Posts tagged challenge
Drink Up Challenge.... swap out the sugar!

We're into week two of my Summer Drink-Up Challenge... and this is where is gets really interesting! Week one was all both creating awareness and increasing water intake... the process of adding in and not taking away.

Reflecting back to the reason I wanted to create the challenge, it was the idea that so many people focus on eating a healthy diet, yet the choice of beverage is often overlooked. 

Whether it be the indulgent takeout coffee from Costa, a couple of cans of Coke or even the sugar laden protein shake you chug down after your epic gym workout. 

Many of these beverages could be seen as ‘meals’ in themselves themselves and even those that aren’t of that caloric density often contain huge amounts of sugar or chemicals sweeteners that mess with our bodies and minds just as powerfully as eating the wrong types of foods.

This what I’m passionate about.

I’m passionate about helping you create curiosity and awareness around your choices, make simple swaps that will super-charge life without feeling restricted or compromised. I’m not saying you need to give it all up, of course not! But it’s about making that choice to be informed and in control.

All week all week long over in the Facebook event group I’ll be posting links to recipes, tips and information to help inspire your creativity in all forms of beverages. I'd love you to join us there ... still plenty of time to take part!

I was also inspired by fellow healthy vegan bloggers who have created their ow versions of some of the classic. I have shared them below with permission.

Some top tips for cutting back on the refined sugars and chemicals...

  1. use fruit tea bags mixed with fizzy water (plus a little sweeter as necessary and wean yourself back over time)
  2. make your own shakes and smoothies with fruits and nut butters...BUT remember to that those as a meal not a drink!
  3. coconut water is perfect for hydration and it's naturally sweet and mild flavour makes great option when blended with other fruit such as berries, lemon, lime or ginger. 
  4. vanilla goes the impression of sweets in food and drink so get creative.


These are my favourite fruit and coconut water blends. Sweetness without too much fruit.

Healthy recipes from around the web!

Are you in to juicing? Check out this Citrus Energizer by Mason Jar Salads

Are you a kombucha fan?  Why not add it to a very smoothie by Veganosity

Protein peanut butter banana smoothie are always a winner by Win-Win Food

Or why not this peach cobbler protein desert shake by Noshed

Pink lemonade for classic summer time chilling by Ribas With Love

You can never go wrong with simple strawberry milk (try each and mango too!) by Peppers and Peaches

A skinny choc shake.. a great base for flavour options! By Simple Green Moms

Lavender lemonade gives a refreshing summer twist by Green Evi

Fruit Kool aid without the crap by Lexie's Kitchen

Last but not least... I am loving this spin on orange squash! by Kiip Fit

What would be your perfect summer time beverage? 

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Coconut Macadamia milk

I'm following the theme of beverages since my Summer Drink Up Challenge is at the forefront of my mind! 

It might seem strange but I don't actually drink much 'milk' of any kind.

I don't drink traditional tea of coffee so have no need for milk there. My smoothies and shakes tend to use nuts or blended fruits for creaminess.  I don't eat cereal for breakfast so no need for milk there either. I DO however eat porridge, and although it's fine with water or blended nut butters, sometimes I really fancy some milk to make it super duper creamy.

I previously shared this crazy beautiful idea for quinoa milk and cream. I still love it as it makes a great chocolate thick shake and it's so easy.

Recently I had a play around with other milk ingredients. This was one of my favourites. I blended coconut flakes and macadamia partly for flavour but also because introducing coconut helped keep the cost of the macadamias down (they are sooooo expensive).

I will say you do need a nut bag or fine mesh straining cloth to ensure you get a super creamy milk.  I bought mine on Amazon and it's a really useful purchase. 

I also want to mention here that the link above takes you to my newly created Amazon shop. I decided that because people so often ask me for recommendations for books and tools I love, it made sense to me to put them all in one place. It just means that any product you buy through my shop (at no extra cost to you) gives me a teensy weeny percentage of the affiliate fee.

Let's get back to the milk....

Recipe: Coconut Macadamia milk (all measurements are approximates depending on preferred viscosity)

  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup macadamias
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla bean


Blend all ingredients together until totally smooth. Set your mesh bag over a large jug or bowl and pour the creamy mixture into the bag. Using your hands squeeze and massage the mixture until the milk is filtered and you only have pulp left.

You can reserve the pulp for other baking use.

The milk will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.  Other options for flavour include adding fruits or cocoa to the mix.  I also made a version for Real Food Source (pictured at the top of the page) with blended in bee pollen for an extra nutritional boost and slight caramelly flavour (I do appreciate this is not vegan).


What should I do with the pulp I hear you ask?

I haven't yet got a recipe on my blog, but these nut pulp macaroons from Elana's Pantry could be a great place to start!

I'd love to hear from you if you make your own milk and if so, what your favourite ingredients are!

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus. 

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

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My top 5 tips to drink more water everyday!

Yesterday marked the first day of my 30 Day Drink-Up Summer Challenge.... focussing on revamping your relationship to beverages.  If you missed Day One you can still join in the challenge and get involved here on the event page!  

What better place to kick off than maximising our water intake!

Water is the elixir of life! Yet our water intake and liquid intake in general is often overlooked or undervalued by so many. In addition, we are a nation of coffee and tea addicts, and since caffeine acts as a diuretic this is even more reason to boost our water intake everyday.

It’s the first place I start with many of my clients when reviewing dietary habits… the small change that can make a huge impact. The key is consistency and creating habits so that they become automatic within our daily life. The tips below are my personal favourites cultivated over the last 18 months as I sought to take my liquid intake from an average of two litres, so an average of three to four litres each day.

At first you may find yourself going to the toilet more frequently, but very soon your body adjusts and so this is simply not an issue… no excuses (i've heard it a lot!)

1) Drink a litre of lemon water (or plain water) first thing in the morning

Fresh lemon infused water is a great boost for the digestive system, and drinking one litre first thing ensures you get your day off to a great start, gives peace of mind and takes the pressure off having to drink so much as the day goes on.

2) Only use large mugs and glasses

So many people have small cups and then proceed to fill them well below the top… no wonder so many people are falling short of requirements even if they are meeting the ‘8 glasses a day’ quota. Make sure your glass or mug is a big one and you’ll not go far wrong.

3) Buy a drinks bottle with an internal straw 

This was a total game changer for me! Often when I am working at my computer and I’m ‘in the zone’, I forget to drink. Or (if I’m being completely honest) I’m sometimes too lazy or busy to take a few moments to stop what I am doing to have a sip from a glass. With my bottle I can simply pop the nozzle in my mouth as suck away without needing to use my hands or tiling my neck. This way I find I can easily drink half a litre in a matter of minutes without even realizing it. Using a big drinks bottle helps monitor intake too. Mine is 750ml and three of those plus a few mugs of hot lemon/herbal tea easily makes my daily quota.

4) Find your favourite flavours of herbal and fruit teas

Not everyone likes plain water. That’s totally understandable, but don’t let that deter you. Remember that all herbal teas without caffeine count as your water intake and many of these have additional health benefits of their own. My favorites are lemon and ginger or peppermint but find your own personal preference and build them into your daily routine. For many, drinking a mug of hot tea is a practice of mindfulness all in itself. Take a few moments of downtime every few hours and create a new ritual today!

5) Set a reminder on your phone

To create the habit of consistency, sometimes we simply need a bit of help to get us going. It’s easy to ‘forget’ in the beginning when building a new habit and so it’s no cop out to use your phone or an app to simply remind you until the habit becomes more ingrained. I had a client who set a reminder to go off at the start of her lunch break in the office that simply said ‘have you drunk 1 litre yet?’ She had another similar reminder set for dinner time in the evening.

Now it's your turn... What creative tips have worked for you to build the water habit?

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus. 

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

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What I've learned about 'lemon water'... so far!

It's Day 7 of my 21 Day Lemon Water Challenge.

In coming up to the end of the first week I wanted to take a moment to reflect.

Initially what had blown me away was the sheer number of people who wanted to get involved in the challenge, who wanted to think outside the box, to change things up in their daily routine, to empower themselves and embrace the challenge with an open mind.

Those things mean so much to me, and now simply judging by the engagement and positivity i've received in comments each day throughout the week, it's reinforces my belief that small changes can indeed make such a difference to health and wellness both physically and mentally. I can almost see the mind shift happening for people as the days go by and i'm grateful to be a part of the process and for listening to my intuition (it was purely an idea on a whim to create the event) and creating this space for accountability and inspiration.

So what have I learned myself?

Actually a lot. More than I expected through a practice that i'd been following for a good few years now, though i'd only increased to a litre in the last 6 months or so.

I'm a sucker for a routine and typically upon waking I go downstairs boil the kettle and I squeeze my lemon into a huge mug then fill half with cold and half with boiling water. Then I drink another mug full just like the first over the course of the next 15 minutes. I'd be doing that for months.

But in listening to my 'challengers' ask questions and share their experiments, it inspired me to question myself... why not add some mint, ginger or cucumber? Why not try infusing over night and drink at room temperature in the morning?

For the last couple of mornings I have been drinking my lemon water at room temperature (with a smidge of hot added to make it luke warm as it sits easier in my tummy that way) and I love it! I make a litre jug the night before with a mix of 1 lemon, maybe some lime, ginger or mint and cucumber slices. In the morning it is nicely 'muddled' (cocktail lingo!) and actually almost feels like pouring myself a cocktail! This creates a totally different experience.

I woud encourage everyone who is used to drinking lemon water, regardless of whether you love your current routine or not... simply to try changing it up a bit. A change is  always a good reboot for the system and the mind.

Here are some great additions to your lemon water and a quick outline as to why they are so beneficial. Obviously the pure ands simple lemon water itself is the key principle and these are a just an optional bonus!

Lemon: A glass of lemon juice contains less than 25 calories. It is a rich source of nutrients like calcium, potassium, vitamin C and pectin fiber. It also has medicinal values and antibacterial properties. It also contains traces of iron and vitamin A. It assists with digestion, flushing out toxins and restores Ph balance within the body. 

Lime: The health benefits of lime include weight loss, skin care, improved digestion, relief from constipation, eye care, and treatment of scurvy, piles, peptic ulcer, respiratory disorders, gout, gums, urinary disorders, etc. Lime juices and oils are exceptionally beneficial to the skin. Lime juice, consumed orally, or lime oil, applied topically, rejuvenate skin

Ginger: Most frequently used to aid digestion, ginger is believed to increase saliva and other digestive fluids, alleviating indigestion and associated problems such as flatulence.It is known to relieve nausea and sickness. Ginger is believed to have anti-inflammatory qualities that may relieve swelling and pain. As a tea it is said to ease headaches and sore throats or assist if you have a cold or flu. Fresh ginger is used for asthma, coughs, colic, heart palpitations, swellings, dyspepsia, loss of appetite and rheumatism, while the dried root is used to "strengthen" the stomach, inhibit vomiting and treat diarrhoea.

Mint: Mint plants contain an antioxidant known as rosmarinic acid, which has been studied for its effectiveness in relieving seasonal allergy symptoms. Mint contains menthol, which is a natural decongestant that helps to break up phlegm and mucus. Mint can also be effective, especially when combined with tea for relieving sore throats. Mint is a calming and soothing herb that has been used for thousands of years to aid with upset stomach or indigestion. Mint is thought to improve the flow of bile through the stomach, which helps to speed and ease digestion.

Cucumber: Not only is cucumber water refreshing and hydrating, but it’s loaded with nutrients. Cucumbers are high in Vitamin C and caffeic acid, two antioxidants that can help protect your skin from sun damage throughout the summer. Vitamin C also boosts collagen and elastin to help keep your skin looking vibrant and youthful. Plus, cucumbers have natural anti-inflammatory properties that prevent water retention, and silica to promote healthy connective tissues.

Cayenne pepper:  Cayenne stimulates digestion and muscle movement in the intestines, which helps restore deficient digestive secretions and aids absorption of food nutrients. Cayenne also stimulates circulation and blood flow to the peripheral areas of the body. Because it stimulates digestion and circulation, cayenne is often added to a wide variety of herbal remedies; it improves the absorption and circulation of the other herbs throughout the body.

Apple cider vinegar: ACV has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Among the ailments it’s said to cure are allergies, acne, high cholesterol, joint pain, weight loss, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, dandruff, chronic fatique, candida, sore throat, gum infection, sinus infection, flu, acid reflux, leg cramps and ear infections. It’s also used to help dissolve kidney stones, lower high blood pressure, and it’s also been shown to help with type 2 diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity. Even though vinegar is acidic, when we take apple cider vinegar it has an alkaline effect in our bodies. 

Turmeric:   The wide range of turmeric health benefits come mainly from its main ingredient, curcumin. This component of turmeric is highly therapeutic used mainly because of its immunity boosting and anti-oxidant properties. Turmeric has been used for many thousands of years in Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine for conditions including heartburn, diarrhoea, stomach bloating, colds, fibromyalgia and depression. 

 I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers  plus me FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can always find me in these places:

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The lemon water challenge!

I love lemon water....

I drink a hot mug (or few) of it every morning as soon as I wake up, then I tend to continue to drink it throughout the first few hours of the morning if I'm at home,  before I then switch to regular filtered water and then onto mint tea during the latter part of the day into the evening. 

I'm a sucker for a routine!! Can you tell :-)

There are three things I also know to be true:

  • hydrating and cleansing the body are two of the most important things you can do 
  • small habits are often the hardest to create and actually stick to since they often fool the brain as being insignificant compared to bigger habits.
  • everyone (clients, friends, family) who I have introduce to 'lemon water' have reported great results.

So.... it seemed only right to notch things up a gear and get the whole world involved, ok well let's not go too crazy but hey i'd love you guys to come along for the ride.

Starting on Monday August 11th I'll be hosting this challenge:

The 'rules' will be pretty simple... drink 1ltr of warm lemon water first thing in the morning before eating anything else.  

One litre I hear you say!?

Yes I know that sounds like a lot- and yes you might find yourself going to the loo a little more than normal to start with BUT it does work wonders, more so than 1 small mug of lemon water. Tried and tested you see. Hydrating the body is so crucial... not just for these hot summer days. I want to make sure you maximise the benefits.

All it really means is drinking two very large mugs full each morning (go and buy a special big mug if you only own small ones!) It is also best to drink it before you eat anything else in the morning, this will create maximum benefit in cleansing and detoxing the body and creating the optimal internal environment to take whatever your days throws at it. Also try and avoid drinking very cold or boiling water- anywhere from lukewarm to hot is fine. Simple use one small organic lemon (or a half a large one) per litre of water.

Put lemons on your weekly shopping list now!!

That's really all there is to it... you can eat whatever you want or would normally for the rest of the day. You may find that this little habit brings about other positive changes in your mindset and eating habits...embrace the change and see what happens!  I'll be here for you along the way.

The 'challenge' is totally free, i'll be throwing in some extra freebies for all those than join me, and i'll create a Facebook event in the next few days so we can all be in this together and share experiences...

But you know what...

The main thing about all of this is simply to try something new, create a new habit, break bad habits, change up your morning routine, kick your day off to a good start, create mindfulness. If you only manage 500ml at first that's cool, there is no pressure. The point is that you give it a go and give it your best...

So, who's up for the challenge??

More details to come shortly!


I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers  plus me FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can always find me in these places:

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