Thursday, 30 July 2015

My Obsession With Mulberries

In the last few months I have become absolutely obsessed with mulberries, I’m talking in my breakfast, in a smoothie, in all raw cakes & slices and even just munching them as they are for a snack.

Now I have to admit I am not always the biggest fan of dried fruit, raisins and sultanas are not my friends (I have tried many times to like them but it just isn’t happening). But there’s something different about mulberries, something special. What I love so much about them is the soft, gooey texture and sweet, caramel like taste (the white variety in particular).

They are the perfect ingredient to add to raw caramel chocolate slices, blended with medjool dates on a ‘biscuit’ base topped with raw choc you just might eat in heaven

Here’s my ultimate recipe for indulgent and delicious caramel slices, this will make about 10-12 slices…

½  Cup Almonds
½ Cup Pecans
1 Cup Dates
2 tbs Desiccated Coconut
1 tbs Coconut Oil (or more if needed)

A fresh batch of raw caramel slices, made with mulberries of course!

½ Cup Majool Dtaes
½ Cup White Mulberries
½ Cup Cashews (Soaked and rinsed)
2 tbs Almond Butter (or other nut butter)
3 tbs Raw Agave Syrup or Maple Syrup
1 tbs Coconut Oil
Pinch Himalayan Crystal Salt
Water (if needed)

Choc Top
¼ Cup Coconut Oil
¼ Cup Raw Cacao Powder
¼ Cup Raw Agave Syrup or Maple Syrup

Method - Base

- Put all ingredients for the base in a food processor and blend until it forms a sticky crumble consistency
- Spread the mixture evenly on a greaseproof paper lined tin 
- Set in the freezer for an hour

Method - Caramel

- Add all caramel ingredients to the food processor and blend well, you may need to stop and push the mixture down a few times to ensure a smooth consistency
- You may need to add a little water if the mixture is too solid / sticky, keep adding until it is silky and easily spreadable  
- Spread caramel on top of base and return to freezer for a further hour or until set

Method - Choc Topping

Add the coconut oil to a pan and heat on very low temperature until it all melts.
Add the cacao powder and agave/maple syrup to a pan and stir until it forms a chocolate sauce
Pour the chocolate sauce on top the caramel layer and spread evenly. Make sure the caramel has set before adding the top layer
Pop it back in the freezer for an hour until completely set

Once it has all set cut in to squares (best done straight from the freezer) and store in airtight contained in the fridge. 

About Sophia
Sophia Harvey is one one of the owners of the successful online health food retailer Detox Trading, and is currently studying to become a nutritional therapist with the nutritional healing foundation. Complementary therapy has been in the Harvey family for four generations, Sophia's great grandfather being one of the UK's first Osteopaths.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Living Healthy on the Go

“Work to live, don’t live to work” is a saying I hear so much these days. And so often I meet people who are completely burnt out from working all hours, a lack of sleep, eating fast/convenient foods and not taking the time to rest or nurture themselves.

I completely support high achievers and admire career driven individuals who thrive on success. I do however hugely encourage everyone to create a healthy work/life balance. Making time and space to relax, give yourself a little TLC and feed yourself nourishing, live and vibrant foods is so important.

I also understand it’s not always easy to make this time when you have a career, children, a commute to or travel with work while also maintaining a social life. The pressures of balancing all these things can be hugely demanding.

I have lived in the London rat race and know first hand how easy it can be to slip in to an unbalanced lifestyle that in the long run is unsustainable. So here are a few suggestions I have learnt along the way for living healthy on the go…

Hydration Hydration Hydration

Keeping hydrated is absolutely fundamental to maintaining your health. Ideally we need to be drinking at least 2 liters of water each day. This will simultaneously help with the flow of key minerals in to your cells while aiding the elimination of toxins. Drinking this much water can help clear headaches, retain concentration and keep you awake. Trying having a pint of water instead of a coffee and see how you feel…

TIP: If you travel a lot, particularly on airplanes, it is especially important to keep the water up. Flying is one of the most dehydrating things we can do to our body so really bug those air stewards for regular water top ups.

Meals on the Move

Finding truly healthy foods when you’re grabbing a bite from a local supermarket, deli or train station can be really difficult. Often the options include poor quality ingredients on soggy white bread. Take a well-known supermarket (who shall not be named, but my Dad calls them Mordor) meal deal, a sandwich, a packet of crisps or choc bar and a fizzy drink for a few pounds… it hardly screams ‘healthy’ to me.

  • I suggest preparing some wholesome snacks on a Sunday ready for your busy week ahead. A trail mix with dried fruit, nuts and seeds will fill you up, contains essential fats and vitamins and can be carried around easily. Or make oat and nut bars, store them in an airtight container and take one with you each day.
  • One-cup smoothie makers are perfect for a morning mineral and fibre injection. Blend up fruit and nut milk with your favourite superfood powders or use it for making a portable chia pudding.
  • Make a big batch of soup that can be divided in to portions and frozen. Then grab one each day to heat up in the office.
  •  For me fruit is the ultimate snack, there’s nothing better than a juicy nectarine or box of blueberries to satisfy a hunger pang on the move.
Or if you are grabbing lunch out, these are a few of my fave healthy eateries around the UK...

-       Tanyas Café – Chelsea, London
-       Sweet Greens – Bournemouth, Dorset
-       Café Kino – Stokes Croft, Bristol
Yoga on the Train

Yes you heard me, I did say yoga on the train.

Last year I went to Colourfest Yoga Festival and met Eugene from AcroYoga Brighton. He taught us about his fantastic idea of fitting exercise in to your life even when you think you don’t have time.
Now, I’m not talking about headstands in the aisles or down dog on the seats, but you can often find space in the corridors or near doors to do some stretching, a few back bends or even a cheeky warrior pose. You might get a funny look or two but be brave, your body will feel the benefits far beyond the blush that your cheeks feel!

Sophia Harvey is one one of the owners of the successful online health food retailer and is currently studying to become a nutritional therapist with the nutritional healing foundation. Complementary therapy has been in the Harvey family for four generations, Sophia's great grandfather being one of the UK's first Osteopaths.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Protein Shakes, The Veagn 'Whey'

Protein shakes can often be a contentious issue, typically made from Whey and synthetic flavourings these types of powders are readily available and widely used by body builders, gym bunnies and fitness fanatics. Mixed reports in the media make it hard to know what to believe when it comes to the benefits of taking protein.

Most people actually get enough protein in their daily diet, especially with the vast amount of meat that is now part of Western diets. Taking additional protein through a shake can actually add weight if not taken in conjunction with exercise.

However taking protein within half an hour of a work out can help to build muscle. Vegans and vegetarians may also benefit from natural sources of protein if they want to inject some additional protein in to their diet. And if you are skeptical about alternative protein powders just check out The Vegan Body Builder on YouTube… Wow!

Choosing a protein from a natural source such as pea or hemp and adding your own fresh flavours is a much healthier and sustainable way to still get your protein boost without all the added chemicals.

Watch our video for a totally vegan, totally delicious and completely natural protein shake…

By Sophia @ Detox Trading