Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Giving Up Sugar - After Three Weeks

Two cupcakes on a plate with white frosting and butterfly decoration.
I originally took on the challenge of not eating sugar for Lent, so I have about another two weeks to go. However, I intend to carry on controlling my sugar intake, as I've come to realise the negative impact excess sugar can have on the body. It hasn't been easy, though. In week 1 the headaches started and in week 2 I was hungry and confused, so I didn't really know what to expect from week 3. Now that things have settled down a bit I will be writing these updates as round ups, rather than daily entries, since there aren't as many changes to report. There have still been a few ups and downs though. This is week 3, as I try not to eat the world during my giving up sugar challenge.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

The Bodyguard - Bristol Hippodrome Review

The Bodyguard Frank Farmer, holding Rachel Marron in his arms
Last night we were given tickets to review The Bodyguard, starring Alexandra Burke, who we last saw in Sister Act, along with Benoit Marechal and Micha Richardson. The Bodyguard made its triumphant debut in the West End in 2014 launching Alexandra Burke's amazing theatre career and was followed by a sell-out tour in 2015 - 2016. As well as Sister Act, she has also since starred in Chess and Chicago. Benoit Marechal first starred in the French version of The Bodyguard and Micha Richardson has toured with Legally Blonde, Fame and Mamma Mia. Here's what we thought of the show.

Monday, 25 March 2019

What to Buy a Teenage Boy Gift Guide

Boy looking thrilled with a pile of birthday giftsThis gift guide is entirely unsponsored and made up of all my own ideas, which I paid for myself. Not that I have anything against sponsored posts, they are a great way to discover new products and I wouldn't say I liked something if I didn't, but I feel I should get all the credit for nailing a teenager's birthday with absolutely no help, because it really isn't easy. This is by far the hardest birthday I've had to buy for so far. He gave me a list of four video games, two of which hadn't even been released yet, and that was it. I always think the trick with birthdays is to get some things they want and some things they didn't know they wanted. Here's what I bought.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Giving Up Sugar - After 2 Weeks

I'm very pleased to have got through and survived week 1 of giving up sugar for lent, but it has been a lot harder than I expected and I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps I ate a lot more sugar than I realised. So far, I have not cheated at all, despite the headaches, which I'm really pleased about, but it hasn't been easy. I'm still having small amounts of sugar in some meals, but I have stopped eating all sugary snacks and soft drinks, which has meant I've needed to really think about what I am going to eat. Week 2 has been a lot more stressful than week 1, with a lot of different challenges and this is a diary of how I coped with the side effects of giving up sugar during week 2.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Managing Chronic Pain Week 6

Title text over a faded out photo of a girl climbing on a wooden bar fence.
It's hard to believe we are so far into the course, it's gone so quickly. It's a really nice group of people and I look forward to going. I think I will miss it when it's over. Even though we don't necessarily know why the other group members suffer from pain, or what their circumstances are, it is still really helpful to be able to talk to other people in a similar situation. It really emphasises the point that pain is the same for everyone regardless of where the injury came from, or lifestyle differences. In the group, we've been talking about keeping in touch when it ends, which would be great. This week's topic was flare ups.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Everything That's Wrong with Universal Credit

Rolled up five pound note. I had avoided watching Skint Britain - Friends Without Benefits for some time, as I knew it would likely upset me, since the story is quite close to home. I watched a close friend struggle for years on benefits, it's still too painful for me to write about fully, since my beautiful friend eventually died from a stress-related condition, but it really brought home to me how life and death the benefits system is. It's not just a decision whether or not to hand over some money, or how long for, there's so much more to it than that. It's people's lives. So I guess this post as been a long time coming as I have a lot to say about everything that's wrong with Universal Credit.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Giving Up Sugar - After One Week

I always try to give up something for Lent. I think it's a really good opportunity to remind myself that there are people in the world who don't have things to give up, and how lucky I am to have a lifestyle where I'm able to have little treats and vices. It's usually something like chocolate, but I've been finding that giving up one treat is a bit of a cheat really, because there are plenty of other sweet treats to fill the gap, so this year, I've given up sugar. I have made it a bit easier, in that I don't count the hidden sugar in meals, but I have stopped eating any sugary treats. No cakes, biscuits, chocolate, nothing and it's been interesting. Here are the highs and lows of my first week, which was a lot harder than I expected.
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