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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 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 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!

Live Happy, Live Healthy


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