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Gluten and Dairy free | Birthday’s

So my Birthday is in just over a week and I have a great challenge on my hands: How to cater for lots of people with party food that’s gluten and dairy free (and so that they don’t notice, either!)?? I’m sure I’m not the only one that has these types of issues on their hands so perhaps I can lean on the online world for some advice? Because, I think I need it.

I mean, it’s one thing to organise a normal birthday party, let alone for someone who can’t eat gluten or dairy! I’ve done some research using my two go-to bloggers. Deliciously Ella and Honestly Healthy. So far, these are the ideas that I’ve come across. Let me know your thoughts on the below, I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions 🙂

Picky food

Roasted red pepper and paprika hummus
 Recipe from Deliciously Ella. I’ve made this before, and it was quick, easy and super tasty
Carrot sticks
Cucumber sticks
Either Avocado Cream or guacomole. The avocado cream is from Deliciously Ella as well. I love avocado, and a good dip is what every party needs.
Veggie crisps
Mains
Puy lentil, brown rice and sweet potato salad (from Honestly Healthy Living for Life (pg. 70)
Raw green curry with courgette ‘noodles’ (From HH as well, pg. 74)
Cauliflower pizza  (from DE)

Birthday cake is somewhat undecided, but perhaps this Orange and Almond chocolate cake from Honestly Healthy would be ideal!
http://honestlyhealthyfood.com/2014/03/29/orange-almond-cake-with-chocolate-icing/ (video below)

 

Other than these, I’m not entirely sure…. I need to make quite a bit in advance, and enough. This could be a busy run up to my birthday.
Next on the list is to look at non-alcoholic cocktails too. Yum!

O.N xxx

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Flowers, flowers and more flowers.

I love taking pictures of flowers, do you?

Here are some of the latest flowers and plants in my household. Everything from Lavendula, peppermint, beetroot, cherry tomatoes, onions, basil and some peonies and blue roses (I was so impressed with the blue roses, but slightly saddened when I realised they were only blue due to ink. They were once white roses now blue…) Enjoy the collection 🙂 . Do you take photos of your garden, urban garden or flowers? Let me know! O.N xx

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My Store Cupboard

As I’ve recently mentioned. I’m now gluten and Dairy free. So I thought I would write about some of the alternatives I use.
I’ve listed below everything you can get from your everyday supermarket.

Almond Milk –
currently alpro, although looking to make my own soon. Anything without additives is much better! (Sainsbury’s and Waitrose)
Almond butter
a super delicious protein fuelled super spread. (Sainsbury’s and Waitrose)
Bread
Genius – this brand is great, tastes like normal bread, and great with the aforementioned almond butter…mmm. (Sainsbury’s and Waitrose)
Quinoa
most supermarkets now, hooray!
Co Yo
coconut yohurt, texture is like greek yoghurt…but slightly coconutty. I have the original, but you can get vanilla or chocolate flavour too I think. So far, only Waitrose supermarket sell this. But wholefoods store also sell this.
Gluten free pasta
If you like pasta, it’s a good alternative (Sainsbury’s)
Coconut oil
To cook with, or use as a moisturiser… I do both. (Currently, I’ve only seen this in wholefoods stores. I’m sure the supermarkets will cotton on soon)
Tahini (Cost cutter)

I’ve found that gluten and dairy free is pretty easy so long as you find recipes in advance.
Typically, breakfast is Coyo with berries, almonds and chia seeds. Lunch is a quinoa salad (if you can’t make it, pret sell pretty good dairy and gluten free salads). Dinner Salmon with sweet potato fries and salad.

Don’t forget to treat yourself. Wholefoods sell chocolate which is dairy free. It’s raw and it’s amazing. Treat yourself.

I’ll add to this at a later date I’m sure.
Have a nice evening.

O.N xx

Skin care – Liz Earle

If you’ve read my posts before, then you know that I’m nearly 28 and still battling with ‘bad skin’.
I have pretty much exhausted all routes…. Until now. I think I’ve found my holy grail (YES!!) And here’s what I’ve done…

To give you a bit of background,I was pretty happy with my dermalogica collection, coconut oil and honey….then I realised my skin was getting worse all over again.  I was getting frustrated and I still couldn’t understand why this is still happening?

A really good friend of mine happened to call and I share pretty much everything with her. I told her as she had also been using dermalogica (although her skin is pretty awesome, I would definitely trade…) and she was noticing that dermalogic wasn’t working for her  any more. So she’d made a switch to a new brand…

I stopped, I looked in the mirror and I thought… I need to find some answers for me.
The next day I went to see a nutritionist. Now, I eat pretty healthily and follow most of the big healthy bloggers out there so I was going for confirmation that what I was doing was right and also to scream HELLPPPP… Anyway, after a complex questionnaire I saw the nutritionist who said ‘give up gluten and dairy’. So I did. as of that night.

I skipped (actually I dragged myself, I had all my work bags and it was already 7pm) to Planet Organic and stocked up on healthy food.
The challenge was that I was meeting up with my family on Saturday for Brunch in one of my favourite places, Bills. I quickly worked out they had an awesome veggie breakfast that I could eat (gluten free bread, no dairy etc. soy coffee….) and my family were accepting of my extreme changes.
Whilst at brunch, one of our family friends said that she also used Liz Earle.

I thought, can it really be a coincidence that I’ve heard of this brand twice in 4 days when I’d never heard of it before?? I headed to the shops and purchased a small pot of the Liz Earle hot wash cleanse.

WOW.

After a week, those horrid lumps and bumps that appear on your face that hurt sooo much. Gone.
My new skincare routine was lovely. It smells great. It doesn’t irritate my skin (Something I’ve learned recently is that parabens have a serious impact on my skin too..  high street shampoo? Forget it…) and best of all, Liz Earle is No fuss! It takes a few minutes and I’m ready to go for the day / bedtime.

4 out of 5 people that I know who have tried Liz Earle have stuck with it. The 1 who hasn’t is because sadly, she is allergic to quite a lot of things. I would highly recommend using Liz Earle, but before you do, here is a list of the ingredients, because if you have sensitive skin or allergies, it’s worth checking before investing.

If you haven’t tried cutting out gluten and dairy (I hadn’t tried the dairy previously) try it. I’ll blog later about some of my store cupboard to help out; but also take a look at Liz Earle.

skincare Liz Earle

Liz Earle, skincare routine

 

Happy Tuesday! 🙂

O.N xx

 

Sunday – A day of reflection

Recently, I’ve been caught up in what feels like absolutely everything. I was finding it difficult to live in the ‘now’ and it felt like no matter what I did or how hard I tried, nothing was going right. I thought that I was on top of everything, I thought that I had control over my life. And guess what? I don’t. I don’t think anyone does really. Yes, you make decisions in life but ultimately, there’s a plan laid out for us and I was forgetting to trust the universe with this one. Below I’ve listed the 3 main concerns that drove me to what I’ve called a ‘mini break down’ but in reality, it was the world telling me to stop, think and reflect:

Firstly, my work life can get chaotic and there’s a lot going on and every now and then I let this take over my personal life (wrongly, I’ll admit to that). What I mean by this, is that, I bring home my work problems, I forget to leave them in the office. I’ll either work late or simply still be thinking about work no matter the time, no matter the company I’m in. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s hard to turn off when you are SO involved in your work…But there’s a time and a place, and it isn’t at home.

Secondly, my skin. I’ve posted about this before… It was also taking over my life. There was a very small proportion of my life where I wasn’t worrying. I’ve tried most things for my skin and it’s still hard to get it right.

Thirdly, and most importantly, family. I was lucky enough to be working from home when I got a phonecall saying that a family member was being taken to A&E and it didn’t look good. That was it. My life flashed before my eyes. What would I do without them? How much of my life would they miss? Did they know how important they were to me, how much I depended on them?

Well, as you can see my mind was worrying about a lot. My family (the most important thing to me), my work, myself. I wasn’t giving myself any time to enjoy life, to sit back and see what was happening before me. Just constantly thinking. And yep, I had a mini break down.

I went into work on the Monday morning trying to carry on as normal when my manager asked me if I was okay and I sobbed. I snapped at my team. I couldn’t do my job. I’m really lucky to have a manager who takes the time to go above and beyond her job. She listened to what was going on in my life and told me I needed a personal day. So I finished off the Monday as normal went home and thought about what a ‘personal day’ meant.

I’m not very good with days off… I try and fill them up with things. So what on earth was this day going to do for me? I woke up and laid in bed and made some serious decisions about what I was going to do. I exercised to clear my head. I read books like the Tao of Pooh, The power of now and some healthy recipes. Next to me, I kept a notebook and wrote down anything that really reached out to me. Quotes, recipes, links etc. During the day, I realised that I needed to make changes in my life. I will burn out if I continue not to allow some space into my life. So, my conclusions were:

1) Do something that I enjoy every day (baking, yoga, photography…). Helps me to forget about work.
2) Stop stressing, you can’t control everything in your life. Let it go. Skin is not the be all and end all. I’ve found some lovely skincare and this helps (I’ll share soon).
3) Tell the people I love that I’m thinking about them and that I love them. You really don’t need to wait to see someone / wait until they contact you to let them know how important they are in your life. What if one day it’s too late? It really isn’t worth the risk.

I think that perhaps this is getting to intense for  Sunday… So, I’ll end this blog with a question that I came across on my ‘personal day’:

“Is there joy, ease and lightness in what I’m doing?”
If the answer is no, then it’s important you find time to ask yourself why not?
It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to change what you do, it may just be sufficient to change the how. “How is always more important than what”. “As soon as you honour the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease” (Power of Now).

So my advice? Take time to step back from a situation, allow yourself some space to reflect on the important things in life. For me, it’s working…But who knows 🙂

I’ve added into the post what I’m listening too whilst I write this post…
Enjoy your Sunday evening.
O.N xx