Exploring Expectations #2

Following on from my Exploring Expectations #1 this is the second post in the Exploring Expectations Series.

New Years is a bit of a time for giving your slate a bit of  clean and having the opportunity to start afresh.

Your slate could be something as simple as cleaning out the fridge, getting rid of the last bits of Christmas food and re stocking it with healthy food and making a meal plan, to planning a trip of a lifetime. But, no matter how large or small your slate, it is a good idea to think of what expectations you have in relation to your choices.

What do you expect from removing the chocolate from your fridge and replacing it with superfoods? Are you expecting a body like Beyonce after a month and is this attainable or would a gentle transition into eating a healthier diet long term be more within your attainable expectations. Think about how you will feel if you aren’t Crazy in Love with your body after a month against how you might feel after a few months of gently introducing healthier options in to your diet and under which situation you are most likely to have your expectations met.

I found myself thinking over Christmas that come January I would sign up to give up alcohol for a month, practice yoga every day and try out Veganuary. I would write a blog post at least every two weeks and begin to read all the books I have in the cupboard and sort out my finances. I would go visit my family at least once a week and make more dates with friends to see them out socially.

I then wrote it all done realised that I also had to fit in work, school runs, swimming clubs and Scouts. Without military planning I was probably setting myself up for a huge set of expectations unmet. So I went back to the drawing board.

I have my whole life been one for taking on projects that seemed like a great idea at the beginning only find I didn’t have the time to complete them, or get stressed out with the pressure and then give them up. This has often led to me feeling like I have failed and it is a born out of placing to0 high expectations on myself but not having the tools to deal with the unmet expectations.

So, this January I am going to monitor my alcohol intake, I have put the Dry January app on my phone and each night before bed I honestly note whether I have had a drink or not. I had a gin and tonic last night whilst I watched the TV, do I feel like I have failed? No. I feel like I had a gin and tonic whilst I watched TV.

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I have decided to integrate some vegan foods into the weekly family diet, foods that I know will get eaten. This gives me both the chance to experiment and enjoy a new way of eating but also not have a lot of waste and arguments at the tea table.

I am absolutely going to read the books I already own and not purchase anymore and I really made the most of the last 30 minutes of 2017 by browsing and purchasing books on Amazon before the New Year rung in!

And finally, family and friends. By far the most important thing and the resolution I am going to do my utmost to keep.

What are your thoughts on resolutions? Let me know.

Have a great week everyone.

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Christmas Excess Unleashed

There are some unwanted guests in our house at the moment. Not the nosey neighbours from down the lane or the distant relations you never see but feel you should invite to the party “because they are family”. These guests are tiny, so tiny you can’t see them. They come every year the pesky tiny blighter’s and set up camp for several days, sometimes weeks after the festive period. They are known as the Excess family. Mr and Mrs Excess seem to have taken over my rational brain and each time I reach for a cleansing glass of water with a nice bit of cucumber floating in it they are there, pushing a glass of wine or a mince-pie with brandy butter towards me. This year they have also brought their kids who are currently running rampage in my head banging away with their teeny little hammers to ensure that my tension headache lasts just one day longer.

It’s no exaggeration to say that more than a week of roast dinners, buffet food, hotel breakfasts, alcohol, pastry based snacks, no exercise, little water, too much tea and coffee and absolutely nothing green and resembling salad (unless you count sprouts) have done me in.

I do wish I was one of those people who can saintly arise on Christmas morning, go for a run before making themselves a green smoothie, but currently I am not – I hate running, I look like a chicken. At Christmas time “chuck me a chocolate” whilst the boy opens his gifts to get the day going has been my mantra for many a year but it seems that I can no longer take it. That ship has sailed, and the river has dried. My friend, who shall remain nameless for avoidance of him shouting “I was right”, told me that once I turned 40 things would change. He said I would no longer be guzzling wine on Christmas Eve whilst simultaneously eating a cocktail sausage, a pound of cheese and a slice of chocolate log without feeling like death himself the next day. I did not believe him. Until this year when I awoke feeling dreadful and demanding a fist full of antacids and some paracetamol.

Indeed, it seems that being 40 didn’t just put me in a different check box on every damn list you have to fill in, it has also rendered me intolerant of chocolate (hello headache), cheese (hello even bigger headache) and too much wine (gahhhh, indigestion) which leaves me dopey for days. It is apparent my body needs a constant supply of the good stuff and having a weeks break to go on a fat and carb holiday is just not a good idea. I have a responsibility to myself and to my six year old son to keep us both healthy and well.

And so, I am sitting here on the penultimate day of 2016 having a good think about how to in the future avoid these lapses but moreover how to get myself back into the throes of being excited about my venture for the new year – nutrition and mindfulness training.

I have been having a quick overview of the raw food course I am going to be studying in the coming months which advises that I should make the transition from a largely processed diet to a raw / vegetarian diet slowly for the avoidance of cravings. I am assuming that doesn’t mean that I can eat one raw meal a day followed by two others packed with pastry so I am going to tootle off now and give my fridge an overhaul and throw out all of the left over pies, cheeses and any other headache inducing nasties before making a list of things to replenish it with. I am not planing on being completely raw but I am interested in learning something from this area of food preparation to bring some variety into our meals and equally enable me to bring some filling, nourishing food to work for lunch rather than relying on a sandwich and a soup-in-a-mug.

And on that note, if you are still with me, I will wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year and I hope you will join my on my journey to mindful eating, and nutrition in 2017.