A Six Week Reboot

ProperFoodie (aka Debbie) and I were chatting about how many counterproductive habits we have in our lives.  Both of us are sensitive sleepers and suffer regularly from bad night sleeps. And the days after a bad night’s sleep are so miserable and unproductive.  However secretly we know we are contributing to our own insomnia.  Both of us are guilty of jabbing away at our social medias on our phones all evening, then even in bed.  And personally I know that the routine of thoughtless glasses of wine in front of the telly are not helping me unwind before I sleep.

So we got thinking, we both want to improve our own well being – we want to be more relaxed, to have more creative head space to be able think of great ideas for our blogs, we want to sleep better and be fitter and healthier, but we don’t want any changes to feel punitive.  Going cold turkey on a habit can backfire.

But what if we chose one easy new habit to try and nurture over the course of a week.  To gently try this new habit and observe if it helped us feel better?  Debbie is very keen to try doing yoga every day for a week.  Even if she only does it for ten minutes a day, she’s curious to know how it might effect her sense of well being.  In my case, my social media obsession is out of control.  I feel like I need to monitor my channels every ten minutes in order to respond to any comments or questions.  But what if I had designated social media times during the day?  They would need to be regular, because it’s my job.  But even if I behaved more deliberately and mindfully around social media it could help me be less stressed.

We had a good brainstorm and came up with a list of 6 new healthy habits to introduce.  We could trial one out a week and report back on the blog on our thoughts and observations.

Here’s my list:

  1. Week one: meditate once a day for at least ten minutes.
  2. Week two: all drinks must be water, herbal tea or hot lemon as normally I drink too much decaff coffee and diet squash.  Although I’m allowed a little alcohol – I’m not a saint!
  3. Week three: apply Marie Kondo’s Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying to my home for 15 minutes a day – this will hopefully help me achieve a more streamlined and relaxing living and working environment.
  4. Week four: phone curfew – turn it off at 8pm until 7 in the morning.
  5. Week five: Use social media mindfully and sparingly. I will be strict and will journal my experience.
  6. Week six: no television after 9pm for a week.

And here’s Debbie’s:

Sleep, relaxation, well being, reboot Debbie and her fiance Ben making pizza
This Debbie and her fiance Ben

You can also keep track of Debbie’s progress by checking her blog at ProperFoodie.com

  1. Week one: I learned about the bullet journal off a blogging friend Kat and I decided it would be a neat way of organising my time.  I will set time aside each night, to firstly understand how the bullet  journal works and then to set out my plans and tasks for the next few months.
  2. Week two: Slow cooker teas to save time at night: First of all I need to buy a slow cooker  and then use it every week night, so that tea is ready and waiting when we get in.
  3. Week three: Ten minutes of Yoga each day: I think exercise is a really important one, because with the right type of exercise and with the time to “zone out” I find that I feel less stressed and more creative.
  4. Week four: Alcohol cut: I know how easy it is to get in from work and open a bottle of red. But I also know that even the smallest amount of wine is probably affecting my sleep and the way I feel the next day. So no alcohol from Monday to Sunday.
  5. Week five: Set time of one hour of “jobbing” when I get in from work: I would love to have more me-time (or blogging time) during the week. However, I get in from work and find all sorts to do. So I want to limit this “jobbing time” to an hour after I get in. So any housework, preparing tea, and preparing lunch for the next day etc.  – it all needs to be done so that the rest of the night is mine.
  6. Week six: Hydration levels: I have a sneaky suspicion that not being as hydrated as I should be, affects my productivity, my energy levels, my skin, my general attitude and range of other things. So for a whole week I want to aim to drink 1.5 litres of water each day and also cut out any diuretics (caffeine and alcohol) – so this is a step up from my no alcohol week, and hopefully a great one to finish with.

Watch this space, we’ll let you know how we get on.  And if you’d like to join us, get stuck in and let us know what challenges you’ve set yourself and how you’re finding it.

Cooking The Books: The Foodie Teen by Alessandra Peters

I bloody loved The Foodie Teen cookbook.  Apologies Alessandra, but I didn’t anticipate a teenager coming up with such brilliant recipes.   And they were all super healthy too.

The dishes weren’t just good, they were inventive and challenging. The cakes in particular (all made from non refined sugar) were exotic and had incredible depth of flavour.  I would 100% cook from this book again.  Although I have two very small complaints: 1) a lot of the dinner recipes don’t have carbs which you do need to feel full and 2) there are too many cake recipes in the book, and despite my obsession with cakes, I craved more dinner options. But overall, my goodness, what fabulous, flavourful recipes.

Here’s my rating on the recipes:


  1. Spiced chocolate chilli with coriander spiked avocado.  This was so rich and delicious.  I might even go so far as to say it’s the best chilli I’ve eaten in my life.  We ate it on a friday night and I enjoyed it so much I couldn’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch the next day.
  2. Pineapple carrot cake with passion fruit coconut frosting. This was an indulgent piece of tropical heaven.  The coconut passion fruit topping was sweet and creamy and the cake was so moist.
  3. Crunchy nut banana loaf.  The pecan nut and coconut oil crumble on top of this banana bread made it a real treat.
  4. Mexican burgers with all the toppings and raw beetroot-carrot slaw.  I’m not sure how Alessandra did this, but the burgers were juicy and the slaw, salsa and guacomale were so fresh, the combination absolutely hit the spot.
  5. Sweet potato vegetable pad thai with lime tahini and ginger dressing.  I was sceptical about whether this would work until I shoved a mouthful in my mouth.   The peanut dressing coating the vegetables was gorgeous.

The Foodie Teen Spiced chocolate chilli with coriander spiked avocado

Spiced chocolate chilli with coriander spiked avocado

The Foodie Teen Carrot and pineapple cake with coconut and passion fruit frosting
Carrot and pineapple cake with coconut and passion fruit frosting
The Foodie Teen crunchy nut banana loaf
Crunchy nut banana loaf
The Foodie Teen Mexican burgers with all the toppings and raw beetroot-carrot slaw
Mexican burgers with all the toppings and raw beetroot-carrot slaw
The foodie teen Sweet potato vegetable pad thai with lime tahini and ginger dressing
Sweet potato vegetable pad thai with lime tahini and ginger dressing

The Also Very Goods

  1. Spicy red thai curry soup with prawns.  Exactly what it says on the tin, an excellent red thai curry soup, full of flavour and kick.
  2. Pea and pepper beef curry.  This was made with thai curry paste and was a fresh tasty curry.
  3. Blueberry and almond crumble slices.  Crunchy, crumbly and juicy with tart blueberries, they didn’t last very long in our house.
  4. Egyptian dukkah crusted chicken fillets wth cauliflower taboulleh.  The dukkah crust was a winner, providing a lot of spice and flavour to the chicken and the pomengrates in the taboulleh complimented the chicken beautifully.
The Foodie Teen Red thai curry soup with prawns
Red thai curry soup with prawns
The Foodie Teen Pea and pepper beef curry
Pea and pepper beef curry
The Foodie steen blueberry and almond crumble slice
Blueberry and almond crumble slice
The Foodie teen Egyptian dukkah crusted chicken fillets wth cauliflower taboulleh
Egyptian dukkah crusted chicken fillets wth cauliflower taboulleh

As I said at the beginning, I bloody love this book.  It’s bursting with imagination, colour and flavour and it’s all incrediby healthy.  I always love a cookbook that will take me on a culinary adventure yet not leave me worrying about my arteries or my waistline.  Well done Alessandra, I could just about cook at basic bolagnaise at your age, so hats off to you for being so clever!

5 Recipes to Keep You Sweet This Valentines From Debbie at ProperFoodie.com

Hello! Today’s post is slightly different from normal as it’s authored by me: Debbie. I’m a food blogger from www.properfoodie.com and Katya has very kindly invited me to guest post on her blog.

When I’m not blogging I’m working hard as a nutritionist at Manchester Uni, and also have a part time job in a deli, so I’m quite a busy lady. My absolute passions include cooking and travelling. I love to draw on my travel experiences and  create new and tasty dishes, which I can then share on my blog.  As a nutritionist I have quite a few recipes that are well balanced and healthy, and due to recently acquiring an allotment plot: I am also planning to take a slightly more seasonal angle in 2017. The ProperFoodie blog is really a way for me to showcase my homegrown and far-flung recipes :-). So if you do hop over to my site you will find lots of colourful, interesting and nutritious meals, great for keeping things balanced and tasty, both midweek and at weekends.

I love to include some sweet treats in my recipe development and I’m a massive fan of “everything in moderation” and “chocolate is necessary in life”. With this in mind, all the recipes below were created as a way to celebrate food and to indulge in its sugary goodness – we all need to every now and again.

I’ve put together 5 of my favourite desserts, all of which would be perfect for making this Valentines (whether you’re on your own or not).

My absolute favourite dessert that I have ever made (and the one which I am most proud of) is my sticky apple treacle tart. It takes a bit of preparation for this indulgent, gooey creation, but its well worth the effort.

dessert Sticky apple treacle tart
Sticky apple treacle tart

It also goes amazing well with my homemade ice cream.

dessert sticky apple treacle tart slice with vanilla ice cream
Sticky apple treacle tart slice with vanilla ice cream

So lets get to the rest of the recipes, just click on each of the title links for the details.

Hazelnut And White Chocolate Brownies

dessert Hazelnut and white chocolate brownies
Hazelnut and white chocolate brownies

Baileys Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge

Dessert baileys chocolate hazelnut fudge 2
Baileys chocolate hazelnut fudge

Homemade No Churn Rum And Raisin Ice Cream

Homemade no churn rum and raisin ice cream scoop

Peanut Butter And Chocolate Biscuit Squares

Dessert Chocolate and peanut butter biscuit squares
Chocolate and peanut butter biscuit squares

Happy baking!! For more of my recipes visit www.properfoodie.com

 <div style="display: none;">

I’m Taking Baby Steps to Improve my Diet

My ‘war on ice cream’ continues. Despite not being an angel in the food department lately, I can report back on some very positive progress.

I’d like to announce that I haven’t eaten ice cream for seven whole days.  I admit, I’ve eaten a brownie today, I’m not perfect.  What I am pleased about is that I’ve broken the ritual of eating ice cream every evening.  Believe me after 18 months of mainlining the stuff, this is a breakthrough.

How have I done this?

I’ve stocked up on interesting alternative snacks:

  • Medjool dates
  • Nakd bites – made from dates and other dried fruit and nuts, you can nearly convince yourself they are chocolate revels
  • Aldi veggie bursts – edamane beans, almonds and cashew nuts roasted in paprika and chilli – so good
    diet healthy snacks
    Healthy snacks

    We’ve also been making a number of exciting non refined sugar cakes and snacks:

  • Hemsley and Hemsley lemon poppy seed muffins
  • The Foodie Teen pineapple and carrot cake with coconut and passion fruit frosting
  • The Foodie Teen crunchy banana loaf
  • Hemsley and Hemsley apple and cheddar buckwheat muffins
diet The Foodie Teen carrot and pineapple cake with coconut and passion fruit frosting
The Foodie Teen carrot and pineapple cake with coconut and passion fruit frosting
diet the foodie teen crunchy banana loaf
The Foodie Teen crunchy banana loaf
diet Hemsley and Hemsley apple cheddar buckwheat muffins
Hemsley and Hemsley apple cheddar buckwheat muffins

I understand that maple syrup or whatever sugar alternative we have used in the snacks isn’t exactly healthy, and neither is an excess of the natural sugars found in medjool dates, however for me it’s an important move away from the processed refined sugar found in ice cream.

And what I’m noticing is my diet has become more interesting and varied.  My palate is growing more curious.  When I ate the pineapple and carrot cake there was an incredible depth of flavour and it was very satisfying.  With ice cream it’s wonderful, but it’s a much more one dimensional hit that leaves you craving more.

In the coming weeks Michelle my weight loss coach will carry on probing me to find out why I reach for ice cream.  My relationship with a sugar hit is still hard wired and won’t disappear over night. One of the things that Michelle observed is that I’m very controlling around food.  I count calories, I weigh out my ice cream, I exercise to burn off the exact calories I’ve ‘over’ eaten.  It’s all rather rigid and to be frank probably a bit f**ked up.  I’ve been overweight before, I don’t want to be again.  There’s still more more work for us to do to uncover a more postive and less obsessive way of me relating to food.

I will keep you posted!

Do any of you relate to my journey? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

5 Ways to Improve Your Twitter Account

This year my Twitter followers have really spiked.  I’ve now got over 1500 followers which I’m pretty chuffed about.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t had the same love affair with Twitter that I did with Facebook or Instagram.  I’ve always just found it a harder platform to find love and likes.  And call me high maintenance, but I don’t like it when I don’t get attention on a social media platform.

I heard Caitlin Moran describe Twitter as a very male platform, which I found interesting.  She finds the limit of 140 characters doesn’t provide enough space for women to express themselves.  I must admit that Instagram feels like a more escapist and gentle place than Twitter and I feel happier there.

However as I’ve started interacting more and more on Twitter I’ve come to enjoy it.  So here’s some things that have really helped me.

1) Update your profile pictures and chose photos that pop

I recently did this myself.  My cover photo had been up for over a year and needed a refresh. I chose a beautiful bright shot of flowers from my holiday in India. Next, my profile picture was a bit corporate and serious.  I decided this made me look a bit bland so I found a more fun and friendly photo of myself and did a swap.  With these simple changes my page immediately started to feel more ‘me’ and more inviting.

2) Revamp your personal description

My profile page blurb on myself proclaimed that I was a fell runner. It was so out of date that it had actually become a lie.  I came up with a new upbeat strapline about myself that reflected my new career and my interests.  I’m very judgemental of people’s profile descriptions so improving my own seemed like a good shout and could attract new followers.

Twitter profile page

3) Find and follow your tribe

If you find people who have similar interests to you and follow them, there’s a high chance they will have a look at your profile, like what they see and follow you back.  I’m a massive fan of a niche restaurant called Where The Light Gets In based in Stockport where I live.  My recent blog post on the restaurant is in a pinned tweet at the top of my Twitter page.  I took an educated guess that people who follow WTLGI on twitter would belong to ‘my tribe’ and would also be interested in my blog post and my feed.  I followed a bunch of WTLGI followers and had a high number of follower returns.

4) Images images images

Use original good quality images if you can with as many of your tweets as possible. Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images.  I’m lucky to have an excellent mirrorless camera that captures great images.  But smart phones really take brilliant photos too.  Have a scroll through instagram and look closely at your favourite photos and have a think about how they are composed.  Can you emulate any of the angles or ideas that they inspire? A hand holding an ice-cream up to the sky seems to be a big hit with instagrammers and creates a visually powerful image.  It’s all about nicking ideas and making them your own.  The image below is from Kat Molesworth’s excellent Instagram account.

Twitter ice-cream in the sky
An ice-cream held up to the sky – this is taken from Kat Molesworth (@thatkat) Instagram feed

5) Mention and tag other tweeters

To increase the likelihood of your tweet being read and retweeted, mention other tweeters in the tweet and tag people in the photo.  I recently went on a Fresh Walks event which is networking combined with walking.  I snapped a picture of the event, wrote out a tweet, mentioned @freshwalks and tagged a bunch of the walkers in the photo.  It was a popular post and got retweeted twice and got 10 likes.

Twitter Fresh Walks tweet
My Fresh Walks tweet

I hope you’ve found this post useful and I’m always curious to learn more about Twitter and get better at it, so you have any tips you’d like to share, let me know.

Dressing Better At 40

This is subjective, but I think I’m dressing better at 40!

So how and why has this happened?

One big reason is the influence of Instagram. There are a lot of women my age/mid thirties on Instagram just nailing their own look and wearing it with pride.

One of my favourites on Instagram is Alison Perry.   Her clothes are just so vibrant, fun and stylish.

dressing alison perry's instagram feed
Alison Perry’s instagram feed

I’ve always enjoyed dressing up but I had got a little set in my ways with what I was wearing.  I knew what suited me and stuck to it.  But seeing these ladies on Instagram really owning their style, wearing bright colours and glorious dramatic outfits made me want to join in.

And this tied in with me embarking on a new career as a social media coach.  I wanted outfits that popped and demonstrated my confidence.  If I am to walk into a room full of strangers to pitch for business I need to convey self belief and good clothes that suit my personality will help me do that.

So I had a good think about how to upgrade my wardrobe while I was lazing about on holiday in Goa back in November.  I contacted a few stylish friends and just asked straight out ‘where do I need to start shopping?’.  I also got in touch with a very stylish Manchester blogger and Instagrammer I admire, Old Fashioned Susie and asked if she had any shopping recommendations.

The list thrown back at me was pretty much this:

  • Oliver Bonas (already a firm favourite for me)
  • Uniqlo
  • Anthropologie
  • & Other Stories
  • Whistles
  • Kin (a John Lewis line)
  • Cos
  • Boden

And Old Fashioned Susie recommended I check  out The Kat Got The Cream a Leeds style blogger for ideas.

Over the next couple of months there were some internet purchases, a shopping trip to London with my friend Jo who has an excellent eye for style, many trips to the new Oliver Bonas at Manchester Piccadilly station and as a result I think it’s fair to say my wardrobe has moved on.

So do you want to see the outcome?

dressing J Crew T'Shirt
One of a range of simple J Crew T Shirts I ‘invested’ in
dressing yellow Oliver Bonas dress
What a colour pop! Love this Oliver Bonas yellow dress. It’s pretty bold
dressing Oliver Bonas dress and necklace
Another Oliver Bonas number with an Oliver Bonas statement necklace
dressing Coral Boden Coat
My first Boden purchase. I adore the colour of this coat!
dressing Top Shop Jeans, Oliver Bonas jumper and handbag
Top Shop petite jeans (a must for anyone short!), Oliver Bonas polo neck and handbag
dressing star dress from And Other Stories
My twinkly star dress from & Other Stories

Hilariously I mainly went back to my own personal favourites – Top Shop, J Crew and Oliver Bonas, but taking a step back and rethinking my look has certainly paid off. Getting dressed in the mornings is so much more fun and if I do say so myself, I’ve developed a little confidence swagger off the back of it.

Have any of you had a restyle lately or are thinking of doing one? Let me know how you’ve got on or what you plan to do.

My Office of Dreams

Jamie started hassling me before Christmas about creating an office.  I couldn’t really be arsed but he was very insistent that if I was starting a business in January I needed my own space. And he was getting fed up of my work papers, notebooks and pens being strewn all over the house.

So we started clearing out the small box room at the back of the house, former dumping ground for Jamie’s work equipment, random bike accessories and a tumble dryer.

Next up was choosing a colour scheme. I’d been very inspired by some geometric walls I’d seen on Pinterest so I thought we could give that a whirl.

Geometric: Pinterest Inspiration
Pinterest inspiration

We looked up how to do it on YouTube (it’s all about the masking tape) and went to B&Q to stock up on paint – we chose four tester pot colours for the feature wall, and then later on decided to use the mint green colour to paint the rest of the office.

Geometric: tester paint pots
Tester paint pots

I was pleased with the results but the room looked a little empty and lifeless.  We had no furniture or pictures.

Fast forward to Christmas and Jamie gave me a surprise fancy computer for my new office. No wonder he was so keen to get the office completed before the end of the year.  We also used the Christmas holidays to dash out to Ikea and get a lovely super comfy, super supportive Markus swivel chair and order a scandi style desk from John Lewis.

Geometric: Markus Swivel Chair Ikea
Markus swivel chair from Ikea
Geometric: John Lewis skandi style desk
John Lewis skandi style desk

So the office was nearly there, but the walls looked a bit bare, so I found a couple of huge old notice boards that I’d been storing and pinned on some memorabilia and inspiring pictures, nailed them up and finally the office felt complete.

Geometric: Katya in her office
In my sanctuary

I cannot tell you how much this new office has impacted my life.  It feels like a wonderfully creative and peaceful place where I can be really focussed.  And when I’m holding a social media coaching session it’s the perfect space for teaching.  And everyone always like to take a picture of themselves against the wall.

Geometric: Katya and a client working
Myself and a client working very hard

Cooking The Books: Hemsley and Hemsley ‘The Art of Eating Well’

For those of you who haven’t heard of these very attractive sisters, Hemsley and Hemsley started out in 2010 providing a healthy food coaching and catering service. They attracted celebrity clients and big brands like Louis Vuitton and Vivienne Westwood.  Next came their beautiful and stylish cookbooks containing recipes for all sorts of wonder items like black bean brownies, kohlrabi dauphinoise and cauliflower base pizzas.

More recently there has been a backlash against the ‘clean eating’ fad associated with Hemsley and Hemsley and I’m not sure why.  This is not some crazy yo yo diet book, the food is balanced and they’re not afraid of a bit of full fat mince or butter.  The food leaves you satiated and full.  I can see why the media might be envious of the success of these gorgeous and stylish ladies – I know I am, but why rip them to pieces when actually they are providing inspiring healthy alternatives to the processed crap a lot of the population eats?

Back to the food.  It’s been a pleasure and an education testing out these recipes.  I like learning about alternative healthy ingredients: black beans in brownies work, cauliflower mash in shepherd’s pie is delicious and coconut flour in cake tastes so exotic.  Out of the 9 recipes we cooked there was only one thing I didn’t love, the gingernut biscuits.  And to clarify, I still liked these biscuits, I just didn’t adore them in the way I did the other recipes.

So here’s the run through:


  1. Roasted vegetable salad and brazil nut pesto.  What’s not to love about roasted vegetables? I could eat them all day long.  And throw some brazil nut pesto and quinoa into the mix and you’ve got an incredible dinner.
  2. Black bean brownies. Not as super sweet as standard brownies, but moist and rich and gorgeous.  These were very popular with my friends.
  3. Quinoa risotto with gorgonzola.  The combination of fresh and porcini mushrooms gave this risotto a lovely intense flavour which was made even tastier by the gorgonzola.
  4. Shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash.  Full fat lamb mince provides the base for a lot of flavour for this pie.  Yes arguably if we are being factually correct shepherd’s pie should always contain lamb mince, but that’s often not the case.  And I loved the cauliflower mash on top, you absolutely don’t miss the potato.
  5. Osso bucco.  Slow cooked beef shin with carrots with a smoky sweet gravy. An incredible winter warmer.
  6. Prawn laksa.  My favourite dinner of all.  Full of colour and malaysian spices.  This dish kicks ass! I even took the leftovers in a thermos for lunch on a frosty hike in the Peak District.  I was the envy of my fellow hikers.
Hemsley and Hemsley Quinoa Salad & Pesto
Quinoa Salad & Pesto
Hemsley and Hemsley Black Bean Brownies
Black Bean Brownie
Hemsley and Hemsley quinoa risotto
Quinoa risotto
Hemsley and Hemsley Shepherd's Pie
Sheperd’s Pie
Hemsley and Hemsley osso bucco
Osso bucco
Hemsley and Hemsley prawn laksa
Prawn Laksa

Also Very Goods

  1. Lemon and poppy seed muffins made with coconut flour and maple syrup.  I loved the coconutty flavour in these cakes.  They are dense cakes and the delicate lemony flavour is very satisfying.
  2. Teriyaki seabream.  We were so into the sweet and sour japanese sauce.  Not the most beautiful looking of all the recipes but it absolutely packed a punch.
  3. Gingernuts.  Tasty biscuits made with ground almonds, maple syrup and three whole tablespoons of ground ginger.  Not as addictive as the sugarry buttery version, but still an enjoyable and filling snack.
    Hemsley and Hemsley lemon and poppy seed muffins
    Lemon and poppy seed muffins
    Hemsley and Hemsley teriyaki sea bream
    Teriyaki sea bream
    Hemsley and Hemsley ginger biscuits
    Ginger biscuits

    After cooking another nine recipes from Hemsley and Hemsley, I just love this book even more. It’s jam packed with beautiful, imaginatively crafted and well researched recipes. The book is very good value for money – there are a lot of recipes, most are straight forward and it’s easy to achieve excellent results.  Some of the recipes are a bit fiddly and time consuming, but none are difficult.  There are some unusual ingredients like amaranth and bone broth that put me off, but it’s not hard to find alternatives to the ingredients that are difficult to source.

    I look forward to cooking more from The Art of Eating Well, in fact I’d really like to try every single recipe, especially all the sweet treats like sticky toffee pudding and five spice apple crumble. Maybe that’s a new cookbook challenge for Jamie and I?  Cook every recipe from The Art of Eating Well.  What do you think, shall we do it?

I’ve Suffered an Ice-cream Relapse

With the help of weight loss coach Michelle Pratt I felt like I’d been making brilliant progress with dealing with the ‘issues’ behind my ice-cream addiction.

We’d identified that I was anxious about starting my own business and had addressed a few areas of my day to day life where my needs weren’t being met.

Whilst I hadn’t cut out ice-cream and sweet treats, the chats with Michelle were allowing me to get perspective on my habits, and I was starting to be more mindful about what I was shovelling in my face and why.  I was cooking healthy treats made with non refined sugar and more healthy ingredients.  I was eating bigger healthy meals that were filling me up and leaving me less likely to crave sugary snacks.  Even acknowledging how hard starting a business is somehow moved me out of my sugary rut.

But then bang, an adrenelin pumped and stressful week resulted in an almighty sugar binge.  The combination of dealing with a family illness, the rollercoaster of emotions of starting to promote my business and being mega busy left me exhausted.  So on Tuesday I went to Marks and Spencers because I felt I deserved a treat.  That was my undoing.  My favourite ice-creams (mud pie and key lime pie) were reduced to 75p and salted caramel whips were on special offer too.  I walked out of M&S with four tubs of ice-cream and six whips.

sugar 2
Ice-cream and walnut whips on special offer triggered my undoing
sugar 3
A delicious slice of raspberry and lime drizzle cake on sugar binge wednesday

Needless to say Tuesday and Wednesday were sugar fuelled and left me feeling sullied, guilty and sick.  I missed feeling wholesome and healthy.  However Michelle and I had a coaching session today and I’m feeling very positive.  We’ve looked closely at what triggered me and my thinking processes behind the purchases.  By digging into my reasoning, I feel like I’ve half solved the problem.  We also identified that I do have a habit of eating small meals in an attempt to keep my weight in check and that backfires because before long I’m reaching for sugar.  With a bit of rummaging I admitted to Michelle that having been overweight on many occasions in my life I’m scared of putting weight on as being overweight made me unhappy.  So the fear of putting on weight is perhaps encouraging some unhealthy counterproductive habits around food.

sugar 4
Post coaching with Michelle I baked some super healthy Hemsley and Hemsley lemon muffins which will help me to keep on track

Whilst I don’t have the answers yet, I feel that the work I’m doing with Michelle is really powerful and moving me forward.  I’m not expecting a fast turn around miracle, but hopefully with more support from Michelle I will crack this in the coming months.