26 Jan 2014
Granola is my all time favourite breakfast. In an ideal world I would eat granola with greek yoghurt and fruit every morning. In reality I am all too aware of the hidden nasties cropping up in my favoured breakfast. The biggest culprit is SUGAR. Since January I have been doing my best to avoid refined sugar and limiting the amount of natural sugar I consume. So guess what? Granola for breakfast has been out of the question. I also avoid dairy, which means no greek yoghurt either. But today my friends, I have been doing some experimenting in the kitchen and I have come up with a granola recipe, which in my eyes rivals all the shop bought varieties. It is packed full of nutritious goodness AND it is super easy to make. Do you want the recipe?
I thought so…
First up let me just explain that you can experiment with ratios of nuts and seeds and include whatever ones you want. I just used the ones I had in my cupboard. I also tried to use organic ingredients but this can be costly so it’s up to you whether you do.
100g jumbo rolled oats
50g dried dates
30g cashew nuts
30g flaked almonds
15g pumpkin seeds
15g mixed seeds
20g dessicated coconut (unsweetened)
1 tbsp raw organic honey
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp coconut oil
1. Simmer the dates in a small sauce pan with about 1cm of water until soft (about 3 mins).
2. Drain and then blend the dates until smooth
3. Combine all the other ingredients in a large mixing bowl. I bashed up the cashews but you can also leave them whole. Or if you are feeling really crazy have a mixture of both. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature so you can melt it first if you want. I found that the heat of the dates melted it just fine.
4. Add the dates and mix well.
5. Transfer to a baking tray and bake in a pre-heated oven at 160°C for 15 minutes (until golden brown). Reduce the oven temperature to 110°C and cook for a further 30 minutes until dry and crisp.
6. Set aside to cool and then transfer to an air tight container to store.
7. Serve with your choice of milk (I like unsweetened almond milk) and you can even add some berries.
So there you have it my ultra healthy, super yummy breakfast treat. Plus your kitchen will smell AMAZING too.
There is natural sugar in this recipe so try not to munch on it too often and watch portion size!
Love you long time. X
5 Jan 2014
Hello Bloglets, Happy New Year to you all!
Firstly I hope you all had lots of Festive fun, I know I did. SO a New Year has begun and all people seem to be saying to me is forget last year and just get on with this year.
I want to discuss this a bit.
Don’t get me wrong, I cannot wait for life to get back to ‘normal’ this year but even though last year was a tough one I do not want to forget it. It made me stronger. It made me more ambitious to achieve my dreams. But most importantly it made me ME and as much as I wish it hadn’t happened it did and nothing I or anyone else can do will ever change that. HOWEVER although I cannot wait to get back to work, to start planning my travels and to have more adventures I am often reminded of the pain I went through last year. I have regular nightmares, I get jabbed by needles twice a month still and I see scars in the mirror everyday. It is impossible for me to simply move on with my life as though nothing happened and I think it is actually a bit unfair of people to expect me to do so.
The swing side to this is that I do not plan on letting the fact that I had cancer define my life. I have moved on and I will keep doing so but time is the best healer and really I am still undergoing active treatment so actually the nightmare is not over just yet. I am sorry if this post is a little grouchy but I always try to write honestly and this is what I am feeling at the moment. I also know that lots of other people have felt and are feeling the same way and so I thought I would just break the taboo and talk about it a little.
SO what does 2014 hold for me?
The truth is I don’t really know but what I do know is that I can’t wait to see what happens. To have a bit of spontaneity in my life rather than regular appointments etc is going to be a dream. I plan on laughing as much as possible, seeing as much of the world as possible and having as much fun as possible (the blog will be updated accordingly). I hope you can all do the same and I wish you all the best for 2014.
Love you long time. X
9 Dec 2013
I am pretty boring when it comes to coats, with the exception of my pink coat almost every other coat I have ever owned has been black or navy blue. I have always been wary of spending money on a coloured coat because I thought there would be limited outfits I could wear it with. I was wrong. When M and S asked if I would take part in their Statement Coat Styling Challenge I jumped at the chance. I chose a red coat, something I think I would normally be too afraid to buy but when it arrived I was immediately in love. Not only is it super warm but the red is really striking too. I suddenly wanted to wear it with everything but eventually I settled on four different looks proving that a statement coat doesn’t just have to be for Christmas it can be a real investment.
So I say go on be bold, take a risk and indulge in a statement coat this Winter...
You can see more of the M and S coat collection here.
Love you long time. X
4 Dec 2013
I thought I would write a quick post to tell you all about a spa day that I attended a couple of weeks ago. Rock on Divas, run by the lovely Gloria, is a day aimed at women who have finished cancer (or any other illness) treatment and are looking for a way to re-establish their health life balance that some women feel they have lost during treatment.
On arrival at The Spa Dolphin Square everyone was greeted with a hug and then given a name tag. We were then all invited to share as much or as little of our story as we liked with the rest of the group. Once all the introductions were out of the way, the day began with a juicing tutorial from Gloria who explained the benefits of juicing and gave a demonstration. Afterwards we all went for a healthy but delicious lunch where everybody shared stories and laughs.
The wonderful Jennifer Young then gave a skincare and make up workshop educating us all on what was actually in our favourite beauty products. She makes a bespoke skin care range that is made with 100% organic and natural ingredients. There is even a line designed especially for people under going cancer treatment. You can find out more about Jennifer and her skin care range here.
After another glass of juice we all got changed into comfy clothing and went to a yoga class which was aimed at beginners and was incredibly relaxing. The day finished with a beauty treatment. You could choose a massage or a facial. I went for the facial and it was AMAZING, the 25 minutes of bliss left my skin positively glowing and I made the trip home (with my lovely goody bag) on a busy train with NO make up on.
The best part of the day was meeting other ladies who had been through a similar thing to me. Everybody was supportive and kind and I had a lovely time. To find out more about Gloria, her spa days and retreats click here.
|Me and the other lovely ladies who attended the spa day|
Apart from treating myself to spa days I have also baked a Christmas cake with my lovely friend Jane (Mary Berry eat your heart out).
|The cake before it entered the oven|
Oh and there is the small matter of my one year Cancerversary which was on the 23rd November. I cannot believe it has been one whole year since I was diagnosed and what a year it has been. I am so glad it is mostly over now and for those of you reading this who are currently undergoing treatment I hope that I can reassure you that times can get better. I am a happier person now than I was before treatment, I have a whole head of hair (even if it is unbelievably unruly) and I am hoping that soon the last year will just be a nasty memory that I can lock away in some far corner of my mind.
I am unbelievably excited for the festive season so excited in fact, you might as well start calling me Mrs Clause. I cannot wait to snuggle up watching Christmas movies and start wrapping presents. I pretty much hum carols in my sleep and the prospect of a New Year and a new start is also extremely appealing. I plan on making 2014 my year no question.
That's all from me for now.
Love you long time. X
18 Nov 2013
Hello everybody, I am so sorry for taking so long to blog. I wasn’t very well but now I am back and ready to update you all.
I have now finished radiotherapy. WOOHOO! The main side effect I have found is tiredness but it really isn’t that bad and is definitely manageable. My skin is red and apparently will keep ‘cooking’ for the next two weeks but aqueous cream helps to soothe it. I have been wearing loose clothing and avoided extremes of temperature (luke warm showers are not much fun) in an attempt to minimise irritation to the area. So far so good.
I won't have to see this sign for a while...
I celebrated finishing radiotherapy with a cosy night in. I whacked on a layer of my favourite face mask (Eve Lom rescue mask), lit my favourite scented candle and painted my nails. Rock ‘n Roll I know!
I did make up for it on Saturday night though as I went out to celebrate a friends 21st birthday. I went for a wet hair look. What do you think?
I have spent some of my spare time making Christmas cards to sell at a Christmas Fair to raise money for Coppafeel! and Breakthrough breast cancer.
Now that I have pretty much finished treatment I am faced with this massive question. I still have to finish my course of Herceptin and I will be taking Tamoxifen tablets for the next five years but really I am pretty much done treatment wise. This of course means that really the 'naughty disease' part of my blog is pretty much done and dusted. I have really enjoyed blogging and as long as people want to keep reading about what I have been up to I will keep writing. I am sure that I will still have a few breast cancer related things to talk about in months to come. I have also thinking about starting a new lifestyle blog would any of you read it if I did?
Let me know what you think,
Love you long time. X
3 Nov 2013
Hello lovely people,
I have had a busy busy week. I now have only 2 weeks left to go of radiotherapy YAY. My skin is getting red and slightly sore and my stupid left arm is hurting again. I think having radio has aggravated it as it involves having my arms above my head everyday. But I have been given some pain killers so hopefully they will work soon.
On Tuesday after radio and Herceptin I hopped on a train and made my way to London to go to the John Frieda 25th anniversary event at Claridges. It was a wonderful evening and I had a great time. I brought my friend Nia along and we sipped on champagne and ate yummy canapés all evening. The theme for the evening was glamorous. I wore a leopard print dress from ASOS, blue Kurt Geiger heels and borrowed my Mum’s Chanel bag. Here are some pictures from the night.
|Dress ASOS, shoes Kurt Geiger and belt Topshop|
|My make up for the evening|
|The lovely Nia|
As well as attending the event I also did some filming for German television. They filmed before the event and then filmed us sightseeing the next morning.
After a very busy 24 hours I then hopped back on a train and headed back to the hospital for radiotherapy. Tired is an understatement. My lovely cousin Olivia came to stay from Wednesday to Friday and very kindly took me to the hospital. It was really nice to have a proper catch up with her and we did a lot of laughing.
On Friday night I went to a Halloween bash dressed as a vampire (minus the fangs because they were really annoying) and I had a great time.
As I am sure you can imagine I am now feeling exhausted from all the excitement of the last week. I can’t wait to finish radio and I am counting down the days until it is over.
In other news I have been nominated for PVB woman of the year award. If you would like to vote for me you can do here.
Love you long time. X
27 Oct 2013
Hello hello, me again.
I am happy to say that radiotherapy is still going OK. I have slightly pink and sore skin now but so far I am not too tired at all. I have been religiously applying aqueous cream twice a day in an attempt to protect my skin as much as possible.
The time I have had away from the hospital I have spent writing away working on the book. The online shopping bug has bitten me again (obviously this is not my fault). I bought a couple of new dresses, one of which I will wear when I pop up to London for the night on Tuesday (read all about why in next weeks post).
The most exciting news that I have for you all is that I HAD MY FIRST HAIRCUT since my hair has grown back. The lovely Sarah from HAC snipped away at my fluffy, wispy ends and transformed them into a styled crop. The last time I had been to the hairdressers was when this happened. This time instead of leaving with tears in my eyes I left with a big smile and some advice on how to control my often crazy locks. They really are crazy locks too, my hair has grown back thicker than ever it is also fluffy, unruly and never does what I want it to. The ends have a slight curl to them, which is strange for me as I had fairly straight hair before but the colour is the same. I can’t wait for it to grow a bit longer so that I can do more things with it.
|My weapon of choice to tame my locks.|
I have recently purchased some new lovely things for my bedroom (all from Primark).
|New star print bed linen|
|New LOVE light|
The weather warnings have me slightly worried about my journey to the hospital tomorrow morning. I am not sure what happens if the roads are blocked by fallen trees or if the conditions are too bad to drive. I guess I will just have to wait and see what happens and cross that bridge when I come to it. However I am hoping the people over at Weather HQ have made a mistake and the storm won’t be as bad as they think.
Love you long time. X