Healthy Haul {Charlotte}

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

Yep that’s right, I went and stole Miranda’s regular monthly post slot. But I felt it was about time I stopped making excuses, stopped climbing aboard the healthier living wagon and then tumbling right off again and invest in some motivational tools and products that actually work. And no, you shouldn’t have to buy anything in order to re-address your relationship with food and exercise but it’s certainly helped me regain a decent chunk of my mojo.

Biocare Broad Spectrum Amino Acids £24.60

I always worry about mentioning dietary supplements, I’m by no means an expert/qualified to recommend anything so please do adequate research and possibly consult your GP before embarking on anything that could potentially effect you personally.

I heard about these 3-daily amino acids supplements as my friend Kelly had been taking them, she claimed to be feeling much more energised recently and I was amazed by the glow in her skin, her glossy locks and noticeably longer eyelashes (!) Amino Acids are particularly recommended for those who have little protein in their diet/and or have trouble digesting it. I’ve noticed since taking these that I just feel….better. And no, who can ever guarantee it’s not simply placebo? But my digestion has certainly improved and even though I thought Kelly’s increased lash lusciousness was purely a coincidence there is no denying that mine have increased in length and volume….A positive side effect perhaps?

I would be very interested to hear feedback from those of you who take anything similar.

Nike Industrialist Trainers £65.99

I know I know, I mentioned these in my fashion post last week but here’s the thing, since wearing trainers on a more frequent basis I am definitely more active in general and have been fitting in quick bursts of exercise throughout the days I am working from home. My prettier and more comfortable footwear has a lot to do with it – I constantly have a bounce in my step as it were. And it certainly makes it easier to lunge/squat whilst I am waiting for the kettle to boil whilst wearing these rather than bare feet or a heel….

I bought mine in Dove Grey from Office.

Gaiam CorePlus Reformer Kit £19.99

I have been practising pilates for a number of years now but reformer pilates for only the last 4 months or so. I love it – seriously, an hour session is equivalent to 4 hours of basic mat exercise and I can really feel my core working hard during the sessions and for a good 48 hours afterwards (!)

Unfortunately the only option of reformer training near where I live are one to one sessions which are super spendy. Worth it absolutely but not something I could ever justify more than once a week at the most. I bought this piece of equipment to encourage me to do more reformer at home and thus far it works fine. I don’t really use the included workout DVD as I have my own set of targeted moves I follow but it would certainly be useful for beginners or anyone interested in giving this type of pilates a whirl.

I bought mine at John Lewis.

Amelia Freer “Eat, Nourish, Glow” £11.50

I feel as though I need to dedicate a whole post to various recipe/healthy living books I have found useful but this is my most recent purchase. I’ve by no means read it cover to cover as yet to give a thorough review but I appreciate qualified Nutritionist Amelia’s straight talking backed up with actual experience and results. I also feel as though the goals are achievable and that she is realistic on what you can give up and how quickly – and that you have to really listen to your body’s needs. Not everyone has to give up dairy or gluten for example.

There are some great recipes as well as easy-to-follow information on what foods are good and what certainly are not – I found I was rather confused before reading this book so it’s certainly given me more clarity. And a much needed kick up the arse to sort out my kitchen cupboards and set about curbing my sugar addiction once and for all.

Eat. Nourish. Glow.: 10 easy steps for losing weight, looking younger & feeling healthier is available at Amazon.

Sweaty Betty Quick Step Dance Pants £95

We need to talk about the Sweaty Betty Quick Step Dance Pants. I winced when I typed the price of them, hell – I winced when I handed over my credit card to pay of them (no really) but they are categorically some of the best trousers (never mind exercise specific) I have EVER owned.

I haven’t bought any gym kit since about 2008. I’m not even exaggerating. I’ve always worn some leggings or other (that I would also wear as daywear) and whatever T-shirt or vest was a bit worn/battered and really should have been destined for the bin. I can’t say I have ever taken part in a pilates class and thought “Oh I am so very comfortable!” or “Hooray I don’t look like a sack of potatoes!”

There is always the faint possibility my leggings will tear at an unfortunate moment/in an awkward position (it’s happened to me before – luckily in the comfort of my own home. I still can’t decide if this was due to the poor quality of the stitching or the increased consumption of chocolate digestives subsequently expanding my posterior)….and I always feel rather scruffy and how should I put this, unprepared?

My pilates teacher Lorraine has these dance pants. They are VERY flattering (Hello slim ankles!) and I have admired them on her for at least 6 months. Like me Lorraine raises her eyebrows at the price tag and almost whispered it when I asked her the damage during one of our one to one reformer classes. After much talking myself out of ordering them online I eventually caved and went and tried them on in the Selfridges Sweaty Betty concession during a recent shopping trip to Manchester with friends.

I didn’t want to take them off.

I only wish I’d bought a pair sooner, and known about them post pregnancy – I would have bought TWO pairs.

They are SO comfortable I can’t even begin to describe it. I wear them around the house with the aforementioned Industrialist trainer and don’t feel one bit like a sack of potatoes. Or that I’m too lazy to wear “proper clothes”. They are also a god send when it comes to spending half my life crawling around the floor after a nearly-one year old little Madame with more energy than sense.

What have been your “healthy” buys these last few weeks? Do you ever wear your “gym kit” all day long? Ever had an unfortunate accident with your um…. leggings?

{Contributors}
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Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
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23 thoughts on “Healthy Haul {Charlotte}

  1. I am all a bit off kilter health wise at the moment so a very well timed post for me. I run and when I’m running I somehow find it easier to make better nutrition and health choices generally. Must be the endorphins. However I damaged my ankle running almost 4 weeks ago now and have not been able to run since. I’ve also found my intake of mini cheddars and fruit pastilles increase as a result – a little known side effect! I hate feeling unfit but I know I’ve been wallowing a bit. There are plenty of exercises I can do to regain my fitness and improve my strength so I’m ready for when I can start training again so time get going – and I’m sure those Sweaty Betty pants will definately help!

    1. I really believe it’s domino effect Sophie, the endorphins seem to make me make better food choices too! Have you ever tried pilates? I started it because I broke my foot – and have never looked back x

      1. My ankle damage stems from a weak core so need to work on that if I’m going to get better as a runner, so Pilates could be just the thing.

  2. Healthy eating wise I’ve found the Hemsley & Hemsley book ‘The Art of Eating Well’ to be pretty great! I love using the spiralizer (I’m a big kid it’s fun making veg look like spaghetti!)

  3. Last night I went on my first run since the end of September…..shocking enough on it’s own believe me…..but it was also with my husband which is a first!! We both want to get fitter again and I always find the lighter nights and the promise of Spring around the corner is excellent motivation. In January it’s still all about snuggling up on the sofa (eating) in my world.

    I find exercising with a friend or partner motivates me even more. I guess you both egg each other on/support each other/you just want to keep up with your husband to prove you can!!

    1. The lighter evenings are definitely more inspiring Sarah, I am exactly the same as you and on dark nights when it’s freezing all I want to do is watch box sets and eat pasta. And cheese. And kitkats.

      I would love to find someone who could come to a class with me – I used to do a dance class with a friend pre pregnancy and really enjoyed it, we both have babies now and it always seems so much more difficult to arrange childcare “just for a class”. Well done for getting back in the saddle! x

  4. Love love LOVE. This post. Given me that little push to getting back on track.. I’ve recently been eating better and exercising a bit (i lost like 5lbs within 3 weeks the healthy way!!!!!) but it all came to a screeching halt 3 weeks ago when our fridge bust… Awful excuse i know but the nightmare that it has been, i cannot even begin to describe! (never buy anything indesit or hot point)

    Working from home it was ridiculous how much i had to spend/waste because of our issue! But anyway.. I’m seeing so many rumblings about this Ella book and the sweaty betty stuff.. I did a little gasp at the price but It’s good to know it’s worth it!

    I hope with my kitchen resuming normal service on Thursday will mean i can get back to dedicating my attention & care to my body again.

    This post really has come at the best time..! I’m so excited to receive the book and kick myself back into action! Thanks Charlotte!

    1. Hi Sundari! Bloody hell what a nightmare. I also have the Deliciously Ella book but am yet to read enough of it to give a thorough review… I feel I spend my life reading these things but not actually using/cooking the recipes!

      I could be very tempted to buy the ENTIRE sweaty betty range (!) x

      1. I have to say – I tried a couple of the Deliciously Ella recipes and was a bit disappointed. 🙁 I don’t know if I just got a couple of duds but I felt they were just a bit bland and not as tasty as I was expecting. They were, however, both ‘main meals’ – I think maybe her forte is salads/lunch/breakfast recipes.
        I’ve heard really good things about the Amelia Freer book but since I just bought the Hemsley & Hemsley book, I’d better stick to that for at least the next month! 😉

        1. Hi Kate, I’ve been struggling with the “bland” nature of some of these clean eating type recipes. I see on instagram all this “It’s so delicious!!!!’ blah blah and I’m there thinking erm..really? it tastes of cardboard 🙁

          Also, I don’t want to put loads of garlic and chilli in EVERYTHING either. x

          1. I think its a question of experimenting with the recipes a little bit. Plus Ella NEVER adds salt and pepper to anything. I also think that, if you’re not used to clean eating, things can taste a bit bland while your tastebuds get used to not having added sugar/preservatives etc. Same with reducing sugar intake, it takes a while for clean sweet things to taste as sweet. Does that make any sense??

            I’ve got the Ella book but I must admit, I probably won’t be buying the next two she’s writing.

            1. Claire that is a very good point – it must take a while if you are so used to so much sugar and artificial flavouring x

          2. It’s a difficult one, Charlotte! I want to eat healthy but I also want to *enjoy* what I’m eating – so there’s got to be a balance. I’ve definitely had some really lovely, tasty recipes so just need to hunt out and find more of those!

            Mmm, garlic and chilli. 😉

            1. I agree with the Ella comments – her recipes are great for healthy snacks and breakfasts but her main meals are quite bland and boring (sorry I just can’t live without eggs, fish or meat – give me protein!) I’ll definitely look out for Amelia Freer book as saw Sam Smith saying how good it was! But also keen to buy the honestly heathy book. I know the clean eating recipes can be boring but I would really recommend the James Duigan clean and lean diet book, not for the recipes but because it teaches you to look at food so differently. When I started following the principles I lost half a stone pretty much straight away, slept so much better and had loads more energy. It’s basically what everyone is now banging on about – avoiding processed or refined food or anything with additives, and try and eat organic. It requires a lot more effort as you have to plan and do everything from scratch but at least I know what’s in my food. Now when I look at processed or premanufactured food in the supermarket it makes me feel sick. But you only live once so I do have cheat meals or treat myself to an ice cream or a curry every now and again! Life’s too short to give up everything completely. Peace x

  5. Ooh I’m so going to have to steal your style Charlotte and snap up a pair of those trainers! Mine are looking a little worse for wear and of course if I bought a new pair it would totally motivate me to move about more. Any excuse 😉
    I’ve just bought a few bits of sportswear clothing from H&M. Impressed with the quality/choice and not bad for “prancing around the living room” as my husband so eloquently puts it xx

  6. I love the trainers! I am keen for some new ones. I have been on a mission to clear up my diet and lifestyle too once and for all since our hol in feb and have been sugar free (or as near as dammit 4-6 teaspoons a day of natural in your food sugars) since then! I love it! We got the davina book but have just ordered a few others, the recipes have been straightforward and delicious! And even did some baking and that too was yummy! I am totally convinced this is the way forward, I have cut out gluten and wheat but that’s for my IBS rather than sugar free but it’s all helped me be less bloated and just feel better about my diet. I ramped up the exercise and feel super fit and motivated to get lean and healthy. Summer is the best for motivation! Keen to try deliciously Ella but heard it might be complicated at times for easy after work meals. I got the I quit sugar book too and there are great ideas in there but not quite as easy as davina! X

  7. I’m totally sold on the amino acid supplements PURELY because the other day I had a panic that my eyelashes had got shorter. How vain is that?!

    Charlotte, would you mind sharing the main ‘targeted moved’ you focus on when you’re doing the reformer pilates? I love pilates but I really struggle to do it outside of a class environment and I don’t like watching DVDs (it just feels like an extra faff). If I had a set of moves in my head/written down, I think I’d be more inclined to do it!

    1. General mat pilates for at home I do the hundred ,the bridge and the leg pull plank (prone?) sorry, the name escapes me! Reformer wise I’m wondering how to explain on here as it involves the elastic bands etc – let me have a think, I’ve always said I should somehow do some image demos x

  8. I agree on buying footwear to help you feel more active. I walk to work and back most days (40 minutes each way!) and my feet were getting wrecked with cheap walking shoes or regular boots so I bought some limited edition blue Nike’s (similar to the Liberty print ones) last summer from Office. I LOVE them and I definitely have a spring in my step as well as lots of compliments. I have worn them so much though that the heel is really worn and I’ve had to put tape on for comfort! My plan is to treat myself to a new pair in the summer 🙂

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