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

What is it about the sunshine? 

Do you find once you get a bit of sun you are propelled into the garden? 

Our garden has been very much work in progress (as has the house) since moving in! TOH has an aversion to nature trees and gardening and suggests concreting the garden over. Of course I am hoping to convert him into enjoying the garden but I think I have a long way to go!

When we moved in the previous owners had planted conifers all along the fence which made our living room dark as they were about 5 foot wide. We are now getting to the stage after nearly 3 years of cutting them all back and digging out the roots – slowly and surely! We also had some random decking and very spikey bushes we are also digging out. 

Today we have made great strides in the garden (including clearing and tidying the shed!) and it does feel good. What I love about the gardening is instant results! It always looks better after a little work here are some pictures, we just need to clear 6 more roots, lay some grass and put in some plants (in autumn) oh and win the lottery to put in a patio and a new fence! And make about 10 trips to the dump! 

 You and see some of the remaining stumps and one remaining conifer covered in ivy   
  

The YD watering my pots. We did some today, the area in front of her was full of conifers, we are grassing it until we have saved up for the patio. 

  

TOH BBQ area, decking to be sanded and retreated! More work 

Apparently the shed will be painted in West Ham colours – claret and blue this summer! I think TOH may have over exerted himself at this point taking up the random decking as this will be his project ……. along with all the other jobs we need to do! 

Argh!!!!

Why Is it that once you embark on something on the internet it becomes such an enormous time wasters! I tried to design a new bathroom online and failed miserably, setting up the room size window and doors took ages and by the time I had that right  the stress of trying to fit a bath into the room in all sorts of ways has made me realise I need to give up the dream of the double ended bath and go for the big luxury shower instead! I suppose every cloud has a silver lining!

Instead I decided on planning some fun things to do in Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy where I am travelling to in a couple of weeks. That has proved rather therapeutic, the thought of electric bikes, private boat tours and ferry trips coupled with good food and wine certainly proved an escape! However suddenly realising the time I had spent fantasising myself as George Clooney’s new wife brought be back to earth with a bump.

I needed  to do a shopping list –  but there were of course other pressing jobs needing my attention such as trying to sort out Amazon Prime so that it could actually work on my TV. Needless to say after further research I discovered to my disappointment that my TV is not on Amazon’s list of compatibles even though it’s a Samsung Smart TV.  Is it a conspiracy? As an aside last weekend the same task actually wasted the whole afternoon as me and TOH nearly came to blows due to the poor instructions and lack of information from the said Amazon Prime. I have now bought the hdmi cable which is in fact the cheapest and easiest option! Well,  we will see when it’s delivered (by Amazon Prime)  can it be that hard connecting cables to the TV and iPad! So thanks Amazon Prime the whole TV streaming thing is a bit of a con for the 50 plus technophobe! You have had 2 subscriptions from me hopefully I will soon get to view some programmes 

Time check  –  going shopping in 45 mins now need shower, eat breakfast pay for our August holiday and do the shopping lst! I need to rewind back to 6.30 am when I woke up or not get so distracted!

Beautiful pictures  for contemplation and positive energy thoughts, enjoy I’m having a shower.

  

  

Alcohol and the effects on diet

  
I’m going to put together some references And articles here from various sources which I hope you enjoy

From Dr Atkins

“Here’s the problem with all alcoholic beverages, and the reason I recommend refraining from alcohol consumption on the diet. Alcohol, whenever taken in, is the first fuel to burn. While that’s going on, your body will not burn fat. This does not stop the weight loss, it simply postpones it, since the alcohol does not store as glycogen, and you immediately go back into ketosis/lipolysis after the alcohol is used up.

If you must drink alcohol, wine is an acceptable addition to levels beyond the Induction diet. If wine does not suit your taste, straight liquor such as scotch, rye, vodka, and gin would be appropriate, as long as the mixer is sugarless; this means no juice, tonic water; or non-diet soda. Seltzer and diet soda are appropriate.”

From Cynthia Sass

“Over the years, many of my clients have confided that too many cocktails on the weekend, followed by alcohol-induced overeating, cancels out their work-week healthy eating efforts. And as a result, instead of seeing results, they remain “stuck” in a weight loss plateau. Sound familiar? This trend is supported by a new UK survey, which found that in a single evening out on the town, 40% of women consume about 1,000 calories in alcohol alone. In addition, more than half say that imbibing makes them hungrier, and four in five admit that drinking diminishes their willpower, causing them to indulge in foods like burgers, pizza, and chips. If alcohol is your diet downfall, try putting these seven tips into action.

1. Eat before you drink

When your stomach is empty, alcohol is absorbed quickly, which means you’ll feel the effects within minutes. But eating something rich in lean protein and/or good fat, which are both digested and absorbed slowly, creates a buffer. So to curtail your tipsiness, nibble on something like a golf ball-sized portion of nuts, or fresh guacamole with veggies before you take your first sip.

2.Count your drinks correctly

If you count one drink as one of what you’re served, you may be greatly underestimating your intake. Technically, 12 oz of light beer (one bottle or can), 5 oz of red or white wine (a little smaller than a yogurt container), and 1 shot of liquor all pack about the same amount of alcohol, and each contains roughly 100 calories. But one study found that wine and liquor served at restaurants are about 40% larger than these standard drink portions. Another report, out last week, found that beer and wine contain higher alcohol levels these days, so when you order a drink out, you may be getting 50% more alcohol than you think. In addition, if you order a pint of beer (16 oz), you’ll get four extra ounces than one standard drink, and then there are mixed drinks that contain more than one shot (like those illustrious Long Island Iced Teas!). The lesson: if you underestimate your intake, you may be far tipsier than you think. That means not only more alcohol calories than you counted on, but also a loosier goosier state of mind than may seriously affect your appetite.

3. Slim down your drink order

If you’re a beer drinker, the type you order can have a big impact on your nutritional bottom line. A bottle or can of ultra low carb beer contains about 3-4 grams of carbs. But a regular version packs at least 10 grams, about as much as 10 mini pretzels. That means three a week adds up to an extra 1,560 grams of carb per year, the equivalent of nearly five loaves of bread. Drinks made with mixers are even bigger carb and calorie traps. Just four ounces (a half cup), of a sweetened mixer will cost you a whopping 25 grams of carb (about 14 gummy bears worth), and decadent drinks like a mudslide can contain over 500 calories, more than the amount a slice of chocolate cake.

4. Slow your pace

One of the biggest culprits in alcohol-driven overeating is getting too tipsy, too fast. To slow down the rise in your blood alcohol level, order a tall glass of water with every alcoholic drink. Alternate sips, and be sure to finish at least 12 ounces of H2O for every cocktail. This simple strategy may cut your total consumption in half.

5. Prevent mindless munching

If you’re at a bar with free happy hour apps, or one that serves up goodies, like popcorn or nuts, turn your back on the free fare, or place them out of arm’s reach. Research shows you’ll mindlessly munch if food is right in front of you, without even realizing it, and even if you aren’t hungry. But if it’s out of sight, you’re much less likely to seek it out.

6. Pre-plan your post-drink meal

Alcohol can indeed act as an appetite stimulant. And we all know it lowers inhibitions. So if you don’t want to give in to eating things you wouldn’t touch if you were sober, create a pre-drinking strategy. Stash something in your bag, like an all natural energy bar, so you won’t grab a greasy slice of pizza. Or scope out restaurants nearby where you’re going out, so if your friends want to grab a bite, you can suggest a spot where you know you can order a healthier option. Finally, strategically place some light snacks within sight at home, like pre-popped organic popcorn on the countertop, or cut fruit and fresh veggies and hummus front and center in the fridge. If you get a case of the munchies before bed, you’re much more likely to grab what’s readily available, rather than digging for something like chips or cookies.

7. Volunteer to be the designated driver

The best way to prevent alcohol from derailing your diet is to avoid drinking altogether. One tactic is to save your group taxi or ride-sharing costs by offering to drive (stick with naturally calorie-free club sodas with lime all night). While it may not be as fun as indulging with your group, you’re the one who’ll wake up the next day without a food or alcohol hangover, and that feels pretty darn good.
What’s your take on this topic? Does alcohol get in your way of eating healthfully and managing your weight? Please tweet your thoughts to @CynthiaSass and @goodhealth”

Hooray for the weekend

The Easter bank holiday has to be one of the best breaks. Two extra days off work and chocolate! It’s a shame though that we haven’t got much sunshine here as it would be a great opportunity to get out in the garden. 

It’s a great to spend time with our families. Yesterday we had a retro evening playing Buzz and having a bit of karaoke. 

So now I have found my mojo I have been trying out spinning. This is something that I never thought I would enjoy but I really love it! Fortunately our gym have a dedicated room which is often empty so you can just go in and use the programme for your choice class.  TOH and I are now confirmed spinners and have even thought about getting a bike rack to take the bikes out at the weekend. 

I have also been to a “back to netball” session for a few weeks. Netball used to be my passion but I had a knee injury which caused me to give up and I  thought I would never play again. I have rediscovered that joy and hope to keep it up. We played a match last week which I thoroughly enjoyed even though I was a bit red faced and struggling with my fitness I had that feeling of right I’m ready to do it again!

My interest in exercise has now been rekindled which is great hopefully the pounds will start to shift! Next on the agenda is the functional training! 

#healthyliving #weightloss #exercise

Please can someone tell me where the weekend went?

How is it when you have the weekend to look forward to on Thursday/Friday at work when you find yourself sitting at 9 o’clock on a Sunday evening wondering where the time went?

Friday night was nice and relaxing TOH decided to take Paul at his word and encourage me to do some low impact work at the gym followed by a relax in the health suit.

Saturday after the YD swimming we went to London for a celebration of the middle daughter’s MD forthcoming 21st. We had a brief wander around Leicester Square and Convent Garden – well as much as TS could cope with as he declared he hated people and London was too busy for him!! Helpful!

Lunch was not too successful as there was something moving in my salad …….but the chocoholics afternoon tea was fun and the cake sooooo rich! We all felt rather chocolated out afterwards.

Today has flown by, back on my healthy eating plan which is good. We were hoping to try out the BBQ but stormy weather prevented it!

Thankfully TOH worked very hard in the garden and it is looking so much better. Belatedly I planted some patio pots and a bit of colour has made a difference to the block of green!

We have the Disney themed 21st BBQ next Sunday to look forward too…….better sort my outfit!

Picture of London skyline below from level 7 Number One Leicester Square!

http://www.davidleslie.com/chocolate-afternoon-tea