Jibber-jabber at dawn #6….from parfait to pickle….

So 4 hours was all I was allowed….I’ll take it! A successful nights sleep!

I dreamt of cooking. Cooking my food for anyone and everyone, my very own restaurant once again, like the old one. It was nice to dream of cooking again, a welcome blast from the past.

Perhaps today I’ll get in the kitchen. Capitalise on this dream, create some fire……whilst doing my upmost not to burn the house down. It’s a strange one, from loving every aspect of a busy kitchen…the only place anxiety seemed to melt away…to never wanting to cook again. The very thought of picking up a knife or pan was gut wrenching and filled with fear.

Since then I have been able to cook. A breakfast of eggs & oats, the odd fish dish and stew. And now I’m even contemplating ‘just cooking’. Anything, everything. I want to make bread, pasta, pastry. Ooo sauces, dressings and flavoursome stocks. A parfait there, a lobster bisque here. Pickles and chutney. A delicate rose jelly and macerated fruits. An ice cream and a sorbet…….the list of what goes through my mind is endless!

To be back among fresh produce, tasting the fruits of another’s labour. The smells of fruit, herbs and vegetables, a welcoming entrance to the local grocer’s.

I hope this new view and mentality holds on long enough to stick. One day, a return to some form of a chef may still be achievable 😊

Nightly notion #8…. contradicting emotions….

It’s been a strange few days betwixt my ears. I wouldn’t say down or even unhappy, just different.

I’ve been cooking a lot more, it feels good. It’s a newfound, yet previously felt passion that I never thought I’d feel again. The very thought of cooking, proper cooking, terrified me. Yes I’ve made scrambled egg and a bit of chicken and vegetables, but putting thought-out dishes together has been a great success on my journey through recovery.

The feeling I mention above, is something like a sense of regret combined with ‘what could’ve been’. Perhaps even a dash of shame. I think, anyway. It seems a contradicting set of emotions, to feel joy and passion, to then let it be overshadowed by these feelings.

I think to myself, ‘it’ll pass’, but will it? Am I allowed to enjoy something I once loved? Even though I let everything surrounding this very passion, including the passion itself, crash and burn?…. It brings back the hatred I once had for myself, the shame of our family business having to abruptly cease due to my breakdown. I know they don’t agree with that and they will in no doubt tell me off for thinking these things. To this day it still sits in the back of my mind however, vegetating and growing fur.

I feel I need to get determined to overcome this irrational emotion. Kick it’s ass to the curb and enjoy anything that makes me smile. Cooking is a love, a hobby and a space in which I’m free.

One day I hope to call myself a chef again. One day I hope to come to terms with the disaster surrounding this passion and conquer it even more so than I have previously! One day I will have a kitchen, call myself the chef and I’ll smile, morning, noon and night….

H2O’yes we’re still sipping…

With my H2O’really water experiment in full flow…excuse the pun…I’m finally seeing some long term, lasting results!
Not only have I lost weight, yippee! I’m noticing a vast improvement in the look and feel of my skin. Previously slightly on the greasy side, I’m showing more of a glow and my chubby cheeks are soft and squidgable! It seems a simple, easy improvement to make without spending a ton on face cremes and moisturiser.
To pee or not to p…. definitely to pee! It was inevitable – drink more, pee more! However, I feel revitalised, fresher. Now I know there are debates on ‘detoxing’ and whether or not it is actually possible to do, but I’m feeling something of a detox at play here. Generally happier moods. Better skin to look at and to touch. And most importantly, a drive to continue and see what else will come of this experiment and others.
Now I know the positivity is high here, but I’m still hitting very difficult days. I thought a higher water intake would change this, boosting my moods and hopefully less down days would show their ugly face. I guess brain function may be on the rise but it isn’t hitting me where I was hoping it would. Perhaps I’m just not noticing, or I should give it more time. We shall see…
One thing for certain, however, is I’m determined now to implement more changes, challenges and experiments into my lifestyle. Excited to see and share the results!
Eat, drink and smile 😊

Fitting it all in….

The general consensus is that eating well, frequenting the gym and general focus on oneself is time consuming and there aren’t enough hours in the day. Whether that be from those of us who go out to work, work from home, or even those who have zero work obligation. The thought that there is no time in which to grow as a person, focus on numero uno, is frightening to me. To have a ‘selfish’ few hours, even an hour isn’t a lot to ask in my opinion. Because in turn it will be a ‘selfless’ act! Being in a better mind space, a happier you will benefit those around you and your presence around them in this better state will, in turn, boost your drive to become better.
‘Better’ is a pit of vast variation. By better I don’t mean a superhero, an aesthetic god/goddess, or the reincarnation of Buddha! It’s not about looking better, but feeling better. Interacting better. Holding yourself better. And I repeat ‘FEELING’ better, a smile plastered on face no matter the task at hand. A lifted – even transcended – mind, body and soul!
Any who, I digress….
It’s about time management, ignoring unwritten rules, timetables and regimes. This isn’t to say your inner rebel has to break free and conquer. No no no. It’s about being aware of the time you have for ‘you’. An hour for lunch isn’t just an hour……an hour is as long as it is……60 minutes……3600 seconds. No matter how you take it apart an hour is an hour. But it’s a hell of a lot longer than your ‘lunch break’ thinking will let you believe.
A study I have been reading suggests breaking it down to 10 minute increments, manage smaller numbers. The idea is to plan each increment; eat for 10, get to the nearest gym in 10, workout for 20 (you’ll be surprised what you can accomplish), shower for 10 and get back to the grind in 10. A basic example.
Challenge yourself to make the most of every minute in a day. Make meals in advance or have a written idea of what you want to do/accomplish in a day. Personally I haven’t quite achieved perfection in this experiment but I am seeing positive results.
Overnight oats with an array of fruits was a revelation to me. I knew my breakfast was waiting for me, healthy, full of micro and macronutrients for the start of my day. I set myself an average 8 hour work day. Writing for 3 in the morning, grinding out whatever I could, whether I used it or not. A 15 minute break, I made a spiced tuna, avocado and asparagus wrap ready for my lunch. In this break, the fun wasn’t over however, I whacked YouTube on and watched something to make me chuckle and lift my spirits. Back to the keyboard, a further 2 hours of word spewing and eye squinting. Tuna wrap here I come! Polished off in a matter of minutes, I had 56 left of my hour. After taking the dog for a run, shattered and soggy, 37 minutes were remaining. Now it just so happens, this is where my productivity waned. A 10 minute shower turned to 20 and the remaining 17 were pissed away doing nothing. Granted in some cases this would be fine, a bit of chill time is great in fact. So maybe this was a success, maybe it was just what I needed before getting back to the grind.
For the remaining 3 hours, plus a few extra voluntary, I wrote some of the best work I’ve done to date, including a previous post and more than a few chapters of my ongoing novel. What I’m trying to get across is that no matter how little time you have or even too much time on your hands, look for the positives in doing zilch if that’s what you do, but utilise or see the benefit from every minute in a day whether filled or chilled. Appreciate that, again, it’s all a work in progress. Whether you wing it or plan, put the mental effort in to get the most out of your day. Highs and lows are inevitable but at the end of the day, an hour isn’t just an hour, it’s an HOUR !

Smiles, a gauge to live by?……

A smile is a huge indication of joy, amusement and a general good time. In a basic look at things, life is a collection of smiles and frowns….
Frowns are inevitable, unfortunately, this is a given, the cruel reality of life. But smiles can be created, often via serendipity….A fortuitous happenstance. What you hear, see, do or say can produce an involuntary and true smile.
So I put it to you, and myself……what can the food we eat contribute to gaining smiles. Can they be a catalyst? Or perhaps the sole reason for a happy face? Find what food makes you smile, I will too. Now I can guarantee there are going to be the obvious bad foods that make your tum purr with delight, but the smiles don’t last, often replaced by frowns and regret. Don’t ignore these foods! These will go in the indulge your ass off pile!
Split foods in to three basic categories – foods you know are good for you and you actually enjoy eating. Foods you know you shouldn’t really be scoffing but every now and then you just dunnee have the power cap’n! And then those foods you can’t stand but know they will be good for you.
The fill yo’face bad foods will inevitably bring smiles and frowns, this is where allowing yourself to indulge, without a side portion of guilt, will set you on your way. This is the place to start. Not with crash diets, fads, and/or ‘fat free’ garbage! Start with the foods you struggle to resist. Hold onto the fat smile they plaster on your face. And play a game of ‘f@#k off’ with the frowns….trick is to let them go first ;).
Then turn your attention to the nice, edible, healthy foods. The base of your diet has to be enjoyable! I’ll pass on what I have learnt, which foods are scientifically proven to turn it upside down . This whole process of learning, planning and smiling has helped me grow as a person. Granted, still a secluded scaredy cat, intolerant to the outside world! But I’m happier. Tis a good thang.
Now those dirty ‘orrible eats. Forget them. Unless they are in my importanté list…….but I can help with that, sneaky sneaky I am with the tricks…. seriously though, why force something down you cannot stand?? Well if you learn to make these things tasty and enjoyable then yeah, buck up partner! Get it down ya! Even shite foods can be made in to smiles foods…
Part 2 coming shortly…….


On reading a few statements about the benefits of drinking 2 litres of water a day, I decided to do an experiment…..
Studies show that drinking this amount of water throughout an average day (more if exercising or on hot days), the brain will function at a higher level, the body will feel more energetic and in time skin and hair will make positive strides too. Now in no way do I dispute this, but it seems too simple. Can the regulation of water intake, regardless of the rest of a persons diet, have noticeable positive results?
My experiment went as follows….
Week 1 – Live as normal, my not so healthy lifestyle, eating and drinking when I feel I need or want to, but measure how much water I consume.
Week 2 – Continue my ‘not so healthy’ lifestyle. Eating when hungry, minimal exercise and a mix of nutritional meals, fruit, bad snacks and fast food. Whilst ensuring my consumption of water is 2 litres per day.
Week 3 – Adapt my lifestyle. Cutting out the fast food, keeping snacks to a minimum and not so sugar filled. Increasing my intake of fruit and vegetables without being too precise. Still minimal exercise, as this test is to see how water effects my general brain function.
The results were vastly different. A longer study period may have shown even greater differences.
Week 1 I felt my usual sluggish, up and down self. Bad days I hardly drank anything. Food was not on the agenda either, eating garbage when I had the energy to order online. Ups were super high followed by crashes. I was drinking around a litre a day on average, maybe just under.
Week 2 left me a tad flummoxed, rendering me wanting to get active but not having the energy to do so. Peeing a hell of a lot more, but generally feeling better. Moods were still erratic, ups still ending with crashes, but downs not so bad. Whether that be because I was keeping track of my water intake or because the water was making the difference I do not know.
Week 3 produced a spike in energy levels, ups were more frequent and lead to fewer crashes. Down days, well the singular one I had with an hour here and there throughout the week were easier to cope with.
With a simple change, increasing water consumption, I noticed decent positive results and it was easy to do. It’s a start to a smiles diet everybody can benefit from.



Morning face therapy…..

Good morning, face?? Yes, this is a thing. Those of you with friends are more likely to enjoy better moods, less depressive episodes etc, than those of us who dwell in self amusement and company.
Humankind react positively to the sight of another’s face, a happy one of course. The theory goes like this…… To start the day off with a smile, you must see a smile. Now obviously, if you don’t manage to do this it doesn’t mean your day is doomed. It’s a general sort of idea, those who see a face will have a higher likelihood of a good mood.
Now, for those of us who have no friends, detest interaction or are socially inept….have no fear! As with seeing a face directly, the theory works indirectly also. A video or photo will do the trick, choose an interesting vlog or a memorable bunch of photos.
Start the day right, start it with a smile 