New Years Resolutions

2017, baby! Happy New Year!

Usually I don’t waste my time with resolutions. The concept of a day, an hour, a minute or a second suddenly making myself become a different, better person sounded pretty ridiculous. Things like stopping drinking fizzy drinks happened to me over time, and every year I promise myself I’ll get back to my pre-university weight, or point at an Instagram babe and say “THAT’LL BE ME BY SUMMER”. Hasn’t happened yet. Still waiting.

But if I’m honest, there are things that I have told myself I wanted to do or start doing, and a new year is a perfect reason or motivation as any to get my shit together. I started making a list during a cab ride home of goals for the year, which kind of turned out to be my resolutions list. It’s pretty much ‘be better at everything’. On it.

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1. Take more time with Pretty Hungry & Instagram

You might have guessed this one already after giving my blog a face lift. I love doing it, so why not actually spend more time on it? And I mean quality time, instead of forcing in pictures of things that don’t look that great, editing photos whilst watching Netflix and typing up posts with half my eyes shut in bed without reading them through.

It still blows me away that I won Best Food Blog at Cosmopolitan UK Blog Awards, and if I can do that with something I’m not fully happy with, I hope I can go on to do even more great things. Always learn, always grow.

2. Grow Breakfast London further

I started up Breakfast London whilst I was in University. It began as an Instagram page, but quickly grew into a website and became an actual company (yes it’s great to see ‘Director/CEO – Bianca Bridges’ on super cool and official documents). After graduating in the Summer, I decided to not go into a graduate job but to continue my passion for breakfast and see how it grows. I’ve got so many plans for it, and 2017 is about launching many of these initiatives and seeing plans through.

3. Drive

Okay. So. When I was 17, I passed my theory test first time (Ming didn’t first time, so obviously I was pretty smug). The smugness didn’t last long, since I failed my practical four times. Four. FOUR. My anxiety would get so bad and my legs would shake so much that it once actually fell off the pedal. London’s not such a great place to learn to drive, since I was stuck in traffic most of the time, and I only ever visited the different test centres once before the test. My theory then expired, since it only lasts two years.

I took it again in November and passed (if you’re learning to drive, the DVSA Theory Test Kit App is a GODSEND). I’m determined to finally pass this year. Maybe I’ll take one of those week courses. Watch this space.

4. Start new projects

There’s exciting things currently in the works, and ideas that are still completely raw. This year is all about delegating my time and getting things moving. I’m so eager to share news about projects I’ve been slaving away at, and hopefully it’ll happen sooner than later! New opportunities also pop up all the time, so I’m looking forward to seeing what this year brings.

5. Cook more

I received my Level 2 + 3 Food Safety and Hygiene this year, so you can trust me when you come round for dinner. Even though a lot of my time is spent working away in the kitchen, there’s so much on my ‘To Make’ list, so many dinners I want to throw, and so many things I want to experiment with. I’m excited to put more and more recipes on the blog for you to try at home, since there are a few real winners that I’m dying to share!

6. Take better care of my skin + body

I don’t wash my face. Maybe I’ll wash it with water in the shower, but I never use soap, scrub, toner, anything. I also hardly ever moisturise, unless I’m about to put makeup on. I know, bad bad bad. I’m going to get a proper skin routine going, so I’ll stop being lazy and actually learn to take care of myself. How am I going to be a MILF one day otherwise?

I’ve also been eating a lot of crap. My diet is mostly vegan, and people think that means healthy. Wrong. Chips, crisps, bread, chocolate, cake, cookies, burgers, doughnuts, nuggets. Oh yeah. Things aren’t all what they seem. I am good a lot of the time and I do exercise which prevents me from being a hundred kilos, but when I indulge, there’s no stopping me. During the 11 day cruise we took this year, I put on eight kilos. EIGHT. WHO DOES THAT. Get these fruits and vegetables in my temple.

7. Get my fitness levels back up

It’s so cold outside. There’s nothing I want to do more than cuddle Pickles (my puppy, I don’t sit around all day stroking a jar) with the fire blazing and scrolling through Deliveroo (I’ll probably order some Lebanese food). Yes, I go through good weeks and bad weeks. But I feel so amazing when I get my fitness levels up, and I want to feel that good all the time, even when it means going to the gym when it’s raining.

I also do lots of different classes in London. I’ve been asked before about what exercise I do and the classes I go to, so I’m going to start writing about my favourite ones!

8. Read more

I’d like to think I’ve come to love reading books, from the days where Archie Comics and Calvin and Hobbes were the only things I’d pick up. There are a few books on my shelf that I want to read, and I should probably do it before the year is over. Making time to read is important (so I’ve been told), and maybe I should watch a little less Kardashians and maybe look at a page instead of a screen. Time to find my Kindle charger.

9. Do more charity work

Ming and I started up a project called The Bridges Manor in 2015. We organised events in support of Destiny Rescue, an incredible charity that rescues and protects children from sexual exploitation and slavery. It was a great way to meet strong, like-minded women in London, taking part in events that would grow our minds and bodies instead of just boozing, such as a yoga brunch, self-defence class, chess masterclass and even a high intensity workout session.

Not only were the events so much fun, but we raised enough money to rescue, protect and empower two young women, which was absolutely phenomenal. I donate to various charities on a frequent basis, but I want to do more, whether that’s starting these events back up or doing something similar.

10. Hello, vegan!

This is the one that I’ve been the most excited about. I used to be the world’s biggest meat eater – every pizza would be a Meat Lovers, and steak with eggs for breakfast was not unusual. I’d considered being vegetarian when I was younger (I didn’t know veganism even existed), but my love for fried chicken was too powerful. Ming went vegan for a little bit, and I made fun of her. I made fun of vegetarians, because obviously they were all weirdos. What is life without bacon on my pancakes? Little did I know, I’d become the person I never wanted to be.

We went on holiday to Bali about three years ago, and I accidentally had a vegan diet for a week without even noticing. To me, I was just eating delicious food, so I didn’t think about the word ‘vegan’ much. I didn’t realise how good I would feel. I felt so light and full of energy. I’d never felt like this before! It was amazing, but I went back to London and my diet of cheeseburgers resumed. I never forgot how great I felt though.

Then I watched ‘Cowspiracy’ on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it, do. It’s about how meat agriculture is destroying the planet through greenhouse gases, destroying rainforests, water shortages, even world hunger. And environmental organisations don’t say not to eat meat because meat organisations fund them. It’s all a huge conspiracy. ONE SINGLE BURGER IS TWO MONTHS WORTH OF SHOWER WATER. WHAT.

This led to more and more research. I’d grown up seeing meat as food because that’s how society has shaped it. I’d kind of separated animals and meat that I eat in my head. I felt sick every time I ate meat after that, so there was just no point forcing myself to for the sake of it.

As a food blogger, things were difficult. First I cut out all meat except fish, then 2016 I went full vegetarian. I’d be mostly vegan anyway (partly because of the amount of research I did into the dairy and egg industry, and partly because I found out how bloated and crappy dairy makes me feel. The light, energetic feeling became normal and everything else became crap), apart from in awkward social situations (like weddings) and for food reviews.

But this is it. No more sacrificing things just for reviews, which I understand is going to make things a little more difficult, but I’d love to start writing about amazing vegan options at all kinds of restaurants. I don’t even think about it as vegan food. As a food blogger, I’d never make myself eat crap food. I only eat delicious things, and they just happen to be cruelty-free and good for the world. What’s wrong with that? And if I’m at an event with no food like that, I guess I’m just on the cocktails. Oh nooo, what a shame…

7 Comments

  1. January 3, 2017 / 9:39 am

    true. lasting change doesn’t happen overnight. have been wondering how you got into the process of becoming vegan and Walla, here it is! i guess it’s important to listen to your body when it comes to food. i made the error of not doing so during a difficult period of time in my life and it developed a into a scenario by which i eat only once a day and still have a constant feeling of fullness. i feel low on energy even when i’m feeling “full” and don’t have space for solid food. i compensate myself with more and more adrenaline and caffeine and end up sleeping less as a consequence. as someone with ocd i guess it makes it that much easier to develop a sort of an obsessive regiment and neglect things which really matter.

    i have been starting to eat better this year as a result of realising what the culprit was. i was in a situation where life became so, well, i guess you would call it ‘meh’, that everything became just another boring routine, including eating! which meant i wanted to limit everything to a minimum amount that was just enough for me to get by while i tried to focus on literally fighting for my sanity. that resulted in chugging stuff which would keep me full for as long as possible, especially glutinous rice. even though it made me feel bloated and gave me indigestion, i guess i was so caught up in the madness that i didn’t bother to remedy that particular issue immediately.

    as my psyche gradually improved, i started realising what the problem with my diet was but it seemed like it was too late to rectify the state of affairs. i changed my diet and starting taking in more fluids but the bloatedness and indigestion won’t seem to go away. even when I’ve eaten less. i couldn’t eat more even when i needed the energy. given how i used to love food in the past (i also used to be able to quote: “eat ‘sinful’ food and remain thin”) and probably still do, it’s gut-wrenching. it really is.

    oh before i forget to roll the full credits, the quote was from your dear sistah’s blog circa 20 july 2012 titled “the health journey” 🙂

    as for my situation i can only hope and pray that things go back to normal. the very act of eating better has made me feel like my body is healing, and hopefully my mind and soul too. music has played a big part in the process. i love to listen to and sing songs which i resonate with be it in terms of the pain of the past or hope for the future, although it must be said i’m no songwriter like your sister whom i really admire. i guess it must be therapeutic to be able to put your thoughts and feelings into something you really love!

    with regards to your upcoming endeavours i wish you all the success and all the satisfaction that comes along with it. i also wish you and your family a very blessed 2017, full of God’s favour and grace. it seems strange but in this age of social media it i feels like i already know and love your family! looking forward to better things in the year ahead!

    • January 3, 2017 / 3:10 pm

      Hi CJ,

      Thanks SO much for sharing. Really amazing to hear your story, I hope others stumble across it and understand that how things in your life that affect you mentally can also affect your body hugely. I’m so glad you found what the culprit and you’re trying to rectify your diet. I’m in no way a qualified health coach, but I highly recommend maybe chatting to someone who has experienced similar situations with others before and can even further (unless you’ve already done so, then ignore me!)

      So happy your healing journey is underway and I pray that this year it will make even more movements. Thanks so much for your kind words, it really means a lot that you love my family and are a big fan of myself and Ming! May this year bring you the best of things!

      B xxx

  2. Larissa
    January 4, 2017 / 3:27 am

    I love these resolutions!! You go girl! I’ve been dying to go vegetarian and I know once I watch Cowspiracy I’ll just want to be completely vegan. I’ve heard from many who, after watching it, made the change.

    I wish you luck in these resolutions! The fitness one is one every year I aim for but it’s always so hard haha. I graduate college in May and life is just crazy, but we can do this!!

    • January 4, 2017 / 2:58 pm

      Oh YES definitely watch it, it’s just so great to have this awareness if anything else! I fully support your decision to go vegan, you’ll absolutely love how you feel (on top of saving the world!). Thanks so much, I’ll definitely need luck remembering to take vitamins and drink enough water every day haha. YOU CAN DO IT! LET’S DO THIS!

  3. January 5, 2017 / 9:46 am

    btw it seems you (along with Her Highness Pickles of KENSINGTON) live pretty close to Stamford Bridge??? although last time i checked Ming was a Craven Cottage gal? i think you BRIDGES should come home to the BRIDGE ahahahahahahaha!!!! we look very good for the title this season!! although i have to note (forget about having just won 13 games on the trot and sitting pretty at the top of the league lol) major heartache last night when we lost the derby to Spurs!

    please let Ming know i love the snippet of her rendition of ‘Drops of Jupiter’! i’ve been wanting to let her know on twitter but i think she hasn’t seen it yet. i can’t use instagram because my phone’s down an IG needs it for authentication! okay i can’t believe this myself but i haven’t touched my phone in over 4 years. it’s dead. it really is. since my last (and only) attempt at a love life came to a halt. but it’s not just that which was the catalyst. it was falling out with my own folks as well. in fact i would argue that the latter’s the greater cause. nothing beats being thrown under the bus by the people you’d loved most all your life. not even the fact that a former love interest basically stabbed you in the back and left for someone whom she herself called a casanova and claimed she would “never go out with.” and to add salt to your wounds called you all sorts of crap like boring and sissy and said “nice guys never win.” which is the total opposite of what nice people like you and Ming would say.

    reason i say that, kindly indulge me in reminiscing for a moment, circa 2012 Ming’s valentine’s interview with SPH’s razor tv.

    interviewer (narration): her first mandarin single, 有些男孩不能爱, says a girl should never fall for a bad boy who doesn’t love her back. so, in real life, has Ming ever been a victim of such guys?

    Ming: i’m very, very lucky that i haven’t. i always go for the good guys! (laughs.)

    [and then i really love this next part which follows immediately. i think it’s hilarious!]

    interviewer: or are you the unpredictable one?

    Ming: (briefly turns to look square into the camera and in a sheepish tone) i don’t know… ah, i don’t know… that’s a, that’s a tough one i guess. you’ll have to find someone else to ask. (laughs!) but i have a lot of friends who have fallen for guys who’ve been very (unintelligible) and as a friend i’ve always shared their troubles and their worries and i always put myself in their shoes.

    what i love most is her sincerity and unassuming-ness. i reckon we’d all have no qualms believing her if she’d simply said “no way! i’m too much of a kind, caring and understanding person to be the unpredictable one!” haha

    would love to know what the unintelligible word was though. sounds like ‘rejectable’ to me but apparently the spell checker REJECTED me when i tried to put that in LOL!

    gosh i’ve spent the hour watching Ming bake cupcakes while re-listening to the interview in order to produce the abovementioned transcript. gotta go now even though i have so many more things to say. time flies in moments like these. may you and Ming and HH Pickles have a very good day. 🙂

  4. January 6, 2017 / 8:15 pm

    Wow, so many new year’s resolutions. They all sound great and super exciting.
    Good luck with everything.

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