Category Archives: Boston’s Journey

An Update on my Story


(me at 33w pregnant… I am now 38 and can still get down!)


I had the great chance last week to write my first in a series of guest posts for my friends new and totally awesome site: MiniBigLifts

Check out my article here


New Year, New Goals… Whole 30


This is just a short post… things are a bit crazy for me at the moment but in 2 weeks I will be back with lots of new articles with the science behind supplements during pregnancy.   Like many before me I have fallen victim to the holidays and pregnancy cravings…. as a result I am all aches and have indigestion that would convince me I would make brilliant fire breather.  So the first step is getting myself back on track with an almost Whole 30… just the planning alone should help but as I have gone through full elimination before and know that full fat dairy is not an issue some may sneak in for me…. but those transgressions are not included here.  For the next month all recipes will either be provided by me here or will come from the two Fabulous books published by the Hartwigs- It Starts with Food and The Whole 30.  If you don’t have them get them now- read them- live them- let them inspire you to read even more.


Shopping List



Breakfast and Snacks Note: All recipes for this week come from Dallas and Melissa Hartwigs book The Whole 30 or own recipes*

Kitchen Sink Scrambled Eggs

Sunday Braised Beef Brisket

Balsamic Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Sprouts

Monday Seared Salmon Eggs Benedict

Sautéed Spinach*

Fried Potatoes*

Tuesday Coconut Curry Chicken

Cauliflower Rice*

Wednesday Butternut Squash Soup
Thursday Cold Thai Salad with Warm Prawns
Friday Pork Chops with Apple Sauce

Pan Roasted Sprouts and Squash

Saturday Left Overs


Money, Politics, Religion and…..

So it has been a while with an update… mostly because I feel like I am playing some evil game where when I take two steps forward I get smacked back down.

Since January I have been on 6 courses of steroids and more annoyingly its been a combination of reasons from chest infections, asthma and auto-immune issues.  The most recent course has been back to back prescriptions because my body has decided that hives are cool, hot burning hives that like to relocate themselves everyday.  From experience I can say the worst place has been either the chest (where you feel like you have a sunburn from hell) or the feet (where the idea of shoes is impossible and even walking barefoot is itchy!)

The upside is when I have been feeling decent I have been trying to patiently work out… little by little.  I also have been really great with my food and an plethora of new recipes and menu plans are on the horizon.  I have managed to loose 20lbs since before Christmas and keep it off… not a lot but considering I want to eat everything in sight while on prendisone not too bad…

So how does this tie into the title…. ?  These are all things I have no problem sharing about my journey.  My slow weight loss, my gains, my will power failures but there is a whole other part of my journey that is going on in the background and that is much more difficult to speak about- to anyone.


Yeah I just dropped the dirty “I” word.  I am 31 years old, married for 4 years, have the house, dog, car, degree, job… basically I checked all my boxes in the right order.  But turns out other than auto-immune issues including allergies and asthma my body had some fun other tricks hiding up its sleeve.  Its been over a year since my husband and I have been TTC (trying to conceive for those of you not into the lingo).  While dealing with everything else going on I have tried to be patient but am mindful of each month that ticks past.   Downside- not pregnant yet…. Upside- Get to drink wine and play rugby for another month.

While we are stuck in the NHS waiting line for appointments to see what is going on I just need to be patient…. not one of my larger virtues.  I am very lucky to have found an on-line community of down to earth women who are in similar positions or I may have lost it by now (Shout out to Lisa Frank).  The topic of TTC is hard enough to bring up, but when you are not very good at it, everyone in your life seems to be better at it than you… it just makes you lonely

Until then I have this blog to keep me busy.  I have a huge to do list amd havebeen working on some home made cleaners and schedules… so thank you for being a welcomed distraction from that which I can not control.

Boston: Pacing, Frustration and Looking at the Bigger Picture

Last year I was “diagnosed” with MCTD.  I was taken out of work for a few months, slept most of the day away and felt like I had DOMS but without working out.  (Or I may have been in some insomniac sleep walking Fight Club but something was beasting me from the inside for sure.)  For someone whose release is lifting, rugby and other physical activities it was enough to drive me over the edge. My family could see it, my husband could see it and my friends… I was frustrated all the time and sometimes used alcohol to temporarily numb the pain.
Now I used the word “diagnosed” very loosely because MCTD isn’t a differential diagnosis at all.  Instead its a medical euphuism for “your immune system hates you, your body has done a pick and mix of several different disease symptoms none of which the blood work rules out, but we recognise you are not crazy and something bad is going on.”  (That is directly from a medical text-book FYI)
I self-treated with walking, yoga, massage and most importantly very clean diet.  I cut out gluten, soy, preservatives, emulsifiers and more.  I drove my husband nuts scrutinizing every label in the supermarket and buying bizarre ingredients.  He sometimes complained but never after the food was cooked and on the plate as that was tasty.  In 2016 I had a phased return to work and am now back full-time however it hasn’t gone well.
Just 5 months into the year I am on my 4th course of steroids and 5th course of antibiotics and sound like I smoked 2 packs a day for the last 20 years.  I sleep 8+ hours a night (although not solidly as I have a tiny bladder it seems) and most days need to come home after school for another 2 hour nap.  There are days where I can’t explain basic concepts and I feel like I have floated through the day in a cough medicine haze.  I feel like I am stuck in a bad daydream and can’t remember what really happened and what I had planned to happen.  It wouldn’t be a good day-dream like this:
Needless to say this has continued to impact my exercise regiment but I have become more patient.  Many people with chronic disease discuss The Spoon Theory.  It’s a great metaphor to those who don’t understand the choices I make each day.
Throughout a day you need to do the basics: get showered and dressed, go to work, do more work at home (if you are a teacher), get food into your body and leave yourself a little time to unwind.  I have come up with a new rule for myself that I don’t go to the gym unless it’s a good day… I don’t force myself to slog through workouts which will only make me feel even worse the next day.  It is frustrating as the weight loss is slow but the scale is going in the right direction and I am levels above where I was just 9 months ago.  I have also started a new medication that should calm the immune system down so my fingers are crossed.  So instead of being straight up dead I am more like the living dead:
Besides dealing with the pain, fatigue and fog that accompanies MCTD I still struggle with other things on the back of my mind.  There are things I can change, things I can not and those which I  just need to keep checking off the steps in my plan to get to my goals.  I have set myself a gentle goal of two C25K and two lifting sessions each week.  In September I will be taking on a new adventure as I begin a PhD and hope that at 31 I am fit and healthy enough to run around with the university rugby girls.  As the guru Dory once said…

A Bottle of Red, A Bottle of White- Boston’s Journey

So the week started out pretty well with a great balance of macros, food, lifting and this new thing called jogging…

Wine used to be my friend.  A good enough friend to always be there when you were down but not good enough a friend to tell you when you have had enough.  Well Thursday was a shitty day… (so that I don’t get fired I will leave it at that) then it was compounded by a meeting that kept me at school till past 5pm.   Now I did NOT go out and buy wine… but it called my name from the wine rack where it has been sleeping.  So the next thing I know I am drinking the second bottle and trying to have a conversation crying to my husband and told I need to sleep in the spare room as I get ridiculously stuffy and snore and blow my nose all night when I had the red devil.  The next day was a bit rough (and when your day is spent interacting with teenage girls it doesn’t need to be made more rough!) so needless to say I have really learned my lesson.  It was also depressing to see that it was an extra 1221cal and 38g of carbs that I really did not need and would have had an “on target” diet day.  So basically even though-

looks I will have to live with the rest of the mortals and avoid this one in the future.  Particularly when in an emotionally charged state on a week night.

The rest of the week was a bit up and a bit down… but with some kick ass lifts.  I joined a new gym that is cheaper, closer but kind of a bodybuilder type gym.  Which means I need to funnel all 5’5″ of me into a ball of fury when someone touches my equipment… one guy did it twice!  He didn’t have the balls to ask if I was done and instead took a collar off of a bar I was alternating cleans with my squats… so with 85kg on my back coming up from a squat I was able to make my mind known.  You don’t touch my stuff… or I am going to have to get the bitch out!

So…. Here is the breakdown of how I am doing…

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2015-04-19 22.22.512015-04-19 22.22.58

Until next week!

Boston’s Journey- Starting Over (Again)

If you don’t get the above reference then maybe you are too young to be reading this… however it is true.  I have some vices… mostly being cheese, booze and boys.  OK maybe not the last one I am a married woman after all.  But as I am sharing my knowledge with many of you I figure I should also share a bit more of myself- who I am and what I am.   Right now I eat too much, snack too much and drink more than I should.  But despite all the things I am dealing with (lets not forget the IBS, PCOS, and fun autoimmune issues) I have been really reluctant to make my health a priority.  I have gotten “better” and “cleaner” but I don’t have all my shit together at the moment. This is even more of a slap in the face as I am an intelligent human being that really does know better… but…

So I need to really get my shit together, set the right priorities in the right order if I am going to become the person I want to be.  And as a blogger sharing my story I should really live what I preach right… because right now…

So joined a gym, looking for a road race, actually went to the gym, using my tracking, eating cleaner, drinking more water and cutting back on the booze.  Although I formerly was in the “drink till its pink” category while trying to conceive I have reconsidered and will be abstaining post ovulation and saving up for a good old night only a few times a month.  Hopefully all this work will help with my physical and emotional issues but a constant act of simplifying and stripping our life back to basics will hopefully at least help with the bank account.  I created a physical book to go along with the blog and track my progress and gave it this awesome cover:

2015-04-14 19.31.25

I then set myself some reasonable goals:

2015-04-14 19.31.51

And then I got to work today:

2015-04-14 19.32.02

Now the whole book is already filled with inspirational words for me to reflect on etc and its in a file that is currently being a jerk… But I will make that and the similar journal I made for a friend to get her through a rough time with anxiety available once I figure out where I put the files.

Until then wish me luck… back to uploading health podcasts onto my old school ipod for some inspiration while I clean/cook/garden/become a fitty instead of watching TV with a glass of wine.