Healthy Eating | My Top 10 Tips

Monday, 14 April 2014

Healthy Eating Tips and Advice, Leading a Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy Eating Blog Post Tips.jpg
All images taken from my instagram | Follow me @kayleighjcouture

If you follow me on instagram, you've probably noticed I'm a bit of a foodie. I love nothing more than whipping up a fresh homemade meal (and photographing the evidence for Instagram of course) and trying new recipes and combinations. I've always had an interest in food from a very young age - I think I get it from my nanna as she's very much the 'foodie' as well and she's always making me lovely homemade meals. I guess her interest in food has rubbed off on me!

Anyway, I decided it would be worth sharing a few of my healthy eating tips with you guys. The things I try to do *most* of the time (yes, I do still stuff my face from time to time) and the things I've found that work for me in terms of maintaining my weight and keeping me feeling healthy! I'm by no means a nutritionist or a food expert so please don't take what I'm saying as bible - these are just a few things that work for me. I always get asked questions about the various foods I'm posting on Instagram and how I stay in shape so I thought it'd be worth sticking all of my knowledge into this one post for you to take or leave! I hope you enjoy!

1. Small changes make the biggest difference.
Okay so this might be an obvious one but when I decided I wanted to start eating healthily, the first thing I did was make very small changes that didn't really impact my life very much but made a big difference to how I feel and the amount of calories I was consuming. Firstly, I decided to cut out soft drinks. At one point I was drinking cans of Sprite almost every day which I knew needed to stop as soft drinks are full of empty calories, sugar and nastiness. I decided to go completely cold turkey on them and drink water instead. It really wasn't as difficult as I imagined and now I would never dream of buying a can of fizzy pop (well - unless I'm hungover and then its a different story!). I also stopped having sugar in my tea and this one was harder but after gradually reducing the amount I was having (I went from two sugars to one to half and then none), I found I didn't feel like I needed it anymore. If I drink tea with sugar in these days, it makes me feel sick. Seriously, give it a try - your tastebuds will soon become used to the taste of tea with no sugar and you'll wonder why you ever added those unnecessary calories to an otherwise low calorie beverage! Finally, I made the change from white bread to wholemeal. Bread gets a really bad rep as the devil when you're dieting but it really isn't that bad - especially if its wholemeal or granary. It has more nutrients and will keep you fuller for longer which prevents unnecessary snacking later on in the day. I never eat white bread anymore unless I'm eating out at restuarants and I have to say, I don't miss it one bit.

2. Say goodbye to processed food.
So this is another obvious one but again, its so important! When I think back to my uni days and the fact I'd eat frozen food or microwave meals virtually every day, I feel a bit sick. Firstly, they have absolutely no goodness in them and they're packed with preservatives and chemicals that our bodies just don't need. They're also laden with fat and calories - ew! I now try to make most of the foods I eat homemade and fresh. I think most people think that making fresh food is a hassle but it really isn't. For example - homemade stirfrys, pastas and casseroles take a matter of minutes. Chop some veg, bang it in a pan or the oven and you're good to go. Spend the 8 minutes it would take for your microwave meal to warm up chopping some fresh meat and veg instead - it will make the biggest difference to how you feel and your waistline!


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3. Eat more regularly
You're probably thinking "if I want to maintain or lose weight, why the hell would I eat more often" and I used to have the exact same thought process. I used to think that because I skipped breakfast and didn't have any snacks, I'd lose weight or at least not put any on. WRONG! The only thing that made me do was totally indulge when I did eat and eat huge portions becuase I'd deprived my body for hours between meals. Eating regularly is probably my top tip when it comes to healthy eating. As long as the snacks you're eating are healthy (more about those in a minute), they'll go a long way to keeping you in shape and your metabolism ticking over. I now make sure I eat my three meals a day (never skip breakfast!) and two or three snacks throughout the day too. This ensures my metabolism is constantly ticking over and my body doesn't go into starvation mode. If you don't eat for hours and hours between meals, your body will then store any food it does get as fat instead of burning it off. Trust me on this one - eat more healthily and regularly and you'll see a massive difference!

4. Drink more water and limit your alcohol intake!
So this is another pretty obvious one but its again so important. I don't think people realise how many carlories are actually in alcohol and if you're drinking wine or beer infront of the TV every evening on top of all the food you've eaten throughout the day, its going to impact your health and your weight. What I try and do is just drink alcohol once a week, usually on a weekend when I'm seeing friends or want to chill after a busy week at work. I also try and drink small glasses of white wine topped with diet lemonade as that means a bottle can last me a lot longer. Another alcoholic drink that's pretty low in calories is vodka lime and soda water - its a good one to go for if you're watching your weight. Anything fizzy or laden with sugar like alcho pops, beer and cider is best avoided. Not only that, alcohol isn't good for our bodies and can impact our health when consumed in large quantities so cutting down can only be a good thing! The same applies to water - drinking more of it can only be a good thing. I never used to drink much water but I now try and drink it all day with my meals and between meals too. Not only is it great for us in terms of hydration, it can also kick start the metabolism, make us feel fuller for longer and give us healthy hair, skin and nails. Its such a simple thing but staying hydrated is a must when leading a healthy lifestyle!

5. Size really does matter.
I think the biggest mistake a lot of people make when they're trying to lose a few pounds is definitely portion size. If you're eating really healthy foods but you've got them piled up sky high on your plate, you're still consuming a lot of calories. I'm by no means saying deprive yourselves but just be aware of how much you're eating. For instance, if you're eating a salad with avocado - have half an avocado instead of a whole one (they're healthy but are still high in calories) or if you're eating a healthy vegetable pasta dish, don't overdo the pasta and have more of the veg instead. Its the same with treats - just keep portion size in mind. For instance, one of two biscuits doesn't contain that many calories but if you're going through a packet a day, you're consuming too many. Its all just common sense stuff really!

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6. Cut down on sauces and spreads.
A big culprit in weight gain and something people forget to cut out when they're trying to be healthy is sauces and spreads. I'm talking about things like butter, mayonnaise, tomato ketchup, cooking oils and high calories jars of sauces. There's well over 100 calories in a tablespoon of olive oil and although olive oil is a healthy fat, you're consuming that number of calories before any actual food has been added into your day. If you're cooking three meals a day with oil or adding a few tablespoons of it to your salad or roasted vegetablets, you're adding unnecessary extra calories. I try to stick to one teaspoon of oil when I'm cooking a stirfry or roasting vegetables (which is normally more than enough) and I tend to eat avocado in my sandwhiches and wraps instead of adding loads of mayo or salad cream. Ready made salad dressings tend to have a tonne of calories in them too so keep an eye out for that and try making your own instead. The same applies to ready made sauces you can buy in the supermarket - especially the creamy ones. Try and stick to tomato based sauces if you're going to buy them ready made but even better would be to make your own. You can use some tomato passtata, garlic, chilli and herbs to make your own tasty tomato sauce or creme fraiche to make a low calorie creamy sauce! I find they usually taste even better than the ready made ones and there's no added sugar in them either! Win win!

7. Snack wisely.
As I briefly mentioned in point 3 - make sure the snacks you're eating are healthy. No more crisps, chocolate bars or even cereal bars (full of sugar!). Try eating fruit, nuts and seeds, hummus with vegetable sticks, rice cakes with avocado or greek yoghurt with a small amount of granola and berries. These kind of snacks will fuel your body and keep your metabolism ticking instead of giving you a quick sugar rush that will then leave you craving even more bad foods. On a day to day basis I tend to have two pieces of fruit, a handful of nuts and some yoghurt between meals. I obviously mix it up in terms of which fruits I eat and so on but after a while, it just becomes a way of life.

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8. Preperation is key.
This is one I need to improve myself but I'll often go through fazes of being extrememly organised and prepping my food in advance for the week ahead. It does take time and can be a bit of a faff but once its done, you don't have to think about it for the rest of the week and you won't be tempted to pop out for a chicken mayo baguette at lunch time as you have a healthy homemade lunch ready and waiting for you. Some of my favourite things to prep in advance would be soups, pastas and cous cous or chickpea salads. They're all really easy to make and you can then bang them in some tupperware boxes and pop them in the fridge or freezer ready to go. I really love using the Sistema tupperware boxes which can be found here!

9. Make use of your phone.
If you own a smart phone (wow, how strange does that sound) whether its an iphone or an android - make use of it! There's so many apps out there that can help you with your health and fitness goals and most of them are free. My favourite to track what I'm eating is definitely My Fitness Pal - its a food diary where you input everything you've consumed and see how many calories you've been eating. To be honest, I don't do it every day as I don't want to be someone obsessed with calories (not healthy!) but if I'm not sure if something is high or low in calories, I'll have a quick search on My Fitness Pal to work out whether its something I want to eat. There's also tonnes of free recipe apps on there too if you're stuggling for ideas. Download a few freebies and get your creative juices flowing.


10. Allow yourself treats - just not too many!
This is another extremely important thing to remember when you're trying to eat healthily or watch what you're eating. I think its very easy to get sucked into the whole 'you must not eat this or that' or 'you must cut out this food type' nonsense and to be honest, this kind of advice has the complete opposite effect. Nothing winds me up more than people saying 'cut out carbs' or 'you must only eat salad'. Firstly, your body needs bits of all the food types to be healthy and by not allowing yourself something, you will only crave it more. I tried cutting out carbs once and by the end of the day, I was chomping down on a baguette. However, had I stuck with the 'everything in moderation' approach, I wouldn't of craved the bread in the first place. It was only because I told myself I wasn't allowed it that I wanted it even more. Temptation is a bitch! Plus, its okay to eat something naughty every once in a while. If we didn't allow ourselves treats, we'd probably go crazy and feel miserable. So if you want a saturday night takeway or a bottle of wine with friends, go for it! As long as its not happening on a daily basis, the odd treat really won't harm. 

To finish, I thought I'd add a few things I tend to eat, incase you want to try them for yourself.

Breakfast
Boiled eggs with granary toast and a light spread of butter
Porridge with a squeeze of honey
Greek yoghurt with a sprinkle of granola/almonds and berries
Fruit salad - any kind you fancy - my favourite is melon and berries!
One piece of granary toast and fruit
A 'healthy' cooked breakfast - grilled meat (bacon, sausage) with a poached egg, grilled tomatoes and beans

Lunch
Wholemeal chicken and salad wrap with avocado
Homemade soup (my favourite is leek and potato or butternut squash) with a slice of granary/wholemeal bread or ryvita's
Cous Cous with roasted vegetables
Salad - any kind you like with lots of veg, as long as there's no high calorie dressings
Beans with granary bread or wholemeal bagel
Chickpeas with roasted vegetables and lemon and garlic dressing

Dinner
Vegetable pasta made with homemade tomato sauce (passata, garlic, chilli, lemon juice and herbs)
Turkey breasts with homemade marinade (ginger, lemon juice, garlic and chicken stock) with sweet potato mash and veg
Stir fry (chicken or prawn) with lots of veg and a small portion of rice
Grilled chicken with sweet potato wedges/cous cous and salad or veg
Chicken fajitas with homemade guacamole
Homemade shepherds/cottage pie with sweet potato topping
Casseroles with any kind of lean meat and lots of veg

Those are just a few things off the top of my head that I enjoy eating on a regular basis - of course there's lots more great recipes out there but those are some easy basics! I'd also really recommend the Hairy Bikers cook books - they have some fantastic healthy recipes and they're all very easy to make.

Anyway, I realise this is the longest post in the history of my blog but I really hope its helped and you've gained something from it! These are all things I've found have really helped me to maintain a healthy weight and most of them are just lifestyle changes - no strict diets or cutting out food groups. Fad diets really don't work - if you want to become healthier, you need to change your lifestyle as a whole. Cutting out carbs can only last so long!

If you'd like to see some recipes on my blog, please let me know. I've had people ask me to post some in the past but I wasn't sure if they'd be very fitting. However, if its something I know you'd like to see, I'd be more than happy to post some! 


Let me know your top healthy eating tips in the comments below! I'm always looking for new ones to try :)

Lots of Love,

Foxy Locks Hair Extensions | The Superior Set

Friday, 11 April 2014

Foxy Locks Hair Extensions, Foxy Locks Sandy Blonde Hair Extensions, Imogen Foxy Locks, Hair Extensions Review, Foxy Locks Superior Hair Extensions Review, Foxy Locks Before and After photos
Foxy Locks Hair Extensions, Foxy Locks Sandy Blonde Hair Extensions, Imogen Foxy Locks, Hair Extensions Review, Foxy Locks Superior Hair Extensions Review, Foxy Locks Before and After photos
Foxy Locks Hair Extensions, Foxy Locks Sandy Blonde Hair Extensions, Imogen Foxy Locks, Hair Extensions Review, Foxy Locks Superior Hair Extensions Review, Foxy Locks Before and After photos
Foxy Locks Hair Extensions, Foxy Locks Sandy Blonde Hair Extensions, Imogen Foxy Locks, Hair Extensions Review, Foxy Locks Superior Hair Extensions Review, Foxy Locks Before and After photos
Foxy Locks Hair Extensions, Foxy Locks Sandy Blonde Hair Extensions, Imogen Foxy Locks, Hair Extensions Review, Foxy Locks Superior Hair Extensions Review, Foxy Locks Before and After photos

Foxy Locks Superior Hair Extensions* | £129.99 | Link

Since starting my blog back in 2011, one of my post popular posts would definitely be this review of Foxy Locks hair extensions. Its one of the most frequent searches that leads people to my blog and I also get emails by the bucket load from girls asking for my opinion on these ever so popular extensions. Foxy Locks is the creation of blogger and youtuber Imogen (find her channel here) who creates amazing hair tutorials using these extensions. I remember stumbling across Imogen's Youtube videos years ago and watching those, along with reading nothing but rave reviews was what made me purchase my first set of Foxy Locks. I was just so impressed with how thick and full they were in her videos and her tutorials were so helpful - she shares everything there is to know about wearing, washing and styling her extensions. Back then I ordered the 'Regular' set which is the most basic set Imogen offers. However, even though its the set with the least amount of hair, they were still super thick and luxurious - all for a very reasonable price too (£58.00 I believe).

Recently Foxy Locks have launched their brand new packaging and their new Superior set of extensions which includes 215g of hair (wow!) and is their thickest and most luxurious set to date. When Imogen contacted me asking if I'd like to try them, I'm not going to lie, I jumped at the chance. I had a bit of a fan girl moment because I've been watching her YT for years and have a bit of girl crush on her (hehe!) so I was amazed she even knew about my blog. I also loved my extensions so much the last time around that I knew I'd love this new thicker set even more. I'm sure you all know how much I love having big hair by now - its a slight obsession!

When my extensions arrived in the post - I was very impressed with the new packaging. As you can see from my photos, its very sleek and the hair is tucked away nicely inside some netting. There's also a test piece of hair for you to try before you open the main section of the packet - that way you can make sure the shade is a match to your own hair and if it isn't, you can exchange them for a different shade. Buying extensions online can always be pretty daunting if you don't know which shade you need so this keeps things really convenient and easy!

Okay so I'm not going to ramble on about the quality of these extensions too much because if you read my previous in-depth review on them here, you'll know I can't speak highly enough of it. They're made from the best of the best human remy hair and are super sleek, thick and shiny. As I previously mentioned, the new Superior set has 215g of hair which is an absolutely insane amount - that's about 65g more hair than I had when I had professional micro ring extensions! Basically, if you want massive thick hair, you won't get much thicker than this.

The reason the hair is so thick but still easy to wear is down to the clever wefts. You get 8 pieces of hair in the set which is a pretty standard amount for most full head sets of hair extensions but the difference with this Superior set is that each of the pieces has three wefts sewn together to make it thicker. So essentially you're getting 24 wefts of hair which is pretty incredible. Now if I were to try and clip 24 pieces of hair onto my head, its safe to say I'd struggle. However, because the wefts have been combined to make thicker pieces - I can easily add all of the hair to my head without it feeling weighed down. I was actually very surprised by how leightweight the wefts are and that's a definite bonus of these extensions - it almost feels like you aren't wearing any. Its also great that you get so much hair as you can really mix it up in terms of the look you're going for. For example, on a day to day basis I might only wear a few of the pieces to add a bit of volume but when I'm going on a glam night out, I'll add more to achieve that really big Cherly Cole style hair.

I'd also like to point out that the quality of the clips is great too - they're very sturdy and once they're in, they don't move! There's nothing worse than wearing extensions that keep popping out every five minutes. In terms of colour and length, the shade I went for was Sandy Blonde (a lovely light blonde with a more natural shade running through it) which is a great match for my hair and the length of the extensions is 20" which again is perfect for my hair. The only down side to these extensions is that they do only come in the 20" length which isn't ideal for everyone but you can always cut them so that shouldn't be too much of an issue! I'd also say the ends are quite blunt looking so that's something to bare in mind - they may need a little trim to blend them into your own hair. As you can see from the photo above, when straight, they do need a bit of tidying up at the bottoms. However, as I mainly wear them curled, this hasn't been much of an issue for me. Just a couple of things I wanted to point out as although I adore these hair extensions, I want to be totally honest about the slight niggles I have.

Finally, the price. The new Superior set definitely isn't cheap at £129.99 but I'd definitely say they're worth it if you love big volumous hair. However, if its just a little bit of volume you're after, the 125g set for £58 or the volumizer piece for £45.99 would probably be more than enough.

Overall I bloomin love these hair extensions and definitely think they're some of the best out there in terms of thickness, quality and value for money. If you want to add volume to your hair without paying salon prices - look no further than Foxy Locks!


Have you tried Foxy Locks extensions? Would you like to try them?

Lots of Love,

Stepping into Spring with Liz Earle

Monday, 7 April 2014

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Liz Earle is a brand that's very well known and loved in the beauty industry for their skincare products - particuarly their famous Cleanse & Polish. Now I have to be honest when I say I didn't get along with their skincare products as well as I'd hoped. Its not that they didn't work effectively or were unpleasant to use, they just didn't work for my skin personally. I have uber sensitive skin and I'm guessing one of the ingredients they use just isn't for me and my skin. I know lots of people love their products though so I guess I'm in the minority!

Anyway, although I didn't get along with the skincare, I've always been intrigued by the makeup. I've heard nothing but rave reviews about the makeup they have to offer so when I was kindly sent a little selection to try a few weeks ago, I couldn't of been more excited. Other than being perfect for Spring and beautifully packaged, these beauty products are of a very high quality and I've thoroughly enjoyed using them. Keep reading to find out more ...

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Liz Earle Makeup.jpg

Okay so I think you all know by now that I'm a total lipstick junkie. I've lost count of how many I own and although I know I have far more than one person could ever use, there's something about them that just draws me in. I think its the pretty colours, various finishes and the way a slick of lipstick can make me feel 'done' and ready to face the day. Yep, its a love affair. Anyway, these two Signature Lip Colour lipsticks* from Liz Earle have been added to my well-loved stash and have quite quickly made their way to the my favourites pile. They're quite unlike any lipsticks I've tried before as they're pretty sheer and take a few coats to get a pigmented look. However, that's what I love about them. They look so natural which is perfect for the S/S months when I want my makeup to look radiant and fresh. 

They also make my lips look really plump and feel really soft due to the hydrating ingredients vitamin E, avocado oil and shea butter. The two shades I've got are also perfect for this time of year and definitely make for great every day wear. Peony is a beautiful rose pink and Melon is a gorgeous muted coral. As you can see on my swatches at the bottom of this post, they do have nice colour pay-off but they're sheer enough to layer on and wear on a day to day basis without looking over done! I really really really love these lipsticks and they've been my go-to every single day for the past few weeks!

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As well as the lipsticks, I've also been loving the Radiant Glow Bronzer and Healthy Glow Powder blush as they both add such a beautiful glow and radiance to my skin which again is perfect for this time of year when I want my skin to look sunkissed, healthy and glowing! The bronzer is a combination of four different shades and when swirled together on a big fluffy brush and applied to the areas of my face than would naturally catch the sun (cheekbones, nose and forehead), it adds a beautiful luminosity to my skin. It isn't glittery at all but it does have a slight metallic/pearlised finish meaning it isn't great for contouring  with but perfect for bronzing and highlighting. I've been using it in conjuction with my NARS Laguna bronzer and together they're the perfect pair for sunkissed, healthy and radiant looking skin!

Continuing with the radiant theme, the Healthy Glow powder blush, which I have in the shade 'Rose', is again perfect for making my skin look healthy and fresh. Its a very finely milled powder, much like the bronzer and its pigmented without being too pigmented, if that makes sense? Like the lipsticks, it has quite a sheer finish but the colour intensity can be built up as desired. The shade Rose is a beautiful rose pink shade (its like the blush version of the 'Peony' lipstick) and it adds a beautiful natural glow to my cheeks - like I've been been outside in the cold and my skin looks flushed. It has what I'd describe as a 'satin' finish as it doesn't contain any shimmer but it isn't matte either - I'd probably describe it as a healthy sheen. Its also very easy to apply and due to the sheer formula snd there's no risk of looking like coco the clown if you're a bit heavy handed. As with all of these Liz Earle products, its absolutely fool proof and I think it would suit all skin tones!

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I have to say, I'm highly impressed with Liz Earle's makeup range and I'd love to try more of the products in different shades. I think they're very high quality, well presented and they do exactly what they promise. I've been using this combo of products none stop recently and I think they're all beautiful for the S/S months. If you want to freshen up for complexion for Spring, I can't recommend these products enough! I imagine I'll be getting lots of use out of them all over the next few months!

Have you tried Liz Earle makeup? Do you like the look of these products?

Lots of Love,