Wednesday, 12 November 2014

CHARITY CHALLENGE: Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro |

IT'S OFFICIAL! Team Caplan are embarking on their newest and arguably toughest challenge yet, to climb MOUNT KILIMANJARO - the world's tallest free-standing mountain standing at a staggering 5895 metres (19,341 feet) tall. WHY? All for SHALVA! I'm an adrenaline-junkie and total thrill-seeker with a bucket list stretching to infinity, but, whilst I enjoy pushing myself to new limits (or heights!) it wouldn't be worth it unless I was raising money for the charity closest to my heart and making a difference, a REAL difference.

SHALVA, the Association for Mentally and Physically challenged children in Israel, is dedicated to providing quality care for children with special needs, empowering their families, and promoting social tolerance. Non-denominational and free of charge , SHALVA's programs provide care from infancy to adulthood. The organisation's advocacy initiatives, community events, and disability research continue to inspire a more inclusive society.

I visited SHALVA back in March and it was beyond inspiring to see how full of joy the children of SHALVA really are, it really is just breathtaking. As I walked through what feels like a home, not an institution, I was greeted with smiles larger than life; the children took my hand and held it with love and even treated me to an enchanting sing song. You see, it is hard to imagine what the quality of life is like when facing such difficulties, either mentally, physically or both! Yet each and every child shows this beautiful love for life, and it makes you feel a sense of regret for when we moan about such meaningless woes in our everyday lives. Life really is too short and the children of SHALVA are living proof that anyone can achieve their dreams. For more information check out the SHALVA website where you can read about Yossi's story and many others.

SHALVA has given me this burst of energy and I feel so enlightened by all that they do, in fact all of these challenges on my bucket list suddenly seem doable, because I am not talking about 'seeing the northern lights' which is right at the top, I'm talking about the challenges that push you to do things you never thought you could... I never... NO ONE ever thought I would be able to run a marathon (see post here) and guess what I almost gave up! I ran for part of the race with this amazing man, a father to a child who is part of SHALVA. We ran together for the most of 5k, and he spoke of his journey, joys and struggles of having a child with special needs. It was this man that really made me appreciate how much SHALVA do not only for the child, but also for the parent. I didn't manage to meet this man again, but I hope to re-connect one day again on another visit to Israel. You see, these extreme challenges aren't worthwhile without a cause to raise money for. Without SHALVA I'm not sure I would have had the want or need to complete such a challenge and yet I'm doing it all over again in March 2015.

In addition to this, I get to complete each challenge as part of two teams; Team SHALVA and Team Caplan. I will continue and aim to complete each challenge with my best friend and my own inspiration, my father. It really is amazing to share all these life-changing challenges the big AC (Adam Caplan aka DAD) and I don't want to stop! The feeling of pushing yourself beyond limits and discovering your mind is more powerful than ever believed is honestly life-changing - I am not only raising money for the cause close to my heart, I am also learning things about myself and growing as a person in the process, I don't want to and will not stop SO ONTO MY LATEST CHALLENGE OF CLIMBING MOUNT KILIMANJARO!!!


Excited just doesn't even do it justice and this allows Team Caplan to raise A LOT, in fact £10,000 A LOT of money for SHALVA. This money will go towards the new children's centre in Jerusalem and also to research as well as bettering facilities so that more children can stay and even come from other countries around the world, allowing parents have that time to wind-down. Offering overnight stays and extensive leisure facilities, the list is endless. Hence why I am dedicating this year to training for the marathon in March and preparing myself for an emotional journey to summit.

The New SHALVA children's centre opening 2015!

If you would like to stay posted with our journey then check out our regular updates and blogs on our Team Caplan website:

I will be vlogging in the lead up and also be keeping a vlog during my trek! :) NOT FORGETTING THE GO PRO!

All donations welcome...and if you want to join us on the summit THEN JOIN OUR TEAM!!!
Contact me for more details :)

Bea {x}

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Goodbye Gluten! |

"I'm gluten intolerant!", "No Way! Me too!" I often find myself having the same conversation again and again... like a broken record. Why? Because literally everyone in this modern day society is intolerant to either wheat, gluten or dairy or in my case ALL THREE. Recently, I took myself to the doctor to be tested for Coeliacs Disease, except the results came back negative showing I have Non-Coealiac Gluten sensitivity and what a bloody nuisance it is indeed! The funny thing is, many people think it's all nonsense and that gluten sensitivity and intolerance's don't exist...others may just be like 'you just have IBS' but arguably, I don't host those side effects such as irritable bowel problems so I beg to differ. Plus, for me, food elimination has literally changed my life for the better so laterz haterzzz!

Healthy Brunching

The Dreaded Side Effects:

- Severe bloating - YES I look pregnant, honestly SO cute when you're in a bikini on the beach. As someone who doesn't take herself too seriously, I can't help but laugh about it and whilst it is quite funny, it can make me feel self conscious and it's uncomfortable when you're clothes are digging into you...especially tights! Dolls, you know EXACTLY what I am talking about.

- Drowsiness - ZZZzzzzZZZZzzz! After indulging in bread or pasta, I find it extremely hard to keep my eyes open. When you're at work this is not ideal - NO it is not because I was out gallivanting last night, it's usually because I couldn't resist the toast at breakfast or ate that damn pasta! 
Cuddles with Princess always make me feel better PS. My hand, dare I call it that, looks like a pigs trotter. Oh dear..

- Stomach cramps - So lets be honest we all get them and they're not fun, so when you're getting them ALL the time its frustrating.

The cure? THERE ISN'T ONE! GREAT. So, I have taken it upon myself over the last year to completely change my diet using food elimination;  and can I just say OH MY it actually is life-changing! So for any of my fellow dolls suffering with similar side effects GET INVOLVED!

Flora Tea - I picked this little gem up at the Ideal Home Show - For all you green tea lovers out there TOTAL LOVE!

Firstly, I started by eliminating bread and pasta completely. Bread and Pasta are the bulk of many meals, and some delicious ones at that but I have remained strong. I then went to cut out most carbs and minimised my dairy intake. Here is a list of foods that I have eliminated from my diet:

- Bread
- Pasta
- Cereal
- Potato (I now eat sweet potato instead)
- Milk (I allow myself one skinny (skimmed milk) latte a day and drink black coffee otherwise, due to not eating cereal there's no need for milk, however this doesn't effect me a substantial amount due to my consumption being minimal)
- Cheese (I do eat cheese but only rarely, or when I am treating myself e.g pizza)
- Foods containing wheat

Last nights dinner - Blog post to follow

You can't go wrong with these... TOO GOOD

This is one of my favourite experimental dishes using my Spiralizer - I will upload the recipe for you dolls NOM NOM NOM

COURGETTI/ZOODLES are the best substitution for Pasta! Created using a Spiralizer - pop in salty boiling water and simmer for 1 minute

Being only human, I sometimes can't resist and will treat myself to lets say a Pizza (especially on those putrid hangovers). However, on the bright side, due to the rise of intolerance's in the UK, most Pizza restaurants such as Pizza Express now offer Gluten Free bases. BOOM! In the case that there is no Gluten Free option, I just have to pay the price for indulgence but I can live with that. My colleague at work often has a go at me if I even dare try...I always thank her later as for the times that I don't, I find myself in that awful state of what feels like - sleep deprivation.

OK so... meet my weakness. ZIZZI's Rustica Piccante Pizza, this gigantic slate of devilishness doesn't come with a Gluten Free base.. UH OH!

Why is this relevant you ask?

In conclusion my Darling Dolls, I have decided to start blogging about my experiments with food and cooking adventures since going Gluten Free, with the hope of inspiring others with similar problems to my own. I haven't only lost a stone and a half, I am now benefiting from increased energy levels, EVEN happier moods and most importantly the side effects have stopped. OH YAR. I have never felt this positive and I have this new-found love for cooking, I am forever inviting friends over to try my new recipes and I don't even miss those nasty carbs that caused me so much bother. I have dropped almost 2 dress sizes through eating healthy and exercising. Those who know me are probably thinking that I couldn't love life even more than I already do now...well guess bloody what... I DO! Loves it!

Kick Boxing is my new favourite sport (Bitches take yourselves to Bitchboxing at GYMBOX). SO take THAT gluten. BOSH!

I hope you enjoy my recipes and I would love to hear from YOU! If you have similar problems get in touch and please feel free to share any recipes that you may have!! Ready. Steady. Cook. (...okay so that totally just sprung to mind as a sort of pun but I am now definitely going to plan a Ready.Steady.Cook night! TOTAL LOVE!)


Bea {x}