Boost your Immune System for Winter!

Now it may be the end of February, with Spring just around the corner, but here today in London it’s snowing hard and thick!

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Winter is still well & truly here, so it’s important to know what we can do to keep a strong and balanced immune system to stay healthy and avoid infections for the prolonged cold & flu season.

  • Eat a balanced diet with whole foods.

You need many nutrients to support your immune system, especially as the weather becomes more aggressive. Vitamins A, C, D and E, minerals selenium and zinc, Omega 3s, the list goes on!

Focus on eating your whole foods; Quality animal protein, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and most importantly fresh fruits and vegetables! Superfoods are great too for giving you that extra boost, so stock up on the blueberries and avocados.

I take 8 capsules everyday that consists of 30 different dried and harvested fruit and veg, and 6 plant based Omegas for maximum nutrition. The perfect way to bridge the gap between what we do eat daily vs. what we actually should! (Because who actually eats the BBCs newly recommended 10 fruit & veg per day?)

capsules
For more information on these click here

Did you know that eating the wrong things could suppress the immune system? Thats right, so avoid processed meats, fried foods, soft drinks, processed baked goods, or products with artificial sweeteners or refined sugars.

Get yourself plenty of vitamin C.

Oh look, fresh fruits and vegetables again…They are our best sources of Vitamin C, which help to strengthen our immune system and keep our body healthy. (Do you see a trend here?) Great food sources of vitamin C include berries, citrus, kiwi, bell peppers, and dark green vegetables.

Drink plenty of clean water.

There’s a chance you may have heard this before, but staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your health! Many people are less likely to drink as much water in the colder months, and opt for teas, coffees and warm drinks instead, but our body still needs as much of this fluid on a daily basis. Water helps in the production of lymph, which carries white blood cells and other immune system cells.

For an extra boost, and to make it taste more exciting, you can add a slice of lemon, which will provide extra vitamin C, or a number of other fruits too.

Use herbs and spices.

Get extra creative & flavoursome with cooking!

Cook with onions, garlic, ginger, black peppercorn, cayenne pepper, allspice, curry, and turmeric powder. They all contain components that help to boost our immune system and can be bought in your local supermarkets for less than £2!

herbs

 

Maximise your sleep

The body rejuvenates and strengthens when it’s at rest. If you can, sleep 7 to 8 hours a day, and if needed, take an afternoon nap. .Chronic fatigue is known to increase risks of illness, so trust me, sleep well and your body will thank you

sleep

 

Natural vs Medicine

As humans, protocol for us if we get ill is to stock up on a list of drugs that we cant pronounce the name of right?

The truth is, you should do your best to avoid drugs especially antibiotics. They’ve been shown to attack our friendly bacteria in the digestive system (where about 80% of our immune system is located) as well as the bad its trying to fight, which in fact suppresses immune functions. Unless you really have to take them, see if you can find a natural alternative first.

If you have a cold, sip on a cup of hot water with lemon, ginger, and organic honey. You can also get echinacea or zinc, which are great for flu and cold. Make sure you get plenty of vitamin C and drink a lot of water. If you’re taking antibiotics or any other medication, take quality probiotics (which can be found in whole and fermented food and lots of those cute little yoghurt drinks)

Get Sweaty

Ok ok, when it’s freezing outside, the last thing you want to do is go out and go for a run! But there are plenty of other ways to exercise and increase our immune function, our sleep quality, and make our body stronger!

Opt for some home workouts; YouTube has thousands of these to suit your level of fitness and ability, and for most of them you don’t even have to buy any equipment!

exercise

 

Enjoy your life!

Have you ever heard the term ‘laughter is the best medicine’ ?

It isnt just a saying, there is actually method in the madness. Chronic stress and depression can weaken the immune system and makes us more vulnerable to illness, so its important to laugh lots, have fun and take the time to enjoy life!

laughter

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5 ways to be happier in life

Its Monday – doom and gloom day for many. But not me, I love Mondays!

New week, new possibilities and new goals to smash. Hell yeah.

To get you all through the week with a big smile on your face, I’ve put together 5 ways in which I believe you can lead a happier life.

All additional tips are welcome; just post them in the comments section J

  1. Surround yourself with positive, like-minded people

Positives attract positives, it’s a given! The law of Attraction is a powerful thing. If you are surrounded by negativity you will most likely become more negative.

Spend your time wisely with people who fulfill you, lift your mood and make you smile.

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  1. Stop reading the news every day

I’m sure a lot of people will gasp at the sight of this comment. Avoid being updated on the Worlds current affairs – how could you possibly?!

However, if you want to be happier you need a News Detox. The News is filled with negativity and “brain washing” to flood people’s minds with fear and worry. Sad stories do not make for a happy mind. The world can be horrible yes, but it can also be wonderful too! Try a weekly newspaper instead of a daily one.

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  1. Eat Healthier and do some exercise

These two go hand in hand with each other.

I know that sitting around eating chocolate bars and living off caffeine drinks for energy seems like the easier option, but feeling lethargic and fat is not something that will make you smile.

Living healthy has been proven to have a positive psychological effect on living beings. I mean, look at how happy dogs are when they’re running around chasing sticks in the park!

eathealth

Get some fruit and veg down you and go for a run to boost those energy levels.

As a wise blonde lawyer once said ‘Exercise releases endorphin’s and endorphin’s make you happy’ Listen to Elle, she speaks sense.

  1. Try something new

Especially on the weekends! Relaxation time is important, but don’t waste the only 2 days you have off of work lying in bed!

Try out a new hobby, do a fun day with friends and family, or how about learning a new language? Knowledge is power after all.

  1. Travel often

“Travelling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” Hear hear.

Be rich in life and live for new experiences in new places, new cultures and new inspirations. Expand your mind as much as you can and learn and travel often.

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Don’t worry, be happy. You’re alive after all, and life is beautiful thing. No matter what day of the week it is.

LwL x

 

 

Favourite Ho Chi Minh drinking hubs

We went to a fair few bars in Ho Chi Minh but here are my 3 favourites! 

The view hotel bar A very cool 8th floor bar on the main strip with surprisingly inexpensive beer.

  333 beer at 20,000 dong? That’s traveller prices in a roof top bar which was highly unexpected. Or why not have a giant Tiger for a mere 50p extra. 

  
This place has a super relaxed atmosphere, pretty lights, lovely scenery and an OK view of the city. I’m sure you can find better views in sky bar or other rooftops but this is well worth a drink. 

   
 
Guess what, it even had a swing!

  
Donkey bar

  Although the prices here aren’t very traveller friendly (unless you buy 3 drinks for the price of 2 or again.. drink beer), it’s well worth a stop. The bar is situated over 3 floors and include foozeball, darts and pool tables making it a super fun place to hang out.   

Both of these bars are located on the very long ‘Bui Vien Street’ which is a strip of bars, hotels and restaurants 

Universal

 One for those with sports obsessed boyfriends.

This is a sports bar with the added luxury of a really good singer who performs there every other night, keeping us girls occupied while the boys shout at the tv. 

This ones around the other side.

What’s your favourite bar in Saigon – or which one of these looks like one you’d most enjoy?

LwL X 

My Skin Mission 

Throughout travelling South East Asia, my skin care regime was obviously neglected. My daily routine consisted of washing my face with soap, wearing factor 30 and applying the odd bit of coconut oil for my dark circles. That was it. 

Surprisingly, my skin stayed clear for 3 months!

   
Though this may have had something to do with the sun and the fact that I never wore makeup?

Anyway, about a week before I returned, I started to get a lot of spots around my chin area, and it wasn’t until I returned this weekend that I realised how bad my open pores were! 

   

 

I am now going on a mission to perfect my skin, my beauty regime and to find what make up actually works for me. (Contouring doesn’t look good on open pores!) 

I have tried untold brands over the years spending hundreds of pounds and none seem to have been good enough to stick. 

I am therefore going to experiment and document progress on my blog, the same way I did for my under eye bags. This way I’ll have measurable results to see if there is actually a change, and most importantly I can help my fellow readers with what’s hot and what’s not.

I should probably start by booking in a skin consultation to find out what my skin type is!

Stay tuned for lots of testing, experimenting and honest opinions.

Please also let me know if there is anything else you’d like to see in the beauty category! 

Monday Blues: Travelling Reflection

Was it worth the money you spent? Was it worth quitting your job for? Was it worth having to start ‘all over again’?

It’s Monday, I’m home in London and I’m unemployed.
In the last four months I have watched beautiful sunsets over horizons and mountains. I’ve swam next to Whale Sharks and turtles and explored the inside of one of the biggest caves in the world.

I’ve selfie’d in front of beautiful viewpoints and took in sights that are postcard worthy. 

I exposed myself to the horror of a ping pong show and drank from coconuts and cups made of bamboo shoots.

I rode a bus through the borders of countries. I made new friends and missed old ones, sat listening in awe to some amazing stories, fascinated by the lives of people I barely know. 
I fell in love with the feeling of the warm sand between my toes and the lazy afternoons spent reading books and sleeping in hammocks. 
Ive woke up startled in the early hours to the alarms of rooster cries and have slept in shacks barely roofed, similar to the locals homes. 

I flushed toilets using buckets of water and slept in a bed too small to fit my feet in. Spent many a nights on cramped sleeper buses too, all part of the appreciation for what I have at home. 
I looked into the eyes of a Tarsier, one of the worlds most unique of creatures. Had my toes nibbled as I swam in a lake. Caught and ate a giant tuna and indulged on the flavour of barracuda steak. I enjoyed the absence of my phone, embracing the beauty of the world around me. 

My pasty skin has suffered hundreds of mosquito bites, attacks by mysterious insects, cuts, grazes and some serious sunburn. 

I found myself caught in a tropical thunderstorm and danced freely in the pouring rain. 

I experimented with worldly food, sometimes contracting bugs and sickness. I lost weight and gained weight. Starved myself for days to rid my body of food poisoning. Gorged for days on unhealthy carbs. 

I quad biked around white sand dunes, was taken downstream by the current of a river and have laughed so hard I almost wee’d myself. 

I have tasted the sweetness of raw sugar cane and have experimented with many different types of cheap Asian beer.

I hesitated to ride the roof of a jeepney, only for it to be one of my travel highlights in Asia. 

Ive experienced a strange Thai massage in Bangkok that I’ll remember for years to come. 

I slid from the top of rocks and jumped feet first through waterfalls. 

Walked through prisons where thousands of people were tortured and educated myself on shocking historical events. 

I shared food with kind locals on a ferry, climbed hills and dangerous pathways, trekked kilometres through stones and mud in only my flip flops and stumped my toe numerous times on bricks in the road. 

I revelled in the free time to reflect, without being interrupted by lack of time or chores for the day. I witnessed the most breathtaking of sceneries. 

I partied in the middle of a jungle and spent Christmas dancing on a beach covered in glow paint. I drank buckets until I could no longer stand and have felt the buzz of pure red bull. I’ve lived high on life.

I’ve felt lucky and thankful everyday for what I was born into. I’ve witnessed people live in poverty yet still find the strength to smile and appreciate life.

I walked through sand that glitters, cut my feet on the ridges of coral and shuffled on my bum through the Cu Chi tunnels. 

I washed frequently in freezing water and experienced adrenaline on the back of a motorbike. I’ve roamed freely with no plan of action, visited world heritage sites, dined in the dark and zip lined from a lighthouse. Swam in waters so clear that I could see starfish at the bottom.Sunbathed on the most blissful of beaches. 

I felt unsafe in the heart of a city and played chicken on the craziest of roads. Touched my hand over the carvings of temples hundreds of years old and climbed up giant statues.

I came face to face with tigers, fed and bathed a baby elephant, floated in a pool of mud in a dark cave and bamboo rafted down a flowing river.

I hustled and bustled through street markets and haggled until blue in the face. Purchased clothing on stalls for under a pound, learnt the basics of a few languages and interacted with those from all walks of life. 

I have soaked in the culture of 7 different countries and share some of my best memories with people that I only know the names of. I have learnt a great deal about life and a greater deal about myself. 

In answer to the questions above I say yes 100%. 
Why travel you ask?

Because travel is the only thing you buy that’s makes you richer’. 

LwL x 

First beauty post: Blitz the bags! 

Hi guys, this is my first beauty post in the new category on my site. How exciting!

All feedback, comments and advice are welcome as I’m super new to this area. If there is something you want added, let me know and I’ll do my best to provide some material.
Ok so as you’ve probably seen from many of my pics, I have an ongoing problem with terrible dark circles and eye bags. I constantly look tired, miserable, and about 20 years older than I am. Its really depressing.

I have therefore done some research into the cause of this popular issue amongst us women, including A star celebrities, and with my new found knowledge, I’m taking action and testing some DIY remedies.Without having to risk hundreds of pounds on creams that may or may not work. It’s time to affordably blitz the bags!

 

Eva Mendez is a sufferer

So here’s what I learnt and some tips that I’ve incorporated into my daily routine.

Dark circles and puffiness can be caused by a number of different things, not just the obvious ‘lack of sleep’. The eye area has super thin skin and is really sensitive, making it prone to exposing blood vessels a lot more clearly than any other part of the body. 

  

  • It’s so important to protect it from the sun, so always wear sunscreen (even in winter)
  • Keep the skin moisturised to avoid wrinkling.
  • Avoid dragging the skin too, this is common when you use rough make up wipes around the eyes. I now use miscellar water instead.  

Did you know that dark circles can be because of your genetics? What a liberty. I love my mum bless her, but I seem to inherit everything bad from her. My older sister got her clear skin and tiny legs and you know what I got? Varicose veins, wide feet and now dark circles too? Give me a break already. 
Other causes of dark circles include: 

  • Tiredness: the most obvious one. Those party years and weekly all nighters have really come back to haunt me. I also can’t remember the last time I had an uninterrupted night sleep
  • Age: I like to think this isn’t my cause. I’m only 23!

Puffy eyes are caused by fluid retention.

The main causes of puffy eyes are:

  • crying before bed: It’s best to avoid those late night soppy movies.
  • High salt intake: Put the popcorn down. 
  • The way you sleep: Wierd aye? Apparently sleeping on your side or stomach causes the particular eye to gather extra water, resulting in puffiness the following morning.
  • Stress
  • Rubbing your eyes a lot, including taking off your make up: we’re all guilty of it! Use a sensitive eye make up remover and never drag your skin!

So in addition to these new found tips, I am going to try 3 remedies that I have found online that claim to banish dark circles and puffiness. These will be tried and tested and best of all I’m going to documen how well they work, using myself as the subject, if they work at all that is.

As I’m very limited to things, being travel and all, I am going to try the easiest remedy I have found first.

The coconut oil method.

Watch this space!

LwL X 

Goodbye Vietnam

 So that’s it Vietnam. Romeo done. Another country down and a further 16 days into my itinerary.

I’m now some days into Cambodia.

What a wonderful and educational experience Vietnam has been.

I’ve learnt so much about the history of this country and how far Vietnam has come in recent years. Visiting all of the museums and attractions gives you a great insight into the physical and mental scars that the people have endured over the decades of war with the US. 

I can truly say that the Vietnamese people are an inspiring and determined bunch. They are a generous and caring culture and still promote peace despite everything. Us westerners could learn a great deal from them. 

Here’s my highlights and low points of travelling Vietnam

Highlights

Favourite place

Hoi An   

 This place felt most like Vietnam. There isn’t a vast amount of touristy things to do but I think that’s what make it great. So pretty and so much culture. This place is super relaxed and truly reflects Vietnamese living. 

Favourite activities

Quadbiking on the white sand dunes, Mui Ne.  

The dark cave and the mud bath, Phong Nha. 

Favourite new experiences 

Tasting Vietnamese coffee: did you know it’s the third best coffee in the world?   
Brazil is the first and Columbia is the runner up

A few Vietnamese eats were amazing too. There is a post on this to come! 

Low lights 
Headaches from the sound of bibbing horns. God don’t you guys like to honk? Honking for indicating, honking for warning, honking for fun. It’s highly unnecessary and it really hurts my ears! 

We’re in Cambodia now and I’m glad they don’t enjoy this as much. 

Crappy weather: 10 of those days were a mixture of clouds and rain so we didn’t really get to enjoy the beauty of Ha Long bay or Nha Trang beach. We did however, get some great Anorak photos..
Vietnam, it’s been emotional.tạm biệt người bạn của tôi.(Goodbye my friend)
LwL x 

The famous overnight train to Phuket

After a day at the Erawan Waterfalls and some lunch, we embarked on a 2 hour journey to Nakom Tharam train station to get the 20.59 train to Surat Thani. As we arrived there around 5pm we decided to kill a couple of hours touring the local area. I’m so glad we did. We came across a beautiful temple, a huge Thai Market and amazing duck and sticky rice leaf pads for dinner.
   
    
 The food was only 15 baht! Much cheaper here than Bangkok, as expected as its not a tourist district. 

I got 2 of them because I’m greedy 😊 .one for later on the train of course, it is a 10 hour ride after all. 

To be honest I had low expectations of the overnight train, but it was much much better than I thought it was!

   
 A comfortable bed with a pillow and a new blanket in a wrapper. Air con, a curtain to block everything out one side and your own window to enjoy the view on the other (with another curtain to block our sunlight). I had a great night sleep! 
The toilet had tissue in it and there was a communal sink to wash and brush your teeth in. To be honest it was just like being in a dorm, the only thing missing was a shower but we assumed this would be the case with that many people sleeping on each carriage. 

  
The journey was smooth on most parts and I think the subtle movement actually helped me to sleep. Winning. If only they did one of these forms of transport from London to other countries. I’d take it over a 7+ hour plane journey any day! 
Finally arriving at 7.06am, we were ready for our bus to Phuket town and then another bus to Patong. Bit of a mission yes but definitely another experience. 
This is my 2nd day in Patong. It has a busy nightlife and is deemed the ‘Ibiza’ of Thailand. This is completely correct, that’s what it reminds me of but cheaper. (Though still dearer than other places in Thailand). The beach is also a lot nicer!

  
I’ll keep you updated and post some beach pics over the coming days.
LwL x 

Don’t go chasing waterfalls..

..unless they’re the Erawan Waterfalls, they are worth chasing. 

So I expected to be taken to one waterfall, have a little swim, take a few selfies etc. 
It actually turns out that Erawan is a National Park. Consisting of about 8 waterfalls and an extremely long walk up the mountain of rocks, steps and branches to reach the waterfall at ‘level 7’. 

   
 Whoever told me you put on weight travelling, are you sure? I’ve hiked about 18 miles in the last 2 days ha.

Not that I’m complaining we had the most amazing day and so much fun. If you ever go here please do not miss Level 3, it’s the last waterfall we went to and we almost missed it as you have to go off trail. Absolutely stunning check this out 

  
And here’s some of my favourite snaps of the experience 

   
    
   
    

Hellfire Pass: Kanchanaburi 

After lunch we headed to Hellfire Pass. The museum of the railway built by Thai prisoners of war during World War || to enable Japanese soldiers to travel to Burma to fight their enemies from there.   
  The location holds a contrast of feelings. The backdrop is beautiful but the reality of the pain and suffering that people experienced is overwhelming. There is even a memorial area for Kiwis, Australians, British and American troops that were taken as prisoners.

  
I have to say, as we didn’t know we was spending the afternoon here we did not come prepared at all. The 2.5km walk was painful considering it was all rocks and steps and I was wearing my flip flops! Lesson learnt – always wear walking shoes. 

  
  
Our last evening at Kitti Raft was spent drinking beer, watching the sun go down and lots of drunken beer talk. The scenery was so beautiful, and it was a nice feeling to know that this is my life for the next 4 months. 

   
 3 days ago I hated beer, but the options here are pretty much beer or water. So sober or drunk. Considering that I hadn’t had a great nights sleep since we got here because I’ve been ill, opted for the beer in the hope id pass out in bed drunk. To be fair, the more you drink the better it tastes. I will be a beer drinking pro by the time I get home, my brother will be thrilled ha. 
It worked – slept straight through! Well until 5.30 but it’s an improvement for my 1am interruptions. 

Bed time and early start ready for the Erawan Waterfalls 

LwL x