London’s Best Salad

Salad is great and there are so many places to grab a salad in London and we want to show you that salad isn’t boring and where to find the best salad in London.

Now this isn’t going to be an easy task as there are so many places these days to grab a salad and this blog post would be super long. Instead we have decided to find the best chain salad and then the best independent salad.

Pod Food

Pod Food first opened their restaurant in 2005 and now have 24 chains in London so you are bound to find a Pod Food near you. There are many salads to choose from in Pod that will suit all your needs from vegan, vegetarian and clearly identified allergy needs. Pod also do hot food to order from the counter but their range of salads are very impressive. We believe the GYM BOX is the best salad to choose from here, with 429 calories it is your perfect lunchtime meal and also perfect post workout.
The GYM BOX comes with humous, fallafel, brocolli and a veggie salad and tastes amazing.

Squirrel

We found this place on Instagram after an evening of stalking hashtags and just had to visit. Located in South Kensington very close to the Natural History & Science Museum and close to The Albert Hall. This is a lovely part of London with many cute restaurants and cafes and Squirrel is one of them.
You can get breakfast here but the salads are what steal the show. There are lots to choose from, including kale salads, Thai salads and warm grain salads. You can however also make your own salad for £6.95 so it can be tailored to suits your needs and also what your preferences are. All the choices are in the counter for you to see and pick and everything is very fresh. This independent chain is definitely one to visit for one of London’s best salads.

Let us know where you think we should go next to try one of London ‘s best salad.

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Chicken Mac and Cheese

We recently saw the Body Coach post a recipe on all his social media channels and it just looked so delicious that we had to make it. As you may or may not be aware one of us has to follow a a special diet due to severe IBS. This means no onion, garlic and a reduced amount of some types of dairy and also wheat.
Thankfully hard cheeses, such as cheddar can still be eaten.

We hope you enjoy this as much as us, we will definitely be making it again soon.

Ingredients
25g dairy free butter
25g gluten free flour
300-400ml almond milk
grated cheese
black pepper
200g gluten free pasta
251g chicken
coconut oil
paprika

Method
1) Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees
2) Bring a pan of water to the boil
3) Melt the butter in a separate pan
4) add the flour to the butter and stir and cook for a couple of minutes
5) slowly add the milk stiring as you go, a whisk may be useful to reduce lumps and bring to the boil. Then simmer for about 8 minutes
6) Whilst your cheese sauce is simmering, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook as per instructions
7) In a separate pan, add the coconut oil and fry the chicken until cooked. Then add the paprika.
8) Stir in a handful of grated cheese to the pan that had been simmering and allow it to melt, taste and add more cheese if you want
9) Drain the pasta and then pour into a large baking dish.
10) Toss the cooked chicken in followed by the cheese sauce and mix together
11) Sprinkle on bread crumbs and grated cheese and cook for 20-30 minutes

The Perfect Handbag Snack

snack 1

Snacking should be our middle name, we love to snack snack snack!  We always try and make our snacks as healthy as possible, usually opting for a piece of fruit or a healthy snack bar. We find that snacking helps keeps us going until our next meal and stops us over eating when we come to eating our next meal.

We always have snacks floating around our handbags/rucksacks that we can tucks into when those hunger pains start or boredom kicks in because let’s be honest who doesn’t eat when they are bored.

When we received these funky nut snack pots in the post we were over the moon. They are such a good idea and nothing we have ever seen before, we have of course seen peanut butter and apple slices etc. that you can get from M&S but never snack pots with crackers, banana chips or breadsticks.

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We have tried four of the snack pots:

Hazel Butter Dark Chocolate with Banana Chips- Vegan, Gluten Free & 261 Calories
We absolutely loved the dark chocolate hazelnut butter it was so delicious and definitely a pot we will be purchasing desperately. it went really well with the banana chips but then again it would have gone well with ANYTHING it was incredible!

Peanut Butter Honey & Sea Salt with Mini Sticks- Vegetarian, Tasty & 185 Calories
If we had to choose this one would probbaly be our least favourite (has to be the one with the least calories in haha). We did really like the honey peanut butter it was quite sweet but we wouldn’t really choose to have it with bread sticks.

Cashew Butter Milk Chocolate Honeycomb & Crostini- Vegetarian, Tasty & 203 Calories
WOW is all we can say this snack pot was sooo dreamy we LOVE honeycomb it is incredible. We have made our own cashew butter but never purchased it before (I know mad) but we definitely will be because it was so creamy and delicious so that’s another one to add to the basket.

Peanut Butter Four Seed with Banana Chips- Vegan, Gluten Free & 244 Calories
We had actually already tried the four seed peanut butter (its a great savoury alternative). We were quite surprised it was being served with banana chips because initially we would have said the bread sticks BUT we were pleasantly surprised when we tucked in.

Cherry Bakewell Baked Porridge

porridge 2

We recently we visited Bakewell and it inspired us to make some cherry bakewell baked porridge. If you have never heard of Bakewell it is 18 miles from Sheffield in the Peak District. Bakewell is a quaint little village full of cafe’s and bakeries that sell cherry bakewells (surprise surprise)!

Baked porridge is ridiculously easy to make and if you have never tried is before we suggest you do because it is SO delicious! the oats go all fluffy and cake like when put in the oven and its a perfect way to start your morning because who doesn’t want cake for breakfast?

porrdige 1

Ingredients
40g Oats
1/4 tsp baking powder
1.5tsp Almond butter
& Pitted cherries (we used frozen)
50ml almond milk
Small handful of flaked almonds

Method
Pre heat your oven to 180oc
Place your oats & baking powder into a mixing bowl and mix
Add the remaining ingredients and stir until ingredients are combined
Place your mixture into a heat proof ramekin dish
Sprinkle some flaked almonds on top
Place in the oven for 20 minutes
Enjoy!

Just PB protein shake

We love a protein shake after working out, during the weeks we usually mix our protein with water and chug it whilst running out of the gym and making our way to work. When we actually get the chance to make a delicious protein shake we jump at the chance because let’s be honest it tastes WAY better.

Annie loves nut butter so always opts for a shake that has NB in it! So we thought it was about time we created our own PB protein shake (we will be sharing more recipes soon). This protein shake is SO simple to make and is always Annie’s go to shake at the weekend.

PB

Ingredients
1 banana
1 scoop white chocolate protein
1tsp peanut butter
Ice cubes we usually use about 4
50ml Almond milk

Method
Wack everything into a blender we use a Nutri Bullett and blend for a minute
Pour into a glass with a straw
Optional you can pop a strawberries on the side and enjoy!
See we said it was the quickest recipe ever!

Healthy eating on a budget

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Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t have to shop in Whole Foods and you certainly don’t have to spend more money. So many people think convenient fast foods are cheaper than fresh wholesome foods.  We want to put this myth to bed and help people maintain a healthy diet whilst eating on a budget.

If you have any other tips and tricks then please share them with us!

healthy eating 1

Buy in Bulk- We would suggest purchasing your food in bulk for example buying bigger bags of rice, oats and pasta will be cheaper and these are as good go to staples to have in the cupboard.  You should also think about purchasing your meat in bulk there are several established websites that sell meat such as Muscle Foods.  Compare pre packed fruit and veg to loose fruit and veg. Check the price per kg some brands will make loose more expensive where as others will bump the prices up on pre packed goods as its more convenient.

Cook in bulk and from fresh- If you don’t enjoy cooking and it feels like a chore this is probably the last thing you are going to want to spend your evening doing. It will definitely be worth it and your bank balance will thank you for it. If you cook in bulk then you can freeze meals or eat them the next day for lunch or dinner, that way it will limit your cooking time in the long run.

Limit eating out/ ordering take away – Eating out can be expensive, why not eat out when you are celebrating something or as a treat when you want to catch up with family or friends. Don’t just eat out because you cannot be bothered to cook or wash up the dinner plates. Eating out is not only expensive it is likely you will end up eating a less nutritional meal.

Buy frozen fruit- We love purchasing frozen fruit and Tesco have recently introduced single fruit bags e.g. kiwi or mango. These are so much cheaper than fresh fruit and have a longer sell by date. We like having frozen fruit in our porridge for breakfast or enjoyed in the evening as a snack with some yoghurt.

Shop online/write a list- Ever been to the super market and ended up purchasing items you really don’t need? Yes we have all been there! When ordering food online it is unlikely you will purchase foods you do not need especially if you are following a shopping list.

A few other tips- purchase all nuts in the world food sections of the supermarket they are always half the price, Purchase produce when they are in season and don’t throw away leftovers eat them the next day or freeze them.

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Very berry protein waffles

We got a waffle maker for Christmas this year which we are absolutely loving so we thought it was only right we started creating so yummy recipes and posting them on the blog. First up is berry protein waffles  as berries are always something we reach out to when we want a fruity breakfast.
waffle-1
Makes 8 waffles 
To make the waffles you will need:
100g oats blended
2 egg whites
1tsp baking powder
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp ground ginger
1 scoops of protein powder we opted for vanilla this time
100ml milk of your choice we used oat milk
Toppings 
150g Frozen berries
3tbsp Chia seeds
Yoghurt we used fags 0%
Flaked almonds
Smooth Peanut butter we used meridian
Maple syrup- optional
Method 
Stew the frozen berries with water on a medium heat
While the fruit is stewing blend the oats and pour into the mixing bowl
Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined
Add the egg whites and stir well
Slowly add the milk and mix
Remove the frozen berries from the heat, pour in the chia seeds and leave on the side to set
Turn your waffle maker on and once hot lightly grease with coconut oil or butter
Pour mixture onto the waffle mounds and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes (waffle makers can differ so make sure you read the instructions supplied).
Once cooked plate up and add all the topping on!
We put any leftover berry jam in a jar and will enjoy on porridge or on toast later on in the week. Remember to keep it refrigerated in an air tight container.
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BLOGMAS Day 13- Tips to consider before joining a gym

Why not join the gym today? Why wait until January when the gyms are so busy you won’t be able to find a machine to use. A busy gym can sometimes be stressful and de motivating, not being able to get on any of the machines will more than likely annoy you.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas the gym is usually pretty quiet and it’s the perfect opportunity to branch out and try new machines or classes you have never contemplate trying before. It is also a great time to burn off a few extra calories that you may be consuming during the festive period.

If you are thinking about joining a new gym you should do you research before joining the gym as it is likely you are going to be spending a lot of time there. We have been members of several gyms over the years and always take into consideration the below tips before joining.

We hope our top tips help you make the right decisions and go on join the gym today you won’t regret it!

Location- the location of your gym is probably one of the most important factors you should take into consideration. In the past we have been members of gyms that have been a fair few miles away from our house. We like to attend a gym that is close to our houses and also means we can attend before or after work without having to go home first. Why not join a gym that is on your way to and from work that way you have no excuse!

Opening hours- is the gym open when you are likely to use it most? Lots of gyms are now open for 24 hours but not all are so it is important you check their opening hours. You will need to decide what time of day you are likely to exercise to ensure the hours fit your schedule. If the opening times don’t fit your schedule it is likely you will be paying for something you can’t access.

Monthly Membership Fees- You will need to take into account how often you are going to attend the gym. We like to work out the amount of days we will train at the gym in a month and divide this by the membership fee that way we can see the cost per trip. It is also important to check if you have a rolling contract of if you are committing yourself to an entire year as a member.

Fitness Classes- There are several questions you should ask yourself regarding fitness classes; Does your gym have fitness classes included in your monthly membership? Are you likely to attend many of the classes? Will attending classes motivate you? What is the timetable like? You should also ask the gym staff if you need to turn up early to the class to reserve a spot.

Personal Training- Some gyms have a lot of personal trainer, if you gym is quite small you should take this into consideration as they can sometimes take up a lot of floor space. On the other hand if you want a personal trainer at the gym this might be a positive as you will have a selection to choose from.

Facilities available- we would suggest emailing the gym and asking them about their facilities do they have enough machines to go around? It is important you make sure they have a wide variety of machines in case you every want to branch out in the future. We like to go to the gym before work so it is important the changing rooms are clean and have working showers. Some of the boutique gyms also offer a towel service which is great.

BLOGMAS Day 4- Baked Christmas Porridge

When someone says breakfast porridge is the first thing that comes to our mind. We cannot get enough of the stuff especially during the winter months when the mornings are so much colder. We have experimented with porridge a lot over the past year and even have a porridge series on our blog (recipes include Peanut butter and jelly & a taste of autumn).

We knew during blogmas we had to create a porridge recipe, we have mixed it up a bit though and gone for a baked porridge. This is the first time we have ever cooked baked porridge but oh my goodness it was delicious and we will definitely be having it more often.

It does take slightly longer to cook than ordinary porridge, so we will probably have to save this for the weekends when we have much more time on our hands.  We hope you have fun recreating our recipe and let us know what you think!

Ingredients
50g Porridge oats
30ml Milk of your choice (may need more depending on the size of your bowl)
Drizzle of water
Red currants fresh or frozen (we used frozen)
Chopped mixed nuts
½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp Ground Ginger

Method
Pre heat the oven to 180oc
You will need an oven proof dish we got ours from tiger
Place the oats and nuts into the dish and stir so ingredients combine
Scatter the red currants on top
Pour your milk on top of the mixture and top with water
Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes