Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Christmas Party Diet – Stuff the turkey, not yourself! (Pt 2 – Life is for living…)

Hello gorgeous people. I’ve generally had really good feedback from my last diet post so figured I would do part two for everyone who is interested. My last post focused on drinking, but now for the really hard part… the FOOD.

How do you get through Christmas without eating a whole turkey stuffed with a Yule log, and come out looking like the fairy on the Christmas tree, not Santa? It can be difficult, but it’s not impossible – read on!

Firstly, and most importantly…  

Christmas DAY is ONE DAY LONG – not one month!

There is absolutely no problem health wise in relaxing your diet for one day. Life is meant to be enjoyed and hey, it’s Christmas. Go mad. Eat chocolate and drink Bucks Fizz for breakfast. Have turkey with all the trimmings and 20 pigs in blankets (if you don’t think they’re the best part of Christmas dinner – you’re wrong!) and three different types of dessert. Wash it all down with champagne, then spend all afternoon idly eating Quality Streets, even the blue coconut ones that nobody likes.

But here’s the important part – you can only do this for ONE DAY. You can’t start eating this way, telling yourself ‘well, it’s Christmas’, on the 1st December – Christmas isn’t a month long! You can’t start on the 25th and then carry on through Boxing Day and all the way up to New Year either, thinking ‘oh well, I’ll start on the 1st January.’ If you eat crazily for one day and then immediately revert back to normal, healthy eating habits, you won’t do any damage at all. But if you do it for any longer, you’ll cause problems. Your body will start to crave the sugar and you’ll want to eat like that ALL THE TIME. Do you still want to be eating mince pies in May? Do you want to have to do some kind of insane bikini diet to stop yourself looking like a seal in the swimming pool in August? No. So enjoy yourself, but remember – on Boxing Day, PUT THE FORK DOWN.

Green tea is a life saver by the way – drink it first thing on Boxing Day. I don’t know how but it stops you from wanting to carry on nibbling. Have a diet coke as well. Treat it a bit like a food hangover!

Buffets are danger zones

Avoid them where possible. There’s more calories than I can tell you hiding in pork pies and mini pizzas and ‘just one more Pringle.’ It’s hard to tell how much you’re eating, and more often than not you have two courses (how often would you have two rounds of normal dinner? Exactly.)  

If you do go to a Christmas buffet, eat wisely. Now let’s not be silly, you’re not going to only eat the cucumber slices and the obligatory lettuce, are you? Let's not get all Victoria Beckham about this. But there are choices you can make that will help you out. Stick where you can to low carb foods because they tend to be the healthiest – so have turkey and beef, but limit your intake of sausage rolls and vol-au-vents. Protein = filling, so you might not even need that second helping! One piece of bread is enough for a meal. You wouldn’t have 5 pieces of toast for breakfast, would you? No. So just because this is gorgeous tomato and focaccia ciabatta, don’t feel the need to eat a whole loaf (use your loaf - don't eat it).

Don’t eat crisps – they are an utterly pointless food; they’re full of salt, they’ll never fill you up, and some of them are addictive so you’ll actually WANT to eat more.

But DO eat chocolate. A bit of chocolate will make you feel like you’ve had something naughty and you won’t eat as much of it as you think, because it’s quite sickly. Trust me and have a chocolate bar. Cheese is also good, especially without bread – again, you can’t eat as much of it as you think you can!


I think ‘thinspiration’ brings up negative connotations (miserable anorexic girls staring at impossibly airbrushed models with thigh gaps) and the last thing you want to do is spend Christmas pushing lettuce leaves around your plate and munching an apple while your family digs into the turkey and mince pies. As Audrey Hepburn said, 'happy girls are the prettiest,' so NEVER eat in a way that makes you miserable!

HOWEVER, I find that having an ideal body in mind keeps me on track when I’m tempted to have thirds of Christmas pudding. I keep a photo of my fitspo crush of the moment (Victoria’s Secrets models are always a good bet) on my phone. If I feel really weak, I look at the photo and think – OK, would they eat this? Do I want to eat it? Will it really make me happier to eat this?

And if the answer is no, I just don’t.  

Stay young go dancing

Exercise is something that can get a bit forgotten over Christmas – and what a surprise. It’s freezing, so you’re hardly likely to pop out for a quick run (although it can make you feel really good, and if you need a saintly boost, then go for it!), and the gyms are shut (wooop), and before you know it, you haven’t done any exercise in a month.

I personally am a firm believer in sit ups. Do them as soon as you wake up in the morning – on the floor, not in bed preferably – as many as you like; I vary between 50 and 200 depending on time and how badly I’ve eaten the day before! It doesn’t take long and it genuinely does make a difference. A Wii Fit is also a brilliant investment – ask for one for Christmas! The exercises are short and fun, you don’t have to go outside to do them, and if you get the Wii Fit Plus package you can tell exactly how many calories you’ve burned, so you can earn your gingerbread latte!

Finally – stay active in general. Walking round the shops – that’s exerc
ise. Dancing all night at your work do – exercise. Have fun, go out, make the most of it!

Indulge… but like a lady

OK, here’s my real tip. Christmas, for me, is all about having a wonderful time and enjoying the finer things in life, and sometimes that does involve food. If you’re having a lovely home cooked meal, or you’re out for a gorgeous Christmas dinner somewhere, or your friend has bought you the amazing Christmas cupcakes from Sweet Couture – go ahead. Enjoy them. And provided this is all you do, it really shouldn’t affect you. Everyone can indulge every now and then without looking like an elephant.

What you shouldn’t do is use Christmas as an excuse to eat rubbish constantly. Eating an entire box of Celebrations on your own isn’t fun, it’s silly. Eating an extra packet of crisps at work is not Christmassy. Going to McDonald’s after a night out isn’t necessary.

Love yourself. Eat and drink well and you’ll be able to see and feel the effects.

And if all else fails and you put on a stone – don’t panic. After all, what is January for if not for detoxing?!

Happy Christmas everyone! Oh and follow me on Twitter (AboutagirlCC) or Instagram (catscruse)!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Christmas Party Diet – Stuff the turkey, not yourself! (Pt 1 - The Drinking Chapter...)

Okay, so I love Christmas. I love parties, I love family time, and I love the food. All of it – turkey and all the trimmings, Yule log, mince pies, cake, canap├ęs, Baileys cocktails, tins of Quality Street, piles and piles of yummy deliciousness.

                                     (Pizza Express Snowball Doughballs...YUM). 

You know what I don’t love, though? Putting on 6 pounds and not being able to fit into my skinny black jeans and the beautiful fitted jumper I bought for Christmas day…(for my guide to Christmas jumpers, see here!)

A few years ago I had a bit of a nightmare over Christmas. It took me a new year’s resolution and a good few months of hard gym work to lose the extra tyre I’d gained over the festive season. Since then, I’ve worked out a way to manage my weight – so read on for Part One of my guide to staying skinny, or even losing a few pounds, in order to go out on NYE in your tightest black dress without scaring the locals. I’m not a doctor, and you should seek medical advice before you go on a diet, but these tips and hints helped me!

                                        (Two advent calendars? Oh go on then...)

Easy General Tips on Party Day!

1.     Don’t skip meals. I know this sounds like backwards logic, but if you start thinking ‘oh, I know I’m having a big meal out later/it’s the work Christmas dinner tonight/I want to eat a triple chocolate fudge sundae for lunch, so I’ll just skip breakfast,’ your metabolism will slow down, and when you do eat your naughty treats they’ll just stick to your hips because your body will think you’re starving. So EAT. If you know you’re going to eat a big meal at dinner, eat fruit or natural yoghurt for breakfast, and soup for lunch. Just keep your metabolism going.

2.     Don’t get hungry. I don’t mean eat till you feel sick. I mean eat your meals and don’t sit down at Christmas dinner ready to eat a horse, because you probably will. And if you go to your work do with an empty stomach then you’ll get drunk on two glasses of cheap white wine, tell your boss you hate him, snog the ugly guy from accounts and wake up wishing you’d listened to me...

Drinking tips…

  • Watch what you’re drinking. Alcohol is empty calories and some of them are also full of carbs, which bloat you and give you that unattractive spare tyre look (not fit). I try to stick to white wine and drink a whole glass before I refill so I know what I’m drinking. A SMALL glass – large glasses these days are 250ml, which is a third of a bottle. That is a LOT, girls. Think small glass = small ass.
  •   Drink water as well, especially while you’re eating – it’s easy to drink a bottle of wine with dinner before you even know what you’ve done! Don’t have a glass of diet coke, though, it doesn’t do the same thing – this can actually make you MORE drunk.
  •   If you don’t want or like wine, vodka and diet coke is the best low cal mixer. If you really, really want something high calorie like a Bailey’s cocktail then fine, but have it as your dessert – don’t have it WITH  the cake. Santa has sherry and mince pies and look at his stomach. You want that to be you? No. No you do not.

Hangover tips…

Try not to be hungover. It makes everyone want to eat carbs and curl up in bed like a hibernating animal. But hibernating animals have extra layers of fat. This is not what we want. Obviously, the best way to not be hungover is not to drink too much. Sometimes this is just unrealistic, so here are my best tips for avoidance and dealing.

1.      Eat before you go out. BEFORE you start drinking, not WHEN. I cannot stress this enough. ‘Drunkorexia’ doesn’t work and isn’t cool. You’ll just eat triple the calories tomorrow. Trust me. Eat a big plate of noodles or a huge salad or grab a sandwich on the go if you have to. Just eat.
2.      When you get in drink a huge pint of water. Two if you can manage it. Don’t make yourself sick, drink at a normal speed, it’s not a downing competition, you're not at the bar anymore so no need for strawpedos. Before you go out, put another glass of water and a packet of paracetamoyl by your bed.
3.     If you feel really awful in the morning, take the tablets. Either way, drink the water (or get up and get a fresh glass, if you feel OK). You need to eat to get your blood sugar back up. Porridge is good. Cereal is good. Fatty foods will make you feel even worse as they make your liver work even harder than it already is. Don’t.
4.     If you feel horrific keep drinking water. Pee it out, party girl. Have a Coke or a Red Bull if you really have to get up and go to work or something equally horrific. Otherwise just sleep as much as you can.
5.     Lunchtime – protein time. Hopefully you feel a bit unhealthy and you will WANT to be healthy. Chicken, salad, maybe some hummus. It’s low effort so just chuck it together. Have quite a lot of it. If you’re not full, have more. And more water. And more painkillers if you need them. Paracetamoyl needs to be taken at 4 hour intervals but you can take Ibuprofen too if you feel really bad. Don't be brave or a martyr to the cause. It's a hangover, no need to be all wounded soldier about it.
6.     Have a really long bath and put a face mask on. Keep drinking throughout the bath or you’ll get dehydrated (again). Slick on some eye cream and stick in some eye drops – drinking plays havoc with your skin.
7.     Dinner – something comforting. Get a ready meal, like a lasagne or a stir fry, stick it in the microwave, and enjoy. Take some vitamins if you’ve got any, in case you’ve got a bit run down. Vitamin C and zinc is good for your immune system, and a multi vitamin won’t hurt.

That's it! Now go to bed...or go out again, if you want, feeling and looking just as fabulous as you did last night!

(Don't eat the Christmas tree even if you are having fun...)

If you enjoyed my diet tips and would like to read Part 2, please follow my blog or just leave a comment below (or both!) and I'll post it soon!


Thursday, 6 December 2012

Christmas jumper party - millionaire style!

I did a little bit of casual shopping in my lunch break today and thought if anyone is going to a Christmas Jumper party (I must’ve been invited to about 10, it seems to be the event of the season) but doesn’t want to go for the usual cheesy snowflake pattern/Rudolph face design, this Topshop number makes a classy alternative.

What do you think? OK, OK, I know it’s not really getting into the spirit of things, but this is one of those days when you want to feel like the elegant girl in muted tones, sipping dry white wine, rather than the crazy party girl wearing a fuzzy jumper that keeps coming off all over everyone else’s trousers…

The dove grey is flattering on most skin colours and the crystals around the neck give it a sparkly luxe effect, making it look a lot more expensive than its price tag would suggest. Pick it up here for a mere £45.

They were pretty low on stock in the branch I visited, but a cute alternative I found is this beige Monsoon jumper here -  now on sale for £35, a bargain, so grab it while it’s in stock! I’m really loving the crystal necklace look! Leave me a comment letting me know if you’re going to any Christmas jumper parties this year and if so, what look you’ll be sporting!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

I thought for my first real post I'd just give you a flavour of my weekend, even though after three long days at work, it feels like it happened a long time ago. My boyfriend had professional exams on Saturday so I spent a hard day wandering about Westfield Shepherd's Bush with a friend. We had Wagamama's for lunch, but I still managed to fit in a snog...

No, not THAT kind of snog, you cheeky people. This kind...

I usually get strawberry fro yo but Snog don't seem to do it (why is that?) so I went for chocolate with white chocolate stars and granola. I could've eaten it forever, to be honest. I love frozen yoghurt - it's like ice cream, but somehow I believe that it's good for me, even when it's coated in chocolate stars...

We went for a pub crawl around Putney that night to celebrate I's exams being over, and it was SO cold that I decided the only thing to do was to wear a big warm cardigan over my outfit...and knee length suede (well, let's be honest - fake suede) boots...

I was feeling pretty fragile the next day and thought I'd probably spend the whole thing curled up on the sofa eating Pringles and watching endless repeats of Nothing To Declare, but in the end I put on my warmest clothes and we all went out to Winter Wonderland. If you don't live in London or you just don't know what it is, Winter Wonderland is basically a Christmas themed market - it's a big mish mash of Bavarian stalls, crazy fairground rides, an ice rink, and a tonne of bars selling mulled wine and cider alongside hot chocolate and coffee. We started off in one of the bars, and drinking mulled wine around a big open fire has to be one of the best activities for a cold Sunday that there is. Afterwards we braved the rides - there's something terrifying about riding a rollercoaster that seems to be held together with bits of plastic, and the dodgems is always hilarious, but I still cannot BELIEVE my friends got me on this:

I was basically screaming before I even sat down!

All in all, my advice is:

1. It's expensive. You don't have to pay to get in, but they make up the cost elsewhere - rides are between £6 and £10, alcoholic drinks are all £4 plus and even soft drinks are £2 or more, so be prepared.
2. Get cash out before you get there - they've cheekily closed the Natwest in Hyde Park tube station, so you're forced to draw out cash in the park, and it has a £2.75 charge!
3. You have to book in advance to ice skate so bear that in mind if you want to (we didn't, because I have a knee which likes to dislocate occasionally, but it did look stunning)
4. The ferris wheel has amazing views but it is FREEZING up there. If you're hilarious (like me) spend the entire journey asking your significant other when he's going to propose to you. (P.S to any would-be proposers - it'd be a pretty awesome place to do it!)
5. GO, go with as many people as you can group together or just with a boyfriend, wrap up warm, have a mulled wine, get into the festive spirit and enjoy!

New year's resolution...?

I love new year's resolutions. Something about the start of a new year and making a promise to yourself to do something productive...it's just really exciting. But sometimes I think the pressure of starting on the 1 January can be a bit intimidating.

For the past month or so I've been telling myself that my new year's resolution is going to be to start a blog - just a lifestyle blog where I can post my opinions on the bars and restaurants I go to, the beauty products I use, the holidays I've been on and just...life in general, I guess. But it started to really build up in my head - like I'd think to myself, you know, next year you've got to actually do this. In the end I figured - why not start your new year's resolution now?

So here we go. I'm just a girl in her mid twenties, having the time of her life living in London, trying new things, going to new places. I like make up and beauty, eating, drinking and dancing, so if you like any of those things too - then welcome to my world...