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lunedì 23 febbraio 2015

February Favourite Healthy Products

Well, it's time for me to say it. I am trying to go vegan. Now everyone will be freaking out because ohhhhmyggoood she's going to turn everyone into a grass-eater and hate everyone who eats meat or fish or eggs or milk blah blah blah.

PLEASE. Who the hell do you think I am?

FIRST, almost the entire world knows I am lactose intolerant and allergic to eggs, so yeah, I can either be omnivore or basically directly vegan, I can't be vegetarian since I cannot eat those two elements anyway.

SECOND, I am doing it to try and see if it has any good effect on my health and body and for environmental reasons. I read online different things, good and bad as it's a controversial topic on which there is also a lot of ignorance and prejudice which keeps information to directly get to you. Also, a lot of research is still been done about it so new stuff keeps coming out. Still, I have never been a fan of the idea of eating animals, it's just empathy, maybe, I don't know. I simply found it not too different to eat one another, I mean if we didn't have animals we probably would.

BUT I don't give an utter shit if you DO eat meat or eggs or milk or fish or whatever the hell you like because this is just MY choice at the moment to see if I can get any benefit from this lifestyle but I am not going to be one of those people who rant about having to go vegan, hate on people who aren't, judge, and I am certainly not going to turn down meat or fish once in a while if I happen to be offered some or just feel like eating it.

I just want to see on myself if I can get any of the results I read online and if I actually can feel better. If not then, oh well I tried.

SO, that said, here there are my favourite products of February, talking about food and health!

1) Rude Health Muesli Super Fruity

This is definitely one of my favourite muesli of all time. My breakfast, as many of you already know, is one of my favourite meal of the day. Screw that, it's my ABSOLUTE favourite meal of the day. I always have muesli but I try not to go for the refined sugar packed one with loads of artificial shit in it that tastes like sugary stuff and not like oats and raisins and fruits and seeds. I like crunchy muesli, but I don't go for seed-y ones as I freaking love raisins and dried fruits and I appreciate it not being too crunchy and hard. So this one, with absolutely not added refined sugars, no wheat and no nuts is a freaking amazing recipe. They just taste... awesome! If I could I would go through the whole package in a couple of days! So yeah, they are definitely my favourite, at the moment, adding some special feeling to my lovely morning soya yogurt and berries.

2) Virginia Harvest Cold-Milled Flaxseed

I don't know if any of you is familiar with flaxseeds but... they are just THE thing. I usually put either them or Chia Seeds in my morning breakfast as they are full of Omega 3, Proteins (that I definitely want to get as much as I can since I don't get them from meat or fish or eggs or dairy), Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese other than being a huge source of dietary fibre. So yeah, they taste nice and are slightly.... munchy-crunchy that makes them lovely to have in the morning and help me kickstart my day. Moreover, they are gluten-free, not genetically modified, cholesterol free and nut free (in case you have any allergy!)

3) Meridian Smooth Almond Butter

I seriously don't know where this had been all my life. It tastes like pure heaven. Like, it's smooth, soft, slightly salted, almond-y... it is seriously as if I took almonds and made them jelly-ish. I swear! It tastes gorgeously with any type of bread and it's a fabulous snack! Obviously we don't have to exaggerate with it if we care about our silouette since well yes it is always butter-ish and it contains fats. It's completely diary-free and most fats are Omega 3 healthy fats so that makes us feel a bit less guilty, doesn't it? Oh, well, I don't feel any guilt...

4) Biona Organic Coconut Oil

I think I will never stop saying how nice this tastes. I have been using it to make my new love, my Banana Bread, and it just tastes lovely. It's useful for weight loss, it's packed with loads of healthy nutrients and it's just so sweet and exotic that it adds an amazing flavours to every dish. I use it in my salads, good alternative to olive oil, or I also use it in my spelt dishes for dinner. It's lovely to stir all of my vegetables in a pan with just a teaspoon of that, it adds so much flavour and exoticness to a dish that could result as boring! Like, you have no idea how much I am loving my dinners lately. Also, they are packed with energy and, since I suffer from fatigue, that helps a lot.

5) Mori-Nu Silken Firm Tofu

How could magic tofu not been included on my healthy-shit-ranting? Of course here it is! I had never tasted tofu before, I admit, I was scared it tasted awful. But guess what? It doesn't. It's actually lovely, it doesn't have a strong flavour and it's perfect with anything. I put it into salads, grill it, cook it... what you can do with it is neverending. Soy has so so so many proteins (soybeans, edamame, soy milk, soy yogurt....) and it's absolutely fundamental to who doesn't get proteins from animals and animal products. Of course I don't want to have any nutrient deficiency and I surely want to use artificial integrators as less as I can. So yeah, tofu is a great choice and I am very much liking it. Also, it costs SO much less than any steak or fish fillet.

6) Waitrose Pearled Spelt

Okay, yes, I discovered Waitrose and lately my dinners have mostly been composed of grains, proteins and vegetables of any sort. Spelt is definitely one of my favourite in terms of taste (oh my good it's sooooo nice) and nutrients. It contains few fats and lots of proteins even being a grain! It gives you a lot of energy and minerals. It's not gluten-free, though. Aaaaand it takes 20 minutes to cook which, since I hate waiting, makes me look like that person who keeps looking at the water hoping for it to boil faster. But oh well, what can you do.

7) Chia Seeds Cibocrudo

I was skeptical about Chia Seeds as I thought they were just very fat and caloric and didn't give many benefits. I was wrong. First, they are full of healthy fats, which is very different. Fat is not all bad, some of it is absolutely fundamental to our nutrition. Second, it is so crunchy and nice I love to munch it under my teeth and hear it 'pop'. Some people put it in water to get it jelly, I love it natural. I alternate them with flaxseed, as you read before, for my breakfast and I never regretted it since.

8) Clipper Organic Orange and Coconut Infusion

Okay, okay, I know you expected this since I have been talking and loving this for ages on any social network. This is the best infusion I have ever tasted. Like, it's like drinking a cake. Seriously, it doesn't even need any sweetener to be absolutely delicious. I have it before going to bed and it feels like I am drinking pure awesomeness. I would inject it in my veins if I could. Also, it's organic, so whoop whoop!

9) Organic Spirulina Powder

This is probably one of my favourite products of all time. I seriously have been having this every morning for like 4 months and I have never felt better. So many proteins, amazing source of CALCIUM which I lack from my lactose intolerance, so much IRON. It tastes disgusting but I always have a tablespoon together with juice and I swear to God you can barely notice it's there. I got used to the taste as well. It's seriously one of the best thing I have during the day. It helps my concentration and energy on such an amazing level. Take my word on this, it's awesome.

10) Slim Lotus Tea

Okay, I have to admit this is a new entry in my life. It definitely is. I bought it as a random buy and read what it actually was online after having it. It's a super green tea, basically. I have been using it for a week but... like it tastes so so so so much better than any other green tea I have ever had (and you all know how much I love green tea) as it's pure leaves you soak in hot water (85°C) and then drink. I know it doesn't sound too nice to say, but seriously my intestine has been working so much better thanks to it! I feel less as a balloon and everything works better on that side. It's amazing! It doesn't have any caffeine so it doesn't interfere with natural energy but it gives you a boost anyway. It's genuinely amazing, even just for the taste. Best random buy ever.

11) Quinoa

Quinoa is another one of my weaknesses. It's a seed but it feels like it's a wholegrain. It tastes gorgeous with seriousl anything and it is packed with proteins! It's also very nice to cook and it's still low in fat, in salt and in sugar. There is not much to say, just try it, it's genuinely awesome.

12) Superfood Raw Peruvian Maca Powder

This is another one of my favourite. And it tastes lovely! Like... malt. You can use it into any non-dairy milk, yogurt, smoothie... anything. It is a huge source of minerals and energy. It boosts metabolism, everyday energy and also helps balancing the hormones. It's so nice I've been using it in my Banana Bread, lately, and it seriously does its job. Definitely gonna be on my shelf for a while.

Aaaaand I guess that was it for today! I hope you liked it, I also want to know what you think of any of this products and which one is your favourite. Let me know in the comments below! I'll let you know how my vegan tryout is going.

Ellie x

PS: Best places where to buy this stuff in Italy is either your healthy food supermarket, Cibocrudo or Amazon :)

giovedì 19 febbraio 2015

The perks of waiting

I thought a lot about time, lately. Yeah, there is no much point in doing it, I know, but I remember how - when I was younger - I used to dream about becoming something and thinking about studying to reach that dream and... I somehow expected it to happen just right after high school, as if that was a preparation to get me directly into the working world and just BOM, I would start doing exactly what I wanted to do because that was what it was expected of me. Does it make any sense?

Anyway it's definitely not gonna happen. Or in most cases. 

A concept that was extremely detached from my mind was the fact that, after high school, I would have to do years and years of other stuff before I could even just think about reaching a result that was close enough to what I wanted to do. 

Practical example: you want to be a chef, so you study at a cooking high school and expect to be put into a kitchen to prepare amazing dishes soon after you've hardly make it out of the school. Well, not really. Maybe you'll have to start as a waiter for years. Or a kitchen porter. And then, slowly, you'll learn the job on the field and will gradually level up and reach an always closer result to the one you hope to achieve. It's going to be.... well pretty hard that you will become Gordon Ramsay just after high school, don't you think?

Well, I can now think in these terms because I kind of lived it on my skin. I got out of high school with this thing about being an actress and now I don't even want that anymore. I had to realise I needed the money, and the experience, and the... life to do whatever I want to do. Like now, I aim on becoming a decent filmmaker who can pay the bills thanks to my films. 

Obviously it's not gonna happen now. It's not gonna happen, probably, in a few years. But it will, if I work hard and keep doing jobs that I don't extremely like but that are a good compromise to keep reaching for my dreams. I mean, I need to eat, I want to travel, I want to buy stuff and equipment and... yeah, I want to be independent so I need a job. Waitressing is not too bad to me, I like serving food to people as I am very passionate about it. I like their face when they see the food and I am lucky enough to be now working in a very renowned and healthy restaurant in a very nice borough in London so I am even proud of what I am serving. I am lucky enough that my colleagues are nice and my boss is nice. 

I have been working as a waitress since I was 16, I used to work during summers while my friends went to the beach or just relaxed. I used to try and make as much money as possible but... now that I think about it I've been courageous to do such think. It's easy to be lazy. It's even easier not to find a job, at the moment, due to this bloody crisis. So I think that the series of unfortunate events that led me here was... eventually quite fortunate. 

Thing is we are bombarded everyday with people who made it. They are like 15 and they did everything we could ever dream to achieve in life whatsoever. So... why can't we? We just get used to this way of life. The film one. The book one. The one that doesn't resemble 99% of the entire populations. And this gets us depressed but the thing is... It does NOT mean we will NEVER get to that point, it just means it might take more time and a bloody hard work. But it doesn't prevent us from making it. We just have to come to term with the fact that from one point to the other of our life-line, there might be a bit of a troubled ground and take a few more years. But what matters is that we get there, at the end. And nothing says for certain that we can't. Future is a bitch because it's so uncertain, but that's also what makes it changeable/variable/shifting. 

So yeah, that's what I thought about. What are your thoughts about this? I'd like to hear them.

Waiting for your comments!

Ellie x

domenica 15 febbraio 2015

How to live at best (with anxiety but also not)

I benefici del prendersi cura di sé stessi possono sembrare incredibilmente inutili, oppure a volte non ci facciamo neanche caso, a volte per pigrizia. Eppure ho dovuto andare a vivere da sola e sperimentare su di me le peggiori abitudini del mondo e shiftare ad alcune completamente diverse per darci veramente importanza e rendermi conto di quanto potessi stare meglio solo con dei piccoli accorgimenti. Tutto questo si è sempre riflettuto anche molto sul mio modo di gestire e percepire l'ansia. Di seguito alcuni consigli spassionati in ordine molto random per tutti coloro che non hanno fatto altro che chiedermeli per i mesi scorsi ma io, da brava testa di pigna quale sono, non sono riuscita a trovare il tempo di rispondere singolarmente ad ognuno di voi.


Sono una persona iperattiva e alla quale piace l'idea di stare sempre facendo qualcosa, che odia stare seduta e semplicemente... perdere tempo. Ho sempre l'impressione di stare buttando via del tempo che potrei usare per fare qualcos'altro di incredibilmente utile e via dicendo. Per quanto riguarda l'alimentazione ho fatto degli alti e bassi da paura, con abitudini alimentari orrende e sbagliate, fino a che non sono approdata in una dieta che, ho scoperto, fa decisamente molto di più per me. 

Le Mental Illnesses si nutrono, oltre che della mente, anche del corpo delle persone. Per questo quando una persona è stanca o mal nutrita o erroneamente nutrita i collegamenti chimici che vengono fatti da neurone a neurone e cellula a cellula nel cervello (perché non dimentichiamoci che tutto ciò che è psicologico è anche fisico) diventano più facili nei sentieri già percorsi più volte in precedenza per forza di abitudine. Oltretutto, se ci si nutre male il corpo acquisisce nutrimento da quello che servirebbe al cervello per funzionare correttamente, di conseguenza il logorare questo prezioso organo porta a percepire ansia, depressione, stress e quant'altro in maniera incredibilmente più forte, con meno forza di reagire e più spesso. 

Il nostro corpo cerca energia, ed energia non si traduce con calorie o grasso. Questo va ben specificato. Ma DECISAMENTE ha bisogno di carburante per tirare avanti tutta la giornata. Carburante buono, possibilmente, non schifezze tossiche che ti fanno fare ciao ciao alla macchina dopo due metri di strada. Alla fine meglio impegnarsi di più per un qualcosa a lungo termine che pentirsene amaramente quando è troppo tardi. Quindi importantissimo è cominciare la giornata con una colazione sana ed abbondante, ricca di vitamine, calcio, minerali, carboidrati buoni e antiossidanti così da risvegliare quella bestia maledetta che ci troviamo nel cranio dal sonno (poi chiaro che senza caffè manco ce se move). Ad esempio io faccio sempre colazione con un bicchiere di succo di pompelmo con un cucchiaio di polvere di Alga Spirulina. A questo si aggiunge il mio mega treat: yogurt alla soia con circa quaranta grammi di muesli all'uvetta, mezza mela, mezzo kiwi,  e qualche mirtillo. Sbavo solo a pensarci. Ma dettagli. Alla fine finisco la mela ed il kiwi da soli. E questo mi permette di tirare avanti, grazie a tutti i preziosi elementi ingeriti, fino all'ora di pranzo con una sferzata di energia (e un bel cappuccino). A metà mattina un frutto non guasta mai, specialmente per chi, come me, deve fare un lavoro in cui sta sempre in piedi ed in movimento e deve mantenersi fisicamente e mentalmente attivo. A pranzo purtroppo torno sempre a casa tardi, quindi per non ingolfarmi di cibo e non avere più fame a cena vado solitamente su un insalata ricca di verdure miste (lattuga, kale, carote, cetrioli, rape rosse, sedano, pomodorini...) e frutta (mango, mirtilli, melograno...) unite rigorosamente a del pesce o della carne bianca (solitamente gamberetti, salmone, granchio, seppie, tonno, pollo, tacchino) con del pane integrale e una bella pera. In questo modo so che arriverò all'ora di cena giusta per cibarmi con dei cereali. Spesso uso la quinoa, o il riso, o il farro, il kamut, il grano saraceno, le lenticchie o l'amaranth. A quello aggiungo zucchine, broccoli, zucca, patate dolci, prezzemolo, origano, pomodori, carote, asparagi, avocado, pollo, tofu, e chi ne ha più né metta! Sempre accompagnato da del pane integrale e un frutto. Sì, sono ripetitiva. Ma felice. 

RIPOSATE! Ricordatevi che il vostro cellulare schizza malissimo se lo caricate male e si esaurisce subito, ricordate? E allora a una certa ora mettetevi a dormire, il giorno dopo vi ringrazierete! Certo, se poi avete una serie da finire è un conto... ma magari riducete gli episodi, in questo modo durerà anche più a lungo :DD Se avete difficoltà a dormire provate a leggere prima di addormentarvi finché non sentite che state letteralmente nemmeno capendo ciò che state leggendo, e poi pof, alletttttto. O fate il gioco dell'alfabeto. Un nome proprio per ogni lettera, avanti e indietro. Alla fine per abitudine il cervello quando comincerete a fare quel gioco dopo qualche lettera si addormenterà automaticamente. Provare per credere. 


Se c'è una cosa che non va è trovarsi sempre a comunque a fare tutto il tempo qualcosa che non piace, che fa stare male, essere in un luogo che ci sta stretto o ci fa sentire a disagio. Per esempio io devo lavorare tutte le mattine fino alle tre di pomeriggio. Quanto arrivo a casa sono stanca, mangio e a volte crollo a letto tutto il pomeriggio così che arrivo a sprecare l'intera giornata. Così il giorno dopo sono frustrata perché mi sembra solo di stare lavorando e non stare facendo nulla di quello che mi rende felice. E scommetto che anche per chi di voi va a scuola molte volte si riduce a questo. Compiti, studio... ARGH!

E' molto importante ritagliarsi del tempo per se stessi. Solitamente, quando posso ed è bel tempo, vado a passeggiare, o in palestra dove mi sfogo e mi sento appagata con l'arrivo dei risultati e il rivalutare la mia tenacia, oppure scrivo, faccio cortometraggi, mi dedico alla fotografia, guardo qualche serie tv, qualche film, leggo, cucino, scrivo, giro video, parlo con voi, mi concedo qualche treat e mi compro qualcosina. Divido tutte queste varie cose che mi piace fare e cerco di considerarli dei goal: se faccio tutte le cose brutte che devo fare riuscirò a fare anche quelle belle, perché una volta finite resteranno solo quelle. Insomma per ogni pomeriggio passato, che ne so, a studiare la sera posso concedermi un paio di episodi e, magari, dopo l'ultima ripassata posso leggere qualche pagina di quel libro che sto leggendo. 

Il tempo va organizzato, anche quando ce n'è poco. Se si parte con "Eh, sì, ma il tempo chi ce l'ha?" allora io non farei video. Ma invece li faccio eccome. E fare cose che rendono felici rende meno stressati e meno vulnerabili agli attacchi dell'ansia. 

c) Scents and Beauty

Non è una novità che i profumi e i prodotti cosmetici possano rivelarsi ottimi alleati contro qualsiasi tipo di stress emotivo. La lavanda, la menta, il sandalo ad esempio riescono a rilassarmi incredibilmente. Il cocco e la vaniglia mi calmano. La cannella, l'arancia e la mela mi ispirano. Capito perché amo le candele profumate?

Per quanto riguarda la bellezza, quando ci prendiamo cura di noi stessi ci sentiamo più appagati e come se ci stessimo coccolando quindi se, per una volta, vuoi prendere quello shampoo profumato, naturale, o quel profumo, o quella crema per il viso per ridurre le impurità.. e fallo. E vedrai che, anche con un solo prodotto, se usato con costanza qualche risultato potrai assolutamente ottenerlo. E sii positivo! Detto da me suona strano, ma l'attitudine fa un po' la differenza, no?

d) Friends.

La frase più banale del mondo: circondati di persone che ti fanno stare bene, ti capiscono, ti vogliono bene e con le quali ti senti a tuo agio. Non cercare di compiacere chi non ti vuole. Non roderti il fegato per chi ti va contro e non obbligartici a starci assieme più del necessario. Questo genere di rapporti è dannoso. Incredibilmente dannoso. Rovina la psiche, l'autostima, le giornate, l'umore, la vita. Ho imparato a mie spese che è ben meglio allontanarci in fretta da chi ci fa stare male.

e) Enjoy Yourself.

Come dico sempre, la vita è un viaggio. E il percorso, con la famiglia, gli amici, facendo ciò che piace, è ciò che conta davvero. Certo, arriveremo alla fine un giorno, ma voglio godermi il tragitto al meglio, con il positivo che si spera di trarne e anche il negativo che è parte naturale delle cose. Quindi cerca, più che puoi, di guardare in faccia ai giorni brutti pensando: domani è un altro giorno e parto daccapo. 

Spero vi sia stato utile e almeno vi abbia un po' rincuorato!

Ellie x