Vegetarianism and me!

"Nothing will benefit health and increase the chances of survival of life on Earth as the evolution of a vegetarian diet" - Albert Einstein

I met my partner 4years ago & at the time of meeting him he was a Vegan and I was a meat eater! I was ignorant and naive and couldn't understand why he wouldn't want to tuck into a bacon sandwich after a night out or sink his teeth into a lamb roast on a Sunday! Never the less I respected his views and didn't find it effected our relationship. He later went on to turn Vegetarian instead and after a while would talk to me about why he was a vegetarian and what it ment to him. I understood and even began to agree with his reasons and when we started living together I found it really easy to start substituting my usual meat free meals for vegetarian ones every now and again.

When we found out we were pregnant with our son Freddie I found it quite easy to agree that we would raise him a vegetarian. However when he was born and started weaning I found myself getting frustrated with the limited amount of knowledge I had regarding vegetarian recipes and meal ideas. It was challenging to prepare a variety of meals that weren't similar as my cooking skills had always been based around meat. So I sat down with Dean and we spoke about it and he started really helping me to understand the basics of vegetarian cooking and we trawled books, the Internet and the good old brains of some vegetarian relatives (mainly Freddie's vegan Grandad) and suddenly cooking wasn't such a daunting experience. Instead I began to enjoy exploring all of the different recipes we would find.

At this point I was still a meat eater, however I was eating less and less meat products now that Freddie was around, mainly due to the fact it was easier to cook one main family meal rather than co, myself a separate one. The when Freddie was around 18months old I watched a video which I kept seeing repeatedly popping up on twitter by PETA and narrated by Sir Paul McCartney called 'If slaughter houses has glass walls' and I was sickened by it. Now don't get me wrong i know where meat comes from I'm not that naive but watching the practices and cruelty the animals faced literally turnt my stomach and quickly changed my views on meat. That night I vowed to become a vegetarian.

Since then I haven't looked back and I've now been a vegetarian for about 8months now. Not only did the video have a huge impact on the way I viewed meat the and meat industry but becoming a vegetarian made sense to my family and my healthy lifestyle. It also sets a good example for Freddie that both mummy & daddy are eating the same way he does and I couldn't be happier with the choice I've made. I'd be lying If I said I didn't miss the occasional meat product that my body has grown accustomed to over the 24years I've been here and i of course get the sarcastic and sceptical comments from friends and family thinking its just a phase im going threw but I haven't touch meat since and I can safely say I never will.


Living with Anxiety & Panic attacks

So as mentioned in a prior post I live with anxiety & panic attacks. I've decided to do a more in depth post on it in the hope other people living with Anxiety and panic attacks won't feel alone and realise that we're all in this together. For as long as I can remember I have always been a very anxious and panicky person so I would say I've lived with this disorder my whole life. However things have happened along the way that have made it worse and at times unbearable. I am without at doubt at the worst stage of my life with this disorder and if this post helps just 1 person reading it will be all worth it.

1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health issue with mixed anxiety and depression being the most common. With that in mind a fifth of adults in the UK experience anxiety and/or depression.

What is it?
I've been wondering how to explain what anxiety and panic attacks are to people who may not be aware or that do not personally suffer and last night I came across a video on youtube by zoella280390 called dealing with panic attacks and anxiety! Must watch video. Her analogy of panic attacks and anxiety was amazingly simple yet effective and accurate. It was: "in a street where there are cars all lined up we are the ones who's car alarm goes off just from a gust of wind sending the alarm beeping like crazy, where as all the other cars need a good whack before their alarms go off". Basically all of us are tuned with the 'flight or fight' mode and some of us only need the littlest thing to spark us into panic, cue the panic attacks! Seem of you lucky folks out there will never have nor will you experience a panic attack or anxiety and boy do I envy you lol.

Signs & symptoms
You will be dealing with all different emotions and feelings whilst having a panic attacks and often lots of emotions and feelings will be happening at the same time. Some of these can be:
* Palpitations/pounding heart or accelerated heart rate
* Sweating/trembling
* Sensations of shortness of breath or that feeling of being smothered
* Nausea
* Feeling dizzy/faint
* Fear of dying
* Chills/Hot flushes
After a panic attack you are often left feeling mentally, emotionally and physically drained and I personally can be left with a pounding headache.

Ways to manage
All of us as individuals will have a preferred method of how we like to deal with our panic and anxiety, and sometimes this may even change depending your circumstances and how severe your attack is. So at times I like to be distracted and talked to and other times I need to be by myself,  most of the times I need to be outdoors that is a big help to me I suppose because the open space helps deal with the clostraphobia. I have recently found that deep breathing and simply trying to rationalise with myself helps a lot. Also my mum is my bigger support and my number 1 point of call if they are getting out of hand closely followed my my amazing understanding boyfriend.

To wrap up I just want today if your reading this and need to talk to someone who understands your more than welcome to contact me. You can tweet me at @LauraLou9820 or drop me. Comment on this post, please don't feel you have to face this alone.


Things I love about Autumn/Winter

With the cold weather making its abrupt arrival I thought instead of moaning about it I'd think of all the things I actually liked about the upcoming seasons. Turns out there's actually a lot I like! So ive decided to let it inspire my latest blogpost and list a few.

Chunky knits! I love cosy clothes, so chunky knits in winter fits the bill perfectly. Nothing better than snuggling into your jumper before facing the cold weather. I like shopping for new nail varnishes for the upcoming seasons (well which female doesn't want an excuse to shop ai ladies lol) my favirote colours for autumn/winter are reds and greys! Also as my best friend would jump to point out that ilove being in my pyjamas and slippers. So new comfy PJs and slipper boots are essential.

Right so here's the thing. I love listening to the rain and especially watching it dance across the floor when the wind hits it and sweeps it across! But ... I cannot stand being out in it! The other day a 2minute walk from the station to my house left me looking like a drowned rat, this is neither a good nor comfortable situation to be in I can assure you lol and I can imagine many of you can sympathise and have been in the same situation. I also hold a very similar view about the snow LOL, it's gorgeous when it first sets, looks magical & scenic, the snowball fights are great, from littluns to bigguns we've all got to indulge in a sneaky snowball fight lol But ... Yep here comes that but again! What an awful slodgy slippery dangerous mess were left with for days later, causing you to either be stranded at home (maybe not such a bad thing if you can get an extra day off work lol) or worse fall right on your backside in the most embarrassing undignified way & yep that's usually me all legs in the air flat on my back looking like a rather unfortunate stranded beetle.

Any excuse for me to dress Freddie up is one i can't turn a blind eye to lol. So firstly we have Halloween. Last year Freddie had a couple of mates and his cousin round and they all dressed up which was cute. This year I can't quite decide what to dress him up as lol (ill have so much embarrassing ammo for the girlfriend he brings home in the future lol) cue the cringy pictures lol! Secondly I love love love Christmas! Who doesn't?! Well actually I know a few Scrooges lol. I love everything about it! From buying presents for my loved ones to going to visit Santa (accompanied by my child of course hehe). The Christmas dinner, the films, music! Ok I'm going to stop there because undoubtably I will be doing a separate post decicated to Christmas later on in the year lol.

Food & drink:
The return of the cinnamon porridge to set me up for the cold day ahead. The stews and casseroles with the dumplings that are bubbling away in the slow cooker. The chunky soups to bridge that gap between the porridge and the stews lol. The hot chocolate to warm you up before bed before in my case I don the 2 pairs of PJ bottoms, 2 tops a jumper and my bed socks lol (my mum will not approve of my layering). The smell of cookies and treats being baked and yes once again that Christmas dinner lol.

Well I'm going to call it a day there but I cold go on forever. A few things I want to purchase for this Autumn/winter are leather gloves! Seen a right pair of beauts in river island, a pair of really nice thigh high boots which im yet to spot a nice pair of, and some nice new cardigans and jumpers.


Mummies & Youngies

Since having my operation I've found it really hard to get back on track with my healthy eating regime, & due to the surgery I cannot excersise for 6 weeks post op. I have a week left till I can work out but decided enough is enough & from today I will be trying to stick to my Weight Watchers points & eat healthily. 

As a mummy to a gorgeous but very active 2year old I know it can be hard to eat healthy and excersise so I've just put together some tips to try and help out all the other mummy's with youngies (young kiddies) so here goes:

1. Try to eat at the same speed as your child (obviously only applies if your child is over a certain age). As previously mentioned I have a 2year old and I sat back today and watched him eat his dinner and I feel that he eats at a sensible rate and upon reflection realised I was eating way to fast. When I slowed myself right down and ate at his pace I realised I wasn't feeling stuffed afterwards because I had given my body enough time to realise it was hungry.

2. Batch cook. I understand time is of the essence and we barely get time to use the loo on our owns. But as soon as little one goes down for a nap or goes down for their evening sleep try and get some batch cooking done. Even if its just one meal you can grab in a sleep deprived/non stop screaming emergency it will ease some of the pressure off.

3. Excercise. Sounds obvious but that 30min burst you can fit in during a nap time or that swim you can fit in once little one goes down for their bedtime is really worth it and will help to shape your body and help you to the differences you really want.

4. Try and find a partner to pair up with to keep you going when your finding things really hard and that keep spurring you on and encouraging you. Speak to your other half and make them aware of what your trying to achieve so that they don't tempt you with takeaways all the time and can help support you.

Most importantly don't put a big pressure on yourself to be skinny! It's all about feeling good and making positive healthy changes to your lifestyle that will have you feeling great :)


So your back from out of space ...

So I know it probably feels like I've been away for an eternity and I suppose in the blogging world I have been, but a lot has changed since my previous posts! 

I don't think I mentioned in prior posts but I suffer big time with anxiety & panic attacks! I have been fighting a massive battle with myself mainly since the diagnosis of Mrs Rightys kidney tumour! Things got to much and I began to loose the battle. Swamped with anxiety daily meant life became a robotic notion instead of the meaningful experience it is meant to be! Hence the reason I haven't blogged in such a long time. Since my last post I have been under the knife to have Mrs Rightys tumour removed! I put so much pressure on myself and allowed the anxiety to dictate to me how awful and horrific the operation would be even allowing it to tell me I wouldn't pull threw it! Putting my 2year old son to bed the evening before my surgery just a short time after seeing him threw his 2nd birthday and believing to myself that I may never see him again is the most heartbreaking thing I have ever done & can never explain how much of a tough time I have been threw (get the violins out ai LOL) However on a positive (yep I can still muster up some good out of this) i have now had the tumour (or Geoffrey as it was known in my house) removed and can now proudly say I HAVE BEATEN THE CANCER!! I thought getting the news that the cancer was all gone and it hadn't spread would mean me snapping back to normal and kicking anxiety out the door, however I haven't been so lucky and the twisted mix of emotions means I am still battling anxiety daily but this time i will not be loosing! I am determined to live a happy and healthy life and not let this horrid silent disease dictate the rest of my life. Expect to see regular happy random blogs from me :)  boy does it feel good to be blogging again!!