Project Lifestyle June Nutrition Workstream

This workstream is the hardest for me. I use food for more than just fuel for my body, but also as a emotional comfort blanket. However that comfort is twisted into something unhelpful in the long run – being overweight.

I want to find balance in my life and the nutrition workstream is where I am still very all-or-nothing in my thinking. I tried out various things this year already – My Fitness Pal, Weight Watcher, Slimming World – but something about all of them seems to get stuck. I like rules and structure, but relating that to my eating at the moment is not working. But also having no rules doesn’t work for me either.

I’ve been trying to think about things in a different way. This week I have hated being overweight. I have been hot and uncomfortable in my skin. I am in need of a haircut and my longer hair is making me hot that I want to keep it tied up all the time. I came up with a list of reasons why I hate being overweight and have printed it out and stuck it up to remind myself. Here are some main ones for example:

● I get too hot really easily – it’s currently about 13 degrees Celsius outside and I am too warm when I get up and do things
● I sweat a lot – I sweat beyond normal exercise sweat. I sweat when I’m nervous or rushing and it’s clearly visible on my face and my clothes
● I feel self-conscious and embarrassed about my body temperature and sweat
● My legs rub together
● I have to wear my hair up all the time when the temperature rises and my hair gets long
● I waste money on food I don’t need
● My clothes are tight around my middle and cut in when I sit down
● I can’t face buying clothes in bigger sizes so don’t go clothes shopping
● I don’t like having my photo taken and especially so when taking part in sports events – I hate
all my finish photos and would love a good one
● My arms never fit in t-shirts or tops well and never loose
● I compare myself to others based on size
● None of my walking clothes fit any more
● Running is difficult and I’m not improving
● I don’t like being lifted up at all
● I’m not confident in myself or my body
● I judge my body even though it’s done so much for me
● I don’t want to get dressed up smartly for going out as I feel uncomfortable in those kind of
● I don’t feel attractive, but wonder why fatter or uglier people have found people
● I worry my body does not match the lifestyle I want to live and promote – I feel like a fraud
when doing things like triathlon
● I worry people don’t like me for being fat
● It limits the confidence I have in myself and my abilities

I’m not trying to shame myself or anything like that, but rather be honest with myself about what I really don’t like and why I feel so bad for overeating. I am hoping reminding myself of these things will make me think twice about eating more than I need. These are the type of things I think of when Iwant to lose weight, but they are so easy to forget when that chocolate is in front of you calling your name.

I’ve tried the reasons why I want to lose weight and looking into the future at what I think that means, but that hasn’t been as sticking as it could be. Jillian Michaels is always going on about this and it makes sense. You have to want and relate to your goal, but for me it is more about the journey and creating a lifestyle. My nutrition lifestyle involves eating only as much as I need to fuel my body while enjoy the food I am eating. The occasional indulgence is a good things, but all in moderation.

SO I’m sticking with tracking on MFP and meal planning this month. I have created a month long meal plan to use up what is in my freezer and also to make shopping easier and in turn sticking to my budget. This is the spinning plate that needs the most attention and I struggle to keep it going, but I’ll get there and I just have to keep moving forward and adapting ways of doing things until I find what works for me. It’s not one size fits all when it comes to nutrition and losing weight.


Adventures in Tea… Bluebird Tea Month One


I was feeling low last month so ordered 6 month random tea subscription from Bluebird Tea in Brighton. They reminded on David’s Tea in Canada who I fell in love with back in 2012, so it is great to find another company who create random teas.

In my first delivery I got three teas:

Gingerbread Chai



This has been a great evening tea as it rooibos, rather than black tea. I’ve been brewing it in my glass teapot and originally went with the direction of the spoon per cup, but found I like it slightly stronger so ended up doing 3 spoons for 2 cups in my teapot. I then leave it for at least 3 minutes, but usually longer as I like it on the stronger side. This had a definite heat to it. I would describe this as a proper ginger heat, rather than gingerbread warmth you get in the lattes available at Christmas time. Two cups of this was enough for me each time. It was a nice change from peppermint or camomile in the evening though.


Vicky’s Sponge Cake



This is a black tea base so has made a lovely afternoon tea when I wanted something sweet. I enjoyed it a lot during my week off this month. It’s a fruity sweetness and with milk did taste a bit like cake.


Watermelon Splash



This was a green tea base and was quite refreshing. I kept meaning to make a batch of iced tea with this as I think it would be quite refreshing, but didn’t get chance to before posting this. I still have some left so will try if the weather improves enjoy to fancy iced tea.



Overall I loved having a selection of three different teas to choose from. I liked having 20 grams of each, rather than having to get 100 grams or 20 teabags of something I haven’t tried. So this was a great way to try them out and I know I’ll order more of my favourites after the 6 month subscription. Also the tea gave me the option of drinking these at different times to my coffee. I find I can drink tea in the evening without any issues, but I strict with my coffee intake unless it decaf (and I don’t really see the point in decaf anymore). Excellent service after my order, although I tried to do the pay monthly option, but didn’t manage that so paid in full – might be something to watch if you sign up!

I’m looking forward to the next delivery already!



Adventures in Coffee… April Hasbean



An Indian coffee last month – the Bibi Plantation Washed Catucal Peaberry. I think this is my first Indian coffee (I really need to go through all my coffee posts and review to check – or keep a notebook full of all the coffee I’ve tried!). However in the In My Mug video they are also surprised to have an Indian coffee, but it is a growing market. This coffee was grown at about 800m above sea level, which is the lowest grown coffee they have featured. I’m finding it interesting to learn more about the bean that come though my letterbox.



The description said to expect bold flavours of leather and tobacco and followed by a nutty-ness. I agree about the bold flavours and I wasn’t sold to begin with as it was quite bitter, but had a lightness to it as well. It felt like there wasn’t much coffee or oils taken through the water, even in the french press. It was an intense espresso, which was great as a shot to down, but not as a drink to sip and enjoy slowly as the after taste was quite strong for me. Another flavour mentioned in the video was a burnt toffee apple taste, but I don’t know if I got that – maybe more when I added milk.


I wasn’t sure I liked this coffee. I wasn’t impressed with it as a espresso or french press, but as a pour over (with milk) it was amazingly mellow. It came up with this amazing creme and almost bubbled up as I poured over the water. I loved watching it brew.  It just seemed to work this way and took off the bitter edge I found in the espresso. In the video it is considered to make a fantastic cappuccino with milk, and that goes hand in hand with what I was thinking.

I’m also finding it interesting to find out about brewing techniques and the results of the different brews. I didn’t think there would be such a difference across techniques, but the more coffees I’m trying the more subtle differences I am noticing, but this one had some big differences. I want to expand my own brewing equipment to include a chemex and aeropress.


I really want to get an In My Mug subscription and do an intense 12 weeks of coffee with the videos as they are released – fingers crossed for 2015, but in the meantime check out the video from last year.

Project Lifestyle Purple Cover

Project Lifestyle May Review

Project Lifestyle Purple Cover

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Started well, but then got side tracked during my week off. If I’m stressed I eat and I’m stressing about money all the time at the moment. The mantra I’m using at the moment is ‘you can’t exercise out a bad diet’ – okay maybe not a mantra, but honesty with myself. It’s not to make me feel guilty, but rather to be realistic about why I am not losing weight.


I did my first triathlon of the year so overall I’m counting it as a success. However I have been slacking since. I think I need to look at my goals and decide what I want to improve over the summer. I want to make the most of being about to be outside in the evenings, so lake swimming and anything out doors is in, but I also want to get stronger and leaner, so really want to get back in the gym and lifting weights again. My running events have been impacted a lot due to the sprained ankle and lack of training. I have picked up the lake swimming though and that’s been good.

Mental Health

I started a mindfulness course and am really enjoying it and taking away techniques and actually using them. There are two annoying people on the course, but otherwise it is a good group who really wants to be there. I also wanted to start Headspace again, but only did that towards the end of the month. It feels good though. I feel calmer and have started using Moodscope again to monitor myself.


This month was supposed to be about me and making time for the things I enjoy. I think I actually spent more time with people than on my own – no wonder I’ve felt out of sorts for the last week of the month. I did have some quality time drinking tea with my first delivery of Bluebird Tea, and also some reading after a trip to the library for a couple of books I’ve been wanting to read. I’ve been enjoying the time I’ve been spending with running club and swimming club, but there is a part of me that really needs my down time and this has suffered recently so I need to prioritise this going forward to make sure I don’t feel like I do currently too often.


This has really been a low priority this month. I have a one to one planned with my manager early in June to go through my objectives for the year ahead. My main aim is to keep doing as well as possible in my current role and develop the skills I need to move into the next level with the aim of doing that in 2015. I also had a week off this last month so it has mainly been the normal day job, rather than being able to look at areas I can improve on change.


Overall May has been a good month. I felt connected to what I was doing and had some time to reflect on where I am and why I am there. I’m still struggling with certain aspects of the lifestyle I want to create and it impacts on other areas when I’m not in the right frame of mind. However with the focus on mindfulness this month I feel like I am taking steps towards bringing all together within myself. I want to learn from this and go into June with a renewed sense of what I want to create for myself. I want to get clear on what I am doing to hinder myself as we are our own worst enemies. When I stop being aware of what I’m eating, I overeat. I also have the tendency to be obsessive in my mind when it comes to food, so I need to strike a balance between planning and going with the moment. I had a really good month in terms of triathlon and I am so proud of that achievement for myself. It was hard and I did it. I was anxious beforehand, but that disappeared when I started (it came back during the run, but that is okay) and I got in the moment and worked hard, while enjoying myself. In a way it was a super busy month, even with taking a week off. I would like to make sure I have time to myself and to rest going forward. I feel my mental health has taken the greatest leap this month. I feel surer of myself and where I am heading and also being okay with what has not been happening and who I haven’t been in contact with. The worry about other people seems to be there less and that is nice. I find this then means there is less worry about other things that were causing me anxiety. I think understanding myself is very important and noticing the difference this month has been informative.

My monthly excel document can be found here :)


Adventures in Coffee… Starbucks Tribute Blend


This was an emergency buy as I ran out of coffee at work and this was the easiest thing to get. I went for the Tribute blend rather than my normal bold and have really enjoyed it as an everyday coffee. It is very drinkable and can be made strong in a French press without overpowering the drink.

I went for it because it was described as dark cherry and spice. That description drew me in and I’m glad it did. It is a blend of coffee from Ethiopia, Sumatra, Papua New Guinea and Columbia. It is also described as complex, but I have found it smooth and straight forward. Maybe I prefer complex coffees over simple single blends. I wonder if that I why I struggle with a couple of the Hasbean single beans I have had so far as there is nothing to enhance or weaken a specific attribute other than the brew method.

I have avoided Starbucks for a while in order to try different coffees, but as a standby source I am happy with the coffee they provide and the price they provide it for.


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