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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).

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These Are The Questions Our Nutritionist Gets Asked The Most
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Innermost Investigates: The Truth On Power Plates
Vibration or ‘power plates’ are commonly met with a healthy dose of scepticism. And to be fair, standing on a plate and shaking, at first, doesn’t sound like the most effective method of exercise. What most people aren’t aware of, however, is that vibration plates were developed over 50 years ago by Russian cosmonauts to prevent the loss of muscle mass in space. They continue to be used to this day in space missions, even by NASA. If vibrating plates are good enough to be used on spaceships, then perhaps they’re good enough for the gym.  Innermost is here to investigate the benefits of using vibration plates (on Earth). We’ll answer all your burning questions including: What is a power plate? What does a power plate do? Do power plates work? And how do I use a power plate?  What is a power plate? How do they work? A vibration plate (often called a ‘power plate’) is an exercise machine that sends high-speed vibrations through the entire body. This stimulates your muscles to automatically contract up to 30-50 times more per second than usual. To maximise stimulation, vibration plates move in multiple directions simultaneously – up and down, left and right, front and back. As your body naturally attempts to stabilise itself against the shaking, it engages lots of muscles (many of which aren’t engaged during conventional exercise). And since this stabilisation occurs automatically, you hardly feel it.  8 benefits of vibration plates Ok, so new muscles are engaged a lot more than usual. That sounds great. But what are the actual benefits of power plate exercise?  Saves time Your muscles are working harder, so it takes less time to reach the same goals, cutting down on your workout time. Remedial therapist and Power-Plate specialist trainer Mark Andrews call power plates “the microwave of fitness”. Low impact Power plate exercise is considered low impact, making it suitable for all ages and fitness levels. It is also low impact on joints and ligaments – making it a great form of exercise for people who want to ease into exercise – for example, if you’re a bit older or recovering from an injury. Fat-loss benefits Power plates are a fat burn booster, but at the end of the day, the most proven method for fat-loss is correct nutrition and a calorie deficit. Innermost also offers nutritional supplements for healthy and sustainable fat-loss including The Lean Protein, The Define Booster and The Tone Capsules. Muscle strength and toning benefits Since so many muscle groups are working at the same time and 30-50 times more than usual, your muscles will strengthen and tone even from just standing on a power plate. Improved circulation Vibration plates can be used as a massage tool, which increases circulation in the massaged body parts. Increase core strength, stability, and balance All exercises on a vibration plate forces your body to engage its core to balance and stabilise. Certain exercises such as press-ups or planks (see 5 power plate exercises below) amplify this benefit even more. Increase Flexibility According to the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, using a power plate when stretching (before or after a workout) is more effective than stretching alone. At-home If you’re working from home, too far from a gym, or simply enjoy the convenience of home workouts, you can purchase a power plate to use in the house. A personal power plate and power plate move are both relatively compact pieces of equipment so can fit easily into your home. You can check out more options here. How do I use a power plate? 5 power plate training exercises Plank Get onto the floor and place your forearms onto the power plate. Gently move your knees away from the power plate until your back is completely straight. When you feel confident, have only your toes touching the floor and lift your knees off the ground. Hold for 30 seconds. Press up Similar to the plank, except your hands are on the power plate, shoulder-width apart with your arms out-stretched and locked at the elbows. Again, your back is straight, and you can start with your knees on the floor. When you are confident you can lift your knees off the floor and have just your toes touching the floor. Hold for 30 seconds. If you can, gently bend your elbows to bring your body down close to the power plate and then straighten your elbows again to bring your body back up – congratulations you’ve just done a press-up on a power plate! Leg crunches Sit in the centre of the vibration plate. Place your hands behind you on the edge of the power plate and bend your elbows to help you gently lean back. As you lean back, lift your legs off the ground to counter-balance yourself. The lower half of your legs (below the knee) should be parallel to the floor. Hold for 30 seconds. Squat Stand on the power plate with feet shoulder-width apart and toes facing forward. Using out-stretched arms that are parallel to the floor to balance you, gently bend your knees to bring your body down. Hold for 30 seconds. Then gently straighten your knees again to go back up. Keep your back straight at all times. Lunge Stand one ‘stride’ (long-step) away from the power plate. Then, with one leg, take one long step onto the power plate, keeping your toes forward. Gently bend the leg that is on the power plate at the knee, keeping the other leg straight at all times (you should really feel a stretch in the straight leg). Hold for 30 seconds. Then step off the power plate and change legs (i.e. if you stepped with your left leg first, now step with your right leg). So there you have it, a power plate is a space-age exercise machine that boasts lots of fitness benefits. If you’re looking to level up your exercise routine then this is a great option for you. Next time you’re in a gym give it a go, you might be pleasantly surprised! Sources: Is whole-body vibration a good way to lose weight and improve fitness? The 8 Best Ways to Exercise With A Vibration Plate All You Need to Know About: Power Plates The Power Plate: A Space Age Relic Inspires a New Form of Exercise - The New York Times (nytimes.com) Read more
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Making Time For Mindfulness With Alex Manderstam
We sat down with wellness fanatic and Innermost Insider Alex Manderstam, who gave us the lowdown on all things mindfulness: its importance to her, how she makes time for it, and her top tips on how you can incorporate a little bit of it into your daily life. Read to the end to find out which Innermost product keeps her on track! Hey Alex! Could you introduce yourself to our readers? Hi! My name is Alex and I live in London. By day, I work at a food tech startup. By night, I’m a founder of Allright - a self care collection bringing back calm through the power of plants and wind-down rituals, launching later this year. I love all things wellness and like to spend my free time cooking up healthy recipes, trying new workout classes and indulging in self care rituals. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Alex | Wellness | London (@alexmanderstam) Mindfulness has really stepped into the spotlight as an important aspect of wellness in recent years. How long have you been conscious of its importance / when did ‘mindfulness’ as a concept enter your life? Since I was very little actually! My mum is really into meditation and wellness and used to take me along to her meditation retreats since the age of 5, so mindfulness has always been a part of my life. Last year I experienced burnout and had a terrible time with anxiety so I tapped into the mindfulness tools I knew and they really made a difference. What exactly does mindfulness mean to you, and how does it benefit you day to day? For me, mindfulness means being aware of your thoughts, your environment and your body. By bringing mindfulness into my daily routine, I can be more present, less reactive and overwhelmed, and show up as the best version of myself every day. What activities do you do to be mindful? I like to start every day with a little mindfulness routine. This includes not looking at my phone first thing in the morning but taking a few minutes to do a guided meditation to set the right tone for the day, journal about my intentions for the day ahead, followed by daily movement. I find that exercise really helps clear my head and put me in a productive mode. Do you ever find mindfulness a difficult thing to achieve? What key tips can you give to people struggling with mindfulness? Absolutely! With being so busy in my professional life, it’s so easy to open up my laptop first thing in the morning and get lost in my to do list without looking after myself first. Things that worked for me when starting to incorporate mindfulness into my routine were starting small (you don’t need to start with 20 minute meditation) and keeping a habit tracker for activities I wanted to build into my morning routine. After a few weeks, it became second nature! Do you find that nutrition can play a part in mindfulness? Very much so, at least for me. I think it goes both ways - if I am more aware of myself and my body, I’m more likely to choose a more nourishing meal and really take care into what I put in my body. On the other hand, eating healthy can help me gain the self-care momentum and make me more motivated to stick with your mindfulness routine. Are there any specific occasions in which you felt particularly supported by staying mindful? As everyone else, I’m trying to juggle a million things and often get overwhelmed. Taking just a few minutes every morning to reflect and prepare for the day ahead really makes a difference on those busy days when you have so much to do and don’t know where to start. What time of day do you feel most mindful? How often do you give yourself mindful moments? Early mornings are my “me time”! I like to wake up slightly earlier and take 30 minutes to meditate, journal and set intentions for the day ahead. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Alex | Wellness | London (@alexmanderstam) What are your favourite Innermost products and how do you typically use them? How have they helped you so far? I love The Detox Booster and The Digest Capsules the most! The Detox Booster is a great alternative to tea and coffee and is packed with superfoods - think matcha, turmeric, chlorella along many others. And digest capsules are an absolute must have too. Packed with prebiotics and probiotics, they are instrumental for gut health. That's a wrap! To keep up with Alex, follow her on Instagram, @alexmanderstam - and be sure to check out her upcoming wellness platform, @allrightwellness! Read more
Staying Driven and Determined with Gia George
For the month of April, Gia will be sharing how she stays driven in amongst being a DJ, Coach, Qualified PT, NLP in training and more. Always on the go, we delved into what drives her, and how her journey has shaped her into the person she is today. Read to the end to find out which Innermost product keeps her on track! Hey Gia, could you tell our readers a little more about yourself? Hey! I’m Gia, I’m from Essex, currently living in North London. I am a fitness and mindset coach, qualified PT and recently completed my NLP training. I am also a DJ and recently graduated from a music production degree. I used to work in the city for corporate banks as an event coordinator, but had a big mental health breakdown 5 years ago. This was the catalyst for changing my life and retraining. My purpose in life is to show other people that you can achieve anything you want with the right mindset, and I do that by transforming my life first. I’m big on energy of all kinds, I love fitness, festivals, music, fancy dress, traveling and fast cars/bikes. I’m here to show you that you can have fun and be fit and healthy with the right balance and self-expectations. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Gia George 💖 (@giageorge__) How did you become an Innermost Insider and what’s your goal as an ambassador for the brand? I worked for F45 Stratford (check it out, its a WHOLE VIBE) and the Innermost range is stocked there, so it naturally became my go to protein; it bangs and it's vegan so it ticked all my boxes. My goal as an ambassador is to always to keep it realistic, promote balanced living and help people manage the expectations of themselves with the lifestyle they want to live. I’m passionate about helping people LOVE their bodies exactly as they are, no matter what stage of the journey they are at and encouraging sustainable habit changes which elongate happiness and life, without it completely taking over your life (unless you want it to of course!). Our topic this month is drive, how would you define drive? To me drive encapsulates a few different words. I believe it is the combination of vision, willpower and discipline that actually creates the forward motion/action that gets things done, AKA drive. The first step is to have the vision, to see your goal in your mind's eye and to envision the future you, so you have something to work towards. This doesn't have to be anything massive, it could just be to feel better about yourself, to feel stronger, to get fit for a holiday or for your mental health. Then it's a question of will power. I believe that each day we all have a certain amount of willpower (break that word down: the will to do something right?) and that once we have decided what our priorities are, then we can decide how that willpower will be used. Discipline is the feeding the voice in your head that says I want this, and I’m going to ignore the other voices and focus on how I feel when I have completed this ‘thing’. We all have 2 options but over time I believe that when you continually feed the 'I am going to get this done' voice, it becomes subconscious and you just do it automatically. DRIVE = VISION + WILL POWER + DISCIPLINE How has drive been important in your health and fitness journey? Drive is imperative in your health and fitness journey, you really have to want it and if you have no drive, you are kind of just floating around in a feminine energy flow (not attached to gender). Whereas drive is a masculine energy (not attached to gender); it's an action based word, so without it the ‘journey’ doesn't really start. Is there a time you struggled with drive and what’s your advice for someone struggling themselves? I had a huge mental health break down / break through almost 5 years ago and I questioned whether I wanted to continue with my life (there's a full video on my instagram @giageorge if you want to hear this; I've been told by many people that it really helped them understand ways to navigate and rebuild their life). When you are in that state of mind, drive is the HARDEST thing in the world, because your mind basically steals your desire to do anything at all. I, at least, was completely consumed by overthinking. I then discovered the golden ratio (google it) and realised that everything in life is just a pattern, thoughts included. I needed to change my thought patterns so I began SMALL and that's the best advice I can give. Do your BEST to not think about the big picture, think about the next hour, and if that's too much, the next 5 mins. Slowly, you’ll notice your thought patterns change for the better. One of the hardest parts of this is making new habits, so it's important to help yourself by making sure you’ve got things in place when you're first building 'habit loops’ (hit me up on insta for more info on this). For example, if your goal is to start exercising, and you're having a tough time getting going, break it down into small steps, start with 5 mins for 5 days, then 10 mins and so on. Get a programme to follow or join a class, make sure your not just going to the gym aimlessly, as that is not going to help you. Even if you're struggling to get dressed, think one sock at a time, literally break down item by item and eventually you’ll be dressed. Don't think about the gym/class/run until you’ve thought about getting out the house. Just keep breaking it down into smaller steps until it's manageable for you that day. Some days I’m fast, some I’m slow, but I keep driving forwards, one step at a time. What are three things that drive you? My determination to lead by example and show people you can achieve anything in this world with the right mindset. I choose to ‘spend’ my will power every day on my health before anything else, and everything else flows from this. The vision of future me, I will achieve my dreams, there's no other option, I am committed to her. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Gia George 💖 (@giageorge__) Finally, what's your favourite Innermost product for staying on track? The Health Protein. Order it, have it in the house, in the kitchen, your muscles need it, get that into your daily habit loops. To keep up with Gia, check out her Instagram and coaching Instagram! Read more
Social Shout Out: April 2022
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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
Social Shout Out: February 2022
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