Saturday, 31 August 2013


Yesterday one of the comments pointed out a blog called 'Wheatbelly', for anyone that is considering losing weight and struggling to get going, or who is interested in general health and fitness, it is a really good read.  The content is all scientific, evidence based research, not just the latest faddy diet.

I've always been reticent about total bans on food groups or particular foods since, this can lead to the obsessive 'feast and famine' emotional eating that I have posted about before.

But where wheat is concerned, it is probably the quickest way to lead people down the path of healthy eating.  Just think about it for a few minutes and you can see why...without wheat, you can't eat any processed or fast food and you have to cut out the obvious calorie laden offenders; bread, cakes, biscuits, pies etc.  Just from a practical point of view, going 'wheat free' will improve the quality and range of your diet.  In the past if I was asked just one diet tip that would work regardless of personal circumstances, my answer was always, 'stop eating wheat'.

Do you ever get that feeling that you could just carry on eating? That your stomach is a bottomless pit that will never feel satisfied and you can just continue grazing all night without feeling full?  I notice that I get this with toast, I can easily eat a whole loaf as long as I switch from marmite to jam to relieve the monotony.

I can easily eat a whole packet of biscuits, but even a small yoghurt with a sweet fruit compote will leave me feeling completely satiated.

I used to think that it was the sugar and salt combinations that left me desperate for more, but when I look more closely at my eating habits, particularly the downfalls, the common thread seems to be wheat.

Weight loss aside, wheat is seen by many as the cause of a number of modern day ailments, and Wheatbelly explains much better than I can the science that backs up these theories.

If you are trying to lose weight or want to feel fitter and more energetic, it is worth a read, not least because the case studies featured are so inspirational.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Guaranteed metabolism boosters...or how to eat more and still lose weight in 5 easy steps

1.  EAT BREAKFAST if you skip it, after 8 hours without food your body will immediately slow down the rate that calories are being burnt.  If like me you really struggle with a. preparing it, b. eating eat, just hardboil a dozen eggs and try to eat 3 each morning.

2. Your metabolic rate can reduce by as much as 40% in a day so you must eat regularly to avoid this, the ideal is 600 calories 4 times a day (there is no point in 'grazing' or 'snacking' your body needs the high calorie intake to avoid the metabolism drop) ...2400 calories sounds like a lot but not all calories are the same...

3.  Your 2400 should be from protein, vegetables, fruit and beans and pulses.  Avoid processed carbs, sugar and high fat content products.

4. Try to spend 800 calories a day in exercise, break this up into 4 to be performed just before eating and it's not much at all.  (There will be another post about what constitutes 200 cals of exercise)

5. The importance of what you eat cannot be stressed highly enough, not only do some foods contain all the nutrients that your body needs to flourish, but those same foods also have a high Thermic Index, this means that much like boosting the metabolism, in digesting and expelling them you burn up to 40% more calories than with other foods.  As you can guess, the foods you MUST eat to maximise the T I are protein, vegetables, beans and pulses.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Spring Summer purchases part 1...

Fashionmumof40 has definitely started a bit of a trend with her purchase analysis, I read her post and thought quite smugly, 'Well I have bought nothing this Summer, may be I will treat myself for the new season'.  And then I checked out my Ebay purchases (see how they conveniently archive anything older than 60 days so you totally lose track of what you have been spending). And I was really shocked at how much I have bought, and how much of it is fantasy outfits that I will probably never wear, and how much I have spent.
I am going to do a ruthless analysis and hope that my husband doesn't read this!

I remember that in Feb/March we had more snow, so there are a few things in there like moon boots etc, they don't count.  But loads of the other 'Winter' items I bought this year, were because the weather was so awful at the beginning of the Summer, I was still lighting fires in June.

So here is everything from March to August...

Maria Grachvogel brown lace trousers £2.24
These are from her main line, they are cut in the style of her magic pants and would have cost over £400, I bought them because no one else did, but I have to confess in the move they seem to have been packed away somewhere and I haven't found them yet, they will definitely get an outing when I do!

Velvet Zara Blazer £9.30
I am not sure why I bought this, I must have been going through a beige phase, I have about four pairs of the beige trousers as they were buy one get one free in the bind end of the Zara sale, so I may have bought the jacket to try to get more wear from them.

Pink silk Kameez £6.60
I am quite pleased with this, I will probably never wear the top, but I love the fit of the trousers and have worn a couple of times to those nights out where you need to look like you have made an effort, but not too much (there are quite a few of those in the Oxford social calendar!)

ZARA boucle jacket £31
Loved this when I bought it, but it is really, really tight on my rugby players shoulders and in truth, pretty uncomfortable, I think I had been influenced by fashion blogs who do that jacket and jeans look so well, but my build is very different to them so should learn from this...

French blue Coast skirt £3.70
This is another victim of the move, I loved the colour of this, and both the colour and style reminded me of Stella McCartney's first collection for Chloe (knee length not long). I am going to wear with a black lace cap sleeved top, I must search this out...

Olive green espadrilles £7.50, bought these for holiday but didn't wear them, they are comfortable so I will be fine for another year.

Office brown ballet pumps £9, love these have worn them loads.

Chloe jeans £10 long and bootcut, great with wedges wore loads

Emma Hope shoes £29, gold, python trainers, love these, but put them away for 'best' and have forgotten about them


Pink Next top £3.50, terrible, straight to the charity shop

4 x cardigans about £4 each, this looked like it was going to be the season when Summer Knitwear would become the staple, thank goodness for our August sun!...

Nude wedges from New Look £5, really comfortable and great with practically any outfit

Short flippy broderie anglaise skirt to go over bikini, £7.99, although I am just considering additional wear as tennis skirt

Cobolt blue strapless maxi dress £5, this was going to be a holiday dress, but the boob bit at the top just wasn't made properly so my fried eggs were both squashed and lowered, not a good look, gave to a younger, firmer friend.

 Pink Alan Hannah wedding dress £50, this is the most incredible silk creation with massive skirt and fantastic bodice, it is so beautiful it will be worn.


Olsen brown silk vest top and skirt with shell detail £4.10, this has been on and off my Ebay pile, the skirt is a length I never wear, but might do one day!

Vintage lace dress £11, needs to be cut short, will be a success when I find a good seamsmistress.

DVF white lace dress £10, Mango white lace tunic £11, both amazing, not sure where they are, will wear these

Missoni Bikini £20 loved this (despite it being size 44 which is 14-16!) wore it most days on holiday, great shape and lovely colours.

2 x Brown leather wedges £5.50 each, these are the only shoes I wear on holiday so got a few pairs

Karen Millen chainmail dress £15.75, loved the colours on this cover and thought may be I could recreate  using KM rather than D e G, didn't work...

Principles dress £8, the weather warmed up and I had some work in an office, this dress was perfect...

ASOS drop waist cornflower blue dress £8, disaster, gave to friend.

Principles black cross over back dress £7.50, I'll admit it looks disgusting here, but I have plans for it...

The brown silk Principles number was such a success, I bought another one (£8)to wear with wide brown belt...

The force of my inner drag queen is strong so I bought this for £5...I've yet to work out why or how to wear it..
River Island dress £6.80
Have worn this a lot...

Gold sequin dress £6, no justification for this, except that it was cheap and the skirt vaguely reminds me of a Chanel haute couture number that I once saw...

Coast silk dress £7, this reminded me of a beautiful dress that I had years ago, it is not good on my body shape, I looked like a power lifter in a dress..

Total so far £340... more to come, I am just a little shocked at my profligacy...

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The perfect antedote to the madness of St Tropez

We were very lucky to be invited to the Highlands of Scotland for some salmon fishing, it is a 10 hour drive.  On the way there, we went via Shrewsbury and stayed with friends, coming back we had cricket matches to get to so we did the whole drive straight.  Four of us in the car with two dogs and kit in every inch of space should have been chaos, but we had Dara O'briain on the audio and spent most of the journey laughing.
Scotland was unbelievably beautiful, we only got a taster and I was desperate to stay for more.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

What I have spent most of my Summer doing...

There have been a disproportionate amount of St Tropez posts which may have left an impression that my Summer was all parties and high voltage glamour, that was a handful of days, this is the reality....

 Lots of cricket....

and preparing cricket teas...
and more cricket....

Not a single match rained off, it has been a blissful Summer.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Good bye holiday....

 Good bye beach...finish in the same outfit that I started in (River Island dress and wedges)...terrible deportment despite hours of yoga in the sun...
 One final cafe creme in my little deserted morning coffee bar...
 And waiting for the taxi to collect us to go to the airport...

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Dress 6 Monsoon (last one phew!)....

 I bought this dress from Bicester Village to send to a friend who lived in Poland and wanted it as her wedding dress, on the day Monsoon were having a clearance sale with buy one get one free on everything, so I ended up with two for 40 quid!
One headed straight for Poland and the other has been my boho party dress of choice for the last 8 years or so...

...not least because shortly after buying it, Gisele wore a similar style one by Prada for the Oscars and I always love how she looks, just from a trainer's perspective, her muscle tone is almost perfect with just the right amount of definition, it is hours of work every day to achieve the perfect balance of strength and stretch (poor Leo looks like he wasn't joining her in her efforts)...

Friday, 23 August 2013

Dress 5 Dolce e Gabanna

 This is one of those dresses that should have worked for St T, white, touch of lace, good structure and underwiring etc, but the reality is very different, it's meant to be longer, but has an odd balloon skirt so I pulled it up with a belt, but then there is just too much fabric on the tummy. I think it is designed for delicate little fairies, not muscle Mary's who have spent the morning doing press ups and burpies on the beach!

The bag is from Les Habits Neufs, I treated myself to it from the shop last year and try to forget how much it cost!

I had my first french manicure of the year on the beach, I'm not patient enough to go to a spa for one, but watching the world go by on the beach of St Tropez has to be the perfect spa location.

Dress 4 Versace

 I wasn't lying when I said that I had pretty much only packed maxi dresses.  This is the most incredible Atelier Versace dress, amazing silk jersey which is fluid and light, and may be just a little long!

 Photos are most definitely forbidden in the main restaurant, but the outside bar was quiet so we snuck in a couple...

We drank Piscines, which is basically champagne on ice....
Moet have specially formulated the variety so that the champagne retains its bubbles for longer.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

My kind of shopping...

 This is the beach shack shop just by our little house.  It has the most beautiful home and gift items and rumour has it it turns over 1 million euro a week in high season.
The owner has a very restrained eye and each piece is chosen because it is exactly the right fit with the vibe of the place (if only I had this discipline with my wardrobe).  She spends the year handpicking the best of everything, so despite the boho feel the prices are quite steep.

 The bikinis just seen above are mainly by Italian brands and are priced around 200 euro, scarves range from 70 to 150 euro each
 The paintings are from a local artist called Abrial, they are all stunning and epitomise the style of St Tropez, food, nature, sea.
 The cork boards that I wrote about here

 Another Abrial original and above a pile of cookery books.

You can also find some beautiful bags from a French brand called Les Habit Neufs, they are exquisitely made from vintage fabrics, unfortunately they cost 300 euro and up, but there is nothing like them around.  These are most definitely NOT, mass produced in China, made to look old, designs, each one is unique and when you pick it up, you can feel the age of them.  They are quite hard to track down though, they don't seem to be available on line and even their website is currently out of action.  Here are some of the designs...