Friday, 24 April 2015

Today's Green Smoothie and 5 A DAY

Looking at what fruit and vegetables I had at home, I was thinking of what kind of juice or smoothie to make. I like to use up what I already have before I re-fill my fruit basket and fridge with more fruits and veg!

I was in the mood to experiment so this morning I made a Banana, Kale, Kiwifruit and Melon smoothie with a few squeezes of lime!

It was nice and healthy and I had 4 out of the recommended 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, before 9 o clock this morning 😊.

I always thought that as long as I had 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, even if they were the same fruit, then it would count.

However, I found out that our five portions should include a variety of fruit and vegetables. This is because different fruits and vegetables contain different combinations of fibre, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

Almost all fruit and vegetables count towards our 5 A DAY and the great thing is that they can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or pure juices.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

The life clock: Pressure

When I was a teenager I mapped out how my life would be before I reached my mid twenties! When I reached my mid twenties, I had only achieved 3 of the things I envisioned but not all of them! I remember becoming anxious because I didn’t meet my personal expectations and that of others! Now I am in my late twenties and still have things I want to achieve before I reach my thirties!

I was thinking about a conversation I had with a friend of mine a few months ago and I thought to myself, “what’s the rush?” Who says that everything has to be mapped out and achieved before I reach a certain age? Who says you have to be married before your 30? Who said you must be flying high in your career before you reach 25? Who said as a woman you to have children otherwise there’s something wrong with you if you choose not to?

All these ideals are what society and tradition have imprinted on us and it’s not fair. It makes those who have not yet achieved what is expected of them to feel like a failure! Some people even give up pursuing certain things because they think it’s too late. I remember reading a story about a young man who committed suicide after he failed his exams and didn’t get into university. He felt he had failed his family because they were all ambitious and successful and therefore he felt like he wasn’t worth living. What a lie! If there wasn’t this pressure, he would still be here today!

Experience has shown me that things do not always go the way we planned, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up on life all together! Just because we failed in one thing, it does not mean we will fail in everything. We have to find the path that is for us and build our life on that. Through hardships and set backs we build up a character inside of us. We become wiser, resilient, understanding of others and open minded!

It doesn’t matter what situation you are in at this moment, or how your life is. You can change things around, you can become the person you’ve always wanted to become. You can be happy!

I read an interesting article this morning about 20 people who became highly successful after the age of 40! Check it out here:

Friday, 17 April 2015

Health Review: Re-using plastic water bottles

With the weather becoming warmer, our water intake is increasing and many of us are walking around with bottled water in our bags to keep us hydrated.

I always like to keep a bottle of water in my bag and refill it once it’s empty. It’s much more convenient than having to buy a new bottle every time the other one finishes!

One of my work colleagues warned me about refilling my plastic water bottle when she saw me refill it at work the other day. She studied Chemistry so knew about the bad effects of doing so and gave me an insight into it. She advised me to research more about it –which I did.

I discovered that reusing water or soft drink plastic bottles  – even when you wash them out well, can lead to bacterial contamination due to wear and tear and physical breakdown of the plastic bottle. Bacteria can harbour in the cracks, posing a health risk.

It’s not that we can’t reuse our plastic bottles at all but we have to be careful with the amount of times we reuse one bottle. Most plastic bottles are not recommended to be reused anyway but reports have shown that water bottles can be washed with warm soapy water and allowed to dry before being reused. But the process of washing and agitation has been shown to damage the structure of the bottle, causing release of chemical compounds.

The safest option is to use a stainless steel water bottle or bottles that are designed to be reused and safe to refill . Stainless steel bottles are considered the safest alternative to plastic bottles. They are durable and do not leach.

I currently use a green acrylic tumbler (see below) for drinking water at work because it’s easy to wash and dry and as we have drinking water taps ,it’s convenient to just refill it at anytime. As long as I don’t microwave, freeze or dish wash the tumbler, it’s safe to use over and over again!

It’s good to do some research into this and look at the different kinds of bottles we can carry with us and refill with water, especially as the days are getting warmer.

My tumbler

Suggested water bottles

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Story of the week: Fighting to Defy the Odds

I came across an article that a friend of mine had posted on his Facebook timeline this afternoon which really touched me.

The story is about a young woman who has been paralysed and doctors believe it is a result of her contracting the MRSA infection that attacked her spine, after using a makeup brush she borrowed from a friend. You can read the full article here:

What caught my attention while reading this story was a paragraph that reads; “despite what happened, Gilchrist remains positive about her life, believing that with the proper attitude not to give up, she will be able to use her legs again.”

I admire her positive attitude towards what is a very tragic situation. Instead of looking at the negative impact this has had on her life, she is placing all her belief and determination in learning how to walk again. She believes that one day she will and do to.

I believe that what the mind can conceive and when we choose to believe, it can and will come to pass, if we don’t give up! It will by no means be easy, but no matter how long the journey takes, the goal will be reached when we choose to persist and keep our eyes on what we want, come what may!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Banana and Pineapple smoothie

I really wanted to make a strawberry and banana smoothie but when I opened the fridge this morning, the tray of strawberries had gone! My sister obviously made use of them yesterday without me noticing LOL!

I decided to have something different and try a banana and pineapple smoothie. I actually liked it! It was nice and sweet! I didn’t add anything else to it as I like to keep my smoothies as simple as possible .

I will be experimenting with different fruits and vegetables this week and will be back here to shire them with you. If you have any good smoothie recipes, please do share them here .

Monday, 13 April 2015

Banana and Orange smoothie

Happy Monday everyone !

This morning I made a delicious banana and orange smoothie. Just the two fruits together, simple but sweet!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Why do most women see themsevles as average?

A friend of mine posted an article about the new Dove -  Choose Beauty campaign on her Facebook page this morning and I found it very interesting.

I read another article about this campaign and the conclusion is that the majority of women class themselves as average rather than beautiful.

I asked myself, why is it that despite so many initiatives, organisations, women’s  groups, self help books, blogs, conferences work tirelessly to empower women to know their worth, value themselves, believe in their existence, follow their dreams, develop their self belief, and so forth, are women still struggling to see themselves as beautiful and special?

Why is it that we are quick to see so much beauty in places, things, animals and other people, but at times we fail to see and embrace the beauty that we possess?

Thinking about this –what springs to mind is that the perception of what real beauty is, what the media, society and the world views as beautiful and attractive had an affect on how we see beauty.

 We think we have to look or dress a certain way to be beautiful. If we’re not following the latest fashion trends, plastering ourselves with with lots of make up, hair extensions or “turning up” to the most popular scenes and places, we are plain, boring and ugly.

I believe that real beauty isn’t always what the eye can see but it is something possessed from the inside and eventually flourishes outside! It is something that we discover within us and as we work on it, it spreads to all areas of our lives. We are all beautiful in our own way and it’s up to us to uncover the beauty that may be hidden amongst so many stones of insecurities, complexes and traumas.

We have to stop following what society deems as beautiful and be our own special kind of beautiful!

Now I understand why many women view themselves as average – because they copy other people, they go with flow and follow the crowd, trying to imitate women of power and influence, instead of finding their own identity and developing it.

Only those who dare to be different, who go against the norm and find the beauty from within, shine and make the difference. I aim to be one of them…what about you?

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Wednesday's look for work

Good afternoon all 😊
I used to think that grey was a boring colour. It reminded me of the grey skirts I used to wear at school as part of my uniform. However, over the years I've warmed to the colour and think it looks great when dressed with white and some bold and dark colours like red and burgundy.

I only own one grey item which is the grey trousers you see in the picture! They're quite smart so I like to wear them for work. Today, I wore the trousers with a simple white long sleeved top and a black, white and red tartan jacket.

I really liked this look for work. It was smart, elegant and appropriate for both the environment and good weather.

Monday, 6 April 2015

My Easter Monday Morning!

With it being Easter Bank Holiday Monday and an extra day off work for me, I thought about having a lie-in and making a good ol' English Breakfast when I woke up! I had been feeling quite tired lately and really wanted to spend the whole morning in bed!

 However, I woke up early this morning and the first thing that came to my mind was to go for a jog and do some exercise in the park! I hesitated at first as this was not part of my plan for the morning but I decided to get dressed into my exercise gear, put on my running trainers and go! The weather was and still is beautiful today so that was a bonus.

I spent around 45 minutes at the park and after I  felt energised and no longer sluggish or overly tired as I was did when I woke up!

Sometimes we think that sleep will do the trick to overcome that sluggish fatigue feeling but with me, I've noticed that when I exercise I feel so much better! My body needs a good work out regularly otherwise its starts to slow down!

P.s I had a very nice cheesy omelette with greens peppers and bacon afterwards, followed by a delicious fruit salad!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Easter Sunday Style

Happy Easter everyone!

 Today is a special day, so I made an extra special effort and picked this outfit to wear for church this morning!

Friday, 3 April 2015

My Friday Look

This is my look for Good Friday! The weather isn't great here, it's wet and chilly! However, today is a special day because it symbolises the day Jesus gave His life for us on the Cross, so we wouldn't have to live a burdened life of shame, misery or constant unhappiness.

When you are going somewhere special, it's good to make an effort and dress nice. With this in mind, I thought very carefully about what I was going to wear to the special Good Friday Service at church.

This outfit wasn't what i was going to wear initially, but after much deliberation I decided to go with it.

 It's modern, it's chic and it shows my personality -  creative!

I wore chunky heeled ankle boots which you just about see in the picture!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Moment of reflection: Blessed

Welcome to a new month!

How was the month of March for you? Good, bad, so so?

March was a very blessed month for me! I experienced some wonderful moments but a lot of things didn't go according to plan. I had set backs, disappointments and struggles. However, none of these diverted me from my goal, neither did it steal my happiness.

I chose to rise above them all and to keep moving forward. With this mindset and attitude, I could see a way out the struggles! Things became clearer.

You see, sometimes we think we are only blessed when we achieve something materially great, such as a new job, career opportunity, become engaged, get married, receive a lump sum of money we weren't expecting and get the all clear from a health problem! All these are wonderful but being blessed is not limited to what the eye can see.. Maybe none of these things happened to you last month and this has made you question your faith, and self belief. Everyone around you seems to be progressing, taking leaps of faith, soaring to new heights, gained new responsibilities and promotion and you didn’t receive any of that. No well done, congratulations, praise, and recognition came your way.

But look deeper! Was there a bad feeling or resentment you were harbouring against someone who had hurt you in this past but this month you decided let it go, forgive them and move on? You are blessed because you have set yourself free, you're no longer heavy burdened and have found inner healing – which many are craving for!

Was there a secret you were keeping to yourself and it was eating you up inside, making you feel guilty, but you opened up to someone about it and bringing it to light took you out of the inner darkness you were in and now you feel as light as a feather? You are blessed

Were there people in your life who only brought you down, undermining your worth and leading you to a destructive life but you broke away from them and removed them from your life? You are blessed because you realized that to live a positive life you need to stay away from negative people. You raised your standards and respected yourself!

Were you in a relationship that seemed to be going no where and you or the other person decided to call it a day? You are blessed because that relationship wasn’t right for you and now you can concentrate on investing more in yourself  and  when it’s time, the right person for you will come in to your life. If you had carried on with that relationship, you’d still be frustrated, insecure and unhappy!

As the quote says, “everyday may not be good, but there is something good in every day.” It bottles down to the way we choose to look at things and the attitude towards what life throws or does not throw at us!

To be blessed is to be happy!