A Super Simple Smoothie

Smoothies are such a great, healthy pick-me-up to start your day with. They also make your first decision an active and healthy one, which will put you in a great mindset for the rest of the day! Today I’m going to share with you my all-time favourite, a banana and berry smoothie.

Fruit smoothies are deliciously sweet and are great for beginners, as they aren’t quite as intimidating as the all green, vegetable concoctions. Fruit smoothies won’t spike your blood sugar levels like a fruit juice will, as smoothies retain the fibre of the fruit. While a juice will be almost immediately absorbed into your bloodstream (and thereby spiking your blood sugar levels), the fibre in a smoothie cushions this, and also makes it more filling.

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All you need for this smoothie is half a banana, a handful of frozen berries and a splash of apple juice. Blend them all up together and you’re done!

Bananas freeze really well, so don’t worry about using only half. The banana is essential as the base of the smoothie. All smoothies require a chunky fruit or vegetable base to thicken them up, usually avocado, mango or banana. I like using bananas because they add a bit of sweetness and you can buy them cheaply. Bananas are a great source of potassium and fibre, which is essential for stablising your blood sugar levels and maintaining a normal blood pressure and healthy heart.

I love the taste of all berries, which is why I use them in my smoothies. Frozen berries can be bought cheaply, obviously last much longer and make your smoothies really refreshing. Berries also make the smoothie runnier, which I prefer as I don’t like really thick ones. Berries are full of antioxidants which is great for your skin and hair as well as your health in general!

All smoothies need a liquid as well, and I use apple juice simply because I like it. But you can use anything. I use a lot of liquid because I prefer runnier smoothies, but if you want it thicker be more sparing.

This is one of the most basic smoothies you can make, but I think that if it is simple, you are more likely to make it even if you are in a rush. I always have this alongside cereal or porridge, but if you want it to be your breakfast on its own then add some porridge oats, yoghurt or nut butter to bulk it out and make it more filling.

If you have any favourite smoothies then I would love to hear them!

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Sky High Yoga

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After one too many Christmas parties drinking champagne, and evenings on the sofa eating mince pies, a detox was in order. Christmas is great but the festive spirit can be dampened when you start to resemble Mr Blobby. Today’s post is all about London’s coolest yoga class (and a delicious breakfast!)

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The Sky Garden should be on your radar for a place to visit in London anyway. It costs nothing to whip up to the top of the “Walkie-Talkie” building and gaze out at London’s sky line, whilst also admiring the gardens inside. All you have to do is book a time slot. Or, visit in the evening for cocktails and dinner as the sun sets over London.

The Sky Garden also holds yoga classes at (brace yourselves) 6.30am on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings. It’s an early wake-up call, but it’s an amazing way to begin your day, surrounded by greenery while watching London wake up. Classes last an hour and are very beginner-friendly. I had never done yoga before but absolutely loved it, and felt like I’d worked hard by the end. It’s a big, mixed group and there’s always someone good at the front to copy!

And, to reward you for your efforts, you get 20% at Darwin Brasserie for a post-yoga breakfast. They have quick, healthy options like granola and yoghurt to grab and go, as well as cooked breakfasts. We feasted on smoothies, coffee and avocado toast in our relaxed, yoga bubble while watching the sun rise.

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Classes are starting up again in mid-January, and I will definitely be going along as part of the inevitable, new year fitness kick.

On a side note, I have finally sorted out a Bloglovin’ account. It’s the best way to easily follow all of your favourite blogs, so please head on over and check mine out (and maybe even follow it…) by clicking here!

Speedy London Breakfast: Gail’s

Today is my first London post! While I don’t live in London (yet…) I do spend a large chunk of my week there, working at the office and camping in my boyfriend’s room. This post will be the first of many!

An early wake up call and an hour to spare before work called for a breakfast stop. Luckily, I knew just the place.

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Popping up all over London now, Gail’s Artisan Bakery was originally founded when it proved impossible to find the perfect loaf of bread in the UK’s capital. Fortunately for us, with Gail’s on the block that is no longer a problem.

Gail’s entices you with naughty delights and a quiet space to sit and enjoy your treats. You can choose from a vast selection of breads (of course!) but also pastries, cakes, sandwiches and excellent coffee. Although the Gail’s we visited is surrounded by offices and building sites, you wouldn’t know it looking out of the window, as they have an outdoor seating area enclosed by greenery.

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As it was quite early in the morning and we didn’t have a lot of time, we didn’t opt for the brunch menu (but if you have more time, you definitely should!) Instead, we couldn’t resist the pastry selection.

After much (much) debate over which to choose and how many, we settled for the classic croissant, a pain au chocolat and an almond croissant.

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As we had hoped, they did not disappoint. The pastry was beautifully flaky and they made for a very filling, delicious breakfast! The staff are really friendly and if you go there reasonably early on a weekday morning, like we did, then you pretty much get the entire place to yourself and (more importantly) first choice of the pastries.

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If dragging yourself out of bed to go out for breakfast isn’t your thing, then I imagine the cake selection for a lazy afternoon tea would be an equally special treat. Just pick a time, grab some friends and share the bread and cake around … what more could you ask for?!

Sunday Brunch: Graze Kitchen and Bar

I’m sorry if it’s painful to talk about the weekend on Wednesday, when it just seems so far away… But this brunch was too good to not share with you!

My sister, Rosie, and I often go cruising down the high street where we live with our eyes peeled for new eateries. It seems to be the thing of the moment for our hometown: a new day, a new cafe opens up. While we’ve been promising to go to a few now, there was one that we had to visit as soon as we spotted it.

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Previously a very dodgy pub, this cute little building on the bridge overlooking the river has completely turned itself around into an all day eatery. Graze Kitchen and Bar opens early to provide busy commuters with espressos and pastries and then stays open into the night offering sharing platters and cocktails. Choosing when to go was a tricky decision!

However, rumour had it that their brunch menu was the best, and what better day to brunch than a Sunday?!

We arrived reasonably early and got in easily. The dining space is fairly small but nicely spread out, so we didn’t feel as though we were sharing our fellow brunchers’ coffees and conversations. We sat by the window and watched the world go by.

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The menu is varied and (to our pleasant surprise) not too expensive. If you are in a hurry you can opt for the bircher muesli or pastry selection, or if you have more time you can go for the full ‘graze breakfast’ (essentially a full English with a more original name).

We, of course, had plenty of time so I chose the graze breakfast and Rosie went for the American Pancakes with maple syrup and bacon. These delicious offerings shared the table with a luxury hot chocolate, a pot of tea and apple juice.

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The portion sizes are generous and service is quick but not rushed. The poached eggs were OK but nothing to write home about but this was the Graze brunch’s only downfall. Happily, there were so many marshmallows on top of the hot chocolate that drinking it was a bit of a challenge at first (the only way a hot chocolate should be)!

So if you’re in the area, skip Starbucks or the Waitrose cafe and walk that bit further up the high street for Graze. It is 100% worth it.