Shake it up

I know how to live on a Saturday night, so clearly a meal-replacement shake and a face mask are top of the list of things to do….

I dug out my much under-used blender and mixed up the Forever Lite Ultra Shake vanilla powder, 3ooml of skimmed milk and a handful of blueberries and raspberries.  I’ve done meal replacement shakes many moons ago and they were not the most pleasant thing so I wasn’t expecting much (hence the fruit addition).  This was surprisingly okay – I’m not going to pretend it was the best dining experience ever – but it didn’t taste too synthetic.  The vanilla was sweet but not overpowering and the texture was fine.  The powder all dissolved pretty easily.

I think I could manage one of those a day for a week if I was looking to shed a few pounds quickly.  The pack makes 15 shakes, and is priced at around £20 so seems fairly reasonable.  Each serving contains 200 calories, and around half of the daily recommended intake of protein and also half of the major vitamins and minerals.

I also have the chocolate version to try, so may do that one this evening.  Chocolate on Valentine’s is the way to go, right?

I also had the Aloe Mask from the Aloe Fleur de Jouvence Collection to try.  That translates to the Flower of Youth, and the mask offers to rejuvenate by smoothing, conditioning and cleansing the skin.  The range contains collagen and elastin as well as camomile, apricot kernel, jojoba and of course aloe vera.

To make the mask you have to mix a powder with an activator solution.  There is meant to be a measuring/mixing spoon included but that was missing from the trial pack so I had to improvise.  The instructions say to mix until a “lotion consistency” is reached, and then to apply with a brush.

I think it was a bit runny and so was a bit of a performance to put on, but the quantity was good to cover the face and neck.  I’d been warned that it’s nicknamed the “botox facial” as it sets solid – and that’s definitely true.  You leave it on for around 30 mins before removing with a hot cloth.   After 30 mins it was solid and my face was smooth and shiny (before taking it off!) as you can see from the scary photo below!

It was easy to remove, although I had got some of it stuck in my hairline.  I was as bit pink and blotchy afterwards but that wasn’t unexpected.  My skin can be a bit sensitive and I had already done the marine mask this week. I put on some aloe gelly and left my face to calm down, which it did relatively quickly.  My skin is very soft and smooth (but not shiny!) this morning and looks refreshed.  Not sure I look youthful but definitely improved.

All in all, I’ve had worse Saturday nights!

Absolute Beginners

Well, that’s been a bit of weird week.  Losing both David Bowie and Alan Rickman in the space of a few days seemed really shocking.  They were both artists I admired greatly and the world is a poorer place for neither of them still being in it.

I did play with the Sirtfood diet – I didn’t follow it to the letter –  the amount of juicing required for the week while working full time just wasn’t manageable, and it recommends not eating after 7pm – I’m lucky to be home by then!  So instead I tried to incorporate Sirtfoods into my usual diet to see if that would help.  However there was a spate of birthdays and associated cakes in the office and my willpower deserted me at times.

I did do some juicing – the first batch I made using a juicer a friend lent me – and it was quite tedious.  I had to juice the greens about three times to get anywhere near enough juice, and the time to clean the machine… zzzz…..  The second batch I made in my lovely new slow juicer and it was great!  I only needed to juice the greens once and I got loads of juice out of it.  The pulp was really dry and it’s not too awful to clean either.  I have been juicing all sorts of things since!

I was highly surprised to find I’d lost 3.5lb this week.  The book reckons if you follow the plan properly you will lose around 5lb, but improve your muscle mass making a ‘muscle gain adjusted weight loss’ of 7lb, so I am really pleased.  I will continue to incorporate Sirt foods into my diet and I will include the juice – just not every week!  I have ordered some buckwheat and sobu noodles to be able to do some of the recommended recipes properly as well, rather than doing random substitutions.

If I have time off I will try and do the full week one and with associated juicing, but for the moment I shall make sure to follow the principles and incorporate more sirtuin rich foods into my diet.





Meet Regina Phalange

regina phalangeI saw a friend at the weekend who scolded me for not updating my blog recently, so I thought I’d better oblige.  Nice to know someone is reading!

My last CSG-related post mentioned the leaving do for a colleague we were due to be attending.  I didn’t manage to keep my wits about me and actually got quite drunk.  Oops.  I blame the disgusting jagerbomb that CSG made me drink.  The copious amounts of red wine and vodka (and sourz shots) either side of it had no bearing on my level of sobriety or how rubbish I felt the next day…

Clearly CSG attended and he seemed to be working the room, which was interesting to observe.  He disappeared for while with a male friend,but made sure I knew he’d be back a little later.  While he was gone, a number of people made comments to me about the amount of attention he pays me in the office, which was entertaining and worrying in equal measure.  I also found out about bits of his history – which I didn’t necessarily need to know – particularly as it turns out he’s had some kind of interaction with at least two of my staff, one of whom is half my age.  Hmmm.  I realise everyone has history, but after you get through school/uni past relationships aren’t generally so close to home.

He left before me, and we had a strange drunken text exchange that evening, that carried on across the weekend (the messages, not the drinking!).  We seem to talk on two levels – “business” communication in the office and then a second level of conversation via text and WhatsApp that goes on at the same time.  It feels a bit subversive – which I know is ridiculous – particularly when he references in conversation something we’ve texted to each other or sent a picture about.

More desk-based japes occurred last week, with him swapping out my keyboard one morning for hideous clunky yellow-keyed thing.  Strangely I noticed pretty quickly!  He also went off and did some really tedious jobs for me which was sweet of him.  And yet….  we’re still no further forward.

Our first “date” was arranged on the flimsy excuse that he wanted to discuss a job vacancy with me.  That role has been readvertised and he’s been advised to reapply.  He did mention to me that he wanted to talk to me about it again, so maybe that will finally end up being our second date.  I know I over-analyse everything but this does make me question his motives/intentions and wonder if he’s just playing me while I’m useful.  But then I think he’s putting in a lot of effort for very little potential return.  I will admit I am somewhat confused.

I didn’t see or hear from him on Friday, nor yesterday (and Monday was a public holiday here) so thought perhaps I’d fallen out of favour.  I deliberately didn’t message him over the weekend to see if he would get in touch first (juvenile, I know).  It was quite strange not having had any contact for almost a week.

However, good things come to them that wait and he messaged me first thing this morning to check whether I was in .  He also said he’d been looking for me yesterday and couldn’t find me. Awww, sweet.  He then came by to see me and to catch up.  He was feeling sorry for himself as he’d come off his bike on Friday and hurt his hand (and his ego, more to the point) – as a typical bloke he hasn’t been to get it checked out.  His thumb is quite badly swollen, but he can move it okay so I don’t think he’s done any lasting damage.

I was googling how to tell if you’ve broken your thumb and discovered that there are two bones in your thumb called phalanges.  What a great word!  It sounds vaguely rude as well, which is a bonus.  I’ve been asking CSG how his phalanges are ever since.

There was also something in the dark recesses of my brain that remembered that, in a few episodes of Friends, Phoebe had an alter-ego called Regina Phalange.   I did mention to CSG that although phalange was now officially one of my favourite words I wasn’t going as far as to change my name, a la Phoebe.  Which he found hilarious.  I do like that he gets my cultural references (most of the time) and doesn’t think I’m a total nut job.

Phoebe once changed her name in the show to Princess Consuela Banana Hammock – not so sure I’ll be able to shoe horn that one into conversation though.  I may have to try….