Blog

Live In the Now.

Recently I’ve been thinking about my motivation towards university, as admittedly it’s been a lot lower than what it usually is. Although this doesn’t worry me, because I know my determination will see me through, it made me question why I feel the way I do.

The other day on my Instagram I read a quote which made a lot of sense to me;

If you are depressed you are living in the past. 
If you are anxious you are living in the future. 
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”


― Lao Tzu

I think there is a lot of truth in this, especially as I have been feeling anxious recently due to deadlines, dissertation uncertainty etc (all things which concern the near future). When relating this back to my own motivation levels, I think it can be said that I’m living in the future, instead of appreciating where I’m currently at. I’m so excited and ready for what the next chapter holds after uni, that sometimes it negatively affects how I’m viewing the present moment.

Living in the future is something I think we all do at times, especially if you’ve been in full-time education for what feels like a lifetime! As much as I have enjoyed my degree, I do believe that our education system encourages anxiety due to the silent pressure and expectation placed upon students to know what they want to do with the rest of their lives upon graduating. I’m very much somebody that when I have a goal in mind, it’s all I think about. Although this can have its benefits, it can also cause anxiety and a lack of appreciation for where I’m at now.

Of course, living in the future doesn’t just relate to education, it’s far broader than this. Every year most of set new years resolutions (goals which we believe will better ourselves or another in the future), we work hard and save for something we want in the future, we do so much to benefit our future selves.

But what about now? 

It’s so important to stop, take time out, and reflect where you’re at now. Having goals and a future incentive to work hard in the present is great for motivation but we have to know when to stop living in the future. A little appreciation for where you’re at now will go a long way! This is exactly what I’m trying to do – I have a clear plan for what I would like to do when I graduate, and I’m so excited to get to work on making this a reality, that I feel it’s becoming a distraction to what I’m currently trying to achieve.

Just live in the now – you never know what will happen tomorrow or next week and that’s the beauty of it. The future might not be all that it cracks up to be, and then you’ve set yourself up for a lot of disappointment, whereas right now we have the power to make each day exactly what we want it to be. Look forward to the future, cherish the past, but most importantly live in the now…

Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤

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Blog

Foodie Finds – September 2018

A little bit late with posting this, but better late than never! This shows what a busy month September was for me, but probably the best month of the year so far! I went to Egpyt for a holiday which was incredible, I turned 21, and to top it all off I also started my third year of uni!

But I’m officially back and full of blog ideas! Despite this busy month, I still managed to find some goodies…

1) Whey Box cookies & cream protein sachets43356915_312586136236288_6768224763157413888_n

I wanted to include this mainly due to the convenience that this gives. I bought two sachets to take on holiday with me, as you never know where you are going to get your protein from when abroad :’) I rate the protein highly on taste, texture, and it also mixes well, so it’s a good option for if you want a quick protein hit on the go.

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2) Fulfil chocolate hazelnut whip

One of the best protein bars I have had! I’m a big fan of the hazelnut and chocolate combo and this really does it justice, I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a more chocolatey protein bar than this. Whenever I see it when I’m out, I just have to buy it :’) Definitely would recommend if you’re a Nutella fan!

 

3) Minimoos vegan honeycomb chocolate bar43318838_276645512971876_621280454024101888_n

I was craving some chocci, and this somehow managed to find it’s way into my basket! This was my first time trying any vegan or gluten-free chocolate, and I certainly couldn’t taste any differences. I think the honeycomb is a great addition to this bar, it’s a yes from me! Also, I think it’s the perfect size as I realise with myself I can’t open a bar of chocolate and finish it all…so you’ll be safe with this if you’re like me!

43313674_296929884472683_5817522220200624128_n4) Fulfil triple chocolate deluxe protein bar

Back at it again with another protein bar (help!). I’ve been looking out for this one for quite a long time, and it didn’t disappoint. I like fulfil bars because of the added vitamins that they include, which other bars often don’t. Very chocolatey, very delish = a chocoholics dream.

 

5) Candy Kittens Eton mess43437576_269592967020590_8240858440663040000_n

Saving the naughtiest until last! Someone actually bought these for me, but when I tried them they just had to feature in the foodie finds! Eton mess is one of my favourite summer desserts and these sweets do it justice, for sure! Also, they are vegetarian and gluten-free.

Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤

 

Blog

The importance of setting goals

One thing that I have learnt since I started taking my fitness seriously, is to never underestimate the importance of having a goal to focus on. Time after time I would aimlessly wander into the gym and do the same thing every day (cardio, of course) and wonder why I wasn’t seeing the results that I wanted. I now know this was because I hadn’t considered a specific goal to focus on, and so I wasn’t working towards anything.

Since setting myself goals (both aesthetic and strength) I began to notice improvements with my body and mind. My long-term goals have been to improve my strength when lifting, strengthen my abs, and of course work on the booty. With these goals in mind, I started researching as to how I could achieve them. However, I do understand that it’s not as easy as that, with so much conflicting research it requires trial and error, but you will eventually find a way of achieving your goals that is best suited to you. With my long-term goals in mind, I will then make a mental note of what I want to achieve in the short-term to help my progress towards the goal e.g to deadlift/squat a certain weight.

If this method isn’t for you, you might consider setting yourself ‘SMART’ targets. This is a way to set a goal that encourages you to deconstruct your goal to make it more achievable;

Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time

Once you have a goal in mind you can begin to think about the ways in which you can achieve it, measure your progress, and keep on the right track to reaching your goal whilst ensuring it is manageable. The key thing here is how you interact with your goal – it’s something that you should be investing energy and focus into.

I know some people may think that having a goal takes the fun away from getting fit and staying healthy, but I love how flexible you can be with your goals. They can be long-term, short-term, generic, or specific, the important thing is to have something to work towards which will help you to see those results! My experience is that a goal helps to keep me motivated as I’m so determined to achieve it.

Setting yourself a goal also has other benefits, such as providing you with a sense of achievement, and helps you to keep track of your progress by forcing you to see how far you’ve come – something we could definitely all acknowledge and appreciate more!

To wrap this post up, if you’re not seeing the changes that you want to get I would seriously recommend coming up with a long-term goal or area to focus your efforts on, then work out how you are going to achieve this by setting attainable short-term goals to keep you in the right direction.

Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog, Treats

Greek Yoghurt Desserts

We all know the feeling when you’ve had a lovely dinner, but you would love something sweet after, that won’t make you feel guilty.  I’ve created my go-to greek yoghurt ‘desserts’ for when the sweet cravings are real! Also, they taste pretty similar to the actual desserts I’ve based the recipes off of, without all the sugar and saturated fat. If you are a vegan you can easily substitute the greek yoghurt for a vegan alternative such as Alpro. I have tried this myself, and the recipes still taste just as good. Let’s get into the desserty goodness…

1) Apple Crumble

If you love your traditional British desserts, then this is the one for you. I’ve added Myprotein toffee flavdrops which sweeten’s it up and adds something extra to this dessert. Also by using granola, it replaces the crumble without adding all the fat and sugar that would usually go into the traditional dessert.

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Ingredients:

  • x1 apple, sliced (I used Gala apples)
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Toffee flavdrops (available from Bulkpowders or Myprotein)
  • Granola (Preferably reduced sugar)
  • A drizzle of honey
  • Chia seeds (optional)

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2) Strawberry shortcake

SO good! The combinations of the crunchy shortcake biscuits and the fresh strawberries makes this taste so dreamy. To sweeten it, I drizzled some honey over and sprinkled some chia seeds to add in some healthy fats and omegas.

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Ingredients:

  • x1 crumbled shortbread biscuit
  • Strawberries
  • A drizzle of honey
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Chia seeds

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3) Banoffee pie

This one looks a lot unhealthier than what it actually is, as it uses sugar-free digestive biscuits (from a brand called Siro, which I purchased from Sainsbury’s ) and a grating of dark chocolate.

 

Ingredients:

  • Dark chocolate chips or grated dark chocolate
  • Toffee ‘flavdrops’ (Myprotein)
  • 1/2 a banana, sliced
  • x1 digestive biscuit, crumbled
  • Greek yoghurt

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4) Eton Mess

Saving the naughtiest one until last! This pretty much is the real thing except without the cream, making this one somewhat healthier without compromising the flavour. Also, this is definitely my favourite one of the bunch as Eton Mess is one of my favourite summer desserts. I found some tiny coconut meringues in M&S that make this taste so good.

eton mess 2.jpeg

Ingredients:

  • Mini meringues, whole or crumbled
  • Strawberries
  • Chia seeds
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Honey (optional)

eton mess 1

I hope you try a few of these out as they are so delicious! Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog

We aren’t all self-obssesed…

Probably one of the most important blog posts that I’ve written, and I think this is something that needs to be said. Along with the fitness lifestyle comes the association that those who dedicate themselves to living this way, are self-centered, self-obsessed, and vain. Here’s why this simply isn’t the case.

First of all, I feel that there are far worse things that someone can dedicate their time to, and a healthy lifestyle is by no means one! This lifestyle is seriously misunderstood, and although it may appear that going to the gym frequently, being mindful of what you eat, and generally investing time in your own health and wellbeing, is ‘self-obsessed’, I question if this really is the case? Arguably, a healthy lifestyle is time-consuming and requires a degree of focus, but I don’t feel this warrants a person being considered ‘self-obsessed’ for trying to become a better version of themself. This to me is a fault in our society, that we feel the need to comment on another’s healthy lifestyle just because it is different to our own.

Having taken my fitness and health seriously in the past two years I have seen first-hand the benefits it can bring to your life, not only do you feel physically energised, stronger, and fitter, but I feel this way of life does wonders for your mental health. Exercise is a proven way to help better manage stress levels, it can also act as a distraction from anxious feelings as during your workout you are essentially practicing mindfulness by focusing on the present and forgetting about any worries.

However, in truth, I think the stereo-type manifests from what people see online, and by this, I mean certain Instagram accounts. Admittedly, Instagram is full of ‘progress pictures’ posted by fitness influencers and accounts, which involve sharing the physical progress that someone has made. This is where I feel confidence gets confused with arrogance. I understand the importance of progress pictures as, depending on your fitness goal, the scales only show an increase due to the muscle mass gained (especailly if you are into weightlifting). Therefore, progress pictures make a great solution for this as they give you a physical reference to compare against to see how you are doing in relation to your goals. Moreover, when you live, eat, and breathe this lifestyle it can be very hard to notice your own progress as often we can become so fixated on a goal that we forget to recognise the milestones that we have passed. Below are two progress pictures that I took. The righthand picture was taken in my first year of university, and the lefthand picture was taken towards the end of my second year. If I didn’t take these two pictures, I wouldn’t have recognised just how much my body has changed over the past two years.

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Personally, I see no wrong in sharing your achievements through progress pictures when it comes to fitness, as it is so much more than an ‘arrogant’ picture, it’s symbolic of the hours of time and effort that someone has put into this lifestyle, and this should only be encouraged.

I guess the main point of this post was to give an insight into the level of commitment required to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and I feel this dedication should only be encouraged rather than tarnished as arrogant and self-obsessed.

Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤

Dinner, Recipies

Edamame Pasta Dish

I’ve recently become so obsessed with using pasta alternatives such as edamame or black bean spaghetti! I prefer it to whole wheat spaghetti, as it actually offers nutritional benefits such as 22g of protein per 50g (amazing!) plus it’s also lower in carbohydrates, with only 16g per 100g.  Also, it is gluten-free, vegan, and a great source of fiber! Basically, I have come to love the stuff and so I really wanted to share a yummy recipe with you all so you could give it a go too!

This dish is one of my absolute favourites to make because it is quick, simple, and budget-friendly. You can find the pasta alternative in most supermarkets such as Aldi and Tesco, if not you can buy it online from Holland & Barrett.

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Ingredients:

  • Edamame or black bean spaghetti
  • Tinned mackerel in tomato sauce
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Red or white onions (diced)
  • Garlic
  • paprika
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Basil (fresh)
  • Olives
  • Spinach

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Method:

  1. In a frying pan sauté the onions for a few minutes, then add the fresh tomatoes and fry for a further two minutes
  2. Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil and add the spaghetti (this cooks very quickly, and so it should only take between 5-8 minutes
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to to the frying pan
  4. turn the heat down to a lower setting, and add all other remaining ingredients and spices
  5. Serve and enjoy!

(I also added mushrooms and mangetout to my dish!)

Macros:

  • 319 calories (per serving, sharing the mackerel between two dishes)
  • 14.9g carbs
  • 10.2g Fat
  • 31.9g protein

 

You can also add any other veggies to this dish such as broccoli or top the dish with avocado, which also works really well. I hope you enjoy this healthy pasta dish,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog

My Weekly Food Shop

As Sunday is my get-sh*t-done day, I thought I would share with you what my weekly food shop looks like, so if you follow my Instagram (@jazzy_b_fit) you’ll realise just how simple it is to make the meals that I cook. As I’m a student, I try to keep the cost of things fairly low, and I’ll spend anywhere between £18-£25 per week which covers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and my snacks. Typically, I do my shop in places like Aldi or Asda as you get so much more for your money. My shop this week came to £25.65, which also included some extras that I don’t usually buy. I try to do a balanced and healthy food shop full of lots of fruit and veg, and a few yummy treats of course ;).

I always plan my meals from Sunday to Sunday, as I find meal planning reduces food waste and is cost effective. This is my meal plan for the coming week:

Dinners:
Monday – Corriander-lime grilled tuna steak with avo-cucumber salsa
Tuesday – Garlic mushroom chicken quinoa
Wednesday- Spicy chickpea and quinoa bowl
Thursday – Moroccan red lentil and tomato stew
Friday – Mackerel pasta
Saturday – Leftovers
Sunday – Cashew and Chicken Stir-fry

I’ve broken my shop down into protein, fruit & veg,  snacks, and carbs.

Protein:

You won’t find any meat in this pesci’s trolley…only fish and vegan sources of protein here! The most expensive thing here is the tuna steaks at £2.99, but in comparison to meat this is so cheap, plus it contains a lot of protein. The mixed nuts are mainly for snacking on, as they are high in good fats and of course, protein.

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Veggies:

As you can see, a majority of my food shop is fruit and veg! As well as using this for lunch and dinners I will tend to snack on things like avocado on toast with chili flakes, black pepper, and salt.

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Fruit:

I think fruit is also great to snack on and makes a great addition to porridge. The lemon and limes are for flavoring up some of my mid-week dishes. This is typical of the fruit that I will buy on a weekly basis, as its relatively cheap and versatile.

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Carbs:

I will only buy grains and carbs when I need them, and this week I didn’t really need much. Although I’m looking forward to trying the edamame spaghetti which has 22g of protein per serving! I’ll use the bread as a post-workout snack with peanut butter and banana or topped with smashed avocado.

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Thank you for reading and happy Sunday-shopping,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog

How to Stay Motivated

I think we have all experienced a time where motivation levels reach an all-time low. A lack of motivation can make you feel so far from your goals, but this is most certainly not the case and a simple change in your outlook can help almost immediately. Hopefully,  this post will help you to get out of a motivation rut, and back to feeling unstoppable.

1) Acknowledgment

It is okay to feel unmotivated. I think when people feel unmotivated they fixate on this rather than the solution, or cause, but change how you choose to view your lack of motivation can easily overcome this feeling. Try and think if there is anything that might be directly affecting your level of motivation e.g, work stress, life changes, tiredness, no matter how big or small, any reason is valid. However, it may also be the case that you can’t think of anything that is negatively affecting your motivational drive, and again this is fine – motivation is not constant, and thank goodness not too, as we’d all be exhausted! It may be the last thing you want to do to try and rebuild your motivation, but to have a break from the gym, and thinking about fitness/goals can be the best thing. This time out will allow for you to feel refreshed, and ready to smash some fitness goals!

2) Change your workout routine 

Often, when we get settled into a fitness routine, it is very easy to become complacent. Ironically, comfort zones can be dangerous places! If you’re doing the same workouts day, in day out, it is inevitable that your motivation will decrease. Not only will this cause mental complacency, but your body will stop responding the way it used to, as it also becomes used to the same routine. You will notice the benefits of mixing up your workouts as the body responds best when it is challenged. There are so many ways to change the way you workout such as training with a friend, trying a new workout, even changing the time you normally train can make a difference.

3) Setting realistic goals

Having a goal to work towards increases my motivation so much! Make the goal specific to you, and really focus on achieving this. The goal can be anything from a new personal best, to simply going to the gym a certain amount of times in a week. It is also important that the goals you set are achievable whilst still have an element of challenge to them. Fitness journals are a great way to record your progress, goals, and achievements, as it can be so easy to forget how far we’ve come!

4) Reward yourself

Closely related to setting goals is rewarding yourself when you achieve them! All work and no play is most definitely not fun, so when you reach a goal, give yourself a reward. My reward always seems to be new gym leggings, you can never have enough :’)

4) Take it back to the beginning

What made you start your fitness journey? How motivated did you feel when you first started getting into fitness? It’s about rekindling that initial drive that got you started and reminding yourself exactly why you do what you do. For me, I always try and be the best version of myself that I can, when I workout it’s a celebration of what my body can do!

Thank you for reading, and I hope this post has helped you in some way,

Jazzy B ❤

 

Blog

Foodie Finds – February 2018

My foodie find for February, 2018! This month sees lots of goodies (mainly cookies and biscuits :’) ).  I hope you enjoy ❤

1) Weetabix ProteinIMG_1257

If you’re a fitness freak who loves their Weetabix, then this is the one for you! The taste is exactly the same, but with added wheat protein making achieving those macros a lot easier. This tastes great with blueberries, banana, and peanut butter. Also, unlike a lot of cereals, this one is very low in sugar.

IMG_12992) Alpen Jaffa Cake bars

Jaffa cakes have always been my weakness …apparently, I used to hide boxes of them under my bed as a child, like a dirty little Jaffa secret! :’D. But Jaffa cakes and fitness certainly don’t go hand-in-hand, so I was very pleased when I discovered these. They’re only 70 calories per bar and actually taste like Jaffa Cakes.

3) Aldi Brown Lentil SupermixIMG_1267

I actually only picked this up as an alternative to Quorn mince, but really enjoyed it! It contains brown lentils, peppers, red onion, and tomato. It’s such a versatile product and can be added to any dish to up the micronutrients and the protein. Also, I love the fact that its pre-flavoured, making meal times that bit easier. I used this to flavour up my Buddha bowl, but I think this would also taste amazing in a wrap, too!

IMG_15384) Siro Sugar-Free Biscuits

 

These are like guilt-free hobnobs, what is not to like? Don’t let the fact that they are sugar free put you off…they are so moreish and make a great sweet treat. Also, I noticed this brand has some other fab sugar free foods such as cookies and digestives…count me in!

 

 

5) Quest Lemon Cream Pie BarIMG_1385

Personally, I find Quest bars so hit-and-miss, and this one was definitely a miss! It tasted like lemon bathroom cleaner, and so I definitely do not recommend this flavour! I think its best to stick to chocolate flavours where Quest is concerned!

 

 

IMG_14706) Battle Oats Protein Cookie

Amazing. This has the texture and flavour of a regular cookie and contains 10g of protein too #winning ;). It tasted SO good, you need to treat yourself to this!

 

 

Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog

5 Things to Instantly Make You Feel Healthier

Let’s face it, new year and Christmas have been and gone, we all indulged (as you should too!) but now you’re wanting to get back on track and start the new year how you mean to go on. If you’re like me, I like to feel my best rather rapidly after the post-Christmas chocolate binge, although this may take more than a cup of green tea, with these 5 feel-good tips you’ll be well on your way.

IMG_09731) Lemon water and honey

I love starting my day off with half a slice of lemon in some hot water with a drizzle of honey, not only does it smell so refreshing but it’s so invigorating not to rely on caffeine to start the day. There are many benefits to the lemon and honey combo, as it helps digestion, prevents acne, and boosts immunity. It’s also known to detoxify the liver (great for those who are not doing so well at dry January or had a few too many at Christmas ;))

2) Snack wellIMG_3901

This one is very tricky when there is a half-eaten box of celebrations calling your name. To overcome this, I’ll put all of the leftover Christmas goodies in one cupboard and pray that out of sight out of mind really works ;). I’ll also do a food shop for my healthy essentials, and fill the fridge with wholesome, nourishing foods to encouraging healthy snacking once again!

IMG_83843) Include a side salad with every meal

This is also a great tip for portion control, as the portion sizes become far more generous over the festive period! Not only does it make your plate nice and colourful, but it makes you conscious of how much food you have on your plate. Of course, salads don’t have to be boring either, I’ve noticed lots of lower calorie salad dressings hitting the supermarket shelves which will most definitely spice up any bland salad! For me, a salad is not complete with avocado (my obsession lately)!

4) ExerciseIMG_9573

Possibly the last thing you want to be thinking about after a lovely Christmas, but for me, nothing can beat that post-workout feeling. Exercise doesn’t have to be an hour of cardio on the dreadmill, it can be something simple like going for a walk or jog! Also, if you’re not quite ready to go back to the gym, Youtube offers a great selection of workout videos. A few channels that I recommend you subscribe to include ‘Group Hiit’, ‘The Bodycoach TV’ and ‘FitnessBlender’. They each offer loads of workouts lasting about 20 minutes, which is a great way to start your day.

 

5) Relaxation

IMG_8778Being a psychology student, of course to me health is so much more than physical. There is a study by Holmes and Rahe (1967) in which Christmas makes it onto the list of the main life events that people rated caused them the most stress! Therefore, it is so important to take time out for yourself, not only over the festive period but all year round. Some options that I find work best are getting lost in a good book, having a candle-lit bubble bath, doing 30 minutes of yoga or guided meditation (again a quick youtube search will bring up thousands of guided meditation walk-throughs). When I do yoga, I use an app called ‘Yoga Studio’ that costs £5.00 on the App Store and Google Play, I love the fact that you can do it in your own home, too!

I hope you’ve found this post useful,

Jazzy B ❤