Monday, 19 October 2015

Weight loss: The first two stone are gone, but how?!

Hello my loves,

For the last three months I have been on a healthy living/ weight loss journey and so far I'm down two stone so thought I would share what I'm doing and then perhaps update as I continue on with this new lifestyle change.

The key words in that first paragraph are lifestyle change. I probably sound like a broken record as it's something everyone always says but it's true. There is no quick fix, not fad diet you have to simply treat your body like a temple and go from there.

I have enlisted the help of a personal trainer and this was the best decision I could have made because he makes up a plan for me where I do two one hour sessions of training with him per week as well as a detailed description for a third day to do myself. He also gave me a meal plan with guidelines on what to eat and when to eat. Having him waiting for me in the gym twice a week means I'm forced to get up and go because either way he'll charge me as well as he holds me accountable so I'm less likely to go off plan or decide not to go to the gym by myself on the day I don't meet him.

What do I do in the gym? If you're familiar with crossfit at all the type of stuff I do is like that. My trainer is an 'aspiring cross fit athlete' so obviously he likes and believes in the method so does it with me. It's lots of body weight exercises such as planks, squats, burpee's, mountain climbers and so on some of which I'll then do with weights, actual weights like dumbells, kettlebells and dead lifts and a little cardio with a 50 calorie row to warm up at the beginning and a little run on the treadmil at the end. Gone are the days of sweating it out on a treadmill for an hour and heading home.

I'm sure you've heard of the term 80% diet 20% exercise and I 100% agree with it, I have only missed one workout the entire 3 months but there are weeks where my diet isn't the best and I notice things like not loosing any weight, feeling lethargic and just crap in general so I am a convert. The gym for me is fun because I can feel myself getting fitter and stronger(I dead lifted 40kg the other day, how insane!!) but even my trainer when after the first 6 weeks and I had a big loss said you can tell you're eating really well because you can kill it in the gym and go home and eat crap but you're numbers are telling me you're not.

What am I eating though? My diet is really simple and now that I've been doing it for a while it all makes sense. I have breakfast, snack, lunch, vegetable juice, snack and dinner everyday. All of my meals contain protein sometimes animal proteins such as eggs, chicken or turkey but also in nuts(I have a crazy love for almonds). I have brown rice but can have other grains such as buckwheat or millet but to be honest I love rice and it's the easiest for me to cook so I stick to that. I have it at lunch time with vegetables and protein and at dinner I have raw veg and a protein so usually a salad. At that time of the day I don't need carbohydrates so it makes sense to not have them that late. I can see why my Granny always had her dinner in the middle of the day now, I feel like that's what I do!
My snacks are nuts and seeds. The nuts keep me full in between breakfast and lunch and the seeds between the juice and dinner are more so I don't snack on other 'bad things'.

So that is basically how I have lost the first 2 stone out of a lot more that I need to lose but this is just the beginning and so far I'm loving it!
I can do a blog post on a what a normal day of eating looks like if people are interested because if I include anymore in this post It will be a novel!
Keep on an eye on my YouTube as I plan on making a video about it all soon but in the mean time I'm always posting my meal prep and workouts on instagram so make sure you're following me there, my user name is AliBowring (same as twitter).

Until next time have a great day and I will talk to you soon,

Alice May xx

Saturday, 8 August 2015

How to survive a Long Distance Relationship

Hey everyone!
I recently started a relationships seres on my YouTube Channel. I've decided for this one I would write a blog post along side it so let's get cracking! To watch the video you can click here.

The Background 

As you might know I went to Brussels in Belgium where I studied for 3 months as part of an Erasmus programme. This of course meant that I was apart from my Boyfriend of a year and half(at the time of leaving). Although some of you are probably rolling your eyes thinking 3 months- that's nothing! Well then good for you and I'm glad that you think so but for me it was a really scary thing. Seán and I live very close to each other so it's very easy for us to see one another on a very regular basis we also met through mutual friends so our nights out with friends would mean we were both there too not because on a plus one deal but because they are both of our friends. Basically, we spend a lot of our time in each others company. Oh and did I mention we are madly in love so believe it or not we really enjoy being together?
At the end of the day this was an experience I couldn't pass up so I decided to put 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' to the test.

Tip One:
Have open, honest communication. This is a must for a relationship full stop but for long distance it's the key to succeeding. Before you or your partner go make sure you talk about how you're feeling about the pending separation. Is your partner supportive of the change? I don't think I could have gone if Seán hadn't been so encouraging of it. I would have felt guilty for leaving him behind which I did anyway to an extent but knowing that I had a cheerleader at home made me feel so much better.

Tip Two:
Skype. Skype became my best friend while I was away. Viber is great for phone calls(so I've heard I don't use it) as is Facebook calling which we used when the internet wasn't as strong in my apartment but nothing beats seeing each other. Seeing the smile you love and not having to imagine their body language and facial reactions. We had dinner dates over Skype and we watched TV shows over Skype(timing to press play proves difficult with time delays!). It's the closest thing you're going to get to being in the same room so take advantage. I personally hated using my phone for Skype/Facetime. Having your laptop sit open in front of you means a bigger screen and if you're like me free's up your hands for those grand hand gestures you need for telling stories.

Tip Three:
Make plans. Whether this is plans for when you/he/she returns makes plans as to what you're going to do. Are you going to move in together? Are you going to go for a weekend away together? or if they are coming to visit make plans for that trip. Seán came over to me for a week during Easter break and we spent the entire time I was away up until that point planning it. His flights were booked before I even left for Belgium so straight away we had something to look forward to.  We organised day trips we would take, over night trips, what we would do on Easter... the list goes on! It was fun planning it together and even more fun doing it all together when he arrived. I also loved being able to show him around where I had been living, what I had been doing and the people I had been hanging out with.
After I picked him up in the airport

Tip Four:
Make time for one another. Of course don't sit at home all day on the phone to your partner but you have to set aside a time that is dedicated to talking to them, replying to an email or whatever it is you plan on doing to communicate. It's easy to let your schedule get too busy and miss out on time with your loved one. Long distance is not easy and it takes work so make sure you clock in your hours. Also if you are living in different time zones you need to plan a lot more, I was lucky because I was only an hour ahead of Seán but someone I know that was over 8 hours ahead said what she did was email when she went to sleep and he would get it when he woke up as a first morning smile. Something like that anyway!

Tip Five:
Have an end goal. For me this was obviously coming home at the end of the 3 months but I wanted to just quickly add this one because if you are in a long distance relationship with no end in sight what really is there to look forward to? Long Distance Relationships can go on for years but ultimately you can't have one forever you will have to be together at some stage so really think about where it's heading. Will one of you move to the other? If not maybe you need to reconsider a few things.

I can now testify that absence does make the heart grow fonder or at least when it came to my Relationship. It was the most difficult 3 months of our relationship with tests and trials but ultimately the reason it was so hard was because we missed each other a lot because we love each other a lot. I am so glad I went away for many reasons but believe it or not I being away from my Boyfriend is one of the positives because now I know I don't want to be without him and if that's not love I don't know what is.

If anyone has had an experience with a long distance relationship, how did it work out for you? What are are you tips that I didn't include and do you disagree/agree with mine?

Make sure you check out my YouTube video on this topic incase you didn't already read enough!

I hope you're all well,

Alice X

Monday, 15 June 2015

Under Armor Gear- Alice Proof phone case

Hey everyone!

It's been longer then I can remember since I did a review for you all but today I have something that I'm quite excited about to show you.

I was asked to review an Urban Armor Gear (UAG)phone case a few months ago and of course the day it arrived I sent my phone off for repairs so when I finally got the two together I wanted to give the case the ultimate test over the last month before making any conclusions.

Let me start off by saying this case is officially 'Alice Proof'!
What Is Alice Proof? Well there is a long running joke amongst my family and friends (joke for them not so much for me!) where if I am ever given a phone to hold that is not mine everyone will warn the person before hand that it might not be a good idea, if I am lent a phone(Like recently when I sent my phone off for repairs) I am very quickly told to get a case on it immediately and finally if anyone else breaks their phone they exclaim that they have pulled an Alice...
Ok so I don't have a good history when it comes to phones without a case. I may have smashed my iPhone at least 3 times. I may have then decided to get a new cheaper phone as I was sick of breaking my old one only to break they cheaper ones screen within a week of buying it but hey! We all have out faults!! My current phone is the Samsung Galaxy s4 and I love it so much so I don't want anything happening to it. (The crack on the screen is from when my Boyfriend had the phone before me so I can't be blamed!)
I understand that I have small crack on the screen- This was 1) not my fault and 2) before I had the case.
This company claim to meet military drop test standards and although I personally couldn't test that I have dropped my phone 3 times today alone and not even the case is scratched.
I chose the colour valkyrie as I liked the pink finish, the material is really smooth which worried me and made me think that maybe it was a little slippy (too smooth?) However I don't think I've dropped the phone anymore then usual(even if this is a lot normally..)

The case that I got for my Samsung Galaxy s4 would normally cost €31.15 which next to popular brands like otter box is a little cheaper so any way to save a few bob is good for me!
I used to have a LifeProof case which I reviewed in the past. It was a great case while I had an iPhone but it is very expensive in comparison to the UAG case so unless you really want a case for going underwater the UAG case is the one for you(and a lot less bulky too)
When buying your next phone factor in the cost of a good case because if you're anything like me you will ultimately be saving money by investing in a case like the Urban Armor Gear one and not forking out €50 at least for a new screen every once in a while.

What is your favourite phone case, are you as clumsy as me when it comes to protecting your phone? I want to know I'm not alone!

I hope you're all well,

Lots of Love,

Alice May XX

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Adventures in Brussels

Hello everyone!

I've just looked to see when my last 'proper' blogpost was and it was over a year ago! Yikes! Where dis that time go!?

I can't say what I was doing for most of that time because I really don't have any reason but since the end of january I have been living in Brussels, Belgium!

I'm currently home for 10 days before I head back to my tempory home for a final 2 weeks.

But what have I been doing there?
As you all(should) know I'm studying to be a Montessori teacher and as part of that I was offered to go on an Erasmus programme to Brussels for 3 months. 
So of course I jumped at the idea!

I have actually found it extremely tough being away from Ireland, we are such home birds aren't we? I think I'll try and do some posts talking about what I found hard and how I overcame it to maybe help soemone else who is mocing away from home specifiacally for a short time like 3 months. 

For now here are some of the things in Brussels you simply can't miss. 

Like in the picture at the top and these two pictures. the number one place to visit is Grand Place.. you really can't miss it! It's kinda the centre of everything! I love it, so beautiful and always a pleasure to see!

Atomimum was built for the 1958 world fair and is pretty cool. The view from the top is amazing but the stricture it's self is a great sight. 

This photo does not do the Galleries justice, I have now realised that i need to take a better picture when I go back in.. 9 days. 
My favourite two things in Brussels are Grand Place and The Galleries. The Galleries are lined with chocolate shops and boutiques that are too expensive to even to step into but I always love walking through here with my University on the other end I would do the walk quite frequently. 

Finally we have the famous Manneken Pis statue. This is a little boy statue that is simply peeing! 
He always has a huge crowd around him trying to take selfies with their selfie sticks. There are a lot of legends about him but the one that is the most feasible is that there was a bomb in the middle of the city, this little boy urinated on the fuse of the bomb which then put it out and saved everyone. The End. Woohoo! It's a fun tourist attraction anyway!

So there are some of the things you can't miss in Brussels!

I hope to do more blogging but don't want to make empty promised.. I'll try!! 

Lots of love,

Alice May.