Lifestyle: Little Changes

I’m on a bit of a major health kick right now. Some of it’s down the vainness; I feel awful about my bodyshape, unattractive and unfit. But mainly it’s down to my health. I’ve had pretty regular bouts of illness since I was 14, and whilst an operation has helped a little, I’m determined to do as much as I can to really sort myself out.

 photo 163700a6-4190-4b40-9d33-5ef4cf2e9273_zps06a95ee7.jpgA bit of a confession here now, I’ve never had the healthiest relationship with ‘diets’. I can take them a little bit too far, or I can go completely the opposite way. I’ll do both on consecutive days to “cancel the other out.” This time I’m determined to get healthy properly. There will be no diet, no restrictions, and hopefully no beating myself up if I treat myself (though that will take some self control!). Instead it’s all about little, gradual changes. Changes to get a healthier lifestyle, to find my natural weight, to balance the good and the “bad” foods.

 photo d98707c8-3d45-444c-99e9-148a9fcf5c1a_zps507c87d1.jpgSome of my (numerous) milky, sugary teas are being swapped for herbal varieties. I’ve got to admit I’m not loving this green tea, though I quite like Cranberry & Raspberry. There’s a Dragonfruit variety that occasionally appears at work which I love, but I’ve not found it in store yet. That mid-afternoon snack on crisps? I’ve turned it into a cuppa-soup if it’s chilly, or a handful of nuts if it’s the crunch I’m craving. I’m working on a spicy-roasted nut recipe to share, but it’s not quite there yet.

 photo 8b717978-729a-49f9-9457-b4b8130ffcfa_zps8f87cdd1.jpgLunches have been switched up. My normal lunch has for the past 6(+!) years been a ham roll on wholemeal bread, ready salted crisps and some squash. I’ve been leaving out the crisps, adding fruit, and occasionally some carrot sticks with a dip. If I have some interested leftovers, I’d throw them in the microwave at work. And at least 2 weeks out of 4 I’ll make a big batch of soup for the week, alongside homemade bread. I’d make it more often, but I have limited freezer space! I’ve also been working on a more budget friendly version of The Londoner’s noodle recipe, and I think it’s also ready to share!

 photo bf292794-af45-4412-9952-eb3ca471cf38_zps1543252b.jpgThe biggest change I’ve made has been ditching the sugary squash. It was tough at first (I actually got the shakes!), but I think I’m also there. I still can’t stand the taste of water, but filtering it through a Water-to-Go Bottle* and adding flavour really helps. When I’m around the house I’ll infuse (get me!) my water with lemon and ginger, or lime if I’m feeling even fancier. That’s not particularly practical when I’m out and about, but I’ve fallen in love with these Enhance* drinks. One squeeze flavours my water enough to make me stomach it, but not so much that it tastes sweet. They taste like actual fruit, and I definitely have stock-piled since they’ve been on offer in ADSA. The orange-y flavour is my favourite. Pretty sure the pics on the website make them extra strong, as mine barely add any colour. But they sure taste good!

 photo 3623b71d-278e-459e-b287-c66f9660aa91_zpseac16505.jpgExercise is something I’m slowly getting there with. I’ve been timing my walk to work, and challenging myself to beat my best times. My trainers still don’t quiteee fit comfortably (I dropped a cupboard door on my foot the weekend after buying them) so running still isn’t happening. But I picked up a set of weights in Aldi, and I’ve been following a few Youtube videos (I love the dance-with-weights type ones!). A few squats before bed, and some pretty lame sit-ups, my fitness is slowly getting somewhere near acceptable.

 photo f51be350-d5b8-4398-b9d8-1a21d2ec87f6_zps0191ae2c.jpgI’ve got a long way to go, mainly due to my emotional hurdles attached with my bodyshape, and a few of eating certain things in case it sets of my stomach issues. It’s all about baby steps for me, and I reckon that’s how it should be. No point in jumping right into a complete change of lifestyle, but switch up little things, make it sustainable. I’m certainly hoping I keep it up!

Are you on a New Year health kick? Any tips for getting fit on a budget without damaging my foot anymore? Got ideas of healthy meals?

  • Thanks for sharing some great tips. I think it’s important to start with small changes, such as leaving out crisps as you mentioned.


    • ninegrandstudent

      Exactly, I’m finding it more sustainable too! x

  • Good luck keeping up with your small changes! I always make a big batch of soup on a Sunday ready for a week of lunches at work – I used to take a sandwich or a tinned soup, but making your own is so much more fun and a lot healthier than the tinned versions.

    I spotted Rosie’s soup recipe too – looks amazing!!

    • ninegrandstudent

      I was doing this before Christmas – need to start again! x

  • Emma Alyson

    Great post! I’m trying to make some small changes to get healthier too, so it’d be great if you fancied doing some more posts like this so we could see how you’re doing?

    Emma x

    • ninegrandstudent

      I’ll definitely think about doing some more posts. There will be one in a few weeks about exercising on a budget – I’m pretty excited about that one! x

  • Jennifer K

    I think you’ve got such a good attitude to making these changes 🙂 Far more likely to be successful if you make small, achievable changes rather than trying anything drastic!

    Jennifer x

    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

    • ninegrandstudent

      Thank you! I’m finding it pretty sustainable at the minute! x

  • Great post, I definitely want to start making similar changes but flavoured tea won’t be one… unfortunately, I don’t like green tea either but I think the flavoured ones never taste like I imagine they should. I really want to try the Enhance drinks; I think that will encourage me to start drinking more water! x

    • ninegrandstudent

      I can’t say they are great. I’m trying to persevere, but its not the same as good old Yorkshire! x

  • Lauren Vipond

    I love your attitude in this post. It’s all about making sustainable changes that mean you can still enjoy yourself! I’ve always thought diets are a bit of con because you’re making a huge (and generally naff) lifestyle change that technically won’t even work if it’s only temporary. 🙂


    • ninegrandstudent

      I agree. I also don’t think depriving yourself of any food group is particularly good for you! x

  • Kathryn M

    I’ve been gradually working towards a healthy lifestyle for a few months now and I started off with Blogilates beginners calender (I did a post at the end of each week) I found that really helped as it was a nice kickstart to exercising more. Now I tend to look forward to doing a good workout. Water was a hard thing for me too as I was someone who used to drink way too little in general, and now i’m drinking between 1-3 litres (so many toilet trips haha) good luck with your journey. I really recommend downloading the blogilates app as its a great motivator and people on there can help you with questions and things.

    • ninegrandstudent

      I’ll definitely check that out, it sounds great! I need to up my water, I’m managing around 5 glasses a day plus a fruit tea at work but would like to up it! x

  • I love that you’re working towards a healthier lifestyle – you’re so right about not diving headfirst into it and you certainly seem to be getting off to an excellent start! Good luck! 🙂

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice


    • ninegrandstudent

      Thank you – I’ve found it okay so far! x

  • emily

    For getting fit without damaging your foot-maybe try swimming, or even walking laps in a waist-deep pool? It’s good exercise, and low-impact on joints like knees, ankles, and also great for sparing a recently-injured foot from the impact of running on hard ground. PS thanks for linking to that Londoner article about the noodle lunches-looks great, I’m definitely going to give it a try!

    • ninegrandstudent

      I have a slight problem in that the local pool is in a really unhelpful place – but as soon as its lighter at night I’ll be going! Might head for a swim when I’m around at the weekends too!

      I have my own version of the noodle recipe coming soon, so keep an eye out! x

  • I too have a really hard time with diets. So much of my life has been characterized by intensely disordered eating – so it’s usually hard for me to log or count anything without getting obsessive about it. That being said, I really haven’t been feeling great about my body for a while so I am trying to make healthy changes. I downloaded the My Fitness Pal App. Yes, it’s a counter, but I’m doing it more to keep track of my iron and protein (which can be hard as a vegan) and it’s working well for me for the last few weeks.

    It sounds to me like you’re doing everything right and I commend you on your goals and progress! You can do it!

    xx Kathryn

    • ninegrandstudent

      You sound quite similar to me, I definitely don’t have healthy opinions about my body! I used that app for years, but found myself trying to compete with the day before and eat less calories – so I’ll maybe say clear for a while. I’m making an effort to eat more protein, which is kinda difficult on a budget! Do you have any tips? x

  • Well done on all your progress, you should be so proud! Making a change can be really hard, and you’re doing it the best way being healthy and not sticking to any diets or restricting yourself. I’m trying to do that too, 2014 was a pretty up and down year for me health wise so I’m trying to be kind to myself in 2015 and gradually become healthier in a natural way without restricting or pushing myself. I actually just posted my 2015 healthy living goals on my blog if you’d like to have a read.

    Emma x
    Writing Essays With Wine

    • ninegrandstudent

      Thanks – loved your post by the way! x

  • Cat

    I’m totally with you on this one, lady! I think being healthy and getting fit is all about finding little improvements that you can make indefinitely, instead of making big changes for only a short amount of time. After a year of being sloppy about exercise, I just joined a kickboxing gym where I have to commit to two classes a week. I’m hoping that will keep me going!


    • ninegrandstudent

      That sounds like a great form of exercise. I’ve been following some fun youtube videos, will have to share them soon! x

  • jay

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  • Hey just stumbled upon your blog, great content!

    • ninegrandstudent

      Thanks, that means a lot! x

  • I’m eagerly awaiting the budget friendly Londoner recipe, been wanting to try it, but it’s just a bit too expensive to do regularly.

    It’s scary to hear how you felt after coming off squash, did you buy the no added sugar ones or the normal sugary ones? I’ve been drinking no added sugar ones all my life, and never thought they were that bad!

    Rachel x
    The Inelegant Wench

    • ninegrandstudent

      It is expensive – hopefully mine will be up soon. I’m still playing around with it! x

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  • These are great tips! I find choosing my lunch the hardest, I always want a sandwich but need to spring for some salads more. I am giving up diet coke at the moment which is tough but I am getting on the tea band wagon! I really like green teas which are flavoured, like with lemon or peppermint – then they taste much better! I had some sweet cranberry tea the other day and it was so good! x

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

    • ninegrandstudent

      I definitely need to eat more salad – it will be so much easier when the weather warms up! Will look out for flavoured teas! x

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