My Top 5 Blog Addictions

My Top 5 Blog Addictions

Hi everyone! What’s better to survive the rest of the week than to share with you my current favourite blog addictions – top 5 blogs I’m obsessed with right now! I like to read a little about everything, whether it’s cooking, beauty, fashion and/ or traveling, not only am I learning something new everyday but I’m finding all sorts of inspiration from around the world. Nowadays I’m finding myself doing more reading than actual writing, but everyone needs a little break right? 🙂 These are in no particular order:

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1. Minimalist Baker 

One of the coolest new discoveries I made, I’m not even sure how I came across it to be honest. It’s essentially a food blog by Dana who create amazing and simple recipes that’s either 10 ingredients or less, one bowl or 30min or less. The best thing is that she creates the best gluten free and vegan recipes that are delicious and simple, plus her photos are the best! I would definitely check it out for some healthy, fun recipes that are easy to follow.

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2. Grease and Glamour 

A travel and lifestyle blog by Jinna who created the blog following the death of her father, who was her biggest motivation in life. She decided to quit her full time job in NYC and follow her dreams and passions, which lead her to the most amazing destinations on this planet. Follow her for inspiration and amazing travel photos plus awesome travel tips!

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3. Kayture 

Do I even need to give you an introduction? Kristina Bazan is one of the biggest fashion voices on Earth right now, she’s pretty much everywhere and to think she was just an ordinary Swiss girl doing her thing a couple years back. Clearly she’s doing something right! She’s beautiful and her photos are amazing! Check out her blog for some amazing outfit inspirations.

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4. Sprouted Kitchen 

Another great food blog with delicious and simple recipes to follow. I love that Sara uses a lot of natural ingredients, her recipes are heathy, wholesome and her photos are absolutely beautiful. I’m no vegetarian or vegan but she sure has some of the best vegetarian recipes that are to die for!

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5. The Chriselle Factor 

A fashion and lifestyle blog by Chriselle, she has amazing fashion and styling tips to hand out that goes along with some really impressive photos. I love that she creates such simple and elegant outfit looks, which is very inspiring for me as a blogger myself. Definitely check her out if you enjoy the classic, simple and elegant side of fashion.

Now with that being in the open, I hope this not only get you reading and exploring other blogs out there but it may also inspire you to start a blog yourself! 🙂 Whether you’re a reader or a blogger, you need a laptop to do your business, which is why Gumtree has created a special tool to help those who are looking to sell or buy a laptop – The Laptop Price Checker. It’s basically a nifty tool which lets you narrow down your laptop brand and model to check the price that is currently selling for online. Whether you’re looking for an Apple or an HP, Gumtree provides for it all! So if you’re looking for a laptop to either read your favourite blogs or to start your own, definitely check it out!

With love…xxx

My Banting Story

My Banting Story

Hi everyone! I’ve been taking a little break from blogging but you can still keep updated on the ins and outs by following me on social media. 🙂 For those who do follow me, you probably already know that I finally got my puppy (I reserved him a while back and I was just waiting till he was big enough to come home with me), his name is Buddy and he’s the fluffiest ball of love! He’s a golden retriever, a breed that I’ve heard and witnessed many great things, they have the best temperament, super patient and kind. See me hanging out with Buddy by following me on Snapchat —> @lovemarylu.

Onto today’s post…

Some of you may be rolling your eyes already by reading or hearing the word “Banting” – probably one of the most popular words in the health and fitness world right now, it’s all the craze! Clearly there’s something drawing you in, perhaps its a curiosity, perhaps you needed some convincing, a testimony… who knows! Whatever your reason is to click on this post, I can guarantee you that you’re not wasting your time, this is a real-life testimony on Banting, the good and bad, I’m not holding back!

I’m going to provide you with some basic information on my Banting experience:

What is Banting?

Basically, Banting is a eating plan that’s high in fat and low in carbs, and by carbs I mean all carbohydrates including the usual suspects such as potatoes, rice, breads but also fruits, sugar and legumes. This eating plan throws everything that we were taught in reverse because we all assume that healthy eating means less fat with lots of fruits and veg and moderate amount of healthy carbs. Firstly, let me start by saying that Banting works best for people who exercise regularly. I can’t imagine sitting on my ass all day and gobbling down bacon for breakfast and dinner, this leads to one word – obesity!

What do people on Banting eat? 

Pretty much all leafy greens and anything that grows above the ground and all meat products but also eggs and seafood. This doesn’t sound so bad right? Yes it’s great in the beginning but then you realise how much sugar and all things starchy are in the foods you eat on a daily basis, it gets a little tougher after that.

How does Banting work? 

It works on the logic that when you take your body off the carbs, instead of using up carbs for energy like what you’re used to, your body burns up the fat you’re taking in. Also the protein will help with muscle building, ideally you become a much more defined and leaner version of yourself. However, you MUST eat fat because if you don’t your body starts feeding off your muscles for energy (that’s the science).

How long was I on it for? 

I was on it for about 6 weeks, I literally just came off it now because for some odd reason my cholesterol has always been on the slightly higher side of life (I don’t even know why) and I want to do my Vitality test at the end of the month, so to be safe I’m just going to take a break from Banting and eat more fruit and veg, healthy grains and less fat and meats till I do my test (just to clean up the arteries if you want to put it that way) 😉

So… did it work?

Short answer – YES! Hell yes it worked but just bare in mind that I was extremely strict about it, I allowed myself one fruit a day and limited my carb intake to 50g per day. I had one cheat meal a week, which was usually something like a takeaway like Burger King and Pizza. I substituted my sugar for xylitol (although I don’t drink my coffee or tea sweet), which is one of the sweetners that are allowed. Importantly, I went to gym and exercised EVERY SINGLE DAY (sometimes I’ll give myself a day off) and even if sometimes I’m so stiff, I’ll do pilates or something. I weighed myself every Tuesday but it’s not the weight that I was after, it was my body fat content and muscle mass that I was targeting to change. Of course this goes without saying that I want my body fat content to drop while my muscle mass went up and whether that affected my overall body weight, that didn’t matter to me. So yes, it worked for me, I lost a bit of weight and my body fat percentage dropped a bit too but what I noticed the most is how I looked. My waist was visibly smaller, I’m guessing the fact that I stopped eating carbs and especially breads also contributed to that, I bloated less. My arms were more defined, I didn’t only feel the difference but I saw it too.

What’s the downside? 

Nothing has only an upside to it so naturally Banting has downsides too. I guess the most obvious one is that if you don’t eat enough fibre from the leafy greens, you’re going to have issues going to the bathroom – expect cycle changes! However everyone is different, it might not affect you in that respect at all. The first week was horrible, you feel low on energy and weak and all your body needs is a baguette! If you don’t buckle and give in after the first week, it becomes a breeze! I lost my appetite eventually, it’s natural that you eat less when all you’re eating is protein and vegetables because it fills you up quicker with less food. At one stage, the thought of eating another piece of meat grossed me out, I resorted to green smoothies and protein smoothies to help me out. This isn’t really too much of a downside for me because I don’t have a sweet tooth but all sugary goodness is out of bounds, no cake, sweets, chocolates and desserts!

The verdict…? 

Depending on how my vitality test comes out later this month, I’ll consider going back to Banting after. It’s fun when your friends are doing it with you and are there to support to all the way without rolling their eyes when you refuse to order dessert. What’s up with this Banting shaming (I know it’s not a thing but I’m gonna say it anyway)? I don’t shame you for NOT going to gym and leading the healthy and fitness kinda lifestyle that I enjoy living (boom). I’ve included some photos so you can be the judge of that. Btw… I was drinking coconut water… yum!

Any tips?

At the end of the day, my account of Banting won’t necessarily dictate your experience with it, everyone’s body is different so it might work great for others but not so for some. I think what’s important is that you stay true to yourself no matter what eating plan you’re on, if it’s not working for you, then change! There’s no shame in trying and changing because after all, you want the best for YOURSELF and not for other people. Chop it and change it if one eating plan isn’t working but I urge you to try it out instead of bad-mouthing and rolling your eyes at those who do. Track your results, measure yourself weekly and take photos because that’s the only way you’ll know if your body has improved. Also, it’s important that you give your body time to change, you cannot expect your body to lose 10% of fat within the first week, it takes at least a month to see actual results I would say.

The best way to start is grab a friend and do it together, it makes it a lot easier speaking to someone (or bitching… whatever you prefer) who is going through the same thing as you. Not only will you motivate each other but you’re mentally keeping each other in check, I actually feel guilty about disappointing my gym friends if I cheat when I’m not supposed to than feeling guilty about the actual cheating itself!

All in all, everything that I’ve said so far is MY account of Banting but if you want any official information, feel free to visit the website by clicking here.

Questions, answers, suggestions or any tips, all welcome 🙂 I’ve also been making my own almond milk, let me know if you want a recipe or if you want to know what I eat daily when I was Banting. I’m pretty confident that if I stayed on it for 3 months, I’ll look even better 😉

With love…xxx