Merry Christmas Eve Eve ! 

It’s not a typo. Here we are, another year is gone and we are standing on the cusp of Christmas Eve.

Christmas – one of the most special times of the year for many of us, it’s become a landmark date a sort of target that we work towards. I love this season. 

For many it’s a time when we reflect on the year that’s gone by – albeit too quickly! For many of us Christmas means time off work when we can actually stop and wind down. A time to review and think about the year that has passed?

Are you looking forward to this Christmas and the year ahead? Are you melancholic or full of excitement for the forthcoming year, thinking of the changes and challenges that are ahead of you?

I am excited for 2017. I try to be an optimist and have the attitude on someone whose cup is always half full!
The clock has ticked on and it’s Christmas Eve now!

Merry Christmas to one and all and remember life is what you make it, you are in control. Xx
#christmaseve #christmas #life #reflections 

My early morning bedroom view 

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Men! 

It always amazes me that no matter what you wish to watch on TV that TOH automatically assumes the right to the TV control and overrides whatever you want to watch! I could hashtag why are some men ignorant but that would be overstating the obvious! 

The Pass South Lodge Hotel Lower Beeding West Sussex

 As a treat for our very special birthdays, my group of friends, known collectively as “the girls”, decided to take out our other halves to enjoy a night of luxury and indulgence with us, dining at The Pass under the supervision of Chef Matt Gillan. Having never experienced fine dining such as this TOH and I decided to make a weekend  of it and to call into Brighton before we descended on our night of luxury.

I would thoroughly recommend Brighton for a weekend away, we only spent a brief amount of time there and enjoyed the seafront and shops. We didn’t have much of a chance to explore the famous Lanes but we will be back! 


Fish and chips at the sea front 

The Pavilion 

You may ask yourself was having the fish and chips a wise move before the tasting menu? As you can see the lunch was too good to miss” Note to self and others this was pre-fasting days, a social occasion and perhaps a contributing factor to the weight gain. 

In the early afternoon we drove to South Lodge, a beautiful hotel nestling in Lower Beeding West Sussex. My March afternoon photo does not give it full justice but it was beautiful


The food was sublime, if ever you get a chance to experience a taster menu it’s a treat not to miss! The attention to detail and service at The Pass is fantastic and one day we hope to return

Unlocking the secrets of weight loss

If you have read my blog will know I have struggled with weight loss over the years whether it’s a lack of motivation or simply not having the will power to succeed! It’s been a long  and painful journey!

As a child born in the 60s the food I ate at home and school was very different to what is available today, my Mum was a different generation and looking back there was not the nutritional awareness or variety that we have today of food types and diet.  Whilst the food was wholesome, I think back of the staple school dinners of pies, minced beef cobbler, vegetables and sponge puddings with custard I ask myself – was it really that healthy? My generation always ate school dinners and likely Mum cooked dinner in the evening when Dad came home from work. Perhaps by today’s standards of school dinners ours  were better but perhaps not as balanced. The food we had when I was a child was mainly cooked from scratch it wasn’t the over processed and fast food of recent years. Of course school dinners are a whole other issue #jamieoliver  #schooldinners and not a topic for today’s blog 

In my days of school, food and nutrition was not a subject that was widely available. PE or games was doing the activity not Learning about how the body works or responds to exercise and nutrition. Nowadays there is the option to learn more but should more time be spent in bringing these subjects into the general curriculum?

Of course Mum gave us a balanced diet at home but was it as healthy compared to today’s standards and have those bad eating habits developped through childhood lead the way to weight gain?

My Mum often says that she survived her pregnancy on chip butties as she could not tolerate other foods. I now know that did not help me in my body make up and the way I respond to food.

So how are the secrets to weight loss actually unlocked? Interestingly in his book The Obesity Code Jason Fung explores calorie deception, the new model of obesity what is wrong with our diet and the solution (amongst other aspects)

As a failed dieter and someone whose weight has gained after each relapse I can relate totally to his writings. My weight has steadily gained and in the last few years where my work has be come exceptionally stressful I can see the impact that has on my weight. I do now go  to the gym but only 2/3 times a week – This is not ideal but an improvement on not doing anything! No exceed isle is where I’d fallen to 6 months ago when my stress levels meant I could not be bothered to do anything. I don’t overreat, my diet is healthy but I can’t seem to kick start that weight loss. 

On Monday TOH and I decide to break the code with the suggested intermittent fasting. Monday was a total fast day and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I did it, it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be! Tuesday I ate simply and to suggestions in the book and today Wednesday is another fast day. Ideally Friday I should fast too but I have a work BBQ so maybe just an evening meal! My aim is to try to follow the plan for 4 weeks doing the 36 hour fast protocol, i.e. fasting on 3 days a week to reset my homeostasis, my insulin levels and my body! Watch this space, please send your positive energy to my for success and I will report back to you!

Clothes shopping

It’s always a wake up call to go clothes shopping. Are the mirrors designed to make us look terrible and what is that horrible light that shines or us? It make me wonder is that how I really look. I find it amazing that the shops ever sell any clothes! I come back feeling depressed and resolve to lose weight! 

So when my diet is off course I think I need to try on clothes to give me that fright I need! 

Hello again!

I can’t believe how time has flied by since my last blog. My apologies, I have no valid excuses I’ve just not been “there” but hopefully I’m back now! I have a whole year of blogging to catch up on so hold on folks you could be swamped………..just joking!

I’m looking forward to reaching out to you in the next few months hoping for some new followers and some new inspiration, maybe spread some insight and gain new friends!

The main thing I want to do is take stock of my work focus (too stressful) which impacts on my whole life

Today is about me and two of my girls having fun so pray for sunshine and not too much rain!

We’re off soon to the Capital Summer Time Ball

#goodtimes #littlemix #summertimeball #capitalradio #fun 

Game of Thrones

I think we are a day behind the USA in watching the season finale but it has me wondering what I will be doing on my Monday nights from now on! 

There have been periods of disappointment but that will be expunged  when I will re watch the whole series starting from season 1 again! 

I’m looking forward to reading the books!  

 

#banting #NSNG #LCHF #healthyeating #weightloss

Taken from:
101 Banting Pointers by Martie Nel

An overview of how Banting works and valuable information for new banters, you cannot get to your destination if you do not know the plan!!!

1. This is not a “diet” on which you go on and come off after weightloss. It’s not a quick fix diet. Eating the ‘Banting’ way which means a Low Carb High Fat diet is a lifestyle. It becomes the new normal way of eating for you.

2. Banting is not for everyone. If you are not carbohydrate intolerant, you probably won’t lose weight. If you have always been lean and metabolised carbohydrates well, you may not benefit from changing to LCHF.

3. One of the signs of being carbohydrate intolerant include getting drowsy after eating food containing carbs or sugar – usually about 2 hours after eating. Most times this occurs after lunch – in the middle of the afternoon.

4. If you are sensitive to carbohydrates, you will most probably gain weight around your waist and not your hips and thighs.

5. If your weight goes up and down a lot, you most probably will benefit from changing your diet to a LCHF way of life.

6. Carbohydrates are addictive, so if you are carb intolerant you will find yourself reaching for them more and more, even though you are no longer hungry.

7. If you are a habitual snacker or emotional eater, you probably are sensitive to carbs and should follow the Banting way.

8. If obesity and weight gain around the waist run is something that your parents or grandparents struggled with, you most probably will struggle with it too. A lifestyle of low carbs will benefit you.

9. What’s your favourite food? If the answer is cake or carbs, you most probably are addicted and could be carbohydrate intolerant.

10. If there is diabetes in your family, you are at high risk for being insulin resistant and need to cut back on sugar and starch.

11. Premenstrual tension improves when you cut out carbs and sugar.

12. Starting the day by drinking two glasses of water on an empty stomach can help in weight loss and helps prevent constipation.

13. Eating a LCHF diet is not permission to eat as much as you want. You still need to employ some calorie counting, appetite control.

14. Before eating, think about exactly how you are feeling. The process of eating actually starts in the mind. Ask yourself if you are hungry, thirsty, bored, emotional. Eat when you when you are hungry – stop when you are full.

15. The core principle of Banting is eating real food. These foods are foods that satisfy and they are the ones you want to focus on.

16. Probably, the most beneficial food to add to your diet is one that contains all the nutrients, enzymes and protein to create a living creature – that’s a simple chicken egg. It’s a power packed high protein food bomb designed to enhance your health.

17. Eating foods that are high in protein and fat are the answer to hunger satisfaction.

18. When you fill up on carbohydrates such as bread, cereal and refined sugar laden pastries, you may feel full but that soon wears off and you can find yourself snacking all – day – long.

19. Make sure you start your day with high protein and high fat foods. These include eggs, bacon, sausage, berries, full cream, double thick natural Greek yoghurt, avocado.

20. Leave off the menu overt carbs such as rice, potatoes, pasta & bread.

21. Replace sweet dessert with strawberries and cream.

22. One of the biggest challenges to controlling appetite is food cupboards & fridges stocked with tempting treats, guaranteed to ambush any attempt at resistance. If it’s there, you will eat it.

23. Get rid of the high carb, high sugar items in your home – biscuits, rusks, ice cream, sweets, cake, chocolate bars. Don’t buy the stuff in the first place.

24. Don’t go shopping when you are hungry – that also leads to temptation of buying a quick snack to curb your hunger pangs.

25. Replace the carbs in your home with options you can eat – salad ingredients, cheese, olives, raw nuts, biltong sticks, berries, cream.

26. Continually be aware that you must eat when you are hungry, and not when you are bored, stressed, thirsty or tired.

27. Keep Occupied. If you are busy with a project that takes up time, energy and interest, you’ll find food suddenly takes a secondary place in your life.

28. Instead of constantly thinking about food, you’ll start thinking about something else. Find your passion and start working on it. It may be people, or music, or writing or it may even be food!

29. If food is your passion, start researching the healthy foods that will enhance your life and not make you sluggish.

30. If you find yourself bored and needing something to do to prevent yourself from eating for the sake of having nothing else to do, go for a walk, do a puzzle, read a book, visit a friend.

31. Stay Hydrated. Replace fizzy drinks & alcohol with water. You don’t need to drink soda to be refreshed.

32. Carry a bottle of water with you and drink to thirst. If you have water handy, you won’t be tempted to eat if it’s fluid you need. Some say to drink a glass of water before eating also helps prevent overeating at a meal.

33. If you are carbohydrate intolerant, make sure you also cut back on fruit, as it is a primary source of sugar. Limit yourself to one serving a day, preferably strawberries.

34. Fish is a great Banting food and it suits non-Banters too. Tuna, salmon, hake, haddock, yellowtail, sardines – all great protein foods that will satisfy you and keep your blood sugar levels stable.

35. Avoid: bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, cous cous – no overt carbs at all eg cake, pizza, rusks, muffins, etc! No peanuts.

36. There are nuts you can eat: macadamia, almonds, cashew (avoid salted and roasted), pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseed soil (Prof Tim says it really helps with raised blood pressure).

37. All vegetables grown above the ground are Banting friendly, specially leafy greens, like spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.

38. Gem squash, baby marrows are good as well as lots of salad laden with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red pepper, carrots, mushrooms.

39. When it comes to dairy, aim for high fat products. Full cream (double if you like) Greek (unsweetened, unflavoured) yoghurt. Once you are off sugar, you will love it. Cream! I put cream on my breakfast and in my coffee. It’s great. Full cream milk. Cheese, Eggs. Butter (ditch margarine – more about that later).

40. However, too much dairy may hinder weight loss, so find a balance with how much you eat.

41. LCHF eating has got to become a way of life. By eating LCHF, you may find you lose weight quickly, which if you need to, is great, but for your health, you should view it as a marathon and not a sprint.

42. Some people are thrilled at the idea that they can have seemingly unlimited fat, but don’t be misled by what that means. To start with, it doesn’t mean you can eat anything that you think is ‘fattening.’ Cake is fattening. You have to learn the difference between fat and carbohydrates.

43. Carbohydrates (including sugar) are found in almost everything we eat. They are there in differing amounts. Some are high in carbs – others low. Learn to read the labels on the food you buy.

44. Most ‘health’ products that come in tins for making up of meal substitute ‘shakes’ are high in carbohydrate.

45. Most weight loss programmes that include “low fat” anything, are high in carbohydrate.

46. All ‘low fat’ products in the store fridges or on the shelves are high in carbohydrate. Avoid them!

47. Carbohydrate makes you fat! Fat doesn’t.

48. The basic principle is that when you eat a stack of carbs, your body uses those carbs for energy and stores the fat you eat…. where does it store it? Around your waist! The ‘beer belly’, the ‘big gut’ – that’s where the fat is stored.

49. To get rid of that fat, stop eating carbohydrates. Eat more good fat in your diet, so the body uses the fat for energy.

50. Almost all food contains some carbs, so that’s why this lifestyle is LOW CARB, because you cannot get away from eating some carbs.

51. When it comes to oils, watch what you buy. Olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil are the ones you want.

52. Sunflower oil is out!

53. Fry food using butter. Olive oil undergoes an unhealthy change when heated beyond a certain temperature. Dump margarine altogether. Butter is better.

54. There are enough foods in the LCHF/Banting shopping basket to keep you satisfied. One of the great things about LCHF is you don’t go hungry. The onus is on you to do the research.

55. When you pick something up in the supermarket that is packaged, read the label to see how much carbohydrate it contains per 100g. You’re aiming for food stuff that contains less than 7g/100g. The less the better.

56. The average person is aiming for about 50g of carbs per day. If you are diabetic, maybe even less.

57. If you find you have reduced carbs to 50g per day and you are sluggish and lacking energy, clearly you need more! On the converse, if you find you are eating 50g carbs per day and not losing weight, clearly you need less. What works for others, may not work for you.

58. Eating the Banting way is essential for diabetics and that’s been proven by a Swedish study. Another study says that eating low carb diet is best for treating both type 1 and type 2 diabetics.

59. Artificial sweetner is no encouraged in this lifestyle. It is believed that non-caloric sweeteners still contribute to increasing hunger and result in a continued craving for sweet food.

60. What is surprising is that the pancreas starts secreting insulin at the anticipation of sugar arriving, so when no sugar comes, the blood sugar level drops and hunger pangs begin.

61. Beer promotes fat storage as it contains more than alcohol. It also have fast digesting carbs, resulting in a rush of insulin and a rise in blood sugar level. It promotes fat storage around the belly – hence the term ‘beer bop’.

62. Red or dry white wine does not have the same effect as beer because they contain less sugar and carbohydrate. Be careful though, too much alcohol will slow weight loss.

63. Babies should not be raised on carbohydrates. The development of their brain requires fat and protein.

64. When starting a baby on solids, avoid baby cereals and baby food that is laden with sugar. Rather process your own vegetables and meat and feed them that.

65. Children who are obese at a young age are most likely already carbohydrate resistant and will benefit from changing to Low Carb lifestyle.

66. A great breakfast for school going children is bacon and eggs with sausage and and perhaps even some of the previous night’s protein. That will be sure to see them through to lunchtime.

67. The reason why children get fat is not because they have occasional sweet snacks for a treat over their birthday or Christmas, but rather that we are filling their lunchboxes with sugary treats, which falsely suggest they useful for energy.

68. Lunchbox treats for children could include biltong, dry wors, boiled eggs, cheese or nuts and seeds. Replace sandwiches with seed crackers.

69. Embracing a LCHF lifestyle during pregnancy is absolutely possible. In fact it is probably beneficial and may even prevent gestational diabetes and extra weight gain.

70. Ditch margarine. Use butter. Why? Butter is made from cow’s milk. The fatty part of cow’s milk is churned until it becomes butter! End of story. Margarine is made with vegetable oil, which is liquid at room temperature. To make it harder it has to be processed and this is done by ‘hydrogenation.’ Hydrogenated fat is bad for you.

71. Margarine also contains colourants, emulsifiers and other artificial ingredients.

72. Butter is high in calories and if you need to watch your calorie intake, you may prefer to use olive oil as a butter substitute.

73. It is becoming known that animal fats do not influence your cholesterol as much as previously believed. If you have a familial history of high cholesterol, you do need to watch your intake of dietary cholesterol.

74. Banting is a low carbohydrate and high fat way of eating. It is not high protein, but rather moderate protein.

75. Best foods to eat are those that grow on a tree or plant and look like what they are.

76. Try to avoid anything that it is in a box, a tin, or a packet. If it has a long shelf life, it’s probably loaded with preservatives.

77. If you want to get a good idea as to whether you are pre-diabetic ask your GP to test your HBA1c. It measures the percentage of glucose in your blood over the last 3 months. Drive for 5%.

78. Don’t be afraid of fat – the fat of grass-fed free range animals is fine to eat.

79. When choosing food, choose from free range organic variety.

80. Try not to snack. It’s easy to do when you are bored. Train yourself not to.

81. Don’t eat when you are not hungry!

82. Cut sugar out of your diet. Do not add it to tea or coffee. Drink water instead of fizzy drinks laden with either sugar or aspartane! It’s amazing how your taste buds adjust – very soon you learn to appreciate the real taste of natural food.

83. Honey is sugar – avoid it.

84. We tend to eat far more than is necessary to sustain us. When you have got your appetite under control, you will discover that you can live energetically without grazing through the day. In fact, you will discover two meals a day perfectly sustainable.

85. Most people are attracted to a LCHF lifestyle because the hope it will result in weight loss, but that’s not the only reward. Cutting out sugar results in much clearer skin. Stomach ailments such as pre-ulcers have been known to clear up. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is helped by the diet and skin irritations such as eczema have also been seen to improve.

86. You don’t get hungry eating LCHF – the food is filling and the lifestyle sustainable.

87. Use full cream in tea or coffee instead of milk to cut down on the amount of sugar.

88. Bullet proof coffee usually is 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter melted with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, whisked well and added to a cup of black coffee. Guarantee to give you a boost that will last several hours.

89. For baking, look out for almond flour or coconut flour as low carb substitutes for wheat flour.

90. Make use of cauliflower to make cauli-rice or cauli-mash to substitute for rice and mashed potato.

91. You can also use cauliflower mashed with a little almond flour to create a pizza base.

92. It’s very difficult to get your head around the idea of going through life without cake – let it be a treat from time to time and not a weekly event.

93. Dark chocolate is acceptable – the darker the better, so aim for 70% at least and none of the flavoured varieties.

94. Regular peanut butter is loaded with sugar and processed (in sunflower oil) peanuts, so it’s off the Banting list. Do look out for macadamia nut butter or you can even try and make your own by processing macadamia nuts until they are smooth and ‘spreadable’. Then at least you will know what you are eating!

95. Fruit is laden with sugar so use it sparingly. But a nice lunchtime snack, is two thin slices of apple, spread with macadamia nut butter and a piece of cheese.

96. Keep left over dinner meat for breakfast the next day.

97. Try and find a dietician who follows this lifestyle – go for at least one consultation to assess your needs.

98. Expect some opposition if you start eating this lifestyle. Not everyone believes that it is beneficial. Be patient and find common ground that everyone can enjoy such as Greek salads, vegetable dishes, fish, ostrich meat and meals using avocados, olives and feta cheese.

99. Do as much research as you can online to find recipes and new exciting creative Banting meals.

100. Eating this way takes some initial discipline to be successful. Once you have seen the results and renewed energy, you will be more motivated to continue

101. LCHF/ Banting eating is individual to each and every person who tries it. Each of us are unique. There is balance to be had in embracing this eating plan. You are responsible for finding it. 

Where is the summer? 

To date our May and June have not fulfilled the promise of sun filled days and warm dusky evenings.

We have had chilly evenings when you need a sweater or blanket to snuggle up in on the sofa sipping a hot drink! 

I have been harsh as I have turned our central heating off mainly on principle as it can’t be on this time of year!

How I long for those warm evenings when we can still enjoy the benefit of the increased daylight. It makes it so much more pleasant pottering around the garden listening to the birdsong.

So fingers crossed the weather will improve and summer will be here before we know it! 

I’m off to work where the heating is still on! 

How To Stress Yourself Out As A Parent

Great writing wait until the third child comes along x

howwedolife1's Blog

Ah…parenting:) The wonderous joys that are entailed. Let’s just be real here, parenting is NOT easy. I have come to realize (well, after I had my first child), that it is THE most difficult job on the planet. Let’s go over the ways we can stress ourselves out as parents.

Ask Dumb Questions

In my school days, I would constantly hear teachers say that there aren’t any dumb questions. This my friends is simply not true. There are indeed dumb questions. One of those questions is asking your three year old why he hit his baby sister. There is no rhyme or reason to such an act. It just happens, on a regular basis. Of course I make him apologize for committing the act, but don’t worry, it will happen yet again. The second question is asking your toddler why they threw the ball in the house. Even though I…

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