Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Year, New Plans

2012 was an amazing year for me. For the first time in my life I made a list of things I was determined to achieve by the end of the year. It had 5 major things on it. I completed 4 of them before the Autumn and number 5 is in progress as we speak. 

I finally get the old saying 'Fail to plan, plan to fail.'
So I'm doing it again this year. I'm not making resolutions, I'm making plans. 

I'm not exactly superstitious - but I am (surprisingly I know) intensely private. When I passed my driving test last May only my Husband and Mum knew what I was up to. I didn't even tell my kids. Nearly everyone I know said 'Bloody hell you kept THAT quiet.' I do. I keep the big things under my belt.  This year's list has another 5 big things on it. I'll report back in a year.

What I don't mind talking about are the plans for healthier living

I'm pretty huge on the anti-inflammatory diet these days - I have a predisposition towards inflammatory diseases on my Mother's side and with every passing year I'm more aware of the importance of taking care of myself. Not just for me, but for my family. If I don't function at my best, my family don't function at their best. That's the reality.

I've already made quite a few changes progressively in the past few years:
When I do drink, I only drink red wine - and have done for years. I wouldn't dream of drinking beer (bloat city and sugar = inflammation and fat) and spirits are over-rated. 
No fizzy drinks. I may, once a month (you know!) have a can of fat coke - and enjoy it. But that's it. 
No chocolate. This one is easy - I'm not a big lover anyway so don't miss it. Ditto biscuits. Meh. 

So the changes I'm implementing/adding this year to my current lifestyle are: *deep breath*

No alcohol. I did this last year from Jan-Apr and didn't miss it. It's surprisingly easy. I drank at the end of April for my son's 18th birthday - he's 19 this year - I figure it's not a 'big one' so I'll be fine to carry on! I'm not sure how hard and fast I'll be - maybe until my holiday in July, maybe until the Summer gig season in June (Bon Jovi AND Bruce touring?!) maybe I won't fancy it at all - who knows? But drinking as par for the course during the week/weekends? No.
Ditto Champagne at events. Goes down easy, hits the head and stomach hard. No.

Also - a nice trick your body plays on you the older you get - that second glass of wine? Up. All. Night. I'm not kidding. I need my sleep.

Even less sugar. I'm already doing quite well but I'm going to be even more vigilant about it. Sugar = inflammation.

To continue drinking shedloads of water. I already do this. Consciously. I'm going to continue to do so.

Eat even less white foods. I'm doing ok cutting out pasta and now only have whole grain rice - but bread - I am still partial to hot buttered toast on occasion. Working on it.

The big one for me? Crisps. Wave a Ready Salted Kettle Chip in my direction and I'm up quicker than Westlife in a key change (2.19 into it) . They are my crack and have to go completely. I can't just have one. Impossible. Complete and utter salt addict and they are the one thing I can mindlessly pick at while watching tv/blogging/chatting. My name is Caroline and I am a crisp addict
No. They have to go.

Supplements. The big ones. I'm always asked what I take so:

Fish oil - I already take a minimum of 3000mg a day. I try and take anything up to 10,000mg a day. Working on maximising it as often as possible.

Zinc - I take 15mg a day. 

Vitamin D - I am a sun girl and undoubtedly suffer when it disappears - like now. I take 2000 iu units a day. 

Others to be thrown in when I feel I need them:
Floradix - I'm anaemic, so when I have a noticeable slump, I step it up.

Magnesium - in the evenings to help me relax and sleep.

B12 spray - I use this a LOT. I've escaped any winter cold thus far - coincidence? Maybe. I'm not taking any chances.

(Make sure you've done your research for what suits and won't suit you  if you want to start taking supplements)

And there you have it. (Some) of my New Year's Day rambling/plan/list.

Wherever you are celebrating New Year's Day I wish you the best of health and hope your plans come to fruition in 2013.

Oh! I forgot one last one. 

Wear sparkly, nicer shoes. I am a comfortable size 9 (11 US) and I live in trainers. Sod it. Bring on the nice shoes (sometimes).

Ok. That's it.


  1. Love it! This really struck a chord with me. I too have been thinking about plans v resolutions. No doubt about it, the years that I have made plans, that's when stuff happens. I've also recently given up refined carbs and seriously cut down on sugar. Booze is my focus for this year. Look forward to hearing how you get on!

  2. I've read a few New Year Resolution posts but this one is brilliant, brought a smile to my face. Wishing you all the best! X

  3. Interesting Mrs Hirons ;)
    Like yourself, I am committed NOT to make NY's resolutions... HOWEVER I have made my PLANS and I am going to stick to them :) I made them simple enough to keep, yet effective enough to be worth doing!!
    Now onto questions:
    1) I have always taken my supplements in the morning, including the magnesium... had no idea it could make me sleepy (I am trying to combat excess fatigue!!!) Should I take that one in the evening, then?!?!
    2) How much B12 do you take? I've been taking it, too... and so far: no flu as well :) coincidence x 2? ;)

    xx Raquel

  4. That's a nice plan! I've also cut down on alcohol this year and don't miss it at all, and it's surprising how pointless the booze is to me now. but i'm yet to stop eating chocolate (i'm a total addict...) and excercise moooore.
    Wish you health and wealth))

  5. Sounds great! I'm thinking about starting to take supplements but don't really know how to decide what the right ones will be, but figured some probiotics and fishoil would probably be a good start... What did you start with? Making plans is great ( I even have a whole module at uni about goal setting and how to achieve goals at uni at the moment, and it's super interesting). Hope you achieve them :)

  6. I have always wondered how much fish oils to take. I think I may up how much I am taking. I also need to cut out sugar but I am addicted to chocolate like you are addicted to crisps. I know my skin would benefit from it so much though.
    Happy New Year. x

  7. Love this! New Years is just not one of those things I'm into, but I have decided I am going to be a better adult this year. I desperately need a proper job, and would love to lode some weight for my sister's wedding, along with lots lf other things, so being a better adult should cover that :)

    Steph xx

  8. I am a size 9 as well! I cannot find nice shoes anywhere! please share if you have any good brand recommendation that do good larger sizes :) x

    1. I popped by to find out what Caroline thought about zinc, but as a fellow size 9 I couldn't ignore this. There are LOADS of places for great shoes in a 9 now: DUO, Clarks (they are v good now), ASOS, New Look, Russell & Bromley, Topshop and so on, and most of the designers (Jimmy Choo, Charlotte Olympia etc) do styles in a 9. Don't suffer in boring shoes!

  9. happy new year Caroline! I also battle with inflammation as I have ulcerative colitis. I have found that cutting out all grains and sugar made the biggest difference to both my condition and (unsurprisingly) to my skin. I find the whole grain version of things such as bread and pasta were the worse! I might copy your no-booze resolution; i could certainly do without it but always struggle when socializing and the wine/champagne is flowing x

  10. I could do with implementing some of these myself. Especially the no alcohol bit!
    Good luck Caroline & Happy New Year x

  11. You, as alwaya, are an inspiration caroline hirons! Health is a huge importance to me this year and like you I am not a big drinker at all, Ive even got to the point where I find it kind of pointless. However I was wondering how you dealt with friends and people who seem adamant that you should drink to join in?
    On the supplements note, I have just stocked up on my lamberts fish oils :) Any more advice or information about inflammation would be brilliant.
    Happy New Year everyone!

  12. haha LOVE this! happy new year and good luck with your plans xxxxx

  13. Cutting down on booze isn't an issue for me. I can't stand the taste of wine (I know, my friends want me tested) and like you, I think spirits are over-rated. My big vice is Pepsi Max. I love the stuff and would drink it all the time if I could. I really need to cut down.



  14. Happy New Year! I'm planning on cutting out sugar and cutting back on the booze this year too. And I can always get behind a sparklier-shoed resolution! xo

  15. I love your blog and really respect your opinions but I don't agree with cutting out all fizzy drinks, chocolate, crisps, dairy and white food. You need things in moderation! People I know ate a bar of chooclate everyday of their life and were happy and healthy and lived til well over 100! xxxx

  16. what fish oils do you buy? xxx

  17. what fish oils do you buy? xxx

  18. I'm 28 and I'd been taking a multi plus other supplements since my late teens. But, I was shocked into change after reading this article in the Guardian 2 days ago. I highly suggest reading it. Just in case you don't, it explains how supplements are basically a con and the only ones that are really worth while are Calcium, D, Folic & Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Different countries have done many large, extensive studies over long periods of time, finding that women who take multivitamins die at rates higher than those who don't and for people in general, some vitamins increase the risk of cancer, heart disease and shortened lives.


    1. Hi Nikki,

      Yep read this and felt rather smug to be honest as my husband finally saw that what I had been forcing him to take (Vit D and Fish Oil) for the longest time - actually worked. :)

      I would say zinc and magnesium both work brillaintly for what they are supposed to do (hair/relaxation of muscles/body) as both were prescribed originally to me by Doctors - forward thinking ones obvs.

      I never take a multi-vitamin and never recommend one - the B concent in them gives me acne. Vile! (Not the B12 obvs)

      Thanks for commenting.

  19. Hi Caroline!

    What's your opinion on pro-biotics? I pretty much always have spots in fluctuating degrees of aggression around my mouth/chin/upper neck area. I take zinc, but unfortunately fish oil gives me terrible nausea. Could pro-biotics be worth a shot?


    (You and your blog are amazing)