Christmas Smoothie Recipe

This smoothie tastes just like Christmas. Sooo delicious and my new favourite smoothie choice for this time of year. If you’re already starting to feel the affects of the cold weather or you have some serious Christmas parties happening this smoothie will really help you out.

Literally whizz up the following ingredients in a blender and voila.

Serves 2

2 heaped tablespoons of natural live yoghurt

2 bananas

1 teaspoon of Grated ginger

1 teaspoon of Cinnamon powder

1 teaspoon of Turmeric powder

1 tablespoon of honey

300ml of Almond milk

And then just whizz up in the blender.

I’ve had this two days in a row now just because it’s so tasty. Let me know if you give this a try.

Love Lea xx

5 Simple Ways to feel good and at your best this Autumn Winter

I work in the health industry and work out in the community, so I’m exposed to everyone’s coughs and colds. A few ways I try to stay on top of my health and wellbeing are outlined below. Of course I sometimes fall short (like now *coughs and sniffs*) but that’s why I like to come back to a short check list to make sure I’m doing all the right things to help combat the winter bugs and blues.

  • Start the day right. This means having a healthy balanced breakfast. If you follow me on Instagram you know I love my porridge topped with fruit, nuts and seeds. For me, this provides the nutrients and energy I need to kick start the day. I also recommend introducing some lemon and ginger in hot water for your first drink of the day. This is great for breaking up the caffeine in take throughout the day too. I find it definitely provides that soothing and healing quality to a drink particularly when you’re feeling fragile. If your feeling massively adventurous my Mum swears by a shot of organic apple cider vinegar first thing. Now, I don’t do this very often, but when I do it really does settle my stomach. I might give this a try this winter.

 

  • REST, REST, REST. Particularly as we come in to the festive season. It’s so easy to start burning the candle at both ends. You must learn to relax and let your body and mind rest. Schedule a night in with your pj’s on and a good book or an afternoon of films and sofa snuggles. With rest in mind, this also means, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. I always tell myself “when you’re sleeping your healing”. I would say I definitely sleep more in the winter. I think nature wants us to sleep more in the winter months.

 

  • Keep active. It’s so easy to lose sight of your fitness levels as we head in to the colder and darker evenings. Social engagements creep up and our appetite for exercise tends to dwindle as we wrap up in extra layers. My advice would be to sign up to a fitness event like a run, or book in a term of yoga sessions, if you’re a member of a gym schedule in a weekly class. Or, if mobility or funds are an issue for you, get out walking with some friends.
  • Up your fruit and veg. Keep your fruit and vegetables up throughout this winter, it’s so tempting to up the carbs as it gets cold but don’t let your fruit and veg slide. You’ll need extra vitamins and nutrients to fight off the cold and flu viruses.

  • Spend a little bit of time out in nature and the fresh air. I’m talking wintery woodland walks, blustery beach strolls, hilltop hiking. Wrap up warm and get out in the fresh air. This will do your physical and mental health the world of good.

I will do another post going in to a little more detail of particular benefits of certain foods and exercises that will help to keep winter bugs at bay. I think being a little bit more specific in this area is useful when trying to keep your health in tip top condition. I am a little snuffly today so I’ve put some spinach and watercress soup on the hob, only took a few minutes of preparation and I will have some of that a little later. And obviously hope it works miracles immediately ; )

 

These are just a few hints and tips that I’ve tried and tested. Please share with me all your hits and tips in the comments below or connect with me on Instagram where I post a lot of meal ideas and healthy lifestyle tips.

Lots of love

Lea xxx

ACTIVEWEAR: AUTUMN FAVOURITES

MY EDITS

Autumn Activewear

The days are getting shorter and there is definitely a chill in the air and this is around the time of year I start to think “perhaps I’ll have an extra half hour in bed” or “I’d rather put my pj’s on early and drink tea than go for a run”. Who’s with me? Totally justifiable behaviour. BUT, I have my eye on a few goodies that are going to keep me kitted out for the colder weather ahead and keep motivated (and are of course totally necessary).

So I have a little pink/purple theme going on here which was initially unintentional but I’m loving. All but one item were sourced from Asos. Asos are an amazing source for all your activewear needs right now. Literally stocking everything you could possibly need really, which is great.

1. Reebok splatter leggings. These are just gorgeous and it looks like they have sold out of the sports bra, which is a bummer, but I’m sure I can track it down. On sale too!! Reebok Splatter Leggings

2. Adidas Halter Bra, such a gorgeous colour and I do love a high neckline. Pink Adidas Halter Bra

3. Any woman doing any exercise needs something to hold their (sweaty) hair back. This one looks great for colder weather too as you can use it to cover your cold ears and keep your headphones in. Nike Hairband

4. Phone holder. Well, this is just an necessity these days. Can’t go anywhere without your phone. I recently lost my armband and was tucking my phone up my sleeve/down my sports bra whilst out running. Not ideal. Purple armband

5. Windbreaker. If you’re out running in the cold weather a decent windbreaker is an necessity in my eyes. It really does help take the chill factor off when you start your run, without being too restrictive once you’re all warmed up. And if you end up tying it round your waist it isn’t too bulky or heavy. Also, think SAFETY, reflective gear is vital if running out in the dark, particularly around roads. I’ve pictured the pink version but there is also a black one. Reebok Jacket

6. I just like the idea of these trainers. Love trying out new things and these look fun. Click on the link for a closer look. New Balance Running Fuelcore Sonic Trainers

7. It’s all about thin layering in the autumn/winter and this top looks perfect and very autumnal! Reebok Training Burnout Long Sleeve Top

So those are my edits. Something I’ve not done before but thought it would be fun and perhaps useful.

 

Love

 

Lea x x x

 

 

 

 

 

What does exercise mean to you? 

I work with a lot of people who see exercising as a real challenge and something that only very fit people seem to be able to adhere to. Exercise to many is joining a gym, which some people find boring or not particularly enjoyable. Often the idea of exercise musters up unhealthy ideas about body image and what a fit person should ideally look like aesthetically. When really exercise should be about keeping a healthy mind and body through movement. Healthy comes in all shapes, sizes and forms. And the way you keep yourself healthy should be something that works for you. 

I like to bring it back to basics. Activity. I always ask patients/clients “what activities have you been doing?”. Activities can mean anything from a walk along the beach with the dog and the family, gardening, painting your living room, to a 20 minute hiit session in the garden. Just make sure you move! Of course, there are some that want to push themselves and set themselves goals to push themselves further. Great stuff! But I also urge those that get very little activity in to their lives from one week to the next to just start small. Start small and build up. Go for a walk and some fresh air in your lunch break, go for a swim, take a walk with the kids to the park. Just keep moving and find something you enjoy. Keep your mobility going and keep your energy up and try to adhere to it. I work with someone who has arthritis in one of his knees which makes a lot of exercise very difficult, this summer he’s discovered kayaking. He cannot get enough of kayaking, and has been going three or four times a week. 

I’ve personally had a very busy summer and the autumn/winter looks like it’s heading the same way. This means my running and yoga tends to be the things that get reduced in my schedule. This is something that really frustrates me but often I’m just juggling too many balls (desperately wanted a better phrase here). But one thing I never remove is walks with my little Amelie and my Oli. When Amelie was a baby we would go for walks with her in the pouch (baby carrier) or the buggy. Sometimes we would do this every day, sometimes just a few times a week. So when running and all the other crazy sports/hobbies I’ve tried over the years were out of the question, walking was always something I could do and enjoy. This has just been our ritual ever since. Amelie loves going for walks and exploring. Come summer, autumn, winter, spring, our walks are always constant. Don’t get my wrong there are times when she likes to have a little carry (as per picture above) but she’s getting far too big for this now, something she refuses to accept. 

So, I’ve set myself a few little goals to keep me active and keep me smiling. One is a winter 10k run with friends (we get a medal AND a mince pie at the end) and one is a yoga challenge to keep my practise consistent. So book some time in your schedule, do something ACTIVE, keep your body moving!! Don’t let the autumn/winter season keep you from doing your activities. 

Love, 

Lea xx

Slow cooker potato and courgette curry with roasted butternut squash recipe

Now this is a one pot wonder. AND vegetarian. AND vegan. AND enjoyable even if you love meat in your curry. Bursting with goodness and flavour this is a winner dinner.

Ingredients 

5x small potatoes

3x sweet potatoes (1 was large, 1 medium and 1 small)

1x courgette

3x garlic

1x tablespoon of coconut oil

1x tinned chopped tomatoes

1x tin of hot water (I empty the chopped tomatoes and fill the tin with hot water)

2x teaspoon of ground cumin

1.5x teaspoon of ground coriander

1x teaspoon ground ginger

1.5 teaspoon mild curry powder (more or stronger powder if you want it spicier)

1x butternut squash

2x tablespoon of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Turn the slow cooker on to a medium heat and put in a tablespoon of coconut oil to melt. Peel and chop potatoes, chop courgette and peel garlic.

Once slow cooker is hot and coconut oil melted add all the spices and mix to a paste. Then add the chopped potatoes and courgette to the paste making sure all is covered by the paste. Next use a garlic crusher and add garlic to the mixture (if no garlic crusher simply mince). Put lid on and let mixture heat up/sweat for roughly 3 minutes. Then add tin of chopped tomatoes, fill empty tin with boiling water from kettle and add to mixture. Add a a generous dash of salt and pepper, give a good stir and put lid back on.

Now you can go off and enjoy your day whilst this cooks. I left mine to cook for about 6.5 hours. 45 minutes before serving I chopped the end off my butternut squash, and gave it a good wash. I then sliced length ways in to quarters, scraped the seeds out, placed in a roasting dish, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. I then roasted at 200 degrees for 40 minutes.

And voilà. All done. Technically a two pot wonder dish. But this is super tasty and I didn’t even bother sautéing the courgettes or garlic, just threw it all in the slow cooker. You could also add an onion if you wanted. This would serve 4.

Hope you enjoy xxxx

Dauphinoise Potatoes with Crème Fraîche 

I made these dauphinoise potatoes last night but didn’t fancy using cream as I felt it would be too rich and heavy. Using crème fraîche and skimmed milk instead works really well. I slightly burnt the cheese on last night’s bake but it actually tastes quite nice a little crispy.

Ingredients

1 tsp olive oil

150ml skimmed milk

1 large garlic clove, peeled and halved

4 rosemary sprigs, plus extra for sprinkling

1 bay leaf

1 shallot, roughly chopped

5 medium sized potatoes, thinly sliced

300g full-fat crème fraîche

75ml vegetable stock

Grated mature cheddar cheese (enough to cover potatoes)

 

Method

  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Brush the oil over the bottom and sides of a 20 x 30 x 5cm ovenproof dish. Put the milk, garlic, 4 rosemary sprigs, bay leaf and shallot into a saucepan. Bring just to the boil, then remove from the heat and add a little pepper. Set aside to infuse.

  2. Peel and then slice the potatoes very thinly. Layer the slices of potato on to the bottom of the dish, overlapping slightly, then season.


    Take the bay leaf and garlic out of the infused milk and pour into a jug. Put the crème fraîche into a bowl, then gradually pour in the milk, whisking gently until smooth. Then gently add the stock mixing as you go. Next using a ladel pour the mixture over the potatoes in the dish just covering them. Layer up the next layer of the potatoes, again cover the potatoes with your mixture. Note: you will need to keep enough of the mixture to cover the final layer of potatoes. Now layer up your final layer and cover with your remaining sauce. 

  3. Next cover the potatoes with the cheese and a grind of pepper. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 1¼-1½ hrs until golden and tender – test by inserting a sharp knife through the potatoes. Stand for 5 mins before serving.

    Enjoy guys, it’s really tasty and goes great with a salad.

    Love

    Lea

Megahome Water Distiller Review

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After much research Oli and I decided that we wanted to invest in a water distiller. We were already filtering water (standard Brita filter jug, nothing fancy) and frequently buying bottled water. For us we felt that a water distiller would be a good investment and much cheaper and more environmentally friendly than buying bottled water. Not to mention better for our internal filtering system.

In our research in to whether water distillation was a good option or not we didn’t need much convincing and kind of felt we had no choice but to invest in one. We’ve actually been toying with the idea since Amelie was born, nearly three years ago. On a recent business trip to Europe Oli got to try some water from a water distiller and decided just to go for it. We had also done lots of reading on reverse osmosis systems (filtering out contaminants that are larger in size than water molecules, if the contaminants are smaller than water molecules they pass through and remain in your drinking water), for this reason we felt the water distiller was for us.  With a water distiller the process just seemed more effective. When using a water distiller the water is first gently boiled. This kills off viruses and bacteria and leaves all the pollutants behind. The steam is then captured in a stainless steel coil where it cools to form pure water. This water then passes through an activated charcoal filter to finally remove any trace of impurities. Common water impurities removed from water distillation are: antibiotics, fertilizers, pesticides, chlorine, viruses etc. You can find a more comprehensive list here. There is an argument that using a distiller actually removes minerals that we humans do need and use, for example magnesium. However, for me I feel that I have a great diet and should be absorbing all the minerals I need from the foods I’m eating. I would much rather the filtering of harmful chemicals and pollutants happen outside my body than within.

So we decided to purchase the Megahome Water Distiller from JD Harris for £139.95, this was the best price we could find for everything we wanted. For 4 litres of water it takes about 5-6 hours for the whole process to complete.  You might want to get ahead of the game and store a completed batch of water whilst distilling the next 4 litres. I guess it depends on how many are in your household and how much water you drink/use. Once the water has gone through is distilling process it is very clear and definitely has less of a taste, if that makes sense. I live in a hard water area and feel that I can really taste the tap water and the taste is quite distinctive and not pleasant. Sometimes it does make my face squirm.

Although at first glance spending this much on a water distiller seems like quite a big expense, the more I think about it the more I feel quite content with the investment. I won’t be buying bottled water anymore and I won’t be buying Brita filters anymore (quite expensive), and I won’t be doing that weird face squirm anymore ; ) From an aesthetic perspective, it is quite big and takes up a lot of room on the kitchen side. I went for the cream/off white colour to blend in with my new kitchen (when we finally move) and also the glass jug as it looked a little more classy/expensive. The actual main trunk of the machine gets quite warm so will provide a little heat in the kitchen in the winter too. Not quite sure how much electricity it uses yet, but I’ll worry about that later.

This post isn’t to try to push the product in any way. Just my thoughts on it in case you were wondering whether to make the purchase too : )

Love

Lea xx

 

 

 

Tips and Tricks for Cheap and Healthy Family Meals

 

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Butter Bean Curry

Feeding the family healthy meals that don ‘t break the bank and don’t take hours to prepare and cook night after night can be challenging and stressful. When you throw in the idea of healthy eating people often feel that it’s an expensive challenge. Many patients/clients/friends/family that I see think eating healthily is expensive. Agreed, it can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. Steer clear of gimmicky health kicks and tricks and stick to basics.

TOP TIPS

Fresh – Tinned – Frozen

We all know fruit and veg is good for us and will fuel our body with the vitamins and minerals our body needs to function. Yet we don’t seem to eat enough of them. Why? Buying fresh fruit and veg is great but there’s nothing wrong in using tinned or frozen too. If you’re worried you won’t use your fresh fruit and veg in time before they go off then buy some tinned and frozen options as well. Try to have a stash of fruit and veg in your cupboard and freezer so that you are able to add some plant power to every meal. On days when I’m working and don’t have time to sit and eat breakfast at home before dashing out the door with the toddler, I grab my overnight oats from the fridge and throw in a handful of frozen berries and eat when I get to work. That’s 1-2 portions of fruit before 9am. If life is hectic and there’s no time for meal planning, no time for food shopping you can easily add some frozen or tinned veg to a pasta bake. Just the other day I added some frozen peas and runner beans to a pasta bake. It helped to bulk out the dish with some extra green goodness.

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Meat-free Mixed Bean Lasagne

Pulses – lentils, peas and beans

Beans, peas and lentils whether they be dried or tinned are a great source of low-fat protein, are cheap and count towards your daily recommended portions of fruit and veg. Protein doesn’t just need to come from meat or fish, have you ever made a spag bol or chilli with beans rather than mince? It’s cheaper, tastes delicious and reducing your meat intake will aid to reduce your carbon footprint and won’t do your digestive system any harm either.

Bulk/Batch cooking

Making larger portions or extra portions on days when you have more time means you can then freeze and eat for lunches or dinners on days when you have less time. Having very little time to prepare and eat food is one of the most common complaints I hear from patients/clients/friends. Unfortunately, if we want to live long healthy lives we need to prioritize time for decent meals. Cooking from scratch is the best way to know that your food is decent and honest. Grabbing food from fast food chains or ordering a take away is not cost-effective (it’s really really expensive) and definitely not good for you. Making extra portions or batch cooking can be hard to get in the swing of as it takes a little forward planning but if you have young children this really will be a god send on those days you just run out of time!

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Big Batch Lasagne

I have plenty more tips and tricks like these so stay tuned for more by subscribing to my blog and you’ll get emailed them straight to your inbox. I think that’s how it works, ha, I’ve no idea. Just trying to sound like I know what I’m talking about when it comes to blogging ; )

Happy Thursday you lovely lot!

Love

Lea x x

Struggling with FOMO?

 

Okay, so I think I’m totally out of my comfort zone with this post. Mainly because I used the acronym FOMO in the title, and two because I’m about to discuss this acronym FOMO. I literally have no idea who I am anymore. But here goes, bare with me.

So I heard on the radio that the digital world we now live in is causing high levels of anxiety in people, predominantly teenagers. Our increased use of social media means people constantly feel like they are missing out or are going to miss out on an exciting or interesting event. This means people are apparently getting less sleep as they are constantly checking their social media outlets for updates on people’s lives. Adding to this, people are comparing their lives to the perceived lives of others on social media. This anxiety is called FOMO, Fear Of Missing Out. So my first thought to this was – get a grip! Then my second thought to this was – is this really a new thing? Haven’t humans always felt a bit like this? Isn’t this just a modern version of ‘keeping up with the Jones’? Is this anxiety just highlighted as we have so much access to the lives of those who are seemingly more fortunate?

Growing up (80’s child) I always felt like I was missing out on something big. I have no idea why, I just did. I always wanted to be out, I was always doing things, I had a ridiculous amount of hobbies but it still wasn’t enough. Perhaps I read too many copies of Smash Hits, J-17 and Bliss and longed for a more glamorous lifestyle than my small seaside village provided. I’m from a generation where as a young teenager you would go out to Youth Club or to a friend’s house and give your Mum and Dad one ring on the home phone to let them know you arrived safely. The introduction of THE WORLD WIDE WEB struck fear in to everybody, no one wanted to catch the Millenium Bug! I had visions of the world being hit with some deadly virus, I think this was why my auntie stocked up her garage with bottles of water and tins of food as we approached The New Millenium. Dad used to have to dial up the internet modem, those loooong moments used to make me nervous/excited, would this virus everyone is talking about strike today? The internet of course was incredibly slow and rendered pointless at the time. Such an anti-climax. And then all of a sudden we’re here. Access to everything at our finger tips. I’m sometimes annoyed with myself at how impatient I am when things don’t happen instantly now. What sort life are our children entering in to? This thought does scare me, but I know I shouldn’t be scared, I just need to roll with it, and write a blog post discussing FOMO, haha.

So, this got me thinking. Do I feel like I have a fear of missing out on things? I don’t think I do. I think I used to, when I was younger. Now I feel pretty content with what I have, what I’m yet to have and who I am. So maybe it is just an age thing. Maybe it’s just an insecurity we have when we’re young? I think I may have had a touch of FOMO when I was a new Mum. I suddenly had to dedicate my life to someone other than myself. Since the age of 18  I pretty much dictated the comings and goings of my life. Kind of. Suddenly I had a beautiful little girl in my arms whose needs would forever come before mine. So, there have been times when I had to decline a few invites to things I really wanted to go to as I knew it would be too difficult managing the logistics of it with a baby. Or just too expensive. Everything is so expensive these days. But all that is just life. I may have had a touch of SIMO (Sad I Missed Out – I just made that up, as you can tell) not really FOMO. But I got over it pretty quickly because I’m concentrating pretty hard on my own family unit. And for the most part, these days I kind of like having an empty diary, because life is so busy I just don’t want to complicate it even more. Sounds so boring but it’s true. I’m a working Mummy and when my diary is overloaded it kind of gives me the dreads. I’m pretty sure a more simplified life results in a more content life. I think if we concentrate more on ourselves and those close few around us, they’re what really matter. No need to feel like you’re missing out if your focus and attention is on those you love. I feel lucky that I was young enough and old enough to experience life without technology and life with. I love technology and I love social media but I do think there’s a time and a place for it. Sometimes you’ve just got to put your phone down, push your anxieties aside and concentrate on your own life. I realise that if you are a teenager or young person then this idea is probably not really going to ring true. Teenagers/young people have quite a lot to cope with anyway. I just hope they are old enough and wise enough to realise that social media is a very brief, edited snapshot of life. I know I’m naive in saying this but I hope that if they don’t recognise or understand this then they’re probably too young to be using it. Although, I have heard of kids as young as 6 having their own social media platforms. But I  think I’ll park that whole new subject matter there!

 

Just some thoughts on the subject. Would love to know your thoughts on it? I really do believe in simplifying your life, this fast paced world needs to slow down ever so slightly. Or am I just showing signs of age?

 

Love always,

Lea x x

Apple and Banana Breakfast Crumble

Mmmm yum yum, pudding for breakfast. Yes!!  No reason why you can’t have this super tasty indulgent pudding for breakfast. It’s refined sugar free and totally delicious AND has apple and banana in it so TWO of your five a day 😜 You could also have this for a tasty indulgent dessert.

Ingredients 

For the fruit layer

3 apples

2 large bananas

1/2 cup of raisins

1 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 teaspoons ground ginger 

For the crumble topping

100g chopped almonds

100g chopped hazelnuts

1 cup of oats

4 tablespoons of coconut oil

1 vanilla pod

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1.5 teaspoons of ground ginger

5 tablespoons of maple syrup

Method

First start by making the fruit layer. Peel the apples and bananas and chop in to small chunks (discarding core of apple) and place in a saucepan with the cinnamon and ginger. Cover the ingredients with a little boiling water from the kettle (just cover the ingredients) and let simmer/stew for about 15 minutes. It should be really soft.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees (fan 180 degrees).

Next up is making the crumble layer. First blend the chopped nuts together in a food processor until they form a flour, leave that to one side for a moment. Then melt the coconut oil in a saucepan and add the maple syrup, seeds from vanilla pod, ground ginger and cinnamon. Stir in the mixed nut powder and oats in to the saucepan and coat the dry mixture with the wet mixture.

Place your stewed fruit in to an oven proof baking dish and top your fruit layer with your crumble mixture. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the top is a lovely golden brown.

I served mine with a little bit of Oatly milk for a proper breakfast, you could use yogurt too!

 

Hope you like : ) xx