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2015 – 5 Things I Achieved

So 2015 has blown by and although it might not have been the most exciting or exhilarating, I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and am looking forward to the blank canvas that is 2016. Here are 5 reasons why I’m feeling a sense of achievement – they’re not big reasons but small things which hopefully amount to continued happiness and well-being.

Remember, don’t be hard on yourself, no matter how small, there will most definitely be something in your past year that you can and should be proud of and hold on to that to take you through into 2016.

I started and kept up with a weekly recipe email which has transformed into Oh Beans

Throughout a lot of 2014, I had a feeling of being lost and wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do in my spare time or even what I was passionate about. Thankfully, Peter and I decided to sign up for a weekly veg box delivery halfway through the year which often meant that we had leftover veggies which I hated to see go to waste. I’d search online and through my recipe books for new ways to cook them. Towards the end of that year, I became increasingly inspired in the kitchen and itched to share the recipes I found. And so, after numerous conversations with Peter, I launched a weekly email newsletter a couple of days into the new year, named ‘Five Recipes for You’. You can find the first email here. This later developed into oh beans and later, into this blog!

I’m proud of myself for not giving up with the email and for posting a new blog post every week since it’s been live (since my birthday in April). In the past, I’d tried several times to keep a Tumblr page going, but failed every time, making excuses that I didn’t have time or just plain forgot. It’s not been easy every step of the way, but with the encouragement from Peter and those of you who follow oh beans, it’s really kept me motivated and I’m loving making something that keeps me inspired.

Going forward into 2016, I hope to prepare and plan better for oh beans, with the aim that it will give me a little more time to spend on writing rather than fretting about getting a post out on time. After all… I am a Project Manager by day, so I should be able to project manage my own blog better! To help me with this, I bought myself this beautiful planner (from A Beautiful Mess) which will be dedicated to planning all things oh beans.

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Decided to make healthier food choices and loving cooking

Over the past year, I’ve made a conscious effort to find healthier swaps for not so good foods. This has developed through taking inspiration from people such as Jamie Oliver, Ella Woodward and Madeleine Shaw on their quest to promote the fact that healthy doesn’t have to mean hard or boring. Peter and I have swapped processed store bought puddings for homemade non-refined Banoffee Pie, Chocolate Mousse and Chewy Sultana Cookies.

Although I might not have completely stuck to all of Madeleine’s advice, I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in and sharing with you my experience of Madeleine Shaw’s Get the Glow challenge. By maintaining a fair amount of her principles, I’ve definitely seen improvements in my skin, and even my hair, opting to use products which a kinder to my body. I’ve come to realise that it is so important to understand the role and affect that food and life in general, has on our bodies.

For 2016, I would like to be eating more seasonal, organic and local produce, from places such as the Organic Deli and the Oxford Covered Market. I also hope to continue to reduce the amount of refined sugar I eat and to continue exploring new ways of cooking.

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Peter and I travelled more than last year

This year, Peter and I have been lucky enough to have had a number of holidays, including a couple abroad (Vienna and Italy) and a few weekends away. Although our bank balances are a little lower than we’d hope, we’ve been able to explore new places together and enjoy different cultures. I’m proud of myself and Peter for taking the time to make a unique holiday for us to Italy, where we decided to go solely by train and to rent apartments in different cities. I find that travel helps to take me out of my comfort zone, and allows me to become a less anxious, free’er version of me.

In 2016, Peter and I have a few things planned for holidays, but I doubt they’ll be quite as extensive as this year due to the fact we’re hoping to buy a house/flat. But perhaps we might start planning the trip of a lifetime that we’ve been talking about recently.

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I found out that I have Hypermobility

After our trip to Vienna (including some extremely cold weather and a large amount of walking), I came home with insanely achey feet. So much so that I opted to see a Physio after a month of soreness. I rarely go to the Dr and instead usually wait out for the problem to heal itself or until I forget it, so I’m proud of myself for taking the initiative to arrange a private physiotherapy appointment for myself. In the hour that I was with the lady, I learn’t a ton about my body and finally understood why I was so much more flexible that a lot of other people I knew. I had hypermobility!

It’s not uncommon at all and affects people in different ways, I have hypermobile tendancies in my joints and although I score full marks on the tests (…you don’t want to score full marks, by the way!!), I’m lucky in that I don’t have any of the syndromes related to hypermobility, which can really make life difficult for the sufferer.

To help my hypermobility, I’ve tried to keep active through strength and conditioning exercises and by remaining conscious of what it is and the triggers to my aches. In 2016, I would like to share my experience of hypermobility on oh beans more and also aim to continue to change my habits for the better, to help alleviate achy joints.

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Peter and I joined The Athlete Centre

Following being told I had hypermobile joints, Peter and I immediately started researching ways in which I could help myself and settled on the fact that exercise focused on strengthening my muscles would be the best place to start. We found Oxford’s Athlete Centre online and joined their Fundamental Classes in April. We each signed up to 3 classes per week membership and work out together in the Strength classes. By buddying up and making friends in the gym, we’re more inclined to keep going each week and have absolutely loved the changes that we’re seeing in our bodies. I have biceps…well, sort of!!

In 2016, I’m going to keep focusing on strengthening my muscles and improving my posture (I’m writing this cross legged.. which really isn’t great for me!). I’d also like to think that although Peter and I might have moved house, that we’ll still be going to gym this time next year.

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Before you go…

I thought I’d share three of my favourite posts from Oh Beans 2015:

  1. An Evening with Deliciously Ella – Oxford Union
  2. How to Find the Perfect Holiday Apartment
  3. Why You Should Focus on ‘Healthy’