Zero hour to transformation

This should have been posted yesterday.

Well I had about three, nearly four blog posts that I had started in the hopes of catching up, since I have been MIA for a bit.

I havent posted for a while because well, nothing much to report. I figured people would get tired of seeing the same old yoghurt shot. In terms of my transformation this has fallen by the wayside.  I mean seriously fallen. My intention is still there, present as ever, making me feel guilty when I don’t have a healthy day.

To be honest, I have been trying to get used to the hours of my new evening job. Since I get to order food from Seamless every night for my dinner, I have not been eating very healthy. I have resisted the urge to order pizza every time, but had to have it a couple of times – Pizza Express is my jam don’t you know?! When I was living in Atlanta I used to fantasize about Pizza Express. And Atlanta does have its fair share of good pizza joints. Antico Pizza and Amazza ar two of my favourites.

So these new working hours have been harder to adjust than I thought, and now I feel like everything I type is an excuse. Because it is; people do far more with far less and no excuses. That is what I want to be like!

In any case, I came across a German proverb a few days ago that perfectly describes why I seem to fail at my transformations that happen seemingly every Monday.

Those who start many things, finish but a few. On my quest for the origin of this proverb, (which I found out is actually Italian) I came across some great German proverbs that really apply to me and my present situation, here are a few of my favourites;

  • Wer zwei Hasen auf einmal jagt bekommt keinen. “He who chases two rabbits at once will catch none.”
  • Aller Anfang ist schwer.  “All beginnings are hard.”
  • Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst. “Starting is easy, persistence is an art.”
  • Erst denken, dann handeln. “First think, then act.”
  • Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund.  “The morning hour has gold in its mouth.”

You can find the complete list here

The quote I was looking for – “He who begins much, finishes little”
I realise that I should focus on just a few things – master them or make them into unconscious habits, then start on a few more.

So come Monday (you know how much I like my metamorphosis Mondays!) I will start yet again

I break down my life into categories, which then have subcategories.

1. Mind and Mental heath

2. Body and physical health

3. Career and wealth

4. Love and Relationships and Family

I decide to focus on body and physical health for the next 21 days as that is how long it takes to create a habit

So lets break this down further;

Body – I consider this more appearance stuff – eyelashes, hair removal etc. – something that I do try to attend to every now and then, but tbh the amount of money you need to throw down every month to maintain is just not worth it for me, so I stick to special occasions or the occasional Groupon offer.  Not a priority – money or effort wise at the moment.

Physical health -is split into two things, energy you consume and energy you expel.

The ONLY way of losing weight is to burn more calories than you consume. This is not my aim, since I don’t need to lose weight, but wanted to throw that out there as it is amazing how many people forget this and turn to get thin quick fixes and the like, – this is unhealthy and you will do your body more harm than good!

My aim is to: tone my muscles and get a little bit leaner – especially around the abdomen area, and eat healthy so that the aim (dream) is to actually enjoy and crave healthy foods.

Since I know how easy I can fall prey to temptations, or bending the rules (it’s just ONE doughnut!), I decide I am going to be super strict and do the no sugar diet again. This was the only time, where I was totally conscious of all my food choices and it started to be a habit until I went on vacation to America – so many deliciously unhealthy options!

“Where my Waffle House at!? Where my Chick Fil-A at?! Holla Taco Bell!”

So to summarise:

Diet: No sugar, No white bread (try to not have any bread really but if I do, make sure its brown – yeah see this is what I mean – I’m just going to do no bread.  No refined flour basically, and No pasta. If I do have sugar from fruit, then it should be limited.

I will also seriously limit my processed meats, so cut down on sausages and ham and other delicious pork products.

Exercise – target my abs and my butt and my arms to a lesser extent. I will post my exercise plan in another post this week

I will post later about my struggles with a no sugar diet and how so many people say no sugar but they don’t actually mean it – very frustrating when looking for recipes, I mean how can you have a no sugar diet if you have chocolate in it? yeah it might be no sugar chocolate but it tastes sweet due to SOMETHING!
Just so this post has at least one picture, I will post the obligatory yoghurt picture. This one is particularly nice though as I jujed it up and put it on a buckwheat cake with frozen fruit and coconut and chia seeds and flaxseed.

Its amazing how much better something tastes when you make it look pretty.

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Yoghurt breakfast (kitchen sink optional) and cycling for the fun of it.

What a glorious day! After  a dreary week, the sun came out and London is buzzing.

After a healthy breakfast of my usual yoghurt and everything healthy but the kitchen sink thrown in, I was ready for a bike ride.


Yoghurt with frozen raspberries and blueberries, flaxseed, dried goji berries (that taste like chewy candy when thrown in!) Superseed granola, chia seeds and coconut. Yum!

That should keep me going today. I like to keep my heart rate up throughout the day (so I feel better if I don’t get around to a workout) doing different things, and a cheeky cycle is a great way to work your muscles and see the city. The Santander bikes are good in that they have 3 gears although I always keep it on the third gear as it propels you greater distances, with first and second gear it feels as though you are pedaling but not really going anywhere. The only thing is that since they are so popular the bay’s can be empty during awesome days, but luckily another bay is not far away. And no I don’t work for Santander bikes, I just believe in the power on cycling, especially when 30 minute journeys are free!

English wildflower carpentry at its best

So many pathways have a beautiful “tunnel of leaves”

People watching after a spot of meditation 

When you’re having fun…
In fact I had so much fun that after we enjoyed dinner at a friends house, I wanted to go cycling again. So as midnight rolled on, we jumped on some bikes and went for a light time cycle by the canals and headed up to Little Venice.

I still call them Boris bikes

Little Venice by night

I was trying to record some video but almost rode into the river so decided to stop and take a photo instead.

When in London! (Not my graffiti)

Making the most of it


What do I usually do with leftovers? 

A sandwich is always the answer! 

Or should I say was. After I experienced some weird skin allergies and reactions last year, I was wracking my brain trying to figure out the cause. I have a history of excema and odd skin reactions over the years, but I’ve learned to manage my excema and the reactions were temporary so when they went away I forgot about it.

At first I thought it might be the detergent, I had also just started dating Bae soon after I moved back and since he used different products, I asked him to switch to my brands of detergent, shampoo, shower gel etc, but no luck. I went down so many paths, even wondering if I were allergic to Bae himself. I bought an allergy test online and sent off my hair to get tested. It came back saying I had a few moderate allergies to rye, bananas and aubergine and mild intolerance to gluten, tomatoes and a few other things. I then proceeded to cut those things out of my diet.

While it didn’t seem to help my skin issues, I found that by cutting out gluten items like breads and pastries (it was so hard – imagine going into a newsagent and just coming out with some babybel and pepperami hot because literally everything espe had some form of gluten), I felt better generally. I didn’t feel so sluggish, my digestive system felt better and no more bloating! 

I am not still gluten free. I find it too inconvenient and to be honest, like to treat myself here and there, but I have definitely cut down and am more aware of the food choices I make. I realised almost all my food choices involved some form of bread (and meat and cheese) so now I try to think of alternative meal ideas instead of the old sandwich route.

In the past I would have made this meal a chicken and sweetcorn sandwich, but today I made a mini summer dinner lunch. 

Teriyaki chicken, grilled Sweetcorn and cornichons and mini picked onions; not a gluten in sight

Curl your hair with (actual) no effort

The weather this week has been pretty crap. Rain, rain, almost everyday. This is typical English July weather. Lucky for me and my hair, it doesn’t frizz when I’m out as I have pretty straight, fine hair. I discovered that when I twist my hair and wrap it into a bun, then go outside when it raining and leave it wet for a bit, when I take it out it gets curly. I am always on the lookout for “lazy girl hairstyling” tips and inadvertently found this gem! So thank you summer showers!


Do you have any hair style tips that are truly easy? I find that a lot of these “easy curl” tutorials involve the same amount of arm aching work that a hairdryer style requires. Would love to hear your tips!

I am also still on the lookout for something I can do that gives me volume on the crown in my head that’s doesn’t involve a ton of back brushing and hair products. If you know of anything hit me up!

A Tourist in my own city: Part 1 – Hyde Park, Kensington Palace side

A green velvety rug upon my walking feet, the busy chatter of couples, families, young persons and old, all enjoying the beautiful evening. We walk past rollerbladers practicing their impressive manuvering around tiny cones along to bouncy cheerful techno music. Children on scooters and hover boards and other new dangled personal transportation device that seem more and more ridiculous, couples on bikes and lots of people and their dogs. In the background, the bass from British Summer Time festival pulsates through the air. British summer in the city is a wonderful thing especially on a day like today. 

We started cycling through the park, around the perimeter before dismounting and continuing by foot. I have never properly walked around the perimeter of Hyde park. It’s about 4.2 miles and while we cycled some of the way (the 30 minute free window on the Santander bikes is useful) we did lots of walking, and discovered some lovely unseen (for me!) parts of Hyde park, pictures below!


Kensington palace gardens

Kensington palace and statue of Queen Victoria 

A lovely view of the Albert Memorial

the below are allegorical sculptures on each corner of the memorial

Asia

America

Europe 

The Albert Memorial

The Royal Albert Hall
 

A cool art installation at The Serpentine

Breakfast on a small appetite

That is Coconut oil spread on Buckwheat Superseed cake

I decided to try a new combination this morning. I have never really eaten breakfast in my life, despite knowing that it is supposedly the most important meal of the day. “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper” is an old guideline I’ve heard many a time.

Now that I am working on a healthier life, I force myself to eat something. Today though, I woke with no appetite (might be the large bowl of granola I had late last night with no milk) and was going to have just a cup of tea, but Bae was cooking his usual bacon and eggs and so I had one fried egg being prepared and meanwhile, found some Kallo Buckwheat Superseed Rice Cakes


Buckwheat, despite it’s name, is actually not a grass but repeated to the rhubarb and sorrel. It’s ideal for those with allergies or sensitivities and I think the taste is pretty good. I enjoy dryer things, which is probably why the buckwheat cake with just a thin spread of coconut oil was something I found quite enjoyable. I could see myself adding fruit or maybe a sprinkling of something healthy on top.


Let me know what you think might be a good additional topping!

My usual breakfast


Yoghurt is a great food, good for the skin, digestive system and lots of other things.

However not all yoghurt is created equal, I wish I could find one with no sugar but after scouring all the high street supermarkets, found that all have sugar.

I avoid any flavoured yoghurt because they have way too much sugar (7g is equal to one teaspoon of sugar). Also low or 0% fat also seems to contain more sugar.  I tend to buy Waitrose own brand Greek strained natural yogurt as it has 3.7g sugar per 100g.

In terms of what to put; fruit is always a yes! raspberries work well, especially older ones as they smush easily and the juice can be mixed, then it’s like having a raspberry yoghurt.

This bowl had some organic sugar free granola, raspberries and blueberries and yoghurt. No need to add honey or any sugar and your body will get used to it if it doesn’t seem sweet enough at first.

Run so I can eat steak and lobster

Tuesday’s run was a scenic run. I had my CBT today (moped and motorcycle training) which ended at 2pm (I passed!), so skipped the morning workout for an afternoon one (no I am not ready for early morning workouts!…yet)
We started with a gentle jog to Hyde Park at which point i was already exhausted (I reach this point very easily and just seem to stay in exhausted mode) then started this run around the Serpentine –
wow it really makes a difference when your surroundings are nice. Early evening is a good time as the heat of the sun is far less that midday, and despite it being rather busy in Hyde Park, it was an relatively uninterrupted run  We took two breaks for about 1 minute each during the approximate two mile run.
I am still waiting for that “good feeling” you get by running – I am currently (and have always been) in the “kill me now, I hate this” phase – will that change at some point?  I hope so. As I am already slowing down Bae with my slower pace, I feel more pressure to not quit and start walking, even though i have an immense urge to more than several times during the run.  I finally give up about 20 feet shy of the finish point,  Bae told me later that if I had pushed myself to finish, he could have waited, but instead started running home.  Determined not to lose him, I started sprinting to catch up, only to nearly lose a lung in the process.
I will admit that I feel a lot better for having done the run, took a while for my face to get back to a normal colour though!  I just wish I cold bottle that post workout feeling of satisfaction and use it as a motivator “ see you will feel like this after a workout, this is why!”
I am starting a new job tomorrow that works during the evenings so this is my last evening free for a while. Bae and I are going to Heliot Steakhouse which used to be the Hippodrome casino, brilliant deal. Glad we worked out before that meal!
£20 for steak, lobster, cocktail and a £50 gaming chip – not bad.  and i will say that the steak was pretty good – I paid £5  extra to upgrade to a filet and it was definitely worth it.
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LOL it looks like pretty phallic!
We added the truffled mac and cheese with a duck egg on top.  It was…ok.  The duck egg was overcooked lightly so not oozing out, truffle flavour was well balanced, but it was just a little too oily.  I have been a bit spoiled since I lived in Atlanta for six years and Southerners know how to make damn good mac and cheese!
The lobster was kind of small, but seasoned well.  Not the best, but not the worst.
The chips were like the ones you got at Little Chef – not to say they were bad, just no salt.
The cocktail was just a mimosa, but somehow Bae with his magical powers of negotiation managed to get us two glasses of Prosecco and two cocktails of or choice for free.  (I never like to rock the boat, but that’s probably why I don’t get as much free or discounted stuff!) However, the cocktails here are not great, flavours are not balanced, and too much sweetness or sourness.
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 The light was not great but made for a lovely romantic ambience which you cannot see

The gaming chip was basically just a chip that you could place on any number on the roulette table, so the odds weren’t good.
We ended up at the three hand poker table and managed to win back the price of the meal plus £100 on top!
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Bae getting our dinner bill back
I would recommend this game above all others.  Last time i was here I won £200  (admittedly I had lost nearly £200 at blackjack so was recapping my losses. Once I was £10  up, I left)

Mondays are always newer

I thought I would start on a Monday – it’s always easier to start on a Monday.

New start to the week, new start to my new, healthier life!

One of my current workout challenges is my location. Currently I am house and pet sitting so am staying in a different location to my home so my workout has to adjust.
Bae suggested finding a place that has an outdoor gym, like workout areas, and after a little searching on tinternet, found that Paddington Recreation Ground was the closest.
After a quick cup of coffee, with no milk (not intentional, milk expired quickly this time) and a little honey powder, oh and also I tried out some coconut oil in it (which makes it smell great but I am not sure about the oiliness, it reminded me of a coffee broth soup, although on be plus side, my lips were moisturizer with a wonderful coffee coconut flavour) However the coconut oil in coffee is not really for me, although I did feel more energetic than usual after a cup of coffee. I will stick to eating a big spoonful every day (I keep it in the fridge so its really hard and love the texture as I “crunch” it, like coconut candle wax.)
We started by jogging to the grounds, I calculated it as 1.5 miles (most direct) on Google Maps but Bae thought that we should run by the canals through Little Venice as it is prettier, so it was closer to two miles. Worth it though, the sun was shining (for once!) and the canal boats all looked so pretty, doors and windows adorned with blooming flowers of all colours.
I must say that for someone who has never run long distance, I find it hard to keep up with Bae. I decide that my first short term goal is to keep up the pace so he doesn’t have to slow down for me. (which is all the time basically; I tell him he’s a natural runner.)
This is achievable in a short period of time, plus I love me some competition and it does pain me a little when I see him running off into the distance, eating his dust.
I arrive at the grounds pretty short of breath; as the machines are spread out throughout the park we try one machine then walk to the next one. Some of the machines are better than others though I would prefer them to be all in one place.
After the machines and some strolling through a garden centre – where I see Hermione from Harry Potter (my third celebrity sighting in my life!) we jog a more gently home (my request of course) passing by Tescos to pick up some yoghurt and fruit smoothie.
Breakfast afterwards (had the coffee and a big spoon of cashew butter before) was bacon and eggs, no salt or pepper or anything and a handful of blueberries and raspberries while I made a quick granola parfait for Bae.
I had plans to also do my squats and planks but tbh felt a bit wiped after today, It’s been hard to get back into the rhythm of things since  being slightly traumatized from when I last did some exercise. Just recently I was in Atlanta where I went to a free boot camp class with my sister and sister-in-law. I was not prepared for the searing heat of the Atlanta sun and doing everything practically outdoors with minimal fans. It was brutal so I tapped out ten minutes early (even the water in the taps in the restroom was hot!) and waited in the cool air conditioned car while my sisters finished. My body decided it would be more polite to wait until they arrived back at the car just in time for my loud and violent throwing up so that I could have spectators to this wondrous event, with two equally spectacular encores.
Needless to say I didn’t do much exercise after that except swimming in the pool. My small and only moment of vindication came when my sisters told me that yes, the heat is intense and agreed that these are horrific conditions for a boot camp.
I feel accomplished in the nearly two miles ran, two miles walked, and only two breaks in the running! Tomorrow I will incorporate my favourite strength exercises.
The running will continue, as will my daily struggle towards my soandsolife
Stay tuned, Bye for now