Ouchy head | Simply Marcia

Shortcuts and top tips to a more healthy, mindful, positive and energised you!

Ouchy head

Hungover in other words 🙁 Boo hiss, why do I do it?

I start out to have one (yes, one!) very civilised g&t – a post getting-kids-to-bed and reward for having survived another day of parenthood/working/domestic stuff/SUMMERHOLIDAYS (!!) but instead this ‘one’ turns in to a giant mid-week g&t bingette (how? what? gulp!). Am awakened by a roaring, pounding head being held in a vice-like grip, gritty eyes and a dry mouth – whyyyyyy! What a picture of healthy glowiness I very much am not …

There are so many hangover ‘cures’ out there, but I think that whilst age doesn’t necessarily affect my ability to say ‘no’ to ‘just one more’, age has given me plenty of time to figure out what actually works for me. So my hangover cure consists of:

more sleep
dark glasses
fried egg sandwich (with tonnes of ketchup)
more ibuprofen
persuading partner to administer medicinal head massage
more sleep
more water
hot soak in the bath
a large g&t

Which is ok if your hangover happens on a Saturday or Sunday, however week day hangover’s are in a completely different league 🙁 and pretty much you just have to work through them. Think tonnes of water, a day’s supply of ibuprofen, whispering (no loud voices please), grabbing a full on carb-protein hit en route to work, grabbing super quick power-snoozettes when sat on toilet or when on train, and declaring that wearing dark glsses indoors is ‘so now’ … It’s the only way (for me).

According to science though, there are some little tricks that might work:

1. eat some honey (apparently the fructose helps with low blood sugars the morning after the night before)
2. drink in some electrolytes (these restore the much-needed salts in your body – exercise or energy drinks are good for this – or, good old fashioned Dioralyte sachets)
3. do some light exercise (fresh air and a light stroll help clear your head) *
4. eat a banana (when you drink, alcohol depeletes your body of potassium which the good ol’ banana contains – hooray!)

* number 3 is not for me until at least 3pm on hangover day

Ultimately, all of the above could be avoided if only I knew how to say no!

Psssst, this is possibly not appropriate having berated hangovers, but, if you happen to be on a budget then Aldi do a great London gin for only £13.99/L 🙂 just saying …


Be a happy natural :)

If like me, you like a bit of a bargain when it comes to body care products but equally want to pamper yourself with products that are full of good stuff for both you, your kids and the environment, then Happy Naturals is for youuuuu!

Their products smell super-lovely and ‘clean’ and their body scrub is brilliant. They’re full of good stuff and free of nasties like parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate and mineral oils – which means that whilst you won’t get the usual bubbles in your bath, you will get super softening and amazingly scented skin 🙂

And, their products are currently on offer at Sainsburys – happy, natural day!

happy naturals

Are you getting enough VD?!

Now the buzz words this week are VD!! … Umm, stop! No need to head to the clinic I’m talking about Vitamin D and we need to be ready for the cold.

Yes I know we’ve just had the hottest day of the year but if you’re like me and like to indulge in a little bit of John Snow role play from Game of Thrones… then you will know the phrase ‘Winters Coming’, and that preparation is key.

As well as needing a heavy woolly coat to keep out the draughts in the coming cold months you will need to up your intake of vitamin D ie sunshine, fish and eggs! That doesn’t sound so bad 🙂

If you don’t want to simply pop a pill, then check out these recipes to get that healthy sunshine feeling all year long… 🙂


kw 954

Exercise excuses

Umm, so the thing is, I don’t really do exercise. I mean I walk super-fast, shaking my booty as I go, as I’m pretty much late for EVERYTHING. And I walk the dog. I bend up and down when hanging out the washing (good for your waist no?!). I have bags dumped on me left, right and centre by the kids when I pick them up from school (I AM the archetypal laden-down, harassed-looking, bag-carrying mummy – aka slave) – great for your arms. I take the kids swimming and kind of drift around, with my 8-year old non-swimmer-child firmly attached to me (umm hello weight-bearing and water-based exercise? No?!).

It’s that for me, both the idea of and the actuality of going to and participating in an actual exercise class (of any description) is like the biggest turn off ever for me. Anything with the label ‘exercise’ will elicit an immediate harrumph and shaking of head from me. As Mr Cowell would say, “it’s a no from me”.
I’m not massively lazy; I mean, I’m actually very, very busy (obvs) and there’s always stuff to do (usually requiring me to be in a stationary and sedentary position), and quite frankly, if I’m being very, very honest, I’m just not that bothered about doing exercise.

Yes, I know about all of the health benefits blah blah blah – I have lived a bit you know. Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be super-lean and firm and all that stuff, I just live in a continuous state of delusion that one day, all the careful and healthy eating will (actually) pay off and without the help of even one stomach crunch or leg squat, I’ll wake up looking super trim …

Ok, so back to reality. I’m 44. My body is kind of changing I think. Weight is definitely harder to shift than it was even 5 years ago. Which means less calories are needed (what?!! crap) and I realise a ‘must try harder’ attitude is needed.

A quick visual assessment of my body (which I do love – just a teeny bit firmer please) indicates that legs and tummy are the areas to focus on – think waist down. So my challenge (which partner is (annoyingly) helping to enforce) is to basically do a shed-load of said leg squats, stomach crunches, planks etc. EVERY day and at EVERY empty-space opportunity. Think whilst waiting for the kettle to boil, when brushing teeth (leg squats only for this one – am thinking teeth brushing whilst stomach crunching could be taking multi-tasking a step too far) or whilst waiting for the bath to fill up. The golden rule though: never in public – empty-space opportunities such as waiting for the bus to arrive, or waiting for the kids to hot-foot it out of the school gates are not the time.

If, like me, you need a Mr (or Mrs) Motivator to keep you going, then have you come across The Body Coach? He’s on a one-man mission to get us all lean, clean and super-hot. Follow him on Facebook for free (and quick) toning-up tips and recipe ideas 🙂

No more exercise excuses!!



If you ever need to pack in a massive punch of nutritious body-boosting loveliness, then head to your supermarket and grab youself some ruby-red pomegranate beauties. These Mediterranean (it’s that Med diet thing again!) fruits are not only a spectacular colour but they’re delicious and nutrient rich and are briliant for your overall health.

They’ve been medicinally used for thousands of years to help fight against heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation and some cancers, including prostate cancer. They’re also a good source of fibre and contain vitamins A, C and E, iron and other antioxidants – umm what’s not to love about these proper little nasties fighters?!

If you’re not sure how to deseed and collect the super-red pomegranate seeds and have a couple of mins to spare, check out this Youtube video clip of a very enthusiastic pomegranate deseederer!

For a good old nutrition boost, try adding pomegranate seeds to breakfast cereals and porridge (I’m thinking with overnight yoghurt-soaked oats), cold dishes and salads. They also work really well with lamb and Moroccon inspired dishes – in fact, check out Nigella’s warm shredded lamb salad with mint and pomegranate – delish 🙂


Super food and clean eating confusion

Is it me? I mean, I want to be healthy and really would love to adopt this new ‘clean eating’ thing that seems to be everywhere right now (MANY celebs are jumping on the ‘no-sugar-no-added-stuff’ band-wagon and publishing clean eating cookbooks with the promise that you too, can be more like them) but, I’m not sure if you can teach an old dog new tricks? Or at least, not too many new tricks?

I LOVE my food. I’m a little truffle-pig if left too long (who am I kidding – length of time is irrelevent) on my own near edible stuff. I really can’t be trusted and think Will Power is an actual person (rather than a form of personal restraint – what’s that anyway?). But, I recognise as I get a bit (ahem) older, that my metabolism is definitely not what it was – it really needs a good kick up the (too large) bottom.

I’ve done the whole Slimming World thing (which does work actually), I’ve just kind of been there, done that, and now want to eat well with no naughty, secret and scarily huge amounts of sugar in fat free stuff. I’ve managed to get my head around overnight fat-free natural (no added nasties) yoghurty-oaty-fruity breakfasts (I can do recipies with three ingedients). I literally bung in to a container a handful of fruit (whatever’s to hand and about to walk itself out of our fruit bowl), a handful of plain porridge oats and a few dollops of fat-free plain yoghurt. Chuck it in the fridge overnight and hey presto – an amazingly simple but super delish and super satisfying breakfast. You can find some other recipe ideas here 🙂

Having got to grips with this easy-peasy breakfast changer, and on a bit of a ‘get me’ high, thought I ought to continue my pursuit of super-food clean eating … Including more (lots more) green stuff in your diet is relatively easy to do (think kale, spinach and watercress) – I just bung it in a bowl ‘on the side’, however, some clean living superfoods, much as I’d love to include them in my diet, will cripple your weekly food shop finances; for one recipe I loved the sound of I needed (amongst others) the following 5 ingredients (that sadly I don’t have lurking in my (not) beautifully stocked pantry): medjool dates, cacao, chia, coconut oil, maple syrup – at Mr Sainsburys, I would have had less than 50p change from a £20 note.

Eeeek. I’m thinking there must be simpler (and cheaper) alternatives? Our grandparents ate smaller and quite simple meals but they were very balanced – lots of veg, some carb and some protein. The term super food has become a bit of a buzz word and is so confusing – aren’t all pure, natural and unadulterated foods a bit super?

So if, like me, you’re a bit dazed and confused by the whole super food thing, then then article from the Independent might help 🙂

Happy super-fooding!



A ripe old age …

There’s a cute little village (Acciaroli if you’re interested) in Southern Italy with more centenarians than anywhere else in the world! Lots of healthy old folk living a lovely long time and generally not suffereing many of the ills that befall the rest of us (think heart diesase and Alzheimer’s).

Apparently, these guys and gals put their longevity down to a mash-up of the following:

  • keeping active – walking is best for longevity according to these wise old birds – no gym bunnies here
  • physical pleasures – sex – and lots of it!
  • good sleep – but set that alarm early – this lot properly get up and go!
  • being sociable
  • fruit, veggies, fish, olive oil – think Mediterranean diet but no loading up your plate – these guys eat small portions
  • occasional fasting – apparently cutting back can help you live longer, and reduce the chances of developing nasties like heart disease and cancer
  • very little added salt and sugar in their diet – ditto processed foods – these guys and girls like to make their own – even in their 90’s!
  • red wine (no Friday night binge-drinking though) – think balance and moderation
  • simplify your life to reduce stress – no mod-cons or high-tech stuff for this lot – they like it pure and simple – and sloooooow – and it clearly works!
  • regular health-checks – think occasional check-ins with your GP.

I guess the message to take away from this is that we don’t have to be pounding away on the treadmill at every given opportunity, that fad diets may come and go and that actually, the key to a good, happy, healthy and (possibly) long life is probably about simplicity. Stripping back and cutting out (some of) the crap. Giving ourselves a bit of a break. Stepping away from the rat-race (when we can).

Instead, taking pleasure from life’s simple pleasures … and in the process, finding contentment (and good health!).


Caio! x

Sunny side up!

I don’t care too much about the age-old conundrum ‘which came first, the chicken or the egg?’ – I just know that I love both! We have 6 cluckety and happy free-roaming rescue hens and they are super-good girls, laying us beautiful (and THE most tasty) eggs every day; the yolks are almost neon-yellow and make shop-bought eggs look a bit sad and pale in comparison. The simple pleasure of collecting freshly laid eggs in a little hay nest never leaves you (no matter what age you are!) and nothing beats the joy of tucking in to these perfectly formed little protein and engery-packed free-rangers!

As well as being one of the best forms of complete protein (which is a really good thing – esp. for vegetarians), eggs are full of other super-good things: essential amino acids, heart-healthy fat, vitamin D (keeps bones healthy and helps your body absorb calcium), vitamin B12 (for your metabolic and nervous systems) and iodine (for your thyroid and metabolism).

Not only that, but the humble egg is sooooo versatile to cook with, either on it’s own (scrambled, boiled, poached, baked or fried) but it works so well with, and in, tonnes of other foods 🙂


One thing; please, please try to buy free rangers or organic – they really are the best and we all want happy hens that definitely give back!

Skinny honey bee :)

In need of a sweet hit but trying to be a bit good and (sloooowly) backing away from the naughty aisle? Then hot-foot it to the crispy/savoury aisle (Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Asda or online at Ocado and Amazon) and give yourself complete guilt-free permission to grab a pack of Metcalfe’s skinny popcorn 🙂 Oh happy days! These popcornlicious lovelies are not only healthy-eating-friendly but are super-delish and will help curb a sweet-hit-emergency!

My favourite? It has to be honey bee x



DIY deeper hydration

I’m a constant slurper of super-weak decaf tea and good ol’ tap water throughout the day, so whilst my skin gets a good old hydration hit from the inside, and even though I slap on a good old skin hydrator twice a day (I’m a good girl), when I get to this time of the year (crawling out of my winter hibernation), my skin often feels in desperado need of an extra massive dunking in a deep pool of super-soothing and super-luxurious oil to up the ante … Of course, there are loooooads of amazing-sounding (and costing!) products out there, each claiming to give you skin to die for.

Sadly, for me, in order to afford these lust-after products, I’d need to eat beans on toast for the rest of the month, stop all kids’ after-school clubs … you get the picture.

There is of course, another way – the DIY way. Not normally my forte (at all) however, this little beauty – avocado oil – is THE do-it-yourself beauty treatment you must try.

Avocado oil is, quite simply, brilliant! It’s full of essential fats for plumping, softening and nourishing your skin and is great for dry, inflamed or eczema affected skin. And, you can find it on your supermarket shelf for less than a fiver (one bottle will last for AGES).

It’s easy to get your super-skin-soothing-hydration-hit. Simply apply a couple of drops of avocado oil to your cleansed face before beddy-byes time. It works brilliantly – add it to your weekly groceries shopping list right now!!

avocado oil