For many, many years I was a big drinker of soya milk; as a teenager I was vegan and at that point there was less choice than there is now, then later just because I hated milk almost to the point of being scared of it. Of course, I’d heard all about soya’s darker side. I wasn’t keen on it messing around with my hormones, but I figured I’d do something about it, when I got a little older.
My 28th birthday hit, and with it a realisation of mortality. I can’t exactly call myself a young person anymore and I find I have to treat myself a lot better to feel and look the same the way I did even five years ago. It was about that point I noticed Alpro almond milk in the supermarket, priced at a very attractive £1 a carton.
That was a very roundabout, soul-searching introduction, but what I want to say is that I like almond milk, a lot. I like the way it doesn’t interfere with the taste of coffee, cereal or tea, which realistically are the only things I use milk in. I find I have to use more almond milk in my coffee than I would soya (and a lot more than I’d use cows’ milk) so I heat my coffee cup up pre-coffee with a cupful of just-boiled water.
I can’t say it’s made any difference to how I feel, though I’ve been feeling pretty strong healthy lately anyway so it’s likely to be another ingredient in a healthy mixture. My mind and soul certainly feel reassured, though, knowing I’m using a non-dairy milk that is unlikely to send my hormones haywire.
I’m an avid follower of Tara Stiles on Instagram. She has a fantastic lifestyle, which comes from working hard as a yoga instructor, and her health and vitality just shine through. Ain’t no Insta-filter that can provide that glow.
Her lifestyle comes through sheer hard work, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could have a little slice of that? To be a little bit like your idols – whether it be attaining their form in yoga poses, or maybe wearing the same pants as them. That’s why celebrity endorsements work so well. And whilst I’m normally immune to that sort of thing, when it came to the Reebok and Tara collaboration.. I was sold.
These cloud pants showed up more and more in her Insta feed, and I gradually became obsessed. I was sad to find they weren’t available in my size on the European website – but I took a chance and went a size down. Now I’m glad I did, because they fit perfectly! They look tiny though are really stretchy when put on, but don’t go see-through at all; there’s also no draw-string which I thought would be an issue, as they are so high waisted I don’t foresee this being a problem.
I will report back post-workout to let you know how they fare! If you’re in Europe and a size L or XL, they’re still available here. Otherwise, America you have the full size allocation (if you’re a half size, go down). Lucky you!
Image of Tara from her Instagram feed; also check out her NYC studios, Strala.
Near my boyfriend’s hometown is a Natural Trust forest, Alderley Edge – rather ominously nicknamed The Edge (no, not the guy from U2). It’s a maze of pathways through trees, up hills and down gorges, all ending up at a sharply jutting rock formation which really does seem like the edge of forever. It’s supposedly the home of witches, where Merlin the wizard is buried, and also has an abandoned copper mine – you can see the evidence in the mint green coating on the ground and cliff faces – which all make for quite the epic running environment.
Since we were visiting my other half’s grandad this past weekend we decided to get some real fresh air in our lungs and go for a run around The Edge, not with any particular route in mind, though for this run it really felt best to go randomly: with hills and obstacles, not to mention the boggy pathways which in my opinion only added to the fun.
This run was approximately 6.5mph for 30 minutes, with a quick stopoff for photos on The Edge.. But who’s counting when it’s this fun and you get this caked in mud?!
Now my beloved Zest magazine is no longer, I’m trying out a few alternatives to see if they can fill the lovely, positive, healthy hole Zest has left. Women’s Health seemed a good bet, with its claim to have won awards and its successful Men’s equivalent, but sadly I didn’t enjoy the style of writing, nor the contradictory articles (for example: sushi is a bad choice for lunch due to its high carb and low protein nature, but next page shows the 10 best sushi rolls. OK then).
What really got my goat, though, was the article on the final page: “My life on a plate“. Nicole Winhoffer is a celebrity trainer who, according to the article, does 12-14 hours of exercise a week. Let’s assume that’s 13 hours of running about 6mph – an added 1114 calories a day on top of her BMR – guesstimated at 1200 calories. Unless the portions are enormous, it looks like she is consuming about 1500 calories maximum from the food diary on the page.
OK, so I wouldn’t eat that little for that amount of activity, but everybody is different, and I am not judging Nicole’s intake as she has clearly figured out what’s best for her. However, this magazine is called Women’s Health, and any health and fitness professional probably wouldn’t recommend such a restricting diet – would they? Which is why I was glad to spy the “expert verdict” at the bottom.
No mention that her intake may be too little for a regular female human. In fact, the expert advises Nicole on how to lean out her food even more.
Am I overreacting by being a little shocked about the expert’s advice? What are your thoughts on magazine articles like these?