A Little Optimism, For A Change

It turns out that self-improvement is a time-consuming business. I am making good progress towards achieving some lifestyle changes that I have been wanting to implement for quite a while, but in doing so I find myself with very little time to write! Hopefully as the changes become part of my everyday routine they will require less planning and I will get the time back again.

I am trying not to feel bad about my lack of new content as I don’t feel I would write very well at the moment, but it still weighs on my mind.

I am in the midst of another heavily-scheduled week, but watch this space for future updates on the following:

  • Dairy free diet
  • Sustainable living
  • Therapy

It would be great to get some of my writing out of the draft phase.

How do you find time to write when you are particularly busy?

Dairy Free Days: A Confession

I am very happy to announce that I have remained dairy free for a few days now. I’ve been diligently checking packets and refusing foods that I cannot verify as dairy-free.

However, I am spotting a potential pitfall of this obsessive packet-reading, being that I seem to have shifted my focus from eating healthy foods that are naturally dairy-free to trying to find acceptable substitutes to the foods I want. I’ve eaten a lot of dark chocolate mousse and protein bars so far this week.

I hope that by noting and admitting this in this public space, I will keep this budding bad habit in check, if only to save face!

I will update this blog soon with my progress, so watch out for any omission of this particular issue (in the event that I’ve simply scoffed a week’s worth of fake chocolate and iced buns).

As for whether my son is feeling the benefit of this change? Its kinda hard to tell as any progress is probably being compounded by what appears to be early teething. This week, he has mostly been grumpy.

Twittering

So I’m finally jumping on the Twitter bandwagon, only a decade too late but hey-ho.

I thought it might help to have somewhere to share my little nuggets of wisdom (ha) as well as keeping me in the loop on online trends so that I can better respond to my potential audience.

I’m not gonna lie, I don’t really ‘get’ it and never have, but perhaps it’s time to change that.

Anyway, if you would like to follow me or give me feedback on my blog or tweets, please feel free! I will happily follow you back.

@girlvstights

Cotton Fresh Produce Bags FTW!

Perhaps I missed the memo on this, but I was pleasantly surprised to spot these (reasonably priced) fresh bags for sale at Sainsbury’s, for use with their weighing scales.

They are apparently made of cotton and can be recycled alongside other textiles if required.

I thought they seemed a bargain at 30p a pop, so immediately purchased a few and made my way over to my local greengrocers to test them out…

Probably not quite what Sainsbury’s wanted me to do, but hey, I’m on a tight budget!

If only the greengrocer staff weren’t so incredulous about the bags; surely they have missed a great business opportunity here?

Hooray! Dairy-free Day!

A small victory, but today is the first day I’ve gone 100% dairy-free in 4 or 5 years, so I feel this is noteworthy.

In truth, I don’t think I’ve actually ever gone a full week 100% dairy free – see my post about being a rubbish vegan – so if I achieve that then I’ve probably smashed my previous record.

If I manage two weeks dairy free, then I really hope by that point that my baby will be feeling the benefit as the amount of lactose/animal protein should be massively reduced.

So, I’m 1/14 of the way there..? Unfortunately no celebration cake for me though.

On Being A Rubbish Vegan

A confession: I’m a rubbish vegan. Despite years of discomfort as a result of various food intolerances, I just can’t seem to crack the dairy-free bit.

I’m really good at being a vegetarian, as meat and fish holds no interest for me whatsoever. But dairy is an issue, which is ironic because it is quite evidently the food I react to the most.

Why do I struggle? Two words – junk food. I eat too much of it and psychologically don’t particularly want to give it up (because it’s tasty, duh) so I have a huge blind spot when it suits me.

It’s quite ridiculous really. This morning I ate a bowl of cereal with dairy-free milk, then later had a dairy-free latte with a croissant – y’know the all-butter pastry(?!). I was halfway through the damn thing before I realised my mistake.

Sad really, isn’t it?

Anyway, now that my motivations for the move towards a vegan diet have changed – though technically it’s a dairy-free (not choice) / vegetarian (choice) diet – as my son appears to be reacting to my milk, I am finally going to give it a proper go.

Tomorrow, I am going to attempt to go fully dairy-free. No all-butter pastries or milk chocolate in sight!

Updates to follow… Fingers crossed.

When it Rains…

A small family ‘adventure’ went downhill in a typically rapid fashion this afternoon, when a walk to the park followed by lunch in a cafe turned into full-on food refusal and a supermarket temper tantrum – because which toddler doesn’t love being dragged along the floor? I think someone may have been a bit overtired.

The grand finale was getting absolutely drenched on the walk (jog) home. Poor toddler was sitting on the buggy board with only a hoodie for protection. Guilty mummy moment right there. It was shortly after he fell off the buggy board too.

The weather forecast predicted a maximum of 30% chance of rain for the hour we happened to be walking home. I fancied those odds as the sky looked pretty clear…

On the plus side, once we had got home and changed into dry clothes we had yummy hot chocolate to warm up.

The raincoat is now going to live in the buggy between uses for the forseeable future. Lesson learned!

Time to Get Back On Track

Having just returned from a second short family break in two weeks, I am actually feeling relatively rejuvenated. [Mentally at least – physically I feel my usual level of parental exhaustion.]

As a result, I have felt quite motivated today to make a start on my short-term life goals, such as taking steps to live more sustainably and reducing the amount of dairy I consume (for health reasons).

By no means a perfect attempt – using a shampoo bar then accidentally using bottled shampoo instead of conditioner isn’t exactly less wasteful – but I’m satisfied with my efforts.

Hopefully I can keep up the momentum in the coming days. Next week is going to be challenging, so I would like to get back into a positive routine as soon as possible.

Another outcome of my trips is that I’ve been too busy to write though. Fingers crossed I can get into the right mindset for that too.

A Reflection on My Poetry/Writing

I wrote and published a poem on here the other day because I came across a poetry competition online and felt compelled to see how quickly I could write. I enjoy challenging myself intellectually from time to time.

The submission deadline was today, but I missed it because I was out with my family.

Initially I felt a pang of disappointment and guilt for missing the deadline, like I had met myself down after working on the poem. In truth though, I knew that the poem itself wasn’t good enough. On reflection, I think I was just seeking the instant gratification that submitting the poem would have provided.

I enjoy writing poetry, partly because it is quite short and I can devise it quite quickly. But quick doesn’t equate to good, right? Creative writing can’t fulfil its potential on instinct alone?

I read an article/interview recently that described a poet as being someone who lives and breathes poetry – reading and writing it all day long. By this definition, I am not a poet, or even a writer. To be a writer, I must hone my craft; to behold my pen as a violinist beholds their bow and engage it just as much.

Ultimately, if I really want to improve my writing – of any kind, not just my poetry – then I am going to have to put the time in and practise, practise, practise.

So, many more posts to follow then I guess?

Fun Fair

Today I caught a glimpse of the the little boy that my toddler is growing into.

We went to a local ‘steam fair’, half expecting our toddler to be too overwhelmed to enjoy it, but to our delight he lived every minute of it. He was engaged and elated with every new experience.

Favourites included:

i) the steam train ride (obviously, as he is obsessed with engines),

ii) warm, freshly made sugared donuts (a.k.a “pastries”)

iii) expanding his soft toy collection by virtue of his duck hooking prowess. [However, when it came to choosing a prize he took some convincing that he couldn’t have the dirty plastic duck in lieu of a plush animal. What you see is what you get, right?]

I can’t wait to share more of these moments with him.