About Shona

Hi! I'm a 30 year old, soon-to-be mother of two, living with my family in one of the most beautiful areas of Scotland. Over the last few years, I have found myself moving away from a conventional lifestyle and embracing alternative ideas which I will be exploring here.

Announcing the Clann Bhride Cill

For anyone who’s interested.

Clann Bhride

In honor of the first anniversary of Clann Bhride, we are pleased to announce the beginning of our very own Flamekeeping Cill. Flamekeeping is a Brigidine devotional practice that takes place over a 20-day cycle. Members of the Cill are assigned one shift during each cycle, which then repeats itself after the twentieth day. This ground is intended to grow Clann Bhride’s community and help devotees deepen their relationship with Brighid.

Is there a literal fire?

Traditionally, the fire at St. Brigit’s abbey in Kildare was tended round the clock by nineteen women, with Brigit Herself said to watch over the flames every twentieth day. Few of us now have the opportunity to tend a large source of fire such as that found in a fireplace or fire pit, so using a candle, lantern, or oil burner in modern Flamekeeping is certainly acceptable. Ideally one would light this fire for…

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Whole30 – Day 31

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So, it’s time for the round up of my whole30 experience.

My sleep has improved – it’s easier to get to sleep and easier to get up.

My skin is much clearer – persistent acne that I have suffered from for several years is almost entirely gone.

My energy levels stay constant throughout the day – my usual afternoon slump is gone.

I have learned that I do not need food in times of stress. I can cope without shovelling down junk food. This was really put to the test this month!

I have learned that I have the worst cravings for junk food when I am unwell.

I have learned that water can be more satisfying to drink than Pepsi and other fizzy drinks.

I have learned that I do not need energy drinks to get through the day.

I have learned that basing my food choices around whole foods makes me feel healthier.

In the last 30 days I have lost 19lbs. That is more than double the amount I managed to lose earlier this year through 3 months of calorie counting, weighing portions, obsessing over numbers and working out 5 or 6 days a week.

I have lost 3 inches from my bust, 2 from my waist and 3 from my hips.

I’m not entirely sure where I go from here. I know I’m going to slowly reintroduce some foods, starting with dairy as I’ve missed cheese. I’m really hoping I’ll be able to tolerate some cheese!

I’m hoping to stick mostly to whole30 foods with the flexibility to go off-plan on occasion. Hopefully with the wisdom to make it only on occasion!

I won’t be posting every day now. I’ll keep you updated with the reintroduction phase and my adventures with exercise as I take these lessons into the next part of my life.

Thank you for reading along. The support has been invaluable.

Whole30 – Day 30!

Well folks, it’s day 30 and I made it! There have been times over the last month when I wasn’t sure that I could see it through but I did. Despite the last weekend of family and birthday celebrations.

At this moment, I feel very proud of myself. I am noticeably slimmer, my skin is clear, I’m sleeping well and my energy levels are constant throughout the day.

Although I have had some cravings for junk food and I miss dairy, I have not felt deprived. The other night we were out for dinner with family and I was content to finish my meal with a black coffee – I wasn’t particularly envious of the desserts being eaten around me.

All month I have been promising myself a take-away for dinner on day 31. Right now I’m not even sure that I want it. I have enjoyed the foods that I’ve been eating, I have felt comfortably full without being bloated and I certainly don’t miss that feeling!

Tomorrow I’ll be posting a round up of my results and the things that I’ve learned this month.

I stumbled across this article today on Robb Wolf’s site, about ending 30 day challenges. It seemed very appropriate! My husband and I have some work ahead figuring out exactly where we go from here but we know that we don’t want to go back to where we were before starting this challenge.

Today’s food log:

Banana, pineapple, spinach and avocado smoothie.

Leftover liver, in this case Ox liver.

Potato and courgette soup with home made chicken stock.

2.5 cups of coffee
1 cup raspberry tea
4 glasses water.

Whole30 – Day 28

Again, this post is coming to you late because we stayed with family again last night. It’s been a whole celebratory weekend and I’m pretty worn out now, despite not indulging.

My husband and I have decided to treat ourselves to a slow cooker. I’m really looking forward to cooking up some bone broth in it – that should be easier than doing it on the hob. I imagine that we’ll all be indulging in plenty of bone broth over the coming winter.

Yesterday was filled with what would normally have been temptation but I wasn’t particularly tempted. I was happy enough ending my meal with black coffee instead of dessert and I didn’t mind missing out on the birthday cake that my mother-in-law bought to celebrate the baby’s birthday. I was a little envious when I watched everyone else (except hubby) raise a toast with a glass of champagne though. I love champagne!

At the butchers yesterday, we bought some cuts of meat that we haven’t tried before: pork belly, ox kidney and diced venison. I’m looking forward to trying some new things.

Food log:

Banana, spinach and strawberry smoothie.

Scrambled eggs and bacon.

Roast beef, turkey and gammon with potatoes, cauliflower, carrots and green beans.

5 cups black coffee
4 glasses water.

Whole30 – Day 27

This post is coming to you late because we’re visiting family this weekend.

I thought it would be quite a challenge to eat this way at someone else’s house but my in-laws have been very supportive. There have been several family birthdays this week so we’re all going out for dinner tonight. We’ve checked the menu and there will be things that hubby and I can eat but it’ll be strange for me to be out for dinner with no dessert!

My exciting news this weekend is that I got into a pair of trousers that I haven’t been able to wear since before I was pregnant with the baby. So about 2 years, give or take a month or two. Not only can I fit into them but they’re comfortable! I feel amazing.

Food log:

Pineapple and strawberries.

3 green chicken drumsticks.

Gammon steak with pineapple, salad potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and turnip.

4 cups black coffee
4 glasses water

Whole30 – Day 26

Today was a good day. I got loads done and managed to take the kids out for a walk along the river.

Dinner was stressful. The chicken that I had in the fridge had gone off, even though it was within its date. That meant that I had to rush out and buy more chicken, which I then didn’t get to marinade for as long as I usually would have. The shop didn’t have chicken thighs which I was originally going to use so I ended up with drumsticks.

The stress around buying more chicken, not marinating as long as I wanted to and dinner being late reminded me how important planning is with this way of eating. Normally if something like that happened, I would have picked up something quick and easy like frozen pizza or a take away but of course, that’s not possible on whole30. I missed having that option.

Some of the things that I have learned about myself so far in this process:

– I sleep better when I eat well.

– I do not need comfort food when I’m stressed. A hug does the job without all the side effects!

– hunger is not bad.

– I play down my achievements.

– I care more about making other people happy than looking after myself.

I think that’s plenty for today so here is today’s food log:

2 boiled eggs, mashed with a little ghee, salt and pepper.

Curried cream of broccoli soup.

NomNom Paleo’s green chicken with salad.

3 cups black coffee
3 glasses water.

Whole30 – Day 25

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I think I had some self-sabotage going on today. I had a really intense craving for Pringles and Pepsi Max – things I haven’t thought much about since the first week. The odd thing was that part of me was thinking “I could just have them. I’m only 5 days from the end, I mean is there really much difference between 25 and 30? In fact, I could just finish now!”

I have no idea where these thoughts came from. I’ve been fully committed to doing the full 30 days ever since the beginning – the thought of stopping early never crossed my mind.

The only thing I could come up with was the possibility that I’m trying to sabotage myself. I’m so close to the finishing line now. Maybe I don’t really want to succeed. Maybe I’m scared of what comes after this. Of riding my own bike.

Apparently I have some more stuff to work through.

Today’s food log:

Fruit salad – 1/4 mango, handful each grapes, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries.

Bacon and avocado lettuce wrap.
1/2 banana

Salmon baked with lime, coriander, ginger and garlic with zoodles.

2 cups black coffee
1/2 cup black tea (not a fan of this)
4 glasses water

P.S. The self sabotage thing took over my post today but I will be reflecting on what I’ve learned in the days to come.