Little Things: Staying Healthy on a Busy Week

Is it just me or does there seem to be so much going on after holiday lull that no one was ready for? There was the public outpouring of sorrow and reminiscences following the deaths of David Bowie and Alan Rickman. Tim Peake’s space walk again capturing our imagination. And, at least in my own circles the engrossing, maddening and at times heartwarming viewing that is the Making a Murderer documentary series on Netflix. Yep,it’s been an emotional roller coaster of a week – and that was just on the telly!

FB_IMG_1453029804180
I saw this in a Facebook comment and had to share – hands up if this was you after watching Making a Murderer!

Work has been fairly intense with a lot of early starts plus my boyfriend’s band played their final gig together on Thursday night. It was a great set and there was a really positive vibe with everyone there. But it did go on quite late. Having to do a presentation first thing the next day wasn’t exactly ideal but I got through it and am really glad I was there to watch the guys the night before. Needless to say though, I was ready to chill out come 4:30pm on Friday!

I’ve found this week that it’s been the little things that have gotten me through healthwise. Monday night saw me go on a bit of a YouTube binge and watch a bunch of Madeline Shaw videos. I’d read her book before Christmas which I’d mentioned in an earlier post. I wouldn’t say that I was all that gone on her entire diet plan but the quick tips and ideas she offers are really useful. For example I’ve been taking her advice and hydrating first thing in the morning with water and salt and giving myself a bedtime routine (hand cream massages are a total winner). Plus I just like her style in general. Her enthusiasm about coconut oil is just heart warming and I like that she doesn’t mind that her kitchen table is a little messy when she’s doing a cookery tutorial. Because we can’t all have those blindingly white kitchens – even if she does have a very farm chic Aga – I feel that Madeline emanates a chilled and accepting vibe which I’m very much in favour of.

Money is always so tight in January and health conscious food can be on the pricey side. I found that stocking up on plenty of fresh fruit throughout the week has been a way of giving myself a boost in the snack/breakfast department without making an impact on my bank balance! Buying a big bag of kale and mixing it up with fresh orange juice and lemons or blending a delicious apple and pear with some cinnamon and honey have made for simple but effective ways of getting nutrients into my diet when I’m just in the door after a busy day.

I went on a slow paced 3.5 mile night run on Tuesday and then a 2 hour walk in the glorious snow on Saturday afternoon. How good is snow?! It was like stepping into Narnia! Everyone in my area were out on sledges and Chris and I had a constant snowball fight the whole time we were out. Not my best week for exercise but with a gym class planned for today that’s 3 solid workouts of varying degrees which I’m pretty happy with.

received_10207202698399151
It’s a Winter Wonderland here in Glasgow

 

received_10207202699479178
So pleased!
IMG_20160116_174446
After any snow day or cold weather in general, a Madeline inspired non dairy (oat milk in my case) cinnamon hot cocoa is definitely a good shout!

Thinking about the little things like getting the fruit and veg in, staying hydrated and getting outdoors have kept me in good form all week – in spite of some late nights and an aforementioned compulsive tv documentary which had me shouting at the television more than usual!

Have you been shouting at any appliances this week? Do you have any tips for running in the snow? Because I think it’s here to stay!

 

 

 

 

Sunday Post: January Girl

SODA

Hello! Welcome to A Venturing Girl and my first post of 2016. I think we’re all well and truly over the whole festive vibe right now so just a quick roundup from me:

Christmas…I spent Christmas with my family. I played some charades, ate great food and caught up with old friends. I had a wonderful time and I hope that your did too.

New Years…New Years Eve involved an escape to Stirling with my boyfriend and an adorable Bed and Breakfast stay with the kindest hosts. We had dinner, got drunk , laughed a lot and watched the fireworks over the castle. It was the perfect place and the perfect company for new beginnings.

Aaand Back to Reality…I went back to work on Tuesday, this week has been long and tiring and yeah I totally wallowed in it – I hope that you were more successful than me!

Okay so now that that’s covered, let’s talk about what’s next.

I have a slightly different approach to my New Year plans for 2016.

I find the concept of New Years Resolutions a bit archaic. The idea stems from ancient religious practices and as positive as I’m sure they can be, I can’t help but link them to some deep seated guilt or self loathing that we’re meant to feel about ourselves which impels us to try to change who we are to be “better”. I mean, thinking about plans and goals is always a good idea. But rather than try to do something new and change myself (because no one needs to do that, we’re all fine) I want to enrich and build on what I already have.

One of the main skills I learned in 2015 was Project Management and how to really deliver on a goal. With this in mind I’m giving myself an achievable monthly To Do List to feed into a larger plan for the year.

Because who doesn’t love a good To Do List?!

So here’s mine for January:

  1. Try homemade Thai food: my boyfriend got a Thai recipe book for Christmas so what better month to try some new recipes than January: when you are constantly forced inside due to poor weather and a lack of money!
  2. Capsule wardrobe: I overhauled my wardrobe last weekend and created a capsule wardrobe after reading so much about it on other blogs. And also because with 2 trips away over Christmas my wardrobe had become insane.  Something had to be done. After a week of this I can say it works! There is a lot more clarity in my wardrobe right now (phew!). I plan to keep this up throughout the month. To find out about capsule wardrobe this blog post is a great guide.
  3. Make sourdough bread
  4. Go to One Gym Class Per Week: okay I’ve been doing this anyway but I want to stick with it!
  5. No meals after 8pm
  6. Make my Instagram beautiful: I want my Instagram account to have more of a themed vibe this year showing positive healthy imagery. Rather than spam people I know with blog promotions and a thousand hashtags I took the decision to just set up a separate Instagram account for this blog so that people could follow me because they were interested in health and fitness. If you’re interested in this sort of thing, you can find me here (oh and I’ll totes follow you back).

So that’s me, short and sweet. What about you –  are you bothered with New Years resolutions this year?

Leave a comment below, I love to get them!

Fit Not Fed Up: Motivation for the Festive Season

image

Brrr! December is certainly living up to it’s seasonal reputation – it feels like I’ve been in a permanent state of wet feet and red nose for weeks! Not only this but with all of the festive merriment going on, our health and fitness priorities have a little habit of going out the window don’t they? I’ve been thinking about what’s been keeping me motivated lately and thought I’d share it here.

Get Yourself a Buddy: I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, having a partner in crime is a must if you feel your will power slacking. I recently joined the same gym as one of my friends. Having someone there who to laugh through the pain of Pure Abs with made the torturous nature of side crunches just that bit more bearable. Even if we’re not going at the same time, it’s good to be around people are are pushing toward similar goals to you. So look at who’s around you and encourage each other in these dark days of Winter!

Do Something For a Good Cause: There are tons of sponsored walks, runs, hikes, swims and dives at this time of year for so many good causes. Although Winter events tend to have a higher risk of cancellation – which myself and Chris fell victim to a couple of weeks ago when our BHF 10k was cancelled due to course flooding- when they do go ahead it’s a great day out. I ran the Glasgow Santa Dash 5k in aid of the Prince and Princess of Wales Trust Glasgow 2 weeks ago. It was a fantastic event with Santas of all ages – and a couple of dogs disguised as Reindeer – running through the streets of Glasgow on what was a beautiful mid Winter’s day. With all of the parties and days out this season, you could do worse than having a day out in the fresh air planned where you can meet people and generally have a bit of good clean fun. It’s great for the body, soul and you’re helping someone who needs it!
image

image

You Don’t Need To Party All Night: I love a good night out but with the sheer amount of Christmas festivities right now I’m finding it impossible to have a late one every time! When I went out the pantomime last week it was a great night but I decided to take the last train home instead of face the queues in the cold for a taxi later. Committing yourself to public transport or a lift home may not be as glamorous but for some reason I enjoy the night more when I do it! Plus you can get a cheeky hot chocolate on the way back too if you’re hear a late opening Greggs too! Win win .
image

If You See Some Good Weather…Go!:
Beautiful days can be few and far between so if you see one get the runners or walking boots on! Even in the depths of Winter nature is beautiful especially covered in frost and lit by pale sunlight. Dress warmly and make sure your footwear has good grip. It my be an antiquated notion and I do think gyms are great but you can’t beat some fresh air especially in these dark days.

image

Staying Healthy at Work: A Lazy Girls Guide

89AZTB8E5H

Our jobs can be demanding at times, can’t they? I have been in a full time career for almost two years now (yikes!). Lately I have been really thinking about how I can maintain healthy habits in the workplace. I’ll always be honest in this blog, so I have to say that I have definitely given in to some really rubbish habits at work at times. Plates of chips and beans for lunch, coffee after coffee, Snickers bars as a snack, I could go on! When the pressure is on you reach for comfort don’t you? A lot of things can make us forget to stay healthy. Maybe you are new to full time work, or feel like you’re in a bit of a rut, or maybe your coursework is chaining you to the desk more than you like.

In this post, I want to share a list of things that help me to stay a little bit healthier in the workplace:

0VN8ES8LQO

1. Our friend caffeine

Let’s leave the catch up’s with this particular pal to mornings only, shall we? I mean, we love him, but repeated caffeine fixes throughout the day WILL mess with you! I have found that a high intake of caffeine in my day goes hand in hand with increased stress levels and terrible sleep. It creates a vicious circle, so break it! Have you tried out herbal teas containing Ginkgo Biloba? This is a natural energiser and one that I have been meaning to try. A piece of fruit after your lunch will give you a sugar boost to get through your food coma. If you hit a slump, hydrating yourself with water, squash or flavoured tea will give you a gentle boost that will get you through, without the caffeine hangover later.

2. Be Self Conscious:

Not as counter productive as it sounds I promise! Hunching over a laptop, poring over files or holding a phone to your ear for long periods of time will tense up your body and cause tension particularly in your neck and back. Be mindful of how you are sitting and why you are sitting like that. Think of it is going to effect your body. Are your shoulders relaxed? Are you sitting at the edge of your seat  because you can’t see your screen clearly? Can you adjust it so that you don’t have to do that? Are your legs crossed over and over because you were just in a stressful situation? Maybe you need to take a minute, get yourself a glass of water and have a breather before you get back to it. Sometimes I get so focused on the task at hand that I forget to think about myself. Don’t fall into that trap. Be conscious of yourself. Your body will thank you for it!

3. Snacking isn’t all bad:

Making food that I’m not going to eat straight away feels plain wrong to me which always puts me off making packed lunches! Don’t make it difficult on yourself, a lot of canteens have healthy options, but if you can, try to have some fruit and veg on hand for slumps and snacking. A guy I work with once brought a full bag of chopped carrots from Sainsbury’s to snack on, and do you know what? Between the two of us there were none left by the end of the day! I think it’s a great idea. My favourite part is that there was no preparation required! Pre chopped fruit and veg is tasty, clean and a good healthy snack.

F8B73CPSBK

4. Try to Eat Something In the Morning:

I have spoken about the benefits of a healthy brekky in a previous post (which you can read here) so I won’t go into this again. But just to say that a handy cheat for those (like myself) who like a lie in in the morning is even to have a little smoothie in the fridge that you can pop into a bottle, or if you are me, a reusable coffee cup, to drink on the way in. It’s not ideal but at least you are getting something into your tummy before you get to your desk.

I hope that these tips are of some help to you and if you have any to share with me please let me know by leaving a comment.

Go For It – Get Hiking

PicMonkey Collage

Right lads, it’s bang smack in the middle of summer. The weather is a little or a lot warmer depending on what part of the world you live in. Tell me, do you really want to spend this longer, brighter days in the Gym??

When people think of hiking, they often think of intrepid North Face/ Berghaus (or if you’re really serious: Arc’Teryx) wearers on journeys through bog and snow and desert.

In the same hike. In one day.

But I’m a fan of using the term hiking loosely. For me, once you’re off the road and into nature, that’s a hike. A hike can be as difficult or as simple as you want it to be. In the collage above I have some choice snaps of hikes I have done over the years. The terrain and the difficulty are so varied! I consider my local park to be quite hikey, Arthur’s seat in Edinburgh or the Dublin mountains are some nice intermediate challenges, and then there are the 9oo+ metre Munros here is lovely Scotland.

It doesn’t have to be difficult, it should just be refreshing and a little bit of a challenge, depending on your ability. So while it’s summer, why not break up the routine a bit and get off the beaten track, for an hour, a day or a weekend?

If you are thinking about going away for a nice hike, here are a few suggestions from me:

  • I joked about North Faces etc. at the start of the post, but seriously, always layer up even if it’s just a short  hike. Have some kind of rain gear, a zip hoody or  fleece and a vest or t shirt. It doesn’t have to be an amazing brand but make sure that what you wear keeps you warm and the rain off.
  • Bring food and some water. You are using energy, so keep yourself fueled and hydrated.
  • Wear appropriate shoes. Please don’t walk long distances in your Cons! At least have your runners on and don’t attempt anything mountainous without hiking boots. You really are putting yourself at risk of wet feet at the least and an injury at worst!
  • For longer hikes, get a compass and learn how to use it.
  • Have fun hiking, use it as a chance to unwind with friends. Hikes are more interesting and safer when you have a buddy. Some of the best conversations I have had have been out on a long ramble!

Where do you like to hike? Do you have any recommendations for me? Leave a comment below I love to get them 🙂