Get fit on a budget

Budget Fitness

Do you think budget fitness can’t be done?
Are you looking for some budget fitness ideas?
Do you think you need gym membership? A personal trainer? or expensive kit or equipment to help your fitness?
Think again – budget fitness can be yours! I’ve done it and in fact continue to do it on a daily basis! *

Walk/Run

Just starting out on your fitness journey? Then start with a daily walk, getting out into the fresh air for 10 – 15 minutes a day will begin your journey, mine started when I got a dog . From this you may wish to progress to a jog or a run. This blog post about my running history also provides signposts to some great helpful websites for getting started. You don’t need fancy kit for walking or running – comfortable clothes and you can start with basic trainers.

Dog walk
Regular dog walk fun!

Strength Work

In addition to aerobic exercises, like jogging, cycling, swimming, it is important to do activities to strengthen the muscles. These maintain movement, build and maintain bones and maintain health (NHS guidelines) . This article in The Independent offers 6 reasons to weight lift. Strength work can be achieved on a budget. There are a lot of resources online for body weight exercises, use of resistance bands and weights. This link is to You Tube Body Weight exercises for Women over 50 . Facebook and Instagram have a plethora of Fitness Influencer’s posting workouts – take a look at Carly Rowena, Tally Rye, Julia Buckley, The Food Medic.

You may feel intimidated by these young ladies and their workouts. I have been a member of Julia Buckley’s online gym for a number of years, at £2.49/week it offers fabulous budget fitness. I have made great gains working out at home alongside Julia’s video’s and infectious motivation. Also Julia is 40+ years of age, not  20+! Her online gym has a vast array of workouts starting with programmes for beginners.Oh and I see you can get a 10 day free trial here.

budget fitness
Half Marathon and a rare time in a gym!

So no gym fee’s or travel costs. Workout in whatever clothes you like; pjs, underwear….. As you progress you may want to invest in some weights, but these can be picked up at reasonable prices at Argos, Aldi, eBay or Amazon…..amongst other places.

Mobility

I am keen to help people maintain functional fitness as they go into midlife and beyond. Read my blog on it here.
It is also important to stay mobile for bone health, read my blog on Osteoporosis.

Functional Fitness for a healthy later life

In order to be in good health taking regular exercises is paramount. If cardio fitness and strength work seem out of your reach, perhaps some mobility work would be a great way to start. I am a big fan of Yoga with Adriene, another free resource on You Tube. Take a look at her Yoga for Complete Beginners here.

Other budget fitness ideas

I like to play tennis and to swim and I have managed to find relatively cheap ways of doing these things.

A nearby village with 2 tennis courts and no facilities runs a social tennis club and for less than £1/week I can play tennis a couple of times a week.

Swimming is more expensive, as I am currently only swimming once a week I have found the best deal is to buy a 10 swim pass, making the cost of a swim £3.55. Although I do see that my local pool has cheaper options, for example This Girl Can session £3.00.

I hope you’ve found something useful or interesting here. Thanks for reading.

Jen x

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

Read my blog on Fitness Challenges here

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‘* This post does not replace any medical advice you have received. I am not a Doctor, medical professional or a personal trainer. Please seek the advice of a professional if in any doubt about a fitness programme for yourself.

Budget Dinner Party for the Financially Savvy!

As part of my financially savvy series *,I’m sharing my budget dinner party. This is simple dinner menu which I prepared for myself and 3 friends, hence a party! I had leftovers of all 3 courses for me for the following days. I’ve not costed it precisely but it has to be not much more than £1.50 a head, when you take in the leftovers.

Budget Dinner Party Menu

It’s not Cordon Bleu, time consuming or complicated cookery, I don’t really do that. I do generally cook from scratch good wholesome food. The menu is; Watercress Soup, Chicken, Lentil and Tomato Stew (Waitrose recipe) and Apple & Blackberry Crumble.

Ingredients

This was my shopping list:

budget dinner party
Budget Dinner Party – Shopping list

the total cost being £6.38. A mix of Aldi and Waitrose shopping, my preferred combination, see my grocery shopping post. Added to this shopping were potatoes from my Dad’s garden , apples given away at a garden gate in the village and blackberries I’d picked from the fields. Along with store cupboard items: salt, pepper, garlic, stock cube, flour, sugar, butter, oil (vegetable not olive) and dried lentils (more cost effective than tinned).

Cooking

The beauty of this menu, along with it’s simplicity was that it could all be prepared ahead of time, with little to no messing around when the guests have arrived. I had never made the stew before but it was very straightforward, I used chicken thighs rather than fillets, as they are cheaper and tastier tho’ they do need a little more cooking, this worked well for me as I was using dried lentils rather than tinned. I served this with a little mashed potato and broccoli.

budget dinner party
Lentil& tomato stew with chicken

I have made this soup, and soups generally many, many times. I used onions rather than leeks and didn’t add cream, it’s perfectly delicious without. I bought some lovely seeded bread to have with the soup.

budget dinner party
Delia’s Watercress Soup

We finished off with a good, honest crumble and custard. I love a proper pudding and custard, I’m not an ice cream gal and I don’t own a freezer!

Don’t be afraid of cooking, give things a go! Just follow a recipe and the new skills will come and develop. It’s well worth it.

What are you’re favourite “go to” recipes?

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

* My Financially Savvy posts  – Grocery Shopping be Financially Savvy and Are you financially savvy? If not this may help!

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Grocery Shopping be Financially Savvy

I’ve decided to make February my Financial blog month – after last week’s (technically still January) blog: Are you financially savvy? This week, I’m going to share my housekeeping and grocery shopping habits. Last year I spent around £30 a week on these things including dog food……and wine! This year I’m keeping a more detailed analysis, splitting out the cleaning products, toiletries and the dog food. I keep a spreadsheet of all my expenditure. Obsessive?  It helps to concentrate the mind!

Which Grocery Shop?

On my move back to Leicestershire I naturally levitated to my previous local town for my weekly grocery shopping. Here there is a Morrisons and a Waitrose. I quickly realised that equi-distant, in the other direction, there is an Aldi and a Waitrose. I tried this combination and found it to be a winner. The Aldi grocery shopping experience is preferable to the Morrisons experience for me. The quality and price is much better, the choice is ample and the shop is smaller. Saving both time and money!
I may like a Sainsbury’s shop but I’m not prepared to take the extra time and mileage (and traffic) to head there.

grocery shopping
My local Aldi

Shopping List

I have a “permanent” grocery shopping list on my phone, which I copy and paste every week. Then I add to it and delete from it according to my needs. I have (at least) a rough plan of my meals for the week. I don’t have a freezer and I live alone, so if I make a chilli, curry or bolognaise type meal I tend to be eating it all week! Sometimes I take a portion or two to my Dad’s freezer or invite a friend round for dinner.
Meal planning and checking the cupboards and fridge before you shop are essential to avoid waste and hence unnecessary expense. A grocery shopping list will also help too.

grocery shopping
Grocery Shopping List in Notes on my phone

Grocery Shopping Routine

After the run around Aldi, I may then nip into Waitrose.  Here I will purchase the things Aldi can’t supply; 1 or 2 carrots (or other veg) not a 500g bag, corn cakes, occasionally some (odd) spices or herbs and a pastry treat (not essential and not every time)! I then get a free Latte and a copy of the Weekend (free Waitrose paper), to do the £100 prize crossword and the Sudoku 🙂
More occasionally still I take a foray into my nearest Asda for a huge bag of lentils and 100g bags of spices – cumin, chlli, garam masala etc.

Eating and Cooking

I eat well and almost always cook from scratch. I have no special dietary needs but don’t eat a lot of red meat. I love my greens, fruit and eat seasonally. In the last year I have had various friends and family over for dinner and have never felt that I have had to deprive myself.

I hope you’ve found something helpful here. Do you have any secrets for your grocery shopping?

Look out for future posts about my budget dinner party and (perhaps) a what I eat in a day!

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

Find out how I got on in 2017 here

www.jenafitlife.com

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Are you financially savvy? If not this may help!

Are you financially savvy? I’ve had a (12) month(s) of making sure I am.  It turns out that the unseen peril of a new start in January (2017) means 12 months on there is a lot of admin and cost!

financially savvy
My money box!
Are you financially savvy?

Obviously January 2017 must have involved (some) of this too but in the turmoil of the end of a relationship and the adrenalin to get out and move on meant this just happened, a necessity if you will.

These tasks remain a necessity 12 months on! I guess in the normal course of life your mortgage payments roll on or your rent may need reviewing but you’ve probably got other big expenses scheduled for elsewhere in the year – car expenses, insurance, Broadband…..

Research & Negotiation

January has turned into a month of research, renegotiation and payments. Not great straight after Christmas!

Negotiating is not one of my best skills so the use of the internet to find the best deals is great. I get a weekly email from Money Savings Expert   and it is fabulous for advice on all manner of financial matters, including energy switching, slashing mobile costs, shop bargains, best bank accounts, best savings accounts and much, much more.  The link to this site’s guidance on car insurance is below and I’d highly recommend it.

During 2017 I’ve opened two new bank accounts and received money back, earning over £250! These were from the weekly email I mention above, I have recently found the best savings account from this source too. So helpful if you want to be financially savvy!

financially savvy
Be financially savvy

Broadband

Last year I had a brilliant deal for my broadband which was coming to an end and was going to increase by over 200% (an additional £18.99). My daughter had experience of renewing with this company and told me to ring early in the day, say I wanted to leave and let them start to make you some offers! It worked and I got a good deal, saving the hassle of actually changing suppliers.

Mobile phone

I use giff gaff  for my mobile phone costs. There goodybags are competitively priced, starting at £5/month and you can change your goodybag to suit your needs on a monthly basis. The network is O2 and coverage has been great for me.

January 2018 list

Here is the list of things I’ve had to tackle and sort in January 2018;

  • Rented house renewal – agreed another 12 month contract and saved myself £300
  • Broadband – saved over £100 pa
  • TV licence
  • Car Insurance – I managed to decrease my premium from last year by about £200 https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/car-insurance/
  • Road Tax
  • Passport – was running out early February, glad this is only once every 10 years!
  • Self employed –so paying my Tax & NI
  • New tyres – after 34,000 miles so this shouldn’t come around again too soon
  • Car Service is due but I’ve eeked this into February

I’ve also helped my Dad with researching both his car insurance and house insurance. And my youngest daughter with getting her car serviced and MOT’d.

My MOT is due in March and I have my professional fees and insurance to pay in February.

Energy – new meter

On top of all this I’ve had an ongoing problem with my energy provider. Awaiting them to update my account for a new gas meter after replacing a faulty one. During this time I’ve been paying by direct debit £30 a month over my energy consumption; this was based on the faulty meter readings. They sorted the new meter (it took over 5 months),  I then managed to get them to agree the usage for the period prior to the new meter and have a nice sum coming back to me! This all involved me raising two complaints with them and being persistent, understanding my consumption (once the new meter was in) and being financially savvy!

Non negotiable

Some things we buy are non negotiable – TV licence, Road tax, Council tax….. there are lots of purchases that we can influence.
Is it time to be financially savvy?

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

Find out more about how I got on in 2017 here

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

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Relationships after 50: Heartbreak and Trust

In recent weeks I’ve taken a long hard look at relationships. I’ve examined the aftermath of my most recent long term relationship and this made me think of the importance of friendships. In considering all this I had a personal realisation around trust which I’m going to try to share with you here.

Heartbreak

In my “Man of my Dreams” blog I  mentioned my heartbreak, I’ll expand on that here a little.

Over 10 years ago I lost the love of my life. It took me over 6 years to completely let go of Mr X despite his being madly in love with Miss H, the reason for his need to separate from me. This relationship did not work out, he then moved onto Miss O (a Russian lady 24 years his junior), to whom he is now married.

My love for him was deep, strong, and inexplicable (given how he betrayed me)!  I will even add mutual and our partings on several occasions have been “sweet sorrow”. It is not something I’m proud of; I’m sure my daughters are scarred by the whole episode.

Mr X and I stayed friends, met for coffee or a beer until my circumstances dictated that we could no longer be friends, I miss him, sort of, and this too is mutual.

A good beer!

My relationship with the Man of my Dreams (Mr D) which finished over 12 months ago has not resulted in an ongoing friendship despite his best intentions. It has transpired that he doesn’t know how to be friends with a woman! That might be a bit harsh but I’m not sticking around to see.

Have you continued to remain friends after breaking up?

Trust

Reflecting on these two break ups it dawned on me that perhaps my trust had been both tested and broken.

I hadn’t realised that Mr D had created issues around trust for me. It is more obvious with Mr X as he’d been unfaithful and playing around when I had trusted him….. (on more occasions than I’d realised). The more recent trust issues are nothing to do with intimate, physical matters and wholly to do with companionship, friendship and security….I think.

It is a feeling I’m unearthing, discovering, evaluating and questioning. It is a new(ish) feeling, somewhere deep in my core. It is making me cautious and scared. It is not about others. It’s about me.

I don’t trust myself; to be myself, to be honest about my feelings and to be confident in what I want, particularly in potentially romantic relationships. I put this down to in the past always wanting to be liked, to avoid confrontation, to be a people pleaser and generally wanting an easy life! I need to trust that holding onto to my core beliefs and what makes me happy will actually give me that life.

In fact I have that in my single status and I love it. As I said in my Celebrating Last Year blog I’m happier on my own!

Trustworthy

It is not that I’m not trustworthy, you can count on me. I am not a gossip or a thief! I am, I believe, a good friend to others just not to myself sometimes. I’m learning or indeed have learnt to trust myself, to be honest with myself and to take action to honour myself.

Whatever age you are, whatever your life experiences, you are never to old to learn and with that (hopefully) become a better and happier person.

Never to old to learn!

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

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Relationships after 50: Friendships

I’d like to consider here friendships, particularly after the age of 50. These are my experiences and thoughts, let me know in the comments below your views or experience if you don’t mind sharing!

Old Friendships

I sometimes feel that I have lost good friends after the breakup of my marriage over 20 years ago. As a young-ish couple you have couple friends, often with children the same age as yours. We had three couple friends from school days and numerous other couple friends through our children mainly. No one wants to “take sides” (on our divorce), time gets taken up with the children and their hobbies, people move away and friendships take more than an annual Christmas card. Having said that if they were to knock on my door or vice versa I’m sure we’d pick up like it was yesterday……….but it’s not.

All the missed shared times – birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, children growing up concerns; GCSE’s, University anguish –these have been missed,  shared with newer friends. I envy people that have kept long term friendships going, it is like having an extended family.

That said I do have friends of old! In particular a childhood neighbour I’ve been friends with for over 50 years, I see her rarely, write to her twice a year and now see more of her on social media! An old school friend who is quite local and I meet up with occasionally. Along with the aforesaid Christmas card friends from days of yore and a close friend of over 15 years, I used to be her Manager in my Accountancy days.

walking in the peak district
My two best friends, Kate and Rufus at Ilam Rock -Dove Dale

You can read about this trip to the Peak District here.

New Friendships

I’m sometimes surprised at the number of friends I have made after the age of 50. They have come from varied places. Massage clients have become close friends to share a meal with or enjoy a dog walk with. More recently, in the last 12 months, I have made new friends through joining a local choir, tennis coaching and a social tennis group. These friendships are in early stages but I’m sure they will be long standing with like minded people.

I joined an online gym over 4 years ago and the community on there is fabulous. The thought of online friends is probably quite alien to many over 50s, and the scare stories of online relationships may put you off. Rest assured the ladies I have met online are delightful, I have now met some of them irl (in real life!), including one visiting from Australia. They are such a supportive and knowledgeable group of ladies, I am honoured to be part of their friendship group.

friendship
Meeting online gym friends irl!

Current Friendships

Here I am in my late 50s with more friends than I have ever had. Some from childhood, some from work places or leisure activities, some clients and my family. I believe that it is important to “work” at friendships. Don’t get irritated if it seems one way traffic or you are more or less available them. Be sure to keep in touch and get a date in your diary for a meet up or drop them a letter or a card.

I have reconnected with people after years and being single makes me more sociable and actively pursue friends. I have a date in my diary to meet a great lady I played hockey regularly with over 25 years ago with whom I’ve exchanged of Christmas cards but haven’t met in all those years. I’m also in contact with an old work colleague through Facebook and arranging a coffee meet up. An old boss dropped his phone number in his Christmas card and said to call.

friendship
1986 British Shoe Mixed Hockey Team on tour

Good friends

I googled friendship and friends here’s what I found “True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils” (dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/friend)

“A friend is someone you can talk with about a problem, someone who is always there when you need a hand, someone you can trust with your deepest secrets, someone who makes you laugh, or even someone you can poke on Facebook.” (https://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-good-friend)

Good friends may be hard to find and keep, times change, stuff happens, all part of lives rich pattern. Friendships can be made and developed. It’s never too late to make new friends who may well become good and trusted friends!

How do you know your oldest friend? How do you know you best friend? Do you have a best friend? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

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Man of my dreams? When it all goes wrong….

This time last year my life had been thrown upside down. When the man of my dreams decided it was over – no negotiating! I now feel I can share a little more.

Heartbroken

Over 10 years ago I lost the love of my life and was heartbroken, after 5 years alone I thought I’d found the man of my dreams.  He loved the countryside, was caring, loving, respectful and honest about the big things but not about broccoli!

I let this man dictate the pace of our relationship and (perhaps) I made a mistake. But we had fun and adventures; some fabulous achievements walking the Coast to Coast, the Cotswold Way, doing a Wolf Run, renovating and extending a house, rearing chickens……

Only to find 5 years on he doesn’t like broccoli and won’t compromise. I think I’d been incredibly supportive, amenable, compliant and giving but at the 11th hour felt it wasn’t reciprocated. We had an opportunity to move nearer to my family and business, this turned out to be “out of the question” and “there is no way I’m moving in that direction” and that brought us to breaking point.

functional fitness
Bringing the 20kg chick food in

Read what happened next here and here 

Disappointed

This time I was not heartbroken (I had no tears left after the last time) but I was disappointed and sad. We had begun to build an idyllic home and life together, which is not always easy to come by in your 50s with all that life has already given you, and we were comfortable together.

man of my dreams
The home we lovingly restored and extended

The situation was hard and a little bizarre when there was no building up of little niggles to a big fallout. It appeared to come from nowhere. With hindsight I guess it was the right thing to move out and on. As I now reflect on it I’m angry, mainly with myself. My lack of strength to be in control of my own destiny when we were in the early days of the relationship. As I said in my Celebrating 2017 blog I don’t function well in relationships!

Family

My family are very important to me – my Dad was 90 last year and won’t be around forever, although I am expecting a good 5 – 10 years more! My daughters are in their mid twenties and perhaps will have families of their own one day.  I’m in no hurry to be a Grandma tho’, and when they do I’m sure it will be fantastic to be near them. In the meantime it’s brilliant to pop over for a cuppa rather than having to plan an expedition to see them.

Family allotment time!

Life goes on and the next chapter is underway. I’m not looking for the “man of my dreams” or the “love of my life” but enjoying life to the full. Stay tuned further musings of this 50 something fitness lover.

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

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You may be interested to read what helped me last year with these life changes – What got me through Jan and Feb 2017

Celebrating last year – what did you learn?

Celebrating 5 things I’ve learnt in 2017

As we are all looking forward to what 2018 will bring and how we might be able to shape it I decided to take a look at what I’d learnt in 2017. It isn’t earth shattering or revolutionary but it is worth celebrating.

I am very much about looking forward because that’s the way we’re going! But we should be celebrating what we’ve achieved and how we’ve grown; the latter may be from some perceived failure or overcoming a fear.

I’m happier on my own

2017 started with an unexpected BANG! I was thrown into a new start when my partner decided we should go our separate ways, you can read about that here –  The *hit hit the fan!. The practicalities of this took over and I quickly established my new home and life – Calmer Waters.
As the year has progressed I have come to realise that I’m much happier on my own. I don’t  function well in a partnership, I become dependent and a little too submissive, yes that’s pathetic and I don’t like this about myself.  On my own I’m more resilient, competent and definitely independent!

Abseiling solo!

I love to sing

I have belonged to low key choirs for a lot of my life. However monetary constraints followed by my last relationship meant I had not been part of a choir for over 10 years.
I was pleased to discover in my new home village a community choir, 30 strong, no audition, no cost and just a short stroll away. This ticked all my choir boxes – as I love to sing I’m not very good, and would never sing solo and don’t really like people hearing me sing along with the radio! However in a choir I can tune in with those more proficient. It is a great hobby, has helped me to get to know people in the village and made me feel part of my new community.

I am resourceful

When my relationship broke down I found myself with my part-time massage business that I’d been letting tick over as I was living an hour’s drive away.  This was the impetus to crank this business back up and to look for other sources of income;  Work Update – Do you do a variety of jobs?
This year I have been a poll clerk and an exams invigilator alongside my massage work and blogging.
I have grown my own tomatoes and picked many blackberries whilst walking the dog. I shop wisely and waste nothing. I want to use my blog to encourage people to take responsibility for their health and live well, this post has some great signposts for low cost health.

I love to walk

Fitness and good health are important to me. I have had a dog for over 10 years and he is an active cocker spaniel that needs two good walks a day. I do not resent this I love to walk. I love that I get out into the countryside on my doorstep twice a day and I enjoy seeing the seasons changing in front of me on a daily basis.

Dog walk
Regular dog walk fun!

This year we walked Offa’s Dyke Path, a national trail on the Wales/England border. It was glorious, hard work and rewarding. A fabulous way holiday – activity, good views and good food! Read my post about it here.

Offa's Dyke Path
We’ve arrived in Prestatyn, in the October sunshine

Friends and family are precious, and I count my clients amongst these

Finding myself single I relocated back to be near my Dad and my daughters and I am so happy to be able to easily pop in or meet up for a coffee or a walk. We were celebrating my Dad’s 90th Birthday in December and it’s great to be near to see him regularly and help him out….even if that means digging over his vegetable patch!

healthy later life
Dad & I

I’ve also made a concerted effort to regularly contact and meet up with friends, something I’d neglected. I seem to do more with these friends than I did with my ex’s! The daily routine of work and TV has been replaced by trips to the cinema, theatre, meals out and other adventures.
These posts are a couple of things I got up to – Peak District and North Devon and there’s more I’ve blogged about take a look!

Bargain weekend away Bistro
Blacksands Bistro 🙂

With my daughters in North Devon.

What are you celebrating about 2017?

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

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Christmas Guilt Free – here is some advice!

Christmas doesn’t have to be a blow out. It is a time to celebrate with friends and family. Enjoy the festivities, the food and drink, the company and the catch ups. None of this is bad for you or something to feel guilty about, have Christmas guilt free.

Food Choices – Christmas guilt free

Be mindful of your food choices and portion size perhaps but do not feel any guilt. These special festive foods may only be around at this time of year but there are plenty of days over the festive time to partake of them. It’s not necessary to eat them all ‘now’ or in excessive.

Giving yourself permission to enjoy them will help you to partake of them in a more rational way – eat them when you want or wait for another time. Beat the binge, starve “diet culture”. Ok this won’t happen overnight but perhaps now is the time to consider addressing your attitude and motivation towards food, fitness and body image. Let’s come back to this next year, for now have fun and find happiness in your choices. Stop beating yourself up, this fuels the binge/diet cycle.

Drink Choices – Christmas guilt free

Christmas guilt free
A great alternative to mulled wine

You don’t have to turn to drink to have a good time. Raise a glass or two by all means, but drink plenty of water too. It’s amazing how great it is not to lose the precious holiday time to a hangover, to remember that conversation you had with a loved one or how that heated debate panned out. Too many times, in the past, I’ve struggled to remember what I said and hoped it wasn’t offensive or misplaced. This article in The Guardian looked at a range of alcohol-free drinks and some literature examining sobriety. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/26/millennials-discover-mindful-drinking-non-alcoholic-festval

This website http://girlandtonic.co.uk/ may also give you some inspiration and help on cutting down or stopping drinking alcohol.

christmas no guilt
No alcohol red wine that tastes good

Activity Choices – Christmas guilt free

Finally, keep moving. Helping to tidy the wrapping paper, playing with the kids, carrying to and from the dinner table, washing up, so many little opportunities to keep active why not take them. I always prefer to take a walk after my Christmas dinner I’d rather aid the digestive process than immediately flop on the sofa ……I’ll do that later. Hey why not play some games too, charades or famous people or even a game of cards. All so much more fun and inclusive than the TV.

christmas no guilt
After a good walk!

Do you have any advice to have Christmas guilt free?

Have you read my recent blog on the festive season stress’ ? This may also help to make Christmas guilt free!

Thanks for reading and Happy Christmas!

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

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I did Dry January in 2017, read it here

My Dad – life at 90!

My Dad

I’ve always admired my Dad, his steady love of his family, his hard and unrelenting work and his stoical attitude. My Dad was a dairy farmer on a small tenanted farm, he loved his work, this life and community I believe.  I have learnt such a lot from my Dad, I’m sure his approach to life has really shaped who I am today.

My Dad
Dad in his 40s

This week my Dad reaches his 90th Birthday! He lives alone, my Mum died 9 years ago having had Alzheimer’s through which he steadfastly cared for her, often shielding my sisters and I from what this dreadful disease was doing to their life.  He is in good health, cooks a meal everyday from scratch and is still an inspiration to us all.

My Dad
Dad at 80 🙂

Dad’s garden

My Dad has a great garden, he even dug up a lawn to extend his vegetable plot! He grows lots of fruit and veg.: potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beetroot, cabbage, chard, purple sprouting broccoli, runner beans, french beans, courgettes/marrow, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes (in his greenhouse), gooseberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, raspberries and rhubarb! This may not be an exhaustive list!

Dad then busies himself freezing or preserving (jam’s, chutney’s, pickles) his fresh produce, thus being self sufficient in this and having gifts for others.

In the last year he has asked us to help dig the garden at the start and end of the season, but he pretty much does everything else himself. He also has some beautiful fuchsia’s, that he and my Mum collected and cultivated. Along with some fabulous Bishop red dahlias.

healthy later life
Soon to be 90!

Recently my sister defrosted Dad’s chest freezer, its contents along with the aforesaid fruit and veg was meat (he buys half a lamb from a local farmer) and game birds (a neighbour beats at shoots and brings Dad game birds…in full feather). The only supermarket products were oven chips and ice cream.

Dad’s social life

When the weather is clement he’ll go for a daily walk and I often find his social life is better than mine! One week in the autumn he was out for coffee on three mornings, lunch with friends one day, a wedding anniversary party (60 years, Dad had been Best Man) and then I was cooking a family Sunday lunch. Pretty good eh? Dad cooks a full Sunday lunch for my younger sister and her husband most weeks!

Celebrating 90 year of age!

So this weekend we celebrate Dad’s 90th Birthday with over 50 family and friends. Please raise your glass and toast my Dad this weekend!

My Dad
Dad as a youngster!

Who inspires you?

Read my tips on having a healthy later life here, it’s not too late!

Checkout my 4 Pillars of Health blog post here https://www.jenafitlife.com/4-pillars-good-health/

and my Functional Fitness blog here https://www.jenafitlife.com/?s=functional+fitness

 

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

www.jenafitlife.com

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

Sign up to get notified of my new blog posts – pop your email address in the box at the top right of the page. I promise I won’t be sending spam or selling my email list!