Cat Food? Really?

What do you mean, cat food is good for me?

Ok, I may have misled you with my catchy blog name, but it does have some meaning. This blog is a way for me to work through all the masses of information available with regards to the human races health and happiness. I take in – and I know I’m one of many – so much information online, on TV, in the news, in magazines, in books. Some of it seems well-researched and written with intellect. Some is questionable. Some makes me angry (I’m looking at youThe Daily Mail…) Often, it its difficult to know what to believe when so much you read and hear conflicts with others and changes so regularly. So, this is my attempt to clarify – to ingest, digest and excrete this information into nuggets of wisdom that (hopefully) aren’t faeces.

I would also like to stop telling my friends and family (who sometimes question my behaviour) to ‘google it’ instead of explaining my decisions, and point them instead to this blog. Whether or not I’m believed or even listened to, I do want to support my rants suggestions with valid evidence and express them with clarity.

I do like to share what I’ve found out with others, hoping to help them in the same way I believe I’ve been. (I blame years as a sales assistant at Holland & Barrett for this attitude). Likewise, giving credit to all those wonderful people who are trying to help others and have guided me so far is also very important to me.

Finally, for my own sake, it will help me keep track of my own decisions, which are always subject to change…

About the Cat

I’m not really a cat (though I do love sardines and cream…) But my name is Cat (Catherine really, but only when I’m being told off) hence the Cat Food. I’m in my mid-20’s and I’ve been on a rollercoaster of health/weight issues throughout my life.

I love to experiment in the kitchen with whole foods. I try to shop locally, seasonally – and affordably! Living in London means that isn’t always easy. I also love to experiment with fitness – whether it’s pumping iron in the gym, pounding the pavement doing sprints, or in my pyjamas doing yoga. My blog is about all these experiments, and much more. I encourage you to join me, and hopefully become inspired to experiment yourself! After all, YOU are the only statistic that matters when it comes to your health.

In 2014 I became a certified nutritional therapist, and when I’m not blogging or researching I’m trying to get paid to be a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. You may notice some of my scribbles peppered throughout my posts.

Learn more about the design and illustration services I offer here.

cat-pics

 

My story

I grew up the youngest of four, and lived up to the ‘spoilt youngest kid’ stereotype. If I didn’t like something I didn’t have to eat it. If I did like something, I got it. I’m not casting judgement on my parents decisions; they did their best with the knowledge they had. My mum was actually always a proponent of good, Irish home cooking – most of the time – and I was always fond of veggies.

But the fact that I remember distinctly eating double chocolate muffins for breakfast for a good few months in my early teens kind of disturbs me to this day.

Anyway, at around the same time I got braces (14/15 years old) I decided that I needed to lose weight. It’s like it happened over night.

The way I went about it was ridiculous. Diet coke, Special K bars and Snack-a-Jacks. Not finishing meals, hiding food… Oh the little rebel I was. I also developed my type-A personality at this time, dedicating myself to getting straight A’s at GCSE.

It all worked. I lost nearly 3 stone (or ~20 kg) in 2 years and aced my exams.

I also looked like crap, lost a load of hair, developed depression, drifted from friends, upset and scared family members and probably weakened my body in various ways I’m still dealing with now.

I was never diagnosed with an eating disorder, and somehow another switch flicked and when I started Sixth Form College I found comfort in new friends and started enjoying life – and food – again. I still remember my comfort ‘recovery’ foods fondly – toast with (lashings of) pb and jam, dried fruit and nuts, huge bowls of muesli… All what I believed were healthy foods.

I had just started working at Holland and Barrett as a weekend job to fund alcohol and shoes. This was the start of my interest in healthy eating and I discovered I loved advising people on health. I also started going to group classes at the gym with a friend, and I loved rebelling against the labels I had lived with since childhood. ‘Bad at sports’. ‘Last to be picked’.

Fast forward the uni years – I put my healthy eating on hold, and did everything I could to fit in and bond with people over food and drink. I still love doing this today.

Since graduating, I’ve fluctuated between trying to reach optimal health through food and exercise, and trying to balance a healthy emotional and social life.

I’ve dabbled with paleo, low-fat, high-fat, low-carb, high-carb, gluten-free, dairy-free, carb-backloading, intermittent fasting… But honestly I can’t claim to follow any one dietary dogma to the  book.

Along the way I post my discoveries, musings, experiments and stories on this little chunck of the interent, and I hope you enjoy them!

My daily routine

Routine is an obsession of mine. I realise that routine is something “a sequence of actions regularly followed.” (thanks Wiki) but I don’t believe it ever has to be set in stone.

My routine is always evolving, and I like to keep you updated here!

I have quite a few posts on routine, such as the healthy routine interview series, which I conducted with a host of healthy bloggers and learned folk, which you can find here.

My latest updated day in the life can be found here.

Some of my favourite things…

Cats
Reptiles
Marshmallows
90’s Nickelodeon cartoons
Film noir
Eastern European stop motion
Leggings
Whiskey

My food and drink staples

Greens (spinach or kale or spring greens)
Eggs
Fish
Coffee
Soda water
Hoji Cha
Herbal tea
Carrots
Cocoa/raw cacao
Miso
Natto
Nori

My top tips on what’s good for you

Water

I start the day with a pint of water. This is one ritual that hasn’t changed in a good few years, and one that’s easy to do wherever I am. Ideally, I go for warm water, the juice from half a lemon and a 25ml shot of apple cider vinegar.

Yoga

Another virtually daily practise – even if it’s 5 minutes of basic poses (like a sun salutation) I make time for it. I generally follow yoga videos on Youtube (some of my favourites here and here)

Walk

If I don’t get a walk in during the first hour or so of my day, ideally in the sunshine (hah! I live in London…) I feel lethargic for the rest of the day. 20 minutes does the job, but I’m also lucky enough to get plenty of walking in during my day. I work from home but take a walk to a coffee shop to work, and if I’m working at a client’s I walk as much as the way as possible (without turning up a sweaty mess…)

Learn

I listen to an embarrassing number of podcasts (some I list in my resources) and read if I’m on public transport, and always before I go to sleep. I do think information overload is an actual problem in this ‘internet age’ but I also think it’s something that makes us human; the desire to expand our knowledge.

Experiment

I believe in trying things out. Measuring the results. Tweaking things. Trying again. The important thing to remember is that we’re all ‘special snowflakes’ and what works for the herd, may not work for the individual.

I’ve come to like being an outlier (I’ve kind of always been one thanks to the redhead gene) and embrace it in my health decisions.

Gratitude

Whether things are going good or badly, I’ve learnt that being grateful for even the smallest things makes a huge impact on my happiness. I keep a journal where I write what I’m grateful for, but even thinking of something you’re grateful for helps, I reckon. Remember: there’s always someone worse off, so be grateful!

Ok, we’ll see… So what can we expect to find here?

Food

  • This is how I think healthy nutrition looks. This is something I continue to switch up as I discover more, and everyone is different, this is just what does (and doesn’t) work for me.
  • My recipes (you can rely on these being quick, few ingredients, healthy and damn tasty)
  • My research and reviews on supplements for optimal health
  • My verdict on studies about nutrition and how it affects our health

Fitness

  • It’s important for me to see exercise as a fun activity, more like playing than something I was forced to do at school
  • How I learned the fundamentals again, after a decade of inactivity: running, swimming and cycling. Also, what I learned along the way (and continue to discover)
  • Fitting fitness into a busy life
  • How it’s possible to go from weak as a kitten to strong like lion, no gym membership required
  • Stretching like a cat – yoga and other movements that don’t feel like excerise
  • My verdict on studies about fitness, and my reviews of different approaches

Fur

  • Sleep! This is where cats really have it right. I’ve discovered the importance of sleep and want to share my advice and findings on this.
  • Stress in general is something I try to tackle. All it takes is a trip on the London underground for me to de-Zen, but I’m working on it, and hope to offer some gems on this.
  • Again, I’ll give my verdict on studies and reviews of methods I’ve tried to improve my chill-abilities
  • I think if I’m looking after what I put into my body, the same rules should apply with what I put on it – however, I don’t want to look like a feral kitty. (insert lulz)
  • I share my discoveries on natural products for skin, hair and all round grooming
  • How my acne dramatically improved, and what I continue to do for it
  • My verdict on studies about natural versus chemical-based products

I hope you enjoy my ramblings!

More places you can find me:

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