Rae's Journal: Edition 1

Special Feature

I have never "celebrated" Lent and have always been a little in awe of those who have, SO, I have taken the decision to try the Lent challenge – NO SUGAR!

Please note, I have tried a few diets/regimes in the past and have failed within about 2 days.

Post-Christmas you couldn't open a newspaper or newspaper supplement without the mention of the latest diet. The one that interested me most was the no sugar diet.

I want to see how a low sugar diet impacts on all areas of your being. I must emphasise this is not about weight loss, I am approaching my 50th birthday and have lumps and bumps in all the wrong places – some I do mind some I don’t! I am obviously aging and whilst I am sort of relaxed with the rate at which I’m aging, I want to see if my skin changes for example, I want to see if the whites of my eyes become whiter, I want to know if I will sleep better, if my energy levels change, if my mood changes and so on.

I was a bit worried about not being able to have my choc biscuit(s!) at 4 pm or my glass of wine with dinner and felt a little like – life’s too short...however, I have replaced the choc biscuit(s!) with an oatcake and teaspoon of peanut butter (delicious actually) and the glass of wine with a tall glass filled with ice, vodka and soda with freshly squeezed lime and loads of ice.

To aid me, I researched lots of books and I decided that I was drawn to 2. Not necessary to stick to either of their plans however, I felt I needed guidance and a little creativity into what I could eat:


James Duigan founder of bodyism.com has a no nonsense approach to dieting in general – none of this protein only lark (smelly breath!). A great balanced diet with masses of fruit, veg, nuts, pulses and really delicious recipes. Again completely non faddy – again delicious foods and quite incredible testimonials

I’m on day 3 and feel OK - bit of a headache but nothing I can’t deal with. Today I am craving a biscuit and was out at dinner last night and it felt odd not having a glass of wine but after 5 mins I was over it. Energy levels are OK and not much change in my sleeping pattern. I haven’t lost so much as a gram in weight!

For those who are interested I will be sending weekly updates

Rae x


Daunts Bookshops are without a doubt my absolute favourite. I love their no nonsense approach and their out and out integrity. I can spend hours just looking. Staff are always super helpful and more importantly they know what they are talking about.

In each Blog, I will feature a few of their recommended books of the week:


A Spy Among Friends

Ben Macintyre, author of Agent Zigzag and Double Cross presents this new biography of the notorious British defector and Soviet mole Kim Philby.

Agent, double agent, traitor and enigma, he betrayed every secret of the Allied operations to the Russians in the early years of the Cold War. With access to newly released MI5 files and previously unseen family papers, and with the co-operation of former officers of MI6 and the CIA, this biography unlocks the last great secret of the Cold War.


The Examined Life

In simple stories of encounter between a psychoanalyst and his patients, The Examined Life reveals how the art of insight can illuminate the most complicated, confounding and human of experiences. I'm reading this and it is fascinating (sometimes a little sad!)



A new collection by one of America’s most beloved and admired short story writers; her first in fifteen years, since Birds of America.

In these eight masterful stories, Lorrie Moore explores the passage of time, and summons up its inevitable sorrows and comic pitfalls.

Gimlet-eyed social observation, the public and private absurdities of American life, dramatic irony, and enduring half-cracked love wend their way through each of these narratives, in Moore’s characteristic style that is always tender, never sentimental and often heartbreakingly funny.


The Unofficial Guide to California

West Coast holidays are very on trend right now – thought this book looked really interesting

Great for planning a family holiday on a budget, each hotel and attraction is rated according to age, price and access. Brilliant!



My album of the week

Passenger - Flight of the crow

Wonderful!!!! Easy listening - even my kids sing along and don't whinge when I put it on.


My song of the week

Betty Wright - Clean Up Woman

Listen to the words!!

View Video online >

Quote of the week


Restaurant of the week


Excellent pub food in Hethe - not far from Bicester Village (about 20 mins). Very cosy, great service (Hannah the maitre d is a fantastic), kids more than welcome and the food is always really good!

Main Street
Nr Bicester
OX27 8ES
01869 278 099


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