28 Day Jumpstart Challenge – Fit Girls Guide

This past month, or rather the past 3 weeks since the 10th of August I’ve been trying out this thing called the “28 Day Jumpstart Challenge” – it’s a challenge run by the team behind Fit Girls Guide. I have not been following it 100% the way they mean you to – perhaps more around 60%. I have been finding some alternatives to foods I don’t like, I have not been working out and have not cut down the alcohol as much as they recommend (but they are American and I live in England – they have no idea about British drinking culture!!).

I very consciously went into it thinking of it as a lifestyle change more than just a diet/ weight loss plan and to use to it teach myself to eat more consciously. Few things I aimed to get from it for myself:

  1. to be more aware of what I am eating (progress made)
  2. to be more aware of how much I am eating (progress made)
  3. to eat more slowly (progress made)
  4. to take the time to sit down to eat rather than eat while reading/ working at my desk/ watching tv (progress made)
  5. to increase my protein and veg intake (sort of, needs more work)
  6. to cut down on my refined sugar intake as much as possible (sort of, needs more work)
  7. to cut down on my alcohol intake as much as possible (sort of, needs more work)
  8. to do food prep at home and not always buy breakfast & lunch (progress made)
  9. to cut down on buying cappuchinos and lattes (progress made)
  10. to cut down on coffee intake – especially after 4pm (progress made)

This is already a very difficult list to work through, especially because I do most of these things on “auto-pilot” – so the biggest challenge has been the awareness, the consciousness and the mindfulness around how I consume my food.

My favourite part: I have been making my breakfast to take in to work – delicious oatmeal, greek yoghurt and fresh fruit with a changing mix of added extras ranging between flaxseed, bee pollen and chia seeds. This is something I have never ever done before – and it has very much been a life changer and does seem to give me more energy throughout the day, I need it to become a habit and almost a reflex though.

I also realised that I tend to consume WAY more calories than I need to on an almost daily basis for no real reason other than habit/ laziness – hitting around 2000 calories a day with all my coffees and snacks and especially on weekends with the alcohol calories coming in to play.

Here is my progress over the past 3 weeks:

calorie count weeky progress week 3 calorie count weeky progress week 1 calorie count weeky progress week 2

As we can see:

  • Fridays are the big problem – this is when I go out drinking (drinks are saved under snacks because the app doesn’t have a category for it that I could find – the app I’m using is MyFitnessPal – which disappointingly keeps crashing and is not as good as it used to be)
  • My daily average calorie intake: week 1: 1700 calories, week 2: 1300 calories, week 3: 1500 calories – bring on week 4!

I have intentionally not chosen to combine this with a fitness or workout plan yet because I know that if I try and do too much all at once I will only end up giving up – so I wanted to get comfortable with the eating changes first before I throw in the gym as well.

The last time I did a big weight loss plan it was the opposite, it was ALL gym and not around my diet or food prep at all, so this time I want it to be a combination of both for a bigger change at succeeding (I did lose over 9 kgs last time, but guess what – I’ve put it all back on + a bit more in the meantime).

So now we’re going into week 4 – I intend to start introducing the gym back into my life – slowly – we don’t want another strained hip flexor like last time obviously. Wish me luck!!

The Albion: North London pub with excellent food & drinks

Last night I was at The Albion in Islington for drinks and dinner – we sat in the back garden under a gorgeous Weeping Willow tree, there had fairylights all down the back, quiet relaxed music, excellent service, a great drinks menu and excellent food – so if you’re looking for a beautiful and very relaxed pub to have drinks or dinner (especially in the Summer in their lovely garden) then The Albion is a pretty good bet…

10 Thornhill Road, Islington, London N1 1HW
Tel: 0207 607 7450

I walked there from Caledonian Road & Barnsbury Overground Station but it’s also a really easy 10 min walk from Angel Tube Station.

Here are some pictures from their website…

This is the very table we were sitting at:

the albion pub north london outdoor garden dinner

This was the smoked haddock fish cake that Francois had:

the albion pub north london smoked haddock fishcake dinner



I am in love…with Kimchi…and want to move to Korea now…

Aaah, the darling BF took me to this really really lovely super real-deal Korean restaurant today and moi was introduced to KIMCHI!! Me luuurrrvvveesss this stuff now…it is this super spicy cabbage side dish and just soooo yummy! I want to eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day for the rest of my life now AND Kimchi has made me spontaneously and randomly consider moving to South Korea (for the first time in my life and considering I also want to live in Cape Town, Havana, NYC, Tel Aviv, Bombay and Tokyo it just comes in handy as another location en route I suppose?).

Wikipedia helps us:

Kimchi, also spelled gimchi or kimchee, is a traditional Korean fermented dish made of vegetables with varied seasonings, most commonly referring to the spicy baechu variety. Kimchi is the most common Korean banchan, or side dish, eaten with rice along with other banchan dishes. Kimchi is also a common ingredient and cooked with other ingredients to make dishes such as kimchi stew (kimchi jjigae) and kimchi fried rice (kimchi bokkeumbap).