Category Archives: life

Eating Out- without breaking the diet

Over the years whenever I have started a diet or healthy eating plan I find myself extremely determined and aggressive at the beginning, meal prep and enthusiastic organisation takes over when the determination is strong. Inevitably along the way, like most of us, life catches up and we find ourselves at the office without lunch as the kids were running late for school and there just wasn’t enough time, or getting home late from work with no dinner planned. This is usually the part where we give in to ordering takeaway, allowing the cravings for pizza and carbs to consume us. If we look at eating out in a different light, perhaps those crazy days of no meal planning won’t result in diet ruin.

  1. Know Before You Order

Practically everything is available online these days, and this includes calorie information for your favourite go-to takeaway restaurants. Before placing your order, quickly check out the portions and the calories in order to make an informed decision.

  1. Substitute More Greens

Most restaurants offer a standard side dish that includes carb-driven chips, rice, or potatoes. Although alluring, next time your main entrée includes a side, opt in for a greener vegetable instead. If you are getting Indian cuisine delivered to the office, perhaps a side of curried spinach or a house salad with your lamb Dhansak to complete your delivery order.

  1. Portions Are Everything

It is not rocket science; the portions you receive from most takeaway places are much more than what you would prepare at home. This is particularly tricky when a restaurant posts calorie information “per serving”, which is often half of what is in your container. If you are given a mountain of food, immediately portion it out and put the other half away – out of sight, out of mind.

  1. Eat Slowly

Listen to your mother – don’t wolf down your meal! We get it: you are hungry. The faster you shovel in the food, the slower you have time to digest and “feel” how satisfied you are. In obvious terms, this results in overeating. Another useful tip is to stop for a glass of water here and there – not only does water play a vital role in your diet, it also fills you up!

  1. Modifications Are Your Friend

Most restaurants allow order customisation in order to accommodate diet and allergy requests. This can include ingredient substituting or omission, preparation methods, and sauce selection. If possible, ask your restaurant if they are willing to swap the double cream for a lighter dairy or the sodium-based sauce for a lighter dressing. Simple switches can help more than you know!

Since I started my Slimming World journey in August this year I have learned that it is all about making the right choices. You can have the takeaway or dine out in a nice restaurant but you do need to be aware of what is on offer and what is the best option while still treating yourself at the same time. Do not be afraid of asking for the dressings to be separate, or asking for a salad instead of the normal carb filled sides. Eating out with friends and family, or even a weekend takeaway needn’t be the end to your healthy eating plan. Look at the menus beforehand so you are aware of what is going to be available and know what you are going to order before you get there. With takeaways such as  Indian or Chinese opt for plain boiled rice instead of fried rice, order a side of vegetables and have a smaller portion of anything that is seriously going to knock you off your diet and help you stay on track.

Eating out should not be the death sentence to your diet goals. Following these few simple suggestions will rid you of any takeaway or dining out guilt and keep you on track.

Slimming World week 4- my results

I was away last week and so didn’t have a weigh in.

My previous week I had a gain of 1/2 lb which was disappointing as I had stayed on plan ( apart from an ice cream!) But although I was away with the family I was able to easily stay on plan as I was still preparing all my meals.

The only treat that I wanted when I went was proper seaside fish and chips, which is something we always get at a fabulous fish shop on Herne Bay sea front. I planned this meticulously thinking it was best to have this on the Monday I was missing my weigh in. That way I was on plan all week, had my fish and chips and then went straight back on plan for the next week.

In all honesty, and I can’t believe I am saying this, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would……….totally weird!

Anyway, along came the next weigh in and low and behold I lost an amazing 3 1/2 lbs over the two weeks!! I was absolutely chuffed as this got me within a 1lb of my half a stone before my cousins wedding target. My dress felt more comfortable and less ‘strained’ when I wore it.

Again I stayed on plan up to the day of the wedding, knowing that on the day I would fully enjoy an off plan dinner and pudding along with copious amounts of G+T!! I didn’t want to think about it on the day, I just wanted to go and enjoy every minute of it.

..... and enjoy ourselves we did!

….. and enjoy ourselves we did!

This meant that I knew I would have a gain on the Monday weigh in, which actually wasn’t as bad as I thought at 1lb. However, even when you expect a gain it still is a bit disappointing when it happens. It was made a little easier though by the fact I won the raffle, which was a bag full of spices in honour of their new curry club cookbook being released- so alls well that ends well and all that lol

lessened the blow of the 1lb gain!

lessened the blow of the 1lb gain!

This week though I have been very strict with myself, including lots of speedy veg and fruit and cutting down on the free rice/ pasta and potatoes. Last week I opted to aim for a 2lb loss which would take me to my first half stone loss which I think will make all the difference mentally, however, as weigh in looms tomorrow morning I am beginning to doubt I have lost anything and I won’t lie I will be VERY disappointed.

So watch this space and I will let you know………

Yes I am still here!

You may have thought I had given up on my little blog it has been so long since I have posted on here, but no, I am still here I have just been having a little break.

It’s not that I haven’t had anything to write about, there have been loads going on in the past few months in my little corner of the world, it is just the fact that I haven’t had the inclination to put it all on here, call it lack of blogging mojo but I have had a total break from my site although I have been active on my social media sites. Last night, however, I attended a lovely event down in Kent which got me back in touch with the blogging community. It was fun, it was nice to meet new people and get a bit of that missing blogging mojo back.

So, what has been happening while I have been away (and I do not mean the obvious political stuff that is all over social media at the minute). In my little bubble, I haven’t been active on here since attending a review for a local spa, which I have now joined myself and try and go there at least twice a week. I cannot tell you how relaxing it is using the heat rooms ( sauna and steam) there and how lovely that has been for my poor M.E/Fibro muscular pain.

There’s been 18th birthday celebrations for my eldest ( in April) before all the madness of his A level exams recently.


There’s been more sewing for me as I attended another sewing class learning more skills and meeting new people.

dress collage

There’s been a lot of ‘new to me’ furniture buying and upcycling as we have started to redecorate our lounge from a modern look to a more old style/ country appearance..

Gone from Dark leather to cream fabric

Gone from Dark leather to cream fabric

Again gone from a very dark wood to white and a sanded top, I still need to cover the chairs!

Again gone from a very dark wood to white and a sanded top, I still need to cover the chairs!

Gone from dark to light on the curtains and will be taking down the blinds and putting up voiles instead to make it lighter

Gone from dark to light on the curtains and will be taking down the blinds and putting up voiles instead to make it lighter

There is still a lot to do as the walls need repainting and the feature walls need re-papered and some soft furnishings still need to be sorted, but the majority of the change over is done.

There’s also been a trip to Royal Ascot (which was amazing) for a friends 50th birthday.

That's my friend and I all togged up looking posh!

That’s my friend and I all togged up looking posh!

This was something I always wanted to go and experience and I am glad they invited us to enjoy their special day- things are always enjoyed best depending on the company you go with. This was a fabulous day that I will not forget for a very long time…………….did I mention how close I got to the Queen????

There you go - just in case you didn't believe me!

There you go – just in case you didn’t believe me!

Recent weeks have been tough health wise for me, I felt I was having no relief from my Fibromyalgia pain at all. It was making me more exhausted than normal and was just never ending. I finally managed to get a GP appointment and she is very understanding and finally changed my medication to a slow release morphine ( the strongest thing I have been on ever). However, the detox from the years of Tramadol onto slow release MST was just horrific for about 5-6 days in total. I have never felt so rough in my life, hardly able to hold myself up yet unable to sleep  ( I was literally awake all night on the 1st evening watching films!), there was lots of nausea and dizziness and a bloody awful crushing headache that lasted days. A week or so on from there and things have settled and things are on the up and I am slowly but surely getting back to what would be relative normality for me.

Then last night was a huge milestone when my 18yr old went on his 6th year school leaver’s Prom, having officially left school and now just waiting exam results ( do not mention Edexel A level Maths………….there may well be a meltdown here!) and hopefully for him ( definitely not me) off to uni.

Here he looking handsome and dapper being  forced to stand and have a million pictures taken before he went!

Here he looking handsome and dapper being forced to stand and have a million pictures taken before he went!

So there you have it! There have obviously been lots of normal life thrown in too, ( nothing is ever straightforward or stress free with older teens in the house) but for now I will leave it there.

I look forward to catching up on all the blogging goings on now that I have a little blog mojo back!

Bring Your Home into the 21st Century with Modern Technology


My husband and I are forever having this conversation as we notice how high tech everything has become. We were making our teens laugh the other day when they were talking about new tv’s and games consoles and we were trying to explain that we had only 3 channels on our TV and you had to get up to turn the channel over, and before you ask yes they did look at us like we had 2 heads! However, it really does make you think how far technology has come in even the last 30 years. High tech is no longer restricted to computers etc but there is an element of  high tech in almost every ‘normal’ standard item in our homes, just think coffee machines, cooking gadgets, Tv’s and I wont even start on what our phones can do these days.

Most people will upgrade their gadgets and appliances as they redecorate or extend their properties nowadays as we all want to live in a home that is not only comfortable, attractive and practical but is also modern and convenient. One of the ways in which you can ensure that your home is brought into the 21st century is through the use of modern technology, which is something that can provide increased functionality, ease and aesthetic appeal in the home. Technological evolution has changed both our home and business lives for the better over recent years and the availability of futuristic products continues to grow.

There are all sorts of modern devices and gadgets that you can invest in these days in order to help modernise your home with everything from high-tech appliances for the kitchen through to exciting tech devices for the living room or the bedroom.

Enjoy the benefits of high tech in every room

With the vast array of high-tech products that are on the market these days, you will find it simple and convenient to enjoy the benefits of modern technology in every room in your home. The kitchen is one room that is used on a regular basis in most homes, and this is a room where most of us would like to enjoy increased functionality. You can achieve this by investing in products such as a good coffee machine. Technology has come such as long way that you can now even get taps that are built into the worktop and serve up delicious coffee at the touch of a button such as the TopBrewer, which is even compatible with iOS and Android so that you can more easily select your beverage options.

The bedroom is a place where we typically want to be able to relax and many of us enjoy doing this by watching TV while in bed. If you want to make your bedroom more tech-friendly but you don’t want to affect the appearance and ambiance of the room one option is to invest in a high-tech TV bed, which will save you room as well as enabling you to benefit from 21st century technology. Specialist retailers like Bedstar, which provides access to a huge range of beds, can provide you with a high quality TV bed so you can watch TV on a Sunday morning in real style.

The living room is another part of the home in which we enjoy being able to kick back and chill out. This is a room where the whole family often gathers in order to enjoy some quality time and to watch TV. You can look forward to an exciting and unique viewing experience with technology such as one of the range of smart TVs, which will ensure that no matter what you are watching you will be able to benefit from a totally immersive experience.

With so many great gadgets and devices to choose from, transforming your home into a real tech-hub has become easier than ever.


Why playtime can also be good for grown-ups

We all know that an important part of childhood is play, and we encourage our children to get involved in imaginative games almost before they can talk. But many of us tend to believe that games aren’t so important for adults. Instead playing is viewed as something superfluous, an activity that takes up valuable time when we could be doing something ‘useful’.

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 15.19.16

by  stigeredoo 

This might be true if you sat and played on the Xbox all day long, neglecting your work and forgetting about keeping the house in order and putting meals on the table. But a little bit of playtime can be good for adults. Not only does it give you a break from the daily grind, but some games can also help stimulate your mental agility, we all remember those ‘Brain’ games for the DS right? If you are anything like me you have to have something on the go in the evenings even if the telly is still going in the back round. For me, I love to crochet and knit, something that I can do maybe while I loosely watch a film or programme I have recorded. Lately I have seen a lot of people online trying out the adult colouring craze that is going around ( I admit I do have one myself which I use when I am listening to my audio books before bed). I know some people love the word games that you can get on your phone, my son loves the logo one he has on there or even bingo either as a board game, a phone app or online. All these things just help a little to keep our brains active and give us a little escapism from the hum drum of daily life.

Obviously now though a lot of games are available online as most people have their phones in use wherever they are, most homes have tablets or laptops especially if you have kids you may even have several of these around the place ( I know we have!). Of course, now we all have mobile internet and broadband at home, the gaming options we have open to us are endless. But if you’re interested in a game that is fun and amusing, while also giving your brain a boost, try one of these:

Bingo has been hailed as a game that encourages mental stimulation for some years. Research has shown that regular bingo players scored more highly in mental agility exercises than their non-bingo playing counterparts. Apparently it’s something to do with the time constraint in a game of bingo that makes it a more of a brain-boosting game than backgammon, for example. Today, many of us play bingo online at sites like bgo, Comfy Bingo or Tidy Bingo, where the focus is more on relaxation and socialising than having a mental workout. That’s because when you play online bingo games at, for example, there’s an auto-daub function which means the software marks matching numbers for the player, rather than them having to keep track of the calls themselves. However, if you want that brain workout when you play online, you can opt to mark your cards manually.

Word-based games are another category of game that are good for your grey matter. There are so many online word games available today, and you don’t need anyone to play with. Many of the gaming apps that are similar to the game of Scrabble find you opponents online or you can play against the software. Every time you play a word game, you’re gaining new words in your vocabulary and testing yourself to find the best scoring word. And the great thing is that you don’t have to set aside an hour or more to play. Most of the games like WordFeud will notify you when it’s your turn. A game can go on for days, but only require your attention for a few minutes at a time.

Even action-shooter games have been shown to offer some benefits to their players. Although they’re often dismissed as being a waste of time, they require hand-eye coordination and accuracy, which can translate to other aspects of life. In an Iowa University study, a group of surgeons were observed during their work and those who played action video games on a regular basis were shown to be more accurate and quicker in surgery than their non-playing counterparts.

Aside from the specific benefits that different games can bring, there’s always the overall benefit of playing a game. It gives you a chance to de-stress and put your worries and problems to one side, while you focus on something different. That’s something that has to be good for everyone every once in a while.

For me I love to keep my mind active, I do spend a lot of time at home and therefore it would be easy to fall into a trap of just sitting watching telly, however I do like to ‘achieve’ each day be it a lovely home cooked dinner, a finished crochet or machine sewn item or some blogging in my case!

What do you like to do to keep your mind active?