learning to live a happy, healthy life

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Thursday, 27 April 2017

Honesty - My Mental Health

I've always been very honest and upfront about my struggles with mental health, I've talked about suffering with both depression and anxiety for the majority of my life and how adapting my lifestyle, changing my eating habits and becoming more active helped improve my mental health dramatically.

I want to write this post to tell you those things weren't and aren't a miracle cure for any mental health issue, that I don't just have happy days full of smiles and laughter and that I do still suffer with both depression and anxiety. It would be wrong and irresponsible of me not to address the fact my mental health is still an ongoing battle, and although my lifestyle changes did help bring me out of a very deep and dark depression, helped boost my confidence and improved my relationship with my body, I do still struggle and I do still have very bad days. No mental health issue can be fixed over night and it's completely normal to have set backs, which I myself need reminding of sometimes. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be okay all the time, to be strong 24/7 and to carry on when sometimes we need time to be sad, we need time by ourselves and we need time to heal without any other added pressures.

I'm talking about this now as the past few days I've experienced several panic attacks and very dark spells of depression that have really impacted my life. I was due to start a new job this week, which I was so excited about and really thought would be ideal for me to go alongside my blog/freelance work - it was part time and local so I wouldn't have to travel. Unfortunately I missed my first shift due to a depression breakdown that was completely terrifying, exhausting and traumatic. Somehow I made it in the next day (even though it was difficult), and you know what? My first day went okay, the job isn't my dream role but the people were lovely and the work area was nice. However, the following day when it was my second shift I suffered a bad panic attack in the morning, followed by dark feelings and a pain in my chest that I can't even begin to describe. I couldn't make it in.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Currently Loving: GoodLife Burgers & Falafels

Ready made veggie products that are both delicious and don't contain lots of artificial or processed ingredients can be hard to find in your everyday supermarket, but sometimes we need something quick and easy we can just throw in the oven after a long, busy day. I'm always on the lookout for new brands to try  and today I'm sharing with you one of my favourites.

Goodlife Foods produce frozen, veggie based products that really do make vegetables the star of the show! Their products only contain natural ingredients with no preservatives or artificial ingredients to be found....plus they really do taste scrumptious.

Having healthy food options in your freezer you can literally just whack in the oven and it be ready within 20 minutes is always a good idea - it means there's always a quick dinner waiting for you after a long day that's going to satisfy your tummy and make you feel good, it makes preparing packed lunches super easy and it reduces the risk of ordering in takeaway or throwing a pizza in the oven (which is perfectly fine occasionally but maybe not something we want to be aiming for regularly!).
I have to admit I find it difficult to find gluten free, vegan, natural frozen food products such as burgers, sausages and falafels in mainstream supermarkets but that's where Goodlife comes to the rescue!  I've been a fan of Goodlife Foods for a while now so I thought I'd share with you two of my favourite products from their range that are both gluten free and vegan.


Sunday, 23 April 2017

Creamy Vegan Mushroom & Spinach Pasta (Feat. Biona)

Sometimes there's just nothing better than a bowl of pasta with a delicious creamy sauce, but finding a dairy-free option can be a little tricky. I'm bringing you a recipe that changes that and will satisfy your cravings for creamy pasta with none of the dairy but all of the incredible taste!

This pasta sauce is made using silken tofu with Biona which blends amazingly well with lemon juice, fresh herbs, garlic and plenty of black pepper to create the dreamiest, high-protein sauce for an unbeatable pasta dish. Add in the mushrooms and spinach for a balanced, nourishing, satisfying and scrumptious meal with plant-based protein, energy boosting carbohydrates and plenty of vitamins and minerals to make your body and your mind feel happy and healthy.

As I mentioned above, Biona silken tofu is the star ingredient in this recipe! It's perhaps not an ingredient you'd think of to create a pasta sauce with but it works so well and adds a protein boost to a normally low-protein meal. Biona has been one of my favourite brands for a while now as I know they produce food I can trust - all their products are organic which means their farmers don't use any pesticides or chemicals on the crops they grow and only use sustainable farming methods.

In this recipe I also used one of my favourite Biona products - their coconut oil cuisine which is completely odourless, meaning none of your food will have that coconut taste when you cook with it but you'll still reap all the benefits from this superfood! For the pasta, I used wholegrain rice pasta from Biona's sister brand Amisa but you could also use any of Biona's pasta range if you're not avoiding gluten - I hear their spelt pasta is particularly tasty.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Strawberry Cheesecake Bites (Vegan) - Seasonal Berries

I'm the biggest berry fan, I eat some form of the delicious fruit every day without fail, so when Seasonal Berries contacting me asking me to create a delicious strawberry recipe for their #SpringStrawberry campaign I jumped at the chance!

The Spring months are the perfect months to be buying and eating juicy strawberries as they're readily available at all major supermarkets and are super great quality at this time of year. I love adding strawberries to my porridge, to yogurt bowls, throwing them into smoothies, infusing them into water and just munching on them as a healthy sweet snack throughout the day. I also love to bake with strawberries as they create an unbeatable taste that is combined so well with a variety of flavours and ingredients. Today I'm bringing you a recipe for vegan strawberry cheesecake bites - they're totally raw, refined sugar free and gluten free but truly indulgent, perfectly sweet and full of flavour.

Strawberries are the true star of this recipe, and rightly so as they're an everyday superfood! Strawberries are one of the healthiest fruits out there; they're low calorie, relatively low sugar for a fruit, they contain plenty of essential vitamins and minerals which include vitamins C, B6 and K as well as fibre, folic acid, potassium and amino acids! Strawberries are also rich in anti-oxidants including elegiac acid which helps to protect the skin.

I'm so excited to have collaborated with Seasonal Berries on this campaign and bring you a recipe I'm really proud of! The base of these cheesecakes are made out of almonds and oats which creates the most incredible biscuity texture with sweetness from the gooey medjool dates. The cheesecake layer is made using soaked cashews which when blended form this wonderfully smooth texture that will rival any other cheesecake. I topped these bites of heaven with a slice of strawberry to really add to the sweet taste!

FUN FACT - Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside!
(via Seasonal Berries website)

Monday, 17 April 2017

Chocolate Protein Cookies With Peanut Butter Frosting

These cookies really are the ultimate and I'm so excited to share the recipe with you!

Chocolate and peanut butter is a combination I never seem to get tired of - it's just total heaven! These Chocolate Protein Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting are no exception; the taste is dreamy and the texture is perfection, plus they're pretty high protein thanks to the chocolate pea protein I used.

I adore the combination of crunchy yet slightly chewy cookie with the contrasting smooth, gooey peanut butter frosting and the crunch of the peanuts on top. These cookies are flour-less too as I simply blended oats (this keeps costs down too!) with chocolate protein from Nutristrength, coconut oil, maple syrup, peanut butter and almond milk. The frosting is purely peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract and a splash of almond milk. Simple.

I added Nutristrength's Roasted Cocoa Pea Protein to these cookies, not just to give them a boost of protein but also an amazingly rich chocolate taste. Pea protein is probably my favourite form of vegan protein as it doesn't have a strong taste like hemp protein, it blends really well with other ingredients and isn't too sensitive to heat so is a great option for baking. Nutristrength is a brand I've been a fan of for a while - you might remember by vanilla protein fudge recipe with their vanilla protein - and I'm so excited to be sharing another delicious recipe using their fantastic product with you.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Puffed Quinoa, Coconut & Chocolate Squares

These Puffed Quinoa, Coconut & Chocolate Squares are my healthy take on the classic rice krispy squares that you no doubt made as a kid. Yes, they may be a healthier alternative but they're still just as delicious, sweet, crispy and more-ish!

I made them with Indigo Herbs new puffed quinoa which is just 100% organic puffed quinoa - nothing added, nothing taken away. The quinoa is a great alternative to rice as it's much higher in protein, it's easier to digest and it doesn't play havoc with our blood sugar levels! It also gives an even more wonderful texture to these crispy squares and works perfectly with the coconut and chocolate.

To make these Puffed Quinoa, Coconut & Chocolate Squares I simply picked the puffed quinoa and desiccated coconut together, made a chocolate mixture then mixed it all together, placed in a tray and left to set for 40 minutes in the fridge. So simple, but so good!

I've worked with Indigo Herbs to bring you this indulgent recipe, and used their cacao powder, cacao butter, raw almond butter, coconut oil and maple syrup to make these chocolatey squares! I've been using Indigo Herbs products for a long time and truly trust the brand - their products are of the highest quality without the mammoth expensive! I also love that Indigo Herbs has every healthy baking ingredient I could ever need on their website, it makes shopping so much easier knowing I can get it all from the same place!

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Hot Cross Cookies

Easter weekend is only a few days away, so I'm sharing my second Easter recipe with you ready for you to recreate in time for Easter!

I'm a massive hot cross bun lover; there's just nothing better with a cup of English Breakfast Tea. I decided to adapt the classic hot cross bun recipe and make Hot Cross Cookies, complete with the same mouth-watering spices and sultanas as hot cross buns but in cookie form. Yes, they're as good as they sound.

These cookies are family friendly and free from dairy, gluten, eggs and nuts. They're sweet enough to satisfy that sweet tooth without being sickly sweet, they're got the perfect combination of spices and just the right amount of juicy sultanas. They've got a slightly crispy outside but a soft, chewy inside and each mouthful feels so heavenly! 

The cookies are also very easy to make and don't take much time at all. A great recipe to make with kids, as a gift for family members or to take to your friends for a cup of tea and a chin-wag.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Plant-Based Lasagne Feat. Schwartz

Vegetable lasagne was always one of my favourite meals growing up. I'd always choose it on special occasions and especially requested it on my birthday! I loved it and never got bored of the dish. It's a meal a really miss since having to cut out gluten and dairy, so I took it upon myself to create a free-from lasagne that was totally plant-based but not lacking in any of the delicious lasagne flavours.

This recipe has been made in collaboration with Schwartz, as they're recently brought out an exciting range of gluten free recipe mixes that still have all the flavour of Schwartz but with none of the gluten! I was inviting to the launch of these new products and was super impressed with the quality of them, and I think it's fantastic that such a well-known brand has brought out a wide range of recipe mixes that are suitable for those on a gluten free diet!

The Schwartz gluten free recipe mixes are really versatile too; in this lasagne recipe I actually use the spaghetti bolognese mix which worked like a dream and created the perfect flavours! If you do eat dairy you could also use the Schwartz gluten free cheese sauce mix, but as I'm dairy-free I created my very own vegan friendly cashew cheese topping which is out of this world. You've gotta try it!

If I'm honest, I didn't quite know how well this recipe would turn out. Could a gluten free, vegan lasagne really be anything special? I thought I'd miss the pasta and the real cheese topping, but honestly this recipe is one of my favourites ever. The courgette and aubergine layers in place of the pasta sheets create a really wonderful texture and taste to the dish, the cheese sauce doesn't taste like it's vegan whatsoever and the Schwartz bolognese mix adds so much rich flavour to the lasagne without needing to buy loads of different ingredients.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Healthy Easter Rice Crispy Nests

I used to love making chocolate rice krispy cakes when I was little! Melted the chocolate and stirring in the rice krispy's was so much fun, and of course I always ate some straight out the bowl before they were set in the fridge! They're such a classic treat - great to make with kids and everyone loves them, so this Easter I decided to make a healthy chocolate rice krispy cake alternative that's just not (if not more) delicious, complete with marzipan mini eggs!

These healthy easter rice crispy nests are super easy and fun to make, they look seriously cute and both kids and adults are going to love them. They're 100% vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free but also 100% scrumptious and sweet!

I don't hate gluten or dairy and try to keep my refined sugar intake as minimal as possible, so instead of using Rice Krispies in this recipe I used Brown Rice Puffs from Rude Health, which are basically like the healthy, unrefined version of Rice Krispies and available to buy from most supermarkets in the 'free from' aisle. For the chocolatey goodness I simply melted together cacao powder (my favourite is Sevenhills), coconut oil and a pure maple syrup to create a wonderfully rich, sweet and mouth-wateringly delicious chocolate liquid that sets hard in the fridge.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Five Steps To Smoothie Success

A vitamin packed smoothie is a great breakfast or afternoon snack as you can really cram in so much goodness, they're quick and easy to make and they're super delicious too!

If you're a smoothie novice or find your smoothies don't have that thick, creamy consistency you're after then this post is for you. I'm a bit of a smoothie-queen (if I do say so myself), so I thought it was only right to share my top tips on how to make the best smoothies ever!

1. Frozen Banana
Using frozen banana in your smoothies is a total game-changer, if you're yet to try it then prepare to have your life changed. Simply chop up a super ripe banana and pop it in the fridge, the next day add it your blender (along with liquid...you don't want to break the blender!) with your other ingredients and it'll create a much thicker, creamier smoothie than just using a regular blender. If you don't use quite as much liquid you can even get an ice-cream like consistency which is a total dream!

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Food For Friends - Vegetarian Restaurant | Review

Brighton is one of my favourite places to eat as there's such an amazing choice of restaurants, cafes and delis that are suitable for those following a more plant-based diet. One of my favourite restaurants (not just in Brighton but ever) is Food For Friends, which is an award-winning vegetarian restaurant in the South Lanes. I first ate at Food For Friends a couple of years ago and have since been back a few times as I just can't get enough of their unbelievably flavoursome, fresh, delicious food!

A couple of weeks ago I was invited along to Food For Friends to review some of their new dishes and I can honestly say it was one of the most wonderful meals I've ever had - from the service to the drinks and food, it was all outstanding. The only thing I could complain about is the baby crying on the table next to us for rather a long period of time, but hey...that's not the restaurants fault!

Food For Friends is situated in the trendy South Lanes in an old but modernised space with elegant decor yet a laid-back, comfortable vibe. The space is quite small but by no-means claustrophobic thanks to the well-arranged tables and huge windows that let in lots of light and allow you to people watch as you eat. Food For Friends was founded with the ethos of serving global vegetarian cuisine that was not 'just a load of old lentils' but instead opening customers eyes to the fact vegetarian food can be just as (if not more) flavoursome as meat dishes. I am a vegetarian myself but my boyfriend who isn't agreed that you actually forget Food For Friends is a vegetarian restaurant...you don't look at the menu wondering where the meat is or feeling as if anything is missing from the dishes.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Beluga Lentil & Black Bean Chilli

Chilli is one of my all-time favourite meals. I love how quick and easy it is, how inexpensive the ingredients are, how wholesome and nourishing it is and of course it tastes utterly amazing too.

For my final recipe of National Nutrition & Hydration Week in collaboration with Merchant Gourmet I'm bring you a chilli recipe that's out of this world! This Beluga Lentil & Black Bean Chilli is hands down one of my favourite recipes ever and I can't wait for you to make it yourself.

This beluga lentil & black bean chilli is a great meal for the whole family. It's so quick and easy to make, the ingredients are easily sourced and inexpensive, it can be served with a variety of accompaniments such brown rice, quinoa, baked potato, courgetti or simply on it's own. It's suitable for vegans, vegetarians and those on a gluten free diet, and it's incredibly delicious and really satisfying.

This chilli is not only lusciously yummy but it's loaded with nutrients to keep you feeling happy and healthy too! The Beluga Lentils from Merchant Gourmet and the black beans provide your body with plenty of plant-based protein, all important fibre and energy-boosting carbohydrates, the tomatoes give you a healthy dose of vitamin C & K and the spices all have anti-oxident properties! Winner!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Chocolate Orange Polenta Cake

My fourth recipe for National Nutrition Week in collaboration with Merchant Gourmet is one of my favourites! If you're trying to eat more nutritious foods it can sometimes feel like you're going to miss out on the sweet foods like cookies and cakes, but that doesn't have to be the case!

This Chocolate Orange Polenta Cake is an amazingly sweet treat that tastes incredibly indulgent but actually only contains the most natural, wholesome ingredients that won't leave you feeling sluggish, bloated or give you a sugar rush. It's entirely gluten free, refined sugar free and suitable for vegans but you'd never know it as it's bursting with so much flavour and it doesn't taste like it's missing a thing.

I made this cake with Merchant Gourmet polenta which adds a pleasantly crumbly texture but still manages to stay moist. I also used ground almonds which really help to create that classic spongy texture, cacao powder to add such a wonderful richness and is so incredible combined with the zest orange to give that classic chocolate orange taste.

This cake is the perfect recipe for afternoon tea, for a birthday or just if you fancy a slice of cake with your cup of coffee without all the artificial ingredients!


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Wholegrain Rice & Seaweed Sushi (Vegan)

Sushi is really delicious and as popular as ever but shop bought sushi can often be full of refined ingredients and added sugars, so it isn't always the healthiest choice. Plus, sushi isn't often suitable for those on a plant-based diet or if you're avoiding gluten. The answer? Make your own! Making your own sushi at home is not only super fun but it ensures you know exactly what's going into the delicious seaweed rolls.

These vegan sushi rolls are made with Merchant Gourmet's Rice & Seaweed, which is far more nutritious than the white rice sushi normally contains. The wholegrain rice is lightly flavoured with wakame seaweed which is known for it's essential nutrients and vitamins, and simply cooked with only water and a dash of olive oil - the perfect sushi filling!

These sushi rolls are made with an amazing avocado cream that helps to hold all the ingredients together and adds an incredible creaminess to the sushi rolls, as well as some healthy fats that'll help your skin to glow, your hair to shine and keep you feeling fuller for longer. I chose red pepper and carrot strips as the veggie filling but really you could use anything you fancy - how about cucumber, beetroot or beansprouts.


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Blueberry & Quinoa Superseed Breakfast Bars

These Superseed Quinoa & Blueberry Breakfast Bars are perfect if you're looking for a delicious, nutritious breakfast that you can just grab in the morning when you're low on time or simply enjoyed as a hearty afternoon snack. They're really energising, full of goodness, easy to make and most importantly taste amazing!

This week it's National Nutrition Week and I'm sharing 5 recipes using Merchant Gourmet products to show you just how easy, inexpensive and exciting eating nourishing, wholesome foods can be.
In this recipe I use the Merchant Gourmet Superseeds product which is a blend of quinoa, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds - making it a real powerhouse of nutrition.

These Superseed Quinoa & Blueberry Breakfast Bars are a great source of protein and fibre thanks to the quinoa and seed mix, which will keep you fuelled all morning, aid digestion and keep your blood sugar levels steady - all things you need in a breakfast! Quinoa is also packed full of iron, magnesium, copper and B6 to give you a real vitamin & mineral kick first thing.

Every mouthful is bursting with juicy, fresh blueberries which are total heaven when cooked - they become so succulent and gooey, sweet hints of vanilla, luscious texture from the grains, a slight creaminess from the cashew butter and just the right amount of sweetness from the bananas and pure maple syrup. I know these bars may sound a little tricky to make, but really they couldn't be more simple. The Merchant Gourmet Superseed is all cooked and ready to go, meaning you can just throw all the ingredients together in one bowl, mix and it's ready for baking!

Monday, 13 March 2017

Herby Quinoa Falafels

This week is National Nutrition Week, so I'm working with Merchant Gourmet to bring you a new delicious and nourishing recipe every day to show you just how easy, inexpensive, fun and delicious nourishing foods can be! I'm kicking off this week of recipes with delicious Herby Quinoa Falafels...

Homemade falafels are a pure delight! They're utterly delicious with salad, pita bread and hummus or just on their own to munch on as a savoury snack throughout the day. They're incredibly satisfying, wonderfully filling and packed of nutrients. This recipe for herby quinoa falafels puts a twist on the classic falafel recipe by adding red & white quinoa mix (from Merchant Gourmet), which not only adds an unbeatable texture and taste but also lots more protein, ups the fibre and gives you even more of a nutrient boost to keep your body and mind feeling happy and healthy.

As I said, I love falafels but this recipe takes them to a whole new level! Adding quinoa is genius (if I do say so myself) as it adds so much substance to the little chickpea balls of goodness, makes them even more filling and really helps to keep any cravings at bay. Using the Merchant Gourmet pre-cooked quinoa makes this process super quick, easy and cheap but you're still getting all the essential nutrients and no nasties!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Vanilla & Chocolate Chip Protein Banana Loaf

Banana bread is one of my favourite things - there's nothing I like more than a thick slice of sweet banana bread with a layer of almond butter and a cup of tea in the afternoons!

I went to make a banana bread loaf the other day and decided to switch it up to create this vanilla & chocolate chip protein banana loaf....yes, it's as good as it sounds! The recipe itself isn't too different from my classic banana bread recipe, but I added chocolate chips for some chocolatey goodness and vanilla protein powder for a sweet vanilla taste and a protein boost. I used the vegan vanilla protein from The Good Guru in this recipe which is super yum. It blended so well with all the other ingredients and gave the loaf extra nutrients and flavour.

This protein banana loaf is such a wonderful texture - it's perfectly moist with a crumbly outer layer, the chocolate chips melt in the oven so add this incredible chocolate explosion of goodness in your mouth with every bite and the vanilla brings a little more sweetness and subtle flavour to this sweet treat. I can't tell you how good it smelt whilst it was being baked in the oven!

As I said above, I used the vegan protein blend from The Good Guru in this recipe which is such a high-quality product. The ingredients list is totally natural and the protein is specifically designed to help your body stay strong and repair itself by providing you with all the essential amino acids. Yes, this protein may be vegan but it is a complete protein thanks to the unique blend of ingredients! I really like this protein in shakes, smoothies, stirred into porridge and now even in banana bread! Plus, it's super good value for money at only £16.95 for 500g....gotta love a bargain.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

5 Benefits Of Pure Coconut Water

Coconut water has grown massively in popularity over the last few years, with hundreds of brands bringing out their own coconut water products and millions of people buying them.
Although pure coconut water has been drunk for centuries, with people from tropical regions being aware of their amazing health benefits, over time it's become more and more over produced, filtered and artificially tampered with and the nutrients are often lost. I can guarantee the coconut water you buy at your local supermarket isn't pure, unfiltered coconut water and undoubtably has other ingredients added to it.

This is not the coconut water I'm talking about in this post! I'm talking about the benefits of pure, unpasteurised, unfiltered coconut water. The incredible coconut water that comes from young coconuts, that is slightly pink in colour, and that has a far more amazing taste than that of un-pure coconut water. This coconut water has an endless list of health benefits, is loaded with nutrients and is a wonderful drink to add into your diet.

Here are 5 benefits pure coconut water has on the body that perhaps explain why it's becoming increasingly popular -

Friday, 3 March 2017

Lentil & Cashew Vegan Meatballs (With Linwoods)

Is there any dish more comforting than a big bowl of pasta? I love pasta, especially in the form of spaghetti with a simply tomato sauce and plenty of herbs and black pepper. A meal like this is one of my favourites to whip up if I want a comfort meal or if I'm low on time, but it does lack in protein and a little more substance so adding vegan meatballs is the perfect solution.

I know meatless meatballs may sound a little odd but this recipe for lentil & cashew vegan meatballs made with Linwoods Flaxseed for added omega-3 goodness and even more protein is just so delicious, satisfying and actually super easy and inexpensive! Trust me, even meat-eaters will be head over heels for this recipe.

The ingredients for these lentil and cashew meatless meatballs can all be found in your local supermarket and I've tried to keep things as simple as possible so you can cook this meal easily and not have a mountain of washing up to do afterwards. The recipe itself only has a few steps and from setting your ingredients out to dishing the finished meatballs up the process shouldn't take you any longer than 45 minutes!


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

The True Tea Club Review

If you've been following my blog for a while you'll know I'm well and truly a tea-aholic! If a day goes by where I haven't drunk at least 4 cups of tea then you know something's not right. I'm a huge herbal tea lover but also love black teas, green teas and any other type of tea really.

So, when The True Tea Club contacted me asking if I'd like to try one of their tea boxes I obviously jumped at the chance! True Tea Club is a tea subscription box service that delivers a box of amazing, hand-picked loose leaf tea to your door on the 20th of each month. You receive 4 individual packs of fresh tea which can range from green tea, white tea, black tea, chai, rooibos, oolong and herbal infusions. The amount of tea they send can vary from 40-80 cups of tea per month (dependant on the subscription package)... you know you'll never get bored of the incredible range of flavours!

I was instantly impressed with the True Tea Club box when it was delivered; it's really well and beautifully packaged but it's compact and there aren't any unnecessary ribbons, tissue paper, fancy boxing, etc which personally I really like as it means I can simply recycle the cardboard box and don't get cluttered up with stuff! Plus, they simply don't need any posh packaging to hide behind.

As I opened the box I saw 4 different pouches of tea laying there, just ready to be drank - I was so excited to see what flavours I'd been sent! This month my box contained Vanilla Cupcake (I know...amazing right?!), Rainbow Chaser which is a blend of apple pieces, blackberry leaves, peppermint and orange peel - so different but so yummy, Mighty Mango which I'm thinking will be delicious as an iced tea and last but not least Earl Grey Rebel. Each packet states it's origin, how much tea you need per cup, the ideal brewing time and the recommend temperature of water to use which I found really interesting and helpful too. You also get 4 empty tea bags in the subscription box which is ideal if you haven't got a tea infuser!


Monday, 27 February 2017

Lemon & Chia Seed Pancakes

I'm just spoiling you with pancake recipes at the moment, aren't I? Just a couple of days ago I posted the recipe for crepes with caramelised banana & chocolate sauce and now I'm bringing you the recipe for these lemon & chia seed pancakes! Well, you've got to have choice for Pancake Day haven't you?!

These lemon & chia seed pancakes are hands down the best pancakes I've ever made. They're perfectly soft and fluffy with an incredible zestiness from the lemon and sweetness from the honey. They're so delicious and indulgent but are made from all wholesome, natural ingredients that means you won't feel sluggish or bloated after eating them - win win!

I love thick, American style pancakes like these - they're so moreish, so comforting and utterly delicious. Classic American style pancakes are often full of over processed ingredients and refined sugars and aren't good for people suffering with allergies or intolerances, but this recipe changes that! My healthy twists makes these lemon & chia seed pancakes gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free but trust me, you'd never know it. The texture is spot on, they literally just melt in your mouth in the most dreamy way and every bite you take is full of flavour. The batch will be devoured in seconds!

Not only are these pancakes perfect for Pancake Day but they can be eaten all year round! As a dessert or even as a breakfast - they're loaded with protein, healthy fats, energising carbohydrates and vitamins & minerals to fuel your body in the best possible way.


Friday, 24 February 2017

Crepes With Caramelised Banana & Chocolate Sauce

It's Pancake Day in just a few days, so of course I've been in the kitchen recipe testing healthy pancake alternatives that are not only perfect for those who try to avoid refined, processed ingredients but they're also great for anyone suffering with allergies or dietary requirements.

These Crepes with gooey, sweet caramelised bananas and rich, smooth chocolate sauce are gluten free, dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free AND nut free! But, you'd never know they were any of those things as they're completely indulgent and don't lack in flavour or sweetness and will satisfy any tummy!

Crepes were always my go-to style of pancake on Pancake Day, I just love filling them with all sorts of deliciousness, folding them up and cutting into them...is there anything better? However, since being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease and having to give up all gluten I haven't eaten wonderful crepes, so I took it upon myself to create a crepe recipe that wouldn't only be allergen free and healthy but also super simple with as few ingredients as possible....AND I DID IT.
These crepes only have 4 major ingredients (buckwheat flour, flaxseed, agave nectar or maple syrup and oat milk) and they can be whipped up in no time! The caramelised banana and dark chocolate sauce add something so mouth-wateringly scrumptious to this recipe but you can really choose whatever topping you want!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Pistachio & Good Greens Truffles

These Pistachio & Good Greens Truffles are like classic chocolate truffles; they're wonderfully rich, luxuriously chocolatey and incredibly more-ish. Unlike classic chocolate truffles they're made with entirely healthy, unrefined ingredients and are free from gluten and dairy!

Isn't it just a dream to eat something as decedent as pistachio chocolate truffles and know you're giving your body a boost of nutrients too? This recipe makes that dream come true!  Not only are all the ingredients natural but I added a greens powder to the truffles centre. I used the Good Greens powder from The Good Guru which is full of all sorts of goodness and doesn't taste earthy or like grass (like many greens powders out there) as it's berry flavoured, which really adds something rather special to this simple yet mouth-wateringly good recipe.

To make the truffle centre of these sweet treats I used ground almonds, which when blended with coconut oil and maple syrup creates a chewy, soft, delicious mixture. I then added in chopped pistachio pieces for a bit of crunch and the Good Greens Powder to give that amazing green colour, a subtle berry flavour and more goodness than you can imagine. The Good Greens Powder by The Good Guru is crammed full of a variety of greens from the classic broccoli and kale to matcha green tea and moringa, making it full of an array of vitamins and minerals to keep your body happy and healthy! You can buy the Good Greens powder in handy 8g sachet packs - perfect for testing out or taking with you travelling.

I dipped the truffles into melted dark chocolate and topped with more chopped pistachios to complete this healthy but indulgent treat!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Hemp Seeds & Their Benefits

Hemp is a well known vegan protein source and it's become increasingly popular due to it's high nutritional value. I've used hemp powder before and wasn't a fan of the earthy taste, but I've quite recently become quite obsessed with hemp seeds (I get mine from Linwoods).

Hemp seeds are the seeds of the hemp plant...yes, the same species of plant as cannabis! They're incredibly rich in nutrients and are an amazing product to include in your diet. The seeds have a mild, slightly nutty flavour and are delicious but also very nutritious. But what exactly are their benefits?

Hemp seeds are exceptionally rich in healthy fats and fibre. The essential fatty acids hemp seeds contain (omega-3 and omega-6) will keep your heart healthy and your brain in top condition! They also contain easily digestible fibre, vitamin E and iron!

Plant Based Protein Source
Around 25% of the calories in hemp seeds come from protein, which is relatively high for a plant-based food. Hemp is also classified as a complete protein source, which means it provides your body with all the 20 essential amino acids, including those that aren't produced by the body but are essential to include in your diet! These vegan protein sources aren't too common in the plant-world, but it's important to make sure you're consuming them for a healthy, happy body. The digestibility of this protein is also very good, better than that of nuts or beans.


Sunday, 12 February 2017

Arctic Berries White Chocolate Truffles

The recipe for these super pretty and super delicious berry and white chocolate truffles is one you just have to try - I can't believe I've managed to create white chocolate that's both vegan and refined sugar free!

These two-tone berry & white chocolate truffles are a perfect sweet treat to make for a loved one this Valentines Day. I made them with only a few ingredients, including Lingonberry Powder from Arctic Berries to give that beautiful pink colour and for a tasty berry kick which is perfect combined with the creamy chocolate texture!

Berry flavoured chocolate was always one of my favourite things, so creating a healthy version was something I wanted to do for a long time. Using the berry powders from Arctic Berries means you can easily mix the berry flavour into the chocolate and as all the powders are raw and 100% pure you know you're getting all the natural goodness! Arctic Berries have a few different berry powders such as blackcurrant, cranberry and blueberry but I picked the Lingonberry powder for this recipe as it's got a sweet but subtle berry taste and the most beautiful pink colour that contrasts well with the white chocolate. Lingonberries are such a superfood too - they're packed with antioxidants, naturally high in fibre to improve digestion, they promote healthy skin and contain vitamins A, B, C, E and K!

Arctic Berries powders are available to buy in Waitrose and online at Ocado.
Live Happy, Live Healthy


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