REVIEW: Withings Activitè Pop

For the past couple of months now, I've been wearing this new activity tracker as if it could tell the time and looks like a watch. Which it does. Besides that simple pleasure, it does a few more interesting things beyond. Here's my review; what They Say about the Withings Activitè Pop versus what I Say and how it has actually worked for me!

POP YOUR HEALTH || Featuring the latest tech and a timeless look, Actvitè Pop helps you embrace healthy habits while complementing your style. TRUE STORY.

Activity Tracking || Swim Tracking || Silent Alarm || Sleep Tracking || No Charging || Bluetooth 4.0

They Said.
The watch shows you how active you are in real time and the Health Mate app suggests changes to encourage you to walk more. Ingenious time and activity dials help you decide what your next move should be.
I Say.
The Activité Pop (from hereon known as the AP) does indeed track your steps. Once you set your daily goal via the app on your smartphone, the dial, with 10 sections, updates itself as you go along to keep you informed "in real time" how you are doing. I have my goal set to 10,000 steps per day so it equates to 1,000 steps per segment on the activity dial. The time is set to the time of my phone, which is set to the time of the world! I'm yet to see it suggest changes to encourage me to walk more but I may have actually turned this off!

They Said.
AP doesn't just look good. It features a lightweight design, a PVD-coated watch case and a smooth silicone watch strap for ultimate comfort and durability.
I Say.
It does indeed look good! I've had countless compliments on my "nice watch" and have gone on to surprise people by informing them that its actually an activity tracker! I love the colour, but it has gotten a little dirty over time. I wear it in the shower most of the time and have given it a little wipe now and then, but still. So far, I can say it is comfortable and durable; the watch I wore previously would always snap open when I was teaching but the AP doesn't get in the way at all and has so far lived to tell the tale!

They Said.
Working with the Health Mate app, AP inspires you and your friends to make healthy choices. Challenge your friends! The app features activity badges, a leaderboard, healthy reminders and activity insights that are a proven way to get everybody going.
I Say.
Firstly, I'm completely friendless on the app! I don't know one other person who owns an AP! I do however like the badges when you reach certain levels of activity (not enough to share them on Twitter anymore though!). Again, I think I have turned off the healthy reminders. On days where I have a really low step count (usually a Sunday) I despise the huge sad face that it displays on the timeline but one swipe, and its deleted!

They Said.
Going for a jog? Trying to catch the bus? AP automatically recognises your surge of intensity and logs it as a run. AP automatically recognises swim. Just put it on, dive in and the watch will log your full session and record calories burned.
I Say.
I'll give it marks for running; so far I think it has gotten this right! As for swimming; I've swam once in it as it seems to have had no idea that this wasn't a shower! I spent 45 minutes in the pool and nothing was recorded as an activity. #fail. I'll still be sticking to a GPS when running though as most runners will want more stats when running that just calories burned.

They Said.
AP automatically detects when you are asleep. It keeps track of light and deep sleep phases, the number of times you are up during the night and the total duration of sleep. Set an alarm in the app to start your day with a gentle wake-up vibration.
I Say.
Okay. So I like this feature, a lot. I mostly like it because you don't have to do anything to say "I'm going to sleep" or "I have woken up". But! The caveat is that if I chill out in bed before I go to sleep or after I wake up, it this I'm still sleeping and logs me as having like 10 hours sleep!!! The night where I barely slept; looking at that on the screen was enlightening! ...The alarm is great too! I use it on my days off (because I can't be bothered to alter my work alarm on my Lumie Bodyclock). I think it wakes you up during a light sleep phase within a specific amount of time before your alarm (i.e 30 minutes). The watch vibrates 10 or 12 times gently on your wrist so doesn't startle you and makes no sound; perfect if you don't want to wake the rest of you household.

They Said.
AP automatically syncs to your smartphone to always display the correct time. Jet-lagged after a long flight? No need to piece together the correct time zone. Once you have landed, AP automatically displays the local time.
I Say.
This it does indeed. Which is useful. No fussing trying to change the time for a week and then having to change it back. Unfortunately for me, I've not travelled much recently so my AP hasn't had its chance to shine in this department!

They Said.
You don't want another cable or dock in your life. AP works on a standard button cell providing 8+ months of battery life.
I Say.
OMG this has to be one of the biggest pro's of an AP! Do you know how many times my fitbit needs charging and I forget?! Then it's useless for the next day as it spends half of it on charge!

The Rest Of What I Have To Say.
Here are another few things I have noticed. My step count on my AP is NEVER as high as on my fitbit. It takes a lot more to hit goal on the AP and I think that's because it's more accurate and doesn't count me brushing my teeth. This may also be down to the fact that I wear it on my non dominant hand.

I hooked my AP up to MyFitnessPal (in the hope of earning some extra calories) and immediately disconnected it after it reduced my calorie goal for the day to my basal calories and then gave me just 30 extra calories on a day I completed my 10,000 steps. I ended up being around 300kcal above what they said I should have eaten! So now I'm back to my 1500kcal per day (a little more if I exercise) and keeping my AP information to itself!

What fitness / activity tracker are you currently using?! or coveting?! 

Elle :) 

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In My Skin || Party Feet with Carnation Footcare

There are exactly 4 weeks to go until Christmas Day itself. This means, that it is THE exact point in time where our diaries become jam packed with events to celebrate that our lycra clad bodies, and flat shoes feet are just not ready for. Well, thats me anyway?!

Today I've got a few of my favourite products from Carnation Footcare which will help get your feet ready and the recovered through the party season!

Step 1. Healthy Nails 
This product is a lotion for natural regrowth of healthy nails. As a runner and exerciser, although my trainers are comfortable, my toenails still suffer trauma which results in discolourations. This lotion is designed to cleanse the toenail and nail borders by killing the micro-organisms that can cause unsightly nails. In the pack is a small nail file which you use to file the surface and top edge of your nails after washing / drying. Then twice daily, you apply the lotion. Nobody wants a picture of my feet but I'm down to 1 discoloured toenail as opposed to 4 when I started using the lotion! {find out more here}

Step 2. Tip Toes Invisible Gel Cushions 
One for the actual party, when you have to don heels instead of your usual fancy kicks. I always find the balls of my feet suffer the most due to the uneven weight distribution. These pads sit between (the ball of) your foot and your shoe to provide extra cushioning. Of course you can use them in any shoes you like, but we are specifically talking about the party season right now! {find out more here}

Step 3. PediRoller 
Last but not least, for your post party, tired and sore feet. In comes, possibly the best invention ever. The PediRoller. For a much needed foot massage you simply roll the PediRoller from your heel to your arch. You can even freeze it for an hour before hand to help with really inflamed arches. Roll it back and forth for 3-5 minutes, twice a day; maybe while watching Eastenders?! Or under your desk?! {find out more here}

I don't know about anyone else, but I feel our feet are always the first to take a bashing when the weather changes! Summer brings flip-flops and dry soles whilst winter brings constant cover in shoes, maybe even wet toes and heels a plenty for the holidays!

What are your top things to do to look after your feet?! What's your favourite product for some tootsie TLC?! 

Elle :) 

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Here's What You Need In Your Autumn Gym Bag

I'm not sure how many posts I will start by pointing out the change in weather! But a change in seasons does constitute a change in eating habits, what to wear, how I train and of course, what gets packed in my {gym} bag} ...it's the only bag I have ;)

For Soft Skin. 
A new firm favourite in my gym bag and bathroom cabinet is the What Skin Needs range. Their range consists of 3 natural skin products; Skin Balm, Soothing Skin Gel & Cracked Skin Cream. The active ingredient in the range is PlantolinTM - an active plant extract which is proven to soothe, renew and protect. This cold weather (winds, snow & rain) actually dries out our skin so it's even more important to moisturise well in the colder months. I've been using the Skin Balm on my face in the evenings after commuting home in the cold / hot tube / cold. I also applied it to a rash I got on my wrist from my fitness tracker and it really helped to soothe the itch and reduce the dryness. I then lather the Cracked Skin Cream onto my feet and wrap them up in warm socks for the night. These products would be perfect for anyone hitting the slopes this season. I'm yet to fully try the Soothing Skin Gel as a) the weather hasn't affected me bad enough yet and b) I'm still acclimatising to the cold and the gel is 'cooling' to say the least!

For Your Sweet Tooth. 
I've been really conscious of not getting enough protein into my diet of late. I've also been focusing on cutting back on sugar so serving my sweet tooth has not been easy! I had a tub of 'Prutella' Chocolate Hazelnut Spread from Musclefood sitting on my kitchen table for the last couple of weeks and when I came across a nutella brownie recipe, I subbed the ingredients with what I have to make some yummy, high protein, high fibre brownies. Now, just as a disclaimer, I do believe brownies should be extra gooey but then that is down to the crazy amounts of chocolate and sugar; these ones come out a little more on the cake side and less sweet (thankfully). Mix 200g of prutella, 1 large egg, 1/3 cup of oat flour and a dash of baking powder/ Bake at 175 degrees (fan assisted) for 20 minutes. Cut into 10 squares (I eat 3 squares in one go totalling 243 calories. Winning.

To Stay Hydrated. 
Rather than just using a regular bottle, I upgraded my Acqublend Fruit Infusion Bottle to their new 900ml Jumbo bottle. The bigger bottle is great as it lasts longer! One of my favourite infusions is cinnamon sticks, mint & apple. It's so refreshing to have a little extra flavour in your water, especially when like me, you rarely ever drink cordials or fizzy drinks!

For On-The-Go Energy. 
I don't go anywhere without food; I seem to have an innate fear of starving to death so I carry food everywhere with me. During my first Whole30 in 2014 I discovered Nked bars. I only eat the ones made with fruit and nuts though as they are compliant with Whole30. Even when I'm not doing a Whole30 I continue to stick to that and keep one handy for pre workout (to stave off hunger) or post workout (to get me home / somewhere where I can eat something sensible!)

For Tired Muscles. 
Brothers and Sisters. Deep Heat now comes in a roll on. Yes. ROLL ON. You no longer need to cry yourself to sleep after touching your eye post rub. And as I said to someone over on Instagram, with my current status being single, it was like a massage and warm cuddle rolled into one!

And people! Before I go; I have week two of my little advent thingy-ma-jiggy!! This week, I'm offering you the chance to upgrade your snacking with a huge bag of Strawberry Musclemouse worth £32.99 plus your very own (neon green) SmartShake Original which in my opinion is priceless!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What products have found a home in your gym bag now the weather has changed?!

Elle :)

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5 Winter Gift Trends You Need To Know About

Autumn is barely over, but the focus is swiftly moving onto Christmas and all that the season brings with it. The blogosphere and webosphere are already churning out the gift lists for runners, yogi's ... any and everyone in your life, basically.

According to the Telegraph, we'll each spend £84 on ourselves when out shopping for others, with the average shopper expected to spend £475 on gifts this year! So here is my take on the trends that may well be popular for 2015:

1. Upgrade Your Tracker
Fitness trackers themselves have already proven to be popular but now it's all about the customisation. I myself have been through them all and even wrote a post on How To Make Fitness Trackers Work For You. I love these ribbon bands which fit a fitbit (cos it's actually just a little nugget in a band itself!).

2. Wear The Right Gear
Smart Clothing is a thing. You didn't know?! Neither did I! The most notable on the market right now is the The Polo Tech Shirt from Ralph Lauren.

I'm not sure it's available in the UK yet but there are lots of lesser known brands out there if you're willing to look for them!

Another product I love in this category is by Mimo; a onesie type outfit for babies which monitors sleeping, breathing, body position as well as allowing you to listen in on your baby!

I love the Smart Home apps and appliances that are out there too; controlling my kettle from my bed sounds like bliss to me! Anything to save me an extra couple of minutes in the morning!

3. From Barre To The Barre
My style very much is from barre to bar already (read 24 hours in... here). Athleisure is a thing too these days. Everyone is quite happy to wear their comfy, stretchy pants to the supermarket as well as to class!

Some of my favourite places to stock up on items for the winter are:

4. Here Comes The Hot Stepper
With this cold chill in the air, it's really useful when our outfit helps to keep us warm, right?! Heat technology is massive right now with many popular brands bringing out pieces especially for the weather. Here are a few notable choices:

5. Flashing Lights
Lights and reflectivity should be your number one priority if you or your friends / family will be out on the streets during the dark evenings. The amount of things you can get are limitless - torches, heel spurs, bags, hats, trainers...

Check out: 

If you have anything you would like to add / recommend just leave me a comment below! 

But what's on YOUR wishlist for this Christmas?!

Elle :) 

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Coconut Butternut Savoury Bowl || inspired by 26 Grains

If there's one thing I love about London it's that there is always somewhere awesome to go an eat / drink / hang out. And 26 Grains was one of the latest on my hit-list. Situated just a stones throw from one of my work locations, I made my first visit alone to check out their infamous porridge (it's somewhere on my IG if you wanna see it!). My second visit was to meet my yoga teacher friend, Adrianna for lunch; this time I got to sample one of their savoury bowls. The Coconut Butternut savoury bowl to be exact.

As soon as I tasted it, I knew I needed to have it again  just without the £6 price tag, or having to leave my house! So I used my tastebuds, scoured the internet for ingredients and ideas of how to put this together. Surprisingly, there is no other recipe out there quite like this one so I'm pretty proud of it! Anyway, onto the good stuff... starting with ingredients (and links incase you are unsure where to purchase certain ingredients!)

Coconut Butternut Savoury Bowl
Dairy Free | Vegetarian | Gluten Free
30 minutes | Serves 2 / 3


  • 1 cup of black rice 
  • 500g frozen butternut squash 
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 400ml can of coconut milk 
  • 2 cups of water, boiled 
  • 1 stock cube 
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, chopped and sliced 
  • 1/2 fresh red chilli 
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric 
  • 2 tsp cumin 
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds 
  • 1 tsp curry powder 
  • 1 lime 
optional toppings: kelp noodles


Rinse rice in a sieve until water runs clear. 

Bring rice, a pinch of salt & pepper and 1.75 cups of water to the boil, uncovered over a medium -high heat. Once it boils, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low and then cook until rice is tender. 

Whilst the rice is cooking, chop the onion and garlic clove. 

In a large (and deep) pan, heat 2tbsp of oil over a medium-high heat (sesame or coconut are good options). Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft. 

Add turmeric, curry powder, cumin, ginger, chilli, ground cloves and mustard seeds. Stir well and cook for another couple of minutes. 

Dissolve the stock cube in 2 cups of boiling water. Add to pan along with coconut milk. Season to taste. Return to the boil, then lower heat and allow it to simmer partially covered for 10 minutes. 

Have a quick peek to check how your rice is doing. When it is tender, remove from the hob and allow to stand. It should have soaked up all the water that was added. 

After ten minutes, add the butternut squash to the pan and stir so it is submerged. Recover and allow to simmer until the butternut squash defrosts, softens and cooks. 

To Serve: spoon the rice into the bottom of a soup / pasta bowl. Spoon some of the liquid around the sides and then top with the butternut squash. You will need a spoon to eat this! I then topped off my bowls with a few sprigs of kelp noodles; mostly for decoration but they're actually a really healthy, raw food! 

Add 1/4 wedge of lime with each bowl to be squeezed into the dish before eating! 

All that's left to do is share a couple extra pictures for us to dribble over...

I hope you give this recipe a go; most of all I hope you enjoy it so please let me know how it goes!! 

Elle :) 

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