Sunday, 21 February 2016

Healthy Living: My Day On A Plate #1

I have seen these 'What I ate today' posts, floating around the blogging and YouTube world for a while now. I always enjoy having a bit of a nosy in to other peoples lives, so I thought I would give it a whirl! I chose a typical day off, come and be nosy!
I share photographs and snippets of my healthy lifestyle and all the food over on my instagram, if you want to see more of what I eat.

Breakfast - 10.00am
I started my day off with a litre of water and a morning workout to get that blood pumping, I usually exercise for around forty to fifty minutes depending on how much time I have. After showering I am usually starving, so I head to the kitchen to whip up some breakfast. I was feeling rather fancy this morning so I opted for my healthy French toast, I used fresh seeded rye bread from my local deli and topped my toast with fresh blueberries and a drizzle of my favourite sweetener, Sweet Freedom.
They were delicious! I also had a cup of Tetley tea with skimmed milk, a green tea and I grabbed another litre bottle of water from the fridge. I usually drink around 4 litres of water every day, and copious amounts of green tea.
Lunch - 1.30pm
About 12.30pm, I decided to go out for a power walk. I ended up walking about 1 mile exploring the countryside, it was such a bright and sunny but chilly day. After getting home from my walk I made some lunch - I had two slices of the seeded rye bread, spread with red pepper houmous and filled with crumbled feta, fresh sliced beetroot, cucumber and rocket, with cherry tomatoes, sliced carrot, a pear and an apple.

Snack time - 4.00pm
I spent the afternoon writing up a few blog posts, editing photographs and putting together some collages. Around 4.00pm I fancied a little snack and a cup of green tea, so I grabbed a chocolate chip Clif bar and a juicy peach to nibble on while I spent the rest of the afternoon working on my laptop, and watching YouTube videos.
Dinner - 6.15pm
Me and my boyfriend live together, so I waited for him to finish work before getting started on dinner. I made a batch of my favourite vegetable broth over the weekend, and I had a portion left in the fridge so I poured myself a bowl and had two slices of bread on the side, for dunking!
In case you couldn't tell, I am pretty addicted to the freshly baked bread my deli sells - it's delicious and nutritious, I love the seeds!
Snacks - 8.30pm
I always have a little sweet treat after dinner, I love dessert and have a major sweet tooth so it staves off those chocolate cravings, and stops me from devouring an entire block of Cadbury fruit and nut.
I made myself a little plate of sweetness, a sliced apple topped with crunchy almond butter, a handful of The Food Doctor fig and cranberry granola for crunch and a drizzle of choc shot. I also had a sliced pear, and 3 squares of Doisy and Dam 74% coconut and lucuma dark chocolate, which is bloody addictive!

Snack - 10.30pm
Me and the boyfriend usually settle down around this time, to binge watch our latest Netflix obsession. It's currently Lie to me, which we have seen so many times but it's such a brilliant show!
I had about 150g of frozen grapes and a green tea, they one of my favourite snacks, I always have a stash in my freezer.

And that's everything I ate today!

I hope you enjoyed this 'My Day on a Plate' post, What are some of your favourite dishes? Do you have a sweet tooth like me? Perhaps you have some sweet snack suggestions?

Please let me know if you liked this style of post, as I really enjoyed writing it and would love to share more of what I eat with you!

I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.

Let's be friends!

Love Laurenx

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Lifestyle: Life Through My Camera Roll #5

It's been quite a while since I have sat down and written a 'life through my camera roll' post, my previous one was a festive edition catch up here, so I thought it was about time I shared with you the things I have been loving lately snapped with my iPhone, along with a bit about what I've been getting up to.

Well February has been a pretty good month for me food wise, with pancake day and valentines date night. I whipped myself up a batch of my favourite banana pancakes (simply 1 mashed banana and 2 eggs, see my post here) which I topped with sliced banana, a handful of granola (the food doctor fig and cranberry is heavenly) and a drizzle of choc shot, who doesn't love chocolate for breakfast? They were delicious and healthy to boot. 
Valentines day is another 'stuff your face with all the sweet stuff' kinda day - the lovely boyfriend surprised me with a beautiful bunch of pink flowers and roses, which have yet to bloom and a cute novelty 'I love you' balloon, which was such a sweet little touch. We celebrated the day of love by going out for dinner to our favourite local place, check out my review here, I had a delicious Cajun chicken salad with buttery new potatoes, and treated myself to a dessert (who can resist dessert?) I went for the rhubarb and pear crumble with pear sorbet, and it was probably the best crumble I've ever had!

A few weeks ago the boyfriend and I went to Exeter for the day, and while we were there he popped in to Argos and bought us an electric blanket for our king size bed. My oh my, how on earth did I ever cope without one? I'm forever cold, my hands and toes are always freezing and with this bitterly cold weather I've been loving my electric blanket. Afternoon naps cocooned in my warm bed have become the norm, the boyfriend did very good. The best present a chilly girl could ask for.
Speaking of warm and cosy, I have been loving my pyjamas at the moment. (I say 'at the moment' I always love pyjamas, they're my standard home uniform to be honest) But I have treated myself to a few new pairs lately - these adorable and super soft 'will wake up for champagne and croissants' New Look slogan pair are my favourite. Pyjamas are the best invention, they're so cosy and I would live in them if I could. I also picked up a new tee - I couldn't resist, it's so cute!
I picked myself up a new mascara last month, 'Maybelline the falsies push up drama.' I love the falsies mascara from Maybelline so I had high hopes for their new version. It didn't disappoint - it curls my lashes beautifully and gives an amazing false lash effect, I love how long and luscious my lashes look. My only little bugbear is that the formula is quite wet, so I find that it can smudge very easily - it's best to apply sparingly and not just pile it on, especially on the lower lash line. Other than that it's a winner!
Fitness wise I have been loving strength training lately, as I am trying to tone up a little bit and get stronger. I love the Popsugar workouts, they have a been a favourite of mine for a few years now. Anna Renderer is such a babe, she is so motivating and explains the moves that you are doing perfectly, along with how they are benefiting your fitness levels. I already feel fitter and stronger in my body. I can see a difference in my stomach and legs, I think that my body is looking a lot leaner. I'm feeling so happy in my own skin, which is such a big thing for me to say, as I spent so many years hating my body and covering it up, that I now feel so confident and happy to flash a little flesh.
Although with this weather I have been living in boots, thick tights and cosy jumpers - I can't wait for spring to arrive, hopefully bringing brighter days.

I hope you enjoyed this 'Life through my camera roll' post, What have you been loving lately? Did you whip up a batch of tasty pancakes for Shrove Tuesday?

I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.

Let's be friends!

Love Laurenx

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Lifestyle: Five Ways To Relax and Unwind

Stress. It affects us all in different ways, some people can handle high pressure full on situations and others simply can't. It can be overwhelming and frankly quite awful - I fall into the latter group, I am constantly worrying and I always let those stressful situations get to me, when they really shouldn't.
So I thought I would share with you my top five ways to relax, unwind and de-stress. I hope this post helps you to chill out and think of yourself once in a while.
Fresh air, fresh perspective
Walk it out - sometimes you just need to remove yourself from the stressful situation, and by getting some much needed fresh air, you can clear your mind and get a fresh perspective.

Get your bake on
For me baking is very therapeutic - it's just me and a recipe. I don't have to worry or even think about anything else other than my bake, and there's the added bonus that you get to scoff the fruits of your labour. I love to whip up a batch of chocolate chunk cookies, cupcakes or some healthy treats, such as my banana oat muffins or healthy cookies. 

Get lost
Sometimes I like to curl up on my couch, snuggled under a cosy blanket with a big cup of tea, a good book or magazine, and just get lost. Immersing myself in a story or article always helps to take my mind off any worries, it's a great way to relax, unwind and it's also nice to take some time for yourself offline once in a while. 

Make plans
I am a huge planner, I'm always planning things so far in advance - seriously, just ask my boyfriend he must be so sick of me asking 'would you like to go to 'so and so' next June?' (I jest... well there may be a little truth) I find that planning my next holiday, a day trip somewhere fun or even a weekly/monthly date night, gives me something to look forward to when I am having a stressful time.

Have a nap
If all else fails then have a power nap. I find that after having a thirty to forty five minute sleep I always wake up feeling refreshed and energised. Try not to sleep for longer than one hour, or you might wake feeling more lethargic than you did before your kip.

I hope you enjoyed this 'Five ways to relax and unwind' post, What are some of your favourite ways to relax? Are you a worrier like me?

I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.

Let's be friends!

Love Laurenx

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Health: Healthy Nibbles Review*

I was recently contacted by the lovely people at Healthy Nibbles who asked me if I would like to review one of their snack boxes (they know me so well!) I of course jumped at the chance, healthy snacks are my favourite and I love trying out new and innovative creations.
So I thought I would share my thoughts with you on these tasty, healthy nibbles.
Healthy nibbles offer a wide variety of snack boxes which are suitable for every diet: Paleo, Vegan, Gluten free, Health and Speciality boxes, which include limited edition or seasonal variations, such as the Valentines and Chocoholics boxes. As I do not require a special diet I opted for the 'health' box as it suits my lifestyle perfectly.
I was kindly sent the 'Health box mini'* which includes five sweet and savoury snacks. They also have different sized boxes from mini to super and even a luxury box.
Each box is completely different, but in my particular box I received five tasty snacks and a tea bag sample.

What's inside?
Greedie Goddess Smoothie Bites (mango, passion and carrot)
These were absolutely delicious - I loved that they melted in your mouth and they really tasted just like a fruit smoothie. The bites are made from puréed and freeze dried fruits and vegetables, that's it! They are a great source of fibre, contain no preservatives, dairy or added sugar. There are only 35 calories per bag, so they are completely guilt free.

Pulsin Almond and Raisin Raw Choc Brownie
Did someone say brownie? I'm a bit of a brownie addict, I love picking up a carob and walnut one from my local deli, so I was intrigued as to how this 'raw' version would taste. It has a lovely nutty flavour, with the combination of almonds and cashews, by combining the nuts with the cacao and a hint of vanilla, it gives such a lovely creamy essence to the brownie. The brownie contains no added sugar, is vegan, dairy and gluten free and has 250 calories per bar. A great sweet accompaniment to an afternoon cup of tea.

Pip and Nut Almond Butter
Confession time: I have only just begun to love almond butter. I hadn't actually tried it until recently and I fell in love with the Meridian crunchy variety, so I was happy to see a little sachet included in my box. The perfect size for on the go apple dunking! The almond butter has a lovely creamy texture, and a powerful punch of salty almonds. Pip and nut almond butters contain no palm oil, are sugar free and a great source of protein.

Creative Nature Blissful Berry Bar
I got very excited when I spotted this fruity beauty, I love a good flapjack but I don't love the added sugar, butter and all those naughty (but oh so nice) extras. I loved the flapjack - it was very sweet, but packed a fruity punch. The combination of goji berries, dried apricots, cranberries and pineapple is divine. The bars have only 122 calories each, and contain no added sugar, syrup or honey, they are also suitable for vegans, dairy free diets and have low amounts of gluten.

Ombar Coconut 60%
Hello healthy chocolate! There's not much I love more than chocolate other than cake/doughnuts/dessert/anything sweet /oh and maybe my boyfriend I jest, but yeah I am a total chocoholic I love a good old bar of the sweet stuff. I am a big fan of dark chocolate (the darker the better) and I also love the raw versions, so I was very intrigued to try the 'raw cacao coconut' variety.
The bar had a very smooth, creamy flavour - you could definitely taste the coconut along with a hint of caramel. I loved the Ombar, it was probably one of my favourite snacks in my box. The Ombar contains no dairy, is vegan friendly and has 202 calories per bar. After having a scroll through their website I found they have so many different varieties of Ombar, from lemon and green tea to strawberry mylk. I really want to try the 'Ombar buttons' I am a huge fan of chocolate buttons, so I will have to try and get my hands on a bag!

Clipper Lemon and Ginger Tea
Clipper has long been my go to tea brand, I love their flavour combinations and the wide variety of teas available. My favourites have always been the classic green, and the mango green tea.
I haven't tried many of their flavoured teas, so I was very excited to give this one a whirl. It has a very powerful kick of ginger, and subtle hint of zesty lemon - it's a very warming tea. I think it would be perfect for winter evenings and sick days. It was very tasty, but I am not a huge fan of ginger so it was a little overpowering for an everyday tea. I would really love to try some more of their 'infusions', the chai flavour sounds delicious.

I would highly recommend 'Healthy nibbles' if you are looking to try some new and very tasty snacks. The health box mini costs £9.95 and contains five snacks, you can also sign up to 'subscribe and save' for a 10% discount. The boxes are available to order as a one off purchase, once a week or once a month. For more information on Healthy nibbles and to have a drool over their amazing snacks, have a nosy at their website here. 

I hope you enjoyed this 'Healthy Nibbles Review' post, What do you think of the healthy nibbles snack boxes? Will you be treating yourself to one? What are your favourite healthy snacks?

I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.

Let's be friends!

Love Laurenx

*I was kindly sent a 'health box mini' by Healthy nibbles for the purpose of a review, as always all opinions and thoughts are my own. Please see my PR/Contact tab for more information.