Why being ‘Well’ is better than being fit. Tips on how to create wholebody wellness

When we think of being well, we generally associate it with our fitness or physical state. However, wellness and being healthy is so much more than just our physical body. I believe optimum wellness comes from complete balance in the physical, mental, environmental, spiritual and social aspects of your life. There are many external factors that can affect whole body wellness however there is also so much we can control to create a better you. I have put together some tips on what I believe are so important to whole body wellness.

  1. MINDSET – whatever we do in life, mindset is paramount to our success. There is much evidence to support this particularly in a sporting context – “When you have a vision and you see that vision come true, it really only shows you that anything can happen, you can do it all.” Conor McGregor UFC World Champion. Basically our thoughts create our reality- so if you want something badly enough, believe you already have it, live like you have it , talk to people like you already have it. Negativity never created anything good, so let’s try some positive thoughts and apply them to every aspect of our lives. Tips for mindset – Meditation – if you have never done it before, my advice would be to set a 5 minute alarm on your phone. Sit comfortably in a quiet, dark place, close your eyes and breathe. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated, it is just time to clear our mind, It won’t be easy at first your mind will go crazy thinking of things you ‘could’ be doing and also the thought of ‘I must not think of anything’ will keep popping up. Noises will become so much more prominent, just accept the noise and concentrate on your breathing- I breathe in for 3 out for 3, but you will find a breathing pattern that works for you. Stick with it and try to do 5 minutes everyday.
  2. MOVE – Exercise is so important for our body AND mind. If you’re not an avid ‘gym goer’ then my tips would be to start small and don’t be so hard on yourself. Walking to work instead of taking the bus or get off 1 stop earlier, taking the stairs instead of the lift – these all add up and when you feel more confident you can start increasing your activity. The body was made to move, and it really does work wonders on our mood. Its good to remember, the hardest part about exercise is getting out your front door, don’t overthink it as Nike quotes, ‘JUST DO IT’ You will only ever regret the workout you didn’t do!
  3. Eat Right – What we put into our body is our fuel and alongside our weight it will affect how we function, our mood and also potential illness cause and prevention. When we exercise we release a hormone called Serotonin (commonly referred to as the happy hormone) ‘Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep and appetite, mediate moods, and inhibit pain. Since about 95% of your serotonin is produced in your gastrointestinal tract, and your gastrointestinal tract is lined with a hundred million nerve cells, or neurons, it makes sense that the inner workings of your digestive system don’t just help you to digest food, but also guide your emotions’ https://www.health.harvard.edu.
  4. LOVE YOU – Don’t be a hater to yourself, you will risk consuming yourself in your own negativity and self pity- you are worth more than that! Every morning when you wake up tell yourself, ‘I love me and I’m going to have an amazing day’ it will feel strange at first but keep going! Negativity never achieved anything good.
  5. GET OUT – Get out, be outside and get some fresh air. Mix with people and do the things that light you up and make you smile!

REMEMBER, IF YOU ALSO DO WHAT YOU ALWAYS DID, YOU WILL ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU ALWAYS GOT.

#mindset #fitness #selflove

Vegan Athlete

I have written this to debunk the ‘protein myth’ but mainly talk about how I fuel myself with plants.

It annoys me so much hearing how much of “this and that” the vegan ‘diet’ lacks. That will also be the first and last time I will mention the word ‘diet’. Being vegan is not a diet. Vegan is a lifestyle, a way of living, a way we choose to eat and live cruelty-free.

I train Muay Thai Boxing in Thailand. I train 6 days per week, two 2-hour Muay Thai sessions per day, along with 2 runs – that is 5 hours of training PER DAY. Whilst training I have never felt weak, never felt under-nourished or felt like I was lacking anything, simply because… I am not.

A typical training day for me includes,

  • 5.30 am 5k Run
  • 7.30 am 2 hour Muay Thai class
  • 3 pm 2km run or sprints
  • 4 pm 2 hour Muay thai class

A typical food day for me includes,

  • Breakfast normally consists of oats, I have a huge bowl of overnight oats, including dates, peanut butter and banana topped with soy yogurt.

overnight oats for blog_edited

  • Snacks in between training are usually energy balls/ or ‘protein’ bars ( all homemade)cinnamon and date power balls
  • After training I have a huge evening meal, normally something like jackfruit wraps with hummus and vegetables

jackfruit

I eat big portions because I don’t count calories- I count nutrients.

I work my body hard physically so I like to give it the fuel it deserves after training sessions – this also helps with recovery.

Everyone seems so caught up in a vegans protein intake whilst forgetting plants, oats and grains are all stacked with first-hand protein alongside other goodness. My morning meal, usually overnight oats, for instance, packs a whopping 30 grams of protein, and aside from the protein, oats have a well-balanced nutrient composition- they are a great source of carbs and fiber and are loaded with vitamins and minerals ( such as iron, magnesium and vitamin B6 which are all essential for a healthy, functioning body). My listed evening meal- jackfruit and hummus wraps, jackfruit is known as the ‘jack of all fruits’ as a rich source of vitamins, minerals, carbs, electrolytes, fiber, fat and protein, basically everything I need after a training session. Paired with hummus, which is made with chickpeas I have a well-balanced, ‘high protein’ meal. Chickpeas are also great for inflammation and digestion. My evening meal is around 28g of protein. The general guidelines for protein ‘requirements’ for an average adult is said to be 1g per KG of body weight, so as a 50KG female, and without listing my snacks etc per day I  am hitting my recommendations and then some!

Admittedly, as a vegan we do tend to eat larger portions, or perhaps eat more frequently,  but as our food is plant-based, it digests a lot quicker and leaves us without the after-dinner bloated feeling.

I have been vegan for nearly 2 years now and I have honestly never felt better or been in better physical shape.

My training is extreme and I am not recommending you follow what I do at all. I am simply making the point that you can train as much as I do and still fuel yourself through plant-based living. So not only are you doing many other wonders for animals, the planet and your health, you can rest assured you can exercise and still provide your body with what it needs and more being vegan.

‘Not only can you survive eating plant-based, you can thrive!’ source: www.whatthehealth.com

According to Harvard Medical School, “studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses.”  source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/becoming-a-vegetarian

Patrick Baboumian – Powerlifter 

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“This is a message to all those out there who think that you need animal products to be fit and strong. Almost two years after becoming vegan I am stronger than ever before and I am still improving day by day. Don’t listen to those self proclaimed nutrition gurus and the supplement industry trying to tell you that you need meat, eggs and dairy to get enough protein. There are plenty of plant-based protein sources and your body is going to thank you for stopping feeding it with dead-food. Go vegan and feel the power! http://www.wholefoodplantbasedrd.com

Pure Vegan Heaven – Chalong

pure vegan front

So I wish I would have taken a picture of our faces when we first found this place! Pure Vegan Heaven is situated on the well known Soi Ta-iad Road in Chalong, it is basically a fitness strip with lots of well known Muay Thai gyms – Tiger Muay Thai, Phuket Top team, to name a few and lots of Cross fit gyms.

Pure Vegan is only small, but first impressions were clean, trendy and VEGAN FOOD! Since finding this place we have been many times and tried various dishes on the menu – which is full vegan with lots of options

My favorite is the Mexican bowl but all of the dishes we have tried have been spot on and well presented

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Mexican Bowl
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Falafal Bowl
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Summer Rolls
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Breakfast wrap
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Rawsome plate

As you can see from the pictures, the portion sizes are very generous (Happy Sara)

The food is definitely a 10/10 from us, however I will mention the smoothies and coffees are unfortunately not great 😦 but we are still regular food customers!!

Service is good, the girls will come to the table to take your order. Sometimes the food is a bit slow – but certainly worth the wait. Prices are very reasonable, you can get 3 meals for around 500 Thai Baht (Around 10 English pounds) oh and yes we do order 3 meals!

I believe there are also Pure Vegan Heaven restaurants in Koh Phangan and Chiang Mai – Amazing to see full vegan restaurants opening around Thailand. Pure Vegan Heaven is part of PURE VEGAN HEAVEN GROUP LTD -which seem to be smashing-it in Thailand. They also own Acai Cafe, we haven’t been as of yet but it’s next on our list as we have heard good things about it.

acai cafe group pic

So if you are in Phuket, Koh Phangan or Chiang Mai, Pure Vegan Heaven is certainty worth a visit – you won’t be disappointed!

Just a note they are closed on Sundays 😦

Thanks guys

Kuala Lumpur Visa Run

So, you have loved Thailand but it’s that time where you need to extend your visa. Well here is everything you need to know ( no BS INC).

We chose Kuala Lumpur simply because it was the cheapest option after pricing various flights. The first point that I will make about the ‘Visa run’ is that absolutely everyone you speak to will over-complicate the whole process, BUT, don’t panic it’s actually really straight-forward and I will give you all the info you need.

I am going to cover –

  • What paperwork you need
  • What to expect
  • Clothing
  • Where to go if you forget something
  • Other general tips nobody seems to tell you ….

So I am going to go straight in with an up-to-date list of what you ACTUALLY need for your visa application…

  • Visa Application Form – You can download this off the site http://www.thaiembassy.org. They don’t have any on the premises so make sure you do this. You only need one of these- we were told we needed 3 each by a stress-head, nope just 1 guys
  • Accommodation Information – Where you are living in Thailand. We brought a copy of our housing contract.
  • 1 photocopy of your passport photo page
  • Your Passport
  • 1 up-to-date passport photo
  • Flight out – This is to show you actually have intentions of leaving after your extension – now if you were to book a cheap flight somewhere for 2 months later and don’t use it welllll that’s none of my business!
  • A photocopy of your return ticket – your flight in and out of Thailand ( to KL and back)

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Make sure you have paper copies of all of the above- they wont accept electronic versions.

So when we arrived in Kuala Lumpur, we were quite under prepared, we had everything we needed, but nothing printed out. So we went exploring and Kuala Lumpur is full of beautiful shopping centers and the first one we went to ( Suria KLCC) had a DHL Internet cafe, so we were able to print all relevant documents with no hassle- BOOM!IMG_0965

We were all set for tomorrow morning, the embassy opens at 9:30 am (only until 11:30 am) and everyone you speak to will tell you to get there super early as the queue is huge- well, we got there for 7:45 am and there was 1 person in front of us and by the time we actually started going in, there was only a total of 15 people in the line. You will first walk through to a desk where your paperwork will be checked and at this point we were told we had no photos!!! So we were sent away to go and get some. If you find yourself in the same position, no stress, the hotel over the road does them BUT not until 10 am, so as we were so early, we jumped into a taxi and asked him to take us to a photo shop. 10 mins later we where done and on our way back to the embassy, phew!

When we arrived back there was only 3 people in front of us, no big nasty queue, thank the lord! So we are back to the desk, paperwork gets checked and we are given a checklist and a number.

Once in the Embassy , it’s like waiting in the dentist- you just sit there and wait for your number to be called. ***Just a note, there are no toilets, no printing facility’s, no photo booth and no smiles inside the embassy)***

Once called, you give your passport and paperwork and sit back down. You will be called back up within 5 minutes to pay – the tourist visa is 150 ringet ( around £30) and basically that’s it until the next day (you leave your passport with them!)

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Clothes – Again everyone makes a big deal over what you need to wear. Liam dressed business smart – shirt and trousers, most men were the same, I had long genie style trousers on with a T shirt with short sleeves. I have heard of people being turned away because of incorrect clothing so I think just to be on the safe side, wear long trousers and a top that covers your shoulders- no particular colors needed, my top was bright yellow!

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This is the picture that is outside – so it’s no wonder people are confused!!

We picked our visas up the next day with no drama, this time you go between 2:30 – 4:30 pm. We waited about 45 minutes for our number to be called then we left with our extensions 🙂

If you are going straight to the airport after picking your visa up, we recommend you use a grab taxi, as you will get the price before you even get in. The airport is quite far from the embassy, about 50 minutes, we paid 65 ringet for our taxi but there are taxis waiting outside the embassy that will try and charge you anything up to 100 ringet .

We stayed at the Lodge Paradize Hotel- it was cheap and cheerful ( we paid around 550 Thai baht a night) and it certainly served it’s purpose, basic but very clean and tidy. It was about a 25 minute walk to the embassy, but everything is really easy to find and we just Google-mapped it.

A final note, Kuala Lumpur is beautiful, so give yourself enough time to enjoy it. The sites are stunning and the people are so friendly. We went Monday – Wednesday and wished we could have stayed longer.

Last Tip – Don’t pay a company to do a ‘Visa Run’ it’s so simple to do yourself!

Anyway, enjoy your stay, hope this helps and any questions give me a shout

#visarun #Thailand #Kualalumpur #visa #Malaysia