Thursday, 23 July 2015

My new secret: Matcha Green Tea

About 6 weeks ago I was sitting in a coffee shop with my friend and fellow blogger over at Charlotte's Nest, and she was telling me all about matcha green tea and how she didn't know why everyone wasn't getting on the bandwagon yet. Charlotte said since including it in her morning routine she felt like she had more energy throughout the whole day (I think the words "sustained buzz" may have been used), and she no longer suffered from those post-coffee caffeine slumps, as in fact she felt like she no longer needed the coffee. As someone who couldn't really function without a strong morning black coffee I was intrigued and came home to do some research of my own...

Within a few hours I'd ordered some of my very own match green tea powder from Amazon - I went for the Pure Chimp 50g pot - and eagerly awaited my delivery!

Charlotte had warned me about taste...I'm not going to beat around the bush - it's not the best. My personal description would be that it tastes like you imagine pond water to taste (surprisingly I've never actually drank pond water so I can't correlate this with real-life experience, but you get the picture!). When I first tried it I mixed it in hot water with a squeeze of honey. For me the honey didn't really disguise the taste...

So the next morning I decided to chuck it in with my morning cashew, date and raw cacao smoothie and I couldn't taste any difference to normal. Hallelujah! I'd found a way to include it in my morning routine without actually tasting it. And boy am I glad I did. I can honestly say hand-on-heart that the last 6-weeks I have had more energy than ever, I've given up coffee completely (aside from one black coffee after a two-night hen do, but I don't think that counts!), and I genuinely think the quality of my skin has improved too (I have also begun to take milk thistle tablets during this time to help my skin, but my hunch is that it's a combination of the two that's help it to improve).  

So what is it that makes matcha green tea able to provide that "sustained buzz"? Well, firstly it does contain caffeine as that's a natural ingredient of green tea. It was originally thought that it was the caffeine that was the energy-boosting ingredient, however researchers found that it was actually a combination of it's other natural ingredients too - mainly the amino acid L-theanine - that help to create a sense of relaxed alertness after consuming matcha green tea. The inclusion of L-theanine actually inhibits the negative side affects we get when drinking coffee. Learn more here

And it doesn't stop there. Matcha green tea is absolutely packed with antioxidants (way more than goji berries, blueberries, spinach and broccoli), and antioxidants are known fighters of infections, disease and the ageing process. It also contains a high level of chlorophyll which is great for detoxing the body. 

One thing that I can't report back on just yet is the weight loss claims. Many producers of matcha do state that it can help with weight loss as it supposedly boosts the metabolism and burns fat. Perhaps 6 weeks isn't enough time to see results, but I don't think my weight has changed much just yet...perhaps that will come later down the line! Nonetheless I will most definitely continue to include matcha in my routine every morning as I certainly feel more energised and able to focus than I previously did. And I'm definitely not missing that post-coffee slump! I also maintain that my skin quality has improved and am excited to see if it continues to do so - after all, the Japanese do have fantastic skin and they've been drinking it for thousands of years!

Match is definitely helping me to feel Beautifully Healthy and I love it so much that I've already ordered pot number 2 of the Pure Chimp powder!

Have you previously tried matcha or are you tempted to give it a go? I'd love to hear your thoughts :)

Love Lucy x

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Following your dreams is easy. Living them is much harder.

It's now been almost 6-months since I became a yoga teacher, and 5-months since I got back from my Indian adventure. And what a few months it has been. I've taught some incredible students, I've been humbly supported by amazing family and friends, I've been happier than I've ever been, I've been more terrified and frustrated than I've ever been, I've felt strong, I've felt weak, I've felt confused, I've met some inspirational new people, I've reconnected with old friends, I've been on a crazy emotional roller coaster that I've sometimes wanted to jump right off of but I've hung on tight in the totally mad faith that everything will unfold just as it's supposed to. And it's all been in the name of yoga and finally LIVING my dream.

Dream catcher, Varkala, India, 2015

Don't misunderstand this: I 100% absolutely and completely love teaching yoga. It literally lights up my heart and connects me with my true self. I have found what I love, and for that I am truly grateful. If I could teach yoga to people every day all day then life would be much easier. But when you start out actually living your dreams things don't quite work like that.

Some of my beautiful yoginis & yogis in London, 2015

Although it seemed like a tough decision at the time, following my dreams was actually the easy thing to do - my heart was telling me which way to go, I wasn't living life as I wanted to, and so I followed the direction it was telling me to go. Yes that step took a bit of faith, but who wouldn't want to go to India for a few weeks and learn more about something they love?

And the first few weeks of being back weren't so bad either. Fresh with enthusiasm off the beaches of Goa I was spreading the word about my teaching, happy to gain any experience I could whilst supporting myself with a job in my local tavern. This gave me the chance to settle back into life at home and to bring myself slowly back down to earth whilst keeping the dream very much alive. As I began to get back into the rhythm of life back home I was grateful for my regular tavern job, but equally I realised I needed to be in control of my own time more to allow me to free up potential yoga-teaching hours. Over the months I've slowly cut down my shifts and have picked up some freelance social media jobs to keep me ticking over.

This all sounds pretty straight forward, but there has been one massive black cloud hanging over me this whole time and that is: MONEY. Yes, I now have much less attachment to material things than I did previous to my yoga teacher training, but nonetheless that doesn't change that I do need money to survive. I'm 25 years old and still live at home, depending on parents for more than I should, and this fact often really drags me down. I know I shouldn't let it, but it does. I am incredibly fortunate and grateful that I'm in a position where my parents and willing and able to support me through this phase of living my dream, but most of the time that thought is overclouded by "oh shit, I need to become self-sufficient" - something which I dream of on a daily basis, but that feels so far away.

And that's the other thing about actually living my dream, it seems I didn't really consider before this decision that financially things could be really quite tough for a number of years to come. On this very day over £200 per week of my income has been unexpectedly pulled from under my feet. Nothing I could have done about it, it was just one of those things, but it terrifies me that this is the reality of what it means to be your own boss...

But before you think "oh dear, living your dream sounds terrible, I think I'll stay where I am thanks", let me tell you that I wouldn't change my decision for the world. Yes, this isn't proving to be easy, but I never thought that it would be. When you go against the conventional path then of course things will be tough. I know that I'll face rejections, will have to climb over massive walls, and will be let down time-and-time again, but if I can keep going against all that then I know that it will all work out as it's supposed to. And how am I going to keep going? I'm going to continue doing what I was made to do - to love, to share yoga, to be compassionate - and I'm going to work my freakin' arse off. And as long as I stay true to myself and put the work in, I really do believe that things will come together.


And if they don't? At least I tried. At least I didn't give in to what's expected instead of what's in my heart. At least I actually gave a damn about making the world even a tiny bit better than when I came into it.

And on the same day as having a job unexpectedly pulled, I've also potentially got two new exciting yoga opportunities that I really didn't maybe trusting the process isn't as crazy as it sounds...

Please do message me if you have any questions about yoga or life! And know that you're always welcome to join my classes - more info can be found on my website.

Namaste y'all <3

Love Lucy x