time flies when you're being a mum

How the Keto diet is helping me

10 Apr, 2018

We’ve been away, lucky buggers, to France for a skiing holiday. The only problem, and I know I’m ungrateful, is I just don’t like skiing very much. A couple of years ago I learnt to ski (and documented it here) and got to the point where I can get down a hill in one piece. But it ain’t totally natural! Or fun for that matter.

I had a lesson on this trip to boost my confidence and while I got on fine, I just don’t like steep hills. So after the 3 hours we were up the mountain my legs were exhausted from bracing at all times! I know I just need more practise and young Hannah would be horrified by my lack of get up and go, but this holiday didn’t seem to be the one it was going to happen on.

Mike has been lovely about it and let me loaf around while the kids get on great in ski school and he goes off on his own exploring.

Loafing around

But loaf is the operative word here and, in between working on my blog, I’ve been left wondering about my relationship with bread and all those other yummy things you find here in France. Because without the skiing, I think I’ve put on about 7 unwanted lbs…

Halton Castle - a visit to this privately owned Castle in NorthumberlandAt home I have learnt to seriously steer clear of pretty much all carby goods. Since giving up drinking 6 months ago, carbs have become my nemesis. A little toast for breakfast and I’ll be craving sugar for the rest of the day. It starts with a 10am sugar crash, which leaves me feeling weird and jittery. It’s all I can think about and I’ve been known to secretly eat 3 kitkat chunkies in one go. I’m ashamed to say it but, much like my drinking became a problem with no off switch, so too has my sugar eating. Rather than full filling my dream of losing weight when I stopped drinking, I put a stone on in the first couple of months!!

So, much as it sounds drastic, for me I know sugar has to go in all it’s carby glory if I’m going to avoid my visions of being hauled out of my house by crane. And this week in France has helped proved that. (more…)

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23 Nov, 2012

I’m having a scales amnisty. At least for the next 4 weeks. I’m working out as much as I can, I’m feeling better and Mike says I’m looking better…but those darn scales won’t budge! (In fact yesterday they went up, but I’m going to say that was trainers weight) So, therefore, rather than feeling better and taking Mike’s compliments, I’m moping about. My happiness (or at least how I see myself) is prisoner to a piece of measuring equipment.

No more! I’m going to do a little experiment for the next 4 weeks…do we need accountability/weigh ins to lose weight or is it holding me back? My theory for the latter is that you try hard all week and if the scales haven’t moved you’re think, well what’s the point? I may as well eat that dot dot dot.

JNL (I told you she’d be back!) said it took her 2 months of hard graft before she suddenly saw results. 2 months, man?! That requires sticking power, and I fear that if I’m weighing in on a regular basis and nothing is happening, I’m going to lose my way pretty quick. So, focus will be on the programme for 4 weeks. I’m just going to go for it and measure it by how I feel and how my cloths fit. Then I’ll have a little weigh (emphasis on the little hopefully) on 21st December to see how I’m doing. (Then Christmas will hit and I’ll probably have to start all over again, but we’ll ignore that bit!)

Exercise is great, it makes you feel good, releases those happy endorphins (so important for a new mum with sleep deprivation! I’m sure it’s helped me avoid the Baby Blues), builds muscles, fights fat…but if you’re aiming to lose weight, exercise accounts for about 20% of the weight loss, the rest is down to diet. Bad news for me because I’m particularly partial to food. But, with JNL’s help (from her book as introduced in my post Exercise After Pregnancy), I think I’m going to be able to do it (that should read I KNOW I’m going to be able to do it).

JNL is all about the high protein diet (note: not low carb – you still need complex carbohydrates but they must be whole grain, brown rice, that kind of thing). Protein keeps you fuller and more satisfied for longer, and feeds your muscles (rather than your fat cells, which is what white refined carbs do. Unfortunately), helping to repair them after workouts, which in turn will make them look SEXY. Hurray!

Here’s a sample diet plan following JNL’s method:

Breakfast = lean source of protein + 1 cup of fibrous carbs (i.e. vegetables or half a cup if you’re having fruit) + whole grain complex carbs (half a cup) e.g. 4 egg (3 egg white, 1 whole) omlet with tomato, mushroom and asparagus, and a piece of rye bread toast.

Snack = Protein shake* Always make your protein shake with water (although it tastes lush with milk (especially whole milk!), it’ll bloat you out). If I’m working out in the morning I’ll take the powder in a bottle and then add water to have after I’ve been in the gym. Really good for avoiding that post-workout slump that requires you to eat a cookie.

Lunch = much the same as breakfast e.g. Tuna, spinach and tomato wrap

Snack = Protein shake You can get a bit adventurous with your shakes, e.g. chocolate and banana smoothie – 1 scoop of chocolate flavoured protein shake + 1 banana + 180 ml water + ice cubes…blend and add a straw.

Dinner = lean source of protein + 1 cup of fibrous carbs e.g. 110 to 170g chicken breast with a tomato salsa and a green salad (NOTE: no complex carbs for dinner)

Snack = Protein shake This final protein shake may seem a bit overkill but it’s been my saving grace when I’m gagging for something sweet for pudding. Instead of being full of sugar, which will turn to fat as I innocently sleep, it’s full of protein, obvs, so again will feed my soon-to-be sexy muscles when/if I get some sleep.

JNL also says you can have a glass of red wine with dinner. Er, yes please.

The main thing that makes a difference to weightloss (and this is backed up by Jason Vale, the Juice Master) is cutting carbs in your evening meal. Think spaghetti bolognaise but without the spaghetti. Sounds shit but honestly, have it with a big green salad, eat it slowly and it’s not that bad!

Chilli prawn linguini (minus the linguini)

So, that’s it… wish me luck and I shall ‘weigh-in’ in 4 weeks time.

Any thoughts? What have you been doing/did you do to achieve weight loss after pregnancy? You know I need your help so please do comment! x




The Jennifer Nicole Lee Fitness Model Diet: JNL’s Super Fitness Model Secrets to a Sexy, Strong, Sleek Physique

The Juice Master: Turbo-charge Your Life in 14 Days

* If you are planning on having protein shakes and you are breastfeeding, you need to get it checked over by your health visitor/doctor, just to be sure it’s ok for you to have.


11 Mar, 2012

I’ve been particularly lame this week! I have been researching different ideas for blogs during my lunch breaks but by the time I get home at night after work I can’t be arsed…terrible, but I guess I’m still trying to get my head around not being a lady of leisure! I’m not sure I like it but my new job is good.

The good news is that we’ve had a bit of time to ourselves this weekend. Today, I was the last one up at 7:30am (bearing in mind we also have a teenager in the house at the moment!), so it’s been very productive. By 10am Mike had finally finished off the painting in the bathroom (hooray for a complete bathroom, it’s only taken 8 months!), I’d hoovered our room and the dreaded stairs, Gabby and Ashleigh had tidied and hoovered their rooms, I’d put a huge wash on and we were eating our second breakfast. We had time to enjoy the sunshine with a long walk on the beach (followed by a ‘snack’, which turned out to be a HUGE chip butty – for the baby!), hoover the rest of the house, do loads more washing, change our bedding (which is the worst job, worse than the stairs) AND have a nap in the new sheets. I even made a chicken dinner and a lasagne for tomorrow.

Show off.

But seriously, before I got pregnant it would have taken me a week to do this amount of stuff. Now I know what people who don’t drink like someone from Geordie Shore manage to do with their weekends, it’s a revelation!

In other pregnancy week by week news, I’m 18 weeks pregnant and the sites are talking about the dreaded weight gain. Dun dun derrrr! askamum.co.uk say by now you should have put on between 5 and 13lbs, it then goes on to scare the shit out of you by saying…

The average total weight gain during pregnancy is around 13kg (29lb). If you put on too much weight now, you may gain much more than this, which can make the remainder of your pregnancy and delivery more difficult. It will also make those extra pounds harder to shift afterwards.

Terrifying. This weight gain lark is a total mine field. You must put on weight! …But not too much (for example, you can have an extra slice of cheese on toast a day…no need for me with my chip butty lovin’). And to add insult to injury my body is seriously trying to sabotage any attempts I have to eat healthily. Well, I am eating healthily but I’m hungry so I’m also eating all the naughty things we have around the house too.

The other thing to start looking forward to from now on is…varicose veins. Askamum’s advice…

 lie with your bum up against the wall and your legs stretched upward at right angles, for 20 minutes or so, once a day.

Holy cow, I’m never going to have time to write a blog!

Remember, it’s all worth it…! Here’s baby, courtesy of i-am-pregnant.com, at 18 weeks sucking it’s thumb (if this baby’s anything like me, it’ll be sucking its thumb till it’s 21):


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17 Feb, 2012
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I’ve been following my own advice from the Sunday Symptoms (besides yesterday’s sweetie overload!) in an attempt to banish these spots (the main offender in my pregnancy symptoms) and – what do you know? – it seems to be working! So I thought I’d do a quick morning blog about what I’ve been using and eating.

Firstly, I’ve been washing my face with something that’s been in my cupboard for a while now but I never bothered using and it’s great. It’s by the fabulous Soap and Glory (I love ALL their stuff!) and it’s called Clean Mary. Because it’s like a milk it seems to moisturise while it cleanses, which is good because my skin is not only spotty but also dry!

The other thing I’m using is the only oil-free moisturiser I could find in ASDA, and it was pretty cheap, amazingly. I was a bit dubious that oil-free would work for me because of my dry skin but it’s working like a dream and you only need a pea-sized bit to cover your whole face, which makes me hap-pea. It’s new from Nivea and it’s called Nivea Visage Oil-Free Moisturising Day Cream.


I’ve also been having my beloved juices (see the Sunday Symptoms for the recipe) and I’ve been trying to eat loads of veggies – check out this lunch from earlier in the week. It had at least 5 of my 5 a day, some avocado and low-fat greek cheese for protean, and then I just added it to couscous and sprinkled on some olive oil and lemon juice. Lush.

Also, and then I’ll shut up, I was reading in my other beloved, women’s health magazine about other foods that are particularly good for your skin and here they are:

  1. flax seeds (to ‘erase spots and iron out lines’. Nice.)
  2. carrots (lots of Vitamin A so they’re good for clearing up yo spots, eat about 2 a day. Sweet potato is also good for this)
  3. almonds (Eat on holiday, they stop you getting sun burned!)
  4. 2 cups of green tea a day (I’ve just found some decaff – it’s currently on offer in ASDA. Drink it while it’s hot for maximum effect)
  5. spinach (forget about the fact that it makes your skin plumper and less wrinkled, it prevents skin cancer!)
  6. cooked tomatoes (hooray, all the more excuse for a fry up!)
  7. tuna (you want about half a can a day, which us preggos can’t have every day, for it to take effect. This can be replaced with brazil nuts (about 12) or turkey (1 cup, whatever that means) though!)

Out of that list, I never eat nuts.  With nut facts like these (and did you know…hazelnuts are good for your foetus and are packed with calcium, brazil nuts fight cancer, almonds help burn belly fat, walnuts help your skin and heart glow?)  I need to start adding them to salads!

Right, that’s it for now – I’m off to buy a sports bra that doesn’t make me look like Jordon, then I’ll do my proper blog for today… All Request Friday (it’s new) where I will be reviewing my favourite juice books for my pal Polly because she asked me to. Laters.

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09 Feb, 2012

I am conscious that it’s getting on for the middle of February and I’m now 14 weeks pregnant. It’s nearly a month since I wrote my mission and time to revisit it to see how I’m getting on (before I start pretending I never wrote it)…

My top priority was to concentrate on being healthy and happy. I think I’m doing pretty well on this (apart from chocolate gate at the weekend), which is probably due to the life of luxury and unemployment I’m currently enjoying.

  1. I’m exercising for at least 30 minutes about 5 or 6 days a week;
  2. I’m planning healthy meals most of the time to a) make sure we’re eating nutritious meals every night and I don’t go way over the number of calories I should be eating (still thinking about The Ultimate Issue) and b) save money (so nothing goes to waste in the fridge – queue the superscrimpers!); and
  3. I am doing something I like most days, although I’m so shit at actually sitting down to do the pampering things like paint my nails – I’ve been meaning to do my fingers for the past couple of nights but have ended up doing my blog late. And, my toe nails? I’m too ashamed to even talk about them.

I’m aware that when I get a new job (should be soon), that the above is going to get harder. 

My next priority was all about Money. And I have been crap at this!

  1. I haven’t read any more pages of that Paul McKenna book than when I wrote the post, so needless to say I did not finish the book by the end of January and I am not taking baths in money yet; and
  2. I think I’ve got a job, it’s the same one I thought I had when I wrote the post but it’s just talking a long time to sort out.

In the mean time, I’ve really been concentrating on my blog content, which is fair enough if people are going to want to read it. However, I know what I need to do (and I’m not doing) if I’m to start generating more traffic and, therefore, potentially also make a bit of pocket money through it, which would be nice! …so until I get this job, I  need to put some time aside for Paul, as I really do want to read it, and put a bit more effort into blog traffic – there, new mission!

Finally, my last priority was to streamline my life. This is going alright…

  1. The business is now closed, so apart from a few bits that are really out of my hands, I consider this streamed.
  2. The house declutter is not so successful. Bringing back half a full office hasn’t helped and although I have started my wardrobe, and was very pleased with the progress, there’s still piles of clothes knocking around. What I have done though is sewn up a few holes in clothes I’d stopped wearing due to the holes, and stopped myself from buying more clothes for the time being. I’ve also stopped the gas leak in the kitchen and sorted out for Brian our DIY fella to come and finish off a few odd jobs.

Mission now – carry on with the exercise and healthy eating, do my nails, read my money book, do more blog stuff and sort out the house. Easy!

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