Mother’s Day Our Way

mother's day, Lucy White Photography, Nicki CawoodMother’s Day means different things to different people. Our family doesn’t do St Valentine’s Day as a rule but Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are big hitters for us. Also Chinese New Year but then who doesn’t love a Chinese fakeaway meal and watching the family struggle with chopsticks? We don’t go OTT but always have some fun. At the end of the day MD is just one day as we try to teach the boys to be kind and considerate all year round, to everyone. That said, I’m not above being treated like a queen for a day.

Anyhow, this piece is all about the different types of Mother’s Day traditions we’ve enjoyed over the years.

Yes I Have a Mother’s Day Lie In

I am a natural early riser. 4am natural. Ok, that’s not natural or normal at all but that’s just me. I get up, come down, work if it’s a work day, read or browse or watch something if it isn’t. That works well for me until about 8am when sometimes I’d just like to crawl back into bed for a bit. Not so much to sleep but to chill and lie down, so that’s what I do on Mother’s Day.

I get up and enjoy a few quality hours all to myself while I can then go back up for a lie in. Last year I binge-watched Grey’s Anatomy for a few hours, the year before I enjoyed a book in peace. This year? Who knows!?

It Depends on the Weather

We like to go out on Mother’s Day but it depends on the weather. At the end of March it could be snowy or a heatwave, so we try not to plan too far in advance. If we do go out for the day it’s a cheap and cheerful experience. We either opt for a fab local walk (about 4 miles or so) or head up to Dalby Forest for a Forestry Commission walk. You pay by car and all of that money goes to preserving the walkways and maintaining the forest so we don’t mind the small contribution at all!

If it’s raining we go for a PJ day, board games (we’re D&D players or go for a board game such as Pandemic), movies and just generally all hanging around together. Roy and the boys take it in turns to bring me food and drinks. It works well for me.

Food, Glorious Food

I’m a big fan of food. I’ve never met a menu I don’t like and yet thanks to diabetes and IBS I have to be super careful about what I eat. This means no slabs of festive cake or similar. Roy and the boys have been fantastic at making super healthy yet super tasty treats for me. I love that they make the extra effort without thinking about it (all year, not just on Mother’s Day). Taylor has decided that when we move in April he is going to grow me lots of tomatoes and veggies for my special salads. I can have the odd sweet treat though, and they usually find me something!

Mother’s Day Gifts and Things

We do not go mad on gifts and treats at Mother’s Day. I usually get something homemade from the boys, Taylor’s made at school and Kieran’s something Star-Trek related that he’s drawn for me (we are such geeks). The boys do like to buy me something though so Roy usually takes them to Card Factory in town or similar so that they can spend a just a few pounds on a few fab and cute gifts and treats for me. They are always so proud of themselves when they watch me make a big deal of opening them up. I love it!

If Mother’s Day is a thing in your house, what do you do? Do you splash out on big gifts, do you enjoy breakfast made/burnt by your eager children or is it an opportunity to do something quirky? I’d love to hear!

Choose the Best Weight Loss Plan

Choose the Best Weight Loss Plan

Weight loss is one of the most controversial topics out there with a huge amount of conflicting arguments making it harder to choose the best weight plan for you. The world spends billions of dollars every year on weight loss plans and products, but the only thing we can be sure of is there is no one-size-fits-all solution. There are so many options to choose from and not all of them are safe and credible ways to lose weight for the long-term.

I’ve been on the quest for the perfect weight loss plan for years. I’m diabetic, have PCOS and struggle with IBS. My dietary needs are interesting to say the least. After speaking to a dietician and healthcare providers I now have a plan that suits my individual needs but before today I’ve explored the weight loss plan world extensively and with varying results.

To help you find the right weight loss plan for you which leads to a genuine lifestyle change, here are some of the key questions you should be asking before you settle on a program, be it a slimming club or just a new (to you) way of eating.

Does it Change the Way You Think?

For long-term success, the diet needs to address the way you think about food and should instil new healthy habits and thinking patterns. It’s not enough to pick a plan you can stick with for the short-term if you have no intention of changing your lifestyle.

Is it Safe?

Any diet regime needs to be approved by a healthcare professional. If the diet plan doesn’t recommend that you check with your doctor before you start the plan or ask you for certain health statistics it may not be a safe program. Companies such as tailor their diet plan to you based on essential information about your current lifestyle and your goals.

Is it Credible?

Check if the diet has been approved by professionals such as registered dieticians, fitness professionals, nurses, doctors or psychologists. This is a good indicator of the quality of the diet plan.

Does it Offer Flexibility?

If a plan is too rigid and doesn’t offer you variety or make allowances for your lifestyle and dietary habits, it’s unlikely to suit you in the long run. A diet and exercise regime which is too strict will set you up for failure.

Does it Have Realistic Outcomes?

Be very wary of incredible claims such as “lose 30lbs in 3 weeks” or similar. In fact, any weight loss above 1-2lbs per week is not realistic and will not be sustainable. It’s also important to avoid diet plans which promote pills which will melt fat; these simply don’t exist.

Does it Encourage Accountability?

To ensure you establish healthy habits that you can maintain you need to be involved in the tracking of your calorie intake and exercise. If a 3rd party is responsible for keeping you on track, you won’t have learned anything you can take forward into a new lifestyle.

Does the Diet Provide Nutrition?

Diets which remove entire food groups are generally not recommended as you may be missing out on essential nutrients. On the other hand, avoid diets which suggest eating large quantities of a few foods as this will be too restrictive.

Does it Recommend Regular Exercise?

Diets are most effective when combined with regular exercise; remaining physically active is key to ensuring the weight stays off. Exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle and balanced mental health, regardless of trying to shift pounds. Make exercise a part of your life, not just a way to lose weight.

Can You Stick with the Plan for the Long-term?

Whatever diet plan you choose, the key principles of it need to be things you can maintain for the rest of your life. If you can’t realistically imagine yourself doing this, keep looking.

Choose the Best Weight Loss Plan

At the end of the day it is important to choose the best weight loss plan for you but to make sure that if you are looking to lose weight or simply to eat a more balanced diet that you look carefully into any new regime, especially if, like me, you have any health conditions to take into consideration. Happy (healthy) eating!

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