Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – #Weightloss #HealthyEating – 13 Tips I Learned Over The Last Year 2017 by Ritu Bhathal


This is the final post from the wonderfully varied archives of poet and author Ritu Bhathal. This week I have chosen the celebration and lessons learnt by Ritu when she lost two stone back in 2017… a great reminder of how you can lose weight healthily.

#Weightloss #HealthyEating – 13 Tips I Learned Over The Last Year 2017 by Ritu Bhathal

Well hello, Peeps!

I can’t believe that a year has passed since I decided to change a few things about my life, to lose weight. I set my target and my own little hashtag #icandothis, and went on my way!

52 weeks later, I am happier, healthier, and though not at the target I set myself, I am pleased with what I see in the mirror!

There are many articles and posts out there which will claim to give you miracle ways to lose weight.

I can’t do that, but as I have managed to successfully lose weight, and generally maintain the bulk of that loss, I think there are a few hints I can give, that would help anyone during their journey. As I said, I can’t promise anything, but I can support!

  1. Set yourself a realistic goal – This is so important. I started my journey convinced that I needed to lose two stones in order to be happy with myself. But I was also aware of the fact that, unless I lost limbs, two stone would take time to achieve, especially if I wanted to keep it off. A pound or two a week, slow and steady was what I aimed for. When I lost those two stone in total, I also realised it was too much, so I decided my goal and now have a realistic ideal weight to try and keep at!
  2. Try new things – Since starting Slimming World to aid my weight loss, I have been introduced to a few new things food-wise. Some are not exotic, but just items of food I previously turned my nose up at, such as prawns, fish and cottage cheese! Seriously, I had a big barrier up against them, but I decided to bite the bullet and try them because there are so many weight loss benefits to me opening up my food world. And I discovered Quark. What? You haven’t heard of Quark? It’s a mild soft cheese made from skimmed milk, so is fat-free. I have used it to make pancakes, as an addition to sauces to give them a creamy texture, and sweetened, used it like cream with fruit!
  3. Learn to recognise when you have reached your ‘enough’ level – Control your portion sizes. We sometimes fool ourselves into thinking we are hungrier than we actually are. Take a little less and leave some for later. You will often find that you didn’t need the extra anyway, and a bonus is that you have leftovers that are healthy and mean you don’t need to cook the next day!
  4. Batch cook – When you are planning your meals, you may find it easier to make large batches of certain dishes, which you can then portion up and freeze. This means that if you are feeling lazy, you always have a stash of healthy meals ready, and no excuse for reaching for the takeaway menus!
  5. Treat yourself before you reach breaking point on your cravings – When you are trying to cut out certain items, then you ‘slip’, that slip can be of epic proportions. I know. I have been so good for weeks, then eaten a whole large tub of Haagen Dazs ice cream, or a whole pack of biscuits. Then felt sick afterwards. I didn’t really need to, but the thought of eating these forbidden goodies, drove me to distraction! I ended up nibbling something naughty every day. A little treat meant I wasn’t denying myself, and I was able to control my cravings
  6. Try and weigh yourself every week at the same time – I have been pretty good at this every week. I know that I will be weighing in on a Friday morning. I go to the loo and stand on the scales before eating or drinking anything. I found that this regularity was most important. Having been one of those people who weighed themselves morning and night, every morning, I have seen how the natural fluctuations of your body reflect on your scales. If you are really serious about losing weight, seeing the ups and downs that happen can be disheartening, but the fact is, if you weigh your self regularly, at the same time, you will get a much better reflection of what your diet and lifestyle is doing to you, weight-wise.
  7. Present your meals well – if things look appetising, you’ll enjoy eating them more! If you follow me on Instagram ( @phantom_giggler ) you’ll see that I have taken to photographing my food. And I try to make every meal, no matter how simple, look good. It makes it taste better too!
  8. Add some physical activity to your day – A walk, an exercise class, a DVD at home; they all count! Whatever you do on an average day, try to add half an hour of heartbeat raising activity to it, and it will help to increase your fitness, and aid with any weight loss. I used my exercise bike, and even joined a dance class!
  9. Don’t beat yourself up if you have an off day – We all slip at some point. Really. It happens to the best of us. Instead of wallowing, and getting stuck in a rut of overeating again, whilst mourning that one off day, put a line under it. And start again the next day. It may mean a gain that week, but it will spur you on to do better the next week. Sometimes you know you will have an off period. It may be to do with a special occasion or a holiday you’re going on. Just remember, the eating habits of one day, or even a few, shouldn’t affect your whole journey if you know it is for just that period of time.
  10. Having someone to partner up with you on the journey helps – Not everyone is supportive, or understands why you are on your journey to change your health and weight. Some are pretty flippant about it and that flippancy can put you off even trying. But if you have a friend or family member who is going through the same thing, you can support and help each other, regardless of the views of others.
  11. Be strong – Sometimes, you are going to have to learn to say no. Or you have to stand by your guns and choose something to eat or drink that wouldn’t be your first choice. You need to envisage the new ‘you’ that is going to emerge, once you hit your target, and order that baked potato with no butter, instead of fries, or have a salad instead of a bowl of creamy pasta! In my case, it was saying no to the numerous takeaways that my Hubby Dearest was wanting to order, convinced he was helping me, by arranging food so I didn’t have to cook. That was probably one of the biggest factors in my weight gain, so I became very adept at using that No!
  12. Be accountable to someone – This was something that really spurred me on! And who was I accountable to? Obviously to myself, but the biggest other force was YOU! Knowing I had committed to posting about my journey every week meant I wanted to be posting good news to you all, instead of gains, and excuses as to why I slipped… again! And it helped me so much!
  13. Still know you can have fun! – This week, I am totally having fun. I am eating semi-healthy, but there are times I am totally letting go. If I want crisps, I will eat them, if that ice cream calls my name, I will answer. But I am relaxing. It is my break away. I know that as long as I stick to the tips above when I go back to normal life next week, I’ll be back on track. The odd gain here and there is to be expected, as long as it isn’t every week!

And there you have it, the 13 things that I learned over this last year! I do hope some of these tips helps any of you in the same situation as me!

2016-12-22_10-17-07

©Ritut Bhathal 2017

What an amazing job… fabulous – Ritu was lovely before, but she looks stunning after all her hard work.

About Ritu Bhathal

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.

From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing.

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.

A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!

Ritu also writes a blog, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was recently awarded The Best Overall Blog Award at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards in 2017.

Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the furbaby Sonu Singh. She is currently working on some short stories, and a novel, to be published in the near future.

About Poetic Rituals.

Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.

A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

One of the reviews for the collection

 Read all the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal/dp/1533088020

and other reviews on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal-ebook/dp/B01H46DN5Q

Read more reviews and follow Ritu on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30843440-poetic-rituals

Connect to Ritu

Bloghttps://butismileanyway.wordpress.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/butismileanyway
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PhantomGiggler
Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/but-i-smile-anyway-13707551
Tumblrhttps://www.tumblr.com/blog/ritusmiles 

My thanks to Ritu for permitting me to dive into her archives to share with you. I hope you will head over and check them out for yourselves. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – #Kindergarten Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! 2015 by Ritu Bhathal


This is the third post from the wonderfully varied archives of poet and author Ritu Bhathal. Today the joys of being a kindergarten teacher…. things I am sure they don’t share during the career advisory days at secondary school when you are faced with so many options!

Kindergarten Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! 2015 by Ritu Bhathal

weeeeee

So, I managed to survive my first day with a member of staff down. We got cover help, thank goodness, and the children in the morning were fantastic! Relatively calm, considering, and we were one down.. the Screamer didn’t turn up.

However….(you knew I was gonna say that!) the afternoon was a different matter altogether! It was crazy! The kids were fighting, there were tempers like you wouldn’t believe, the ‘sharing is caring’ motto is definitely not in full flow yet! And if it wasn’t arguments, there was children trying to tip things over, transporting sand across classrooms, and switching the class PC off!

Oh, and the toilet issue…. Not poopy nappies ( thought there was that too!) but one little lovely came up to me… “Me dun Poopy! In ma pats!”, quite happily! Great! No nappy, but poop in knickers, a wonderful experience! At least she came to me before sitting down, and smearing (sorry for being gross!), then the other child, who is our serial poop offender, decided it was time to soil his pants!

My colleague came to me as I was changing the Poopy ‘pats’ and said “Does it smell of egg?” “Nope”, I said, “actually I don’t know its just plain old poopy smell!” So she went to the main part of the room and checked and her trained nose said that the smells were different hence another Poop!

So Serial Pooper was also changed. I shall not say there was calm after that, as there really wasn’t, but the toilet issues seemed to calm, until one girl was far too engrossed in whatever she was doing and wet herself. No problem, a quick change and all was ok.

Then one of my newbies came running up to me “Potty! Potty!” Now as an Indian I know that a lot of Indian children call number 2 wanting to go ‘potty’ so I was on high alert, not least because I know he was not long out of nappies, and when he had been taken to the loo earlier, he wasn’t wearing pants, let alone a nappy! I was not prepared to chase runaway poops down a trouser leg, and all over the floor! We rushed to the loo, and managed to sit him down, only for him to let loose with a number 1! No little appendage being pushed down, but a veritable fountain, and oh my goodness, how much wee can a 3 year old produce??!! Luckily I was not caught in the downpour somehow, and managed to grab him, and turned him around!

Oh, and did I forget to mention, I was also spat at! Lovely child!

I have started the gentle words with parents regarding working together, and that they need to support us as much as we are there to support them. But it is not just the nursery’s job to make these kids ready for the real world… a certain degree of responsibility clearly lies with the parents!

One more day til the weekend Peeps! One more day!!!!!!

©Ritu Bhathal 2015

About Ritu Bhathal

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.

From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing.

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.

A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!

Ritu also writes a blog, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was recently awarded The Best Overall Blog Award at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards in 2017.

Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the furbaby Sonu Singh. She is currently working on some short stories, and a novel, to be published in the near future.

About Poetic Rituals.

Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.

A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

One of the reviews for the collection

I enjoy reading funny or clever verse, mostly on the internet, in blog posts etc, when I come across them, but books of poetry are rarely my thing.

I ‘picked up’ an ecopy of Poetic Rituals when it was discounted because it’s something different and an easier read in between fat novels and autobiographies.

It is really great to open a book and be surprised in every good way by the contents. I read through the poems at one sitting, delighted with each one to the next. They reminded me in some ways of Pam Ayres work; witty, funny, poignant, some slightly tongue-in-cheek. What impressed me most was their unfailing observations of family life, relationships and the frustrations of daily life. One is about not being able to get a printer to link to a computer – I could wholly identify with that one!

Read this book, raise a smile and even a little tear. This is a lovely read!

Read all the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal/dp/1533088020

and other reviews on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal-ebook/dp/B01H46DN5Q

Read more reviews and follow Ritu on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30843440-poetic-rituals

Connect to Ritu

Bloghttps://butismileanyway.wordpress.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/butismileanyway
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PhantomGiggler
Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/but-i-smile-anyway-13707551
Tumblrhttps://www.tumblr.com/blog/ritusmiles 

My thanks to Ritu for permitting me to dive into her archives to share with you. I hope you will head over and check them out for yourselves. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Conversations with random strangers 2017 by Ritu Bhathal


This is the second post from the wonderfully varied archives of poet and author Ritu Bhathal. This week I have selected a post dear to heart. I love people watching and having spent considerable time in airports for work and pleasure, I will talk to anyone who dares to sit next to me. I do try to behave myself on long haul flights, but it is amazing what you can find out about someone in 10 hours!

Conversations with random strangers 2017 by Ritu Bhathal

image

Anyone who knows me will willingly confirm the following fact… I can talk for England!

And, though not verbal, once I start a comment rally , even on here, I find it hard to stop!

So it stands to reason, where there’s an opportunity to talk to someone, anyone, I will happily take it!

You can end up having lovely conversations with older people, who are sometimes boggled by the technology and communications nowadays, almost starved of regular ‘normal’ conversation.

The kids hate doing the weekly shop with me, apparently I ALWAYS stop to talk to someone and I take AGES… Hubby Dearest says the same… Hmmm, maybe there’s some truth to it then! 😜

Example 1.

I was shopping, sans kids or hubby, and went to the game section. Its Lil Princess’s birthday next month, so I need new present suggestions.. Too soon after Christmas! But, I digress.

I picked up Just Dance 2015 and went to pay… She loves these games.

An elderly lady was at the till. She looked at the game, then at me. I smiled and for no reason whatsoever explained it was a ‘getting ready for daughter’s birthday’ present. She said “Good choice my dear, at least it’s active!” We then went on to talk about the youngsters nowadays being addicted to console games, and lack of fresh air and exercise. This led to her saying she has no internet, no interest in getting it, and on to how her grand daughter insists on getting a text from them if they wanted to talk to her, not just a simple phone call! Her husband arrived and we parted company, with me getting a pat on the back for keeping my kids active, and for having a chat!

Yes, it does add 5-10 minutes to a trip out but it’s fun! I just can’t help it!

Example 2.

Yup, just today, I was in Primark and buying a couple of jumpers, which I had bought previously, but managed to shrink in the wash! 😳 Again, a lovely older lady was perusing the knitwear and happened upon one of the jumpers I’d also picked up. Eye contact occurred, then a smile, followed by a discussion about the jumpers being great, how I’m cr*p at laundry, and what on earth is up with Primark sizing!

Example 3

No, why would I stop there! The lady at the till was next. And after talking about the now infamous jumpers, we were discussing their practicality in my job, comfort and stuff, and I came away from this conversation with a ‘well done with doing the job you love!’
(And a queue of customers behind me!)

I have come to the conclusion its all about the eye contact…and smile.

So if you ever see me and don’t want to chat, whatever you do, don’t let me see you!!! If I smile, that’s 10 minutes of your life GONE! If, however, you fancy a chat, smile away!!!

Just don’t wink… That’s just weird!

©Ritu Bhathal 2017

What was your latest encounter with a stranger?  Please share in the comments….

About Ritu Bhathal

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.

From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing.

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.

A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!

Ritu also writes a blog, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was recently awarded The Best Overall Blog Award at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards in 2017.

Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the furbaby Sonu Singh. She is currently working on some short stories, and a novel, to be published in the near future.

About Poetic Rituals.

Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.

A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

One of the reviews for the collection

This book contains about 120 pages of poems celebrating family and its joyfulness. Most of the poems are metrical and many of these rhyme. This book, for the most part, provides the reader with a traditional poetic, sound experience. The book also contains haiku and other such forms. These are also witty and enjoyable.

Although this is a book of poetry, you should be able to understand every page and find lines and stanzas that make you smile–or at least make you want to highlight them so you can find them again quickly.

Read all the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal/dp/1533088020

and other reviews on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal-ebook/dp/B01H46DN5Q

Read more reviews and follow Ritu on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30843440-poetic-rituals

Connect to Ritu

Bloghttps://butismileanyway.wordpress.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/butismileanyway
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PhantomGiggler
Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/but-i-smile-anyway-13707551
Tumblrhttps://www.tumblr.com/blog/ritusmiles 

My thanks to Ritu for permitting me to dive into her archives to share with you. I hope you will head over and check them out for yourselves. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Of Teen and Tweenage Angst #Poem 2018 by Ritu Bhathal


Delighted to welcome poet and author Ritu Bhathal to the series with the first of her posts I have selected. Ritu has an eclectic range of subjects on her blog, and I am going to share a poem that I think will resonate with anyone with teenage children.

Of Teen and Tweenage Angst 2018 by Ritu Bhathal

Gone are the days when a parent
Simply battled with the Teens
These days we have a new breed
Calling themselves the Tweens!

Now with the Teens, it’s expected
Hormones raging through
But the trouble with these Tweens
Dear God, I wish I knew

It’s like ten is the new thirteen
And thirteen’s just as bad
Parenting’s never easy
But I don’t like this Tweenage fad!

I was prepared for seven years
Of total Teenage hell
But with these Tweens, they’ve added on
Another three years as well!

They stomp around in stereo
And fight at the drop of a hat
You cannot have a conversation
It’s just all rude backchat!

And if, perchance, things happen
To not go quite their way
You’ll get the silent treatment
Though they have so much to say

It flows in images and messages
On Social Media sites
Selfies, emojis LOL’s
To put the world to rights

Right now I live in a timebomb
Of tween and teenage tricks
What on earth will happen when I
Add menopause to the mix?

©Ritu Bhathal 2018

About Ritu Bhathal

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.

From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing.

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.

A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!

Ritu also writes a blog, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was recently awarded The Best Overall Blog Award at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards in 2017.

Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the furbaby Sonu Singh. She is currently working on some short stories, and a novel, to be published in the near future.

About Poetic Rituals.

Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.

A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

One of the reviews for the collection

‘Poetic Rituals’ by Ritu Bhathal is an amalgamation of free verse, haiku and tanka. First section is packed with the emotions of a new mother; pride and affection flow freely through her verse but a realistic touch of worry, of angst and frustration add more charm to her poems. Every mother would ‘like to flee’ at some point when she feels that her kids are ‘devils in disguise!’ ‘Twelve Days Of Holidays’ is cute rendition of how mothers handle their little monsters during the holidays.

Ritu’s poetry matures as the book proceeds into the third segment, dwelling on love, life and its realities… trying to answer some pertinent questions like… “Head or heart, to whom do I bow?” Section four would bring a smile on your lips as you read
‘Brow-terpillars’ and ‘Oh My Bag,’ reminding you of similar groans that the poet shares about packing and trying to fit in all those things in one bag and later realize we didn’t even use. It is amazing how she could write a poem about chores like ironing, dieting, connecting a printer to Mac!

Read all the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal/dp/1533088020

and other reviews on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal-ebook/dp/B01H46DN5Q

Read more reviews and follow Ritu on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30843440-poetic-rituals

Connect to Ritu

Bloghttps://butismileanyway.wordpress.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/butismileanyway
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PhantomGiggler
Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/but-i-smile-anyway-13707551
Tumblrhttps://www.tumblr.com/blog/ritusmiles 

My thanks to Ritu for permitting me to dive into her archives to share with you. I hope you will head over and check them out for yourselves. Thanks Sally