January 10th, 2021

Since I last typed I’ve returned to work after the Christmas break (working from home) and suddenly realised how all my days are taken up with work and little time to do anything else except prepare food and deal with necessary things before falling into bed. This week I managed to walk for just one early morning before my work day started and by the time the days finish it is dark so I just didn’t go out.

My mental health thrives on being able to get outside in the fresh air multiple times in the day (in a ideal scenario) but when one works full time, especially during winter, it’s a challenge. I love working and having my brain stimulated, I love the job I do but if I’m brutally honest, I NEED to be able to devote more time to my health and well being. Life is so brief, so fleeting, every day is beautiful, it seems a shame to miss these moments behind a desk. It’s finding a happy balance where you can earn enough to pay your bills and save a little while having the time to spend on those things that call you, that make you happy, that are fundamental to your well being. At the moment I need all the money I earn to keep a roof over my head (my daughter and I) and food on the table. I am sure most of us do this, its life. But I’m feeling more tired these days.

I turned 55 a couple of days ago. I had a couple of days off work, took my van in for it’s MOT (it passed!) and spent lots of time taking myself off for walks (we have been advised to take just one form of exercise a day during lockdown but it’s not law). I’ve felt during the last few days, that if I haven’t walked briskly outside twice a day I may have become sad and turned to food so I’ve walked early morning and late afternoon when it’s been very quiet and in places where I hardly see a soul. It’s keeping me sane and away from the kitchen cupboards. I worry so much that being behind a desk all day again will send me into a downward spiral with my addiction to over eating/food.

BUT with starting to walk outside again when I can, it has had a positive affect. I’m eating some very nutritious meals, mostly wholefoods, plant-based and the combination of the well-being felt from the walking, I’ve not over eaten and have dropped 8 lbs in 7 days (a lot of peeing so a lot of water weight!). I’m hoping with perseverance I’ll soon lose the weight gain over the last couple of months and work towards moving out of the obesity category.

I’m still working on the Pandemic Cookbook. When I say working I haven’t done all week because after work and doing chores its mid-evening and I’m falling asleep. I just can’t keep awake. I have next Saturday set aside to put a few more hours in and I’ll just keep moving forward and get there soon! My brain still thinks like I am a 30 year old where I did everything far, far quicker than I do these days!

Finally, everyone is in my thoughts with the spread of the new variant of Covid-19. It is thought around 1 in 30 people in the UK has now got the virus. Some areas less, some areas more. Special thoughts to our American friends too, both our countries have similar percentages on our infected and Covid deaths. I know it must be a difficult time right now, politically too. Lets hope everything gets better for everyone soon.

Best wishes to all,

Stay safe, C xxxxx

PS: Below is some of the food I’ve eaten this week which I’ve been sharing on Instagram.

PPS: I’ve just read my post back. I want to apologize, I really don’t have ANYTHING to complain about in the big scheme of things. I’m lucky, very lucky. Was just letting off a little frustration I guess. Hope everyone stays healthy xxxxxx

January 3rd, 2021

My third awesome day in a row.

A short 30 minute morning walk through ‘Queen’s Park’ to say hello to the squirrels and see the next generation of swans getting older. They have grown so fast…

Today is rather gray. Yesterday was cold with brilliant sunshine, and of course, as you know if you read my update below, we had a little snow which reminded me of my 9 years in Canada. The difference with winter snow in the South of England is that unless you are at elevation, if we get any snow it tends to stop at 1/2 inch. In Canada of course, there were times when I wondered if it would ever stop snowing and every winter we could expect a few severe storms which would deposit a couple of feet of snow.

Maybe the snow was the catalyst to get me out of the front door again. Whatever it was I’m so glad I did as it has done me the world of good and I’m already feeling happier.

I’ve decided to do Veganuary for the first time ever. A bit of a back story that may or may not interest you but about 9 years ago I decided to give veganism a try. It had a very positive impact on my health for a while as I mostly ate wholefoods, plant-based so processed foods were minimal. Moving back to the UK, it became easier for me to occasionally allow dairy and egg back into my life and I’ve been vegetarian now for several years but I’ve always hankered to return to what feels better for me, in my heart. So in January I’m am making an effort to return to my roots by converting back over step by step.

Yesterday I made an amazing vegan chilli, I took a few snaps with my phone and shared them on my Instagram with the recipe. Whether you eat meat or not, this is REALLY tasty and very high in protein and fibre and slow release carbs. If you click on the photos below you can see the details clearer. The only thing I omitted to say was that I also added a low salt veggie stock cube and some extra hot water.

I’m still aiming to have the Pandemic Pantry cook book out this weekend, I’ll keep you updated.

Have a lovely Sunday,

C xxxxxxx

January 1st, 2021

A lovely start to the New Year, just getting outside for a short walk down to Queens Park to admire the frosted scenery. We even had a very light sprinkling of snow.

It’s pretty much been the only time I’ve gone out for a proper walk in several weeks as I’ve been struggling with some self confidence issues having piled on about 2.5 stone (35 lbs) in the last 7 or 8 weeks. The lure of a crisp, snowy morning set my inhibitions firmly to one side and the simple act of enjoying a slow, thoughtful walk definitely improved my mental well being. Going forward, if it’s not pouring with rain, I’ll be starting most days this way. I almost forgot the profoundly positive effect outdoors and nature has on my psyche.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year. Be kind, be happy. C xxxxx