An elegant wedding and the benefits of an ‘ice bath’

What a lovely week its been! One of my dearest friends, the uber talented and beautiful Paula Lane got married to her lovely fella Mark. Congratulations Mr & Mrs Shaw!

Paula looked absolutely stunning – so classy and elegant. There’s a timeless beauty about her, we all agreed she looked like a film star – very Audrey Hepburn. The sun shone, the service was gorgeous, and merriment was had by all! Thanks for having us Paula!

Gorgeous wedding

Gorgeous wedding

Now, here’s a bit of weirdness for you -remember my pregnant pal Kate? I spoke about her in last week’s blog? Well she was due to give birth on July 19th. However psychic Cath here had several dreams that she had gone into early labour. On Saturday morning I was convinced she’d give birth that day – guess what?

She did!!! Little George has arrived! How weird is that? Enjoy every second Kate and Ben! Big love to you and the little fella xxx

Wedding guests

Wedding guests

On Sunday I did my first open water swim in preparation for The Great Swim 2014. I’ll admit, when I signed up to do the swim I was pretty cocky about it. “I used to swim for Salford,” I announced!

I count myself as a strong, competent swimmer…Oh Cath, you silly lass. Open water swimming is COMPLETELY different. COMPLETELY.

We swam in a lake near Knutsford, which looked gorgeous. It took me a good 15 minutes to squeeze myself into my wet suit (which is like wearing full-body spanks guys), when I got outside I seemed to be getting a few giggles and funny looks.

Yep, I had put my wetsuit on back to front. I thought one wore it like a cat-suit? No? Because it had taken me so long to get into, I refused to take it off. Much to my boyfriends embarrassment.

We headed over to the lake side, I dipped a toe in and immediately turned back up the hill. Resigned to the fact I couldn’t possibly get into what can only be described as an ‘Ice-Bath’. After some encouragement from other swimmers, I decided to take the plunge.

You know in the film ‘Titanic’ when Jack tells Rose, that falling into the sea was like a thousand knives stabbing you all over? Well, I’m not one to be dramatic (honest) but by heck it was absolutely freezing!

Not to mention the fact that as my wet suit was on back to front, half the lake ended up in my cleavage) It completely takes your breath away. This was ‘Fight or Flight’ time! (Cue Rocky soundtrack ‘Eye of The Tiger’) I could feel my heart racing and my breathing was all over the place as I broke into front crawl.

I had to mentally talk myself down – “just get to the first buoy” I told myself “focus, imagine you’re in a pool” (a really cold, muddy pool…) Anyway – it worked!

By the second lap of the lake, I had found my confidence, my breathing was fine and the wet suit, really helps to keep one buoyent (which is always nice). I felt such a sense of achievement afterwards. It is so different to swimming in a pool, I think its important to practice in open water as much as possible guys.

If nothing else – to at least get your body used to the temperature. And ok, I wont deny it is scary, but it will get easier – aside from the fact it gives you a great physique, speeds up metabolism and ‘burns calories’ lets just take a look at some of the other perks…

Cold water has its benefits

Cold water has its benefits

*Scientists immersed witting subjects in cold water for one hour, three times a week and monitored their physiology. They found significant increases in white blood cell counts and several other factors relating to the immune system. This was attributed to the cold water being a mild stresser which activates the immune system and gives it some practice.

*The cold will also stimulate your parasympathetic system, which is responsible for rest and repair, and this can trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are a vital part of keeping us happy and low levels of them are linked with depression. In short – it makes you grin :-)

*Being hot brings blood to surface. Being cold sends it to your organs. Both extremes work your heart like a pump. It helps flush your circulation , pushing blood through all your capillaries, veins and arteries. It will exfoliate your skin and flush impurities from it, thus helping your complexion (firm-bodied women of all ages around pool sides say it stops cellulite- dip me again!). Evidence also demonstrates that your body adapts to the cold with repeated exposure and this may improve your circulation – no bad thing in the winter. So when my trainer told me months ago to start having cold showers in the morning…he was right! (Again)



* Researchers also found increased production of testosterone and oestrogen in men and women respectively.

Enhancing libido in both sexes, these hormones also play an important role in fertility.

Soooo finally the sun is en route!! We keep having little bursts don’t we?! I’ll be showing you some fabulous BBQ recipes over the next few weeks. So stay tuned! For now here’s a gorgeous summer salad to get you warmed up!

Barbecue time

Barbecue time

 

Auntie Cath’s Popeye Salad

6 cups baby spinach

1 red onion shredded
1 apple, cut into small cubes
1 cup cashew nuts
2 tablespoons garlic infused olive oilWeb Bug from http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=elanaspantryc-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B0006Z7NPO
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
In a large bowl, place spinach, apple and onion. In a cast iron skillet, toast the cashews until browned, about 10 minutes. Add warm nuts to salad, Drizzle oil and vinegar over the salad. Toss and serve.

Untill next week
Dream Big !
Auntie Cath xx

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