Tuesday, 27 January 2015

A Week of Healthy Breakfasts.

2015 for me is the year I finally start treating my body right, and taking more care with what I put into it. We've been buying a lot less junk and processed foods, and a lot more fruit, veg, nuts, and healthier alternatives to the bags of white flour, pastas, rice and sugars in our cupboards. In combination with detox teas and a lower calorie diet, I've lost over a stone since the beginning of January, and I feel so much better for it! I have more energy, better skin, I'm sleeping better, and I have a new-found excitement for whipping up tasty, healthy treats.

Breakfast is my new favourite meal of day. For years I would skip it, or just grab some chocolate if I was on the go and needed energy. Now it's probably the meal I invest the most time and thought into, doing the necessary prep the night before and making sure each day gets off to an exciting, nutritious start. Since this week is apparently Breakfast Week, it seemed like a particularly appropriate time to share my breakfast diary from the past seven days. Hopefully it will inspire you to spruce up your own morning munchies too!

Day 1 - Banana Pancakes

There are many different banana pancake recipes out there, however these ones were made with 1 banana, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon of peanut butter and a 1/4 cup of oats per person. They make a generous stack, and are naturally sweet and delicious without being loaded with toppings. I do have a bit of a sweet tooth, so I had mine with a tablespoon of maple syrup. It comes in at roughly 466 calories, so it's a slightly more indulgent breakfast, but it's a generous portion and definitely rivals traditional pancakes!

Day 2 - Chocolate Porridge With Banana, Raspberries & Peanut Butter

I'd forgotten how comforting and lovely a bowl of porridge in the morning could be until I whipped up this treat! Made with 40g oats, 240ml unsweetened almond milk, 1tbsp pure cocoa powder, 1tsp of brown sugar, and topped with 1/2 banana, a handful of frozen raspberries and a teaspoon of peanut butter, it's a delicious mash up of flavours. Even with a tablespoon of maple syrup drizzled on top, it only came in at roughly 350 calories. A great breakfast to abate mid-morning hunger - it kept me full until lunchtime, and I used to be a notorious snacker!

Day 3 - Berry Smoothie Bowl

I woke up feeling full of cold, so I whipped up a smoothie bowl crammed with berries; 80g frozen blueberries, 80g frozen black forest fruits, 40g frozen raspberries, and 240ml of unsweetened almond milk. I topped it with some delicious red cherries (my favourite fruit!) and a sprinkling of goji berries. Crammed with vitamins and super refreshing, but under 200 calories. Yay!

Day 4 - Banana & Blueberry Pancakes

Weekends call for special breakfasts, so on Saturday morning I made Grant and I a slightly more virtuous take on banana pancakes. The pancakes themselves have only two ingredients; 1 banana and 2 eggs per person. We spruced ours up by adding 30g of blueberries each to the batter, and topping each stack with extra blueberries and a tablespoon of maple syrup. A great pancake breakfast for roughly 280 calories.

Day 5 - Cinnamon Roll Baked Oatmeal

Oh boy, Sunday's breakfast was freaking good. We used this baked oatmeal recipe (replacing apple sauce with mashed banana) and it was heavenly. There's nothing quite like the smell of baking cinnamon in the morning, and with these babies in the oven you'd be forgiven for thinking there was something far more sinful than baked oatmeal being cooked up! A great healthy alternative to naughtier breakfast pastries, and an amazing dish in it's own right. It comes in at around 365 calories, but it's worth every bite!

Day 6 - Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

I know, I know, I'm late on the overnight oats bandwagon, but I can tell you now that I absolutely get it. I used this recipe (forgoing the peanut flour for a heaped teaspoon of 100% pure peanut butter) and topped it with a little 70% cocoa dark chocolate. It's decadent, creamy, sweet, and possibly my new favourite breakfast! At roughly 350 calories a portion, it's definitely one I can see myself making regularly, and I love that you make it the night before, then just grab it out of the fridge and tuck in come morning.

Day 7 - Peanut Butter Greek Yoghurt & Banana

Today's breakfast was as simple as it was delicious. I mixed a generous teaspoon of peanut butter with 100g of Greek yoghurt, sweetened it with a teaspoon of honey, then chopped up a banana and topped with with some shaved 70% cocoa dark chocolate and a teaspoon of dark brown sugar. The peanut butter, banana and slight hint of chocolate make a heavenly combination, and it was so filling that I ended up having lunch late because I wasn't hungry (if you know how much I love food, you'll know what a feat that is...)! Roughly 315 calories, and definitely one I'll be having again!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

4 Ways to Wear C&G: Not A Lotta Rosie Bobby Pins.

Every month I review something from the Glitterati subsciption box by Crown and Glory, and this month I decided to try and inspire those of you who feel a bit apprehensive around colourful hair accessories by styling these delicate Not A Lotta Rosie bobby pins in four different ways. If you're a Crown and Glory newbie, or you really want to expand your collection but can't afford a bigger piece, these pins are perfect for you!

The Finishing Touch -

Possibly the simplest way to add a little Crown and Glory flair to your hair! These bobby pins are both a pretty and practical way to keep your hair out of your face on a day-to-day basis. To give my hair a bit more volume in this style, I wear it in braids overnight, then style in into a deep side parting and do a little teasing at the roots. A spritz of hairspray and you're done!

Dainty Crown -

A style for the wannabe Disney princesses out there! To recreate this hairstyle, style your hair into a deep side parting, then take a section of hair from underneath at the side of your head and braid it, pulling it across your head like a hairband. Pull back the sections of hair framing your face and pin at the back of your head. Finish the style off by mussing up the braid a little, and scattering the bobby pins through it.

Rapunzel Braid -

A style inspired by the most amazing head of hair in the world! Continuing from the 'dainty crown' style, pull your hair over one shoulder and divide it into three rough sections. Lightly tease each of these sections to add volume (compensating for the hair lost to the 'crown'), and braid them. Before decorating the braid with the bobby pins, add volume by pulling at each of the loops and fanning it out with your fingers.

Milkmaid Braids -

A subtle Crown and Glory twist on a classic hairstyle! To recreate this style, twist sections of hair away from your face and braid your hair into two plaits. Tease the plaits a little with your fingers, then loop them over your head, crossing over one another. Pin in place with bobby pins until the style feels secure, and finish off with the Not A Lotta Rosie pins.