Health Journey

Hey everyone,

I’m back as promised with a more personal post on my health journey.

Let’s start…

So, as briefly mentioned in my last post, during my time in high school, roughly from 15-18, I had some “issues” with food, on and off let’s just say a bad relationship with food and body image. I went to a small private all girls school, which in my opinion, is not the best environment for a teenage girl.

For a long time I definitely had a misconception on the definition of terms related to body type and ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food. I thought I was “fat” and had to loose weight. AND believe me I was a little twig already at that age (thanks to genetics and a good metabolism). So for periods of time, I’d say a few weeks on and then off again, I would eat very little… often skipping meals such as lunch entirely, because school lunch…(yes it was bad but never an excuse to skip a meal, because I also could’ve easily made myself a sandwich before school, but of course I chose not to… because carbs ‘would make me fat’ and what not… FYI they don’t… (& could go on with why and the benefits forever but that’ll need another post…). Also having a few hiccups with making myself throw up…

Anyways, i’m sure you get the point… starving myself to try to lose weight 😟 as I wasn’t happy in my own body.

When I wasn’t in the phase of eating little, I still wasn’t eating right, always went for the low carb, low fat option and then in the afternoon I would eat junk food…or I would get to the weekend and ate way too much of it at once, as well as drinking quite a lot of alcohol on the weekend. With that being said, it’s fair to say I put my poor little gut through HELL. Throughout those years I started suffering from really bad bloating and stomach pain, with it coming and going and getting worse after I left school.

For sometime after I finished school and during my first year at uni, I went to see my GP a couple of times. I went to NHS as at the time my mum didn’t really ‘believe’ my symptoms so went to try to figure stuff out by myself. I had a numerous amount of blood tests done, to find out ‘nothing’ was really wrong, no coeliac disease, no lactose intolerance, no thyroid issues but they did acknowledge the fact that my stomach was constantly fairly bloated. They said it was most likely IBS and referred me to a nutritionist, which I continued seeing for months, going in phases of cutting certain foods out and re-adding them in. I’m not going to say they didn’t help me at all and that NHS was shit because it did relieve me of some pain but looking back now a lot of it was temporary and I didn’t really get down to the route of the problem. I also know they do tend do dismiss people saying they have IBS a lot of the time. It is also true I do still have IBS and it flares up from time to time but I didn’t only have that.

A few months later, I went again and managed to get some other tests done, including a breath test, found that I was lactose intolerant and diagnosed me with SIBO, tried strictly following the low-fod map diet for a while and got rid of SIBO.

During my third year of uni, and when I graduated, my mum started hearing from more people about stories about healing the gut from IBS, leaky gut and taking food intolerances tests etc. So I went to a few clinics in London with her to get some tests done finding that Cyrex intolerance tests were the most accurate and specific tests and consisted of proper blood test not just a finger prick… (I REALLY would NOT waste my money on those as i’ve been told many times by professionals, doctors, they are really not accurate). Anyways, we struggled to find a doctor that both my mum and I liked and trusted as the tests I was recommended to take for my symptoms estimated around 2-3,000£, and thats excluding the fees of the doctors for the reviews and consultations, so it’s fair to say that we wanted someone that would really explain everything to us and that we felt we could trust.

Finally decided that we wanted to do some tests in Italy as I didn’t quite trust the doctors here… so did some stool tests and blood tests there and the doctors were nice and went above and beyond to explain things to me.

I then got a very detailed and accurate food intolerance test in Croatia over summer and found I was intolerant to a bunch of foods I never would’ve thought that could’ve been part of my stomach issues… which finally brings me where I am now. I am currently cutting out all the foods i’m intolerant to for 8 months, and have felt dramatically better since starting, after which I will get tested again and start reintroducing them.

So, that’s my story and why I want to share my journey and what helps me with my gut so that maybe it can help someone else with theirs.

Bye for now… and see you on my next post!

(DW I will be keeping them shorter after this one 😅, promise)

Love,

Laura

 

Back to blogging – 2.0

Hello hello,

I’m FINALLY back again… for good this time. HOWEVER, this time there’s going to be a little change with my blog, which is what i’m going to share with you in this first post back.

I have always been into healthy eating and living a healthy and fit lifestyle, at least for as long as I can remember. However, after having a bad relationship with food during school for a few years, I started to have some stomach, digestive issues. I have been toying with the idea of creating another Instagram seriously, probably since I graduated from uni in July 2018. I wanted to dedicated it to living a healthy and fit lifestyle and share my journey with everyone, so maybe it could help others going through something similar or just to educate people about being healthy and the important role our gut plays. I think the reason I didn’t do it because I wasn’t really sure if people would be interested and was more a waste of time than anything…. of course, I kind of regret that because who cares what people think right?! If you have an idea which you like a lot you should just go for it!

However, I had a lot going on during this period and got into graphics and was told by many people I should start an Instagram for my graphics as they were really impressed. So, was finally convinced, and that’s what I did (@doodlelikelaura), which i’m happy about as it has led me to more jobs, as well as really made my creativity progress…

and most of all I LOVE IT.

Anyways, because of that the ‘health’ idea kind of took a back seat in my brain but slowly started to make its way back. Although, due to my job being social media based, I feel like starting another Instagram account is just too much for me as of now…. which is what brings me here now.

I decided to dedicate this blog to health and fitness and my ‘gut health’ journey for now and start posting more on health and fitness and tips on living a healthy lifestyle on my ‘personal’ Instagram (@lauraacastelli).

So, i’m ditching the fashion side for now and will be posting about my personal journey soon, so keep an eye out… if you’re interested.

Anyways, that’s it for now as I don’t want to bore anyone more, but hopefully I will see you in my next post!

Love,

Laura xxx

 

 

Spring colours

Hello everyone,

I’m back with another outfit post because this look is more feminine than my usual outfits but also one that I love. Also perfect for the slightly warmer Spring days to come 😊 … hopefully (at least if you live in London)

I actually shot this look a while ago, but with the weather going super windy and rainy again I was just not motivated to post it, as well as having a hectic couple of weeks.

But, it’s here now 😀 Lately i’ve been so obsessed with co-ords anything with a top and bottom part matching I just NEED.

I particularly liked this set because it’s pink and if you can tell its slightly checkered too and I love that combination. I paired it with a pastel yellow cable knit sweater as the skirt and blazer had a slight creamy/yellowy undertone to it so, fit perfectly.

This outfit is all from Mango [except shoes and bag].

Of course, I then paired it with sneakers, because in case you haven’t noticed I love sneakers and they go with pretty much anything.

I actually was planning to buy a pair of white ankle boots to go with this outfit as I’d been wanting to get myself a pair for a while but of course I just couldn’t find any that I really liked. They either looked too cheap, the heal height or the front of the shoe wasn’t quite right and I wasn’t willing to go designer for a pair of shoes that I know I will probably wear once or twice max. SO I paired them with my (ALWAYS) safe option; McQueen Sneakers. HOWEVER, if you did want something classier, a pair of nice and clean white heeled boot is what I would opt for.

This outfit is perfect for the transition and the bipolar English Spring weather, because of  the warmer sweater but keeping it colourful and fun, as Spring outfits should be 😉

You can also make it cosier by adding a long nude/cream coat or trench over it. I think a nice trench works well with everything and you can find them everywhere on the high st at the moment. Zara & HM are my favourite options at the moment, so if you’re looking check them out first!

I hope you like this outfit and find it as fun as I had shooting the look 😝 See you next time!

Love,

Laura xxx

 

 

 

Quick getaway to the Sun

Hello everyone!

Sorry for being quiet on here for the past month but I was extremely busy and then I went on holiday for a short 5 day trip to get some vitamin D.

So, I went to St Lucia, which is a small island in the Caribbean, with the nearest island being St Vincent and the Grenadines and then also Barbados. It was initially meant to be a sister trip but then my dad found out we were going and decided he had to tag along.

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It is famous for the 3 Pitons, one of them called the Gros Piton which you can hike up to the top of, which of course we did, which you can see from the photos above. They say it takes on average 2 hours to go up and 2 back down but we made it for 1h25 up and in 1h10 on the way down.

We also went to the mud baths as we were told it worked wonders for your skin. It definitely was quite an experience… and not sure it’s one I would do again… the smell was so bad and it was quite crowded when we went. However, it DID work wonders for my skin, it felt so smooth and silky, just like a baby’s bum 😀

[The pictures above were taken at our resort]

Overall, I loved the place, it had amazing views and turquoise water which we also got to see from above in a helicopter which was stunning and would definitely recommend if you get the chance to go. Although the ride was pricey, 100% worth it!

We didn’t stay in St Lucia for long so we didn’t see everything there was to see such as the waterfalls, however we did mainly go to just relax and get some sun, so we prioritised a lot of time to just sunbathe and read, so I do think 5 days was just enough time for that.

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We did although have one day of rain but it was still warm and relaxing to just sit on the terrace of our hut and read on the hammock, as I don’t get much reading done in London. I was reading ‘Becoming Michelle Obama’ which I would also recommend  as it’s an easy read and the way she writes is so approachable and inspiring at the same time.

I also brought some healthy snacks with me because I love to snack all the time and brought some for the plane too. These were from Emily Crisps, which make yummy fruit and veggie crisps with no crap in them. I also took some snacks from Mighty Bee, which make solar dried banana bars, which I love as well. Although I will be posting something on these soon so I’ll leave it at that for now.

I hope you enjoyed this and see you on my next post!

Love,

Laura xx

 

 

Velvet Joggers

Hello people,

For this weeks post I’m going to share with you guys an outfit I love, but in particular one item which I am obsessed with lately, which as you can tell from the title, are the velvet joggers… or anything velvet really.

I’m gonna share with you the trousers I bought recently and how I wore them for a casual day. [I am aware the pictures are quite dark but the day I had planned to shoot this it was super dark and gloomy outside… of course… so I had to just work with what I had.]

The joggers I wore here I got from the Zara sale in December and unfortunately I believe they are sold out, however velvet is everywhere at the moment, so it’s not hard to find another pair for a good price. I paired them with a ribbed turtleneck also from Zara as it’s freezing and I prefer wearing these with something fitted on the top, so that turtle neck was perfect. I wanted a casual, effortless outfit to wear that day so I paired them with the Yeezy’s I got recently (& for anyone interested they’re the Yeezy Boost 350 Static V2).

However, these joggers are super easy to dress up and are great as an evening outfit. I would wear them with a simple black pointed stiletto or a high sandal; i.e. black with a crystal strap or silver (I’ve put some examples below) and a bodysuit; plain black, lace or red lace too. I would really recommend getting a pair of these joggers though they’re super comfy and the best part they are trendy and definitely don’t look like you’re out and about in lounge-wear!

I’m also going to leave you some links and pictures of some other VELVET items I like and that you might too.

Leopard print velvet blazer

Black trousers

Deep purple trouser

Jumpsuit

Puffer Jacket ⇒ If you like puffer jackets then this one is definitely for you!

Sneakers ⇒ I’ve had my eyes on these babies for a while – definitely my next sneaker  purchase 😀

Dr Martens ⇒ HOW could I not sneak these in here?! ~ I am in love with their boots (AGAIN… have been wanting them on and off for years) and love their thicker platform collection and the velvet on these make them even cuter

I hope you liked this outfit and find some of the velvet options above usefull and inspiring for one of your next outfits 😀

Love,

Laura xxx

Back to Blogging

Hello everyone!

I’m officially back and will be posting regularly again. Sorry for being MIA for the past couple of months but I have been crazy busy and dealing with a few issues of my own.

Anyways, while I was on my ‘blogging break’ I decided to update the blog as I did enjoy posting, so as you may have noticed or not.. I bought my domain name, so bye bye to wordpress.com and hopefully will allow me to expand on here too.

So I hope everyone has had an amazing and relaxing Christmas spent with family and friends and delicious food, of course! Also, can we just take a moment to realise that we’re almost at the end of the 2nd week of January 2019, how crazy?! I hope 2019 has started on a good note for everyone, leaving all your worries and over thinking in 2018!

Talking about leaving certain things in 2018, I certainly am trying to leave certain characteristics behind such as; over thinking, which is why I made myself a few goals for 2019 and thought I would share them on my 1st post back, so here goes;

  1. Go out more. This one might seem weird to some people but having had a crazy 2018 with the third and last year of uni and my sister still being ill, I was either studying or in the hospital. I was kind of stuck in a routine of being lazy and would rather stay at home every evening watching Netflix. So definitely making myself go out for a few hours whether it is for dinner, drinks or movies with friends and just relax and enjoy.
  2. Similar to the first goal my second one is to remember to take time for myself, without worrying, OVER THINKING (in caps because I am a queen of over thinking) and comparing myself, off social media and off any type of screen. So more reading, baths, or even trying different gym classes.
  3. Time management. This one is a big one for me, whenever I plan to meet friends I’m usually always late, whether i’m coming from somewhere or just sitting at home… I always manage to arrive late. So definitely want to change that.
  4. Keeping fit. I’ve been into fitness; exercising and eating healthy for a couple of years now but again between my final year of uni and my sister being ill, as well as getting into a serious relationship from 2017 – 2018 I struggled to find the time to exercise or the motivation and would’ve rather spent my free time to either be with family or my boyfriend. However, since being back at it regularly for a while now I want to set myself mini goals to get stronger again. Whether it is focusing on my arms or legs and trying to increase on the weights or the amount of reps for certain exercises, learning and improving on new ones and building my way up to particular exercises.

So there you go those are my 4 commitments that I want to improve, just for myself and to make me happy. Sorry for making this post different and quite a lengthy one but I hope you still found it interesting to read and maybe even made you reflect on some things you would like do for yourself this year.

Feel free to leave your goals on here too, I would love to hear all the different goals too 🙂

Anyways, enough for now, see you on my next post hopefully and all the best for 2019!

Laura xxx

 

Summer Look-book

Hey everyone,

I wanted to do something a little different this time. I know usually my posts can be quite lengthy and a lot of writing about my lifestyle, food, outfits, travel etc so this time I wanted to show more photos and less writing. So since summer is sadly coming to an end (i’ve had a long summer since I finished my dissertation but… then July past and now it’s September… how did that even happen?!)

Anyways, back to my point, I am creating a sort of short look-book of some of my summer looks for you to enjoy. From beach holiday outfits to city summer looks, so here goes.. enjoy 😀

I hope you enjoyed these, as I just picked a few of my favourite looks and as you can tell I don’t really wear skirts 😛 It’s either dresses or trousers/shorts 😀

Anyways, see you on my next post!

Love,

Laura xxx

Summer Holidays

Hey Everyone,

So in this post i’m going to share with you some of my summer holidays (with my boyfriend) which were actually end of June – beginning of July. I wanted to share with you a bit of what I did, places I went, food, outfits and experiences.

SPAIN

I went to Spain, to my boyfriends place in Jerez (near Seville) for 5 days and also headed to Marbella for a day, which was super fun! After that we went to my place in Trieste, Italy (near Venice) and then to Verona for 2 days as well, as I have relatives there too.

In Jerez, we relaxed a bit, did some shopping, went to the beach and spent a bit of time with my boyfriends family as well as (of course) had amazing food 😀

[I didn’t take many pics on this part of the holiday as I wanted to disconnect a bit and not have my camera around with me 24/7]

 

 

We then went to Marbella for a day, and went to a cute organic healthy restaurant which I had found online, called Rachel’s eco love restaurant before getting there. It was by a hotel too which had a cute pool and was surrounded by beautiful nature, which made it so pretty and colourful. I wore a Zara dress with my Alexander McQueen sneakers and Gucci bag. I then found this dreamy little shop full of cute straw bags, summer dresses and bracelets. I had also just received my final year grades from uni at that time and was super happy, so of course, before I knew it… I had bought another summer dress (which believe me, I did NOT need as my closet is full of them atm) but it was too cute not too and was in the mood to buy anything and everything.

ITALY

I think most of the time there was spent eating amazing Italian food and of course the best kind… my grandma’s food. My house is right across from the beach so every morning we would go for coffee by the beach and then a lovely swim before all the kids would come and overcrowd it.

Since, it wasn’t a new city for my boyfriend and he already had seen all the pretty places and views the previous year, we just relaxed and really enjoyed the Italian weather, sea and food.

Verona was a 1 night stop before heading back to London, so we didn’t have much time to see everything but nevertheless, had an amazing time. We went around the centre, saw the famous Arena and had lunch right by it… which by the way was so lovely, slightly overpriced, however so delicious and worth it. We walked around a lot and around the old town. We stayed at one of my cousins flats, since she lives there, however, also has a flat she rents out to Airbnb, so she kindly saved the place for that night for us to stay in. She then took us to the most amazing gelato place, called San Zeno. All the flavours were natural and organic and tasted exactly like eating each individual ingredient and had loads of vegan friendly flavours too!

In the evening they took us to Lake Garda, which was a 20-30 min drive to have dinner and a nice evening walk. When we got there, there was a storm about to happen and the wind made the lake look like the sea on a windy day… i’ve never seen a lake like that and even though it was so windy, it was actually such a cool experience.

[Again sorry as we were there for such a short time didn’t take many pictures and just enjoyed my time there – also the gelato was too good and remembered to take a pic only at the last minute haha :P]

Oh and… that gelato place, [San Zeno], is one of the best in Italy… (It is in Italian but just proving my point :P) And if you happen to be in Verona… You’re welcome 😀

https://cucina.corriere.it/notizie/cards/dal-piemonte-sardegna-43-migliori-gelaterie-artigianali-italiane-2018/zeno-gelato-cioccolato-verona-veneto.shtml

Outfits:

Blue linen shorts - Uniqlo
Blue dress with open sides - Zara (old but saw a similar style ina pinky shade in-store the other day)
Turquoise dress - Marbella (can't remember the store name sorry)
White swimsuit - Zara (old but they made a similar one in red this year)


Hope everyone’s having a lovely week,

Lots of Love,

Laura xxx

The Perfect Wood Watch that Goes with Everything

Hey everyone,

I hope you’re all enjoying your summer.

In this post I wanted to share with you another watch brand that kindly sent me one of their watches I liked.

Their brand is called Jord (Insta: @Jord watches), and the watches are made from wood which I think is really cool and different, and the best thing is they look so elegant and don’t look like they’re made from wood at all! They also come inside the cutest little box, as you can see from the photos.

They come in many colours, shapes and sizes, however I had my eyes on one style (the style I got of course) in the light gold-ish colour and the black. I ended up going with the black one (available here) because the other 2 watches I own are light colours so I decided to switch it up and go for something dark which is nicer for winter too. And perfect to match the dark English sky which London gets most year… However, if it looks too dark,the same style comes in 3 other colours… they have lots to choose from!

Anyways, go check them out because they’re awesome and so different… and to be honest, I would just buy one for the cute box they come in! Keep an eye out on my Instagram; (@lauraacastelli), as I might be doing something exciting with them! 😀

I hope you liked this post as much as I enjoyed creating the content to share with you …also don’t be shy, leave a comment and make me happy 🙂

Ok bye for now…

and lots of love,

Laura xx

 

Home-made Shakshuka

Hey everyone,

I hope everyone’s having a wonderful Friday and ready for the weekend!

I’m back with another post for you guys, something a little different, perfect for some weekend cooking! Since I’ve had more time on my hands due to finishing university, a couple of days ago my boyfriend and I decided to cook something fun.

We made our own Shakshuka, which is something we never made before, as it takes time. We followed a random recipe we found online and it was super straight forward and just….yummyyyy.

I mean just looking at the pics makes me crave it again ha… I am such a massive Shakshuka fan. I mean its mixed vegetables with herbs and spices and protein from the eggs; perfect combo if you ask me and also quite light and overall just AMAZING.

We put olive oil and onion in a pan for a bit before then started added 2 finely chopped peppers; green and red and left it to cook for a bit. In the meantime we started adding garlic powder, ground coriander, some chilli, smoked paprika, black pepper and then added some chopped tomatoes and then 3/4 can of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice. When the veggies look like they’ve been cooked enough with a spoon make a little space and at the same time crack the egg into the space. We put 3 eggs but put as many as you wish, leave it until the egg white starts cooking, pop some fresh mint and basil inside too and then pop it in the oven for around 15 mins more.

You can also top it with some cheese for example, goats cheese or feta. Due to not being able to eat lactose I didn’t and just had the guacamole we made on the side but my boyfriend said it tastes amazing with the soft cheese.

Hope you enjoyed this and get sometime to make Shakshuka too!

Love,

Laura xx