Friday, 17 February 2017

Half term's go by far too quickly!

The latter half of half term has been better weather. We didn't make it to Exeter, as our planned day was rainy and Sophie and I didn't fancy wandering around in the rain, so we're saving it now for the Easter hols, maybe a trip to Cardiff Uni too! Jeff has been out in the garden, still too cold for me but there are definite signs of Spring on it's way now.

I've spent most of my time, when Sophie is free, driving around the streets of Yeovil. It's a good 25mins away but is where she'll have her driving test, so any chance to get over there and practise is a bonus. I never really noticed Learner drivers much until now - yes, there would be the odd one out on the roads but in Yeovil, they're everywhere! She's doing really well, much further on than I would've imagined when we started back in November. 

In my free time, I've continued my research into finding a better plan for me to maintain my weight. I've read up about the PCOS condition I have (see previous posts) and due to my body's inability to process sugars/insulin, have been led down the 'I Quit Sugar' route. I watched a truly interesting and informative film, that can be found on YouTube, called 'THAT Sugar Film' by Damon Gameau, which makes you think, a very good watch and have been googling Sarah Wilson and David Gillespie, all Australian's who are leading figures in the sugar debate. I've also just bought Dr Michael Mosley's 8 week Blood Sugar Diet book to have a read. I'm not wanting to lose weight, just a couple of pounds but really need to find a better way to maintain my weight loss, long term.

So, I have decided to give it a go - only 6tsp of sugar a day! 
It's not going to be easy but as my body has a problem processing it, why am I eating it!? I guess the problem is that sugar is in everything, including fruit. The advise is to cook from scratch, which is something I do already, only eat 2 pieces of fruit a day and only the specific fruits they advise, no dried fruit, cut out/down on the carbs and only eat something that has 4g or less sugar per 100g. I'm using an app to record what I eat, which also calculates how much sugar I consume. I have also gone back to just the one snack a day - pcos advised 3 meals, 3 snacks a day but I think I was eating too much. I Quit Sugar advise 3 good meals a day with little to no snacking - the idea being you eat proper food and full fat during your meals and so feel fuller for longer - I will let you know how I get on.

So to end this post, I had to share with you this photo I took last night - the sky was simply stunning. I hope you're having a good break - here's to a good weekend.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Happy Valentines Day

I hope you are feeling loved this Valentine's Day

We never go mad, just a card or two! and I might treat him to a bar of chocolate. 
I know he loves me every day and I'd rather have that, than a bunch of roses one day a year.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Bit of a catch up!

Time is flying by so I thought I'd do a little catch up!
Last week Sophie passed her Driving Theory test, so will be booking up her actual driving test very soon. She's lucky in that she gets to drive to school and back every day, so lots of practise and now the theory is out of the way, she's a step closer to driving.

The weather has been very mixed - the two photo's of the Tor (above) were taken just a day apart. It's bitterly cold here today and we have had a fleeting flurry of snow. I dream of warmer, sun filled days. I do not like the cold, wet or dull days at all!

There are signs of Spring if you look for them.
These daffodils will look fabulous when they flower.

I've continued to make use of my local cinema's Wednesday Morning coffee, biscuits and a film deal, for £6.50. I've averaged a film a month nearly, since I started in September. In this horrible weather, it's the perfect way to spend a couple of hours and I get to see the films I wouldn't have otherwise seen. Jeff has said we'll go and see Trainspotting 2 this half term but I'm already betting we won't get round to it, so that's why my Wednesday's are so good.

Yesterday was an Inset day, so Sophie and I headed to Bath for a little retail therapy and cake! She's worked every weekend since she started her job in October, so it's been her first chance to spend any of the money she's earned. 

We're off to Exeter this coming week, during half term, to suss out where the University is and have a wander around the city. It's on Sophie's list of 'possibilities' so we're off for a nosey and some extra driving practise! She has driving lessons, college work and her job to keep her busy this week. Sam will no doubt meet up with friends, spend all his spare time on his computer and to be fair, he is still trying to get over this bug that's been going around. 

I hope you have a good half term break (if you get one) 

Friday, 3 February 2017


So this morning I faced the Slimming World scales and was rewarded with a 3 pounds weight loss - yippee! I weighed in at 9 stone 4&1/2lbs on the official scales, so back in my target bubble Phew!

As you know, I've been researching my PCOS condition and am looking for ways to fine tune my eating habits, to make maintaining easier and manage my PCOS better. One thing I have enjoyed is introducing more snacks, so 6 eating opportunities a day! The idea behind this, is to keep your blood sugar levels more constant. Obviously the food has to be the right food and I'm supposed to eat protein and carbs together but I have enjoyed the extra snacks this week.

And I have been doing an awful lot of reading up around the subject, whilst also enjoying daily up dates via the PCOS Diet Support Starter Kit emails. I have decided for now to try:

Low dairy - no more than one portion a day.
Gluten Free choices when I can and low/no carbs.
Choose Low Glycemic Loaded foods where I can and
Go Low Sugar rather than No Sugar for now, 
(although I am still reading up around the subject)

So we will see what this new week brings - fingers crossed a couple more pounds off, seeing me more comfortably in my target range.

Have a good week x

Thursday, 2 February 2017

50p Feb!

You LOVED our card packs during the SALE!

So we thought we would treat during the month of February, to select your own.

So all our Greetings Cards are just 50p each, all month!

Sunday, 29 January 2017

I'm finally....

.... understanding me!

Weight has always been a struggle, even as a child and I've never fully understood exactly why. I somehow managed to lose weight following the Slimming World plan but have found the maintaining bit really hard. Old habits really don't lurk too far away and I've never fully understood the damage they can do. 

When I was trying to conceive my children, 20 years ago, I was diagnosed with PCOS. One element is problems in conceiving, others include unwanted hair growth, weight gain/management, acne 

Struggling to maintain my weight loss, I decided recently to look a little deeper into the role PCOS plays in my weight management and found this fabulous site, where you can enrol in a starter kit and the condition is fully explained to you. I'm most definitely a visual learner, so being able to watch videos and see diagrams, has made it all make much more sense. I have looked into it before and I think when I started Slimming World, I was so strict with myself, I actually followed a PCOS diet without really thinking but as old habits have crept back in, that layer of strictness, which enabled me to lose the weight has gone.

Basically PCOS is a hormone disorder, where something is fundamentally wrong with our hormones. It affects your Beta cells and how your body processes insulin. Insulin impacts on our ovaries and we in turn produce too much testosterone, which increases insulin etc. Food too impacts on our testosterone levels (dairy) and our insulin levels (carbs, gluten, sugar, glucose) Keeping your blood sugar levels constant is key, controlling spikes in insulin  that can't be processed and are in turn stored as fat.

As a result of my investigations, the best way forward is to 

Eliminate DAIRY
Eat foods with a LOW GLYCEMIC LOAD
Have a PLAN
Manage your CRAVINGS

it also suggests you

EXERCISE regularly
manage your STRESS
Get enough SLEEP

I have bought a few books on Glycemic load, I have been investigating dairy and gluten foods and have come up with a plan. 

I intend to go gluten free where ever I can but I'm human, so when in Cornwall, I will still enjoy a pasty or a portion of chips! I've decided to not go dairy free but low dairy. I don't eat much dairy anyway, but would waste so much money if I had to buy special products just for me, when I eat so few. I think the Glycemic Load is key - choosing foods with a low GL. It also suggest you eat protein with carbs, when snacking, which is something I've done for a while, it also suggest snacking 3 times a day - mid morning, afternoon and evening, so blood sugar levels are kept constant. So I've adapted my food planning sheet to reflect this. At the moment there is a lot to take in, I don't have much weight to lose, just a few stubborn Christmas pounds but I want to start feeling in control of my weight, so I can keep it off forever.

Sorry for the rambling, I think I had to get this all written down for me to process all the bits of paper currently floating around on my desk but if it does help anyone else along the way, then great! 

Sunday, 22 January 2017

January.... flying by!

I hate the January Sale as it starts before Christmas (this year - Dec 23rd) and doesn't seem to let up until it's done, which is the 24th this year! It seems endless but blink and January is nearly over and with the added supply teaching I've done, I can't quite believe we're entering the last week.

I always ease my way through the month by keeping busy and filling my house with flowers - you can't beat a £1 bunch of daffodils, to brighten up any dull January day.

My amaryllis, a Christmas gift, has flowered beautifully, 
timed to perfection to brighten the past week.

We have latterly had some beautiful cold days, ending with some magnificent skies.

I treated myself to a couple of hours off mid week, to go and see La La Land. Our local cinema does an 11am Wednesday screening, with coffee and biscuits for £6.50. I love it as there's only a few others in there and as I generally never get around to seeing the films I want to see, I now can. It was so good, I ordered the soundtrack and it's a perfect addition to my driving sessions with Sophie, now she can concentrate with a little background music playing. 

Have a good week - the sale ends midnight on Tuesday - I've loads of orders to get out tomorrow and then I suspect it will go eerily quiet once the sale ends - time for a good tidy up and sort out I think!