31.8.15

Why are Mediterranean diets so healthy?

Over the past couple of years, I've really focused hard on eating well, or more like, finding balance. I'm always interested to hear of new ways to eat, and like to look into these different ideas to see what parts of them I can take and apply to my life and how I want to eat.


I was invited to review a copy of The Mediterranean Zone written by Dr Barry Sears and jumped at the chance. I'd never heard of The Zone and my knowledge of the Mediterranean diet is probably highly sourced from stereotypes of pasta, pizza and bread!


“Let food be your medicine, and the medicine be your food.” Hippocrates 


What is The Mediterranean Zone? 

The tagline of the book is "For a longer, leaner, healthier life". That's kinda what we're all working to achieve, right?! The book focuses on losing excess body fat, how to reduce inflammation and balancing your plate.


The Mediterranean Zone is a physiological state in your body where you have optimised ability to control inflammation. By reducing inflammation, you lose excess body fat, return to wellness and slow the ageing process. The diet is teaches you how to balance your meals to optimise your hormonal response to food and thus reducing inflammation.

The book suggests that the best way to describe the diet is as a moderate-protein, low-glycaemic-load diet.

What are the health benefits? 

According to the book, increased inflammation leads to increased levels obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer's. Essentially, following an anti inflammatory diet is a way to reverse the current crisis that the human population seems to be in.

The book talks a lot about omega -3 (O3 - good) fatty acids and omega -6 (O6 - bad) fatty acids (in addition to polyphenols). Our diets have seen us increase the amount of O6 and decreased levels of O3 which turn off and resolve the inflammatory response allowing the body to return to normal.

By following The Zone principles you can expect to feel less hungry, increased energy levels, better able to handle stressful situations as well as other markers in your blood chemistry.

How does it work? 

At every meal, you divide your plate into three equal sections; one of low fat protein and two of colourful carbohydrates (primarily non starchy vegetables and and small amounts of fruit). Finally, you add a small dash of fat (mono-unsaturated or low in omega 6 and saturated fats) such as olive oil, guacamole or nuts. If you've balanced your plate correctly, you shouldn't be hungry for the next five hours.


With such simple guidelines, this makes The Zone compatible with all dietary philosophies; think whole30, paleo or even vegan. If you'd like to know more about The Zone Diet, check out their website.


The book is jammed packed with science, recipes and references to back up it's claims and whilst reading it to write this post, I also got a chance to try out some of the snacks which comply with the principles of 40-30-30 (carbohydrate, protein, fat) from EnerZona. I got to try the crispy vanilla snack bars, dark chocolate mini rocks, crackers and a meal nutrition bar (which I haven't eaten yet). I've eaten all the snack bars (and didn't think to take a picture), all the mini rocks (and got the one pic in this post) and am as we "speak" munching on the crackers! So I guess that's a thumbs up from me for taste and knowing that all the thought has already gone into the recipes to make them balanced makes me feel that little bit better!

What's your view of a Mediterranean diet? How does The Zone Diet sound to you?! 


Elle :) 

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28.8.15

Cooking with Chestnuts w/ Merchant Gourmet

A few weeks ago I got to pop along to a Christmas in July event hosted by Merchant Gourmet. Like me, you may know them better for their pre prepared puy lentils which are amazing to add in salads but they have a bigger range of products which include whole chestnuts and chestnut puree. The aim of the event was to inspire us to use chestnuts in our cooking; I first tried a chestnut either last Christmas or the one before and was pleasantly surprised that I actually like them! With such limited experience of them I certainly hadn't considered using them to cook with!

I took some pictures at the event which are enough to get anyones mouth watering! I also have the recipe for my favourite creation from the lunch!





Roast Cod Squash Bacon and Chestnuts with Lemon and Butter



"This is a glorious combination of sweet, succulent and salty with the butter giving it a smooth finish and the lemon adding a sunny smile." By Merchant Gourmet Cook, Alex Mackay

Meal Type: Main
Cooking Time: 30-60 minutes
Dietary Options: Gluten-free


Ingredients
3 tbsp vegetable oil (you could use goose fat for a little treat)
12 shallots, peeled
Half an average sized (1kg) butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, cut to roughly the same size as the chestnuts
1, 180g pouch of Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts, separated
150g bacon lardons
120g unsalted butter
1, 20g-25g bunch (average supermarket size) of flat leaf parsley, leaves picked from the stalks
4 filets of cod, 150g each, skin on (you could also use pollock or hake)
Zest of 1 lemon and 2 tbsp juice
2 tbsp water
Salt, black pepper and sugar

Instructions

Prep ahead: The shallots, squash and chestnuts can be prepared, up to the point of roasting, hours or even a day ahead.

Pre-Heat your oven to 230C/Gas Mark 8, upper middle shelf. Boil your kettle. Put a bowl next to your cooker to drain fat into. Heat a low sided baking tray just large enough to hold the vegetables with 1 and 1/2 tbsp of vegetable oil, for 5 minutes in the oven.

Add the shallots and squash to the baking tray. Season with salt and pepper and toss them until they are well coated with the oil. Roast for 15 minutes, turning the vegetables once and basting with a heatproof brush. Add the chestnuts, a third of the butter and the bacon. Roast for 7-10 minutes more or until golden.

Get a large frying pan very hot with 1 and 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil. Season the cod. Fry on the flesh side over a very high heat for for 2 minutes. Lower the heat slightly, drain the fat into the bowl next to your cooker, add a third of the butter and fry for a further 2 minutes, turn the cod then fry for 3-4 minutes until the skin is crisp and the cod is just cooked through.

Put the cod on top of the roasted vegetables and chestnuts. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and water to the pan. Bring to the boil. Stir in the remaining butter and the parsley. Turn off the heat, season to taste.

Spoon the cooking juices over everything except the cod skin. Serve from the baking tray.

...and Enjoy :) 


Elle :) 

27.8.15

Swim Dem Crew: Katherine's Story

Whilst on my journey to learn to swim so I could take part in my first ever triathlon, I came across Swim Dem Crew. They ended up playing a pretty crucial role in my journey; it was with them that I first entered a 50m pool and a pool with a deep end! Watching their journey inspired me on mine and I wanted to share some of that with you!

Recent research from the Amateur Swimming Association found that one in five adults couldn’t swim. With this insight, Run Dem Crew lynchpin Charlie Dark, and ex-Blue Peter presenter Andy Akinwolere, introduced Swim Dem Crew (based mainly in East London) – an exciting new cultural youth movement launched in January 2015 that set out to get more young people into the pool and overcome their fears of swimming - supported by Speedo. 



My fitness buddy, Katherine, has been a part of the movement from day 1 and kindly scribbled her story down so I could share it with you...

Katherine: When I was younger, at my school in France, we were forced to go to swimming "lessons", which were part of compulsory PE classes. Sadly, these weren't really classes, but more like one-hour slots where a teacher would force kids to jump into the pool and yell at them while they have to swim X number of lengths. I had never had a swimming lesson in my life even though my parents considered I could swim because I knew some sort of underwater breaststroke I kind of picked up from my dad. Everyone thought I looked pro because I would dip my head in the water, even though in reality, I didn't know how to swim while keeping my head above water. The irony. I hated the swimming sessions so much because I was too slow since I couldn't swim freestyle, and was too petrified in the water under the pressure that I ended up always hyperventilating. It got so bad, that I ended up getting a medical certificate to be excused from the swimming sessions.


Katherine asks, "If not today, then when?!"


Nearly two years ago, I met my now boyfriend who had swum competitively for over ten years. When we went to the pool together for the first time, he taught me that my breaststroke wasn't actually a breaststroke. I also tried for the hundredth time to breathe on the side and do some front crawl, but in vain. A few weeks later, I ran into a post on Facebook about a swim challenge with Swim Dem Crew, because I had some friends who were part of Swim Dem and Run Dem. I thought, I got all sort of injuries lately from long distance running, and I really want to prove to myself and to the ones I love that I know how to swim, so that's why I emailed to sign up. Even though I never, ever thought I would actually have the strength to make it from 0m front crawl to one mile in open water in the space of a few months, I said to myself, if not today, then when?


"I never realised how a journey like this about learning how to swim would turn out to be one of the most incredible human adventures I have experienced."


Through the following five months, I learned a lot from the people around me, the coaches, the people making Swim Dem (Nat, Peigh, Danny & the rest of the crew), the Swim Challenge Crew (every single one of you), and Matt from the Stoke Newington Reservoir. I never realised how a journey like this about learning how to swim would turn out to be one of the most incredible human adventures I have experienced. There were difficult times, like when I had a full-blown anxiety attack in the middle of the pool when trying to do timed distances front crawl at the beginning, and shed my first tears in the water. The time when I didn't even manage to swim in the cold water of the Stoke Newington reservoir and had to get dragged out by a lifeguard on a kayak during my first open water swim. But I also remember how after losing faith completely, I went back to the same reservoir a couple of days later, and jumped in and just made myself feel at home in the water. Then there were those times when the people from Swim Challenge were there for me. They showed that they believed in me, and that we were in something huge together, but that most importantly, we, as a team, were bigger than the challenge itself. I saw people give up. I saw people try even harder and prove that giving up was not a way out.


People don't realise how hard this was at times, but regardless, sticking together and being there for each other, we made all of our goals attainable, and at the end of the day, I managed to swim my mile in the open water swim in the Salford Quays, Manchester. I have still been swimming since. I even taught my parents some technique drills coach Harley taught me, and I've been feeling much more eager to go swimming with my boyfriend too, and he was even really jealous he wasn't able to join me in the water on the day of my open water mile - all he needs now is to get a wetsuit. 



Doing a full triathlon has now become a new attainable goal for me, and hopefully I'll be doing that at some point too. Another goal would be to enter some open water swimming event with my boyfriend in the future, if only the wetsuits weren't so pricey/out of reach for students... But until then, I've definitely been swimming much more often, and it feels amazing to be able to work on technique and swim proudly the front crawl in front of my friends when on holiday. 


" If you haven't given it a proper shot, you don't have the right to shoot it down"


So this is to all the people out there who were like me at this point just seven months ago: if you haven't given it a proper shot, you don't have the right to shoot it down, so go jump in the water, and stick with it, you won't regret it.

24.8.15

Making Fitness Trackers Work For You


I guess I must've started running in 2007; that's how much data I have stored via Nike+ ...9 whole years worth. It's got to the point that I don't like to run unless it's being tracked; I don't necessarily have to be following my stats during the run but I like to be able to look back after the occasion.

My first every fitness tracker must've been a pedometer though. Mostly through work and workplace health challenges which I used to organise for my office in my previous work life.

Then came the Nike Fuelband which was slapped on my wrist for 3 solid years. After breaking for what must've been the fourth time, waiting for my replacement to arrive, I just kinda went cold turkey and never put one back on (with the exception of running).

It seems though, that fitness trackers are gaining popularity again; Legal & General {wrote this article about why that might be as well as some of the history of how fitness trackers came about}. It reminded me about the old 10,000 steps per day ideal and how wearable technology can serve as a form of motivation to get active!

I'm willing to forgo my undecorated wrist for a while and get back in the game! But, I want the benefits to be more than a whole heap of data to stare at on a computer screen every night!

1. Find Your Tracker of Choice 

There are so many to choose from now that it's quite a hard decision to make! Ask your friends for opinions on the ones they own, read reviews on blogs and then compare prices and features (and colours too, right?). Do you need to spend £300 on an Apple Watch?! Or is £80 on a Fitbit Flex a more affordable option?!


Fitbit Flex - in KISE pink :)

2. I Signed Up for Strava 

This weekend,  I reached out to friends on Twitter to find out a little more about Strava. From what I can gather so far, it seems to be a community for runners and cyclists to track their workouts, share with friends on the app and get a little bit of a boost from virtual high fives. I hate running with my phone, but Strava can get all the data it needs by connecting it to my TomTom Cardio GPS meaning I don't need to change anything about the way I track my runs.


3. Make Money From Your Sweaty Pursuits

What actually spurred me on to sign up for Strava was that I had registered for Bounts but hadn't yet made any use of it! Basically, you get points for being active and can exchange those points for vouchers. I don't currently have a compatible tracker, but connecting my TomTom to Strava means I can start earning points as Strava is connected to Bounts! It's free to join and if you use my referral code (linton739we'll each get 20 points after you complete your first activity! Sweet! 

Do you wear a fitness tracker?! What's the best way to get yourself motivated to be active?! 


Elle :) 

21.8.15

Elle Loves... August 2015

I think I start every monthly feature saying how I can't believe its 'X' month! Well, it's now half way through August so I thought I would feature some of my favourite products I have tried this month in all different categories - workout gear, food and gadgets! 


1. SmartShake* 

I'm not a fan of protein shakers unless they do something more useful than shaking my protein powder. The SmartShake doubles up as storage for your powders, supplements, locker keys... basically anything you need to carry with you for your workout. You can store the water in the main compartment and then keep your powder in one of the compartments at the bottom (we all know you can't mix the two until you have to!). The second compartment comes with a divider which can be removed in case you wanna store another portion of powder.

With so many colours available too you can match to your outfit or mix up the compartment colours (don't pretend you wouldn't do this! lol)

picture taken by me at #ThePhoto101

2. Nurofen Express Heat Patches* 

So me and my mum had a girls night in with these heat patches and TV in bed! Mum said "the patches really helped to relax the muscles (on my shoulder) and because of that I was able to sleep more comfortably". I didn't ask her for a score but she gave it 8 out of 10 and said she would use it again! I had the patch on my neck meaning it was exposed so took a little longer to heat up. Once I went to sleep though and got wrapped up under the covers it was much warmer. During the night though I did have to reattach it a couple of times. I didn't plan on scoring it but seen as my mum did, I'll give it 6 out of 10  and I would use them again too as they are great for muscular pain!

3. Nairn's Organic Oat Cakes* 

This month, I've been heavily munching on these Nairn's Organic Oat Cakes. I have them slathered in homemade almond butter and yes, I'm conscious of how many calories this all adds up to, but I don't count calories!

These oatcakes are one small change that I've made to eat organic; Organic September is coming up, and this year the Soil Association is encouraging us all to join their ‘Small Changes, Big Difference’ campaign. The message of this month is to celebrate all things organic and encourage others to discover organic products and swap the usual supermarket foods for them, in order to be kinder to ourselves, wildlife and the world around us. 

These come in individually wrapped packs which mean I can throw them in my lunch bag and have them on the go! They are also enriched with Oat bran for extra fibre and slow release energy which keep me feeling fuller for longer meaning I'm less likely to eat junk! 

4. Muscle Mousse*

We're all a fan of a sweet treat right?! I think I go through stages though where I want a sweet treat more than other times. When you're training hard and don't want to stall your progress they are some awesome options out there, one of them being Muscle Mousse.


I tried out the Chocolate flavour which I topped with nuts and seeds. It took 2 minutes to shake together, then 20 minutes to set in the fridge. I'm not sure if I was in the right frame of mind when I ate this (was I even hungry?!) or if my expectations were not on point, but I didn't LOVE it. The serving was actually a little too large for me (note to self, use half of serving next time) and I think I was just over chocolate on that day. It does come in quite a few other flavours though, including strawberry and butterscotch. Each serving packs in 30g of protein, is low in fat and has no added sugar.

I think I will definitely be playing around with recipes using Muscle Mousse; might get myself a Great British Bake Off badge for my efforts so keep an eye out for any awesome creations I come up with to share!

5. Tessemae's* 

Don't really know where to start with these guys! These All Natural dressings caught my eye during my last Whole30 a few months ago but they've been a part of my diet regardless of me being on Whole30 or not.


One of my favourite products is their Ketchup - instead of refined sugar these use homemade date puree. My favourite salad dressing (oh or marinade) is the Zesty Ranch which I lathered on many a salad I eat during my Whole30.

Anyway, I don't wanna get anyone else hooked on these until I can confirm if they are able to ship to the UK! But unless there's something in the UK already to match, Tesserae's could be a good option for those of us who are little more mindful of what we eat!

What products have been loving over the past month?! What products are on your wishlist to try?! 


Elle :) 


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p.s products with a *, I received complimentary either for review or just by chance (yes, this happens!) but as always all opinions are my very own! 

20.8.15

#RunHappy with Brooks FW15

Recently, I got to join some fellow runners along with the Brooks team to test out part of their new Autumn Winter range for 2015.


Above is the outfit I got to test out on the evening. 

LSD Jacket (in Kale) - the huge selling point for this jacket is that it's lightweight, windproof and should you need to, it rolls up into its pocket and has an elastic band so you can wear it on your arm while you run. I actually had to put this to the test on the night as it was more humid than I realised! It was really comfortable on my arm; like it wasn't even there! But, I did forget it rolled up until the next morning and I woke up to crumpled kale. 


Distance Short Sleeve - We all know about wearing grey to get sweaty and all our greatest fears were brought alive in this t-shirt! Luckily I don't sweat too much but the little I did was very visible. I found the t-shirt to be comfortable but the neck was a little too high for me and I wished it was just a little longer in the body. Don't get me wrong though, I'll wear it again, just maybe more for casual activities than really sweaty pursuits!

Streaker Capris - Now I loved, LOVED the colour of these. I don't often wear capris but I had in fact chosen capris for this run through a survey a couple months ago. I was a little unsure about the waistband as it didn't have a drawstring but this proved unnecessary; they stayed in place for the whole run

Ghost 8 - These running shoes were launched just a couple months ago - well this version anyway! I've been running in them since they launched and have been happy with how they work for me, my running style and my feet. They're listed as a neutral shoe and in my opinion have a lot of cushioning.  To be fair, with my knees, they're probably just right for me! To me, they're a good mix between looking like a proper running shoe and something that looks a little more stylish with some colour and flair!

I've never worn Brooks Clothing before, I only really knew them for their shoes. But after trying out the new kit, I'm pretty impressed and whats more is that it's pretty affordable!


Huge shout out to Brooks for inviting me along to the evening and gifting me a few pieces, and to Bethan (of A Pretty Place To Play) for being my favourite running buddy ever!

What's your key piece of running gear to transition from summer to fall? What piece of running kit could you generally not live (okay, run) without?! 


Elle :) 

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18.8.15

Guest Post: A Different Kind of Breakfast Burrito


A Different Kind of Breakfast Burrito

(Makes 1)

Paleo & Whole 30 friendly; gluten and dairy -free; vegetarian. 

Ingredients 
2 eggs
1/4 red pepper, chopped
1/4 yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 courgette, chopped
1/2- 1 cup cauliflower rice  (Process/pulse the head of a cauliflower in a blender until it resembles rice - or you can now buy it pre-made from Tesco!)
1/3 avocado 
Lemon juice, Himalayan salt and black pepper. 
Handful of spinach

Seasoning: I used a generous pinch of chilli, cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic powder, turmeric. 


Method
1. Start with the filling: fry the peppers, courgette and cauliflower rice in a bit of coconut oil until soft, adding spices to taste as you go. Take off the heat. 

2. Heat a little more coconut oil in a small frying pan or wok whilst you whisk the eggs together.

3. Spread the eggs in the pan to make a thin, pancake-like omelette. (I used a wok and kept the mixture moving up the sides of the pan to stop it getting too thick in the middle!)

4. Take the egg pan off the heat and pile the spinach, followed by the veggie mix, into the middle. Top with avocado, a squeeze of lemon juice and a little salt and pepper to taste before rolling up and tucking in. 


P.s. You could of course add some retried beans and sour cream for a bigger, not-so-paleo feast.

Kate 


As a singer, yoga teacher and lover of all things tasty, I'm constantly reviewing my connection with my body - and, by extension, the food I eat. I got into cooking in my early teens, when creating the perfect brownie was the biggest life problem I faced. Now, after digestive problems, sugar crashes and migraines have led me to a largely sugar-,grain-, and dairy-free existence, my love of cooking is driven by the search for food that is satisfying and nourishing. And just so you know, I consider eating almond butter from the jar (daily) both satisfying and nourishing..."

Follow Kate on Instagram: @misskatelister or check out her band at www.thefoobirds.co.uk 

17.8.15

Why I Said Yes To Human Fuel

Quite a while ago, I received an email out of the blue (as with most) asking if I had heard of Huel and whether I'd be interested in trying it out. I clicked the links to articles in the press (I don't read newspapers so I'd not seen any of them) and they all seemed to be sensationalising this product. I proceeded to my next email...

Some time later, a conversation arose in a forum I am a part of. I'd been thinking about saying yes to trying it but then I didn't want to be involved in the next fad. People seemed to be intrigued by the product and were thinking outside the box for it's uses. I dug out the email and replied.

"Huel is a nutritionally complete powdered food."

Within no time at all, my bag of Huel was on my doorstep. But it still took me a couple of weeks to crack it open. Mainly because upon reading the minimal guidelines on the packaging it seemed I needed to go online to read how to use it and do some calculations. So confined to the bedroom one Saturday whilst my living room was being repainted, I decided this was the perfect day to try it out! I googled the guideline pages and inputed my info to calculate and then decided I would opt for approx. 1750kcal per day or 400 - 500kcal per shake. This then worked out to be 500ml of water and 100g of Huel (402kcal).

"It's been formulated by the renowned nutrition exper James Collier BSc (Hons), RNutr to include all the protein, carbs, fats, vitamins and minerals that your body needs."


I opted for not adding anything for my first sample, and used my personal blender (after squeezing it out of the cupboard in the packed up living room!). Although to me having to blend it seemed a chore, you can do this once a day for your entire supply and then drink as wanted (it keeps for up to 24hours).

"Huel contains: No added sugar, no meat or animal products, no dairy, no soy, no eggs, making it suitable for those with even the most complex dietary requirements."



It tastes acceptably palatable on its own and I genuinely cannot be bothered to make it into cookies and pancakes right now. Maybe it's because I'm happy with the principle of drinking my food?! ...A few years ago, for a period of time, I engaged in what we used to call #LiquidThursdays (it didn't have a hashtag then but I feel it deserves one now!). The principle was to give my digestive system a rest, increase hydration levels and if I'm honest, probably to consume less calories. I guess the bonus with Huel for #LiquidThursdays is that I would be getting a nutritionally complete calorie intake!


Then I realised how useful it'd be for those working in retail! I work up to two days a week in a store and sometimes find it really difficult to manage my meals around unpredictable hours and breaks scheduled for the benefit of the store rather than my blood sugar levels! I'm allowed to have fluids with me on the floor so why couldn't I, wouldn't use Huel in the situations where I am caught short?!

Will I use Huel again?! Yes, yes I think I will. It'll be useful on those evenings I get in late and don't wanna cook but need the nutrition. On the days I just fancy some liquid food. For the times I don't wanna carry half a kitchen with me but don't wanna eat out. There's quite possibly a place for it in my life.

How do you feel about "drinking your food"?? Would you try this?! 


Elle :) 

14.8.15

Team Reebok UK Launch and CrossFit Workout

This week, Reebok launched‘Team Reebok UK’ by bringing together seven of the leading male and female CrossFit athletes in the country. To celebrate this, we went along to CrossFit Blackfriars to train with the team.


The Team: Headed up by Steve Fawcett ...Bex Hall, Rob Lawson, Becky Pykett, Hilary Riordan, Matt Thompson and Jordan Wallace

The Workout (WOD):

Warm Up: 400m run, spiderman, reachover lunge, inchworm, 3 rounds of 10 press ups / 10 hollow rocks, Sally! squats



Teams of 4, for time, In paris you must complete: 

50 Toes To Bar / Hang 
50 Burpees / Plank 
50 Overhead Lunge / Overhead Hold 



My team, Team Fawcett, finished 2nd (of 4) in 13:37 #WeWorkedHard! For the session, I got to try out some of the Reebok CrossFit kit including the Nano 5's which launched ahead of the 2015 CrossFit games earlier this year. Check out {this post} over on SportStylist for more on the Reebok CrossFit Nano 5's; and no doubt you'll hear more about them from me over time! 


You can also check out my interview with Becky Pykett over on SportStylist {here}

For more information on Reebok and their latest CrossFit footwear and apparel, visit reebok.co.uk and follow @ReebokUK

Are you a fan of CrossFit? Or is it on your list of things to try? 


Elle :) 

13.8.15

RECIPE: Tropical Noodle Salad with Chicken

Over the last couple of weeks I've become a statistic. The statistic is that three fifths (61%) of Brits admit to buying their lunch from a supermarket; me included. Eight in ten (82%) also admit to eating lunch ‘al-desko'. Hmmmm. Me again.

So SQUASH’D, the portable squash by Robinsons, has teamed up with author of 'Love your Lunch' James Ramsden to create a series of lunchtime recipes. Inspired by the flavours of SQUASH’D, the recipes will bring back the taste, enjoyment and nutrients needed to satisfy hunger and avoid the afternoon snack attack. You can relate, right?!

The recipe I'm sharing with you today was specifically created for lunch time exercisers. All I had to do was add a glass of SQUASH’D for the perfect, refreshing lunch break.



James was influenced by the exotic passion fruit and mango flavours of SQUASH’D Tropical when creating this lunch to provide fitness fanatics with plenty of energy.

“This meal is full of everything you need to ensure your body is ready for a workout” says Jenny (Nutritionist). “Noodles will up glycogen stores in the muscles, which will be used during the workout. Mango is one of the most iron-rich fruits, so it supports the flow of oxygen to the muscles, and contains lots of B vitamins for energy. It’s also important to stay hydrated as dehydration may cause muscle cramping and fatigue.” 


Ingredients: 

1 large chicken breast
1 passion fruit
1 stick lemongrass
2 tsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp chopped peanuts
Handful of beansprouts
1 nest whole wheat noodles
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
Handful of coriander leaves
500ml chicken stock
1⁄2 mango
1 chilli

Method: 

Add the stock, 2 tbsp soy sauce, lemongrass stick and chilli to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and poach for 15 minutes before removing the chicken and setting the liquor aside.

Cook the noodles in a pan of boiling water according to instructions. Rinse with cold water and toss with the remaining soy sauce and 1⁄2 tsp sesame oil.

Peel the mango and slice it into segments. Scoop out the flesh of the passion fruit and mix it with the sweet chilli sauce, rice vinegar 1⁄2 tsp sesame oil and 2 tbsp of the chicken liquor.

Slice the chicken and add the beansprouts and noodles. Pour over the dressing and garnish with peanuts and coriander.


I threw together this recipe in under twenty minutes. Granted, I forgot to add the stock cube to the water (epic fail?), I didn't bother to buy peanuts, the coriander was frozen and I'd never touched a whole passionfruit before! And it still turned out delicious! It was filling and kept me from snacking in the afternoon (although that may be down to the fact that I used extra noodles so prob inhaled around 1000kcal, I dare not check!).

Do you buy your lunch out? and eat at your desk? What's your favourite meal to cook to take to work for lunch?! 


Elle :) 

11.8.15

Krill Oil REVIEW and COMPETITION

Over the last 30 days I've been religiously taking my vitamins each and every evening so I can share my thoughts with you! I'm a fan of supplements; I know they say you should get everything you need from your food but I like to make sure.

I was already taking iron supplements, vitamin D, vitamin B complex so a few more weren't going to upset the apple cart! Simply Supplements recently launched Krill Oil 500g with Astaxanthin and I was keen to try them out.


Krill oil is sourced from shrimp-like crustaceans and is receiving special attention as a potent and bioavailable source of the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. The ingredient that sets krill oil apart from other fish oils is astaxanthin, which is believed to be even more effective than vitamins C and E at defending the body against oxidative damage.


The directions were to take 1-3 tablets per day, so I decided to take 3 which would last me one month and give me enough time to make a verdict. The pills were a moderate size and I had no issues swallowing them (I'm not a fan of huge pills!). As per the website, there was no fishy aftertaste or reflux. 

I guess the results are intangible in a way; is my heart healthier? How's my blood pressure doing?! Although I do own a blood pressure monitor so maybe I should whip that out! Keep an eye out over on Instagram. 



Simply Supplements are giving you the opportunity to try Krill Oil for yourself! Just enter the competition via the rafflecopter widget below! Please note, this will only be shipped to the United Kingdom and closes on 1st September.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
What supplements do you take? And recommend? ...and Good Luck for the competition! 


Elle :) 

10.8.15

#SuperPoweredYou Almond and Cacao Smoothie


Good morning, afternoon, or be it evening where you are! I just actually had this smoothie as a kinda dinner substitute so I'm selling it for any time of day!

I'm part of The Orchard Programme run by Tesco where I get to try out certain products for free or for less every now and again. This particular programme focuses on Bioglan who have launched their superfoods range through Tesco. I ordered the Chia & Flax (A dual source of plant-based Omega 3, protein and fibre) and Raw Organic Cacao Powder (rich in iron to help prevent tiredness and fatigue) with my usual shopping delivered straight to my home!

I've used the chia and flax probably every day throwing it on tip of my porridge, on top of my granola and in my smoothies. When I got the cacao powder I decided to create a smoothie recipe featuring both together.

#SuperPoweredYou Almond and Cacao Smoothie 



Ingredients: 
1 cup of almond milk
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen greens (spinach or kale work well)
1 medjool date
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp chia & flax
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp cacao nibs
ice cubes to create desired consistency

Directions: 
Add all ingredients to blender and blitz until smooth!

Tesco say that superfoods are...

...natural food products containing a high concentration of nutrients and phytochemicals that are shown to have health benefits beyond those of 'common' foods. They are the most pure and natural form of nutrients available, and can be conveniently added to your current diet to increase its nutritional value. Superfoods offer the whole nutrient in its raw form.
Use Superfoods daily as part of your healthy diet and lifestyle.
Remember a healthy diet and lifestyle consists of:
> Variety and moderation 
> Fresh whole foods 
> Organic foods where possible 
What are your favourite superfoods?! 
Elle :) 

9.8.15

Sport'n Style: 24 Hours In...

I would say I'm far from fashionable, especially when it comes to "regular" clothes. However, being active and working in active jobs means I sometimes have to think outside the box to be able to get through one day without carrying a suitcase full of shoes, clothes, bags and food!

So I put together my perfect outfit, for 24 hours in an active day of my life! This post was inspired by the "24 Hours In..." link party being hosted by London Bloggers.

My 24 Hours: 

- Morning Yoga Class 
- A Shift At Work 
- Evening Drinks 

All 3 of my outfits are based around one pair of pants; in this case a pair of full length black Wunder Unders from lululemon.

Morning Yoga Class 



In an ideal world, I'm a morning person. I'd love to get back into yoga so I see it as a great way to start a day. For this outfit, I teamed the pants with a loose fitting slogan tee from Sweaty Betty, the free to be *WILD bra from lululemon whilst remembering to stay hydrate and pack a healthy snack for post class. I also always carry my own yoga mat for hygiene reasons and in this case to ass a little colour to my morning!

A Shift At Work 



After yoga, I throw on my trainers and switch my top for something a little more smart casual. This vest (lululemon) is actually a really light knit making it perfect for the summer days (that we expect)! Love a little bit of monochrome too; it's timeless!

Evening Drinks 



Works done, and it's worth enjoying the rest of the evening having dinner and drinks with friends. I picked up these boots in the New Look sale for £13 last week! They look like they will be super comfy due to the chunky heel and will be versatile for wearing with dresses too. I added a light bomber jacket (lululemon) to the outfit to help smarten it up a bit! The mesh detail makes it look extra special!

Until the 24 hour tube starts running, I'm gonna have to make a dash for the last Central Line train sometime around midnight ;)

How do you take your outfits from the studio to the streets?! 


Elle :) 

#LondonBloggers

7.8.15

"24 hours in..." Hosted by London Bloggers

Well, it's Friday! And it's August already! Sometimes I'm so focused on what's going on online that life offline falls a little by the wayside. Coming up in just over a week though, I'll be meeting with fellow Bloggers and Londoners to get to grip with photography and how to utilise our cameras in manual mode at Photography - The 101 Workshop {you can find out more here}.

But then it works both ways; sometimes I find it hard to keep up with what my blogging friends do! That thought was what is behind this link party...

At the end of 2014, a group of Bloggers based in London joined forces to create a community where they could share knowledge, ask questions and find out about opportunities close to them. That group has now reached over 250 strong and is continuously growing.

As a way to showcase all the difference niches we cover and to also find out what else is out there in the blogosphere we decided to host a themed link party each month. It's a great place to find some inspiration for writing, sharing what you do and finding new blogs to read / follow.

For the month of August, the theme is "24 Hours In...". That's it. It's open for you to interpret to fit your style, your niche, your interests ...your blog. We're looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with in Fitness, Beauty, Lifestyle, Travel and more! And you don't need to be in London to take part, our community is simply the host of this awesome monthly event!


Meet The Hosts For August:



Elle of keep it simpElle | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Georgina of Fitcetera | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram 
Charlotte of Berice Baby | Twitter | Facebook
Leah of Naturally, Leah | Twitter | Facebook

#LondonBloggers

#LBLinkParty How To’s: Create your post including the HTML for the badge which you can grab by copying and pasting the code. You can also link up an old post, just edit it to include the badge. You can submit up to two links in each month which fall under the current theme. Please then comment on the Host Post’s and as many other posts as you have the time to. Any inappropriate posts will be deleted. 

If you need some more inspiration, take a look at what the link party hosts have written! Then grab the button, write your post and link up to the party! 

Cannot wait to see what everyone shares and get to know more of the wider blogging community! Any questions, feedback, comments, ideas for future themes, just leave me a comment below! 

What's your 24 hours about?! 


Elle :) 


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