Healthy eating…..We DO have time!

When you go to the supermarket, you walk through the Star Trek type doors and what is the first thing you see? Cakes, biscuits, and crisps on offer. More often than not they are cheap really cheap. Every authority in the land is telling us to eat healthier to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.

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This is what I have noticed over the last week. Now in our house we are busy, I mean really busy like 80% of the time. We went down to London for a birthday party and stayed a couple of days. We went shopping, visited family, debs was working prior the road trip till 4 in the morning, I worked till about 3. So basically we didn’t have a chance to catch a breath. This weekend we have to do it all over again! I keep banging on about the fact that we go Slimming World and have lost 3 stone 7. Every now and again you sometimes go off plan, it happens! We have been eating far far better than we used to.

Since starting  Slimming World last year I have had heartburn, indigestion and bloating once! So as they say eating healthier is better for you obviously. So back to last weekend, we went off plan and we knew we would. And that’s when the trouble started! Also as it was my birthday on Tuesday we went out for a meal.

Man I feel rough, I mean really rough! I went for a run on Wednesday and I barely managed 4 miles. I had indigestion, heartburn and a general feeling that something is wrong…..I went home after 4 mile. This is what bad food can do for you, I have noticed it with these symptoms because my body isn’t used to it. I’m not fuelled by crap food, what I put in, my body uses. I felt lethargic and I didn’t want to get up, I’ll go as far to say my brain hurt too! 

So I go back to the beginning, why are shops promoting the very food that does this, as soon as you walk in the shop? Me and Deb was talking about this and I was concerned. Obesity is obviously a problem now in our society. Yes I know we have a choice to eat like it, but as I have said many times the subconscious is very powerful. The marketing, labels and the general draw of these foods can have the pulling effect.
I’m not going to lull you into my beliefs, or what I think might be going on. But, eating crap made me docile (in a sense) ‘animals’ that become docile are easy to control! So why is it that only food that is often bad for you quite often is cheap? Some of it has to do with farmers, they are getting ripped off left right and centre by some of the big chains. And that’s a shame, we all know about the big milk scandal so they have to make their money somehow. The more people that eat fresh the prices will come down, it will take years but eventually it will happen.

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This is what your plate should contain at every meal

We are given the false impression that life is just too busy and it’s easy to get takeaway or throw a ready meal in the microwave. We do have time to cook fresh we really do. We make all our own sauces and it takes minutes. To be honest it probebrly takes longer to open a jar pour it in a pan, slightly fill the jar with water making sure you get the last bit. And despite what you think, if you shop sensibly it doesn’t cost that much more to cook fresh.

We don’t own a microwave, haven’t done for a long time and we don’t intend on getting one. Freshly cooked and prepared foods fire you up. It makes you more alert, more energetic and it really does help you to think straight. You don’t feel so bloated and lethargic. Look at the panels on bad food and there are more E’s in there than an illegal rave. Your body is not designed  to function on chemicals.

We won’t be eating like that again, never, nada! Being able to cook fresh is not about it taking to long, you don’t have enough time to do it. I guarantee if you manage your tasks rather than thinking about the time you have to fit in, you will find the time.

Manage your tasks and not your time. Write out a to do list the previous night and write down cooking a meal from fresh. Dissect it, write down everything you have to do and how long you think it will take. Put veg in the pan 3mins, brown the mince 10 mins. That’s just an example…..but go for it….you won’t regret it.

Let me know how you get on. Let me know how it makes you feel.

Tony Martin brainfood

Hair products! It’s a black hole…….

Confused.com

The world of hair styling and hair products is a minefield. We can easily be confused and stuck for choice with the amount of different products out there. I have always toyed with my hair, and changed the style quite regularly . Over the years I have used quite a few products in one form or another. But what really is the right one? What is the best one for your type of hair? I am by far not an expert on this subject, but I can share with you what I use and what I think is the best that I have used.

Here comes the competition 

Hair gel: I have used this many times, more so when I was a lot younger. Quite possibly when I had a bit more hair too! For me now, this is not the best type of thing to put on my hair. It clogs the hair, can sometimes give the hair a greasy look and doesn’t make the style manageable through out the day due to the setting and hardness of the hair.

 Now for most of my life I have gone with the spikey hairstyle. But as I have got older I have calmed down a bit, and spend more time doing other things rather than spend time constructing a perfectly positioned hair strand hairstyle. And this brings me to…….

Matte Clay: I tend now to go for the messy/chop style hairstyle. I don’t have to ‘style’ it as such, if I run my fingers through it and it still looks less then tailored….I’m good to go. Clay (for me) is difficult to work with, it’s bitty and feels dry, making it harder to spread. The few times I have used it I have found it leaves small amounts of residue clumped behind and sitting on the end of the strands.

 

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This is the one i tried VO5 are in the know, a recognised brand…..it does what it says on the tin!
Matte paste: This was actually my first choice before the clay. I tried the clay after several weeks of using the paste, only to come to the conclusion I have done above. I have now come back to the paste, and highly recommend it. Paste seems to give the hair and the style a more natural feel and look over the clay, and certainly a great deal more than the gel. Paste infused hairstyles can be reworked to, the pot that I have is actually small enough to fit in my pocket. It can be restyled and touched up at the drop of a hat.

 

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This is the brand i use, for me this is the best one. soft consistancy making it mire managable to apply

The price you see above is probebrly the average that you will pay anywhere. It does last a while, and you will be surprised how much is in this little tin.

 

The how and why

Scoop a small amount on your finger for the first run through, rub between hands for about 30 seconds. You hair will appear white at first but this will dry in, get a bit more for a second application then again run through. Almost massage it into your hair then style to desired shape. I have my hair messy but running through in one direction with a few hair tips in the same way. Once the hair is set and the paste is dryed in, it will look natural and won’t have the usual shine that gel tends to give.
On many sites I have found, researching what the best hair product to use for my style was there was some good news. One piece of advice that kept coming up was that Matter paste was a good product for men slightly thinning on top. Matte paste gives definition and texture to the hair making it appear thicker than what it actually is. Win, win. It easily washes out, and leaves no residue whatsoever.

 

Now your turn

So that’s my view and that’s what I use. What do you use? And what style do you have? Mine tends to look like i literally just got out of bed, for me that is the idea. Is yours the same? Let me know below your choices and what you recommend, I’m keen to know.

Luv ya xxxxxx

Tony Martin brainfood

A little bit of what you fancy……CHOCOLATE!

Who loves chocolate? Oh yes, me too. Chocolate is often seen as an indulgence, and why not it’s good to indulge. I have been in a healthy eating plan for a while now. I’m training for a marathon and some things have had to fall by the way side. Chocolate is one of them, but I like chocolate so why can’t I have it?

This got me thinking, so I started to look round and this is what I found. Now, I have no doubt that some of you know this. But it is good to actually see it jotted down for something to sink in.

A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains (1):
11 grams of fiber.

67% of the RDA for Iron.

58% of the RDA for Magnesium.

89% of the RDA for Copper.

98% of the RDA for Manganese.

It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.

There are many different kinds of dark chocolate, some good and some bad. For me there is only one kind and that is Green and Blacks, I tend to go for the higher content of 85-95%.

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I can already see the eyes closing and the taste buds of many recoiling in bitterness. But you get used to it, you really do because for me after doing without chocolate for so long, I don’t like the way milk chocolate coats the roof of your mouth.

Bottom Line: Quality dark chocolate is rich in Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese and a few other minerals.

Eating a lot of any kind of chocolate isn’t that good for you. Dark chocolate still has sugar in it, but in moderation the antioxidants will take effect. Me? I have 1 maybe 2 squares of dark chocolate a day. Again on slimming world ( for those of you that are) 1 square of the type I have is 1 syn, for others I would suggest you refer to your book or the slimming world app.

My other advice would be to go with a good quality dark chocolate too. In my opinion don’t go for the own brand type, but opt for a more recognised dark chocolate. Yes it might cost you a few more pennies, but in the long run you will benefit from it.

I could go on about how good it is at lowering blood pressure, may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, may improve brain function. But here is a link to the facts on one of the pages I have been looking at, take a peek and see what you think. With just one maybe two squares a day what’s the worst that can happen?

You may get some benefit from it, AND you get to have what might be your favourite treat EVERYDAY.

Let me know which one you choose, as there are many flavours out there as well. Ginger, chilli, you name it. Let me know how much you have too, we can all do with a few ideas.

happy indulging guys. Luv ya xxx

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The return of……me!

I have been poorly the last few weeks, aches and pains and with that comes the busyness of work. For taxi drivers the bank holiday weekend, any bank holiday calendar event is exceptionally busy. I haven’t posted for a while on this blog, yeah I know it’s only just over a week. But that can be considered, in this field at least, a long time.

In our house we are pretty much positive 95% of the time, I have little habits and affirmations that keep me in the right mind set. However, sometimes they do fall by the wayside. Sometimes through being busy and sometimes……….and this did occur to me the other day. Sometimes through emmbarssment, yes embarrassment. Some of the things I do to keep me positive are very private, partly because of the peace and quiet I need to do them.

But that’s just it, why do we get embarrassed about things like that? If these little habits that you have in your life bring your family the life you think they deserve, the prosperity they deserve who cares what people think. When we have someone to answer to though its almost ingrained in us to uphold a habit. Going out in the morning and answering to your fitness instructor, your dietician or even your spouse when asked to do a daily chore. You need to put something in place that almost marches you from your bed, drags you by the scruff and makes sure you get it done. Vloggers are a prime example: churning out footage on a duly or weekly basis, keeping viewers happy and if you miss an upload they will let you know.

I have tried for a few months to get a routine going for my blog, there is always something that gets in the way, or is there? Part of what I believe in is, you create your own life depending on the decisions you make. My decision is not to manage my time better, it’s not managing the tasks its managing the time. But again when you have to answer to someone its easier to control and commit, even if that answer lays in the hands of social media. YouTube, Twitter and even Facebook, these are great tools if they are used properly. You wouldn’t use a spanner to hang a picture on the wall.

At this moment in time I don’t know what the answer is, I have a goal card I Carry with me and that does get some usage. I am on my second one now as I have worn the plastic away on the previous one. But the other habits? I just have to keep going…….and maybe come up with a driving force that gives my desire a little nudge sometimes. What that is? I’m sure the answer will be clear soon enough!

As with a scedule for my blog? It’s coming I’m sure, when? I don’t know. The other habits? Practice, plain old fashion practice.

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ARGUING OVER CLOTHES IS A PROBLEM! meet the cure MYNAMETAGS…………

They are my leggings”. “No they ‘ain’t they are mine we got them from Tesco”. “Yeah that’s where mum got mine, I wore them the other day. Look at the size, they are mine!”

Does this sound all to familiar? Quite often this was the scene of the battlefield in our house with our two girls Hannah (12) and Cerys (11). It got to the point where I was half cutting all labels on one girls clothes. Then being reprimanded by my other half for defacing the washing instructions.

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Then…..I came across these guys mynametags. Now I have dealt with name tags before, if I am honest: I don’t like them. Not because they are not practical but they are (for me at least) too much bother. You have the stitch in ones, yeah right! Then you have the iron on ones, these are…..kind of OK. But they take time especially if you have just brought a haul of new tops and skirts for the kids. You got to get the iron out, iron them on then pick slightly at the side to see if it’s stuck. And then go and run the top of your finger under hot water, after burning it on the molten lava hot label.

So…..as I was saying, I came across the company mynametags. The whole idea is a revelation, you could be right in assuming that they are just stick on labels, but I think they are more than that. I was asked to pick a design and type in the name that I want on the labels, this is dead easy by the way and there is a wealth of designs on the site. The delivery was really quick, so much so I was quite surprised to be honest. They come in a sheet of 56 and they look fantastic. It might just be me but, there is something very warming in seeing your child’s name printed in a product.

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I expected these to have a plastic type feel but they don’t, at least when you put them on the clothing. They advise you to put them on the wash label, so that’s what I did. Straight away they feel as though they are meant to be there. No sharp edges, no roughness and they do feel like part of the label. They also advise you to wait 24 hrs before washing. Well……me being me I thought, what would actually happen? They stayed in place! Although I would say, stick to the guidelines guys, they know best. What I am trying to say is they work.

I wanted to wait a few weeks before I posted the review, I wanted to give these little labels a hammering. They have been washed, spun, tumbled at really high temperatures and they are still standing.

I asked my daughter if she can feel them rubbing or if she knows they were there…a resounding “no dad” means that my angel is happy. She loves them! I gave her the sheet after I tagged her clothing “fill ya boots Cerys”. They are everywhere, inside her school boots, on her bag, her pencil-case and that’s just it they stick anywhere. Her pencil-case was one of the first things and some 3-4 weeks later it’s still stuck fast.

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And most important of all: “Cerys, these are your leggings, they got your label on them” “thanks Hannah“.

 

These are bang on! These ones were complimentary, our other daughter now wants some, so I will be purchasing another batch. Do your self a favor guys:

Peaceful wash day=a visit to mynametags.

If you get some come back and let me know how you got on. Would love to see what designs you got.

Happy sticking readers

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My must have phone apps that motivate me

We all have apps on our smartphones, we have all blogged about them and how good they are. My top 5 apps, 5 apps you must have, 5 apps that means you are sad if you don’t have them! You get the idea, for me……

These are 5 apps that motivate me, help keep me focused and moving towards the target. They are not your typical life changing, lifestyle apps. Just ones that I use the most and I think they are pretty damn great.

So here we go……..

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For me  this app is a god send, it has allowed me to see where my improvements are. I know what distance I am running, there is no excuse to stop short on a run. It gives you feedback and you can set it to motivate you by message.

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This app as well as the brand, has basically changed my life. This brand has reprogrammed my thinking about food and health, for all our family. It has enabled me to lose over 3 stone in weight. The app has a food search function and has 1000s of different foods on there, as well as recipes. I can’t say enough good things about this app.

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I love apps that help you focus, and this has done just that. I deal with cash all day and sometimes it can be hard to keep a track of your earnings. Until I got this 4 weeks ago (suggested by my daughter who is 11 no less, she is also on the verge of becoming a blogger) I didn’t know to the penny how much I was earning. This app has shocked me and shown me, how much I actually have left. So much so we are actually going on holiday soon.

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Another money app, I am so happy now that we are in a technological climate that we can keep in touch with our finances. This has made it possible to keep on top of everything and stay in control, and lessen the worry. Apps like these can actually help you to have more in your pocket, keeping the charges at bay and the arrears of any payments. I for one am certainly learning this fact.

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I may well be a self employed taxi driver, but with some things i do have a bad memory (ask the other half with regards to shopping lists). That’s where this app comes in, this has the ability to store passwords, bank card number and such like. This app has been  god send to me in the past. All details are encrypted, and you can back up its content.

These apps make my life easy and motivate me to keep going-believe it or not-they keep me on track with financial goals and give me a sense of focus. So these are my apps that keep me focused, and motivated.

What apps motivate you? What apps keep you focused? Lets have some ideas in the comments for apps that make our life simple’

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WHAT’S IN MY (man) BAG?

DON’T LET YOUR WIFE BECOME A CIRCUS ACT

Imagine if you will a day out with the family. Let’s say a theme park, what have you got in your pockets guys? Keys? Money? Phone? Maybe other sorts of Nick knacks that put holes in your pockets! Get on a ride with the kids, give all your stuff to the Mrs. watch her turn into a circus act as she tries to juggle all the stuff you just chucked in her hands in a bid to make it to the ride before the kids.
This is something i used to do, I experienced all that and more. As a taxi driver I have to carry something to put all that in anyway. I don’t know a taxi driver that don’t. That’s why it’s OK guys to carry ( as my other half would indicate) a MAN BAG! It’s OK to carry one, not a handbag that’s all pink and fluffy and screaming that you may or may not be in touch with your feminine side. But a bag that says ‘yeah I got stuff and I’m comfortable keeping it all together, I’m not bothered what people think’.

So below you will find a picture of what’s in my bag. This stuff goes with me everywhere, and guess what? No holes in my pockets fellas, the big blue square by the way is my battery back up. Let me tell you that has helped me out a few times and probably was the best £25 i have spent in a long time. 4 full charges on an iPhone, you can’t go wrong, there is also a camera that i keep in my bag a simple point and shoot. Obviously that’s what took the picture, so that’s not IN the picture……(i think you get the picture!…….don’t ya?

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Various items of clutter, i just can not do without.

 

THINKING LIKE INDIANA JONES

Some of this stuff I don’t need every day, like the earplugs but we all have a CRAP draw don’t we? And you have to start thinking like INDIANA JONES to be able to find anything in there. So I just keep them in my bag then I know exactly where they are. The earplugs by the way, they are for me on a Sunday after a night shift. When you have a house that has 3 other females in, getting it quiet on a Sunday morning is a near impossibility.

STYLE IS THE WAY TO GO

There are so many designer bags out there now aimed at men. Mine is quite small, but then I have to have at my side in a taxi. There are so, so many bags out there that have more room than a case. For me, I just don’t have that much STUFF. I must admit I do like the thought of a messenger bag, but it has to be completely right. I do like carry notebooks but trying to find one, and find one that fits in the bag I have now is a near impossibility.

So go for it guys and don’t be shy. Once you start using a bag and keeping all your stuff in it, trust me you will never be without it.

Any guys out there have one? Lets get together and comment and compare STUFF. Don’t be shy guys

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THE KITCHEN MUST HAVE GADGET!

Oven’s, the outlet for culinary creativity! Well, until they go wrong that is, that’s what’s happened to ours. Imagine coming in late from work, thanking your other half for preparing you dinner for getting in late. You turn on the oven to warm it up…….

BOOM!!!!!

The electric box trips and you are left in complete darkness. We now don’t have an oven to cook in and need to get a new one……….We are at a stage now where we cant cook an elaborate dinner…….or so you would think!

The key to success

That’s where this bad boy comes in.

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I can not recommend these enough, turn the timer for the desired time then the temperature and you have instant heat. No warming period, no preheating. BOOM, direct heat straight away and you can cook anything in them and I mean anything. They are also easy to clean, fill the kettle pour all of the boiled water in the halogen. Squirt a generous portion of washing liquid and use the self clean function. After 10 mins pour it all out, give it a wipe and your ready to go again.

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I would strongly recommend getting one with what they call, an ‘extension ring’. No it’s not some kind of marital device that comes free, it allows you to create more space. You place it on top of the bowl, lift the cooking lid and close on top of the ring. This allows more space and the ability to ‘stack’ the foods you are cooking.

A practice far removed from Italy 

Don’t do what my step son did………

H. How do you do the time for this halogen? The pizza box says 15 mins but it’s blitzed it on 5

Me. I don’t know, it’s never done that before. If you get another one to do just keep an eye on it.

We later found out that he sacked 2 pizzas but didn’t put the extension ring on. The heating element was no more than a few inches away from the pizza. Effectively GRILLING the pizza! 🙄 Less said the better I think, apart from that they are something that I recommend in any kitchen. And doing a joint in there, well it comes out so succulent words actually fail me.

When you buy one you get a small round tray, a rack and a little lifting device. The rack can be placed in to either grill food (but not pizza) or upturn it to ‘oven’ cook the food. I cooked ‘slimming world’ roast potatoes in it, I have to say they were so so nice.

So……get yourself one, you won’t regret it. Having said that I still want my oven back.

However……now we have over used it due to not having a proper oven, our halogen has also now failed! This post ends here, head in my hands with a groan that would wake sleeping beauty.

What cooking gadgets have you got in your kitchen? Which one do you swear by?

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ALL YOU CAN EAT curried loaf!

So! We have been doing Slimming world for a while now, if you have read other posts you would know how hard it has been. Well with just over 3 stone lost we are still well on our way. If you are reading this with a weight loss on slimming world you may well have heard of this next recipe. If you haven’t you will love it. Now on slimming world for those who don’t know, there is a thing called FREE FOODS. These are regarded as an aid to losing weight, they are foods that technically you can eat as much as you like. And they are there for the purpose of filling you up. CURRIED LOAF is regarded as one of them foods.

CURRIED LOAF INGREDIANTS

1 Pack of Bachelors vegetable rice/curry flavor rice
3 medium eggs
1-2 table spoons of medium curry powder
1/2 table spoon of garam masala (if you want for that extra curry taste)
1 tin of chickpea Dahl

METHOD

Crack and beat the eggs in a large bowl
Crack and beat the eggs in a large bowl.  Add the pre-prepared rice as per packet instructions
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Add the chickpea Dahl and spices. now for the technical bit. For this to be a FREE FOOD the chickpea dahl HAS to come from either Asda or Morrisons simply becasue of it calorific value.

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Spices to add to curried Loaf
Mix the Dahl, spices and the rice and egg mixture together thoroughly  and pour into a lined loaf tin. Use grease proof paper, DO NOT use butter or margarine to grease the tin IT WILL STICK.

Place in a pre heated oven at 180/gas mark 4 for 45 to 55 mins. Use the 10 minute gap btween these times to check progress. You want a slightly springy top, if in doubt use a thick knife and insert into the loaf and it should come out clean.


Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin and taking off the paper. This is what it should look like. I got this method from SLIMMING WORLD so credit goes to EVERYONE, both members and staff.

Non members…….enjoy and remember, according to slimming world this is a FREE FOOD so eat as much as you like and fill your boots.

Let me know how you go with it and if you like the taste.

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