Lifestyle

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie appears in Boots’ No7 advert

Boots‘ new No7 advert is one to watch and remember… If you havent seen it yet, get watching by clicking on the red and white play button above. I mean, let’s face it, you’re going to want to see this because it’s got the World’s leading feminist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, fronting it.

Firstly, as a lady, I’d like to start by saying that even I hate the term “feminism” because it makes it sound as though we, females, put ourselves above the male population. That is not true in the slightest! Feminism, in essence, is about equality; the ability to be equals in society, because right now (and previously) that has sadly not been the case… Women should be allowed to do a “man’s job”. Women should be allowed to receive as much pay as a man earns when working in the same role. Females should not be seen as the inferior gender because there shouldn’t even be an inferior:superior ratio to begin with. Feminism isn’t about “us”, it’s about “equality”. Rant over!

Chimamanda, the Nigerian world-renowned and award-winning author who has appeared on Ted Talks‘We Should All Be Feminists‘, which featured in Beyoncé’s ‘Flawless‘ track, is the woman that every lady should aspire to be. She is an ambassador for women’s rights and knows all too well the difficulties we face in employment and society in general.

As far as adverts about female empowerment and validation go, this one is by far the strongest. It sends a clear message that us girls don’t need to “not wear makeup” or “hide” our “high heels” to “be taken seriously”. We should be allowed to exist in a society that accepts us because makeup “doesn’t mean anything, it’s just makeup”. You know what (or who) means something? The lady wearing it. She who wears it, how she composes herself, how she carries herself, how she feels, what she says… Makeup is just an enhancement to our natural beauty, it’s nothing more than that. High heels and/or fitted clothes the same…

It saddens me that Chimamanda ever had to stop wearing makeup and high heels in order to get noticed. But, luckily, she “woke up” and realised that in not doing so she was portraying a “false version” of herself. For many of us, makeup and clothes give us confidence. That’s not to say we’re not confident in our skin, we just happen to love make-up and enjoy looking our best.

I’m extremely glad that she is discussing our relationship with makeup because it’s only skin-deep. Society thinks it runs deeper than that, but it really doesn’t. Let it be a known fact that we are not wearing makeup to “impress someone”, we are not wearing makeup to seduce others, we wear it because we want to.

Speaking in her Ted Talk, Adichie said that the word feminist was “so heavy with baggage, negative baggage. You hate men, you hate bras, you hate African culture.” Instead, she said, she wanted to be identified as a “happy African feminist who does not hate men and who likes lip gloss and who wears high heels for herself but not for men”.

“Sadly, women have learnt to be ashamed and apologetic about pursuits that are seen as traditionally female, such as fashion and make-up.

Chimamanda recently shared a 9,000 word speech on Facebook where she described how best to raise a feminist daughter. You can read it in full HERE.

A snippet of it reads: “If she likes make-up let her wear it; if she likes fashion let her dress up. But if she doesn’t like either let her be … Feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive. It is misogynistic to suggest that they are.

“Sadly, women have learnt to be ashamed and apologetic about pursuits that are seen as traditionally female, such as fashion and make-up.”

During her Ted Talk, Chimamanda also mentioned the pressure of attempting to look less feminine before teaching her first writing class for fear that she wouldn’t be taken seriously.

She said: “I really wanted to wear my shiny lip gloss and my girly skirt but I decided not to.

“Instead I wore a very serious, very manly, and very ugly suit. Because the sad truth is that when it comes to appearance, we start off with men as the standard, as the norm.
“If a man is getting ready for a business meeting, he doesn’t worry about looking too masculine, and therefore not being taken seriously.

“If a woman is getting ready for a business meeting she has to worry about looking too feminine, and what it says, and whether or not it will be taken seriously.”

That is the saddest thing I’ve ever heard… Imagine having to change what you wear for fear of not being listened to? The thought alone is beyond heartbreaking.

When thinking about it, anyone who has ever used the quote: “you can tell a lot about a lady by the way they dress” is being unintentionally sexist, not to mention incorrect. Clothes and makeup are luxuries, they are not necessities. The foundations of life are built on who we are, how we treat people, and the ways in which we act and not which brand of concealer we use. A lady who chooses to dress up and show up is more-often-than-not a lady who has enough time (or makes it) to get ready because she likes taking care of her appearance.

A teacher of mine once said: “if you look good, you feel good and if you feel good, you do good”, never a truer word spoken.

So, ladies, let this advert be a turning point for us in a hope that we begin to be taken seriously with or without makeup on our faces and heels on our feet. Also, this is in no way an advert that’s forcing women to wear makeup. Alicia Keys has rocked the no makeup look for years and we salute her.

Instead, this advert is supposed to empower those that do wear makeup yet feel less worthy than a man who just turns up to work in the same job but gets paid a larger salary or listened to more carefully. It’s also not a dig at men — far from it. Men, you are legends, we love and respect you wholeheartedly. We just want to be seen as equals. We just want there to be no gender inequality, we are one!

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Me wearing my Premadonna Waist Trainer

Today was probably the most uncomfortable day of waist training yet, hence why I wasn’t in the mood to take selfies…

I had slept in my waist trainer the night before [and not very well at that] so I was reluctant to take it off for a breather. It’s like getting really far on a project and giving up last minute; something that’s never going to happen – not to me anyway!

I started my day with a minimal breakfast, because I didn’t want to feel sick again [like yesterday] and carried on with my day. I thought it’d be a good idea to go out in my corset for a little walk and bonding session with my brother… Lo and behold it turned into a power-walk up a major hill!

I’ve got to admit that this was harder than anything I’ve ever done. I mean, I’ve worn the corset to the gym before, and it didn’t hurt that much!

Reaching the top of the hill, I felt like I’d broken the majority of my ribs. ‘So this is what it feels like’ I thought.

After that walk, I came home and had a shower, and now’s the time to admit that I haven’t worn it since – only because I sweated so bad in it that I need to clean it before I wear it again…

Oh, I forgot to mention that I’ve noticed a slight improvement in the size of my waist. However, I’m not sure if it’s solely down to wearing the waist trainer OR whether lathering Ann Chery’s Caffiene Cream has also got a vital role to play!

 

 

 

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Me wearing my Premadonna Waist Trainer

Waist training is a process that involves wearing a latex waist trainer or a tight laced corset to cinch in your waistline. It’s used to give women a more exaggerated hourglass figure with a really small waist but the hips remain with curves.

Hi, guys!

I’ve decided to start a waist training challenge, and I want to share it with you…

For the next few months, I’ll spend eight to ten hours per day wearing a corset as a way of training my waist to shrink in size. In time, I hope that this challenge will help me to lose weight and improve my posture, while dropping inches from my waist – helping me to feel body confident.

My fascination with the Waist Trainer challenge comes from the media. Many a-list celebs are papped wearing a corset and/or being interviewed about it. So, I thought if it’s good enough for them, it’ll be good enough for me.

Please note: I am not doing this because I am conforming to the stereotype that society upholds of how women’s bodies should be… This is fully my decision and one that I’ve come realise might benefit me.

No matter where you search, the results of “waist training reviews” are all the same… They tell you it’s really damaging to your insides with some even complaining of a  broken/fractured rib cage. But, I like to think that that’ll only happen if you’re wearing a size too small. If you choose a corset that fits you, you won’t have to go through that amount of pain – least of all injure yourself!

What’s more, although waist training has had its fair share of bad publicity, it’s actually proven to work. Not only does it take inches off our waist-line, it also helps us manage how much we eat and improves our posture.

Okay, so, back to this post! I woke up at 7:30am GMT for work and decided I’ll wear it underneath my garments. For the first time ever, I was able to fasten it to the tightest it goes! As you can imagine, I was chuffed to bits… I mean, I’ve been trying to get it that tight since I got it.

After all the clips were done up, I found that I literally could not move. I felt restricted in the torso department but as the saying goes: “no pain, no gain!” Plus, I knew that this is all part of the ‘breaking into the corset’ phase so that didn’t bother in the slightest.

I soldiered on and continued with my day as usual, pouring out a bowl of Kellog’s Special K with banana chips. Look, if I’m going to do it, I’ve got to do it right! There’s no point having a Poptart [which is my favourite breakfast in the world] when I’m trying to lose inches off my waist and/or flatten my torso region.

What I noticed was how quick it took for me to feel full [something I’ve tried to tackle for years]. I also discovered my posture had changed, I was able to stand and sit up straight without slouching.

As the day wore on, I started to get increasingly uncomfortable. It literally felt like I’d just come out of a tummy tuck surgery. My ribs were starting to cave in, and my waist was starting to tighten. But, I had to stick it out for this challenge.

One thing which shocked me was my ability to continue working through all of this discomfort. It didn’t affect my work-ethic and I just didn’t care…

Lunch was hard. I bought a small baguette, some hummus, salad greens, and sliced cheese with handful of crisps. I couldn’t finish it… I instantly felt sick afterwards. I toyed with the idea of taking it off so that I could breathe and compose myself, but I didn’t knowing that I’d class myself as a failure if I did.

I managed to pull through until home-time, YAY! When I got home, I opened the door to find some Ferrero Rochers on the doorstep. Someone, somewhere is really trying to test me! But, I don’t know where I got the courage from to decline them, but I did. SHOCK HORROR!

A little part of me was thinking that if it wasn’t for Lent, I’d probably have ripped them open and this would’ve been a completely different story.

Anyway, I got home [with my self-control in tact], took the corset off for 15 minutes while I showered and strapped it back on for another hour or so – and this time proved a lot easier to put on.

Two hours later, I’m still wearing it [past my 8 hours promise] and am still finding it uncomfortable. However, I may end up sleeping in it tonight if that’d mean it’ll hurt me less in the morning.

*** This is not my first time wearing a waist trainer. I have been wearing it on-and-off since Christmas, but was doing so for one to two hours each day [on the first set of hooks]. I have since got used to it and am able to wear it for longer periods of time at the tightest set of hooks.

So, if you’re new to the whole waist training thing, please don’t overdo it and begin at the widest size. For more information, check out: http://www.waisttrainers.net.

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Facebook is good for one thing and one thing only – friends sharing tasty recipes direct from food websites. Yesterday, I came across a pretty delicious recipe of pan-fried bananas with cinnamon sugar! The moment it blessed my newsfeed was a moment I’ll never forget… I instantly got up and made my way to the kitchen to check if I had the ingredients to make it. Luckily for me, I did!

 

I followed the video recipe to a T and I’m sharing it with you now. But, it’s pretty darn easy, to the point where it got me wondering why I hadn’t thought of it before. What will you need? A pan, a cooker, some ripe bananas, butter/oil, ground cinnamon and granulated sugar.

 

Start by placing your clean pan on the hob and switching it on to a medium heat.. While you wait until it warms up, peel and chop as many bananas as you want to use. Once the pan is hot enough, add oil or butter to the base to stop it from sticking. Then, transfer your chopped bananas into the pan.

 

Now, here is where it gets interesting because there are two ways of doing this next bit… Either sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar into the pan with bananas OR wait until the bananas are golden brown, remove them from the heat, leave to cool, and then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar when ready to serve.

 

I couldn’t wait to try them so I added the cinnamon and sugar in with the bananas so that the flavours could “immerse” – nothing to do with impatience, okay?! Next time, I’ll try it the other way by leaving the bananas to cool before adding the cinnamon sugar. Either way, it’s delicious!

 

So, what are you waiting for? If you’ve got the ingredients, and you love sweet but healthy fruit desserts, get making!

 

Again, everyone does it differently – some even add honey. You can add anything from honey to Nutella, do it in whichever way you like because every tastebud is different.

 

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Photo Credit: Bootea

I’ll perform a much needed, intensive cleanse of your digestive system to help achieve the results you want. I’ll leave you feeling energised and motivated to reach your goals.

Last year, I wanted to lose weight desperately in time for my holiday. I tried everything from eating healthy, weight loss tablets and the gym but nothing helped – so I tried Bootea as a last resort.

Although teatoxes generally get a lot of bad press, that doesn’t stop the big names in showbiz from endorsing them. Yes, they can be damaging to our bodies in the long run… But, if you stick to the guidelines and don’t overdo it – they can be really helpful!

One thing to note about teatoxes is that there are plenty out there, all of which claim to do the same thing i.e. shift the weight. Each teatox has its fair share of pros and cons, today I’m focusing on Bootea’s.

Let’s begin with a bit of background into the brand… Bootea is a British health supplements company that strives to promote an active, healthy and balanced lifestyle. It’s one of the very few firms that discourages its customers from going on a diet, as it believes that the best way to lose weight is to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

According to the website, Bootea uses only the most natural of ingredients for our bodies. All of its ingredients are pure, natural and preservative free.

As with even the most herbal of products, there are always going to be some side-effects. Bootea’s side-effects include nausea, vomiting or prolonged diarrhoea.

The aim of Bootea is to give you the boost you need to get back on track with your healthy eating and active lifestyle. The ingredients used in our teas have been used for centuries for health and wellbeing purposes but it is only now we have finally brought all these unique ingredients into one perfect, rounded product. Teatox is a fancy word we use to describe the way the body goes through a natural process of elimination, by removing unwanted ‘toxins’ & built up waste matter, from your body via the lungs, kidneys, bowels and skin.

Okay, so each box includes two types of tea – a Daytime Detox to be drunk in the morning, and Bedtime Cleanse to be drunk at night.  The pyramid-shaped teabags seemed to be of high-quality and included first class ingredients.

Daytime Detox includes: Chinese Oolong tea, mate leaves, ginger root, fennel seeds, lemongrass, dandelion leaf, ginseng root, gotu kola leaves, nettle leaves. Bedtime Cleanse on the other hand includes: Senna leaves, peppermint leaves, fenugreek seeds, liquorice root, burdock root, hawthorn leaves, valerian root, psyllium seeds.

REMEMBER: the Daytime Detox has ingredients which assist you to reach your fitness goals [including caffeine] while Bedtime Cleanse acts as a laxative, cleansing your colon from the inside [excluding caffeine].

The way it works is, you should drink a Daytime Detox every morning and a Bedtime Cleanse every second night (starting on Day One). Pour a cup of nearly boiling water over the teabag/s and let it infuse for 3-5 minutes before drinking – this’ll also help it to cool down too, of course!

In terms of taste, Daytime Detox is no different to your bog-standard green tea while Bedtime Cleanse reminds me of pure peppermint tea. However, if green or peppermint tea aren’t sweet enough for you, Bootea recommends adding some natural sweeteners.

Okay, let’s talk effects! Although, being honest, I didn’t get much of an energy boost [as stated on the website] from Daytime Detox, I did feel lighter and less hungry after drinking it. As far as the Bedtime Cleanse is concerned, I spent a lot of time in the toilet the morning after – so I guess the laxative part is true to its word.

Did it work? Yes, I can actually say that together with a healthy lifestyle, I managed to lose 10kg in 14 days. Would I do it again? Probably, but not straight afterwards as that isn’t recommended.

If you want to try it for yourself, you can purchase it from Holland & Barrett or online costing £19.99.

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My result with Bootea