Whether you’re loving days at the beach or watching it snow outside, the holiday season has arrived! It’s the perfect time to reflect on the year gone by. What are you most proud of? What memory fills you with the most joy? I travelled to Europe in 2017 and had an extraordinary time visiting friends, hiking in Italy and cycling in France. My boyfriend and I also spent three weeks in China, which we agree was one of the best trips we’ve ever done.
The past year has also been full of writing. Since launching this blog a year ago, I’ve shared more than 40 posts on food, travel and fitness. Destinations include Greece and Scotland, while food included Italian and immune boosting soups. Did you prefer fitness articles? Love the travel guides? Find out which posts were most popular below!
Your 10 Favourite Posts of 2017
10. Your First BodyPump Class
It’s the group fitness workout that changed everything! The 60 minute weight training class BodyPump from fitness giant Les Mills’ turned 100 in 2017. To celebrate, I shared my tips for Your First BodyPump Class. Read what to wear, what to bring to class and what to expect throughout the workout.
Coming in 10th, people from across the world including Russia, France and Singapore have checked out this post. Here’s to a stronger, fitter planet! Click here for the full post.
9. Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Once divided, the Vietnam of today is heaven for travellers seeking culture, history, beaches, buildings and food! My boyfriend and I spent five nights in its capital Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) in 2013. The colonial architecture is stunning but you can also get immersed in Vietnam’s wartime history.
My city guide covers where to stay, what to do and where to eat plus tips on currency and visas. I can’t wait to go back! Read the full post here.
8. Travel-Friendly Foods
Organisation is my super power and snacks are no exception! Skip the plane Pringles or late night room service and discover a range of Travel-Friendly Foods that are also good for you.
You’ll find ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner at your hotel or in your plane seat (plus snacks for in between too!). It’s a must-read whether you’re looking to save cash, stay healthy or fight jetlag. Not travelling? These ideas are perfect for your workplace too!
7. Bali for Beginners
I was long sceptical of this Indonesian island for being overrun with Australians seeking a cheap getaway. But a trip to Bali in 2012 changed my mind as I discovered a tropical climate, sensational food and unique experiences. I’ve since returned to Bali multiple times with friends, family and my boyfriend.
6. My Pre-Holiday Checklist
My boyfriend and I returned from Europe in May this year and by September, we were flying again to China! We found ourselves in a familiar pre-holiday pattern of ordering foreign currency, putting our mail on hold and buying travel size essentials.
5. Perth’s Healthiest Cafes
Entering the top five! Gone are the days where cafe breakfasts were eggs, toast or porridge. Being healthy has never been more in fashion and my hometown Perth is dishing up some seriously impressive brunch fare. From beetroot hummus toast to pumpkin protein pancakes, here are some of Perth’s Healthiest Cafes.
There’s a new wave of healthy cafes which I’ll be posting about in 2018. In the meantime, be sure to check these ones out! Read the full post here.
4. 5:2 Diet – My Review
I don’t diet, rather I focus on eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables daily, along with adequate protein and nutritious grains. However, when my weight loss plateaued in 2015 I looked for ways to drop body fat in a healthy way.
3. The Dangers of Overtraining
Exercise is great for your body and mind, until it becomes an obsession. Spurred by successful weight loss in my early 20s, I kept increasing the frequency and duration of my workouts while eating less. The result? Illness, injury and isolation.
In third place, The Dangers of Overtraining details how my healthy habits ultimately caused more harm than good, and hitting breaking point while on holidays in New York City. Click here for the full story.
2. Essential Apps Before You Fly
When I first went backpacking in 2004, I carried a discman and a bulky Lonely Planet guide. More than a decade later, my smartphone is my lifeline that can find flights, take photos, manage money, help with language and even book a yoga class.
In Essential Apps Before You Fly, you’ll find my favourites for organising travel, keeping track of your bookings and even finding dumplings in a hurry. Best of all, every single app featured is free!
1. How I Lost 30kg
Taking out first place in the most-loved posts of 2017, is my personal story How I Lost 30kg. I almost didn’t publish it because I was so embarrassed by the old photos. But the response was extraordinary, even though it was just my own story.
I didn’t have a formula to lose weight, nor did I spend a lot of money or make any drastic changes. In How I Lost 30kg, I share how the small things added up and changed my life for the better.
and for 2018…
I’ll be taking a break for the rest of December to spend time with friends and family, celebrating the achievements of the past year and welcoming in 2018. Early in the new year, I’ll be sharing more on travelling in China plus a new round of healthy Perth cafes! You can also look forward to more fitness posts, and I’ll share how I did eventually overcome that injury from overtraining. If you have any topic requests, please add them to the comments below!
Thanks for reading over the past year. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy 2018! Love Hayley xx