A healthy foodie subscription box | Lifebox

There’s been very few subscription boxes which actually appeal to me. The ones I’ve seen tend to be based on makeup and skincare, and whilst I love my Urban Decay eye-shadow pallets, I’m the kind of girls who’s bedtime routine consists of a face wipe.

However… last month I discovered LifeBox. A subsumption box service for healthy foodies and I couldn’t resist trying it out. Each month you get sent a box full of supplements, bars, drinks, superfoods, powders, and more. Each box can be tailed to your needs: everyday wellness (GF&V), women’s health, men’s health, junior, mini and even the occasional holiday box .

It’s the perfect way to try out new foods and discover new brands without having to buy full-sized, multi-packs of something you may not even like. It arrives in the post in a white box with the LifeBox logo printed on top and the products are wrapped in paper which is tied up in a cute ribbon. Receiving your box is truly a special occasion and I loved the feeling of receiving a box of food (who wouldn’t?!)

I opted for the women’s health box which in addition to be packed full of products, comes recipe suggestions and workouts. It was exciting to see products from both established brands and ones I’ve never heard of before. A firm favourite from last month’s box was the granola from Husk and Honey. Their spiced mulberry flavour is perfect sprinkled over greek yoghurt.

husk and honey

Whilst their boxes range for £15-£23, they are worth forking out for as in my February box I received…

  • A packet of hemp seeds by Linwoods
  • A granola bar from Kind
  • Four packets of tea from T Plus
  • A pot of pistachio nut butter by Nutural World
  • A sashay of birthday bake almond butter by Buff Bake
  • Cabbage chips by The Beginnings
  • A packet of superblends by Be.
  • A bag of salted caramel pecks by Inspiralled
  • Cocoa nib chocolate from IQ Chocolate
  • A rude healh almond drink
  • A packet of Chia seeds by Lifebox
  • Protein bites by Saf raw
  • A packet of chai turmeric blend by Wunder Workshop
  • A protein bar from The Primal Pantry
  • And of course, a packet of granola by Husk and Honey

I now consider myself a subscription box covert and I’m so glad I came across LifeBox, in my opinion there’s nothing else of the market quite like it!

lifebox

 

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How to make your own Trail Mix

I first signed up for Graze on a whim, back when I was at University and I wanted to try new snacks, with ingredients I never even heard of. I was sick of taking the same old apple and almonds into the library and I really needed some variety.

These days I’m no longer signed up to Graze, but I still pick up a box every now and again from my local Sainsburys – I can’t resist their salted fudge and peanut cookie snack box. I’ve recently started to make my own trail mixes at home and they’re dead easy to make. You simply need to combine any of your favourite nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and sometimes even something a little sweet – and voila!

Now, trail mixes often get a bad rep, and true, their often high in far and sugar – but our bodies actually need both these things to function. I think a good quality trail mix, in moderation, should be part of a healthy diet. They come in handy if you’re sacrificing your lunch break for the gym and need a boost of energy, fast.

My basic recipe consists of..

  • 1 cup nuts
  • 1/2  cup seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened fruit
  • some ‘fun stuff’ – 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, 1/2 cup popped popcorn.

This usually yields between 4-5 cups, and I recommend a serving size of 1/4 cup.

trail-mix

There are no rules for trail mix, just combine whatever sounds good! But here are a few of my go-to mixes:

A firm favourite – almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, goji berries, dark chocolate

Basic – almonds, raisins, dark chocolate chips

Energy boosting – walnuts, pumpkin seeds, dates

Simple – hazlenuts, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, dark chocolate chips

Tropical – cashews, brazil nuts, dried mango, banana chips, coconut flakes.

 

Healthy Carrot Cake

I get my love of carrot cake from Scott and one of the reasons I adore it is because it’s so moist. This favourite bake of mine has been tweaked in various ways to make it a little healthier.

I’ve opted for wholegrain flour instead of white flour and instead of sugar I used naturally sweet mashed banana and pure maple syrup, and I’m using coconut oil to lock that moistness in.

carrot-cake-2

I refuse to have carrot cake without a cream cheese forsting and for this healthier verision I’m adding coconut milk and maple syrup. You’ll be amazed at the cloud-like forsting it makes.

You’ll need… 

For the cake:

  • 200ml coconut oil
  • 1 large rip banana (mashed)
  • 125ml maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 225g wholegrain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 275g grated carrots
  • 40g shredded coconut

For the frosting:

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (chilled overnight)
  • 150g cream cheese
  • 1 lime (zest only)
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup

 

Prep Time: 30 minutes (not including time to cool)

Cook Time: 1 hour

Preheat the oven to 160°c and line a 8 inch round cake tin with baking parchment.

In a large bowl, mix the oil, banana, maple syrup and eggs until totally combined. Then mix in all the remaining cake ingredients and spoon into the prepared tin. Bake for 1 hour or until springy when pressed lightly. Leave the cake to cool for 10 minute before turning out onto a cooling rack.

Now to make the frosting… Scoop the thick white layer of the chilled coconut milk into a mixing bowl, leaving the liquid behind. Whisk with an electric mixer until it becomes thick and creamy (liked whipped cream).

Then add the cream cheese, lime zest and maple syrup and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes whilst you’re waiting for the cake to cool.

When the cake is cool spread the frosting over the top and then serve!

carrot-cake-3

 

Brunch at The Grain Store

I love it when old friends come to visit me in London as it provides me with the perfect excuse to visit new restaurants and The Grain Store is somewhere I’ve been planning to visit for a while now. It’s only a few minutes walk from Kings Cross Station and is located next to Caravan in Granary Square.

It’s got high ceilings and big open windows, with exposed industrial steel pips and bare brick walls which both compliments and contrasts the choice of furnishings. All my friends who have been have raved about it, so it had some big shoes to fill.

the-grain-store

I simply adore the fact London is moving away from American diner staples and is shifting towards healthier eateries and The Grain Store is a perfect example of this. It’s great to see so many vegetarian dishes on a menu that look inspired; and whilst it’s not solely a vegetarian restaurant you could easily eat there as a vegetarian or vegan and feel that you have plenty to choose from. The menu is rather large and with so many inventive dishes to choose from, we were left pondering a little longer than usual over what you have.

sgrain-store-3

In the end I opted for the Kimchi Omelette which is topped with Smoked Salmon and a dollop of Crème Fraîche. I’ve never had Kimchi before so was keen to try something new, it’s basically a Korean spiced pickled cabbage – I loved my flavours in my dish.

the-grain-store-omlete

If you like sweet things, there’s the toasted banana loaf, vanilla ricotta, warm passion fruit sauce.

grain-store-banana-loaf

I already can’t wait to go back for dinner and try their surprise menu which is only £39 per person for six dishes!

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The Grain Store, Granary Square, 1-3 Stable St, London N1C 4AB

grain-store-sweet-pea

 

4 Ways to have Porridge

It’s September, which means it’s officially Autumn so I can start having porridge again for breakfast. It’s warning and indulgent – low in calories but high in fibre and protein, so what’s not to love?

I love topping it with fruits and nuts and it’s a great way to start a cold day in London. To create the perfect porridge I use the 2:1 method – 2 parts milk, 1 part oats.

All

Banana, Raisins, Peanut Butter and Cinnamon 

Banana

Blueberries, Sunflower Seeds and Honey

Blueberry

Raspberries and Coca Nibs

raspberry

Strawberries and Maple Syrup 

strawberry

 

 

Eat Smart | A guide to grab-and-go highstreet lunches

Not every lunch hour can include a perfectly meal-preped dish from home or a bespoke salad creation at a deli counter. Sometimes you have have 10 minutes to spare away from your desk and the high street is now doing worthy job of stocking its aisle with increasingly interesting and nutritionally sounding options that make that desk lunch a little bit less torturous. And so, here are some of my favourite options.

Pret

Grab the Roast Salmon and Avocado Superbowl. It’s a tasty mix of lentils and quinoa, topped with avocado, kale, edamame beans, a seed mix – and not to mention a hefty portion of brain boosting salmon. It’s got around 25g of protein and with healthy fats from the avocado, you’ll feel fuller for longer.

pret

Eat

Now the Miso and Tahini Beef Salad isn’t the healthiest of options from Eat, but it is by far my favourite. In the pot you’ll find black rice and colourful selection of vegetables like carrots, edamame beans, red peppers, broccoli and mixed leaves. It’s then topped with slices of rare beef. The dressing is by far the best bit, but is also the naughty part of the salad – it’s a rich and creamy and flavoured with miso and tahini, yum.

east

Itsu 

Whenever I walk into Itsu I can’t get salad, I just love sushi – I can’t get enough of it. I usually grab myself the Eat Beautiful Box. It’s filled with tuna and salmon sushi, salmon maki rolls and edamame beans. If I’m feeling particularity indulgent I go for the It’s Everything Box.

itsu

Leon

At Leon they have a huge variety of salads, but go for either the  Vietnamese Chicken Rice Noodle Salad (coming in at only 288 calories) or the Chargrilled Chicken and Chorizo Club Superfood Salad.

leon

Crussh

Now Crussh is usually the place I head to when I need breakfast on the go but they’re also great for lunch. Get their Beetroot and Goats Cheese Salad, it’s served with Harissa Yoghurt and Pomegrante on a bed on Quinoa. You also have to pick up one of their juices or smoothies whilst you’re here. My favourite is the ‘Fat Burner’ which consists of Apple Juice, Yoghurt, Bananas, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries and Cranberries.

crussh

Velvet Lattes at Palm Vaults

When I first spotted Palm Vaults over on Instagram, they jumped straight up to the top of my ‘places to visit’ list. It’s a picture-perfect independent coffee shop and although the place only opened recently, it’s already bustling. I look the mini pilgrimage to Hackney with my friend Serena to check out what the all the fuss is about.

palm vaults 2

It’s a house plant heaven, with pink velvet seats, pink marble tables, with touches of gold – a barbie’s paradise. It’s a beacon of pink against the mundane Hackney highstreet, and as you step inside you’re thrown back to Miami in the 1970s. I thought I’d find it quite kitsch, but I completely love it.

palm vaults

I opted for their most instagramed drink, the velvet latte, along with a side of avocado toast. It’s made with beetroot and if you love matcha, you’re going to relish this. They’re also known for their eclectic menu of smoothies and juices – which are incredibility refreshing.

palm vaults food

We were also tempted by their variety of cakes and naughty treats, and Serena went for their avocado chocolate cake, whereas I went for the salted caramel banana cake (after all, I couldn’t resist). Their cakes were SO good, plus the portions were huge! I’m gutted to say I wasn’t able to finish it all.

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Palm Vaults, 411 Mare St, London E8 1HY

palm vaults cake