Tuesday, 21 April 2015

5 Wellbeing Instagram Accounts to follow now

I love food. I love looking at food. I love Instagram. Can you see where I'm going with this. 

There are a ton of inspirational wellbeing and clean-living Instagram accounts out there, but here I've rounded up some of my favourites that I'm always inspired and motivated by, and hopefully you will be too.

Dolly and Oatmeal
A relatively new Insta to me, dollyandoatmeal follows Lindsey Love, a food blogger spreading a gluten and dairy free gospel (see ya, lactose). Her beautifully composed and edited photos reeled me in and her exciting recipes reworking classic staples have kept me hooked.

Check out her alt version of pasta, chickpea fettuccine, which is gluten-free winner if you're craving carbs.

Lily Healthy
Queen of beautifully coloured smoothies, Lily is a nutrition and health coach who's Insta feed is as full of good-looking food as it is motivational quotes.

Lily has loads of great ideas for how to liven up your morning porridge, so head to her feed for some breakfast inspiration.

I really can't remember how I first came across Juliette's Instagram account but I've followed her for around 2-3 years now, and all I can say is go follow this girl. The composition and colouring of her shots is on point, along with the inspirational and well-crafted foodspiration she puts up there. Minimalist food heaven at it's best.

Juliette also has a brilliant blog, Luar + Wolffdene and has just started making YouTube videos following her life in Australia. Go check these out for inspirational food and lifestyle posts and videos.

Danielle Copperman
Danielle is one of the ultimate uber health babes. Entrepreneur? Check. Healthy living master? Check. Super fit? Check. And did I mention she's a model too? I have a lot of love for Danielle's blog and her quinoa-based breakfast range, Qnola, is on my hit list for when I'm visiting London in the summer.

Not only just she post great clean food, but she also advocates a strong-not-skinny look. She works closely alongside Skinny Bitch Collective, posting videos of some of their primal workouts (which look insane - pls come to Newcastle.)

Ella Grace Denton
Ella's Insta is packed with positive vibes and bright plant-based foods. Her whole outlook on life instantly makes me feel upbeat and ready to tackle any situation with a positive head on. Ella is staunch vegan and shares some awesome smoothie recipes amongst others. Head to her blog for a lesson in how to make the best acai bowl. You can thank me later.

I'd love to hear your recommendations of healthy babes to follow on Instagram - hit me up with your favourites.


Sunday, 19 April 2015

Life Box Spring Cleanse

Sometimes, you've just got to treat yo'self. After I ran a PB in the Sheffield Half Marathon last weekend, I was definitely in the mood for some treating, and why the hell not. I earned it. 

Feeling all virtuous and totally kick ass, I ordered one of Life Box's food packages, crammed full of clean treats and much more. Life Box are a food subscription box service offering super good for you super foods delivered in a box of joy. Let's face it, we're all always hugely busy, so subscription services like this really hit the mark when it comes to trying to keep healthy on the go. Now, the boxes may be little pricey, but are a great way to introduce yourself to some things you might not have heard of (wtf is yacon?), whilst teaching you about the health benefits and encouraging to make treats for yourself out of the box contents.

I ordered the Vegan Spring Cleanse box - absolutely perfect for how I'm approaching food at the moment (ain't no dairy up in here).

I am so behind LB's ethos - they only source products from brands who share their same passion for health and wellbeing, and any product within an LB food box must comply with two of their rules: UK-based, refined sugar free, organic, GMO free, raw, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, wheat free and no preservatives or additives. So you know that anything in these boxes is going to be hella good for your health.

I'm not going to lie, I love getting parcels delivered (feels like Christmas, non?) and was actually surprised at how hefty the box was when it arrived, and now I know why. It contains a huge selection goodness; from Sister & Co's coconut oil (perfect for cooking, and hair, skin and nail treatments) to matcha green tea and raw cacao - brilliantly convenient bits and bobs for a hectic lifestyle. However, some of favourite components are LB's own pre-mixed packets, encouraging you to make-your-own and learn about the health benefits along the way. The Spring Cleanse box comes with mixes for Chia Seed Jam (already soaking ready for making up as I type), and Flaxseed Crackers, which may sound a little dull but the mix is crammed full of fibre-packed seeds - essential for good digestion.

I really can't recommend Life Box enough - sure it may be a little pricey for a subscription box but the lovingly sourced and selected goodies inside are 100% worth it and you'll discover some healthy gems you might not have heard of before. Win all round.

Have you tried Life Box before? 


Thursday, 16 April 2015

Simple Weekday Breakfast #1

I had a day all to myself earlier this week and got to thinking about new breakfast ideas to try out.
I do love porridge, but it hasn't been top of my breakfast pops recently. I've been favouring anything savoury - it just feels like it's going to keep me fuller for longer, and usually always does.

Eggs are always a winner, yes, but I think I've done everything ever possible with eggs ever for breakfast in the past few months, so enter, toast. Yes, toast, but this ain't toast as you know it. This is all about some inspiring clean, gluten-free varieties that are perfect for that morning craving for something tasty with a bit of crunch.

I've been toasting slices of my paleo sweet potato bread and a homemade gluten-free cob I picked up at Tynemouth Market, topping these with tahini, sliced avocado, a squeeze of lime juice and salt and pepper. Seriously divine, brilliantly quick to rustle up on a busy morning and will definitely keep you going until lunchtime.

And to go with this? A mocha iced latte with loads of good stuff packed into it (and it's dairy-free!), to get you set for the day ahead. Wanna make this bad lad?

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Cacao and Coconut Energy Bites

Picture the scene. It's around mid-afternoon, so naturally time for a big cup of something hot to keep you going for the last couple of hours of the working day. If you, like me, need a bit of sweetness with that 3pm cup of tea, I've got just the thing to stop you reaching for the custard creams.

These energy bites contain natural sweetness from organic dates and are packed with the supplement I've been having a total love-in with recently; maca powder. I can't stress enough the benefits of this malty goodness. It can reduce stress levels, regulate blood sugar levels, increase stamina and makes sure your hormones are in check.

I've adapted these from a recipe over on Laura's ever inspirational site, Wholeheartedly Healthy, but added some raw cacao powder into the mix for an extra bit of afternoon indulgence.


Monday, 13 April 2015

Post-Run Recovery Tips

So, as I shared in my April Goals post on Thursday, I ran a half marathon this weekend. And what a half marathon in turned out to be! I somehow (?) managed a new personal best of 1 hour and 57 minutes, which I could not be more over the moon with. All that leg strength work at the gym totally did the business, and I found the run more of a pleasure than a hard slog. Looking forward to taking this strength into the rest of my running and weight training. Happy face.

Now, I've got to say, my limbs are aching already (and I have a cracking blister. Lush.), so I've pulled together some handy tips for post-race recovery. It's one thing to train hard and run a good race, but recovery is a whole other ball game. I regularly follow these steps after a hard training session or race event, to keep my body in top form.

So, here we go - here's how I'll be helping to heal those aching muscles post-run.

After 13.1 miles of running, refuelling in the right way is essential for muscle repair and restocking those energy stores.

Something with a high protein and carb content will be key for your first big meal after a race (steak and sweet potato chips, pls) but straight after the race, grabbing something quick like a banana and coconut water is ideal for a quick energy hit. I did this straight after my run and also followed it up with an energy boosting coconutty maca smoothie after my drive back from Sheffield. The maca powder totally hit the spot with it's energy raising properties and even a couple of hours after having this smoothie, I felt totally revitalised. Good old maca.

To make sure those limbs don't stiffen up and you don't end up walking around like John Wayne for a week, stretch. Lie on the floor with your legs up the wall, crack out that foam roller! Stretching straight after running is something that I usually forget (tut), so when I've finish a race now, I do a really quick stretch off for 5-10 minutes, and then a more focused stretch about an hour afterwards. I'll also be limbering up with some yoga over the next few days, and in the spirit of my April Goals, stretching it alll out with Yoga with Adriene.

Get those sea salts to hand and liberally chuck them in a hot bath - the minerals in these guys help to sooth achey muscles and relax the body. I'll be doing the double after my run, and bringing out the Lush bath bombs for a super indulgent second soak. Definitely deserve a bit of indulgence after a long run, amirite?

My advice? Don't do any exercise the day after the run. Just chill the hell out. Your muscles have been through a lot and they need some time to get to know themselves again. I'll be chilling out, on the sofa and ploughing through my latest holy grail read, Amelia Freer's Eat. Nourish. Glow. This women seriously knows what she's talking about and her practises are helping me no end with my Nutrition Advisor course. Get this is your Amazon basket now, and see what all the hype is about.

How do you reboot after a run or fitness challenge?
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