Three Intentions For Me (#3)

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Happy October everyone! Apologises that I’m coming to you a few days into the month already, but I’m back with another monthly intentions and if you don’t know about my monthly intentions, you can go to my first post from August to see why I’m now setting myself the challenge each month. So before we get into this month’s intentions, let’s talk about last month’s.

❤ Take part in two Park Runs.

I was VERY confident about this because I didn’t think anything was going to stop me doing this. I even told myself I would run in two rather than four, because I thought it was that easy. Turns out when you hurt your groin, you can barely walk to work never mind running a 5K. Thankfully, it eventually healed and I was back at the Park Run at the end of the month. (And for all the runners, I know that’s not how you write Park Run, but I hate seeing it without the capital letters.)

❤ Get back in meal prep mode.

Yes, I did this! I didn’t make the curry, the brownies or the energy balls but I started to bring my bean chilli into work and because I don’t like to reheat rice (I’ve heard the horror stories about the bacteria!), I decided to cook quinoa at home instead and have that with it. It’s just as good as rice too. I felt so much more organised with it and even though I was having the same meal twice in one day sometimes, I don’t mind that at all.

❤ Take my library book back.

I’m not going to pretend this is an excuse but I’ve lost it. It’s in the house somewhere, it’s just hiding but I promise once I find it, it’s going back. I have no excuse when there’s a library down the street from work.

Again, same as last month, one out of three. And moving swiftly onto this month’s intentions…

❤ Run further. 

I was going to put a specific distance for this but I want to run further than 5K, so whether that’s 5.5K, 6K or even just 5.2K, it’s still a longer distance than I’m used to.

❤ Get back into my morning gym routine.

Before my injury, I was on fire with my morning routine, but once I couldn’t go, it stopped completely. Now that I’m not as sore, I want to get back into my early morning gym sessions because I felt so much better going out in the fresh air that early and I felt more motivated during the day. I need that feeling back!

❤ Try a new recipe!

I have lots of recipe books, some that I haven’t even tried one meal out of, so now seems like the perfect time.

Check back next month to see how I got on, and keep your fingers crossed for me! ☀️

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Three Intentions For Me (#2)

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Happy September everyone! If you read August’s post (which I’ll link here) I talked about having a monthly intentions list where I would choose three things that I wanted to achieve by the end of the month. They don’t have to be life changing activities by any means, it’s just something that motivates me throughout the month. So before I get into this month’s intentions, let’s look at last months: 

❤ Read one fiction and one non-fiction, and finish them both.

●  I was quite disappointed I didn’t complete this one. I started my non-fiction and right now, I’m still only half way through it and haven’t even started the second book. I’ll continue on until I finish the non-fiction one because it is a really good book, but I think I was just too relaxed with it and didn’t start reading until half way through the month.

❤ Take part in two Twitter chats.

● I only took part in one which can be quite hard to believe because there are SO MANY Twitter chats taking place each week. I participated in #UKRunChat on Sunday’s at 8pm and it was the day after my 5K race so I felt like I had something to talk about too.

❤ Complete the 5K I have signed up for.

● If you’ve been following the blog, I’ve been documenting my 5K Race Training and I specifically wrote a post about the race (which I’ll link here). If you read the post, you’ll read how I found it tough for parts of the race but overall, I was just really proud to finish it.

One out of three isn’t so bad right? I can’t really hide my disappointment with my monthly intentions because even though they’re not serious things, I don’t like to let myself down. Now it’s on to this month’s intentions!

❤ Take part in two Park Runs.

In an ideal world, I would like to take part every Saturday but sometimes that’s just not possible so I think if I took part in two over the month, I’d be very happy.

❤ Get back in meal prep mode.

I used to be SO good at this! I would make my curry for my weekly lunches and I would make either sweet potato brownies or almond energy bites so I need to start preparing for my work lunches again because I felt so much more organised for the week when I did.

❤ Take my library book back.

I’m ashamed to say that I have a borrowed library book from last October. Yes, I have a book borrowed from a year ago and this is quite clearly the push I need to take it back with my tail between my legs…

Make sure to check back at the start of next month to see how I got on and to see what I’ll be making a top priority in October. Have a lovely week! ☀️

Let’s Look After And Love Our Gut!

As a blogger who has recently started talking about fitness and in the past, has spoken about a few health problems I have due to intolerances, I thought today’s post would be fit perfectly alongside those.

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Love Your Gut Week 2017 is being celebrated from Monday 4th September until Sunday 10th September and it’s raising awareness for your gut health, which according to a recent Love Your Gut Survey, 81% of us aren’t sure about the health signs that are gut could be telling us. As shocking as this figure is, it doesn’t surprise me because even I don’t know what’s going on with my tummy most of the time.

I’m no expert so I’m not going to sit here and tell you all the signs you should look out for when it comes to your gut, because the only person who should be telling you that is a qualified doctor. Love Your Gut Week comes with one of the best informative websites I’ve seen. In my job outside the blog, we get sent quite a number of press releases around awareness weeks and for research, I would use the websites mentioned in these press releases to a lot to draw up questions, so to say I’m impressed, would be an understatement. They have everything from frequently asked questions, free advice packs, how to raise awareness and even advice on how to talk to your own doctor about the issues you might be having.

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To start, here’s five of the most surprising facts that I found out about our gut health (from the Love Your Gut Week website):

1) There are more than twenty five different conditions related to the digestive system.
2) Men don’t produce smellier farts than women.
3) The gut has its own brain that contains five hundred million nerve cells.
4) Using plant based or lactose free milks can be easier to digest than lactose milks and more tolerate by sensitive guts.
5) If you need to fart, don’t hold it in!

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My body has been talking to me for quite a few years (hear me out!); from little gurgles throughout the day, stomach cramps after certain foods, questionable bowel movements and further problems when it comes to periods. Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you about my bowel movements but it does bring me to a very important topic: being comfortable talking about the unsocial norms.

We have to admit that our bodily functions are something that isn’t talked about enough but quite frankly, should be. If something isn’t right and yes, we’re going to talk about poop because it’s a good example; if your poop doesn’t look healthy or it has a clear sign that something is wrong, there is definitely a conversation that needs to be had. Now, I’m not suggesting that you go and tell your next door neighbour or your local lollipop man, but go to someone you trust that will take you seriously and possibly offer you advice. Your body doesn’t lie, it shows you what is wrong but it won’t tell you. That’s perhaps the most frustrating problem with our bodies is that, yes they’ve given you this sign but what on earth does it mean? Not going to get help about a problem can only delay the issue and unfortunately some leave it too late. “I wish I’d went to see about it sooner” or “We caught it quickly because I went to see someone about it” You’ve probably heard quotes like these before and obviously sometimes there are cases where you can go to the doctor and they can’t diagnosis your problem for weeks, months or even years. It’s difficult one to balance especially when some people don’t feel comfortable or even trust their doctors (I may or may not be one of these people, sorry!) but we need to speak out. This is our body, we need to be happy and healthy in it, and we need to speak out when something is wrong. If you’re dismissed, go to another doctor or another professional; it’s your body and you have to live it so don’t let anyone tell you “Oh you’ll be fine, I’m sure it’s nothing”.

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Thank you for reading today’s post! I know it’s not your normal post that you’d see from me but I think it’s such an important issue to address so if you’d like any more information on the awareness week, please visit www.loveyourgutweek.com ❤ 
Have a lovely week! 

Three Intentions for Me (#1)

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Good morning, good afternoon or good evening whenever you read this! You might remember in my 58th Edition of my Sunday Saves (which is linked here!) I talked about Sophie’s blog post being about her July to-do list, and I loved the idea! So I decided to base a monthly goals list around that. I’ve named this little mini series “Three Intentions for Me” because for me right now, there is quite a lot of pressure around the word “goals” so I want to minimise that pressure while also pushing myself ever so slightly with particular targets I want to achieve.

❤ Read one fiction and one non-fiction book, and finish them both.

I’m quite a slow reader and this is something that will probably irritate me to no end. I usually read when I’m on my own because it means I can read out loud. I found that when I was reading when I was younger, yes I was fast, but I was skipping words if I couldn’t pronounce them in my head so while I was “reading fast” in my younger years, was I actually reading if I wasn’t taking everything in? Into my adult years, I’ve changed my whole philosophy on reading and it’s been a tough transition especially because I do read out loud the majority of the time, that takes longer and if I can’t pronounce something, I will make sure to say it until I can. It almost sounds like I’m teaching myself to read again, I can read I promise, but I’m putting more energy into it this time around. To add to this, I think this is why I don’t tend to sway into fiction books, I’m more of a self-help book woman myself but I want to challenge myself this coming month. It might seem like a big ask to read two books in one month but I’m willing to push myself to get out of my comfort zone, it will just mean setting more time aside for reading and less time for something else.

 Take part in two Twitter chats.

A year ago, I was so on the ball when it came to Twitter chats. I didn’t take part in too many mind you, but I probably took part in two weekly ones and I always enjoyed it! I use Tweet Deck for my Twitter and even then I felt like I could never keep up because there was so much going on within one chat, so this August, I’m making a commitment to take part in just two to see how I get on.

 Complete the 5K I have signed up for.

August sees the challenge of a 5K run that my boyfriend and I have signed up for towards the middle of August so that means stepping up my training to a certain level and making sure I complete it. Timing to me at the minute isn’t very important, I just want to keep a nice happy pace with minimal walking and I’ll be happy.

I’ll check back in next month’s “Three Intentions for Me” post to update you on how I did, and to tell you what I want to make a priority in September. Have a lovely day! ☀️

Learning How To Be More Grateful.

Gratitude: “the quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness to.”

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(The views in Rome will always be something I am eternally grateful for. Absolutely stunning!)

That’s what gratitude means according to the Oxford Dictionary but to me, it means “being grateful for the little things that life gives you and to be thankful for where you are right now”.

Since the start of the year, I’ve begun to incorporate mindfulness more into my daily life and gratitude is an addition to this practice. The one thing that I struggle with when it comes to gratitude though is when it’s a bad day. It’s the easiest thing in the world when you can think of all the great things from your day, but if you have a bad day, it can be very difficult.

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(Self reflection at the Ormeau Embankment in Belfast. It’s so gorgeous at night!)

You can show your appreciation for gratitude in many ways; some choose to write it on their blog or on their phone, some say it out loud as part of their meditation practice and others prefer to write it down in a notebook or a journal.

If you read the blog regularly, you’ll know I’m working with the Itty Bitty Book Co. on spreading the message of positivity and happiness and this is where their new product launch comes in. They have released their very own gratitude journal in three colours: yellow, blue and white. It’s a 21 Day Challenge with yourself (because the best person to compete with, is yourself) to see how gratitude can change your mindset, if that’s something you’re wanting to change or simply improve on.

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To give you a sneak peek into the journal, I thought I would share what my first day looked like. These were my three things for the day that I was grateful for. They don’t have to be big things; they really can be that really good cup of tea you had first thing in the morning or maybe you caught the early bus that morning to work. You can be thankful for the people that you have in your life, whether that’s your friends and family or the bus driver that smiled at you.

I’m planning on doing the journal every other day just to ease myself into the challenge, but if you can, you should try to do it everyday!

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(One of the first pages in the journal giving you a very simple explanation on how it all works.)

I wrote a post last year on appreciating on the small things (which you’ll find right here!) and I find that really relates to the gratitude journal, because you really are appreciating the little things in life.

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(One of the many bowls of Italian ice-cream I had on holiday with some tea; you can be thankful for the food you ate that day or the happiness you got from eating that food. It really is that simple.)

If you want to have a look at the Gratitude Journal for yourself, you’ll find it right here! It’s currently £4 for one but if you want all three colours, it’s just £10.

Please note: I am an affiliate for Itty Bitty Book Co. so affiliate links have been used throughout. This journal was sent to me to try for free but views shared throughout this blog however are one hundred percent my own.