Monday, 10 August 2015

Spotlight on Milk Thistle

Hello Health Nuts! 

I wanted to share with you my new health obsession: Milk Thistle. I was introduced to this by a friend recently using it as a hangover cure.....I don't often drink which unfortunately means when I do I normally feel it pretty severely the next steps the milk thistle. 
Milk thistle naturally helps detox the pancreas and the liver, it has the ability to stimulate protein synthesis which helps with the development of new liver cells.

As recommended to me I popped out to the shops and picked up some in tablet form, I take one before I drink and then one or two before bed. As a hangover cure you can also add other minerals and vitamins such as echinacea, vitamin B, vitamin E and calcium alongside and take them with a pint of water. 
I can honestly say this worked for me immediately and although I don't advertise or promote heavy drinking it definitely makes me feel fresher and healthier the next day if I have had a few too many! 

I was so impressed with this cure that I started reading up on milk thistle and talking about it with friends and it turns out there are many many more benefits from this health wonder!

Because of it's liver detoxifying functions it can also help with the appearance of your skin and with weight loss. There are studies into it's role in helping with cancer and high cholesterol and even though further studies are needed for definite results, it has been seen that one material within milk thistle called silymarin contains a powerful antioxidant that can inhibit development in cancer cells and help in lowering cholesterol.

Have you ever tried milk thistle for a hangover or any other health benefits?
Let me know!

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Health Over Your Life- Food and Drink

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is how do I start with my health-over? What are the small changes I can make? I am on a mission to get rid of all harmful chemicals from my life from processed foods and drinks to the beauty products I use and household cleaning products. However many people want to just make a few easy changes in their life to help them reach their optimum health, but let's be honest it can be daunting and difficult to know where to start with all the difference of opinion out there! I am going to do a few health-over posts to do with beauty, home, lifestyle etc in the next few weeks but let's start with the main topic everyone always wants to and drink!

Here are some of my main daily health hacks:

- Hot water and lemon, first thing in the morning, it's an oldie but a goody and a great start to the day. Hot lemon water acts as a digestive aid and sets up the digestive system for the day.

-Drink drink drink, no sorry I don't mean alcohol! Water -you should aim to be drinking about 2litres of the good stuff each day. Your kidneys will thank you for it, and as your kidneys are in charge of cleaning out your system (more on this later) your skin, nails, hair, mood will benefit too!

-Preparation is key, I always try to meal plan each week and if I am at work the next day I will make my lunch that evening to make sure I am not caught short trying to run around finding a fresh food lunch (so much harder than it should be!)

-Healthy snacking, it's so easy if you are prepared. I always carry a banana and almonds or some raw protein balls in my handbag for on the go snacking. So no need to pick up a shop bought "health" bar : read- if it comes in a packet, has more than 6 ingredients and you can't pronounce or know what most of them are chances are it's not good for you!

And now for some quick health swaps:


No breakfast- Green Juice Please please please try to give your body some nutrients at the start of the day, if you are someone that really can't stomach food until lunchtime then start of with a green juice packed with antioxidants and nutrients. :)

Cereal/ Granola- Porridge or Smashed Avocado/ Eggs/  Natural Peanut Butter on Rye Bread Unless the granola is homemade or from a reputable health food company (have a quick check at the ingredients list - yeah that healthy looking packaging has disguised the fact it's actually not healthy at all!) Cereal and Granola are packed with sugar - normally more than a pastry - yes even those "healthier" types, special K I am looking at you! Swap for a home made porridge with seeds, nuts or fruit toppings. Alternatively have a source of protein on some toasted rye bread.


Sandwich / Wrap - Sushi or Homemade Lettuce Wrap.
Sandwiches and wraps especially shop bought are laden with wheat and gluten, even if you don't have an intolerance to these ingredients they are inflammatory foods, meaning the digestive system and the gut has to work harder to break down these foods and process them through the body. Give your gut some loving and opt for some sushi (not tempura- sorry guys I know I'm so mean) or make your own wrap at home and make a wrap out of big lettuce leaves.

Pasta Salads/ Tinned Soup- Chopped Salads/ Homemade Soup.
Ok so now I am picking on pasta - but as before pasta contains wheat and gluten, unless it is rice or a wheat alternative pasta then by all means stick with this :) Tinned soup- again just take a quick glance at the ingredients list and chances are sugar and emulsifiers or preservatives are in that list! Make salads fun by making chopped salads- throw lots of different salad and vegetables in a blender, whizz until roughly chopped and top with a tahini salad dressing- if you want to look like a pro health nut why not add quinoa into the mix?! Oh and you got it- want soup? Make your own!


Oh the possibilites are endless and mostly self are a few of my favourites:

Chips/ Potatoes- Sweet Potatoes

Pasta- Rice Pasta/ Quinoa/ Courgetti

Noodles- Sweet Potato/ Carrot Noodles
(side note: buy a spiralizer it will change your life- this may be a slight over exaggeration)

Pizza/ Cauliflower Pizza
Go on - try it!

Shop bought Sauce / Homemade Sauce
I'm looking at you pasta/ curry/stir fry sauces- get inventive in the kitchen!

I could go on forever but let's be honest I don't have the time- I am a busy bee at the moment!
 My main rule to eating and drinking healthier is to use wholefood ingredients and avoid where ever possible anything processed with added unnatural ingredients.
I hope this has been helpful to some of you. 
Let me know any of your health hacks!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Vegan Tikka Masala

Hey fellow health nuts!
I am a huge curry and indian food lover - I could eat it by the bucket load but I am regularly disappointed when getting take away or eating out at how oily and greasy the dishes taste.
I made this vegan tikka masala a couple of weeks ago and when I posted it on instagram I got a lot of requests to share the recipe so here we go :) It is so easy to make and everything is made from scratch.

What you need for the paste:

-3 garlic cloves crushed
-1 inch piece of fresh ginger
-2 small red chillies, deseeded and chopped
-2tsp cumin
-2tsp coriander
-1tsp paprika
-1tsp tumeric
-2tsp water or oil

Whizz up all the ingredients in a blender or crush together in a pestle and mortar until a paste is formed.

What you need for the curry:

- 2 onions
- Coconut oil
- 2 tbsp tikka masala paste
- 2 red peppers
-1/2 cup coconut yogurt
- Broccoli
- Cauliflower
- Spinach
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes.


Chop up the onions and fry them in coconut oil until soft.
Add in the chopped peppers, broccoli and cauliflower, then stir in the tikka masala paste.
Keep stirring until all the vegetables are covered with the paste.
Add in the chopped tomatoes and let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in the coconut yogurt and spinach and leave for a further 5 minutes.
Season and add any extra spices to taste and then serve and enjoy :)

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Coffee and Cacao Facial and Body Scrub

Everyone wants healthy glowing skin right? This recipe for a cacao and coffee bean face and body scrub is easy to make and has no nasty chemicals or parabens and is pretty cheap to make as well.
The benefits of these ingredients are never ending but here are just a few for you - Lemon is antibacterial and helps to cleanse the skin, Raw Cacao is packed full of antioxidants great to give you a healthy complexion and the Coffee beans help to exfoliate the skin as well as soothing.

1 tbsp ground coffee beans
2 tsp raw cacao powder
Juice of 1/4 lemon
2 tsp honey
1 tbsp almond milk

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl then place in a container and keep in the fridge.
A few times a week use as a face mask, exfoliator or body scrub.

Hope you enjoy this quick and easy beauty fix as much as I do, my skin always feels so smooth and clear after just one use :)

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Raw Nut, Caramel, Chocolate Slice.

One of my absolute favourite treats is a millionaire caramel shortbread so I fell in love with this amazingly yummy raw healthy treat!
The best bit? It's pretty quick and easy to make too :)

Here is what you are going to need: 

2 cups of Almonds. (I used a handful of walnuts too)
2 cups of Mejool Dates.
2 tbsp of Peanut Butter.
2 1/2 cups of Honey. (Maple Syrup for Vegan)
1 1/2 cups Coconut Oil.
1 1/2 cup Raw Cacao Powder
Pinch of Cinnamon.

And here is how to make it.....

Soak your nuts in water for 4-6 hours before making.

Once the nuts have been soaked,  drain and add the peanut butter, 1 cup of honey and 1 cup of dates into the blender and blend into a paste. (Add almond milk or water to help get the right consistency if needed)

Pack the nut mixture into a baking tray and place into the freezer.

 To make the caramel sauce heat 1 cup of dates in a pan with 2 cups of water for 5 minutes, drain then add to a blender with 1/2 cup of honey and 1/2 cup coconut oil. Blend until smooth.

Take the baking tray out of the freezer and smooth the caramel sauce over the nut mixture. Place the tray back in the freezer.

To make the chocolate sauce: Melt 1 cup coconut oil, 1 1/2 cup raw cacao and 1 cup honey. Add in a pinch of cinnamon and mix until smooth.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the nut and caramel layers and place back into the fridge for 15-20 minutes.

Take out the slice and cut into it and enjoy!! 

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Attention Hummus Lovers!

Good Afternoon Health Bugs!
After so long off from blogging it seemed only right to share something I cannot live without- hummus! Shop bought stuff is normally expensive compared to this simple D-I-Y recipe which takes less than 10 minutes and is so yummy!
Give it a try and let me know what you think :)
(This recipe makes about 2 normal supermarket size pots.)

Canned chickpeas
1 lemon
2 tbsp tahini paste
2 garlic cloves crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin
2tsp paprika
4 tbsp water
1 tsp salt.

-Rinse and drain the chickpeas then pop them into a blender with the juice of one lemon.
-Add in the crushed garlic, tahini paste, olive oil, water, cumin and paprika.
-Blend into a smooth paste, then season with salt and lemon juice to taste.
-Scrape out every last bit and enjoy!
-Keep in the fridge and it should last up to a week.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Tuesday Treats- Nutella Cookies

Hey lovely people!
So if you read my last post you will know it was world nutella day last week (if you didn't know- where were you?!?!) I made a massive tub of homemade- and of course healthy- nutella, with so much of it I decided to get creative and these yummy cookies were made! 
4 ingredients, a simple recipe and half an hour later you have healthy nutella cookies that taste just as good as the sugar filled ones (or even better), here is how you make them:


1 Cup Nutella (Homemade recipe- here)
1 Cup Rice Flour
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Raw Honey


-Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.
-Mix the ingredients together in a mixer or a mixing bowl until a dough is formed.
-Spoon dough in balls onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and make into cookie sized discs.
-Place the tray into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until cooked through.
-Lift out of the oven and allow to cool before serving.

I hope some of you try and enjoy this recipe.
Have a great week :)

Thursday, 5 February 2015

World Nutella Day- The Healthy Way

Happy Nutella day!! For all of you Nutella lovers out there this is one of the easiest healthy versions to make and it only takes around 25 minutes! As always if you try this recipe please let me know how it goes and if you love it as much as I do!


1 1/2 cups Hazelnuts.
1/2 cup Raw Cacao.
3/4 cup of Almond Milk
1/2 cup Raw Honey


Roast the hazelnuts at 180 degrees celsius for 10-15 minutes.
Once they are roasted you need to de shell them, I find the easiest way is to rub them by the handful in a tea towel.
Add the de-shelled hazelnuts to a blender with the other ingredients.
Blend until smooth- this will probably take 10 minutes, keep blending on a high setting and stir every couple of minutes to get any bits off the side of the blender.
Transfer to a jar and enjoy!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Tuesday Treats- Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free Brownies!

Hey all you wonderful people.
Oh, my, gosh..... I am SO excited about this post! I was experimenting in my kitchen last night and I made these little beauties, a healthy brownie that tastes divine... I just can't contain my love for these. I have been fighting the urge to eat the whole batch in one go ever since they came out of the oven. These brownies only have 6 whole food ingredients and are completely gluten and refined sugar free so they are an indulgent but not so naughty treat. Ok I can't hold it in any longer here we go;


-2 large or 3 medium sweet potatoes.
-10 organic dates
-1/4 cup brown rice flour
-1/8 cup maple syrup
-1/4 cup raw cacao powder
-85% dark chocolate chocolate chips (optional)


-Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.
-Peel, chop and steam your sweet potatoes until soft.
-Place in a blender with the chopped dates, blend until a smooth, creamy mixture is formed
-Mix in a bowl with the rice flour, raw cacao and maple syrup, until a gooey dough is formed.
-Mix in any optional extras- dark chocolate chips, chopped nuts, chilli, cinnamon....go on.....go crazy!
- Place the mixture in a baking tray and bake in the oven until cooked through but still gooey on the inside - about 20 minutes but keep checking on these babies!
- Once cooked take out and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

I really hope you enjoy these as much as I do, for any of you that come round to my house in the near future I can guarantee that there will be a batch of these somewhere in the kitchen.

Have a great week, everyone. As always keep in touch, I love hearing from you all!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Monday Mains- Mexican Madness

Hey Guys!
If you are anything like me then you LOVE mexican food. I could happily eat at Wahaca at least once a week, (for those of you who haven't heard about Wahaca, please google it, it is amazing!) I am pretty certain that one of my first cookbooks I ever bought was a mexican one, so needless to say this dish is one that goes down very well -sometimes too well and I am sure you are going to love it too!

What you are going to need:

2 ripe avocados
A pack of cherry tomatoes
1 onion
3 large mushrooms
200g of mixed beans 
Rice (or quinoa if you prefer)
1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
Chilli flakes
Fresh coriander
Cheese (optional)

And here is how you make it:

-Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

-Finely chop your onion, tomatoes & mushrooms.

- Place a third of the chopped onion in a frying pan with a little bit of coconut oil and cook until softened. Drain and rinse your mixed beans and add these to the frying pan with your mushrooms.

-While this mixture is cooking, place another third of the chopped onion with half of your chopped tomatoes in a roasting dish and leave to roast in the oven.

-Put your rice/ quinoa on to boil.

-Use the last third of the chopped onion and the remaining chopped tomatoes, mash these together with the avocados in a bowl to make up your homemade guacamole. Leave to one side until serving.

- Place the bean and mushroom mix in a blender, making sure the mixture is blended properly. Take this mixture out of the blender and put back into the frying pan for a further 5-10 minutes. Add in half a tin of chopped tomatoes and a small sprinkling of chilli flakes. Stirring occasionally so the mixture doesn't get stuck.

- Take the roasting dish out of the oven and mash the onion and tomatoes together with a fork (add in some chilli flakes to make this a hot salsa!) Place into a bowl for serving.

-Drain the rice/quinoa and mix in a handful of fresh coriander to serve.

- Take the bean mixture off the heat and serve. (Cheese is a great optional topping for this mixture, cheddar or feta both work really well.)

- And most importantly....ENJOY!

Monday, 5 January 2015

Monday Mains- Fresh Pesto and Mushroom Courgetti

Good Evening you beautiful people.
This Monday I am sharing with you one of my absolute favourite healthy mains, it goes down extremely well with anyone I make it for and I can guarantee that everyone you serve this too will love it as well!
It is a simple alternative to a pesto pasta but with a few twists that mean you get so many health benefits. 
Courgettes are high in magnesium and potassium which among other things help to lower blood pressure, they also have a good vitamin C content and antioxidants that help with anti aging.
Mushrooms are high in vitamin D which is essential in your ability to absorb calcium, they are also full of antioxidants and help boost your immune system.
This pesto is made fresh so it means no nasty added chemicals, saturated or hydrogenated fats. Finally the pine nuts add a healthy level of fat and protein to the dish to keep you feeling satisfied.

Here is what you are going to need:

-Courgettes (Normally 1 per person)
-Freshly made pesto
-1 onion
-3 or 4 large mushrooms
-A handful of pine nuts
- A spiralizer (If you have one)


- Spiralize your courgettes, or alternatively slice into thin pasta like strands, to make your courgetti.
-Chop your onion and mushrooms, fry in coconut oil until soft.
-While the mushrooms and onions are cooking, blanch your courgetti in boiling water for 2 mins.
-Drain the courgetti and serve into bowls, then mix in a tablespoon of fresh pesto to each bowl.
- Top with the fried mushrooms and onions, then finish with a sprinkle of pine nuts.
-Serve and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe, please let me know if you try it out or instagram a picture with the hashtag thehealthcave.

Have a great week guys 
Here's to a healthy and happy 2015!