time flies when you're being a mum

Detox mind and body!

01 Dec, 2014

Have you seen the 12 Days of Christmas has started today?! It’s a fabulous set of competitions that I’m running with my blogging buddies Aby and Ang! It starts today and runs until 12th December and it’s basically a collection of our favourite things from 2014. We’re looking forward to spoiling you!! And from the 12 Days of Christmas I’ve managed to move on to the 12 Days of Detox, today being Day 1, the Detox Diet. It’s a bit of a story, starting with me thinking I was pregnant, so stick with me!

12 Days of Detox. Day 1 - Detox Diet. Click for full detox diet details including a meal plan and recipe ideas: http://www.mumsdays.com/detox-diet-day-1/

1. Am I pregnant?

This morning I woke up and I felt pregnant. My boobs seem huge and tender at the moment (TMI), I feel chubbier than normal and I feel generally exhausted! So, after dropping Reuben off with Grandma and Grandad, I went and picked up a test. It was negative.


Right? (more…)


04 Feb, 2014

It’s around this time I start getting really sick of winter. Reuben and I went down to the beach today and it was gorgeous; warm and sunny. I wish this was the start of the spring but unfortunately I know better. It’s merely the calm before the storm. Now’s the time to batten down the hatches and make sure we are looking after ourselves. I came across a bunch of photos I took when I made some vegetable juice recipes back in the summer and it instantly cheered me up! I just love a green juice. Does that make me strange?!

Anyway, to bring a little sunshine into our lives I thought I’d share my favourite vegetable juice recipes, including a lovely smoothie recipe from Jessica Alba’s Book, Honest Life.

vegetable juice recipes


vegetable juice recipes #1 Jessica’s Juice

You will need:

  • a liquidizer/smoothie maker
  • 1 whole cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 handfuls of chopped kale
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 apples, cored and seeded
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, finely diced
  • Frozen watermelon or some natural sweetener like stevia

And the directions? Blend it all in your liquidizer!

TOP TIP: make sure you do it in in stages, cucumber and apple first, then add in kale, etc. Otherwise it all gets a bit stuck and you have to do a lot of poking around!

Vegetable Juice Recipes #2 with a Juicer

My liquidizer has died since I made this so I do a version with my juicer, as follows…

Juice the cucumber, kale, celery, lemons, 1 of the apples and the ginger

Blend (using my stick blender) the juice with the other apple and the frozen watermelon

Vegetable Juice Recipes #3 Swaps

Swaps…if you don’t have an ingredient, you can easily swap for something you do have.

Kale = spinach, watercress, even cabbage!

Lemon = Lime

Watermelon = pineapple, more apples, pear, kiwi, melon, any sweet fruit really…

TOP TIP: do not put a banana through a juicer! Add it to the juice at the end and blend. Same goes for avocado.

The only thing I wouldn’t substitute, if you can, is the celery or cucumber – try and use at least one in your juice as they are fantastic natural diuretics.

Vegetable Juice Recipes #4 Experiment

I tend to juice what’s in my house, especially if it needs using up! Tomorrow I have some beetroot (apparently great pre-workout fuel), a broccoli stalk and some sad looking spinach. I will swap this for the kale as I don’t have any in at the moment.

See what you have and as long as you have a mix of vegetables and some fruit, it should taste good.

Vegetable Juice Recipes #5 Carrots

I like my carrot juices simple, for example; Carrot, apple, ginger and lemon is delicious.

But I really don’t like anything too green mixed it! Celery or cucumber is OK but I avoid adding any other vegetables as a rule.

Vegetable Juice recipes

Cheers! Juice it up my friends xx

Do you have a favourite Vegetable Juice Recipe? Do share your bit of sunshine with us in the comments below!



20 May, 2013

I’ve lost the weight loss after pregnancy plot. Plateu central. Mojo has left the building. And I was doing so well! I don’t understand why it happens. Well, I do – One day you’re fine, the next you make a little compromise, nothing serious, the next day another, and then before you know it you’re eating a battered sausage and chips.

Last week Dan from Sound Mind and Body challenged me to stop drinking for 30 days. Firstly, Dan is doing a 30 day ‘extreme’ diet because he’s about to turn 40 so I guess this is some sort of mid-lifey?? (Just kidding Dan!) He’s written a great post about how to get in the zone for weight loss that I highly recommend you read – Dan takes will power to a whole new level and he’s shared the inner workings of his mind!! The plan of attack is especially good and is partly the inspiration for this post…

Anyway, drinking is the root of nearly all my bad decisions so I was well up for the challenge – I managed 6 days. We had the week from hell, literally. From someone whirling into our house, turning upside down and then leaving without so much as a thank you (we weren’t burgled, don’t worry….just emotionally burgled by an ungrateful teenager!), to Reuben waking 2 and 3 times a night, and ending with my parents’ house flooding during the torrential down poor on Saturday (it is virtually uninhabitable now – totally heart-breaking).

*Warning the rest of this post reads like my very own self-help manual!*

BUT, do you know what I’ve learnt from this? Bad things happen all the time and if I let them stop me achieving what I want to do, I’ll never achieve anything. So every morning when I get up at the ungodly hour Reuben decides is appropriate I have 2 options:

1. I let my tireness dictate what I eat and do (which means drink 2 gallons of coffee and eat things that I don’t actually want and won’t make me feel better and I’ll wake up feeling worse tomorrow, continue cycle)


2. I wake grateful for what I have. I take control. I stop wallowing. I JUICE!

Note: Choose 2! Choose 2!

Weight loss after pregnancy – Why I juice

So now I shall let you in on a secret. Juicing is my thing. It gives me a spark. I feel healthy, full of energy, and I wake up with my head singing “Oh! What a beautiful mooooorrrrning”. It’s incredibly annoying for the people around me as not only am I not really doing ‘fun’ things (read drinking booze/coffee or eating chips/cupcakes/chocolate) with them but I’m also full of the joys of spring. My friends and family don’t get it. They think I’m weird, a fad-dieter. They think I’m starving myself. I’m not and here’s WHY I JUICE:

  1. I love the taste – in the morning, when you’ve just woken up this is the most thirst quenching thing ever, and what’s more it’s so full of goodness, you can literally feel all your cells sighing.
  2. I need less sleep – I go to bed later and get up earlier. I feel fine.
  3. I feel alive – I can imagine this sounds ridiculous. This morning I woke feeling tired, emotional, bloated, minging. When I juice basically I wake up feeling good, full of energy, bursting with ideas, mega productive, dare I say it, sexy too. Isn’t that what feeling alive should be like?
  4. My skin, hair and nails improve massively. No more flaky nails and zitty face. Juicing is SOOOOO good for you, I don’t have space to write about all the benefits but you’ve got to look after the inside to get the outside to glow and there’s your evidence!
  5. Oh, and I lose weight – yep, it falls off.
  6.  This isn’t a fad diet – I’ve been juicing since January 2007. I always come back to juice time and again because I know how good it feels when I’m in the zone. I am a better person to be around, I’m motivated, I love more, I do more, I work harder (and I’m thinner).

weight loss after pregnancy

weight loss after pregnancy

Day 4 of Hardcore Juicing (see below) – Out running on Good Friday at 7am feeling a million dollars (that’s my heart rate monitor to prove I was working hard and not just enjoying a stroll along the beach!)

OK, so what is juicing?

When I say I’m juicing I have 3 versions:

  1. Hardcore – I have 5 juices a day and that’s it. No food. That’s a bit hardcore and you don’t want to and shouldn’t do it for too long. If I’m doing a hardcore juice I aim to do 5 days of solid juicing and that’s when the magic happens and I start to feel amazing.
  2. Semi-hardcore – I have 2 or 3 juices a day and something for tea. I feel so much better in the morning if I just have a juice for tea and eat at lunch time instead but I find that much more challenging, especially when I’m making Mike’s dinner! The day is in danger of becoming a not hardcore day.
  3. Not hardcore – I have a juice for breakfast and eat lunch and dinner. Still getting lots of good nutrients but the more opportunities for eating, the more my brain talks me into eating naughty things!

Also, we’re not talking a glass of ‘from concentrate’ OJ, this is freshly picked (preferably organic) and home made! My favourite, go to juice recipe is…


  • 3-4 apples,
  • a handful of spinach,
  • inch slice of ginger,
  • inch slice of lemon,
  • half a pineapple,
  • half a cucumber,
  • 2 sticks of celery

Blend with half an avocado and some ice.

That makes enough for breakfast and lunch! You think you’re going to go hungry on that? Think again, the avocado makes it creamy and rich and delicious.

You can replace things like the spinach with another leafy green in the fridge, like watercress. And if we have broccoli, I also put the stalk in (you know, the bit you’d normally throw away) – lots of goodness and you can’t taste the difference.

If you want some more details and some juice suggestions, drop me an email on mumsdays@gmail.com. I’d be happy to help.

How to juice

Despite how amazing I feel when I’m juicing I still fall off the wagon and get seduced by yummy things (that make me fat and miserable) so this is how I get back in the juicy zone and stay there…

  1. Have a goal – How long are you going to do it for and at what level? Until you reach a target weight? For the next 5 days? What treats can you have and when? etc. Be specific, use dates so your head knows the rules. Your head is the only thing that will hold you back! I actually find the stricter my diet is, the easier it is for me to stick to it
  2. Plan ahead – Get all the ingredients you need for the next 5 days, no excuses brain
  3. Prepare as much as you can the night before – Particularly if you’re not a morning person!…don’t give yourself the opportunity to talk yourself out of it when you’re bleary eyed at 5/6/7am or whatever time you’re little angel decides it’s playtime
  4. Don’t let yourself get hungry – I tend to make 3 or 4 juices in the morning and keep them in flasks so I can have them when I need them. I also drink lots of water, the odd green tea and peppermint or camomile tea to tide me over between juices. The difficult bit is making Mike and Reuben’s tea – stay strong, it’s not forever – oh, and do it while you’re drinking a juice. It’s a lot easier if you aren’t hungry
  5. Avoid alcohol and coffee – these two fellas are my triggers to failure. I do really well, cut them out, feel great. Then one day I fancy a coffee. What’s the harm? Well, one coffee knocks your bits and pieces out of line, making you hungry and tired, so you reach for either another coffee or worse. A biscuit. Same goes for booze except it’s a LOT quicker for me. 1 glass = 4 glasses… followed by snacks. Not to mention the next day your head is going to be doing its darndest to talk you out of anything except a bacon sandwich and a can of pop
  6. Be grateful – Every time your head has even the slightest tantrum (I can’t be arsed. Sod it, I’m having some coco pops), remind yourself of how lucky you are to be able to feel good, and slimmer, and happier and more productive, and, and, and…!

Listen up brain. I was talking to you too and we’re back on the wagon tomorrow. No excuses!

weight loss after pregnancy - how to juice

May the juice be with you…I want to drink that NOW!!

What do you recon? Fancy a go, or do you still not get it? If you do want more details, send me an email to mumsdays@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

This post is dedicated to Dan, it’s his Birthday today. Happy Birthday! Dan remains the only person I’ve ever managed to win over to the juice side, despite my best efforts. Jon (as in Kerry who sometimes comments on posts and put me in touch with Grow up Green the real nappy company), who Dan and I used to live with, coined the term ‘juice cult’ because Dan and I really were that evangelical! Go on, have a juice.


04 Apr, 2012

So far during my pregnancy, I’ve not had any illnesses. Even after both Mike and Gabriella were poorly for over a week with various flu/chest infections, I still managed to sail on through, like a nurse from the second-world war, unharmed. Thankfully. I put it down to no longer drinking (and therefore battering my poor immune system, which is stripped every time you drink too much) and generally trying to eat more healthily.

Well, I’ve now woken up with a sore throat and I certainly can’t put it down to stress, because I can’t say I’m under any! To keep the impending cold at bay, I’ve been trying to find as many natural, safe cold remedies during pregnancy as possible that will soothe the soreness and fill me with a bug fighting army. Someone told me it could be hay fever but either way it annoying so here’s a few fixes to try for size…

Ginger, Lemon and Honey tea

At one point I thought I was getting a sore throat so I asked my midwife about Lemsips (because I love them) and she said I could have them but it was far better not to and I should have hot lemon and honey instead.

This remedy is mainly to stop the hurting. Lemon neutralises harmful bacteria (that are lodged in my throat!), honey is antibacterial and soothes the throat (1 – see resources below) and ginger “encourages sweating to eliminate toxins and dispel catarrh” (2 – see resources below). All excellent illness fighters.

To make this I had some Ginger and Lemon tea bags left over from my 2 weeks of morning sickness so I poured hot water over the teabag and left it with 3 thin slices of fresh ginger to stew for 5 minutes, then added 1/2 teaspoon of the world’s most expensive honey (Manuka, it’s meant to be good for you but at £8-£15 a pop it seems a bit extravagant! Here’s a link to twin pack so you’ll at least save a couple of bob: QueenBee Manuka Honey Active 12+ 340g TWIN PACK) and also a squeeze of fresh lemon. NOTE: this is just as good without the teabag if you don’t have them.

Delicious AND soothing! But make sure you keep stirring otherwise you’ll get a rather unpleasant honey glob at the bottom of your mug.

Ginger and Lime Juice

I didn’t have any lemon in the house when I was looking for my remedies, but this is a nice alternative and lime has many healing qualities of it’s own that are pretty similar to the lemon’s.

For this juice I juiced 2 apples, half a lime (peeled), an inch of raw ginger, a handful of spinach, half a pineapple (because I had one to use up but you can leave this out if you want but add an extra apple), and quarter of a cucumber. Juice and poor over ice.

The apple, spinach and pineapple add extra Vitamin C to this juice, while the cucumber is generally refreshing and cleansing. I feel better just looking at it!

The Juice Masters’ “cold war” Juice (1 – see resources below)

I made this a few times for Mike when he had the flu recently, so drank quite a bit myself (maybe that’s what kept the illness at bay?). It’s packed with Vitamin C, folic acid (so good if you’re in your FIRST TRIMESTER), antibacterial thanks to the honey, and lots of other good things.

Juice quarter of a pineapple, 1 orange, 1 inch lemon, and mix in a blender with 1 tsp of Manuka Active Honey and 4 ice cubes.

Yum – it’s lovely and not green for a change!

Water and herbal teas

I’ve run out of ingredients in my house to make anything else so I’m going to try and flush out whatever this thing is with loads of water and the herbal teas that will generally help to soothe my throat with their warming goodness. I’ve got peppermint (an antiseptic and according to the juice master is a great tea to soothe colds and flus) and camomile.


1. Jason Vale, Keeping it Simple, 2007

2. Jason Vale, Turbo-charge your life in 14 days, 2005


one comment.

27 Jan, 2012

At approximately 11am yesterday (after the bra buying incident) I developed a headache. I had heard this was one of many pregnancy symptoms that could hit at any time but so far I’ve been pretty lucky. I think I’ve only had about 1 headache since the beginning of December!

I must praise this particular headache for its staying power. Once it arrived I had a sit down, a big drink of water. No budge. I had my lunch and yet more water. Still hanging in there. Then had a long meeting in a hot room so that certainly didn’t help. Following that I grabbed Mike and we went for a swim. By this time it had developed into head and neckache. As soon as I got back I took the last two paracetamols in the house, which did ease it but after a few hours it was back with avengance. So I tried milk and sleep but yet still it clung on. In the morning I tried more water and sex (it’s supposed to help! So no more “I’ve got a headache” excuses ladies!) but nothing was going to shift this bastard. So I went au natural and dug out my juice book…

For the people who really know me (there’s not many of them), they will know that I have virtually all the books (and an app) published by a chap called Jason Vale, who is…dun dun duuurrrr…the Juice Master. He’s my hero for all things health and weight-loss related, and famous in my circle of friends for being the guy who gets his photo taken laughing at a pineapple. When all else fails I know he will have an answer. If you’re spotty, he’s got a spot buster juice. If you’ve lost your mojo (Austin Power’s style), have some sexy juice. So in my hunt for headache cures I found the Migraine Miracle!

Juice 2 apples, 1 large handful spinach, 1 inch stem broccoli, 1inch slice cucumber, 1inch slice lemon and half inch of fresh ginger. Then pour it over ice. It was all things I had in the house and you know what? It got rid of my headache! I love you juice xx


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