Riverford Pop Up Feast, Uppermill

We signed up to weekly Riverford veg boxes three months ago as part of my bid to be more environmental. We haven’t looked back since. I am now a Riverford evangelist. The produce is delightfully fresh and flavourful and it’s given us the opportunity to cook some cracking meals that really focus on the veg. I’ve been especially pleased that we’ve been confronted with foods we wouldn’t normally cook – eg daikon radishes, kolrabi and corn on the cob. We’ve had to dig deep and work out what to do with the stuff, and without fail, the outcome has been delicious.

I was looking forward to the Riverford Pop Up Feast in Upper Mill as it was another excuse for me to gorge myself on Riverford veg and learn more exciting ways of celebrating veg in dishes. The meal was part of a number of events Riverford were running to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Riverford’s Yorkshire farm. Riverford itself has been running for 30 years, but the Northern franchises have been a newer addition. Riverford customers were invited to attend at a bargain price of £15 a head.

Riverford A marvellous feast of veg!
A marvellous feast of veg!

I can confirm that the food was exceptional, and here’s the menu:

Sweetcorn with romesco

Tomato, pickled peppers and feta panzanella

Courgette and bean salad with orange, tahini and poppy seed

New potatoes with tarragon butter

Beetroot, rhubarb and blue cheese salad

Macerated nectarines with brown sugar meringues

Jamie and I were lucky enough to sit with Greg Penn, Business Development Manager for Riverford’s Home Farm in Yorkshire. We really bent his ear. I wanted to know everything about Riverford, the farming and the franchises. It was fascinating hearing all about it and we also spent a long time raving about Riverford vegetables and our favourite recipes. This might not be everyone’s idea of a good night out, but I was in my element!

Riverford yet more veg!
Yet more veg!

I went home very full and inspired. I also came away fired up to spread the word about Riverford and other organic farms, so that more people can join me in evangalising about beautiful organic vegetables, and of course so that farms and companies that are helping the planet get more support.

Thanks to Riverford for inviting us as guests.  All opinions and words are my own.

All Aboard The Grain Train!

I didn’t especially have an opinion on grains until I read Diana Henry’s A Change of Appetite in October last year.

The premise of Diana’s cookbook is finding really amazing cuisines that are incidentally delicious. Her recipes blew my mind, they were exotic, intriguing and obviously, incredibly tasty. I also loved the many articles in the book giving her interpretation on healthy eating. There are features on calories, the lessons we can learn from Japanese cooking, the miracle of broth, good fat and bad fat, dieting and grains. Her thoughts are measured, well researched and inspiring.

The section on grains really caught my eye.  Ingredients such as barley, buckwheat and farro are cheap as chips, packed with an astonishing amount of nutrition and prepared the right way, despite their rather dull reputation, are versatile and bloody gorgeous. Unfortunately in a Western diet we tend to eat a lot of processed grains (white rice, white bread, pasta) that have had most of their nutrients stripped away.

I was further convinced by Diana’s argument to get more grains in my life by the cracking recipes in her book.  Favourites included:

  • kisir (an autumnal tabbouleh with pomegranite seeds) served with griddled aubergine, date, walnut and yoghurt salad
  • a pilaf of mixed grains with sweet potato and fennel with avocado ‘cream’
grains Griddled aubergine, date, walnut and yoghurt salad and kisir
Griddled aubergine, date, walnut and yoghurt salad and kisir

So a seed was planted in the back of my head ten months ago when I read A Change of Appetite. I decided to try to eat less white rice, white flour, pasta and to strive to eat more grains like quinoa, freekah and millet. However that’s easily said given I’m an experimental cook and I like eating out. I can’t say I succeeded. But, luckily I came across the Grains, Seeds and Legumes cookbook a couple of months ago by Molly Brown.  It’s packed with imaginative ways to use a wide range of grains, taking its inspiration from Middle Eastern, Moroccan, Indian and Spanish cuisines. We’ve had some stunning meals.  And the thing with eating grain fuelled meals is they are not only delicious, but leave you feeling full in a very satisfied, light way.  And sadly with refined carbohydrates like white bread you are hungry again quickly.

I’m still not treating my body as a temple, I eat a lot of cakes – although healthier versions, enjoy more than my fair share of wine and mainline diet drinks which are packed full of chemicals. However, I feel I’m at least moving away from a refined carbohydrate heavy diet and towards more grains in my meals.  And rather than feeling I’m on some miserable healthy eating regime, I feel like I’m on a tasty adventure!

grains Quinoa, chicken and black beans with avocado puree
Quinoa, chicken and black beans with avocado puree
grains Turkish barley and lentil salad with tahini dressing
Turkish barley and lentil salad with tahini dressing
grains Warm barley with roast pumpkin and feta
Warm barley with roast pumpkin and feta

Having Your Cake And Eating It!

As you may have gathered from reading my blog posts this year, I have a very sweet tooth that interferes with my desire to eat healthily. I have been very open about my ice-cream addiction and my attempts to curb my evening treat.

So a big theme for me this year has been finding a healthier alternative for dessert.  And ‘healthy’ cakes have become a thing for me.

When I say healthy, I think it’s more accurate to say it contains a few more wholesome ingredients than the original. The recipes are still loaded with sugar and fat.   And whether that’s in the form of maple syrup and coconut oil, too much of it still isn’t good for you.

But I do take great comfort in knowing that when I’m eating a healthier version of a cake, it might be doing me a little bit of good at the same time.

My favourite cookbook for these treats at the moment is Love, Bake, Nourish  It was a birthday present back in May, and for the last two months I’ve cooked the sh*t out of it!

Unfortunately I was too lazy to take photos of all of my efforts, but let me tell you about my greedy cakey couple of months.

For starters I really enjoyed the following:

  • Courgette and apple
  • Maple pecan
  • Orange, almond & pistachio
  • Coconut
  • Chocolate beetroot

And pretty much unanimously, they’ve all been AWESOME.

And the four pictured below are my absolute faves:

  • Banana and cinnamon
  • Chocolate and chestnut
  • Spiced scented carrot cake with a crumble topping
  • Nutmeg love

Amber Rose the author tends to use spelt flour instead of refined flour, which is much more nutritious, she also uses honey, maple syrup or brown sugar instead of refined sugar.  And the use of a lot of nuts, veg and fruit in her cakes bumps up the goodness levels.

I tell you what though, those ingredients may make the recipes healthier, but actually they seem to elevate the flavours.  I’ve been really impressed with complex, interesting taste of the cakes.  All of them were rich and indulgent and really satisfying.  Most were quite pudding like in that they were quite dense and moist, and I was all over that.

I can’t wait to crack on and cook everything in the book. Next on my list is the  passion fruit and lime syrup cake.  Mmm.

healthy Banana and cinnamon cake
Banana and cinnamon cake
healthy chocolate and chestnut cake
Chocolate and chestnut cake
healthy Spiced scented carrot cake with a crumble topping
Spiced scented carrot cake with a crumble topping
healthy Nutmeg love cake
Nutmeg love cake

5 Heathy Recipes For Quick, Easy Mid-Week Meals From Debbie at ProperFoodie.com

Hello! Debbie here again, with some tasty recipe inspiration for you.

After my first guest-blog-post for Katyascakehole back in February, which included very sweet and highly indulgent desserts, I am now back with some recipes that are a little kinder to the waistline.

Spring is has begun and summer is just a stones throw away, so I’ve started to think about those lighter, healthier meals which are great for warmer weather. October to March, for me, is all about lashings of mashed potato and butter, so its time to start thinking about vibrant salads, rustics grains and crunchy veg.

These 5 recipes are some of my favourite dishes for helping with that transition from winter to summer; healthy, colourful and satisfying.

Click on each of the links below to view the recipe

Chicken burritos with homemade chipotle sauce


recipe chicken burritos
Chicken burritos

Spicy chicken burritos stuffed with rice and avocado, served with a homemade fiery chipotle sauce, Greek yogurt and green chilli. 

recipe chicken burrito
Chicken burritos

Sticky honey glazed prawns with griddled greens


recipe Honey glazed prawns

Honey glazed prawnsSticky, honey glazed prawns with griddle asparagus and courgette ribbons. A dish I used as a Christmas dinner starter, but also perfect for a healthy spring salad.

 Steak platter with chimichurri, rosemary potatoes & avo salad


recipe Steak with rosemary potatoes and chimichurri
Steak with rosemary potatoes and chimichurri

Succulent strips of beef served with a fabulous, homemade Argentinian dip, which will liven up any steak.

Healthy chicken tikka curry with homemade tikka paste


A full flavoured healthy curry made using yogurt, ground almonds and a homemade tikka masala paste. I declare it shall be curry night, every night!

recipe Chicken Tikka Paste
Chicken tikka paste
recipe chicken tikka
Chicken tikka

Turmeric, lemongrass and noodle broth


recipe Turmeric lemongrass and coriander broth
Turmeric lemongrass and coriander broth

An Asian style spicy broth with turmeric, lemongrass and noodles. A filling soup, great for detoxing and revitalising.

For more recipe inspo visit my blog at www.properfoodie.com

And here a pdf versions of all the recipes if you’d like to print them off:

Chicken burritos

Honey glazed prawns

Steak platter with chimichurri

Healthy chicken tikka curry

Turmeric lemongrass and noodle broth


Giving up Decaf Coffee Took me to a Dark Place

This week as part of my six week reboot plan, I gave up decaffeinated coffee.  To be precise I replaced all my drinks with either water or herbal tea.  The odd wine and beer were permitted though!

I thought it would be easy.  Yes I’d miss my milky comforting mugs of decaf during the day, but herbal tea would be fine.

decaf sour cherry tea
My go to drink all week – rather delicious sour cherry tea

But no, it was AWFUL!

Unfortunately, bad luck meant that this week also happened to be my most stressful week of the year, so giving up decaf coffee and sugar free squash on top of that just finished me off.

From monday to wednesday I was tired and bad tempered.  Poor Jamie could not do a thing right.

Thursday I lightened up  a bit.  By mid friday I was perky, by saturday I was totally fine.

I’m not a scientist, but I have been speaking to one.  He advised against drinking decaf coffee because of the dangerous chemicals used to strip out the caffeine from the coffee beans.  I’m also aware that the aspartame in sugar free squash maybe be pretty unhealthy too.

So, was I addicted to the chemicals in these two products? Or was I addicted to the habit?

I don’t know, but I’m going to reconsider whether I want to return to these products.  If I do, I’d like to think it won’t be my usual five plus cups of decaf and two big glasses of squash a day. Because with all that herbal tea and water I’ve been drinking this week, I feel nice and properly hydrated and good.  Ok it took a few days to get to the feeling good stage, but now I’m here I don’t want to undo my good work.  I may try and keep it up for another month – I’ll let you know how I get on.

My blogging pal, Debbie, is doing this six week ‘well being’ reboot with me.  This week she’s been embracing slow cooker meals, to try claw back some quality time for her evenings.  Read how she got along here: Proper Foodie

decaf slow cooked ragu
Debbie’s incredible looking slow cooked ragu

Next week’s reboot challenge was supposed to be me doing 15 mins of Marie Kondo decluttering a day.  But, I’m now working in Belfast for a week, so I don’t think decluttering a hotel room is going to bring me a lot of joy! I’m going to replace it with a yoga challenge.  I haven’t done yoga properly for years, but when I do do it I really love the relaxing effect it has on me.  I think a week of yoga will do me the world of good.

I’ll be back next weekend to tell you all about it!  If you have any tips or thoughts about the reboot, do comment below.

A Six Week Reboot

ProperFoodie (aka Debbie) and I were chatting about how many counterproductive habits we have in our lives.  Both of us are sensitive sleepers and suffer regularly from bad night sleeps. And the days after a bad night’s sleep are so miserable and unproductive.  However secretly we know we are contributing to our own insomnia.  Both of us are guilty of jabbing away at our social medias on our phones all evening, then even in bed.  And personally I know that the routine of thoughtless glasses of wine in front of the telly are not helping me unwind before I sleep.

So we got thinking, we both want to improve our own well being – we want to be more relaxed, to have more creative head space to be able think of great ideas for our blogs, we want to sleep better and be fitter and healthier, but we don’t want any changes to feel punitive.  Going cold turkey on a habit can backfire.

But what if we chose one easy new habit to try and nurture over the course of a week.  To gently try this new habit and observe if it helped us feel better?  Debbie is very keen to try doing yoga every day for a week.  Even if she only does it for ten minutes a day, she’s curious to know how it might effect her sense of well being.  In my case, my social media obsession is out of control.  I feel like I need to monitor my channels every ten minutes in order to respond to any comments or questions.  But what if I had designated social media times during the day?  They would need to be regular, because it’s my job.  But even if I behaved more deliberately and mindfully around social media it could help me be less stressed.

We had a good brainstorm and came up with a list of 6 new healthy habits to introduce.  We could trial one out a week and report back on the blog on our thoughts and observations.

Here’s my list:

  1. Week one: meditate once a day for at least ten minutes.
  2. Week two: all drinks must be water, herbal tea or hot lemon as normally I drink too much decaff coffee and diet squash.  Although I’m allowed a little alcohol – I’m not a saint!
  3. Week three: apply Marie Kondo’s Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying to my home for 15 minutes a day – this will hopefully help me achieve a more streamlined and relaxing living and working environment.
  4. Week four: phone curfew – turn it off at 8pm until 7 in the morning.
  5. Week five: Use social media mindfully and sparingly. I will be strict and will journal my experience.
  6. Week six: no television after 9pm for a week.

And here’s Debbie’s:

Sleep, relaxation, well being, reboot Debbie and her fiance Ben making pizza
This Debbie and her fiance Ben

You can also keep track of Debbie’s progress by checking her blog at ProperFoodie.com

  1. Week one: I learned about the bullet journal off a blogging friend Kat and I decided it would be a neat way of organising my time.  I will set time aside each night, to firstly understand how the bullet  journal works and then to set out my plans and tasks for the next few months.
  2. Week two: Slow cooker teas to save time at night: First of all I need to buy a slow cooker  and then use it every week night, so that tea is ready and waiting when we get in.
  3. Week three: Ten minutes of Yoga each day: I think exercise is a really important one, because with the right type of exercise and with the time to “zone out” I find that I feel less stressed and more creative.
  4. Week four: Alcohol cut: I know how easy it is to get in from work and open a bottle of red. But I also know that even the smallest amount of wine is probably affecting my sleep and the way I feel the next day. So no alcohol from Monday to Sunday.
  5. Week five: Set time of one hour of “jobbing” when I get in from work: I would love to have more me-time (or blogging time) during the week. However, I get in from work and find all sorts to do. So I want to limit this “jobbing time” to an hour after I get in. So any housework, preparing tea, and preparing lunch for the next day etc.  – it all needs to be done so that the rest of the night is mine.
  6. Week six: Hydration levels: I have a sneaky suspicion that not being as hydrated as I should be, affects my productivity, my energy levels, my skin, my general attitude and range of other things. So for a whole week I want to aim to drink 1.5 litres of water each day and also cut out any diuretics (caffeine and alcohol) – so this is a step up from my no alcohol week, and hopefully a great one to finish with.

Watch this space, we’ll let you know how we get on.  And if you’d like to join us, get stuck in and let us know what challenges you’ve set yourself and how you’re finding it.

I’m Taking Baby Steps to Improve my Diet

My ‘war on ice cream’ continues. Despite not being an angel in the food department lately, I can report back on some very positive progress.

I’d like to announce that I haven’t eaten ice cream for seven whole days.  I admit, I’ve eaten a brownie today, I’m not perfect.  What I am pleased about is that I’ve broken the ritual of eating ice cream every evening.  Believe me after 18 months of mainlining the stuff, this is a breakthrough.

How have I done this?

I’ve stocked up on interesting alternative snacks:

  • Medjool dates
  • Nakd bites – made from dates and other dried fruit and nuts, you can nearly convince yourself they are chocolate revels
  • Aldi veggie bursts – edamane beans, almonds and cashew nuts roasted in paprika and chilli – so good
    diet healthy snacks
    Healthy snacks

    We’ve also been making a number of exciting non refined sugar cakes and snacks:

  • Hemsley and Hemsley lemon poppy seed muffins
  • The Foodie Teen pineapple and carrot cake with coconut and passion fruit frosting
  • The Foodie Teen crunchy banana loaf
  • Hemsley and Hemsley apple and cheddar buckwheat muffins
diet The Foodie Teen carrot and pineapple cake with coconut and passion fruit frosting
The Foodie Teen carrot and pineapple cake with coconut and passion fruit frosting
diet the foodie teen crunchy banana loaf
The Foodie Teen crunchy banana loaf
diet Hemsley and Hemsley apple cheddar buckwheat muffins
Hemsley and Hemsley apple cheddar buckwheat muffins

I understand that maple syrup or whatever sugar alternative we have used in the snacks isn’t exactly healthy, and neither is an excess of the natural sugars found in medjool dates, however for me it’s an important move away from the processed refined sugar found in ice cream.

And what I’m noticing is my diet has become more interesting and varied.  My palate is growing more curious.  When I ate the pineapple and carrot cake there was an incredible depth of flavour and it was very satisfying.  With ice cream it’s wonderful, but it’s a much more one dimensional hit that leaves you craving more.

In the coming weeks Michelle my weight loss coach will carry on probing me to find out why I reach for ice cream.  My relationship with a sugar hit is still hard wired and won’t disappear over night. One of the things that Michelle observed is that I’m very controlling around food.  I count calories, I weigh out my ice cream, I exercise to burn off the exact calories I’ve ‘over’ eaten.  It’s all rather rigid and to be frank probably a bit f**ked up.  I’ve been overweight before, I don’t want to be again.  There’s still more more work for us to do to uncover a more postive and less obsessive way of me relating to food.

I will keep you posted!

Do any of you relate to my journey? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

Cooking The Books: Hemsley and Hemsley ‘The Art of Eating Well’

For those of you who haven’t heard of these very attractive sisters, Hemsley and Hemsley started out in 2010 providing a healthy food coaching and catering service. They attracted celebrity clients and big brands like Louis Vuitton and Vivienne Westwood.  Next came their beautiful and stylish cookbooks containing recipes for all sorts of wonder items like black bean brownies, kohlrabi dauphinoise and cauliflower base pizzas.

More recently there has been a backlash against the ‘clean eating’ fad associated with Hemsley and Hemsley and I’m not sure why.  This is not some crazy yo yo diet book, the food is balanced and they’re not afraid of a bit of full fat mince or butter.  The food leaves you satiated and full.  I can see why the media might be envious of the success of these gorgeous and stylish ladies – I know I am, but why rip them to pieces when actually they are providing inspiring healthy alternatives to the processed crap a lot of the population eats?

Back to the food.  It’s been a pleasure and an education testing out these recipes.  I like learning about alternative healthy ingredients: black beans in brownies work, cauliflower mash in shepherd’s pie is delicious and coconut flour in cake tastes so exotic.  Out of the 9 recipes we cooked there was only one thing I didn’t love, the gingernut biscuits.  And to clarify, I still liked these biscuits, I just didn’t adore them in the way I did the other recipes.

So here’s the run through:


  1. Roasted vegetable salad and brazil nut pesto.  What’s not to love about roasted vegetables? I could eat them all day long.  And throw some brazil nut pesto and quinoa into the mix and you’ve got an incredible dinner.
  2. Black bean brownies. Not as super sweet as standard brownies, but moist and rich and gorgeous.  These were very popular with my friends.
  3. Quinoa risotto with gorgonzola.  The combination of fresh and porcini mushrooms gave this risotto a lovely intense flavour which was made even tastier by the gorgonzola.
  4. Shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash.  Full fat lamb mince provides the base for a lot of flavour for this pie.  Yes arguably if we are being factually correct shepherd’s pie should always contain lamb mince, but that’s often not the case.  And I loved the cauliflower mash on top, you absolutely don’t miss the potato.
  5. Osso bucco.  Slow cooked beef shin with carrots with a smoky sweet gravy. An incredible winter warmer.
  6. Prawn laksa.  My favourite dinner of all.  Full of colour and malaysian spices.  This dish kicks ass! I even took the leftovers in a thermos for lunch on a frosty hike in the Peak District.  I was the envy of my fellow hikers.
Hemsley and Hemsley Quinoa Salad & Pesto
Quinoa Salad & Pesto
Hemsley and Hemsley Black Bean Brownies
Black Bean Brownie
Hemsley and Hemsley quinoa risotto
Quinoa risotto
Hemsley and Hemsley Shepherd's Pie
Sheperd’s Pie
Hemsley and Hemsley osso bucco
Osso bucco
Hemsley and Hemsley prawn laksa
Prawn Laksa

Also Very Goods

  1. Lemon and poppy seed muffins made with coconut flour and maple syrup.  I loved the coconutty flavour in these cakes.  They are dense cakes and the delicate lemony flavour is very satisfying.
  2. Teriyaki seabream.  We were so into the sweet and sour japanese sauce.  Not the most beautiful looking of all the recipes but it absolutely packed a punch.
  3. Gingernuts.  Tasty biscuits made with ground almonds, maple syrup and three whole tablespoons of ground ginger.  Not as addictive as the sugarry buttery version, but still an enjoyable and filling snack.
    Hemsley and Hemsley lemon and poppy seed muffins
    Lemon and poppy seed muffins
    Hemsley and Hemsley teriyaki sea bream
    Teriyaki sea bream
    Hemsley and Hemsley ginger biscuits
    Ginger biscuits

    After cooking another nine recipes from Hemsley and Hemsley, I just love this book even more. It’s jam packed with beautiful, imaginatively crafted and well researched recipes. The book is very good value for money – there are a lot of recipes, most are straight forward and it’s easy to achieve excellent results.  Some of the recipes are a bit fiddly and time consuming, but none are difficult.  There are some unusual ingredients like amaranth and bone broth that put me off, but it’s not hard to find alternatives to the ingredients that are difficult to source.

    I look forward to cooking more from The Art of Eating Well, in fact I’d really like to try every single recipe, especially all the sweet treats like sticky toffee pudding and five spice apple crumble. Maybe that’s a new cookbook challenge for Jamie and I?  Cook every recipe from The Art of Eating Well.  What do you think, shall we do it?

I’ve Suffered an Ice-cream Relapse

With the help of weight loss coach Michelle Pratt I felt like I’d been making brilliant progress with dealing with the ‘issues’ behind my ice-cream addiction.

We’d identified that I was anxious about starting my own business and had addressed a few areas of my day to day life where my needs weren’t being met.

Whilst I hadn’t cut out ice-cream and sweet treats, the chats with Michelle were allowing me to get perspective on my habits, and I was starting to be more mindful about what I was shovelling in my face and why.  I was cooking healthy treats made with non refined sugar and more healthy ingredients.  I was eating bigger healthy meals that were filling me up and leaving me less likely to crave sugary snacks.  Even acknowledging how hard starting a business is somehow moved me out of my sugary rut.

But then bang, an adrenelin pumped and stressful week resulted in an almighty sugar binge.  The combination of dealing with a family illness, the rollercoaster of emotions of starting to promote my business and being mega busy left me exhausted.  So on Tuesday I went to Marks and Spencers because I felt I deserved a treat.  That was my undoing.  My favourite ice-creams (mud pie and key lime pie) were reduced to 75p and salted caramel whips were on special offer too.  I walked out of M&S with four tubs of ice-cream and six whips.

sugar 2
Ice-cream and walnut whips on special offer triggered my undoing
sugar 3
A delicious slice of raspberry and lime drizzle cake on sugar binge wednesday

Needless to say Tuesday and Wednesday were sugar fuelled and left me feeling sullied, guilty and sick.  I missed feeling wholesome and healthy.  However Michelle and I had a coaching session today and I’m feeling very positive.  We’ve looked closely at what triggered me and my thinking processes behind the purchases.  By digging into my reasoning, I feel like I’ve half solved the problem.  We also identified that I do have a habit of eating small meals in an attempt to keep my weight in check and that backfires because before long I’m reaching for sugar.  With a bit of rummaging I admitted to Michelle that having been overweight on many occasions in my life I’m scared of putting weight on as being overweight made me unhappy.  So the fear of putting on weight is perhaps encouraging some unhealthy counterproductive habits around food.

sugar 4
Post coaching with Michelle I baked some super healthy Hemsley and Hemsley lemon muffins which will help me to keep on track

Whilst I don’t have the answers yet, I feel that the work I’m doing with Michelle is really powerful and moving me forward.  I’m not expecting a fast turn around miracle, but hopefully with more support from Michelle I will crack this in the coming months.

It’s Not About The Ice-Cream

In my recent blog post Confessions of an Ice-Cream Addict  I admitted I have a bit of a problem with this frozen snack.  Here’s an update on my attempt to rein my habit in.

First things first.  I’m still eating ice-cream, in fact I had a fantastic scoop of the stuff last night at the cinema.  However I would argue that I’ve made huge progress in discovering that my problem is not the ice-cream.  It’s what’s driving me to eat the ice-cream.

Michelle Pratt a weight loss coach has been rummaging around in my head to try and find out why my daily hit is so important to me and the benefit I’m gaining from it.

We discovered it’s a crutch for me.  Whilst I’m thoroughly enjoying setting up my own business as a social media coach, it can be scary, exhausting and lonely.  I don’t know how things are going to pan out so I’m consciously and subconsciously dealing with a lot of uncertainty.  I also have to be incredibly motivated every day.  There’s no one to tell me what to do or tell me off if I don’t do it. And I’m learning all the time.  How to take better photos, how to file for my taxes, how to use photoshop, how to load various plug ins onto my blog, how to optimise hashtags on instagram.  I love learning but it’s tiring.  So ice-cream has become my certainty and my comfort.  However much of a rollercoaster of a day I have I know I can count of my bowl of Ben and Jerrys.

This was a revelation to me.  Michelle and I are now going to explore exactly which of my needs aren’t being met in my day to day work life.  And then if we can figure out a way of meeting those needs, we might be able to curb my sweet tooth.

Michelle busy figuring out why I eat ice-cream

Alongside the sessions with Michelle I’ve also started to look at healthier alternatives for my sweet tooth and I’ve made some enjoyable discoveries.  First of all I’ve become a big fan of Simone’s Healthy Bakery at the Arndale Centre in Manchester. They have a variety of options, mainly gluten free, diary free and vegan.  And you really wouldn’t know, they all just taste like great cakes. In the photo of me at the top of the blog I’m devouring a vegan and gluten free matcha cupcake.  It was incredible.

ice-cream 2
Simone’s Bakery vegan vanilla and chocolate swirl cupcakes

I’ve also had a dabble at making my own healthy cakes.  I tried Hemsley and Hemsley ginger biscuits made with ground almonds and maple syrup and they were pretty good.  But the real triumph were the Hemsley and Hemsley brownies made with black beans and raw cacao.  They were way too good to be healthy.

ice-cream 3
My Hemsley and Hemsley ginger biscuits
ice-cream 4
Hemsley and Hemsley black bean brownie

Whilst I haven’t quite nailed this healthy eating/giving up ice-cream lark yet.  I’m delighted with the support I’m getting with Michelle and feel that when we truly get to the root of why I’ve become so dependent on ice-cream and how to get those needs met in a more helpful way, I won’t be quite so dependent on my evening fix.