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resolutions

If you’re giving up or reducing your coffee intake for your New Year's resolutions – my deepest sympathies go out to you.

If you're thinking about cutting the caffeine – listen up, I've already done the hard work and went cold turkey for one long week and here's how I got on.

I must confess that on a good day I will have one or two cups of coffee and on a bad one, that number will creep to three, maybe even four.

So kicking the habit, I knew might be a little bit of a challenge, but I didn’t think it would make a massive difference – oh, those famous last words…

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Day one was relatively easy. I had three coffees the day before which might explain the ease of which I got through the day.

However, the next day was an entirely different story. My mood was so low and I was experiencing palpitations.

This was only made worse when I dined out as usually I would order an espresso to round up the meal as it helps digestion

Of course, my little shot of heaven was forbidden, but lucky enough for me, my fellow dinner guests weren't interested in ordering any teas or coffees, so I didn’t feel like I was completely missing out.

Day three, I watched my mother add cream to the expensive coffee I treated the household too. I did everything to distract my brain whilst she expressed just how delicious her coffee was – it was torture.

Our day was scheduled to stop in a coffee shop, but again, I was given a lifeline as thanks to the festive period, they were closed.

Day four was a challenge. I did a coffee run with my mother and I finally caved and had a decaffeinated coffee.

I was hoping the placebo effect would kick in and I would get some sort of buzz – I have no idea why I thought it would work as obviously without the caffeine, coffee quickly loses its appeal and energy boosting properties.

I knocked down the warm brown liquid with a sulky look on my face.

I really thought the reactions people experienced from giving up caffeine were fake. I have since learnt that they are all too real.

Day five was a day I had been dreading the whole week. I was working and I usually rely on coffee to give me my morning energy to get into the office.

I knew my coffee crutch would be very hard to ignore, so I made myself a deal. I wouldn’t go near the kitchen until my shift was finished.

This way my hunger would outweigh my desire for caffeine. Although it’s a method I wouldn’t recommend, it did work and I survived the day without having a breakdown.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Day six and I was STILL experiencing palpations, particularly at night time when they'd come thick and fast. My tactic to get through the day was to constantly distract myself, knowing the experiment wouldn’t last much longer.

One thing I certainly didn’t expect to experience is how much I thought about coffee – not being allowed to have it, made it so much more tempting.

Day seven and I was back working. I kept my head down and powered through the day. Lucky enough for me, a lot of my symptoms had begun to subside and I didn’t feel like total crap. However, I was very much looking forward to finishing the experiment and going back to my relationship with coffee.

The morning had finally arrived and I am not messing – I actually got up earlier to enjoy my cup of coffee AND even treated the family to a coffee run – (though this was mainly out of guilt for being so moody over the week, sorry mum).

It was divine and there’s no way I am ever going back, life is too short not to enjoy at least one coffee a day.

Since giving the challenge a go, I’ve reduced my intake and have been more aware of how much caffeine I am consuming.

Before embarking on a lifestyle change, please contact your doctor first.

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Meghan Markle will celebrate her 37th birthday on August 4. Her birthday is bound to be extra special as it’s her first birthday as a member of the royal family.

There’s no doubt the former actress will receive heaps of lavish gifts from the royals. We can’t imagine Prince Harry will just pick her up a pair of pajamas from Penneys for her special day.

However, the Duchess of Sussex doesn’t expect diamonds or designer threads when her birthday rolls around.

The former Suits star wishes for the same thing every year and it’s quite sweet.

Meghan explained that her mum taught her to treat your birthday as a personal New Year. She advised her daughter to use the day to make new resolutions.

 

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Meghan wrote about the tradition on her old blog The Tig. She said your birthday is: “Your own chance to make resolutions just for yourself and what you prognosticate for your year ahead.”

The Duchess shared what she wishes for every birthday: “More surprises, more adventures, more opportunities to grow.”

She continued: “More days filled with giggles and cheeky jokes, more delicious meals, and more inspiration. Always more inspiration.”

On her 33rd birthday, Meghan encouraged her readers to be kind to themselves. “I want you to stop gossiping, to try a food that scares you, to buy coffee for someone just because, to tell someone you love them… and then to tell yourself right back.  I want you to find your happiness.”

Could Meghan’s birthday wishes be more empowering?

Words to live by.

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Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the very first day of 2018. 

While you may be full of good intentions for the upcoming 12 months, it's more likely that right now you are full of gin, left over Supermacs and regret. 

Here's how mornings began across the country today:

8. 'Whoever decided that daylight was a good idea needs to reconsider.'

You have finally risen to consciousness from a drunken slumber and are taking record of your surroundings. 

You slowly start to feel the painful blisters on your ankles from walking home due to there being approximately zero taxis in all of Ireland, and the first twinges of dehydration stir. 

And then the headache begins to pound. 

Image result for hangover water

7. Did I actually…?'

Whether you had an epic night or a (more likely) disappointing New Year's Eve, there's sure to be something that went down that you still cant belive. 

Whether it was an unexpected midnight kiss or the walking home, own it.

Image result for hangover water

6. 'WATER.'

Self-explanatory, really. 

Time for a rehydration session. And fingers crossed it stays down and the gin hasn't scoured the stomach off you. 

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5. 'I spent HOW MUCH?'

Your purse is filled with crumpled evidence of rounds you bought for people you might not see again until this time next year. 

Your online banking app is calling you, but the brief flash back of waving your card around in the direction of a barman is enough to keep you away from that app for a good while yet.

At least until you have your strength back. 

Image result for money wolf of wall street

4. 'Carbs would be good right now.'

While you may be outraged at the cost of the booze you bought last night, there's always room on the old credit card for a quick takeaway. 

Browsing Just Eat is an absolute essential on a hangover day. 

The diet and exercise routine can wait until tomorrow (or forever tbh).

Image result for hangover food

3. 'The mother will never forgive me for desecrating the holy day of Sunday with my antics.'

You've surpassed the fear and checked you and your pal's Insta and Snapchat stories, and a flurry of 'be sound and delete that' DMs have been dispatched. 

Now you can only lie there and thank your lucky stars that your parental units don't have the hang of Snapchat.  

No one needs to see their 20-something-year-old three sheets to the wind singing Little Mix songs in a taxi.

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2. 'Is she for real?'

While you might be stuck somewhere between blanket wrapped bundle of regret and tequila-induced downward shame spiraler, the ladies of Instagram are on a mission. 

Already you've seen all the fitness influencer's posts about 'starting the year right' (who would be doing those yoga poses on a cliff top on a morning like this?)

Any bets they pre-shot those photos and they're' actually also hiding under a blanket somewhere cursing the existence of white spirits?

Image result for annoying yoga

1. 'I'm never drinking again. And I'm going vegan, joining the gym, participating in activism and deleting my ex's number'

It's easy to get bogged down with thoughts of fulfilling your resolutions as soon as the year kicks off, but give yourself a break. 

You have 12 months to achieve the goals you get for yourself, and this blustery Monday is just a blip on the radar. 

Wrap up in that duvet, throw on a season of Friends and laze your way through the glorious Bank Holiday. 

Image result for dua lipa new rules

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New Year’s Eve is a time for reflection and resolution – with many setting themselves impossible or unachievable goals.

The usual resolutions on everyone’s lists being to join the gym, eat better, save more…blah-blah, blah.

Stuff that! Here’s seven resolutions everyone should make this year:  

1. Travel more

Sometimes a holiday is just AMAZING and with air fares cheaper than ever, you have no excuse not to jet off. But if you can’t get away, hop in the car, on a bus or a train and go see somewhere new. Remember ‘A change is as good as a rest’.

2. Complain less

We all have the tendency to act like Moaning-Myrtle. And while venting can offer momentary relief from the situation, when you look around you there are people worse off than you being stuck in traffic or not having the latest gadget.

You actually have it pretty good, so be happy with what you have and if you’re truly not, then maybe it’s time to change that well-paying soul-sucking desk job for something you really enjoy? Money can’t buy happiness.

3. Be Selfish

We all need to treat others with kindness. But we forget sometimes to be kind to ourselves. Mark Sutton says, “It's not selfish to do what is best for you”.

Learning to say no and spending more time doing the things you love instead of obligation will make you feel…free.

4. Do more of what you love

If you love reading but don’t have the time, make time. If you enjoy running or walking, get outdoors and go for a stroll – fit it in on your lunch break if you don’t have the time before or after work.

If you enjoy eating but are trying to get in shape, cut yourself some slack and just look for healthier options. But if you REALLY want to eat the cake, eat the cake.

5. Try something new

If you have put that Hot Yoga class off for a while, now’s the time to go for it. Stop letting those unread books pile up, take five make a cuppa and turn the page.

Sick of your friend talking about all those marathons they’ve completed? Get up off that sofa and get jogging – there are so many apps, such as Runkeeper, available to guide you in your endeavours – seize the day.

6. Spend more time with the people who build you up

If you find yourself surrounded by negative people, cut them loose. Spending time constantly surrounded by negativity can bring you down and have harmful effects on how you view yourself. Find people who have similar interests and beliefs, or offer inspiration.

Surrounding yourself with positive people will help you feel good about yourself, increase your confidence and self-worth.

7. Put that phone/ iPad away and get out doors

This is truly the technological age and it has its benefits. But with all of our gadgets and devices, we sometimes forget that there is also a world outside.

There are so many beautiful sights to see like the deer roaming freely in the Phoenix Park, Dublin; Glendalough Lake, Wicklow; the Cliffs of Moher, Clare; even going for a stroll in your local park for 30 minutes can clear the cobwebs.

Make this your most fabulous year yet!

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Variety – as well as compromise – is the spice of life. So while we might not be able to resist EVERY single treat going – some small tweaks and occasional changes can make a big difference to how we look and feel.

That and reaching for a large glass of Pinot Grigio most nights of the week isn't always so appealing when you know you'll be up at the crack of dawn with loud and lively small ones.

With that in mind, we've compiled a list of five fabulously delicious snacks to tuck into when you feel a lift-me-up that doesn't involve a pounding headache or inhaling two packets of Hobnobs…  

1) Dark chocolate and green tea

According to one US study, dark chocolate and green tea is the ideal combo to tackle that mid-afternoon energy drop. If you snack on these, you should feel more alert and attentive thanks to the dark chocolate (minimum 60 percent cacao). Meanwhile your blood pressure should also instantly drop thanks to the amino acid L-theanine, which is a relaxant found in green tea. 
 
2) Apple with peanut butter or banana and almond butter
Peanut, almond or cashew butters are great sources of healthy fats and protein, and fruits provide us with fibres, essential for our gut health and to regulate our appetite. Spread a thin layer of nut butter on your favourite fruit and you get a lovely sweet, filling and healthy snack. However, if you're keeping an eye on your calorie intake, don’t be too heavy-handed with the nut butter, as it’s very rich. 

3) Almond stuffed prunes

So much more than an elderly lady constipation treatment! To make them softer, soak your prunes in tea or water and stuff them with a lightly grilled almond. Prunes are a good source of potassium, iron, and of course fibres to help digestion and promote a healthy gut. To mix things up a little, swap almonds with walnuts and the prunes with dates.
 
4) Energy balls
Energy/protein balls were a BIG food trend in 2016, and for good reason. Making them yourself in bulk will make them much more affordable than when you buy them in the shop. Depending on what ingredients you use, they can be a great source of vitamins and minerals. Just Google “energy balls” and you will find countless recipes. Try the likes of peanut butter, dates, oats and cacao power ball, or blend together dates, your favourite nuts, goji berries, coconut and cacao for example. Be careful, these treats are seriously addictive!

5) Greek yoghurt, blackberries and honey
A great source of protein, probiotics, potassium and calcium, Greek yoghurt is definitely your waistline friend. Top it with blackberries (full of vitamin C and antioxidants, and low in calories) and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, you will get a filling and delicious snack that your tummy will thank you for. 
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Tis the season for good resolutions. But much harder than commit to them is sticking to them, which is why we have a few suggestions of easy and struggle-free changes that can truly change your life. 

1) Reduce sugar intake:

We know, it’s hard, especially since so much of our daily intake comes from hidden sugar in processed food – look at the back of a tomato sauce and you’ll see what we mean. So start by gradually reducing the sugar in your cuppa, skip the jam on the toasts, have an apple instead of candies. Sugar is addictive but the good news is, the less you eat of it the less you crave it.

 

 

2) Make meals from scratch:
“Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognise as food”, says American food activist Michael Pollan. And we're pretty sure that your great-grandmother didn’t know about Mars bars and Doritos. Modern life can jeopardise our good resolutions, but trying to eat homemade food made from scratch as often as you can is essential. Don’t be too harsh on yourself though: little changes make a big difference over time. 

 

 

3) Walk as much as possible:

How easy is it to skip the gym and Netflix and chill instead? If going to the gym is too much of a commitment in your busy life, try and introduce as much walking in your day as possible. Go talk to a colleague instead of emailing, go get some air at lunch time, get off the Luas one stop before and walk the distance, go for a hike with the kids at the weekend. Again, every step counts.

 

 

4) Sleep more:
There are several reasons for getting at least seven hours of sleep every night, and controlling your weight is a pretty big one. Sleeping helps control hunger hormones, and we have all noticed that it is much harder to exercise and make healthy food choices when we are tired. So turn off your phone, stop scrolling through Instagram, and lights off before 11pm.

 

 

5) Laugh:
Some say that laughter is the best medicine. It can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and even strengthen your immune system. Try and seek out more opportunities for a good laugh, by spending more time with funny friends, watching comedies, listening to a funny podcast (we strongly recommend My Dad Wrote A Porno). It will bring you happiness and could help you live a longer and healthier life. 

 

 
PLUS: stop smoking
Unhealthy, expensive, smelly, addictive… do we really need to give any more reason to quit for 2017? 
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Like all of us, Adele is feeling the guilt after some extreme over-indulgence at Christmas. And rather than post a serene and smug #cleaneats #blessed gym selfie, the singer told it exactly like it is. 

The gym is hard work, people. Like, sweating and grunting and red in the face hard work. Especially if you have a trainer dictating your every move like Adele no doubt does.

That's why we're loving this snap of the Hello hitmaker feeling the burn with those godawful resistance bands as she prepped for her upcoming tour.

"Getting ready…" Adele captioned the brilliant black-and-white snap.

Given that the star's previous tweet, posted on December 21, mentioned that she was " in a dressing gown eating a Chinese watching Eastenders," we're guessing the first week back at the gym was fairly tough.

It's no doubt been all go for the mum of one since she confirmed back in November that she would be doing a European and US tour, starting with two gigs in Belfast at the end of February, before moving to Dublin and beyond.

We can't wait!

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With every new year, we all promise ourselves to shape up and get fit.

Sometimes that promise may go astray, but we SWEAR that we'll stick to it this year, right?

And if there was anyone to give us some fitness inspo for the year ahead, it'd have to be model Lynn Kelly for Life Style Sports.

So, to get you sorted for 2016, here's some fab gym gear that'll make you look good no matter what yoga pose you (try) to do:

The stylish sports bra

Millie & Gym, Life Style Sports, €20

 

 

The leggings you'll WANT to go running in

adidas Originals Women's Baroque Printed Leggings, Life Style Sports, €33

 

The sports gear you can rock after your workout too

adidas Women's Stella Sport Tight, Life Style Sports, €48

 

 

The Instagram-worthy runners

Nike Women's Pegasus 32, Life Style Sports, €110

 

 

The tank to flatter any shape

Millie & Gym, Life Style Sports, €20

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We all know the deal; every New Year we try to make these promises to ourselves and by January 10, they're ALL gone out the window. 

We know the usual resolutions are to get in shape, eat healthier and work harder but sometimes there are other resolutions that can be life-changing. 

So, if you want a promise that you can actually stick to this year, here's a list of things that will actually make a BIG difference: 

1. Stop procrastinating

This is probably one of the biggest barriers that keep people from reaching their goals and once you get into a habit of procrastinating, it can be hard to snap out of it. 

There are a few life hacks to keep you from putting things off, but once the procrastination barrier is out of the way, getting into shape or whatever you want to do will become much easier. 

 

2. Meet new people

Most of us will go through stages of being stuck in a little rut and we usually end up staying at home a lot. 

But meeting new people can be majorly beneficial to your well-being and it can even help you in your career. You never know who is just around the corner!

 

3. Reduce Stress

They say that stress is one of the biggest killers out there; it can have a destructive effect on your relationships and indeed, your life. 

It may be one of the unavoidable features of life, but if you manage it well, everything will become SO much easier. 

 

4. Get more sleep

Sleep is something many of us are deprived of, even though we need it to function. 

But with smart TVs, social media and all sorts of gadgets glowing our way, it's hard to get enough shut-eye at night. You should be trying to hit eight hours of sleep every night, but if you can't shut off, try these simple tricks

 

5. Spend more time with people that matter

It seems like everyone is always busy, and this can cut into time being spent with family and friends. 

Try to organise more bonding time with the people that matter and don't let anything pass you by. 

 

6. Learn to let go of grudges and stop moaning

This is easier said than done. It takes a lot to overcome diversity, but sitting around a moaning is just counterproductive. 

If you have a big fight with someone over a small issue, try to work it out. Forgiveness is much healthier than being bitter and angry. 

 

7. Turn your hobby into your job

If you're tired of working in a job you hate, then it may be time for change. Starting new is never easy, but if you're passionate about something and have the drive to make it a reality, it'll work out and you'll never regret it. 

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It’s universally known that New Year’s resolutions are notoriously difficult to keep and for the most part, it’s true. Maybe our ideas are too grand or our expectations are too high, which is why so many of us give up half way through January.

Why not make this the year you resolve to stick to your resolutions (See what we did there?) by making small resolutions that will have a big effect! The most important reason to think small is because these are the ones that will ultimately change your life.

They say it only takes 21 days of doing something for it to become a habit, so if you’ve made it to February and you’ve stuck to your resolutions then pat yourself on the back; you’re well on the way to changing your life for the better.

Wondering what a small, but life-changing resolution might be?

1. Be kind to yourself every day

Treat yourself like you would treat your best friend. The next time you’re about to launch into a tirade about your hair, your weight or your ‘disastrous’ love life, pause and talk to yourself the way you would to a pal. You’d be surprised how rare these thoughts become when they’re not given time to grow.

2. Save a small amount every week

Take the task out of your own hands and set up a direct debit with your bank so you don’t even see the money leave your account. If you save as little as €10 a week, the cost of just one cocktail ladies, then by this time next year you’ll have accumulated a whopping €500 without even noticing! Jackpot.

3. Challenge yourself once a fortnight

In the spirit of avoiding those hard-to-keep resolutions, we’re not suggesting you master Portuguese in six months, but how about doing something that you would normally shy away from every two weeks? It can be as little as going for a coffee on your own or making that phone call you’ve been dreading. Forcing yourself out of your comfort zone is the quickest way to change your life.

4. Do something for the ‘future you’ once a month

Whether that’s scrapbooking your adventures every month so you can look back on them in years to come or if it’s attending an event that you think will benefit your future plans, don’t think about it, just do it!

Girls, resolutions that result in a marked difference in your happiness and self-worth are the ones worth sticking to! 

Today you should ask yourself if you want to look back on 2015 and be able to say that you’ve changed for the better; if the answer is yes, then these small tweaks to your lifestyle will help you reach that goal!

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