Ideas for your left over pumpkins

A post from last year. But since it’s Halloween and I’ve seen plenty of pumpkins around – here are some top tips on what you can do with your pumpkin after tonight…

I’ve got to admit that I don’t enjoy Halloween. I find it all so over the top and wasteful. But since so many pumpkins are going to find themselves in the landfill this weekend, I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite finds to help you dispose of your pumpkin.

Foodie Ideas

Scroll down to the bottom for my Pumpkin and Chilli Soup

First up, Jamie Oliver’s recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds.

Turn your pumpkin seeds into protein-rich salt via The Guardian

Maple Cardamom Pumpkin Seed Butter via TasteMade.

This chicken, lentil & pumpkin curry.


Did you know squirrels really love pumpkin?

Continue reading “Ideas for your left over pumpkins”

Bliss Balls

Bliss balls

Quite simply if you don’t have time to faff around making breakfast or you need something to give you a boost when you’re on the move – these little bliss balls are amazing.

I’ve made a huge batch up for breakfast the rest of the week because I know it’s a busy one and without them I’ll end up living on coffee or air so they really are the perfect busy girl solution.

These little balls of goodness are great because they’re no fuss, no baking, no long winded prep. It’s simply a case of whizzing up the dates and dumping them in the bowl with the rest of the mixture. What more could you want? Oh yeah and numerous health benefits as they are full of protein, fibre and vitamins and minerals that will leave you feeling full all morning, give you a big, old energy boost and they’re super easy to transport so great for taking to work.

This recipe makes 12 large balls

What you need to make the bliss balls:

  • 2c of pitted dates (I use medjool and it works out about 14/15 dates)
  • 1/4c warm water (to start with)
  • 3/4c oats
  • 1/2c coconut flakes (you’ll need a bit more for rolling)
  • 1/4c sesame seeds
  • 1/4c chopped almonds
  • 1/4c chia seeds

Method: Continue reading “Bliss Balls”

Mindful Eating

*original post from 2012*

I went to a talk last night on fatigue in brain injury patients. One thing that was mentioned was mindful eating {this is due to diet playing a part in recovery}.

The occupational therapist who was leading the talk posed the question:

how often do you actually taste or think about what you’re eating?”.

Honestly? Probably not that often.

It’s a well known fact that factors such as boredom or depression can see us heading straight for the biscuit tin but hand on heart how many times do you just reach for food and not really take in the taste, smell or texture of it?

A recent piece in the New York Times suggested mindful eating as a way of fighting bingeing. It explored how we all eat so fast these days because our lives are fast and as a part of that we end up eating more than we should. Mindful eating therefore becomes the psychological barrier for overeating because the slower you eat the more time you have to recognise that you’ve had enough.


Mindfulness is a bit of a buzz word at the moment. It comes from Buddhist teachings and is the art of fully being aware of what’s happening both inside and outside yourself. It’s all about taking in what’s going on in your body, heart and mind as well as your environment.

And mindful eating?
Continue reading “Mindful Eating”

A QUICK Chia Breakfast Pudding

OK when I say quick, you’ll need to prepare it the night before but you can do it whilst you’re making dinner and it’s done. One of the main things that turns me off eating breakfast is the thought of having to prepare it. Usually I’m buzzing around or I’m working so I can’t really be bothered, but when it’s there waiting for me in the fridge, especially a breakfast pudding, well that’s another matter.
Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding
I’ve blogged about the benefits of chia seeds before (see here) but just a quick recap, these little beauties are so good for your health. They are packed with protein, fibre, calcium, manganese, phosphorous plus omega-3 fatty acid and amino acid. PLUS, when you’re making a smoothie or a smoothie bowl, they expand so they’ll thicken up your drink and help you stay fuller for longer.

Essentially, they are a little wonder seed.

This breakfast pudding took me around 10 minutes to make (and that’s probably over estimating). I made my chia seed base the night before then added the topping in the morning so that it layered, otherwise it’ll all seep in to one. Also you can substitute a lot of the ingredients for your own personal tastes, I’ve made some suggestions below.

What you’ll need (this makes one)

  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 3/4 coconut water or a nut milk whichever you prefer
  • 2 tbsp skyr (natural yogurt or greek yogurt again whatever your preference)
  • 50g blueberries (raspberries, mixed berries etc also work)
  • 2 tbsp granola

How to make your chai breakfast pudding

First of all add your chia seeds to the liquid and give them a little stir. I usually put mine in a mason jar so I can pop a lid on it.

Next add your skyr and blueberries to your blender and blitz. Set this aside.

Leave the chai seeds soak overnight (note you can add a small dash of cacao or protein powder in with them if you want to flavour it a bit) and in the morning add your blueberry yogurt and layer with granola.

It’s really THAT simple.

3 Things That Makes Copenhagen Perfect

So I’m back from my little wander to Copenhagen and I have to say, I can see why it is that they top the polls when it comes to the happiest nations.
I’m going to be sharing a few more nuggets from my trip (including some recipes) over the next few days but for now, here are the three things that I think makes Copenhagen the perfect City.
They offer SUPER healthy fast food.
Before I went to Copenhagen, I was slightly concerned about the price of things over there. I was told by various people that it was an incredibly expensive city so my plan was to live on the famous open sandwiches for the entire time. But I didn’t find it that expensive. Certainly no more expensive than London. However, I had no idea that the food on offer would be so healthy. Let’s take the offerings in 7-11 for example, raw cakes, paleo salads, raw juices – all at extremely low prices. And that’s just in 7-11 – think about your local spar – the gingster pasty alternative isn’t really the same is it?

There were juice bars and healthy eating joints dotted all across the place which made eating well really easy. And most shops sold little apple and ginger tonic shots for around £1.20. Joe & The Juice bars were EVERYWHERE too, including 2 in the airport. Raw and paleo restaurants are also not uncommon, basically, whatever your dietary need – Copenhagen can serve it up.

Bike lanes are extensions of the pavement, not on the road – and they work. I’m not a natural bike rider. As much as I love the idea of getting on my bike, it’s not really for me (unless it’s a spin bike or the stationary bike at the gym). But a lot of that is that I just don’t feel comfortable on the roads. My boyfriend used to cycle back and forth to work and have to tackle some of the main roads in Cardiff and that was bad enough. But, the Danes have it right. There are 249 MILES of cycle lanes in Copenhagen and they are safe – no worries a bus or erratic driver will knock you off. Plus, the Danes follow the rules of the road. I think we’ve all seen cyclists run red lights or not stick to the rules of the road, but they’re strict over there and it works. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a traffic jam of cyclists! And believe me when I say EVERYONE cycles, it’s not just for mamil’s (middle aged men in lycra), I saw one lady in a fur coat and heels whizzing around on her bike. It’s the norm.

They have a lot of access to green space. The local government have a policy that all residents must be able to reach a park or beach by foot in less than 15 minutes. Of course, it’s not possible to build great, big parks, especially in the middle of the City so they have ‘pocket parks’ which are small, green spaces for City residents. The hope is that this will keep residents fit and help the environment by reducing traffic and pollution. #LOVE

There are a whole host of other reasons why it’s a great city (environmentally friendly, they’re socially connected, they have a good work/life balance etc) but these three are really what I noticed in my time there.

Have you been to Copenhagen? What did you think?

Red Cabbage & Raspberry Smoothie

Best way to get your fruits and veggies in without a doubt is the humble smoothie. Not only is it a great way to get your 5 a day but also its QUICK so the perfect Busy Girl breakfast/lunch.

Anyway, I’ve been on a bit of a smoothie cleanse since the 2016 so I’ve been experimenting with a few different varieties and I’ve found a great combo – red cabbage and raspberry.

Seriously. It looks as amazing as it tastes.


Why Is Red Cabbage So Good?

Red cabbage is an amazing source of vitamin C and just 1 cup has 56% of the recommended daily intake. It also has vitamin A and K. It’s also a great source of L-glutamine which promotes digestive and brain health, muscle growth, athletic performance as well as helping to fight cancer and reducing high blood pressure.

Red Cabbage and Raspberry Smoothie – The Recipe – Makes One


1/2 cup of shredded red cabbage

1/2 a banana (frozen is best)

1/4 cup of raspberries

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup water

Ginger* (to taste)

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (optional)

Just bung it in your blender and blitz. If it’s too thick for you, add more liquid.


Eat your Way To Great Skin

Whilst its nice to have a dresser full of lotions and potions, real beauty starts from the inside.

There’s no point in spending £100’s of pounds on the latest anti-wrinkle cream if you’re going to fill your body full of junk food.


This is a piece I wrote for Yahoo a few years ago but since they are starting to retire the old content, I thought that I’d share them with you…Try adding these super foods to your diet and eat your way to great skin…


Not only is beetroot a versatile veggie and adds a pop of colour to your plate but it’s also high in vitamin A, potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin E. Combined these make a great cleanser and clean your body from the inside meaning a nice clear outside.

Red Grapes

OK I’m not talking about pouring yourself a large glass of Pinot noir here, instead treat yourself to bunch of red grapes as they contain super powerful antioxidants and natural chemicals that act as an antihistamine to ease psoriasis, acne and eczema.


Forget injecting yourself with chemicals, the simple avocado can help stimulate collagen in the skin and help the skin moisturise itself. Guacamole anyone?


Nuts make a handy “on the go” snack but they’re also packed with selenium which helps fight infections. They’re also stuffed with vitamin E, magnesium, copper, iron and calcium. An essential super food to snack on for optimum health.


Want taut and healthy skin? Then start making the most of tomatoes. Like avocados they aid collagen production but also contain lycopene that helps stimulate skin circulation for healthy, glowing skin.


Eating loads of garlic may not be a good idea if you’re about to embark on a snog-a-thon but eating some raw garlic (chopped finely and added to your salad or even stored in to pasta sauces just before serving) will give your skin and your health a huge boost. Garlic contains allicin which when eaten can help kill harmful bacteria and viruses including skin infections – which makes it great for clearing up acne.

Brown Rice

Love rice? Then swap your white rice for brown and benefit from B vitamins, selenium and a host of antioxidants whilst regulating your sugar levels and increasing your energy levels.


Kale is a bit of a buzz food but don’t dismiss it as just another fad because kale contains a vast amount of vitamins A, B, complex C, E and K. But that’s not all, it’s also packed full of protein calcium, potassium, iron, manganese, magnesium, folate and phosphorus all of which meals a great tonic for clear skin. Try popping it in a smoothie for a great breakfast boost.


For glowing skin, artichokes are your best bet. Often used in cosmetics they are crammed with antioxidants that can help improve skin luminosity.


These aren’t just a nuisance in the garden. Make up some nettle tea or soup and you’ll discover they have a side line as an anti-inflammatory, helping calm the skin and improve conditions such as acne and eczema.

Do you have any more tips?  Continue reading “Eat your Way To Great Skin”

Courgette Noodles with Pistachio Lime Pesto

There is nothing easier than making pesto. You simply gather all the ingredients together, bung them in the food processor and whizz – then you’re done. It’s a great staple to have the in fridge, especially if you’re prone to coming in from work and can’t be bothered cooking anything special but still want a healthy (and tasty) dinner.

Pistachio Lime Pestoimage credit 

I stumbled across this pistachio lime pesto recipe in this months Sainsbury Magazine and I had to try it. I’ve adapted it to suit my own tastes (I like my pesto really garlicky and I LOVE lime) so here is my version…

Pistachio lime pesto recipe

You will need Continue reading “Courgette Noodles with Pistachio Lime Pesto”

Eat Anything You Want…

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 12.19.29 PM

So I stumbled across this brilliant video narrated by food journalist Michael Pollan. In his book Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual he offers 64 simple rules that can set us up for better health.

One of those rules is “Eat anything you want, just cook it yourself.”

I really love the way that this video is illustrated. We’re told countless times to stop eating processed food etc but the way this is illustrated just *makes sense*. Food cooked by a human being = good, food cooked in a factory = bad. 

Your thoughts?