Developing a memory like an elephant (but trying hard not to resemble its size)…

After a fun week in Scotland I am back in France studying as hard as I can to achieve the best level possible in my French language exams.  I am aiming for Dalf C1 or C2 which you need if you want to study at a French university or be in the running for a good job, both of which I would like to achieve.

To assist my poor “tete” with all the memory work needed to learn languages I am trying out MCT and Brain Octane Oil, both of which which can, apparently, offer a higher level of brain performance and can protect from degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease by “forming a protective barrier in the blood vessels in the brain making the brain stronger and less prone to convulsions”.  I will let you know how I progress.

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Understanding the concept of intermittent fasting for better health is not that tricky and I have found that The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung offers the best advice, or at least he writes in a manner that I can easily understand and there are also loads of YouTube videos explaining the same.

I have also renewed my interest in eating organic after listening to Dr Zach Bush on the Rich Roll podcast.  I would highly recommend taking the time to listen to him albeit you might find what he says both shocking and provoking.

For anyone who missed it this week you could also read the latest on the Planetary Health diet which:

“requires red meat and sugar consumption to be cut by half, while vegetables, fruit, pulses and nuts must double.

“For Europeans, eating 77% less red meat and 15 times more nuts and seeds meets the guidelines.”

It is great that finally the movement toward ethical eating is now mainstream and urgent – for all the reason we vegans have been harping on about for years!

Susan

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New fitness challenges…

Last week I turned 25 and although I don’t really feel any different, I am using this age as a new motivation for the healthiest year yet. Starting with my first ever PT session.

If you have followed me for a while you will know I am really into my long distance running and interval strength training. However, over a busy festive period and a summer with achilles tendinitis following the Leiden Marathon in May, I have lost a bit of motivation and I can see this in my running ability and changes in my body.

After putting on and losing 60-70lbs during pregnancy, I had been feeling great but with no gains and no real changes to running ability towards the end of the year, I was desperate to get that motivation back and start treating my body better. So, when the opportunity came up for a a few personal training sessions I jumped at it. Today was my first session and it was fantastic, I met the trainer and he assessed my fitness and we tried a few things…I will be back next Monday to see the plan he has formulated for me and to start work.

To keep up to date with this new journey make sure you are following me on Instagram.

Falda

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New fitness challenges…

Last week I turned 25 and although I don’t really feel any different, I am using this age as a new motivation for the healthiest year yet. Starting with my first ever PT session.

If you have followed me for a while you will know I am really into my long distance running and interval strength training. However, over a busy festive period and a summer with achilles tendinitis following the Leiden Marathon in May, I have lost a bit of motivation and I can see this in my running ability and changes in my body.

After putting on and losing 60-70lbs during pregnancy, I had been feeling great but with no gains and no real changes to running ability towards the end of the year, I was desperate to get that motivation back and start treating my body better. So, when the opportunity came up for a a few personal training sessions I jumped at it. Today was my first session and it was fantastic, I met the trainer and he assessed my fitness and we tried a few things…I will be back next Monday to see the plan he has formulated for me and to start work.

To keep up to date with this new journey make sure you are following me on Instagram.

Falda

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Bla Bla Bla.. Mum’s top tips on learning French

I am coming to Scotland this week for a short stay and I can’t wait, for the very obvious reasons of seeing Milne, Falda and Grandpa (and the rest).  We will be four generations together again for a couple of days.  I am looking forward to a birthday tea, a canter around the V&A, teas and coffees with missed friends and a whole lot of toddler fun.

Getting to Scotland at this time of year is not too expensive money wise (I know – it’s a whole other story environmentally) and it is not slow either.  If I leave home at six am I will be in Dundee by 14:30 assuming no delays.  And it is fun making this journey mostly because I rely on Bla Bla Cars this end to get the to and from Toulouse Airport.

I love Bla Bla Cars because it is like opening the proverbial chocolate box and never knowing what you are going to find.  The system runs, as far as I know, on the same technology as Air B & B and is equally peer reviewed.  I book a car going my way or as near as possible, agree a pick up time and place – and just turn up.

So far, after about 20 or so rides I can only report super good experiences.  I have been collected and deposited on time and the great fun is meeting the other passengers because you never know who they are going to be.  From teenagers to octogenarians, professionals, students and even a shepherdess there is never a shortage of lively conversation and it is almost always in French – I used to consider the other passengers victims to my very poor French but nowadays not so much.  I can almost always understand all the conversation and usually take part (even on sleepy early mornings).

So one of my top tips for learning French:  travel the length and breadth of France using Bla Bla Cars.  A couple of weeks in and you will have dramatically uncovered your real ability at languages.  And additionally you will have discovered big cities and little hideaways, enjoyed some great scenery and gained a big bunch of new contacts and friends.

Clear space, clear mind… Minimalist Mum

My friends and family all know that I’m a bit of a minimalist…I hate any form of clutter, everything has its ‘right’ place and when my organised systems in our home are a little off, my head really descends into chaos…sort of.

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Although I am becoming more able (prepared) to let people help me organise and even though I am not AS ruthless with my decluttering our apartment is full of noisy, kids toys.  It is true that I thrive at home and in work in an emptier space.  I like muted colours – grey, white, black and the very very occasional dusty pink.

Running my own business from home in open plan living has proved challenging for my normal strict clutter free space head, all of a sudden I have notebooks, pens, paper, business cards, technology and client products cluttering my area.   So this month I am working on finding a nice balance between our living space and my office space (the end of the dining room table) and generally keeping on top of organisation in our home to ensure a relaxed working environment for me and a relaxed home environment for us three.

Here are my top tips for going into the new year with the aim of minimising…

1.        One in, one out:  I’m pretty sure in my wardrobe I have all the clothing I need with multiple coats, shoes, jumpers, sports wear, underwear, a good pairs of jeans and couple of nice T-Shirts.  So when I am browsing in town and find something I really like I have a rule that if something new comes into my wardrobe something must go out (donated to a local charity, or recycled)…basically I don’t generally  purchase anything I don’t need because something else has to leave and I love all my clothing!
2.        If in doubt…chuck it out:  Ok, so this is stolen from my Mum who is something of a minimalist herself these days…fitting the majority of her belongings into just two boxes stored in Scotland and the rest in one rucksack. I follow this rule when purchasing anything new, if I a not 100% sure of it then It ain’t coming home with me.
3.        Baskets:  having a clear space to work and relax in can be challenging when you are surrounded by what can seem like the endless toys of a 17 month old…so I have some strategically placed baskets around our home to make sure that clean up time is quick and easy…I bought these in TK MAXX.

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4.        Stuff doesn’t make me happy: People do.  When I’m feeling a little down or not great about myself it is not time to buy something new to cheer myself up.  I would rather spend that time and money (or not) doing something with my wee family which always makes me feel SO much better.

Living a more minimalist life is such a relief…nothing to clutter my home or clutter my head.

Falda
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Bonne nouvelle année from Mum in France…

Happy New Year to everyone.  I am very excited that Falda Eats is back and I hope I can make some useful contributions to the blog.  As Falda explained I am happy setting up home and life in France in the  Nouvelle-Aquitaine, region, on the doorstep of the  Pyrenees.  It is a truly extraordinary location and I am extremely lucky to live here AND make my visits to beautiful Scotland so see my wonderful family and friends.

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My attempts to learn French have led me to the local university where I have made friends with an incredible eclectic group of people from all around the world and currently I attend a local social centre with an equally amazing group of people including many refugees and migrants often fleeing from persecution or violence and all seeking a better life.  I hope to share some of their stories in later posts as well as my stop start progress with the French language – it can be something of a devil!

I also signed up for an “International Certificate” in Human Ecology.  It is extremely challenging because it is taught and assessed in French and just before Christmas I sat my first exam in decades – in French!  Okay I was allowed to use my computer, but in was still in French which is just as well as I find that my ability with spelling and dyslexic tendencies are equally apparent in other languages.  In later posts I would like to share my thoughts on the subject of “Ecologie Humaine” as I progress with the course.

My foot injury continues, which is extremely frustrating as I realise that I used running to maintain my weight.  I have had to investigate other ways to manage my diet in a sustainable and healthy way.   I have been investigating vegan KETO eating as it seems a fairly sensible and non calorie counting approach to sustainable health and I plan to combine it with intermittent fasting – I am seeking a way to quickly get rid of and keep off the (40) pounds I have put on in the last 18 months.  And who knows, maybe in a few months I will be able to run again.  I will post my progress and if anyone is interested to join me for support let me know as I will need all the enthusiasm I can find.

à bientôt Susan

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Where have I been?

It’s been…a while. I am excited to be back on Falda Eats, and thinking up some great new content for our followers. 2018 was definitely the busiest year yet. My little one is growing super fast and is more lovely every day…the last six months has seen her start walking, saying a few words and taking after her mum and running everywhere she can, climbing and filling herself up with nutritious, colourful and tasty food.

While I have been busy being Mum, I have also been busy professionally, as the end of maternity leave approached I made the decision not to go back to work and with some help from Jilly and Mum I started my own business, Mafalda Media,a social media management agency and we have been super busy and I have started working with some super new clients…2019 is looking to be a busy one for work. You can follow us here.

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Me and Jilly also started our own Blog, Vegan Dundee, a great excuse for ever more coffee and cake with my best friend. You can find us here

Mum has been busy setting up home in the South of France and recovering from a few injuries which have stopped her running…she’s getting geared up for a healthy and happy new year and you can expect to see monthly updates from her on what she is up to in the sunshine next year…with an exciting project or two…

See you next year…

Falda

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Hello again…

It’s been awhile since I last posted, the past few weeks have been super busy and ridiculously wonderful.  Milne is growing so fast and doing so many exciting new things – like pulling herself up, standing unaided (ok, for maybe just 5 seconds, but still!) I thought I would give you a wee update on what we are up to and what we are going to be getting up to…

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March has flown by, we started off with LOTS of snow days for Andrew which meant A LOT of fun for the three of us and some sledging.  It was Andrews birthday at the start of the month and we had a wonderful weekend celebrating. If you follow me on Instagram you might know that I have signed up for my next marathon in Leiden on May 27th – really not long to go – so I have been ramping up the training this month and getting out on some longer runs.

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We have also discovered a new favourite pastime – swimming!  Milne loves water and we are having such lovely mornings splashing around in the water together.  Unfortunately our yoga teacher is on holiday for six weeks so we have been practicing at home instead and I completed a 30 day yoga challenge which left me feeling refreshed and chilled every morning!

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Last week we took a trip to Grandpa which was a perfect few days of running, walks and really good food.  We are looking forward to a few days with Granny next month and a fun filled Easter weekend with my little sister.    I am going to be whipping up a few things from the How Not to Die Cookbook which is definitely worth checking out for some delicious and VERY nutritious food.


The How Not To Die Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes to Help Prevent and Reverse Disease

For now, its an early night with our wee one who has just eaten all her peas and sweet potato before bath and bedtime.

Falda

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Dance like Milne’s watching…

Who else got a little bit of cabin fever over the past week?  The snow was lovely but it really does stop you getting on with your usual activities.  In saying that I did get out on one “blizzardy” mega fun run as well as managing lots of super sweaty workouts and yoga every day – and sledging for the first time in many years!  

However I am super pleased to be back to full action this week starting with a 5k run with Milne in her Thule Running Pram (thanks Mum!) and a session of swimming with our little monkey splashing around everywhere which thoroughly tired us all out.

I often find myself feeling under a bit of pressure to be super productive during the day even if it is just keeping up with the housework, with a six month old, it sometimes feels like I have been on the go ALL day by the time Andrew walks through the door at teatime.  So this week I am trying to relax a little with Milne and take some time for ourselves without any fast paced activities. So lots of gentle runs, meditation, yoga in our playroom and of course; lots of dancing around the kitchen together.

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I love putting some music on when we are waiting for Andrew to come home and really letting go and letting my body move to the music – sometimes with Milne on my hip and other times with her watching and laughing from the sofa or her high chair – either way it’s the perfect way to unwind and chill out at the end of a busy day.  So, this week my goal is to dance every morning and every evening just as if Milne is watching, well… she really is!

 

Falda

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Can you believe it?

Weight Watchers are offering free memberships to 13-17 year olds (they need parental permission)   This is because the projected obesity rates for young people today are astronomical and with that comes a wide range of obesity related diseases including: diabetes, high blood pressure, some cancers and heart disease.

Is it seriously a consideration that calorie counting and public weigh ins are the answer to our current teenage obesity epidemic?   How successful are diet clubs really?  I know many women who attend them and guess what – they just put the weight back on – which is great for the club because they thrive, obviously on their members NOT sustaining a healthy weight loss.  Additionally, to my  mind, they also encourage yo yo disordered eating exactly what you don’t want in teenagers.

In the last few weeks I have been boring everyone with my research into foods that will make Milne healthy, happy and strong and which foods will leave her undernourished.  It seems (duh!) that giving her an abundance of fresh and in season fruits and vegetables along with beans and lentils will make her super healthy!

It is not hard to come by this information, so why is it so onerous for parents to simply feed their kids well? Is it because they are lazy, stupid or simply don’t care about their young un’s?  No of course not – perhaps they think they are being kind, giving “treats”.

The truth is that whether it is the parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles providing the rubbish food all they are doing is storing up a lifetime of ill health and undernourishment for their kids future.

In fact, a recent study found that children who are receiving childcare from Grandparents have increased likelihood of becoming obese as they grow older – those “little” treats just become extremely big “threats” later on.  

We need to make better choices for our little folk, they just can’t make those choices themselves, and set them up for a healthier life nourished by all the good stuff.

Falda

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41981549