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  • Thu 17 Apr 2014 15:30

    Below are 10 reasons why I think everyone should be drinking green smoothies. It’s my hope you join the green smoothie lifestyle to fuel your body with nutritious foods so you feel better every day.

    1. FUELS YOUR BODY WITH NUTRITION FROM THE MOMENT YOU WAKE UP

    I used to feel guilty because I didn’t eat a bunch of fruit and veggies. It just wasn’t what I craved—and I know it has a lot to do with that big bowl of cereal I would have for breakfast (there’s not much nutrition in that). Now I pack my blender with fresh fruits, leafy greens and lot of liquid to create a fast and nutritious breakfast. It’s like having a salad for breakfast (but it actually tastes really good!). When I start the day with a green smoothie my body thanks me by being a little more forgiving if I indulge a bit for lunch. Plus, I don’t feel so guilty.

    2. TAKES LESS THAN 5 MINUTES TO MAKE

    Switching to the green smoothie lifestyle was easy. We already had an inexpensive blender when I moved into an apartment with my friends, and it added zero time to my morning routine. It never takes more than five minutes to blend a green smoothie, and you can bring them with you if you commute to uni! I suppose the only people negatively affected were our sleeping neighbours next door…

    3. FILLS YOU UP MUCH MORE THAN “JUICING”

    I’ve tried using juices as meal replacements several times, and it usually didn’t work out well. I’ve got nothing against the juicing movement, but I love green smoothies more because I drink the whole fruit—including all the fibrous parts that are filling and great for digestion. I drink a green smoothie almost every morning and always feel content up until lunchtime.

    4. BOOSTS ENERGY WITHOUT THE CRASH

    This is true! The fiber in green smoothies helps to slow the absorption of sugar, which gives your body a steady dose of energy without feeling withdrawals. Who knew?

    5. REDUCES HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

    Green smoothies are a healthy alternative to food and drink options, but they can help lower the risk of some of the biggest health issues that adults deal with—one of the biggest being high blood pressure. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is one the top ways to lower blood pressure, and we’ve heard countless stories from people in our community who have seen their numbers go way down after a period of drinking green smoothies.

    6. THEY’RE A GREAT POST-WORKOUT POWER SNACK

    Do you ever feel like eating a giant steak after a work out? Probably not the best idea… Making green smoothies a post-workout habit will help you to stay fit and replenish your body with nutrients it needs, instead of giving your stomach what it craves. Leafy greens, like spinach and kale, are filled with protein, and you can even add a couple tablespoons of chia seeds or hemp protein powder if you’re looking for a bit more.

    7. HELPS YOU LOSE WEIGHT

    For the normal person, simply replacing one meal a day with a green smoothie can help lose a bit of weight. It’s always a positive thing when you give your body a healthy dose of fruit, veggies, and leafy greens as a meal instead of wings and rings. 

    8. IT’LL MAKE YOU HAPPY

    Don’t ask me why, but the smiles that normally emerge from tasting the perfectly smooth mix of fruit as it forms a creamy layer over your tongue is destined to make even the most miserable person to momentarily forget their troubles in the world. You won’t know until you’ve experienced it…

    9. QUENCHES YOUR TASTE BUDS

    The first time I ever drank a green smoothie, it didn’t even taste like it had handfuls of spinach in it. Whenever I introduce a person to green smoothies, they agree. So, as long as you blend a good combination of fruits (and sometimes vegetables) together, you’re probably gonna like what you’re drinking.

    10. AFFORDABLE WAY TO EAT HEALTHY

    This is a no brainer! Make your way to an Icelands, Tesco or Asda a stock up on your frozen fruit and veg in bulk. It’ll save you a fortune.

    For a great video on the making of a smoothie in real life – click on the link below. Video 

     

  • Thu 17 Apr 2014 15:01

    Even if you don’t celebrate Easter, there’s quite a few fun activities going on this weekend that are open to everyone. Since it’s a national holiday from Friday 18 April to Monday 21 April (and since the weather is getting so nice!), there’s bound to be quite a few people out enjoying the weekend. Here’s a quick list of events: 

    Feast of St George

    On Monday 21 April, he Feast of St. George will be held from 12-6pm in Trafalgar Square. There will be an English farmers’ market with delicious food and lots of free events, so it’s definitely worth stopping by. 

    Berwick Street Record Store Day

    If you’re into music, this is for you. There will be a free festival on "Record Store Day," Saturday 19 April, in Berwick Street Market, and area lined with indie music stores, unique shops, and farmers’ markets.

    Urban Food Festival

    On Saturday 19 April starting at 5pm, there will be a really great line up of different food trucks serving a variety of global cuisine options in the Euro Car Parks in Shoreditch. The Urban Food Fest will be on every Saturday until June, so if you can’t catch it this weekend, definitely check it out later on.

    For some other weekend ideas, check out these links:

    Visit some chocolate shops: Look at TimeOut’s list of the best chocolate shops across the city for a nice treat. 

    Visit some of London’s beautiful parks: Check out a city farmgreen space, or royal park- it’s the best way to enjoy the weather, catch some sun, and spend as little as possible.

    Attend a party: If you’re really into partying and parties, check out TimeOut’s list of Easter parties across the city

    And check out TimeOut London’s list of other Things to Do this weekend for more options.

    Enjoy the holiday weekend!

  • Tue 15 Apr 2014 10:00

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    This is obviously not me.

    Now that Summer term is approaching and some of our budgets are wearing thin, it’s probably a good time to start thinking a bit more closely about budgeting to get through the rest of the academic year. I’ve done a bit of searching for you with help from MoneySavingExpert and my own experience, so here’s a quick list of tips to consider if you’ll be trying to watch how much you spend within the next few months.

    1. Get student discount cards

    I’ve mentioned this a few times in past posts, but they are actually incredibly helpful to have, and you’ll find yourself saving quite a bit of money. Plus, you won’t be a student forever- so take advantage now. You can get everything from travel discounts (which are always wonderful) to discounts on stuff like Pizza Express and Apple products. These cards include the NUS extra card, the 16-25 railcard, and more. Check out my last post on the best benefits of the NUS extra card for more info.

    2. Make a budget

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    I’m a big list writer. If I have a ton of things to do, or something to remember, I always write it down. This can be a helpful thing to do if you’re not particularly good at budgeting. Setting aside certain amounts of money for different activities and necessities will help you get serious about using money wisely. You might be surprised at how much money you’re spending at pubs when you actually add it all up. I recommend making a reasonable budget that includes plenty of money for food, accommodation, and travel, and a bit on the side for social events. Everyone’s budget will differ, but always make sure the most important things come first. Here’s a budgeting calculator I came across to help you create a simple budget plan. 

    3. Cook at home

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    My hall is amazing, but it’s a bit hard to cook lots of fresh food when the fridge is always quite full and the kitchen is often in use. As much as I’d like to cook every day, I find that’s not really an option in my current living situation, and that’s probably the same for a lot of you. It’s hard to resist the temptation to go out to eat, but it’s much, much better for your wallet and your health if you limit your spending on take away. There is often a big selection of ready meals at local grocery stores, and grabbing a bag of lettuce, some salad dressing, and a few vegetables isn’t too pricey if you get the sale items. You’ll find yourself saving a lot of money.

    4. Take the bus

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    This is a really simple one, and it might not be the most convenient or feasible option for you, but it’s undeniably cheaper than the tube if you don’t need to transfer. I always take the bus, because even if it takes a little longer, it’s worth the minor inconvenience. Plus, the tube gets overcrowded and is honestly really boring, while the bus offers a great view of the city. Taking the bus has actually gotten me a lot more familiar with my area, and I have a much better idea of where everything is now. So there are benefits!

    5. Consider part-time employment

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    It might seem late in the year, but it’s definitely worth checking out what job opportunities are currently available, especially if you’ll be here throughout the summer. As an American, getting a job in the UK drastically reduced the pain of the exchange rate between the dollar and the pound, and if your home currency isn’t as strong, you’ll probably feel a lot better about it, too. Plus, it’s a great way to make sure you get out of your room once in a while- and there are not many things as awesome as getting a paycheck when you’re low on cash. 

    For more information, here are a few additional resources for money saving advice:

    Student checklist (MoneySavingExpert)

    StudentCalculator.org

    Budgeting (UCAS)

    How Can I Manage My Money Better? (NUS)