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Sunday, 23 June 2019

Launching My Own Granola!


If you follow me on social media (Nourishing Amelia on everything!) you'll undoubtably have seen my posts about releasing my own granola!
Around 2 years ago I had this amazing idea for Peanut Butter flavoured granola, I did a little research and was shocked to find you couldn't buy it anywhere in the UK...that's when I decided I wanted to create an unbeatable recipe and start selling batches of this delicious granola myself.
It took a while to get from that point to now because I wanted to do this all properly, but now I can happily say we're at the final destination and my crunchy Peanut Butter Granola Clusters are all ready launch tomorrow (24th June)!

Before launch I wanted to share a little bit of information with you regarding the granola and hopefully answer any questions you may have.


What Are The Ingredients?
I've sourced the best quality ingredients for this granola because I really want it to be a premium product! The ingredients are oats, peanut butter (100% peanuts), chopped peanuts, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla and cinnamon powder.

What Are The Allergens?
The granola is made in my home kitchen which will always be very throughly cleaned before I make any batch of granola. But as I use the kitchen for all my recipes I can't 100% guarantee the product is free from gluten, dairy, sesame, other nuts and soy.

I will also ensure I wear a hair net and take all necessary hygiene precautions.`

How Much Does It Cost?
I will be offering two size bags of the granola, an 100g bag which will be £3 or a 350g bag which will be sold for £6.

How Do I Pay?
All payments will go through Paypal or if you're local to West Sussex you're welcome to message me to arrange collection.

What About Postage?
I will be sending the granola via Royal Mail 2nd Class so you can expect to receive it within 3-5 working days. Postage and packaging will cost £1.99.

Will You Ship Worldwide?
Unfortunately for the time being I can only ship to the UK.

I’m so excited for this new venture and I cannot wait to share this delicious granola with you all!
Remember - LAUNCHING 24th JUNE!




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Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Curried Sweet Potato & Lentil Patties


These lightly spiced curried sweet potato & red lentil patties are full of flavour and nourishing goodness! They make the perfect lunch paired with a side salad or even some pitta bread, or you could have them as a more filling meal with some brown rice and mango chutney! They'd even workout fabulously as a starter to an Indian feast!


Sweet potato & red lentils are the perfect pair, their flavours accompany each other so well and of course the colours are a dream together. I've used a medium spiced curry powder and turmeric powder in these patties for a beautiful curry flavour and of course a boost of antioxidants. Talking of nutrients, these patties are brimming with vitamins and minerals! Sweet potato is a brilliant source of vitamin B and vitamin C as well as beta-carotene which coverts to vitamin A once consumed. Red lentils contain plenty of folate, iron, B6 and of course plant based protein. Of course both sweet potato and red lentils are rich in fibre too which is super important for gut health.

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Sunday, 26 May 2019

Vegan Raspberry & White Chocolate Cookies


Chewy, soft, sweet cookies...can you beat them?
This recipe for the most delicious gluten free and vegan cookies is absolutely unbeatable. The texture is perfect, the most is more-ish and the flavour of fresh juicy raspberries and vegan white chocolate is mouth-wateringly good.


The cookies are super quick and easy to make but taste like you've put SO much effort into them. They'd make the perfect afternoon sweet treat with a cup of tea, a delicious dessert with a scoop of ice-cream or even a wonderful foodie gift for a loved one.

In terms of the ingredients they're all gluten free, vegan and apart from the vegan white chocolate they're refined sugar free too! I used a tasty and inexpensive vegan white chocolate from Sainsburys but there are so many on the market these days. If you couldn't find white chocolate you could always use dark chocolate instead, or even chopped nuts would be delicious. The recipe is super adaptable so do some experimenting!

I know this recipe is going to go down a treat, as it did in my household! I look forward to seeing your creations!
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Tuesday, 21 May 2019

How Stress Effects PCOS


If you've followed me for a while you'll know I suffer with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and am always up for talking about my experiences with the syndrome. It's a condition that 10% of women of child-bearing age deal with and it can be a real struggle. There are so many factors that I find really effect my PCOS symptoms such as my diet, exercise routines and even my sleep but something I've become more conscious of lately is stress.



When you have PCOS your hormones are already working against you, but when you become stressed this gets so much worse! High levels of stress can cause cause your hormone levels to become more disturbed and it can also increase inflammation - which in turn makes inflammatory PCOS symptoms such as acne and weight gain worse. It's a vicious cycle though, as ladies with PCOS tend to actually suffer with greater levels of stress due to the unpleasant side effects of the condition. We can't catch a break!

I've always known that stress and PCOS are supposedly linked and I've definitely felt stress about having PCOS but I'd never really considered just how much my stress levels were directly impacting my health and my PCOS symptoms until fairly recently.
I'm in a good place with my diet and my exercise. My diet is balanced and full of veg, it's relatively low sugar, anti-inflammatory and contains all the good fats to nourish my body and help to balance my hormones. I don't obsess over exercise any more and no longer endure 1 hour long HIIT sessions 6 times a week (which is not good for PCOS by the way!). So, why are my symptoms and pain out in full force? I put it down to stress.
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Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Pesto & Vegetable Rice Dish


Summer is starting to make an appearance which is getting me so ready for all the light, fresh summer dinners! While I love a spicy curry and a substantial stew there's nothing quite like summer dinners. I'm talking potato salads, homemade veggie burgers with lightly spiced potato wedges, pasta salads and so much more.

My favourite thing though is definitely pesto! I've always loved pesto pasta so much and since becoming more experimental with my cooking I've starting incorporating homemade pesto into more dishes...like this wholesome & scrumptious pesto & vegetable wholegrain rice dish. It's everything you could ask for in a spring/summer meal - it's fresh, it's filling, it's flavoursome and it's SO delicious.


Making your own pesto might sound like a lot of faff but really it couldn't be simpler. It's just a case of blending together a few ingredients that can all be found in your local shop! It tastes just incredible too - far better than any of that shop bought stuff and cheaper too.
I love to make a big batch of my pesto to keep in the fridge and add to dishes like pasta (of course) but also salads, boiled new potatoes, quinoa, roasted vegetables and meals like this rice & veg recipe too. It just goes so beautifully with so many different combinations...a true staple!

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Thursday, 2 May 2019

Bath Eats - Gluten Free & Veggie Cafes/Restaurants In Bath


I've just got back from a 4 day getaway in the beautiful city of Bath and I was so impressed with the cities foodie offerings that I just had to write a blog post about my experiences!

I'm always a little nervous about the food options when visiting new places as my dietary requirements are kind of extensive. I'm gluten free, dairy free and I don't eat meat! Often there aren't many restaurants or cafes that will cater to my needs, and the ones that do often only have one or two dishes for me to choose from. However, I had done my research into Bath before we visited so I was feeling pretty hopeful we'd find some yummy places to eat...and I wasn't disappointed!


FOOD

Cosy Club
A few people recommended Cosy Club for meals whilst in Bath and I'm so glad they did. Cosy Club have a few different restaurants dotted around the country, but sadly none around West Sussex (where I'm from) so I hadn't actually heard of them before. Cosy Clubs describe themselves as 'relaxed dining, drinking and lounging in a special setting with a dash of nostalgia' 'from a lazy breakfast to a family lunch or night out in your glad rags, were set apart by the character of our team, the opulence of our design and the excellence of our menus' - and I'd 100% agree with it all.
Admittedly I originally picked Cosy Club because I thought my boyfriend would like the pub style feel and quirk interior, but once I researched their menu I was thrilled to see they had both a gluten free menu AND a vegan menu - so that decided it, we had to pay them a visit! In fact, we visited the restaurant twice over the 4 days we were in Bath.


We visited the first time for dinner. It was a warm evening and we were seated on the balcony/terrace outside which was complete with heaters and cosy blankets if we were to get cold - a nice touch I thought. We were seated by a super helpful gentleman who couldn't do more to help me with my dietary requirements - he got me both the gluten free menu and vegan menu then sat down with us to go through all my options, he even went to the kitchen to double check a few things. There was actually loads of dishes I could've had including gluten free fish and chips, a superfood bowl and a Thai curry. In the end I settled for the Thai veggie burger - a spicy quinoa burger with edamame beans, pan choi, roasted peppers, coconut sauce and sweet chilli jam, served in a gluten free bun with fries on the side. I was mega excited because it's rare there's a veggie burger on a menu that's also gluten free, let alone served in a gluten free bun WITH chips!
The service was quick which was fab as they were super busy and I was hangry! It arrived and I was assured again that it was all gluten free and vegan. When I took my first bite I was totally blown away by the delicious flavour, I'm sure you know a lot of veggie burgers can be quite bland or sometimes dry but not this. The gluten free bun was also superb and the fries were out of this world. I demolished every last bit of the meal and could have quite easily eaten it all over again!

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Saturday, 20 April 2019

Vegetable Crumble - GF & Vegan


One of my absolute favourite desserts is a fruit crumble. I've always loved baking it and also eating it, of course! So, the other day I was meal planning for the week and wanted to make something a little different...that's when I came up with this idea for a savoury take on a crumble - a vegetable crumble!



If I'm honest I didn't know how this would turn out, but I was more than pleasantly surprised! The filling is made from a mix of amazing fresh vegetables such as baby potatoes, courgette, leek and more, then it's topped with an amazing savoury crumble with oats, flour and herbs.
This is such a perfect meal both for cold evenings as it's pretty hearty but it's also perfect for those warmer Spring/Summer evenings as it's super fresh. You can even switch up the veggies for whatever is in season at the time or add in some vegan chicken pieces or beans for extra protein.

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Thursday, 11 April 2019

My Healthy Cupboard Essentials


Back in September last year you might remember I wrote a blog post titled 'My Fridge Essentials' were I shared my most-loved and most-loved products in my refrigerator. I thought I'd carry the theme on to this blog post and tell you about my store cupboard essentials!

I have to say, my cupboards are absolutely jam-packed full of foodie products...probably more products than I actually need but all that I use! I've narrowed it down to my top 10 cupboard essentials. These are items that I use the most frequently, that I include in many different recipes and that are always on my shopping list.


Chopped Tomatoes
I use tinned chopped tomatoes all the time and they're constantly on my shopping list. They're perfect for whipping up a quick pasta sauce with some onion, garlic, basil and spinach, I use them when making curries, chillis and stews, they're an essential ingredient in spag bol and I even use them to make soups. They're super cheap too!

Lentils
I always have both dried red lentils and tinned green lentils in my cupboard at home as they're a real staple in my diet. I like to use lentils in dishes such as lentil bolognese, lentil shepherds pie, curries, stews and even thrown into salads.

Tinned Beans
I like to have a selection of tinned beans in my cupboards. As they're ready cooked they're such a staple for quick, nourishing, plant based meals or to blend into homemade dips. My go to's are kidney beans (for chilli, obviously!), butter beans (great for soups and dips), cannellini beans (the best for stews) and black beans (I like these in chilli). I like to make sure I have different types of beans regularly to provide me with different nutrients.

Nuts
I eat nuts every single day and they're an important part of my diet. I'm all about those healthy fats and nuts are a great way to dose up on those! I often use nuts in my baking, I top them onto my porridge or yogurt bowls or I simply snack on them. My favourites are cashews, walnuts and almonds.

Sardines
Tinned sardines may sound like a strange cupboard essential but honestly, I swear by them for optimum hormone health and treating PCOS. Sardines are so cheap, they're absolutely loaded with nutrients and they're a sustainable fish choice as well. I tend to buy the sardines in tomato sauce then grill them on toast with a little mustard.

Brown Rice
I'm sure rice is a staple in most peoples cupboards, and I'm certainly no exception! I personally prefer the taste of brown rice and it's far more nutritious than white rice, which is an added bonus. I have rice at least twice a week and find it pairs so well with so many meals. Of course I enjoy the grain with curry, chilli and stews but I also love to make rice salads, buddha bowls and even risotto type dishes. I also normally have a couple of pre-cooked rice packets on hand, ready to chuck in the microwave if I really need them!

Buckwheat/Quinoa
Another two grains I always gave in my cupboards are buckwheat and quinoa. I used to be totally obsessed with quinoa - it's really tasty with a delicious nutty flavour and it's high protein too, but now I'm more of a buckwheat gal. Buckwheat is tastier in my opinion and has a nicer texture! I sometimes use buckwheat instead of rice when I want a grain with a little more protein and that's a bit easier on my digestive system. I often batch cook buckwheat too and store it in the fridge, ready to add to salad bowls for lunches throughout the week. You can also make both quinoa and buckwheat into porridge which is so delicious!

Oats
If I don't have oats in my house then I just don't feel right! I eat oats pretty much every day of the week whether that's making them into porridge for breakfast, chucking a handful into a smoothie for extra energy or using them in baking for recipes such as healthy fruit crumble, granola bars or cookies. Oats are a true staple in my diet and I simply couldn't be without them!

Stock Cubes
I didn't used to use stock cubes very regularly but I've become a little obsessed recently after putting a half a cube into my rice as it cooked and tasting the difference! Stock cubes add so much flavour to grains like rice, quinoa and buckwheat if you pop one into the water as your grains cook! I also use stock cubes when I make homemade soup, lentil shepards pies, bolognese and other dishes like these.

Olive Oil
I know coconut oil is 'the' oil to cook with but I'm all about the extra virgin olive oil! Don't get me wrong, I love coconut oil and use it in baking and raw treats but I much prefer olive oil for cooking savoury dishes. Olive oil has a far nicer flavour to it and in my opinion works better in savoury cooking. There's absolutely nothing wrong with cooking with olive oil, in fact it's really brilliant for your health - the Mediterranean diet is the healthiest, don't you know!




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Monday, 25 March 2019

Roasted Vegetable & Chilli Pasta


You asked for more meal ideas, so today I'm brining you this recipe for delicious roasted vegetable & chilli pasta.

Meals like this are my absolute favourite. They're filling, satisfying, full of goodness and perfect for batch cooking for lunches or extra dinners for the week ahead. I particularly like this meal cold the next day with a side salad for lunch!


I adore the combination of veggies I used in this dish, but a really fab thing about this recipe is that you can customise it to suit your tastes. I roasted red & yellow peppers, aubergine, red onion and courgettes but you could also do cherry tomatoes, green beans, asparagus, broccoli or any of your fave veggies. I also desperately want to try this dish with some tofu or with a veggie burger, that would be such a perfect meal!

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Saturday, 9 March 2019

Blueberry & Banana Muffins


There's something so comforting about a freshly baked blueberry muffin and a cup of tea. It's a classic treat that I'm sure all of us have enjoyed at some point in our lives! I have happy memories of coming home from a long day at school to juicy, sweet blueberry muffins at home. They were an occasional treat but one I always longed for! Since changing my diet to be entirely gluten and dairy free I haven't been able to indulge in this favourite treat of mine....that was until I came up with this recipe.

I have created muffin recipes before which have always been delicious, but I've never quite got that muffin texture quite right. It's taken a fair bit of trial and error but I've finally mastered it!


The texture is light, fluffy and moist with the perfect amount of crumble. The flavour is sweet but not sickly and the blueberries bring juicy bursts of joy to each mouthful! I've been enjoying the muffins as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea or they're truly amazing slightly warmed up with a scoop of dairy free ice-cream or drizzle of your favourite nut butter.
All the ingredients in these muffins are super healthy too so they could make a fab grab-and-go breakfast option for busy mornings. The combination of the oats and the banana will fuel you and give you loads of energy, the blueberries provide a lovely dose of antioxidants and the dash of cinnamon can help to balance out your blood sugar levels.

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Monday, 4 February 2019

Sustainable & Ethical Fine Jewellery


'Diamonds are a girls best friend' .... I vote we change that to 'Moissanite are a girls best friend'!

I know 99% of the readers on my blog care about the planet and are passionate about making sustainable and ethical choices wherever they can. And that should extend to jewellery!

Diamonds are beautiful, no doubt about that, but did you know diamonds are not ethical or sustainable? Natural diamond mining causes heartbreaking devastation and abuses all sorts of human rights. A gift of a diamond is usually a symbol of love between two people, but the story behind how a diamond gets plucked from the earth is far from romantic.

If like me you're interested in conflict-free alternatives then you'll be fascinating by Moissanite. I won't lie, a few months ago I'd never heard of the gemstone but now I'm quite obsessed with them.
I came across Lily Arkwright, a luxury online jewellery retailer, who create the most beautiful Moissanite rings and other jewellery, and I really wanted to share their ethos and tell you about Moissanite.


So, what are Moissanite gemstones? If you think they're some sort of fake diamond, think again! Moissanite is a naturally occurring, very rare mineral which was discovered in 1893. While diamonds are created from the compression of coal and minerals over hundreds of years in the earth, moissanite comes from the stars! However, after many years of work this rare mineral can be successfully grown in a lab. This means a stunning, beautiful, brilliant and colourless gem can be created completely ethically that really does rival the traditional diamond in both clarity and size. Plus, Moissanite tend to truly outshine diamonds with their pure brilliance. 

Lily Arkwright source their Moissanite from Charles & Colvard, who are the original creator of lab grown moissanite gemstones. Their Forever One gem is a premium brand of Moissanite and is completely eco-friendly, not involved in any conflict trade and is sustainable too. 
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Thursday, 31 January 2019

5 Things I'm Doing To Be More Sustainable


One of my aims for 2019 is to be more sustainable and as environmentally friendly as I can.
I'm becoming more and more aware of the fragile state the Earth is in and I think it's so important we all do our bit to help preserve our world for future generations and prevent irreversible damage from occurring.

My lifestyle is already pretty eco-friendly but I know I can make changes that will help the environment and even save me money too!
We can all do our bit and every little really does help. It's not about making dramatic changes and no-one's lifestyle is perfect, but a few simple swaps and conscious changes can make all the difference.


Loose Fruit & Veg
I'm guilty of buying pre-packaged fruit and vegetables in the supermarket and it's something I've already started changing this year. We all know plastic is horrendous for the planet, so reducing the amount of single use plastic we use is absolutely vital! Buying loose fruit & veg is such a simple way to do this, and it saves you money too.
Most supermarkets offer a lot of fruit & veg loose - bananas, courgettes, mushrooms, broccoli, oranges, peppers, etc, and they're almost always cheaper than buying the pre-packaged equivalent. I bought myself some re-usable bags to take with me to the shops to put my fruit & veg so there's no mess and you don't have loose lemons rolling around all over the place.

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Thursday, 24 January 2019

What Happened When I Came Off The Pill?


In June 2018 I wrote a blog post talking about how I was coming off hormonal birth control (you can read that post here). I'd been on the pill for 7 years after a diagnosis of PCOS when I was in my late teens. Although the pill undoubtably helped with my PCOS symptoms at the time (bad skin, irregular periods, etc) I felt like it was doing my more harm than good as time went on, and I hated putting those artificial hormones into my body.

Image result for stock photos contraceptive pill

Fast forward to now and I've been pill free for about 8 months! It's been an odd 8 months seeing how my body has adapted, but it's been absolutely incredible and so eye opening. I could never go back to taking the pill again now, looking back I really don't know how I managed for so long. My life has dramatically improved since coming off it....that might sound extreme but it's true.
I wanted to write this blog post to talk about a few things that happened to my body when I stopped talking hormonal birth control.

Improved Digestion & Less Bloating
For years I had suffered with horrendous IBS like symptoms, including poor digestion and painful bloating. The bloating was truly life-effecting - my stomach would swell up like a balloon and the pain was unbearable. I had scans, blood tests and even specialist appointments to try and work out what was causing these issues but everything came back clear. It never crossed my mind that my pill was causing these issues, but since I've stopped taking the pill my bloating has disappeared and my digestion is normal. It feels like a miracle!
I have no idea why the pill did this to my stomach, but my goodness am I glad I got to the root of the problem. Now I don't spend almost every day in agonising pain, I can do my jeans up again and I generally feel lighter. The change has been dramatic and honestly life changing.
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Monday, 21 January 2019

Good Mood Food


Today is so-called Blue Monday, which is apparently the most depressing day of the year. If I'm honest I find the whole of January pretty blue, especially after the first week when the excitement of Christmas & New Year has died down and all you're left with is a mountain of housework to catch up on, a messed up sleeping pattern and jeans that are now slightly too tight around the waist.

When the January Blues hit it can be so easy to fall into a pit of depression, especially when you have a history of mental health concerns like I do, but there are things you can do to stop this from happening and to help pull you out of these dark feelings. Before you scoff or roll your eyes (as I would have done a few years ago) please open your mind to the fact what we do can impact our mental health dramatically. The food we eat, the people we surround ourselves with and even the way we move all makes a difference.


Good Mood Food is something I strongly believe in, because what we put into our body really does effect more than just our physical health. I've had a long history of chronic and debilitating depression and I know from my own real life experience that transforming my diet to be healthier & more wholesome absolutely transformed my mental health. Before I began eating healthier and regularly exercising my mental health had plummeted and I really was at rock bottom, but then my lifestyle change took hold. I started to eat more fruit and vegetables, I cut out refined sugars and artificial foods from my diet and I was eating in a much more regular way now with 3 proper meals a day instead of skipping breakfast or binging on crisps and chocolate. Almost immediately I felt the cloud that was above my head pass over, I felt lighter and more free, my anxiety levels reduced and I noticed I felt generally happier. It was like some sort of miracle and I was so amazed at the difference in myself, as were my family & loved ones! Who'd have thought such simple changes could have the most amazing side effects?

So, what can we do with our diet to help our mental health?
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