Sunday, 7 May 2017

Chocolate protein zoats, with strawberries and pistachios

If you follow me on Instagram or snap-chat, then you're probably already know how obsessed I am with healthy and delicious food recipe's. Pinterest is another great source of inspiration. I've learnt that healthy food doesn't have to be boring, and it doesn't have to be tasteless either.

I kind of came up with this recipe on the spot one morning (this happens a lot) although I meal prep every single week and typically plan most of my meals, these days I do just wing it sometimes, especially with breakfast. As long as its relatively low calorie, filling, and high protein, I'm all for it! You may have heard of the new foodie sensation sweeping Instagram that is 'Zoats' which is zucchini oats.

You basically make your oats as you normally would, then you grate half a zucchini - I think us English people call them courgettes - into your oats, give them a few minutes to soften, and you have zoats! Now, I know what you're thinking, Amanda that is so fucking weird, what's wrong with you? but trust me! it gives you a bigger amount of food for less calories, you don't taste the courgette, and you also get an easy dose of vitamins and nutrients into your meal. Its genius. Try it and thank me later.


40g oats
half a courgette
half tbsp mixed spice
1 heaped tbsp unsweetened cacao powder
1 tbsp honey
6 - 8 strawberries
pistachio nuts
1 tbsp milled flax seed (optional)
1 scoop of strawberry flavored whey protein

Put your oats into a pan with 100 - 150ml of water (you can use milk, which will make it taste creamier) while the oats heat up, grate your courgette.

Once the oats are almost done, stir in your courgette and soften for 2-3 minutes.

Add one scoop of whey protein, this will up your protein and also give a more strawberry like taste.

Add the cacao. The difference between cocoa powder and cacao powder is - cocoa is processed and has refined sugars added, whereas organic cacao (pronounced - ca cow) retains the nutrients like iron and calcium, which is lost when its processed into cocoa. Its just better for you all round.

Add the flax. This doesn't add anything in terms of flavor, just a healthy dose of fiber,

Add 1 tbsp honey, half a tbsp can also be used to drizzle over the zoats at the end.

Cut your strawberries and add the majority of them to the zoats, leaving 3 to garnish at the end.

These are surprisingly high in fat (good fats) so if you're trying to lose weight, go easy on these! I use 10 pistachio kernels, dotted over the top of the oats.

Chocolate and Strawberry Zoats - Macro's

Calories: 423
Carb: 53.6
Fat: 11.5
Protein: 29.2

There you have it, a quick, easy and super healthy breakfast recipe, which will give you a load of protein (1 scoop of the brand I use provides 25g protein) lots of vitamin C from the strawberries, fibre and biotin from the oats, healthy fats and vitamin K from the pistachios, as well as potassium and antioxidants from the courgette. This superfood porridge tastes great and is very filling. It's free from refined sugars, and can be vegan if you use water, and switch to a vegan protein powder.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

BeFit: London

This year I went to Be Fit London, a fitness based festival. It was held in the business design center on Upper Street, Islington (the best high street in London in my humble opinion) and it was bloody amazing! There were fitness Youtubers such as Zanna, Clean eating Alice, Grace Fit UK, and Joe Wicks among many other people in the industry. The place was filled with stalls selling protein powders, activewear and healthy snacks. There were also loads of talks with nutritionists and personal trainers.

As soon as we walked in we watched Madeline Shaw's cooking class, where she made fritters and talked about the benefits of eating organic and the food industry in general.

I particularly loved the talk about body confidence and the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle. I learnt so much. One talk discussed binge eating and how we have to let go of our food guilt, which is something I was dealing with a lot last month.

I've long been a fan of Oatly, a great oat milk brand. I'm 90% sure they were sponsoring the event because their branding was everywhere in sight! I fully expected this beetroot latte to have coffee in it, you know, as its called a latte? but it was essentially just beetroot juice and foamed oat milk. Healthy? Yes. Tasty? I didn't think so, but Kerry loved it.

They were giving out samples of Acai bowels (pronounced Ah-si-ee), and it was delicious. They sell packs of frozen acai by this brand which I believe they said is available at Tesco. I'm tempted to buy this and make my own acai bowels at home, however as I'm cutting out refined sugars, so I may give it a miss.

She Supps was a great protein brand I discovered at the festival. They sell both whey and vegan proteins in a range of flavors, in beautiful, very instagramable Jars. Their re-fill packs come in more Eco friendly paper bags which you can get online. Their protein tastes great with almond milk or just plain water. They also gave me a free protein shakes inside my shaker, when I went back to the stall a second time they refilled my shake again, for free too! (There was 30g of protein in each shake, I had so much protein that day)

The other brand of protein I bought was by 'MissFits' I tasted the vanilla sample and pretty much instantly bought a pack. Its sweetened with steevia and is the best protein I think I've ever tried.

Near the end of the day we did an intense cardio based workout class with fitness Youtubers and personal trainers Tally Rye and Victoria Spence 2 founders of Girl Gains which is a movement that aims to inspire women to become fitter, healthier and happier.

although hard, it was brilliant. There's something about working out with 200 other people that really motivates you! There was a lot of jumping squats, press ups, lunges and things like that. We went to the Nags Head pub afterwards. So after that class, I had to get chorizo mac and cheese pizza? I walked 15,000 steps that day (not including the class) so I definitely deserved that pizza. It was delicious.

The next day in the gym I felt so inspired from the festival. It was a great day, the energy of the place was just buzzing with positivity. Although there was the odd guy here and there, the festival is primarily aimed at women. That's not to say that men can't go of course. There's a lot to see and do there, Kerry saw a chiropractor there for a free consultation, and he pretty much fixed her back problem! I'll definitely be going next year, I've never felt so empowered and inspired to be healthy. If you missed it but want to go to a fitness festival this year, Balance festival is happening in May.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Dear confused white friends

So, a huge number of people have been asking me why I cut my hair, and I've never known how to answer that question in more than a handful of words. So when people who haven't seen me in a while ask me, I will be directing you here, to this blog post.

For those that don't know, my hair has been permed since the age of about... I want to say 11? and that's a very common practice for girls with Afro-Caribbean hair. Some start doing it from as young as 5. The perm is applied, which chemically makes the hair straight. The perm is a very harsh and damaging process, and it has to be applied to the roots every 2-4 months to keep hair straight.

In black culture, perming hair has been done for many, many years. Some people will say they do it to make their hair more 'manageable' or because it gives them more styling options. I came to realize myself, that I was doing it to conform to a white, westernized standard of beauty, and I was sick of it.

I was sick of feeling that feminine beauty has to be long hair, straight hair, it doesn't! Beauty is many things, and I wanted to challenge those norms. I also wanted to stop damaging my hair so much with the constant perming and straightening and curling. I now use no heat, and my hair is in much better condition because of it.

There's something in the black hair community called 'Going natural' which essentially means you cut off your chemically straightened ends and let your natural hair grow through, people also refer to it as 'the big chop'. I did something called 'transitioning' which is where you allow your Afro roots to grow through for a couple months, and then you cut off the straight ends and you're left with a 'TWA' or Tiny Winy Afro - that's what I did, I transitioned.

Some girls transition for years, so their roots are as long as possible before they cut off their straightened ends. For me, that would just be delaying the inevitable, so I transitioned for 6 months.

Why didn't I big chop? because I was genuinely terrified of what people would think, In our society short hair, and short natural black hair at that, is not deemed pretty, not by a lot of people. I want little black girls to see me walking down the street and know that her hair is beautiful just the way it is. Now that I've had my TWA for a while now, I can honestly say that to the people who don't like my hair? Fuck the fuck off, I don't care. Its not your hair, its not your life, don't concern yourself with how I look and how it doesn't conform to your standard of beauty.

Here's a more concise list of why I went natural:

  • The damage that perms and hair straighteners inflict
  • To show people that natural black hair is beautiful
  • So that black girls see themselves reflected in society
  • Because I fucking wanted to

There you have it, I've never been asked a question more in my life. I hope this helps to clarify things for you all. Natural hair blog posts coming soon, peace out xoxo

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Beauty Review

Its been a while since I hit you guys with a beauty review. I've been out of the bloggersphere for a while but 2017 will be the year I get my shit together and be more consistent, promise! Without further ado, here at the beauty bits I've been trying out.

I've been drooling over pictures of this foundation overseas, and when I finally saw it in Boots in the UK I bought it instantly. The consistency of this foundation is nothing like the original Fit Me foundation (which I hated, made me oily) this is more fluid, and a little goes a long way. Blends like a dream, it doesn't keep me matte all day, but it takes a good few hours (if I've set my foundation with powder) to see shine, which in my books, is pretty decent.

I bought myself the whole Dr Organics rose skincare set a while back because it was on offer in Holland and Barretts. Spoiler alert: its all pretty fantastic.The night cream is thick, nourishing and plumps the skin up nicely. For something so affordable, this really performs in terms of hydration. Its packed with softening oils like jojoba, geranium and of course, Rose oil, as well as Rose extract. It smells amazing. There's a significant amount of fragrance, so if that breaks you out or your skins sensitive, I would avoid.

I haven't tried any Lush skincare in a long time, but when my friend told me this is great for breakouts I had to give it a try (my face is erupting at the moment!)  I've never used something that gave me such immediate results. This is a super potent cleanser, it looks a lot like black mud, which you have to scoop out and mix into a paste with water. Then you apply and wash off. Its exfoliating and you can literally feel the charcoal sucking the gunk from your pores. I wouldn't recommend using this more than twice a week as over exfoliation is counterproductive.

I can't believe I haven't tried this sooner, Sali Hughes has been raving about it for years and shes basically like my skincare god. This has a good level of hyaluronic acid to help flood life back into the skin, amazing on its own but even more effective when you spritz the face with a mist (or just splash your face with water) in-between steps of your routine. I will be repurchasing this forever, I can tell.

This isn't what I thought it would be, but I still like it. This is a very thin texture, and almost acts like a corrector, fantastic under concealer, but is it a good concealer in itself? maybe for people with no dark circles whatsoever... for me, its not enough coverage by itself, but for no make-up days it would suffice.

I'm in two minds about this mascara. On the one hand, I love it because it gives a mass amount of volume from the fibers in the formula, but on the other hand, it tends to clump if you're not careful and its a bit of a pain to get off. A balm cleanser/oil/eye make-up remover is definitely needed. You can get away with using a micellar water, but it will take you a while.

I've always loved the demi wispies, they're a beauty classic, but up until now I didn't know you could buy multi packs of them at Superdrug. These make you look like you have the most natural, fluttery lashes. Lightweight, a thin band and blends very well with your own lashes.

In my attempt to try everything at the NYX counter, I decided to delve into their brow section. This is a great brow pencil, its super fine, which allows you to make brow like strokes to create a natural look. It doesn't last as long as the Soap and glory archery pencil, but NYX have a wider colour selection.

I've been using this powder for a few months now and its not perfect (if you use a lot it can leave a very slight white cast - which won't be a problem for lighter skin tones) but it keeps me matte for so long that I don't care. I pack this onto the face and press it in with a large, dense kabuki brush. I then leave it for ten minutes or longer, and spray my face with a setting spray to take away the slight white cast. Its so affordable and you get an insane amount of product. Available on Amazon.