Sunday, February 07, 2016


Not just for Shrove Tuesday

I know, I know, it’s all a bit cliché doing a pancake recipe post this week, but despite loving and regularly indulging in my slightly adapted version of the two-ingredient pancake (made popular by the health and foodie bloggers), I realised I've never posted a pancake recipe on this blog so what better time to publish one; apologies if this is your fourth or fifth pancake recipe blog post you've stumbled upon, but mine is making its début on Forcailini this week. With eggs, banana and oats as the only ingredients, I hope you enjoy this delicious, easy and nutritious pancake recipe. There’s always a place for the traditional pancakes as part of a healthy lifestyle, and no doubt I’ll be having them too this week, but as a nutritionist, I feel quite smug when I whip these bad boys up from time to time!
How do you like yours?

WHAT I USED (serves 1)
2 eggs
1 ripe banana
3 teaspoons of oats
A little oil for frying
Your choice of toppings
*Blend all the ingredients to a smooth batter mix
*Heat a little oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, and drop roughly 2-3 tablespoons of the batter into the pan;  it should sizzle immediately, if not, turn up the heat. Depending on the size of your pan, you may be able to make 3-4 at a time - keeping them small makes them easier to flip. 
*Allow to cook for approximately 1 minute before flipping on to the other side
*Serve your pancakes as a stack (you don't have to) and add your favourite toppings; I used berries and Sweet Freedom's fruit syrup

Later x
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Sunday, January 31, 2016


Fitting it in

I touched on the issue of time pressure in my last post; life can just get in the way sometimes, which can result in you feeling the need to make sacrifices in other areas of your day-to-day routine. What are some of the sacrifices you make when time is not on your side? Do you skip the exercise session, miss meals, decline invites to go somewhere, forgo the extra hours of sleep, or carry out tasks half-heartedly? One of the areas of my life which I don’t like to skimp on is my morning routine because if I don’t start my day mentally and physically prepared, I may as well go back to bed! It doesn’t matter how busy or what sort of day I have in store, I make a conscious effort to ensure my morning routine remains more of a daily ritual so that I’m set up for a good day, every day!

I’m definitely not a morning person, and if I had the choice, I’d rather see clients at 9.00 at night, rather than 9.00 in the morning but, wrongly or rightly, I work around the needs of my clients not the other way round. So, how do I kick-start myself once the alarm’s snooze tone sounds -  it actually starts from the night before and definitely involves a good breakfast.

I love to indulge in as much sleep as possible; if I can press the snooze button more than once it’s a definite bonus for me. Preparing as much as you can the night before will free up time to do other things in the morning, such as exercising, meditating, getting the kids ready or even having an extra snooze! In particular, I tend to prepare my lunch and choose and iron my clothes the night before, which easily shaves off 15-20 minutes from my morning routine.

I’m quite fortunate that my diary doesn’t fluctuate too significantly over the course of the week, therefore I can plan my exercise routines. Getting a bit of a sweat on definitely reverses my initial morning sluggishness -  it gives me a physical and psychological boost so I will always make time for it. I’ll diarise the days and timings of my workouts, whether it’s a 10 minute or 45 minutes session, just like I would with any other important appointment, and let’s face it, your health and fitness is pretty important; by scheduling your exercise sessions, you can plan accordingly what time to set the alarm for and you are likely to be more motivated to get up and go rather than it being an impromptu effort.

When I get up, I have a glass of lemon water (squeeze a fresh lemon into some water) as the first of my many drinks I have throughout the day to stay hydrated. You might notice that your urine colour is slightly darker in the morning, after several hours without having a drink, so it makes sense to rehydrate when you wake up – it’s like oil for the tin man. For some it’s coffee, but I find lemon water (and I actually prefer mine chilled) helps to wake me up and prepares my palate for breakfast.

After fasting for 7 – 8 hours whilst asleep, why wouldn’t I break the fast and replenish my stores. When determining what to have for breakfast, consider what time you have available in the mornings. If I’m a little rushed it might just be sprinkling some granola and fruit on yoghurt which takes literally 1 minute to prepare. If I have a little extra time to stand over a stove stirring the contents of a saucepan, I’ll have some porridge, and at weekends where time is less pressured I might have a couple of eggs on toast with sliced avocado. Whatever you choose, be prepared by ensuring you have the ingredients in the fridge and cupboard.

Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night to ensure your brain and body is well rested for the day ahead. Sleep is just as important as good nutrition and exercise for general wellbeing. Sleep deprivation can leave us sluggish and affect our ability to concentrate and be productive; it can also lead to overeating as our brains and body crave energy. Decide the night before what time you will need to get up to fulfil your morning ritual, and then work out what time you need to be in bed to get the appropriate and recommended night’s rest.

Good morning to ya!

 Later x
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Sunday, January 24, 2016


Seeing me through January

As a nutritionist, you can probably appreciate that January is a particularly busy time of year for me. Added to this, me being a “yes” girl - who can’t often say no to things be it personal or professional due to FOMO - I’m surprised I've even had chance to compose this blog post, however proclaiming that I don’t have enough time to blog is pretty pitiful given I only blog once a week, so here it is: this week’s blog post all about a few (five actually) of my favourite things seeing me through this eventful January.

*Potable Mobile Phone Charger

My job does involve a lot of national travel (I’m working on getting it to feature international travel!!!) and whilst I enjoy driving locally I’m not a fan of driving on motorways and in areas I’m not familiar; consequently I could spend part of my working day on a train. We all know the frustrating issue of trying to conserve battery power on your phone whilst in transit, especially at the end of the day, which is why I invested in this handy portable mobile phone charger, which has saved me on quite a few occasions!


Although I've had my iPad for a while now, it’s still one of my favourite things because I’m not one of those people who can do work on a train; I prefer to sleep, scroll through social media or surf the web looking at fashion and health-related items, and since putting down a deposit on another property (exciiiiited!!), my enthusiasm for interior design websites has been re-ignited too -  the iPad allows me to enjoy all this whilst travelling throughout the working day

Those of you who have been following me for a while will know I love my hats for three main reasons: they add interest to an average outfit; they’re a practical accessory for those cold days; and they hide a bad hair day. The problem with the type of hats I wear is that you can’t shove them in a bag when you get to your client or the office, and I’m likely to forget it if I put it down anywhere else, so when I stumbled upon this UGG head band, I knew I was justified in buying another piece of headwear - it’s actually warmer than my hats too

*Thrice Rice Mix

Oh my goodness this thrice rice mix, (consisting of wild, brown, and red rice) is so delicious and of course healthy; it’s got this nutty texture and flavour, which suits my palate and taste, and it's equally as delicious cold. Whenever I cook it, I always make a double batch so I can use the leftovers in a salad the next day, which then takes care of the need to decide what to have lunch.


My cousin bought me a set of kettlebells for Christmas, which I keep in my bedroom for convenience and as a reminder to fit in some muscle strengthening home workouts – I can’t remember the last time I went to the gym!

What are some of your favourite things this month?

Later x
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Sunday, January 17, 2016


A mecca for healthy foodies

Health–related goals tend to be quite popular among people with New Year resolutions; resolutions concerning weight, diet, exercise and smoking cessation are reported to be at the top of turn-of-the-calendar objectives for both sexes - you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't have a diet or fitness-related aspiration on their 2016 list, right?

One of my diet-related goals for this year, as I mentioned in my previous post, is to draw more inspiration from plant-based recipes when testing out meal ideas. Inspiration can come from recipe books, social media, television, food stores and restaurants. With regards to the latter, a couple of my friends and I often complain about the limited options that Birmingham has to offer when it comes to healthy dining. In comparison to London, our wellness scene hasn't yet quite evolved; unfortunately we don’t have local access to healthy eateries such as, The Good Food Eatery, The Mae Deli, Whole Foods London or Daylesford Farm.

Talking of Daylesford Farm, I visited the flagship store in Gloucester recently, which is a little nearer to home than London, but still far enough to deter me from visiting regularly. Daylesford is an award winning organic farm and farm shop (not that I advocate necessarily buying organic), which prides itself on selling seasonal, locally sourced, fresh food and being one of the most sustainable organic farms in the UK. I’d previously been to their London Marylebone café for lunch , however, just after the New Year I decided to take advantage of the winter sunshine and drive into the country and make an afternoon of visiting their Cotswold venue. 

It's a great little place for stocking your kitchen cupboards with fresh, quality produce, but if one of your resolutions is also to curb your spending, you may have to break that resolution for one day for a trip to Daylesford, like I did!

Wearing: Camel Coat, Asos;  High waist cropped trousers, Zara; Shoes, Zara

Later x
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Sunday, January 10, 2016


a meat-free favourite

I’ll admit, between the morning of Christmas Eve and the evening of Boxing Day, I indulged in quite a meat feast, well I say feast, I just mean I ate significantly more red meat that week than I usually would. My auntie’s puff pastry home-made sausage rolls and my mum’s honey glazed gammon, which included trimmings of pigs in blanket, were just irresistibly yummy.

Whilst there is no need to embark on a detox diet to rid your body of toxins - move over green juice diet we have a liver, kidneys and skin to do this - I did feel like I needed to give my body a bit of a rest from the red meat overload and I’m certain I exceeded the recommended weekly limit in those 3 days, so I decided to have a completely meat-free week the following week. I searched for ideas and stumbled on oodles of meat-free recipes, which I will share with you throughout the year (one of my health goals is to draw more inspiration from plant-based menus/recipes), but for now I thought I’d post about my courgette cannelloni with pesto, which was adapted from a recipe by nutritionist and chef, AKA ‘The Medicinal Chef’, Dale Pinnock.

If you like tomato-based dishes, you’ll love this! It ticks all the boxes regarding flavour, ease appeal and health, and it also offers an alternative for vegetarians and those who are wheat/gluten free or just prefer not to eat pasta – for me I’m just a curious foodie and recipe tester who loves tomatoes and has developed a relatively recent liking for home-made pesto and courgettes!


What I Did
*Slice the courgettes (1cm thick) and griddle them on a hot griddle pan with a drop of oil until golden

*For the sauce, saute the onions and garlic until soft. Add the pine nuts and fry for a further couple of minutes.  Add the passata and some basil and simmer for 15 minutes

*While the sauce is simmering, place the pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until coarse. 

*Place a dollop of pesto in the centre of the courgette strip and roll, and then place in the oven for a few minutes

*Once the sauce is heated through, pour into a pasta bowl (of course it doesn't have to be a pasta bowl) and place the courgette cannelloni on top. Sprinkle some additional parmesan over your deliciously created dish.

Later x
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Sunday, January 03, 2016


Wishing us all Good Health, Happiness & Success.....

I will reign in my spending, I will take up yoga, I will stop eating sweets, blah blah blah………yes these are all things I've considered doing in 2016, but I know these unrealistic, puritanical resolutions would be doomed to be abandoned by February or March. I concede, New Year’s resolutions are perhaps a little cliché and old-fashioned now (oh dear I’m making myself sound old), and they’re often over-ambitious, however, regardless of your views on this annual tradition, there’s no denying that the beginning of January can be an inspirational and reflectional time of year, and can lay the foundation to make some significant changes. Even if you don’t make resolutions per se, I think many people at least consider/reconsider their goals and intentions for the New Year ahead - I know I do!

I don’t personally tend to start the year with restrictive ‘resolutions’, however, I was recently reminded about the idea of a vision board, which is a board filled with images, words, quotes and statements that visually represent what you would like to attract to your life. I had been encouraged to do one specifically for my business, but not  for my life, therefore completion of my lifestyle vision board is on my things-to-do list for this month; it’s an organised, chaotic work-in-progress at the moment, and the ‘visions’ focus on three central themes of good health, happiness and success: I intend to continue to look for exciting approaches to improve my health; I’m aiming to continue focusing more on acknowledging and being grateful for the positive things in my life, whilst creating new opportunities for happiness; and I aspire to continue to develop myself personally and professionally so that I can be successful at whatever I put my mind to, and yes, be in a position to indulge in a few more materialistic things *wink*. All I can say is it’s a good job I've got 12 months!!

As well as a vision board, I've also decided to keep a memory jar again this year, because, well, I don’t tend to document all my happy memories and experiences on social media or my blog, so I’ll need some other easy, accessible place to store them.

Happy New Year! x
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Sunday, December 20, 2015


Shopping is my preferred way

I usually reserve Friday mornings for the gym or a park run, but when my friend asked me to accompany her for a spot of early morning Christmas shopping in Birmingham, it didn't take much convincing for me to forgo the usual workout.

I merrily swapped out of my active-wear and into my new comfy, flat Kurt Geiger Chelsea boots as I knew I’d be doing lots of walking. Don’t overlook walking as a form of exercise; walking can contribute towards your recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week, and this is partly how I justified not going for a park run *wink*. I challenged myself to ensure I reached 10,000 steps during the shopping trip by keeping an eye on my phone’s step counter - an app I downloaded after I lost my last pedometer. My friend didn't appreciate being dragged up and down the stairs instead of being able to take the lifts or escalators, but hey this was my Friday workout!

We reached the shops well before the crowds, which I appreciated, and we fuelled up on a delicious breakfast at Bill's, a rustic-style restaurant that has very recently opened in Birmingham’s Bullring. Whilst she shopped for presents, I observed the festivities and the décor that adorned the city centre and, as always, I took the opportunity to admire the latest bags and shoes on my wish-list – hopefully they won’t be wish-list items for long!

I captured the day on Snapchat, my new favourite social media platform. If you’re a Snapchatter, you can find me at ‘forcailini’, if not you can just continue to scroll through my blog posts.

Have a lovely Christmas you lovely lot!

Later x
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