Be Part of The Beauty Evolution – Evolve Beauty

Hi Everyone!

This weeks post is one I’ve been waiting to write for a really long time, and I am SO EXCITED to finally share it with you!

To backtrack a little, if you’re long-time followers you will know my philosophy about beauty, and how I believe in natural, non-toxic beauty (I wrote a whole post explaining it here). I think that what put on our faces, is just as important as what we put inside out bodies, and I’ve been on the search to find products made of real ingredients that do great things for my skin. Evolve Beauty is one of the brands whose products I love using, they smell amazing, they do wonders for my skin, and the company is just so lovely to work with!

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I reached out to them when I was writing my Clean Beauty post, and they were kind enough to send me a few of their products to review! One thing I love about Evolve Beauty is just how lovely they are, they were nice enough to get back to me and let me write about them. Evolve Beauty is a small artisan brand, founded and run by Laura Rudoe. You guys know, I’m all for small, local brands, which is one of the reasons I love Evolve Beauty so much. All of their products are handmade, and on each of them, there’s a little tag telling you the name of the person who made it. How cute is that? Evolve is based on Laura’s passion for natural skincare, nurtured by growing up with her grandmother in Romania. She’s researched natural beauty for years and ensures that only the best goes into her products – and it definitely shows when you use Evolve products.

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Evolve products are made by a small team in Hertfordshire, England, which is another reason this brand is so close to my heart. Hertfordshire also happens to be where I used to live when I was in England, and it’s such a coincidence that’s where they’re based. Their products are also packed in recyclable bottles, which is just amazing (you guys know I’m all about the environment)!

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Overall, I think that beauty just comes from who you are and nurturing what you already have. Not from covering up everything, and changing who you are. And that’s one of the reasons I love Evolve Beauty, their products allow you to care for what you already have, without damaging your skin or changing who you are. As they promise, Evolve Beauty products are natural and organic, artisan made, they follow ‘green science’ which means they’re free from synthetics, they’re vegan, cruelty-free, and their packaging is recyclable. But most importantly, they celebrate your beauty and the beauty of nature.

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You can head on over to Evolve Beauty and take a look at their range, and you can get 10% off any purchase using my code ‘LITTLEMISS10’. One of my absolute favourite products is their Radiant Glow Mask, made of cacao + coconut… It literally smells like brownie batter. I also love using their Tropical Blossom Body Polish in an evening shower, it leaves my skin feeling so smooth and smelling amazing, and it’s a nice de-stresser at the end of the day. And after I use their Tropical Blossom Body Butter, my skin feels like it’s just soaking in the oils and goodness, and it applies literally like ‘butter’ to my skin.

Also, just a disclaimer, I am not in any way endorsed or sponsored by Evolve Beauty to promote their products. I simply want to share my love for all things natural with you guys, and Evolve Beauty is one of the brands I love.

Scattered throughout this post are also some of the photos I took of their products, and I’m so happy with how they came out! Let me know if you want to see a post on how I do my photography. What’s your favourite beauty product? Let me know if you purchase any Evolve Beauty products & which ones you get, I would love to talk to you about it!

Lots of Love

Little Miss Expat 

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Clean Beauty – the guide to what it is, what to buy, and how it works

Hey guys!

Today’s post focuses on something that’s very important to me and something that I could honestly talk about for ages. As a science geek, I’ve always found it interesting to know what I’m using, for example, I find it so exciting when I look at my moisturizer bottle, and I can identify what the ingredients are and what they do for my skin. I’m also a bit of a nature nerd, as I’ve mentioned before I love the outdoors and any plants and flowers, and I find it so fascinating that these everyday plants can be crushed or squeezed in a specific way, that can cure you of your acne, or leave you with super soft skin. Every time I talk about this kind of stuff, I get so excited, and honestly, I know its a bit sad but I love spending my time researching the natural healing powers of specific plants and looking at the latest natural beauty products.

So that is why in today’s post, I want to pass on a bit of my passion for all things natural to you guys and share with you a change that I’ve made in this past year. To rewind a bit, from the time I hit age 13 I started to suffer from teenage acne, and this could of been for a variety of reasons: hormones, stress, or the products that I used on my skin, but I didn’t really know what I should be doing to cure this acne. I started covering it up with makeup every day, and I live in Dubai so I was sweating in this makeup all day long, and my skin really did not appreciate it. To just add onto this whole mess of things, I have really really sensitive skin, so my skin reacts to pretty much anything I use, and I have to be very careful. It’s been almost three years since I first started getting acne, and like most teens I’ve pretty much grown out of it. I still get some breakouts, but my skin has improved a lot because of the changes I’ve made in the past year. Not only have my breakouts reduced, but I’ve also found my skin overall looking more ‘glowy’ and healthy.

I made the switch to using clean beauty products this year, and being more aware of what I’m putting on my skin and my body. I realised that I make such an effort to fill my body with nutritious and healthy food, when I cover it with products full of toxins and all kinds of chemicals, which is kind of hypocritical. And I know, clean beauty seems like it’s all the rage right now, with more and more brands claiming to be ‘organic’ or ‘natural’, but if you find real clean beauty products, you will soon realise this whole clean beauty regime is not a fad, it really truly does work.

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So what is clean beauty?

There is no exact definition, but clean beauty encompasses a range of things. One being that the products are completely transparent about what’s inside them, and they are safe for people to use. It means that the quality is not compromised, and the main goal of the company is not to just, sell more, but to create products that genuinely work and benefit the user. Another aspect of clean beauty is that from production to usage, these products are safe to everyone, this means no animal testing, or anything that will affect the environment negatively.

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Why should I use clean beauty products?

As I mentioned before I have seen great benefits from using clean beauty products on myself, not only in clearing up my acne, but also contributing to my overall wellbeing. I don’t feel like I’m slapping on chemicals onto my skin and drying it out, I feel like I’m really taking care of myself and not compromising my health at the cost of the products I’m using. Also looking at the more environmental side to the argument, clean beauty products are much more sustainable. And yes, they are a little more pricey, but trust me with clean beauty less is more. Most products are of such good quality that you don’t need to buy heaps of cosmetics, and remember you’re spending money to improve your wellbeing. That being said, don’t just go out and buy anything that says it’s a clean beauty product, personally I spend ages choosing what products to buy and what they will do for me. I spent a really long time trying to find a clean beauty vendor that’s accessible to me, and looking at what options they have. Once I chose the products that I wanted to try, I read heaps of reviews to see if they actually worked, and if they were compatible with my skin type.

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Where do I buy my products?

I think buying products from a clean beauty specific vendor, is easier than looking at stores individually. I also read a lot of other reviews of clean beauty products so that I’m always finding more. If you live in the U.S. you can take a look at companies such as ‘Credo Beauty’ or ‘The Detox Market’ who gather a selection of clean beauty products which they curate themselves. These companies aren’t as accessible for me, so I looked for something in Dubai, but sadly I haven’t found anything yet, please let me know if you know of somewhere that sells clean beauty products in Dubai! So I checked out clean beauty stores in the U.K, and decided on ‘Content Beauty & Wellbeing’. It curates the products it sells, making sure they don’t contain harmful chemicals, while still delivering high end results. I also sometimes visit ‘Space NK’ if I’m looking for something specific. But always be sure to look into the products you want to buy before purchasing them, to be sure they fit all the criteria you want.

 

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I found this really helpful guide from Today, (I don’t take credit for making it) but it lets you see what the little icons on your cosmetics mean.

 

What do I use?

Finally! For the most exciting part of this post, what products I use!!! I’m more of a ‘natural look girl’ I hardly wear makeup, and when I do, I like to make sure that it doesn’t look heavy. So most of the products that I use cater to this, and to my skincare needs. Some of these products I’ve been using for a while, and some are fairly new, but all the products I share in this post, I’m confident to say that I genuinely like.

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Skincare + Bodywash

Tata Harper Skincare – I talked about it a while back, but I have been using Tata Harper products on my skin for almost a year now, and this is where I’ve seen incredible improvements. All the skincare products I use on my face are from this brand, from my cleanser & moisturiser, to my toner.

Evolve Beauty – I have recently started using a body wash from evolve beauty, and I really like it. I’ve tried a few different clean body washes, but this is the first one that I can fully say is perfect! It doesn’t dry out my skin at all, and it smells soooo good. Evolve beauty was kind enough to send me some samples, so you will definitely be seeing a post about them soon, and what other products I like from their collection.

Isla Apothecary – I really like using roll on essential oils as an alternative to perfume, and Isla Apothecary has a really nice one that I’ve been using.

Neal’s Yard Remedies – I also use an essential oil rollable from Neal’s Yard, in the scent ‘energy’ which is amazing.

Odacite – I am soooo excited to try more products from them, but for now I only have a serum for my face, leaves me with super soft skin.

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Beauty

Lilah Beauty – This is the first clean beauty makeup brand that I started using, and I haven’t yet found anything that compares. I use the concealer, powder, as well as an eyeshadow palette from Lilah.b and it blends into my skin so well, and it creates a really nice natural look on my skin, that I haven’t found from anyone else.

ILIA Beauty – I use a lipstick and an illuminator from here, and I really like their products, you can still look amazing, while benefitting your health!

Lily Lolo Mineral Cosmetics – I recently brought a mascara and a blush from Lily Lolo, and I’ve really liked them so far, I look forward to trying a few more of their products.

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I really hope you found this post interesting, I had so much fun writing it! As always, please let me know if you liked it. Also let me know in the comments if you use clean beauty products, and if you want to make the change. Also, if you have any recommendations for clean beauty products for me to try, let me know! And if you’re a brand that wants me to try your products, you can find all my information about collaborations here.

Little Miss Expat

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Finding Happiness

Hey Everyone!

I’ve been wanting to write a post about happiness and wellbeing for such a long time, and with it being International Happiness week, I thought, what better time? Even though I have so much I want to share with you guys about this subject, I think this has to be one of the hardest posts I’ve written, as it’s so hard to put all my ideas about happiness into words!!

Originally I wanted to share a few tips on ‘how to be happy’ with you guys, but I realised that wasn’t the right way to put it, there’s no specific formula to be happy. We’re all human, we have some happy days and some sad days. So today instead of writing a guide for you guys, I just want to share a few thoughts, and I would really love for you to comment your thoughts as well!

For those of you who don’t know my story, the reason why I started this blog was to share my experiences as a teenage expatriate with others and tell the story of moving from London to Dubai, and how I dealt with it. One thing that goes hand-in-hand with this story is my experience with ‘happiness’. The first year of moving was a tough year for me, and I had never experienced so many feelings of sadness and loneliness at one time. However, through this journey, I’ve come to be at a place where I feel such balance, content, and happiness all the time, that I don’t think I could be anywhere better.

I remember having some days where I would feel sick with sadness, and where I was just totally unmotivated to do anything. And you know, I think most people go through a phase like this. At least one point in your life, you experience a sort of rut, where you just can’t seem to break through this wall. And especially for someone picking up and leaving their home at such a young age, it’s not unheard of to feel this way.

But the question is how do you overcome these feelings, and find your happiness? I could answer this question a thousand different ways, but I’ll just limit it to a few for now. (Bearing in mind, that these are all ideas that I have found through my own experiences.) The first thing that I would say is the key to unlocking happiness is being comfortable with yourself. Truly finding that sense of being, enjoyment, and content is the first step to becoming happier. In this world where we seem to think the number of likes you get on a photo determines how popular you are, and where your follower count is a representation of how many friends you have, it can get really hard to just… love yourself. Think about it this way, if you constantly think you’re not good enough, how can you ever be happy with yourself?

I think this is also something that comes with experience, because I know that when I was younger I would always ‘follow the crowd’ and I would do what everyone was doing, regardless of whether or not I wanted to do it myself. But how can you ever be happy if you’re not doing what you want to be doing? Becoming confident with your own decisions and standing up for what you believe in, is something that only comes with practice. It doesn’t come overnight, but I’m telling you, once you start following YOUR own ideas, doing what YOU want to do, and not constantly worrying about what people think of YOU, you’re well on your way to finding happiness.

Something that goes along with this idea of just being you, is also not worrying about what others are doing. Trust me, I’m a teenage girl in high school, and I could be influenced by a multitude of people and their actions, but staying true to my own values has to be the best decision I could have ever made. It’s come to the point where I don’t feel jealousy when I see what other people are doing if it’s not something I would genuinely want to be doing myself. I don’t see any point changing my own values and beliefs just because of others. This has to be one of the hardest things to put into action, the number of people my age who are peer pressured into making decisions that they wouldn’t make for themselves is something that I think should change. But once you stop caring about what everyone else is doing and start doing things you love, you will find yourself instantly happier.

Something else that I think is worth mentioning, is forgiveness. Even though I myself find this very hard, one huge part of finding happiness is forgiving people and not holding grudges. The fact that you’re spending some of your brainpower worrying or thinking about someone who has wronged you just gives them power over you. In life, there will always be people that upset you, but I think being able to overcome that and forgive them is one of the most important life lessons you can learn.

Going off on the people tangent, finding a group of people that support and care for you, will also affect your happiness. Surrounding yourself with people who know the real you, and are always there for you, is one of the best things you can do. Friends should be happy for you when you achieve something, but also able to cheer you up when you’re feeling upset. Honestly, your vibe does attract your tribe, finding people who share the same values as you, and who constantly brighten up your day, can change everything.

The last thing I want to mention is gratitude. Being thankful for what you have is probably the most important component of happiness. Something as simple as acknowledging what you’re thankful for can make the biggest difference. Realizing what you have, compared to others allows you to see a different perspective, and truly be happy with yourself.

I thoroughly enjoyed being able to share some of these thoughts with you guys! There are so many articles and resources on happiness out there that you can take a look at if you’re interested, I would really recommend it! I would absolutely love to hear your ideas and what you think about this post in the comments!!!

Have a happy week!

Little Miss Expat

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January In Review – What I’ve been loving, doing, and my favourites!

Hi Everyone!

I can’t believe that January is already over, that went really quickly! This month has been a very busy one, with new years resolutions, starting school again, the end of one semester, and being well into the Cross Country Season. In this post, I’m going to share with you what products I’ve been using a lot this month, and what I’m loving. And I’ll also share what’s been going on in my life, and what’s coming in February. I hope you enjoy!

What Have I Been Loving?

Over the Winter Break, I made a conscious effort to start using more natural products on my skin, as I have really sensitive skin and I see a lot of benefits when I simplify what I use on my skin and use natural products. I already use natural make-up and cleansers (I wrote about them in this post if you’re interested) but I picked out a natural body wash and toothpaste, and I’ve been absolutely loving them!

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I wanted to make the change to a natural toothpaste because I realized how silly I was being, I care so much about what I eat and if it’s good for me, yet I was putting chemicals and artificial flavours into my mouth twice a day without really registering it. I was worried that this toothpaste would taste weird, but I’ve actually really been enjoying it and it doesn’t taste too bad.

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I also wanted to simplify the kind of body wash I use on my skin, and I’ve been noticing really good things since I started using this one. I usually get very dry skin during the winter, but this soap doesn’t seem to dry out my skin as much. And it smells amazing!! I did buy a natural shampoo and conditioner (from a different brand), but it was making my hair dry and coarse, does anyone have any recommendations?

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I started using a toner on my face and it’s been helping my skin a lot. It acts as an extra cleanse, and it helps reduce your pore size before you put on any makeup or moisturizer, which makes sure less bacteria gets into your skin. I still don’t have completely clear skin, but I have been noticing a huge difference since I started using a toner. I got this one from Clarins, and it’s the special one for sensitive skin, but they have lots of different options for different skin types. Do any of you use a toner, and if so do you see a difference?

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Another thing that I’ve been using a lot this month is my sleep mask and spray. I had never worn a sleep mask before this year because I always thought they were such a hassle, and I didn’t understand why someone would wear one in their own house? But let me tell you if you have a struggle falling asleep you need to invest in one of these. I’m a really sensitive sleeper, so once I see some light shining through my curtains, I’m immediately awake. During the week that’s okay because when I wake up, the sun isn’t really up yet. But on the weekends it’s very annoying because I can hardly ever sleep in past 7am because I find it too sunny. This sleep mask has been a lifesaver! Not only has it been allowing me to sleep for longer, but also I fall asleep much quicker now because once I put on my mask, my body knows that it’s time to fall asleep. I also got a new sleep spray over the break, which is meant to calm and relax you before you turn off the lights and go to sleep. I’ve been using a spray for a few years now, and I really recommend them, they create a nice environment and help you fall asleep more easily.

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One of my new years resolutions was to stress less and to start practicing meditation. And I’m proud to say that I have been sticking to the meditation part! No matter how stressed I’ve been getting during the day, before I go to bed, I make sure that I do a little bit of meditation so that I can relax and unwind. Insight Timer is a free app, and I have to say it’s my favourite meditation app out of all the ones I’ve tried. It’s kind of like a meditation Spotify, you can browse through hundreds of guided meditations for different amounts of time, and for specific things such as stress, or compassion, and pick which one you like. You can also freely meditate with a timer for as long as you want. I know meditation doesn’t sound like the coolest way to be spending your evening, but it really only takes 5 minutes, and it’s really helpful to me.

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Another really big part of my year so far has been my planner. I know I’m a nerd. But I love being organized! I make endless lists, plan out every hour of my day, and every day of my week. Before I got my planner, I did this on sticky notes and it was a bit annoying because I didn’t have them all in one place, and I didn’t have enough space to make notes. So I did a LOT of research to find the PERFECT PLANNER, one with a monthly view, and a page for each day where you can plan out your day by the hour, as well as a daily quote, and a place to write your daily goals and gratitude. I have literally been living through my planner, and it’s been taking a lot of stress off me because I don’t have to remember everything anymore. I got my planner from The Day Designer and I can not tell you how much I love it! Be sure to look at theirs if you need one for 2018.

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Lastly, because, of course, I need to include a little bit of food in this post. My favourite snack this month has been dates. I know, kind of random right? But in Dubai, we have dates everywhere, and they’re a really nice small sweet snack. I’ve been loving having them because they’re also really good for you, and I’ve been seeing great improvements in my digestion. I usually need something sweet after I eat dinner, and instead of eating a chocolate, eating a date is so much healthier!

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What Else Has Happened This Month?

Running:

If you’re one of my regular readers, you will know that at the beginning of this month I found out I had a stress injury. If you want to know more about this, I wrote a whole blog post explaining my injury in detail, you can find it here. But I’m not going to lie, that really put me off track for the start of the new year. I really love running, and not being able to run made me really sad and upset. I was also scared that all my hard work training would just go down the drain because I had to take so much time off. I was a miserable blob for a good few weeks, and I felt so useless and sorry for myself. But it taught me that in life you just have to accept that sometimes there are things that are out of your control. There was nothing I could do to be able to run, all I could do was work on recovering quickly.

One of my friends also told me something that really helped me stop feeling sorry for myself. Some of my best friends are on the Cross Country team with me, and we all support each other with whatever we’re going through. And my friend who has been injured for a while told me that it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself, but after a while, you have to stop because it just makes it worse. You can have one day to cry and feel bad about whatever is going on, but after that, you need to accept that there’s nothing you can do, and you need to be strong again. And that has really helped me this month , because if I didn’t stop thinking about it, it would have taken over my whole month.

I’ve been working hard ever since I was allowed to run again, and I was selected for the MESAC competition (Middle East, South Asia, Conference), basically a big Cross Country competition. And wow am I nervous! I am so happy and grateful that I was selected, but it’s next weekend and I’m starting to get very nervous. This year I’ve been pretty good at not letting my nerves take over before Cross Country competitions, but this is the biggest one I’ve ever had to compete in, and I’m already feeling nervous. Does anyone have any tips on how to deal with nerves? And how to fuel up before a big race? I would love to hear them!

Semester 1 of School Is Over!

In other news, I’ve officially finished Semester 1 of my Sophomore year, and wow was that intense! Ever since I came back from Winter Break, it has been GO GO GO! With so many things happening, it was kind of overwhelming and challenging, but I’ve had this long weekend to relax and prepare for the next semester. I wrote a long post about it on my Instagram (@Little.Miss.Expat) yesterday, so take a look at that if you’re interested.

60 Followers On The Blog!

This month I hit 60 followers on my blog which is crazy!! I’m so grateful for each and every one of you that reads my posts and supports me. It’s amazing to think that I started this all from scratch almost 7 months ago, and it’s come this far. I love writing for you guys, and I hope you enjoy my content! I’m almost at 300 followers on my Instagram too, so hopefully when you read my February in Review post, I’ll be celebrating 300 Instagram followers!

And that wraps up my January in Review blog post! I hope you enjoyed reading about what I’ve been using, and what’s been going on with me. Did you like this post? And do you want to see monthly posts like this one? Please let me know!

See you soon!

Little Miss Expat

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Recovering From a Running Injury – And Making My Dream Team!

Hi Guys!

I am currently super excited! If you read my Instagram post yesterday (@Little.Miss.Expat) you will already know what I’m talking about. I’ve been selected to run in the 2018 Cross Country MESAC competition!!! For those of you who don’t know, MESAC is the Middle East and South Asia Conference, which is basically the big sporting competition we get to compete in. Ever since I joined the Cross Country team, my dream has always been to qualify to be able to run in this competition, but I honestly didn’t think I would make the cut till maybe my Senior year of high school? But here I am, a Sophomore, celebrating going to MESAC! In this blog post, I’m going to tell you about my injury, how I recovered from it, and how I made the MESAC team, stay tuned!

How Did I Get Injured?

Well, It’s actually a kind of embarrassing story, but I want to be 100% real with you guys. So about 2 months ago I was on a field trip, doing an obstacle course in Bounce (which is a trampolining center). And I hit my toe on something, it just felt like I had stubbed my toe, so I waited a few minutes for the pain to go away. But the pain never went away, and my toe started swelling up and hurting even more. I asked the nurse to take a look at it, and she didn’t seem to think there was anything wrong with it, so I carried on and ran at practice later that day.

I had a successful practice, and my toe had stopped hurting a bit. But when I got home and took off my running shoes, my toe had turned purple, it had started to bruise, and I couldn’t bend it. I asked someone to look at it, and we were positive that I hadn’t done anything serious such as breaking it. So the next morning I went out to my 6am practice and ran with it. I carried on like this for a few weeks, running through the pain because I didn’t think it was anything serious. But what I didn’t realize at that time was that because I wasn’t really putting any weight on my toe when I walked or ran (because it was painful), I was sort of limping and shifting all my weight onto my ankle rather than throughout my whole foot, which turned out to be very bad.

The breaking point came during the Winter Holidays when I was walking around 10K a day because I was on holiday in Europe, and then I would go back to our hotel and run another 10K as my workout for the day. After one tiring day, my ankle couldn’t take it anymore, after I finished my run I couldn’t even put weight on it. I’ve been sore before, but this was a completely different feeling, and I knew that there was something was wrong.

I took a break from running for the rest of the holiday and booked an appointment with a running doctor for when I came back to Dubai. By this time I was itching to run again because 1) I love running, and 2) I felt like I was losing all the fitness that I had worked so hard for. When I went to the doctor I told her all about my ankle, and she asked if anything had happened to my foot recently, I told her about my toe, but it didn’t even cross my mind that these two could be connected (because by this time my toe was almost getting back to normal).

Now, to backtrack a bit and give you a little bit of history about my body. I’ve only been running this intensely for about 2 years now, and I’ve received a lot of feedback saying that I have a weird running form, or that my ankles stick out a lot when I run. Which is all definitely true, and it is something that I am working on. I get a lot of these problems when I run, because I have double jointed ankles, really flat feet, and I have hypermobility. I never like to say I have all these issues because sometimes I think it sounds like I’m making excuses for myself, but it really does affect my running. There are a lot of really successful runners who have flat feet, and as long as you know how to deal with it, it’s not that big of a deal. But I have hypermobility which means that my joints move around more than they should be able to, which also goes hand in hand with being double jointed. For example, when I’m running my ankles move from side to side, and it’s hard to control them, which affects my form, makes it easier for me to get injured, and also wastes my energy. These issues have always been things that I’ve had, but nothing that has ever really affected me that much, until this injury.

So when I saw this doctor, I told her about all these problems I had, and what she told me is that I was very close to having a stress fracture, because I had been running when my toe couldn’t take any weight, and because of that, my ankle had been compensating by supporting me and taking on the extra weight. And because my ankles are very weak and I can’t control them as much as I should be able to, it was making it even worse. She referred me to a physiotherapist, who I’ve been seeing for the past few weeks, and we came up with a plan on how to get back on track.

How I Got Back On Track

My physiotherapist gave me a lot of strengthening exercises and tips on how to build up muscle around my ankles so that this wouldn’t happen again. And we discussed gradually getting back into running and practicing with my team again. But honestly I was a mess, I love running, and it’s my outlet for stress and it just makes me happy. I had been off running for about a month at this point and I was miserable. To be completely truthful, I cried almost every day because I just wanted to run, and also because I really thought that there was no chance that I would be able to run fast enough this season to make the MESAC team.

I’ve been gradually getting back into running, by first of all not running on consecutive days. Then I started running every day again but I took it very easy, and I didn’t do any hills or stair drills. I’m finally pretty much back to normal, but when I feel my ankle start to hurt again, I stop and take a rest. Because I’ve learned my lesson, no more running injuries for me!

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Listening To Your Body

If there’s one thing that I have learned throughout this whole experience is how important it is to ‘listen to your body’. For a sport like running, you’re so dependent on your body, and pretty much your whole success in the sport depends on how fit your body is. I made the mistake of running through the pain and not listening to my body when I should have, and I paid the price for it. If I had just listened then, I wouldn’t have ever got that injured. But now every time I feel a pain that I know is related to my injury, I make sure I stop if it gets too much, and treat it in the way that I should. Your body is your temple, and we should be doing everything we can to keep them in pristine shape!

 

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I’ve been stretching and foam rolling after running, to keep my legs healthy and strong.

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So What’s Been Happening?

Last week was our hardest race of the season, which is a 5K run up in the mountains in Hatta. I was really nervous because this was the first race I was allowed to run after recovering from my injury, and I felt like I wasn’t as fit as everyone else, and I definitely hadn’t done as much hill training as the rest of my team. I did my best to stay calm before the race, and I just went out and performed my best. Last year when I ran this race I came in 4th place, so originally my goal for this year was to be able to get 3rd place and medal individually, but obviously after being injured this goal had pretty much deteriorated. But I was able to push through this race and I did end up placing 3rd overall! I have never individually medaled at a Cross Country meet before, so I was over the moon. I was also crazy happy because my biggest fear was that I had lost all my fitness while I was injured, but I was still able to run faster than I have before and beat my PB from last year.

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The Hatta Course

Making The MESAC Team

Making the cut for the big Cross Country competition has always been a dream of mine, even if I was the slowest person out of the 8 that made the cut, it would have always been such an honor to just get picked to run in the competition. I really thought that all my hopes of making the team this year were washed away with my injury, but my performance at the Hatta race allowed for me to make the MESAC team. I’m so happy everytime that I think about it, and I’m so grateful to be running at this event. Obviously, I’m nervous! But I’m going to be doing my best to keep my nerves under control so that I can run my best races ever at MESAC.

I’m still definitely not the fastest runner on my Cross Country team, and I probably will never be. But I’m so proud of where my dedication and strength got me, with running you reap what you sow. If you don’t train or work hard you’re not going to get anywhere. And trust me I know what it’s like to miss out on these opportunities, as I said, this is my first time running in the competition, I didn’t make the cut in years past. But not making the cut doesn’t mean that you failed! It means that you tried your best, but sometimes your best just isn’t enough. There’s always another year to work hard and improve for, and with running, there will always be a new opportunity for you to run faster and push yourself even more.

Wow, that was a really long post! I wanted to share every little bit of what’s been going on with me and I would love to hear your feedback. Have you ever been injured? Do you like running? Have you ever run in a big competition, if so what are your tips? And did you enjoy reading this post? Please let me know in the comments!

See you next week!

Little Miss Expat

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Eating For a Purpose – Health Food Haul

Hey Guys!

So, if you’re one of my regular readers you will know that one of my new year’s resolutions is to learn more about the food I eat, and what it does for my body.  This year I want to eat for a purpose. I already have a very healthy lifestyle, and I’m really interested in nutrition, so I wanted to combine these two things and do something that I’ve wanted to do for a while. This year I want to learn about all the vitamins I need to eat, what food contains which nutrients, and what types of carbs will let me run better. In other words, I want to know what every piece of food I eat does for my body.

So… For Christmas this year my parents got me a hamper full of healthy ingredients from Daylesford Farm, and honestly it was the best present ever! You should have seen my face when I opened that hamper. As well as all the ingredients I got from Daylesford Farm, I also picked up some goodies at Whole Foods when I was in England, and I ordered some powders from Tropeka, that I’m super excited to try out.

I thought that in this post I would share what ingredients I’m planning to use this year, and why I chose them. So here’s what I’m using so far:

  • A natural tea that is meant to calm you down: It has all kinds of whole ingredients in it, such as rose petals and dried fruit. I like to have this in the evening or before I go to sleep.
  • Manuka Honey: this is a really good alternative for sugar when you’re cooking, and it has all kinds of antibacterial properties.
  • 3 Grain Museli & Granola: So these aren’t really ‘health foods’ but you guys know I love my granola and yogurt, so I got some new ones for the new year.
  • Pink Himalayan Salt: This serves to balance your electrolytes, and keeps you hydrated. As a runner living in a desert, hydration is key.
  • Dried Mulberries, Goji Berries, and Blueberries: I’m planning to put these together with some nuts and seeds into a trail mix that I can have as a snack during school. Mulberries, goji berries, and blueberries are all rich sources of antioxidants.
  • Almond Butter: I know people that swear by their nut butter, I’ve never really tried one, but I’m planning to give this one a go.
  • Tumeric: I think Tumeric has to be the health craze at the moment, it has anti-inflammatory properties, it’s an antioxidant. I’m not too keen on the taste, but I’m definitely going to try using this a lot.
  • Lucuma Powder: This powder contains, calcium, protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B3, and It’s perfect to put in your smoothies.
  • Cacao Powder: This powder is super high in antioxidants! And, I mean it tastes like chocolate, so what could be better?
  • Sunflower Seeds: Sunflower seeds are a source of magnesium, which helps keep your immune system healthy, and makes sure your muscles are working properly.
  • Almond Flakes: Again, I’m planning to put this into my trail mix, as it’s really high in protein, magnesium, and vitamin E.
  • Spelt Flakes: Spelt helps you to build strong bones, and aids your blood circulation.
  • Coconut Sugar: It’s a healthy alternative to sugar when you’re cooking, it’s on the low glycemic side of the scale which means that it doesn’t spike your blood sugar as much.

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These are the healthy ingredients that I have at the moment, and I’m super excited to start cooking with them! Let me know if you’re using any of these ingredients, and what you like to use.

See you next week!

Little Miss Expat

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