Sunday 28 July 2019

10 Days to Go...

10 Days to go until my next Disney trip!

So for the first time since February 2015 we, as a family, will be heading over to Disneyland Paris for a well deserved 5 day visit.

This trip will mark 20 years since our first visit to Disneyland Paris way back in August 1999. Back when we had just one child who was only 18 months old and whose favourite ride was It's A Small World; which he would point out to us by shouting 'windmill' because that was the nearest landmark to the ride! Don't think this will be his favourite this time around!

So here we are 20 years later heading back with two young adults and find ourselves staying in the same hotel...Hotel Cheyenne! Oh how times have changed; in fact that seems to sum up these last few months as we get used to our children leaving education and making their own way in the world.

Although we have visited numerous times since that first visit in 1999 it will be the first time staying at the Cheyenne for quite awhile as our most recent trips have seen us staying in the Sequoia Lodge. But it is merely a coincidence that our trip this time is back to the Cheyenne as it simply came down to a choice of availability and cost. Although the fact that the hotel has recently been refurbished and now has a Starbucks on site were both big pluses when making the decision. But I think it will be interesting to see just how much, or little perhaps, has changed from our first visit compared to now.

So I thought I'd have a look at the photos from our 1999 visit; this meant getting out the physical photo albums because this was pre-digital! Also these photos are so stuck, literally stuck, into the albums there was no way I could prise them out to scan them so had to take photos of the photos!

So here we go, and interestingly the dates of our visit back in 1999 and now are very similar which was a little spooky to realise!
Registration information from Hotel Cheyenne, including admission ticket and breakfast voucher!
I then remembered that while we were there back in 1999 there was an eclipse happening, which we experienced inside Disneyland Park and I kept the small information leaflet that Disney handed out along with some special 'glasses' to view the eclipse!
Information leaflet
Special viewing glasses and me wearing them!!
Here are a couple of photos of Discoveryland;

Outside Space Mountain & Les Mysteres du Nautilus
And of course there had to be photos of the the music to this parade...Dancin' a Catchy Rhythm was just the best parade music!
Wonderful World of Disney Parade
And then this was the time when the Main Street Electrical Parade had made its way over from the US which was a great surprise to us back then as this was the first night time parade we had ever seen when we'd visited Walt Disney World back in 1991. Unfortunately the photos were just too dark to include...lots of black with a few dots of light!!

I love looking back on old photos and all the memories it brings back but now I'm looking forward to creating some new memories.

Wednesday 24 July 2019

Real Food Rocks

If you've read any of my blog before you will know that along with my passion for Disney and tattoos I am also passionate about the way we eat.

My own personal story can be found in these previous posts and pages;

Eating Well, Staying Healthy
90 Day Challenge
Four Years On

But suffice to say I am now a strong advocate of the Low Carb High Fat approach to eating. As a family we eliminated carbs and sugars from our diet just over 5 years ago. We no longer have bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, flours, processed foods, grains or sugars in anything that we eat. Our cupboards and fridge are stocked with yummy cheese, butter, cream, meats, fish, green veggies, berries, greek yogurt and some very high cocoa dark chocolate.

I have lost weight and dropped dress sizes and have been able to maintain it. My skin is better and hopefully I am doing everything in my power to avoid the modern day diseases of diabetes and heart disease; both of which have affected my family directly in the past.

Whilst we do have the odd occasional treat; these are what we describe as 'rare and appropriate', I do find that the longer that we follow this approach the less I look for those treats...which as someone with a self confessed sweet tooth I never thought I would say!

I think the 'kids' find this way of eating the most tricky out of all of us; not because they are fussy eaters but I think simply because they are faced with a society that seems to revolve around social eating and drinking and one that means making good choices are tricky to find.

This past weekend Simon and I had the pleasure of spending a day at Brathay Hall, near Ambleside in the Lake District with about 800 like-minded people at a festival called Real Food Rocks.  This was a festival organised through an organisation called the Public Health Collaboration whose mission is to improve the nations health by changing the way we eat through adopting a low carb approach.

The event was organised by Dr Jen Unwin and was supported by a number of doctors, health care and fitness professionals. There were also plenty of stalls showcasing businesses who promote the use of real food, with real ingredients while also supporting a low carb approach.

Throughout the day there was the opportunity to listen to a number of experts talk about all aspects of a healthy lifestyle. We started the day listening to Dr Michael Mosley and his wife Dr Clare Bailey who strongly advocate the use of fasting, and a Mediterranean style diet incorporating fermented foods. Next we listened to Ivor Cummins the biochemical engineer and author of the book 'Eat Rich Live Long' who spoke about the modern diseases of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease and the positive effects that diet can have on all of these conditions.
Dr Michael Mosley
Ivor Cummins
We than had a short break where we tasted some delicious low carb beef curry served with low carb naan bread from The Low Carb Food Co, followed by a coffee from The Little Blue Pig and a gorgeous chocolate and raspberry brownie from Deliciously Guilt Free.
Beef Curry & Naan bread by the Low Carb Food Co.
Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Brownie by Deliciously Guilt Free
Then it was back to listen to some more speakers. We heard Dr Peter Voshol from the Netherlands speak about his success with treating patients with Type 2 Diabetes through diet. We then heard from nutritionist Jenny Phillips as she spoke about the types of food we should be eating which resulted in me buying her latest cook book! After that we came upon Bridgette Hamilton who unknown to us is based not far from where we live; she specialises in helping people kick their sugar addiction and lose weight through her Breakthrough Weightloss program. We ended the day with Dr David Unwin who is a GP passionate about low carb and using lifestyle interventions to help patients fight obesity and diabetes and is one of the leading voices on this here in the UK.

It was so great to spend a day with people that all think the same way as we do. Time and time again it can feel almost alienating to follow this lifestyle. People who choose other lifestyles like being vegetarian or vegan can walk into shops, supermarkets and restaurants and are able to find all sorts of products on offer for them (although these are often highly processed and very far removed from being 'healthy' alternatives).Their friends accept their choice, they will make allowances for them when socialising and may even defend their choice...but choosing low carb does not always cause the same reactions.

Whilst shopping is straightforward as you simply only buy those products that you know are right i.e. real food! But dining out can sometimes be problematic and usually involves having to ask for 'insert name of bland beige carb' to be removed and replaced with veggies or salad but only to be met with a funny look and a question ' don't want...?' Friends struggle to understand what being low carb means and the standard response is 'but I couldn't give up potatoes...bread...pasta...' Then throw into the conversation the 'wish I could lose weight like you', followed by me offering to explain but yet again to be faced with the 'but I couldn't' statement.

I know this way of eating is healthy, enjoyable, satisfying, yummy and easy to do and I just want to be able to help people to follow along and see the same weight and health gains that I have. But when everything that we have been brought up to understand about what is and is not healthy to eat is the complete opposite of eating low carb it is all too easy to understand why people have a problem grasping how this could be healthy.

I am angry that I spent the majority of my life following the 'official guidelines', doing what people in white coats told me or what was published through various media to then find I, along with everyone else, had been misled. It is so frustrating that the 'powers that be' are unwilling to change the dietary advise, that influence from the sugar, cereal and processed food industry is too entrenched with our governing bodies. That pharmaceutical companies need us all to be reliant on medications to keep their profits expanding and they have no interest in getting us healthy 'naturally'!

So I am determined to keep on doing what I am doing; sharing my knowledge, offering help where I can, continuously reading and researching more, learning more and then hopefully lead by example. I will continue to write blog posts about all that I am passionate about and hope that somewhere along the way I can inform and potentially change things for the better.