learning to live a happy, healthy life

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Thursday, 22 December 2016

A Guilt-Free & Body Loving Christmas


Repeat after me, I love my body.


It's taken me a long time to say those words and actually mean them, to look in the mirror and be happy with what I see and to feel comfortable in my own skin. I'm a big believer in self love and guilt-free living and really wanted to share that with you all as I know Christmas or Winter in general is a time of year many people feel especially self conscious, experience food guilt or generally feel quite low about themselves, but that shouldn't be the case. Christmas is the most magical time of the year and should be filled me love, laugher, food, family, friends and enjoyment, not feelings of self-loathing or pressure.

Loving your body is so important, but trust me when I say I know how difficult it is. I love my body and all it's capable of now but rewind a couple of years ago and this was far from the case; I couldn't look in the mirror without crying, I'd cover my body from the neck down, I felt ashamed of the way I looked, I felt was too self conscious to leave the house and I longed to be somebody else. All of these thoughts and feelings were completely toxic, life destroying and looking back, irrational.
It's taken me a long time to learn to love the body I have and it's definitely been a struggle, but I've accepted I'll never have slim thighs, I'll always have a few stretch marks, my boobs won't ever be big,  I'll never be naturally super bronzed and some dresses just look horrendous on me. But you know what? That's okay because nobody is perfect! Don't get me wrong, I still have days where I feel a self conscious or I can't find an outfit that looks good but generally I'm happy with the skin I'm in and I don't let my insecurities become a big deal because life is too precious!
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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Spiced Cranberry Cookies


I love baking all year round but there's something special about baking at Christmas time. The delicious spices, getting the whole family involvement, the joy everyone finds in festive food and sharing my creations with loved ones. I've been spending a lot of time in the kitchen this month, coming up with some indulgent, delicious and nutritious treats that are just perfect for these cold Winter days.

Today I'm sharing the recipe for these spiced cranberry cookies which are just heavenly! They're soft and buttery on the inside with a perfect crunch to the outside, they contain fruity cranberries and spices such as cinnamon & nutmeg that bring out will no doubt bring out that festive feeling in even the biggest of grinches!




My cranberry cookies are gluten free, vegan and refined sugar free but you wouldn't believe that for a second if you didn't know! They taste almost buttery with the perfect amount of sweetness and pair perfectly with a steaming cup of tea. As they're allergen free they'd be the perfect cookies to bake if you're having people over o if you know someone with allergies or food intolerances - they're suitable for all! Hey, you could even make them with the kids and leave them out for Father Christmas!

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Monday, 12 December 2016

Christmas Gift Guide


It can be tricky thinking of presents for loved ones at Christmas time and unless they've given you some ideas or dropped a few hints it can be easy to feel stick at what to get them.
I've put together a selection of what I think are the best Christmas gift ideas for anyone who's into health/fitness, enjoys a healthy lifestyle or is just a massive foodie! I've got ideas for a smaller budget as well as slightly more luxurious options, so hopefully there'll be something for everyone.

The Subscription Box
I love the idea of giving a subscription to something for Christmas, it's exciting having something new come in the mail every month. There's lots of subscription boxes on the market, but the Superfoodio box is one of the best I've come across in terms of quality and quantity of products as well as price. Superfoodio boxes are monthly gift boxes full of the tastiest food products that are made with natural ingredients, free from refined sugars or any hidden nasties and all 100% vegetarian friendly! In each box you get a selection of healthy snacks and cooking ingredients, and the box is always packed full! I received the December box the other day and couldn't have been more impressed with it.The box come with 8 goodies inside including tomato pesto popcorn, a little jar of Winter spiced nut butter (so yum!), Christmas pudding energy bites, raw bliss balls, raw millionaire bites by Liva's Kitchen which are entirely vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free (unreal!), a porridge pot, Christmas spices and golden turmeric mylk kit which I can't wait to try. I was so excited by every single product, as would any foodie be! A 3 month subscription to Superfoodio is £56.85.



For The Tea & Coffee Lover
Have you got a friend or family lover who's a hot drink addict? I've got the perfect gifts for them!
We Are Littles is a company who produce the most delicious flavoured coffee - I'm currently addicted to their vanilla and hazelnut flavours. For Christmas they've not only brought out a Christmas spirit flavour coffee which is infused with natural cinnamon, orange and vanilla flavours but they are also selling a selection of gifts such as the mug and coffee jar set pictured below. You get a retro enamel mug along with a jar of Christmas coffee - what better gift for a coffee lover?!

If tea is more...well...their cup of tea, then these collection tea boxes from Twinings make a great gift. I know I love trying out different flavours of tea so these selection boxes are brilliant, there's a fruit & herbal infusions box which contains peppermint, lemon & ginger, blackcurrant & blueberry and camomile or a green tea box containing pure steamed green tea, green tea with jasmine, green tea with lemon and green tea with mint.

For someone who's always on the go this travel 'Open Your Heart To New Adventures' mug and cosy earmuffs set is such a lovely gift! The travel mug is made of a reusable double walled ceramic exterior and ceramic lid which keeps the drink inside nice and warm for much longer.



For The Cook
Do you know someone who loves to bake and to experiment in the kitchen? These super easy do-it-yourself kits are brilliant for anyone who loves making their own food from scratch or wants to spend a little more time in the kitchen. First up are the Creative Nature baking kits which I think are truly brilliant - they're allergen free, organic and inexpensive. There's a chia & cacao chocolate chip brownie kit and a chia & mulberry muffin kit, the latter is my personal favourite!

What better gift for a wannabe chocolatier or chocolate lover than a raw chocolate making kit? This Choc Chick chocolate making start kit includes everything you need to make your very own chocolate! Plus, it's gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free and soy free. If you've never tried making your own chocolate yet this is a great gift, it's so much fun!


Luxury Gifts
If you want to spend a little more on a loved one or fancy getting a gift that has luxury written all over it then the next two gift ideas will fit the bill. It's always nice to give chocolates has a gift but Booja Booja chocolates are truly exquisite, the most delicious and indulgent chocolates ever. They're organic, dairy free, soya free and seriously just melt in your mouth! The box pictured is truffle selection no.1 which contains the following flavours - fine de champagne, cherry cognac, stem ginger and around midnight espresso....my mouth is watering! They come in a luxury box and should be really savoured.

My final gift is one of my favourites. I'm a huge candle lover, especially during the Winter months I always have a candle lit in my bedroom - I love the scents, the glow of the flame and warmth they bring to a room. I believe you get what you pay for when it comes to candles and Neom candles really do take some beating! The Christmas Wish 3 Wick Neom Candle comes beautifully packaged in an expensive looking box, the candle inside is heavy and just beautifully cased and the smell is one of dreams. Christmas Wish is a blend of 13 pure essential oils including mandarin, cinnamon and tonka bean and once lit it fills the room with a beautiful aroma. It's relaxing, comforting and has been expertly designed to reduce stress levels and promote a calming effect on the body. I love it!


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Friday, 9 December 2016

The Best Festive Tea By Bluebird Tea Co.


I'm such a tea-aholic and not even the tiniest bit ashamed to admit it! I love the variety, the tastes, how deliciously it goes with a piece of toast or a biscuit and skipping my morning cup of tea just isn't an option. I drink tea all year round, of course, but during the Winter months I find myself drinking a lot more of the good stuff mainly to warm me up but also because I have a slight obsession with festive flavours! Anything spicy, sweet or zesty is going to get the thumbs up from me during this time of year and dare I say it but I think I've found THE best festive teas on the market.

Bluebird Tea Co. is a unique tea mixology company on a mission to make people happy with tea, and they've 100% succeeded with me! Bluebird Tea have the most incredible range of tea flavours and their Christmas range is one of dreams, featuring Gingerbread Chai and Christmas Cake flavours along with the some great tea inspired gifts that would be ideal for tea lovers!




Let's start with the Christmas Cake flavour tea, as that was the one I was most excited to try! Cake tea? Yep, it's as good as it sounds. This is a blend of ceylon black tea with vanilla and almond pieces along with cinnamon, cloves, orange peel and spruce needles - it's the most comforting and festive cup of tea I've ever had the joy of drinking. Christmas Cake tea is perfect on it's own but even more delicious with a splash of oat milk!
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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Real Health Manuka Honey & It's Benefits

Manuka Honey, produced in Australia & New Zealand, is one of the most beneficial and unique forms of honey in the world. Manuka honey is famous for it's health boosting properties and it has a range of healing powers that I'll be talking more about later!


                                                                                                 - This blog post contains a paid advertorial from Real Health but all opinions are my own, as always -

Historically honey has always been used for it's medicinal properties but due to modern manufacturing methods and industrialisation honey isn't what it used to be. Not all honey is created equal and the honey you can buy at low cost in your corner shop isn't the same as a pot of pure manuka honey. Generally, you get what you pay for and most conventional honey is pasteurised and filtered and really no different than high-fructose corn syrup!
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Friday, 2 December 2016

Why Taking A Magnesium Supplement Can Be Beneficial


Magnesium probably isn't the first mineral you think of when you consider taking supplements but magnesium actually plays a really important role in your body and a deficiency in the mineral is a leading nutrient deficiency in adults, with around 80% believed to be lacking in this vitamin mineral.


Magnesium deficiency can cause really negative symptoms in the body, including muscle aches or spasms, poor digestion, worsened PMS and even raised anxiety levels. It's involved in over 300 functions in the body, such as regulating heartbeat rhythms and is crucial to your overall health, so it shouldn't be overlooked.  The body loses magnesium stores every day through normal functions such as muscle movement and hormone product, and although we only need a relatively small amount of magnesium each day it's very important to replenish regularly so taking supplements can be really beneficial.
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