Slendertone Connect Abs Review

I am so excited to be heading off on vacation next week! We’re flying to Sydney (Australia) and doing a 12 night cruise through New Caledonia, Fiji and Vanuatu… guys, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’m looking forward to it.

When I booked the trip months ago, it felt aaages away – now I can’t believe it’s almost here! I’ll be posting lots of photos on Instagram, so be sure to join me for the adventure.

In the lead up to my vacay, I have been sharing some things I’ve bought (a girl needs a fresh vacation wardrobe, obv!) and am waiting on a few final arrivals. I’m really excited about this embroidered pom pom caftan, it’s the final item and due to arrive on Monday (yes, I stalk my post like a crazy person… please tell me I’m not the only person who does this?).

As well as sorting out a fab vacation wardrobe, I’ve also been trying to tone up a little – it’s almost bikini season and as I mentioned, this trip has come up really fast! I’ve had so many blog projects and lot’s of website / blog design work lately, which is ahhhmazing… but makes it a little tricky to hit my regular spin and pump classes. Around a month ago, I couldn’t believe the fortuitous timing when Slendertone contacted me about their new Connect Abs device and asked if I wanted to try it… ummm, YES! I couldn’t respond fast enough.

Slendertone Connect Abs Review ab workout fitness

I’m super selective about what I share with you… honestly, I spend hours on my posts, along with testing, trying and experiencing all the products I recommend. Before I buy anything I always (always!) read reviews online first and because I rely on them so much, I equally ensure anything I share is something I genuinely think is a great product.

I was looking forward to testing the Slendertone Connect Abs thoroughly to see if it really lived up to all the hype before sharing it with you… especially as sometimes products like this can be hit and miss. But, I’m so pleased to report I have been really eager to write this post because I personally found it to be a quality product – and even one Chris has been constantly hounding me to use too!

Probably one of my favorite things has been how super convenient and easy it… as I’m sitting here typing this, I actually have it on. Because my work, especially website and blog design projects, is all quite sedentary and involves long hours at a computer, it can be hard some days to give my muscles a workout. I’m very aware how important your core ab muscles are, particularly when it comes to posture and as one of my new years resolutions was to improve my posture this year, it’s an area I have been focused on.

What I’ve loved most about using the Slendertone Connect Abs, I can just put it on and let it work away, while I get stuck into my own work!

Basically, to break it down the Slendertone Connect Abs works using electrical muscle stimulation, technology physio’s have used for years. I remember back when I played sport competitively in high school, I would suffer knee injuries and the physio often put current pads on as part of the therapy treatment. This is basically the same thing and embraces that technology to strengthen your abdominal muscles. Based on my own searches online, from what I understand, the electrical pulses mimic actions from the central nervous system and cause the muscles to contract.

Slendertone Review Connect Abs

I was quite intrigued to see how this technology had been used in the Slendertone Connect Abs. When I opened the box, I saw the kit comes with the adjustable belt and controller, reusable adhesive gel pads, the USB charging cable and a little carry bag to keep it all in.

The user manual was really thorough and simple to follow; it steps through the set-up instructions easily. To get started, all I had to do was plug the controller into my computer and charge it via the USB cable (which took around 30 minutes and it beeped to alert the battery was fully charged). Once that was done, I popped it into the belt and turned it on. The intensity can be adjusted using the plus and minus buttons on the controller.

I started on the lowest intensity and it felt like a tingling sensation. Then, I gradually raised the intensity until I could feel my abs contracting. The intensity range is 0 – 100, so subsequently each time I used the Connect Abs I raised the intensity a little more than my previous session. At first it’s an unusual sensation to get use to, probably because I’ve never really given my abs such a good workout, but I quickly became familiar and comfortable with it. The company explains 30 minutes using Slendertone Connect Abs is like doing 202 sit-ups… this is so much easier than doing hundreds of sit-ups!

Slendertone Connect Abs Review Slendertone Connect Abs

Slendertone Connect Abs further embraces the power of technology with a handy app. I love a good app! You can easily download the Slendertone Connect app to your smartphone and use it to run the personal toning program. It is a fully interactive environment, with workout programs, weekly targets and tracking tools to help achieve the results you want. Depending on what your individual goals are, the app has five different six week programs including increasing your physical performance, getting back in shape after pregnancy, staying in shape and toning muscles.

It is recommended you use the product for 6 – 8 weeks to see the best results, I am only half way through my journey but have been genuinely impressed and happy with the progress I’ve made so far. I’m also feeling a lot more comfortable getting into a bikini on my vacation next week than I would have otherwise! So thank you to Slendertone for sending me the Connect Abs to try. I’m excited to continue using it and seeing even more results… we all know how much food is on a cruise, so after serious over-indulgence, I’ll definitely need to get back into my Slendertone Connect Abs program when I return!

If you’re interested to find out more, check out the Slendertone website and Instagram too.

 

Thank you for joining us at the Friday Faves Link Up! I hope you enjoy connecting with other bloggers, reading their favorite posts of the week, sharing your favorite post and making new friends all over the world. We’re so lucky to be part of this amazing community! Remember, you can share anything in the link up and be sure to visit and say hello to the blogger listed before and after you. Link up’s are all about networking and making wonderful connections, trust me – it’s worth the effort.

Would you like to host the Friday Faves Link Up? Register here and let’s organize a date! It’s a great way to meet people and promote your blog (and it’s only $15).

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How To Eat Healthy This Festive Season And Still Indulge

Today I wanted to put the spotlight on how to eat healthy and make better food choices, this thinking all started as I’m heading off on a cruise to celebrate my birthday (yay!). Cruises are one of my all time favorite vacations, I have so many happy family cruise memories and always enjoy how easy it is to discover and explore new places (you unpack once and wake up in a new city each day). Are any of you cruisers too?

Whether you’re a fellow cruise lover or yet to embark on a voyage, I’m sure you know about the one thing cruises are renowned for… 24 hour food. Want a club sandwich with fries at midnight? No problem, they’ll bring you one to your room quick as a flash. Feel like a three-course feast every night? Done.

So this got me thinking, what are some ways you can still indulge but make better choices? These are some simple suggestions about how to eat healthy and swap yourself skinny!

 I’d love to know, do you have any simple swap ideas or tips on how to eat healthy?  Please share in the comments – I want to try them!

Count Down: My 30th Birthday Bucket List

So tomorrow marks only six weeks until my 30th birthday and I would be lying if I didn’t admit to having a mild panic about this. Yes, “age is just a number” as they say – but seriously, I can’t believe I’m here. Over the weekend it hit me, I have just six weeks to complete my 30th birthday bucket list! I started thinking of all these things I never realized I wanted to do until now… like take singing lessons and discover, unbeknownst to me, that all this time I had a voice to rival Beyonce… or move to Paris… or start my own jewelry line.

I’m trying to come up with my 30th birthday bucket list and find a couple of things I really want to do in these final weeks before the big 3-0. Do you have one? I’d absolutely love to know what is (or was) on your 30th birthday bucket list… I need some great ideas to add to mine!

One thing I did decide and have the perfect amount of time to do is really overhaul my fitness and health.

I want to move into my thirties in a really positive way, so this week I’m starting boxing training and over the next six weeks will really be focusing on toning up and improving my cardio. You might have also seen over the weekend on Instagram that I’ve started getting back into juicing in a big way! Every morning for the last week and a half, I have made a large bottle of super green juice… my favorite mix right now is kale, spinach, carrot, apple and lemon.  Juicing is so easy and I truly love the way it makes me feel.

Green juice healthy kale spinach carrot apple lemon detox 30th birthday bucket list life fit inspiration fitness jd sports nike flyknit bright orangediet exercise fashion health blogger www.stylelixir.com style elixir blog

Of course moving into this six week health kick, some fabulous new workout clothes are perfect motivation! I’ll be starting off my week (and first boxing class!) in these gorgeous leggings from Fabletics, how fun is the print? They are so comfy too.

My favorite thing right now are these ahhhmazing Nike running shoes, I’m obsessed with the bright color – they just make you want to move! They are from huge global store JD Sports, I wanted a unique color mix and they have so many limited edition collections and exclusives – plus, the shipping was seriously quick and the customer service flawless. It’s fun having a pair of unique kicks that not everyone has!

As I’ve been browsing a lot of fitness sites lately, I noticed so many girls have a huge running shoe wardrobe with lots of colors and prints, one for every day of the week! So I’ve decided I want to do just that (and this is a good place to start!).

Green juice healthy kale spinach carrot apple lemon detox 30th birthday bucket list life fit inspiration fitness jd sports nike flyknit bright orangediet exercise fashion health blogger www.stylelixir.com style elixir blog Today’s Workout Wardrobe:   Fabletics Top and Leggings    |    Prada Sunglasses    |    JD Sports Nike Flyknit Shoes (c/o)

Green juice healthy kale spinach carrot apple lemon detox 30th birthday bucket list life fit inspiration fitness jd sports nike flyknit bright orangediet exercise fashion health blogger www.stylelixir.com style elixir blog My favorite and oh so fabulous new kicks:  JD Sports Nike Flyknit Shoes

I’d love to hear from you… what do you do to keep fit? There’s so many different workouts and new things to try, it’s important to have fun while you exercise. I also really want to know about your 30th birthday bucket list – it will give me some great ideas on things to do over the next six weeks!

Fab Favorites Link Up: My Workout Wear + Win My Fave Training Shoes

Happy Friday, Happy Labor Day Weekend and welcome to the Fab Favorites Link Up! The fashion lover and bargain hunter in me has to admit, I’m super excited about all the sales this weekend. Have you got some things on your wish list? I’ve put together your ultimate Labor Day Sales Guide, it has details of all the fabulous stores you need to know about – plus the coupon codes.

I’ve also shared a few of my top picks, I hope you like them! Oh and aside from indulging in a little shopping for ourselves, with the holidays fast approaching it’s a perfect time to start buying gifts… you’ll thank yourself when everyone else is rushing around and you’re all organized in advance this year!

I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet, but over the last month I have decided to really get back into a strong fitness regime. It can be hard juggling everything and when life gets busy, I must admit I can be bad at letting exercise be the first to go… do you ever find this? A few weeks ago I made a commitment to myself that I would do something at least three times each week, whether that’s going for a bike ride, long walk or hot yoga class. For me personally, it’s not just about toning up – it’s about how exercise makes me feel. Taking time to just be, to think things through or to think about absolutely nothing… it’s wonderful.

As a little extra motivation to get started on my journey and for the days when I need a push, I have to tell you… there is nothing quite like cute workout clothes to get you moving! Girls, do you agree?

Workout Wear Fit Fashion Graced By Grit Ryka Flextra Training Shoes Ray Ban Sunglasses Fitness Style Runners Sport Blogger Style Elixir blog www.stylelixir.com My Workout Wear: Rykä Flextra training shoes   |   Ray-Ban Sunglasses   |   Graced by Grit sports bra, tank and tights

Today I wanted to share some of my workout wear that I’ve been living in lately… these tights, this sports bra and this seamless tank from one of my new favorite brands Graced by Grit. The collection has such fun, bright colors – and they aren’t just super cute, you can feel they are high quality and wonderfully functional (I adore the pockets inside the tights – so great for putting some cash or keys, you can see it in the photo below).

Workout Wear Fit Fashion Graced By Grit Ryka Flextra Training Shoes Ray Ban Sunglasses Fitness Style Runners Sport Blogger Style Elixir blog www.stylelixir.com

There’s nothing better than feeling comfortable when you work out, you don’t want to be adjusting this or fixing that and of course it has to be flattering! I want to wear an outfit from the bike to brunch – cute, unique designs and tights that make you look good in all the right places are a must… and I have to tell you, my tights are simply gorgeous. For my fellow fashion lovers, there is something ever so fun about wearing bright tights, matching them with a simple black tank is an easy way to style up your fitness wear.

Workout Wear Fit Fashion Graced By Grit Ryka Flextra Training Shoes Ray Ban Sunglasses Fitness Style Runners Sport Blogger Style Elixir blog www.stylelixir.com

I’m also a huge fan of these new Rykä Flextra training shoes. At first I just loved the look of them (how cute are they!), but I’ve since discovered they are seriously sooo cushioned and comfy. They feel different to other trainers I’ve worn, normally I’m in my Nike’s – but when I tried these on, I instantly noticed how supported my foot felt and how light they were. I know it’s a no-no with new shoes, but the first day I wore them we went to Disneyland… hours on my feet and tons of walking… but they felt amazing the entire time. I knew then I was onto something brilliant!

Workout Wear Fit Fashion Graced By Grit Ryka Flextra Training Shoes Ray Ban Sunglasses Fitness Style Runners Sport Blogger Style Elixir blog www.stylelixir.com

To help you on your own fitness journey, I’d love to give one lucky reader a pair of my fave Rykä Flextra training shoes! Entry is so simple, just complete the Rafflecopter below.

Win a pair of my Rykä Flextra training shoes – enter now:

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Style Elixir (follow here!)   |   Shimmer Me Pretty (follow here!)   |  Musings of a Mom, (Esq.) (follow here!)

This week I’m joined by two fabulous Co-Hosts… Kylie Rae from Shimmer Me Pretty and Christina from Musings of a Mom, (Esq.).  It’s always fun to discover new people and learn more about them, so be sure to go and say a warm hello! If you’re interested in co-hosting, just email me for details. Remember… you can share anything – a previous post, or a post about your favorite things. Whatever takes your fancy!

Friday’s Fab Favorites Link Up:
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Face Mapping – Blemishes and What They Mean

I’ve been looking into face mapping of late and although it’s something that has been talked about for a long time, it’s relatively new to me. I think it is a fascinating way to gain insight into what your body is actually telling you. If you’ve ever wondered, why am I getting pimples in this area? Or why won’t my skin clear? This practice may help shed some light on how to improve and perfect your skin.

Taking center stage at many clinics, face mapping aims to explain how certain parts of your face are connected to other areas of your body. Put simply, blemishes in different zones are believed to correspond with different health issues. So through face mapping, you can address the problem of blemishes and not only reduce these, but also treat the actual cause.

After researching this, I wanted to share with you what each facial zone is related to and hopefully it will help you understand your skin a little more. I’d love to know… is facial mapping something you have tried before? Is there a particular zone you find relates to your skin?

Beauty Buzz Facial Mapping Blemishes and What they Mean Style Elixir Fashion Beauty Lifestyle Blog Blogger

Face Mapping – Blemishes and What They Mean

ZONES 1 & 3:  DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
Chocolate and blemishes are a synonymous combination. However, generally consuming high amounts of fat within your diet can lead you to breakout across your forehead. Cleanse your diet with antioxidant-rich green tea and increase your water intake to clear this area (6 – 8 glasses per day!).

ZONE 2: LIVER
Alcohol and dairy are said to be the main causes for blemishes in this area, reactions to food allergies can also show up here in the form of pimples. If you are concerned you may have a food intolerance or allergy, consult your doctor.  Otherwise, reduce your alcohol and dairy intake to see if that makes a difference and clears your skin.

ZONES 4, 6, 8 & 10: KIDNEYS
Blemishes close to your ear and even dark circles around the eyes can be caused by dehydration. Stay well hydrated throughout the day by drinking a minimum of six to eight glasses of water and avoid coffee, tea and salt where possible. If you don’t enjoy drinking lots of water, try herbal tea such as lemongrass and ginger – it’s a delicious way to stay hydrated.

ZONE 7: HEART
This skin area is full of dilated pores, so ensure your make-up brushes and anything that you bring close to your face are kept clean. High blood pressure can also be a factor causing blemishes in this area. To clear pimples from the inside-out, replace bad fats with more fruits, vegetables, nuts and Omega-rich fish such as salmon. If you have any further heart-related concerns, be sure to consult your doctor.

ZONES 5 & 9: RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
If you live in a bustling city where air quality isn’t good and pollution is high, or you are a smoker, you may find that you are prone to acne along the tops of your cheeks. To help improve your skin, lung health and overall well being, firstly – quit smoking! Or if it’s your city, increase your exposure to fresh air with long and regular walks in a park or by the ocean… it can do wonders for your complexion and is guaranteed to make you feel great!

ZONE 11 & 13: HORMONES 

For many women, this zone is a key indicator of stress and hormonal imbalances, particularly around a certain time of the month. While there is little that can prevent these changes and resulting skin concerns, eating clean with plenty of exercise will only help and can assist to reduce the severity or duration of blemishes.

ZONE 12: STOMACH

If your diet has been loaded with rich and heavy foods (hello pasta carbonara, I’m talking to you!), then consider a detox or adding more fiber to your diet. Increasing your daily exercise routine (even just a simple 20 minute walk each day!) will help with digestion and as a result, improve your skin.

ZONE 14: ILLNESS 

Blemishes in this area can indicate that your body is trying to fight bacteria, possible a cold or flu. If you begin feeling unwell, try to rest and take it easy. Be sure to drink plenty of water, it will help flush away any germs.

International Happiness Day: A Real Girl’s Guide To Being Happy

Happy. For such a small word, there’s so much to it. No matter where you are in the world, whatever your background, race, religion, age, lifestyle or occupation – we all just want to be happy. But it’s not necessarily that simple… we live in such a busy world, frequently complicated by various pressures, stresses and concerns.

Today, Thursday March 20, marks International Happiness Day and I thought it was a great opportunity to talk about happiness, what it means to me and share with you what I do when I need a little boost of happy!

So, what is this happiness thing we all want and how do you get it?

Advertisers frequently tell us we’ll be happy if we buy their products… Celebrities sometimes make us believe it comes from beauty and fame… High-flying business exec’s can trick us into thinking millions in the bank equals a lifetime of happiness. But, I think we’ve all seen enough Hollywood meltdowns or episodes of the Real Housewives to know, true happiness doesn’t come from beauty and fame. How many wealthy business people would look back on their life and say they wish they’d spent more time in the office? And as for those product advertisers, well, I’ve got too many tech gadgets sitting in drawers to know that buying the latest i-whatever isn’t going to make me sky-high happy.

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As much as I love all the pretty things and little luxuries, I know the happiness that comes from swiping my credit card is only temporary… just ask Becky Bloomwood, she’d agree. I’ve come to understand that if I’m going to be truly happy and live a life filled with happiness (not just a day), it’s going to come from nowhere else but me. Yes, you say… but how?

Your Instagram Challenge: Inspiring Happiness
1. Over the next week, let’s be mindful to celebrate the little things that bring us happiness! Take a photo of one thing that makes you feel happy (it could be your morning coffee, your dog, the sunshine, a book, your family and friends… anything!) and share it on Instagram or Twitter.
2. Tag @stylelixir and use the hashtag #MyHappinessElixir. Then, I’ll compile the photos and feature you here on Style Elixir… it will be the ultimate inspiration for happiness!

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From lists to lipstick, this is a real girl’s guide to being happy…

Let me start by mentioning, it’s unrealistic to always feel deliriously happy, but over time I’ve found small ways to change my thinking and my mood. I know if I do some of these things it will calm my mind, make me realize I truly have so much to be happy about and whatever is concerning me, often really isn’t worth it.

1.  Gratitude
Taking a few moments to write a list (or think about) what you have to be grateful for will make you realize you have so much to be happy about! For me, I am incredibly lucky to have good health, an amazing family and loyal boyfriend who show me endless love and support. Ultimately, that’s all I need in life. I also make sure to appreciate the little things, seeing a beautiful full moon or feeling the warm sun on my skin, I often think ‘oh, how nice is this’… and that makes me happy. For all the singles out there, I know when you don’t have a significant other you might think ‘I’d be happy if I met someone’… well, to be honest when you’re having fun on your own and living it up, that’s when you’ll meet someone great! Happy attracts happy, so focus on yourself and do the things you truly enjoy (after all, once you meet someone it’ll be about compromising to include things they enjoy – and as you’re watching a fifth game of football, you’ll long for the days when you could take over the lounge room to paint your nails and watch Sex and the City).

2.  Feel Pretty
After a long few weeks when I’ve been very focused on work, I know the one thing that will make me feel happy is a fresh coat of paint on my nails. It’s so simple and inexpensive, but there’s just something about spending time for myself, putting on my favorite music or movie and just painting away… You’re in the moment (we all know it takes total concentration to keep the paint on your nails!) and at the end, I feel pretty and happy. The same goes for wearing a little lipstick – the brighter the lips, the brighter the smile! (My favorite is YSL #13 Le Orange, trust me – it’s gorgeous girls!).

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(print available here)

3.  Move It
When I think of this next tip, I take inspiration from everyone’s favorite blonde, Elle Woods, “I just don’t think that Brooke could’ve done this. Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.”

As hard as I sometimes find it to drag myself up and out of bed (cold mornings make it next to impossible!), I know if I go for a brisk walk my whole day will be better! There’s something magic about being out in the world early in the morning – it’s quiet, everything seems fresh and new. Put on your iPod and just walk… even if it’s only for 15 minutes, you’ll feel invigorated, happy and balanced.


 

4.  Surround Yourself With Positive People
This is so important, life is too short to spend with people who bring you down! Surround yourself with family, friends, mentors (and pets!) who appreciate and believe in you. It’s all about quality, not quantity – so make time to nurture and appreciate the relationships that bring positivity and happiness to your life. Simple as that.

5.  When You Give of Yourself, You Don’t Lose Anything
My parents have always said, “when you give of yourself, you don’t lose anything” and I’ve really come to believe that. By helping others, it actually makes you feel so good. I recently signed up as a volunteer to read and spend time with older people at a home / hospital, it’s amazing how focusing on making someone else happy, actually makes you feel true happiness yourself.

All of these tips don’t cost a thing (we all have nail polish laying around at home!) and I guarantee, they’ll make you feel happy! I’d love to know… what is one thing that brings you happiness?

Your Challenge: Inspiring Happiness
1. Over the next week, let’s be mindful to celebrate the little things that bring us happiness! Take a photo of one thing that makes you feel happy (it could be your morning coffee, your dog, the sunshine, a book, your family and friends… anything!) and share it on Instagram or Twitter.
2. Tag @stylelixir and use the hashtag #MyHappinessElixir. Then, I’ll compile the photos and feature you here on Style Elixir… it will be the ultimate inspiration for happiness!

 

Healthy Habits: 5 Anti-inflammatory Foods

Not long ago, I became interested in learning more about anti-inflammatory foods after my sister, Georgia, was diagnosed with celiac disease. Of course, eating a diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables is a wonderful thing to consume, learning about how various foods relate to chronic and autoimmune disorders can also be quite fascinating. So, what is inflammation and why would you need to eat these foods?

While the word itself sounds daunting, inflammation is actually a natural response by your body to a stressful situation. Inflammation is seen as being the first response as your immune system protects your body from infections, irritation and allergies. Even good sources of stress, such as exercise, can increase inflammation in your body.

Green Tea

Incorporating foods that are colorful, fresh, organic and in season are therefore seen as being the best medicine. I love green tea and try to eat foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon for dinner and chia seeds on my acai bowl at breakfast. These have been found to reduce inflammation and may help lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Colorful vegetables including spinach, kale and sweet potato, help detoxify the body and are especially good for people with inflammatory conditions like celiac disease and diabetes.

I’ve done some research and found five of the best anti-inflammatory foods that can be easily added to your shopping list:

1. Green Tea

Green tea is an ancient secret for fighting inflammation and warding off disease. It is rich in antioxidant molecules (known as catechins), which have been linked to a reduction in free-radical activity. Green tea is also a significant source of polyphenols, potent molecules with anti-aging properties, as well as a top neutralizing agent for disease-causing molecules.

 

2. Salmon

Everyone knows that salmon is a top-rated superfood. Salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are prime fighters of inflammation, including and especially those related to colorectal cancers.

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Feel Great: 5 Natural Energy Boosters

I love looking into natural remedies to help rev up the body, especially of a morning when you need a bit of extra zing! I find natural remedies can be a great way to start the day off on the right note. By doing something healthy for my body at the beginning of the day, it helps to set the scene for productivity and good actions.

Today, I’d like to share five natural energy boosters that will help make you feel fantastic! Do you have any tips or routines that make you feel fabulous? How do you start the day?

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Enjoy a Walk

Research suggests that by simply going outside for a ten-minute walk, it is a natural mood elevator. The fresh air, wind, sunshine and ability to zone out by listening to your favorite music, is an instant energy lift and perfect way to feel centered for the day.

 

Twist and Stretch

Engaging and “massaging” any of your internal organs or systems will leave you invigorated. Try this simple “Tom Tom” stretch to engage your lower organs and reduce stagnation:

Stand up straight, knees soft and legs hip-width apart. Let your arms dangle softly by your side, hands in soft fists. Slowly twist your torso, looking right and then left. Allow your arms and hands to rotate freely and softly hit your lower back and lower stomach. Gain momentum and twist farther as your body loosens up to the degree it feels comfortable.

 

Apple Cider Vinegar with Lemon

Drink two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with the juice of half a lemon, mixed in a big glass of pure water. This early morning tonic will not only give you an instant jolt of energy, it is fantastic for neutralizing the acid levels in the body, detoxing the liver and delivering powerful enzymes to the digestive system.

 

Take a Cold Shower

Well, not exactly. At the end of your shower, change the temperature of the water to slightly cooler. You only need a slight decrease in temperature to get the benefit. The cooler water (after the warmth of the shower) will essentially close your pores and “massage” your nervous system.

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Increase Your Morning Fiber

When we eat a fiber-rich breakfast we stay satisfied and energized for longer, breaking the need for that mid-morning sugary snack or cup of coffee. Try oatmeal, granola or fresh fruits – especially berries, apples, or pears in the morning. Consider eating a larger meal in the morning, it will help to sustain you throughout the day. I often eat avocado on sprouted grain toast, oatmeal or an acai bowl for breakfast (if you follow me on instagram, I’m sure you would have seen this!).

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Juicing vs. Blending – My Top Tips and Recipe

A couple of months back, you might remember I mentioned how much I love my new juicer. Since then, I’ve been thinking about juicing vs. blending and which is better? Does one offer more health benefits than the other?

Following hot on the heels of the gluten-free phenomena, juicing seems like the latest in a series of crazes taking over trend setting cities like New York. I think both juicing and blending are very beneficial, but in different ways. Juicing extracts the juice of the fruit or vegetable, while blending uses the whole fruit or vegetable, along with some liquid, to form a puree. Personally, I prefer juicing to blending based on the fact I always feel so clean, fresh and energized afterward.

If followed in moderation, juicing or blending can be a part of a healthy diet. Today, I wanted to share some tips and one of my favorite recipes. Tell me… have you tried juicing or blending? Which do you prefer?

Juice (Green 2)

Juicing and Blending Tips:

1.  It’s best not to combine fruits and vegetables (unless it’s apple), as this messes with your digestive enzymes. It doesn’t seem to matter too much in green juices and smoothies, but vegetables like carrots, beetroots, broccoli and zucchini don’t combine well with fruit (due to their high starch content). Green leafy veggies combine well with pretty much everything.

2.  Try to drink your juice or smoothie straight away, as after 15 minutes, light and air will destroy much of the nutrients. If you can’t drink it straight away, transfer the juice to a dark airtight container until you’re ready.

3.  Clean your equipment after each use. Otherwise, pulp will get caught in the machine and oxidize making your next juice unpleasant.

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Healthy How-To: Activating Nuts

Lately, I’ve been reflecting on everything we talk about and I would like to sharing more relating to health, fitness and beauty. I always intended Style Elixir to be a lifestyle blog, so in addition to fashion, I hope you enjoy these other topics too.

I wanted to start things off by sharing one of my recent addictions with you… the good thing is though, it’s healthy!  I’m not sure what it is or why, but over recent months I have become a lot more conscious of the things I eat. I think I’ve finally realized the old adage is true… “you are what you eat”.  If you put good things in, your body will thank you for it.

When we’re always so busy and on the go, it can be hard to eat healthy – and there are so many temptations! I’m a big snack person, so to help me keep on a healthy eating path (while still indulging my love of snacks!), I’ve started packing a little container of nuts and raisins in my handbag. They are perfect – quick, easy, not messy and give me a sweet little kick along when I feel like it. Are you a snack lover too? What are some things you pack in your bag or keep at the office?

Over the last few weeks, I’ve taken the whole nut thing to another level… I read about ‘activated nuts’ and wanted to give it a try! If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me in the midst of activating almonds over the weekend…

Activated Almonds

The crisp, crunchy texture of nuts make them a fabulous snack. They also add a delicious flavor to any meal, are relatively inexpensive and easy to cook with at home, or to bring when you’re on the go. Nuts are a nutritious snack – they have so many important nutrients, such as calcium (found in brazil nuts and almonds), vitamin E, magnesium and fiber. They are also an excellent source of protein and healthy fats (such as monounsaturated and poly-unsaturated fatty acids), which are important for your mental and physical wellbeing.

The process of ‘activating’ nuts is like a natural sprouting process. An ‘activated nut’ is basically a nut that has been soaked in water for 7-12 hours, then left to dehydrate. This process is specifically used to release enzyme inhibitors, which interfere with the absorption of minerals in your body.

A lot of people are quite sensitive to raw (un-activated) nuts and seeds, which as a result can lead to stomach cramps, bloating and constipation. When you soak the nut, you can essentially trick the nut into starting to sprout. This is a really good thing, because the sprouted nuts have nutrients that are far more easily digested. Perfect for the body!

If you buy raw nuts, it’s simple to activate them at home (see recipe below). The soaking and dehydration time can take up to a day, however the actual preparation time is less than a few minutes. This recipe works well for all nuts (except cashews… they only need to be soaked for 3-6 hours and can go slimy if soaked for longer!).

Once activated, the nuts can be eaten just like regular, raw nuts – add them to your breakfast muesli, salad mix or keep them in your office drawer as a tasty snack. If you are gluten intolerant, another clever trick is to make your own activated nut flour (instead of using standard all purpose flour). This is easy to do with a basic food processor… you only need to grind the nuts into a smooth, flour-like consistency and then store them in a zip lock bag in the fridge or freezer (where it can be kept for several months).

Keen to try some activated nuts? It’s super easy, I promise! This table I found from Lorna Jane shows you the different nut soaking times, drying times, as well as how much salt to use for every cup of nuts.

 photo ActivatingNutsCookingTime_zps0ec010f7.jpg

 HOW TO ACTIVATE NUTS:

1.  Dissolve salt in enough water to cover the amount of nuts/seeds you are activating
2.  In a large bowl place your nut or seed of choice
3.  Cover with the salt-water mix
4.  Soak for the required number of hours
5.  Strain and rinse the nuts
6.  Spread over a baking tray
7.  Dry in the oven for around 12-24 hours.  Set the oven at the lowest temperature possible. Turn them occasionally.

 

Have you ever tried to do activated nuts? Do you think it’s something you would try?
If you do, I’d love to know how it goes and your thoughts!

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