Portion plate

A clever way of checking if you have a balanced diet

A Portion Plate

Are you worried that you might be eating the right food but in the wrong proportions?  Here is a fun plate that helps you!  

Portion plate


The recommended balance for your meals is generally accepted as:
Half – vegetables
Quarter – protein
Quarter – carbohydrates

Popularly known as “half, qarter, quarter”!

There are quite a few of these plates around now.  I particularly like this one because typical foods are illustrated, and this is a great help to jog your memory.

This was my dinner the other day – very tasty.  Made me cut down on the potato portion, I must say!

Golf swing

Qi Gong golf for the medal competition

Success in the medal competition

Qi Gong golf is working for me! I played the monthly club medal competition and I had the third best score out of all the players in my division.  As a result my handicap index went down to 33.2 (was 33.6).  Just two double bogey scores (double bogey is two strokes over the number of strokes a player is allowed for a hole when it is adjusted for her handicap).  This is such an improvement for me.  I have been coming nearer the bottom of club competitions for months now.  I am so excited!

How I apply Qi Gong to golf

The aim of Qi Gong is to get your energy to flow, and it is done by slow breathing and moving with the breath.  

Golf swing

I practise Qi Gong for at least twenty minutes every day, when I first get up and before breakfast.  At first I used to think I didn’t have time to do my Qi Gong on my golf days.  But then I thought to myself – wait! Instead of rushing off to the golf course and arriving just in time to go on the tee I should be making the time to relax and energise before I get to the golf course.  So I make sure that i get up twenty minutes earlier and I do my Qi Gong practice.

Tai Chi swing is recommended by professionals

Take a look at this video clip introducing you to the “Tai Chi Swing“.  Lynn Marriott, LPGA professional, talks you through using Tai Chi in a drill to improve your golf swing.  Tai Chi is very similar to Qi Gong and uses the same principles.  It is more of a martial art whereas Qi Gong is about your health and longevity.

My club fitting is tomorrow!  Can’t wait!

Lee Holden in a Qi Gong pose

Small steps – slightly better – what is Qi Gong?

Small steps on my Qi Gong and golf journey – not a particularly good score but slightly better and going down!

Oh well, the first opportunity on my Qi Gong and golf journey to record a score was a club competition and it wasn’t brilliant.  But it was slightly better than the one dropping off the eight best scores, so it changed the average.  The result is that I am now 33.6 handicap index (was 33.7).  So I have to work on this a bit more (just a bit!).   My excuse is that the competition was a par or “bogey” format which doesn’t suit my high handicapper up and down play – grrr!

The bogey format is described as playing a match against the course.  In this you have to be very steady because you just get one plus point for playing each hole better than your handicap and a minus for playing a hole above your handicap.  If you just play to your handicap you get zero.   This is not very satisfying.  On the other hand, In my normal game I can get a better score sometimes by playing a hole well below my handicap so that if I do a bad hole it doesn’t matter so much.

Qi Gong and golf – what is Qi Gong?

Lee Holden in a Qi Gong pose

Qi Gong is a Chinese practice a bit like Yoga that has been going for thousands of years.  The words translate as “energy work”.  It is all about getting your energy to flow which produces healing in the body and encourages longevity.  It is based on the same system of channels and pressure points that acupuncture and shiatsu use, and I love it.

Practising Qi Gong regularly strengthens your muscle, tones your body, expands your mind and connects you to the universe.  You learn to control your breath and relax.  How could this not help with golf?  Here is Qi Gong practitioner and teacher Lee Holden to tell you more about it.

When you do a back swing in golf it should be relaxed and effortless.  Then you swing down and focus directly on the target. 

So next chance to reduce my handicap using my my new Qi Gong techniques – next week’s medal!

Golf clubs

Success already – my handicap journey

Runners up in two competitions

Success already! I played in two competitions on two consecutive days after this big decision to try to improve my golf, and on both occasions my teams were runners-up!  We all contributed scores and I didn’t let the side down.  I had some really nice shots that contributed good points.  For the first time for a long long time I felt that I was making some progress.

My handicap index remained unchanged – ah!

Sadly, when you play in a team competition your score usually can’t be recorded on the handicap system, so even though I played well it didn’t affect my handicap index.  Still 33.7.

My first steps in the handicap journey – 

I had already arranged with  a senior player in my club to play some holes with me on the course to see if she could give me some tips on course management.  Also, to see if she could spot anything obvious that I was doing wrong.  So this took place on the day after the two successful competitions (above).  It was an extremely valuable session, and my “mentor” for that day was very patient and gave me a lot to think about.

A new set of clubs – yikes!

Golf clubs

The first thing my mentor said was that I could do with a new set of clubs!  Hmmm…how interesting!  I hadn’t thought about that at all.  I bought my first set of clubs when I first started playing golf, seventeen years ago!  The only change I had made was to my driver that I had broken in a wild drive years ago and a friend gave me a cast-off that she didn’t want and that I have always hated and haven’t really got on with.  (Although I was very appreciative that she had generously given it to me!).  My thinking was at the time that it would be very extravagent to splash out mega bucks on a new driver when I was such a mediocre player, and I thought I would treat myself when I got better.  Well, you know the story there – I never have got better, so I have accepted the old driver – just now and then looking wistfully at colleagues stepping up on to the tee with their flashy drivers, and occasionally thinking that it might make a difference if I had a decent driver?

Watch the feet

My mentor had no sympathy for me when my shots went in the wrong direction – she said that was where my feet were pointing.  Aaargh! I have heard that many times before but I do seem to struggle with lining up.  I might have to look into that if I am to achieve my dream!

Pick a near point to aim to

Another tip my mentor reminded me of.  I have heard many times –  but do I remember to do it?  No.  Mainly because I am staring out at grass ahead of me much of the time and it all looks the same to me.  Especially when putting.  I am of two minds here.  I can throw a ball straight to someone.  I don’t pick a point between me and that person!  Part of me feels strongly that I should go with the flow and not make things too mechanical.  Maybe something to do in practice sessions, and then not dwell too much on it on the course.

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