Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Paleo? Vegan? Both?


A question I've been by those around me a lot lately; "are you still vegan? What do you eat? What's your diet like? Why?"
And believe me, I've been asking myself the exact same question for a while now (perhaps that's why people keep asking? Because my answer keeps changing?). For about two or three months, I've been toggling with my ratios of foods, trying to find some kind of healthy, delicious, financially savvy and convenient lifestyle for food and drink. I feel like I've been trying just about everything.

First, I re-introduced egg/fish/chicken into my diet. Why? Because at college, I don't have access to a full kitchen, nor the funds to continually buy and store fresh produce as I ideally would like to, and the 'vegan' options available to me (I live in my sorority house, where meals are made en-mass) were simply not what I wanted -- they were either tasteless, or delicious, but not good for me (think lots of sweet potato fries basked in oil...)

After that, I went down more of a Paleo pathway, trying to use my reintroduced fish/chicken/egg elements to keep me fuller for linger, replacing the calorically-dense carbohydrates that, I felt, had contributed to a little extra unwanted weight upon my body. 

Additionally, I tried (again) to completely remove sugar from my diet, however, traveling back to Sydney and reuniting with friends often seemed to mean sugary-cocktails, champagne, treats and 'special occasions'... every single day...

Consequently, the past two-ish weeks since, I've been trying to re-find that place. Searching for some much-needed weight loss, I re-adopted the paleo pathway, admittedly appealed by the age-old "cutting carbs will help you lose weight!" That said, I also felt that a paleo diet wasn't quite what I wanted -- I actually really had enjoyed my time eating a plant-based diet, and had it not been for my circumstances, I probably would not have stopped at all. 

And that is when, thankfully, whilst looking for some paleo snack recipes, I stumbled across my middle ground: Pegan. (No, I swear I'm not making it up...). You guessed it: paleo + vegan = pegan

Granted, this combination seems at odds with one another; although when you look at the diets as they exist, both fundamentally promote eating whole, unprocessed, unrefined foods in their natural form, regardless of whether this is in a hunter/gatherer sense or a plant-based one.

You see, if we base our decisions solely off research, things get complicated, especially when we are talking about weight loss. Why? Because both Vegan and Paleo diets, if you research them, have promised and delivered weight loss in their own dimensions. So how on earth are we supposed to decide what the ‘best’ pathway is?

Now, I again concede that the combination of two, differently but equally specific diets (I suppose? They're less difficult than you'd imagine, though) may make you flee at the doubling of difficulty, but honestly, from what I've read, it's a lot less 'intense' than you may be thinking.

For example,whilst absolutely no animal product exists within a vegan, plant-based diet, lean meats and egg, from what I’ve found, is optional on a Pegan one. This really comes down to individual preference, lifestyle and your own macro-dependent satiety. The consensus, however, is that if you do choose to incorporate chicken, fish and egg into your Pegan diet, these animal products should be treated as garnishes, not meals in themselves. I personally am planning to transition with fish, chicken and egg upon occasion, however I will be making a conscious effort to essentially halve my animal product presence on the plate, and double my veggies in compensation.

One thing that the two diets agree upon, however, and that is not lost within this blend; No dairy. This isn’t coincidence — yes, some people can tolerate dairy because they have adapted to, and it tastes absolutely fantastic, the negative impacts that dairy will have on the human body simply isn't worth it. You can read more about the downsides of dairy here and here as a start.

Of course, in wake of eating predominantly whole, unrefined, unprocessed, organic foods, sugar and artificial sweeteners are an absolute no-go. Honestly, though, sugar shouldn't really be a regular part of any diet, if we are being 'ideal'.

I won't ramble on any further, especially since I myself am so new to this middle-road diet (I'll keep you updated!), but for a more in-depth, doctor-approved, super-interesting introduction into the Paleo-Vegan (Pegan) diet, I recommend starting here — Dr. Mark Hyman’s blog post on his personal experiences with peganism. 
As always,
Love,
Annabel

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Monday, 19 June 2017

Small Ways to Save a Dollar


When you’re twenty-something, studying, maybe working (maybe not), and trying to live, money is something that is undoubtedly always on your mind. And whilst you no doubt know that prioritizing and budgeting will be, if they aren’t already, you’re new best friends, you may not have realized just how far saving a few dollars every here and there goes… Implementing these strategies (and some of your own) into your daily life can save you more money in the long run for those things are more .. important? .. to you (so basically, food).

  1. Make coffee at home, OR, drink your coffee black (cheaper and often better for you)
  2. Walk everywhere you possibly can (I’m talking anywhere within a 1 hour walk… no trains or buses or subways or metros)
  3. Bring food from home to work or campus between classes
  4. Don’t drink your meals — they probably won’t fill you up as much, and an $11 juice is not financially savvy when you’ll be buying a snack in a few hours
  5. Get onto Groupon and other discounted apps — they have everything 
  6. Ditch your gym membership and work outdoors
  7. Try to buy neutral clothes that won’t go out of fashion in two months, so you can have a solid wardrobe base all year round (and hopefully for more than one year)
  8. Wear less makeup = buy less makeup (and makeup is expensive)
  9. Carry cash per week, and make the rule that you cannot  spend any money other than the cash you have on you
  10. Remember chores? Offer to do housework, babysitting or any other job for friends, family and neighbors 
Love,
Annabel
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Friday, 16 June 2017

Healthy Food You'll Love - Delivered

source: new york native
Healthy food and convenience are not often (if ever) synonymous -- however, thankfully for us, the struggle has not gone unanswered. There are now an abundant of health-food-on-the-go delivery services sprouting up all over the place (pun intended), and as life would have it, us weird people (aka those that prefer eating healthy) have now found a new struggle to grapple with: where to choose. Listed below are just a few of my favorite online stores and health food sites... feel free to find & share your own, too!

1. Sakara -- This online food boutique (literally) stocks everything from salad dressings, teas and meal plans, to popcorns, chocolate that's "proven" to help your skin, and nori chips of all flavors you could wish for. Oh, and the packing is amazing  (yeah, yeah, I'm a sucker for nice packaging...)


2. Paleo Angel -- Whilst the menu offering here is more limited than the abundance of Sakara, their paleo power balls are amazing for on-the-go snacks that are surprisingly low in sugar! Personal fave: chocolate always...


3. Bearded Brothers -- Again, the menu is simplistically based around energy bars, but boy are they good energy bars... and similarly as convenient and good for you as the paleo power balls!


4. Artisan Tropic -- For those salt-loving chip addicts, this one's for you: plantain & cassava chips like you've never tasted them before. And given the taste and goodness, they're surprisingly affordable!


                                                      


5. eXo Protein Bars -- Yep, it's pretty much what it sounds like (because why not try every protein bar under the sun?!) Filling, tasty, and made even better by the fact that they come in a ton of different flavors!




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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

How To Hold Yourself Accountable


We all have dreams — and when we turn those dreams into goals, we are making the conscious decision to pursue them. Today, we hear frequently, out of our own mouths or another, that we “lack self-discipline” or “motivation”. Whether this is in pursuit of a health goal, a career goal or a social one, every change we make in our lives starts out as a conscious effort, rooted and relying upon some degree of discipline. So, how do we hold ourselves accountable?

The first step to keeping yourself on track, is making sure that the track you’re on is realistic. Don’t create a plan that you can’t integrate into your daily life, just because someone else has managed to plug it into theirs. We’re all different — cater your goals to your own life: they’re your goals after all. Tip: when you’re creating your plan, have intermittent ‘check-in’ dates along the way, so that you don’t get to the end of your three month or six month plan and realize that you fell off the wagon three weeks in. 

Infiltrate your life with as many reminders, prompts, inspiring pictures and forced habits as humanly possible. Annoy yourself with how present your goal is. Download apps (and allow notifications!), create inspo boards, change you iPhone wallpaper, your computer desktop, put sticky notes on your bathroom mirror… whatever it takes. And more.

Next, make sure you tell people about your goal — that way, the  you’re out with friends, they’ll not only ask you about how you’re going (and you want to be able to say “great!” don’t you?), but you’ll also act in front of them in a way that fosters your goal. Eventually, this will become a habit no matter where you are or who you’re with.

Finally, make sure that you wake up every morning thinking about your goal, and go to sleep envisioning yourself having that goal. I’ve written an article a while ago about the Law of Attraction, and its ability to draw your goals into your life (you can check it out here), and I truly, wholeheartedly believe that employing this mindset and lifestyle will uproot and renovate your everything for the better.

Finally, ask yourself before everything you do — “what do I want more?” — and after you do something — “did that make me happy?”

Being self-reflective is more powerful than being imaginative or ambitious.

Love,

Annabel
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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

My Go To Playlist Right Now


Yea, babe, no way — LANY
BRB — LANY
Good Girls — LANY
It Was Love — LANY
We Won’t — Jaymes Young & Phoebe Ryan
Good Grief — Bastille
Fake It — Bastille
Now or Never — Halsey 
Strangers — Halsey & Lauren Jauregui
Get What You Give — Felix Cartal
Up and Up — Lennon & Maisy
Without You — Oh Wonder 
When We Were Young — Adele
Send My Love (To Your New Lover) — Adele
We Will Rise — Majestic Sounds feat. Stevie Tonks
Perfect Places — Lorde
Saw You In A Dream — The Japanese House
Somebody You Found — The Japanese House
Only You — Selena Gomez
Whatever It Takes — Imagine Dragons
A Change of Heart — The 1975
Stay a Little Longer — Lostboycrow
Verona — Lostboycrow
Where It All Goes — Lostboycrow
Ocean Eyes — Billie Eilish
Bored — Billie Eilish
To Build a Home — The Cinematic Orchestra
Medicine — Daughter
HEAVEN — Troye Sivan
Stargazing — Gnash & Vancouver Sleep Clinic
Someone New — Banks
Your Touch — Sonny Alven, Olivera
Addicted to Love — Florence and the Machine
If I Go — Ella Eyre
The Story Never Ends (Piano Version) — Lauv
Circles — Eden
Fumes — Eden
And — Eden
Rock + Roll — Eden
XO — Eden
Drugs — Eden
Sex — Eden

Say Something Loving — The xx

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Saturday, 10 June 2017

Expect Less


All our lives, we are told to expect greatness from ourselves — that other people expect greatness from us. Why? Why do we tell our children, friends, family, colleagues and even acquaintances to hold themselves to a higher standard? What do we think this will achieve? Perhaps we believe that adhering to this ‘higher standard’ way of living will in turn promote and produce an actual higher standard of living. That if I expect myself to get a good job right out of college, climb the corporate ladder and settle down by 30, completely financially comfortable and content; that’s the life I will lead.

But what if we’re wrong? What if all of this — all the times we tell people to work harder, dream bigger, push further — doesn’t foster greatness, but rather, discontent? We’re hypocrites, after all: telling one another that happiness is what matters, and what we should strive for, but that we should push ourselves and expect more from the world, as though that may somehow lead to happiness. Perhaps for some, it does. For most, I would argue, it doesn’t.

You see, if the ‘number one thing’ we need in life is happiness (whatever that means), then, in my opinion, the most important tool to get there is gratitude. Being truly, deeply, fully, universally grateful for what you have, and what you don’t have. Without the ability to employ a little perspective, a little confidence, a little self-love and a lot of thanks, how can we ever hope to feel happy?

And so now we see the problem: sometimes, you need to choose between your happiness, and your expectations. You cannot have both. What I suggest is that you find the fine balance between pushing yourself, working hard, dreaming big — and staying grounded, looking around, and thanking the universe for what you have now. After all, wherever you are in life, there is always something or someone to be thankful for.

Love,

Annabel

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Friday, 9 June 2017

Fashion Trends to Get Behind

























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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

How To Stop Negativity From Overruling Your Life


Negativity, as much as positivity and optimism, is both contagious and sporadic in everyone’s lives — nobody is immune to bad days or self-deprecating thoughts. That said, whilst negative thoughts are in some ways simply a part of life, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be dealt with, and even brightened up a little.

The first step to take, is a step back. Employ a little perspective into the situation — what do you have? What are you good at? What makes you lucky in life, and in yourself? These are all important questions to ask yourself when everything seems to be going against you; the best way to conquer pain is through perspective.

After this; do something you love. Why? Because it makes you happy. It’s truly that simple. This could be hanging with friends that will take your mind off the problem for a little while, council you out of your predicament, or remind you how kickass, fabulous you are. That said, sometimes, people are not what you need — solitude can be a friend. In times like those, I recommend turning off your phone (don’t you dare scroll through social media when you’re feeling like this…), playing some music, painting your nails, taking a walk (literally, anywhere, anytime), watching a movie, playing in a coloring book (not a joke) or just making lists (lists solve life problems: fact).

Eventually, your nails will be painted, your Netflix account drained, and your positive affirmation too repetitive. This is when you must do the inevitable: face your problems. This is the absolute worst, most annoying, most painful and undesirable step in coping with your inner negativity — however, it is also the most essential. It will probably involve lots of tears, torturous emotions and hugging of pillows, but i promise, it will get better.

Finally, when you’re coming to the end of your negative downpour (a few hours? a few weeks? doesn’t matter), you need to give yourself a break. Honestly; relax. Life is way too short and silly to spend all your time in a puddle of self-pity. Have a bubble bath, buy yourself a drink, get that new dress you’ve been eyeing, go for a run. Do something for yourself, that will benefit you and make you feel magical. After all: you are.

Love Always,

Annabel
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