The Big Move: Dubai

Hi friends. So, this post is a little different. I won’t bombard you with health-related information, and I’m not going to give you a recipe. Instead, this one is aimed at connecting with you lovely lot.

I’m currently on the lookout for a job as a Personal Trainer, but I’ll also be setting aside some time each week to work on my blog, and I’ll be more consistent with creating new content on here… I promise! If you’re looking for more regular updates, you can follow my adventure on Instagram (@charlotte_shelley), Snapchat (charshelley), or Twitter (@charlotte_shell).

I’m so excited to immerse myself within Dubai’s fitness industry. Judging by previous visits (and some top notch Instagram stalking), the health and fitness scene out there has much to offer. It’s pretty damn enticing for someone like me.

So, here comes the bit where I need your help… I don’t yet know many people in Dubai, so I’m looking to connect with others, and particularly those with an interest in health and fitness. Whether you may be a Personal Trainer, a blogger, or someone who just really loves a spin class, I would love love love to meet you.

We could train together, and maybe even teach each other a thing or two about fitness. If you want to get in contact, or perhaps you have a friend in mind that may be interested, either pop me a message on Instagram, or contact me on this email address: charlotteshelley1@gmail.com

Big love X

Food Diary

I’ve had a few requests to write a blog post on my personal food diary. This is a difficult one, because every individual’s needs are very different when it comes to nutrition. Factors such as height, gender, age and activity levels hugely affect your body’s nutritional demands. With this in mind, I want to make it clear that I’m not suggesting for anyone to follow these guidelines directly, because it’s more than likely that they aren’t tailored to your individual needs.

My body is incredibly consistent when it comes to food, and I know my metabolism well enough to expect hunger around every three hours. If I don’t eat, I quickly become hangry (something that my friends and family will definitely vouch for). As such, I generally eat three main meals a day, with two substantial snacks in between. This won’t be the same for everyone, it’s just the way my body functions. I eat a lot because I lead a very active lifestyle.

Below, I’ve drafted out two rough examples of what I may eat in a day.

Day One:

Breakfast: Two eggs, poached or scrambled, half an avocado and one slice of wholemeal/rye toast.

Mid-Morning Snack: Protein shake, consisting of one banana, one scoop of protein powder, a small serving of oats (same size as protein scoop), topped up with water and ice.

Lunch: Chickpea, mixed bean and red pepper stew, with plenty of kale, and a spoonful of houmous.

Mid-Afternoon Snack: One small pot of Fage 0% fat yoghurt, with a handful of mixed nuts, a handful of berries, and a drizzle of honey.

Dinner: Two grilled cod fillets, with one mashed sweet potato and a large serving of mixed veggies.

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Day Two:

Breakfast: Protein zoats, consisting of one grated zucchini, mixed with approximately 50 grams of oats. These are cooked in water, with one scoop of protein powder, topped with a spoonful of nut butter and a handful of berries.

Mid-Morning Snack: Protein shake, as above.

Lunch: Quinoa and spinach salad, dressed in balsamic vinegar, with one can of tuna, half a mashed avocado and fresh sweetcorn.

Mid-Afternoon Snack: Houmous with carrot, celery and apple sticks. If I’m really hungry, perhaps also half a wholemeal pitta bread.

Dinner: Two mixed bean veggie burgers (no bun), topped with one egg, and a large side of mixed veggies.

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If I get hungry at any other stage in the day, I usually snack on fresh fruit. I don’t count my macros, I just enjoy eating healthy food. That being said, if there is a day when I fancy something naughty, I’ll have it. It’s all about balance.

My diet varies a lot from day-to-day, depending on what I’m doing. One thing that’s certain for everyone is that if you want to maintain a clean diet, you have to be organised. My top tips are:

  • Always aim to eat breakfast before you leave the house
  • Prepare your own food whenever possible – those shop bought lunches are full of hidden nasties!
  • Try cooking extra dinner in the evening to pop in a tupperware for lunch the next day

Recipe – Iced Coffee Protein Smoothie

You wake up in the morning ready for your daily caffeine fix, and all you can think about is heading to the local coffee shop to grab yourself a sweet, creamy iced coffee.

A Frappucino doesn’t sound too bad for you, right? Wrong! The traditional recipe is full of refined sugar and artificial flavourings; just not what your body needs to fuel your day.

What you really need is a balance of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats (for more information on this, see How to Fuel Your Body in the Morning). Who knew it’s possible to achieve this combination in a homemade Iced Coffee Protein Smoothie!?

With a little organisation, you can stock your cupboards with fresh and nutritious ingredients and satisfy your cravings the healthy way. So many people say that they ‘don’t have time’ to eat breakfast, but with this recipe, that’s not an excuse – it takes less than 5 minutes to make!

So next time you’re feeling tempted by a shop-bought, ice cold sweet treat and you’re just not ready to surrender your morning caffeine fix, why not try making this simple recipe at home instead? It’s SO much better than the original, and full of goodness that your body will thank you for.

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The Recipe

Vegan

Gluten free

Dairy free

Refined sugar free

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Ingredients (Always use organic products where possible):

  • One small cup of double strength coffee, cooled
  • ½ cup of natural dairy free milk. I use Rude Health almond milk because it’s delicious and free from chemicals
  • Two frozen bananas
  • Two scoops of protein powder. I use unflavoured Pulsin Soya Protein because it’s completely natural, but a vanilla or chocolate protein would work equally well
  • Two heaped teaspoons of nut butter. I use Meridian cashew nut butter
  • Two heaped teaspoons of raw cacao powder. I use Organic Traditions
  • ½ teaspoon ground vanilla seeds or pure vanilla extract (without ethanol)
  • One/two cups of ice, depending on how slushy you like your smoothie
  • If you prefer your smoothie extra sweet, you can add two medjool dates

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Preparation – The Night Before:

  • Brew the coffee and leave to cool, before storing overnight in the fridge
  • Peel the bananas and chop into chunks, before placing in the freezer in a tupperware

Creation – In the Morning:

  • Remove banana chunks from the freezer and place in the blender, along with cooled coffee
  • Add all remaining ingredients to the mixture
  • Blend until smooth
  • Enjoy!

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The great thing about this recipe is that it’s really versatile. Here, I’ve served mine as a smoothie bowl, topped with crushed pistachios, but you can also bottle it and take it on the go – perfect for those busy mornings.

The Danger of Diet Pills

In the modern world, diet pills are becoming an increasing phenomenon. The overwhelming desire to lose weight is leading thousands of individuals to purchase chemical products that they perceive to be a ‘quick fix’ to losing fat, fast. Manufacturers make far-fetched promises, the vast majority of which are not backed up with any evidence.

Diet pills tend to contain stimulants such as caffeine, dextromethorphan or ephedrine. These chemicals have the capacity to suppress your appetite and increase your metabolism for a short period of time. Both of these effects wear off rapidly, with no long-term alterations to your resting metabolic rate or the scale of your appetite.

Many of these products are purchased on the internet, and marketed as ‘natural remedies’ or ‘herbal substances’. However, the reality is that because such products do not require approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they can be extremely damaging to your health. Although ‘ingredients’ may be listed, you cannot be certain that this information is reliable.

Too often diet pills purchased online contain traces of illegal or extremely harmful chemicals. Recently, health commissioners have issued a warning about the substance 2,4-dinotrophenol (commonly known as DNP), which has been found in weight loss pills bought on the internet. The chemical, regularly used as a raw material to create explosives, has been directly linked to a number of diet pill related deaths.

Most deaths linked to weight loss substances occur as a result of a severely increased internal body temperature and/or an escalated heart rate, which eventually leads to heart failure.

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Both over the counter diet pills and those purchased online come with an array of other potential side effects. These include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver damage
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Drowsiness
  • Disorientation
  • Sleeplessness

Despite these risks, the demand for diet supplements continues to rise. People struggle to come to terms with the idea that there is no ‘wonder pill’. Fat loss is a journey, and it occurs as a result of clean eating and dedication. Anyone can do it.

There are plenty of ways to boost your metabolism naturally, details of which will be included in my next post.