Next stop: Hydration Station…

My, oh my, it is hot, hot, HOT here today. So hot, I wasn’t quite sure how to get my over-heated, Friday-frazzled brain to write about what I’d originally planned to write today. Since taking out the laptop, I’ve tidied my (unsuccessful) veg patch (a post for another day, sigh), thoroughly cleaned the table upon which this laptop sits, sifted through some Spotify playlists, you know, the usual distractions when you’re supposed to be working.

It turned out that alternative subject matter for today was staring me in the face.

Water. Sweet, watery water.

Now, I’m not going to win any prizes for telling you about the benefits of drinking water. If you haven’t grasped that by now, you’re probably too dehydrated to read this post, or you’re a raisin with surprisingly good cognitive skills.

As any reflexologist like me will tell you, drinking lots of water for the 24 hours after a treatment can really enhance the positive results of your foot love, helping to eliminate toxins more efficiently and balance out your systems. So there’s your tenuous link as to why I’m writing about water here. Plus anyone who has known for any length of time, will only very rarely see me without a bottle of water in my hand. It’s the closest I can get to the sea these days.

But really it’s not about the water today, it’s about what I’m drinking it out of. Stay with me…

Last Christmas, my No.1 Clever-gift-giver in my family (shout-out to Cara) got me the Citrus Zinger, the water bottle that’s kind of changed my life (just a little, but still). It’s made from the good plastics (is there really a good kind?) so it’s rock solid, durable and has a clever handle you can thread your thumb through to give your hand a break when carrying it. Granted it’s heavier than other water bottles so probably not your running friend, but really it’s all about the compartment at the bottom.

The fab thing about the Citrus Zinger is that you can make all kinds of refreshing and tasty infusions by turning it upside down, unscrewing the compartment and adding all sorts of fruits or herbs so that they stay there and do their thing but don’t make your water all bitty. I know, right? GENIUS! It’s part water bottle, part orange squeezer. Whatever will they think of next?

Citrus Zinger

Today’s baking heat has me delicately swigging out of it for some lovely Weybridge water infused with half a lime and a chunk of raw ginger. They give you all sorts of suggestions on the box for the uninspired, and I’ve tried basil and mint as well, which is really tasty. Due to a medicinal amount of gin and tonics in this house, we tend to have a LOT of limes lying around, so usually I just chuck half of one of those in and keep refilling it during the day. I drink a lot more water and it doesn’t feel like a chore in any way.

I know a water bottle may not be the most exciting thing to write about but I tell you, it genuinely makes me happy. It’s no world peace, but it’s rocking my world right now.

You can check them out here: http://www.zing-anything.co.uk/citrus-zinger/ if you want to join my new cult. Plus, of an evening, I reckon it could make a pretty nifty cocktail maker – as yet untested by me. Note to self for tonight….

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Those badass Aztecs strike again – Behold the chia bon bons of Susan Jane White

When I was back home in Ireland over Easter, I had a go at a fab new recipe from the gorgeous brain of health goddess Susan Jane White (@SusanJaneHealth on Twitter) and her new best-selling book, Extra Virgin Kitchen (http://susanjanewhite.com/the-extra-virgin-kitchen/).

 

Packed full of recipes which, for almost the first time ever for me, hasn’t had me wondering what I’d need to substitute sugar for to make it kinder to my system, the recipes are a god-send for anyone trying to make even a gentle step towards a healthier diet. There’s no judging here!  

 

Susan was in my class at university in Dublin and always had a fab energy around here. One of life’s great enthusiasts I remember being so shocked to hear of the debilitating and soul-crushing health problems she suffered after the years we had spent sharing lecture theatres. However, it was no absolutely surprise to me to learn that she threw any remaining energy she had at the time into her further studies of all things foody and essentially cured herself. Now, I’m Irish and if you knew my family, you’d know there’s a *slight* tendency for exaggerations and added ‘colouring’ of stories but I do not use that phrase lightly. She really did cure herself – with the help of nutritional changes and guidance which she talks about on her blog  http://susanjanewhite.com/, she stepped away from the endless courses of medication and is now possibly even MORE full of joie de vivre than ever before.  

Armed with a sassy clutch-bag full of fantastic, accessible recipes, she is on a mission to help the rest of us. So, it would have been rude of me not to get cracking with her recipes, having finally picked up my copy of the book. First off, I’ve made her chia bon bons. You can  check out the recipe on her site here though I really recommend you get a copy of the book – http://susanjanewhite.com/380/

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Sugar-free and packed full of a handful of gut-soothing good things, if you get the consistency right (ok, so I *may* have misread the recipe first time round), they have a very truffly, ganache-y texture. They take about 5 minutes to make and are very child-friendly on the assembly front (Tick, on the rainy day toddler activity front, then). Man, oh man, do they satisfy a sugar craving…(rhetorical question but yes, yes they most definitely do). Plus, zero guilt when when you dust the cocoa powder from around your mouth, honest.

 

If you haven’t heard of the humble chia seed yet, it’s the ‘new’ (but ancient) big thing seed-wise (did I actually just say that?) and, like the linseed and quinoa before it, is one of those ingredients that is so process-free and wholesome, it’s got you wondering if it could possible be any fun. Trust me, it is. If it’s good enough for those partying Aztecs, it’s good enough for me.

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If there’s a recommended daily intake for these, I most definitely exceeded it  – over Easter as we made 4 batches of them (Canada, you can thank me for propping up the sales of your pricey Maple syrup….) and they barely lasted a day at my parents’ house. Cocoa-dusted, chia-seedy high fives to you, Susan Jane!

 

Chocolate. Sweet, soul-boosting conscious chocolate

This may be the first time I blog about chocolate but I can guarantee it won’t be the last! Oh I’ve been burned before. Burnt by the promise of ‘healthy’ chocolate. Chocolate that is guilt-free, chocolate that will give me superpowers, chocolate that will make me see through time. So, so many disappointing times… and still no superpowers. 

 

To be fair, there are a lot worse things I could be eating than chocolate but these days, but your average supermarket-checkout-eye-grabbing bars are just so sugary and full of strange unpronouncable ingredients that’s it’s really taking the fun out of chocolate (with or without the added superpowers). 

 

I’ve tried chocolate ‘alternatives’ before. Carob, oh carob. You are probably good for lots of things but a satisfying substitute for chocolate, you are not. I’ve even tried not having chocolate at all but that did not a happy Lynn make.

 

However, I bring you news…hope, real hope from the health food shop aisles. A few years ago I discovered Conscious Chocolate. My good God, it’s great stuff. It’s strong, it packs a punch, it’s a bit melty and it is very satisfying and it does actually taste like chocolate. It’s not the cheapest bar you’ll buy (is ANYTHING in Whole Foods?) but it’s really, really worth it. I like that it’s raw chocolate, I like that it’s only got a few ingredients which I can count on one hand (and I know what they all are!) and I love that it doesn’t contain glucose, hydrogenated anything and that one bar is happily enough to share with fennel-hating husband during an episode of the Good Wife.

 

Keep an eye out for them if you’re looking for a guilt-free, actually healthy treat that does you good without making you feel like you’re being a martyr. I’ve seen them in Food for Thought in Kingston and they’re appearing in more and more shops. They’ve got some gorgeous flavours including rose, coconut and goji berry, orange blossom and all sorts. 

 

And you’d be surprised the superpowers you might uncover (multitasking counts, right?)

 

 

check out:http://www.consciouschocolate.co.ukImage