Vegan overnight oats

 

I was actually taking a look at the re-launch of Aussie activewear site Slinkii when I noticed that they have a blog which includes a lotta healthy, high protein and quite a lot of vegan recipes, so naturally I wanted to try a few out!

Lately I’m finding that breakfast is one of the easiest meals to get a good level of vegan protein in and so I definitely was drawn to the protein overnight oats (or ‘proats’) with chia seeds. The result was probably one of the nicer overnight oat recipes that I have tried, so find the recipe below!

All you have to do is simply mix all the ingredients together in a sealable tuppaware box and store in the fridge overnight! Fyi you can add a little more almond milk to your overnight oats if you want a slightly less thick consistency – the chia seeds tend to make this recipe quite thick.

This recipe is for 1 serving and has 23 grams of protein! You can definitely multiply the quantities and make overnight oats to last the week. I added some fresh strawberries to mine before eating which adds contrasting texture – so yummy!

Enjoy! xx

 

Quick and easy vegan pizza recipe

Being plant-based or vegan has never been so easy!

Pizza has become such a staple in most people’s diets and it’s actually super easy and tasty to ditch the cheese and make a vegan-friendly version (almost) from scratch!

Okay so the reality is most of us don’t always have the time to perfect a homemade pizza base so Tesco have made life easy for us and have a ready-made mix that is 100% vegan and a total bargain – all you need to do is add water and follow the instructions on the packet!

Once you have allowed the dough to prove, go ahead and go crazy by adding the tomato puree and vegetable to your base along with any other toppings and then bake for roughly 20 mins. Take out and top with spinach and add a lil balsamic glaze and dig in, I also like to have mine with a side of homemade hummus (find the perfect recipe here).

The perfect fake-away food!

xx

Healthy Blueberry & Yogurt Treats

Healthy Blueberry & Yogurt Treats1

Blueberries are one of my favourite fruits and actually one of the healthiest too! So when I stumbled across a post on Facebook about making some healthy blueberry & yogurt treats I couldn’t resist!

This recipe – which is so simple you can barely even call it a recipe! Calls for just two ingredients: blueberries (duh) and fat free greek yoghurt – simple recipes = totally approved of at TheGlowDown!

Blueberry & Yoghurt Treats Prep

Blueberry & Yogurt Treats Prep2

Healthy Blueberry & Yogurt Treats

>> Using cocktail sticks, dip your blueberries in to your fat free greek yohurt – making sure to coat they am evenly as possible.

>> Place on a tray lined with baking parchment.

>> Once you have filled your tray/used up your blueberries, place the tray in the freezer and leave for 2 hours

>> After 2 hours you can take the tray out of the freezer, and place your blueberry & yoghurt treats in a sealable bag or container

>> Enjoy!!

I kept mine in a freezer bag for ease, and reach for them usually once I’m home from work and feeling a lil peckish before tea or before I head to the gym. They are pretty cold to eat straight from the freezer (…) so I like to take them out of the freezer and leave on the counter side for 5 mins if I can. They almost taste ice-cream-like! I definitely think I’m going to try these with raspberries and strawberries next!

So let me know if you guys try these healthy blueberry & yogurt treats or have other healthy recipes & ideas for me to try!! I’ve definitely got a couple more healthy food ideas coming up on TheGlowDown over the next couple of weeks so make sure to keep checking!

I hope everyone has a lovely long weekend xx

Activewear Goals

I am currently feeling dedicated and motivated with my health/fitness and striving towards my goals. Soooo of course I want to feel and look good whilst doing it and have been lusting after some amazing activewear.

Also – is anyone else slightly obsessed with motivational fitness inspired Instagram pages yaaahh?? My three faves at the moment are coincidentally Aussie gals Steph Pacca, Bianca May Cheah of Sporteluxe and Natasha Oakley swimwear designer.

Anyway so there are some pretty good sites out there dedicated to activewear – even if you’re a die-hard Nike fan, there’s some really cool and stylish brands out there that are fast becoming popular amongst gym bunnies. And so you don’t have to trawl through the internet to find some nice pieces to add to your collection!

Activewear Buys

Can you notice a lil bit of a theme going on here…?!

I love the idea of darker tones for workout clothes to help avoid the dreaded sweat stains visible on lighter colours…no shame in working out hard – I always feel as though I’ve had a good workout if I’ve had a good sweat, but sometimes it’s not the most desired look!! Click the links below to have a nosy!

Onzie Mesh Panel Legging // Lorna Jane Sports Bra // Slinkii Athletic Tank Top // Polar FT60 // Sweaty Betty Run Top // Sweaty Betty Luxe Gym Bag

Other websites to definitely check out >>>>>>>>

LuLuLemon // Missguided // Fabletics

So yeah! I have kinda come to realise that workout wear is pretty expensive, but if I would spend £70 on a dress why wouldn’t I invest  in clothes that [[perosnally]] have a positive effect on my workout! I think I have definitely taken some inspiration from my time spent living in Melbourne with this whole gym wear thing (they take it very seriosuly over there, I wrote a post about it here) I even spent the afternoon in my gym gear yesterday (clean ofc) just because…and I swear it boosts my attitude!!

And one last thing – I have a kinda guilty lil confession to make, I have become slightly addicted to the iPhone app MyFitnessPal – so much I had a dream about it!! <<< Issues, I know!! But if any of you haven’t checked it out it’s worthwhile, it definitely has made me more conscious of making food choices.

Hope everyone has had a lovely weekend – first day of my new job today ahhh!!

GlowBites

19 GB

Another week another GlowBites! And surprise surprise I’m back to the food related posts but I do have other things to share!

So yesterday I went for a celebratory lunch with my sister and a close friend to Eat Me Cafe in our hometown and it was pretty amazing as usual – my sister had never actually been before for the lunch menu so I was excited for her to get to try what they had on! I chose a Thai Green curry (quite a lot of their food has an Asian twist/inspiration) with brown rice and tofu – lemme tell yaaaa it was pretty hot!! And I had to be a little naughty and get a portion of their homemade skin-on chips to share – the.best.chips.ever.

Eat Me Sign

Eat Me Collage

Eat Me Bathroom

Eat Me Thai Green Curry

Selfie

How cool is their style of decor?! The lion head photo is actually of their bathroom – sorry/not sorry for being a little weird  and taking a pic of a bathroom but I had to share! And of course a selfie of what I was wearing!

Also this week I thought I would share a few kinda miscellaneous things I have been loving lately…

Game Of Thrones // The Walking Dead // Gossip Girl (duh) // The Hunger Games (film and books) // Spotify

Can we just talk about Spotify?! So I created an account years and years ago literally before anyone cared so much about it, and when we were at Eat Me yesterday they had the most amazing tracks playing, like I seriously loved every song! And when I asked what was playing they said it was Spotify! Cue me coming home, logging in to Spotify for the first time in yonks (does anyone even use that word anymore?!) and trawling through the different genres/moods and playlists. I’m loving the ‘mood’ section – so many feel good playlists! Not sure about the £9.99/month fee for premium but we will see!

What has everyone been up to this week so far?

Happy Wednesday!

GlowBites x My Favourite Blogs

TGD 17

It feels like forever since my last GlowBites post! Sometimes it feels as though every other post is a GlowBites one so I wanted to throw in a few other posts and then of course return to my weekly thaaaang (LOL) And seen as I am loving blogging/reading blogs at the moment (btw…how well are bloggers doing at the moment?!) I thought I would dedicate this weeks GlowBites to the blogs that I without fail check daily, and help to inspire me as a blogger – plus a lil rundown of what to expect from each one if you didn’t already know!!

TGD Fave Blogs

The Skinny Confidential (Of Course)

>>Lifestyle/fashion/beauty/home/DIY<<

Milk Bubble Tea

>>Cute lifestyle bits<<

Zoe London

>>Quirky/edgy lifestyle and makeup bits<<

Cupcakes and Cashmere

>>Amazing home style/DIY bits/Advice<<

BLAWNDE

>>Fashion/Food&Health/Spiritual<<

Western Wild

>>Lifestyle/Advice/Fashion<<

Fashion Lush

>>Fashion/DIY<<

Queen of Jetlags

>>Travel/Fashion/Blog Tips<<

The Sunday Chapter

>>Lifestyle/Recipes/Blog Tips<<


 I love finding new blogs! I have actually written all of these down because my list is getting longer and longer and harder to remember to make sure I check them all! I’m currently loving The Sunday Chapter – she’s an Australian Blogger and I love that her blog is really simple, easy to read but has so much interesting and useful content – a definite recommendation, check her out now!!

Hope everyone is having a lovely week so far – nearly the weekend woo! What are your favourite blogs?

TheGlowDown Daily Top 10

Daily Habits

Here is my second weekly installment of a how to/DIY/to-do list style blog post and what better way to start your week and your month with making some new and positive changes to you day-to-day schedule!! So I have created my ultimate beauty/mind/health daily to-do list which I intend on doing for at least the rest of this month to help maintain a positive and balanced me! Plus…read on to find out my top secret #1 skincare tip!

 TGD daily To Do

Keep tuned in the next couple of weeks as I totally need to do a couple of posts on oil pulling (which I love) and jade face rolling – bye bye puffiness!

Andddd…here is my #1 to skincare tip (it’s so simple it’s silly)

Pat in your facial skincare products! That’s right – eye creams, serums and moisturisers! Don’t rub them in and drag your skin about, pat them in! They absorb better this way and I always feel as though my skin looks really fresh after doing it! Use your ring finger for around your eye, and the length of your fingers for the rest of your face and pat gently all over (inc your neck) until it is practically absorbed and you’re ready to go!

This week I’m keeping it short n sweet with my top 10 list! What are your daily to-dos for a better you?

How To: Look after you

How To: Look After You

So I want to start another kinda weekly series (checkout some of my regular weekly GlowBites here and here) and I’m really drawn to something that involves lists/how to’s/DIY/top tips as I find I always click on links that share something interesting to do/make. Now I’m not an all-wise guru who knows everything about everything there is to know but I thought it would be fun to share some ways in which I create! And the first idea that popped in to my mind (after a very spiritual/mindful last post) was a sort of how to/to-do list of ways in which we should take time to nourish ourselves – mentally and physically >> in other words how to take care of you…and don’t worry there is nothing expensive or wacky on the list, just a simple (if not ‘obvious) run-down of what works for me…

Mind

Everyone is so different – no two minds are alike. I think it is important to feed our brains in many different ways – enough water, nourishment from foods, sleep, mental stimulation. I think happiness and positivity are key to a healthy mind – I understand this may not be so easy to people suffering from mental health conditions, but I believe a positive mental attitude will always benefit you in life. Worrying always complicates our outlook and can cloud rational judgement (totally guilty here) sometimes it’s best to step back and stop thinking so much and take time to clear the mind – focus on what positive outcomes you may face – most times our worries will not change or affect the course of any actions.

Actually You Can

Sight

This one is kinda personal one for me but I do think it tends to get overlooked. Eye health is so important so make sure you have regular check-ups at the opticians.

Hair

So there are already a million and one tips and tricks that we are always being told to follow to make our hair grow longer, thicker or to get shinier, more voluminous hair. For me having oily hair means I like to keep it really simple but I think it’s something anyone can follow. Shampoo and condition with products that don’t contain sulfates or silicones (and cruelty free if poss!) If you want to go chemical free try out shampoo bars – these ones are great! Use as little heat on the hair and go longer between washes. Coconut oil makes a great over night mask too!

Skin

I think it’s really important to take care of our skin, we seem to forget that it is our biggest organ and therefore the most obvious part of us that radiates how we nourish and take care of ourselves. Moisturize everyday and I promise you will see a difference – skin looks more firm and toned, colour tone improves and so much more!

Body

So by this I am talking about fitness. I really believe that if you truly want to give yourself the best possible chances in life then you really need to take care of you body. Diet isn’t enough – period. There are far too many benefits of exercise to mention but I love the mental benefits you get from it – how good it makes you feel about yourself, how you are mentally and physically working towards something. I don’t care who you are, you are lying if you don’t feel more positive after a workout!

Health

AKA nutrition and what you put in that pie-holeeeeeeeee. I’m vegetarian but any diet has the same principles and food groups – not all protein is meat based. If we look to nature, all animals are grazers and eat throughout the day – what I’m saying is it makes sense to eat small meals more frequently than say 3 large meals. It gives the body more time to easily digest and you don’t feel so hungry for longer amounts of lime.

Relationships

Relationships are the sum of our mental and physical being. We need to be treated no less than we deserve. Stand up for what you believe in, but also remember it is always about give and take and balance. You will never be truly happy with others unless you are happy within yourself – don’t place the search for happiness in others. Be true to who you are, be kind and honest. << Big believer in karma!

Happiness

I would love to hear your input on some of these ideas and what you guys do to look after your well-being!

GlowBites

GlowBites 15

Hey Guys! I thought i would pick a romatic-ish/valentines-y pic for my GlowBites icon this week – how cute is this?! So since my last GlowBites and after re-energizing from my ski holiday it’s safe to say I haven’t been up to an awful lot aside from work! That’s if you don’t count some serious series watching…Gossip Girl, The Walking Dead, Orange is The New Black andddd American Horror Story! That and some reading and getting up to date for some posts coming up on TheGlowDown. Once again I have so many business/brand ideas that I would absolutely love to work on so I’m biding my time and doing my research so I am fully clued up on what I need to know – exciting times ahead fingers crossed!

So once again this is a bit of a foodie post and is a bit of a my week in pics food ed. again but a blogger can’t help but take pics of the food we eat..duh?!

Leek and Potato Soup

Red Pepper Soup

Dorset Granola

The Secret

I’m kinda becoming a bit of a soup fiend!! The top one is leek and potato (with a lil baguette and homemade hummus – recipe here) the second soup is red pepper and unbelievably low in cals!! I just wanted to share this pic of the cereal I have been eating…I have been trying to mix my breakfasts on a bit more and wanted some granola to have with my almond milk butttt..I’m not such a fan of raisins/sultanas which seem to be in every granola on the high street! So whilst shopping in Morrisons I came across Dorset Cereals which do this Simply Oat Granola and it’s amazing!

Finally I bought The Secret after Annie recommending it on her blog Blawnde, I am really excited to read it and look at life more spiritually.

Happy Mid-Week!

Ps. How cute is my Valentines card I received from the dog I sponsor at Dog’s Trust?!

Valentines Card

Fitness Probs ♀

Fitness Probs

Okay this is definitely one of those first world problem kinda posts ( and more for the girls ) but it’s just a bit of fun…Me and my sister do the same workout programme at the moment and we both started moaning about girl type things/problems so I thought why not create a list of the ‘dilemmas’ that us girls face when working out!

♤ Whether or not to wash our hair pre/post workout – it will only be getting sweaty again at some point in the near future!

♤ How much makeup?! For those of us who aren’t quite ready to go totally bare-faced and au-naturel, it’s a daily dilemma of whether that MAC girl about town lipstick is a bit OTT…

♤ Noise and some personal space – if like me and my sister you focus on at home workouts and still live at home, then finding a reasonably quiet space to workout can be a nightmare – famous last words…’please don’t disturb me I’m gona be working out’ and your mum strolls in mid plank!!

♤ Prioritising friends/family/bf and whatever else with your workout schedule – you want to eat-out but you want to look and feel good doing it >> which equals a workout somewhere in there!

♤ Or being a complete social butterfly and bumping in to everyone you know at the gym and spending half your workout on the bikes talking even though you finished on the bikes half an hour ago…

♤  Total Comfort vs Looking Good – there’s always that one gym bunny who looks perfectly flawless and stylish in her gym gear whilst we sweat it out in our bf’s old t-shirt

♤ Taking those all important progress selfies and then chickening out from ever posting them!

♤ Knowing you deserve that rest day but constantly guilt tripping yourself and feeling totally guilty for not getting a workout in!

♤ The vicious cycle of having a bad body day >> not wanting to head out to the gym >> realising going to the gym is going to help you feel better about your body >> but you got upset and bothered so you still don’t want to go as you might not give it your all/you’re not in the mood anymore.

♤ Treating the gym as a mean girls-esque high school social map..and finding the perfect balance between the cardio bunnies and the weight-lifting sistaaaas.

Do any of you have any l-o-l gym/workout moments? I think yoga inflicted workout problems deserve a category all of their own!!

Happy February!

Ps – sorry for the lack of posting or warning of no posting – I went on a last min ski vacay and had like zero wifi connection for a week!! > Pics to come! ❆

NB. Photo sourced from WeHeartIt and edited by me.

Vegan Friendly Pancakes

GlowDown Pancakes

Friday morning and I am all NutriBullet-ed out! Don’t get me wrong I love my morning fix of fruit and spinach/kale but I kinda had that Fri-yey feeling and fancied something a bit different! And if you saw my GlowBites x What I Ate Post last week you may have seen what I was whipping up for brekkie!!

If you didn’t know already I’m trying out a vegan/plant-based diet and lifestyle at the minute – and I’m 2 weeks in to it so far. I had just finished reading Lauryn Evarts 3 ingredient pancake recipe on her blog The Skinny Confidentital and it definitely left me craving pancakes! So I hit search on Google for a quick and simple vegan alternative to reg. pancakes which usually contain eggs…and I managed to find a pretty foolproof recipe that rivals most non-vegan pancakes anyday!

So let me be the first to admit this is not at the top of the healthy options you can have for breakfast…but it is a little comfort food for those days you deserve a lil treat or maybe have a bit of a sweet craving – and every once in a while that’s just what you need! Also the recipe I found makes heaps of small sized pancakes that I found were just waaaaay too many for one person so I halved the recipe second time round and found the amount just right!

Here’s what you will need…

Vegan Pancake Recipe

And the method is super easy too. Grab all the dry ingredients and combine in a bowl. Then add the almond milk and vegetable oil and mix until smooth. In a small pan, spray some fry-lite and heat up adding roughly 1 tablespoon of the mixture. Flip the pancake when you see bubbles in the middle.

So that’s it. Let me know if any of you try these pancakes out, they would go perfectly with some fresh fruit and maybe even a little cinnamon if you’re feeling funky!!

Enjoy!

Pancake tower 2

Pancake tower 3

Fluffy pancake

Small frying pan

…Just thought I would include this piccie of the diddy sized frying pan I used to make all my pancakes the same size! Not too sure where this one is from, but find one similar here.

GlowBites x What I Ate This Week

GlowBites 13

So I want to come clean straight away with you guys..I missed last weeks GlowBites post! Well I kinda did, it was half accident/half me thinking that my posts have gotten in to a a bit of a routine that’s regular post – GlowBites – regular post >> you get the drift. So part of me wanted to shake things up a little and give you guys a few more one-off style posts!!

Confession number 2..I have been eating a vegan/plant-based diet this past week! I’ve decided to try and maintain a vegan diet and lifestyle (I used to be vegetarian, most recently I was pescetarian but had already given up dairy milk) for the health benefits, but also because I’m far too emotionally attached to any/all animals and can’t stand the cruel and inhumane ways animals are raised and slaughtered! It’s a personal choice and I in no way want to inflict it upon others – only if they want to know more or ask of it – I’m lucky that my family and friends have been supportive as I’m not gonna lie it is hard and I have definitely had plenty of cravings!

And I thought what better way to share this with you guys than through a sort of what I ate/my week in meals (although I only have 5 different meal pics going on here!) I am definitely loving experimenting more with food, there’s still so much I can make and eat with just a little adaptation! – – Quinoa, Mushrooms, Spinach and Bananas are my new best friends hah!

Quino Meal

Vegan Pizza

Exotic Bean Meal

Sweet Potato Mash

Vegan Pancakes

Lemme give you a quick rundown…

1. Vegetable Quinoa Mix

2. Vegan Pizza on Flatbread

3. Exotic Beans and Tri-Colour Pasta

4. Vegan Sweet Potato Mash

5. Vegan Pancakes – which are my fave thing ever!! (Post coming soon!)

Seriously never knew I could feel so satisfied from eating vegan foods..I’m definitely hoping to maintain the lifestyle long term but will see how it goes! Hope everyone is having a lovely week!

Recipes you NEED to try!

Okay, so I kinda dedicated an entire post for my NutriBullet and giving you guys the lowdown on it ( if you didn’t already know ) and I think I remember promising a new post on a couple of the recipes from the NutriBullet recipe book for some of the savoury bits I have tried – and I promise you they won’t disappoint!

Hummus

Hummus and Muffins

Recipe 1 – Hummus ( with a lil tweaking by moi! )

– 2 cloves of garlic

 I recommend crushing before blending – just makes life a lil easier!

– 2 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and well drained

 approx 2 reg sized supermarket tins

– 1 tsp sea salt

– 1/3 cup tahini

<< so tahini is super hard to get a hold of where I live, so I did some research and substituted it for a 1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter as tahini is kinda nutty! Other substitutes inc. sesame seed oil although you would have to trial the quantity! >>

– juice of 2 fresh lemons

– 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

The method is incredibly easy – it seems too good to be true but I promise it delivers! Literally..throw everything in the Nutribullet cup ( or whatever blender you are using ) and blitz up! I found that I had to take the cup off and mix up some of the ingredients myself a couple of times and also add a lil more o-oil to help it mix a little more smoothly! And the peanut butter isn’t noticeable – it helps and a little tang/kick/nuttiness that hummus needs! It keeps for ages too and I added cracked black pepper and paprika to the top of mine – amazing!

Butternut Squash Soup

Recipe 2 – Butternut Squash Soup

– 1 tbs olive oil

– 1 tbs crushed garlic

– 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, seeded, and cut in to chunks

– 2 1/2 lbs ( 2 reg sized ) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut in to chunks

– 4 cups vegetable stock

– 1 tbs curry powder

– 1 cinnamon stick/pinch of ground cinnamon

– salt and pepper to taste

So obviously the method here is a little more complex but nothing really too different if you are used to making home-made soups!

1. Cook the onion, garlic and apple in a pot with olive oil over a medium heat

2. Add all the rest of the ingredients minus the s + p. Cover the pot and simmer for 20-25 minutes until squash is tender

3. Remove from heat (throw away cinnamon stick) and leave until cool enough to blend

4. Add batches to the NutriBullet cup and blend until smooth! Heat up and add s + p to taste!!

Phew!! So I’m not gonna lie…this soup does take a while to prepare and to cook everything before hand – peeling/seeding/chopping butternut squash = the bane of my life! But it is worth it in the end, it has deffo become my fave soup! I have made it a few times now and found I prefer it without the apple (I forgot to get some one time!) but for those who like a lil sweetness to their soup – go for it! Also I have always used ground cinnamon for ease – I just know I would probably end up leaving the stick in there!!

I have felt so much better about making my own meals from scratch – you know exactly what’s going in there and there’s no hidden nasties! Supersuperrrrrr satisfying too to see everyone enjoying something you have made and put effort in to..everyone at home has loved what I have made and I have requests to make more!! As well – the amount each recipe makes kept me going for days which means it’s an easy pack-up option for work!

Hope everyone is enjoying their stat to the new year – let me know if you try any of these recipes or other ones you have tried and tested!

Nutribullet = My Life!

Nutribullet

So when people asked me what I got for my birthday this year, I have to admit I felt a lil nerdy for telling them ‘a Nutribullet’ which quite a few people hadn’t heard of!! So if you have been living under a rock for the past couple of years and don’t have a clue what I’m talking about then you seriously need to know about it!!

I decided I wanted one of these a couple of years back now when a guy I worked with had bought one from a shopping channel and was using the nutrition plan to help get in to shape. He managed to lose a dress size healthily and improve his cholesterol ( erm..wow!! ) Now even though I don’t have any health issues or risks, I was determined to try and be healthier and find a convenient way to get more fruit and veg in to my diet. So anyway I kept putting off buying one as they are kinda pricey ( although they are on offer all the time now ) plus I was saving for a while for my travel to Aus…so cue a long-ish a-waited time and I finally am the v proud owner of one!

I seriously cannot describe how amazing it is or how much use I have actually gotten out of this so far. The NutriBullet comes with heaps of information and a full booklet on everything you need to know – including the ‘diet’ plan that covers you for 6 weeks. I decided the best way for me to get started would be to follow the plan so I had some structure of when to use it an what recipes to make…and so far lemmeeee tell you that it has definitely not disappointed!

In a nutshell the first stage ( weeks 1-2 ) you have a NutriBlast for brekkie, followed by healthy snacks and meals throughout the day. There are lists of NutriBlast recipes to follow although basically the rule of thumb is to fill your cup with 50% leafy greens ( spinach is the best ) and 50% mix of fruit – throw in added boosts such as turmeric and cashew nuts and you’re done – as simple as that!

Collage NutriBullet

But there is literally so much more you can do with it – I have made soups and hummus, both of which were amazing and approved by the family ( << watch out for blog posts on both of those bad boys! ) There’s a different blade fixture to ‘mill’ seeds and nuts to make dry powders…it’s actually a lil crazy how much you can do with this.

Personally ( I have just finished the first stage of the plan) I feel so much better for having a NutriBlast to start every day, I feel better knowing that I am getting more nutrients in to my diet without any major hassle! The NutriBlasts are so easy and quick to make, and once I have made my breakfast fix, I drink it whilst I am getting ready for the day and it fills me til lunch! And even if you don’t want or need to follow any kind of nutrition plan, you can definitely have fun creating your own juice recipes. I could not recommend the NutriBullet enough – and yes I feel kinda sad for being such an enthusiast but it makes total sense to have one in my life!!

Collage NutriBlasts

A couple of my favourite NutriBlasts! I knowwwww the one on the left doesn’t look so pretty but it tastes delicious!!

So I hope everyone is excited for Christmas day! Here’s hoping my NutriBullet nutrition plan will help counter-act any over-indulgence over the next week! Wishing everyone a lovely week! ❄

GlowBites

Another week another GlowBites – it’s crazy how fast time has gone since getting back home from Melbourne which fyi is fast approaching a year since I left on my journey there but let’s not talk about that!! So I have a little time off work for no real reason which is always nice, I feel as though I have a lot on this week (sort of) and plenty of things to look forward to – I always love having things to plan and look forward to. This past week has been pretty chilled for me, I spent my days off relaxing and attempting to write a few blog posts to help keep on top of it all – I definitely don’t have an excuse this week!! So I will quit rambling and roll with the rest of the post – enjoy!

Emma Bridgewater

Ahhhh this is my Emma Bridgewater mug which I lovelovelove (I’m having a bit of a thing for EB at the moment) and my new little Yankee candle in fireside treats – what a cute name?! I love to have a candle burning in my room, especially when the weather outside is miserable and it’s all cosy inside!

Sweet Potato Meal

So yeah I’m quite the chef at the moment! Last week I decided to make this for tea – it’s a mix of sweet potato, spinach, chick peas, chopped tomatoes and curry powder. It was seriously soooo good and really filling and I managed to get three lots of meals out of it which is definitely a bonus!

MAC Lips

Eeek a little Mac treat for myself! Btw – super impressed with Mac online, they were really prompt with letting me know when a product was back in stock and it was delivered supersuper quick even though I chose the standard delivery option so kudos for Mac! I don’t want to go in to too much detail about these bad boys as I am going to do a seperate post on this new lip combo which I may have kinda stole from Lydia Millen (check out here blog here!) Okay here’s a lil pretty big clue…it is a very Kylie Jenner-esque lip colour!

Omlette

Okay I look like I have a bit of an obsession with food pics in my weekly GlowBites but who doesn’t love to take a piccie of their food before they eat it?! My sister very kindly made me an omlette for lunch the other day as I spied hers and it looked so good and mine never look as nice! And okay she’s not that cute (haha) I created the ketchup heart on my plate to make it look more photogenic of course!

Kylie Jenner

And continuing with the Kylie Jenner theme, I’m obsessed with her mermaid/aqua/blue ombre hair. I actually have a hair appointment this Friday and I am so tempted and would absolutely love to try this but I’m not really brave enough to try it (sob!!) But seriously – having a bit of a thing for Kylie’s style at the moment.

So that’s it for another week of GlowBites! How is it Wednesday already?! I would also like to mention that it’s my mum’s 50th birthday today so would like to wish her a very special Happy Birthday!! ♡♡

Fitness #OOTD

I’m kinda loving getting in to #OOTD posts and thought..why not post a fitness version?! I am totally loving my workout gear at the moment (check out my previous post on my updated gym wardrobe here) and have definitely been trying to commit more to running again. It is pretty cold outside and I always find it a bit of a dilemma what to wear because you step out and it’s freezing, you know you will become a hot sweaty mess usually by the end of it (or is that just me?!) so you kinda want extra layers but then you don’t if you get me…

So for me, I have found the almost perfect outfit that keeps me fairly well protected from the cold/wind/rain, but also doesn’t have me over-heating and wanting to awkwardly remove a layer mid run.

Fitness #OOTD 1    Fitness #OOTD 2

Aaaahh please ignore my hand on these pictures, does anyone else find the iPhone 6plus so awkward to hold when taking pictures?! So a quick run through (excuse the pun!) of my go to running outfit for A/W is:

♡ Nike Free Run 5.0 trainers

♡ Nike Pro legging/tights

♡ New Balance sports bra (super important for support when running)

♡ The Balance Collection by Marika vest top

♡ Primark (<Yes I know!!) Running Jacket

So can we take a second to talk about how Primark is actually hitting the mark at the moment with really inexpensive fitness/activewear?! If you haven’t been recently you seriously need to check it out because the quality/comfort/effectiveness of their clothing during a workout is pretty good. I am definitely about having those moments where you maybe want to pay a bit more for a well-established brand (esp. when it comes to sports bras and shoes) but their clothing range is really impressive at the moment. I am a little bit in love with my running jacket from there, its a dark grey/purple colour with a subtle leopard print, and it is lightweight, comfortable and adds a little extra style when running – and it was around £12!!

This combo is definitely here to stay for the colder months, and I swear sometimes what you wear when working out can make a difference in your mental attitude towards pushing yourself, does anyone else get this feeling?! I’m hoping winter isn’t too bad weather wise so I can maintain running outdoors – I absolutely hate ice and can barely walk on it let alone run!

Hope everyone is having a happy and healthy week!

Updated Gym Wardrobe!

Okay so after reading some of The Skinny Confidential posts on go-to gym outfits and clothing, I decided I needed a little re-vamp of my own! That, and having friends with stylish gym taste, I wanted to up my game a little! I noticed back in Melbourne that the gym fashion was on point ( read my post about it here! ) so I had in mind a few pieces that I wanted to add to my own collection that I’m sure are a must for most of you fitness gals out there!!

Sports Bra collage

So before you question…WTH didn’t you wear a sports bra before?! Yes i did! Although they are not the most flattering type – they were more of a crop than an actual sports bra, and although my new ones are not in your actual bra size ( both are size L ) they fit a bit more like a regular bra. So the first two pictures are of my New Balance sports bra which I bought from TK Maxx for around £20. The material is soft and not lycra like my older ones, which i actually prefer as it makes it so much more comfortable and flattering. The straps are adjustable too which helps to get a better fit and make sure everything feels secure! There are also removable pads in the front to help give a bit more shape. It is definitely my new favourite as it is durable, comfy and looks cute under my workout vests!

I chose the blue sports bra from VS PINK as I loved the colour and design! Again it is slightly padded and molded to fit your body and I loved the mesh detailing at the back. It is mega flattering and actually has a push-up effect that gives a little cleavage – however this makes it less suitable for high intensity workouts or cardio, and is better suited for a pilates or yoga session as it doesn’t offer as much support.

Sports top 1 Sports top 2

These two tops are also from TK Maxx and are by the same brand – The Balance Collection by Marika ( a women’s activewer/yoga clothing brand ) and are both a breathable, soft, cotton-like material. I wanted to choose darker colours so that they didn’t mark as easily or show up sweat marks!! The first pic is a simple black tank with a strappy detailing at the back which I love as I find it super feminine. The second is a dark-ish grey tank which has a black fleck through it. I like this one because it is slightly longer than the black one in length, and I usually prefer a longer length to work out in! It has a twist detail at the back, and is sooooo comfy!

Nike Pro Bottoms

I have actually been wanting a pair of these for a while now and now I finally have some!! They are just the Nike Pro pants/bottoms. For those who don’t know, they are a kind of tight/compression bottom that are a lycra type material and very tight fitting. They have no pockets, and are minimal in detailing, and have a stretchy waistband at the top. Mine are from Sports Direct in a size M and were £22.99. I definitely think I will be purchasing some more so I have a pair when one is in the wash, I just much prefer the look of a full length bottom than a crop, as I think it seems to balance me out a bit more!

And that is it! I am really enjoying getting back in to working out and have joined up at a different gym than what I used to go to before I left for Aus, and so far I am loving their classes – I never thought I would be up and having worked out by 7am!! Also – I would definitely recommend checking out TK Maxx for sports wear  and equipment, they have a really good range at the moment and some really good brands and products!

I have also started my Bikini Body Guide training again by Kayla Itsines, as I didn’t quite complete it through in Aus because of moving and then heading to Bali…so I’m excited to see how this time goes!

Happy Wednesday

Healthy Quiche Recipe!

It feels like forever since I did a recipe post, so I’m excited to share this one with you! On my last post GlowBites I shared a picture of a healthy mini quiche that my mum had made me for lunch and though I definitely need the recipe for it! It is really simple to make, has no pastry crust so is super healthy, and they are great to make for pack-ups! ( – – With it being pastry free I guess it is also similar to a frittata/omelette! )

So what you will need is…

– 2 eggs

– 2 egg whites

– 3/4 pint milk

– Salt and pepper

– Grated cheese ( the amount depending on your own preference! )

– Any mixture of veggies!

– 2 medium sized quiche dishes/flans

Prep

– Firstly, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 and line your quiche dishes with greaseproof paper/baking parchment

– Chop up your mixture of veggies

– Roughly divide up your veggies and spread them between the dishes

Fillings

– In a bowl whisk up the eggs, milk, salt and pepper, then pour over each dish so that you can still see the veggies through the mix

– Place the grated cheese on top and then place in the oven and let them cook for 45 mins ( ages right?! – so make yourself comfortable!! )

– Once cooked ( they should look a golden brown colour on top ) take out of the oven and leave to cool

Healthy Quiche

So the prep is super easy and quick, the cooking time is a little longer as they need to cook slowly and steadily on a medium heat but they are definitely worth the wait! The recipe actually makes about 2 medium sized quiches but as you can see from the photos I actually used 4 different sized dishes ( 2 of which were really small ) so that I could take one of the smaller ones to work with me for my lunch! They are quite filling too, but they are really nice with salad and some healthy homemade potato and sweet potato fries!

Aaaah such a long over-due recipe post, I will definitely have more in the next few weeks!! Hope everyone enjoyed their bank holiday weekend!

GlowBites

Okay so this is a third installment of a weekly/regular post that I vow to now keep on top of! I have actually found that I have collected quite a few images over the past few weeks that I want to share – from a sneak peak of Bali to snaps of things I have bought! So there are actually 12 photos I have to share this week!! I thought I would keep it all in one post as otherwise I would probably forget which photos to upload the following week…so make yourself comfortable and I hope you enjoy a nosy in to my life snapshot style!

Bali Beach

This is a peak at my favourite beach in Bali! ( I am going to do more posts on my time in Bali so don’t want to reveal too much! ) It is Padang Padang Beach In Uluwatu, so popular with tourists and surfers. It felt really secluded as it was a small bay, and was home to lots of mischievous monkeys!

Frangipani

For those of you that don’t know, this is a frangipani flower! They grow on trees and come in so many different colours, they are so beautiful and often used in offerings to the Hindu Gods. I kept finding them at our hotel as they would fall from the trees, and loved wearing them in my hair!

Buddha Statue    Bedside Table

I have forever wanted a Buddha statue as my mum has told me they bring good luck, and also because I like the idea of what they represent. Whilst in Bali we visited a Buddhist temple where there was a stall selling statues – I chose this one which is fairly small in size and is made from lava from a local Balinese volcano, which I thought was so different! — The picture on the right is of where I keep it on my bedside table.

Melbourne Riverside

This is Melbourne Riverside, me and Kyle spent our last day in Australia mooching about Melbourne city. I was so emotional and it was such a beautiful day ( despite the cold temperature! ) I loved spending time along the riverside, it was so picturesque and you get to see so much life!

Lindt Hot Choc

Quite a random pic…buttttt I couldn’t not mention how amazing this Salted Caramel hot choccie from Lindt was! I have developed a bit of an obsession for any salted choc/caramel flavour things and when the lady in the cafe mentioned it was a winter special ( in Melbourne ) I couldn’t resist! It definitely helped  keep me a little warmer whilst watching football in the cold (…dedicated gf alert!! Haha )

VS Perfume

I am seriously in loveeee with my new Victoria’s Secret perfume! I have never had any of their body products before and was so excited to visit the new store in Melbourne Emporium. I decided I liked this perfume the best, although there are so many perfumes it is hard to choose, and my boyfriend treated me to the 100ml Victoria in Melbourne Airport ( cutie! ) It is definitely a ‘me’ kinda scent, with notes of red berries, victoria rose and creme brulee…it’s perfect!

Loom Bracelet

So being in Australia I was totally behind and unaware of the massive loom band trend! Although I don’t think I will becoming addicted anytime soon, I was given this bracelet as a gift when I arrived back home in England – I love the colours!

Ted Baker Phone Case

This is a gift from my brother – a Ted Baker iPhone case – which was so sweet of him! It has a kind of rubber finish but is a hard/plastic case with a beautiful watercolour type floral design on it.

Sand Sculpture

This was actually pretty amazing, I visited Whitby for the day with my family and along one of the streets was a guy sculpting this dog out of sand! It was so detailed and realistic, the paws even have their claws made from sand! It was life size too and so many people were stopping to admire it – a very talented guy and sculpture!

Blender    Breakfast Smoothie

So this week I have made this smoothie twice I loved it that much! I read on The Skinny Confidential that the best way to make a healthy smoothie is to substitute fruit juice ( which is often found in smoothies ) for ice as this helps to thicken it without the extra sugar/calories! So I just made this recipe up from what I found in the fridge…some ice cubes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, a banana and a spoonful of fat free yoghurt!

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend!

The Best Cookie Recipe Ever…!

Choc Chip Cookies

They really are what the title says! I decided to try this recipe for chocolate chip cookies as I loveeeee cookies ( I have such a sweet tooth — sob! ) and because I received an e-mail from Tone It Up with for their online recipe – and seen as though they are Tone It Up Nutrition approved – I thought it would be rude not to make them!

So like I have talked about before in my Healthy Cookies I have never actually been a fan of peanuts or peanut flavoured foods, however when used in baking I don’t seem to care! Again these cookies aren’t too heavy on the peanut flavour so don’t be put off by the fact the recipe mainly consists of it – I promise you will love these cookies, and I think I would say that they are my fave to make ( and eat ) over other cookie recipes!! So here is the recipe which can also be found here on the Tone It Up website.

– 3/4 cup smooth, organic peanut butter

– 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup ( I used honey )

– 1 egg beaten

– 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chunks

– 1/4 tsp of baking powder

– 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract ( I used this instead of the almond extract used in the TUI recipe )

– a pinch of sea salt

– Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees

– Place the peanut butter in a bowl and mix to make sure it is smooth

– Add the already beaten egg, honey/maple syrup, baking powder, vanilla extract and sea salt, and mix well

– Next add the dark chocolate chunks and fold in

– Use a teaspoon to scoop a small amount of dough and place on to a pre-greased baking tray or baking parchment

– Place in the oven for 10 minutes or until they are golden in colour

O M G they are so hard to resist! For me the recipe makes 12 small-ish cookies and 1 – 2 of them makes a perfect snack or desert. Some of mine came out a little dark around the edges but they definitely tasted just as good – they bake so quickly so keep an eye on them when they’re in the oven! And even though some may still look quite gooey or under cooked when you first take them out of the oven, once you leave them to cool they will harden in to the most perfect soft/gooey/chewy cookie ever! I loved these cookies so much I made another batch within the next couple of days!

Cookie Collage2

Happy Wednesday!

GlowBites

I have decided to come up with a weekly post aimed at being fun, spontaneous and light-hearted – think snippets of my life/week all in one bite sized post!! So getting started and keeping it short, sweet and sassyyyy ( I love the word sass at the moment?! ) here are a few pics from the past week here in Melbourne…

Mt Dandenong View

Amazing view from the top of Mt. Dandenong – it was soooo cold but soooo worth the views!

Cocktail

This was a Greygoose cocktail with crushed strawberry and lime from a bar called Left Bank on Melbourne’s Southbank – it was so sweet and delicious I love fruity cocktails! And the bar was so nice, we sat in the outdoor area and our table had a mini fire pit kinda thing going on in the middle which helped me to keep warm!

Fruit

A healthy snack! Strawberries and dragon fruit, I love the pink colour of the skin of the dragon fruit – I think it would make a perfect lip or nail colour!

VS Show

Anddd finally…okay so this is obviously not a picture from my week ( I wish!! ) But I thought I should share how much I am loving/obsessing over Victoria’s Secret at the moment – I have been watching the full length shows from the past few years whilst on the treadmill at the gym to help motivate me!! I’m sure I will get some strange looks but what better way to kick ass and feel even more determined to work out then watching the world’s most gorgeous women walk the catwalk?!

So that’s it for my first GlowBite! I seriously have a tonne of posts that I have to share with you guys that I feel I can’t type them fast enough! Think more amazing recipes, a beauty post and an update on how I am getting on with the Kayla Itsines BBG!

Happy Monday xo

Say NO To Detox/Weight-Loss Tea!

Firstly I have been a sucker and shamefully I admit I have been drawn in to the promise of a ‘quick fix’ that is the ever growing trend of weight loss or detox tea – and I can tell you now for free that it is 100% not worth it! So where do I begin?!
Firstly have you ever noticed the lack of known ingredients or cleverly worded advertising that distracts us from what it is that we actually buying and putting in to our bodies? They are often marketed as all herbal, purifying and natural so we assume that they are safe to use…sounding familiar? There are NO scientific backings/evidence or real hard proof of these tea-tox diets being beneficial or even successful – simply put there is a major lack of research in to any proven effects or results. After some research, I found many nutritionists advise that our bodies do not need these manufactured detoxes and that our own bodies and organs are designed to naturally filter and detox any nasty toxins that we need to get rid of, clever hey?
Maybe it was the lure of the testimonials and before and after photos from customers who had achieved amazing weight loss simply through using this tea – no diet or lifestyle change required! FYI these before and after piccies are often pictures taken from Instagram and other health/lifestyle accounts without users permission – but what girl on a mission to simple and easy weight loss would think twice about the authenticity of a few seemingly true pictures? Seems to good to be true right?
To quickly fill those in who haven’t experienced the world of the quick fix tea-tox, they generally involve you buying a week to two weeks supply of tea that you are advised to drink at night before bed ( and usually the tea-tox is recommended to be followed through once a month. ) Many are advertised as having a similar taste to Green tea however I haven’t found that to be the case! After your week or two is up you are promised to have cleansed your body of nasty toxins, excess water and to have lost all that bloat and extra inches! Oh and if I didn’t mention before, there’s the side effect of ‘increased bowel movement’ ( gross I know but hey where did you expect all of the toxins to go?! ) When I looked some more in to this, it seemed that it was very similar to laxative teas and products – a very unhealthy and unsafe quick fix to weight loss that ultimately leads to weight gain when you no longer use the product!
Sooo…although this seems like a sort of rant and that I have a vendetta against detox tea which actually I guess I kinda do, but I just wanted to help set the record straight for anyone out there that was perhaps considering this faddish quick fix because I promise you there is no shortcut to being and feeling healthy and happy – if a simple drink made us all fabulously skinny wouldn’t everyone be drinking it?! Anyway nothing in life worth having is never that easy and this is definitely true to detox/weight loss teas! Plus how much better will you feel when others compliment you on your health when you know you have worked hard and put the effort and dedication in..? So much more worth it!! xo
…ps if you still feel like you want to invest in some health benefiting tea – try peppermint tea which helps relieve bloating or if you’re in Aus ( like me! ) head to T2 ( the holy grail of all tea shops ) and grab some of their tummy tea, which has a mix of liquorice to help ease and soothe sensitive stomachs!

Healthy Pizza Alternatives

It’s weird to think that when I was younger I never actually used to like pizza, obviously that changed and I loveeeeee a slice ( or three ) of gooey cheesy pizza. I am on a bit of a health kick at the moment and so trying to cut out fast food/processed food etc. but not wanting to completely deprive myself I have found two amazingly healthier pizza alternatives that are just as yummy as the real deal!

Option 1 – Cauliflower Pizza

– 2.5 cups of grated cauliflower/1 large head

– 1 large egg lightly beaten

– 1.25 cups grated light mozzarella

– 2 tablespoons grated parmesan

– Salt and pepper

– Tomato puree

– Cherry tomatoes

– Spinach

– Frylite/non stick spray

– Baking parchment

– Line a baking tray with the baking parchment and pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees

– Grate the cauliflower using a regular cheese grater until you have 2.5 cups of cauliflower crumbles. Then place in a large bowl and microwave for 8 minutes to soften and then let cool

– Then mix in the beaten egg, 1cup mozzarella ( the rest is for the topping ) parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper

– Once combined spread the mixture on to the baking tray and pat down to create a thin layer. Spray lightly with the Frylite and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden

– Top the pizza with the tomato puree, spinach, the remaining mozzarella, and chopped tomatoes. Bake in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.

cauliflower pizza

Okayyyy so maybe I topped the cauliflower pizza with a bit more than a quarter cup of mozzarella but I couldn’t resist! This recipe makes a pretty large pizza too – it was enough for two of us plus extra for my lunch the next day. The crust is amazing and  I think it actually tasted even better the next day! This is probably the closer version to a more traditional ( and calorific! ) pizza so definitely an option for those days you are craving junk food. I have made this pizza twice now and it is actually easier than what I first imagined and a definite fave with the boyf!

Option 2 – Open Wholemeal Wrap Pizza

– 1 wholemeal wrap

– Tomato puree

– Spinach

– Cherry tomatoes

– Light mozzarella grated

– This recipe is so simple! Take your wrap and spread a layer of tomato puree over one side

– Add plenty of spinach on top

– Chop the tomatoes and scatter over the spinach

– Finally add a handful of the grated mozzarella on top and place in the oven at 200 degrees for about 10minutes.

tortilla pizza

I also added a little light feta to my pizza but you can add any toppings you fancy! It’s so quick and easy to make, I actually got the idea from a bar/restaurant back home where they called them ‘tostados’ and it was so delicious I started to recreate them back at home and have never looked back!! They are definitely the lighter and healthier option out of the two pizzas as there is less cheese used but nonetheless just as tasty!

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend xo

If Summertime was a Shoe…

… it would pretty much look like these!

It’s practically winter here in Melbourne, but a little ( okay, well actually a lot ) of colour never hurt anyone right?! So if any of you remember back to my City Gym Fashion post, I gushed about the amazing gym style everyone seems to have out here and how shoes were definitely a statement piece. Well…I am now the proud owner of possibly the brightest pair of Nike RosheRun ever!!

RosheRun Collage

They caught my attention last week ( how could they not?! ) on my walk to work and they have kinda been on my mind ever since. Andddd I have to give credit to my boyfriend here for being amazingly sweet and surprising me with them after work on Friday!

They have a hot pink sole which kinda fades/ombres to orange – the name of the colour is Atomic Mango which sums it up pretty perfectly don’t ya think?! For anyone who doesn’t know, the RosheRun are very lightweight and thin which makes them super comfy and wearable. I know they’re more of a fashion sneaker than for actual fitness, but a little walking in them does no harm!

And as homage to my new Nikes, I have gone for matching nails too – who knew co-ord could be so fun?!

I felt like these shoes were too amazing to not share with you guys, and hopefully inject a serious dose of brightness in to your day! Do you ever get that feeling of looking at new workout clothes and instantly feeling more motivated?! I swear looking at these shoes makes me think of summer, long hot days, bikinis and sex on the beach cocktails – now time to put them to use and get that summer bod!

… Just a little tag along pic of what I had at Babble cafe today in Prahran – which is fast becoming my faveeee place ever so I couldn’t not mention it! I had some sweet potato fries and a Lychee Slap cocktail that was packed with lychee, mint, lime and chilli!!

Babble

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend! xo

Monday Motivation!

Mondays are the new Fridays…seriously!! I am loving my Monday Motivation!!

Just a quick post to round up a fairly quiet weekend and good start to the week!

Saturday night was my first time at a NRL game to support Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park which was definitely fun – so many people were so high-spirited, and they won the game in the last minute which always adds to the drama and excitement! Anddd to show our dedication to our adoptive home here in Aus, me and my boyfriend are now sporting the super stylish Melbourne Storm scarves! — Seriously though they are super soft and warm which is definitely a must now the weather is getting colder.

AAMI Park

The outside of the AAMI park which is sooooo pretty at night and changes colour!

So Monday is nearly done and dusted here in Melbourne, I felt so positive this morning waking up and I think it had something to do with the new fitness and nutrition plan I am starting on! I won’t go in to too much detail about it as I have only just started it so want to give it chance ( if only these things worked over-night! ) But that being said I am mega excited and positive about this – like more so than any over program I have done before! I basically heard of the Bikini Body Guide through The Skinny Confidential ( my absolute fave blog at the moment! ) It is a healthy eating plan/breakdown/education and a workout plan that are available as e-books worldwide. What attracted me of course is the owner and face to it all – Kayla Itsines – approach to women’s health, and of course her body is perfection! Workouts are broken down, explained, and the best part is they can be done at the gym or at home! They take a total of 28mins so absolutely no excuses to not do them!! I haven’t completely read through everything yet but what I have totally makes sense and is practical and this mornings workout really had me working hard! So here’s to the next 12 weeks and that I keep up the motivation and stick to it all, I have taken the dreaded ‘before’ piccies so I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing the changes over the weeks!

…Thought I would share a quick pic I took of my dinner that I made which was so quick and easy to do, just some red pepper ( capsicum to aussies! ) eggplant, parsnip and broccoli mixed with some pasata, garlic and paprika and baked in the oven! I also had a little halloumi on the side to help keep me full!

IMG_20140512_192818

It doesn’t look so pretty but it tasted good and definitely counted towards those daily dose of veggies!

Happy Monday everyone! xo

Instagram Inspiration

I loveeeee Instagram, I mean who doesn’t?! Actually I remember first getting an iPhone and downloading the app and thinking, what is all the fuss about, and it took a work friends persuasion to reassure me it was cool and fun and that I hadn’t given it chance – obviously I’m glad I did now!

What I prefer about Instagram is that it is all about the photo – with the chance for you to write a small something. It is quick, to the point and can actually be really meaningful. I know, I know, we all have those Instagram ‘friends’ who hashtag the life out of their pictures for likes or whatever, or those pictures that are heavily edited, but nevertheless everyone uses it for more or less similar reasons. It is has become sooo popular for businesses and celebrities to represent their brand so it that makes us feel as though we have this real insight into a part of their lives and that they are normal people. And then there are those that have become ‘Instagram famous’ simply through starting an account and sharing their pictures ( if only it was that easy! )

instagram famous

FYI – this is not my personal opinion, I saw the quote on Instagram which made me laugh a little!

In fact I probably feel the opposite as I have found so much inspiration through it that I genuinely appreciate how it can totally create and transform the messages people are sending! I usually check Instagram everyday and I get strangely excited to look through the piccies that have been uploaded! Not only do you get a lil nosy in to your friends life, but I have discovered so many new brands, products and ‘celebrities.’ There’s definitely been a trend in lifestyle and health&fitness dedicated pages which once you sift through there are some pretty amazing ones which is kinda why I wanted to do this post! Just as a bit of fun and to share insight in to some of my fave Insta accounts that if you haven’t already heard of, then where have you been hiding?! I narrowed it down to four accounts, three of which are pretty similar but all have a different style and all of which I find inspiring, fun and genuine!

 

Tuna the Dog

Okayyy so I’m a little bias here because I am such a dog person but this dog is honestly the cutest thing ever! He is a Chiweenie called Tuna ( a chihuahua x dachshund ) who was rescued by his owner as he has a serious overbite which is kinda considered a defect and ‘undesirable’ in dogs which = bad news for dogs! I definitely think it just makes him a million x cuter! The pictures posted are so adorable and will seriosuly but you in a happy mood, but the owner also promotes re-homing dogs and doggie charities which I think is such a good cause to bring awareness to.

Karena and Katrina

So I’m pretty sure that Karena and Katrina from Tone It Up are a huuuuuuge deal in the US. At home in England I first discovered Tone It Up through Youtube probably about a year ago and have loved their approach to health&fitness ever since. They are best friends and partners in business that promotes a holistic, happy and healthy attitude to fitness and lifestyle. They have created DVDs, nutrition guides and have collaborated with the likes of Oakley to create feminine, wearable sports accessories. The whole TIU community is full of inspiring and creative women which all reflects the personality of their brand – everyone seems to genuinely want to encourage one another and I don’t find them too in your face with selling their products.

Yoga Girl

So I love a good yoga account on Insta and this is by far my favourite. Rachel Brathen is Swedish but spends most of her time in Aruba living, breathing and teaching yoga. Her whole approach and aspect on life is very eco, down-to-earth and honest. She often writes a lot of her thoughts down with her posts ( which sometimes causes controversy ) but they are sooo thoughtful and really give a sense of dedication to her practice. I guess I kinda feel grounded reading and looking through her pictures as she always seems to have a positive outlook and really wise words to share. One of her recent quotes which I thought is so simple but so true,

” Relax. Life is not as serious as your mind makes it out to be. “

( …Mind Blown!! )

Lorna Jane

Lastly another fitness&lifestyle kinda account that I discovered since moving to Melbourne. Lorna Jane is a fitness brand that again promotes this real sense of a holistic life and well-being approach to health. The activewear is to die for, but they post some really thought-provoking things too like little inspirational quotes and memos to remind you of your journey to a happy and healthy life. There’s also posts on fitness tips, recipes and much more. Their motto is ‘ MOVE. NOURISH. BELIEVE.’ which I think is super important and basically sums up the perfect healthy attitude!

Ahhh so there it is my Instagram Inspiration, I realize that they are mainly focused on female lifestyle but I guess that’s just because it is personally easier to relate to that kinda thing being a girl!! Living a healthy lifestyle is really important to me and I find that these accounts sometimes give me that inspiration or little push I need to remind myself of that! Hope everyone has had an amazing week and looking forward to the weekend and that this has provided you with a little daily GlowDown inspiration! xo

…Ps have a lil nosy on my Insta here!

TheGlowDown Amazingly Delicious Scones!

This is the highly coveted ( …you will understand once you have tried them! ) recipe for the cheese scones that I posted a picture of in my Yummy Healthy Options post – which you can read here. Okay, so they’re not so healthy but the picture my mum sent me of ones she had made was too cute and they are too delicious not to share with you!

– 225g/8oz self-raising flour

– 50g/2oz butter

– 1 egg

– 1/2 tsp dried mustard powder

– a little milk

– 75g/3oz grated strong cheese

– a pinch of salt and pepper

– Combine the flour, butter, dried mustard powder, cheese and salt&pepper in a bowl — do this by using your hands to kinda rub/kneed it all together

– Once the mixture is starting to come together, add the egg and a little milk to help it all bind

– Spread a little flour onto a clean work surface and begin to roll out the dough to your desired thickness ( about 1cm or less works well)

– Cut into whatever shapes take your fancy!! Then brush each one with a little milk or egg

– Place on a baking tray and in to the oven on the top shelf  for 10-15mins at 220 oc/425f/gas mark 7

I loved when my mum made these at home as a treat, and they are sooooo nice eaten warm and fresh – cut in half and a little butter mmmmm it’s enough to make you drool! And who doesn’t enjoy a savoury treat once in a while – move over sweet stuff!

Anyway a big thank-you to my mum who was kind enough to share her recipe after me nagging her for it, I know she has been reading my blog back home and is so supportive! ♡♡♡ xo

 

Yummy Healthy Options

Okay so this is kind of a mixed post that is obviously about healthy but still really tasty food! So to start off I want to mention a really cute/kitsch sandwich cafe that I found on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy called Martha Ray’s. I just needed something quick to grab and eat on the go but something relatively healthy too.  Being vegetarian I went for the eggplant sandwich and chose to have it on rye bread ( which if you haven’t tried you definitely should and it is low in GI! ) I’m kinda having a thing for eggplant ( or aubergine back home! ) out here, I never really ate much of it before but I swear I am becoming addicted! Anyway the eggplant was roasted and then cooked in tomato, a small amount of grana padano and basil – it was so tasty and filled me up perfectly! The inside of the cafe was very kitsch – brick walls painted white, wooden tables and tin chairs – it kind of reminded me of Eat me Cafe back at home which is mega popular and has a similar kind of style to it. I’ve also tried the vegie foccacia at Babble that has eggplant, halloumi, salad and harissa mayonaise ( which is a cafe/bar in Prahran and is amazing! ) and also Brioche by Philip does a vegie sandwich that has eggplant, capsicum, spicy mayonaise, halloumi and rocket which is sooooo good – but obviously not as healthy as the one at Martha Ray’s! Martha Ray’s also has really good reviews on Urban Spoon – 92% and they do breakfasts too which seem to be really popular, back at home the whole breakfast scene wasn’t as big as it is here so I definitely need to indulge!

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Feels so American with the cute paper bags for the sandwiches from Martha Ray’s!

Secondly I would like to share an amazing recipe for healthy sweet potato mash – so delicious! So I will get straight into it…..

– 4 medium sized sweet potatos

– 2 tbsp sour cream ( I used sour cream infused with garlic )

– 1/2 cup of low fat milk ( I actually used almond milk and it worked perfectly fine! )

– 3 cloves of garlic

– 1 tsp butter

– salt and pepper

– Peel and chop the sweet potato ( the smaller pieces you chop the easier it is to mash! ) and place in a pan of salted water and boil until soft which takes about 15-20mins

– Meanwhile crush the cloves of garlic and add to a hot pan along with the butter and saute

– Once the sweet potatoes are boiled, drain and return to the pan. Add the milk, sour cream, and garlic to the pan and mask until smooth and creamy.

– Add salt and pepper as desired!

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And there it is! It looks a little like baby food but it is so delicious and actually really filling, the recipe makes enough for four so I even took some to work for lunch the next day!

I also have a recipe for garlic broccoli mash which is super healthy – at the moment I cant decide which I prefer!

Hope everyone enjoys another long weekend here in Australia xo

….ps just thought I would add this piccie of some not so healthy but super cute cheese scones my mum made at home and sent me a piccie of! She’s so good at baking and they are definitely the best cheese scones ever especially when they’re eaten warm as a treat!

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Why I Love Pilates

Before arriving here in Melbourne I was a big big fan of yoga. I did Pilates mat but felt the class didn’t do so much for me…on the other side of the globe and my feelings have definitely changed! Here my love for yoga has definitely been converted in to a slight obsession with Pilates reformer!

For those that don’t know, there are two main types of Pilates – mat and reformer. Both extremely good for you but both work in slightly different ways on the body. The main focus is resistance; reformer uses a ‘bed’ or ‘machine’ that consists of spring loaded resistance, whereas the resistance in mat comes from your own body weight and therefore is sometimes linked to being more focused on your core.

So being here in Melbourne I decided to go for a reformer class as nowhere local at home offers this kind of class. The classes at Kaya are always so popular so I knew I was on to a good thing! I have been practicing Pilates reformer 2 – 3 times a week now for about 3months and I am mega impressed! I feel like each class and instructor offers a different perspective and so a different, personal take on each session. For me, it’s a perfect combination of strength and cardio – which I was shocked about but you honestly break out a sweat each time! In comparison to yoga ( which I still practice and still love ) I find it is more universal and perhaps a bit more strengthening due to the resistance element. I have found that my body has changed gradually in a way that I have never been able to achieve before, and although it is not a drastic change, I feel more toned and tightened without feeling bulky. I have also learnt a lot more about spinal alignment and am more conscious of my posture – which is so important and definitely benefits you in other exercises and life in general!

Anyway without gushing too much, that is why I love Pilates! After every class I always feel like I have genuinely had an amazing workout – I think I will be doing it until I’m a granny! ( at least I hope! )  Hope everyone is having a happy, healthy week – only 2 working days left of this week woo! xo

Keeping it Healthy

Over the past couple of weeks I have become a bit more conscious of my diet and what I am eating. Doing the gym thing is easy enough as I actually love the gym I’m at and enjoy going, but as you often see online and often through Pinterest ( ooo follow me here! ) and social media sites is that exercise only accounts for about 30% of your overall health and that the remaining 70% is determined by diet.

It is so confusing though for anyone to know what a healthy diet should be with constant promotions of low carb high protein diets, or eating every 2-3hours. Also many snacks and foods are labelled as ‘low fat’ but often then have high levels of salt or sugar. I have tried to follow these diets before and often felt moody due to the lack of carbs and then veered off track which obviously defeats the point! However, eating little and often does seem to help me as at work I don’t get a set lunch break so being able to nibble helps me to keep full and keep going. Overall I have begun to believe that we shouldn’t need to substitute or add in dietary supplements ( obviously within reason ) and that we are designed to get everything we need from what we grow and what is natural – crazy right?!

So lately I have been making more of an effort to eat more fruit and veg, less processed foods and less of the sweet stuff! In Melbourne there are plenty of juice bars ( some more healthy than others! ) and are an easy and delicious way to get fruit in to your diet. Near me there is a pressed juice bar that I tried for the first time over the weekend and loved it! ( visit their website and have a nosy – they do juice cleanses too! pressedjuices.com.au )

 I got the berry glow 1 – I picked it because of the colour! It is a mix of apple lime and strawberry. The website says that, “The berry family, all help to make collagen, the protein to keep skin supple, smooth, healthy and looking younger!” Which is perfect as who doesn’t want a juice that tastes great and is good for your skin?! The packaging states that all fruits and veggies used are sourced locally and cold pressed with nothing else added. Juices have to be drunk once opened and can only be refrigerated if unopened, and then can only be kept for a couple of days. It actually tasted amazing, I felt that for once you could actually taste all of the ingredients, too often you can buy juices that are packed full of different fruits yet the taste is kind of a general fruit taste.

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I love that the juices are simple, you don’t have to worry about any nasty preservatives or read through a lengthy ingredient list to see what you are actually drinking – what you see is what you get! Anyway I will definitely be heading there to try out more, it is just around the corner from me and I have a feeling I may become addicted! Happy Monday! xo

Healthy Cookies!

Firstly, I am am actually not a fan of peanuts so have always assumed that I wouldn’t like peanut butter so I was a bit cautious, but the promise of being easy to make and being healthy won me over! They’re super simple and super quick to make! I will get straight in to the recipe…

1/2 cup of organic chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cup of rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
– In a bowl, mix the peanut butter, sugar, and baking soda until fluffy. Now beat in the egg.
– Add the rolled oats and mix well
– Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper ( I actually forgot to do this and the cookies didn’t stick to the tray at all! )
– Grab a small amount of mixture and work into a ball shape, place on the baking tray and gently press flat with your hand
– Bake for 8 mins or until slightly brown
– Cool cookies on a wire tray and store any remaining in an air-tight container

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Voila!

I actually loved these cookies and two of them as a snack would really fill me up! (The container in the picture is only small and the cookies were about 4cm in width – how cute!) You can also make them gluten free by adding gluten free rolled oats as the recipe contains no flour or wheat – yey! They kept really well and were such a quick and simple snack to have at work. The peanut flavour isn’t overpowering either so if you are not so fond of peanuts don’t let it put you off! I will definitely be making them again, and the recipe made about 12 cookies for me. Happy Baking! xo

City Gym Fashion

So one of the first things I decided to do out here was to sign up to a gym – to keep fit and healthy and to give me an opportunity to socialise and meet new people! And this is kind of a two-in-one post on the gym I go to (because I love it so much!) and the difference in gym fashion over here compared to the UK.

When I bought gym clothes at home I guess I have always shopped around for something practical, comfortable and not completely hideous. I wouldn’t feel out of place in a gym in the UK in a baggy t-shirt and maybe some Nike running bottoms. 10 000 miles over on the other side of the word and my gym wear definitely felt a little out of place! Maybe it’s a city thing, but I soon noticed the girls in Melbourne have an impeccable gym style! Slicked back perfected hair, lycra everything (usually in black) with a splash of colour usually in the form of the latest trainers. Walking about and dining in gym gear is the norm – at home I cringed at having to occasionally head to the supermarket in my gym clothes post workout! I love that that there’s a sense that gym wear is just as flattering and sexy as any other outfit and it’s just accepted as a normal part of life – how I think it should be.

Anyway, I am slowly replacing my gym clothes piece by piece as looking stylish whilst you workout comes at a price! There is so much choice here that it is almost impossible to not to want to buy a whole wardrobe of co-ordinated gym clothes. The shops that I have found that seem to be most popular are Rebel Sport, LornaJane and Lululemon. A perfect outfit here would be ankle length lycra trousers, a pretty asymmetric back sports bra and a lycra fitted top.

The gym I joined here in Melbourne is completely different to any I have been a member of back in the UK. Membership isn’t so cheap here but Kaya Health Club is sooo worth it, I feel like I genuinely want to go and be there! The gym itself is fairly new and is quite contemporary in it’s design and interior. It feels peaceful and clean which I find really important! The machines have so much technology you are spoilt for choice. The main selling point for me was that there are regular yoga and Pilates classes. I have always been a fan of yoga and have practiced vinyasa since I joined here. I then decided to try out the Pilates reformer class (where you use a bed/machine) and I love it! I had tried a Pilates mat class at home and felt the class didn’t do much for me but out here I really feel the burn! I feel the teachers/instructors really know what they are doing and are dedicated to their practice. I think I will actually be a bit upset if I don’t stay in Melbourne and have to leave the gym!

I thought I would leave the websites at the bottom of this post for those who want to have a look at gym clothes or Kaya as many of the images are protected so I couldn’t post them here! Have a happy, healthy week xo

www.rebelsport.com.au

www.lornajane.com.au

www.lululemon.com.au

www.kayahealthclubs.com.au