How to Reduce Bloating

Hey, welcome back to my blog. It’s a misty morning so I thought I’d write a post since I won’t be going anywhere. I’ve just had my breakfast and Zac has gone to work. It’s 11am and I’m having a rest day since I’ve been working out almost every day of this holiday. I’m not even out of my PJs yet which is crazy for me. I feel like I haven’t had a proper rest day since the holiday started in terms of exercise. I’m keen to do some stretches later though just to stretch out my stomach muscles from yesterday’s work out because after I woke up I realised they were a little tight. I also think I’ll feel really refreshed after I stretch – I don’t know if that’s just a mental thing though ha.

The most exciting part of my day today will be the food shopping delivery – I’m not even joking haha. I’ve barely got any food in today so dinner tonight will likely be a soup where I chuck in any of the spare veg that we’ve got left over from the week! I’m trying to make a massive effort at the minute to recycle so we ask them to deliver the food without bags and we just run out with a big box when the delivery van gets to ours and it’s so much better.

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Anyways, what I wanted to talk about was bloating! I was really bloated all last week and it got progressively worse over the week. It’s so weird how when you mention bloating to people it’s so much more common than you think, especially in women. I normally get it from eating out or eating foods that generally don’t agree with my stomach/not being conscious of certain ingredients. The bloating causes really bad stomach pains and makes me feel lethargic and bleh. I’ve been to the doctors and they’re doing tests to find out what it could be. I’m hoping they don’t just say its IBS because I know so many people who simply just get diagnosed with IBS when a doctor just can’t actually find what’s wrong. I’d rather actually find the source of the problem.

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Whilst I’ve been off work I’ve been trying to be more mindful of what I’m putting into my body and my food combining. I’ve been reading a lot of articles and putting various strategies and tips to the test so I thought it would be a good idea to do a blog about it. Bloating can have such an impact on how you feel towards yourself mentally and socially and I know so many people who relate to that. There are a few things we can do in our everyday life to prevent it – so I’ve gave them a go.

  1. Make sure you’re not intolerant:

My first tip would be to rule out any intolerances/allergies so that you can make sure that you’re not wheat/lactose intolerant. These can be a main cause towards bloating or any irritation within the bowel. Make sure you actually get diagnosed by a doctor. So many people self-diagnose themselves with all these allergies and they limit themselves from a wide range of grains and vegetables because they think they have allergies towards them.

  1. Limit Carbonated Drinks:

Personally, I don’t think that carbonated drinks help the situation at all – e.g. Coke, Coke Zero – even ones that are zero calorie and no sugar as the fizz can still irritate you and the gas from the drinks can build up in your bowel which causes it to bloat, giving you a really uncomfortable feeling in your stomach.

  1. Limit Sodium:

This one is a difficult one for me because I LOVE salt. Highly processed foods tend to be quite high in sodium and low in fibre. These both are strong contributors to creating that gassy and bloated feeling. Sodium actually causes fluid retention which can give you that puffy bloated look. I would suggest being mindful of what foods you are putting into your body and reading the labels on food packaging. Try to aim for a maximum of 500mg of sodium per day.

  1. Wash your beans and veggies:

Beans have such a bad name when it comes to gas and bloating but so many people exclude these healthy, nutritionally dense foods from their diet purely because they’re afraid it’ll make them gassy. This isn’t the case for everyone. Make sure you wash them first because the water they are often stored in is actually the factor that often causes gassiness. You could even just try to eat them in small doses. Try to limit your acidic veggie intake – vegetables such as; broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels Sprout, Onion. These can be a massive contributor into feeling bloated. I know a lot of people who can’t have onion for this reason. If you’re unsure what acidic and alkaline vegetables are, just Google it and there are charts which show you which ones are acidic and which ones are alkaline. Try to stick to more alkaline vegetables if you feel like the acidic ones are making you feel bloated.

  1. Eat regularly:

Talking from experience, if you skip a meal or not eating enough your body actually produces a thing called enzymes, causing your stomach to react and cause an inflammation in your bowel. The build-up of acid will not only make you bloat but it will give you awful cramping pains. So, I suggest eating more regularly throughout the day and making sure you’re eating enough. Skipping meals isn’t gonna help with bloating – it’s going to make it worse!

  1. Don’t Drink While Eating a Meal:

Leave liquids for a time frame of 30 mins before or after a meal. I’ve found personally that if I’m not drinking with my meals I’m allowing my food to digest more naturally on its own.

  1. Be Mindful of Your Food Combining:

Everyone reacts differently to certain foods. I highly suggest having fruits and cooked foods separately and not combine them together within a meal – especially melons. Try to keep your melons early in the day rather than in the afternoon because if you are eating high water content foods after cooked, dense foods, the high water content food will actually try to digest a lot quicker than the cooked food therefore it will actually just clash and react badly within your stomach. This isn’t the case for everyone. This is only really if you find you do react funny with certain food combinations. I know that I do personally. I can have fruit within a time frame of an hour with cooked food but for some people that’s not the case. Some people can’t actually consume fruit at all after cooked food so you have to be mindful of your stomach and what works for you.

 

I hope these seven tips have helped you and if they have please let me know in the comments because I would just love to hear about it. These are just the seven tips that have worked for me recently. They really have reduced the bloating and general discomfort.

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I really hope it helps – you just have to be mindful of what is going to help you in particular. Anyhow, this brings me to the end of my blog. If you’re new here make sure you subscribe to my posts. I try to post at least once a fortnight.

 

S     x

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How to Become a Morning Person

Welcome back to my blog! It’s week two of the Easter holidays and I’ve gotten myself into such a lovely routine and gotten a lot done that needed doing. The house finally feels cosy again after being a bit neglected while we were both at work. We got rid of ELEVEN BAGS of rubbish (all recycled/given to charity of course) and it feels so much better mentally to be rid of so much clutter.

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In today’s blog I want to talk about tips/tricks to becoming a morning person. Over the past few years it’s something I’ve really had to adapt to since going into full time work and it’s only been the past year that I would actually say that I’ve started to enjoy getting up early and becoming more of an AM gal! I’m not saying I bounce out of bed on a morning with a smile on my face (far from it at 6am) however there’s a few adjustments I made to my lifestyle to make it a lot easier.

Admittedly, I haven’t always been a morning person at all. When I was at college I used to give my little sister a bit of pocket money each week so that she’d get up before me and make me tea and toast so that I had an extra ten minutes to lye in (shocking, I know). At uni I was the embodiment of the stereotypical lazy student – mainly due to social life, a nutritionally deficient diet (Mcdonalds nearly every lunchtime), staying up to get work done, staying up to gossip and watch TV. I wouldn’t change that for the world because I had some great times but all this made it so difficult when it finally came time to leave my bachelors degree and go into a job in the gap year between my BA and my PGCE. At that point 10am was a lye in for me and even then I would just be scrolling on my phone which would leave me with MINUTES to get dressed, ready and out of the house (that would have me on edge these days ha). I also used to have a habit of sleep walking (and eating!!!) which weirdly stopped after I finished uni. I was scrolling through Facebook’s ‘On This Day’ feature recently and found a post where I’d woke up in bed clutching a half melted Smarties Easter egg i’d acquired while i’d been sleep walking – that’s how ridiculous it was. I’m cringing even typing this ha!

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It sounds cheesy and cliche but morning really is the best part of the day. Scientific studies show that it is the time of the day when the brain is the most creative and also the time of day when the brain can take things in better. People who wake up earlier are also noted as being more positive, organised and being better problem solvers than late risers. It’s also been found that early risers often make better food choices – usually due to being able to have a steady breakfast, leading them to make better decisions throughout their day in comparison to late risers who often skip breakfast leading them to need extra hits of sugar throughout their day.

One of the tips that I’ve been using recently is opening the curtains straight away upon waking up to let daylight in as it wakes your brain up automatically. Obviously it’s a bit difficult to do this in the winter months but it’s something that really works for me in Spring/Summer. It sounds cheesy but even just looking out at the trees or hearing the birds chirping often makes me feel that bit more awake – especially in the rare event that the sun’s shining. While I’ve been off, I’ve been having Zac open the curtains before he leaves on a morning so that I wake up naturally. It helps you wake up feeling refreshed and not the slightest bit groggy.

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Having a set routine really helps – for bedtime and waking up! Having a steady sleep pattern is really good for balancing your hormones. Our circadian rhythm also keeps our digestive system in check. Nobel Prize winning research (The Ayurvedic approach) found that a misalignment between our circadian rhythm and our lifestyle can increase the risk of various diseases. Going to bed and waking up the same time every night/morning helps your bodily functions along a lot easier. You could even set an alarm on your phone telling you when to start winding down and getting ready to rest! More findings were that having a set sleeping routine helps with:

  • Immune health
  • Concentration
  • Productivity
  • Emotional Stability
  • Bowel Regularity

This is gonna make me sound so sad but one of the tips that’s really helped me is to always have a breakfast that you can look forward to – or a cool outfit or new make up you want to use – treat yourself for getting up early. I always have my breakfast prepped and ready to go in the fridge on a week day. I normally have a smoothie bowl but packed into a plastic travel cup (Like the one I put on my first ever blog). I know some people will think that a smoothie isn’t filling but I always make sure bananas are the base of my smoothies so not only am I getting a good amount of potassium/fibre when i’m waking up, it’s also quite filling. I don’t scrimp on the granola either! I love adding a bit of crunch to a smoothie. It still doesn’t quite stop me from getting a coffee on the way to work or when I get to work but coffee is a really ingrained part of my routine now!

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This one might not be so feasible during the week depending on your schedule but a brisk walk can do you a load of good helping you wake up on a morning. In the winter/autumn it’s lovely and crisp and can blow off the cobwebs or a Spring/Summer walk can get some much needed vitamin D into your system. Sometimes just getting your body moving can feel like a productive start to the day. On a weekend I like to take a walk to the park when I’m starting to feel sluggish or sleepy as napping just makes me too grouchy.

These are some of the tips that have helped me become more of a morning person over the past year  – and even now whilst I’ve got time off, I’m using them and having my early nights because I know that if I start messing around with my routine, getting up will be difficult when I go back to work. It makes me sound really boring and like an absolute granny but having a good sleep schedule and waking up early helps me stay productive and well aligned throughout the week.

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What are your tips for becoming a morning person?

Have a good week

S    x

 

 

5 Mistakes I’ve Made on a Plant Based Diet

Good afternoon guys! How are we all?  Welcome to my blog. I’m currently off work for two weeks for Easter – hoping to have a very productive time! On Good Friday we went camping and at some point i’ll do a blog about that – it’ll probably be called “How Not to Camp” ha. Hope everyone’s had a great Easter with lots of snacks and rest.

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South Shields Beach, North East, Uk

I’m sure you can tell from the title of this blog, I’ll be talking about my top 5 mistakes when transitioning to a more plant based diet. This blog will be trying to explain what mistakes were made and how I combatted these. Even if you don’t follow a plant based lifestyle and you just want to incorporate more plants in your diet, you’ll still be able to grasp good tips in this blog. I thought I’d add, that if you know me, you’d know I won’t force a vegan lifestyle on anyone – this is just aimed at those that are wanting to follow a plant based lifestyle and are considering how to do it and what to avoid.

Here is mistake number one; don’t exclude yourself from going out for food! When I first started eating a plant based diet, I thought that I wouldn’t be able to go to any restaurants or cafes because I thought there wouldn’t be many options for me. Now, it’s 2018 – there are always options! You can go anywhere – there are always smoothies, salads, pastas etc. There are so many places that have options. Even if they don’t, most of the time they are more than happy to cater to you. If you exclude yourself from going to restaurants and cafes you’re less likely to stick to your diet – food is made to enjoy with people. Food brings people together. So, if you’re wanting to go onto a plant based diet and wanting to avoid dining out, you’ll miss coffees with friends and meals with family – you’ll probably end up giving up. Most restaurants and cafes do PDF versions of their menus now online so try and check those out before you go …I always do and I don’t care if I look super eager!

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The Good Apple Caf  (Sunderland) – best vegan brekkies around!

Growing up I always just ate what my family had, I never really shopped for myself and I would never ever prep food. I was always a picky eater (aside from chocolate and snacks) and my family weren’t. I lived on a steady diet of ready meals at college/uni, crisps, freezer foods and spaghetti hoops …needless to say, it came to a point where enough was enough.  My second tip to you guys is: STOCK UP. As someone who follows a plant based diet, or even someone who tries to eat healthy, it’s so important to have your kitchen basics e.g. Grains, nuts, seeds, sauces, legumes – all of that is great to have on hand. I don’t know about you guys but when I’m fully stocked up on food it gets me in the mood to cook and make nourishing meals. So, the must have basics that I always have in my kitchen are just things like a variety of nuts, legumes/beans, coconut oil and all my grains (rice, quinoa, oats). I can’t stress how much it’s helped me to have all these basics on hand because I’m someone who likes to eat seasonally e.g. when it’s cold I like to eat cooked oats and when it’s warm I like to have smoothies. Just to add – and this sort of the ties in with stocking up – preparation is key. Like I’ve said  a few times, although I’m not the person to do meal prep for a week (I never know what I’m gonna fancy) I always have food already cooked in containers; sweet potato, tofu, rice, snacks and washed greens. I always keep these in plastic storage tubs in the fridge. Stocking up and prepping is super helpful.

My next tip is don’t try to keep your diet completely perfect. When I first changed my diet, I thought you had to eat really clean and strict every day. Life and health is all about enjoying food – not stressing over it. In the past, I’ve been quite strict and tried to cut out salt, sugar, bread…. and it just  wasn’t for me. Like I said, health is so much more than literally just eating fruit and vegetables. Now, I enjoy a diet full of fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, tofu, falafels and I also love enjoying my ice creams (Dairy free chunky monkey Ben and Jerry’s is my fave), my pizzas, my treats, my dark chocolate, burgers, fries – and the list goes on! To be honest, this is the happiest and healthiest version of me I have been for ages. It’s a process, nobody can be perfect – and that in itself stops so many people enjoying a plant based diet. They think they have to be super strict and follow this massive list of rules but that is not the case.

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Homemade flapjacks/cereal bars…great served warm as a desert. 

My next tip is: Don’t compare your meals to others. When I first started eating a plant based diet that was one of my main mistakes – comparing what I was eating to what friends and family were eating. The standard carnivore diet has meat, veggies and carbs and usually it is quite a small portion because meat, overall, is harder to digest. Plant based meals tend to be a bigger volume due to the foods being less calorie dense. Veggies are lower in macronutrients so you do have to be eating a lot more of it to consume your daily nutrients, minerals and vitamins. If you’re transitioning from a carnivorous diet to a plant based diet, it can be really hard because people in today’s society act like everyone should be limiting their intake e.g. calorie restricting, counting macros. Transitioning to a plant based diet, you have to detach everything you know about health and reprogramme your mind to realise that food is your friend and you need to focus on nutrients over calories. Don’t be worried about eating more; abundance is a really important part of a plant based diet.

My last mistake is to not follow fad diets. About two years ago I tried to follow a fad diet called Raw till 4: high carb, low fat vegan. It was low fat, low protein, high carb and only eating raw food before 4pm – I literally lasted a week on this. It was great due to its big portion sizes but it was definitely not balanced and I can imagine it would not help a person’s relationship with food. If you want to thrive on a plant based diet, I was 100% recommend balance and that’s the only way to it. Eating an abundance of fruit and veggies but treating yourself at the same time; eat however you want, keep it cruelty free, listen to your body and do what makes you feel good.

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Anyway guys, that does bring me to the end of my blog. Remember to leave a comment if you’ve got any tips to add to this or any suggestions.

S    x

 

Mini Vegan Pizza Ciabattas

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Hi guys! It’s half term here and I’ve had a lovely, relaxing week. I started off the half term with breakfast at my favourite cafe, The Good Apple then early Valentines Day celebrations at Marina Vista in Roker/Seaburn. The food at Marina Vista is fairly average Italian food however it’s a lovely, atmospheric little restaurant with great views of the marina and it’s yachts. I spent Monday visiting family and then gave Nando’s new vegan food a try. I tried the new butternut squash and sweet potato wrap (ask for no mayo). I thought it would be really heavy and starchy but I luckily I was wrong. It was packed with fresh salad and I absolutely drowned it in all the Nandos hot sauce possible #obsessed. I went through a phase a few year ago where I would put Nandos sauce on EVERYTHING. Fortunately, that phase is over but when I go to Nandos I make the most of the sauce (Garlic Peri Peri – obviously)

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This week I was wanting to share an extremely simple recipe that I sort made by chance one night when I’d been at work and was feeling lazy but wanting something tasty and filling. This recipe is perfect for those days when you don’t have much time to cook. It’s versatile and can be changed up depending on your preferences and it’s also a great half term treat for kids.

Serves 2- Cooking time 15/20 mins – You’ll need:

  • 4 thick, square or round ciabattas
  • Tomato Puree
  • Garlic Puree
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Salad tomatoes
  • Rocket
  • Tesco Free From mozarella

Slice the ciabattas in half so that you have 8 slices and grill these for a few minutes whilst you chop the vegetables (salad tomatoes, onions, peppers)

Add two table spoons of tomato puree, one table spoon of garlic puree and half a can of chopped tomatoes to a bowl and stir until mixed well. Add oregano or basil flakes (optional).

After 2/3 minutes of grilling, take out the ciabattas and spoon the mixture onto the toasted ciabattas. Add the vegetables and sprinkle with Tesco Free From mozzarella cheese.

Add all the ciabattas to a baking tray and bake in a pre heated oven on 200 for ten minutes. After removing from the oven, add some chopped rocket. This can be served with salad, chips . . . or anything you choose.

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Enjoy!

 

S xxx

 

Getting Rid of The Flu and Stopping Myself From Eating Junk!

Hi!

I feel like I’ve been away from my blog for ages when it’s only been a couple of weeks. In that time I’ve been working, up cycling new furniture and trying to get through the winter as best I can. It feels like it’s been the coldest winter in a long time – I don’t know whether that’s just me getting old though :’)

At the minute i’m totally under the weather with the flu. Last week I was literally talking about how I hadn’t been properly ill in two years then two days later the flu struck me down! I thought I was going to go another winter unscathed but I was wrong! My first instinct was to load up on hot sugary drinks and pot noodles (A surprisingly vegan snack) as all I wanted was junk food but this wasn’t making me feel much better. Eventually after the whole comfort junk food remedy didn’t work out (who’d have thunk it?) I decided to increase my fruit and veg intake. Admittedly, recently I’ve been swapping my usual healthy evening meals for quick, easy snacks – I’m talking full bars of dark chocolate to myself and bags of nuts – so as you can imagine, my immune system has been down. There’s just something about winter that puts me off my veg. My body just seems to want to go into hibernation mode – leaving me to be a small human eating a hibernating bear’s size portions for three months a year.

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Anyways, I read up a little bit about the best ways to avoid flu and how to get rid of it quickly once you do have it – they’re pretty simple and work for everybody;

The first one isn’t really a remedy but something i’d read about in a few different blogs articles and research; stress and negativity can affect your immune system. Stress and negativity causes your cortisol hormone level to rise which in turn can leave your immune system and inflammatory pathways suppressed, making you more susceptible to infections and viruses. It may not be always totally avoidable but try not to be in stressful situations when you’re under the weather e.g. rush hour when you have flu.

I know I harp on about lemon water a lot – or I feel like I do – but it’s great for flu. The more hydrated you are, the quicker toxins will leave your body. Dehydrating yourself whilst you have the flu will just prolong the illness. Personally, I love a cold glass of water when i’m feeling poorly because it helps you have that fresh, clean feeling when you’re at your most gross.

In the least preachy way possible, avoiding animal products is great whilst you have the flu. In general, the digestive system can work overtime on heavy animal products e.g. dairy or eggs. Fruit and veg are much quicker to digest and puts your body under less stress – there’s also the added benefit of the all the vitamins and minerals in these. I upped my fruit and veg intake during the flu by eating a lot of extra fruit (tangerines, grapes, banana and coconut milk smoothies).

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This sounds really obvious but try to rest. If your immune system is having a tough time, the last thing you should be doing is trying to keep up with everyone else. Everybody gets sick and sometimes you need to prioritise so that you can get back to being 100%

I absolutely can’t wait to feel better again. It’s half term this week so I’m looking forward to cooking some healthy, yummy food and getting back to feeling good again. The nights seem to be getting (slightly) lighter which means I can go on some afternoon jogs round the park and I’ll also be working on my candles again.

Have a lovely week!

S xxx

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How to Stick to Your Resolutions

Hola!

My time off work came to an end today but luckily I had a really lovely, productive time off and feel refreshed and ready to start again. It’s only a five week term so I really can’t complain! I filled my last week off with work outs, good food (tried Starbuck’s new vegan BBQ Jackfruit & slaw wrap and it was so, so good) and a spa night at Seaham Hall whose gorgeous Thai food I have a photo of below. Thai food is always good news for people who are on diets or people who eat gluten free/dairy free. The Yellow Thai Curry below isn’t featured on their menu but can still be asked for.26156999_408576099589750_4185916053424963584_n(1)

So, the aim of this blog was to talk a bit more in depth about new years resolutions which I touched on slightly in my last post. I’m talking about this again because I’m still figuring out areas that could be worked on/how they could be worked on and how i’m going to stick to these. Also, I feel that if I have something written on my blog i’m somehow more accountable to it.

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How to Stick to Your Resolutions:

  1. Write down your aims and explain why you want/need this resolution to be successful. As I’ve mentioned before, get it written down in a pretty notebook and maybe add visual representations of these? For example, if your aim is to travel you could add pictures of the sorts of destinations you’d like to go to. A study at Dominican University, California found that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if they are written down.
  2. Similarly, for somebody more visual, having mood boards could be great for visualising your goal and keeping you focused. If you don’t want to spend hours cutting and sticking, you could make a mood board on Pinterest – I do this all the time with home ideas and recipes. If you want to get a bit more creative with it, you could also make a collage on Photoshop. This tip is in some ways similar to the idea of ‘Law of Attraction’ in that you are visualising what you want and possibly manifesting your goal.
  3. It sounds cheesy but thinking positively towards your goals is a big step.
  4. Think about how you could make your resolution or goal easier to reach; break it down into chunks or make a to do list to help you achieve it, starting with the easiest steps first. Everything feels more achievable when you’re ticking things off a list.

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I thought i’d set down a few more of my own goals for this year so that they are written down and maybe give some ideas on the sorts of goals you could set.

  1. Wear make up less often. I’m not wanting to suddenly go bare faced every day but it would be nice to have the confidence to wear minimal makeup. Not only would this be great mentally but it would also be great letting my skin breathe on a working day. I feel like this would be a great way to practice gratitude. I’ve been wearing barely any makeup whilst I’ve been off work and it’d be great to see if I could keep this up on weekends and gain the confidence to be able to complete a working day like this.
  2. I’m also going to try and drink less – i’m not a big drinker by any means – but i’m going to try and cut back and enjoy socialising without alcohol because I’ve found as i’m getting older, no matter how little I drink, I end up feeling terrible the next day. I enjoy being proactive on a weekend and I hate the thought of wasting the day with a headache, sleeping in.
  3. I’m going to continue to work on my fitness goals this year and do at least one active thing every day – even if it’s something as relaxed as taking a walk, it’s better than nothing. In this, i’ll also be trying to eat more wholefoods. When i’m in the house, I cook pretty healthy anyway – but i’d like to eat less plant based junk food and snack a lot less this year.
  4. Me and Zac are finally learning to save up – this means less meals out, more nights in and saving our pennies. Although we’ve made a head start recently on buying furniture(which is filling up the spare room nicely), we also want some up-cycled goodies in our home which I’ll be blogging about soon. The aim is be homeowners by end of the year or early 2019.
  5. Less social media (!!!). This one’s a biggie for me but I feel like there’s lots of times where i’m on my phone far too long and not being present. I was really active on social media over the past year, especially regarding my blog. I don’t want to quit using social media completely but i’m aiming not to be using my phone all the time in social situations. Me and Zac have recently started ‘No Phone Fridays’ in which we put our phones into a box and focus on chatting, watching a movie, cooking etc. It’s been great so far and I’ve extended this into not having phones at the dinner table and to making sure we sit down to a meal together at least once a day (If possible).

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So these are my resolutions/focuses for 2018. What are your resolutions? Where do you see yourself at the end of the year? Do you have any tips?

 

S        x

 

Starting 2018 With Healthy Habits – Plus, How to Survive Veganuary for Beginners

Happy New Year! I feel like I haven’t blogged for aaages when it’s only actually been two weeks. This Christmas break i’ve been trying to limit the amount of time I spend on Social Media/my blog when around  Zac, family and friends to feel more present and appreciative of what’s going on around me.

I’ve been so lucky to be off for just over two weeks. I’ve been feeling really grateful to have free time to spend time at home, with time to plan out and cook meals properly, work out without any time limitations and start to put together ideas and inspo for our next house (my main goal for 2018) which has left us scrolling Pinterest like we’re basic and I’ve absolutely loved it. We’ve started collecting new furniture in our spare room and we’re hoping to up cycle some furniture at the weekend so hopefully i’ll have some pictures of those soon!

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One of the things i’ve enjoyed most about being off is being able to exercise while it’s still light outside(!!). It doesn’t sound like a massive deal but when it’s dark outside my body just seems to want to be in hibernation mode and doesn’t want to move. To combat this for when I go back to work i’ve been trying to stock up on all the vitamin D that I miss out on from the lack of sunny days – i’ve been doing this through eating/drinking foods rich in vitamin D such as fresh orange juice, almond milk and tofu. I’ve also been trying to stock up on other foods which can mimic the sun by causing our bodies to produce serotonin, such as tomatoes, bananas and olive oil.  This has been bizarre for me because at one point I was terrified of tomatoes but i’ve become absolutely obsessed this year, i’m guessing this is just a sign that the body knows what it needs! Also, i’d been going jogging at 5:30am in the dark to squeeze a jog in before work but I realised that this was probably a bit dangerous and not really worth it so we bought an exercise bike instead.

For the past year, i’ve been trying to write out exercise routines for myself to stick to on a weekly basis – and as much as I feel that that’s a really good way to get yourself organised when you’re first starting out, it seemed to stop working for me as I would get to the day that i’d planned and dread what i’d set out for myself days before. While i’ve been off i’ve been trying to have a more intuitive approach to working out which has helped me feel a bit more free. It’s been great thinking about what I actually feel like doing before I do it so that it doesn’t feel forced meaning when I feel like doing yoga, I do yoga or when I feel like doing a more cardio based work out I can do that instead, planning out the exercises and reps quickly before I start rather than a few days in advance.

I think in terms of my personal goals for 2018, i’d like to blog consistently through out the year, work out daily if possible and save more money – what are yours?

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Avocado toast is a great start to the day due to tomatoes being full of vitamin C and potassium. Avos are loaded with potassium, fiber and healthy fats.

 

I thought i’d dedicate a section of this blog to Veganuary and those people wanting to give it a try. I’ve seen a lot of blogs and Pinterest posts with Vegan recipes for Veganuary recently and although that’s amazing and helpful, I felt that sometimes those can make it seem daunting especially for those who’re like how I was a few years ago… aka terrified of all veg, a complete novice and in the kitchen and a total junk food addict. I thought i’d highlight some of the really useful things to buy in when you’re first transitioning to a plant based diet if you’re finding it difficult or daunting making the change. If it’s easy and accessible you’re more likely to stick to it!

  1. Frozen falafels! These can be bought from most supermarkets in the UK – Tesco do great sweet potato ones and Cauldron UK also sell a variety of flavours (Their Moroccan spiced ones are amazing). They’re a great addition to a lunch box or simply served in a wrap or with chips for a simple dinner.
  2. THE ENTIRE LINDA MCCARTNEY RANGE; I cannot stress this enough. This range is available in most good UK supermarkets and covers; pies, sausages, Sunday roast, burgers, sausage rolls – it’s brilliant. I remember at one point literally living on their pies and I have no regrets.
  3. Quorn has a Vegan range – if you’re missing chicken fillets or chicken based freezer food (don’t worry, that feeling will pass) Quorn’s 5 Grain Fillet is great and full of protein and fibre. Quorn have also recently started doing vegan burgers.
  4. An absolute staple of my diet is potatoes. I am the sort of person that will have chips with a side of mashed potato and if you’re struggling with a transition onto a vegan diet, potato will become your BFF, I promise #potatohasyourback. On your first Vegan food shop, load up that trolley with backing potatoes for chips, baked potatoes, roasties and more.
  5. Again with the carbs, most dried pastas and their sauces are SFV – just avoid anything creamy!

Really hope this helps, no matter your reasons for doing Veganuary – whether it’s for the animals, your health or both, good luck! Let me know how you get on!

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All about the Falafel life; these were Cauldron’s Moroccan spiced falafels.

 

S      x