Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Recovery: more versus less

This year I really feel as though I have grabbed the beast of chronic illness around the neck, wrestled with it, invited it to tea and accepted our acquaintance.

My body and I have been at war for a long time; I have had endometriosis for the last 17 years, adrenal exhaustion and chronic fatigue for the last 7 or 8, and I can honestly say it is only recently that I have been putting the right steps in place to get well.
Why the frick is that, Gifford? Because acceptance is hard. Because not behaving how we want to behave is hard. Not being "normal" is hard, and accepting a new life, although you write about how you do it on your blog, can be difficult to adjust to.
If you read Dex Diva, or browse through the archives, you will have read about my running journey and my determination to run, train and exercise both with and despite limitations. I love running, it makes me feel free, it gives me mental clarity, I love being outside, using my body, I love pushing myself to a challenge, and I adore sticking my trainers on. So, guess what...
I have now stopped running. 
Yip. My body, in it's extremely exhausted state, CAN run, yes, but is suffering more for it. Just at the moment, I am concentrating on good nutrution, restorative activities, rest, care for myself and listening to what I need to do.

Despite my nutritionist (in fact, two of them) telling me that I was exercising too much, I did not listen for a year. In adrenal fatigue the body needs to move, yes of course, but still recover without being depleted further.

I have put in place a few new practises in the last week or so and I am already seeing huge improvements in my ability to cope and my energy levels and pain.

Digital detox. You may notice I am blogging less, tweeting less and generally being online a little less. I love the online world, but I am being super careful to not work or use my laptop or computers after around 9pm to enable my mind to unwind and relax. This gives me a better chance of sleep. I am also not sleeping with my phone next to the bed anymore so I am not constantly plugged in to emails and "stuff". I dip in and out when I need and guess what! The sky hasn't fallen in just yet from me not being online 24/7.

Yoga, yoga and more yoga. I LOVE yoga and am now doing 2-3 classes a week. I do a combination of Hatha classes and Vinyasa flow, and I can feel my body working and being strong without becoming depleted. I tell you what too, a session of Vinyasa works muscles amazing well and I often feel like I have come out of a gym session the next day.

• Higher protein meals and snacks. This is something I have also neglected to do since my adrenal fatigue diagnosis, but the protein content of my snacks and meals is now much higher than it has been, and I am reaping the benefits of more consistent energy, less hunger attacks and cravings, and feeling sated from less food.

• Not feeling guilty about rest. HURRAH! How hard this one is. It's not easy when you run two business and have two young children to rest, but without it I get worse and worse which is not hep to anyone. So, nap time anyone? Yes please.

Since slowing down and doing what I need to do, I am enjoying life. I am crafting, baking, reading loads of books, sleeping better, oh, and losing weight.

Reducing exercise and resting more has been a battle for me mentally. It goes against the natural thinking patterns, but in adrenal fatigue it's the way to heal. I will run again, and I will enjoy it all the more when I am out of the woods but in the meantime it's step by step for me, with a pot of tea, pile of Decopatch and Radio 4.

Stuff that is important in life, like health, family, friends, good food, conversation, films, books, experiences...we can do all these without your iPad or laptop attached to your face like an extra appendage.
Honestly, it is ok to slow down and it IS possible. I am learning the hard way.

I found this book really helpful with dealing with some practical ways to heal my burnout, so if you are constantly tired, struggle to stay awake without stimulants and feel overstressed all the time I suggest you read it.

Also, the Yes No book is a great resource for reminding yourself what is worth taking on...and most importantly what isn't.

Over and out. x







Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Parenting with chronic illness

This is a sensitive subject amongst endo warriors, as I am aware how incredibly lucky I am to have been able to have my beautiful children. But, I feel it is important to talk about how parenting with a chronic illness can affect daily life.

My endometriosis and associated conditions (chronic fatigue, adrenal exhaustion and depression) mean that my children have a mother who tires easily, gets stressed easily and often has to go and rest. They have grown up so far to their tender age of three and a half being used to Mummy curling up with painkillers during the day, or needing to have a sleep on the weekend. They are accepting, incredibly kind and loving, and often send me their beloved favourite cuddlies to look after me when I need some TLC.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Light therapy for Winter

I don't know about you, but I struggle so much more with fatigue and depression once the nights draw in and darkness envelopes us from 4pm.

For endo warriors already battling pain and reduced serotonin levels, a light box can be a really useful aid to help combat the winter blues if you struggle with them. If you are dealing with pain and fatigue anyway, it can often be hard to make you sure get out enough in daylight hours to get the right amount of Vitamin D from sunlight before the evening draws in again all too quickly.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Heating goes geeky

I am a sucker for new apps and my inner geek does a backflip when a new gadget comes out.

The folks at British Gas asked me to try out their brand spanking new Remote Heating Control system and one week in I have to say we love it.

The system uses a wifi hub which links with your thermostat and app on your smart phone to be able to control your heating from anywhere, in or outside the home.

Miles and I were away last weekend so on the road trip back from Newcastle I could make sure the house would be snuggly and warm in time for our arrival back at the ranch. I also tend to crank things up a notch or two if I am sitting at my desk and feel a bit chilly (lazy? nooooo....), or even from bed, but don't tell anyone.

Installation was really simple - an engineer swapped our existing thermostat for the new gadgetry and while he did that I installed the app on my iPhone and went through the set up wizard online to establish our daily heating settings.

I will be blogging more about the system as we use it, so watch this space.

I think it's a good idea for anyone wanting to reduce their heating bill  - you can make sure the heating is only on when you need it, and if you left it on when you are out it's easily sortable with a swipe on your 'phone. You can also set the hub to email or text you when the temperature in the house goes over a certain level, so if you are watching pennies during winter you can make sure you only use what you need.

Have you tried the Remote Heating Control yet?Let me know how you use it if you do.



Rock star baby bro gets married

Last week I went up to Newcastle for the weekend to attend the wedding of my lovely baby brother Paul and his gorgeous lady Amy.

Paul and Amy are a very creative couple ( he is a drummer, she is a graphic designer) and their unique day really reflected them both. They got married on a Friday in an amazing venue, As you Like it, in the Jesmond area of Newcastle -  a very eclectic, vintage-inspired space which they really personalised to be just perfect for them. A popcorn machine and candy floss stall turned up in the evening reception and we all had a dance to a mixture of 80's tunes,  Motown and Led Zeppelin. Brilliant.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Creative Crush: Lush's Mo Constantine

Creative Crush

Lush's wonderful new product "Fun" is known as "Bathtime playdough" in our house.

The Minis and I absolutely love the brightly coloured squishy textured goop that can wash hair, faces, bodies and also be made into whatever the imagination decides.

I had the pleasure of asking Lush's Mo Constantine about  how Fun came into being; Mo is the Co-Founder of Lush alongside husband Mark, and now oversees the production of all handmade cosmetics for Lush. Mo is perhaps most famous for inventing the bath bomb, one of Lush's best known products.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Body image: strong and real

I hope you will afford me some narcissism on this one in the aim of the greater good. Of course, I see that blogging itself is probably a narcissistic activity, but this subject, that of weight, self image and wellness is one I feel strongly about. I am also very much still on my personal journey with it and see that so many others are too.

So, my relationship with body image and weight goes like this - in my teenage years I thought I was fat. I was tiny, 8 stone 7, 26" waist, curvy and with that irritating teenage ability to eat and drink ad infinitum without the carnage of cellulite erupting before the night is even over.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Today I am absolutely delighted to welcome the lovely Kate Neary to guest blog for me on Dex Diva. Kate is an endo warrior too, and also has to contend with Crohn's disease. Kate tells her story of dealing with life one day at a time, and I am grateful to her for sharing her story with us. Over to you, Kate....

After years of being in incredible pain, being bounced between doctors in my home country (US) and the one where I lived (England), it was one afternoon in a sterile medical office that changed my entire life.  I was looking at images of my intestines riddled with ulcers and I was overcome with relief.  Odd, I know but I was elated.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Go play outside

I don't know about you, but I LOVE Autumn. I am in the UK, and the golden hues and bright sunny days with that certain Autumn chill  just make me smile. I find it hard to resist toast and loads of jam this time of year (not helpful for endo at all), so I have been making lots of seasonal soups to get that hearty Autumn food feeling.
As the nights draw in, it can be so easy to miss out on the daylight;  in Summer, if we are sofa bound in the daytime we know we still have an evening ahead to make the most of and get some fresh air. When Autumn and Winter kick in, I often find I need to re-jig my day to get those all important times of fresh air and some daylight.

Getting outside has so many benefits for body and soul. If your pain is not letting you go out and exercise, just take a mooch in the outside air for half an hour or so - if you move as much as you can whenever you can it benefits our bodies.

Getting outside earths us, connects us to the outside world and nature, and nourishes the soul as well as body. On Saturday I managed a 10 mile bike ride and revelled in the mud splashing around me and being in the woods. On Sunday I was in more pain so made do with an equally soul heartening pootle on the plot at Farm Club.

Set yourself a challenge to go play outside every day, and post me your Autumn pics!

(don't forget, check out Project Endo for endometriosis support and daily emails).

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Classroom Acoustics hold back education?

Terrifyingly, the Mini Divas will start school next year. Yup. Scary stuff. As a parent I am really intrigued by this latest study revealing how much classroom acoustics can affect learning. For example,  a quarter of UK schools don’t bother to comply with a building regulation that ensures our children can hear their teacher in the classrooms... it doesn’t sound like much, but actually classroom acoustics have a really huge impact on the rate of a child’s learning.


Just check out the infographic above for some of the disturbing facts. Ecophon UK has conducted a study that reveals the extent of the problem and I am working with them in a Twitter Q&A next week.

For children to gain the most from education, they need an optimum environment to learn. This is the minimum that should be provided to schoolchildren.The reality, however, is that an alarming number of schools are not designed with acoustics in mind.

Children are missing out on their education, teachers are suffering serious health  problems and student/teacher relationships are suffering. This infographic from the guys at Echofon details some of the more striking figures and statistics around this issue, such as:

• A 10db increase in noise causes an average 5% drop in SATs scores at Key Stage 1,  7% at Key Stage 2
• 34% of parents of deaf or hearing impaired children are concerned that school  acoustics aren't up to scratch
• 80% of teachers report vocal strain and other throat problems. Compare this with 5% of the general population

On October 16th at 1pm, I’ll be holding a Twitter Q&A with the guys over at Ecophon, who have produced this research. Do you have something you want to ask them about  how a child’s education is put at risk because of poor acoustics? Just tweet it to me at  @DexDiva with the hashtag #AcousticMatters - let’s clear up the queries and bring this issue into the public eye together!

Twitter: @EcophonUK


Monday, 8 October 2012

The sanity checklist

sanity checklist

Hey Diva Readers,

As you have probably noticed I have been blogging much less recently. I have been on Twitter much less. In fact, everything has been much less.

Cycling love

It's official. Thanks to my training for Cycletta this Autumn, I have rediscovered my love of cycling.

When I lived in London and commuted fom Hackney to Queens Park I invested in Steve, my trusty Specialized steed who took me along the canal and back every day to work. I loved it, and spent weekends in Epping forest getting muddy doing the trails ( ok the easy ones, but still). I loved Steve and getting outside.

Fast forward to working from home and being a mum of young twins and it's easy to let things we enjoy slip. My journey with Team Bangs 2 last Autumn re-ignited my exercise routine and I was super thrilled to complete my first ever half marathon.

With Cycletta in the mix this year I am now addicted to being outdoors exercising every day if I possibly can. I have even set myself some new goals, including a century ride ( 100 miles in one day), and completing the Coast to Coast  sea to sea cycle route.

I love running and riding for different reasons; running I see as a personal challenge, the miles I put under my legs are hard work but I love the accomplishment. Riding I love getting from a to b, seeing the countryside in a new way and i in stops for tea (and often cake). Yesterday Miles and I grabbed an hour to cycle around Graffham Water - things are incredibly stressful right now as we nurse my lovely Grandad in his final days, and just for that hour I felt like a kid, cycling with the wind in my hair and the water beside me. Exercise and fresh air are healing, I have no doubt about it.

I even heard myself say yesterday " I would much rather have a hybrid bike than an iPad" .

Now, there's progress.

You will find me tracking my rides and runs on Endomondo if you are also a member.


Thursday, 20 September 2012

Endo update & training with pain

I have just had a positive meeting with my doctor for my 6 monthly med review. Last time she saw me I was on 40mg citalopram, 40mg amatryptaline, 8-10 30mg cocodamol, and 6 gabapantin a day. Quite a cocktail.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Racer back love and Freya Active


Never one to make life easy for myself, I am currently training for Cyletta, a women's 40k bike ride in Brighton in 2 weeks time, and Run to the Beat, my second attempt at the half marathon debut I made last year with Team Bangs on the Run.

As an endo warrior exercise is a hugely important part of my health and well being regime, also one that needs to be balanced carefully (see my post on Spikes and Heels for more about training with a chronic illness).

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Lipstick and tea

lipstick and tea


Today I have tickets for the Paralympics. It's a beautiful Autumn day and I have been excited for ages about going.

I am on the sofa, I haven't gone anywhere yet.

As is so often the case in an endo warrior world, the fact I buy a ticket means I spend money and never know if I can go, yet somehow I don't give up doing it. I miss out on so many things, (and the irony of missing out on the Paralympics due to chronic illness isn't lost on me). I refuse to give up planning things and hoping, however many times my hopes are crushed.

I have been doing SO much better recently with my health due to bringing lots of raw food into my regime and slugging green smoothies between yoga sessions like a demon, but I have been living in an ill body for a LONG time and this stuff takes a while.

So, I have been here, trying to get my pain under control with rest, painkillers and a cuppa. Then I decided to take some time and do my make up, try a new lipstick and just make myself feel nicer.

You know what? It has cheered me up a little.

Lipstick and tea may be tiny things,  but I now have a smile on my face.

Let's see if I make it out of the house.


Monday, 3 September 2012

Green smoothie infographic

I know I am all about the green smoothies these days, but I had to share this with you when I saw this fab infographic:

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Hemp love ♥

hemp love

As an endo warrior, I don't each a huge amount of meat. When I do, I try make sure it is organic and lovely, and not packed full of toxic hormones as, frankly, endometriosis is hormone enough in itself. Oestrogen dominance, the hormonal imbalance behind endo, can be made so much worse by intaking extra oestrogen in animal products that have bee "enhanced" with additional hormones to be fat and juicy on the BBQ.

I am moving towards a meat-free way of eating, and I suppose I am currently at a Paleo way of thinking with my food intake. I also eat a high protein diet, as my adrenally fatigued body needs a lot of protein to function and less starchy carbs, so I use a variety of ways to get protein into my system. We don't actually need to eat protein to have protein in our system, we just need to consume the building blocks of protein - think cows chewing the green grass as opposed to chunks of meat.

Eggs are great, and I tend to poach them and use a little coconut or Udos oil for flavour; quinoa is a great source of protein too, as are my beloved almonds which i have for breakfast and a handful during the day.

I recently discovered Shelled Hemp by Linwoods - I am already a fan of their ground flaxseed and cacao mix with goji berries (superfood fibre in a bag!), and love the texture of Shelled Hemp as an addition to my recipes. It looks a little bit like mini grains of quinoa, and is quite a neutral flavour to which additional seasoning and cold pressed ils can be added for extra punch and flavour.

Hemp is a complete Protein in itself with 10.5g of Protein per 30g/1oz serving.

A daily 30g serving, or 2 heaped dessert spoonsfuls provides:
10.5g of Protein per serving
2.4g of Omega 3
8.6g of Omega 6
1.7g of Omega 9
147mg Magnesium
3mg Iron

I use the shelled hemp on my soaked oats in apple juice alongside chia seeds for a power packed breakfast bircher, in my green smoothies, or in a quinoa dish for an added texture.

Have you tried hemp? Let me know your favourite recipe!

Friday, 31 August 2012

Green smoothie love

Green smoothie

As readers of this blog will know, I am an advocate of including as much raw food in my diet as possible, particularly important for endo warriors who need super dooper nutrition mainlined into our poorly systems!
As a family we are part of a lovely local Farm Club, and currently on the plot is an abundance of chard. I love this recipe from Raw Diva Tera Warner  (another blog I cannot recommend highly enough) which uses chard and peaches for some super sweet green smoothie action which will send some nutrient dense yumminess your way.

Check it out:

Green Smoothie Recipe: Strawberry & Peachy Green Smoothie


  • 1 cup strawberries
    (leave the green tops on)

  • 2 peaches,
    sliced and pitted

  • 1 frozen banana

  • 4-6 leaves of chard,
    roughly chopped

  • 1 cup of fresh orange juice
    or coconut water
    or spring water

Put the fruits at the bottom then the greens and add the liquid.
Blend and serve.

In your smoothie the peaches and chard are providing fibre, potassium, Vitamins C and B3, E and K, , betacarotene and small amounts of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, iron and zinc, anti-oxidants,  Chard also helps to regulatie normal blood sugar levels, perfect for endo warriors with hormonal imbalances.

I posted this recipe in a Project Endo daily email this week, and fellow endo warrior Cath had some great advice for making green smoothies: “I drink a green smoothie (around 300-500ml) everyday and have been even before I got diagnosed with endo. It's amazing what they do for your hair, nails, skin and more than anything your energy. What I like to do is buy a whole bunch of ingredients from the markets (chard, kale, spinach, cos/romain, pineapple, banana, peach etc etc etc) plus frozen berries and make up a few different flavour combinations. (spinach & banana / banana berry, tropical kale etc etc). I make enough flavours to last a 1 to 2 weeks. I blitz just the produce ingredients and pop them into zip-lock sandwich bags and freeze them. Then when I want to drink one I pull it out of the freezer break it up (they generally don't freeze 100% solid) and blitz it with water or coconut water. It takes about 30minutes prep on my day off but means I don't have to wash my blender everyday!!! I really feel the difference if I skip a day or 2. “ Catherine Nichols, Project Endo warrior.

I am going to give this a go, and have also signed up for the Green Smoothie Challenge, a free email support for enjoying green smoothies. Want to join me?

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Diva's raw chocolate fudge brownies


Hey Diva readers! In my raw food journey I am experimenting with more recipes and combinations of food.
Here is a little something I concocted yesterday that I think you may like:

Diva's Raw chocolate fudge brownie.
You will need:
1 cup of raw cacao butter, grated/in small chunks
1 cup raw cacao powder
Vanilla essence
Porridge oats
4 or 5 large medjool dates
3 apples

Juice the apples and soak the oats in a bowl with the juice.
Whilst the oats are absorbing the moisture, chop the medjool dates into small chunks.
Using a saucepan and bowl like a bain-marie, heat the shards of cacao butter.
Stir in the cacao powder, and add a few drops of vanilla essence.
The medjool dates will add enough sweetness but in case you want more, add a teaspoon or two of agave syrup.
Stir the chocolate mixture into the soaked oats and dates, and stir well.
Press into a loaf tin and leave to chill in the fridge.

After an hour or so you will have lovely, fudgy, gooey, good for you brownies.

You could also add a few cacao nibs for an extra crunch, or some crushed almonds for more of a nutty texture.

Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Yoga Magic

Yoga magic

I have recently been rediscovering the magical properties of Hatha Yoga.

As an endometriosis girl finding ways to complement my energy levels and cardiovascular activities are a challenge; I used to go to yoga before having the Mini Divas, and have been back for the the last 3 weeks for some much needed strength and stretching.

What I love about yoga is the fact that I might have a mind racing full of the day's events, I may feel tired and worn out before a class, yet without fail I come out feeling energised, calm and restored. Hatha yoga for me has been like rediscovering a kind of magic potion, and I never fail to be amazed that this über ancient meditation and exercise form can work on so many levels.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

looking after number 1

This is one thing lately I have been thinking a lot about. I have been seeing huge improvements in my health and management of chronic fatigue and endometriosis as regular readers will know. The results have been coming mainly from eating a high raw diet, cutting out the CRAP ( literally Carbs, Refined Sugars, Alcohol and Processed foods), and exercising as much as I can whilst resting when my body needs it. Simple, right?

Looking after myself takes time. Time to make a green juice or smoothies and to wash it up, (those gadgets can create a lot of mess!) time to go for a run or a yoga class. As a working, self employed mum, it can be all so easy to make excuses or feel bad about making that time for myself, and I think a lot of us can relate to that. But guess what....the kids are seeing more of me now I am not in bed for 3 or 4 days a week in chronic pain. They are benefiting from having a mum who is present, not foggy headed and perpetually sore, who is energised and full of life. I am not 100% well, I am still on a journey but my goodness the difference is huge.

Monday, 30 July 2012

the harsh truth of health

I believe, wholeheartedly, that the journey to health and vitality differs for each and every one of us.

I didn't really know how much I was missing out on health-wise in my younger years until the state of my body and overall health, energy and lack of vitality was just in pieces. Broken. Beyond immediate repair.

I have spoken very openly here on this blog about living with chronic pain, illness and the ups and downs of that reality. I am starting to change that reality, slowly, and I am acutely aware how much I am learning about the personal responsibility we all have for our health. This is the one body we have on this earth, and I don't mean to state the obvious but without it we are kind of stuck....

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Training and freya active

dex diva cycletta

I am sure you watched the Olympic Opening ceremony like me on Friday - wasn't it MINDBLOWING? I loved the whole thing, from Branagh as Brunel to Mr Bean, Bond and the Queen, Becks on a boat...all of it was magical inspiring and just

So in the Olympic spirit I am of course still training for Cycletta and Run to the Beat. On Friday I was out on my mountain bike in the fens for 17k bike ride, and today I donned my trusty Team Bangs on the Run top and my Freya Active set to crank out a 4 mile run.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Endo, fatigue, 1 month roaaaaar and results

So, lovely people.

For the last month I have been eating a high raw diet and taking supplements to help my chronic endometriosis and fatigue. What a month it has been. I don't need to tell you how unwell I have been. If you read this bog you will know, if you don't, have a browse on through and you will see many posts of coping with chronic illness and pain. I don't want to live like that any more.Here is a little update on how things are going....

High raw: I am not eating 100% raw foods at the moment, probably around 60-70% fresh, raw unprocessed foods. I have still had some meat and cooked foods but make it as organic and unprocessed as possible when I do. I am taking the journey at my own pace and working out what works and what doesn't.

Coffee: It has now been 3 weeks since I had coffee. I would normally have had 3 or 4 fresh coffees a day (my poor weeping adrenal glands!) but now I am down to mainlining redbush tea and the odd black tea from time to time.

Booze: No vino or rum for a month ( I know!) and you know what? It's FINE....feeling so much better outweighs the craving for a cheeky glass. I will get myself a little more healed before having an occasional drink, but for now, I am a no booze zone.

Painkillers: one month ago I was on the following cocktail - 20mg amatryptaline at night, gabapantin, and at least 8 30/500 cocodamol tablets PER addition to 40mg citalopram. Yip. I rattled when I walked. Now I have halved my antidepressants, cut out the amatryptaline, and I am on 2 - 4 8/500 cocodamols a day with an extra 30mg codeine if pain happens to be really bad. I have a way to go to rid myself of all the meds, but the progress is immense, truly immense.

Energy: I am still tired, I still have pain, but the most amazing thing is that I have more days when I have sustained energy ALL DAY and sometimes into the evening. Also, if I do something, like run or have a day out with the girls I am now not havng to pay for it for 3 days with chronic fatigue in bed. This is changing my life, folks.

Pain: I am keeping a daiy log of all my food, drink, supplements and symptoms, and can see that I still have a bad week around ovulation time. My pain is bad, and my tiredness is a lot worse, but I have had one - count it, ONE - day in bed this month, NOT THE USUAL 3 PER WEEK!!! I am having time with my little girls, time to DO MORE, read more, be more, LIVE MORE and it's just so so liberating.

Exercise: I am still building up slowly from adrenal fatigue and exhaustion, but I am not back up to running 4 miles and cycling around 10. I have my goal for Cycletta in September and Run ot the Beat in October, but I am so thrilled that movement isn't making me horizontal with pain and fatigue so much now.

So, what am I eating? At the moment a day's menu might look like this:

Brekkie: oats and chia seeds soaked in raw apple juice with almonds and chopped fruit.

Snack: Almonds/fruit, green juice, cacao nibs and goji berries.

Lunch: Romaine rollups with chashew nut cheese and avocado, or mung beans with chopped pepper, cucumber, cold pressed oil, rocket, Udo's oil.

Dinner: Quinoa, raw grated beetroot, poached egg, sea salt., Fruit.

Supplement wise, I am taking Juice Plus premium, Prozyme, Womens Essential vitamins, Neovite, Probiotics and pure mineral baking soda to help alkalise my poor acidic body.

I cannot tell you how much this is changing my life, folks. I was close to giving up, having my womb  and ovaries butchered and being on HRT in chronic fatigue forever. This is only the start of my journey too...I am super excited to learn all about making raw chocolate and amazing foods I have to discover. Each week I try out something new, from making courgette and cayenne pepper crisps to a new twist on a recipe, to reading more and more about how I can help myself.

This is a huge learning curve. I know I am at the start of something and I cannot wait to see where it takes me.

It's a whole new world, folks. Hear me ROAAAAR!!!!



Sunday, 8 July 2012

amazing weekend

Well, I can safely say that I had a bloomin' fabulous weekend. It was the amazing 2012 Peterborough Arts Festival this week, which had so much going on to coincide with the Olympic torch relay passing through the region. From Victorian Helter Skelters to beat box folk music, local foods, giant flowers and yoga workshops Peterborough has been awash with cool stuff this week so the Minis, Miles and I popped on over to Central Park to enjoy the fun on Saturday. Luckily we managed to hang out and have a fab time before the rest of the day got rained off in the torrential July craziness, but we really enjoyed ourselves.  We got up super early to watch the flame relay in St Ives today, then we warmed up with a cuppa and bacon roll at Farm Club before weeding the plot and grabbing some lettuce for lunch. We headed over to Cambridge this afternoon to catch the Big Weekend stuff there, where we got hands on at some paint and graffiti workshops. Love it - thanks, weekend, for reminding me that being outdoors rocks, that painting makes my world feel colourful and that childs play is a magic we all need to remember. Play is so important to grown ups too - let's all go play outside from time to time and leave the screen squareness ;)

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

giving up to get on

I gave up smoking 9 years ago, as a gift to myself for my 28th birthday.

I had struggled for the 5 years that I did smoke to imagine a life without fags - I was a gig going, beer loving girl, always in the pub with my friends. Smoking, at that time, was very much a part of that.

The week after I gave up I went for my first run in Vicky Park since being nicotine free ( well I was addicted the lozenges for a wile, but hey..), and my lungs actually worked. I could breathe. Stopping smoking was hard - most of my friends still had the habit, but one by one we began to grow up and value our lungs more, so the social side of being the odd one out affected me less.

Social acceptance of a habit or behaviour has always been the nub of my ability to deal with things, and I suspect it is for most people. I am not drinking at the moment, to allow for my body to benefit as much as it can from my high raw diet and supplements. As a mum of young pre-schoolers my pub nights are few and far between so it hasn't affected me as much as it may have done pre-Minis. I am also not drinking my beloved coffee, to avoid fatiguing my adrenal glands more and to stop the cortisol spike from happening but luckily most places have a caffeine free alternative these days.

So far I am 3 weeks no booze and 2 weeks no coffee, and alongside my high raw diet the changes in my health have been astounding. Really, really astounding. More on that to follow, but the thing about making these changes is that there is often a social shift too. When I was training last year for the Team Bangs Half Marathon it helped me no end to be surrounded by other runners, other people who would be out pounding the pavement instead of heading for the boozer.

Right now, as I start my high raw food journey I don't know many people around me who eat in a similar way, so the social acceptance of what I am doing may be harder to manage. I know quite a few people online who are real supports to me, but not so many locally or in my social circle. I have a feeling that may change ;)

I wrote before about the social acceptance of being sick, and I really do think that sometimes we as a society find poor health easier to understand than a diet that is different from others. Raw fruit and veg? How odd? No booze? Boring! But chronic fatigue, smoking? Ah yes, normal.

I am not saying that I will never drink again, or that a coffee will never pass my lips. I am not 100% raw and cooked food and occasional organic meat is still part of my diet, but this is how I want to eat, and more importantly to LIVE... Because, as you know I havent been living much recently.

Do you find it hard to give up bad habits? Have you had social acceptances that are hard to manage?

Let me know x


P.S if you are on this journey with me don't forget to let me know how it's all going. Also, news is soon to be announced on the Bude Dream Team Chronic Health retreat weekend, stay tuned!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

this week 23.6.2012

Wowsers, what a week! It was the Mini Diva's 3rd birthday on Friday, and we had the first ever birthday party that their little friends came to. I feel like I have gained a parenting badge of honour, a stripe on the arm for successfully surviving a marquee full of small people; check out my cake attempt too - Mr Tumble eat your heart out! And no, I did that, not them....ahem....