I am weak, WEAK I tell you. Did I need to spend £25 on rose gold chrome Chilly’s Bottle? No. Did I do it anyway? Of course I did.

To be fair I have wanted one for AGES and after having a little browse I found that £25 was actually pretty average for a thermal water bottle. But Chilly’s water bottles aren’t just any water bottles. They’re Instagram sensations, #bottlegoals if you will, and you know me – I’m a sucker for the gram. After having mine for just over a month I thought I would share with you guys my thoughts and ask the big question – are they REALLY worth the hype? 

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The Promise. 

So if you have a little look on Chilly’s website you will see that they promise 4 main things.

  1. Your bottle will keep your ice-cold drinks ‘ice-cold’ for up to 24 hours, regardless of the outside temperature due to fancy double-walled vacuum insulation. All sounds a bit too much like physics to me. 
  2. Your bottle with keep your tea or coffee hot for up to 12 hours. Think of all the money I’m going to save not having to go to Costa every morning. 
  3. Your bottle will not leak OR produce any condensation meaning you can just throw it in your bag and you’re good to go.
  4. Your bottle is made from safe, quality materials that aren’t going to leave a nasty taste in your mouth.

A month down the line I have definitely put my bottle to the test. So let’s see how it held up…

‘Your bottle will keep your ice-cold drinks ‘ice-cold’ for up to 24 hours…’

24 hours might be a little optimistic but to be honest my drink has never lasted that long. I did leave it for about 15 hours when I was testing it and it was still ice cold but then I wanted to use my bottle so I couldn’t leave it any longer. Even so, 15 hours in the heat we were having in the UK when I did this little experiment is bloody impressive so hats off to them.

I have had flasks in my time before but in terms of keeping drinks cold, this one is without a doubt the best.

‘Your bottle with keep your tea or coffee hot for up to 12 hours…’

Now this claim I was unconvinced by so I really decided to put it to the test. I put boiling water in my Chilly’s bottle and left it over night (probably not 12 hours because, you know, who is lucky enough to get 12 hours sleep?). The next morning I went to give it a try and I can confirm that IT WAS HOT. Not AS hot as it had been but come on, who wants to drink boiling water anyway?

In fact, the bottle works so well that I would actually warn you to be careful. I made my current coffee an hour ago and I am still blowing on it and keeping the lid off. These bottles really do keep your drinks very, VERY hot. Fair play, Chilly’s, fair play. 

‘Your bottle will not leak OR produce any condensation…’

The straw that broke the camels back and led this camel to buying a Chilly’s bottle in the first place was yet another water bottle that leaked everywhere. Yes, it was £4 but I can’t actually take it anywhere with me because it leaves all my stuff dripping. I decided it was time to bite to bullet and get myself a Chilly’s bottle and, true to their word, there has never been ANY leakage or condensation.

The bottle is always a perfect temperature to hold and always perfectly dry. I throw it in my bag and know that when I get to work all of my belongings will still be nice and dry. For me, this made the £25 price tag worth it!

‘Your bottle is made from safe, quality materials…’

It’s a full house for the Chilly’s Bottles. I LOVE my bottle, not only is it really durable but it has never left a bad taste in my mouth (even right at the beginning) and it is bloody STUNNING. Anything rose gold gets a huge yes from me but they have so many different styles that there is one to suit everybody. Not to mention since having my bottle I have seriously cut down on my plastic usage. I take it into coffee shops and I never buy water bottles anymore so everyone is a winner.

I am so so pleased with my Chilly’s bottle. I know they’re a little bit of an investment but I truly love them. I worked out how much I was spending on coffee and I had saved the money I spent on the bottle in under 2 weeks, which is INSANE. If you don’t want to join the Chilly’s family (you indie so and so you) then don’t worry because there are loads of similar products out there. I can’t say whether they work as well or whether they are as gorgeous but definitely have a browse. 

For those of you wanting to get your hands on my exact bottle, the link is here.

Until next time guys! 

Jamie x 

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It’s no secret that I am a huge coffee fan. I never used to drink it but final year at University got the better of me and I went from a milky Latte to a black Americano with an extra shot in the space of about a month. Nowadays I have coffee every single day without fail, whether that be from a coffee shop or chilling on the sofa at home. Coffee has a bit of a bad rep when it comes to health and fitness (one of the reasons I avoided it for so long) but is it really all that bad? Can squatting and shot-ing ever mix? What is your coffee habit doing to your fitness goals?

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We’ll ignore the huge slices of cake, shall we? 

I have been doing my research and found both positive and negative ways in which coffee is having an impact so sit tight, get yourself a cuppa and let us begin… 

Positives

We’ll start with the positives and you will probably be pleased to hear that there are a lot.

  1. Calorie Burner: The International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, found that trained athletes who took in caffeine pre-exercise burned around 15% more calories during the three hour period post-exercise than those who took a placebo. This comes down to the fact that coffee contains caffeine (surprise, surprise), which you probably already know is a stimulant. What you might not know is that it has also been shown to enhance our metabolic rate and can help increase fat oxidation as a result of this – cappuccino anyone? 
  2. Athletic Performance: You might also be surprised to hear that sipping coffee has also been linked to improved athletic performance according to the International Society of Sports Nutrition. This is due to the fact that caffeine stimulates the central nervous system. Research has shown that that it can help with memory and concentration, which subsequently helps when it comes to your workout. This leads us on to our next benefit…
  3. Pre-workout: Pre- workout can be expensive but it turns out that everything you need might already be sitting in your cup board (or, you know, at your local Costa). As well as hoping with your performance, a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning has revealed that caffeine can also help to reduce DOMS when it was compared with a placebo. Less time needed for muscle recovery more time to make the gains!

Negatives 

Unfortunately, it’s not all good news and there are some pretty bad ways your coffee habit could be impacting your health and preventing you from achieving your fitness goals.

  1. Calorie Intake: We’ve talked about how coffee can help when it comes to burning calories but make the wrong order and you could be adding a lot more calories to your dinner break. It’s estimated that 34% of us (ahem, me) fall victim to what is called ‘upselling’. Picture the scene: you’ve ordered a small latte and the cute barrister has told you you can upgrade for only 50p extra. Seems like a good idea, right? Wrong. This could apparently result in an extra 17,000 calories over a 12 month period. Of course it depends on your coffee preference but certainly food for thought.
  2. Anxiety: Perhaps not directly linked to your workout but certainly important to consider, coffee consumption, due to the caffeine, triggers the release of the same hormones involved in the fight-or-flight response. This can lead to increased feelings of anxiety and has the potential to exacerbate any existing anxiety disorders.
  3. 40 winks: Despite apparently helping with performance, if you’re drinking coffee within three hours of heading to bed you could be increasing the time it takes to drift off by up to 40 minutes – that’s a lot of extra counting sheep. Being sleep deprived can have a huge impact on your whole day, not to mention your workout.

So there you have it. As you can see, science has been anything but conclusive and there are both positive and negatives ways coffee can impact your health and fitness. My thoughts overall? Everything in moderation. I personally find myself more motivated, awake and content after a coffee in the morning (not to mention I enjoy the taste). I usually go for a white Americano with almond/coconut milk so it is not too calorific. Every so often I will treat myself to a dirty chai but it’s all about being aware. Stay hydrated and maybe cut back on the syrups and you’ll be fine.

What’s your go to coffee order? Let me know in the comments below.

Jamie x 

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Sources:

https://www.verywellfit.com/the-neurological-benefits-of-muscle-building-creatine-3121392

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24901809

https://www.verywellfit.com/drink-coffee-to-boost-your-workouts-and-more-3121398

http://www.womenshealthmag.co.uk/nutrition/happy-hour/7744/coffee-effects/

http://www.womenshealthmag.co.uk/beauty-style/skin/2759/is-your-morning-coffee-wrecking-your-skin-with-acne-and-dehydration/

https://www.nutracheck.co.uk/calories/calories_in_drinks/calories_in_coffee

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/expert-answers/calories/faq-20058100

https://www.muscleandfitness.com/features/edge/think-coffees-bad-you-think-again

https://www.health.com/nutrition/5-reasons-to-drink-coffee-before-your-workout

Hey guys! It’s my favourite time of the month again. If you are new to the blog (hi!) then this is a monthly feature where I share with you all the things I have been loving (clues in the title I guess). This month has been chaos! I have moved away from home and started my first job. I’ve made a loads of new friends and generally had a wicked time. Don’t you worry though, I have still found time to experiment with new bits and bobs and so have a lot to share with you guys today. So sit tight and let’s get started… 

Fashion 

As mentioned I started work this month, which can only mean one thing – a massive Zara order (I mean, I had to get a new wardrobe for work, right?). I tried to look beyond the heat wave with this shop and so got myself some autumnal clothing to take me into the next season. I love everything I got but my favourite has got to be these Leopard Print Trousers from their latest animal print collection.

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Image from Zara

I have never been a huge animal print fan but I saw these and I totally fell in love. They are so comfy and easy to wear, plus they look like I’ve made a load of effort when in reality I feel like I’m lounging about on the sofa. I usually team these up with some black or white mules (I love these onesand a cute little crop top (they go with so many colours – black, brown, red and purple look amazing with them). 

Make Up 

This month’s favourites have come as a huge surprise to me for 2 reasons. Firstly, I had no clue I was getting them until they turned up in the post from the lovely folks at Influenster. And secondly, last time I received lipsticks from this brand I was really not a fan. However, the Rimmel London Stay Satin Liquid Lipsticks have really impressed me – so much so they have secured a spot on this months favourites.

Now I’m going to be honest with you, they take some getting used to. They’re not the easiest to apply and the formula of the brighter colours never, ever fully dry so they smudge super easily (not selling them so far, I know). This said, the colours are absolutely unreal (I have never had a lipstick with such intense and beautiful colour pigment) and they do last for ages even with the risk of smudging. The brighter lipsticks haven’t been my go-to’s (however, I am loving experimenting with them and trying new looks) BUT the shade Shoulder Pads well and truly has my heart. It is the most stunning pinky nude that lasts all day and suits my pale complexion like a dream! I am truly obsessed, I think I have worn it every make up day this month.

As for the other colours, normally I would never be seen in a purple or a grey but these are just so stunning and have a perfect satin finish. Yes they have some negatives and yes you really do have to play around with them, but you can create so so many different looks and these have really made August the month that I have moved out of my comfort zone when it comes to make up.

lipstick

Skin Care 

I don’t know if this counts as skin care but just roll with it. This months winner is the MakeUp Eraser by MakeUp Eraser (imaginative…). I got this product in last months The Pip Box and, despite initial scepticism, I am totally obsessed! This rather underwhelming little bit of cloth is actually really impressive. It removes make up with water alone and therefore uses no chemicals or nasty stuff. It’s vegan, reusable and really does remove even the thickest mascara (believe me, I put it to the test).  It’s made from a specially knitted polyester/silk fibre which, when wet creates a hydro-mechanical process (fancy, right?) that breaks the surface tension of the oils that bond make up to the skin. Not bad for a little bit of cloth.

I love it. it’s good for the environment, it’s good for my skin, it’s good for how super lazy I am when it comes to removing make up AND it lasts between 3-5 years. Everyone’s a winner.

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Image from selfridges.com

A runner up this month has got to be Bepanthen. Nope, I haven’t got nappy rash. I do, however, have a baby tattoo and this stuff has been an absolute dream when it comes to keep it moisturised and healing properly. I would seriously recommend picking yourself some of this up if you’ve got a new tattoo.

Exercise 

This has been a tough one this month as I am back doing my usual 4 day split training programme with a 5th day of abs and cardio. I am loving it and it is certainly nice to be back into a routine, but there has been nothing particularly new/exciting to report. I am currently looking at joining some adventure holidays though. Ever since Crete I have been desperate to get back out on the water and go kayaking again. I absolutely loved it but sadly in Birmingham the opportunities are limited. I am therefore on the hunt for an adventure holiday where I can do this again. I’m thinking something where I can go kayaking, rock climbing and maybe try my hand at surfing so if you have any suggestions let me know!

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Get me back on those waves. 

One thing I have loved about switching up my exercise over the past few months has been how I no longer just love weights, I love being active. I have really opened my eyes to new sports and becoming willing to experiment with sports I never thought I would enjoy.

Entertainment (Books) 

This month it’s not a TV show that has been entertaining me. In fact, I have been struggling to find anything on Netflix that has been floating my boat. Instead I have been reading a hell of a lot. I love a good crime/mystery book and so I have been loving Peter Robinson’s DCI Banks novels. Nothing new here but they are really fantastic books that I would seriously recommend – my favourite is Cold Is The Grave.

If you’re fancying something a little less morbid, Everything I Know About Love is a fantastic read (you might remember it featured on my summer reading list a few weeks back) and I urge you to read it.

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So there you have it, some of my August favourites. As always, I want to know your thoughts! Up for trying out the Rimmel Stay Satin Lips or not up for braving grey lippy? Any August TV show band wagons I need to join? Let me know your thoughts and what you guys have been loving this month.

Jamie x 

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Since starting work I have found that I am a lot less active. Yes, I am still going to the gym and getting my 4-5 weekly work outs in (it does help that I work at Gymshark HQ, of course), but being active is not just about smashing a weights session or hitting up the cross trainer. When I was at home I was walking everywhere, I’d play in the garden with the puppies and I would consciously ensure I was getting in at least 10,000 steps a day. Working 9-5 in a office, however, makes this a lot more challenging. Whilst there are plenty of opportunities in the HQ to get up and about, the reality is I still spend a lot of time at my desk and working on the computer. I have recently being getting into some new habits to ensure that I am remaining healthy and taking care of my mind and body whilst at work and so I thought I would share we you guys some top tips I’ve picked up to beat the 9-5. 

Top Tips for (2)

 

Sort Out Your Set Up. 

No surprises here, but being sat on your computer all day everyday is not the best for your posture. Where your computer is in relation to your eyes is super important and can impact on your neck and back. If you’re looking too far down at your monitor it can cause strain on your back and neck resulting in problems in the long run. However, too far up and you’re likely to get dry eyes. When it comes to your set up, it’s kind of like the Goldilocks principle – not too high, not too low. A maximum 10 degree angle? Just right.

Also, remember you can be at your desk without being sat down all day! Apparently just 30 minutes less of sitting each day can have a hugely positive impact on your posture and long term health, so get yourself an adjustable desk and alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. Trust me, it will give you more energy and make you more productive and alert.

Clean It Up.

Remember it’s not all about your physical health – I’ve found that having a clean and organised desk really helps me to keep a clear mind! Keep it nice and tidy and get yourself some nice pictures and personal bits and bobs (I have a little plant on mine) so your desk is a pleasurable and enjoyable place to be.

Back It Up.

No, I’m not talking about that presentation you have on Monday morning (although I would definitely make sure you’ve got that backed up). I’m actually talking about your monitor. If you’re sitting too close to your monitor you’re at risk of a number of nagging eye problems including eye exhaustion, burning, dryness and muscle pains behind the eyes. You therefore want to make sure you’re about an arms length away.

I have a condition called optical near-sight conversion, which means it is even more important to ensure I am a good distance away from my screen and I am taking frequent breaks. Since starting work I have ensure I practise eye exercises at least once a day to strengthen the muscles and prevent aching and soreness.

If you fancy practising some eye exercises, you can get more information here.

Eyes On The Prize.

Another trick for protecting those eyes is to increase your font size. Sounds obvious but a bigger font size will stop you from having to squint and strain your eyes, which could result in strained muscles and headaches.

I’e also found that since starting work that is predominantly computer based that my out of work hobbies have changed. Rather that getting straight home from work and starting another Netflix series*, I like to do something that gives my eyes a bit of a break. If it’s nice weather I tend to go for a walk or I’ll do some baking and cooking for the house! Just find something to keep you occupied for a few hours that doesn’t mean staring at a screen and straining your eyes.

(*Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly still watching Netflix – how else I am supposed to binge watch old seasons of Love Island?!)

Stay Hydrated.

If I had a £1 for every time I had written ‘stay hydrated’ on this blog I would probably have enough to fund my excessive coffee habit. Probably… The sad news is, coffee is actually not helping! I try and limit my coffee intake each day and instead try different herbal teas – gross at first but I have actually found a couple that I really like and they are caffeine free so loads better than drinking coffee all day. I would recommend Pukka Organic Teas – they have loads of different flavours that are actually really lovely and don’t just taste like you’re drinking bits of grass – always good. 

I also always have a bottle of water at my desk. As you all will know, drinking water is essential to keeping healthy. It also will force you to get up every once in a while and refill your bottle, meaning you’re up and about – win win. 

Take A Pack Up

As well as making sure you have a bottle of water on you, I would also recommend taking yourself a pack up and enough snacks to get you through your shift. Not only does this save money, it also means you have control of what you’re eating and therefore it is likely to be a lot more balanced and nutritious.

I tend to make enough food in the evening to have some left over for lunch and then snack on chopped veggies and dried fruit. I also have been practising my baking skills and been making ‘healthy’ snacks, including muffins and granola – a lot better (and a lot cheaper) than snack bars from the vending machines. 

Work It Out

Last but not least, it’s the desk workout! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t carry a barbell on my back at all times ready to drop into a squat at any given moment, but I do try and do abs engaging exercises and focus on my posture. I also make sure than every hour I get up and about – whether that be just to go for a wee and fill up my bottle. Even just a little wander will keep your blood flowing – every step counts. 

If you struggle to get enough steps in, I’d recommend getting yourself a pedometer. Studies have shown that sedentary people who wear pedometers and set daily step goals (I go for at least 10,000)  become more active and therefore improve their overall wellbeing – both mental and physical.

So there you have it, some of my top tips for making sure that you’re staying healthy whilst working a desk job. Keeping mentally and physically healthy whilst at work is super important and something that is often neglected. I hope that these tips are useful! Let me know down below your top tips for staying healthy whilst working your 9-5. 

Jamie x 

 

Sources

https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/8-things-you-need-do-if-you-sit-computer-all-day

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-13931/21-ways-to-stay-healthy-when-you-sit-at-a-desk-all-day.html

https://www.bustle.com/p/7-simple-ways-to-stay-healthy-when-you-sit-a-lot-37035

https://www.prevention.com/fitness/fitness-tips/a20444127/walking-pedometer-program-to-lose-weight/

https://www.bustle.com/articles/179775-11-ways-to-stay-healthy-at-the-office-because-your-habits-matter

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160323142345.htm

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-sitting-too-close-to-screen-making-you-blind/

 

I was talking to a friend a few weeks back who works a 9-5 5 days a week about how, despite training and eating relatively well and consistently, she was not seeing the same results as her Instagram idols. It’s a sad truth that whilst our #fitspos are making a career of looking like solid 10/10’s with booties that defy the laws of gravity, most of us have to head out to work. Whilst it is absolute #goals to see that these bloggers have been able to make careers out exercising and whipping up aesthetic meals, in reality can we translate this to our own lives? How do you fit in training with a 9-5?

Make Your Sessions Count 

I am fortunate to work in a HQ with a gym, which is very VERY handy and means I can go everyday either before or after work. However, if you can’t make it 5 days a week – don’t stress! It’s not always about being in the gym all the time but rather it is about what you’re doing in the gym when you’re there. There are a few ways you can do this. Firstly, if you have 2-3 days a week you know are less busy or have a larger window to play with then make that your gym time. It is better to not be rushed – quality over quantity when it comes to training.

It also matters what type of exercises you are choosing if you’re not able to train loads. I would suggest focusing on compound movements and ensuring you are getting balance in the muscles you are training. If you’re going 3 times a week you want 3 full body sessions with a different main focus on each. You want these to be dominated by movements such as deadlifts, squats and bench press. To be making optimum gains these are a lot better ways to use your time.

Meal Prep. 

Tupperware is your new nest friend.

I rave about this in pretty much every single post, but honestly I cannot recommend meal prepping enough. Training and achieving your goals is not all about hitting up the gym, it is also about how you are fuelling your body. If you’re cooking in the evening make enough for dinner tomorrow and even make your breakfast so you’re not rushing around the next morning (overnight oats are perfect for this!). That way you know exactly what you’re eating and you’re not tempted to grab something quick, easy and (let’s be honest) probably pizza, but what could be easier than taking the tupperware out of the fridge?

Work With What You’ve Got. 

You might not always be able to get to the gym (or you might absolutely hate the gym – the environment is not for everyone!) so work with what you’ve got. There are loads of apps that give you quick and effective home workouts focusing on body weight exercises and HIIT. These are really fast ways to stay fit and healthy.

You can also pick up some really good equipment from places like Home Bargains that are super affordable and can help to make your home workout a little more challenging. I would suggest getting yourself a resistance band at least as these are great for the booty burn and really versatile.

Remember you’re not a #fitspo superstar*. 

And that’s okay. 

You don’t have to be training all the time. You’re allowed a glass of wine after work. You’re probably not getting paid to go to the gym. Yes it would be nice, but you’re a superstar elsewhere and you’re smashing it.

You need time to relax and recover. Living a healthy lifestyle is as much about relaxing as it is resistance training. Get enough sleep and don’t be too harsh on yourself if you’re not up a 5AM sipping on a kale smoothie. Be proud of how hard you’re trying and just do the best you can – anything is better than nothing. 

*unless, you know, you are, then oh my god HI!

So there you have it, some of my top tips for fitting in fitness with a 9-5. I admit I am in a very privileged position due to where I work but that does not mean I am getting paid to deadlift. Training is something that now has to fit around my life, my life does not (and should not) fit around training. 

Jamie x 

 

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Sources 

http://www.menshealth.co.uk/building-muscle/workout-programmes/train-like-an-athlete-with-a-full-time-job

https://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/fitness/training-tips/how-to-work-a-95-and-still-be-fit-af/news-story/53ab1e54ee2f1d6b1ffbc457d465183a

https://www.myprotein.com/thezone/motivation/fitting-exercise-around-9-5/