Merry Christmas! 

Goodbye and good riddance 2016! It’s been an *interesting* year and I can’t say I’ll be sorry to see the end of it! 

Brussels sprouts #favourite #vegetable

There’s lots in store for 2017 so keep following, cheers!

Xoxo

Friday Round-Up: #MoreInCommon

Let’s take a break from the whole healthy lifestyle stuff for a few minutes to celebrate how much everyone has in common with one another despite religion, skin colour, sexuality, gender, age …..

This past presidential election campaign has been pretty brutal in the US, and the EU referendum in the UK has stirred up some pretty hateful people as well.

During the EU referendum campaign, Jo Cox was murdered whist serving her constituency. This was a tragedy and her words, spoken during her maiden speech in parliament have never been truer

“…we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us”

Keep reading until the end of a post for a thought-provoking video!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, and that’s health, yeah baby!

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve fitted in a few workouts, some running and have been making more conscious decisions in regards to what I’m eating.

Homemade turkey burgers with spiralized carrots in a wrap.

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Homemade Turkey Burgers, spiralized carrots, sesame seeds, wrap!
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A very posed picture – but proof that I did fit a strength workout in!

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Wild rice and grains with slow roasted leeks, peas, chicken breast and some roast potatoes.
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Pasta with green vegetables, chili flakes, and Boursin (of course!)

Here’s some Friday thouhgts, courtesy of Jane Elliott, renowned teacher, lecturer and diversity trainer.

 

Week on Wednesday (because I missed my round-up and summary from the weekend)

Blogger fail, I didn’t post a Friday Round-Up this week or a Saturday Summary, womp womp! Why, you ask? Because I was accepting a new job and handing in my notice, yipee!

If you’ve read any of my recent Friday Round-Ups, you’ll know that I have been growing increasingly dissatisfied with my current role. I’ll now be moving to a part time marketing manager role and setting up as a freelance marketing consultant! Exciting stuff!

What does that mean for my health? Well…
1) I’ll no longer be eating my feelings (mainly boredom & anger)
2) My mind will be clearer and I’ll have less stress and anxiety – remember folks, mental health is as important as physical health (if not more so)
3)I’ll be eating at home a lot more, so I’ll need to be really careful not to snack, and make sure I have lot’s of quick healthy lunch options

Since it has been a while since my last post, I’ve got loads to share!

Exercise
I’ve been getting back into my running and did a 9.8km run last Thursday and then did hill sprints on Monday. I also squeezed in a couple of at-home body-weight circuits.

Garmin 10
When your Garmin battery dies 1km from home:-(
Running essentials
Water, Garmin, Head-torch
Hill Sprints
You can’t tell, but this is one hell of a steep hill! And it was only 2 degrees!
Hill Sprints
Motivational music was necessary with the hill sprints!

It is well and truly winter in Yorkshire – we’ve got snow today! I can’t remember snow this early for years!

Snow in November!
Snow in November!

This is going to make outdoor runs a bit trickier, but I’m prepared with a new head torch and I’ve brought the thermals back out of storage!

Running Safety
Safety first! Head torch and reflective vest for night running!
Winter running
Reflective trainers, thermal tights, reflective vest

Eating
Last week was total gluttony as we had two parties at work which involved sweets, junk food and krispy kremes!
I tried to balance it out with healthier main meals, but I’ll chalk it down as a bad week for balanced eating!

Chocolate Cake
Chocolate loaf cake with a slated caramel middle – OMG!
Cheesy Fries
Homemade cheesy fries with whote and sweet potatoes, Boursin and smoked bacon – all baked and no added salt or oil!
Cheesy Fries
Close-Up!

Friday Round-Up: Winter is coming (and so is my cold)

Happy Friday everyone! With a fresh chill in the air, I’m on the brink of developing a full-on cold, complete with swollen glands, headaches and nausea, yuk! I’m trying my hardest to stave off the illness, with lots of fresh fruit & veg, but I might have to succumb and spend some time on the sofa this weekend!

I think it’s karma paying me back for a lack of fresh produce over the past few weeks! You know what they say #HealthIsWealth!

I’ve stocked up on winter fruit including conference pears and tangerines and am making a conscious effort to get more vegetables in my diet. Tonight I’ll be foregoing the take-away curry in favour of homemade stir-fry with red peppers, carrots, courgette and soy beans!

Here’s some pics of the tea I made last night, sautéed vegetables with eggs sunny-side up! That’s black pepper on the top!

Green vegetables
Asparagus and tenderstem with garlic butter
Eggs and Vegetables
Two eggs over sauteed asparagus and tenderstem broccoli

Last night Zumba was cancelled so I went on a run, my first since signing up for the Xmas Pudding 7 miler in December. I ran 6km in about 35 minutes (I stopped my Garmin too soon so just guessed the time for the last 0.5km). I felt good and am looking forward to getting in more miles!

My part of the world is looking truly splendid at the moment, as the leaves turn all shades of russet. Last weekend we went for a drive to the river, but the toddler fell asleep before we could get out and walk! Can’t think of a more beautiful spot to enjoy reading my kindle whilst the toddler naps though!

Bolton Abbey
Barden Tower in Bolton Abbey

What was I reading you ask? Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s based around the Nigerian Civil War and is a great read.

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Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I first heard of Chimamanda through a cultural leadership course, and watched her TED Talk (The Danger of a Single Story). Whilst based on her own experience of growing up in Africa and then moving to the US, it’s extremely pertinent right now based on the sometimes hate-filled and divisive rhetoric of both the EU ‘leave’ referendum campaign in the UK and the Trump presidential campaign in the US. I haven’t watched her second TED Talk (We should all be feminists) but it’s on my to-do list!

Have a great weekend everyone!
xoxo

Friday Round-Up: Recharged

Hello internet family! After a week in sunny Ibiza I’m feeling recharged with renewed energy and ready to tackle life’s challenges, big and small!

There’s a lot to catch-up on, so grab a brew (or a glass of wine) and settle in!

The Holiday

Ahhhh, so relaxing! The three of us headed to Es Figueral in Ibiza for a week of family time in the sun. We spent most of our time in the water (either the pool or the lovely Playa Es Figueral) and the rest of the time eating! Just what a holiday should be:-)

Given the amount of ice cream, local cuisine and the occasional glass of cava and beer, I came home the same weight as I left, so wahoo! I’m doing a full holiday recap with photos this weekend, so keep an eye out!

Es Figueral
Sunset view over the beach
Es Figueral
The view from the children’s playground

Anxiety

During my second session of hypnotherapy, we delved deeper into stress release and I actually ended the session by bursting into tears. My therapist assured me this was common, and that it is a physical release of the stress you’re letting go of. Since then, I have been feeling much calmer in my mind. Firstly, my flying anxiety reduced significantly, and I even enjoyed the flight home (the prosecco helped, of course) and am now looking forward to more holidays abroad. I’m hoping to book Nerja in Spain next.

Generally, I felt my anxiety spike again when I returned to work, which signals that I need to stop talking about doing something and actually take some actions to reduce this stress. First, I’m going to arrange a 1-2-1 with my boss to discuss my unhappiness at work. I’m going to out more effort into creating my own business (marketing and business consulting for local SMBs – check out my website with the link below) and I’m going to keep my eye out for other jobs. Knowing that I’m taking these actions is helping me to avoid any high levels of anxiety.

SBC Marketing

Eating

My eating habits have been all over the place, partly because we didn’t do a ‘big shop’ after the holiday and partly because I’m still in holiday spirit! Whilst we were away I ate a mixture of fresh foods (lots of fruit and veg) and some naughty treats (think fresh Churros with chocolate sauce at EVERY breakfast) and I’m still craving the Mediterranean diet. I’ll do an ‘eats of the week’ post next week as I’ve taken loads of pictures recently, but here’s a slaad I made this week. Baked chicken with herbs, potatoes roasted with the chiken, lambs lettuce, carrots, cucumber, celery and peppers with EVOO and lemon juice, ground black pepper and sesame seeds!

Chicken Salad
Chicken Salad

ON the flip side, because life is all about balance, I ate 2/3 of a family size bag of chili heatwave Doritos after Zumba last night. #BALANCE

Exercise

I was definitely much more active whilst on holiday and that undoubtedly helped me maintin my weight rather than add on the pounds. Since returning I’ve been for a short run (3.2 km, 19 mins) to ease myself back into running, and Zumba.

Colourful Activewear
Colourful Activewear – M7S leggings, Asics trainers

I’m now looking for a 10k race later this year or early in 2017 to aim towards. I think my lack of running has added to my anxiety, and I feel much less fit, so I’m keen to get back to it.

How have you all been? Any late Summer holidays?
xoxo

Friday Round-Up: Has it been a week?

Hey Guys! It doesn’t seem like 5 minutes since last week’s Friday Round-Up. I feel like I haven’t done anything meaningful this week, but maybe I’m just waiting until next Saturday and our holiday!

Ice cream
At Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire a few weeks ago

It’s been 2 years since we last went on a holiday of more than 3 days, so I’m really looking forward to just spending time on the beach and by the pool with my family. Unplugging, ignoring emails, eating LOADS of ice cream and soaking up the Vitamin D!

I’ve been to both Clubbercise and Zumba this week, and they helped somewhat in easing up my work-related anxiety. I’m so unhappy at work at the moment, so I’ve put in a flexible working request and if that doesn’t pan out, I guess I’ll move onto plan B.

I wore my fancy new Marks and Spencer tights and still love them! They are thick without being hot, have a great pattern and a drawstring – 10/10!

M&S Tights
Marks and Spencer Tights!
Cauli Rice
Cauli Rice – good grain size, long shelf life and no nasty ingredients!
Sauteed Veg
Sauteed vegetables (pepper, courgette % carrot) with cauli rice, later topped with baked chicken in a spicy marinade.
selfie
Tiny pigtails as my hair is just too short for a pony tail but it’s too hot to leave down during Zumba!
Pop Works popcorn
POP Works & Co Peanut Butter and Caramel popcorn. I wanted to love it, but it wasn’t sweet enough for me!

Happy Friday Everyone!
xoxo

Friday Round-Up: Let’s get real honest

This blog was created as a way for me to track losing weight. Since realising that losing weight isn’t a linear process, especially when big life changes happen, it’s evolved into a blog focusing on my personal attempt to find balance, health and fitness.

A big part of that involves mental health as well as physical health, and for the past few months I’ve been experiencing anxiety, that erupted in the past couple of weeks to make me physically sick and exhausted.

There’s a few factors behind this episode, including work stress, fear of flying and an upcoming holiday, and increasing guilt that I’m not there enough for my little girl (she’s just started ‘big nursery’).

Now I’m a positive person most of the time, and I like to see the silver lining in every situation, but I realised that I wasn’t getting better no matter how optimistic I was.

So this week I went to see a therapist who speacialises in all sorts of therapies, and she recommended hypnotherapy. After my first session I already feel so much better, and I’ve booked a follow-up next Friday. I won’t go into details about the session as everyone requires unique treatment, but I’ve felt calmer and less stressed since.

I’ve made the decision to stay in my current role and take the opportunity available to do further career development. Hopefully this will put me in a better position to go it alone in a couple of years as a marketing and business consultant. Stopping the constant job searches and cycle of negative feelings towards my current job has helped to alleviate some of the stress.

As for family life, I’m just trying to give myself a break on the mum guilt. Yes, I work a 9-5, but I also try to make the most of my time at home with morning cuddles, evening adventures and plenty of fun at the weekends. Getting to spend a week of uninterrupted time together in a couple of weeks will be great!

And let’s not forget that physical health = better mental health with endorphins and happy chemicals being released when we move. I didn’t do the Salford 10k on Sunday, I felt to sick, but I’ve let it go. This week I got back to Zumba (I’d missed it last week) and also did a new class called Clubbercise! I’ll do a post dedicated to clubbercise soon, but it was awesome!

Instead of putting pressure on myself to reach a goal or compete in a race, I’m going to spend the next few weeks just enjoying being active, whether that’s a run through the woods as the leaves turn to autumn, bopping it out at Zumba or Clubbercise, or getting my stretch on with some yoga.

So here’s to getting help when you need it. Give yourself a break, do something you love, and if in doubt, ask you doctor or a health professional. Trust me, there’s no shame in admitting that you don’t feel great mentally, and you’ll feel so much better when you start to workout why and how you can feel better!

Pics from the week…

M&S tights
Fancy new workout tights from Marks and Spencer – fit great, no see-through bum and perfect length!

 

courgetti2

courgetti
Oooh courgetti

 

Green Veg
A mountain of green veg (brocolli, asparagus, frozen broad beans, soy beans and leeks)
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Vegetable mountain and my oils from Carluccios

 

Grown Up Chocolate
An AMAZING new chocolate discovery – The Grown Up Chocolate Company. Get in my belly!

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^^^Food porn right there!

Adidas SuperCloud
Putting my feet up after Zumba!
Anxiety
When you’re not feeling happy and then you Zumba and the endorphins kick-in!

Have a happy weekend everyone!
xoxo