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Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Christmas Spice Apple Pies

Not a mince pie fan? I have just the alternative for you this Christmas!
Now, I personally do love a mince pie but I know many people aren't keen on the traditional Christmas treat due to the dried fruits inside. I've come up with this raisin and sultana free pie alternative that will still love you feeling super festive. Welcome Christmas Spice Apple Pies!

These festive apple pies actually look like mini mince pies, don't they? But the contents is very different! Instead of mincemeat they're filled with cooked apples and plenty of warming spices such as cinnamon and ginger to give that Christmassy flavour. Each pie is packed full of flavour, the gluten free pastry is buttery and soft, the pies are perfect on their own but they're even better with a dollop of dairy free cream or perhaps some coconut yogurt.

My boyfriend (who isn't a mince pie) devoured these spiced apple pies, and I scoffed a few myself! I have to say, it was quite nice having a bit of a change to a mince pie!
Give the recipe a go, I promise you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Pecan Gingerbread Cookies

I'm a massive fan of anything Gingerbread  (especially at this time of the year!) so I'm super excited to be bringing you this delicious Pecan Gingerbread Cookie recipe.
The recipe is a total winner; the flavours are to die for, the texture is soft & buttery and they're super filling as well. I used a secret ingredient to give these cookies that bit of extra flavour, texture and added fibre and protein as well. That ingredient is Go Nutz Pecan Gingerbread Energy Balls.

I was approached by Muscle Food about these vegan energy balls and at first I was surprised....I mean, Muscle Food wanting to promote a vegan product? Sounded a little strange! Little did I realise just how fab the variety is on the Muscle Food website - if you're thinking it's all meat and protein powder you'd be very wrong! Not only do they stock these delish vegan & gluten free energy balls but there's vegan protein bars, vegan & gf pizza bases, quinoa packs, oats, noodles, bread and not to mention an array of superiors and baking ingredient such as cacao powder, coconut sugar and chia seeds. I really was so impressed to see how Muscle Food cater for every dietary requirement and couldn't be happier to be working with them to give you this warming cookie recipe.


Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Mulled Rosè with Blossom Hill

'Tis the season for Mulled Wine!
I do love a glass of warming mulled wine during the festive season. There's something about it that brings me so much joy, happy memories and I instantly feel full of Christmas spirit. Classically you'd use a red wine but Blossom Hill have come up with this gorgeous recipe using their Pale Rosè and I can confirm it's absolutely delicious!

Using Rosè instead of red wine might be a little controversial, but it's a game-changer. The taste is a lot lighter and softer with a refreshing crisp, clean, elegant taste that is paired perfectly with the warm spices infused as it's mulled. I made this for a couple of my friends as a girls night in treat and everyone loved it! We all agreed it was the perfect drink to curl up on the sofa with whilst watching a Christmas film and eating mince pies. I went down so well I'm actually planning on making it again for our Christmas party and I'm absolutely going to be mixing some up on Christmas Eve to serve to my family. It's a real winner.

To make this mulled wine I simply poured Blossom Hill's Pale Rosè into a saucepan and added 1/4 tsp nutmeg, a few cinnamon sticks, 4 cloves, 2 tbsp coconut sugar, a little fresh vanilla and I also included some fresh oranges slices to really bring out the fruity flavour!

Follow Blossom Hill on Instagram & Facebook for more recipe ideas!


Tuesday, 4 December 2018

How To Exercise With PCOS

One of the first things you're told when diagnosed with PCOS is to make some healthier lifestyle changes. PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) is all to do with abnormal hormone levels in the body, including high levels of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls sugar levels in the body, but many women with PCOS are resistant to the action of the insulin in their body and produce higher amounts of the hormone to combat this. This then contributes to increased production of hormones such as testosterone. Regular exercise has been shown to help the body respond better to insulin and balance out hormones! This can not only help PCOS symptoms but also reduce the risk of possible side effects and complications such as reduced fertility, diabetes and depression.

I've personally found exercise to be absolutely necessary in order to keep my PCOS symptoms and pain at bay, it most definitely helps with my mental health and I really feel the negative impact when I don't exercise for a while. That being said, you do have to be a little careful with your exercise regime and find a healthy balance that suits you delicate body!

When I was first diagnosed with PCOS and told to exercise more I thought 'the more the better'. I believe the more I exercised and the more intense the workouts the better it would be for my body. so I jumped straight in with 5-6 HIIT sessions a week! At the time I didn't see anything wrong with this, however when I was doing this I lost probably too much weight, I lost my period and my energy levels were pretty low! When I looked into HIIT and PCOS I found that HIIT actually puts your body under a huge amount of stress and strain. It ultimately increases our cortisol levels which is NOT good for PCOS and can cause all sorts of problems. That isn't to say HIIT should always be avoided but doing it more than 3 times a week isn't recommended to anyone, especially if you have a hormonal imbalance.


Sunday, 25 November 2018

Reduce Stress with Link Nutrition

This time of year sure is magical in so many ways, but it can also be very stressful and anxiety inducing! I personally find the end of the year a little tough - my workload seems to double, deadlines creep on me, it's difficult to balance work/social life and don't even get me started on tax returns.

Instead of admitting defeat and curling up under my duvet until February (which is ever so tempting) there's a few rituals that have become ever so important during my week to stop me feeling overwhelmed and full of stress.

Firstly I wanted to tell you about a supplement I have been taking for a couple of months now that's specifically designed to reduce stress. It's called Relax from Link Nutrition and I honestly love it! This blog post is Kindly sponsored by the brand, but I want to make it very clear I genuinely have taken their products for months and truly love everything about them.
The Relax supplement is a targeted blend of B vitamins and soothing botanicals to balance and protect you against the stresses of everyday life. The unique formula contains magnesium and B vitamins which have been proven to reduce fatigue and promote normal psychological function. The presence of L Theanine (commonly found in green tea) helps to promote relaxation without sedation! Turmeric is also added to the supplement, this is fight inflammation often caused by stress and anxiety. The product is vegetarian, gluten free and contains raw ingredients! As I said, I've been taking this supplement for a while now and I really do think it's helped me feel a lot more calm and collected at times I'd otherwise be ridden with stress. Whether this is a placebo effect or not I don't know, but either way it's doing something!

I know, I know, everyone says it...but yoga really is fantastic for stress relief. I find if I go more than a couple of says without jumping on my mat my anxiety gets far worse, I become irritable and I feel mentally quite foggy. Yoga enables you to become more focused on the present moment and encourages you to take time for yourself, increase self-compassion and promote mindfulness. I'll either follow a flow online (there are so many on YouTube) or I'll find a Spotify playlist and just let my body move how it wants to for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Four Benefits Of Pumpkins

Pumpkin is just about everywhere this time of year, from a scary carved pumpkin in your window to celebrate Halloween to delicious sweet pumpkin spiced lattes served at near enough every coffee shop in the country. But did you know pumpkin has a wide range of health benefits and is a great food to include in your diet?!
I have to admit, I don't think I'd ever eaten pumpkin until last year. I always thought of the round orange vegetable as something you just carved at halloween and perhaps made a lousy soup out of with the remains....little did I know just how delicious and nutritious pumpkin actually is.

Pumpkin is actually within the same veggie family as cucumbers and butternut squash. It's one of the most popular field crops around the world both for it's flesh and it's seeds inside. Pumpkin is extremely nutrient dense, low calorie and contains no saturated fat or cholesterol. It can be boiled, steamed, roasted and baked. I personally love to roast it with a little olive oil, dried herbs and sea salt then mix it into salads, quinoa bowls, rice dishes or even stews and curries. I recently mixed it into a spaghetti dish (recipe on my Instagram) with a mustard, lemon & olive oil dressing, toasted flaked almonds and wilted spinach - it was superb! If you're not convinced to try adding pumpkin to your diet yet, here's some more reasons why you definitely should -

Live Happy, Live Healthy


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