Life is tough in Africa:)

Friday, December 28

We spent the past two nights with friends at Phinda Game Reserve, in the Mziki camp where our friend Mike's parents have a lovely house set in the most beautiful natural surroundings. The Big Five are all resident there and we were fortunate enough to see some of them...

A few pictures from the past three days.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 26

Hoping that you all have had a festive Christmas!

We had breakfast with my family on our farm yesterday morning, and then drove through to Durban for Christmas lunch with Pete's Family and Family friends.

What a wonderful day!

And now we are off for a mini  holiday for 2 days with friends before we go on honeymoon on Saturday....

Lulu x 


Monday, December 24

Wow, what a busy few weeks!

We have been non stop setting up for our big day, and on Saturday we got Married.

We had the service in a marquee in the Garden on my Parents farm, followed by the Reception in the Tractor Shed which was transformed to the most beautiful venue.

A few pictures from our Amazing Wedding...

Getting ready

And off to SA to get Married We Go :)

Wednesday, December 12

I can't believe that it is already Wednesday today and that we fly to South Africa this evening! Well, hopefully we do, as Heathrow has had to cancel a few flights today because of the fog.  At the moment, our flight is still on, and fingers crossed it stays that way...

This week feels like it has been non stop, despite my best efforts to be organised in advance.  And a whole mixed bag of emotions too.  Absolute excitement at going back to SA, seeing friends family and some warm weather, and of course GETTING MARRIED next week! 

And a little sadness as I also said good bye to one of my favourite little patients yesterday as they are moving away, I am so going to miss my weekly sessions with him and his gorgeous family upon my return...

I will try to keep writing whilst I am in SA, but things are probably going to be quite busy whilst we get everything together for our Wedding Weekend next weekend as our friend G is calling it!

Good Bye freezing cold London, I'm off to Sunny SA to marry this handsome guy:)

And see you soon South Africa...

Thought for Thursday

Thursday, December 6

Picture from Super Healthy Kids Website.

Font added by me.

Have a happy healthy colourful food weekend :)

Why my next Yoga class at my Gym won't quite cut it...

Tuesday, December 4

"You just can't compare Yoga at a gym, with real Yoga." My friend Nik always says.

"I mean gym Yoga is fine, but you just don't get the same experience as if you go to a proper Yoga centre." 

And after today, I completely agree with her.  

This weekend my friend Lara and I met a lady called Bel, and she gave us a leaflet for a yoga class that she teaches in the Wimbledon Village, in a hall at the St Mary's Church.

Bel's enthusiasm for Yoga and passion for life in general is quite contagious, and after chatting to her for just a few minutes on Sunday we both said that we would join her today for her class.

This morning, I got home later than planned from my early patient, my head cold was showing no sign of retaliating in it's endless consumption of tissues, and for a few moments I considered not going.  

But boy am I glad that I did.

A rushed cab ride later as tfl journey planner said there was no ways that I would  get there in time public transport style, I arrived at the Church Grounds. I walked into the Church initially, which was empty, tried to call Lara to see if she knew where to go, but her phone wouldn't connect, and then finally saw the sign and hurried into the hall.

Now I've seen a few Church hall's in London, and I was expecting the usual: musty, slight damp smell, a bit grubby and altogether quite grim.  This room however, is not your typical Church hall, with massive windows letting in natural light, it overlooks a garden.  Gorgeous.

Coupled with Bel's warm welcome, some lit candles, relaxing music and pleasant incense, by the time Lara and  lay down to begin with the cosy blankets that Bel had also provided, we were pretty calm already.

Bel took us through a stretching and breath focussed warm up, before we pushed aside our blankets, got up and did some more active work. Bel teaches in a very relaxed manner and encourages everyone to do what feels most comfortable for them in a posture, which I love.  I despise being pushed deeper and deeper into a position that I know my body isn't tolerating.  Her teaching is very flowy and I enjoyed the 'dance' like movements we performed in some of the poses.   The final part of the class, again cosily tucked up in our blankets, she lead us through a relaxation sequence.  I was so chilled out by this point, my mind blank, that I can't even remember what it was.

And then whilst we lay there, in our own little worlds, she came to each of us and with a gorgeous smelling oil on her hands, stretched our necks ever so slightly and released the tension in our shoulders with some gentle pressure and massaged our muscles. Amazing.

I stood up slowly from the class, feeling energised, invigorated and at peace.  My rush to get there and the loads of things on my to do list a million miles away.

So far away, that I forgot to get a picture with Bel to put on here.

Next time I will for certain.

Nik, I agree completely, Yoga at a gym serves it's purpose, but you just can't compare it, to a class taken by a teacher like Bel, in an environment like this.

Gym Yoga works the body.

Real yoga works the body, calms the mind and invigorates the soul.

Contact Bel at:  belgibbs at talk21 dot com 

for more information regarding her classes.  I highly recommend you try one.

And if you have only ever experienced Yoga in a gym setting, I insist that you try one....

No matter what level you are. And she does full massage treatments too:)

"You are the Average of the 5 People you Spend the Most Time with"

Monday, December 3

I have been feeling incredibly inspired by life in the past week. I can't wait to expand my Women and Children's Physiotherapy practice next year, this beloved blog of mine has a readership that continues to grow month by month; and leaving chilly London for South Africa next week for four week to get married, celebrate Christmas and go on honeymoon is pretty darn excitement inducing too!

I met up with the lovely Lisa from Skin Plus Care, last week, who as I mentioned here, has a gorgeous new shop in the Wimbledon Village, and saw the new treatment rooms that she has built! I am so excited to be working from her pretty shop next year, I and can't wait to be a part of a growing complementary therapies team.  This weekend I also caught up with two friends who are passionate about the blogging world, and we shared ideas for our blogs (hence the mini blog make over), and they introduced me to a few new fabulous ones to follow.

And then, in the way that life so often works out, today I discovered this TEDx talk by Scott Dinsmore.
Titled, How to Find and Do Work You Love. 

He discusses his own journey in creating the very successful company that he now owns and runs, and shares some very wise words.

I am very fortunate to already be doing what I love, but couldn't agree more with the points he raises in this talk.

He mentions how he was advised to take a certain job, as although he hated it as, 

"it would look good on his resumee".

And so he did it, and he hated it. And then he read a quote by Warren Buffet, the self made multi millionaire, who said:

"Taking a job to have on your resumee, is liking saving sex for old age."

And so he quit, watch the rest of his talk, to see how his business bloomed but only after some time, here.

Everything changed when he surrounded himself by the right people. He quotes James Rohn who says:

"You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with."

So surround yourself with passionate people. 

People who are doing what they love, and are happier as a result of it.

When I was considering leaving the hospital where I was working, I knew that a large determining factor of how successful my own Physio practice would be, lay with if I managed to register my business with a certain major health insurance company so that I could treat their clients.

"Don't even bother, I tried for five years before they registered me." I was advised.

"I don't even think they are accepting anyone new, and anyway the price they will negotiate with you won't make it worth your while." Another said.

"Never, they won't even consider anyone new, there are too many Physio's in your area already."I heard a few times.

I wasn't even going to bother.

"You may as well try," Pete said. "All they can say is no." said Jen.

And so I filled out the forms, and within a week, they called me, said they would love to have me on board, and after bullying my price down, as I had expected them to and taken into account, I was all approved.

I was as surprised as the doubters above.

I read another article in a girly magazine a few months ago, which said:

"People whose friends earn more than them tend to get promoted and achieved faster in their work place than those who don't."


"You are more likely to be overweight if your good friends are."

I moved back to South Africa for 6 months a few years ago, after a very sedentary 18 months in London, and lived with my friends Alice and Ken who both exercised at least once a day.  I still exercise regularly today as I became more active from being surrounded by their non stop activity.  I moved back to London, and ran a half marathon a year later.

About the doubters in our lives:

Dinsmore quotes Mahatma Ghandi:

first they ignore you
then they laugh at you
then they fight you
then you win

If you have an idea, surround yourself with people who are passionate and are believers.

And the good new is, if you struggling to find anyone around you, the internet has quite a few to offer.

In the words of Rosie, from her fabulous blog The Londoner:

I like blogs.

In my opinion everyone should have their very own piece of The Internet.

A little plot of internet to call your very own.

I recently came to the conclusion that I actively despise Facebook, so blogs let me stalk the people I like, love, know & want to know... without reading status updates about how drunk they were last night.

Realise what you love, with help from people like Scott Dinsmore if you struggling to work it out.

Then find a 'guru' in it, be it in real life or on the world wide web, and take inspiration from them.

And then Do the Work you Love.

I am so lucky to be marrying a guy who thinks every harebrained scheme I have, is going to be the best venture ever :)

Lulu x 

Why Exercising when Pregnant is Essential, and the 3 Best forms of Pregnancy Exercise

Thursday, November 29

Working as a Physio in Women's Health and Paediatrics, I'm often asked by pregnant women or those hoping to become pregnant, what is advisable with regards to exercise when you are expecting.

The below, are general guidelines, it is best that you consult your Doctor or Women's Health Physiotherapist prior to embarking on any exercise program.

It is very important that you do some form of exercise whilst you are pregnant.  This is not to say that you need become a first time runner at your first glance towards a positive sign on your pregnancy test, but mild to moderate exercise sessions, at least three times a week, will help you significantly in preparing for the labour process.  Giving birth is hard work, and the more prepared that you can be for some of the most physically intense hours of your life, the better.  Even if you are planning to have a caesarian section, a regular exercise program that you are comfortable with, is essential.

Roasted Butternut, Spinach and Red Lentil Curry

Wednesday, November 28

This is most definitely, the most delicious healthy dish that I've cooked this year.  Hold on, it's actually more delicious than any other unhealthy dish I've made this year too.  Pete had the option of adding meat,  some left over roast chicken to the meal, and he didn't. That in itself, is testament to how tasty it was...And other than the hack of peeling and chopping up the butternut, it was really simple too.

One Small to Medium Butternut, chopped
1 Cup of Red Lentils
2 Handfuls of Spinach
I Onion, chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic, chopped
Thumb size piece of ginger, chopped finely
1 Tbsp of Curry Powder
1 tsp of Nutmeg
1tsp of Turmeric
500 ml Vegetable Stock

To garnish:
Greek Yoghurt
Fresh lime to squeeze over.

Place the chopped butternut, with some olive oil, salt and pepper and mixed herb seasoning into the oven on 180'c for 30-35 minutes.  Butternut should be soft and lightly browned. Stir once halfway through.

In some olive oil in a pan, saute the onion for about five minutes, until onion is soft and looks clear.
Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, nutmeg and turmeric, and saute for 30 seconds.

Add the vegetable stock and the red lentils.  Bring the mixture to the boil, reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the fresh spinach and butternut and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Garnish with greek yoghurt and fresh lime juice.

And enjoy the most delicious dish!

Alright Tit. My favourite Blog.

Monday, November 26

Since I entered into the blogging world, there have been a few blogs that I've followed pretty solidly.  I've also begun to agree with the posts I've read about how you can feel like you really are stalking some of your favourite bloggers...Which I suppose you aren't really as they have put their posts out there to be read.  However, I have also read a few posts by some of the more popular bloggers advising that you never put information about your home there really are some genuine stalkers out there!

 One of the best blogs I've encountered in my wanderings around the world wide web, is Alright Tit, by Lisa Lynch.  Now anything that you read about writing a successful blog online, will tell you, you need to write every day to be successful.  Lisa last wrote 5 weeks ago, and I can tell you, she writes one of the best blogs out there.

A bit about her, copied and pasted from her Blog bio:

Welcome to the website of me, Lisa Lynch: author, editor, blogger, wife, Ram, telly-addict, doofus, cancer bitch (but not, I hasten to add, cancer's bitch). The latter of those things is what initially got me blogging, swearing my way through The Bullshit following a pesky breast-cancer diagnosis at 28. Some three years down the line – with newly grown hair, a newly published book and a newly perky rack – I dared to assume that I'd seen the worst… only for the c-word to crop up once more: this time in my bones and brain, and this time incurable.

Every post that I have read of hers, makes me laugh, and usually cry a little too.  The way Lisa describes a situation is incredible. Her most recent post, where she explains how her Medical team told her that she had brain tumours, begins with...

Another 3 Month Follow up with my Doctor, and what all Parents should look out for on their Children's skin.

Thursday, November 22

Today was the day of my dreaded three month check up, I know, I can't believe how quickly it came around either, after my melt down last time here, and the time before here.

Anyway, fortunately it was good news all round, and there are no new dodgy looking anythings on my skin! My Doctor is also optimistic about the pain I've been having my arm when it swells, and says she thinks it is healing and that my sensation is improving. I'm not sure I agree, but at least there were no new drama's today:)

I found this article the other today on the C.S Mott Children's Hospital Website, via the google alerts that I get about Melanoma every week. I've copied a few paragraph's and pasted below. Look on their site for more information with regards to treatment of Melanoma in children.

My Hens Party-The BEST weekend Ever!

Monday, November 19

This weekend was one of my favouritest weekends of my life so far.

A weekend away with the best bunch of girls in the world to celebrate my hens party, before we get married in December.

I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I sent Jen and Beany, two of my bridesmaids, and the only two that live in the UK, a list of people that I would like to celebrate the last of my unmarried days with, and that was the last I heard of anything. Other than being told to keep this past weekend free,  I knew absolutely nothing of what was going to happen.  Not who was going, where we were going or what to expect.

I was told to  pack an all black outfit, and walking shoes.

And then on Friday morning, Jen came to fetch my bag from me, and gave me two envelopes.  I was to open the first envelope, and would 'be told when to open the second.'

First Envelope:

Ok, English countryside I was guessing.

I got to the Starbucks in the village after seeing my midday patient, and looked around. I soon saw my friend  Cath walking towards me.  After collecting a coffee, we walked towards to the most gorgeous little salon, and had manicures.

Cath then said I could open the second envelope, where further instructions awaited me.  Cath has the cutest  little baby in the world, and so unfortunately couldn't come away with us for the weekend.

Chicken and Quinoa Soup in Slow Cooker

Wednesday, November 14

As mentioned here this week, the cold weather is upon us here in London.  

Last week, I needed to make something that would be ready and warm for us for dinner when we got home, as we were both only going to be back later than usual.

I found this recipe online and popped it all in the slow cooker just as I left home in the afternoon.  Five hours later, we opened the door, to the most amazing smell and delicious dinner that I have ever created with so little effort!

It is called a soup, but it actually turned out more like a casserole, and was less soup like in consistency than I expected it to be.

If you own a slow cooker, you have to make this! And I am such a fan of the nutritional benefits of quinoa as mentioned here.

Chicken and Quinoa Slower Cooker Soup

Autumn Days and a Little bit of Magic

Monday, November 12

I think we can safely say that Winter is upon us in London! I am already looking forward to going home for four weeks of warmth for our Wedding in December.

The lighting outside has been very striking over the past few weeks with the seasons changing, especially in the afternoons. Below are a few pictures I've taken with my iphone lately.

Walking from Portobello Market on Saturday

My 6 Favourite Books of 2012 so far...

Thursday, November 8

This post was initially going to be my top 5 books of all time, but I think I will need to think a bit more about this, and make it a top 10, before I attempt such a monumental task.

And then it was titled my Favourite 5 Books of 2012, but I couldn't narrow it down from 6 to 5, and so 6 it is.

I have mentioned often on this blog how much I love reading, and I always have. My brothers say that I missed out on my childhood, as I was always reading, but I disagree:)

These are books that I've read this year, they weren't necessarily released this year.

In no particular order...

1. The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.

A brilliant story and the reason that I won't be having any lillies at my Wedding.

Simple Lentil and Spinach Curry with Yoghurt and Coriander

Tuesday, November 6

A year ago, the thought of this dish would not have appealed to me at all! However with trying to eat more healthily this year and having more time and energy on my hands since starting my own Physio practice, I decided to try it for dinner last night from the allrecipes website.  It was really delicious, and the first time in a while that Pete didn't comment that the dish 'would have been even nicer with some meat in it.'

The Rats, the Breakfast Cereal and the Cardboard Box

Monday, November 5

A few months ago, I was chatting to someone who certainly doesn't radiate with good health, and we were discussing healthy lifestyle choices.  She said "I think I'm alright really, I mean I eat a high GI diet, but I'm ok." As discussed previously here, there really are a frightening number of people that feel more positive about their body images than they should.

This very overweight lady then went on to tell me, "I always eat breakfast too.  Sometimes twice." I must have looked confused as she then elaborated.  "Well I eat Sugar Puffs at home in the morning, and then by the time I get to work, I'm hungry again, so I have another bowl of them."

I tried to share some of my newly acquired nutrition wisdom about the horrors of sugar and why fibre is important etc...and within 30 seconds I realised that she wasn't listening, didn't care, and that nothing that I said was going to make any difference to this woman.

I thought of her today when I read about this study in the book Journey to Hope that I am reading, and then googled this study further, and copied the below from here:

Skin+Care - The Stunning new Shop in the Wimbledon Village.

Friday, November 2

Last weekend as I wandered about the shops in the Wimbledon Village, before I met Robs for lunch, I discovered the most fabulous shop.  A shop devoted to natural skin care and household products, owned by a fellow South African, and so so pretty! Within moments of meeting Lisa, I was captivated by her passion for good quality, no nasties skin care, and fascinated by her knowledge of the beauty industry.  She is also so incredibly friendly, that within minutes I felt like I had known her forever, I have since noticed this happen with each person who comes through her shop doors!

I bought the Green People face wash that she recommended for my particular skin needs, and I can not believe how great my skin is looking! And I know that it is better for me, than the one I was using previously:) I popped in to see her again this weekend and Lisa agreed to answer a few questions for me to share here.

Book Club-so much more than just sharing good books

Wednesday, October 31

Last night was our monthly book club catch up, hosted this time, by me.  I've mentioned this little get together on here before, and it really is one of my favourite evenings of the month!  We are more of a book share than a book club, and as the host you make dinner and contribute two new books that month.  Usually there are more than two additions though, as people add books that they have discovered and enjoyed since the last time we met.

The evening is usually 3/4 focussed on the meal and catch up with everyone's lives, and 1/4 on the book sharing.  I think that the unique thing about our group, is that everyone does genuinely enjoy reading.   And so, whilst many 'book clubs' have the reputation of being 'wine clubs', ours is primarily based on our love of reading.  Not to say that we don't enjoy a glass of wine at the same time.  I think that the reason that we have managed to keep going for so long, it will be four years in February, is that the joint focus of the evening is to share books as well as to catch up.  The book share element works well too, as if you aren't enjoying the book you are reading, you simply start a different one. 

My Mum is in a book club at home in South Africa, and theirs has been going for as long as I can remember,  it must be over 20 years.  Whilst I was at home recently, I joined them for a lovely afternoon of 3/4 tea drinking and cake eating and 1/4 book sharing.  It does seem to be the perfect ratio for a successful group:)

Why one more drink can increase your chances of getting breast cancer.

Monday, October 29

My Mum sent me a text this weekend saying that her friend Ann had recommended I read a book, called Journey to Hope.  She advised that I buy it asap, as it was free on the kindle store this weekend.  I had no idea what the book was about, and to be honest the title wasn't one I would have jumped at unprompted.  

I started to read it this morning, and I am already fascinated.  It is written by a Doctor, Thomas Hudson, who has specialised in Radiography, more specifically, mammograms.  I am only one Chapter in, but he has already described how all the holistic interventions that he used to scoff at, he now promotes whole heartedly.  This book is going to be right up my street!

He describes simply, evidence based research studies and how they relate to what is known currently about the non genetic factors that cause cancers, specifically breast cancer.

I have been very motivated today to be as healthy as possible this week, after a very lazy, headache filled day on the couch yesterday.   This was a result of a very energetic Prosecco drinking session to celebrate my friend Ryan's 30th Birthday on Saturday night!

Hudson mentions the following risk factors for breast cancers that are not genetically linked.

Only in South Africa!

Wednesday, October 24

With the launch of my new Physio practice, and the fact that I'm only doing home visits to Patients at the moment, I ideally need a car.  Problem is, is that my South African drivers license has expired, and so until I can exchange it for a British one, I needed to renew my old one.  The first morning that I was in my home town in Kokstad, South Africa, whilst we were there recently, I embarked on this mission.

Usually jobs like these I absolutely dread, and the queues and admin involved in it are a nightmare.

We arrived just as the Licensing department opened, and as I joined the first of a number queues, I realised I hadn't thought to bring my own passport sized photo's.  Thinking I would have to drive across town (be driven by my Mother) across town, my heart sank, until one of the traffic officials recommended that I get my pictures done across the road, with 'the ladies'.

I crossed the road and discovered two fabulous women who said they could certainly help me out with some pictures!

The 'Photo Booth'
Yes, that is a sheet hanging from a tree with pegs!

The pro's and con's of a "I'm so Fat" day

Monday, October 22

Some days nothing looks or feels right, I feel sure I've gained kilograms in days and I land up with a pile of clothes strewn across the bed before concluding that I have absolutely nothing to wear that I could possibly leave the house in.  

For the past five and a half years I have worn a uniform every day to work.  And for two of the four years that I was at University, we wore a uniform too.  Unsurprisingly, the last two and a half months of being self employed and uniform free, have resulted in a number of wardrobe dilemma's.  Combine a wardrobe meltdown with an 'I'm so fat' day, an overdue visit to the hairdressers and worst of all worst confidence killers, a cold sore, and I want to hide for a year. 

And no amount of reassurance from fiancee, family or friends all. 

I read an interesting article when I was at home in Health Intelligence, a great Health magazine I discovered in SA.

Apparently there are a number of influences as to whether you are comfortable with your body image.

Delicious Broad Bean and Warm Haloumi Salad inspired from my Aunt's Veggie Garden in SA

Wednesday, October 17

I have seriously neglected the Berry Diaries over the past few weeks whilst in South Africa on holiday and in the process of setting up my own Physiotherapy Practice here in London! I hope that I am able to dedicate some more time to write about the things that interest me (and hopefully you too) over the next while...

Whilst at home, my Aunt Judy asked me if I have ever made anything with Broad Beans as she has grown some on their Farm, and showed me them in her Vegetable Garden.  I had heard of them, but hadn't ever cooked anything with them.

No Place Like Home

Tuesday, October 9

I can't believe how quickly the past few days have gone by, and that on Sunday our two and a half week holiday in South Africa comes to an end! 

We have been very busy catching up up with Friends and Family and finalising plans for our Wedding, hence there has been little time for any blogging!

The view from my Bedroom at Home

The 5 Love Languages

Thursday, September 27

The Marriage Preparation Course that we did last Saturday, also touched on the Five Love Languages, as discussed by Gary Chapman.  My friends Kerryn and Alice gave me this book for my Birthday a few years ago (when I was a singleton) and I absolutely adore it.

There are also other variations on the same theme, for those already in relationships. Chap,an surmises that there are fundamentally five ways to show and to be shown love.

These are:

Loving Words
Quality Time
Thoughtful Presents
Physical Affection
Kind Actions

It is important that you and those close to you, know how you like to be shown love, and that with your partner especially you know how each other like to be loved.  This is often influenced by our up bringing.

The Importance of Date Night

Monday, September 24

On Saturday, Pete and I went to our Marriage Preparation course, held at the All Saints and Holy Trinity Parish of Wandsworth, in Putney, with Greg and Judith Prior.  Greg is the Vicar of the Church, and Judith his wife of 19 years.  The course is typically held over 5 weeks, but as we were unable to attend any 5 consecutive weeks that it was running, we opted for this all in one day course.

The course was excellent, and as Greg said in the introduction, even if you are not a Christian, the topics and values covered in the course are pretty pertinent to any relationship.

One of the sections that stood out to me, was that of reminding us how important it is to spend quality time together with your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/other half.

This time creates opportunities for effective communication, and keeps romance, love and fun alive.  It also ensures that you change your usual routine and do something special. 

They recommend the following:

Daily Time Together:

A set time where you talk to each other without the interruption of the TV, telephone or computer.  Try to find a designated time everyday that becomes a habit of catching up with each other.


A 'date night' or 'marriage time' once a week.  Make this a priority and put it in your diary.


Have a mini-honeymoon every year, where you spend time together away from your usual everyday routine. These they say, help to revitalise relationships and rekindle the romance.

When last did you have a 'date night'?

If you are living in London and looking for Marriage Preparation Courses, I would really recommend Greg and Judith's Course! Contact details here.

Happy Quality Timimg with your loved one:)

Busy Busy Days!

Friday, September 21

I can't believe that it has been over a week since I last wrote a post! When I resigned from working at the Hospital, I thought I would have hours to spend writing and researching all sorts of cool things on here!

On Sunday I went to Belper, no I don't think anyone else has heard of it either, to do the 2 day refresher Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage and bandaging course, as is mandatory.  Belper is a tiny village in Derbyshire and quite pretty.  Not too much happens there, we ate at the same restaurant 3 times in a row, there weren't many options!  

Read more about what MLD is, on my fabulous new website here.

This week has been non stop with seeing patients and getting organised for going to South Africa next Thursday for two weeks, for a Wedding and some Wedding planning of our own.

Tomorrow we are doing our Marriage Preparation Course, I can't believe that in three months and one day I will be a Mrs!

Have a lovely weekend,

Eat Less Crap

Thursday, September 13

Thought for Thursday: 


Have a Lovely Weekend!

Sky News: Diet may Protect against Melanoma

Tuesday, September 11

 I have mentioned before how my Doctors recommended that I completely review my dietary intake following my treatment for Melanoma Cancer for the third time this year.

I came across this article from Sky News Australia this week.

Research has again proven that antioxidants and omega-3 fats are protective against cancer, in a study focussed on Melanoma Cancer.

"A diet rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fats could help protect against skin cancer, research suggests.
Dr Niva Shapira said the Greek-style Mediterranean diet could play a role in contributing to that country's low rates of melanoma compared to Europe and other sunny countries such as Australia.
"It's more than their olive skin," said Dr Shapira, a researcher from Tel Aviv who is presenting her findings this week at the International Congress of Dietetics in Sydney.

"We think the difference in skin cancer rates may be partially due to the different eating habits in these countries," she said.
Dr Shapira studied two groups of women exposed to the sun for four to six hours a day over two weeks, with one group drinking an antioxidant-enriched beverage and the other drinking water or soft drinks.

Levels of malondialdehyde, an indicator of oxidative stress in the body linked to cancer risk, increased by about 55 per cent in those drinking water but dropped by 16 per cent in the women who had the fortified beverage.
Dr Shapira conducted further studies that found tomato paste, a Greek staple containing antioxidants such as lycopene, reduced and delayed UV-induced skin redness.
She said antioxidants accumulate in the skin and form a first line of protection against UV radiation and cell damage.

Antioxidants are plentiful in other foods that form the traditional Mediterranean diet, including omega-3 fats from fish, omega-9 in olive oil, fruit, vegetables, herbs and tea, Dr Shapira said.
An antioxidant-rich diet may be useful along with current sun-smart advice, she said.
Dietitians Association of Australia spokesperson Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos said the research was promising.

Such a diet could be especially useful during childhood, when the risk of inducing melanoma was high, she said.

Israel once had the world's third-highest rate of skin cancer after Australia and New Zealand but recently dropped back to 18th.
In 2010 the Israeli Cancer Association recommended that sun smart behaviour should include the right nutrition."

Bring on those blueberries...


Monday, September 10

the crowds cheered as he entered the stadium

the inspirational man from our home country, in london,

the only competitor to compete in the both the olympics and the para olympics

and so guaranteed a win in the second,

or so we thought,

but as he stepped onto the track for the 11th time

a gold medal in 2012 had so far eluded him,

as nix and i sat with our south african flags and watched the track and field events prior to the race

the fear in our stomachs grew along with the anxiety of the british citizens sat us around us

everyone rooting for oscar,

for the man who has proven that disability does not condemn you from reaching for your dreams,

he appeared  confident as he warmed up,

although his nemesis oliveira was to race in the lane beside him,

'quiet for the start please'

and we were,

and then they were off,

he ran with all his might,

and the crowd was completely lost in those seconds,

all willing him on,

our breaths held as he came past us,

as he ran and ran

and he won


my hero

our hero

an inspiration to us all

what a privilege to have witnessed this.

thanks to nix and si for the ticket!

Every year More People visit Zoos than attend all Sporting Events combined.

Thursday, September 6

According to Eric Weiner in his book The Geography of Bliss, it is in our genes to find natural settings peaceful.

My Parents Farm in South Africa

He also mentions a study that was conducted by a Psychologist, Roger Ulrich, with patients that were recuperating from gallbladder surgery at a Pennsylvania hospital.  

Some patients were assigned to a room overlooking a small strand of deciduous trees.

Others were assigned to rooms that overlooked a brick wall. Ulrich described the results:

Patients with the natural window view had shorter post-operative hospital stays, had fewer negative comments in nurses' notes...and tended to have lower scores for minor post-surgical complications such as headache or nausea requiring medication.  Moreover, the wall view patients required many more injections of potent painkillers.

Weiner in his book, mentions this study in his book when he is in Switzerland on his quest to visit some of the happiest and least happy countries in the world.  Switzerland is frequently mentioned in the top 3 of the World's happiest countries, and after spending time there and speaking to a number of residents, the Swiss citizens all mention that their connection to the nature around them contributes to their happiness.  

Spend some time with nature.

Or around animals.

Cattle on our farm at home.

You are likely to feel happier as a result:)

Busy People are Happier and a few other facts about Happiness...

Tuesday, September 4

So if you hadn't already guessed,I am fascinated by the topic of happiness, and at the moment I'm reading another book about the subject called The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner.

He says that so far, research on happiness has proved the following:

Some interesting points huh? Do you agree?

Apologies for the grainy look, my word design skills aren't too good, and when I put it into paint after typing it, it went like this!

Cinnamon and Blueberry Oats

Monday, September 3

I threw away my packs of Instant Oats after I mentioned here, how instant oats have a higher glycemic load than Steel cut or Rolled Oats, and how the Instant Oats although delicious with all that added sugar-really aren't that good for you.  

A Very Cool Story.

Friday, August 31

I met Sarah Anderson through the hospital where I used to work, and I often think after having spent time with her, that I want to be just like her when I grow up. She travels loads and has travelled all over the world, paints beautifully, reads extensively, writes and is really nice too.

The business that she started in 1979 as a result of her passion for travel also became world famous when Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts hung out there together surrounded by books...yes Sarah started the The Travel Bookshop in Notting Hill, featured in the 1998 movie Notting Hill.

Let us all be inspired to Move!

Wednesday, August 29

"A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world." –Paul Dudley White

A friend of mine is working as a Volunteer Physio at the Para Olympics, and she says that the past week that she has been there whilst all the athletes are training, has been one of the most inspiring times of her life.

Seeing the Athletes enter the stadium tonight in the Opening Ceremony, I am already amazed by their incredible ability to overcome their physical difficulties and compete in gruelling events.

Wonderful and Most Excellent against all diseases of the body...?

Monday, August 27

I met a lady last year who had been told by Doctors two years previously that she was in urgent need of a Liver transplant. She said that upon hearing this and after years of being under the care of various Doctors and endless blood tests and medications, and not feeling at all well, she decided that not only did she not want the transplant, she no longer wanted any of their opinions nor treatments and so discharged herself from their Medical care.  

Instead, two years later, she was seeing a Psychic regularly, eating healthily and meditating, and had never felt better.

Now I have no idea if she was telling the entire truth, but she did look well and happy with her everyday life.

I've always been quite sceptical about alternative remedies and the power of non clinically or scientifically proven methods to cure ailments, and at the time I thought that this woman was crazy.  

Are you talking to Me?

Friday, August 24

This week I spent ages chatting to the Newsagents owner's son about the colour that they have just painted the outside of their shop.  And looking through the colour palettes of the colours that they had almost chosen.  And played with their kitten whilst he called the Magazine distributors to see if he could get me a copy of the July UK Tatler Magazine (I'm super excited to be in the social pages, after attending the Eat Yourself Young Book Launch)....and dying for my own copy after my friend Emily spotted me in it while she waited at the Dentists.

But I digress.

  I also had a long chat yesterday evening with the teller at the ridiculously busy Waterloo station M&S whilst I paid for my salmon fillets.  About how he sometimes wishes he could just sit under the counter and have some peace, and how being the corner most till, he may actually get away with it, without anyone noticing.

Now in South Africa, and I'm sure in many other parts of the world, conversations like this may be quite ordinary.

The Perfect Summer Salad

Thursday, August 23

Following my absolute delight yesterday at my biopsies being clear and me being 100% Cancer free, I was inspired to cook a nutritious but tasty meal for our friends that came for dinner last night.

My friend Bindy gave me the Ottolenghi Cookbook for my Birthday last week, and in this I found this great French Bean, Mangetout, Hazelnut and Orange Salad.  I served it together with this Yoghurt and Spices Chicken Bake, and wild rice, and the meal was pretty delicious if I do say so myself....

(my amateur photography skills really don't do this dish justice)

BEST news Ever!

Wednesday, August 22

I have just spoken to the Nurse at my Doctors Clinic and they got the results back on my Biopsies and it is ALL good news! 

No Cancer-All Clear!

And as my little brother Paddy just said-

"All Clear for Life"

Curly Kale Chips in the Cotswolds

After another very tough day in the Cotswolds on Monday, going for walks and generally just relaxing, we drove to Cirencester to buy some dinner.

Why rush back to London when you can stay in the Cotswolds?

Monday, August 20

A weekend in a gorgeous house in the Cotswolds with special friends and very un England like sunny weather is exactly what I needed after my emotional upset on Thursday.

A Horrible Doctor's Appointment followed by Birthday Drinks with Special Friends

Friday, August 17

Three months ago, in this post here, I elaborated on the fear that I experienced in the prelude to my previous three monthly check up at my Doctor.  I've also described before here, how the support of my friends and family kept me going during all my treatment for Melanoma cancer earlier this year.

Yesterday was my Birthday, and also the only available day that my Surgeon was able to see me for my check up.  Now I knew when I made this appointment a few weeks ago, that the timing wasn't ideal, but I had no other option.  The morning began with the usual feeling of dread, terror and fear about the impending visit, and loads of Birthday texts, calls and emails.  The day was largely overshadowed by the first half of the previous sentence.  And by the fact that I had the pleasure of collecting the very unattractive necessary compression sleeve that I need to wear to try and reduce the swelling in my right arm as a result of where my lymph nodes were taken in my axilla to check the cancer hadn't spread earlier this year... 

Breathe like a Bear and a Bumblebee...

Wednesday, August 15

I've mentioned before here what a fan I am of controlled breathing, and here the proven health benefits of yoga.

Recently I've treated a number of children that struggled to concentrate on any activity for more than a few minutes before their eyes and minds wandered off from the task at hand.  These children also often have poor coordination and weak core strength.  Thus I've found myself incorporating more and more Yoga breathing techniques and Yoga Postures to work on focussing, stretching and strengthening into my treatment sessions.

I was super excited when my friend Lisa (also a Children's Physio) told me about Yoga Pretzels by Tara Guber and Leah Kalish.  It is a box of 50 individual cards with different Yoga Activities.  It arrived the other day and it really is great for Grown ups and Kids of all ages!

Red Bean and Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Monday, August 13

This Weekend was great fun, but not very healthy!  

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