Stories of 2019 #17

I confess. I am a smoothie bowl addict. I do not care if they contain hundreds of hidden calories, they look and they taste bloody delicious! Pink, purple, blue, Halloween themed, topped with heaps of peanut butter, fruit, granola (best part), flowers, who knows you may even find a mermaid in the depths of a smoothie bowl. I mean there are even Instagram accounts dedicated to the smoothie bowl… How can you resist when they look THAT good.

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Yummy Blue Smoothie Bowl by @isiaaak

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You do have to go out and source a smoothie bowl if you want them to look good, unless you are just a domestic goddess and can blend up something as good as this. I know I can’t, so I go on the global smoothie bowl hunt.

They became popular in 2016 and was a huge Instagram trend due to their drool-worthy look. But what really is a smoothie bowl I hear you ask? Well, it is a mix of frozen fruit, vegetables and other so-called superfoods such as yogurt, avocado and oats. This forms a ice-cream like texture, so instead of putting your smoothie in a cup and drinking with a straw, you pour it into a bowl and eat it with a spoon. Then it is time for the crown jewels – the beautiful toppings that are carefully placed sometimes in lines on top of your smoothie, which can be pretty much anything. The aim of the smoothie bowl is supposedly to make you eat more mindfully as you cannot gulp it down – unless you want brain freeze…

However, they are said to be very high in sugar so maybe consume in moderation.

I have to say, not to blow my own trumpet, but I like to now call myself the global smoothie bowl connoisseur. Ubud, Canguu, Byron Bay, London, Townsville, Hitchin, I mean do I need to convince your further? Joking, when I am making smoothie bowls good enough to go on the smoothie bowl accounts, I know then I am the connoisseur.

Anyway, here are where I have had the delicious smoothie bowl.

The Avocado Factory, Canguu // Avo Island Smoothie Bowl
Watercress, Ubud // Acai Superfood Smoothie Bowl
Puri Garden Hotel and Hostel, Ubud // Smoothie Bowl
NUUT Nutrition Bar, Fremantel WA // Nourishing Glow Bowl
Acai Brother, Byron Bay // Ain’t Nothin’ Butter Bowl
The Beet Bar, Townsville // Peanut Butter Swirl
Pluk, Amsterdam // Unicorn Acai Bowl
Feya, London // Pastel Rainbow Smoothie Bowl
Chia Cafe, Hitchin // Acai Smoothie Bowl

By the looks of things I need to take my own advice and think about moderation ha ha. Now make sure you share your smoothie bowls with me and I can go and try too!

Stories of 2019 #16

What a grey day! I was going to write about happiness today as I was in such a good mood yesterday and just felt like a new women. But it just goes to show you how each day if different. My mood and brain match the weather – grey, tired and moody!

I finished the gym last night and my mum picked me up and I turned and said to her, “I just feel amazing. I do not know what it is but I don’t feel tired, achy or down. I just feel happy.” I think this could be due to a number of things. Theory 1, I have come out of the other side of the vegan transitional phase (lol). Being vegan for almost 4 months now, I think I am finally fully adjusted and now feeling the benefits of the lifestyle change! Theory 2, I have come off my pill but this may also be the reason to why today I am moody… Theory 3, I am feeling fit. Not as in fit, good-looking fit, but as in I am improving at the gym, I can run further and I am making way back to the shape I had before going to Australia.

Anyway, that was yesterday and like a true hormonal women, today I am grumpy, I am tired and just need a holiday or a full body massage, or maybe both. Yes, 100% both. We all have these down days so it is sometimes best to just accept it and find the funny side. The funny side of today for me is being able to share with you the ups and downs of being India.

Stories of 2019 #15

One foot in front of the other. Left, right, left, right. It is so simple and it is one of my favourite things to do to pass the time. Walking. Especially when the winter sun is beating down and the skies are the bluest of blues.

Fairlands Lakes, Stevenage // 14th January 2019

There are so many benefits to taking a short or long walk. It can clear your mind and reduce stress if you are feeling a little low or wound up. Walking can help get your heart rate up and that means burning a few calories to help keep you fit and will strengthen your muscles. It can uplift your mood and make you feel more energised. Scientists have also said it can improve your memory?! See, there are so many benefits.

For me, I just love to get out of the house sometimes and get my body moving. I also have to walk sometimes, as I do not have a car!

I put in my headphones and listen to either Spotify or a podcast (as you all know I love one of them) and set off on my journey. Even better, my mum will come with me and we will chat about all sorts for an hour or so. We have even started walking to the cinema on a Thursday night before our film.

Yesterday, we decided to go on a walk around Fairlands Lakes in Stevenage and it was blimmin’ beautiful! The sun was shining and there were so many people out walking as well. It made me so happy and uplifted my mood without a doubt. Well, as you can see from the photos how lovely it was.

The walk overall took us just under an hour and a half and I was glad to get home and warm my hands up with a cup of tea.

Fairlands Lakes, Stevenage // 14th January 2019

If you want to make walking a part of your daily routine there are many ways to do this. You can start walking too and from work, go on a stroll during your lunch break, met a friends for a brisk walk, stop using the car to nip to the shops and go on foot instead or be like me and my mum and walk to the town or the cinema. Even if you walk one way and jump on the bus back home, you still have got out and started moving your body.

You can Google walks in your local area and map out where you want to walk before you set off or you can wander aimlessly enjoying the lovely day. All you need is a comfy pair of shoes and in the winter some warm clothes (I am sporting the Lululemon, of course). As well as, headphones if you want something to listen too.

Now, I am off to walk to the gym after writing this blog post and the podcast of choice this evening is Fearne Cottons Happy Place with Bryony Gordon.

Stories of 2019 #14

So, I went for it. I did my first ever boxing class! And I don’t mean boxercise, I mean an actual boxing class.

Boxing class // 13th January 2019

If you have been reading my blogs, you will know my New Years resolution was to find a new hobby which I was hoping would be boxing. I was meant to go to the class last Sunday but after seeing a video the gym posted online of the girls in the ring, I was too scared to go. Gutted because this is something I really wanted to do.

After speaking to a lady about the class, she persuaded me to just go for it and that I would actually really enjoy it. So, again Sunday came around and my alarm was going off at 8:30am, telling me it was time for boxing. Still slightly dreading it, I finally left my house and started walking to the gym.

An hour and a half later and it was all done. I was sweaty, my hands smelt BAD (I need my own pair of gloves thats for sure) but I really really enjoyed it and so glad I bloody just went and did it.

We started off with a HITT circuit, followed by a weight circuit, then skills on the bags (fav part of the session) and then sparring in the ring. I have never been hit before or hit anyone else, so this did not come as second nature to me ha ha. Anyway, I survived it just about. A lot to learn but I am excited. I will be going again next week.

This just shows that sometimes you just need to throw yourself into the deep end to achieve the things you want! Sometimes you may regret it but more often than not you will be glad you pushed yourself.

Stories of 2019 #13

Happy Sunday evening to you all! I hope you have enjoyed your day like I have. There is something so lovely about a Sunday. There is no need to rush around for the whollleee day! I did have to jump out of bed early this morning though but it was worth it. I finally bite the bullet and went to boxing (more on my experience tomorrow). But other than that, I made a delicious brunch (find what I eat on Instagram Stories HERE), went for a Sunday stroll with my mum and then spent the afternoon/evening watching the new Les Miserables (amazing, I love Lilly Collins) and doing the Fabulous magazine crossword. Now, I have had dinner and I am continuing to sit on the sofa in my PJs – true Sunday style.

I hope you have had a good week. If you have not seen this week’s blog posts just scroll down and you will find them all.

See you tomorrow for a new week!

Stories of 2019 #12

Whilst everyone is having a dry January, I am having a dry(ish) January. I am going back to the pub!

This is a cut down on the amount of alcohol consumed over the Christmas period but not cutting it out completely.

Local pubs are always so busy during the run up to Christmas and New Year, full with new faces and your regulars. But then January rolls around and they are empty! It may be a tough month for us all but for the local pub, it is even harder.

The Castle Rock Brewery are even running a campaign this January to protect pubs in the UK by encouraging people to go into their local, have a drink, chat to people and support the owners. Raise awareness of this campaign with the #mylocalis on social media.

And if dry January is what you are doing, have a soft drink, have a half a pint, try something different rather than staying home and having the same old drink.

Me, my mum and dad always go to the pub on a Friday evening and January has not stopped us. One gin and tonic, a beer and a Bacardi and Diet Coke please. Health is everything in moderation isn’t it? Plus we are supporting our local.

Will you be going to your local pub this January?

Stories of 2019 #11

Turquoise seas, white sand beaches and hidden fairy pools – Noosa is a must visit spot when on your East Coast Australia road trip!

Noosa National Park, Australia

Located appropriately on the Sunshine Coast, Noosa is the go-to destination for the fellow Aussies but for a first-timer Australia is big, if you hadn’t notice, so finding the right places to stop at can be hard.

For me, it was sandwiched between the city of Brisbane and the small town of Rainbow beach (mainly used for Fraser Island). I found that Noosa was the perfect place to practice your surfing, do a spot of shopping or fill up on delicious food from Hastings Street.

As a typical backpacker, I stayed at Flashpackers on Pacific Avenue. I have to say this was one of the best hostels I stayed at during my three months away. Family run, small and had all the amenities any backpacker could dream of! They had breakfast each day and even held a cheese and wine night whilst I was there. See, who said backpackers had to slum it!

The hostel was around a 10-minute walk to the bus station, where you pick up the Greyhound bus, and the liquor store (result). And, then a further 10 minutes walk was the main area of Noosa, Hastings Street.

I had some delicious meals here in Noosa, mainly for lunch as I would often cook in the evening. If you walk along Hastings street or the beachfront you will find plenty of places to stop and have a bite to eat. For me, I choose Blended Health Bar, Raw and Rice and Noosa Acai Brothers.

I also walked off this delicious food with the 6.5km walk along the picturesque coastline, from Sunshine beach to Noosa Heads main beach. I spotted whales and dolphins jumping about in the sea. It is said you can also see koala bears in the trees but unfortunately we did not see any. You have to really keep your eye out for them!

The main part of the walk I was looking forward too was finding the fairy pools. A wild swimming spot where the waves have filled deep pools in the rocks with the bluest water. The perfect spot for a refreshing dip after a long, hot walk. It was not too busy when I was there, as I hear it can get super busy with lots of tourists trying to also get in the pools. Thankfully, for us there was only a handful of people jumping in and out, myself included!

Noosa Fairy Pools // I am in there by the rocks!

Now you have walked your daily quota of 10,000 steps, it is time to chill on the beach. Lie back on your beach towel and listen to the Laguna Bay waves as they crash against the sand. Writing this is making me wish I was right there, right now! It is also an excellent spot to watch as the surfers ride the waves or, like me, catching the waves into the shore with the bodyboard. Noosa is one of the best spots for surfing and attracts plenty of them long-haired, toned surfers! Especially in March when they hold their annual Festival of Surfing. Sounds terrible to me *wink wink*. If you don’t fancy the main beach and want something a little more private, Noosa has plenty more to offer. Check out Visit Noosa for more information.

That is all I got up too on my few days in Noosa but there is also the Noosa Everglades, where you can go kayaking. Some friends from the hostel did a tour of the Everglades and said it was lovely. So another one to add to your list of recommendations from this post.

I did really enjoy Noosa, apart from here I was chased by a magpie down the road! A genuinely terrifying moment in my life ha ha. But my time to get back on the Greyhound bus came around too quickly but at least I left wanting more.

More Australia posts to come!