Review | My Cleanse Experience – Simple Green Smoothies

DISCLAIMER: This is my personal review of the Simple Green Smoothie Spring Cleanse aka Fresh Start Spring Cleanse 2017. Some of the words used here are from SGS to guide the cleansers (like me) write a personal experience on doing cleanse.

In My Own Words

I have been following Simple Green Smoothies since 2015 when I was looking for ways of improving my diet after having my second child and also introducing vegetables into my kid’s diets. After doing a few internet searches, I found Simple Green Smoothies. As much as they are based in the US and I live in England, that did not matter as I like how SIMPLE their recipes and guides to a healthy you are. It so happened that when I signed up for their newsletter, they were about to start their 30-Day Smoothie Challenge in October 2015 and I knew that would be the start of an interesting journey when it comes to healthy eating.

Well, that is a story for another day.

Fast forward to 2017, here I am looking for a way to get my healthy eating habits back on track and I get a newsletter from SGS about the Spring Cleanse. I have seen them do a cleanse pack before, but I was so reluctant to try as I was so busy with my studies, running a household and just trying to stay on top of things. Now that I have more or less finished my degree, I decided that the timing, although not perfect, was as good as any. So I took the plunge and signed up for the Fresh Start Spring Cleanse aka #FS21. The cleanse was a 21-Day programme from 3 – 23 April 2017, but you can still join the cleanse and start when you are ready. The disadvantage with that is that you will not be part of the Facebook Group that was created for the cleanse as it helps with getting support from other people trying the cleanse. My opinion would be to wait for the next cleanse as you would definitely benefit from having that moral support from other cleansers. The temptation to fall off the wagon is great and seeing that you are not the only one struggling when temptation rears its ugly head can be a relief.

So, for me, the best way to give my review of the cleanse was to do a video diary. Just me talking about how I feel whilst doing the cleanse, the recipes that I liked and didn’t like and the lessons I have learnt along the way.

Apologies for the long review. Also, some part of the edit the audio does not sync with the video and I could not fix it. So, for that, I am sorry! 🙈

Towards the end, I did the following as per SGS’s questions for the review:

The Intro – Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? (ex: where you live, family, job, kids, pets, passions, dream vacation, anything that excites you really )
My Hesitations – What hesitations did you have about buying Fresh Start?
Favourites from the Cleanse – What was your favourite part about the cleanse?
Recommendations – If you had a friend who’s not sure if they should do Fresh Start, what would you tell ’em?

In the words of Simple Green Smoothies

Fresh Start (spring) is a 21-day cleanse created by Simple Green Smoothies. This positive transformation program is for you IF…
• You’re ready to stop making excuses and take charge of your health.
• You want to feel energised, confident and well rested, so you can feel amazing in your body.
• You’re willing to skip highly processed ingredients and empty calorie meals.
• You believe health is a journey and you’re looking for a system that you can stick to without feeling deprived.
• You’re willing to invest a little extra time in the kitchen, knowing that healthy and nutritious meals take some extra lovin’ in the oven (no more “cooking is a chore” excuses).
• You’re excited to get out of your comfort zone (trying new foods, resisting temptations, giving up caffeine and alcohol).

Join the cleanse: http://simplegreensmoothies.com/cleanse

So, have you done a cleanse before or are you planning to? Please share your thoughts.

I hope you enjoy watching the vlog.

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#FreshStart21

EK13 | The Blog 2016 in Review

Happy New Year People!

What a year 2016 has been. I bet most of you would like to see the back of it and hope that 2017 will be much much better.

Well, the last time I did this review, I was under the assumption that I would attempt to blog as much as I would. I guess I should stop talking typing about it and just get on with it.

I know, I know. You are supposed to review what you have blogged about in 2016. Truth be told, I have only put up like 9 posts in 2016 and I will be including some if it in my review. So I thought I just put up what I have actually been up to in 2016 with a few insights here and there.

With that said, I have actually had a busy 2016, much of which I have shared on my Instagram feed, but I will share some of those highlights here with a few new images.

It is kind of a long blog post as I will be covering all 12 months of 2016 (even if I did nothing photographically that month).

So here goes…

January 2016

Whilst in the studio working on a project that never saw the light of day, I got a chance to photograph Aster, who is also a photographer. You can follow her on Instagram or check out her work here.

aster

Aster, 2016

It was whilst working on the project I mentioned above that I made a conscious decision to spend a lot of time in the studio just getting to learn more about lighting, what works and what doesn’t. Basically, I and a few friends were on a mission to build our studio lighting confidence in a way, like this image of myself taken with the help of my photographer friend, Michael Tubi.

elsie-winter-portrait

Elsie, 2016

Also, this gave me a chance to work on my people skills whilst taking their picture. It is not an easy fete, making someone feel comfortable in front of a lens. It also made me learn a few things about myself as a photographer and what I enjoy doing.

My time in the studio also gave me ideas on how to work towards my final project my degree and future projects moving forward. 2016 was definitely looking up.

February 2016

The sporting calendar or should I say, my sporting photography calendar for the year started in February with the Rugby Six Nations tournaments kicking it off.

I managed to get access to a few of the England Women’s matches that happened at The Twickenham Stoop and Twickenham Stadium.

London, UK. 27th February 2016. A lineout during the Women's Six Nations match between England and Ireland at Twickenham. England won the match 13 - 9. Credit: Elsie Kibue / Alamy Live News
London, UK. 27th February 2016. A lineout during the Women’s Six Nations match between England and Ireland at Twickenham. England won the match 13 – 9. Credit: Elsie Kibue

On top of this, I was busy researching, planning and working out my final year project (FMP) for my degree. So anything I did henceforth formed as part of my research.

March 2016

By now it was already settled that I would be focusing my FMP on ‘Women in Sports’ and I was experimenting with different concepts. This image I took of some of the University of Westminster netball team before they got ready for a match at the campus sports hall.

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UniWest Netball Team, 2016.

At the same time, when the opportunity arose, I was back in the studio building my portraits portfolio. I got to work with a singer, songwriter, Vicky Sola in collaboration again with Michael Tubi.

vicky-sola

Vicky Sola, 2016.

April 2016

London Marathon month was here and I again got access to cover the press events leading up to marathon day itself. I always enjoy myself when I am out and about photographing sports athletes. This year, one of my images ended up being used on the front cover of a newspaper in Scotland. My first ever FRONT PAGE.☺️ One of the highlights of the year.

London, UK. 24th April 2016. Callum Hawkins first of the British men elite runners to cross the finish line during Sunday’s Virgin Money London Marathon. Callum Hawkins crossing the finish line first with a time of 02:10:52 coming 8th overall. Credit: Elsie Kibue
ACTUAL IMAGE – London, UK. 24th April 2016. Callum Hawkins first of the British men elite runners to cross the finish line during Sunday’s Virgin Money London Marathon. Callum Hawkins crossing the finish line first with a time of 02:10:52 coming 8th overall. Credit: Elsie Kibue

scotsman-ts

Newspaper Usage / Tearsheet

May 2016

May is always a busy one for me as it is my birthday month and the London Rugby Sevens Series comes into town for its final leg. A weekend of rugby sevens usually takes its toll on me that it takes me a few days to recover after the tournament. I thought I do something different from the norm and I ended up taking the Kenya 7s team photos with my Instax Mini 8 camera and they got featured in the Instax UK HQ Instagram account.

I suppose this is where it all started, my ongoing project of getting instant portraits of athletes and they get to sign the image as soon as it is printed.

Also, a few of my images were turned into illustrations by an artist based in Kenya, Dennis Muiruri.

ambaka

Willy Ambaka – Actual Image & Illustration

biko

Biko Adema – Actual Image & Illustration

June 2016

This month was one hectic month. It was the month that was full of mixed emotions. It was the month that the Degree Show happened. It came and went by so fast, that the months leading up to this felt like a weird blurry past.

My ‘Women in Sports’ project was complete.

That moment it hits you that you have done it! 😭😅💪🏾🙌🏾 This moment right here is one of my proudest. I am still emotional by it all. The euphoria that is the #DegreeShow. The whole team that made @uowphotoshow16 a success despite the ups and downs, thank you for all your hard work. It was well worth it in the end. To the ladies who let me photograph them for this project – THANK YOU! This one is especially for you, because without you, this would not have been possible. So if you are in London today, tomorrow and Monday, please pass by @freerangeshows and check out some amazing photography. #MADShows16 #photography #WomeninSports #supportingwomeninsports #westminsterphotography #universityofwestminster #FreeRangeShows

A post shared by Elsie Kibue (@ek13_photos) on

I was actually gutted by one thing though…the prints refused to stay up on the wall. It was a good and bad thing. No one foresees such circumstances, but you just have to roll with the punches and exhibit the best way that you can. So, they ended up on the floor.

And this is how when the Travers Smith staff came by to see our work, found them and something about my project made them pick it for the CRS Art Programme their firm started in 2015. Boy was I beside myself when I got the news that my work was selected. It had been an emotional few months leading up to the exhibition as I was really struggling to come up with a concept/project that I would be on going beyond my degree.

My work was also featured here, here and here.

My continued collaboration with Frenglish (French & English) Artist & Producer, Man Like Nells happened. We went back to the studio to shoot some more images for promotional work.

Nells EP Photoshoot
Nells EP Photoshoot
Nells EP Photoshoot
Nells EP Photoshoot

The second image ended up being used in an interview Man Like Nells had with MOBO later in the year in December. You can read the whole interview here.

July 2016

With the rollercoaster that June was, I just decided to enter a photo competition, enjoy the summer, my kids, prepare my prints for Travers Smith and wait for the Olympic games to begin really. I unconsciously ‘put away’ my camera.

A post shared by Elsie Kibue (@ek13_photos) on

 

August 2016

This is the month that literally was taken over by the Olympic Games and dissertation planning/writing strategies.

September 2016

The academic year in the UK starts and I am basically planning my next few months of writing schedules and what I can also do in-between to keep my photography mojo going. So I organised a few photo shoots with the Men’s Basketball team from University, but this ended up happening in October once all the freshers were settled and teams finalised. So, I didn’t do much photography wise other than a store opening in my area…

London, UK. 15th September 2016. Veronica Giannakidou, H&M Ilford manager, cuts the ribbon to official open the new store. Ilford residents and visitors queue up as a new H&M store opens its doors in Exchange Mall Ilford in Essex. Customers lined-up before 11am to receive a 25% discount wristband and enjoy music from an in-house DJ as they perused around the new store. © Elsie Kibue
London, UK. 15th September 2016. Veronica Giannakidou, H&M Ilford manager, cuts the ribbon to officially open the new store. Ilford residents and visitors queue up as a new H&M store opens its doors in Exchange Mall Ilford in Essex. Customers lined-up before 11am to receive a 25% discount wristband and enjoy music from an in-house DJ as they perused around the new store. © Elsie Kibue

October 2016

Visited the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in Somerset House, saw some artwork and also researched for my dissertation as I would be writing on African Photography. I also managed to attend the official launch of the England Women’s Rugby Team, aptly named the RED ROSES.

London, UK. 04th October 2016. Detail of "Ndoto ya Baba" by Maurice Mbikayi. 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair set to open in London this week. The fourth edition of the fair taking place in Somerset House 6-9 October showcases carefully selected and diverse presentations by 40 world leading galleries specialising in African contemporary art. © Elsie Kibue
London, UK. 04th October 2016. Detail of “Ndoto ya Baba” by Maurice Mbikayi. 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair set to open in London this week. The fourth edition of the fair taking place in Somerset House 6-9 October showcases carefully selected and diverse presentations by 40 world leading galleries specialising in African contemporary art. © Elsie Kibue
London, UK. 04th October 2016. "ALBUS" by Justin Dingwall. 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair set to open in London this week. The fourth edition of the fair taking place in Somerset House 6-9 October showcases carefully selected and diverse presentations by 40 world leading galleries specialising in African contemporary art. © Elsie Kibue
London, UK. 04th October 2016. “ALBUS” by Justin Dingwall. 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair set to open in London this week. The fourth edition of the fair taking place in Somerset House 6-9 October showcases carefully selected and diverse presentations by 40 world leading galleries specialising in African contemporary art. © Elsie Kibue
London, UK. 05th October 2016. (l-r) Former England international Maggie Alphonsi, England stars Emily Scarratt, Natasha hunt and Sarah Hunter at the media briefing for the unveiling of the new vision for women’s rugby in England as part of Women’s Sport Week (3 - 9 October 2016). Also present were RFU Director of Rugby Development Steve Grainger and RFU Professional Rugby Director Nigel Melville. © Elsie Kibue
London, UK. 05th October 2016. (l-r) Former England international Maggie Alphonsi, England stars Emily Scarratt, Natasha hunt and Sarah Hunter at the media briefing for the unveiling of the new vision for women’s rugby in England as part of Women’s Sport Week (3 – 9 October 2016). Also present were RFU Director of Rugby Development Steve Grainger and RFU Professional Rugby Director Nigel Melville. © Elsie Kibue

It was also the month the winners for the MyAfrica Photo Competition were announced. Unfortunately, I did not win, but my submitted image was one of the few selected to be featured in the Mo Ibrahim Foundation competition gallery.

October 2016

Other than the pressure of writing a 10k paper, I managed to squeeze in a few days of photo shoots. As planned, the University’s photo shoot went ahead as the UK continued to bask in an extended summer of sorts.

uwsu_bball-26

uwsu_bball

November 2016

The month the World Rugby Awards came into town as well as the World Rugby ConfEx.

London, UK. 13th November 2016. Dylan Hartley (England captain) arriving for the World Rugby Awards held at The Hilton London Metropole to honour the world’s greatest players, coaches and legends of the game. © Elsie Kibue
London, UK. 13th November 2016. Dylan Hartley (England captain) arriving for the World Rugby Awards held at The Hilton London Metropole to honour the world’s greatest players, coaches and legends of the game. © Elsie Kibue
London, UK. 13th November 2016. Alhambra Nievas (Spain) and Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa) awarded World Rugby Referee of the Year at the World Rugby Awards held at The Hilton London Metropole to honour the world’s greatest players, coaches and legends of the game. © Elsie Kibue
London, UK. 13th November 2016. Alhambra Nievas (Spain) and Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa) awarded World Rugby Referee of the Year at the World Rugby Awards held at The Hilton London Metropole to honour the world’s greatest players, coaches and legends of the game. © Elsie Kibue

 

London, UK. 14th November 2016. Eoin McHugh moderates (l-r) Katie Sadleir (General Manager Women's Rugby, World Rugby), Fiona Coghlan (former Ireland women's captain) and Bill Pulver (CEO Australia Rugby) during the discussion panel for 'Growth of women's rugby' at the World Rugby Conference and Exhibition held at The Hilton London Metropole. © Elsie Kibue
London, UK. 14th November 2016. Eoin McHugh moderates (l-r) Katie Sadleir (General Manager Women’s Rugby, World Rugby), Fiona Coghlan (former Ireland women’s captain) and Bill Pulver (CEO Australia Rugby) during the discussion panel for ‘Growth of women’s rugby’ at the World Rugby Conference and Exhibition held at The Hilton London Metropole. © Elsie Kibue

I took the opportunity at the WR Awards to continue on with my Instax project. This time shot using the Fujifilm Instax Mini 70 that I bought so I could gift the Mini 8 to my son.

December 2016

Not much happened in December as this was and still is my current mood…(throwing in parenting into the mix).

I decided to ‘chill out’ and plan for the new year. So I will end this review with the gem I created with my heartbeats. After all, I do consider myself a mumtog (a mother and photographer).

khai-kena-xmas-insta2016 has certainly been interesting, but I am really looking forward to what 2017 has in store.

What would they like to see more of in 2017? Please let me know by leaving a comment below.

Thank you for reading this to the end and I wish you all the best in the year to come.

Have a Blessed and Happy New Year. 🎉🎆

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#Bringon2017