Thursday, 16 November 2017

Seafood Shack, Cardiff Review

A restaurant whose main focus is offering a wide variety of seafood, FINALLY! Say hello to the Seafood Shack, a venue that launched June 2017. I'm not exactly seafood's biggest fan but after contemplating a visit for a while, I took the plunge. Well, I'd be lying if I said it was my idea. My boyfriend is a huge 'sea foodie' and so it was only inevitable that I'd end up walking through its doors with seven other people. The quality as well as the food choice was excellent, all offered with a burst of flavour and style. With its gorgeous decor, an open kitchen so you can see how meticulous the chefs are, good portion sizes and relaxed atmosphere, Seafood Shack is a restaurant that's definitely worth a visit. If like me, you're not a seafood fan, they have other options on offer like Steak and beef burgers, you're definitely not limited when it comes to choice. But as with anything, there were some bad points that I will discuss in more detail.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Grape, Apple and Mini Marshmallows Oatmeal Bowl

Who knew mini marshmallows would make a brilliant extra topping for my Oats breakfast bowl? When you work so hard, you deserve a treat every now and then; in my case marshmallows suffice. This has made it as one of my all time favourites because of all the colours, it's amazing how we eat with our eyes before our mouths. Surely its a crime for there to also be so much nutritional goodness in one bowl *phew*. Oats have been my go to breakfast for years (sometimes I feel like that's all I eat) mainly because of their high fiber content and of course, they are very convenient. A breakfast that takes just under 5 minutes to prepare in this day and age is a winner in my book. Since this bowl contains lots of apples, let's talk about the apple. Apples are actually my favourite fruit, their crunchiness wins me over every time. They are rich in flavanoids, important antioxidants and dietary fiber. Research conducted by Havard back in 2016 showed that increasing your intake of foods like apples and blueberries can help with weight control. The research was published in the British Medical Journal and you can read it here. Good ol' apples are an easy go-to snack and since they are about 85% water, they help fill you up with little calories. Say goodbye to that chocolate bar, grab an apple instead.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Chicken & Green Bean Curry

It seems I'm so busy lately I barely have anytime to unwind and so I turned my focus to cooking this evening for a change. There is nothing quite like a delicious chicken curry to get your mood up after a long day of schooling. The British Heart Foundation publish some awesome, nutritious recipes on their website and yes you've guessed it; that's where I found this little gem. I'm more than willing to cook up anything curry related, the flavour and aroma keeps me going back for more. I did tweak the recipe a little but this is because of my fussy palate. This chicken & green bean curry is absolutely delightful; a heart warming dish that the whole family can enjoy.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Red Kidney Bean, Chickpea and Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato

Undoubtedly my favourite vegetable, sweet potatoes are not exactly the most aesthetically pleasing with the skin on but when it comes to taste, they sure are a worthy contender. I'm stepping away from all the stews and hotpots for a change with this simple stuffed sweet potato. Don't let its simplicity fool you, the red kidney bean, chickpea and chicken topping's flavour is anything but simple. Sweet potatoes are a low glycaemic index food, are naturally gluten free and contain just 84Kcals/100g (Nutrimen, 2016) when boiled like this one. They a good source of starch, potassium, phosphorous as well as an excellent source of the antioxidant Beta-carotene which is converted into Vitamin A in the liver (two molecules of Vit A are formed from one molecule of beta-carotene). Red kidney beans and chickpeas are a good source of starch and Iron, Spinach a source of Calcium and of course chicken has the Protein covered. Apart from all these nutritional benefits, sweet potatoes are ridiculously tasty. If you were wondering why they are my favourite vegetable, that's why. What's better than a naturally sweet vegetable gracing your plate? This is a simple meal low in saturated fats, calories and salt; a meal that's hearty and delicious.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

*Apple & Raisin Oatbran Porridge

Happy November! I'm kicking off this new month with some breakfast inspiration in collaboration with Rachel's Organic. It's grey, its cold and so it only seems right to start the day with a nice, warm bowl of porridge. Apart from being versatile; Oat bran is a great source of Dietary Fibre, an essential nutrient that enables the gut to function normally. Dietary Fibre includes carbohydrates called Oligosaccharides (a carbohydrate whose molecules are composed of up to 10 monomer units), Polysaccharides (a carbohydrate whose molecules are composed of many monosaccharide units) and Lignin. According to the British Dietetic Association (2016), the average adult in the UK only consumes 60% (18g) of their daily recommended fibre intake which should be 30g/day. It's important to try and reach that intake of 30g/day as part of your balanced diet and foods like oat bran, potatoes with skin, pasta, brown rice, whole grain bread etc are excellent choices for fiber. This apple and raising oat bran porridge offers a nutritious breakfast that keeps you going until lunchtime. No more snacking, just a great tasting, fibre rich breakfast.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Gluten Free, Egg Free Blueberry Muffins

These blueberry loaded, amazingly fluffy gluten free muffins are so easy to make! I've been slacking the past few weeks when it comes to Gluten and so I've had to battle the bloat that little bit harder the past few days, which has been unpleasant to say the least. Gluten is one of my worst triggers and I tend to consume it in very small portions to avoid abdominal pain, nausea and bloating. All you IBSers know what I'm talking about. So, I'm starting a new week as I mean to go on with these Gluten free, Egg free Blueberry muffins. We have lots of blueberries in the fridge so I might as well put them to good use. These muffins are soft and tender on the inside, nutritious & 100% drool worthy.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Sweet Potato and Banana Muffins (Gluten free, No added sugar)

No mess and quick to make, these Sweet Potato and Banana Muffins are quite the combination. They are slightly fluffy and moist with no added sugar, their sweetness is from bananas and of course sweet potatoes. This is a great way to cut down on sugar intake and also to get the kids to increase their fruit and vegetable intake. Probably one of the easiest, healthiest recipes I've ever done, they are made with no oil or butter. Just thought I'd let the natural ingredients do the talking for a change. The festive season is just around the corner so it's only inevitable I'd be going through quite a lot of mashed starches. I'm talking butternut squash, pumpkins and of course sweet potato. All you need is a blender, prepared baking tin and one hell of an appetite.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Brioche Toast Three Ways

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day; the possibilities are endless and that my fellow beings is what I live for. Brioche bread is a light type of bread; one that's very rich and undoubtedly delicious. Its 'pillowy' interior is what makes this bread so special, of course it makes an exceptional breakfast candidate. As for the toppings, fruit is always a great idea. Eating fruit on an empty stomach allows the digestive system to break down the sugars in the fruit quickly allowing us to get the complete nutritional benefits. Fruits are a great source of antioxidants, Vitamin C and Fiber. It's nearly the end of October. That means Christmas is just two months away, where has this year gone? I didn't see it. 

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Bella Italia Cardiff, Old Brewery Quarter Review

And the best tasting, most reasonably priced Classic Lasagna award goes to Bella Italia! Located in the centre of Cardiff, Bella Italia offers great food at reasonable prices. Here's one that won't break your bank. The restaurant is just a stone throw away from St Davids shopping center and is located within close proximity to a variety of coffee shops, bars and cinemas. Their menu offers a wide array of choice from pastas to pizzas as well as gluten free options, authentically Italian food. It's the perfect place to stop over for a quick bite before catching a movie with girls. 
I rarely ever eat lasagna and it's not because I don't like it but because its not exactly at the top of my food priority list. The main contributing factor for this is extra sogginess. I've tasted a fair few soggy lasagnas in my time, ones that can't stand up to portioning and as soon as you dip your fork in, they collapse into a soupy mess. Having had a little faith in Bella Italia, I dived right in. My lasagna was served piping hot and was absolutely delicious. Even though the food was great, what made the meal was the staff, excellent customer service can go a long way and that is what truly made our day. This is truly a pleasant place to dine.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Chicken and Sprouts Stir Fry

Having submitted my first Dietetics assignment yesterday, I'm finally starting to feel like I'm getting into the swing of things. Even though my social life seems to be fading away, I'm thoroughly enjoying the course, taking in as much information as possible and getting to know new people. So, here's to me surviving my first month as a Dietetics student! Now lets focus on what's important, this Chicken and Sprout Stir Fry. I eat with my eyes before my mouth which is one of the main reasons why I make such  colourful dishes; with the acceptance of my fondness for vegetables of course. This is super easy, effortless and quick to make. This stir fry is low in saturated fats and sugars, with a medium amount of salt. The funny thing is there is actually no added salt used in this recipe, just herbs and spices. This just goes to show how unnecessary it is to add salt into food. I'm just a simple girl who likes easy, straight-forward recipes so when you're tired, stir-fry. Why not start by trying this one?

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Douwe Egberts Smooth Caramel Coffee Review

When opened; a pleasant, strong scent fills the room and there is nothing I'd like more first thing in the morning. This is the only coffee I truly enjoy; my only bother is that the whole family including some of my friends love this coffee which means it vanishes rather quickly. Maybe I should consider writing up a very colourful 'do not touch' label. I am in no way, shape or form a coffee addict, in fact I hate coffee but it just so happens that this is the only one I can drink. Have you tasted it? It contains very few calories and so it can be enjoyed guilt free. Douwe Egberts smooth caramel coffee tastes fantastic. With its warm, creamy flavour and gorgeous aroma, you'll be sure to keep going back for more.For instant coffee, Douwe Egberts' smooth caramel coffee is rather pricey but for the joy you endure from one sip, it is totally worth it. Strong flavour that's not overpowering, genius! The container is so cleverly designed that after your coffee is finished, you can rip off the label and use it for spices. How resourceful.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Spinach & Cucumber Breakfast Smoothie

A quick and easy way to get in essential Minerals and Vitamins is by whipping up this refreshing, filling Spinach and Cucumber Smoothie. Spinach is number one on my list of vital vegetables and this because it's high in Vitamins A, C and K, as well as B vitamins.  Cucumbers on the other hand are an excellent source of vitamin K and Pantothenic acid. I presented pantothenic acid in bold to emphasise just how important it is. As well as playing a role in the break down of carbohydrates and fats for energy, pantothenic acid aids in the manufacture of red blood cells. Cucumbers are also a good source of copper, vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, biotin and Thiamine or Vitamin B1. This green nutrient powerhouse is one of the best ways to start off the day. However, juicing has a downside and it awakens the Dental Nurse in me, yes that's my day time job. Juicing is really bad for your teeth and this is due to the presence of Fructose in just about every fruit out there. The high acid content causes the enamel on your teeth to soften and erode and this often leads to the formation of cavities and tooth decay. Top tip: use a straw to drink your green juices as this allows the acid to bypass your teeth. It's about creating a balance, that contact with your teeth can be detrimental. 

Monday, 9 October 2017

*Free & Easy Organic Three Bean Chilli

Living with dietary restrictions such as allergies, IBS, Coeliac and other food intolerances is not easy; it can be a huge challenge which is where this new 'Free From' range comes in. Last week I received a lovely package from Healthy Food Brands Ltd containing different foods from this new range to try. As you can imagine, its quite the treat as I have completely cut down my gluten intake due to my IBS so thank you to the team at Healthy Food Brands Ltd. So what is this free and easy range about? Created by a group of specialist chefs, the Free and Easy range consists of soups, ready meals, sauces, curry pastes, cake mixes and much more. These foods are made without artificial additives and preservatives,; they are also Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Wheat Free and Soya free. Did I mention they are also suitable for vegans and vegetarians? Well, it is. Tonight, I tried their three bean chilli with a side of brown rice and my goodness, I wasn't disappointed. Rich in flavour and ready in just 3 minutes, the free and easy range presents ideal, nutritious dishes fit for the whole family. 

Saturday, 7 October 2017

*Coedffranc primary community family room// Aviva Community Fund

In association with Aviva Community Fund 2017

Wouldn't it be nice if every school in the UK offered a place for parents to receive advice, support and information that contributed to their well-being? The Aviva Community Fund which launched on the 12th of September can help make this possible. If there is a project in your local community that you are extremely passionate about, why not try and secure funding to put towards that important cause, following in the footsteps of Coedffranc Primary School. Over the last year, Coedffranc primary school has been running a family room after being awarded funding through the Aviva Community Fund in 2016. This buzzing hub of engagement, education and activity has become an important part of life for the entire school community and families. The funding helped the school to purchase everyday objects that help in the running of these classes making an extraordinary difference. So what exactly is the Family room? The family room is a free program run by members of staff providing a variety of courses including Cookery and Healthy Eating, Food Safety, Parent Nurture Programmes, Paediatric First Aid, Butterfly Project and Childcare Level one to parents and children. Even something as simple as Family learning together sessions are offered which gives the children and their families a chance to explore and grow together by visiting different places like Margam Park. These different courses are crucial to health, for example Food Safety. It is important for parents and children to understand how their behavior, hygiene and handling during food preparation affects the safety of their food as well as gaining confidence in the kitchen. These things may seem fairly obvious to some but when the education is there at your disposal, why not take it? We all know that we need to eat a balanced diet but how many of us actually know what that means? This is where Coedffranc Primary School's healthy eating classes come in. These classes allow children and their parents to put the nutrition education they learn in class to the test in real life situations. This also encourages the children to make better food choices as they grow up and this education leads far beyond the classroom.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Rye Bread in Two Ways

Who loves breakfast? I do! In today's society, a lot of people tend to skip breakfast because of  their busy lives, time doesn't seem to be on anyone's side. Still, I believe breakfast should not be skipped. When you have breakfast, it will keep you going until lunchtime and you are less likely to snack on those good looking biscuits stirring at you from the corner of the office. The EatWell guide was updated this year and it shows the different types of foods and drinks we should consume as well as the proportions so as to have a healthy, balanced diet. Maybe print out a copy and stick it on your fridge. Its a great way for the whole family to get acquainted with The EatWell guide. Anyway, I've gotten extremely fond of Rye Bread lately and so I've been getting experimental as always. Sweet and Savoury is my favourite breakfast combination ans so today, these two little numbers are gracing my plate. Simple and quick to prepare, not to mention nutritious, these can easily become a grab & a go breakfast.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Grilled Curried Mackerel

Mackerel is one of the most consumed fish all over the world and just so happens to be one of the healthiest when baked, steamed or grilled. It's packed with a high amount of protein, omega-3-fatty acids and lowers risk of diabetes. Mackerel contains healthy fats including monounsaturated fatty acids which play a role in controlling blood sugar levels and prevention. These are just some of Mackerel's health benefits, there's more. Have a read of different Dietitian blogs and health and well being websites; they provide an insight into food science and it's a big ol' world. 

Thursday, 28 September 2017

*Taymount Clinic '50 Foods in 7 days' Challenge

A couple of weeks back I was contacted by the great team at Taymount Clinicthe world’s first faecal microbiota transplant clinic and experts in digestive health. They challenged me to eat 50 different foods in 7 days and this is mainly because The Taymount Clinic recommend that to maintain diversity in your gut, you also need to have diversity in your diet. Of course, I jumped at the chance to learn more about my own gut health, I received a chart to record all the foods consumed during the 7 days. Doesn't sound like much of a challenge right? Wrong. Duplicates were not allowed, so things like buns, pizza, bagels etc did not count as different things; you guessed it, they are all wheat. That for me is what made the challenge tricky but on the bright side, oils, spices, vinegars and spices did count as individuals. I have never appreciated my love for spices and herbs as well as my kitchen cupboard more than I have the past 7 days. I was also sent a basket with different healthy foods to help get me on my way. 
Being an IBS sufferer means planning ahead when it comes to your food, it also means you are already quite limited food wise so this was a really tough challenge to complete. However, I did manage to finish at a surprising 58 different foods in 7 days, if that's not impressive, I don't know what is. This regime worked well for me, my abdominal pain has lessened, bloating has pretty stopped and my stomach is feeling a lot more 'normal' than it has the past 8 years. I have learnt so much about my own gut and how diversity on the plate really does lead to diversity in the gut flora. 

Monday, 25 September 2017

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

I was recently snapped sashaying around Cardiff City Centre by Style Wall, an independent online destination showcasing street style in South Wales. Wouldn't you agree that they captured such a gorgeous shot? I sure think so. The 22nd of September marked the autumnal equinox, which as you may have guessed officially marks the end of summer. I can't say I'm going to miss it as I'm very fond of autumn and winter. The fashion is so much better, I'm talking a whole new wardrobe; scarves, wooly jumpers, cute berets, structured coats. Also, the true beauty of nature shows during autumn, the colours are magnificent. Of course these two seasons are a great a excuse to indulge in hearty stews, soups, hotpots etc and drinks endless amounts of tea and hot chocolates. The season also brings with it a variety of new vegetables including butternut squash and pumpkins. Of course, pumpkins and Halloween go together; its a night we get to act like children again by dressing up, eating lots of sweets and watching spooky films, should I go on?

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Baked Crispy Chilli Chicken Drumsticks

Hello earthlings, yes, I survived my first week of University *woo*. I met lots of new people from all kinds of backgrounds and made some new friends. From university tours to meeting the team, I think I'm going to love being a Human Nutrition and Dietetics student. After all, this has always been the only career I can see myself having and truly enjoying. Last night I whipped up this batch of Crispy chilli chicken drumsticks which turned out to be quite a treat. All you need is eight minutes for preparation, lots of chilli and an appetite. Flavourful, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, the definition of a perfectly baked batch of drumsticks. Oh, did I mention it's gluten free and paleo.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Spinach and Beef Quinoa Stir Fry

It's official, I'm a BSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics student *woo* and I'll be starting University in a week. I've wanted to do this for such a long time that sometimes I smile to myself just thinking about it. Who in this world doesn't want to build a career around their passion. Anyway, let's talk about this spinach and beef quinoa stir fry that's been giving me all kinds of feels. Spinach has become a staple in our house; we have it with pretty much everything and that's not only because of it's nutritional benefits. When spinach is cooked right, it makes one tasty side. It's also great to throw into stir fries adding some much needed colour. This is a tasty and simple stir fry that will have you coming back for seconds, a recipe that's purely a result of my cravings.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Blueberry and Apricot Breakfast Bowl

Not all my breakfast bowls make it to my blog but all do make it to my INSTAGRAM so why not give me a follow so you never have to miss a post again. We are half way through the week so good morning and happy Wednesday! I'm starting the day with this Blueberry and Apricot bowl. I had never tried apricot until a few days ago which is such a shame because I've definitely been missing out. Thanks to my food-loving boyfriend, I'm trying lots of different foods everyday, seafood included and we all know I've never really been a fan. The fruit kingdom is so vast and I won't rest until just about every single fruit in the world has been a topping in one of my bowls at least once. Challenge accepted! So what are the health benefit of apricots? Apart from being oh so sweet and oh so golden, apricots are packed with ample doses of essential vitamins, plenty of fiber, potassium and of course low fat content. Even though they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, apricots are particularly rich in soluble fiber which helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels and blood glucose. Vitamin A which apricots are a great source of, is important for proper immune system function, normal vision and maintaining a healthy soft tissue, teeth and skin. Need I say more?

Saturday, 2 September 2017

*Yutaka Vegetarian Ramen Review

I love love love Japanese food and so I was pretty excited when I was contacted by the lovely team at Mad as a March hare regarding trying out and reviewing Yutaka Noodles. I was intrigued as I had never heard of this brand; it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try something new and so I jumped at the chance. Its always interesting to see how different noodles compare in both taste and texture. The Yutaka range offers authentic Japanese food products. The name behind the Yutaka brand is Tazaki foods, a leading supplier to restaurants, food suppliers and hospitality industries in the UK. Yutaka means good harvest and after having my first taste of these noodles, I can safely say that this was an excellent harvest. One 260g packet conveniently serves 2 people meaning you don't have to enjoy such great food alone. The recipe on how to prepare the noodles is on the back of the packet  and is fairly simple and easy to follow. Unaccustomed to Asian cuisine but want to try it? This is the product for you. Ready in 3 minutes, flavoursome, MSG free, rather filling and delicious in their own right, these Yutaka noodles are sure to be a crowdpleaser.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Udon Miso Soup

Tasty, light and quick to make; it's fast food at its best. Oh how I love Udon noodles, their slightly chewy texture makes my taste buds tingle. That's always a good start when you know you've got a fussy palate. I make monthly trips to my local Asian grocery store, there's nothing more annoying than realising you've run out of a crucial ingredient half way through meal preparation. One staple I always have in my fridge is miso; it is basically fermented soy bean paste and is what makes miso soup flavourful. Feeling lazy? Why not make yourself this light Miso Soup, bacon is always optional. Next time I'm making it Vegan.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

My 26th Birthday Surprise: London

So in case you missed the memo, yesterday was my 26th Birthday! However, the celebrations kicked off a bit early with a 3 day surprise trip to London on the 19th from my boyfriend and his mum. We stayed at the Novotel Tower Bridge which was absolutely stunning! As many times as I've been to London; it's always been for business and so it was great to visit for pleasure. Oh yes, I suddenly became a full blown tourist. Even though I'm more of a small city girl who would never consider living in London as its way too busy for my liking, it is undoubtedly beautiful.

Some of the finest architecture is in London; my favourite place being South Kensington where we spent one of the three days shopping, visiting museums and of course eating. During our time in London, we also visited the Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, the Big Ben, Tower of London and Tower Bridge. If this is what it feels like to be 26, I'm so ready to take it head on. Get that coffee ready & race yourselves, I think I took a little too many pictures.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Oats, Granola & Greek Yogurt Bowl

Hello fellow earthlings, it's been seven days since my last post & it truly feels like a lifetime. The past couple of days have been some of the best I've had in a long time. The main reason behind my joy being the fact that my place to study BSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics this September was confirmed last Thursday morning. There are no words to describe how I feel, I'm just so happy. Little Nokhuthula is going to be a Dietitian; this has been my dream for a very long time and I worked so hard to get here. My boyfriend then whisked me away to London Saturday night for an early birthday treat (it's my birthday tomorrow), we arrived back late last night and I really need to catch up on some sleep. Of course, I have lots of photos and reviews to share over the next few days. 
Now, let's talk breakfast. Oats,  tropical fruit granola and greek yoghurt are a match made in heaven; the flavours compliment each other so well. Granola contains a high amount of sugar and  so no more than a 1/4 cup should be consumed at breakfast time. Greek yoghurt neutralises the sweetness of granola making it just that little bit more enjoyable. Oats are my go to breakfast most of the time and I find myself more and more inspired to jazz them up up a bit.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Quinoa & Spinach Salad

This colourful quinoa salad makes a tremendous summer dish. What would I do without quinoa. Fast fact: Unlike most grains, Quinoa contains all nine of the essential amino acids and so it is a complete Protein. Gym enthusiasts; this grain should be your best friend for muscle growth and repair. Quinoa also offers a good amount of fiber which helps moves stool down the digestive tract and iron which is an important constituent of haemoglobin. With just 222 calories/cup, cooked quinoa is worth eating.
Can we just take a moment to appreciate my new Tivoli Melamine Bowl from Lakeland's picnic range. It looks heavy right? Well it's actually as light as a feather, durable and is very pretty. I'm constantly exploring greens, the dressings and what toppings I use to keep the flavours interesting. The quinoa got coated around the spinach easily and rather quickly making this salad just that little bit more appealing. I'm currently cutting down on my meat intake and so chicken breast is sitting this one out. Eggs are a great substitute and good source of protein. Packed with different textures, this salad makes a great light lunch or dinner during these gorgeous summer months.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Toasted Avocado Bagels Two Ways

If you enjoy a cheeky bagel, this one is a delightful protein-packed breakfast treat. While they have a high fat content, avocados add a richness and creaminess to anything and are also omega 3 fatty acids, the good kind of fat, in the form of alpha-linolenic acid. After indulging in oat & smoothie bowls for breakfast most of the time; a change was definitely needed. A lot of people on my instagram were a bit surprised with the avocado & banana combo. Yes, it is an unusual combo but my goodness its tasty. These bagels are super easy to prepare & are perfect to eat at any time of the day.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Frozen Banana Dark Chocolate Lollies

As if I don't eat enough bananas as it is, I've only gone and made a snack that's completely centered around them. Whether you're using bananas that are past their best days or using fresh bananas, these lollies are a healthy, refreshing snack the kids are sure to love this summer. This is another way of getting them to eat more fruit. Let's not stop there, apart from me of I know a few adults that over-indulge in these delicious little numbers when that chocolate craving kicks in. But remember, once they are ready and out of the freezer, do not leave them standing too long as they start to 'sweat' very quickly. With how tasty they are, I guarantee they will be gone in a matter of minutes.

Friday, 4 August 2017

4-minute Oat Breakfast Bowl

It seems I'm turning into a bit of a breakfast criminal. From smoothie bowls and eggs omelettes to endless Oats bowls; I'm cruising through life one bowl at time. We made it through another week so Happy Friday! This is probably one of the simplest breakfast bowls I've done in a long time; it seems I'm getting sucked into the wonderful world of cosmic breakfasts. Breakfast is undoubtedly my favourite meal of the day and it is also the most important. When done right, it provides the body and brain with fuel and should ideally be a good source of essential nutrients. This is the reason why I tend to go for oats (a good source of fiber) usually topped with fruit (good source of vitamins and minerals) and at times, I throw in chia seeds, nuts, dried fruits as well as good ol' peanut butter. It seems that a lot people automatically deem peanut butter 'unhealthy'. However, I feel that its the whole package of nutrients that truly matter when it comes to food. Some of the healthiest foods contain saturated fats just like peanut butter does but when you really look into it; peanut butter contains 80% unsaturated fats which means unsaturated fats only make up 20%. The health benefits offered by peanut butter far outweigh the mere 20% of saturated fats. Peanut butter is also rich in fiber, some vitamins and minerals. And besides, I love it! We have become a species that overthinks all things nutrition; what happened to food being pleasurable? Surely just eating real food is enough.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Fish & Vegetable Soup with Vermicelli

When I'm in a hurry and in need of a quick, tasty meal; Vermicelli noodles are such a great option. It's been a busy couple of days and so I'm bringing back the soups. I'm an avid fan of Asian food, the creativity and range of dishes offered is absolutely mind-boggling; they are simple dishes that almost always tastes fantastic, now that is something to be excited about. My personal favorites range from the simple Cantonese Yang Chow Fried Rice to the Hunan Steam Chili Fish Head; not forgetting Steamed Dumplings. Right, I got a little bit carried away there; now let's talk Fish Noodle Soup. This Thai inspired dish is tasty, rather comforting and nutritious. Seasoned with lots of spices, this is just perfect for any season and anytime of the day. 

MUST WATCH: 'What the Health' Documentary (Currently on Netflix UK & Youtube)

When you look at chronic disease risks, all the things that we walk around worrying 
about, actually, DIETARY CHOICES trump smoking when it comes to those risks" 
(Dr Michelle McMacken, M.D. Assistant professor of Medicine, NYU).

I watch a lot of documentaries and today I came across a new documentary called 'What the Health' which highlights the effects of consuming processed meats and dairy on our health. This documentary is truly eye-opening and if you care at all about your health or the health of those you love; I strongly suggest you give it a watch. Even though it focuses on American health, the facts are still the same and can be applied to any country and to every humnThe makers of this ground-breaking documentary describe it as "the health documentary that health organisations don't want you to see". You'll understand why after watching this hour and half long documentary. 
We all think chicken is healthier because it is white meat, well think again, chicken actually contains carcinogens! Diet is directly linked to Disease and the World Health Organisation classed processed meats like bacon and sausage as Carcinogenic.  They came to this conclusion after looking at over 800 studies from 10 different countries where they found a direct link between consuming processed meat and cancer, "The experts concluded that each 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer". According to WHO, consuming processed meats can increase this risk by 18% and shockingly, these meats are labelled a group one carcinogen, the same group as cigarettes and asbestos. This isn't new information either, according to the documentary, some of the studies have been around for 50 years. So, what exactly is considered a processed meat?

Monday, 31 July 2017

*Orwell Organic Gluten Free Green Soybean Pasta

There's nothing quite like a good bowl of pasta; things can only get better when it turns out to be organic and gluten free. Thank you to the lovely team at Orwell Health for gifting me with one of their green soybean pasta for reviewing. For all you gluten free pasta lovers out there, this is one product you just might enjoy. So, who is Orwell? Orwell creates nutrient-packed healthy foods that are 100% Organic. All their Soya products are made from raw soybeans sourced from a friendship farm in Russia meaning the whole farming process is free from chemicals or pesticides. This is clean eating at its best, it's vegan friendly and using my little package, I've whipped up a nutritious, protein packed carrot and mushroom stir fry perfect for a gorgeous summer's day. Just toss the pasta in with olive oil, all your favourite vegetables and some seasoning. Oh yes dear friends, you're already half way there. 

Friday, 28 July 2017

Banana, Melon & Kiwi Smoothie Bowl

Breakfast smoothies have been apart of my diet the past 4 years and ever since I started serving them in a bowl; they seem to taste even better. It's almost like having soup for breakfast. There's something so much more appealing about eating with a spoon than drinking the smoothie from a glass. The addition of toppings is the icing on cake; its satisfying and suddenly, the smoothie becomes so much more than just something you drink. It becomes a truly filling, absolutely delicious breakfast bowl. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I'm eating more smoothie bowls and experimenting with different flavours. The past 2 weeks have been all about Kiwis so lets get right to it.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Linguine Vegetable Medley

The summer holidays have begun which means those of you with families have a busy summer ahead and we all know everyone becomes just that little bit more indulgent in the summer. One of the easiest ways to get in your five a day is by cooking up this colourful Linguine vegetable medley. One that's flavourful; the chilli powder gives it a fiery kick, lemon adds a hint of sweetness and citrus, mixed herbs enhance the overall taste and turmeric gives this dish it's gorgeous, bright colour. Of course, the range of vegetables in this medley ensures that your taste buds pick up the variety of textures, you will not be disappointed.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Tenkaichi Sushi & Noodle Bar Cardiff Review

School's officially out for all and so we decided to head out for food to celebrate. Being the budding Scientists that we are, we decided to skip the usual steak for a change & go for a healthier option. Only one thing came to mind, Japanese food. They offer healthier, more nutritious options and so it was only inevitable we would end up at Tenkaichi Sushi and Noodle Bar. The authenticity of food from this independent, family run business differs greatly from that of a chain like Wagamama. Located at the bottom end of busy City road, it's the perfect place to kill time with good friends. We were greeted with a smile by the friendly staff and promptly seated. Just like the many other Japanese restaurants, Tenkaichi's interior decor is minimal consisting of bare walls, bright lighting and communal seating. This relaxed, informal seating can be uncomfortable if you're unlucky enough to be sitting in the middle. Having to get up numerous times for other guests to leave is rather unsettling. As for the food, you'll just have to read on to find out. 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Boyfriend's Graduation: First Class Honours Master of Chemistry Degree

Today has been a very special day; my other half graduated with a First Class Honours Master of Chemistry Degree! Words cannot describe how I love and am proud I am of this guy. I've been there during his time at university and I've seen his drive. I remember how we always resorted to having dates in Starbucks because he had research to complete or an exam to revise for, he's had numerous breakdowns and there were times when he just wanted to give up. Well, I'm ecstatic he didn't give up on his dream because look at what he can do. He worked tirelessly to achieve this outstanding degree classification and I couldn't be more excited for him to begin the next chapter of his life.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Gluten Free Vanilla Pancakes

The past weekend, I went shopping for my boyfriend's graduation gift which was a bit of a mission. Why are men so hard to shop for? Something did catch my eye after a good 3 hours and I'm so glad that's sorted. He graduates with a Master in Chemistry Degree Tuesday and I am one proud girlfriend. All my IBS'ers where you at? Today, I'm throwing a gluten free treat your way & these gluten free vanilla pancakes got me needing an excuse to scoff them down all day, everyday.

 Even though flipping pancakes still drives me bonkers (still cant do it perfectly), it would be wonderful if I could magically make my free time in the mornings longer so these can make a regular breakfast appearance. Alas, I have no magic wand.  Gluten Free vanilla pancakes are easy and quick to make; all you need is an appetite and four main ingredients. I like them simple and straightforward; ones that ensure exceptionally delightful results every time.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Singaporean Fish Head Curry

When you're happy; make a good Curry! I've only gone and made my very first Singaporean fish head curry, yes you just read fish head. Let's focus on the nutritional value of this dish for just a moment. Fish offers high quality protein, omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D. Why do you need these nutrients? Protein is required by the body for repair and growth. Omega-3 fatty acids are not synthesised in the body, they can only be acquired from food. They are an important part of cell membranes throughout the body affecting the cell receptors. Just to name a few. omega-3 fatty acids regulate the contraction and relation of the artery walls as well as blood clotting; they are crucial! Vitamin D regulates calcium and phosphorous absorption in the body, it also helps maintain healthy teeth and bones. We wouldn't want those teeth falling out for no reason now would we?

This is something I would've never tried a year ago but thanks to my Seafood obsessed boyfriend, I'm now open to trying out different foods at least once. I mean, what's the worst that could happen? I'm aware that the whole point of a curry is to also enjoy the soup that comes with it but unfortunately I'm not really a soup kind of girl and so my plate always consists of mainly solids. The recipe I used is so easy to follow and the flavours in this dish go so well together. It will be making a regular appearance, don't knock it until you try it.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Peanut Butter & Kiwi Breakfast Bowl

I strongly believe that preparation is the absolute key to a healthy lifestyle. Planning out your meals and workouts a few days in advance will help keep you motivated and on track. Your diet and workouts go hand in hand which is why it's important to allow plenty of time. A good breakfast is one that makes you feel amazing, one that's nutritious and keeps you going until lunchtime. Unhealthy snacking be gone! Oats are my go-to breakfast option most of the time and this is mainly because they are so easy to prepare and versatile. The list of toppings you can choose from is pretty much endless, it's all down to preference. Its a gorgeous, sunny day which calls for this peanut butter and kiwi breakfast bowl. 
It's been a while since I had the kiwifruit. There are a few health benefits associated with Kiwis and one of them like many other fruits and vegetables is Vitamin C. This vitamin is a crucial antioxidant and nutrient. Collagen (a hard and insoluble fibrous protein) which is the support system of the skin is reliant on Vitamin C. Kiwis have also been associated with better sleep in adults experiencing sleep problems (read the study Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition). The kiwifruit has high potassium content which can help reduce high blood pressure. Their taste is a cross between nectarines, strawberries and bananas; where else can you get that kind of mix?

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

School's Out

The past 9 months have been tough; education wise & personal life *phew* but they have also sparked a fire in me. It's been a while since I felt this strongly and determined about what I want to achieve in life. I've really taken the time to reflect, I've thought about what makes me happy and what's best for me. Acknowledging change, facing hardships and overcoming challenges is all part of the process. There comes a time when you have to LOOK AFTER YOURSELF and this is only the beginning.
As you're all aware, I've been studying an  Access to Biosciences course at CAVC the past 9 months and it involved three subject areas; Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biology. After numerous breakdowns, tears and sleepless nights I am proud to say I successfully completed the course 3 weeks ago. This was a hard course which required a lot of self-study, determination and time. I did not have a life and I mean this in the exact way you're thinking. My life revolved around never-ending assignments, tests and practicals. I was in Starbucks everyday including Saturdays and Sundays studying and there were times when I just wanted to quit. However, I had a goal. This was a step I had to complete to get closer to my goal and so I kept on swimming. I also rediscovered my love for Science *gosh I sound like such a geek*. I had always believed I was better at Biology than Chemistry; turns out I'm better at Chemistry than Biology which was a bit of an eye opener. I also compiled a playlist of uplifting songs that I listened to every day which helped. The greatest thing about music is that it can be translated in many different ways to fit different situations. The most played song on my playlist is...
So why did I put myself through these grueling 9 months? Well, the answer is simple.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

*One less thing to worry about with Bidvine

In this modern world we live in, time is not something we have much of. Whether it's working life, family life or sport that takes up most of your days;  there comes a time when something goes wrong or you're in need of a professional. Getting something done may not be the issue but dedicating your time might be. That's where Bidvine comes in; what is it? Well, Bidvine is an online company that offers a variety of services and they are all in one place. Need a painter? Find one on bidvine. Want to get healthy for the summer? Get yourself a Nutritionist through Bidvine. Emergency move and in need of a man with a van? That's right, find the right van man through Bidvine. This is a fast, free and effective way to obtain quotes from professionals in your local area. 

Their mission: "We make hiring local, trusted service professionals ridiculously simple - and help people use the time saved to pursue their passions." All you need is 10 minutes and Bidvine does all the work for you. You just need to answer a few questions specific to the service required e.g. Fitness (personal training, nutritionist, yoga etc), Photography (wedding, family etc), Home (Handyman; interior painting etc), Learning (piano; spanish etc). If you have a budget, you can also enter it at this point and of course your postcode to ensure your quotes are from local professionals. 

Monday, 26 June 2017

Breakfast with Nutritional Benefits

I love a good breakfast bowl, my favourite being a steaming bowl of Oats topped with delicious summer fruits. This is the greatest way to start off a busy day ahead. Oats are extremely versatile and nutritious; they can be used in a variety of meals and snack. A few of my favourite oat-filled snacks include oatmeal Pancakes, strawberry oatmeal bars and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Let's talk about their nutritional benefits; Oats are packed with insoluble and soluble fibre. Insoluble fibre helps aid movement during digestion by reducing constipation and this is one of the main reasons why I eat oats everyday. As an IBS sufferer, constipation can be a daily struggle. It is unpleasant but with the help of insoluble fibres and of course Magnesium hydroxide which is prescribed to me on a regular basis; bowel movement does improve. 

Soluble fibre helps lower cholesterol through the formation of a viscous gel and also helps with stabilising glucose levels. Oats are also naturally gluten free, it's nice to not have to watch my gluten intake for a change. They also keep you fuller for longer meaning avoiding unhealthy snacking gets easier mid morning.  One cup of cooked oatmeal contains about 150 calories, 6g of protein and 4g of fiber, this makes for a nicely balanced breakfast. 

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