My New Bestie Cacao!

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Since giving sugar the boot I’ve began a new love affair. It starts with a C and it rhymes with Kapow!

CACAO, also known as cocoa is little magic bean that answers your dreams!

So here’s 5 reasons why you’ll also fall in love with CACAO!

1.Raw cacao is the most antioxidant-rich food in the world.

Cacao contains over 300 important compounds! WOW…these include protein, fat, certain B-vitamins and minerals (calcium, sulfur, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and copper). Pretty impressive stuff!

2. It can improve your mood.

Cacao contains naturally mood enhancing chemicals (phenylethylamine (PEA) & anandamide). These are the chemicals that make us feel excited, the chemicals we get after dong things like exercising. And it’s these chemical which can help to fight depression. We all need some of that right!

3. It can help you lose weight.

Another nifty thing about Cacao is that it contains chromium, which can naturally regulate blood sugar and it also contains coumarin, which has been know to suppress the appetite, thin blood AND as if that wasn’t enough it has anti-tumor properties too.  Here’s the sciencey bit….Agriculture and Food Chemistry say the “compounds in the cocoa bean appear to disrupt the activity of enzymes normally used to digest fats and some carbohydrates. With this activity disrupted, the fats and carbs don’t get digested – so we don’t experience the harmful effects, including weight gain.”

4. It protects the heart/cardiovascular system.

According to the Linus Pauling Institute, the flavonoids in cacao can decrease or even block the oxidation of “bad” LDL cholesterol. This improves circulation and minimises the risk of heart disease. Well done cacao!

5.Focus!

Cacao also helps us to stay focused as it quickens our pulse rate. So if you’ve got a big deadline coming up try a cacao milkshake to stay on the ball. I’ve tried it and it really works!!!

How The Queen Of Sugar Kicked Her Habit!

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This is a post I never thought I’d write.

But the truth is SUGAR is bad. Yes I said it, it’s bad,  SO very bad. And what’s worst is that we look at sugar as an old friend, someone who can comfort us, someone who is always there to make us feel happy. After all sugar will never stand us up, sugar never argues back, and sugar will always taste sweet. But what’s that old saying….

“…for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”

Yes yes he does and the worst thing of all… you don’t even know it’s there and without realising it you and your family are probably well exceeding your sugar limit (6 tsps women, 9 tsps men).

Let me just blow you mind for a second… think about those 2 sugars in your morning coffee, think about that big dollop of sweet chilli sauce at lunch, think about that sneaky chocolate bar before dinner, think about that can of coke to keep you going. How much sugar, add it up, what do you reckon? Well for a start that can of coke contains over 9 tsps of sugar. That little bar of Dairy milk has 6.25 tbsps,  you get the picture.

And that’s only the things we KNOW are bad… what about all the other little things. When you start checking ingredients, it’s literally MIND BLOWING!

Ok, now onto the factsheet… because no doubt you need hard proof iF you’re gonna give up your best bud sugar… so here we go, why is sugar bad:

It makes us fat…. and yes, in the words of Bridget Jones,  I will always be just a little bit fat, but I’m talking about ‘obesity’ and THAT is dangerous.

It causes heart disease….sugar literally helps to damage the lining of your blood vessels, what a bastard!

Sugar has a way of suppressing your immune system…WHAT! It’s literally trying to kill you!

Sugar has an empty soul meaning it literally gives your body NOTHING.  Sugar also enjoys taking away valuable stuff such as zinc, magnesium, potassium and chromium, all the good stuff we have!

Bad bacteria LOVES sugar so it really is your guts worst energy… think yeast infections, autoimmune disorders, arthritis to name but a few.

Type 2 diabetes… yeah yeah we know the drill…but did you know that it can lead to cancer, coronary heart disease and strokes.

Sugar is ADDICTIVE. Meaning it makes you want it, even when you don’t REALLY want it and definitely don’t need it.

So now we can all see sugar for the devil it is… let’s see how we can move on with our lives and be the healthy goddesses we all know we are.

HOW I DELETED SUGAR FROM MY LIFE:

  • Smoothies: They are literally like the ‘get out of jail free’ card for kicking cravings and keeping your appetite satisfied. There’s a million different kinds, find what you love and get blending!
  • Bananas: Like them or not they offer a great energy and sugar fix. They are also amazing in smoothies, especially protein smoothies…My fav is unsweetened almond milk,  bananas,  cacao powder and organic peanut butter, that’s how I usually start the day.
  • Labels: this is the best way to check your sugar intake, because companies love to sneak sugar in wherever they can! After all… it’s addict, which means you’ll keep coming back for their products! Peanut butter, sauces, milk alternatives, cereal bars, sugar loves to hide in supposedly healthy places.
  • Fruit: pineapple, grapes, mango those super sweety fruits really give you the boost you need. If my family or friends are tucking into treats I have my own stash of fruit and cheese at the ready!
  • Drink green tea: for those who are wanting to loose weight in addition to cutting sugar, green tea is a wonderful way to reduce cravings and for many people it helps to loose weight.
  • Diary: Eating a little more diary really helped me, cheese and fruit are a really satisfying thing and also butter on toast, it stoped me wanting cake!
  • Visualisation: this was really good for me… visualising chocolate, cakes and sweets in a VERY negative way stops you wanting them! I imagined them making me feel sick, hurting my teeth and picturing all that oiling, sugary crap that they are made of.  It’s a good idea to check the indigents in your favourite ‘bad’ foods but beware it REALLY puts you off them!
  • Eat more: you’ll feel more hungry so always make sure you have nice snacks (nuts, cheese, fruits, smoothies, sandwich, shakes, sugar free cakes) eating little and often is the best way.

Finally I must tell you after a few weeks with 0 added sugar (not even honey, agave syrup etc) I felt pretty amazing.

My brain felt clearer, my skin was gooood, a cavity that was hurting before just stopped and in general I felt less mood swings and less tired! So a pretty big payoff for quitting sugar.

I’m going to do a month and then I’ll probably add agave syrup again, as the only thing I’m really missing is pancakes with bacon and agave nectar!

Have you given added sugar the boot, I would LOVE to hear your story!

NOTE: When I say SUGAR I’m talking specifically about added sugar. Sugar that has been added in during the making process I AM NOT TAKING ABOUT NATURALLY OCCURRING SUGAR. Fruit has natural sugar and is amazing, so don’t think of them in the same light.

SOULFUL May

petite-words-instagram-mayMay was a pretty special month, I didn’t have anything planned, nothing in particular went down but it was an amazing month of calm clarity.

Several things happened: I got outside a lot, taking in the gorgeous street art of Bristol (sometimes I forget how cool this city is!). I laid on the grass reading in the sunshine (good to top up the vitamin c) and I got busy making stuff, from trying out news paints to experimenting with smoothie recipes, getting my hands dirty ALWAYS gives my soul a good stretch!

I also cut myself a mini fringe which I never imagined would look good, but it did and I wouldn’t be without it now. I’ve also taken a step back from work, creating things as they come and generally going at a slower pace… because I’m always in such a beehive rush to push projects out and I can make myself crazed in the process. So taking time this month to invest in my mental and physical wellbeing has worked wonders.

This month I’ve also said good riddance to sugar and I’m not sure if my new found calmness has anything to do with that… we will see!

I hope you’ve have a magical May too!? Are we following each other on Instagram? Come and find me …..

Finally, each month I’m going to add a mantra in the name of self growth and all that stuff! So here goes….May’s Mantra :

Slow down, kick back,  breathe and take in the scenery because the ‘stuff’ will still be there when the sun goes down.

 

Make Your Hair Go Boom!

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As my readers know I have a real love hate relationship with my hair. By that I mean I love my hair, I don’t burn it, don’t throw chemicals on it and in return it just hates me!

Anyway on my great quest to find the golden hairbrush I came across a total haircare wizard called JOHN MASTERS. I love ALL his products from his Apricot & Rose Hair Milk to his Rosemary & Lavender Shampoo (please do read my fabulous reviews) but today I’m talking about this one… John Master’s Organic Deep Scalp Follicle Treatment. It’s a herbal spritz that you spray into the roots of your hair and just wait for the magic to happen.

Ok, it doesn’t literally make your hair go BOOM but it really goes tantalise the roots and bring your hair to life. Among it’s many wonderfully natural ingredients are things like Irish moss, burdock root, papaya, chamomile, nettle, so you can imagine the divine smell, a real herbal stew. It has a fresh, very light consistency which leaves 0 residue on the hair. If anything it helped my usually greasy roots. You just massage and leave in wet hair.

What an amazing product, especially for people with thin hair and unlike most of the John Master’s styling products this one’s available in miniature, with a pretty cute price of £7.00.

I’d love to know you’re organic haircare routine!? Leave a comment below!

 

Petite Posters Are Here! Limited Edition.

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We need it. We need it everyday! We need it in our homes, we need it in our offices, we really just need to have something lovely and motivational to kick start our day, for when we’re doing the dishes or putting the little ones to bed. It’s not a luxury,  it’s essential!

So I’m very excited to share with you my new Petite Prints! They’re  small, so they can fit in anywhere and they aim to give you that essential  boost of inspiration that everybody must have.

Petite Prints are for a limited time only and at a very special price of £8.99. Come and have a nosy in my Etsy shop and grab your own little slice of inspiration!

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My Fav REAL PEOPLE instagrammers

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Instagram is a place of inspiration, well sometimes, well actually no…sometimes it just makes us feel inadequate, messy and like we really don’t have our shit together! And yo can read more about that here: Instagram: Inspiring Or Just Making Us Feel Like Shit!

BUT fear not….I have found the gems, the great super woman that are keeping it real and far from making us feel crappy with their sparkly faces and not so messy buns, they are inspiring up with REAL life ! These are my Fav REAL People Instagrammers.

gypsynspice: This new mama is truly WOW, her openness about life has made me cry on more than one occasion because she asks the question’s we’re sometimes too shy to ask and she does so half naked, feeding her baby in a flower tiara, what a goddess!

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KRISTINROGERS: This homeschooling mama is keeping it real. I loved her videos where she was showed people around her house, highlighting just how dirty it really is and how pictures can totally hide that. 100 points for honesty! A star!

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omgkenzieeeSo much respect for this lady, she really puts herself out there. Love your rolls, embrace your stretch marks, she shows us that beauty is not plastic, beauty comes from being REAL.

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GEMMA_MARIN: I’m a big fan of this Spanish mama living in L.A. Famous for her bump dancing, she really has an incredible energy! she shares her story in a very natural and warm way, she even uploaded her birth video to insta which unfortunately got pulled down due to her being a bit naked. It is such a powerful video that really shows how natural and instinctive birth can be.

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WILLITLOOKGOODONMETHO : These 2 gals are amazatron! They try out the new makeup and fashion trends to see what is looks like on a real person!  Because lets be honest does blue lipstick really work for anyone? And what an amazing job they’re doing.

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BADDIEWINKLE :This 88 year old superstar is a true asset to instagram! Legendary for her pink, fluffy lycra style, she is a rainbow bubble of inspiration!

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bodyposipanda: This shining star is all about promoting positive body image. I love the unglossed pictures of beauty and how she empowers woman  all over the world.. This is a message we really need to embrace!

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PINKSCHARMING: This British mama has her fair share of pretty pictures, but she also inspires me with her little real life snippets: her daughters misshapen gingerbread people, inspiring notes on life or Organic makeup that really works. A lovely feed (:

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JULIABERNHARDCOMICS: For when only cynicism will do! This hilarious illustrator, based in Germany always makes me laugh out loud with her bitter-sweet observations on life! This is one of my absolute fav pics.

AND DON’T FORGET TO FIND ME PETITE I’M ALWAYS KEEPING IT REAL TOO!

I hope you get some well deserve insta-ration. Am please let me know your most inspiring instagrammers! I absolutely can’t wait to know. And if they inspire me too, I’d love to add them to the list!

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Time Is OURS… let’s take it back!

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Jolly Cake time picture aside the other day was far from a cake walk….I just cried, I cried because time tick tocked by and seemed to just  laugh in my face at all the plans I had… “As if you have time to do that all!” cackled Time. And so I cried a bit more.

Has that ever happened to you? What a silly question, I’m almost certain it has, and if you’re very unlucky it may happen on a daily basis!

Because you know what… our current system IS flawed, but have you ever stopped to think just how bad it is and how much it’s effecting YOUR life?

Look at an average persons week: working 40 hours (the U.K average)  adding on a commute, 54 minutes each way (the U.K average) plus getting ready in the mornings, that’s over 55 hours spent being the WORKER YOU! Not being YOU because YOU are not your job, but being a YOU that’s doing a certain role, for a certain company that you may or may not loathe.

And I guess the rest of the time you’re sleeping? Well, that is, unless you have a child or a life, a family, a husband, friends, where do they all fit in?

And what if your trying to better yourself, you’re writing a book, maybe your a blogger, perhaps you’re trying to set up a company, you’re moving house, you’re pregnant. Or what if times are hard, you’re suffering from depression, you’re  going through a divorce, someone in your family is terminally ill, you’re having to take another part time job. These are things that real people are going through every day.

You can quickly see just how easy it is to become a shell….. a ghost of a person, someone who goes through the motions of life, having no time to really relish any of life’s happiness. Wow, do I sound bitter, but I’m not, not anymore…

Yes, I’ve done 12 hours days and silly commute times and I’ve felt sheer momentous exhaustion before, one where you don’t know whether to eat, sleep or shower first. And you know what, I could never EVER do it again. Even for a million pounds and I mean that.

Because I had NO time, NO energy left to be me, Charlotte…. just to sit down and chat with my partner, to go for a coffee with their parents, no time for my writing, no time for watching anime, no time for drawing, no time for eBay shopping and reading articles… I don’t like ‘no time’ for that stuff. Time in mine! And re-connecting with people, and yourself takes time.

So now, I feel exceptionally lucky to work from home and work for myself, because demanding and stressful as it can be, it is totally mine, my schedule is my own. And there’s something really special about that.

So this post for everyone who hates their job, who sighs and almost cries when their alarm goes off, who can’t even find time to read a book or do their 15 mins yoga workout,  who feels sick to their stomach every Sunday night.

To you I say….Time is yours…. let’s take back time. Money is money, a job IS a job, but ultimately we make the choice, we shape our own lives and sometimes we forget that. Even if it seems like you have no choice and find yourself saying “Well, it’s all right for them…” STOP. Think…. why are you really doing what you’re doing and is it really worth it?

Is the world going to crumble if you don’t bake a cake for the school’s cake sale, will it be armageddon if you don’t clean the house for one more day, and well all hell break loose if you don’t attend Annalouise’ birthday party? No? Didn’t think so.

YOU deserve happiness, not just at weekends, but everyday and to be happy in your job, in the life you lead.

And because there really IS nothing more important in life than happiness and healthiness and if your lacking in either of these then something has GOT to change.

Wishing you health and happiness always!

Petite

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Little Miss Matcha: The Lime Green Superhero!

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Introducing Little Miss Matcha, she’s lime green, comes all the way from Japan and is truly magnificent!

I’d wanted to try the miracle ‘matcha’ for a while… though I was always a bit put off by it’s crazy price tag (around £10 per 100g and that’s for the cheaper stuff).

However,  on reading about some of matcha’s super powers I decided to give it a whirl!

I’ve been on match every day for over a week, very early days, so I’m not going to comment on it’s effectiveness for me, personally… also I’ve eaten about 10KG of chocolate eggs this week, so I’m not sure if that’s undone any good work matcha may have done, oops. Be better next week, promise.

Anyho…Here’s some Matcha facts that you NEED to know:

  • Matcha Green Tea Powder has 137 times more antioxidants than a cuppa green tea! So it’s actually pretty good value for money, you only need half a teaspoonful.
  • Matcha is metabolism boosting. Just what I need after the naughty Easter bunny’s visit.
  • Matcha is detoxifying for mind & body. Yes and Yes.
  • Matcha is calming, many people take it to calm their anxiety or just to help focus.
  • Matcha is very rich in fibre (so you really need to be careful about your dose or you could be in for a bit too much of a detox, if you know what I mean!
  • Matcha is a mood enhancer, hell yeah, all need a slice of that pie!
  • Matcha helps to lower cholesterol and prevent all kinds of diseases, always a winner.
  • Matcha is rich in zinc, magnesium and vitamin c, these a pretty vital, yet another selling point.

Have your tried Match green tea, what DO you think, I always love to know?

Happy Healthy-ing (:

Instagram…Inspiring or just making us feel shit!

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I love using instagram, I like the idea of snapping away,  little rainbow fragments of my life. I love sharing snippets of thought and interacting with my fellow insta-sistas.

But ….

The other day I was flicking through Instagram as you do, touting for new inspiring peeps to follow, searching for vibrant bursts of wonder to zest up my imagination…. AND suddenly I was knocked down by a sudden wave of rubbishness… I felt blemished,  I felt scruffy,  like an ugly little ragamuffin in comparison to what I was seeing…all those shiny, sparkling people on Instagram.

Thankfully it only lasted a few moments, until my brain kicked back in and I remembered, THIS IS INSTAGRAM not the real world.

However, it did make me worry, what about all those people who CAN’T see through the filters, the young, very impressionable people who believe perfect DOES exist and who spend their entire lives striving for it. Then instagram becomes not a thing of inspiration but of segregation… the Sparkly Perfect People Vs the Real People.

And so I wrote this post…. because I can only take so much of THAT woman, we all know the one… the one with the perfect messy bun (there’s an oxymoron for you) with her little model baby that never gets chocolatey cheeks or sticky hands. The one with the house that looks like a Pintrest board and the vintage designer wardrobe. The one with the hipster husband and his glossy beard, who wears limited edition ran bans you’ve only seen in vogue. That woman who drinks fancy gin you’ve never even heard of and eats vegan white strawberries for breakfast. They’re so cool, with their cryptic tattoos that you can’t even decipher.

Buts guess what…. I don’t follow THAT woman….because she doesn’t inspire me. In fact she makes fell like shit. Which I am absolutely not and neither are you.

So from now on I only look for ‘Healthy’ inspiration. That is the kind of inspiration I can fly with, the kind of inspiration that stirs a sense of wonder and fascination.

Because yes our lives are sometimes messy, even with a filter on.  So why should Instagram not be? How can we only enjoy perfect pictures, why should it be exclusively for pretty things, surely we’re missing the point. Instagram should be a platform to inspire each other with our messed up, weird and wonderful lives.  And say hey this is me, it’s a mess, sometimes I’m sad, but this is my slice of earth and this is how I roll.

And those are my favourite instagram accounts. The ones I can believe. The ones that share the painful times, the cock ups as well as the sweet times. The ones that can laugh at themselves! Because it’s those nuggets of human emotion that we’re all looking for because we’re really just looking for the story, the soul that’s brings a picture to life. Because without the story we’re just flicking through a mindless catalogue of ‘pretty’ pictures and that’s just not the inspiration we deserve.

Are you an Instagramer? Let me know! I’m over at Petite.words hope we can spread the inspiration love!

P.S I’d really like do a feature list of the not so well know instagrammers, the newbies that really do inspire, if you have any favs drop me a line below!

John Masters: The Wizard OF FABULOUS HAIR!

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Introducing my new pal JOHN MASTERS. To call him a ‘Master’ is an understatement, he is a true wizard of hair! Working his magic with each gorgeous potion. Every bottle is brimming with natural herbs and scented wonders, things like ‘aloe vera leaf juice’ and ‘nettle root extract’, the kind of concoctions you’d never dare to put together, but they work!

Hair care is a science, after all and dare I say it, this shampoo has finally got it right.

John Masters has such a wide range of treats to choose from, and without really knowing WHAT my hair IS (as I’ve previously explained my hair resembles a ‘crimped’ terrier and that’s probably being a bit harsh on the terrier) so in the end I played it safe and opted for NORMAL HAIR.

But THIS shampoo is far from normal, it had my locks soft and tamed, with not a terrier in site.

And yes it’s pricey, IT IS. But if you wash you hair once or twice a week the  a bottle of shampoo last what, 3/4 months!?  So is £17 really that damaging?

Well, I’ll tell you what IS damaging, the nasty little shampoos sold in all are favourite shops and supermarkets…. some of them even dare to call themselves ‘NATURAL’ when they’re technically a bottle of toxic waste. CHEMICALS people are surrounding us and so John Masters shines down like a beacon of hope. And yes there are a lot of super Organic brands out there and I’m not affiliated with John Masters in any way, but I just REALLY love their all their products and want to spread the word…..

ORGANIC BEAUTY IS THE WAY FORWARD. Forget the chemicals, here’s to healthy happy hair!