Back in the Zone

Before the Summer I was eating well and doing lots of exercise to get my dream body and also to just generally take care of myself. Once the Summer arrived with various trips abroad and general life taking over I slipped back into old habits. Soon enough the cellulite started to reappear on my thighs, and I started to feel sluggish in the afternoons, and just generally blurgh. So last week I decided to get back on track with my healthier lifestyle, and the first thing I did was start a food diary again.


When I keep a food diary it helps me see what exactly I ate and drank that week, identify any patterns, and anywhere I can improve my choice of food or subsitute with a healthier option. What I’ve found from last week is that I’m still going for food high in sugar, although as I was keeping a diary I went for more natural fruit options rather than refined sugars. I also ate quite a lot of chocolate, and looking at the times I ate it was when I was bored! So this week, I’m aiming for more lean protein and less sugary foods.


I’ve also added something new to my diet, chia seeds. These little seeds may be teeny tiny, but they are so full of good stuff I thought they’d be worth a try. You can get them in whole seed form or milled. They’re so small they do get stuck in your teeth, so when the bag I have runs out I may buy the milled version. I add a table spoon to my muesli pot in the mornings or to soup or smoothies.


Muesli, natural yogurt, banana, cinnamon and chia seeds
Muesli, natural yogurt, banana, cinnamon and chia seeds


Chia seed key health benefits:

1.      More vitamin C than an orange

2.      Rich in antioxidants

3.      High in Omega 3

4.      Great source of protein and fiber


Before falling over in circuit training
Before falling over in circuit training


I also went back to circuit training for the first time in ages last week. I got a bit too carried away though and fell flat on my face during the sprinting! Luckily everyone else had run off ahead of me so they didn’t see me eat the grass!


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5th Brazilian Film Festival in London

This weekend the 5th Brazilian Film Festival will be held at the Odeon Covent Garden, with a selection of feature films and short films being shown, and there will also be a selection of the best in South American cuisine on offer from some of London’s top South American food spots.
So if you love Brazilian food and culture or you’re curious to get to know a bit more why not head down?


Here are a couple of trailers of the films that’ll be showing:
Feature film – Faroeste Caboclo


Short film – Proibidao
A short film seeking to understand the phenomenon of “forbidden funk” it’s origin and sucess through the life of MC Smith.



Viva São João

Today I’m off to Brazil for 10 days to spend São João which is this weekend! Yes, it’s their winter, and it might rain the whole time I’m there, but it’s one of my favourite times of year. Other than carnival the other biggest music related event in Brazil is São João – St John’s, also known as Festa Junina or June Festival.


The festivities originated during the colonial period to celebrate the nativity of St John the Baptist, and are historically related to the European Midsummer festivities. The Northeast of Brazil has very dry and arid landscapes and the festival was an opportunity for the people to give thanks to St John for the rains. Although closely imbedded into the North-eastern culture the festival is celebrated nationwide.


Now a days the festival has evolved into a celebration of traditional rural life, with big street parties in rural areas and now capital cities, with traditional clothing, food, and dancing.


Clothing – guys dress as farm peasants in straw hats and patched up chequered shirts, and girls dress in colourful frilly dresses, their hair in pigtails and freckles painted on their faces.



A little school friend and I in our Sao Joao costumes for our school party
A little school friend and I in our Sao Joao costumes for our school party

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Afternoon Tea at Ashdown Park Hotel

This bank holiday weekend was our lovely cousin Fiona’s 30th birthday, so the whole UK side of the family got together to celebrate over afternoon tea in East Sussex at Ashdown Park. The sun was shining and we couldn’t have been in more beautiful surroundings.

We were greeted by friendly staff on arrival, and shown straight to a room they’d set out for us. After putting in our tea orders, (they have a great selection of loose leaf teas on the afternoon tea menu), towers of sandwiches, scones and sweet treats were served, with plenty of clotted cream and jams.


Ashdown Park Afternoon Tea
Ashdown Park Afternoon Tea

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Eats and treats in Fulham

I recently spent the day in London catching up with one of my bestests, my Amelia, and as usual in between lots of talking, there was lots of eating! We started off with dim sum at the Royal China on the Fulham Road. I guess the best way to describe dim sum is like Chinese tapas; a selection of small dishes that are either steamed or deep fried, washed down with lots of jasmine tea.


Dim sum at Royal China - prawn cheong fun, yam croquettes, vietnamese spring rolls, pork puffs, pork cheong fun.
Dim sum at Royal China – prawn cheong fun, yam croquettes, vietnamese spring rolls, pork puffs, pork cheong fun.

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When you should eat to maintain a healthy weight

When you’re trying to be healthy it’s really hard to know what to eat and when. I’m pretty much always hungry, and get remarks at work for the fact that I always have something in my mouth! You can lose weight by just completely restricting what you eat, spaced out 3 times a day and exercising it off. But realistically it’s not a long term solution is it!? It is well known that fad diets and restricting what you eat will only cause you to put the weight back on (even more than you weighed before) after you start eating normally again.



Through our human evolution, our bodies have been programmed to store food if it experiences long periods of starvation: Starvation mode. When we were hunter gatherers expending lots of energy and not knowing when the next meal was coming in, our bodies needed to store as much energy as possible for the next time there was no catch. So if you miss breakfast, when you eat your lunch your body will think ‘oh my god I must store this asap in case this happens again’.



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Bank Holiday in Pictures

This weekend in the UK was a bank holiday so we had the Monday off work. I started off the weekend with no plans for Sunday and Monday, but ended up with a long weekend full of friends, laughs and sunshine!


Here is my weekend in pictures…




Chocolate Afternoon Tea at Hotel Rafayel

You wouldn’t think it from the entrance, but it’s a lovely hotel right on the river, with really friendly staff, and delicious cocktails and hot chocolates.


Afternoon tea with a view


Time for tea


Cake, warm scones, chocolate fondue


Chocolate fondue


Tropical chocolate martini anyone?


We left the hotel with our bellies full of chocolate goodness and headed straight to the Nike store in Oxford Circus to get some new gym kit to work it off next week!


Saturday night I then went on to visit a friend in her new home! I took a bottle or two round to celebrate. Her home is absolutely beautiful with a modern cottage feel. I’ll have to write up a post, will check with her first before I go taking pictures of her house! We spent the night in the kitchen doing what we do best…gossiping and drinking…


A celebration must have! Harvey Nichols Champagne
I only have a kitchen because it came with the house!

I spent the night on the new sofa, which was very comfy indeed and then spent Sunday at home doing some cleaning and tidying. After an afternoon walk in the sunshine with Lola and a nap I headed into London with some friends for dinner. We were all quite hungry so decided to go to the Brazilian churrascaria in Fulham called Rodizio Rico. How it works is you pay per head and then there is an all you can eat buffet of warm sides and salad, and then they bring round Brazilian meats which have been barbecued Brazilian style! My tip is to avoid eating too many carbs and save room for the meat! I managed to get through quite a few chicken hearts…

Barbecued chicken hearts


We woke up Monday to a warm sunny day perfect for a BBQ! So we ended the bank holiday the perfect way in the garden in the sunshine with good food and in good company.


Barbecued chicken satay


Eton mess made by the lovely Min – check out her blog minsworld

Exploring the Deliciousness of Insects

So Natalie, Henry and I went to the Wellcome Trust in Euston on Wednesday to eat insects! As well as wanting to try out a new gastronomic experience, we were all curious to find out more about the potential food crisis and how insects could be the solution. The night was part of a partnership between Pestival and Wellcome, part of ‘Who’s the pest?’ series. Pestival is a cultural organisation investigating our relationship with insects and the natural world.


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Spring Tea

Last Sunday Natalie and I went to Reading’s Malmaison for some Afternoon Tea – for which I have now broken my A.T. virginity (and it feels great). People were going crazy for the weather forecast as finally warm temperatures were arriving on British soil.

Therefore I decided to take the opportunity to get my legs and toes out that have been in hibernation. Out of everyone I saw in Reading, I have to say I was probably 1 in 3 who thought that summer had arrived. But the way I see it is, the sun/warmth is not an everyday occurrence here so better make the most of it!


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Thought of the Week


A couple of other lessons we could learn from dogs are to never hold grudges and to enjoy the simple things in life. The only person that is affected when we hold a grudge is ourselves, and rather then moaning about life, if we take some time to appreciate the small simple things it’ll help us realise life is one big amazing journey. 

Peace out. Hope you all have a good week!