Only TWO days left till I embark on my November Cleanse and I couldn't feel more ready!
If you missed my post about the brilliance it will be - check it out here.
Today I want to write a Daily Goals list. Easy, accessible and realistic. I have zero desire to set up for failure... so all of these goals are nice, realistic and BENDABLE. If I can't do all these things in a day - no biggie.
Shove in the water. Should be easy enough! I love water.
And always make sure I drink a large amount first thing in the morning. Water before food helps with digestion and drinking it first thing wakes up your system and flushes out anything still lurking from the day before.
This is the big one for me. Hannah - SORT YOURSELF OUT! I want to aim for 8 hours a night, which never used to be an issue for me. But lately - it's been nearly impossible. November - this is my priority, even more so than food to be honest. I want to get enough sleep!
Things that will help with this are:
- Eating early (leaving at least 3 hours between food and sleep)
- Not watching TV/YouTube SHIT right before bed. Close the damn laptop!
- Get back into reading...
- Making my bedroom a sanctuary again... somewhere I want to be. I feel like a bit of a stranger in my flat at the moment because I'm there so rarely. I want to spend these last few days giving my bedroom some TLC and making it somewhere I want to lie for long periods of time!
3. Yoga and Movement
Not daily, of course. That's not realistic. But if I can do Yoga twice a week, I'll be really happy with that.
What I do want to do daily - is movement. Every morning when I wake up - spend about ten/fifteen minutes stretching and waking up my body.
This was an old habit that served me so well. Why do we stop doing things that make us happy? Oh, self sabotage...
I also have a beautiful bike now... so I have zero excuses to not move my butt.
4. Positive Inner Monologue
Yep - call the Lame Police - I'm talking about positive thoughts.
But honestly - they work! I want to put an end to all negative inner monologue this month, or at least as much as possible. I am preparing myself for a pretty epic come-down once I stop going to rehearsals every night and have all this free time - so I want to make sure I don't slip into any negative talk "what if I don't get another role?" "What am I doing with my life", "Why aren't I feeling amazing on this cleanse..?"
NO! My inner monologue will be the following:
"Life is so exciting... I am the luckiest person in the world.... Every day I feel better and better.... I wonder what my next big project will be..... Daniel Radcliffe is about to propose to me...."
5. Minimum 1 Raw Meal
As you may have read in the previous post - the goal for this is High Raw, but in a realistic world I want to say a MINIMUM of one raw meal a day.
Please Hannah, just at least have one raw meal. The goal is two, but minimum one.
See how good I used to be at this? Look at my amazing Beetroot "Pasta" from the last time I tried being a raw foodist? I made some good shiz.
6. Stick to my "No" List
That is: no COFFEE, no SOY, no GLUTEN.
I can do that. It actually excites me. I genuinely want to see how I feel... and I have a feeling it'll be positive!
I'm already a pretty good "Journaler", but I want to make sure I journal for a few minutes a day doing this to record how I'm feeling and what I'm eating.
Journalling is a great habit to get into. When I have some free time (ha!) one of my favorite things to do is pick a random old page of my journal and read it.
It's amazing how much we change in such short periods of time.
Here We Go!!
I think that is a very achievable list :) What do you think? Anything I should add?
Last TWO DAYS of Soy Mochas....
Have a good few days everyone! See you on the 1st when I'll post what I've eaten that day and how difficult my lack of caffeine is.
I'll keep my Instagram / Twitter and Facebook regularly updated - so if you want to see what I'm eating on my amazing cleanse - get following! It also makes me feel good about myself. ;)
Love and Sweet Potatoes!!
October has been a bit of a mental month, I'm not gonna lie.
It's been one of the best months of my life because I've been performing nearly every night, but it hasn't been fantastic health-wise. I don't (yet!) get paid to do my acting, so when I'm performing in independent plays, I'm still working in the day. In a dream world, I would spend my days cooking, making smoothies, going for walks, doing yoga, writing, doing voice warm ups and plenty of other things.
Instead, I spend my days working and I spend my evenings rehearsing or performing. And I love it. I love every second and feel so lucky I get to do what I love. Especially with people I love.
But, when you are passionate about health and wanting to eat the best foods and sleep eight hours a night, it does get difficult to be happy when you know you're compromising and not feeling like your best self.
My "diet" this month has been one of convenience and minimum cost. I've had a lot of porridge, a lot of free meals at work and a lot of takeaway sandwiches from Pret a Manger.
I also drink coffee. And I love it.
These days, I am having it a little too much. It's never been a crutch... but is slowly becoming one as my sleep hours get shorter and my little indulgences and time to myself becomes more fleeting.
My body is tired... my mind is tired and I'm desperate to become my best self again. I want to get back into my good habits and shed all the bad ones I've built up during this month of madness.
So - I'm planning my November cleanse and I AM SO EXCITED!
You should only "cleanse"/"diet" when you really, really want to. All kinds of diets don't work because people have the wrong goals attached to them, usually "lose weight". This is nothing like that. I can genuinely feel my body wanting GOODNESS. My body wants fresh, vibrant foods to the max. My body wants sleep. I cannot wait to have the time and energy to put into my health, so this cleanse won't feel at all like deprivation.
Coffee will be the hardest thing to give up - so I'll need you all to help keep me on track! This will be as simple as me posting every day what I'm eating, how I'm feeling and did I cave? I'm a Barista by day - so if I cave and have a coffee one day, go gentle on me!
This cleanse is my own invention - going off years of experimenting and knowing what makes me feel good. BUT - I am going to take a lot of inspiration from the Raw Till 4 diet, designed by Freelee the Banana Girl, whom I follow religiously on YouTube.
It's funny when you're just "ready" to do something. I've been aware of this diet since it very first started. I've been intrigued, inspired and definitely dabbled in it - eating mono meals on occasion and certainly living "High Carb" as a solid rule. But - I now feel ready to dive in head-first and commit 100%.
(At least for November and see how I feel!)
So - What is this Cleanse?
Remember - this is my own invention! I ain't no doctor. But - I have been an avid student of all things health/wellness and vegan for the last four years or so and tried pretty much every vegan "cleanse" out there.... so, here we go.
1) No Going Hungry.
This isn't about weight-loss. So at no point will I be minimizing how much food I eat. This is about giving my body want it wants and NOURISHING it as much as I can.
2) No Soy, Gluten or Coffee
BAM! BAM! BAM! Oh boy... this is the killer. This is the only part of the cleanse that I feel sad about. I love my coffee/cafe time more than life itself. I do a lot of my blogging from cafes. SO - as this is a cleanse of my mind/body/spirit overall - I'm still going to go to cafes - but just drink a tea if I must or have an awesome juice/smoothie if they are on offer. Why no soy? Simply - I'm curious to try. Soy is a very controversial topic and I'm interested to see if I feel any better cutting it out. I have a feeling that I will, but don't want to admit it.
Gluten? I've given up gluten before and it's always been a good experience. Hello flat stomach.
3) Wherefore Art Thou Yoga?
(For the record, all you nerds out there - I'm aware that technically says "Why Are You Yoga" not "Where are you Yoga" - I'm a Shakespeare nut. I just wanted to write "Wherefore art thou Yoga" cause I thought it sounded cool.)
I used to be a Yoga addict and haven't done it for ... probably a year. In November - I WILL make time for Yoga. My beloved Yoga that made me feel so good. I will set a realistic goal and try for twice a week. If I can go to Yoga twice a week - I will be so proud of myself.
4) Emphasis on RAW
I want to shove in as much raw food as I can. I need to eat more fruit. Vegetables have never been a problem for me - I love veggies. But I do find it hard to get my fruit because the produce here is so uninspiring. I love bananas and dates, so will focus on those for now. I can buy ripe, organic ones easily here and most other fruits are in sad supply. I want to get in as much fresh, raw food as I can. The best thing about Raw Till 4 is you can have a guilt-free cooked meal in the evening - so I'll still get to cook a bit. You know I love my cooking.
5) Get My Greens In
Greens. I need my greens. If I'm honest - I don't eat enough. I want to try and eat a head of some kind of leafy greens a day! Yes - you heard me :) I want spinach, kale, lettuce, swiss chard, silverbeet... all of it!
6) Water, Sleep, Sanity
Water isn't an issue for me. I drink water like a camel. If you don't drink a lot of water - please get on it. Particularly first thing in the morning. Drink at least one massive glass of water before you eat anything; it flushes your system, wakes up your digestion and (hopefully) "eliminates" any excess from the day before. Basically - you do a poo.
Then - there's sleep. I need to sleep more. I want to aim for the basic 8 hours a night. Please oh please.
Sanity? I want to cleanse my mind as well. I want to feel peaceful and low-stress (yoga, sleep and diet will help with this).
7) Time for Myself
I want to do some reading, I want to go watch more movies, I want to see my friends and I want to keep my flat nice and serene and beautiful.
An easy November then.
I'm not going to write out any meal plans - in my experience it doesn't work for me. They are great for some people, but I love cooking and inventing my meals far too much. As long as I have guidelines and know what I'm avoiding - I am happy to wing it each day.
But here are a list of what are my "dream" cleanse meals for each. Most of these (as you can see from the pictures) are things I've made before - so I know make me feel good.
Planning is key to this. I will need to make time for shopping and fill my flat with fresh foods (bananas especially so they have time to ripen.)
If I can do this every day for November - I am fairly sure I will be a glowing, sexy, happy, CLEANSED ninja. Bring it on.
The best meal-plans I've found are the ones that give me simple "eat" and "do not eat" lists. Then you simply eat in ABUNDANCE from the "eat" list. Good, yeah? Oh and understand completely why things are in the "do not eat" list.
Allowed/Eat in Abundance:
- All fruit
- All vegetables (raw and cooked)
- Sweet Potatoes
- All root vegetables
- Home-made accompaniments like hummus, guacamole (don't buy out. Keep fat content LOW.)
- Smoothies and Juices (home-made)
- Hot water with Lemon
- Organic canned veg (like tomatoes for making pasta sauce...etc) Check salt content on all lables.
Allowed/Eat Less Regularly
- Almond Milk
- Gluten Free Pasta
- Onions and garlic
- Sugars not from Fruit
Remember - this is a diet of my own invention. I look at these lists and feel excited. I understand why (for me!) each thing is on there and can't wait to experiment and see if I feel any different.
Please don't hesitate to ask me for more information about any of these items and why I've put them in those categories. Remember - I ain't no dietitian! I am simply well-researched and coming from a background of dieting/cleansing and knowing what makes me feel amazing. Remember my goal isn't weight loss - it's health.
Smoothie hour! Any kind of epic smoothie is a good breakfast choice. If I'm following Raw Till 4 guidelines - the smoothies should be CALORIE-PACKED. So - bananas and dates are great choices. Remember - there is no limiting or going hungry on this lifestyle. It's all about being satisfied.
A "typical" breakfast will be an epic banana, date and cinnamon smoothie. Minimum 6 bananas. All ripe.
My goal for lunch will be to "mono meal" - which is where you eat one kind of fruit until you feel satisfied or a really good large salad/high-carbohydrate meal.
As I'm living in the UK and organic fruit isn't as easy to come by - I'm going to be really flexible with my lunches and say - as long as they are high carbohydrate, whole foods and within my cleanse guide-lines, I'm not going to be too harsh on myself with lunch. I work most days, so if I have a day where I need to eat at work - I'll eat a giant salad.
Here are three options that I would feel very good about and are realistic goals.
Dinner is always my favorite meal of the day :) So - I'm going to give you LOTS of pictures because I know dinner is what I'll enjoy preparing the most.
I want my dinners to be CLEAN. Super clean eating. I love simple foods and flavors... i could be happy sitting down to a massive pile of potatoes, no joke. And that is kind of the idea of this lifestyle. Eat simple, eat healthy, eat abundantly.
As you can see - I want the emphasis of my dinners to be on FILLING WHOLEFOOD CARBOHYDRATES. I love eating veg - and I want to smash in as much veg as possible. But salad alone is not going to leave you full for long. You need substance. I went through a phase of eating giant salads for dinner and it can be amazing... but i usually went to bed feeling unsatisfied. The picture above with the giant basil leaf is an example of one of my giant salads - these days I would eat that, but add a jacket potato (or two!)
If you want to go full raw - of course go for it! Thousands of people are raw foodists and eat giant salads for dinner - just make sure they are enormous and you're eating enough food throughout the day to keep your calories. up :)
Few more pics and then I'll sign off!
Here We Go!!
I'm going to aim to keep you updated regularly with this! And - be honest if I fall of the wagon and drink a coffee... which may happen.
I'll post on Instagram every day - so if you aren't already following me - please do!
And I'll update my Twitter and Facebook pages every day with pictures of what I'm eating and how I'm feeling on this cleanse. I'm excited (did I mention that??)
Have a great week everyone - I will be starting as of the 1st of November! So - off to drink a soy mocha now and enjoy every sip! ;)
- Love and Sweet Potatoes
I'm lucky to know a lot of wise and amazing people.
My mother is a constant source of inspiration; the most brilliant and accomplished woman I know. She can solve any problem and never fails to make me feel empowered. My Father overflows with wisdom from a phenomenal amount of life experience and is always there if I need his advice or help. I'm currently living with my best friend Dan and he is the smartest, wisest, most compassionate person you'll ever be lucky enough to enter a conversation with. Finally, I have a network of incredible girlfriends and when we get together to unpack each others lives, it's brilliant and complex and inspiring. I want to record everything we say for posts just like these.
My loved ones are constantly helping me. I take little pieces of them all when I need help, a pep-talk or just to feel better as I go about my day. (Especially needed now I live in another country!) I think, thanks to all their wonderful advice over the years and my own life experience, I'm finally starting to understand how to make the most out of life. How to ENJOY it. How to CONQUER it.
It's an amazing feeling.
So, here is a little summary of some of the BEST advice I've received. Some from myself, some from others, some from midnight revelations....
All of which help me on a day-to-day basis.
YOU Are In the Drivers Seat - Don't be a Passenger.
How empowering to just accept the reality that we are in control of our lives? 100%.
That may sound simplistic, but I like to not over-complicate things. Over-complicating can be detrimental, especially when talking about a very simple fact. YOU are the only person who has to live your life. If you're not happy with something, you CAN change it. If you are feeling overworked, you CAN take something off your plate. If you don't like your relationship, you CAN leave it. If you are bored, you CAN find something that excites you. I know life isn't simple, but for the most part - we don't do things because we can't be bothered, or we think it's too hard, or we are worrying about others, or we are simply afraid....
Fear has a lot to answer for.
I find personal control empowering, especially when I'm not happy with decisions I've made. It means I can look at my involvement getting there, instead of just feeling like a victim and being unhappy with my circumstances.
I'll never forget the Skype session when Dan explained this concept to me. He said: "Hannah, on some level, you've chosen this. You WANT to do this, even if it's subconscious ... It's okay to not be happy right now, or regret making that choice, but don't act like you're trapped. You're not. Just start making new choices...."
And he was right. As soon as I realized I didn't want to be doing that anymore - I made new decisions, that eventually took me on a new path. It wasn't overnight, but I did it.
Because I'm in the drivers seat.
Commit to Your Feelings
My Mother always taught me gratitude.
We are some of the luckiest people in the world and we should always be aware of that.
I'm conscious every day to keep my "problems" in perspective. If my "problem" is that I've double booked myself, or I'm having a bad day at work or I'm worried I've pissed someone off, it's a pretty good life, isn't it? My problems aren't how I'm going to feed myself, or how I'm going to leave my abusive relationship or how I'm going to look after my children. I am grateful every single day.
My Mum is so selfless that when she's having a bad day, she will fob it off because "we are so lucky" and it doesn't compare to the suffering of others. I love this amazing woman. What a role model, huh? On these days I'll make her a cup of tea, hold her hand and then say, "Mother, just because people are worse off, doesn't mean you don't deserve to feel upset sometimes, or hard done by."
By denying feelings it makes them harder to get over. It's okay to have bad days and to be upset and give time to our emotions.
We are all human! As long as we spend most of our time being grateful, I think we certainly are entitled to the odd bad day. Better that then let it build up into something far worse. You are not ungrateful for all your blessings if you have a bad day or want to have a cry. I love having a cry!
At least a cup of tea and a hug can solve most of our bad days. Let's be grateful for that.
Self Sabotage is a Safety Net
How terrifying to be confident. To just be really super confident and happy with yourself? Isn't it easier to fail yourself before others can?
I am guilty of this. If everything feels like it's going well and I have no problems, sometimes I'll just create one. I'll start worrying about my body, something that hasn't happened yet, something that MAY happen, money... Things I wouldn't even be thinking of if I had an ACTUAL issue to focus on.
I self sabotage.
I know I can do something, I know I can nail this audition, I know I can talk to that guy, know I can wear that dress ... but I'll talk myself down or make myself feel bad and, essentially, take myself out of the running.
And I finally know why. Thanks to great advice ;)
Because if I was just "happy" with everything: I had my dream body, was the best actress in the world, had flawless confidence, money to burn.... and I STILL failed... I STILL didn't make it ..... Then what do I have to blame? What can I blame if I never become a successful actor? What can I blame if I never fall in love?
Well... nothing. How much easier it is to have a scapegoat. How much easier it would be to say: well, I'm a bit chubby, so I'm not gonna be famous. Or - well, I missed a lot of auditions, so maybe one of those was the big one.
Imagine not having ANYTHING to blame? That's scary.
We need to stop self-sabotaging and let go of the scapegoats. By putting them in front of us, they will become more and more real.
It's Okay To Be Selfish
You will be the best "you" for everyone else around you, when you are well, happy, content, energized and looked after. No question.
Being selfish is NOT a bad thing.
It means you are investing in yourself so you can give more to those in your life. Be better for everyone who is relying on you, who enjoys your company, who needs your help. You can only do these things if you're looked after yourself.
Be selfish. Take time for yourself. Put yourself first. Ironically - it's quite selfless.
No One Is Watching You
(Just a quick hilarious note - I love this photo I took in a coffee-shop of this woman, looking so peaceful and zen. She was in her own little world and it inspired me. I wanted to use it for this point - but it's ironically called "No One is Watching You".... even though I was doing just that. Hehe. Okay, hilarious point made, now on with the wisdom!)
Are you doing anything for other people? Are you still in a degree you don't want to do because you're afraid of what people will think? Are you still in a relationship because you don't want to seem like a failure? Are you not doing what you want to do because you're afraid of judgement?
I'm sorry to sound harsh... but NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU DO WITH YOUR LIFE. If anyone truly cares - it should only be caring that you are happy. Anyone who wants you to do something that is stressful or negative or unsatisfying - are not worth bothering about.
If you are someone who compares your life to others, making assumptions based on news-feeds and engagement rings and happy selfies, I promise - those people are probably comparing their lives to yours and likely not as happy as they seem. The grass is always greener. One person's success is another person's failure. Everyone is (and should be!) too bogged down in their own worries to think about your life.
My friends and I all lead completely different lives. If I chose to - I could get upset thinking: "gosh, I'm just an unpaid actress, still making coffees, living alone ... all my friends have partners and are thinking about buying houses and making so much more money than I am.... " BLAH BLAH BLAH. But what is the point of that? Who knows? Maybe those amazing successful women envy parts of my life that I happen to treasure? Like my freedom, my creativity, my travel? I have DESIGNED my life to be exactly what I want at this point in time. Just as they all have. We all love these differences; it's what gives us our dynamic, our perspective and our empowering conversations! We all come from different perspectives and priorities.
Take inspiration from others, but never comparison. And remember you are in the drivers seat ..... do what YOU truly want to. Whether that's being the President, a Teacher or running a little cafe. People only want you to be happy.
(In my opinion) we only live once. So don't do it for anyone else.
Don't Question What Makes You Happy
I'm through with sweating the small stuff. I'm through with questioning why a Soy Mocha, a few hours and my laptop makes me happy. I'm through with questioning why I don't enjoy wearing make up. I'm through with questioning why I so much prefer to have a night in with friends rather than going out and get smashed.
I know what makes me happy.... IT MAKES ME HAPPY. So, why stress about it?
If you have things that make you happy, provided they don't hurt others, why stress about it? Why question it or worry about it? If having a glass of wine with your friends makes you happy, don't stress about it. If being a waitress makes you happy, don't worry you have to do anything more than just that! If sitting in a coffee-shop makes you happy, don't stress you should be out walking or doing more with your time.
All we really want is happiness. If you're enjoying something - you are succeeding where most of us are searching.
Kick back, relax.... don't question what makes you happy. Whether it's a job, a person, a past-time, an activity.
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