Sunday, 29 June 2014

Refresh your routine

Feeling stressed? Trying to fit too much in? It might be time to refresh your routine and The Beautifully Healthy Project is here to help!

The term "refresh" is much more friendly than "detox". In fact I find the prospect of a detox rather scary and decidedly un-fun. It threatens deprivation and less-than-chipper moods (whether it's a diet detox, technology detox or closet detox). Of course detoxes can be great for an overhaul, but sometimes depriving ourselves of things we love is really not necessary, and a quick refresh might do us a world of good. A refresh sounds light, friendly and full of promise.

I recently went on a fantastic yoga, beach and healthy eating week in Fuerteventura, Spain and this was the perfect opportunity to refresh. Every morning started with a yoga or Pilates class; followed by a healthy but filling brunch; afternoons of hiking, surfing or cycling; another yoga or Pilates class in the early evening; and a delicious nutritious evening meal (with desserts!). I would thoroughly recommend the week to everyone and anyone (all levels of yoga & Pilates are catered for), so if you want to find out more then head to: It was the perfect refreshing week and challenged me to think about the small changes I could make in my every day routine back home. 

But of course not everyone can afford to take a week off to refresh and recharge so here are my 5 top tips for refreshing your routine to help you feel Beautifully Healthy.

1. Drink hot water and lemon every morning half an hour before you eat breakfast. 

This is the perfect way to start your day as it prepares your body for your digestive requirements of the day. It's a really simple and easy change to make to your routine, and as well as the digestive benefits, lemons are also one of the foods that help to make your blood alkaline; without going into too much detail this is a good thing as for your body to be working at optimal levels your blood must be more alkaline than acidic. 

2. Set aside 10-20 minutes every morning to do a mini yoga practice (or if you don't do yoga some gentle stretching).

Although this might mean waking up slightly earlier than usual it really is the perfect way to start the day and to feel refreshed. If you're a yogi I would suggest sun salutations, a short standing warrior sequence, at least one inverted pose, and some simple floor poses with a focus on opening up your hips. If you've not yet discovered yoga then do some really gently stretches to wake up your body and get your blood flowing. I would suggest stretches such as gently folding forward to touch your toes (this encourages blood flow to your head), some deep lunges to open up your hips and the seated butterfly stretch (put the soles of your feet together and drop your knees to the floor). Most importantly set aside 5 minutes at the end of the session to just sit or lie in silence (savasana) to empty your mind and be still before the craziness of the day begins.

3. Get outside at least once a week.

Reconnect with nature and appreciate its beauty whilst doing some gentle exercise. Try going on a jog or walk in your local park, or if you're lucky enough to live near the sea then get yourself to the beach for a walk or swim. If you love outdoor sports then make sure you plan them into your life over the next few weeks and months: book a horse riding lesson, get yourself to the surf, take some time to go hiking. Try to do something in the beautiful outdoors at least once a week, it'll become something that you look forward to and really will leave you feeling refreshed and Beautifully Healthy

4. Get enough sleep every night. 

This is a really obvious one, but it's one that many people often ignore. Sleep is absolutely essential for helping you to feel refreshed each and every day, and it's the quality of the sleep as well as the length that will help to set you up for the following day. Make an effort this week to get 8-hours of good quality sleep every single night and see how you feel. My tips for getting good sleep are: do some form of exercise every day, drink camomile tea in the evenings, and switch off all screens about an hour before you go to bed. 

5. Replace simple carbohydrates with complex ones

I am a firm believer in the importance of including carbohydrates in your diet. They are a vital source of nutrients and energy, and a diet without carbs is quite simply boring. However many of us eat far too much of the wrong sort and this leaves us feeling sluggish and bloated. Carbs to avoid: white bread, white pasta, white rice, anything overly processed, and too much fruit (of course some fruit is good, but no more than 2-3 pieces a day). Carbs to love: potatoes with the skin on, sweet potatoes, spelt/oat/rye bread, whole grain pasta, oats, and lots of vegetables. These lists are by no means comprehensive, but give you a guidance as to which ones are good and which ones are bad. Basically, if they give you a level and sustained release of energy then they are good and nutritious, whereas if they give you a quick spike in energy but leave you feeling slow then they are bad and should be avoided. 

So I hope that this little list encourages you to refresh your routine. You owe it to yourself to take care of your body - after all, as my Dad says, "You only get one, so you best look after it". 

Love yourself, live healthy, be happy.

Love Lucy x

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Introducing The Beautifully Healthy Project

Welcome (back) to Lucy Victoria Jackson: it’s time to re-launch!

I am super excited to introduce to you The Beautifully Healthy Project – the fresh theme that will be running through all Lucy Victoria Jackson posts. The thinking behind this project came from a survey I ran in the lead up to re-launching; my initial idea was to call it The Size M Project in order to cater for all the size M ladies out there as I noticed a gap in the market for such a fashion resource – models either seem to be size 8 sample-sized or 14+ plus sized - so who’s catering for the size M ladies in the middle like myself and many of my friends? However since reading the responses from the survey of 43 of my lovely Facebook lady-friends I realised that I didn’t want to focus on size – we’re all different shapes and sizes and we should embrace that – I wanted to focus on being healthy and helping women to feel beautiful through fashion, beauty and lifestyle choices.

The last year has been incredibly busy and stressful (hence the blog had to be rested for a while), but keeping fit and healthy has helped me to stay positive and to feel good in myself. My yoga practice is something that has particularly helped me to stay grounded and it’s also lead to some exploration of cooking healthy delicious food. When I feel healthy I also feel happy, and when I feel happy is when I feel most beautiful, and it seems that many of my friends feel the same way. One of the questions in the survey was When do you feel most beautiful? and a large proportion of responses included after exercise, after a period of healthy eating, after a holiday, out with friends smiling and having a great time - my favourite response was: Refreshed after a good night's sleep or a long walk outdoors. So this tells me that as women we feel most beautiful when we're Beautifully Healthy

To explore the Beautifully part of the project further I will of course keep up the fashion and beauty posts that have been the crux of my blog since the beginning. I hope to provide some inspiration for dressing to suit you, not matter what shape or size, whilst also keeping an eye on the world of fashion and beauty to create some fun posts. There will also be more lifestyle posts on things such as exercise, food, travel, things to do - all important aspects of feeling and living the Beautifully Healthy way.

So, welcome to The Beautifully Healthy Project! Live healthy, be happy.

Love Lucy x