Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Alibi Health Drink Giveaway

We're two weeks into January and I don't know about you but I sometimes find after the initial enthusiasm of the New Year things can start to peter off. 

To help give you a little boost, Alibi are giving a gift box to one of my readers containing one of each flavour (blueberry, citrus and pomegranate) of their drinks which contain 19 essential vitamins, minerals and herbs.

I don't usually drink sparkling or carbonated drinks much these days, but when Alibi asked if I'd to try some of their drinks after looking at their ingredients and discovering the only sweeteners they use are from fruit juice and stevia, I felt they could be part of a healthy lifestyle.

My favourite flavour was the blueberry and I found the drinks gave me a boost when I was feeling stressed and flagging at work.

Enter below before midnight of Tuesday, January 27 to be in with a chance of winning a gift box of one of each flavour of Alibi drinks.

The giveaway is open to UK residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Kickstarting 2015

We're a week into 2015. How's your New Year going so far?

As I said on Tuesday, I'm not setting New Year's Resolutions on Tuesday I'm feeling pretty good. I've started making steps towards my health and fitness goals of the year and that is making me happy.

The team at Monster Supplements asked me to contribute to their free Kickstart 2015 ebook on tips getting fit and healthy in the New Year and two of my recipes have been featured in the ebook.

Cherry Bakewell Smoothie and Eggy Oats

Featured in the ebook are my yummy, fruity Cherry Bakewell Smoothie with a natural protein kick and some creamy Plum and Apple Eggy Oats.

Kickstart 2015 ebook recipes from The Road to Less Cake

If you scroll to pages 28 and 29 you will see my recipes, and there's loads of other tips, tricks and recipes in the ebook to help you kick off 2015 with a healthy bang

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Fig, Date and Almond Granola Bars

January is here and it's that time again - the time when we make resolutions for the year ahead. But this year I'm bucking the trend and not making any resolutions.

Chewy Granola Bars with Figs, Dates and Almonds. Wholesome, healthy and refined sugar-free | The Road to Less Cake | #granolabars #healthy

So I'm not setting New Year's Resolutions. And there seems to be a lot of that going around. Who else is part of the anti New Year's Resolution Party? Hands up!

Setting New Year's Resolutions has become a tradition, like putting up the Christmas tree or eating chocolate eggs at Easter. But I find New Year's Resolutions are all too easy to make and even more easy to break. If I make one then I feel I have to rigidly stick to it and if I slip or trip up along the way then I feel guilty for failing. 

That's not to say that I haven't set myself goals for the year. My overall goal for 2015 is be happy and healthy. I know this is quite broad but if I get into the 'I want to lose 10-14lbs this year because we get married next year' mentality that is a slippy slope for me. If I start getting to restrictive with what I'm eating I will only try and lower and lower my calories to the point where it is unhealthy. I've done it before and it is not a good place to be. Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt. I don't want to get to the point where I am weighing out spinach to count the precise amount of calories I'm eating again. That is no way to live.

Chewy Granola Bars with Figs, Dates and Almonds. Wholesome, healthy and refined sugar-free | The Road to Less Cake | #granolabars #healthy

That's not to say that the beginning of 2015 hasn't symbolised a new start for me.

I spent a lot of 2014 quite ill. I think this hit me quite hard because when I was in my teens and early twenties I was ill a lot of the time with glandular fever (mono), migraines, sinusitis and severe eczema flare ups. But since eating cleaner, cutting back on refined sugar and eating more wholesome foods, and getting my migraines under control my health and immune system were boosted. Last year, I tried to do too much, both in my professional and personal life, and it left me burnt out and sick. This year, I want to feel strong again, both mentally and physically.

I want my goals to have reasons behind them so that when I falter I remember why I set them in the first place. I want to improve my fitness levels because it gives me energy to get up in the morning; I want to do more yoga because it gives me peace and helps me be flexible in my body and mind and teaches me to be kind to myself; I want to get back into horse riding because I love it and when I'm riding I don't think about anything but me and the horse, it give me clarity; I want to feel strong and healthy because it makes me want to get out there and live my life but I don't want to become addicted to dieting again because I don't the person I am when I get obsessed over what I'm eating.

Chewy Granola Bars with Figs, Dates and Almonds. Wholesome, healthy and refined sugar-free | The Road to Less Cake | #granolabars #healthy

These granola bars are all part of my healthy and happy goal for 2015.

Generally I make good choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but sometimes in between meals I can reach for not so good for you snacks. This definitely happened over the festive season, So if I have yummy, healthy snacks I can grab and take to work with me, munch when I'm on-the-go or sit down and enjoy with a cup of tea at home then I'm much less likely to want reach for the leftover mince pies.

Granola bars are also really great for J to take to work because he gets up early for work and commutes 40 miles in the morning. So having a healthy breakfast he can pack up and then eat at work is good for him too.

Win win for the granola bars!

Chewy Granola Bars with Figs, Dates and Almonds. Wholesome, healthy and refined sugar-free | The Road to Less Cake | #granolabars #healthy

These granola bars are chewy with gooey figs and dates and crunchy little pieces of almond. They are made with no refined sugar, just a little agave nectar (or raw honey), for some wholesome yummy goodness.

They're vegan and vegetarian friendly, dairy-free, wheat-free and can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free oats.

You can pack them up in your lunch box, grab them on the go in the morning or warm them up and serve with a generous dollop of plain yoghurt on the top for pudding (trust me on that one!).
Fig, Date and Almond Granola Bars

by Nikki Mitchell
Prep Time: 5 - 10 mins
Cook Time: 35 - 40 mins
Keywords: bake breakfast snack dessert diary-free gluten-free soy-free vegetarian vegan wheat-free almonds coconut oil dates oats
Ingredients (8 - 9 Granola Bars)
  • 3 cups (270g) rolled oats (use gluten-free oats to make recipe gluten-free)
  • 125g (4.5 oz) medjool dates
  • 125g (4.5 oz) dried figs
  • 1/2 cup (150g) chopped almonds + extra for sprinkling on top
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) agave nectar or raw honey
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup (320g) unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, chopped almonds, cinnamon and baking powder together.
  • Pit the dates and chop them into small chunks along with the figs.
  • Mix the apple sauce, coconut oil, agave nectar or honey and chopped figs and dates into the dry ingredients.
  • Line a 12x12 inch square tin with baking parchment and pour the mixture into the tin  pushing it down with either your hand, a spatula or the back of a dessert spoon.
  • Sprinkle some chopped almonds on top and bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes until golden.
  • Leave the granola bars to cool for at least 15 to 30 minutes in the tin and then leave them on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once cool, cut them into nine squares or eight slices. I cut the edges off first to neaten them up and then cut them into squares but this is optional.
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Thursday, 1 January 2015

Top 5 Recipes of 2014

Happy New Year! 2014 has made way for 2015. But before the New Year gets really underway I thought I'd recap your top 5 recipes from 2014 that you've been viewing, loving and pinning.

Top 5 Recipes of 2014 | The Road to Less Cake | #2014 #FoodPorn #Recipes #Healthy

2014 was a strange year for me, things didn't turn out exactly the way I had planned or expected them to. I got really ill and it floored me, meaning a lot of my plans fell apart and my fitness levels took a nose dive, which was hard for me to deal with at first, but life sends you curve balls sometimes and you've just got to roll with it.

So here's to 2015! Let's do this! I'm not making New Year's Resolutions, my goal for the year is to be happy and healthy,

One wonderful did came out of 2014 was James asking me to marry him and the fantastic engagement shoot we had in the lovely, picturesque village of Edzell. And these happen to be the most viewed non-food related posts on TRLC of last year (it feels weird saying that). I'm so excited to start sharing our wedding planning with you this year.

Now on to the foodie goodness of 2014.

You guys have been going crazy pinning this recipe. And to think I was reluctant to share this recipe. Why? Because it had bacon in it and I hadn't shared a bacon recipe on the blog before and I know it can divide people in the healthy living community. But I like to live by balance and this delish Sweet Potato and Bacon Frittata can totally be part of a healthy lifestyle. I totally understand why it is my most viewed and pinned recipe.

Top 5 Recipes of 2014 | Sweet Potato and Bacon Frittata | The Road to Less Cake | #2014 #FoodPorn #Recipes #Healthy

2. 4-Ingredient Sticky Chicken Thighs

Tender chicken thighs with a nommy honey, mustard and garlic glaze - that's it, only four ingredients. What is not to love? Even my Mum and Dad checked the recipe out on the blog after I made these thighs for them when they visited us in bonnie Scotland (Hiii, Ma and Pa!).

Top 5 Recipes of 2014 | 4-Ingredient Sticky Chicken Thighs | The Road to Less Cake | #2014 #FoodPorn #Recipes #Healthy

3. Slow Cooker Turkey Spaghetti Bolognese

I think this recipe started as way for me to get J to eat more veggies hidden in a tasty spag bol with a rich sauce. Working full time means having a meal I can come home to ready made makes me a happy girl, and clearly it has made you all happy too. This is another recipe that you've all been loving on Pinterest.

Top 5 Recipes of 2014 | Slow Cooker Turkey Spaghetti Bolognese | The Road to Less Cake | #2014 #FoodPorn #Recipes #Healthy

I love 'nana bread and I wanted to share a twist on the classic and add a little protein to it. This Superfood Protein Banana Bread turned out perfectly with a soft inside and crumbly crumb and as well as giving the bread a protein kick, some hemp protein powder gave it a subtle nutty flavour. Perfect for breakfast, snacking or munching any time you feel like. I'm glad you all loved it as much as we did.

Top 5 Recipes of 2014 | Superfood Protein Banana Bread | The Road to Less Cake | #2014 #FoodPorn #Recipes #Healthy

Sometimes you just need chocolate pancakes. And these gluten-free banana buckwheat hot cakes went down a treat in our tummies and yours.

Top 5 Recipes of 2014 | Chocolate Buckwheat Banana Pancakes | The Road to Less Cake | #2014 #FoodPorn #Recipes #Healthy

Seeing as though the top three recipes of 2014 are ones for dinner, I think that means I need to share more savoury recipes from my kitchen with you this year. 
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