When do you take down your Christmas decorations? Some people like to start the New Year with a fresh clean start (I know, I was one of them!) others prefer to leave the decorations up until 6th January (Epiphany). I was always told that decorations should be taken down by the 6th January or else they'd have to stay up all year! Nowadays, I leave mine up into the New Year and gradually remove them over the days leading up to the 6th, compromise being the key thing with my kids and their desire to keep the decorations up for as long as possible!!
I am writing this between Christmas and the New Year and I'm offering this tip to you to minimise the stresses of untangling the tree lights for the next festive season! It is also a great way to do your bit for the planet, in that it involves recycling the inner tubes of wrapping paper rolls.
Thread the end of the lights (the end without the plug) through the middle of the cardboard tube and hook it through either notch at the far end, you can either hold it in place with your finger or use sticky tape to stop it moving.
Storage. I use a bungee cord to keep all of my lights together and they are stored on top of all my decorations so nothing can squash them. Other ideas could be to store them in the tree box (if you have an artificial one) or in a wrapping paper storage box. I used to keep my tangled lights in an old suitcase but it's too small to accommodate the tubes so I will keep my eyes open for a bigger one at a charity shop or jumble sale.
If you don't have any old wrapping paper cardboard tubes readily available, but want to do something similar, try old plastic drainage pipe. I say old because I prefer to recyle
My parents were the first generation to be ‘teenagers’ in the true sense of the word – Baby Boomers as they are now colloquially called, and they were the first generation to sample the delights of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Yet for all my parents’ hippy tendencies, they were relatively conservative with their child rearing. Table manners, speak when spoken to, politeness at all times, respect for your elders etc...
Basic behaviour guidelines were set in place by the Brownies and the Girl Guides and reinforced by my family; they were to not be boastful (no-one likes a bragger), not to lie (or exaggerate) which seems to be a BIG thing on SM, and not to wash your dirty linen in public. This is why social media was something I avoided for a very long time, not because I wanted to do all of those things, but because it seems to be replete with people who do! I could not see the point of bragging about achievements (real or imaginary) or exposing every tiny moment of my life to people I don’t know and whose opinions I couldn’t give a stuff about.
Nevertheless, social media is the future and I have now embraced it whole-heartedly but with reservation. Everything in moderation, right?!
Now there is a relatively new regime currently sweeping the globe. It is being endorsed by the self-proclaimed great and good. It’s the Celery Juice diet. It is not like the paleo, keto, protein only, carb only, fasting type of fads that seem to come and go regularly (or not if you get my drift? - constipation anyone?). It claims to make “sweeping improvements on every level of our health:
Lofty claims indeed! The word “diet” in this instance is used as a noun and means the ingestion of something to nourish the body. NOT TO SLIM IT DOWN.
The author, Anthony William, has written other books focusing on the use of fruits and vegetables and their beneficial properties;
One of my sons gave me (at my request I hasten to add) Medical Medium Celery Juice The Most Powerful Medicine of Our Time Healing Millions Worldwide book by Anthony William for my 50th birthday and I was eager to get started.
I have a (self-diagnosed) fatty liver, which causes discomfort if I indulge too much in fatty foods or alcohol, an arthritic spine and neck, borderline cholesterol problems and borderline high blood pressure issues. So basically a basket case in the health department!
The basic idea of The Celery Juice Diet is to help with the cleansing/detoxification of the body down to the cellular levels using its salt clusters, apparently. I know nothing about how it works, that’s why I was given the book, and it’s not my place to give you all the scientific data about its efficacy. If you want to know more click here to get the book. All I know is that it DOES work. In fact, it’s the first eating plan I have undertaken that has had such radical effects without any, or very little, sacrifice on my part (if you ignore the disgusting taste that is!).
The recommended protocol is to take up to 450 ml of fresh raw celery juice every morning and before anything else has passed your lips.
Initially, I used a blender but I didn't have particularly good results with extracting the juice, so a friend lent me her centrifugal juicer and I was hooked! Then I saved up to get my own one, there are many on the market and although my one is noisy, it's efficient and quick and its set up and cleaning afterwards takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish, so I highly recommend you borrow/buy one if you can. See below for some recommendations...
BUT YOU DON'T NEED ONE if you can't stretch to one, you'll just have to chop and mash and extract the old fashioned way.
Then you have to wait for at least 20 minutes before anything else crosses your lips, not even water or toothpaste! I kid you not, IT IS DISGUSTING! The taste takes one heck of a lot of getting used to, but I figured it was for a just cause, my future good health, post menopause. Anyway medicine isn’t supposed to taste good, is it?
BONUS! Because it counts as a vegetable it goes towards your 5-a-day Fruit and Vegetable target, if you follow it with an fruit juice chaser half an hour later, you are two fifths of the way to your target within the first hour of getting up! How cool is that?!
I built up slowly, from 150 ml to 450 ml and it is a labour of love for my future body. Which, as it happens, appears to have been successful so far. I had a check up with my GP in November 2019 she’d been on the fence about putting me on medication for high blood pressure, it was sky high or an anything like that, but it was starting to be a cause for concern. I was also on a cocktail of painkillers and other medication, so adding in yet more to that chemical mix was something I was not too keen on. My doctor is lovely, she’s Portuguese, practising in France and totally on board with alternative medicine. That being said I do have a tendency to exhibit white coat syndrome, when she comes near me with the blood pressure cuff it WILL GO UP! Imagine our collective surprise to learn that not only had my readings gone down, they were positively healthy! So, apparently, was my heart beat. Serious happy dance! The ONLY thing I had changed at that time was the addition of the celery juice each morning.
When I say each morning, it wasn’t really (did I mention consistency not being one of my strong points?!) It was/is supposed to be but I have never been very good at being told what to do, so I don’t.
To date I have lost 10kgs (22lbs) in 10 months, I have not changed my diet AT ALL (I still eat junk food occasionally). Nor have I increased my exercise. Both of which I know I should do, but this miraculous change to my well-being serves to spur me on to be more healthy, leaner and fitter. It also has had a profound effect on my mental health, as a degree of self-control and motivation has been found on my part and the positive benefits to the disgusting start to the day make it worth it. I can only imagine the heights I will reach when I really start to make other meaningful changes to my lifestyle.
As at writing this I have reduced my medication to one painkiller only (from three different types) and I am working on removing this one in the near future with the help of essential oils in my daily routine. I am trying to get at least thirty minutes of exercise per day (trying being the operative word, I have yet to find the motivation to include this on a daily basis, but I’m sure it will come in due time). I’ve also switched my main meal consumption (but not the make up or quantity) to lunchtime, this has also made a big difference to my weight.
Psychologically I am nailing it too. I’m using the Law of Attraction to visualise my leaner, healthier body and lifestyle. Couple this with EFT (Wendy from Ideal Weight Challenge is a great blogger to follow for EFT (tapping), mindset and affirmation prompts ) for those moments of cravings, and meditation and you too can re-wire your mindset to support your weight loss journey.
Finally, I have radically changed my outlook to my body goals, it’s not about the numbers anymore, it’s about being healthy not slim.
Have you tried celery juice as a way to purify and lose weight? Are you looking to get leaner in your middle age? Do you struggle with weight-loss?
Here are some suggestions for juicers to suit most budgets (if you click on the links you'll be taken through to Amazon.co.uk where, should you decide to purchase through the link, I'll be remunerated at no cost to yourself) OR you could go to your local charity shop or look online for second hand machines.
Watch this space for more results to come...
I write about my lifestyle, things that have piqued my interest and life in France, Please feel free to comment on any of the articles, All constructive criticism and encouragement is gratefully received!