JC Updates: Health Diary #2

Now, I wasn’t going to put up a health diary this week, despite taking lots of pictures as, let’s be honest, it definitely wasn’t one of the healthiest weeks! But I decided that even if I have the odd busy week like this one, it’s still good to reflect on it and try and find ways to make healthier choices. (As I’m not about to get any less busy anytime soon!)

So yes, it turned into one of those weeks, where I pretty much ate out for most of my meals. It’s been busy! Work has been busy, I’ve been trying to catch up with friends and family before they head off for Easter and I’ve just been feeling a wee bit lazy with making food.

But there have definitely been a few upsides, I started doing 30 days of yoga this week! You can find more about it here, but it is essentially a yoga sequence every day for 30 days. I do really like yoga, but I don’t feel comfortable just doing it myself at home – I usually rely on classes. I’m hoping this will up my confidence with my practice, plus it is a good way to get some fitness in throughout the week. I’ve been doing it as soon as I wake up before I start work and it has been a lovely way to start the day!

As a reminder, my goals for this week from my last post are:

  • Cut down on eating out – Definite fail!
  • Up my fruit and vege intake  – Getting there..
  • Drink more water – Yep!
  • Only one can of diet coke a day (and eventually cutting down!) - yes, not even every day anymore!
  • Cut out refined sugar as much as possible - Getting there..
  • 10,000 steps every day – 6 out of 7 ain’t bad.
  • Some form of proper exercise twice a week – Yogalicious!

Monday

Monday

Breakfast: Porridge with light soy milk and blueberries. As you will see, this will probably be the same all week, I wanted to go back to a breakfast which really fills me up and add some fruit in so this is a great option!

Lunch: We headed out for lunch as it was a very busy Monday and it was nice to get out of the house. I went and had some delicious avocado, choriza and feta on toast, which is my ideal meal!

Dinner: It was just me at home for dinner on Monday, so I was lazy and got my normal 6 inch turkey subway.

Snacks: Warburton thin with cream cheese.

Exercise: 30 minutes yoga, 10,927 steps

Tuesday

Tuesday

Breakfast: I was in an office on Tuesday and needed a quick breakfast between meetings. I eventually went for a yoghurt and granola, over a chocolate croissant! I know it was full of sugar but I panicked.

Lunch: I went for sushi, which I have to say was not a good option. I just don’t like sushi in the UK, it’s just a bit mushy and flavourless, and to be honest, I could only eat half of this pack. I decided to have a light lunch to prepare for…

Dinner: Franco Manca! My friend had some vouchers for a free meal so we pretty much went and ate my weight in pizza and wine. (It was worth it, such good pizza..)

Snacks: Shapers prawn cocktail crisps

Exercise: 30 minutes yoga, 14,925 steps – always more steps when I head into the city!

Wednesday

weds

Breakfast: Porridge with blueberries

Lunch: I cooked up some sweet potato soup which was delish. I love having soup for lunch, a good option to get lots of veges in.

Dinner: This was the only night I cooked! I ended up making some pita pockets with little beef meatballs and vege. (Nothing can beat a good meatball right?)

Snacks: glass of wine, finncrisp with light cream cheese.

Exercise: 20 minutes yoga, 6,465 steps – legs were sore by this point!

Thursday:

thurs

Breakfast: Porridge with blueberries

Lunch: Ravioli with arrabbiata sauce, again a good staple as we can buy it from the co-op downstairs and it’s only around 400 calories so I don’t feel guilty about it, (plus spicy, tomato goodness!).

Dinner: I had a work event that evening, which involved wine and lots of nibbles (and I may have had a sneaky chicken selects order from McDs….).

Exercise: 20 minutes yoga, 13,229 steps

Friday:

Friday

Breakfast: Mixed it up a bit with some finncrisp rye crackers with low fat cream cheese.

Lunch: Friday was manic! Seemed to be on the phone all day, so ended up grabbing a chicken, cranberry and brie panini from Muffin Break.

Dinner: I was craving something spicy, so we tried a Firefly – a Thai bar in Balham which was so good! I had Thai curry, and two cocktails (it was Friday…!).

Exercise: 15 minutes yoga, 10,416 steps

Overall, I’m really happy with the amount of exercise I got in this week, including the weekend I did 6 out of 7 days with over 10,000 steps and yoga every single day. I do want to try and get out for a couple of runs as well, but it’s going in the right direction.

Goals for next time:

My goals for the next health diary:

  • Meal plan at least 3 meals at home.
  • Try and make some healthier choices when out and about!
  • Increase the fruits and veges even more.
  • Try and swap the wines/cocktails for gin with slim tonic (it’s usually my go to but hasn’t been this week!).

What are your tips for those weeks where you seem to be constantly on the go?

JC xx

 

JC Tech: What Every Blogger Needs to Know About Twitter

Twitter is crazy. Seriously, before I started blogging, I would occasionally log on and be terrified. I would then log off and sneak back to facebook, a social media tool I actually understood. It was only when I started the blog, and got into the blogging community that I realised how powerful (and enjoyable!) twitter can be, so here we have it, what every blogger needs to know about twitter.

JC Tech (2)

Getting the best out of twitter is really beneficial both to you as you get to experience a huge community. But also for your blog! For the past few months twitter has easily been my second highest source of referrals to this little space of mine and is almost coming close to bloglovin.

And with any good social media site, there will be a whole load of tools which you can use to get the most out of it. I thought I would run through the popular tools for twitter, some additional extras, strategies for sharing your posts, and then some further resources about fun stuff like lists and twitter chats.

Scheduling Tools

Scheduling is your best friend with twitter, no one is going to remember to post a blog post 3-4 times a day. There are a few options here for tools where you can line up your tweets and the application will post for you at set times.

Hootsuite

What every blogger needs to know about twitter!

Hootsuite was the first tool I used for twitter scheduling. This involves a page where you can schedule as many tweets as you like, at intervals of 10 minutes at any point in the future. You can connect any social media accounts to this, including facebook (but not G+) and it has powerful analytics and reply features.

I enjoyed using Hootsuite but I did find the interface a bit hard to work with. It isn’t particularly intuitive to use.  I think you are managing several accounts, such as for a brand, then Hootsuite would be ideal.

Buffer

Buffer

So after using Hootsuite, I moved onto buffer. Buffer is the same premise as Hootsuite, except you pick how many times a day you want to tweet and at what times. You then add tweets to your queue which automatically puts them in order to tweet each day at the times you have set.

The interface with buffer is a lot more user friendly, the analytics really easy to use and view, and it has some cool features like automatically adding short links. I really recommend buffer as your first scheduling tool, the only problem is that you can only queue up to 9 tweets (enough for 3 days for me), so I have to remember to rebuffer every third day.

Tweetdeck

tweetdeck

Tweetdeck has an easy scheduler in that you can simply click the clock icon to start scheduling tweets. Tweetdeck is more than just a scheduler and allows you to create various lists to view different accounts and different feeds of activity. This is key if you are managing a large twitter account or one with various different groups which you want to manage individually.

I do like tweetdeck but I can find it a bit over complicated. When I just want a tool to manage and schedule my tweets then I always end up returning to buffer.

Followers Tools

I am in no way advocating, the follow, wait for a follow back, then unfollow the person strategy which is sometimes seen on twitter. It is a way of gaining a following, but for me is not one which I think is worth it! However, it is still good to have a tool to monitor and manipulate your followers. I mainly use this to identify any inactive accounts which I am following, such as if someone has stopped blogging, see any spam accounts which may have dropped through and generally get an idea of who I am following.

Manage Flitter

manage flitter

Manage Flitter is the main tool I use for followers, it has handy tabs and interface which show you stats such as when you followed people, how often they tweet, what their last tweet was etc. It has a great tab of ‘inactive’, so an account which has not tweeted in over 30 days. I don’t automatically unfollow anyone in there, I know people have a twitter break occasionally, but if somone hasn’t tweeted in 3 months, it’s usually safe to say to say they are inactive.

It also has tabs for spam accounts, and if you are so inclined, anyone you are following who isn’t following you back.

Unfollowers

Unfollowers isn’t one I have used myself but it is a popular tool for finding people who aren’t following you, unfollowing people, forcing people to unfollow you, sending notifications for new followers to ‘say hello’, sending any kind of automatic tweet to people when they follow you and scheduling. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but useful if that is what you are looking for!

Other Resources

Tweriod

Tweriod

Tweriod is a cool tool which analyses all of your followers and gives you a personalised report of when your followers are most active. This means you can pinpoint any important tweets for the most optimum times of the day!

Hashtagify

hashtagify

Hashtagify is a good tool to find relevant hashtags for your posts. If you search for the hashtag or subject you are tweeting on then it shows you the top 10 most popular related hashtags. It also shows popular hashtags in real time to keep your tweets relevent.

Sharing Your Blog

So now we have all these tools to schedule and manage our twitter accounts, what should we actually be doing?! First, I know that a lot of people can sometimes feel unsure on promoting their own posts. My advice  – just do it! You are your blogs biggest fan, you need to promote at a level which you feel comfortable at, but definitely do it, whether it be 1 tweet or 10 tweets a day – but get your posts out there

What I have found useful for me is 3 tweets a day, morning, afternoon and evening (based on my tweriod report!). I tweet about any blog which is published on that day, then one a day I don’t post, I tweet about any posts from the week, mixing it up. Here are some tips:

  • Experiment with tweets at different times of day, keep an eye on your analytics and play by ear.
  • Tweets with pictures will also do better, they catch your eye. Canva, which I talk about here, has a twitter sized canvas to make optimised graphics.
  • Don’t just share your bloglovin, not everyone uses it, share your blog links more often.
  • Utilise RT accounts by tagging them in your posts, such as @femalebloggerRT
  • Use hashtags, not too many but enough that it can be found, such as #lblogger #bblogger – try and target the days which the chats are on, but don’t spam the chats with constant promos!
  • Share other peoples content on twitter, it keeps your feed varied and sharing the love is always appreciated.
  • Make sure not to just share blog posts, people want to follow YOU, not just a constant promo for your blog.

Resources

There are a few other aspects of twitter which you should be aware of, you can read more in the posts below:

What tools do you use with twitter?

JC xx

JC Blogs: Sharing The Love #1

So I’ve been meaning to share the love about other bloggers for ageeees. And I mean ages. Like since I first started. But I just like too many! And I feel bad not being able to share all of the blogs I read and love. But then I realised that by not sharing ANY, it’s not making anyone happy. So welcome to my new monthly series, last Friday of the month is ‘Sharing the Love Friday’, where I will share blogs which I love reading.

As I have been writing here on Jasmin charlotte for almost a year now, I read A LOT of blogs. But I think for the first post it would be good to go back to the beginning and share some blogs which I have been reading pretty much since I started.

full of beans and sausages

Full of Beans (and Sausages)

Holly is a lovely blogger who, originally from England, moved to Canada to be with her partner. Her blog is all about life as an expat, what she gets up to, her cute animals and a whole lot of crafting. I love Hollys variety of content and her writing style – it’s all so interesting! I’ve been really enjoying her Five Friday Favourites and cute animal posts.

little miss katy

Little Miss Katy

I have been reading Katys blog since we both started about 2 weeks apart! And since then she has developed into one of my great friends (she actually lives about 10 minutes from me!) and I am still obsessed with her blog. She blogs all about lifestyle, getting out and about in London, blogging events, and a bit of style and beauty thrown in there as well. Her posts are always bright and positive and highly entertaining! I’ve been loving her new Weekly Vlog and her awesome restaurant posts.

style sunrise

Style Sunrise

I love Karens blog for my fix of beauty and style! I love her range of topics, awesome product reviews and outfits but also cooking, fitness and more. She always has fabulous pictures which really show what the items are like. I don’t follow too many fashion blogs but I love her style, it’s so relatable and gives me awesome inspiration. I’ve been loving her recent jeans collection (major wish list) and her recent nail polish post which I immediately went out and purchased!

eat read glam

Eat Read Glam

Rosie is my go to for awesome book recommendations, along with lifestyle and travel posts. I love her blog for diverse and interesting posts and she also writes on a few other websites about F1 which I am getting really into this season! She has inspired me completely from her recent trip to Scotland (and now it is on my list to visit in September). I’ve been enjoying her recent posts about an honest review of 50 shades (confirming what I thought!) and her happy weeks posts.

bluebell and bumpkin

Bluebell and Bumpkin

I loove Beccis blog! She recently moved out to the country and shares glimpses of her lovely life outside of the city. She writes awesome lists which inspired my 10 happy things posts, and she is getting married this year so I love being a little nosy and seeing how the plans are going! Her writing style is really easy to read and I regularly get a giggle! I’ve been enjoying her recent 10 lovely things and the little things posts.

touchscreens and beautyqueens

Touchscreens and Beautyqueens

India is my current favourite for a little bit of everything! First of all, her name is India and I love it. She also blogs such a broad range of categories but I love all of them. She blogs a bit of beauty, some delish recipes and I have been loving her new fitness series. She recently ran a half marathon and it makes me so motivated to get back into my fitness routine. I have been enjoying her Fitness Friday posts and banana pancakes!

a certain adventure

A Certain Adventure

If you want awesome London food recommendations then Tamsin is your go to! I think her photography is amazing, and she seems to go and visit everywhere in London which I want to go. Lots of drool worthy food photos and other adventures. Definitely check out her recent post on the Little Yellow Door which sounds so cool, and Senor Ceviche which I have been meaning to try for ages.

So there we have it, 7 lovely blogs and bloggers! Make sure you tune in the last Friday of every month, for my favorite new, food, London and beauty bloggers which will all be soon making an appearance.

Do you share the love on your blog?

JC xx

JC Cooks: Italian Chilli Baked Eggs

Italian Chill Baked Eggs - Jasmin Charlotte

I’ve had an odd relationship with eggs in the past. I used to be OBSESSED with egg mayo sandwiches as a kid. Like honestly, I would eat them every single day. I think maybe I got a bit egg-d out and seemed to not eat them as often when I hit London. However, now I am trying to cook more healthy (and affordable!) meals, I have found myself going back to the good old egg. Not only are they really affordable, but they offer a whole lot of protein and nutrients. I know there was a big cholesterol debate around eggs, but although they do have cholesterol, it is the good kind! Eating saturated fats affects your cholesterol a lot more than anything from an egg.

When British Lion Eggs got in touch to ask if I could create an egg recipe, I decided that it was time to branch out from the scrambled eggs and try something a bit different (plus they have some awesome boiled egg recipes suggestions!) – resulting in Italian Chilli Baked Eggs. I’ve never really tried baked eggs. But I decided if I made a delicious Italian tomato and veggie┬ámix, I could easily just crack a couple of eggs in and pop it in the oven! And let me tell you, it turned out awesome. The creamy egg goes so well with the herby tomatoes and a kick from the additional chilli. This is a fab option for #meatfreeweek but you can also add a bit of chorizo if you want that extra meaty hit. This may now be my favourite way to eat eggs (egg mayo coming in a close second). Plus this is an awesome way of having some eggs for Easter but without breaking my sugar ban!

Italian Chilli Baked Eggs | Jasmin Charlotte

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 eggs (though you could add more!)

400g canned tomatoes (I used the one with the additional garlic and herbs!)

1 green chilli

100g roast peppers from a jar (or roast your own if you have the time!)

1 red onion

1 onion

Handful of chorizo (optional)

1 tsp Italian seasoning, chilli flakes, black pepper, garlic

1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and get chopping! Chop your onions, peppers and chilli into reasonable size chunks.

Italian Chilli Baked Eggs | Jasmin Charlotte

2. Heat a frying pan, add a little bit of oil and get the onions cooking down. These need about 10 minutes until they start getting soft.

3. Add the chilli and seasonings and cook for a further 5 minutes.

4. Add the tomatoes and cook everything through for another 5 minutes.

Italian Chilli Baked Eggs | Jasmin Charlotte

5. If you have a oven proof fry pan, then keep going, otherwise transfer your mixture to an oven dish. Make two wells in the mixture, and crack the eggs into the wells.

6. Bake for 15 minutes until the whites are set. Serve with some crusty bread, and maybe a little feta crumbled on top!

Italian Chilli Baked Eggs | Jasmin Charlotte

This definitely got the boyfriend tick and I’m excited to try it again soon. It is an easy base to mix up, plus you pretty much get at least 3 servings of veggies just from the one meal!

What is your favourite egg recipe?

JC xx

*This post was written in collaboration with British Lion Eggs, but of course, all opinions are my own!