Caffeine Free Girl


Throughout the course of my little blogging journey I’ve been trying to make positive changes everywhere I can. But, as we all know, even for the most open of us, change can be bloody hard! Experts will tell you that behavioral change is the most difficult because habits become ingrained into our routines and therefore our lives. That’s why smokers find it so hard to kick the habit, why you’re waking up at 6 am on a Saturday instead of lying in while you have the day off and probably why 9 times out of ten you did lock the door when you left the house even if you can’t remember doing it. Behaviors, people! So change is hard, and it’s not because you’re not up for it, it’s just that you’re battling a consistent behavioral pattern that your mind has gotten used to and doesn’t see a reason to do anything differently because it likes its little routine.

Just about one month ago, I made a bit of a biggie (for me anyway). I cut high doses caffeine out of my diet. Coffee, Coke, Tea (inwardly wails) are gone.

Caffeine and Me

Why you ask? Well, I’m a slight girl with a fast metabolism and I have found that while caffeine can definitely give me an energy boost, the negative effects greatly outweigh the positives for me. I get energy spikes and then massive troughs (which makes me need a boost through food, often sugar) and it has a really bad effect on my sleep. Over the last while I have been noticing that it makes my heart absolutely race which, again just doesn’t sound very good. I’m not a girl to do things by halves and I have been down the “cutting down” road before so I made the decision to just get it out.

I love a cup of coffee. I am the girl juggling a take away Starbucks or Glasgow favorite Gordon St. Coffee cup with my phone and bag while stalking about town. Tea is my go-to comfort drink. I feel like I actually need it when I’ve had a tough day or open a book. There are just so many situations when it’s the most appropriate drink going. Basically, the last month has been very tough. But as anyone who has ever made a decision and stuck to it knows well, it has also been really, really rewarding.

How I managed it:

For the first 10 days I was very tired. Specifically at work which is where I tend to need the pick me up most – I have written a post on staying healthy at work here if you are like me and would like some tips. But I realised that if I was going to make this change, that I would need to really commit to it. So I started going to bed a bit earlier. I started to make sure that I was more hydrated at work – even going so far as keeping a 2 litre bottle of Evian at my desk! Soon, I was finding that my energy levels we actually increasing and (oh joy of joys) my skin started looking much, much healthier!  It can be very difficult to break a habit and make a change and the thing about changes to your lifestyle is that they require a consistent effort. But the reward has been so great and I am so proud of myself for sticking to it!

If you are interested in cutting out caffeine, I hope that this post has shown that it can be done. Here is a link to caffeine content in various drinks from The Guardian which was a bit of an eye opener for me.

Have you ever given up something and reaped the benefits? Leave a comment below, we can encourage each other!

I miss tea but here are some of the substitutes I’ve been using from left to right: Earl Grey from Whittard (sparingly), Lemongrass and Green Tea from WholeFoods, Mountain Honeybush Tea also from Wholefoods and Arctic Storm Tea (a mix of green tea with chilli and other delicious things) which I bought in the Greenwich Market in London and utterly love!
Water has been my go-to lately which may explain the slightly more glowey skin I have been experiencing!
Boiled water with lemon and/or Lemon and ginger is another delicious and cleansing hot drink. Also…look at the size of that lemon!!

Sunday Post – Friends, Free Love and Free Running

What a week it has been for the Pride movement and for love and positivity everywhere!

It’s been another full on and fun week for me here in Glasgow too. Working overtime 4 out of 5 days this week to get an event up and running at work has been hard going but also very rewarding. This week I also started to try out a new little fitness practice that I like to call “free running” -purely because making up names for things makes them sound more interesting in my eyes!

Not a new or complicated concept, in the spirit of my last post, I just get into my running gear, leave my music off and head out in a direction that I haven’t been before and am curious to find out about. I don’t map it or plan it. I don’t set out to achieve a particular distance. If I don’t like where I’m headed I go back and try a different route. I did this on Tuesday evening, I got a little bit lost at one point (of course) but it was an interesting way to explore the area I live in, and pay more attention to my surroundings on a beautiful June day.

Taking the time and distance pressure off can rekindle your appreciation of running, and probably a lot of sports now that I think of it. I came home and did a 30 Days of Yoga video as a stretch out too – I am currently doing a Yoga video almost everyday. It’s become a bit of an obsession of mine and I’m noticing an increased level of zen and a also bit of arm definition happening too which is nice!

I have to say though, the highlight of my week has been a visit from my friend Eimear who spent Friday and Saturday here with me.  I’ve known Eimear since our first year of University and we have been firm friends ever since. I find that as you get older, you just don’t get to spend as much time with the people that you care about as you would like to. Life, schedules, commitments all have a habit of getting in the way don’t they? I certainly feel like this having moved country, but I believe that everyone can relate, regardless of your situation. The great thing about good friends is that you can just pick straight up from where you left off no matter how long it’s been. It’s such a pleasure to talk about and truly appreciate each others little life triumphs while also laughing about the hilarious shared Uni experiences!

The thing that I find is that you can have a body or a job or a life that inspires envy, but without having positive people around you it would all be a bit pointless. So if you have good people, give them the appreciation they deserve. Good friends and positive people are good for your health!

Have a great Sunday 🙂

Tea with Friends :)
Tea with Friends 🙂
Me and Eimear
Eimear and I at dinner on Saturday

Staying Healthy at Work: A Lazy Girls Guide


Our jobs can be demanding at times, can’t they? I have been in a full time career for almost two years now (yikes!). Lately I have been really thinking about how I can maintain healthy habits in the workplace. I’ll always be honest in this blog, so I have to say that I have definitely given in to some really rubbish habits at work at times. Plates of chips and beans for lunch, coffee after coffee, Snickers bars as a snack, I could go on! When the pressure is on you reach for comfort don’t you? A lot of things can make us forget to stay healthy. Maybe you are new to full time work, or feel like you’re in a bit of a rut, or maybe your coursework is chaining you to the desk more than you like.

In this post, I want to share a list of things that help me to stay a little bit healthier in the workplace:


1. Our friend caffeine

Let’s leave the catch up’s with this particular pal to mornings only, shall we? I mean, we love him, but repeated caffeine fixes throughout the day WILL mess with you! I have found that a high intake of caffeine in my day goes hand in hand with increased stress levels and terrible sleep. It creates a vicious circle, so break it! Have you tried out herbal teas containing Ginkgo Biloba? This is a natural energiser and one that I have been meaning to try. A piece of fruit after your lunch will give you a sugar boost to get through your food coma. If you hit a slump, hydrating yourself with water, squash or flavoured tea will give you a gentle boost that will get you through, without the caffeine hangover later.

2. Be Self Conscious:

Not as counter productive as it sounds I promise! Hunching over a laptop, poring over files or holding a phone to your ear for long periods of time will tense up your body and cause tension particularly in your neck and back. Be mindful of how you are sitting and why you are sitting like that. Think of it is going to effect your body. Are your shoulders relaxed? Are you sitting at the edge of your seat  because you can’t see your screen clearly? Can you adjust it so that you don’t have to do that? Are your legs crossed over and over because you were just in a stressful situation? Maybe you need to take a minute, get yourself a glass of water and have a breather before you get back to it. Sometimes I get so focused on the task at hand that I forget to think about myself. Don’t fall into that trap. Be conscious of yourself. Your body will thank you for it!

3. Snacking isn’t all bad:

Making food that I’m not going to eat straight away feels plain wrong to me which always puts me off making packed lunches! Don’t make it difficult on yourself, a lot of canteens have healthy options, but if you can, try to have some fruit and veg on hand for slumps and snacking. A guy I work with once brought a full bag of chopped carrots from Sainsbury’s to snack on, and do you know what? Between the two of us there were none left by the end of the day! I think it’s a great idea. My favourite part is that there was no preparation required! Pre chopped fruit and veg is tasty, clean and a good healthy snack.


4. Try to Eat Something In the Morning:

I have spoken about the benefits of a healthy brekky in a previous post (which you can read here) so I won’t go into this again. But just to say that a handy cheat for those (like myself) who like a lie in in the morning is even to have a little smoothie in the fridge that you can pop into a bottle, or if you are me, a reusable coffee cup, to drink on the way in. It’s not ideal but at least you are getting something into your tummy before you get to your desk.

I hope that these tips are of some help to you and if you have any to share with me please let me know by leaving a comment.

Sunday Post: Bloggers and Braggers

Sometimes I take part in blogger chats on Twitter and earlier this week I stumbled upon the #socialbloggers chat. One of the first questions asked was when you started blogging and I realised: I have been blogging for 6 months! It feels nice to have kept this little hobby up and I have to say that I’m proud of my little piece of the internet.

One thing that I love about blogging is that it provides a network of support and interest in your chosen subject. It actually is meaningful when someone you have never met compliments your writing, or an achievement you posted about or nominates you for an award. That really makes blogging for me. Acknowledging achievements and supporting people in their endeavors shows your quality as a human being. When you are a person who has an interest, you are open to praise and encouragement, but you are also open to judgement and of course the dreaded “humble bragger”.

One thing that I have noticed over the years is that like anything else, people who care about their fitness can be bloody competitive about it. There is nothing more irritating than being in the presence of someone who asks you about an achievement only to belittle it. You can always tell when people ask about your running times whether they are genuinely interested or whether they are looking for a chance to put you down. People jump on fitness or healthy eating bandwagons all of the time and work toward whatever goal they want to achieve. Some people do it for themselves, and some people do it for their status among others. It is generally in the latter that we find the braggers and the put downs. I’ll be honest with you, I am a confident girl. I like the way I look, I like the things that I have done and I have a good idea of what I want out of life. At 25 I have less and less time for anyone who has a problem with that. Simple as.

Listening to a boaster go on about how strong or fit they are or how much organic unpronounceable superfoods they consume on a daily basis doesn’t make me lose hope or feel like I am rubbish. Because I am too comfortable in myself to stop running just because someone looks at me funny when I tell them the time of my last race. But some people are put off by that. Some people do think that because they aren’t hitting a particular mark that they should just stop. Or that because they can’t afford to buy this expensive grain or juicer that there isn’t much point in continuing with their healthy lifestyle because so and so says that any other approach is rubbish. Who would want to be a person that puts others off bettering themselves? You won’t get anything from it, other than the isolation of being the only person who wants to be the best. You won’t be happy with what you have achieved because whatever satisfaction you get from putting one person down will be short lived because there is always, always going to be someone who is better than you.

If you are good at something don’t sour your achievement by using it to make other people feel small. It only makes you look insecure. If you find yourself talking to someone who is putting you down, just remember that your goals are personal. You’re not working for anyone else but yourself and we all feel bad about where we are sometimes. Please keep going! I probably should give some tactic here for how to steer a conversation away from bragging and into more positive territory, but honestly? If someone is being like that just finish the conversation and move on to someone with better chat.

As far as I’m concerned, the braggers can get in the bin.

Go For It: Let’s Go Trampolining!

Sorry about the lack of pictures and the quality, we were just having too much fun to take more and it wasn't the kinda place to bring your new Nikon!
Sorry about the lack of pictures and the quality, we were just having too much fun to take more and it wasn’t the kinda place to bring your new Nikon!

Here in this part of the world we are lucky enough to get some time off over the Easter period. When I was living at home, this would always be a time when we would do something as a family, usually involving some kind of light exercise and the subsequent consumption of a LOT of really good food. I haven’t been back in Ireland for the Easter break in the last two years, however, the old habits stick, so food and fun were high on the list for this weekend. Which leads me to write this weeks Go For It post on Trampolining! A little while ago, my boyfriend told me about an indoor trampolining park called Airspace which had recently opened in East Kilbride, and could we please go because it sounded awesome.

Well, I didn’t need to be asked twice!

Having only ever done a little bit of trampoline work during PE at school and of course bouncing about on friends back garden trampolines in my childhood, I’m a total novice when it comes to this. But the idea of a massive floor with over a hundred trampolines sounded way too exciting to get put off by a little matter like that. We booked a slot and went to Airspace on Saturday morning. When we arrived we were welcomed at the door by a member of staff who told us a little bit about the venue and where to go to sign in etc. which was nice and helpful. By the time our slot came around we were itching to get on the trampolines. There was a safety briefing before going out where the presenter used video examples of do’s and don’ts on the trampolines which was good because it told us what we needed to know but didn’t take too long; and then we were let loose.


There is trampoline dodgeball, basketball, airbag jumps, and then a space towards the back of the area with wall to wall trampolines (and I’m actually talking trampolines on the walls here). My favorites were the trampoline basketball where you can bounce as high as you can to get a slam dunk (I didn’t manage it, but it was still awesome and Chris and I got quite competitive) and the wall to wall trampoline area where I tried a few twists and bouncing from my bum to standing (again, with varying degrees of success).

Jumping around on trampolines for an hour is pure joy. The second we got on them we were smiling and laughing like a pair of children (although we were far less talented at trampolining than all of the children there, we discovered) and we didn’t stop until it was time to leave. Trampolining is high intensity exercise so it’s a fantastic workout, and the fun aspect of it makes you keep going for longer than a more boring or repetitive activity. It was tiring and I recommend taking a couple of breaks, but the hour slot is more than enough time to have a lot of fun and try all of the things that you want to try. I was a little bit stiff on Sunday so stretching afterwards is a must. If you want to give something new a try, get a group together and go trampolining, it is so much fun and will make you feel happy and silly and all of the good things. I’ll be back next month, hoping to get that slam dunk!

There are trampolining parks all over the world, but in my little corner Airspace is the closest, you can find out more about it here.

Have you tried something like this before? Let me know how you got on.

Tired out after all of that bouncing!