Mind-Body Nutrition: Conquer Cravings

It’s easy to get caught up in healthy eating and making the right choices when it comes to daily meals but sometimes you just need to put down those fitness apps and clean eating cook books and just listen to your body.

When we get that urge to change our lifestyle, start eating healthy and planning our meals we tend to have a list of ‘bad foods’ we want to steer clear of. That’s generally processed foods, white carbs, dairy, fats, sugars and fizzy drinks. Try it, Google ‘Healthy Eating Rules’ and you’ll be overwhelmed with the ridiculous amount of rules and regulations promising to aid you in the process of adapting to a healthy lifestyle. The, don’t eat this eat that, swap this for that, never consume this, stay clear of that, watch out for those… who can even keep up?

But amongst all the fad diet shakes, quick fixes, healthy lifestyle books, fitness apps, new food trends and low calorie diets we forget about the one tool that knows exactly what we need…our bodies.
I’ll be the first to admit that if I was to listen to my body then I’d probably consume seriously large amounts of avocado, sweet potatoe fries, granola, pate and hummus on a daily basis because that’s what I love and crave. However you need to remember that when your body craves certain foods it generally means it needs a certain substance contained in that food. Whether that’s salt in crisps, sugar in chocolate, fat in bread, dairy in cheese or oils in chips.  

Your body craves certain chemicals, nutrients and minerals contained in food but in order to have a healthy lifestyle you need to give your body the pure ingredient. So to get an idea of what I’m talking about I’ve compiled a small handful of foods you may crave on a daily basis and what your body is really requesting:

Chocolate – your body is craving Magnesium – eat dark chocolate, nuts, seeds, avocado or bananas
Bread - your body is craving Amino Acids – eat nuts, fish, eggs or quinoa
Sweets/ Candy – your body is craving Glucose – eat fruit
Fried Food – your body is craving fat- eat nuts, coconut, avocado or olives
Crisps – your body is craving Sodium – eat salted popcorn, dark chocolate or black olives

Another great way to gain a healthy lifestyle and learn to listen to your body and take the challenge to be more mindful about what you’re eating.

Beki Xo

Molton Brown Gingerlily Caressing Body Gift Set (*) 

For me, Molton Brown is one of the much loved brands that was passed down from my Mum when I was gifted my first product at around 15/16 years old. It has luxurious, grown up and nostalgic feel that reminds me of high end perfumes, 5* hotels and exotic places.
So when I was given the opportunity to review their new GingerLily range, I jumped at the chance of to be taken back 10 years and be reintroduced to the brand with some indulgent much needed relaxation time.

First of all the packaging of Molton Brown products hasn’t changed and still looks as expensive, classy and gift worthy as I remember.  The Gingerlily range itself has a warm spiced floral scent with woody notes, which to me smells similar to a popular perfume brand! The sharpness of the scent is mellowed by tamanu nut oil to balance and marry the top and base notes.

Molton Brown Gingerlily Body Wash
A thick liquid body wash with a beautiful orange/ brown golden tone and warming ginger scent. The product itself lathers up beautifully on application with a small amount going a long enough way to savour the contents of the bottle. The body wash gently cleanses the skin whilst leaving a soft touch and incredible glamorous and pampered feel after rinsing. I love the passionate and sensual scent of this product, I actually put I small 50p size amount under the tap as I ran a bath and the lather foam was pretty impressive for a body wash not to mention that small drop filled the room with a familiar spa like scent.

Molton Brown Gingerlily Body Polisher
For me personally, body polishes are by far the best product when it comes to exfoliating as the granules used typically massage deeper into the skin and aid ridding unwanted cells. The Heavenly Gingerlily Body Polisher does not disappoint with its use of micro exfoliating volcanic Tahitian sands, binding gel that grips to the skin and silky milk formula that that leaves the skin feeling flawlessly soft. Just like the whole Gingerlily range this scent is blissfully enticing with thoughts of unexplored islands, spice markets and warm summer sun.

Molton Brown Gingerlily Body Lotion
A nourishing and body lotion with blends of warming ginger oil, spicy cedar wood, exotic tuberose, white lily and tamanu nut oil. The lotion itself has a medium consistency that sinks into the skin beautifully leaving a glamorous perfume like scent. After using this product I feel as though I’ve stepped foot out of a 5* hotel bathroom with silky soft skin (no tacky after feel) and a glamorous aroma, I just needed a white bathrobe and hotel waffle slippers!  

Beki Xo

My Top 20 Guilty Music Pleasures With Ei8ghtball (*)

Ei8htball are a Manchester based fashion brand inspired by “the Northern music scene and love of independent British music”. Created and born in Manchester their clothing designs are clean cut and bespoke with a touch of home town inspiration. But it’s not just their clothing range that’s pretty darn awesome; their neat little EX811 in earphones with single low mass/ high energy micro speakers and durable cord wire are practically the best in town. Great quality sound that is even capable of drowning out those annoying town tannoy talkers, with a MIC1 controller to pause, play and take calls all finished off with a logo touch.

So, in collaboration with Ei8htball I’m taking the opportunity to hit the confession box with my rather nostalgic Top 20 guilty pleasure songs:
  1. Nelly – Ride Wit Me Featuring Lunatics
  2. Evanescense – My Immortal
  3. Kelly Rowland – Stole
  4. Maroon 5 – She Will Be Loved
  5. Matchbox 20 - Unwell 
  6. Arctic Monkeys- Fluorescent Adolescent
  7. Kings of Leon – Closer
  8. Killers – Mr Brightside
  9. Nickelback – How You Remind Me
  10. Miley Cyrus – The Climb
  11. Alicia Keys & Jack White – Another Way To Die
  12. Marina & The Diamonds – Primadonna
  13. Eminem – Mockingbird
  14. Plain White Tee’s – Hey There Delilah
  15. Natalie Imbruglia – Torn
  16. JoJo – Leave
  17. Alex Clare – Too Close
  18. Nickelback – How You Remind Me
  19. John Mayer – Who Says
  20. Avril Lavigne – Complicated

Beki Xo

Home Decor with Dulux: Mood Enhancing Colours (*)

Although my personal style of Scandinavian inspiration combines bright, light areas with natural flourishes, I’m interested in the effect each of our spaces has on our moods, and ultimately our lives.

I couldn’t bear the thought of working in a dark and dreary room all day, but even in a bright and light room, different colours can really change your mood and even affect your performance on everyday tasks. So, I’ve laid out some of the best colours to create the perfect home. This could mean painting your walls these colours or, if like me you’re renting, you can still enjoy colour in your home through painting furniture or choosing the perfect soft furnishings and accessories.

So which colour is for you?

Blue is the most productive colour while also being very calming, so it’d be great in a home office or study. So many corporate businesses use this colour in their branding because it is associated with trust and professionalism.  For a more edgy twist, I would suggest painting a wooden desk pale blue with Cuprinol’s Garden Shades wood stain, in Seagrass. Then, all you need to do is add your accessories which for me it’s got to be rustic but practical items.

Green represents tranquility and health. It’s all about relaxing in a stress free environment with green. So, I would create a place to unwind in my living room with pale green cushions and forest green furniture. I wouldn’t go overboard, but rather combine natural subtle shades with wooden furniture through DIY drawer fronts or the inside of a bookcase. Do this with paint designed for interior wood that will have just enough shine to look luxurious in eggshell texture.

Pale purples can have the same calming effects as blue but with more warmth and joy. I would use lavender in the bedroom, but only as an accent colour in ornaments or fabrics. The purple shades look great to offset the rich natural wood and white, without overpowering the place. 

The colour red Is supposed to increase appetite, draw people together and raise your energy levels, so what better place than a dining room or kitchen. Before you think I’m mad, my house goals don’t include a dark, all red room - that would be far too overpowering. I’d prefer to combine my own rustic wood look with autumnal burnt oranges, mahogany and burgundy. I like to keep it natural and so a simple wood stain would be perfect such as Sikkens Satin plus.

Monochrome is my go to when it comes to my wardrobe but for home d├ęcor I love to inject and play with colours and shades. There’s no denying it, colour can play a huge part in our lives and I'm looking forward to cracking open the paint pots sometime soon!

Beki Xo
Breakfast On The Go: Upbeat Protein Drinks (*)

Protein seems to be the new talked about health craze with numerous brands mixing it into their drinks, bulking into their foods and shouting about it’s crazy benefits. Although most brands are promoting the increase of protein intake to benefit the body and use as part of a active lifestyle. Upbeat are quite the opposite and are marketing this drink for us ordinary folk whom aren't so much gym bunnies but bodies require a steady protein intake throughout the day.

Now I’ve never been one for breakfast in the week and I typically have my first consumption of food around 10.30am-11am which usually consists of a bowl of fruit or a breakfast snack bar. I prefer breakfast to be quick, easy and filling, although my choices are healthy they only keep my stomach full for less than an hour before the hunger pangs kick in. 

So when I was given the opportunity to trial and test Upbeat Protein Drinks I was hoping they’d be delicious enough to as a breakfast replacement drink and they are! Unlike most smoothie drinks that are filled with hidden fats, sugars and are high calorie, Upbeat drinks are the King of shop bought smoothies. They’re contents is low in fat, high in protein (20g), made from fresh milk, fruit purees, sweetener and are low in calories (around 150kcal a bottle).

I’ve been consuming the protein drink for weekday breakfasts and have not only enjoyed its fresh, yoghurt like contents but I’ve been surprised how full a 250ml bottle keeps me! They're like a small bottle of energy which means they're also great for a protein hit before workouts. I did test the Blueberry & Raspberry flavour pre 45min cardio work out and it honestly felt like it aided in keeping my energy levels up for my workout but also stopping those hunger pangs i get mid way through. There are 4 flavours but I wasn’t too keen on having a chocolate-orange drink for breakfasts however it’d be great as pre or post gym protein hit or when even as a healthy alternative when you've hit that 3pm slump and craving a sweet treat.

Mango & Passionfruit
I think this was my favourite flavour from the 3 I tried! The Mango & Passion fruit has a smooth, creamy mango yoghurt like taste with a fresh passion fruit punch. Surprisingly although you can smell the whey contained in the drinks there is no strange artificial after taste. The drink itself tastes no difference from a popular yoghurt drink however the flavour is far more fresh, fruity and the contents are highly beneficial and filling.

Blueberry & Raspberry
This flavour is so natural, almost as though you’ve blended the two fruits and some plain yoghurt together yourself.  I’d say the taste is more raspberry than blueberry flavour with its slightly tart base however the blueberry does counteract some of its punch! I almost feel as though this flavour should contain bits raspberry and blueberry but I suppose most people would prefer it smooth.

A simple yet delicious fruity flavour that’s probably the most popular of the bunch, again similar to the Mango & Passionfruit you can smell the whey contents but there is no indication of taste what so ever. A creamy strawberry flavour with slight vanilla like undertone taste although I don’t think there is any sign of vanilla being added!

All in all I have been and will be replacing my breakfast or mid-afternoon sugar craving for a deliciously tasting smoothie drink from Upbeat! They’re far cheaper than most protein drinks (at £1.79) and with less sugar, high protein and few calories they’re great on the go!

Beki Xo

Sheer Cover Mineral Makeup Review (*)

Mineral makeup is still being spoken about and highly recommended since the day it first hit the shelves. It’s perfectly suited for those with sensitive or spot prone skin as it does not contain perfumes, talcs, oils or dyes and instead contains natural botanical's, sun protection and anti-ageing benefits.

Although there are a number of brands on the market, Sheer Cover is well known from being sold online and through shopping channels, creating products that are finely milled, light and easy to apply I thought I’d take up the opportunity to review their most popular makeup items.

Sheer Cover Conceal & Brighten Trio
A small compact that contains 2 concealing shades to camouflage flaws and a brightener to lift dark circles. The Sheer Cover Studio Line uses patented technology called Trueshade which works with the skin to perfectly match its tone. The formula of the 3 products is silky and easily blendable as the product becomes creamy and very workable upon contact with the skin. I used the lighter concealer and brightener for under the eyes and the darker concealer to hide imperfections such as breakouts or redness. The product sinks into the skin beautifully and matches the tone incredibly well however i did find that i had to build upon the product to gain coverage. I would say it’s ideal for those who prefer a natural coverage or have time to build up the product but for me i prefer something a little less creamy easy to work into the skin without having to build layers for coverage. The brightener however works beautifully as a highlighter for the tops of the cheek bones and down the bridge of the nose, leaving a natural glow. I teamed the concealers with a standard CC cream and on another occasion a medium coverage foundation that had a slightly different pigment and on both occasions is blended beautifully.

Sheer Cover Lengthening Mascara
The Sheer Cover Lengthening Mascara works perfectly with the Lash Extending Fibres brush to create long extended lashes. The formula of the mascara itself is a jet black shade and the brush is shaped to grip those lash edges. The mascara itself is great for everyday application as it leaves lashes looking separated, natural and clump free however used alone I don’t find it noticeably lengthens or curls them.

Sheer Cover Lash Extending Fibres

I’ve heard a few of my friend using fibre lash mascaras so I was pretty excited to try the Sheer Cover Lash Extending Fibre wand. Although my lashes are long I was hoping for volume and thickness. To apply your advised to coat your lashes with the lengthening mascara then I few coats of the fibres and finish with a thick coat of the mascara again. Upon application I wasn’t too comfortable with applying the fibres as my eyes are quite sensitive however the fibres only stuck to the freshly applied mascara and the applicator brush. The overall finish wasn’t what I’d hoped, my lashes although appeared longer appeared sparse, too separated and no thickness was gained. I probably could of added a couple more layers but then I'd guess the lashes would appear clumpy and heavy. I’d say this mascara might be better for those with short and straight lashes who want them to appear naturally long without thickness. 

Beki Xo
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