Super Smoothies

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When life gets busy it’s easy to let healthy eating habits slip and instead reach for sugary snacks as a quick pick-me-up. Having a smoothie for breakfast helps ensure that you get at least two or three of your five a day and, if you add some superfoods, it will also keep your energy levels high, boost your immune system and stave off sugar cravings. The lovely people at Indigo Herbs sent me a big box crammed full of some of their best-selling healthy goodies such as wheatgrass, spirulina, bee pollen and Acai powder. Time to dust off the smoothie maker and get creative!

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First up was this smoothie made from mango, bananas, orange juice and a teaspoon or two of organic Acai powder, organic wheatgrass powder, organic Maca powder, and organic raw banana powder. To find out more about the health benefits of these superfoods, check out the Indigo Herbs website.

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Next, I tried a blueberry and banana smoothie with some added spirulina powder, banana powder and bee pollen granules. I was especially intrigued to try the latter as I had just read an interview with Victoria Beckham in Vogue where she was enthusing about bee pollen’s wrinkle busting properties and other health benefits. It has quite a coarse texture and I found that even after a thorough whizzing in the blender, there were quite a few large bits floating around in the smoothie. It still had a great flavour, although I preferred the first combination of ingredients.

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I also tried sprinkling some bee pollen granules on my morning muesli and that, to me, was a better way of eating it.

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A small, family run company based in Glastonbury, Indigo Herbs prides itself on only supplying the best organic, wild crafted or quality assured products available. All the powders came in generously sized packaging, so there’s plenty left for me to try more recipes. Ordering via the website couldn’t be easier and, although they will not give specific nutritional or medical advice, the knowledgeable team are happy to talk customers through the various products on offer.

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Sunday Inspiration ♥

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Hope you’re all having a great weekend. I had a late night yesterday and am paying the price for it today…

Recently we have had a busier social life than usual and I feel that now may be time to turn over a new (healthier) leaf. After all it is almost the start of a new month so I might as well kick start July with some good intentions. Nothing too drastic, just a few small changes like no wine and less sugar during the week and more fresh, healthy food and exercise.

I have seen lots of people on Instagram following Neila Rey’s fitness challenges. I had a look at her website and really like her advice on how to start a healthy lifestyle – especially the bit about starting off gently! I’m thinking of giving her 30 Days of Change program a try before we go on holiday in a month’s time.

Apologies that I am so slow at responding to comments at the moment. Life is very busy with work during the week and then family stuff at the weekends but I’m determined to get better at it – after all, the connection with other bloggers is one of the reasons I enjoy blogging so much.

Hope you have a fab Sunday! X

Out with the old…

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{Some of my favourite Instagram moments from 2013}

…and in with the new, healthier, fitter, more organised and frugal me. I’m not a huge fan of grandiose New Years resolutions along the lines of losing ten kilos, running the marathon or becoming teetotal, but like most people I could do with making a few tweaks to my lifestyle, so in no particular order here are my goals for 2014:

1. Stick a regular exercise regime rather than my usual on-off routine (more off than on if I’m honest!). I started off well last spring going to the gym a couple of times a week and running at the weekends, managed to keep it going through the summer and into the autumn. Then it all went pear shaped at the end of November as Christmas preparations took over and the season of overindulgence arrived.

2. Start the day with a smoothie made with berries, bananas and almond milk. An easy way to get at least two of your five a day and will hopefully stave off those 11am sugar cravings.

3. Spend less money. If our much-talked about extension is ever going to become a reality we need to tighten our belts this year. It’s all the little things that tend to add up like lunches out at the weekends, takeaway coffees, magazines and treats for the kids.

4. Spend more one-to-one time with my boys. Now that they are both at school and the afternoons are filled up with homework, activities and playdates, the weeks seem to whizz by. With a cute but demanding three-year-old at home it is not always easy to give them the full attention they need. My ten-year-old especially needs to chat about things that are happening at school etc. So I will make sure that my husband and I both have individual time with them at the weekend, even if it’s just a kick-about in the park or a game of monopoly.

5. Literally throw out the old by clearing out the loft and all the baby things we no longer need. Most of it will go to charity shops but some of the bigger items I will sell on eBay.

6. Be kinder to myself. I think us women have a tendency to beat ourselves up if we can’t manage to keep on top of everything. This year I will tell myself that it doesn’t matter if the house isn’t immaculate and that it’s OK to forgo the ironing in favour of a relaxing soak in the bath, reading a book or catching up with friends.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014!

The Beauty Edit: Estelle & Thild

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I was thrilled to discover this week that Swedish organic skincare brand Estelle & Thild is now available in the UK. I have to admit that when I first came across the products in a shop in Stockholm last month I was initially drawn to the pretty packaging. After reading up about the brand’s organic credentials, however, I am convinced that it is exactly what my dry and over-sensitive skin needs.

Founder Pernilla Rönnberg came up with the idea for Estelle & Thild (named after her two daughters) when she struggled to find organic products to use on her own children. The range, which was developed in consultation with dermatologists and toxicologists, has taken Scandinavia by storm thanks to its unique, gentle and effective formulas that can be used on the most sensitive of skins. All the products carry the Ecosert seal of approval and are based on vitamin-rich oils and plant extracts that are good for skin vitality. They are suitable for both young and old skin and can also be used during pregnancy. The latest addition to the product line up is the Violet Body Sculpting Series which consists of a body scrub, slimming oil and firming lotion.

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Estelle & Thild is available from Harrods’ Urban Retreat  and Selfridges.

You can read an interview with Pernilla on The Formula Blog and find out which products she uses for her own skincare routine.