Health & Fitness Haul, Shopping at Gracechurch Centre
Small lifestyle changes to be more fit & healthy
Every new year I set myself a lot of new year’s resolutions, like lose weight, do more outdoor activities and go to the gym but I fail to keep them. But this year I’ve set myself some new years revolutions that are achievable and won’t be so demanding on my busy lifestyle of being a masters student and running a full-time business. The achievable new year’s resolutions I have set myself are to exercise at home by following the guides on YouTube during my free time on an evening. I’ve found working out at home is easier for me and it’s something I’ve been sticking to so far, as this time of year I do struggle to make the effort to go to the gym when it’s so cold.
Plus, something I’ve also really enjoyed this year is meal prepping food, by making batches of food at the weekend and freezing them so I have healthy meals to eat during the week. This has not only saved me so much time when it comes to making food during the week, but it’s also stopped me from eating unhealthy quick food and it also saves on food waste and makes my weekly food shop a lot cheaper.
To help me stick to my new year routine, Gracechurch centre in Sutton Coldfield kindly offered me a complementary shopping spree with lunch to search for health and fitness items from the array of shops at the centre.
It’s been awhile since I’ve bought workout clothing, so the first place I visited was New Look where I purchased black leggings with mesh fabric on the ankles. They’re high waisted, stretchy and super comfortable. To go with it I picked a black slouchy hoody. New Look also had matching vest and crop tops too. At the time they had a 20% off student discount running, so I made a great saving!
If your looking for something a little sportier the centre also has a JD sports store.
The next store I headed to at Gracechruch centre was Flying Tiger, it’s undoubtedly one of my favourite stores, I visit often so I knew I would be able to pick up some great fitness items. The first item to get my attention upon entering was a pink Pilates ring for £5, which I soon got using at home that evening, it’s great. Something that I’ve needed for awhile is a yoga block for £3, it makes balancing during exercise positions so much easier for me. After my previous exercise band split, I picked up this exercise tube for £4 it feels a lot stronger and nicer to use as it has handles and a little space to put your feet in and stretch. To go with my pink exercise equipment theme, I bought a 1kg hand weight for £4, which my dog keeps mistaking for his toy bone!
I’ve been drinking lots of vitamin shakes this year, so I picked up this cute protein shaker with two clip on storage pots to store healthy snacks in, which is super handy and saves space in my bag. The final item I got my hands on is a personal food and exercise diary, I used to keep one of these during my college days and found it effective at keeping track of my calories eaten and burnt.
Since becoming vegetarian, who eats vegan 90% of the time (my addiction to Cadburys chocolate milk fingers are the only thing I’ve struggled to give up, help!) Holland & Barrett has been my go-to shop for healthy gluten free snacks, frozen meals, delicious breakfast toppings and Bioglan superfood powders for my vitamin shakes. They have so many healthy brand alternatives, some of which you just can’t currently find in the supermarket.
As pancake day is fast approaching I picked up some Raw organic coconut flour, its high in fibre, gluten free and vegan. To accompany my coconut pancakes, I bought some Meridian coconut & almond butter, which tastes amazing, I’ve been a huge fan of it since being sent a sample of it awhile ago. So, I can’t wait to get making some delicious pancakes on shrove Tuesday but knowing me I’ll have caved in and be making them before that.
The shopping centre also has a Grapetree store, which is like Holland & Barrett but slightly cheaper, so it’s worth checking them both out.
Gracechurch centre also have a Lakeland store, so my friends and I had a little wonder around and spotted lots of helpful kitchen appliances. Like poached egg cups, lemon squeezers and toastie bags, the cake decorating equipment looks good too, it made me want to start my own cake making business. There were also some amazing food blenders, which I really need in my life, mine could do with an upgrade.
To go with my healthy new year regime, I recently got sent a complimentary SodaStream Fizzi. It’s fantastic for so many reasons, if your trying to drink more water, but get bored of drinking plain tap water, than a Sodastream makes water fizzy within seconds, helping to reduce plastic waste and it saves you money and calories. To add flavour to fizzy water, Holland & Barrett have some great fruit cordial options, you can also find the latest Sodastream at the centres Argos store.
No shopping trip would be complete without having lunch, so I was invited to the new La Fabrique in the centre. The bistro is run by two friends and they sell delicious homemade food, from hearty sandwiches, smoothies, crepes and desserts. I enjoyed a ‘Arizona Sunshine’ smoothie with orange juice, mango, pineapple, coconut flakes and maple syrup, it really did taste like sunshine in a cup, I loved it! I’m avocado obsessed so obviously I went for the ‘Annas Favourite’ grilled multigrain brioche sandwich with mashed avocado, tomato, rocket salad and a balsamic glaze. The bread is gluten free and comes with optional halloumi cheese, so it can be made vegan. For dessert I was recommended the crème brulee with homemade berry coulis. The lunch tasted amazing and was just what I needed to wind down after a shopping spree!
La Fabrique have a meal deal offer for any sandwich/crepe, hot drink and dessert for £9.20. The bistro is definitely worth visiting, the owners were lovely!
Disclaimer: Complimentary lunch and £100 gift card to spend in Gracechurch Centre. Complimentary SodaStream. All words and photos are my own.