learning to live a happy, healthy life

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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Three Ways Alcohol Effects Your Body


Most of us enjoy an alcoholic beverage every now and then which is totally fine but drinking every day or in excessive amounts can have extreme negative effects on the body. Consuming alcohol causes all sorts of side effects and triggers reactions in your precious body that harm your health more than you may have thought.

There are a lot of very serious health issues linked with excessive alcohol consumption but today I'm talking more about short term or immediate effects alcohol has on the body.


Depleted Water & Nutrients
If you've ever had a few too many you'll know that feeling of waking up in the morning feeling insanely thirsty, more dehydrated than you thought was possible and like you've got no nutrients in your body at all. Alcohol irritates the stomach lining which reduces your ability to absorb nutrients from the wonderful food you're eating which can make you feel sluggish, fatigued and cause a horrible upset stomach! Alcohol is also dehydrating - it decreases the body's ability to produce the anti-diuretic hormone which is used by the body to reabsorb water, and your body also loses a lot of fluid through increased urination.
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Monday, 29 August 2016

The Confidence To Go Bare Faced


I've loved makeup since I was a young teen; I remember being super excited when I purchased my first mascara and wondering how I lived before concealer. I love makeup but it started to become a necessity for me rather than a tool to highlight by features and express myself. I started to look at makeup as something to hide behind, to cover what I thought were 'flaws' and I couldn't go a day without applying a full face of makeup, from foundation to mascara and bronzer to lipstick.


At first I didn't notice anything wrong with this, it's normal for a young woman to wear makeup every day isn't it? But it escalated and I'd become obsessed with making sure my makeup was perfect before leaving the house, I'd spend at least half an hour on my makeup before popping down to the corner shop to pick up some essentials and I wouldn't even want to be seen by my family without at least having some concealer on. I'd spend an endless amount of time examining my face up close in the mirror before I'd even consider leaving the house and I can't even count the times I cancelled plans because I felt too self conscious to go out.
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Friday, 26 August 2016

Turmeric Zoats Recipe


If you follow me on Instagram (@NourishingAmelia) you'll know I have a slight obsession with zoats. Ok, ok, it's a big obsession....they're just too good! But my latest twist on zoats has caused my obsession to become even more huge so I just HAD to share this insanely scrumptious, crazily healthy, nutritious and delicious breakfast recipe with you (not gonna lie, I even have it for lunch sometimes!).


First things first, don't know what zoats are? Let me enlighten you - zoats are simply porridge with grated courgette mixed into them (zucchini oats). Yep, sounds gross and weird doesn't it? I thought the same thing before I tried them, I wondered why anyone would ruin a perfectly good bowl of porridge by sticking some grated green vegetable in it but one day I decided to give it a go and I haven't looked back since!

When the courgette is grated and stirred into the oats as they finish cooking they absorb all the yummy flavours you've put in your pan and when you go to eat them you can't taste them at all. Yes, the texture is slightly different but in a good way and it adds loads of volume to your bowl....who doesn't want more food? Plus, it means you get an extra portion of veg in your diet which can never be a bad thing! So, don't judge before you try. Now, let's move on to my recipe.
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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Creamy Banana-Free Chocolate Smoothie


Creamy, thick, sweet chocolate smoothies are just a dream, right? Nothing compares to sipping on an ice cold chocolatey beverage and nothing compares to this recipe I have for you today.

Yes, it's healthy & loaded with nutrients but does it taste like it's lacking anything? No. Does it taste indulgent? You betcha!


The difference between this healthy chocolate smoothie and others is that it contains no fruit! Yep, no bananas or hiding within there and there's nothing that'll spike your blood sugar levels or make that carbohydrate intake suddenly increase. The secret ingredient? Avocado! Before you judge, trust me when I say you can't actually taste avocado - it just takes on the flavour of all the other wonderful ingredients but creates the smoothest, creamiest and insanely thick texture that you'll want to just bathe in.
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Monday, 22 August 2016

Do I Always Eat 'Clean'? - An Honest Post -


Do I always eat 'clean'? This is a question I get asked quite a lot and I think it's something that's important to discuss. Firstly, I don't particularly like the term 'eat clean' because it insinuates some food is 'dirty' or 'bad' which I don't think is a very healthy attitude to have but my understanding of 'clean' food is non-processed, natural, plant-based, whole foods which of course are miracle workers for overall health & wellbeing. But do I always eat a completely natural, unrefined diet? Nope. I don't. Surprised? I hope you're not.


My focus is always on eating a nourishing, wholesome, natural diet because that's what makes my body feel amazing, gives me energy, keeps my mood lifted and I love the tastes, flavours & textures but that doesn't mean every single thing I put into my body is 100% natural and I think that's healthy. To me, health doesn't mean restriction or deprivation but it means enjoyment and happiness so why would I tell myself I'm not allowed certain foods just because they contain sugar or artificial ingredients? No, I'm not going to eat these more processed foods every day because I end up feeling sluggish, depressed and the tastes aren't as fresh and flavoursome but if I'm out and want a sugar-laden dessert, a fancy cocktail or some crisps then I will have them and not feel bad for doing so.

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Friday, 19 August 2016

Matcha Oreo Cookies


Oreo's are the worlds best-selling cookie with well over 450 billion being sold since their debut but they're not suitable for those following a plant-based diet. Yes, they're vegan (weird, I know) but they're loaded with artificial ingredients and refined sugars, as well as containing gluten which is something many of us avoid.

I decided to make my own super healthy, super delicious version of the Oreo cookie with a very special twist....matcha cream filling! I've collaborated with Rise Organics to bring you this recipe and I can honestly say that their matcha makes this recipe...it's the purest, yumminess matcha I've ever tasted and goes alongside the chocolate cookies so well.



The cookie part of this recipe is one I'm really proud of; the ingredients are simple yet the consistency is absolutely perfect! You'll need oat flour (pre-bought or just blend up your own oats into a flour), ground almonds, raw cacao powder, maple syrup and coconut oil. The biscuit comes out with a nice crunch but still has that delicious slight softness we all love in a cookie!

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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Walking: An Underrated Form Of Exercise


Yoga, pilates, running, HIIT...they're all hyped up forms of exercise, and rightly so, but there's another form of exercise that doesn't get the same attention when actually it's one of the best ways to get your activity levels up!

I'm talking walking! Walking is a great, easy, low-impact way to stay active, improve your fitness and get some fresh air but I think it's such an underrated form of exercise. Sure, it probably shouldn't be the only form of exercise you do but walking is brilliant for your body, it calms the mind and it can be super fun too! Whether it's a quick 30 minute walk around the park or a long hike I'm here to encourage you to walk more and explain why I'm trying to do it more often.


I've always had dogs so I've always been a walker, but recently I haven't been walking quite as much just because I've been so busy with work and have been focusing on more intense forms of exercise like HIIT alongside gentle yoga. A few weeks ago I decided I wanted to get outside to exercise and since then I've been going for walks most days and loving it! Yes, it doesn't make me work up a sweat quite like an intense circuits session will but it gets my heart pumping, the blood flowing and my mental clarity has improved.
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Monday, 15 August 2016

Fibre Rich Foods & Why You Need Them


Eating enough fibre can have a really positive impact on your overall health but research shows the average person doesn't consume enough fibre in their daily diet.

A fibre rich diet is primarily essential for healthy bowel function, which effects all sorts of other functions in the body and if your digestion isn't as it should be you'll be left feeling sluggish, fatigued, malnourished and bloated. Not only this, but studies have found fibre rich diets can reduce the risks of certain health issues such as cancer, heart disease and obesity.
Skipping on the fibre can also make it difficult for the body to control blood sugar levels and appetite because fibre regulates the speed of digestion and contributes to the feeling of being full up.


Getting more fibre into your diet is a lot easier than you may think and if you have a healthy lifestyle with the focus on eating wholesome, plant-based foods then the likelihood is you get enough fibre.
If you don't think you are consuming all the fibre you should be simply start by ensuring you're getting your recommended 5 portions of fruit & veg a day, make wholegrain the focus and processed grains history and add legumes (lentils, chickpeas, etc) to your diet on a regular basis.

Here are my top 8 fibre-loaded foods -
(Foods that contain 6g fibre or more per 100g are considered to be high fibre)

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Friday, 12 August 2016

Why I Love Buckwheat Flake Porridge


Porridge is traditionally made with oats, but since being diagnosed with coeliac disease and becoming more conscious of my digestion I've released oats aren't necessarily the best thing for me personally to be consuming every morning. I find they can make me feel slightly sluggish and my body definitely finds them a little trickier to digest, so I started hunting around for an alternative and came across buckwheat flakes. They look like oats, you cook them like oats, they make a porridge consistency and they taste delicious! But why is buckwheat better than oats? I'll explain...


Buckwheat is actually a seed so is naturally gluten free, high in fibre, high in protein and easier on the digestion than grains. It normally comes in groat or flour form but you can buy buckwheat flakes from health food shops, Waitrose and Ocado which look just like oats and can be cooked in the same way. In fact, I find them better in the mornings because they take far less time to cook....perfect if you're in a rush or just can't wait to get some food in your belly!

So, what's so great about buckwheat? Well, where do I start?! Buckwheat is a true superfood that's loaded with plant-based power, nutrients and all the goodness!

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Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Raspberry Scones (Gluten Free & Vegan)


What's more delicious than an afternoon cream tea with freshly baked scones, plenty of jam and endless cups of tea? It's one of my favourite things on a sunny afternoon but being on a plant-based diet it can be a little tricky to find scones that fit in with this lifestyle and being gluten free makes it even more difficult. I decided to create my own healthy, gluten free, vegan, super delicious scones and I have to say....I'm obsessed with them! These raspberry scones are absolutely delicious, inexpensive to make and surprisingly easy to whip up too.




My raspberry scones are made entirely from wholesome ingredients with no added chemicals, preservatives or artificial sugars. They taste sweet, indulgent, satisfying and fresh rather than heavy and refined. I love these scones mainly because they just taste so damn good but it's a real bonus that they're packed with amazing nutrients too! There's protein from the ground almonds and flax, healthy carbs from the buckwheat flour, good-for-you fats from the coconut oil and glow-giving vitamins from the raspberries. The sweetness comes from the apple puree (I use Biona but you can make your own!) and a little honey so these beauties won't spike your blood sugar levels or leave you feeling exhausted later in the day.
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Monday, 8 August 2016

Simplicite Natural Skincare


I've touched on the importance of natural beauty products in my natural deodorant's blog post but I haven't ventured into the world of pure, natural skincare until recently.
Natural skincare is always something I've wanted to get more into because I hate the idea of putting harsh chemicals and nasties on my delicate skin that my body will absorb, I mean...I get one face so I want to take care of it! I just never knew where to start, which companies to trust and I haven't got the money to splash out on super expensive products. This is where Simplicite comes in.

Simplicite offer's a range of plant based, natural, nourishing skin care products that use only the highest quality ingredients from only sources. Their whole range is hand made in small batches to ensure maximum freshness and purity for your skin, all the ingredients are natural and gentle and none of the products have ever been tested on animals. I was sent 3 of their products to trial a little while ago, so I thought it was about time I give you my thoughts on this all-natural skincare!



I'm always wary of trying new skincare products; I was quite happy with how my skincare routine was working for me and my skin is rather sensitive so I get afraid new products will cause breakouts, irritation or dryness. However, as I'd been wanting to try 100% natural skincare for so long and as it's so important to me I decided to take the risk and try this brand out.....and I'm so happy I did!

I've been using the Hydrating Floral Toning Lotion, the Firming Rehydration Eye Creme and the Lemon Night Cream for a couple of months now and I really love how they all work for me.

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Friday, 5 August 2016

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies


When I make cookies I generally go for standard chocolate cookies or perhaps simple oat and honey cookies but I decided to try something different and add fresh Summer fruit to my cookies and they turned out so delicious! These Strawberry Shortcake Cookies are the perfect Summer cookie with fresh, juicy strawberries, zesty lemon, wonderful vanilla and delicious oats. They're light yet satisfying and are a dream with a cup of green tea!


Strawberry shortcake is a classic dessert so it only seemed right I try and make it into a cookie....well, I've created Banofee cookies so why not something a bit more Summery? A classic strawberry shortcake is made from flour, sugar, butter and milk or cream which is fine every once in a while but if you're sticking to a plant-based diet, tend to avoid sugar or just want to live a little healthier then it's perhaps not something you want to be consuming, that's why my cookie alternative is a better option - the recipe is completely natural, plant-based and only uses wholesome ingredients.

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Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Being A Friend To Someone With Mental Health Issues


I've lived with mental health issues the majority of my life. It started when I was as young as around 8 years old; I began suffering from depressive episodes and not long after that followed bouts of crippling anxiety. My mental health was a huge battle in my life but the support from family and friends was something that really helped me through it, however I know just how difficult, tiring and emotionally draining it is to stand by someone who has mental health issues and how tricky it can be knowing what to say or what to do.

As someone who's suffered with depression and anxiety for a long time and also been a friend to people with mental health conditions I've learnt a lot and thought it would be helpful to write a blog post about how to help someone with these issues and give some advice that'll hopefully be of use.


Don't Suffocate Them
When you care for someone and you see them in emotional pain you want to comfort them and be there for them but it's important not to go over the top as this could feel very suffocating. Depression and anxiety are already suffocating illnesses so being mollycoddled isn't always a helpful thing, no matter how loving your intentions are. Definitely make sure the person you're trying to help knows that you're always there for them and you support them but give them time to breathe and to be by themselves as having your own space can be very important during recovery and healing.

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Monday, 1 August 2016

Why Is Breakfast So Important?


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I'm sure you've heard it before and I'm here to tell you exactly why it's so important and why you shouldn't skip eating in the morning.

I never used to eat breakfast, I didn't enjoy it and wasn't hungry in the morning but doing this made me feel sluggish later in the day, I'd be extra hungry come lunchtime and my sugar-cravings were at a high. As soon as I started eating breakfast in the mornings I felt so much better; I had more energy, felt happier and I felt generally a million times healthier. It was difficult to start with but I'd have a warm mug of lemon water which kick-started my digestion and around half an hour I'd eat something, be it a smoothie or a bowl of porridge I'd just make sure to eat and I haven't gone back to skipping breakfast since!


Breakfast sets you up for the day, it's what breaks your overnight fast, wakes your brain up, provides you with much needed energy and provides your body with essential nutrients. It's easy to skip breakfast, especially if you've got a busy day ahead and you let breakfast fall low in your list of priorities but it's vital for your body to make sure you put some nutritious food into your stomach every morning! Taking just a couple of minutes in the morning to eat something will do you the world of good, trust me.

Without breakfast your body is pretty much running on empty, your glucose (carbohydrate) levels will have plummeted meaning your energy will be low and later in the day you'll suddenly crave sugary, processed foods because you haven't set your body up with the right nutrients in the morning.

Brain Function
Breakfast restores your glucose levels which will have plummeted overnight. Glucose are essential for brain function and will help you concentrate better, think more clearly, improve your memory, lower stress levels and even boost those happiness levels! The brain can't run on empty, it needs energy to function and it gets that energy through the food you eat so make sure you fuel up to help your wonderful brain work its best.

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