Sunday, 17 July 2016

Quick Bites

As part of my health kick, I've been trying to find something that satisfies my naughty biscuit craving.... And I've found one that's not perfect but it's pretty darn good. These "cookies" have the same texture as the middle squidgy bit of a really good (really naughty) cookie.... and they're only 3 ingredients!!!!

All you need is 2 ripe bananas, 1 cup of oats, and then an extra of your choice, I like to use a couple of *small* handfuls of dark chocolate chips for mine, and they are super yummy.

To make these is super duper easy...

  • Preheat your oven to about 180 degrees celsius.
  • Line a tray with foil or greaseproof paper.
  • Peel and mash the bananas. If your joints aren't up to mashing, then you can use a food processor for this bit.
  • Mix the cup of oats with the 2 mashed bananas.
  • Add any yummy bits like chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, etc at this point and mix well again.
  • Place spoonfuls onto the tray, I normally get between 8&10 depending on the size of my spoonfuls, 
  • Put in the oven for 15-20 minutes until they are starting to brown off.
  • Allow to cool for a brief spell, then peel off the foil or paper.
  • ENJOY the chewy yummy goodness!

This is the pre-oven cookies. They look like the real deal even at this point...

And the finished product:


Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Flare Up

Lately I've been talking a lot about what a difference exercising and a healthier diet have made to me. I've not had any bad flare ups since I started exercising regularly, I got myself a fairly okay bikini body for my holiday and the pain that I did have was manageable. It was beautiful.

Then I got a great big slap of reality. I came back from holiday and kept telling myself "next week I'll get back on the health kick, the exercising, etc; next week I will". The problem was, "next week" was always put off a little longer, and a little longer.... It didn't matter though I thought, I wasn't piling back on the pounds; I was happy, life was good, it didn't matter. I was wrong.

I'd had the stirrings of a flare up going on for a few days in hindsight, but at the time I didn't realise it as I had gone so long without one. I was just cracking on with life, the constant nag of pain was there, but whatever, it was always going to be there. Then it happened. The murmur of pain became slightly louder. I thought it odd, but I carried on. I went to my pilates class as normal that evening, as sometimes this has helped me during a flare, and to be honest I thought it would just settle the pain back to a murmur. God was I wrong. That was the beginning of the end that evening. My hips clunked louder than ever with every leg movement, I could feel the grind of the cartilage. My back kept twinging constantly. I struggled to even maintain the lowest level of plank, when I had been just starting to master the main level of plank. It was a disaster.

I came home, I got in a hot shower, and I cried. I poured myself a large drink, took some painkillers (remember kids, DON'T take meds with alcohol, I'm an irresponsible adult, so do as I say, not as I do) and curled up feeling sorry for me whilst I watched the final of a programme I like. Then I went to bed and cried some more until I slept.

The next day was even worse. That murmur had become a shout and scream and bellow. I couldn't walk properly, my back was killing me, my hips were killing me, my shoulders were killing me.... Lets be honest here, my everything was killing me. It was a nightmare. But I wasn't ready to admit defeat. So I dragged my ass into work, and for the first time at this job, my colleagues got to see what my illness really meant to me. We've talked about it in passing before, but I don't think they've really ever seen it as a serious problem as they've never seen me not coping with it. But this time they did.

They were supportive, thankfully. They did their best to make me laugh, to minimise the stress on my joints, and ensured they offered to adapt my work tasks. I hauled my ass through that whole damn day, and was exhausted. But I carried on, because I knew I needed to this time. I was not ready to admit defeat to my body this time.

Thankfully, having forced myself to take a walk that night as well, to try and ease out some of the pain, I woke up to just a chatter the next day. It was in that moment that I realised what I needed to do. I needed to get back into routine, and exercise again and eat healthily. So that's what I've been doing. I've mentally committed to trying to do at least 20 minutes of some sort of exercise every night, and hopefully I'll get myself back to where I've been of being in control of this beast.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Busy Bee

Life has been so crazy busy for me lately. I've been running at pretty much maximum since my last post, and I just haven't really had chance to get near a (non-work) computer. It's been ridiculous.

So, let's do a bit of catch up then... Around the last time I wrote, I was heading out to Santorini for a holiday with my beloved other half, and to watch one of my friends tie the knot. It was pretty darn exciting, and part of the reason I had been working so hard at eating healthier and exercising more, as I really did want a better beach body. It wasn't perfect still, but it was a darn sight better than what I started 2016 with.

Whilst in Santorini, I had to test my limits, a lot. But it was all for the better, and it turned out I got to see a real improvement from all the exercise I had done. Our hotel was halfway up a very steep hill, and whilst this meant it was only about 5 minutes down to the beach, it did also mean that it was about 15 minutes back up to the hotel. Nightmare. But none the less I managed to do that climb every day, at least once a day, and more often than not, I did it twice a day!

The first time we did it, I thought I was going to pass out/puke, but that was also because it was 2pm, sweltering hot, and I was tired out from exploring the beach front. I recovered much quicker that I ever used to before though, and was happily by the pool not even 15 minutes after reaching our hotel.

This was the view from our balcony; as you can see we were pretty high up, and if you can see the car in the second picture, you get a bit of an idea of how steep the hill was!

Anyway, I soldiered on with that, and went off to watch my friend get married and enjoyed a wonderful evening with her, to then go on to face my next challenge!

We booked an all day boat excursion to see some more of the island, including the volcano, a smaller island off of the main island, and ending in Oia. This day really put me to the test again, as it involved climbing up the volcano over uneven, stoney ground. It was bloody hardwork and near on killed me.

But it was worth it.... once we stopped off at the little island, and had a spot of lunch, I was pretty tired, but we still had my next challenge to undertake - the 280 steps from the port up to Oia, the place where pretty much all beautiful pictures of Santorini are taken, and THE place to watch the sunset. I had to get there. There was the option to pay €5 for a donkey ride up to the top, but I wanted to do it off my own steam. So I did it. It took me a long time, and I had to take plenty of breaks. I wanted to cry, but I made it. And that was the most satisfying achievement I have had in a long time... Boy did I get a reward for it to...

So, that was my holiday, and one of my *many* reasons for my large absence from the blog lately. Never fever though, normality will be returning hopefully.