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Friday, 29 July 2016

Juices Vs Smoothies

I began incorporating smoothies and juices into my diet about 2 years ago and I'm hooked! I find it difficult to go even a day without either a smoothie or a juice, sometimes I'll have a big smoothie for breakfast and juices are great for getting in extra nutrients but what's the difference between a smoothie and a juice and which is better?

Both smoothies and juices have grown hugely in popularity over the last few years - they're available in every good cafe, Instagram is full of fancy smoothie/juice shots and there's even recipe books completely dedicated to the healthy drinks! Each has it's own benefits and both are wonderful things to start including in your diet but perhaps you're a little confused about the differences between the two and which is best, so I'm here to help!

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Why Radishes Are A Superfood

We're all so obsessed with green veggies - kale, spinach, broccoli and their other green plant friends are all so hyped up (and for good reason!) but it can make us forget about the other colour vegetables out there. I love to eat a rainbow diet, full of all sorts of fruit and vegetables of all different colours and one of my current favourites are radishes. Now, you might not of heard much about the humble radish but let me tell you, they're full of goodness!

Radishes are an edible root vegetable that comes from the same family as the cabbage. They provide a satisfying crunch and a unique sharp flavour and will easily become a staple in your kitchen! Radishes are great for adding to salads, incorporating into other veggie dishes and even make a nutritious snack on their own.
Now, let's get on to why I believe the radish is extremely under appreciated and why we need to be eating more of them!

Monday, 25 July 2016

Cashew, Chickpea & Carrot Burgers

Who doesn't love a tasty burger? These cashew, chickpea & carrot burgers are perfect if you’re looking for a meat-free meal that still packs a protein punch! Not only are they easy to make and don’t require expensive ingredients but they taste mouth-wateringly delicious, are full of nourishing goodness and are really satisfying. Perfect for lunch with a salad or delicious with homemade potato wedges for an evening meal, these burgers are a true crowdpleaser thanks to the filling ingredients and heavenly flavour combinations. 

Not only are these burgers completely delicious but they're super nutritious too!  The cashews in this burger provide you with heart-healthy fats whilst the chickpeas are rich in important fibre to aid digestion, keep you feeling fuller for longer and help balance blood sugar levels. Chickpeas are also rich in manganese which is vital for bone & nerve health. The carrots add a delicious sweetness to these burgers as well as a good amount of vitamin A to keep your immune system strong, your eyes healthy and your skin glowing. Then you’ve got the creaminess from the tahini, the tanginess from the lemon and the gorgeous fresh, herby taste of parsley - the combination is a real winner!


Friday, 22 July 2016

Top Tips For Dining Out Vegan

Veganism isn't as difficult as some people like to make out - there's so many delicious meals and amazing foods out there that are all completely vegan, cutting out the animal products doesn't have to be tricky, time consuming or expensive! The one thing that can be a little tricky if you follow a vegan diet is eating at restaurants or cafes but there are a few simple tips I can give you to make dining out easy peasy!

Preview The Menu Beforehand
Preparation is key, right? Don't just turn up to the restaurant on the day with no clue as to what they can offer you. Hopefully you'll find a completely vegan dish to suit you but if not at least you're prepared to ask for modifications.

Ring The Restaurant Before Your Meal
If you've looked at the menu and you can't find any dish suitable it's worth ringing the establishment if they could modify any of the meals to suit your dietary requirements. Most restaurants/cafes are very understanding and will help in any way they can.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Green Tea Mojito Mocktail

Sipping on a mojito in the sunshine on a Summer's evening is one of my favourite things. Mojitos with fresh lime and refreshing mint are such a winner, especially during this time of year! I do love a classic mojito but I took it upon myself to come up with a healthy, non-alchocol alternative and I have to say....this drink is pretty damn good!

This healthy take on a mojito contains no sugar, no alcohol and nothing artificial, it's all pure goodness! I added green tea for a little nourishing twist which works really well along with the mojito flavours. The green tea I used was from a company called We Are Tea and it's their gunpowder supreme green tea which is a whole-leaf tea that's truly delicious - a new favourite of mine! I added fresh mint, lime, ice, coconut sugar for added sweetness and sparkling water for yummy fizziness. You can use any pure sparkling water but I'd recommend checking out CanO Water if you're interested in sustainability, CanO doesn't come in nasty plastic bottles but instead they use aluminium cans which have the highest recyclable rate of any drink on the market, plus it's got a resealable lid which is pretty damn cool!


Monday, 18 July 2016

5 Tips For Staying Sun Safe

When the sun comes out it's so tempted to wear the most minimal clothing, perhaps slather on tanning oil and lay out in direct aim of the rays in the hope of catching a tan but it's one of the most dangerous and damaging things you can do to your body. Unfortunately there's no 100% safe way to get a natural tan but there are things you can do to avoid the harmful effects of UV rays.

Sunburn increases your risk of cancer, in fact the major cause of skin cause is exposure to UV radiation from the sun. Not only this, but repeated sun exposure can damage the eyes, nervous system, immune system and contributes majorly towards premature ageing.
Even when it's cloudy you have to be careful of the strong sun rays, so don't let the fact it's not bright fool you! Being sun-safe is incredible important, so stick to these 5 top tips to protect your precious body from unnecessary damage.

Stay In The Shade Between 11am-4pm
This is the time the sun is at it's strongest and most capable of burning you and doing your precious skin harm. Find a cool, shaded spot out of the direct sunshine to read a book, listen to music or chat with friends.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Blueberry & Seed Quinoa Bircher Muesli

Now the weather is slightly warmer I don't always fancy a big bowl of hot porridge for breakfast but nor do I always crave a smoothie so I've started making delicious bircher muesli to start the day. 

If you're not familiar with bircher muesli it's traditionally rolled oats and any other ingredients you fancy (like fruit or seeds) soaked in milk overnight to create a porridge like consistency that's completely yummy, satisfying and energy-boosting. As I said, traditional bircher muesli is made using oats but my favourite bircher recipe incorporates quinoa too for added texture, protein and delicious-ness!

This is my go-to breakfast at the moment, you just have to give it a try! I promise you'll be a quinoa bircher muesli addict after the very first bite.

The mixture of oats and quinoa are not only truly scrumptious but they're so energising too which is perfect for those early starts! Both oats and quinoa are slow-releasing carbohydrates so instead of getting a sudden burst of energy you'll get long-lasting energy that's released slowly throughout the day and will keep you feeling satisfied until lunch time. Quinoa is a particularly great addition because it's high in protein and contains all 9 essential amino acids, plus lots of fibre for good digestion and iron to help oxygen get transported around the body. I added chia seeds to the bircher muesli to help thicken the consistency and pack a real nutritional punch of goodness with high amounts of omega-3, plenty of iron and fibre and a good amount of calcium and magnesium.
Them there's the blueberries which give the muesli a fruity taste as well as adding powerful antioxidants and vitamin C and the mixed seeds for a great crunch and portion of healthy fats!


Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Natural Hay Fever Remedies

Hay fever season is well and truly upon us and as a sufferer of seasonal allergies I know just how irritating  and uncomfortable it can be. You don't want to be all bunged up and constantly sneezing all day, it can really take the fun out of a day in the sun!

Seasonal allergies are the result of a confused immune system; when the nose inhales pollen from flowering plants it causes an allergic reaction in some people with the body responding in the same way as if it were being invaded by bacteria or virus. Inflammation of the sinuses, eyes and respiratory system occurs which is what causes the sneezing, watering & itchy eyes and scratchy throat.

More and more people are reaching for over the counter solutions such as eye drops, nose sprays and pills for allergy relief but these drugs contain a whole load of other ingredients that really aren't going to be doing your body any good. Reaching for herbal remedies is far safer and actually works better too!

Monday, 11 July 2016

Matcha & Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Bites (With Pure Chimp Matcha)

I've got quite the obsession with matcha, I probably use it at least once a day whether that's to make a matcha latte, a smoothie or even in porridge I'm not fussy! I love the taste and the health benefits of this super-green powder are undeniably amazing too, it's got everything from cancer-fighting properties to metabolism boosting powers.

Pure Chimp is one of my favourite Matcha Green Tea brands as not only are all their matcha powders completely natural and unrefined but they're made the traditional Japanese way using real Japanese Matcha leaves and 5% off all their profits go towards charity -a round of applause please!-
Pure Chimp Matcha Powders are delicious and so versatile too, so I thought I'd share with you my favourite recipe using their Mint Matcha Green Tea Powder.

Say hello to Matcha & Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Bites...

These vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free cheesecake bites are a total dream! Yes, they taste as delicious as they sound and they're loaded with amazing, nourishing goodness too so you can enjoy an indulgent dessert whilst knowing you're putting only good-for-you ingredients into your precious body.

The base of these cheesecakes is made from almonds, medjool dates and coconut oil for a hit of healthy fats to make your skin glow and your hair shine, lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease, vitamin E to protect your cells, magnesium for vital enzyme function and a protein hit too! The medjool dates add an amazing gooey sweetness that'll satisfy even the biggest sweet-tooth without causing a nasty blood-sugar spike.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Courgette & Spinach Fritters

I've got a bit of a thing about making my own burgers, patty's and fritters at the moment. I love experimenting with different ingredients and seeing what I can come up with! My latest creation is these courgette & spinach which are super easy to make and really delicious, especially with sweet potato wedges....mmmm!

I'm a big courgette fan as they're inexpensive, versatile and full of nutritional goodness. Courgettes are bursting with fibre to aid optimum digestion, vitamin C to boost your immune system and antioxidants to fight inflammation. As well as this, courgettes contain plenty of zinc, magnesium and potassium. Then there's the spinach, which is a common-day superfood! Spinach contains an amazing amount of vitamin A & K which help maintain bone health, enable blood-sugar stabilisation and give you that clear, glowing skin you've always wanted. The leafy green also hosts a range of nutrients such as calcium, potassium, manganese and iron.
The other ingredients in these fritters are completely plant-based and will do nothing but incredible things for your precious body!

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Plant Based Vs Vegan Diet

Plant Based or Vegan...what's the difference and which one am I?

This is a blog post I've thought about writing for a while now but I wasn't sure how to go about it as it's quite a personal one and I don't want to offend anybody with anything I say. I'd like to start by saying this is my choice, my thoughts and my beliefs which could well be different to your own and that's perfectly okay but this is a topic I really wanted to share my opinion on.

Although my blog is often labelled as a vegan blog (and I suppose it is) I am very conscious of not labelling myself as vegan specifically. No, I don't eat meat, eggs or dairy but I don't class myself as vegan. There's nothing wrong with the term 'vegan' but there are several reasons I don't put myself into that category, but instead I refer to myself as plant-based.

Firstly the term vegan actually refers to a lot more than just diet; a vegan lifestyle extends to more than just what food you eat - the cleaning products, clothes, art supplies, supplements, skincare, makeup, etc that you buy are all completely vegan too, which is something I want to promote because I believe strongly in animal rights but my blog is a place to talk about health, happiness, food and exercise.  My whole ethos and the message I want to spread is focused on health and good, nourishing foods for the mind & body, that food can be exciting and healthy food isn't boring, expensive or difficult. By classing myself as plant-based I'm really stressing the fact my focus is on plants and whole foods such as fruits, veggies, nuts, quinoa, brown rice and legumes whereas if I simply say I'm vegan this term doesn't automatically make you think 'health'. The vegan diet can of course be a healthy one full of so much goodness but it can also be full of refined sugars, white pasta, processed foods and those rubbish 'free from' products you get at the supermarket.


Monday, 4 July 2016

Strawberry & Peach Summer Smoothie

Who doesn't love a Summery smoothie? There's nothing better than drinking a deliciously fruity, fresh, cold smoothie on a Summers day. I am a lover of green smoothies but when the sun decides to come out smoothies like this Strawberry & Peach one are just perfect.

The combination of peach and strawberry is completely delicious - it's so sweet, summery and refreshing. The banana adds a thickness and added sweetness and the almond milk makes it ultra creamy! I also added in a tablespoon of a new protein powder I got from That Protein, it's Hemp & Baobab which gives this smoothie a protein boost and a wonderfully zingy taste.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Coconut Brownies (Holland & Barrett Sugar Free Baking)

Making healthy sweet treats is one of my favourite things, so when Holland & Barrett contacted me challenging me to come up with the most delicious recipe using their range of sugar-free baking ingredients I was super excited! I browsed their extensive range of products and came up with this recipe for Coconut Brownies that are not only sugar-free but gluten free and vegan too!

Holland & Barrett have always been my go-to health store, they just have everything you could possibly want or need when it comes to healthy baking! Every single ingredient I've used to make these brownies came from Holland & Barrett and they currently have a 'buy one get one half price' deal on which is great for grabbing some bargains!
Live Happy, Live Healthy


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