Hello Hello again,
I hope everyone’s holding up ok as we’re still deep into lockdown and although we have a date for the end of this, there is still uncertainty of whether they will extend lockdown again and when things will actually go back to normal.
I wanted to share a bit about what i’ve been doing this lockdown and how i’ve been feeling as I think it’s good to share these things, especially to show that it’s completely ok to have up and downs, good and bad days or weeks. I certainly have not had my sh**t together all the time.
At the start of social distancing and then lockdown, I was actually feeling pretty great. I set myself 45 mins each day to workout, and roughly 1 hour of walking in the park a day. Yes, this routine was great, I felt great, felt like I was finally getting stronger, especially with my knee injury (which happened in October.. it’s a long one..). I actually felt like I had time to work on strengthening my muscles around my knees properly, as well as getting over the fear of hurting my knees again. I then got carried away and looking back I was certainly doing too much on a daily basis. Too much time and too long of walks and of course I slightly re-inflammed both knees.
After that, I quite quickly spiralled. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I had to take a break from working out and I couldn’t go for walks combining with the fact that WE ALL can’t see anyone and I couldn’t even go to the supermarket with my knee situation… I struggled. Started refocusing on food and my body, and yes I had put on weight but that’s ok, I’ve had a knee injury so i’ve been more sedentary these past few months and I also think part of me was exercising not to feel good, although it did but because when I got back into it I felt like I had to get back into shape because I could. Let me tell you something… we don’t need to look a certain way and have a certain body to feel good about ourselves, I learnt this the hard way once and i’m not going to let it get the best of me again.
Also this guilt has led me into a ‘darker’ state of mind, how I used to think when I had an ED, I should eat little for the next couple of days and then get back into normal, just a few days to get back to myself and then continue with my routine and guess what? I’ve gotten to days where all I want to eat is chocolate with no self control and ended up putting more “weight” than I started with. It just doesn’t work. So, along with my therapist, i’ve given myself a plan, and exercises to work with so I don’t overthink the little insignificant things in life and finally starting to focus on other more important things.
It’s OK to eat a little more this period,
It’s OK to rest a little more,
It’s OK to have days were you just literally want to Netflix and Chill all day,
None of us have been through anything quite like this, and like anything it will pass, and you will go back to your usual routine, if that’s what you want but we’ve never even given ourselves time to really just take a STEP BACK. Stay in one place for a long time, no holidays, no running around the city, just you and the people you live with and your feelings. That’s why it’s hard sometimes, all these feelings that you’ve ignored could be coming back as you have more time and space right now, so just let yourself feel.
Although i’m feeling much more positive again, have more of a sense of routine and started working out a few days a week, a few days ago I still had a ‘NO’ day. I was due on, so it was probably hormonal because I didn’t even know why I was sad but I just couldn’t wake up properly, I couldn’t get myself to do my abs routine or anything I needed/wanted to get done get. I kept trying to fight it until I was talking to a friend and just realised, the sooner I stop trying to fight it, the sooner i’ll be feeling myself again.
I wrote my feelings, just wrote random stuff to be honest, ate some dark chocolate, took a nice long bubbly bath with some oils, read my book, did a face mask and just tried to not focus on anything.
In my last post I did say I would give you some other small brands that i’ve been eating a lot and loving but since my last post, like I explained, I wasn’t feeling myself too much, so it didn’t feel right to just go ahead and give you another yummy list that I loved when I wasn’t even enjoying anything.
Don’t worry I will be writing it on my next one, just really felt the need to put this out there. If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out, to anyone, to a therapist, to a friend, to family and if you don’t have the means to pay for a therapist, and family have enough going on, I’m here. I don’t mind if you want to reach out and just chat.
Lots of love and stay safe!
I hope everyone is well and staying home as much as possible.
I thought i’d start with a quick life update. I’ve moved back to my parents’ place for a while, while we’re social distancing as I have more space and floors to navigate through throughout the day as well as a garden and terrace to get in that vitamin D when we can… just like I am doing right now😁
Since we’re all going to be homebound for a little while, i’m going to be posting more regularly. I’ve decided to dictate this post to some sweet treats I LOVE, seeing as it’s Easter weekend, it seems about right 😋
I’m also doing it because a lot of these brands I love and buy frequently are small and local businesses and it’s at times like these that we need to support them the most.
Vegan nut/seed butters
I’ve always been a huge fan of peanut and almond butter but lately I rediscovered sesame seed butter (tahini). I found this brand @seadfoods and I literally cannot get enough, I go through jarssss of this stuff. They have 4 flavours; Original, Chocolate, Caramel and the only non vegan one, Honey sesame butter. I was kindly sent 2 of their flavours to try, I decided to go with the original and the chocolate as chocolate is LIFE 😀
I have to say since then I have re-bought the chocolate flavour three times and have it basically every morning on either my yogurt or porridge bowl. What I love about Sead foods, is that tahini can sometimes be quite bitter but I could literally eat theirs with a spoon straight from the jar 😋 I have also now bought the Caramel flavour to try something a bit different, so i’ll be posting what I think of that flavour on my IG stories soooon, so stay tuned ;). Either way I know I won’t be disappointed.
Then for your normal PB, I usually buy from Pip & Nut or Manilife (and are my faves), both deep roast crunchy and smooth! I love both and I usually have a crunchy and a smooth PB in my pantry as I crave different ones on different things 😋
Next up is @rawlalaco. Owned by the lovey @potofkale which unfortunately, she had to close her small cafe in Shoreditch due to COVID-19. She makes raw vegan gluten free treats herself; cinnamon rolls, energy balls and cookies to name a few and i’ve literally never tried a better vegan/GF cinnamon roll than hers in my 20+ years existence 🙊 Oh and to top that of she also makes her own nut milks and fresh green juices!
She has also now started selling her cakes online and delivers them… and yes i’ve already ordered and demolished a box of those. #sorrynotsorry
I actually am obsessed with Livia’s treats and because she has a few different products i.e. Dunx (cookie and nut butter dip), Nugglets (little choc balls) and Millionaire bites (little squares with oat base, sweet filling topped with a chocolate layer), I feel like I never get bored of them. At the moment my favourites are the choc cookie dough nugglets, and the maple peanut butter dunx (because PB is life and what better way than to dunk an oat cookie into it)!
Ombar chocolate; for some indulgent, creamy & exciting vegan flavours; especially their coconut vanilla and raspberry coconut centres🤤! I sometimes add a cube to my hot porridge and it melts wonderfully. TOOO GOOD, you NEED to try this!
ANYWAYS, I think that’s enough for now. Gives you plenty of sweet treats for you to try over the next couple of days and i’ll see you all hopefully on my next post!
I’ll be sharing a life/situation update and some more healthy small/ local businesses that I adore and shop at regularly, especially at these times to support them!
Wish everyone the best of health and for everyone that has been affected by covid-19, in one way or another, my thoughts are with you and your family. 💖
Lota of love,
So in this weeks topic I wanted to share with you a little bit more about my stomach issues, where I am at with my gut at the moment and how I deal with it.
Since following my ‘intolerance diet’ in September, my stomach has been much better, although because I also do get IBS (Irritable Bowl Syndrome), I still get a bit of bloating from time to time as there are other factors that affect my gut, such as; timing, portions, fibre (getting in just the right amount but not too much), and whether I eat cooked or raw veggies, however, I do get much much less discomfort now.
I found out I was extremely intolerant to corn, yeast brewers, egg whites (which I LOVED 😦 ), peas, A LOT of nuts, casein and a couple of types of beans, along with lactose (which I already knew). After I have finished my 6 months of this diet, as I do not believe in a living a life limiting yourself to intolerances, I will re-test myself to see what has improved, just so I can see for myself but will then slowly reintroduce pretty much everything. If you do have the resources to take an accurate food intolerance test, personally, I do recommend it as i’ve only heard positive stories from people who have done them and it has only helped me. However, it is also quite hard and can be inconvenient to follow the diet, especially to begin with, so do make sure you will stick to it for a good period of time if you do, as if not it’s a bit of a waste of time and money.
Anyways, back to some IBS talk. I see many people on social media, saying that having three, bigger meals a day and strictly no snacking is best for your gut, in order to allow it digest properly, also giving it time to rest. However, I only believe that to a certain extent. No gut microbiome is the same so, what works for one person might not work for you. In my opinion, always take what you see on social media with a pinch of salt, especially from people who aren’t certified nutritionist or doctors of some sort. I am sharing this just to share what has worked for me, and perhaps could work for you and in no way am I trying to tell you that this is what’s 100% best for your gut overall health. For me, eating smaller meals, more often throughout the day really helps me to beat my bloat as my gut finds it easier to digest. I also recommend to read Eat Yourself Healthy by Dr Megan Rossi, as there is a lot of information and science based information around IBS and gut health in general, which I found really helpful.
I also like to start my day with a warm mug of water and lemon (& ginger if I have it). I then have breakfast and take all of my supplements, especially my probiotics as the good bacteria does generally keep your gut nice and happy… and I do feel the difference if I go a period without taking them. If my stomach is feeling a little “bleh”, can’t really think of how to explain the feeling, but a bit bloated and just waking up feeling ‘full’, with discomfort or at any time of day, I drink a shot of apple cider vinegar. I mix a spoon of ACV with 1/4 glass of water and I usually take it around 30 mins before my meals. I find that this really helps to get rid of that feeling and to aid digestion afterwards. I sometimes also buy Willy’s ACV shots from Whole foods, as they have different flavours like apple & ginger and turmeric & honey, which add some other health benefits and also don’t make it taste as awful as ACV on its own (ACV, as you may know isn’t really that pleasant to drink). However, I do LOVE is at as a condiment on my salads, which is another good way to get it in.
Anyways, those are just a few tips for your gut that I guess you could say I swear by. So if you’re struggling with your gut, perhaps you can give these a go. It may work for you or it may not but the best way to find out what works for you, really is by trial and error.
Bye for now!
Lots of love,
I’m back as promised with a more personal post on my health journey.
So, as briefly mentioned in my last post, during my time in high school, roughly from 15-18, I had some “issues” with food, on and off let’s just say a bad relationship with food and body image. I went to a small private all girls school, which in my opinion, is not the best environment for a teenage girl.
For a long time I definitely had a misconception on the definition of terms related to body type and ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food. I thought I was “fat” and had to loose weight. AND believe me I was a little twig already at that age (thanks to genetics and a good metabolism). So for periods of time, I’d say a few weeks on and then off again, I would eat very little… often skipping meals such as lunch entirely, because school lunch…(yes it was bad but never an excuse to skip a meal, because I also could’ve easily made myself a sandwich before school, but of course I chose not to… because carbs ‘would make me fat’ and what not… FYI they don’t… (& could go on with why and the benefits forever but that’ll need another post…). Also having a few hiccups with making myself throw up…
Anyways, i’m sure you get the point… starving myself to try to lose weight 😟 as I wasn’t happy in my own body.
When I wasn’t in the phase of eating little, I still wasn’t eating right, always went for the low carb, low fat option and then in the afternoon I would eat junk food…or I would get to the weekend and ate way too much of it at once, as well as drinking quite a lot of alcohol on the weekend. With that being said, it’s fair to say I put my poor little gut through HELL. Throughout those years I started suffering from really bad bloating and stomach pain, with it coming and going and getting worse after I left school.
For sometime after I finished school and during my first year at uni, I went to see my GP a couple of times. I went to NHS as at the time my mum didn’t really ‘believe’ my symptoms so went to try to figure stuff out by myself. I had a numerous amount of blood tests done, to find out ‘nothing’ was really wrong, no coeliac disease, no lactose intolerance, no thyroid issues but they did acknowledge the fact that my stomach was constantly fairly bloated. They said it was most likely IBS and referred me to a nutritionist, which I continued seeing for months, going in phases of cutting certain foods out and re-adding them in. I’m not going to say they didn’t help me at all and that NHS was shit because it did relieve me of some pain but looking back now a lot of it was temporary and I didn’t really get down to the route of the problem. I also know they do tend do dismiss people saying they have IBS a lot of the time. It is also true I do still have IBS and it flares up from time to time but I didn’t only have that.
A few months later, I went again and managed to get some other tests done, including a breath test, found that I was lactose intolerant and diagnosed me with SIBO, tried strictly following the low-fod map diet for a while and got rid of SIBO.
During my third year of uni, and when I graduated, my mum started hearing from more people about stories about healing the gut from IBS, leaky gut and taking food intolerances tests etc. So I went to a few clinics in London with her to get some tests done finding that Cyrex intolerance tests were the most accurate and specific tests and consisted of proper blood test not just a finger prick… (I REALLY would NOT waste my money on those as i’ve been told many times by professionals, doctors, they are really not accurate). Anyways, we struggled to find a doctor that both my mum and I liked and trusted as the tests I was recommended to take for my symptoms estimated around 2-3,000£, and thats excluding the fees of the doctors for the reviews and consultations, so it’s fair to say that we wanted someone that would really explain everything to us and that we felt we could trust.
Finally decided that we wanted to do some tests in Italy as I didn’t quite trust the doctors here… so did some stool tests and blood tests there and the doctors were nice and went above and beyond to explain things to me.
I then got a very detailed and accurate food intolerance test in Croatia over summer and found I was intolerant to a bunch of foods I never would’ve thought that could’ve been part of my stomach issues… which finally brings me where I am now. I am currently cutting out all the foods i’m intolerant to for 8 months, and have felt dramatically better since starting, after which I will get tested again and start reintroducing them.
So, that’s my story and why I want to share my journey and what helps me with my gut so that maybe it can help someone else with theirs.
Bye for now… and see you on my next post!
(DW I will be keeping them shorter after this one 😅, promise)
I’m FINALLY back again… for good this time. HOWEVER, this time there’s going to be a little change with my blog, which is what i’m going to share with you in this first post back.
I have always been into healthy eating and living a healthy and fit lifestyle, at least for as long as I can remember. However, after having a bad relationship with food during school for a few years, I started to have some stomach, digestive issues. I have been toying with the idea of creating another Instagram seriously, probably since I graduated from uni in July 2018. I wanted to dedicated it to living a healthy and fit lifestyle and share my journey with everyone, so maybe it could help others going through something similar or just to educate people about being healthy and the important role our gut plays. I think the reason I didn’t do it because I wasn’t really sure if people would be interested and was more a waste of time than anything…. of course, I kind of regret that because who cares what people think right?! If you have an idea which you like a lot you should just go for it!
However, I had a lot going on during this period and got into graphics and was told by many people I should start an Instagram for my graphics as they were really impressed. So, was finally convinced, and that’s what I did (@doodlelikelaura), which i’m happy about as it has led me to more jobs, as well as really made my creativity progress…
and most of all I LOVE IT.
Anyways, because of that the ‘health’ idea kind of took a back seat in my brain but slowly started to make its way back. Although, due to my job being social media based, I feel like starting another Instagram account is just too much for me as of now…. which is what brings me here now.
I decided to dedicate this blog to health and fitness and my ‘gut health’ journey for now and start posting more on health and fitness and tips on living a healthy lifestyle on my ‘personal’ Instagram (@lauraacastelli).
So, i’m ditching the fashion side for now and will be posting about my personal journey soon, so keep an eye out… if you’re interested.
Anyways, that’s it for now as I don’t want to bore anyone more, but hopefully I will see you in my next post!
I’m back with another outfit post because this look is more feminine than my usual outfits but also one that I love. Also perfect for the slightly warmer Spring days to come 😊 … hopefully (at least if you live in London)
I actually shot this look a while ago, but with the weather going super windy and rainy again I was just not motivated to post it, as well as having a hectic couple of weeks.
But, it’s here now 😀 Lately i’ve been so obsessed with co-ords anything with a top and bottom part matching I just NEED.
I particularly liked this set because it’s pink and if you can tell its slightly checkered too and I love that combination. I paired it with a pastel yellow cable knit sweater as the skirt and blazer had a slight creamy/yellowy undertone to it so, fit perfectly.
This outfit is all from Mango [except shoes and bag].
Of course, I then paired it with sneakers, because in case you haven’t noticed I love sneakers and they go with pretty much anything.
I actually was planning to buy a pair of white ankle boots to go with this outfit as I’d been wanting to get myself a pair for a while but of course I just couldn’t find any that I really liked. They either looked too cheap, the heal height or the front of the shoe wasn’t quite right and I wasn’t willing to go designer for a pair of shoes that I know I will probably wear once or twice max. SO I paired them with my (ALWAYS) safe option; McQueen Sneakers. HOWEVER, if you did want something classier, a pair of nice and clean white heeled boot is what I would opt for.
This outfit is perfect for the transition and the bipolar English Spring weather, because of the warmer sweater but keeping it colourful and fun, as Spring outfits should be 😉
You can also make it cosier by adding a long nude/cream coat or trench over it. I think a nice trench works well with everything and you can find them everywhere on the high st at the moment. Zara & HM are my favourite options at the moment, so if you’re looking check them out first!
I hope you like this outfit and find it as fun as I had shooting the look 😝 See you next time!
Sorry for being quiet on here for the past month but I was extremely busy and then I went on holiday for a short 5 day trip to get some vitamin D.
So, I went to St Lucia, which is a small island in the Caribbean, with the nearest island being St Vincent and the Grenadines and then also Barbados. It was initially meant to be a sister trip but then my dad found out we were going and decided he had to tag along.
It is famous for the 3 Pitons, one of them called the Gros Piton which you can hike up to the top of, which of course we did, which you can see from the photos above. They say it takes on average 2 hours to go up and 2 back down but we made it for 1h25 up and in 1h10 on the way down.
We also went to the mud baths as we were told it worked wonders for your skin. It definitely was quite an experience… and not sure it’s one I would do again… the smell was so bad and it was quite crowded when we went. However, it DID work wonders for my skin, it felt so smooth and silky, just like a baby’s bum 😀
[The pictures above were taken at our resort]
Overall, I loved the place, it had amazing views and turquoise water which we also got to see from above in a helicopter which was stunning and would definitely recommend if you get the chance to go. Although the ride was pricey, 100% worth it!
We didn’t stay in St Lucia for long so we didn’t see everything there was to see such as the waterfalls, however we did mainly go to just relax and get some sun, so we prioritised a lot of time to just sunbathe and read, so I do think 5 days was just enough time for that.
We did although have one day of rain but it was still warm and relaxing to just sit on the terrace of our hut and read on the hammock, as I don’t get much reading done in London. I was reading ‘Becoming Michelle Obama’ which I would also recommend as it’s an easy read and the way she writes is so approachable and inspiring at the same time.
I also brought some healthy snacks with me because I love to snack all the time and brought some for the plane too. These were from Emily Crisps, which make yummy fruit and veggie crisps with no crap in them. I also took some snacks from Mighty Bee, which make solar dried banana bars, which I love as well. Although I will be posting something on these soon so I’ll leave it at that for now.
I hope you enjoyed this and see you on my next post!
For this weeks post I’m going to share with you guys an outfit I love, but in particular one item which I am obsessed with lately, which as you can tell from the title, are the velvet joggers… or anything velvet really.
I’m gonna share with you the trousers I bought recently and how I wore them for a casual day. [I am aware the pictures are quite dark but the day I had planned to shoot this it was super dark and gloomy outside… of course… so I had to just work with what I had.]
The joggers I wore here I got from the Zara sale in December and unfortunately I believe they are sold out, however velvet is everywhere at the moment, so it’s not hard to find another pair for a good price. I paired them with a ribbed turtleneck also from Zara as it’s freezing and I prefer wearing these with something fitted on the top, so that turtle neck was perfect. I wanted a casual, effortless outfit to wear that day so I paired them with the Yeezy’s I got recently (& for anyone interested they’re the Yeezy Boost 350 Static V2).
However, these joggers are super easy to dress up and are great as an evening outfit. I would wear them with a simple black pointed stiletto or a high sandal; i.e. black with a crystal strap or silver (I’ve put some examples below) and a bodysuit; plain black, lace or red lace too. I would really recommend getting a pair of these joggers though they’re super comfy and the best part they are trendy and definitely don’t look like you’re out and about in lounge-wear!
I’m also going to leave you some links and pictures of some other VELVET items I like and that you might too.
Puffer Jacket ⇒ If you like puffer jackets then this one is definitely for you!
Sneakers ⇒ I’ve had my eyes on these babies for a while – definitely my next sneaker purchase 😀
Dr Martens ⇒ HOW could I not sneak these in here?! ~ I am in love with their boots (AGAIN… have been wanting them on and off for years) and love their thicker platform collection and the velvet on these make them even cuter
I hope you liked this outfit and find some of the velvet options above usefull and inspiring for one of your next outfits 😀
I’m officially back and will be posting regularly again. Sorry for being MIA for the past couple of months but I have been crazy busy and dealing with a few issues of my own.
Anyways, while I was on my ‘blogging break’ I decided to update the blog as I did enjoy posting, so as you may have noticed or not.. I bought my domain name, so bye bye to wordpress.com and hopefully will allow me to expand on here too.
So I hope everyone has had an amazing and relaxing Christmas spent with family and friends and delicious food, of course! Also, can we just take a moment to realise that we’re almost at the end of the 2nd week of January 2019, how crazy?! I hope 2019 has started on a good note for everyone, leaving all your worries and over thinking in 2018!
Talking about leaving certain things in 2018, I certainly am trying to leave certain characteristics behind such as; over thinking, which is why I made myself a few goals for 2019 and thought I would share them on my 1st post back, so here goes;
- Go out more. This one might seem weird to some people but having had a crazy 2018 with the third and last year of uni and my sister still being ill, I was either studying or in the hospital. I was kind of stuck in a routine of being lazy and would rather stay at home every evening watching Netflix. So definitely making myself go out for a few hours whether it is for dinner, drinks or movies with friends and just relax and enjoy.
- Similar to the first goal my second one is to remember to take time for myself, without worrying, OVER THINKING (in caps because I am a queen of over thinking) and comparing myself, off social media and off any type of screen. So more reading, baths, or even trying different gym classes.
- Time management. This one is a big one for me, whenever I plan to meet friends I’m usually always late, whether i’m coming from somewhere or just sitting at home… I always manage to arrive late. So definitely want to change that.
- Keeping fit. I’ve been into fitness; exercising and eating healthy for a couple of years now but again between my final year of uni and my sister being ill, as well as getting into a serious relationship from 2017 – 2018 I struggled to find the time to exercise or the motivation and would’ve rather spent my free time to either be with family or my boyfriend. However, since being back at it regularly for a while now I want to set myself mini goals to get stronger again. Whether it is focusing on my arms or legs and trying to increase on the weights or the amount of reps for certain exercises, learning and improving on new ones and building my way up to particular exercises.
So there you go those are my 4 commitments that I want to improve, just for myself and to make me happy. Sorry for making this post different and quite a lengthy one but I hope you still found it interesting to read and maybe even made you reflect on some things you would like do for yourself this year.
Feel free to leave your goals on here too, I would love to hear all the different goals too 🙂
Anyways, enough for now, see you on my next post hopefully and all the best for 2019!