May favourites

Another little blog series which I’ll be posting on the last Tuesday of every month is my monthly favourites! There will be no subject/theme to these favourites, they’ll just be everything I’m loving this month! From food, to fashion, to books, to workouts, to skincare etc. etc. You get the drift.

Food

I can’t explain how much I adore Meridian foods new coconut peanut butter! If you’re up to date on my blog, you’ll know from my nut butter post, I’m overly obsessed..

I especially love it in my PB&J smoothie!! Oh and a new recipe which I’ll be sharing in June, My chocolate banana bread! It’s crazy good!

Fitness

Back day! I hated back day for a good couple of months, so much so, I just stopped training it.. but since I’ve mixed up my routines and become more motivated in the gym again, its turned into my favourite day! I especially love one arm overhead lat extensions (I think thats what they’re called) So you put two handles on the lat extension machine and you pull down one arm at a time for 12 reps and then straight into both together for 12 reps! Give it a shot and let me know what you think!

Fashion

My new snazzy trousers from Topshop! If you follow me on Instagram or if you’ve seen some of my holiday pics, you may be familiar with the blue trousers. They are super comfy, super classy and super all round in my opinion! I love the black belt contrast against the light blue and I love to pair them with a simple black vest and my all white Stan Smiths.

Restaurant

I’ve got two!

If you live up north or if you have been to Manchester you may be familiar with the beautiful restaurant Australasia! It’s outside the Armani shop and has sort of a glass pyramid entrance. It’s the most amazing sushi restaurant, amazing combinations, so fresh and the presentation is out of this world! It’s also super classy and trendy inside! A must if you are ever in the area and are a sushi Queen/King like myself.

My second was only discovered on Saturday but I loved everything about it! Upshot expresso! It’s a little independent cafe in Sheffield and I’m so glad they are local-ish! Firstly their food is incredible! I’ve had their delicious avocado on toast with chilli jam, which is always a favourite dish of mine everywhere I go but even better with chilli jam! I’ve also had one of their open rye sandwiches with mushrooms, lemon parsley cream with ash oil! I can’t explain how good this is! It’s honestly the nicest breakfast out I’ve ever had!! And I’ve been to a lot of breakfast places in my time! Healthy or not! If you live in Sheffield, you NEED to go here! Secondly, it’s really cool inside and their presentation is on point! And you guys know how much I love my presentation! Everything’s better when it looks good! Head over to my Instagram or Twitter if you want to know what I’m babbling on about! So yeah, definitely my new favourite breakfast place and I’ll definitely be visiting more!

Song

Hands down… Drake – One dance.

Yup, no words, just obsessed.

Makeup 

Whilst in Manchester, I treated myself quite a bit but I felt as though I deserved it! I have no shame, I’ve come along so much in these past few months and its worth celebrating! Anyway I bought myself the Hourglass ambient lighting pallet and I’m in love! I’ve never come across a contour pallet so gorgeous in my life!!! Its so easy to apply, blends gorgeously and stays on all day! It’s also in the most gorgeous packaging ever!!! If you love a bit of expensive makeup, like myself, this is a definite must have!!!

Skincare

I loved this product since I got it for christmas and then I decided to buy the whole range. The Liz Earle, cleanse and polish, moisturiser and toner set! It leaves your skin so silky and smooth and has cleared up my blemishes a treat! I’ve also purchased a travel size cleanse and polish to take away with me because I love it so much! The most natural product I’ve found that doesn’t irritate my skin and smells incredible!

Book

I am the biggest Harry Potter fan girl! I love everything about it, I’ve watched the films a billion times, I’ve been to the studios down in London, I have a Dumbledore quote on my wall and I’ve just started reading the books again! I’m now onto book 4 and I can’t get enough! I love to escape into the magical world, fully relax and read a chapter before bed. I’ve found reading before bed, rather than scrolling through my phone has really helped me get to sleep quicker and easier.

Sleep

Speaking of sleep, another product I’ve been using since December time is the Deep sleep + pillow spray from this works. As it says in the name, it works! Whether its psychological or it actually works, I’m not sure.. but either way I’m sleeping again so I’m happy! I spray it all over my pillow before I go to bed and it makes everything smell of calming lavender. Not too strong either! Just the right amount.

Diary 

I must have started a new diary every month when I was little, stuck at it for a week and the ended up writing ‘I got up at 7am, went to school, went to bed at 8pm’ for the following week and then chucked it in the bin. We’ve all been there..

So when I came across the five minute journal I was a bit skeptical to whether it would have the same effect. But no my friends! I’ve stuck at it for a good four months and I believe it has genuinely helped me be more mindful and positive.

You write three things you are grateful for as soon as you wake up in a morning, with one thing you want to believe/live by and three things you want to happen that day. Then before you go to sleep, you write three amazing things that happened that day and one thing that could have been better. It’s that simple and  actually takes two minutes, not five so it’s hard to lose track! Near enough impossible and thats coming from me!

They also do an app for those of you who aren’t a fan of writing, don’t want any nosy family members/flat mates reading it or for those busy bees and early morning risers.

Youtube

I’m subscribed to absolutely loads of people on youtube, from fashion, makeup, foodies, health, comedy, tv shows etc. etc.

My favourite person to watch, mainly for tips and confidence has been Madeleine Shaw.

I love her monthly favourite videos to find out about new products, I’ve loved her 5 things that changed her life video where she talks about how a friend of hers told her that there is only one you and you bring something different to what anyone else does! Watch the full video for the full effect.. It’s explained better I promise! I love her videos on anxiety, bloating and IBS. The videos I love the most are on confidence! They have really helped me understand and want to learn how to love myself.

I also love her as a person, she’s so positive, informative and relatable!

Check her out for a confidence boost and some top notch motivation!

Instagram

I actually can’t decide between two accounts this month!

Numero 1 – Hayley Carey. She has the most gorgeous, funny little girl in the whole wide world. I have no other words other then go give her a follow.

Numero 2 – Inherited kitchen. They are a new juice bar that have just opened up in Sheffield and they take the most beautiful pictures of their drinks! Their presentation and composition is on point! I’m yet to try it out but my brother liked it and I trust his opinion. I’ll be sure to post a picture for you guys when I go!

Photo

Photo of the month is this one of me and my Mum in Altea, Spain. I love everything about it. We’re happy, we’re on holiday and we’re relaxed.

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TV

A tv series I’ve been loving this month is The Five! It’s just started on Sky and me, my Mum and my Dad are hooked! Theres so many things going on, from kidnappings, to murders, to relationships and a million other things! Can’t beat a good old drama to sit down to watch at 9pm in the week.

 

So thats it guys! My may favourites! I hope you guys enjoyed reading this post and maybe it has inspired you to go watch/follow/buy/read/listen/eat something new!

See you Thursday,

Leitchy xx

 

Staying healthy whilst travelling

So if you are following me on Instagram – Leitchycreates, you will know that I’ve just been to Spain with my Mum and Dad. Me being the health guru I am, decided it would be a good idea to order some new and old favourite snacks from Planet Organic for me to take on my jols. I knew for a fact where we were staying, there wouldn’t be any health shops, the only snacks I’d be able to find would be ice creams, chocolate bars and crisps. Which is fine for some, I mean if you like that sort of food, you’re on holiday and are allowed to splurge, treat your self and relax, but me personally find those sorts of foods upset my stomach, make me feel grotty and I’m generally not a nice person after eating them. So its better for everyone if I come prepared…

Now I know theres people who like me suffer with IBS, want to feel their best and don’t always know where to shop or which snacks contain whole food ingredients and not a million ingredients which you’ve never heard of but still claim to be healthy. If there’s more than 10 ingredients/you don’t know what the ingredients are, then its not a good idea and its best to put it down, be safe and buy something else.

I’ve gathered together all the snacks I took on holiday and luckily, even the ones I hadn’t tried before tasted amazing so I thought I’d share them with you guys, that way you can try them too.

I’m not saying these are my favourite snacks, I’ll do another post on my favourites because they will mainly contain chocolate and I couldn’t take chocolate away because I knew it would melt (I say melt, we had one hot day but still!) Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of melted chocolate in my life! But not whilst I’m running through an airport or sat on a beach..

 

  1. Lets start with the fabulous Squirrel Sisters snack bars. For one, they have the most beautiful packaging ever! Covered in squirrels and the main ingredient they contain (coconuts), different cute colours and inside the two little bars come in a cute little tray which you can just pop on your desk whilst you get on with work/pop on your sun lounger and snack away as you please. I’ve tried the coconut cashew bar and the raspberry ripple bar and they have both been yummy! They are raw, which means they only contain whole food ingredients and that they are suitable for vegans. For example this coconut cashew bar contains coconut, cashews (obviously), dates, sultanas, almonds and sunflower seeds. Thats it! Just honestly healthy ingredients! I also like how there are two bars when you open it up, it means you can save one for later (if you have any self control! Me however, nada…) They also have a cacao orange and a cacao brownie bar in their range.   img_3790
  2. Selwyn’s seaweed snack packs! You can order these little packs from Planet Organic but you can also order them from Ocado! Which I find super useful as I can order them with the rest of the food shop. I’ve tried their coconut and chilli pack and their honey and sesame. They are both delicious! Heads up, they aren’t a filling snack! They are very small servings. I ate them on the way to meals to keep me going for 5 minutes or because I suffer with low blood pressure, I found them useful as they contain salt, to stop me from feeling light headed. So If you too get light headed quickly, give them a bash! They’re cheap and they do the job. I imagine they’d also be good in a Japanese salad or as a little table snack before a meal or to keep you going for five minutes whilst you cook your dinner.img_3600
  3. Next up Saf. I’ve tried both of their raw granola bags and I’ve been impressed with each. I’d say the nutty apple granola was my favourite but I do love both! They contain 3 servings (enough for 1 or 2 as a topping) I like mine with yogurt and fruit or just eaten straight out the bag when travelling! A good breakfast for the plane! I tend to travel early in the morning so these are great to eat on the plane or in the car. I’ve also found it’s near enough impossible to find granola/cereals that aren’t packed full of sugar and additives, amongst other things. These again only contain raw ingredients and again are suitable for vegans.
  4. An all time favourite of mine which I just keep coming back to are Raw Gorilla munchies! Grain free cereals/snacks that are plant based, paleo, organic, sprouted and yummy. I enjoy these again with fruit or granola or as a mid morning/afternoon snack. My favourite flavour is the pink pack which is their raw maca and cinnamon pack but again they are both delicious and I recommend them both. I’m yet to try them with milk, I definitely want to try the cacao pack with milk as I think they’ll have that coco pop, chocolate milk effect going on! They do a large pack of each munchie too and also do a strawberry flavour in a large pack but not small, so I haven’t had chance to try that one yet.
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  6. Another company I just know are amazing for you and love every time I try a new flavour are RawBite! My favourite bar so far is probably the coconut one as I’m a coconut freak and love anything with coconut in! If you follow me on instagram, you’ll see most of my morning bowls contain coconut flakes! I’ve tried coconut, raw cacao and vanilla berries and they’ve all been yummy. I’d probably rate them in that order. I love that they are a decent size, sometimes I find they can be on the small size and you don’t feel as though you are getting your moneys worth when you’re hungry again in half an hour but these leave me satisfied until my next meal. Again they only contain raw ingredients so they are suitable for vegans too. They are also gluten free and only use naturally occurring sugars. They also do a protein bar, spicy lime, peanut, cashew and apple cinnamon! I’ll be sure to add them to my next order.img_2820
  7. Another favourite company of mine is The Primal Pantry! Again I’ve loved every single bar I’ve tried of theirs and probably have these more regular as I can order them with the shop from Ocado. In fact I’m snacking on their coconut and macadamia bar as I write this for you guys. Again the coconut one is my favourite for obvious reasons.. but I also love their apple pecan, almond cashew and brazil cherry. I’m yet to try their hazelnut cacao but I’ll be sure to let you guys know on my Instagram account. They only contain 4-6 ingredients so you know exactly whats going in to your body and can be sure its all healthy. Also I love their cute packaging! Is that a moose on the front? I’m not sure but I love it either way!img_2826
  8. Now all things seedy PunchFoods SuperSeeds. They are 100% organic, gluten free and dairy free. They come in five awesome flavours! I’ve only tried coconut brownie so far and it actually tasted like brownies! Most of the time, health products claiming to taste like brownies don’t, so I was pretty surprised and impressed when this little tube of goodness did. I have Japanese tamari, chilli smoke and cinnamon spice waiting for me in my cupboard but they also make a maca caramel version which I can’t seem to find anywhere! You can buy them in large bags or these handy little tubes that remind of smarties. They also have lids so you can eat them throughout the day. However, I like to eat them at all once, whether its ontop of my porridge, nice cream, smoothie, yogurt or just poured straight into my mouth, in a sort of, not really lady like fashion. They have started to sell these in supermarkets, so keep an eye out next time you’re doing your big shop!img_2830
  9. Next up, these decently filled bags of crunchy, fruity goodness. I say decently because most snack bags only fill 1/4 and these fill about 2/3 of theirs! Vitasnack crunch bags are 100% fruit! Yep thats right, no added nothing! Such a yummy and nutritious pick me up! Great for getting in 1 of your 5 a day whilst on holiday! I like to eat mine on the go but I bet they’d be amazing sprinkled over smoothies too. I’ve tried banana, strawberry and apple and I couldn’t be more impressed! I’ve also got mango waiting for me in my stash of snacks! They also make a pumpkin, tomato and beetroot bag for those veggie holics out there. Me, not so much of a veggie chip gal but I think I’d be up for pumpkin because it’s sweet like sweet potato. Maybe I’d like the veggie chips in salads…
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  10. Now last but not least, lets talk refreshing drinks. I drink like a whale when I’m in the hot heat all day, literally can’t cope if I don’t have a drink in my hand. I just dry up like a prune in seconds and again become a panicking paul and again not the nicest person.. so it’s best for me and others around me, that I carry a drink. When you’re drinking like a fish all day long, sometimes you get a bit bored of water and want something with a bit of flavour but not something full of sugar. So my friends, I like to buy a few bottles of pineapple VitaCoco in the airport! Or I guess you could pack a few in your suitcase but weight and all.. My favourite flavour is pineapple, I say favourite, its the only flavour I’ve tried but yeah it’s still technically my favourite! It actually tastes like a virgin pina colada!!! I can’t describe how much I love this little carton of happiness! It’s definitely the perfect holiday refreshing treat!!

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So there you have it guys, my snacks I took to Spain with me! I’ll be sure to write up a new one if I go away this summer! If its for two weeks, they’ll be twice as much so lucky you! (and me, it means I can look back and re order next time!) I’m also going to write up my all time favourite snacks, my favourite chocolate bars and ice creams.

I hope you guys find this post useful, see you Thursday,

Leitchy xx

 

Campfire Porridge

This bowl of indulgent goodness will win over anyones heart and set anybody up for a good day! It’s the ultimate comfort bowl and will easily ease those Monday morning feelings. It will drag you out of bed in the morning, make you want to cook healthy and it will make those little ones want to eat healthy too!

This bowl is on the more indulgent side of healthy but its still healthy!

Everybody loves chocolate! Whether its a bar, sauce, ice cream, biscuit, cereal, the list is endless! But unfortunately most shop bought chocolate is full of sugar, bad fats and a long list of ingredients that you’ve never heard of. In this recipe I use raw chocolate. Raw chocolate is a health food. It’s made from only plant based ingredients, unrefined sugar, real fruit and live cultures.

People say dark chocolate is good for you, well it is better for you, but not completely good for you. It still has refined sugars in and ingredients we’ve never heard of! Raw however is even better for you!

Yes I’m saying theres healthy chocolate out there! You can still be healthy and eat chocolate!

Ok, it is a bit more pricey than shop bought bars but it’s 10000 times better for you!

When a bar of chocolate only contains 4/5 ingredients and you can pronounce them, you know its good!

My favourite two brands of raw chocolate are Pana chocolate and Ombar. Theres a million other brands out there too, I’ve just not had chance to try them yet! If you guys think a post on the best flavours and brands out there would be useful? I guess I could trial a load of delicious chocolate to help you guys out… I’m selfless like that, I know.

In this recipe I’ve used Ombar as its easier and cheaper for me to get a hold of.

I use Ombar – coco mylk in this recipe. It contains coconut sugar, raw cacao, creamed coconut, cacao butter and ground vanilla pods, thats it.. You know exactly what you’re putting into your body, all of which are good for you and its incredibly delicious and creamy! You won’t be missing any shop bought version when you find the wide range of flavours these two brands have to offer! You can also use their 90% bar, 72%, coconut and coco dark in this recipe. They all taste amazing!

To go alongside the chocolate shards, I’ve added a gooey, caramelised banana and some toasted flaked almonds. I wanted to create that BBQ’d banana with a chocolate bar in the middle effect. It brings back loads of memories of camping with the brownies/girl scouts when I was little and holidays in the camper van. I’m sure it will for you guys too! And if you’ve never been camping, all you need to know is its dreamy and this porridge will be your best mate for the next 2/3 months or until you get sick of it… if thats even possible?!?

Oh and if that isn’t enough theres unrefined pure maple syrup and pure vanilla extract in their too! Just to make sure its sweet enough… and that you are truly satisfied!

If you can’t get a hold of raw chocolate or find its just too expensive, use 85% + as it’s still a lot better for you.

 

Ingredients – Serves 1

40g buckwheat flakes/quinoa flakes

200ml almond milk

Half tsp vanilla powder/extract

1 tbsp pure maple syrup

1 banana

10g flaked almonds

20g raw chocolate / 85% +

Shake of cinnamon

Method

Preheat the grill to the highest setting and line with tin foil.

Toast the almonds in a small dry pan over a high heat until golden, pour into a bowl and put to one side.

Chop the chocolate into shards, put to one side.

Peel and half the banana lengthways.

Place the banana under the grill until golden brown – 5/10 minutes.

Meanwhile, weigh the flakes into the small pan with the vanilla powder and milk. Bring to a medium simmer for around 10 minutes/until thickened.

Stir through the maple syrup and pour into a bowl.

Top with the grilled banana, toasted almonds, chocolate shards and a shake of cinnamon.

Enjoy,

See you Monday xx

 

 

Raspberry Omelette

I love a good egg in the morning, whether it’s in porridge, on toast or in an omelette form. Adding raspberries to the omelette mix makes it into a sort of french, crepe like breakfast. Light, but satisfying and super duper delicious! It may sound weird at first but its honestly heaven on a plate and it will definitely wipe those naughty cravings away in a flash!

I like to whack loads of toppings on to my omelette to create a lovely crunch with the soft and silky omelette mix. It makes the omelette more fun to eat and even more delicious than it already is!

I add maple syrup to the mix, which is pure and free from refined sugars and vanilla extract, again make sure its pure! To sort of disguise the egg and turn it into the sweet tooth’s dream breakfast!

I’ve chosen coconut flakes and almond flakes to top this omelette with as they are raspberries best friends but try adding a dollop of yogurt onto the omelette too for the ultimate perfect Sunday morning breakfast.

You will all be thanking me later! I can see you all smiling as you eat this already!!

 

Ingredients – Serves 1

2 eggs

100ml oat/almond milk

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g raspberries

1 tsp coconut oil

20g flaked almonds

10g coconut flakes

Method

Preheat the grill to it’s highest setting.

Whisk the eggs in a jug until combined.

Then add the milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract.

Whisk to combine.

Pour in the raspberries and stir gently.

Put to one side.

In a large frying pan, toast the almonds and coconut flakes until golden. Pour into a bowl and put to one side.

Heat 1 tsp of coconut oil in the frying pan and tip to distribute around the pan.

Pour the omelette mix into the pan and cook for around 5 minutes/until golden on the bottom.

Transfer to the grill and cook until golden on top.

When the omelette is ready, slide onto a plate and top with the toasted almonds and coconut.

A dollop of coconut yoghurt wouldn’t go a miss either!

Enjoy,

Leitchy xx

PB & J Smoothie

As you all know, i love nut butter, especially peanut butter and especially manilife peanut butter! If you have the chance to buy it, do! I’m also a stockist, so feel free to message me for a small or big tub!

I’ve made a little parfait sort of thing with this smoothie, to create that peanut butter jelly effect. It means making two separate smoothies and then pouring one over the other but don’t worry, theres no need to wash up in-between! Just scoop the peanut butter smoothie out into a large glass and then pop the raspberry smoothie ingredients straight into the blender! That way you get a hint of nuttiness with the raspberry smoothie too!

Ingredients – serves 1

2 frozen bananas

2 tbsp peanut butter

a splash of water

80g frozen raspberries

1 banana

Method

Pop the frozen bananas into a food processor/blender and blend until an ice cream like consistency has been achieved.

Add a splash of water to help if needed.

Once smooth, add the peanut butter and blend until combined.

Pour into a large glass.

Without cleaning the blender, pop in the fresh banana and the frozen raspberries.

Blend until smooth.

Pour into the glass, on top of the banana smoothie.

 

Enjoy xx