Three years ago I heard about this super green powder which seemed to be the new in thing. Japan’s most revered form of green tea has now become a must-have ingredient. Matcha unlike traditional green tea, preparation involves covering the tea plants with cloths before they’re harvested. This encourages the growth of leaves with better flavour and texture, which are hand selected, steamed briefly to stop fermentation, then dried and aged in cold storage. The dried leaves are then stone-ground into a fine powder so there is no bitterness. I know a good few people who include matcha in their general food diet and believe it greatly helps their cognitive performance. I have tried it before but never stuck with it as I would forget to take it. I actually don’t mind the earthy spinach taste but I guess for some it would take getting used to.
When Vivid Drinksasked if I would like to try their Brainbox 14 day Matcha Plan in the hope that it would increase my mental focus and concentration I said yes please after all I need all the help I can get. You may have read my January goals post where I mention how I want to take care of myself a bit more this year and that includes brain health. I accept there will be stress in life but managing it is vital to wellbeing. I was really impressed with the website’s productivity ideas for example having the colour yellow in the office or your workspace has been shown to boost concentration and alertness or adding plants in the workplace can be very beneficial. The higher level of concentration can be attributed to the plants ability to reduce excess carbon dioxide in the air.
Upon opening the Brainbox I found two small boxes each containing 7 single serve sachets. Also included was a wall planner of puzzles, teasers and recipe ideas for each day. The idea of working through them I thought was great to help my gray matter. I’m usually rubbish at crosswords but felt pretty pleased to have completed one in full! Mr M worked out the triangle teaser whereas I was out by 3 but nevermind. I did all on the other tasks and it made me think how giving the brain some daily exercise is just as important as physical exercise. As a busy mum I know how exhausting days can be so on day 5 for example the task was to make a list of three priorities for the day. I am a list maker so this was fine to do.
As for the powder there is caffeine and an amino acid called L’theanine all helping this matcha to be the antioxidant enriched powder that keeps the mind relaxed and alert. This seems to be one health fad that has the backing of science. The ways in which I have incorporated matcha into my diet are by adding it to soups, yogurt, butter on toast, smoothies, hot chocolate with almond milk and I tried to make matcha cupcakes but they didn’t turn out so well. Still I am going to stick to this green goodness. The Brainbox is available in Holland & Barrett retailing at £19.99 and I would love to know if you use matcha and have any recipes you would like to share.
Every now and then I come across products that make a huge impact in my life and I’m so happy that this simple motivational water bottle HydrateM8 has done just that improving my general well being. With the big 40 life begins and all that jazz birthday next month, I’ve been trying to get into the best shape that I can possibly be. It’s been a little hard to exercise to be honest as life is busy when you have an active toddler but I try to fit in a workout here and there. I am however a huge fan of water so I’ve been drinking what feels like an ocean these past few months and I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my skin looking brighter the crows feet are still there though.
I drink approximately 3.5 litres on a good day and make sure I drink a glass of water before I go to bed at night sadly this sometimes means I need the use of the lavatorium in the middle of the night but I can’t complain as I’m used to waking up due to my sleep raider son. Other non water beverages (wink wink) have been consumed mainly at weekends but with the pace of every day life sometimes it’s hard to keep a track of whether you’re actually drinking enough. The popular HydrateM8 is simply a bottle of a 900ml capacity with time line markings to keep a track of how much water you should be drinking but this concept will help anyone young and old.
I first came across this product line on Instagram and loved it so much that I ordered two one for me and mine and it arrived quickly in good packaging. Available in 7 colours, 2 childrens bottles and 2 fruit infusers, the adult bottles are £13.99 although there is a current offer on the ‘summer mode’ bottle 2 for £22. It is perhaps pricey for an empty bottle you could say but I know I will use it daily and I haven’t regretted making the purchase at all.
Staying hydrated is oh so important yet many of us just don’t drink enough in the day. I know when I’m dehydrated as I get headaches especially in the recent warm weather. My body also slows down and every action seems a struggle. The body will perform well if it is consistently hydrated bit by bit and it doesn’t have to be water. Eating fruits and vegetables which contain high water will definitely help. I’m not a fan of cucumbers but love cucumber flavoured water how odd is that! I love how I can infuse the HydrateM8 with a couple of cucumber slices thrown in. I have yet to try lemon and lime for a boost of Vitamin C or why not chuck in some berries and anything else you fancy as long as it’s good for you!.
I also make sure Jay has his toddler bottle of water near him always. As a parent I want to make sure he drinks enough water in the day as he can forget when playing and having fun. Talking about toddlers, I was thinking how good a gift this would make for a pregnant friend! The other lovely thing about this range is the quirky motivational quotes to keep you hydrated. If I hadn’t gone for the ‘Summer Mode’ bottle I would have selected ‘Carpe Diem’ (a Latin aphorism ‘Seize the day’ ) one of my favourite sayings of all time.
WORK HARD DREAM BIG
HARDER BETTER FASTER STRONGER
NOTHING WORTH HAVING COMES EASY
I don’t think I can say any more as you get the idea but do check out the website and it’s great to see that the company have been working with the British Charity Pump Aid helping communities with basic needs, safe water and sanitation. We do take water for granted here and it really is so very valuable we should use it wisely and drink wise.
Thanks for reading
Go and grab a glass of water or better still, a HydrateM8, Mate.
Back in September 2014 I purchased a SlenderTone Abs belt which you can read about hereand this is my update post as I have had a number of readers contact me about my progress.
I should say that I have been trying to eat better by reducing my sugar intake as I did develop Gestational Diabetes during my pregnancy which came as a massive shock BUT I was able to control my diet and not take any medication thankfully. It has been a wake up call so I am much more conscious of what I eat now but I am a strong believer in saying everything in moderation!
9 months ago I gave birth to a much wanted baby boy. It was by far the most eye watering difficult thing I have ever done requiring all of my strength. 37 hours and lots of screaming later ta-dah! I became a mum and everything was brilliant with the World again.
9 months old
This time last year I was 6 months pregnant and watched others drinking and being merry enjoying Christmas treats while I looked on with a grumpy cat face. This year it will be much different and all will be fine with the World again. The Abs belt has really helped me get back some body confidence. As you can see I did have some left over flab which I could have lived with of course but as one of my personal goals for this year I wanted to achieve a flatter tummy. I do have 3 teeny tiger stretch stripes for my baby carriage efforts but I will wear these with pride.
8 months post partum
9 months post partum
I was sceptical at first as I wasn’t sure this would work for me but I am very pleased with the results to date and wish I had purchased it sooner. I don’t belong to any gym but I’m fine wearing it every other day for 20 minutes whilst going about my business and combining it with eating a varied diet and drinking protein juices. I have started to notice some definition but whether I can maintain this remains to be seen!
Would love to hear from you if you too are on a Slender toning quest!