New Website Launch

mmatmfirstdraftWelcome to the new Greta Loves Mabel website! I can’t wait to share more of my work and animal stories with you. There is lots of exciting stuff happening for me this year, both personally and professionally and I look forward to keeping you in the loop. The most exciting thing in my work is the publication of my children’s book ‘Mrs Malficelli & the Misfits’. This has been my baby for many years now, it was originally written form start to finish in 3 weeks and then put away for a long time. It next re-surfaced when I worked on it for a writing course at Liverpool University and I was so happy when it was awarded a first, yet still I put it away. Why? Because the story has always been a personal one to tell and I got the enjoyment from just creating and reading it myself, it involves the lives of animals I have known and loved, and I promise you that hardly a day has gone by when Mrs Malficelli & the Misfits has not been in my head. Now I am ready to share it with everybody and I can’t wait for that.

I hope you enjoy my website, lots of love to you and the animals in your life…real and imagined.

 

Sally-Anne -x

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Salad Days ~ The cleanse Days 12 & 13

I have always liked a salad, a side salad that is…I had never been one to feel that a salad was a meal, but instead a compromise in a restaurant, when there was nothing else vegan. Having read the Crazy Sexy Cleanse and also the Thrive Diet I’ve been re-educated on not only the health benefits and nutrition of a salad for a meal, but also the many many variations. I first began the Crazy Sexy life in September 2011 and since then I have eaten salad for lunch each day and I still look forward to it every day, seriously ,and I never thought I would be like that (the 21 day cleanse part of the book will change the way you eat/look at food for life, you will start to lust after vegetables!). Here are some things I put in a salad :

lettuce, rocket, watercress, tomato, avacado, alph-alpha sprouts, sunflower sprouts, beetroot, nuts (walnuts/brazil nuts), seeds, hummus, marinated tofu, guacamole, mexican pilaf (see CSD recipe), wild rice, peppers, chilli, spinach, pine nuts to name nut a lot!

My biggest salad crush though is the seasoning I discovered some time ago, and never realised it was so good on salads, it comes in the form of Liquid Aminos. There are two brands I use, Braggs and Marigold, both great. Not only tasty but healthy too. My other find was Olives Et Al’s moroccan spice ‘Dukkah’, really tasty sprinkled on top.

Yum!

Spice is nice…

Other good stuff, yesterday I got on the scales (I don’t like scales and I don’t judge success by weight…however!), I found I weigh less now than I can ever remember. Certainly i’ve never been lighter in the last 15 years or so. But more importantly than that I feel better and things just fit better. I also found out another friend cleansing with me has lost 9lbs so she is a happy cleansed bunny :) I also saw the third friend who is cleansing and she is radiant and visibly glowing and happier and loving the food. All positive when just over half way through the cleanse part!

(Also listening to ‘The Secret’ this week and swear it’s working…but more of that another time)

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Cleansing on the move! ~ The Cleanse Day 11

One of the hardest thing about having a specialized diet or eating plan, is the moment you leave the comfort of your own kitchen. In the 90’s when I was vegetarian it still took a fair bit of research, although the good old vegetarian lasagne was available in most good pubs! As a vegan without doubt I plan ahead, I like to think I’m pretty flexible food wise so it’s rarely a problem as long as you research..as a Crazy Sexy Cleanser it’s a little harder still, but it’s possible! If a waiter thought no animal products was a problem, adding to that no gluten, sugar, alcohol or nasty additives would surely send him over the edge!

Plan ahead, in a world full of allergies the information is out there and for very good reason. If it’s not dinner and i’m just working away from home, like this week I pack lunch, the easiest solution of all (and most times the tastiest). I have plenty of storage containers and I just pack them and go, taking a box of kukicha tea bags along for the ride. I also have a large drinks holder for taking green juice on the go.

Back to the eating out, my two top tips for my area are Wagamamas who clearly list vegan friendly/gluten & sugar free dishes, just ask for the special folder, and Pizza Express for a salad, order the Bosco without  the cheese or the honey dressing and substitute for more avacado or mushrooms.

Happy Travelling!

Goodness to go…

 

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Addictions ~ The Cleanse Day 9 & 10

Yesterday I was taken over by the biggest urge for a food I can remember in a long time, partly because I was up late watching a movie with my friend Angie, having not eaten since 6pm and partly because I hadn’t eaten a lot in the day so I was just plain hungry. My obsession became Tyrells Sea Salt and Cider Vinegar crisps, now as crisps go these aren’t the worst to fall victim to. Very few ingredients, no nasties like most ,and after all they are made from vegetables aren’t they? I attempted to concentrate on ‘Barney’s Version’ whilst also trying to stop myself getting up and raiding the cupboard (yes even worse I had some in the house!). In the end I managed to stop myself with the promise I’d have muesli in the morning (I know, how wild am I?!)…as it happened by the morning I was fine and all cravings had gone so it was green juice as usual and cleanse on track..but it was a close thing for awhile.

Today I discovered a super healthy food that can become my new obsession, I’ve tried ‘nakd’ bars before, the cashew, the ginger and the ‘pecan’ but now i’ve found cocoa orange and cocoa mint…OMG!! How can something so good for you taste so good? They are unbelievably tasty (think Chocolate Orange and Mint Matchsticks)..I have one after lunch with a cup of Kukicha tea, highly recommend. You can find them at health food stores and some supermarkets. Enjoy!

Sweet.

 

 

 

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Escape from Virtuality ~ The Cleanse Day 8

Just lately I seem to be checking my iphone every 10 minutes, checking emails, checking Facebook and then getting bored of them, well, more to the point bored of my checking them. It’s a cliche to say that the real world is much more interesting, but I’m beginning to think it’s true. That’s why i’m on a little self imposed iphone cleanse, I have it of course (of course!), but not stuck to my palm and not while I am out running or walking in the forest over the weeks I am here working. At the weekend I had a present of the very thing to help wean me away from my all singing dancing, music playing iphone…an ipod nano, a beautiful metallic pink teeny tiny slip of a thing that does nothing but play tunes, now I can run without the temptation to check emails or worse, stop running and answer the phone if it rings. Today I went for a walk in the frosty forest listening to Damien Rice and I felt so peaceful. It wasn’t that there weren’t any interuptions, but more importantly there was no anticipation of any, I could stay in that moment knowing the only thing that could disturb me could be a sheep, deer or if I was really lucky, a wild boar!

Good things come in small packages…

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A little weekend whine ~ The Cleanse day 6 & 7

Ahhh the weekend, time to kick back, forget the stresses of the week and enjoy a few chosen vices, take-away food, a few beers, a glass of wine, a bowl of crisps…sorry I got a little carried away with myself and forgot where I was, ahem the weekend, a time to enjoy pure living? Weekends are harder for me on the cleanse, not hard, but harder. My husband is home, I’m not working, it’s time with the animals and hopefully a lot of good TV (I love good TV I do, not much of it of course, but that’s for another blog). I want to celebrate and enjoy until Monday comes around again, but then that was part of the problem and why I felt so crap before, I got into the habit of associating celebrating with drinking and eating too much and waking up feeling yuck, and so that’s how I think now, I think I have a choice, I can eat and drink whatever I want, but there will be one of two feelings in the morning…the kind where I can wake at 6.30am be out with the horses singing very badly at the top of my voice and feeling good, or I can be out at exactly the same time (horses don’t care what you got up to last night funnily enough, they just want their food and a trip to the field) feeling a little bloated, de-hydrated and not feeling like doing any of the other stuff that is healthy (chips seem a much better option that salad the day after the night before).

Of course it doesn’t mean when I’m not in cleanse mode I won’t drink (oh I will) but for me the cleanse has performed a little miracle all on it’s own, it breaks habits. I’ve gone from a wine with dinner girl to a wine at the weekend girl and the amount I drink has dropped, sorry strike that, the amount I am able to drink has dropped. Your tolerance once ‘cleansed’ falls dramatically (and for good reason I suspect).

But should you be tempted during the cleanse and break it, don’t worry, who cares? Life is up and down and stuff happens, just get back with it as soon as you can, no harm done, be nice to yourself.

Other stuff this weekend ~ For the the first time I tried a green smoothie, my version of it: Frozen banana, organic almond milk, cucumber, lettuce (I kid you not), avocado, flax seed and acai powder. Result? It tastes really good I promise.

Also saw a great recipe in The Observer magazine from Nigel Slater, a lentil curry…very simple and very spicy, so I didn’t need that take-away after all…

Cocktail Madam?

A winter warmer.

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Getting back nature ~ Cleanse Day 5

The end of the week, and it’s been a busy one and difficult to focus on the cleanse in the same way I was able to last time. It’s different, but it’s still good. You get confident in what choices to make and the ones not to and don’t rely on the book so much, but I want to re-visit it because Kris has some great things to think about each day, thinks that make you appreciate everything a little bit more. Tonight would have been a great night to open a bottle of wine and chill, but I resisted and partook in my other guilty pleasure (re-read earlier days for answer) instead. Today Suzi su, my itty bitty English Toy Terrier had an operation to remove ulcerated warts which constantly bother her, the vet also discovered a growth in her mammary gland which will need to be taken out as soon as she has recovered from this op, so tonight I’m going to try a few minutes meditation and send it her way, get well soon my baby girl x

A nice way to end the week was to appreciate the amazing forest i’ve been working (and running) in, just beautiful…

Beauty in simple stuff…

My Suzi Su x

 

 

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It’s hard to meditate with a dog on your head ~ The Cleanse Day 4

This week has been really great so far, I’m able to hide away in a forest and devote myself to my next project, a children’s book I wrote some years ago which I intend to publish this year. It’s also been the perfect time to start the Crazy Sexy Cleanse as I don’t have distractions or food temptations and I can try my very hardest to finally get this meditation thing nailed in peace and quiet! I tried on the last cleanse I did, but my brain wasn’t having it, after 30 seconds of repeating the mantra “I am” , shopping lists, people I knew and animals I love all start to pop into my mind. I’d get so involved with those thoughts I forget to gently acknowledge them and blow them away (that what a proper meditator would do I think)…and so with everything else I achieved I let that part go and celebrate what I could do.

So this time i’m determined to crack it and experience those amazing mental experiences i’ve heard all about. So I reached out to my favourite go to guru Deepak Chopra, not personally you understand, but via itunes and bought ‘Stress Free’ with Deepak Chopra, in which he guides you through meditations, I find this much easier than being left alone with them to stumble and get lost. Today I managed five full minutes of staying in the moment, this may not seem long to most, but it’s a long time being quiet in my head I assure you and to be fair I only broke my concentration when Mabel, my trusty three legged friend decided she was bored of Deepak’s sultry tones and bounced on my head. So a little dazed, but relaxed I am happy I’m getting somewhere and I’ll try again tomorrow, but perhaps sans canine meditation partner ;0)

A wise man indeed…

 

 

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SeaWhat in my food! Cleanse Day 3

I’ve always liked the smell of seaweed, it means i’m somewhere near Blackpool or Skegness or Great Yarmouth and the dodgems (ok maybe not such a draw now, but it was a cool childhood), but to eat the stuff? The first time I was exposed to seaweed (or sea vegetables as they are now called) was on my macrobiotic holiday a couple of years ago and I have to admit I wasn’t really looking forward to it. There are many many different kinds of sea vegetables (i’ll call them that from now on as it makes it easier to think about eating them) and they all vary greatly in taste and texture. Nutrient rich, they are a bit of a super food, with the calcium levels pound for pound higher than those in milk. They are an amazingly healthy thing to add to your diet and can be eaten in many forms, sushi, with rice and added to miso soup to name but a few. I’m not a fan of the stronger ones but I do really like Arame and Nori..Arame I mix with organic brown rice and gluten free tamari sauce and Nori I use for sushi. I’m trying to be a bit more adventurous, but i’m quite a squeamish kind of girl so it’s little by little on the sea vegetable front.

Arame with brown rice, tamari and sesame seeds and a side of lettuce and broccoli

Every day on the cleanse you are encourage to move, do something, anything to get the body moving. As mentioned on day 1 my first choice would always be running and I’d recommend it to anybody. It’s a great way to see the world about you, it’s cheap (good running shoes and running bra…if you need one that is) and you feel oodles better when you’ve done it. Always start short and slow, the biggest mistake is going off at a pace, falling down out of breath 30 seconds later and giving up. I recommend Hal Higdon’s running guides for every distance and every level, they got me through my first 10k and my first Half Marathon..which for someone who only put herself up for shot put in games (the least movement) means they must work!

Out for a run in the Forest of Dean..you find all kinds of treasures.

 

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Crazy Sexy Cleanse ~ Day 2

As is normal you wake up feeling good (par for the course when you’ve eaten your body weight in vegetables the day before). On the cleanse it recommends you get active each day and my choice of active is always running (well, jogging really), growing up I was NEVER a runner, I didn’t like cross country and was rubbish at 100 metres. It wasn’t until my late 20’s I got the bug and ever since then it’s my go to activity for stress relief, fitness and think time. So I ran first thing just for thirty minutes and then it was off to work on a book i’m writing. Juice and tofu salad packed I made my way to work. Today I want to mention a kind of tea I like….On the cleanse you should avoid caffeine which means no coffee or regular black tea, luckily I had been on a macrobiotic holiday last year and learnt all about this wonder tea. Highly alkalising (the point of the Crazy Sexy life), it tastes not that far away from regular black tea. You can sip tea all day long, so I recommend you try this one as part of the plan.

It’s now 19.45pm and i’m watching Celebrity Big Brother (no-one said the tv had to be pure!) and waiting for bed as I was up early and I don’t eat after 6pm so the sooner I go to bed, the sooner I can get up and eat again ;0)

A nice cuppa!

 

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