August has been a pretty good month all in all. We travelled home from a wonderful holiday in France at the start of the month. Work has calmed down a little which has been nice. In the middle of August, we went to Venice for the weekend, which was a fabulous birthday treat. It was so lovely and relaxed, no pressure to do anything, just wander the streets, soaking up the atmosphere. We did the cheesy tourist bit (gondola ride and bellinis are obligatory) and enjoyed some delicious food too.
Straight after that was a work trip to Sweden, then a weekend at Luton Hoo. That was also wonderful, fun with the children and an opportunity to catch up with family at a wedding on the Saturday. I was also treated to a salt scrub and aromatherapy massage, lucky girl. I really enjoyed just wandering around the grounds as well, they are stunning.
The bank holiday was my birthday – the big 4-0. More thoughts on that to follow but I had a really good day, from being brought breakfast in bed to a lovely lunch with friends and family.
I also made progress on another couple of areas on my to do list this year – I’ve done some sorting out of my finances and have cleared a few more bits out of the house. Slow and steady…
And now it’s September – one of my favourite months. The changing seasons always feel like a good opportunity for a personal review, and I always feel particularly optimistic in September. Perhaps because summer often doesn’t quite live up to it’s billing, autumn always feels full of promise – lots of festivals (Hallowe’en, Bonfire Night, Christmas on the horizon) and the promise of crisp mornings, beautiful foliage and comforting food.
For the last 2 years, I have started a 100 day real food challenge on 1st September. I’ve found this works really well for me as a reboot in the run up to Christmas, and I definitely feel better for it. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the summer, but not eaten as well as usual and my exercise routine has certainly taken a back seat over the last month. I’ve made lots of little changes to my diet over the last few years, so it’s by no means unhealthy, but my old nemesis, sugar, has crept in again in a fairly big way and it’s still possible to overeat healthy food!
Anyway, my “rules” for this challenge are as follows:
- No pre-packaged food with more than 5 ingredients or an ingredient I couldn’t add myself at home
- No refined sugar, and natural sugars in moderation
- No refined grains (white rice, pasta etc)
- Personally I choose not to eat wheat whilst I’m on the plan. I don’t avoid gluten per se as I still eat small amounts of rye bread, but personally I find I’m less bloated when I don’t eat bread etc
I’ve been a bit lax about setting specific goals over the past few months. Whilst the focus will be back on healthy eating, there are a few others in the mix too:
- Successfully complete first month of 100 day challenge
- Lose some of the weight I’ve put on over the summer (4lbs)
- Get back into planning meals
- Finish my finance sort out and implement my new budget (see meal planning above)