Saturday, 6 August 2011

Making our own Frozen Yogurt!

The past week has been very hot! And I have to confess, that in my household we love ice-cream! Of course sadly ice-cream isn't exactly a healthy option, so i decided to look for alternatives which we could all enjoy! I tried freezing low fat yogurts, and they came out more like ice lollies and didn't have quite the same appeal as ice-cream eating! Sat starring at my fridge, I decided to use up some odds and ends, and decided to experiment, and discovered an easy way to make a healthy frozen yogurt which tastes as good as ice-cream but with alot less calories (and a great way to sneak fruit into your little ones diet!).

- Fat-free Natural Yogurt
- Frozen Fruit ( I found Black forest fruits or Raspberries worked best)
- Powdered sweetener to taste (if required)

Use roughly double the amount of frozen fruit to yogurt, blitz with a blender until the mix is smooth. If you're using Black forest fruits you'll have a really rich colour! Do taste it at this stage, as my first attempt was a bit too tangy - hence adding a little sweetener!
Freeze for an hour, and you'll be able to scoop and serve! We also used the mix to make lollies which Boo was delighted with, and i was delighted to see him eating more fruit!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Dan's Journey to Smoke-Free

Smoking is not something I have ever done with the exception of the occasional drag on a friends cigarette while a student and wanting to look 'cool' but in fact only ending up coughing loudly in a corner. However for many people including many of my friends, it is as much as part of their day as a cup of tea is part of mine, Dan(@danhennell)has kindly agreed to let us in on his journey to being smoke free!

I started smoking when I was about 14, but in my late teens I became just a social smoker. By the age of 24, I started smoking properly again, so I've been a 'proper' smoker for 10 years. With everything getting more expensive, I realised that smoking was costing me a fair bit, and also I became aware that I was smoking because I was bored rather than I actually needed a cigarette, and to be honest I wasn't enjoying it like I used to.

I've always enjoyed walking and cycling, but have struggled to find the motivation to get out there and do it, working shifts makes it even harder! Then I discovered Geo-Caching and found myself going on mammoth walks, but often found it hard, especially hills where I'd get out of breath! I started to think that if I didn't smoke, these walks would be a breeze! So i decided to just go for it one day, just stop!

The first day I decided not to smoke anymore, I was actually working a night shift and it was hard, I found myself eating to distract myself several raids of the snack machine later I had made it through day (or should I say 'night')one!

Trying to break the routine has been the hardest part so far, for example there is a certain part of my drive to work where I used to spark up, then again when I got to work I'd have another one. For the first few days I found myself thinking 'It's time for a cigarette' then remembering I didn't have any!

It has been very tough, I was on 20 a day, but I'm just taking each day as it comes. I've found drinking a glass of water or eating some gum when the cravings hit, even standing up or going for a little stroll to stretch the legs helped ease the cravings! Its been easier than using patches and all that stuff though, because with those there is a constant reminder that you are trying to quit.

The best bits about not smoking so far have been actually having cash on the last few days before pay day! Not smelling, being able to walk up a flight of stairs without wanting to pass out when you reach the top !! Also on a night out, not having to go outside in the cold or rain and not missing conversations and just generally feeling so much fitter. I've got a new taste for food too, I've found myself making fresh smoothies everyday and eating a lot healthier too.

In an average month i reckon i could save anywhere between £150 and £180 which is a lot of cash in anybodies book. Its really scary how much is adds up. Cigarettes are about £6.30 for 20 now when i started they were about £2. Ive already decided that I'm going to treat myself to something every month, whether it be a new t shirt or something for the car and I'm also sticking a little aside so i can go back to Canada next year!
If you're thinking of quitting, just go for it, it's all in the head. Just think about all the money you are saving as a result. Once you break the routine you will forget that you smoked.

For more information on quitting smoking visit the NHS site: Smokefree

This is not a sponsored post.

Monday, 1 August 2011

August = Goriami Family Healthy Options Month!

While sat watching my 3yr old running about in the garden, it occurred to me how much energy he uses each day and how little comparatively I do. It's no secret that I am overweight post-baby, and it is something which has bothered me since Elvis was 6 weeks old. Having lost almost a stone relatively easily, I realise that it isn't my shape that bothers me, more the health risks which I'm imposing on myself by being this weight. I got thinking what I'm doing wrong, and realised it isn't one thing, but a variety of little things. My excuses are 'I'm too tired to cook', 'i'm having a bad day with the baby so that chocolate bar will get me through', 'My old injury to my knee means i can't run', ' i hate my figure so I'm not going to let anyone else see it in a swimming costume or they might need counselling..' (any of these sound familiar?!).

The worrying thing for me, is that my children will follow my example, so if i sit and devour biscuits for breakfast or refuse to shift from the sofa come 5pm what will they do.... So, I've decided to use August to blog about healthier options for the family, not just diet and exercise but also quitting smoking, skin care and making time for yourself!

 I've not intention to preach about eating a strict diet, exercise 50 times per week or any other such facts, as let's face it, we might all have best intentions but how many of us have stuck to New Years Resolutions..? The idea is simple changes to our busy lifestyles making us healthier and happier!