Tag Archives: foodie

Drink up, buttercup – Daily water challenge on my bid to good health.

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Hey guys, I thought that I would share with you my latest health kick and have come to write this current post about a new challenge that I have set for myself in a bid to be the healthiest version of myself possible. The challenge in question? Drink more water daily! This seems like a no brainer, but often, I find that my body is dehydrated and that I forget to drink enough water throughout the day.

With running around after a baby and having much to do, I do forget about my own needs from time to time, I want to try to gain some self care back and get myself hydrated. After all, the benefits that water consumption provides the human body are endless. The EFSA recommends an intake of  two litres of water for women per day, via food and drink consumption.  Of this, it is suggested that approximately 70-80% of our daily water intake should come from drinks, with a following 20-30% from food consumption.

Water consumption, or lack of is something that I can be guilty of cutting short, most of the time. With breastfeeding, I know that I really should be meeting this requirement and then some.

Water has so many benefits and can be enjoyed as part of a healthy lifestyle. Energy levels increase, promotes weight loss, improves the condition of skin, boosts our immune system.. I could go on but it is a no brainer that water supplies so many advantages. The decision to drink more has become quite an increased thought in my mind.

I often find I’m dehydrated or tired and after a glass of water, I can feel a great deal better within a short time. I’m encouraging myself to drink the daily recommendation as part of a healthy lifestyle and balance. I’ve previously spoke about issues I have with my weight and eating, I’m working to over come the anxiety I hold over food and the negative mind set that I can associate with eating.

I have recently become a full vegetarian as has Euan.I can safely say that I feel much better not having meat in my diet, I just didn’t enjoy meat previously, without it, I now find that I can be more experimental in the kitchen and am happier to try new food . I believe Euan is quite happy without having meat also, or so he tells me! Regardless, we are enjoying trying out new foods together and working our way through different recipes.

I have found that if I eat the foods that I enjoy with my family, I can again enjoy meal times rather than shy away from them,or simply forget that a meal time exists altogether. Does a handful of biscuits class as a dinner? I have began to take pleasure through food shopping and picking out new recipes of dishes to whizz up, or trying out new foods, re addressing old favourites that I avoided for so long. HELLO PIZZA!

I can now enjoy a meal at dinner time with Euan and share a healthy helping of crucial foods and carbohydrates. I don’t just have porridge oats or fruit each night any longer. I try to encourage myself to snack through the day, little and often to regain a healthy weight and BMI once again. From being 39kgs to hitting 46kg, I think I am on the right track. I try not to weigh myself often any more, I come from weighing myself up to twelve times each day and frequently checking that the numbers were dropping to weighing myself each month.

_20180320_212500.JPGWith anxiety and weight battles, the number would never be low enough, I’d never be good enough. For now, I prefer not to check, not to know as seeing the number rise does hurt and my self esteem drops. I’m working to focus on more than just the numbers, I am more than just a number and my weight doesn’t define me as a person.

I’m not only setting myself a daily water challenge, I’m setting myself up for the challenge of healthy eating as part of a lifestyle change to improve my quality of health and life. No longer do I wish to be drained of motivation, to have a sullen look on my face and to be so weak that even walking up stairs causes aches that I can’t explain.

I’m taking control once more and getting my mind, body and soul back for a healthy life to share with my family. I’m so ready to lead by example for my daughter and to wave goodbye to bad habits, bad thoughts. I don’t want to look like a nine year old child any more and I don’t want to have a bad attitude either. I don’t want any bad habits of mine to rub off onto Eleanor and I don’t want to rob myself of special family time and bonding due to a bad attitude or my mind telling me that I can’t have this, I shouldn’t try that.

Food, drink and a good attitude really can bring people together and right now I’m thinking positive, I’m thinking healthy and for once, I’m thinking of Me. Right now, my biggest battle is to get hydrated, once I can get into food habits with having water frequently, I am certain that my mood can improve and my body will feel nourished.

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Here’s to becoming a woman, a healthy, body positive, woman with a love of food and nutrition.

Keren x

 

Diving into the realms of a vegetarian diet.

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I’ve never been a big meat eater or a fan of meat. Growing up my family were not vegetarian and we were taught to eat what was given to us, whatever that may be. My Mum was big on home made, hearty meals. Mince and tatties, stews, stovies. All the classics.

However into adult life, and especially post partum my diet has changed substantially and I no longer opt to eat meat through choices and opinions of my own.

In recent years, I’ve come to not really enjoy cooked meals, meat included. I much prefer to snack through the day and eat foods such as pancakes, Cereals, fruits and nuts for meal times, skipping out key nutrients that my body requires.

Now that I have my Daughter and we are beginning the weaning process, I can’t stress to myself enough how important it is that she can see myself and Euan eating a healthy varied diet and take on good habits.

With this notion in place and keen to change my own dietary habits, I have decided to live life as a vegetarian. This will be of no difficulty to myself (and I’m not bragging by the way) I just mean that I would often opt for the vegetarian option when out for a meal or have something other than what Euan has at home when he eats a meat based meal. I love fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, breads and a variety of beans and lentils.

With the variety that is out there, I don’t think I’ll struggle to find foods to eat and have been living a vegetarian diet most days as it is, without the title of vegetarian over my head.

I really went off meat when pregnant, it was the icing on the cake to give the push to become a vegetarian. The smells, textures and tastes. I remember the nausea that came with the smells and I couldn’t bring myself to chew through certain foods. I realise I can’t live my life eating merely fruit, Yogurt and Bran flakes so through a vegetarian diet, I hope to gain nutrition and strength that my body lacks.

I am keen to make this dietary change a fun experience. To begin to cook more often, especially from recipe books. To pick a recipe, gather the ingredients and cook with Euan on a weekend. I’m quite excited to get stuck in and embrace the culinary experience.

I’ve never been a good cook and meals are kind of just slap up and quick plate fulls that you can’t really call a meal. I didn’t have a child to protect and tend to before now and so diet was not something I took good care of,  I mean, if I could get away with eating porridge oats and pancakes three times a day, I would!

Now, it is changed days and I find it so important to show Eleanor good habits and have her set for life and nourish her body through healthy eating. Of course a meat based diet is just as healthy as a vegetarian diet if followed with a good range of other foods, and I’m not against people eating meat but I just feel it is not right for me and I don’t want to raise my Daughter as a meat eater.

Getting busy in the kitchen is an inexpensive yet fun way to pass the time, especially with having Eleanor at home. The opportunity to go out and do as we please does not come so easily anymore so we need to find good habits and hobbies that we can have at home. I think cooking weekends are a great way to get back into the kitchen, learn to love food again and all the whole, teach Eleanor about food, balance and living a healthy lifestyle.

If anyone has good vegetarian recipe books or recipes, please add a comment at the end of the post. I’m keen to hear from you on this and take on board any ideas and help available. I want to make this a fun experience and have a good range of recipes and foods to try. Build up a bit of a portfolio on the kitchen o suppose. I know that not everything I make and try will be a success, there will be downfalls, disasters and foods that I hate but it’s all part of the fun. Of you would like my journey to be documented, let me know. I’m happy to share with you all.

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I am hoping to raise Eleanor as a vegetarian too, Euan is on board with this and keen to try living the same lifestyle of I can incorporate filling and nutritional meals without the need for meat. I think it makes sense to be in this together as a family and discover a whole new healthy lifestyle as a family and give our daughter, Eleanor the best start on life that we can offer.

If she later in life wishes to dabble into foods and try meat, I’m happy for her to try and to find her own feet, discover new tastes that she too can love. At this stage of her life though, I’m keen to take control and offer her as much nutrition and variety as I can without the addition of meat. With there being so much available at the markets in this day and age, I don’t feel that meat will make or break a diet. There are so many other alternatives that you can draw balance and key vitamins from to supplement the lack of meat.

I encourage the use of daily vitamins and have through my whole life. Currently I take omega 3, vitamin D and a multi vitamin. As I’m breastfeeding right now, Eleanor too gets the benefit of the vitamins but when she is not having her breast milk, I’d be keen to supply her with vitamin supplements suitable for her age. If anyone can recommend a good vitamin for children under two, please, fire away. I’m. Happy to take some ideas and advice.

So far we have made vegetarian pizzas from flat breads and added our own sauce and toppings. Sunday evenings cooking experience was Halloumi fajitas which I will be keen to make again and again. Fajitas can never get boring either, there’s a variety of sauces and vegetables that you can throw in the mix to keep them fun and new. Like I said, fire away any recipes you have that are vegetarian friendly. I’d love to hear from you all. I’m. Happy to try most things and have a strong love of fruit and veggies. If I make meals that look presentable enough, I’d be happy to share the results on my blog and give a wee review.

Remember, keep it simple, I’m new to this gig.

Keren x

The most wonderful time. My top Five Christmas favourites.

Now that we have entered the festive period and December is in full swing, I thought I’d share with you all my top five favourite things about Winter and the Christmas run up.

The count down to Christmas is in full swing, my excitement is growing it only seems right to talk about it. By the way, it’s totally acceptable to get the Christmas playlist on the go now, right?

To pick just five favourites from the season seems unfair, but if I don’t draw the line somewhere, I’d end up going on forever. I really love Christmas time and the whole sense of togetherness it brings. It’s just so special and has the ability to make people feel special. Family is everything and a little kindness never goes a miss.

A white Christmas – First on the list, obviously. Who doesn’t love a waking up to a fresh white Christmas morning with droplets of snow falling? There’s something magical about watching the snow fall, even more so on one of the most important days of the calendar year. It’s just so dreamy. I love it. I love walking the dog on a snowy Christmas morning with family and embracing the freshness in the air. I think that snow, definitely makes Christmas day feel like Christmas day. A winter wonderland truly is wonderful.

I won’t lie though, after the Christmas period has ended, I’m happy to be rid of snow and the bitter cold that it too brings with it but for now, I’ll lap up all the snow days I can get.

With being off on maternity leave, fortunately, I have no place to go and can embrace a lie in from time to time if Eleanor allows it and we can spend the days watching the snow fall from the comfort of the window.

 

Kindness – All too often we are consumed by materialistic lifestyles and can get way too caught up within ourselves that we forget about others. I like that Christmas brings a level of compassion, care, love and support for those around us that we hold dear. Christmas is a time to give, a time to share and a time to bring kindness to all, no matter who we are. It’s so magical how the time of year can bring people together in such a special way. This year,

I feel even more excited for family and making the most of family time as now I have a family of my own, everything really is that extra bit special and I will be making the effort of going the extra mile to make this year a Christmas to remember.

I love to give gifts and spoil people a little but it can get out of hand to keep buying gifts and my pockets aren’t full so come Christmas, I find it so satisfying to treat the ones I love with a little something I have picked out especially, knowing that they will really love it. I like to make others feel special and give good treats. I put a lot of thought into the gifts that I give, I always have.

As a young girl, I’d sit in my bedroom and play Christmas music, watch the classic movies and wrap my gifts I had got for my family. I’d stick a sign on my bedroom door to warn mum and dad not to enter and get to work. I was a terrible at wrapping, this is something that has not changed but I always done it with a sense of pride.

Now that I can take on the roll of Santa too, I feel even more excited. Eleanor is still too young to understand but that doesn’t mean Santa won’t be paying her a little visit on her first Christmas. It just makes everything so much more exciting. Christmas really is for the children and I can’t wait to watch her excitement as she grows to understand over the years.

 

Christmas decorations – I am a self confessed magpie. I love glitter, sparkles and anything that shines. I have an eye for all things pretty and the festive period certainly meets my inner diva needs and fills my wee heart right up with cheer.

Christmas lights are all around, the streets are lit up, coffee shops have the festive cups out to play. Trees decorated on every corner, wreaths hang pretty on front doors – only a matter of days before I hang mine! Squeal!

There are stockings to hang, santa sacks to fill and so many festive candles, so many festive scents. It’s heaven. It’s busy. It’s love.

Christmas decor is great, I can’t get enough of little bits and bibs to hang and grace the tree with. From a young age,  I’ve always taken great pleasure from viewing the Christmas lights and the decorations that surround us all. To this day, it still excites me to dig out the decoration bag and get going with it.

This year, we are taking the day off on the first Saturday of the month and spending the day putting up our decorations around the home while having some festive hot drinks and watching good old classic Christmas movies. Eleanor is so little this Christmas that she won’t understand what is going on but I’m keen to entertain Christmas early and teach her all about it from a young age so that for years to come it remains a special occasion that holds many memories.

 

Festive drinks – Mulled wine, hot chocolate, you say? Em, hello?! What is a festive period without plenty of hot mulled wine and hot chocolate? It’s a festive essential and with it being so bitterly cold, the hot drinks really help to warm us up. I especially favour a good cup of hot chocolate. Or candy juice as I like to call it. I’ve been having one frequently for the past few weeks and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. Next weekend, we are going to hit up the local Christmas Market and I will be hoping to catch a good cup of hot chocolate as long as a glass of mulled wine to keep me cosy.

What’s the festive period if you can’t enjoy a good treat?! It is really a time for indulging and spoiling yourself.

 

Christmas movies – Old or new. Any Christmas film is acceptable in my eyes, so long as it comes after the first of December. It’s okay to binge watch elf on repeat if it is December. I’m excited to spend the weekends indoors, cosied up with blanket forts, candy juice and snacks to make for good TV viewing.

There is something about Christmas movies that really get you in the spirit and make the whole festive season quite special. It’s been a ritual since I was young to watch all the movies based in Christmas. A wonderful life, home alone, elf.. Yep, I’ll be watching them all this year and for years to come. A movie day with plenty of snacks is a great way to spend time with family and remain warm at the same time.

Top tip, ensure plenty of snacks are around. Once the movies begin, you won’t want to move.

 

Christmas Dinner – Last, but certainly not least, the best part of Christmas is family and the Christmas Dinner.  I can’t wait to spend time with my little family just the three of us and have our first family Christmas at home. I plan to out together the a Christmas dinner (my very first) and have the whole day with my family to myself. Yes, I’m greedy for not sharing them with anyone else.

In all seriousness though, what is better than having Christmas day watching old movies, being warm indoors and enjoying a feast full of delicious goodies with your loved ones? I loved waking on Christmas morning as a child and sneaking down stairs with my brother, checking to see that Santa had been and watching Arthur Christmas on the tele.

Pigs n blankets? Duck fat roasted potatoes? Honey glazed veggies?! Yes please! Fill my plate up and delight my tummy.

Now, I’m no master chef and I don’t claim to be, as I will be making the dinner this year round the pressure is on. Luckily though, I’m only hosting for the two of us, if all fails, I’ll be sure to have plenty of snacks to pick from and there will be a selection of wine.. for good measure.

It will be rather strange not being with my own family on Christmas but I wanted this year to be with my own family, the three of us and to make our own Christmas ritual and routines. To make our own memories that we can share for the future.

I’m super excited for that precious family time and the whole of the run up to the big day. I’m trying to keep myself busy and get into the spirit of Christmas. With the snow fall having began, I’m ready to throw on the Christmas playlist and get dancing around the tree.

How are you spending Christmas day? Do you have any family traditions that you love and follow each year? What’s on your dinner menu?

Merry Christmas guys, Keren x

Embracing the last few weeks of living as a couple. Taking time out with my man.

With my due date fast approaching, I have been keen to spend as much time with my partner as I can (in between naps and early bed times), doing the things which we love or doing nothing at all, it doesn’t matter, any time together is precious. It is so important to me that we take time out together and make the most of it whilst we can.

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I know that when our baby arrives, we will be limited to alone time, there will be so much focus over our little one and adapting to family life that we won’t have the same time as we do now to give one another.  Don’t get me wrong, it will be amazing to be a family but I do think at times I will miss the days where it was just us.During the past few weeks, we have been squeezing in as much time together as we can. To embrace and look back upon with happy memories, especially with this being such an exciting time. I suppose you could almost call it a baby moon. A slightly extended and less extravagant baby moon. No holidays unfortunately, just staying local and making the most of each day and enjoying life together, all the while, learning more and more about each other by the day and scarily becoming more alike! We can now finish each other’s sentences or let out the same word in the same moment. Uh oh.

In recent weeks, we have enjoyed days off from work together, spent a weekend away in Edinburgh – which was so nice. A well needed break for the both of us. It is great to just walk around a new City and take it all in, watching people go about their own daily business. You could say this was the last holiday before baby, it was exactly how I wanted it to be. Dining out at a Thai cuisine, listening to live music in a small and cosy pub until late, coffee mornings and a trip to the Zoo with an evening tour of the Cities underground. I missed out back in May when Euan went out to Malaysia to visit family, I was intending to go with him and the trip had been booked for almost a year. Sadly, I was unable to travel with the risk of Zika virus and had time at home alone instead. Which, I may add was horrible. I did not take well to being alone and became a whole bag of emotions, crying most of the time he was away. Silly, I know.

It is important to me to spend time with loved ones and I feel that you have to put effort into a relationship all of the time, it doesn’t have to be a huge effort but showing support and love can go a long way. Often we can forget what is important and get too caught up with other things that go on from day to day. Work commitments and issues, daily stresses, family problems, etc. It can become very difficult to balance your life and all that comes with it, and can become too much. I want to be in a strong and healthy relationship, have my child grow up in a happy and loving environment. Family is all that most of us have and it is imperial we hold the ones we love close.

Besides a weekend away and various other days out we enjoyed a gig from Blink 182 at a local event venue. A blast from the past you could say and yes, at 33 weeks pregnant, I forced myself out to listen to some live music. We enjoyed greasy gig food and obviously picked up a T-shirt from the merchandise stall to add to the collection. As the evening went on, I did begin to struggle with back pain and tired legs from standing so we ended up sitting at the back of the crowd on the cold concrete floor and listening to the set end from the sidelines. A world away from the gigs I went to in teenage years. I had a great evening and I am sure Euan did too. Getting out and doing something a little different from the norm can make all the difference. A breath of fresh air and another memory to add to the bag. We can tell baby that her first gig was Blink 182. Pretty cool. 

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We haven’t too much planned over the next few weeks, I wanted to keep things tame. I am becoming tired and sore, my knees begin to burn after long days so I think it is time to wind down and relax more. Off to see family this weekend for a night and we have booked to go out for a meal next month at my favourite Indian restaurant. I’m sure we will squeeze in as much cinema trips as we can which means lots of ice cream and pick n mix. Bonus. At this rate, the amount of time we spend at the cinema, I’ll be lucky if I don’t start labor during a screening.  I must say, I am excited to slow down and stop a little. To sit back and get ready to begin a new chapter. I can’t wait for my journey as a family to begin and to get stuck in my own little love bubble with the two people I will hold the closest. but for now, I am just enjoying the last days we hold together as a couple and falling more in love with my man than ever. I am very fortunate to have someone so genuine,good and caring by my side. I cannot wait for what family life will bring and to watch my best friend become a Father.