No. 20 - What's Your Lipstick Made Out Of?

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πŸ’‹ Lovely lips. Since I switched to more simple, natural skincare, I've been applying the same logic to lips. The skin on our lips doesn't produce sebum and is more absorptive than other parts of our body: meaning what you put ON your lips matters. I found that using products made with mineral oil or petrolatum made my lips drier over time, especially the medicated ones I used to slather on. I've switched to products made with with natural oils like shea, beeswax and lanolin. A few of my favourites are:

πŸ’‹For glossy lips: @lanolips
πŸ’‹For smooth lips: @burtsbeesuk
πŸ’‹For colour: @absolution_cosmetics

Do you have any natural lip favourites?

No. 19 - Skin Loves Simple

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Strip it back.

I'm a massive fan of paring back everything to the absolute essentials... skincare included. I don't believe our skin needs loads of lotions and potions and thrives when we keep it simple. After sorting out my acne and eczema, my current skincare go-tos are:

  • cleansing with jojoba oil and a muslin cloth
  • moisturising then applying a natural sunblock during the day. I use @greenpeopleuk 
  • a facial massage oil at night
  • a gentle exfoliation with @renskincareAHA toner a few times a week

Simple. Quick. Skin loves it. What are your simple skincare secrets?

No. 18 - 5 Veg 2 Fruit

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7 a day. Yep I know it used to be 5 a day... The guideline is now 7 portions of veg + fruit each day to help us stay healthy.

And we're talking more veg than fruit. 5 veg and a couple of portions of fruit a day is a good thing. It's what I aim for and what I advise my clients. 

And variety is the spice of life here too. Mix it up as much as possible to get maximum nutrients πŸ₯¦πŸŒ½πŸ₯•πŸŒΆπŸ

No. 17 - Dried Fruit - Proceed With Caution

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A word on dried fruit: Yes it's fruit, it's natural and a few pieces of fresh fruit a day is a very good thing.

However dried fruit (as the name suggests....) has had all the water removed from it and what's left is the fruit in its most concentrated form.... and that means a pretty intense sugar hit too. Go for the fresh version, is what I tell my clients.

If you do veer into dried fruit territory now and again, have just a few (dates, figs, apricots...) and balance them out with a couple of nuts like almonds or walnuts.

No. 16 - Move Every Day

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Just Move. I sit on my butt way more than is good for it or me. Commute + desk is not a great daily combo for glorious wellness. So I have to make a conscious effort to move. Our energy, brain power and sleep is sooooo much better when we move daily.

Some of the ways I get in a daily dose of movement are:

1. stairs never the lift
2. when I'm on conference calls, I wander around inside (or outside, weather permitting) with my earphones in. Walkin' and talkin'.
3. I schedule in 2 early morning training sessions each week with @happyyouhappybody. Being accountable to someone else makes me 100x more likely to get out of bed to exercise.
4. A quick 20-30 HIIT workout with any of @thebodycoach YouTube videos. I pick one, put on some loud music and follow Joe's moves.
5. An evening yoga class. Sitting a lot tightens up our lower back, hip flexors and glutes. Having a good stretch helps massively.

How do you keep active?

No. 15 - Orange Juice and Coca-Cola

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Liquid sugar. I used to drink a glass of OJ each morning. Back when I didn't know that it contains about 10g of sugar per 100ml. Which is almost the same as in Coca-Cola. Yes OJ has vitamin C in it, but it's still a big shot of sugar into our bloodstream. And if it's followed by sweet breakfast cereal or pastries then we're over the NHS guidelines of 5 teaspoons max of sugar per day before we've even left the house. I just don't bother with fruit juices any more. Or sugary soft drinks.

No. 13 - Fat Is Your Friend

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Good fats: Olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds and oily fish like mackerel and sardines make me think of all things Mediterranean - a way of eating that's full of mono-unsaturated fats and omega-3s to help keep our hearts healthy. I also notice my skin, hair and nails get a boost when I include these fats in small amounts each day. Low fat just ain't the thing anymore. We need fats to help us absorb vitamins A, D and E.

No. 11 - Greens at Lunch and Dinner

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I've been asked a lot recently 'should I detox?'. I'm not a big detox fan 'cos our body detoxes pretty well by itself. However giving it a helping hand by eating a varied diet with lots of colour and crunch is always a good idea. Starting by increasing your greens is an easy way to get going. Add something green at lunch and again at dinner and you'll be taking steps in the right direction.

No. 9 - Eat More Veg

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All hail veg.

One thing I talk about in this month's YouTube vid and in my newsletter All Things Glorious is how I absolutely do not do the whole January detox thing. But I do love the notion of a reboot.

One way to get things feeling more glorious is to eat more veg. 5-7 veg a day is the bomb but if that feels too tricky then start by getting something green in at lunch and then at dinner. Then add another colour or two.

No. 8 - Eat Your Fruits

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I'm a fruit fan. One or two pieces a day is a very good thing. Packed full of vitamins and fibre, fresh fruit is damn fine.

However I'm not such a fan of fruit juice. Once the fibre's been removed (and for most of us, we need MORE fibre in our diet) fruit juice can lead to a blood-sugar spike. I recommend to all my clients that they eat the whole fruit.

I often get asked 'are smoothies ok?'....I say yes as they still contain fibre even though it's been whizzed up. That said, I make my smoothies with greens like cucumber, spinach, parsley, avocado and just a small amount of fruit for sweetness e.g. half a pear, apple or banana.

If you have any fave green smoothie combos, I'd love to hear πŸ’š

No. 7 - If You Can't Pronounce It, Don't Eat It

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Avoid the un-pronounceables // you know the list of ingredients printed on the food label? If it has gobbledy-gook sounding things listed on it, chances are that eating it isn't going to be doing you any favours.

Take a look at a few labels and make sure you can pronounce everything listed.

One of my bug bears is gluten-free foods in the supermarket. They're often packed with weird stuff. I used to buy gluten-free bread there until I realised it was full of less-than-glorious ingredients.

I now get my GF bread from a local bakery who use simple natural ingredients. They're called Artisan Bread Organic. Not an ad, just a shout out as I love what they do.

No. 6 - Beige Suits No One

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Beige does us absolutely no favours. Beige food tends to be devoid of much nutritional value - think biscuits, pastry, white pasta, white bread.

I used to think I was the epitome of chic wearing 'camel' aka beige until I realised it made me look washed out. Same thing happens when we eat beige. Instead go for colour, crunch, variety and vibrancy in your food 🌱πŸ₯‘πŸŽπŸ†and you'll glow from the inside out. If you're one of those lucky golden skinned people who suit camel, rock it ✌

No. 5 - Sugar Servings: 6 Is The Number

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6 is the number. 

I'm often banging on about the fact that sugar isn't the benign sweet little treat we're often led to believe. Too much sugar impacts our energy levels, skin (yes, sugar impacts our skin) as well as our waistline. 
When I give talks on this topic, one of the things I ask people to do is check food + drink labels.

On the nutritional label, there's a line that says 'carbohydrates, of which sugar'. We want that number to be less than 6g per 100g or 100ml to help avoid sugar spikes.

Next time you're in the supermarket, check a few labels. Especially on 'healthy' things like breakfast cereals, muesli bars and flavoured yogurts. Often there's a shed load more sugar in them than you might think. If there's loads more than 6g per 100g then give it a miss and swap for something with less of the added sweet stuff.

No. 4 - Coffee: Quality Over Quantity

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I know it's tempting to slam into the morning with a give-me-caffeine-NOW head on. May I propose a smidge of moderation? 

Make it about quality not quantity.

One or two coffees a day can be a good thing (if you're not super sensitive to it).
Enjoy the ritual, the smell, the taste, the trip to the coffee-shop if that's your thing. For one of my clients, it's a welcome break away from her office. 
Embrace that break.

And in-between drink plenty of water πŸ’§and non-caffeinated drinks.

No. 3 - Alcohol Creates Dullness

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Brilliant brain power // I often speak about brain power, clarity of thinking and how to get amazing energy.

I'm a big believer in the 80/20 rule and Glorious Wellness is about food that nourishes AND giving yourself flex to enjoy cake, chocolate, wine or whatever floats your boat to balance things out.

I love a glass of champagne and knowing that there will be many opportunities for 🍾 over the festive period, I decided not to drink any alcohol for a month as a way to recalibrate before silly season.

Alcohol impacts sleep, energy and takes the edge off our mental 'sharpness'. It also affects our skin. After 30 days without alcohol, my skin's the clearest and most glowing it's been for ages. You can read more about my experience here here.

What's been your experience of going alcohol-free? 

No. 2 - No Caffeine After 2:00PM

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I coach many a high-flyer who's wired on caffeine. And usually sugar too πŸ™ˆ. Some of them admit to enjoying the buzz. Others know that it's making them tired with the highs and lows.

One guideline we put in place to help scale back on the caffeine roller-coaster AND to help them sleep better is no caffeine after 2pm. So that means no coffee, tea, green tea, energy drinks or colas. Instead, we bring in more H20 and naturally caffeine-free teas like peppermint, rooibos (my fave) or ginger.

Caffeine stays in our system for hours after we've consumed it and can affect our ability to wind down. Keeping caffeine as a morning thing or maybe having your last caffeinated drink straight after lunch can help keep it in check.