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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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Comparison – the thief of joy

I think this is something we are all guilty of…

It’s so easy to open up Instagram and compare yourself to the first person that comes up on your feed. You may not even notice you’re doing it, I think half the time this is something we do subconsciously, and then wonder why we don’t feel any happier after spending half an hour scrolling endlessly through our feeds.

For me, I believe social media is great depending on how you use it. Of course, you will feel like you’re not working hard enough on your goals if you’re comparing yourself to a model on Instagram who does this for a living. It’s no wonder social media will make you feel inadequate, in turn lowering your self-esteem and self-confidence. It begs the question, why do we continue to use it in this way?

I am all for social media, apart from its tendency to encourage self-scrutinizing comparisons. I think it’s a great way to connect with others and open yourself up to many opportunities, however, I do feel strongly about the way in which we use social media. By becoming more optimistic users I feel we could reduce some of the issues and feelings that Instagram and other social media can cause. For example, optimistic use could be using it to provide yourself with inspiration, motivation, and connectivity. When you know how to use it in the right way, it really can be an amazing community to be part of.

Moreover, I think another crucial step is to have a social media cull and ask yourself do the accounts that you follow make you feel good and provide you with motivation? If no – bin them, you don’t need the unnecessarily high standards on your timeline giving you ammunition to alter your self-image.

Yes, there will be days where you compare yourself, even to those accounts that you find inspiring, but I think this is an inevitable risk we take by signing ourselves up to social media. My main point here is to be aware of how you use social media, and if you need a break from it – take one. Ultimately, you are in control of the way social media makes you feel and that there are solutions to overcome this. We are all on our own journies, we are all doing enough, and we all need to focus on our own personal growth and stop the comparison. You are who you are, irrelevant of likes and followers, and you should embrace every part of you.

Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog

How to Overcome Homesickness at Uni

This is something that I really didn’t think I would experience.

I am so independent, and I couldn’t wait to get to uni to have my own freedom to live exactly the way that I wanted to live. BUT in the first few weeks, I felt so homesick that I seriously considered quitting uni altogether. I would get the train back home every weekend, and would absolutely dread it come Sunday when I had to travel back. It’s when you are put in a situation like this that you appreciate all the things and people that you feel lost without.

In my opinion, starting uni is one of the hardest things to do as you become so accustomed to having a long summer off, doing what you want when you want, allowing you to get somewhat complacent, then suddenly September comes and so many changes arrive all at once. It’s not just the moving to a new area, it’s all the things and loved ones you are forced to leave behind, the new friendship groups you have to make, getting accustomed to how uni works (making sure you don’t miss the dreaded 9am 😉 ) and getting involved with that uni lifestyle. On top of this, you have freshers week which as fun as it is, it is very exhausting …sleep deprivation and homesickness definitely do not go hand-in-hand!

To me, homesickness is not a sign of weakness and I think everyone experiences it to a degree when they first start. I think that is where half of the problems occur as people don’t know how to deal with it, and will often turn to other coping mechanisms (especially alcohol) in hope to overcome this, but that is the worst thing to do! I think it’s best to acknowledge it, accept it, and understand it – you will feel like this at times, it’s perfectly normal when going through a major life change such as this.

I’m now in my second year, and I haven’t felt like this at all! I always feel a little lost when I first start uni after summer, due to the extreme contrast of seeing loved ones every day and then suddenly once every three months…But I learned last year how to deal with these feelings and I’d like to share them with you ❤

1. Home is everywhere

If you truly look and are mindful of your surroundings then reminders of home can be found everywhere. I came to uni with stuff that would help me feel connected to home such as photos, ornaments, candles etc, anything that will make you feel grounded.

2. Stay Connected with your Family

I think students think when they come to uni they have to paint a perfect picture to their loved ones that everything is okay, but that is simply not the case. I certainly didn’t, I made it very clear to everyone how I was feeling and they all helped me so much and made me feel very anchored. My mum actually sent me up a mindfulness book to help me overcome this. I was always Facetiming my family, friends, and my pets :’). Use whatever social networking helps you, I used Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat and these all really helped.

3. Talk to your flatmates.

Everyone is in the same boat as you! When I felt bad I would always talk to my flatmates about it. However, I think the key thing here, is that you don’t compare your experience to another’s – we all experience the same event differently, and just because someone may not be feeling as homesick as you, it doesn’t mean they don’t feel it at all.

4. Go home

Failing all of this, then go back home and visit those who you love! Touch base for a few days and you will feel so much better and refreshed on return. Uni will certainly make you realise how much you value your family and friends (and a nice home-cooked roast…make sure you binge on them before you come to uni because they will be very missed :’) ).

Although overcoming homesickness is mostly about finding what works for you, I hope you can adapt some of my tips to help you out! Uni is a great thing to do and it will open up so many doors and opportunities for you – make sure you enjoy every moment, as it will go by quicker than you think.

Thank you for reading, and I hope this was helpful.

Jazzy B ❤

Blog

Foodie Finds – June 2018

Thank you, UK for actually giving us a nice summer this year! This is the first summer that I’m actually thankful that I’ve booked a holiday for later in the year, so to make the most of this lovely weather! Overall, June has been a pretty good month…and not a bad football score either (not including the recent match… still all to play for yet! :’)). Also, I’m currently on my summer break from uni, so stay tuned for some interesting blog posts. Let’s get into this months foodie finds…

1) Livias Kitchen Nugglets36357148_2012027658871483_2468014707953369088_n

Probably my favourite Livias kitchen product that I’ve tried! I love the raw chocolatey flavour that they have and that they have no refined sugars in them. They are coated in chocolate also, making them so tasty.  I would definitely give them a go if you are looking for a healthier alternative to satisfy your sweet cravings! If you’re looking to buy these, I got mine from Sainsbury’s, but Boots also sell them.

36224627_2012028325538083_1544847028532543488_n.jpg2) Tesco Naan Crackers

I am so obsessed with these things, and I’m not sure why as they aren’t exactly anything special :’) They literally are crackers that taste like Naan bread…I think it’s because I love the flavours of Indian cuisine (especially naan bread) so these were bound to be a winner from the start. I have tried both the multiseed naan crackers and the tandori crackers and both are divine. For £1.35 I would give them a go, and see if you become as obsessed as I am :’)

3) Pikelets36320218_2012027678871481_2544576571633565696_n.jpg

I had never heard of these before and had to give them a try. They are a cross between a pancake and a crumpet but taste more savoury than a pancake with the texture of a crumpet. Overall, I’d say they are very plain tasting but the concept is novel!

 

36258397_2012027892204793_3033838703165308928_n4) Hartleys Cloudy Jelly 

I saw these in Tesco and as the flavours sounded different I wanted to try them out! I picked up the raspberry lemonade and the elderflower lemonade flavours. My favourite flavour was definitely the elderflower one as it wasn’t too sweet, but both make perfect summery flavours.

Thank you for reading,

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 – January 2018

Finally, January is drawing to a close (I swear January feels like it lasts forever!). I hope you’re still smashing those new years resolutions!? Start how you mean to go on 😉 Here are my favourite goodies that I found this month, hopefully, there is something in here that you’d like to try!

1) Cashew butter 27606311_1804433356297582_1207497849_o

There are so many nut butters available it’s starting to make peanut butter look boring! I found this in my local Tesco for £2.50 which is not a bad price at all! They also do a crunchy version, if that is your thing. I love how sweet this tastes, compared to peanut butter. It tastes even better when on some toast topped with banana and blueberries.

2) Somebody Watermelon Water27651210_1804433069630944_1282670357_o

Curiosity got the better of me on this one 😉 Admittedly, it is not as sweet as I thought it would be, however, I do like that fact that it has added L-carnitine ( know for its fat loss properties). Although don’t expect to lose weight when drinking this, as it is added in such a small quantity! :’)

 

3) Tetley Matcha Green Tea27605114_1804433236297594_1647706051_o

I love green tea. To me this doesn’t taste a lot different to regular green tea, it definitely has a smoother taste, however.  I’ve always wanted to try matcha green tea, but it’s so expensive, so I think I’ve found my solution ;). Whatsmore, with added Matcha, it makes drinking a cup of this a day even more beneficial to your health! definitely worth a go, if you’re wanting to try the whole matcha thing!

4) Meridian Peanut and Cocoa Bar27651286_1804433089630942_1641019658_o 

This tasted amazing! It has a really nice chocolatey taste to it, and you can really taste the peanuts. The two complement each other really well! Also, it’s not bad on the protein front with 6g per bar, making it the perfect chocolate treat.

 

Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog, breakfast, Recipies

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

Autumn is well and truly here, and thank goodness too! I’ve grown to love this time of year mainly for how cosy I feel when I’m all snuggled up with a nice hot choc, and my candles are lit (the only thing that ever gets ‘lit’ in my life ;)).

Not only this, but Autumn means the return of the mighty pumpkin (and all those extra carvings that you could probably display in the Tate). It’s all about the Pumpkin; pumpkin energy balls, pumpkin pie, pumpkin waffles…It’s everywhere! There is so much you can do with pumpkins, so I thought I’d Autumn-ify my Protein Pancake recipe and bring you something inspired from the States.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp of tinned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 a tsp of baking powder
  • 45g of oats
  • 1.5 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp of honey
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Mixed spice
  • One egg
  • 1 and a 1/2 tsp Greek yoghurt
  • 50-60ml of your choice of milk
  • Coconut oil (for greasing the pan)

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Method:

  1. Preheat your frying pan (on a low heat)
  2. Place the oats in a blender until you get a flour-like texture
  3. Add in the egg, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, honey, spices, baking powder, and yoghurt and blend until combined
  4. Next, add in your choice of milk bit by bit until you get a pourable batter
  5. Put some coconut oil in the pan (now turned up to a medium-high heat) and pour your pancake batter in
  6. Flip each pancake once the edges turn a golden colour
  7. Keep topping the pan up with coconut oil after each couple of pancakes
  8. Serve and enjoy! (I would highly recommend serving them with something chocolatey!)

Nutritional Info:

(Makes 7 small pancakes)

  • 402 calories
  • 57.7g carbs
  • 14.3g protein
  • 12.9g fat

I hope you enjoy these autumn style pumpkin pancakes, and stay safe as storm Brian might get you 😉 (the names they call these storms are absolutely hilarious!)

Jazzy B ❤

 

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Pretty Little Picnic

There is something so lovely about having a picnic: The sun shining down, all the food, spending time with friends. I think we could all do with giving ourselves more time to escape to the country for an hour or two, and what better reason than to have a picnic?

IMG_7205In my eyes picnics are so underrated, although admittedly dependent on the weather, they’re so simple to organise that you could easily arrange one of an afternoon. As a student, I’m always thinking of things to do which are affordable, and this most definitely is! Everyone can provide some food, and before you know it you’ve got a tasty feast.

When organising a picnic, I prefer to have it somewhere quieter that also allows you to go for a leisurely stroll afterward, so a nice location is key. But I also have invited friends round to have one in my garden, they can be as simple as you make them.IMG_7165

A friend and I set up our picnic blanket in the afternoon sunshine in a quiet field (would recommend not having it on someones private land, which we unknowingly did…oops!) and had a lovely catch up and giggle, whilst of course munching on all the lovely food.

As you can see, our picnic for two was virtually effortless and was done only using foods that we had available. We had fruit kebabs, my homemade caramel brownie protein balls , Go Ahead chocolate crunchy dippers (which tasted amazing), and some refreshing summer fruits squash.

Once we had eaten as much as we could, we then went for a walk along the Wey & Arun canal in West Sussex, which was absolutely beautiful.

I felt so peaceful after doing so, and I hope I’ve inspired you to get outside and see the beauty that is all around us,

Jazzy B ❤

 

 

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How to Stay Healthy on Holiday

For me going on holiday involves relaxing, exploring and enjoying all things food. I Have not long returned from a lovely holiday to Gran Canaria, where I most certainly did all of the above! However, often the hardest thing is about finding the balance between staying healthy/maintaining your progress whilst also enjoying and indulging in all things food and culture.

For me, the key to finding this balance is in fact quite simple: take things back to their basics! This applies to many things such as exercise, food, treats, sleep, and relaxation. If this balance is achieved you’ll have one feel-good holiday. For example, I ensured I ate good food, went for lots of strolls (even if that was only to the shop to get some chocci ;)) had a good nights sleep, and importantly allowed some time to chill. I will be sharing with you my tips on how to have a great holiday and feel on top of your game at the same time.

  • Healthy airport snacks

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    Hippeas chickpea puffs, a Fulfil cookies and cream protein bar, some nuts, and Fruit-tella sugar-free fruit foams.

I love the buzz of the airport. For me, the holiday starts as soon as I’m in the airport. This is the time that I’ll buy my snacks for the plane because who doesn’t love snacking on the plane?! Typically I’ll buy a protein bar, a packet of nuts and a small sweet something, this way you’re less tempted to fall for the sugar-filled plane snacks. To the right are a few of the snacks I purchased.

  • Be as active as possible

By this, I don’t mean spending hours in the hotel gym  (because let’s face hotel gyms can be seriously hit or miss 😂) or even going for a 5 mile jog. I’m talking about making smaller changes such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to the nearest beach or having a stroll around the local area. It just so happens that there was a massive hill (called Lomo de Tabaibales) near my hotel which of course I had to walk up, and I’m so glad I did as the views were stunning…even if it was in unpractical pretty sandals. I love going for a morning or evening walk as I find it really relaxing, and it encourages mindfulness – something we could all focus on more.

  • Plenty of good foods

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Wholewheat spaghetti with tuna in tomato sauce, olive and strips of Edam.
Firstly I’ll visit the local supermarket to buy my essentials and to see what foods are available. Then I’ll do a rough plan of dinners that are full of micronutrients, protein, carbs etc. I don’t plan lunches or breakfast as I like to eat what I fancy on holiday, but I find planning dinner helps me to reach my macros. For example, some meals that I cooked this holiday include tuna and wholemeal spaghetti with olives, noodles with sardines, tomatoes and chickpeas, and a chickpea and egg Buddha bowl.

 

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An example of some of the foods I purchased once I had completed my meal plan.

For an all-inclusive holiday, the temptation can be a lot harder when it comes to meal times what with the never-ending buffet full of yummy desserts…so tempting! For breakfast I’ll go for foods high in good fats and protein, and also carbs e.g scrambled eggs on toast with an avocado or oats with some fruit. For lunch and dinner I will always put my side salad on my plate first, then find a healthy protein source and some carbs, and of course, if there is a dessert I like, I’ll have it (in moderation!)

 

Below are some of the dinners I had whilst on my holiday:

  • Pack a few things from home

As I know my protein intake tends to be lower on holiday, I pack some of my favourite protein bars from Grenade and Fulfill, which you can also buy from the airport. Also, instant oat pots such as those from ‘Oomf’ are great for a protein boost. Another thing I’ll pack are mini bags of salt, pepper, and other spices/ herbs to really add flavour to any food that I cook.

  • Enjoy yourself!IMG_7845[1]

Eat healthily, try to be active, and make time for you to unwind. Ultimately you’re on holiday, so of course, you have to indulge in a few drinks and nice food, but the key is to balance this out by making healthier choices elsewhere. Your progress and hard work will not be ruined over the duration of your holiday, in fact, you’ll probably return feeling full of energy and ready to smash some more personal bests!

I hope this blog post has proved that you can have your cake and eat it…quite literally 😉

Jazz B ❤