I decided to try the vegan way of life (in terms of foods) to test how beneficial this lifestyle change could be. Every vegan I know raves about being a vegan but I’m the type of person that has to try things for myself. As said in previous posts I could never go completely meatless however, I don’t need meat in my diet daily.
I made a weeks’ worth of chickpea curry with the best kitchen assistant…Pinterest. The prep lasted no longer than 15 mins and the same goes for the cooking time. I tend to not cook so much as I don’t enjoy the cleaning process but I actually enjoyed cooking this time and the clean up was very minimal. I made my mum a batch with basmati rice (somewhat of a tester batch)and she loved it so hopefully, this will keep me going during lunchtime at work for the week.
On the way out the door for work, I picked up a doughnut and debated whether the V on the label stood for vegan and not just vegetarian. After scanning carefully, I was excited to know that breakfast was sorted. I’m not much of a snack person so I avoided crisps and chocolate but during a mini break at work, I had an orange to keep me going until lunch. Lunch 12.30 pm: was the ultimate chickpea curry but instead of rice, I went for pita bread (yes I checked it was vegan during purchase). 5 pm: Turns out I wasn’t as full as I thought; felt so starved and had a load of chips for early dinner.
I can feel my energy levels fading. Another day of chickpea curry; I’m not bored of it yet but I know I’m not taking in enough protein and nutrients as I usually would. Due to this my mood today has been pretty hit & miss. I’m happy, tired and stressed all at once. It’s only Day 2, I’m hoping tomorrow will be a lot better.
I’m feeling more positive, however, today is the last day of chickpea curry…probably a good thing. I’m not tempted by meat which is great however, I don’t like the limitations that come with this dietary option. This definitely isn’t a life change for me.
I don’t feel hungry as such but my stomach is shouting at me and telling me it doesn’t agree with this diet change. Usually, I avoid snacks but now my body is craving crisps and chocolate. I bought peanut M&M’s today knowing I can’t eat them but I just needed to know they were in my bag. I’m not feeling as weak as I did yesterday but I’m getting tired faster than usual, which is not ideal especially in my line of work. Only 1 day left!
The end is here! I feel vibrant this morning. Again still tired af but could be worse. I’m proud I have made it through the 5 days; at times I didn’t think I would make it. 5 days doesn’t seem like a long time but when you’re a foodie like me, it feels like a lifetime. I lost weight which I wasn’t expecting and managed to fight the will to snack which made me realise I’m stronger than I thought but vegan just isn’t for me. I’d happily go vegetarian if need be but that’s the most my body will accept. I applaud vegans for having the strength to check ingredients in products and devote time to this lifestyle.
As you can see that chickpea curry only made it to Day 3 but it made me get inventive for the last 2 days. Usually when I get home from work I’m too tired to eat a full meal however, on this diet all I wanted to do when I got home was eat. This isn’t a lifestyle change for me as I just about made it to Day 5 but I think we can all do with a breather from meat/fish based meals at times.
Recently I’ve been triggered and the old cold-hearted me is waiting to make an epic return. Over the past few years, I’ve been calm, composed and said yes or ok at times when really it isn’t ok. It’s now getting to the point I think I have ‘mug’ written across my forehead.
People have really forgotten I am a Queen.
The past few months have consisted of people calling, messaging, liking posts to get my attention and I’m really not here for it. If I don’t reply to you within a day, take your L’s and leave me alone, and in best case scenario…delete my number.
I’m done. I need new eggs.
People always want to come back into your life whether it’s been 6 months or 6 years. From my experience people tend to come back when they’re bored, looking for attention or curious and that’s what I don’t have time for. ‘I miss you’, ‘Hey, how have you been?’, ‘long time, no speak’. Is this truly necessary? If someone doesn’t want you in their life, take the hint and either give them space and they’ll come back to you or just cut ties completely.
I’m a good friend, partner, person, which is why I tend to give people too many chances. From now onwards everyone gets 1 chance. I’m too grown for the stress, aggro and time wasters. This is why I’ve been doing a lot on my own recently; I genuinely enjoy my own company and it’s refreshing at times. Truth be told, I’d rather be alone than surrounded by nonsense. Luckily, I have a close group of friends and family and that’s enough for me.
People seem to take my kindness for advantage and in the world, we live in today that kindness gets taken for granted. Recently with better mental health, I’ve been able to see clearer and see people in a different light. Due to this, I’m having a life clear up.
If you’ve got bad eggs in your life I advise you let them go. Friends, partners, anyone. If they are no good and use your good spirit for evil, show them the exit. If you are the type of person that likes to unnecessarily creep back into people’s lives, the best thing you could do is remove the temptation and delete/block all communication.
Last time I posted I was 24 and now I’m here as a 25-year-old! I use birthdays more as a way to spend time with friends than to celebrate my actual birthday, however, this year I decided to go all out and have a party (as I’ve never had one and thought why not), go for dinner and basically spend the month doing what I want. 2019 is already a big year for me. Not because I turned 25 but because career and health wise I have accomplished so much and had much more developing to do. I’ve never cared so much about age but I asked myself would hitting the big 25 affect me?
Do I feel any different? Well, I feel and hear the biological clock ticking but I did too when I was 24. Now, I’m just more accepting of ‘what will be will be’ however, that’s due to maturity and being a realistic person. I don’t feel old or young, I’m just out here living.
Am I where I want to be in life? Well as I said in a previous post if you asked me years ago where I’d be now, I would have told you with child, with a partner and probably working in an office. My life is the complete opposite to that and I am honestly grateful for it. I’m 100% not ready for a child, especially with how excited I am to drink and travel this summer. I’m single but happy single; too busy to feel sorry for myself and job wise, I’m feeling better than ever. I finally found a job I love, I don’t even have an office and I’m constantly upskilling myself and gaining qualifications. Career and academically I have exceeded my own expectations. So overall am I where I want to be in life? well, my health and happiness have much improved over the years and that’s all I could ask for. Again, as I said in a previous post I have stopped planning my life, so I am not focused on relationships, kids, needing a mortgage right now…everything will come into place.
This leads nicely onto me asking myself what my goals are by the time I’m 30. Well, I’m no longer planning my future but I do tend to build on my happiness and do what makes me, me. When I’ve saved enough, I will get on the property ladder. If I see someone I like, I will shoot my shot. If I need a breakaway, I will go away or travel to the UK. Sometimes the unknown is an adventurous feeling and leaves some excitement in life.
How different was life for you when you hit 25?
Usually, when we feel like rubbish we are drawn towards rubbish food (all the fats & carbs), like heartbroken Bridget Jones with a tub of ice cream but realistically binging is the last thing we should be doing.
When you’re already feeling down and out fast food and snacking lessens motivation and changes the ‘can do’ attitude to a lazy why bother. From my experience, working constantly and having no time for myself I would grab a microwave meal or foods that were cheap and easy (McDonald’s, Burger King etc) but then I began putting on weight. So by this point, I wasn’t only stressed and negative due to work and other issues, I was then self-conscious, losing confidence and becoming anti-social because I was no longer comfortable in my own skin. This then turned into a cycle hard to break.
There are many studies out there that say junk food is linked to depression. If you think about it, fruit and vegetables provide our brain and immune system with the vitamins and balance we need whereas junk food have chemicals and we don’t necessarily know what’s in them; ingredients being somewhat addictive.
Healthy eating for me and many others I know have made a big lifestyle difference. I am currently trying a 1200 calorie diet for the month, which is not as easy as it sounds. On top of that, the cost of living healthy in comparison to cheap thrills is crazy. I know numerous people who have literally cut the crap, gone vegan and never felt better; glowing in fact. I can never go vegan. It’s really not for me but substituting takeaways and snacks for smoothies, rice cakes, salads etc has lifted my mood and made me feel a lot better within my own body. Foods like avocado, turkey, types of fish are proven to reduce anxiety, stress and depression (all foods I eat). They improve the state of mind, boost energy levels and are said to be positive for chemicals within the brain.
Changing your diet is incredibly hard; I’ve failed many times in the past but challenge yourself to a health swap for a week and see how you get on. If you can change your eating habits at least 2 days a week, you’ll be able to continue with a healthy life no problems.
I love to travel. When I was at University I made a Bucket list and was adamant on going to Iceland after graduating. I didn’t care who with or how I just knew I deserved it after all the stress and hard work. So I went to Iceland a few months after graduating and loved it. For over 10 years now, I’ve always wanted to go to China. I still haven’t pursued that trip but I’m sure I’ve got enough time to make it.
Personally, I like to travel on average 3 times a year, even if its a little work trip. If I’m in a different country enjoying myself, it’s a holiday for me. A friend and I discovered we liked to travel a lot, we get along well and we’ve been travel buddies for years (she’s also my best friend which helps). Over the years we’ve discovered it’s better to travel as a couple instead of a group, to avoid hassle and drama. Having a travel buddy is important; travelling, in general, is important for your sanity and mental health. The bother of travelling to and from work, work itself, family, relationships, life, in general, can be a strain but taking time out, whether it’s 2 days or 2 weeks makes a massive difference.
If you prefer travelling alone or would like to, I believe that’s highly beneficial. When you are with someone else you need to come to an agreement on what you’re both going to do, where you’re staying, where to eat, but when you’re travelling alone, you just wake up, get ready and go. Not too long ago I travelled to Amsterdam alone; my first solo trip that didn’t involve work. I absolutely loved it. Due to always being extra organised I went with a list of everything I wanted to see, restaurants to try and booked a few tours; with an extra person, I don’t think I would have seen most the things I did.
Most people don’t like travelling alone due to fear of being alone, looking like an obvious tourist or being too embarrassed to eat alone, get lost alone or try and speak a different language and feel stupid. Don’t let these emotions stop you from accomplishing something so life-changing. You may have anxiety travelling alone (like I did with my very first work trip) but I promise you will come home with such confidence and want to do it again. I started off small and would advise that at the beginning before venturing out towards long haul destinations alone, but with your travel buddy go anywhere and everywhere.
Self-esteem. Self-confidence. Self-love.
It is important for us to understand our own beauty within and our own health needs and wants in order to booth body confidence. Body confidence comes from more than what we look like; it’s how we feel and how we carry ourselves.
Weight loss/gain, relationships/friendships, work, virtually anything will lead to us losing our body confidence. It doesn’t help to live in a world with Twitter, Instagram and everyone’s opinion on the internet telling us what we should look like and how we should be living. Black girls are told to hide their natural hair, men are made to hide their feelings; these opinions and elements chip away at our confidence. We don’t want to be seen as vulnerable or make people feel awkward but there’s nothing wrong with rocking an Afro or a man crying. The moment you stop caring about what other people think and begin doing you, you gain part of yourself back. When you suffer from anxiety, depression or any type of mental illness it takes your confidence, whether it takes 9% or 90%. Some people (like I did) stop being social, stop going to the gym; some start comparing themselves to Instagram models, celebrities and what their friends are doing. Others begin to change their attitude, the way they dress or the stop wearing make-up. This is okay because these are tangible elements of us we can always get back.
When I lost my body confidence, I also lost all motivation. In order to gain it back, I had to think more in-depth about the point in which I stopped exercising and became anti-social. Once I touched on the problem, I was able to work out a solution. As a solution I would write down all the things I wanted to do. Whether it’s to try a new look or to get out of the house more and set myself a deadline to do this. If you do this note down how you’re going to do it, who with and what could be considered a barrier and why. Most importantly, try and stick to the plan. Tell a friend or family member so they can support you and give you a little push that is sometimes need.
Other ways to boost confidence is knowing your worth and loving yourself. To do this, you need to take care of your well-being. As mentioned in my first post ‘Anxiety’ fitness & travel have health benefits in terms of changing moods, behaviours and strengthening the mind. Fitness is a big influence. A few months after working out you may feel like a new person. Changing to a healthier lifestyle, again will change your mindset and make you feel like a new person.
Say it into existence. I will go out today. I will dress nicely. I will attend that birthday dinner on Saturday I was going to flake out of. Take a chance in life.
University? Apprenticeship? Work? Unsure?
It’s ok to not know what your next step is. Even when I was at University I didn’t know. I didn’t know whether I made the right choice, whether I should have got a job and worked my way up the ladder or if I was good enough for the career I wanted. When leaving College you are guaranteed to have teachers, family, friends, even social media telling you what you should be doing. My clear and blunt advice to you is this: Don’t listen. Leaving Sixth Form, I was young and did what was expected of me; to go to University and leave with a degree. Especially being in a black household, University is seen as the only choice, as if it makes you elite. I always wondered what my life would have been like if I did what I wanted to do.
I strongly advise you to think about what you want to do with your future and work backwards. Sounds strange right? People around you will back off if they know you have a plan in place. For example, if you want to be an English teacher, do your research on what qualifications are needed and what routes you can go down. There’s always more than one way of getting to the end goal. Talk to other teachers and people within the education sector. University is not the only route for this role. Keeping with the example, you may look into Apprenticeships, Vocational courses, Volunteer work and Internships. Alternatively, you can take a year out and teach abroad (look at Gap 360). Spend time understanding the role and if its truly something you want to do. If you need to take a year out in order to find out what you want, that’s ok; you need to find your feet.
If you are thinking about University, think about the variety of courses around your chosen field. I ended up graduating from a Hospitality course but there were hundreds to chose from, from BA Event Management to BA (Hons) Travel & Tourism; some Universities offer more than others. Picking the right University for you is very important. You need to think about whether you would rather stay at home and commute, move out, go to University or do Open University. There’s so much out there. Whatever you choose, once you settle into it you’ll be looking for a sense of belonging. I went to two Universities. At my first, I was surrounded by people I already knew, loved the nightlife but I was commuting from home and felt no connection to the course or the career possibilities it would provide. When I changed University I found my sense of belonging. I knew no one there but left with new life long friends, lived on campus, got into the different nightlife and environment and loved every moment of it. The University you pick will shape your future however, like me and thousands of others you can transfer and put your studies on hold if you need to.
Be open to all options and opportunities. I’ll repeat again, start with research and stop listening to what everyone else wants from you. Be selfish and focus on yourself; only you can create the path for your future.
If you need a mentor/coach based on the topics above, please contact me directly via Let’s Talk or Instagram Solobutterflyy.
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Graduate scheme? Job? A black hole?
The time of the year when every lecturer and parent is making it seem as if getting a job in your chosen field is a piece of cake.
The uncertainty after University is real. As soon as University is over we are expected to find a role within the subject we have graduated in. If you graduate in Business Marketing, you are expected to at least be a Marketing Assistant; if you graduate in Hotel Management like I did, you are expected to run a Hotel because apparently, it’s that easy. It is so easy for every adult to say what you should be doing because it sounds like a good plan to them. Well, let’s just say, even at age 24-25, 90% of graduates I know are still trying to find their place in the world. Some have chosen gap years…that have lasted 3 years, others chose to push back adulting and do Masters Degree due to not finding work or not knowing what to do. I started applying for work and graduate schemes two months before I left University. I believe I applied for well over 200. Unfortunately, no Advisors/Staff on campus informed me or my intake that we were applying for graduate schemes at the wrong time. In my head I thought ‘ok it’s March, if I apply now I could start in the Summer’ but that wasn’t the case. By the time I started looking at graduate schemes I had missed deadlines and would have had to wait another few months to apply for the next group intake.
Point– Research graduate schemes and find out the opening and closing times for applications.
Fortunately, I was pretty confident back in University and instead of waiting for opportunities, I emailed companies directly. This led to me finding paid work experience in Central London, starting the very next day after completing University.
The truth we need to take into account when searching is: the location we are looking to work in, the economy and timescale. We must also question what level/role we want to start in. Even today, with all my qualifications and years of experience I still tend to pick entry-level roles because rejection plays heavily on my mind; entry-level roles provide a sense of security.
I advise you to start thinking about your career towards the end of second year. Gain knowledge, base your dissertation on the area you are interested to go into. The research you find for your dissertation we show how you actually feel towards the role you are looking into; whether you are passionate, find it boring, find some hidden statistics. Make use of your career advisors on campus and network amongst lecturers and students. There’s always one lecturer that you click and have banter with. Question them. Ask what they have done in their career, who they know, what they think about your career plan or lack of career plan so far. Network on social media as there are always people looking to hire or collaborate.
You don’t have to go straight into a career. Think about travelling, work experience/internships or simply combine the two and work casually abroad. Give yourself enough time to work out what path you want to go down and write out your plan. Don’t be afraid or feel guilty to change/amend the plan multiple times.
If you need a mentor/coach based on the topic above, please contact me directly via Instagram (Solobutterflyy) or the Let’s Talk button.
If you need assistance creating or changing your CV and with Interview techniques, please contact Mimi’s CV; Instagram mimiscvs or email firstname.lastname@example.org