Monday, 18 January 2016

Resolutions and aspirations ~ part two

after our chat about resolutions and what changes we would like to make this year, i was full of enthusiasm to get started!

i decided to set a challenge every day of the week for two weeks to give myself a kick start!

here they are...
 
CHALLENGE 1 ~ take two black bin bags {label one to throw out and the other to donate} walk around your house and fill them up! then bin one and put the other in your car boot to take to your nearest donation point or charity shop.

CHALLENGE 2 ~ switch your oil.
Coconut oil is a great alternative for cooking – it can replace butter or oil in most recipes and if you use an organic refined coconut oil it wont impart an aroma or flavour.
Coconut oil has some saturated fatty acids like Capric Acid and Lauric Acid, which raise the level of High Density Lipoproteins in the body, lowers bad cholesterol, boosts immunity and fights ageing. They also increase the rate of metabolism and help shed weight.
Plus you can use it as a moisturiser, teeth whitener and hair conditioner... to name but a few of it's many many uses!
Try this yummy recipe instead of an expensive and {not that healthy} breakfast bar ~ http://www.epicurious.com/…/Nutty-Grain-and-Oat-Bars-512100…

CHALLENGE 3 ~ IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP! Make your bedroom a screen free zone, write a list to clear your head and read a book instead. Or take a bath with some epsom salts {bet your granny used to do that!} the salts draw out impurities from the skin and if you add a little lavender oil into the bath too, you will be drifting off to sleep in no time... get out of the bath first though!

CHALLENGE 4 ~ Pick a shelf, worktop or cupboard... that drawer in the kitchen {you know the one I mean}... this will be your first clutter free zone – protect it with all your might!
Take everything out and sort it into three piles or boxes {I found it helpful to take three cardboard boxes and decorate them all nice and pretty and label them}
1. file/put away
2. bin
3. donate

PUT NOTHING BACK ON THAT SHELF THAT DOESN'T BELONG THERE!
Repeat this step once or twice a week with a new area...



CHALLENGE 5 ~ FAST.
Intermittent fasting is when you change the times that you eat to 'allow your body to go into a fat burning state that you rarely make it to during a normal eating schedule'.
My suggestion would be to just extend your normal fasting hours {when you sleep} as this is probably the easiest to do initially... So, eat a decent meal between 5 & 6pm {with the kids perhaps} and don't eat again until 8am the next day.
Change your eating habits one step at a time!

CHALLENGE 6 ~ REDUCE your Caffeine... coffee, tea, fizzy drinks. This will improve sleep, help keep your teeth and bones strong and may decrease your risk of hypertension.

CHALLENGE 7 ~ WALK MORE! Try to walk at least 10,000 steps every day ~ helps to have a pedometer or there are lots of free apps for your phone. This one seems easy but in actual fact even with the school run and a dog walk I only just hit it!

CHALLENGE 8 ~ Think about changing your blue top milk to green, or your green top to red. Or how about mixing it up completely and going for oat milk, coconut milk or almond milk? This is actually one that I already do and since changing to skimmed, have really noticed a difference... my husband Sam noticed too especially as the middle age spread started to make an appearance! The once tall and lean surf hunk who could eat what he wants now has to think twice!

CHALLENGE 9 ~ DRINK MORE WATER!
Everyone tells you to do it... you know you should do it... so do it!
Introduce an extra glass of water to your daily routine ~ maybe it's a cup of hot water when you wake up {add a squeeze of lemon if you want a morning boost} or carrying a bottle of water with you to work.
Upping your water intake will flush out more toxins from your body, can eliminate the feeling of being hungry {as a lot of the time you are actually thirsty, not hungry!} and can improve your mood, your skin and your circulation.
Try adding fruit to your water to make it a bit more interesting – cucumber is a big favourite in our house... I make up a big Kilner jar fresh every morning and put it in the fridge ~ ours has a wee tap so the kids come and help themselves!
Lemon, raspberries, apple and limes all taste great – or a maybe try a combination!


CHALLENGE 10 ~ This one is all about de-cluttering... Go into your bathroom and bring a black bag! Anything that is out of date or more than a year or two old... bin it or recycle it... Keep all the basics in a wee basket or wash bag above the sink and keep them there! This makes it easier to clean as well as you just need to lift the basket and not lots and lots of bottles!

CHALLENGE 11 ~ Reduce sugar and salt in your diet. Some sweet alternatives are honey {specifically organic, raw and unrefined} or agave nectar and if you still like the taste of salt then try Himalayan pink salt. {I found a really big mill in B&M's for a couple of pounds}

CHALLENGE 12 ~ It is time to tackle that wardrobe! Check out this page for inspiration! ~ http://www.marthastewart.com/…/konmari-trendy-new-organizin…
And just go for it!

CHALLENGE 13 ~ Introduce yoga into your new routine. As part of a physical detox the yoga asanas {poses} stimulate the digestive, lymphatic and circulatory systems helping your body remove waste products more efficiently. Twisting poses in particular are known for aiding detox.
A regular yoga practice also acts as a detox for the mind, releasing anxiety and bringing about improved focus and emotional well being.
For some examples of great January detox poses try: http://www.doyouyoga.com/8-yoga-poses-to-detox-your-way-to…/




CHALLENGE 14 ~ BANISH THOSE PAPER PILES! Create an efficient filing system – two folders or box files would work well... all incoming papers, letters, notes etc go in to one. TO DO could be the other folder and you immediately file the rest – no cheating with a 'TO FILE' folder!

we made a craft activity and made ours out of some old cardboard cereal boxes!



Wednesday, 30 December 2015

resolutions and aspirations


today poppy and i were chatting about new years resolutions... what they are, what it means etc etc. she was really interested and wanted to make some of her own but found it tricky to think of something... i mean it's all 'get organised', 'keep fit', 'lose weight' with us adults, huh.

i decided to give her a wee check list {oh how i love a list!}

i have kept this full size to be delightfully helpful so you lovely readers can print it ~


we got to chatting about happiness and i told her about a blog i read {www.barefootfive.com} where the girl {age 6} had said something like ~ "i decided i was going to have fun long before i got here..."

and i just love that idea, that you decide to be happy.


Sunday, 20 December 2015

nine day detox - day 7~9

day seven ~
i made crepes today for our 600 cal meal and they were really delicious... making things from scratch is the perfect way to know exactly what is going into your body.  if i take anything away from this experience it will be to be mindful of the food i eat. to eat clean. reduce the amount of processed, artificial and refined food that we as a family consume. we are pretty good at that as it is, but there is a part of our diet that could really do with a bit of a blitz - snacking!
i am loving the shakes as well, we will definitely keep this part of the c9 going... this and the gel.



day eight ~
today i made a big pot of dhal for our evening meal, with a few home made chapatis... these are just wholemeal flour and water {no salt or yeast} and then a small amount of oil to fry... i used coconut oil.
reaching for fruit or a glass of water instead of a chocolate biscuit or packet of crisps has been the most amazing thing for me ~ i am learning that i don't really need the quick sugar fix... that i am eating more out of boredom or habit rather than need. so by swapping the delicious treat for a healthier choice has really reduced my snacking so far...

day nine ~
i made it! i did the full nine days!
we get to have a small lunch today to wean us back into eating three meals! i made vegetable soup and for our evening meal we had lamb chops with spinach and mushrooms.

i, surprisingly, enjoyed the whole process and learning about the foods i eat and the effect it has on my body.
the lack of caffeine has had little or no effect on me at all, it just proves that i don't 'need' it. drinking tea and coffee was just a habit for me and i am sure that i will continue to keep my caffeine intake to a minimum from now on.
i have also noticed that my appetite is much smaller and i actually stop eating when i am full... instead of continuing to pick at food until it is all gone... from mine and my kids plates!

if i keep our portions small i am certain that this habit will continue as well!

and here are my results {apologies for the grumpy face ~ not a fan of showing my tummy far less in front of the camera!}
... a total of 6inches all over and a weight loss of 8lbs ~


all in all, c9 was a complete success for me and one that i highly recommend for anyone with a bit of weight to shift, or bad habits to change.


Saturday, 28 November 2015

nine day detox - day 4~6


day four ~
definitely getting better! i don't feel as hungry all the time and i also don't even feel as though i miss tea and coffee... i thought about cheating and just having a wee sneaky decaf when at the soft play with the kids today. when i got to the counter to order, i just didn't feel like a coffee.
the c9 works!
i did a fair amount of walking today with the pram and with the toddler in the sling and i didn't feel too tired or lightheaded despite not eating much... i had my lunchtime shake with me and i just sipped it as i went along.
my 600 cal meal was a big bowl of home made vegetable and lentil soup with some seeded bread and a wee bit of butter... i felt full up really quickly and the soup warmed me up as the weather has been freezing the last few days.

day five ~
i really want to snack.
for my evening meal i had pitta parcels with lettuce, minced beef and mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic and onions... and a cheeky sprinkling of parmesan! it was really tasty!
this evening was tough again as i really felt like i wanted cake and crisps!
i have also noticed that although it is taking me a wee bit longer to fall asleep at night, i am sleeping deeper and better so feel more revitalised in the mornings and the school run is amazing with my shake in hand! i am loving it so far! but i am also really looking forward to eating whatever i want, whenever i want to!

day six ~
not long to go... over half way!
i had lasagna and a big salad for my evening meal and felt really full up even without my usual double helping of garlic bread! 
my stomach feels tighter and flatter, my chins are receding...
but i want to make it known...
i didn't need to loose any weight - i am a healthy 9ish stone so i was really looking for the cleanse aspect of the c9... i want to learn to eat clean... make better snacking choices... and just feel better about myself.
however, loosing the extra baby weight around my middle, that has snuck up on me over the last five years, has been a huge confidence boost.
the clean eating has removed the eternal sluggish feeling i used to have...
i feel energised and healthy and i love it!


Wednesday, 25 November 2015

nine day detox - day 1~3

i have noticed a distinct lack of waist these last few months... a bad habit of evening snacking taking on a whole new level {i ate a packet of pork pies one night after my pilates class}
so, i decided to do the nine day forever living aloe vera cleanse - c9 for short. here is how i got on...

day one ~
i took all my measurements and weighed myself and noted it all down in the special booklet that came in the pack.  this wee booklet is packed with ideas to help you with the cleanse, but it also has step by step tick~boxes to make sure you keep to the plan! which has been really helpful in motivating me to keep going ~ making notes as you go along is a great way to keep you focused on the task at hand!
so, the first day was tough ~
breakfast was two garcinia tablets, 120mls of forever aloe gel and one forever therm, with plenty of water!
the garcinia cambogia is a tree native to southeast asia, the fruit from it is known to help reduce the conversion of carbohydrate to fats, lower cholesterol and aid metabolism. 
the therm tablets are full of vitamins, nutrients and botanicals to reduce fatigue and aid metabolism.
the gel has numerous beneficial properties; a rich source of nutrients, it provides the perfect supplement to a balanced diet.
for snack i had a drink {diluted down fruit juice}with some of the forever fiber dissolved into it. yum.
lunch was the same as breakfast but you get to have a forever lite ultra shake, which i mixed with 300ml of skimmed milk and added frozen berries, it was delicious!
the powder is packed with vitamins and minerals it is great as a meal supplement or as a protein shake if you are trying to build muscle.


the evening meal is just two garcinia tablets and 120mls of gel...
so, not a lot of food consumed today & i am definitely noticing a low level grumble in my tummy almost constantly. but it is okay because the c9 program allows you to eat as many free foods throughout the day as you need to keep hunger at bay.... free foods are things like apples, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, grapes etc.
just before bed i got to drink another 120ml of the gel ~ which i am mixing with the forever berry nectar as i prefer the taste of that {the kids and i drink it everyday already so my stomach likes it!}

day two ~
today was the same as day one, again, not much food consumed today either! but on the whole i feel okay!
felt a little light headed this afternoon but an apple and some grapes helped tide me over til my evening meal of aloe gel and suppliments!
tonight was particularly tricky as i had a parents committee meeting and there was wine and snacks on offer... i was very good and managed to sip on a water instead. i can't wait for tomorrow when i can eat an actual meal! ooh... what shall i have?

day three ~
so, this is where it gets exciting! i was allowed a shake for breakfast alongside my garcinia, aloe gel and therm tablets... i made it with bananas and took it on the school run. i felt very energised this morning, really keen to get on with the day!


my evening meal was to be 600 calories. i had slow cooked lamb with kidney beans and lots of veg on a bed of pasta, it was so good! i felt full really quickly... but then i just wanted to keep eating... i wanted to eat cake and crisps and have tea and biscuits! it was like i had opened the flood gates!
i managed to resist and had a carrot instead!
really noticing that i am wee-ing a lot more than usual! must be the detox working... i have also noticed my skin working hard to repair itself ~ a few little dry areas appearing as it flushes out the toxins.
i got to measure myself again today and alongside a few lost inches i have noticed a real change in my shape! {i will post all the stats at the end!}



*disclaimer ~ the above links will take you to my FLP selling page.

Monday, 23 November 2015

slow cooker ~ lamb

this recipe is so good... it takes eight hours in the slow cooker but that just means that once you have prepared it, you can leave it to cook until your meal at night.


so, first off i scored the meat and pushed some crushed garlic and rosemary into the 'pockets'. then i browned the meat, a quick fry on all sides in a hot pan.

into the crock pot it goes

using the oil from the pan, fry up some chopped shallots or onions until soft.  pour in a slosh of wine {*this is obviously optional but delicious!) a cup of stock {homemade or cubed} a handful of bay leaves and a few sprigs of rosemary. bring to the boil.

once the liquid has reduced by about a third, pour it into the crockpot.

cook for 6hrs on LOW. then turn the lamb and add in a tin of flageolet beans {or any bean you fancy really! except baked beans... although i reckon they would be pretty tasty too!}

cook for a further 2 and a quarter hours on LOW.  the lamb and beans may not be covered entirely by liquid during the cooking process but that is okay :)

let the lamb rest for 10mins and serve with the beans and sauce with some sauteed potatoes and plenty of fresh steamed veg.


yum.

Friday, 23 October 2015

ooh aloe


i have posted about living simply and using natural products where possible, i have posted about aloe vera before and about it's many uses but the more i read about it and the more i use it, the more it amazes me!
you don't even need any fancy products off the shelf... you just need the plant! slice the leaves length ways to remove the inner gel.

it has been used as part of beauty regimes for over 6,000 years... cleopatra used it on her skin, the native americans call it the 'wand of heaven' and egyptians, the 'plant of immortality'.

so, i decided to make a list of all it's amazing uses ~

topically for skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, pigmentation, sunburn, dry skin and frostbite.

use the inner sides of the leaf as a biodegradable body scrub in the shower.

aloe gel, when drunk, may serve as a treatment for heartburn, ulcers, digestive discomfort, osteoarthritis, diabetes and treating the effects of radiation therapy. i would recommend this be bought from the shop in the form of an aloe drink.

when drunk it can also reduce cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar levels

it can be warmed in a bowl of hot water, and inhaled as a vapor for treatment of asthma.

makeup remover.

reduces bruising

aloe can even replace your hair conditioner.

prevents itching from bug bites.

aloe is able to kill bacteria as well as speed wound healing.

the clear gel inside the leaf contains over 75 different key nutritional compounds such as mineral, vitamins and amino acids.

it is anti-inflamitory, antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic.

and i use it for almost all of those things in one way or another! i drink it and i use it as a toothpaste, a hand wash, a face cream and an antibacterial hand gel... lip balm, shampoo, conditioner...


visit my forever aloe fb page for more information on the products and where to buy them...