Sunday, 18 March 2018

Lets Catch up ~ Getting Back into Fitness ~ Mental Health

I have been indecisive for months about whether or not to keep my little blog going. The last post I did was back in August 2017. I have so many posts in the draft section. I'm still unsure if I am going to post them.
One of the reasons for not posting was, I didn't know which direction to take my blog in. I have sadly been comparing myself to other bloggers. Most of those I follow or followed just stick to one topic. My blog seems to jump from so many topics, I was starting to feel that if I'm feeling confused, so must other people who are reading/visiting my blog.
I have really missed everything that goes into having a blog and my little blog is now coming up to being 4 years old. I have, (obviously because you are reading this) decided to blog again. But make a few tiny changes.

I'm going to stick with my description "My Journey to Live a Healthier, Active, Zero Waste Lifestyle" ~ A Lifestyle Blog. I'm still indecisive about using the words Zero Waste because the term "zero waste" has different meanings. (please see my Zero waste journey posts).    
I'm no longer going to share my craft, unless its an upcycle project relating to Zero Waste. 

Healthier ~
Will included Food (Plant based/Vegan)  and Mental Health.

Zero Waste ~
My journey to live a more eco-friendly, minimalist lifestyle.

Active ~
My Fitness Journey.

I have mentioned before and I still agree with it, even though my opinions/lifestyle has changed since I started this blog, I'm still keeping my old posts active. Mainly because I like looking back and seeing how much I have learnt and grown.

I am going to start off getting back into my blog with a fitness update. 
I haven't shared a fitness post since December 2016 ~ Why? I hear you ask. Because I haven't really done anything since. Last year (2017) I did a few Yoga Challenges and spent a few weeks trying to get back into cardio but I had lost complete motivation to get back into a routine.

I think my mental health took quite a few steps backwards. After what I went through in the last part of 2016, it really took its toll on me ( POST ). 

Anyone who suffers with Anxiety/Depression understands when you get knocked back it can take a while to get back on track. In my case, MONTHS. I got stuck in a viscous circle. I loved doing the yoga challenges, but I lost confidence in posting pictures. And not posting pictures for the challenges, I didn't feel like doing them. So I stopped. I didn't completely stop, I still stretched occasionally but not enough and no way near as much as I was doing before. And with Cardio, my mind set went back to why I gave up cardio before (POST here for Cardio).

So in 2017 I spent my time working on my mental health and my Food intake.
 If you follow me on Social media you might have noticed I didn't post much on my social media platforms I am on. I didn't realise how much until I did Instagram's Best of Nine and all my pictures were all Quotes, compared to previous years of yoga poses and fitness pictures. 

I've been living a more simplified / minimalist lifestyle for a while now so I decided to minimalize my time on social media.  I have deactivated/deleted my Facebook account (if you are reading this from FB Hello and Thank you to whoever shared this :) ). I still have a Twitter account but I only really used that for news. Lately I've been a bit more active on there but I will focus mainly on Instagram. I believe this has helped a lot with my mental health. I thought at first I would get FOMO but I didn't. Taking a break from social media and not needing to go on it all the time, really frees up your time.

The last few months of 2017, I have finally cracked it with my food. Even though I don't focus my full attention on calories. I am reaching around 2000 calories a day. And finally getting enough Protein. Not going to lie, it took a long time to increase my food intake. Esp. Protein. My body really didn't like it, or should I say my mind? I was very full, a lot! and I didn't like it. But I have finally figured out how to make sure each meal is quite high in protein, and full of nutrients. I'm really proud of myself for that.

 Sunday Roast:
Linda McCartney Mushroom and Spinach Burger with a mix of fresh and frozen Veggies

Overnight Oats:
Gluten Free Oats, Flaxseeds, Chia Seeds, Pea Protein, Coconut Milk or Water. Topped with a banana and a spoonful of peanut butter.

With the food sorted and my mind-set getting in the right place. I've realised it is time I get my fitness BACK.

But first I wanted to make sure I was doing it for the right reasons.
And they are:
  • Flexibility
  • Balance
  • Health
  • Mental Health  
Its funny the last reason is Mental Health. The one thing missing from last year when I was (still am) working on my mind-set/mental health. I missed out one of the most important things... Exercise (SMH).
Exercise is Awesome for your mental health. I think because I was so busy working on getting my protein/food intake up. I was nervous about my body not getting enough, if I included exercise into my routine. I really didn't want to worry about a deficit. But, like I mentioned above, I have been reaching my goals and now's the time.

I decided in December I would start (like a lot of people) in January "Fresh Start". I'm not going to go crazy, I'm starting slow.
My Fitness Journey has started off with the Yoga Challenges ~ YAY!! I have missed them.

And Oh My.. did my body miss and need them. I felt so tight, esp. in my hamstrings. But only after about a month I started noticing improvements in poses again. I'm disappointed I have lost confidence in doing Headstands :( (Need to work on my Ab strength). I really can't remember when I last did one. But I'm not going to dwell on it. I will get back to them. One of the things I've learnt from my yoga journey is - Poses take time. 

No surprise, I mentioned my hamstrings. I've mentioned before I struggle with tight hamstrings. So to help me with that, I've invested in a foam roller. I've been looking into them for a while. I was unsure if they were just the latest 'fad' in the fitness community. But after I left a question on my Instagram about any advice for tight hamstrings a follower of mine mentioned the foam roller. So I did some more research and purchased one.

I can't give a true opinion on it yet, because I keep forgetting to use it. lol. I have used it a few times, but I have also got back into Yoga again, so I'm not sure if my hamstrings are getting better from the yoga or both. But it does make my muscles feel great afterwards. 

So, What am I doing to get myself back into Fitness? I'm taking each day as it comes. As long as I do a little Yoga workout each day, I will be happy. I'm surprised at how quickly I'm noticing improvements already. And I'm really only doing a little yoga workout daily. With Cardio, I'm also taking it slow...No idea when I will get back to where I was. I wanted to feel comfortable with my Yoga first. 

Not sure yet how often I will be posting fitness updates. Do I post monthly again? not sure. But My next post will be ~ What I have been doing to help improve my mental health.

How are you going on your Fitness Journey? Have you lost motivation? Do you have any tips to get back into Fitness.    

Till next time

Donna x

I post a lot of my Food Dairy and Recipes on my Instagram.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Plastic Free July 2017 Challenge ~ Our Results

Some of you maybe aware of Plastic Free July, if not. Plastic Free July is a campaign to raise awareness of the amount of plastic we use in our everyday lives. Especially Single-use plastic. And every July since 2011 there is a challenge to refuse for a whole month, Single- use plastic.

Even though we started our zero waste journey last year. This is the first year we joined in.
Not going to kid around I thought because we have been on our journey for 19 months we would find this challenge REALLY easy.

Was it easy?

Nope...No we failed.

We completely forgot about the ice lollies.

Really disgusted with all this plastic!

Even though we failed. We really learnt a lot. Saving every piece of plastic we purchased, single-use or not. It really opened our eyes to what we purchase. And seeing all that plastic from the ice lollies that CAN NOT be recycled its not worth the "treat", it really isn't . It was, I say a smack in the face and a big wake up call, to really motivate us to make our own. Which not only are  zero waste, but cheaper and Healthier. It really has got to me, seeing all this plastic because these ice lollies have absolutely no nutritional value, Nothing. I was only eating them because they are like the Junk food I used to eat, but a vegan, palm oil free version. I never thought about the wrapper, just one a day was nothing. But seeing them all together, a whole months worth of "TREATS" it really is shocking!. Tesco will be getting these wrappers back. And we no longer purchase these ice lollies.

The rest of the packaging, we don't really have an alternative. We don't live near a bulk store.
Frozen Veggies and fruit, Porridge Oats, Rice, Pasta, Potatoes, Lettuce, Cucumber And my vegan cheese, which when we finally purchase a more powerful blender I will be making my own cashew cheese. My little magic bullet struggled when we first attempted making our own cheese.

Our local supermarket recycles the plastic packaging from the above products. Which obviously doesn't make it okay. We would prefer to not have it in the first place.

Since this challenge, I no longer eat Quorn. Mainly because it contains egg. I no longer want to eat them (health reasons). I now purchase Linda McCartney products that are in a cardboard packaging. And we are having a go at making our own Hash Browns.

The following items are packaged in a Tetra Pak (which until a few days ago I found out they really are not sustainable :( ).
The Tropicana Juices ~ This really is just laziness on our part and the amount of oranges we would have to purchase and squeeze to make a glass!!
Coconut Milk ~ I use this for my smoothies and they are fortified with calcium and B12. If I was to make my own, I would not get a lot of this in my diet. Because I don't eat any thing like cereals or store bread, which are fortified with calcium and B12.
So for now the Coconut milk is staying. Unless I can find one in a glass bottle.

So as you see even though we technically failed, because we have all them ice lolly wrappers that can not be recycled. We did learn from it. Failures and mistakes are only that if you do not learn from them.  We have, and have given those failures value.

We have really gotten more motivated to make our own food, and make even more healthier choices.
My advice to reduce your plastic consumption is take note of what you dispose off for a month. It really does make you aware of what you consume. And hopefully like us find a better alternative.

Did you participate in Plastic Free July? Did you learn anything? I would love to know.

Till next time

Donna x

Like this post? You might like to read: Trash and or A year aiming for a Zero Waste Lifestyle Part 1 ~ Packaging & Consumtion


Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Jars, Jars and more Jars PART 2 ~ #Reuse #Upcycle #DIY

I've had so many lovely comments about my upcycled jars. I thought I would put them together into one post. My original post HERE I mention what I use my jars for. One of my favourite ways is for a plant pot.

I love that I can put any design I want (so far any, I haven't found one I can't do yet :) ). I really enjoy decorating them.

I use Sharpies, Glass paint and nail polish to decorate them. Yep you read that right, Nail polish, its a great way of using them up. I can't be the only one that has a draw full of polishes? I have so many that I will never wear again, but they are great to decorate a jar with.   

 I recommend once you have painted them. Don't clean with any liquid. Just dust/wipe them with a dry cloth. I have noticed on some the paint comes off.

Also if you decide to use the jars as lights. I don't recommend using nail polish for decorating them.

And make sure you are in a well ventilated room. From experience I have felt a bit heady after spending some time decorating these esp. with the nail polish.

Lily, Daffodil and Rose

Yin and Yang





Stars and Hearts (I've done more in different colours)

Tulip without light

Tulip with light on


Witchcraft, Pagan, Wolf and Unicorn 

Witch Light

Hope you enjoyed this post and got some ideas to decorate your own jars. I will add this post to a tab on my homepage and add new pictures of my jars when I do them.

Have you made your own Vases/Plant pots? Have you ever upcycled a glass jar? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to know :)

Till next time

Donna x

Like this post? You might like to read: Trash