I’m vegan so it doesn’t work out very cost effective to be giving away the products that are unsuitable for me. However if you’re not vegan and looking for a way to find new health and fitness products to try then this is definitely the kit for you.

Head over and have a look at their website here.

Char x

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This post is in collaboration with The Healthy Body Kit however all views are my own.

One Life Personal Training Pt.1

This post is in collaboration with One Life Personal Training

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A few weeks ago I was contacted by Will Fletcher from One Life with an invitation to come by the studio for a session and sports massage with him. I took Will up on his offer and here is my first instalment of my time with Will at One Life Personal Training so far:

The studio is based in Stoke Newington and is a lovely independent studio with MANY services to offer, from Personal Training, to Yoga, to massage and Pilates. They also have a little area outside to give a tyre a good battering!

So what did I get up to?

Picture this, while you were all in bed at 7am on a frosty Sunday morning I was in the studio with Will giving it all that I’ve got. I know I’m crazy but the session was crazy good!

We started on the rower- a piece of equipment I never use! I’m not very good on the rower so I never use it unless I’m on it for my abs! We moved through a series of exercises including interval sprints, treadmill crawls, treadmill bunny hops, chin ups, burpees with a shoulder press and battle ropes. It was a mega session and Will really put me through my paces! I love training with battle ropes but hadn’t done it in quite some time so it annihilated me! Shoulder in pieces! (In a good way!)

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We finished with a sports massage on my upper back. Due to being here there and everywhere during the day, I tend to carry a rather heavy bag so my traps are always super tight and riddled with knots so this was where Will worked his magic for me. I also have bad posture, rolling my shoulders forward giving myself a bit of a hunchback- not good! So we’re going to work on that too.

I left the studio that Sunday feeling energised and relaxed all at the same time. It was a wonderful feeling and a great way to start the day. You still think I’m crazy I know!

If you’re North London based and looking for personal training or classes without the commitment of a gym membership also, then One Life Personal Training is the place to go! You know you need to start training but It can be quite intimidating walking into a gym when you don’t really know what to do. You just end up doing cardio or floor based ab work watching what everyone else does. I’ve been there I know that! So skip that and get stuck in with some sessions or classes and One Life. Whatever your goal, there’s something for you!

Have a look at their website here!

You can also follow them and Will on Instagram:

@onelife_personaltraining

@willfletchpt

Keep an eye out for Pt.2 where I’ll be giving you a tour of the studio and going at a tyre with a massive hammer!

Char x

Perfect Pastel Porridge with Arctic Power Berries

This post is in collaboration with Arctic Power Berries

On Thursday night I arrived home from work to a cute little box wrapped in string with the Arctic Power Berries sticker on. I couldn’t wait to unwrap it and look at what the lovely Eve and Anna had sent me to try. My patience was really tested to the max when I told myself I had to wait until morning to open it so that I could capture everything for you guys!

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So who are Arctic Power Berries?

‘Two best friends from the Arctic Circle travelled the world missing the taste of wild berries from back home. Now it’s tome for the berries to do some travelling too. One serving (1-2 teaspoons) is equal to a handful of fresh berries, ONE OF YOUR FIVE A DAY! We’ve used over 700g of fresh berries in one 70g tube.’

There are four flavours to choose from :

  • Cranberry
  • Lingonberry
  • Blackcurrant
  • Blueberry

Here is a little more information on Arctic Power Berries:

  • No added sugar
  • Non GMO
  • No preservatives
  • Vegan
  • No added flavouring
  • Gluten Free
  • Raw (dried below 40 Degrees C)

How can I use these berry powders?

What is perfect about these powders is that they come in 30g and 70g resealable tubes with a 2 year shelf life (not that they’ll last that long!’ So you can come back to them whenever you want a berry burst. They are delicious swirled into porridge, on yoghurt and granola, sprinkled into a smoothie or popped into your favourite cakes and bakes! They taste just like the real thing, because thats essentially what they are. They are dried berries with no added sugar or flavourings so they are a concentrated source of vitamins, antioxidants, fibre and nutrients ( as well as making your food look pretty!)

How did I use my berry powders?

On Friday as soon as I woke up I dived straight into my parcel to see what Eve and Anna had sent me to try. I had (alongside a lovely message):

  • 30g Cranberry Tube
  • 30g Blackcurrant Tube
  • 70g Blueberry Tube
  • 70g Lingonberry Tube
  • Five 3g Blackcurrant Sachets

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 I was like a child in a candy store and wanted to try everything but I chose to start with the Blackcurrant. I swirled into my protein porridge to make the most perfect pastel porridge.

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Recipe:

Ingredients:

45g Chunky Oats

35g (1 scoop ) Pure Nutrition Natural Vegan Protein- Summer Berries

Boiling water

3g Arctic Power Berries Blackcurrant Powder

Toppings:

Pip and Nut Coconut Almond Butter

Morello Cherry Jam

Strawberries

Blueberries

Blackberries

Method:

Mix all Oats and Protein together

Add Boiling water to your desired consistency

Swirl in your Arctic Power Berries

Top with lots of beautiful berries, jam and nut butter!

Ta da!

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So that is how I first chose to use my powders. I already have so many other ideas of how I want to use my berry powders! Up next I’ll be making Macro friendly Apple and Blueberry Crumble with my blueberry powder. So keep your eyes peeled for that one!

 

You can find Arctic Power Berries at:

www.arcticpowerberries.com

Facebook: arcticpowerberries

Instagram: @arcticberries

Twitter: @arctic_berries

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Arctic Power Berries are stocked in Wholefoods, Harrods, Ocado, Fenwick Newcastle, Finndeli and online. Go get yours now!

You can get 10% off on their online shop using the code ‘BERRYAMAZING’ so go get shopping!

Char x

Pure Ride

  

On Friday I headed down to Pure Ride to see what the buzz was about. Pure Ride has been developed to be more that just your regular spin class with an emphasis on training more like track cycling. They have two studios; One focusing on a choreographed class to Dance music including added weights and the other delivering a high intensity performance class developed by none other than Sir Chris Hoy himself.  They provide you with all you need for a great class (apart from your clothes…please bring those!)

THE ULTIMATE CONNECTION

To get the most from our rides you should have a connection with your bike. That’s why we’ll provide you with complimentary cleated shoes – dont worry if you havent ridden this way before – we’ll help you quickly get used to it

THE FLUFFY STUFF

The last thing you want is to bring a big bag along for the ride, so we’ll provide you with all the essentials: soft towels, toiletries and everything you need to leave with a healthy glow.

(www.PureRide.co.uk)

So now that you have everything, you’re all set to go!

My Experience

I headed down to class with Charlene the Assistant Manager of my gym who also hadn’t visited Pure Ride before. Charlene had a little trouble registering on the website in order to book onto class so perhaps in their first week of opening there are a couple of glitches on the system but if you have any troubles, give them a call or drop them an email and member services will help you out.

Like any other studio/class like this you have to register online, buy credits and then book onto your class to get a spot. This wasn’t out of the ordinary for me as I’m used to this kind of system so that was easy enough. They then email you a QR code to scan when you arrive.

Charlene and I decided to meet at Moorgate station at 12.15, the website said it was two minutes away- perfect. We got lost! Google maps was being no use whatsoever because there’s in quite a bit of construction happening around the area, so then we had to wing it… Other people must have had these problems because we then saw an arrow for Pure Ride attached to a pole outside the station once we’d doubled back on ourselves. Perfect let’s follow those… Again, easier said than done, we were lost again. After lots of running around in the pouring rain, we finally made it to the studio. So my best advice is give yourself ample time to find the place because we just got flustered when we were running out of time.

  

 

When you arrive there are scanners in the foyer to scan your QR code you’ve been emailed, to mark you as arrived for the class. Then you head down a set of stairs to the reception desk where you’ll be provided with your cleated shoes and towel. We were in a super dooper mega rush so the lovely managers who Charlene knew took our bags and looked after them so we didn’t have to faff with lockers and the changing rooms. We just popped on our shoes and ran in. I have never worn these shoes before and found walking in them quite strange, the sort of feeling you get trying to walk on a normal floor in ice skates. I will just say, don’t hurry too much in them as you’re heading for the studio, I managed to slip over trying to turn a corner (bambi on ice!).

I can honestly say I had no idea whatsoever when it came to trying to attach myself to the bike so, if like me, you’ve never cycled like this before no problem! A lovely lady from the studio came over and helped me set myself up. You have a digital display in front of you that you set up with your age, sex, weight and amount of cardio you do a week on average. This gives you a personalised experience when it comes to calories burned etc throughout the class. The display throughout the class tells you the resistance you are cycling with, the watts you are cycling at, your reps per min, FTW %, Calories burned, distance in KM and KM per hour. Quite a lot of info right?! For me that was a good thing and in 45 mins I burned over 300 calories not bad at all. The display also flashes a series of different colours.Red, Yellow, Green, Blue and White all to do with the levels that you’re working at. At the end you can toggle your display to tell you how long you spent in each of those zones. The class itself was made up of high intensity intervals and I personally respond best to that kind of training when it comes to cardio. It took me a while to get into the terminology and how the class was led but once I got into the swing of it I loved it. The Instructor we had taking the class was Josh, the manager and he was clearly passionate about it so we got the best experience we could.

What added to the class (apart from the snazzy bikes, shoes and instructor) was the ambience and feel of the room/atmosphere. The house lights were down and we had various colourful sort of disco lights from the sides on the room, with a few spots on the ceiling and a spotlight on Josh. The music was great and loud so this all helped get you lost in the class completely. 

  

After class, we were given a tour about the venue. The changing facilities are superb, a lovely changing room with toiletries and everything so that you don’t need to carry loads of stuff with you all day if you want to do class. There was also a lovely stretching/chill out area downstairs too which for me would be great to head to after class to cool down and stretch fully before heading back outside especially when winter feels like it has properly hit us in London now.

All in all we had a great time and I would really recommend heading down and trying it out. Whether you’re a spin veteran or a complete newbie, these classes cater to everyone who wants to work hard and have a great time too! For a limited time you can grab yourself a free class using code SPINJAN on their website when buying credits- So now you really have no excuse! I’ll definitely be going back again to try their other class too, the choreographed class to dance music- sounds great!

Char x

Here are some more images of the venue, come and take a tour through my eyes:

  

   

    
    
 

Protein Haus- Review

Hey Guys,

Anyone who follows my instagram will know that I’ve made a few trips to Protein Haus now and I thought I would let you know what all the fuss is about!

  

 Protein Haus is what is says on the tin! A fitness food hub in Canary Wharf. There is a really cool pop up just outside Canary Wharf tube station and then a newer site/cafe inside the shopping centre. ‘[…] the Protein Haus brand encompasses everything from a grab and go green shake to individually tailored fitness plans’ (Carli Wheatly, Founder of Protein Haus). Both sites offer an array of fitness meals to accommodate your goals, with the macros worked out for you and labelled. This is one of the brilliances of Protein Haus, I can enter my meal straight into My Fitness Pal and it’s all accurately included in my macros- Wonderful!

Now, a lot of people will now probably be questioning the fact that I am vegan. This is why I absolutely LOVE Protein Haus, they are VERY vegan friendly. They have numerous vegan snacks, a couple of vegan meals and strictly vegan shakes, or you can ask for one of their other shakes just with a vegan protein instead of whey. How great is that?!

On my first trip, they only had the pop store at the station but I was still like a child in a candy store. I stood at the counter for ages unable to choose what I wanted because I just wanted everything! In the end I went for:

M8- Vegan Muscle: Tofu, Brown Rice and Greens. £4.50

Benefits: Vegan, Protein, Good carbs, Good greens, Energy meal, High Fibre, Weightloss

P:10.3g C:47.2g F:3.9g kcal: 265

PH-9 #NaturallyStephanie Vegan Shake £4.50

Bananas, Spinach, Almond Milk, Vanilla Vegan Protein, Chia Seeds

P:13.6g C:36g F:3g kcal: 233

I also picked up a Pumpkin Spice Lenny and Larry’s Complete Cookie and some Savoury Protein Pancakes too. TO DIE FOR!

  

I found it so difficult to choose what I wanted but I was very happy with my selections. I have since been back to visit their new store in the shopping centre twice. One of these occasions, I was on a Fitness shoot and dragged the photographer and assistant there because I just couldn’t waste the opportunity since we were shooting in Canary Wharf! They loved it too! This time around I had the second vegan meal option called M11- Tofu Gym Bunny: Tofu Sweet Potato and Green Beans. Gorgeous and just what I needed mid-shoot! I also stocked up on more Lenny and Larry’s Complete Cookies in three flavours- Double Chocolate, Chocolate Chip and Snickerdoodle.

  

In some respects it is very fortunate that I live very North London and work in the West End and rarely near Canary Wharf, so my bank account is safe for now… It does mean that going there though is a treat- quite exciting when going out for fitness food and protein shakes is a treat!

I urge anyone with any interest in fitness food, fitness as a whole or looking for a very nutritious meal/snack/shake/juice to head to Protein Haus in Canary Wharf.

Take a look at their website here. They also offer fitness bootcamps, meal plans, juice detoxes, PT services and much more!

So, Protein Haus I love you and you’ll be seeing me back very soon!

Char x