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Green+Aquamarine: October 2014

Monday, 27 October 2014

Om Yoga Show, London

Hello! Sorry it has been a quiet week, but I should have a few more things to blog about following it...

So on Saturday I hopped onto the 7:20 train down to London. From there I had to try and navigate zig-zagging across the city to Kensington Olympia. I really hate the underground. I love how fast, well connected and frequent the services are, but the busyness and the way it is almost impossible to get a ticket leave me feeling very flustered. Still, I found my way to the Om Yoga Show without getting lost and so I settled myself in for an interesting day.

My first port of call was to meet Ashley and Matt from Mala Collective,  who I blogged about here. I absolutely love the story of Mala Collective, their ethos and positive energy. While I was seriously tempted by the beautiful Prana Mala necklace, I chose an ocean turquoise and rudraksha bracelet. I have been wearing my bracelet constantly since purchasing it.

One of the best things about the Om Yoga Show is that all day there are classes and workshops held, many of them free and not requiring pre-booking. I attended a MahalaYoga! class with Mahala Wall, which was a blend of hatha and vinyasa yoga with lots of pilates-based movements. It was great fun, and really helped me to wind down before setting off back home. There were so many other amazing sounding classes that I would have loved to attend had I had more time at the show. The hot yoga and inversion classes especially sounded fun!

Looking back, it was probably a good thing that I didn't bring lots of cash with me, as there were so many amazing brands to tempt me! From all kinds of raw treats and juices to equipment and bright patterned leggings, the show was a real magpie's nest for yogis. I particularly loved the bright, tongue-in-cheek slogan vests (hanging with my omies anyone?!) and I drooled over many pairs of leggings. The Brazilian brand, Posto9 especially caught my eye.

One of the highlights of the day was meeting Katie, Fab and Laura from the Health Bloggers Community. I haven't really done any blogger meet ups before and it was lovely to meet some of the girls that I have been talking to over the last few months. We had a quick catch up and shared what we'd been buying with one another. It kind of made me wish that I live closer to London so that I could make more of the meet ups!

Lastly, it was amazing to be surrounded by so many passionate yogi's of all levels, ages, styles... you name it and they were there. It was a great reminder to keep on practicing and embracing different styles of yoga.

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Monday, 20 October 2014

Om Yoga Magazine: November

One section of Om Yoga Magazine that I always look forward to reading especially is the nutrition section. I hunt down the Aryuveda Clinic pages, keen to learn more, and peruse the conscious eating recipes as I plan my weekly shop. This month, I was particularly drawn to Elizabeth Montgomery's article on detoxing. The term is one that is starting to get seriously overused, which makes it hard for anyone on a health kick to work out what the actual benefits are. A true detoxification of man-made pollutants, for example, would involve potentially two years sitting on a deserted island and giving time for complete cellular regeneration: something that isn't exactly realistic. In the article, Montgomery states that detoxing should "be viewed as an integral part of a healthy lifestyle". I think this is a good mentality to have, much like saying "lifestyle" instead of "diet".

So what detoxes should we look for? The article helpfully describes six key types of detoxing so that you can work out which way to cleanse your body... because lets face it, after busy working lives, stress, holiday food and living in urbanised areas, we all could do with time to listen to our bodies!

Organ Detox
This focuses on removing toxins from the liver (hello alcohol and desserts), lungs, kidneys, colon and skin. Specific diet guides are given along with supplements. Saunas are also considered good for sweating out the nasty stuff, particularly in specialised infrared lighting. Organ detoxification is considered an important first step to detoxing.

Juice Detox
The one we all know about. Juice detoxes last one to seven days and may include some solid raw food and supplements. You usually drink five or six juices per day, which helps to keep blood glucose levels steady. Juice detoxes are popular with those wishing to lose weight or be reenergised.

Heavy Metal Detox
No, this does not mean reevaluating your music choices! Heavy metals accumulate in our food chains, and water systems. In larger amounts, heavy metals are exceptionally toxic, but even traces can cause fatigue or a weakened immune system. With mercury, lead, arsenic and other harmful metals present in our diets, a monitored diet and supplements to remove the metals are required.

Lifestyle Detox
This detox encompasses all aspects of your wellbeing, rather than just diet. Periods of rest from work and stress are recommended with plenty of sleep. Alongside this, acupuncture, meditation, Tai Chi, yoga and spa treatments are encouraged.

EMF Detox
For those of you concerned about the effect of laptops, phones, tablets and gadgets have (called electromagnetic stress), the EMF is for you. At it's core, the detox involves part or full removal of yourself from many electronic equipment... which in today's ultra connected world isn't a bad thing, regardless of whether EMF is a concern to you or not.

Candida Detox
Finally, the fungi-busting detox. Our high sugar lifestyles encourage growth of the fungi Candida, which causes headaches, fatigue and thrush. It is generally recommended to get specialist help in tailoring a diet plan for this, since it can last for several months and restricts many food types. Luckily, there are lots of low sugar recipe books to keep you motivated.

Psst! For daily detoxing, and sweetening up hydration, don't forget to try infused water. Here are a few ideas:
You could also try lemon and ginger; cucumber and strawberry; apple and cinnamon sticks; watermelon and mint and whatever else you can think of.

Have you been reading Om Yoga this month? Leave me a comment below! If you'd like to try, follow the photo link below to download the latest issue for less than the cost at the newsagent, or a free sample issue.

Disclaimer: I am an Affiliated Blogger with Om Yoga Magazine. Each issue I will write a post on an article from the magazine and share it with you. Have a look here to find about the other lovely affiliated bloggers.

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Saturday, 18 October 2014

Baked Carrot Cake Porridge

This week I posted a photo of my current favourite breakfast and it met with a fair bit of positive response. I decided to pop the recipe up here for you to try. I really love this take on traditional porridge; it is so tasty and is deceptively sweet even without going overboard with the syrup -the banana and carrot lend lots of natural sweetness. The baked texture is really nice too; almost crusty on top. If you have any coconut or raisins to hand add them too for extra cakey comfort.


  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 55g oats
  • 70 ml milk -coconut is my favourite for this recipe, and almond works really well too.
  • 1 tsp honey, maple or agave syrup, plus extra to drizzle
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Scant tbsp chopped nuts such as almond or walnut
  • Optional: 1 tbsp yoghurt -natural, Greek, soya, coconut, whatever you fancy!

Preheat the oven to 200'C. Mix together the banana, carrot, oats, milk, syrup and cinnamon together and transfer to an overproof bowl. Bake for 15 minutes until firm on top and the oats have fully swelled. Dollop on a spoonful of yoghurt, scatter over the nuts and drizzle extra syrup. Watch out for the hot bowl, and enjoy.


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Vegan Life Magazine: Bringing Vegan into Vogue

When Om Yoga Magazine launched it's sister publication, Vegan Life, my ears pricked up. While I'm not vegan myself, I'm trying to keep my consumption of most animal products to the minimum. As a result, I was pretty interested in what recipes, products and ideas would be offered in the new magazine, which happens to be the first high street magazine dedicated to veganism in the UK.

The magazine is full of interesting ideas and uses non-glossy paper, which fits in with the organic mood of Vegan Life. I liked the News section, which was really informative (especially when familiar places to me like Centre for Alternative Technology were mentioned!) and the new products page was helpful too. The articles were engaging and informative without lecturing.

I particularly liked the debate section, where the first issue's topic was on whether it was acceptable to eat eggs if they came from your own rescue hens. This was something that I had often wondered about myself since most eggs laid are infertile and therefore a waste product, but still from an animal. I thought one side had a better argument than the other, but I will leave that up to you to decide upon...

There was a good cover of different vegans, from health experts, to mums and newly converted couples. I was also pleased to see blogger Aine Carlin of Pea Soup Eats mentioned, who's Buddha Bowl recipe I shared here.

Overall, I was really impressed with the magazine and it's range of features. Some readers might want slightly more focus on recipes, but it is down to personal taste. You can read a free excerpt here. The magazine retails for £3.95, which seems fairly reasonable for a more niche magazine like this. Available in larger newsagents, supermarkets and some health food shops, the next issue is almost due!


Thursday, 9 October 2014

Post-Workout Green Smoothie

Over the last few years, it has been hard to ignore the increasing prevalence and popularity of green foods, particularly juices and smoothies. I have never been one to say no to a good smoothie, and so like many of you out there I was more than happy to get experimenting in my kitchen, or opening up my purse at health cafes.

One thing I haven't associated green smoothies with, however, is protein. Post workout shakes are usually chocolate or fruit flavoured. This is fine, and probably ideal if you are a serious gym-goer or athlete, but for myself, needing only a small hit of extra protein and trying to get more nutrient variety, I wanted to try something else. Being keen to try out my new hand blender (the closest thing I have to a food processor or blender now sadly!) I decided to see what I could come up with.


  • 70ml milk or dairy free milk, plus extra
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 100g (two large handfuls) chopped kale
  • 1 tsp wheatgrass powder
  • Optional: vanilla essence, honey, agave or other sweetener, to taste
Simply blend everything up and serve immediately. If the smoothie is too thick, add extra milk

This smoothie has roughly 315 calories, 11.3g protein, 18g sugar (without sweetener, and 12g of this sugar comes from the banana) and 10g of omega three rich fats. To increase the protein content, use soy milk, or add supplement. 

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Monday, 6 October 2014

University Outdoor Wishlist

Uni Outdoor WishlistHello! I thought that I'd share another wish list this week. One of the best things about attending university is the opportunities that you can get to try lots of new things very cheaply, or for free, in their societies. All my societies have a definite sea or outdoor theme -scuba, surfing, sailing and Endevor, our ocean sciences academic society. And, with Snowdonia quite literally on my doorstep, I'd like to get out walking and exploring too. With autumn very much here now -announced by force ten winds and rain yesterday -I have found myself evaluating what I need to stock up on over the coming months... plus a few non essential extras!

1. Sports Bra, Nike £17-25.00 depending on design

With the on site gym a mere twenty meters or so from my room, I hardly have an excuse not to get a sweat on. I've somehow managed to leave one of my only two medium/high impact sports bras at home, so another Nike Pro number would be perfect! I was surprised to find that the top is supportive enough for short runs on the treadmill along with all my other exercises, so it is a great all-rounder.

2. Vest, Nike

To go with the sports bra, I definitely need a few new tops. I've been heavily relying on my Sweaty Betty Athlete Tank, which is so good, really comfortable and sweat-wicking. This time though, I fancy a looser vest like this Nike one to show off my pretty sports bras!

3.  Eko Superlite Yoga Mat, £35.00

I think it would be really cool (oh man, did I just say "cool"?! Seems like school wasn't so long ago...) to have a travel yoga mat for quick stretches or mat workouts on the go! With the weather cooling off, and outdoor yoga becoming less possible, I would love to find some new yoga spaces to practice in. And, come summer, this mat would be perfect to take on my travels.

4. GoPro Hero3+ Silver, £229.99

Next is a definite luxury, a GoPro camera! GoPro are the leaders in durable, waterproof camera's. They are incredibly small, yet can take powerful videos and multiple exposure photos. A few friends have them, along with serval people in the surf club, and with the amount of time that I'll be spending in the water this seems like a valuable investment for me. Speaking of, I have finally booked my paid Open Water scuba qualification next month and I can't wait! I want to take as many courses as possible over the next few years. GoPro's new Hero4 has just come out and has left me drooling, but realistically I'd be looking at the mid-range Hero3 Silver, which looks perfect.

5. Walking Boots

Walking boots will certainly be on my christmas list this year, if I want to look after my ankles whilst walking or on field trips!

6. Changing Robe, £29.99

And finally, something that I think should be my top priority, is a Robie. It's a towel designed to be worn like a hooded poncho, and is pretty much essential for keeping your modesty and warmth during the kerbside change after a surf. They're also popular with triathletes and outdoor swimmers post-race to keep you insulated from the cold.

Comment below if you'd like more wish lists or university-based posts!

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Thursday, 2 October 2014

Exploring Wales

So... it's been ten days now, and already Bangor University is starting to feel like home. I've survived Freshers' week, (albeit with TWO colds) met most of the lovely people on my course and in my flat, been surfing, booked my PADI Open Water scuba course (eek!), joined the gym and started a new yoga class -phew. Oh, and lectures. To say the least, it has been a busy few days and looks set to remain so. But I honestly can't wait for it all to continue and for myself to get fully established.

So far, we have had a mix of gloriously sunny, warm days, and overcast and raining ones, and every time I have brought my camera out the blue skies had the curtains firmly shut. But such is life. I thought that I would share them all the same and introduce you to my new little city. Bangor is very hilly... and most of the hills are known not by their hard-to-pronounce Welsh names, but by slightly more... descriptive names!

Firstly, I've been really lucky with the food choices here. As well as various supermarkets for the weekly dash, I can take my pick from the health food shop, or the Asian supermarket two doors up. If I feel like a treat between lectures, I have a choice of Cafe Nero's and some great local coffee shops, along with a vegetarian cafe, Tyffin, that sells *so* many teas along with delicious mezzes.

One of the best things about North Wales is the scenery. All around, you can see mountains, many of which are part of Snowdon National Park. Looking down from the Hogwarts-esque main building, the Irish Sea and Menai Straits stretch out before you. On my first full day in Bangor, I couldn't believe how blue the water is in the sunshine! Then, just over the Menai Bridge, is Anglesey, the garden of Wales. I've already been over three times, visiting beaches with my Ocean Sciences school, and surfing society, along with introductory lab lectures -the Marine Biology labs are just across the water to Bangor, right on the coast.

The character of Bangor is also wonderful. Many of the residents are Welsh speakers, and there is a great sense of community; I love how you can chat to the shop owners rather than just grunt and hand over some change. There are lots of pubs around that I'd like to try, both for drinks and occasional cheeky meals out. Oh and the houses. So many beautiful houses! Aside from the numerous cottages, this water front house below has to be my favourite. What a view!

I'll be keeping you all updated on my life in Bangor; what else would you like to see? University advice, photographic posts? Drop me a comment below!

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