Juicing + Bloggers + Fitness Event

Thursday, July 31

Last week I attended the "Curry's Intro to Juicing" event for bloggers, hosted by Shaun and his lovely team at Greenlight Digital

It was SO much fun!

Curry's were showcasing the Phillip's juicer, and they had a number of them set up. There was also a big table of fruit and veg for us to create our own juices from!

Before making our juices, we had a talk by Derry Temple from Urban Kings Gym, where he discussed the nutritional benefits and downfalls of juicing.

Derry reminded us of the benefits of juicing which include 
Increased Energy Levels
Strengthening of the Immune System

And warned us against juicing with too much fruit.  
He explained that when our livers are exposed to high levels of fructose sugars from fruit without their fibre (in juicing the fibre is discarded in the pulp), then the liver can turn the fructose into fat.

Whereas if you are keeping the fibre in the fruit juice drink, like in a smoothie, then your liver is less likely to turn the fructose into fat.

So as a general rule of thumb, I've concluded that if you are making a 'juice' with lots of fruit, then it's preferable to rather make a smoothie in your blender so as to retain the fibre in the pulp. If you are juicing, then rather juice more vegetables than fruit so that you are getting lower fructose levels in your drink.

After we had made our delicious juices (Siobhan and I put carrot, celery, apple, ginger and lime in ours), it was work out time.

Derry took us downstairs to the Urban Kings Gym and within 30 minutes had created a very very sweaty and exhausted group of bloggers through a circuit training race between two teams.

It was tiring but really enjoyable! And it's amazing how quickly you can force yourself to do a set number of squats, burpees, push ups or jumps when your entire teams's performance is at stake! 

I've said it before, but I just adore Blogger girls!

I finally met Ibbs, whose blog I have read for ages and loved meeting Emily!  
Hanging out with Siobhan, Nicole and Che was wonderful as always.

The super evening was followed by the great news that the kind people at Curry's and Phillips are apparently giving each us of that attended a 2 in 1 Phillips blender! I'm yet to receive mine but will let you know when I do:)

THANK YOU to Curry's and the great Joe's Bloggers team at Greenlight Digital!


Monday, July 28

You guys. What were the chances that after blogging last week about this amazing looking Yurt that I really want to visit, that I would end up staying in one this weekend for a hen do?

Great hey!

For my dear friend Anna's hen party, her lovely bridesmaids Laura and Kate organised that we went Glamping at Bloomsbury's Biddenden in Kent this weekend. 

I was unsure as to what Glamping entailed, but basically we had super comfy mattress beds all made up for us in these pretty Yurts. Inside there are mats on the floors, a plug point and a heater (which we certainly didn't need!) Our little set up of three yurts around a campfire, had it's own sheltered kitchen area with benches, a fridge, kettle, tap for running water and basic kitchen accessories.  The showers and toilets were in a  communal bathroom for us and the weekends other Glamping residents (two other hen party groups).  The site also has a lovely rustic themed restaurant, bar and shop where we enjoyed a delicious dinner on Saturday evening and some dancing along to a local band, Project F's, live tunes.

On Friday evening we BBQed and sat around the campfire.  On Saturday morning we went kayaking nearby before coming back to set up an Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon tea whilst Anna was distracted and taken shopping by some of the other girls.

After setting our feast up, we changed and waited for our "Alice" to arrive!

She was super excited when she was greeted by all of us dressed up behind some personalised bunting, and was given her outfit for the afternoon! 

After a few games of rounders, rather unsurprisingly, the afternoon soon turned into me directing some Acro Yoga and it didn't take long before Alice was being held up by the Queen of Hearts!

On Sunday morning we had a gentle Yoga class by a local teacher which was the perfect ending to what had been a rather active weekend!

We were incredibly lucky with the weather, although at points I actually felt too hot, which I do appreciate is a luxury in England :)

I thoroughly enjoyed the Glamping, and would love to do it again.  And I loved the group of girls that we were there with, although I didn't know any of them other than Anna from before!  As Anna is also Physio, there were actually 5 Physio's in our group for the weekend, 4 of which are Children's Physio's too!

  I would also really recommend Bloomsbury's Biddenden, they were very reasonably priced and the owners were on hand all weekend checking that we had everything we needed. They were very accommodating, even complying with the Hen's request to have our campfire lit at midnight on Saturday evening!

It is also only just over an hour's drive from London.

It is definitely popular for hen do's though-so perhaps not the best option for a quiet family weekend away!

Amazing Spaces

Thursday, July 24

Images above from the Online Om Yoga Magazine

I went to a Yoga class recently with my friend Nicole from A Life Less Beige.  As I arrived at the small intimate yoga studio (not the one pictured above) and walked inside, I was struck by how much I INSTANTLY LOVED the space. The lighting was soft and gentle, there was calming music playing and it smelt amazing.  I felt relaxed and safe as soon as I entered.

It may also have been that after a disastrous performance by London's public transport system I had then had to catch a taxi into some very dense traffic.  I soon had to abandon the cab, mid traffic whilst apologising profusely to the driver as he sighed and surveyed the masses of cars around him, and I proceeded to power walk/jog towards the yoga studio on the sweltering hot day.

And so as I stepped into the cool air in the studio and realised I had made it in time, I felt an instantaneous relief.

As I relaxed on my yoga mat and waited for the class to start, I looked around and realised that upon closer inspection, it wasn't the gorgeous space that I had been struck with as I entered the room.

It was in fact a an old garage, with no natural light, and brick walls that had been painted white.  The lighting was from various strings of fairy lights, and candles scattered around, and the floor which had appeared to be wooden,was actually a series of interlocking rubber mats with a floor board pattern on them. The floor was also rather uneven, with a big lump at the bottom left of my yoga mat, which had obviously been strategically placed beside the uneven surface.

The gentle music and essential oil diffuser further added to the atmosphere.

Taking a closer look at the room, made me love it even more.  As I was struck once again by how you can make and space wonderful, calm and inviting, without having to purposefully refurbish it.

With fairly lights, candles, incense or essential oils and soothing music, you can create your own sanctuary, pretty much ANYWHERE.

I was immediately drawn, when reading this month's Om Yoga magazine online, to an article entitled Amazing Spaces.  And in the photo's above you can see that the space they photographed for their Amazing spaces feature really is Amazing!

The Yoga Garden, in the South Downs, in the South of England looks INCREDIBLE!

Oh my goodness I want to visit this Mongolian-Style Yurt so badly!

But until then I will continue to try and create my own Amazing Space in my little home :)

Do you have any tips on how you like to create your own Amazing Space at home?

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! I am not receiving any compensation from the Yoga Garden by writing about them here either!

Feeling Strong & That Fine Line

Friday, July 18

Yesterday, Che and I went to an advanced class at the Sivananda centre. A year ago. I wouldn't have been able to do even half of the poses.  We did headstands, handstands, the splits, peacock and scorpion. I needed help from the teacher with quite a few of them, but I am amazed at what I can now push myself to do (albeit with a little help.)

I said to my trainer this morning at the Gym That I Currently Feel the Strongest Physically that I have Ever Done.  He looked at me and said "And how incredible does it feel?"

And he is so right. It feels freaking amazing.

My job as a Physio is very physical, some of the children that  I treat weigh upwards of 30 kgs, and whilst we have the luxury of hoists in the UK to transfer them in and out of their wheelchairs, once the child is on the mat with me, its all me facilitating their movement.

So it is important that I am physically strong.

The surgery that I had to remove the melanoma from my right shoulder took such a chunk of tissue out of me that it really affected my strength. But worst of all, was where they removed lymph nodes, to check if the cancer had spread,  from my right axilla has left me with a residual lymphoedema (swelling) in my right forearm.  Whilst it doesn't look too bad, it can be very painful.  And exercise can aggravate the swelling.

To try and prevent and reduce this I wear a compression sleeve, which you can see in the middle picture, and it helps, but somedays my arm really aches and swells after exercise.

I can't believe how much I used to take for granted that my body had the potential to be so strong and how I never used the opportunities I had to train hard before my surgery, without all this arm swelling and pain business.

I feel that I am slowly learning how and when to push myself. There seems to be a fine line of how much Yoga asana (physical) practice my arm is happy with, but I also know that I am constantly shifting that line, and benefiting in the process. (Even if I'm occasionally being woken at night by arm pain in the process.)

Appreciate your body.  Use it. Move it. Do whatever you can within the limitations that you have.

You will feel amazing as a result.

I promise!

My Lovely Day

Tuesday, July 15

The Hydro Pool Source
The Relaxation Room Source

 I've had the most wonderful day today.  After a week of not feeling quite right about life, I feel that my natural happiness levels are almost restored.

Pete is in South Africa at the moment, (he gets back on Sunday-yay!) and on the day that he left last week, I found a card and a voucher that he had left for me in the post box downstairs.

The Voucher was for a Luxury Spa Day at the Hotel Verta which is a 10 minute walk along the river from our flat.

I was treated to a two course lunch, (I had the kingfish and then creme brûlée, both of which were delicious) and the view over the river from the Terrace Bar was lovely.

I then had a treatment and use of the wonderful spa facilities. I spent ages in the hydro pool, and just relaxing on the comfortable chairs flipping through a magazine in the relaxation room before and after my treatment.

I loved how in the relaxation room, there are a number of different loose herbal teas available, all with their benefits labelled on the jars.  After my wonderful massage by Sarah, I went for a detox tea.  There are tea bag 'covers' that you scoop your desired tea leaves into and then you place your home made tea bag into a small tea pot, which you then place on the small table next to your chair.  It was gorgeous and I want a glass tea pot and tea cup and saucer just like they have!

I left feeling relaxed, energised and restored, after 4 hours of no phone time, delicious food, pampering and lots of quiet reflection in my mind.

The spa was largely empty, with only 4 other people there!

The thought of going alone initially intimidated me, as I have always gone on Spa days with at least one other friend.

But it was wonderful.  And I would really recommend it.

I have been lucky enough to go on a few spa getaways in the past few years, and I think that other than The Grove, this would have to be my favourite by a long shot.  The hotel is really smart, my lunch was very tasty, the spa facilities are gorgeous and the staff were all very friendly and kind! My therapist Sarah was particularly good, I loved my full body massage and she was very professional!

I can't find the exact voucher online that Pete got me, it was a Monday to Thursday only voucher, but there are some other deals here for Spa Verta on Wahanda.

I will certainly be going there again!

After a quick change at home, I went to meet Jubes and Bean for an early dinner, the perfect end to a wonderful day!

Thank you to my incredible husband. For looking out for me always, supporting and helping me with everything in my life, and giving me wonderful surprise treats like this.

You are wonderful, and I love you so much.

Come home now please Pete!

Picnic-ing and Acro Yoga-ing in the Park

Tuesday, July 8

I mentioned in this post here, how much Che and I enjoyed the acro yoga workshop at Colourfest this year. I just wish that I could find a class near by to go to! As I have been unable to find a class, I have been convincing almost all my friends to try some with me lately.  And they all seem to be loving it too!

Sunday was no exception. My dear friend Taryn who I used to work with, but now lives back in Australia, was in town and so whilst Pete was at the tennis we had a girly picnic catch up. It was wonderful to see her and to hang out with some of my favourite girls, and unsurprisingly I convinced Chez and Kate to attempt some acro yoga.

And then sometimes you take a tumble, which is all a part of it really!

Anyone else keen for some Acro Yoga in the Park this summer? 

A Weekend in the Countryside

Tuesday, July 1

Our friends Anna and Ben have gave up the bright lights of London just over two years ago, for a quieter lifestyle in a small little village near Bath.

This weekend, while Pete was in Amsterdam for an old school friend's Birthday, Karen and I went to visit Ben and Annie. 

Anna, Karen and I used to work together at the Hospital where I worked before starting my own Physio practice.  It was so wonderful to have a proper catch up with the two of them and we reminisced lots over many happy and (some sad) memories of the children that we treated there together.

It rained on and off on Saturday as we explored the nearby town on Frome, but Sunday was lovely and sunny as Anna lead us on a walk through the countryside before we stopped for a well earned soft drink at the Village Pub. 

Only in a small village does the telephone booth double as a book swapping point. Where you leave any old books and help yourself to any there that appeal to you!

Other than some horrendous traffic as we got back to London, it was a pretty perfect weekend!

This was my 4th weekend away in a row, so I am looking forward to some time at home this weekend and perhaps even some time to spend on my blog?

My business is also slowly winding for the school summer holidays so I will be back in full force soon I'm sure :)

I hope that you had a wonderful weekend too!

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