Friday, 31 May 2013

Losing weight how to get started...

It's the time of year that whatever the weather (and whatever our holiday destination) our thoughts turn to how we are going to feel on the beach.
This post from Poppys Style is bang on the money. Whatever shape you are in, it should NEVER be a reason to not grab life with both hands and go for it. Whether is scuba diving in the Caribbean, boating in the Med or just lounging on a hot day at your local lido, we will never look back at those times when we are in our dotage and regret that we had donned our swimwear and gone for it, quite the reverse.
That said, it is always worth doing a bit of preparatory work if it will make all those special holiday moments more comfortable.  And if the weather is hot, it is fair to say, aesthetics aside, we are always more comfortable when we are fit and healthy.
The question that we are most asked in our bootcamp sessions is how do you start?
I'm not sure that there is a single answer to this. I asked one of my groups to write down what motivates them to start on a healthy regime and I got very different answers....

1. Eat everything in the house that is 'off the list' the night before.
2. Spend £300 on sportswear so there is no chance of not using it.
3. Do a huge 'healthy eating' shop and start the next day.
4. Plan a full day of activities so that there is no time to eat on the first day.
5. Sleep with PE kit and trainers at the end of the bed.
6. Have a blow out final day eating pizza for lunch, chinese for dinner, chocolate all afternoon.
7. Make sure that I have a day to myself with no one around to snipe at when I feel peckish.

You can tell the people that have followed 'calorie' type diets by the answers. The idea of feast and famine is a million miles from what we do at the Find. I'm not sure how answers 1 and 6 can really help with a long term regime.  The whole point of the Thermic Plan is because you are never hungry, you are never tempted to overeat and if you really are desperate for a piece of chocolate, biscuit, pizza nothing is off limits anyway.

Number two is an interesting one, as long as it can be scaled down in more straightened times, buying a bit of kit that incentivises exercise is a good idea. It is always worth investing in a good pair of trainers if you don't have any, as it is so easy to get calf or knee injuries from the wrong ones.  I've had people come to classes in  Converse style daps, and told them to keep everything low impact until they have the right shoes, as the risk to their joints and muscles far outweighs any health benefit from a single class.

Number 3 is a definite, it is almost impossible to start a weight loss regime without some preparation beforehand.  This is particularly true of the Thermic Plan, which is based on 'real food', in the main, cooked from scratch.  The essentials would be as follows;

  •  At least 10 types of fruit and veg, head to the market with a trolley, the selection and quality is better, the portions more generous and the prices about half of even the cheapest supermarkets.  Make life easier by choosing some 'long life' options, oranges, lemons, cabbage, carrots, turnips, potatoes etc
  • From the health food store (Holland and Barrett, Wholefoods or online) brown rice, sunflower seeds, chopped nuts, variety of teas, dried Stevia leaf, soya sauce, tofu, agave nectar, sprouting seed kit, soya milk single cream
  • From the supermarket (or butchers and fishmonger) turkey breast, whole chicken, salmon, tuna
  • Additionally frozen peas, tinned tuna, milk, low fat cream cheese and yogurt, chutneys, salad cream, ready made mint sauce
With this haul, you have enough food to keep going for 7-10 days depending on how effective your menu planning is, this improves pretty quickly as laziness and husbandry dictate that we want to make our shopping last as long as possible.  The aim is stay away from shops for the first phase of getting used to the plan.

Answers 4 and 5 are similar, since the success of the Find is to build a schedule around movement and then eat in such a way as to sustain the activity, these are both a good idea.  Even if you just plan to wake up and do an exercise DVD, this can be enough to start in the vein in which you will continue.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

St Barts Tan Offer... and why it is (probably) the best fake tan in the world...

I have already done a post about this fantastic fake tan here

There has been loads of interest in the product, both at the Spirit of Summer show and people contacting me afterwards. Some bottles are winging their way to recipients now, all of whom have promised a review of their own personal tan with before and after pics.

Because of the way that St B is formulated (no nasty streaky dyes), but lots of very expensive DHA, everyone's tan will be unique to them.  So to see the possible range, the more pictures on different skin types, the better.

This in mind, Sarah (the inventor of the tan), has asked me to post an on-going offer of 3 bottles for £24, they are normally £24 each.  This should last about 6 months, and the only ask, is that at some time during the period, buyers supply a 'before' and 'after' pic and if they have a blog, mention the tan with a link to this page.

Here are some pics of the colour that I go when using the tan...

 In this pic, I had rushed when applying it and am showing both the before and after on the same arm!

On holiday, I stay out of the sun and slap it on every morning and night.

Why St Barts is so great....

1. It is DHA rich and has no horrible streaky dyes, so even if you 'miss a bit' you can just retouch later and not look streaky.
2. Everyone tans to their own unique colour, so no selection process is needed to work out which one works for them, with this, one variant works for everyone.
3. It has high alcohol content (so you do need to moisturise) but when you put it on, it works immediately, you don't have to 'wait to dry'.  So you can shower, tan, get dressed and go, no hanging around.
4. Because of above you can wear white, silk etc without any fear of marks.
5. As the skin is not dyed, you lose the tan at the rate at which you would lose a regular sun tan.
6. It is liquid form, so small and compact and easy to apply (and allowed in your hand luggage)
7. It smells of coconut, NOT wet biscuits, after a hot bath, with the tan and the smell of coconuts, your mind is almost fooled into believing you have been on a balmy beach all afternoon.
8. It works as a mood lifter, it could be because of above, but there is something optimistic about a touch of tan, a pair of white jeans and a brightly coloured top, you just can't have a bad day when it starts out so well.
9. You don't need to exfoliate if you keep the tan constant, just bath, tan and go.
10. Who doesn't want to say that their tan came from St Barts? !

If you are interested in the offer and writing a review, just log into your Paypal account and click on 'send money', use to send £24 and put your name and address in the message section, and I will send you three bottles.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Wrong in so many ways...

I was doing a huge clear out and getting quite hot(!) So changed into shorts and top, it looks really bad in these pics, I thought it was OK as an outfit, but the evidence suggests that, it was just warmth that made everything better than reality.
The top is DKNY and the same one is for sale here, although I think it is a bit steep for a second hand top!
The shorts are staples from H & M that they do every year.  These and these are pretty similar, you can just roll them up or down depending on what length works best for you.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

A selection of LBDs

Back in 1989 I got my first job earning a proper salary, suddenly the images that I had pored over in Vogue were no longer a distant dream, but a possible reality.  This was the edition and it was the first time that an unknown model, Claudia Schiffer, graced the pages.  I had never seen anything as elegant and beautiful and those few images could well have informed my fashion choices from then on (I never got on very well with grunge). It was the combination of true beauty and finely made clothes that seemed quite different to anything that I had ever seen before, and I liked how the whole shoot was styled, where clothes that might have been seen as quite old fashioned were styled in a really youthful way. 
Later in the same edition there was another new model, Elle Macpherson, but she was rather overshadowed by the stunning CS. There was also a great fashion shoot featuring velvet dresses on the beach at midnight, with unmade up models, with sea salted hair eating ice creams. Totally random and incredibly appealing to someone who knew even back then that the Haute Couture look was a dog's dinner if you tried it at Top Shop, and with no real eye for styling you couldn't go wrong with an LBD.  While everyone else did grunge I had a series of LBDs that I wore with graffiti-ed trainers until bling returned in time for the Millennium. 
A month or so ago I found this amazing vintage store on US EBAY.  I am not sure that an LBD ever really dates and it is one of those things that you can throw on and you are done, even with wet hair and make up slapped on in the rear view mirror.
The following series of images is very beauty and the beast, but the quality of the new (old) dresses is great, so all in all it was a good haul for a spend of about 40 quid.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Primark and orchids

I've been looking for quick solutions to lank, rat's tail hair as much of the day I am between classes or with wet hair from the shower.   I found a selection of flower hairclips, a bit 1990s Johnnie Loves Rosie, but not the £30 each that theirs cost.  Here is the orchid that I am wearing below, and the white one above is here

 and I love this double purple one.
And I bough the big orchid in pink...
Although there are lots of colours and it is £2 including postage...

I finished off the hair bouquet with some roses in red and white..

The top is from Primark via Ebay and cost about 20p, I do find it enormously satisfying buying recycled fast fashion, as it really does feel like that could save the planet. Although the colour is awful on me, I might dye navy blue or dark red.  The jeans are, as ever, my £5 Matalans (they just say 'Flare' printed directly on to the jean waistband), I have about four pairs and I love them, they fit like a glove and I notice, on someone very cool's blog, although I can't remember who now, may be Tiffany Wendel(?), that boot cuts are back, although they were calling them bell cut. 
The necklace is vintage from the Blue Cross charity shop and the sunglasses are my favourite shape, almost total face cover from Rayban Wayfarers.

Time to read...

One of the first things that I did when I moved to the cottage was create a magical reading room, I have no sense of direction, but I think it might be South West-ish facing, since it has sun for most of the afternoon and when the rest of the garden is in shade from about 5pm it is still warm and sunny. This is where I drink my tea (a new self-made variant of Jasmine red tea and Earl Grey green tea) and eat cake, biscuits or a bit of ultra dark chocolate.
I still haven't got around to changing the light, although I have found a beautiful new Italian Floral one which could work quite well.

 Nothing too taxing on the book front... (I do have some proper reads, but these are yet to be unpacked)...

A selection of Vogues that date back to the 80s...

 Dogs join me, with their own afternoon snack..

If Bella can't have the bone, she'll go for American Vogue Living instead...(don't you love the way Hamish Bowles edits? He did the Vogue Houses, Gardens, People hardback, I  hope that he is the heir to Anna Wintour)...Bella agrees...

 However much she loves Vogue, she loves a bone more...
 Bert makes a great cushion (and seems to have turned into the hound of the Baskervilles)

I wore my Zara pregnancy t shirt, if you are short of a top that makes you look 6 months pregnant, you can buy one here, old Gap jeans (re inherited from my eldest now he has outgrown them) and knitted cricket sale top. If you like the round neck 3/4 sleeve cardi, this one is a great deal, still deciding whether to bid or not. And this one looks warm and good for any size or shape.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Healthy colourful food

Eating really well just requires a trip to the market. Supermarkets don't cut it for fruit and veg, they are all packaged up in mean quantities with more packaging than content. Supermarkets are just pushing you towards the ready meal options with all their might. The more 'messed about' the food is, the more they can charge for it. Keep it real and head down to the market with a wheelie bag and 20 quid, you will buy more fruit and veg than you know what to do with.
This is hardly a recipe and it is fairly obvious what is in it, from a health perspective, it is the rainbow of colours that will keep you disco dancing until you are 90. It is a simple rule of thumb, the more colours the bigger the variety of vitamins and minerals and ultimately the more satisfying a meal will be.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The Elves have been busy at the Find Boutique

As much as the Spirit pf Summer wasn't great for actual sales, I have been surprised to get a few orders from people who had visited the stand, and decided to order later.
These are all wrapped up ready to post out. I really enjoyed preparing everything and making the packages look pretty,I shall be applying for a job at the North Pole this December.