{Recipe} Paleo Cocoa Protein Pancakes

For me, breakfast always has and always will be the best meal of the day. Even back in my days of rollercoaster eating, bedtime always meant a fast track to breakfast. The meal that can be sweet, savoury or whatever you darn well want. And then, this past year I realised something. I can eat breakfast for whatever meal I darn well want! Pancakes for dinner? It was a revelation.

Having pancakes for dinner, or breakfast if you like to be conventional, is even better when they come without the usual sugar bomb (and for me, without the embarrassingly swollen stomach). Cue paleo pancakes, and no you don’t have to be a paleo fan to enjoy them. Just a fan of good ol’ food.

Paleo cocoa protein pancakes

These pancakes come with an added (option) protein hit for a bit of extra staying power. Not only that, but they’re quick and easy to make, ridiculously simple some might say. Just chuck everything in a blender, whizz away, pour, flip and top with your favourite pancake goodies. I went for cherries, are you surprised?

Paleo cocoa protein pancakes 2

Paleo Cocoa Protein Pancakes

(Serves 1)

1 greenish banana (thanks to Claire for the tip on this one)

2 eggs

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tbsp hemp protein powder (optional)

0.5 tsp baking powder

0.5 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

Coconut oil for greasing the pan

  1. Heat a frying pan on a medium heat and melt/spread the coconut oil.
  2. Add all the ingredients to a blender and whizz until smooth. You could do this by hand and I would admire your patience!
  3. Pour the mixture into the pan in small batches. Wait until bubbles appear on the surface before flipping.
  4. Top and enjoy! The pancakes aren’t that sweet so you might want to add a drizzle of maple syrup on top, depending on your taste buds.

Paleo protein cocoa pancakes

What’s your favourite pancake topping? Are you a breakfast for dinner person?

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Good Friends, Good Food and Good Workouts

Sometimes it’s the super simple things in life that make you smile. I’m a firm believer that life doesn’t need to be complex for you to be happy and that’s something I really appreciated this past weekend.

My weekend started out with ‘fake Friday’. On my bus ride home from a late night at Uni on Thursday I found myself smiling to myself – I had bacon waiting for me at home (yup, bacon is my boyfriend) and no work till Monday! Ideal.

On real Friday, after CrossFit, I had the joy of meeting my cousin’s brand new baby girl! She was born on Christmas Day and is just a bundle of joy… I have such a tonne of respect for all parents though and am so so proud of my cousin 🙂 Then I tootled across Tooting (ha) to see the lovely Hannah for dinner. Han started a blog recently with some kick ass recipes, so head on over and check it out. We went to the Chicken Shop, which we were told is basically a fancy Nando’s. We both hate Nando’s. This however was insane. So simple – you order chicken by the quarter, half or whole and then there’s a selection of sides. Don’t go if you’re a vegetarian. But it was bloody delicious.

The Chicken Shop

Saturday started out with CrossFit and a really fun partner WOD – 15 min AMRAP: 10 deadlifts / 30 box jumps / 15 deadlifts / 30 box jumps / 20 deadlifts / 30 box jumps… You get the idea. I just really love deadlifts! Even if my body has been slightly hating me since. Then I headed into Kings Cross to meet a friend who was in town for the weekend for lunch and a much needed catch-up. We had planned on trying out Caravan but the 90 minute wait ruined that idea… Cue a quick google and wandering round the corner to Dishoom which did not disappoint!

DishoomChicken and cranberry biryrani, green salad, (a slightly dubious) dahl and garlic naan (I passed on that bit)

So what does every girl need after Saturday lunch? Pudding obviously. We hopped on the tube down to Regent Street and wandered around the backstreets – how have I never done that before?! So pretty. I realised we were pretty near some of the places on Cat’s awesome almond milk coffee shop map and so we decided to try out the Detox Kitchen for an almond latte and beetroot brownie…. Admittedly the brownie was GF, refined sugar free, etc etc. but so is most of the stuff I make at home and I was still not a fan. In fact, I took two bites and left it. If you know me well you’ll know that me leaving chocolate is just unheard of! But this just tasted of beetroot and nothing else, such a shame. The coffee was okay but the almond milk was quite overpowering. Still, it’s great to see more places serving almond milk!

Detox Kitchen

Saturday night was spent watching A Beautiful Mind with homemade spiced hot chocolate (a gift from my lovely cousin – thank you!) with another friend. The perfect relaxing Saturday night (bar the mini powercut mid-way through, that freeeeaked me out).

On Sunday morning I was up at 6.30am to meet my darling daddy on his way home from skiing in the French Alps for breakfast at St Pancras, sooo good to see him as always! It made me even more excited to head home next weekend 🙂 plus, never say no to a free breakfast…

eggs proscuitto

hot chocolate

After that stupidly early start I made it to the coffee shop I’d planned to work in an hour before it opened… What to do? Go to Planet Organic and wander around Islington listening to Taylor Swift? Oh okay then.

Islington

Soon I need to do a write-up of The Coffee Works Project as I go at least once a week and absolutely love it. I can sit there working away for hours fuelled by good coffee, a cosy atmosphere and great music… Happy Sunday indeed.

The Coffeeworks Project

How was your weekend? What made you smile?

Holding your ground

I’ve lost count of the number of times in my life that I’ve been told that I can’t do stuff… Isn’t it funny how the ‘can’ts’ stick with you far longer than the ‘cans’?

I’ve been told that I shouldn’t go into Human Rights work. That I should go and work for a corporation or an oil company where I’ll be guaranteed to earn the big bucks. That my career path is a waste of my Economics degree. That I should think about “the class of person I want to marry in the consideration of my career”. Yup. Somebody actually said that to me. That was in 2013, how times have progressed. Ha. And the most ludicrous part of this? All these things were said to me by various different people, who I’d only just met. They didn’t even know me.

I’ve been told that my dream job isn’t out there. That working in an office is just the way it is. That I should accept the status quo because nothing’s going to change that.

(Source)

Reeeeeally? (Mini disclaimer – nothing against offices per se here, I just don’t think they’re for me!)

I’ve been told that I eat “weirdly”. Because apparently eating meat and vegetables for lunch is a strange thing to do? (They should see some of the stuff I make at home…)

sweet potato burgerReally weird food.

Now, I’m not perfect. I admit it, I’ve judged people on perceptions before. That their career path is a bit illogical considering their background, or even the other way round. That their putting processed food into their bodies. But I’ve got a lot better at taking a step back lately. Their life isn’t mine. What they are doing, and what I am doing for that matter, isn’t impacting on other people. I have absolutely no grounding to criticise them. Just because I want to do, arguably, a slightly different job, or because I want to eat the way I do doesn’t make me any better than anybody else. Their decision is their’s and my decision is mine.

Yet, I can’t help but notice that most of these comments come out when somebody is going against the status quo. That’s when we, as a human race, seem to believe that we have the basis to critique the person who dares to break the mold. It seems that because I don’t want a typical Economics graduate’s career, and because I eat slightly different to the majority of the British population, that it is okay to critique me. It isn’t.

I am going to follow my slightly ‘alternative’ career path. I am going to continue dreaming of creating my perfect job which doesn’t involve me being in an office all day. And I sure as hell am going to keep on eating the way I do, because it makes me feel bloody awesome.

And what about those that disagree? Try and take it with a big old pinch of salt. As chances are, the people critiquing you are doing so because they find your differentness makes them uncomfortable… Who knows, maybe you’re making them question the path they’ve chosen. The best you can do is hold your ground.

How have people picked up on the slightly different things you do? Have you ever noticed yourself accidentally doing the same to others?

Chasing Sunshine

This world can be a funny old place sometimes. Each person has a past, a story, a struggle, a moment of strength. You may not see it now, looking at yourself, but there is always a story, and a strength. People have a tendency, especially women I might add, to compare themselves to other people. My friend X had it so much harder than me, I really shouldn’t complain… There’s always someone worse off right?

But struggle is all so relative. It’s the same as doing a workout. I feel pretty much everything in life can be compared to workouts somehow, that’s what makes them both so brilliant. Friend X may be squatting 100kg, and you may be squatting 60kg, but that doesn’t mean it’s any easier for you, that you’re not trying as hard as them, not fighting as much. That doesn’t make you less of a person.

(Source)

And then, when you’ve achieved that squat.. when you’ve broken through the struggle, the sunshine is so bright. I truly believe, and always will, that our difficulties in life are there to test us. I’m not sure if everything happens for a reason as such, because there are some things that I can see no reason for. But I am certain that we can all endeavour to learn something from all we have been through. From the worst moments in life you can learn something, perhaps something about yourself, that will later help you excel and sour onto greater things. Even in the most painful times you can build strength, ready for the future.

I can’t help but notice that each healthy living blogger typically has their own story. They have experienced their own struggle, with disordered eating, anorexia, binge eating, or something else personal that maybe they don’t want to share… And it is that struggle that makes them see how wonderful it is to feel amazing. Maybe that’s what compels so many of us to right about this lifestyle, we can truly appreciate how wonderful it is. And that wonderful feels so much better when it’s coming from a place of difficulty. Just like how squatting that 60kg will feel even better if before you couldn’t even do an air squat. Just like how the sunshine feels even warmer and the end of a long, cold winter.

(Source)

So next time you find yourself in a moment of darkness, try and take a second and remember the strength you are building, and the sunshine that’s coming…

Just some thoughts today, out loud style.

Thinking-Out-Loud2

Life Lately

It is funny, nearly exactly a year ago I published this post talking about starting out in Buenos Aires and how I felt like I was on the edge of something amazing. And lately I’ve been getting the same kinda feeling. I don’t know if it’s the time of year, or simply embarking on a new adventure but it’s pretty bloody wonderful. I feel like 2015 is going to be a pretty special year.

Finally, I’ve been starting to breathe again. Essay deadlines are slowing down – I have an assignment this Thursday and then Monday and then that’s it till March! Yippee! Now that my headspace is a little clearer I’ve been conscious of taking a little more time to focus on my health again. Like I’ve said in previous posts I was pretty pleased with the way I ate over Christmas but it sure has been nice to eat pretty much consistently paleo again, I just feel so much better in myself for it. Plus, there’s been some rather delicious food round these parts lately, even if they don’t always look that exciting…

Perfectly simple, cod and veggies

photo 2 (49)My ideal breakfast, protein and good fats = happy me

photo 3 (43)Coconut cauliflower rice never fails to disappoint, especially when topped with carrot and chicken

photo 5 (31)I went to a different shop the other day and accidently bought the wrong potatoes, SUCH a dissapointment #sweetpotatoaddictsanonymous

photo 4 (39)Plus a few lovely dinners out… Salad + G&T = balance. Right?

My only food complaint is that my tummy’s been feeling a little bloated lately so that’s something I’m trying to figure out. The Paleo Running Momma published this interesting post yesterday about FODMAP so I’m thinking that’s something I may look into.

I hurt my back about 10 days back (turns out opening drawers is a very hazardous exercise) so my return to more regular workouts was slightly delayed but even after just being back (ha) for a few days I am loving it. I’m going to CrossFit more regularly again (3 times a week), upping my running and cycling as much as I can instead of getting the bus. Even in the rain. But that’s mainly because I’m stubborn and don’t want to spend the money! I’ve also been working on stretching more and doing bits of yoga. My back giving up on me was a timely reminder to take better care of myself, especially given my past experience of numerous injuries…

yoga

reebok

running kit

Plus, working out is so much more fun when you have exciting new clothes to try out! I’m looking forward to braving a run in shorts soon…

So all in all it’s safe to say I’m pretty happy right now! Which is rather a lovely feeling. I’ve been settling back into London life, catching up with some of my favourite people, been offered an internship at an amazing women’s rights organisation (woop!) and generally just feeling like me. There’s still some waves of restlessness but I’ll talk about that another day. All part of being an adventure addict…

What have you been up to lately? How are you settling into 2015?

{Review} Pure Taste London

Something I really want to start doing a bit more on here is writing up reviews of my favourite restaurants and cafés as not only will it push me to branch out a little more (I go to the same coffee shop at least twice a week… I love it) but I also think it’s a great resource to have, especially when trying to find certain types of food in a big city.

Cue Wednesday night. I headed to Pure Taste in Notting Hill with one of my favourite food testing sidekicks (yup, that’s a thing), the lovely Cat. Started via a Kickstarter campaign, Pure Taste is London’s first paleo restaurant with all food being free from gluten and dairy, as well as grassfed and organic where possible.

We got there at 7pm when it was still pretty quiet but by the time we left, around 9pm, I don’t think there was a free table left! So I’d imagine it’s probably best to book if you’re making a special visit. The restaurant itself is pretty minimalist and nothing ‘wow’ visibly, but the service was great and the food…oh the food.

Let’s skip to the good bit.

The menu seems to change seasonally and each dish is marked to show if it’s Whole 30 friendly, autoimmune ‘safe’, vegan, etc. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be in a restaurant and have the whole menu to choose from!

As soon as we sat down we were offered drinks (just water for these wild kids) and brought these delicious little morsels whilst we made our choices…

pure taste london duckThese were duck with an orange gel and just delicious

We couldn’t go to a paleo restaurant and not order the bread! Now, first off, as we discussed at dinner there is obviously a bit of a difference between paleo baked goods and ‘normal’ ones’. The coconut flour texture is there so don’t go expecting it to be exactly the same as your standard restaurant bread. If you like paleo baked goods however, like I 100% do, then I’m sure you’ll love it. Oh my goodness this bread was insane.

pure taste london rosemary garlic foccacia Rosemary and garlic foccacia with avocado butter, oh hello

We passed over the starters and headed straight over to the main action. It was a tricky decision but I finally decided on the guinea fowl as it’s not something I’d make for myself at home. It came served with cavolo nero, madeira, prunes and the most incredible bread sauce. I definitely lucked out with my order, Cat went for the beef short rib which should have been delicious but sadly was pretty dry so needed a lot of sauce poured over it.

pure taste london guinea fowlGuinea fowl, cavolo nero, prunes, madeira and bread sauce aka a plateful of heaven

Finally, it would’ve been rude of us not to try some desserts right? They do a sweet little deal (get it?) of your choice of tea/coffee with either almond or coconut milk and four mini tasting desserts. We were sold.

There was the cutest maple donut I have ever seen (the icing was definitely my favourite bit, just pass me a bowl), some toronne, chocolate hazlenut fudge (yes, just yes) and rosemary and lemon mint cake, the perfect ending to the night.

We both opted for decaf almond milk cappuccinos which were good but nothing to write home about, it’s all in the quality of the milk for me. There was also the choice of coconut sugar and xylitol for those who like their coffee sweet, which was a nice touch.

pure taste london fours

pure taste london almond cappucino

Overall, it was a lovely evening and I really thought the food was incredibly delicious and, from what I saw, pretty imaginative too. It was so refreshing to leave a meal with a fully happy tummy. Notting Hill is a bit of a trek for me but I know I’ll be back. The company wasn’t bad either 😉

New Year, New Ideas

2014 kicked some serious butt. I may sound like a walking cliché but WOW was last year awesome. It had incredibly highs and some serious lows, let’s just say that two separate families crises in one year isn’t exactly calming, yet somehow everything has worked out okay, and for that I am so grateful.

So, the good stuff? No dwelling on negatives here.

2014 was the year that I packed up my trusty rucksack and jetted off across the pond to live in Argentina for 6 months knowing not a single soul. Whilst there I learnt more about myself than I possibly could have imagined.

2014 was the year that I got accepted onto a grad scheme, something I had no idea was possible.

2014 was the year that I moved back to a new house, and had to find a kind of strength.

2014 was the year that I started CrossFit, which has changed my life for the better in so many ways.

2014 was the year that I found paleo eating, and completed my first Whole 30.

2014 was the year that I moved to London, something I’ve dreamed of doing ever since I was 10 years old.

2014 was the year that I ran my first race.

2014 was the year that I truly found comfort in my blogging voice, and with it connected with so many inspiring people across the globe, some of whom I now have the blessing to call my friends.

2014 was the year. The year of adventures, self-discovery, friendships forged and pure falling in love with life itself. The year that I didn’t know I needed until it came along. Cheesy but true, #getoverit. I try not to use the word blessed, as it can sound somewhat obnoxious, but there is not better way to sum up how lucky and privileged I feel to have had the experiences of the past year. I’ve become more connected with myself, my body, and the world around me. And that’s pretty darn beautiful.

So what for 2015? I’m cautious of setting resolutions, as most people seem to be these days, as they seem a bit too pressurised, a bit like “must make a plan. NOW.”. And that’s just a set up for failure. Instead, I want to set ideas. Ideas to break down into smaller, step by step goals. These ideas are my hopes for the next year, ones that will then help me on the way to the bigger dream.

  • Travel. I’m addicted, it’s true. What is a year without adventure?
  • More running races, I need to get my act together and find a half marathon to enter.
  • More CrossFit, the high I get from pushing my body to its limits is unbeatable. I want to see what I can do over the course of a year (especially since the last one involved moving 3 times, it’s kind of hard to get into a routine).
  • Slow down. In all aspects of life. To take more time to speak with new people, to stretch, to practice more yoga and to close down my busy mind.
  • Keep on studying. I’ve been pleased with how my work/life balance has improved with my postgrad degree vs. my undergrad so this is something I want to continue working on. That, and again more experience be it in an internship or…dare I say it? A…job?

But ultimately, I want to treat every day like it’s January 1st. A day of hope, possibility, and aspiration. We set new year’s resolutions each year with an aim to improve ourselves, to take better care of our lives. Why shouldn’t this be something that we do every day? Why the light, the optimism, of the dream shine through each morning?

(Source)

Quit the berating, the self-loathing, the punishment. Give yourself a bit of self-love, find your dream, and aim for it. Every. Single. Day. Break that dream down into smaller goals, something to work on daily. It’s the baby steps that are the most valuable after all.

Most importantly, believe you’re worth it. I know you are.

For more self-care check out Ange’s blog today.