12 fruits and vegetables that help you stay both healthy and fit

Once with adopting a vegan lifestyle, I started being more interested in how to get the most healthy nutrients for my body. Therefore, I wanted to share with you 12 fruits and vegetables with “negative calories” that assure a healthy intake of vitamins and nutrients, but also keep you fit. “Negative calorie food” refers to that food which in order to  be digested by our body, it is consuming more calories than their caloric intake. For example, for the ingestion of 200 grams of food with negative calories, the body will have to use 300 calories to metabolize them. In this way you out deposit required 100 calories in addition to the 200 intake, thus favoring fat burning and weight loss.

Here’s my top 12 list of fruits and vegetables with healthy intake:

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Avocado is a more consistent fruit, baring 160 calories per 100g. Its metabolism requires more than 200 calories. Avocados contain good vegetable fats, useful in mobilizing fat from fat deposits. Without these vegetable fats is hard to mobilize stored fat because no biochemical stimulation occurs. Such good fats are also found in fish (salmon), seafood, and mango, melon, nuts, and sunflower seeds.

2&3. Strawberries and yellow melonimages (3)
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Strawberries are recognized for the small number of calories and their richness in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The melon is not only tasty, but also full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and a lot of water. It has few calories and it is very moisturizing and consumed together with strawberries assures a varied intake of vitamins, minerals and active substances that burn fat and maintain health. 

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Pumpkins are rich in water, minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium (very important to the daily functions of the body) as well as vitamins A, D, E and B. It has so few calories and the body consumes so much many more to metabolize it.

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Alongside strawberries, carrots are my favorite choice for an afternoon snack. Tasty, rich in beta carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, carrots are known as protectors of vision. All carrots nourish the skin, hair and nails, and also bare negative calories. I recommend the carrot apple juice and eating raw carrots, in order not to lose their properties. 

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Very rich in antioxidants, tomatoes burn fat and have negative calories, tone digestion, contain beta-carotene and prevent many diseases. Summer salads with tomatoes are ideal for diets, provided you do not put too much oil – go for balsamic vinegar instead! 

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Blueberries belong to the so-called “black” or “purple” foods. This category includes all those foods that are particularly high in the most powerful antioxidant: Resveratrol. They are also very rich in vitamins and minerals, and burn a lot of calories for metabolism. This category also includes blackberries, blueberries, plums, black grapes, eggplant, virtually all food in dark purple color precisely because of this powerful antioxidant which contains the pigment that colors them this way. 

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Raspberry is also part of the “black” or “purple” food – lighter in color though as being also rich in resveratrol – considered the most powerful antioxidant. Raspberries have a high content of vitamin C, and substances that lower blood sugar and high cholesterol. It also accelerates fat burning and improves skin beauty, thus having rejuvenating effects. 

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Currants also belong to the “purple foods”, regulate all functions of the digestive system, or fight against urinary disorders. They are strong in antioxidant sand accelerate fat burning. Recommended in any diet and match very well consumption together with the fruits in the same category: all berries. 

10. Mangoimages

Mango is rich in vitamins, minerals, and good quality fats that lower bad cholesterol and lipids, and restore balance in the body. They can be combined with raw nuts and seeds of every kind. It goes very well in combination with soy milk for a smoothie.

11. Apricotsdownload (5)

Apricots are negative in calories, rich in antioxidants, lowering bad cholesterol, helping in removing fat deposits and also aiding digestion and detoxification of the colon. 

12. Cucumbersdownload (1)

Cucumbers have very few calories because they have a very high water content. They contain nutrients that keep the skin, hair and nails beautiful, they burn fat, help the kidneys and improve digestion. They also contain large amounts of B vitamins, phosphorus, calcium, zinc and other minerals that help maintain a healthy diet. They are recommended to be eaten fresh & raw.

So, there it was, my top 12 favorite and negative calorie fruits and vegetables. They can be easily combined among each other in fresh juices or smoothies, or just eaten raw in fruit or vegetable salads sprinkled with balsamic vinegar or raw seeds. I believe it is important to include them in your daily diet one way or another, and results will show fast in your skin and energy level.

 

Skip the dress! Go for a Rock Star look instead: Sequins & leather!

Once I moved to Lausanne, given the small paved cubical rock streets on the hills, I needed to find alternative outfits for going out, especially in the winter season. The dresses and pumps need some rest over here until the spring comes. It is a challenge walking around on high heels when you go out for a drink or clubbing with friends in this city.

One good alternative I found to stay both stylish and comfy for a Friday night out is LEATHER and SEQUINS. Leather keeps it sexy and stylish for this season – leggings, shorts, skirts – your choice,  while the sequins add a touch of going-out flavor and femininity to the outfit.  You can wear it with over the knee boots, Isabel Marant or Zanotti like platform sneakers or combat boots.

Here’s a combination I wore last Friday night that worked out perfectly for me:
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I am a heels addict when I go out, however, the platform sneakers and over the knee boots – even flat ones, are the ones that still give me the feel of femininity. So from a high-heels lover to the world – here is my alternative for a night out! :)</p>

Free yourself of the past through forgiving and forgetting, not second chances

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I don’t believe in second chances. And that is because I think that those who hurt you once will do it a second time as long as you give them the chance to so. I don’t believe in second chances, however, I sometimes end up giving them, because even though I consider myself a smart girl, reason has no chance in front of emotion sometimes. And even though we often don’t forgive those who have wronged us, we give them another chance just for old time’s sake, because we are naive enough to hope that we could still re-live those nice times and memories.

Sometimes there are people who hurt you so much that you simply do not want to have them around anymore. With them you simply can not take the chance to strike you again; you do not hate them, do not hold any resentment, you are just avoiding as much as possible to meet them, and if you bump into them on the street, you say ‘hello’ politely then turn your head, because you can no longer look at them the way you did. It would be hypocrite to admit it otherwise. Interestingly enough is that if you had the opportunity to hurt them, you wouldn’t, if you were offered the chance to return kicks, you would not take it. Because all you want for/from them and in relation to them is … nothing. Paradoxically, you become simply indifferent to those who once meant the most to you. Why? I do not know. Perhaps also because people who suffer finally get to be careless out of their inner strength, or because you know there is no other greater harm that can be done to you as maybe you were hit so hard that your sensitivity fell asleep, and meeting with the whom has wronged you no longer triggers anything at all. 

“I forgive, but never forget ” – these are words that we say bitterly after each knockdown, convinced that forgetting means not learning from our past experience and that if we cluster all our failed relationships somewhere in a secluded drawer of our heart to remind us of what we should watch out for, nothing and no one will ever touch us. What we don’t realize is that gathering so much old “watch-out for” unforgotten feelings in our hearts throughout time, ends up in us being reluctant to fit anyone else there and not opening the door to anyone anymore. So then is it good only to forgive if we can’t forget? How can you say that you have forgiven, if you’re not able to be looking at a person as you did before, if you only remember the pain that person once made you feel? Can you hope for a new beginning when you still keep hooked on and keep a betrayal locked in your heart? It’s strange to meet with those who have been part of your life at a time and look at them now like at strangers. So the questions remains can you really forgive if you do not forget? And above all, are you a bad person because you can not forget?

The idea is that you are not a bad person to the world if you cannot forget, but you harm yourself. We all make mistakes, we all do harm, it is in human nature. The real strength comes from letting things go, forgiving, forgetting, and being able to look at the other person normally, like you would look at any acquaintance – then you are ready to welcome other people in your life, in your heart because you don’t hold grudges, you don’t have bad memories, you don’t feel uncomfortable in relation to some situations, you are on a clean sleigh, free…and that is a wonderful feeling! Instead of feeling nothing towards a person that wronged you, feel that you want that person to be genuinely happy and well. Forgiving and forgetting doesn’t mean giving a second chance to that person, it is about letting go and freeing your heart, preparing new better beginnings for yourself. So, it is your choice! Try your limits, activate your willpower, and forget, not only forgive what was once painful in your past!

My love affair with… Shoes!

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Men and women are different in several respects, but the moment you get on to the subject of shoes, a chasm opens between the two sexes; it’s only for women  that shoes become an all-consuming obsession.

Shoes can cost a fortune; yet while money itself does not bring happiness, a  pair of new shoes bring on a kind of exaltation. Unlike clothes, shoes have a distinct advantage. No matter what size you are, short or tall, you can buy all the shoes your heart desires. Shoes have a tendency of being more forgiving than your jeans or that little black dress and fit whether you gain or lose weight. They are capable of making you feel sexy, elegant or stylish at a single stroke.

Our intimate relationship with shoes begins shortly after we learn to walk. As soon as we want to feel “grown-up,” we slip on a pair of our mother’s shoes, preferably high heels, instantly heightening our sense of what it means to be a woman. And then what happens? We grow up and get to be the same size as our mother, and our personality begins to assert itself with the first independent purchase of shoes. Then we let shoes represent us, because as adult women, at any given  moment, shoes are indicators of our age, mood and desires.

More than anything else, women’s shoes speak the language of sex. You don’t  have to be a moralist or a philosopher in order to understand the message transmitted by a girl in a pair of UGG boots versus one wearing high-heeled stilettos. But that’s only a first impression. The old belief (heels = sex goddess, flats = nun) is constantly challenged by variations in fashion and edgy styles. And yet, one thing remains certain: a high-heeled shoe is the object of  apparel that – more than any other – marks the difference between men and women.

Then there are the simple aesthetics of wearing a pair of high heels that just makes a woman feel sexy. The long legs appearance or highlighting, and how it compliments our wardrobe. Then there is the ego boost… we never seem to comment on it but it’s there and we love it. You know what I’m talking about: the admiration in another man or woman’s eyes over your shoe that just makes you feel good.
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Moreover, shoes have also featured prominently in the popular female cartoon & movie productions, from Disney Cinderella’s glass slippers (clearly a symbol of purity and innocence) to the more sinful stilettos worn by the “Sex and the City” characters who share two great weaknesses: men and shoes.

You have to admit that as a woman you must have used at least once the shoe therapy, and that there is an unexplained, silly contentment of a future shoe acquisition, be it flats, ballerinas, boots or pumps. It is in our DNA, and I for one, accept it, love it and embrace it! 🙂

Make a Statement with… statement jewelry!

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One thing that every girl should have in her wardrobe is a few statement necklaces and bracelets to put a touch of personality on any simple outfit.

The benefits of statement jewelry are that they can  make any simple outfit particular, original or transform it from simply casual to stylish.

Statement jewelry can be included in your office or daily outfits, and also cocktail/going out outfits. Imagine for a casual outfit: a pair of jeans, a simple t-shirt and a statement necklace adding a flavor of personalization and originality to something rather blunt you are wearing. The same is valid for a simple little black dress, or for an oversized pull over in the cold days.

I am a big fan and collector of statement jewelry, mostly necklaces and bracelets. I focus less on earrings, as I like more the small ones, but I do own some pieces of statement earrings for evening outfits  too. Usually, I try to balance an outfit. For example, when I wear statement earrings, I do not wear a statement necklace, probably just a bracelet. It is very important not to over do with this kind of jewelry, because as its name directly conveys, it does make a statement, it is visible, so it is good not to OVER-state it.

An original option in terms of statement jewelry is to go for the handmade or vintage pieces. They do have a particular and unique impact, and it puts forward your original style.

Below is a pull of statement jewelry I like and I chose from different websites – mostly Zara, H&M, Asos, Romwe, Topshop and a handmade young designer, Alexis Boutique. 

Today I was wearing a Zara chain with medallion necklace you see in the picture above and the Swarovski bracelets you see below

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I hope you will enjoy the selection below and it will inspire you a bit to STATE it up! 🙂

Zara selection
Zara 2
Zara 3
zara 5
zara bracelet

H&M selection
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hm 1
hm 2
hm bracelet
hm ring

Asos selection
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Asos 5
Asos 9
Asos 10
Asos bracelet 3
Asos bracelet 4
Asos bracelet 5
Asos bracelet
Asos coins bracelet

Topshop selection
Topshop 3
Topshop 5
Topshop 8
Topshop

Romwe selection
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romwe 1
romwe 2

Alexis Boutique handmade selection – https://www.facebook.com/Alexis.Boutique.Ro
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It was love at… second sight :) – Boracay Island, Philippines

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To be honest, going to Boracay Island in the Philippines was not my idea, and neither my first choice for the winter holiday, because I was not familiar with this destination. Last summer, I did not even know that there is a small Paradise on this island, but then I met someone who’s dream was to get there. Well, I thought to myself, if it is someone’s dream to go there… there has to be something really special, unique about this place, so I jumped in… the Dream, and honestly I wish I didn’t wake up! 🙂

This exotic small island ended up to be my best traveling experience so far, and I was lucky enough to have the chance throughout the years to really travel around Europe and the world, but this was something…else. It left a mark… of beauty, of love, but also of…appreciation to life. This place, won me over: the white and virgin beaches, the clear blue see-through sea, the cute picturesque romantic restaurants/bars on the rocks in the most hidden and secluded places… the duality of the island: no wind&windy beaches – for kite surf lovers… and the breathless sunsets and sunrises (yes, you can see them both from the island! – something I have never experienced before).

It was love at…second sight, because honestly when we arrived on the island, it was night, dark and there was a big cultural clash – after all, this was the 3rd world, and getting to your hotel/resort/bungalow means actually traveling locally – with your luggages piled up on a small means of transport on wheels, taking a small old wooden boat to the island, riding a tricycle… and passing through the villages… and seeing the reality of the real 3rd world and poverty of the local Filipinos. I was a bit shocked and started wondering whether this is really a dream island. We checked-in late in the night and then…the morning came…the sunrise….and the priceless view from my balcony. I have never seen such beauty before. It was different…it was virgin…it took my breath away. And then I knew… I love it!

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A thing that stroke me though are the local people, as poor as they are… they are happy, really happy, even though they may live out of coconuts and sleep on the beach…they are genuinely happy. And this made me think a lot of what do we truly need to be happy. We live in a modern world where we grew up being taught that money and material things will maintain happiness and our well-being, and this applies to all of us, as non-materialistic as we have been educated. It got to me how being with each other as human beings, enjoying our living…actually existing and seeing beauty on this Earth, is genuinely what should make us happy.

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Besides being a dreamy exotic place, there are so many things you can do on the island. We tried scuba diving, snorkeling, boat trips and of course Kite surfing. It is actually a famous place for kite surfers. I will personally include it in “my firsts” – because it is the place where I learned to kite surf :).
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All in all, if anyone asks, I recommend a holiday to the Philippines wholeheartedly! For me, the two weeks spent there were Paradise, and now, I pretty much got hooked to Asia and I look forward to discover it even more. So, I guess next on my list are Thailand, Malaysia and India. Let’s see where the road takes me 🙂

SS’14 – The Bustier: Dare to wear!

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I have been hooked to this look for the 2014 Spring/Summer season: the BUSTIER coupled with either a high waste skirt (be it pencil skirt or bell shaped long or 3/4 skirt) or high waste jeans: be it skinny or boyfriend and a pair of pointed pumps. As long as you bring balance to the shortness of the bustier through high waist clothing or longer skirts, it is a daring, stylish fashion statement.

If you look around the stores, I am sure you will notice the SS’14 collections all bare it, in different textures, cuts or models. I simply adore the look, and below are some suggestions of how to wear it together with what I would wear the bustier with.

Enjoy the selection, get inspired and why not dare to wear one this upcoming season! 

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Why You Aren’t Happily Ever After Anymore…

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Fairy tales and Hollywood romance stories end with the flourish ‘happily ever after’ just like that, smoothly. And while that sounds like a nice way to think about a relationship, reality kicks in, wakes you up and makes you realize things don’t just happen – you have to make them happen!

People date, putting their best foot forward, to acquire the relationship they want, or the sex partner they want or just that dose of adventure they want. People have a clear objective at the dating stage, which makes it fun, stimulating and worth pursuing.

However, the challenge and test steps in once people have acquired what they want. This is when usually they turn their focus to something new. They figure they have what they want, so now it’s on to the next acquisition. We stop doing the thoughtful, considerate things we did while dating. After all, the pursuit is over. We have our prize. Now we can turn our attention to other important things in our lives.

Moreover, as a general rule, women need romance to feel sexual, and men need sex to feel romantic. This works really well during the Getting Together Stage and the Compatibility Stage of relationships, when each of you had impressing and pleasing the other as your goal but once you enter the committed Maintenance Stage, something usually changes.

This is usually a process that happens slowly and gradually. You may not even notice it as you begin to do less and less of the things you did when you were dating. You may tell yourself things such as, “The job takes my time.” “S/he knows how much I love him/her.” “There’s no money to go out anymore.” “I have other financial priorities.” “There’s no time left at the end of the day.” “I’m exhausted.”…and so on…

I am no love Guru, but I had my share of relationships – with failed and successful parts, and the truth is all of the above is what gets in the way of maintaining a happy and satisfied relationship. We forget to prioritize our loved one because we tend to take him/her for granted. Men slowly start to be less romantic, while women slowly begin to be less sexual. If ignored and left untreated, then you can get to a place where you are strangers living the same commodity story or in the same home.

It is important to understand that nothing in life comes easy, just like that, be it money, career or love. You have to make things happen. And fighting for what is worth, for what you want and for your happiness should not come as a burden. This is who we are: constant learners and fighters throughout this living! The sooner you realize it, the better! So, to this end, never stop finding ways to make your significant other feel special and loved…be it gestures, be it words, be it a loving look or touch, be it anything simple and from the heart!
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I felt in love with Bircher Muesli!

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Among all the cheese, fondue and the chocolate in Switzerland, there is one healthy thing I got hooked to: BIRCHER MUESLI – a healthy breakfast that honestly it is worth making at home and having every morning for a proper and healthy boost of energy. This breakfast option is gluten free if made with certified gluten-free oats.

So what is Bircher Muesli? It is a popular breakfast meal in Switzerland and parts of Germany and it is based on uncooked rolled oats and other products based on grain, fresh or dried fruits, nuts, soaked in milk or soy milk or plain yogurt or/and freshly squeezed fruit juice (depends on preference, on diet, on whether you are a vegetarian or not).

I honestly felt in love with its taste, and it goes perfectly with freshly squeezed orange juice and a hot cup of coffee in the morning. Takes me throughout the day until lunch time with no problems.

So, I wanted to share with you below the original Swiss recipe for Bircher Muesli that was developed around the turn of the century with my comments added. It’s a very tasty combination when made this way. You can prepare it in the evening for the next morning, or on Sundays and make a larger portion to last you a few mornings refrigerated of course. 

Morning preparation time: 5 minutes

Overnight soak possible: 6 hours

Ingredients:

  • rolled oats
  • water
  • soy milk or soy yogurt or goat yogurt or simple plain yogurt
  • a spoon of honey (depends on the quantity you are making) – optional of course
  • lemon or apple juice
  • apple, grated with the skin
  • hazelnuts or almonds, chopped

Optional to add:

  • A grated carrot, a sliced banana, sliced strawberries and orange sections to your oats.
  • Soften raisins with the oats.
  • Add pumpkin or sunflower seeds, dried goji berries, other rolled grains.

Preparation:

The original recipe is a mixture of raw foods developed around the turn of the 20th century by a Swiss physician named Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Benner. Dr. Bircher went against the accepted medical practice of the time of thoroughly cooking food, thought to be healthier, and introduced a small bowl full of rolled oats and raw apple as an appetizer before most meals.

Instructions

Mix the oats and water and let them soften overnight in the refrigerator.

I let them soften for a just few minutes. Oats do not need to be soaked for hours to make them digestible, although other grains do.

Add the yogurt/milk/soy milk (take your pick) and the lemon juice to the oats and stir.

Don’t add the lemon juice directly to the oats and milk because it will curdle. Sprinkle it over the apple, instead. You can add honey, agave nectar or Stevia, for a sweeter taste, avoiding sugar this way.

Add the grated apple – the must have ingredient, stir, sprinkle with raw chopped almonds or hazelnuts and there you go! It is done!

Try it out once when you feel inspired or bored. I am sure you will like it. Plus, it is a very healthy breakfast option. Enjoy! 🙂

My Break-up with Coke Zero/Light

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They say that after a break-up people improve their appearance and look better, probably having more time to dedicate to oneself or proving a point of what their ex missed out on or simply because it is time for a new better version of oneself.  Singlehood brings about new people in one’s life, new experiences, new challenges, so an improved self is a must-do.

Well, this is to share with you how my break-up with Coke Zero/Light changed me…for the good. It has been a very long-term relationship that we had. I believe more than 10 years. So, yeah, it has been hard to let go, but I knew it was a toxic relationship to me, and it would get me nowhere, so one day I said I must let go.

Actually, I tried throughout the years to give up Coke several times, but somehow I relapsed, always finding some good excuse: exams, workload, stress and so on. Exactly like a girl in need holding on to her boyfriend for no actual good reason that I could articulate. I think my friends knew I could almost endorse Coke :).

Then, in April last year I took the decision to follow a healthier lifestyle – move towards a vegan diet and healthy living. I did all that, and still the last toxic element in my diet was Coke Zero. I felt like a hypocrite for a while: talking about a vegan lifestyle, but ingesting tones of aspartame and toxins through Coke.

Yes, other Coke drinkers, as much as you would like to defend this drink, it is ultimately very unhealthy, and I will not go on and on why, just point out two main indicators (Google and valid research studies from reputable institutes can fill in the dots): aspartame & the “delicious” Coke bubbles (the acid and blotting they cause).

Now let me tell you what happened exactly once I reduced the amount of Coke I was drinking and then completely cut it off my diet (aspartame is addictive, thus phasing out the quantities is the best way to give up the toxic drink) – my body really started hydrating. I was drinking a lot of water before, but Coke is actually dehydrating, so my body was never fully healthy ingesting the full amount of water it needed. And this is what real uninterrupted HYDRATION brought about:

  • My skin got better – no more dryness, more elasticity
  • My face is glowing, my eyes look more rested and stand out even more
  • I never have a swollen face after sleep in the morning, because I have enough water in the body
  • My muscles shaped during my workouts faster (I can actually tell shapes of muscles on my body and believe me I work out like a healthy person, not like a manic), and my skin is more elastic
  • I feel lighter somehow, and weirdly enough slimmed down
  • I feel even more energetic – if that were possible in my case 🙂

It is amazing what proper hydration can do to your body and appearance. It is also amazing how we can ruin our appearance and health with bad stubborn habits.

So for those of you that are still hitched to Coke or any kind of soda, or actually if you over react with any drink or food (except water), rethink it a bit and see what long term implications it brings to your organism.

Choose a long term healthy living over a short term taste satisfaction! 🙂 And believe me, you can give up on any addiction with some determination and focus! 🙂

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