Open Ready!

Open Ready!

Last week saw the start of the 5 week CrossFit Open and while I’m by no means an elite athlete I like to give it my all and so in this blog I’m sharing with you 1  little change I’m making in my diet to help my body recover that little bit better from these intense workouts.

What is this you might ask!?

Its simply adding  “Arrabawn Skim Plus Milk” into my morning smoothies and post work out protein shakes.

“Skim Plus milk is a fat free milk enriched with Iron, Folic Acid and vitamins C, D, E, B2 (Riboflavin) and B12. The skim milk product offers many of the healthy nutrients required for a healthy lifestyle.” (According to  Arrabawns website).

After saying that I’m not a huge fan of drinking milk on its own so I tend to add it to things to drink it.

This week, I added it to my morning smoothies:


-200 ml Arrabawn Skim Plus Milk

-One measurement of “Diamond Slim Lite” Protein,

-A handful of Spinach

-200 g  of Tesco Frozen Mixed Berries

-One Banana.


-25 secs Zap in the Nutri Bullet and its ready to drink. 🙂

Easy as that and with only 318 calories it keeps me full for the morning.

I also used the Milk in my post workout protein shake with some more “Diamond Slim Lite”. Its 168 calories and took away that need to eat some thing afterwards and keeps me at bay until dinner time.

Now I’m not here to explain to you the benefits of milk to our bones, muscles, joints but as a person who also has Arthritis and a replaced hip I’m even more aware of what my body needs and the  importance of having at least 3 daily servings of milk/milk products , Iron and these vitamins and so anything that can help with this daily requirement is always going to be given a thumbs up from me.

Ill definitely be keeping this new routine of mine up for the rest of the Open. Keep an eye on my social media – Facebook, Instagram for my process.

Stay holistic 🙂

P.s. Here are photos of me doing the 1st and 2nd ‘Open’ workouts and while I’m not saying that it was because of  the milk but I’m delighted that I’m managed to complete the 1st workout within the recommended time cap and completed more pull ups in the 2nd workout than ever before! 😜
Catherine  x

If you enjoyed this blog you might also enjoy my other blogs on Health Eating (click here) or CrossFit (click here).





An Afternoon of Relaxation

An Afternoon of Relaxation

After the success of their “Sweet 16 Birthday Celebrations” in November. (Read my blog about it  here), Marcia from Seabreeze Spa and Beauty invited me back into the salon for another treatment.

With so many wonderful treatments and therapys to choice from, I was totally spoiled for choice.

So I decided to really treat myself and went with  the ‘Lazy Days Detox Seaweed Bath’. I also added in use of their Relaxation Room and Spa facilities too.

On arrival I was given the use of a nice fluffy robe, slippers and complimentary herbal teas and water and directed towards the Relaxation room. This is ideal when you need a few minutes to just chill and leave the outside behind. It has comfy loungers to relax on and the Voya herbal tea is to die for!



(Ps I had the Chamomile and it was delicious).

After a little while I moved on to the Sauna. This is by far one of my favourite things to do and if I could I would have one installed into my house and never leave it.😀 I’m naturally a cold person and so I’m always drawn to heat so added with the peace and quiet and the fact that I had it all  to myself made it even better. Heaven!

By then I was nice and relaxed and ready for my Seaweed bath.

This was only fabulous. Marcia recommended I shower first to open the pores and then to soak for at least 20 minutes to let the seaweed draw out the toxins from my skin.

The water was such a lovely temperature that I could immerse myself in it and just let the seaweed float/wash over me. If you have never had a seaweed bath you might find it a bit weird at first as its slimy and turns the water a deep colour but rest assured this is all normal. You get used to the sensation of the seaweed on you and almost immediately you can feel your skin getting softer from it.

I really enjoyed this and didn’t want to leave at all. Pure bliss on a Thursday afternoon.. (Or anytime to be honest!).

Marcia was even so kind as bag my seaweed for me as it can be used twice more to prolong that relaxation feeling over the next few days. I couldn’t ask for anything more. (She agreed that I can use it in my foot spa like I did in my previous blog here.)

I had a truly enjoyable and relaxing afternoon in SeaBreeze Beauty and I highly recommend it as a lovely treat for yourself or indeed a present for someone else.

You can see a full list of their products and treatments on their website here or follow them on Facebook here.
“I worked on this blogger collaboration via my association with Into The West Blogger Network – Ireland’s leading network for bloggers. Find them at or on social media at ITWBN”
Stay holistic 🙂

Catherine x



Last week I was invited by Jessica from FITTSTEPS Training to try one of her classes in her new studio in Craughwell through the Into The West Blogger Network.

FITTSTEPS opened up recently in Craughwell and is a brand new fitness studio that offers a full range of classes, training, nutrition and health work shops for all ages.

I choose the Piloxing on Wednesday last as I’ve never done this before and love trying out new exercises and classes.  When you google Piloxing, its described as

“A non-stop, cardio fusion of standing pilates, boxing and dance that will push you past your limits for a sleek, sexy, and powerful you”

Jessica’s class didn’t fail to impress. The studio is a lovely space and with the disco lights and dance music pumping you really could be anywhere.

There were  7 of us in the class and there was plenty of room to move around and get those arms pumping. From the start the energy from Jessica was contagious and even without been to her class before it was easy enough to follow the steps by watching her at the top of the room.

It was great fun and even though I spent a lot of time doing the wrong steps, moves and punches, (due to my uncoordinated arms and not Jess’s directions I might add). I could feel the burn very early on and I could tell this was going to be a great all body work out. The hour flew by and I have to say I spent a lot of it just laughing at my amazing dance moves in the mirror!! lol Lets just say Rihanna hasnt got any thing to worry about!

I got talking to the other ladies after class and we were all smiling and buzzing from it and they reassured me that the moves and step sequence get easier after a few classes!


I would highly recommend this class to anyone who is looking for a fun class, where they can laugh, dance and get fit all at the same time. 🙂

Contact Jess on her website  and of course if you do let her know I sent you.

If you enjoyed this blog, you might also like some of my other blogs about exercise, click here to read them.

“I worked on this blogger collaboration via my association with Into The West Blogger Network – Ireland’s leading network for bloggers. Find them at or on social media at ITWBN”
Stay holistic

Catherine x


Irish Blogger Agency Launch

Irish Blogger Agency Launch


As a member of the Irish Blogger Agency I got to go to its launch on Sunday the 25th of September in the Double Tree by Hilton in Dublin. The line-up promised to be jammed pack with talks from the founder & CEO Sinead and her “Power Team”. I knew there would be loads of other bloggers there and the only problem I had was trying to figure out how I could get chatting to as many as possible.


Events like this can always be a bit nerve wrecking at first as a lot of people come on their own and don’t really know anyone (except in the virtual world). But the welcoming committee at the registration table put me at ease straight away and once I got my tea and chocolates (Yum Yum from Solaris tea and Issie’s). I got chatting to Clodagh (from Orange Obviously), Avril (from A Paler Shade Of Beauty) and Corina (To The Moon And The Stars)so the nerves soon settled.

The room set up was amazing and you could tell everyone was delighted with the Free Blank Canvas products!! WOW



The line-up didn’t fail to impress either. The Power Team consists of Roger T Burrows, Joanne Sweeney-Burke, Suzie Mahony and Kayanne Horgan.Roger talked about “Our HERO within” and how the people that you associate with will lift your own average. Suzie talked about “Breaking down the issues and tackling it each step at a time”. Joanne talked about how “Knowledge is Power and it sets us apart from the competition”.  All were very motivational and I was like a sponge taking to take it in all.

The bloggers that spoke, Kate Kelly, The Galway Player and Veruska Anconitano were all very inspirational. They have proven that it can be done. Start off with your dream, your idea, your goal and regardless of what others may say or think along the way. Work on it, mould it your way and it can become a successful full time job with the right belief.


I caught up with other bloggers from ITWBN there, Kerry (Fabulicious Fifty), Dolores (Irish Health Hour), Ruth (The Beauty Kemple), Saibh (Wild Cosmia) and so many more and I left feeling so positive and pumped up for the future of my blog. Such a great and motivating day.



So what’s the next step for The Holistic Toolkit you might ask??

As you know my journey started after I got my hip replaced and I wanted to share how I manage my Arthritis pain day to day through exercise, holistic treatments, healthy eating, mindfulness etc.

This goal has changed a little bit for me as I see in this crazy modern world that we all lead busy life’s and everyone has some form of pain, be it mentally, emotionally or physically and we all need certain “tools” to help us manage it the most effectively way.

So my next step is to continue to share with you my day to day experiences of how I continue to live well with my Arthritis, the benefits of my holistic therapies, my CrossFit journey (my hip is strong enough now to take on its own challenges and I want to document these here), my healthy eating tips and my suggestions on Mindfulness.

I’m delighted to be a part of the Irish Blogger Agency and I just know its going to be such a success. I’m very positive and excited about this next step and I hope that I can bring as many of you along with me as possible.


Please feel free to view any of my blogs here and don’t forget to contact me here if you have any suggestions for me.

Stay Holistic 🙂

Catherine x


‘Time flies when you are having fun’

‘Time flies when you are having fun’

I couldn’t believe it when I got this notification from WordPress that its been a year since I first registered for this blog.


The reason why I set this up is all in my first blog (see my first and very basic blog here).  But in short it was to mark another important anniversary for me, that of my new hip replacement (4 years today – the 23rd of August). I wanted to share how I overcame the pain of living with arthritis and how I live well my new hip every day. I have also turned it into a way to help others live a pain free life and set up my own business -The Holistic Toolkit. 

My goal a year ago was to share my story with others, live well with arthritis, show how exercise helps me, the benefits of massage and reflexology, my healthy eating tips, mindfulness ideas, my volunteering and anything else that I find along the way that I feel would benefit my life (and others) in a positive pain free and inspiring way. 

So with my blank WordPress and a goal, I set off.  


Thankfully I found “Into The West Blogger Network” and they introduced me into the amazing world that is blogging. 

I even went back to school with them and Educated machine and this helped me redo my blog and I’m delighted with when I have now. 

So one year later, I think it’s as good a time as any to talk you through my blog as it stands today. 

Please note that like any blog or website it will look slightly different depending where you read it from, a PC, tablet, phone.  

The PC or tablet will show the Menu bar along the top.

While the phone will show it on the top right hand corner with the drop down list once you click on it.

I have information about me, in the ‘Who is The Holistic Toolkit?’ tab. As well as all my contact details in the ‘How to Contact me?’ tab.

In the ‘Build your Toolkit’ tab, I have categorised the different blogs into different topics to help you, the reader easily find your interests.

These are Reflexology, CrossFit, Exercise, Healthy Eating, Food Recipes, Mindfulness, Volunteering, Massage, Arthritis Ireland and I hope to add to these in the future.

I also have links to my social media on the right hand side on the tablet or PC. Click on these to bring you directly into my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. (Unfortunately these don’t show up on the phone but are all also in the contact tab).

Over the past year I have written 37 blogs and have had over 1500 views. I’m delighted with this and would like to thank each and everyone one of you for liking and sharing my content.

My future goal is to continue to blog and to help and encourage as many as I can to live as pain free a life as possible (be it physically or mentally) through the right exercise, food , holistic treatments and positive lifestyle choices.
That’s it for now. Watch this space for plenty more from The Holistic Toolkit in the coming months.

Stay holistic 🙂


Catherine x
Please don’t keep me a secret! My business grows by referral, please tell a friend, relative or colleague who would benefit from The Holistic Toolkit.

Going back to school!! 

Going back to school!! 

As you know I’ve been ‘officially ‘ blogging” for nearly 9 months now, after many  years of personal journals. I wanted to introduce a blog to my business as a help and complimentary tool for people to get more information on the benefits of my holistic treatments and also to share with my followers some hips and tips about living with Arthritis and managing my life with my replaced hip through my exercise, relaxation, healthy eating etc.


I started using WordPress after a little bit of investigation because of its easy to use layout. I’m not a big techie at all and my head gets confused when it comes to ‘Coding’ and ‘Java’ speak. I come from the old paper and pen diary so I needed something that I could use easily and get my thoughts down as quick on my keyboard.

WordPress is great for that and at the beginning I just typed and published (naively delighted with myself). However as the months went on I realised that I needed my blog to be more that just words on a white page. My blog needs to have pictures, links, stats, graphics, even colour! If I want it to be taken serious I needed to up my ‘blog game’ so to speak.


So roll on last week where I attended an excellent one day ‘Blog School’ run by the the wonderful ladies from the ITWBN Sinead snd Saibh and Michael from Educated Machine.  This was held in the Connacht Hotel  and was advertised for bloggers just like me who needed help getting their blog set up or help with the in and outs of the WordPress platform.


This workshop opened up my eyes to the potential that my blog can be and within just a few short hours I learned about Headings,Categories,Themes, Plug Ins and Widgets to name up a few. Micheal and the ladies made us feel at ease from the beginning and no question was “silly” or “too small”. It was such an interesting day and is always lovely to also meet other bloggers in the same position as me. I have been to a few network get-together’s before and this just confirms what I already know about the “Into The West Blogger Network”.  The support and encouragement you get from the network is second to none. Its invaluable to any serious blogger.


I left the workshop so confident that I was dying to get stuck in to refreshing and updating my blog. I have already added in some links to my social media, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

By the end of this week I hope to have all the blogs grouped into easy to find categories so that you as the reader can find all related Blogs together, such as Holistic treatments, Crossfit, Healthy Eating, Living with Arthritis etc.

Please feel free to contact me by any of the above links and let me know what you would like to see on the blog and I do my best to write a blog about it.


I promise exciting times ahead here J


Stay holistic ..


Catherine x