Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Forever Living Clean 9 Experience

A few weeks ago, I won a competition over on Ayden's blog to receive a free Clean 9 pack and coaching from her through the experience. Ayden has recently become an independent distributor of Forever Living, after she did the cleanse three times and really enjoyed her results, so I was naturally intrigued and entered the competition, thinking I'd never win.

Well, I did win, and when I got the message from her that I'd won it, I was really excited, then really nervous. The cleanse is 9 days long, and the first two days consists of drinking aloe vera gel, taking supplements and drinking one protein shake. That's it. Now, as I'm sure you know, I love food. I spend most of my day thinking about what's for my next meal and generally thinking about food, and at work, I'm rarely seen without a snack in my hand. So no food for two days terrified me.

I also suffer from low blood pressure, meaning I get light headed pretty easily, and I've almost fainted in more embarrassing situations than I can count (such as at a job interview - awesome), so I worried that not eating for two days may make me a bit fainty. I told Ayden about my concerns and she was lovely, discussing it with her manager to make sure I'd be safe and the answer came back that I should be fine, as aloe vera is supposed to help balance blood pressure, but to do the first two days on a weekend so I can take it easy if I needed to.

Image courtesy of Ayden
I was so excited to dig into my pack when my box arrived that I forgot to take any pictures, so I've used Ayden's picture to show what comes in the box. Lots of aloe vera, a handy book to fill in, the tablets, protein shake mix, a tape measure and a cute protein shaker. I got reading through the booklet and was so eager to start. I had decided to embrace the first two days of not eating, to see if I could do it, it would require serious will-power, but if I could do it, anybody could!

Day 1 and 2

I woke up on the first day raring to go, I took some before pictures and my measurements, trotted downstairs and had my first experience of the aloe vera. It's... interesting. Definitely doable, but I always had to have a wedge of lime or a strawberry to suck on after each shot. The rest of the first day went by without much incident, it was pretty hard going food shopping for the week ahead without being able to eat anything until Monday, but I did it. 

On day 2 I began to feel a little light headed and floaty. I managed to head into Leeds to do some shopping, and potter about the house, but anything strenuous was well out of the question. My stomach was getting a little gurgly by the end of the day and my protein shake was definitely looked forward to. I had to cave on the night and I had some asparagus and broccoli, which is allowed in the free foods section of the booklet. The free foods are foods which have a GI of less than 55, and I was so grateful to have a little bit of something to keep me going. 

Day 3

It was weights and measures again on the morning of day 3, I was so chuffed to find out that I'd lost 4 pounds and an inch and a half from my waist in just two days. My belly is always where I put weight on and lose weight from first, so I could really see the difference. It was a great confidence boost to see such a difference so quickly, and it spurred me on for the rest of the cleanse, especially now that I could have food!

I did feel really light headed for most of the day on day 3, so I decided against doing the 30 minutes recommended exercise, as I knew it would not have gone well for me. The programme states that you should have a shake for breakfast and lunch, then a 600 calorie meal for tea, but Ayden suggested splitting the calories to have a lunch as well as tea, which I found worked perfectly for me. The leftover shake made an amazing dessert at night, satisfying my sweet tooth and meaning I wasn't missing chocolate. Much. 

Days 4-9

Most of my days went like this:

Morning: Drink my aloe, take my tablets and make my protein shake to drink on the way to work.

Lunch: Ham salad with balsamic vinegar dressing, and tablets.

Snack: Some fruit in a pot at mid afternoon.

Tea: Turkey or prawns with lots of veg, and tablets.

Dessert: Shake with frozen cherries blended into it.

The pack does come with fibre sachets, which I wasn't enjoying at all until Ayden suggested making them up with hot water and lemon, and it makes such a difference. I didn't always take them though as I didn't always find I needed to. I had the Hairy Dieters recipe books suggested to me for recipe ideas, but I managed to come up with some satisfying things on my own. Having turkey, veg and gravy one night was a huge highlight. I love my gravy!

I stuck to my 600 calories throughout the plan, and found that I didn't really get too hungry in the day, so I didn't have to snack at work anywhere near as much. I did arrive home utterly ravenous most evenings though, but that was fine as I just got stuck into making my tea. There is no tea, coffee, squash or fizzy drinks allowed on the cleanse, as you're aiming to get rid of all of the crap from out of your body, not put more in. As I don't drink much tea, coffee or fizzy drinks they were fine, but oh my gosh have I missed squash. That is the only thing I've missed, but I have noticed I've only really missed it with my tea, so I might try and not drink any in the morning any more, just save it as a bit more of a treat.


I'm so happy with the results of the cleanse, I've lost 4lb and 4 and a half inches from all over my body. I'm most happy with my almost flat tummy, it gives me so much more confidence when I'm not worried about my gut hanging out! I do feel pretty great in general, full of energy and a lot calmer and more positive as a person, so I would definitely recommend the cleanse to anyone.

If you'd like to give it a go I wholeheartedly suggest you do the cleanse through Ayden, she's so lovely and friendly, and answered all of my daft questions throughout the 9 days, and didn't even flinch when I asked her about my *cough* digestive issues of day 6. Her email address is so give her a shout if you're interested. I know I received the cleanse for free from winning her competition, but there was no obligation to blog about it, and I wouldn't have if I didn't truly think it was a good way to feel great about yourself and give a kick start into losing weight. 

If you have any questions, leave them below and I'll answer as soon as I can.

Rachel x


Sunday, 25 October 2015

A Day in the Life of The Inelegant Wench - October 2015

Way back in November last year I did a Day in the Life post which was my second most popular post of that year. I did say that I was going to start doing a blog post about my #photoanhour day every month, which spectacularly failed, as this is the second blog post I'm doing on it, but I've done #photoanhour most months since.

Instagram is by far my favourite app and I love dedicating a day to putting more pictures on there, usually of things I wouldn't deem worth of Instagram, but can sometimes be my most liked and commented on posts. If you ever want to join in, just keep an eye out on Twitter for the announcement of it each month, or follow some of us #photoanhour people on Instagram.

So, lets get stuck in with the day of Saturday 17th October shall we?


I had no idea about #photoanhour this month until I was checking Instagram in bed, so I hopped out and took this picture out of my bedroom window. The sky looks moody doesn't it! I love this moodier weather of autumn and winter, it's really atmospheric. I may have gotten straight back into bed after taking this picture, you're not judging, right?


Finally out of bed and deciding to rep the Hogwarts t-shirt. I own so many Harry Potter t-shirts now, I love that they've become quite popular now so I can supplement my wardrobe with geeky stuff. I think this is one my sister bought me at some point... I think I might actually have too many if I can't remember where each one is from! 


I'm really into the Sims again at the minute. Rich has been away a bit over the last few weeks, which has meant many evenings controlling the lives of my family on there. I'm slowly adding to my expansion packs as well, I have University, Seasons, Ambitions and the Loft stuff pack, but I'm definitely wanting to add more. Rich keeps treating me to one every time he buys a new game, which is a very fair trade I think!


I am in love with my new tartan men's pyjama bottoms from Next. They're so soft, and have pockets! More female clothes need to have pockets in them, particularly sleepwear. I took this picture whilst sat on my bed putting off getting dressed properly to go to Sainsburys. It's the worst when you're all warm and comfy and have to put on proper clothes to leave the house.


So I eventually made it to Sainsburys and did the weekly food shop. Sometimes I enjoy going on my own because it means I can spend ages looking at things like the Nando's rubs and marinades. Mmmmm. I did well at not buying too many treats this week, aside from a magazine and some new salad dressing.


When I got back from Sainsburys I made myself a quick light lunch of a vegetable salad. I was on the Clean 9 cleanse this weekend, so I was trying to keep my calories as low as possible. I've got a post about my experience coming up on Wednesday morning, so check back then to find out how I got on. This salad was really tasty, the new salad dressing I bought was a tomato and chilli one and it is really flavourful. 


If I'm in on a Saturday I usually wind up doing laundry. I actually enjoy this, it's my favourite house chore, probably because once it's in you get to spend an hour and a half doing a job, whilst actually sitting on the Sims or doing other things. All about that multitasking! 


I picked up this Christmas food catalogue from Sainsbury's earlier in the day. It was so much fun to look at. Rich and I are hosting Christmas this year for the first time (I think I may have said that before? Sorry if I'm repeating myself) and it's going to be amazing starting our own Christmas traditions. We're going to double meat for Christmas dinner - turkey and ham, and the sides have yet to be confirmed. So much excitement!


I seem to frequently put pictures of inside my food processor on Instagram, but I use it all the time! This was two cauliflowers all blended up ready to make The Londoner's Cauliflower Pizza recipe.


This was my finished cauliflower pizza. As I was sticking to the calorie limit of the Clean 9 diet, I wasn't able to make it quite as cheesy or topped as I normally like it, but it was still really good, and for about 500 calories, it was spot on! 


We often watch movies with tea on weekend nights, taking it in turns to make the decision on the film. Rich chose to watch Horns, the one with Daniel Radcliffe in it. It was pretty good, but got somewhat ridiculous towards the end, and the violence got very comic book like. I know the film is based on a comic book, but still, snakes cannot do those things. I love Juno Tempo though, that girl is gorgeous!


Perusing my ever growing recipe book collection looking at recipes I want to try. I tend to stick to the same few recipe books, I need to shop my stash more often! 


Waking up and coming downstairs to the kitchen being a complete mess always puts me in a bad mood for the day, so I'll always try to wash up before bed whenever possible. Rich and I almost always do the dishes together, I wash and he dries, usually whilst dancing around to music on Spotify, it's a really good chance to catch up on our days. 

After I washed up I did my usual Saturday night trick of falling asleep on Rich's lap whilst he watches Match of the Day, so no more photos from me as when it finished I stumbled to bed and went back to sleep again. 

I hope you enjoyed being nosy at what a day in my life is like. I'll try my best to do these more often! 

Rachel x

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Thoughts and Stuff

Sometimes I have a lot of thoughts and stuff (see what I did there?) which just don't fit into a nice titled, categorised blog post. So instead of the thoughts swimming around my head constantly, I thought I'd just do a mind-dump blog post and let it all out.


Yeah I know I keep going on about it, mentioning it in nearly every post, but it's so frickin close now. I'm so excited to finally get to marry my best friend, wear the prettiest dress ever and have an amazing party with all of my favourite people, but oh my gosh the stress and hassle of organising it. I wish I could go into full details on here, but weddings really can bring out the worst in people and really let you know who is there for you. 

We are pretty much all organised now, it's just the fiddly bits that you can't do until late on that I need to get sorted, and a few other small things. I'm officially wearing Converse to get married in, and would love to wear Harry Potter socks with them, but I can't find any trainer socks which are Harry Potter related. Can any of you help me? I'll pay you in cake and wedding favours!

Hen Do

On a related note, it's my hen do in a couple of weeks time. And that's all I know about it! My amazing, wonderful, fantastic sister is organising it all and I'm not allowed to know a thing (did I mention she was amazing? Yes? Good.) which is an absolute blessing. I love that I don't have to stress about that at all, and I trust her 100%. She's even coming to Leeds the night before to pack for me, which means that it will be the most stylish weekend of my life as my sister is definitely the cool one of the family.


Okay, now time for something not so great. Work is a bit of a struggle at the minute, because I've been saving all my annual leave for wedding/honeymoon/Christmas it's been a really long time since I had any proper time off work and I can tell. It's going to be amazing having all that time off this winter, but it's been so hard being in work all summer and watching everyone I work with go off on at least one abroad holiday. Burnout is real people!


As you may have noticed, I've actually kind of been blogging semi-regularly at the minute. I've decided aiming for one post to go up every Wednesday is a good idea, and I've kept it up for 3 weeks now. Occasionally I'll do a bonus one like this to go up at some other time, but by just posting once a week it means there won't be gluts of posts from me then nothing for weeks again. Feel like I may have jinxed it now though!

Moving House

Once Rich and I are married we become eligible for a military house, so we'll be moving onto base in the new year. I'll be really sad to move away from Leeds, as I love this city so much, but it'll be brilliant living near so many of our friends, and military rent is far cheaper than our Leeds house, so we'll get to save a fair chunk of money. I'm going to come up with a Leeds bucket list of things I would like to do before we leave, so keep an eye out for that on the blog soon.

Hope you've enjoyed my little brain dump. I certainly feel better for getting it all out of my head and onto the internet!

Rachel x

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Lunch at Bill's, York

Rich's Mum and Step Dad came up to visit us a couple of weeks ago, so we headed into York for the day to do some sightseeing and shopping. When trying to come up with somewhere to eat for lunch, I suggested Bill's as when I went for breakfast last year it was amazing.

The interior of the York branch is just as cool as the one we went to in London, with the quirky decor and the produce available to buy lining the walls. It was pleasantly busy, providing a nice hubub of background noise and a good atmosphere. The thing I enjoy the most about Bill's is the variety of people you get in there. You can turn up in your jeans and rucksack from a day out sightseeing, or get dressed up in heels and a dress and you'll always fit in and look right.

We all pondered over the menu trying to decide what to order. I was being torn in so many directions. I'd heard great things about the Bill's burgers, the veggie options sounded amazing, as did the lamb koftas. You always think it's a good thing to have so many great options on a menu, but then you realise it just means you take far longer than necessary to order.

Rich went for the Bill's burger. He said it was a good burger, and the addition of guacamole was welcomed, even if it was a bit odd that it was served on the side rather than in the burger itself. I didn't get to try any, which definitely means he enjoyed it.

In the end I decided on the lamb koftas and they were amazing. The combination of the koftas, flatbread, hummus and tzatziki was spot on, being flavoursome and perfectly filling. I've already began to look online for recipes to recreate this at home I loved it that much.

Rich and I shared the spiced tortilla chips as a side dish. These were okay. It was nice that the tortillas were homemade but they were quite greasy, so they overpowered the dips with their flavour. I definitely couldn't manage more than a few of these and probably wouldn't order them again.

Rich's Step-Dad ordered a burger, which he thoroughly enjoyed, and Rich's Mum ordered the fish pie. It wasn't very photogenic, being a little bit burnt on top, but she still enjoyed it nonetheless.

We were going to York Chocolate Story straight from there so I didn't get to try one of their amazing sounding desserts (the treacle tart is calling my name) which means I'll definitely have to go back another time to satisfy my cravings. York is definitely a city of desserts, as there are always far too many options of where to go to get something decadent and sweet. It really is the Chocolate city.

Rachel x

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

The Stable, Weymouth

As Rich and I are busy saving for our wedding in November (inching ever closer - eek!) we haven't had a holiday this year, so in August we thought we'd pop down to Weymouth for a long weekend and catch up with some family and friends. One of my favourite places to eat in Weymouth is The Stable, a very cool pizza and cider restaurant based on the harbour. This time I took my big camera as I thought it was about time I shared it with you.

The restaurant is up a few flights of stairs, in the old harbour master's building, and is based on two levels. Go up to the second level, not everyone knows it exists so you're likely to get the floor to yourself, meaning you can take your time and take as many pictures of your food as you like without anyone watching you.

The view isn't bad either. Look at those white cliffs in the distance. So picturesque.

If you can't decide which cider to have (they have a lot of options) you can opt for the tasting board where you get 5 thirds of a pint to try, and attempt to figure out which is your favourite.

All of the pizzas are made with hand rolled sour dough and made fresh as you order them. There are so many I love, but I warn you, when they say the Weymouth Wailer is spicy, they mean it!

After lots of umming and aahing we all finally decided on which pizzas to order.

There were a lot of deals being done - "If you get that one and I get this one we can have half each, but can I try a bit of yours?"

All of the pizzas come out on their own pizza boards with a pizza wheel cutter. Then you help yourself to lots of chilli oil and tuck in.

My personal favourite pizza is the lamb roast. Because it does actually taste like a lamb roast dinner on a pizza. Gorgeously tender lamb with chunks of sweet potato, roasted onions and goat's milk cheddar. All of the ingredients are locally sourced which makes everything taste that extra bit special.

The Stable are so popular that they're opening locations faster than I can scoff a pizza, and all of the menus are slightly different to reflect what's available locally. I know this sounds like a sponsored post but it really isn't. I love The Stable and am still hoping that they spread up north so I don't have to travel so far to get my pizza fix!

Rachel x
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