Super Soup

I have been detoxing and whilst its been great health wise I don’t seem to be shifting any weight, but I think I might have found the answer, Soup!

I always hated soup as a child, I expanded my palate as a teenager and embraced tomato soup, from a tin, Heinz of course! But that was it for me, I never progressed any further into the world of soup. I have since tried a few other tinned options last week I had a particularly disgusting soup in a tin from M&S, their carrot and coriander, which was so foul both my son and myself couldn’t even eat it. I have pushed the boat out to try the new ‘luxury’ soups, those that come in plastic tubs and are sometimes labelled as organic and fresh. Still I remain unimpressed, they either taste bland or simply horrible.

Home made soups are neither of those things! they are tasty, in fact I would go as far as to say they are delicious! And they are filling and largely low fat, who knew they would be unrecognisable from the hideous stuff you get in tins. So far I have made Carrot and Coriander, Creamy Red Pepper, Versatile Vegetable soup, Mixed Spicy Vegetable, and Stilton and Leek. I am eating them for lunch and sometimes for my evening meal too. I am not having mine with bread, rather I make them quite thick and eat them just as they are.

I am on a mission to find new soup recipes which I will share on here. Most of the recipes I have used so far have been from the recipe site Allrecipes.co.uk Creamy Red Pepper Soup which has recipes and reviews from users or the site BBC Good Food this link takes you to a basic vegetable soup that you can add to and alter, if you read the comments too they give you lots of helpful ideas and experiences. The other thing I love about soup is that even if you don’t have all the ingredients it doesn’t seem to matter too much, as you can swap things in and out.

I already feel that I am starting to lose weight since introducing the soups. I took my measurements and weight at the beginning of my 30 day shred programme, so in 9 days I will redo all those and let you know how I have got on.

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PMT / PMS cured? I think so!

I have just received my second order of Maca Root, from Plantspirit.co.uk. I have been taking it now for a couple of months and I am so impressed with how my moods have improved. I have more energy, my skin is looking great, I just feel so much happier. So If anyone is considering trying it for the relief of PMT or PMS then I would say give it a go.

Every day I am taking 1000mg of Maca Root, In combination with this I am taking Vit B complex, Vit C and Zinc, Evening Primrose Oil and I am having a daily green power juice of celery, spinach, pineapple juice, apple, and cucumber. I am working out every day for 20 mins doing the 30 Day Shred exercise routine. I am eating healthy foods, avoiding wheat, and caffeine, and I am drinking hot water and lemon 2-3 pints a day. I am doing all of this to improve my moods, general health and my skin. Finally for my skin, which is now perfectly clear with no hormonal break outs at all, I am using La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat sebum regulating moisturiser daily, Alpha H facial wash and Alpha H Age Delay Anti wrinkle night cream.

These are all changes that haven’t been especially difficult to implement or keep to and the difference they have made has been huge.

I have found that when my own situation improves I often forget the level of despair that I felt just two months ago. Obviously I am happy that I don’t feel like that anymore but I am writing this blog partly because I did feel so low and I didn’t know what to do to make myself ‘better’. I searched the internet trying to find answers and suggestions, so in case anyone else is out there doing the same I just wanted to share the things that have worked for me. Xx

If you look up the benefits of taking Maca Root this is the type of information you will find:

Maca powder benefits refer to the adaptogen – adaptogen is a substance in our body which plays an important role in increasing the resistance of our body, energy supplies, it boosts the immune system and reduces stress. Closely affects the hormonal system, which will directly affect almost everything: energy state of the organism, growth, sexual stamina and overall health. It contains vitamins B1, B2, B12 and C to ensure proper functioning of the heart, the conversion of carbohydrates into energy, cell growth and adequate production of red blood cells.
Maca root powder also contains four types of alkaloids, which are indirectly through hormone system responsible for the proper utilization of calcium and phosphorus in the blood.
To conclude – with regular use, you’ll do great service to yourself and your body, because maca powder benefits are:

quick supply of body energy
increase of endurance
alleviation of chronic fatigue
increase of fertility
relieve of menstrual symptoms
reduce of hormonal disorders during menopause
regulation of hormonal balance in the body
improvement of the overall health
reduce of stress
treatment of anemia
help with wound healing
improvement of memory, mental and academic abilities
providing the skin a youthful look
contributing to healthy bones and teeth
acting as an antioxidant and anticancerogenic, thus reducing the risk of cancer tissues and the development of cardiovascular disease (similar to Vitamin B17)
a positive effect on increasing muscle mass, and by many athletes as an alternative to synthetic steroids that are known that can have many side effects

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Easter Weekend Decorating

I have been very busy enjoying my Easter long weekend but unfortunately I have not been very busy being good!

It’s hard to do everything simultaneously, I am defiantly spinning plates and whilst I seem to be able to keep a few in the air at any one time there are always some that fall to the floor and its very annoying! Why can’t I be like the women I read about in magazines who manage to have tastefully decorated, clutter free houses, yoga toned, marathon running bodies, internet businesses that they set up in between playing scrabble and painting with their high achieving children.

We are sold this idea that if we just work hard enough and juggle things appropriately we can all be Super Women. The thing is I do try, I’d like it if I could achieve all those things, who wouldn’t?! But I just seem to run out of time every day!

I decided on Friday to redecorate my utility/cloakroom, so we bought the paint, cleared all the coats, shoes, laundry and garden stuff, and the general junk that had found its way out there and began. I like painting its slightly meditative, and with each coat you do get the immediate pleasure and satisfaction that the room looks better. The problem is that in real life you can’t just paint, you have to still try to amuse, and feed three children. My eldest two can amuse themselves but even then you need to watch them to make sure they don’t just spend the entire day on the PS3 (games console for those without teenage boys!). Then there is the bickering that you have to deal with or at least listen to, which feels similar, I imagine, to the drip drip of Chinese Water Torture. There is also the fact that whilst you are busy trying to improve the look of one room the little darlings are busy making a mess of the rest of your house. Which you then get to tidy or try to make them tidy at the end of each day.

So we did actually paint the room, a very grown up soft and dark grey, with cream wood work. We still have shelves to buy and put up, and it needs a large mirror, pictures, and all those little touches that add personality and bring a room to life. We ran out of time though as Sunday and Monday were family days with hubbies family visiting us on Sunday and then we travelled to meet my family on the Monday. I also managed to squeeze in a night out with friends, food shopping, going for a run, and general house rearranging, oh and a 3 am drunken hide the easter eggs challenge! does that count in the ‘super women’ stakes?

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Change can be a slow old thing!

I have now completed 14 days of the detox diet, I am actually just finishing day 17, so I thought I should review my success and things I want to improve. I haven’t actually lost any weight at all but I have maintained. I am disappointed that I haven’t lost any further weight but rather than getting all cross and frustrated with myself I am going to look at all the plus points.

This diet has really improved my overall health I feel so much better, my skin is clearer, and my moods have improved 100%. I think the problem for me with the diet is that its too restrictive, especially as I do not like fish or any seafood. I just didn’t have enough variety and by the end I was getting bored with the food. I will now add more fibre into my diet although i will still avoid eating bread. I am going to allow myself ryvitas, crisp breads and non wheat cereals, and sometimes I will eat a little potato and brown rice. I am going to continue avoiding caffeine as I am happy drinking decaf coffee. I am not drinking enough water as I struggle with choosing to have water rather than coffee whilst its so cold outside.

I know what I need to do, eat less! I just need to get on and do it! I am sure I can shift some weight and I am pleased that my diet is so much better now, I just need to stay away from rubbish, no biscuits or empty unhealthy calories.

As far as exercise goes I am really pleased with my Shredding efforts! I have just completed day 13 on level 2 of the Shred Exercise Plan and my strength and stamina has improved hugely. If I lost more weight I would be able to see the muscle improvement more clearly, so that’s a little annoying, I look better but would like to look more defined and less soft!

So I defiantly have further to go but I can see more clearly the route I need to take, I just need to get on with walking it! I am making changes, lots of them but the results are slower to achieve.

The next area I have been working on over the last two days is my Jewellery Making. I previously had a shop on Etsy, the online marketplace for all things handmade. I want to reopen it and also open a shop on Folksy the UK version. I started yesterday working on the written copy, trying to work out how to make a banner for the shop, trying to take photographs of my jewellery pieces etc. It all sounds so easy but actually it takes a lot longer than you first think as everything has to be learnt from scratch.

The lighting for the photographs is always a particular bug bare and is really tricky, the reflection of the pieces, the colours, the sunlight moving and changing, the backgrounds to use etc. I need to set up an area that I can always use in which I can control the light sources and therefore the camera settings I need to use and the results I get. I have built a light box but need to play with it to get the results I want.

Tomorrow I will take some pictures of the light box and let you know how successful I have been.

Life is busy and I am feeling positive about the future. It’s a continuing juggling act as I still have the house to redecorate and three boys and a hubbie to look after, friends to see, and my gardening to do. I will keep updating my progress re health, diet, PMS, exercise and weight loss, but I am going to be concentrating on getting these other projects up and running. I must not get too frustrated that I can’t change everything yesterday, the worse thing I could do now would be to give up, now is the time I need to knuckle down!

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Day 13, 14 and 15 Detox Diet, Day 10 & 11 Shred Exercise Plan

This weekend my detox diet went a little array. Saturday Day 13, started really well, I got up early and shredded moving up to Day 10, level 2 of the routine. During the day I was busy and I ate and drank clean foods, juice, lemon, salads, chicken. It was in the evening that it started to go down hill! I went out with friends for a birthday celebratory meal, the food was delicious, I had aubergine dip with pitta bread and houmus with more pitta bread, followed by salad and chicken. I also drank an entire bottle of a rather nice Red Wine and had a schnapps and lemonade. So not exactly keeping to the idea of detoxing!

Sunday Day 14, I felt really rough! I started the day very slowly, there was no way I could shred, the only thing that was moving was the room! Spinning! I did feel better and less woolly as the day progressed and I managed salad for lunch. I watched films for the entire day! six in total! Firstly from my bed ‘Carry on Camping’ and then later from the sofa ‘ Omega Man’ And ‘Legally Blonde’. I had started craving comfort food by the time the evening arrived, my lovely hubbie made a Beef roast dinner but even after eating that I was still starving hungry and helped myself to cheese and biscuits during ‘Goonies’ and then a packet of Minstrels watching ‘Red’.

I also started feeling my mood deteriorating as the evening progressed. Hopelessness took over, combines with sadness, a little anger, and just general self hatred, but it passed really quickly! Strange as it may seem I can see that this is a huge improvement. I went to sleep, and by the morning I felt happy again. I am seeing huge improvements in my hormonal moods thanks to the combination of Macca root, exercise, healthy eating and supplements. I did wake up early with pain in both my legs due to starting my period but I took Nurofen and that soon disappeared.

So today I got back to the detox diet day 15 and tonight I shredded, day 11, level 2. I am really excited again about making this month even better than the last. I want to continue with the detox/healthy eating and with the shred exercise plan, but I also really, really want to get other areas of my life up and running, lets see how I get on!

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Day 10, 11 & 12 Detox, Day 7, 8 & 9 Shred

Day 10 detox, Day 7 Shred.

Tonight I am really tired and in bed watching TOWIE, I know it’s rubbish telly but it’s all I can cope with, and Joey Essex always makes me smile.

This week has been pretty full on and today was no different. I received a text from my brother saying my parents were flying home from their American holiday and they would call me when they arrived at the airport so I could drive to pick them up. I thought they were arriving back next week! oops!

My day started with my exercise routine, Day 7 of level 1 of ’30 Day Shred’ completed. I need to measure myself so I can tell If I am making improvements. I weighed myself and I have lost maybe a pound! It is a bit disheartening, I have been really good for 10 days now! I am defiantly eating fewer calories and healthier food on the detox diet so I was expecting to lose some weight!

I think I look smaller and everything looks tighter but having measurements would help to keep me motivated and positive. I need to find my tape measure!

I had my usual green power juice, decaf coffee, hot water and lemon, cereal bar on the way to the airport just to keep me going, salad and chicken when I got back home for lunch, tea was sausage and salad and baked beans, followed by yoghurt, and as an evening snack because I was feeling really hungry I had a blueberry smoothie, delicious!

I struggled today resisting snacks, I felt really hungry all day and was craving chocolate!

Day 11 Detox, day 8 shred.

Shred level 1 completed first thing, and in the evening I did an hour Yoga class. Feeling good and fitter, I have increased the weights I use for some of the exercises, am up to 3lb dumbbell weights for most exercises now, with increased repetitions for crunches and press ups. Very happy that I am more flexible, and have greater strength! Just got to keep going!

Food intake – remembering to take vitamin and mineral and supplement tablets every day as I feel they are making a huge difference to my moods and general happiness! hot water and lemon, green juice, fruit, salads, chicken, in the evening I had mince bolognese with salad and yogurts. Feeling really hungry again today, and craving chocolate still! Did have a few pieces of penne Pasta stolen from my children’s plates! With cheese! And a corner of toast and cheese! Oh and a piece of milk chocolate and a piece of dark chocolate! Yes I confess!!! I just couldn’t stop myself.

Day 12 detox, Day 9 Shred

Today I didn’t Shred until the end of the day as when I woke up I still ached from the yoga the night before! I did a great Shred this evening though, used heavy weights and did lots of repetitions.

Food intake – strawberries for breakfast, green juice, hot lemon, decaf coffee, for lunch I ate out at nandos, had chicken wings, humous and red pepper dip with pitta bread and a diet coke, pretty good I thought for a meal out! Certainly could have chosen worse options! And it was all delicious so I didn’t feel as If I was missing out. I did have a chocolate finger biscuit in the afternoon after helping out at the school and a sweet cup of tea! Evening meal chicken and salad, yoghurt for dessert.

I measured myself this morning, I have a long way to go! would really like to lose 5″ from my hip and waist measurements! 2″ from chest, 3″ from legs and 2″ from arms! That’s a lot of inches!!!! And is going to take a lot of work. It will be interesting to see how far I have got at the end of the 30 day Shred routine!

Off to bed now its far to late to write anymore tonight!

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Day 9 Detox Diet, Day 6 Shred Exercise Plan

I shredded again, day 6 now completed successfully. I am actually rather chuffed with myself, although it is early days as I still have another 24 to go!! Food intake also good, usual green juices, lemon juice, egg salad, and then tonight for tea something a little different, spicy bean burgers with baked beans!

I am struggling now with the food, today I was tempted by a little dark chocolate, and the rest of the curly wurly left over from yesterday, not good! I have started searching through the cupboards to try and find something tasty to eat. I need to go through the ‘Juice Master’ book to see if I can find something new and delicious to eat because I am bored and starting to eat little bits of ‘non- detox’ foods. I do enjoy the foods that I am allowed on the plan buts its eating the same thing every day that gets very monotonous.

On a positive note I went for a run today after shredding. It was my first run in a while and I did struggle, had to keep stopping and walking, but I did it, I got out there and I ran on and off for roughly 3km, and walked home again.

Oh I just wanted to let you know how the hair dye looks today in daylight…..pretty much exactly as it did before I dyed it! There is no hint of blondness or even any light brown hairs! The grey hairs have dyed with a reddish tinge, so basically my hair is still dark brown with a slight red hue, not particularly the colour I was hoping or aiming for! Lesson learnt, using a permanent hair dye makes very little difference when attempting to lighten dark hair that only has a few greys. I will be returning to my semi permanent hair dyes for the time being or I may even venture into a hairdressers for a more professional, expert approach to dyeing hair!

My final bit of good news for today is that I have returned into my cellar and restarted making jewellery. I had a shop on Etsy, (the crafters site for selling handmade creations), but I closed it when I went on holiday last summer and then life took over and It’s never been reopened. I want to re open the shop with lots of lovely new stock that I am now making, and I want to open one on Folksy, which is the UK version. I went down to my cellar today and finished off a pendant that I had started called ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ . I need to take photos and write up each new piece, lots to do. I am really excited its just a bit over whelming as everything is a huge learning curve.

Its a bit like this blog, I am on here and writing which is good, but really I haven’t a clue how to take it to the next level, which I can and will find out but it’s going to be a lot of reading, and then trial and error! Sometimes I wish I had a helpful knowledgeable teacher that would guide me through everything, wouldn’t that be lovely!

So I think that will do me for tonight, shattered now, I can walk the next step tomorrow. Night x

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