Embracing Change

Change. To make the form, nature or content of something different from what is is or what what it would be if left alone. To become different, altered or modified.

Humans seem to have this constant need for normality and routine, so much so that we forget that change can actually be a positive thing worth embracing. People choose to stay with the familiar rather than branching out of their comfort zones, such as going to bed at the same time every night, eating the same meals, scheduling every little bit of their lives so that every day starts to feel the same, which makes it hard to adopt something different for fear of becoming less effective and efficient. You can really notice this uncomfortable feeling of wrongness when little things in your life suddenly change, for example an alteration in your daily routine, something not being put back in its correct place or even something as simple as having to replace an old worn pair of shoes that you have grown rather fond of. None of these things are dangerous or life-threatening but they all feel a little bit awkward.

Some people hopelessly try to battle the inevitable change that is happening all the time, believing that everything in life is fixed on a set pathway and trying their best to not deviate from it in any way. The secret to life is that change can lead to so many amazing and wonderful experiences that you never would have had the opportunity to have if you follow the same old routine for the rest of your life. If you do not go after what you want in life then you will never end up having it, if you don't ask questions then you will never become any wiser and if you do not step forward then you will always be stuck in the same place. Every morning when you wake up and climb out of bed is another new opportunity to change your life for the better, the trick is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting to maintain the old but building the new.

I think one major limitation for change is the constant peer pressure to 'fit in' with everyone around you rather than to stand out and be yourself. People are scared to upset the social order, to do something that they have never done before or change who they are in fear of being judged by others since the people that stand out from the normal are usually the easiest targets, but the truth is that you are getting more out of life by being your own person and putting yourself out there than someone who is afraid to be different. If you want something that you have never had before then you have to do something you've never done before to gain it. You have to grasp life with open arms and experience as much as possible, change is growth and usually for the better.

University was a major change in my life, which took a really long time to adjust to. You suddenly have to have a sense of independence to fend for yourself, like a bird leaving its nest for the very first time, which is far from easy after being mothered for your entire life. For someone that didn't even know how to iron until I was 19 and had trouble organising my underwear draw let alone my life, this was one change that I thought I was going to hopelessly struggle with, but surprisingly it was a lot easier than I thought. One of my life aims is to always embrace change, learn from it and use it to make myself a better person and to inspire others by how far I have come.

There are some simple ways to embrace change and you should probably start by realising that change is inevitable, a part of everyday life even if you don't realise it. At this very moment your whole body is growing and changing, the earth, climate, economy, even the colours of the leaves on the trees, all things you never really think about. You can choose to resist the urge to change or you can embrace it with positivity and see it as an exciting opportunity to take advantage and therefore improve yourself as a person because of it. Catch yourself off guard and aim to try something new every day that takes you out of your comfort zone, experience new foods, visit new places, do things that make you happy even if it involves shaking up your usual routine and it will change the way that you look at life.

Go against your instinct to turn your back on change and keep an open mind, instead of constantly holding yourself back, accept change as more of chance to learn and grow than a threat to your current situation. Be sure to remember as you live life that where you are today is because of all the choices and change that you have gone through in the past, that tomorrow depends on your frame of mind today, you are the controller of your own destiny and you can't expect radical positive changes if you do nothing to make it happen.

The truth is that there is only so much of the future that you can control, change is inevitable but the progress and success that you experience is all down to you. You only get one chance at life so start embracing change and learning to live with uncertainty, start making the most of opportunities and life to it full potential and I guarantee that change will lead you onto an existence full of exciting and wonderful opportunities

My Week In Pictures #2


Not so long ago, I absolutely hated taking pictures of myself, I just really wasn't comfortable with the way that I looked and couldn't post a selfie without absolutely cringing. Recently, I have been slowly learning to embrace my imperfections and make the most of who I am as a person, while trying not to compare myself to other people. Life is too short to spend constantly worrying about little things and plus I think its important to accept and take advantage of your uniqueness compared to everyone else. I have found that my self confidence has improved a whole lot since I started eating more healthily and working out to become so much more happy with my body, also blogging and making new friends while sharing little bits of my life on the internet has improved my confidence leaps and bounds, to the point where I am totally considering starting to do YouTube videos along side my blog, exciting times! (I definitely wasn't enjoying a lazy day in bed watching Netflix on Monday in this photo).


Tuesday was probably one of the best days of the year, especially for a self confessed pancake lover like me, mainly because you get a guilt free pass to enjoy delicious pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner to the point where you end up in a happy sugary food coma! Personally, my favourite topping is the classic lemon and sugar but I also think honey and berries make a tasty addition to any pancake. I don't understand how people can enjoy eating savoury pancake toppings like cheese and bacon, it just feels totally wrong to me, but maybe I haven't yet found a tasty combination that works.


Sometimes you just need to stop for a second during a busy and stressful day to relax with a warm mug of coffee, a few crunchy ginger biscuits and a good book to get lost in. I am currently working my way through the 'A Song of Ice and Fire' (Game of  Thrones) book series which I have been completely addicted to since first finding out about the wonderful world of Westeros. Admittedly I am a total Game of Thrones geek, which makes it kinda sad that I am finally onto the last book currently written and will have to endure that agonising wait for the next one. You always get so attached to a book series and the characters involved making it really hard to transition onto another book afterwards, it is going to be so difficult to discover a book series that lives up to my high expectations after reading Game of Thrones.



I have two recommended albums for this week, since they're both equally as good and I couldn't choose between them.
The first is 'This Is All Yours' by Alt-J, who have been my absolute favourite alternative indie band for a number of years now. The original and different feel to their music is so perfect to relax to and its hard not to drift off to sleep, especially when unwinding after a busy day. There is such a calming, festival vibe to the album and in a way it feels like you are being told a story through the music and being transported to this whole other world, I definitely recommend giving them a listen if you never have before and I guarantee that you will be pleasantly surprised.

The second one is a new album released this week called 'Smoke + Mirrors' by Imagine Dragons, who are another alternative indie band that I am obsessed with. Unlike some other 'one hit wonder; music artists who bring out a good song or album and then fizzle out into nothing, Imagine Dragons' new album is every bit as good, if not better than its predecessor. They have managed to maintain their unique feel and wonderful style of music rather than suddenly trying to be more pop or mainstream, sadly like a lot of other bands who suddenly become well known and feel a pressure to release a certain kind of music. Plus, this album artwork is the coolest that I have seen for a while!


This cookbook has saved my life, it quite literally is like the bible of a student kitchen. I am not the worst cook in the world (albeit a little clumsy sometimes) but for a few months I have been living a typical student lifestyle of the same old boring and bland meals every single day, with the intention of trying to eat a lot more healthy and experiment with more foods but having absolutely no idea where to start. Sam Stern has created the perfect foolproof guide to making pretty much anything that you can think of, from simple things like how long to boil and egg to the most tasty pastas, healthy salads and delicious meat dishes all from scratch using fresh ingredients. The book also includes a few tips and tricks on how to save money, techniques and vital equipment and every recipe has a price and time consuming rating so that you can plan quick and easy meals on a budget. The other book is a smoothies and juices book which comes in so handy for recipe inspiration to fuel my smoothie addiction. There is some wonderfully healthy and appetising combinations in this book for a quick and simple fruity fix, stay tuned for some tasty recipes on the blog!

I hope that you all enjoyed your week, I have never been one for giving up things for lent but this year I though that I would set myself a couple of simple goals to achieve to help other people and inspire kindess instead:

- To leave a thoughtful and positive comment on every blog post that I read, to give a little back to the blogging community
- To perform at least one act of kindness every day, whether its a compliment or something as simple as holding the door open for someone. I think that if everyone tried to do this then the world would be a much happier and nicer place, plus even a little act of kindness can make someone's day!

Have you given up anything for lent?

My Thoughts On Recent Mainstream Media

I understand that the mainstream media is supposed to tell the news like it is to give you an incite into the world that you wouldn't already have, usually choosing to do this using over exaggerated headlines and eye catching gossip style stories to draw in readers and make money. I have had the thought for a while now, but recently it feels like their 'news stories' are turning into more victimisation of certain individuals (usually celebrities) rather than 'actual news' and there seems to be a whole lot of blowing things way out of proportion to further dramaticise and scrutinise every little detail of somebodies life to tempted people into buying and reading their material,

I find it really sad that the media has created this constant pressure for a lot of people, young and old, especially vulnerably insecure young teens, to live up to an impossible 'perfect ideal' of photo-shopped celebrities just to sell more copies of a magazine or make your clothes line look better for example. This feels like taking advantage of the insecurities of people, who probably already have enough to worry about considering that it is human nature to scrutinise yourself for all of your little imperfections, but this further makes you begin to think that you're not 'normal' or 'perfect' by comparing yourself to this flawless and fake image which you are led to believe is how everyone should look. We are constantly told by our peers that everyone is beautiful, everyone will have a different opinion on what they believe to be perfect and personality far outweighs the way that you look, but then this conflicts with the media's apparent view that 'perfect' is skinny, tall, perfect make up, clear skin etc.. Especially recently, there always seems to be so much emphasis on turning even the positives of someone's life into negatives too, as well as focusing on image, money and possessions rather than celebrating the positive news or success of individuals. This may be down to the fact that people are more attracted into reading negative news, maybe everyone just loves a juicy gossip scandal or maybe it's just jealousy of someone's success which makes people want to bring others down to make themselves feel more normal.

I understand that being a celebrity comes with the baggage of being constantly in the limelight and exposed for all to see, but I also think that there is certain boundaries that you should have the decency to respect as well. Sometimes you get the feeling that the media don't really think about, or in some cases even care about the consequences that they could have on somebodies life by publishing a revealing or negative story about them, as long as it draws in readers and makes them money. I don't understand how you can lack the moral to potentially ruin somebodies career, reputation or even life in order to further your own career, make you feel better about yourself or purely for the entertainment of others, all of which are pretty unacceptable excuses in my opinion.

These celebrities are built up by the media as these perfect role models, which must come with such a pressure, since just one 'slip up' or little scandal/flaw and they seem to just turn against celebrities and leave them feeling exposed, making them into the villains for something that they didn't even do wrong. Its also kinda sad that lot of people seem to jump on the bandwagon of the majority rather than following their own views or beliefs in fear of going against the norm and standing out and for a feeling of fitting in with everyone else, leading to a group victimising mentality against an individual, usually through the medium of social media, which is practically like online bullying, even big celebrities have feelings and can be affected by comments on the internet.

Don't get me wrong, I do actually enjoy reading newspapers and magazines, plus I understand that this isn't the case all of the time and it's not all mainstream media that do it but it is just a small portion of stories has been bothering me, especially this week and something that I have been wanting to get off of my chest. Obviously this is all completely my views and opinions but I would love to hear your views on the situation!

Just to finish on a positive, there was a really good post on Hannah Delacour's blog about Self confidence and appearance in blogging (which you should totally go read) and there was one quote which really stood out to me and changed my perception of looks and body image: 'If you think about it, our bodies and our face are mearly a material means of exploring and interacting with the world around us, they don't define us, we do - the part that makes us.'. Don't let the media make you doubt your self worth or tell you that you're not perfect, try to stop worrying about dedicating your life to becoming this perfect ideal that doesn't even really exist, embrace your imperfections, your weirdness and your uniqueness, things that define you and make you stand out from everyone else an worry about doing things that make you happy rather than pleasing everybody else! 

Super Healthy Smoothie Recipe

I find that sometimes it's a lot easier said than done when you're trying to undertake the challenge of finding a smoothie combination that really does taste good while looking appealing and appetising too. Although I have become a bit of a smoothie addict recently, I still find it hard to put together the right combination of healthy fruit and veg to make something that genuinely tastes delicious, especially when you are trying to add green ingredients, which are amazingly healthy but always give this off-putting earthy and leafy taste, so when finding this amazing recipe, originally on minimalistbaker.com, and adapting it slightly, I couldn't help but share this wonderfully yummy creation! 

Sometimes I use this smoothie as a substitute for a quick and filling breakfast, especially when I'm in a rush (usually because of sleeping through my alarm and frantically trying to get ready in time), but it is also a perfect post work out refreshment, packed full of protein to help your muscles recover and a simple but healthy low-calorie snack while on the go. I love smoothies because they quite literally are a simple and easy (and don't forget tasty) way to include a lot more fruit and veg into your diet, and since starting to eat my way to a healthier lifestyle, I have found myself feeling so much more healthy, a lot less drained and exhausted, plus a whole lot more motivated and alert throughout the day.

There are 6 simple but deliciously nutritious natural ingredients to this smoothie, all packed full of health benefits and all requiring little or no preparation, just pop them in a blender and whizz away:

There are so many health benefits to the ingredients of this smoothie:

  • Kale is pretty much a super food, packed full of vitamins A, C and K, plus one cup of fresh kale only contains a tiny 40 calories while providing a hefty 3 grams of protein.
  • Frozen berries are proven to be disease fighting, immune system boosting and also add a delicious taste to your smoothie.
  • Bananas are packed full of energy to keep you going on a busy day.
  • Toasted Almonds give a little extra protein and nutty flavour with heart disease fighting power.
  • Pomegranate has recently gained the title of 'super juice', being full of fibre, antioxidants and carrying so many supposed health benefits.
  • Almond Milk is pretty much there as a healthy way to enhance the creaminess to your smoothie, you need a little bit of indulgence right?!

My top tip for you would be to bulk buy some fresh ingredients for your smoothie to save a little bit of money, chop them all up into portions and freeze them as they will keep for a lot longer while not affecting the taste, save preparation time when you're in a rush and can just bung everything into a blender and plus it allows you to enjoy a cold and refreshing smoothie without the extra expense of buying ice! Plus, if you're lacking the vital blending piece of equipment then I highly recommend picking yourself up a Breville Blend Active for a cheap and reliable little everyday blender, which I actually reviewed here if you would like to find out a little more about it.

I am always on the hunt for delicious smoothie recipes to share, so expect a lot more to appear over the next few weeks. Also, be sure to let me know how you find this recipe if you decide to give it a try for yourself, or recommend what your favourite smoothie combination is!

My Week In Pictures #1

I don't think I ever really have a chance to just sit down and share little bits about my life with you guys reading as much as I would like to, so I thought it might be nice idea to trial out something new on the blog this week. It is my aim to spend a bit of time each evening keeping a kinda weekly journal and sharing a few things that I get up to during the week with a few pictures and little ramblings, for you to gain a better incite into the wonderful world of James as I try to experiment with new things and start making the most out of life rather than moping around in my pyjamas and watching Netflix all day! It also feels nice just chance things up a little and have a relaxed informal chat to friends. I can't promise one every week due to my ridiculously busy schedule but hopefully this will turn out to be a fun way of helping you get to know me a little better!


I have been trying really hard recently to drink more water on the road to becoming a more healthy person, which is easier said than done, especially when the water where I live tastes like crap. Due to this, I have been trying out different alternatives to help me, including adding a little fruit to water for a sweeter taste without added sugar. I absolutely love the citrus taste of lemon and lime which is a personal favourite of mine, but you can literally add anything that takes your fancy! Flavoured water so much easier to drink and adding a straw is a lazy person's way of making you more inclined to keep taking effortless sips. Warning: You will pee a lot!


I started running again after a period of really weird reoccurring stomach cramps which have pretty much plagued my life for the past couple of weeks, I always find starting up again is the hardest part, especially when you've gotten used to being so lazy for a long period of time. My usual running route along a huge open field with amazing views of the city (but scary horses that chase you around) called 'the common' was pretty much like running through a boggy swamp and I struggled not to lose my shoes from being stuck in the mud a few times, but it was a good challenge! I'm one of those completely crazy people who really wants to do a 'tough mudder' some day, it gives you something to train for and actually looks pretty fun getting covered in mud! I like to go running in the evening as a stress relief from the busy day, especially in the winter when there always seems to be pretty impressive sunsets, and managed to take a nice wintry looking silhouette picture of the trees just as the sun started to go down.


Today I discovered a wonderful new album which I cannot stop listening to and I totally recommend you check out for yourselves, called 'Coming up for air' by Kodaline. I have always had a soft spot for Kodaline, they are definitely one of my 'go to' artists when I am feeling stressed and in need of some musical relaxation therapy, something that has been happening a lot lately with university life getting increasingly more stressful. Sometimes its just nice to put on a pair of headphones, lay back on a comfy nest of pillows/blankets and just get lost in the music, forgetting about the world for a little while. Another album that I have been absolutely loving recently is 'American beauty/American psycho' by Fall Out Boy, another one of my favourite childhood bands but, in my opinion their old music was most definitely a lot better (don't hurt me for saying that)!


Sometimes you just need to take some time off to kick back and relax after a stressful day and I like to do this by enjoying and evening of popcorn and Netflix. If you're like me you get a craving to munch on something while sitting through a TV series marathon or watching one of your favourite films and I find popcorn makes a great light and anti-calorific snack, plus Graze popcorn is absolutely delicious (it has to be sweet popcorn of course)! At the moment I am still working my way towards the end of 'Breaking Bad' (it's not like I started watching it 5 months ago or anything), but I always find myself swapping between TV series, so I'm also loving 'Better Call Saul' and I am also a huge fan of 'The Walking Dead' which just started up again!


I thought that today I would tell you a little more about my degree, which I am absolutely loving at the moment. I study biology at the university of Lincoln and, if you couldn't already tell from my blog, I am a complete animal lover which is why I picked a course that is heavily animal based. Don't believe anyone that says it is easy because university is a whooole lot of work, but recently getting a 'first' in all of my exams, after a lot of stress and sleep deprived nights, has inspired and motivated me to keep working hard and come out with the best degree possible. I have been looking into a career in journalism or conservation, two things that have really caught my eye, but the truth is that I don't really know what I want to do with my life after university.. but I do think that its quite exciting having the power to control your future and not knowing where it is going to take you, you are the creator of your own destiny after all.


Ever since investing in the blend active, I have been going absolutely smoothie crazy. You can literally put anything into a smoothie, they are a great and tasty way to get more fruit into your diet if you're one of the crazy people like me aiming to live a healthy lifestyle. I have also been trying to go to the gym a lot more recently, I am finally seeing a huge change in my appearance and for the first time in my life I am actually starting to feel happy with my body. My aim for this year is to eat healthily, work hard in the gym and end up with a body that I am happy with by the summer, while also having a little more self confidence in my appearance, something that I have always really struggled with. If you like the look of the smoothie above then stay tuned for next week's blog post where I will share my first healthy smoothie recipe!

I hope you have all had an exciting week, I would love to know some of the things that you got up to!

Being Original in The World of Blogging

You often hear the same thing when reading posts about blogging advice or taking part in blogging chats which is to try your best to create original and unique content to gain more views or to make your blog stand out from the rest. Although it may sound like it makes sense, I find that there are two main downfalls with this idea:

1. When somebody in the bloggisphere comes up with a unique idea for a post and publish this for all to see, you can almost guarantee that somebody else will read this and write their own take on the post, talk about a similar topic or review the same product, thus making your idea no longer original.

2. People say that creative and original content will draw readers to your blog, but I don't find this to be the case. Most of the views on my posts are on 'mainstream' or popular topics to blog about, which dwarfs the well thought out posts which I put a lot of time and effort into making unique and felt genuinely pleased with at the end.

This can sometimes lead you to feel demotivated that all of your hard work has not paid off and leave you tempted to just jump on the bandwagon, blogging about the same thing as everyone else to get increase your views rather than thinking about the quality of your content. I pride myself on always trying to write original and interesting content, which I will never substitute for page views or to draw more readers to my page. Writing about innovative topics, having a creative writing style full of personality or coming up with imaginative products to review may not attract as many readers as blogging about the mainstream brands or topics but the benefit it has is making readers stay, follow and read your blog again.

It feels like there is so much pressure on the blogging community to review the latest products or blog about things that everyone is talking about just to get as many views as possible, yes it probably brings in a few more readers than usual but it also leads to so many blog posts on the same things. The truth is that even blogging about something common or 'in season' doesn't guarantee you hundreds of blog views, you are going to have to try to be different from every other blogger out there in order to stand out from the crowd in an area that is saturated with similar blog posts. I don't actually mind getting a different perspective on the same sort of topics but after a while it can get rather repetitive reading the same thing over and over again. This is why I think it's important to find a way to make yours more unique, by adding a little personality to keep the reader interested, formatting it in a different way or using some unique photography to draw readers in. Actually research what you are talking about or give your view on what you are writing rather than just stating the facts that everybody already knows, so that the reader actually gains something from the post.

I don't know if anybody else feels the same, maybe its just my experience with blogging, but I am hoping that by continuing to work hard and trying my best to be original, creative and stand out from other blogs by making sure that mine represents me, some day it will get the recognition for it.

A Trip To The Zoo

I don't know why but ever since I was a little boy, I have always had this fascination with learning more about nature and especially animals. I picked a degree is heavily animal based which I am hoping is going to help me get a job where I am able to travel the world and help animals, seems a bit unrealistic and far-fetched but I'm just keeping in the frame of mind of 'anything is possible when you're passionate and put your mind to it'! I have always had pets and always absolutely loved visiting the zoo to see animals that I would otherwise have to travel the world to experience the full glory of. Unfortunately you're not actually allowed to have pets while living in most accommodations at university (which sucks for an animal person, but it is probably for the best since my house would probably be like a little zoo) so I jumped at the chance to go along to Woodside Wildlife and Falconry Park, which gave us the opportunity to see a variety of donated and rescued animals from all corners of the globe. One of the best selling points is that it has one of the only public collections of Arctic wolves in the UK, and trust me, it is so unbelievably amazing to be able to get up close and personal to such an incredible animal, pretty impressive for something that started out as somebodies back garden!

I also got to overcome the silly little fear that I have always had of snakes by actually getting to hold one called Jeremy, it wasn't actually as terrifying as I always imagined it to be and their bodies are so much smoother and warmer than you would think. It was another great experience, even if he did try and crawl into my hood and down my jumper (luckily the snake guy saved me).

I had the most amazing day out in the fresh air of the countryside, which definitely makes a welcome change when you feel like you're a country boy stuck in the middle of a busy city, and since my blogging aim for this year is to try harder at improving my photography, I thought that it might be a good idea to share some of the photos with you guys to see what you think and let you experience the wonderful animals for yourself, plus who doesn't love pictures of cute little animals?!

I would really appreciate some feedback about the photography, and also be sure to let me know what your favourite part about the zoo is!

Blend Active Review

Smoothie making has been something that I have wanted to get into for a while now, especially after seeing the delicious looking combinations that people are making on instagram and youtube, plus its a great way of getting more fruit into your diet if you're one of those people on a mission to be healthy.

There is surprisingly quite a range of options as far as smoothie makers go, all with varying prices, shapes and sizes. Reviews always have a huge amount of power when I am deciding whether or not to buy a product being, in my opinion, the most important thing to look at after price. The product that was consistently getting almost 5 star reviews on every online shop was the 'Blend Active', which pretty much sold it to me, so I thought I would do a little review on my experiences with it in case you were considering jumping on the smoothie bandwagon!


If you are going to be using a product multiple times a day, every day then you may want it to be pretty stylish as it is going to be sitting on the counter a lot. The Blend Active is not the prettiest blender out there in my opinion but I have definitely seen a lot worse as far as looks go, it feels really light and compact and I think it pulls off the healthy green colour quite well. It comes with two containers which makes it great for pre making smoothies for a busy day, or just to save you a little effort from washing up if you're lazy like me!

Ease of use

It could not be easier to make a smoothie with this blender being so simple to assemble and disassemble, literally pop all of your healthy (or devilishly unhealthy) ingredients into the container, screw on the blender lid and insert it into the base. You do have to stand there and hold the blender button for blending to occur but it does blend down ingredients relatively quickly, normally less than 30 seconds, which is great for such a small blade! Effortlessly transform your blending container into a bottle by replacing the blender lid with the bottle lid (how did we not think of this years ago?!) and bam you have a delicious smoothie to enjoy, only the black blade part to wash up and literally no mess! I would also point out that it is really good for being able to prepare and measure out one, or possibly two, servings at a time which saves food waste. The only little niggle is that the bottle itself is a little tedious to clean if you have little bits stuck to the inside as the opening is too small to fit your hand inside (unless you have incredibly tiny hands) and also one of the bottle lids had a loose seal which was easily fixable.


From my experiences with this blender so far, I was actually quite impressed by how well it actually blended down even the toughest ingredients like apple, frozen berries and ice. I wouldn't say that this blends down to a perfectly smooth texture but I like a smoothie to have a few bits in it, so I find that this blender gets your smoothie down to a perfect consistency after less than 30 seconds. The Blend Active would be perfect to use for smoothie making as well as protein shakes and I have even successfully made chocolate milkshakes with it! 

Value for money

I think value for money is the Blend Active's main selling point, considering it is 5 times less money than the NutriBullet and essentially does the exact same job. Obviously I can't judge the quality of the NutriBullet over the Blend Active since I have never used one but what I can say is that I can't fault the Blend Active for far exceeding my low, sceptical expectations of a blender that I managed to buy for £24 on Amazon, which is an amazing price considering that the product seems to be made for everyday use and I expect to get a long life out of it.

I would definitely recommend picking up a Blend Active and giving it a try for yourself if you are a first time smoothie maker and want to experiment with some different ways of eating healthily for a reasonable amount of money, I genuinely find that it really motivated me to eat a lot more fruit and experiment more with different foods by being able to easily blend them into a delicious smoothie. 

You should definitely expect a lot more smoothie recipe posts in the future and let me know if you have any recommendations of your favourite smoothies to try out!

*disclaimer This product was brought with my own money, all views are my own and in no way influenced by the company mentioned.

How To: Feeling Less Intimidated In The Gym

The truth is that the gym can be an alien and intensely intimidating environment, especially for somebody that has never been before. I sometimes still have days where I get a little intimidated when working out and I have been going regularly for well over a year now! One of the main reasons that people seem to put off going to the gym is down to a lack of self confidence and feeling overwhelmed and apprehensive of putting themselves in an awkward situation and also feeling like all eyes are on you. Do not fear, I am here to share a few hints and tips from my past experience to help you feel a lot more relaxed and comfortable when working out in the gym:

Stop comparing your beginning to someone else's end

When you first start going to the gym, its easy to slip into that 'compare yourself to everyone that is better than you' frame of mind which can be a little off putting, especially when you are not exactly confident about your own appearance of body shape. Its important to remember that everyone has to start off somewhere, there is no way that you are going to be the fittest or strongest, or have the best body to begin with, but there is no reason why you cant use everyone else's progress as your motivation and inspiration.

Try not to worry about what other people think

This one is a big factor of intimidation in my opinion, as a lot of people are put off by the fact that other people will be there and will be able to see you. Its important to remember that people don't specifically go to the gym just to judge and mock other people. Chances are that everyone will be so focused on their own workout (probably trying to show off) and worrying about their own insecurities or the way that they look, that they will be too busy to even notice you. Sometimes pretending you know what you are doing, walking around with your shoulders back and head held high can fool yourself (and everybody else) into thinking you have a little more confidence, try it out!

Don't give up

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is giving up because they don't see a spontaneous transformation in their appearance or fitness, or they don't give themselves enough time to adjust to the atmosphere of the gym. It took me a while to see any changes at all in myself and it really makes you want to give up when you're putting in all this effort and not seeing any positive results from all of your hard work. You will start to gain muscle and improve your fitness gradually at first and then eventually all at once, stick at it and I guarantee that once you start to see changes in your body, your motivation to work out and confidence in your body will start to flourish.

Create a soundtrack

Music is always a huge motivation and confidence boost in pretty much any situation, including the gym! Most gyms will usually have music playing but its usually some pretty awful house music in my gym so I tend to take along my ipod and a pair of comfortable headphones to allow me to get lost in my favourite songs, which is really useful for helping you to zone out into your own little world as you work out, preventing you from getting stressed out about everything happening around you. An upbeat playlist can also help to put a spring in your step and improve your mood which is proven to inspire you into an improved performance in the gym too, so its pretty much a win win situation as far as music goes.

Plan ahead

Intimidating and stressful situations can sometimes lead to a brain overload, leaving you forgetting what you are doing, especially if you pretty much have the memory span of a goldfish to begin with *cough*. Be sure to plan the order of your workout, which pieces of equipment you need to use, which weights or intensity levels you are going to try and how many sets or repetitions of each exercise that you are going to attempt. Take a notebook or sheet of paper with it written down if you need to, and always have a back up plan or alternative exercise in mind just in case somebody else is using the piece of equipment that you need, saves you from standing around worrying like a lemon.

Choose a quieter time to work out

Sometimes it just really helps if you feel less like a little sardine packed into a small area of the gym with all eyes on you, so pick a less busy time to use the gym if you need to. I'm sure that the people at reception would be able to tell you when the best times to avoid the rush are, but usually lunchtime and early evening tend to be the times to avoid.

Clothing is key

I see so many people in the gym making the mistake of wearing uncomfortable or baggy clothing which is constantly distracting them from their workout. It can be really tempting to wear baggy clothing that hides your figure but if you have to constantly readjust or worry about what you are wearing then it is going to take away your focus from the workout. Make sure you always wear an outfit that you feel comfortable in, something tight or loose fitting, but definitely not too baggy or itchy. Buying a new gym outfit that makes you feel secure and good looking can boost your confidence by huge amounts!

One final point is to just go out there and try to enjoy yourself, life is too short to constantly worry about what other people think of you, I know that I always say this but I think that it is so important to believe in yourself, you can do anything that you put your mind to!

© Blogger James

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