Discovering How to Stay Beautiful & Healthy…

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It felt as though we were walking into a rabbits hole. Ready and willing to fall into a land of discovery. We were at the Holland and Barrett showcase. Mine and VA’s adventure started with a glass of champagne and an introduction to everything healthy. Chocolate filled with good bacteria (Biotic Chocballs), supplements to give you glossy long hair & nails, and a lifestyle tea with a variety of flavours. Walking around the centrepiece of the venue (a gorgeous table laden with treats) we came upon a Pick’n’Mix with a difference – it only contained nuts and fruit. It was perfection for someone like me, who favours these type of goodies over traditional sweets. As we nibbled on the contents of our bags we came up SmartShake, a handy little addition to anyones workout routine. My pink one goes perfectly with my new wannabe¬†healthy regime. Finally we came upon the beauty section – my favourite. Most people don’t know that Holland & Barrett have an amazing beauty selection, with big brands such as Burt’s Bees and Manuka Dr. Although it was Marula‘s amazing product and back story that won the evening for me. The press event was magical and I discovered some delightful new brands and products. I can’t wait to try out the items in my goodie bag, which will certainly help me stay healthy and fit. Everything I would expect from Holland and Barrett.

Introducing Vivid Drinks: A Matcha a Day…

I don’t usually do posts like this, but I figured it went hand-in-hand with the blog. You might be wondering why that is, and I say, shame on you! If you don’t know of my love of matcha by now, then, well…you’ve probably been doing something productive with your life. Anyway, I do love matcha and I do like to mention it a lot, on the blog, my Twitter, and to anyone who will listen. So when Vivid sent me a crate of their matcha based drinks, I did a little happy dance. 
Vivid Drinks was set up by a fellow matcha lover – James Shillcock.
He decided that it was about time that matcha made it’s big break in the UK. Up until now, it has only been available to health addicts, and those who have the money to afford it – most places that sell matcha have raised the price to extortionate levels. However James wanted it to be available to everyone, in a convenient way. Vivid Drinks was born. Thanks to his expertise in the tea industry, and time travelling in China, he’s the perfect candidate.
So why do I love matcha (green tea powder) so much? 
Not only is it super delicious, but it is full of amazing benefits. It contains a lot less caffeine (only 0.01mg) than coffee, and regular tea. That means it’s a lot better for your body, but don’t fret because it does also give you a healthy boost. I can’t drink highly caffeinated drinks like coffee or coca cola, so this is a great way for me to enjoy it. More importantly though, it is full of antioxidants (130x more than regular green tea), which are wonderfully good for you. Vivid Drinks have managed to keep all of those amazing benefits inside their drinks, whilst adding some healthy tasty flavours to the matcha. Matcha is quite bitter by itself, so pairing it with something sweet, like honey or pear is a really good idea. My personal favourite from the collection is the Lime, Ginger & Honey. In fact it was also the first one I tried when I ordered it at a tea room on Church Street. I didn’t know what to expect, but left with a happy tummy and my matcha craving satisfied. I make sure to drink a matcha a day, why don’t you try doing the same?
You can purchase Vivid Drinks in stores such as WH Smith, Waitrose, Selfridges & Whole Foods for £1.85 each. You may also find them in your local cafe, so keep an eye out, and visit Vivid for more information.

Recipe: Cauliflower Base Pizza (Gluten-Free)

Cauliflower base pizza is something I’ve been toying with the idea of for a while. I first heard about it when a friend told me she had tried her hand at a gluten-free pizza. After reading up on it I found out that all you needed was cauliflower and egg for the base, which excited me greatly, as I can be a bit lazy in the kitchen. So I figured I’d try my hand at it and see what I could come up with on my own. This recipe is completely gluten-free and can be adapted to best fit your personal tastes. It may sound outrageous, but this has now become my favourite kind of pizza. I would gladly choose it over a regular base any day. Sayonara Dominos! Hello gluten-free heaven!

As a reference, most of the seasoning for this is done to taste so I haven’t used any measurements.
I’ve also recommended some alternatives for those who don’t like spice.

350g Cauliflower – Frozen or Fresh
50g Mozzarella (approx)
3 Baby Tomatoes
1 Large Egg
Pesto (approx. 1 1/2 tablespoons)
Chopped Spring Onions (approx. 2)
Chilli Powder/Paprika
Dried Basil & Oregano
Salt & Pepper
Garlic Clove/s
What you need to do…
Pre-heat your oven to 200c/Gas Mark 7, and line a tray with greaseproof paper.
If you use frozen cauliflower, I would suggest defrosting it/cooking it slightly and squeezing out any excess water. Fresh cauliflower is easier to work with, but I have used frozen in this recipe as it’s just easier to keep a big bag in the freezer. 
After you have prepared your cauliflower cook it in the microwave for 5mins.
Let it cool, then place it in the blender, along with the garlic (I used 2 cloves).
Blend this for about 10 seconds, making sure you are left with crumbs, and not a puree.
Add your cauliflower and garlic mixture to a large bowl. To this add the egg, salt & pepper, dried basil & oregano, parmesan and the chilli powder (or paprika if you’re not a fan of spice) – to taste. Mix this together with a large spoon until you are left with a dough like texture. If you think your mixture is a bit wet, you can always add a little gluten-free self raising flour to bulk it up.
Once you have your mixture ready, roll it into a ball and place it on your lined tray. Press down onto the ball and create a large circle, making sure not to thin it out too much – you want a thickish crust. Don’t worry if it looks a bit messy, the rustic charm will add to the look and texture of the base once it is cooked. Place your ‘dough’ in the oven for around 15mins. Sometimes I turn it around halfway through, to make sure it is cooked evenly. 
Now your base is cooked, you can garnish it! Spread the pesto evenly over the base – you can add a little tomato puree (gluten-free) here if you like. Cut your tomatoes into quarters and scatter them over the pizza. I like to scatter the chopped spring onions over top of this. Finally, break up your mozzarella and cover the pizza with it. 
Bake your pizza in the oven, for around 10mins, until it has browned and the mozzarella has melted.
Cut in half and serve – I like to have it with potatoes or a salad.
This is a super quick and easy recipe that anyone can enjoy – even if you’re not on a gluten-free diet. Trust me! It’s just as filling as a regular pizza, but has a lot less calories and isn’t anywhere near as greasy. It also includes 2 of your 7 a day! 
As always, if you do try it out, tweet me or leave a comment here as I’d love to know what you think!

Keeping Fit with L&G and Keepfitbootcamp

Healthy living fitness goody bag from L&G*
Recently I was contacted by L&G about their new healthy living campaign. Like everyone else the New Year get fit bug hit me too, so I jumped at the chance. We may now be in April but that doesn’t mean I have to give up trying to keep fit. I’ve been watching what I eat and making sure it’s all good stuff going into my body. The next thing is to actually start doing some proper exercise, rather than just walking. You see walking is my favourite type of exercise and something I find difficult to give up. Luckily for me L&G already had that in mind as part of their healthy living initiative.  They partnered with Keepfitbootcamp for the campaign, and offered me a 7 day pass. I was also invited to a taster, but I was sick at the time and unfortunately couldn’t attend. So I can’t wait to try the bootcamp out and let you all know about how I got on. I’ll also make sure to keep you all up to date on my progress.
Do you have any healthy living tips of your own?