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Showing posts from tagged with: healthy living

Homemade Winter Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe !

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Winter is a great time and season for creativity and new beginnings. Whether you’re wrapped in a blanket on your couch or out playing in the snow, working behind a desk, there’s wintry inspiration all around us, and there will be always something to share with our lovely readers! Today we will share this homemade pumpkin spice latte recipe! What makes this recipe unique is the addition of pumpkin puree in lieu of pumpkin syrup. Pumpkin is a nutritional power house containing fiber, potassium, iron and vitamin A. So in addition to being delicious, this seasonal sip is actually good for you.  

Pumpkin Latte

Serving size: Makes 1 perfect latte

Ingredients:

  • 1/2-1 cup milk of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 to 2 shots of espresso or 1/2 cup of strong coffee
  • Whipped cream, if you are feeling decadent

Method:

  1. In a saucepan whisk together milk, pumpkin and sugar, stirring, until steaming.
  2. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice. Whisk until frothy.
  3. Pour into a large mug and add the espresso.
   

Summer Comfort Eating Essentials

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22.07.16

Summer Comfort Food We all have moments where a home comfort meal makes us feel the world of good. Generally speaking, comforting food comes in the form of something which doesn’t always make you feel that great after consumption though, however with a few changes we can still enjoy these same comforts but with a healthy twist, and subsequently enjoy them guilt free.

CHIPS!

There are different kinds of chip eaters - whether you’re a sharer, an occasional enjoyer, a wrap them up and take them home to enjoy on your own kind of person, or someone who simply can’t get enough of them, a portion of the nation’s favourite shaped potato doesn’t ever go amiss. However, they aren’t always the healthiest option; the humble sweet potato though makes for an entirely different story. One of our absolute favourite home comfort alternatives comes in the form of sweet potato fries, and is a great way also of getting a wonderful amount of beta-carotene, fibre and hair, nail and skin nourishing goodness into your system without any compromise on comfort! Simply slice them, add a small drizzle of olive oil, herbs, and whichever flavourings take your fancy, and pop them in the oven - it really couldn’t be easier!

SPAG BOL

The perfect carby comfort food, try spirallazing your favourite vegetable, we like butternut squash, courgette or carrot and gently cook these in a drizzle of oil until softened. Serve with your favourite veggie packed Bolognese and a generous helping of reduced fat cheese, or a lighter cheese such as feta. Another great option is buckwheat or brown rice pasta, as they are completely gluten free as well as healthful and honestly taste just as good. Try mashing together an avocado, basil, lemon and pine nuts for a healthy creamy alternative too!

PANCAKES

Making for the perfect Sunday brunch option (or just whichever meal takes your fancy), it’s undeniable that these are some of our favourite go-to’s for an indulgent, home comfort-style meal. However, with the general ingredients for our favourite round indulgence being not extremely healthy, and therefore not something we generally indulge in on a daily basis, its important to recognise the ingredients which will make up for this so that we can do just that! Ingredients which are great for this include oats, banana, almond milk, medjool dates and more - all completely natural and make for a delicious, energy abundant treat whenever takes your fancy.

COOKIES

Try a cashew coconut cookies for a wonderfully crunchy snack with a slight Christmassy feel to them with the ginger and cinnamon element to them. As well as this, chocolate-banana oat cookies are a great alternative to our choccy childhood faves, with cacao powder and date syrup creating the flavours we all love and once again, oats and bananas the consistency. They really are great, and you can be rest assured once you smell them exiting the oven, it will be as though you have been transformed back to your childhood home treats once again. So enjoy your tasty summer comfort foods, on us!

Back to the basics – healthy food for everyone!

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05.05.16

All year round healthy foods for everyone!

We are so often bombarded with contrasting information regarding foods and drinks we should or shouldn’t be consuming, however once things are made simpler and we get rid of some of the complicated ingredients and recipes, and take it back to basics with some simple ingredients and foods that are fairly easily accessible.

COCONUTS

It’s no secret that coconut oil and well, everything coconut, is the what everyone is going mad for!  There are so many brilliant uses for this lovely nut including coconut milk, cream, water, oil and the meat itself. Coconut holds many beauty properties, doing wonders for your skin in turn, and absolutely creates the most deliciously healthy flavour when used in cooking. Coconut cream is brilliant for baking, while coconut water is filled with electrolytes, hydrating you no end, and coconut milk is a wonderful alternative to cow’s milk. Try Chi coconut oil, 100% organic, raw and cold pressed!

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GREENS

OK, so we all know that including greens in our diet is good for us, however it’s not necessary for you to sit with a bowl of spinach and expect to thoroughly enjoy munching your way through it. There are so many ways you can include greens in your daily diet, in pasta sauces, casseroles, in a smoothie, or even just stripping things back to basics and enjoying them as part of a colourful salad, this is one of the most important ways for anyone who refrains from eating meat and fish to get in a good source of protein in their diet. Try Giving Tree broccoli crisps as toppings for salads and soups as well as a healthy and nutritious on the go snack!

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BERRIES

Just as raw chocolate is brilliant for upping your antioxidant intake, so are the berry family. They are best when they are completely ripe and in season, however if you buy the frozen kind from any local supermarket, they make for a fantastic ingredient within a morning smoothie, on top of a breakfast bowl or even just on their own. Don't forget to try our Strawberry crisps from the Giving Tree which make amazing toppings for yoghurt, cereal, porridge and so much more! mmm!

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OATS

Oats are a brilliant way of consuming something delicious that will give you an extremely slow release of energy, meaning that it will keep you going for hours. They are so versatile by nature within recipes too, going from being able to be ground into a flour, as the nation’s favourite brekkie, porridge or as a substitute in many baking recipes. They work really well with bananas in smoothies as well, and are guaranteed to keep you going right through until lunch.

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RAW CHOC

Now for people who love a caffeine fix but want it without the sugary additions usually included in coffee shop concoctions, or for those who simply want something a little different, raw chocolate is a brilliant way to have this fix minus the nasties that come in normal chocolate bars. This form of chocolate is extremely high in antioxidants and is a brilliant way of getting your caffeine fix, totally naturally! There are so many different bars on the market that there will undoubtedly be a flavour that will take your fancy.

NUTS

Nuts create much controversy for many due to their high calorie content, however when portion control comes into play, the most important thing to do is know when to eat them, how to eat them and to remember that when food is in its’ rawest form, like nuts generally are, they are full of protein and healthy fats, which are both essential for maintaining our energy levels and giving us a gorgeously envious glow. If having them on their own just isn’t on the agenda though, combining them with dates to create a raw bar, or using them in a flour are all ways of including them in your diet without having to sit down with a bag of almonds.

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Veggie Sunday Roasts for the long weekend!

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29.04.16

The cooking clouds have started to lift, the blossom is out and so surely, now it is most definitely time to leave roasting behind for a bit, along with woolly hats and winter coats. But something in us doesn’t feel JUST ready for salads and steamers only yet ...Sunday roasts are here to stay!

Try these two types of roasting: one fast and full-on, the other slow and sweet. For the fast roast, peppers, broad beans (pod-and-all) and radishes were sent to a searing hot oven, bringing smokiness lots of flavour. The slow roast is sweeter from the baby vegetables.

Both roasts are simply spiced while they cook to allow the character of all the vegetables to shine bright. They are then carefully coated in herby spring dressings which make the roast so delicious too!

Roast spring roots with turnip and carrot-top pesto

Serves 4 200g new potatoes (jersey royals), scrubbed clean 200g baby beetroots, tops saved, scrubbed clean 200g baby turnips, tops saved, scrubbed clean 200g baby carrots, tops saved, scrubbed clean 6 baby onions, peeled and halved Juice of 2 lemons Juice of 1 orange 1 head of garlic, cloves separated, but unpeeled

For the pesto A bunch of mint, leaves picked from the stalks A bunch of thyme Saved turnip tops or a big bunch of watercress Saved carrot tops or a big bunch of parsley 4 cornichons or little gherkins 100g hazelnuts or almonds, roasted 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp baby capers Salt and black pepper A small bunch of radishes

1 Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Take all your scrubbed vegetables, keeping the tops for later, and cut any larger vegetables in half – you want everything to roast in about the same length of time. Divide the vegetables between two baking trays. Squeeze the juice of the lemon and the orange over the veg, then put the squeezed halves on the tray. Scatter the unpeeled garlic cloves over the top and put both trays in to roast for 45 minutes, or until everything is soft throughout and brown round the edges.

2 Meanwhile, wash, dry and finely chop your herbs and vegetable tops, keeping the beetroot tops for later. Finely chop the cornichons too.

3 Put the nuts in a pestle and mortar, then bash well until you have a rough, crumby texture. Mix with the chopped herbs and tops, the olive oil, cornichons, capers and a good pinch each of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4 Once the vegetables are ready, scatter over the beetroot tops for the last few minutes. Once everything is ready, the vegetables are nicely golden and the beetroot tops have wilted and begun to crisp a little at the edges, take the tray out of the oven. Carefully squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins into a little bowl, then mash them well and add to the herb mixture.

5 Use tongs to squeeze the juice out of the (still hot) roasted citrus – even the ones you originally squeezed will have become juicy again after roasting.

6 Serve the veg on a big platter with the garlic, herb and almond dressing for spooning over.

7 Serve with some bread or brown rice if you are particularly hungry; a spoonful of tart yoghurt is also delicious too!

Flash-roast green veg

Flash-roast green veg

Serves 4  8 green peppers 4 red onions, peeled and cut into thin wedges 8 broad beans in their pods 4 little gem lettuces, washed and cut into wedges A bunch of long radishes, washed A bunch of spring onions Salt and black pepper 2 good pinches of Turkish chilli powder (pul biber) Extra virgin olive oil 200g feta A small bunch of thyme 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, or 300g jarred chickpeas, drained (optional) Juice and zest of 1 lemon

For the dressing A splash of white wine vinegar A small bunch of mint A small bunch of dill A small bunch of parsley 2 garlic clovesfinely sliced

1 First, preheat your oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. Put all the vegetables on to a tray, season with salt, pepper and chilli, then drizzle with olive oil and put into the oven to roast for 25 minutes. You want the oven to be very hot, so that everything will catch and char.

2 On another tray, lay the whole block of feta on one side and the chickpeas on the other. Top the feta with a little more chilli, half the lemon zest and the thyme tips. Sprinkle the chickpeas with about 2 tbsp vinegar. Put this into the oven underneath the veg for the final 20 minutes.

3 Meanwhile, make the dressing. Chop all the herbs and put them into a bowl with the remaining lemon zest and half the juice, plus 4 tbsp of olive oil.

4 When the veg is nearly done, squeeze the last of the lemon juice over the top, scatter with garlic and return the tray to the oven for a couple of minutes.

5 Pull both trays out of the oven. Pile each plate with greens, then top with chickpeas, chunks of feta and a good amount of the herb dressing. Serve with Turkish bread, if you like.

Enjoy these delicious roasts this Bank Holiday Weekend - they won't disappoint! 

5 Steps to a negative free life!

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28.04.16

Negative free times. It can be so easy to get caught up in negativity and be negative free from all different angles in your life. From paying bills to unhealthy friendships, and work - related problems, to trouble at home, and we all know that a build up of negativity is never a good feeling. It’s also a gateway into a downward spiral of creating a bigger problem out of something which could be more easily solvable. Here is a small breakdown of how to have a negative free lifestyle!

GET RID OF TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS

At the time it may feel difficult to remove people from your life that you have grown to cherish, however subconsciously, someone who is in your immediate circle may be having a profound affect on your happiness.

When people feel bad about themselves they occasionally tend to put other people down without knowing it, which is in no way good for your overall happiness. If a relationship with a family member for example is reflecting something of this nature then it may be difficult to completely get out of, but the best approach is to explain how this person is making you feel as this could be resolved. If this doesn't work, distancing yourself for your own benefit may be the best option.

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EMBRACE POSITIVITY

Occasionally it can be easy to dwell over things in your life which aren’t going so well, however it’s not going to stand you in good stead for when you want to remove any negativity within your life. Sometimes, taking a moment each day to focus on the positive parts of your life, whether it be loving your job, having a wonderful family, or even the sun shining outside, appreciating these brilliant things around you will do wonders for subconsciously removing negativity from your life and enjoying the things that really matter in your life. Surround yourself with positive people and you’ll always be negative free!

DO MORE OF WHAT YOU LOVE

It’s easy to forget that life is so short sometimes, and we subsequently forget to enjoy doing more of what we love. Let’s face it, what’s the point in doing things all the time that we don’t enjoy? We spend far too long focusing our energy on parts of our lives which we don’t love that we often forget to embrace the things we do love. If painting takes your fancy or you’ve always loved going to the theatre, why do you not do them anymore? When we take away the complicated side of adult life and make it actually rather simple, as long as we are doing the fundamental things in our lives we need to do to function normally, using as much time as possible doing things we enjoy should be a priority, and is most definitely essential to be negative free!

IMG_2200CHANGE YOUR MINDSET

It’s surprising how just a simple shift in mindset can improve your positivity so dramatically. Without dipping too much into the idea of the law of attraction, unless something extremely traumatic happens in your life which undoubtedly requires down time, a swift shift in the way you view a situation can be really valuable when wanting to remove negativity from your life. Instead of thinking for example, that an interview didn’t go very well because you didn’t say everything you planned to say, shift that thought and allow yourself to accept that at the time of the interview, you did your absolute best and could not have done any more, another way to be negative free!

EAT FOODS WHICH YOUR BODY WILL THANK YOU FOR

It  goes without saying that including foods in your diet that your body will thank you for is essential. Removing some more processed foods from your diet, and replacing them with fresh fruits and vegetables will inevitably allow you to feel more positive and negative free.  Ingredients like sugar and sweeteners, along with saturated fats and too much salt, will leave you feeling lethargic and therefore more susceptible to drawing upon the negatives as opposed to the positives. Make sure you stock up on your fruit and veggie crisps with Giving Tree for a happy and healthy snacking delight!

Removing negativity from your life really can be easier than you think, with a few simple changes, your entire view can change and therefore make you happier in the long run! Here's to a negative free outlook!

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Healthy gadgets for on the go snacking!

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21.04.16

Let’s be honest: most of the time, being healthy is not convenient. If you fancy a quick snack at work or need to grab breakfast on the go, you often have to settle for whatever’s on offer at your local shop and usually, it’s not exactly what you want.

The best way to avoid this situation is simple – BE PREPARED. But how? Healthy gadgets are here to help..

Fortunately, there are a number of wonderful items available to help make the whole process easier. Here are five things that will help you to become healthier on a day-to-day basis. They’re all affordable too – hooray!

1. Blender Bottle GoStak – starting from £9.00 So simple, and yet so clever. You can stock up on bags of nuts, seeds, dried fruit etc., and fill each of the little interlocking jars so that you have snacks for the day ahead. This way you have tasty treats to hand at all times, and you're also able to make sure you don’t overindulge. Take a look at our lovely strawberry Giving Tree snacks which perfectly into the handy GoStak!

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2. Water Infuser Bottle – starting from £6.99 If you find drinking or even enjoying water a struggle, why not try infusing it with good stuff? Lemon, strawberry, cucumber – whatever you want! It all tastes amazing in water-y form. Just chop up your chosen fruit or veg, pop it into the little cage, fill the bottle with water and leave it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, drink up and delight in your delicious refreshment.

3. Vacu Vin Banana Guard – £2.49 If you love bananas this is for you, especially when you don't want them bruising . This handy guard allows you to transport your banana in safety, free of any nasty black marks. There are a few varieties of guard available, but we like this as it accommodates any shape banana!

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4. A blender with a portable cup – starting from £19.99 When you're in rush in the mornings,  a good smoothie or shake for breakfast is perfect as it’s a quick way to get fruit inside your body. Now it’s even easier thanks to blenders that come with portable travel bottles or cups! Delicious and simple!

6. Food hugger and  avocado saver container - for when you have that half of an avocado ALWAYS left and it goes brown the next day, this is the perfect avocado saver! Say goodbye to brown fruit and veg

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Don’t forget food groups that ARE healthy!

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19.04.16

Nutritional guidelines and recommendations are constantly changing with new research. It can be difficult to keep up with which foods are healthy and which aren’t, there is also confusion with inaccurate sources telling us different things all the time!

Take a look at these foods that have gone through the cycle of being the 'baddies' of nutritional science, but are now okay to eat again.

Remember, everything in moderation, and cooking methods play a large factor in healthy eating too!

EGGS

For a long time, eggs were thought to be bad for your heart. A large egg contains 185mg of cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol was believed to contribute to high blood cholesterol levels. But for the last 20 years, nutrition and medical research has shown repeatedly that at normal intakes dietary cholesterol has very little influence on a person’s cholesterol levels.

Although it’s taken time, nutrition experts are now correcting the record for eggs by removing it as a nutrient of concern from dietary guidelines. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, and several vitamins and minerals.

It can often be the way you cook an egg that contributes to it being unhealthy. Frying an egg in lashings of butter, and making scrambled eggs with too much butter and full fat milk will increase your daily fat intake drastically.

Try poaching your eggs for a delicious breakfast.

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POTATOES

Potatoes are one of the few vegetables that are actually considered to be unhealthy. They have a high glycaemic index so often get put with foods made from refined carbohydrates as foods to avoid. But potatoes are a rich source of carbohydrates, vitamin C, some B vitamins and minerals.

How you prepare potatoes completely changes the aspects of those starches that get a bad name. Cooking and cooling potatoes increases the amount of resistant starch in the potatoes. This resistant starch then acts like dietary fibre which “resists” digestion in the gut, potentially having a positive impact on your gut bacteria.

DAIRY

Milk, butter, yogurt and cheese were once considered a staple in many people’s diet, but this seems to have changed which could be down to mixed health messages.

Positive aspects of dairy include the high protein and calcium content. Fat content and fat type are important when choosing dairy products as some contain high amounts of fat per serving and this fat tends to be high in saturated fat.

Although it’s best to avoid a diet high in saturated fat (a risk factor for CHD), regularly consuming dairy products doesn’t need to be a concern if your overall calorie intake and fat intake is healthy.

It can often be worse to consume dairy products such as cheeses and yogurts that are reduced fat or 'healthier', as added sugar, artificial flavourings and additives are often used to replace the fat content.

The recent updates to the UK Eat Well Plate still promotes dairy foods as part of a healthy diet, as long as the dairy choices are lower in fat.

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NUTS

Nuts also get a bad reputation for being high in fat and high in calories, leading some to suggest they should be avoided by anyone looking to lose weight. A recent study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, showed that eating raw nuts reduces death from all causes, cardiovascular diseases, coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac death.

Raw nuts contain protein, healthy fats (low saturated fat and high monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat), dietary fibre and micronutrients.

Nut butters, such as peanut butter, can also be part of a healthy diet. The fat in peanut butter has a healthy profile and peanut butter is also an excellent source of protein, fibre, vitamin B6 and magnesium. Some recent evidence has shown increased weight loss for people that replace less healthy proteins, such as processed meats, with peanut butter.

You should aim to avoid nut butters with added sugar, salt and palm oil though.

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Power Spring Salad Bowls featuring GT

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14.04.16

Forget salad plates and sushi platters: Foodies are all about the new Instagram-worthy 'power bowl'. The power bowl is a bowl filled with vegetables, whole grains and plenty of protein! It tastes as healthy as a salad, but feels heartier as a meal The recipe for the 'perfect power bowl' comes down to macrobiotics, and here we show you our favourite ones featuring Giving Tree crisps as healthy, crunchy toppings for these bowls!   Screenshot 2016-04-14 15.54.29

Quinoa tricolore - this lovely bowl features our Apple crisps with steamed kale, with raspberries, and pomegranate, spiralized carrot and a tahini-açai! YUM

The smoothie bowls are still in, but this latest food trend is totally savoury.

Introducing power bowls, or the latest way to eat your lunch like the chic, wellness-obsessed set. Basically a bowl filled with vegetables, whole grains and protein, the power bowl ticks all the right boxes. It’s as healthy as a salad, but tastes heartier, it’s highly photogenic and is low in carbohydrates while also being jam packed full of so-called ‘good fats’ (think avocado, chia seeds and brazil nuts) These recipes we feature are so simple to make and the more variety of veg the better - we like to say 'Eat a rainbow'. There’s a science to the ‘perfect power bowl’, which basically comes down to macrobiotics. The most powerful Power Bowl consists of 15 per cent lean protein, 25 per cent whole grains, 35 per cent vegetables, 10 per cent sauce and 30 per cent extras (including nuts, seeds and sprouts). Screenshot 2016-04-14 15.54.03

This wonderful bowl consists of Spiralized veggies, and a cucumber sesame salad, raw mushrooms, broccoli, mixed cooked beans, beetroot hummus with lots of tahini, mixed greens and @givingtreesnack apple crisps plus fresh pomegranate seeds. It adds a different dimension adding sweet and crunchy flavours to savoury too! 

Here are some great ingredients to add to your shopping list if you want to recreate your own at home include quinoa, beetroot, sweet potato, seeds, nuts, chicken, black beans and avocado (of course). When perfectly arranged so that you can see everything in it, the bowl provides a much more photogenic alternative to the traditional plate. Fans of the bowl say that it is like a ‘hug’ in a meal, and Instagram already has tens of thousands of posts with the hashtag #powerbowl accompanying their filtered snaps. For those who are sick of their regular plate of salad at lunchtime and who fancy something with a little bit more symmetry and harmony than a few pieces of wilting lettuce, try the power bowl in replacement.

De-stress your life – GT top tips

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13.04.16

Stress can creep up on us at the strangest times and for reasons we aren’t always sure of, however dealing with it and learning how you best recover from it is most important, or it can really overwhelm us! Far too often people build up their stress and carry it with them until they can’t any longer and it becomes something far worse than it was initially. Stress is something we can all relate to but because we all suffer from it from time to time, it’s vital that we understand how we best deal with this when we don’t have others to turn to in a single stressful moment. Here are a few foolproof simple ways to de-stress in moments like this..

HAVE SOME TIME OUT

It’s so important that we allow ourselves the time to simply get away from our daily schedules and routines. A lot of stress does stem from what we do in our every day lives as well as certain situations and experiences, which is why we need to nip it in the bud when it arises so that we don’t carry it with us. Taking some time out can be the best thing for you if you are feeling like everything is getting on top of you. It’s also good to be able to re-evaluate the factors within your life that are triggering this so that you can ultimately control or put an end to them. It’s also important to remember that by taking time out you are not being selfish, you are simply helping yourself to de-stress and be much more productive in the long run.

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INDULGE EVERY SO OFTEN

So often we see it as a bad thing to indulge in luxuries that we wouldn’t usually allow ourselves to enjoy, however when things become a bit too much to handle, luxuries are there to be used for just that: to enjoy a luxurious experience. Going along the lines of a spa day (or hour even), a meal with friends, a weekend trip away, or even enjoying your favourite box set with a meal of your choice - these things all allow you to simply indulge in something you love which you don’t do all the time and provide you with the opportunity to forget about things which were previously causing you stress and to simply enjoy the moment. This includes indulging in the most delicious and also healthy of treats too - we like CoFro with lots of toppings including our Giving Tree fruit crisps ..mmmmm

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CLEAR THE CLUTTER

It’s surprising just how much stress we sub-consciously create for ourselves despite not wanting to. In the form of clutter, we allow ourselves to accumulate so many unnecessary piles of clothes and build up things which need to “go on eBay” or washing that can be done later but never shifts. We all hold onto possessions we think we might one day need, as a comfort or security blanket but the reality is that the constant build up of these things is causing us unnecessary stress that we just don’t need. A clear space equals a clear mind, and seeing as your living space is the one place where you should be able to simply chill out, where better to start than there with regard to clearing out the clutter.

“DON’T HATE, MEDITATE”

Meditation, couldn’t be more fitting when it comes to de-stressing. Sometimes just being still in the moment can bring focus back into your life, and allow you to simply be. We allow ourselves to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we occasionally forget to appreciate the moment we are currently living in. Allowing time to just be present in a moment and forget about the stresses we were holding can be a brilliant way of almost trivialising some of the things that were previously worrying you and allowing you to see them in a more practical way, so therefore just dealing with them rather than procrastinating over them.

Stress can get in the way of so many things which is why it’s important to establish what makes your stress levels rise and the best ways for you to eliminate that stress as much as possible by using whichever de-stress technique that works for you. By using these foolproof ways to remove unnecessary stress from your agenda, you will be able live a much more stress-free life in the long run!

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Why summer bod blues need to be banished!

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08.04.16

We can all get extremely caught up in the pressure to conform to trying to sculpt what is perceived as the ‘perfect summer body.Generally the media portrays summer bodies as women that are generally beautifully toned, tanned and without the lumps and bumps we spend hours deliberating over, however it is not the way, even with regular exercise combined with a healthy diet, everybody’s bodies look on the same regime. Things are slowly changing, though not fast enough; generally people are becoming more personally accepting of their different body types which is brilliant, however what it’s doing as a result of this is taking away the importance of eating a healthful and nutrient - dense diet in the process. To eat healthily isn’t only to create the most glowing version of yourself, but to have the right foods on the inside to allow you to be the absolute best version of yourself is what counts the most as it will encourage you to flourish in every area of your life. Here are a few foolproof ways of letting your very own ‘summer body’ flourish the way it should do minus the pressure to succumb to the ideals we’re all too used to.. DON’T SWEAT IT You don’t have to be a personal trainer to know that exercise is extremely vital for your overall health and wellbeing, not only for your body but for your mind. However by not following the workout ‘of the year’ or subscribing to the latest set of work out videos doesn’t automatically mean you won’t feel amazing. The most important factor to consider when aiming to organise your work out regime is to only look into doing things you enjoy or you will result in giving up before you’ve even begun. If you dread running or can’t stand yoga, the answer is simple, don’t do it. There are a wealth of different options out there to explore when it comes to exercise, from boxing combined with pilates, a variety of HITT workouts, fluorescent spinning classes or local boot camps.. the only advice to really consider, is not to worry which path to exercising you take, but just to simply get moving in whichever way makes you happy.   londonpigeon BE INTUITIVE There are countless diet plans and ‘rules’ out there to follow but many disclaim that ultimately what you eat has to work for you. Some people may thrive off a diet filled with lots of good fats including avocado and nuts, and others’ bodies may completely disagree with it, equally a certain amount of carbohydrate in a person’s diet may need to be different depending on whether or not their body can take it and thrive off it. Ultimately, the best diet that works for you will be the one that allows you to want to wake up each morning and reach your fullest potential whilst enjoying the food that you’re eating. Food shouldn’t just be fuel, though at the same time it should provide your body (most of the time) with the potential to be the best version of yourself and ultimately feel amazing. DRESS TO FLATTER So much of the time, the latest fashion trend be it in swim wear, work out gear or day-to-day clothes is advertised as the only way to stay fashion-forward however it’s not always the best way for everyone. Going back to the idea that no diet or work out regime is best for everyone, neither is the same outfit. Half of trick to feeling great (other than exercise and diet) is ensuring that you dress to flatter your body shape. Yes we can all work towards achieving the optimum healthy weight and therefore size for our shape but fundamentally all of our body shapes are different, and what may flatter one persons’ body type might not quite look the same on someone else. It’s important to consider this when buying clothes/swim wear/work out attire, as ultimately what you see is, in the moment, almost as important in the way you feel as if you look you best you will feel you best, so embrace the opportunity each morning to wake up and dress in a way that will enhance the way you feel. Finally, don't forget that you can indulge in healthy snacks - chocolate whey hey ice cream (high protein, no added sugar) makes the perfect summer snack along with our Giving Tree crisps!   IMG_3621