Writing Wednesday Vlog – Part 1

Cancer & Me, Vlogs, Writing & Blogging

Hello all,

This is something that I have been putting together for a while and I am SO pleased to finally be uploading my first Writing Wednesday Vlog.

This series is really about the joy of writing and living more creatively. Using writing to help you through trauma or negative experiences, or just for the plain fun of it!

I really hope that you enjoy this vlog and if you do please share the love.

Happy Watching x

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What it’s Really Like to Write a Book about Cancer

Cancer & Me, Writing & Blogging

It wasn’t easy writing a book about one of the worst experiences I’ve had to encounter. I remember when writing the section about chemotherapy, I swear I could feel the cannula in my hand and the chemo seeping up my arm. Similarly when writing about the emotional side of cancer, reliving the rollercoaster once again and remembering points I was so low I wanted to give up, I came away from my computer crying.

Read the rest of the article on Medium

This weekend ‘The Fabulous Woman’s Guide Through Cancer’ is only 99p on Kindle

book cover

 

That Dreaded Day

Cancer & Me, Journey Back to Health

There is a time in every cancer survivors year when a dreaded day (or two…) comes around.  They are of course the dreaded check-ups!

I remember the first time I had to go back for a check up, pushing back the tears as I arrived the hospital.  The familiar sights and smells… immediately I felt like I was driving back for yet another chemotherapy appointment or to get some more “it’s worse than we initially thought” type horrible news.

I have gone so far as to actively try and avoid these dreaded days but they always catch up with you, usually encouraged by husband saying “Nic, what’s happening with your appointment?”  “seriously Nic, what’s happening?”

Well I couldn’t make the last appointment so I will rebook… you know…. next month… or maybe the month after… no rush hey?!

“Actually Nic – yes, there is.  Your delaying the inevitable and if there is something wrong, the sooner you find out…”

So annoying when ‘people’ are right.

The problem is the nerves don’t start as you get to your appointment.  They probably start about a month before, when you know the appointment is coming.  It’s not like it’s consuming my every thought or anything but it’s just… there.  It’s like a star that’s about to collapse -it has a fire burning inside and the stronger it gets, the more it silently consumes itself from the inside.

So that is where I have been for the last few months.  Burning up and having check-up’s which have confirmed I am still all clear (yay).

I have also been having some internal scar tissue (that has been problematic ever since the surgery and continues to be so) treated – basically the scar tissue in my cervix is growing abnormal cells which if left could turn cancerous… seriously…  You have to love the irony – it won’t because they are all over it but still… It’s surprisingly all-consuming when these dreaded days are going on.

But I’m back, and wondering, is there anything that you would specifically like me to write about over the coming weeks?

If not I shall be left to my own devices – equally fine.

But, as I say, it has not been all bad by any means- quite the opposite in fact, so here are some photo’s from my wonderful mothers day surprise – an awesome day out with my lovelies.

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#100ActiveDays – Day 95

#100ActiveDays

Day 95 – Walk around The Great Park, Windsor 

I got to go somewhere a little different for my walk today.  After spending time on a literary weekend in Windsor today we got to go for a long walk through the great Windsor Park, with amazing views of Windsor castle.  Thankfully we have had a bright, sunny, relatively mild day and it was so amazing to get out in the sunshine and blow the cobwebs away.  Was awesome!

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Clean Cocoa Coconut Bites

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Family Matters, Health & Beauty, Journey Back to Health

This is based on a recipe from Honestly Healthy a fabulous cookbook full of healthy clean recipes that I can’t recommend enough.  What I love most, especially during my 100 Healthy Days and since giving up processed sugar is the snacks and desserts section.  Yes they can be clean and here is one of my favourite at the moment….

I made mine slightly differently to the recipe to keep a cupcake type vibe which I knew would be more appealing to my little fussy easters.

  • 10 fresh pitted Dates
  • 50g Cacao powder
  • 25g raw Almonds
  • 200g Coconut Flakes
  • 30g Agave syrup
  • 1 tbsp Xylitol (I actually didn’t use this as I wasn’t able to get any in time)
  • 2 tbsp Water (I used filtered)
  • I also added tiny Coconut Flakes for dusting

This recipe couldn’t be easier – Pre-heat the over to 180

Chuck the dates, cacao powder and almonds into the blender and blend until it becomes a sticky paste (I don’t have a high powered blender so this did take a while and a bit of digging it out from under the blades and restarting but that was fine).

Chuck in everything else and blend till its a touch choppy consistency.

I popped my mixture into small cupcake cases, as I’ve said I knew my kids would prefer it and I thought it would make transporting them easier.

Pop in the oven for 10 minutes.

I then sprinkled very fine coconut flakes over the top.

photo

Allow the bites to cool completely before eating and there you have it.  Yummy goodness to pacify any sweet tooth and no nasties.  My husband actually didn’t believe I hadn’t included any sugar they tasted so good.

Happy eating! x

Day 36 – 100 Healthy Days – Keeping Momentum High

Health & Beauty, Journey Back to Health

There is no doubt that it was easier for me to stay healthy whilst in Spain.  The heat, swimming pool and delicious salads made it easier for me to eat healthy and move more everyday.  It’s when I’m home I seem to struggle, especially with sugar and caffeine.  I just get so tired with the kids etc… so it has to be done!

photoI know I said that I wasn’t going to ‘give up’ anything but as things are going quite well and want to keep moving in the right direction I decided to give up processed sugar.  As well as wanting to be healthier I have given up sugar due to the horrible fatigue I have been feeling ever since having cancer as a way to try and help combat that.  I am on day 6 now and it is going well.  Apart from on day 4 when I accidentally had sugar in a drink I didn’t realise it was in (we will come onto hidden sugars in due course) but basically….  I have been making some ‘clean’ desserts as fab alternatives, including these delicious Cocoa Coconut Bites that are also a hit with the children – win win!

Moving wise I have taken the plunge and hired a personal trainer to make sure I keep exercising regularly and get the most out of my workouts.  I will be starting with her on Thursday so in the mean time I keep moving and getting out and about and my Davina DVD’s whenever I can.  Even when it was raining at the weekend, hubby the kids and I all got our wellies on a headed into the woods for a long country walk, heaven!

So 36 days in I would say that one thing that has been interesting is the effect I believe it is having on my children.  They are getting out and about more and their diet has definitely improved as I find healthy or clean alternatives and – if I’m honest – I don’t want to be tempted by them eating something yummy I’m not allowed so I’m not giving them things I would have on occasion before.  All in all I believe it is having a positive impact on the whole family, which is only ever good news in my eyes.

The Re-Energiser Mini One Day Detox

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Health & Beauty, Journey Back to Health

My lovely friend Nikki is a little fountain of knowledge when it comes to leading a gorgeous healthy life.  A while ago she emailed me about a Re-Energising Mini One Day Detox she was planning telling me that she decided to do the detox because she had been feeling really sluggish and tired, she had seriously low energy and just generally felt worn out and run down.  She had also been drinking way to much coffee.

Basically feeling like she needed to press the reset button – think we can all relate to that feeling without really knowing what to do.

So what Nikki was doing on her day….

Firstly she chose a quiet day, when there wouldn’t be too many temptations, and then kept to this plan…

  • Morning
    • Green tea or warm water with lemon juice
    • Coffee enima (optional but think they can be bought on the internet)
    • Green Juice
    • 20 minutes of exercise.  This can be a jog, yoga, running up and down the stairs, just get moving!
  • Lunch
    • Green tea or warm water with lemon juice
    • Green Juice
    • Eat cucumber
  • Afternoon
    • Green Juice
    • Eat some cucumber
    • Do some gentle stretches
    • Relax or do some sorting around the house etc…
  • Dinner
    • Chamomile enima
    • Green Juice
    • Herbal tea
    • A good 8 hours of sleep
  • Drink 1.5 litres of water.  Nikki boiled the water, aded a green tea bag, waited for it to cool then put it back into the bottle to sip throughout the day.

Ever since she emailed me about it I have been dying to know how she got on because I actually think this sounds like quite a cool day.  I finally caught up with her this week and she said

“I felt fantastic, I can’t explain what a difference it made.  We had family staying the week before it had been so busy and I felt so depleted but after that day, I felt so well again and just boosted.  Plus the bloating I was feeling from too much indulging on rich food was gone.  I can’t recommend it enough.”

Well that’s me sold!  This will for perfectly into my 100 Healthy Days so I have actually scheduled my detox day in my diary for 3rd August so I don’t make any other plans and am going to have a quiet Sunday with the family where I can detox and recharge.  Will let you know how I get on but if you are feeling like you need a re-charge, maybe its worth a try?  What do you think?  Any detox tips?

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100 Healthy Days – And So It Begins

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Journey Back to Health

Today is Day 2 of 100 Healthy Days.  If you have read my blog previously you will probably know that I am a total sugar addict, adore carbs and live for cheese.  Anything that your not supposed to eat on a healthy diet, I am totally and irrevocably in love with.  And its true love, the kind that lasts a lifetime.  So how do I break up with this love?  I figure its by loving myself more?!

My Green Juice - Kale, Cucumber, Avocado, Celery and Pineapple

My Green Juice – Kale, Cucumber, Avocado, Celery and Pineapple

I’m tired, I have put on weight, I had cancer which has strong links to diet.  I go through phases of eating well then eating crap then somewhere in the middle and this is what has led me to 100 Healthy Days.  I have seen the 100 Happy Days on Facebook and 100 Active Days on Twitter, there seem to be many versions of this 100 day campaign going on so I decided to make my own that would suit me.  They say it takes 30 days to make or break a habit so I am hoping after 100, it will become standard behaviour, even to a sugar-freak like me – that’s the plan anyway?!

I have found many versions of healthy eating and exercise, all with varying degrees of strictness so here is what I am going to do – I am not ‘giving up’ anything.  I know me (surprisingly) and if I do that, I will do nothing but think about what I can’t have and be eating chocolate covered ice-cream before you can say Green Juice.  This for me will all be about making better and healthier choices; for me that means;

  • Making fruit and vegetables the bulk of my diet.
  • Drinking at least 2 litres of water a day.
  • Drinking a Green Juice everyday.
  • Switching white for wholemeal grains.
  • Choosing homemade food from fresh and clean ingredients.

That sort of thing.

Book-Cover-2X8lTc1A few websites I have found valuable in deciding how to do this are Deliciously Ella and 100 Days of Real Food (you are allowed wine in this one, result) and Cookbooks wise it’s, Honestly Healthy by Natasha Corrett and Vicki Edgson and Clean and Lean Cookbook by James Duggan.

I don’t believe good health just come’s down to food, it’s exercise too.  For that my mantra will be Move More!  So even if it is just to walk somewhere locally that I would normally drive too, that will be more movement and get me my ‘Move More’ gold star for the day… Ohhh, I may actually make a sticker chart to hang next to the kids,  such a geek, I know!

Sticker charts aside.  My first day went well eating wise and today has gone well moving wise.  Tomorrow I’m hoping for a bit more of a combination of the both.  But I am pleased, all moving in the right direction.  Just knowing I have decided to do this for 100 day’s seems to have made a big difference in my dedication to what I’m doing.

Coincidently, flicking through Good Housekeeping last night I found an article about giving anything up for 100 days and the impact it can have (what are the chances) and the author was specifically referencing the website Give It 100, you can do absolutely anything as long as it’s for 100 days and the site encourages users to post a daily blog charting their progress.  They are inspirational and worth a look even if you aren’t sure about going ahead, or maybe you will be inspired to do 100 of something else.

Clean Banana Breakfast Pancakes Recipe under Delicious Healthy Recipes

Clean Banana Breakfast Pancakes
Recipe under Delicious Healthy Recipes

Needless to say I will be updating my progress intermittently throughout the next 100 day’s, don’t worry you won’t be getting daily updates, but if you don’t already you can follow this blog by popping your email address in the box to the right (on a computer, below on your phone) and clicking follow and get updates straight to your inbox.

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Wish me luck! Nx

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 16 – Go Green

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Health & Beauty, Health and Beauty Tips, Journey Back to Health

Flood Your Body with Goodness with Green Juice

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 16 – Go Green

The thought of drinking a Green Smoothie can be a little scary, mainly because it doesn’t sound great.  It is an acquired taste, but the fruit is essential as it helps balance out the bitterness.

images-5I have found the most wonderful recipe on an awesome website for you to look at, it even includes a Beginners Juice with a softer taste so if you are interested but not 100% sure where to start, you need to visit 100 Days of Real Food.

Honestly, give it a go, it’s not that bad and the benefit is immense – balance your body’s natural pH, flood your body and cells with goodness quickly and effectively, breaking down the fruit and veg in the blender lessens the load on the body’s digestion,

You can make your juice and put it in a jam jar so you can take it with you when on the move..

Happy juicing x

 

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 12 – Drink Tea

Health & Beauty, Health and Beauty Tips

Time for Tea

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 12 – Drink Tea

There is now scientific proof that drinking tea is good for you!

According to scientists at University College London a cup of tea reduces levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) and according to a study by Kings College London, drinking 4 cups of tea found that drinking tea can be better for you than drinking water because of the antioxidants (which are great for preventing DNA damage and most importantly wrinkles) in tea – especially Green Tea.

images-3

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Happy Drinking x