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Thursday, 30 June 2016

Food glorious food, it's going to comfort....

30th June 2016
We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. Martin Luther King Jr.

Last day of June and I want to put the heating on this morning, what's that all about?  I want sunshine!  I don't want to be thinking about making a big pan of stew in the middles of the year, it's not right!  Anyway enough of my moaning, stew it is this weekend for sure though, a nice pan of simple scouse, 

Serves 3, No Count or 8sp per serving

420g Lean Diced Casserole Beef (7sp)
600g of Potatoes, Diced (12sp)
5 or 6 Carrots, Sliced
1 large Onion, Sliced
6 Beef Oxo stock cubes (1sp)
2 tsp Olive Oil (2sp)

Spray Olive Oil in a large pan and heat. Add the beef and cook on high to seal it.
Drain any fat and add the onion and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add the carrots and potatoes and add enough hot water to cover.  Add the oxo cubes and stir.
Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 3-4 hours until the liquid reduces and it goes really thick – you know when it’s ready as you can stand a spoon in it!
Delicious the next day. Serve.
Mmm, might have to nip and get the ingredients today, the secret is to dice the potatoes and carrots really small, nom nom, defo want that now, it'll taste better tomorrow if I cook it today.

I tried roasted cauliflower yesterday, I cheated and bought it ready cooked from the Tesco garage but now I know it tastes good I'm going to have a go myself, they'd used Cauliflower Florets (89%), Rapeseed Oil, Coriander, Caraway Seeds, Ground Turmeric, Fennel Seeds, so I could change the oil for spray light and bring it down even more, but I don't mind using a teaspoon of oil, it'll be worth the points to taste good.  I was thinking too the Weight Watchers bake bags would work really well, put the cauli in one of them and bake, that'd be tasty.

Comfort food, that's what my body is craving, especially as I still have the lurgy, cracking chest infection I got going on, it'll run its course and be on its way soon enough, until then, I'll take care of it, feed and water it well and rest as much as I can. 

I can't think of anything else to write, my head is full of thoughts of stew :)

Have a great day, I know once I've had my hot tea and paracetamol, I'll be feeling a lot better, once I have a giggle with my members, I'll feel better still and not forgetting the chat and giggle mom and I have each morning, that always makes me smile and ready for my day.

What do you do in the morning BeYOUtiful to start your day with a smile?

My blog got a lot of attention yesterday, so if you have lost your mojo, today's challenge, the last on for June, is to decide what's the first thing you're going to do today to help you get it back!  Make yourself proud, stop doubting yourself (I'll be talking more about doubt tomorrow when I have time to sit and think!)

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Have you lost your mojo?

29th June 2016
The purpose of life is to be happy.  Dalai Lama
I spoke to so many people yesterday who were too busy, stressed, lost their mojo or just generally overwhelmed by life.  It's not easy being a grown up these days!

What's the answer, how do we cope?  That every longed for mojo, we've all had it haven't we, that moment when everything clicked, when it all seemed aligned, you were healthy and happy and positive about everything, it feels good to be there doesn't it.  How do you get back there...

Obviously you have to take care of yourself physically and mentally, if your emotionally and mentally exhausted you can be guaranteed your mojo will have done one and disappeared. 

Life's great when your cups full of positivity and energy, but when you're down to the dregs, you'll feel depleted and exhausted - you cannot pour from an empty jug.

I'm not going to lie, it's not easy to get that mojo back if you're feeling  totally drained, that's for sure, but you can do it by addressing one thing at a time.  Start by addressing what's causing your stress, whether it's personal or work, life shouldn't be a continual daily stressful routine.  Life's short folks, don't spend it stressing out all the time, lighten your load, nothing is worth being chronically stressed constantly.   Ask for help, ask others if they can take burdens off your shoulders, stop trying to do it all on your own.

If necessary and it may sound harsh but stop playing the victim and take responsibility, let's stop marching on the spot and start moving forward.  Don't do anything you feel obliged to do, start to love what you're doing.  Decide to be grateful not resentful, straight away your mojo will start to return.

One thing most of us do when we've lost our mojo is mistreat our bodies, we poison it with fatty/sugary foods and excess alcohol, knowing that it isn't helping at all.  How about today you decide to treat your body with loving compassion.  Eat foods that will support you getting back to that place of magic mojo, eat lots of fruit and veg, lean meats, fish, poultry, drink plenty of water.  Living on Maccy D's and takeaways is not going to help you, it'll be part of the reason your mojo is slipping down the drain. 

Get physical!  Yep get up, stand up, strut that funky stuff, or just go for a walk.  Do something to get you moving, it's Wimbledon so how about playing tennis, or find a way to move more you enjoy.  Get up and jog on the spot for a minute right now - do it - do it.  Come on we're looking for that mojo.

Get your giggle on, if you've just done your jog on the spot, you're probably smiling, the next thing to do is find things to make you giggle, how many times did you laugh yesterday?  If you can't remember then it's time to get your giggle on, do whatever it needs, even if that's watching comedy on tv or a funny film.  Ooo you could go play on the park, kick the kids off the slide and swings :)

Turn yourself off from social media for a few hours and go do something else, turn the tv off too now and again.  Do something else, re-engage with those around you rather than those on your phone!

Make sure you surround yourself by people who are also looking for their mojo or who have found it, no one feels better after time spent with a mood hoover!

You mind find getting sorted helps, organise yourself, tidy that kitchen, sort those cupboards, plan your week, know what you're going to do instead of winging it.

STOP just for a moment, picture yourself at your ultimate, visualise the best version of you, what do you look like, how do you feel, what are you doing?  What's different to how you are now?  I've just suddenly sat up straighter, my shoulders were a bit slouched before I typed this paragraph.  So my best version sits up straighter then!

Hopefully you did my challenge yesterday and included more fruit and veggies, I did, I started my day with egg on toast, tomatoes and mushrooms for 5sp, lunch was 2 weight watcher wraps with roasted sweet potato, garlic, carrot, onions, peppers inside and a bit of protein cheese, that was so filling for 7sp.  Then for tea I hate Weight Watchers Lincolnshire sausage and root vegetable mash with asparagus for 8sp, 3 meals for 20sp - bargain!  I also had an apple, orange and some cherries.

Sop plenty of healthy there and I intend to continue that trend today and drink lots of water.  Your challenge today is to work out where your mojo is, has it disappeared?  If it has then decide on that first thing you can do to help you get it back.  Be honest with yourself, remember it's not about being perfect, it's about persistence. 

I've decided if the Summer isn't going to give me sunshine, I'm going to make it myself, I need sunshine in my life, so I'm on the lookout for anything that makes me feel summery from clothes to photos to food.  I need sunshine - what do you need BeYOUtiful?


Tuesday, 28 June 2016

How many can you eat today?

28th June 2016
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.  Emerson.

Mmm what shall we talk about?  I've not done a lot the last few days so not much to work with, I've been chilling, recuperating, I've did a bit of work yesterday morning so I was ready for my meetings today, I'm sat looking at a squirrel on the roof opposite, dozy things got to work out how to get back down now! 

I finally had my jam doughnut that I've fancied for the last 3 weeks, 10sp of didn't last long enough, I think that's one of the things that needs remembering when we choose what we eat is how long it'll last and will it be worth it when we step on those scales. 

I'm opting for no count today I reckon, I've got a Weight Watcher No Count meal in the fridge I can have, I'll start my day with egg and mushrooms on toast, then I might go with tuna and WW wraps for tea, easy to make, no effort as I still haven't shopped properly, I just nipped to the tesco garage for a box of eggs, a bit of fruit and bread.  I could go after my meeting this morning I guess. Yeah I will, go buy some fresh stuff, get my healthy on.

I did do the challenges yesterday though, the waters easy enough, my five a day included apple, satsuma, raspberries, mmm no I didn't, I only managed 3, that's dreadful!  So today, I'm up to eating 8, instead of tuna in my WW wraps, I'm going to funk it up with veggies, maybe roasted mediterranean veg and protein cheese wrap, the cheese will only cost me 1sp of weeklies.  I've also got some frozen mango in the freezer, thinking of whizzing it up, adding it to 0% Greek yogurt and refreezing a little so it's like ice cream.  I'll add tinned tomatoes to my breakfast and I'll add extra veg to my WW No Count ready meal at lunchtime, so that'll help me hit the 8,

1) apple
2) orange
3) mushrooms
4) tomatoes
5) banana
6) Mediterranean veg (this'll be a couple of portions of mixed veg)
7) mango
8) sweetcorn
9) asparagus

Sorted, that can be your challenge too, have as many different types of fruit and veg as you can today, make it a No Count day or include as many No Count foods in your day, even if you're doing Smart Points, the good stuff in on that No Count list, I need to get back to full health and the best way to do that is to feed my body nutritious food.

I need to get me sweet potato, I fancy adding roast sweet potato to those wraps, mmm tasty.

See healthy, nutritious food can be delicious, it's all how you make it, I'm going to cube the sweet potato and roast with the mediterranean veg and some garlic cloves, when roasted and wrapped in a Weight Watcher wrap with some melted protein cheese, that will be delicious!  I could eat it now actually but I'll wait and have that for lunch and the ready meal for tea I think.

Well moms moving about, she greets me each morning with the sight of her bum as she walks into the toilet whilst lifting her nightie, then sits down and farts - attractive ;)

That's my smile moment to start the day, here's to making the rest of the day a great day, that's my mission, I will not be consumed by this head cold, it can go now, it's had its time, it needs to move on.

I look forward to hearing later how many fruit and veggies we've got through today!   Then tomorrow we can all fart along with mom!

Monday, 27 June 2016

3 challenges in one day!

27th June 2016
Success is due less to ability than to zeal.

Well I spent yesterday doing diddly squat, today I have to do a bit but it'll be as little as possible as I want to rest up, shed this lurgy and be fit and well for my meetings tomorrow. 

It's been a month since I started my journal, this week is the first week I've missed days and that's because I've felt rough, I have however got it ready this morning for the week, I've lost 2lb in total in 4 weeks, I'll take that, I've not been a perfect Weight Watcher, I've had 'sod it' moments, I've eaten out and I overindulged on Father's Day, I've also been eating toast and best butter the last couple of mornings instead of a healthier breakfast.  My fridge is now bare, all that's in there is chicken meatballs, I need the essentials bread, eggs and milk and veggies, I still got a half full freezer though, so I'm not doing a big shop until all that stuffs gone that's been in there for a long time.  I will be filling the other half of the freezer with Weight Watcher meals as they're a great go to when I'm not up for cooking but need a Smart Pointed meal.

Today once I've done what has to be done, I'm going to get my Weight Watcher books out, read Eat, Smile and Move and help give my head that wobble it needs to get back to the healthy.  I'm going to make me a shopping list of what I do need, I didn't order online after all as I was in no mood to think plus when I looked they couldn't deliver till Tuesday and we need some food today!

I've also realised that I haven't do any challenges this weekend, I'm sorry my head just wasn't in the thinking game so today, I'm going to give you a few;

1) Drink at least 8 glasses of water (you can add squash, enjoy your tea)
2) have at least those 5 portions of fruit and veg
3) track everything good or bad

That's enough for you for today, but if you'd like one more, get outside for ten minutes and enjoy the fresh air, whether having a walk or sitting in it mindfully and enjoying the calm.

These things are always a good place to start when you've been off track, throw in some No Count foods and you've got a healthy day which should make you happy too.

I'm smiling because I can actually breathe through my nose this morning, that wasn't happening yesterday, so it's all good again in my world.  On that note, I'll say go have a great day, live life your way, just make sure you do live it!

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Slow Sunday today for me

26th June 2016
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Well I made it through yesterday, my members always lift me and to have one of them bring me a packet of throat sweets was just lovely, it's those little kind gestures that mean the most (thank you Margaret, you really are a BeYOUtiful soul xx).  I spent the afternoon with my colleagues at our area meeting, bless them too for waiting on me and fetching me a cuppa, I felt like a grumpy bum, but trying not to be! 

I night nursed up and went to bed early, I'm glad to say the sore throat is just part of a banging head cold, real good one but still a head cold/virus thing rather than tonsillitis, so a couple of days of rest and paracetamol should do me the world of good.  Think I'll be doing my food shop online and chilling with my mom as much as possible, the bit of paperwork I have to do won't take long and everything else can wait.

Despite how I feel this morning, I've had a lovely week of meetings, we've talked about having that emergency backup when you're not 100% in the zone, almost a first aid food kit to help you survive the storm. 

Sometimes we get tied up in 'stuff' and forget our focus, I used the blue sky example to explain how our mind is when we're all in the zone and feeling great;

Imagine a bright blue sky stretching off into the distance, feels good doesn't it.  This is a perfect metaphor for the mind, a blank canvas on which thoughts, feelings and experiences appear.  Okay, so maybe they're are just a few clouds but they tend not to bother us or distract us too much especially if they're the cute, little fluffy variety.  This is how the mind appears when it's calm - bright, serene & happy.  

But life isn't always easy, sometimes they're are a lot more clouds in the sky.  Sometimes they might be the dark stormy variety, occasionally you might even begin to think that a hurricane is on the way.  It gets to the point where it's hard to think of anything else.

In fact sometimes we get so obsessed by the clouds that we forget about the blue sky altogether.  BUT IT's STILL THERE!

Every time you're in a plane and you're flying through the clouds, there it is right?  Without fail - Blue sky.

It's easy to forget that what we're looking for.... Is already here and that's why we need reminding.

This is why I now meditate, as it helps to remind me whatever chatter is going on in my mind, whatever problems I'm tackling in my life, that blue sky is still there, I just have to get back to it.  After all I've survived every bad day I've ever had in my life so far!

What causes those clouds, well we came up with lots of things; stress, anxiety, low mood, illness, financial problems, arguments, work, relationship issues, kids, pain, sleep deprivation, loss , can anyone think of any others?

Now I'm not going to make anyone meditate, I would recommend you give it a go though, just because we have the ability to think all the time, doesn't mean we should.  This is where meditation helps, it works on calming our mind, stopping us from over thinking, even 10 minutes a day works you know.  We are not what we think, thoughts come and go and we do have the ability to change those thoughts.

Anyway back to the clouds and our First Aid food kit, that emergency plan.   I really wish I had one in place for today, as I don't feel great and I'm not going to want to be cooking, I'm certainly not all ra ra ra and on track. 

 NO ONE IS ON TRACK AND IN THE ZONE 100% OF THE TIME. So we need a plan for such times don't we?  I'm actually going to use some of my rest time today to put one together, I know that will do me more good than some of the things I could do today!  I could've easily have thought sod it last night when I left that area meeting, I passed many a KFC, McDonalds, Chippy, Pizza place, Chinese and Indian Takeaway, you can imagine the conversations I had with myself on that 14 mile drive home, I even indicated to turn into Lidls, to get a jam doughnut then changed my mind, I wouldn't have tasted it anyway with how bunged up I was.  Instead I came home and guess what, I had started my first aid food kit, I have Weight Watchers ready meals in the freezer - woo hoo, sorted.  They'll get me through today too.  My freezer once it's been emptied is actually going to be filled back up with Weight Watcher meals, frozen veg and lean meat and fish.  They will be my emergency backup plan, I think I'll freeze a few slices of bread too, not an entire loaf. 

So how else can we deal with life and our weight loss journey when we aren't on it 100%, what are our coping mechanisms, what things can we put in place to help us at these times so we don't undo all the good work we've done?
Ready meals are top of my list, the Weight Watchers beef hotpot and WW Cumberland sausages were delicious, they most certainly have improved the recipes and ingredients of these products.

What else?

I need support, I need my friends, but you have to make sure to let them know how you feel and ask them to help you, getting support and asking for help when you need it is key.  My leader really helped to get me back on track Friday with just a few words, they hit the mark.  We were talking about our reasons and someone said health, I replied, "But I don't feel ill" and she said, "How do you know, the way we feel is normal to us, how do we know it's the best we can feel"  Then went on to say, "it's like when you first put glasses on. You didn't know you couldn't see before you put them on and you can suddenly see better than before!"  How true is that, I feel 'okay', I don't feel 'amazing', I want to feel amazing again!

If you're struggling because you're tired, it might be as simple as sleeping, if you can't make sure you're drinking plenty of water, and if you need it, get some caffeine down your neck!   

When you are in the zone, why not do a bit of batch cooking and freezing. 
Always make sure you have a bowl of fruit in the house, cupboards full of healthy foods, the No Count list is a great shopping list.

We also need to keep a positive attitude, remembering to look for the smile positive moments, I know this isn't always easy but there is always a smile moment if you look.  I was in such a rush last week, walked in the post office to a massive queue and groaned, then a little old lady walked passed me coughed and farted - proper chuckled and realised it' s just a queue, I can spare half hour if needed, it'll make me stop and smile at my thoughts.

We all need to be taking time out for ourselves, even a few minutes here and there, never forget we only get one life, don't spend it constantly 'doing' for others, working, rushing. 

I also asked members what was their go to meal, I'm going to be making a list of go to meals and sticking it in my kitchen to remind me when I'm rushing. 

I can do this and so can you, I'm not going to use today as an excuse to go off track because I'm poorly, there are oranges in the kitchen, I'm going to have me some vitamin C.

I've rambled this morning sorry!  Here's to a lovely calm Sunday. Take care of you. xx