Almond and Chia Energy Bites

One of the hard things about being on a clean, healthy diet is when the 3pm munchies strike.  Everyone else is tucking into the cake and chocolate that so many offices seem to have these days, leaving you feeling miserable as you watch them indulge.  Well, not any more!  Thanks to Deliciously Ella, these Almond and Chia Energy Bites will give you the afternoon pick me up you need whilst also satisfying that sweet craving.  I made these last night and love them!

20150614_191845

To make about 20 balls:

200g almonds

400g Medjool dates

4 tablespoons raw cacao powder

2 tablespoons almond butter (Ella makes her own but I went for the cheats option and bought some!)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons chia seeds

 

Put the almonds into a food processor and whiz for about 30 seconds until crushed.

Pit the dates and add to the crushed almonds along with all the other ingredients and 2 tablespoons of water.  Blend again until everything is mixed together and it’s all nice and sticky.

Roll the mix into balls.

Place in the freezer for an hour to set, then store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Enjoy!

 

Advertisements

Lights, camera, action!

Wow, what a week!  I’ve spent the week travelling the length and breadth of Scotland for work.  I’ve seen some fantastic places that ordinarily on my trips up here I wouldn’t be lucky enough to see.  Speaking of lucky, it’s been the most incredible weather up here – definitely not the norm I’m told!  I even had to buy some sun lotion after getting a little pink on day one.

20150610_114658

All this travelling can mean only one thing when it comes to food – eating on the go.  A clean eater’s worst nightmare…or at least this clean eater’s nightmare.  Staying in hotels often on the outskirts of town, with no way of refrigerating anything means you are at the mercy of the Tesco gods.  Add to that long days and therefore extreme tiredness and the carb cravings really set in.  So here it comes, my confession – I gave in to those cravings!  I’m not proud of that, but I have come to learn that there isn’t much to be gained from beating myself up about it either.  So as long as I get back on track there’s no harm done.  I’m not on this journey to be a no sugar/dairy/gluten/meat saint, after all I’m only human!

20150611_190322

I spend a fair amount of time travelling for work which disrupts not only my healthy diet but my daily routine in general (I recently started a short yoga course but due to this I’ve not been able to commit to every class).  I think the added stress of this also contributes to my skin problems.  Speaking of which, you may be wondering how that’s going – I’m off the antibiotics and whilst it’s looking a lot better my skin is by no means clear, so still a way to go yet!  Anyway, with all this going on I need to find a way to stay on track as my work situation isn’t going to change any time soon.  How do you stay healthy when travelling?  Let me know by commenting below.

Un weekend en France!

I love bread.  Soft, white, freshly baked French bread!  How the French stay so slim with all this beautiful food I’ll never know.

This time last week I was enjoying a short break in France.  While this trip could have been my downfall (and at times, very nearly was) I chose not to let this happen.  I believe in everything in moderation and so, I allowed myself the bread, the cheese, wine and yes, even a small amount of chocolate.  And that’s the point – a small amount.  I didn’t go crazy but still allowed myself to enjoy it.

Food

But enough about food…

I flew out to Bordeaux for a family holiday, the first one in many years! Staying in rural France in a beautiful gite with it’s open plan living, large garden and pool providing an idyllic setting.  The sun shone, the wine flowed, laughter filled the air and quickly I was able to relax, switching off from the real world.

The gite, Le Peyrat, comfortably sleeps up to 12 and is reached by a white gravel drive, passing the resident grey pony on one side and the boules area to the other.  Beautifully renovated, Le Peyrat opens up into a large garden with decking and an additional covered seating area for cooler evenings, garden toys for any little ones (including trampoline – I’d forgotten how much fun this could be) and a secluded pool (a real little sun trap).

A 30 minute drive away is the small, quaint town of St Emilion.  The drive takes you through picturesque French countryside littered with many vineyards, large and small.  Once in St Emilion, cobbled streets wind themselves between gorgeous French architecture.  We took the street that leads up to the church, offering fantastic views of the town and terracotta rooftops.  Once at the top it opens up into a small square with a handful of cafes and shops – the perfect place to stop for a drink and to soak up the sun.

Street 2

 

Meandering back down the cobbled streets you find a mix of shops – souvenirs, cafes, macarons, but above all, and being in the midst of world-renowned vineyards, wine!  In a sunny square, about halfway down, with the church spire looming overhead, we stopped for lunch at Cafe Amelia.  Serving simple, yet perfectly done, dishes, this place offers great service and fantastic value for money.  Steak frites for 9 euro – can’t argue with that!

Church

After using all that energy it was time to head back to the gite for an afternoon nap followed by a game of boules! So until next time, au revoir Bordeaux!

The first 7 days

Seven days down, a whole healthy lifetime ahead! I’ve made it through the first, and I think, toughest, week without wanting to shove my face in a chocolate trifle!  I’ve slowly been making my way through the recipes in Deliciously Ella and let me tell you – they are so delicious I honestly think it’s […]

The start of something new!

I’ve always had ‘problem’ skin – ever since I hit puberty I was plagued with spots of varying size and severity whilst my two younger sisters were blessed with beautifully clear skin, only now and then a “huge” spot appearing, barely visible to the naked eye.  Fast forward to my early twenties, the summer of 2004, and the problem skin I’d become used to stepped it up a notch…or 10! A large, no, huge, spot began to develop and continued to do so until it had taken over half of my chin, was red raw and extremely painful.  Then followed numerous trips to the doctor and months of antibiotics, leaving me none the wiser as to what was going on.  Every now and then this flares up again (although not as severe) and in different areas of my face – it’s now just a call to my doctor for the prescription.  Usually I can go a few years with nothing, until this year – two bouts in less than 6 months! Recently I’ve been reading how diet (and in particular, sugar) has a massive impact on your skin.  I’ve also been following the likes of Natasha Corrett, Madeline Shaw and Deliciously Ella on social media.  It was buying Ella’s cook book last week that inspired me to finally take control and change my diet in order to break this cycle. I’ve often said, “I’m going to eat clean and get healthy” only for a few weeks later, or after the holiday I’d been using as my goal, to slip back into old habits.  I need a way to keep myself accountable and so that’s why I’ve started this blog – to chart my progress to clearer skin and a healthy, long term lifestyle.