How to Nourish Your Hair from the Inside Out


We've all been there, dry hair that is lack lustre and we just cant seem to get moisture into it. Sometimes the problem cant be treated from the outside only. You are probably already aware of the multitude of hair products that you can get to help you create the style that you want. Hair masks that hydrate and revitalise damaged ends, curl defining products that give your hair the bounce you love, and so much more can be used to get you closer to the hair that you want. Topical products aren’t the only things you should be using to fully nourish your hair, though.


There are a variety of things you can do to promote the growth of healthier hair. If you want to achieve your healthiest, most beautiful hair yet, here are a few ways that you can nourish yours from the inside out.


Take Supplements


Taking specific vitamins and nutrients in a supplement form can be a great way to provide your body with things that it might not be able to get enough of through the food that you eat. The same goes for your hair.


Several vitamins promote healthy hair growth and can improve the quality of your locks. Vitamin A, certain B-Vitamins (specifically biotin), and Vitamin E can all contribute to better hair. While you should certainly be looking to consume these things through your diet, you can potentially boost the quality of your hair by taking a supplement containing these vitamins regularly.


One thing that generally deters people from adding such supplements to their diet is the fact that good quality products can come at a high cost. It is essential, though, to go with brands that maintain the highest standards for the production of their supplements. You can find some deals online that could potentially help reduce the cost of your hair-loving vitamins, though, by using boots discount codes and by stocking up during the sales.


Increase Your Water Intake


Water is probably the most essential ingredient to having healthier hair. Roughly 60% of your body is made up of water. Moreover, the majority of that water is found within the cells of your body. Therefore, if you do not adequately hydrate your body, your cells, including those of your hair and skin, will become dehydrated.


Any hair professional will tell you that dehydrated hair is listless and dull in appearance. If you want to have the best hair possible, you should look for ways to increase your water intake daily. Before too long, you will see shinier, healthier-looking hair. Over time, you might also feel more energized and alert. Studies have also shown a direct link between adequate hydration and maintaining a healthy weight. 


Eat More Protein


A vital component of the cells that make up your hair is protein. For this reason, if your goal is healthier, stronger hair, you should add in plenty of protein to your diet. Fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids are even more beneficial as these proteins can help reduce hair loss while at the same time nourishing the cells of your hair.

Four African Inspired Home Decor Ideas

Image Source: CopperDust London

With quite a few of us working from home at the moment, are you looking at those walls and finding more and more things you would like to improve your home?

Do you want to give you home a quick DIY fix or are you planning to give your home a complete head-to-toe makeover and add a touch of personality to your living space? Get a unique, lively and beautiful living space by putting an African inspired spin on your interior decor. When done the right way, you will have a living space that will be the envy of so many. So let’s take a look at some African-inspired home decor ideas worth trying out.

  1. Warm colours and light walls





Image Credit: Pinterest

Africa has not been left out of the current architectural advancement, with modern buildings, shooting up across the continent. However, ‘traditional’ homes with clay walls are still the continent’s building heritage. So, if you are planning on bringing some African touch to your interior, make sure your walls are given a similar finish - warm colours and light walls. You can also opt for textural wallpapers with African themes. For any beautiful architectural designs, you can consult firms like Scenario Architecture to bring your visions to life.

  1. Animal skin upholstery and dark wood furniture

                                  

One of the main characteristics of an African interior is animal skin upholstery representing the rich wildlife of the continent. How many times have you observed a beautifully-made rug from the skin of a leopard or tiger gracing the floor of African royalty? You can choose from a wide variety of animal print wallpapers and when it comes to furniture, opt for dark wood, as they perfectly complement the animal skin upholstery. You can also shop for any of the many varieties of woven furniture available. These will help complete the Africa-inspired look.

  1. African pottery, statues, and masks

                     
Image Credit: SnobStuff 

Now, let’s talk about something less difficult to get your hands on. Although original African pottery, statues, and masks may not be as easy as finding black hair products in town, with some research online, you should be able to find at least one African shop close-by. Those who love African inspired decor in their homes show how much importance is placed on masks, pottery, and wooden statues. Just a few items of this nature are enough to transform the ambience of your interior.

  1. Prints and Textiles from Africa

Image Source: CopperDust London

                      

Image Credit: SnobStuff 

There are few things more elegantly attractive and unique than the myriad of different textiles and prints from the Continent. Kente, Kuba, Mudcloth, there are so many different styles to choose from. Find ways to incorporate these onto your walls or cover your dinner table. Also another type of print are animal prints which are currently popular everywhere at the moment -- zebra and leopard, tiger. you can give your interior an African spin from a wide range of options. Fortunately, African inspired rugs and textiles are not very difficult to come by. Just walk into any African shop, and you’ll get a lot of options to choose from. You can even extend the theme to your bedroom by purchasing African print bedsheets and pillowcases. The possibilities are as wide as your imagination can reach.

Wakanda Forever!




Ikea Made in Africa Collection - Överallt Celebrates African Design














Confidence: Fake It Till You Make It




Do you find yourself feeling nervous in social situations or stuttering for works in important business meetings? A lack of confidence is common in the world we live in today. As the rise of social media took hold of our lives, more of us are faced with what looks like happy, confident and bold people, living incredible moments and achieving amazing things. We spend hours comparing ourselves to others, and it can be really harmful to our mental health.

You need to remember that social media is a web of lies. In most cases, relationships look amazing, people look flawless, and their lives look so exciting. The truth is you are only seeing a snapshot of what that person wants you to see. Many users of Instagram explain how they spend hours taking the right shot and then just as long editing it, to ensure everything looks perfect. While their images make them look like they are confident people, behind the scenes, they are agonising over various things. Relationships always look great on the internet too. No one posts photos of their partner and them in the middle of a row. Or the days where they are so tired they can’t even look at each other. So, you need to stop comparing yourself to social media and start living your best life for yourself.

One of the best ways to get confident is to fake it. Very few people feel good about themselves all the time, but they have mastered techniques of hiding their insecurities and inner worries. There are a few steps you can take to mask how you feel, which will actually make you feel a little bit better about yourself and will lead to more compliments which in turn will boost your confidence.

You can start with something as simple as your style. If you dress with an attitude, then people will notice you. If you are worried about looking people in the eye, then grab a pair of shades that will make an impression. There are more options than you can imagine when it comes to using fashion to hide your confidence issues. Sometimes something as simple as the way we wear our hair can give us the confidence boost we need to hold our head up high.

You should address any significant issues that you have. Talk to a friend or better still seek out some counselling and get to the heart of your worries. Maybe something happened in your childhood which has made you fearful of rejection. Talking this through with a professional can help you to solve the issue and pick up tips on how to act confident even when you are feeling like crawling into a ball and hiding under the nearest table. The more you fake it, the easier it will become to face the situations you are afraid of.

Confidence doesn’t come naturally to us all, so don’t be afraid to get creative and pretend that you are bolder and brighter than you really feel!

Dealing with the Side Issues of Lockdown






Are you struggling with the lockdown? You’re not alone. There are a lot of issues that you might be contending with right now that you probably didn’t expect to impact you. Let’s take a look at some important examples.

Broken Sleep

It’s possible that your sleeping pattern is broken due to the lockdown. This is likely due to the fact that you are unable to get the rest you need because your usual schedule is off track completely. It will properly start with a later than usual lie in followed by a later than usual bedtime. Before long, you’ll be staying up all night and sleeping away the day. You need to correct this by keeping active throughout the day and ensuring that you are sleepy for when it’s time to hit the hay.

Anxiety And Stress


It is possible that you are feeling a lot more stressed and anxious because you are stuck at home and that’s understandable. When you’re in a situation like this, you might find that you struggle to get the level of exercise that you need to burn off stress. You could also find that being stuck at home in itself, causes you to feel stressed in itself. If that’s the case then you should find ways to relax. There are numerous paths to take here. However, one option would be to consider CBD oil. This has been shown to be a brilliant way to calm the mind and works wonders for some people who do feel overly stressed.


Lack Of Socialisation 

One of the biggest issues with the lockdown is that it has stopped people from socializing as they typically would. You can’t see friends or family like you used to and while this is slowly changing, we still have a long way to go. Until there is a vaccine, it’s like that there will be some sort of social distancing in place. There is also the chance of a second lockdown causing further social distancing to be required. 

So what issues does a lack of socialization cause for you? Well, as it turns out, problems with socializing can cause a whole variety of issues. For instance, it’s possible that if you lack socialization for long enough, then you will experience cognitive decline. That’s why it’s important to make sure that the elderly do interact with people, particularly if they live alone. Of course, there are ways to avoid problems here. 

For instance, you can think about using tech to your advantage. These days, there are numerous tech options that are going to allow you to communicate and interact with friends and family members, regardless of where they are. Potentially, you will be able to enjoy some of the home comforts you used to include things like watching films together thanks to software such as the Netlfix Party

Beauty Woes

Like others, you might be having difficulty keeping up your beauty routine in lockdown. After all, a lot of the companies that you might have relied on for years are now closed for the foreseeable future. Is your hair growing out of control? Are you struggling to get the beauty products that you need? We feel your pain and this can be a problem. Particularly, if it’s starting to impact your levels of self-confidence. Some people don’t want to go outside unless their makeup and hair are on point. 

So, what are your options here? Well, one possibility is to consider sorting your own hair. There are videos online that can direct you on the best way to approach doing this without making it a complete mess. You can take a look at the video below for an example of this. 

Losing The  Gym

Finally, you might find that you are missing the gym during the lockdown. You don’t have to be a full fitness junkie to like the occasional workout and it can be frustrating when you realise that this option is no longer accessible. Of course, there are always ways to explore working out at home. For instance, you can think about setting up your own gym at home. This is more affordable than you might think because there are some great fitness sets online, regardless of what type of workout you want to explore. 

Of course, there are other workouts that you can complete without equipment. For instance, you might want to consider a ninety-second workout. This is used by pro athletes, it’s highly intense and will be ideal if you just want to make sure that you stay toned during the lockdown. 




Looking After Yourself During the Coronavirus Pandemic


Now, more than ever, we need to be looking after ourselves and those around us. We are in the middle of a global pandemic that has seen whole countries go into lockdown, and hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have lost their lives. We must reclaim a little bit of time where we can for ourselves and look after our mental health and wellbeing.

However, when leaving your house for anything other than the bare essentials is discouraged, and you have to maintain social distancing, how can you keep your mind and body well? In this post, we will look at a few of the things that you can do.

Nutrition
This is fundamental if you want to stay healthy, but it can also be challenging at the moment. There are some food shortages in stores, and we are having to think very carefully before going grocery shopping. However, if you have a plan in place before you go to the shops, you can avoid panic buying and wiping out supplies for the rest of your community. 

Before you head out, take inventory of what you already have in your refrigerator, freezer, and cupboards and plan meals around those. Every meal should be nutritionally balanced - the NHS Live Well plate is an excellent representation of what you should include in your meals.

Fitness
You might not be able to get to the gym right now, but that does not mean that your fitness regime has to come to a complete halt. It is still okay to walk, cycle or run outside, as long as you are maintaining a two-metre distance from other people. Many fitness instructors are offering online classes at the moment to follow at home. Just check out Joe Wickes or even Oti Mabuse dance classes on Facebook and YouTube.

Remember, fitness does not have to be intense cardio-based activities or weights, either. Some everyday activities, such as gardening or vigorous cleaning, all go towards maintaining fitness levels.

Stress and sleep
Stress and sleep often go hand in hand. Not getting enough sleep can cause additional stress, and stress can prevent you from getting enough sleep. It is possible to break this vicious cycle, however.

Yoga and meditation are excellent ways of coping with stress. Try it for a while, and you will soon see what yoga does to your body. They can be done at home in a relatively small place with very little equipment. Look online for yoga classes.

In terms of sleep, maintaining some routine is key. If you have been furloughed from work or are shielding, it can be tempting to stay up late and have lie-ins. While this is fine once in a while, it can be disruptive to sleep patterns. Try to keep to a set bedtime every night and wake up at the same time every day.

Screen time can also be detrimental to getting a good night’s sleep. If possible, avoid looking at your phone, tablet, computer, or TV for at least an hour before you go to bed and certainly not if you wake up in the night. 

Another thing to do is to avoid caffeine after about 2 pm. This includes coffee, tea, chocolate, energy drinks, and fizzy drinks such as cola.

Have a calm space
You know how children are often sent to time out to calm down and regather their thoughts? Well, why not create an adult time out area? Make it cosy and calming - perhaps a big beanbag or comfy seat with cushions and a blanket, candles or soft fairy lights, no technology other than maybe a speaker to play calming music and an air-purifying plant. When things feel like they are getting too much, retreat to the area with a drink and a book or sit and do some meditation for a while.


Maintain social interaction

While face to face social interaction is a no-go at the moment, that does not mean that you can’t talk to anyone. It just means you have to be a little bit more creative. Zoom, Houseparty, Facetime, Whatsapp - these are all great platforms for helping you to stay connected with your nearest and dearest. 



Get up and get dressed

It can be tempting when we have nowhere to go, nothing to do and no one to see to sit around in our PJs or baggy sweats and forgo the shower and hair care that day. It may not seem like it matters too much in the grand scheme of things, but maintaining your usual personal hygiene routine and getting dressed every day can do wonders for your mental health.






Having fresh second day curls


Have you have ever styled your curls so well that you didn’t want to sleep to avoid messing them up? Styling your curls after the shower will definitely take some time. But if you are using the right products, the results can be breath taking. But now that the day is over and you need to go to bed, you might feel worried about having to style your hair again in the morning.

As you sleep your amazing curls can get a little bit crazy. Sleep in a bun and your curls will go flat. Using a hair band to tie your hair can leave an unattractive dent that will look bad in the morning. If you decide to sleep without styling your hair, you might wake up with an unbelievable mane.  As a result, you might feel that you will have to style your hair all over again, just to be able to leave the house with confidence. You might even go weak and finally given in to chemical treatments that promise no hassle. 

Washing and styling your hair every single day is not a practical option. On one side, it strips your hair off its natural oils. These are the oils that naturally moisturise your scalp and hair strands. They are essential to keep your hair elastic and strong.


Sleep Right
You need to learn how to sleep right so that you can easily refresh your hair in the morning. Sleeping in a pineapple will help keep your curls intact. You can avoid having flat hair after sleeping for the night. 
Satin or silk pillow cases are so much better for your hair than cotton. Cotton causes static that makes your hair frizzy. Satin and silk will allow your hair to glide smoothly and your curls will look better in the morning. If you don’t have silk pillow cases, you can sleep in a silk or satin bonnet. It will keep your hair smooth and frizz free. 


Rise and shine
After sleeping for the night, you need to refresh your hair in the morning. Avoid brushing or combing your hair as it can change your curls to a messy frizz. Simply tilt your head upside down and scrunch some styling product in. If your curls have gone flat overnight, simply mist your hair so that it is easier to style. You can mix some of your favourite oil with the water to add some shine and smoothness to your strands. After applying more leave in conditioner and some styling gel or mousse, it is time to recoil your hair. Wrap the flat strands around your fingers and scrunch as much as you can. You can set your blowdryer on cold to dry your hair if it is a bit wet. 


Having good looking second, third and even fourth day curls is all about what you do the night before. If you don’t take care of your curls overnight, you will definitely get frustrated in the morning. It is all about using the right products and techniques in order to save precious time in the morning. You will easily have great curls that look like a lot of effort.

The Best Post Workout Foods & Supplements



If you’re a regular reader, then you may recall a recent post on the best pre-workout foods and supplements to consume before exercising. A lot of people seemed to enjoy that, and it gave you a few ideas to kickstart your workouts and attack them with more energy and alertness. Naturally, it got me thinking about another important aspect of working out: your post-workout routine. Taking care of yourself after exercise is just as - if not more - important than taking care of yourself beforehand. You should think of it as your recovery stage. This is where you give your body a chance to repair and refuel following a lot of hard work. With that in mind, you can improve post-workout recovery by consuming the right foods and supplements. As I said before, I’m not a nutrition expert by any stretch of the imagination. If you want professional advice, then speak to a nutritionist! However, I have done a lot of research and have found a few ideas that are proven to keep you fit and healthy after your workouts: 



Proteins
Anyone with a slight bit of exercise experience will know that protein has to be at the top of your supplements list. You’ll notice that many of the foods, later on, are here because they’re an excellent source of protein. Your body needs this substance to grow muscle. In essence, it’s essential to help fuel the muscle cells and encourage them to repair and grow even stronger than before. If your body was devoid of all protein, then your muscles would basically waste away. It’s a very easy supplement to get your hands on as well - there are loads of great protein powders out there for everyone. Think about your fitness goals before you choose a product, some protein powders are called ‘mass gainers’ as they help you put on more weight. If you want to lose weight, then opt for one with few calories.

BCAAs
BCCA stands for Branched Chain Amino Acids. This is a crucial supplement that helps you recover a lot faster after a workout. Amino acids exist within the body to help with something called protein synthesis. Effectively, BCAAs work to improve the way your body produces and uses protein. For this reason, it’s an excellent thing to take alongside your protein shake after a workout. In fact, when consumed in powdered form, you can mix it in with your shake and get two supplements in one. There are lots of BCAA benefits to help you feel better after working out. Do you often feel really sore the next day? This is called delayed onset muscle soreness - DOMS -and taking a BCAA supplement is shown to help prevent it. Or, at least, reduce the soreness you feel.

Glutamine
This is another amino acid that you should definitely think about adding to your supplements roster. Again, it will speed up the recovery process by improving the way your body functions.
Glutamine will make your body use carbohydrates far more efficiently, providing you with the energy needed to avoid a huge comedown. It also helps you produce more muscle mass, which can increase the size and tone of your muscles. Again, you can take this in powdered or tablet form depending on your preference.

CBD/CBG
Lastly, we have two supplements in the form of cannabinoids. There is some controversy surrounding things like CBD and CBG because of where they come from. Yes, they derive from the cannabis plant, but they are not drugs at all. In fact, many professional athletes take these supplements while performing as they are safe and not banned by any athletic organizations. CBD is the more well-known, and it can help fight inflammation, provide a better night’s sleep, and make you feel more relaxed. The benefits of CBG are believed to be similar, but potentially even stronger! As such, these supplements are great at helping your body recover following a tough exercise session. Reducing inflammation stops muscle soreness, you feel more relaxed, and you can sleep deeper and for longer - giving your body more time to recover.


Foods
The thing about supplements is that they can’t and shouldn’t exist on their own. You should use them alongside a healthy diet composed of whole foods. Essentially, the purpose of supplements is to give your body a boost of things that you might struggle to get a lot of when you eat. So, here are some foods you should definitely start adding to your post-workout meals as well:

Eggs
There have long been stories of people gulping down raw eggs after workouts. You don’t need to do this, but eggs themselves are an excellent post-workout food source. They contain lots of protein per egg, and the yolk is a wonderful source of essential vitamins, fats, and minerals. You get a good bit of iron from eggs, which a lot of women are deficient in. A good way to incorporate them into a post-workout meal is to either poach or boil them. These are the healthiest ways to cook eggs as you don't use oil!

Salmon
Salmon - and lots of other types of fish - are the perfect thing to eat after workouts. Again, you get a good source of protein from salmon. However, it also contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential for your brain health, but they also work with your body to prevent muscle soreness. It’s very easy to implement salmon into a post-workout meal or to have it as a little snack between meals.

Sweet Potato
A killer nutritional mistake is to avoid carbs after a workout. Carbohydrates are a key source of energy for your body. After a workout, you will feel a natural lull as your body is tired. So, adding carbs to your meal is a great way to refuel yourself and continue attacking the day. This is essential if you work out during the day and still have things to do. Of course, some carb sources are healthier than others. Sweet potato is a great thing to have as it’s an excellent source of many vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Another benefit of sweet potatoes is that they support your immune system. After working out, it’s common for your immune system to suffer a little dip, so this helps correct that.

Nuts & Seeds
If you don’t eat a big meal straight after working out, then nuts can be your best friend. They are chocked full of protein, good fats, fiber, and lots of other minerals and vitamins. The high protein and fiber content means that they tend to fill you up quite quickly as well. This makes them an ideal post-workout snack as you’re biding your time between meals. Plus, you can easily bring them in a little bag or tub to snack on as you leave the gym. Seeds also fall into the same category, though they can be a bit harder to eat on their own. Still, a great benefit of nuts and seeds is that they can be used as toppings for so many other things! Sprinkle them on oatmeal, yogurt, or even salads.
So, there you have it: the best post-workout foods and supplements to consume. Pair these with the pre-workout ideas mentioned in my previous post, and you’ve got yourself a great nutritional plan! Taking care of your body both before and after exercise will help you improve performance and speed up your recovery. The only thing left to consider is how you should fuel your body during workouts!

How To Care For Dyed Natural Hair


There's a lot of fear and confusion when dyeing natural hair. As the strands are already fragile and prone to dryness and breakage, the added chemicals from dye can exacerbate common issues. However, dyeing natural hair isn't out of the question, as long as you're ready to commit to your hair care routine. If you've started the dyeing process or want to change your look, here are some tips to help you care for your dyed natural hair.

Make Changes Slowly
The number one rule of dyeing your hair is to make changes slowly, especially when going lighter. You can't go into the salon one day and expect to walk out a platinum blonde, otherwise, you'll wake up without hair. Know that it could take a few months of dyeing and aftercare to achieve the colour you want. You may have to go a few months with a shade that you don't like to be able to eventually achieve the shade you love. In the meantime, consider wearing a wig until you're where you want to be. Wear a silk cap to help protect your natural hair underneath— learn more in this post about how to secure a wig at EvaWigs.

Hydrate and Moisturise Daily
Hydration and moisturisation are an essential step in caring for natural hair. Dyes and bleach strip moisture from your strands, so this step becomes critical. Make time every day to hydrate and moisturise your hair. This process will look different for everyone but should consist of adding a daily conditioning spray or cream. If you aren't already pre-conditioning your hair when you wash it, consider adding this step to the process as well.


Use a Detangler
Detangling becomes more important when your natural hair is dyed as well. To take care of your hair, forget the simple wash-and-go when you're rocking colour. Use a detangling spray and set aside time to detangle with a wide-tooth comb every time you wash your hair. Remember to be extra gentle with your hair when detangling. Start from the ends and work up to the roots, carefully working through knots to avoid breakage.

Add a Protein Treatment to the Mix

When you dye your hair, you should plan on doing a deep conditioning treatment at least once a week.  If you're going lighter, consider adding a protein mask to the mix. A keratin hair treatment can help nourish and strengthen your locks, giving them the gusto they need to withstand the dyeing process. 

As healing begins from the inside out, ensuring that your diet offers enough lean protein, collagen, and biotin can help prevent breakage as well. 


Default to Protective Styles
When you dye natural hair, you'll want to put it in protective styles 99% of the time. It's important to keep those ends tucked now more than ever. However, you'll have to be cautious of tight braids that cause tension and breakage to your sensitive locks. You'll also want to be extra cautious at night, using a braid-out or knots and silk pillowcase at all times. You might even consider adding a silk scarf if you move around a lot in your sleep.

Invest in High-Quality Products

Dyeing your hair is an investment. If you want to protect your natural hair during this process, you must be willing to invest in high-quality products. Avoid using box dye and visit your stylist instead, especially when you're going lighter. You'll also want to buy a high-quality colour protectant shampoo and conditioner  that's optimised for curly or kinky hair. 



If you want to protect your natural hair when dyeing it, the two things to remember are patience and quality. You need patience in building your colour and care routine, and quality in each product you apply. By keeping these things in mind, you'll get the style you love without causing lasting damage.


4 Steps to Self Care During LockDown



When it comes to self-care, a lot of people gloss over the term not really understanding
what it means and the significance it has in the lives of many people. It is even more important
at a time like this, where we are being encouraged to stay in our homes, maintain social
distancing from our friends and family and prevented from doing a lot of the things that we
usually do to keep our mental health stable.


However, there are some things that you can do to try and keep on top of self-care during the
Coronavirus outbreak and make it a priority without putting yourself at any risk.
Read on to find out more:

Exercise
When it comes to self-care, many people imagine lying back in a hot bubble bath with a face mask on. While that can be a form of self-care for many people, looking after your mind and body is the greatest thing, and there is no better way of doing this than exercise.

Of course, going to the gym or hitting the local swimming baths is not the best idea at the moment, so you need to think of things that you can do either at home or that allow you to maintain social distancing. Perhaps use this time to find out how to get into yoga, or maybe you discover you really like following an online Zumba workout class.

Check in with people
Just because you can’t socially mix with your family and friends in person, it doesn’t mean that you can’t socialise at all. Thanks to technology such as social media, WhatsApp and Zoom, you can have group chats with your loved ones. Why not arrange a party night? Everyone can get dressed up in their fancy outfits, pour a cocktail and have a night out but staying in!

Have a routine
One of the hardest parts of being shut away at home, particularly if you are not working at the moment, is the lack of routine. Not having normality can play havoc with our mental health, so implementing a routine and incorporating self-care within that is important. It may be as simple as getting up in the morning and having a long hot shower before slathering on body lotion and getting dressed. Sometimes, doing hair and makeup and nails can make us feel good, even if it is just to wrap back up in a blanket and watch Netflix on the couch!

Treat yourself
Buy that expensive piece of steak and bottle of wine, light the candles and use your fanciest dining plates, even if it is just you on your own! Dig out that fancy cream or perfume that you put away for a special occasion and use it. Order that pair of merino wool socks. If it makes you feel good, do it. After all, there is nothing much else to do at the moment!

Self-care is always important, but never so much as it is during a worldwide pandemic. Look after yourself and your mental health.

The Best Pre-Workout Foods & Supplements

{Source: Pexels}

I am not an expert when it comes to nutrition but I know there is no substitute for eating a
well balanced diet but sometimes our bodies need a little help and sometime we need a
little help. With the current rapidly changing environment many of use are choosing to work
out inside and may not be getting some of the nutrients we may need to stay in shape.

Some days our workouts go amazingly; we feel super energised, alert, and able to really
push for the burn. Other days, things don’t go so well, we feel lethargic, and that final thirty
seconds on the treadmill feels like an eternity! To increase your chances of having a fab
workout every time, the key is in what you put into your body before you hit the gym. You
should plan out your pre-workout meals and supplements carefully, to give yourself every
chance of boosting your performance. For a few ideas to get you started, check out some
of the best pre-workout foods and supplements.

Supplements

1 . Nitrate
Small amounts of nitrate are produced in our bodies, and you’ll find this molecule in
vegetables like beetroot, turnips, or spinach. The molecule is helpful for exercise because it’s
converted into nitric oxide, which helps to increase your blood flow. You can purchase nitric
oxide in supplement form or try drinking beetroot juice, a popular drink for runners.

2. Creatine
Creatine supplements are popular among keen athletes; it’s a substance that occurs naturally
inside our muscle cells. The substance helps the body to create the energy it needs to perform
intense exercise. Creatine can be found in meats such as pork and beef or fish like tuna and
salmon. Taking creatine supplements are often reported as helpful for those who complete
regular vigorous exercise. 

3. Beta-Alanine
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that differs slightly from other amino acids used by your body.
It’s non-essential, and it is not used to synthesize proteins. Combined with histidine, the acid
produces carnosine. From here, carnosine can help to reduce the build up of lactic acid, which
enables you to achieve an improved workout.

For more ideas, companies such as muscle rage have some great pre-workout supplements
containing beta-alanine plus a whole range of other supplements to support your exercise
regime.

Foods

1 . Chicken
If you want to achieve the best workout session, it’s essential to eat enough protein before you
begin. Protein is a crucial macronutrient that we all need to remain healthy. Protein helps to
boost the immune system, provide energy and repair damage. For a tasty pre-workout dinner,
chicken is undoubtedly the way to go. Besides protein, chicken is also full of minerals such as
phosphorus and calcium, which can help to keep your bones strong. Remember to add a
side of green vegetables for an extra nutritional boost. Increasing your intake of vegetables is
an excellent way to stay in shape and remain healthy.

2. Eggs
Another protein favourite, eggs make the best pre-workout breakfast. Add a little avocado and
smoked salmon on the side, and you’re good to go! Eggs also contain vitamins E and D, both
of which can help to boost our immune system.

3. Oatmeal
Oatmeal is another fab meal to snack on before you hit the gym. Oats are full of healthy
vitamins, fibre, and antioxidants too. Eating a large bowl of oats will help you to keep up your
stamina for longer, with a gradual release of energy. What’s more, eating oatmeal can help to
reduce the risk of heart disease and also to lower blood sugar levels.

When consuming any new supplements, be sure to check with your doctor first if you are
taking any pharmaceutical drugs.

Keep Safe & Embrace Your Inner AfroDeity
Leilu