learning to live a happy, healthy life

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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

'Tis the season for all things pumpkin! I shared a pumpkin spiced latte recipe on my Instagram the other day which went down a storm, so I thought I'd share another pumpkin recipe that I'm obsessed with at the moment.

This pumpkin pie overnight oats recipe is my current go-to breakfast. It couldn't be more autumnal, it's completely delicious, super satisfying, easy to make and it makes a great breakfast when you know you're going to be in a rush. I love porridge but overnight oats can be made the day before and will be ready to go straight away in the morning, which means you get that precious extra time in bed!

These overnights take all of 2 minutes to make then the magic happens overnight. Leave the oats to soak in the delicious pumpkin spice mixture for a minimum of 6 hours in the fridge and in the morning you'll have the most delicious, creamy oats to enjoy. The oats also become much easier to digest this way and will leave you feeling so full of energy and ready for the day!

If you have a little more time in the morning and prefer a warm breakfast, why not make this recipe into classic porridge? I've tried it myself and it's scrumptious either way!

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Chocolate Salted Caramel Energy Balls VIDEO - With Indigo Herbs

Ever since I started getting into healthy eating and creating healthier recipes to share on my blog I've loved the Indigo Herbs products. Indigo Herbs is an online natural health product store that sells absolutely everything you could ever need for healthy baking and cooking delicious, wholesome meals. They're all about optimum nutrition, as well as looking after the environment which I just love!

I'm so excited to be working with Indigo Herbs on a series of recipe videos to show you just how easy and quick it is to whip up some truly delicious, nutritious recipes using their products. Starting with these wonderfully more-ish, heavenly Chocolate Salted Caramel Energy Balls.

These are chocolate balls full of pure goodness! They're full of healthy fats, natural sweetness, heart-healthy carbohydrates, naturally energising maca powder and detoxifying himalayan salt. Salted caramel is the most incredible flavour and I'm so excited to have recreated a healthy version using these ingredients from Indigo Herbs.

The full recipe is written below, as well as step-by-step video to show you exactly how to make these sweet treats.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Cookie Dough Truffles

I'm putting it out there, these cookie dough truffles might be the best things I've ever made! Ok, I've said that about a few things but these really are ground-breaking. They're unbelievably more-ish, exquisitely delicious yet full of goodness! They also have a secret ingredient which may sound a little odd but just trust me, go with it and be prepared to be blown away!

The magic ingredient? Chickpeas. You might associate chickpeas with hummus, curries, salads perhaps but probably not sweet treats, am I right? I used to do the same but I'd heard of people making things like meringue and blondies from chickpeas, so I had a go at making this cookie dough truffles using chickpeas as the main ingredient for the cookie dough and I was beyond happy with how they turned out! The chickpeas soak up the vanilla flavouring, the creamy cashew butter and the sweet maple syrup - you end up just getting the cookie-dough like texture with none of the chickpea flavour. In fact, I made all my family try one of these truffles (they all LOVED them) but none of them guessed chickpeas were in them, even when I said there was a strange ingredient in them.


Wednesday, 4 October 2017

My Favourite Goodness Bowl

I've been feeling a little rundown lately, I think due to a mixture of lot of stress in my personal life, a heavy workload in my business and the change in the weather taking it's toll. So i've been trying to cram in as much goodness as I can into my diet, through lots of delicious plant-based nourishment and an abundance of natural colour to get all the vitamins and minerals I need.

Below is my absolute favourite goodness bowl at the moment! The combination of ingredients is a pure dream, it's incredibly easy to make, it's full of flavour and it looks pretty too.

The bowl consists of crispy kale, turmeric roasted cauliflower, steamed edamame, cherry tomatoes, garlicky brown rice, herby sautéed courgettes, a sprinkle of fresh coriander and crunchy pumpkin seeds. This bowl holds so many nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, fibre, vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium and plant-based proteins too. A true wellness bowl!

To cook the kale, I just gentle massaged a little olive oil and sea salt into it then baked it in the oven on a medium heat for 6-8 minutes (be careful it doesn't burn!). To make the turmeric cauliflower, I coated cauliflower florets in a little olive and plenty of ground turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper and cooked in the oven for 20-25 minutes. I sautéed both the courgette and cherry tomatoes in a frying pan with 1 clove of garlic and some dried herbs and simply cooked the brown rice in boiling water (according to packet instructions). So simple, so good!

Friday, 29 September 2017

Autumn Recipes - In Collaboration With Yankee Candle

When Yankee Candle contacted me and asked me to create a couple of Autumnal recipe cards to go with their new 'Fall collection' I was so excited! I've been a Yankee Candle lover for years and always get so excited for new scents coming out, so this was a dream collaboration for me.

I was asked to create a recipe to compliment the Vibrant Saffron candle and the Mulberry & Fig Delight candle, so I came up with a delicious and warming vegetable curry with saffron rice and sweet Fig & Mulberry tarts. Both recipes are so comforting, so seasonal, full of flavour and easy to make. They're also both gluten free, suitable for vegans and refined sugar free.
I'm really proud to have collaborated with Yankee Candle and I'm delighted with the recipes I created, so of course I had to share them on my blog for you too!

The fig & mulberry tarts are the best autumnal sweet treat. The raw pastry is made of oats, ground almonds, dates and coconut oil - so all natural and all delicious, the fig jam is super easy to make and any leftovers are delicious on toast, the chewy dried mulberries on top add an extra touch of sweetness to the tarts and are full of nutritious goodness!


Monday, 25 September 2017

Smokey Lentil Quesadillas in GF Tortillas (Vegan)

I love tortilla wraps, always have done, but since being diagnosed coeliac and thus going completely gluten free I had to make the switch to gluten free wraps. Thankfully, BFree Foods make the most amazing gluten free tortilla wraps (in 3 flavours too!) with the healthiest ingredients and a texture just like regular tortilla wraps. The thing I really love about these wraps is how light they are, as sometimes gluten free products can be a little heavy or almost stodgy...these wraps are far from that. One of my favourite things to make with the tortilla wraps is fajitas, but this week I decided to get more creative and come up with a vegan quesadilla recipe using the multigrain wraps and they were a huge success!

 The BFree multigrain tortilla wraps go super crispy when cooked in a pan and the natural flavours in them seem to come out even more. Then there's the filling which is a delicious mixture of lentils and wholegrain rice in a homemade smokey tomato sauce, as well as nutritional yeast which is totally optional but adds a cheesy taste to the quesadillas - totally recommend if you can get your hands on it!


Friday, 22 September 2017

The Pill & Depression - My Experience

I was put on the pill 5 years ago by a doctor who told me it would help manage my symptoms of PCOS, but I didn't imagine it would effect my mental health quite as much as it did. I thought I would share my personal experience with the pill and depression, how it made me feel and my journey trying different versions of the contraceptive pill to find one that worked for me.
As I said above, this is my personal experience and my own journey and doesn't mean you'll have the same reactions as I did. I'm not a doctor and I'm not qualified to give advice, but if you have any concerns about how the pill is making you feel do make an appointment with your GP to talk it through.

I was put on the pill when I was 17 after being diagnosed with PCOS. I was first put on microgynon which made me so terribly sick, then I was put on another one which also made me sick, after this I was prescribed Yasmin which didn't make me feel sick at all and I had no issues with it. I took Yasmin for 3 years - it helped clear up my skin and regulated my periods. I was suffering from depression throughout this period of time but put it down to personal issues in my life rather than anything else. I decided to come off the pill in October 2015 because I didn't like the thought of putting artificial hormones into my body and I wanted to give my body a break from it! After 6 months I hadn't got my period back and my skin wasn't as clear as it once was, so the doctor advised me to go back onto the pill, which I did. I started taking Yasmin again in April 2016 and had a far worse reaction to it than I had done when I was 17! I felt incredibly sick, it was so bad I woke up in the night and had to go sit by my sink for hours on end. As well as this, I experienced extreme hunger and I seemed to be holding onto water a lot more than before. This died down a little bit but never went away until I came off Yasmin earlier this year. My mood during April 2016 and  Spring 2017 hit an all time low - I was having a depressive episode once or twice a week, my self confidence plummeted, my anxiety seemed to worsen and I found myself feeling really lost the majority of the time. Like before I didn't really think much of it - I've suffered with depression since I was 8 years old so didn't think this spell of darkness was anything to do with medication I was on.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes (GF & Vegan)

This week is National Cupcake Week, I know...a pretty amazing week isn't it! So, to celebrate I just had to share a cupcake recipe with you - Nourishing Amelia style.

These chocolate peanut butter cupcakes are the ultimate indulgence - they're sweet, they're spongy, they're rich, they're fluffy and they have the best frosting. All of that plus they're gluten free, suitable for vegans and free from refined sugar. I know it's hard to believe but it's true.

Chocolate and peanut butter is one of my favourite combinations anyway, but throw it into a cupcake and it's like a piece of heaven! The richness of the chocolate and nuttiness of the peanuts compliments each other so well in this cake, which is wonderfully spongy yet light and the frosting which is irresistibly creamy.

The perfect cupcake for National Cupcake Week if you ask me!


Friday, 15 September 2017

Salted Caramel Popcorn Bars

I'm on a real popcorn kick at the moment - I've always loved it but I can't get enough of it recently! I'm particularly loving sweet & salty popcorn which may not be the 'healthiest' of choices but hey, I like it and a little treat every now and then never hurt anybody!

I decided to get creative and incorporate my favourite sweet & salty popcorn into an indulgent but healthier sweet treat, and I'm telling you now....it's AMAZING! Introducing Salted Caramel Popcorn bars!

These little bars of heaven are simply divine. They're like millionaire shortbread but a million times better, and they're even gluten free, suitable for vegans AND refined sugar free (bar the popcorn on the top....you could always use plain or just salted popcorn to change this but I really like the Propercorn Sweet & Salty flavour in this recipe).

Friday, 8 September 2017

A Coeliac's Experience In Paris

Last month my boyfriend and I hopped on the Eurostar for a few days away in Paris. We'd booked the  trip earlier this year and were so excited to explore the city and see the sights. Me, being the super planner that I am, took it upon myself to look up things we could do, places we just had to see whilst we were there and researching the best places for us to eat. As I have coeliac disease I always make sure I do plenty of research into restaurants and cafes that can cater for my dietary needs before going to a new place, as wandering around for hours searching for somewhere suitable when you're starving hungry ain't fun! Being coeliac not only limits my choice on the menu but I might not be able to eat at a restaurant at all if they don't have precautions in place to avoid cross-contamination - for example, I couldn't eat at a restaurant where they use the same knife or chopping board for the 'gluten free' food as they do for gluten containing foods.

When I was doing my (very in-depth) research I instantly noticed there seemed to be a lack of places providing gluten free meal options, whether cross-contamination was an issue or not, which kind of surprised me...you'd think one of the most famous cities in the world would have lots of gluten free options! I did however manage to compile a list of around 10 different cafes and restaurants that seemed to offer gluten free options from their menus online, a few of the places were actually 100% gluten free which was amazing and made me super excited to visit them. Little did I know it wasn't all going to go to plan...

It turns out Paris is dreadful for coeliacs. Although I had the loveliest holiday and the most special few days away, the food side of things was a bit of a disaster and I wouldn't recommend Paris to coeliacs...especially in August! Everything in Paris seems to just shut down in August, and about half of the restaurants or cafes I had picked out were already scrapped because they were closed during the few days we were in the city (including Chambelland, LouLou Friendly Diner and Thank you, My Deer). It seemed crazy to me, I mean..can you imagine London practically shutting down during what is the busiest tourist month of the year? Nope, me neither.

Day 1 (Sunday)
We arrived in Paris just after lunchtime - we'd bought food at St Pancras to eat on the Eurostar and had plenty of snacks to keep us going until dinner. We checked into our hotel at around 3:30pm, settled in and had a freshen up before heading out for a wander. We walked up to the Eiffel Tower which was amazing - I always find it surreal seeing such famous sites close up, then we went to Notre Dame for a walk along the river and to see the breath-taking Notre Dame Cathedral. After this, it was time for dinner and we'd already decided to go to Hank Restaurant - a totally vegan burger & pizza restaurant with gluten free options, but on arrival we could see nothing was cooked separately. You could see into the kitchen and the 'gluten free' veggie burgers were just being chucked into the oven alongside the gluten containing burgers with crumbs flying around everywhere, not only that but apparently the 'gluten free chips' had flour on them. Needless to say we couldn't eat there! Plan B was to walk to Noglu - a totally gluten free restaurant about a 15 minute walk away, but on arrival we noticed it was closed. We then spend a good 2 hours wandering around the area, going into restaurants, looking at menus, searching online but by this point it was 10pm and everywhere was closing. We had to dash into a supermarket before it closed and pick up snacks to have for dinner....not the delicious gluten free feast I had hoped for on our first night!


Thursday, 31 August 2017

'PB & J' Protein Smoothie Bowl

Summer made an appearance for a few more days this week, which had me craving smoothie bowls. They're my favourite thing to have for breakfast on a warm morning; they're refreshing, satisfying, filling, delicious and full of goodness. My latest smoothie bowl creation is this heavenly 'peanut butter & jam' flavour bowl....and yes, it really is as amazing as it sounds.

This smoothie bowl is so easy to make and takes no time at all but it's something very special! It's also contains the three important macronutrients - healthy fats, carbohydrates and protein. I added The Good Guru's vegan protein in Vanilla & Wild Berries flavour to this smoothie bowl which I find really excenuates the 'jam' flavour I'm going for and also keeps me feeling fuller for longer throughout the morning.

This smoothie bowl is so creamy thanks to the frozen banana which kind of turns into an ice-cream like consistency when blended, the strawberries add the best flavour and pretty pink colour, the peanut butter adds even more creaminess and an unbeatable flavour and the protein powder from The Good Guru sweetness the bowl up even more and adds such a yummy taste and thick texture.

Try topping your smoothie bowl with fresh strawberries, some chopped peanuts and a swirl of peanut butter. They're totally optional but I think toppings make all the difference!

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Berry Ice-Cream Pops

These 3 ingredient ice-cream pops are simply heaven - they're my new favourite Summer treat recipe and I can't wait for you to recreate them!

Notice they're called 'ice-cream pops', this is because the texture of them is far more like ice-cream than it is like an ice-lolly. They're creamy, thick and perfectly sweet with a summery berry flavour thanks to The Good Gurus Good Berries Powder blended into the mix. I used this mix instead of fresh berries to ensure there were no seeds, that it would blend super smoothly and also to get a mixture of lots of berry flavours (blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry & cranberry) at no extra cost or expense - it's so easy having it all in one pot!

The 2 main ingredients are frozen banana and coconut cream, which is what makes the texture so wonderfully creamy and so like that of ice-cream! The combination of these two ingredients also tastes delicious and the banana brings that all important natural sweetness so there's no need for any added sugars. I then add in the Good Berries powder for a beautiful baby pink colour, a hit of anti-oxidants and amazing flavour.  I then drizzled a little dark chocolate across each ice-cream pop for decoration and a little something extra, but that's a totally optional step!


Monday, 14 August 2017

Crispy Tofu & Satay Sauce

I've been trying to perfect crispy tofu for what seems like forever! Tofu is most delicious, in my opinion, when it's crispy on the outside yet still soft on the inside but it can be tricky to get that combination right. My tofu never seems to go crispy enough, but I've discovered a secret ingredient that makes the crispiest, tastiest tofu ever and I just had to share it with you!

This simple yet game-changing recipe for crispy tofu and a wonderful peanut satay sauce is my new favourite thing.The satay sauce drizzled over this cubes of crispy tofu is undeniably more-ish!

The secret ingredient to make the tofu this crispy is sesame flour! I got mine from Sukrin but you could also just blend sesame seeds in a high-power blender and create the same thing. I find the sesame flour adds an amazing texture to the outside of the tofu too and adds to that Asian style vibe I was going for.

The satay sauce is a new invention of mine but I can tell I'm going to make it again and again! It's super quick and easy to make but really adds something special to this recipe and pairs perfectly with the tofu or works like a dream drizzled over a stir fry.


Friday, 11 August 2017

Red Roaster Review - Brighton

Eating out in Brighton is always a joy. There's no shortage of amazing eateries and there's everything you can think of from the cutest cafes to fine restaurants and juice bars to delis. There's also a huge selection of cafes and restaurants that cater to those with specific dietary requirements which is amazing if like me you're gluten free and following a plant-based diet!

The latest gem of an eatery I've discovered in Brighton is Red Roaster, which is located in Kemptown Brighton. It's a luxury cafe with a beautiful setting, breath-taking decor, a tranquil feel and the most delicious coffee you could dream of.

As I said above, Red Roaster is located in Kemptown (on St James Street to be exact) so makes a great stop off point for brunch or lunch before either wandering along the pier and seafront or heading to the shops for a little retail therapy. It's a central location but tucked away just enough that it isn't crazy busy or noisy whilst sitting in there - winner winner.

As me and my partner walked into Red Roaster I was amazed at the decor; it's modern, botanical, airy, light, clean, spacious and somewhat tranquil. There's a marble bar down one side of the restaurant which is in-front of an open kitchen (something I truly love) and down the other side were the tables. There was more seating upstairs as well as a cosy looking courtyard out the back, which I couldn't help but think would be an amazing place to work from or host a lunch meeting. The decor and feel of Red Roaster made a real change from the often cluttered or claustrophobic cafes you can find in Brighton! 

We were shown to a table almost immediately when we walked in - the waitress who sat us down and showed us the menus was very friendly, smiley and relaxed which gave me such a nice feeling about the place (I can't stand anything less than spectacular customer service!). 
We started by choosing our drinks - I'd already decided I had to try one of their coffees, it is what they're famous for after all, so I went for a cinnamon iced coffee made with almond milk and my partner went for a beer. My iced coffee came in the most beautiful, large glass with ice and straw....the first sip simply blew my mind! Okay, coffee's coffee but this was exquisite! The coffee was rich yet smooth and the cinnamon swirling through it gave this added depth, warmth and sweetness which was heavenly. I gulped the whole thing down far too quickly!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Beetroot Brownie Slices

A gooey, rich chocolate brownie is my absolute weakness. I can't resist a slice of fudgy chocolate heaven with a cup of tea!

I've done my fair share of healthy brownie recipe testing in the past, but this new recipe for beetroot brownie slices has got to be up there with one of my favourites yet. Ok, you might not think beetroot would work so well in a brownie but trust me on this...it makes the brownies SO moist, perfectly fudgy and super delicious. I promise, it doesn't taste like you're eating a beetroot cake at all.

These brownies are pure indulgence - they're sweet, they're rich and they're so more-ish (I dare you to try and not eat the whole batch in a day!). These brownies may taste naughty but they're actually loaded with nourishing, natural ingredients; the beetroot means you're contributing to your 5 a day by eating a chocolate brownie, what could be better? I also used only natural sweetener from coconut sugar, raw cacao powder for pure chocolate goodness, oat and buckwheat flour for gluten free, easily digestible flour alternatives and chia seeds to help bind everything together.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

'Jelly & Ice Cream' Protein Parfait

When I first tried the Vanilla & Wild Berries protein powder from The Good Guru it reminded me of something, and that something was jelly and ice cream! Yep, this protein powder tastes so much like jelly and ice cream which is dreamy.

I knew I had to create a recipe using this protein, and I've come up with this incredible 'Jelly & Ice Cream' Protein Parfait which is my new favourite thing. It tastes like a dessert but is loaded with goodness and free from refined sugars. It's high in protein too so makes the best ever post-workout snack option!

The jelly layer is made using chia seeds which helps give that jelly like consistency! I soaked the chia seeds in almond milk blended with raspberries to give a raspberry jelly flavour. This jelly layer is also incredibly filling, high in fibre and you get a boost of healthy fats from the chia seeds too which contribute to glowing skin and shiny hair.

The 'ice cream' layer is made using yogurt (I used soya) and the Vanilla & Wild Berries protein powder from The Good Guru, which when mixed together create a gorgeously thick texture. I also mixed in some Good Berries powder from The Good Guru to give an added berry taste and some anti-oxident goodness.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

5 Helpful Tips If You Work From Home

Working from home has it's pros and cons - yes you can stay in trackies all day if you wish, you can take breaks whenever you fancy and you can choose the hours you work but it also means you have to be very strict with yourself, you have to manage your time well and you have to be a top organiser.

I'm very lucky that I have my own business and get to run it from the comfort of my own home, which I do love but it definitely has challenging moments. I found it a real struggle transitioning from going out to work 5 days a week to working in the same building I live in. It's harder than you might think and it's been a learning curve, that's for sure!

Here are my top tips to keep you feeling happy, motivated and organised if you work from home.

Have A Separate Work Area
I find if I'm living and working in the same space I can go a little bit crazy! I don't feel so motivated, I get easily distracted and it's hard to find the separation between what's personal space and what's work space. A good way to deal with this is to find a separate work area in your house, if you're lucky enough to have a spare bedroom or a study then that's amazing - use that, but if not is there a corner of a room you could put a desk and use that as your work station? Try and make sure the space is in a quiet area of the house, somewhere you won't be interrupted, and preferably somewhere light and airy. Having this separate area (even if its just a corner of a room) helps you have a little bit of separation and I guarantee you'll feel more productive if you have a separate space to 'go to work'.


Monday, 31 July 2017

The Healthiest Ready-Meals

Ready-meals are normally seen as an unhealthy option - they're often full of salt, refined sugars, oils and over-processed ingredients. However, as they can be such a quick and easy meal they're still ever so popular. Luckily, there is now a healthy, fresh and delicious option on the market...in fact, there's two! GoodLife Foods have brought out two vegetarian ready-meals that are loaded with goodness, contain 3 of your 5 a day and taste incredible - I introduce you to the Vegetable Masala with cauliflower rice and the 3 Bean Chilli with cauliflower rice!

Both of these ready-meals are gluten free and suitable for vegetarians, and the 3 Bean Chilli is actually vegan too which really impressed me! They both come with cauliflower rice, which if I'm honest I was a little skeptical about because I'm not always the biggest cauliflower rice fan but this one was a lot nicer than any other I've tried - I really enjoyed the larger pieces of cauliflower and found it had more taste too it, it also cooked really nicely - no sogginess, yippee!

After a very day, I didn't feel like cooking so I threw these in the oven (they can also be cooked in the microwave too) for me and my mum to enjoy. The smell wafting from the oven as they cooked was divine - if someone had walked into my house without knowing I was cooking a ready-meal no doubt they'd have thought I was slaving away at the stove cooking up a homemade meal.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Cinnamon Oat Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are a classic treat - you can't beat a choc chip cookie and a cup of tea, can you?

Today I'm putting a twist on the classic treat and I'm even making them high protein! Yep, gluten free, refined sugar free, dairy free, egg free but NOT fun free high protein chocolate chip cookies, they exist and they're great!

I used The Good Guru's new Vegan Oats product to make these cookies, which I've been loving at the moment. They're basically gluten free oats combined with pea protein powder, natural flavours (you can get either cinnamon or berry) and a little stevia for natural sweetness. Such a fab product that I had to get creative with! As this product is oats, protein powder and sweetener all in one it meant I didn't need as many ingredients for the cookies and it made them SO simple to make!

I combined the Vegan Oats in cinnamon flavour with buckwheat flour (brown rice flour would also work), 1 ripe banana for added sweetness and to help hold everything together, peanut butter - because who doesn't like peanut butter, coconut oil, a little flaxseed and all important chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chips). Simple and so good!

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Tropical Protein Popsicles

Is there anything better than an ice-cold popsicle on a summers day? I just love them, especially a refreshing fruity flavour! I tend to make my own ice-lollies as it's so much fun creating a new flavour combination, it's super cheap, it's easy AND they are much healthier.

I recently created the best tropical popsicle recipe in collaboration with Linwoods and I just had to share it with you all! These tropical protein popsicles are not only wonderfully sweet, refreshing and loaded with goodness but they also contain a good amount of protein thanks to Linwoods new Hemp Protein+ range - which means they're the ultimate post-workout treat and they keep you feeling much fuller than a regular popsicle would!

There's three flavours in Linwoods new natural Hemp Protein+ range and I've been LOVING them in my smoothies recently, so I thought hey...why not make some delicious summer treats with them?
Any of the flavours would work amazingly well in these popsicles, but I used the one with bio-cultures, vitamin D & co-ensyme Q10. I simply blended the powder with the other popsicle ingredients to create a mixture of dreams! I found the protein powder gave the ice-lollies a thicker texture (making it more like ice-cream!) and a nutty flavour which is delicious with the fruity goodness.

Monday, 24 July 2017

My Experience Counting Macros

Counting macros is something that's becoming more and more popular. I can't scroll through my Instagram feed without seeing someone mentioning it and I certainly can't go on YouTube without seeing IIFYM (if it fits your macros) videos. But what are macros? What does it mean to count macros?

Macros is an abbreviation for macronutrients. There are three macronutrients and this is where calories (food energy) comes from - they are protein, carbohydrates and fat. Counting macros is when you track how many grams of each macronutrient you're eating in order to reach a goal (weight loss or gain) or perhaps just remain at your healthiest weight. Everyone's macronutrients are different and so many factors go in to working out what your ideal macronutrients are for the goal you'd like to reach.

DISCLAIMER - Before I get into this, I want to stress that counting calories is very un-me and definitely isn't what Nourishing Amelia as a brand is about. I promote eating in abundance, eating to make your mind and body feel it's happiest and it's healthiest and I believe it's about counting the goodness in food and going off how it feels rather that anything else! 

Why I Started
A little while ago I decided to try macro counting for the first time, after seeing so much information about it and hearing so many people rave about it I thought I'd give it a go myself to see what results I'd see from counting my macros consistently. I was intrigued to see if my body would change at all and I was also interested to see whether I was eating the optimum about of protein, carbohydrates and fat for my body type and lifestyle. I used IIFYM.com to calculate my macros with the goal being slow and steady fat loss (and hopefully muscle gain at the same time, although this isn't always possible!), and I used popular food tracking app My Fitness Pal to track what I was eating in each day in order to reach my macronutrient goals. I didn't set out to reach a certain weight and I didn't really have any expectations. 11

Friday, 21 July 2017

Nutty Chocolate & Vanilla Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are my biggest obsession at the moment. The warmer mornings means I don't normally fancy a steaming bowl of hot porridge, but I still crave my AM oats so overnight oats are a real winner. They satisfy that oat craving, keep my stomach feeling full, energise me until lunchtime and they taste delicious too!

My newest flavour combination is this nutty chocolate & vanilla protein overnight oats which are just the dream - especially for a hump day breakfast or indulgent weekend breakfast. Yes, they may be chocolaty and they may taste like a dessert but they're loaded with nutrients and contain the best ingredients to nourish your body and your mind.

I always have to make sure I'm getting enough protein in the morning - if I don't I tend to feel sluggish and be hungry an hour or two after breakfast, so I mixed in some Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder by The Good Guru to my overnight oats to give them a protein boost and a subtle vanilla flavour.

This breakfast choice isn't just completely scrumptious, full of goodness and super filling but it's also so quick and easy to make! You simply mix the ingredients together the night before you'd like your overnight oats and it'll be ready to grab and go in the morning, perfect for those mornings when you're in a rush or when you want a little more of a lie in. You can also make a double batch and you'll have a perfect breakfast ready for 2 mornings in a row!

Friday, 14 July 2017

Raw Berry & Vanilla Sandwich Cookies

Today I'm sharing a recipe using one of my current favourite products, Good Berries powder by The Good Guru. I've actually become quite obsessed with it over the last few weeks - I add it to porridge, I blend it into smoothies, I stir it into yogurt and I love incorporating into sweet recipes such as these amazing Raw Berry & Vanilla Sandwich Cookies.

I love sandwich cookies, they always remind me of the classic oreo and I think they're such an indulgent treat. This recipe is the best sandwich cookie for Summer as it's not rich and chocolatey, it's not too heavy and the berry flavours just scream 'summer time'.

The cookies are made simply out of oats, ground almonds, coconut oil, medjool dates and coconut oil. The creamy berry filling is made out of cashews, honey or maple syrup, coconut oil and the key ingredient Good Berries powder by The Good Guru, so really they couldn't be any more natural!


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Goji & Mulberry Granola

I'm a granola fiend; if there's granola in the house I guarantee it won't be there long! I love the oaty goodness as cereal with almond milk and berries, topped with coconut yogurt, sprinkled on smoothie bowls are just to nibble on as a snack during the day. It's safe to say I'm a granola addict.

My newest granola recipe obsession is this Goji & Mulberry Granola I've made in collaboration with Of The Earth Superoods. It's just the perfect summer granola recipe with the two delicious super-berries, naturally sweetened with Yacon Syrup and a few chia seeds thrown in there for some added healthy fats and fibre. I used goji berries, mulberries, chia seeds (all under £5!) and yacon syrup all from Of The Earth Superfoods for this recipe which are all totally organic.

The granola base is made using traditional oats, you just can't beat that oaty texture. But I mixed it up by adding superfood berries from Of The Earth Superfoods for a difference in flavour and some amazing anti-oxident power - did you know goji berries are super high in vitamin C, and mulberries are high in iron?

For a natural sweetener I used Yacon Syrup which I actually had never tried before but it's my new favourite thing. It's derived from a Peruvian root vegetable (has to healthy then, right?), and it's also a natural pre-biotic (meaning it's great for that gut health!). Plus, it aids calcium absorption and has a low G.I so it's suitable for those with diabetes! It has a rich taste that's simpler to date nectar or dark maple syrup - so yum.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Coping With Mental Health Setbacks

Setbacks happen to all of us and they can be challenging to overcome, but how we deal with our setbacks can affect us in such different ways. Dealing with setbacks is a part of life, whether it's in your place of work, in your financial situation, during sickness or anything else they can leave us feeling angry, upset and scared but by taking it step by step, trying to look at the positives and by moving forward you can turn a bad situation into a good one.

I'm talking about this, because I've been experiencing a few setbacks in my life recently and I've been finding them extremely challenging, as well as mentally and physically draining. I've found myself feeling more anxious again and more self conscious than I have done in years, I've also had a physical setback (an injury) that's preventing me from exercising - something which isn't helping my mental clarity. I have to admit, I do have days where I wallow, where I can't see the positives and where I feel like I'm not going to feel better again but I'm learning to accept these knock-backs and trying to remember they happen to all of us.


Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Smokey Red Pepper Hummus

Hummus is one of my favourite things ever! It's the best savoury snack with carrot sticks, rice cakes, sliced pepper, crackers, pitta bread or on toast and I love topping my salads with it or pairing it with roasted veggies. Classic hummus is amazing as it is, but sometimes I fancy something a little different such as this smokey red pepper hummus!

This smokey red pepper hummus is a total dream. It's got all the creaminess of classic hummus with so much more added flavour from the roasted red pepper and the smoked paprika. It's my current obsession and I couldn't be more excited to share the recipe.

Hummus is a wonderful addition to any meal, and as I said above it's one of the best snacks you can have. It's high in protein and fibre to keep you feeling full and balance those blood sugar levels, it's low in sugar, it contains healthy fats and plenty of vitamins and minerals too! Pairing it with veggie sticks really boosts that vitamin intake or pair with pitta bread, crackers or rice cakes for a delicious post-workout snack.

Try sprinkling some fresh herbs and dried chilli flakes into this hummus for even more flavour and contrasting colour.


Monday, 3 July 2017

Free-From Dinner Party With Schwartz

Going out for a meal either at a restaurant or for a dinner party at a friends has always been one of my favourite things to do, as it is for most foodies. However, having any kind of dietary intolerance or allergy makes this experience a little less enjoyable! I suffer with both coeliac disease (meaning I can't eat gluten) and a dairy intolerance, so I know how stressful and sometimes upsetting it can be when you go out for a nice meal and there's little or sometimes nothing on the menu you can actually eat. The best way to take away that unwanted stress of eating out but still have that wonderful experience of social eating is to host your very own dinner party!

Schwartz recently challenged me to host my own 3 course dinner party using their new range of gluten free packet mixes and sauces. This range has all the same amazing taste of the original Schwartz products but with none of the gluten, giving those with coeliac disease or a gluten intolerance the opportunity to enjoy a wide-range of delicious recipes you might have otherwise thought you couldn't eat. Schwartz have made it so 'free from' dinner parties and supper clubs are just as enjoyable and equally yummy as any regular meal - plus the mixes make cooking for 4+ people so easy, so fuss free and inexpensive too.

Creating a dinner party menu using the Schwartz gluten free mixes was so easy - there are 8 recipe mixes in the range that are all super versatile and can be adapted to fit loads of different recipes. I decided to get creative, and use the mixes in imaginative ways rather than what they're made for - I used the spaghetti bolognese mix in my stuffed mushrooms starter and the fajita mix to make fajita bowls, I then made ginger & lemon cheesecake bites using Schwartz Ginger for a sweet and refreshing treat at the end of the meal. All washed down with a glass of bubbles, of course.

Here comes the fun bit! I didn't tell my guests that I had used Schwartz recipe mixes until the end of the dinner party, I thought it would be interesting to let them all think everything was 100% homemade and only let on I had actually done very little work at the end of the meal. I personally think the Schwartz mixes taste so fresh, so natural and completely homemade so I was interested to see if my guests thought the same. Keep reading to find out what they thought!


Friday, 30 June 2017

Ice Cream Party With Booja Booja

Ice-cream is just the ultimate summer treat; there's nothing quite like a few scoops of your favourite flavour creamy ice-cream on a sunny day! My absolute favourite ice-cream brand is Booja-Booja - not only because they're dairy free and refined sugar free but their ice-cream is the most indulgent, creamy, sweet, luxurious ice-cream I've ever tasted.

This is the very first summer that Booja-Booja's exciting new range of organic dairy-free ice-creams will be available and it's also ten years since the company first launched ice-cream as part of its offering - definitely something to celebrate!
Booja-Booja's new tubs are made with the simplest of ingredients such as cashews and agave nectar, they look completely beautiful (good packaging always wins me over) and of course they taste out of this world. Plus, the ice-cream has won many taste awards including The Great Taste Awards 2016!

To celebrate the tubs first summer outing, there's ice-cream parties taking place up and down the country with five deserving winners receiving the ultimate ice-cream party package including enough ice-cream to feed an army, up to £250 to spend on party goodies AND lots more. Exciting right?!
The lucky finalists have been announced and you can vote for who you'd like to win here this delicious and super fun prize here.

As Booja-Booja is pretty much the love of my life I absolutely had to get involved in this #BoojaParties campaign, so today I'm sharing with you how I would serve Booja-Booja's Raspberry Ripple ice-cream at my Summer ice-cream party!

The Raspberry Ripple flavour is my current favourite (although this changes constantly - they're all just too delicious for words). It's an impossibly smooth and creamy vanilla ice cream with sweet, rippling raspberry sauce running through it, and just wait until you read the ingredients. This ice-cream is purely made from water, agave syrup, cashew nuts, freeze dried raspberries and vanilla extract....yes, that's it....although I'm sure there's some sort of magic fairy dust sprinkled in there too.


Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Wild Berries Breakfast Smoothie

Smoothies are my go-to breakfasts during the summer months. When it's warm and sunny outside there's nothing better than a cold, refreshing smoothie to kick-start your day! I also love how many different flavour combinations you can come up with and the amount of goodness you can cram into a smoothie. I always make sure I get a good mixture of carbs, healthy fats and protein in the morning so ensuring my smoothie contains ingredients that'll give me all those macronutrients is very important!

Protein is key! It keeps you feeling fuller for longer, it aids your body's recovery after a workout, it's energising and every function in your body relies on it. I always add a protein powder to my smoothies, it's just the most convenient way of making sure I get enough protein in there and if you get a flavoured protein it adds amazing taste too! The protein I'm currently all about is the Vanilla & Wild Berries vegan protein powder from The Good Guru - it's the ultimate summer protein powder (it tastes kinda like jelly and ice cream!) and it's bursting with goodness. I thought I'd share with you the best smoothie recipe using this protein powder so you can all try the deliciousness too!

I always add this protein to smoothies with lots of berries to enhance the flavour even more and give a really fruity taste, a hit of antioxidants and of course that wonderful colour. I also add a frozen banana which really thickens this smoothie up, some oats for a slow releasing carbohydrate to keep you feeling fuller for longer and boost your energy, some almond butter for healthy fat and vitamin E, and some flaxseed for added fibre.

The Good Guru Vanilla & Wild Berries Protein is made up of a mixture of pea, pumpkin seed and sunflower seed protein and flavoured with forest fruits, raspberry, strawberry and vanilla. It's such a fresh, summery tasting protein powder and I find it's super easy on digestion, blends really well into smoothies and doesn't have that earthy after taste that some vegan proteins have. My favourite at the moment, particularly in this smoothie which you've gotta try!

Monday, 26 June 2017

Watermelon, Aloe & Mint Cooler

I've got the recipe for the perfect refreshing drink for a Summer party, BBQ or picnic. It's bursting with nutrients, tastes amazing and makes a great cocktail alternative! Introducing this Watermelon, Aloe & Mint Cooler - (Yes, it's as good as it sounds)!

I'm excited to share this simple yet incredible recipe as I've been really enjoying it throughout these warmer days. It quenches your thirst like nothing else, tastes so summery and looks super pretty too - making it ideal for a Summer party.

Watermelon and mint are classic ingredients, and are often seen together but aloe vera but seem a little out there...just trust me! I used 100% pure, organic aloe vera juice from Simplee Aloe (stocked in Sainsburys, Waitrose, Ocado, Asda, and health food stores nationwide), which was so convenient and meant I could get all the amazing aloe health benefits with no faff whatsoever.

So, why aloe vera? What's so great about it? Aloe vera juice is a true superfood in my eyes. It's known for being beneficial as a beauty supplement as it soothes skin irritation, treats burns and can even be used as a moisturiser, but it's just as great for you when it's consumed.

Simplee Aloe have picked up on this and made a range of products all infused with 100% pure and organic aloe vera juice, meaning we can simply purchase it ready and safe to use! Aloe vera is unbelievably anti-inflammatory, it can boost your immune system, it promotes healthy digestion and it can even reduce blasted - ideal in this warmer weather!

I used the Aloe Vera Supplement from Simplee Aloe in this recipe which is 100% natural and organic aloe vera so that I could really get creative and add my own flavours, but Simplee Aloe also sell ready-made aloe vera infused juice drinks which are super yummy - my personal favourite is the super berries flavour!

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Cold Brew Coffee & Coconut Smoothie

It's estimated 82% of adults are regular coffee drinks, but on hot summer days is drinking a mug of coffee really the best refreshing drink? I don't know about you, but I really go off tea and coffee during the warmer months but sometimes I just crave that delicious coffee taste. That's where cold brew comes in to save the day!

I've recently discovered Califia Farms who's products have just launched in Sainsburys. They have a range of incredible plant based milks, as well as plant based cold brew coffees! My favourite is the
Unsweetened Black & While Cold Brew made with almond milk - it's 100% GMO free, free from gluten, suitable for vegans and soy free too. This cold brew is a dream enjoyed just by itself, but I love blending it into smoothies to create a refreshing, cooling, summer coffee drink. My go-to recipe is a coffee & coconut blend, and lucky you....I'm sharing the recipe in this blog post!

This Coffee & Coconut layered smoothie tastes so indulgent (almost like a dessert!) but it's also loaded with goodness, only contains natural ingredients, there's no added refined sugars and it looks pretty too! If you want, you don't have to create two smoothies and layer them but simply add all the ingredients in one go - I just like the contrasting colours and it makes it super fun to drink.

The cold brew coffee layers are made with frozen banana, almond butter and the Califia Farms cold brew coffee - delicious, rich and super flavoursome! The coconut layers are made using frozen banana, desiccated coconut and Califia Farms coconut milk which I love as it has no added sweeteners or artificial ingredients (plus it tastes so creamy!).


Saturday, 17 June 2017

Cookie Dough Protein Balls

Protein or energy balls are my favourite home-made snack. They're so easy, quick and fuss free to make, they don't require any baking and there's minimal washing up - winner! I also love how many different combinations of flavours and ingredients you can come up with. My current favourite protein ball recipe is for these Cookie Dough Protein Balls made with The Good Guru Vanilla Protein Powder and delicious dark chocolate chips!

The main ingredients are oats and cashews which are inexpensive and easy to find in the supermarkets, and they make the best cookie-dough like texture. I also used cashew butter which adds a slight creaminess to these protein balls as well as holding the balls together, with a little help from the coconut oil and medjool dates.

I used The Good Guru Vanilla Protein Powder in this recipe which is entirely vegan. It's blend of pea, pumpkin seed and sunflower seed protein with natural vanilla flavourings and a little stevia for sweetness. The protein blends so well into these protein balls and is great for adding that vanilla cookie flavour! Adding protein powder to these balls also helps to make them super filling, as protein is considered the most satiating of all three macronutrients.
Live Happy, Live Healthy


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