Tis the season to be jolly…

Hello lovely ladies and gents,

It’s been a over a week since I last posted but I have a valid excuse.. the festive season is upon us and I’ve been out and about so much that days have just flown by!

So what have I been up to? Well, the last pinkbananashoes adventure of 2012 was hula hooping, and let me tell you – it. was. awesome! I officially have a new girl crush on my professional fire hooping teacher (I don’t remember this being an option at my career talk!?) I went along to the class one cold and dark Monday with my friend Elaine. We sprinted through a very dodgy looking estate in Vauxhall (very pleased I wasn’t by myself)  to find about 30 assorted people of all different levels hooping away in a school dance hall. Any shame faced guilt at being late was pushed aside by the lovely Anna who gave us a hoop each and sent us off to find a space (we passed on the middle to find a couple at the back. The great thing about the class was how informal it was, we had enough one to one attention to ask questions but in general we were shown a ‘move?’ and then left to practice. Turns out that there’s no one way to wiggle and, ok so I couldn’t spin it round my neck (yet!) but by the end of the class I was pretty certain that my career in the circus was still possible – and if nothing else, I DEFINITELY want to be able to rock a hoop as my party piece. This is one happiness activity I’d totally go back to.

And so it’s only 13 days till Christmas!

I was thinking about writing a piece about how to stay healthy over the silly season, but as I did my research about ‘the top 10 tips to make sure you don’t overindulge’ I just rolled my eyes. Why? Because, I LOVE Christmas. I love Christmas so much that it’s almost embarrassing. I start getting excited from the 1st December when shops start to trickle in the first Christmas tune to subliminally make you part with your cash early. Shamefully, I literally squeak with joy the first time I see the coca-cola advert. Holidays are coming… eek! I know that’s it’s over-commerialised and in times recession perhaps I should be as gloomy as the economic forecasting, but I just can’t be. For me, it makes the crappness of winter worthwhile.

Ok, so I admit it. I’m not a Christian and for me Christmas is about fun, food, family and friends and not the birth of baby Jesus (sorry if that upsets anyone and if it does you should probably stop reading as this post doesn’t get any deeper.) 

Anyway, for me to give me top tips for a healthy Christmas would be very hypocritical – although in a vague attempt to keep in line with all my hard work here, I’ll try to stick to my five a day and try to stop at only a handful of chocolates instead of a box. (I’ve already got ‘gym guilt’ but I’m pushing that to the bad of my mind till January when I’m very aware that I’ll be another statistic of people dragging their slighter bigger bums through the door.) 

So in tribute to my ridiculous love of the season, here are my top 10 favourite things about Christmas. This is probably not an exhaustive list and not necessarily in the right order but counting down… 

10. Christmas Sandwiches – Exceptionally delicious yet totally unacceptable to eat outside of December. Me and my siblings always manage one at about 10pm on Christmas day, fighting over the good bits of what’s left of Christmas dinner. In fact I should add general Christmas gluttony to this point – Mince pies, Christmas cake, mulled wine. mmm.

9. Christmas songs – Miriah, Bing, Wham. Oh man, I love them all. Michael Buble croons away often in my flat over December much to boyfriends gritted teeth. he panda’s to my ridiculous Christmas love.

8. Ice skating – my friends will tell you that I hate the snow (bah humbug honestly) I can’t stand the white stuff, i hate the cold and it’s just a pain the the arse. But I love Christmas Ice skating – this year we went to Somerset house. Awesome. The one time of year I wish I was Canadian… or just good at ice skating.

7. General festive cheer – everyone gets a bit nicer including cabbies, tube staff, shop keepers – all cheerier! (Bus drivers remain stubbornly joyless. fact.)

6. Acceptable alcoholism – Monday night drinking – Why not! it’s Christmas!

5. Decorating the tree – it’s always bee one of my favourite things to do. Mull up some wine and get on the Christmas tunes. Except this year when me and boyfriend accidentally bought a tree about 1/3 bigger than last year and spent about an hour moving our furniture around trying to fit it in. Me in hysterics and lovely boyf trying to solve the issue. Our living room is now a shrine to the massive tree.

4. Christmas lights – making even the crappiest parts of London look lovely.

3. Christmas sparkle – oh glitter how tacky you are for 11 months of the year. Come December, bring it on!

2. Christmas movies/Christmas TV Specials –  Miracle of 34th Street, Elf, White Christmas, Friends. A little bit of magic which just feels wrong at any other time of year. 

1. Presents!… ha. only joking. No. 1 is my friends and family. Especially as I now have a nephew and niece (and one more on the way!) Christmas is especially magic again. And I think that this time of year, religious or not, makes you appreciate the people in your life. So for all the parties and the inevitable hang overs. This is what I enjoy most.

So there you have it, a rather self-indulgent and frivolous last post for 2012.  I hope you have a great time – eat, drink (in moderation.. or at least give your liver a break by drinking enough water) and be merry! It’s been a really great experience starting to write this blog and I thank all of you who have reached out and let me know that you enjoy my ramblings. This is my last post till the New Year (providing that the Mayan’s aren’t right and we’re all about to expire.) 









Suffering from too much fun? Put down the Prozac and eat some of these..

Finally summer has come to London! Getting out into the sunshine makes all the difference to your state of mind we all know that, somehow the world looks so much shinier, people are friendlier and somehow its appropriate to find a beer garden regardless what day it is. How were you enjoying the sunshine this weekend? I had a brilliant time catching up with friends, heading out to a free music festival and generally drinking a few too many cheeky vimtos.. which left me feeling a bit meloncholy on Sunday night. (Alcohol is a known depressant ggr) So I decided to see if there were any food which could help counter the affects of too much fun… Image

1. Bananas – they’re high in vitamin B6, essential for the creation of serotonin and dopamine. Stress depletes vitamin B6, and low levels of this can potentially lead to depression

Now, there are all sorts of things which people say you can do with banana skins – most relate to (unsuccessful) teenage kicks in my experience (just me and my friends?!) , but research also says that if you boil up some banana skins for 15 mins and drink the water once cooled the result is supposed to be a banana-y-camomile tea which packs a serotonin punch… now, in the name of research I tried this and I can tell you that if you boil a banana skins, it tastes just like… boiled banana skins. But if this floats your boat then you’ll no doubt be bouncing off the ceiling of happiness.

2. Popcorn – Although we’re now all trained that carbs are bad, there is proof that once eaten carbs release serotonin into the brain. But instead of reaching for that packet of crisps its better to have a bag of popcorn because they’re low in fat and high in carbs. They’re also more quickly digested into the stomach so perfect if you need a ‘happy high’ quickly.

3. Dark leafy greens (Ma was right, you should always eat your greens) – lettuce may be the dieters food of choice but its got little to recommend it nutritionally, however rocket, spinach and watercress are all high in magnesium which is responsible for relaxing muscles and helping the body cope with stress!! Pick up a crayfish and rocket sandwich for lunch and you may be literally laughing, as crayfish is packed with selenium which helps ward off depression. (I’ll never look at that Pret sandwich in the same way)

4.Eggs – not only packed with protein but they also give a contain the de-stressing amino acid taurine, which inhibits adrenaline in the body and helps your body eliminate the stress hormone cortisol. The result = the feeling that nothing can affect you.

5. Coffee –  WOO! Its official ladies and gentlemen, coffee is not bad for your health. (Break in writing while she goes to boil the kettle for the third cup of the day)  Research from the Innsbruck Medical University, Austria, used scans to confirm that caffeine stimulates the part of your brain governing short-term memory and attention. (Although if caffeine makes you feel ill then please don’t force that latte down yourself on my account.)

So, there you go.. eat yourself happier. What do you think? Do you have any other suggestions?

I’d love to hear your feedback on this or any of my older posts.

Enjoy the sunshine!

More soon.