Life Sparkles ✨

In the words of Spandau Ballet…

…”these are my salad days”, (that is what they sing in “Gold” isn’t it or have I been wrong all these years?). Anyway, I digress, as usual!

Last week we had a heatwave in the UK. Apparently five consecutive days where we reach 30 degrees celsius, eighty-six farenheit, is officially a heatwave. I loved it! Blue skies, sunshine, warmth and a rare chance to wear Summer clothes. Let’s face it, we don’t get brilliant Summers so any chance to enjoy the good weather and we’re out there.

This beautiful weather kick started me back to healthy eating. After my gall bladder removal operation I ate very little, eventually progressing to fresh soup, fruit and bran flakes. I lost a stone in weight and felt great, my clothes were not straining to fit anymore. Of course as I healed I fell back to bad habits, biscuits, chocolate and yes even cake. I admit I enjoyed it better when I was eating healthy and not having to worry about what I was eating, because it was all healthy. I just need to keep the momentum up now that the weather is back to rain between the showers and colder than average for the time of year. Here comes Summer πŸ–β˜€οΈπŸ˜Ž

You know it’s Summer when the Strawberries are sweet.

I think I’m addicted to falafel πŸ₯™ 

Making good use of my Ninja again!

Yes, falafel again.

I’m also addicted to avocado πŸ₯‘ but limit my fix…not the cheapest – wait for the bargains.

Life Sparkles ✨

Let’s Start Again…Diet and Exercise

I have lost count of the times this year I have “started” to be healthy. Eat the right food, drink plenty of water, exercise. I start off so well with great intentions and then whoops…there goes that chocolate bar…oh dear, did I really just eat that cupcake…are those unattended biscuits I see on the plate?

Picture via Pinterest 

Being the main carer it is important that I keep myself healthy in order to look after my parents. However, being the main carer also means that generally I don’t sit down and eat meals, I tend to grab what I can and eat on the go either at home or when I get to the office in the afternoon’s, everything is rushed, or at least appears to be.

I love fruit and vegetables and I do eat a lot of them. I love fish and chips, Indian food and pizza and I do try to keep those delights for treat nights. I need to try harder.

I love walking, I re-started running a few weeks ago as strangely I really enjoyed it when I started running for the first time in January this year. It was a huge achievement for me to run 5k for Cancer Research in June. I am very surprised at how quickly I lost the fitness I had gained and I really want to re-gain it.

I have become more conscious of how what we eat affects our bodies and how exercise affects our hearts and brains. Everywhere you look there are articles about eating healthy, moving more, getting fresh air and protecting ourselves from the onset of diseases in later life.


Picture via Pinterest 

I have 14 pounds to lose, just one stone. My clothes are tight, I can’t get into some of my favourite dresses and as for my jeans…let’s not go there!! Although I’m not stressing about this I know I’ll feel better when the excess weight has gone. As I get older I notice the fat distribution area has changed, it is predominantly the tummy area which can be the worst area to carry fat, health wise.

So, once again, I’m starting to get healthy. Time to eat healthier, fresh, non-processed foods. To move more, to walk more, to build up the running, to dance even if it is just around my bedroom. To leave the chocolate, cupcakes and the fish and chips to treat days and to look after my body, my mind and my wellbeing. I want to be as fit and healthy as I can to care for my parents, they are depending on me. I want to be as fit and healthy as I can for me, for my later life and I’m thinking I need to start preparing now. I know there is no guarantee that I will be fit and healthy in my older years but at least I’ll have done what I can to try…if I can just stick to my healthy plan…bring on the willpower!!


Picture via Pinterest

Thank you for reading my blog πŸ˜€

Life Sparkles ✨

Fruit Burst.

Amazingly I’ve kept the Fruit breakfast momentum going for fourteen days. I’m loving it!! I’m enjoying experimenting putting the different fruits together and finding it hard to decide upon a favourite. So far I have two – one with a hint of coconut and one without. Although my blog isn’t strictly about health/food/fruit, I thought I’d share my various blends in case you’d like to try them.  

I don’t know if I have lost any weight, this isn’t about weight loss but it is about trying to be healthier and looking after my body. What I can tell you is that I don’t feel bloated anymore and fourteen days in, I’ve noticed an increase in my energy levels so I must be doing something right.

  
Pineapple, Strawberries, Banana, Red Grapes and a handful of chopped fresh coconut. (I bought the coconut already prepared). This is one of the two favourites- delicious!!

  
Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackcurrants, Banana, Red Grapes and a handful of coconut. Really enjoyed this one.

  
I’ve not quite cracked it yet with the Vegetable  blends, this one contained Carrots, Cabbage, Leeks, Tomatoes and Beetroot. It tasted fine, strongest flavours were the Beetroot and Leeks. Not sure I’d blend this mix again though.

  However, good old Marks and Spencer to the Vegetable blend rescue. I found these yesterday, two for Β£3.00 – definitely worth a try!!

  And for today, Strawberries, Raspberries, Pineapple, Blackcurrants, Blueberries and Red Grapes. Don’t forget to add liquid to your blend. I’ve found 100 ml of juice and 100 ml of water works well as I like a thicker smoothie. Trial and error really.

I didn’t take a picture of my yesterday blend – Pineapple, Mango, Banana, Apple and Red Grape with the last of the coconut – this is my other favourite, it tasted so good!!

I’ve kept my shopping receipts so that I can work out how much I’m spending on fruit, how many days I’m getting from the fruit and if it is more or less expensive than what I was eating before. One thing is for sure, I’m feeling much better within myself although I’ve still not managed to step away from the chocolate.

Thank you for reading my blog 😎 

Life Sparkles ✨

Easy on the Spinach!

I did it! I gave in. Over twelve months of deliberations, I purchased a Nutri Ninja in the post Christmas sales and I have to say, I LOVE IT!!!!

I’ve obviously lead a sheltered life as I have never owned a blender/juicer before. I am totally converted. My Ninja is my pathway to eating healthier which is the plan for this year.  I’m still learning about quantities, what goes together (apples, blueberries, strawberries) and what doesn’t (easy on the spinach girl) but it’s a great journey and I have to say that in just over a week of Ninja breakfasts, I can feel a difference to my overall body. The sluggish, lack of energy feeling is reducing. That feels good!!

So, I thought I’d share a recipe or two with you in case you’d like to try out some blends yourself.

My favourite so far for breakfast is my Ninja blend of banana, blueberries, blackcurrants, strawberries, red grapes and 200 ml of pure apple juice. 

 

Blend for 45 seconds and…

  The finished blend!

Variations of these fruits have become my breakfast and I’ve been very surprised at how full I feel.  It has stopped me snacking before lunchtime.

I have tried a vegetable version using carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and a hint of fresh ginger with 300 ml of water. First time it tasted ok, the second time it was so bad I had to throw it away. Not enough water and far too much spinach. It will be trial and error to find what I like and I am stocked up with enough fruit and vegetables for at least a week. I will keep you updated.  I’d love to hear about your blends especially if like me this is a whole new experience πŸ™‚

Now, if I could just leave the chocolate and the nuts alone… 

Thank you for reading my blog ✨

Life Sparkles ✨

My Monday MotivationΒ 

Something I start quite often is a healthy eating regime and for a while I do very well. I’m lucky because I do love fruit and vegetables but I’m not a huge fan of meat. I’ve not eaten Red meat for over twenty years, I just went off the taste. I eat Chicken and Turkey and that’s about it meat wise. However, as much as I enjoy fruit and vegetables, I enjoy chocolate a whole lot more. I’m not big on cake but recently biscuits of all types have almost become my staple diet!!! Over the past weeks I have said to myself in the evening “tomorrow you start eating healthy and moving your body again”. Each day has gone well until just after lunchtime and my hand reaches for the biscuits once again. “This has got to stop”, I tell myself. Well tonight, I’m writing to you that yes, it is going to stop!!
  
Picture via Pinterest.

I know for sure that the change in “normal” life over the past six to seven weeks has been the cause of my total derailment of eating proper food. Because I have been so busy in my caring role, I’ve grabbed what I can to eat to keep myself going. I have grabbed totally the wrong foods and really I have no excuse for that as I am cooking healthy food for my parents. Because I have been working from home to carry out my “day job” I feel I have to worker longer hours, get more done, because I go missing from the laptop throughout the day to care for my Mom. I sit down too much, hunched over the laptop. I find myself doing all the things I tell my friends not to do. Time to take myself in hand and make some changes!

I’m not talking about dieting although I’m sure that I would benefit from losing at least a stone. I’m more interested in being as healthy as I can be, feeling energised and not sluggish. That my skin glows with health, my nails return to strength and my hair feels strong again. How easy it is to forget the wonderful benefits of eating correctly.

  
Picture via Pinterest.

During one of my vocal coaching sessions I asked my tutor about foods or drinks I should or shouldn’t take that could affect my breathing or voice. She had one simple response, “eat and drink as healthily as you can and your general health and voice will reap the benefits”. She also added “don’t be too strict with yourself though, everyone deserves a treat…in moderation”. Of course, we all know this but somehow we tend to forget it when those chocolates appear, the cupcake with our coffee and the ice cream dessert on a night out and “now and again” becomes an every night treat.

And so, because I want to stay healthy for as long as I can, because I want to take care of my body and because I want to achieve my country music dreams…from tomorrow, my Monday Motivation will be:

Drink more water, eat fresh food, move more…Are you with me?

  
Picture via Pinterest.

Thank you for reading my blog ☘✨