Would You Juice?

Juice cleanses are like, so hot right now! You just have to jump on Instagram to see thousands of photos tagged with #juicecleanse to know that.

Some people love the idea of juicing, others hate it. Some people think it is a great way to reset and detox the body, others believe only consuming liquid for 2, 3 or 5 days must be unhealthy. Valid points. I mean, each to their own. Prior to the weekend, my opinion was pretty neutral on it. I’d never done one before so how was I to make an educated judgement? However, after completing my 2-day cleanse experience, I am now totally an advocate!

There are a bunch of different reasons why people decide to do a juice cleanse – for just a bit of a kickstart, a light detox or a more intense cleanse. Me, I did it for a bit of a reset. To get my body feeling fresh and most importantly, get my head in the right gear. I had been struggling with my food choices lately. Eating too much and not always making the healthiest decisions. I needed a bit of a kickstart – a reboot of my body but mostly my mind. I wanted to get back into a healthy mindset when it came to diet and making good food choices. A mental cleanse if you may.

Before I got stuck into my 2-day cleanse I did a bit of research. With so many brands and cold-pressed juice companies around now, I wanted to make sure I choose the right one. Made Juice was recommended to me by a friend and also happened to be the best value for money. Winning! Not to mention, the options they had available to suit all types of cleansers, was a huge draw card. It meant I could choose the cleanse that best suited me. I opted for the ‘made for health’ 2-day cleanse, but next time (yes, I said next time) I think I’ll try the next step up and get the ‘made for recharging’ pack.

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So what were my thoughts on the cleanse? I loved it. More than I expected to actually. The juices were filling and super delicious. Admittedly, I did have a bit of a headache on day 2 but otherwise I felt surprisingly energised. Post cleanse I feel incredible. Refreshed, reset and energised. Since finishing I have been less hungry and I all I want to put in my body is health and nourishment. Goal achieved!

Were the juices tasty? Were they ever! My favourite was the ‘fruit’ and the ‘root’ juice. And as far as cold-pressed green juices go, the Made Juice one is the nicest I have ever tasted.

Did I feel hungry? Truthfully, no. Any time I felt any kind of hunger pangs I knew it was time to have my next juice, which would keep me full for a good 2 or 3 hours. At the sight or smell of food, sometimes I thought I was hungry, but in reality I was just envious of something I couldn’t have. Take a toy away from a child, the child will only want it more.

Would I do it again? Absolutely! Next time bigger and better! I don’t think I could ever commit to a 5-dayer though.

Thinking of doing a juice cleanse? Here are my tips to get you through:

1. Think ahead and plan your cleansing days wisely. Perhaps do it on your days off or on a day you know you won’t be surrounded by temptations… Preferably not on a day that coincides with a social event or anything involving food. Seriously, don’t torture yourself.

2. Give your partner/friends/colleagues/housemates a bit of a heads up about your cleanse. You might get moody and you might get HANGRY so it’s in everyone’s best interest to be forewarned.

3. Don’t be around food. Seriously, if you can avoid being around food, avoid it. Seeing food, seeing other people eating food, smelling food isn’t fun when you know you can’t have it. It’s the old ‘we always want what we can’t have’ thing.

4. Distract yourself. Keep yourself busy. Read a book or watch some movies in bed (or in my case, multiple episodes of the OC). You’ll find being preoccupied will stop you from counting down the hours until you can eat again.

5. Get a buddy on board. Anything difficult is always made easier when you have someone by your side. Even just for accountability. I have to admit, at times I wished my boyfriend was juice cleansing as well so we could at least suffer (I mean, enjoy it) together.

6. Stock up on toilet paper. When you are literally only consuming liquid for 48 hours you need to pee A L O T! Part of the juice cleanse process is the elimination of toxins from your body – that means your kidneys will be working in overdrive and yep, you will need to wee pretty much every half an hour.

7. Master your mind. It really is a mind over matter thing, the ole’ juice cleanse. Half the time when you think your hungry for food, it’s not the case. The juices are quite filling and to be honest there weren’t that many times I felt famished. But when a certain time of day comes round in which you are usually eating lunch or dinner your mind can start to trick you into thinking you are hungry when you are not. So keep a strong mental focus and you’ll be fine.

8. Drink plenty of water. Drinking lots of H2o between your juices is necessary to stay hydrated and help the detox process.

9. Light exercise only. This one goes without saying. With less energy (food) going into your body, the less energy you should exert. Keep exercise to a minimum. Probably opt for some light walking over a heavy weight session or intense HIIT workout.

10. Enjoy it, Don’t resent it. Just enjoy the process.  Be proud of your willpower and the fact you are doing something amazing to nourish your body. Notice how light and refreshed you feel and focus on that feeling accomplishment once it’s all over!

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No matter your reason for cleansing – whether to completely detox your body or just get your head back into a healthy mindset, I highly recommend giving it a go.

What are your thoughts on juice cleanses? Love them or hate them? Have you tried one before? Leave me a comment below.

Love Elo xx

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So You Want To Look Good Naked

We all want to look and feel good naked, right? For most of us that is the very thing that first got us started on a health and fitness journey. You know, achieving that dream body, feeling confident in your skin, looking good full monty. I mean there is also the whole ‘getting fit’ and ‘being healthy’ aspect to it too, but mostly we want to achieve HOT status! Well here’s a *NEWSFLASH* for you – working out and eating well isn’t just about getting a bangn’ beach bod. There is an abundance of other benefits that comes with it too; all of which make the whole ‘healthy living’ thing that much more worthwhile.

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If I am to be completely honest, looking good when my clothes are off (and on for that matter), is probably 99% of my motivation when it comes to exercising and eating well. Like almost everyone else, that is why I started and why I still remain committed to the cause. That being said, although it was initially motivated by physical aesthetic, regular exercise is now part of my daily routine because quite frankly, it makes me feel amazing! It is something I do consistently to keep me sane and to make me happy. It’s almost like meditation for me. It is my designated ‘me time’. Ironically, completely exhausting myself is the most relaxing part of my day. I honestly don’t feel like myself without my daily dose of endorphins. Exercise for me, has become about achieving an overall feeling of positive wellbeing, not just looking the part.

Below are some of the many other reasons why exercise is great for so much more than just looking good naked.

1. Exercise Reduces Stress: At the end of a long and stressful day, believe it or not, exercise is your friend. It might be the last thing you feel like doing (especially when bed and Netflix is calling your name), but working up a sweat is a massive stress reliever that’ll have you feeling amazing in no time. Working out helps to manage physical and mental stress because it increases the amount of norepinephrine in your brain.

2. Eases Anxiety: By exercising, you can also reduce symptoms of anxiety. The chemicals your brain releases before or after exercise can help you calm down. It’s no wonder I start to feel like I am loosing my sanity if I don’t exercise for a couple of days.

3. Boosts Your Mood: Exercise makes you happy. Well, it certainly does for me and there is actually proof to this claim as well. You have probably heard about the feel-good hormones known as endorphins. Well these little guys are released in the brain during exercise, which leads to feelings of happiness. And happiness is just the best! In fact, studies have shown that exercise can help elevate symptoms of depression in clinically depressed individuals. Pretty cool.

4. Increases Your Energy Levels: It sounds crazy but exerting energy with a killer workout actually increases your energy levels. The days when I wake up an hour earlier to exercise before work, I actually have way more energy throughout the day than when I don’t. Not to mention that endorphin hit puts you in the best mood for the rest of the day.

5. Improves Self-confidence: The more you workout, the better you eat and the better you feel. Then you start to notices changes and you start to feel more confident. When you do things that make your body feel good, you start feeling good about yourself as well. Just knowing you are taking positive steps to live a healthier lifestyle and increase your fitness is enough to boost your self-image.

6. Exercise Helps With Creativity and Increases Productivity: Did you know that working out can increase your brain activity for up to two hours post-workout? Well you do now. I for one feel most productive after exercising. It’s like all my creative energy explodes, all my inspiration and momentum to ‘get s**t done’ comes to life. So the next time you need some inspiration or can’t seem to escape the procrastinating zone, try lacing up your sneakers and hitting the gym.

7. Boosts Brain Function: As we get older, our brain starts to slow down but with daily exercise you can decrease the likelihood of Alzheimer’s and other types of cognitive decline. Cardiovascular exercise also creates new brain cells, which improves our overall brain function and performance.

8. Helps Control Addictions: When you exercise, your brain releases a reward chemical, which is similar to the reward chemical that you feel in response to sex, drug and even food. This is where addictions can come into play, as people can become addicted to dopamine. Luckily, exercise also releases dopamine – and working out is something worth getting addicted to.

So in a nutshell, working out and eating healthy is equally important for our mental health, wellbeing and overall happiness, as it is for our physical health. It’s not all about looking good naked… that is just a bonus.

Love Eloise x

I Ran For A Reason

I did it. I actually did it. I completed the 12km HBF Run for a Reason and lived to tell the tale. For someone who has never managed to run more than 3km without stopping before, I am so proud of my achievement. Not only did I cross the finish line, but I actually exceeded all of my expectations.

If you read my previous post, you’d know that I am in no way, shape or form a runner. I’m all about gym workouts and HIIT training. But long distance running? No thanks. I set myself a goal of finishing the course within 1 hour and 30 minutes, which seemed doable and realistic (plus I needed to get to work on time afterwards). Pairing my lack of running ability with sickness (did I mention that I threw up 30 minutes before the race?), I honestly feared I would not make it to the finish line in 90 minutes… if at all. But I was determined and nothing was going to stop me from at least trying.

Realistically, I intented to run as much as I could and power walk the rest. You know, something like a 30:70 run/walk ratio. However, thats not what happened at all. Still to my complete and utter surprise, I ran the entire thing! I managed to complete the entire 12km without stopping. Not even once! What the hell?! I am honestly still perplexed by this. Not only did I run the entire distance, I smashed my 1 hour 30 minute goal… by 25 minutes!!! How? Mind over matter.

Running really is a mental challenge. The mind is such a powerful thing. What the mind believes the body will achieve. Without a focused mind and sheer determination I would not have been able to do it. Of course I wanted to stop many times but with continuous words of encouragement and positive self talk I was able to push through the physical pain and keep moving.

The first 2-3km wasn’t actually too bad. With so many people surrounding me I became preoccupied by trying to dodge the obstacles (aka other runners). Then when people started to veer off, slow down and space opened up, it got a little tougher. With less distractions I started to feel every step and every wince of pain in my ankles, hamstrings and knees. I started to noticed my breathing more and how my sick little lungs were struggling to get air in. That’s when something kicked in and with the power of positive thinking and visualization, I mind over mattered my way to the finish line.

I started with positive self talk. ‘I am healthy’, ‘I am fit’, ‘I can do this’! I then began to give myself little milestones to work towards. I told myself ‘at the next water station you can slow to a walk’, ‘when you reach 5km you can have a break’, ‘6km is the half way point… have a little breather’. But with each mini milestone I reached, came more determination and more fight to just keep running. I became focused, fixated on the idea of running the entire distance. I started thinking ‘imagine being able to say I ran the entire 12km’. At about 8-9km I started to visualize the finish line. My words went from ‘I can do it’ to ‘I HAVE just done it. I ran 12km with no breaks’. I law of attracted the shiz out of it.

When the pain in my joints started to feel almost unbearable (I have recently recovered from an ankle injury and also suffer with inflammation and mild rheumatoid arthritis) that’s when I focused on my reason for running. That reason; to support and fundraiser for MS Society WA – a cause very close to my heart. Yes it was a physical and mental challenge but the thought that kept pulsing through my head was ‘this is nothing compared to what people with MS face each and every day’. Any pain I was feeling was mere pins and needles compared to pain and challenges experienced by those living with MS. For some, MS has left them completely immobile so for me to complain about sore joints or a pulled hamstring muscle is, in my opinion, heartless. Multiple sclerosis is a disease with no known cause and still no cure that can be so debilitating to those diagnosed. Having this snap of perspective, reminding me why I was running at that very moment, not only had me tearing up whilst I was on the move but pushed me to keep going.

So to every single person who completed the HBF Run for a Reason on the weekend, you are all amazing! A HUGE congratulations and well done for supporting your cause! Whether it was the 4km, 12km or 21.1km half marathon (you lot are particularly crazy) you all deserve to be proud of yourselves. Running ain’t easy and I certainly don’t know how or why people would ever choose to run… Ever! But you are all incredible!

Yes, my aching body is still recovering and my joints are hating on me but I am so glad I did it. I am so surprised and proud of my achievement. Would I do it again? I am not sure. Ask me again in 12 months. I am glad I challenged myself and it would be interesting to see how I could go if I wasn’t sick and if I had trained leading up to the event. But right now, three days later and still in pain, what I know for sure is that my body was not made for running. So it’s back to the gym for me!

Love Eloise xx