Diane Corriette

72 Hour Juicing Fast

I have been working 7 days a week since April 8th and am happy to be taking a 10 day break now. To celebrate, rather than buy the extra large pizza that I wanted, I decided to take part in a 72 hour juicing fast.

I started thinking about all the different vegetables I need to buy. After making a list I logged into Facebook and one of the first posts I read was from a new business owner who has started selling his own range of juices at the beginning of June 2020.

Instead of doing all the juicing myself I decided to treat myself to his 5-day cleanse.

I was sent enough juice to drink 5 a day (they are 250ml) and so I opted for drinking my first at 8am and spreading them every three hours, drinking the last one at 8pm.

Juice recipes are:

Strong Green – celery, cucumber, apple and spinach

Classic – carrot, lemon, apple and ginger

Immune Boost – lemon, ginger and apple

Strong Beet – Beetroot, watermelon, carrot and ginger

Mixed Medley – carrot, apple and ginger

72 Hour Detox For Weight Loss

I started at the same weight I was on April 8th – which is 200.8lbs.

After 72lbs I ended up 4lbs lighter at 196.4, which is great.

I drank the juices and ate a few bits of fruit in between if I got super hungry plus I did my best to get through 2 litres of water every day.

The juices are from Mix n Blend Juices (not sponsored – do I have to say that???)

Mass Observation 12th May

mass observation day 12th May 2020

It is the 10th anniversary of the Mass Observation annual call for day diaries.

On 12th May every year the Mass Observation Archive ask people in the UK to write down their activities for the day. This is then stored and used for teaching, learning and research.

The first time mass observation took place was in 1937. People from all parts of the UK recorded everything they did from waking up, until they went to sleep at night on 12th May.

Back in 1937, 12th May was the day George VI coronation took place. How interesting would that be to read those diary entries today? This is what makes journaling such a powerful too. Years from now people will enjoy reading about life in 2020.

This year, a call has been made for diary entries to be sent via email (and not by post), written in in Word and sent to moa@sussex.ac.uk

Entries must not include personal names or information but should include a brief self portrait that includes age, where you live, your relationship status, your present job or occupation if you are working and any other information that you think is important to record.

Also, in the spirit of reflective writing, any reflections on the day and on how you felt while keeping the diary are also welcome. Reflect on the past decade and even look forward to the next ten years.

At the end of your diary you MUST include the statement below if you want it to be included in the Archive. I have taken this statement from

massobs.org.uk/write-for-us/12th-may

where you can find more information on the mass observation event.

“I donate my 12th May diary to the Mass Observation Archive. I consent to it being made publicly available as part of the Archive and assign my copyright in the diary to the Mass Observation Archive Trustees so that it can be reproduced in full or in part on websites, in publications and in broadcasts as approved by the Mass Observation Trustees. I agree to the Mass Observation Archive assuming the role of Data Controller and the Archive will be responsible for the collection and processing of personal data and ensuring that such data complies with the DPA.”

Intermittent Fasting Planner

intermittent fasting planner notebook journal

Using an intermittent fasting planner has really helped me to stay focused in the last couple of years, so when I made the decision to sell notebooks and journals online it made sense to create my own.

I created these paperback notebook planners so that everything can be recorded including:

  • Start and end time of your fast
  • Current weight / BMI details
  • Current measurements
  • Space to write out your fasting goals
  • Space to write out any potential triggers that may result in you breaking your fast
  • Your exercise / movement plan during the fast
  • Writing space to record how you feel
  • A weekly meal planner so you know exactly what you will be eating on the days your fast and/or the days you are not fasting.

I put in everything I felt was missing from my previous notebooks and planners. Plus I created a few different colors / covers but the inside planner is the same.

Click the links below to have a look on Amazon USA

Intermittent Fasting Planner – Eat Stop Repeat

Fasting Focused Lifestyle Planner – Tropical

Fasting Focused Lifestyle Planner – Mustard

Fasting Focused Lifestyle Planner – Lime

Intermittent Fasting Planner – Berries cover

For Amazon UK click the links below:

Intermittent Fasting Planner – Eat Stop Repeat

Fasting Focused Lifestyle Planner – Tropical

Fasting Focused Lifestyle Planner – Mustard

Fasting Focused Lifestyle Planner – Lime

Intermittent Fasting Planner – Berries cover

These intermittent fasting planners are available on all Amazon platforms if you search for “Pen and I Publishing” then the book name.

Eat Stop Repeat fasting planner in Canada is here

As a solo business that is fairly new (Jan 2020) I appreciate you taking a look at my notebooks, journals and planners.

72 hour water fast challenge

watermelon plant-based lifestyle

I have decided to attempt a 72 hour water fast starting April 10th. I want to use up what little food I have around me before I begin.

This 72 hour water fast will be a mental battle for me. It’s more about my mindset and what I tell myself when I am fasting.

So far, when I get to around 50 hours I let myself off the hook and decide that is long enough. By 50 hours I am feeling pretty light headed, even after drinking electrolytes, and sometimes my breathing is a little fast and shallow.

I still believe that it’s all in my mind and I just have to push through so let’s see what happens.

April 10-13th 2020 is the goal. If I eat I want to simply start again until I manage 72 consecutive hours.

Wish me luck 😀

April 7 Weight loss update

healthy plant-based food diet

I really wanted to focus on something else other than my weight this year but as we are keeping safe and staying in there really isn’t much more to talk about.

So, this is my fasting weight loss update video made on April 6th 2020 and I am currently 200.8 lbs. In December 2019 I set the goal to lose 28 lbs and I am 4 lbs away from achieving that goal.

It has taken me from February 10th 2020 to go from 207.8 lbs down to 200.8 lbs, which seems like a long time but compared to the past where I lost 1lb a month its progress.

Once I lose 4 lbs I will have lost 116 lbs in total and will have hit my original goal. My starting weight was 312 lbs and I wanted to be 196 lbs.

Next Weight Loss Goal

The next goal I have set myself is to get into the healthy weight zone, which for me is 173 lbs. This will take me out of the “overweight” zone and into healthy. So another 23 lbs to lose.

I am hoping by then I will be in my size 14 (UK) or size 12 (USA) and I will have to go clothes shopping.

OMAD (one meal a day) and ADF (alternate day fasting)

Right now I am using alternate day fasting. Eating one day and fasting the next. If I don’t manage to fast on the day then at the very least I eat just one meal a day.

Until now I have mainly been using one meal a day and eating whenever I am hungry, so I have completed a lot of fasting.

As a woman over 50 I was always told to expect weight loss to be difficult but I am finding with fasting it really isn’t – the only difficult thing is to stop eating.

Losing 1lb a week

happiness 80 percent of time zestizm

The 1lb A Week in weight sounds like it should be easy. After all, who can’t manage to lose just one pound a week?

You may be surprised at what it takes! I wanted to provide some tips and information in case you, like me, are interested in the slowly but surely weight loss attempt.

Having lost 116 lbs so far over a few years I have discovered a lot about food and my body but I am no expert. What follows is for information only. Please consult a medical professional before embarking on any new exercise or nutrition changes.

1lb A Week Weight Loss Tips

The key is to have a plan. I find when I plan my meals and I know exactly what I am eating I tend to stick to it and have a great week. Planning works for me. Maybe something else will work for you and the more you are on the weight loss path the more chances of you finding exactly what it is.

Drink plenty of water. Water is so very important because it keeps us hydrated. In fact sometimes our hunger signals can actually be our body saying it needs more water. I am in the habit now of drinking a glass of water when I am first hungry and giving that 20 minutes before making myself something to eat.

Remember juicing gives you water too. Using ingredients like cucumber will mean you get the health affirming juice/water from the cucumber.

Patience. Be patient and be in this for the long-term. Some weeks you may not lose your 1lb and you need to be okay with that. This isn’t always a straight path from A to B.

Regaining health after years of unhealthy eating and a lack of exercise really can take something. Make a promise to yourself to do whatever it takes for however long it takes. Refuse to ever give up.

Lower calorie intake. To lose 1lb per week your daily calorie intake needs to be reduced by 500 calories. I love this article which recommends cutting 250 calories from your eating and doing 250 calories worth of exercise. HERE

Eat high fibre and foods that are as close to their natural source as possible. Baking, steaming and raw rather than frying. Staying away from most foods that come in a packet, box or tin will also help.

Basically if it contains ingredients you can’t pronounce or contains more than 5 ingredients to make it then it is best to avoid it.

Watch portions – eating half of what you would naturally eat and WEIGHING food will help you get a clear LOOK at what a normal food portion should look like.

I always wanted to avoid weighing my food because I thought it was just too much effort, but it became an essential thing to do it if I wanted to continue losing weight.

I think I over-estimate how much “half” is and when I weigh ingredients or food I can see the actual amount with my own eyes.

An easier way is to simply use the palm of your hand. Starchy foods like rice/potatoes and your meat portion should be able to fit into the palm of your hand to be one portion.

As an example, whenever I made porridge in the morning I would just pour out the porridge and roughly guess how much I was eating. My thinking was that porridge is healthy so what does it matter. The thing is it really does because all those extras add up. So I got myself a cheap pair of tiny scales from the One Pound Shop and it let me weigh out very small amounts.

30g of porridge is basically three tablespoons of porridge. I had been eating more than 15 tablespoons of porridge! Now, I have SEEN how much 30g of porridge actually is I can’t cheat because I know when I am eating more.

Plan out what you will eat. At the beginning of my weight loss journey it really helped if I gave myself the space to consider what I want to eat. There was always that danger that if I didn’t have the ingredients to cook something or if I had no idea what I was eating that day, that I would turn to a quick junk food solution.

When you work all day and get home in the evening tired you want to make sure you know exactly what you will be eating that day so you don’t have to think about it.

On days when I have no clue what to eat I usually end up eating unhealthy foods, so if you are like me plan out each day and each week. Be clear on what you will eat and how many calories it contains.

I tend to eat the same thing two or three days in a row. I really don’t need to eat something different every day and I am happy to eat the same breakfast, lunch and dinner three days or more in a row. If it helps to keep you focused why not try it. It means you only need to buy one set of ingredients for several days and you can cook one big meal and just eat it over three days.

This is particularly useful when it comes to vegetable juicing. You really don’t have to keep coming up with different recipes.

Find recipes that you like, choose one, and then make the same one for 3 days. That way you can buy a ton of the same vegetables and know it will all be used on your juicing days and it won’t be wasted.

Exercise at least 30 minutes 3-5 times a week and include high intensity training (HIIT) and strength training/weight lifting. The more muscle we have the faster we burn fat so using weight training is essential rather than just cardio. Walking 10,000 steps a day also works.

I have an on again off again relationship with exercise and am working towards consistency but I know just three times a week would make a massive difference to helping me.

According to an article I read on Jillian Michael’s site it helps to exercise for at least 150 minutes per week (30 minutes over 5 days) and you will burn 250 calories. You can read it here : tips to lose one pound a week

Use Fasting

Probably the thing that has helped me the most has been water fasting. I go without eating for 24-48 hours and drink water only. I add electrolytes to my water to ensure I get sodium and potassium while fasting.

Some days if I am struggling to not eat I will do my best to eat something like cucumber or keep it as light as possible.

I have successfully been using one meal a day (OMAD) for years now and love it. Sometimes I do push myself to go without food for 48 hours but I have yet to make it to 72 hours.

Use A Fasting Journal

It can really help you to stay focused in your use a fasting journal notebook to write down what you want to achieve and to track your progress.

I have created a few based on my own experience of having lost 116 lbs (so far!)

Intermittent fasting journal

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084QBY2GF

Fasting Focused Lifestyle Planner

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084QLMSZ2

They are available in the UK, Europe and Canada too.

Slow Weight Loss Is Worth It

You may think that losing 1 lb a week is too slow but over a year that’s 52 lbs. As most people tend to put on weight during the year I think that’s a pretty great goal to aim for and get healthy.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

anti inflammatory diet

Armed with the information that my body was hurting due to inflammation I looked out for an anti-inflammatory diet.

I already knew that changing from a standard diet to one that contained more vegetables and fruit had made a difference.

At that time it was without exercise. The food change alone helped. In an effort to get healthy I lost 50lbs. So far, in total I have lost 104lbs.

Anytime I go back to my old ways of eating the pain returned. When I went back to juicing and eating a plant-based diet the pain disappeared. It was at that point I put two and two together.

What is an anti-inflammatory Diet?

Long-term inflammatory responses in our body result in illness and disease. An anti-inflammatory diet includes foods that will help us reduce these inflammatory responses.

To eat an anti-inflammatory diet you must avoid processed, fried and junk foods. Remove sugary processed foods and eat refined, nutrient-rich, whole foods.

It is a long-term approach to active, healthy eating rather than a diet. A lifestyle change forever is the best way to look at an anti-inflammatory diet.

Some of the ways of eating you might want to follow include:

Mediterranean Diet

Rich in Omega oils and other fats that are great for our body, fish, whole-grain vegetables, fruit and even some red wine this way of eating is popular to help remove inflammation.

It is a diet that is free from refined oils, avoids highly processed meats/foods and is low in trans fats. All the things that are shown to cause obesity, cancer and diabetes.

Vegan Diet

A very popular way of eating is going 100% plant-based by avoiding all animal products. Eating nothing but plants definitely have amazing benefits for our health. There is so much scientific evidence out there it is hard to ignore. I could never go 100% vegan because I believe “a little of what you fancy…” is a good thing.

Raw Food Diet

Another 100% way of eating but it contains more live, fresh raw and partially cooked foods. There is very little cooking involved and a dehydrator is a necessity if you want to avoid boredom. I love including raw food into my way of eating.

Flexitarian Diet

This is my preferred way of eating because it offers me more choice. I eat 100% plant-based at home but every now and again I like to eat fish or meat.

I limit meat and fish to once a week or less whenever possible.

If I am a guest and am offered meat or fish then I will eat what I am given. If I am out I will choose a plant-based option if it is available and a vegetarian one if it isn’t. I am fairly lose with this because sometimes I just really fancy a burger.

I still enjoy the odd egg but dairy is totally out for me and I avoid it at all costs. Even milk in my tea is not acceptable anymore. I would rather go without tea or bring my own soya milk.

Doing It Your Way

You can of course make up your own anti-inflammatory diet. All you have to focus on is eating wholefoods, live foods, nutrient rich foods, and foods of all colours.

Dark foods are important – dark red and green are the best. Things like spinach, broccoli, kale, plums, red/black grapes.

Also include red/yellow vegetables and fruit plus white vegetables like cauliflower. While all vegetables are brilliant I do my best to stick with non-starchy vegetables. I think about vegetables that grow above the ground and focus on them.

Include a mixture of vegetables and fruit. Do your best to mix in new things rather than sticking to the same ones over and over.

Eat plenty of legumes including chickpeas, black beans, lentils etc

Get your oils from avocado, coconuts and olives. Plus include small amounts of nuts. Eat pine nuts, walnuts, almond etc

Make sure your fish is healthy (not farmed) whenever possible and enjoy eating oily fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel.

Enjoy using herbs and spices in your cooking because I believe food is boring without it.

When it comes to drinks I stick with water but will also drink green tea (macha if possible), moringa and add lemon/lime into hot water.

Plus I enjoy dark chocolate and red wine in moderation

Cooking For Health

When it comes to cooking foods steamed and baked is always better than fried whenever possible.

Including raw foods (e.g. a green salad with each meal) is also recommended.

My personal preference is to avoid anything processed whenever possible. For me this includes bread and pasta. I eat rice and potatoes but do my best to avoid pasta and eat bread in limitation. This is my own preferred way of eating.

Feeling Alive Again At 53

I can honestly say that eating an inflammatory diet has changed my life for the better in my 50s. Having gone down from a size 24 (USA size 20)  to a size 16 (USA  size 12) it has been worth giving up cake, fried foods and junk food. I still enjoy them in limited amounts but I really do prefer the feeling of eating something healthy and nutritious.

I have changed my health and my weight without exercise and now it is time to build muscle and improve my fitness levels.

Mother’s Day Notebooks

mother's day notebook

Mother’s Day in England falls on a Sunday in March, which this year is March 22nd 2020 and if your mum loves notebooks or journals they always make a lovely gift, or additional gift along with something larger.

I love writing in my notebook so always welcome the Mother’s Day gift of a notebook, which is why I put a few together with the word MUM on them (and of course with the word Mom when it comes to Mother’s Day for our American cousins).

These paperback notebooks contain lined paper and I love the quality and look of them (but then I am biased).

I love the fact that I love to write and I get to sell my passion for notebooks through Amazon. The ability to be free to enjoy earning an additional income (no matter how small) has been one of the many great things about the internet.

Check out my collection of MUM Notebooks for Mothers Day. Of course they make a great gift at any time of the year!

The power of weight lifting for midlife women

weight lifting women

The most surprising part of my weight loss journey so far is learning that building muscle is the key to my success. I never really thought about weightlifting or the power of weight lifting for midlife women. I just assumed the key to success was cardio, cardio and more cardio.

Turns out no matter what our age a 60 year old and a 20 year old could lift the same (assuming they are of similar health) and there is nothing to stop us women from “bulking up” and getting toned.

The good news is we don’t have enough testosterone in our body to build huge muscles. I read somewhere that women have the testosterone of a 9 year old boy. So don’t fret and worry about looking like Stallone. It just won’t happen naturally.

What weight lifting does is help us burn fat and get toned.

Here are a few other forms of exercise worth taking up if you are over 40.

  • Weight Lifting
  • Body Weight Training
  • Strength training
  • Metabolic Circuit Training

As we lift weights we build muscle. Building muscle makes it easier for us to burn fat and lose weight.

So you see weight lifting in midlife helps us lose weight and burn fat. This is why it is so important.


Total Daily Energy Expenditure Score

porridge and fruit

I have found it to be really important when using intermittent fasting to monitor calories. After a fast it is really easy to go crazy and eat all kinds of food, which isn’t healthy, and mess up your weight loss results.

I use myfitnesspal and put in all the food I have eaten as a way to keep me accountable.

So, your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is a measure of how many calories you burn each day based on things like your age, whether you exercise and your body fat percentage (if you know it).

There is a calculator at tdeecalculator.net that will help you work it all out.

I regularly go back as I lose weight. Every 14 lbs or so I will check to see if the score has changed. My most recent score revealed that I need to eat a total of 1,961 calories per day.

The image below shows you how much my calories can increase by if I take part in light, moderate or heavy exercise.

You can also get an idea of your macro nutrients if you want to keep an eye on that too. How much carbs, protein and fats you should eat in a day. That can be useful if you are looking to stick to eating a low carb diet.

I focus on eating a flexitarian diet, which features a large range of plant-based foods and a little meat, fish and eggs.

macronutrients weight loss

Developing new habits

new habits

I have been reading up on forming new habits. I think I never really give something long enough to become a habit, which is why I stop and start different things all the time.

There are all these books that outline 21 days or 30 days to a new habit but I couldn’t find any scientific research that outlines why those numbers in particular.

Research I have found from 2009 outlines that it took participants anything from 18 to 254 days to form a new habit. It was different for each individual and that seems more realistic.

254 days is a little over 8 months. For the habit to become a routine it must be performed daily. It has to be 254 consecutive days.

I like the idea of forming habits by doing something small each day. These tiny actions add up until the habit becomes easy to perform without any conscious thought.

Now I know it can take 254 consecutive days I can apply that to exercise.

Even if I don’t exercise daily I can commit to moving. A short walk, dancing to music for 10 minutes – that type of thing. At least that way if it means I am moving regularly and have at least 3 days where I do the regular 30-60 minutes of solid exercise it may just help exercise stick.

I am thinking about a trip abroad soon so hopefully that will help add to my motivation.

Either I win or I learn

self confidence

I am continuing on my journey towards helping the self saboteur within work we me rather than against me.

I don’t believe it is worth trying to eliminate it completely because it plays a part in my life. I would just like it to stop playing such a very active part and to sit back and relax.

The affirmation “either I win or I learn” is a great way to teach myself that when things don’t work out it is not a failure but simply an opportunity to learn.

Avoiding failure by giving up or believing something won’t work seems to be how my self saboteur works through me. I then find justification and reasons as to why something didn’t happen or why I gave something up before it succeeded.

Knowing either I win or I learn and feeling that as my truth is a much better perspective to take in life.

Acti-Labs Product Box

acti-labs products

I am loving the new Acti-Labs product box. In the past the products were sent in a plain cardboard box, which someone along the delivery line would try to open.

I have no idea if it is the person sorting the parcels, the delivery person or someone at the depot but the box was tampered with by someone.

I have had a couple of deliveries where the box was ripped and it was very plain to see that someone had tried to get their hands on what was inside. Thankfully, the products were wrapped up so well in the box that nothing was missing but I imagine this was a regular problem for Acti-Labs.

Now things are very different.

The lovely purple box is unmistakable and is tightly wrapped up with Acti-Labs tape around the outside that there is no way anyone can break open the box.

This order contained some 45+ skincare cream and two boxes of the Very Berry Skinny Mix, which I will be using myself to help re-start my weight loss.

Although losing 84 lbs (six stones) has been great, and keeping it off has been even better, I still have another 38 lbs (2.5 stones) of weight loss that I want to shed so am using my Acti-Labs products to help me do that successfully.

acti-labs products

Harmful Skin Care Products

acti-labs products for bad acne adult skincare

In the past, skin enhancers and beauty supplements were made out of leaves, tree barks. Today, various skincare treatments and products are widely available in stores, salons, spas, markets, and other beauty establishments.

It is easier than ever for men and women to achieve and maintain smooth and beautiful skin.

However, not all skincare products are safe and effective. Some products may contain ingredients that are harmful to the skin.

Instead of making the skin look healthier and younger, products that contain certain damaging ingredients may make certain skin conditions worse.

It is therefore really important to be careful when choosing skin care products. The list below outlines some common ingredients found in skincare products and their possible negative side-effects on the skin.

1. Fragrance

Fragrance is also one of the common ingredients found in untested skincare and cosmetic products. Such ingredient can cause reproductive complication, liver damage, and birth defects in laboratory animals. When applied on the skin, fragrance can cause allergic reactions. As such, experts recommend the use of fragrance-free skincare products to avoid allergies and irritation.

2. Glycols

Glycols are derived from hydrocarbons. These are among the ingredients commonly found in moisturizers and are used as cosmetics solvents. Over-exposure to glycol can lead to serious complications in a woman’s reproductive system and contact dermatitis.

3. Untested skincare products Almost all manufacturers of cosmetic and skincare products have the means to use any raw material as ingredients for their products even without the permission of agencies in charge of regulating cosmetics and beauty products. Since manufacturers have control over product testing, they can distribute and market skincare and cosmetic products to worldwide markets that may possibly contain ingredients that are harmful to health like carcinogens. Carcinogens are absorbed by the skin and can cause irritation and blisters.

4. Artificial colorings

Moisturizing products that contain artificial colorings pose harmful effects to the body. Artificial colorings may cause cancer when regularly applied on the skin. Aside from being carcinogenic, some coal-tar colored skincare products also contain metal impurities such as lead and arsenic.

5. Sunscreen

Most people think that skincare products containing SPF are best protection of the skin for the harmful rays of the sun. What they don’t know is that some sunscreens have adverse side effects to the body. Yes, SPF chemicals protect the skin from the surface. But once absorbed, these may bring damaging effects to the body.

6. Parabens

Parabens are a class of widely used preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. These compounds, and their salts, are used primarily for their bactericidal and fungicidal properties. Concerns were raised about parabens being endocrine disruptors – which means they are chemicals which disrupt the endocrine system. It was found that this disruption had the potential to cause cancerous tumors so people began to search for paraben-free alternatives.

Acti-Labs Products ARE SAFE

When you buy Acti-Labs products you are buying a brand that uses natural ingredients over synthetics.

The ingredients are derived from marine sources or plants Most of our products are gluten free and are never tested on animals.

Best of all the Acti-Labs skincare range are clinically proven and dematologically tested so you never have to worry about applying it to your skin.

Ingredients are listed on each page so you can shop with confidence.

Click HERE to visit my Acti-Labs Shop

Travel or save

travel or save

I have come to the conclusion that based on the job I do as a Healthcare Assistant/Support Worker, on a basic wage, that I can travel or save but not both.

Right now, as I am living rent free I have decided to focus the next few months on travel.

Hoping that chosing one will stop all the negative thoughts I have about not doing either.

Travel to Antigua

Today I paid a deposit for my travel fair to Antigua. I have family there, my niece, and will stay with her family.

Balance is due by 22nd March, which gives me time to work extra hours.

As I am about to start my 30 days of juicing I am hoping the holiday will keep me focused and committed.

I will be eating one healthy meal a day if I feel the need. Otherwise I will try and make it through on juice alone.

I am hoping I can book another local trip (around Europe or the UK) for mid to end June and September, then a long haul trip for November.

That’s the plan as of today but I know my plans have a habit of changing.

Acti-Labs 45+ Day Cream

acti-labs 45+ day cream

The Acti-Labs 45+ Day Cream actually provides visible results that you will love. Fine lines fade while firmness is restored.

This cream was created to remove the need for cosmetic produces and injections by dramatically reducing skin ageing concerns in the comfort of your own home.

The 45+ day cream has been proven to reduce wrinkle depth and length by up to 22.3% in 28 days.

I use it on my face, check and chest area. Because I have lost 6 stones (75 lbs) in weight my neck looked very “lose” and now that I use the 45+ day cream it is now completely smooth. I only wish I had taken before and after photos!

The Acti-Labs 45+ Day Cream was developed for mature skin over the age of 45 years but is also available for younger skin. Check out the 25+ Day Cream or 35+ Day Cream

Understanding what makes refined sugar bad for you

refined sugar bad for you weight loss diet

Back in 2010 I followed an eating programme that taught me what makes refined sugar bad for me. Hopefully I can help you understand what makes refined sugar bad for you.

Even though I began to learn about the effects of sugar back in 2010 I didn’t really take it all in. I had this information but I didn’t act on it and information without implementation is useless. In a way I was still in denial. I just didn’t want to give it up.

It was only as I began to put the weight back on I realized what I was doing. I was back to eating way too much refined sugar and my weight started to creep up and up again.

I am not a fan of sugary snacks or drinks. My weight gain didn’t come from that type of food. The refined sugar I ate daily was inside the every day food I was eating, the low-fat yoghurts for instance.

This is why I am hoping to explain through this blog post what makes refined sugar bad for you – so let’s get going.

Firstly, how much sugar should we include in our diet? In the UK the recommended amount is 50g (1.7oz) for women and 70g (2.5 oz) for men.

Research on refined sugar

As long ago as 1816 French Physiologist F Magendie published a report, after conducting experiments on dogs (he was not nice to animals) that were fed refined sugar and water. They wasted away and died. What started this research was an incident in 1793. Five shipwrecked sailors, carrying refined sugar and rum on their boat, drank nothing but refined sugar and rum for nine days in an effort to survive. They were found wasted away from starvation.

The truth is we can survive on just fresh water for quite some time, people perform water fasts for 30 days or more, and yet these men who were only shipwrecked for nine days were close to death by the time they were found.

Not a great advert for refined sugar or alcohol as far as I can see.

Trouble is this information and subsequent research on the bad effects of sugar was covered up, because the sugar industry would lose a lot of money if people knew this.

However, since 2009 the war on refined sugar and its effects on obesity have been growing in momentum after a ground-breaking lecture called Sugar: the bitter truth – video below – by Robert Lusting was put on YouTube and started the anti-sugar movement.

Remove refined sugar and wellness occurs

refined sugar deadly

Think about that for a second when considering what makes refined sugar bad for you. When refined sugar is removed from the diet diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart illnesses get better and in some people are CURED.

My friend, Dr Nkem Ezeilo, teaches this to her patients and to women via her Facebook group Fit Fabulous and Strong Women. A breast cancer survivor herself she teaches that by removing refined sugar from our diet we give our body an opportunity to remove the illness. Powerful stuff.

It was after joining her group in March 2014 that I seriously began to make the link between refined sugar, weight gain and my own journey.

Even though I was taught this back in 2010 it was only after reading about it again through Dr Ezeilo’s group that it really hit home. The lesson finally sunk in and I began to believe that refined sugar is one of the main causes of my weight gain.

I knew that if I could finally kick refined sugar to the curb I might actually have a hope in hell of getting healthy and well again.

My consumption of refined sugar

The truth is I never really ate that much during the day. My portion size in the evening was huge, I will admit that, but overall I didn’t think I was eating alot of food every day.

However, what I was eating contained a large amount of refined sugar. Low-fat foods (especially yoghurt), starchy foods, pizzas, fries (chips) and other foods – although I didn’t eat a lot of it – contained enough refined sugar that when combined it kept me overweight.

This is why I believe vegetable juicing has made such a significant impact on my weight loss and health. Giving up the refined sugar I was eating for breakfast and lunch was enough to start improving my health.

My old eating regime

In the past my breakfast was mainly carbs (bread, croissants) or cereal (high sugar muesli, shreddies, rice krispies and cornflakes).

Lunch would be a sandwich with no salad and usually some ham, a bag of crisps, a chocolate or donut and a cup of tea.

Then a large dinner – let’s say pasta and Bolognese using a pre-made sauce with garlic bread – there is refined sugar in the pasta, bread and pre-made sauce.

Around 10pm I would have a peanut butter and jam sandwich and a cup of tea.

Looking at that I can see just how much refined sugar I was getting through. To me it didn’t seem like I ate a lot as I didn’t snack very much and I didn’t eat take away foods very often but still I was heavily overweight.

My new eating regime

I gave up the 10pm meal, stopped eating after 7pm until 11am, ate a high protein breakfast (e.g. sardines, spinach, and mushrooms), or made a vegetable juice (green) adding Spirlina in to it for the protein, drinking two of those over the morning.

I would then make another two vegetable juices to cover lunch time that include carrot and beetroot.

If I found myself feeling hungry I would snack on almond nuts and berries/fruit.

I cut out a whole lot of refined sugar from my regular eating regime and the weight loss began and is still going strong – even though I was not exercising at all.

Why is refined sugar bad for you?

Refined sugar has been found to be toxic to the body because all the natural goodness (vitamins and minerals) that the body needs within sugar to process it has been removed.

What is left is a refined carbohydrate that the body finds difficult to process. Known as an empty calorie refined sugar provides our body with nothing nutritious.

It is this refined carbohydrate and the resulting toxins that it produces that interfere with our red blood cells (it kills them), and accumulates in our brain and nervous system.

This is why you need to understand what makes refined sugar bad for you. You need to appreciate what refined sugar does to your body and why obesity is such a major issue in most of the world.

Why else, when you perform a juice cleanse, do you suffer from headaches and muscle pain?

Because your poor body is doing its best to get rid of all the years of crap refined sugar inside of it. Our body will perform a natural detox itself, but the amount of refined sugar we eat means we are in overload and we need to help ourselves “drain” our body of this crap.

This is what I use a juice cleanse for and this is why I still eat real food during my juice cleanse – because none of what I consume contains refined sugar.

Read about the many ways sugar is bad for you – sugar dangers

Not ALL SUGAR IS CREATED EQUAL

Quote: “Sir Frederick Banting, the codiscoverer of insulin, noticed in 1929 in Panama that, among sugar plantation owners who ate large amounts of their refined stuff, diabetes was common. Among native cane-cutters, who only got to chew the raw cane, he saw no diabetes.”

Source : Refined Sugar – The Sweetest Poison

refined sugar bad for you

Natural sugar still possesses the minerals and vitamins within it that the body needs to help break it down. It is in its natural state. Sugar from beetroot (beets) and sugar cane are two examples.

It is only when natural sugar from sugar cane is taken and manufactured into refined sugar that it becomes a toxin inside our body.

Is refined sugar bad for you if you have cancer?

There have been links made between the amount of refined sugar in our diet and cancer but nothing scientifically conclusive. Still, in my mind it is still worth avoiding as much refined sugar as possible, and here is why…

You may be familiar with information on the foods that cause acid and alkaline in our body.

Refined sugar is an acid and it alters our pH levels producing a more acidic body. This imbalance causes our body to withdraw essential minerals from our bones and teeth to help fight the toxins within. This is what causes other parts of our body structure to weaken. An acidic body has been linked to cancer.

Vegetable juicing, especially when making green juices, provides an essential alkaline effect. It helps us to help our body heal itself. This is why when people go on long-term vegetable juicing juice cleanse, say for 60 or 90 days, they find that many of their illnesses disappear.

However, not even long-term vegetable juicing is good for us because it misses out fibre, protein and fats. These are the things you obtain when you eat real food on a juice cleanse. Eating wild salmon, eating foods like avocado and broccoli; these are all alkaline and help our body to be well.

Do your own research on acid and alkaline to find out why this is important and the part that refined sugar plays in it.

Quote: “Pancreatic tumor cells use fructose to divide and proliferate, according to a study that challenges the notion that all sugars are the same.”

SOURCE:  Fructose feeds cancer cells

Is refined sugar bad for you when dieting?

I am sure you can answer that question for yourself now. If you have been eating low-fat food take a look at the sugar content of it. You may be surprised.

Even foods you buy in the health food shop might surprise you. I went in looking for a drink and picked up what looked like a lovely natural, healthy drink of green tea and some other ingredients. Ready to drink and delicious. A quick look at the sugar content showed me that it contained over 26% of sugar. Just as bad as a fizzy drink.

refined sugar bad for you

You probably know this already but the sugar content of food is given other names including:

  • corn syrup
  • dextrose
  • sorbitol
  • sucrose
  • processed fructose
  • amazake
  • maltose
  • lactose (sugar in milk)

These are just a few of the names given to the different types of sugar added to food to make it taste nice. Usually, if it ends with ‘ose’ chances are that is a sugar ingredient.

Sometimes you may find that a meal has two or three different types of sugar in it and that is the type of thing you need to watch for, especially when dieting.

Refined sugar – the addictive drug

Here is something else that really scared me and put a nail in the coffin of refined sugar for me.

Rats, some already addicted to cocaine, were given an option. Have cocaine or have sugar. Eventually 94% ofl the rats left the cocaine and wanted the sugar. Isn’t that scary? Does that help you understand what makes refined sugar bad for you?

Quote:  Here we report that when rats were allowed to choose mutually-exclusively between water sweetened with saccharin–an intense calorie-free sweetener–and intravenous cocaine–a highly addictive and harmful substance–the large majority of animals (94%) preferred the sweet taste of saccharin.”  

Source:  Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward

When I went to give up things like bread back in 2010 I went through one hell of a mental battle. As long as I knew there was food containing refined sugar in the house I wanted to eat it. I had to literally argue out loud with myself for the pros and cons of eating it. At the time I didn’t know as much as I knew now.

In the end I gave up. I let food win because I was so sick of the constant craving for it and my internal battles. I just wanted peace and I decided to just eat it. The result was growing as large as over 22 stones (308 LBS or 139 KGS).

When I started back on my path towards health and total wellness in March 2014 I was mentally stronger. I had read and found out more about sugar over the passing years so I was ready to give it up. I battled through the cravings and thanks to vegetable juicing and almond nuts (I ate them to help my craving for bread) I won.

I don’t crave food as badly as I did in the past. I could never say no to food in the past and now, for the first time in my life, I am saying no to foods that I know contain refined sugar.

John Yudkin

A British Professor called John Yudkin tried to warn us about the dangers of refined sugar back in 1972. The book ended his career and his work was discredited by “experts” wanting to protect that sugar industry.

Now though his work is being seen as prophetic. Take 90 minutes out of your day and watch this  video called Sugar: The Bitter Truth

Also take the time to visit the University of California video series called The Skinny on Obesity

and this one called Sugar: Pure, white, addictive and deadly

Understanding what makes refined sugar bad for you

This is all my research because of my interest in the subject of diabetes and my family history. Granddad and mother died from diabetes related illnesses. My eldest sister and older sister both have diabetes and I am next in line.

refined sugar toxins

I am not a professional and I am not making claims about what makes refined sugar bad for you that you can’t find online. In an effort to transform my health and avoid illness in middle age and beyond I had to ask is refined sugar bad for me? After asking myself that question I went on to read and research the subject and the answer is a resounding YES.

I only wish I had learnt enough about this stuff to have helped my mum. In her mind she had the disease and it is hereditary. There was almost a kind of passive acceptance about the fact that nothing can be done to beat it and it was passed down through blood.

I believe diabetes is passed down through bad eating habits. We are all a product of what our parents taught us. They did the best they could do at the time and now we are learning something different, something better, and something that can help heal our children and have them grow into healthy adults.

We are also learning something we can use to heal ourselves and it is always better to lead by example. My example to my children has not been that great up until this moment. Now, they will see me get healthy and transform the way I look. They will see me do that based on filling my body with alkaline vegetable juice and removing toxic refined sugar.

I hope this went some way towards helping you understand what makes sugar bad for you and that you too are excited and inspired enough to throw out your refined sugar and take a different path.

DOWNLOAD THE PDF – this was a long post so I put it into PDF format

Understanding-what-makes-refined-sugar-bad-for-you

Juicing back to happiness

juicing

When the sun is out my desire to start juicing kicks in. My daughter calls me a sunflower because my whole mood depends on whether the sunshine is around.

Just another reason why I should spend the winters some place hot.

Today I went out and stocked up on my juicing faves.

The first is my green juice

  • Green apples (Granny Smiths are great for health)
  • Celery (including the leaves)
  • Spinach
  • Cucumber

The second one in the photo is

  • Carrots
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Oranges

I still have a few carrots, ginger and oranges left so will mix them with the beetroot (beets) that I bought.

Should give me enough juice for a couple of days if I drink nothing but juice. If I eat a light meal in the evening it will last longer.

Didn’t plan a juice fast. Just woke up and decided to go with it.

Juicing for weight loss

Back in March 2014 I spent 18 months juicing all day and eating a light meal in the evening.

I managed to shed 70lbs (5 stones) in weight and have kept that off.

What I haven’t managed is to lose anymore. I have lost and gained the same 10-20lbs over and over during 2017 and 2018.

Now, I have decided to go back to my juicing as it worked before. Eating a plant-based diet has helped me work on my relationship with food, so the past couple of years haven’t been wasted.

I am hoping that my new tastebuds will get me through a longer juice fast.

30 days of juicing in March

I have only managed to go 48 hours on juicing only. Juicing then eating in the evening is great but just juicing alone I struggled with and so I am hoping this challenge will help.

30 days of nothing but juice.

I will build up to it between now and the end of February by juicing for 2-3 days at a time. Hopefully, that will help me avoid any ‘lack of food’ crashes.

I will have to take regular shifts at work so I can pay for it.

Juicing really does make me happy. It makes my whole body feel like its singing with health.

I know dietitians and many nutritionists are not always a fan of it but I am choosing to listen to myself and do what brings me joy.

Developing new habits in 254 days

exercise lose weight couple

I have been reading up on forming new habits. I think I never really give something long enough to become a habit, which is why I stop and start different things all the time.

There are all these books that outline 21 days or 30 days to a new habit but I couldn’t find any scientific research that outlines why those numbers in particular.

Research I have found from 2009 outlines that it took participants anything from 18 to 254 days to form a new habit. It was different for each individual and that seems more realistic.

254 days is a little over 8 months. For the habit to become a routine it must be performed daily. It has to be 254 consecutive days.

I like the idea of forming habits by doing something small each day. These tiny actions add up until the habit becomes easy to perform without any conscious thought.

Now I know it can take 254 consecutive days I can apply that to exercise.

Even if I don’t exercise daily I can commit to moving. A short walk, dancing to music for 10 minutes – that type of thing. At least that way if it means I am moving regularly and have at least 3 days where I do the regular 30-60 minutes of solid exercise it may just help exercise stick.

I am thinking about a trip abroad soon so hopefully that will help add to my motivation.

 

Camden Market

camden market london

I was all dressed and walking my daughter to the train station. Seemed like a waste of time heading home to do nothing so I thought I would jump on a train and go somewhere.

I guess that’s one of the best things about being in London. There is plenty to see and do if you know what you like to do. Problem is I had no real idea so I ended up in Camden.

Haven’t been there for years and the market is definitely very different to what I remember.

I was looking for a scarf (which I eventually found) and found myself loving these recycled (or is it upcycled) bags. They were army tents in a former life and these tents have been created into bags.

20190202_131019

I bought one of those along with a couple of earrings and my scarf that has already paid for itself in terms of keeping me warm this weekend.

20190202_153030

It was freezing out and I don’t tend to leave the house when it’s cold. I am a fair weather person. December until March is usually my hibernation time when I go out only when necessary. I certainly wouldn’t leave to walk around a market.

So, I was very proud of myself for breaking with the status quo. A very tiny victory but still very significant.

My next 10 year challenge

diane corriette

The #10yearchallenge hashtag has reminded me how far I have come in terms of my health and weight loss.

It is also a reminder of how long it has taken. I have started and stopped a number of times. Losing weight and then gaining it again.

The photo above shows me in 2009 on the left.

My weight has remained the same for the last couple of years. I keep losing and gaining the same 20 pounds, which has been frustrating.

Until December 2018 when I found the Shangri-La Diet, which is as simple as taking a tablespoon of Flaxseed oil an hour before eating. I will write more about that another time.

That helped me lose 9lbs during December and my weight has been going down ever since.

In January I spent my time on a detox eating potatoes all day of all things. I will write more about that too.

I tend to get to 17 stones 2 lbs (242 lbs). I stop. I put it all back on again until I get to 18 stones 7 lbs (262 lbs).

2019 Health Goals

In 2019 I am aiming to break the weight loss plateau cycle and finally get below 17 stones (240 lbs) and get on with this weight loss thing.

On 1st December my weight stood at 18 stones 2lbs (257 lbs)

Today my weight is 17 stones 2lbs (242 lbs) – it has been like that for the last three days despite being on a detox and losing a pound a day for the first 4 days.

VERY frustrating.

2019 Fitness Goals

I also want to take my fitness more seriously and make an effort to gain muscle through strength training. I am not sure about joining a gym.

Been walking mainly and doing a few strength exercises at home but I know I need to do more than this to get fit.

My relationship with yoga is an on and off again one but I have been thinking about callanetics – for those who remember that from the 90s!

Here’s to the next 10 years.

Carrot & Apple Juice

carrot juice

Sometimes it is nice to keep things simple and have as few ingredients as possible. That’s why I love carrot and apple vegetable juicing because I only need the two ingredients.

Another two ingredients I love to use are celery and cucumber.

A simple green vegetable juice but you have to add something so it doesn’t taste so plain. Lemon or lime is usually a good choice or a bit of ginger.

The great thing about keeping vegetable juicing simple is that you only need a few ingredients. I am always concerned about not using up everything I bought or things going out of date because I don’t use them quick enough.

By doing something as simple as carrot and apple vegetable juicing it means I only need to buy those two items.
Plus I use the juice pulp. I bought myself

a hamburger maker and it is turning out really useful to help me make my juice pulp “burgers”.

I mix the carrot and apple pulp with tahini, a few splashes of Tamari, pinch of salt, some cayenne pepper (or Dijon Mustard) and put it into the burger maker. Nice and simple.

Carrot and Apple Juice
I also really enjoy drinking this as a juice. I add 3 apples to make it sweet.

The ingredients for this apple and carrot vegetable juice are
7 Carrots
2 Granny Smith Green apples (3 apples if you prefer your juice sweet)

Other simple vegetable juices
I have already mentioned cucumber and celery with lemon as another simple vegetable juice and here are some others:
Celery, Cucumber and two green apples
Carrot, ginger and an orange
Beetroot and ginger
Pineapple, kale and spinach

Use your imagination.

It is simple and it lowers the cost too if you drink the same juice for a day or two and then swap to a different one. I am not one of those types of people who must drink a different juice every time throughout the day.

In a day I am happy to drink the same juice over and over, even for two days running. Less cleaning up and messing around!

Fight Inflammation with Curcumin

inflammation turmeric

Curcumin is the main ingredient in a spice you are probably familiar with called turmeric.

Turmeric root has been tested scientifically and is being shown to provide the body and brain with loads of goodness.

Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. It contributes to the management of inflammatory responses in the body.

Helps Fight Inflammation

Our body needs inflammation to help us fight disease and illness, however long-term inflammation in the body can result in it attacking our own tissues. It can become chronic inflammation which results in all kinds of illnesses and disease (look it up for yourself).

Curcumin effectively fights off the bad molecules that are known to cause the pain, illness and diseases we experience as a result of long-term inflammation.

I have experienced the effects of too much inflammation in the body first-hand. Aching joints, knees that hurt, back pain etc.

It was the beginning of Arthritis, something else Curcumin helps to fight. Arthritis is another lifestyle illness caused by too much inflammation in the body. Changing my food to an anti-inflammatory diet helped rid me of the pain.

Curcumin has been shown to help the brain and may contribute to slowly down Alzheimer’s Disease. Scientific studies have shown that it can help with heart disease, reversing damage and is a great preventative supplement. Also it played a huge part in helping to avoid some forms of cancer. The scientific research is out there. Please look into it yourself, don’t just take my written word for it.

Taking Curcumin

The best way to take this powerful anti-inflammatory is using a supplement because although it is found in turmeric the content is not high enough to make a real difference.

That doesn’t mean turmeric isn’t worth taking – turmeric root is brilliant and can be added to food or just hot water and made into a drink. It is well worth it if you can stomach the taste. Unfortunately for me I am not a fan of turmeric as a hot drink but will sometimes add it to food.

Plus, in order for Curcumin to be absorbed effectively by the body you need to add black pepper. You need both to make a real difference.

active curcuminArmed with this information I found myself a supplement that had Active Curcumin (95%) in big letters. It also stated that it was high strength turmeric and contained black pepper. I take it daily with cold water (never with hot).

Undo Inflammation

This is one of the steps I have taken on my journey to undo inflammation in my body. I am reading, researching and taking action on what I learn. I will share what I know but due diligence is always recommended.

 

 

Undo Inflammation

fight inflammation

I have spent months trying to figure out what it was I was trying to say/focus on in regards to my health.

The weight loss journey that it started out to be turned into a love of juicing and juice cleanses before looking into bringing zest back into my life.

Ultimately, all of this work has been for one common cause. To help me live a life free of medication and pain. Right now I am free of them both.

The pain I discovered was due to something called inflammation.

I thought there were some serious things wrong with me and was so surprised when a change of eating less meat/dairy and more vegetables removed the pain.

In fact my first experience back in 2014 really shocked me. My stiff knees, my sore elbows and my lower back pain all disappeared. My flexibility improved and I felt so much better.

The only thing I had done at that point was give up meat/dairy and started juicing/drinking green juices on a regular basis.

Since that time I have gone back to old habits. Back to eating what’s known as the Standard American Diet or meat & potatoes to us Brits. I have returned to milk, cheese, yoghurt, and butter. Every time, within weeks, the pain returned.

I am not sure why it takes me so long to learn my lesson lol

Meat doesn’t have as bad an effect I noticed. It makes me feel heavy and not as bright and light as I feel when I don’t eat it – so I have reduced it but not given it up.

I have stopped saying “I eat Vegan food but am not a vegan” – now I simply say I am a Flexitarian.

What is a flexitarian? The definition is a person who eats a mainly plant-based diet but still includes some meat/fish and eggs.

So that’s me now. Miss Flexitarian. This is where my journey has taken me from weight loss to learning about how nutrition affects my body.

The Handover – Monday Monologue

flash fiction story

I walked right into a situation that I could have avoided if only I was more aware of my surroundings. I was preoccupied you see. There’s only 30 minutes for lunch and in that time we are expected to find food and eat it.

In my rush to be back on time I missed the silence.

I’ve got to be back at work on time for the handover. I know how much she loves to humiliate me when I’m late. The pleasure shines all over her smug face as her ears turn red and her nostrils flare.

I don’t know why I take it from her really, I should say something but that will only make matters worse.

So you see I had other things on my mind and it took a while to register that the supermarket was deserted. Not a soul in sight, which should of made me wonder what was going on but it was the handover see, I was going through what I needed to say so I could get it right.

After all it’s not normal for a place to be empty at one in the afternoon but do we really pay that much attention to other people when we are busy in our own thoughts.

Along with the sandwich I grabbed an energy drink and a large cupcake.

It was at that moment I felt the hairs rise on the back of my neck as my brain raised the alarm. It alerted me to the fact that there was no one else in the aisle.

It made me pay attention but I wasn’t worried, not in that moment anyway, because i knew there’d be someone sat at the checkout.

I needed to pay for my lunch and get out. There was no time for questions. Maybe the place had opened late.

A cashier will have all the answers.

I felt the air stop midway in my chest as I walked towards the checkout and noticed them all empty.

I thought about leaving without paying because what else could I do?

I spent a little too long thinking about my options.

I should have dropped the food and left.

The cold hard steel against my temple and the stern instructions not to move told me that this deserted supermarket was in trouble.

I was led towards the back of the store. It was too late for me to do anything other than what I was told.

I knew in that moment that I wouldn’t make the handover.

——————————

Monday Monologue inspiration

I use the Monday Monologue over at Morgen’s online short story writing group as inspiration for today’s story. Her challenge was:

Monday Monologue: your character is a supermarket at lunchtime and the place is deserted

My Crete Adventure

greece

I finished work on the 7th July and got ready to fly out on the 10th to Crete.

After a short delay I was sat on the plane. My first holiday in 10 years and the very first of what I hope will become a travel adventure over the next few years.

Getting on the plane hadn’t been as straight forward as it should have been. I had left my passport at home and by the time I realised it was midnight and I was 5 hours away from home.

I had chosen to fly from Gatwick Airport and was on my way there when a thought crossed my mind and I checked for my passport. I had left it in my larger suitcase. The day before travel I had bought myself a new smaller case and left the passport in a zip in the larger one.

I spent midnight until 4am walking around London waiting for the train station to open. Got on the train back to Birmingham and as I arrived back at my daughter’s house I had convinced myself I wasn’t going.

My daughter had other plans. She had already looked up alternative flights.

An hour after getting home. With no sleep and now a few hundred pounds lighter after paying for another flight and transfer fees I was at Birmingham International airport.

I arrived in Crete at 10.30pm instead of the original mid-day. As I arrived at the hotel I found out the other people being picked up had waiting 90 minutes for me – I felt bad about that. The airline wouldn’t tell them whether I had boarded the plane or not so they sat and waited. I

t helped the three of them bond and get to know each other so that was a plus because they were inseparable for the whole week.

Solo travel experience

I wasn’t expecting everyone to want to hang out together. I thought the trip was for solo travellers but gave us a base to come back to so we could catch up and talk with other solo travellers.

I decided to stay solo. I went out and did my own thing visiting as much of Crete as I could. There was one night where I attended ‘Greek Night’ with a few others and had one person who I went to the beach with – otherwise I did most of my activities alone.

Seeing Crete

In my 7 days I wanted to make sure I did as much as possible while also resting. I will have to return because I got to see a very teeny part of the island in that time.

I kept a journal. I have decided to buy a new journal for every travel adventure I take and put everything into it.

Grand Canyon, Therisso

I paid 19 euro and went on a bus tour to Grand Canyon Therisso. Known for it’s gorges and ravines there were some spectacular views from the mountains. I managed to get a few photos of the Kri-Kri goats and visited an olive factory where I bought myself some great soaps and lovely moisturiser.

We went through the ravine of Therisso following in the footsteps of the revolutionary soldiers and Cretain rebels of the 1896 uprising who hid in caves.

Therisso grand canyon crete

Therisso grand canyon, Crete

 

Chania Sightseeing Tour

This tour allowed me to get on and off the bus as many times as I wanted to in 24 hours. The buses were only running during the day though so I really only had until 5pm.

I stopped at a place called Sabionara. The peace and tranquillity hit me first and I sat and watched the world go by. I would love to come back and stay in this area for R&R.

Market Square. Stopped here and bought myself a loofah and some natural products. Walked round the market and resisted buying too much.

Akti Kanari. This is the old town of Crete I think and has a beautiful harbour and plenty of places to eat.

akti kanari crete chania

7 quick days

The 7 days went past really fast and I couldn’t do everything I wanted to put was so happy to have enjoyed my first solo trip.

I didn’t have a decent camera with me so missed out on taking loads of images.

I am hoping to get round to a trip to Egypt next or Cyprus and then something further afield.

To rent or not to rent

rent camper van

I moved in June 2017 from a 3 bedroom house into a studio apartment, which is an outcome of going through the change – having all my children leave home.

When I decided to become a live-in carer I thought why keep the place and pay rent if I am living with someone?

So I arranged to stay with my eldest when I am not working who lives in Shropshire.

My dad, who is in London, also has an empty room I can use if I want to be there.

Of course when I am not working I want to be travelling so really my time staying with family will be fairly short. Hopefully.

I have a zero-hour contract which basically means if there is no work to give me I am not going to get paid. However, in the world of live-in carers there is quite a lot of work available and plenty of agencies so that isn’t a problem.

Now, three months after giving up my studio (to save the money and because I will hardly be there) I really wish I had my own space to go back to when I am not working.

I love living with my eldest, who recently got married, but I feel like I am in the way. That is me feeling that and not anything either of them has done or said.

There are things I miss like being half naked, playing loud music and dancing around the room etc. Basically my single gal behaviour has had to stop and it only just got going.

I thought being a nomad would be fun but the home body girl in me needs a place that I know as home. Also, I can’t register for a doctor, dentist or to vote, which is frustrating, because I don’t “belong” to a borough or district.

So now I am back looking at studios or large rooms with en-suites in Birmingham, Luton (where I used to live and loved it there) or Leicestershire and wondering if I really want to spend the monthly fee.

When it comes down to it that money is being taken away from my ‘travel the world‘ fund and my ‘save up for old age‘ fund but it might be worth it.

For starters I won’t have to work as hard. I work for two months (seven days a week) on the go before taking a break.

It can be really hard going for that long when you are caring for someone.

Now that I have met other carers and seen their preferred way of working I like the idea of working for 3 weeks and taking 3 weeks off.

It’s early days and I am still trying to work out whether I plan my work around my travel or the other way around.

It is all so unsettled and up in the air but that’s the beauty of life I guess.

Fit Fabulous & Over 60

over 60 woman

These are the women who inspire me to continue on with my challenge to be fit and eat well.

They are over 60 and are proof that the mid-life spread is mainly down to lifestyle for many of us. With some effort, probably a lot of effort, we can remain strong and not saggy, fit in body.

Working with the elderly has been a great example of just what happens when we don’t use our muscles and build strength.

Anyway, here are some fit, fabulous and over 60 people that I think are amazing – look them up and decide for yourself.

Johanna Quaas, age 92, Germany

The world’s oldest gymnast- her parallel bars routine video can be found on YouTube. According to Wikipedia Johanna still competes.

 

Lew Hollander, age 87, USA

Lew has completed the Ironman competition more than 58 times and is in his 80s. He is always challenging himself to be the best that he can be,

Ernestine Shepherd, age 82, USA

Starting her fitness journey at age 56 with her sister Ernestine at one point became the oldest competitive female bodybuilder.

 

Jane Fonda, age 80, USA

Known for her 80s fitness routines Jane promotes what she calls “the third age” and believes exercise is great for the brain and the body – which many of us know.

Edwina Brockesly, age 75, UK

Another woman who started her fitness journey in her 50s to get over the death of her husband. She has completed six Ironmans and seven marathons to date.

Sam “Sonny” Bryant Jr, age 70, USA

Sam “Sonny” Bryant Jr. is a 70-year-old natural bodybuilder who started working out when he was 44 years old.  His physique and strength are amazing.

Wendy Ida, age 64, USA

Wendy started her fitness regime in her early 40s and works as a personal trainer.

There are many other women of course. Between the ages of 40-50 many women are recognising the importance of staying strong. It’s such an exciting time in the world of health and I look forward to learning more and keeping myself in as great condition as I can.

 

My Juicing Passion

juicing

Before my site was hacked it contained a load of images and juicing recipes that I have been enjoying since 2014.

Despite the critics I love juicing and taking part in a juice cleanse.

It helped me easily lose my first 3 stones (approx 40 pounds) when nothing else was working.

I love my green juices which usually included spinach, cucumber, celery, a green apple and sometimes watercress.

My other love is carrot, beets and apple or something with pineapple in it.

People often say that smoothies are better because they contain the “pulp” of the fruit/veg and juicing doesn’t. All I will say to that is test it out for yourself.

Drink a green juice and see how that helps your “elimination” process!!!!

I often find that drinking a smoothie doesn’t quite have the same clearing effect so I prefer juicing,

My struggle with juicing comes with a continuous juice for several days. I usually drink my juices all day and then have a light meal in the evening.

Some days even that is a struggle.

juicing weight loss

This is why I am considering a juicing retreat.14-30 days abroad in an environment where nothing but fresh juices are served.

I have been trawling through bookdetoxretreat.com for ideas and will see what I come up with.

Right now this is perfect juicing weather. It’s hot and I don’t feel like eating.

Unfortunately, as I am working and living in a house that is not mine I don’t have the luxury of indulging in my juicing passion.

My break starts 7 July so I am hoping to juice before I leave for my first solo trip to Greece.

At some point when I can get access to my external hard drive I will put up images of my lovely juices. The ones I used today were in my Google Drive storage luckily.

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