I think it’s time for a proper update on my Low-impact life plan, following last week’s tale of woe (only there’s another one coming this week, wait for it).
So. Where am I?
Food. I’ve been very good at taking packed lunches to work. My favourite lunch is inspired by the Leon mackerel superfood salad (which I probably have a recipe for in the Leon cookbook, but I haven’t looked): while I’m eating my breakfast, I put some quinoa on to cook. This then goes in the bento box, topped with some salad leaves, vegetables (these have included avocado, broad beans, grated beetroot, grated carrot, and grated kohlrabi), a fillet of smoked mackerel, and finally a handful of toasted seeds. I drizzle a bit of Omega oil over the top and squeeze over some lemon juice. It’s so good and really gives me energy for the afternoon.
I have realised I have to try to eat a bit less, as I am trying to lose a little bit of weight (3kg would get me back to about where I was when I arrived in the UK). I’ve upped the exercise a lot but find that on the days I exercise, I’m much hungrier. Fighting these hunger pangs is hard as I’m not used to being hungry. But I have to force my body to use up some of its fat reserves… preferably the ones covering my brand new abs.
Then yesterday at the People’s Supermarket I found myself working on the ice cream stand for four hours. It was essential to sample every flavour so I could answer customers’ questions (the Guava Sorbet is best. Parsee Caramelised Apricot is most popular. But Rose Petal and Cardamom is the flavour everyone wants to try). That, combined with some delicious Booja Booja truffles that came free in my veg box = Total diet fail.
I’ve started using the Dr Hauschka cleanser as well as the products I already use. So now I have the whole Dr Hauschka “system”. I’m not very good at using it twice a day as I should, but I think it is making a difference. I have to press it into my skin with a gentle pressing, rolling motion instead of rubbing. This is taking a bit of getting used to and because my skin is oily/combination, it is supposed to take five minutes. For low-maintenance me, that’s a bit much. But I am rewarded by smaller pores and clearer skin.
The Liz Earle spf 15+ mineral sunscreen is great. I got a pack of three small tubes, and half of it’s gone already. I work outside so I have to slather myself in it. But it works really well. I’m slightly tanned and more freckled on exposed skin than I was, but haven’t been burned once this summer. I didn’t think 15+ was enough for me but I’m glad to be proved wrong. And even the strongest chemical sunscreens don’t protect my skin once they’ve been open for a year or longer, so I’m really happy with this.
Conditioner. I had a go at making my own leave-in spray. It’s easy. You just get a spray bottle, nearly fill it with water, add about a teaspoon of glycerin, two teaspoons of jojoba oil and two teaspoons of sweet almond oil. Add 10 drops of rosemary oil and shake. You need to shake it every time you use it as the oil separates from the water. I also added a bit of chamomile oil to bring out my hair’s natural blonde highlights. I’m still using my regular conditioner, as this is more of a detangling spray than a conditioner, but I might try using it on its own when my conditioner runs out.
I’ve also stopped using anti-perspirant, which contains aluminium. I know the jury’s out on aluminium, but I’d rather it didn’t get into my body all the same. I also sometimes get horrible painful lumps under my arms, which are usually fixed by switching deodorants. I decided to try a crystal salt deodorant instead, which works by killing the bacteria that feed on sweat and produce the rank smells associated with perspiration.
So it definitely doesn’t stop me from sweating, but I rather like not smelling like a chemical cocktail. It definitely stops the bad smells (I have sought outside verification) but it’s quite a strange sensation to just smell like myself. It’s another incentive to stick to the healthy diet, because diet definitely affects body odour. And it actually feels quite empowering and sexy. Speaking of which, the one downside: I seem to have become irresistibly attractive, not to men, but mosquitoes. I didn’t even know London had mosquitoes.
This week I have been to two hoop classes, one Pilates class and done a LOT of walking. I have been rewarded with very sore shins. Hypermobility raises its ugly head again. So instead of going to a hoop event today I am resting. I’ve lost about a kilo since starting this plan.
We’re trying some new natural cleaning remedies while trying to use up the chemicals we have left. There is a cleaning spray I’ve made for the kitchen that both Camilla and I are totally addicted to – the kitchen has never been so clean:
Nearly fill a spray bottle with water. Add 1 tsp baking soda, a few drops of liquid soap (Dr Bronner’s), and 10 drops of lavender or tea-tree oil (I add a bit of lemon oil too). Shake together.
The recipe is from Domestic Goddess on a Budget, which my mum sent from New Zealand.
I’m also loving baking soda (bicarb) which I buy from Unpackaged. It’s great for cleaning things like the bathroom sink – I just sprinkle it on, leave it for a while, and scrub it off. Gets rid of any strange drain smells too.
I’d like to add a category, Health. I’ve been deliberately ignoring this because I use over-the-counter drugs every day to control my hayfever. I seem to be allergic to every type of pollen, dust mites, and mould spores. I’m quite keen to try alternative methods that would get me off the drugs. So far I’ve only tried local honey, to inconclusive results. It tastes good, but I’m not very good at remembering to take it every day (but I am good at remembering to take the drugs…).
I was drawn into Lloyds Pharmacy the other day by a sign outside advertising an Allergy Reliever (which you stick up your nose several times a day and works by using light therapy) for £10. Thinking it was worth a try for a tenner, I took one to the counter, only to be told it was actually £19.99. I’m absolutely disgusted by their false advertising (it is also currently advertised on the internet, in sponsored Amazon and Google links for £10, then when you click through to the website it is £19.99) that I’m determined Lloyds will not get my money. However a similar product on Amazon is even more expensive. It has rave reviews though – could this be the solution? Well, even if I have to pay £30 for the Amazon product, Lloyds is not getting my money. I think as a pharmacy, people put a lot of trust in a business like Lloyds and such underhand and illegal marketing tactics are an enormous breach of trust. By the way, I made a written complaint on their website on Thursday but they have not replied. Bit of a recurring theme here. Sports Direct’s Customer (Dis)Service department haven’t even acknowledged my complaint. Good to know the customer matters!