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Friday, 31 July 2020

Why rush when you can slow cook

Friday 31st July 2020
Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear.

Last day of July, 7 months gone in 2020 and it wasn't the year any of us expected at all was it!  I'll end that line of conversation there I think...

Dreams, mom, flushes and foxes were just a few of the things that disturbed my sleep last night but I'm not tired this morning so I must have had enough sleep so all is good in the Longsden household.  

In a virtual yesterday we got to talking about meal planning and the subject of the slow cooker came up, I know it's the middle of summer but you can still get the old slow cooker out, it's actually better than turning the oven on because it won't be as hot in the kitchen as a hot oven!  But what to cook in them?  One tip that I was given a while ago and it's so simple but I'd never thought about it, was to remove the lid 30-40 minutes before dishing up if the meal looks like there's too much juice, this'll help to dry it out a little.  Told you it was simple and maybe you were already doing it but sometimes the obvious things aren't done.  It's like putting a chicken in a slow cooker, so think you have to put water in but you don't because it cooks in it's own juices. 

You might think I don't want to be 'preparing' the ingredients in a morning, I've got enough to do!  Don't then do it the night before, you could put it in airtight tubs in fridge or hey put it in the slow cooker dish with the lid on and pop that in the fridge overnight, just take it out when you get up and leave it for 20 minutes before turning the slow cooker on, you can be getting ready for your day whilst the dish comes back to room temperature.

Slow cookers save money, they're really economical to use but also you can use cheaper cuts of meat.  It'll save on calories too as you don't need to add oil either as it won't stick to the pot.  Because the slow cooker has a tightly sealed like, liquid in there won't evaporate, so if you're adapting a standard recipe, it's best to reduce the liquid by about a third.  It should just cover the meat and veggies, don't overfill your slow cooker, half to two thirds is ideal.  

Another consideration is as the the liquid doesn't reduce, it also doesn't thicken. You can roll meat in a small amount of seasoned flour before adding it to the slow cooker or use a little cornflour at the end. If you want to do the latter, take a teaspoon or two of cornflour and mix it to a paste with a little cold water. Stir into your simmering slow cooker contents, then replace the lid. 

Try to use the low settings all the time, it's a slow cooker, not a medium cooker!  Low and slow, it'll bring out the flavours and leave it alone, don't be taking the lid off to check the contents, it's doing it's thing, it don't need interrupting, you'll only release some of the heat which will increase the cooking time.

Here's some cooking guidelines if you want to try one of your regular recipes in the slow cooker, If a dish usually takes: 

  • 15-30 mins, cook it for 1-2 hours on High or 4-6 hours on Low
  • 30 mins – 1 hour, cook it for 2-3 hours on High or 5-7 hours on Low
  • 1-2 hours, cook it for 3-4 hours on High or 6-8 hours on Low
  • 2-4 hours, cook it for 4-6 hours on High or 8-12 hours on Low
Root vegetables can take longer than meat and other vegetables so put these near the heat source, at the bottom of the pot.

I need some onions as I want to try a lentil curry in the slow cooker, but a really easy one to do is a jar of this 

poured over some chicken breasts, when cooked, shred the chicken with 2 forks and you can enjoy it on rice, a jacket, in WW wrap, if you have the time and you want to you could add peppers and onions, it's all a matter of time and inclination!  

Right I'm off to face the day, hopefully Alfie will want his walk early, oh and let's hope the respite carer turns up this week!  

Mwah, luv ya 

Love me xx

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Got my cook on yesterday

Thursday 30th July 2020 
You are the greatest project you will ever work on. 
Yesterday was pretty much how I'd like to spend most of my days, a really long walk with my dog, time in the kitchen cooking and then eating what I've cooked, pottering about not in a rush to be anywhere followed by a bit of work (well you have to pay the bills!)  Yeah I enjoyed yesterday a great deal.  

I had a go at goulash and was pleased with the outcome, beef isn't my forte but the trick is low and slow for sure, this was the recipe I used https://www.culinarytalks.com/prague-beef-goulash/
I bought shin from Sainsbury's it was the cheapest stewing beef they had, 400g for £2.65, really tasty. 

Then I did something I said I never would, I tackled Harjit's chicken curry and I've never bothered before because I've tasted her version and it's the bomb, so I didn't think I'd be able to replicate because as much effort as she put into writing it out for me, I know she just does it naturally as she was taught by her mom.  Not gonna lie though, if you can be patient enough, you are rewarded, it was delicious and low in Smart Points.  

Harjit’s Chicken Curry 
Serves around 6-7.  Total recipe points, 10sp

2-3 teaspoons Olive Oil (5sp), 
4 Onions, 
1-2 (3-4 if you like it spicy) Green Chilli
Garlic & Ginger (Harj uses frozen, 1-2 blocks of each)
2 teaspoons Jeera (Cumin Seeds),
½ large can Tomatoes (Blended), 
1-2 teaspoons Haldi (Turmeric), 
1-2 teaspoons Salt, 
1 teaspoon Garam Masala,
Fresh Coriander (Optional)
500g chicken breast (5SP on green, 0SP on blue & purple), 

  • Heat oil in saucepan and add chopped onions & salt.
  • Cook for around 20 mins if onions start sticking to the pan add water.
  • After 5-10 mins add garlic, ginger, chilli & jeera (cumin seeds)
  • Serve with (add the extra SmartPoints of course) basmati rice 
  • Once onions are browned and softened add 1-2 teaspoons of haldi (Tumeric), cook for around 10 mins until the colouring separates from the onions.
  • Once the above has cooked add half a tin of tomatoes and cook for around 5-10 mins.
  • When tomatoes have blended in with the onions add chicken, cook chicken for about 10 mins and then add boiled water and simmer until water has thickened and chicken is tender.
  • Once chicken has cooked add garam masala and stir and garnish with fresh coriander.

I'm gonna have a go at the lentil one next, the base is the same for all her curries, you just add your other ingredients, I love her cabbage and pea one!

I've just seen this picture on Pinterest and I love the idea of tracking your mood in such as creative way over the month, it ties in well with how the foods we choose affects our body, it's not just physically it can be emotionally also, start to observe and you'll be surprised at what you notice. 

I'm ready for the day ahead, making the most of my last few days of not having to leave the house for work, it's been a strange few months but I'm not going to lie, I've mostly enjoyed them, I've had a lot of time to think, yeah moms not been easy for a lot of the time, but mom wasn't easy before.  I said goodbye to a colleague last night who's off to try and make a full time job of her Younique make up, she's been selling it for a few years now and feels that Lockdown has given her the opportunity to make changes, I wish Hazel all the best and understand her reasons, if you wear make up, check out her webpage but add her on facebook Hazel Brown as she can save on postage etc  (https://www.youniqueproducts.com/ByHazelbrown#.XyJoq3uSlyw

Workshops are going to be very different going back as everything in the world is, initially they'll be express weigh-ins, only 10 people in a room at a time, masks worn by members, I'll have gloves and visor, you'll have to wear your shoes to be weighed.  It's all new but we will adapt and move forward and hopefully sooner rather than later, we'll be able to sit and have a proper workshop. 

Anyway, I need to go get ready for my virtual workshops this morning. I'm in Dudley & Walsall at 8.30, then Birmingham North at 9.45.  Alfie's not impressed he's got to wait for his walk now, he got up too late!  

Here's to a good day, 

mwah, luv ya 

Love me xx

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Getting ready to return to workshops

29th July 2020 
The relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have. 

Well it's all getting real and looking like I'm going to be back in all of my workshops in August, just got to get all the risk assessments sorted and we should be good to go!  It's all going to be very different, I've posted a video in my group explaining about the masks, cashless system too, I'll be wearing gloves and mask to set up then I'll swap the mask for a visor, it'll all be worth it though to get you all back to where you want to be.  I better enjoy my few days working from my office only!  I'm guessing everyone will be looking for their lightest shoes as you'll be leaving them on too! 

I'm going to do some cooking this morning I think once I've taken Alfie for his walk, hopefully mom will have a snooze so I'll be able to, she's not had a bad night also she says she hasn't slept much I haven't heard her.

Because of what we are talking about in workshops this week, I went online to check the fibre in the bread I have compared to seeded varieties, there wasn't much difference but somehow I accidently must have clicked on purchase a loaf, because when my order arrived yesterday there was a large seeded loaf in addition to my regular one.  I've just had two slices for my breakfast, I've got to say it was nice but it tasted like cake it was that sweet and dense, I've just pointed it and it's 4SP a 50g slice, so my breakfast cost me 8SP for the bread as opposed to the 3SP I'd usually have with my Warburton wholemeal 400g size.  Won't be buying that again and I'll be hoping mom will eat it instead of me!  

She's doing a lot of huffing and puffing this morning so this blog is gonna be short cos I can't concentrate, I managed a couple of hours studying yesterday, I have to grab the chance when she snoozes, there won't be any today, I'm opting for the cooking and I have work work stuff to do too, then I'm on virtual workshop at 5.30 tonight in the Wolverhampton group.

It looks like it's going to be a lovely day so hopefully Alfie will want a decent walk, he's been a little devil this morning, wasn't having any of me doing yoga and meditating this morning, so instead we enjoyed some play time on the yoga mat instead.  That's just as important, being on that mat for me is about taking time for me, to remove myself from the day ahead and to enjoy that time. 

Anyway, I better get off, mom seems agitated this morning so I'm going to try and distract her.  Here's to a great day, whatever you have planned.

Mwah, luv ya 

Love me xx

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

All is calm...

28th July 2020 
The way you speak to yourself matters

Well I haven't done my yoga yet and that's the first time since April that it isn't the first thing I do before my blog, but I'm going to do it, I'm just having half hour with mom, she's lucid and we're talking about her diet and how it's not helping her sleeping patterns or her health and I know she won't remember it all but if I can get a little nugget or two to stick that's good enough.  

Elle and I went to do a couple of risk assessments yesterday, it was good to be out of the house and doing something different, I've sent the forms for Bloxwich and Bushbury so hopefully we can get back in them asap, Bloxwich is looking like August 6 and I think Bushbury will be August 15th but obviously I'm waiting for that final confirmation.  Once Bloxwich is happy with the risk assessment I've sent them, I can chase up Willenhall as that's a Methodist Church also.  Then there's just Ashmore, which I watch do their service in the car park each week at the moment so I'm not hopeful but we can ask again.  

Our afternoon was quiet, I spent it typing up the risk assessments, I can't even remember if we watched anything on tele, it was just noise in the background for me, I'd hit the tired tree by about 5 and was good for nothing, I managed to get mom to agree to go to bed about 8 and once I'd got her settled I got myself a few hours till some morons woke me up at midnight making a noise in the street, I didn't bother to get up just lay there hoping they'd sod off and I could snooze back off.  They'd disturbed mom so she then spent some time moving about, bless her she left me till about half four so I've slept which is good.

I've got a lovely healthy shop coming today and I think mom will at least eat something decent now we've had this chat, how long that will last we shall see.  She likes soft food like cottage pie and fish pie, fish fingers and fruit toast so that's a good start, I might have a cottage pie in the freezer, I will check what I've got and plan our day.  I can sneak veggies in cottage and fish pie, it's like having a kid ain't it.  Actually I can work with that!  I found a recipe the other day that she might like. 

https://www.instrupix.com/low-carb-crispy-broccoli-cheese-rounds/ I'd play with the ingredients, maybe use parmesan cheese and not as much to keep the calories down, could add some fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs to add some fibre - see thinking about the ingredients and the effect they have on the body, that'll be the result of this weeks workshop topic.  

Yeah let's get our healthy on, think about the effects some foods have on our bodies, whether its good or bad, start to notice how you feel after you eat certain foods, maybe start a food / mood diary.  It doesn't have to be loads of information, if you use a WW journal you could just add an smiley face or a sad face etc, or if you use the app, an easy way to track your mood in your food is to use the quick add like this and pretend its a zero food;

The trick is to make it easy so you can see how certain foods are affecting you and how you feel could be affecting your food choices.  It can be a vicious cycle.

Anyway I want to fit in a little bit of yoga and meditation before I do this mornings virtual workshop, hope to see some of you, 8.30 Wolverhampton group. 

Here's to a great day, mwah, 

luv ya, 

Love me xx

Monday, 27 July 2020

Up before the Larks!

Monday 27th July 2020
A month from now, you can either have a month of progress or a month of excuses of why you didn't.

The upside of being woken and getting up at 3.30 is that by 5am, I've already done an hour of yoga and meditation and I'm sat with a mug of tea doing my blog!  At least it's showing me I can continue with my yoga when I return to face to face workshops, I'd normally get up at 5 on a work day anyways. 

I'm off to do a risk assessment at the Old Falling church this morning in the hope they'll let us back in Mid August (finger's crossed).  August 6th for Bloxwich is looking like a definite as I haven't heard anything to say we can't, a bit of normality returning to a very different world. 

I'm going to need energy today, so I need to pay some attention to what I eat, we are talking about the effect food has on our bodies in this weeks workshop and I know when I think about it, I eat better. 

As well as affecting our physical health, what we eat may also affect the way we feel.  Improving our diet may help to improve our mood as well as give us more energy and help you think more clearly.

Stop skipping meals, as eating regularly and choosing foods that release energy slowly will help to keep your sugar levels steady.  If your blood sugar drops you might find yourself feeling tired, irritable and depressed and we don't want that do we, there's enough about life as it is that can make us feel that way, without us helping those feelings to arrive!   Include some slow-release energy foods such as pasta, rice, oats, wholegrain bread and cereals, nuts and seeds.

I know it can be tempting to skip breakfast when we're in a rush or we think it'll mean we have more Smart Points for later in the day, but enjoying breakfast gets the day off to a good start.  If can be something simple like fruit and yogurt or a bowl of cereal, a slice of wholegrain toast or maybe if you're not a fan of food first thing a handful of pumpkin seeds.  

Try eating smaller portions spaced out more regularly throughout the day at lunch or dinner, large meals midday are likely to result in a slump.  Foods which make your blood sugar rise and fall rapidly are things like sweets, biscuits, sugary drinks so best avoided oh and alcohol of course!

Water, water everywhere ;) joking aside, how lucky are we to have fresh running water, so many people don't have that luxury, so make sure you're staying hydrated as not drinking enough fluid can result in you finding it difficult to concentrate or think clearly. You might also start to feel constipated (which puts no one in a good mood).  Okay okay, you don't like tap water, if you're one of those people, it's okay your tea, coffee or squash will count towards your daily intake, just be mindful of the caffeine content and any sugars. 

The obvious one?  Are you getting your 5 a day?  I know I've been making a conscious effort to eat some fruit each day but I think my vegetable consumption has reduced since I've starting shopping online once a week, I need to start noting how much I'm having.  Vegetables and fruit contain a lot of the minerals, vitamins and fibre we need to keep us physically and mentally healthy, eating a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables every day means you’ll get a good range of nutrients.  They don't have to be fresh, frozen and tinned are just as good!  

Our gut health matters too, sometimes it can reflect how we are feeling emotionally. If we're stressed or anxious this can make our gut slow down or speed up. For healthy digestion we need to have plenty of fibre, fluid and exercise regularly.  Healthy gut foods include: fruits, vegetables and wholegrains, beans, pulses, live yoghurt and other probiotics. 

Protein is another important part of our healthy diet, make sure you're getting enough.  It contains amino acids, which make up the chemicals your brain needs to regulate your thoughts and feelings. It also helps keep you feeling fuller for longer which is so important if you're as greedy as me!  You'll find protein in lean meat, fish, eggs, cheese, legumes (peas, beans and lentils), soya products, nuts and seeds. 

Finally, don't be afraid to eat fat, just make sure it's the right fat!  Our brains needs fatty acids (such as omega-3 and -6) to keep it working well. Healthy fats are found in: oily fish, poultry, nuts (especially walnuts and almonds), olive and sunflower oils, seeds (such as sunflower and pumpkin), avocados, milk, yoghurt, cheese and eggs.

The government are going to put together a UK obesity strategy today and there's a link between obesity and Covid, I look forward to hearing it.  

But for now, I'm off to have a shower and get ready for my day ahead, hope you've got a good healthy one planned.  I'm going to tweak my supermarket shop to ensure I have plenty of veggies for the week ahead!

Mwah, luv ya 

Love me xx 

Sunday, 26 July 2020

Pleased as punch this morning

Sunday 25th July 2020
When things change inside you, things change around you.

Yay, I've had sleep, only one interruption but she has a new way of doing that, instead of calling me, she's started walking into my bedroom as she did around 4am this morning and turning my light on, saying, 'I thought you were awake!', if I didn't laugh I'd cry. When I did get out of bed and open my blinds, there were 3 foxes in the close playing, a lovely start to my day.

Not gonna dwell on yesterday, there were a few highlights, the Goulash from Marlie's Menu was delicious, I had some lovely fresh air with Alfie on our walk, we got wet but it was good and there was thunder, I loves a bit of a storm.  I got to have a 5 minute chat with Julie on the drive, it was so good to see her, makes me realise how many people I haven't seen for the past 4 months! 

This week's workshop topic starts today and it's all about the food, and what happens in your body when you eat healthier.  I'm interested to hear from members on this one and whether they're all about the points or if they think about what food actually does to our bodies.  Yes I think this What Happens In Our Bodies series we're doing this Summer is excellent and I'm enjoying it as much as the members.

NOW what you don't know is between that last sentence and this, I just went to check my email because I've been waiting for my results for my Eating Psychology diploma, this one was very important to me and I'm absolutely over the moon to say I've finally received the email and I've passed WOO HOO, that's made my day, I think I'll celebrate with eggs on toast and a mug of tea ;) 

150 hours well spent if I do say so myself!  I won't lie I had a bit of a wobble yesterday afternoon, felt myself getting a little emotional over my situation, mom was being difficult, I wanted to do things and couldn't because of that.  Yes it's helping that I'm putting my 'work' head on when mom is behaving difficult and I'm finding being 'professional' about things is really helping but that means I'm in 'work mode' almost all the time and that's not easy.  I sat in my chair and did some deep breathing and it really helped, after talking stress all last week I thought about the different ideas that had come up.  I did the 5-4-3-2-1 technique and then I did a bit of self talk, that went something like this; 

"I do have a future  & I will spend this time preparing for it rather than being disappointed with how things are right now."

This course is proof although it may not be easy, I can find the time to do things, I just need to work in different ways!  I can't do anything dramatic or quickly but that's okay, I'm working on my future, I'm 50 not dead!  

If there's anything you've ever wanted to do, if you have the ability, do it!  Don't put things off, if this pandemic has shown us anything, it really is that life is too short! 

Right, I'm off to make my eggs and I'm smiling, today is a new day, here's hoping mom has a good one, we have the Voice Kids to watch and she usually enjoys that, I've taped Ninja Warriors too so maybe she'll enjoy that again this week, here's hoping :) 

Let's make the most of every day, 

mwah, luv ya 

Love me xx

Saturday, 25 July 2020

Hit Snooze!

Saturday 25th July 2020
Fall in love with the process with becoming the very best version of yourself.

Well I'm sat here watching the news and they're talking about the dangers of obesity and covid!  It'll be interesting to see how the government decide to help everyone.  I've just got back from our walk, Alfie was in the mood this morning thankfully.  Mom's had another tough night, I had to lie with her until she fell back to sleep at 2am this morning after she'd had a nightmare and was scared.  I did something I never do this morning, I hit the snooze button, I was tired, what with mom and my hot flushes, I take sleep when I can get it.  

Yesterday didn't go as planned, no carer turned up and when I called apparently we weren't down on the list - mmm, so mom and me ended up having a quiet day together and chilled.  On a positive though, I did get my car back and it didn't cost me as much as I thought, it passed it's mot thankfully and it's all serviced and ready to return to work. 

Last chance for members to catch up on this weeks 'stress' workshop, I've enjoyed it, I'm really enjoying this 6 week 'what happens in our bodies' challenge I have to say, next weeks is another good one, but you'll have to wait till tomorrow for that info.  

I love that members are checking their weights with me via messenger and text, it's another way of keeping them accountable, there's also the 30 minute wellness check-in on the virtual workshops.  Thankfully for most, they don't have long to wait to be back on my scales in my workshops, August 6th for Bloxwich, not long after for the others hopefully! 

Right short and sweet this morning, I've got stuff to do to be online for 9.15, workshop official start 9.45, hope to see you there, (Wolverhampton Connect group on WW app). 

Have a wonderful weekend, 

Mwah, luv ya 

Love me xx

Friday, 24 July 2020

Will it be a Fab Friday?

Thursday 24th July 2020
But if you never try, you'll never know...

YAY, it's Friday and I've had some sleep - woo hoo, I really struggle when I don't sleep, it wasn't uninterrupted sleep but I'll take anything I can get, "Are you awake Bev?" is not my favourite line at 4am at all but hey, at least I got till 4am from midnight lol. 

Right now I'm focusing on the fact that every day may not be good but there is some good in every day.  Yesterday wasn't the best day for a few reasons, of course my lovely mom being one, when she's not slept - it shows, when she eats too much junk food - it shows.  Of course I was sleep deprived too, I have my own stuff going on as well, including the hormonal sweats which are waking me up just as often as mom is lol but I stopped and did my list of things that I was thankful for, it may have been a shorter list yesterday but there was still things to be thankful for including my sister, the fact Alzheimer's has strengthened our sisterhood.  Then there's my V, I don't actually own her of course lol, but she's one of the most important people in my world and yesterday she came and sat with mom whilst I had to take a work call on the afternoon, these things mean so much.  

I also got to do a couple of hours studying which I forgot to add to my list, I'm looking at coding at the minute so I can put together my own website and app without needing someone else to do it for me.  I find it really interesting.  I could if I was able to spend hours playing with it but mom doesn't like me not giving her attention and she starts to panic if I leave her alone, that's even just going up the garden to water the plants.  I just can't believe a disease can do that to a woman who was the strongest person I knew as a child!  Anyways, let's not think about that, let's focus on the day ahead. 

As far as I know I've got the carer coming to sit with mom at 12, not sure who as her regular one is on holiday again, so we shall see how she reacts to someone new.  Lynne's coming to see me, so hopefully we can maybe sneak up to my summer house and hide out there for a natter, we shall see how it all pans out lol. Take nothing for granted. 

I'm gonna get some work done this morning ready for next weeks workshops, then I won't have to work tomorrow once my workshop is done and I can spend the day focused on mom.

You may have noticed I've not really been talking about food the last week or so and that hasn't been done on purpose, not initially anyway.  It was more because I was focusing more on my mental health, on trying to feel better about my life.  

I'm also trying to work on those tweaks, making tiny changes to my behaviours.  This week that's included having a drink of water when I finish my yoga and mediation, picking up a piece of fruit when I put the kettle on to have that first cup of tea and in the afternoon focusing on the things I'm thankful for that day.  I'm also trying to include natural yogurt in my 'diet', I don't dislike it, it's just a food I don't automatically choose to eat, yet I'm aware of how good for me it is.   I've been enjoying it for breakfast with fruit, it was lush on my mango, I've also made dressings using cucumber and mint sauce is one of my favourites.  I'm going to try and introduce those zero foods I know are good for me but I don't eat that often into my diet a little at a time, no rush, I'm working on myself and I'm in no rush. 

Right I'm off, things to do, nowhere to be ;) 

Mwah, luv ya, enjoy your Friday.  

Love me x

Thursday, 23 July 2020

I couldn't slept in today!

Thursday 23rd July 2020
We repeat what we don't repair! 

A short blog today, we've had a rough night, mom's had me up on and off most of the night, bless her, she's had a rough on.  I kept the yoga short but I still showed up on the mat because I've got a busy day starting with my virtual workshops this morning, I'm hosting a new one!

For Thursday 8.30am link in Dudley & Walsall Connect group.

For Thursday 9.45am link in Birmingham North Connect group.

Loving the topic, we had a good giggle too last night on the 5.30 one.

Yesterday was a good(ish) one, mom struggled a bit but I managed to enjoy a delicious dinner, butter chicken with the mushroom rice which was good, you can't beat Tilda and it keeps the portions under control. 

I also finished the CBT course I signed up to do this time last year and haven't found the time, I got stuck in and finished it. 
I'm just waiting for the results of the Eating Psychology Course now and I've started the Advanced CBT course, it's keeping me busy that's for sure. 

Going back to work in workshops soon, got a meeting with my Saturday venue on Monday so hoping August at some point.  Bloxwich is August 6th so two weeks today EEK!  

Right I told you it was going to be short, I haven't even had a cuppa yet, so here's to a cracking good day, I may be sleep deprived but it's all good.  

Mwah, luv ya 

Love me xx

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

All's still good!

Wednesday 22nd July 2020 
Get into the habit of asking yourself "Does this support the life I'm trying to create?"

Another enjoyable day yesterday, lovely workshop, fantastic feedback from the members which always reaffirms that it's a great subject, we call all talk about stress at the moment so coming up with ways to cope is going to be welcomed! 

One of my ways to relax is to crochet and this is my latest project, I love it, it's from my monthly Crochet Society box which I'm not in my second year of receiving, this one tested me as it taught me something new and I struggled to get it but I persisted and it paid off.  Unfortunately I'm not going to be able to wear it as there's wool in it and I'm sensitive to the real stuff, it's also got alpaca in it!  

I got my cook on back yesterday too, I cooked the butter chicken recipe from yesterday's blog, I added more chicken so I  added a  bit more liquid too, wished I'd added even more but I can do that as I reheat it to eat later.  

If I could find a way to pay the bills and live the life we've had the last few weeks, I'd do it, moms much better, I'm feeling much better and as much as I'm looking forward to getting back to seeing members, I'm aware that it will impact mom too, and Alfie to be honest, he's got used to me being here and there was even a piece on the news last night saying how dogs are likely to get anxious when people return to work and I have to agree, he's been so much better since I've been home.  Isn't it strange what we get used to very, very quickly.  Just imagine if I created a Go Fund me page to get people to donate to me staying home to take care of my mom and do free virtual workshops from home for anyone who needs them lol, wouldn't that be amazing!  I could even have a little walk in weigh station on the front garden lol where people could drop by and check in lol.  Oh you gotta love a fantasy ain't ya.

I've had a tray of mangos in my shopping yesterday, they were on offer, I'm already regretting it because I'm hopeless at cutting them, so once again I will attempt to follow a Youtube video!  

I have to say my stress relieving tactics are working for me, I'm taking time to focus on the things that make me smile each day which is reminding me there are so many good things in my life.  I've altered my behaviour around mom, thinking I would behave if I was at work and someone frustrated or annoyed me, that really helps and I've added a bit of meditation to my yoga routine.  So far so good, if I can make it through a month and still feel this way, I'll have proven to myself that my hormones aren't going to affect the new found calm.  

Right I'm short of things to say because there's not much going on is there really, I'm spending my time working / crocheting / cooking, oh and studying was the main order of the day yesterday too.  Waiting for my results for the course I finished on Monday, continuing one that I've been doing for a while but put on one side and thinking about what next!  

Whatever you're up to today, let's make it one where we stop and notice the things that make us smile and the stuff that we're thankful for. 

Mwah, luv ya 

Love me xx

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Planning to cook today

Tuesday 21st July 2020
Success begins with the decision to try.

I love both of those quotes and they're both true, I'm investing in myself right now and it's making me feel like I have a future, not that I'm just a carer, my head is in such a better place that it was only a few weeks ago.  I feel like I've been through a process and come out the other side, I have lockdown to thank for that as it's given me thinking time away from my 'usual' life which has helped because it's shown me what I miss and what I don't.  

Yesterday I submitted the final module of my Eating Psychology Coach diploma which will be both helpful in my personal life as well as my professional work.  I'm trying to decide what to study next, so many different courses to choose from and cost of course is a massive implication.  Payday on the 25th though, so that'll be my treat. 

My stress levels are considerably lower than they were too, this makes a huge difference to not just how I'm feeling but also how I'm eating, which is why I'm glad we're talking about stress in this weeks virtual workshops, I'm on this morning at 8.30 in the Wolverhampton group, hopefully not long now till I can see them face to face, I'm not going to lie though, I do like zoom workshops, they make my home life a hell of a lot easier right now with mom.  

Moms still asleep bless her, she's had a much better night than me, I started sweating the minute I lay down and I didn't stop until I woke, it's the weirdest thing, anyone who's hormonal and experiences them know it's not like normal sweating, it's bizarre, mine is just my head and neck at the moment, very strange.  

It's all good, a shower and a walk in this cool morning breeze will work wonders, got my shopping coming later and I plan to cook Butter Chicken either today or tomorrow depending on mom, Marlie's Menu cooking for me has made me want to have a go myself.  This is the recipe I'll be making, it's my mate Claire's and I tweak it a little bit and add more chicken cos it's zero on my plan!   I bet it would be delicious made with goat! 

Butter Chicken 

Serves 2 or add more chicken and it could go further.

Total recipe 17SP (9SP each) on blue & purple 20SP (10SP each) on green

350g chicken breast diced (3sp on green, zero on blue & purple)
3tbsp tandoori spice 2sp
1 ½ tbsp cant believe its not butter light 3sp
5 green cardamom pods lightly crushed
1” cinnamon stick
4 cloves
2 small onions finely chopped I used 3 shallots
1 heaped tbsp grated ginger
1-2 green chillies slit lengthwise
2 tsp paprika
2tsp curry powder (any)
2 tsp garam masala powder
3 tbsp tomato puree 1sp
120ml elmlea light cream 7sp
5 teaspoons sweet freedom syrup 4sp
1/2 tsp fenugreek leaf powder 
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander for garnish

Marinade chopped chicken for few hours in the tandoori spice then oven cook til tender.
Heat a heavy bottom sauce pan and add the butter. 

Add green cardamom, cinnamon stick and cloves. Fry for 20 seconds, add the onions and sauté for 5-7 mins on medium heat until they take on a light brown colour.

Add the grated ginger and slit gree
n chillies. Fry for a further minutes and add the curry powder, paprika, garam masala powder along with the tomato puree.

 Stir well and cook for a couple of minutes. Now gradually add the double cream stirring continuously to mix all the spices with the cream. Simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes.

At this stage add a splash of water/skimmed milk if the curry is too thick. Stir in the syrup and the fenugreek powder. Season to taste. Now add the cooked chicken pieces and simmer the curry on a low heat for 8-10 minutes. Garnish with coriander and serve with rice.

Anyways, short and sweet this morning I want to make the most of mom being in bed, you watch she'll wake up the minute I stop typing ;) 

Mwah, luv ya 

love me xx

Monday, 20 July 2020

I loves Mondays I do

Monday 20th July 2020 
What you think of yourself is much more important than what others think of you.

Bless my mom, she just dropped of to sleep with her mug of tea in her hands, so we've had to get redressed and put a towel on her chair.  I've done the same in the evening with wine, so I can't really knock her ;o) 

Another calm day yesterday, it didn't start of the best but we soon turned it round, my sister calm round and cheered mom up and the rest of the day went well, I even got her in the garden for 20 minutes, every little helps.  I managed to do a bit of weeding in that time and water my hanging baskets.  The rest of the day was TV related once I'd done my virtual workshop which was awesome if I do say so myself, loving the technique and was so glad the members did too.  The Voice Kids once again came to my rescue and engaged mom for an hour, we'll watch it midweek again if she forgets she's already seen it.  

I enjoyed lamb tagine from Marlie's menu which some couscous, I forgot how good couscous is and the tagine brought back memories from times spent with my dear friend Chantel on our weekends away, she cooked a mean tagine and Marlie's didn't disappoint either.  Enjoying her food has made me want to get my own cook on again, she's making Beef Goulash (12SP) this week, I'm having that for sure,  I'm also loving her new logo and menu board, it's good to see people following their passion and  trying to make a living from it.  I will work out the points for the other things on the menu as soon as she gives me the ingredients and portion size, the veggie spinach, sweet potato and chickpea curry is  green 10SP, blue 9SP, purple 7SP.  The goat curry is 8SP a portion, that is amazing, the rice and peas is 11SP on green 9SP on blue & purple or you can switch it for plan rice for 5SP.   

Anyway enough of her lol, I need to tout for my own business, I want to see you members in your virtual workshops, I'm trying to get the Sunday morning one permanently when we go back to face to face workshops as it's the only one that doesn't clash with one of my physical workshops.  

I also come across this free course yesterday, becoming career smart a great idea for anyone who's either been made redundant or realised over this time that they're no longer in love with the work they do! 

I'm really enjoying studying at the moment, I only really looked at it Monday and Tuesday last week, I'm in no rush, but I also put it on hold as I wasn't sure I'd done enough work when I submitted module 8 of 10, so I wanted to wait for my grade before continuing and I can't tell you how absolutely over the moon I was to receive the email with my grade yesterday - 100%, I was absolutely gobsmacked, I really was.  Now I can continue and have a bit more confidence in my ability to learn! 

I saw this poem this morning as I did my morning check on Pinterest, it's wonderful, read it, take it in and appreciate it.  Like you it is just BeYOUtiful.

Today I've started with 3 tiny habits, I've been reading B J Fogg's book and have signed up for a free 5 day sessions.  The trick is to make it something a habit you can do in 30 seconds, these are mine.  

  • After I put the kettle on for my first cup of tea, I will pick up a piece of fruit to eat
  • After I get a reminder on my phone at 4pm, I will open my notes on phone to write what I'm thankful for today
  • After I finish my yoga, I will drink a glass of water
See how they're easy to do, this is the trick to making them stick!  I'll let you know how I get on, already done the water and the fruit, actually I ate two! 

Right, I'm off, my little chap wants his walk, here's to a wonderful day, I loves Mondays I do. 

Sunday, 19 July 2020

Say no to Stress on Sunday

Sunday 19th July 2020
Getting angry in a stressful situation is like trying to clean something with dirt.

STRESS! That's the subject of the Virtual Workshops this week,  we’ll be discussing how our bodies are impacted when we are, feel stressed, as well as exploring a technique that will support us. I'm looking forward to it, as I've been working on mine the last week and I think it's helped.

What is stress? Well this is what's written on the Mind website and it's a good enough definition for me;

What is stress?

We all know what it's like to feel stressed, but it's not easy to pin down exactly what stress means. When we say things like "this is stressful" or "I'm stressed", we might be talking about:

  • Situations or events that put pressure on us – for example, times where we have lots to do and think about, or don't have much control over what happens.
  • Our reaction to being placed under pressure – the feelings we get when we have demands placed on us that we find difficult to cope with.

I've managed to feel less stressed since I asked myself what was stressing me out and looked at each thing in turn.  Obviously my mom adds stress to my life and it was the getting upset or frustrated with her that was causing me the most stress, so I've stopped doing that.  When she becomes difficult I put my 'professional' head and behave as I would if I was at work, it's helping.  It's not easy but it's better than the alternative.  Today is going to be a challenge because she's had a bad night, then when I've come down with her this morning, I've realised she didn't take her tablets that I put by her last night, so no wonder she's had a bad night and even though I've been able to give her some of them this morning, skipping medication is never a good thing!  I must check she's taken then in future!

I had me a delivery from Marlie's Menu again yesterday, it's making me miss cooking myself but it's not always possible with mom as she doesn't like me being out of the room, thankfully the lovely Amanda had cooked butter chicken and saag aloo for me (pictured below with WW naan bread and cucumber minty yogurt and the other pot I took a spoonful of mango chutney and mixed it with yogurt, it worked!)

Oh ma'an there's an atmosphere in this room this morning and I'm trying to break it but it's not working yet, she's agitated, probably because of the meds, let's hope she manages to settle soon.

I'm going to have a shower and walk Alfie before I log on for my workshop at 9.30 for the check-ins and 10am for the actual workshop in the Stafford Connect group.

Whatever you have planned today I hope it's a good one, focus on the good stuff and the good stuff gets better.  I'm still doing it, positives already, the suns shining, the sky is blue with white fluffy clouds, I've managed to get some sleep, I've done my yoga and a little meditation and I have no pain in my body!  RESULT!

Mwah, luv ya 

Love me x

Saturday, 18 July 2020


Saturday 18th July 2020 
Life is a gift.  Wake up every day and realise that.

Mom's first words this morning were a call from her bedroom, "Have you made your dad a cup of tea?"  I went in and sat with her, we've had a cuddle and a cuppa and she's snoozing in her chair next to me.  

Accept your situation!

That's what I've realised is helping me right now, one of my favourite quotes is, 'if you don't like where you are - move, you're not a tree', but sometimes we find ourselves in situations we can't change, mom with her Alzheimer's, me being her carer (well in theory I could change that as I don't have to do it, but I don't want to, I want to care for her), the same goes for so many others in carer roles for loved ones and other situations I don't need to list, you know if you're in one.

Anyway, what's helping me is a shift in my thoughts, my life hasn't changed this week but I feel so much better about it.  I've stopped fighting it if that makes sense, I feel more at peace, as my sister said, 'this is our new norm' and accepting that is a little like accepting you have to wear a face mask in public even if you don't like them, the more you whine about it, the more uncomfortable it will be. 

I just have one more area of my life I need to accept or change and then I can relax my mind a little more, I don't like that chatter you get in your head when there's something that's changing and you're unsure about how you feel about it.  I know the only guarantee in life is change, but I'm one of these people who likes to know WHY, I'm like that annoying little 4 year old who doesn't believe you when you say the first reason, I often think I'm being told one thing to quieten me, rather than the real reason and then I get stubborn.  But today that can be put to one side because I'm going to have another good day!  

I've got me a mom who seems brighter than she has done for a few days, turns out we think she was overdosing on polos!  Yep you read that right, my sister pointed it out and so yesterday we removed all her junk and her polos (I'm talking a pack a day at least for the last week!) and I limited her treats and she's much perkier this morning (good call sis), she's slept pretty well too which is a bonus, I think my hormones woke me up more than mom did last night. 

Things I've got to look forward to today include, my latest crochet project, I started it yesterday, the pattern is for a vest (I'd call it a sleeveless cardi) but instead of using the yarn they said, I decided to use some Paintbox Aran I have (If anyone has a couple of pale coloured balls going spare give me a shout), well I love the pattern but I know I'll never wear the thing so instead I'm turning it into a lap blanket, I'll have enough to make it 36 inches (it's really wide 0 about 63in) because I was doing something else), but it can be a lovers lap blanket or if you're single like me, you could just turn it the other way, or I can always order a few more balls or us a different brand.  I'm using light browns and cream and I have a love light aqua type colour I can add it.   (Well I'm guessing you're thinking borinell Bev, next you'll be sharing your dreams with us).  

Moving on, other things I'm looking forward too, my Marlies Menu delivery, butter chicken and lamb tagine this week, no cooking for me this weekend whoop whoop!  Then this morning I've got my virtual workshop to enjoy, catch up with Elle and Kate and all the lovely members, 9.45 in the Wolverhampton WW Connect Group if you fancy joining us, last one of the week, all about habits and building and breaking those pathways in our brain!  Clever stuff you know based on science.

My belly is actually rumbling right now, I've just had a mega cuppa tea, well I say rumbling it's kinda talking, sound like ooowwwww, it's making me giggle. I've done half hour yoga, didn't get to do the meditation as mom called me, but it's okay, the yoga was quite meditative this morning plus I can do it either after this or at some point today.  I was just going to take Alfie, but it's started raining and I@m not feeling 'walking in the rain' this morning. 

I am feeling yogurt for my breakfast though, if only to shut my stomach up!  Maybe a banana sliced up in it, mmm.  

Here's to a good day, a delicious day and most importantly for me a calm day.

Mwah, luv ya 

Love me xx

Friday, 17 July 2020

My poor empty fridge

Friday 17th July 2020
Get into the habit of asking yourself, "Does this support the type of life I'm trying to create".

Not a bad nights sleep after another good day over all thankfully, long may they continue!  Mom's sat next to me snoozing, I've got GMT on the TV, just heard Captain Tom's being Knighted today which is just lovely and the weatherman said it's going to be a good one.  Mom's carer is on holiday and because they're short staffed we're not getting a visit today, they had offered someone later in the day but I said to leave it as she's always more difficult as the day goes by and if it was someone she didn't know that would add to the problem. 

Maybe I'll be able to get her out in the garden for longer than 5 minutes today, we can but hope.  I'm going to cook something from scratch today, I have some chicken breasts, might do a healthy version of a pot noodle, I'm going to make my fridge a bit healthy by boiling some eggs so they're there if I get peckish.  Ooo I'll cook some chicken too so I can pick at that.  Time to get my healthy eating back stronger, I've been focusing on my mental health more lately so I can add a bit of time to the eating side of it now.


Actually I've just stopped there to make mom a cuppa and whilst I was in the kitchen, I've put some eggs on the hob to hard boil and put some chicken in marinade, so I've started my healthy fridge restoration!  It's actually quite pathetic at the moment because I didn't order lots of fresh stuff this week, there's a dying courgette in there, a few limp spring onions, a bit of spinach that I'm not sure is usable and some cheese triangles, low fat spread and cans of diet coke.  It's a sad sorry state for sure!  Having said that the freezer is bursting there's that much in it and that's what I want to work my way through.

If your kitchen is on your side you're half way there aren't you!  What would make your kitchen a healthier environment.  I know mom's got that much junk at the moment, it's taking up an entire cupboard!  I'm going to box it up today and put it in a different place, it doesn't all have to be in the kitchen!  If you're peckish and you open the fridge or cupboards and you're met with an empty fridge and a cupboard full of Pringles and Cheese & Onion crisps, it's unlikely you're going to make a healthy choice!   Therefore I'm shifting that stuff out of my view!  I'm going to make my fridge healthy, I might nip over the shop and buy some carrots to do some carrot sticks, I actually don't mind them and if I had them in a tub ready prepared when I open the fridge, I'm more likely to eat them, I like cucumber too, so I'm thinking preparation is KEY!  

Yeah here's to a bit of time in the kitchen this morning, I'm feeling quite energetic, I might even oil one of the work counters, they need doing and I keep putting it off, but if I do one at a time especially with the weather, it'll dry quickly.

I love my chilled out life, the only thing that would make it better would be mom being well but that's not going to happen so here's to another day focusing on the positive and approaching Alzheimer's in the same way I would my work, if a member was annoying me, I'd remain 'professional' and handle the situation and that's exactly what I'm doing when Dementia turns on its nasty in mom, I'm using that same side of me to handle that situation. 

Right, I've started to waffle, so here's to a great day, my eggs will be done now too.  Have a wicked Friday.

Mwah, luv ya 

Love me xx

Thursday, 16 July 2020

It's all getting better

Thursday 16th July 2020
Be the reason someone smiles today.

Day 4 of focusing on the good and doing a little meditation and I'm calmer for sure, long may it continue.  I also laughed yesterday in this video https://www.facebook.com/bevww/videos/10158111269575862/ like I haven't laughed in a very long time, then we had a good giggle in the virtual workshop on the night.  

I can't recommend it enough, pay attention to the positives in your day, especially if you are feeling a bit low or stressed.  I talked to moms Dementia Nurse yesterday and I admitted that changing my behaviour is helping my moms condition.  I have to take ownership of being the 'carer', not take things so personally.  Ultimately you cannot argue or reason with dementia, it's like trying to rationalise with a toddler who doesn't understand.  Oh and shouting NEVER resolves anything, it just makes you really wound up and annoys the other person further.  I won't forget I'm only human though and I will most likely slip but that won't stop me doing my best to keep this new calm going because it makes mom feel a lot safer and happier.  Bless her heart, half 3 this morning she asked if she could get up, I let her because I knew she'd go back to sleep in her chair but better that than mithered in her bedroom.

But I can't think of anything good in my life!  

 If this is how you feel, look again, honestly, first of all you have me in your life 😁 seriously though, think of all the people you come into contact with that you are glad to know.  

I've been writing my list on my phone the last few days but I think I'm going to start doing it in a book, I like the idea of a JOY JOURNAL.  A physical constant reminder of things in my life that will keep me going on the not so good days.  I can fill it full of daily positives, my sunshine list (this is a list of things in my life that make me smile, that make my heart sing, that warm my inner sunshine.   I will add to it quotes that inspire me (I love a quote), I could stick photos that I take (or that I've taken in the past) in it that remind me of good times.   Yeah I like this idea, a journal dedicated to things I love about my world and I'll keep it close by as a constant reminder.  It could also include a list of things I want to do in the future. things that may not be possible right now, but one day....  

I love this idea so much, I'm off to look for a book upstairs, if not I'm going to order one from Amazon, I like ring bound, might use my old filofax and then when it's full I can transfer it to a ring binder and add more blank paper, mmm we shall see, I'm off to mooch whilst mom's snoozing. I do however need to also get ready for work, thankfully I don't need to wear my PPE whilst upstairs in my office lol, I might use a face mask as my book mark as that made me laugh so much yesterday, it'll be a constant reminder, I will take a screen shot of me wearing it in the video and stick that photo in my book. 

When you focus on the good, the good gets better 



Luv ya 

Love me xx