Great blogs of fire! 

So, firstly I have to apologise for my distinct lack of blogs. The Summer holidays have hit me like a wet fish in the face and left me wandering around in a haze of fog, facts, figures and fatigue. Even though we home Educate our son, we do tend to take a break for the Summer holidays. As much as for myself as for my beloved. Time to catch up with friends who go to mainstream school and lap up the sometime Sun (ahem). So like most people, the lack of structure can really throw me off.

Our beautiful woodland ⬆️

But when I sit back and ask myself if I’m doing enough to fill the days or achieving the goals I’ve set for work, I realise that I actually go way above and beyond what’s required. We do a lot and I love that we do but sometimes it’s good to sit back and take stock. Let the beloved be bored for once, take a break from worrying about life, pour a large cup of whatever and relax………:)


Lido love ⬆️

I was poorly a few weeks back and my wonderful friend brought me round a ‘self care basket’ it was one of the loveliest gifts I’ve ever received and much needed. It opened my eyes to the fact that I always seem to leave myself til last. Since receiving that gift I’ve definitely put aside some time each day to meditate and write and it’s been so beneficial.

That wonderful friend has written a fantastic blog on self care. Take a look at her site.

⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️

http://www.everydaytalessite.wordpress.com
One thing I am super proud of, is the fact that I finally completed my course and am now a qualified nutritional therapist, yay! It means I, along with my partner are one step closer to going live with our business.  So watch this space……:) I can tell you that it involves food, lifestyle and fitness but the rest will have to wait…..It will be worth it, promise!


Feed me Seymour! 

So I couldn’t leave you without posting something on food. Afterall, it is the greatest love of my life…..well, after my 2 beloveds of course.
As a busy mum, I’m always looking for quick and easy food to make. Still focussing on health and taste but something you can throw in a pot or baking tray, engulf with herbs and serve.

Step forward halloumi, yes that salty block of gorgeousness is my new favourite cheese and goes beautifully with roasted veg,


Roasted halloumi & veg salad 

Or salad, or just grilled on its own. The saltiness adds so much taste, you hardly need to season. I just drizzle some olive oil and black pepper to some leaves and devour.


Or make some halloumi kebabs and pop on the BBQ. You just can’t go wrong 🙂

I’m working on some new taste sensations and will be sharing those real soon. Until then, enjoy some Summer Sun, embrace your you and keep cooking. Love to you all xxxx

Great balls of….chocolate heaven! 

These raw chocolate bombs are so moorish, they only lasted a couple of days! Delicious and so good for you. Full of antioxidants and energy giving proteins and so simple to make.

I always make sure I buy unrefined organic ingredients and the best coconut oil in my opinion is pure extra virgin coconut oil. It hasn’t gone through any process to strip it of its goodness. If you suffer with a sweet tooth, these will satisfy your craving without sending your blood sugars into orbit and the cacao content will fill your body with the important antioxidants it needs.

Ingredients 

For the Centre

1 1/2 cups ground almonds or a mix of walnuts and almonds if you prefer the inside to be a bit more moist.

1 tbsp coconut oil

10 pitted soft dates ( medjool are great)

1 to 2 tbsp cacao powder ( depending on your taste)

1/2 cup chopped roasted hazelnuts for sprinkling at the end

For the chocolate 

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup cacao powder

About 4/5 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla essence

Method 

Pop all your centre ingredients into a blender and blitz until everything is blended. You want the consistency to be fairly sticky, so it’s easy to roll into balls.

Roll into balls and place on baking parchment. Pop them into the fridge while you make the chocolate.

Chocolate 

Put your coconut oil in a pan and melt on a low heat. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and stir with a hand held whisk. Then add the cacao, whisk until the powder has completely dissolved and leave off the heat for about 5 minutes, stirring a few times.

Grab your balls and then dip in the chocolate. Place the balls into a tray with baking parchment on. You may need to spoon more chocolate over the balls for complete coverage. Sprinkle some roasted chopped hazelnuts over the top and then freeze. They take about 30 minutes to set.

I like them straight out of the freezer, the chocolate has a crisp crunch but the inside is still fairly soft. Yum!


I hope you enjoy making these, they are so delicious:)

Happy Hump day all xxx

Caramelised onion & aubergine bake……

Here’s a recipe to tickle your tastebuds. Simple, quick and melt in the mouth delicious.

It’s a great one to prepare in the morning and just pop in the oven at dinner time. It even tastes yummy cold, the day after. Sounds perfect to me 🙂

Ingredients 

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 large aubergine (sliced length ways)

1 courgette (sliced length ways)

1/2 cup pine nuts

2 large beef tomatoes (thinly slices)

3 large red onions (thinly sliced)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp chilli powder

Salt and pepper

Grated cheddar cheese

Method 

Turn your oven onto about 180/200 fan asst


Start by frying off your red onion and pine nuts in the coconut oil, season and cook for about 10 mins on a low heat. Add your tomatoes, chilli and cinnamon and cook until the onions have caramelised. About another 15 mins. Leave to one side.


Add your slices of courgette and aubergine and a little more coconut oil, if needed. They literally only need a couple of minutes. You just want to soften them a little. Turning once.

Start layering your baking dish. I put the tiniest bit of coconut oil on the base, then the onion mixture. Followed by aubergine and courgette, then the grated cheese. Repeat but make sure you completely cover the top with cheese.

Bake for about 25 mins and then serve.


No nasties in this meal, just a sumptuous sweetness from the onions and a hint of heat from the chilli.

I hope you enjoy cooking and eating this 🙂

Happy Tuesday all xxx

Cacao and it’s benefits….


(Cacao & hazelnut choc pots)

I use raw cacao powder in pretty much all of my raw bakes. It is rich in flavour and is packed full of antioxidants, containing 20 times more antioxidants than blueberries! In fact it contains the highest antioxidant levels of any natural foods on Earth. Making it one heck of a superfood and far superior than regular cocoa or processed chocolate. The health benefits are ridiculous, containing calcium, protein, magnesium, riboflavin and carotene. A natural mood enhancer and fantastic for balancing hormones.

The Theobrama Tree ( The cacao beans or seeds come from this tree, are roasted and ground to make cacao powder)


Last week I made some delicious chocolate hearts. They were so easy to make and definitely sorted my choc fix out. I use the mixture for the topping on my caramel slices too.


Ingredients 

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup cacao powder

4 tbsps maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla essence

Method 

In a pan on a low heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and stir. Then pour all the cacao powder in. I use a metal whisk and stir until the powder is cooked out. It should look shiny and shouldn’t be too thin or thick.


Pour it into moulds of your choice and then freeze.


(I added chopped hazelnuts to the mixture above)

Once you take them out of the freezer, they do need to be eaten sharpish, otherwise they will melt.

I’m working on a recipe to help them stop melting and last longer, so watch this space 🙂

Protein balls 


Mix a 1/4 cup of cacao powder

10 dates

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 1/2 cups of almonds & walnuts

Blitz up and then roll into balls. I rolled the balls in coconut to give a bit more texture. Freeze and take out as and when.

Cacao is now stocked in most supermarkets, try to buy organic raw cacao, as this is the least processed kind and therefore much better for you.

More recipes to follow on my next blog 🙂

The ups and downs of living with chronic pain…

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and there are a good few reasons why. I live, like we all do, day to day, ‘getting on with it’ but sometimes the pain just gets the better of me. It wipes me out and leaves me feeling utterly unable to function. Chronic Migraines are totally debilitating, they are the enemy and I despise them.

The hard part is never really knowing when one might sneak up on me. This weekend we went to see The Stone Roses, I woke up so exited and full of beans, but by 1 o’clock I could feel a twinge in my right eye. I tried to ignore it, hoping it would just go away but alas, no. I was determined to watch the band, so we did. I managed most of the gig but the pain was unbearable and we had to leave early. It’s times like those that really get to me. I mean, why did I have to get another migraine??

I’m angry, can you tell………

At least I’m seeing a neurologist soon……well I say that, but the waiting time is 3 months and even then you have to travel to a hospital in Timbuktu to be seen! I’m not saying I have some inexplicable illness, but wouldn’t mind ruling a few things out.

We will see and in the meantime, like anyone living with chronic pain, I will nobly pull myself together and give a good smile and chat to those I meet.


It’s not all bad though, my love of creative cooking was born from these heads of mine. Forever in pursuit of answers, I’ve loved researching, creating and eating of course, foods that help prevent migraines. And in doing so, have discovered a love affair with food.


Raw salted caramel and chocolate slices

Cutting out refined sugar was a revelation. No longer do I have blood sugar spikes and my energy levels are far better than they’ve ever been. Of course, good healthy fats have a lot to do with that too. I always eat fat and protein first thing now. Before I would eat fruit thinking it was a healthy option and don’t get me wrong, fruit is fab in small doses but definitely not something to be eaten first thing. Even natural sugars can spike blood sugar levels, leaving your body fighting to keep up with itself all day. Which would explain low energy and hyperglycaemia. Whereas healthy fats and protein keeps your body going at a regular pace.


Herby broccoli rice and stuffed peppers 


So not much of a blog but a rant. Sometimes we really do need to though, don’t you think? The Summer Sun and spending heady (pardon the pun) evenings down the beach has been such a help, so let’s rejoice in that for now 🙂


I’d be so happy to hear from any other sufferers out there. Feel free to comment or message me.

Lots of love to you all cxxx

Hot and spicy courgetti noodles in a Thai style broth….


This recipe went down a treat, with chilli heat and crunchy vegetables, it makes for the perfect lunch or dinner. Is low in carbs, super filling and totally delicious 😋

Ingredients 

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 large red onion (roughly chopped)

1 large red pepper (sliced)

1 cup broccoli (break into small flourettes)

1 1/2 cups mushrooms (cut in half)

1 large or 2 small courgettes ( I make them into ribbons by using a peeler length ways)

2 tsp hot chilli powder

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 cup of tamari (gluten free soy sauce)

1/4 pint of water

1 cup of chopped coriander

1 tsp chilli flakes to garnish

Method

Using a wok, add your coconut oil and onion and fry for a couple of minutes. Add all your other vegetables (apart from the courgette)and spices and fry off for about 5 minutes. Add the tamari and coriander and stir for about 2 minutes. Then add your courgette ribbons and water. Summer for about 10/15 minutes. Keep tasting. I do sometimes add a bit more spice or chilli heat.


Serve In a bowl and garnish with fresh coriander and chilli flakes.
Happy Monday to you all 🙂



Lemon, coconut & almond protein balls…..

So I tried a variation on these last week, thanks to my friend and was instantly taken by how light and zesty they tasted. A really nice change from the usual cacao protein balls I make.

They are so simple to make and are packed full with flavour and nutritional goodness. Lots of so-called power bars or energy bites on the market, are unfortunately loaded with sugar and gluten, to name but a few ingredients. They may well contain protein but are packed out with things like maltodextrin, a filler known to spike blood sugars because of its high glycemic index, or fructose, another ingredient which is not great for our bodies. Given that the only organ in our bodies to utilise it, and not in a good way, is the liver. Over eating of fructose can cause the liver to overload, turning the fructose into fat. Always check the ingredients but better still, just make your own protein bars.

So to my balls………

Ingredients 

1 cup ground almonds

Grated rind of 1 lemon/ Orange works too

7 medjool dates

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 1/2 tbsp dedicated coconut

Pinch of salt

Method 

Pop all of your ingredients into a blender and mix for about 15 seconds or until the mixture holds together.

Roll into balls and then pop in the freezer.


No nasties, just pure protein from the almonds and chia seeds and natural sugars from the dates. A seriously great choice of snack for energy and nutritional value.

Happy Tuesday all xxx

The benefits of spicing up your life! 

Tomato & coriander curry on cumin, chilli and cinnamon infused broc-cauli rice

I love spice. The hotter the better actually, but not at the expense of taste. I spent a few months in India about 10 Years ago and was totally blown away by the use of wonderfully colourful, natural ingredients and how spice was used to enhance The dishes. Having only ever eaten Indian food in the UK, I realised just how unauthentic it tasted and how it nearly always gave me a bad tummy. In India everything tasted so fresh, full of flavour and was incredibly cleansing.


Curried roasted cauliflower & chilli hot tomato chutney 

Since finding alternatives to pasta, rice and potatoes, I’ve definitely rediscovered my love of herbs and spices, from jazzing up Swede, to infusing cauliflower rice. You can never have too much flavour in my opinion  and it more than often comes from spices such as, cumin, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon and chilli. I am allergic to garlic, so I really needed to find ways to inject flavour into my meals. As always I would throw ‘a bit of this and a bit of that’ at the pot and wait to see if it had worked. After a couple of attempts, I found the spices that worked and they have turned out to be the base for most of my curries.

The benefits of spice 

Cumin- Is known to boost the immune-system, aid digestion and help with insomnia, respiratory issues and dermatological complaints.

Cinnamon- is fantastic for any inflammatory conditions, packed full of antioxidants, fights infections and diabetes.

Chilli powder- is extremely powerful stuff and can improve insulin levels, contains a huge amount of vitamin C, great for your hair and skin and can seriously boost energy levels.

Paprika- is loaded with carotenoids. vitamin A, vitamin E and is packed with iron.

Cardamom- Cardamom is part of the ginger family and helps with digestion, gut health, bloating, constipation and heartburn.

Turmeric- This is most definitely the ‘superfood’ of the spice World. It contains huge medicinal properties, is an extremely powerful anti-inflammatory and hugely high in antioxidants. It has been known to work as an anti-depressant and to help with arthritic conditions. Taken with black pepper, it is more easily absorbed.

Cayenne pepper- Regulates blood sugars within the body and aids digestion. Relieves tired muscles, can reduce your appetite and help with weight loss. It also helps with respiratory issues by opening the airways.


So not only does spice enhance flavour but it is so damn good for you. Quite frankly, it should be quaffed every blinking day!

In the next couple of days I shall be posting some new recipes to tantalise those tastebuds, all with spice in mind 🙂

Have a great evening all 🌶 Cxx

Getting creative with veggies & why low carbs could be the key to weightloss and well-being….

I bang on about Swede a lot but there’s good reason for this. For so long, Swede has been popped in a box and brought out for Sunday lunches and the odd bit of mash. I remember it always being a bit lacklustre and the texture wasn’t much better, just watery and not great, to be honest.

When I started cutting down on carbohydrates, I had to become more creative with other vegetables. The Swede is packed with vitamin A & C and is cull of fibre and calcium. It has 9g of carbohydrate which is much lower than sweet potato, which contains 20g and potato, which has a whopping 30g! For weightloss, eating low carb foods can be ultra effective. The higher the carb content, the higher the insulin running around the body and insulin instructs your body to store fat and block the fat already in your body. Lowering your carb intake, means the body will start burning fat, which will increase energy levels and aid in maintaining your weight.


Which of course is why adding healthy full fats and protein to your diet is so much better than carbohydrates for your body. They are easier to burn and so much better for your body.

Back to the Swede! 


Tonight I literally cubed 1 whole Swede, boiled for 25 minutes and then sautéed them in:

2 tbsp coconut oil

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp hot chilli powder

2 tsp paprika

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp turmeric

And a couple of pinches of Himalayan ground rock salt.

Fry until golden brown and slightly crispy and serve with a hot tomato curry or on their own with a lemony yoghurt or coconut cream dip.

They are delicious, nutritious and so easy to make.

Enjoy 🙂

 

How to heal the right way…..


To say it’s been a crazy few weeks, would be an huge understatement. I have found myself sinking into self pity at times, as I entered what has been the worst migraine episode I’ve ever encountered. This has resulted in a fair few trips to the Doctors and a lot of time spent in bed, dealing with horrendous, debilitating pain. I have been able to manage my migraines for some time now, by cutting down on carbohydrates and sugar and eating more healthy fats. I feel so much better, fitter and more in control of my body, than ever before. Which is why it is so frustrating to still have these chronic pain episodes. So, not one to be defeated, I decided to try cranial osteopathy. I have scoliosis and was wondering if this was having an effect on my head. The results were extremely alarming and after the first treatment, it most definitely was a ‘get worse before better’ scenario. Not good. It was, however, enlightening to be seen by someone who totally read my body and could treat it accordingly.

The worst part of being so poorly is of course the pain but also the aftermath of a migraine. The Postdrome phase. You are unable to form sentences, are so fuzzy headed and feel unbelievably exhausted. My love for cooking and baking had to take a back seat too, which was hugely upsetting. Thanks to my beloved family and friends, we did eat, phew! I just had to relinquish control for a while :(.

What’s next?

A brain scan, a neurologist appointment and more treatment. Best to rule stuff out and then move on methinks……in the meantime however, meditation, good, feed the soul food, long mindful walks and plenty of positive affirmations will get me through.

Oh and getting back in my domain, the kitchen. I’ve cooked a few batches of my delicious caramel slices recently & administered them to those in need, including myself.


Everyone goes through tough times, we are all human. I think that’s why I’ve written this post really. Staying positive and thinking healthy, will give you hope. And hope is so important, it gives you the strength to continue…..love to you all 🙂