Jil Wild

hair, happiness, health.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Weight Loss and on-the-go Meal Planning

Free stock photo of food, salad, dinner, eating

Preparation is something I do a lot of...birth preparation for my doula clients that is.  I know the value of being prepared, and of going into a situation armed and ready when it comes to the time to welcome a baby earth side.   What I've never done much of though, is thinking about and preparing my meals for days when I'm out working.  Oh I might sling an apple in my bag, but will I ever get around to eating it? (I always change the handbag apples when they start to look too sad) Far more likely that I'll eat the crisps that I also take, aiming to buy a sandwich at the hospital to eat with them


In my head, I've got enough to be thinking about, and I'm a busy person, so that rich and tantalising chocolate sponge cake that the hospital League of Friends coffee shop sells by the slice looks homemade (and therefore must be healthy) and will be a great lunchtime energy boost after a morning on the wards, readying me to meet breastfeeding mums at the drop-in in the afternoon.  The volunteers at the shop even save me the last slice on the days that I'm working.

I have combined my preparation with some hypnosis to help me to obsess less about those unhealthy choices that I so want to make!  I have been really impressed with Hypnosis Ninja AKA Rafe and Liz, who have developed digital downloads of sessions combining classic hypnosis with NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) in a vast array of subjects, not just dieting. I find the downloads very simple to use, and at under £10 amazing value for a 17 minute session that you keep for ever.  It's like having my very own hypnotherapist at my fingertips whenever I feel in need!  If you're struggling with any kind of behaviour from phobias to obsessive behaviour to just wanting to stop smoking, sleep better, deal with waking at night or change your relationship to food, there is a download for you. I used Change Your Relationship To Food and have found it an absolute pleasure to use and very effective in controlling my snacking on chocolate crisps and ice cream.

On a busy day at work, I know that I'm going to get hungry and time will be short, so the last thing I want to do is grab something easy but loaded with calories and chemicals. Out comes my little insulated lunch bag, several ice packs and sandwich box, and in goes any number of delicious salads with leaves including spinach and watercress. You can add sliced tomatoes, peppers cucumber, celery, nuts, avocado, hard boiled eggs, toasted fennel seeds, toasted cumin seeds, toasted any sort of seeds and nuts. In the picture above I've toasted some black kale in coconut oil to make it crispy and added smoked salmon and a tiny splash of home made vinaigrette.  Slices of chicken, quorn, tofu, beans and pulses are a great way to bulk out the salad and make it a filling, satisfying lunch.

For the vinaigrette:

  • 3 bsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • A garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • Pinch of Maldon Salt
  • Some crushed black pepper
  • A teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • A teaspoon of honey
When my salad contains apple or avocado chunks I give a good spritz of lemon juice to keep them from going brown, and for adding a nice fresh flavour, especially nice with smoked salmon too.

It takes me the whole lunch break to crunch through this lot.  It tastes divine.  I wouldn't normally take time to really taste what I'm eating, I'd be reading or scrolling whilst eating my sandwich, but this kind of meal is so flavourful, and doesn't take your energy to digest.  I notice that I don't get hit by that typical 2pm wave of tiredness as my body copes with digesting bread and other complex carbohydrates, and of course I don't get that sugar crash later on in the day either!

Ernie and I have just done 5000 of my 10000 a day steps! Time for a cup of tea x
Ernie and I are not used to 10000 steps for sure!
This blog post contains an affiliate link which means that I get a tiny payment from any purchases made through the link. This does not affect the purchase price, but it does help me to keep on blogging!


Thursday, 21 September 2017

Easy Ways To Fully Clean Your Make-up Equipment

Free stock photo of fashion, person, people, woman

This article was sent to me by Demi Giles. The picture above is sadly not one of mine as my brushes are all a bit of a mess, but I'm going to find some time over the next few days to follow Demi's advice and give them not only a good clean but also disinfect them. All the products Demi mentions are things that you'll easily find in your cupboard too. There are a few links in the article to which will take you to Demi's website.

If you're are a make up lover then you most probably have a kit full of brushes, different in size or type. This is actually great but do you take the necessary care of them? Not cleaning your brushes every once in a while has some down sides. Every time when you put make up on your face, you add dust particles, dirt and make up from your previous use straight back on your face as well. Sounds unhygienic, doesn’t it? Actually, there is something more disturbing. Tons of bacteria and dead skin cells accumulate in your make up brushes, forcing their way to your face too.

I provide you with all this information to convince you that in order to protect your skin from break outs and more, you’d better apply proper and regular cleaning treatments on your brushes. You only need to wash them at least once or twice a week. It is even better if you try to clean eye brushes after each use in order not to get possible eye infection. However, if you have too many make up brushes, all these procedures can get very time consuming. So now I will reveal you some of the most efficient and quickest ways to keep your beauty equipment clean, including not only make up brushes but make up sponges as well.

Rinse the make up brushes with warm water. It is important to do it with the bristles pointing down because you do not want to wet the base of the brush. You may ask why? Because if you do, you risk to weaken the glue which will surely make the life of the brush shorter. Only few people know that this is the main reason because of which the bristles start to fall out.

Something simple to do which you can fully trust to work is to pour few drops of shampoo or liquid soap onto the brush and then lather gently. Rinse it with warm water again and repeat this procedures as many times as necessary till the water eventually runs clear. If you find it hard to remove completely some stubborn debris, work some coconut oil into it. This should loosen the stuffed particles and make the cleaning way much easier.

Now that the brushes must be already perfectly clean, lets do some disinfection. Mix two cups of water and add one cup of white vinegar in a bowl or a bigger glass. Dip the brushes into the solution and let them stay for a minute or more (remember not to wet the base!). Rinse one more time and let them dry overnight on a microfibre cloth or a towel. See that it is not that hard to keep your brushes clean? Have in mind that it is advisable to do it every week in order to keep dirt away from your face.

I promised you to tell you how to clean your make up sponge as well. Actually, the process is almost the same as the already mentioned one. Rinse, lather, rinse, dry. Except for the absence of bristles, there is one more essential difference. If your sponge never seem to dry off, most probably it might have started to grow mould. If you have such suspicions, cut it open to see if there are any mould traces. If you do, throw it away right away. If you do not, you can keep on using the pieces.

So now it’s time to be frank. Ask yourself how often you clean your make up brushes and sponges? If you do to less than once per month, lets say, then you should definitely take my advice into consideration

Monday, 18 September 2017

My Top 5 Products For Enhancing Natural Curls

These are what I'm currently loving for coping with my naturally curly/frizzy/wavy hair.  Without products, my hair tends towards frizz, so I've always got something in the drawer for making sure that my hair is veering more towards curl.  My hair is as changeable and moody as our British weather, and what I use depends on what my hair is like at the time. This in itself, depends on various factors.  If I've just washed it, it can be soft and curly and I want to maximise that, retaining the softness but making sure there's still some curl.  The day after washing it will feel dry and coarse and the curls might need something a bit stronger to make them behave.  Some mornings I spray my hair with water and add products to enable me to comb it through and allow the curl to spring back as it dries...high maintenance or what?!  A couple of these are my staple go-tos, and the others I'm trying out, and finding that they will fit nicely into my curly life.

Aveda is my absolute favourite hair products brand as you know...but I'm not a huge fan of all the products in the 'Be Curly' range however.  Maybe because my hair already has the coarse texture, so I don't need any more of that, and some of those products really give a lot of texture, which is fine if that's what you need.  The Curl Enhancer is a bit different though, it seems to give me a smooth and soft finish whilst amping up the curl as it dries.  I use this on my hair after washing, and although you can blow dry, with diffuser of course, it's not dependent on heat, so I let it dry naturally.  If I know that I want to be super curly I will use this, and not often need very much else once I'm dry and good to go.  It's available online, or in your local Aveda salons. It's around £21 for 200ml...check it out here: Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancer 

I'm just getting into this range, and will be reviewing the Pool Proof leave in hair protection cream later on this month.  If you're a swimmer, and blonde, you might be interested in products that stop you being a green-blonde.  The Umberto Giannini Curl Friends scrunching jelly is so aptly named...if you're not careful, you do end up with that 'crunchy curl' look.  This stuff was a real lesson in 'less is more' for me, and I'm usually a bit heavy handed with products, either that or I don't use enough.  The Curl Friends claims to create shiny defined curls, and it does give a really nice shine.  I use this on my most stubborn frizz which exists on one side of my head, at the back.  This stuff sorts it out, if I use it on my hair when its really quite wet, and either leave it to dry naturally, or gently blow dry with a diffuser.  I also use this on up do's to control straggly bits that have escaped.  Its not sticky, it's great for rescuing curls that have been trapped under a motorcycle helmet and are looking a bit the worse for wear...hence I always buy the little 50ml size to slot into my bike jacket pocket or rucksack.  I honestly can't remember theexact price, but I know its nowhere near the Aveda price range, its much cheaper and available in boots.

Aveda again...this post isn't sponsored, honestly, I just love this stuff so much. It's their humectant pomade this time, from their 'Brilliant' range and yes I also have the anti-humectant pomade for straight hair days and for finishing as well.  This stuff is amazing, and I love the way it kind of vibrates in the tub if you tap it.  It smells absolutely beautiful, like all Aveda hair products. It defines and adds shine to coarse hair, and enhances natural waves and curl.  Aveda suggest blending it with any of their styling products to give extra moisture and condition in dry climates...I've never tried that but then I live in Britain so we don't often do dry.  I completely adore this stuff, and I use it on damp and dry hair.  Honestly I would use it every day but its £22 for 75ml.  Don't get me wrong...it lasts and is totally worth the money, but I am on a budget so this is a bit of a treat or something I use when everything else is going wrong and I need the reassurance of a product that will deliver perfect results and smell amazing and last for the whole day.  It's also another one for taming the frizzy escapees on up-do days.  I can't believe I've left it to the end to mention one of the most amazing properties of this...the shine.  Again, it's non sticky, not tested on animals, does what it says, and it lasts.

ORS Curls Unleashed...what a product! The smell is totally insane, unless you don't like almond essence. It's described as shea butter and honey curl defining crème, and claims to 'moisturize, define and enlongates natural hair' and I think it does all three.  This brand is especially for coarse afro hair, and I've used some of their olive oil based products which are incredibly moisturizing and curl friendly. This is my go to product for after a workout.  I slather this on my wet hair and leave it to dry, and it gives me the most amazing curls, no stickiness, no dryness, no extra weight...and the SMELL!!!  It gives a really fierce, firm, bouncy curl to my hair, and is great if I haven't got time in the morning to wash my hair, just wet spray, slather in this product, comb through with a wide tooth comb and go.  I got mine for a very reasonable price,  under £10 in Boots, and there is a lot of product.

The Palmers Cream Pudding Curl Styler is similar to the last product in a that its in a big tub and smells like sweet food, but the similarity ends there. Honestly could you resist a product called Cream Pudding?  I purchased this in Sainsbury's whilst searching for the Palmers lanolin and coconut hair conditioner with vitamin E.  This is a really ancient product in my draw that is super useful but I can't seem to find it now.  Anyway, back to the Curl Styler Cream Pudding.  It's got that chocolatey coconut smell going on, but is a much lighter product than the Ors. It has an impressive list of oils in the ingredients: coconut, monoi, avocado, jojoba, and sweet almond, but curiously it doesn't feel oily at all.  It is for use on damp hair, which you can blow dry or leave to dry, but I don't find so much curl control in this, its just a really nice softener that doesn't feel as oily as its ingredient list suggests it should be. Typically of me I also use it on my dry hair if its looking dry and straw like, because I can't overdo it, and it seems to calm my hair down. Its totally light and non-sticky.  It's also impressively free of sufates, parabens, phthalates, mineral oils, gluten or dye, and is ingredients are ethically and sustainably sourced.

What do you use to keep your curls curly? let me know!

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Changing My Relationship With Food (2 Week UPDATE)

Free stock photo of food, plate, dinner, meal

This post follows on from this one where I tried out Hypnosis Ninja's digital download hypnosis session on changing my relationship with food. You can try it too, here and if you are struggling with food in any way, I can thoroughly recommend that you do!. Two weeks on and I am so impressed with my results; it's astonishing that this resource is available to you for under a tenner, and you get to listen to it whenever you feel that you might need to.  Well done Hypnosis Ninja for a top quality product.  I really like the fact that the sessions combine classic hypnosis with NLP (neuro linguistic programming) Unlike other hypnosis tapes for eating more healthily, the download doesn't encourage you to make associations with certain foods, it uses the fact that we all know how to make healthy choices, and harnesses the unconscious mind which actually drives so much of what we do and choices we make, without any conscious awareness.

I have used my download a further 3 times, because I have had a couple big meals out over the last fortnight as well as the turning of the season back to darker evenings, which often results in earlier nights reading or watching TV in bed, and the snacking that goes along with that.  Having said that, I saw fantastic results right from the start after listening to the download for the very first time.  I relaxed on the bed listening to my download just before settling down for the evening to a evening of reading and watching YouTube which is a classic time for me to reach for the chocolate, crisps, and ice cream.  I have tried just not giving in, distracting myself with cups of tea etc, but thinking about my snacks becomes an obsession, and even though I'm not hungry, I still find myself craving naughty food.  However this time, after listening to my download, I just carried on with my evening's activity, and DID NOT think of food at all. Even when my stomach rumbled with hunger, I was able to just notice the sensation, but then simply continue with what I was doing.

I find that I am naturally eating less, and making healthier meal choices when I do.  So far, the weight loss is 4lb, which is great. I have been combining this work with tackling a related issue for me, using the download Drink Less Alcohol I don't know if Hypnosis Ninja recommend tackling one problem at a time, but for me wanting to lose weight I need to deal with food and alcohol together. To be honest, it took me ages to realise that my love for a glass or three of wine over the weekend was impacting my efforts to lose the extra stone...I simply didn't associate it with calories, or food, or excess weight.  I don't drink at home and I don't buy bottles of wine in the supermarket as part of my weekly shop like I used to. I do all my drinking socially, at the weekend...a proper binge drinker I suppose, the worst kind of intake for health. The trouble is, my social activities of bonfire and seeing live bands in pubs tend to be in places where alcohol is served and others are drinking.  I sometimes feel a little anxious socially, so tend to drink partly to cover this up, almost like a displacement activity.  It's all very well coming up with a plan before I go to alternate wine with lemonade, drink slower etc, but so far the results have been limited to say the least!!  

I listened to my download before going out at the weekend, and was pleasantly surprised to find that I felt able to stick to just one glass of wine, two pints of lemonade. My head felt so much clearer the following day. It's early days for this one, so you know me, I'll be reporting back in a couple of weeks! Do have a look at Hypnosis Ninja's downloads and see if there's one for you.  Next week I have the dentist, and I will be listening to Dealing With A Fear Of Dental Work and of course I will let you know how it goes.

This post contains affiliate links which means that I get a tiny proportion of any sales made, but it doesn't cost you a penny more to purchase this way.


Monday, 11 September 2017

Long Lost Families

Free stock photo of city, fashion, man, people    Whenever I find myself walking along a crowded street, particularly in London, where I was born, I can't help wondering if any of the people I'm walking past are related to me.  This is probably a common theme among adopted people, or those who don't know their dads for instance, or siblings.  I know there must be someone out there other than my children and grandchildren with whom I share DNA, but will we ever be introduced?

This usually bubbles closer to the surface of my brain when ITV's Long Lost Families comes back on TV.

I love how an enormous range of different people from all walks of life, with the huge variety in the details of their stories are all drawn together by a similar thread.  The simple but fathomless need to connect with people of their blood, to know that they were loved and wanted despite impossible circumstances.  Its the similarity of people's reactions across all the episodes in every series when they are told that their mother/child has been found, that really gets to me.  The way they sit with that new reality for a moment before asking the same questions, in the same order, as everybody else does, whether child, parent or sibling.

"You've really found her?" Disbelief, surprise, excitement, elation. An almost instantaneous change in facial tone, body aura. If you watch carefully, you can see that heavy lifetime's weight rolling away from burdened shoulders. Faces become finer, brighter, and eyes full of sorrow and pain actually truly smile again....incredibly this change is visible from those first moments onwards.

"Is she alright?" The joy and relief of a reply in the affirmative.

"Does she want to see me?" Genuine questioning and vulnerability in the eyes...will there will be a rejection? Again replaced by elation when its confirmed that she does.

Long Lost Families came into my life maybe 3 or 4 years ago.  Up until then, I had experienced my feelings internally, unconsciously, and in solitary.  Whatever happens to me in my journey through life as an adoptee, knowing that this universal similarity of experience exists is such a deep comfort to me.  Will I ever know the joy of finding, or being found?  Will that weight of unknowing and loss and disconnection ever roll away from my shoulders?  I don't know, and more than that, I can not live my life pinning all my hopes on the slim chance that it will.  I take comfort in the other joys my life has given me, and accept that perhaps that weight is my cross to bear.  Somewhere out there my dear mother bears her cross too. I remain open as ever to the possibilities and allow myself to feel more at ease, knowing that my feelings and reactions are normal, and shared by so many others.

And searching, finding and meeting...an energy in itself...conveys no guarantees that going forward, the person will remain in your life in the way of a lifetime's fantasies.  My life is a balance of longing and acceptance, of fantasy, and reality, and loving what is.

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