My big move!

So as I’ve told many of you on instagram I moved out of Wales and into Gloucester Saturday.
I made the big decision in March to leave my job if two years, it was making me so unhappy and depressed! I left my job with no other job lined up, which was a HUGE risk. But I came to the conclusion that I’m too young to be working just for money, my happiness matters! The moment I handed in that notice, a weight lifted off my shoulders and I was excited to see what my future held.
Job hunting is not glamorous in any shape or form. The traveling, the stress of interviews and prep is exhausting. I knew what law role i wanted and was willing to move anywhere to get it.
When I got the job in Gloucester it was everything I wanted. Although I’d never even been to Gloucester before and I don’t know anyone there, I knew I was going to have to relocate.
So a few weeks on, I relocated into a house share with people I’d never met before, into a town where i had never been and to a job in completely new area of law. I know many people may read this and think, i couldn’t do that, I wouldn’t have the guts to etc. But I’m a huge believer in everything happens for a reason, now everything is falling into place and i couldn’t be happier. None of this would have happened if i hadn’t taken risks.

Take risks and follow your dreams, because if the last few months has taught us anything it’s that life is too short. 

The Good Guru

I get sent a lot of products to try by different companies, but I only really review or endorse companies that I like or I believe have something unique. I want you guys to buy into great products instead of celebrity ‘fads’.

The team at The Good Guru were kind enough to send me their range to review. I couldn’t believe how generous they were when the package arrived!


Why are they different?

I fell in love with their packaging, i know i’m weird like that. But it’s so pretty and clean looking! Supplement companies tend to be really ‘manly’ looking with dark colours with random flames and lightening bolts! But the Good Gurus products are clean, simple and as i’m totally obsessed with anything rose gold right now, their kids are perfect!

Good oats and berries.

Now I’m one for being OBSSESSED with proats; for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could! So I thought the oats would be pretty standard compared to my usual.

But what I love love love about these is that the protein is already in the oats for you and they have little freeze dried berries added to them for a punch of berry flavour! Even with this fruit added the sugar content is still very low, so it’s a perfect addition to your diet whatever goal you may have.

I don’t know, if like me, you just hate it when you run out of protein or you make a really bland bowl of oats (it happens to the best of us!) but by having everything you need in one you always have a tasty bowl of oats! Plus their gluten free! It’s worth noting that I pay £3 for a small bag of GF oats, a whole 1kg tub is only £12.95!

The Muscle and Tone Isolate Protein comes in a similar container as the oats which I love! The protein itself is thick, creamy, the only downfall is that I miss having wacky protein flavours! Chocolate and vanilla just isn’t enough anymore! But you can’t argue with protein that’s made using high quality whey from grass-fed cows, no artificial sweeteners and GMO free.

I also had a cute protein shaker, capsule container for all my vitamins which is so handy and turmeric capsules which I have been taking daily, but it’s too early to tell it’s benefits!

Check them out at http://www.thegoodguru.com

Little Lemon Soufflés


I’m still on that summer dessert feeling, so less chocolate and more fresh berries and citrus from me.

These are also the perfect little treat for when its warm outside and you fancy something sweet.

I’ve made this as macro friendly as I possibly can and they taste delicious.

Ingredients

  • 8 large lemons
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • ½ cup sweetener, divided
  • 2 tbsp plain flour


Method

  • Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsuis
  • Slice both ends from the lemons and spoon out the pulp.
  • Keep the pulp and scoop into a sieve laced over a bowl. Squeeze out the juice and reserve.
  • In a heat proof bowl combine the egg yolks, ¼ cup sugar, lemon juice, and flour. Whisk until pale yellow. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and continue to whisk until very thick.
  • Remove from the heat and beat with an electric mixer for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside.
  • In a separate mixing bowl combine the egg whites with the remaining sugar. Beat with the electric mixer on low speed until frothy. Slowly increase the mixer speed until the meringue is shiny and hold soft peaks.
  • Whisk a third of the meringue into the yolk mixture, then fold in the remaining meringue gently. Fill the lemons to just below the rim.
  •  Line a sheet pan with baking paper.
  • Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until the tops are golden and have risen.

Eton Mess

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The Great British Summer is here… I say this as the rain is pouring down onto my attic window. Well we did have two days of beautiful sunshine when I first made this dessert, so that counts right?

Nothing says British Summer Dessert like an Eton Mess. Usually this has sugar and cream, but my version still has the same delicious freshness but minus the added calories.

So when we do finally have a summers day this would be a perfect sharing dessert to enjoy in the garden (or don’t sharing, I won’t judge!)

The great thing about this is that you can re-use this meringue in other desserts like; Pavlova, lemon meringue pie… the possibilities are endless!

 

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Ingredients

  • 1 pot of 0% greek yogurt
  • Handful of blueberries
  • A handful of strawberries
  • 1 small punnet of raspberries
  • 2 tbsp of agave
  • 1 tsp of chia seeds

For the Meringue 

  • 4 Egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 cup of sweetener

 

Method

For the Meringue 

  1. Preheat your oven to 130 degrees.
  2. Put the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl with the baking powder and whisk until the egg whites form soft peaks.
  3. Add the sweetener a tablespoon at a time and continue to mix.
  4. When all the sweetener has been added, continue whisking until the egg whites become glossy and form stiff peaks.
  5. Using a large spoon or piping bag, put your meringue onto baking paper placed on a baking tray.
  6. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until the meringues are crisp and dry
  7. Turn the oven off and allow the meringues to cool for a further 20 minutes
  8. Once cooled, break the meringue up into shards.

For the raspberry jam 

  1. Place a saucepan on the heat, add the raspberries and bring to a low boil. Make sur you keep stirring.
  2. Once the raspberries begin to boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the berries are soft.
  3. Mash the raspberries lightly, but leave some chunks for a better texture.
  4. Stir in the agave, chia seeds and continue to cook on a low heat for 5 minutes. Keep stirring so the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  5. Remove from the heat, stir and let the jam cool at room temperature.

All together Now

  1. Take a large serving glass and layer the meringue, yogurt, blueberries and raspberry jam until all the ingredients has been used.
  2.  Top with fresh strawberries and enjoy!

 

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Nude Spice Hot and Tangy Baked Eggs

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Life has been crazy the past few weeks, landing a new job, looking to move and I turned 25. So I’m sorry for the lack of posts! But i’ve finally gotten around to writing the recipe for my baked eggs using Nude Spice Mix.

The guys at Nude Spice were so grateful to send me their new range, I coundn’t wait to try it , especially as I ran out completely of my last bundle. I love flavourful, fragrant food, the more spice the better! But with a gluten allergy I can be pretty wary about added spices to my food. Which is why I love that Nude Spices Mix are all Gluten Free!

Baked eggs or Shasuka is something I was introduced to a while ago but I forgot how delicious it was! Its simple to make and most of the ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. The best part is, you could eat this for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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Ingredients

  • 1 tsp of coconut oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • half an onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp of Nude spice mix
  • 250g of lean mince
  • 2 eggs
  • tin of tomatoes
  • 1 tbs of tomato paste
  • handful of kale
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small chilli, chopped
  • 1 small cup of butternut squash

 

Method

  1. In a frying pan/skillet pan add the coconut oil and lightly fry the garlic and onions until soft.
  2. Add the chilli and 1 tbsp of nude spice mix and cook out.
  3. Add the lean mince and cook until brown.
  4. Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato paste and the butternut squash.
  5. Cook on a simmer for 15 minutes or until the juices have reduced.
  6. Stir in some kale, the roughly chopped tomatoes and the eggs and place in the oven to bake for 10/15 minutes until cooked through.

 

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Protein Cookie Dough


Happy Easter Everyone!

I couldn’t wait to share this recipe with you and as it’s easter themed, it’s the perfect day to share it!

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful day filled with a lot of chocolate and love!


Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of coconut flour
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein
  • 1 tbsp of agave
  • 1/4 tsp of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk 
  • 2 tbsp of peanut butter
  • crushed mini eggs

Method

  1. Add the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl
  2. In a microwave safe bowl add the peanut butter and agave. Melt in a microwave and stir til combined.
  3. Pour the peanut butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until a crumbly batter is formed.
  4. Stir in the crushed mini eggs, and add a tablespoon of almond milk a time until a cookie dough remains.
  5. Refrigerate and allow to thicken
  6. Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Easter Egg Bark


Its easter weekend, which means one thing..chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Although i’m not the biggest chocolate fan, I will be enjoying a few treats like the rest of you!
I wanted to make something quick, simple and delicious. I’ve seen a few bark recipes that look amazing, with different toppings so thought i’d give it a go!

I’m a huge dark chocolate fiend, the darker the better! This is definately a recipe to try and top with your favourite toppings.


Ingredients

  • 1 bar of dark chocolate
  • 1 bag of white chocolate mini eggs

Method

  1. Place a heatproof bowl snugly over a saucepan with a little water in the bottom
  2. Place on the stove, bring the water to a gentle simmer, then lower the heat and start breaking your chocolate into the bowl. Stir with a spoon or spatula until smooth and completely melted.
  3. Start by lining a baking sheet or thin tray with greaseproof paper
  4. Pour the melted chocolate onto your lined tray and spread evenly using a spatula.
  5. While the chocolate is still soft, add your toppings.
  6. You can be as creative with your toppings as you like
  7. Transfer to the fridge for a couple of hours to cool. When cooked smash up into shards and enjoy!


Ice Cream Truffles 

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So i’ve started to be a bit more strict with my diet, purely as summer is around the corner. No more alcohol for me and limited cheat meals. I like making changes to my diet, purely so I can experiment what works for me, I’m still quite new to all this so I think it helps!

I’ve been coming up with macro friendly treats that I can enjoy whilst being a bit more strict. These are delicious and so easy to make; thank you WheyHey for the ice creams!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1 bar of dark chocolate
  • whey hey ice cream – banoffee flavour

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Method

  1. Spoon out the ice cream into small balls and place on a tray lined with baking paper. Freeze.
  2. Add the peanut butter and 1tbsp of coconut oil to a heat proof dish and microwave. stir until completely melted.
  3. Take the ice cream from the freezer and individually dip into the peanut butter. Place back onto the tray and into the freezer to set.
  4. Add the dark chocolate and 1tsbp of coconut oil to a heat proof dish and microwave. stir until completely melted.
  5. Take the ice cream from the freezer and individually dip into the chocolate. Place back onto the tray and into the freezer to set.
  6. Top with nuts, freeze dried fruit or more chocolate! Yum!

 

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Nude spice Falafel Burgers

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The team at Nude Spice were generous enough to send me another two blends of their spice mix. I received two packets a few months ago which were delicious and if you look back on my website I made a few savoury recipes using them.

I’m a huge spice fan, I have spice on everything so i couldn’t wait to try their new blends.

What better way to showcase these amazing spices than with  a falafel, you don’t need meat for flavour! These little patties are bursting with spice!

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Ingredients

  • 400g can chickpeas drained
  • 1 tbsp of Nude spice hot and spicy mix
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup of ground almonds
  • Whole grain wraps
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Juice of one lemon

For serving 

  • Salsa
  • Chopped Tomatos
  • Lettuce
  • Avocado

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Method

  1. Drain, rinse and dry the chickpeas thoroughly, then tip into the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to pulse until combined
  3. Form four patties with your hands
  4. In a large pan add a small teaspoon of coconut oil, heat the oil and fry the falafels for a few minutes on each side
  5. Add the falafels to pitta, wholewheat wraps and fill with toppings of your choice.
  6. Enjoy!

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Whey Hey Ice Cream Sandwich

 

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I love ice cream, its my guilty pleasure! Usually, I make banana ice cream to satisfy cravings. But right now I’m totally obsessed with WheyHey Protein Ice cream – sugar free, full of protein and free of additives. Its an amazing addition to any diet!

I know, I know its still a bit too cold for ice cream…but these are ice cream sandwiches so its totally acceptable, right? Plus its so simple to make and a great way to have something, tasty and different whilst keeping in line with your daily macros.

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Ingredients

For the Peanut cookies

  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1/3roughly chopped almonds
  • 1/3 cup of Peanut Butter
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1/4 agave
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • salt 1tsp
  • 1 small bar of white chocolate (I used a free from bar)
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil

Ice cream

  • Wheyhey Icecream – Vanilla.

 

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Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  2. Add all the ingredients, except for the almonds, in a food processor and mix together until smooth. Scrape the sides to ensure all of the mixture has been combined.
  3. Stir in the chopped almonds.
  4. With wet hands, form into large balls. Place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and press down on the balls to flatten into large circles.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. The cookies will still be very soft when you take them out of the oven. Leave them to cool and they will firm up slightly.
  6. Cut the Wheyhey ice cream tub into sections.
  7. Once the cookies are firm, put the ice cream section onto one cookie, then add another cookie on top to sandwich the ice cream, then place in the freezer to set.
  8. Leave in the freezer until you want to eat them.
  9. Place a heat proof dish over a pan filled with water. Simmer on a low heat and add your white chocolate bar and 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Keep stirring until completely melted.
  10. Spoon over the mixture onto the cookies and place in the freezer to set.

 

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The Skinny Bakery

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Thank you to the amazing team at the Skinny Bakery for sending me their products to try.
When I received them I instantly couldn’t wait to dig in! The packaging is so cute and has a fifties vibe to it.
Needless to say the macros on all of the treats are amazing and I love the breakdown of the ingredients on the back so you can see EXACTLY what you are eating, which is so important!
I admired how clever the team at the Skinny bakery was in making these treats, the alternative ingredients they used to ensure the healthier possible treat. It inspired me to get my chefs hat on and test new ingredients.
Skinny Chocolate Pearls & Skinny Beetroot Pearls 
This low fat yogurt sponge is so light and delicate. The middle tasted so rich and decadent…just like Nutella! Need I say more! But this was chocolate tofu frosting, how inventive is that. I would never think to use tofu in a desert but now I’m definitely going to try it. The only downside was that I didn’t have like twenty of them to enjoy!
Now I’ve heard of using beetroot in cakes, but its not something I’ve ever tasted, so although I was a bit unsure I knew myself how well vegetables can work in baking. Initial thoughts were that ALOT of beetroot must of been used to get that red velvet colour, so I was fully expecting the beetroot to be a prominent taste. But its just as tasty as the chocolate pearls!
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Skinny Chocolate Pearls Macros (per pack) – 30g Carbs, 6g Protein, 8g Fat, (14g Sugars)
Skinny Beetroot Pearls Macros (per pack) – 26g Carbs, 5g Protein, 5g Fat (18g Sugars)
Skinny Chocolate Chip Cookies
Eating these gave me a sense of nostalgia; they reminded me of fearless rusks that I used to love as a baby. These cookies tasted so homely baked, I felt like they had came out of my own kitchen just a few hours ago; they still had that fresh taste to them! They were thick, soft and had a great amount of dark chocolate chips in them…I’d be lying if I said I didn’t eat them all in one sitting.
Macros  – (per pack) – 37g Carbohydrates, 4g Protein, 2g Fat (18g Sugars)
Double chocolate meringue cookies 
Yum..yum..yum! These cookies are so more-ish and delicious. Its just as you would expect meringue to be – crispy on the outside buy goey on the inside!
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Macros – (per pack) – 26g Carbs, 4g Protein, 2g Fat,  (24g Sugars)
Finally, treats I can enjoy without having to make myself and without the guilt! They may be less calories but they don’t skimp on taste!
Check them out at theskinnybakery.com and use code STARTER10 for 10% off your first order.

 

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Delicious Chocolate Protein Shake

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The amazing guys at Whey Hey Ice cream sent me a great range of their flavours to try. This was a little box of heaven because I am a HUGE ice cream fiend; Ice cream over cake for me any day!

The fact that its guilt free ice cream, has 20g of protein per pot, sugar free and tastes delicious is just GENIUS.

I thought I’d start with a pretty basic recipe to begin with; Chocolate milkshake! Who doesn’t love this classic. Its thick, chocolaty and with these combination of ingredients its an excellent way to combat DOMS!


Ingredients

  • 1 Large Banana
  • 1 Tub of whey hey chocolate ice cream
  • 1 scoop of chocolate whey
  • 1 Cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • Handful of ice cubes

Method

  1. In your blender place all your ingredients into it apart from the ice cream and ice cubes. Then blend until it is smooth.
  2. Add your ice cubes and your ice cream and blend. Try not to over blend, so the milkshake stays thick.
  3. If its too thick for your liking add more ice cubes, alternatively add more ice cream for added thickness.

Macros:

Protein: 44g

Carbs: 49g

Fats: 3g

More delicious ice cream recipes coming soon!

 

 

 

 

Le Gavroche – My Michelin Starred Experience

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I’m a huge Foodie, I love going out to restaurants, trying different foods admiring the ambiance and appreciating the finesse that goes into some of the dishes. Admittedly I’m not your fast food kind of girl, I love fine dining, well to be honest I just love food that’s been cooked with passion! You can’t beat it!

One of my bucket list to do’s had been to eat at a Michelin starred restaurant and fortunately I ticked that one off in 2014. I decided to write about it now because as a major throwback and just because it was an amazing experience and I would urge anyone to do it!

I was so lucky to eat at Michel Roux Jr’s Le Gavroche two Michelin starred restaurant in Mayfair London. I chose this because Michel Roux Jr is one of my favourite chefs and Le Gavroche has so much history to it!

The booking was three months in advance so its not something you can decide to do on the day, it takes a little bit of planning.

I was 22 years old attending a 2 Michelin Starred restaurant, at first I felt as though I would be so out of place there. But the staff were amazing, they made me feel right at home and at ease.

The room was dimly lit, with candles and soft music playing, it felt like you were dining in Paris.

I even met Michel Roux Jr! He came out of the kitchen to take the time to meet and greet everyone at their tables. To say I was a little star struck would be an understatement.

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The Menu 

We had the tasting menu – Menu Exceptionnel; 9 courses of pure food heaven!

 

Every single course was beautifully presented, dainty and full of flavour.

My favourite had to be the Braised and Smoked Pork cheek; never tasted anything with so much flavour as that.

Sorry about the photo quality it was a dimly lit room!

I think 2 years is enough to wait… Time to start planning my next Michelin starred restaurant to visit.

National Eating Disorder Week

It’s National Eating Disorder Week and raising awareness is something that is very important to me. Not many people know that I am a long term sufferer of an eating disorder, if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I’ve mentioned it briefly in my transformations, but it’s not something I’ve opened up about very much. I guess I don’t feel fully recovered from it, so I never felt like I could talk about it, but an eating disorder is something you live with. Yes it fades, yes some days you don’t even notice it and some days it consumes you…it’s a continuous fight.


I want to explain my story, because my eating disorder didn’t fall into one category, but this isn’t uncommon there are so many people who don’t simply fall into one category of eating disorder, it shouldn’t even be categorised anymore! How can someone determine how thin you should be to be anorexic, how many times you throw up to be bulimic, how many binge sessions you have to have ‘BED’? What if you were like me and fit into all categories equally? At 5ft 4inches and my lowest weight of 7st 8lbs I was still deemed ‘healthy’ on the BMI scale, laughable right? But my Doctor wouldn’t take my family seriously when they thought I had a problem. All that did was spur my on to think I was fine, everything I was doing was fine and my mind set was fine, because if my Doctor didn’t think there was a problem, then why should I right?

That’s what we need to raise awareness about! The fact that an eating disorder is a MENTAL ILLNESS. An eating disorder is the poor relationship with food, it’s the bad habits you create, it’s the constant anxiety it causes and it’s the mental exhaustion…that’s an eating disorder, not the desire to be thin that will simply be fixed by eating as society naively presumes.

I’ve struggled with my body confidence and battles with food ever since I can remember. Myself and my mother often talk about how I used to be a terrible teenager, complaining I looked horrible in everything, I was too fat for this, too fat for that and having hysterical fits whenever I made plans with my friends. At the time we thought that was normal, just a typical teenager right? It’s only now we can look back together and think…something wasn’t right there.

I’ve always been sporty, growing up with two brothers I was that skinny tomboy who loved football kits and tracksuit bottoms. I was good at sports; Netball, Hockey, Football, Cross Country, Athletics you name it I done it. I honestly can’t look back and say there was a time in my life where I wasn’t active.

My body issues developed as I went into my teens, I started to ‘fill out’ a bit more, as young girl’s do, but I began to feel like that ‘fat friend.’ I have NEVER been bullied about my weight, I have never had anyone comment on it and why would they? The ‘biggest’ I’ve ever been was a size 12 and that’s not big. Size 12 is beautiful, but on me I hated it.

As the years went on throughout secondary school I avoided going out as much as possible and if I did I hated every minute of it. I created a mental battle with myself that continuously got worse as the year went on.

In my first year in University I don’t recall having any problems with body confidence or food issues. Probably because University was for eating rubbish food and drinking a lot of alcohol so gaining weight was inevitable!

It wasn’t until my second year, where I vowed to lose weight after a year of being a ‘typical student’ so I invested some of my student loan into a treadmill for my room. I would spend every day without fail on that treadmill, I began eating clean, learning to cook and cutting carbs, the weight was falling off me…I felt great, I was back to a size 8 and comfortable within a month.

It was going great, I felt the healthiest I had done in years…that was until I started to experience searing pain in my abdomen, to the point where I couldn’t move out of bed and I certainly couldn’t. That’s when the guilt set in and that’s when my mind told me if I ate less, then my progress wouldn’t reverse. I got so obsessed I stopped eating all together.

Of course my family and my friends were concerned, they all knew before I did that I had an eating disorder. But they knew not to suffocate me with it, they knew not to confront me instead they kept an eye on me, took me to the doctors and tried to understand what I was going through.

Towards the end of second and third year of university I become a pro at lying and manipulating my family and friends about my eating habits. That’s what it does to you, it makes you the ultimate con man. After moving back home for the summer and going on holidays I could no longer get away with not eating, I knew I was being watched, so I began constantly binge eating for a sugar rush and then throwing up straight afterwards. After months and months of this, I knew I’d hit a low point when I couldn’t physically be sick no more, instead I sat on my floor in a ball and cried for hours. I hated my mind for making me do this.


My eating disorder was at its worse from the age of 21 to 23, and although I’ve always suffered, it was during these years that it seriously began affecting my health. Now I’m not going sit here and tell you how I got down to my lowest weight, I’m not going to discuss my habits, ‘tips and tricks’ instead I’ll tell you exactly what affect it had on my body:

· The most embarrassing moment I had experienced was on work experience with a Barrister, I hadn’t eaten all day, instead I was over hydrating. In the middle of attending a court hearing I passed out and hit my head on a chair…now you’ll never experience anything as scary as waking up from hitting your head and not being able to feel your toes. The scene from million dollar baby was going around and around in my head! I was rushed to hospital and the Doctors didn’t bat an eyelid at me, even though I was small and I’d clearly fainted because of not eating…they sent me on my way.

· The pain in my abdomen increased for several months, right up until my third year when I was told due to the amount of weight I’d lost I developed cysts in my ovaries and was told that I will have complications having children. For a young woman of 22 to hear that was heart breaking, although they didn’t say it would never happen for me, the fact that I will have complications was hard enough.

· My periods stopped for over a year because I had lost so much weight, which has no end of complications on your body.

· I developed a weak left kidney because I was using water as a tool to curb my hunger and over drinking every single day.

· My hair got thin and started falling out, my skin was awful and it affected my teeth, I was malnourished and I began to look it.

Having an eating disorder is mentally exhausting, every day was a battle. I developed constant anxiety over food packaging and how much calories different foods had, it got to a point where I knew the calories for a lot of food off by heart. I would have to google a menu before I ate at a restaurant and I would also pick the lowest calorie food on that menu. I would NEVER eat in front of anyone because I felt as though I was being watched. Those anxious thoughts consume your mind.

I never had counselling for my eating disorder, I should have but no one took me seriously, instead I turned to the gym! I stopped running and began lifting weights. I loved it! The more I went, the more it encouraged me to become a healthier version of myself.

I lifted weights in a calorie deficit for a year and wondered why I wasn’t growing, I heard eat to grow constantly but never listened, until I decided I would give a month bulk a try in January 2016. I upped my calories to the most they had ever been, I didn’t do cardio and I just focused on weights…at the end of the month my shape transformed! That was the pivotal point for me, I learnt what “eat to grow” meant, I understood that my body needed food; it wasn’t this horrible thing I perceived it to be.


I still suffer now, although I no longer look at food based on statistics, I still have days where I’m down and the first thing I do is avoid food, or the odd takeout makes me feel guilty. I still have bad eating habits like eating my food in certain orders. But I live a healthy lifestyle and i’m focusing on having a healthy mindset, i’m choosing to be in recovery everyday and i’m choosing to control those thoughts that made me feel like I wasn’t ever good enough.

With my social media platform growing, I feel like I have an obligation to young girls, women, men anyone that suffers to let them know they aren’t alone. I know I’ve read articles that I can connect to and it makes me feel better that someone out there feels or is going through EXACTLY the same thing I am and that’s what I want, I want to you to know social media is used to highlight the best of people’s lives, but that’s not real…we all suffer, we all have struggles which is why I’m open and honest about my depression, anxiety and eating disorder.

Please take 2 minutes to sign the petition below and help raise awareness, it’s so important that we notice the signs straight away and stop people suffering for years before receiving the help they need.

https://www.b-eat.co.uk/spotting-signs-eating-disorder

10 easy ways to get fit and stay healthy!

Its almost the end of February now and the “new year, new me” motivation can be pretty lacking, so I thought I’d post the blog I did with V3 Apparel on the 10 easy ways to get fit and stay healthy!

Enjoy!

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1.    Ditch the elevator, take the stairs.

Something that you do every day without even thinking about it is to take the elevator at work, shopping or even at the gym! Did you know that taking the stairs burns up to SEVEN times more calories than standing around in the elevator! Plus prolonged use and regular walking (see below) helps to protect you against high blood pressure, weight gain whilst improving your overall cardiovascular fitness!

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2.    Walk, walk, walk.

We are so used to being in the habit of grabbing our car keys and jumping in the car to get from A to B. Instead, leave your car keys behind, lace up your trainers and get out and walk! It’s not only good for your body, but good for your mind too! Say goodbye to the stresses of your busy everyday life, inhale the fresh air and walk your worries away! Competitive? Then why not invest in a pedometer and try set yourself a target to meet each day. You’ll be amazed at how small adjustments to your lifestyle helps you rack up the distance and melt that pesky fat!
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3.    Get plenty of Zzzz’s

Sleep is so important, especially after intense exercise your body needs time to rest and repair in order to recover physically and psychologically. So turn off your phone, stop checking social media and get plenty of rest! Aim for around seven to ten hours for adequate rest.
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4.    Don’t food shop when you’re hungry

Sounds simple right? But it’s been proven that if you shop on an empty stomach you are more likely to pick up more high calorie foods. No time to eat before shopping? Then make a list! This will provide more structure to your shop and minimise your chance of straying down the biscuit isle!

5.    Netflix and Squats?

When you’re deep into the latest TV series the last thing you want to do is go for a run or workout. I’m sure we’re all guilty of settling down to watch a couple of episodes of only to look at your watch to find that it’s 2 weeks later and your 5 seasons in. So, to feel less guilty about your netflix binge, throw some body weight exercises in between episodes to keep you feeling fit and fresh!
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6.    Keep motivated on the go

I could trawl through social media for hours looking at motivational quotes, thinking “wow I needed this” before print screening them adding them to my endless stack of phone images. But the chance of me looking at that photo again is slim… very slim. Let’s face it, we all spend a large part of our day staring at our phones so let’s make it worthwhile! Next time you come across your favourite quote or inspirational athlete, save the image and set it as your phones background wallpaper. You’ll be amazed at how constantly seeing this inspiring image or quote helps to keep you motivated! V3 Apparel now do amazing HD motivational phone wallpapers, just click the link above to browse the range! Once you find your favourite, save it as your phone background and stay motivated on the go! Free motivation, you can’t beat that!
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7.    Find a workout buddy!

Lacking motivation? Find a workout partner to train with. There are so many benefits to working out with someone. You’ll burn more calories by challenging and pushing each other to squeeze out those extra reps! You’re also less likely to cancel your workout and if you try too, your partner will be there to drag you kicking and screaming! No workout partner? Don’t worry! More than likely there is someone you know who would love to go to the gym but are conscious or unsure about going alone. Alternatively, approach a regular gym goer and ask them if they want to team up! Working out together allows you to motivate each other and you’re more likely to stay on track!

 

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8.    Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Drinking water is so beneficial to your body but it is constantly overlooked. The average human adult body is made up of between 50-65% water, therefore adequate water intake is essential in keeping your body functioning to it’s full potential. The NHS Eatwell Guide recommend drinking between six to eight glasses a day. Regular water consumption also helps to remove toxins, aids proper digestion and has zero calories! Bored of plain water? Then mix it up with a slice of lemon, cucumber or strawberries for a natural sweetener!

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9.    Make protein your go to.

Make sure you’re putting quality over convenience when it comes to snacking on the go! It’s all too easy to reach for the unhealthy pre-packaged snacks at your local store so make sure you plan your time and snacks ahead. For me, protein snacks are a key addition to my food diary. As we all know, protein is an essential component in the muscle-building process but did you know that high protein snacks also help you maintain normal blood glucose levels, keep you fuller for longer and also lower the risk of hypertension! So be sure to head over to my blog  www.TheLawFoodie.com for some quick and easy protein snack ideas!
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10. Find a workout you love

Find running on a treadmill tedious? Hate those people who can run for miles and miles? More than likely these people LOVE to run and it’s their favourite way to exercise. It’s not for everyone, we all have different likes and dislikes and that’s okay, so don’t beat yourself up. It’s important to find a workout YOU enjoy! Whether that’s; jump rope, sprints, using the stair machine or circuits there is an exercise out there for everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frozen banana pops 


These are so simple and easy to make, they are perfect if you’re having your friends around or for your kids as a healthy treat!
There is so much variety with this fun dessert, plus they taste delicious and totally guilt free 😃

Ingredients

  • 2 large bananas
  • 1 large dark chocolate bar
  • 2 tbsp of peanut butter
  • chopped nuts
  • frozen raspberries


Method 

  1. Chop the bananas into smaller sections, add a lollipop stick to the middle and freeze for several hours.
  2. Once frozen, prepare your toppings.
  3. Melt dark chocolate over a stove and add to a bowl.
  4. Dip the frozen bananas into the chocolate then top with the chopped nuts, raspberries or peanut butter.
  5. Once topped, place back into the freezer to set.
  6. Enjoy!


DaNang – Vietnam

Next stop was DeNang…..

What’s a backpacking trip without a bit of drama right? So we headed to the airport in Hanoi to be told our flight to DaNang had been cancelled due to technical error. Great.

After many choice words by myself the airline agreed to put us up in a hotel and provide transfers to and from the airport for our arranged flight in the morning.

Great news, or so we thought. The ‘hotel’ we had been put up in was the worst. Now i’m not fussy nor do I live a life of luxury, but this place was not clean, bugs in our bed and the most basic room I’d ever seen. Thank god we had each other to laugh about it and keep moral high.

With the events of the day I’d only eaten breakfast and was in a desperate need to find food. We searched the small street, asking in each hotel but nothing… instead we came across an empty place which appeared to sell food. It’s not somewhere most people would choose to eat, but when in Vietnam do as the Vietnamese do and I’m glad I did because i had such a tasty bowl of Beef Pho!

In the morning we took a short flight from Hanoi to DaNang, which sits in the middle of Vietnam.

The moment we landed it was noticeably hotter, thankfully because Hanoi was colder than expected!

With the stresses of already being a day behind due to our cancelled flight, we booked a marble mountains and My Son day tour at the airport with Hoi An express to fit in everything we wanted to see within a short space of time. Bit of advice, don’t book at the airport, instead go into Hoi An and book Hoi An express it’s so much cheaper.

Where we stayed 

We was excited for VN Beach DaNang hotel and its sea room which we paid for. However, this hotel was a bit of a let down. No sea room, it was out of the way from the city and basic. However the staff were friendly, very helpful and considering how cheap the hotels are here you can’t complain!

In hindsight I’d stay somewhere a bit closer to the city, so you can experience DaNang at its best!

Hoi An

This beautiful little town is full of lanterns, hanging from buildings, above you in the street as they hold the light festival and it has become something the town is famously known for. Not only does it have this, the small streets are filled with adorable cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops all reasonably priced.


We spent the afternoon walking around this town, in and out of shops then ate at a small restaurant until the sun when down. Although the lanterns were beautiful in the daylight, once they are lit it’s magical! I took way too many photos here but I just couldn’t help myself.  You won’t need all day here late afternoon and night is more than enough to see what the ancient town has to offer.

If you are a Disney fan like me, a night in Hoi An with all its lanterns, reminds you of the scene in tangled,

Marble Mountains and My Son 

Hoi An express tour picked us up from our hotel and took us to their offices to transfer to a bigger bus with a tour guide. We had the tour guide for both my Son and Marble Mountains and he made the tour!! He was hilarious, friendly and so approachable, it wouldn’t have been the same without him!!

My Son

An ancient burial ground, My Son monuments are impressive in stature, detail and dramatic in sight. They are abandoned Hindu temples that are dedicated to the god Shiva.


Upon arrival you visit a small museum which explains the site and its conservation, then you proceed on little buggy’s up to the site of My Son. You’ll get to walk around the monuments taking in its breath-taking architecture, whilst your tour guide explains the history. Halfway through the tour you get top experience traditional dancing, a beautiful little surprise!


Its amazing to see how these ruins were built and how the people of Vietnam are conserving them.


Marble Mountains
Wear comfy shoes here because there is hundreds of steps to climb! This part of the tour was my favourite, the Asian temples are so impressively made, so colourful and just everything you picture them to be.

It costs approx. 40 VND to enter here.

There are so many levels to this tour, impressively tall religious statutes and a whole lot of history to soak in. You could spend hours admiring the temples and it’s architecture.


Towards the end of the tour we had the option to climb through a cave to the top of the marble mountains. Do it! but be warned there are no steps, you have to literally climb through a small cave and over rocks to get to the top. But once you do, the views are spectacular!


Don’t worry if you can’t do this, there is a viewing point with steps for you to enjoy a similar view.

DaNang City

I fell in love with DaNang the moment i stepped foot into the city. It was by far my favourite Vietnamese city. There was less hustle and bustle compared to Hanoi, but there was so much to see and it’s modern architecture was light years in front of Hanoi.

Take time to walk along the Dragon Bridge, watch him change colour and sometimes he spits out fire and water! Then head along the street and walk towards the next bridge which also changes colour. Here, you get a great view of the whole DaNang skyline.

There aren’t many little corner shops here for food/snacks/water and we found ourselves wandering around for an hour looking for one. Hint: there is one along the front just down from the dragon bridge.

There was so many food options available here I wish we had more time to try some! Although I did have the best beef stir fry and smoothie in the city! Yum!

We had taxis everywhere here, as the bus routes weren’t an option.

The taxis are on a meter, however you can be cheeky like me and offer them a price to switch off the meter.

The weather wasn’t the best for us, it was hot but some days there was rain so take a poncho or a brolly!

This was my favourite city in Vietnam! I would have loved to stayed here!

 

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cups

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I made this recipe to be posted on Valentines Day, but due to a bad week of depression I didn’t find time to post it! But I’m back yay!

Bad days, weeks, months happen – just remember you’re a fighter and you’ve got to keep fighting this fight!

Anyway, dark chocolate and raspberries are a heavenly combination. Well lets be honest, dark chocolate and anything is heavenly right!

Ingredients

For the base

  • 1 cup of mixed nuts
  • 1 cup of pitted dates that have been soaked in warm water for 5 minutes to soften
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil

Raspberry layer:

  • 2 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 2 cups of raspberries
  • 2 tbsp of agave
  • Few handful of raspberries

Dark chocolate layer:

  • 30g of coconut oil
  • 30g Cacao Powder
  • 1tsp of Sweetener

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Method:

For the Base

  1. Place the nuts into a food processor  and mix until they are smaller chunks
  2. Add the dates and coconut oil and continue to mix for a further 2 minutes until the mix has combined. It should still be sticky.
  3. Spoon the mixture into your cupcake moulds and cover the bottom layer. Make sure you flatten this with a spoon to create a good base.
  4. Place the cupcake moulds in the freezer to set

For the jam

  1. Wash the berries and place in a medium saucepan with 2 tbsp of water
  2. Bring to the boil, the reduce the heat to a simmer.
  3. Roughly mash the berries, add the agave and chia seeds then simmer.
  4. Continue to stir the jam, to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan
  5. Remove from the heat and allow the jam to cool before serving
  6. Once cooled, remove your cake moulds from the freezer and spoon the mixture onto the base
  7. Take one single raspberry and place on top of the jam base, then put the cake moulds back into the freezer to set.

For the chocolate layer

  1. In a mixing bowl, add the cacao powder and sweetener.
  2. Then stir in the melted coconut oil
  3. Pour over the cup cake moulds for the final layer.
  4. Place in the freezer to set for several hours

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Chicken Stir Fry

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Inspired by travelling and my love for noodles, I wanted to create a spicy noodle dish to take me back to those hot days in Malaysia!

I went with Chow Mien, my favourite stir fry flavour! I adapted a recipe I already knew to make it more macro friendly and healthy! Who says healthy eating has to be boring.

This is so simple to make, packed full of flavour and the best part is that you can make extra and take it to work or college!

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Ingredients

  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/4 cabbage
  • Half a bag of bean sprouts
  • 1 large or 2 small chicken breasts
  • 2 nests of egg noodles
  • 1 tsp of coconut oil
  • 1 shredded carrot
  • handful of cashews
  • 1 red chilli, chopped finely
  • 1/2 tin of sweetcorn
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method

  1. Slice the chicken breast into cubes. Then marinade the chicken in the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and salt.
  2. Mix well and leave to marinade for 20 minutes
  3. Heat a wok or a frying pan with 1tsp of coconut oil and the red chilli which has been finely chopped.
  4. Add the marinaded chicken and fry on a low heat until cooked through.
  5. On a separate hob, add a pan of boiling water and cook the egg noodles until soft.
  6. Into the wok, add the bean sprouts, sweetcorn, carrot, cabbage pepper, onion and fry on a high heat until cooked.
  7. Transfer to a bowl, top with cashews and serve.

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Ha Long Bay

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As I was booking this trip, Ha Long bay was the main part that I was looking forward to the most; the beautiful islands and it’s turquoise sea.

We booked our tour through Ocean Tours which can be found in Hanoi, or this can be done through Hanoi Rocks. The staff here were very helpful and the guy who organised our trip was from the UK.

As we was staying in HaLong bay for the night we only did a day tour. But there were other tours which took you from Hanoi to Ha long bay and back to Hanoi in the night. In hindsight, this probably would have been better, even though we stayed in an AMAZING hotel (city bay palace) Ha long bay city centre didn’t have much to offer in terms of food or sights.

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Our day trip cost us $40 US dollars, which included transfers, boat, lunch, kayaking and the palace heaven caves. Definitely worth it!

The bus set off from our hotel about 9-9:30am, taking us to the docks where we boarded a beautiful boat, had lunch where we was served a huge variety of different foods from sea food, chicken to vegetarian.

As we proceeded to Ha Long bay we could roam the ship, go onto the top deck and admire the beautiful views!

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It was so breathtaking being surrounded by these thousands of islands. You can appreciate why it’s become a wonder of the world.

We sailed on the boat for an hour or so until reaching a small island where we was given the option to kayak or go in a bamboo boat which took you around Ha Long bay and through mini caves. It was the perfect way to soak in the beauty around you.

After this activity we proceeded back to the boat which took us to the heaven palace cave. Our tour guide told us it hadn’t long been discovered.

You walk up steep steps and into a small doorway which opens out into a huge cave, it’s impressive stalagmite and ….. formation was lit with coloured lights and formed various pictures depending on you’re own imagination. Once you’ve passed through the cave taking in mother natures impressive architectural skills you reach a viewing point with the whole view of Ha Long bay stretching for miles.

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After the boat tour we had a taxi into Ha Long bay city. A word of warning please please please be wary of the taxis you get into; make sure they have signs on the side of the car!

HaLong bay city itself was very rural, and appeared the least ‘tourist’ place we had been to. There was little restaurants or places to eat and as my friend is a vegetarian it was very difficult to get this across due to the lack of english. However it looks as though in the next few years it will be expanding due to the success of Ha Long bay itself.

Our hotel provided us with a private bus transfer back to Hanoi, which was very cheap and little did we know it was a VIP bus with blankets, wifi and usb ports… that’s how you backpack in style.

Ha Long Bay is one of those places where you can’t appreciate the true extent of its beauty until you’ve been there.

Our next stop…DaNang

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Good Morning, Vietnam

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Hanoi

The moment you step out into the street from the hostel you experience an overwhelming amount of traffic, people and mopeds….everywhere. I’ve never seen anything like it, the people of Hanoi do not walk, they drive mopeds, down small streets, on the pavements…literally everywhere! You definitely have to watch where you’re going, we found walking in single file was the best way to tackle this. Crossing the roads can be an impossible task in itself, red lights mean nothing here, people still don’t stop, so by the second day we adopted a tactic of ‘look for the gaps and run.’ Although there were a few locals that would help us across the road.

My experience of Vietnam so far is that the  people are very helpful, friendly and they will try their best to speak to you in English. Its not you’re typical ’tourist destination’ where the locals in some cities set up shops especially for tourists, trying their best to bring you into your shops and even some which can hassle you into buying their products. The locals in Hanoi are on the other end of the spectrum, I haven’t received any hassle to purchase anything since being here, the locals see you walk past and get on with your day. To be honest its rare to visit a place and not be overwhelmed by tourism, instead you can see the city in all its glory knowing that it will be exactly the same when you leave.

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Getting to Hanoi City from Noi Bai Airport

The city bus is the best way to get into the city, the driver and conductor are really helpful if you show them a map they will let you know when to get off so that you are close to your hotel. The bus can be located outside the main exit of the airport, cross a road and look for an Orange bus with number 86 on it. For a 30 minute journey it cost 30,000 VND (£1). Bargain!

Where we stayed

Hanoi Rocks Hostel – Located in Old Quarter, Hanoi.

I’m usually one for staying hotels…nice hotels, so this was my first experience of staying in a hostel, to be honest I didn’t really know what to expect. Its basically like dormitories, we shared a room with 20 people, male and female, there were plenty of toilet facilities and shower rooms to use as well, downstairs there was a bar/club which served free beer at 6pm and 10pm every night and a reception located at the front of the building. Complimentary breakfast was served everyday 7:00am – 9:00pm which included fruit, toast omelette and sweetcorn. We only stayed here for two nights in Hanoi, but it was a great first experience at a hostel, the staff were lovely, very helpful, if I was the typical ‘partying’ type backpacker I would have loved this hostel even more, but I think the loud music until 1am could annoy me if I was to stay longer.

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Sightseeing

The city of Hanoi encompasses beautiful lakes. The one near our hostel, Hoan Kiem Lake was covered in trees, flowers with a bridge crossing it which lit up red during the night, such a beautiful sight and makes for a great photo! For the price of 30,000VND (roughly £1) you can cross the bridge and enjoy a whole view of the city from the lake.

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Every night that we were there, Old quarter hosted a night market filled with thousands of different stalls selling; Thai pants, t-shirts, food, jewellery etc. It was also the only time in the city in which everyone was around on foot!

Hanoi is host to the longest mosaic wall in the world, however it is a bit of a nightmare to get to as its located along the side of a busy main road and you’ll need to walk over the bridge to get to it. Just be care of the traffic here and crossing the roads as my friend almost got run over by a moped at this point!

Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi, is a lovely little walk, as its like an open plan park, no traffic just the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, again its one of these areas where you can just walk around embracing the history.

We visited the Temple of literature on our first day, which cost 30,000VND to enter, but please be aware that you need to be covered to go in here so pack trousers and long sleeves! The temple was a host to beautiful gardens, with pink hanging lanterns and the ancient Asian architecture was everything I expected it to be.

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On day two we visited Hoa lo Prison situated in Hanoi city, again this costs 30,000VND to enter. The prison is a great way to get some historical culture about Vietnam, it gives you a tour of the buildings including prisoners cells which is very creepy, explains the history of the prison and the story of USA troops who were incarcerated there.

If you make your way over to the other side of the lake and towards ‘French Quarter’ you feel like you’re in a completely different country, its worlds away from the hussle and bustle of old quarter. This area has a more European vibe to it, the traffic is less, the architecture of the buildings in European in feel and the only problem with this area is the lack of authentic food, its mostly over priced western food catered to tourists, due to the time we was forced to eat in one of the places and it was not worth it! Stick to the local places if you can.

The walk through french quarter opens up into a space filled with Dior, Prada, Boss shops and a huge department store which could rival Harrods in London. Its crazy how one city could have different sides to it which are complete polar opposites! All of these shops are surrounded by Hanoi’s Opera House; a beautiful yellow building.

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Skyline rooftop bar can be difficult to locate in Old Quarter as its down a few ‘back streets’ so I would suggest finding it on a map first before setting out. But it is worth a visit! Located on the 11th floor of the hotel the skyline rooftop bar is a hidden beauty! The rooftop itself was filled with big chairs, glass barriers, candles and an amazing array of cocktails to choose from. From this view you can see the whole of Hanoi, stretching for miles and miles into the distance and at night the city just twinkles with millions of lights! The cocktails were pretty reasonably priced as well, if you’re like me from the UK you’re used to paying roughly £9-£12 for a decent cocktail, but here it was £4 and with THAT view, it was more than worth it.

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Hanoi is one of those cities where you can wander around all day and come across really pretty sights which the travel book may not even suggest, so get on foot and explore the city yourself it is worth it!

Food

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Cafes

Hanoi has the cutest cafes, in the most unexpected places. Lyns cafe near the west lake in Hanoi is the cutest little cafe and a great find for us! The cafe has a downstairs filled with settees and a vintage looking style which they seem to love here. We enjoyed Matcha Frappes and a Strawberry Frappe, which was delicious. I’m still longing to try egg coffee, I think that will be in Ho Chi Minh though.

La joules – Vegan restaurant.

Like many food/cafe places in Hanoi, the best things are hidden away in the most unlikely places and this restaurant was one of them. This purely vegan restaurant was small, but had a great feel to it with wooden tables and bamboo, the decor matched its menu perfectly. I had a potato curry with red rice and mango smoothie on the cutest little balcony which overlooked the street below. The food itself was amazing, full of flavour and spice, which I love!

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There are a lot of places to get street food in Hanoi, which are mostly meat on a stick or rolls filled with an omelette which are very popular. So if you’re into your street food there is a few places to try. The second day, in French quarter was a bit more difficult to find food as it was more popular with the tourist there was a lot of western restaurants which due to hunger we was forced to eat at and hated it. Bit of advice, if you want an authentic Vietnamese food experience, eat in Old Quarter.

I couldn’t believe how cheap it was here, although the money looks a lot it really isn’t. The most expensive meal I have had here was £5 and that was the western food, everything else is around £3 for a delicious meal! Even the taxis are so much cheaper here.

We spent two days here and although I feel like we only really saw a fraction of the city, it was enough for me. I love wandering around a place all day on foot, getting the feeling for the culture, seeing things that way not be in the travel books and trying the food. I felt like two full days was enough to embrace this beautiful city.

As a heads up…Vietnam has WiFi everywhere! I’m currently writing this blog whilst on a bus to the airport for the next leg of our journey….

 

 

Below is a link to a video I made of Hanoi and HaLong Bay which includes all our favourite bits from the city!

Enjoy!

Screw the scales.

If you follow me on social media you’ll see that I posted this picture yesterday. I wanted to expand on it in more detail though and thought my blog was the best place to do it!

The reason for this post was influenced by Facebook. I have so many friends who panic about putting on weight over Christmas, or struggling with diets consistently and all I see is them pulling themselves down over a few pounds, or how heavy they are etc. My Facebook friends know I train a lot, but I don’t share the same things I share on my Instagram or blog, so to them it must have come as a surprise to see how heavy I ACTUALLY am, and that’s why I wanted to do it, because I wanted them to feel better about their weight, or their journey.

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There’s a stone difference between these pictures…I know a STONE!

 

On the left I was 57kg, this wasn’t the beginning of my training, at this point I’d already put on half a stone. Most of that weight was just from eating properly again, if you’ve seen my other transformations you’ll know how skinny I was before this. At 57kg this was the point where I was eating still under <1000 calories a day, overtraining and exhausting myself for results. You see I wanted to have muscle, put not put on weight. It doesn’t matter how many people tell you “you need to eat to grow” I can tell you, you won’t listen until you decide to do it for yourself!

Why did I decide to change?

I was fed up of being exhausted, plus studying as part of my PT course and completing my nutrition course really benefited the way I looked at my training and what I was putting into my body. Because it’s simple really, to burn fat you need to burn off more than you consume and to gain muscle you need to be in a surplus.

Now I never weight myself because it’s toxic and can be obsessive, I just did this to prove a point…being heavier means nothing. I used to think it did, I used to think being a 1lb heavier was the end of the world, it would actually ruin my day. Ridiculous right? I threw my scales out and started taking progress pictures and writing down my personal bests.

Best thing I ever started doing!

So now at 63kg, I’m currently lean bulking, eating around 2300 – 2500 calories a day. Weight training 6 times a week and cardio session 3 times a week.

Each of my meals consist of healthy fats, carbs and protein. Even by doing this for a few weeks, I’ve noticed a huge difference in my appearance and training.

Guess what I’m still a dress size UK 6 – 8, everything fits me better, I have more confidence and feel more feminine than I did when I was skinnier.

I’ve toyed with the idea of competing for a few months now and I’ve decided not to do it. I think the women look amazing who compete and I really respect them for their dedication and training…that’s not easy. It’s not for me though, I’ve fallen in love with looking stronger, fuller and lifting heavier which is why I look up to women like Dana Linn bailey as motivation.

Basically, a number on the scale does not define you. It does not show your struggles, your progress, your personality or your beauty. Screw the scales ditch them and be proud of every little improvement you make! Remember it doesn’t have to be physical changing your mind-set is just as important if not more important!

 

Protein Gingerbread Cookies 


It’s officially Christmas week and nothing says Christmas like cookies…especially gingerbread cookies!
I’ve tried and tested this recipe a few times and i’m so happy with the results! These ginger cookies are macro friendly, crispy on the outside and slightly chewy in the middle! Yum!
Not to mention they’re gluten free, high in protein, rich in ginger taste and seriously addictive. What’s not to love!
This batter can even be shaped into gingerbread cookies and decorated as you wish.
I hope you enjoy these cookies and that you are all embracing the build up to christmas. Happy Holidays.

 
Serving: Makes 20 small cookies
Cook time: 8-10 minutes

 
Macros per cookie

  •  13g carbs
  • 2.4g fat
  •  2.3g protein

Ingredients

  •   130g of gluten free flour
  • 80g brown sugar
  • 40g of organic protein
  •  3 tbsp of agave
  •  1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

Method

1. In a large mixing bowl, add the egg, coconut oil, almond butter, brown sugar, all spices, salt, baking soda and mix together in a mixer.

2. add the gluten free flour and organic protein and stir with a wooden spoon.

3. Stir until a dough is formed, your dough should hold its shape.

4. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least an hour or preferably overnight.

5. Pre heat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius

6. Line a baking tray with parchment paper

7. Roll out small dough balls and place on the baking tray until all the dough has been used.

8. Place the tray in the freezer for 5 minutes

9. Then, remove from the freezer and bake for 8-10 minutes or until brown.

10. Please note, they will continue to form up once left to cool.

11. Decorate with frosting once cool and enjoy!

Chicken and sweet potato curry with cauliflower rice 

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Eating clean is hard. There’s no two ways about it. It’s hard work, some days it’s bland and some days you get fed up of eating the same thing. But it’s important to learn how to use the ingredients you have to make a tasty healthy meal.

This is why this chicken curry and rice is a great way to mix up your usual meals without any guilt.

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Ingredients

For the Chicken Curry 

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 sweet potato, skin peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 3/4 tsp of garam masala
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 1½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp red chilli flakes
  • small cup of water
  • 2tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • small handful of fresh coriander
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • thumb of ginger, peeled and chopped

For the Cauliflower rice

  • 1 cauliflower
  • handful of coriander

 

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Method

For the Chicken Curry 

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pan, until hot. Add the cumin seeds and fry, then add the onions and garlic fry until slightly golden brown.
  2. Drain the tinned tomatoes and add to the pan but keep the juice separate.
  3. To the pan, add the ginger, chilli flakes, chillies and all of the spices.
  4. Add the sweet potato and chicken, then continue to cook on a high heat.
  5. Once the meat has browned and some of the liquid has evaporated add the juice off the tin tomatoes and water.
  6. Simmer over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes.

For the rice 

  1. Cut the leaves and stem off the cauliflower and roughly chop into chunks
  2. Place the cauliflower in a food blender and blend in a high speed until broken down and a rice like texture is formed
  3. place the cauliflower rice in a bowl and cover with cling film and poke a few holes in the top
  4. place in the microwave on a high heat for 7 minutes
  5. roughly chop coridaner and fold into the rice once cooked 

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Chilli & Ginger Beef Stir fry


Food prep, eating six meals a day and trying to fill your macros isn’t cheap! If you’re like me most of your money goes on food!
You get into a certain routine with eating. It can be cheaper & more convenient to prep with frozen bulk meat – because food is just fuel right?
But I recently got sent some meat from leanmeatldn and OH MY the quality of meat was so good and lean i couldn’t wait to get cooking with it. Also you can’t beat meat that is sourced within your own country. 👊
Spicy Thai food is my absolute favourite, anything with chillies really. The extra lean beef chunks from leanmeatldn inspired me to create a chilli & ginger beef stir fry.

Recipe below guys hope you enjoy
!


Ingredients 

For the beef marinade 

  • 250g of lean beef chunks
  • 1/2 thumb fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 30ml Soy sauce
  • Chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp Agave

For the stir fry 

  • 1 large chilli chopped
  • 1 pack of ready to cook rice noodles – i used barenaked noodles
  • 1 stick of lemon grass, trimmed & sliced
  • 1 tsp of coconut oil
  • 50g of sugar snap peas
  • 50g of broccoli
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 3 spring onions trimmed and sliced
  • handful of roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 lime
  • thumb of ginger
  • handful of fresh coriander chopped

Method

  1. Rub the ginger and garlic all over the exposed meat and set aside
  2. In a bowl mix together the soy sauce, chilli and agave until the agave iscompletely  dissolved.
  3. put the beef chunks in a bag and pour over the soy mixture, tie and allow to marinate for at least an hour
  4. In a bowl mix the thinly chopped chilli with garlic, ginger and lemon grass.
  5.  In a pan add the coconut oil and allow the pan to heat up. Then add the chilli, garlic, ginger and lemon grass mixture and fry for 1 minute.
  6. Remove your beef chunks from the marinade and add to the pan to brown.
  7. Once brown add your broccoli, half of the spring onions and sugar snap peas. Fry for a further minute then add your noodles.
  8. Take it off the heat, add the lime juice, and top with fresh coriander and roasted peanuts.
  9. Enjoy!


Black Friday Sales!

Black Friday, the best day of the year for deals and I for one will be spending most of my money today… any excuse to shop really!

I wanted to share with you a couple of my discount codes, to help you get the most out of Black Friday!

V3APPAREL

Up to 70% off all items on their website at www.V3Apparel.com

Get an additional 10% off with code V3LAWFOODIE

 

MY PROTEIN

MASSIVE my protein deals for #Blackfriday

UP TO 70% OFF EVERYTHING + AN EXTRA 21% OFF

With Code: TWENTYONE

www.Myprotein.com 


TEAMI BLENDS

The Black Friday deal is Buy One Get One detox package for free with code is: FOODIEBOGO

Also get an additional 10% discount with code: LFOODIE

www.teamiblends.com


CREATIVE NATURE SUPERFOODS

Get 10% off with code LAWF10

www.creativenaturesuperfoods.co.uk


THE WHEY  

Get £5 off your first box with code THELAWFOODIE5

www.the-whey.com

Happy Shopping! 

Chocolate Orange Mousse Cups


I’m back! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted a recipe, but fear not, as its coming up to christmas, (my favourite time of year), I have a few festive treats to share with you all!

If you follow me on instagram you’ll know I love Muscle Mousse… its genius. High in protein, its so simple  and quick to make! Just add water…perfect. I wanted to add something more to this already tasty dessert and came up with these individual chocolate orange mousse cups, so cute and tasty!



Ingredients

For the base

  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1 cup of pitted dates that have been soaking in warm water until softened.

For the filling

  • Muscle mousse chocolate flavour
  • the juice and rind of 1/2 an orange
  • Dark chocolate bar

 

Method

For the base

  1. In a food processor, mix the dates on a high speed until they have broken down.
  2. Add the coconut oil, nuts and mix on a high speed until combined.
  3. Line cupcake tins with baking paper, then spoon the mixture into the tin, pushing the mixture to the bottom of the tin and around the sides to create a ‘cup’. Repeat this until all tins are filled.
  4. Place the tin in the freezer to allow the base to harden up.

For the mousse filling

  1. Follow the instructions on the packet
  2. Add the juice and rind of your orange and mix together
  3. Take the cups out of the freezer and spoon the mixture into each cup
  4. Roughly chop the dark chocolate bar and sprinkle on top
  5. Place in the fridge and allow to form
  6. Enjoy!


Egg Muffins 


There are rare occasions where I don’t eat oats for breakfast, shocking I know but it happens! Instead eggs for breakfast are another favourite of mine, it’s usually an omelette packed full of veggies! But it’s hard to prepare this before work, which is why these little egg muffins are perfect. All the flavour of an omelette, but they can be prepped the night before and even frozen.
The beauty of these is that you can throw any left over vegetables into them, so you can mix it up as much as you like to suit you! I also added Nude spice smokey spice mix for extra flavour!



Serves: 6
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time; 15minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp of nude spice mix
  • 1/2 Bell Pepper chopped into cubes
  • 1/2 red onion chopped into cubes
  • 1 handful of Kale
  • Coconut oil for greasing

Method

  1. Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Greasing your muffin tin with coconut oil
  3. In a mixing bowl, add the eggs, egg whites and whisk together.
  4. Add the nude spice mix, peppers, onions and kale to the egg mix
  5. Spoon the mixture into your muffin tin
  6. Bake in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Store in Tupperware or freeze until needed
  8. Enjoy!


6 week cut – Part one.

I’ve recently got myself into a bit of modelling, something i never thought I would enjoy…but i love it. It’s a great way to show that us strong girls are sexy too!

I’ve never done a strict cut before, but with a few photoshoots coming up it was something I wanted to look into doing. My good friend and personal trainer Daniel, designed a plan for me, him and two of our other friends to follow. Although our plans followed the same principle of carb cycling, the macros were tailored to us individually. Its so good doing this cut with others, we could moan about the lack of carbs, motivate eachother and be proud of each others progress!

Check out his facebook page Polaris Fitness for tailored diet plans, nutrition advice.

So when I started this I was 24% body fat and weighed 10.3 stone. My aim was to drop body fat without hindering muscle mass. I will weigh again once the 6 weeks are up and have my body fat re-measured.

Instead of posting a huge blog post from my 6 weeks I thought it would be better to split it into two posts…part one and part two.

  • So the cut was a high carb day, a low carb day & a no carb day; alternating everyday for 6 weeks.
  • When we lost 3lbs we earnt our cheat meal.
  • LISS everyday at 45 mins, with our heart rate not going over 140bpm

My Macros 

Please, please, please remember these are tailored to MY body, MY activity levels and MY weight.

High carb day

Protein 140g
Fats – 40g
Carbs – 230g

Low carb day 

Protein – 180g
Fats – 70g
Carbs – 115g

No carb day (excludes veggies) 

Protein – 230g
Fats – 90g
Carbs – 0g

A list of foods I’m eating.

Protein

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • White Fish
  • Steak
  • Eggs
  • Whey
  • Tuna

Fats

  • Avocado
  • Peanut Butter
  • Coconut Oil
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts

Carbs

  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Sweet potato
  • Oats
  • Fruit

Me being me, I obviously added protein pancakes, mug cakes etc to my meal plan but making sure they fit my macros.

Week One

I found it so much easier to plan and prep my meals each day. I didn’t mind eating the same thing throughout this process, food was fuel at this point and it would be easier for me to stay on track and hit my macros.

I’m not going to sugar coat this and say how ‘surprisingly easy it was’ no, no, week one I STRUGGLED! I gained a new found respect for anyone that competes!!

My problem is not that I struggle to cut carbs, eat less or be on a strict diet. My problem is that I find it difficult to eat ENOUGH, when you have macros to hit daily you realise how hard it is. On high carb days I felt like I was constantly eating, a bit like Bradd Pitt in oceans eleven.

Now if you’ve read my blog, you know how I feel about weighing, I hate it. But now I had to weigh again and a few days in, my bad habits came creeping back; wanting to hit that 3lb loss I became more focused on eating less than hitting my macros. By Friday I admittedly went 24hours without food. I was so ashamed and wanted to quit this cut, thankfully I had amazing support & made the personal choice to use progress pictures as a way to measure my progress and ditch the scales again. It was always going to be hard for me but hey, that’s years of fighting an eating disorder for you, apparently I’m still fighting that side of me.

After seeing the progress in the first week i was determined to start the second week fresh and do it properly. Below is start > the end of week one.


Week Two

Well, this week was a breeze compared to the previous week. I was getting used to the different days and even the zero carb days no longer phased me! At this point I still didn’t want a cheat meal, I didn’t need one so I decided not to have one. I’m sure many of you will say I should to keep myself sane and my body guessing but what’s the point in force feeding myself junk if I didn’t want it?

Throughout this week I was feeling leaner by the day; my leggings, shorts and other items of clothing were starting to get really baggy on me. Not weight loss, but more I could feel myself getting tighter.

Below is my progress from start > week one > week two. Again, I’m still not weighing but that’s my personal preference.

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Week 3

HALF WAY POINT!

The daily cardio is the worst part, purely because I’m used to doing High intensity interval training where its for a short period of time. Instead this steady cardio for 45 minutes is SO BORING! On the plus side its a great way to catch up on the TV series I have missed!

Wednesday, my high carb day; I stayed on track all throughout the day until I had my food cooked for me after work… An ‘American taco salad’ Mince meat, 2 large bags of Doritos crushed up, cheese, sour cream, guacamole… My kind of salad, followed by a couple of glasses of vino because it would be rude not to. This was the first cheat meal I’d had in two and half weeks and boy was it delicious!

I woke up in the morning feeling just as lean as the night before, it proves that one cheat meal wont ruin your progress,  just like eating one healthy meal won’t give you abs. Its important to enjoy yourself.

Friday, zero carb day. This was the first time throughout this cut where I hated it. It’s not even that I was craving junk food, I was just fed up of feeling like all I was doing was constantly eating. Boy was I in a mood, my poor work colleagues, listening to me moan about eating chicken, but I preserved and got through the day!

Waking up, Saturday morning ready to take my progress picture and was amazed by the results! All of my moaning the day before seemed so silly, when you see progress it makes it all worth while!

Saturday was a bit of a right off, after a night out and a couple of gins, I also ordered a dominoes at 3am. My second cheat meal in one week…oops. Woke up Sunday, feeling guilty because I had been doing so well, but no time to dwell on it, instead I got back on track and decided to have two zero carb days to make up for it. I was determined to make week 4 a good one!

So below is my progress from the end of week 3 and a comparison from the end of week one to the end of week three.

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Here’s to the next three weeks!

 

The reality of Feminism in the workplace.

Never ever be afraid to stand up for yourself and what you believe in. 
Recently I was ridiculed in an interview from start to finish by a grown woman, a partner of a law firm who slated me for my blog and for being so open and honest with my readers. 

She asked why was I so open;did I not care about discretion? She patronised me and told me I was ‘brave’, she further questioned my mental wellbeing and whether I was fit for the role in question. 

At first I wanted to cry, because she had upset me so much. But then I thought, why should anyone make me feel like this!? 
Since job seeking that was the second woman who had interviewed me and aggressively focused on my, looks, my personality rather than my work ethic. 

That’s why law firms are an absolute joke, I love law, it’s something i’m passionate about and something I’m damn good at! But these firms want a ‘legal robot’ some person who has no personality, no social skills and no back bone. 

The lady who interviewed didn’t like that I had hobbies outside of my law degree. As I explained to her, I share my experiences with my readers because it’s important that people know they aren’t alone, I get emails daily from my readers thanking me for being so open and honest. 

This blog isn’t about me, it’s about helping others, I don’t care how it portrays me. All I want is for one person to read it and think, that’s exactly how I feel. 

I wasn’t afraid to let the firm know I did not want the position and If I had been successful I would not have taken it regardless. I told the head of HR of my experience, to which they were concerned but I doubt the matter will go further. 

We all promote ‘women standing together’, ‘women looking out for eachother’ but in reality i’ve only ever been picked on by women! No man has treated me the way some women do, especially older women. 

Thank you for reading, I love blogging as a creative outlet and it’s a great way for me to get things off my chest! 

Lemon and Blueberry Mini Muffins


So I haven’t been giving my blog the much attention it needs lately, but interviews have consumed my life! Fortunately, I don’t have to deal with those stresses no more and have bagged myself a new role!
Anyway, I finally have time to post this lovely recipe…Lemon and Blueberry Mini Muffins. Light, fluffy, zesty and a great start to summer baking!

I hope you like the recipe and don’t forget to tag me in your creations!


Ingredients

  • 2 Medium Bananas (mashed)
  • The zest and juice of one lemon 
  • 1 tbsp agave
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries
  • 1 cup of plain greek yoghurt
  • 2 cups of rolls oats

 

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius
  2. Spray a muffin tin with non stick cooking spray. 
  3. In a food processor, add all of the ingredients bar the blueberries and blend together until a smooth mixture is formed. 
  4. Stir the blueberries in by hand
  5. Pour the batter into your muffin tin
  6. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the top of your muffins are set. 
  7. Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes before serving. 

 

No bake Rice krispy chocolate oat bars 


Being a law graduate is the hardest thing. As you know I left my job in pursuit of happiness, 1 week on i can feel my depression fading and i’m happier in myself…one thing missing my dream job.

I love law and i’m very good at law but these UK law firms think they can pay graduates minimum wage and work them to death without any career gains.

I’ve just got back from an interview at a law firm; throughout the interview I was made to feel as though I was over qualified for the job and repeatedly got ‘bad vibes’ from the lady who was interviewing me. Fortunately, I feel strong enough in my self to know my worth.

Anyways, let’s take it back to being a child. You know that time when you had a party and your mother would always make rice krispy cakes! Who ever came up with them was a genius.

Here’s my take on that childhood classic.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup of rice puffs
  • 1 bar of dark chocolate
  • 3/4 cup of chunky peanut butter
  • 2 cups of rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup of chopped almonds
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil

Method

  1. In a heat proof bowl, melt the chocolate and 1 tbsp of coconut oil in the microwave.
  2. Repeat with the peanut butter and 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  3. In a mixing bowl add the oats, puffed rice and almonds. Mix in the peanut butter and chocolate until all oats, puffed rice are covered.
  4. Place in a cake tin lined with baking paper. 
  5. set in the fridge for a few hours 
  6. Once set cut into slices & serve 

 

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