Most of November has been about Lockdown Lite or Lockdown V2.0 and hasn't it felt different to the original version?! With more shops open (due to being classified as 'essential') and it only being four weeks but also as it is winter and cold, no sitting outside, or enjoying the spring flowers in the woods. Plus, my son has left home and my daughter is still away at uni - I have a quiet house! I have not made banana bread, filled the freezer, done any extra cleaning or queued outside a supermarket. Life almost feels normal - I say almost, there is nothing normal about 2020. After I wrote this intro we then got our tiers announced. Oh dear. Is this actually just Lockdown V2.5?
In the spring I really enjoyed dressing up and posting on Instagram, even if I wasn't going anywhere, it isn't so much fun when I can't wear a summer dress! Most of November has seen me wearing jeans or leggings and warm knitwear.
Anyway here is a little round up of what I have been doing to 'be fifty and fab' this month. I am also sharing some useful info - a menopause survey which I'd love you to help with and an interactive activity to help improve our understanding of food product labelling and your input will give better guidance to food regulators!
Menopause survey - can you help?
A while back I mentioned a new company I have been working with, Bia.Care will be offering tailored menopause advice and education in the form of workshops and private consultations at an affordable cost. They are busy preparing for launch but have asked if I would share their research survey, are you prepared to find 5 minutes or so to complete it? The details ...
Bia.Care are collaborating with Imperial College on a research survey of menopause care in the UK. You can help by taking the short survey and by sharing the survey with others who may like to contribute. All responses will be anonymised but if you would like to say more you can sign up to be interviewed at the end of the questionnaire. Every response we collect will help to improve menopause care in the UK.
You can take part in the survey here or you can visit their website here to find out more about Bia.Care and sign up for details of their launch.
Improving menopause care in the UK is so important - if you do decide to take part, thank you so much!
A day out in Bath
Earlier this month I went to see my daughter. Don't read on if you are a stickler for the rules but don't judge me! Mental health is just as important as Covid risk and we are very close and a whole month without mummy/daughter time wasn't an option. But we did 'stay safe' and use our common sense. I am also in the fortunate position of being tested weekly due to a new volunteer role at the care home. We had a picnic and a walk at Prior Park Gardens in Bath and it was a prefect tonic. I wore my practical waterproof jacket from TargetDry, nothing fancy or stylish particularly but it is a fab colour and does keep my dry!
A couple of thoughts on healthy eating this month, especially as we all start heading into the January new year / new me.
Firstly my (now) friends Jo and Anya have joined forces and set up an eduction programme called Menu & Mind. Jo is a natural chef and Anya is an NLP counsellor. Fact, to lose weight and get healthier, we need to tackle what we eat as well as our mindset and our understanding of nutrition and moving more. Menu & Mind is a five-week challenge with the option of joining the monthly membership group. I love being part of this community because it keeps me focused on a healthy balance around what I eat and what I am thinking! If you'd like to find out more about Menu & Mind then follow this link - the next challenge starts in early January.
And while we are talking healthy eating, I wanted to mention another initiative to you. Health Claims Unpacked is a project funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Food and is being led by Professor Rodney Jones of the University of Reading. Claims made on food products are backed by science but they are complicated to understand! And if you want to eat well and improve your health, understanding the health claims is essential (we learnt about reading packets on Menu & Mind). The aim of this project is to provide guidance to regulators and the food industry on wording health claims so it is clearer.
Would you get involved? It is an opportunity to contribute to scientific research and have your say on the information you see on food products. The activities on the digital platform take about 15 minutes to complete and the project is running until the end of the year. You can join in here - Health Claims Unpacked Interactive Website.
But what about exercise?
Another fabulous opportunity came my way a few days ago. First of all let me remind my lovely readers - I am not keen on exercise! I look for any excuse to get out of it! But it is a necessary evil and it does, without doubt, make me feel better. I feel better because the endorphins exercise produces are good for us and our mental health and because having a routine and getting outside helps motivation generally. If I exercise, I get more done!
I was contacted by Drew Gatherer who is adapting his PT business to be mostly online, needs must with the rubbish 2020 and gym closures. But is it a better option anyway? If I am working out at home I can reduce the time it all takes me. No travel time, no waiting for machines or weights to come free. Plus my personal programme can be written for the length of time that suits me (and 30-45 minutes up to three times per week is my preference).
I won't go into all the details yet - but I love what Drew is offering. He has his 'Thirty 4U' online exercise class - this runs at 9 am Monday to Saturday on Zoom and costs £4 per class or 10 classes for £35. More personal than a YouTube video, easier to find, and you know exactly what to do and where to find the class. He also offers a full Online PT service, he will write a programme specifically for your needs, goals and time commitments. And he makes sure you are fully accountable and motivated to actually do it! And support you with nutrition and keeping track of your diet if you need it.
I am going to do a one month trial with Drew and tell you exactly how I get on via my blog. I think what I will do is add a para to my blog post each week - specifically about my training that week, did I do it, how did I get on? Accountability is key for me. Then when I have completed my trial I will do a full review on my blog. I can't be the only one that struggles with exercise motivation?
So here I am publicly committing to do this - and just before Christmas too! But I decided why wait? Waiting for me would just be another excuse to avoid getting on with it.
I'd love some extra-accountability so if you fancy getting involved then do take a look at Drew's website here My Online Personal Training or send me an email and let me know you want to get fitter and have some accountability too. Christmas is only one day after-all and we won't be doing much socialising this year!
A quick visit to London
I did manage a very short and very essential trip into London, I needed to see my HRT specialist. I took the opportunity to have a wander in deserted Marylebone and around Oxford Street. I'm so glad I did, it was lovely, but quite sad to reflect on what the hell has just happened in 2020.
Don't miss my Christmas gift ideas blog post - you can find it here. I have tried to support small businesses, some local to me, most UK based, you might find some inspiration. Have you put your tree up yet? Ours doesn't go up until my daughter is home for her birthday on the 13th!
I'd better go, this has been a longer post than intended, if you got this far, thank you!
Night sweats! Before I go, one fabulous message from a reader I wanted to share with you was this amazing feedback for the Baavet wool duvet. If you have seen my previous blog posts then you will know that swapping to a wool duvet to help night sweats is a personal recommendation and not a blog collaboration but that the company I purchased my wool duvet from have been really kind and given me a discount code to share. You can read my thoughts here and the discount is 20% off using code F&F20.
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Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about health, menopause, fitness, beauty and style with a focus on the over 50's.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my 50s. I started this blog in 2016 with the purpose of helping other women at this stage of life. I’m delighted that my blog has grown to over 13k visitors per month. Visit my Work with Me page and request my Media Kit for details of product reviews, blogging services and social media content creation.
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