Beauty, lifestyle

Teatox – fad or fab?

By Jasmine McRae

Jasmine sets to share her newfound and honest insight into the mysterious world of teatoxes.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt self-conscious about your body. I know I have. As young women we almost feel expected to try every diet, workout routine or new fitness fad in the book. And where does it leave us? Skint and frustrated at our lack of results.

I delved into the mystical world of Detox Teas at the end of last year. I was absolutely desperate for that summer bod; looking and feeling fabulous. Teatoxes are usually between £20 and £50, depending on the brand, the length of time you’ll be using them, and whether they contain any special ingredients or supplements too.

Hunting for a bargain, I ended up on the TeaMi website; a company that specialises in the topic. They have teas for everything: metabolism boosts, better sleep, increasing your cognitive function (no, really), and weight loss. Their basic weight loss teatox program costs an eye-watering £49.99 and comes with two bags. One contains the Skinny Tea, which claims to energise you, reduce hunger and increase fat burning. The other is the Colon Tea, which literally just makes you need to crap. A lot.

I had really high hopes. Well, if you spend the equivalent of a fortnight’s food shop on a few tea bags, you will want a decent product, right?

In all honesty, I enjoyed the Skinny Tea aspect of the detox. I loved the taste, but I love green tea anyway, so I was winning from the beginning. Although, I didn’t feel like suddenly running a marathon, nor I did see any fat burned. I still felt like I needed my usual pint of coffee in the mornings to get me going. So minimal effect really.

And then it was the Colon Tea. These teas, no matter what brand you buy, are essentially laxatives, and need to be drank before bed. The adverts say that they ‘cleanse’ your body, but it’s really more like some sort of lava that flush out of your system.  hated it. It tasted awful; hints of black liquorice and overtones of dishwater. Precisely eight hours after you drink it, you’ll need to be within about two meters of a toilet, which isn’t ideal if you have things to be doing the next morning.

It took me about three weeks of suffering with through this Teatox to realise that it was just another fad. There are countless manipulative (read: sponsored) Insta-famous girls brandishing their tea infusers on social media. Companies like this just exploit our insecurities, and want us all to spend £50 for a ‘quick-fix’. It really doesn’t work.

I gave up the Teatox, and although it was heart-wrenching to chuck it in the bin, I am actually so much happier. My sleeping pattern is back to normal, which is working wonders for my mood and focus in day to day life. Eating healthily and moving more is making some of those extra pounds shift a little bit.
But the best part? Being able to leave my house to get to university, or even go for a jog, without having to lock myself in the toilet.

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Uncategorized

Playing Cupid

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you set up two of your friends? 

Inspired by Barney Stinson from ‘How I met Your Mother’, I joined two of my friend’s, who for this purpose will be called ‘Sophie’ and ‘Sam’, into a group chat. Which I swiftly left afterwards. After both parties had messaged me confused, after some encouragement from me they got talking and well…

What happened next?
After they had got over the initial awkwardness, they set up a date, and have hit it off.

What did they think?

“At first I thought, omg why is Jess doing this. But then with some ‘encouragement’ from X I went on a date. Now I think X is the ultimate wing woman and am very grateful”.

‘Sam’ recalls …”You’re going on a date with x.” She tells me that x is short, cute, beautiful and lovely. Next thing she makes a group chat with myself and X in it, and says “have you met X?” Then proceeds to leave the chat alone with myself and x, the ever so awkward first chat went well, after getting to know one another for a brief period we agreed on a date to go out. After seeing her the first thing I wanted, was to see her again and again I can’t thank X enough for setting me us”

So it turns out it can really be that simple to get two people together. Social experiment, completed. I wonder how they’ll tell people they met…

 

 

Ethics, lifestyle, relationships, sexuality

Exploring your sexuality

Exploring your sexuality is such a normal part of life. Not everybody does it but there are so many people that do and it’s totally fine. I mean, how many girls that are heterosexual have had a sleepover with friends and has ended up kissing there best girlfriend? Probably thousands. It’s so normal and it’s not even weird to kiss your friends anymore, even for guys (which is fabulous). I’ve been around plenty of guys, plenty of times that, just for a laugh, give their mates a cheeky peck but, it can go so much further than that and it’s so okay.

At the end of the day sexuality can be so confusing and for some people knowing exactly what they are is important and their way of knowing is to experiment and honestly it’s so common and can be fun. I hate to think that anyone feels weird for fooling around with their best friend that one time, it’s a part of growing up for some and discovering who you are.

It’s a good thing to explore your sexuality, if you want to. Exploring and trying new things can ultimately lead you to being who you really are and even ending up not labeling yourself . No one has to have a label to their sexuality. When it comes to your sexuality, how you go about dealing with it, exploring it and what you label it as is totally your choice and it should be whatever makes you happiest. 

Food For Thought, Uncategorized

LOVE URSELF

Why is it that self love and self confidence is always encouraged but yet when someone is openly confident it’s often frowned upon?  If someone feels good about themselves and takes a picture to show that, they’re instantly labelled vain or self obsessed. We live in a society of constant double standards. I know that within my group of friends if I take a picture and I feel good about myself in it I can show them they’ll be like, FUCK YES, FUCK YES YOU DO. The world that we live in is so critical, but those around you should be the ones to build you up not bring you down.

Recently someone who very quickly became one of my best friends this year said to me “If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year, it’s that you must never extinguish your flame in order to keep another’s burning”. The harsh reality is that, life isn’t always a walk in the park, it’s a struggle, but it’s beautiful and wonderful. But you should never have to diminish your self worth for another person’s. If you feel like you look good go ahead and show it off.  There’s always going to be pressure surrounding us, it’s not just a creation of the 21st century, it’s happened for generations. But it’s about surrounding yourself with people who will constantly show you that all you’re in yourself is good enough, and you being yourself is the best version of you you will ever be. Humans are scary, and sometimes make me wonder but we are all equally wonderful and amazing, despite the choices we make or our physical appearances.

Imagine what the world could be if we were a little bit kinder to ourselves, and others.

lifestyle, relationships

Those First Dates

We all go through it and generally it’s the best feeling in the world. Meeting someone who seems to be the perfect person, you connect immediately and you become infatuated with them. You essentially turn fourteen again and have the biggest crush on this human and all going well you start dating. I dare say those first few dates are the best times you can have with a person. It’s flirting, giggling, sex, cuddling, nothing serious, but then there’s that impending anticipation of “wow, shit I really like this person, are we going to become something?” Which in itself can be pretty damn exciting. But some tips I’ve thought of while going through this myself are:

Enjoy and embrace the moment in the moment. Be mindful when you’re with the person to just be in the moment and enjoy those first butterflies and the excitement because, in my opinion, it can be the best feeling in the world.

Go on actual dates! Sure we all don’t mind a ‘Netflix and Chill’ every now and again, but go out with this person and do fun and exciting things as well! Go Karting, bowling, mini golf, dinner dates, that sort of stuff can make the dating stage even more fun and can add an element of competition, which is even more fun if you’re a competitive person!

Don’t rush into anything you don’t feel comfortable doing with this person. Whether it be sex, meeting the parents/family, staying at their house, anything. Put up your own boundaries and if this person you’re dating can’t accept that, they’re probably not the person for you.

Find out everything about this person you deem important. Whether it be something like what they’re studying/doing for work, what bands they adore, or something a bit more serious like their values, it’ll most likely help in the long run.

Last but not least if it doesn’t work out don’t get too disheartened, sure it sucks but there are plenty of fish in the sea, you just need to find the right one for you!

lifestyle, Mental Health

5 things to do to help relax your mind

Relaxation is so important, physically and mentally. Physical relaxation often comes more naturally than mental relaxation, physical relaxation can include napping, showering/bathing, sitting on the sofa doing absolutely nothing. Knowing how to relax your mind can be something that needs to be learnt and can seem impossible to achieve, especially if you suffer with anxiety or another mental illness. So to help you on your way to looking after your ever so important mind, here are 5 things that could make your mental relaxation time a little easier and more successful.

 Take a step out – Read a book or a magazine, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Reading is great escapism and the focus can really distract your mind from what you’ve been worrying or stressing about lately.

Focus on your breathing – Count as you breathe. Start by counting to 3 as you breathe in, 3 as you breathe out and from there work out what’s comfortable for you.

Try active relaxation – I’ve recently found that gentle exercise can help your mind settle down tons. Try to find a yoga or Pilates class and if not, you tube have great tutorials and you can great apps as well. Taking a walk at your own pace can also be great, whether it’s 15 minutes or an hour.

Get creative – Writing is a massive outlet for me, I could write for hours and it’s so relaxing. Whether you want to write, doodle or paint whatever you do, try not to worry about the final product, you don’t have to be good at what you’re doing, just try to enjoy it. Lighting a scented candle can help along with creativity and relaxing your mind too.

Listen to music – Listen to your favorite songs, turn the volume up if you like and sing along or dance. Just have fun because once you are, your mind will be transported to somewhere serene, or pop on your headphones, lay down, close your eyes and just listen.

Try to practice relaxing your mind around 4 times a week and if you find one that works well for you, stick with it and you’ll soon see the benefits.

Uncategorized

Why are we so controlled by social media?

Like many people my age, social media consumes a huge part of my life. I’m constantly wanting to take aesthetic photos to fit my Instagram theme or thinking “oooo I should tweet that!”. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love social media, I really love browsing through my different timelines, probably due to the fact I’m incredibly nosey if I’m honest. But, why is it an initial thought that comes into my head when I’m having a good time or doing something great that probably won’t be even remotely interesting to anyone else to stop what I’m doing and share it with everyone in either a photo or a text-talk style 140 character tweet that lacks all grammar?

Are we exploiting our own happiness to brag to other people? Do we want them to think we have this picture perfect life with constant great lighting, without lipstick on our teeth or odd socks on? Why do we want people to know what we’re up too? Why do I think anyone would be interested in hearing what I’m going to make for tea or that I’m happy the Bee Movie has been added to Netflix? (Fantastic I know)

When I start thinking about all this, I’m confused to whether we are doing all of this subconsciously, for our own benefit or simply because we feel like it? Am I just thinking about this too deep, do I really just post these things so I can look back on them, to get things off my chest and share cool things? When you think about it, it’s a pretty negative thing that we want to post these aspects of our lives and tell other people before we enjoy them ourselves. Or, is the train ride I’m on as I write this too long so I’m looking way too much into this and trying to spout some false philosophical bullshit? Either way, I’m about to go spend the next 3 hours on Twitter.