Five Tasty Healthy Office Snacks

For the last few years, I have enjoyed a mid-morning and afternoon snack when working. The problem is that I often find a snack I like, eat it ALL the time and then get to a point where I can never eat it again. Sorry Bounce balls – I don’t think i’ll manage another one of you again. Now I have a variety of snacks on the go so that there is no R.I.P Bounce Balls take two.

Tip: Pack extra snacks at all times.

I always pop a snack bar/ piece of fruit in my bag in case I get hungry (often leading to hangry) and end up buying something I actually don’t want/ won’t agree with me/ will regret after. I learnt this the hard way when a Sainsbury’s chocolate chip cookie on a Friday afternoon ruined my weekend (I am gluten and dairy intolerant). So to avoid giving into cravings which don’t make you feel good, hopefully there is something here for you:

     1. Avocado with with tamari (gluten free soy sauce) 

Pack a full avocado (£1.20) in a lunch box and cut in half at work. Leave a bottle of tamari in the office. Creamy and satisfying. Job done.

   2. Meridian cacao peanut butter bars

Non-crushable! Great for a in-the-bottom-of-the-bag situation. (£2 for 3) Also delicious.

     3. Cashews, almonds, dried apricots and dark chocolate combo

Buy these in bulk from the supermarket and then mix at home. At about £1 a handful, it’s a much cheaper way to eat these mixes as opposed to buying expensive snack pots from health food shops or cafés.

     4. Why Nut snack balls

These are new on the block! There a bit different from your average snack bar because they’re balls. Great for slower snacking and on average £1 each.

     5. Coconut Collaborative yogs

These are on the pricier end of the spectrum (£1.50-£2) but rich and satisfying. I love the mango flavour.

I hope there is some inspo there for anyone who has either had a Bounce ball situation or just needs some variety!

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Festivals: 3 Essential Factors for a Healthy Happy Festival

Don’t want to feel awful on Monday?

Glastonbury is easily one of my favourite long weekends of the year. It’s not just the headliners that have had me rebooking for the last four years, it wouldn’t be half as much fun if I wasn’t for the great company or the unique atmosphere we all share on Micheal Eavis’ farm once a year. 

However, there is always the impending Monday post-festival dooooom which tends to hit during the field departure debarcle. One my festival of my festival blues was actually spent in hospital… So I can definitely say i’ve learnt (the hard way) how to maximise fun and not get sick. So whether you’re off to Creamfields with ya mates or glamping at V-fest, here’s some advice to feel happy, healthy and awake on that Monday.

 

Step one: be prepared

 

1 Food

Big clue: your gut is where the majority of your serotonin is produced and where the majority of immune system is.

Don’t rely on eating from food trucks at festivals. The choices are often fried, full of sugars and unhealthy fats. What’s more is that they are also pretty pricey. Unfortunately .. they’re not just going to burn a hole in your pocket.. Pounding your stomach with fast food is not a good way to stay friends with your gut. Avoid sugar highs and lows, tiredness and get the most out of your festival. Don’t waste the Monday after.

I recommend packing breakfast so that you can promise yourself you’ll eat at least one healthy meal. It also means you don’t have to leave the tent in the morning.. Double win. I usually bring:

A loaf of gluten free homemade bread (i’m wheat intolerant)

2 nut butter Pip and Nut squeeze packs for each day 

A jar of peanut butter

Apples

Honestly these three together are the dream. They also balance out the fruit sugar with fats.

Don’t get hangry and make bad choices! So easy to do.. Instead stock up on some healthy snacks to keep with you:

Energy balls (Deliciously Ella, Bounce Balls..)

Tangerines

Brown rice cakes (I like Kallo chocolate coated)

For lunches I would recommend Jamie Oliver’s lentil packets but inevitably you’re going to want to try some of the food at the festival. I certainly did! 10/10 burrito by the Pyramid Stage. However when you’re choosing, choose well. For example if you’re wheat and dairy free, don’t choose a pizza. If you suffer from intolerances in anyway like me, you’ll be left with a foggy brain and semi-pregnant belly. Instead of a recipe for intolerance disaster, indulge in a Thai curry or some sweet potato fries.

 

2. Alcohol

Most of us enjoy a few drinks at a festival. I respect those who are t-total for health reasons. I have had periods of up to a year where I haven’t touched alcohol for the benefit of my health. However, as time has gone on, I’ve learnt that drinking alcohol is about balance. Principally the balance of mental and physical health: enjoying a few and feeling included in social situations. Undoubtedly,  I also try to balance frequency and quantity so that essentially, I feel happiest during, and after drinking.

I do often enjoy 24 hours of not drinking at a festival. Try it! You realise that you really don’t need to be under the influence to soak up the atmosphere and it’s important for me to remember every single second of some acts.

When I do choose to drink, I tend to stick to white spirits such as gin and vodka. They contains less tannins than rums, whiskeys and wines. Tannins can exacerbate a hangover. I also choose mixers with less sugar such as slim line tonic. Although alcohol already has sugar in, choosing a low sugar mixer can reduce sugar peaks and falls. 

Water is so important at a festival. Flush out toxins and stay hydrated. Bring a refillable water bottle with you. (A BIG ONE).

 

3. Sleep

I have no shame in taking a nap during the day. The amount of times I heard “sleep when you’re dead” brashed around by campsite neighbours and toilet queues. Been there. Done that. You end up moody, spotty and miserable. Festival nay. Napping allows me to make the most of the evenings.. so you’ll find me cosied up with eye mask and sleeping bag around 4pm with alarm set.

So that was three key elements to bare in mind. Maximise how much you enjoy that festival and minimise the festival Monday (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…) blues.

Get packed and have the best time!

 

20 Sec Fudgey Sauce

It’s thick, delicious and rich. The perrrfffeccct sauce for pancakes.

 

2 ingredients

Smooth peanut butter

Date syrup

 

One serving:

  1. Once you’ve made your pancake stack, heat a pan on low temperature
  2. Add 2 spoonfuls of peanut butter and 1 of date syrup.
  3. Mix until blended
  4. Pour hot over pancakes

For an extra YAY add cacao nibs and some almond and peanut butter Propercorn.

IMG_8650

 

 

Do you know where quinoa comes from?

Did you know it is used to produce beer? Comes in five different colours? Grows in inhospitable conditions?
Until today, I knew quinoa as a black and white gluten free carbohydrate digested as a protein and available in most supermarkets. A recent trip to Bolivia taught me a little more about the food I love and consume so much in the U.K!
Where does it come from?

Does it grow on a tree? Under the ground? Nope. It actually grows much like wheat. The quinoa plant is a small green shrub which can reach a metre or so. The “flower”, quinoa granules, are collected and then sent for purification.

Where does it grow?

The quinoa plant is a tough one. It only requires water when quinoa seeds are sowed and it grows in the desert. I’ve just passed through the Bolivian desert in between San Atacama in Chile and Uyuni in Bolivia. Quinoa production is popular here. Since this area falls on a tectonic plate border, the land is fertile from the volcanic minerals which the quinoa crop benefits from. On my journey through the desert, I saw quinoa plants growing in lines and surrounded in make shift fences marked with plastic bags to deter hungry llamas (see above). Looking further afield, you can see the mountains seem to be divided in colour. This is simply due to quinoa farming and separation of crop on the mountain side.

Types and uses

Bolivia produces five different coloured quinoas and each has a different use locally.

1. Quinoa amarilla (yellow): the most common type which is used much like rice in Bolivia.

2. Quinoa blanca (white): mostly eaten like cereal with rice unlike our western savoury uses

3. Quinoa rosada (pink/red): grinded up to produce a flour

4. Quinoa negra: sometimes eaten but mainly used to produce a gluten free beer

5. Quinoa verde: a bitter quinoa only used to make beer for example the brand Lipena (actually quite tasty).

Popped quinoa is another use. It’s popular and cheap in Bolivia. You will find it in cereal bars, upmarket chocolate and packeted on its own.

It’s a pretty impressive plant. However Bolivians aren’t too keen on it! They would prefer to exchange it for pasta or noodles. Each to their own.

Restaurant Shout Out, Rio de Janiero

Flavoursome organic and gluten-free food in Rio.

In my previous post I recommended some great eateries I had visited during my time in Rio. However, Celeiro deserves a post of it´s own.
You can find Celeiro (and I recommend that you do!) in Leblon. Leblon is the wealthiest area of Rio. There are plenty of restaurants on the same street offering anything from fillet mignon to ceviche.

Celeiro is a little special. For starters, everything is organic. My lunch at Celeiro has to be one of the most flavoursome I’ve had. The pesto pasta has so much TASTE. The chefs pimped the traditional basil flavour with some extra garden herbs (and nailed it). Flavours aside, no pesticides means no consumption of extra chemicals. Happy taste buds, happy tummy!

The menu offers zingy fresh juices to homemade soup. I particularly recommend the salad bar which costs around 15 brl (£4) / 100g. My favourite part was the variety of the hot gluten free options. The gluten-free quiche, croquettes and pesto pasta which I tried were phenomenal. Celeiro separates all sem gluten options from gluten containing foods so it’s safe for Celiacs. For cold options, feast upon quinoa salads, roasted pepper and homemade guacamole. If you’re looking for quality ingredients, you’ve come to the right place.

Celeiro is also diary-free and vegan friendly. You’ll be spoilt for choice. I highly recommended treating yourself at Celeiro! It has been my favourite lunch in Rio so far.

Celeiro, Rua Dias Ferreira, 199