Why I am changing my lifestyle

I suppose every person has a reason as to why they turn their life around, eat better, exercise more and similar.  I have never really been open about my reasons.  I have a wonderful life, a loving husband and great family and friends.  The one thing missing in my life is children.

I have been struggling with infertility for five years now.  Now in my early 30’s its starting to become my main focus of losing weight and getting fit.  Its time to really push now to get down to my target weight and focus my energy on getting  the doctors to do more.  I have not received a diagnosis of any medical issue but from my research I know that weight and related health are one of the big factors.

Being open and truthful I feel guilty with every negative test that I can’t give me husband a “mini me” as I know that he will be the most amazing dad.   Its not fair that something so natural can be so tough for some.

Picking myself up and ensuring that I can keep going to reach the end goal will be the biggest reward of all and make this hard work worthwhile.

I want to blog about my lifestyle change not infertility – I won’t be beaten.  I want to share what I am a learning along the way 🙂

The best is yet to come, Gilly x

First Assignment – Blogging 101

cropped-seal_v2-04I am taking part in Blogging 101.  This specially designed course helps bloggers improve their writing and blogs.  Each day I will have an email with day’s task and try to blog, and today marks the first one!

Day One: Introduce Yourself to the World

So this one is a bit more difficult for me as I have been blogging on and off for a while now, but no harm in trying!

I am Gilly, a 30 something wannabe blogger from Aberdeen, Scotland.

WholeLottaGilly first came about when the realisation hit me that I had put on so much blooming weight!  I decided that it wasn’t time for a diet but a total lifestyle change.  Changing what I eat and actually starting to exercise has had such an impact to my life (not only physically).  I decided that I needed to share and document my progress with the aim of keeping me motivated as well as supporting others.

Outside of my work I am also very passionate about events, charity work and my family.  I went with WholeLottaGilly as a title to try and keep my blog open ended to what I could write about from recipes to holidays 🙂

I am looking forward to being introduced to new blogs and meeting likeminded and passionate bloggers through Blogging 101.

Gilly x

Go Volunteer

The first post on WholeLottaGilly about my passion for fundraising and events!  I know it sounds cliche but I love raising money and organising events.  I considered starting a separate blog for this but hoping I can combine this into this blog – I welcome feedback and suggestions to this!

If you want to fundraise I think I can help!  Fundraise for a cause that you care about, want to improve and get that general good feeling doing something fulfilling.

Over the past 3 years I have raised more than £150,000 for charities and good causes through various events and fundraisers but sometimes the worry about pulling an event off can be overwhelming.  The best way to learn?  Volunteer.

I started volunteering with different organisations and charities – this gives you the ultimate experience of fundraising, learning from people already successfully raising money.  Over the years I have met some amazing people doing amazing things and the whole journey has been so worthwhile.

203154633162619358_GPjooE9w_cDo your research, find a good cause or local charity to help.  Drop them an email and offer your services.  Charities appreciate any offer of help, especially when you are prepared to give up your own time to help their cause.  The more passionate you are of the cause then the more you will get out of the experience, pick something close to your heart that you have an interest in.

For  me I was introduced to a local cancer charity; Friends of ANCHOR.  This particular charity makes a great impact in my local area, and has even helped my family and friends through the hard times facing the devastating news of cancer.  From supplying fresh fruit in the wards to raising hundreds of thousands towards the latest technology in cancer treatment this charity means so much to me.

From small coffee mornings to weekend action packed events volunteering with this charity has exposed me to all types of fundraising as well as meeting life long friends.  This has given me the confidence to organise and succeed in my own fundraising plans.

Raising funds always feels amazing, but you will never know the feeling of making a difference until you have given it a go!

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give

Winston Churchill

What are you waiting for?

Gilly x

5 Years and Counting

This weekend has been action packed celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary.  How time flies!  Following tradition, and with it  being 5 years I sourced a beautiful handmade beer bottle holder, complete with opener on Etsy by a company called knot just boxes.  Stocked with his favourite local brewed Brewdog he was absolutely delighted!

The hubby bought my stunning new earrings and treated me to a gorgeous meal out to Native by Nick Nairn in Aberdeen.  Booking a table was not an experience I would like to repeat, but after 15 minutes and the gentleman phoning me back we finally got there!

To be honest its quite difficult in Aberdeen to find somewhere serving local Scottish produce, but Native ticks all the boxes.  The menu has a lovely selection of locally sourced ingrediants.  I finally settled on traditional Haggis, Neeps and tatties topped with crispy parsley.  This arrived beautifully presented but the whisky sauce container was so hot I couldn’t lift it.  The hubby had slow braised roast pork belly, hand dived Orkney scallop with crispy black pudding and apple sauce-pork crackling.  I was jealous when I saw how tasty it looked!

Then for the main course I definitely had the best choice 🙂  Peppered, dry aged Inverurie beef strips with hand cut chips, fine beans and shallots accompanied with whisky and wild mushroom gravy.  Brian opted for his favourite ‘Fish and chips’.  The haddock fresh from Peterhead with generous proportion of hand cut chips, home made tartare sauce and lemon.

We didn’t have space for pudding (hoping I will next time!)  I did however manage a cheeky French Martini from the bar.  Needless to say the diet was out of the window this weekend but today we had a nice long walk so hopefully that worked off some of the food consumed 🙂

Gilly x

Spinach Cakes

Image From eatingwell.com

Image From eatingwell.com

I always love a look around www.eatingwell.com for inspiration daily.  The website provides you with many recipe ideas especially handy when trying to come up with ways to use all the fruit and veg in my fridge!

One of my favourite ways to eat more spinach is the amazing spinach and parmesan cakes. They are so tasty!

Makes: 4 servings, 2 spinach cakes each | Active Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes | Equipment: Muffin pan with 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 ounces fresh spinach, (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, or low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Pulse spinach in three batches in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add ricotta (or cottage cheese), Parmesan, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper; stir to combine.
  3. Coat 8 cups of the muffin pan with cooking spray. Divide the spinach mixture among the 8 cups (they will be very full).
  4. Bake the spinach cakes until set, about 20 minutes. Let stand in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn out onto a clean cutting board or large plate. Serve warm, sprinkled with more Parmesan, if desired.

NUTRITION

Per serving: 141 calories; 8 g fat (4 g sat, 3 g mono); 123 mg cholesterol; 6 g carbohydrates; 13 g protein; 2 g fiber; 456 mg sodium; 560 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (170% daily value), Folate (46% dv), Vitamin C (40% dv), Calcium (30% dv), Potassium (16% dv).

Recipe and information from Eating Well http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/parmesan_spinach_cakes.html

Gilly x

Holiday in planning

I am a big believer that you do not need to travel for miles and miles to have an amazing holiday.  I have lived in Scotland my entire life and yet have not seen the whole beautiful country yet.  With the hubby and I on our lifestyle change (or challenge!) I wanted to find a nice break where we can still have an amazing time as well as being adventurous.

10968310_895444280495109_399135819355396107_nThe solution – the North Coast 500!  Scotlands answer to Route 66.  The route way runs to and from Inverness, venturing round the capital of the Highlands, up the West Coast and back via the rugged north coast covering Black Isle, Caithness, Easter Ross, Inverness-shire, Sutherland and Wester Ross.  Looking at the North Coast 500’s website (here) I can’t believe how stunning the North of Scotland is.

The website provides different itineraries to suit different tastes – bikers, adventure seekers, luxury travel.  This is making the planning of this trip even easier.  As I am on a mission to be more “outdoor’sy” we are looking at the Campers itinerary.  This 5 day route plan involves things to see along the way along with recommendations for accommodation & eating.

Thank you North Coast 500 for your beautiful informative website, I am looking forward to planning my trip and blogging along the way.  Also love following all the pins on Pinterest.

http://www.northcoast500.com/ 

Juicing Fav’s

Finding the right combination for juicing is all part of the fun.  Initially I found it quite difficult to increase my green’s and tended to stick to the fruity ingredients.  Then I found The Skinny NutriBullet Recipe Book by CookNation.

Here’s a couple of recipes that helped me introduce more goodness to my juices.

Ginger Apple Juice

Ingredients

2 Apples | 4m/2 inch piece of fresh Ginger | 1/2 Lemon | Water

Method
  1. Rinse the ingredients
  2. Core the apples (leaving the skin on).  Peel the lemon and no need to worry about the pipes.
  3. Add all the fruit & ginger to your blender holder (tall cup for NutriBullet) ensuring the ingredients don’t go past the max line on your machine.
  4. Add water & blend until smooth.

Gentle Detox

Ingredients

2 handfuls of Spinach | 1 handful of Kale | 2 Apples | 1/2 Lemon | Water | Sesame seeds optional

Method
  1. Core the apples, leaving on the skin.  Peel the lemon.
  2. Add the ingredients to your blender (tall cup for NutriBullet) making sure you don’t pass the max line.
  3. Add water and blend until smooth.

Enjoy, Gilly x