Tag: healthy eating

The Importance of self care

So I’m back after a bit of a blogging hiatus. Things got pretty busy for a while there, between work, redecorating and getting sick so something had to take a back seat. It wasn’t planned, just unavoidable, and I did let the busyness get to me. I forgot how important it is to take time out for myself. I’ve been down that road before and it didn’t end well. As a result, this post is a little note to myself, a reminder to take care of myself, that’s its just as important as any job or chore that’s on my to do list.

  1. Make time for myself. I know, I know, this sounds ridiculous. How can you ‘make time’ for anything, especially if you’ve got an ever increasing list of things to do, which is probably pretty much everyone I know. But it is important because it can make you feel better, give you a more positive outlook on what’s going on and help you feel more organized and in control, which for me, helps reduce my anxiety. For example, I like to do a diy manicure/pedicure once a week. Nothing fancy, I don’t even have to paint them, though that’s lovely to do too. I used to do this religiously when I was less busy and it was simply part of my routine, but a lot of the time, it’s something that gets pushed down the list and doesn’t get done. It’s not the end of the world, but not doing it often means I don’t feel as in control as I could and I often feel like I’ve myself down a bit. I therefore need to make sure I prioritise this kind of thing and do it on a Friday evening and not leave it until the last moment on a Sunday, when I’m too tired to do it. I need to make sure I’m higher up on my list of priorities.

Self care

  1. Do something I love. I usually try to leave school reasonably promptly on a Friday, just to avoid getting caught up in rush hour traffic, though it doesn’t always work out that I can. A few weeks ago, I managed to do this. There were lots of things that I could’ve done, lots of urgent things on my to do list, but instead, I ran a hot bath, dropped in a gorgeous Lush bath bomb and lounged about in the bath for over an hour, watching Scandal & Grey’s Anatomy on my iPad. It was bliss! It was the perfect antidote to everything that was going on and I felt sooooo much better for it. It didn’t cost much (I always try to have a selection of bath bombs on hand) and it meant that I could put the week behind me and be in my jammies and on the sofa when I was done. It was just what I needed and I must remember to do this more often. I need to get out in the fresh air and walk. I need to veg out in front of my favourite film and do nothing. I need to lay on the sofa reading a decent book. Anything that’s not work or jobs.
  2. Junk food is not my friend. When I get busy and tired, I want to cook less than normal. So instead of healthy home cooked meals from scratch, it’s oven chips and beans or takeaway. Instead of a healthy, vegetable packed lunch made at home, it’s a white bread sandwich with crisps that repeats on me all afternoon. All this means I run on empty, feeling crap, a little heaver and feeling all kinds of guilt. When will I learn? I’m not saying no junk food or takeaways ever, but toast and crisps for lunch for two weeks is not balanced. It’s lazy and a sure fire way to feeling worse. In order to have the energy to keep going and not feel like crap, a balanced diet is essential. Take the time to cook properly (as properly as I can!) and make sure there’s plenty of vegetables.

When I first thought about writing this post, I had no energy whatsoever and was coming down with my first cold in ages. It hit me pretty hard. I knew that I hadn’t been looking after myself properly and felt really guilty. I’m hoping that I learn from this and make sure that I do these things as best as I can, if for no other reason than being worth it.

My 2016 Goals

I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions, mainly because they rarely last beyond a week! Also, within teaching, I often feel like there are so many new starts and am often trying to think about ways to improve myself, what I do etc. But there are a few things that I want to be better at by the end of 2016. Here they are:

2016 GOALS1. Sort out my finances. Ugh, every year I think ‘I’m gonna save more and waste less.’ Well, enough is enough. This needs to happen. I want need a new bathroom and more holidays in Cornwall. This is only going to happen if I save more regularly and waste less money. I need to organise a budget for birthday and Christmas presents and decide which charities to donate to, instead of the ‘donate to all’ frenzy that happened this Christmas. I also want to ensure I use a bank and banking products that are ethical and do good, rather than the harmful history some of the banks continue to deal with. I also want to get back to a point that my credit card is paid off in full every month and I can go into the bank without worrying that they’ll lock the doors with me in there!

2. Organise regular fitness. I honestly thought walking Poppy would be enough, and it was, in the summer, when we walked a lot. But as school got busy and the nights got darker, I haven’t been walking Poppy as much as I would like and lots of our favourite weekend walks are, well, muddy and unpleasant. I’m not going to join a gym, as I hate them, and running is pretty much out, thanks to my knees, so I’ve got to organise something that will help to keep me fit and strong. I’m thinking pilates, but want something online or a DVD as I know I will not keep up going to classes. I never do!

3. Expand my cooking repertoire. Since becoming vegan, my diet has definitely improved, though all too often, I find myself sinking back to lazy, convenient ways. While I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy cooking, I want to eat well. In order to do this, I need to cook more, become confident with different vegetables, different herbs and spices and gain in confidence so that I’m not reaching for the take away menu too often.

That’s it. I’m stopping at three. Any more than that and it’ll probably be too much! I have everything crossed that I’m successful with these!

 

Lifesum

My eyes have always been bigger than my stomach, but that’s never stopped me from overeating. In fact, when I’m tired, I crave that ever so slightly stuffed feeling. All of this has led me to trying a whole host of different diets, none of which have worked longterm. So when my partner showed me the Lifesum app, I knew I had to give it a go. It’s basically a calorie counting app, but it’s got a great database of foods and its very easy to use. I’ve tried calorie counting before, but apps and websites that I’ve used have been too awkward or just not slick enough. This isn’t. If you need to add a food or a meal you’ve made, it’s quick and easy.

LifesumLifesum AppDieting with Lifesum

I’ve been using mine since the end of February and I’ve met my first weight loss goal ahead of schedule. I’ve been able to manage my calorie intake and if the app suggests too few calories, you can always rejig your goal so that you don’t under eat. It’s easy to keep track of your weight and it’s really helped me to see the calorie content of different foods. There were a number of foods and meals that we ate that we thought ‘weren’t that bad’. But when we added them to Lifesum, it turned out that they were filled with hidden calories. It’s also helped me to plan treats and treat meals without ruining a good week. Using it also means we can see how many calories are in our treat meals and if we’re still trying to eat within our allotted calories, it shows how careful you need to be and some foods are just not worth going over your calories for. One thing I have learnt is how much food you can eat when you eat a plant based whole foods diet. And one thing I’m happy about is eating a lot, even if that means vegetables!

Tuesday Treat – British Strawberries

Strawberries are my favourite fruit. You can eat them in so many ways – on their own, with cream a la Wimbledon, in a smoothie, the world is your oyster. They also look great while you’re waiting to eat them. Pop them in your favourite bowl and they make brighten up your kitchen. As a child, I use to grab one from the bowl and dab in the sugar bowl when no one was looking. Unfortunately, I’d do it so often, I’d end up turning some of the sugar in the bowl pink!

British Strawberries
Strawberries are also quite low in calories, so you can eat loads if you’re calorie counting. This is my new favourite pudding. 100g of strawberries with a generous helping of chocolate Coyo. There’s something a bit extra special about British strawberries when they’re in season. They are full of flavour, bright and juicy and a sure sign that summer is on its way. Bring on the strawbs!