Life in lockdown update

Hello Hello again,

I hope everyone’s holding up ok as we’re still deep into lockdown and although we have a date for the end of this, there is still uncertainty of whether they will extend lockdown again and when things will actually go back to normal.

I wanted to share a bit about what i’ve been doing this lockdown and how i’ve been feeling as I think it’s good to share these things, especially to show that it’s completely ok to have up and downs, good and bad days or weeks. I certainly have not had my sh**t together all the time.

At the start of social distancing and then lockdown, I was actually feeling pretty great. I set myself 45 mins each day to workout, and roughly 1 hour of walking in the park a day. Yes, this routine was great, I felt great, felt like I was finally getting stronger, especially with my knee injury (which happened in October.. it’s a long one..). I actually felt like I had time to work on strengthening my muscles around my knees properly, as well as getting over the fear of hurting my knees again. I then got carried away and looking back I was certainly doing too much on a daily basis. Too much time and too long of walks and of course I slightly re-inflammed both knees.

After that, I quite quickly spiralled. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I had to take a break from working out and I couldn’t go for walks combining with the fact that WE ALL can’t see anyone and I couldn’t even go to the supermarket with my knee situation… I struggled. Started refocusing on food and my body, and yes I had put on weight but that’s ok, I’ve had a knee injury so i’ve been more sedentary these past few months and I also think part of me was exercising not to feel good, although it did but because when I got back into it I felt like I had to get back into shape because I could. Let me tell you something… we don’t need to look a certain way and have a certain body to feel good about ourselves, I learnt this the hard way once and i’m not going to let it get the best of me again.

Also this guilt has led me into a ‘darker’ state of mind, how I used to think when I had an ED, I should eat little for the next couple of days and then get back into normal, just a few days to get back to myself and then continue with my routine and guess what? I’ve gotten to days where all I want to eat is chocolate with no self control and ended up putting more “weight” than I started with. It just doesn’t work. So, along with my therapist, i’ve given myself a plan, and exercises to work with so I don’t overthink the little insignificant things in life and finally starting to focus on other more important things.

It’s OK to eat a little more this period,

It’s OK to rest a little more,

It’s OK to have days were you just literally want to Netflix and Chill all day,

None of us have been through anything quite like this, and like anything it will pass, and you will go back to your usual routine, if that’s what you want but we’ve never even given ourselves time to really just take a STEP BACK. Stay in one place for a long time, no holidays, no running around the city, just you and the people you live with and your feelings. That’s why it’s hard sometimes, all these feelings that you’ve ignored could be coming back as you have more time and space right now, so just let yourself feel.

Although i’m feeling much more positive again, have more of a sense of routine and started working out a few days a week, a few days ago I still had a ‘NO’ day. I was due on, so it was probably hormonal because I didn’t even know why I was sad but I just couldn’t wake up properly, I couldn’t get myself to do my abs routine or anything I needed/wanted to get done get. I kept trying to fight it until I was talking to a friend and just realised, the sooner I stop trying to fight it, the sooner i’ll be feeling myself again.

I wrote my feelings, just wrote random stuff to be honest, ate some dark chocolate, took a nice long bubbly bath with some oils, read my book, did a face mask and just tried to not focus on anything.

In my last post I did say I would give you some other small brands that i’ve been eating a lot and loving but since my last post, like I explained, I wasn’t feeling myself too much, so it didn’t feel right to just go ahead and give you another yummy list that I loved when I wasn’t even enjoying anything.

Don’t worry I will be writing it on my next one, just really felt the need to put this out there. If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out, to anyone, to a therapist, to a friend, to family and if you don’t have the means to pay for a therapist, and family have enough going on, I’m here. I don’t mind if you want to reach out and just chat.

Lots of love and stay safe!

Laura xx

 

Living with “the bloat”

Hello everyone,

So in this weeks topic I wanted to share with you a little bit more about my stomach issues, where I am at with my gut at the moment and how I deal with it.

Since following my ‘intolerance diet’ in September, my stomach has been much better, although because I also do get IBS (Irritable Bowl Syndrome), I still get a bit of bloating from time to time as there are other factors that affect my gut, such as; timing, portions, fibre (getting in just the right amount but not too much), and whether I eat cooked or raw veggies, however, I do get much much less discomfort now.

I found out I was extremely intolerant to corn, yeast brewers, egg whites (which I LOVED 😦 ), peas, A LOT of nuts, casein and a couple of types of beans, along with lactose (which I already knew). After I have finished my 6 months of this diet, as I do not believe in a living a life limiting yourself to intolerances, I will re-test myself to see what has improved, just so I can see for myself but will then slowly reintroduce pretty much everything. If you do have the resources to take an accurate food intolerance test, personally, I do recommend it as i’ve only heard positive stories from people who have done them and it has only helped me. However, it is also quite hard and can be inconvenient to follow the diet, especially to begin with, so do make sure you will stick to it for a good period of time if you do, as if not it’s a bit of a waste of time and money.

Anyways, back to some IBS talk. I see many people on social media, saying that having three, bigger meals a day and strictly no snacking is best for your gut, in order to allow it digest properly, also giving it time to rest. However, I only believe that to a certain extent. No gut microbiome is the same so, what works for one person might not work for you.  In my opinion, always take what you see on social media with a pinch of salt, especially from people who aren’t certified nutritionist or doctors of some sort. I am sharing this just to share what has worked for me, and perhaps could work for you and in no way am I trying to tell you that this is what’s 100% best for your gut overall health. For me, eating smaller meals, more often throughout the day really helps me to beat my bloat as my gut finds it easier to digest. I also recommend to read Eat Yourself Healthy by Dr Megan Rossi, as there is a lot of information and science based information around IBS and gut health in general, which I found really helpful.

I also like to start my day with a warm mug of water and lemon (& ginger if I have it). I then have breakfast and take all of my supplements, especially my probiotics as the good bacteria does generally keep your gut nice and happy… and I do feel the difference if I go a period without taking them. If my stomach is feeling a little “bleh”, can’t really think of how to explain the feeling, but a bit bloated and just waking up feeling ‘full’, with discomfort or at any time of day, I drink a shot of apple cider vinegar. I mix a spoon of ACV with 1/4 glass of water and I usually take it around 30 mins before my meals. I find that this really helps to get rid of that feeling and to aid digestion afterwards. I sometimes also buy Willy’s ACV shots from Whole foods, as they have different flavours like apple & ginger and turmeric & honey, which add some other health benefits and also don’t make it taste as awful as ACV on its own (ACV, as you may know isn’t really that pleasant to drink). However, I do LOVE is at as a condiment on my salads, which is another good way to get it in.

Anyways, those are just a few tips for your gut that I guess you could say I swear by. So if you’re struggling with your gut, perhaps you can give these a go. It may work for you or it may not but the best way to find out what works for you, really is by trial and error.

Bye for now!

Lots of love,

Laura xx

 

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

 

 

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.

IMG_7544IMG_7529-2

IMG_7555-2IMG_7543.

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.

IMG_7753IMG_7752

IMG_7749IMG_7733

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

 

 

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

 

Uni: Over & Out

Hey everyone,

First things first, I finally finished my fashion management course at London College of Fashion and I’m S U P E R happy. As a ‘first post back’, I decided to share what I did the day I finished as it was such an amazing feeling and I felt so relaxed for the first time in a while. I know I haven’t been posting but I’m back with a lot of content to share with you guys.

I went to this cafe which i’d actually been to before, however, not with my boyfriend as the places I pick are normally too healthy for him… he likes his meat and big portions haha

The place is called Daisy Green in Marble Arch and they have many similar chain cafe’s with slightly different names. My boyfriend agreed to come and actually liked it. I love their food, as they’re all healthy but they still have ‘comfort’ food too. On top of that the place itself is really colourful and cute with lovely pink roses all around the outside. I got their Shakshuka which has 2 fried eggs hidden inside and my boyfriend got ‘the bondi’ which had poached eggs, a sausage and more as you can see in the pics. Both plates also had charcoal bread too. Definitely a place I would recommend and I definitely want to try its other ‘sister’ cafes around London!

Since i’ve been getting little sleep ahead of my dissertation deadline, I just wanted to wear something comfy so I wore my mom jeans (Topshop) as they’re really big on me, comfy and are easy to combine. I paired them with a blue striped shirt (H&M) with a denim jacket (Stradivarius) and white platform trainers (Alexander McQueen). I also added some pictures with a different blouse on top (Zara) which i tied up at the front, just to show you a different style.

I hope you enjoyed the photos and the whole post and i’ll see you soon on my next one.

Love,

Laura xxx

Statement belt

Hey everyone,

I’m really sorry for being so M.I.A lately but i’ve been traveling with my family and working on my dissertation as well as applying for jobs… so lets say i’ve been busy busy busy. 😦 it’s has really been non-stop lately, so bear with me.

In this post I’m going to share with you two cute outfits including how I like to style statement belts, which in my case is a Gucci one.

I wanted a casual every day outfit, and this belt is perfect to just throw in a little more sass to the outfit. I wore black jeans and a simple white tee… classic and my fave colour combo (ha i know, not that exciting, but it can never go wrong), paired with the belt and a leather jacket on one occasion and on the next to make it a bit more exciting I added a pink blazer.

 

I am obsessed with wearing blazers, they make your outfit so much cooler and have also recently purchased more to add to my wardrobe. Pink is so trendy at the moment along with more pale, pastel colours and I love it. It makes me happy and it’s so girly and just perfect. I also love baby blue blazers, white with thin black stripes, checked and pretty much all the pastel colours… just to give you a few blazer ideas, incase you were thinking of buying some. This one’s from Bershka but they’re literally EVERYWHERE; Zara, Topshop, H&M, Loavies, you name it and they’ll have cute ones for sure.

I also created a different outfit with the belt while I was on holiday. We were going to be sitting in the car for a few hours because we were visiting different places in the south of Spain so I didn’t feel like jeans but something comfy and I also wanted to wear the belt. So, I went through my boyfriends suitcase and stole a jumper and his bomber…which I absolutely love and is basically mine now… (jk, I wish). In fact I should probably buy my own, but what would be the point of having him if not for stealing his clothes… am I right?! Anyways I added the belt and a pair of platform sneakers… and voila 😀

Outfit details:
Leather jacket (1st outfit): Pinko
Blazer (2nd outfit): Bershka
Sneakers: Adidas - Stan Smiths
Hoodie: Bershka man (boyfriends)
Bomber: Alpha industries
Sneakers: Superga

Hope you liked the photos and outfits! See you on my next post, hopefully not in too long.

Love,

Laura xxx

New jewellery brand

Hey everyone,

I hope everyone’s had a great week so far… we’re not far from the weekend! 😀
A while ago I found this really cute jewellery brand; bare originals on Instagram and was lucky enough that they kindly sent me one of their necklaces.


I got their staple round necklace, available here, which I got personalised with my initial on it. I actually received it in the post on my birthday which was a nice surprise and I love it! I don’t really ever take it off (apart from when showering). I normally stick to silver/white gold jewellery only because I thought my skin tone looked better in it and the rings that have sentimental meaning to, which I never take off, happen to be white gold. Having said this lately I wanted to change a little as I started to get bored of only wearing silver and there has been a lot of gold jewellery that I seem to love, so I took this opportunity to try to mix it up a little and I’m so happy I did! For everyday I like to wear it on its own, nice and simple but when I feel like being a bit more dressy I like to layer it with another gold choker and even another mid length necklace in-between. It just so simple and versatile its so easy to play around with.

 

A lot of people have actually commented on it saying it looks really good on me, so it’s fair to say I’m happy I finally decided to change it around a bit.
Anyways, as I was saying above I adore the necklace they sent me and I’ve actually had a look at their latest collection too and there are some adorable and stylish pieces, which I might even treat myself to soon. One of the pieces I have my eyes on is their star choker. Have a look for yourself i think it’s so cute and has a nice sparkle to it to, which makes it more noticeable. Also the great thing is it’s only CA $20 which is around £12.
Anyways I hope you liked the photos and the necklace and remember to have a look at their other cute items too 🙂

Love,

Laura xxx

21 already..whaatt?!

Hey Everyone,

Last week, (on Feb 23) I turned 21! So I thought I would write a little bit about what I did and who I spent my birthday with.

BUT first of all, omg I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M 21 ALREADY!! I still feel 19 to be honest…

I should really start getting on top of things and being a bit more responsible, I mean I finish uni in around 3 months… OH oh…Time to decide what I really want to do with my life?..

Ok, jokes aside – It has been a hell of a bumpy ride and a tough year. Final year at uni isn’t easy, along with some other events that occurred, some of which I previously talked about. However, throughout this year I have certainly realised that I am super blessed to be surrounded with people who truly care.

ANYWAYS back onto the birthday (3-day birthday) talk…

FEB 22nd

My boyfriend had organised a dinner for my birthday, as he wanted to take my family and I out to dinner and the night before my birthday was the only day everyone could make it. We went to the OXO Tower, which is a place he knows I love. I think the atmosphere is so nice there with the loveliest and most incredible of views looking onto the river Thames. In the evening you can see all the different lights from the bridge, boats and the city, which makes it truly gorgeous. The food was also amazing and even though it is a luxury restaurant I wouldn’t say its overpriced for what you get (ambience too).

My boyfriend then surprised me with an early birthday present as he wanted to give it to me with everyone there which was so special. He got me the Marmot Gucci bag you can see in the photos, which I had been wanting to get for a while… so you can only imagine the smile on my face when I opened it!

FEB 23rd

Even though people tend to think, “oh you’re turning 21, you need to do something big”, to be completely honest I don’t get it. Yes, its big in America maybe because you can legally drink finally.. but in London… not a big deal. As I get older i’ve realised I much more enjoy spending time with family and closest friends, rather than partying with everyone I know…

Ok back on track now… sorry i get very easily side tracked as you can see..

I spent my actual birthday with my boyfriend. We went for brunch to my favourite place, Egg break in Notting hill and then did a bit of shopping in Knightsbridge and then went for crepes in this cute place I had never been to before in Covent garden called Mamies.

In the evening I went to my parents home to have a family dinner and birthday cake.

(sorry about some of the pics, I didn’t feel like bringing a camera around on my birthday)

FEB 24th

I spent this day celebrating my birthday with my closest friends, having brunch because I can’t get enough of brunch food. However, I realised my favourite brunch places don’t take bookings especially on the weekend and didn’t want to queue before so I ended up cooking brunch in my new flat. Honestly, it was the best decision I made because we had no time limit, it was so chilled and got the chance to properly talk with everyone.

Even though I didn’t do anything crazy for my birthday, I enjoyed every single minute of it more than any other and I couldn’t have been happier!

I hope you enjoyed this post and i’m sorry for making it SO long but I really wanted to share everything with you guys! (and still want to in the future!)

OK, BYE for now.

Lots of love,

Laura xx