November moodboard. 

I’m finally starting to get into the Autumn/winter time of year, even though I’m a complete summer girl. 

Here’s a few of my top picks for the month. 

   Mullberry and chunky knits, a match made in heaven. 
    It’s time to get the blankets out! I’m in love with chunky knitted blankets and throws. 
  ‘Basically nude’ bras to keep secretly feminine under all of the baggy clothes and coats.   Cute silky PJs, all year round. 
  Particularly Victoria’s Secret ones.   Major hair envy. 
 Barely-there makeup with a dewy glow and a dab of glowy highlighter. 

 
Illamasqua cream pigment for contouring.   
 Time to top up my MAC lipstick collection with a few warm autumn tones. The reds and purples are unreal. 

   
Guilt free winter warmer – Matcha Green Tea Lattes. 

 Mocha thigh high boots are everywhere at the moment. 

   The 2015 Victoria’s Secret show IS TONIGHT. I’ve decided I’m prepping my body for the 2016 selections. A girl can dream….? Every female models ultimate goal. 

What are you loving this season?

Hels x 

New health craze: TreeVitalise

There’s always a new health craze on the go, most of them… Questionable. So it’s always great when you find a product that not only tastes AMAZING but is also really good for you. 

The post man bought me this beautiful little package this morning with 3 bottles of TreeVitalise Organic Birch Water – lemon, mint and original. 

  
Birch Water has been hailed as the new health and beauty saviour, topping the coconut, aloe, cactus ‘super waters’ that we all rushed out to snap up. 

It comes from a tree commonly found in British gardens – the birch tree and the naturally sweet water is tapped from the trees without damaging them. 

There’s claims that birch water can treat all sorts of ailments from flu, headaches and dandruff, to eczema, cellulite and liver disease. However, the most common benefits are hydration, improved immune system, and it’s antioxidants and diuretic properties allow it to flush out toxins, uric acid and excess water. 

The drink is widely used across the world, particularly in America, Eastern Europe and China but it’s now becoming available here in the UK thanks to TreeVitalise

As my readers know, I’m a big health lover and like to try anything that can contribute to my health and well-being. So I was DELIGHTED to receive this package today and it’s SO prettily packaged with sky blue tissue paper on a bed of matching shredded paper. Each bottle tied with string and a little heart for good measure. 

  
They’re so nice to grab from the fridge after a workout and my favourite flavour (lemon) will be accompanying me to Yoga tomorrow! All three are delicious and refreshing and of course guilt free at just 4 calories per 100ml. 

Check out TreeVitalise at www.treevitalise.com and follow them on Twitter/Instagram @TreeVitalise. 

  
  

The Yard On The Edge

You know that feeling when you wake up on a Monday morning and feel ready to go and make some positive choices for a productive day? Today was one of those days for me. 

I met up with my friend Amy at the gym for a workout. Honestly, we usually end up doing more chatting than working out so when people came into the studio to start a class, we decided to stick around and try it out. It turned out to be HIIT (high intensity interval training) and absolutely killed us! It was cardio and full body weights – literally every muscle was targeted! So we thought we deserved a guilt free treat. 

There’s not that many places where you can get REAL health food, not just limps salads and smoothies full of additives. So we headed down to Alderley Edge to visit The Yard. Everything is made with the finest ingredients and there’s plenty of creative, flavoursome choices of cold-pressed juices, health shots, smoothies, tea’s, meals and snacks. 

Amy went for a salmon salad with kale and sweet potato that looked and smelt amazing, along with a cold-pressed juice with beetroot and carrot amongst other ingredients. I just wanted a snack so opted for an avocado and lime chia seed pudding and a raw ‘snickers’ ball. To wake me up, I also ordered a ginger, orange and turmeric shot – it literally blew my head off!! 

  
They also have a shop full of health products and supplements, healing and chakra crystals, insence and Organic beauty products. My kind of shop! I could browse these sort of things for hours on end. I ended up purchasing some wheatgrass that I plan to add to my smoothies and soups. 

  
Definitely pay it a visit if you’re looking for wholesome and healthy food and drinks that certainly don’t lack in flavour! 

Breakfast Smoothie Recipe

Good morning! 

I’ve recently celebrated my 21st birthday and one of the most useful gifts I received (from my sisters) is a NutriBullet! I’ve been dying for one of these for ages and I’ve actually used it every single day since I’ve had it! I’m preparing hard for Miss Scuba UK now so a smoothie makes a great breakfast to help get my body in the best shape, and also the vitamin rich ingredients can encourage glowing skin and healthy hair and nails. 

I like to start my day with a good wholesome breakfast to keep me going through busy days so this smoothie recipe is perfect for keeping me full and giving me energy, whilst tasting amazing! 

Ingredients           

  • 1 whole medium banana           
  • 1 generous handful of frozen berries
  • 1 sachet of porridge oats (27g)
  • Unsweetened almond milk                                

I just threw the ingredients into the cup and blended well for about 30-40 seconds. The amount of almond milk you use is dependent on the consistency you like. I like mine thick so I didn’t go all the way up to the Max Line. 

I have put together a rough guideline for the nutritional values:

  • Calories – 250 
  • Protein – 5.1g
  • Total fat – 4.7g
  • Saturated fat – 0.6g
  • Carbohydrates – 43g
  • Fibre – 6g

Enjoy…. 🙂 

Hels xxx

Beauty Fad: Coconut Oil Pulling

  

When it comes to beauty products, treatments and procedures, I will try almost anything once. A huge craze at the moment is ‘oil pulling’ which is the process of swishing a teaspoon of coconut oil around your mouth for 20 minutes at a time.

Oil pulling, also known as “kavala” or “gundusha” is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that supposedly draws out toxins in your body to improve both oral and overall health. The recent trend seems to be more focused around the teeth whitening benefits but the additional benefits shouldn’t be overlooked.

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Alleged benefits include:

  • Whiter teeth
  • Cavity prevention
  • Better breath
  • Stronger teeth and gums
  • Reduced jaw pain
  • Improved sleep and sinus issues
  • Headache relief
  • Hangover relief
  • Improved skin issues (acne, psoriasis and eczema)

Coconut oil is said to make a great substitute for mouthwash due to the antioxidant Vitamin E that it contains, and the anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties due to the lauric acid and monolaurin. There is little conclusive evidence to prove beyond doubt that oil-pulling really does have all the proposed benefits, however it absolutely wont do you any harm (unless you have an allergy to it – always test on a small patch of skin first!) so it’s certainly worth a try! Besides, there are many reports of people claiming to see amazing benefits from it.

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There are clashing views on how this should be done, with some claiming that it should be carried out each day for two weeks, some once a week and some once a fortnight. Some claim a tablespoon, some claim a teaspoon. Some claim you should swish for 10 minutes, some for 20. I currently oil pull less than I should to see the results, but I’m going to make a conscious effort to pull every 2 days or so, or at least each week if that fails. I use a teaspoon at a time; this is because it expands massively in your mouth as it gathers the toxins and saliva. I personally think any more than a teaspoon would just be too much!

I have recently read that you should swish with salt water immediately after, and then continue with brushing and flossing. Again, this differs from other reports that I’ve read which claim that this could damage the enamel on the teeth. I’m going to try it this time and see how I feel with it.

My Technique:

  • Place one teaspoon of coconut oil in my mouth (it begins hard but melts after a few seconds from the heat of your mouth)
  • Set a timer for 20 minutes
  • Swish until the end of the timer
  • Dispel into the bin (it can solidify and block your drains if dispelled down the sink)
  • Swish for 30 seconds with warm, lightly salted water
  • Brush and Floss

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I personally find that my teeth seem more white and shiny immediately after pulling, so I’m quite looking forward to how my teeth will look after I’ve pulled more often. I lead a healthy lifestyle with other detoxifying methods like drinking green tea and lemon water daily so I’m unsure on the positive effects of drawing out toxins and detoxifying but I would love to hear from you if you’ve tried and noticed anything!

Coconut oil is such a wonderful product because it has so many uses! I often cover my hair in it and leave it to soak in for a few hours for a natural hair treatment. I also cook with it and use it as lip balm or on dry skin. If you’ve not jumped on the hype yet, I would seriously recommend it! I personally love the taste of coconut but of course some might not- but honestly you can’t taste it when you cook with it!

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My suggestion is that you don’t spend your money on these sachets of oil that are currently on the market. The only difference they have is the added flavour (mint, lemon, vanilla etc) but they retail at £19.99 for 14 sachets. I use Vita Coco which costs £5 – £7 and can be found online or in your local Tesco – this would contain months and months of oil pulling at a fraction of the price than the sachets! Let me know in the comments if you have tried it and how you found it – and also if you have any extra tips for me!

Hels x

Clean Baking: Banana Avocado Loaf

Hey! I’ve finally finished writing my dissertation for my Events Management degree, so I’ve got much more time to do nice things like bake, work out and blog! 

I decided to do a spot of baking before my pilates class today, and wanted to try something simple with ingredients I already have lying around the house. I’m currently training for Miss Scuba UK – a beauty pageant with a difference! The top 5 from the UK competition head to Cyprus to scuba dive and take part in some marine conservation. The winner is then chosen based on the scuba diving, the willingness to try and how well you work as a team….. The winner then travels to MALAYSIA for the Miss Scuba international finals where again, she will dive and participate in marine conservation. So of course, I’m wanting to eat right and train hard to make the most of this oppurtunity! 

The ingredients of this loaf make it super moist and filling – it’s great as a quick snack or with a cup of tea! 



What you’ll need:

  • 3 ripe bananas mashed
  • 1 ripe avocado mashed
  • 1 egg 
  • 250g Wholewheat flour 
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence 
  • 1 tbsp natural honey or agave nectar 
  • 4 tsp natural unrefined sugar 
  • Almond milk 
  • Cocoa Nibs optional 
  • A loaf tin (preferably silicone) 

Method:

  • Pre-heat your oven to 200•
  • Mix together your avocado and 2 1/2 bananas (set aside the other half). 
  • Add the egg, honey, sugar and vanilla essence and mix well. 
  • Sift the baking powder and half of the flour to add air into the mixture and avoid any lumps. The consistency should be thick but sticky. Continue to add flour until you get to this firm consistency. 
  • Add a dash of almond milk to create a thick but smooth consistency. 
  • Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and top with the remaining half banana and a sprinkle of cocoa nibs. (One of mine slipped!) 
  • Bake in the oven for around 45 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. 
  • Pop out of the tin onto a cooling rack and leave to cool before slicing. 



…Enjoy!

I’d love to hear if anyone tries this recipe or if you have any of your own clean baking recipes in the comments! 

Hels x

My top tips for curing and relieving eczema 

So many people suffer from the common skin condition eczema – millions nationwide. Eczema is a red, itchy rash that appears on the face and body (often on the joints) and can leave sufferers with unsightly, sore and itchy skin. 

My family and I have all suffered from eczema ever since I can remember. It may sound like a small issue but when it’s you who has sore, broken skin on your eye lids, forehead, neck, shoulders, arms, legs etc it really is something that affects you on a daily basis. I only tend to get flare ups in the winter and I’ve tried everything possible. The last 2 winters I’ve been delighted to see that the time and money spent trying to fix my skin has finally paid off! I’ve tried changes of diet, creams, pills, steroids etc and finally I’ve found a mixture that works well for me. I don’t know if they will work for everyone but if you’re like me, you’ll try anything! 
Green tea/detox courses. 
Nudey Tea comes up in so many of my posts but that just highlights my passion for it’s magical powers! I once visited a Chinese doctors and I was told that I was getting eczema in winter due to my weakened immune system. He told me that detoxing would help no-end. I immediately started a detox course and then continued to drink mug after mug of green tea. I absolutely swear by this as a top tip. It’s by no means instant results but if you continue with the green tea through the year you will notice the difference eventually. If you don’t like the taste of green, try twinings fruit flavoured versions. You can purchase a detox course Here to kick-start it. And use code HELEN for 5% off. 
A good emollient I found was called Double Base. I was given this by my doctor on prescription, it’s a strange consistency, almost a plastic like cream! It’s super thick and jelly like and hydrates the skin for hours. I used it all over to avoid any extra bits popping up. Ask your doctor for it. 
A steroid cream is an obvious option, by I found that hydrocortisone just didn’t do anything for me. The best steroid ointment I had from the doctors was called Betamethasone. This cleared me up straight away but isn’t a long term option as you can only use for small periods of time. However if you follow the other options then it should hopefully stay away even after finishing the steroid ointment. 
I was recommended Cod Liver Oil supplement capsules to hydrate the skin. I have no idea if this contributed but they do have other proved health benefits so I do still take them daily. You can pick these up from Holland and Barrat HERE. 
I use this recommendation loosely as it comes with it’s own health risks and doesn’t work for everyone but sunbeds can help. Since I only suffer in the winter, it does help me to get a little light therapy (it does help that my sister has sunbeds in her salon!). Many articles do confirm this but there’s the obvious health risks also. It’s nice to get a boost of vitamin D in the gloomy winter months! If you do try sunbeds, ensure you cover yourself in emollient after so you don’t dry your skin out. 
Hot showers can dry your skin out, as can towel drying yourself too hard, bare these in mind. 
I hope these tips have helped as I wish I had an article like this with tried and tested methods! Let me know how you get on. 
 

Graze Box review.

It’s back to the healthy eating now, ready for bikini weather! One of the main struggles people find when dieting is healthy snacks – it’s easy to get bored of snacking on fruit after a while!

My favourite website for healthy snacking has to be Graze – they’re so imaginative with their snack ideas so you’ll never ever get bored.

I’ve been ordering graze boxes in, on and off, for a year or two now, and I’ve never been disappointed. They’re always adding new choices in and every single one I’ve tried so far has been amazing. In your box, you receive 4 punnets of healthy treats to ‘graze’ on throughout the week. There’s amazing ‘little puds’ and small cakes with tea bags for an afternoon treat. Along side this there’s an amazing selection of nuts and dried fruit and other imaginative concoctions.

I recently started my boxes up again and this week received Cocoa and Vanilla Protein Flapjack, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Texan Corn Salsa and Cherries and Berries. My favourite is definitely the sticky toffee pudding, it’s hard to believe it only contains 1g saturated fat and just 138kcal considering it feels like such an indulgent treat.

It’s always exciting receiving a surprise to open in the post each week/fortnight as well! The best part is that you can scan through the available options and Bin/Try/Like/Love according to your personal preferences, and even select ‘send soon’ on certain snacks so you can have a box tailor made to your taste

If you want to give healthy snacking a try, use code HELM75RXB for a TOTALLY FREE box. You will have to input your card details, however should you wish not to continue with your boxes after you’ve received your free one, you’re entitled to cancel at no cost!

Happy Grazing xoxo

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Water: Why We Should ALL Be Drinking More.

We all know the importance of keeping hydrated with plenty of water, so why is it that at least one in five women in the UK consumes less than the recommended daily intake?

Government guidelines suggest 2 litres for men, and 1.6 litres for women as a daily minimum but many doctors and researchers suggest up to 3 litres per day. Personally, 1.6 litres wouldn’t be nearly enough for me. I probably drink around 2 litres of water plus 4 cups of green tea per day and I very much notice when I’ve not had enough! My skin starts to feel tight and I feel lethargic and fatigued.

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There are many health benefits linked to drinking plenty of water. The adult human body is made up of up to 60% water and every system and function of our body depends on H2o. It flushes toxins from the vital organs, carries nutrients to cells, provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues and eliminates waste from the body. When you starve yourself of the sufficient amount of water, all of these functions become impaired.

Water acts as a lubricant within the body, even encouraging better flexibility in the joints which is beneficial for everyone of all ages. It has natural stress receiving properties, even just the sound of waves or running water triggers a soothing response in the body and lowers stress.

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Aside from the medical benefits, drinking plenty of water comes with many beauty benefits. It keeps skin youthful and less likely to dry out, therefore plumping the appearance of wrinkles and giving a dewy look. It creates a glossy hydrated look on the hair and keeps the cuticles hydrated.

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It helps to burn fat and contains no calories. It also helps build healthy muscle as it carries oxygen to the cells that build and strengthen the muscle tissue. An imbalance if electrolytes leads to discomfort, such a muscle fatigue – drinking water helps maintain this proper balance needed to strengthen muscles. And we all know the importance of hydrating throughout a workout, particularly cardiovascular where you’re loosing fluids through sweat.

Water has healing properties and can help the body heal faster when sick or undergoing treatments. It helps to protect the bodies organs and tissues and helps lessen the burden on your kidneys and liver to flush out toxins and other waste products.

These are just some of the main benefits – there is an endless amount of benefits from drinking water. It is such a basic thing that we all take for granted yet it is so important to make your body function well. I challenge all of my readers to drink 3 litres of water per day for the next month, and see if you feel any differences. Let me know in the comments below.

Tips For Drinking More Water
• Infuse for a few hours with different flavours – citrus fruits, strawberries, ginger, cucumber, mint leaves… These all contribute their own health benefits whilst making your water a bit more interesting.

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• Work out how much you should be drinking each hour and mark it off on a large bottle, that way you’ll know you’re on track and won’t feel the need to down a tone of water in the evening!

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CLEAN Banana/chocolate flapjacks

I’ve been so bad updating my blog recently since I’ve been so so busy with uni work and preparing for my next pageant, Miss Galaxy England.

I thought I’d take some time out to share with you a recipe I’ve concocted and have tried this evening! We all need a treat every once in a while, especially when we’ve been working so hard, but if you don’t want to sabotage your healthy living – this clean/guilt free snack is beyond perfect! It’s so quick and easy and requires only a handful of ingredients.

This recipe is around 4 servings.

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Ingredients
150-200g oats (depending on wet ingredients)
3 tea spoons of natural honey (any type of honey will work)
2 table spoons of Omega seeds (any seeds will do!)
1 banana
Walden Farms peanut and chocolate spread (optional)

Baking tray
Grease proof paper

– Pre-heat your oven to 180•

– Mash your banana to a purée consistency

– Mix together the mashed banana, oats, honey, and seeds until you get a medium-moist consistency that clumps together.

– Flatten the mixture into your grease proof paper on a baking tray and create a square or rectangle around 1/1.5cm thick.

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Ready to go in the oven!

Pop your flapjack into the oven for around 10-15 minutes or until firm and golden brown.

Leave it to cool down, then slice into 4 and carefully peal away the baking paper…..

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…..Ta dahhhhhh!!!

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I served mine with a blob of Walden Farms Chocolate Peanut spread – you won’t believe it’s calorie/fat/sugar free!!! It doesn’t beat the likes of Nutella but it’s great for sweet cravings! You can purchase some on amazon here!

ENJOY….

And don’t forget to post in the comments if you give this recipe a go!

Hels x