Yoga and me : )

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Before I was pregnant with Amelie, I was relatively fit and healthy, and had lots of energy. I would go to yoga classes, pilates, I did flying trapeze for a few terms, and I ran LOTS. Β When I fell pregnant I was obviously intending to keep up my healthy lifestyle and had every intention of keeping my body strong and safe to house my little growing baby. I signed myself up to a pregnancy yoga class but unfortunately pregnancy sickness and exhaustion took me right in to my second semester and by the time that all subsided – well, I just couldn’t be arsed!

Nearly two years on since giving birth I really thought I deserved to give myself the time to do something I used to love. I practised a little at home on my mat but I wanted to find a class where I could leave motherhood, work and home-life at home and focus on myself for an hour or so.

Because I no longer live in London I was apprehensive about finding a good class and teacher local to me. But, as my nearly two year old says “Ta-da!” I have managed to find a class that suits me. It’s at 8pm in our local community hall and is run by a lady called Leah Braknell (http://www.leahbracknellyoga.com/). Leah is an Actress and also a Yoga Teacher and I knew within 10 minutes of being in her class that her class was the right class for me. Leah created a very peaceful and relaxing atmosphere and within a few minutes I had forgotten about the list of jobs I still had to do and had stopped worrying whether Amelie had eaten enough of her dinner blah blah blah. During the hour and fifteen minutes I had worked incredibly hard but had managed to stay completely focused and also relaxed. I left the class feeling dreamy and achy and that night I literally slept like a baby. I returned and attended Leah’s class twice in one week!! I also ached for a couple of days afterwards, but a really satisfying ache. Before Amelie I never ever ached after a yoga class, I don’t know if it’s just simply because I am no where near as fit as I was before Amelie or whether I just connected with my breath and body better. Who knows. I’ve decided I will go and try out a few other local classes but in the meantime I’m just happy I’ve found a class and teacher that is right for me at this moment in time.

I would highly recommend yoga, especially to someone with young children. It can be really hard as a parent to put in a little time for yourself and when you do you still end up thinking about everyone that needs you at home. When you get the right yoga class and teacher the health benefits are huge. Not only is it a fantastic form of exercise, it also helps combat stress and depression to name but a few. Before I became a parent going out running was definitely my go to stress buster, I would go in to a form of meditation whilst out pounding the streets of London. Since Amelie made an appearance I find running mentally quite hard, I tend to not be able to let go of everything that is going on in my head. Saying that – I encouraged everyone to find something that works for you. I know people that like going out walking on hikes with friends, people that do a few lengths at the pool in the evening and also people that like to lift weights. What ever floats your boat, I would just encourage people to stay active as the health benefits are huge!!

Namaste ; )

Stock Up On Cupboard Staples

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Pumpkin Seeds

I hallmarked Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings as new blog update days but it seems Amelie picks up a new illness every week at the moment. A new bug means sleepless nights and long days for me, and inevitably I end up catching it too. Oli joked that she’s not allowed to go to any baby groups and socialise anymore, I think he was joking… So, I apologise for the lack of posts recently. I have been working on a few new recipes so I look forward to sharing those with you over the next week or two.

I do love hearing from people who read my blog, message me asking for advice and those that try my recipes and let me know how they got on. A few people recently have asked for a shopping list and advice on where to buy ingredients so that they can stock up on a few essentials. I think a good idea could be an online shop (Amazon or Buy Whole Foods Online) and buying some bits in bulk as supermarkets tend to sell small packets at more of a cost. There are some ingredients that I get through very quickly so it works out cheaper and your ingredients will last longer that way. Below are some ingredients I use a lot in my recipes.

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Things I would buy in bulk online are:

Coconut Oil (make sure it’s raw, organic, and cold pressed –Β Lucy Bee, Biona, Tiana)

Oats (make sure nothing is added to them)

Almonds

Ground Almonds

Pecans

Pumpkin Seeds

Cacoa Powder

Chia Seeds

Other things you can pick up in the supermarket gradually or when you’re making a specific recipe:

Almond Milk (Rude Health is free from additives, others might not be so do check) – or any other plant-based milk

Eggs

Sweet Potato

Spinach

Bananas

Oranges/Mandarins

Berries

Lemons

Medjool Dates

Sunflower Seeds

Flaked Almonds

Pine Nuts

Brown Rice

Chickpeas

If you go to my ingredients page there is a more comprehensive list of ingredients you can add to your shopping list. Sometimes it’s good just to get a little bit of inspiration before you head out to do a food shop!

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Cupboard essentials

I hope this is useful in some way. Have a fantastic week and hopefully I’ll have a new recipe up on Wednesday night for you : ) In the meantime, let me know what you struggle with when trying to eat healthy foods – snacks, meal ideas, lunches etc!

Lea Β x

How to eat healthy food on a budget and no time

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Simple frittata

Happy Monday! Today is the start of a new week. We can achieve so much in a week, so rather than looking at Monday like it’s a big grey cloud over your head, look at Monday as the start of something new and exciting. Anything is possible guys, set your goals and go run at them with a smile : )

It’s Monday – let’s think about the week ahead and get planning some exciting things. Lots of people ask me if I spend a lot of money on ingredients and the truth is, no not really. Of course there’s always the potential to spend a fortune in a health food store on pricey products that claim to pack a punch in the health stakes. Equally, without a budget or planning it’s just as easy to do that on your weekly shop at the supermarket. Eating well doesn’t have to break the bank. Be savvy, give your meals and snacks some thought, and don’t get distracted. You can rustle up a quick and healthy meal just using a few ingredients. And remember, small positive changes, slowly over time are better than no healthy changes at all. So please don’t beat yourself up if you’re not eating organic, fresh produce 100% of the time. I don’t. Be realistic. You can easily build up healthy food staples over time – nuts, seeds, grains, beans and lentils last, as a little goes a long way and they are some of the cheapest things to buy when you’re doing your weekly shop!

Simple changes

Focus on a few simple day-to-day changes to get you started. For instance, swap white rice for brown rice. We all know brown rice is better for us and it makes a fantastic staple to your diet. White rice basically looked like brown rice before it went through a refining and polishing process. This process takes out all goodness. Brown rice is richer in fibre,vitamin B3, B1 and B6, manganese and iron. With one simple change you can boost your daily nutrient intake. Try out some other healthy carbohydrate and protein options such as lentils, beans and grains such as quinoa to bulk up salads, stews and soups.

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Brown rice

Although I eat mainly plant-based foods, I’m not vegan, so I do eat eggs and find frittata makes a great lunch or dinner when you don’t have much time. You can pack a frittata with as little or as much veg as you wish. I will often make quite a deep frittata, pack it full with peas, onion, garlic, spinach and tomatoes and cut it in to thick wedges and put it in a lunch-box, pop it in the fridge and eat it for lunch. It makes a great alternative to eating a sandwich. I also give it to my 8 month old daughter for lunch or dinner and she loves it!

Don’t waste

Don’t waste food or time. If you’re making a chickpea curry for instance, make extra and put some in a lunch-box for your lunch the next day. You can easily take that to work with you and your work colleagues will undoubtedly be jealous of your delicious, nutrient packed lunch. Or make extra and put some in the freezer, you then have easy and healthy go-to-meals when you don’t have the time or energy to cook. I’ll often freeze my bananas (slice first), raspberries, and blueberries. That way they keep for longer, don’t get wasted and are great to throw in to energy boosting smoothies that are really tasty and refreshing.

These are just a few ideas. I could go on but I think this is a good start. I’ll do another blog like this in the near future to cover more ground. If you have anything else you’d like me to cover please get in touch or comment. I hope it has been useful in some way and I hope your Monday has got off to a flying start!

Enjoy your week xx

New home, new kitchen, new blog and a banana and chocolate milkshake amongst the mess!

Aaaah my first post on my new site! The pressure!!

As you will read from my bio in the ‘About’ section of the page life has had many changes of late. One of which is a big house move. Don’t you just hate moving house! Anyway, all the packing and unpacking, stuff everywhere, not being able to find stuff etc etc. Today is an organisation day, Oli has pushed a few boxes around and now gone to the gym, and I’m left doing the hard work. The organising. After having oats for breakfast I was still hungry but needed to get on, so I made this delicious milkshake to drink as I go.

Banana and chocolate milkshake : )

2x Bananas

2x tea spoon Cacao Powder (@BioglanUK)

1x tea spoon Cinnamon

And 300ml oat milk (@rudehealth)

Whiz all the ingredients in a blender – and that’s it!

Bananas have so many health benefits, here are just a few. They are high in potassium which is great for maintaining a healthy heart and blood pressure, they keep your bones strong and healthy as well as aiding digestion. Cacao powder is high in iron and fibre and helps raise your serotonin levels, which will boost your mood! All these health benefits in such a quick tasty drink.

As it’s such a sunny day we’re going to have a stroll in the sunshine with friends this afternoon : )

Have a great Saturday xx