Monday, 31 August 2015

Special Delivery to my front door

Not bad Amazon, not bad at all...

Today started off well, considering I was lying in bed, listening to the rain outside my window. This was slightly frustrating as I had planned to go to the New Forest and go for a 5 mile walk with my camera, however sadly I can't control the weather! Whilst lying in bed, I thought about stuff... my life, my boyfriend, my work... I tend to keep myself really, really busy, so I don't really just sit down and think about things, let my mind wander as it were...

I got up and read my emails - One was from Amazon, saying that they had dispatched my order. Considering I'd only ordered things on Friday afternoon, I was impressed to see that they had dispatched it already, especially on a Bank Holiday Monday. I'd 'treated' myself to a spiraliser as I'm keen to try and continue my healthy eating and thought I might make some 'Courgette pasta' and other interesting shapes with vegetables. It might just be a fad, but hey.. It was quite cheap, so why not? I also decided to buy 'Dream Phone', which sounds rather crazy considering I'm a 30-something woman in a serious relationship, not some teenager in the 80's who wants to dial the massive pink 80's phone and find out who is her secret admirer.

.. But come on, doesn't that sound FUN? Think of it - You plus 2 or 3 friends, Saturday night, few bottles of wine - You play 'Cards against humanity' and then DREAM PHONE.... OK, so maybe it's certain people's idea of Hell, but I know my sisters and friends will find it amusing :-)

After I got out of bed and made myself breakfast, I decided to slob out on the sofa under a duvet - something I really rarely do. I decided to watch 'Animal Park' (the one at Longleat) and got quite emotional whilst watching the baby monkeys try and find fruit in some wooden brush heads that the keeper had set up for them, to keep them busy. Hrm... Is this PMT or something else? I guess I'll find out by the end of this week... :-S

Breakfast was a banana, a slice of Orange malt loaf and some prunes - I only ate half the prunes in the photo as by the time I had eaten my banana and malt loaf, I was rather full. I did want to get out of the house, however, so went to grab some food for my Boyfriend who was getting back from his LAN gaming event in Milton Keynes. He hadn't asked me to, however I thought he'd probably be knackered and having eaten rubbish for the last 3 days, might appreciate some tasty and more healthy food. In the process, I also bought food for lunch (Marks and Spencers fuller for longer range, chicken Yakatori skewers and some BBQ Wholegrain crisps) and dinner (I am making myself a BBQ Chicken wrap with salad and for pudding - grapes!).

M&S seemed to have a lot of reduced items and I'm certainly no snob when it comes to grabbing a bargain. Best before today? No worries, happy to oblige! 

Unfortunately, it continued to rain for most of the day. I mostly vegged out on the sofa, watching random TV and then my Boyfriend texted to tell me that he was home. I popped round with his food and we had a quick chat - Everything was good... until I burst into tears and told him that I'd been quite lonely today and was worried that everything was 'so good' between us, that I was petrified of us breaking up.. I mean.. What.. the.. actual.. f**k? Seriously? this is not me... :-S I'm not a crazy, mental person who worries about stuff to this level...

As per usual, my Boyfriend was lovely and supportive and wasn't edging nervously to the nearest door, or to the phone to phone the men in white coats to say 'She's crazy, take her away'... However I am certainly feeling a bit odd at the moment. I didn't stay long - as I said, he was really tired from all the things he'd been doing over the last few days, but thanked me very much for the food and said he was likely to eat and then fall asleep on the sofa.

After I got back, I realised that Amazon had actually tried to delivery my package! However as I wasn't in, they'd left it with my lovely neighbour. I knocked on her door and collected the package (I'm very lucky to have such lovely neighbours.. we don't really talk, just a friendly 'Hello' but we always take each others packages in and that's about that...) Hurrah! My things have arrived! I'm certainly going to be doing some spiralising this week :-)

Dinner is currently underway, I am just oven baking my BBQ chicken before creating a lovely BBQ chicken salad wrap and following it up with some grapes if I get peckish later on. It's a shame I'm back to work tomorrow, but I am certainly not feeling the same level of dread that I felt a few months ago... 

Now.. what interesting spiralising recipes can I find on the internet..... ?

Sunday, 30 August 2015

A bank holiday is not excuse to eat badly..

.. Unless you want to, that is.

If someone 'preached' to me that I should eat a certain way, I'd tell them where to go - and as I want to do everything in moderation, if I had wanted to eat something unhealthy for a change, then I would have. However, I'm feeling really motivated at the moment and this was spurred on even further when I got dressed this morning and wore a purple top that I've not worn in about a month. A month ago, it looked OK, but my stomach looked kinda 'bulgy', even when I was wearing my famous 'fat pants', however not only does it look a lot flatter (sadly I'm not confident enough to wear it without wearing my fat pants), but the belt I bought a little while ago is now on its last hole and is actually getting too loose.

I'm still not going to weigh myself for a while as I need to stop being obsessed with the scales, however I'm in a really good place with my head.. my job... my life and I want this to continue. So today I got up early and decided to go in London. What's that? go into London? On a Bank Holiday weekend? Are you mad? Actually, I got a seat on the train really easily and managed to wander around quite happily, going to all the places I wanted to without any trouble at all.

I was going to go to the Nottinghill Carnival, however I'd heard one of my new work colleagues tell me it was quite rough. I also read up on how busy it was and looked at the weather forecast. So, I decided to change my mind but go into London anyway for a bit of a mooch around. 

One of the things I did was go to the National Portrait Gallery. Breakfast was a slice of malt loaf and a banana and after scoffing that and drinking a cup of tea, I headed to the train station and subsequently, to the gallery. Bearing in mind it was a weekend, it was fairly quiet and I spent a good 1.5 hours just walking around the paintings and reading the descriptions. Some of them were fairly famous - Like the ones of Henry VIII and Anne Boley - I think I remember seeing them in some of my GCSE history books when I was at school.

I didn't realise how much I'd walked, however after 1.5 hours it was nearing lunch time and I felt rather hungry and thirsty. I went down to the cafe and had a cup of tea. It was hard not to order any cake, however I managed it and felt very virtuous, sipping my tea and whatsapping my sister about her date tonight (His name is Ben... she's met him 3 times and he seems really nice apparently. I've nicknamed him 'Triple B' as in 'Big Boy Benny'... apparently she's told him this and he finds it funny) 

Lunch was an easy one - straight to the Japan Centre for some sushi... I got enough so that I could eat it tonight as well. I love sushi, it's even more tasty when you're not the one making it yourself! Tamago nigiri (egg sushi),  A crispy chicken seaweed triangle, Inari pockets (Tofu pocket with seasoned rice inside) and for dinner... It was a vegetable and prawn tempura pot with more rice.. 

I then went and wandered around Covent Garden and did a spot of shopping as it was my friends Birthday last week and I'm seeing her on Wednesday so whilst I had a temporary reprieve of buying her a present, I wanted to buy her something personal and London was the best place to achieve it! I went into Foyles and found her a lovely book of the Irish coast (she's from Ireland). Stunning photos and lots of history behind the places - She's from Cork and it had one section about Cork, so fingers crossed she likes it :-)

After more wandering around I headed home - I checked my 'S Health' app on my phone and it told me I'd walked 13,000 steps (over 10km) which had apparently burnt off 555 calories. Whilst that's awesome, I don't want to fall into the trap of thinking 'Oh well, I've got another 555 calories I can use up on chocolate', so just stuck to my sushi tonight and am now in my PJ's, about to watch another horror film.

Imogens review for 'Robert' - Pretty crap. Kinda more like Eastenders than a typical horror film. You could tell it was done on a very low budget in England and the 'scariest' thing was seeing the cameraman in the mirror in one of the bath scenes at the end, as well as seeing the reflection of other camera people in the reflection on the cooker in the kitchen. The doll is kind of creep, but the best acting is done by the child, which means you have no sympathy for either of the parents (whilst it wasn't said, I swear the Dad was shagging the secretary) and the Mum's constant moaning and simpering meant I just wanted her to get killed by the doll ASAP.

I'm now about to watch 'Invoked'.. Hopefully this one is better! 

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Healthy fish and chips with only 5 ingredients

I love this recipe

I love fish and chips, however I'm not overly keen on the greasiness, nor what it does for my waist line so I developed a healthier version. It's incredibly simple and as I can be pretty lazy and impatient in the kitchen, works for me really well!

Your five ingredients

And here we go!
1. Cod (or whatever fish you want)
2. A sweet potato (1 per person)
3. A tin of mushy peas (I will eat the whole tin, but depends how much you like them)
4. Olive oil
5. Cajun spice

Preheat oven to about 200c fan / 220c normal oven

1. Peel and chop the sweet potato into chips - You can do wedges, you can do whatever you want, however I've found chips about this size, take about 40 mins in the oven so make sure you know how long they take to cook! 

2. Place chips on baking tray, drizzle a tablespoon of oil... coat the chips in oil and then sprinke approx 2 tablespoons of Cajun spice on the chips. You can do more, you can do less, I'm not keen on spicy things, however this spice really doesn't seem to have a lot of kick in it. If you wanted them plain, then that's cool.. or maybe even try a different spice?

3. Chuck chips in oven for 20 mins.

4. Grab some silver foil (you don't need to do it this way, but I prefer it) and brush some oil on the foil. Place fish in the middle of the foil and close - I tend to make it like a giant silver pasty.. but you can cook the fish how you wish... I just prefer steaming it in the oven in its own juices.

5. After 20 mins, check on the chips and turn them over... (else one side cooks more than the other) 

6. After another 5 minutes place fish in oven

7. After another 15 minutes (so 40 for the chips, 15 minutes for the fish) check on both... they should be ready!

8. Quickly zap the peas in the microwave (if you have a microwave, I'm backward.. so don't!) for a few minutes whilst you're dishing up the rest of the food... and voila!


As I'm not a food technician or nutritionist, I'm not entirely sure how many of your five a day this covers, however I'm guessing it's two.... one with the sweet potato and one for the peas? Also.. you've got fish which is low in fat and really good on the protein front, so I think you're hitting a lot of the 'good' foods when you shove this into your gob!

Gastric bypass isn't an 'easy option'

I've just spent a lovely few hours with my friend at a food and drink festival

I call her my 'Gastric bypass friend' for reference (as I don't want to use her proper name) and she had a gastric bypass in December 2014. I've already blogged about My idiot Brother in lawmy crazy Uncle and Aunt and also my drama llama friend, however my gastric bypass friend is not an idiot, nor crazy, nor even a little bit dramtic - In a lot of ways, she's a real inspiration.

She doesn't know my blog URL, so the below is my own perception of her journey, however from where I'm standing, she's done so well and has had so much change in her life, she's really inspiring.

I met her about 8 years ago when we were both members of an online womens forum. I had posted about how I'd gone for an interview at a particular I.T. company and she had messaged me saying that from my post, she thought she recognised the company (turns out she was right and she was currently working for them so gave me some insider tips). We started messaging each other and realised we lived really close to each other and worked in the same industry. After meeting up for a coffee and realising neither of us were crazy (or maybe both of us were, hence why it worked) we got on really well and became good friends. 

Over the last 8 years so much has changed. She got married, and last year got divorced. I split up with my boyfriend, got back together with him... we've both moved jobs on more than one occasion, moved house more than once.... fluctuated in weight quite significantly.... just lots of changes, really.

A couple of years ago she told me she was going to apply on the NHS for weight loss surgery and that her Husband supported her - it wasn't as if she just went to her GP and they said 'Sure, have the operation'. She had to jump through a LOT of hoops and also meet the criteria - one of which was to undertake a lot of counselling sessions beforehand and go to a group, where a lot of overweight people would talk about things, and they'd have people who had already had the surgery come and answer questions....

She also had to lose a % of her weight... about 2.5 stone, I believe? She smashed the target and lost even more than that, so after about 18 months, her surgery was scheduled. In the year leading up to her surgery, both her parents emigrated to Australia and she split from her Husband so despite not having any family support or the support of a partner, she decided to still go for it. I was the one who picked her up from the hospital after her operation and drove her home.

From what she says, the first few days in hospital were a total low point, she felt very down and was in more pain that she thought she would be in. Once she got home, she said she felt better, and as she's very organised, she'd already bought a lot of her 'mushy food meals' that she needed. She had taken a month off work and was raring to go back after a month - thankfully she did not suffer from any infections or any complications after the surgery (although she did tell me she needed to inject herself with anti clotting stuff... Urghh).

Almost immediately I saw a massive difference in my friend - she started losing a lot of weight and started coming out of her shell. Less than a month later (just after new year) we went to a Wolf Conservation place and took photos before walking half a mile to a local pub and ordering fish and chips - the difference was, my friend only had about 10 mouthfuls and pulled away the batter and just ate the white fish and one chip..... 

At all stages, my friend followed the advice the Doctors and nutritionists gave her. She only ate a certain mount of sugar per day... she only ate what she felt she could and didn't drink alcohol for a little while. She also cut down the amount of liquid she drank and now asks for a skimmed late only half full in the smallest cup... 

As the weight came off, she seemed to become more and more confident and not only joined the local gym, but started going to karate a few times a week - It was amazing.

To cut a long story short, she went from a size 24 to a current size 12.... she says that it wasn't the 'easy' journey she thought it would be, but the best decision that she's ever made. There were times her weight loss slowed down and she realised it was because she'd increased her portions slightly and had to re-evaluate what she was eating, however now she can drink alcohol, eat puddings.. whatever... however in moderation as opposed to before. I don't think she was prepared for the pain straight after the operation, but she's said she'd go through it all again as it's so life changing.

And guess what? Throughout the entire thing, she's never pushed her decision down my throat or the throat of anyone else (she didn't announce it on Facebook and a lot of people don't know she underwent surgery). She's never told me I should do the same and has gone from being bigger than me to smaller - yet she's never rubbed it in.... According to my friend, the last time she saw the weight loss specialists, she's lost 78% of her excess weight and anything over 70% is considered a 'success', so in less than 9 months, she's totally nailed it. She's awesome :-)

I don't think it's the right path for me, I think I can lose weight naturally and I think I do have the necessary discipline and the changed mindset to reach my healthy and happy body shape, but I also believe that my friend went down the right path for her - It's great that we've gone through so much together and have come out closer in some ways... we're both quite closed people but have opened up a lot in the last year about feelings and our approaches to food and our weight.

Before my friend underwent gastric bypass surgery I have to be honest - I didn't know a lot about it and just 'assumed' that you had the surgery and couldn't eat so would naturally lose weight. However it's so much more than that - it's a total lifestyle change and the fact that my friend is making healthy choices, eating healthy food and exercising more suggests that she's really bought into making those changes and isn't just relying on the surgery. It's not my story to tell and I've certainly not done her justice, however I am grateful that she shared so much of what she went through with me and I know she's supportive over my weight loss journey as well.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Home made Fajitas

Bank Holiday Weekend Excitement!!!!

2 weeks down already in my new job and I'm loving it. Fridays seem to be so relaxed and as there are very few people in the office, it's really chilled and just... nice, really. My Team seem lovely (Not 'my' team.. just the people I work with, all of whom seem to be older and more experienced than me!) they're very inclusive and seem to just want to do a good job which is a massive breath of fresh air. 

Today started off well as I checked my bank balance and I've been paid my final salary from my old job and also 2 weeks from my new job. This is great as I was very broke last week... I spent way too much when I was gallivanting around the countryside on my month off. Breakfast today was slightly different - as I mentioned before, the bananas I bought yesterday are too green to eat yet, so I had some malt loaf and some prunes. It didn't look overly pleasant, however did taste a lot nicer than it looked. 

Work went pretty well - I've been getting on with quite a few things now and there's definitely enough to keep me busy, which I appreciate. I was actually quite shocked when I looked at the time and realised it was near lunch time. For lunch, I went with one of my team to the canteen and found out that he also does wedding photography (I used to do it... I don't any more) so we spent a good 30 minutes 'nerding out' about cameras... lenses etc. It was really nice to find common ground with him and the photos he's taken of his wife and kids are just absolutely lovely. I had another salad for lunch which was really quite filling - I think I chose pretty healthy.. chicken.. one boiled egg, only a small finger slice of cheese and a lot of chickpeas etc.. I'm not going to lie - I was quite jealous of my colleagues fish, curly fries and beans... but hey :-)

I left ever so slightly early today - 4:50pm.. and the difference 10 minutes made to my journey was amazing. I got back over 30 minutes earlier and am now in my jeans and T shirt, already chilling. Tonight's food will be home made Fajitas. I was going to buy one of those Fajitas kits, however I'm not keen on the salsa as it comes in a packet and isn't overly great, so I thought I'd make use of the peppers I already had in the fridge and the fact I have some Fajita spice I bought ages ago and never used. Added to the fact I already had some grated cheese in the fridge and really, I only had to buy some wraps (which can be used for other things, tomorrow), some chicken and some salsa and we're onto a winner!

I've not done it yet, however I will get cracking after I finish this blog. I've got quite a busy weekend planned - Tomorrow I've got my major hair appointment (where I get it chemically straightened) and then I'm seeing my gastric bypass friend. Sunday I'm off to London and Monday I think I'll try and find a really nice place to do a long walk which doesn't sound very busy, but knowing me, I'll find God knows how many things to fit in. My boyfriend is at a 3 day LAN gaming event in Milton Keynes so I won't be seeing him until Tuesday. I have to say, it's weird... we've been together a while but I don't think we've ever been as close or I've been so happy and content - I'm so excited about buying a house with him next year, getting Persian cats and of course, (potentially) having a family.

.. Which technically could happen this month, but I have to wait and see if Aunt Flo will pay me a visit...  :-)

Thursday, 27 August 2015

A size 14 is for life, not just for Christmas

I know, I know.. it's only August and I said the 'C word'

However it's my goal to wear a pair of size 14 jeans (And that's a size 14 I buy in the shops at the time... not a size 14 that's in my wardrobe that I've stretched when being a size 16...) on Christmas day and despite my 3-4 weeks of unhealthy eating, I'm completely 'back on the wagon' and raring to go with a lot of motivation.... However different shops have a different take on what a size 14 is - So to be perfectly clear.. I'm aiming for a size 14 in Next.. All of my jeans and trousers are from Next and I like the fit. 

Christmas is only my first goal, but I think it's a good one as I don't think I can remember a Christmas where I was 1. A size 14... or 2. Happy with how I looked... Most Christmases, round about the beginning of December, I'm already eating loads of mince pies, drinking lots of mulled wine like it's going out of fashion and copious amounts of cheese - this is all very well and good, but it means that by Christmas day, I've already put on a lot of weight, if not gone up a dress size.... I really don't want this year to be the same.

So, with basically 4 months to go... (that's a THIRD of a year!) I should definitely be able to hit my goal if I stay motivated.. Anyone else feel like a challenge? 

Thing is, it needs to be a life change to be sustainable, right? so I'm trying to tackle the small things first.

Objectives for the next 4 months

1. Eat healthy but not obsess - If I want a bar of chocolate, I'll eat one, but on the whole, choose healthy options. 

2. Continue to blog even if I don't eat healthy - My main aim of this blog was to be honest, warts and all.. I'm not a saint and whilst I do have a lot of willpower, sometimes I will choose something unhealthy. I guess that's normal as I don't think it would be much of a fun life if I constantly deprived myself of chocolate / pizza / wine... Everything in moderation, right? Plus, I should be able to eat unhealthily sometimes.. and STILL lose weight.

3. I'm going to weigh myself once a month, starting with the 30th September - I don't want to weigh myself at the moment as I think I'm heavier than I was when I last weighed myself and don't want to get demotivated. I think by the end of September, I'll have lost that weight and hopefully more and it will help me track my progress for the next few months 

4. Find new and interesting healthy foods and recipes - I think this one is important and it's something I can do in my routine. I think it would be good to find new and healthy things to eat (like the different marinated chicken escalopes I recently found at Marks and Spencers) as eating the same things day in and day out gets really boring, really fast.

Today was certainly a day for new things as I ate yet another different chicken escalope - 'Piri piri' chcken with steamed vegetables and rosemary roasted potatoes. I'll be honest, I didn't think it was as nice as the chicken I ate with my boyfriend last night (coconut and lime leaf), however considering I don't really like spicy things, it wasn't spicy at all and was absolutely fine. Whilst I did buy bananas today when I went food shopping, they're actually too green to eat, so tomorrow's breakfast is malt loaf and prunes... A bit random perhaps, but I like prunes and also like the fact that since eating healthy... everything is just so... *ahem* regular... :-)

As I've said before. I'm nothing special.. I'm very normal (slightly insane, but hey) but I'm determined to become more healthy and the fact I've got 1/3rd of a year to really get into it and wake up on Christmas day actually feeling like I've achieved part of my overall goal would be great.... It's not rocket science and I'll just be taking one day at a time....

Healthy eating is helping me be busy, but happy!

I can't believe it's already Thursday

Looking back 3 months ago and I was dreading getting up each day when I knew I had to go into the office. I've not been in my new job for 2 weeks and I'm really excited about undertaking new things, learning stuff and basically working with nice people. Yesterday was a great day - Went into the office which was easy as the tube strike had been called off. 

One thing I did realise is that I've been charged something crazy like £16 a day to travel just in Zone 1 as I'm getting off the train and going through a barrier with my oyster card and then leaving after my journey.. it seems to think I'm 'touching out' of the station and then 'touching out' of the tube station but not touching in anywhere... I honestly didn't think I was that bad with certain technology, but maybe I am? Either way, it's cost me a fortune these last 2 weeks so I'm going to try a different route tomorrow and see if Oyster can work out what I'm doing!

Breakfast yesterday was a slice of malt loaf and a banana - I'd say it was the same as today, except I've run out of bananas! Lunch was a ready made Japanese 'Teryaki chicken' rice salad as my ex-management coach came to my office to say hello. He'd never heard of the company before but was looking for a dowdy building in the City... I think he was rather impressed when he saw a gleaming, glass skyscraper ;-) It was really lovely to see him and we caught up on what each other has been doing. He even gave me some more suggestions about how to further my career and what to do in my new company which is lovely, considering usually my ex-company had to pay him £££ an hour for this kind of support. 

My mid-afternoon snack was a packet of Sainsburys mango which I have always loved. I've tried a lot of different types of mango but this one is just brilliant - I swear they must lave it with cocaine or something as it's really sweet, but very easy to eat. I've been buying the 35g packets so I don't overeat as the 100g packets would be gone in one sitting, easily! 

After getting home last night I started cooking for myself and my boyfriend and it was another Marks and Spencers chicken dish - this time it was M& S lime leaf and coconut chicken escalopes which I served with rosemary roasted baby potatoes, steamed brocoli and carrots. It was absolutely gorgeous and I'd certainly try that chicken again - it wouldn't be out of place served with rice, to be honest.. although there's sauce, I don't think there's enough to make it a proper 'curry', but the flavours are lovely. 

My boyfriend had kindly picked up my antique bookcase that we tried to get in the car at the weekend but it was too big to fit in his Audi by 2cm... 2cm!! so annoying! So he borrowed his work van and very kindly picked it up for me. It's a rather large glass bookcase, but for £30, it's brilliant and will be perfect for storing DVD's out of the way so they don't get covered in dust. After we dropped the work van off and picked up his car, we decided to head to the pub for a quick drink. After my 1.5 weeks of healthy eating, I was keen not to get drunk and then get the munchies, but really fancied a nice glass of red wine - so thought 'Sod it'... I had the glass of wine... and I DIDN'T get any munchies whatsoever... My willpower is quite high at the moment.

Today I'm working from home and lunch will be a lovely baked sweet potato with beans. I need to go food shopping at some point today, however the company seems to have a lot of phone meetings over lunch time (very different culture to my old company) so might have to make it 'late night' shopping, instead! 

I'm really looking forward to the Bank Holiday weekend and also to finishing my 2nd week in my new job - Who knows what interesting (and healthy!) food, I can find in the canteen tomorrow? :-)

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Easy healthy eating - Routine is everything

Still motivated.. still eating healthy

As it's Tuesday today, I was working from home and once again, slept really well. It's funny.. but healthy eating seems to affect my life in so many positive ways after only a few days - I sleep better, I feel better, even my 'movements' *ahem* are really regular and fine.... And of course, I'm losing weight (although I will be honest and say I haven't stepped onto the scales for 6 weeks, so don't know exactly what I weigh at the moment). However things are all great...

One thing that struck me is - When I was on garden leave, I was pretty much routine-less... I could go to bed when I wanted, get up when the mood took me - I was always out seeing friends, seeing family. it was great, however there was very little to no routine.. This meant that despite my good intentions, after the first week of my month long garden leave... I was really struggling to eat healthily and when it came to my holiday in Brighton, I decided 'Sod it, I'll eat what I want and restart when I start my new job' which I did - For the last 1.5 weeks, I've been doing so well and it's so easy - Why?

I think it's routine - It's just so easy as you don't need to think about it. Get up, have a shower, go to work.. eat breakfast.. work.. lunch.. work.. home.. dinner... sleep - Then repeat. It's kinda like a lovely computer program, where you do the same thing every day. Of course, you could see friends, rather than just go home.. but I love having structure, I love routine - It might not work for everyone, but it totally works for me. I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at relatively the same time, I eat the same things for breakfast more often than not.. it's great. If it gets boring, then I'll make a change (Note I'm not eating porridge for breakfast at the moment!).

Breakfast for me today was a banana and some malt loaf, whilst lunch was something different - as I was working from home, I took advantage of the fact I had a working oven, so had a paprika turkey breast in a pita bread with a raw pepper and some hummus - it was absolutely delicious and very filling. After more work, I went to my counselling appointment as normal and today was quite intense - for some reason we spoke about the fact I hate being late for things, I find it really stressful - I feel it's as if you're saying to the person who you keep waiting 'My time is more important than yours' and I find it really rude...... However I worry way too much.. like, not just a little bit, but if I'm 2-3 minutes late, it's a real thing for me.

Another thing for me at the moment is the fact that my boyfriend and I are still not using any protection when we're 'having fun'... it's blowing my mind at the moment as I do want children with him and obviously that's how a baby is going to be made, but it's almost as if it's too scary to do - I'm 33, so hardly 'young', but I still think I am not a grown up, that I couldn't possibly be ready to be a Mother.. that if a test comes back positive, I'm going to totally freak out - however I imagine most women might think like that? Argh. Scary stuff....

Dinner was lovely - I made some minced beef wraps with salad and a sprinkling of mozzarella. I'm trying not to eat too much red meat, but I don't want to completely rule it out of my diet - everything in moderation, right? and now I'm sat on my sofa... watching Louis Theroux interview American Doctors regarding critical illness... it's not exactly a happy program, but interesting. It also hammers home the fact that I should be grateful for my health and I shouldn't take things for granted....That every day I eat healthy is basically an 'investment' into my wellbeing and the more weight I lose, the more healthy I will be (within reason.. I don't want to be underweight!).

Roll on Wednesday :-)

Monday, 24 August 2015

Rain, rain go away

A positive start to the week and another day of healthy eating

I think I'm already getting into a routine for work and I even slept well which is impressive considering I tend to wake earlier than my alarm as I'm always worried about 'not waking up in time' (God knows why.. my alarm is rather loud!). Routine in getting up... getting ready and now, routine in breakfast as once again it was a banana and a slice of malt loaf.

Looking out the window at the torrential rain made me feel quite lucky to be working in a rather swish office again. The happy feeling continued at lunch time when I got another salad - sadly there weren't any 'superfood' salads today, so I just went for a basic one which was still nice, just not as varied.. butterbeans.. chickpeas... a little bit of coleslaw.. It filled me up and I felt rather virtuous that once again I was choosing something healthy as opposed to a large sandwich, packet of crisps etc... 

The day got even better when, at 4pm, I heard that the tube strikes have been called off this week - Hurrah! :-) Bonus :-) Getting home was a bit wet, however thankfully I had my umbrella so managed to arrive home relatively unscathed.

For dinner I met one of my ex-work colleagues who I hadn't seen for a little while. She is lovely and is sadly one of the 5 people I had to get rid of about 7 months ago.... My ex company sucked in more ways than one. Thankfully she realised that it wasn't my call and we remained friends with no hard feelings. We met at Wagamamas and spent a good hour catching up whilst I munched on a chicken ramen and drank green tea. I can't say that a Chicken ramen is my favourite dish in the world, I actually prefer the Wagamama ramen, however the difference in both calories and fat is quite significant so I tend to try and stick to the healthiest option as much as possible - Plus.. it still tastes quite nice.

We then decided to go to Giraffe and have a quick 'mocktail'.. I had one with pineapple and coconut juice which was lovely - in some ways, actually nicer than some of the alcoholic cocktails I've tried recently.

By the time I got back home it was dark - The nights certainly seem to be drawing in and soon we'll no doubt all be wearing coats, hats and scarves but until then, I'll be happy to just sit on the sofa in my PJ's and watch TV :-)

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Ginger beer and... chicken?

Even though it's Monday tomorrow, I really don't mind.

Sunday has been a lovely end to the weekend - It's been a few months since I felt this relaxed about going to work tomorrow and in some ways, I'm even looking forward to it. There's no horrible stomach pains and no worry in my head at the moment.....

I realised on Saturday, when I was putting my hair into a no-nonsense bun, that it's quite dry, so I decided to give my hair a little bit of TLC this morning and once out of bed, stuck on some leave-in-conditioner that's been made specially for afro hair, left it in for 10 minutes before washing it out and then putting even more conditioner in - it's made a massive difference and my hair feels and even looks a lot better. Breakfast was once again, a banana and a slice of malt loaf - I think I'm going to stick to this breakfast for the next week.. and see what I can do after that. I don't think it's overly substantial, however it's certain;y getting me through my new job in the mornings and best of all.. it's quite healthy :-)

My boyfriend picked me up at 9:45 and we went to try and pick up my antique bookcase that I won from eBay. Unfortunately, for the first time ever, it didn't fit into his car! By 2cm! Do'h... So instead I'll try and organise a van in the next couple of days to pick it up. We then stopped by a large Marks and Spencers, had a cup of tea and went food shopping. It was nice having a cup of tea (even if my Boyfriend did decide to buy a sausage bun for breakfast which looked really tempting..... Thankfully I resisted even sampling it!) as we hadn't seen each other for 6 days and I really missed him. We caught up on what each of us had been doing as we don't really ever talk on the phone when we're apart... just 2-3 texts each day, always in the evening. 

We decided to buy food for both lunch and dinner in Marks and Spencers so it wouldn't interfere with the rest of our day and I decided to buy some sticky salmon with rice and teriyaki skewers for lunch and we decided to buy some limited edition chicken breasts, vegetables and potatoes for dinner. Once purchased, we headed home... shoved all the food in my fridge, ate lunch (which was really, really nice) and then headed off to the car workshop that my Boyfriend partially rents with other people so he could pick up some things he left there whilst working on one of his cars recently.

One of the nice things about the workshop is, it's in the middle of nowhere and there's loads of animals and birds around - including a lot of grouse! Apparently it's some kind of free range farm, where they are bed and then used as sport. I don't personally agree with shooting animals for sport, however that's an opinion I won't expand on tonight - I do, however, enjoy trying to feed them and watch them, so once my boyfriend had picked up his things, we drove very slowly up a track and saw all the grouse, literally... hundreds of them! It was kind of like being in Jurassic Park, where the vehicle was moving through the field of dinosaurs.. there were grouse darting in all directions and we just watched them for a while, trying not to scare them.

As the weather started to get worse, my Boyfriend suggested we go to Fort Nelson a Victorian fort that has a lot of impressive guns! It didn't take us that long to get there and we really enjoyed ourselves, walking around, just talking, looking at different things. I can't say I'm overly interested in artillery, however it's still an impressive place to go and was free admission. I always like to give some money towards the upkeep so after we walked around for a good 1.5 hours, we paid a small visit to the cafe (No..I didn't have any cake at all.. just a cup of tea!), bought a few things in the gift shop and made a donation. 

By the time we got back, it was late afternoon so we settled down to a nice couple of hours of TV which included this weeks episode of the Great British Bake off before enjoying our dinner of chicken, steamed veg and roasted new potatoes. Yummy! 

It's funny, however this week I've found it pretty easy to eat healthy and am really enjoying not feeling bloated, constipated or just generally crappy - My sleep is once again getting better and I'm keen to keep it up. Let's hope that next week is as motivating, despite the horrible weather on the horizon :-) 

Saturday, 22 August 2015

I am a great food smuggler :-)

Today has been a really fun Saturday

I always find it funny when I look forward to the weekend thinking I'll get a lie in, and I end up waking up pretty much the same time as I would, on a weekday! After getting up I decided to do a spot of early morning food shopping so I could ensure I had some healthy food for today as I went to the Rewind Festival with my friend and her friends. I had a bit of a conundrum in regards to what to buy for lunch as what food can cope with being in a hot handbag for a few hours and not go off? In the end, I decided to buy a salad with extra ham from Marks and Spencers and just eat it as soon as I got there!

I bought some strawberries from Tescos and had a really nice breakfast with them and a banana :-) I also followed that up with a slice of malt loaf an hour and a half later, so was trying to eat little and often.

I arrived at Rewind at 12:00 and met my friend and her friends in the queue. As we were walking to the gates, I remarked that I didn't have a camping chair to sit on, like them... however I did have some food. Then my friend told me - I wasn't allowed to bring food into the festival and it's one of the conditions.... Whoops! You can tell I'm not a regular festival goer :-) As we got closer to the security... I did indeed see them checking bags. Hrm... I was prepared to have to throw it away, however had recently bought a new handbag for work - one which has 2 main compartments in the middle. A quick readjustment and zipping one of them up, I tried my luck by only showing them one of the compartments... Guess what? It worked! Hurrah! I wandered past the security people feeling rather smug :-)

We wandered through the festival and found a really good place to sit, quite near the middle. We then went to find the toilets - one of my friend's friends had a slightly disability and as such, she bought 'posh toilet' passes - you pay additional money to go to very nice portaloos, rather than the usual type of toilets you get at festivals. Apparently she had bought one for each of us - I said that was cool and thanked her... and asked how much I owed her - £30.... Oh.. My.. God... £30! As I'm quintessentially British and in some ways, a bit of a pushover, I said that was fine... however guess what? I only used the toilet twice.. so that's basically £15 per toilet break.. really, really mental. Next year I think I'll be totally up front and say that I'll just use the normal toilets....

The festival was awesome - The weather was also really great until about 7:30pm when it started raining... However just to sit in the sun, chatting, listening to music.. it was great. I ate my salad and throughout the day, also ate my Nakd bar and some malt loaf so I didn't actually need to buy anything from any food stalls except water and a diet coke :-)

When my friends friends asked if I wanted anything, I politely declined - My friend said 'Imogen is very disciplined when it comes to healthy eating' which I thought was really nice.. I certainly don't feel very disciplined as if I was - I'd be a lot thinner than I currently am, however it felt nice that that's how she sees me.

We listened to Billy Ocean.. Hot Chocolate.. Belinda Carlisle... amongst others - Despite being born in the 80's I was actually surprised how little of their songs I knew! Still, it was great fun and loads of people dressed up in really awesome 80's costumes. I have to say, I've been to a few other types of festival - Reading Festival being the main one and the atmosphere is just so different... Rewind is just so 'relaxed' everyone is so nice and friendly whereas I find certain other festivals quite different - people throwing bottles of urine, glass in the crowds.. It's just not as pleasant and I can't relax as much.

I left before the main act as I'm still kinda getting used to work and felt quite tired, however noone minded. I'm now sat in my PJ's whilst my dinner is being cooked - turkey with baked small potatoes and steamed veg :-)

Friday, 21 August 2015


And so the end of the first week at my new job beckons

.. and I don't think I could have asked it to have gone better than it did! I can't believe that only a few months ago, I was so unhappy and now I've got the rest of my life to do whatever I want without the worry and stress of working with horrible people.

As today was Friday, I was in London and I was surprised at how quiet both the train and the tube were - Loads of people seem to work from home on Friday so it was pretty peaceful getting into work and I got a seat on both the train and the tube! I also managed to do over 5,000 steps today, which isn't bad considering!.

Breakfast was a banana and a slice of malt loaf and for lunch, I decided to go out and wander around my work building and see what was there. I managed to find a place called Tossed which claimed to be 'A healthy eating place' and basically, it's like a buritto place, however rather than getting a custom made burrito, you get a custom made salad, instead! I was slightly scared at going up and ordering as I didn't exactly know what was going on so decided to buy a ready made on instead, however it was really nice so I definitely think I'll be going back there again at some point soon. One of the nice things about the ready made salads was - All the calorie, fat and saturated fat content of each salad was on the label so it was very easy to see what you would be putting in your body.

I managed to say hello to my new Boss today who is out and about on a very regular basis. He seemed to be happy with my progress and said as much - He also asked me to undertake some other objectives so I wasn't just sat at my desk learning stuff, I was actually being productive, which was nice.

After the train journey back home, I cooked a really nice dinner of pan fried salmon, rosemary roasted potatoes and loads and loads of veg. I'm finding sticking loads of veg on my plate is a really good way of filling myself up but doing it with 'good things'. So whilst it might not look overly posh or win any Masterchef contest, it tasted really nice.

Tomorrow I've got a really fun day planned and I'll be out and about with a friend for most of it. There will be a lot of stalls selling food and drink and if it was 2 weeks ago, I'd no doubt be stuffing God knows how much unhealthy food in my mouth... However not tomorrow. I plan to do a quick trip to Marks and Spencers before I go, so I've got enough water and food to last me a good 8-10 hours so I can continue my healthy eating :-)


Thursday, 20 August 2015

How many steps do you do in a day?

I'm looking forward to celebrating the end of my first week of my new job

I've been sleeping so much better now that I'm eating healthily again - I also think it's got something to do with having more exercise. No, I'm not going to the gym, however I'm having to walk a lot more to work.. just by walking to the train station, walking to the tube, walking to work - it's over 3,000 steps each day! That's pretty awesome and much better than what I used to do - unless I walked into town with my work friend, I'd never make 3,000 steps a day.

Thursday was another working from home day and I already feel productive, despite still not having access to all of the systems I need access to! I even went out food shopping at 8:30am and got back before 9:00. My shopping bags were full of vegetables and fish - not a chocolate bar, or unhealthy thing in site! A complete 180 degree difference from this time last week when I was in Harrods, celebrating my youngest sisters birthday by having afternoon tea in their Georgian restaurant. I've been to a number of different hotels in London for 'Afternoon Tea' - the Ritz, The Savoy.. all of have been really enjoyable, however Harrods was stunning. The service alone was just brilliant and we had so many sandwiches and cakes - I don't regret it at all as I've got great memories, but I'm so glad I'm back on the healthy eating road.

Lunch was another BBQ chicken salad as I had half a pack of mini chicken fillets to use up and more lentils. Today I didn't have cucumber, but had red onion instead and also sprinkled some cheese over the top. I tend to buy the ready grated cheese - 1. As I'm lazy and 2. As I find it's easy to portion control as you don't grate too much.

I also managed to feed the birds and clean my bathroom at lunch time - I don't know why, but I thought when I started a new job, I'd be so busy I wouldn't be able to do the 'normal' chores, however I seem to be coping really well.. partly, I think it's because I'm only doing 3 days in London, I have respect for people who commute a long way 5 days a week.. How *do* you do it... I think I'd be so tired!

Dinner was another chicken breast, but this one was wrapped in bacon and courtesy of Tesco's (Quite low in calories and fat). I decided to serve it with rosemary roasted potatoes and some steamed veg - Absolutely delicious. I know there's a lot of veg on my plate, however I want to try and 'bulk up' and stop being hungry by eating healthy things, rather than craving chocolate or pudding an hour after I've eaten. So far.. so good! :-)

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Lots of love for the salads

This week is going great!

Day 3 of my new job and so far, so good. I worked from home yesterday, so today I was up early, wearing a suit.. and headed into London. I managed to actually get to my desk at 8:00 which is pretty impressive..  I didn't sleep that great, as was still a bit worried about driving to the station and parking there (Never done it before) but like everything this week, I just got on with it.. and it wasn't too bad at all.

Meeting more people of the 'team', they're all lovely - I had a couple of really nice conversations with them today and they even invited me to meetings already. I think the thing I like the most is the fact that most of them seem to be happily married and there doesn't seem to be any hostility, nor any politics.... why? As I'm the only woman in the UK and as I'm not planning on sleeping with anyone, I'm hoping this job will be better than the last one.

I actually think I would be able to eat porridge at work as I've discovered that not only is there a small kitchen on the floor I'm working on... the canteen is also open, so I could buy something healthy there. As I only discovered this, this morning, I actually brought breakfast in with me which was a banana and a small lunch box loaf. 

As I managed to convince one of my team to come to lunch with me, I manage to properly explore the work canteen and it can only be described as AWESOME! They've got the most amazing superfood salad range I've ever seen.. it's quite literally, amazing - fresh, fresh salads... where you can pick and choose different meats to put with it, such as chicken, BBQ pork, salmon, different types of cheeses.. loads of different salad dressings. I loved it, I would have taken a photo, however I didn't bring my camera with me and I thought my work colleague might have thought I was a bit, well... weird, taking a photo of the work canteen. I actually feel excited about going to work on Friday, just to see what other interesting combination of salad I can make up :-)

Commuting is still quite tiring at the moment - I managed to get back home at 6:40pm... How do you relax on a train full of people? Do you usually read? play on your phone? stare out the window or sleep? 

Dinner was a really nice BBQ salad - I roasted some BBQ chicken cutlets and had it with salad leaves, tomatoes, cucumbers and lentils. It was really, really nice and I'm still feeling really motivated to continue to eat healthy after eating crap for so long... it's just really nice being back in a routine again!