Health matters - going sugar free and daily routines.


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. 

From getting up 1.5 hours earlier than the rest of the house, body brushing, fasting, exercising every day, homeschooling, putting in more hours than I have ever done into what was my side hustle, but has now become my main job - my Business,  to leaving my eyebrows to grow longer (this is always horrible to do whilst facing the world, as they look so untidy!) I don't know where the days have disappeared to. Unlike Sarah and her sugar ban (see below), I'm still scoffing dark chocolate until it comes out of my ears!
Loads of people have asked what MY average daily routine has been during lockdown.... so here goes!
  • 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!

That is my average day at the moment. Having a lot more time has made me slow down and be able to get into a new routine which I hope I can keep in place when the world returns to normal.
Have you made any big changes to your routine?  or any big Life decisions? What other health and beauty things have you had the time to learn?   Donna x




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...

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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




1 comment


Very interesting about cutting down or cutting out sugar ,so the oat biscuits and orange cake are they in a Davina cook book as i would need a biscuit and cake fix for sure

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