Health matters - going sugar free and daily routines.
DONNA'S DAILY ROUTINE
My morning routine has changed completely since lockdown and I have to say that I LOVE it, I also really, really appreciate that I have the time on my hands to put these things in motion. I know that lots of people are still working full time and have much less time than they normally do.
- 5.30-6 am - Wake up, get dressed, make a bottle of boiled water and head to the Beach (10 min walk)
- 6-7.45am - I Walk 4-5 miles along the seafront, I listen to either Business Podcasts such as 'Startup' by Gimlet, Carrie Green's 'She Means Business' or 'The Boss Babe' by Natalie Ellis & Dr. Danielle Canty and I make lists on my phone of all the ideas they give me and send them over to Sarah whose usually just getting up! Or I go all 'dark', I love True Crime podcasts like 'Dateline' by NBC or 'The Vanished' by Wondery.
- 8 - 9am Kiss Dan goodbye just as I get home (he is back at work) / Get the teenager up (little one is always up at 7am!) I then spend an hour hurrying the boys along to eat and get ready for Miss Bossy Boots School Mam (moi!) by 9am, during which time I have also thrown down some vitamins ( Fish Oil, Hair Gain, B6, Vit D3, & a Probiotic), have a coffee and write my to do list!
- 9-12noon, I'm pretty much sitting in with the boys whilst they work and am on hand for any questions, it's fun juggling Fractions with a 13yr old whilst teaching the 9yr old about the Skeleton (not!)!!! We have 2 x half hour breaks which always include a jump on the trampoline to get rid of that school mode for a bit! During this time I'm also texting and emailing from my phone or iPad with work related issues (all of the computers are being used) I reply to all my IG messages , make some IG stories and If I can I will prepare dinner too.
- 12-1pm - Lunch time (I fast until 1pm most days then eat lunch , I've done this for about 3 years now and it suits me). I normally nip upstairs while the boys eat their lunch and do a tutorial or some videos for social.
- 1pm - The little one has finished his school work so does a project that he chooses (he has finished his mammoth timeline of all the Kings & Queens of England and is now doing a project all about the history of LEGO!). The big one does one more lesson. I either do a Live workout now (or at 6.30pm) with an on-line exercise group called HeadActive (check them out on FB). I LOVE these, they do all sorts of classes and because you can all see one another there's no excuses but to work hard! I do a class 6 days a week. A few mates and my sister are also on there, so it's a nice community and the trainers are so lovely. A quick shower and change and I'm back!
- 2pm - The teenager has finished his school work, I check it over and then he either goes on the Playstation for a while or has a walk or bike ride with his brother. I can then finally get onto the computer and work until about 5.30/6 on the business. If work is quiet, the boys and I will go for a walk for an hour to the beach or the park.
- 6.30pm - If I don't do the exercise class earlier I do one now....and Dan comes home and serves dinner to the boys.
- 7.30/8pm - Dan and I will eat dinner and chat about our day.
- 8-9.30pm - Dan and I usually watch a Netflix series whilst I scoff my fave meal of the day - pudding!!! (a bowl of Fage Greek yogurt with nuts, seeds, goji berries and dark choc chips) and a cuppa tea! The boys watch a series or a film in the other room (Once a week we try and watch a film together!)
- 9.-9.30pm - Bedtime for the boys and I! Dan stays up a bit longer!
- 9.30-10pm - When I get into bed I ALWAYS spray my pillow with lavender spray from NEOM. I take a Magnesium-OK vitamin which really helps aid my sleep, I put on my Retinol ceramide capsules from Elizabeth Arden and If I have aching muscles from my workouts, I spray on 'Better You' magnesium oil onto the areas that ache (this really does work). I usually read for half an hour and currently I have a few books going on...a wellbeing book all about your GUT, books on adolescent teenagers, a couple of entrepreneurial related books and a novel - I'm never bored!
A NEW SUGAR FREE SARAH
The older I get, the more my body has started to suffer with food intolerances and since hitting 50 my overall health has gone massively in decline!!!
I have never been an unhealthy eater...I love a chocolate bar and am partial to hot cross buns, but over the past year I have read numerous articles about how damaging sugar can be for your body - so, during the first week of lockdown, I decided to go completely cold turkey and give it up. I can honestly say I didn't realise how much of a sugar addict I was until I stopped!!
I started paying attention to the ingredients of every single item I ate and believe me, once you start reading food labels, it is utterly shocking how much sugar certain foods contain. Food that you would perceive to be a healthy option, such as low fat yoghurt, bagels & granola, are ladened with it! Convenience foods are a no-go on a sugar free diet and anything that is a fast fix tends to be full of the stuff!
Organisation is a must when it comes to your daily meals and I must admit lock down has been a blessing as there has not been the option of going out to restaurants and pubs and now 3 months in, I am used to it and no longer crave it.
I have replaced every single refined food with whole food, refined carb options for wholewheat, I have completely given up bread, alcohol and sweets and do you know what, I don't miss it!!! Seriously! I am very lucky to live next door to a wonderful farm who deliver an incredibly fresh vegetable box each week!
I am a stone lighter so far and although the amazing health benefits promised have not been incredibly obvious (I blame the menopause for this) I do feel a sense of achievement and my food intolerances are now massively diminished, which in itself is a huge relief.
A typical day for me would include...
Breakfast - fresh fruit (strawberries, peaches and frozen berries), natural greek style yoghurt with a good handful of natural Scottish oats on top - which fills you up!
Lunch - homemade vegetable soup - nice and chunky or poached eggs with bacon
Dinner - Chicken curry with brown rice or roasted butternut squash and wholewheat pasta.
Snack- homemade oat cookies (made with maple syrup) or orange cake (made with spelt flour/ground almonds & maple syrup).
I drink lots of fluids during the day including numerous cups of tea.
As a special treat if I really need something, I keep a supply of chocolate (100% cocoa) covered frozen bananas which are rolled in desiccated coconut - little lollies of joy!
I honestly think that this is it for me now - I have broken the habit and changed my diet for life. I am not going to let it rule me though and moving forward, if we go out for dinner I will choose well but not deny myself - plus if I fancy a glass or two of wine/gin now and again, I will have it! I will just revert back the next day.
The single one thing I miss the most - Cheese on Toast ( & hot cross buns!😁)
The one thing I don't miss that i thought I would - Milk Chocolate.
Do you fancy going sugar free? Top 3 tips from me...
- I would recommend you invest in some good cook books - Davina McCall is an obvious choice and I have 3 of her books which are like a bible for me! The internet also has an endless supply of inspiration for sugar free recipes.
- Clean out your cupboards - get rid of the foods that you feel will tempt you to fail. Read labels and educate yourself on where hidden sugar can be found.
- Use spices in your cooking - your tastebuds actually come alive on a sugar free diet and everything tastes so much better - experiment a little with flavour and keep it interesting.
If you have any questions that you would like me to answer on this subject - just write me a comment below and I will get back to you. Sarah x