July 1, 2016No Comments

1st of the Month! – All change

all-change

Hello all my lovelies

Today is the first day of July and it signals big changes around the world, in the yea and most importantly on this blog.

Speaking to some of you, it seems a lot of you really enjoy these blog posts but we need a bit more consistency and a bit more planning so....here it comes.

From today I'm going to try and post once a day, every day. I'll be talking about lots of different things but the majority of them will be about your health, happiness and fitness. Not only that but I'll be categorising my posts and each day will be themed around a certain topic which are listed below.

Feel free to read them all, read only the days that you find relevant and more importantly try them out. I want to help you all think more about being healthier, being more aware and trying to make any changes, small or big to work towards your happiness and health.

Posts will start regularly from tomorrow so keep an eye out. If you want to help me spread the word, likes, follows, shares would all be much appreciated!!

Categories:

#StretchSundays - if you like a good stretch, love yoga, have never done yoga but want to try it out in the comfort of your own home or just learn more, this is the day for you! I'll be talking through some of my personal favourites, explaining them and even filming a few demonstrations for you to give a go

#MoveMondays - all my dance moves will be released on Mondays. I'll talk about the benefits of dancing, post some instructional videos and even talk you through a few of them

#TalkToMeTuesdays - I want you to engage, discuss, debate and yes, even disagree. I'll be putting up my opinions on various topics and asking yours

#WellbeingWednesdays OR #WetWednesdays - mid-week will be split and dedicated to two topics, general well-being and getting fitter and enjoying the water. This will be the day we might talk through meditation one week and the week after talk about how to improve your swim stroke

#ThrowbackThursdays - one of my favourites. I've already introduced this into my classes with a throwback tuned introduced on the first Thursday of the month but these posts could be anything. Music, dance, exercise or even old toys! Tying them back into your health

#FeedMeFridays - obviously no week would be complete without some food. These will be my favourite recipes, easy tips on how to stay healthy when out and about or even how to mix up your food prep in ways you might not expect

#SkinliciousSaturdays - completing our week will be our Saturday where we'll be taking a look at what goes on your body. The main focus of this will be  the amazing Tropic products but also we'll start sharing some extra knowledge and getting you to ask questions about your current regime

I hope you like the topics and like what's to come in the near future, I love writing them and sharing my thoughts with you all. If you want to have something specific shown then just drop me a line and I'll do my best to include it!!

Looking forward to what the future brings and remember, life isn't about getting to a destination it's the journey we take to get there.

Ciao for now x

April 21, 20162 Comments

Pesto chicken and vegetables

Pesto chicken

This is one of my favourite pesto dishes and so so flexible! This can be put into pasta, you can have it with quinoa, just as is with some delicious sweet potato fries. Just so many options!! Also, you can change the ingredients based on what's in your cupboard or fridge, the pesto is the best part.

Ingredients:
4 boneless chicken thighs
A handful of sweet cherry tomatoes sliced in half
A handful of frozen mushrooms
A handful of frozen broccoli broken up
1 portion of the amazing homemade green pesto
A mug of water

Super easy, all you do is throw it all in an oven tray and let it roast away for about 45 mins. Make sure all the broccoli is covered with liquid or you'll get crispy bits! Then either mix it with quinoa, pasta or however else you want it. I normally just have it with a flatbread and eat it like a chunky soup!

Enjoy

Ciao for now! x

February 6, 2016No Comments

Choco brownies – Sweet treats

MixBrownies

I made this recipe for the first time last night and they went down a storm. The look on people's faces when I said there were choco brownies that contained no chocolate was hilarious. Have to say, much easier recipe than expected and not too long to make either! Hilariously I can't even taste the mix due to my complete dislike of anything chocolatey! This one was inspired by the amazing Ella Woodward who's recipe book I always refer back to when looking for inspiration.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
400g of black beans (canned is fine)
200g ground almonds
200ml coconut milk
2 tablespoons of coconut milk
13 tablespoons of maple syrup
7 tablespoons of cacao powder
20 red apples
1 tablespoon of cinnamon

First, you need to make the apple puree. This is needed to help keep the mix sticky and stay together. Peel and core the apples cutting them into bite-sized pieces. Put in a saucepan with only about 2cm of water and boil for about 45 minutes or until soft. Once they have gone soft, blend it altogether or mash it as best as possible mixing in 3 tablespoons of maple syrup and the cinnamon. This can then be stored for about a week in the fridge or I usually freeze it and take it out when needed. For this recipe, you only need about 200g of this mix so freeze the rest once you've made a batch!

Next, put the chia seeds in a bowl with 140ml of water and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Turn your oven on to 180 degrees, 160 degrees for fan ovens.

Put everything into a blender and mix together with the chia seeds once they have soaked for 30 mins.

Line a baking dish with banking paper and pour the mix in, spreading it out so it is as even as possible.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until you can put a knife in the centre and it comes out without any mix on it. Then let it sit in the tin for 45 minutes. I know you want to eat it hot but honestly, this is when it starts to set properly so DON'T TOUCH it!

Cut into small brownie shapes and store in the fridge for about a week.

Enjoy and let me know how you get on!

Ciao for now x

January 22, 2016No Comments

Day 22 – Eggy soldiers!

Frying PanSoldiers on a plate

So to start with, let me make this very clear, this is NOT the most beautiful of dishes. To be fair, not many of my dishes are very pretty but they are good for you and they are delicious....I'm afraid I'm just not an artist with my food! Sorry!

This one is another alternative in the mornings. I love bread and I love eggs so eggy soldiers are my favourite thing ever. This is a slight variation on my usual as I had the most delicious home baked sour dough bread with seaweed in it made and sourced via one of the girls in my yoga class (her stuff can be found here http://www.arlenedunkley-wood.co.uk/)

Obviously the ingredients and recipe for this dish are minimal and simplistic, that's why you can be luxurious in your bread choice and go crazy with a delicious bread choice. If you can get hold of some of Arlene's please do as you won't regret it:

Ingredients
2 large organic eggs
Splash of coconut milk
2 slices of good thick slices of bread (though any will do)

Put about a quarter of a teaspoon of coconut milk in a pan to start warming up. Slice the bread into soldiers, about 2cm thick.

Beat the two eggs and the coconut milk together in a bowl and season with some salt and pepper.

Dip the slices of bread into the egg mixture and fry in the frying pan. Fry on each side until nicely browned.

Put on a plate with some cracked black pepper on top and enjoy!

It's that simple!!!

Ciao for now x

January 21, 2016No Comments

Day 21 – Sweet nut smoothie

Sweet nut smoothieThis is an amazing new smoothie recipe that I have stumbled across and made some of my own adjustments to. Try it out, maybe as another breakfast smoothie recipe and enjoy the delicious, creamy, nutty, sweet flavour.

Gosh it has reminded me of the amazing flavour so much I may just dash out and make another one!

Ingredients
125g frozen mango
2 tablespoons of almond butter
handful of frozen blackberries
2 tablespoons of yoghurt - the thicker the better. I used a lovely natural one that had fresh passion fruit in it which was so gooooood!
half a teaspoon of wheatgrass powder
100ml of coconut milk

Throw them all in your smoothie maker and blend up until smooth. Then sip and enjoy!

Ciao for now x

January 17, 2016No Comments

Day 17 – Mushroom and Asparagus Quinoa Risotto

RisottoToday's blog post is another delicious recipe. This one is both vegetarian and gluten free, not to mention yummy!!

This recipe is packed full of protein thanks to it's quinoa ingredients, not to mention all the good vitamins and minerals in the vegetables.

Very easy to cook, you just need a little bit of patience, as you do with any risotto.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
600ml of vegetable stock (preferably homemade but fine to use vegetable stock cubes)
100ml of boiling water
250g of quinoa
200g of mushrooms
5 asparagus stalks, chopped however chunky you like them
45g butter
20g of goat's cheese
10g of fresh flat leaf parsley
20g of Parmesan cheese - this is a luxurious addition so feel free to leave it out if you want

In a pan, heat one clove of garlic in the oil until it is soft. Add the stock and the quinoa to the pan and after about 7 minutes add half the mushrooms and keep stirring the ingredients constantly.

In another pan melt 15g of butter and the other two cloves of garlic and heat until the garlic is soft. Add the rest of the mushrooms and the asparagus and keep heating until both are nicely soft and coloured.

After about 12 minutes the quinoa should have absorbed the majority of the water so immediately add about another 50ml of boiling water and constantly stir. Let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes adding in the next 50ml boiling water very slowly and stirring constantly to ensure it does not burn or stick to the pan. After 20 minutes add the goats cheese and the parmesan if you are adding it. Put the lid on and let it sit for 5 minutes, with the pan off the heat.

Melt the last bit of butter to a pan and put the parsley in until the butter has melted.

To plate it up, add the mushrooms to the cooked quinoa and pour the parsley butter over the top and maybe add a little bit more of parmesan grated on the top.

Enjoy!

Ciao for now x

 

January 12, 2016No Comments

Day 12 – Breakfast Muffins

MuffinsSweet Potato

Apologies for the delay but it's been a bit of a hectic one today.

Anyway, building up to the important article about breakfast and how much you really don't want to be skipping it I thought I'd include another breakfast recipe. This is one of my favourites and such an easy one to make. These muffins are delicious and I usually make them up on a Sunday and they will last all week for when I want a quick snack or if I just don't have the time to make a proper breakfast. They are also fantastic for after a workout as you get a big hit of protein, carbohydrates and vitamins and minerals that your body will be craving

Ingredients (makes 12 muffins):
24 rashers of Turkey Bacon - In most supermarkets now, just look at the bottom of the normal bacon aisle. 24 rashers is usually about 3 packets. Turkey is packed with protein and so yummy!

10 eggs - Great protein hit

1 Sweet Potato - the good type of carbohydrate to help your body regain some fuel used during exercise or to get the energy you'll need through the rest of the day

Varied vegetables - this is where you can be a bit creative. The only rule is that you need about the same amount of vegetables to the same amount of eggs. For this batch I used a handful of broccoli, handful of peas and about a quarter of a white onion finely diced. You can use absolutely anything you have to hand however, experiment with the flavours and enjoy it!

Two handfuls of grated cheese - ideally mozzarella or feta but I used cheddar in mine. Some fats to help your body start it's day!

 

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Peel and dice your sweet potatoes. Remember to cut the pieces nice and small as you want small delicious pieces, not chunks half the size of the muffins. Roast them until they are nice and soft, usually takes about 30-45 minutes.

In a bowl, crack and whisk your eggs together. Then add the vegetables that you have chosen. Mine were all uncooked and all taken from the freezer and thrown in with 1 handful of the cheese and the roasted sweet potato pieces. Mix, mix and mix it all up again!!

Brush two cupcake holder trays with coconut oil and lay the 2 turkey bacon slices in each so that they slightly overlap in the middle (make sure the mix doesn't fall out the bottom). They end up looking almost like the petals of a flower.

Spoon the egg and vegetable mixture into each cupcake holder space, adding another little sprinkling of cheese on top.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. You want to take them out when they are nice and golden brown on top.

Let them settle and cool for a little bit or if you just can't wait attack them while they're warm! They are delicious and another excuse for you to NOT skip breakfast.

Ciao for now x

January 9, 2016No Comments

Day 9 – Breakfast baked eggs with avocado and tomatoes

Baked eggs and avocadoWhenever people talk to me about wanting to lose weight, or they are having issues losing weight or they want to be healthier, the first question I always ask is do you have breakfast?

Now, before reading on, do you have breakfast? It still amazes me how many people skip breakfast despite it being so important to your body. Yes if you skip it, it can cause you to put on weight in some situations but breakfast and the importance of it is for another post (even a smoothie shouldn't take too long to sort out).

Now one of my favourite breakfasts is mixing eggs, avocado and tomatoes in fantastic new ways and this recipe is just one of the ones I thought I would share. Obviously I served it with gluten free toast and lashings of butter but it was proper butter, not spread so that's better for you! Give this a go and try your own mixes too, next time I make it I want to add some chilli!

Ingredients
1 Avocado (I used one and a half because I had a spare half in the fridge that needed using)
5/6 cherry tomatoes, finely diced
2 eggs

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsuis and let's get started.

This is a very very simple recipe. Firstly, make sure the avocado is ripe, as if it isn't it will be really hard to mash and can sometimes be quite stringy. A good tip here is if you take the 'stalk' bit off the end of the avocado it can tell you the ripeness. If it's yellow, it's underripe, if it's brown it's overripe and if it's green it's just perfect!

Scoop out the contents of the avocado into a bowl, but keep the skins, making sure you remove the stone from the middle. Mash the avocado and the diced cherry tomatoes and add some salt and pepper to season. This is where I will add chilli in next time, cut very finely!!

Scoop the mix back into the avocado skins and make a small well in the centre. Where you made the well in the middle of both halves, crack your eggs. Now be warned, sometimes if you have small avocado and big eggs this can be a bit messy so I'd suggest putting the avocado skins on the baking tray at this stage so you don't have to move them later and spill the egg.

Put them in the oven to bake and now this timing depends on how you like your eggs. Runny eggs can take 12-15 minutes maybe, I like mine with none of the 'snotty' bits but not too runny a yolk (as I lose it as soon as I start eating it!) so I generally leave mine in for 15-18 minutes. 20 minutes or above will be a hard cooked yolk.

Then simply take out, add another splash of pepper, some buttered toast and devour. The creaminess of the avocado works so well with the sweet and tangy tomatoes and the runny hot yolks it's just delicious!

No more excuses for not eating breakfast!

Ciao for now x

January 4, 2016No Comments

Day 4 – Choco spread

FullSizeRender

Today's post is another recipe. It's day 4 into the New Year and you're probably struggling now with your sweet tooth reminding you that you haven't had anything 'naughty' for a whole week already!!

So a nice easy recipe for you today is my choco spread. Now strangely, I don't like chocolate of any kind but I do make a killer chocolate flavoured recipe that seems to go down a treat.

This recipe is nut based so the feedback I've had is that it tastes like the inside of a Ferrero Rocher so give it a try!! The spread can be had on pancakes, crackers or used in recipes for cookies to make them chocolatey too.

Ingredients
270g Hazelnuts
170ml Maple Syrup
110ml Water
3 heaped tablespoons of Cacao Powder
2 tablespoons of Coconut Milk

Lay the hazelnuts out on a baking tray and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 10 minutes, then take them out and let them cool.

Once they've cooled, throw the hazelnuts and cacao powder in a blender and whizz up until it's as fine as you can get it. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again until nice and smooth.

From this point it's down to personal preference. If you want it sweeter, add small amounts of maple syrup in, if you want it more chocolatey, add a bit more cacao, if you want it more runny then add a bit more coconut milk. Just remember to add small amounts, blend and taste as you can't take it out once it's in the mix!!

Enjoy and let me know what you have it with!

Ciao for now x

January 1, 2016No Comments

Day 1 – Hangover smoothie!!

SmoothieEvery day in January we'll be trying to share a little bit of information with you about how your body works and small things you could do to help you make positive change. The first step in being able to make any change is being able to understand what it does and how you can support your body so where possible we'll be trying to explain why things are good for you, not just tell you that they are.

Today is day 1 and we're looking at the hangover that many of you may have after any New Year antics.

The reason behind a hangover is still quite unclear in terms of scientific terms but what we can do is look at the symptoms that it causes and look to help sort those out. Dehydration, tiredness, headaches, aches, lowering of your immune system to fight back any colds or bacteria you may have running through the system.

So the best thing we can do is to address the way your body and look to swamp your system with antioxidants. Why antioxidants?

Well, to be put it relatively simple terms, antioxidants stop the 'bad' cells we have running around our system that can cause numerous issues, sometimes even leading to cancer as it causes our cells to mutate. That is why smoking, drinking and so many other things that are 'bad' for you can cause cancer, because they encourage cells to mutate.

Antioxidants are full of extra good stuff that your body can use that will help soothe some of your symptoms. It's not a hangover cure by any means but it might just help you to feel a little bit better. So let's make a smoothie that will help you get more good stuff back into your body.

The quantities of the ingredients are less scientific as you should really play with how much you personally want in it depending on the flavours you like most, but below is my favourite mix:

Ingredients
3 medjool dates - adds sweetness. Full of carbohydrates, proteins and good calories. Rich in potassium, dietary fiber and copper. Great for helping with the absorption of iron, generating energy, producing red blood cells, regulates blood pressure as well as high in anti-oxidants

Half a frozen banana - helps to regulate blood sugar, full of iron and fiber, creating white blood cells as well as a natural antacid.

Handful of frozen strawberries - Full of antioxidants, fiber and copper. Helps build your immune system, protect your eyesight, helps fight cancer, helps produce collagen which help restrict wrinkles, helps fight bad cholesterol, reduce inflammation of the joints and helps regulate blood pressure just to name a few of the benefits

Handful of frozen blueberries - Full of fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants. Improves the health of your heart and brain as well as helping to fight cancer

Teaspoon of wheatgrass powder - full of chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals, rich in proteins and full of 17 amino acids. The list of benefits and help to the body is extremely long so let's just say it's amazing to have some wheatgrass in your body regularly

Half an avocado - full of great fats for your body. Yes, I did say GOOD fats. We'll go into fats in another post for now, let's just say it's good for you. Good for cardiovascular health, improving your skin, weight loss, helps diabetics maintain their blood sugar level and helps with arthritis

Coconut milk - enough to cover 75% of the way up the things you've put inside. If it's too thick you can just add more coconout milk and it's dairy free so a good lactose free alternative. Full of fibre and loads of vitamins and minerals and fats that can help lower cholesterol levels

Once you've got your list of ingredients just through them into a smoothie maker and whizz up until it's as smooth as you want it. Sip and drink it, preferably for breakfast and it will be sure to give your body a lot of the goodness it's probably missing with that hangover.

Enjoy and Happy New Year!!

Ciao for now x

 

 

  
ShakeUp are a group of individuals who want to change lives with smiles.

Newsletter sign up