March Lust List 

Happy Friday everyone! I can’t believe how fast the weeks are flying by this year. I’ve really wanted to blog more (I know I say this on everrrrry post I do) but I’m going to let myself off because I’ve been busy working hard, training hard, and generally enjoying life. I’ve been up to all sorts – cuddles with my new baby niece Eliza, Spa pampering and massages, long walks, catching up with old friends, eating out A LOT, shopping, just having a good time. 

I’m sticking to my New Years resolution fitness wise. I’ve been using the app RUNTRAINER to help teach me run 5k. I’ve always been active with cardio but tend to do HIIT so my endurance isn’t where I want it to be. I’m going to carry on with it and challenge myself to some sort of sponsored run this year! After becoming an Advanced scuba diver from being a total novice, I want to continue challenging myself. Strength wise, I’m working hard on my booty and abs and also training my back and arms once or twice each week so I’m hoping to feel in great shape by summer. 

Anyway, I’ve put together a little list of things I’m lusting over this month. I’m going to purchase a lottery ticket for this weekend so if I win (keep your fingers crossed for me) I’m going to add a house and a few luxury holidays onto my list! A girl can dream. 

FitBit Charge 2 

I’ve wanted one of these for agesssss but always end up spending my money on other things. I love the Charge 2 because it tracks your heart rate, activity and sleep but also looks quite subtle. I love the blue but the black is classic and probably more durable in terms of staining and visible scratching. I’d love to track my heart rate because according to the gym machines it’s through the roof! So it would be good to track it and work on balancing it. Oh and it’s pretty cool you can get your calls and texts through on it! Check them out here.
Freddy Jeans 

If you haven’t seen these before – you’re going to love them! They’re special sculpting pants with cleverly placed seams to make your booty look AMAZING. I love skinny fit jeans and these two are my fav; regular waist denim jeans – classic and perfect for every day wear. Faux snake skin – I can’t stop wearing black at the moment and I’ve seen someone wear these ones and they look so nice! They can be dressed down in the day with boots or trainers or dressed up with heels for the evening so they’re really versatile. Definitely my favourites! You can have a browse at their many styles Here.
Bali Body Bronzing Lotion

I used Bali Body last year on my holidays and their products are just so luxurious in feel and smell. I have the watermelon oil and the sun lotion and LOVE them both for making my skin soft and smooth, and an all natural alternative to regular sun cream. It’s a little annoying how often you have to apply but I’d say it’s worth it! They’ve recently bought out this Luxe Bronzing Lotion which has a tint to give you a bronzed look whilst hydrating the skin with Vitamin E and natural oils. I LOVE a good tan and if I can get it whilst nourishing my skin, this can only be a good thing! Get your bronze glow Here.

Anastasia Beverley Hills Modern Renaissance Palette 

This is just the ultimate palette in terms of the shades I love to use on my self. I swear I’m the only girl in the world who doesn’t have this? I’ve heard only good things about this palette. The Venetian Red, Raw Sienna and Realgar look like my dream shades! I’m not being dramatic when I say I will die if I do not own this palette soon. 
Fearless shoes 

I’m really funny about flat shoes, I rarely wear them except trainers (pretty much only in the gym) I usually always have at least a small heel! I love these cream espadrille style shoes and they have a Valentino style strap around the ankle which I adore! These cute little PomPom shoes are equally as cute! Now the weather is (I guess?) trying to get a little warmer/sunnier I need to invest in some cute little shoes like these. You can find these and loads of others on Fearless.

NARS Velvet Lip Glide – Unlaced, Stripped and Playpen. 

When purchasing a few foundations (Nars Sheer Glow is unreal) for my makeup kit, the lady at the Nars counter popped in a sample of the velvet lip glide for me. It’s a really good size that’ll last me a while and I’m so glad because I LOVE it! It really does glide on beautifully and is the most comfortable liquid lipstick I’ve ever tried. It’s not totally matte, it has a velvet finish which I definitely prefer! It’s too easy to get a cracked look with a matte lippy. The three shades above are my favourite every day nudes but they’re all lovely! Pick yours up from your nearest counter or the NARS website.
Grey Feather Jacket

Top of my list fashion-wise is this grey feather jacket from Olive and Lile! I think it would go with soooo many looks and glam up any outfit! It’s ostrich feathers are ethically sourced which is important to me also! Must-have fashion purchase. Get yours in grey or a range of other colours from Olive and Lile.
So that’s a few of my fav things at the moment! Obviously, like many girly girls, it’s pretty much an endless list but these have made it to the top! Have you got any of these? Are they and things I should add? Let me know in the comments or on my Instagram @heliemac1 

Hels xxx


Vegan Protein Shake – Nudey Tea Review

**20% off site wide at Nudey Tea with code HELEN **
Veganism in a nutshell is a way of living which aims to exclude the use of any animal products for food, clothing and any other purpose. So this includes meat, dairy, eggs etc in diet – which so happen to be the main sources of dietary protein. There’s many vegan protein sources but generally much more needs to be consumed in order to match the levels found in meat, eggs and dairy.  

Although not vegan myself, I do try and stay away from dairy where possible to avoid IBS flare ups. One product I’ve found particularly irritable to my stomach (and I’m aware many others do also!) is whey protein. I’ve tried soya alternatives but they’ve literally made me gag due to the thick custard like texture and off-taste. So I’ve always stuck with whey and suffered the potential side affects. 

So what alternatives are there? I was approached by Nudey Tea to try their new vegan protein shakes. In 4 flavours, I knew I was bound to enjoy at least ONE of them. And to my surprise, I enjoyed all 4! Before I go on to my personal opinion, here’s a few facts about the shakes. 

  • It’s a cruelty free plant based vegan shake
  • Nutritious with an added vitamin and mineral blend. 
  • Added Guarana and green tea which have brilliant fat burning abilities. 
  • It’s premium and uniquely blended using 4 types of plant protein to offer a dairy free shake.
  • Great to satisfy hunger, support healthy weightloss and input extra calories when you’re training hard, alongside a healthy balanced diet. 
  • 4 great flavours – strawberry, chocolate, coconut and vanilla. 
  • 24g protein per serving. 

How I found it – 

The first I tried was the vanilla. I had this whipped up for me at the gym with some water and ice in a blender. I always blend my shakes because the very thought of a lump is enough to put me off! The shake was smooth and not too thick and actually tasted very similar to a vanilla milkshake! As I was chatting whilst I sipped, it took me about 20 minutes and by which time it needed a mix as it had started to separate. When mixed it was exactly the same as the start so that’s a very small price to pay for a great tasting vegan shake. 

The other flavours I tried with almond milk to give a slightly richer finish than with water and this was preferred for me! Try blending a few ice cubes, almond milk and a scoop of shake for a thick frozen milkshake consistency. 

I can’t recommend this product enough, whether you’re vegan or wanting to cut back on dairy or just fancy a great tasting, all natural protein shake. Don’t forget you can use code HELEN at the checkout for 20% off site wide – this includes the teas, shakes and accessories! 

Hels x

Ultimate High Protein Porridge Recipe

We’re becoming increasingly concerned with the importance of a high-protein diet, but it can be a struggle for some to incorporate protein into their breakfast. Maybe you can’t face eggs or meat first thing in the morning, maybe you’re vegetarian, or maybe you’re just stumped for ideas. 

The ‘easy’ way is to just simply add a scoop of whey protein into your oats – and that’s great! But it’s not for everyone. I struggle with protein powders – I can drink them after a workout but if I add them to anything I feel like it ruins the food I’ve added it to! 

I’ve come up with my own little recipe that I’ve become obsessed with, and my boyfriend loves it also! 

What You’ll Need: 

  • Oats (your desired amount) 
  • 1tblspn powdered peanut butter 
  • 1-2tblspn chia seeds 
  • Almond milk (desired amount) 
  • 1 egg white 
  • Walden Farms Caramel Syrup 
  • Optional – bananas, blueberries, strawberries, chopped up protein bar or any desired toppings 

Okay, the thought of adding egg white into your oats might sound a bit scary if you’ve never tried it before but TRUST me you can’t taste egg and it just makes it creamy and amps up the protein! 

You can purchase the powdered peanut butter (I use Dr Zak’s) and the caramel syrup from Muscle Food and you can even use code HM498301 to get some extra FREE goodies at the checkout like a loaf of high protein bread, protein pizza, chicken breasts….. 

The chia seeds were picked up from Tesco for just £1 a pouch – a steal when you look at chia seeds in Holland & Barrat for instance which cost around £15 for the same product! 

Method: 

  • Add your oats and almond milk to the saucepan on a medium heat (to your desired consistency – some like theirs thin, I like mine gloopy!) 
  • After 1-2 minutes when it’s all stirred in, add your powdered peanut butter and chia seeds 
  • Continue cooking and stirring for a further 4-5 minutes 
  • Add your egg white and stir well
  • Continue cooking and stirring for around 3 minutes or until fully cooked 
  • Place in a bowl and drizzle Caramel Syrup 

Voila! High protein oats without the whey protein taste! Full of goodness to keep you going for the day! 

Hels xxx

Model Update

I’ve been doing some exciting jobs and tests recently, so I thought I’d share a few of my shots from the last year! 

I’ve been so lucky as to shoot in Cyprus and Egypt – but mainly good old Manchester! I’ve worked with some really cool photographers as well, I love seeing the different ideas and visions that they create and how I transform from shot to shot. 

Photographers include: Tom Parnell, Matthew Comer, Yolanda Kingdon, Stacey Clarke, Charles Wosu, Chloe-Ann Charnock, Owen Jones, Sean Goldthorpe, Hannah Furness. 


Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets. 

I stumbled upon a really interesting programme that’s available on BBC iPlayer right now called Clean Eating’s Dirty Secret. 

It’s a documentary starring Grace Victory, a Vlogger on beauty, fashion, body image and mental health. Throughout the programme, Grace explores the recent ‘trend’ of ‘Clean Eating’ that’s sweeped social media and become a lifestyle for many. 

In short, she compares insta/YouTube famous ‘nutritionists’ opinions with scientific, factual information from a qualified dietician. I’ll begin by clearing up the difference between a nutritionist and a dietician. ANYONE can call them selves a nutritionist. In fact, Grace herself took a 20 hour, £30 nutritionist course online in the programme which enabled her to claim she’s a raw food nutritionist, despite her not even having any real understanding or passion for nutrition. The difference with a dietician is that they must have studied at university to gain their qualification and it’s perhaps more factual and less opinionated. 

Through the programme we see some (in my opinion) crazy diets from all potato, to virtually protein free banana based diets and 100% Raw and vegan. At the start, they do mention how clean eating is dairy, meat, egg and gluten free. I have to say I don’t really agree with this (I’ll come onto that in detail) as to me, clean eating is eating natural which includes meat and eggs so I would say that’s only some peoples version of clean eating. 

That gets me on to the fact that pretty much EVERY diet/nutrition/fitness person has a way of doing things and pretty much think their way is the only correct way. There’s some magnificent claims made, for example Freelee – The Banana Girl eats around 30 bananas a day and claims that protein is like acid for the body!? And that the human body receives most of its protein through your own flesh!? Of course this was totally rubbished by the ‘real’ dietician. Another claim by Deliciously Ella is that milk damages your body. Again, rubbished by the dietician who stresses the importance of the calcium that milk offers to the body. 

The programme showed the physiological dangers also associated with the clean eating hype, that often go alongside the physical. Many more girls/boys are suffering from Orthorexia Nervosa – an obsession with eating foods that are deemed as healthy by the person. I took this little Orthorexia Self Test which showed that I may have a modest case of Othorexis and I must say I may agree. When I see these (mainly) girls on Instagram with crazy clean meals and insane workouts, it almost makes me feel guilty when I go slightly off course. It’s probably phycological but I actually feel healthier and more attractive when I’ve been ‘eating right’ and restricting myself as opposed to eating what I really want. I must add this isn’t a worry for me, as I do regularly make food choices that aren’t ‘clean’ just because I want to. 

Another one to add is gluten free. I do try to eat a gluten free diet due to it being a trigger for my IBS (and no one likes looking 8 months pregnant for no reason) but I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would CHOOSE to be gluten free if they don’t need to?! It’s so restricting. The other day I went for lunch with friends post-training and wanted a Caesar salad which the menu said came as a gluten free option. So of course I presumed the croutons would be gluten free maybe? Nope. The server came out and said that the gluten free option would literally be chicken and lettuce and is this okay? At £10 uhmmmm, nope. Oh and the sweet potato fries? Coated in flour. So if you think gluten free is easy, you couldn’t be more misguided. Not to mention the fact that gluten free options can be 3 times more expensive and can contain all sorts of nasty chemicals and additives! 

I think the most important thing I took away from this is that each individual is different. You can’t follow someone else’s lifestyle in its entirety because every persons body is different. You wouldn’t see my trainer giving a 13 stone lady the same workout as me and this applies to the diet even more so! You need to find what works for YOU and remember you can have everything in moderation. It’s useless trying to cut out certain food groups in their entirety because chances are, your body needs them! Just try and cut back on the things your body doesn’t agree with and that you know aren’t good in large quantities. 

Oh, and don’t believe everything you read online. 

Hels xxx
*Clean Eating’s Dirty Secret can be found on BBC iPlayer. 

* I am not a nutritionist or dietician, I just have an interest in food and fitness. 

* Any major change in diet requires an all-clear from your GP or dietician. 

Cocoa+ Protein Chocolate

I’m pretty obsessed with adding as much protein to all meals/snacks as possible, but admittedly I do get a little sick of meat, eggs, fish etc. Sometimes you just need that little sweet fix without all the guilt and WITH all the protein. 

You might want to sit down for this because you may not beleive what I’m about to tell you….. Protein chocolate IS a thing. A real thing. 

The amazing people at @cocoa.plus were so kind as to send me some goodies to try. I am officially in love. When you hear ‘proteion’ attached to any of your favourite foods, you automatically assume it’s going to be dry or have a weird after taste or something. NOT the case here. 

Cocoa+ tastes exactly the same as a rich, high quality chocolate. You’d never know it contained over 27g of protein per 100g. This is whey protein isolate that’s infused into the chocolate – pure luxury without the guilt. I’ve been having a square or two each evening and it’s just enough to feel like you’ve had a treat. It’s also amazing for cooking – I whipped up these little banana-coconut-Choc clean icecream using a couple of smashed up squares and also these clean peanut butter cups! (I will post recipes if anyone is interested!) Basically, it’s an all round winner and you’re mad if you don’t stock your cupboards up with it. Everyone needs a treat sometimes and it’s better to reach for the high protein alternative to your usual sugary, non-nutritional fav’s. 



You can order yours here (the ordinary Choc one is my fav but the crunch ones are all unreal) at Cocoa Plus

Enjoy! Hels xxx

EatCleanTea – Matcha Green Tea Review. 

I’ve been a huge fan of Matcha since my favourite local cafe began serving Matcha Latte’s. I hadn’t initially realised just quite how versatile Matcha was until I began seeing it EVERYWHERE. Fruity iced matcha, matcha icecream, matcha energy balls…. Anything you can think of, within reason. 

I’m very much into looking after my body and remaining as natural as possible. I personally believe that keeping natural in food, drinks, skincare etc is the best possible thing you can do for your body – keep it as nature intended. The world today is full of nasty toxins and everything is becoming processed, which goes a long way in explaining the poor health many face. 

Anyway, I was so excited about this package as I’ve been reading up all about the benefits of matcha. I’m obsessed with green tea as it is, and matcha amplifies all of the health benefits of ordinary green tea, as it is made from the ground leaves. Here’s a few of the many health benefits: 

  • It is packed with antioxidants
  • It boosts metabolism and burns calories
  • It calms the mind and relaxes the body, whilst boosting memory and concentration 
  • It’s rich in fibre and many vitamins such as Vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium 
  • It prevents disease
  • It lowers cholesterol and blood sugar 
  • It increases energy levels and endurance 
  • It’s all natural (when bought from a reliable source such as EatCleanTea) 
  • It tastes amazing! 

So EatCleanTea have three flavours: Original, Matcha and Mint, Matcha and Ginger. All three are totally natural and of the highest quality but I opted for Original this time as I know I love the taste. I can’t wait to try the other flavours though! Since receiving the package, I have religiously drank Matcha Latte’s with either soya milk or almond milk. I prefer the sweeter milks than the original, but I’ve also tried adding a little agave nectar which added a really nice natural sweetness. 

I’m yet to try my matcha cold, but tomorrow at some point, I’ll be throwing some ice and water into my nutribullet to give it a go! I think it’ll be amazing with a little apple juice and maybe some fruits soaked in. There’s so many recipes online and on the EatCleanTea website and Instagram (@eatcleantea) so even if you’re not a fan of hot drinks, it’s still a must-have purchase! 

Below, I’ll tell you how I make the perfect Matcha Latte using soya milk and the EatCleanTea whisker (which makes it so much easier not to get pesky lumps!) 

  1. Add two scoops of matcha to your favourite mug 
  2. Add a small amount of hot water and use the whisker to blend away any lumps
  3. Full the mug with your milk of choice
  4. Pop in the microwave for 1 minute (you don’t want it piping hot as it will ruin the tea) 
  5. Whisk once more to create a froth
  6. Enjoy 


You can purchase yours at EatCleanTea and do let me know if you think of any interesting recipes for your Matcha! #TeamMatcha 

High protein, clean, vegetarian breakfast ideas. 

Breakfast is probably my FAVOURITE meal of the day. I can’t be the only one who decides what they’re having for breakfast whilst lying in bed the night before? Not only is breakfast my favourite meal, it’s also the most important. You’re setting yourself up for the rest of the day’s diet and mindset – if you start the day off badly you’re more likely to make bad food choices throughout the day. Also, you’re fuelling yourself for a busy day ahead. 

My mum is embarking on a new high-protein diet plan, however as a vegetarian, it can be hard to get the protein in. Therefore, we’ve started experimenting with different ideas. 

I always try to get a good balance and protein and fruit/veg and also add a few good carbs into the mix. Understandably, most people don’t have the time to create beautiful breakfasts each morning but you can take inspiration to adapt to your lifestyle, and remember you can always prep the night before! 

   

 Protein Porridge 
I use the sachets of vanilla protein porridge from MyProtein – these are great if you’re on the go as well! I use almond milk and add a tablespoon of chia seeds for some extra nutrition. I like to add some fruit or have some on the side as well. These sachets pack 16g of protein per serving so you’ll have plenty of slow releasing energy throughout the day. A simple alternative is just adding a scoop of protein powder to your usual oats. You could prepare this the night before or take a sachet to work to pop in the microwave! 

  Protein Pancakes
These Maple pancakes are another MyProtein product that adds ease to breakfast making. I simply add 1 1/2 scoops of pancake mix to almond milk, give it a stir and fry in coconut oil. Simple! You can sweeten if desired with honey, agave nectar or any syrup you fancy, or top with fresh fruit and nuts. The pancake mix packs a whopping 34g protein per serving and taste like an absolute treat. These can be made the night before and eaten cold or heated up in the microwave. 

  Scrambled Eggs and Avocado on Ryvita 
Simple and fast! Half an avocado mashed, 2 eggs scrambled, on top of ryvita, a sprinkle of black pepper. Sorted! I teamed it up with some frozen berries and passion fruit. 

  Chia Seed Pudding
I’ve spoken all about the wonders of Chia Seeds in a previous post. These magical littles seeds absorb liquid to create a pudding-like consistency that can be flavoured all sorts of ways. Add different nut milks, vanilla or almond essence, fruit, syrups, nut butters, anything! 

Enjoy! 

Hels X 

March Favourites

I’ve compiled a little list of some of my favourite things at the moment. Just little things that make my days a bit more pleasant! Some I’ve mentioned or reviewed before, some I’ve just discovered. 

1. Nutribullet Green Juices

I’ve been feeling a little under the weather so today I’ve bought a ton of cucumber, celery, kiwi, ginger, spinach, pineapple, limes etc to throw into my cup with the hope of feeling tip top again. Day 1 was good so hopefully a week or so will help boost my immune system back up!  

 2. Bikini hunting 

I’ve two holidays booked already – Marbella in June for my gorgeous friend Courtney’s wedding, and Tenneriffe in August for my boyfriends dads birthday. I’m hoping I can squeeze another bit of sunshine in as well, so I need to stock up on bikinis. I like having ones no one else has so I search for hours online, imagining myself on a hot beach with a mojito in hand.

I miss the ocean so much, I’m dying to dive in and swim freely with the sea life surrounding me. After last years scuba adventures, it’s a must.  

 3.  Nudey Chocolate Protein Shake 

I’ve just received the new chocolate shake. I knew I’d love it because the coconut one was amazing – it definitely doesn’t disappoint! I’m focused on my bod at the moment with these holidays coming up, I really want to look and feel my best on the beach so these are amazing. Code HELEN for 20% off your order at NudeyTea.  

 4. Weight training and outdoor walks 

I’ve been a fan of training for ages, but at the moment I’m really getting into weight training. I’m going for it with the booty building but I’m also concentrating more on back and arms with the help of my boyfriend. Something I’ve always avoided! I’m also loving walks outdoors, I’ve been going at least once a week for the last few months and it’s so nice to get some fresh air and gentle exercise. 

5. Star Tan 

I’ve been sent some amazing new tan and I’m really loving it! I’ll be posting a review this week about it so keep your eyes peeled. 

6. Chanel Bronzer 

I wrote a post last year about Chanel’s mousse bronzer and I still ADORE it. I’ve recently bought a new pot and it’s still one of my most favourite products ever, absolute beauty must-have.  

 7. Chanel Perfume 

Another classic Chanel perfume. I’m on my second bottle (which my boyfriend bought me and so cutely engraved) and I know I’ll be keeping this scent foreverrrrrr.  

 8. Pinterest 

My Pinterest addiction has got even more intense recently. I loveeee it for inspo of every kind. I just type in anything like fashion, food etc and millions of pics are there to inspire me. If you don’t have the app, get it NOW. 

9. Windy App

Another app for you – it’s called Windy. I got it when iTunes was giving free apps for the leap year which is a bit random. It’s simply just white noise, like nature sounds and you can adjust it to your preferences. It’s nice and relaxing and good for yoga stretches or even if you’re studying or doing work. I’m not sure if it costs but I’d say it’s worth it if you need some background noise. 

10. Comfy clothes. All the time. 

I’m a huge fan of lounge wear and sports clothes at the moment. When I’m not on a job or at a casting, it’s a guarantee I’ll be wearing a cute little lounging set or my gym clothes. Calvin Klein sports wear or Lounge Underwear just finish it off for me! Comfort is key…  

 What are your favourite things at the moment? Let me know in the comments! 

Hels x

MyTeaBott – Drink Yourself Skinny 

You will never catch me without a bottle of water or flask of green tea tucked into my handbag. I’m a firm believer in staying hydrated for a number of benefits from keeping your skin bright and healthy, keeping water retention at bay, and generally just for good health. 

You can imagine my excitement at receiving a MyTeaBott in the post yesterday. It’s a thermos glass bottle with a bamboo lid that keeps drinks hot or cold for hours…. Basically it’s perfect for any type day, whether I’m out for a day of castings, on long train journeys for a shoot, at the gym or just out for a day with friends.  

 It comes with a removable infuser so you can add loose tea leaves and a filter so you can add fruit to create your own health drinks. It’s so versatile, I’ll be using it all year round. 

On my mind at the moment is detox waters. Although it’s still cold out; it’s starting to get so much brighter and sunnier and it’s getting me in the mood for summer. Mixing fruits and herbs into your daily water can have so many benefits for the body including:

  • Flushing the body of toxins and excess waste
  • Increasing energy 
  • Aids weight loss 
  • Strengthens immune system 
  • Improves skin and hair 
  • Helps remove belly fat 
  • Improved sense of well-being     

A few ingredients I will be using for my detox waters: 

  • Blueberries 
  • Strawberries
  • Cucumber
  • Frozen mixed berries 
  • Lemons and limes 
  • Ginger 
  • Mint leaves 
  • Fresh rosemary 
  • Watermelon 
  • NudeyTea Day Time blend 

A little tip – after you’ve used your herbal/green tea bag in the morning, add it to your detox water for a delicate taste and some extra goodness. 

  

Grab your MyTeaBott now using code GIMMIE20 for 20% off and let me know what you put in yours! 

Hels x

   
 [Use code HELEN at the NudeyTea checkout for 20% off your entire order]