Thursday, 31 December 2015

2016 Goals

2015 has been a strange year - a year of extreme highs and extreme lows. To say SEE YA to a bit of a weird one, I thought I’d end it on something super positive with my fitness and wellbeing goals for 2016.
Alice Mary Barnes Wellbeing Goals for 2016
It was a challenge in itself to even start writing these. I’d usually make a list of about 10 and then fret towards the end of the year that I haven’t achieved them. So for 2016, I’m making 3 goals and 3 goals only (thanks Zanna for the tip!) These are more overarching themes than anything (I do have a couple of sneaky really, definitely specific goals like run a sub 1 hour 55 minute half marathon, but I’m not really classing those as my bigger goals for this year).

Be consistent
This covers a lot of bases. Be consistent with exercise/training and be consistent with the good stuff I’m fuelling my body with. I beat myself up a lot about having to exercise a certain amount and can at times, stress over the food I’m eating too. On the whole, I look after myself well; I’m getting stronger everyday (I might have even seen an AB recently?) and I eat all of the right things that my body needs. I just need to keep this up and feel happy and confident in what I’m doing. 

No bad vibes
No neggy thoughts or vibes will cloud my thoughts this coming year. It’s a year of positivity and a can-do attitude. Short and sweet.

Swim!
Much more specific than the top 2, but this year I really want to get into swimming. I’m pretty much the worst swimmer I know, and want to follow my triathlete Mum’s lead by getting some swimming coaching to boost my confidence (major under water fear) and take it from there. I’m not making any grand plans just yet to do a swimming event or anything like that, just to start and see where it takes me.

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I'm looking forward to kicking off 2016 with a bang as well as I start my dream job in athletics in January and it'll be SIX MONTHS until J and I tie the knot (that has come around fast!). Bring in 2016!

How many goals have you set for 2016? Have you gone for the less is more approach? 
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Monday, 14 December 2015

Chocolate Coated Nut Butter Stuffed Dates

Almond Butter stuffed dates with dark chocolate recipe
Just read that blog post title. WHAT a title. When I saw this recipe pop up in my Twitter feed from Laura over at Wholeheartedly Healthy, I was like YEP - that’s for me. No hesitation. Click. Read. Make. Eat. Done. Amazing.

Loaded with nut butter and covered in 85% dark chocolate, these are a perfect sweet treat for over the festive period (or anytime of year in fact). They are a little less virtuous than the raw chocolate recipe I posted last week, but still, more nutritionally dense than a handful of Celebrations or Milk Tray (although these are great at Christmas too).

Laura uses peanut butter in her recipe, however, as the ol’ peanut and my body don’t mix very well (damn allergy kid tendencies), I used MyProtein smooth almond butter instead.

All I can think to describe these as, are like chewy natural caramels with a smooth chocolate shell. Laura’s trick, and one that I followed, was to freeze the dates stuffed with almond butter first before dipping in chocolate. This makes the chocolate extra crunchy, so you get loads of different textures going on. I’ve been storing mine in the freezer so they’re like toffees but having nearly broken a tooth last night on one, into the fridge it is! 

So, fancy giving these a whirl?
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Thursday, 3 December 2015

Festive Raw Chocolate

Alice Mary Barnes' Raw Christmas Chocolates Recipe
As IF it’s December already. I’m feeling pretty damn festive - the tree is up in all its glory and I’ve got an insane amount of Christmas candles on the go. 

I started getting well into Christmas food mode last weekend. Chocolate always features very heavily in anything sweet I make at this time of year, so I got to making a batch of these delicious pure chocolates from Deliciously Ella’s site. Using her basic recipe, I spiked these with orange zest for a true Christmassy flavour and scent.

The best thing about these chocolates are that they aren’t any ordinary chocolate - they're a healthy indulgence and kinda good for you too (excellent). Packed with cacao butter and raw cacao powder (hello antioxidants), they are such a delicious guilt-free treat.

The great thing about this recipe, is that there are so many different things you can do with the basic recipe, so it’s easy to have a play about an add whatever you’re into - cinnamon and nutmeg, vanilla - you could even add in some sugar-free flavour drops for a sweeter hit. 

Basic recipe:
  • Melt everything together in a pan over a very low heat (don’t go boiling it though).
  • Pour the mixture into moulds (I used some very un-festive heart-shaped moulds but you can buy festive moulds on the high street. Lakeland and Tiger are my best bets.)
  • Freeze for 30 mins.

These will then keep in the fridge in an air tight container for ages, but I can guarantee they’ll be gone within about 10 minutes. They're that good.


What are your favourite festive flavour combinations? 
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