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EAT WELL - FEEL GOOD - BE HAPPY
MOST RECIPES ARE GLUTEN FREE

RECIPES, PHOTOS & ALL OTHER CONTENT BY MICA FRANCIS-ANGEL

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Flourless 2-Ingredient Banana Pancakes topped with Raspberry and and Coconut sauceAfter hearing about these amazing two ingredient pancakes from my friend Bluebell Tinley, I decided I had to give them a try!Totally flourless, gluten free, dairy free, high protein and low carb, they make for a perfect breakfast, light lunch or pre/post workout meal.I was really impressed by this recipe - The only way I can think to describe the texture and taste is like a cross between banana fritters and eggy bread or french toast and it totally works.Give them a try!Ingredients(8-10 pancakes)Pancakes:1 Large, very ripe banana2 Medium eggs1tbsp Coconut OilToppings:2tbsp Coconut Milk1 Small handful of fresh raspberries1/2tsp Molasses  2tsp Dessicated coconut
1. Whizz together your banana and eggs in a food processor or mush together in a bowl until smooth2. Heat a frying pan with 1tbsp coconut oil to a medium heat3. Pour 2-3 tbsps of batter at a time to make pancakes ‘American pancake’ size. Cook until bottom appears to set (roughly 30 - 60secs), flip using a spatula and cook for another 30-60secs.4.  For your topping, put your fresh berries in a small  saucepan with 10ml of water and 1/2 tsp of molasses, cook over a low heat for a few mins until the raspberries start to break down.5. Take your berries off the heat and mix in a bowl with 2tbsp of coconut milk.6. Serve your pancakes, topped with your raspberry and coconut sauce, fresh fruit and a couple of teaspoons of dessicated coconut.

Flourless 2-Ingredient Banana Pancakes topped with Raspberry and and Coconut sauce

After hearing about these amazing two ingredient pancakes from my friend Bluebell Tinley, I decided I had to give them a try!
Totally flourless, gluten free, dairy free, high protein and low carb, they make for a perfect breakfast, light lunch or pre/post workout meal.

I was really impressed by this recipe - The only way I can think to describe the texture and taste is like a cross between banana fritters and eggy bread or french toast and it totally works.
Give them a try!

Ingredients

(8-10 pancakes)

Pancakes:
1 Large, very ripe banana
2 Medium eggs
1tbsp Coconut Oil

Toppings:
2tbsp Coconut Milk
1 Small handful of fresh raspberries
1/2tsp Molasses  
2tsp Dessicated coconut



1.
Whizz together your banana and eggs in a food processor or mush together in a bowl until smooth

2. Heat a frying pan with 1tbsp coconut oil to a medium heat

3. Pour 2-3 tbsps of batter at a time to make pancakes ‘American pancake’ size. Cook until bottom appears to set (roughly 30 - 60secs), flip using a spatula and cook for another 30-60secs.

4.  For your topping, put your fresh berries in a small
 saucepan with 10ml of water and 1/2 tsp of molasses, cook over a low heat for a few mins until the raspberries start to break down.

5. Take your berries off the heat and mix in a bowl with 2tbsp of coconut milk.

6. Serve your pancakes, topped with your raspberry and coconut sauce, fresh fruit and a couple of teaspoons of dessicated coconut.

Taint Magazine Feature - Tropical Baked Cod with a Mango, Strawberry & Chilli SalsaThe lovely guys at Taint Mag asked me to put together a tasty summer number to feature in the lifestyle chapter of their ‘Gender Issue’.I chose to make this delicious, colourful and zingy Tropical Baked Cod with a Mango, Strawberry and Chilli Salsa.A perfect summer stunner of a dish that is super healthy and packed with fresh flavours - mango, strawberry, coconut, fresh herbs, lime, peppers and succulent white fish.I had such a fun day shooting at my home with the very talented female photographer Bobby Monteverde (who shoots using a real film) and the results turned out beautifully! Here are a few of my favourite outtakes from the shoot:For the full feauture and recipe, grab yourself a copy of Taint Magazine #1 - The Gender Issue! www.taintmag.comBelow are some of my polaroid snaps from the Taint Mag Issue #1 Launch party at Box Studio in Shoreditch, London - July 2014Left to right: Taint duo Niall Underwood and Anna Taylor, Me with my copy of the mag, Me and Bobby MonteverdeLeft to right: Juia Keleher and Tobias Burraway, Diana Chire and Mary Ballantyne, Julia, Tobias and Me

Taint Magazine Feature -
Tropical Baked Cod with a Mango, Strawberry & Chilli Salsa

Mica Francis-Angel

The lovely guys at Taint Mag asked me to put together a tasty summer number to feature in the lifestyle chapter of their ‘Gender Issue’.
I chose to make this delicious, colourful and zingy Tropical Baked Cod with a Mango, Strawberry and Chilli Salsa.
A perfect summer stunner of a dish that is super healthy and packed with fresh flavours - mango, strawberry, coconut, fresh herbs, lime, peppers and succulent white fish.

I had such a fun day shooting at my home with the very talented female photographer Bobby Monteverde (who shoots using a real film) and the results turned out beautifully! 





Here are a few of my favourite outtakes from the shoot:

Mica Francis-Angel



Mica Francis-Angel

For the full feauture and recipe, grab yourself a copy of
Taint Magazine #1 - The Gender Issue! 
www.taintmag.com

Below are some of my polaroid snaps from the Taint Mag Issue #1 Launch party at Box Studio in Shoreditch, London - July 2014


Left to right: Taint duo Niall Underwood and Anna Taylor, Me with my copy of the mag, Me and Bobby Monteverde


Left to right: Juia Keleher and Tobias Burraway, Diana Chire and Mary Ballantyne, Julia, Tobias and Me


The Moo Man Screening at the European Commission Representation On the 2nd of July, I was invited (on behalf of the lovely people at Food & Thought) by UNRIC (United Nations Regional Information Centre) and Cine-ONU  team to attend the screening of ‘The Moo Man’, followed by a live discussion moderated by a rep from the World Food Program at the European Commission Representation to mark the International Year of Family Farming.
Check out my article on Food &Thought here:www.foodandthought.co.uk/the-moo-man-screening
A little more about Food & ThoughtFood & Thought are a North London food and drink online publication based in Crouch End. Inspired and influenced  by the instagram-foodie-generation, every week they post a whole host of lip-smacking articles from simple recipes to try at home to craft beer to street food reviews. Food & Thought like to keep it casual and tasty as well as seasonal with a focus on great, local produce. Let’s get thinking about food!www.foodandthought.co.uk

The Moo Man Screening at the European Commission Representation 

On the 2nd of July, I was invited (on behalf of the lovely people at Food & Thought) by UNRIC (United Nations Regional Information Centre) and Cine-ONU  team to attend the screening of ‘The Moo Man’, followed by a live discussion moderated by a rep from the World Food Program at the European Commission Representation to mark the International Year of Family Farming.


Check out my article on Food &Thought here:
www.foodandthought.co.uk/the-moo-man-screening


A little more about Food & Thought

Food & Thought are a North London food and drink online publication based in Crouch End. Inspired and influenced  by the instagram-foodie-generation, every week they post a whole host of lip-smacking articles from simple recipes to try at home to craft beer to street food reviews. Food & Thought like to keep it casual and tasty as well as seasonal with a focus on great, local produce. 
Let’s get thinking about food!
www.foodandthought.co.uk

Kale, Pomegranate and Pear Salad with Avocado and PistachiosThis zingy, colourful, raw vegan superfood salad is packed with nutritional powerhouses and bursting with summery flavours.Ingredients(Serves 4)Salad:4cups Kale 3cups Red cabbage 1 Pomegranate1 Red onion2 Pears1 Avocado1/2cup Pistachio nuts2cups Corriander (chopped)Dressing:1tbsp Homemade raw wholegrain mustard- (2tbsp mustard seeds, 5tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1tsp raw honey) 2tbsp Balsamic vinegar3tbsp Olive Oil1 Lime (juiced)1. To make your homemade, raw wholegrain mustard, soak mustard seeds in apple cider vinegar and leave overnight. Mix with 1tsp of raw honey.2. Prepare your salad ingredients - Roughly chop your kale, cabbage and coriander, finely slice red onion, cut your avocado and pears in to cubes (saving a few slices of pear for garnish) and de-seed your pomegranate. 3. Using a large salad bowl, throw together all your salad ingredients. 4. Whisk together your dressing and pour over your bowl of salad. Carefully toss your salad until nicely mixed.5. When serving, garnish with a few slices of pear and crushed pistachio nuts - And pretty flowers if you like!Note: If you are not in the mood for vegan, feta cheese is a great addition to this salad!I came up with the idea for this recipe on the bus after work and I actually think it may be one of my favourite new salads! It sure went down a treat with these two…My little kitchen helpers Rachael and Marco gave me a hand with some prep and creative direction before a nice evening catch up in my garden with some wine.

Kale, Pomegranate and Pear Salad with Avocado and Pistachios

This zingy, colourful, raw vegan superfood salad is packed with nutritional powerhouses and bursting with summery flavours.



Ingredients

(Serves 4)

Salad:
4cups Kale 
3cups Red cabbage 
1 Pomegranate
1 Red onion
2 Pears
1 Avocado
1/2cup Pistachio nuts
2cups Corriander (chopped)

Dressing:
1tbsp Homemade raw wholegrain mustard
- (2tbsp mustard seeds, 5tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1tsp raw honey) 
2tbsp Balsamic vinegar
3tbsp Olive Oil
1 Lime (juiced)

1. To make your homemade, raw wholegrain mustard, soak mustard seeds in apple cider vinegar and leave overnight. Mix with 1tsp of raw honey.

2. Prepare your salad ingredients - Roughly chop your kale, cabbage and coriander, finely slice red onion, cut your avocado and pears in to cubes (saving a few slices of pear for garnish) and de-seed your pomegranate. 

3. Using a large salad bowl, throw together all your salad ingredients. 

4. Whisk together your dressing and pour over your bowl of salad. Carefully toss your salad until nicely mixed.

5. When serving, garnish with a few slices of pear and crushed pistachio nuts - And pretty flowers if you like!



Note: If you are not in the mood for vegan, feta cheese is a great addition to this salad!



I came up with the idea for this recipe on the bus after work and I actually think it may be one of my favourite new salads! It sure went down a treat with these two…



My little kitchen helpers Rachael and Marco gave me a hand with some prep and creative direction before a nice evening catch up in my garden with some wine.

Spicy Peanut Pork Ramen(Serves 2)Ingredients 180g Rice noodles 1/4 Red chilli pepper (finely chopped)2 Spring onions (thinly sliced)2cups Baby spinach1/2tsp Chilli powder1tbsp Peri peri / chilli sauce (hot)1tbsp Peanut butter2cups Low sodium chicken broth600ml WaterFor the pork:2 Pork chops (boneless)2tsp Peanut butter1tsp Soy Sauce1tbsp Tomato Ketchup1/2tsp Chilli powderFor the miso base:1tbsp Dried seaweed1/4 cup Miso paste (gluten free)or2 Instant miso sachets (gluten free)
Note: For gluten free miso paste or instant miso sachets, I use the brand Clearsping1. Season pork chops with tomato ketchup, chilli powder and soy sauce. Grill for roughly 5 mins on each side. 2. Remove from grill and cover chops with a teaspoon of peanut butter on each side. Put back under grill for another 5mins on each side.Once cooked, thinly slice pork chops and sprinkle with seasame seeds3. While your pork chops are under the grill, bring 600ml of water in a pan to boil. Add your miso paste and seaweed or instant miso sachets.  Add 2 cups of chicken stock, chilli powder and finely chopped chilli pepper, bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5mins.4. Add your rice noodles to the broth. Cook these for 8mins.5. Combine your broth, noodles, spring onions and a handful of baby spinach to your serving bowl, place a sliced pork chop on top. Optional: Sprinkle with extra sesame seeds. Add a couple of slices of chilli for decoration

Spicy Peanut Pork Ramen

(Serves 2)

Ingredients 

180g Rice noodles 
1/4 Red chilli pepper (finely chopped)
2 Spring onions (thinly sliced)
2cups Baby spinach
1/2tsp Chilli powder
1tbsp Peri peri / chilli sauce (hot)

1tbsp Peanut butter
2cups Low sodium chicken broth

600ml Water


For the pork:
2 Pork chops (boneless)
2tsp Peanut butter
1tsp Soy Sauce
1tbsp Tomato Ketchup
1/2tsp Chilli powder

For the miso base:
1tbsp Dried seaweed
1/4 cup Miso paste (gluten free)
or
2 Instant miso sachets (gluten free)

Note: For gluten free miso paste or instant miso sachets, I use the brand Clearsping



1. Season pork chops with tomato ketchup, chilli powder and soy sauce. Grill for roughly 5 mins on each side. 

2. 
Remove from grill and cover chops with a teaspoon of peanut butter on each side. Put back under grill for another 5mins on each side.
Once cooked, thinly slice pork chops and sprinkle with seasame seeds

3. While your pork chops are under the grill,
 bring 600ml of water in a pan to boil. Add your miso paste and seaweed or instant miso sachets.  Add 2 cups of chicken stock, chilli powder and finely chopped chilli pepper, bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5mins.

4. Add your rice noodles to the broth. Cook these for 8mins.

5. 
Combine your broth, noodles, spring onions and a handful of baby spinach to your serving bowl, place a sliced pork chop on top.



Optional: Sprinkle with extra sesame seeds. Add a couple of slices of chilli for decoration


Ackee and Saltfish with Steamed SpinachGrowing up, Ackee and Saltfish was my absolute favourite Carribean dish that my grandma would make. Years later, I still cant get enough.As much as I love Carribean food, its unfortunate that so much of it can be quite unhealthy - So I wanted to make this recipe for Ackee and Saltfish not just tasty but also super healthy, fresh and light.In this way it was more of a lunch but could easily be adapted in to a dinner with the addition of some brown rice.It went down a treat and got Grandma’s seal of approval… Now, that’s saying something!(Serves 3)Ingredients350g Salted cod cutlets450g Ackee (tinned)1 Scotch bonnet pepper 2 Tomatoes (medium)1 Red Bell Pepper1 Green Bell Pepper1/3 cup Fresh thyme (chopped)1 Onion1/2 Lime300g Baby spinach 1tbsp Coconut OilOptional:1 lime (cut in to flower shapes)Sprinkle of black cracked pepper1. Place the salted cod cutlets in a pan and cover with boiling water, leave to simmer for 25-30mins. 2. Use this time to dice your onion, bell peppers, tomatoes and finely chop your scotch bonnet pepper and fresh thyme.3. After boiling, drain your cod then rinse under cool water and squeeze dry. Remove any bones or skin. Using a fork roughly break apart the cutlets in to large flakes.4. In a large saucepan, heat the coconut oil. Add your onions and bell peppers and cook on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until softened.5. Add the tomatoes, scotch bonnet pepper and fresh thyme to your saucepan and stir well.6. Add the flaked salted cod, fresh thyme and 1/2 juiced lime to the pan. Cook for 2mins 7. Drain and rinse the ackee and add this to your saucepan last.8. Carefully stir all ingredients together - try not to break up the ackee too much as this can turn in to a big mush! Cook for 4-5mins.9. Steam your spinach for 1min.10. Serve your ackee and saltfish mixture in the centre of a bed of steamed baby spinach. Optional: Garnish with cracked black pepper, thyme leaves and a lime  flower.Fun fact: Ackee, although eaten as a vegetable, is in fact a fruit! Not just any fruit but the national fruit of Jamaica!

Ackee and Saltfish with Steamed Spinach

Growing up, Ackee and Saltfish was my absolute favourite Carribean dish that my grandma would make. Years later, I still cant get enough.
As much as I love Carribean food, its unfortunate that so much of it can be quite unhealthy - So I wanted to make this recipe for Ackee and Saltfish not just tasty but also super healthy, fresh and light.
In this way it was more of a lunch but could easily be adapted in to a dinner with the addition of some brown rice.
It went down a treat and got Grandma’s seal of approval…
Now, that’s saying something!



(Serves 3)
Ingredients
350g Salted cod cutlets
450g Ackee (tinned)
1 Scotch bonnet pepper 
2 Tomatoes (medium)
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Green Bell Pepper
1/3 cup Fresh thyme (chopped)
1 Onion
1/2 Lime
300g Baby spinach 
1tbsp Coconut Oil

Optional:
1 lime (cut in to flower shapes)
Sprinkle of black cracked pepper

1. Place the salted cod cutlets in a pan and cover with boiling water, leave to simmer for 25-30mins. 

2. Use this time to dice your onion, bell peppers, tomatoes and finely chop your scotch bonnet pepper and fresh thyme.



3. After boiling, drain your cod then rinse under cool water and squeeze dry. Remove any bones or skin. Using a fork roughly break apart the cutlets in to large flakes.

4. In a large saucepan, heat the coconut oil. Add your onions and bell peppers and cook on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until softened.

5. Add the tomatoes, scotch bonnet pepper and fresh thyme to your saucepan and stir well.

6. Add the flaked salted cod, fresh thyme and 1/2 juiced lime to the pan. Cook for 2mins 

7. Drain and rinse the ackee and add this to your saucepan last.

8. Carefully stir all ingredients together - try not to break up the ackee too much as this can turn in to a big mush! Cook for 4-5mins.

9. Steam your spinach for 1min.

10. Serve your ackee and saltfish mixture in the centre of a bed of steamed baby spinach. 



Optional: Garnish with cracked black pepper, thyme leaves and a lime  flower.

Fun fact: Ackee, although eaten as a vegetable, is in fact a fruit! Not just any fruit but the national fruit of Jamaica!

Foodies Festival at Marble Hill House - 25th May 2014

Over the bank holiday weekend, my friend Julia and I attended the UK’s largest food & drink festival, which featured masterclasses with top chefs, pop-up restaurants, live entertainment and more.
We had a wonderful time and all in all, it was a perfect day - Fantastic weather (for the UK at least!), lovely people, good music, a whole array of tasty food and drinks and a chance to meet some top chefs and get some top tips too!

Here are some photos from our day at Foodies Festival 2014:


Above: Masterclass with top chef Carlo Scotto of Mayfair restaurant Babbo





Above: Here I am, taking part in a little live cooking contest where I was questioned on my ‘ninjahood’ and over use of chilli


Above: Me and Julia, enjoying some rose tea and gluten-free orange sponge cake at Vintage Feast




Above: Pimms o’clock on the open top double decker bus




Above: Amazing authentic food from around the world
Top - Pomegranate, Lebanese cuisine 
Bottom - Cater Bites, Caribbean cuisine 


Above: Custom Creams, where we created our own flavoured liquid nitrogen sorbet and ice cream - Mine: Elderflower & Mango Sorbet, Julia’s: Salt & Toffee Caramel


Above: An incredible range of unusual herbs, one of our favourites was the Pinapple Sage


Above: This little cutie was helping out with some food prep at the Deli Jerk Centre stall


Above: Julia enjoying a yummy cocktail at Riot bar, where they were playing some tunes that had people dancing in to the evening


Find out more about Foodies Festival: www.foodiesfestival.com

Summer Fruit and Nut Breakfast Bowl with Strawberries, Banana, Kiwi, Pecans and CoconutStart your morning with this summery, nutritious, gluten-free muesli breakfast bowl!Ingredients1 cup Crisped rice1/2 cup Sultanas1/4 cup Pumpkin seeds1/4 cup Sunflower seeds1/4 cup Linseeds1 tbsp Desiccated coconut1 tbsp Chia seeds1/4 cup of Pecan nuts1/2 Banana4 Strawberries1/2 Kiwi1 cup Almond milk1. Mix together the base of your muesli in a bowl - crisped rice, sultanas, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and linseeds.2. Slice up the banana, strawberries and kiwi, arrange on top of the muesli along with the pecan nuts.3. Sprinkle chia seeds and desiccated coconut over the fruit. Pour in almond milk.Optional: Decorate with a pretty summer flower!

Summer Fruit and Nut Breakfast Bowl with Strawberries, Banana, Kiwi, Pecans and Coconut

Start your morning with this summery, nutritious, gluten-free muesli breakfast bowl!



Ingredients
1 cup Crisped rice
1/2 cup Sultanas
1/4 cup Pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup Sunflower seeds
1/4 cup Linseeds
1 tbsp Desiccated coconut
1 tbsp Chia seeds
1/4 cup of Pecan nuts
1/2 Banana
4 Strawberries
1/2 Kiwi
1 cup Almond milk

1. Mix together the base of your muesli in a bowl - crisped rice, sultanas, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and linseeds.

2. Slice up the banana, strawberries and kiwi, arrange on top of the muesli along with the pecan nuts.

3. Sprinkle chia seeds and desiccated coconut over the fruit. Pour in almond milk.


Optional: Decorate with a pretty summer flower!

Interview: Q&A with Nom Foods founder Steph Croft-SimonNom Foods are an organic and ‘free from’ brand who’s products are packed with superfood goodness, 100% GMO free and ethically sourced ingredients. Who doesn’t love guilt-free treats?!I had a chat with founder Steph Croft-Simon to find out more about why she started the company and what exactly makes Nom products so special.1. What inspired you to create Nom Foods?I developed allergies in my early twenties while I was at university, around the same time that my Mum was diagnosed with cancer. As a family, we had always eaten a healthy diet, but it was at this point that we took more of an active interest in diet and nutrition. I cut out dairy, refined sugars and wheat from my diet and immediately saw that changes. I wanted to make free-from foods which were appealing to everyone, not just those with an allergy or intolerance. I chose some of my favourite superfoods and started developing recipes and products. 
2. What makes Nom Foods special?Nom Foods is special because our products are 100% organic, vegan and ethical. They taste good and also do good. We believe that you shouldn’t have to choose between taste, health and convenience. I knew from my own personal experience that there was a gap in the market for what we are offering and we are all about making it easier for people who are on specific diets.  
3. What is a Nom Bar? A nom bar is 52 grams of pure, organic, vegan, ethical deliciousness! Made without dairy or refined sugars and packed with superfoods like coconut oil, cacao nibs and cacao powder. It is a slow-releasing and convenient way to get some nutritious ingredients down you, while you’re on the go.
4. Tell me more about the new Nom Granola…Nom granola is packed with omega 3, antioxidants and superfoods, like the bars. It’s also vegan, organic and made using ethically sourced ingredients. We pride ourselves on creating innovative products and being the first to use ingredients in different ways - e.g. our use of coconut oil in the bars which allows us to ditch the dairy.
5. How important is it to eat organic?We believe it’s very important to eat organic, GMO free food wherever possible. Organic food is food which is produced using environmentally friendly and animal friendly farming methods and we believe that this way of farming and eating is best - not only for your body, but for the planet too! All of our products are certified organic by the Soil Association and we are very proud to display their logo.
6. Why is fair trade and ethically sourcing food so important?It’s important because it means that as a brand, you’ve consciously sourced ingredients which aren’t necessarily just the cheapest, but ones which are doing some good - for the people who farm it, the environment etc. The fact that we ethically source ingredients not only means that we can maintain our integrity and stay true to our values as a business, but also that our ingredients have a brilliant story behind them. I also think that consumers are looking for more from food brands these days - there are lots of organic products on the market - but to say that we’re also using ethical ingredients adds an extra string to the nom bow!
7. What are three of your favourite ingredients?Coconut oil, Cacao Nibs and Cacao powder. Good job nom bars contain them all!8. Any nutritional secret weapons?The wonderful coconut! Raw, Organic, extra virgin Coconut oil - for frying, baking, roasting chickens, spreading on toast - we use it for everything! Studies show it can boost immunity, act as an antibiotic and help regulate blood sugar levels. We also love raw coconut water for hydrating because it’s full of electrolytes and fresh coconut chunks as a snack!
You can find Nom Foods products at Planet Organic stores, Whole Foods stores, and lots of independent health food stores, cafes, gyms and delis! See www.nomfoods.co.uk for a full list of stockists and more info.

Interview: Q&A with Nom Foods founder Steph Croft-Simon
Nom Foods are an organic and ‘free from’ brand who’s products are packed with superfood goodness, 100% GMO free and ethically sourced ingredients.
Who doesn’t love guilt-free treats?!
I had a chat with founder Steph Croft-Simon to find out more about why she started the company and what exactly makes Nom products so special.
1. What inspired you to create Nom Foods?
I developed allergies in my early twenties while I was at university, around the same time that my Mum was diagnosed with cancer. As a family, we had always eaten a healthy diet, but it was at this point that we took more of an active interest in diet and nutrition. I cut out dairy, refined sugars and wheat from my diet and immediately saw that changes. I wanted to make free-from foods which were appealing to everyone, not just those with an allergy or intolerance. I chose some of my favourite superfoods and started developing recipes and products. 

2. What makes Nom Foods special?
Nom Foods is special because our products are 100% organic, vegan and ethical. They taste good and also do good. We believe that you shouldn’t have to choose between taste, health and convenience. I knew from my own personal experience that there was a gap in the market for what we are offering and we are all about making it easier for people who are on specific diets.  

3. What is a Nom Bar? 
A nom bar is 52 grams of pure, organic, vegan, ethical deliciousness! Made without dairy or refined sugars and packed with superfoods like coconut oil, cacao nibs and cacao powder. It is a slow-releasing and convenient way to get some nutritious ingredients down you, while you’re on the go.

4. Tell me more about the new Nom Granola…
Nom granola is packed with omega 3, antioxidants and superfoods, like the bars. It’s also vegan, organic and made using ethically sourced ingredients. We pride ourselves on creating innovative products and being the first to use ingredients in different ways - e.g. our use of coconut oil in the bars which allows us to ditch the dairy.

5. How important is it to eat organic?
We believe it’s very important to eat organic, GMO free food wherever possible. Organic food is food which is produced using environmentally friendly and animal friendly farming methods and we believe that this way of farming and eating is best - not only for your body, but for the planet too! All of our products are certified organic by the Soil Association and we are very proud to display their logo.

6. Why is fair trade and ethically sourcing food so important?
It’s important because it means that as a brand, you’ve consciously sourced ingredients which aren’t necessarily just the cheapest, but ones which are doing some good - for the people who farm it, the environment etc. The fact that we ethically source ingredients not only means that we can maintain our integrity and stay true to our values as a business, but also that our ingredients have a brilliant story behind them. I also think that consumers are looking for more from food brands these days - there are lots of organic products on the market - but to say that we’re also using ethical ingredients adds an extra string to the nom bow!

7. What are three of your favourite ingredients?
Coconut oil, Cacao Nibs and Cacao powder. Good job nom bars contain them all!

8. Any nutritional secret weapons?
The wonderful coconut! Raw, Organic, extra virgin Coconut oil - for frying, baking, roasting chickens, spreading on toast - we use it for everything! Studies show it can boost immunity, act as an antibiotic and help regulate blood sugar levels. We also love raw coconut water for hydrating because it’s full of electrolytes and fresh coconut chunks as a snack!


You can find Nom Foods products at Planet Organic stores, Whole Foods stores, and lots of independent health food stores, cafes, gyms and delis! See www.nomfoods.co.uk for a full list of stockists and more info.

Super Berry Smoothie(Serves 2)Ingredients1 cup Blueberries1 cup Strawberries1 Passion Fruit1/2 cup Blackberries1/2 cup Redcurrants1/2 cup Blackcurrants1/2 AvocadoLarge handful of Kale 1/4 cup Goji berries1/4 cup Chia seeds 400ml Coconut waterOptional: An extra sprinkle of chia seeds and a slice of strawberry for garnish1. Whizz all ingredients together using a blender. Feel free to add a little more or less of each ingredient according to taste.2. Pour in to a glass, garnish with a sprinkle of chia seeds and a slice of strawberry

Super Berry Smoothie

(Serves 2)

Ingredients
1 cup Blueberries
1 cup Strawberries
1 Passion Fruit
1/2 cup Blackberries
1/2 cup Redcurrants
1/2 cup Blackcurrants
1/2 Avocado
Large handful of Kale
1/4 cup Goji berries
1/4 cup Chia seeds
400ml Coconut water

Optional: An extra sprinkle of chia seeds and a slice of strawberry for garnish

1. Whizz all ingredients together using a blender. Feel free to add a little more or less of each ingredient according to taste.

2. Pour in to a glass, garnish with a sprinkle of chia seeds and a slice of strawberry


Smoked Salmon, Poached Egg and AvocadoSuch a simple and delightful breakfast - A great way to start the day!I also topped my egg with fresh dill and chives for a little flavour boost.Some people can find poached eggs a little tricky, so here’s a guide of how I make mine.Poached EggsIngredients1 Egg 1tbsp Rice vinegar (or cider vinegar)1tsp Sea salt1. Fill a deep pan with 4/5 inches of boiling water from the kettle. Bring it to a light simmer over a medium heat, add a pinch of sea salt and 1tbsp of rice vinegar. 2. Crack your egg into a cup and gently pour it into the water in one fluid movement. Leave to cook for roughly 3-4mins.3. To check whether its done, remove carefully from the pan with a slotted spoon and give it a gentle push with a teaspoon. If it feels too soft (use your instincts), put it back in for another minute or so.Note: When serving, I like to pop a little hole in my poached egg so the yummy golden yolk oozes out.

Smoked Salmon, Poached Egg and Avocado

Such a simple and delightful breakfast - A great way to start the day!
I also topped my egg with fresh dill and chives for a little flavour boost.

Some people can find poached eggs a little tricky, so here’s a guide of how I make mine.

Poached Eggs

Ingredients
1 Egg 
1tbsp Rice vinegar (or cider vinegar)
1tsp Sea salt

1. Fill a deep pan with 4/5 inches of boiling water from the kettle. Bring it to a light simmer over a medium heat, add a pinch of sea salt and 1tbsp of rice vinegar. 

2. Crack your egg into a cup and gently pour it into the water in one fluid movement. Leave to cook for roughly 3-4mins.

3. To check whether its done, remove carefully from the pan with a slotted spoon and give it a gentle push with a teaspoon. If it feels too soft (use your instincts), put it back in for another minute or so.

Note: When serving, I like to pop a little hole in my poached egg so the yummy golden yolk oozes out.

Avocado and Blueberry MuffinsI went to visit one of my oldest and dearest friends Helly for a catch up last night - After a lovely dinner, we drank a couple of bottles of wine and decided to make these delicious muffins while very drunk. We threw the original recipe out the window and made this one up ourselves!FYI: Helly is lactose intolerant so this recipe is lactose-free! Yipee! Ingredients (Makes 12)
Muffin Ingredients:2 cups All-purpose flour2 tsp Baking powder1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda1/2 tsp Salt1tsp Ground cinnamon (optional)1 Ripe avocado (seeded,peeled and cut in to chunks)1/2 cup Sugar2 tsp Vanilla extract2 cups Fresh blueberries1 Egg1 cup Soya milk2 tbsp Soya butter
Topping Ingredients:2 Tbsp. melted butter2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour2 Tbsp. granulated sugarIcing:2 cups Icing sugar1/4 cup Water1.Preheat oven to 190°C / Gas Mark 5. Line a muffin tray with 12 paper liners.2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon, egg, vanilla and avocado. Using an electric mixer (or a regular whisk as we did) beat together these ingredients until completely combined and smooth.3. Chuck in your blueberries and fold them in to the mixture using a large spoon.4. Scoop the batter carefully in to your muffin cases, leaving a thin rim around each case. 5. Quickly mix together topping ingredients and sprinkle over your cupcakes before popping them in the oven.6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes.7. Mix together your icing, if the icing looks a little too runny just add more icing sugar until it thickens (We didn’t measure this part very well as we were quite drunk by this point!). 8. Zig-zag your icing over your cupcakes. Leave to stand for 10mins.

Avocado and Blueberry Muffins

I went to visit one of my oldest and dearest friends Helly for a catch up last night - After a lovely dinner, we drank a couple of bottles of wine and decided to make these delicious muffins while very drunk. We threw the original recipe out the window and made this one up ourselves!
FYI: Helly is lactose intolerant so this recipe is lactose-free! Yipee! 

Helly Cole

Ingredients 
(Makes 12)

Muffin Ingredients:
2 cups All-purpose flour
2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1tsp Ground cinnamon (optional)
1 Ripe avocado (seeded,peeled and cut in to chunks)
1/2 cup Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 cups Fresh blueberries
1 Egg
1 cup Soya milk
2 tbsp Soya butter

Topping Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. melted butter
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

Icing:
2 cups Icing sugar
1/4 cup Water

avocado blueberry cupcakes

1.Preheat oven to 190°C / Gas Mark 5. Line a muffin tray with 12 paper liners.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, b
icarbonate of soda, sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon, egg, vanilla and avocado. Using an electric mixer (or a regular whisk as we did) beat together these ingredients until completely combined and smooth.

Helly Cole Whisking Batter

3. Chuck in your blueberries and fold them in to the mixture using a large spoon.

4. Scoop the batter carefully in to your muffin cases, leaving a thin rim around each case. 

5. Quickly mix together topping ingredients and sprinkle over your cupcakes before popping them in the oven.

6. 
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes.

7. Mix together your icing, if the icing looks a little too runny just add more icing sugar until it thickens (We didn’t measure this part very well as we were quite drunk by this point!). 

8. Zig-zag your icing over your cupcakes. Leave to stand for 10mins.

avocado blueberry muffins

Prosciutto, Goats Cheese, Fig and Rocket Pizza with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Sauce(Gluten Free) (Serves 4)IngredientsBase:400g Gluten-free flour 1tsp Salt4 tbsp Olive oil7g sachet Fast-action dried yeast2 tbsp Fresh rosemary (chopped)2 tbsp Fresh thyme (chopped)2 tsp Ground black pepper250-300ml Warm waterSauce:3 tbsp Tomato puree4 tbsp Sundried tomato pesto6 Cherry tomatoes1 Cup fresh oregano (finely chopped)Toppings4 Figs ( each sliced in to 4/6)1 Red Onion (thinly sliced)200g Goats Cheese (crumbled)330g Cherry tomatoes160g Prosciutto (roughly torn)4 Handfuls of rocketBalsamic vinegarParmesan shavings / grated (optional)1. Making the base - Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Add the flour, salt, olive oil, yeast, thyme, rosemary and pepper into a food processor, pulse until well mixed. With the motor still running, add enough water to bring the flour to a soft, but not sticky dough. Take out dough and put onto a work surface, knead until it comes together.2. Split the dough in to 4 even balls. If you only have one shelf in your oven and are cooking in batches, wrap 3 in cling film. Roll out each ball of dough directly onto lightly oiled baking sheets into very thin 25cm/10in rounds. Leave to stand for 10 mins. Bake in the hot oven for 10 mins.3. While your base is in the oven, whizz together all the ingredients for your sauce using a food processor. 4. Take out your base from the oven and spread your tomato pesto sauce over your pizza, leaving a thin rim around the edges.5. Add all your pizza toppings except the rocket and parmesan, preferably arrange with figs on top. Put your pizza in the oven and bake for 10-15mins.
6. Take out your pizza and top with the rocket leaves, a splash of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of grated parmesan. Serve with a green salad.

Prosciutto, Goats Cheese, Fig and Rocket Pizza with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Sauce

(Gluten Free) 
(Serves 4)

Ingredients
Base:
400g Gluten-free flour 
1tsp Salt
4 tbsp Olive oil
7g sachet Fast-action dried yeast
2 tbsp Fresh rosemary (chopped)
2 tbsp Fresh thyme (chopped)
2 tsp Ground black pepper
250-300ml Warm water

Sauce:
3 tbsp Tomato puree
4 tbsp Sundried tomato pesto
6 Cherry tomatoes
1 Cup fresh oregano (finely chopped)

Toppings
4 Figs ( each sliced in to 4/6)
1 Red Onion (thinly sliced)
200g Goats Cheese (crumbled)
330g Cherry tomatoes
160g Prosciutto (roughly torn)
4 Handfuls of rocket
Balsamic vinegar
Parmesan shavings / grated (optional)

gluten-free pizza

1. Making the base - Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Add the flour, salt, olive oil, yeast, thyme, rosemary and pepper into a food processor, pulse until well mixed. With the motor still running, add enough water to bring the flour to a soft, but not sticky dough.
Take out dough and put onto a work surface, knead until it comes together.

2. Split the dough in to 4 even balls. If you only have one shelf in your oven and are cooking in batches, wrap 3 in cling film. Roll out each ball of dough directly onto lightly oiled baking sheets into very thin 25cm/10in rounds. Leave to stand for 10 mins. Bake in the hot oven for 10 mins.

3. While your base is in the oven, whizz together all the ingredients for your sauce using a food processor. 

4. Take out your base from the oven and spread your tomato pesto sauce over your pizza, leaving a thin rim around the edges.

5. Add all your pizza toppings except the rocket and parmesan, preferably arrange with figs on top. Put your pizza in the oven and bake for 10-15mins.

6. Take out your pizza and top with the rocket leaves, a splash of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of grated parmesan.
Serve with a green salad.

fresh gluten free pizza

Interview: Q&A With Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor LJ of Wildcat FitnessI caught up with West-London based female PT and Fitness Instructor  LJ, to find out more about how to she achieves the purr-fect lean, strong, toned body and how she stays full of energy, the Wildcat way!1. Why and how did you become a personal trainer? Why is a healthy lifestyle so important to you?I previously worked in media and although I loved fitness I couldn’t seem to make time for the gym - my diet consisted of rich client dinners and unhealthy ‘on the run’ snacks. I was relying on caffeine and sugar to keep me going through my long days. I was permanently tired, lacking energy and I couldn’t lose weight. I decided to hire a Personal Trainer and within 6 months had lost a a stone and a half, dropped two dress sizes and was bouncing out of bed in the mornings. My PT turned my life around! I knew then I wanted to help other people in the same way.I started out as a fitness instructor - teaching Body Pump and Body Attack in gyms across London part-time around my day job.However, working with people to help them reach their goals was so satisfying that I decided to leave my office job to devote myself full-time to health and fitness. Feeling as I do now - healthy and energised and at the size I want to be - I just can’t imagine feeling any other way and so therefore a healthy lifestyle is always my top priority. I have never looked back!
2. How important is diet when training? Are abs really made in the kitchen?That is a phrase you hear all the time in the media - but with good reason - Yes, it is true. You really can’t out-exercise a bad diet, and no matter how hard you train. But I feel the word “diet” is a negative one as people often associate it with starving themselves, which is also a bad thing when living an active lifestyle. You need to fuel your body both with energy for your workouts and your recovery period afterwards. It sometimes shocks my clients when I tell them they need to eat more! But as long as you are eating the right foods for your activity levels you really don’t have to starve yourself. It’s all about moderation. 
3. What is your philosophy on food and cooking?Generally I follow the 80/20 rule - eating as healthily as possible 80% of the time, but allowing for “real life” too - you can’t escape birthday parties, holidays or other social occasions where there is likely to be foods and drinks you wouldn’t ordinarily have. But, in moderation these really aren’t going to do you much harm - I just spend a little longer in the gym the next day! It’s only when these things become the norm that we start to have a problem. I try to be realistic in my approach - if you control every mouthful, every calorie and feel hungry and miserable most of the time then the minute temptation is in front of you bad things will happen - believe me, I have been there! Strict starvation-led diets are not a long term solution and often those who crash diet end up putting the weight they have lost back on, and often even more. Lack of fuel sends the body into starvation mode to protect itself and ultimately does not lead to weight loss, nor does it help with training as your body literally doesn’t have the energy to make it through the workout. I try to eat as “clean” as possible - eating as much fresh, natural food as I can. Plenty of fish, vegetables, fruit and natural grains. I make sure I eat plenty of good fats - avocados, nuts, coconut oil, fish etc - as our bodies need fat to digest fat. I choose not to eat meat for ethical reasons but don’t judge those that do. 
4. Do you have any particular diet restrictions?I try to eat gluten-free as I suffer from IBS which seems to be aggravated by excessive gluten consumption. My digestion functions much better without it and the choice of gluten-free food available is fantastic and not at all restrictive. I choose not to eat meat - but as I said before - that’s an emotional rather than a dietary decision!5. How would you describe the current clean and healthy living movement? Why do you think is it becoming more and more popular?I think people are starting to realise how precious their health is - In reality none of us have time to be sick, or functioning at less than full capacity. I do think people are starting to appreciate that what they put in their mouths on a day to day basis has a direct relationship with how they feel. Of course the media has it’s part to play and celebrity culture too - who hasn’t seen snaps of every Hollywood starlet leaving a yoga class in their shades clutching a green juice over the past few months?! This of course has an effect and an influence - but in this case I believe a positive one. Healthier food is more readily available now - before things like gluten or dairy free produce or items like quinoa or coconut oil or flaxseeds were the preserve of dusty health food shops that weren’t “cool” or accessible - now you can find these items in your local supermarket. I do believe social media has helped also - people joke about the inordinate amount of food photos on Instagram, but when you’re sharing your dinner for the world to see, wouldn’t you feel better if it was steamed white fish and asparagus rather than a Dominoes and a milkshake? 
6. What are your top pre-exercise snacks to fuel a workout?I usually have something with a little protein and a little complex carbs to burn to fuel performance - If I’m in a rush that could be a piece of fruit and handful of nuts or some greek yogurt and berries or gluten free rice cakes and sugar-free peanut butter or a home made granola bar with oats, seeds and coconut oil. 7. What are your top post-workout snacks/ meals? I try to consume some form or protein within 20 minutes of my workout - usually this is in the form of a shake which I make with either coconut or almond milk, or a protein bar (I swear by Quest bars which taste amazing but are gluten free with no refined sugar). If available, then prawns are a great pure protein hit, as is a handful of almonds and brazil nuts. 
8. Any nutritional secret weapons?Stay hydrated! So many people mistake thirst for hunger - If you feel hungry, drink a glass of water. Chances are that will kill the craving. If you don’t like plain water add some citrus slices (lemon or lime are great), or mint leaves, chopped ginger, strawberry and cucumber slices…. whatever takes your fancy. So refreshing! (See Post: Fruit Infused Water)I love quinoa too - it’s as versatile as rice but with so much more protein, and chia seeds - especially soaked in coconut milk with some cinnamon and vanilla. The seeds soak up the liquid and create a gorgeous pudding like texture. Guilt-free dessert!
9. What are the most common mistakes that can easily be avoided when trying to keep fit?Poor technique can be a big barrier to success - lifting weights and lifting weights correctly are two very different things. If you’re not sure if you’re doing something right then ask someone on your gym floor, or book a one off PT session and ask to learn basic exercise techniques.Repetitive training is also damaging - your body will adapt quickly and your results will plateau. Mix it up - shock your body - it will have to constantly adapt and this will result in increased fitness and stamina in a much shorter time. Recovery - if you are training hard enough, your body will need a complete break sometimes. I recommend two clear rest days a week. Your body needs time to repair and recover, so that you can come back to your next workout strong and fully fit - this will prevent injuries and allow you to keep pushing your boundaries.
10. What are your three top tips for maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle?Consistency - don’t start like a bull in a china shop - 6 workouts a week and a 1000 calorie a day diet - you will crash and burn after a couple of weeks. Commit to something you can be consistent with - if that’s only two workouts a week to start with that is still much better than nothing.Small steps - it might begin with taking the lift instead of the stairs, or walking the last few stops instead of getting the bus all the way home, that might become a 20 minute jog once a week, which might become two circuit classes a week, which might lead to hitting the gym floor to starting weight training, which could become your first marathon. Who knows? The point is, if you start small and make continuous changes that YOU can keep up, then fitness will soon become a part of your lifestyle without you having to “make time” for it. The more you stay active the more energy you have - it’s a positive snowball effect!Keep it clean in the kitchen - as I said at the start, you can’t out exercise a bad diet - so don’t undo your hard work with “treats” for working out - eat clean as much as you can and you will feel nourished, energised, look leaner and feel much more confident to make healthy choices. And lastly - I know you only asked for three - but Don’t Give Up! A healthy life is sometimes not the easiest one, but remember, looking great feels great! So don’t be too hard on yourself, forgive the occasional slip up and keep active! You can do it!
Find out more about LJ and Wildcat Fitness at www.wildcatfitness.co.uk

Interview: Q&A With Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor LJ of Wildcat Fitness
I caught up with West-London based female PT and Fitness Instructor  LJ, to find out more about how to she achieves the purr-fect lean, strong, toned body and how she stays full of energy, the Wildcat way!

1. Why and how did you become a personal trainer? Why is a healthy lifestyle so important to you?
I previously worked in media and although I loved fitness I couldn’t seem to make time for the gym - my diet consisted of rich client dinners and unhealthy ‘on the run’ snacks. I was relying on caffeine and sugar to keep me going through my long days. I was permanently tired, lacking energy and I couldn’t lose weight. I decided to hire a Personal Trainer and within 6 months had lost a a stone and a half, dropped two dress sizes and was bouncing out of bed in the mornings. My PT turned my life around! I knew then I wanted to help other people in the same way.
I started out as a fitness instructor - teaching Body Pump and Body Attack in gyms across London part-time around my day job.
However, working with people to help them reach their goals was so satisfying that I decided to leave my office job to devote myself full-time to health and fitness. Feeling as I do now - healthy and energised and at the size I want to be - I just can’t imagine feeling any other way and so therefore a healthy lifestyle is always my top priority. I have never looked back!

2. How important is diet when training? Are abs really made in the kitchen?
That is a phrase you hear all the time in the media - but with good reason - Yes, it is true. You really can’t out-exercise a bad diet, and no matter how hard you train. But I feel the word “diet” is a negative one as people often associate it with starving themselves, which is also a bad thing when living an active lifestyle. You need to fuel your body both with energy for your workouts and your recovery period afterwards. It sometimes shocks my clients when I tell them they need to eat more! But as long as you are eating the right foods for your activity levels you really don’t have to starve yourself. It’s all about moderation. 

3. What is your philosophy on food and cooking?
Generally I follow the 80/20 rule - eating as healthily as possible 80% of the time, but allowing for “real life” too - you can’t escape birthday parties, holidays or other social occasions where there is likely to be foods and drinks you wouldn’t ordinarily have. But, in moderation these really aren’t going to do you much harm - I just spend a little longer in the gym the next day! It’s only when these things become the norm that we start to have a problem. I try to be realistic in my approach - if you control every mouthful, every calorie and feel hungry and miserable most of the time then the minute temptation is in front of you bad things will happen - believe me, I have been there! Strict starvation-led diets are not a long term solution and often those who crash diet end up putting the weight they have lost back on, and often even more. Lack of fuel sends the body into starvation mode to protect itself and ultimately does not lead to weight loss, nor does it help with training as your body literally doesn’t have the energy to make it through the workout. 
I try to eat as “clean” as possible - eating as much fresh, natural food as I can. Plenty of fish, vegetables, fruit and natural grains. 
I make sure I eat plenty of good fats - avocados, nuts, coconut oil, fish etc - as our bodies need fat to digest fat. 
I choose not to eat meat for ethical reasons but don’t judge those that do. 

4. Do you have any particular diet restrictions?
I try to eat gluten-free as I suffer from IBS which seems to be aggravated by excessive gluten consumption. My digestion functions much better without it and the choice of gluten-free food available is fantastic and not at all restrictive. I choose not to eat meat - but as I said before - that’s an emotional rather than a dietary decision!

LJ - Wildcat

5. How would you describe the current clean and healthy living movement? Why do you think is it becoming more and more popular?
I think people are starting to realise how precious their health is - In reality none of us have time to be sick, or functioning at less than full capacity. I do think people are starting to appreciate that what they put in their mouths on a day to day basis has a direct relationship with how they feel. Of course the media has it’s part to play and celebrity culture too - who hasn’t seen snaps of every Hollywood starlet leaving a yoga class in their shades clutching a green juice over the past few months?! This of course has an effect and an influence - but in this case I believe a positive one. Healthier food is more readily available now - before things like gluten or dairy free produce or items like quinoa or coconut oil or flaxseeds were the preserve of dusty health food shops that weren’t “cool” or accessible - now you can find these items in your local supermarket. I do believe social media has helped also - people joke about the inordinate amount of food photos on Instagram, but when you’re sharing your dinner for the world to see, wouldn’t you feel better if it was steamed white fish and asparagus rather than a Dominoes and a milkshake? 

6. What are your top pre-exercise snacks to fuel a workout?
I usually have something with a little protein and a little complex carbs to burn to fuel performance - If I’m in a rush that could be a piece of fruit and handful of nuts or some greek yogurt and berries or gluten free rice cakes and sugar-free peanut butter or a home made granola bar with oats, seeds and coconut oil. 



7. What are your top post-workout snacks/ meals? 
I try to consume some form or protein within 20 minutes of my workout - usually this is in the form of a shake which I make with either coconut or almond milk, or a protein bar (I swear by Quest bars which taste amazing but are gluten free with no refined sugar). If available, then prawns are a great pure protein hit, as is a handful of almonds and brazil nuts. 

8. Any nutritional secret weapons?
Stay hydrated! So many people mistake thirst for hunger - If you feel hungry, drink a glass of water. Chances are that will kill the craving. If you don’t like plain water add some citrus slices (lemon or lime are great), or mint leaves, chopped ginger, strawberry and cucumber slices…. whatever takes your fancy. So refreshing! 
(See Post: Fruit Infused Water)
I love quinoa too - it’s as versatile as rice but with so much more protein, and chia seeds - especially soaked in coconut milk with some cinnamon and vanilla. The seeds soak up the liquid and create a gorgeous pudding like texture. Guilt-free dessert!

9. What are the most common mistakes that can easily be avoided when trying to keep fit?
Poor technique can be a big barrier to success - lifting weights and lifting weights correctly are two very different things. If you’re not sure if you’re doing something right then ask someone on your gym floor, or book a one off PT session and ask to learn basic exercise techniques.
Repetitive training is also damaging - your body will adapt quickly and your results will plateau. Mix it up - shock your body - it will have to constantly adapt and this will result in increased fitness and stamina in a much shorter time. 
Recovery - if you are training hard enough, your body will need a complete break sometimes. I recommend two clear rest days a week. Your body needs time to repair and recover, so that you can come back to your next workout strong and fully fit - this will prevent injuries and allow you to keep pushing your boundaries.

10. What are your three top tips for maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle?
Consistency - don’t start like a bull in a china shop - 6 workouts a week and a 1000 calorie a day diet - you will crash and burn after a couple of weeks. Commit to something you can be consistent with - if that’s only two workouts a week to start with that is still much better than nothing.
Small steps - it might begin with taking the lift instead of the stairs, or walking the last few stops instead of getting the bus all the way home, that might become a 20 minute jog once a week, which might become two circuit classes a week, which might lead to hitting the gym floor to starting weight training, which could become your first marathon. Who knows? The point is, if you start small and make continuous changes that YOU can keep up, then fitness will soon become a part of your lifestyle without you having to “make time” for it. The more you stay active the more energy you have - it’s a positive snowball effect!
Keep it clean in the kitchen - as I said at the start, you can’t out exercise a bad diet - so don’t undo your hard work with “treats” for working out - eat clean as much as you can and you will feel nourished, energised, look leaner and feel much more confident to make healthy choices. 
And lastly - I know you only asked for three - but Don’t Give Up! A healthy life is sometimes not the easiest one, but remember, looking great feels great! So don’t be too hard on yourself, forgive the occasional slip up and keep active! You can do it!



Find out more about LJ and Wildcat Fitness at www.wildcatfitness.co.uk

Fruit Infused Water We all know keeping hydrated is very important - We can’t survive without water, it makes up over half of the body and is essential for you to function properly.Unfortunately, many people (myself included) really struggle to drink enough water and find it can just be a bit boring really…But instead of spending money on sugary artificial drinks that claim to be good for you but really aren’t - Try some of these natural and clean ideas to make drinking water and staying hydrated a little more interesting!(Quantities of fruit are just guidelines -  Feel free to add more or less according to taste)Strawberry, Mint and Lemon Infused Water1.5l waterA few springs of mint2/3 Strawberries (slice)1/2 lemon (sliced)1. Add all ingredients to the water.2. Leave overnight Cucumber and Mint Infused Water1/2 of a cucumber (sliced)A few sprigs of mint1. Add all ingredients to the water.2. Leave overnight Other suggestions Blackberry, Cherry and LimeOrange, Lemon and LimeLemon and GingerWatermelon and Lime

Fruit Infused Water
 
We all know keeping hydrated is very important - We can’t survive without water, it makes up over half of the body and is essential for you to function properly.
Unfortunately, many people (myself included) really struggle to drink enough water and find it can just be a bit boring really…
But instead of spending money on sugary artificial drinks that claim to be good for you but really aren’t - Try some of these natural and clean ideas to make drinking water and staying hydrated a little more interesting!

(Quantities of fruit are just guidelines -  Feel free to add more or less according to taste)

Strawberry, Mint, Lemon Infused Water


Strawberry, Mint and Lemon Infused Water
1.5l water
A few springs of mint
2/3 Strawberries (slice)
1/2 lemon (sliced)

1. Add all ingredients to the water.
2. Leave overnight 

Cucumber Mint Infused Water

Cucumber and Mint Infused Water
1/2 of a cucumber (sliced)
A few sprigs of mint

1. Add all ingredients to the water.
2. Leave overnight 

Other suggestions 
Blackberry, Cherry and Lime
Orange, Lemon and Lime
Lemon and Ginger
Watermelon and Lime