It’s not a secret – January isn’t everyone’s favourite month. I feel a bit sorry for it in a way, everyone grunting ‘ugh, January is the worst’ must do nothing for it’s self esteem… if it was a person. which it’s not. ANYWAY -in all honesty, I’ve been finding January pretty tough this year – I can’t quite put my finger on exactly why but the unmotivated, blah feeling took over for a while (which wasn’t ideal, as there was shit to do) so I’ve needed a fair few things to help me get through the January Blahs and as I havent really done one of these ‘my favourite things posts’ well, here goes!
I flipping LOVE a snack (shocking I know). As well as a great incentive for revision / work break / pre-workout gym treat/because its 3pm and I’m peckish – whatever the reason snacks are just the one. The thing is, I can’t go back to Snacks-in-the-back Jo (that’s my version of junk in the trunk – but in a very unflattering manner) circa 2013. Let me take you on a little journey back in time… a few years ago – I worked at a Private School in London and one of it’s many perks was the glorious Morning Snack. Now in most schools I’ve worked in, morning snack consisted of a banana or a bag of raisins if you’re lucky – but OH HELL NO! Not at this school – morning snack could be anything from a mini pack of biscuits to a delicious buttery croissant. I cannot, NAY I SHALL NOT ever pass up the chance for free food (it’s the northerner in me) so let’s just say I packed away those snacks like no ones business – you can guess the hefty outcome. So now, even though I still love a snack – healthy snacks are the only way I can go and I have found the most perfect solution. Sourced Box is a postal monthy subscription – you know the ones – and seriously, come on guys think about it. Snacks – through your door – wrapped up like a pressie – and well… snacks! January’s box had a few great tasty titbits (raw halo raw chocolate was incredible and so was Nina’s popcorn) and some well… interesting ones (dried veggie crisps, are you kidding me?!) but all of them felt like a treat. I can’t wait for the next one…
2. Got my hair did
Now TECNICALLY I didn’t do this in January (Dec 31st) to be exact, but it’s close enough – I wanted to feel good and after the gluttony of December and huge lack of gym classes I needed a quick fix. I don’t tend to get my hair cut very often and as such when I do I can spend a bit more moolah on it – I go to Trevor Sorbie and not only do they always do a cracking job, I always feel looked after with a glass of wine or great cuppa. It’s also the only chance I get to catch up on some very vital magazine reading. I went for the ‘lob’ because I like it and yeh… it made me feel good (so do snapchat filters but lets not go there today.)
Loads of people I know did Dry January – I personally couldn’t think of anything worse. Not because I want to get trollied every week, but mainly because for me, restriction = misery. As if January isn’t miserable enough, then you take away one of lifes pleasures (a great red wine with dinner for example – or just wine as soon as you get through the door because a kid sneezed right in your face that day. and you had your mouth open. yeah.) – who? why would you take away my wine?!! Now I didn’t ‘cut out’ booze but I did realise I needed to’cut down’. One of the main causes of pathologies that appears time and time again in my studies recently is alcohol – and one of my big beliefs is also everything in moderation – so I stopped having wine in the week at home. Instead I have substiuted it for an equally delicious counterpart – cosy hot drinks.
My 2 favourites are; Golden Mylk and Hot Cocao. I’ve spoken before about the benefits of tumeric (anti-inflammtory and all that jazz) and although I have made my own golden mylk paste from scratch before, I’ve found a much easier and mess free solution – Wunder Workshop Instant Golden Mylk (it already has pepper in the ingredients – which enhances the bodies abilty to absorb the good stuff by 2000% – so ner-ner to those naysayers who poohpooh tumeric – its all to do with absorption) – you order online and yet again another package of goodness appears through your letter box. I make mine with warm almond milk and it’s lovley.
Also I’ve been all over Deliciously Ella’s hot chocolate recipe – it uses raw cacao which has so many great benefits (anti-oxidant, full of magnesium, iron and calcium yada yada) and her secret ingredient is almond butter – IT’S A BLOODY GAME CHANGER PEOPLE! Not only does it make the drink sexual and smooth – you get your essential fatty acids, protein and vit E in there too – get the recipe here.
That also brings me to another January Fave – Pip & Nut’s Almond and Coconut butter. I can’t get enough. ‘What are you eating Jo?’ – ‘nut butter finger obvs’ (…it’s what you’re imagining. finger. in jar . in mouth. I’m gross and I know that. Look away)
4. Those Winter Skies
If you’re ever glum with the world, look up. Honestly. Pause – look up. It just takes a second – you might look nuts (mmmm almond coconut finger…) stopping on the pavement and looking towards to skies but honestly – who cares? I make a point of looking down my road towards the sea every morning before I head for the train station. The light in winter means the sunrises and sunsets in January can be pretty spectacular and it is GUARANTEED to make you feel great.
5. Night night
This might be an age thing (Jesus – I say that now…) but I’ve come to realise that the best way for me to manage stress is make the most of a night time routine. This is a work in progress mind and very new for me- there are still lots of nights I end up binge watching a series and crawl into bed like some disgusting swamp creature – but when I’m feeling wholesome and angelic – I’ve started doing a proper bed time routine. My childhood bedtime game was strong (a long bath in which I would BE Ariel and sing endless little mermaid songs, followed by a bowl of shreddies and warm milk and a story being read to me – corr… bliss) but my adult bedtime routine was always crap. Mainly falling asleep on the sofa, getting in a grump when The Boy woke me up (HOW DARE HE!?) and then quickly taking my makeup off etc. Not good and not conducive to a good nights sleep or balanced life. So now it is all about goodness as well as cosiness. It starts with a body brush – I leant this from Joyous Health -body brushing not only stimulates the lymphatic system (which basically picks up waste from the circulatory system and helps eliminate it) but also gets rid of dead excess dead skin cells – your body rids itself of tens of thousands dead cells per minute… so maybe give it a flaky hand?! Bath time (a rarity to be honest) now involves a lush bath bomb or oat soak OR homemade lavender bath salks (thanks Dad). Ahhhhh sleep is so much better now
I have LOVED studying again – being a teacher you get so used to the role of, well teaching – so the role reversal here has been great. I am lapping it all up and have to really withhold the temptation to be a complete ‘Monica’ in the classroom. It’s not a walk in the park mind… I’ve never been this exhausted in my life – working full time (in a Reception Class) then trying to act like a normal human on top of coming home and studying/ revising has taken it’s toll in many ways but for me, it’s totally worth it – nutrition is my passion and it makes my heart feel full.
7. People are mostly wonderful
With all the Trump ridiculousness, it’s easy to loose faith in humans. Sure, some are complete fuckwits who make decisions only a swamp donkey would consider (due to excess cheeto dust most probably – thanks for that one Nina Donovan) BUT where there is dark there is always light. I’ve been so heartened to see people , SO MANY PEOPLE, stand up against hate – I’ve been such a proud friend, witnessing my mates make a stand and turn up where and when it is important. Speak powerfully, graciously and lovingly to those who disagree with you.
So goodbye January you massive grump! Here’s to Feb… the month of chocolate hearts and pancake tossing – wheeeey!