Monday, 31 March 2014

A day in the life: Sundays in Stortford

Peach iced tea, scrummy breakfasts and leisurely walks...
Pretty much my favourite thing to do on a Sunday lately. Have tea and breakfast and go for long walks in Bishops Stortford. A small town located in Hertfordshire with tons of character and some absolutely gorgeous tea rooms. If you're a lover of shabby chic style, homemade cakes and loose leaf teas then it's obviously a must that you pay this place a visit.. 

Above: South Street Pantry tea rooms in Bishops Stortford.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Pastels and sweet sugar scents

Spring is upon us!
The sun has finally been shining and SS14 trends are on their way into stores. Spring is the perfect season to refresh with a new wardrobe and new products to try; be it beauty or clothing, make sure you keep your eyes peeled for candy colours and pretty pastels. I love an excuse to get these colours into my wardrobe and pamper my skin with summery, fruity body products. Yankee Candle always deliver on fragrance from their candles so I am keen to see what this Easter edition brings to the table. I have tried body butters from The Body Shop in the past and have been impressed, so I want to get my hands on this mango scented butter and try it too. Lush cosmetics are probably the most imaginative and exciting bath and beauty company that I have stumbled across and I just know these limited edition Easter bombs and bubble bars are going to smell beautiful and leave my skin feeling silky soft! As for the cute pastel cuff bracelet, I definitely want this in my jewellery box to pop on for casual wear on a sunny day teemed with a pretty pastel nail.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Get Fit Friday: Banana, pear and pecan pancakes

Good Evening! It's Get Fit Friday time which means some insight into healthy eating and lifestyle from me to you tonight! 

I am really enjoying my Friday morning workouts recently and after workouts on almost a daily basis after work too, I'm definitely feeling the burn this week.. but its all worth it! It has been a good week and I've most enjoyed my improved diet, lots of gym and grabbing some cute household bits whilst shopping yesterday! Milk bottles, recycled glass cups and shabby chic boxes and tins were on the agenda yesterday! Yay to shopping. Always.

I hit the gym this morning at 7:30am for an hour and a half workout. Early morning workouts often leave people puzzled as to what pre-workout food they should be consuming so early. My solution is simply a medium sized banana beforehand and a big bottle of water to take along.. bananas are a healthy option full of slow releasing energy and are a perfect pre workout snack at any time. A small healthy snack is best before an early morning workout and you can re-fuel afterwards. Eating protein packed foods post workout and filling yourself up at that point not only re-fuels the system but aids muscle repair and can help banish those next day aches and pains. All in all, think healthy snack beforehand and then a re-fuel of proteins and some healthy
carbs for the rest of the day once the workout is over.

So what do I eat post workout in the early hours? 

I generally don't. I drink. Green smoothies packed full of vitamins, energy and protein. A big creamy glass full of goodness to repair and re-fuel. This morning I whizzed up mango, kale, light coconut milk and spirulina for a green smoothie, topped with a tablespoon of chia seeds for my post workout breakie. I had lunch with my mum today and we indulged in a tasty Nandos. Eating out doesn't have to spoil your hard work though! I opted for a lemon and herb chicken breast, macho peas and some corn on the cob. I would have gone for a chicken breast pitta long ago but now I have changed over to a gluten free and protein rich diet, I simply order it without that part and enjoy a much healthier, leaner meal.

Today was surprisingly warm and sunny for early March which cheers everybody up no matter what. If the sun is shining, make the most of it and spend time outside getting your vitamin D intake! I sliced up some citrus fruits today and popped them in some ice cold water. Making your own flavoured water is much healthier and nutritious than buying the artificial stuff in the supermarket. I added pink grapefruit, lemon and lime slices for a zesty twist to my water. My furry friend was also interested in this fruity concoction! Meow..
This afternoon I had some time freed up and so took the opportunity to get my apron on and do some healthy cooking! I have already tried this recipe out on pancake day with my boyfriend but I've added some extras for todays' blog and so read on below if you fancy learning how to make gluten free, banana, pear and pecan pancakes.. with an optional drizzle of maple syrup.. can you resist?

Banana, pear and pecan pancakes.

These treats are gluten free, flour free and dairy free!

Makes around 6 small pancakes.

Half a teaspoon of olive oil or oil of your choice for cooking
One large banana
Two eggs
One sliced ripe pear
One Handful of halved pecan nuts
And some maple syrup for drizzling over these beauties!

Add the banana to a mixing bowl and mash with a fork until it resembles a thick purée.

Add the two eggs and whisk with a fork.

Smear the oil over a frying pan and heat until the oil starts to bead on the surface of the pan.

Spoon some of the mixture into the pan, I made smaller pancakes which are much easier to flip, as this mixture is quite sticky, don't make them too large!

Once you starts to see small holes in the top of the pancake, flip it over and cook until firm and brown.
These pancakes will tend to be quite a dark colour due to the banana in the mixture cooking and changing colour so don't be alarmed!

Once you have used all of the mixture, stack the pancakes on a plate.

Serve with the sliced pear and pecans on top and a generous drizzle of maple syrup..

You could swap the topping for anything you fancy. If you want to make these super protein pancakes, a big dollop of fat free quark would be a great addition. Otherwise, greek yoghurt and frozen berries would be a great alternative, or sprinkle some cinnamon on top and add freshly sliced apple with honey. This is such a versatile dish you can really go wild with the toppings!

This dish itself would be a great breakfast to eat after a strenuous workout. It contains eggs which are protein rich, banana full of potassium and electrolytes and vitamin and fibre packed pears. If you've worked hard all week at the gym or work, why not treat yourself to this healthy alternative pancake dish.. delicious.

For the rest of the evening I plan to get super comfy in some lazy clothes, grab a book or film and just relax. It's all well and good working hard and eating healthily but it's just as important to get that down time and let your body repair itself. Thank you for reading tonight guys and keep eating clean and healthy!