Stories of 2019 #46

International women’s day is upon us! A day to celebrate the amazing women which paved the way to a better future for us, the women working tirelessly to make change, the women who you meet for coffee, the women who are your mum’s and all the other trailblazing women there are in this world today.

There really are some truly inspiring women today and I think it is so amazing also, that you can follow them on social media. Which more often than not leads me down the road of becoming a complete fan girl, scrolling down until I am back in 2010 or something… Admit it we have all been there!

To celebrate such a day, I thought I would tell you my ultimate female inspirations.

Serena Guen

She started one of my favourite magazines at the age of 22, whilst still undertaking her third year of university in Paris. Now, her innovative and beautifully crafted magazine is printed in 35 different countries alongside their ever-expanding website bursting with content. To take such a big step, where you have had to learn everything about the magazine industry, is truly inspiring and something, as a magazine journalist, would love to do. She had a passion, found a niche and went for it! Being 22 myself now, I am blown away buy her guts to just go for it. Taking inspiration from that, let alone all the other achievements Suitcase magazine has achieved.

Venetia Falconer

If you speak to me often, you will know I speak about Venetia a lot. She is my go-to podcast (Talking Tastebuds), YouTube channel and Instagram for all things sustainable, plant-based and food related. Her views on sustainability and the clothing industry have made me question my purchasing habits, which I never thought would happen, and made me think twice about the things I am consuming. Not only this but she is super cool and so creative with her food. I mean, just look at that bowl of goodness below…

Ella Mills

Sorry, another plant-based inspired pick but Ella Mills and her husband Matt, of Deliciously Ella have done so so well in building their brand and changing the way people see plant-based or vegan food. I recently bought their cookbook, which contains their whole business story, and it was really inspiring to see how they got started to where they are now. They simply began in a tiny kitchen serving their dishes through delivery apps to having their own deli in the center of London, a range of frozen meals and protein balls and two cook books, which is growing into three. I am also a big fan of their podcast where they discuss all issues surround health and well being, including lessons in happiness, diet myths unpicked and marathon training 101.

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Chocolate chip pancakes with chocolate sauce and raspberries. Happy pancake day 🥞 To make these… and don’t forget we’re making pancakes all day at the deli too! For the pancakes 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of chia seeds, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 400ml almond or oat milk, 200g plain white self-raising flour (we use a gf one), 150g Deliciously Ella Bircher Muesli (or you can use porridge oats), 2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted – plus more for frying), handful of chocolate chips, pinch of sea salt. For the chocolate sauce: 280ml coconut milk (from a carton, not a tin), 4 tablespoons cacao powder, 70g coconut sugar, 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder dissolved in 2 teaspoons warm water (this thickens the sauce but you can skip and just have less milk), pinch of salt salt To make the sauce, simply heat the ingredients in a pan over a medium heat for 8–10 minutes, whisking until it turns into a smooth, creamy sauce. Then set to one side while you make the pancakes. To make the pancakes: Stir all the ingredients together to form a smooth, thick batter. Warm a tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan over a medium heat. Once the pan is hot and the oil has melted, spoon in a large tablespoon of pancake batter into the pan. Cook on one side for 3-4 minutes until it’s golden, before turning and cooking the other side for 2-3 minutes until cooked through. Remove and repeat until all of the batter is finished 🙏🏼

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Fearne Cotton

Selfies at five in the morning, stories of her doing yoga at sunrise and images with wonky pears – this is why I love Fearne. She tells it how it is. She uses Instagram how it is meant to be used, uploading relatable and unstaged images, creating the instant effect. Her captions also have a big impact, speaking a lot about her mental health and the daily life of Fearne Cotton. Her unfiltered way she uses social media I think is inspirational within itself. (Also, another one with a great podcast… Happy Place)

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Bryony Gordon

I did not know much about Bryony, until I was listening to a podcast where she was a guest and was speaking about her experience with mental health and running (she ran a marathon in her undies – amazing). Interested by what she was saying, that night I started reading her book, Eat, Drink, Run. I think I finished it within a few days, I was so engrossed. She has suffered so much with her mental health and the way she has gained so much confidence through running is so motivating. Her story really brings to light how much people can be affected by mental health. Not only has she wrote books sharing her experiences but she has raised money for charity, created a meet-up with people sharing the same mental health experience which has gone world-wide and she completely is herself on social media which I think is amazing. I love her – simply put. Also, her and her husband make me laugh in the book! Highly recommend reading.

Loraine and Sian Paine

Awww, I had to include my mum and sister! Wonder women in my eyes. They both work so hard, look after their homes and deal with me (lol I know can be hard) and are both so loving and kind. What I would do without them both, I do not know. But they constantly inspire me so I saved the best till last.

Which women inspire you?

Stories of 2019 #45

Wasn’t pancake day good! I mean, I and my mum did not even bother to attempt to make them, we chose the sensible choice and decided to head out for elevenses pancakes. We are not just pretty faces, we knew somewhere else would make them better than we ever could!

Already in the area, we went to my absolute favourite cafe – Chia Naturally Healthy. A cozy plant-based health cafe in the center of Hitchin. So aka, we had healthy pancakes…

Every time I have visited this cafe I have had the most delish food so it is no wonder they have been voted top three of The Sunday Times best plant-based cafes.

For pancake day they were also offering not only 10% off pancakes but also had two exclusive flavour toppings. Pancakes on offer were…

Coconut sugar and lemon

Banana, pecan and maple syrup

Cinnamon and blueberries

Thankfully the words, “shall we get two different and share” come out of my mum’s mouth and I was at the counter ordering one maple and pecan, one blueberry and cinnamon. Coconut sugar and lemon sounded lovely too but I mean if I am going for pancakes, I want all the toppings! We also had an English breakfast tea with oat milk and a matcha latte with coconut milk.

My excitement was building when they arrived and we tucked straight into the three-stack, heavily (thank god) topped pancakes. I was in almond butter heaven and we were switching forks trying to decide which ones we preferred. Both equally as good I reckon and thinking to myself what a great idea this was whilst trying to savour every last bite.

Eyes bigger than my belly, I also ordered a slice of their ginger cake to-go… I mean by the time I am writing this blog post (2:30pm) I have had a sneaky spoonful and I mean it is safe to say the cake will not be there for long!

Once again, Chia Naturally Healthy has wowed my tastebuds and I am itching to go back already!

Not only do they do pancakes but they do a whole range of tasty, wholesome food from burgers to smoothie bowls, to beetroot lattes to protein smoothies.

I am beyond happy that this gem is in Hertfordshire and I highly recommend a visit if you are nearby, even if you are not plant-based.

What did you top your pancakes with?

Stories of 2019 #44

Monday. Another week has passed and a new one has begun, all set for new goals!

I have started my Monday with fresh bed sheets, a good gym session, and a complete clean-out. Very productive morning I think, for now sitting down at 1pm to write this blog post.

Personally, Monday is my favourite day of the week. I love the weekend but more often than not I find myself on a Sunday night feeling rubbish (normally about what I have eaten) and slightly bored. Followed up by an early night, Monday comes around and you are full of energy – ready to take on the fresh week.

Maybe because I do not currently have a full-time job is the reason why I love a Monday because I do not get the dreaded back to work feeling but even within a full-time job there are ways to improve your Monday.

My Monday rituals;

Change my bed sheets – This little thing can leave you looking forward to getting home and snuggling down surrounded by sweet smelling sheets! A pain at the time, who knew it was such a work-out to fight your duvet into its cover. Nevertheless, I am excited already now I’ve tackled the actual chore of changing the sheets.

Make a yummy breakfast – Pretty much every day, including Saturday and Sunday, I have 40g porridge oats, 10g vegan protein powder, banana, and 10g peanut butter. I am literally obsessed and as sad as it sounds, look forward to breakfast every night before I go to bed…

Write my aims for the week – Just a few things that you would like the week to achieve. Whether that is sticking to healthier meals, go to the gym, see a family member or take time for yourself – write it down and make it happen. This week for me my aims are to apply for jobs (as per) and get back to my blogging.

And be sure, not to forget the previous week. Last week was pretty busy for me with lots of shifts at work and gym sessions in the evening, for the more mundane aspects. But, I also became obsessed with coconut lattes, celebrated my mums birthday, cooked an amazing pie, saw various family members, ate baklava whilst sitting in the gym carpark (all about balance right) and had a lovely hour-long phone call with my bestie. I am so grateful for all the experiences, even if they were not big, life-changing things. They made me happy.

The week ahead is full of more plans with Shrove Tuesday being tomorrow, I and my mum are planning to go out for a coffee. I am on dog duty on Wednesday, Thursday I am meeting up with my cousin and her little one, Friday I am a double shift at the bakery and pub and Saturday I am off out on the town to celebrate my mum’s birthday! And who knows what else will be in between!

So, love Mondays and be excited for what life is bringing you this week.

Do you love Mondays? Or, am I the only strange one?!