Living with ME – my latest crash

I always hope that either I will get better or at least learn about what makes me crash.  But while I’m definitely in a better place than I have been in the last 5 years, I’m not back to full health. ME is still very much present and what makes me crash varies so much from day to day, week to week, month to month that I haven’t quite worked it out yet.

What is a crash?

If you have ME you’ll know all about them, but if you don’t then a crash is a sudden decline in health that’s very hard to get out of. Suddenly, for no obvious reason, you’re just not able to do the things you were able to do yesterday.  Such as walk up your stairs at home without getting out of breath, stand too long or pick up your child.  Arms that worked, muscles that had strength just don’t anymore.  And with a body that no longer functions, comes a brain that’s not really sure with what’s going on!

This time I noticed it

Continue reading “Living with ME – my latest crash”

Simplicity Parenting

Simplicity parenting was a fairly new term to me until I kept seeing it appear on Facebook posts of a page I was following.  Eventually curiosity got the better of me and I clicked on one of the posts and was fascinated with the claims in the article. But more than that I found myself nodding in agreement to the points being raised and I realised that there was a lot about modern families and parenting that I was struggling with.

So what is simplicity parenting?

Obviously from the title it’s about making things simpler, but to me it’s also about getting back to some of the stuff I had in childhood that has gone out of fashion now. And while I embrace our modern lifestyles, it does feel like gadgets, games and ‘stuff’ should be in addition to a slow, more natural childhood that I enjoyed.  Kinda feels like we threw the baby out with the bath water on this one! Continue reading “Simplicity Parenting”

Awakening Eye Cream

I have to admit that I do love a good eye cream!  I may be well and truly in my middle ages now but  eye cream is a product that I’ve used since my early 20’s.  It’s always struck me that when you look at someone’s face you’re automatically drawn to their eyes so I decided that I needed to take care of them as saggy baggy eyes are not something you can really hide!

Why a special eye cream?

The skin round the eyes is actually different to the skin on the rest of our face. Skin is thinner and a lot more delicate so it’s best not to use your usual face products on this area.  You’ll notice that pretty much all skin care ranges come with a specialised eye product for this reason.

At a glance

  • Anti-aging benefits, seriously, who doesn’t need that?!
  • Powerful ingredients at clinically active levels which means that there’s enough of the ingredient in the cream to get in there and actually work, there’s not just a small amount so it can be listed on the ingredients list.  The levels of ingredients in this cream have been tested to ensure they get results.
  • Highly concentrated and a little goes a long way!
  • Dual function
    1. reduces dark circles and under eye puffiness
    2. blurs fine lines and wrinkles

Patented Ingredients

The cream has been developed with ingredients which perform both of these functions and utilises peptide technology.  If like me you have no idea what that means let me enlighten you……….peptides are proteins that the skin actually produces itself; they improve and smooth the sensitive eye area, visibly reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. The rich ingredient deck includes:

  • Albizia Julibrissin Bark Extract for sagging skin both on top of the eye area as well as underneath.  I love the fact that you can use this cream on top of the eye lid too as I had noticed that my top eye lids were starting to get a little saggy which was not a good look!
  • Butylene Glycol whose hydrating properties help to reduce the appearance of eye puffiness and dark circles
  • Collagen at a low molecular weight so it actually gets into the skin.  Apparently Collagen is a huge buzzword in the skincare industry right now with some experts claiming collagen can only be ingested and some disputing it.  The results of the extensive tests carried out by Forever’s scientists have shown that the collagen used in this product is at a low enough molecular weight to penetrate the skin and do its thing!
  • Aloe Vera of course is included in this product as it’s just an amazing all-round natural ingredient that our skin loves.

How to use

As with any eye cream the focus when applying it needs to be on preserving the delicate eye area. Use both morning and evening and apply with your ring finger as this is the weakest finger on your hand and will do the least amount of tugging.  Tap, don’t rub, the product under the eye with your ring finger then move up to the top of the eyelid and apply there too.

My take on it

The fact that this cream has the dual function caught my eye straight away as it pretty much covers everything you want in an eye cream.  And then I found out that is works on the eye lids too and I was very excited to try it! Having used it for a few months my key points to note are:

  • It really is very concentrated and I’m still on my first tube
  • It is doing a great job of covering up my wrinkles and dark circles (I am lucky enough not to suffer with puffiness)
  • The sagging on my eye lids is noticeably less…..which I am very happy about not least because it makes putting my make up on a little easier!

To buy

Visit my online shop jodavies.flp.com and click ‘shop here’.  If you have any questions about the product feel free to email me at jodavies@flp.com

 

My favourite summer salad

Salads and summer are a perfect combination and this is my current favourite!  Not only does it taste super yummy, but it’s easy to make and, unlike many other salads, can be made in advance and keeps for a few days.

Ingredients

  • 300g quinoa or cous cous
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 85 g raisins or sultanas
  • 100g feta cheese crumbled
  • 200g pomegranate seeds (I just grab a tub, it’s easier!)
  • 85g toasted pine nuts
  • small pack each coriander, flat leaf parsley and mint roughly chopped
  • juice 3 lemons
  • 1 tsp sugar

Method

I am a little embarrassed to actually call this a method but here goes!

  1. Make up the quinoa or cous cous and leave to cool and dry
  2. Add all the ingredients, mix together and season

And that leaves you plenty of time to get on with whatever you’re having with your salad!

How I deal with the gym

I have ME, I’ve never been particularly sporty and I’m not really known for my willpower…..but despite that I love going to the gym!  If you know anything about ME then you’ll know I’m playing with fire with this one as a major part of the illness is post-exertion malaise.  To put it into simple words if I physically overdo it I pay for it – big time.  Not that I’ll be a bit sore or a bit tired after, but I’ll be completely wiped out, unable to function or think properly for a period of weeks or months depending on how wrong I got it!

So why do I go?

Continue reading “How I deal with the gym”

The power of no!

I’m not sure where my need to say yes comes from…..it could be that all British politeness of not wanting to offend anyone or just that I like to please others but I know it’s in there.  For years all you had to do was ask for a favour, ask me to help with something and I’d be there.  Even if that put me in a right spot or left me with no time for something I really wanted or needed to do, I would still get this overwhelming need to say yes.  And I know I’m not the only one. So many of us seem to be hard-wired to say yes in even the most impossible circumstances.

But constantly saying yes isn’t all that helpful………we end up stressed out with a to do list we physically can’t get through, with conflicting priorities and a total lack of focus because we don’t know which way to turn.  And those feelings of inadequacy that we all experience from time to time can be massively added to.  Not to mention the fact that sometimes by saying yes we create the overwhelming circumstances where we’re unable to do the thing we’ve said yes to letting the other person down.  It’s just not good!

What would happen if you used the forbidden word ‘no’ sometimes?  And more importantly, what would you do with the precious time you’d free up by saying no?

There’s no need to be nasty about it!

Of course I’m not suggesting that you go around rudely shouting no in everyone’s face! That would be, well quite frankly, just rude.  But I am suggesting that a no response, said in a very polite and friendly manner is completely and totally acceptable.  Really!

Ditch the guilt

Think about it, if you asked someone to do something for you and they very politely explained that they were unable to do it at this time, would you feel mortally offended?  Would you never speak to them again or find ways of punishing them for the rest of their life?  Of course not (well, at least I hope not!) and that’s how others will feel when you say no.  There may be a momentary feeling of disappointment that they haven’t been able to offload the thing they were asking, but, of course that will be swiftly followed by a recognition that it’s their thing and they need to find another way to sort it.

What would you gain?

If you prioritised your yes’s and learnt to say polite no’s, what would you gain?  A bit of extra time to spend with your loved ones; more focus to get stuff done; less distractions; more productivity; less feelings of inadequacy; less conflict and more peace in your life and that feeling of accomplishment when you end your day with a completed to do list.  But you’d also gain something you may not be expecting.  You see when you do say yes because it fits in with your priorities and you have the capacity, you are able to give it and the person who’s asking the right level of focus.  And that’s going to make you both feel good!

Yes or No?

It’s always tricky to do something new so here’s a few things to think about as you contemplate using the big no!

  • Are you able to say no?  If it’s your boss asking, or your bosses boss or something for your kids then it may not be appropriate to decline
  • Is it something you’re actually capable of doing?
  • Do you physically have the time?
  • What will you have to move or sacrifice if you say yes and is it worth it?
  • Does it fit in with your current priorities and goals?
  • What will you get out of saying yes?

Don’t overcomplicate it, I’m a huge fan of the no-brainer scenario so if it’s a definite yes or a definite no don’t sweat it, just go with it.  Bit if it’s not, then don’t reach straight for yes, take a moment to work out what answer actually works for you.

 

Nutty Cookie

Who doesn’t love a cookie?  Who would prefer their cookie without the serving of guilt that comes with them?  Me too which is why I love this recipe!

Ingredients

  • 3 scoops Forever Lite Ultra
  • 4 tbsp of nut butter (cashew, hazelnut and peanut butter or whatever you have)
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp Forever Bee Honey
  • 150ml milk
  • 35g chopped nuts
  • 35g chopped 85% dark chocolate

Preparation

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160C
  2. Place all fo the above ingredients together in a mixing bowl and stir with a spoon until you get a sticky creamy cookie dough mix
  3. Once you’re happy with your mix, lay baking paper onto a baking tray and separate the mix into either portions, shaping the pieces of dough into cookies
  4. Place in the oven at 160C for about 20 minutes, remove and allow to cool

Then enjoy!

Aloe Vera Gelly (aka first aid in a tube!)

Summer has pretty much arrived here in the UK and with it comes a range of issues that my fair summer skin has to endure.  I get sunburnt easily, I get bitten constantly, there are stinging nettles trying to brush past you everywhere plus of course with the kids outside more they have a daily quota of knocks, scratches and bruises to inflict on themselves.  And that’s why I refer to my tube of Aloe Gelly as first aid in a tube, because as long as it’s a skin issues, this stuff can work wonders!

Easier than carrying round a live Aloe Plant

The Forever Aloe Gelly that I use is literally having access to an Aloe plant wherever you are but without the hassle.  Plus of course the aloe plants that we can grow in England don’t have all the nutrients that an Aloe plant grown in the beautiful Dominican Republic has.  The clear gel inside the tube is basically what you would get from cutting off an Aloe leaf, slicing it open and carefully removing all the squishy gel stuff from inside.  The only additional is small quantities of fruit extracts that are added to preserve the Aloe so it doesn’t go off as soon as you open it!

So many uses

This clear Gelly can be applied to pretty much any skin complaint from cuts, scratches, stings, burns, blisters and spots.  In my experience it soothes the area and speeds up healing.  Just a word on burns, you need to keep applying the Gelly quite regularly when the burn first happens as the relief is only temporary.  It depends on how bad the burn is as to how long this period takes but once the initial pain dies down reduce the applications.  Having just inflicted a pretty severe burn on myself with hot olive oil I was cooking with, I can tell you this really makes a difference!

Those are the most obvious uses, but others I have found are on mouth ulcers, a hair strengthener (just apply to wet, freshly washed har – I promise it won’t feel sticky!) and for sore throats.  I wouldn’t say the Gelly tastes good but it doesn’t taste bad and if I can hold it on my sore throat for a while it is well worth it!

Pop a tube in your bag

Seriously, I don’t know what I’d do without it.  We’re at the park and the kids fall into stinging nettles, apply Gelly; they fall over and scratch themselves, apply Gelly; they get stung by an insect, apply Gelly; they are sunburnt, apply Gelly.  You get the idea!  Plus it works on adult humans alike and if you find an annoying spot starting to appear you can apply Gelly to that too!  It’s natural, it’s versatile, it doesn’t leave any stains and if you squidge out too much you can use it as a moisturiser anywhere as un-traumatised skin loves Aloe too!

Sweet Potato Dip

I love the addition of the chipotle chilli powder in this dip and it’s super easy to make.

Ingredients

  • I medium-sized sweet potato
  • 1/2 tbsp low-fat plain yoghurt
  • 1 tsp Forever Bee Honey
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chilli powder

Preparation

Heat the oven to 200°C.  Prick the potato in several places and bak for 40 minutes until soft.  Scoop out the soft flesh and leave to cool.  Once cool add the potato, yoghurt, honey and chilli powder to a food processor and blend until smooth.

Leave to cool in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving with carrot sticks, sugar snap peas or pitta bread.

Calories: 220 Fat: 0G

MPD (Multi Purpose Detergent)

It’s hard to get too excited about cleaning, it’s hardly a glamorous part of our lives right?  But, it’s necessary and so anything that makes the chore of cleaning a little easier while being a little kinder to not just the environment but also my hands has to be a good thing!

And that’s exactly what MPD does.  it’s a super-concentrated multi purpose cleaner that has a ridiculous amount of uses.  And that’s what makes cleaning simpler – having one detergent in your cupboard that works really well instead of the usual cupboard full of stuff that many of us have.

Multi-use making life simpler

MPD can be used for, but is not limited to:

  • Laundry
  • Hand washing dishes (but it’s not suitable for use in a dishwasher)
  • Pre-treatment for stained clothing
  • Carpet stains
  • Floors
  • Sinks
  • Bathrooms
  • Windows
  • Glass
  • Mirrors
  • Inside and outside of cars and caravans
  • Garden furniture
  • Decking
  • Pet bedding
  • And even your pets!

And because it’s super concentrated a little goes a long way so the bottle will last for ages.  You can even use it to make up spray bottles – just one teaspoon mixed with water is great for glass and windows and will cost you just 10p; while two teaspoons mixed with water makes a great all-purpose spray.

It cuts through grime, lifts grease and removes stains without scratching or marking surfaces.

Environmentally friendly

Some detergents aren’t great for the environment but MPD has been formulated with anionic and non-ionic surfactants which are biodegradable, thus reducing environmental and water pollution

Hand friendly

If your hands dry out as much as mine do when you’re cleaning then the fact that the non-abrasive formula also contains aloe vera will be welcome news to you too.  The aloe vera in for formula softens and conditions both hands and clothes plus it has a light fresh fragrance that doesn’t overpower your senses.

In summary…….

It’s a short post for this product but really there’s only so much you can say about a cleaning product – this one will save you space, is highly effective, economical to use, gentle on both hands and the environment and smells fresh.  That’s the cleaning sorted, time to move on to something more interesting then!