travel

A Guide to RTW Travel Vaccines

For a person who has a phobia of needles (well a phobia of passing out because of the needles), planning the travel vaccinations we needed for our Round the World trip gave me nightmares! As I knew there was no way of getting out of it, I threw myself into researching everything that we needed to know, what was free, what we needed to pay for and why we actually needed it.

a guide to rtw travel vaccines (1)

*All this information is based on information available in February 2018 for South America, Northern America, Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, India and Europe. Follow the links for the latest information*

We started off by going to our local GP surgery and speaking with a nurse practitioner. They need to know what countries your going to, how long your there for and what you will be doing while your there. So it’s a good idea to take all this information with you. Be sure to go well in advance of your flight day as some jabs are over three courses. My nurse took the time to have a good look through my medical records for all my childhood vaccinations, that could be ticked off the list (MMR for example).

opengraph-image

On my second visit to the nurse (because I wasn’t prepared to jump in on the first visit), I got the Diptheria, Polio and Tetanus (Combined Booster) then Typhoid and Hepatitis A in a combined injection. They didn’t particularly hurt but my arm was dead for about 3 days. However, the Mister’s was fine the next day! Hepatitis A and Typhoid are usually spread through contaminated food water and water and would cost approx £90 at a travel clinic. The NHS Travel Vaccinations website explains more about the free vaccines.

Then it was time to part with our cash! We headed to Nomad Travel in Manchester which was recommended by both of our GP’s. Rabies was discussed first as this is a course of 3 injections that have to be one-two weeks apart. The mister was brave and got his first one that day. I on the other hand put it off for another week, with some random excuse that I didn’t have the money (slight lie!). Rabies is spread by bites, licks on open wounds and scratches. The intradermal rabies jab is cheaper than the intramuscular vaccine but this is best to discuss with them whats best for you. Our ID Rabies cost £45 per jab compared to £55 for IM from the NHS or travel clinics. Even with the jab, if you are bite you still need to clean the wound thoroughly and access medical care for 2 post-exposure jabs.

Untitled design.png

Onto Yellow Fever… this one is a must for South America and you are required to show certification proving you have had it to enter the country. You need to have this 10 days before travelling but once you have had it you are covered for life. This disease is spread by infected mosquitoes in parts of South America. Currently, there is a break out in Rio and Sao Paulo that are on our travel plans. I was told that this one was really painful and makes you bruise like a peach! That’s not true, but I did have a dull headache for 4 days and had a very mild fever (going hot then cold). This costs £60 from Nomad Travel and included the cost of the yellow fever booklet. Some places charge extra for this so double check your not being ripped off.

Nomad palm tree logo black-1434711280

One perk of working for the NHS is that we get Hepatitis B for free! However, we didn’t realise that there is actually a global shortage of Hep B, so the places that still have it in stock are tending to put their prices. Hep B is generally spread through unprotected sex and blood. Now if you are admitted to hospital this could be from a blood transfusion, dirty needles or piercings/tattoos. This is why sterile needle kits are suggested! Nomads Travel didn’t have it in stock so we luckily found that STA travel have it in stock and haven’t increased there prices.

STA_Travel_Logo.svg_

Definitely don’t be afraid to have some of your jabs ‘on the road’ in well developed countries. They have Travel Clinics too. With Japanese Encephalitis, we are getting this jab in Australia before we head to South East Asia. Again, it’s spread through those pesky mosquitoes, but it is common in the farming areas. The two jabs have to be given a month apart, so as we are in Aus for 6 months so this is possible. This jab comes in at £95 from Nomad and I must admit I have seen prices much higher than this.

There the jabs we have had or are planning on getting but it genuinely doesn’t stop there. Malaria in low risk areas can be avoided by using repellents (we have been advised 50%+ DEET), sleeping under mosquito nets and covering up. However, in high risk places, malaria tablets are needed. Depending on which brand you get you either take 2-7 days prior to entering a malarial zone, all the time your there and 7-28 days afterwards. Were yet to buy these but will report back on our findings! As a person who doesn’t put any chemicals on my skin, I’m struggling with the idea of DEET but malaria is much worse I guess!

In summary, vaccinations are expensive but you can shop around. Make the most of the free jabs you get with the NHS, don’t be afraid to get jabs on the road to spread the cost too. Be prepared, stay healthy and enjoy every moment of your travels.

Go the distance on your travels

Chloe

Advertisements
travel

Hidden Gems: The Isle of Kerrera

On this trip I was well and truly whisked away on a secret escape. All I knew was… Scotland, nothing else! I knew that the Mister knew me well enough to plan the best weekend away in celebration of my birthday. I love surprises so I was excited from the moment we set off. Actually, that’s a lie! The 4am wake up call, on the road for 5am, I wasn’t too impressed with.

Hidden Gems_ The Isle of Kerrara (1).png

Our companion for the weekend was Billy-dog, who we dog-napped! He handled the journey better than me I think! However, I must admit even the views from the car were beautiful.

IMG-20170815-WA0010

So we arrived in Oban and of course the first priority was finding a pub with Sky for the Football! Even on my birthday weekend! We walked into a proper Scottish local pub and was greeted by utter silence. They knew we weren’t from their neck of the woods, so we sat sheepishly in the corner. I asked for Lemonade… I got tonic water… I got the hint!

We weren’t here long before we were on the next adventure. A Ferry! But not the usual kind of ferry… more like a tiny hovercraft. The ramp scrapped up the embankment and on we hopped. We were packed up with one backpack of clothing and another backpack full of alcohol! We had our priorities right. The Mister let me know that we had to take everything we needed with us and that someone would be waiting for us. That someone was Colin, with his son and Jeep, greeting us with a big smile. This was a reassuring smile, until we got in the Jeep… no seatbelts, a child casually sat on Colin’s knee and a few suspension issues. I bounced around in the back, on rocky ground, holding on tight to Billy-dog. Colin was told I knew nothing about where we were staying, so they spoke in code the whole way.

IMG-20170813-WA0000

Nevertheless, we arrived a short 15 minutes later so the most beautiful views and quaint accommodation in the side of the hill. Our very own ‘Galley Cabin’! This was essentially a caravan, but it was so much more! The caravan had a built structure around it with full kitchen and shower facilities in the extensions. We had a barbecue area, two areas for outdoor seating, sauna style shower room and a kitchen that had everything we needed. Our pictures don’t even do it justice! I genuinely couldn’t be happier.

IMG-20170813-WA0021

So I fully unpacked like I do everywhere I go, before we explored. Colin was so helpful explaining with a printed map where to walk and what to see. Our weekend compromised of walking, eating and drinking. We even took beers on our walk!

IMG-20170815-WA0021

The main sights are:

  • Gylen Castle: known as ‘Duncan’s Fort’
  • Kerrera Tea Gardens and Bunk House: Great stop for a brew and homemade cake
  • The Love Seat: made by Colin’s father for all to enjoy
  • Hidden lochs: go and explore!

IMG-20170813-WA0036

The Isle of Kerrera has a population of 45 people, no cars (except locals), no shops only a tearoom on the Island. The Galley Cabin is a perfect place to stay for only £48 per night! This is the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday working life. We certainly will be returning to see how Colin’s projects develop on his acres of land in the future years to come.

Go the Distance

Chloe

travel

Planning: Peru on a Shoestring

Something we have talked about for over a year now, is soon to become a reality. Up until Christmas the focus had been on saving, saving and guess what more saving! But then we stepped in STA travel last month to make some decisions. With the help of Jack at STA Travel Manchester and his two hours worth of patience, our flights were booked!

27495912_10214986910097004_1293820232_n

Our Round the World trip covers; South America, North America, New Zealand, Australia, South East Asia, India and Europe… in just over a year! There will be plenty more blogs breaking all of our plans down into bitesize chunks. It will be interesting to see how much of what is planned… actually happens!

While at STA Travel our talks centred around our South America plans and Jack kindly informed us about the VISA’s needed for Machu Picchu. This is something we were blissfully unaware of. Only 500 VISA’s are granted a day and these are booked well in advance. Our hearts sank, thinking we were too late to book the Inca Trail. But as luck would have it there were about 7 available for 3 months into our travels (if we had left it much longer we would have had to take the Lares Trek instead).

how toget more (1).png

One of these dates meant we will be hiking the Inca Trail on my Birthday… so that was it! Big decision made and we now know we are definitely seeing one of the seven wonders of the world!

Through G-Adventures we have booked the 14 day ‘Peru on a Shoestring‘ experience. We will meet and stay with local families, visit Colca Canyon, surrounding villages and conquer the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu on a 3 day trek. Our meals, accommodation and transport are arranged. This will be a big change to our self-sufficient 3 months prior to this. It will be all hostel living and navigating the buses, up until this point.

27583385_10214986913217082_493905460_n

The Checklist that we have been sent literally looks endless. However, at a second glance there wasn’t much on there that we hadn’t thought off. Although were going in ‘dry season’, we have read not to presume it will be dry. Apparently it can feel very damp so cotton clothing and jeans are big no no’s. All of our trekking gear and waterproofs will go with us and the rest will stay behind, hopefully safe and sound!

Having the date booked for this has actually really helped us in planning everything up until Peru. We have been able to allocate time to each country on the journey up to Peru much easier, as we have no choice but to get to Lima in time.

I genuinely cannot wait for these stock photos to become our own pictures with the most incredible memories attached.

Go the Distance to see the world.

Chloe.

Personal Development

Embrace the Lagom Lifestyle: The Basics

I first heard the term Lagom in a focus group on Compassionate Focused Therapy (CFT)  three months after our course. A colleague sat in the room with a completely different presence. She seemed bright, wide-eyed and with an overall feeling of happiness. After a brief conversation she said that following the CFT group she has looked into Hygee and Lagom and had implemented simple self-care tips along the way to support her mindfulness practices. I had heard of Hygee (Danish word used to acknowledge a special feeling or moment) but I hadn’t heard of Lagom.

Following this, the Mister bought me the book Lagom: The Swedish Secret of Living Well by Lola A. Akerstrom. I was hooked and within 10 days the little book was complete. Here I will share my thoughts and simple strategies of how you can implement Lagom into your lifestyle.

embrace the lagom lifestyle

Firstly, how an earth do you say it?! It’s pronounced ‘Law-gum’.

Where Hygee represents a special feeling within a moment, Lagom represents a lifestyle.

It means

  • not too much, not too little
  • balance
  • everything in moderation
  • the happy medium
  • above all… harmony.

IMG_20180106_121352_481000

Communication

Lagom doesn’t make time for showing off, exaggerations or big-headedness, as this would disrupt the equilibrium between you and your friend. So the lesson would be to listen more and speak less. Remembering that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason; this ratio should be used.

The Swedish society tends to avoid small talk and chitter-chatter. Their conversations surround meaningful and enriching topics. They embrace what we would call ‘awkward silences’ and enjoy the presence of others. For our British culture, would we mis-interpret this as rude or ignorant?

Home

Within a Swedish home, you wouldn’t see chaotic scenes of children running around the house, parents shouting to get their breakfast and everyone feeling stressed. You would feel a calm atmosphere and see the family sat around the table having breakfast together before they take on the day.

With regards to the Kitchen, Swedish meals reflect the seasons with the produce used being in-season and appropriate for the climate. They tend to use local producers, grow their own or forage from the land. When serving meals, they put on their plate what they know they can eat; remembering that others need to eat too.

Interior design is a favourite subject of mine. Lagom and Minimalism share very similar concepts. A great place to start is by de-cluttering, if things aren’t practical or don’t have an emotional tie to you then they can go. The Swedish home focuses on brightening up spaces as they have 5 months of the year in mostly darkness. So natural light, neutral walls and lamps are used to lift spirits to avoid negative feelings in wintery months. Fresh plants and flowers clear the air and also promote a sense of wellbeing! Upcycling fits well into Lagom. Give items additional functionality by repurposing them. Remember the other R’s too; recycle and reuses to avoid waste.

IMG_20180106_122521_611000

Self Care

With the rise in social media and the world wide web, more than ever we feel constantly connected. As ‘sociable’ as this is, it can have a negative effect when trying to build a balanced life. So you may be due a digital detox (past blog here on this).

The word ‘no’ slips off a Swedes tongue much more easily than a Brit. We find it so difficult to say ‘no’, but if we did we would be able to maintain balance and work much more efficiently, waste less time and increase our valuable time.

Why not join a club and enjoy your hobby with others? Take your singing in the car to a choir, take your dance moves to a salsa class or find out your old paintbrushes and join an art class. Spending time with like-minded people will relight your passion aswell as opening up a new network of friends.

30 Self Care Ideas are featured on my past blog too!

Fashion and Beauty

Who has an overflowing makeup case and a wardrobe that doesn’t close, yet still say ‘I have nothing to wear’? It may be time to simplify your beauty regimes and slim line the closet. No makeup days would give you skin chance to breathe. If you haven’t worn pieces of clothing for 3-6months it would recommend selling on eBay, Gumtree or donating to charity shops.

I have implemented this by putting a small makeup back with my everyday essentials (5 pieces of makeup). Also, I have been selling old clothing for funds for travel. It makes life so much easier when you have less to choose from. When buying new clothes, it is recommended that if you can think of 5 different ways to wear the piece of clothing, you can buy it. If not, put it back on the rack.

Why not visit charity shops or vintage stores? You often can get high quality pieces for a fraction of the price. On recent charity shop trip I found a dungaree skirt for £3! The charity shop was having a 50% sale so I walked out with this skirt, a jumper for work, a work dress and dress for travelling for a total of £10!

IMG_20180106_122918_032000

Goal Setting

When it comes to goals and Lagom, it can be difficult to get your head round. As Lagom states ‘everything in moderation’ so where does this sit when it comes to pushing towards a goal to achieve success? The tips that are suggested are setting measureable goals that you can break down into smaller achievable steps. Focusing solely on the ultimate goal may yield a sense of failure month by month as you’re not living your ultimate life. But if you focus on the small steps towards that goal, this will reduce the chance of self-punishment while maintaining balance within your life.

Work

Are you a manager of a team? If you are, why not try creating a relaxing atmosphere around your employees, listen to their concerns and ideas and promote work-life balance. Delegate tasks to ensure balance of your work load, but accept when you employees say ‘no’ so they can maintain their own balanced work load.

Take your lunch away from your desk. We deserve time to mindfully tea without multi-tasking. After all, we are entitled to a break and often aren’t paid for 30-60mins of the day for a break. As our work place doesn’t have a staff room, I turn my PC off, turn away from my desk or take my lunch outside in summery months.

IMG_20180106_123137_598000

Money

When it comes to money, Lagom wants us to take control of our finances so we can occasionally indulge without falling into debt. How many of us put money away for a rainy day? This safety net will also create piece of mind that your okay if your washing machine breaks… you have it under control.

‘Buy Cheap, Buy Twice’ is key here too. It’s much better to save for a quality piece than buy a cheaper item multiple times. Simple small steps on a daily basis, add up over the months and years. For example, a pack up for lunch instead of eating out or writing a shopping list and sticking to it.

Eco Living

Finally here are the Lagom tips for living an eco-friendly life!

  • More showers than baths
  • Bulk wash in dishwasher than hand-washing pots
  • Turn off the lights
  • Recycle
  • Use refillable bottles
  • Use reuseable bags
  • Switch to LED lights
  • Hang clothes out to dry
  • Use rechargeable batteries
  • Upcycle instead of throwing out
  • Wash clothes at 40 not 60
  • Grow your own
  • Sell or donate clothes

Go the Distance in your Lagom Lifestyle

Chloe

Health

The Basics of Yoga

Getting to this time of year, I do wonder how many people are still using there gym membership they bought in January. A new years resolution that stuck until February… March? Well I was one of them… I even had a personal trainer but without accountability I didn’t continue to use the gym after my 10 sessions.

So I have been a loyal investor of £10 a month to Exercise4Less until now… when I quit officially. I find home exercise much more appealing, especially in the winter months. In my opinion its too cold and dark to venture out. Sometimes even a home HIIT session is too much for me but Yoga… I always have time for yoga.

I wonder if anyone else has a favourite fitness… for some its running, gym, HIIT but for me it’s definitely yoga!

the basics of yoga

So what is Yoga?

Yoga is a mind and body practice that combines poses, controlled breathing, meditation and relaxation. It was developed in India over 5000 years ago!

  • The poses or postures are a series of movements that increase strength and flexibility
  • Controlling your breathing helps control your body and quietens your mind
  • Meditation is where you learn to be more mindful and be present in the moment

A number of studies have found that Yoga…

  • reduces stress and anxiety
  • enhances your mood
  • creates a sense of well-being
  • improves your balance, flexibility and strength
  • reduces risk factors for chronic disease like heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Helps alleviate conditions such as depression, pain and insomnia.

Plus…it’s an exercise that almost anyone can do too!

In my Healthy and Happy with Chloe group we took a yoga pose each day to master and I invite you to take a look too.

Foundations of Yoga

The foundation to yoga is simply breathing. This connects your mind and body

Let’s say your at work and your boss critics your work, your not meeting deadline or don’t have the right equipment to do your job. You tense up, you feel your head pounding, your jaw tighten… this is a perfect moment to practice by just breathing.

  • Take a few moments
  • Sit in your chair, feet flat on the floor and observe your breathing.
  • Don’t change it just observe it. Your heart might be racing or you may be holding your breath.
  • Then try to gently lengthen each breathe on each inhale and exhale.
  • Count silently to three… then four… then five.
  • Your heart rate will slow
  • Your neck, shoulder and jaw will loosen
  • You may even say your relaxed

This frame of mind will be able to handle the situation much better. May be worth a try the next time life pushes your buttons.

Childs

 

Let’s start with Childs Pose…

  1. Kneel on the floor… touch your big toes together and sit on your heels
  2. Separate your knees about as wide as your hips
  3. Exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs
  4. Lay your hand on the floor alongside your torso, palms up

This is a resting pose that you can stay in from 30 seconds to a few minutes

Why do Childs Pose?

  • It stretches the hips and thighs
  • It calms the brain and relives stress and fatigue
  • Relieves back and neck pain
  • Stimulates your digestion

Step further?

  1. T o increase the length in your torso, stretch your arms forward
  2. Lift your bum slightly away from your heels
  3. Reach the arms longer while you draw your shoulders back
  4. Without moving your hand, sit your bum back on the heels

Cat Cow

 

Cat-Cow Pose

  1. Start on your hands and knees with your wrists in line with your shoulders and knees in line with your hips
  2. Point your finger tips forward
  3. Centre your head and look downwards
  4. Cow Pose – Inhale as you drop your belly, lift your chin and chest and gaze upwards
  5. Cat Pose – Exhale as you draw your belly up and round your back towards the ceiling (like a stretching cat)
  6. Release your head looking towards the floor but don’t put your chin yo your chest
  7. Repeat 5-20 times and then rest by sitting back on your heels and moving into Child pose for a few minutes

Troubleshooting

  • If your wrists hurt, place your forearms on the floor
  • If your knees hurt double over your mat or put a blanket under your knees

Benefits of acting like a cow?

  • Strengthens your abdominal muscles
  • Stimulates the kidneys
  • Calms the mind
  • Develops postural awareness and can reduce back pain when practised regularly

Warrior

Are you a fierce warrior?

  1. Begin in a tall strong posture (Mountain Pose)
  2. Step or lightly jump your feet apart
  3. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and out to the sides
  4. Turn your right foot to the right slightly and left foot the left 90 degrees
  5. Turn your left thigh outward
  6. Exhale and bend your left knee over the left ankle
  7. Stretch your arms
  8. Pull your tailbone in
  9. Turn your head to the left and look over your fingers
  10. Stay for 30 seconds to a minute
  11. Reverse the feet and repeat on the right side

Apart from feeling super powerful the warrior pose is great for

  • Strengthening your legs
  • Increases stamina
  • Relieves backache
  • Improves circulation

 

Tree

Want to improve your sense of balance… tree pose is for you!

  1. Start in your mountain pose and focus on your breathe
  2. Once settled, shift your weight slightly onto the left foot and bend your right knee
  3. Reach down with your right hand and clasp your right ankle
  4. Draw your right foot up onto your inner left thigh
  5. If you can press the right heel into your inner left groin with toes pointing down
  6. Rest your hands on your hips
  7. Then slowly press your hands together and faze at a fixed point in front of you
  8. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute
  9. Step back into mountain pose and do the same on the other leg

Troubleshooting

  • If you feel really unsteady and wobbly, stand with your back against a wall

This pose it great for improving your balance!

Take it a step further…

  • Practice with your eyes closed
  • Stretch your arms straight up
  • or form a V with your arms

Within the Healthy and Happy with Chloe group we shared our poses to build up a sense of accountability to practising daily! I hope these poses have given you a taster into the world of yoga. A rug is all you need to do yoga from home.

I personally love Yoga with Adriene’s you tube channel, I regularly see her in my morning’s and I have continued to increase my flexibility, core strength and balance as well as peace of mind throughout her sessions.

Go the Distance for your Health and Wellbeing

Chloe.

travel

My gnarly surf experience

Years ago I wrote a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30! Seen as I have just turned 25 it hit me that I best start making my way through the 17 things left on the list. With an upcoming family holiday to Newgale approaching, with three surfers I knew I had to literally jump in the deep end and learn to surf.

Newgale beach is on the Pembrokeshire Coast and is one of the Welsh ‘Blue Flag’ beaches meaning is is extremely clean. The beach has a bank of pebbles that form a kind of sea defence, before you meet the sand then sea.  It’s a very popular place for windsurfers, canoeists and surfers (like us).  We stayed up at the top of a hill in the wonderful ‘Curlew Cottage’ that had stunning views over the bay. The highlight was definitely the hot hub that we retreated to most nights with a glass of wine… or two!

15568053-93c5-40c2-90b9-0b5c8ae09c0d
For the first weekend we were joined by the misters good friend who was very keen to learn to surf.  As the first day was ‘flat’ we were keen to get out no matter what the following day, so it wasn’t a waste for his friend. White Sands was the place to be that day so I rented a ‘foamy’ board and a 5mm thick wetsuit. I was convinced I was going to be cold but the surfer dude at ‘Ma Simes Surf Hut‘ in St David’s reassured me that this was thick and as long as my core was warm I would be fine – needless to say he was right! I was very toasty! A big concern was getting in the actual wetsuit. This has been traumatic in the past and the mister was determined to get me in it as quickly and painlessly as possible so I wouldn’t have my first tantrum before even getting in the water. By the side of the car, he forced me into it, nipping my skin and lifting me into air multiple times until I was zipped in. Tantrum averted!
23415863_10214300887546869_676161975_n
I must admit I had been torturing myself with all the possible things that could go wrong! I may nose dive, the waves might sweep me away, I might get concussion, drown or even get my hair wet! The latter definitely happened haha! Although, my fellow surfer family thought it was ‘flat’ I thought I was walking into a tsunami. Luckily, my adrenaline kicked in and I unexpectedly just went for it. However, I then realised I didn’t actually know what I was meant to do. The waves were hitting me and with a surf board in hand I had no idea how to tackle the waves. The mister began to explain how you need to tilt the board and jump over in a seamless fashion so you don’t just keep going back to square one on the beach. This required some strength but I got the hang of it.

My goal of the day was to essentially body board and ride wave that way. However, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and managed to ride it on my knees. I would wait until the wave had crashed and turned white and foamy before jumping on and paddling (I realised my paddling is pretty weak) and wait to be lifted by the wave and ride it in. Its fascinating how something as small as having your feet off the board at the end, being too far forward, your legs not staying closed together can literally end up with you nose diving, surf board flying in the air and tumbling through the water. It happened a fair few times but it was enjoyable and a great rush! I was so pleased that the mister had the patience to talk me through every step, laugh at me when I fell off and inform me where I may have gone wrong! Two hours in unfortunately, pro surfer girl had mild concussion after pro surfer boyfriends board hit her on the head… This was a few hours in and felt like the right time to go back to the cottage and enjoy a cuppa and cake. It cures everything, apart from aching muscles!

how toget more

I was hooked and ready to give surfing another go, despite how much I ached. After a very early dog walk to check out the surf we went for it. This time just me and the mister. Day 2 actually had more fear for me. I knew what it felt like to swallow half of the sea water, tumble and fall and I knew it could happen again. This time we stayed on Newgale beach and it was very foamy which was good for me. However, there wasn’t much time in between waves so I did feel like I was getting a little bit battered. Nevertheless, I persisted with the goal of standing up. It was ambitious but I was so proud when I managed to get one leg in position and was half stood half knelt. Progress! However, no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t ‘pop up’!

My final day of ‘learning to surf’ we took to Newgale Beach where it was rather choppy and not ideal for surfing. However, we were keen to get our hair wet seen as it was the last day of my board rental. I think I had built up a bit too much confidence and wasn’t paying as much attention as I had in previous days. I genuinely have no idea what I did to send my board flying in the air and me under the water. But I soon knew about it when the finns clipped my ear! In true Chloe Style, I thought my ear had been cut off! Luckily it hadn’t and I just felt a tad dizzy. I took some time out on the sand but it definitely knocked my confidence so I just ‘played’ in the shallow end till the mister came in.

23361231_10214300887586870_1324013521_n

I realised that learning to surf doesn’t come naturally to me. However, I have had a good taster experience and I’m keen to give it another go! So although I didn’t successfully stand up, it was definitely a success for me.

We had the most relaxing week away in Newgale with the mister’s family, exploring nearby quaint towns like St Davids, Solva and Broad Haven, many games of Monopoly, retreats in the Hot Tub and beautiful meals. Well deserved break in beautiful Wales.

Go the Distance in your Country

Chloe

Health

Drop a Pumpkin in 4 weeks

So me and the mister are celebrating our year anniversary this weekend… and what a year it has been. We have slept in over 20 different beds in over 10 different cities and we have had the best time!

But like in all great relationships, the waistline can begin to grow as you become more and more comfortable with one another. That’s where I was at. I have never been able to put on weight, I have a super metabolism and can literally eat what every I want. But… a year of this meant I gained a muffin top! Nowhere else… just on my stomach, the last place you want it to go!

Regardless of the muffin top, I still had a slim figure but i felt lethargic, sluggish and quite frankly a bit crap. I have had some crazy symptoms that have resembled fibromyalgia with pains going down one side of my face, arm and leg. I had no energy and was tired after a 8 hour working day in the office. My mood had times of being so low and my anxiety sometimes sky high. I knew something wasn’t right but no amount of medication, trips to the doctor, blood tests seemed to figure out what an earth was up with me.

It wasn’t until I was two weeks into Clean Eating that I had a lightblub moment. The rubbish I had been feeding myself was having such an effect on my physical health.

a7a3370210a3c0d8aff05b96f826f334--a-rainbow--day

So what have I been doing?

Me and the mister took on a four week clean eating plan that is supported by safe supplements. Eating clean means…

No gluten, no dairy, no caffeine, no sugar, no processed food, no alcohol.

I replaced my non-existent breakfasts with a meal replacement shake, had two healthy meals and supplements that supported digestion, fibre levels, energy and brain function.

drop a pumpkin in 4 weeks.png

Our bodies knew exactly what to do with all the goodness we gave it. In total we lost 10lbs … the exact weight of this pumpkin! I must admit we did look rather strange in Sainsburys weighing all these pumpkins to find the right one!

I lost 19 cm from my waist and hip measurements and 4lbs. The mister lost 16 cm from his chest, waist and hip measurements too and 6lbs.

You can find our before and after pictures here, on our Healthy and Happy support group. Whoever said that the last place it comes off is your stomach was wrong. That’s where all of our weight came off. I was rather pleased that none came off my boobs I must admit!

But it was a challenge… I had the funniest cravings for the strangest of things for a good two weeks. Anything I wasn’t allowed I craved for and the tuck shop at work was a reminder every day! I was grumpy for the first week and felt hungry even though I was eating more than ever.

23361244_10214300932908003_579889709_n

However, everyday I looked forward to my herbal tea instead of a cuppa with two sugars and I even looked forward to my breakfast shake.

Being accountable to the Mister definitely helped. I genuinely don’t think i would have stuck to it without him. He has amazing determination and sticks to things by the letter and I do love him for that.

The social support I feel is the most important part of taking on a clean eating challenge. If you, your partner and family are doing it together it will integrate into your lifestyle much easier. It will become a way of living and will be sustainable for the future, as you live by the 80/20 rule. This is why we have created a support group for all those people wanting to create healthy habits.

We welcome people from all over the world who have a desire to become Healthy and Happy (click the banner to find our group).

22552719_10214172546098413_1119007205041820217_n

Go the Distance for your Health

Chloe.