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

Warming Ginger Latte


This little concoction recently got me through my winter sniffles. I say sniffles, I was an absolute snotty mess. It was revolting. This drink is creamy, indulgent but the kick of ginger definitely gives it a medicinal quality. The perfect drink when trying to beat the winter bugs.

Ingredients (serves 2)

Ginger 2-3 cm (roughly the size of your thumb)

Teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Teaspoon of ground cloves

Tablespoon of cashew nut butter (I use Meridian Foods)

3 cups of almond milk (I use Rude Health)

Method

Grate the ginger and then put in to a blender with the rest of the ingredients, whizz for 30 seconds or so. Then transfer to a saucepan and gently heat until it is hot but don’t let it boil. Serve in your favourite mug and relax. And that is it. Easy and delicious.

Love

Lea xx

New Year with New Intentions

Following on from the theme of my last post I’ve been thinking a lot about entering in to a new year and what it means to people. Seeing and speaking to a lot of patients, clients, friends and family over the last few weeks I’ve sensed a real mixed bag of thoughts and feelings as we’ve transitioned in to 2017. There’s some who are incredibly motivated and positive, some have had lots to face already and feel very sad their year hasn’t got off to the best start possible and some just aren’t phased and continue as they always have done.

What does a new year mean to you? I kind of feel that a new year should signify a resurgence of energy. I sort of feel like it’s a great time to sit and gather your thoughts from the previous year, to think about what went well and what didn’t. To then think about the year ahead and visualise the best possible year for yourselves and your loved ones. What does that entail? How do you want 2017 to play out for you? How do you want to feel in 2017? I really do feel that it’s good for us to see ourselves and the world with fresh eyes and a more optimistic outlook. People often feel rejuvenated during a holiday away, being away from their normal surroundings. Of course being on a beautiful beach somewhere, watching the sunset and listening to the waves crash to the shore is incredibly empowering for the soul but not everybody gets to taste that as a reality. So I think it’s important to take any opportunity you can to revisit yourself, your life, your goals, your intentions and the new year is a great time to do this.

Okay, so let’s say you’ve already fallen down on all your new year resolutions. That’s fine. Perhaps they were meant to be broken. Perhaps they weren’t the right resolutions for you right now, perhaps your resolutions were too big or unrealistic. Perhaps you’re too hard on yourself? What about setting smaller goals?

FOR EXAMPLE:

Rather than “I am never eating chocolate again” what about giving yourself an allowance, something you can stick to but is significantly less than you already eat? How about setting yourself a goal that is broader and more of an intention?

For instance: “I am ging to be more mindful of the amount of money I spend on…. ” This could be clothes, or food shopping, eating out, takeaways or just generally. Now this is a tricky one but it is totally achievable if you approach it in the right way. Every time you step foot in a supermarket, a clothes shop, browsing online or thinking about ordering a takeaway – ask yourself some simple questions and answer them honestly. Do I need this? Will this really make me happy? Is this healthy for me? Do I have something in the fridge that needs using up before I start buying more food? Do I have something similar I could wear in my wardrobe that I’ve forgotten about? Do I really need a glass of wine or a slab of chocolate? Or, can I make a more nutritious and healthier meal curry, stirfry, pizza at home? Let’s be honest we know the answer to all of these questions so I guess the hard question to answer is why is it so hard to adhere to? I think the answer lies within the word ‘adhere’. If you set yourself an intention or goal it is important to keep positively reminding yourself of that goal or intention and the reasons why you set them in the first place. And if you do fall off the wagon the key is to get straight back on. All is not lost. Adherence, really sticking to something, and persevering is really the recipe for long term change.
And remember to congratulate yourself. Tell yourself how flipping amazing you are. Every Friday that you decline that takeaway Chinese give yourself a firm pat on the back. Rather than berating yourself for not going for a run or attending the gym because you didn’t feel like it that day what about giving yourself a high five for all the times you have gone recently. Tell yourself how well you’ve done and how well you’re doing. And don’t be afraid to tell people how well you’re doing “I’m so proud of myself as I went swimming after work today, I was really tired but I’m really pleased I did as now I feel like a superhero”. Don’t be afraid to rejoice in those triumphs no matter how small you think they are. Positivity breeds and attracts positivity and it will be the thing that spurs you on. Now it may seem like I’m taking the easy way out and encouraging some sort of okay-ness in slacking when it suits but I think I’m just coming from a more human perspective. Knowing yourself, knowing your capabilities and looking after your emotional self is so important.

So to finish up (because quite clearly I could go on all day) as Nelson Mandela once said “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” be your own motivation and inspiration. Every time you fall down show your strength by getting straight back up again showing true fighting spirit. Work hard, surprise yourself, revisit yourself but never be disappointed in yourself. You’re in charge of you. You make the decisions that work for you and if it doesn’t work for you take a moment to check in with yourself and see how you can make it work for you.

2017 is the year for you.
Take care of yourselves
Lea x