If you have been following me on Instagram, you would know that I have dedicated this month to fitness and all the aspects related to it. After having my daughter, fitness has become even more important to me. Mind you, it is not about fitting into a certain size or thinking (wrongly) that it is all about starving oneself and being thin. For me, fitness means physical, mental and emotional strength. It makes you an overall better person. You can check the below pictures on how far I have come in a span of two years.

And if anyone tells you that you can become a small size overnight or drop 5,10, 15 kilos in a matter of days or weeks, they are clearly lying. There are also no shortcuts, it is determination, hard work and knowing what works for you.

black on black

Four months postpartum (2014)

The Athleisure trend

Present

When we are talking about fitness, how can we forget a very crucial aspect–food. I must also confess that I am a foodie through and through, so if anyone even mentions the word: dieting, I run  in the opposite direction. When I was younger, I rarely thought of things like meal preparation and organising. Today, this is an integral part of my days. My friends always ask me how I manage it all (at least seemingly)–home, toddler, work, blogging, fitness etc. Like many of ordinary women, I also DO NOT have an army of help in terms of nannies, cleaners, nutritionists, regular personal trainers etc. So, how do I do it? Two words: Meal preparation. Plus, I also have the wonderful hubby, the man of the house who goes from board room to kitchen to gym with ease.

Meal preparation tips

When anyone says meal-preparation, sad images of rice and bland chicken comes in mind. But it could not be far from truth. So, without further ado my handy tips are:

  1. Make a plan: I generally list out things/recipes for the whole week on a Friday and note it down. Noting it down is important because otherwise we tend to forget things and from get go things can go haywire. List out things you want to eat in the coming week. List out breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
  2. Grocery shopping: List out the ingredients you want to buy from your meal list. Stick to this whilst grocery shopping. Also, try and go grocery shopping with full stomach, most of the time when I shop in empty stomach, I end up having the snack aisle in the kitchen.
  3. Think Macros: Your macros are carbs, protein and fat. Everything essential. Whilst planning out your recipes, try and get a good mix of these macros. Add condiments and spices to make it delicious.
  4. Snack Simple:When you’re cooking everything for the week at once, it’s important to keep things simple. Save time by choosing snacks that don’t require a lot of time. Think fresh fruit, hard-boiled eggs, and pre-cut veggies with prepared hummus, nut butter with fruits, greek yogurt and smoothies.
  5. Take short cuts: Cut and keep veggies, marinate your protein and use the fridge/ freezer to store these ideas.
  6. Mix things up: No one likes routine, mixing things up is important to keep the momentum on and for your sanity.Plan on making two or three different dishes that you can alternate or mix-and-match throughout the week by adding different marinades/sauces, spices, different combinations/variations of the same thing you have prepared.
  7. Make ahead meals: Certain things can be made ahead and stored for a week. My favourite make ahead breakfast options are: overnight oats, bircher museli, egg muffins whilst favourite snack options are: fruits with greek yogurt/cottage cheese, homemade nut butter with bananas, protein bars and shakes.
  8. Relax: Do not think of meal preparation as a chore. If you feel that way take a break from the cycle, and get back to it when you are ready. It is important to understand that in fitness (and in life) you might fail but important thing is to get back at it without letting failure get onto you.

I hope these handy tips will help you get a better grip on fitness and allow you some time to yourself. Hey, it is not selfish. Often as women, we have been told that if we put ourself, our time and our wishes as a priority then we are being selfish. Let me tell you this: it is not. Heck, it is even important because happiness should be everyone’s right.

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a lovely week🙂 Don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

“You call it madness, but I call it love”–Don Byes

11102890_10152728160734109_276541915484041845_n

“Sometimes, my mind battles with my heart. And often my heart loses the battle. Because what’s winning when we haven’t known a little love or loved back?”

I know you probably came here expecting my weekly fashion post and even assuming that I would have some date-night outfits or other such inane stuff. The truth is I just do not get Valentine’s Day-a day apparently to celebrate love, wear sexy underwear and prance around with fluttering eyes (really, only one day in 365 days???) Do not get me wrong, sometimes I do get sucked into this giant marketing ploy and in my head make elaborate plans for the day.

But when the St. Valentines arrives, knocking mightily on my door, instead of it warming the cockles of my heart the whole thing sends me into a WTF frenzy!! Admit it: Valentine’s Day is one HUMONGOUSLY overrated day in which we are expected to show our love by exchanging a string of undesired gifts (because we are material people living in a material world and all that )and fancy surprises (because love is nothing if does not come with a huge price tag). It’s not reality. It is  another commercialised facade and we are expected to conform. 

And conforming is something that does not come naturally to me.

Hence, this year instead of even pretending to celebrate it, I am going to throw caution to the wind and concentrate on the rest 364 amazing days of love, laughter and friendship because at the end of the day it is the little things that matter. And if you are in mood to celebrate then here are some ways that WILL warm the cockles of your heart no matter what.

Cooking: 

When the husband man without expecting or being told cooks a scrumptious meal. Cooking, is the new candlelight dinner for most parents, add a lit bit of wine and a lot of chatter and you will have a memorable recipe in hand, no matter what is cooking. Any man worth his charm would know that a way to a woman’s heart is definitely through her stomach.

Re-creating the first date: 

Valentines Day unique ideas

Anyone can go to fine dine dating place but why not add an extra zing to it by re-creating your first date atmosphere. This is especially true for those couples who have been together for a while and know everything about each other. This is guaranteed to warm anyone’s heart and give you more than one reason to smile and be thankful for.

Go Outdoor:

Valentines Day unique ideas

No one said Valentine’s Day has to celebrated in an expensive place with expensive shit around. Get out of your comfort zone and go adventurous and pick up an activity you love: be it hiking, a long walk, skydiving or bungee jumping. Outdoor activities take out the pressure of perfection and you would end up having more fun than anticipated and speaking from experience there is nothing more romantic than getting lost up in a mountain or in a woodland.

Get physical:

Valentines Day unique ideas 

And I do not mean the Fifty Shades kind but something more fun (and perhaps less painful) if you and your partner are gym rats or fitness lovers then why not bond on that? Pick a really interesting challenging, head to the gym, compete and see who wins.

Dress Up:

Valentines Day unique ideas

Now this is an activity you can do whether you are single or celebrating the day with your friends. Dressing up is an expression of self-love and self-love is the foundation of any kind of love.

I hope now you realise that it is not about soppy gifts and pricey experiences but little things that go a long way to fill you with love and happiness. I wish, all you people Happy Valentine’s Day.

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a lovely week🙂 Don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

” It takes balls to be a woman”

Ever since, I can remember I have battled with this idea: can I call myself a feminist despite loving all things fashionable? Do not get me wrong but there are umpteen misconceptions surrounding both these topics. In my case, from being told that I am “too pretty” for serious journalism (or anything serious) to being told that feminists are a bunch of ugly, man-hating, bra-burning women, has created a minefield of confusion. Both notions are, for lack of a better word, wrong!

Today’s International women’s day and I would like to put all doubts to rest. Feminism is about equality in every sphere of life: personal, professional and social. And this might surprise some: feminists come in all forms and like all things awesome cannot be put in a single box. They are big, small, working and home-makers. They are strong, they build each other–women and men and they can love or hate fashion. They can like me have particular affinity for pink and still have a mind of their own:a case I am trying to prove here in this fuchsia prom dress.

I wore this for my birthday (which I celebrated in Tenerife, more on that later). With a deep V-neck and proper A line skirt; it is exactly thing you would want to wear when you are growing older.

dress1 - 1

dress2 - 1.jpg

With its spiffy butterfly motifs, velvety touch and jacquard skirt it spells sophistication and old-world charm. Hence, I decided to pair with minimum accessories. A crystal bracelet, swarvoski rings and dangling earrings.

dress4 - 1dress6 - 1

dress5 - 1

Dress: Debenhams, Footwear: New Look, Earrings: Wish app, Bracelet+Rings: Swarvoski

Whilst I love heels, here I have opted for lace-up flats because I am a bit of a badass who likes to shake things up (and also running behind a toddler with a mind of her own is aa exercise in itself). It is the kind of look that’s bold, unique and with a dollop of charm (just like most women I know).

And if you have any doubt about the awesomeness of women, here is a humbling thought: even at chromosomal level men need one of our fabulous X chromosome to their Y one just to exist. Hence dear women, whether fashion loving or not, go on be fearless.

We owe it ourselves.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a great week ahead and don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

If you ask me, mums are highly sensitive people especially new mums who are still new to the motherhood thing and has to learn almost everything overnight. And as far as dads are concerned, you lot are simply doomed. Yes, doomed.

Why? Well, you can be a scientist, an investment banker, a fire fighter, a cop or anything under the sun but the fact that remains that splitting oneself in half to bring out a tiny human being into this world and being responsible for his or hers every need is one heck of a job and cannot be ever, ever, EVER compared to anything. So, here’s a handy note to all you dads out there about things you should never ever, ever, EVER say to new mums.

Read it, comprehend it and make a blueprint of it all over your brain because it can just make your life a wee bit easier.

Sleep when the baby sleeps:

I know you mean well. But please refrain from saying these words because chances are she will snap-back with her racoon eye and ask you when is she supposed to go for a wee, take a bath, have one teeny-tiny minute to herself. When? As you would not have an answer to this just bite those words even before it comes out of your mouth.

Wow, you look tired:

Yes, that’s exactly the look new, sleep-deprived mums are going for.

mommy and baby

Image Via Google Images

Boy, am I tired?!

You could have trekked to Mount Everest and made it in one day but still do NOT talk about being tired because continuously feeding a baby, changing their diapers, cleaning the poop, pee, walls and floor all done mostly with one free hand and one hand holding your munchkin is a physically and emotionally exhausting task. So sorry but not sorry your own tiredness is nothing compared to hers.

Anything about breastfeeding:

Sure you sat through the breastfeeding class and even diligently took notes but for the sake of your health and happiness just do not say anything about breastfeeding. Keep in mind a simple mathematical formula if you ever feel the urge to say anything about the subject: no boobs = no talk about breastfeeding. It really is that simple.

Are you in the mood?

This one is easy to misconstrue. One fine day, after you return from work, you would have realised that she has taken shower, has put on a freshly laundered top, has a hint of make-up and has even shaved her legs. You might be inclined to think that this is your lucky night. But do not ask this question because unless the activity in your mind involves ten hours of uninterrupted sleep (for her) the answer is probably definitely no.

What did you do all day?

Here’s the answer: She has fed, cleaned, burped and calmed the baby some zillion times. Usually, she has already done it ten times before 7AM and on top of that she has made some breakfast, cleaned the poop smeared carpet some ten times and looked after other essential things for the baby the whole day while making sure her own sanity has not gone down the door. See, babies are notoriously dependant on their mums for every single thing and looking after one is not exactly a holiday. So do not ever ask this question, no matter what.

Anything about her weight, shape and size:

If you care for your own safety do not go there because hell hath no fury like a postpartum, hormonal woman surprised and shocked by her body’s change. So DO NOT GO there.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a great week ahead and don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

With the first week of the New Year nearly over, hopefully you’ll are still going strong with your fitness resolutions. As a busy, working mum, I have to wear many different hats and sometimes exercising is the last thing on my mind. But I know from experience that even twenty minutes of exercising can do wonders not only to your body but mind and soul. So, here are some of my fitness hacks that will not only sweat you out but all release those amazing endorphins  and keep you wonderfully fit.

High-Intensity Interval training (HIIT):

I honestly do not have the luxury of time to spend hours at gym. Hence HIIT is my favourite regime. This form of cardiovascular exercises were made popular on 2010s.

HIIT is a form of interval training, incorporating both cardio and weights, interchanging between short periods of intensive anaerobic exercise  with less-intense recovery period. A typical session lasts anywhere between 4 to 30 minutes.

Trawl on youtube and you will be get plenty of HIIT workouts. My favourite is the Jillian Michaels 30-day shred programme as well as Beachbody’s workouts like Piyo (which has 20-60 minute programmes).

Hula-hoop:

12038713_10153126025309109_7195914688627251156_o

Last January I brought a hula-hoop just on a whim. After learning how to do it and practising it relentlessly, I can vouch it is a great exercise which will strengthen your core and give you those enviable hour glass figure. And it is such a lot of fun.

It is my go-t0 regime when I do not have any time for myself. I take out my hula, switch on some music and along with my daughter go hula-hooping. Done for 20-30 minutes without a break it can rev up your hear rate and hence is a great at home cardio workout. You can check out my instagram video on how to do it properly here.

Yoga and Sun-salutations:

Sunsalutations for postpartum

Image Via: Google

If you have been following my blog for a while you know I am a self-confessed yoga lover. On days, when I do not have time to do anything else, I simply do some sun salutations. Considered as a complete body workout, yoga gurus say that 12 sets of sun-salutations is equivalent to 288 powerful yoga poses. Experts also say that one round burns around 13.90 calories. Star with 12 sets and slowly build up the number. My personal best is 108 in 30 minutes. So, go ahead and salute the sun for a leaner you.

Walk/Run:

41HNyuySRVL._AC_UL160_SR160,160_

 

Walking/ Running is the oldest form of exercise known to human kind. It is also proven that taking at least 10,000 steps each day can wonders to your shape and life. If you want to count your steps then you can get a pedometer like the one shown above or a Fitbit which will help you count your steps to fitness.

Hopefully, my tips will help you get fitter no matter how tight your schedule is. Here’s to a fit year 🙂

This post was partly sponsored by Ozeri but all the opinions are mine. 

Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a great week ahead and don’t forget to follow me. You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.