What I eat in a week

Hey Everyone! Todays post is a little peek into what I tend to eat as a student on a budget but also as someone who is leading a healthy lifestyle. I am not on a diet in any way (which you’ll be able to see clearly from the food I eat), instead I try to eat healthily with good portion sizes whilst making sure there are some treats in there because yo girl needs something to look forward to otherwise ‘Moody Molly’ makes a reappearance (as my family know too well).

Tuesday: Breakfast – Lunch -Dinner

Wednesday: Breakfast – Lunch -Dinner

Thursday: Breakfast – Lunch -Dinner

Friday: Breakfast – Lunch -Dinner

Saturday: Breakfast – Lunch -Dinner

Sunday: Breakfast – Lunch -Dinner

Monday: Breakfast – Lunch -Dinner

Tuesday (today): Breakfast – Lunch -Dinner is to be decided

Snacks and desserts:

So as you can see there are a lot of repeated meals (mainly avocado on toast which I’ve been LOVING lately if you can’t tell already) because this is not only useful for using up any leftovers but enables me to stay on track of my healthy eating as I form a sort of routine so I know what I’m having and when. This is also so that I can avoid the almighty dangerous stage of starvation where you literally eat everything and anything in sight because you can’t wait/ be bothered to cook anything; you’re that HANGRY (yes thats right hangry, the angry stage of hunger!) Yet this ‘routine’ of eating is not necessarily super strict by any means as you can see from my food diary, I had lunch out on Saturday and I had dinner out at TGI Fridays on Monday. But even though I enjoyed meals out this is not to say that you can’t still be healthy, as at TGI Fridays I opted for a small salad (which I know many people would be like ‘why go out and have a salad? but honestly this salad is A M A Z I N G) and sweet potato fries on the side which is a healthier alternative to having a burger and fries. You see I’m all about making healthIER choices, note the emphasis on ‘IER’ because I’m not about to cut out all the nice sweet treats that give me ultimate satisfaction, because thats not a life that I want to lead. So yes I do have 4 biscuits for dessert (with a glass of milk, whilst feeling like a right little kid) and yes I still have pasta, sausages, popcorn and many other normal foods, because you can eat all that and still be healthy. Its all about MODERATION, the word everyone hates (including me because sometimes I do want to just devour a whole 200g Cadburys bar) but ultimately moderation is key to leading a healthy lifestyle.

Five steps to being body confident

First of all I need to clear something up here, there is no right or wrong way to be body confident because it’s something that is individual and personal to you. Body confidence is something that I have definitely struggled with in the past and you don’t just suddenly gain it overnight. We’ve all been there when you don’t feel confident enough to wear that  dress because you’re paranoid about your tummy protruding through or that skirt because you don’t like the look of your legs. A lot of body confidence comes with age as you discover your body shape but it also comes from loving yourself and feeling comfortable in your own skin. So I’m going to share with you 5 things that I’ve learnt and do to gain body confidence.

1.  Exercise. When I exercise it automatically makes me feel better about myself and so much more confident because I feel great on the inside and outside. Whether that be going for a run, a quick gym session, workout routine at home or just  simply walking it doesn’t matter just as long as its some sort of exercise. Some days I know I need to exercise to function properly as I get into this weird mood where I’m all grump and cranky until I’ve got that heart rate up and muscles pumping.

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2. Selfies. Now I know this sounds rather vein but honestly taking selfies really does help with body confidence and anyway why should it be seen as a crime to take photos of yourself!? But its important to remember that when you take these selfies DO NOT criticise yourself, instead point out the things you like about your body and the things you’re proud of because everyone deserves to be proud of who they are.

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3. Surrounding yourself with supportive, loving people. The people around you and those who influence you are so important in terms of confidence. You need people who lift you up and bring out the best in you, which even applies to people on social media. That’s why on Instagram I follow those who inspire, motivate and educate me. For example one of the accounts I actively follow is the amazing and inspiring @iskra who is an Aerireal role model promoting body confidence and embracing every body shape. If you surround yourself with positivity and confidence then this will radiate through you as well.

4. Learn to appreciate but don’t compare. Now this is something that I have only recently mastered and I admit I still struggle to stick to this sometimes. What I mean by learning to appreciate but don’t compare is that you can appreciate other peoples body shape and appearances but it is important not to compare yourself to them and even worse beat yourself up about the fact that you don’t look like them. We’ve all been there and said ‘Ohhh I wish I looked like her/him’ but I’m here to remind you that every single one of us is unique and our uniqueness should be celebrated and not used to compare or make people feel bad about themselves. Once you stop comparing yourself its amazing what this can do to your confidence levels. Now you might be thinking what about all the things on social media though? Well truth is social media can be both an amazing and dangerous platform but it essentially comes down to how you perceive it and how you allow it to influence you. I allow social media to influence me in a positive way and in turn I aim to project this positivity throughout my social media as well. 

5. Wear and keep clothes that fit you. Now I know this sounds kind of stupid and obvious but you know those pair of jeans that you’ve had for ages and are still a little too small but you don’t want to chuck them out because you might get into them one day… just chuck them out! Trust me I’ve been there with my small clothes hoarding syndrome and its definitely not healthy for you. I kept all my size 8/10 clothes for about a year even though they didn’t fit me at all, but I realised this was just me desperately trying to cling onto the body shape I used to have and not embracing the body shape I now have. This was wrong as all I would achieve was wasting 5 minutes of my time trying to squeeze my mermaid thighs into my tight fitting jeans which would then lead to me being upset  and feeling rubbish about myself because they don’t go past my knees. Great confidence comes with feeling great in what you wear and more importantly feeling comfortable in it, so get rid of those clothes that no longer fit as hard and sad as it is I know but its got to be done. Just think of it this way it now frees up more room for better clothes that actually fit!

Now this isn’t an extensive list on how to be body confident by any means, it’s just what I’ve found that works for me along my journey with my body so far. To this day I’m still learning and discovering things about myself and my confidence levels. Of course I have my up days and down days just like everyone else does, but this is all part of the learning process. There will probably never be a definitive day when you could say ‘I am totally, 100% body confident’ but this doesn’t mean you don’t love yourself or that you aren’t body confident at all, it just means you are being true to yourself; like my saying goes Be True Be You.

Topshop Jamie jeans review 

Recently I’ve had a massive revelation in the jeans department because I’ve finally found some jeans that FIT me! I’ve always struggled to find jeans that are A comfortable and B actually go over my mermaid thighs and booty so you can imagine my excitement when I finally found some. Let me introduce you to the Jamie jeans from Topshop. These jeans are not only super comfortable but oh so stretchy as well which is so important for girls with slightly more junk in the trunk. But possibly the best thing about these jeans is that they actually fit on my waist because the most annoying thing about my jeans ever, up until this point, is that I’ve always had to wear a belt. Now I don’t know if it’s just me but belts never actually stayed on my jeans, they sort of have a mind of their own and prefer to ride up your back instead of sitting where they’re supposed to, it’s just not on. So goodbye belts, I don’t need you anymore!

The only problem with these jeans is that they are rather pricey (for a student like me anyway), costing around £40-£46 a pair (well they were actually an early birthday present from my boyfriend’s mum which I’m so so grateful for). I take a size 30/32 (30inch waist and 32inch leg) which would not be possible without the stretchiness because this equates to a size 12 and usually I’m a size 14 in jeans to accommodate for my thighs and booty.

So all in all girls if you have slightly more junk in the trunk, if you want comfortable, stretchy jeans that actually fit on your waist as well as everywhere else then Topshop’s Jamie jeans are your calling!

Be True Be You.

Beauty, size what are they to you?

I just want to start of saying thank you to all those who participated in my questionnaire, I really appreciate the honest and open responses that I received. It was really interesting to gather different peoples perspectives of beauty and size and what it means to them. In todays society we are bombarded with so many people telling us what we should look like or what we should aim to achieve and from the results it is clear to see that this has had a major influence on us.

The first question was ‘what do you think is the perfect size to be in clothing?’ The responses to this question both did and didn’t surprise me as the majority of people answered a size 10/12 which is what I used to aspire to be. But the most interesting answers were those that selected the ‘other’ option. The majority of people who answered ‘other’ explained that there is no perfect size as it depends on who you are. This made me smile when I read this as it really does depend on who you are. I’m a classic example of this as a few years ago if you’d have asked me this question I would have said a size 8/10 but now I would say exactly what was said here; it really depends on you as a person and what you feel comfortable with.

The second question was ‘are you happy with your current size?’ Now the responses to this one were slightly disheartening as the majority of people said no. Following on from this question was ‘if said no to the previous question what size would you want to be in clothing? and the majority of people selected a size 12. This supports the responses from the first question about what is the perfect size and reveals that the majority of people aspire to be  that  ‘perfect size’ themselves. I deliberately put ‘perfect size’ in quotations here because as participants mentioned before there’s no such thing, because A size is individual and B how can there be a ‘perfect size’ if shops aren’t consistently producing clothing to the same measurements. I know from my shopping experience I can be a size 12 in some shops and then a 16 in others! Also I’ve often wondered who decided that these specific measurements were going to be a size 12 or size 14. Why does having a 29 inch waist grant you a size 12?

Moving onto the questions about beauty where it was really eye opening. The first question was ‘what is beauty to you?’ The general answers I received were about feeling confident, comfortable and happy with yourself which I would strongly agree with. Confidence is key, everything from body confidence to studying for exams or even going for a job interview. I mean you would’t walk into a job interview with no confidence at all, act all shy and mutter when you’re asked questions, obviously you’ll be nervous, but how can you expect the employer to put their faith into employing you when you haven’t got the confidence to talk to them? This is the same with body confidence how can you expect society to embrace all shapes and sizes when you aren’t confident with the way you look. Everyone has the right to be confident in themselves and more importantly everyone has the right to love themselves.

The next question was ‘do you think you’re beautiful/handsome’ and as expected the majority of people answered no. This is understandable because not many people like to talk about themselves in a positive light. Many people are quick to highlight their negatives but when faced with flaunting their strengths, we kind of go all shy and modest because we don’t want to appear arrogant. My response to this is its okay to admit that you think you’re beautiful. We are ALL beautiful as beauty doesn’t take a specific form. I realise that you wouldn’t necessarily go up to someone and say ‘I’m beautiful by the way’ but maybe when you’re taking those selfies or looking at yourself in the mirror (as come on everyone does that every now and then even if its for squeezing those spots) try and point out the things that you like about yourself as this will not only boost yourself esteem but also boost your confidence.

And lastly the final two questions were ‘would you change anything about your body’ and ‘if said yes to the previous question what would you change?’ There was no surprise here as the majority by far said yes. The most common answer about what you would like to change was generally slimming down and toning up, especially round the stomach area. I myself have had these same thoughts… I need to be slim and have a flat stomach with wash board abs and my bingo wings need to firmer and not wobble like jelly every time I move them. Well my time thinking these thoughts are over as I’ve been slimmer and basically had a flat stomach but you know what it was so hard to maintain and I was so miserable and grumpy all the time because I hardly ate anything and would feel really guilty if I had even a small square of chocolate, that I choose my now size 14 self with a rather large bum and a little pouch on my belly for my food baby. So I may have rolls when I sit down and my thighs may splatter out onto every chair that I sit on but hey ho I get too much enjoyment out of food and more importantly I choose to lead a happy life. This is not to say that my way is the right way by any means as I am a strong believer that everyone is unique and it is just about finding whats right for you and you’re body. There’s no harm in having goals such as toning up or slimming down, but just remember that they have to be realistic and right for you. If you’re happy with the way you are but feel the need to change for others, PLEASE DON’T! Embrace who you are as there’s no one else like you out there  and remember to Be True Be You.

My thoughts on social media

Just a little warning this may be a bit of a wordy post. So the reason I didn’t post yesterday is because I was feeling very down and defeated with this whole blogging thing. I didn’t have any great ideas and when I tried to take photos it made me feel extremely bad about myself because they weren’t flattering at all. So in the end I got very frustrated and ended up quite emotional because I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere and instead was just wasting loads of time. Also the whole social media and Instagram thing played a big part in my frustrations yesterday as I lose a lot of followers on a daily basis and it makes me worried and self-conscious as I feel like I’ve done something wrong or they don’t like my content and if so should I change it. But despite all this I realise today that I’m still really starting out with this whole blogging thing and have a lot to learn yet, plus things don’t just happen overnight, they take time.

There’s been many occasions when I’ve looked at other blogs and been tempted to just replicate what they do and write about the same kind of thing but at the end of the day that’s not me and that’s not what I want to talk about or represent. Don’t get me wrong I love writing about fashion and style but I don’t want to pretend to be something I’m not, so yes I may not take the most professional photos and yes I may not have the most luxurious stuff or do anything big or special to share with you, but that’s because I don’t and I can’t afford to at the moment as I’m a student. It’s so easy to get carried away with everything you see on social media and think that it’s the bee all and end all to have the latest stuff and be like them, but is it really? You see all these bloggers and youtubers galavanting off on their luxurious days out and showing the glamorous side of their life which is inspiring don’t get me wrong but it’s important to remember not to get too carried away with it all and beat yourself up about the fact that you don’t lead such a glamorous lifestyle. I am such a culprit of this especially when I look at other already established bloggers with a huge following and I ask myself why haven’t I achieved that yet? It may just not be my time or it may not ever happen but what I’ve got to remember is that I’m not doing all this blogging and social media stuff for loads of likes or attention, I’m doing it for me and it doesn’t matter if 10 or 100 people read my blog just as long as I stay true to myself and ultimately help others too. It’s so easy to compare yourself to others on social media but there’s a fine line between admiring someone else and then beating yourself up about not being like them. I must point out that I’m no expert and my intentions of this blog are not to offer professional advice as I’m definitely no professional but I just wanted to share with you my recent thoughts and feelings on the whole blogging social media thing.

Social media is such a powerful tool nowadays that can be both a really positive and negative thing. It’s very hard but you’ve just got to block out the negativity and not care what others think, post what you want to post and be who you want to be. You can end up putting so much pressure on yourself to be and present yourself in a certain way similar to others that may not actually represent who you are as a person and what’s the point in that? Not everyone is going to necessarily like your content, posts or blog but that’s life, you can’t make everyone happy so why bother trying to, you should only be trying to make yourself happy. As long as you like what you’re doing then heck just go for it. So what if my Instagram is a bit random and there’s no consistent white background theme. That’s because I’m a bit random and I like doing a variety of things as my family will know from what we call my hobby-hopping days when I used to start and then go onto the next hobby like no tomorrow; from gymnastics to netball to fashion designing and the list goes on… That’s just me, and I don’t intend to change just to try and fit in with other bloggers and social media. My trying to fit in school days are over and it’s time to just be me and embrace that. I apologise again for the wordiness of this post but I just wanted to and needed to express my thoughts and opinions on the matter as it has been something that as played on my mind for a while now and I’m sure a lot of people have felt the same at some point. This is why I stick by my motto Be True Be You as it’s very easy in the world we live in today to follow the crowd and ultimately lose yourself, but why follow others when you can be different, unique and be YOU.

Can you tell the difference between high end and low end high street?

This is a question that has been troubling me for a while… can you really tell the difference between something that costs £100 plus compared to something that costs just £30? Well I wanted to test this and really get to the bottom of whether splashing the cash is really worth it. So I ventured out on Saturday with the intent of trying on high end high street clothing and then their low end high street alternatives to compare, well my version of their alternatives anyway. Something I must share with you though is my experience trying on high end high street clothing. Oh well, did I feel uncomfortable and embarrassed. Not only did I feel pressured to buy the clothes, which I really couldn’t afford anyway, but I felt so out of place and got the impression that the employees knew I couldn’t really buy the clothes I was trying on, giving me a look of pity mixed with shame as I handed the clothes back to them (reluctantly with some of the items I must add). At the end of the day should it matter if I could afford them or not? The whole point of having fitting rooms is to try before you buy and anyway I am trying before I’m buying even if the buying comes years later when I have a proper, higher paying job. Nothing like some well-advanced preparation. Without further or do I’m going to show you the outfits I tried on with their descriptions below and see if you can spot which ones are high end and low end high street. All will be revealed at the bottom of the page. I know you’re tempted but see if you can guess without looking at the answers first and comment below if you got any right or feel free to comment anything you’d like! (I must add that the shoes are mine and are  same throughout. They were £7 from TK Maxx if you were wondering).

  1. Casual wear: Floral printed dress paired with a leather jacket

2. Formal wear: Monochrome floral dress with greyish tones

3. Casual wear: Blush pink top with biker style jeans

4. Occasion wear: Contrast print dress

5. Now I know these outfits aren’t exactly matching but I just fell in love with these items when I saw them so it will be interesting to see which one you think is high end and low end when the outfits aren’t comparable.

Now are you ready for the big reveal…..

  1. The left image is the low end high street from New Look. Dress = £24.99, Jacket = £29.99. The right image is the high end high street from All Saints. Dress = £188.00, Jacket = £318.00
  2. The left image is the high end high street from Coast. Dress = £95.00. The right image is the low end high street from Quiz. Dress = £24.99
  3. The left image is the high end high street from Mint Velvet. Top = £69.00, Jeans = £79.00. The right image is the low end high street from Primark and next (as primark didn’t have my size in their jeans). Top = £8.00, Jeans = £35
  4. The left image is the high end high street from Coast (again). Dress = £129.00. The right image is the low end high street from Quiz (again). Dress = £26.99
  5. The left image is the low end high street from Zara. Jacket = £49.99, Trousers = £25.99, Bralette = £19.99. The right image is the high end high street from Modern Rarity which by the way is absolutely stunning. Top = £60.00, Trousers = £10

So all in all were you right? Can you tell the difference between spending a £100 plus on an outfit or merely spending under 50 quid? It amazes me that higher end high street stores charge so much for some of their clothes. I mean yes there is an obvious difference in quality sometimes but I’m not sure if that grants them the privilege to charge such extortionate prices. Now this may be because I am a student and I don’t have much money to flaunt around buying expensive clothing but I am a great believer that you can rock absolutely anything no matter what the price tag says because style is something that can’t be bought. You own your style when you Be True and you guessed it Be You.

Healthy eating as a student

So if you don’t already know I am currently a student, which means I can’t splash out on luxury food, organic fruit and veg or even chia seeds (which are ridiculously expensive for a seed I must add) and basically anything that your average healthy Instagramer promotes on a daily basis. So here is my solution to being healthy whilst also being a student…

First up is breakfast and lately I’m really into making smoothies because A its a way of loading up on your fruit AND veg, which many students lack, plus its a way of getting rid of that mouldy fruit you haven’t quite got round to eating as its right near the biscuit tin and lets face it biscuits come first.

I tend to just mix and match my smoothie flavours with basically whatever fruit I have at that time so the one on the left was mango, blueberries, spinach and apple juice and the one on the right is my newest obsession with banana, mango, raspberries, desiccated coconut and apple juice. It’s seriously da bomb! Plus its a cute pinky colour so looks appetising as well. Now you maybe thinking well how can she afford all this fruit when she’s a student…? Well my friends here is where frozen fruit comes in, not only is it cheaper than fresh fruit but lasts a whole lot longer and all you have to do is just pop it in the blender and let it do its thang. Same great taste but way cheaper. Also I am a rather avid bargain hunter/yellow sticker seeker (thanks dad) so when those bananas are reduced because they a lil ripe I’ll snatch those bad boys up for my smoothies.

Now onto actual food for breakfast, I tend to either have a bagel or toast or if I’m feeling a little fancy and creative then I’ll replicate a salmon and cream cheese bagel but we all know that smoked salmon is very expensive and frankly way out of a students league. So instead of using smoked salmon I use this cooked ham from Lidl and grill it. You could use bacon but because I’m a cheapskate and I am partial to a little ham to snack on every now and then (don’t judge) this works a lot better for me. Plus it kind of tastes the same anyway! Also in winter if I’m feeling a warm hearty breakfast then I’ll opt for porridge as you can’t go wrong with a good ole bowl of porridge. To add some chocolatey flavour I mixed a spoonful of Nutella into the mixture and added some slices of banana on top to create a scrummy morning meal.

Next up is lunch and this varies from day to day and is very dependant on how much time I have. I love salads but I’m so put off by the actual preparation and creation of salads which is so lazy I know so this is probably one of student luxuries buying pre-prepared salad kits. My favourite one is the caesar salad kit from Lidl for £1.69 which isn’t too bad as I can get two servings out of it and its the only way I’m going to actually eat salad so its worth it. The salad on the left below is one of my more upmarket salads containing avocado and super grains which is by far the best salad I’ve ever made (if I do say so myself). Another lunchtime fav is for when I’m craving something naughty but don’t want to indulge too much as its only lunchtime… tortilla pizza. This is something my mum used to make all the time for lunch when we were growing up and its such an easy, cheap and quick way of satisfying those midday urges. All you need is simply a tortilla wrap, tomato puree, cheese and anything else you want to put on top. I opted for tomatoes, peppers and some herbs on mine which was absolutely scrummy.

Tea/dinner (whatever you want to call it) can be challenging for a student as this is where the protein comes in and meat isn’t cheap nowadays. My solution to this is load up on veg and potatoes (but not too much potato I must add). My absolute go to is roasted veg because all you do is chop up a load of veg, add a splash of oil and in the oven it goes. Then all you have to do is add a little bit of meat to accompany the veg mountain. In the photo on the left I actually had breaded cod as you can get four from Lidl for under £2! If I’m feeling a lighter tea/dinner then I’ll opt for salad instead of veg and bung in some sweet potato wedges as who doesn’t love sweet potato.

If I’m out all day and know that I won’t want to cook when I get back then I can always rely on my faithful slow cooker to do the job. If you’re a student and don’t have a slow cooker then I seriously suggest investing in one as they are an easy way to whip up tea/dinner and stop you from ordering that dominos because you can’t be bothered to cook. Some of my favourite things to cook in the slow cooker are sweet and sour chicken and butter chicken as you can whack a load of veg with that too and let it simmer all day. Also to pad out the meal I tend to add some sweet potato which can be a veggie alternative to meat or just an extra if you’re feeling a tad hangry (yes not hungry, HANGRY!)

And lastly its dessert because who doesn’t love dessert. One of my go to desserts is rice pudding. Yes don’t we all remember having rice pudding when we were little, I sure do and still do to this day. It’s cheap (around 30p per can) and fills you up. I tend to bung a load of fruit ontop with some honey and away you go. Another alternative is bananas and custard which may divide people (and rice pudding too when I think about it) but it’s one of my all time favs and I love it! Can’t go wrong with a bit of ambrosia.

So you can eat healthily as a student its just about integrating fruit and veg into dishes where you can and putting on your bargain hunting hat when you go shopping. Also I must point out that portion control is very important as you don’t want to overindulge (well not every day anyway, save that for special occasions.) I know the food I’ve shown you isn’t probably diet worthy but I’m not on a diet and I don’t intend to be, I’m simply eating healthily and living a healthy lifestyle which includes a few treats and naughty things yes. Too many people nowadays have these grand ideas and drastic measures when it comes to “dieting” when in fact its just a mixture of eating healthily and in moderation (as much as I hate saying that word) and exercising. You’ve just got to find what works for you and remember to Be True Be You.