My TEATox Begins

Thursday, May 29

My 14 day supply of tea bags for my "TEAtox" arrived this morning from Your Tea, and I've just drunk my first cup.  

It tastes pretty inoffensive, not amazing but not disgusting, so hopefully it makes two weeks of three cups of this brew a day easily manageable!

In case you are wondering what I am on about:

The 14 day Tiny TEAtox states that it is:

"an organic blend that will nourish and gently cleanse your digestive system."

"With each sip, my ingredients will help reduce to bloating, remove toxins, improve energy levels and nudge away any surplus weight."

I've taken a few 'pre tea tox' pictures and I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes!

I will keep you posted...

Life Lately

Monday, May 26

Whilst initially I really enjoyed the Blog Every Day in May challenge that I was doing, the past few prompts have really failed to inspire me.  I had a few half hearted attempts at writing something about them, but I completely bored myself and so I can't imagine how boring they would be to read!

So I may dip into them again in a few days, but today I though I would share a few photo's from the past week of my life. Which I accept may be a little boring too! 

My brother Rich works on a super yacht, which has been in London for the past week and so it has been great spending time with him!

Last Sunday we spent the day at the Daylesford Organic farm for my friend Lulu's baby shower.  We had such a wonderful day! It is definitely one of my favourite places EVER and I recommended it on Catherine's blog Sprunting this week in her Three Things Friday series this week too.

I have loved hanging out with my 6 month old BFF Will this week! He is the smiliest and giggliest baby ever.  I am not broody at all.

Pip decided it was time for her best friend Rufus to have a drink of his water and he obliged. How Adorable! 

On Saturday we met up with Rich, Bindy, Sam and Will for lunch and a rather rainy walk around Borough market.

If I wasn't a Physio, I think I would be a florist.

Yesterday we went to Noodlez, Simon and Nicole's house for a BBQ. 

It was a little chilly but sunny enough to sit outside for most of the afternoon.  Nix works for Google and has a pair of the new Google Glasses, which I had never seen before.   You can actually follow her Instagram account here to see more about them!

I was in charge of dessert and made a slightly naughty but delicious dessert of Eton Mess.  I mixed half plain yoghurt and half cream to make it a little healthier than it would have been with just cream! And the strawberries and blueberries certainly contributed to it's healthiness.

Thanks if you are still reading this and I hope that you your past week as has been as happy and lovely as mine has!

PS these photo's are mixture of iPhone and SLR, so apologies for the reduced quality of some of them :)

The Rats, the Breakfast Cereal and the Cardboard Box

Friday, May 23

Today's prompt is to discuss a controversial comment that you have received on your blog.  A comment that was left recently on a blogpost that I wrote in November 2012 came to mind.

This is a copy of the the post that I wrote titled:

The Rats, the Breakfast Cereal and the Cardboard Box

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:

Another unpublished experiment was carried out in the 1960s. Researchers at Ann Arbor University were given 18 laboratory rats. They were divided into three groups: one group received corn flakes and water; a second group was given the cardboard box that the corn flakes came in and water; the control group received rat chow and water. The rats in the control group remained in good health throughout the experiment. 
The rats eating the box became lethargic and eventually died of malnutrition. 
But the rats receiving the corn flakes and water died before the rats that were eating the box! (The last corn flake rat died the day the first box rat died.) But before death, the corn flake rats developed schizophrenic behavior, threw fits, bit each other and finally went into convulsions. The startling conclusion of this study is that there was more nourishment in the box than there was in the corn flakes.
This experiment was actually designed as a joke, but the results were far from funny. The results were never published and similar studies have not been conducted.
So you may be better off tomorrow eating your cereal box rather than cereal in your bowl...So what to eat then? Well I am no dietician or nutritionist, but I can safely recommend that anything that has the word Sugar in front is not a good one. And as discussed here, Oats are a winner.  A great Oats recipe here too.

Anonymous wrote the following recently: 
  1. You're basing your info off of an unpublished study? A study that was never peer reviewed, or duplicated. It's more likely that that study was never done and people have been repeating it for years, it's as likely to be true as the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus.

    Now I know that there are many bloggers (particularly the very successful ones) who have had really horrible comments left on their blogs.  There are entire websites and forums dedicated to slagging off people on the internet.  I am thus extremely grateful that this is the most negative comment that I have received, but oh my goodness it really did rock me!

    I then answered with the below. 
  2. Hi Anon, Thanks for taking the time to comment! And I am glad that it has made you think. Whilst it may be an old wives tale (which is why I mentioned the source from which I had copied the information from), if it makes anyone think twice about consuming a sugary breakfast cereal, then perhaps it is a good tale to be repeated? What is your breakfast of choice?

    What do you think?

    P.s : I know the photo is very random, but seriously, what vaguely attractive picture could I have put here that related to the post??

3 of my Favourite Youtube Videos

Thursday, May 22

Today's prompt for the blog every day in May challenge that I am doing is to share a video clip that I am currently loving.  Three clips came to mind.

I am pretty clueless when it comes to music, but my sister Tess sent me the link below this week by a band that she recently discovered and I love it too!

This is one of my favourite TED talks ever!

The research about "Power posing" before interviews fascinates me.

And then this proposal is just my favourite.

Although I'm sure that you have already seen it before! Pete says he thinks a lots of the views are me watching it over and over :)

Do you have any Youtube favourites currently?

What's on your Plate?

Wednesday, May 21

On my food plate this week, I am following national vegetarian week as best that I can! I only realised it was this week after having salmon for dinner on Monday evening though, so I will be doing just under a week.

Talking of which, I am very tempted to do a detox of sorts, I was inspired by Susan's raw food detox that she wrote about recently, and now I just need to commit to doing it. I'm also going to have a few more attempts at convincing Pete to join me on it :)

I came across the Your Tea company this week, that does a 14 day Teatox, where you drink a cup of herbal tea 3 times a day before or after meals.  It costs £20 for the two weeks for the required tea bags and aims to cleanse and detoxify your body.  It appears to have had some great reviews so I'm keen to give it a try!

On my life plate currently, I am pretty busy with my Physiotherapy practice, blogging, catching up with friends and trying to set up my Youtube channel with educational videos for Women and children from a Physio perspective.  The video editing is not easy!

This morning I met with a representative from the DA abroad about volunteering for them in London,  which is exciting.  We met at Brickwood, the coolest little coffee shop near Clapham Common tube station! I would really recommend that you pop in there if you are in the area, even if it's just to admire their teal tea cups.

Hope that you are having a super week so far!

P.s : Thanks to all of you that have sent me such lovely messages about this post that I wrote yesterday.  I really appreciate it! 

Who Inspires You?

Tuesday, May 20

Photo taken by Tess from Tess Unplugged

I am inspired by:

People who are at peace with themselves and who take true delight in others peoples success and good fortune.

People who run charities or support good causes that benefit others hugely but have little or no financial rewards for themselves.

People who get up early every day to exercise or meditate or work on a project that they wouldn't usually have time to.

People who are disciplined with looking after their health and well being and who prioritise the importance of caring for the body that they reside in.

Entrepreneurs and anyone who takes the giant leap to start their own business.

Anyone who has had a business fail and has been brave enough to try again.

Artists, creatives and writers who think up great and beautiful things and are unfussed by how society expects them to behave to be 'normal'.

Mothers. Especially my own, who is the proverbial rock of our family who everyone depends on for practical and emotional matters. Her support is unwavering and she is definitely the strongest person that I know.

Teachers. The great ones that have the ability instil in a child the belief that they are wonderful and the confidence that they can be anything that they dream to.

Parents of children with special needs. Parenting is already the toughest job in the world, and I am constantly amazed by the strength and resilience of the parents of the children that I treat.

People who are open minded and non judgemental of others, especially if their own upbringing didn't promote this.

People who are true to their own morals and values no matter what the situation.

People who are interested in others.

People who make every effort to be positive when they have every reason to be negative.

5 of my Daily Blog Reads

Monday, May 19

I LOVE Reading Blogs. And through this space of mine on the Internet I have made some incredible real life friends.  The evening before I flew back to South Africa in April, I got to have dinner with five of my favourite blogger ladies. We had such a wonderful evening together - I just wish I had taken some photo's! 

  Not only do I love reading about their lives online, but I can tell you that these are 5 incredibly special girls in real life too!

And so let me introduce them to you:

Wow but can this girl take a photo! I love every image from her blog - but this post of her workspace at home is one of my favourite, mainly because I am so nosy as to what other people's homes look like!

Freya from Nishaantishu

Other than Che, I've known the lovely Freya the longest of these blogger ladies, and it was through her that I met Michelle, Catherine and Jo! I am fascinated by the fact that she is from Bermuda originally and that she is getting married there at her Grandfather's home later this year! Freya also takes incredible photo's and these ones from her recent work trip are some of my favourites!   

Catherine from Sprunting

Catherine I met at one of Michelle's Eat n Snap workshops last year, and she is definitely the first person that I have met who lives in London and has a pet rabbit!  I just adore this idea that she had for her brothers Birthday.  Hint hint to my friends and family?   

Michelle from My Creative

It is thanks to Michelle that I took the giant leap from the automatic function on my camera after attending her Eat n Snap workshop with Freya last summer.  A fellow South African, she now lives in  Italy, but we get to see her again in a few weeks before Wedding! Other than taking the MOST incredible photo's, she writes thought provoking articles and I thought that this one was brilliant.

Che from Indieberries

Picture by Casey Pratt
Che and I were at school together in South Africa, although only really got to know each other well recently in London.  I adore her blog and not only is she one of the kindest and most thoughtful human beings that I know, but she draws the most hilarious cartoons, tells the best stories about her life, makes amazing Wedding guest books and is an aspiring Yogi! 

Happy Blog Reading my friends!

What are your favourite blogs?

A Picnic in the Park

Saturday, May 17

The super yacht that my brother Rich works on arrived in London yesterday and it has been so good to see him! I didn't even know that large boats could come up the Thames River?

This afternoon we spent on Clapham common for a belated Birthday picnic for Beany and it was wonderful.  The gorgeous weather today resulted in the venue changing from meeting at a bar to a bring and share picnic on the common a few hours before the party, and I'm so pleased that it did.

It was the perfect kind of afternoon!

Happy 30th my Beana, can you believe that we have been friends for 18 years?

Small is Beautiful

Friday, May 16

I read the most wonderful article in this month's Om Yoga magazine about celebrating the small things in life. 

It discussed how: Life can be big and heavy and crazy, but if you are willing to enjoy small pleasures and find love in the little things, you can create time and space to slow down and smile.

And it made me think about some of the small things in my life that bring me great joy.

1.  Gift wrapping with love and care.  

2. When Pete brings me coffee in bed.

3.  The thrill of reading the first page of a new book, and knowing I'm entering a whole new world in my mind.

4.  Cuddles with friends precious new babies.

5. The moment that I get a high five from a child who I am treating as I praise them for their good work and their little faces beam back at me in return.

6. Being lent a book or receiving a link to an article that someone is sure I would enjoy.

7. Laughing and reliving ridiculous stories with friends.

8. The peace and calm in my mind after a yoga class.

9. When someone contacts me to say that they have just discovered the amazingness that is Yoga and that they too are now hooked.

10.  Every bit of interaction that I get from anyone who reads this space of mine on the internet.

What are your small but beautiful moments?

Have a Happy Friday friends!

Disclaimer: The kind people at Om Yoga Magazine, have given me a free online subscription in return for me occasionally sharing articles in the magazine on Berry Diaries. Considering that I buy the magazine every month anyway, I was delighted to be asked, and I hope that you enjoy hearing about the online Om Yoga magazine on here too!

A Message that Inspires You

Thursday, May 15

Today we are talking inspirational messages and this inspired me to screen print this message onto a shopping tote bag this afternoon! 

My Mum made this screen when she made me my cool yoga bolster which can see here on Instagram.

I discovered a few lovely quotes this afternoon on Pinterest and I really want my Mum to make me another screen with one of them on.

I've narrowed them down to three, and can't choose my favourite!

Please help!

Which one do you like best?

Sources 1 / 2 / 3

Thanks so much and Have a Happy Day!

A Funny Story

Wednesday, May 14

Today I'm supposed to tell you a funny story.

Unfortunately, I have a cold and I'm not feeling too hilarious right now.

This photo makes me laugh though! We were all posing so nicely when my cousin's dog decided he wanted in on the photo too!

I will tell you a story that two of the children that I treat think is absolutely hilarious, and request that I retell it to them at most of our sessions.

In South Africa, we call trousers, 'pants'.

And in the UK, 'pants' are your underwear.

When I first arrived in the UK, I was unaware of this very important difference.

As a Physiotherapist, there are often occasions where we need to ask patients to remove their trousers for a treatment or an assessment.

I unfortunately asked an unsuspecting gentleman to remove his 'pants' and I was horrified when I turned around!

Not a pleasant surprise!

The two children who love this story have taken it upon themselves to remind me weekly that British people call pants 'Trousers!' and often ask if it has happened again :)

In other news today, my 15 year old little sitter has started her own blog!

I am so proud of her.

I love the post that she put up today - oh my goodness she was is the CUTEST kid ever!

Pop over to Tess Unplugged and have a look!

And I loved my little Yogi friend Indieberries' post today too!

I hope that you are having a super week so far <3


Tuesday, May 13

I feel saddest in my day
when a parent asks
If I feel there is anyway
that their child may walk

'We just hope' they say
'That maybe in some kind of way
She could walk outside and play?'

Their pleading eyes
often then downcast
as they know my answer
They had just hoped and asked

But my worst of the worst
when a little boy I treat
told me he plans to be a scientist
to invent something to get him on his feet

Today's prompt for the blog every day in may challenge was to attempt some prose or poetry....

I feel sad after writing this...

Have you ever tried any?

How Berry Diaries Came About

Monday, May 12

Today's prompt in the Blog Every Day in May challenge that I am doing is to explain how your blog's name came about.

If you have been reading my blog for a while you know this, so my apologies if you feel like you have heard this story far too many times already...

In late December 2011 I was in South Africa on holiday and went for a check up at my dermatologist.  I had had 2 malignant melanoma's before (in 2004 and 2006) and so I used to go for a check up once a year when back in South Africa.  I have since learnt that I really should have been followed up every three months for at least 3 years and then 6 monthly for 2 years after these had been discovered and my surgeon and Oncologist in the UK are horrified that I wasn't.

Anyway, at this check up in the December, my dermatologist noticed that a mole on my right upper back had changed (she saw this on mole mapping where each mole is photographed at each session and compared to the previous time) and so she cut it out.  I have had loads of moles cut off of me in my life and to be honest, I didn't even give this one a second thought and the next day I flew back to London.

Four days later my Mum called me really early on what was a dark and freezing cold and rainy London morning and said that unfortunately the biopsy was back and the mole was another malignant melanoma.

My heart sank, and the first of many tears began to flow.

This meant that I needed a big chunk of tissue to re be removed from around where this cancerous mole had been to ensure it was all out and to have a biopsy of the adjacent lymph nodes to check that the cancer hadn't spread any further.  I also needed a PET CT scan, to check that there was no other cancer lurking anywhere else in my body.

What then followed was a week of absolute hell in trying to decide which Doctor I should go to, and wether I should have further surgery done in the UK or to fly back to South Africa for it.

The NHS in the UK is the most incredible institution, and if you are after life saving treatment there is seriously nowhere better that you could go.  But if you are looking for a mildly sympathetic GP and an efficient referral to a hospital and you were me that week, these were not to be found.  I sat sobbing in an overtired and completely emotionless locum NHS GP's consulting rooms and was then referred to the wrong department at St George's Hospital.

In between all of this, I discovered that the man in charge of setting up the private healthcare scheme that I was entitled to at the Private hospital where I worked had erroneously not processed my form and so I didn't have private cover that I was supposed to.

Just as I was about to book a flight back to South Africa where I did have private cover, my boss' tantrum to the man who made the mistake paid off - and suddenly my private cover was all set up.

By the time I walked into the lady who was to do my surgery's consulting rooms on Harley Street, I was an exhausted and emotional but grateful wreck.

I sat patiently waiting for her to advise me about not going into the sun as I have fair colouring, something which by melanoma number 3 I was well aware of, but constantly advised to do by well meaning Doctors. (As an aside, I have never bee a sun worshipper and nor have I ever been on a sun tanning bed.)

Instead, this middle aged Swedish lady asked me:

"Do you eat blueberries?"

I thought I had misheard but answered,

"Um yes,"

As I did back then, if one was put on my plate.

"You need to eat them every single day. They are expensive, but they will save your life."

Over the next week as she did my surgery she continued to advise me on healthy eating, letting go of toxic relationships and the importance of enjoying each day. Over the next few months, she also really pushed me to leave my job and start my own Physiotherapy practice. 

She inspired me to learn more about the importance of what I put into my body and what makes people happy and so I started writing a newsletter email for my friends.

My friend Nix works for Google and she then set up this blog for me.  It was her husband Simon that decided on the name after my blueberry inspiration from Dr A.

I still see my Doctor every three months fro a follow up,  and the last time that I saw her, she said:

"Just look at how far you have come since the first time that I met you."

Upon reflection, I really have come a very long way.

I am so much healthier and happier than I used to be.

And I really think that a lot of it is down to her!

The Moss Letter Company Photo Shoot

Sunday, May 11

A few weeks ago, I was having breakfast with my lovely friend Che, when Jodie from the Moss Letter company emailed her and asked if Che and Warren would be models in a Photo Shoot with her gorgeous moss letters.

Che and Warren were going to be in South Africa on the day of the proposed shoot, and so Che said that Jodie should ask me.

Jodie emailed me with her proposal: Staying the night in the hotel that she used to run in the Cotswolds, my hair and make up being done and the link to a Pinterest mood board for the shoot.

Needless to say -  I was SOLD on the idea.

Pete on the other hand, was not.

After lots of begging, some persuasion, he kindly agreed to be in the shoot with me.

And I am so delighted that he did! We had so much fun and the entire team involved in the shoot could not have been more FABULOUS.

We had some extreme weather: including rain, hail, sunshine, some arctic winds (seriously I thought I was going to be blown off of that branch), and it was SO cold at times, but we also laughed so much!

I adore the moss letters that Jodie sells and it's no wonder that so many people are buying them to use as decor for their Weddings and Events.

If you are getting Married soon, you need these Moss Letters at your Wedding.

And if you are getting Married in the UK, you need Craig Dearsley as your photographer - he is awesome!

The Team
Jodie Bond – Shoot stylist and moss letters
Craig Dearsley – Photographer
Veronica Dearsley – Second shooter
Tattie Rose and Hayley Rumble– Florist
Maria Evangelou Ward – Cakes
Jules Cardozo-Marsh – Make-up
Helen Rose – Hair
Jackie Beddall – Bunting
Melanie and Rob Gruihn – Table decorations
Suzie Goodman – Car
Cara Wagstaff of Cocoa Couture – Dress

Thank you so so much Jodie for having us, and to the rest of the team for  a wonderful day!

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