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Catherine Hargreaves

Cash loves numbers. Preferably organised in way that tells a story. She spends her time in the office diving deep into data, as well as handling all those exciting non-spammy emails you receive from us. On her days off, she can be found sweating over culinary creations in the kitchen, or embarrassing herself on the dance floor (her living room will do just fine for now, thanks Covid).

Social Shout Out: April 2022
Woman stretching arms
Finding Balance and Inner Peace with Brin McKinnon
This month, we sat down with Innermost Insider Brin McKinnon to discuss inner peace, managing conflict and maintaining balance. Representing us in Australia, Brin is a true Innermost Insider, having loved our products since she was a London native. Funny, thoughtful and eloquent, even with the 11 hour time difference making the interview 1am for her; this one's definitely worth the read. Hey Brin! Tell us about yourself! Hi, my name is Brin, and I am currently studying a Bachelor of International Relations at the Australian National University, whilst also working as a management consultant and freelancing. I've been using Innermost products since 2018 when I used to live in London, and since then they’ve been my favourite products, specifically in terms of vegan products. I then became an ambassador this year, because I wanted to share my love of Innermost products with other people. My favourite platform at the moment is my YouTube channel where I actually recently spoke about Innermost and the products I’ve been loving. View this post on Instagram A post shared by B r i n 🌱 (@brindarcey) Our theme this month is peace. So, the first question I want to ask is, what does peace mean for you, in your own life? A lot of the time in the health and wellness industry, the focus is on the physical and specifically on aesthetics, but I think that it’s really important to understand our health as something that's part of a bigger whole. It’s not just physical - it’s mental too, and that’s why, personally, peace is such a big thing for me, mental-health wise. Mental health is such an important part of our overall wellbeing and I think finding peace is really central to looking after your mental health. I wouldn't say I'm naturally a peaceful person but it’s a process to find that sense of inner-peace and maintain it. What process do you undertake to cultivate your inner peace? What steps have you taken? Over the last few years, I've definitely been taking steps to improve my relationship with myself and I suppose, in a way, to relax a little. As I mentioned, I think that it's definitely a process, and how you cultivate inner peace depends a lot on the individual. For me, a lot of that is spending time in nature, taking walks and exercising outside. I also think that meditating can also be useful, but I think that something that can dissuade people from meditation a bit and definitely dissuaded me was the idea that there’s only one way to meditate. But I think that just finding something that's meditative to you can be really useful in cultivating inner peace and it doesn’t have to be sitting down with your eyes closed. It can be spending time outside with your family or your friends, or even just watching a television show that makes your mind switch off for a bit. The first step to cultivating inner peace is finding what brings you peace. How do you make peace with your mistakes or regrets? I think that I'm quite lucky because I'm naturally quite good at letting things go and I don't necessarily regret things. So unfortunately, that's not going to be helpful for everyone. But I think that, for anyone, letting yourself come to terms with your emotions and letting yourself feel those emotions, is the most important step in making peace with them. However, I also think it’s then important to not hold on to those negative thoughts and feelings for too long. Once you’ve let yourself feel those emotions, you then need to accept them. A lot of the time your ego can get in the way of this step, but you need to be humble and say “okay, I've made a mistake”, perhaps get advice from friends or family and then just take time to reflect on yourself. In the end, the most important step is letting go; it's so important to accept and then move forward, otherwise we let things that we've done in the past continue to hold us back in the future. Is there anything that disrupts your peace and how do you manage it? I’m a person who doesn't necessarily enjoy change. So any small thing that happens in my day could completely derail how I'm feeling and that's something I'm definitely working on. But as I mentioned, it's a process. It's not going to happen overnight. The way I deal with this is not over-committing, organising, scheduling and planning things, but also respecting that things change and that's okay. In addition to this, I've also been going to therapy for a few years and I think that's been really important for me as well. Therapy is typically seen as something just for people who are deeply suffering with their mental health but, I think that therapy can be for everyone. It's just a really useful tool to break down the way that you think and the way that you approach situations that can derail your inner peace. And its been really important for me in my journey to protecting my peace from those day-to-day disruptions. How do you manage conflict with other people? I think that these last few years have been particularly emotionally challenging for everyone. So I think that an increase in interpersonal conflict is something that's inevitable. I'm definitely naturally quite a combative person and I'm anxious-avoidant in my relationships, so I have felt this in my life too. Whilst I do think that it's important to stand up for yourself and for what you believe in, I also think that approaching people with respect, openness and honesty is the best way forward when you're having a conflict with someone. Of course, not all interpersonal conflict is going to be fixable but that's okay. Sometimes we need to let relationships go as well. Beautiful you’ve been open and honest with people then you can move forward knowing you don’t regret how you’ve handled the situation. View this post on Instagram A post shared by B r i n 🌱 (@brindarcey) Do you feel like your nutrition is important in being in that good headspace? Absolutely. I think that nutrition is incredibly important. There’s a massive connection between your physical and mental health so eating a balanced diet is really important. I don't believe in restricting certain food groups, because I think this can actually disrupt your peace. However, I think by listening to your body and viewing nutrition as fuel rather than something to be labelled good or bad, you can make nutrition benefit your peace. For example, for me eating protein is really important because I'm vegetarian. I find it easiest to do this by using a vegan protein, so it’s about finding ways to make nutrition work for you. I actually think that finding balance in our lives is probably the best way to cultivate inner peace, across the board. We can't always strive for perfectionism but I don't think we should be happy with mediocrity either. We need to be somewhere in the middle; striving to do the best for ourselves in the moment that we're in. That’s where you find peace. To keep up with Brin, check out her Instagram! Read more
Social Shout Out: March 2022
Innermost nootropics and adaptogen capsules
Social Shout Out: February 2022
Innermost illustration of couple running together
Self Love & Becoming Your Own Best Friend with Mandy Smith
A new year represents a new chapter. For most people, this means goals, resolutions and, often, an immense pressure to achieve them. For Mandy Smith, fitness professional, lifestyle ambassador and Innermost Insider, a new year means another 365 days of honouring herself, embracing growth and experiencing the world around her with a refreshing openness that makes you instantly drawn to her. Something which she attributes to her commitment to self-love. So, we took the time to sit down with her to discuss self-love, her journey, and how to overcome the pressures of the New Year. So, Mandy, tell me about yourself! I'm Mandy (@mandy_moveit), a fitness professional and lifestyle ambassador. I live a full, open minded and open-hearted life. I became a fairly young mother and am fortunate that we have grown and embraced a journey through which we have developed our own aspirations, dreams and virtues in tandem. When asking my daughter for her view of me, she said I was not a conventional Mother but that I had “vitality and eccentricity”, something which pleased me to hear. Aside from being a mother, I live and work as a personal trainer, fitness instructor and presenter in London during the week and I’m on the South Coast with my partner at the weekends. Being one to thrive on variety and movement, this combination suits me to a tee. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Mandy (@mandy_moveit) How would you define self-love? I would define self-love as becoming your own best friend whilst rationalising any judgment both within and around you. Self-love is to acknowledge your whole and accept all aspects of yourself, especially in today’s social media meta world. Rather than flaws, they are unique parts of your make up, so cherish them. Self-love also means to laugh at yourself. Take note of the things that make you the happiest and with this, confidence builds, and better and better days unfold. How has self-love been important in your journey, especially within the fitness industry? Self-love has not always come naturally to me. In the past, I have tended to think that I needed to always put others first, and knowing that others were happy made me feel content. However, always placing the needs and wants of others above your own will eventually result in low self-worth. This an affliction that many, to greater and lesser extents, are affected by but when affected it is as if we were living with the handbrake on. It is only with maturity and acceptance of myself that I have unwound the constraints of living to please other people. I can now say with ease that I live a more fulfilling life, encompassing my own morals and principles and both within and outside the confounds of my remit. Through self-love and embodying my best self, I can extend myself in my most honest form to the world around me, ultimately, the bigger and greater cause. Between New Year’s Resolutions and Valentine’s Day, it can be a difficult period to remain kind to yourself, what advice would you give to people struggling with their self-worth? Quieten the negative voices within and seek out an environment that you cherish. For many, the New Year means getting fit and healthy, but this can often then become a chore or a pressure, which then detracts from the very essence of fitness and wellbeing. By feeling that you ‘must’ do something often has the opposite reaction. Therefore, for motivation, I would suggest that we quieten any negative voices within, telling us we can’t do it, laugh off the perceived pressure from society and put yourself at the center of the fresh New year. What do “YOU’ get out of fitness and in which environment do you thrive? Are you an outdoorsy? Then take in the world around you as you get your exercise. Are you a team player? A solo gym goer, a yoga bunny? Or you like to try everything, like me! Whatever it is, focus on the why, the reason for you. The positivity, the health benefits, the feeling of achievement, make these be the reasons and not the conformity. Make your own fitness, your own business and celebrate the small wins. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Mandy (@mandy_moveit) What are the three things you love most about yourself? I’m optimistic, warm, and energetic. I have the constant perspective and belief to see most things as ‘half glass full’, always seeing the bright side of things that others may find stressful. I’ll see challenges as an opportunity and a chance to re-evaluate, and small setbacks as insignificant in the grand scheme of life. After all, as Oscar Wilde noted, “experience is the name so many people give to their mistakes.” I’m told that I have warmth, and this is a byproduct for me of being confident in my own skin, not comparing myself to anyone and having genuine interest in others and learning from them. Energy is something I do embrace as a large component of myself, and I see it as a personal wealth. Through fitness, I find my energy is untapped. For me personally the more energy I exert, the more I generate. How do you plan to celebrate and honour yourself in 2022? I aim to enter 2022 with integrity and virtue. I will be seeing the world, enjoying the environment around me, and surrounding myself with people who make me feel alive and appreciate me, quirks, and all. I’ll train for my wellbeing. Functional training and cardio keep me feeling strong and conditioned and fantastic. I will breathe in the world around me with awe as always, the sea being my special place and the freedom it symbolises. Looking out at its magnitude and beauty astounds me, for it is never the same twice and so with open eyes I will enter 2022. I will eat clean, without denying myself the food that just tastes too good to miss out on, including my protein balls. Not only are they more-ish, but they also make me smile every time I make them. A smile is the most precious gift to receive, so love yourself and let your radiance shine through and you will exude magnetism. To keep up with Mandy, check her out over on Instagram @mandy_moveit. Read more
Social Shout Out: January 2022
Four nutritious lunches in tupperware containers
Social Shout Out: December
Discussing Truth & Transparency with Anj Magecha
Innermost Insider and mindful wellness advocate, Anjali Magecha sat down with us to discuss truth and transparency in the wellness industry, as well as her own journey to unlearn industry myths and reconcile her relationship with food and exercise. Honest, transparent and vulnerable, she sheds light on what it means to be true to yourself even in the most challenging of circumstances. Tell us a bit about yourself and how began your health and wellness journey? Hi, I'm Anj, I’m 23 and I'm passionate about helping people have a healthy relationship with exercise and body image. Before my journey into mindful wellness began, I had poor mental health and would use food to cope, resulting in a vicious cycle. I was chronically under eating, and I had never taken protein powder or any kind of supplement, so I wasn’t hitting my protein goals at all. It took quite a while for me to recognise this but eventually I found myself in a place where I was tired of being constantly unhappy and knew something needed to change. It was at this point I decided to forget all the expectations I had previously put on myself and just do the things that made me happy, with the knowledge that everything else would fall into place. I began getting more into training and lifting and begun fuelling by body with protein powder and supplements such as the Power Booster. Now I feel happier and healthier than ever and want to help other people to achieve the same. View this post on Instagram A post shared by anj |mental health+fitness| (@grow.with.anj) Our campaign for January is truth and transparency. What do you think the importance of this is, particularly in relation to the health and wellness industry? There are so many health and wellness influencers who are not truthful and transparent in their journey, and it makes people feel like a failure when they aren't getting the results that are falsely promised to them. For example, there are people who've become millionaires, have massive brand deals and are living a life that most people could only dream of, all off the back of their fitness transformations. Everything about them just screams success and obviously people want to emulate this. But if those same people don’t disclose the full story people are never going to achieve this and they’ll feel like they’re the problem, because if someone else can do it, why can't you? Humans are quintessentially social creatures; we're always going to be comparing ourselves to one another even when we try to be mindful. So, it's so important to understand that you can save someone a lot of pain by just being honest. This is something that I used to get angry about, but now I know that anger will never be the solution and that you just need to be that other voice and hope that you can help as many people as possible. So, how do you try to be this voice of truth and transparency, particularly within the health and wellness space? I think it’s important to remember that to be entirely truthful and transparent about your journey you also need to be vulnerable enough to share the moments when it isn’t easy. Sharing these moments is infinitely more valuable than just showing the highlights because it makes us realise that we all go through them. However, in the health and wellness industry this isn’t the norm; people use photoshop and promote ‘fat burners’, and avoid any vulnerability, creating this pressure to conform. I think to break this cycle, we all need to be a little more vulnerable. Because whilst waking up at 5am and walking everywhere might make you feel happy and fulfilled, some people need 10 hours of sleep and sometimes you’ll want to sit in front of the TV and watch something mindless. This doesn’t make you a failure and by being honest with yourself about what truly makes you happy and portraying this in a vulnerable way you can help other people realise this too. As you mentioned, the space does currently have a lack of transparency, so how do you discern the truth from the myths? When it comes to fitness and nutrition, I always try to think about who the information is coming from. I hate being a cynic and I love to think that everyone has everyone else's best intentions at heart, but I think it’s important to consider what would this person have to gain if they weren't really telling me the entire story? Then you also need to consider what their credentials are. Are they a doctor or dietitian or are they just someone who looks good? It’s so important that you can know and trust your source of information. I also think, that there’s no one size fits all approach, and the most important source of information should be yourself. For example, I love chaos and I thrive under pressure, so taking five minutes to write affirmations down just doesn’t fit with me. It’s important to trust your own intuition and timing. If you can do both these things then when influencers promote low calorie diets in partnership with these big brands you can ask yourself, what are their credentials, what do they stand to gain and is this something that I think from my own experiences would work for me and make me happy? What is a truth that you've learned during your journey that you're passionate about and think that everyone should know? To get something you've never had you must do something you've never done. What I mean by this is that it's not your fault if something hasn't worked for you. A lot of people blame themselves for not sticking to diets and fitness regimes but if you didn’t stick to it, it’s not you that failed, it’s the diet/ fitness regime that failed. There's a reason why it was so difficult for you to stick to it; perhaps it was too restrictive and resulted in binge eating. Perhaps it was stopping you from enjoying meals out and living your life fully. The answer should never be to blame yourself. You just have to try something new. Create a meal plan which allows you to feel good without restricting yourself and cutting out whole food groups, try a sport you actually enjoy and keep trying new things until you find something that works. You’ll never get to a different destination by taking the same route over and over again. View this post on Instagram A post shared by anj (@anjmagecha) Finally, it feels very relevant to discuss this during January. There’s always this huge influx of mixed advice, myths, and fads at this time of year so what’s your opinions on this and particularly the idea of New Year New Me? I think it's utter rubbish (laughs). You don't need to change people. It's just January. The only changes you should ever make are the ones that genuinely make you happier and you can make these year-round. We all experienced this during lock-down too, there was this huge hustle culture and pressure to use lockdown to learn a new skill or achieve your dream body, and if you weren’t doing this, you were lazy. It made me feel rubbish and I know lots of other people felt the same. It’s so important to try to drown out the pressure and just focus of being in touch with what makes you come alive and what makes you happy. Shifting my focus from external validation to internal happiness is the most important change I made when transitioned from the miserable person I was, to the person I am today. Of course, in the spirit of transparency, not every day is a good day for me and some days I have identity crises and some days I break down. But that's all just part of the job. We’re all a work in progress and the sooner you can embrace all of this and focus on do what makes you happy on a daily basis instead of doing what you think should make you happy, it will open so many doors. To keep up with Anj, check out her Instagram and TikTok for more content on truths vs myths. Read more
Social Shout Out: November