I'm definitely no nutritionist. I don't know how every single person's body works and I'm not here to go "Hey my diet is better than yours!" But one thing I know is that for most of us, the choice to eat less, isn't always the right decision.
I used to be young and very uneducated about what was healthy that I thought the only way to be skinny - if you weren't naturally skinny - was to eat very little or to eat really boring, tasteless salads 24/7. I never actually tested this theory, I was just sure it was true. How many of us remember being told losing weight means just eating less until you get what you want, then going back to your previous eating habits?
I've learned so much more since my health became a priority. I'm not perfect, but my choices are a thousand times better than they used to be.
It does hurt to think about how I treated my body and my health in the past. To think that what I was doing was, and to many today still is considered "normal".
You literally are what you eat. Everyone knows at the back of their mind whether or not the food choices they make are healthy. We may not all be well educated in nutrition or health but you know the basics and at the end of the day you make the decisions for your body.
When you're unsure of what to do, it's normal to look for help. Of course many of us look online where we're given endless results for almost anything you can think of.
So for many people who look up how to lose weight, it's very easy to click on a link that is very informative and helpful; but it's just as easy to go to a page that'll tell you to start a fad diet, lower your calories unnecessarily or to try some "weight loss" pills or tea for extra fast results.
I may have once believed no one on the internet would lie about health, but clearly we know that's wrong. You don't need to be qualified to give out advice or opinions or upload "this is what i did" videos about weight loss or nutrition. Almost anyone can tell you how they eat and people will want to listen especially if they think you look good.
So what's my point here? Like I said on my Instagram post, these are just my opinions on the topic. We should all be trying to support each other and giving out actual healthy advice when it comes to eating.
I guess the first thing everyone already knows, I can't stand people who say to avoid carbs all the time (i mean look at all those carbs in my nana ice cream!) Adding more carbs to my diet has been one of the best things I've ever done. I've said it before, and I'll keep saying it, adding carbs to my diet made me much leaner, stronger, healthier and so much happier with my body. To think I spent all my life, up till earlier this year, thinking carbs were what kept you fat and unhealthy, that a healthy diet had very little carbs. Turns out the opposite was what I needed.
I would never count my calories, and I would never say it's a good idea for most people to do on a daily basis. I believe in having a good relationship with food, rather than worrying about how many calories are in a apple, a bowl of rice or a cheesecake, I prefer to make choices depending on what actually makes me feel good, regardless of the number of calories it has.
Diet pills and weight loss teas are something I would actually consider "the devil" when it comes to healthy eating. I want to feed my body well and love it, nourish it with what it actually needs, not poison myself with "quick fixes" that don't actually fix anything. There's nothing else I could actually say about these - just know I would never recommend any of these products since I don't believe in these "quick fixes".
When you're eating healthy foods that you love AND that your body needs, it becomes natural and easy because you start to feel much better.
Nothing worked better for me than learning that dairy was always making me bloated and lazy, cutting it out of my coffee and teas, having less cheese and cream and way less ice cream made me feel 100 times better than I could have ever imagined. And when I forgot that feeling and thought "hey cheesy quesadillas won't be that bad!" and had them, I got bloated so quickly, felt terrible for the rest of the day and have no motivation to work out at all. So I make my food choices depending on what I know I like eating and what makes me feel good all day. I'd rather pick nana ice cream over gelato, fruit over a mars bar, avocados on toast over a quesadilla all because I know how these foods make me feel and I love the way they taste.
I've seen my fair share of articles and videos that are nothing but toxic; telling you calorie counting is the only way to stay fit, avoiding carbs are the answer to being skinny. Some people are always going to make these videos or write these articles like their way is the only way you need to live, but I just think otherwise.
I've even seen a girl talk about an appetite suppressant like it was the best thing in the world and saying everyone needs to get on it too! How sad is that?
At the end of the day, you choose what you want to do and who you want to listen to. I'm not telling anyone to eat the way I do, but when considering making changes, don't think eating less is always the answer when you might just need to eat better.
No matter who you are, what you look like or how you train, we all tend to have that one thing (at least) that we're insecure or nervous about.
When I first started getting healthier, I knew at the back of my mind, one day I wanted to be one of those girls who would run in public, in a sports crop without even thinking about it! Part of it was because you'd see those girls and they'd have these amazing bodies and looked so fit and healthy and I wanted to be at that level of fitness and look that good. But because I was so certain my body would never change, I just wanted to be comfortable and confident in my own body the same way these girls are.
Over time, as my health and fitness levels got better and my body did change, I did gain confidence. I could do yoga at the park in a crop and I wouldn't really care. I'd be nervous, but i'd just suck it up and do it and when I was done I'd put my shirt back on and go home.
When I went on Royale Retreat in Bali, that was the first time that I had ever worked out in front of so many people without a shirt on. And the thing is, I didn't even think about it. I never found myself worrying about whether or not I should put a shirt over my crop of what I might look like or what they might be thinking - I just did it!
I didn't actually realise it at the time but, that was it. That was the feeling, or lack of feeling, I wanted to have all along! I didn't think I would get this until a reached a point where I was much more fit than I am now, where I might have really low body fat and some amazing abs to show off.
Clearly I'm not at that stage, and maybe I never will be. But, if I'm still comfortable with how my body looks, I'm happy with how I feel and turns out, I'm even more happy that I feel this way without having some "dream body" like I used to think I needed.
That photo, right below, is crazy to me now because I didn't even think about it at the time. I took a photo with these girls and I didn't worry that I didn't have a shirt on or that my stomach was showing.
So when did I actually realise this change?
2 days ago I decided to go for a run. I got a new FlipBelt and anytime I get something new I have to try it out right away! So even though I hadn't done any serious running in about a year already - I thought, lets just get back into it.
Everything I said before about wearing bikinis and working out during Royale Retreat in crops came into my mind and it was just silly to feel like now I needed a shirt when it didn't bother me just a few weeks ago. Making that conscious decision to not wear one definitely made me a little nervous but you just need to push yourself out that door.
I went out my front door, turned on the Zombies, Run! app on my iPhone and started running. For maybe the first 3 minutes I was worried about what I might look like or who looked at me but by the time the second Zombies, Run! tape came on I just forgot all about it and focused on trying to outrun these zombies in the game!
I did 3.5Kms in 25 minutes (a year ago I would have hated myself for being this slow!) but I was proud for making it at all when I felt like dying halfway through! When I got home my first thought was how tired I was and that I should do this again in a couple of days. And it wasn't until later that I realised I completely forgot about how I looked or what I was wearing and that I was completely fine.
There was literally no reason to be scared or nervous, so yeah, I am more confident now and I love it!
Those of you who follow my snapchat would have seen the snaps about it! (Snapchat: Queenof-hearts)
Whatever you choose to wear when you're working out, it really doesn't matter. Just do what makes you comfortable and focus on your workout more than what you think other people are doing to think about you.
And whatever that insecurity is, you'll find a way to beat it and you will definitely feel amazing in the end once you do! It might take a while, it took me about 2.5 years but it might take you 2 weeks, or maybe even 20 years, but just don't give up on yourself. Just keep working on you and keep happy, positive thoughts flowing to help you.
The photo on the left was me a year ago, right before my last run - I did a 5Km with a friend and for some reason never got back into running after that! Compared with what I prefer to wear to run today, on the right.
It's not just the fact that I can wear a crop now, I'm not afraid of the colours and prints either. I loved them for a while but the thought of wearing bright colours for a run made me nervous too. It just attracts attention doesn't it? Well, like I said before, SO WHAT?!
Despite what I'm wearing, I have more confidence now it really doesn't matter what I choose to wear to run or workout as long as I feel good doing it!
Giveaway information at the end of the post!
Headbands might not be on everyone's must have list when it comes to workout wear and that's okay! For a long, long time, they weren't on my list either. But that's not because I didn't want them, I just never found ones that really worked well for me.
When I was about 14 I had this small phase where I was obsessed with headbands. I must have seen someone wearing them and thought they were absolutely gorgeous so I needed some since they looked so pretty! Unfortunately, every headband I could find at the time never lasted long because they weren’t very comfortable, the material was wrong and it was either too loose or too tight at the start and those that did fit would only last a couple of weeks before they wore out.
As expected, because of this I just gave up after a few months.
Truthfully in that time I only tried 5 different cheap headbands (about $3-$5 each) and didn’t again until many years later when I decided to spend $30 on a headband that only gave me the same results and left me feeling very angry.
When Hila from Just Breathe contacted me about trying her headbands I was honestly reluctant. I was afraid that it would just give me the same results and then I'd just be disappointed all over again.
Lucky for me, Just Breathe headbands were the complete opposite! Hila makes her headbands from lightweight spandex nylon/ lycra which is probably the best thing I've experienced in a while. Spandex leggings are amazing so why wouldn't spandex headbands be?!
Just like she states on her etsy store, Just Breathe headbands fit well and they don't slip off no matter what you're doing - I've used them for my workouts, doing yoga, runs and just to sit around the house.
I already own close to 10 headbands so I pretty much have enough for any outfit! I know there are many of you who want to coordinate or who look for beautiful prints so you don't have to keep looking for a new piece to add to your collection
I don't usually mention the cost of products I write about but at about AU$10 for most of the headbands, they're very affordable! No stressing over saving for ages to get just one when you could buy two or three at a go.
Hila also offer a discount on any purchase of 3 or more headbands with the discount code "JB15off"!
The Just Breathe headbands I received were sent to be tried only, not for review. This review and all posts on Instagram have all been done because of my genuine liking toward the headbands. All opinions on the review are my own.
Over the last few weeks, Just Breathe has teamed up with myself and some other wonderful yogis on Instagram to give away a set of 3 headbands each week! It's amazing to see the number of people who have already entered and wanted to get a set for themselves!
Right now, we have done 3 weeks of giveaway and have just 3 left, so if you haven't already tried, make sure you join at least one giveaway to win a set!
This week go to @NaughtyYogaGirl on Instagram and look for her post with directions on how to enter the giveaway!
Next week @Lisa_Active will be doing her giveaway, and after followed by @ClareRDubai , so if you haven't won yet be sure to follow these girls so you don't miss your chance!
Just Breathe will also be a part of a competition/giveaway to celebrate me reaching 10K followers on Instagram! That will be announced soon so look out or it on my account as well!
The most common questions I get regarding my yoga practice is how I got so flexible and if I always was this flexible. I get these questions especially when I post a new backbend photo.
In all honestly, before starting yoga I didn't consider any part of my body to be more flexible than the average person. Everything I can do now came with regular practice and i'm sure anyone else could do the same if they wanted to. At this point in time, I find my back to be the most flexible part of my body. I'm not saying I can get into some crazy back bends without even thinking about it but it's the part of me that increases flexibility the fastest and it has always been the easiest and most fun part for me to work on.
I wish I had all this amazing advice to give you but the truth is I've just been practicing regularly and I make sure I keep progressing over time. I don't have a special backbend routine I do everyday or do I know some secret to getting a flexible back in a short time. I've spent time to practice and really learn what works best for my back so I usually have no fear when it comes to learning new backbends.
So what backbending tips do I have?
Figure Out Your Body. I don't believe in a one size fits all practice. I've tried quite a few styles of yoga and just as I've said before, I do get bored of doing the same thing. So I do whatever feels right for that day, and I never shy away from a good backbend flow. I make a point to practice and try to progress in my backbends every 2-3 days so I don't lose what I've worked to achieve. And because of my love for backbends, It's hard to find me flowing without at least a couple of backbends. But this is the practice that works for my body, I can work on backbends for ages with no worry about getting sore or hurt. This will NOT work for everyone. Listen to your body, go slow and learn what it needs.
Warm Yourself Up. It's a pain but its the most important part of practicing. Whether you have a bendy back like I do or you're as stiff as a pose you MUST warm up. I admit at times I don't want to either but the difference it makes it worth it. I don't have any props for helping me but I would recommend getting a yoga wheel such as a Dharma Yoga Wheel as I've heard from friends that they are exceptional for helping with back bending and warming up your back for practice.
Find A Teacher. I know you might think "but you were self taught and you did fine". Honestly, I was lucky. There are too many ways you can hurt yourself and the best way to avoid that is to get a teacher who can really help you find the right alignment and balance in your practice. My practice has improved tremendously since I started going for classes 5 weeks ago and I know going to the right class with a teacher who can correct your mistakes and give you the advice would help more than learning on your own ever could.
Learn The Right Alignment. I know how much you might want to just get into that asana already. You want it so bad you just have to do it no matter what. But I promise it's not worth rushing yourself into what you think an asana is supposed to be when your alignment is all wrong! Really learn what each asana is meant to be, especially with backbends, doing it wrong could result in some serious injury which no one wants.
NO Aches and Pain. This is probably the biggest thing to remember. Your back should NEVER be in pain. If that happens, release from the asana and the best thing to do is to get advice on what you were doing wrong. Many times we aren't able to figure out the problem until someone else points it out. You might need to try an easier variation or a different asana altogether to prepare yourself for the full expression of the backbend.
Backbends are probably always going to stay my favourite thing to do during yoga. I have fun with it and I love back bending but I know that even if it is my favourite, it's only one part of yoga.
Starting 17th August you can join me and 2 other Instagram yogis @Brit_Labonte and @Finding.Elly as we host Backbend Into Nature, a challenge all about backbending! We'll share all the knowledge we have about backhanding and hope you learn and grow through this 2 weeks.
At the end of the challenge, there will be prizes to be won! If you want to find out more and join the challenge you can go to any of our Instagram pages and look for the challenge poster for more information! We hope to see you guys join in!
I love getting new leggings as much as the next yogi. Whether it's a gift or you bought it for yourself, don't you get all excited when it finally arrives in the mail (I'm all for online shopping over going to a shopping centre!) and the first thing you wanna do is put it on and do some yoga or a workout in them, am I right?!
Though I do have my favourites, I've never wanted to limit my collection so any time I have a chance to try a new brand of activewear, I go for it!
My Ginger Orange asked me to try their leggings and right from the start I could not have been more excited. I'm big on prints, colours and anything that looks different to what I already own so their leggings definitely got me excited.
Even with my yoga tights collection that is way too massive at the moment, none of the pieces I already own actually had anything similar to their La Reina Mora Leggings so of course, I had to have them!
What made me want them even want was that on the product page, the description on these leggings said " are part of our special edition range, specifically made for bare-foot hippies and rebel yogis."
How cute is that? Don't think I'm a bare-foot hippie and not so sure about being a rebel yogi (or am I?) but that line sure made me smile so my choice was easy!
I also love that the line above shows the amount of work and effort that gets put into every little detail of this brand.
One thing I always look for is how leggings feel on me when I'm sitting around doing nothing and when I'm doing a workout/yoga session. It has to feel good in both situations, and if it doesn't, I'm not keeping it.
Glad to say My Ginger Orange passed that test!
Seriously though, the fabric feels amazing on my skin. Even though leggings are always meant to make it easy to move, that's not always the case with every brand I've tried. Since I've gone crazy trying so many since starting yoga I can say that my worry is usually when the fabric is very smooth or slightly thicker than normal, it won't stay on properly or I won't be comfortable. As you'd expect me to say right now, My Ginger Orange leggings are slightly thicker than what I'm normally used to and the material is also very smooth.
Beside that I also had no problem moving around in the leggings - if you couldn't tell already! Their leggings might be slighter thicker but it doesn't take away the ability for it to stretch, move and bend in any way you do!
Right now I'd suggest heading over to their website and taking a look at their other designs too! If the designs on their leggings haven't stolen your heart (they have plain leggings too if you prefer that!), then I hope learning a little more about them today has. It can be tough online shopping - trust me i know! - when you can't see the item in person or feel it or go on a "test drive". But you can take my word that the purchase would be worth it! The look and feel of these tights have really impressed me and it's hard to find one that has even been such a beautiful an comfortable fit!
I couldn't pick a favourite right now but My Ginger Orange has definitely made it onto my favourites list when it comes to leggings for yoga!
Shop My Ginger Orange Here
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