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The pressures of being a nutritionist

I’m sure if you’re a nutritionist, dietitian, personal trainer, sport scientist or a student of these careers (or similar professions in the health industry), then you have probably felt the pressure to look, eat and act a certain way, perhaps more-so than the average person.  I have definitely felt it myself and here’s just a little insight into why these careers can be more challenging than you think.


1. The pressure to eat the perfect diet

This has to be top of the list.  It is extremely often that nutritionists/dietitians feel pressure to lead by example when it comes to diet: whilst I believe that we should practice what we preach and that nutritionists will mostly have a pretty healthy and balanced diet anyway due to personal interest, this can often be taken to extremes.  Knowing so much about nutrition, food, exercise, health and disease can often be confusing and conflicting when it comes to our own diet.  As a result, those that work and study in this area tend to be at greater risk of eating disorders and disordered eating.

But let’s get one thing straight: there is no perfect diet; no one size fits all; no way to do nutrition ‘right’.  Our diets very much depend on our health, medical history, goals, lifestyle, culture, economy and personal preference, amongst many other factors.  I have often been called out for eating chocolate, cake, pizza, etc, and let me tell you, it’s embarrassing and belittling and completely uncalled for.  Just because I am a nutrition student, does that condemn me to a life of purely “healthy” foods, with no room for less nutrient-dense foods?  Absolutely not.

Health also isn’t skin-deep.  Just because someone is lean it does not mean they are healthy: especially for women, for whom leanness often indicates the complete opposite.  Likewise, being “overweight” or not having visible muscles, for example, does not mean someone is unhealthy.  Health looks different on everyone. And don’t forget that health encompasses both physical and mental health.

No-one should be judged for what they eat, whether that’s being put on a pedestal for eating completely “healthy” or being criticised for choosing to indulge.  Food should have no moral attached it and as I always say, there are no intrinsically healthy or unhealthy foods and everything has it’s place within your diet if you want to eat it.


2. The pressure to look a certain way

Very much linked to my last point, along with a perfect diet must come the perfect body; the thin ideal.  Some people can feel scepticle about trusting a nutritionist who isn’t lean.  Have you ever heard someone say or insinuate that they “wouldn’t trust a fat dietitian“?  I have, many a time.  And just ask yourself, honestly, if you have ever felt the same?  In theory you would probably say no, but deep down if you were in the position where you required a nutritionist/dietitian/personal trainer, you would probably also choose someone that looks a certain way (or perhaps avoid someone that looks a certain way).

But that is utterly ridiculous when you think about it.  Someone’s own body shape does not determine their knowledge or passion or experience in a subject area.  Body shape is largely determined by genetics and experience, alongside lifestyle.  Body shape does not determine someone’s character or skill and shouldn’t be judged before getting to know someone and their professionalism.

There have been many times when I have felt “too fat” to be a nutritionist, but we must remember that what constitutes a “fat” person is all relative anyway.  We need to all get off our high horses and stop judging others for their exterior, and trusting them for their skill, knowledge and experience.


3The pressure to know everything about nutrition

And lastly, there is a massive pressure to know everything.  I often get asked nutrition-related questions and a lot of the time, I can’t give a definitive answer!  Firstly, I know that I’m still a student, so there is a hell of a lot still to learn.  But even after graduating, there is still so much to find out.  Nutrition is an extremely complex science (which most people fail to understand): it isn’t just knowing about calories in vs calories out and you’re sorted.  It’s a very grey science and there are hardly ever any black or white answers.  It’s also very individual and depends on many other factors in the context of certain situations and the individual’s diet.

There are also SO many different areas in nutrition – from infant and elderly nutrition, to sports and performance nutrition, to intuitive eating, eating disorders and chronic disease nutrition (and that is only scratching the surface!).  So don’t expect a nutritionist to know everything about nutrition, as most tend to specialise in one area or another.

We also don’t know everything about every single food in the world, as nutrition is much more than the study of food, looking at all sorts of other things from the cellular level of physiology up to the psychology behind why and how we eat.  So if you’re going to ask me what the benefits of some obscure, unheard-of berries from Fiji are, don’t bother!

I doubt there are many people in the nutrition world that would call themselves an “expert” because there is simply too much to learn, and we are still learning.  Have you ever heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect?  Illustrated below (taken from @therootedproject), it shows how many unqualified bloggers are self-confessed experts, when really they haven’t even scratched the surface!  It also shows that as you actually start to learn the science of nutrition and continue to learn, you realise you know very very little!

So, don’t judge a nutritionist/dietitian for not knowing it all and not knowing the answer to your specific questions.  Instead, have more respect for those that know the limits of their knowledge and instead signpost you to someone or other resources that know more about a specific area!


This post isn’t meant to put anyone off these careers – the benefits far outweigh any negatives when it comes to this area of work and I am extremely lucky to be doing something I love.  But I hope from this blog post you can see that there is a lot more to being a Nutritionist/Dietitian than knowing a little bit about food.  There are so many external pressures that can make it that extra bit difficult to be accepted in your job and we often get criticised a lot!  So next time, think before you judge a Nutritionist’s diet, appearance or way of practice!

Lou x


Why Social Media is Ruining our Lives

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Now, you may think the title of this blog is a little dramatic, but to some extent it’s definitely true!  Don’t get me wrong, there are so many positives to social media like staying in touch with friends and family, connecting with people that you have things in common with, getting inspiration, education, plus foodie photos and networking.  However, there are many downsides and I’ve listed some below:

1.  We compare ourselves to others

Now, we all know this is a major problem.  And you can argue all you want that you don’t compare yourself to others but we all do it, even if it’s subconsciously.  Have you ever scrolled through instagram for 10 minutes only to come off feeling a little bit worse?  That’s because we compare ourselves to how other people look, eat, how successful their careers and lives are, the material things they have, their fitness regime.  Everything.  As a result we’re ruining our self-esteem and damaging our relationship with ourselves, our bodies, food and even other people.  Spend less time mindlessly scrolling and I guarantee you will feel a thousand times better when you focus solely on you and what you are doing and what makes you happy.

2. “Influencers”

One of my current pet peeves at the moment is the word “influencer”, especially a self-confessed “influencer” (more like self-obsessed).  Mostly famous for showing their bare-bum, be wary of which “influencers” you follow and what they are “influencing” you to do.  A lot of the time these people aren’t interested in your wellbeing; they’re interested in increasing their following and selling their precious guides.

3. Everyone’s an expert

Following on nicely from my last point is the fact that everyone thinks they are an expert.  Too many times I see bloggers/vloggers trying to be a personal trainer, nutritionist and lifestyle coach all in one.  Now, I know qualifications don’t count for everything but they do count for a hell of a lot.  To save on time, I’m going to talk specifically about nutrition – there are far too many people trying to give out nutrition advice and talk about topics that are out of their scope of knowledge/experience.  If you are not a registered nutritionist/dietitian you have no right to educate people about complex nutrition matters.  Nutrition is not an “eat like me, look like me” thing, and by dishing out nutrition advise without proper knowledge you could do some serious damage, mentally and physically.  I have far more respect for people who know that something is out of their depth and instead refer you on to someone who does know what they’re talking about.

4. Everyone is too concerned with followers

Everyone has a fitness account, a youtube channel, is posting foodie photos and is posing for a gym-selfie.  I get it, I really do.  Previously, my account was all about these things.  But now I just post what I want to post and if people follow me that’s cool and if they unfollow me, that’s cool too!  The problem now is that everyone wants to be “insta-famous” and instead of focusing on real-life relationships, the focus is on the number of people who look at our photos online everyday.  Think about how dumb that sounds for a second and then reevaluate why you post online.

5. We aren’t present

Probably my biggest problem with social media (and technology in general) is that it takes away from our presence in real life.  Social media isn’t real life.  It’s not and never will be.  You can tell me you’re aware of that, and that’s great.  But until you actually start spending less time on social media, you are still being sucked into this fake world for a disproportionate amount of time each day.  I see people everyday walking around with their head in their phone, not looking where they’re going, or out for food with friends and every single person is scrolling online instead of talking to each other.  There is nothing worse than talking to someone who is more concerned with their phone than what you have to say.  We are always trying to catch the perfect moment to post it on social media rather than enjoying it for what it is.  Spend less time on your phone and more time appreciating others and the world around you.

6. It is prioritised over everything

And last but by no means least, I hate how social media is prioritised over all else.   “Wait there let me just post this” “I need to post this on snapchat” “That has to be a tweet”.  Not everything you say and do has to be posted on social media.  Social media won’t help you improve at your job, make you a better student or a better friend: in fact it will probably do the complete opposite.  Stop prioritising posting/looking/being online and instead prioritise things that are important to you in real life.  If you worry too much about what’s happening on social media, there is a serious problem.

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Hopefully this blog has made you open your eyes a little, and you may think about spending a little less time on social media (and your phone in general!)  Remember there are SO many more important things to life (real life) so look up from your phone now and again!  And if that still hasn’t convinced you, just think how happy grandparents are – I am almost sure part of that is because they didn’t have the burden of having to live up to the expectations on social media and were more concerned with their own lives than everyone else’s!

Lou x

**This blog is not trying to throw shade on anyone and isn’t based on anyone in particular, but is a general trend I’ve noticed lately.  I completely understand that for some people, social media is genuinely their job and livelihood but for the vast majority of us, it is just an extra, a hobby.**

How to deal with exam stress

Exam season is upon us again, and it can often be one of the most stressful times of the year.  So I thought I’d share some of my favourite tips for beating the exam stress and setting yourself up for exam success!


1. Start early

Now I know that starting revision early is always my intention when it comes to exams, although they do always seem to creep up on me!  But I promise if you start revising in plenty of time you will feel a lot less stressed and more prepared to smash those exams! It also prevents you having to cram a couple of days before which is not only the worst way to remember things, but will also leave you stressed right before your exam.

2. Organise yourself

Sometimes it can be really useful to create a revision timetable or at the very least make sure you are aware of exactly what date/time your exams are, the structure of your exams and their length.  You can then help yourself by organising the modules/topics you need to cover in your revision so you won’t end up sitting down everyday not knowing where to start!

3. Find the best way of revising for you

When it comes to revision (like most things), there is no “best way” to revise.  Everyone learns and remembers things in different ways so it’s important to find a way of studying that works for you.  For me, I prefer writing things out, making little revision cards and creating big posters of important topics – everyone is different so just find a revision style that suits you that will help things stick in your brain!  This also includes finding a location that is a good environment for you to revise in – I often take my revision to the library/coffee shops for a change of scenery!


4. Revise in a group

Following on from my last point, something you may find useful is to revise with other people.  Whether it’s one-on-one or in a group with course mates, it can be great to come up with new ideas to revise.  Talking through the content of your exams and things that you are unsure of can often help clarify things and help you remember them for the exam.

5. Take regular breaks

When it comes to revision it’s so important to utilise your time wisely.  Sitting down and telling yourself that you are going to revise for 2 hours straight will 9 out of 10 times lead to you getting bored every 15 minutes and ending up getting distracted.  Personally, I use the 20/10 rule.  I work solidly for 20 minutes, and then I have a 10 minute break to stretch my legs/have a snack/check social media etc.  That way I find that I can make the most out of my time and don’t waste it procrastinating!  Also, I highly recommend standing up and preferably getting some fresh air during your breaks – this will stop you getting stiff and bored of sitting in the same position and hopefully you’ll come back to your desk feeling refreshed and focused!

6. Stay active

During exam season, our activity levels often plummet because all we can focus on is work work work.  However, staying active is key to keeping your body and mind healthy during this stressful period.  For me, I love getting up early for a gym session as it boosts my energy and gets my day off to a productive start.  However, you may find it better to exercise in the middle of the day to break up revision or in the evening to destress after sitting at your desk all day.

Having said that, you don’t always have to do a workout to keep active – just make sure you stand regularly and take frequent walks throughout the day to keep yourself moving.  And don’t beat yourself up for not doing exercise – exam time is stressful enough without putting that extra pressure on yourself.

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7. Eat well

It is so easy to take a step back from our healthy habits whilst studying for exams – stress can make us under- or over- eat and we often use eating as a way of curing our boredom!  My advice is to keep healthy snacks to hand whilst revising and stick to regular mealtimes to keep your concentration and energy levels high so you’ll be less likely to over or under eat!

8. Get plenty of sleep

This is such an important tip and one that is often neglected! Getting enough sleep can ensure that you are productive with revision and actually take in what you’ve learnt!  Less sleep = low energy = less concentration = less productivity = more stress = unhappy!  Make sure you don’t revise too late into the night and take at least an hour before bed to wind down from revision and take your mind off it – quality sleep is just as important as the quantity of your sleep!

9. Take time for yourself

I cannot stress enough how important it is to look after your body and mind during exams to keep your stress levels as low as possible.  Taking time for yourself just means doing an activity that is not to do with studying and ensures that you keep doing enjoyable things outside of revision.  This could be doing some exercise, going out for lunch with a friend or even something as simple as having a long conversation on the phone, taking the time to cook a nice meal, going for a walk, or listening to music/podcast or catching up with TV (my personal favourites are to procrasti-bake, go for walks or coffee dates with my boyfriend!). Switching off and looking after yourself is so important and will ensure that you stay motivated to keep going!

And lastly..

Relax. Exams are an important part of any qualification or career but they are not the be all and end all.  We all have good and bad exams and strengths and weaknesses when it comes to education.  Don’t compare yourself to others and stay in your lane – work hard but don’t become demoralised if things don’t go your way.  Brush each exam under the carpet and move on to the next.

Your worth as a person is not defined by exam success or failure.

I really hope these tips help, and best of luck!

Lou x

2016 Round-up & 2017 Resolutions

So, it’s the end of ANOTHER year – how did we get here so fast?!

It’s now 2 whole years since I first started this blog and a lot has changed, both with this blog and with myself.  I’m going to do a round-up of 2016 but if you just want to see my goals & resolutions for 2017, scroll down a little!  So, where do I begin?

Academically; I finished my first year of my Nutrition degree at the University of Surrey, doing even better than I imagined in my first year exams.  I enjoyed a summer at home in South Wales before coming back to Surrey more ready than ever to start my second year.  Whilst it’s been more stressful than first year, the content of my degree in second year is SO interesting and I count myself lucky everyday to be studying something that I am truly passionate about.

I also managed to secure a placement for my third year of study doing exactly what I want to do and I couldn’t be happier – although I can’t reveal details at the moment I will do so as soon as possible (keep an eye out on my social media!)


The beautiful University of Surrey Campus!

Fitness; If anything, I’ve felt as if 2016 has been a bit of a step-back for my fitness.  As you may know, I was a keen rower in my first year at uni.  Unfortunately, my relationship with rowing has been a bit of a rocky one since then!  I continued to row for the remainder of my first year at Uni and was then chosen to be Beginner Women’s Captain for 2016/17 but it all started to go a little downhill from there!

I kept up my fitness over the summer and came back hard to rowing in September with an amazing couple of weeks of preseason training.  Unfortunately, this was to little avail as during the next few weeks I suffered a back injury.  (I’ve talked quite a lot about this over on my instagram and will be writing a separate blog post about it soon).  This lower back injury had me out of training for weeks and is part of the reason that I came to the decision of giving up rowing for the foreseeable future.  I have mixed emotions about this but I am enjoying being able to dedicate more time to supporting the beginner rowers as their captain, as well as putting more time into my studies and other hobbies such as baking (which, if you follow my IG, you’ll know is something I’ve been loving a lot lately!)

I have now started to recover (although my back still niggles!) and have started a new strength training programme but I am still very cautious when training.  I am also focusing a lot on mobility/flexibility and am starting to feel more supple than ever!   My cardiovascular fitness has suffered a bit, but I have started running more often, frequently running  5-10k a few times a week!  I am looking forward to smashing some fitness goals in 2017 now that my injury is finally calming down!

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Nutrition; Like my fitness, my nutrition has also been a bit all over the place!  As you may know, I was a keen flexible-dieter/macro-tracker towards to the end of 2015.  I continued this for the majority of 2016 until I started second year of uni.  This is definitely a post for another day, but in short I decided to give macros a break – I think after tracking them for so long I just mentally needed a break and felt ready to eat more intuitively.  It was also starting to feel like more stress than it was worth as I had so many other things to think about!

Since then, I have been on and off tracking macros.  Admittedly, my nutrition hasn’t been as good as I’d have wanted towards the end of 2016.  I started to feel a bit sorry for myself because I wasn’t able to train as often (due to my injury) and this, along with the other stresses in my life, caused me to become a bit demotivated and get into some bad eating habits!  Don’t get me wrong, I was still eating plenty of veg, fruit, protein, healthy fats etc, but I was definitely just generally overeating and having a few too many treats!

Now that I’m getting back to my usual, frequent training and things have started to settle down in my life, it’s time to get back to eating healthily and balanced.  I may go back to tracking macros in the future; I have nothing against it and I think it is a great tool but it just hasn’t really fit into my lifestyle lately!

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Body Image; truthfully, this has probably been the worst year for my body image and mentally I have struggled.  I went from being extremely lean when I was rowing (a little too lean if anything!) to slowly gaining weight over the summer and even more-so when I became injured and stopped rowing.  A little weight-gain is completely normal and was actually extremely necessary for me; in hindsight I was probably not quite eating enough for the amount of exercise I was doing.  I know this little weight-gain is probably not noticeable to anyone but myself, but mentally I was really struggling (and still am some days!) to accept that I was becoming a little curvier.  When I think about this it is the most ridiculous thing: being lean doesn’t define health, personality, relationships, fitness or anything else.  The most important things in life aren’t aesthetic: what matters is being healthy & happy, your character, doing what you love and loving what you do, and living and loving life.  I am also so lucky to have the best boyfriend, friends and family who love me for me, and I am continually reminding myself that I am beautiful in my own skin.

Personal Life; This is probably where life has been the best but also the worst.  I have been with my incredible boyfriend, Kyle, for just over a year now and I couldn’t be happier that I’ve found someone who is so caring and supportive.  I also have the best friends in the world who I’ve continued to make some incredible memories with.  I also turned 21 and had one of the best birthdays of my life surrounded by my favourite people.

However, probably one of the most difficult things I’ve had to deal with, not only this year but also in my entire life, is the passing of my dear Grampy.  Last Christmas my family and I were celebrating him beating cancer, but unfortunately it returned fiercer than before and we lost him in early summer.  This was, and still is, absolutely heart-breaking for myself and my family and not a day goes by that I don’t think about and miss him.  His passing is a constant reminder that life is for living and loving those around us, grabbing every possible opportunity, and having as many exciting experiences as possible.


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So, sorry for the ramble there, but a lot has happened this year and it feels good to get it all down!  It’s been a year of change, a year of endings but also a year of new beginnings and opportunities.  Overall though, it’s safe to say I’m ready to say goodbye to 2016 and a warm welcome to 2017!


2017 Goals & Resolutions:

  1. Squat 100kg – a fitness goal I’ve had in mind for a while but one that I really want to crack on with.  Now that I’m not rowing it’s time to get hella strong (and it’ll be nice to concentrate on some fitness goals that aren’t aesthetic!)
  2. Run 5k in under 24minutes – a fitness goal ensuring that I keep up some cardiovascular fitness.  This may seem quite slow but I’ve only got little legs and this would be pretty quick for them!
  3. Enter a race – following goal 2, I want to enter some 5/10k (possible longer!) races this year.  I intended to do that last year but unfortunately it didn’t come to anything.  This year I am going to sign up to races and runs to give myself something to focus on and work towards.
  4. Be consistent with my nutrition –  whether this is tracking macros, eating intuitively or both, I need to let go of some bad habits I picked up in 2016 and get back to focusing on health and performance when it comes to my diet in 2017.
  5. Spend less time on my phone – this goes for when I’m alone but especially with other people.  I hate being in restaurants or just generally out in public and people are out with each other but looking at their phones!  I’m going to be spending less time with my head in my phone/on social media and more time enjoying the people I’m with and concentrating on what’s in front of me!
  6. Be present – this very much links to the last point but I just want to reiterate that I want to experience the here and now for what it is; not worry about the past or what’s to come but simply live and be right now and appreciate everything to its fullest.
  7. Read more – this is something I’ve definitely started doing a lot more lately, both fiction and non-fiction.  I want to start turning my phone/laptop off at least half an hour before bed and give myself time to switch off and read something before I sleep!
  8. Blog more  – with how busy my life is, I always struggle to fit in time for blogging but this year will be different.  With the evolution of Loutritious in 2016, I am so excited for my blog and social media to grow in 2017 so that I can reach more people and share all things nutrition, health and fitness.  Exciting things are coming for Loutritious this year, and I am going to put a lot more time and effort into it so keep your eyes peeled!
  9. Work hard – on all aspects of my life; academic, fitness, nutrition, relationships and myself.  I want to keep pushing myself to keep doing what I love and love what I do to build an incredible and happy life.
  10. Love myself – this has definitely been a difficult one for me this year as there have been many times of self-doubt and lack of confidence.  It’s time to stop being so hard on myself, be proud of how much I’ve achieved and start loving myself, inside and out.


Thank you so much if you’ve made it this far!  I know this was a bit of a long babble but so much has happened this year and I truly think this has been the most challenging year yet.  However, I am going into 2017 with an open mind and am so excited for things to come!

Lou x

Welcome to Loutritious

Hey Everyone!

So, as you may have noticed, my blog and social media sites have had a bit of a revamp and have changed from Lou’s Lean Lifestyle to Loutritious.  I just thought I’d write a little blog post explaining how this has come about and why I’ve decided to have a little change-up!


As you know, this blog used to be called Lou’s Lean Lifestyle.  I started it in January 2015 and whilst at the time it seemed like a great name, I feel like a lot has changed since then.

I first starting getting into health & fitness in April 2014, with me just wanting to “lose weight” and get a little healthier – which I certainly did! I did become somewhat very “lean” and so the name Lou’s Lean Lifestyle seemed appropriate when it first came about.  However, since then a lot of things have happened which have made me want to change this.

Starting my degree in Nutrition and taking up rowing in September 2015 were the first things.   The final thing for me was watching my dear Grampy suffering with Cancer and sadly passing away earlier this year.

Learning more and more everyday through my degree, it is so clear that Nutrition is so much more than just a means of “losing weight”, “getting lean” or anything else aesthetic-related.  It’s about health, protecting the body from disease & illness, eating for performance and just generally getting the most out of your life by making yourself feel amazing with the food you eat.  It’s also about having a balanced approach and enjoying what you eat, and realising that life is all about experience and happiness, which food can add to.

When you look up the word “lean” in a thesaurus, the other words it is associated with are things like “gaunt”, “wasted”, “emaciated”, “sparse”, “unfruitful” – these are not words that I want myself or this blog to be associated with, and are not words which represent me, my lifestyle or my outlook on health and fitness.


So, what is Loutritious all about?  

I want it to be an outlet where I can help you to understand how to fuel your body with the best foods it needs to work & feel optimal, both physically and mentally.

I want you to learn how to use fitness & sport as a way to not only achieve a healthy body but also to push yourselves and achieve performance goals that you thought you never could.

I want to help you find the best balance in your lifestyle; from juggling all the different aspects of your life and managing your time, to helping you feel empowered and confident in your own skin.

But most importantly, I want to inspire you to live life at your happiest with a good relationship with food, fitness, your body and your mind.  I want to make you see that there is no one size fits all when it comes to health and nutrition, but that you can find what works for you – and I’d like to help you do that!

So without further ado; welcome to Loutritious!


Finding a lifestyle balance.

As a lot of you may know, my life during term-time at uni is pretty busy! With lectures, labs, studying, assignments, cooking, laundry, rowing, training, socialising and relaxing, it can often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day!

Student life can often be very overwhelming and stressful, but it is also some of the best years of your life, so here are some of my tips on how best to manage your time and find that healthy balance in your life!


1. Write Lists

Being organised is key for helping you maintain a balance in your life so one of my top tips is to write lists!  Whether it’s by hand, on little sticky notes or simply on your phone, this will help you so much and remind you what needs to be done.  I am such a fan of a list, I make them for everything: my uni work, shopping, little jobs to do, places I need to go, etc!  They keep you productive as you always know where you’re at and what you need to do.  It’s somewhat extremely satisfying ticking stuff off your lists and keeps you motivated to keep pushing through those busy days and weeks!


2. Get up earlier

This may sound daunting to a lot of you as I know how much people love their beds but one of my main tips is to get up a little earlier! Whether that be an hour or two or just half an hour, trust me, it could make a massive difference to your day!  Some of your most productive time is probably early morning when you first wake up.  Personally, I like to get up at 5am, be in the gym by 6am and get my workout/training done for the day nice and early before lectures, so that’s one less thing to worry about and starts my day off productively!

3. Get enough sleep

The other side to waking up earlier is making sure that you get enough sleep.  Don’t get up so early that you compromise your Z’s.  Being well-rested is essential for being productive not only for the next day, but the whole week in general.  One night of little sleep could affect the next few days, so you may have to sacrifice some late nights in order to get some shut-eye!


4. Make your workouts efficient.

For me, fitting in my workouts/training is one of my daily priorities.  I usually find that first thing in the morning is the best and most efficient time for me to get to the gym, although sometimes I will go in the evening if that works for me.  Make sure your workouts are short but effective.  You don’t need to spend hours upon hours slaving away in the gym – in fact, the most productive ones for me usually only last about 45 minutes!  If you like lifting weights but are short on time, add in lots of supersets/dropsets and keep your rest periods short to really keep your heart-rate high and ensure you are really feeling it in your muscles.  If you prefer cardio, ensure you do HIIT – just 15-30 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training will be much more time-efficient than slogging away for hours on the treadmill, not to mention much more enjoyable!  Get in and out of the gym quickly having had an enjoyable and effective workout and crack on with the rest of your day/evening!


5. Food Plan & Prep

Probably one of the best ways to stay organised is to plan and prep your food/meals in advance.  It’s surprising how much time cooking can take out of your week as a student as you have to do everything yourself; the preparation, the cooking AND the washing up.  Therefore, cooking meals in bulk all at once can help shave off so much time from the rest of your week, so that you don’t waste time everyday cooking from fresh.  I like to cook big pots of mince meat in a sauce with lots of veg which will provide around 4-5 servings that I can then either pop in the fridge or freezer for later in the week.  I also cook a few chicken breasts and keep them in my fridge for the week.  When it comes to veg, I usually buy a tonne of frozen veg which only takes 5 minutes to boil – quick and easy peasy!  As lots of you will know from following my instagram, I like to prepare my post-workout zoats in the evening ready to grab straight after my morning workout before lectures!


If you’re a fellow macro-tracker like myself, I would advise taking a few minutes every evening to plan the following day or next few day’s eats.  For me, I will usually plan my protein source for each meal (meat, eggs, fish, whey), then add in my carb sources (usually around my training).  If there’s anything I’m particularly fancying like a certain nut butter/sweet treat I’ll usually add that in too.  Everything else I’ll add in as I go along the following day.  This will just shave off a little bit of time and stress for the next day and will mean that you know roughly what you’ll eat: this means you’ll continue to make good choices with regards to food and won’t end up snacking on rubbish because of your busy schedule.

6. Multitask

By this, I mean use your time wisely and try not to procrastinate!  I know this is much easier said than done: my middle name used to be procrastination!  But the busier you are, the more you find that you can motivate yourself to get stuff done because you have no choice but to manage your time.  I’m not saying you have to do anything too taxing like writing a 3000 word essay whilst doing sit ups and the washing up all at once (although that would be very impressive!), but simple things like doing some uni work whilst waiting for your laundry to finish or your food to cook can save so much time throughout the day and ensures that you’re always being a little productive!

Also, a little tip that I’ve found that really helps me with regards to uni work is to take your laptop to lectures/tutorials and type up notes as you go along.  It’s far quicker and all your work and notes will be in one place on your laptop, making it much easier when it comes to doing assignments or revision later on.



7. Take time to relax 

This is such a vital point.  Even though it’s important to make your time productive, don’t forget that taking time out of your schedule to chill is just as essential, otherwise you’ll go insane!  Make sure you take time everyday to switch off from everything and spend some time completely relaxing and de-stressing.  Whether it be hanging with friends, listening to music, going for a stroll or whatever; your mind will thank you for the break from a busy day!


8. Love what you do

This may sound difficult but is a pretty simple concept.  If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, what is the point?  If you hate your workouts or training, change them up/choose a different sport.  If you feel uncomfortable in certain friendships/relationships, choose to surround yourself only with the people that support you and make you feel wonderful.  If you hate the subject you study or the job you do, seriously consider changing your path.

Some may say that it isn’t as simple as that, but it really is.  This life is all about being happy and if something is causing you to feel the opposite then a change must be made.  I completely agree that we must all go through things and do things that aren’t always desirable; this makes us appreciate the good things even more.  But if you truly love the majority of what you do it’ll be much easier to happily juggle the different aspects of your life.



I hope you find these tips helpful: they are some of the things that I live by day to day to help me through my busy schedule.  Whether you’re a student or not, hopefully they will also help you on your way to a more balanced and happier lifestyle!

Lou x



Zoats are always one of my most popular foodie posts on Instagram and you guys are always asking for the recipe; so here it is!

So what are “zoats”?  Zoats are a play on the words zucchini (courgette) and oats, and it’s basically adding grated courgette/zucchini into your bowl of oats to give them much more volume, a great texture and it cheekily sneaks an extra veggie into your day: I promise you can’t even taste it!

They are so versatile, I love experimenting with loads of different flavour combinations and topping with whatever I fancy.  I usually do one of two things with my zoats: I either prepare them in the evening and leave overnight to chill and eat for my post-workout breakfast as I train early morning so it’s easy to grab before my uni lectures. OR I just make them fresh in the evening and eat warm before bed as my “#PreBedOats”.

They’re super duper easy to make and you can make them as simple or complex as you like in terms of flavours & toppings. Some of my favourite flavours are coffee, salted caramel & white chocolate and I love to top with fruit, nuts, chocolate, syrups & nut butters!


  • 1 grated courgette (about 100-150g)
  • 50g oats (adjust this amount according to your own goals/macros)
  • 50-100ml milk of choice (I usually use unsweetened almond milk)
  • splash of water
  • 100g Greek yoghurt/skyr (optional)
  • 20g protein powder (whey or casein)
  • toppings of choice


  1. Mix together the grated courgette with the oats and literally just a splash of water.  Place in microwave for about 1-2 mins.
  2. Add milk according to desired texture and mix, then microwave for a further 2-3 mins, stirring halfway through if required.NOTE: it’s important to make your oats quite thick and stodgy if you’re going to add whey because that will make it runnier, whereas you may want to make your oats a bit thinner if you’re going to add casein as that will have the opposite effect and thicken them!
  3. If preparing to chill overnight for the next morning LEAVE TO COOL before adding either your whey, casein or a mixture of the two.  You should also mix in your Greek yoghurt/skyr at this point (this is optional but again, adds more volume to your oats plus some extra protein!).  Add any other optional extras such as fruit/syrups/flavourings/chocolate/nuts, etc. (One of my favourite things at the moment is adding frozen berries as they defrost overnight and turn all juicy!)
  4. Leave to chill overnight in the fridge and eat for breakfast chilled or reheated in the microwave.

5. If preparing to eat straight away, simply add your protein powders/flavours when they are still warm but I wouldn’t suggest mixing Greek yoghurt into hot oats as it creates a rather undesirable texture/flavour.

6. Go crazy with toppings & enjoy!


You can also cook your zoats on the hob if preferred: just simply cook them as you would normal oats with your milk of choice/water and make sure you add courgette, stirring occasionally until cooked and then adding your extras later: it’s a bit easier to get your desired texture this way but it does take a little longer (and more washing up!).

MACROS: (based on everything except the extra toppings)

371 cals, 9g Fat, 37g Carbs, 35g Protein.

This is one of my staple meals and I pretty much have it everyday!  It allows me to have my sweet fix without being too naughty and is the perfect fuel for the day or something to finish off my macros at the end of the day!  Experiment with different flavours and make sure you show me your creations by either tagging me on Twitter or Instagram or using the hashtag #PreBedOats.  Enjoy!