Sunday 29 November 2015

Listen to your body, it usually knows best!

Hello lovelies,
Tuesday this week was my first day back in the gym after taking nearly two weeks off for being sick. So I thought this blog post would be about listening to your body and giving it time to heal.

Usually I’m not very good at this, a little cough & runny nose doesn’t typically stop me from going to the gym, which is quite bad. When you’re ill, even just a little the last thing your body needs in more strain. Your body is already in a constant fight against the yucky cold the last thing it needs is you trying to squat your body weight.

What it really need is time, rest and teaaaaa :)

Because I’m the most impatient person ever, I would usually take two or three rest days and then think to myself ohh I’ll be fine, I’ll just do a light session. And then just feel worse the day after or just be sick for longer than I would have been.

This time I was determined not to make the same mistake, plus I really couldn’t afford to be sick for long with all of my university deadlines. So I tried to give me body time, tea & vitamins.
I made sure I was going to bed early so my body could get a few hours extra sleep to fight off whatever was going wrong.

Then I was also drinking loads and loads of water & tea. My favour tea at the moment is Clipper’s Mango Green Tea (no this is not some tea sponsor! Haha) I just really like this flavour, plus I like the idea that my teabags haven’t been bleached.

I was trying to stock up on vitamins by adding extra fruit and veggie portions to my meals. Apples, mandarins, plums, spinach, broccoli etc. the more the better!

The last thing left to do, was just to give it time.

Don’t be afraid to miss a few gym sessions – listen to your body, it usually knows best.

Stay happy & healthy lovelies!


Sunday 22 November 2015

Raw Vegan Adventure in London - Tanya's Cafe

Hello lovelies,
Last weekend my friend Angela and I headed into London to escape our looming deadline for a few hours and pretend that are lives are not revolving around group presentations, research reports & university/job applications.

I had just finished my vegan week and Angela had been playing with the idea of trying one as well so we thought we could try a raw vegan restaurant in Chelsea called Tanya’s Cafe. I had read about Tanya’s a few times before but neither of us had every tried raw food before so we thought it was about time to give it a try.

Raw vegan basically means there’s no meat, fish, dairy or eggs and nothing has been cooked above 48 degrees.
Tanya’s is a really cute cafĂ© that has a chic greenhouse vibe. There are load of plants and exciting light bulbs hanging from the ceiling with little inspirational messages popped here and there.

We started off with a juice each mine was called Doctor and was beetroot based which meant it was a gorgeous colour. Angela went for a green juice called Sugarfree Fix.
Before we had completely decided what to have as our mains we started off by snacking on some ‘While you wait’ starter. We went for cheesy kale chips & brochette with aubergine caviar.

I don’t really like kale but these kale chips were so so good. Super crunchy and actually really cheesy tasting for the fact that no cheese was involved.

The aubergine caviar was served on delicious nutty bread. Both of these starters were absolute winners.

For our mains I decided to go for the tacos and Angela chose the beetroot risotto.
The tacos were served with walnut oyster mushroom meat, which I didn’t really know what to expect but it tasted really good. All the flavours were really vibrant and of course my tacos were accompanied by guac.
Angela’s beetroot risotto was an amazing bright pink colour and had little pieces of feta cheese that was made from macadamia nuts.

We were pretty full after all this food but we were determined to try dessert too! All throughout our meal we kept eye other table’s dessert as they were receiving it, and it all looked so good.

For the dessert we got to have a look into their dessert fridge and choose a few bits.
We ended up going for the blueberry cheesecake and the red velvet cake.

Both we’re yummy, but I think we both agree that the blueberry cheesecake was the absolute winner.

We were both amazed by how tasty the meals were, even though they were vegan and raw. Honestly, I was worried the meals would just taste a little too healthy, but we were oh so wrong.
All the foods were bursting with flavours and I can only recommend giving it a try even if you’re not vegan!

Stay happy & health lovelies

Sunday 15 November 2015

Vegan for a Week

Hello lovelies,
Last weekend I decided that I would try to eat vegan/plantbased for a week as part of November being World Vegan Month. So no meat, fish, dairy or eggs.

I know that I eat a lot of animal products on a normal basis so I thought this would be a good challenge for me to be a little more creative with my food.

Seven days later and I don’t really feel like I am missing much.
Yes going out for dinner seems to be really difficult and by day 6 I was missing my breakfast eggs. But in conclusion, eating vegan is a lot more than just fruit and veg.
Hummus, Avocado & Eggplant were probably my saving grace and I think I will keep these foods in my weekly shop from now onwards.

I also read a lot and watch a few documentaries about veganism and one documentary that I thought was so so interesting was Cowspiracy.
Cowspiracy is not about animal cruelty like so many veganism documentary are but it takes a completely different stance on the whole situation and is really really interesting. 
HIGH RECOMMEND! (I think its still on Netflix, at the moment)

Here are some examples of what I was eating:
PS I didn’t have salad once!


Overall, it was a really good experience and I am definitely going to keep a few of my vegan meals in every week.
Baby steps, right?

Stay happy and healthy lovelies

Sunday 8 November 2015

Don't forget to Breathe

It’s something so natural and usually we don’t even think a split second about doing it. But during things like stress, eating, talking & exercise it’s easy to forget to breathe.

Which is really ironic because that’s when we need it the most. Have you ever caught yourself holding your breath through those last tough repetitions?
You’re making it harder for yourself.

I think a lot of us gym goers forget how important it is to breathe during our cardio and weights sessions as it’s kinda the last thing we are thinking of while sweating away. But if you think of yoga, them yogis really have the whole breathing thing figured out. And I think it’s time for us to take a slice of yoga and implement their focus on inhaling and exhaling into our workout routine too.

Next time you are doing your squats think about inhaling as you go down and exhaling as you come up. Just focus on your breathing for once. With this extra breathing you should feel stronger & more empowered, which should let your body do more reps and higher weights.
Think about all those loud grunting men in the gym – breathing is basically what they are doing, (plus a little extra sound effects).

Just breathing a little deeper and with a little bit more awareness can leave you feeling more relaxed, empowered & stronger.

So don’t forget to breathe.

Stay happy & healthy lovelies!

Sunday 1 November 2015

Healthy Pumpkin Spiced Cookies

Hello lovelies,
It’s recipeee time. Who missed recipes? Because I did.
Now I know it’s first of November today BUT we have at least 2 more weeks of pumpkin spiced flavours before we switch to Christmas recipes so I thought I would share a recipe for healthy pumpkin spiced oat cookies with you.
As always these are super simple to make and you won’t need any weird or fancy ingredients.

All you will need:
200g oats
100g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 ripe banana
6 tbsp pumpkin puree
3 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ginger
1 tsp all spice
3 tbsp honey (other liquid sweetener)

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celcius.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl – oats, almonds, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and all spice.

Mash the banana with the back of a fork and combine it with the pumpkin puree.

Then add a tablespoon of coconut oil to the other wet ingredients (banana & pumpkin).

Add the honey to the wet ingredients too and then combine the wet and dry ingredients.

Keep mixing until all the ingredients are combined and look a little like this!

Then shape the dough into cookie sized circles and put them on a baking tray with parchment paper. I made 12 cookies from this dough but it really depends how big you want yours.

Then pop them in the oven for 20-25min or until they look golden & ready.
You will start to smell all of them yummy autumn scents when the cookies are nearly done.

Last but not least, ENJOYYY!

These are a perfect afternoon snack or even a wonderful breakfast. And if you wanted to make these cookies vegan you could just substitute the honey for maple or agave syrup.
Give this recipe a try before it’s bye bye pumpkin spice for a year!

Stay happy & healthy lovelies!