Ice Breaker

blog, lifestyle, nottingham, ramble, Uncategorized, wellbeing

Ahhh it’s been a while hasn’t it?

Like in all honesty, I meant to take a break over Christmas, and then before I knew it, the end of January was nigh and then after that, the longer I left it the more fearful I was of posting again. It’s weird the things we roast ourselves over in our minds. This little old blog of mine is nothin’ but a hobby, so I’m not sure why I feel all this pressure. The weirdest thing is I actually love writing. I didn’t minor in English Literature for the lolz. And let me tell you, it’s a good thing I didn’t, because that course is very sparse in the lolz department.

I dunno man. It’s sort of like when you’ve been in a decent fitness routine, and then life flips you off and you fall out of it and skip a couple of weeks. Going back is always so, so hard. But the longer you leave it, the more intimidating it seems and the guilt seeps into your pores and then you’ve gained half a stone and you hate yourself and OMG WHY AM I SO TOXIC TO MYSELF SOMEBODY HELP.

Just me?

So this is entry is to say hi. I’m writing again. Expect food porn and life ramblings once again.

Also, I’m 27 next month and it seems as though I’m supposed to be all ‘omg I’m getting older, I’m a real grown up, I just wanna be 19 and not look like a sore thumb in those pictures that club photographers take.’ But I’m really not. I’m kind of enjoying the transition into mid-late twenties. It feels…calm.

Mind you, I was so convinced I was all wise and shit when I was 21, yet I look back now and realise I was an absolute turd of a human, so I’m sure when I’m 33 I’ll look back and cringe all over again.

Ice officially broken.

Advertisements

These are a few of my favourite things…

blog, creative, festivals, lifestyle, nottingham, ramble, reviews, Uncategorized, wellbeing

I’m not going to say anything that will shatter the earth in this blog, because it’s all already been said. I think maybe my generation are starting to listen a little bit more too. I believe it’s so important to support independent business/creative ventures. I am lucky to have a bunch of friends that are INCREDIBLY talented.

My friend Karen is the owner of a papercut company – she makes the cutest art work, but there’s such an in depth process behind it. She uses card and a scalpel to cut out her designs – making greetings cards, prints and even the blog header at the top of this page. How she has any finger tips left, or any patience for that matter, I’ll never know. Her Gilmore Girls, Stars Hollow map was recently featured on a buzzfeed list of items every Gilly should own. Her stuff is intricate and so, so cool.

My friends Scott, Ben and Carl are in a band that satisfies every ounce of my endless desire to experience the beat era. Their band is called Lucille, named after BB King’s guitar, and if that isn’t the coolest thing in the world I don’t know what is. I first saw them play when my sister was bartending at an open mic night and she recommended them. Since then I haven’t left them alone, and have essentially forced them into being my buddies.  But it’s just that honestly, their music makes me SO happy. It takes me out of 2016, and into 1958, where I’m partying with Jack Kerouac, standing up against oppression and ‘fighting the good fight’. I struggle with the mundaneness of adult life sometimes. I try really hard to make it not mundane, but sometimes, in order to keep the bills paid and the wolf away from the door, it kind of is. Lucille’s live show isn’t a complete departure from the roots of reality, it’s more like an acknowledgement that it exists, and then says fuck it, let’s dance.

Since getting to know Lucille, Ben, their drummer has also joined a band called Cold Water Souls. CWS create music that is heavy but melodic, dark, moody and has these insanely powerful but beautiful vocals that will permeate your bones and sink in for days afterwards. Their live show is an atmospheric haze. Whilst Lucille allow you to dance your troubles away, CWS lift them out of you and burns them into a cloud of navy blue smoke that swirls into patterns above your head. Metaphorically, obviously. Please do not smoke indoors at CWS gigs, this has been a public service announcement.

Whilst I also love my iphone, starbucks and Beyonce, I just think if you want to really customise your life experience, you won’t find that richness at the bottom of a Christmas red cup which you specifically bought to pad out your instagram feed. For me at least, it’s found in those independent creators who haven’t been polished to the Nth degree, and don’t have a huge marketing team behind them.

Anyway, as I say, this isn’t really anything earth shattering. Partly I was just thinking about all the awesome things my friends are up to, but also I just think people expect creativity for free too often these days. If like me, you have attachments to independent creatives who enrich your life, show them some love. Support them. Don’t expect shit for free. They might do what they do for the love of it, but sacrificing time to create, when you’re a grown up, can be hard to manage, and they deserve mega praise for doing it.

And if you are purely a chain consumer, oh my god look around! Try an independent restaurant, watch an indie film, go to a local gig. Not saying this to preach, I just think it’ll make you happy 🙂

Anyway, go and check out what the guys I spoke about above are up to:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/OhCutItOut

http://www.facebook.com/thebandlucille

http://www.facebook.com/coldwatersouls

 

And in a directly opposing note, i got a new phone and a new lipstick today and i’m v pleased about this.

Peace.

img_0001

TFW – Past Half Way!

excercise, exercise, fitness, food, Health, health,, healthy, Life, life,, lifestyle, nottingham, ramble, running, weight loss, weightloss, wellbeing

I’m now over half way into my Training for Warriors programme! Ohhh it’s so sad. I don’t wanna say that I’ve love(d) the programme – past tense, because we do still have a couple of weeks to go. But I have loved it. Up to this point it has been such a great experience. I’ve pushed myself mentally and physically.

Actually, I want to talk a bit about that. People will often tell you that mental challenges are good, and that they help you to see how far you can push yourself. Don’t get me wrong, to some extent I agree with that. There’s a lot of truth hidden behind cliche phrases, and I think the phrase, ‘there’s no growth in the comfort zone’ is insanely applicable in life. But it comes with constraints. What happens when you push yourself to your limit, and you still aren’t good enough? Let’s not be naive here, it happens. Cliche number two: ‘be comfortably uncomfortable.’ I feel like the moment of positive change is a sweet spot on a sliding scale. At one end of the scale there’s your ultimate comfort zone – I dunno, eating Chinese whilst watching Gilmore Girls or whatever your equivalent is. At the other end, there’s the zone that is so uncomfortable  that it cripples you. Somewhere in the middle, is that sweet spot where you’re a long fucking way from any prawn crackers, but you aren’t so far away that the level of discomfort is preventing you from moving forward. For me, that was getting up on a Saturday morning to run 16 miles knowing full well I’d hate every minute that took place past mile 6, and give myself hell for a poor performance for the rest of the week, so by the time next Saturday came round I’d be just ever so slightly more miserable than before, and the cycle would repeat.

TFW has so far been pretty fucking sweet spot centric. I’ve done things I didn’t even think were possible for me, but because of the environment you’re in and the supportive nature of the group, it seems much more realistic. Like, the other day we did pull ups. I definitely had help, but fucking pull ups. Who knew? A couple of weeks ago I also learned how to get on a treadmill whilst it’s already running – and I didn’t break any limbs or anything!!!

TFW  has allowed me to become part of a group of people who just want to improve themselves. We’re a pretty diverse group of people and I guess we all have different things we want to achieve from the programme. I just wanted to feel confident again. I’m not going to lie and say I’m all the way there. I’m a long way away from slaying like one of Ru Paul’s drag queens, but I do feel better about myself.

I guess this post is pretty gushy and I’m not sure it has a real point other than to update on my progress so far. I’ve not had mid way measurements done or anything. I wanted to wait until the end and see the extent of my progress. I’m not sure it will be massive because it will only have been 8 weeks, and I’ve definitely had a couple of cheat meals here and there, but still. I feel like I’m turning a corner.

It’s about time.

 

Hurricanes Hurt My Feelings. (Training for Warriors: Weeks 2-3)

blog, Breakfast, cooking, excercise, exercise, fitness, food, Health, health,, healthy, Life, lifestyle, nottingham, ramble, salads, weight loss

Weeks 2 & 3 of warrior training are officially complete, 5 to go!

On week 2 perhaps the most notable thing to happen was that we were given a 3 day challenge to photograph everything we ate; and then whatsapp the images to our coach, Toby. Some of my fellow warriors seemed a bit dubious about photographing everything they ate, but the self absorbed, millennial, food blogger in my head was doing back flips in front of a landscape of 4th of July style fireworks. YES. A legitimate reason for taking photos of my food! My entire life (post invention of Instagram) had been leading up to the moment, and by God I intended to make the most out of it. It didn’t take me long to realise though, that when you also have a job, taking photos of literally everything you eat/drink is actually quite frustrating. Try as I might, it’s pretty darn tricky to achieve that quirky, tumblr aesthetic when snapping a green tea served in a slightly cracked mug that says ‘This Is What An Awesome Baker Looks Like’, in front of the keyboard on my work desk. Alas, I made the most of what I had and sent the pictures through. Typically, during the 3 day challenge we had a baby shower at work for my colleague Becky. I baked maple cupcakes with pink and blue swirled buttercream (gender TBC). Whilst I did manage to refrain from dunking my entire head into the tray of cupcakes,a la Bruce Bogtrotter;  I caved at the sight of pork pie and pringles. I’m not even just saying that for alliterative illustration, that genuinely was where I cracked. I’ll be interested to see what Toby makes of THAT nutritious feast.

Whilst we’re talking food, I have still been trying (in between the pork pie and pringles) to stick to a lower carb, higher fat diet. I’ve not cut carbs out completely though, because seriously, what would be the point in life? Instead I’m trying to have carbs with just one of my meals, which is usually dinner. I’ve been making a lot of recipes from that snazzy Lean in 15 fellow whose name escapes me…Joe Wicks, that’s it. I followed his insta account after a girl at training recommended it. I was actually pretty amazed that most of his recipes do only take about 15 minutes. Tonight I made his italian lemon chicken and mate…for real though, it was a party in my mouth. I feel like I’ve said that phrase several times in this blog. Dear god lets hope I don’t ever get a decent following, I’ll be strung up for lack of originality quicker than you can say boo to a goose….that’s not a phrase is it? Anyway.

Here’s photo spunk (sorry mum) of some of the stuff I’ve been eating over the last couple of weeks. Eggs and avocado have been my pretty much standard breakfast – for ease more so than anything. The weird orange concoction in the top right hand corner is something I’m using slight artistic license in naming a deconstructed fish cake. Sweet potato mashed with 10g lighter mature cheddar, garden peas and a tin of tuna, all mixed together. And yes, it might look like something that has already been digested once, but it actually tasted lovely. The bottom right picture is of leftover tandoori chicken with salad and half a packet of microwaveable rice. I knowwww I know that cooking stuff in the microwave will eventually give me intestinal AIDS and turn me into a 2 headed zombie, but sometimes you just have to pick your battles, OK? Time was of the essence and that was that.

Moving into week 3, the workouts turned into real monsters – monsters who, I’m fairly confident were trying to bin me off. On Monday, I was tired, but dragged myself out of the house knowing that I’d feel better eventually. Monday sessions are referred to as Hurricanes. When I search for the word hurricane on dictionary.com, one of the definitions is this: a storm of the most intense severity. And whilst I think that tells you all you need to know about how tough Monday’s work out was, I’d also like to really drive the point home by letting you all know I 100% had to scarper to the loos mid workout so that I could throw up my guts. Delightful, right? We were doing a lot of sprints, followed by kettlebell excercises, followed by sprints, followed by kettlebell exercises, followed by sprints, followed by kettlebell excercises and yeah. Midway through the second lot of sprints I quickly realised I’d way overestimated how fast I could go and for how long. Egrh. Lesson learned. I will say though, one thing I’ve noticed is that there have been times when I know, if I was working out by myself, I would have taken it down 10 notches and had a rest period. Whilst yes, there are rest periods during warrior training, when you’re working, you are bloody well working and that is that. So I guess that’s good.

And, to sign this off I will leave you with this.Today I tried on a pair of trousers I couldn’t do up a few months ago. They now fit.

*Que marching band, fireworks, confetti canons and mickey mouse on a freakin’ float wearing a gym kit*

 

 

 

The Scary First Run…

excercise, exercise, fitness, Health, healthy, life,, ramble, running

Do you remember that first day back to school after the Summer holidays feeling? That ‘oh Jesus Christ mum, don’t make me go back to that hell hole with those monstrous kids and be taught about oxbow lakes by a hungover middle aged man who clearly hates teenagers and only took up teaching as a profession for the epic annual leave’ feeling? That is somewhat akin to how I feel about going back running, every time I have any amount of time greater than 4 days off. Which is weird, because unlike school, I actually quite like running.

Historic teen angst aside, today was my first run since my ankle started to feel too weak to run on a couple of weeks ago. I was quite literally dreading it. Thankfully, my body woke me up naturally at 4.45 so I didn’t have to endure the rather obnoxious mix of alarm tones I have (Independent Woman – Destiny’s Child, followed two minutes later by Bang Bang – Nicki, Jessie and Ari). I reluctantly squeezed myself into my Lycra, and timidly stepped out of the front door. I live half way up a bloody massive hill, so I always choose to power walk up to the top of the hill to start my workout off – at just over half a mile long, it serves nicely as a warm up for my just woken up muscles. After a few semi discreet stretches at the top of the hill, I decided to start things off gently. Today’s run was 3.5 miles according to my Nike app, and I decided to do 2 minutes of running, 2 minutes of walking all the way. And you know what? It. Felt. Awesome. 

Everything I worried about was for nothing. My ankle felt strong and healthy again, I didn’t get honked at from the white van misogynists, my lungs didn’t explode. Overall success! I was having a think about the benefits of easing myself in. I’m so pleased I did, because it’s put me in such a great frame of mind for the rest of the week. Once again, I’m looking forward to the Race for Life 10k I’m participating in on Sunday. I’m so affected when I have a rough performance. It’s so silly. I try to tell myself that even a lame workout is better than no workout, and I’ve lapped miles around the people who are still in bed; but somehow a rough workout day often leaves me feeling frustrated with a lack of progress – even when in actual fact, I have progressed – a lot. 

Human beings are silly buggers. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Foodie Growing Pains (the self indulgent musings of a quarter life crisis)

blog, Life, ramble, wellbeing

Hmmm. Life is a funny old thing. I’ve been having a nostalgic afternoon, thinking back to when I was 16 and so bloody cocky and arrogant in some ways, but in others so sad and insecure.

It made me realise how long it’s been since I felt that sense of cockiness and arrogance. Growing up kinda knocks the wind out of you in that way.

I’m in a tricky situation. I like my job, I like my office, I like the people I work with, but I just feel so far from where I want to be, without even knowing where it is that I do want to be. That’s the hard bit. At least if I knew where I wanted to be I could put one foot in front of the other and take those little steps to get there. But everything is so unclear at the moment. I just know I want more than this. I just want to clarify that there’s nothing wrong with my life, it’s actually quite nice. I just sort of feel like a goldfish that has outgrown it’s tank….shit, maybe I still am arrogant and cocky.

Anyway, all of that being said, I’m probably just being impatient. I’m 25 years old, which to some probably seems like i should have my shit together by now, but I know others will definitely be able to relate. I heard Steve Jobs once say that you have to trust that the dots will connect. I think the experience I’m gaining at work will work in my favour eventually, and enable me to broaden my horizons, but I’m just not sure how.

The only thing i never ever get bored of, and could spend all day talking about, is food. I love cooking, I love baking, I love devising menus, I love making weekly meal plans, I love writing food shopping lists, I even love doing the damn food shopping. But I have no experience in the food industry, and i feel like at 25, I’m too old to start from scratch there.

So i guess I should try and use the skills I’ve acquired through my education, life and work experiences to find a way in. I just don’t know how that will work or what the end result looks like yet. Maybe it’s not a case of finding my way into an existing world, but a case of building my own.

I suppose for now, the putting one foot in front of another stage is probably to continue to grow my professional skills in my work life, and continue to grow my foodie passion in my home life, and hope that one day, the two paths meet. I don’t know if that’s not being proactive enough, or if it’s being too hopeful (is that even a thing?). Well. For now it’s the only answer I can scrape from the bottom of the barrel, so it will just have to do.

I feel like this post just gave me a bit of clarity.

This is good.

Resuming life.