30/11/2015

Off the runway

Get going. Move forward. Aim High. Plan a takeoff. Don't just sit on the runway and hope someone will come along and push the airplane. It simply won't happen. Change your attitude and gain some altitude. Believe me, you'll love it up here.
~Donald Trump




20/11/2015

When Life Gives You Lemons!

Originating from the Himalayan foothills of North East India, Lemons belong to the citrus group described as ‘Hesperidium’ and are infact a modified berry. With it’s tough and leathery rind lemon peel contains many volatile oil glands in pits. The interior flesh is composed of segment carpels made up of numerous juicy vesicles that are actually specialized hair cells…. Ok that’s enough of all that you know what a lemon is. What I want to talk about is how they can benefit you and your health.

#1 Lemons contain just 29 calories per 100g making it one of the lowest in the citrus fruit family, as well as zero saturated fats or cholesterol yet are a great source of fibre 7% of your RDA in fact. These little beauts are also incredibly low in Glycaemic so you’ll not have to worry about them setting your blood sugar through the roof.
#2 Lemons contain a variety of phytochemicals. Hesperetin, Naringin & Naringenin are flavonoid glycosides these all serve bio-active effects on your body such as detoxifying, anti-inflammatory and immune system modulation (looking after your cells).
#3 Lemons contain levels of vitamin A, required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes, eyes and skin. Vitamin C, helping your body develop resistance against infectious agents, fights skin damaged caused by pollution and the sun, reduces wrinkles and improves all over skin texture. Vitamin C has a vital role in the formation of collagen, the support system of your skin.
4# As well as the vitamins in Lemons they also contain a healthy bundle of minerals such as iron, copper, potassium and calcium.

Peak seasons where you will find Lemons in abundance runs from April through to August but you can find fresh lemons be it at a slightly higher cost all year round in your local supermarket or farm shop. Does pre-squeezed lemon juice do the same thing? Not really.. It’s actually known to lose its vitamin C very quickly if not squeezed fresh. If fresh really isn’t an option look for metal or jar containers as these help to maintain the vitamin content. Don’t just stick to the juice either, the zest and flesh provide great flavor and the peel pack is what contains the majority of vitamin C.

How to add a little more Lemon lushness to your life:
When added to hot water for your first drink of the day on a empty stomach the citric acid will act as a tonic for your liver, stimulating the production of enzymes and increasing bile production. This will set your digestion system up on a raring start!

Try adding a slice or two of lemon into your water for a fruity infused refreshment in place of a sugar filled squash.

Lemon juice mixed with black pepper makes for a great guilt free salad and fish dressing – it can also aid in easing your after meal bloat in the same ways as cucumber, asparagus and celery.

The Harvest Kitchens Lemon Ginger Detox: boil 2.5 cups of water over a stove, add in one sliced lemon an inch sized piece of ginger (peeled and sliced) 1/8 teaspoon of ground turmeric, 2 tsps. of honey, turn the stove off and leave it too steep for 30 minutes before straining and drinking at room temperature.

Lemon poppy seed energy bites: (17g protein ea.) combine: 90g of vanilla protein powder, 50g rolled oats, 1 tbsp. poppy seeds. ½ tsp. stevia, 1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest, 6tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice & 6tbsps of water. Shape the mixture into 28 small balls and seal in a Tupperware. Refrigerate until ready to eat!

Keeping your lemons fresh: get a large glass sealable cookie jar, put the lemons in, fill with water and cover. This seals the peel and keeps them fresher for longer!
The Harvest Kitchens Lemon Ginger Detox – boil 2.5 cups of water over a stove, add in one sliced lemon an inch sized piece of ginger (peeled and sliced) 1/8 teaspoon of ground turmeric, 2 tsps. of honey, turn the stove off and leave it too steep for 30 minutes before straining and drinking at room temperature.

& A Couple of Lemony beauty ideas:
Homemade sugar scrubs: mix together 2 cups of sugar, ¼ cup of coconut oil, Tbsp of lemon juice, ½ tbsp. honey, Tbsp. Apple Cider vinegar and store in a pretty little mason jar (this would make such a cute little DIY gift for someone) aids in erasing blemishes, exfoliating dead skin and making your skin more vibrant!
Teeth whitening:  Squeeze half a lemon into a small bowl and combine with 1 tsp. of baking soda. Soak your toothbrush in the mixture and brush your teeth with it. It’s said that lemon can diminish gum pain, can assist in naturally aiding gum disease as well as its antibacterial whitening properties. *Only use once per week max as overuse can have adverse effects on your teeth enamel.

Lemon sugar wax: Just add 1 cup of water to two cups of sugar to a small saucepan, add in the juice of half a lemon and cook over a medium high heat until the sugar has resolved and darkened in colour. Take the mixture of the stove and allow to cool, as soon as its reached room temperatures its ready to use!




18/11/2015

MuffNuts, Yes they really are called that.

I'm currently on a 6 week cleanse, my challenge set to me by my friend James is to go 6 weeks without a single cheat meal. We're on week two now.. temptation has nearly bit me a few times and lord knows how many time's I considered whipping together this next recipe... Just because I can't have it, doesn't mean I can't share a little deliciousness around me. So here is my ultimate cheat treat recipe, a cross between a Muffin & a Doughnut, I call these ‘MuffNuts’


Ingredients;

300g Self Raising Flour
175g Caster Sugar (Plus another 50g for laters
200ml Buttermilk
80ml vegetable oil
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp Cinnamon
50g Butter (unsalted)
1 free range egg
6 tsps Jam (whatever your fav flavour is, I used Raspberry, you could use apple?)

How we do: (Your not gonna believe how simple's this is)

Prepare a 6 tin muffin tray with your muffin papers, you could do this recipe without cases if you like, just grease the tin well so they don’t stick.
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
In bowl one: sift in your flour and then mix in your sugar
In bowl two: mix your oil, buttermilk, egg and vanilla
Mix bowl one & two together just until its combined, don’t over mix.
Spoon 3/4s of your mixture into your cases, make indents and spoon in a tsp of Jam into each then using the remainder of the mixture cover the Jam.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Whilst your muffins are baking, melt your butter in a saucepan and mix in your cinnamon.
Using a pastry brush coat the top of your cooked muffins with melted butter then roll onto the remaining caster sugar (Vanilla sugar works really well here)
& that’s it! Brew a coffee and enjoy your MuffNuts.


16/11/2015

Getting back on the wagon - LEO BABAUTA

This article comes from my favorite 'Go To' blog when I need a little boost, motivation & encouragement in life. Leo just has this way with words, that makes me feel like he just  'gets me' so hopefully, he will 'get You' too. For more from Leo check out his website here:  http://zenhabits.net/
It’s discouraging to fall off your diet or good habits, and you an get to a point where you don’t even want to think about it.
So what to do? How do you deal with a relapse?
There’s no easy answer, to be honest. I’ve “failed” and restarted a number of habits, and I now think of relapsing as just another part of the process. We’re constantly learning about ourselves as we change our habits, which is the real point of habit change — it’s self learning, not self-improvement or self-discipline. We learn about our minds, about feelings of guilt and frustration, about coping with these feelings.
There are no easy answers, but I’m going to share some things you might try:
  1. Pause to reflect. One of the biggest problems is that when we don’t even want to acknowledge our relapse. We avoid thinking about it. So the first step is to take a slight pause in your day, and reflect on where you are. You were doing great, then you slipped up. It could have been for a lot of different reasons, but just know that you’re not alone, that we all slip up, and that the forces that we’re facing can often be too great for us at our weakest points. That’s OK. Reflect on this, and know that it’s not the end of the world.
  2. Acknowledge your feelings. It can be difficult to get off track, and we can feel like failures, feel discouraged, feel frustrated with ourselves, disappointed, sad, alone, tired, angry … sometimes multiple feelings at once. It’s OK to feel these things. We often try to avoid thinking about these feelings, but just for a minute, give yourself space to feel them, to really see them inside yourself, and accept these feelings as a part of your experience.
  3. Give yourself compassion. If you’re experiencing some of these difficult feelings, after acknowledging them, try giving them some love. Imagine if a friend were feeling pain — wouldn’t you comfort your friend, give them a hug, listen to them, be compassionate? We deserve to treat ourselves with that same love and compassion. Listen to your mind’s difficulties, wish for your own happiness, give yourself a virtual (or real) hug, give yourself some love. It’s OK to feel these things, and it’s OK to wish for an end to your difficulties.
  4. Focus on the intention. Why did you start the good habit in the first place? Was it to nurture yourself, give yourself the gift of good health, allow yourself creative expression through your writing (or painting, music, etc.), help others? These intentions are important to remember, to help yourself get back on track. You got derailed because you forgot your intention, or other priorities became more important. Now decide whether your intention for this habit is important enough to devote some time to. If so, keep your intention in mind as you get started again.
  5. Take the smallest step. With this good intention in mind, what is the next step you can take? Can you make it even easier? For example, instead of overhauling your entire diet, can you eat one carrot? One apple? Instead of doing a weekly workout plan, can you go for a 5-minute walk? Do 1 pushup? Taking the smallest step helps you reaffirm your commitment to yourself and your intention. Then you focus on the next tiny step.
  6. There is no past, only this step. All the relapses, all the failures, all the troubles … these now exist only in your head. Instead of dwelling on them, try focusing on the next tiny step. What is that like? Try to fully experience it, and see that in this moment, this small action is not difficult. In this small action, you are OK. Let go of everything else that’s happened, and be here with your intention and your current action.
  7. Approach the learning with curiosity. We often think “Oh, I have no discipline” or “I suck at this” or some other thought about ourselves or about the new habit we would like to form. These are preconceived ideas about ourselves or the habits … instead, try going into the next small step with an open mind, not knowing how it will be. This new habit (or old one, revisited) is not a robotic action you’re trying to create in yourself, but rather a part of a learning process, where you learn more about yourself. In this spirit of learning, approach the process with curiosity, openness, not-knowing. See what it’s like! Try to appreciate every little detail about the habit that you can notice.
I don’t pretend that this is a quick-fix solution, but these elements often have very good effects for me. I am not perfect in doing these steps by any means, just as I’m not perfect at doing my habit. But in the process of learning about myself, in the failure and restarting and finding out … the habit I’m doing in all its messiness is absolutely perfect.

13/11/2015

The Blonde Behind The Blog - 20 Random Things!

#1 I am the queen of 80 point turns. In an empty car park.
#2 I grew up in Cyprus, I miss the warm med sea and natural tan so bad!
#3 Me in fake tan looks similar to a pig after rolling in its own feces.
#4 Tom Hardy is my husband, he just doesn’t know it. Yet.
#5 I love chicken wings.
#6 First time I ‘worked out’ I ran to the end of the street, collapsed in a bus stop and made someone give me a piggy back home.
#7 I still hate cardio.
#8 I have like 400 songs on my Spotify playlist, I love all of them.
#9 Even the songs I pretend accidentally got there..
#10 I can actually be quite shy in person.. awwh..
#11 I can’t hold a grudge because I always forget what I’m mad about.
#12 Despite point 11 & contrary to popular belief, I’m not ‘as’ dumb as I look… Secretly a bit of a nerd.
#13 One day I will be Catwoman. It’s inevitable.
#14 I hardly ever watch TV…
#15 I rarely walk past a homeless person without offering a hot drink.
#16 My favorite nights out involve a punk/rock band and the running man.
#17 I’m only 5ft3. My heels fool everyone!
#18 I love Brussel sprouts and I don’t care who knows it.
#19 I don't need alcohol to have a good time, but if I do drink I always go for the beer!
#20 If I could live anywhere in the world it would be Malibu, on the beach.

11/11/2015

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca!

The following recipe I stole from Jamie Oliver, adapted a tiny bit to make it healthier and throw together on a regular basis, it's just so quick, so simple and sooo delicious. 

Ingredients:

400g dried wholewheat spaghetti or linguine
1 Tin of tuna steak in spring water - drained
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed.
1 teaspoon of lazy chopped chilli or 1 chilli finely sliced
3 tablespoons rice bran oil (no cholesterol)
400g can crushed tomatoes
50g anchovy fillets, oil drained
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
100g black or green olives

How we do:

Bring a large saucepan to boil and throw in your choice of pasta, simmer for 10-12 minutes.
While that's cooking heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion, garlic, chilli and anchovies and fry gently until the anchovies have ‘melted’ and the onions are lightly colored before adding the tomatoes, bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add the other ingredients (capers, oregano, olives and tuna) and let simmer for another 5 minutes.

Mix your pasta and puttanesca sauce & serve immediately alongside green vegetables or salad leaves.
Leftovers make a great lunch eaten cold the next day!!!



09/11/2015

Banana Oat Pancakes!

I'm all about clean, healthy, easy breakfasts. The following takes minutes to prepare, a little longer to cook and seconds to demolish!

You'll need:

  • 2 cups of Scottish oats
  • 1 overripe banana (mashed)
  • 1.5 cups of almond milk
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tsp of baking powder
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • Coconut oil for cooking
  • 1 large egg


How we do:

Place all of the ingredients minus the egg and coconut oil into a blender and blend until smooth
Add the egg and pulse until fully incorporated with the batter

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat & melt a tsp of coconut oil

When the pan is hot, using a ladle pour in your batter to the shape and size you enjoy your pancakes & brown on both sides for 2-3 minutes each side ~ Et Voila! Ello Healthy Pancakes!!

I serve mine with sliced banana, honey and flaked almonds but each to their own!!


06/11/2015

Channelling your emotions - Paige Hathaway

"Have you ever been in pain?
Have you ever experienced heartbreak?
Have you ever been embarrassed, felt humiliated or been gossiped about?

I want you to use that feeling. Recycle that pain. Allow that pain to take you to the next level. Allow it to push you to greatness. Use your past hardship to propel you forward - past what you thought you couldn't achieve. When I think about quitting, I think about how I used to live life without a purpose. How I used to live each and everyday complacent just going thru the motions - Depressed and confused about life. Not happy with the person that looked back at me in the mirror. I was always a dreamer. I would always imagine myself doing something greater than what I was doing but I never did something about it.. Until one day I took that pain, that emptiness and I used it to my benefit. I used it to motive me. I used it as a tool to know that I never ever wanted to go back to where I started. I recycled that pain to make strong. To push me past what I thought was impossible. Pain is not something that can be discounted, and is an element that is present in all our lives but it's what you do with that pain that dictates your future."



04/11/2015

HIIT Abs Workout - Anytime, anywhere!

I'm a firm believer that Abs are made in the kitchen, but perfected in training. Whilst for strong definitive abs/6 packs you'll need to do more weighted strength training, for those of you who just fancy burning a bit of the body fat covering your abdominal muscles to create a more toned/sculpted appearance, High Intensity Interval Training sessions like the following might just be the right thing for you! 
This routine can be done anywhere, no equipment is needed but you might want to invest in a yoga mat for comfort. 

Start off with a 4 minute cardio block to warm your body up:
  • ·         1 minute of slow butt kickers – stand with the knees close together, arms either down by the side or behind on top of your bum, flex your left knee and left leg behind you so it touches the glute and return that leg to the floor before switching leg, as many as you can fit into 1 minute.
  • ·         1 minute of lateral jumps – stand as if your about to do a squat, feet shoulder width apart and hands in front of your chest. Squat down by pushing your bum back and swing your arms downward and slightly to the right in the same movement then jump upward and to the left of your original position. You want to aim your jumps high but also 2-3 feet laterally. Landing on both feet immediately squat down with your arms to the left a bit and do the exact same man-oeuvre to the other side. As many as you can fit into a minute.
  • ·         A second minute of butt kickers but this time swinging your arms at the same time
  • ·         1 minute of Toe Touch Jacks – stand with your feet together and arms by your side. Bend your knees and squat down reaching your finger tops down to your feet (the goal is to touch your toes). Then quickly jump up and open both your arms and legs landing in a jumping jack position before jumping your feet back together and landing in a squat. As many as you can fit into a minute.


Now your muscles are warm we're going to three rounds of 20 seconds on, 20 seconds rest of the following exercises – do this cycle twice with a 2 minutes of ‘active rest’ in-between, either pacing back and forth or jumping jacks.

  • ·         Flutter Kicks – works your lower abs, start by lying flat on your back with your arms by your sides and palms down. Extend your legs fully with a slight bend in your knees, lift your heels around 6 inches from the floor and then make small, rapid up and down scissor like motions with your legs. Ensure your abs are constantly contracted throughout the full exercise.
  • ·         Bicycle crunches – this actually tones both your complete core and your thighs. Start by lying flat on the floor; press your lower back to into the ground. Place your hands slightly side of your head – don’t lock fingers or use your hands to pull your head up this will only strain your neck. Also keep your elbows back throughout this exercise rather than toward the chest so as not to strain the neck. Lift your knees to a 45 degree angle and start moving your pedaling your legs as if you were riding a bicycle whilst alternately touching your elbows to the opposite knee twisting back and forth through the core.
  • ·         High Knees – works full core, Stand straight with your feet hip width apart, looking straight ahead and arms by your side, jump from one foot to the other at the same time lifting your knees as high as possible (aim for hip height) arms following the motion. Kind of like a jog on the spot but pulling your knees up as high.
  • ·         Toe touch crunches – works upper core and oblique’s, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor, hold your arms straight over your head and shoulders off the floor, bring your left leg toward your chest and touch your big toes with your right hand before alternating sides.
  •       Russian Twists – focuses on your oblique’s, Lie down on the floor placing your feet either under something or have someone hold them down. Your legs bent at the knees, elevate your upper body so it creates an Imaginary V-shape with your thighs, arms fully extended in front of you and hands closed together. Then twist your core to the right side until your arms are parallel with the floor, hold this position for a second before moving back to your start position and repeating the exercise to the opposite left side.


02/11/2015

Teriyaki Prawn Noodles!

Everyone loves clean fresh food that takes minutes to chuck together right? 
This recipe has become a firm favorite in my house! Serves 2! This is just the base recipe, I chuck in all sorts of different kinds of vegetables, green beans, peppers...


  • 50ml low-sodium soy sauce
  • 50ml mirin
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 200g whole wheat noodles
  • 140g thin-stemmed broccoli
  • 200g cooked prawns
  • 1 small red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 tsp of Lazy Ginger (this stuff is a god send)
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds


Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, cook the noodles and broccoli for about 10 minutes.
In a frying pan with some melted coconut oil gently fry the onion, chilli garlic and ginger before adding the soy sauce, mirin & lemon juice. Throwing in your prawns for the last couple of minutes.
Drain your noodles and broccoli and mix in with the prawns and Teriyaki sauce.
Sprinkle over the sesame seeds ~ Et Voila! 



**Option: if you like your sauce a little thicker (and naughtier), try adding 1 tbsp of caster sugar and simmer the sauce to a syrup consistency. 




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