Preparing your health for any travels

Hey Ya’ll – it’s been a hot minute! Between a pandemic, moving houses and just not having the motivation, it’s been hard to be as active blogging.

Now most of us are probably at home or getting ready for Christmas (we ight as well) but there are many of you still travelling smart and getting away where possible. Your health is so important while you’re travelling, it can completely ruin your trip so it’s important that you look after yourself. But a lot of people aren’t aware of the health risks that they are likely to face (outside of Covid19) on their trip and they get caught out. These are some of the most common travel health issues and how you can avoid them. 

Source – Pixabay CCO License

Sun Damage 

The most obvious issue when you’re travelling is sun damage, especially if you’re not used to the warm weather, which most people from the UK aren’t. Most people know that they need to wear sunscreen and moisturise so they can protect their skin, but what about your eyes. Sunglasses aren’t just there to help you see in the bright light, they’re there to stop you from damaging your eyes. It’s important that you get a good quality pair of sunglasses from a site like https://www.eyeglasses.com instead of a cheap pair that won’t offer you any protection. You also need to be aware of the dangers of sunstroke as well. Make sure that you drink plenty of water and take a break to get out of the sun if you feel that you are getting too hot. 

Sickness 

There are a lot of reasons why you might get sick when you are travelling. In certain countries, drinking the tap water can cause a stomach upset and you might struggle with the food if you aren’t used to it. In a new country, just be careful what you eat and drink and try to stick to plain foods for the first day or two while you get used to things. 

Motion sickness is a big problem for some people when they travel as well and if you know that you are likely to suffer on long journeys, take these steps to prevent it.

Blisters 

Whether you’re on a hiking trip or you are walking around the shopping district, you usually do a lot of walking while you are travelling. Blisters are a very common problem when people are travelling and they can put a bit of a downer on the trip because you are constantly in pain while you are trying to see the sights. That’s why you need to make sure that you have sensible, supportive footwear if you are doing a lot of walking. Don’t wear a new pair of shoes either because they need to be broken in before you start doing a lot of walking. If you struggle with blisters, check out https://www.travelfashiongirl.com for some tips on avoiding them. 

Insect Bites 

Insect bites are annoying at the very least but in some countries, insects carry a lot of dangerous diseases, so you have to be careful. Wearing long sleeves and trousers will help you to avoid being bitten, but you also need to bring plenty of bug spray, especially if you are going to a country where bugs are a big problem. Make sure that you get all of the necessary jabs as well so you don’t catch anything nasty if you do get bitten. 

Next time you are planning a trip, make sure that you plan for these common travel health issues.

XOXO

Indian Clay Mask – A Myth Or Miracle?

Hello my peeps – So its been 10 weeks since I’ve been in lockdown and social distancing and I’ve been keeping busy with a) video content b) trialling new things with my hair and my skin!

An interesting one that I had to share was the multi-purpose use I found my indian healing clay to have. Most of you would have heard of this mask on your face, it’s all the rave these days, and I for one love it. It is said that the clay absorbs oils and bacteria from the skin and this is removed when washing it off. The same theory is true for using this mask on your hair.

You have to mix it with water and apple cider vinegar. Let’s talk about apple cider vinegar for a moment, this ingredient is the real MVP. This ingredient came into my life after I found out I had a yeast intolerance, and guess what balsamic vinegar uses yeast in processing. So I found out that apple cider vinegar was the safer alternative. In turns out it’s a lot more than an alternative to my salad dressings.

Apple cider vinegar helps to balance your scalp, skin and hair PH levels and is great for combating dry scalp. Watch the video below on how I use apple cider vinegar as a cleansing shampoo!

You can also drink apple cider vinegar with hot water, it helps bloating, aids in weight loss and help lower blood sugar levels. I sometimes add apple cider vinegar into my hot lemon,ginger and honey drink so it doesn’t overpower the flavour.

When using this on your hair, mix the indian clay with apple cider vinegar, water and olive oil (or any other essential oil) as instructed on the video and apply it on damp hair. Leave it for roughly 25 to 30minutes, your hair will start to feel really hard and dry but fear not, once you’re in the shower the mask washes off easily.

The results? My curls felt slightly less moisturised but I didn’t add the oil and damp and detangle my hair before. My curls however, were more coily and clumpy which I really loved and they held longer than usual so I will definitely be adding this to my routine.

Let me know what your experience was!

XOXO

Staying Sane in Quarantine

2020 – what a year it has been. Everyone thought this was going to be the year for big wins and moves, and let’s stay positive, it could still be when the summer hits but the way this year has kicked off has been a real rocky downhill road.

This is history in the making and something we are all dealing with globally. For once, I think social media has made everyone more anxious than anything else but at the same time is has kept us together and feeling less alone while in isolation.

Most of you are probably indoors now either in lockdown, self isolation or quarantine and I hope you are staying safe. I am quite a sociable person and the gym was my second home so this is quite a lifestyle change for me and I am sure for many of you too. For some, this is just the usual way of life just now being labelled as a quarantine 🙂 Either way, it is hard staying indoors but we need to be responsible and try and slow this spread down, especially amongst the more vulnerable in our society.

Here are a few tips I have been using to try and keep my sanity which I would like to share, any other tips that you have please leave in the comments as we need to come together in these times.

  1. Make a reading list and start to invest time in the books you’ve been telling yourself you want to read or sound interesting but you were also to social to make the time
  2. If you are more on the creative side, why not order a terrarium DIY set to build your own (I have been eyeing up a few on Etsy)
  3. Visit https://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/ to start a new craft such as knitting. Or for a fun date/family night in you can make your own candles, paint or clay modelling. All experiential dates but in your home
  4. If the gym was your second home you are probably really homesick like me. I’ve been doing 20minutes of yoga every morning and a home workout by Les Mills. Youtube has a range of yoga videos to do in the morning, a good stretch and core balance exercise will help get your mind and body right. I have also been going out for jogs since the weather has been half decent, just remember to stick to the social distancing guidelines and stay 2 meters away from anyone else. Exercise and movement help mental health especially when you are couped up indoors so even if you weren’t big on fitness before try starting something new or just going for walks.
  5. Have conference calls with your family and friends to keep in touch and have that face time, even if it is virtual. Trust me I have had a few and this makes such a difference! There is also an app called Houseparty which allows you to have a video conference with friends and also play games together in the app simultaneously.
  6. Finally, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. I know this is ironic after I have just put a list of activities to do but some of you might be so busy with work still like our critical workers (and you are the true heroes here, I take my hat off to you all and THANK YOU!!) or you aren’t feeling well or have someone to look after. Just look after your wellbeing as much as you can, take the time to heal if you don’t feel well or just be more mindful.

We are all uncertain, confused and upset. Most of us are probably away from our families and not sure when we will next see them but all we can do is our part and unfortunately, for a lot of us that means trying to stay inside and away from human contact as much as possible until we know.

We are all in this together, so reach out to your neighbours or anyone that is more vulnerable or completely on their own. Think about people who can’t go out for a shop and how you could help them, the little actions will make such a difference.

Sending out my love to you all ❤ ❤

I thought hot yoga was going to kill me

2020, the year that many are hanging on to for big things to happen. Meanwhile, I am just trying to navigate through the last year in my 20s without being blind sighted (no pun) by another crazy Anaphylaxis episode.

70% of my instagrammers voted for me as the worst looking kid – sorry Will

So let me rewind to 4 months ago. I had been going to hot yoga classes once every week for a few months and this time I was trying out a new venue with Classpass and taking my friend along for her first ever yoga experience – exciting!

For anyone that has not been to a hot yoga class, imagine a dark room with sauna heat and slow movements on the matt while you concentrate on your breathing. It works up a sweat while you stretch and unwind from your day, I loved every minute of it. But 15 minutes into this class and my eyes started to itch. I gave it a little rub and it started to water and I felt the area around my eyes tighten, feeling worst every minute. At first I simply though this was my contact lenses reacting badly to the sweat and me rubbing and it would eventually calm down.

It didn’t.

I turned over to my friend and whispered – ” are my eyes ok they feel weird?”. And imagine being in a quiet room with only the sound of air flowing in your nose and exhaled out through your mouth and then a loud “OH MY GOD”. I immediately jolted out of the downward dog position and left the room and rushed into the changing room.

The next few minutes went so quickly with my eyes swelling every second. Now this is the first time anything like this has every happened to me. I’ve only ever been aware of my allergy to prawns and even when I eat prawns i just get a slight itch in my throat and swelling on my lips which dies down after 10 minutes. But this, this was something else. I took my contacts out because at this rate, my eyes were going to close shut and my friend jumped into an uber with me to UCLH which was a 5 minutes drive away. But in the uber, my throat started to feel funny and my nose was completely blocked, by this point I couldn’t even open my eyes.

We walked into A&E and before I could say much I was rushed straight into the back and put on a bed with a drip and adrenaline injected into my body. I honestly felt like everyone was staring at me every time I managed to force my eyelids up. I always wanted to be famous, but not in this way.. The doctors checked every few minutes because my throat had started swell, even my voice was going funny and the nasal passage was their main worry, not the eyes that attracted all the attention.

Thankfully the swelling in my throat began to tame itself and I was kept in there for a few hours to monitor my pulse and heart rate (adrenaline in your body can sometimes have bad side-effects). The eye’s however stayed puffy for a few days and only got back to normal after a week, plus I had a new accessory to keep with me, my epipen.

It has been 4 months since then and I have had another reaction, not as bad but a similar start with the eyes. This time I was just sat at home and it randomly started, so maybe it was not the hot yoga. But until I find out in my allergy clinic due soon, I am left quite baffled at what is causing this.

The doctor’s have said that you can suddenly be allergic to something you have eaten or done all your life, which does not help. I have had a few suspicions like:

1.essential oils (don’t have this at home though)

2. contact lenses (but I wear these every day and do not usually have issues)

3.cake ( I had cake on both occasions of my allergic reactions but I have also had cake

And I havn’t had any change in make up or creams that would impact me. So I invite all of you to have your guesses but I will confirm once the tests speak for themselves. Either way, I am sharing this story mainly to make everyone aware that this can happen to anyone, even if you never had an allergies before! Be extra cautious, if you ever feel an itch or swell, especially around your throat, call an ambulance and don’t take the risk. I severe and sudden allergic reaction can be a deadly matter if not looked at immediately!

The other reason I am sharing this story is to say that if you have a chance to opt in to private healthcare at work make sure you do, I wish I did as I am currently waiting months to get any allergy tests done and most private healthcare insurers won’t cover me now because this is a “pre-existing” condition. So I have no choice but to wait until I get an appointment and have some tests taken, until then I just have to keep my epipen close and my wits closer.

Curly Girl Inspo

I have been raving on about my hair, just because I feel like I have finally started to understand it and nail the curly hair look without having to rely on heat and hair straighteners. I have had a love/hate relationship with my hair (still have bad hair days now and again) but I am so much more in love with my natural hair and love seeing girls falling in love with theirs!

I have a new bible, https://curlygirlapproveduk.com/ that I consult before I make a decision on a product, it is surprising how many products on the shelves claim to be “for curly,natural hair” that really aren’t for it!

I am constantly watching hair videos and routines on instagram and youtube but why look for inspiration in strangers when you have people around you. I asked three of my closest friends, who are also on a journey of self hair love and care, to send me three of things they are now doing which have helped them on their very different curly hair journeys.

Andri

I’ve been using the curly girl method for about 3-4 weeks now and have only had a melt down once! Here are 3 things I’m doing right now 

  1. Experimenting. I’m more of a wavy curly girl than a ringlet or coily curly girl so a lot of what I have been reading on line I have had to take with a pinch of salt. And I’m not only experimenting with different types of products but different styling methods, different drying methods, different combing methods, different sleeping methods – the lot of it. When I’m air-drying from washed it works for me to style my hair with my head upright (usually tilted to one side whilst I apply product and scrunch), otherwise when I flip my hair it creates tangles and knots and I lose my clumps which is really annoying and doesn’t give me a good result. 
  2. Praying. Not just praying for my hair to go right but using the praying method for applying products before scrunching is a god send and is only something I’ve discovered on the curly girl journey. It helps you to ensure that you’re applying product to the whole of your hair rather than just the roots. If you put product in your hand and scrunch you’re only going to get the ends.
  3. Scrunch the crunch with argan/jojoba oil on your hands. This step is SO important, especially for a wavy who can’t really use the curl creams / milks. When I started this journey a few weeks ago I already knew that gel and mousse made my hair go super crunchy and I really wanted to avoid that so started using curl defining creams / milks for ADDED MOISTURE and I’m yet to find something that actually sits well on my hair without making it look like I’ve bathed in coconut oil. One day I read about scrunching out the crunch and it has changed my life! Once the product (gel/mousse in my case) dries and creates a crunchy ‘cast’ over your hair apply a couple of drops of natural oil such as argan or jojoba, turn your head upside down and scrunch your curls (shake your roots if you want to add volume). This gets rid of that crunchy look and feel and leaves you with beautiful, bouncy, well defined curls, as you can see from my ‘after’ photos. Being a wavy, it’s too heavy on my hair to add a curling milk in before my gel / mousse so I skip that part and have been getting some amazing results.

Shanice

So lets get straight into it, 3 things I do better…

1 – No shampoo! Co-washes only (wash with a conditioner which is cgm approved) and use hair masks regularly.

2. Realising less is more! I’m still on my journey to find my perfect combination of hair products but I restrict myself to using 2 at the same time (making sure they’re cgm approved) I used to use 3 or sometimes even 4 to style my hair and it would just weigh down my hair and make it look limp and lifeless.

3 – Scrunch out the crunch! curly hair deserves dedicated time too! I used to think that curly hair should be easy and you could whack in some hair products and your good to go. Maybe for other types of curly hair this is true but for me my hair turns out best when I take the time the scrunch my curls after applying my products, usually until I get hand/arm ache! and if I’m feeling extra dedicated I’ll add some twists in to help form the curls

Melissa

So I went on a full mission with my hairdresser to grow healthy curls after all the damage I caused it. Probably starting in 2016. Three main things I did to get healthy hair back:

1. Regular cuts & treatments. I used to go for cuts and treatments every 6 weeks to get my colour and healthiness back. Then I slowly started to space my appointments out more and more but began doing weekly treatments at home as well for the time in between using my hood. That all helped the condition of my hair and stopped it breaking.

2.Stopped dying and wearing extensions. Wearing my extensions used to break my hair too because I was wearing clip ins every single day.

3. Used less heat on my hair (in the form of drying and straightening).

Now there are quite a few patterns I pulled out from the above comments, that also ring true to me and are probably the best starting points on your curly hair journey. Reducing the heat damage on your hair, experimenting on products (everyone has different things that work for them and I don’t think any of us have found THE perfect combo) and scrunching that crunch to activate those curls!

Now to end off, here are my picture updates (thank you ladies for sharing your pictures, I know that its hard to look at your before pictures when the hair was not glowing as it is today)

Happy Monday!

The 5 Stages of Growth

Not that I have had anyone hounding me for posts, but it has been a while and the truth is, I have been busy growing. Work has been busy, there have been personal strains and my focus was on everything and nothing.

I listened to a podcast, “On Purpose” by Jay Shetty today and it talked about growth. He mentioned these five stages and it stopped me right in my tracks.

We all always want to be winning, but you cannot win without going through the struggle. There is no one moment that suddenly makes you win, growing and getting closer to your goal is through micro-moments. No matter where you are right now, you are in one of the five stages of growing and its up to you to recognise this stage and embrace it

1.Learn 2.Experiment 3.Perform 4.Struggle 5.Thrive

Without learning and experimenting how do you know if something is for you. The famous saying by Edison “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Some people are so impatient that they would rather skip the first two stages and go straight into it (eg. starting up a business you know nothing about) in hope that they will thrive, but then fail without stopping to learn.

I have been learning and experimenting so much when it comes to understanding my health and body. I learnt the power of my gut and how the foods I eat are causing me more headache than worth the taste for a few minutes. And since I took my intolerance test at the beginning of this year I have been experimenting, what can I eat, what does my body tell me. I am still struggling to fully give up certain things that are harming my body (eg. Bread, rice). I have cut it down but not completely out but I have been learning through the process of elimination the kinds of food that make me bloat, make me have flakey skin or scalp or even give me bad skin in general. The truth is, some learning and experimenting phases last a few years and you learn, experiment, perform and sometimes learn again.

My hair is another growth journey. When I was younger, I HATED my curls and frizz ( living in a humid climate did not help). I relaxed my hair constantly straightened it. It was only when I was around 18 that I decided to grow out the relaxer and let my natural hair grow but I still never got to grips with my curly hair. From products to styling. It has only been recently that I have taken the time to learn about my curls, the curly girl method and understand what products are good and bad for my hair. Watching videos to the point that my whole instagram feed is now invaded by curls.

With that, I am also in the experimenting and performing stage (separate post to follow)

What about your career? Do you sometimes feel that you aren’t performing or thriving? Well guess what – it wouldn’t be normal for you to work and THRIVE! When I first started my career in SEO I was right at the bottom, doing analyst work. Now 6 years later, I am managing my own team in house and two agencies and I have expanded into SEO and PPC as two integrated marketing channels (Google Search). Not only did I have to learn something new, I threw myself outside of my comfort zone and told myself I should try it and then decide it if was for me – now I am performing and doing well!

But the truth is, the stages of growth are a cycle of growth because you never stop growing. At a point in life you could be thriving at something but then you decide you want to try something new, swim in new waters.

So the next time you are hard on yourself, or before you tell yourself you aren’t good enough – stop and think about which stage of growth you are in, in whatever aspect in life. And remember, everyone is at the stage at some point and you need to be in it, in order to grow.

Body Confidence – The Good & Bad Days

Here is a matter that I hold close to my heart. Sometimes taking the time out to sit here and write makes me feel so much better because I try and break things down in my head and type it on the keypad. I am a very happy, drama free and positive person in general, but some days I can wake up and feel so shit.

Am I the only one?

I have realised in the past two years how much food really impacts more than just my physical well-being but my mental perception. Many of us are body-conscious and no thanks to the society we live in and the media portrayal of perfection, it is so easy to feel like you are not good enough. Sometimes I find myself two hours deep of scrolling through “insta-models” pages comparing myself to them and isolating all my physical imperfections. But then I have to remind myself that it isn’t real life! I would say that I am confident in myself and love everything that I am but when I have days of eating bad food, especially anything that makes me bloat, it has a direct correlation with my “feeling shit days”.

With my intolerance test showing that I was intolerant to many things I love, I was determined to cut these out of my diet but it gets hard when you’ve grown up on rice and bread (being Asian and German).  Soya, wheat, yeast and dairy are my main triggers. I’ve realised that cutting these out also reduce any bloated feeling or tummy pains. Then I noticed, that eating these actually have so much more of an impact on my body than I thought.

When I have yeast or dairy, I get discharge and bad skin – all of these contributing to a lower self esteem on those days.

On the other hand, when I cut everything out and stick to my workout routines, I feel energetic, toned and fresh.

The fact of the matter is, not every day will be great and we all have bad days, what helps me is having an early night that night and starting the next day with a good sweat and healthy breakfast – that will always kick start your good vibes. Take a look at how your diet affects your feelings and self-esteem and make a conscious habit to remember – you’re body is a temple and what you feed it can either nourish or poison. You do not have to be a carb-free vegan, but everything in moderation and understanding your body is the key.

3 Must Have Local Balinese Food

It feels like forever ago but the sweet taste of every spice and herb lingers on my taste buds when I think about Bali. Not only is southeast asia one of my favourite places in the world, it is where I grew up so returning to the familiar smells and bustling streets always brings back childhood memories. Prior to this trip, my only other memory of Bali was when we visited Nusa dua for a long weekend to celebrate my cousins marriage. I never truly saw the vast landscapes this island has to offer.

It was D’s first ever visit to southeast asia so I wanted him to soak every bit of it in and we all know that food is the way to every man’s heart, and he fell in love. Most people always caution you about the “Bali belly”, mainly due to the still unsophisticated irrigation systems. We made sure we were extra cautious, avoiding fresh salads and brushing our teeths with bottled water. But one thing we were not going to do is let this stop us from trying the real local delicacies. While there are many dishes that make up a local’s diet, these three in our opinions are the must haves if you want to discover the real side of Bali (outside of the many tourist traps crowded by aussies).

  • Nasi Padang
nasi padang bali
Continue reading “3 Must Have Local Balinese Food”

Perfect summer date spots in London

6 months left until we are in 2020, can you believe the madness? We are in the midst of Summer, and I hope everyone is enjoying this indecisive weather. Whether you are just dating or in a relationship, there is no better time to enjoy the outdoors in the capital.

bars in hackney

I am a fan of daytime drinks as everyone knows ( and here are some of my favourite boozy brunch spots around the city) and the alfred le roy is a perfect spot by the canals in hackney wick. The boat is sometimes stationary or you can take a ride with it. The sun, views and chilled vibes makes it a perfect date spot.

 bottomless brunch london

On the topic of day time drinking, a bottomless brunch is always a good date idea. Big easy in Canary wharf is a great choice with a live band, lively cocktail bar and meaty food with bubbles for a more party date than something romantic.

date ideas

Moving away from the alcohol and food, spend some time with mother nature. Taking walks and having picnics in the park are such underrated activities, you get to spend one on one time with your date and talk about anything your heart desires while breathing in the fresh air, you might have to leave central London for this. Richmond to see the deer is the perfect escape from the hustle.

Walking through little Venice near Paddington is a guaranteed romantic stroll paired with a stop at one of the many cafe’s by the canal.

Finally, the outdoor top golf spots around London and Essex are ideal for an outdoor activity with some competitiveness while you can still cute. Now go forth and enjoy your weekend!

Your First Couple Holidays – The Do’s, The Dont’s And What To Expect

Hola! Selamat Datang, Willkommen! Sorry for the radio silence.

For anyone following me on social media, you will know I have reluctantly returned from an almost 3 week vacation with my other half. It was his first visit to southeast Asia and the first time I’ve ever brought a guy back to meet my family in Singapore. So quite a big deal for both of us.

We have been on short weekends away but this is something else. When you’re back home everyone has their own friends they meet up with and work they go to, so travelling together for a long period is a completely different dynamic because you are with each other 24/7.

Safe to say, we survived it and came home even stronger with some amazing memories but I thought sharing a few expectations and tips from my own experiences could help anyone preparing for their first couple’s trip.

Expect Arguments: And they will be about the silliest things but bickering is normal with anyone you spend a lot of time with. The important thing is to realise that it is inevitable and try and be conscious of the other person’s feeling.

Expect lots of laughs: While I started this article of with arguments, majority of your holiday should be filled with a lot of adventures and laughs, maybe a couple mosquito bites. But I always knew that my “the one” had to be someone I could travel to and liked doing the same things I did abroad ( a lot of adventures!).

And in many instances, a long holiday with your significant other can make or break the relationship the same way moving in with someone does.

In my opinion, these are signs that your partner is not a great travel partner and that always raises warning signals for me:

  • If you want to do completely separate things on holiday and can’t agree on activities.
  • If you cannot compromise on the little things
  • If there is no communication to get to the bottom of any arguments and you would rather not talk about it
  • If your other half enjoys spending more time with other people on holiday than spending one on one time with you
  • If they get jealous when other men/women are around

So how can you make sure your trip has the strongest chance of being great? Plan the holiday together so everyone has a say on what they want to do and a rough itinerary is agreed on, at the same time try and be relaxed so that not every minute of the day is planned – that is an argument waiting to happen.

Take turns with responsibilities, don’t be the person that always is in charge of the map or blamed for getting lost.

Finally, take the pressure off yourselves. You guys will be tired at the end of a long day, the romance is in spending time together and having a laugh but also do not think that some time by yourself ( a stroll on the beach is perfect!) means you’re not meant to be together.