Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Unexpected Pleasures #3

It's not often you can just relax and enjoy pointless, directionless time with ones children. Mostly it is a routine of doing stuff, getting places, ensuring others are fed; but sometimes you get lazy hazy moments when you both do nothing but chuck a ball for hours on end at each other.

And this selfie was at the point after all the ball throwing and aimless interaction we came together in pure happiness. It is  a reflection of an unexpected pleasure. For once I am extremely glad of the rise of the selfie and the fact my iPhone goes everywhere with me.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Observations #1

It doesn't take much to get things going on twitter. Whether it is Adam Boulton of Sky News being an idiotic columnist choosing to grade horrific consequences of war and decrying the work Dame Angelina has done. Or the debate about the honours system giving us Dame and Angelina combined. But my favourite has to be the fact Phil Neville, or is it Phillip these days, caused an absolute storm on twitter with his monosyllabic commentary on the England v Italy world cup match.

Twitter comes into its own when there is a comedic note to hit and whilst there is no doubt Phil wasn't the best football commentator we've heard, his twitter 'abuse' was a great distraction on the game in hand. The banter, and it was banter, provided such gems as questioning whether Neville was 'recording an audio book on fishing.'

But best of all was the fact Mr Neville took it all on the chin and laughed about how he loved social media until 24 hours ago. I'm sure some people were downright mean about him but most of us were relieving the tension by commentating on the dreadful commentary. It wasn't the content but the delivery. I swear I nodded off once or twice and it wasn't because I was genuinely tired.

Phil Neville has given us all a lesson in how to digest a storm on twitter and that is laugh it off. I'm now rooting for him to gain experience and improve. It is harsh fact but his brother Gary was a natural from the off, yet he may have had some direction before he started on Sky Sports and obviously the BBC failed to craft Phil in how to deliver commentary. Lets hope Phil can improve on delivery but there is much to admire all round about the Neville brothers and their philosophy.

image: BBC

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Notes #2

The making stuff mission continues with my foray into mill - almond milk. In fact yesterday I made choc salted popcorn, courgette brownies, coconut butter and almond milk. Since being in receipt of Sarah Wilson's latest book I Quit Sugar For Life  my making of food has gone off the radar. I have been utterly inspired. I can think of no greater recommendation of a book. I also have her I Quit Sugar the original book that kickstarted my obsession with quitting sugar and which has the almond milk recipe.

My homemade almond milk

Monday, 2 June 2014

Notes #1

I'm on a health kick. Truth be told I've been on a health kick for years but of late I've pushed it up a few notches. Gone are the half marathons and the masters swimming classes and instead it is what I eat that is taking centre stage.

When it comes to fitness all I do is walk, quite a lot, with the dog or friends for an evening power stroll and chat, plus a few press ups and a weights session or two at the gym. I haven't had a swim for ages and I was a swimming fanatic but the googles were causing me untold eye circle damage and the chlorine had taken its toll as well.

For the last two years I have digest numerous books on what we should be eating and looking at all the independent research on this issue. The list it too long but it includes key pieces by Gary Taubes and Dr Tim Noakes. My personal favourites are Mark Sison's Primal Blueprint and Sarah Wilson's I Quit Sugar books.

I dip into blogs, you tube videos and have now a great relationship with food and exercise. It reminds me of when I was a child - eat 3 square-ish meals a day and move a lot. Although now I don't have the lethal trans fats associated with margarine and it means no more custard creams!

Instead I eat mainly fats, proteins and vegetables with a smattering of grain when I fancy. I buy sourdough bread over any other and am going to try my friend Tara's bread recipe from her blog Get the Skinny.

It does all take effort, cooking everything from scratch and the food shopping is slightly more expensive but that is balanced by buying less of the naughty stuff. Yesterday I spend a pleasurable 30 minutes, whilst cooking Sunday lunch, making water drinks. Iced tea, sage water and lemongrass water. Sage water is the easiest peasiest thing to make. Add about 4 - 5 sage leaves to water in a bottle and put in the fridge to cool and keep there. It is ultra refershing. Lemongrass takes more effort to snap and crush 2 stalks then boil up in water then leave to infuse in the boiled water for 20 mins. Then transfer to teh fridge and use as desired. The same is true for the tea. I used 4 teabags of black tea, chia tea, peppermint tea and camomile and steeped in cold tap water  in the fridge (I used tap water for all 3) for 4 hours before removing the bags and putting into a bottle.

Having had a tasting session this morning, I am impressed with my efforts and pleased with the drinks.

 sage water

iced tea