Five Minute Review: I Know What I’m Doing

One of my aims for the year is to average a book a week, making that 52 in total. I want to capture at least some of them here, as I believe reading and learning is a key facet to mindfulness and living in a fulfilled way. But hey, we’ve all got busy lives. So in that vein, here’s your five-minute book review!

If I had to describe I Know What I’m Doing in five words, it would be:

Exactly what I needed to hear!

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Jen Kirkman is a comedian who’s going through a divorce. She acts like she’s got her shit together, but like most of us, feels like she’s faking it at least 99% of the time. Part autobiography, part ridiculous-things-that-happened-to-me, this book was the perfect palate cleanser, and made me feel so much better about the very slight catastrophe that is my twentysomething life.

Would I recommend it to a friend? Yes!!

Marks out of 10: 8

This concludes the review.

What should be the next book on my list? 

Lots of love,

Pippa

The Crutch Chronicles: Episode 13

Hello kittens! Here’s your weekly recap of how that whole broken ankle thing is going.

I wanted to clarify why I’m doing this- it’s not just to keep me sane, although at the start that had a lot to do with it.

It’s for anyone who’s struggling with an injury. When I was first injured, and on crutches and completely helpless – even the basic tasks such as making coffee and brushing my teeth were a struggle- I spent hours scouring the internet and reading blogs written by fellow injured athletes. I got so much value from their tips and tricks, as well as just knowing that someone got it. And so I write this update every week, just in case someone out there is injured and feeling shitty about life- you’ll get through it, I promise!

But since I’m 100% back to walking, it feels like I should rename this. The Comeback Chronicles maybe…?

Where I’m at physically

The old ankle is back to pretty damn sore at the moment, which isn’t ideal. Nonetheless I’m choosing to remain positive, and have been icing and elevating my leg.

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Exercise

The week’s workouts were all pretty average, due to not taking a proper rest day and ploughing straight ahead. I needed these workouts from the viewpoint of mental wellbeing (work and life stress being what it is), but honestly my body would probably have thanked me for at least one night in with tea and TV.

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The workouts were:

  • Monday: Sandbag deadlifts & squats, 30 mins cardio
  • Tuesday: Kettlebell circuit, 30 mins cardio
  • Wednesday: Kettlebell circuit, 20 mins cardio
  • Thursday: Sandbag deadlifts & squats, 30 mins cardio
  • Friday: A well-deserved freakin’ rest day
  • Saturday: A baby run, a 30-minute cycle, 20 mins cross trainer, 10 mins stepmaster, and a load of functional fitness-style circuits.
  • Sunday: Rest day! Current status: sat in coffee shop, caffienating. #win.

Despite the somewhat lacklustre weekday workouts (my own fault, for not taking a rest day), I’ve been in a really good place with my workouts. I’ve been focusing more on functional fitness, including lots of circuit training and bodyweight training. Special shoutout goes to Saturday’s workout. It was just one of those nothing, lazy weekend days, and the weather wasn’t great, so I just pitched up at the gym and got shit done. I had an epic soundtrack (to be shared soon, I promise) and I made a real effort to switch it up and try new exercises. Now though… legs are killing!

 

Food

I’m still getting used to the plant-based lifestyle, and I have to say this week was pretty difficult, food-wise. On Tuesday and Wednesday it was like my metabolism suddenly caught up to the fact that I’ve been working out loads, and my stomach was honestly a bottomless pit of hunger. Since I’m not tracking calories or macros, it was quite difficult to figure out exactly what was going on, but I’ve found the solutions to be: 1. listening to my body and 2. adding more fat into my diet, at every meal. Hello hummus and peanut butter!

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That plant-based life…

Running

Following my first baby run back last week, my ankle was really quite sore. I had really faint bruising over the site of the original ligament rupture, and so I played it really safe, sticking to the eliptical and spin bike in the gym. Since it was feeling better by Saturday, I tried some more baby intervals, but honestly I’m not sure that was the best idea. Everything’s very sore, and I’m just making an effort to ice and compress the ankle. This ankle is getting treated like a queen (to quote my blogger pal Colby)!

Given how my ankle has been feeling since those two baby runs, I’ve had to acknowledge that I won’t be running marathons any time soon. Nonetheless, I remain optimistic that I’ll make an eventual comeback, and so my focus is making sure I comeback stronger and more balanced than previously. That means lots of yoga, lots of functional fitness, and lots of physiotherapy. It’s dull AF, but someone’s gotta do it.

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Where I’m at mentally

I’m in a good place, I think. I’m still struggling with the lack of running, as well as the big Family Drama, but it certainly helps that Spring is right around the corner and there are more daylight hours – the seasons have always had a huge effect on me. In addition to all this, I’m seeing a therapist which is part crisis-management and part general housekeeping. It’s early days, but I think we’re making good progress.

How’s your week been?

Lots of love,

Pippa

The Crutch Chronicles: Episode 12

I’m fully aware that I didn’t write an injury last week. The thing is, I had no real progress to share. I was just keeping on. I was trying to get into the gym and do my workouts, but I hadn’t seen any doctors or had any real developments to share. However this past week has been a whirlwind of activity related to my injury, so here goes:

 

Where I’m at physically

Last Friday I saw my physio and got some promising news. My power is back to normal in the ankle,  mobility is around 75%, and balance is around 80%. This is all great news; I’d missed so many hydrotherapy sessions that I was worried I’d missed the window of opportunity on the injury, and that I would get permanent damage. Oh and another thing, I’m allowed to run again! Yay! Just to preface, it’s not as exciting as it sounds… but it’s exciting nonetheless. I’ll get into that at the end – I feel like it deserves its own section.

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Exercise

Last week was a crazy week of good workouts:

  • Monday: Kettlebells, 30 minutes of cardio (stepmaster/eliptical/cycle) and abs
  • Tuesday: Kettlebells, 30 minutes of cardio (stepmaster/eliptical/cycle) pull-ups and abs
  • Wednesday: Sandbag warmup, 30 minutes of cardio (stepmaster/eliptical/cycle) and abs
  • Thursday: Rest Day
  • Friday: Kettlebells, 30 minutes of cardio (stepmaster/eliptical/cycle), pull-ups and abs
  • Saturday: Rest day. Exhausted (but in a good way)!
  • Sunday: Sports massage, a teeny tiny run, 40 minutes of cardio (cycle and eliptical) and abs

I’ve gotten into a really good place with my workouts recently- mainly by focusing on doing more functional/strength-based exercises at the beginning and end of each session. Kettlebells, sandbags and the dreaded bosu ball have all formed part of this strategy, and I’ve found myself getting more excited about my workouts, which is great.

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Hydrotherapy 

I managed to get my butt into gear last week- not only did I manage to go to physio, but hydro too! The hydrotherapist really upped the difficulty of my exercises, and I certainly felt challenged! These really focused on my balance and stability, as well as that final 25% range of motion that’s eluding me right now.

Massage

I went to see my trusted massage therapist over the weekend to get some of the scar tissue worked out of my ankle. I’ve been seeing him for about two years, and there’s no-one else I would trust with an injury of this magnitude. He spent a painful half hour gradually breaking down the scar tissue, as well as teaching me certain techniques I could do myself. My plan is to see him again in a few weeks time to keep me on track.

Food

The plant-based lifestyle is definitely working for me! I’ve been incorporating plenty of superfoods into my diet, as well as drinking lots of green tea and other healthy drinks. My focus right now is using food as recovery fuel, and so I’m really trying to eat 1. well and 2. enough.
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Running

As you may have read, I’m now allowed to “run” again. Let’s not be fooled, this is by no means a comeback. I’m still injured and my ankle still swells uncontrollably. However, I’ve been given permission to do 1 minute “slow jog” intervals on the treadmill. I’m allowed to do these once or twice a week, and only on the treadmill, where there’s nothing I can trip over. I did my very first baby run at the gym yesterday, which was a total of six 1 minute intervals, followed by walk breaks. I’m in pain today, but it’s manageable. As for the run itself? It didn’t feel like a comeback. It didn’t feel grand or exciting. But it did feel like progress. It felt like I was moving my body again in a way that felt natural to me. And so that was great, and I am so monumentally grateful for that.

 

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Me: a visual representation

Where I’m at mentally

Mentally, things are okay at the moment. It’s definitely been a weight off my mind to know that I haven’t missed some crucial recovery window- when I mentioned a potential half marathon towards the end of Summer, my phsyio didn’t seem to think it was out of the question. The prospect of having a goal again is very exciting, and it feels weirdly like I’m re-entering my old life and old self. I hadn’t realised how much injury had affected me, but hopefully this shift in perspective will help me get back to normal!

How’s your week been?

 

Lots of love,

Pippa

Five Minute Review: Present Over Perfect

One of my aims for the year is to average a book a week, making that 52 in total. I want to capture at least some of them here, as I believe reading and learning is a key facet to mindfulness and living in a fulfilled way. But hey, we’ve all got busy lives. So in that vein, here’s your five-minute book review!

If I had to describe Present Over Perfect in five words, it would be:

Beautifully written, not for me.

The message of this book is precisely what it says in the title- it’s all about the importance of being present in your everyday life, and enjoying the important moments instead of chasing your to do list or hustling even harder than the last time. It’s gorgeously written, and reads more like an autobiography of the author’s journey to a kind of ‘present enlightenment’. Nonetheless, I feel the point could have been conveyed more succinctly in a blog post or a Ted Talk. Moreover, there’s quite a lot of religion in it. I’m not a religious person, and usually very tolerant of other peoples’ beliefs, but in this case it slightly clouded my enjoyment of the narrative- those parts were the ones I was more keen to skim over. But still- a beautiful book with good intention at its core.

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Would I recommend it to a friend? I’d go for You Are A Badass anyday!

Marks out of 10: 7

This concludes the review.

What should be the next book on my list? 

Lots of love,

Pippa

February Favourites

February was a whirlwind month, huh? I’ve been super busy with work, rehab and getting back into a workout routine. The main focus of the month has been rest and relaxation, and so you’ll see that my favourites focus very much around that topic. Without further ado, let’s jump into things! 

Yogi Tea Breathe Deep Tea

This tea has been an absolute favourite of mine this month. I’ve been feeling pretty run down, and have been waking up with a cough and slight tightness in my chest. I picked this up on the way into work on Monday morning, and managed to finish the entire box in just under a week! I’ve combined copious amounts of this tea with listening to my body and taking more rest days, and I have to say it seems to have done the trick. Yogi tea for the win! 

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Twinings Spiced Ginger Tea

Again, another caffeine-free tea. This stuff is so good though!

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Yoga at Another Space

Oh man, have I needed my yoga over the past month. I found myself getting severe tension headaches, and aside from going for a massage, yoga is the only thing that sorts me out. Enter Another Space. Their yoga classes are fantastic, being relaxing and challenging in equal measure. Right now, I basically live for savasanah. 

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Tisserand Relax Aromatherapy

As you may have guessed, I’m a little bit on edge this month, and therefore I’ve been experimenting with things like aromatherapy to help me keep my calm. Enter the Tisserant De-Stress blend-  a combination of orange, geranium and nutmeg oils, which works wonders on my mood. I have it as a rollerball to apply behind my ears and on my temples, but I’d also recommend getting it as an essential oil to diffuse.

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Happier Podcast

I listen to this podcast every morning on the way into work, and it’s one of the joys of my daily routine. It sounds kind of superficial, but it actually contains some really good practical advice and old-fashioned wisdom on how to live a happier life in the day to day. One of their recent episodes covered the “Happiness Stumbling Block” which is the news, and hit the nail on the head with what I’ve been feeling recently- a conflict between wanting to stay well-informed and politically active, and the need to preserve my own faith in humanity. Give it a listen

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Taboo

This is a period drama on the BBC, starring the lovely Tom Hardy as James Delaney, a man long believed to be dead who returns from Africa to claim the rights to his late father’s shipping empire. Whether he’s mad or gifted remains to be seen, and nothing is quite what it seems. It makes for compelling viewing, and I’m completely entranced.

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Pret Chana Chaat

I love love love this flatbread from Pret. It’s one of a few vegan options at the chain, and it has just been making my life so much easier in recent weeks. Often I’ll find myself on the go, or having a working lunch catered for at the office, and it’s so great to have an option ready to go. Plus, it tastes amazing!

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That’s it for my favourites this month- a combination of things that have been keeping my stress levels to a manageable level. Life can be hard sometimes but it’s all about doing the best you can with what you have available to you- and that’s what I’m trying to do.

So tell me, what have been your favourites this month?

Any other de-stress products I should try?

Lots of love,

Pippa