Learn to Wakeboard UK 2020

Over winter I tend to hunker down and give myself a rest from wake work, which is due to a few of reasons… one: its cold, dark, gloomy and the lakes around me close down, two: I need a rest/break from the season and focus on other things, and three: I have a family who are in school, and leaving them for a few months to go to the souther hemisphere to wakeboard would be frowned upon I feel?

As you know I’m a Wakeboard Coach and I run Wake Daze, which are wakeboard camps for women, usually combined with some lakeside yoga, and you’re fed and watered too.

So I digress, but this is the time of year when the cogs start turning and I plan my season ahead.  So here we are.. I’ve got some of the dates confirmed for Wake Daze 2020 and they are: 16th May, 20th June, 25th July & 5th September.  These will be held at the lil wake haven that is Xtreme Wake.

Interested?  Want to learn how to wakeboard?  Want to improve your riding?  Then read on…

Beginner: Beginners are welcome with open arms as its a great way to give the sport a go for the first time.  You’ll be on a straight line cable and so you are the only person wakeboarding at that time, so all the attention from the coach (yours truly) is on you, and also the speed can be tailored for your ability, which means we can start off super slow.

Intermediate: Been riding a couple of seasons? Got your own kit? Stuck on what to do next or a certain trick? Then sign up as there is loads for you to learn from your first wedge/kicker or rail hit, to kicker grabs and 180s, to pressing on rails and of course, we can’t forget about the good old basics of some surface tricks to get those board skills up.

Advanced: You’re ready for air tricks and bigger kicker spins or flips?  Or you want to try that air trick that is just a little too daunting to try on the 5-tower cable?  Then come on down and lets work on them together so you can progress with your wakeboarding career.

So, if you’ve been thinking about trying wakeboarding, or you want to improve your riding, come and join me this summer!  Get in touch here for more infomation or to book on.

See you on the water xx

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.

How to cut down your weekly food shop waste: My 2019 Supermarket Challenge

One of my 2019 resolutions was to upgrade my shopping habits so that we could produce less waste as a family.  This has been a long process but I feel I shop a lot more mindfully than I did at the beginning of the year.

I used to be a devoted Sainsburys shopper… until my friend introduced me to Aldi.  I did go through a transition phase of shopping for some goods at Sainsburys and some at Aldi, but that only lasted about two weeks as it was not time efficient.  So Aldi it was, cutting our monthly food bill in half, from around £120 to £60.

So we were an Aldi family for a few years, until I decided to grow an environmental conscience and care about the amount we were throwing out each week, that would inevitably end up in the ground.

I wanted to find an easy shopping system that would allow us to throw out less rubbish each week.  I have carried out our weekly food shop at Aldi, Sainsburys, Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, and a slither at M&S.  I did leave Waitrose out BUT they are carrying out an ‘Unpacked’ study with dedicated refill isles, unfortunately, I don’t live near one of the trial supermarkets.  I compared the prices and also started looking at what packaging was recyclable, and also what I could buy without packaging by taking my own, or buying loose.

So, who came in the cheapest with the best loose fruit and veg, and who were open to taking containers for the deli bars, and who had the most recyclable packaging?

Sainsburys and Morrisons came in around the £80 – £90 mark.  I know I said earlier that my weekly food shop at Sainsburys was £120… but over the years I’ve become a more frugal and savvy shopper, looking at pence per litre or kilogram, not buying into brands etc.. And meal planning to try and avoid ingredients being wasted and that can be used for multiple meals.  And these two supermarkets were pretty similar on their packaging as well.  They both have a great variety of loose fruit and veg, and they let you take your own container to buy from the counters.

Asda was around the £70 mark, but I wasn’t bowled over.  They have loose fruit and veg though.

Aldi, obviously great on price at around the £50 – £65 mark.  They are the worst offender when it comes to thinking about waste.  Hardly any of their fruit or veg is available to buy loose.  Unless you’re buying a product in paper or cardboard, I found it hard to come across anything else that was recyclable.  Obviously the funnest thing about Aldi is trying to beat the checkout team while packing your bags.

I tried a farm shop and a butchers.  These were fantastic, but its more than one stop, its a bit more expensive and they don’t hold all the other stuff you need in a weekly shop.

The supermarket that did surprise me was Tesco.  It came in at around £60 – £70, had loads of loose fruit and veg, you can take your own containers for the counters and they have loads of options to choose from when it comes to recyclable packaging.  I mean, I can buy organic coffee in recyclable packaging!  Win!  I tried online shopping for the first time (I know.  I have been living under a rock.  A giant one), and I liked it, however, you don’t have as much option to buy loose, and when you choose the loose option, I found it often comes in a plastic bag.

I have located a refill store near me that I haven’t explored yet so that is on the cards… and I also need to test out the local market.

So for all under one roof… Tesco is a winner for me at this point in time.

A note on the organic cotton mesh bags I bought.. these are great in the trolly, they keep all your loose veggies together down the conveyor-belt too, they even have the weight of the bag on them so that the cashier can take that weight away from the weight of the veggies.  Great right?  Or not, the tills cannot deduct the weight of the bag (I tried in Sainsburys and Tesco).  They did weigh the bag for me on its own to see how much extra I would pay to use it which was £0.04.  Not much right?  But say I have ten bags each week.. thats £0.40 each week, which is £20.80 each year that I am paying for the privilege of using my own bag and thinking about the environment.  So for now, I have stored my mesh bags away and my fruit and veg can roll freely down the checkout.

My research WILL continue, but this is what I’ve found so far just by carrying out my weekly food shop at a few different supermarkets and paying attention to what I’ve bought.  I have managed to cut down our waste as a family overall, but we’ve still got a long way to go.  It also helps with the other swaps we’ve made, eg, soap bars, shampoo bars, metal straws, using vinegar and baking soda as cleaning products etc, but thats for another blog!

Have you tried to cut down your waste?  How?  Any tips, let me know!