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My Sugar Detox

My Sugar Detox

Maybe you knew maybe you didnt, but overfour weeks ago I decided to do a sugar detox. Not because I eat a lot of sugar but just to really see if I can do it, go sugar free for four weeks.

I have now completed the four weeks and so I decided to share my experience with you.

If you follow me on Instagram you know I love my cakes and desserts, but most of them are made with natural sugar, are refined sugar free and if they do contain refined sugar there is very little of it.

But before I tell you all about me going cold turkey on the sugar, I will tell you how I was feeling on my natural sugar normal diet.

So What was I eating? For breakfast I would usually have some porridge or chiapudding or a peanutbutter banana sandwich. The porridge as well as the chia pudding would be topped with loads of fruit as well as cinammon and some maple syrup. Then at around eleven I woul crave something else, some little snack maybe a little piece of my healthy cake or a bliss ball. Note not full of refined sugar but yet full of natural sugar from the dates.

So then I would usually go ahead with my lunch and have some homemade burger or falafel or salad or what ever I had prepared the day before. So all good. BUT straight after lunch I needed something sweet as well as a coffee. So again I would usually have a tiny piece of cake or similar. I dont know why but I am not a big fruit eater, on my breakfast yes, in my smoothie definitely but not just on its own. Except Blueberries, I could eat them all day.

So by the time I got home from work I would be starving again and because I usually dont make dinner until after the boys are in bed we would snack on nuts and some bananas between us.

So these were my eating habits.

Doesnt sound too bad right, there are no cookies in there no bought desserst or white breads but when you look at it closely there is a lot of sugar in the fruit and the cakes.

So what was the challenge then?

This was the plan:

4 weeks in total

At the two week Half-Time

2 weeks totally sugarfree (under 5% naturally occuring and no added sugar), no fruit, no dried fruit, no syrups no white bread or pasta or rice.

2 weeks with 2 portions of fruit per day and the rest stays the same

Was it hard? The fruitless two weeks yes, but only for breakfast as I am the sweet breakfast kinda girl.

Any improvement in, well, anything? For once I dont feel the need for something sweet at any stage throughout the day, I actually dont even feel like eating cake (weirdo, right). After lunch I dont have that urge for dessert and I dont really have a proper afternoon slump. If thats is an improvemt then definitely there is an improvement.

Also I think I can get up out of bed easier, I think, there is not a huuuge difference because my kids make you tired no matter how much energy you have but I definitely feel less tired.

Weight loss? Yes definitely, I feel lighter around my middle, I didnt track the weight loss properly because that wasnt my goal, but I think I am down 2kg, which is fine with me haha.

Any side effects? Well I was told you will crash around day 13-14, which I didnt believe. I thought I am pretty healthy anyway and dont eat refined sugar so my crash wont be as bad. Did I crash? I actually dont kow, I wasnt moody, I wasnt tired or grumpy (not more than usually anyway) but one thing happenend that was strange.

Now you might say Come oooon are you for real, and maybe Im crazy, but I am an accountant (whats that got to do with anything right) and I was preparing figures for a board meeting. I was working on them for two days double checking and comparing and I thought I had it all done and all was good until I gave them to my boss.

Who called me in his office and said “Maria I dont know what you were on”. Basically my figures did not make sense, and while I found the mistakes in some of them I could not figure out where I got the others. Maybe I just had a bad day or maybe that was my sugar crash.

My colleague said maybe he should have asked “what are you not on? haha”.

Is there any scientific evidence that says you need sugar for the brain to function properly? I havent seen any, maybe Ill do more research…

Anyway that my experience of the sugar detox and I think Im doing pretty well, I dont think I will be going back to eating desserts every day like I did, just because I dont really feel like it anymore, but I will be eating all my fruit for breakfast.

Any thoughts on this?

Share them with me

Maria

Last Minute Christmas Gift Guide

Last Minute Christmas Gift Guide

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas….. and if you’re just as organised as I am, now is the time to panic!

Every year I vow to myself that I will start buying gifts in August, yes you heard right August. Because then I can plan and budget ahead, (I am an accountant after all).

And then August comes and goes and it’s so warm and sunny and no way am I starting to buy Christmas presents now. Also people change their preferences and might see something they really like closer to the festive season. It is also impossible to buy anything for kids because they want something different every week or day.

Anyyywhooo…

If you are anything like me then don’t worry! I have put together a lovely gift guide with something for everyone. I really hope you enjoy it and I hope you find something lovely for your loved ones.

For him

Bulldog Skincare

Have you got one of those special guys in your life that will not use any kind of skin product that looks too much of a “Product” to be used by a man? Well I have. And I was struggling to make him use moisturiser and any sort of skin care. Until I found Bulldog Skincare. I was looking for a cruelty free and vegan brand that didn’t cost the world and that I could get my hands on quickly, (I was just as organised last year haha) and just by luck stumbled across them in my local pharmacy. I filled his advent calendar with 3 different products, moisturiser, facewash and aftershave balm thinking let’s see how it goes. And it went so, so well. He uses all three every day and his skin is so soft. So guess what’s he is getting this year again?

Bulldog skincare products are vegan and certified cruelty-free. They have a variety of different products such as moisturiser, aftershave balm, face wash, face scrub even beard shampoo and many more. I purchase mine here.

Norse London Double Edged Razor

Another great gift for the old-school man (maybe dad or your hip other half, or just someone you know would appreciate a great gift) in your life is a double edged razor. My dad has had his double edged razor for over 25 years now and I think it’s time for an upgrade. Over the years we have gifted him electric shavers, semi-electric ones and all sorts of other shaving equipment but he has never given up on his double edged razor. It is great because its plastic free which is great for the environment and you only replace the blades. It reduces waste and saves you money.

You can get stylish ones from Norse London with a stand for the razor and brush. As mentined on their website the brushes are synthetic. All at a very reasonable price and I know my dad will love it, maybe yours will too.

Flamingoslife

So what else does a man need? What about some stylish vegan and crueltyfree sneakers? These come in loads of different designs and are both for men and women. I really fell in love with mine and can only recommend them.

Get them here

For her

Anijewellery

How about some jewellery for your beautiful ladies?

Ani is a UK based handmade jewellery company. Their jewellery says no to animal cruelty it represents, love for all animals.

Help them spread the word and stand together.

Anijewellery make beautiful necklaces and donate 10% of sales to your chosen animal charity feom their dedicated list. Isn’t that a beautiful idea? I absolitely love their product and I might get one for a special friend. Or maybe just myself??!!

Get the neclace here.

Deciem – The abnormal Beauty company
The Ordinary, one of the Deciem beauty brands was one of the the first products I got when I went vegan and cruelty free. I was looking for a skincare products forever and actually my partner’s sister told me about them. I checked the company and found they were cruelty free and a lot of their products vegan. There are over ten brands under the umbrella of Deciem ranging from skincare to haircare to food supplements for beauty. When you click on a product you are given a sort of dashboard that states whether the product is vegan, nutfree, waterfree, oilfree or similar.
So, when the Ordinary was one of the first brands I purchased, and at a very reasonable price, Hylamide was the next. Its a bit a more expensive but I absolutely loved their cleanser and pore reduction products. And there are so so many I will need to try. I could spend all day browsing through their products.
I think their products would be a perfect gift for the lovely lady in your life, mum, sis, wife or girlfriend.

Get The Ordinary or Hylamide

Labante London
Guys and Girls! Do I have to say anything other than “HANDBAG”? Most ladies, I know very few who wouldn’t, would love a bag for a present. I am not the most stylish or fashionable person in the world, BUT I do looove bags. I am sorry if I am being too materialistic and superficial now but I looove bags. And I absolutely adore Labante London Bags. I have two in my collection now. One is a small black crossover bag with a golden chain strap and the other is a lovely brown tote with a pink inside, featuring detatchable side pockets. I am definitely planning on getting more. Labante London are PETA certified VEGAN, so do I need to say more? Head over to their website and pick one out for your favourite lady or let her pick it herself (I’m messing, I love surprises) . She’ll love it.

Get them here

IVANOVNA_DARIA: Speaking of bags, if your lady is the more casual type and not very much into handbags but still needs to carry things around, they will definitely need one of these. The IVANOVNA_DARIA seasack. My sis Daria loves fashion and loves making fashion so she created this brand, making beautiful sea sack style bags that are so handy and fashionable. All her bags are handmade with love and come in loads of different styles. She will make them to order and you can choose the design. They are not only for women but there are beautiful masculine designs too. Go check her out guys! Id say this could be a beautiful present.
BTW I have three myself haha.

Get her bags here or contact her directly and get a custom made one through here

For Kids

Rolleat

Do you want to go #zerowaste? The first step I took when I started my journey to #zerowaste, I’m long not there but I am trying, was getting rid of my clingfilm and start wrapping my kids’ sandwiches in the Rolleat sandwich wraps and snackbags. They come in various fun designs for kids and adults alike. My kids love their wraps and bags and I really couldnt go back to using clingfilm. It is a great way of reducing your single use plastic products and you should give it a go. Get some for your kids as a stocking filler. They’ll love them.

Get them here

Homeware and clothing

notPERFECTLINEN

Do you not just love linen? It is so simple beautiful and has that natural look about it. I would just love to use that material a lot more and maybe I will get someone to give me a present of notPERFECTLINEN.

notPERFECTLINEN is a small family business who make “not perfect linen”. From clothing to napkins, towels and accessories, you can find the most beautiful items on their Etsy shop.The products are handmade and have simple forms and colours and are made from natural fabrics. I certainly would love for someone to gift me a few items.

To buy click here

Whiteandgreen

Another great brand I discovered recently was Whiteandgreen.

A new Irish Company making bedding, blankets, scarves and throws from the finest, hand-picked organic cotton creating luxuriously soft products.

The company is 100% Fairtrade certified meaning fair wages and safe working conditions for all of their workers. I met one of the owners at a health blog event and was lucky to see the products. They are absolutely beautiful and luxurious and can be purchased here.

Heres a short company bio.

“As an accomplished Interior Designer, Sari was left puzzled by the lack of high quality, yet affordable bedding on the market. “What could possibly be so difficult?” She set out on a mission, and became a top expert for the finest quality bedding in the world. As a family, we wanted to take this even further.

Together, we launched White & Green in May 2016 and it has flourished ever since. From seed, to factory, to finished product- every detail has been meticulously chosen by us with full transparency in our supply chain.

We simply supply the most beautiful sheets, without the misleading marketing ploys such as ‘thread count’- which is not in itself an indicator of quality. It truly is about the quality of the cotton used in the first place that matters most. We use the finest, hand-picked organic cotton creating luxuriously soft sheets that wash and iron beautifully.“

Other gift ideas

In the spirit of Christmas, why not give to our planet too?

With our increasing population and with it the increasing amount of waste and plastic, we should all do something to save our planet for our future generations. Please consider giving to charities such as Plasticoceans and Oceanconservancy, two of the many charities that try to save protect and educate about our oceans and the plastic pollution that endangers the life in them.

And last but not least and the reason why I went vegan, are the animals. Please give to the many animal charities such as Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary (here in Ireland) or any other maybe local animal charity in your country.

I really hope you liked my Christmas Gift guide and have a lovely lovely festive Season

Maria

All images are either taken by me or used with the permission of the feautured brands.

Supernutritions Energy and Performance Superfoods

Supernutritions Energy and Performance Superfoods

Have you ever or do you ever take supplements or eat superfoods? I am talking about the new superfoods not our old fashioned blueberries and broccoli?

I didnt use to. I didnt believe in the hype. I am a bit oldfashioned and with food just like with any new trend I am very slow to accept it. So I didnt use or eat superfoods. I didnt understand they hype about Chia Seeds Quinoa Spirulina and other superfoods.

That is until I read up on them and there are so many articles you can read and some are contracdicting each ther and others are very sceptical.

Now that I did read about them I am a true believer! But I just find it so hard to keep track of all of them and also the know exactly what to use for which purpose.

So this is where I was introdused to Suernutritions. They are a brand that specialises in superfoods that you can blend yourself. All their superfoods are glutenfree soy free sugarfree saltfree dairy free and purely plantbased.

On their website you can as I mentioned create your own mix based on your goal and purpose.

You can choose from the following goals:

Energy & Performance

Wellness & Immunity

Detox & Body Cleanse 

Based on that goal you get to choose proteins, greens, seeds, veggies, fruits and a flavour.

I went for Energy & Performance and chose the flavour Berries and Cherries. 

So heres what I thought of it and made with it.

So my packet contained 75grams of a mix of Pea protein, hemp protein, Spinach, broccoli, Spirulina, Chlorella, Chia Seeds, Maca Roots, Pineappe, Green Stevia and Berries & Cherries.

When I opened the packet I got a beautiful aroma of fruit so off I went to try it out.

The first thing that came to my mind was to make agranola cup with a cashew and fruit filling. I aded a scoop of the superfoods into the granola base mix as well as to the cashew cream filling. The cream filling took on a lovely  purple colour and the flavour was very Berry as you would exepect. 

Now I havent ben using this enough to tell you whether it had any effect on my performance & energy (not that I am sporty or anything but Ive been lacking energy lately) but Ill see how it gooesn and let you know.

 

Vegan Box Beauty im Test

Vegan Box Beauty im Test


 

Vor einigen Monaten habe ich online die VEGAN BOX entdeckt und ich wollte sie baldmöglichst ausprobieren. Nachdem mich der Gedanke nicht mehr los lies, vegane Beauty Produkte zu bekommen und diese testen zu können, zufällig zusammengestellt von dem VEGAN BOX Team. Habe ich die Box endlich bestellt. Als das Paket dann ankam, war ich super neugierig und konnte es kaum abwarten die Box aufzumachen. Und hier sind sie, die veganen Beauty Produkte in meiner persönlichen Box! 

Mit dabei:

1x Gesichts Waschtuch

1x Gesichtsmaske

1x Pflege Lotion

1x Make Up

1x Handcreme

 

Ich habe für die Box 25€ gezahlt und erhielt Produkte im Wert von ca 80€, gar nicht schlecht finde ich.
Als erstes habe ich gleich die “Nachtkerze” Revitalisierende Handcreme von Weleda getestet. Die Creme roch angenehm fruchtig und hat sich sehr weich und gut auf den Händen verteilen können. Durch die handliche Größe hab ich die kleine Tube gleich in meine Handtasche gepackt und will sie nicht mehr vermissen.  

Als nächstes möchte ich nun die Gesichtsmaske testen. Ich denke ich werde mir mal am Wochenende die Zeit für einen schönen Beautytag nehmen. 

Habt ihr die VEGAN BOX auch schon getestet? Was habt ihr in euren Boxen gehabt und wie findet ihr die Produkte?

Ich werde auf jeden Fall weiter testen und euch gerne berichten.

 

 

Valentines Day – Just my humble opinion

Valentines Day – Just my humble opinion

Just my humble opinion…
So today is Valentine’s Day and I am not sure how I feel about that. I see all these beautify photos on Instagram of heart-shaped dishes from cookies to pancakes to full sized cakes and so many many other lovely treats. To be honest I love the look of all of them and the creativity and thought behind them.
And I just love the colour pink so anything pink I see (or maybe most pink things) I love.

When you go out to the shops today you see all these men rushing around buying roses and chocolates. And I can’t help but thinking isn’t this all a bit silly?

Is it because we never do anything like that (my other half and me), I don’t get flowers or chocolates and we don’t go out for a romantic dinners on Valentine’s Day.
But honestly who does?

I think if I came home with some pink cake or chocolates I’d be getting very highly raised eyebrows.

I remember the only time I got a present (roses a big teddy and chocolates) on Valentine’s Day was the very first year I was going out with my significant other, and I think the pressure of it all got to him.

Breakfast Bowl

On the other hand, my little James came home yesterday with a handmade Valentines Card for his dad, brother and mum and I thought that was so cute. They made them in school yesterday and now it’s on my kitchen press.

The girls in the office had the idea of making our own cards this year, too. And so we did.

But is anybody really taking today seriously. Are there people out there who would spend a fortune going out for dinner and buying expensive presents? I am sure there are, otherwise restaurants wouldn’t be fully booked tonight and the guys would be running around buying all that stuff.

Anyway Ill be off to Instagram now looking at all the pink heart shaped food and maybe next year, if I don’t forget Ill create something myself and post the recipe her. Until then you have my delicious pink breakfast bowl to look at which I made today and it coincided with the pinkest day of the year. HAHA

Pink Valentines Breakfast
Liz Earle – Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

Liz Earle – Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

 
First product review….had to be on cosmetics. Us being girls it’s only natural.
 
Going vegan for the animals for us meant also going crueltyfree. So we had to ditch all our cruel cosmetics. But you have to do research first, right? Nope. I didn’t. Off I went to the first pharmacy and grabbed the first product that looked lovely…turned it over and saw the bunny. Winner!!!! This is the Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser by  Liz Earle. I was promised clear skin by the sales person and off I went to try it at home….Really optimistic with this one now.
 
Just a brief introduction to my skin
 
I am not sure why but for some time now my skin has been very clogged up with spots appearing on my forehead and chin. I tried  a few face washes and exfoliators but couldn’t get it to feel clean or even less greasy. So the reason I am trying this is that I really want my skin to clear up and get rid of those spots.
 
The sales rep told me the cleanser is really good for acne prone skin so exactly what I am looking for, right?
 
First of all a tiny bit about the company.

Liz Earle was founded in 1995 and is a British beauty brand. They offer skincare, haircare, bodycare and make up for all ages, stages in life or skin type.* According to their Sales Rep most of their products are Vegan except a few that include honey and beeswax from sustainable sources. Sooo, if I really like this cleanser I might move on to their other products and will of course review them here.

The Hot Cloth Cleanser

According to the official Liz Earle website this cleanser is suitable for all skin types. This statement makes me a bit nervous and sceptical as surely there cannot be a one for all solution for all skin types. But lets see how it goes. The cleanser has won numerous awards over the last few years including “InStyle Best Beauty Buys 2016 Award”, the “Woman&Home Best in Beauty 2015 Award” The Glamour Beauty Power List 2014 Award” and many others.

I got a 30ml tub that came with the cleansing muslin cloth. At €8 for the both it’s a reasonable enough price and worth a try.

How to use?

Massage onto dry skin over your face and neck, finishing over your eye area. Rinse the pure cotton cloth in hand-hot water and wring out before gently polishing off the cream. Finish by splashing your face with cool water.*

I was also told by the salesperson that I can even remove my eye make up with it as it doesn’t sting the eyes.

First Impressions

When I opened the tub I got a soft and gentle Eucalyptus scent which was rather nice as it wasn’t overpowering. The consistency of the cream itself was smooth and not greasy.

So first I removed my eye make up which was easy enough and didn’t take that much product to do (not sure if I want to do that though considering there are other make up removers specifically designed for that purpose).

Then I went on to massage the product into my skin with circular motion. I rinsed my new cloth in hot water and polished off the cream.

Result. Very surprised. My skin felt very clean after the first use and it hasn’t felt like that before in a long time.

I was really optimistic and thought this is it, I might have found my favourite cleanser and if my skin feels like that every day and gets rid of my impurities Ill stick with it.

The following morning my skin was back to normal all greasy and my pores were blocked. So I cleansed it again. You are supposed to use it twice a day morning and night. Again my skin felt and looked really clean. I was so happy.

I have now used up the entire tube of 30ml which took me about 4 weeks and here comes the final verdict.

First of all one week into using the product I found out it wasn’t vegan. It contains bees wax. I got a bit upset as even though I was told not all Liz Earle products are vegan it wasn’t mentioned by the sales lady that this wasn’t. So regardless of my experience with it I will not be repurchasing it.

Now having used up the entire tub I am not entirely satisfied.

The Positives:

  • My skin felt and looked really clean after each use.
  • The product has a lovely scent and a creamy consistency which is easy to apply.
  • It doesn’t dry out your skin which a lot of cleansers do
  • The muslin cloth is lovely and soft and easy to wash after each use.
  • 30ml lasting four weeks with daily application in the morning and evening quite good

The negatives:

  • The Product is not Vegan
  • Even though my skin looks and feels really clean after each cleanse my spots didn’t disappear and my pores are still blocked. My skin keeps getting oily throughout the day and I have lots of impurities.

So having promised to clear up my skin it didn’t deliver.

But maybe this product is not suitable for all skin types after all. Maybe if your skin isn’t too oily or clogged up you will like it. As I said after every cleanse I was really impressed on how clean my skin felt and looked. And every time I thought maybe I need to use it for a bit longer to see a lasting result. But after having used it for four weeks I am a bit disappointed.

This is not to say that you wont like it. And if you are ok with having bees wax in your products give it a go.

My search for the best cleanser for me still continues and I am moving on to the next product.