Views of Craig Hoyle Far,
..where wild orchids grow. It was further up the glen than I remembered..
But there were late bluebells by Hilary's wood
And patches of bugle which isn't very common here.
Views of Craig Hoyle Far,
A nice mossy rock under an oak tree to sit and have a drink of water.
But no orchids!
Maybe because the field is being grazed, maybe I was too late, maybe I was too early. Will I walk the five miles again to check? I'm not sure...
...but (to paraphrase FlyLady) even imperfect efforts bless your body.
If you don't look after your body you won't have anything to live in.
,I am so glad I gifted myself six days to concentrate on my health. (It does take time and maybe no-one else is likely to give that to you!) Time to consider what you need to prioritise, to figure out what suits you and how you can fit it into your lifestyle.
It's easy to be overwhelmed by the barrage of health and wellbeing advice, so much of it contradictory, and much of it taking the form of Only 10 minutes a day to.... Only 30 minutes a day to achieve.... Only 40 minutes etc but by the time you factor in work/childcare/household tasks/others' needs - it all adds up to more than 24 hours!
I am feeling lighter, both literally and metaphorically, and more energetic. I have come up with a new weight beyond which I will not go. I am even more interested in the subject and in finding out more, and am I imagining it, or am I thinking more clearly?
The city again today, but wild and wet. Beetroot and goats cheese tortelloni with sage hit the spot today. How pretty is that? A starter size, eaten slowly, is usually enough.
Tomorrow - the pros and cons (from my very limited experience!) of retreats away or at home
You are a great bunch!
My determination was flagging last night and this morning. I was feeling good, had lost as much weight as I wanted (and more than I expected) and was thinking maybe 6 days is too much to do on my own, maybe I could stop now
but reading Swissrose's comment I began to look at some videos and the pep talk from Dr Jason Fung and the LCHF video by Dr Andreas Eenfeldt - I love the ethics of his approach described in the last 10 minutes of so - gave me just the boost I needed. I reminded myself that part of the plan was to take the time to do some research, lit the fire, made a juice and sat down to listen and learn.
Tomorrow I visit the opthalmologist. My eyes are the real reason I am doing all this. (See under Simply Seeing - Or Not.) I'm looking for macular regeneration not degeneration..
I think it helps.
And I am fitter!
Lingering snow on the tops. Here below - mud, but 6349 steps.
Lucille's comment yesterday (I immediately went and looked up The 4 Pillars) got me thinking it would be good to take a look at the health and wellbeing books I have found interesting and/or useful over the years.
there has been a huge shift in attitude towards taking responsibility for our own health and wellbeing - ie self help.
I've read lots of these books and found them fascinating. I've always had a craving for sugar and was cured of a (mild) depression and educated about sugar by Potatoes Not Prozac by Kathleen Desmaisons.. I like the writing of the late David Servan-Schreiber, notably Anti Cancer A New Way of Life and Healing Without Freud Or Prozac. You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay I use as a thought provoking reference book every now and then, and books about gut health have been useful (I am a convert to kefir!) Gut by Julia Enders is the one I have kept. Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers was quite influential at one point. Zoe Harcomb probably changed my eating habits more than anyone and my current favourite is Lean For Life by Louise Parker. Her 4 principles are Think Successfully, Live Well, Eat Beautifully, and Work Out Intelligently - which just about covers it all wouldn't you say?
Do you have favourites?
Day Five has gone well except I seem to be doing fewer steps each day!!
Yorkshire Steam II :-)
Day four and all's well.
Skin brushing, water and lemon, morning pages, three juices one soup, two meditation sessions, one short exercise session, 4lbs weight lost, 2079 steps (must do better!), Fly Lady's Home Blessing Hour, some reading, some researching online, and still full of energy. Loving this health week but also planning my next meal...prawn, cucumber and cashew salad I think. Mmm. Looking forward to Friday night.
After the success of my first ever health retreat last January (see here and here) I am planning to do a home version of it this month.
Here is the plan so far. I am preparing now. Over six days later in the month ...
I will start the day with water and lemon juice and skin brushing, morning pages and a freshly made juice. I'll have three juices every day and either soup or a very light meal in the evenings. I'll walk 10,000 steps each day, take naps and magnesium baths, read poetry and motivational books,. do a little yoga, and switch off all technology for most of the time and certainly 2 hours before bed. (Sorry probably no blog posts for the duration!).
I'll also make appointments with my doctor and optician. I may have a massage and/or a sauna. I will try and find a body lotion without parabens or sulphates which doesn't smell of coconut. (I don't like to smell of food!). Any recommendations welcome.
I can hardly wait!
At least one reader of the blog has gone on Katrina's wonderful retreat and I do recommend it. It was a treat as well as a retreat and worth every penny.
I have a used copy of Jennifer Loudon's The Woman's Retreat book - quite a tome but dipping into it might give you some ideas if you fancy a retreat. It is subtitled A Guide To Restoring, Rediscovering and Reawakening Your True Self - in a Moment, an Hour, or a Weekend. (There's a copy for £2.90 on Amazon today.)
More when I come back here in a week...meanwhile you might like to browse previous Januaries?
Hyacinths to feed thy soul..
Are you free to seize the day (or even a little tiny bit of it)?
I dropped everything after breakfast to take a sunny walk this morning. The day had started out murky and dull and I was planning to do some plodding tasks which had built up, but suddenly the cloud lifted, the weather changed..
and so did my plans. Plenty of time in the dark evenings to do the paperwork.
I am so thrilled to have this outside my back gate.
I've discovered that the more I move the better I feel.
Especially with the sun on my face.
Looking back up the loch.
cloud was already coming down the glen
and I was so glad I'd taken my chance of a walk in the sun!
I've been given a Fitbit and it has motivated me already to move more.
Instead of loading myself up with everything that needed taken downstairs I found myself thinking 'I'll just make two trips it will be more steps'.
Without really trying.
Wonder if I can make the recommended 10,000....
I found myself starting the day, and the year, with 30 minutes of yoga on a site I chanced upon and bookmarked ages ago.
The name of this first class is Ease Into It.
I like Adriene's chat. She says things like -
Keep it playful.
Make it your own here.
To each his own.
Drop into this moment for yourself.
A nice experience that feels good.
Be honest with yourself.
All rather good ways to start a yoga session, and to start a new year I thought.
May 2017 bring you good things!
Easy does it....
I made the mistake of starting at 10.30pm and didn't get to bed till 1.30. But I slept well (the sleep of the righteous?) and am pleased with a good job done before Christmas starts in earnest with a lunch for eight coming up soon..
I began by getting rid of everything past its sell by date, then putting like with like. I now know what I have got which is a good start, and can reach everything I need regularly.
When I once had a problem with my shoulder and was getting physiotherapy I deliberately put tea, coffee and all the things I used most often at a slight reach or bend....better than the gym! I still do this.
I have to confess to not doing very well on the cooking front. I'm needing to look afresh at Simply Eat soon....
How did your country do in the PISA tests? I have always been interested in why the Finns do so well and this blog has an interesting and thoughtful explanation.
Day 8 of the 30 day challenge!
Not carrots but freshly picked brambles (blueberries) for breakfast with my porridge, though I did not have it till lunchtime. I can happily just have tea and coffee on the morning of a fast day then have one meal around 12.00 and another at about 5.30. (Two slices of ham and a big serving of stir-fried vegetables.) I've been surprised to find I have just as much energy on fast days (Mondays and Wednesdays) as the other days and have realised that that is as important to me as losing weight. My exercise has been pushing the lawnmower about. It is called Easyglide but it isn't easy and it doesn't glide..
How are your energy levels?
How is your programme going? Maybe you are having to adapt it somewhat, or perhaps you are having good results already?
If you have set yourself a health/well-being goal and a target, either a modest or ambitious one, do you plan to reward yourself if you meet your target? Or are you more likely to berate yourself for not getting there fast enough?
I definitely prefer carrots to sticks and am thinking of a whole day out (wearing those trousers which will of course fit perfectly by then....)
What will your reward be?
Not wanting to put you off but....this puts my puny fitness goals into perspective!
I've decided not to let it make me feel I should give up, but to make me see that our goals are easy to achieve in comparison....Would you agree?
..which always had a special book waiting for me. One that addressed a current issue (that I maybe didn't even know I had).
I found Facercise there and it struck me that exercising one's face made perfect sense. We exercise the muscles in every other part of the body after all...why not our facial muscles? My book is quite old now (so am I!) and perhaps the before and after photographs are more convincing in the updated version, but worth a try I thought, and better and cheaper than Botox/plastic surgery/expensive creams!
It makes me laugh to do the exercises (which of course is also good exercise for the face).
I love bargain book shops.
(Call me vain, I don't mind. I like to think my face looks better than it would had I not done Facercise now and then :-) )
I think I will post on the 30 day challenge on the first few days of the week - lots of interesting aspects have come up - the idea of rewards, of self discipline, work/life balance, setting the scene, having a sweet tooth, finding a walking partner, how you can forget obvious things that once worked for you....Plenty to think about - so share your thoughts...
My next fast day is tomorrow.
I'm actually looking forward to it.
Stay with it, and us!
I do like a plan.
Join us in a 30 day challenge to lose some unwanted pounds. Or choose another health/well being-related goal and figure out how you will measure progress.
I have recorded (not here!) my weight, figured out my BMI (easy-peasy here), measured my waist (yikes! do you think Ikea tape measures are accurate?)
I have decided on what I think is a realistic target (losing 5lbs) and decided on my start day (Monday) and will shop for the food for my first two fast days (Monday and Wednesday). I like the look of the suggested meals in the book I plan to use (see yesterday's post)
I will also take another look at the favourite pair of trousers which no longer fasten, and maybe plan an occasion to wear them and what to wear with them - the fun part..
Here is a an exercise video from Scottish Ballet which I will get back to using this month maybe two or three times a week, starting tonight! (I find it much easier to exercise at night than in the morning.)
I used this video for a 30 day challenge last year. See how that went here and do notice how supportive and useful the comments were - people like you make this work for me - thank you all!
What's your plan?
Tell us in 'comments'. There's plenty room!
Every day for 30 days I will do this exercise routine.
Today is the first of June and I'm taking up Leo Babauta's challenge (see here)
And reminding myself that this means doing it every day even when I really don't want to!
I shall observe carefully (journaling as Babauta suggests) and see if I feel different after 30 days, and although she knows what an exercise wimp I am I know that Angela will be cheering me on.
If you were to take up his 30 day challenge to learn something new what would it be?
I'm afloat on pink and a cloud of Puccini. I listened to Opera on 3 tonight O Mio Babbino Caro - pretty wonderful. I listened to all the you tube versions and chose Angela Gheorghiu - pretty wonderful too (it will be in your head all day tomorrow!)
My head is still full of ballet and Tchaikovsky and of course I've been browsing You Tube - everything is there.
Here is a 4 minute video which amazed and delighted me. Maya Plisetskaya's interpretetation of the dying swan is very moving - and those arm movements in the first few moments....how does she do that?
(It made me realise how ageist I am. See if you know what I mean....)
Thank you for your helpful comments yesterday on using a pedometer.
I agree 10,000 is a lot Elaine! Doing a little research tonight I read that 6,000 steps a day is a good target for health, and 10,000 for weight loss.
Liz, I've signed up for a 10k charity walk in May - I've a way to go!
I am wearing mine attached to my belt all day, Cath, and am shocked at how sedentary I am. Also I think your pedometer is more sophisticated than mine. Looking at all the different kinds, ranging in price from 66p to £138.06 (mine was £4.99) I see you can measure just about everything, calories consumed, heart rate, glucose levels...
I will definitely adopt Swissrose's idea and measure our favourite walks in steps. The forest walk I showed you yesterday is only 2,538 steps. I thought it would be much more.
Today I walked 7,276 - a record!
Yesterday I made these lemon primrose cakes, so I needed those extra steps.
Fortunately the family came and helped eat them all....
....and sleet, and hailstones, (sunshine today Yay!) but I am still walking most days.
I am lucky to have some very beautiful places to walk.
This forest walk starts at the Schoolhouse Burn. From there it's fairly steep going..(good for the heart!)....
to the Laird's Grave, from where on Thursday I took the next shot, which I've used as the new banner photograph.
I sheltered under the yew trees from the hail, and waited till the light struck the snow. Dramatic and beautiful is Creachan Mor in the snow. The mountain - the name means great stony hill - is 2156 feet high. We see it across the bay from the windows of the house. The lower slopes are oak and birch woodland which colour up beautifully in autumn.
I shall take more photographs of the lovely walks around - it will be an added incentive to keep walking!
Do any of you use a pedometer? 10,000 steps a day is the recommended target?
This is the Schoolhouse Burn, part of a lovely half hour circular walk in the forest behind our house.
Looking back down to the loch (and catching my breath!)
The view from the highest point is lovely - even on a misty wet day.
I really have no excuse not to walk more. Good food again, egg, soup, chicken and vegetables (also several biscuits - I had guests and no will power!) but doing OK....and planning a longer walk for tomorrow.
The new header photo is from Benmore Botanic Gardens last autumn.
I'm in training for a trip to London!
See more about the Fernery here.
I ate well too. Breakfast - an egg. Lunch - soup. Dinner - salmon, brocolli, carrots and a very small potato. And two shots of Akvavit after loading 15 paintings into the car. Yoga before bed and I'll sleep well, feeling very righteous. And a tiny bit fitter.
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)