Finding A New Career at 30

Finding A New Career at 30

 

When I was at school I had always assumed that at the age of 18 (if not before) I would know exactly what I wanted to do and that I would do said profession until I was 60 when I would retire.

Skip forward 12 years and yeah..

I graduated from university with a 2:2 in Psychology, which is about as useful as a chocolate teacup in the world of psychology. Even now, since going on to complete two further masters, I still can’t pursue a career in psychology. Sucks eh?!

As it was a complete write off, I chose to go down a different ‘health’ avenue and became a therapist and if I’m honest, it’s been a battle ever since I’ve started training. At the moment, in order to remain in my chosen field and pay the bills, I’m finding that the only job I can get without moving house is to commute to Leicestershire and back every week (which in case you are wondering, is 640 miles A WEEK from Scotland). It’s very kind of my employer to create the arrangement that she has, but I’m 3 weeks in and I’m already crumbling.

I’ve made the executive decision to work towards changing careers. I’m a huge believer that life is too short to be unhappy and that I’ve spent the past 6 years fighting unnecessary battles (and it’s bloody expensive being a registered therapist). The only problem is I have no idea what I want to do. The only thing I know is that I’m really enjoying working on these blogs/vlogs and I like the concept of being self-employed. That is about as far as I’ve got in my new voyage of self-discovery. If you’ve got any suggestions for me, please do let me know!

Yes I am crying MANY tears. Yes I’m suffering from anxiety. No I can’t sleep. My brain feels FRIED. I’m supposed to be at a wedding right now and I’ve chosen not to go because I can’t face the ‘how’s the new job?’. I even curled my hair for tonight.

But I am holding on to the fact that this is just temporary. Nothing stays the same, and what’s for you won’t go by you. Something will change soon right?

Believe It or Not… It’s Possible to Eat and Be Healthy on a Budget.

Believe It or Not… It’s Possible to Eat and Be Healthy on a Budget.

Every one know’s pretty pictures of food lures people in! But don’t worry – this isn’t a post involving me being preachy about healthy eating.

I was once watching a yoga video and when she told me to breathe like I had gills,  I switched her off and went back to vegging on the sofa watching amazingly rubbish TV. I don’t want you to delete me from your history and forget I ever existed because I went  too far.

I was a self confessed oven food junkie a few years ago –  frozen pizza, frozen chicken grills, frozen burgers, frozen chips, frozen parsnips. You know, that stuff. In addition to that I’d also eat Maltesers and salt and vinegar crisps and any biscuit that was available. Oh and Batternberg. Nom.

When I started shunning yeast, I ended up living off spinach, halloumi and balsamic vinegar and cereal. This went on for a while and needless to say I got fed up pretty quickly. But I didn’t know what else I could eat.

When I first started Slimming World, I trundled off to Sainsburys and was horrified that our weekly shop was pushing £90! Now if you’ve ever lived in Surrey on healthcare wages, you know it’s either food or a roof over your head but you can’t have both.

About 5 years ago I would only buy branded items. If it was own brand it wasn’t going to happen (in hindsight, I don’t know how I afforded it all). However, in our run up to our wedding, I decided we needed to get serious about saving. I sat Tim down and said ‘it’s time we started going to Aldi’. It was met with reluctance.

With that, our shopping went from nearly £90 in Sainsbury’s (for 2 people) to £60 and now I’ve got it down to a fine art coming in at around £55. BUT it does require being savvy and I’m going to share some savvy with you:

Healthy Savvy

Almond Milk – this is an item you want to shop around for. Aldi are typically one of the cheapest but some of the other supermarkets will slip in with a £1 deal.

Berries – they vary massively over the year and depending on where you buy them, could have a very short shelf life. I have since decided to buy only frozen berries. Yes, it’s not the same but its £1.99 and they could last you ages. Mix it with yoghurt and nom nom nom.

Kale – I can’t stand the stuff but our rabbits love it. Very reasonable at Aldi.

Veg – Aldi (for example) have had some CRAZY offers on their vegetables recently (carrots, parsnips etc) with it being reduced to half price. Stock up for your roast dinner or make soups galore and freeze the soup. If you know how to blanche vegetables, now’s also a good time to try (I won’t be advising on this – I tried once and failed).

Meat – now it depends on your morals with this one. I used to buy fresh free range chicken breasts but being on a tight budget meant I’ve had to head over to the dark side of frozen chicken breasts. Just over £3 for 1kg of chicken and some of those chickens were well endowed if you get what I’m saying. For steak and mince it’s probably worth shopping around for, but it can be affordable.

Bread – these budget supermarkets offer a huge range (including soda bread farls for us yeast free people). I’m not aware of a GF range…. let me know if you find one!

Not So Healthy Savvy

Crisps – I’ve heard mixed reviews on crisps. Some people love them, some people hate them, some people can’t eat them because they all contain yeast (me). However, there is always offers on crisps in other supermarkets, so again, just see how you go.

Biscuits – no excuse. The replicas taste the same.

Chocolate – mixed reviews. I’d suggest trying it and see. It won’t taste like Galaxy, Dairy Milk or Lindt but it could still be equally as tasty and a fraction of the cost.

Fizzy drinks – OK. Bear with me on this. I am not a cheap Coke person. But as you may be very aware, fizzy drinks are getting more and more expensive… to the point of me asking can I even justify drinking them anymore (much to the joy of my dentist I expect). HOWEVER, Aldi do a Pepsi Max own brand version, which tastes nothing like Pepsi Max but is very palatable. And it’s as cheap as anything. It’s either 42p or 49p compared to the minimum of £1.29 for Pepsi Max!

Non-Edible Savvy

Shampoo – Aussie is a leading brand in the shampoo an3d is one I have used for years until I decided to brave it with Aldi’s version (which is half the price). Now I’m not saying I’ve inspected my many split ends under a telescope or take the chemical/nutritional composition of a hair strand (just makes phrases up at this point), but it looks and feels the same to me!

Shaving Gel – for the ladies… buy the man’s sensitive skin edition and you’ll be just fine.

Razor Blades – currently trialling. I’ll update you but so far so good.

Ladies items – Tampons – no. Stick with the brands we know and love. Sanitary towels – still testing but at 55p a pack, I’m willing to try and commit.

Toilet Rolls – I was always an Andrex snob and thought £4.99 was perfectly reasonable until I tried the £2 own brand version and I haven’t looked back (no, it’s not grease proof paper – does that stuff even still exist *shudders*).

My advise would be try for one week only. Again, you have nothing to lose and you could save yourself an absolute fortune. Even if I had all the money in the world (donations welcome), I’m not sure I could go back.

 

 

Yeast Free Recipe: All Day Breakfast Shakshuka

Yeast Free Recipe: All Day Breakfast Shakshuka

I’m not a huge cooked breakfast kinda gal. I much prefer cereal or fruit and yoghurt and will push to pancakes on special occasions.

However, the girls from my old job cooked this on my hen do and it was amazing!

The biggest mission with this is to find yeast free sausages but rest assured they do exist. The ones pictured are Scottish Slimmers chicken sausages but Aldi and Tesco do a pork chipolata which is also yeast free. Slimming World’s frozen sausages are another brand.

What you will need:

Sausages

Half a tin of baked beans

Half a tin of chopped tomatoes

Bacon (I used 2 rashers with the fat cut off)

Paprika

Chilli flakes

Egg

Cheese

So it’s supposed to baked in the oven but after being particularly ravenous I fried a lot of it.

Cook the sausages in a frying pan and add chopped up bacon when they’re about a third cooked.

Once the bacon is cooked, add the beans and chopped tomatoes and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the Paprika and chilli flakes and mix in.

I then transferred it all to an oven proof dish and added the egg and cheese.

Place it in the oven on about 190′ for 10-15 minutes (until the egg is done).

Bon appetit!

My Guide To Online Dating

My Guide To Online Dating

Now, I don’t want to come across as bragging but Tim was my first online date 😇

Prior to Tim I historically had TERRIBLE choice in men. So bad in fact I had a bit of a breakdown 3 months before I met him.

I am a self-confessed daddy issues kinda gal and therefore have some significant trust issues regarding men. When I do decide to trust a member of the opposite sex, it’s kind of a big deal and somehow some men can sense it and take advantage.

Anyway I digress. I had had enough of being messed around and made a fool of and I decided it was time to take action. Now obviously, I’m not as upto date on some of the dating apps e.g. Bumble, but I can say I dabbled with Match, OK Cupid, Tinder and Plenty of Fish. I filled in the thousand questions for that professionals only site and then found out I had to pay 🙄

Plenty of Fish was possibly my most successful platform. Well, I met Tim through POF so it was the most successful platform. But pre-Tim I had more interest on there than elsewhere and here are some tips I picked up along the way:

1) Even if you have been highly unsuccessful in the world of dating, you will have an idea of what you are looking for…even if it’s a case of just knowing what you are not looking for. Whichever way around it is, write it down and commit. Because once different people present themselves, it’s easy to get confused.

2) I know it’s the trend to date 25 people at once because it’s ‘time efficient’. Well, I disagree. I think it leaves people feeling confused, hurt and they lose the essence of what dating is about. Especially if you are looking for a significant other. Too many of my friends have become confused because too much is on offer. It’s like walking into a sweet shop. If you’ve decided to buy some candy, it’s highly unlikely you’re going to leave that store with just one chocolate bar. You may even leave with nothing.

3) Assuming they still ask you to put in your longest relationship, try to follow a rule of people who list 2 years+ – it generally shows they’re not afraid of commitment.

4) I also don’t believe in meeting people after 2 messages. Tim tried it and I turned him down. I don’t believe in spending my money and time on complete strangers, so I fobbed Tim off for a week before we met up and insisted we message daily in the meantime (politely of course).

5) Don’t respond to every message sent by every person. Some people do this and it fills me with sadness. I’m not saying everything is based on looks, but if you’re not even remotely attracted to someone’s profile picture, you are essentially leading that person on.

6) Online dating is brutal. It’s filled with rejection, objectifying people and passing judgement. Every couple of weeks I would take a break for a few days to refresh and gain some sanity back.

7) Don’t put pressure on yourself and don’t settle. In this day and age it’s fine to be single. Yes, there’s a few awkward moments when you’re the only single person in your friendship group and everyone’s putting pressure on you to be ‘less fussy’. Well ignore them because they wouldn’t lower their expectations if the shoe was on the other foot. I have to say that now I’m in my 30s and we’re coming out the other side, about half my friends are now single and having a great time!

8) When it’s time to go on the date, don’t settle for a drink in a bar unless that’s all you can afford. On our first date, Tim took me to London Zoo and once we established it wasn’t going to be awkward, we followed it with dinner and the date lasted 9 hours in all.

9) Try not to put out on the first date, especially if you are wanting to settle down. Go home and reflect on how the date went and how you got on. Are they worth a second date? Did they appear into you? Did they do anything extra special to show they were into you?

Obviously these rules have only been tried and tested on one person… Me. With 100% success of course. But what have you got to lose? At worst it’s just going to mix things up a bit.

Let me know how you get on!

I Lost Weight, Felt Great and Met My Soulmate

I Lost Weight, Felt Great and Met My Soulmate

Firstly, I’m really proud of the title of this post. Very satisfying.

Anyway, we are not here to sit and oggle at true art but instead discuss the above. I had always contemplated having a weight loss blog and no doubt as it evolves, more health and fitness will sneak in (you know, when I actually manage to make it to the gym and stuff).

I have been battling with my weight really since I was about 11. I had a hiatus hernia from birth and therefore spent my childhood throwing up most of what I ate. Suddenly I stopped throwing up and the weight piled on. I looked like I’d been puffed up with air which wasn’t great for my self-esteem and nor did it make me popular with the boys (I don’t mean at the age of 11 by the way ha).

I have tried 99% of the diets out there; probably the only ones I haven’t tried is the cabbage diet and that one Beyonce did with the lemons and the honey. Still not sure how I feel about cabbage or drinking weird stuff.

The first time I properly lost weight was when I was diagnosed with gallstones at 19 (it’s only as I write this do I realise what a sickly person I am!). Anyway, fat consumption pisses off gallstones, so I cut out all fat until my operation meaning that I was only really eating 800-1000 calories a day and I lost about 10lbs in 6 weeks. Three weeks after the operation I started eating fat and put it all back on (and some more).

In 2012, I went back to uni to complete my masters at a university in London and although the Fitbit hadn’t hit the shelves at the time, I’d guess I was walking at least an hour every day. I also had the love bug (pre-Tim and in hindsight wasn’t remotely love) which meant I wasn’t too hungry and was eating betweeen 1000-1500 calories a day.

I should probably mention at this point that I’m a short arse at 5ft 1″ so probably don’t require the recommended 2000 calories a day.

Anyway the combination of walking considerably more and eating less SHOCKINGLY made me lose 35lbs! At the time I wasn’t consciously trying to lose weight and it was about 6 months before I realised what had happened (players be keepin’ me busy with their games). I had shrunk from a size 16 (pushing an 18) to a size 10!

Post the 2012 situation with a boy or two, I decided to knuckle down and find myself a husband. I will discuss how I did this in another blog shortly. I was feeling good about my size and my weight and it paid off as I got very lucky and managed to locate Tim who put up with all my boy issues and still managed to fall in love with me. That boy deserves a medal.

For our wedding last year I was conscious of toning up for the shores of Aruba (by the way, I’m really sorry I keep banging on about Aruba but I’m still grieving as I miss it so much) so I signed up to Joe Wicks 90 Day SSS Plan. Although I only lost officially 2lb, I managed to shed 11 inches overall (and I didn’t even finish the plan) which meant my wedding dress did up (THANK YOU JOE!). It was Joe that actually got me into doing HIITs and if you’re going to make me exercise I’m either going to swim or I’m going to do a HIIT.

Joe is another one that rarely uses yeast so again very useful for providing me with some tasty recipes and I have since gone on to adapt for normal living. His plan is really designed for you doing several HIIT sessions a week and with all my crazy driving and my complicated love/hate relationship with my job, I’m just not motivated at the moment.

I’ve managed to maintain that weight loss for the past 5 years but have noticed the scales starting to creep back up so I’m intervening quickly. So far I’ve lost 5lbs since the middle of March which I’m rather chuffed with.  I’ve signed up to Weightwatchers and I’m doing their No Count plan which is kind of like Slimming World but not. Perhaps a little more strict on the sweet treats dare I say. You can keep up to date with what I’m munching on on my Instagram page if you’re really interested.

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PS Confession time – whilst I’ve been writing this post, Tim has literally been feeding me chocolate. He doesn’t even know what I’m blogging about! Hilarious.

Yeast Free Recipe: Curried Parsnip Soup

Yeast Free Recipe: Curried Parsnip Soup

Soup

Sorry about that blob in the middle.

This soup won’t be for everybody but I find it a very satisfying soup (and I’m not even a big soup fan). It’s really convenient for lunches and makes a decent sized portion (this is half of it).

What do you need?

  • About 4 parsnips
  • 1 White Onion
  • 1-2tsp of curry powder
  • Optional: Hot sauce

Cut up the parsnips and onion and add to a pan of hot water (along with the curry powder). Cook on medium heat until the parsnips are soft.

Depending on your blender, either let it cool or blend straight away. Depending on the thickness determines how water you drain out. I tend to leave the water in when blending to make it less stodgy.

The reason I choose water over stock is that it’s very tricky to find a stock without yeast in. I believe Kallo does some but I am yet to find it.

I then add the hot sauce afterwards for extra spice.

Yeast free, easy to make and filling.

What It’s Like To Give Up Yeast

What It’s Like To Give Up Yeast

Interesting fact: yeast was in the top 15 for causing anaphylaxis when I completed my BLS training.

Fortunately for me, that wasn’t my reaction to yeast and it was just random guessing that made me realise yeast was the problem.

I used to get REALLY itchy legs. So itchy in fact that I was worried that if I ever had a seizure, I would end up being sectioned because I looked like I went hard on self-harm. I wish I was joking.

At the time of my realisation (due to my mother’s random guessing), everyone was beginning to speculate about gluten and dairy intolerances and that’s what made me think about looking at what I ate. I was discussing it with said mother who suggested yeast could be the cause. She reported that my Dad used to be sick after just one beer and that that had yeast in it too.

I decided to bite the bullet and try the Candida diet. At the time, I was much more of an oven food kinda gal, and vegetables were an alien concept. Which essentially meant I didn’t have a whole lot to eat. I committed for a week and noticed I was having the effects that the Candida diet suggested I might have (I won’t disclose as it’s gross. Google if you’re that interested ha).

Once *that* had happened, I noticed my legs were a lot less itchy and starting to heal. Then I was left with ‘shit, what am I going to eat now?!’. I started googling and noticed that Slimming World synned yeast. It was there in black and white. Needless to say I joined pretty quickly.

Since then, we’ve seen the revolution of healthy eating and everything is made from scratch now. Don’t get me wrong, I still miss pizza and genuinely experience grief that I can’t have a McDonald’s burger bun. Stopping at the services results in either bankrupting myself at Waitrose or Marks and Spencer, or turning to chocolate. I did have a slip where I ate something with yeast in (transpires Stollen is a bread and not cake) and I can confirm that me and yeast are done. Over. Never again.

It also means I can’t eat other fungus foods (yum) like mushrooms, sour cream, grapes. The list goes on.

So apologies in advance if you ever invite me over for dinner but even my Mum manages to fail every time and I end up running out to the shops.