BOOKS: HEALTHY EATING

I’ll be the first to admit that the art of cooking is not yet a skill that I’ve acquired. Despite the fact that it’s a running joke with my family and friends that I’m useless at cooking, the shelves in our home still seem to be overflowing with recipe books (Aslan is the chef)!

Over the past few months I’ve been making a conscious effort to introduce healthy changes into my lifestyle in an effort to improve my fitness levels and get on track to being the best version of me that I can be. I’ll be honest, eating healthy is something that’s never been easy for me. I mean, does anyone really get any sense of enjoyment from chowing down on a pile of leaves? (I know I don’t!) Although I’m not the type of person who’s going to eat kale 7 days a week, I am aware that eating the right things has a positive impact on the way that we feel, and that’s something I can really get behind. I’m not saying I’m going to give up the chocolate digestives that accompany my nightly cup of tea, or banish the Saturday night pizza in front of the TV, but making small changes to the way I fuel my body throughout the day is something that I’ve been embracing. That’s why for this blog post, I thought I’d share with you a handful of the books that have been making this change in lifestyle slightly less of a chore and more of something that I can really enjoy.

‘The Art of Eating Well’ – Hemsley & Hemsley

This book is my saviour. The Hemsley sisters know a thing or two about food that not only does good, but tastes good too. With a philosophy that a healthy gut leads to a healthier and happier mind, body and soul, this was a book that just had to become a part of my cookbook collection. Split into chapters according to mealtimes, ‘The Art of Eating Well’ makes introducing wholesome ingredients into your day to day an easy task. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the Hemsley sisters and they are absolutely lovely! Definitely check out their café inside Selfridges. 

Joy McCarthy ‘Joyous Health: Eat & Live Well Without Dieting’

Any book that promises to make you ‘feel fabulous every day’ is a winner in my eyes. Packed with recipes for healthy burgers, pancakes, curries and brownies, this book was bound to be an addition to my book collection. The food is tasty, comforting and wholesome, and while the burgers might not be as good as the ones down the road at Byron, they *almost* hit the spot when you’re craving something a bit naughty. Give it a go and let me know what you think.

Amelia Freer ‘Cook, Nourish, Glow’

The thing I love about this book is that its recipes are full of ingredients that we usually have lying around in our kitchen cupboards. There’s nothing that frustrates me more than opening up a recipe book to find that I don’t own any of the components needed to whip up one of its recipes. ‘Cook, Nourish, Glow’ is full of simple recipes that don’t require a lot of faffing about to whip up. This one’s a keeper.

Niomi Smart ‘Eat Smart’

Although I can’t seem to get my culinary creations to look quite as beautiful as the photos in Niomi’s ‘Eat Smart’ cookbook, the final products still taste pretty damn special. If you’re a snacker like me, you need to get this book simply for the ‘Sides & Snacks’ section. When 4pm rolls around and I need a little something to help me make it through the remaining hours until dinner, the first thing I reach for is Niomi’s houmous recipe; just throw a tin of chickpeas together with a couple of garlic cloves, one beetroot, a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon before blending it all together in a food processor, and hey presto, a simple recipe for someone like me who isn’t the most advanced of chefs. I like to chop a carrot into sticks along with a couple of my favourite savoury crackers and use these to scoop up some of that delicious garlicy goodness, yuuuuuum! Who knew ‘chips and dip’ could be so healthy? Niomi, I love your book!

Michael Gregger ‘How Not to Die’

This book fascinates me! ‘How Not to Die’ tells us about how nutrition can prevent disease and transform our genes so that we can live a longer and healthier life. Sounds good, right? Although abiding by this book completely is not something I think I could do, taking bits and pieces of advice and following that in my daily diet gives me faith in knowing that I’m taking the right steps towards looking after my body. The nutritional advice is scientifically proven, so you know that you can trust everything you read within this book. However as diets go, I wouldn’t say that this one feels particularly attainable and anyway, where’s the harm in a donut every once in a while? Everything in moderation as they say…

David Frenkiel & Luise Vindhal ‘The Green Kitchen’

I’ve never been a huge lover of veggies and I find myself on a constant mission to learn to love anything leafy and green. ‘The Green Kitchen’ by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindhal is made up of entirely vegetarian recipes, so whenever I pick up this book I’ve got no choice but to indulge in something packed full of that veggie goodness. If you already own this book you’ll know that the photography is enough to tempt even the most picky of eaters to introduce more greenery into their diet, it truly is a feast for the eyes. Lettuce, I will learn to love you.

Madeline Shaw ‘A Year of Beautiful Eating’

Madeline Shaw’s ‘A Year of Beautiful Eating’ is an undeniably gorgeous book. What I love about this book is that the recipes are tailored for the seasons, which means that its never too hard to get your hands on the ingredients that you need no matter what the time of year. There are around 100 recipes in this book and there’s such a great variation of tastes and flavours within the dishes. Aslan and I have only tried a couple of the recipes so far but we’re definitely excited to try more! We’re unashamedly addicted to ramen so we’re excited to try Madeline’s chicken ramen recipe. Yum!

  • DAVID FRENKIEL & LUIS VINDHAL 'THE GREEN KITCHEN'

  • AMELIA FREER 'COOK, NOURISH, GLOW'

  • JOY MCCARTHY 'JOYOUS HEALTH: EAT & LIVE WELL WITHOUT DIETING'

  • NIOMI SMART 'EAT SMART'

  • HEMSLEY & HEMSLEY 'THE ART OF EATING WELL'

7 DAYS OF SMOOTHIES

In my opinion, food is one of life’s BEST simple pleasures. I’m never going to be someone who eats healthily 7 days a week (I truly believe that a good diet really is all about balance) but lately I’ve been trying my best to make smarter choices when it comes to what I’m eating. Aslan is in the gym pretty much every day so he’s always making sure that he fuels his body with nutritious meals and healthy snacks. Living with someone who eats well 98% of the time has seriously changed the way that I think about food too. Don’t get me wrong, I’m NEVER going to stop eating my favourite treats (I simply can’t make it through the weekend without a Bokit) but I’ve really started to notice the benefits that making positive changes to my diet can have on the way that I feel. Vegetables are pretty much my least favourite thing to eat, so for me whipping up a smoothie is a good way to ensure that I’m getting the goodness that I need. I’ve put this blog post together to show you guys a few of my favourite smoothie recipes to whip up throughout the week to prove to you that even veggie-phobes like me can enjoy (or kinda enjoy) a healthy, balanced diet. *P.S. Every single one of these smoothie recipes is vegan-friendly!*

MONDAY – Energising Green Goddess Breakfast Smoothie
I’m not gonna lie to you guys, this smoothie isn’t the easiest on the tastebuds, but it will give you the boost of energy that you need first thing on a Monday morning. This recipe is jam packed with heaps of gloriously green veggies which are great for detoxifying your body and getting rid of any nasties that may have made their way into your system after the weekend. The oats in this recipe also help to make you feel more full and satisfied and make sure that you’re ready to take on the day ahead. This smoothie is a great way to ensure that you’re getting loads of veggies into your diet in one hit and that’s why I tend to make this one on Mondays. Whenever I drink this smoothie I know that I’m kicking off the week in the best way possible!
TUESDAY – Blueberry & Kale ‘Glowing Skin’ Smoothie
Kale is one of my worst enemies and I’m not afraid to say it. To me, eating kale literally feels like eating something that I’ve picked from the garden and I definitely don’t mean that in a good way. Despite my hatred for kale, I’m aware that kale is as super as super-foods come; it’s high in fibre, iron, antioxidants and rich with all kinds of vitamins. It’s no secret that this stuff is guaranteed to help my body in a whole heap of ways, so I try to inject as much of it into my diet as I can stomach. For me, this blueberry smoothie is the perfect way to disguise its flavour while ensuring that my bod is benefiting from its super powers.
WEDNESDAY – Banana & Avocado Mid-Week Smoothie Treat
I have a super sweet tooth and whenever I’m trying to introduce healthy alternatives into my diet all I ever seem to do is crave sugary things like donuts and biscuits. In my opinion, a healthy lifestyle is all about balance, so I’m definitely never going to rule out my favourite treats completely. However, whenever I’m on a bit of a health kick I try to cure my cravings by turning to a snack that fulfils my need for something sweet without injecting so many calories and artificial ingredients into my system. This banana and avocado smoothie isn’t quite as delicious as my favourite maple-dipped donut, but it does make a healthier diet feel like less of a punishment! To make this recipe I just blend up 2 bananas with half an avocado, I’ll then pour 180ml of almond milk (coconut milk works well too) and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of brown sugar into the mixer before blending. This smoothie is super creamy and just about sweet enough to make it feel *almost* like a dessert.
THURSDAY – Peanut Butter & Banana Energy Boosting Smoothie
Peanut butter is one of my favourite snacks, so this recipe is one of my faves. Much like the avocado and banana smoothie, this recipe feels a lot more like a dessert than a healthy concoction. The oats and banana in this smoothie make it super filling and help to satisfy hunger, while the coconut water makes it intensely hydrating and nourishing. A dollop of peanut butter also gives the body a boost of protein which helps to build and strengthen muscle (it also makes it taste DELICIOUS). You’ll never even notice the handful of spinach or kale in this smoothie because the nutty, chocolatey taste totally disguises it. Yum!
FRIDAY – Very Berry Super Smoothie
If you’re relatively new to smoothies this recipe is a great place to start because it has so many delicious berry flavours which makes it slightly less daunting than something which is packed with handfuls of spinach and kale. I love this smoothie because it fulfils my need for something sweet throughout the day. The coyo (a dairy-free yoghurt alternative made from the squeezed flesh of coconuts) in this recipe is packed with healthy fats, fibre and probiotics which all help towards a healthy digestive system. The berries are rich in antioxidants which work hard to protect the body from free radicals, while throwing in a generous tablespoon of flax seed will help to lower cholesterol and give your body a surge of Omega-3. This recipe is super tasty.
SATURDAY – Cucumber Cleansing Smoothie
Friday nights are usually pizza nights in our house (mmm pizza) so this cucumber cleansing smoothie is exactly what my body craves after an evening of indulgence!  The cucumber makes this smoothie super hydrating and gives it a really fresh taste which I love. The generous squeeze of tangy lemon juice helps to flush out the digestive system and rehydrate the body. I like to add half a cup of coconut water and a handful of ice to make this smoothie even more refreshing. Yum!
SUNDAY – Carrot, Ginger & Turmeric Soothing Smoothie
I try my best to eat healthily from Monday to Friday but when the weekend rolls around I like to allow myself a couple of days to treat my body to a little bit of what it fancies (usually that means Aslan and I heading to the market to grab a Bokit). On occasions like this, a carrot, ginger and turmeric smoothie helps to soothe my stomach and flush out any nasties from my digestive system. Ginger really helps to soothe the stomach and I also really love that fresh, spicy taste. Alongside the ginger I add a generous pinch of ground turmeric which is an anti inflammatory ingredient that helps to protect the body from free radicals. If you’re like me and you like to treat yourself at the weekends, this is the perfect Sunday smoothie for you.

So those are a few of my favourite go-to smoothie recipes! If you guys have any recipes that you think I should try then please send me your suggestions or leave me a comment down below! I’m always looking for new flavours and new concoctions to try. Let me know if you give any of these smoothies a whirl, I’d love to know what you thought!

WHIP UP SUPER CUTE SMOOTHIES WITH THESE ACCESSORIES!

  • Cute Metallic Spoons

    I love these!

  • Tom Dixon Stone Chopping Board

    Chop chop chop

  • NutriBullet

    The best for smoothies!

  • Set of Four Pastel Tumbler Glasses

    How cuuuuuuuute!!

  • Metal Straws

    Drink up!

Cap Beauty Elixir

As part of my #PersonalBest journey I’ve been trying out lots of different things to try and improve my health and fitness levels, whether it’s a sport (last month Aslan and I went BOULDERING!) or a healthy new breakfast recipe, I’ve been giving everything a go in an effort to reach the best version of me that I can be. I’m on a mission to open my mind! On a recent trip to New York I made a pit stop at Cap Beauty, having stumbled upon these guys via Instagram I just had to give this place a try. Although I stepped through the doors expecting to leave with only a feeling of zen after my spa treatment, I actually left Cap Beauty with something much more than that.

In case you guys haven’t heard of it, Cap Beauty is shop and spa which sells and uses entirely natural beauty products. ‘Cap’ stands for ‘clean and pure’ and the people behind Cap Beauty live by the philosophy that ‘beauty is wellness and wellness is beauty’ – a pretty cool mantra to live by, don’t you think? It was pouring rain on the day of my appointment and I entered the shop soaking wet. It’s a tiny space but there were 6-8 people inside having a chat as if they were all friends. I was invited into the conversation only to realise that these people were just shoppers chatting about all things beauty! Is that a New York thing? I loved the community feeling. Although I could go on and on about how much I’ve fallen head over heels in love with this place and all of the wonderful products within it, what I’m really sitting here tapping away on my laptop to tell you about is the ‘Cap Beauty Elixir’. After I had my treatment at the spa (which was lovely by the way) I was handed a milky looking drink in the cutest little teacup I’ve ever seen. I’ll admit I was a little freaked out and I was a little reluctant to take a sip of this mysterious looking liquid, but in an effort to try new things I had to give it a go.

The Cap Beauty elixir is quite literally a magical potion (ok not literally, but close enough) designed to boost your skin’s radiance, strengthen your nails and add shine and lustre to your hair. With its ingredients including He Shou Wu, a chinese herb that has been used for centuries for its benefits for circulation and stamina (as well as its aphrodisiac powers..heehee) alongside Tocos, a rice bran soluble packed with vitamins E and D, it’s no surprise that this drink has become a talking point all over the internet. I know what you’re thinking…’what the hell does that taste like?’…I thought the exact same thing just before this baby went down the hatch, but trust me when I say it actually does taste good! It’s not something I could drink cup after cup of, but for a healthy drink once every now and then this stuff ain’t too bad. I bought all of the ingredients right there and then so I could recreate it at home.

Now, let me tell you how to make yourself a cup!

Simply mix a 1/4 of a teaspoon of He Shou Wu with 1 tablespoon of Tocos and 1 tablespoon of coconut butter, heat up a cup of almond milk (or coconut water depending on your preference) and pour it into a blender with the other ingredients. I like to drink a cup of this around mid morning to give me the energy boost I need to make it through till lunch. Taking the time out of my day to drink a cup of this elixir is another step towards my goal of being the best and healthiest version of myself and it’s a more interesting alternative to my usual cup of tea.

If I had to describe the taste I’d say it’s like oatmeal hot chocolate without the chocolate. That’s the best I can do. Give it a go and let me know what you think! I’d love to hear if you saw any benefits from drinking this magical potion!

Check out Cap Beauty here. 

To celebrate the launch of my brand new book Bloom: Navigating Life and Style I gathered all of my friends to come hang out at Libreria Bookshop in East London. It was the perfect venue because there were loads of beautiful books around us, it has a great atmosphere and a pretty cool mirrored ceiling. I’d definitely recommend checking it out if you’re ever in the area!

Anyway, I’ve been a bit of a recluse for the past year while I wrote Bloom, so it was great to see some of my friends I haven’t had a chance to catch up with for awhile. It has been such an unexplainable feeling to be so supported by my friends and family throughout this process. I can’t begin to describe how grateful I am for everyone’s support and positive feedback. Much love to anyone who has taken time out of their day to say something wonderful about Bloom.

SO WHAT IS BLOOM ABOUT?

Bloom is about growing into yourself and working out who you are – which can be really hard at times. I've looked back at all of the events, people and things in my life that have influenced and inspired me and have made me who I am today.I'm not a flawless human (nobody is) and I wanted to write something that showed highs as well as lows in my life, and how you can use that rollercoaster to help you form the life you want. I hope that my book will inspire other people to think about their Bloom stories and who they are, to not be so hard on themselves, to celebrate the good and to not be defined or limited by the bad – and to look into the future, take control of their path and make things happen.

Huge thank you to Floom for sending out their lovely flowers to some of my friends. They are the coolest flower company ever (seriously go check out their Instagram).

www.floom.com

Tea & Crumpets

When did I become British?

A few weeks ago, Aslan and I headed out one Sunday morning for a delicious snack. He was mortified when I told him that I’d never tried a crumpet before, so he was rather excited to see what I thought. Good and Proper Tea Co. has such a huge selection of different types of tea that it’s honestly difficult to choose just one. They also have these super cool tea making machines (the technical term) that were mesmerising to watch.

The space is decorated so beautifully and we spent most of our time wondering how they made it look so good! They have loads of wooden panelling, gorgeous brick and this really cool peg board style wall with various plants hanging from it. Don’t even get me started on how much I love the lights in this place!

In the end I stayed boring and went for earl grey, but it was the best damn cup of earl grey I’ve ever had! If you’re around Clerkenwell, I highly recommend checking this place out! We’ll definitely be back to get our fill of tea and crumpets.

Crumpet verdict: frickin’ delicious.

A Protein Shake That Isn't Disgusting?!

Who knew it was possible?

To go along with my usual weekly gym routine, I wanted to add a protein shake into my diet to ensure that I’m getting enough protein and to aid in muscle recovery. I have been looking for a protein powder for a long time and I know I’m not the only person who finds them totally gross. A few people had recommended The Super Elixir Nourishing Protein Powder to me, so I reluctantly tried it out.  Luckily for my tastebuds, I was pleasantly surprised!

If you haven’t heard much about The Super Elixir before, the main woman behind the brand is Elle Macpherson, who became passionate about the subject when learning about the body from her nutritionist. The first product to be released was the Alkalising Greens, which is a green superfood powder to be added into smoothies etc. Shortly after, they released the Nourishing Protein powder as an alternative to whey powder. Many protein powders on offer are whey protein based, which isn’t great if you have a dairy intolerance. This protein powder is both organic and vegan friendly, so it’s perfect for those of you that are conscious of that. The main ingredients in the product are organic pea protein, organic brown rice protein and organic cacao powder (mmm…chocolate).

I’ve been experimenting quite a bit with this powder and I’ve finally found a recipe that I don’t hate (that’s a big deal for my picky eating habits). I’ve been drinking this on the days I have been going to the gym, so around three days a week depending on how lazy I am.

MY RECIPE OF CHOICE

*****

Ingredients
-1 large banana

-3tbsp oats

-1 heaped tbsp flaxseed

-1 scoop of Nourishing Protein Powder (or one sachet of protein powder)

-3 Medjool Dates

-1 cup of milk (it can be dairy, oat, soy or almond – whatever you choose)

*****

Blend it altogether in a blender (I was using my NutriBullet for this one) and drink!

SHOP THE POST!

  • Nutri Ninja Blender

    Whip up some tasty goodness

  • The Super Elixir Nourishing Protein 500g

    Actually tastes like chocolate

  • The Super Elixir Nourishing Protein 7 x 33g Pack

    Organic & vegan friendly

  • Oliver Bonas Tumbler Set

    Drink up!

  • H&M Chopping Board

    Chop chop chop

Tom and Serg Dubai

Craving some greens.

Thanks to so many people recommending Tom&Serge, I was determined to try it out for myself! Luckily, we arrived 40 minutes before it closed so we were just in time to indulge in some healthy and delicious food.

Everything was so fresh, which makes eating healthy food so much more pleasant. Everything was packed full of flavour and as someone who doesn’t particularly love lettuce…I couldn’t get enough of it!

Obviously I couldn’t leave without trying a cronut.

Wearing a playsuit is such a comfortable and easy outfit to throw on, especially during a holiday. I loved the embellishments on this Anna Sui Beach Playsuit and the flared sleeves made me feel alive! I just slipped on some pink sandals to keep it casual as well as my Miu Miu sunglasses which I really couldn’t live without.

Earl Grey Infused Cookies

Tea and cookies

I’m tea lover, that’s a well-known fact. But I’m also a cookie lover so I sought out a recipe to incorporate both things, which is where this Earl Grey Infused Cookie recipe comes from! Adapted from this recipe over on Design Love Fest, they were delicious and all gone by the next day.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp of loose leaf earl grey tea
  • 2 tbsp of hot milk
  • 2 1/4 cups of flour
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • pinch of cardamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of softened unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup of chocolate chips (or a chocolate bar chopped up)

How to

  1. Steep 1 tsp of earl grey tea in a mug with hot milk for 15 minutes. While the tea is steeping, grind the remaining tbsp of earl grey tea in a coffee grinder or a blender.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
  3. Stir the flour, baking soda, ground tea, salt, cardamon and nutmeg in a bowl until combined.
  4. Mix the butter and sugars together, which can be done either by hand or with an electric mixer. Add the egg, vanilla extract and milk until all combined. Gradually start adding the flour until it’s all in before adding the chocolate into the mixture too.
  5. Scooping out a heaped tablespoon of cookie dough at a time, place them onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Make sure to leave a couple of inches of space around each cookie as they will spread a little.
  6. Place the tray into the oven and allow to bake for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

Tea Party

Biskies for everyone

When biscuits look this delicious, I had to take advantage of how pretty they are and whip out my best china for a tea party. The biscuits are the biskies from Cutter & Squidge, a shop in Soho on Brewer’s St. Before I went into the shop, I hadn’t tried a biskie before, nor had I even heard of them. So basically, they are a mixture between a biscuit, cookie and a cake – all of the good things in one! They’re filled with buttercream and topped with all different flavours. An absolute must-try if you’ve got a sweet tooth. Treat yourself!

Hawksmoor

Sunday roast was in order!
Hawksmoor menu

We don’t go out for a Sunday roast very often, but when we do….we really do! Hawksmoor is a place I’ve been meaning to try out, so while mooching around Shoreditch, we decided it was finally time.  We both got the regular Sunday roast which is exactly what we were hoping for. I opted for a side of macaroni and cheese (how could I say no!?) and Aslan got bone marrow. It was a completely indulgent meal that really hit the spot!

There’s something really nice about going out for a casual dinner on a Sunday, don’t you think?