All posts filed under: Wellness

chocolate hazelnut tart

In the week before returning to university, I had so much work to do that I decided the best course of action was to do none of it. Better to have a week to properly switch off, rest and relax, than continue to work constantly without achieving much, getting frustrated and bored and tired without being productive. Illogical, yes, and I probably shouldn’t encourage such a lax attitude to work and responsibility, but it works for me. Instead, I enjoyed lazy days of late starts, big breakfasts, fresh coffee, travel magazines, baking, lounging, wine-drinking, film-watching, and nights of long deep sleeps uninterrupted by alarms.  This tart was a product of that week, and I enjoyed a large slice (or two) whilst watching Casablanca with my mum one evening. Advertisements

when life gives you lemons // lemon + honey cake

when life gives you lemons…. Everyone knows that old saying. Lemons are a good analogy for life’s challenges because in their natural, unadulterated state they are sour and unpleasant. The saying continues by instructing us to make lemonade — turning bitterness into sweetness, which on the face of it is a good thing. But the truth is, making lemonade isn’t everyone’s natural reaction. Different people have different ways of dealing with the lemons that life throws. Some people chomp on the raw, unsweetened slices, wallowing masochistically in the sourness as a sign of toughness or self-pity. Some add lemon juice to hot water, knowing that it’s good for them in the long run but not enjoying the taste at the time. Some people ignore the lemons for so long that they go bad, and taste even worse than before. Some people add so much sugar to their lemons that the lemony flavour is lost entirely.

Pecan and Maple Popcorn + staying healthy while travelling

Hello from Los Angeles! I’m jet-lagged and sleep-deprived and not entirely sure why I’m here or what I’m doing, but very happy to be here all the same — I enjoyed crashing my dad’s business trip to San Francisco so much last November that I decided to do it again. The surrealness of the trip kicked in this morning when, thanks to jet lag, I woke early enough to be able to see the sun rising behind the palm trees, skyscrapers and mountains on the horizon from my eighth-floor balcony.  It certainly beats Oxford in exam season. It isn’t always easy to stay healthy when travelling, especially when crossing multiple time zones, as you sleep less, eat more, and your internal mealtime clock gets a shake up. Healthy food can also be harder to find, or else astronomically expensive. But proper nourishment is actually really important in helping your body to adjust and feel at its best, given the extra pressure being put on it. That isn’t to say that I think you should be obsessive about it – eating is an essential part of experiencing a new place, and …

Immunity: 7 Tips to Get Well Soon

I woke up at 4am on Sunday morning with a throat as dry as the Sahara and as coarse as sandpaper.  My nose felt like a bricked-up chimney. Although after a bit of fumbling around in the semi-darkness, tripping over the books and clothes that really shouldn’t be on my floor, I did manage to retrieve my black bag full of (medicinal) drugs and send myself back into a dozy sleep, it wiped me out for a good few days. I don’t know if it’s flu or a bad cold or just general run-down-ness, but whatever it is it’s left me less than 100%. I am feeling much better now — it’s downgraded to an average cold, which I can deal with — but in order to get something positive out of the experience I’ve written a bit about immunity and recovery, in case anyone finds it useful. After all, everyone gets run down from time to time. 1. Rest It sounds obvious, but it’s often overlooked. I, and I’m sure many others, get very frustrated when I don’t feel well and …

Stress + Stress-Busting Brownies

I recently read of a study into mood and stress, which found that how you feel is only 10% determined by your circumstances — factors like genetics and your thoughts and actions have a far greater impact.  This surprised me, for, as someone who would frequently describe myself as stressed, for both professional and personal reasons, I always assume that it is a result of factors I cannot control.  I can’t help being stressed because of that situation, or that person, or that piece of work, none of which I have any say in.  If those things didn’t exist I could be fine. In fact, the study found that, contrary to common belief, we get used to our circumstances over time, so they don’t play as large a role in determining our happiness as we might think. It is not the first study to conclude that our reactions to events/circumstances/situations are more important than the events themselves in determining our well-being and. I actually find this quite reassuring, for it suggests we are not as helpless as we believe when it comes to …

Hummus, Quinoa & Roasted Red Pepper Pita Pockets (+ a response to Belle Gibson)

I’m sure many of you will have heard the news that broke recently about Belle Gibson, the cancer survivor turned wellness blogger who, it turned out, was a total fake. She claimed to have rejected chemo and instead got rid of cancer through an all-natural diet, and as a result attracted a huge online following, myself included. I have her app, I followed her Instagram, I read her blog. She was interviewed by many prestigious magazines and newspapers, published a cookbook, did deals with Apple, sharing her story and her recipes, inspiring others to live a healthier life. Except none of it was true. Understandably, the scandal has raised questions about the authenticity of online personalities in general, and particularly wellness bloggers. Many of the claims of well-known bloggers with regards to health have been revealed as little more than pseudo-science, as delusional as Belle’s claims that going gluten-free can cure cancer. It is right that appropriate investigation take place to protect followers from being fatally misled, I just hope it doesn’t discredit the many genuine …

life is better in the morning (+ a blueberry muffin recipe)

It’s been a disheartening week. Every piece of work I’ve submitted has received overwhelmingly negative feedback. It’s hard, when you’ve worked so hard at something and it’s made you so miserable, to realise it was all for nothing. I find that it’s at nights when I’m weakest. During the daylight hours it’s somehow easier to pick myself up or not think about the things that worry me. But in the dark, lonely hours there is no escape. The feeling of hopelessness, so easily shrugged off earlier in the day, if far more overwhelming. The darkness lets the problems grow out of proportion in my mind; they seem to multiply in the shadows of the lamplight. I used to hate it when people told me that “everything will be better in the morning”. It was dismissive and non-sensical. Problems don’t pack their bags at first light. But often, now, I find myself saying that very phrase. Because it’s true — things are better in the morning. Not because the situation has changed, but because I have. A good night’s sleep and …