Nourishing Amelia

learning to live a happy, healthy life

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Friday, 8 June 2018

Coming Off Hormonal Birth Control?


I've been taking hormonal birth control pills for 7 years now, excluding a short break a couple of years ago for a few months. I was first put on them after my diagnosis if PCOS to control my nasty symptoms and to get me feeling better again. I've had a bit of a strange time on the pill and now it's time to wave goodbye to the artificial hormones for good (hopefully)!
I really wanted to share my journey with coming off the pill because I know it's something a lot of women question for a long time and something women are perhaps scared about. I hope this little series gives you a bit of an insight into my experiences! Lets start at the beginning....


Why did I first take the pill and what reaction did I have?
I was first put on the pill by my GP when I was 16 years old, so I've been taking it for pretty much all my adult life so far. I originally starting taking the pill to manage my PCOS symptoms and I have to say, it did work. Before the pill I had pretty awful skin, my periods weren't regular and the pain I had every month was indescribable. This all changed on the pill - my skin cleared up, my period came every month without fail and the pain wasn't so intense.
I didn't have the easiest time when I first starting popping the pill though. I tried two varieties of the combined pill that made me feel so sick I couldn't sleep at night and I'd spend hours with my head over the sink trying not to throw up! Eventually I found one that did seem to suit my body a bit better and even though I still suffered with the sickness to begin with it died down. I stayed on this pill (called Yasmin) up until I was 21 years old when I decided to have a little break.

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Monday, 21 May 2018

Currently Loving - Buckwheat!


When I first went gluten free I ate buckwheat all the time, it's naturally free from gluten and it's easy to digest so it made a great occupnment to lunches and dinners, or even made into a porridge for a delicious and filling breakfast. Recently I've rediscovered my love for buckwheat with it's slightly nutty taste, ability to really fill me up and it's wealth of nutrients that leave me feeling energised and happy!

Last week was Coeliac Awareness Week (yeah, bit late I know) so I wanted to share a little more about the grain (that's actually technically a seed) because it really was a staple in my diet after I was diagnosed.


As mentioned above buckwheat is actually a seed. It's naturally gluten free, high in fibre, high in protein and a lot easier on the digestive system than lots of grains out there. Buckwheat comes in a variety of forms such as groats, flour or even buckwheat flakes (like porridge!) and it really is worthy of its superfood title.
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Thursday, 17 May 2018

Easy Miso Marinated Aubergine & Quinoa


Marinating aubergine in delicious miso and baking it in the oven is so quick and so simple but creates the most gorgeous accompaniment to a dinner, main element to a tasty lunch with a big salad OR an incredible summer BBQ side dish. In this recipe I'm sharing with you today I've paired the sticky miso aubergine with a chilli & miso quinoa, mushroom & pak choi dish - the perfect pairing if you ask me!

To make this recipe even more quick & easy I used Itsu's Miso-Easy sachet which is a vegan, gluten free miso paste. I love to have these in my cupboard to add to stir-fries, soups, to make salad dressings and to drizzle over aubergine like I've done for this recipe.



The Miso'Easy is perfect to use on it's own or I like to mix it with a little lime juice and a touch of tamari to add a little more flavour. When baked in the oven the aubergine absorbs all the authentic japanese flavours so well, it becomes to tender and so flavoursome - trust me, it's game-changing!
The quinoa is also pretty fab, and I used the miso'easy sachet in chilli flavour for this which adds a delicious kick and pairs well with the mushrooms and pak choi for a true Japanese feel dish.

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Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Stress, Sleep & Success - My Top Tips


A good night's sleep is undoubtedly one of the most important factors in leading a happy, healthy life. A bad night's sleep can cause you to feel irritable, you could lack concentration, feel uninspired and unmotivated, increase feelings of anxiety and inhibit success in your life. Personally I find how many hours sleep I get every night and the quality of that sleep to have a huge impact on my life, both personally and professionally. Without a solid 8-9 hours good quality sleep I become not only very fatigued but my mental health suffers too - my anxiety levels will rise, I'll become stressed much more easily and I can start to feel very down. This is a vicious cycle that's hard to break because when I feel like this I'll then have even more trouble sleeping, and the pattern carries on!

We all have a personal relationship with stress and how it affects us, but I think we can all agree sleep plays a huge role in reducing stress and increasing success in your everyday life. That's why I'm working with Tempur this month (Mental Health Awareness Month) to help you improve your quality of sleep and as a result hopefully lead a less stressful, happier, healthier life! We all know how passionate I am about opening up the conversations surrounding mental health and how much I want to help those who suffer with mental health problems, so I couldn't be more proud to be working with Tempur on this campaign. Especially as the brand are doing something phenomenally generous by donating £10 to The Mental Health Foundation for every Tempur mattress sold throughout May...so really what better time to get an amazing new mattress?


Tempur offer the most amazing range of products such as mattresses, pillows and beds all made from NASA's unique (and scientifically created) memory foam to help you get a better quality of sleep every night. Ensuring every night's sleep is a peaceful one will no doubt help improve your quality of sleep once you're awake...in every aspect! I personally find when I have a long string of deep, incredible sleep filled night's with no disruption or discomfort I get more done in the day, I feel more positive, I'm instantly more productive, my creativity flourishes and I have mountains of energy to do all the things I want to.

Having a supportive mattress and comfortable pillows is of course key in getting a high quality night's sleep, but there are also certain tricks I find that help my sleep quality improve significantly and therefore decrease my stress levels throughout the day!

Read A Book
We all have busy lives which means our brains are just in overdrive all the time, so when it comes to bedtime you can't just expect your brain to quieten itself down suddenly as soon as your head hits the pillow. You need to calm it down with a little help! My favourite way to do this is by reading a good book - I try and stick to an easy read before bed, something that's not too complicated and definitely not a thriller. I find I get sucked into the little world within the book and therefore forget about all the worries, deadlines and stress in my life.

Herbal Tea
The action of making yourself a soothing herbal tea (I like peppermint) before bedtime is such a gentle, kind and calming motion and can really help you wind down before getting some z's. I like to do this and then grab my book to read a chapter or two!

Less Screen Time
It's so tempting to sit scrolling through Facebook or Instagram as you settle into bed, you may even think it relaxes you. But studies have shown the light from these screens really stimulates your brain and can massively reduce your sleep quality meaning you won't feel so fresh in the morning! Try switching off at least 1 hour before hitting the hay and notice the difference.

Complete Darkness
I really notice the difference in my sleep quality when I sleep in a dark room compared to a light one. Sleeping in a dark room helps tell the brain it's time to relax and get some shut eye, when it's light the brain has a harder job figuring out what's going on!


So, who's ready to get some amazing night's sleep and start conquering life in the best way possible?! Try my top tips this week, and get your hands on a new comfy pillow and maybe even a mattress from Tempur now to help in your effort to lead a happier, healthier, less stressed, more successful life!


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Saturday, 5 May 2018

Raspberry & Coconut Sandwich Cookies


I was feeling creative in the kitchen a couple of days ago when this idea for coconut & raspberry jam sandwich cookies came into my head, so of course I got stuck right into making them! They were a complete experiment made up on the spot but they turned out amazingly well, and luckily I had written down all the ingredients/measurements so I can share the recipe with you!



These raw raspberry & coconut sandwich cookies are just divine - and pretty easy to make too! The combination of raspberry and coconut is truly one of the most delicious pairings, so sweet but light and refreshing at the same time. I love that they're raw cookies, meaning there's no baking involved (i.e no risk of burning anything!) and would definitely make a perfect summer sweet treat.

The cookies contain a wealth of healthy fats, which I most certainly feel like I need at the moment as my PCOS symptoms have flared up a little due to stress and tiredness. Healthy fats are also vital for healthy skin, shiny hair, strong bones, better brain function and I find they boost my mood too.

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Thursday, 19 April 2018

Easy Vegan Potato Salad


Spring has most certainly sprung this week! The warmer weather is making an appearance, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and I'm finally ditching the winter coats for light jackets. The change in the weather and the turn of the seasons always makes me so excited for new food, new produce and seasonal dishes. Spring/summer food is my absolute favourite, because whilst I love winter warmers such as curries and stews you just can't beat pasta salads, BBQ food, fresh summer berries and all the other vibrant, zesty, delicious foods the season has to offer.

One of the best summer foods (in my option) is a fresh potato salad. It's just a classic, isn't it? I remember it eating it as child on picnics or with a family BBQ, I always loved it but didn't eat it for such a long time when I transitioned to a plant based diet because most potato salads you buy in the shop contain dairy. I've made a few vegan friendly potato salads over the last year or so but this recipe I'm sharing with you today is my tastiest, easier and cheapest yet!


The simple dressing (or mayo alternative) is made using tahini, lemon juice and olive oil - so all things you can easily find in your local supermarket, all natural and all super tasty. When combined it makes this delightfully fresh taste and creamy consistency that's perfect for potato salad. The spring onions, parsley and chives add the most wonderful flavours that all scream 'summer'!

I love to pair this potato salad with plenty of baby leaf salad, on the vine potatoes and either falafels or a veggie burger. It'd be a great BBQ dish and one to make on a light, warm evening to enjoy in the garden....maybe with a drop of white wine!

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