9 Nov 2017

BOXING | WINTER MORNINGS WITH BIOTIFUL DAIRY

“Our research shows that people look to increase their immunity and self-defence against illness during the winter months" 
- Natasha Bowes, CEO and founder of Bio-tiful Dairy


Earlier this week I began my first official winter morning with Biotiful... I literally stepped out of my house at 6am into the darkness with frost and ice as my only companions, I honestly couldn't have thought of a better way to warm myself up than with a boxing class with the girls to kickstart my immune system for the cold months ahead.

  

WHAT IS KEFIR? The chances are if you've been to Eastern European or Arab countries you've probably already tasted Kefir (pronounced similar to the Arabic world "Kathir" - meaning plentiful). I used to drink it all the time oblivious to the health benefits whenever abroad, and never considered its lack of availability in the UK. 

You may also know it was Laban, Labneh its a cultured milk drink, made by fermenting milk with 2000-year-old kefir ‘grains’ (cultures) that are a natural symbiosis of a large number (40+) of beneficial bacteria strains and several types of beneficial yeasts. As a result of the process, Kefir contains billions of live gut-friendly bacteria and therefore has unparalleled probiotic properties and is naturally low in lactose - making it suitable for lactose intolerant consumers.


When the Boss tells you to Plank and punch - you best plank and punch. Planking is one of the exercises I find the most difficult - it uses all of my weakest muscles - upper body - haha. It was nice to train in a group and I actually find it much more motivational and fun, although I actually thoroughly enjoy the gym and classes in general to be honest but I felt so pumped for this session!


After our intense workout we all went over to Grind enjoy our hard earned breakfasts! I honestly kid you not when I say ALL of our arms and legs felt like JELLY after this session and it comes as no surprise because our trainer put us through one of the most testing works outs to kick start our winter metabolisms! We had a fiesta of warm beverages, oats, granola, warm bread, avocado and Kefir of course! These kinds of spreads are what I live for.

 
x6 Pad Punches 
x6 High Knees On Pad.
x6 High Kicks On Pad.

WHATS IN KEFIR?
Biotiful Kefir is naturally packed with essential vitamins and minerals (including B12 and B2), is high in protein and calcium and free from artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. It’s a similar consistency to yoghurt however a lot more powerful than as it contains over 40 strains of gut-friendly bacteria (while yoghurt typically has only 4).




WHY IS KEFIR AN IMPORTANT EDITION TO MY DIET?
Due to the colder weather and impending over-indulgence across the festive season (WE'RE ALL GUILTY),according to Biotiful's research 47% of us say we fall ill more often, and almost half (49%) of us put on weight in the Winter months. In attempts to prevent this, Bio-tiful Dairy’s study found that although one in four of us tries to lose weight in November, pre-toxing is a popular theme as Winter descends however 82% of the people surveyed admit they don’t do enough to support their overall gut health.

HOW DO I ENJOY MY KEFIR?
When I was younger I would enjoy Kefir on its own, Biotiful have created flavoured versions which make them all the more yummier to have on its own. However I mostly love to have my Kefir in the morning as part of my regular diet. I've been enjoying it for almost a week now and love the original and cherry flavour the most! There are so many delicious recipes on the Biotiful website : Here.

MY MORNING BOWL : Soaked Oats, Blueberries, Strawberries, Granola, and CO-Q10 milled nuts from the Linwood - this is your daily minimum of nuts and and I put a table spoon of this milled powder in everything, smoothies, porridge, on toast etc, it doesn't really have a taste but its SO good for you. Then I pour Kefir all over and mix it all up and enjoy! Kefir is the perfect replacement for my usual bowl full of milk (which isn't all that good for you anyway).

I usually have a shot of lemon, Ginger, Honey to accompany my breakfast (also great for keeping illnesses at bay).



WHERE CAN I BUY KEFIR?
The good news is Biotiful have just launched in Tesco and Sainsburys this week. They have been available at Harrods and Selfridges for about a year, however the Natasha's (the founder) reasons for beginning the business were firstly accessibility, and so Natasha worked hard to make sure Kefir is available to ALL.

 

Lastly I'll leave you with some top tips which I found very useful from Lucy Jones, an award-winning Dietitian and Broadcaster who joined us at breakfast:

1. Eat a range of colourful, vitamin rich foods with every meal to ensure you’re giving your body what it needs. Vitamins A and C can be found in a brightly coloured diet, including a range of fruits and vegetables. Vitamin E has anti-oxidant properties, and can be added to meals by using nuts, seeds, and olive and rapeseed oils. 

2. Zinc supports immunity and can help in fighting colds, and reducing how long you are ill. It can be taken as a supplement, or easily incorporated into diets by eating lean meat, fish and seafood, nuts, seeds and beans. 

3. Friendly bacteria, found in fermented foods and supplements, can support the body’s defences against viruses and how long they last. Kefir contains high levels of these bacteria and different strains, as well as being high in protein and vitamins. 

4. Make sure you’re getting sufficient calories when following a healthy diet, and getting a range of different foods, which will all supply different nutrients. This is crucial for energy and mental performance. 


5. Adequate sleep, to complement a good diet, helps support the immune system and maintain necessary energy levels. Although many people can function well enough on little sleep, research suggests a minimum of seven hours is needed to keep you functioning at your best. 

6. Keeping active, alongside a healthy diet, can boost your immune system. However, extreme exercise can put increased pressure on your body and reduce immunity temporarily, making you more prone to illness. Make sure to adjust your diet according to your activity regime. 

7. Many foods are especially helpful in promoting good health, rather than there being any singular ‘superfood’. Oranges, for example, are a great source of Vitamin C, and garlic has antimicrobial and immunomodulatory properties, again thought to help our natural defences against poor health.

Nutrition should be a top priority for us all, but its sadly often the last thing we think about due to our hectic lifestyles. I've recently made the switch to strictly organic produce myself. We owe it to ourselves to give our bodies the fighting chance they deserve - our bodies are our one chance vessels in this life.

Give your Gut a fighting chance this winter and roll with the  punches!



Instagram @biotiful_dairy | Twitter@biotiful_dairy 


30 Oct 2017

SITI KHADIJA | PRAYER OUTFIT

www.sitikhadijah.com


I was recently invited to the launch of Siti Khadijah in the UK. Siti Khadijah are a modest wear brand which caters to the Muslim prayer wear sector. There nothing more frustrating than needing pray when you're wearing clothing which isn't suitable.  


Lets not beat around the bush, we've all been there - we need to pray, but you've just been chilling at home in shorts... we take that leap of faith and grab the nearest thing (weather it be a blanket, your dads jacket, your brothers jubbah, your sisters open abaya), so, okay, it covers you (only JUST) and you begin to pray wearing a mountain unpracticality and a collapsing mass which falls apart exposing a knee by the second Rakhaa. May God forgive us all for the flashes of exposed flesh as we bow down to Him. Ameen. 


Haha but really, there ARE better ways. Siti Khadijah designed one of the BEST two piece prayer sets on the Malay high-street. The designer actually designed the sets through her own experiences and struggles of finding something premium which met all of her needs.


One of the main issues Siti Khadijah founder faced was the fact that the ties on most of the prayer sets were sewn to the front of the hijab piece so then they were pulled back hair was exposed. The other issues were that the skirts in these sets were see through and often too short - they've overcome this by making he skirts SUPER long, so they can be worn as a bandeau over bust to not only to double coverage but to also to suit taller users and work for ALL. I could talk all day about the brilliant design of these prayer pieces but I'll leave you with the website to try them for yourself.










MY personal favourites:

FAATIHA PLUS

This beauty comes with embroidery that gives the Telekung (prayer outfit) an elegant touch to you everyday. I really love the scalloped edges on the bottom in particular.

 

This is the one I love and have, it's perfect because of the coverage it allows and also the top is long enough to cover even if I am just wearing wide trousers underneath.



Thank you so much Siti Khadijah for such a wonderful day, great company, perfect lunch menu, and amazing products ready to change peoples lives!

15 Oct 2017

LIGHT UP SKINCARE | BEAUTY

'No Artifical Fragrances | No Artificial Colours | No Mineral Oils | No Animal Derivatives | Free from preservatives & parabens 
100% handmade from organic ingredients'

The thing I love and adore the most about Light Up skincare is their wholesome focus on delivering FRESH, Organic and more importantly natural skincare. 

I grew up with my parents telling me that if I do not recognise the ingredients in what I purchase, I definitely should not be putting it onto my body and skin. Up to 90% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream and thus into your organs - be mindful of what you use ladies.

Let's face it, autumn isn't too friendly to our skin, dry lips, rough hands and cracked heels are only just some of the things we have to deal with, - well no more! Because Light Up have designed the perfect survival kit to help you with this season of transition.


Light Up Skincares fantastic 5 are made up of products containing butter and oil as their base elements - this pairing is key to delivering longer lasting moisture and protection against the elements that is perfctly catered to the Autumnal season.


The Autumn kit includes: 

Lip balm (2 ml) | Heel balm (30 ml)| Patchouli Hand Lotion (30 ml)|  One Sugar scrub cube | One mini lotion bar

This balm is made with shea butter and helps to get rid of those uncomfortable cracked heels! It can also be used on dry elbows and hands - which make frequent appearances in this chilliness. The essential oils (sweet orange and peppermint) provide great healing for dry skin.I can 100% vouch for this! I really struggle with retaining moisture in my heels. Try using this and putting socks on over night - it works an absolute treat!


Patchouli Hand Lotion & mini lotion bar
This patchouli hand lotion is made with jojob oil and shea butter is ultra - moisturising and nourishing compared to water based lotions, so a little goes a long way!I kid you not when I tell you I carry this in my handbag at all times, and when my friends struggle to find their hand creams they're always asking me where this is from!Ingredients include: Jojoba oil, Mango butter, Beeswax, Shea butter, Vitamin E oil.


This ultra moisturising lotion bar is made with and rich butters to leave your skin feeling smooth and nourished. This is ideal for dry and sensitive skin. Can be used for those suffering with eczema also. Ingredients: Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Shea Butter, Cacao Butter, Vitamin E Oil, Energizing Essential Oils: Lavender Oil, Ylang Ylang and Geranium. 

Lip balm &a Sugar scrub cube
These mini sugar scrub bars are a triple threat: they wash, exfoliate and moisturise your skin. I LOVE to use these after removing my makeup. I've found that I break out less often when I add this extra step into my weekly routine and exfoliate lightly after removing my makeup. Exfoliate: The brown sugar and poppy seeds gently exfoliate the skin removing dead skin cells. These can be used as a gentle make up remover also. Clean: The soap has good moisturising properties as it is made from a high glycerine content and aloe vera which provides a pleasant skin feel.


This rich lip balm will leave your lips feeling moisturised and smooth as it contains rich butters. I especially love wearing it at night after brushing my teeth, it has tiny little exfoliating pieces in it which leave my lips feeling extra soft for when I wake up.


If you just need a small day-to-day pamper, I highly recommend incorperating Light Up Skincare. Everything is made with ingredients you can find in your kitchen cupboards.


The autuminal kid comes with everything you need to battle the up and coming winter blues.


You can also get 15% off by quoting ZAHRA15 at their checkout!

www.lightupskincare.com | @LightupSkincare 

30 Sep 2017

BOURJOIS ROUGE VELVET LIPSTICK | BEAUTY

VELVETY HEAVEN ON MY LIPS!

Bourjois recently sent me their FULL collection of Rouge Velvet (did you know that in Arabic we say Rouge for lipstick too?). I have to be honest in saying I wasn't expecting too much from a hughstreet brand when I comes to lipsticks. I either find that they're not matte enough, too sticks or don't last very long at all. I love Bourjois blushers and eyeshadows so I decided to give them a chance with the rouge.

First up, packaging and design. I think the packaging has been designed really well to be honest, It may have been nice to have included exteriors which reflect the matte/velvet interior, however one must respect that their aim is to keep prices low for the consumer. More importantly is the shape of the lipstick on this occasion.


The lipstick are much narrower than usual lippies and also the tips are 'U' shaped rather than the usual 45 degree angle, which means the lipstick hugs and contours the shape of your lips which makes it glide on, and you only really need to go over one area of lip once for a decent product coverage.


Pigmentation and finish are the two most important things for me in lip products. Bourjois surprised me in creating one which meets my rouge demands, theres a shade for everyone.



Bourjois have created undertone heaven. I personally prefer blue undertones but theres literally one for all occasions and all preferences.


   

Bourjois Miraculous Contour Universal Lip Liner has a barrier effect to prevent any lipstick bleed or feather (which you won't usually get with these lipsticks). The twist-up pencil smooths and blurs lips and lip contour for a primer effect and its transparent texture suits all colours of lipsticks. It gives a smooth finish which allows those with smaller lips to conceal their natural lip line for over-drawing and gives the appearance of fuller lips.
How to use: Apply all over the lips for a smoothing primer action or just as a contour to prevent lipstick from feathering.


BUY HERE | www.bourjois.co.uk

28 Sep 2017

SWAAF LONDON | STREETWEAR FESTIVAL


Although I opted out of Fashion week this season, I entertained an idea out of my comfort zone. STREETWEAR festival. I know what you're all thinking, my outfit choices are anything BUT streetwear however this is not to say that I do not admire alternative fashion choices, plus it did sound like the perfect opportunity to meet young and growing streetwear brands.



There were SO many goodies we were spoilt with, my favourites included @bexfast AMAZING healthy breakfast alternatives made by founder Bex walker. She makes delicious, raw, whole food, Vegan, Dairy free, Preservative free goodness. I had the pleasure of trying the Caramel Crunch and Cacao and Raspberry. They're basically these amazing oat cakes packed full of nutrients, the basis of each pot is made up of : oats, coconut rice milk, & fresh fruit. A few of my favourite things in one.


If you've started healthy eating or would like to then please check out @bexfast because her treats are to die for without the guilt attached. I'm pleased to say that I have now eliminated almost all foods containing preservatives, and my diet is very nearly 100% organic, but thats another story, for another post.


One of my favourite brands which was showcasing was @Road140. They had a pretty cool 90's vibe with many things I like and can associate with and made them into their own by adding their London fingerprint to each piece. 


'Grime' Theft Auto. 'G.a.n.g.G.a.n.g' in the place of 'F.r.i.e.n.d.s'. Wheres 'Wiley' in place of 'Wally'. Such an awesome take on childhood memories and an excellent play on words.


I especially loved their Nike Air trainers with the names of London rappers in place of tube station names.Apparently Giggs has promoted these and they've had a lot of interest. I'm not a fan of the trainers per say however I do love the concept which I believe they've made into a t-shirt as well.



The last photo is with one of my sisters from another mister. It was also her birthday the day of the event, and we both agreed it was a real treat to see such talent and enjoy a great breakfast!