Ten things to improve my life, health and happiness

Brain chemistry

I guess it’s true that we all need more of something in our lives because life can be a balancing act on a set of wobbly scales. The thoughts I am gathering together here are in no way unique – I’m not claiming to be either a scientist, nutritionist or healer but I am fascinated by brain science (the easily understood version), and the way in which the choices we make about what we put into our bodies, our thought patterns and our actions can trigger brain chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins – all of which add up to a natural high, a feeling of well-being and peace with who we are and where we’re at in life.

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Why skipping sleep is a false economy

snoopy sleepingLast night I went to bed early. This is something which I have been promising myself for ages – and I mean like, forever. Normally I tell myself I will be in bed, lights out, eyes shut by ten pm. In reality I never, ever, manage this – there is always something to be reading, writing or just looking at. To be honest, I do blame blogging quite a bit – either I’m doing something blog-related earlier on and then want to squeeze in a bit of ‘downtime’ later, or the other way round, and you know, even though I am a complete failure on the social media – I still spend hours scrolling through the blooming feeds – total FOMO! I’m sure I’m not alone.

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The Truth about… exercise post-birth

Pizza not exercise

Before I had my first child back in September 2009 I was a member of a gym. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some kind of fitness fanatic, but I was aware that exercise was unavoidable if you wish to have any semblance of a figure post-30. I would run on the treadmill, spend some time on the cross trainer, the rowing machine and do a few of the weight machines for core strengh. I also combined that with going for a run, particularly in the summer months.

The hubster was, and still is, a bit of a fitness fanatic. He religiously runs and goes to the gym, does weights, enters competitive runs and takes part in our local Park Run every Saturday morning, even if he was working late the night before. (His dad reckons it’ll be the death of him 🙂 ).

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Chased by a Gruffalo!

Gruffalo at Alice Holt

The Saturday just gone was a real experience for my little JJ. His dad is a Parkrun devotee and has been a regular at many of our local parks, Guildford, Frimley, Rushmoor and Alice Holt Forest for the past couple of years. We often go and watch him and cheer him on, especially if the run takes him past a nice little playground or cafe :-). The idea is to do a timed 5K run with other like minded people (lots of families, children, even dogs and kids in buggies being pushed around for the ride of their lives!). Its not a competition but a chance to try and push yourself to a personal best each week. The hubster is, quite frankly, obsessed with the whole thing.

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Health kick: smoothies, juices and scenic cycle rides

Yesterday I put a little bit of theory into motion. On Monday night I ordered a lot of fruit and veggies and after dropping the kids off in their respective Tuesday places, I went home and broke out the old smoothie making machine. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going for to begin with so I grabbed a left over half avocado, handful of strawberries, handful of blueberries, big bundle of fresh baby spinach leaves and whizzed it all up with some coconut water. I forgot to take a piccie – it looked a bit murky to be honest – but it tasted nice and the avocado really did lend a creaminess to it. Then I thought I’d try one of Katrina’s (aka Mrs Cool Bananas‘) juice recipes. I altered the amounts a bit and used 2 carrots, one orange and a slice of root ginger with some more coconut water. Unfortunately I don’t have a juicer so after I’d whizzed it up I put it through a sieve. It was still a bit bitty though, and I’m not 100% sold on the flavour but maybe I just didn’t get the balance quite right.

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