Getting out of an exercise slump…

Getting back to a normal fitness routine after giving birth was a new challenge, my body has changed a lot and in the last four months I have watched those pregnancy pounds disappear – which is great.  However my routine was becoming really repetitive and I stopped looking forward to workouts and even tried to avoid them.

So over the past three weeks I changed up my workouts and turned them into quick 20 minute blasts which change daily.  Adding in star jumps to keep Milne entertained.  I have not only seen results physically but I am waking up excited to get a sweat on.

These short blasts are perfect when I’m at home with Milne,  she loves watching while I sweat.  I will be posting next week’s workouts over on instagram.

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Don’t shoot the messenger!

The results are in and there is no doubt now that type 2 diabetes can be reversed with diet – why not get the job done quicker by following a vegan diet for an extra boost of health and to help stop cruelty to animals and sabotaging the earth!

How I beat type 2 diabetes with a liquid diet

Falda

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Making Milne laugh…

It’s been a good few weeks since Milne burst out her first proper laugh, one which could not be mistaken for wind!  Her laughter is the most wonderful sound we have ever heard – and even after endlessly dancing, making funny faces and playing peek-a-boo – not to mention the mountain of videos we have taken trying to capture it – her laugh just won’t got old!

BUT she is definitely making us work harder to hear it.  I am often spending my mornings trying to entertain our lovely little one and searching for new ways to occupy her fast developing mind, sometimes peek-a-boo just doesn’t cut it.

Our home visitor did give us a book of exercises suitable for different ages throughout her first year, but we need to mix it up and bit to get more of those super big belly laughs. This morning fifty star jumps did the trick!

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If you have any fun ways to get your wee ones chuckling let me know over on Instagram.

Falda

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Fake news and the unenlightened

I listened to a great interview the other day on radio 4 with an author who thinks we are in danger of becoming an “unenlightened” society.  As a Scot this seems really depressing because of course Scotland was the home of the Enlightenment period.

Despite having unprecedented access to vast information resources it seems that folk need to be more careful than ever believing what they read – “fake news” has made that pretty obvious.

When I make my decisions about the food I consume I check the facts and claims made. I read research papers – okay not always the whole thing but usually the abstract and I also trust some substantial organisations such as the World Health Organisation.  I think the main point is to trust your source – and I do trust mine which is why I can make informed decisions about my health – mostly!

Take a look at our resource page for ideas to start your research.

Relaxing, Running and joining the National Trust

Another week starts and I am feeling refreshed and raring to go.  Over the weekend Andrew and I had plenty of time to relax and unwind together with Milne alongside enjoying outdoor adventures.  I even managed to squeeze in a run and a tough workout.

Over the weekend we became members of the National Trust, something we have been meaning to do for ages.  Being members gives us access to lots of beautiful places: parks and castles and houses across Scotland.  On Saturday we visited Falkland Palace and Gardens, which was fantastic and Milne slept in her Ergo Baby carrier for the whole trip.

Ergobaby baby carrier collection 360 (5.5 – 15 kg), Dusty Blue

Although not a National Trust property, we spent Sunday morning at Glamis Castle, it was a fantastic day out and we spent a couple of hours roaming around the gardens and following the Macbeth Trail – in case you didn’t see my Instagram stories– here’s a peek at what we were up to…

This week I have a busy few days catching up with friends and family and a couple of DIY projects – you can follow what I am up to over on my Instagram stories.

Health care system or sick care system?

The former acting Surgeon General of the United States said that:

‘the U.S.A. does not have a healthcare system, we have a sick care system’.

His point is applicable to most western societies where we seem to consume so much that not only are we individually sick but our environment is also sick.  

Surely what we need is to design a healthy society that incorporates safe routes to school, clean air, clean water, cities that are designed to promote physical fitness and mental health.

Living in Scotland is a privilege because by and large we live in a “healthy society” but lots more could be achieved and will be as we move toward achieving our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals you can find out what Scotland is doing here.  

But, given that achieving a healthy society globally has been agreed, why are we not hearing more about the obvious need to radically cut global meat production and consumption?   This study from 2005, is just one of many that lays out the clear implications to our individual and public health as a result of meat consumption.  

If like me you are always on the lookout for new vegan products take a look at Blushberry Botanicals, offering a new and beautifully designed range of lip balms that are available to buy online.  They are fab, taste good, look good and feel good!

Baths, Bumps and Berries…

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After a few weeks of not getting a huge amount bigger last week I seemed to have a massive growth spurt and all of sudden things have become much more difficult.  Last night was the first time I had to ask Andrew to help me tie up my shoes!!

With my growing size I have noticed that tasks which were normally easy are becoming much more challenging.  I am not as in tune with my body and  the sudden changes have thrown me off-balance, literally.   I don’t feel I have control over which direction my body is going . Just yesterday I tried to get up on the sofa and accidentally kneed the arm which left me with sore friction burn.  So lots more bumps I think over the next few weeks!

Strangely, my running hasn’t been impacted – while I am finding my walking has turned into waddling my running is still ok i’m just slowing down a lot more.  I also get a lot stiffer after my short and slow runs but have been enjoying nice warm baths to relax my muscles afterwards which is a bonus!

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This week I am really looking forward to having Friday off.  Mum is planning our trip to Cairnie Fruit Farm to get some fresh berries and maybe a homemade soup.  

My body is perfect…and so is yours.

This morning I watched a youtube video which discussed body confidence and referred to self love.  I am a huge advocate of both.  The health benefits both physically and mentally of embracing and looking after your body are essential to health and happiness.  However, what I was hugely disappointed by was the statement that your body is meant to be ‘imperfect’ or comments such as ‘your arms are meant to hug’.

I am irritated by these comments because not only do they validate the idea that our bodies are imperfect and that’s how they are meant to be but also because it is simply untrue.  My body is perfect not because how it looks aesthetically but because of its ability to meet my physical needs.  My eyebrows and eyelashes are not perfect because they are waxed or extended but because they keep dirt and sweat out of my eyes.  My arms and legs have not evolved so that I can hug my husband (although that is a bonus) they are long and strong so I can use them as tools – my legs are strong and lean and allow me to get from A to B and my arms so that I can use them as tools be it in cooking, lifting, holding, or breaking my fall.  My body is perfect because it has evolved over millions of years to be useful.

With the pressures of our society, maintaining this is difficult.  My body is not required to work as hard as my ancestors – I can take the bus, pull my suitcase on wheels, I buy my food from the supermarket without need to scavenge for it.  My body often feels underused.  Of course, this is the case for many bodies and probably why so many people are gaining such substantial amounts of weight – not only are our foods calorie laden and nutrient lacking, we also have no need to use our bodies physically.   It is therefore paramount to use my body to ensure that it remains strong and useful to me.  In pregnancy, I have seen the importance of having a strong and nourished body, with so many changes to my size and the aches and pains as a result not to mention the changes in my hormones I can appreciate the need for a strong body to cope with and thrive on these changes.  Not least, a fit and healthy body which will help me care for my baby once it arrives.

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My body is perfect because it keeps the dirt from eyes, because I can run for 26 miles, because it tells me when I’m tired or hungry and because not only can my body  carry a child I can feed and nourish my baby from it.

A body is not perfect because of how it looks, a body is perfect because it is strong, resilient and nourished.  Be kind to your body: use it and nourish it.  

What is it that offends you?

Last week, someone criticised a meal I prepared for my sister and husband.  We had bought the new Linda McCartney burgers which apparently taste like the ‘real thing’.  I  cannot comment because as a lifelong vegetarian turned vegan I have never tried the ‘real thing’

The criticism was a misunderstanding of why a vegan might seek out meat substitutes.  I find I am explaining this more often than should be necessary to carnivores.  I am not a vegan because I don’t like the taste of animal products.  I am a vegan because I do not believe my taste preferences should contribute to the suffering of animals or the planet.

Not only did this person not understand why I would  use a meat substitute, it tastes good, DUH!  But they  also felt using a substitute as ‘gross’.

I’m really not sure what is more disgusting about a plant based burger or other substitute which is usually made from soy, mushrooms or lentils than literally eating the rotten flesh of a once living and thinking being.

In Peter Singer’s words:

“The plucked and dressed bodies of the chickens will then be sold to millions of families who will gnaw on their bones without pausing for an instant to think that they are eating the dead body of a once living creature, or to ask what was done to that creature in order to enable them to buy and eat its body.”  

So, what is it that offends you about a vegan enjoying the substitute taste and not the torture?

Think about it.

As an animal lover do you have a clear conscience?

I certainly do not LOVE all animals.  Quite frankly dogs (other than my own ) have always really irritated me.  I don’t find fish particularly interesting and going on safari certainly isn’t top of my bucket list.

I will never be able to claim my LOVE of all animals.  However I respect them all.   I don’t think I am better or more deserving than them and I do not hold some strange idea that they were put here to serve me whether in food, clothing or entertainment.

Yet, I am constantly told by relatives, friends and sometimes even new acquaintances that they LOVE animals SO much.  When I haven’t mirrored this expression of love I even been accused of being ‘cold’ (from a meat eater no less).

This is surprising to me.  Other than my immediate family (Mum, siblings and husband) and a few friends, the majority of people I interact with are not vegans.  In fact, none of my vegan friends or family have ever told me that they are ‘animal lovers’ .

It’s surprising because someone who chooses (and yes, in Britain it is a choice) to eat meat and dairy is literally paying for the suffering and death of that animal. Loving with clear conscience – duh!

Not only do these people choose to consume products, well aware of the cruelty involved they will  also be well aware that there are NO health benefits from animal consumption.  Indeed study after study show that the opposite is true.

So, as you can imagine, I am confused how you can claim to ‘love all animals’ when you choose, daily, to contribute to their ongoing suffering.

So, PLEASE, unless you’re following a plant based diet don’t tell me that you’re an animal lover otherwise you are going to give me nightmares thinking about how you treat things you don’t love.

 

Plant-based retreats…

Lithy and I had a great weekend visiting mum in Spain for Mother’s Day.  The weather wasn’t great but we were high up in the olive grove hills north of Malaga and it was really peaceful.  A trip to Cordoba to visit the third largest Mosque in the World was awesome.  On Sunday Lithy made Mother’s Day pancakes and we had them with strawberries and lemon – fabulous.

We also visited an amazing villa where Mum is hosting all inclusive nutrient rich plant based retreats throughout May.  These retreats will introduce plant based eating to improve health and well-being.  Working in small groups and one-to-one you will work out your own six week plan with online backup. And have an amazing inspirational, relaxing holiday.

If you are interested in long term health and also want to shed a few pounds before summer get in touch with Mum (Susan) directly:  contact@dunbarmorley.com.  

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I will also be on hand helping out although I might be waylaid by the baby.  Every day I can feel more movement and morning sickness has been replaced by lower back aches.  Warm baths and gentle strolls seen to be the order of the day.  

Thank goodness my diet is really healthy.  The amount of food I am packing away right now would have me the size of a tank if I was eating badly.   I just can’t get enough and there is no way I will be slowing down anytime soon!