Resolutions 2020: Better late than never

I’m not sure where December and January went… anyone know?  Ah I remember, December we were wiped out with a horrible virus that just.would.not.leave, and January was spent on the back foot, catching up with everything missed in December.  But we’re here now and back up to speed.

So Resolutions!  2019 I listed a whole bunch which were mainly focussed on a family effort to cut down on our waste, you can check out what those points were here Resolutions 2019  I feel that we stuck to a lot of the goals when it came to cutting down waste, but there is so much more room for improvement.

Things we nailed were: water bottles, travel coffee cups, metal straws, carrier bags, soap bars, washing powder, rechargeable batteries, ground coffee, making packed lunches (instead of buying in wrappers), natural shower scrubbers, reusable make-up cloths, shampoo bars, loose fruit & veg, buying less stuff, saying no to receipts on non important purchase or getting them emailed, splitting items that are part recyclable and part non recyclable, washing out packaging before it goes in the recycle bin / glass bin, making our own pizza dough which is healthier and no packaging!

Room for improvement: 

I’ve gotten slack on taking my own containers to supermarkets, as you really seem to have to fight your case as to why you don’t want to buy in packaging.  This is a shame as somedays I’m up for the conversation, and some days I’m more like, meh..  I will try my best to take my own containers going forward.

I have yet to visit a new re-fill store that has opened up near to me which I should have done a few weeks ago..

I don’t like my hair conditioning bar, its not very good?  Help, please let me know if you’ve found one that leaves your hair feeling silky smooth.

So thats the waste section done.. on to diet, health and fitness.  Last year I continued on my ‘journey’, everything is a journey, so en trend, anyway, I still practice yoga every single day first thing in the morning (thats 18 months guys!!) and I still love it.  (You can read about my 365 days of yoga here.)  I started to dabble in doing a Hiit workout before my yoga, which I did manage to do a few times, but I would like to make more effort this year, when I do get up, I enjoy going into my day knowing that I’ve already got a sweat on, and feeling smug AF.  I also focussed on getting stronger last year.

Diet.  I get asked about my diet, a lot.  Like its a big secret, but its really not. I’m an active person, I cook at home and I don’t eat many processed foods, and I drink a lot of water.  My diet does change as I’m always learning about what food can do to your body and the science behind it, like I’ve been researching a more plant based diet over the past few months.  The biggest change I’ve made is switching from cows milk to a non dairy option, at the moment I’m loving oat milk.  But this might be another blog entirely, (let me know if you want a ‘what I eat in a day’ blog).

Time: now our kids are four and seven, we’re out of the trenches, we can, and do, take them anywhere (not that that stopped us before! but its easier now) as they can start to interact with the family activities now, like we ALL went rock climbing last week and it was so so fun!  And also more date nights.  We’re big on family dinners in our house and we all sit down for a home cooked meal in the evenings, which is a luxury now, because just a couple of years ago, my husband used to leave for work before we woke up, and get home after the kids were in bed.  So these meals are great, but they revolve around the kids, so we don’t actually get to have a good catch up, so 2020 is the year of the date night. Investing in my man.. and any chance to not have to cook an evening meal. Seriously, is there a competition where I can win a chef for a year?  Sign me up.

So there are my Resolutions for 2020:

1. Continue to cut down on waste and learn more about different ways to cut down

2. Get a workout in before yoga a few times a week

3. More date nights

4. More activities with the kids

5. Continue to learn about food and how they are linked to health

6. And work goals… I’m excited for this year.

365 days of yoga

It was on the 20th June 2018 that I started doing yoga everyday.

Why?  Yoga is something that I’ve always turned to in times of need.  That sounds a bit dramatic, when I say need.. I mean, I couldn’t do any other sport.

So quickly, the three main times I’ve used it is when I was 19 and I’d had knee surgery.  I was prepped to have a couple of days on crutches but once the surgeon had got in there, it turned out I’d done loads of damage, which led to being non-weight baring for TWO MONTHS.  What the hell.  They were a dark two months.  I even turned to art to let out some emotion.  Good lord.  So after learning how to walk again, I turned to yoga to get my body moving.

Then I used yoga after having both babies, as you can’t just pop out a kid and hit the water two weeks later.  And I don’t do very well when I can’t move my body, its how I think, brainstorm, plan, let anger out, grieve.. you get the picture.  So yoga allowed me to start moving again.

I’d wanted to start doing yoga everyday for a long time, like a year, but NEVER made any effort to actually do it.  Then it was my husbands birthday (and it was a big birthday) and I had a mid life crises.  Not him.  Me.  What?  I freaked out.  Like, shit, we’re not getting any younger.  Our bodies are only going downhill from here, I don’t want that to be it, I’m going to die!…. all of that.

That evening I did yoga.

I felt calmer.

That night I said to my husband, ‘I’m going to do yoga before you and the kids get up.’  I set my alarm for 6:30 (the household comes downstairs at 7am).  The alarm went off the following morning, I got up and did a morning yoga routine on you-tube.

I felt amazing.  Number one because I’d just woken my body up with yoga, but secondly because I had actually done it!  And then I did it the next day, and the next… before I knew it, I’d done a week of yoga every morning.  My days were better, I was eating better (you know me, I’m always over-hauling my diet, I love learning about different foods and what health benefits they have), and my mood considerably improved.

Downward facing dog: June 2018
Slowly getting there: May 2019

Noticing my mood with the kids was the real eye opener.  Whether you have kids or not, sometimes you’re not in the best mood first thing in the morning. So for me, being thrown 101 questions and demands before I’d had my breakfast was a shit way to start my day.  Everyday… until the end of time. Amen.

So, now with the yoga kick starting my day, I have limbered up, I’ve oxygenated my blood, got the blood moving around my body and gone through my checklist of three things to be grateful for in my life.  (And I do between 10 – 20mins of yoga in the morning, not loads, but just enough).  When the kids come down at 7am, I’m ready for them with a smile on my face, open arms for a morning cuddle and down to make breakfast, (I’m on hot water with lemon, porridge with walnuts, almonds, raisins and coconut, with full fat cows milk, maybe I’ll switch to a nut milk one day but I like dairy for now).

I honestly don’t think there were any more than 10 days in the last 365 days where I haven’t done yoga.

What have I noticed from doing yoga nearly everyday for a year?

1. I sleep better

2. I’m happier

3. I deal with things in a much calmer way

4. I’m stronger physically

5. I recover from workouts faster than I used to (yoga is stretching everyone, shhhhh)

6. I haven’t had any injury (touch wood!)

7. I feel agile, which I bloody love!

8. I feel 25 (I am not 25).

9. I want to eat better because I’ve started the day with movement

10. I can’t think of a single negative.  Honestly.  None.  Nothing.  Nada.

Doing yoga nearly everyday for a year wasn’t an experiment for me, I wanted to make a lifestyle change, a manageable one which I feel I’ve achieved.  I wanted to be able to do the things I used to do in gymnastics, I want to push my body past what I could do as a kid, and stay active and agile for the rest of my life.  I really didn’t expect it to have the effect it did on my daily mood that it did.

And now I’ve achieved one goal… its onto the next…

What I would love to do is get up a little earlier to get a 20min run/bike/hiit session in, and then yoga.  We shall see… I’d need to get up at like 6am to fit all that in and then I’d need extra time to make a huge breakfast after that kind of activity!  Mmmm fruit and banana pancakes…

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog, maybe it’ll inspire one person out there to start integrating yoga, movement & mindfulness into their daily routine! 🙂 Do you do yoga often?  What are your thoughts on it?  Let me know if you’d like me to send you a few links to the morning yoga you tube videos that I followed!

June 2018
May 2019
The Crow: June 2018
The Crow: May 2019

Resolutions

Over the past few years, I’ve seemed to think about my New Years Resolutions around October time.  I’m not sure why, however, I feel it has something to do with coming off the back of summers filled with wakeboarding, surfing and other outdoor activities and being inside more.  I get restless and need movement and change.

I tend to go through my entire house and see what I can get rid of (either sell, recycle or donate to give it a second life).  I try to change a few things in each room with some basic Feng Shui methods.  I look at what my family and I are eating and how it can be improved.  I look at my body/activity and see what can be tweaked there.  So I put my loose resolutions into place well before the New Year.  I didn’t start this on purpose but it seems to have stuck, and it means that the resolutions have stuck as they are in place well before Christmas each year.

Last year I was focussed on cutting down on our waste in general, which also included cutting down on plastic, especially single use plastic, and also buying less, mainly clothes/toys/and just stuff.

So things we have been doing for the past year (or longer) to cut down on waste:

  1. Swapped liquid soap out for bars of soap
  2. Bought washing powder in a box rather than liquid in a plastic bottle
  3. Switched our coffee machine that took plastic non-recylable pods to one that takes ground coffee
  4. Became religious in taking water bottles EVERYWHERE for the whole family
  5. Same with a travel coffee mug (I even take this abroad for my coffee shop stops)
  6. Obviously buying loose fruit and veg where I can
  7. Reusing carrier bags.. thats a given.
  8. Food waste goes in the garden bin.
  9. No more plastic straws, we have paper and metal straws now.
  10. Buying items in glass instead of plastic where possible.
  11. Buying less stuff, and thinking is it needed, before buying.  Also buying better quality items that will last longer than most of the fast fashion garments.
  12. Looking at the packaging properly to see if its recyclable or not.  I used to be pretty happy with our one black bin bag week and a few recycling sacks, but now I’m paying 100% attention as to what can actually go in them, the ratio has sadly swung the other way which has been a wake up call to how much we are throwing away.

So thats all been going on in 2018.  And I feel I wanted to add to it coming into 2019:

  1. I have started the daunting task of looking at the packaging of what I’m buying in supermarkets to see if I can recycle it.
  2. I am also testing out different supermarkets for prices and recyclable packaging.  This is a painful process and will probably take me all year to come up with an effective and efficient weekly food shopping system (I do not like the weekly food shop or cooking for a family of four e-v-e-r-y-day, if I could have one thing in life it would be a chef).
  3. As well as making more of an effort to source local foods
  4. I’m whittling down the bottled shampoo and conditioners with the aim to replace them with bars.  (This is a goal, I will have to report back on what I test out).
  5. Paper straws.  We have them (bought a big pack for a party) and we use them, but every time they still get thrown away… Once they are done, I’ll be sticking to the metal straw.
  6. Just generally being more conscious on what we throw away as a family and always thinking about how to reduce/avoid it.

Other tweaks:

  1. Diet: I feel my diet is pretty varied but I’m always looking for improvements.  So less processed and more food that had a life.  I have days where I eat meat, and also veggie days.  I like vegan meals and am looking more and more at them, especially to get more veggies into the kids, but I’m not sure I can see myself saying no to full fat cows milk and also my body weight in cheese.  I love cheese.  Fact.
  2. Blog more 🙂 I always say this!
  3. I bought an alarm clock back in November/December, its amazing, I love it.  I leave my phone downstairs at nighttime now so no playing on my phone in bed.

Any more tips?  I am always excited to hear what people do to cut down their waste!  I’d love to hear all about your hacks! xx