Why you should be meditating in 2018

Meditation isn’t just for yoga mums and monks.

Seriously, meditation is for everyone. The act of meditation is essentially training to be more mindful and mindfulness helps you be fully present in the moment and not worrying about the past or the future. It is unique. It is unique to you. As a practitioner you get to choose how you meditate and its completely special to you. Your method might work for you but they wont for somebody else and thats ok. The practice comes in many forms: Mindful meditation which I do and Transcendental Meditation (TM) which I also do from time to time. TM is where you repeat mantras to yourself in life.

A perfect app for this would be Headspace. It combines both mindfulness exercises and meditation. It prompts you each day and can take as little as 10 minutes each day. All you have to do is sit back and relax. There is an abundance of resources out there for you to use as guidance when your just starting out.

But why should you add meditation into your life?

Oprah does it and so should you – since oprah encouraged meditating as a practice into her workplace she said “People who used to have migraines, don’t. People are sleeping better. People have better relationships. People interact with other people better. It’s been fantastic.”

It makes you happier – Think about it. What’s better than a clear mind free of any troubles or doubts? Meditating and mindfulness techniques are a pathway of self- healing and they help to ground you more, making you more connected to the world around you and to yourself. It improves all kinds of relationships.

It reduces stress and anxiety – Anxiety currently affects 1 in 14 people worldwide. The aim of meditation is ultimately to have a silent mind. Sounds like a dream right. Through meditation you learn to think of your thoughts as separate from yourself. That way you can throw away these thoughts when they jumble through your mind. We all face stress in our lives and a lot of it is unnecessary. When meditating you gain more control over your body, mind and your emotions.

It helps you focus –  A clear mind makes you more productive. It not only helps improve your focus but it helps improve your concentration and your memory too. Meditation is a discipline in itself and so when you are faced with a task this self discipline helps you focus more on the task at hand.

It improves your sleep – It has been proven that it does indeed help with insomnia. Meditation enters you into a state where you are fully relaxed and content, allowing for a better night’s sleep.

It’s free –  You can do this anywhere and everywhere at any time of the day. I like to do it of a morning or late at night before sleep.

Meditation helps you gain control of your life and that’s why you should be meditating in 2018.

Fabrizio Verrecchia


Weight Gain: My Story, My Struggle, My Size

Weight – No matter what age you are, this is something we ALL struggle with. Even saying the word weight has negative connotations with it. My struggle happens to be weight gain. It’s alien to me and always has been.

I’m one of those people who’s mantra when it comes to my weight is “I eat so much crap yet never seem to put any weight on” much to people’s envy this is sadly true.

For the most part of my life anyways.

Since the age of 14, I’ve always been under 9 stone or slightly above. My eating habits have never been right – I’m a big snacker. I could easily get through the day on cups of tea, biscuits, toast and tea (dinner for those who call it dinner). Through high school I almost never had breakfast and I was lucky if I ever bought myself lunch. I was just never hungry or so I was telling myself I wasn’t. Instead I’d opt for a flapjack or I’d ‘treat’ myself to ‘Chicken Burger Friday’ – that was a requirement.

Now though, I realise the error in my ways. I physically and mentally just cannot survive on that routine anymore. I’ve been depriving myself for years, even if I didn’t know it at the time. I think for a part of my life I had some form of eating disorder subconsciously. All of that has to STOP.

My weight last year

After travelling SE Asia, I came back home a stone lighter than what I originally was. This freaked me out. I started in September with the mindset to get fit, healthy and stronger and this included a much overdue weight gain. To achieve this, it meant that I had to put myself on a calorie surplus diet.

So what is a calorie surplus???

Often hitting 3000 calories as a target a day. Some days this just wasnt possible and I was naughty by not sticking to my plan. I joined the gym and started seeing improvements, however, by the end of October I had manage to get closer to the 10 stone mark and keep the weight on – a FIRST ever!!!

Throughout November I was involved in a touring project Seussical and sadly I wasn’t looking after myself as well as I should have. Meaning that I had lost a few pounds in the process. I felt deflated however I was still above 9 stone so that was the main thing.

My weight in 2018

I’m setting myself a challenge: By the end of 2018 I will be 11 stone. That is my ideal weight.

As part of my resolutions I’m going to be prioritising my meals a lot more and making sure I’m getting the right types of food. I will be gymming more and with the addition of my flat mate, Brendan, on the same journey as me I’m sure I’ll be a lot more motivated to actually make this happen.

I believe in myself.


Weight will be a series of progress pics and posts on my journey to a stronger and healthier George in 2018.

Jennifer Burk

What is a Calorie Surplus?

In essence a calorie surplus is a way of effectively consuming more calories than you naturally burn. Thus leading to weight gain in the form of muscle or body fat. A calorie surplus is required if you ant to gain weight. To gain muscle you must be training equally as rigorous.

What is a calorie surplus? – The maths

As stated above, a calorie surplus is a way of consuming more calories than you normally would burn. If you eat 3,000 calories each day and burn 2,500, you’ve created a surplus of 500 calories each day. This is then transferred into muscle or body fat depending on your exercise routine.

Gaining weight requires a consistent weight surplus. It’s through consistency that you see results.

What is body fat?

Everybody has it. Our body stores energy as body fat. Especially when you’re on an excessive calorie surplus. Muscle growth is limited to approximately 10-15 pounds a year so anything over this gets stored by the body as fat. If you’re gaining fat as opposed to muscle then you’re probably eating too much. Keeping your surplus at a moderate level (500 excess calories above how much you burn eg. 3000 calories for every 2500 burnt) will help resolve this issue.

Healthy ways to create a calorie surplus

While it remains true that a larger calorie surplus leads to faster weight gain, that doesn’t mean you should be eating anything and everything you can get your hands on. Be smart about it and make the right choices.

You should be eating foods that are high in complex carbs, lean proteins and unsaturated fats: 100% whole wheat bread/pasta, brown rice, chicken, turkey, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, low fat/fat free dairy products and vegetable oils (particularly extra virgin olive oil).

You should be avoiding foods high in simple carbs, sugars and saturated/trans fats: fruit juice, soda, doughnuts, muffins, candy, potato chips and white bread (refined flour).



My 2018 New Years Resolutions

Setting goals and resolutions in 2018 couldn’t be easier with my last post.

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen countless posts about how 2017 was the worst year in people’s entire existence but fortunately that wasn’t the case for me. Call me lucky I guess. I had an abundance of happiness in 2017 and my life was one big adventure. I travelled far and wide from Amsterdam to Cambodia, Vietnam to Berlin. The world was my oyster. Like any year I had my ups and downs and so after reflecting on last year I’ve set these goals and resolutions to help me get that one step closer to my dream.

2018 Resolutions

Drink more water

Water is the best thing for your body and even with knowing this I still don’t  drink enough of it. My ideal aim is 3 litres a day – I’ll be pissing for Britain in no time.

Wake up earlier

I’m the worst when it comes to sleeping. Like water, I never get enough of the crucial z’s. Due to the nature of my course I need to be energised  day and an active participator at all time throughout my day and in the last year I’ve found that sometimes my sleep patterns have prohibited me from doing so.

But no more, this year I’m going to make it a personal aim to be in bed by 11pm each night hoping to get that to 10:30pm by June. This means that I can wake up earlier and get a more proficient morning routine from 6:30am onwards. I’ve figured out that my body responds best to 7/7.5 hours sleep each night.


After losing a lot of weight when travelling I went on a bit of a gain phase and it worked out really well up until my show when I lost the weight again. But on the plus side I still didn’t fall back to the weight I used to be. So this year I’m going to be prioritising my meals further. I’m going to make a conscious effort to not skip breakfast due to lack of time.

Live simpler

2017 was a year of impulsive buys and while I do believe in treating myself every now and then, I did take it to the extremes last year. It’s even the 3 costa coffees I’d have each week at lunch. They can be left in 2017. Instead, I will limit my costa spending and drink tea because let’s face it tea is better anyways. I will also be using Yolt to keep track of my finances this year.


I usually take 2 but this ones more for my health.


To be quite honest with you I’m aabsolutely sick of the headaches I get after a drunken night out. It’s lead me to be counter productive on my weekends and I just can’t be bothered feeling grim anymore. So I’ve decided to give my liver a detox and a well-earned break from alcohol for the foreseeable future.

Make time for reading

With my busy schedule I find it hard to read as much as I would like to. However I’m at my most contented ness when I’m reading and the joy of turning a page or getting to the end of a chapter is what I live for. So I’m setting myself a challenge: I want to read at least 1 book every 3 months. That way I have plenty of time to read and possibly even more dependent on my schedule.

relearn spanish

I’ve been meaning to do this for quite some time now. I love the language and I’d love to be able to say ‘I know spanish’ or converse fluently. It’s just something I’m keen on.

Gym more

I’ve got my membership and I do use it, I’d just like to use it more often in order to reach my own body goals. In case you’re womdering that’s over 10 stone, fit, strong and healthy.

Finish writing my play

I started writing a play and I’m eager to finish it this year. Hopefully, I’ll submit it to a panel to get it workshopped in terms of the writing and then who knows maybe I’ll be Britain’s best new playwright 2018. A boy can dream.

write more

I think that’s every writer’s goal right? This year I’m going to continue blogging and taking you on my journey. A big part of me wants to dabble in journalism and magazine editing so I’m hoping that I’ll actually get started on that this year. I’ve also bought myself a journal ‘Q&Aa day for 5 years’ so it looks like this one will be on my goals every year for the next 5.

And finally, the same as every year:

Know my worth!

What are your resolutions for this year? Tell me in the comments below.

unsplash-logoNordWood Themes

2018 Goal Setting: How to set goals in 2018 and achieve them


Tired of setting endless amounts of goals and getting nowhere? You and me both pal.

Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for finally motivating yourself to turn your dreams into reality.

Did you know that only around 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions each year. And, only 75% of those who set goals follow through with them after the first week of the year. That means that 25% of people stopped working towards their goals after just the first week! Their desired destiny is falling before their eyes and they have no idea why?

It’s probably because they’re not exactly doing it right.

In order for your dreams to become a reality you have to make an action plan in order to achieve it. Or like last year, and the year before that, they will unfortunately remain as dreams. Choose where you want to be or go by knowing exactly what you want to achieve and what to prioritise and sometimes what to let go of.

Here’s how to do it:


First of all in order to achieve your goals in 2018 you must reflect on your goals from 2017. What did you wish for and what did you want to happen? Did it happen? If not, why? What could you have done more to achieve this dream? What went well? Where you proud of who you were? Are there any changes you want to make in the upcoming year? Why?

The dreaded question – why? It is so important that you ask yourself this no matter how hard the answer may be. Face up to it and accept it.


Ask yourself questions!!! Where do you see yourself in the next year? Are you happy? What’s different about you, your blog or your business? What is the same about these? Where are you living? Are you in the same social circles or are you in new ones? Do you have that new dream job?

Ultimately you have to picture your end game you have to see everything clearly there is no room for vagueness. Clarity is key – you need this in order to see things clearly. Through clarity you can begin to plan and achieve your dreams.


What do you want to accomplish? If you could accomplish one thing by the end of next year what would it be? Would it to become more bilingual or to become a better cook? Is it to finally move out f your parents place and get your own home? Or is it to travel as much as you can because it’s something you’ve always wanted to do?

You need to know and you need to be selfish in your pursuit. Your goals serve you; we spend a lot of our lives running round after everybody else that we forget to take care of ourselves and our needs.


You need milestones. Break them down into actionable steps. This will ensure that your goals are both realistic and achievable. That’s were SMART goals coming.

SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

This formular makes it possible for realistic and achievable targets. For each goal, you need different actionable steps in each biquarterly period in terms of how you are going to achieve them. For example if you were wantingto become a better dancer in each 3 month period you should be reflecting on your progress. This could be through peer assessment or video analysis.


Focus on the first quarter of the year for now.

Not only do you need bi-quarterly milestones but you also need monthly milestones – what needs to happen at the end of each month to make it success? What are you doing each month to get you that one step closer to your goal? Linking back to my previous example: have you attended the dance classes you said you were going to? Have you made it a priority or did life get in the way?


Take each week as a new week for opportunity, you can do anything when you set your mind to it. Here you need a list of tasks to ensure that you are that one step closer to making the first 3 months a success and ultimately the next 9 months after a success too.

Get yourself a planner and jot all your tasks down – that way you can schedule them all in and make it manageable for yourself.


If a planner doesn’t seem right to you there isn’t an array of different apps out there that can help you schedule your tasks and work calendar online. My personal favourites are Asana and ToDoist


Start your year off right and turn your dreams into reality.

What do you think?

unsplash-logoEmile Séguin

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Small. I felt small in a world of skyscrapers. From the outside these tower blocks appear almost like gravestones for that is exactly what they are. It’s simplicity in design is effective as a memorial site; it wasn’t fancy or show off-ish and nor should it be. It was bold and brutal emulating the very act that caused this to happen. Walking through the maze, I was one, one of thousands there with me in spirit. The mass blocks commemorate all of the lives that were lost during the holocaust and I really felt that energy when walking side by side with the boulders.

Everything as grey: the day, the weather, the blocks. It felt somber and the rain fell down unapologetically. Everything about this place was symbolic and fitting.

Primo Levi paints it perfectly “It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say.”

One must use history as a guide to ensure this never happens again. Learn from it, as it is everywhere. It is in the air; it mustn’t be forgotten.



Greetings from Berlin. Guten morgen.

This is my final day here in Deutschland. I believe we’ve ‘seen it all’ but there is a part of em that would love to come back here and explore the ‘scene‘ and ‘culture’ more. I do think, however, that in order to do just that I’d have to up and leave my urban living in London and trade it in for a slice of European living here. I’d need at least a year here and a lot of German language lessons beforehand. Also a ski suit. I NEED one of those.

It’s Baltic here and if you add me into that mix, it just doesn’t work. I get cold all the time and if there is one thing I cannot stand it’s if my toes get cold – they’ve felt like ice for the duration of this trip.

Nein gut.

Winter has brought with it the christmas markets and festivity ad for that i am grateful. It been both warm and welcoming even if the winds weren’t. Somehow the winter weather made everything prettier to me. Walking through Tiergarten with the trees bare against the frost-bitten sky was appealing to me in every sense. The coldness glorified its atmospheric presence.

It was simply beautiful.

I think that’s what I like most about berlin; its simplicity. The buildings are tall and predominantly square, the transport links are efficient and easy to use, a lot of places are short walks away from each other and crossing the roads couldn’t be more safer here; if you obey the red and green man.

Like Berlin, our itinerary was simple. It featured everything that me and Jon wanted from tourist attractions to outdoor parks and coffee shops. On the list was: The Berlin Wall memorial, DDR museum, Alexanderplatz and the markets, East Side Gallery, Markethalle Neun, Brandenburg Gate, Reischtag, Bebelplatz, Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe, Tiergarten and the palace, the victory column, Checkpoint Charlie, the Wall by Assisi and the Berliner Ensemble.

I had a delicious bite to eat at the Markethalle Neun (think London’s Borough market or Camden) – pulled pork burger featuring a glass of mulled wine (glühwein). Jon opted for a huge portion of pork from a traditional German food stand – the crackling was immense.

Finding a place to eat was always difficult. Jon took forever to decide what he actually wanted to eat in the evenings, often meandering down streets at a slower than average pace meaning that it would often take at least half an hour, sometimes longer, before we were actually able to sit down and enjoy our dinner. In the end though, the options were always great. On our first night we ate at lovely German restaurant near Alexanderplatz, having the currywurst and a large stein of beer. Our last night flew us across to Italy – Due Fratelli. We had a cute candlelit dinner in the heart of Berlin’s theatre district. £my vibes completely. It was here I got to see the Berliner Ensemble.

It’s been a great few days here and I’ve enjoyed the sightseeing, Berlin’s bitter weather, its festivity and its food. I can’t say when I’ll be back by I think I will.

Aid Wiedersehen.

Berlin in Pictures

Take a minute to visit my post on Berlin.

We are one. Not two. One universe. If you believe in equality you can save the world.

Where’s my licence?

The nursery – DDR Museum.

Brandenburg Gate

Empty room… photo moment.

So a rather persistent German seller tried to persuade us into buying a nail buffer for Christmas. Spot the polished nail…

This is me carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders


Take a minute to visit my post on Berlin

Here’s a taste of Bavaria


5 Steps to meeting those deadlines

“Deadlines: the bane of all of our lives.

I usually start off strong and go downhill from there. Then I tend to plan out everything I need to do and organise what needs to happen and when it needs to be done by the moment I get an assignment. I then give myself a break for a few days sometimes weeks because my mind believes I’ve already done the work.

BIG mistake.

Before I know it, weeks have passed and the deadline is getting closer and closer meaning that I now have to rush my work in order to complete the task.

But alas no more, no more.

Step 1

Turn off your notifications.

Seriously. That’s the first thing you must do. Notifications only mean one thing – distraction. When you have a deadline you can’t afford to be distracted. It’s fine to check them in your breaks just not when you’re meant to be working. Before you know it 2 hours have flown by and the only thing you’ve accomplished is finding out that there’s a brand new makeshift slide for you to get your adventurers hat on and plummet into a lake in the Philippines. (No joke)

So what I recommend you do is turn off all your notifications for your social media apps. This means that you only get to see your notifications when you click on the app.

Why not take it a step further and delete your social media apps. You can still access them via your internet browser?

Step 2

PLAN and then plan the rest of your weeks.

Don’t just stop at day one. You have to be consistent. Take time to schedule in what exactly you’re going to do and stick to it. Above all else make sure it is achievable. Be realistic in your planning; if you know there are factors that are going to interfere with your learning then schedule them in and learn to prioritise. Be efficient and be smart.

The beauty of planning ensures that you are focussed. It gives you a sense of accomplishment when you can tick off what you’ve done for the day. Mentally this will keep you on track and keep your spirits high.

Step 3


And do a lot of it. Knowledge is power and the more information you collect the more you can use it to your advantage. If ever I’m involved in a presentation, the one thing I do is make sure I now all the facts about the topic at hand. There’s nothing worse than going in blind and giving false information to your eyes and ears. Research doesn’t always have to be text-based, there are plenty of other sources out there that can assist your research. Just make sure you are smart with your research.

Step 4

Take breaks.

Give yourself days off and breaks in between your learning, you NEED them and you’ll be thankful for it later. I always try to stick by the 25 minute on and 5 minute off rule. This allows me to fully concentrate for a set amount of time and then allows me to unwind for a small break. I find this leaves me a lot more refreshed when doing back to do my work. It also stops me from over working.

Step 5

Look after yourself.

Make sure you find time to look after yourself, you can’t be running yourself into the ground because you’ve used up all your energy. Don’t over-commit. You need balance. Yes you’re passionate but you shouldn’t put yourself in detriment just for the sake of your work. At times you have to sacrifice and suffer but don’t wreck yourself in the process. Know your limits, know your worth and know your health.

What I loved about SE Asia


My whole reasoning for going to Southeast Asia in the first place was to teach English to school children. It’s what I came out here to do. The kids were adorable even the naughty ones, like everything in Asia the teaching was crazy. You could never really pre-empt what was going to happen each day in each new classroom. One day a class could be perfectly well-behaved and then the next they behaved the worst in the world.

But behaviour aside, these kids all had one thing in common; the eagerness to learn. English to them was vital and you can see the hard work and determination in each student. It was worth it and I’m so glad I did it! I did have a few of my favourites – one girl GiGi with gorgeous hair and although she struggled she endeavoured to try her hardest to understand. I recall sitting with her I was teaching her about animals and when she finally understood what we were teaching her, her face lit up. Another boy although I’ve unfortunately forgotten his name, also had the most gorgeous hair remains in my mind because although at times he could be quite the mischievous chap you could tell he wanted to be there ever so much. Despite this cheeky persona, his work was always completed and with great accuracy.

Teaching the children about directions and the world.
The people

In both Vietnam and Cambodia I found such honest and compassionate people. My heart however fell in love with the Cambodian people. They have a heart of gold. I found them much more inviting than some local Vietnamese. I found the Vietnamese a lot more reserved. In Cambodia they rush out to greet you as though you are a celebrity it was endearing but not necessary but still it was warm and welcoming. They always had smiles on their faces and would stop to talk to you. Don’t get me wrong the hospitality in Vietnam was great and I met such amazing and kind people there like Lucy at Freedom Hostel Hue and Chang my High Van Pass driver.


I have the locals to thank for making my stay in Cambodia and happy and memorable one. Thankyou to NaNa, Mr Beer, ChaNa, James and all their loving family for the endless amounts of hospitality they shown me and the warm conversations I had.


The charm and the sense of adventure

Both countries had such a charm. Cambodia was more of an preserved charm where as the more developed Vietnam had a different sort of charm. Each city was here different and so it’s charm is that of the surprisal element. I don’t quite know how to explain it. Everywhere I went I faced a new adventure; just getting on the buses themselves proved just that. The so much to do out here from canyoning to zip lining, to helping conserve the elephants to visiting the national parks. For me, this was both the first time in Asia the first time travelling on my own so I was expecting mayhem; mayhem is exactly what I received.

I got lost several times and even got stranded on a kayak in the middle of Ha Long Bay. It’s on the road that you learn from your mistakes like being late for your train from Hanoi to Hue – that was fun. being on the road I soon found myself becoming much better at navigating the streets as the weeks unfolded and i even rode a motorbike, ON MY OWN, through Hue for the first time – without a license might I add. So yeah, there are endless amounts of opportunities for you to potentially injure yourself or die having fun here in Asia but I believe there is an attraction to that. It adds to this nations charm. You’re almost invincible in a world where the crazy is the nations normal. Which leads me to my next point: transport.

Myself and Anita testing our tastebuds by eating a snake.

Let’s start with Cambodia. Tuk Tuks – we should make these a thing in the cities of the UK. They’re an unforgettable ride through the hustle and bustle of the city. They are both quick and thrilling, I loved my time in them as they were my only means of transport in Cambodia. Motorbikes however dominated Vietnam everyone owned one. They had power on the roads and just dodging the vehicles was a task within itself. But it was a dangerous task I learned to love. Before I knew it I was able to cross the roads just like the locals and i took great pride in that.

Then there were the night buses. I was on five in total Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh to Saigon, Hà Nội and Nha Trang, Dalat to Saigon. The first of the  five slept 2 to a bunk with the rest of them featuring reclining seat (up to 75°) leaving little room for the legs of a 5 foot 10 man like myself. Wi-Fi almost never worked, the Air-con blasted Antarctica out to get you – I remember a very angry Ciara waking up shivering. We even resulted in shoving a pair of shorts into the hole to stop the air of death escaping from its abyss. There were several toilet breaks on each sometimes on the side of the road and other times at restaurants with squat toilets – they were fun. Speaking of toilets…

Sometimes you’d see a family of 5 on one motorbike.

SE Asia isn’t well-known for its high quality flushing toilet but what it did have instead was what I called the ‘bum gun’. The bum gun is your friend. I loved its use and it should become a common feature in the homes of Great Britain. Not only is it hygienic but it’s also very cleansing and refreshing. It’s a bit like a bidet and ensures that all the mess in that region is cleaned up.

The open road.

There’s no question that the food out here is delicious. There’s a variety of flavours for you to try as soon as you walk out of your hostel door. I had both street food and food in restaurants. My go to was simple yet delicious pork with fried noodles and veg but when I was feeling a bit more adventurous I tried the likes of pho in Vietnam, durian ice cream in Hue, com tam in Saigon, a vast amount of rice dishes and curry’s and even delicacy’s like silk worms, snakes, crickets and geckos.



Before this trip, I was never a beer drinker but it had indeed grown on me. Now when I go out I’m often ordering pints with a hint of lime for myself. Changed man? I think so. Beer was just the refreshment you needed on a hot and humid south East Asian day. It was the perfect cool down anyone could ask for, and besides I was on my travels. I especially love Cambodia’s ‘Angkor Smooth’, I drank way to many of those although my friend Ciara holds the record of at least 5 a day. It was both light and refreshing. ‘Saigon Red’ had more of a fizz to it but it was still easy to drink, for a non beer consumer that is.

Ciara ft Angkor Smooth and a stolen helmet.

For more check out my coffee series in Vietnam.