Mio Natural Skincare Review

I’ve been using natural skincare products for a few years now, I have my favourite products and brands, it took a while but I’ve finally made all my skincare, and cleaning products natural. I’m very concious of anything I put on my skin, after all our skin is our largest organ, and we absorb around 60-70% of anything we put on it, so technically if you wouldn’t eat it- you shouldn’t be putting it on your skin!


I’m always interested in new skincare brands, so was keen to try out the Mio skincare products when they got in touch with me. It was not a brand I have come across before, they only launched in 2014 so are still a relatively new brand on the market. They originally launched as a brand Mama Mio 10 years ago where they produced skincare products for expecting mums. As they couldn’t find any skincare products specifically tailored to healthy active lifestyles, they decided to create Mio.

The high intensity body care slots easily into your daily skin care routine, there is a range of products from rich nourishing body butters and firming serums, giving you healthy skin that can cope with life’s challenges. I often find with natural skincare it’s more important to find out what isn’t in it, than what is, so there is no parabens, petrolatum, mineral oil, synthetic fragrances, artificial colourants, sodium laureth or lauryl sulphate, xenoestrogens, phthalates, PEGs or glycols. They are also not tested on animals. I really like the ethics and ethos behind the company, and I am in love with the products.


Liquid Yoga

This stuff is dreamy! I even took it on holiday with me to Tenerife. Liquid Yoga’s aim is to relax the muscles and calm the mind, it’s a milky-moisturising blend of epsom salts, essential oils like lavender, spearmint and cypress and therapeutic herbs like arnica. It’s the perfect treat for unwinding after a long day, and great for tired, sore muscles. The smell of this stuff is absolutely lush, the perfect de-stressing blend. It’s got arnica and horse chestnut to ease those stiff sore muscles, as well as being rich in antioxidants and other moisturising ingredients. It’s a total treat.


Workout Wonder

This is a little instant pick-me-up. Ideal for using pre/post workout or even after a long day. It’s cooling, and restorative for the muscles, releasing tension and perfect for recovery or prepping them for action. It contains things like arnica, horse chestnut, magnesium and spearmint to get your muscles going. It smells absolutely amazing, and I love the instant cooling action. I like to use a few pumps before an early workout, or late at night after a long day, and it’s seemed to be working wonders for my recovery so far!

Double Buff

I like using a scrub once or twice a week, for some gentle exfoliation, and this ticks all the boxes. It aims to rapidly transform rough, dull looking skin into skin that looks superbly soft, smooth and radiant. It’s very restorative, and very gentle, it’s not harsh or stripping the skin. It’s very quick and easy to use, you simply massage it into dry skin, and then shower it off. The gentle exfoliating action is provided by spheres of pumice, lava and bamboo blended with papaya and pineapple whose enzymes help to dissolve away any roughness. It’s also rich in antioxidants and nourishing oils and butters to keep skin looking strong and healthy. I’ve been using this twice a week, and I love the instant restorative feeling it has, and it leaves my skin lovely and soft and smooth.

Overall, I’m seriously impressed with the quality of these products, and will definitely be restocking when I run out of them. They would make the perfect stocking filler or Christmas gift so get them on your list to Santa!



Disclaimer: I was sent the Mio Products for review, all opinions are my own.



Value the Silence

I was about a mile into my run this morning, and as I turned away from the main road and onto the Thames Path, I stumbled upon utter silence. It was the perfect combination of Sunday morning earlyness and it being bloody freezing, which meant there was barely anyone else up and about. Aside from the odd seagull, or lapping of the Thames on the shore, there was total silence- just me and my sniffing, and feet pounding the ground.


Silence is rare, especially in the city which is why it struck me so much on this run this morning, it was almost alarming, as it was so unexpected. I didn’t need to drown out the industrial or mechanical with a podcast or music, I could just be present in the moment, and simply be. It’s hard to escape the incessant noise and chatter that’s always in the background, whether traffic, people, or construction. You really have to make the most of those moments where you find it, because they are sadly fleeting in modern life.


I now actively notice the silence when I leave London, whereas before I took it for granted. When I go back to visit my parents in Cardiff, I struggle to get over how utterly silent it is, and I always find it hard to readjust coming back into London- it’s like sensory overload, and my body and mind just reject it.

I’m an introvert, and I like spending time alone, so I crave moments like this morning more and more. I find silence to be calming, restorative and good for the soul and I just want to press pause and indulge in those moments of utter bliss. I feel like silence gives you so much time and space.

Everything in our society is fast-paced, we want everything on demand and we want it now, in a world dominated by constant background noise, you need to find those moments of serene silence and savour every second.

Coconut, Almond and Goji Bars

I make snack bars on a weekly basis, but it’s difficult to keep them interesting when you keep throwing the same ingredients in the processor week in week out. These bars feature a few ingredients I haven’t used in bars before including sprouted oats, goji berries, and the completely new-to-me Sunflower protein. Here’s a bit about these super ingredients:


Sprouted Oats: I’m obsessed with oats, and usually make sure I soak them overnight to remove the enzyme inhibitors, and make them more digestible. Sprouted oats are pre-soaked and dehydrated, so you don’t have to remember to soak them overnight, and they cook up quite quickly in the morning too, they are easy to digest and packed full of available nutrients. I love the chewier texture that they offer up as my morning porridge.

Goji Berries: Packed full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They are very high in vitamin C. I like to add them to my lemon water in the morning for a boost. I don’t often buy goji’s, usually sticking to dates/raisins, so they make a nice change.

Sunflower Seed Protein: This is derived from Organic sunflower seeds, is high in protein and contains all nine essential amino acids, as well as plenty of fibre and minerals to boot. It tastes quite nutty/seedy, so is a nice addition to smoothies/bars, and is becoming more commonly available now. It’s completely plant based, so a good addition if you are looking for a high quality protein powder and don’t like the taste of hemp/pea etc.


Coconut, Almond and Goji Bars

1 cup Sprouted Oats (You can use regular oats too)
2 scoops of Sunflower Protein
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Chia Seeds
3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Goji Berries
1/4 Cup Dried Figs
1/2 Cup Almonds
1/4 Cup Coconut Flakes
2 Tbsp Almond Butter
A Drizzle of Water to Bind

Simply add all the ingredients to the food processor, and blitz until combined, add a little bit of water just so the mixture starts to come together, and press into a dish, I added a little coconut on top too, and put in the fridge for an hour or two before cutting into bars and storing in the fridge or freezer.


These have a really nice contrast in texture, from the nutty sunflower proteins and almonds, to the slightly sweet chewy goji berries and coconut. I had mine in the freezer for over a week, and they kept me going on busy days when I was rushing about and needed to grab something quickly.


Disclaimer: I kindly received the Sprouted Oats from Planet Organic, and received a box of goodies from The Protein Works to create some recipes with. All opinions are my own.

Staying Active on Holiday

I’ve just got back from a much needed restorative break in Tenerife. The seven days was definitely what I needed to re-energize, and give myself a little boost going into winter. We hadn’t been away since April, and we’ve had such a busy time since getting Baxter, it was nice to get away and spend some time together.


Some people’s idea of a holiday might be to lie on a sunbed for 7 days and not move, and good for them-sometimes you need that chill out time- but for me I wanted to use the 7 days to explore the island, and fit in some serious workouts without feeling guilty for leaving the dog. This was a week to find my love of running, and get back some fitness, almost a DIY fitness retreat! Here are my tips for staying active while away:


Get Active Early
I woke up early-ish every day and got a workout in before decimating the hotel buffet breakfast (best breakfast I’ve ever been to!). Most days this was a run, as it was the best time to go, it was cooler before the sun came up, but it was still bloody tough to run in 23-25 degrees, I was sweating before we had even started, and it didn’t help that the coastline of Tenerife is not what I would describe as flat. We ran some pretty serious hills over the course of the week, and it was a wonderful way to explore the coastline, watch the sun come up, and have some peace and quiet before the tourists took over- although that said, I have never seen as many runners in my life as on Tenerife’s coastal path. I ran anywhere from 3-6 miles and made the most of the stay getting in 5 runs over the week, it was tough but I enjoyed it and saw it as the week to start back into some training for the winter. I also very much enjoyed the breakfasts after the early exercise.

Use the Pool
Our hotel pools were saltwater, and were not heated, something I didn’t mind, but apparently everyone else did, as I was almost the only person in the pool everyday. I made the most of the empty pool and had a 20-30 minute swim everyday. It’s a great low impact exercise, and easy to fit into a day when you are just going to be laying by the pool anyway.

Use the Gym
The gym was decent for a hotel gym, though cramped into a very small space. I am still following Jamie Eason’s LiveFit workout program, so amended some of the phase 2 workouts with the equipment I had to hand. I was in the gym everyday for anywhere from 40-60 minutes lifting some serious weights. Sometimes I went early if I wasn’t running, but most times I went around 5-5.30pm, in that downtime before going out to dinner, where you would just be chilling in the room anyway.

Walk Everywhere
We walked absolutely miles, I was hitting nearly 20,000 steps a day (even 25,000 on one day) which for a beach/pool holiday was a lot. We went for an afternoon walk everyday to explore new locations, and even found a hiking trail near our hotel which we did one afternoon. We never used any mode of transport, choosing to walk to and from dinner each night along the coastal path. I loved watching the sun go down, or listening to the waves crashing in the dark, and it was a great way to keep active and explore the island.


We had a private terrace as we got a double room upgrade! I made the most of this by doing some stretching and yoga on our own peaceful little space, this was especially nice early in the morning, or as the sun was setting. I even partook in a bit of legs up the lounger!


It was hot in Tenerife- 23-28 each day, and the humidity was quite high, meaning a lot of sweating particularly when running. There was also quite a few cocktails and beers drunk across the week! It was vital to stay hydrated, I drank a lot of water during the trip and also added Viridian’s Sports Electrolyte Fix to my water to replenish those all important electrolytes too.


Tenerife wasn’t a Vegan haven, but I managed to make it work. We had big breakfasts everyday, and chose to skip lunch and instead snacked on fruit (stolen from the buffet) and snack bars, we then went out to dinner in the evening. I felt like I almost ate better in Tenerife than at home, I ate so many veggies, and fruits, although I did miss my beans/lentils only having them a few times across the week. One of the Canarian specialities is Canarian potatoes, salted new potatoes dipped in these amazing mojo sauces, which I pretty much found everywhere and then supplemented with some side veggie dish/salad. I also found one place which made a delicious quinoa/chickpea salad which made me happy! For breakfasts I destroyed the fruit at the buffet, and had a massive plate of salad and some baked beans for some protein, I also had bircher muesli which was made with soya milk. I was delighted they had enormous persimmons, and stole some for afternoon snacks whenever I got the chance.

I came back feeling re-energized, fit, healthy and happy. The break was a restorative one for body and mind, and judging by the way I felt by the time it ended it was much needed.

Shine bright like a…Runner!

Having just got back from Tenerife, I seem to have completely forgotten that it is A. Winter, and B. Dark at ridiculous o’clock. The nights drew in much later over there, so I was quite shocked/horrified when I got back to discover the darkness creeping in at barely 4 o’clock. If you are regularly active, or like me are about to commence a winter training program, then you can’t really avoid running in the dark- unless you fancy 20 odd miles on a dreadmill- no thank you!


I change up my running routine at this time of year, as the nights are darker, I will always tell my other half where I am going and how long I will be- should do this anyway really! I will also stay away from more isolated areas and poorly lit places, and will run more populated routes during this time of year. I also don’t run commute the whole way home as I don’t feel safe in certain areas after dark. I also make sure that I am seen on my run, as I tend to wear a lot of darker clothing, it’s vital that I in any way possible light up like a Christmas tree to make myself visible to other pedestrians, cars and cyclist’s.

Last year I was sent a box of Nathan goodies to see me through the winter months, and I have to say I wear the light bender and heel spur religiously on late night run commutes. Nathan Sports have kindly sent me a bumper box of new hi-vis products to make sure I am seen when hitting the pavements this winter. They also kindly sent me some locklaces- handy as I was moaning about my Nike flyknit laces constantly coming undone only the week before, and some Feetures socks to keep my toes warm too, I have a few pairs of these socks now, and find them absolutely brilliant, nice and supportive and no blisters either.



Zephyr Fire 100: This is a rechargeable flashlight with handheld strap. I usually don’t run with anything in my hands, so this was a new experience for me. I really liked using this on darker sections of path along my usual route, where it only takes one upraised paving slab and you are on your arse. This is a really useful product to help you see the path ahead. It also has a very loud siren if needed. It’s actually really easy to carry, and gives off a good amount of light also.


Strobe Lights: I was sent a variety of strobe lights, of varying power and with lots of different settings. They are easy to clip onto yourself or your gear, and would be great for running or cycling. The Orion is the most powerful, and it also illuminates the path ahead of you as well as lighting up yourself. The Pulsar strobe is super light so you can even clip it onto your shoe comfortably.

Light Spur: I now have two of these, and will be attaching one to each shoe. They are great for runners/cyclists for ensuring you are well seen from behind. I have used my single one a lot since getting it last year, and am looking forward to using two. It fits snugly on your shoes, and isn’t heavy or restrictive either.


Bandolier Vest: I’ve never got on that well with hi-vis vests, I just find them a bit of a faff to get on over other gear, and their constant movement irritates me. 360 degrees of reflectivity for maximum visibility. I actually had no idea what was the front/back of this vest, and I probably won’t be wearing it regularly in future, I prefer to stick to the lights for being seen.

Fire and Ice Bottle: This is a reflective bottle, that is insulated and keeps fluids cooler while offering visibility. I don’t carry bottles when I am running, so I am using this as a daily water bottle instead.

The Nathan hi-vis range comes in a range of prices, and some of them are very affordable, a small price to pay to ensure you stay seen on the roads this winter.


Disclaimer: I was sent a box of Nathan goodies for review purposes, all opinions are my own.