Diane Corriette

Live accordingly

Happy New Year to you. 2015 is here and I thought I would start the New Year with an observation of how I live and intend to keep living.

“You are a perishable item – live accordingly” – That was the quote I saw on Twitter recently.

I love it as a reminder that our body can perish just like our groceries if it is not taken care of, but coming from a metaphysical point of view I believe I am not perishable (my soul at least) and live on…

But that’s a whole nothing thing 🙂

Still, I loved it enough to make up my own. A reminder that we need to take care of ourselves, not just by eating right but by doing all the other things we have to do including sleeping right, meditation (if you’re into that kind of thing – and I am), exercise etc etc.

“Your physical body is a perishable item too – live accordingly”

– is what I first decided

and then I decided to own it

“My physical body is a perishable item – I choose to live accordingly”

What does it mean to live accordingly or live life accordingly?

Well the definition of the word accordingly is “in a proper or appropriate way : in a way that suits the facts, needs, or requirements of a situation” – so that means we should live life in a way that suits the facts, needs and requirements of a situation.

What are the requirements? To eat well, exercise, sleep well etc etc

To live accordingly means to live according to the facts that I already know about health and the new ones I learn every day.

If I continue to stuff my face with fast food despite knowing what my poor body has to go through to digest all of that junk, then I am not living accordingly. I am going against what I know.

It makes perfect sense to me to live life as if I could expire and go past my sell by date. If I want to remain fresh, just like my groceries, then they need looking after to stay fresh for longer.

Of course everything that lives must expire at some point but the longer in the distance that can be the better.

Setting my intention for 2015

I know this is the day of the year when New Year resolutions begin so I thought I would do something slightly different this year.

The only thing I will do is set my intention to live accordingly.

I am also going to stop talking about what I will do. There is too much of that going on, especially at the beginning of the year. I will only share results and tell you  what I HAVE done. What action I have taken and what results I continue to produce.

As life is perishable I want to live as much of it as I possibly can and I only want to share what I have lived.

Maybe it is an age thing. Getting close to 50 your goals change. Material things that seemed to matter once don’t as much. Making the most of time. Enjoying experiences. Those are the things that tend to matter more.

So, Happy New Year to you. Remember to live accordingly, whatever that means in your life and let’s see what wonderful things I can blog about outside of me and my bloody weight loss 🙂

Juicing recipes for weight loss

I have put together a PDF that contains a list of juicing recipes for weight loss. A few people have asked me for them, even though I have links to all my juicing recipes here.

Rather than make it one long PDF, and as it contains images it is a little large, I thought I would stop at ten.

Although I am now an advocate for healthy living and focusing on health rather than just weight loss I know most people searching are looking for an answer to their problem of being overweight and wondering if vegetable juicing can work for them.

All I can say is, after years of trying different things, it has worked for me and continues to work for me.

Here’s the link to the PDF

juicing-recipes-for-weight-loss

Vegetable Juicing for weight loss PDF

Vegetable Juicing for weight loss PDF

 

History Of Juicing

I added some information on the history of juicing.

When I refer to juicing I mean vegetable juicing. Extracting the juice from a range of vegetables, particularly green vegetables, and adding a piece of fruit to sweeten. It isn’t a fad. It has been around for years. Maybe it has become more poplar because of celebrities promoting it but the history of juicing belongs to:

Max Gerson: a German scientist who developed a therapy using raw juices and a vegetarian diet in the 1920s. Look up the Gerson Institute for information on the work they do.

Other people who promoted juicing for health:

Dr Norman Walker – 1936 – published a book on raw vegetable juicing

Dr Bernard Jensen – 1960 – Ran a health ranch. Dr Jensen promoted NUTRITION as the single most important aspect to be used in healing the body.

Jack Lalanne – 1970 – Exercise and Nutrition expert who promoted the power of juicing

Jay Kordich – 1989 – You can find Jay on YouTube. He has been promoting juicing since the 80s.

Diets no longer necessary

I was really inspired by a blog post I read today about a guy who lost 220 pounds ( ) without dieting. The images are amazing and it outlines 7 key things he did.

Number six – when he mentions that he detoxifies his body. He mentioned how much easier it was to shed the second 40 lbs compared to the first. Green juices were used as part of that process.

I think it goes a long way to realising that diets are a thing of the past and what is really important is healthy eating. You can read the whole article HERE.

Be ready for the long haul

I think ultimately that is my lesson of 2014 and I am so glad that I set my mindset on just that.

I don’t use vegetable juicing as a way to overcome my bad eating, as if it is a short-term fix to help out, I use it as an ongoing and lifetime method to help me stay healthy.

Now I have figured out how well vegetable juicing and intermittent fasting have worked for me I think I am ready to hit the veggie juice hard. Its time to get ready for a full 24-hour juice. Maybe even 48-hours – who knows.

I am feeling inspired now I have a juicing buddy and a great juicing group to hang out in.

I thank you for sharing my vegetable juicing for weight loss PDF via social media.

Life is too short to wait

I’ve been doing that waiting thing again and I had to remind myself that life is too short to wait.

I do this thing where I believe my life will be happier, better, somehow magically different when I have X.

X could be money, a man in my life, more clothes, less aggro, more business etc etc

Right now I am focused on less weight. My mind keeps telling me that life will be happier when I lose more weight. As if somehow being slim means having no challenges in life.

I had to remind myself that life is too short to wait to be happy.

The last time I had to remind myself of that was back in 2009, when shit was happening and my business was in the toilet. It hadn’t been flushed away completely but it wasn’t far off.
In all the turmoil I was able to laugh. Some new guy in my life. Long story. Suffice it to say, we laughed, and 3 months later when he wasn’t in my life I reminded myself that despite the turmoil I could be happy.

I still believe that was the beginning of my own personal economic recovery.

Life is too short to wait for FILL IN THE BLANK

Just about everything.

We have a finite amount of time. Being close to 50 in age reminds me of that, I feel as if I haven’t made best use of my first 48 years (although I will credit myself with having raised three wonderful, beautiful to look at children – kudos to me) and that somehow I can turn it around and make the next 60 (I am an optimistic realist) far more meaningful.

Life is too short to wait to travel

Life is too short to wait to be slim before being happy

The list could go on but it just seems like self-absorbed bullshit to be honest and you get what I mean now.

If you, like me, are waiting around for something be reminded that life is short and we can not be arrogant enough to believe we will all make it to old age. Shit happens and if the unthinkable and unfortunate should happen how happy would you be about what you have done so far with life?

Maybe together, you and I, can actually start living life more fully in 2015. What say you?

5 things you need to enjoy successful vegetable juicing

Do you have the mindset for successful vegetable juicing? If you’re just starting out or if you started and stopped, probably not, so let me share what I discovered.

These are five things I realized had changed in order to get through the hunger, make vegetable juicing a part of my life and to stop this on again, off again relationship I had with it.

1. I had to keep going when I didn’t want to

There were many times that I stood in my kitchen and I took out all the vegetables ready for juicing and all I really wanted to do is make a ham and cheese sandwich.

I had to ignore my craving for the sandwich (although now I remember EFT I would have used that) and sing.

That’s right.

Not out loud, but in my head. I sang as if my life depended on it (and to some extent my health did at least).

I sang my favorite song out loud. Sometimes a nursery rhyme. Sometimes pure gobbledegook.

The only way I could stop telling myself I didn’t want to do vegetable juicing. The only thing that stopped me from throwing my vegetables in the bin and smothering two slices of bread with butter, was a song.

And boy did I sing.

Singing interrupted my pattern.

It interrupted what I was negatively telling myself. I sang while I washed my vegetables, I sang while I chopped them and I sang while I juiced them. By the time I was half way through juicing I could stop singing because there was no going back at that point.

2. I had to learn to embrace the hunger

There is just no way around this one.

Firstly (to counteract all the smug smoothie makers who think they are best) you can drink as much vegetable juice as you like. There really is no need to go hungry, but mark my words it may just happen.

I know smoothies are more filling and that’s because you keep the fiber in a smoothie and you don’t when you juice. You can read my post on the difference between blending (smoothies) and juicing if you are interested.

However, nothing beats the feeling that vegetable juice provides in my opinion.

With a smoothie I am absolutely satisfied. No doubt. But I wanted to push myself beyond the need to always feel satisfied.

I wanted to overcome my fear of hunger. To see it as my body working and doing its job. I wanted to FEEL and experience being close to “empty” and not having to rush to fill it with something (always food) and only vegetable juicing helped me do that.

After drinking vegetable juice I am BUZZING. Buzzing with the energy of pure nutrients that flows down my throat, into my stomach and surges through my body almost instantaneously. I love it.

There is NOTHING so far that has been able to provide me with the same feeling like vegetable juicing does.

And guess what.

The hunger. It goes away. The more you juice, and the more your body gets used to juicing, you eventually find you can go longer in between your drinks.

I started off needing to drink every 90 minutes – 2 hours. Now I can drink one juice and go 3-4 hours. I prefer to drink every 3 hours so I am not leaving myself too long without anything. In between those hours I do drink water so I am never without something completely.

If you truly want to enjoy successful vegetable juicing then learn how to embrace and celebrate hunger.

It will help you in so many other areas of your weight loss (assuming you are juicing for weight loss of course) and you will eventually find, as I did, that you end up controlling your eating rather than your eating being controlled by food.

successful vegetable juicing - romaine lettuce and strawberry juice3. I had to learn how to wing it

I know the proper advice here is to know what you are doing, but that isn’t always possible when you are overweight and craving carbs.

There were days when I would run out of stuff and when I looked at my list of vegetable juicing recipes I couldn’t find a single one to make because I didn’t have enough veg in the fridge.

On days like these I had to just put together whatever was in my fridge.

That’s one of the reasons why I never focus on other people’s recipes because they can limit my creativity.

Oh, they are fine and dandy when you are first starting out but at some point you need to have enough confidence to just put your own together.

I had no idea what would happen if I mixed dill with strawberries, romaine lettuce and some carrots but it actually turned out okay. Never made it again, but still, it was nice.

I juice vegetables so when I wing it I have to at least have 3 different vegetables to one fruit. My fruit is always apple, pear, or pineapple – although I have used berries when its all I have.

Enjoy experimenting when it comes to vegetable juicing and don’t worry so much about whether things go together just as long as what you juice is 80% veg to 20% fruit (I just made that percentage up, but it works) because you want to avoid juicing too much fruit.

4. I had to stand by my juicer

It’s real easy to let your juicer become another redundant kitchen appliance. My poor master food processor only sees the light of day when I am blending soup!

There will be days, weeks and possibly even months when you put your juicer away and don’t use it.

If it is in the cupboard it is out of your sight and you know what they say about out of sight…

When your focus is no longer on the fact that you promised yourself you will enjoy successful vegetable juicing it is easy to go back into default mode and just don’t bother.

Vegetable juicing needs to live in your heart, mind and soul before you can become successful at it. I know this from my own personal experience because this time, more than any other time before now, I have managed to juice during the Autumn.

We are not into winter until 21st December but as I am planning a 3-day juicing fest for the end of the year / beginning of 2015 I know I will be juicing in the winter too.

The thing is I can’t do without if now. It is so much a part of me that I must juice. I just can’t wait until I feel the same way about exercise!

5. I had to be fully equipped

The only way to get on and juice is to make sure you have everything to hand before you start.

That includes things like glass bottles. While you are there juicing why just make one? That makes no sense to me unless you have one of the lower cost juicers and the juice needs to be drunk immediately.

I have three one liter bottles and I fill them all with juice or at the very least I make sure I fill one with juice.

During a juice cleanse of course I use them all and I have them all ready to go.

If you are going to succeed at this make sure you have everything you need. Or you can at least improvise with something else. At the beginning rather than store my juice in glass bottles I would just put them in a jug and drink from that.

You need a juicing machine (of course), a strainer to take out any pulp that might get in, some jars to store it all,  and a plastic funnel – so you can pour your juice into the bottle without it going everywhere.

Something that is helpful, but not necessary, a compost bin to dump all that wonderful vegetable pulp in.

Learning from doing

It has taken me around 10 months to learn the above lessons. That is 10 months of regular juicing nearly every day. During the cold months I might find myself only juicing two or three times but I make two days worth each time.

I am hooked now and long may it continue because as I said above, nothing else gives me that alive buzz that drinking vegetable juice does.

What say you?

10 non-dairy natural salad dressings

waffle heart

I went on the hunt for natural salad dressings. The kind I will have to make myself, heaven help me. I have this brilliant food processor so why not use it.

It is the strangest thing. Having to make salad dressings in the dead of winter. Still, I am proud of myself for doing it.

When it comes to buying natural salad dressings, the shop bought kind, even those in health food shops, can not be trusted is what I believe.

I have no idea if they can or if they can’t but all I know is when something is manufactured in bulk things must be added to increase its shelf life. For me it is no longer natural.

As for traditional shop bought salad dressings forget it. Between the trans fat, added sugar, artificial flavourings and preservatives I would rather eat the label on the bottle.

So, I decided it was time I made my own natural salad dressings so I had a variety to choose from whenever I am eating more plant-based meals.

I think the dressing really makes a difference to whether I enjoy my salad or not.

The natural salad dressings featured below are my own variations on what I found. I hope I am not stealing anyone’s recipe but its been so long since I have been making them that I can’t remember where I originally found them.

I do know that most of these have been rewritten to suit me – so I don’t think I am stealing any of them.

10 natural salad dressings (non-dairy)

Red grapefruit juice, coriander, pine nuts and olive oil – blend and pour. Add a little bit of coconut palm sugar for sweetness if you need it. Grapefruit doesn’t mix well with some medicines I have read so do your due diligence if you are making this or any of the others.

Balsamic vinegar, garlic and honey. I love this one but not to be eaten in company! Blend them all. You can vary the garlic and honey combination depending on if you are in the mood for more sweetness or if you want to ramp up your garlic intake.

Avocado, carrot juice (I juice carrots I don’t buy juice), coconut oil and cayenne pepper. Melt the coconut oil in a bowl over boiling water, add the carrot juice, avocado and cayenne pepper then blend it all.

Vinaigrette. I owe my vinaigrette salad dressings to the lovely Jamie Oliver. He taught me to use 3 parts oil to one part acid.

You can use the popular olive oil but there is also coconut oil, rapeseed oil, hemp oil, and peanut oil.

By acid he means lemon, lime, apple cyder vinegar, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar. You can go crazy mixing combinations. Add salt and pepper. Mix it together and it will stay in the fridge.

  • Ginger garlic and spring onion with olive oil and lemon
  • Garlic, balsamic vinegar, and dijon mustard
  • Coconut oil, white wine vinegar, and beetroot juice
  • Coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and coconut maple syrup

You can make a ton of different vinaigrette dressings by mixing different ingredients. Have a good jar that you can use to mix them in. Just a very small one.

Red wine vinegar. mustard, olive oil and fresh basil. I call this my Italian salad dressing. Love it.


Red bell pepper, maple syrup or coconut palm syrup, lemon juice, coconut oil, onion and oregano.
Blend together and pour.

Pineapple, spinach, fresh lemon or lime juice, almond oil (or any other oil), cayenne pepper or fresh chilli. This one is sweet with a kick so I love it.

Almond oil, organic smooth peanut butter, lemon or lime, mustard, garlic and onion. I use Whole Earth smooth peanut butter.

Hemp oil, fresh dill, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard and coconut palm sugar (or honey/maple syrup). I don’t often get to buy hemp oil but if it is on half price offer I will snap it up and enjoy different natural salad dressings using it until it finishes.

Blueberries, almond nuts or peanut butter, lemon juice and olive oil. I like having fruit over my salad. Its a way to make sure I get my fruit and veg each day. You could replace blueberries with any of the other berry family to be honest. If you want a kick add cayenne pepper or dijon mustard.

I don’t make dressings with cheese or milk because I have given up dairy. However there is one of my favourites one I wanted to share just in case you needed any more ideas

Yoghurt and cucumber with black pepper. From my Indian meal days – I always loved the yoghurt and cucumber dip that was served. This one uses Yeo Valley natural organic yoghurt and I add shredded cucumber and cayenne pepper. You can leave the pepper out if you don’t like it spicy. I add the shredded cucumber to the yoghurt, blend it and then sprinkle on black pepper.

As with my vegetable juicing recipes I do my best not to add quantities. Its best if you try them out and see for yourself. You may want more or less of something. Be an adult and work it out. Enjoy experimenting.

I am learning (thanks to Lorraine Pascale) that experimenting is what cooking is all about. For a non-cook like me who hates the kitchen its the only thing that has made it bearable.

My snacking life – nuts and berries

I don’t just focus on vegetable juicing to get healthy. During a juice cleanse I also eat nuts and berries.

I find them to be a really useful snack to have around, especially just before my main meal if I am really hungry.

I have read that it is always best to drink vegetable juice on an empty stomach, which is what I do and then I leave at least 2 hours or more before eating any nuts and berries.

There are a few combinations that I love. Bananas are one of my favourite. I am learning that bananas are not always a great fruit to eat because of the sugar content but it is still better than eating a snickers bar (which is what my body tells me I want!)

Eating protein with fruit helps to limit the acidic effect they can have on our body and the amount of sugar that is placed into our bloodstream. Dr Mecola taught me that.

This is why I always eat them together as a snack rather than just fruit on their own.

nuts and berriesSo my favourite combinations are

Almonds and bananas

Almonds and blackberries

Almonds and apricots

Walnuts and blackberries

walnuts and raspberries

brazil nuts and strawberries (not crazy about brazil nuts or strawberries but will include them for variety)

Cashew nuts with any of the above fruit.

I am looking to fill my body with as many different combinations of nuts and berries as possible.

Why berries?

We need to increase the amount of high antioxidant foods we eat. Eating a plant-based diet helps us do that. Fruits are high in phytonutrients (which increases the antioxidant capacity of the blood) and berries is the best source of phytonutrients around.

This is what Dr Michael Greger taught me. You can read his post about why it is important to add beans, berries and greens to more meals.

Why nuts?

Nuts contain fat but its good fat. Fat that our body needs to help it burn the food we eat. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, nuts also help to limit the amount of sugar that goes into our bloodstream after eating fruit.

So together they make a great combination. There are probably some fruit you shouldn’t eat with nuts but right now I don’t even bother to focus on that. Its better I eat a wrong fruit than a wrong piece of food in my book.

You really don’t have to freak out about eating nuts. Watch the video on why nuts don’t make us fat.

It always makes me laugh when my overweight friends lecture me on their fears of eating nuts while eating a bar of chocolate.

If I had to choose to eat an unhealthy snack or nuts I will pick nuts every time.

Cucumber Juice

mature woman relaxing

I made myself some cucumber juice. Nothing but cucumber. No lemon. No ginger. There was nothing to add to the taste of it, although to be fair by the time I was half way through drinking it I really wished that there was.

I wanted to get into the habit of drinking just cucumber or maybe cucumber and celery mainly for their health properties but I think I will have to wait for the summer months to do that.

Drinking cucumber juice in December was not fun.

Both cucumber and celery have a high water content so its another way of getting to your 2-3 litres of water through vegetables, rather than by just drinking water.

Next time I will add a pinch of salt and cayenne pepper just to take away from the bland taste and smell.

It is really important you buy organic cucumbers so that you can keep the skin on. Or, like I have been doing, buy conventially grown cucumbers and then leaving them to soak in cyder vinegar for 30 minutes.

Cucumbers contain vitamins C and A in abundance as well as potassium, calcium and small amounts of vitamin B.

I wanted to increase the amount of cucumber juice I drink because I have read that it is an alkaline drink. If you follow the acid / alkaline rules then it is important to fill your body with foods that help to remove the acid already in it and provide a nutralising effect. In other words, eat alkaline food.

Because I suffer from inflammation of the joints ( self diagnosis because they ache like hell and sometimes with the right foods in my body they don’t) cucumber juice is great to help remove inflammation from our body.

cucumber juice

Cabbage Broccoli coriander soup

Today I made cabbage broccoli coriander soup. It was YUMMY!

One of my best soups so far and one I will definitely be making again tomorrow.

It is definitely a green vegetable weight loss soup to replace all my green vegetable juicing while its so cold.

Here are the ingredients

Cabbage Broccoli Coriander Soup

  • Cabbage leaves (as many as you can fit in your saucepan)
  • 1 whole broccoli
  • 2 large handfuls of coriander (cilantro to my American cousins)
  • Red chickpeas

Then I have my usuals, which go into every soup

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Mushrooms

I didn’t have any spinach in the fridge but I would definitely add that and/or kale. I never really liked juicing kale but I don’t mind it cooked in soup.

After frying the garlic, onion and mushroom in coconut oil I had a litre of water

To the water I add salt, curry powder, cayenne pepper and mixed herbs

Then I put all the vegetables in. Cook for 20-30 minutes and blend.

I leave most of the water in the saucepan, putting enough in the blender to make sure it all blends smoothly.

I then tip the blended soup into the liquid that was left.

Done. I feel like I can eat as much as this as I like.

It made enough soup to have four bowls. If it was a juice cleanse day that would be one day’s worth of juicing. As today isn’t a juice cleanse day I get to have some tomorrow too.

Feel the fear and deal with it already

I was raised by pessimists. It was always easy to feel the fear. If there was anything worth doing it was always worth focusing on why it would never work, why it should never be attempted and why the status quo is the best possible way of life you could ever ask for – like cruise control for people.

Growing up, as I began to work through my insecurities and inability to join conversations, I began to believe that being an optimist was the only way to live. That somehow optimism at its highest form cancels out the inherent pessimist that lived within me.

But where to start? It was my first female boss,  a Director called Rita, who sent me on an assertiveness course back in the 1980s and started my journey into the world of personal development.

I was empowered. I felt great and I wanted that to continue so I started reading self-help books.

I was 25 when I read the book “Fear The Fear And Do It Anyway” and saw it as a revelation.

That I could feel the fear (and there was plenty of fear to feel at the time) and go ahead and do the very thing I feared.

I discovered that fear would always be there and would never leave so rather than wait to overcome it I should act now in spite of it.

The book taught me that I needed to build my self-confidence bank full of positive examples of the times I went out and did it anyway. Doing something despite fear is what will build my self-confidence.

I have lived with the lessons of that book for the last 23 years. But something happened recently to make me doubt everything I was doing.

Deal with it already

I was hit hard in the recession. Losing investments and having to start again. I questioned why, despite all these beliefs about focusing on my desires, I ended up living in the very way I didn’t want.

Deep down I had questioned my ability to succeed but I had blasted them away by focusing on the positive. Or so I thought.

The optimist in me told me not to listen to that silly old pessimist who didn’t know any better. Yet years later my life had become an example of everything I feared, not of what I desired.

So recently I questioned myself.

What if feeling the fear and doing it anyway meant I was ignoring something significant?

How am I to achieve anything if deep down I feel I can’t do it. I am not able to achieve what I want to achieve?

To make things even worse as I continued on my personal development journey I attended workshops that I told me I should set goals that scared me and I did.

In fact I was so scared that many of them really didn’t work out at all.

What I ended up with as a result is the very thing I feared. Because I didn’t deal with my fear. Because I decided to go out and do it anyway.

I created a life based on all my fears.

In setting these goals and feeling the fear have I just plastered over what I really need to deal with to succeed?

I began to question personal development and my use of it. I began to question the feel the fear book (rather than my interpretation of it), I began to look at things like the law of attraction that says what you desire can be yours if you believe.

Then I realised something important based on people in my life. I have many people in my life who neither believe in or entertain the notion of the law of attraction and God. In their world both are man-made institutions created to make money and keep people dependent on the “master” of these disciplines.

They have no belief in these types of institutions. Neither the self-help one or the religious one and yet their life is one of success, abundance and a strong belief in their ability to achieve. They don’t visualise or affirm something happening they merely work pro-actively and get things done.

It has made me finally understand that belief is not enough. Me believing that what I desire can be mine IS NOT ENOUGH – not if subconsciously, deep within me, I didn’t believe I could make it happen.

If my fear was bigger and deeper than my desire then it would never happen.

What I have to believe is that I can actually do what needs to be done to make what I desire become mine… but I had this fear inside of me, it kept telling me I couldn’t do it. I ignored that fear and went ahead and did it anyway.

The pessimist within told me all the things that would go wrong…and I plastered over that by doing it anyway.

By doing so what I bought into my life were my deepest insecurities and fears. Not my desires.

Desires are not enough

If I really do believe that something won’t work, shouldn’t I really be dealing with those deep inner fears and insecurities?

It is not enough to want something badly. It is not enough that I put my faith in being able to feel the fear and do it anyway.

Don’t get me wrong. That book changed my life for the better. It helped me develop a strong self-confidence that I had never known in my life.

However, at some point I needed to go take a look at what was scaring me and why – I never did that.

Desire without a strong internal belief in myself will never work.

And if I have a strong internal belief in my ability to make something work. When I work through my insecurities/fears so I understand them and use them as a positive force to move forward. What do I need personal development/the law of attraction (and God) for?

That’s a question I will consider in the next blog post!

Becoming a realist

As I head towards 50 I think I am becoming a realist. Life not working out the way I wanted it to is not down to anything but my own subconscious beliefs.

That means when I change my beliefs I make things happen. Not LOA and not God (ohhh… scary ground being covered here)

” REALIST: a person who uses facts and past events, rather than hopeful feelings and wishes, to predict the future.”

All I have to do now is work on my own inner fears. I have to set my goals, work towards my goals and adjust my plan if things are not working out.

There is nothing remotely spiritual about that plan of action at all. It is all very practical and very real.

Maybe, like my first assertiveness course, I have gone from pessimist to optimist and becoming a realist is me finding my balance.

There is the Pessimist who believes the glass is half empty.

There is the Optimist who believes the glass is half full.

Then there is the Realist who knows it is just half a fucking glass!

I’m up for living the next 50 years of my life as a realist. 🙂

 

 

 

Cauliflower spinach cabbage and broccoli soup

crafts ideas

Today I made cauliflower spinach cabbage and broccoli soup

I didn’t have much spinach so I used what was in the fridge and the cauliflower was about average size.

I really need to get myself a larger saucepan to cook my soups in because I just about managed to squash this all in.

This cauliflower, spinach, cabbage and broccoli soup made a litre and I was able to eat it over two days.

It was really filling, a little runnier than usual and I am not a huge fan of cauliflower but it was okay.

cauliflower spinach cabbage and broccoli soup

I used most of the cabbage – definitely all the darker leafy leaves on the outside.

 

cauliflower spinach cabbage and broccoli soup

Along with the above vegetables, which I just threw into a saucepan full of hot water. I added garlic. There wasn’t really much room for anything else.

In the water was salt and some mixed herbs plus cayenne pepper that I throw into all my soups.

The key to making soups is not to put everything in the blender. I put the cooked vegetables into the blender with a little water. I left most of the fluid in the saucepan.

Once I blended the veg I then poured it back into the saucepan with the water it cooked in.

If you just blend everything you end up with a thick consistency a little like baby food. Not my idea of a soup at all.

Simple healthy fruit and nuts lunch

Today I enjoyed a healthy fruit and nuts lunch. Its so strange to think at one time I couldn’t even imagine eating this way.

It was so completely foreign to me to believe I could eat just fruit and nuts for lunch and be okay with it.

Eating lunch was all about quantity. Four sandwiches, a bar of chocolate (chunky kit kat or snicker bar usually), a bag of crisps (chips) and a mug of tea.

Sometimes I wonder how I didn’t grow larger than I actually was.

Now, my simple healthy fruit and nuts lunch just involves eating blueberries, some pineapple with almond and cashew nuts.

It keeps me satisfied for hours. I work at being satisfied now rather than full. The old me would be desperate to experience a full stomach.

The new, healthier me is okay with feeling satisfied.

Plus I love the fact that there is nothing to cook! Rinse some fruit, pour out some nuts and I am good to go.

healthy fruit and nuts lunchNuts and weight gain

I read recently that eating nuts does not lead to the weight gain expected so I eat them without concern.

If I am going to be concerned with anything I eat it will be the bread that I just can’t seem to give up and the sausage rolls I have taken a liking too (never liked them before) and keep eating.

I like eating nuts with fruit. It is a tip I picked up from the paleo diet camp. I know there was a reason – I think it was something to do with them combining well together.

At least the blueberries and nuts.

I don’t think I am meant to eat a fruit like pineapple with nuts (something to do with food combining) but my rational is it is still better than eating a sausage roll and a bag of crisps!

Plus my stomach can digest just about anything.

Dairy and gluten free recipes

I have been on the look out for dairy and gluten free recipes to add to my vegetable juicing. It can be hard keeping up with food plans for the week when I have to sit in the moment and decided what to cook.

I was really excited about a site a friend recommended that provides weekly dairy and gluten free recipes to cook.

It includes everything I will need to cook each recipe every week, including the full shopping list.

I am seriously thinking about joining because as a beginner to this whole healthy living lifestyle its just too easy to go back into default mode and cook what I already know.

I really want to try something new and as I have given up dairy (well everything except eggs) I could really do with some new recipes.

My daughter bought me a cookbook called Skinny Bitch and she recently borrowed it to find some new meal ideas.

She ended up making quite a few things from it, including soups. Some of the ingredients are whole food and American but she managed to find the English equivalent.

Once I get that back from her I will take a second look at it. At the time she bought it for me (around 2 years ago) I guess I just wasn’t ready to focus on dairy free or gluten free foods at all.

The time has now come where I have to build up my folder of dairy and gluten free recipes.

I don’t want to buy gluten free food because I have heard that what they use in them is also no good for our body. A little like low-fat food – the fat is just taken out and replaced with sugar and when the sugar enters our body it is broken down and stored as fat!

So I want to avoid paying all this money to buy gluten-free food because in a few years I may find out it is not worth the extra money I have to pay for it. To be honest I just don’t trust manufacturers anymore.

Any food that needs marketing can not be regarded as whole-foods in my book.

Even meat substitutes like soy and tofu are turning out to be not as healthy as was once thought.

So, what I need to do to ensure I know exactly what I am putting into my body is to make my own food. Now my children are grown up I have the time to do that. It helps I am only cooking for two.

If you are searching for dairy and gluten free recipes yourself check it out (the banner on the left will take you there) and see if it will help.

It is billed as ‘real meals for real women’ and I’m not sure why the guys should miss out? Maybe because its mainly women that cook? Who knows.

Its run by a holistic nutritionist so I am hoping that means there is only good stuff included. I really need to increase my salad recipes so I have more variety.

My office gym

I have been renting an office in Town since September. Actually it’s a desk in an office that I share. The building contains an office gym and although I haven’t ventured into it yet, its really great to know it is available.

I have been inside to take some photos at least.

There are the usual cardio machines you get in an office gym including an exercise bike, rower, treadmill and total body conditioner (if that’s what it is called).

It has a full weights section with free weights as well as the amazing machine you can see below.

There are also exercise balls available and some hoops.

All I really need to figure out now is the best way to use it all.

AW House office gym Luton

There is a vibrating plate and I have been learning about the benefits of using that.

Plus a really firm punching bag.

There is absolutely no reason why I can’t exercise now, except I never remember to bring any kit with me.

I am not sure what people do after using the office gym, whether they go home sweaty or go back to work…

I haven’t found or seen a changing room or shower, although I have been told there is a shower available.

It is a great resource for me on my journey towards health – all I have to do is make sure I use the damn thing.

 

Two more satsuma juices

I am using up the rest of my satsumas and made two satsuma juices yesterday and today. These make great juice cleanse juices and they are tasty. A change from green juices that’s for sure, with just the right amount of sweetness thanks to the satsumas.

1. Sweet potato, broccoli and satsumas

 

sweet potato, satsuma juices

2. Celery, satsumas, broccoli and carrots

 

satsuma juices

Each one also included ginger and lemon as always with my juicing.

I also included cayenne pepper on top

vegetable juicing satsuma juices

Carrot ginger satsuma vegetable juice

Today’s healthy vegetable juice recipe contains only three ingredients.

This is a carrot ginger satsuma vegetable juice

It tastes really good, quite sweet and I enjoyed drinking this one.

In case you should need the ingredients here they are

  • Carrots
  • Ginger
  • Satsuma

Nothing complicated about that one at all…

Satsumas are great for fibre, zinc and calcium. Stylecraze.com have a great article on the health benefits of satsuma for skin and hair health

Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory ingredient and this is one of the reasons I include it in every single juice I make. It has so many great health properties, especially in the area of digestion that I recommend you do your own search and find out exactly how it helps.

Romaine lettuce and strawberry juice

I made a romaine lettuce and strawberry juice today. I only had strawberries and a couple of apples in the fridge so decided to use them up.

This was not one of my favourite vegetable juicing / fruit combos but it wasn’t too bad. I have had better so not sure I would make this again.

I actually bought the romaine lettuce to eat as part of my attempt to eat more salads but I never got round to using them all and it was just too cold. Plus when lettuce is the only option it hardly makes for a tasty salad.

So, this juice was me using up whatever I had in the fridge, which included:

  • A punnet of strawberries
  • 4 romaine lettuce
  • Around 6 carrots
  • lemon and ginger

 

romaine lettuce strawberry juice

I juiced them all and this is what it looked like:

Romaine lettuce and strawberry juice

romaine lettuce and strawberry juice

Some healthy living facts about romaine lettuce

Romaine lettuce is a great vegetable to get your protein from as it contains a huge amount of protein (17%) per head.

Along with protein it also includes omega-3, calcium, vitamins K, A and B, amino acids and iron

Romaine lettuce also contains a huge amount of water too so you are getting in some of your daily water intake when you eat it.

It is great for your heart and cardiovascular system (or so I read) and is really worth including as part of your healthy eating plan.

Watercress Powerhouse Vegetable Juice

A few days ago I listed the top 10 most powerful vegetables worth juicing and as a result I came up with this watercress powerhouse vegetable juice that includes some of the top 10 ingredients.

I used watercress because it was number one and I also included chinese cabbage (Pak Choi) and spinach. It was very green to smell and taste.

To sweeten I added pineapple and an apple. As I used two bags of watercress it was a little strong, I had to dilute it with plenty of water and I think next time I won’t use so much.

So, here’s the ingredients

Watercress Powerhouse Vegetable Juice

1 bag Watercress

4 Pak Choiwatercress powerhouse vegetable juice

10 pieces Large leaf spinach

Those were the three from the top 10 liste that I included along with

1 Apple

1/4 Pineapple

1 Lemon (no skin)

small knob of Ginger

It wasn’t the best tasting juice I have made but for me knowing that I am drinking the best vegetables for my body is all that really matters.

The whole thing made one liter of juice which is two glasses.
Health benefits of watercress

Watercress provides high levels of vitamin K (great for bone-building and strengthening – a better alternative to milk) as well as vitamins A, B1, B2 and C. Potassium, zinc, phosphorus copper, calcium and iron.

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties watercress helps to prevent or relieve inflammation including colds/flu.

There are plenty of health claims about the amazing properties of watercress everything from helping a hangover to preventing cancer.

With more iron than spinach and more calcium than milk watercress really is a brilliant vegetable to add to your vegetable juicing list.

When buying my powerhouse vegetables I didn’t bring my list with me so I had to go by memory and next time I think I would include only one bag of watercress and mix in parsley, which was also on the list.

watercress

Top 10 powerhouse fruits and vegetables worth juicing

I came across an interesting study by Jennifer Di Noia, PhD who set about helping us to define what powerhouse fruits and vegetables (PFV) are and which are the best to eat.

Powerhouse fruits and vegetables are those fruits & veg that provide us with the biggest opportunity of preventing major diseases and illnesses. The trouble is no one really knew which ones are the best to eat, which is why it was so great to come across this list that has been ranked in order of nutrition.

Powerhouse fruits and vegetables have been described as green leafy, yellow/orange, citrus, and cruciferous items, but without any clear guidance on exactly which ones they are how can that helps us?

So Dr Di Noia set about researching the nutrients in different fruits and veg. A list was then compiled in order of strength.

“This article describes a classification scheme defining PFV on the basis of 17 nutrients of public health importance per the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Institute of Medicine (ie, potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K)” 

source: Defining powerhouse fruits and vegetables: A nutrient density

You can visit the research to find out the method used.

The list below is a really useful resource for vegetable juicing because it means we now have a way of ensuring the best possible opportunity to start juicing some of the riches vegetables and fruits available to us.

Surprisingly my normal list of kale, carrots and sweet potato were really towards the end of the 41 strong list.

The Top 10 powerhouse fruits and vegetables (with percentages)

Watercress 100%
Chinese cabbage 91.99
Chard 89.27
Beet green 87.08
Spinach 86.43
Chicory 73.36
Leaf lettuce 70.73
Parsley 65.59
Romaine lettuce 63.48
Collard green 62.49

So, to make a powerhouse juice you can use a mixture of any of the top 10 – notice how it really is all GREEN stuff. Green vegetable juicing really does provide the most power.

Bottom 10 powerhouse fruits and vegetables (with percentages) ranked in order of nutrition

Grapefruit (white) 10.47%
Sweet potato 10.51
Leek 10.69
Blackberry 11.39
Turnip 11.43
Rutabaga 11.58
Grapefruit (pink and red) 11.64
Lime 12.23
Orange 12.91
Winter Squash 13.89

Out of the 41 powerhouse fruits and vegetables grapefruit (white) was on the bottom of the list.

Other vegetables I tend to juice

Kale was 15th with 49.07%
Broccoli 19th with 34.89%
Cabbage 25th with 24.51%
Carrot 26th with 22.60%
Lemon 28th with 18.72%

The first 27 items were all vegetables. Of the bottom 10 items 40% of them were fruit

Fruit didn’t enter the list until lemons at 28, but we don’t all sit and eat lemons for the fun of it. The first “real” fruit was strawberries at number 30. The list then went on to include other fruits.

For me this is another great reason why vegetable juicing is far more important than juicing fruit.

It is just a shame that watercress is in season between April-October so it won’t be around for much longer – not if I want the best grown seasonal vegetable.

What this list has given me is an opportunity to really go to town with my green juices. I have to admit I favour the more sweeter carrot/beetroot juices but now I will do my best to make up great tasting juices using the top 10 list and some fruit (probably pineapple).

High Protein Diet vs High Carbohydrate Diet

I have recently come across a few people on YouTube who eat a high carbohydrate diet. I didn’t realise that kind of eating existed. The people who follow it eat plenty of pasta and huge amounts of fruit.

That got me thinking about high protein diet vs high carbohydrate diet and whether one is better than the other. Loving balance I think I might actually enjoy both. A high protein day followed by a high carbohydrate day.

High Protein Diet

A high protein diet consists of keeping carbohydrates to a minimum. The most famous high-protein diet being The Atkins Diet.

The idea is to increase the protein rich foods we eat because eating a high protein diet leaves us feeling fuller and more satisfied for longer.

The biggest pro for eating a high protein diet is focused on the fact that our body needs carbohydrates to burn as fuel and if there is not enough of it the body will then begin to use up the fat stored in our body as fuel instead. A great alternative.

I love focusing on high praotein diet because I have seen the fat from my upper arms and stomach disappearing as I have lost weight. I have never known that to happen in this way in the past. It is a combination of enjoying the vegetable juicing (remember you can get protein from many green vegetables) and when I do eat focusing on high protein.

The main disadvantages to eating this way is the food I sometimes choose to eat have been linked to high cholesterol and the increase of heart disease.

I must admit to using the need to increase my protein intake to enjoy full fat milk, cheese and eat sausage, bacon and egg for breakfast.

Disadvantages

When carbohydrates are cut in this way two definite symptoms that might be experienced are constipation and bad breath.

Meat contains no carbohydrates at all but the body really does need it. That much I have learnt over the years and so even if I follow a high protein diet I will get my protein (and carbohydrates of course) from plant food. Something even The Atkin Diet had to introduce.

Recently I have been reading and learning about why the human body isn’t made to process animal meat. I don’t think it will make me a non-eater of meat immediately but I am certainly open to cutting down and maybe getting my protein from fish instead.

Here is a great article by Dr McDougall called Low-Carb vs Plant-Based Diet – who really does not like this form of eating.

High Carbohydrate Diet

In comparison a high carbohydrate diet encourages you to enjoy eating more carbs. The mistake here is in believing you can then fill your body with bread, cakes etc

People who eat a high carbohydrate diet tend to eat more fruit and vegetables, which obviously gives them a much healthier eating program than over indulging in animal meat. It means you get to enjoy all kinds of fruits (including my favourite bananas) and eating this way you could find it easier to move over to a vegan or vegetarian plant-based lifestyle.

Less fatty, saturated and trans fat are consumed using a high carbohydrate diet. It really is important that nuts are included and a good mixture of plant-based foods, nuts, grains and pulses are included while the cakes and croissants are limited!

I have read that when you eat protein you feel fuller for longer but my own experience has been that eating carbs helps me feel much fuller for longer.

If I eat 2 sausages and two eggs for breakfast I find the hunger pangs return much quicker than if I eat a bowl of porridge.

The porridge helps me feel fuller and it lasts longer. An hour after eating the sausages and eggs I am already feeling hunger pangs and I usually drink water to help get rid of them.

Disadvantages

It is really easy to over indulge on a high carbohydrate diet. Again, if it is mainly plant based that shouldn’t be a major issue.

Also, it is easier to put on weight using a high carbohydrate diet and exercise will definitely need to be an important component if you find yourself eating carbs that are not plant based and contain wheat (and probably sugar).

Eating a high carbohydrate diet that is plant based means our body may become deficient in vitamin B12 and zinc – however there are other ways of getting those through grains and pulses.

Enjoying bananas

I recently came across someone called Freelee the Banana Girl and I LOVE bananas so would embrace this lifestyle in a heart beat but I need to be more discerning than that and check it out for long term effects. Freelee has been eating her high carbohydrate lifestyle for 8 years now and looks lean and healthy – as do the two people in the video below.

 

You can check out their YouTube channel Happy Healthy Vegan

I have to admit that this lifestyle seems to resonate with me – I can’t understand why right now but whenever I watch what they eat I really want to get started with it NOW! But fools rush in… and I have been a fool many times over the years so I will take my time.

 

So which one is better?

After looking into a high protein diet vs a high carbohydrate diet, from what I have discovered so far both ways of eating have their advantages and their disadvantages.

I remember years ago joining Slimming World. It was several years and if I remember it right they would encourage you to have a red and a green day. A red day was meat and a green day carbs. Maybe they have the right approach to making weight loss happen for the long-term. Rather than focus on one or the other why not engage in both.

Ultimately, we all have different bodies that react in different ways to what we are eating. What works for me might not work for you so they only thing you can do is experiment and find what works for you.

I know drinking vegetable juice as a breakfast and/or lunch helped me because at the very least I increased the amount of fruit and vegetables in my diet.  So maybe that is a major plus for a high carbohydrate diet.

If you haven’t tried vegetable juicing for weight loss I encourage you to give it a go.

Just replace your lunchtime sandwiches and crisps with a vegetable juice for a month and see what difference that makes.

The great thing is it can all be done a little at a time. I didn’t rush in and go straight on a 7 day juice cleanse. In fact at this moment in time the most I have managed is a one-day juice cleanse!

What I do is eat in the evening after drinking vegetable juice all day and it has helped me lose nearly 3 stones so far (42 lbs) which is great.

I am still experimenting with water fasting and still finding out whether my body would prefer a high carbohydrate diet that is mainly plant based or a high protein diet that includes meat. I will take whatever time I need to really listen to what my body wants before I decide.

What is your opinion on a high protein diet vs high carbohydrate diet? Leave your comments below and let me know. I would welcome any new insights.

My Veganish Lifestyle

The food that I have been eating (or not eating) has played a huge part in my weight loss, which is why I am considering a veganish lifestyle that is powered by plants.

I gave up milk, yoghurt and cheese around 10 weeks ago because I realized they may be the cause of some night time pain I was experiencing in both thighs. It made it difficult and uncomfortable to sleep. It was muscle / nerve ending pain rather than anything else.

I thought bread (gluten/wheat) might be the problem but after several months of giving stuff up and eating it again I realized it was dairy. Since giving it up the pain in my thighs (that I got as I slept and it meant I had to keep turning over) has disappeared and in my lower back muscles has greatly reduced.

So, now I am on the next part of my journey. What else can I do to help my body heal itself?

One of the reasons for giving up cow’s milk was because I kept reading/watching videos about how bad it is for our body.

More recently I have been reading about meat, especially red meat, and how people following a veganish lifestyle are managing to heal their body when they give up meat.

What is a veganish lifestyle?

It is a lifestyle that follows the vegan way of eating – mostly.

I am not 100% committed right now to never eating meat or dairy but I am happy to greatly reduce my intake of them. I would definitely miss eggs if I couldn’t eat them.

I am committed to increasing the raw food in my diet. Eating more salads, beans, and fruit. Learning how to cook raw food (temperature of the water vegetables are cooked in is important) and eating in a way that makes more use of what mother nature has to offer in the form of plants.

Why focus on raw/plant based foods?

If you are wondering what got me thinking about living a veganish lifestyle then the video is below. Its close to 90 mins so not short but worth watching.

A quick summary of the video is this. A group of five people who all suffer from diabetes and a few of them are on a bunch of other medication, ate vegan for 30 days. Within 4 days many of them had come off their medication. It was truly eye opening.

Our body will heal itself when we put the right food in it.

Healthy winter soups

I bought myself a load of veg and was looking at making my favourite carrot, broccoli and celery juice but it is so cold my thoughts turned to healthy winter soups.

I mentioned I had bought a slow cooker a while ago but haven’t gotten round to using it yet. As it takes so long to cook anything I need to be prepared and I haven’t been. Still, it doesn’t take long to make soup without the slow cooker so that is what I will do for now.

Below are a few videos which contain ideas for healthy winter soups that are quick to make and that focus on health/weight loss.

 

Magic Diet soup number 3

This will make a great healthy winter soup and was made by Youtuber Tony aka CookingaRound who drinks soups to lose weight. He focuses on low to medium GI foods and this soup is medium GI with carrots and low without

  • Carrots
  • 2 table spoons olive oil
  • 1 medium/large onion
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 medium-large tomato
  • 2 table spoons
  • 3/4 spoon paprika
  • 1/2 kilo mushrooms
  • cover with water
  • add fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 vegetable bouillon stock cubes (low salt)
  • 2 tablespoons all white purpose flour

He also has a magic diet soup 1 and 2 if you want to take a look at those.

The second video is also by Tony and is a garlic soup. I love garlic and can imagine me eating this one on a regular basis

Joanna Soh

This video contains three great soups by Joanna Soh. There are three soups and all the ingredients you will need are included in the video. The soups are:

  • Chicken soba soup noodles
  • Creamy green monster soup with spinach, leeks and zucchinis (courgettes in the UK)
  • Chunky Veggie Barley Soup

The final video in my list of healthy winter soups is one created especially for weight loss made by Robert Khoury.

You can make this as a chunky soup or blend it so its smooth. The ingredients are all included in his YouTube description

As I find more videos I may add them as I want to have a huge variety of different soups to try. From searching for soups on YouTube it seems a number of people use soups to drink and lose weight.

The soups will definitely replace my lunch and maybe sometimes my breakfast but I am not sure that just soup for dinner will be enough for me.

Still I am open to trying anything right now as long as it provides me with something warm in my stomach.

Favourite water cleanse detoxing drinks

Any kind of cleanse, whether it is juice or a water cleanse (or water fast as I used to call it) that keeps me away from food seems to have an amazing effect on my body. I use different ingredients to ensure I am helping to cleanse my liver and give my body an overhaul.

Oh I know my body naturally detoxes itself but I have dumped way too much extra fat on it and loads of unhealthy foods. It needs a helping hand believe me.

From what I have read about completing a water cleanse you really shouldn’t have anything except water, which means I may not be doing this “right” but for now I don’t care. I add things to my water and if I really need to I EAT in the evening.

I break the rules and I’m okay with it!

So for October my just for today juicing/water cleanse will include some of the following:

Miso Soup – Only drink this in the evening if I have managed to go without food for the whole day (which has only actually happened once). Miso is a paste made my soybeans, sea solt and koji used as a staple in Chinese and Japanese diets for thousands of years. It provides protein though the amino acids, restores probiotics to the intestines and helps to stimulate the secretion of digestive fluids in the stomach.

Spirulina – I will usually drink this first thing in the morning. Spirulina contains 60% protein so its a way of getting some goodness in my body.

Soaked Linseed – I soak the linseed the night before and then drink that down in the morning too.

Apple Cyder Vinegar – I use an organic apply cyder vinegar in my water. One tablespoon per litre. It is a great detoxing aid to help the liver. This is what I drink during the day along with plain old filtered water.

As an aside – you can also add it to your washing machine when washing clothes, it kills nasty bacteria and you don’t have to worry about the smell, it doesn’t linger on the clothes. I also find it enhances any fabric conditioner I use. Everything just comes out softer.

Water cleanse recipes

Just in case you do want to add anything to your water below are some water cleanse recipes that you can use.

The flavoured water you can buy in the shops can NOT be included because they add sugar. Flavour your own water with the vegetables mentioned below.

A great Dr Oz water I came across includes apple and cinnamon – both cinnamon and cayenne pepper are great to add to juices, food and your water.

Lemon and cayenne pepper (plus maple syrup if you want) – I think this is known as “Beyonce’s detox” because it was widely reported that she uses it before a major tour. I love cayenne pepper and lemon in my regular hot water anyway but I don’t use maple syrup right now.

Cucumber and grapefruit – great if your water cleanse is about weight loss. Also cucumber and mint.

You don’t have to be performing a water cleanse to drink these. I drink one of them or some combination of them every day.

I already mentioned that lemon and cayenne pepper is a regular for me, I mix that with some coconut oil. Sometimes I have lemon on its own.

Best vegetables to juice for varicose veins

I am not a doctor, but I have noticed that the few varicose veins I have on my right leg are improving, so I wanted to provide a vegetable juicing recipe that outlines the best vegetables to juice to prevent varicose veins.

I included all of the ingredients below after looking up natural ways to help cure varicose veins. Once I read recommendations for foods to eat I figured why not juice them. I am not saying this juice will cure your varicose veins because apparently there isn’t one, but it may help reduce them as it has for me. You will have to drink this and see for yourself.

So here it is, the best vegetables to juice for varicose veins. I have called it…

Asparagus and ginger vein

  • handful of Rosemary
  • Knob of ginger
  • 3 beetroot (beets) with leaves
  • 4 sticks celery
  • 7 asparagus
  • 1 apple (or pineapple if you prefer)

Juice all of those ingredients then add cayenne pepper on top. Drink and enjoy.

As always chop and change the quantities to suit your own taste. You may want more asparagus and less beets in this one. Your choice.

I tend to use all of these ingredients, with the exception of asparagus, on a regular basis. I think it is the fact that I am constantly drinking them down as juice that helps. Not just in this one juice but in different ones.

What causes varicose veins

Weakened valves and vein walls are the cause of varicose veins. You can read more about causes on the NHS website HERE

How to improve varicose veins

Losing weight was a popular suggestion and it could be that mine have greatly reduced because I am losing weight.

Exercise. Always a regular suggestion to with anything that is going wrong with the body. Exercise really is a helpful tool in life. Walking is especially great.

Stop smoking. Thankfully, this is not a habit I have but if you do quitting will help.

Avoid sitting and/or standing for too long. Prolonged sitting or standing is not good for us.

If you, like me, sit for long periods then flex your fit backwards and forwards. Also rotate them clockwise and anti clockwise. I do my best to remember to do this while I am watching TV. I will also get up and walk around while the adverts are on to give myself a break from sitting. I will write more about what too much sitting does to our body soon.

And of course you can drink vegetable juice foods to help prevent varicose veins.

Big girl clothes shopping

It has been a long time since I shopped any other place than the “larger sizes” and big girl clothes shopping for me is not just a size thing but a height one too. Being 5 feet 10″ means women clothes are not easy to come by and it is probably one of the reasons I grew up with a hatred of going clothes shopping.

No slim girl, regular size for me. Oh no. First I needed longer lengths and then I needed larger sizes. Big girl clothes shopping was absolutely no fun whatsoever.

Then something amazing happened. It was as if clothes manufacturers (or at least a few of them) decided that women had more than enough labels (too fat, too skinny, too dark, too light, too tall…) to deal with so why not take one away.

Enter the clothing manufacturers who make one dress in all sizes. From size 8 to size 40. Same dress, whatever size you choose.

Suddenly I didn’t feel so freaky. What made these places even better is they had styles for “middle age woman”, “tall woman” as well as “fatty woman” – my dreams had come true.

The great news is this transcended clothes and included shoes too. Shoes for women in all sizes from the very pettite to the very large. Same shoe, different colors, different sizes.

Then. As if all of this wasn’t wonderful enough they made shopping for these clothes available mainly online.

No more crowded shops and hot, smelly changing rooms. No more queuing up to pay and sorting through sizes.

Simple order and have it delivered.

Then try it all on in the comfort of your own home.

If there is anything you don’t like wait for someone to come pick it up and return it.

Big girl clothes shopping suddenly became a pleasure. I waited with excited anticipation for the latest catalogue to fall through my letterbox. I watched out for emails about the latest sales, money off and free delivery for the weekend only.

I watched. I shopped. I clothed myself and I felt amazing.

I have never been a follower of fashion. Its hard to follow any kind of fashion when you grew up with no money and your clothes were made by your mom. Once I started growing taller and taller I decided God obviously didn’t want me to bother with fashion. It wasn’t as if I had access to anything those models had.

No. In my quiet, obscure town the only thing a girl could do was to make do with whatever she could find.

When the 80s came along and leggings and t-shirts became the fashion I wore them long after the fashion died, and since they have returned.

Big Girl Clothes Shopping

My favourite place to go big girl clothes shopping is Marisota. Love the place. Bought myself a coat called Eva. Bought it a size too small as motivation. Its too tight on the arms and around the chest but when I tried it on today it wasn’t as tight as it was a couple of weeks ago so that’s progress.

Second favourite place is Simply Be. Although for me their quality is not as great and it seems both Marisota and Simply Be sell each other’s clothes, which is strange.

I am sure there are a few more places like this online but I haven’t bothered looking. When I got to a larger size I just gave up on clothes buying and wore anything that was baggy and comfortable.

Now that I have dropped two dress sizes I have promised myself when I reach the Phase Two goal of 17 stone 10 lbs I will treat myself to something new.

I visited the Rosemary Conley TV site recently  and I read a blog post that said as you lose weight you should buy yourself clothes that fit because it helps you feel good plus is added motivation.

I am still watching my pennies so I can’t go crazy but I did order two pairs of jeans from Marisota (longer leg of course) and its so true. When I wear them I feel fantastic.

Big girl clothes shopping won’t last for much longer. Over the next 18 months I really hope to be blogging about shopping for fit girl clothes. If length is the only thing I have to focus on when shopping I might even learn to enjoy it. Who knows.

Vegetable juicing recipes to color yourself beautiful

If you are looking for vegetable juicing recipes that will help you feel great and have the added benefit of being great for your skin you should use the vegetable juicing recipes below.

You can use them exactly as they are or mix them up. These are different mixtures that I have made. Sometimes because it is all I have in the fridge and other times because I love to drink them.

However they came about, after looking into the health benefits of them all, these are definitely the ingredients you want to be juicing to help you feel great on the inside and outside.

I have two ingredients that I use every single time regardless and they are lemon and ginger. Half a lemon and a large piece of ginger.

If I don’t use organic lemons I peel the skin to avoid drinking any toxins. I always buy organic carrots. That is the bare minimum for me.

I always juice vegetables and use fruit as a sweetener. I am not a fan of juicing fruit and tend to avoid it.

3 kale leaves, 1 large cucumber, 1 apple

5 carrots, ÂĽ pineapple, 1 apple

1 beetroot, 1 apple, 9 carrots, 5 kale leaves, 2 inches ginger, 1 handful parsley, 1 handful spinach

vegetable juicing recipes2 handfuls spinach, 4 kale leaves, 1/4 broccoli, 2 peaches

1 apple, 6 carrots, 5 kale leaves, 1 beetroot with greens

4 carrots, 1 beetroot, 1/2 cucumber, 1/2 lemon (peeled if not organic), 1/2 ginger root, 1 apple

1 apple, 10 kale leaves, 10 Carrots, 1/3 cabbage, 1/2 lemon, 1/3 cucumber

1 celery, 6 carrots, 1/4 pineapple, 1 broccoli crown, 10 asparagus

2 beetroots, 10 carrots, 6 kale leaves, 1 celery stalk, 1/2 cucumber, 2 inches ginger, 1 handful parsley, turmeric root (not powder)

Have fun with the quantities. See if you prefer it if you add a little bit less of one and more of the other. Experiment and have fun – that’s what I do when I am presented with vegetable juicing recipes.

After drinking my vegetable juice I follow it up with a glass of water, I want to ensure I am drinking both in abundance.

You will also find more vegetable juicing recipes <== here

Intermittent Fasting Information

Intermittent fasting turns everything I ever read/thought I knew about eating well (and especially about eating breakfast) upside down and inside out. For all the information I have read about not starving the body, intermittent fasting (or IT) says our body needs a rest from eating every now and again and it will do us good.

Not only will IT do the body good but it will also help us to burn fat and maintain essential muscle. Best of all, there is no calorie counting and some people continue to eat the normal foods they do (yes even the bad ones) and still lose weight using intermittent fasting.

So of course I was curious. Vegetable juicing during the summer is great but as it gets cold her in England I need to find another way of maintaining and continuing my current weight loss success. I am particularly looking for something that will allow me to use it for the long-term – forever – so that it can become part of my lifestyle.

So, here is what I have discovered about the power of using intermittent fasting for long term health.

Intermittent Fasting Information


What is intermittent fasting?

The simplest way to describe intermittent fasting is to call it an eating routine where you eat and then you stop eating for several hours (a minimum of 16 is recommended) and then you eat again.

There are different ways to get this 16 hour fast period depending on your preference.

Right now I use the 8 hour eating fast. I stop eating at 7pm and start eating again at 11am. From 11am – 7pm I have 8 hours to eat but I must watch what I eat. This is still a healthy eating program because I must watch the type of food I put in my mouth.

I use vegetable juicing, eating nuts and berries and then having my main evening meal with my family. I eat whatever they are eating and on the days they eat junk food I have something different and healthy.

This form of intermittent fasting together with vegetable juicing has helped me get healthy and shed 29lbs in 6 months.

Now I am wondering what type of intermittent fasting I can use to continue my journey and perhaps even speed it up.

How does intermittent fasting work?

Your body is a clever piece of machinery. When you eat it knows to take that food and burn it as energy so you can go about your day.

However when you fast, and there is no food to burn it starts burning fat that is already stored in your body and cells. So you burn off all that stored fat, which isn’t healthy for you anyway.

The longer you stay on an intermittent fasting eating pattern the better and more efficient your body gets at burning food (rather than storing it) when you eat and burning the fat from your body when you fast.

It is a great process.

A normal day of eating will see a continuous flow of food being eating without a break. As our body does its best to deal with all of this food the only thing it can do is store it as fat. The more we eat the fatter we get.

By introducing a fast period (which we normally get when we sleep) it gives our body time to break down all the extra it has stored.

Different types of intermittent fasting

8 Hour Eating Window

This is the current pattern I follow, as mentioned above, I stop eating at 7pm and start again at 11am. You can choose times to suit you. For example I have a friend who prefers to eat at lunch time. She stops eating at 8pm or 9pm and then eats at mid day or 1pm. Her second meal is in the evening either before 7pm or before 8pm.

As well as the 16 hour fast and 8 hour food routine mentioned above there are two others that are fairly poplar.

Alternate Days – Intermittent fasting for fast weight loss

This is a method that I love because on my non-fasting days I can eat absolutely anything I like. In fact when I watched a BBC program about intermittent fasting the participants on a study following a day on and a day off were eating fast  food on their days off.

This is the best intermittent fasting routine for fast weight loss because you are going through a 24 hour fasting day.

You eat normally one day and then you fast then the next. Then you eat normally the following day and you fast the next. And so the routine goes. One day eating and one day fasting.

Intermittent fasting 5:2

The 5 : 2 intermittent fasting program lets me eat normally five days a week and then twice a week I have to fast eating no more than 500 calories on those two days.

The easiest way to get  through a fasting day is to eat breakfast around 7.30am and then an evening meal around 7.30pm and nothing else.

During the day drinking water is my main option although I would allow myself green vegetable juices too – but definitely no food.

I can imagine this type of IT routine becoming my longer term eating habit. One that helps me maintain my weight once I am down to my ideal weight for my height.

It can also be used to help me get there of course. People report plenty of great results using the 5:2 method. I can imagine it will be easy enough for me to stick to eating very little only twice a week and would choose weekdays when I am in my office and busy!

Knowing that will give me the weekend free to eat as I please will help me stick to it.

Intermittent Fasting and Research

Research/science is very interested in intermittent fasting because it is showing that short, periodic fasting may improve our ability to burn fat. It speeds it up and it also controls your glucose and insulin reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

Along with the fact that certain hormones in your body change while fasting allowing you to actually gain muscle and lose fat.

Traditionally focusing on weight loss meant I was not taking into consideration that I might just be losing water or even worse losing essential muscle while the fat I want to get rid of stays in me. That is why the industry turned its attention to fat burning instead of just weight loss and building muscle through exercise like strength training. This got far better results.

Now intermittent fasting may actually join the fat loss and fat burning family as something worth doing, which is why I include it along with my vegetable juicing.

You fast every day anyway

Intermittent fasting is not new to you because you actually fast every day of your life? When you go to sleep. You can be fasting anywhere from 6 to 10 hours. Hopefully, you get more than 6 hours sleep a night though but you get what I mean. Every day you go to sleep and then wake up and eat breakfast… or BREAK fast….

So when you start with intermittent fasting the main difference is that you are now fasting while awake during the day because you need around 16 hours for a fast to help you burn fat and make the changes associated with this weight loss method.

Intermittent fasting and women

There are some reports that intermittent fasting is not great for women and I am paying attention to them but I haven’t found any real studies.

It seems the starvation response is not good for our moods! On a more serious note it can also interfere with our monthly cycle and there are physiological changes that take place, we become hyper alert and are energetic during times when she should we asleep.

There is a great article on Paleo for women and when you read the responses you will see many women stating that their mood changes when they eat the IF way

So, maybe its time to look at Paleo instead…

 

Immune Boosting Vegetable Juice Recipe

Vitamins A and C play an important role in helping our immune system so when I thought about an immune boosting vegetable juice recipe I knew it had to contain the follow the following

Tomato Pumpkin Juice

  • pumpkin – vitamin A, zinc, potassium
  • red pepper
  • sweet potato – vitamin C, iron and vitamin D
  • carrot – vitamin A
  • kale – vitamins A and C
  • tomato – vitamins A and C

Plus my usual two – ginger and lemon

This is a delicious immune boosting vegetable juice recipe and I tend to add more pumpkin because I love the taste and it is available in abundance during October.

If you want it to look more orange than sandy in color you can miss out the kale but then the only real vegetable will be the carrot and sweet potato, as both pumpkins and tomatoes are fruit. You can always find another substitute.

A search online will provide you with a list of other vegetables and fruit that are great for building up and protecting our immune system so play around with it and add what you prefer.

immune boosting vegetable juice recipeHealth benefits of pumpkin

  • Pumpkins contain high levels of vitamin A so makes a great fruit addition to this vegetable juice.
  • It is also rich in minerals like copper, potassium, zinc and calcium.
  • Believe it or not, pumpkins are a great vegetable source of protein (their seeds) and they also contain unsaturated fats.
  • High in fiber – helps you digest your food efficiently

It is the beta-carotene contained in both the pumpkin and carrot that make this an immune boosting vegetable recipe. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A by the body.

I know when using natural foods and vegetable juicing to do things like boost my immune system I can’t drink a few glasses when I feel a cold coming on. It is the constant and regular drinking of these (and others) vegetables and fruit that help protect me in the long-term.

Everyone, except me, seems to be suffering with a cold right now and I can only hope that because I regularly juice using the ingredients above I have managed to strengthen my immune system

 

Alkaline Powerhouse vegetable juice

There is a difference in the food that we eat. It is either acidic or alkaline. Acidic food are toxic to the body whereas alkaline food helps to heal the body and make it stronger.

Acidic and alkaline foods affect the pH of our body. Regulating how much alkaline food goes into our body can help those of us on a weight loss journey.

pH – potential (or power) of hydrogen is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. In this case its the measurement of ion concentration in our body.

Our pH scale can range from 1-14 with over 7 meaning we have a healthy alkaline body but under 7 meaning our body is mainly acidic. It is possible to buy strips to test where your body is and improve it.

The more alkaline based foods I eat the more chances I give my body to heal itself. Many professionals believe that disease starts from within an acidic body. When there is too much acid in our body it is forced to take vital minerals from our vital organs – long term this is not a good solution for our poor body.

That’s why I put together this Alkaline Powerhouse Vegetable Juice

All the ingredients will help add alkaline into my body.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 apples
  2. 4 carrots
  3. 1 romaine lettuce
  4. 1/2 cucumber
  5. 1/2 broccoli
  6. 1/4 pineapple

Mixing green with the orange of carrot means this juice comes out a sandy colour – not very appealing to look at but surprising wonderful and tasty to drink. So make sure the color doesn’t put you off!

I put measurements in but the truth is you are free to use as much or as little as you like, just make sure it is more vegetable than fruit and do not use more than 1/4 pineapple.

It is believed that disease/illness eats off an acidic body, which is why when people start a long term vegetable juicing juice cleanse (e.g. 30 or 60 days or more) they find many of their illnesses disappear. The same can be said for water fasting too.  A great example of an acidic body is one that suffers from heartburn. Heartburn is the body’s way of saying it contains too much acid.

I was concerned about the pH level in my body, which is what made me research some of the best alkaline producing fruits and vegetables and then mix them all together in a juice.

When I make a batch of this I make enough for 4 glasses at least, which will last me one full day of vegetable juicing with an evening meal.

Supplements that help

Another way to provide your body with a more alkaline based food substance is to take supplements like Liquid Chlorophyll or Spirulina.

Anything that is an intense green from vegetables or other natural sources will be able to help you.

Alkaline and Acid Food Groups

alkaline and acid food groups alkaline pH body balance foods

Alkaline pH protein smoothie

If you are more of a smoothie lover than a juicer here’s a great recipe for you

Health benefits of water fasting

I have always hated the word fasting because for me it means “to go without food!” but when I started looking to the health benefits of water fasting it helped me change my mind.

I had already looked into the health benefits of vegetable juicing and knew all about that, so I wondered at times when I didn’t have any vegetables in the fridge (I don’t drive and I don’t live close to a decent store to buy organic) I wondered if carrying out a water fast might be an alternative way around it.

I have discovered that fasting is an ancient approach to healing common aliments and in fact most people who undertake a water fast report their aliments disappearing, which I guess is one of the great benefits of water fasting.

Our body automatically goes into detox mode when we are sleeping but I guess many of us, and I include me in that, eat so much extra food and plenty of junk that it could do with a helping hand. That is where fasting helps. Because our body is not using its energy to break down a stomach full of starchy carbs and other foods it can use that energy to help further clear the body of accumulated toxins and heal the parts of our body that are unwell.

Lymphatic system

Our lymphatic system is an amazing system within the body and it is also great for helping us detox because it drains out bacteria, chemicals and toxins that are not supposed to be in us. Again, thanks to the way many of us live it could do with our help.

health benefits of water fastingFasting helps the lymphatic system drainage system do its job even better, making sure you are relieved of whatever no longer serves you.

Don’t you lose essential muscle?

From what I have read, not if you carry out a water fast correctly. You see before the body uses up essential proteins like muscle it will have to work its way through all the fat tissue inside of you. It will also find and breakdown fibroid tumors, bacteria and other viruses as energy for it to function.

Carrying out a water fast

It is important that you start by eating fruit and vegetables for a few days before embarking on your water fast (using filtered water) for 10 days and then give yourself 5 days of eating live, healthy food. Things like Salmon and vegetables. Light food rather than stuffing down pizza!

Of course, it is important you see the appropriate health professional before embarking on a water fast. Despite me listing the health benefits of water fasting if you already have an illness in your body you should always make sure it is safe to carry out a water fast first.

Also, if you are already very thin/malnutrition, suffer from an eating disorder, pregnant or nursing it is recommend you DO NOT carry out a water fast at all.

In this video he talks about how he feels after completing his water fast

 

 

In this video she mentions she is going to 21 days of water fasting. Interesting effect on her vision that gets so much better.

Mental challenge of a water fast

I have not tried a water fast yet. I am working up to it. I do drink water inbetween juicing and sometimes when I really can’t be bothered to juice or if I am in a hurry to get to work, I will drink filtered water instead of a vegetable juice. I guess this is my way of working up to attempting one.

I don’t think it will be possible while I am at home with my youngest and there is food easily available. Carrying out a 3-day water fast will mean hiring a cottage in the middle of nowhere and only bringing water with me!

I wish there was something like the TrueNorth Health Center in the UK – great article about a 6 day water fast.

The one thing that has helped me get through one of my juice cleanse days where I am not eating is being very busy. If I am busy at work then I can manage to go all day and most of the evening without food. The challenge is 6pm onwards.

There are many benefits to fasting. Its an age old tradition that communities have taken part in for centuries. We can survive many days on water alone and I can image it does plenty to help with weight loss.

I am going to attempt a water fast but I think I may have to wait until the summer when my resolve is stronger.

 

 

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