Diets, decisions and dropping-out.

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It’s been a while since I posted on here, I’ve been a bit busy with this and that. So here’s an update of what I’ve been up to recently.

 

1 – The diet went a bit downhill. Note the word: went. I started to feel a bit ill and naff so I started binging on things that I definitely shouldn’t have. Hence, I put on all the weight I lost. I’m dissapointed at myself, but now I’m home I definitely have more of a motive to lose weight, and it’s going to be a hell of a lot easier now I’m not going to be drinking so much. Alcohol is the enemy of all diets. At the moment I’m super motivated and I’ve been trying really hard! I went on a run the other day, my shins are still a bit dodgy, but I’m gonna start off slow and build up. I was a bit gutted that I didn’t lose any weight this week seeing as I stuck to my diet perfectly, but I’m just gonna keep going and hopefully lose a fair bit next week! So I’m officially back on track!

 

2 – I dropped out of university. Yes, I’m officially a drop-out! I couldn’t be happier. In my eyes, university was never the be-all and end-all of everything – I didn’t really even want to go in the first place after struggling big-time in college. But I went whilst the fees are lower, knowing that I always had the chance to drop out if I wanted to. It was a big decision for me, and personally, I never take decisions lightly. I think too much and use my head. With a lot of things in life that’s good, but this time I knew (and had been told by people close to me) that I needed to follow my heart. So that’s what I did.

The course was alright, yeah. I liked the lecturers and I got on well with the people on it. But when I really thought about it, I didn’t want to spend the next two years writing essays and sitting exams, revising and working hard. I felt like I just needed to get out into the world and do stuff. I struggled to be the academic type that a lot of my friends are.

At the end of the day, I realised I wasn’t happy there. I was becoming run-down and ill, I was unhappy 80% of the time and I just generally missed home. I missed the beach, the forest, walking my dog and seeing my family and closest friends. I had none of that at uni. Now I’m back I can do all of these things, and I just feel so much better and happier. I know that now I can do whatever I want, a degree isn’t somehting I feel I need to live my life to the fullest.

I know that a lot of people might slate me for my decision, and think I am throwing away a great opportunity, but for me, my happiness and well-being comes first, and I definitely feel better in myself when I’m at home.

University was fun for a while, but it just wasn’t for me. It would have been a lot easier for me to just stay on, but after visiting friends and family I knew that it wasn’t the path I wanted to take.

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Wear Sunscreen

This is my favourite speech/article/whatever you want to call it. It’s by Mary Schmich. I have the song version on my iPod and it cheers me up whenever I’m feeling crappy. I thought I’d share it with you.

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

5 things you need to stop tweeting about:

Ah, Twitter. Full of interesting news, funny jokes and crazy facts,  all summed up in 140 characters or less. However, there are also those mindless idiots who feel it is necessary to share the most pointless shit that I really don’t care about. I’m not saying I’m totally innocent, but some people just don’t know where to draw the line. Here’s a list of 5 things that I really hate appearing on my home page:

  1. ‘Happy birthday (insert teenage celebrity name here)’: I do not care if it’s Taylor Swift’s 21st birthday or if Justin Bieber has just reached adulthood. I don’t want it on my list of trends replacing something more important. Also, don’t go on about how proud you are that they have reached that age – you’re 13 years old, not their mother.
  2. ‘I’m so miserable, when will I ever find a girlfriend, blablabla hate my life’: I don’t go on Twitter to look at an excessive amount of tweets from one person about how unhappy they are. If you are that miserable, go and do something about it, rather than mope about on your computer and bore everyone with your miserable life.
  3. Don’t retweet everything: Ok, if something is interesting enough then retweet it, but don’t retweet every single thing that you like! If I wanted to follow someone, I would. I don’t want their posts clogging up my homepage just because you think it’s great that they built a new cat-flap or something.
  4. ‘I’m going to give you some pointless information you don’t care about’: Don’t just tweet for the sake of it! You wouldn’t tell someone in real-life what colour your toenails are, so why would anyone care on Twitter?
  5. Those tweets that are obviously aimed at someone, but are purposely vague so you can’t tell who: They deliberately draw attention to yourself, whether you want it or not, because people will be wondering who your tweet is about. Personally, if someone had a problem with me I’d rather they told me themselves, rather than writing a sly, nameless tweet about me.

Just to balance it out, here are a few things I do enjoy seeing:

  1. Jokes: Especially good/rude ones. A bit of entertainment is always good.
  2. News: I like the news! Twitter is great because you can often find out important things going on in the world before they have gotten on telly. It’s also summed up nicely so you don’t get all of the boring bits.
  3. Pictures: It’s pretty cool to see pictures of amusing or interesting things going on all around the world. However, I don’t care about your new spice-rack.
  4. Dogs: Who doesn’t love dogs?! Dog pictures are great.

Follow me @KCsaid

Five bad food habits you need to stop!

Another fantastic article on Runner’s World that I thought was worth sharing with you. These are 5 bad dietary habits that are easy to do and very common. It’s important that you stop them ASAP if you want to keep your performance and energy high!

  1. That daily Starbucks: Or coffee in general. It’s always easier to start your day with a huge coffee and plenty of sugar, but you will pay for it later when your energy levels drop big-time. Shocking stats: Research shows that the most popular ‘blended coffee drinks’ in the biggest coffee chains contain on on average 239kcal – that’s a good 20 minutes on the rowing machine! AND, drinking one a day will set you on the path to gain one and a half stone within a year! Try and drink green tea, it’s full of anti-oxidants that counteracts damaging effects of the free radicals released when you exercise.
  2. Skipping breakfast so you can have a lie-in:Everyone does it! However, your liver uses loads of energy stored from the previous day to keep you going in your sleep, so by the morning there’s nothing left. It’s important to eat a decent breakfast to keep you going through the day, such as porridge or eggs on toast.
  3. Improperly fuelling your daytime runs: It’s important that you fuel your body after you have been running. You need to eat a decent amount of carbs within 30 minutes of completing your exercise in order to restore your glycogen levels and stop your blood sugar from getting too low. If you add in some protein too, it boosts protein synthesis. A ham sandwich or beans on toast would be ideal.
  4. Bingeing on biscuits: Everyone loves a sugar high! However, it’s followed by a low and a large drop in energy levels. If you swap the biscuits for a more nutritious snack like nuts or yoghurt, you will keep your insulin and sugar levels stable. There’s also less risk of them being stored as fat.
  5. Getting on the beers: Beer, wine and spirits all hinder your rehydration. By having one-too-many at the pub after exercising, you will end up with a worse hangover and your performance will suffer the next day. Try to have a glass of water in between each drink to keep you hydrated and prevent the dreaded hangover!

So there you have it: 5 dietary bad habits that can stop you from feeling your best when you’re exercising regularly.

Cheap and easy – healthy thai green curry.

This is a first for me, I’m not really a cooking expert, but I thought I’d share this with you seeing as I basically live off it. It’s my easy-peasy thai green curry:

Ok, I know what you’re thinking – it looks like crap. But a) my phone camera is awful, and b) I’m not a bloody masterchef – I don’t really think about presenting my food. Putting this on the blog was an after-thought. However it does taste delicious, so please have some faith in me. Also, it’s clearly not very green – I’m sorry but I have no explanation for that.

So here’s what you need:

  • Chicken – enough for however many people are eating it.
  • 1 or 2 tsp Thai green curry paste – I use this one.
  • Onion, chopped – However much you fancy really.
  • Stir-fry Vegetables – You can put anything you want in it really though.
  • Philadelpia light cheese – 120g for 4 people. Divide as applicable.
  • 4tbsp milk – Again, divide as applicable.
  • Noodles or rice – I prefer it with noodles, but it’s just as nice with rice.

(As you can tell, I’m not really one for measuring. I normally just put a rough amount of everything in. It depends on how hungry you are!)

And here’s how you do it:

  • Heat a large, non-stick pan and add the chicken, curry paste and onion.
  • Fry for 6-8 minutes, or until the chicken is totally cooked.
  • Add the stir-fry veg for 2-3 minutes until cooked.
  • Add the Philadelphia and milk and stir until melted.
  • Serve with noodles or rice.

That’s it. It’s so easy! You can see why it is basically the staple of my diet. ALSO, be careful with the curry paste, some are hotter than others. Either way, your sinuses will certainly be cleared after you’ve eaten it!

Each serving (without rice or noodles) is roughly 300 calories, so it’s not unhealthy either!

I might not be super-chef of the world, but please take my word for it. This tastes fantastic.

Happy birthday Cosmo!

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I just got my newest issue of Cosmopolitan through in the post today, I’ve been waiting for it! It’s by far the best magazine for women out there, and the handy travel-sized version never leaves my handbag.

Cosmo celebrates its 40th birthday this year. 40 years of brilliant reading for ‘fun, fearless females’. Cosmo has never failed to bring us the latest fashions, beauty tips, sex facts and hard hitting stories on issues that are affecting women all over the world. 

Cosmopolitan lets you indulge in all those cringey stories that you hope never happen to you, and it gives you the answers to all those questions you never wanted to ask your mum. It keeps you up to date with the hottest new clothes, and informs you of all the latest beauty products that you want in your make-up bag. Not only that, but there’s loads on sex and never a shortage of gorgeous men to look at.

I wouldn’t call myself a feminist – I’m not all up for kicking and screaming about equal rights – but by reading Cosmo, it makes me feel like I’m part of a huge community. Not only in the magazine, but through the website too, a space is provided for women to talk about anything from the best new mascara to domestic violence. It provides a voice for women that you just can’t help but relate to yourself. Not only this, but Cosmo has campaigned on several pressing issues that women face, such as rape and domestic violence.

So thank you, Cosmopolitan for 40 years of enjoyable reading and strong support for women everywhere. I can’t remember the last time where I didn’t have an issue on my desk, and I can’t imagine a future without it.

10 (healthy) foods I couldn’t live without:

I LOST ANOTHER 1LB THIS WEEK! That’s 4lbs in two weeks. I’m very happy with myself, especially seeing as I had a major binge on saturday involving pizza, KFC, cookies – the whole works. All that hard work at the gym definitely paid off. Unfortunately, I’ve been getting major pains in my shins again, so that writes me off the treadmill for a little while. Doesn’t mean I can’t use other machines though!

Anyway, here are 10 foods that I couldn’t live without on my diet:

  1. Fat-free yoghurts: These are my addiction! Luckily, I can eat as many as I want, so they are always a useful snack to have in the fridge.
  2. Mattessons Fridge Raiders: These are the shit. They are basically little bits of 100% chicken breast, meaning they are full of yummy protein and perfectly fine to eat! Only the roast flavoured ones though – the others have loads of not-so-good flavourings on them.
  3. Pepsi Max: Ok, it’s not a food, but it’s still amazing! It helps to curb my hunger and has no sugar in it. When it’s not on special offer, regular diet cola will do.
  4. Stir-fried vegetables: are amazing. Especially with lots of soy sauce. Now I am eating a lot healthier I start to crave them. They basically go with every meal.
  5. Oranges: The master of all fruits. They might not be as filling and nutritious as bananas, but they taste a whole lot better.
  6. Baked beans: You can have them with anything! Toast, jacket potatoes, even straight out of the tin with a spoon.
  7. Porridge: I have come to the conclusion that this is the best breakfast ever. It always keeps me filled up and starts me off feeling fab. Flavoured porridge > normal porridge.
  8. Super low fat noodles:  Only the super low fat ones. You are comitting diet suicide if you think you can eat the regular ones all the time. Luckily, the low fat ones I can eat as many as I like.  An incredibly decent snack when you have the 3pm munchies.
  9. Pickled onions:Or eggs. Any kind of pickled food. I looove them! Unfortunately, they aren’t so good if you are planning to go out on the town that night.
  10. Mug shots: So easy and quick, and a lot more filling than any cuppa soup. AND the whole range has less than 3% fat. Just don’t get the creamy ones.

All of these are great things to eat if you are trying to lose some weight or make your diet a bit healthier.

Here’s a list of 5 things that you would NOT give me if you had any care for my health and wellbeing, and if you didn’t want a punch in the face:

  1. Cake: It’s fantastically amazing and makes me incredibly happy. But then incredibly sad about an hour later.
  2. Chocolate digestives: My biggest weakness. I have been known to demolish a whole packet in about 10 minutes.
  3. Pizza Hut buffet: Never take me there. Or any kind of buffet for that matter. ‘All you can eat’ means you have to eat as much as you physically can – I see it as a challenge.
  4. Pringles: Once you pop, you can’t stop.
  5. Sweets: Any kind really, but especially fizzy ones.