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Yoga, Nutrition & Meditation.

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Blog

Welcome to Amber's wellbeing blog. Unearthing new health and beauty finds, discussing yoga and mindfulness, great healthy recipes and much more!

Filtering by Category: inspirations

Angelic Cashew Delight

Amber Macintosh

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I like to try and make nut milk once a week as it’s so easy and much more nutritious that shop bought. Last time I was repeating this process I held back some of the cashew nuts (which had soaked in water for 7 hours) and created a delicious desert which tastes like butterscotch angel delight!

Ingredients for 3 to 4 people: 2 handfuls of soaked cashew nuts (soaking makes them creamy & more digestible)

1 tablespoon of maca powder (gives a slightly caramel flavour)

2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder

1 medjool date

Pinch of cinnamon & Himalayan salt

Splash of coconut mylk

Directions: simply blitz in a blender to a smooth creamy consistency. Eat just as is or top with fruit, a dust of cocoa powder, chia seeds or fresh mint - I think this one is perfect for a dinner party! xAmber

Super Beetroot Brownies

Amber Macintosh

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These brownies really are more beetroot than chocolate so I have given the option to top up the natural sugar content if you need! You can see by the incredibly vibrant colour how beet heavy these are and therefore packed with antioxidants. I have also suggested leaving the skins on the beetroots and poaching for a shorter time so that the fibre content is left intact. These are suitable for vegans and for those gluten, dairy and refined sugar free.

Ingredients for 20 brownies: x4 fresh raw beetroots, 100g of buckwheat flour (or another if you prefer), tablespoon of GF baking powder, 100ml of coconut oil, 100g of organic dark chocolate, tablespoon of raw cacao powder & vanilla paste plus 50ml of maple syrup.

Method: Line a baking tin with baking paper, preheat oven to 180 degrees and melt dark chocolate with coconut oil in a small saucepan. Clean and trim beetroots, taking off any really thick bits of skin. Cover with water and poach for 20 mins until only just tender. Remove, roughly chop and add to blender or magimix with other wet ingredients - coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla & melted dark chocolate. Blitz and taste this beetroot mix, it is at this point that you may like to add more maple syrup or chocolate - you need to enjoy the taste at this stage! Add swiftly to your dry ingredients, don’t over work and pour into your lined tin. I like to add some cheeky cubes of extra dark chocolate to the top of the mix but equally you could make a chocolate glaze, bake for 25 mins.

Hope you enjoy the plant powered goodness of these! xAmber

Cocoa Amaranth Slabs

Amber Macintosh

Such a simple chocolate treat with the benefit of fibre and natural fats. You can interchange nuts for seeds if you are nut free and use quinoa pops instead of amaranth.

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150g Organic dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids or vegan chocolate option

60g of Amaranth pops (available from Ocado or health food shops)

Small handful of golden raisins, the same amount of sliced almonds, of hazelnuts & toasted coconut chips

A drop, or teaspoon, of cinnamon

Method:

Line a small oven dish with baking paper. Meanwhile add a handful of the two nuts to a frying pan and lightly toast for 10 mins. Break the dark chocolate into pieces and place in a mixing bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stir till melted, adding the cinnamon and take off the heat. You can now combine all the dry ingredients with the chocolate, stirring so that everything is really well coated and press a 6 cm layer into your oven dish and place in the fridge for a couple of hours. So simple.

Cut into rectangular bars, store these in tupperware, and keep in the fridge - they will last for over a week but I assure you will be gone within days!!

xAmber 

Well really?

Amber Macintosh

After opening my social media and reading my Sunday paper this morning I am confused as to where the wellness industry is going. Maybe I am being reactive but I did promise to give you more of myself this year so wanted to share what was on my mind. The ancient medicine traditions from every corner of the globe have guided us for centuries to listen, be gentle on our physical bodies, exercise the mind, sleep well, eat in rhythm with the seasons - essentially be compassionate. It’s not rocket science but I fully appreciate that we may all need a gentle reminder when life goes off balance. Do we really need then to open the papers and read pages about the latest health guru telling us exactly the same thing as though it’s new news and jumping on Dr Chatterjees bandwagon by calling it four pillars! Between these programmes, when did life become a mindless programme, and Instagram squares of the current celery juice fad I am left feeling flat. Is it just me or are you getting a sense that the wellness industry is pulling your leg?!

It was with huge relief then that I received my ‘Gentle January’ guide from Emine & Paul Rushton (The Balance Plan) which has returned my sense of calm and reassurance that the world of wellbeing hasn’t quite gone mad! This week has also seen the launch of the Healthyish column in Grazia from straight talking, experienced journalist Susannah Taylor - it’s a great fun break from what has become a rather to serious business. Last but not least, back to Dr Chatterjee - The Four Pillar Plan and new Stress Solution are well researched, evidence based books from which you will pick up some interesting tips that you may just take forward as guidance in 2019.

I would like to add that you can’t go far wrong if you do a little of your own self exploration and really listen to what your body, mind and spirit desire. In return I will continue to research and unearth gems of the wellness world that we can all enjoy, if and when we choose, and gently bring you some of my own. xAmber

Bircher Museli with Pear Compote

Amber Macintosh

I love the fresh, naturally sweet taste of this seasonal museli. It’s perfect as we transition into Spring and easy to prep the night before so that you have a relaxed hassle free breakfast. This recipe is for two people or two servings:

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Ingredients:

1 Cup of organic jumbo oats, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds & 1 tablespoon of hazelnuts, bashed up

1 Pinch, or drop, of cinnamon & vanilla paste (I use spice drops by Holy Lama)

2 Cups of almond milk (you can also use cashew, oat or coconut)

1 Apple grated & juice of 2 clementines

For the compote: 8 conference pears, handful of golden raisins & juice plus zest of 2 clementines.

Method: simply mix all these ingredients together in a cereal bowl, making sure there is a little fluid resting over the top of the dry ingredients so that the oats and chia seeds can expand. Put in the fridge overnight.

Meanwhile skin the pears and chop, add to a saucepan with the zest and juice of the clementines, as well as the golden raisins. Poach slowly until just tender. This is enough for quite a few servings so I like to freeze little batches that can be used for puddings and breakfasts whenever you need.

To serve start with half a bowl of bircher museli and top with the compote. You could lightly toast some extra hazlenuts to finish and add honey, but it really is sweet enough.

I hope you love this one as much as I do! Happy, healthy breakfast. xAmber






Spiced Vegetable Soups

Amber Macintosh

Rather than roast parsnips I prefer to cook them gently by creating a warming Winter soup. I made up this very quick recipe with the help of ready made curry paste and coconut oil that already contains turmeric. It was such a success that I have followed it up, using exactly the same recipe method, with butternut squash and red lentils. Right, let’s get started:

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For 6 people:

1 White Onion chopped (red if you are making the second soup with squash)

5 Parsnips / 1 Butternut squash & 2 handfuls of red lentils - roughly chopped

2 Teaspoons of coconut oil (I use Kurmeric by Holy Lama) or add a bit of turmeric powder to the oil

Curry paste (I love Mild Curry Paste by Free & Easy on Ocado)

Tablespoon of vegetable stock (I use a simple vegan GF free powder)

Soften the onion in coconut oil in a heavy saucepan. On the same high heat add the chopped vegetables, and lentils if using butternut squash, and let them fry for 5 minutes, turning with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat and add the vegetable stock with enough boiling water to cover the vegetables by 5 cm. Add a lid to your saucepan and simmer very gently for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, don’t overcook to a mush as you want to retain the goodness! Leave to cool slightly before blitzing till smooth with a handheld or stand alone food processor and season to taste. Top parsnip soup with finely chopped chestnuts and fresh thyme or chilli flakes and sage for the butternut squash. Deliciously warming soups that all the family will love with a big slab of fresh seedy bread.



Winter Granola

Amber Macintosh

I have promised the recipe for my granola, which I have been gifting in my recent nutrition workshops, better late than never! I don’t give exact ingredient amounts because I would suggest you tweak the recipe to the amount of granola you want, the kilner jar you store it in and baking tray sizes you have at home.

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Jumbo organic oats

Ground ginger & cinnamon

Maple syrup

Coconut oil

Zest & juice of 1 orange

Flaked almonds

Vanilla paste

Pumpkin & sunflower seeds

Warm a teaspoon of coconut oil (small baking tray) or tablespoon (large baking tray) in the oven at 180 or 150 fan. After a few minutes cover the tray in a fine layer of oats, followed by a light layer of ground ginger and cinnamon. Add a layer of mixed pumpkin and sunflower seeds followed by a drizzle of maple syrup and top with a layer of flaked almonds. Next add a teaspoon of vanilla paste, juice and zest of orange. Bake for 10 mins, take out and thoroughly mix. Continue to bake for 30 mins taking out every five minutes to mix, adding extra maple, cinnamon and ginger to taste. You will notice the orange cooks off and the ingredients become dry and perfectly crunchy, lightly browned with no burnt bits. It is now perfect! Take out and completely cool before adding your choice of dried fruit. In the Winter I love cranberries and golden raisins for their festive colours. Add to kilner jars and enjoy with almond milk and fruits, with natural yoghurt or as a yummy porridge topping.

The smell as it cooks fills the whole house, divine! x


Healthy Eton Mess

Amber Macintosh

I was messing about with an Eton mess recipe, though you can hardly call them recipes as it is more of arranging ingredients in a bowl! Anyway, I have created a version that makes a great Summer evening treat and thought you might like it:

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Mix goats yoghurt (use coconut or soy for dairy free or vegan) with vanilla paste. Spoon into a glass, next add fresh berries, follow with crumbled meringue (or vegan cookie) and another spoon of yoghurt. For the topping stew blueberries with lemon zest, drizzle on next and finish with more meringue and crumbled chocolate quinoa. This chocolate treat is simply puffed quinoa, vanilla, coconut chips & seeds mixed into melted 85% organic chocolate and cooled in the fridge as a slab (full recipe here). The kids found some wild strawberries to add but final touches are your call. My family and I thought this was a great little treat and for kids you could use vanilla ice cream instead of yoghurt - see what you think! xAmber

Radiant Health Workshop Recipes

Amber Macintosh

Huge thanks to those that joined me on Thursday to explore health through nutrition and meditation. For those that missed this one there will be much more to come this Autumn and we can all enjoy these simple recipes:

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Vanilla oat & chia porridge with stewed fruit: cook oats in a milk of your choice (we used cashew milk) and add a big spoon of vanilla paste for natural sweetness. You could also soak them overnight but cooking breaks oats down further to remove any phytic acid - in much the same way as we activate or sprout grains and nuts. Leave to cool whist you soak chia seeds in the same milk and vanilla, you may also want to add ground cinnamon and/or ground ginger for taste. Once the chia seeds have absorbed the liquid you can combine both together and either eat or set aside in the fridge for breakfast the next day. I have not put exact amounts as you may want some for a few days - it will keep in the fridge for three. 

On to the fruit: We used blueberries and I simply slow cooked them in a saucepan after rinsing them thoroughly (remember how much our fruit is sprayed!) and add the zest of a lemon and dash of honey. Once jammy they are ready and you can add to your porridge - great at this time of year, in the Autumn you might want to add stewed apples, pears or blackberries. You could of course add raw fruits of your choice but for the purpose of this workshop we were looking at ways in which to calm the body and mind and eating slowly cooked foods is one of the ways to achieve this, leaving the digestive system very little to do.

So far we have carbs, protein, vitamins, minerals, natural sugars - let's now add some more fats and fibre to offset the fructose, keeping blood sugar stable, with a simple granola that does not even require any cooking! In a bowl put puffed quinoa and/or puffed amaranth and stir through vanilla paste, dried berries, coconut chips, fresh pistachios, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Add to a kilner jar to keep fresh for a week or so. You could add linseed if you know you need more fibre - remember we are all different.

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Praline nuts: you all loved the sweet pistachios so just a very quick recipe. Pop a handful of nuts in a small frying pan with some unrefined brown sugar or coconut sugar, once the heat has just melted the sugar take the pan of the heat and bring together with a wooden spoon and bash up once cool in a pestle and mortar. Don't panic if you find they cool and stick firm in the frying pan, just warm up again and move once soft! You can choose any nut or nut and seed combination you fancy and store for topping on anything in an old jam jar.

Enjoy this balanced, calming breakfast to start the day. 

Spring Workshop Recipes

Amber Macintosh

Thank you for spending a lovely sunny morning on the yoga mats with me. As promised the recipes of our breakfast bowl, smoothie and snack are detailed below:

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Cardamom overnight oats with mango & praline pistachios

It's lovely to enjoy a warming bowl of porridge on a cold day but we don't always have the time or maybe we want to take breakfast with us to work? by making overnight oats you can have something ready in the fridge for up to three days to which you can add an array of fruit, nut butters and seeds. 

For this version crush cardamom seeds to a fine dust in a pestle and mortar. Add to oats and chia seeds with a little vanilla powder and pour over your choice of milk. Keep stirring and adding milk until the seeds have expanded. I have used coconut drink from M&S because it has a mild coconut taste which marries with the tropical taste of mango. If you are using berries almond milk goes well and with apple compote hazelnut milk. Mango is finely chopped with the juice and zest of a lime. Once ready to assemble together just layer up in a glass and top with pistachios and linseeds that have been heated in a pan with coconut or brown sugar. I also use the flat plate on the nutri bullet to break them down to a nut crumb, this combo of nuts and seeds adds both natural fats and fibre to your breakfast.

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Berry & Blood Orange Smoothie

So simple and such a crowd pleaser with even the smallest members of the family. Pop 1/4 bag of frozen berries in the nutri bullet cup or food processor, add the juice of 1 blood orange (as they are in season) and a mug of milk, I like brown rice milk with this. Blend to your desired consistency, for little kids you could make it really thick and add a drop of honey as a great refined sugar free pudding!

Little Sweat Snack

Many of you mentioned you have a little craving for something sweet so try taking pecans and fennel seeds, warming in a fry pan with honey and leave to cool. These will keep in an airtight container for a few days. You could also try cashews in the same way with curry powder and honey.

Enjoy! x

 

Natural Facial Oils - 3 of the Best

Amber Macintosh

For thousands of years indigenous people have used natural oils on their hair and skin from the seeds and nuts found in their local habitats, with beautiful results. Even so, growing up with a greasy skin made the idea of using facial oil slightly terrifying. Thankfully this changed when I was sent to review a Darphin facial whilst in my first job as an intern at Elle Magazine, twenty years ago. Many botanic oils were layered on my skin and each one sank in, which is when I realised my skin was dehydrated, not oily - the results had me hooked and I have loved facial oils ever since.

THREE OF THE BEST - NATURAL FACIAL OILS

THREE OF THE BEST - NATURAL FACIAL OILS

As I am a judge on this years Beauty Shortlist awards a total of twelve facial oils have been sent to me for testing. Three of my favourites so far come from Oilixia, whose products celebrate rare botanicals from around the world, Inlight organic skincare from Dr Spezia and newcomer By Sarah London. It's the latter, launched today, that I want to focus on.

Most facial oils contain essentials oils, which carry their own individual benefits and vibrant fragrances, but which can also sensitise the skin. In addition, to make a product smell great most facial oils include variations of lemon and geranium oils (listed at the bottom of the ingredient list) which can be an irritant for certain skin types. If the body is under pressure from external assault, pregnancy and the ongoing use of strong medication being the most noticeable, then essentials oils may be unsuitable to use. By Sarah has instead used delicate, all natural, organic plant based oils. You might even say this oil is simplistic, it doesn't contain a nut oil from a far flung exotic tree but instead goes back to basics with almond, pumpkin and apricot kernel oils. These are hand crafted and feel absolutely wonderful on the skin, sinking in fast and nurturing the skin very gently. Each oil is carefully labelled on the front of each By Sarah bottle; what you see is what you get, I love this back to basics approach.

I would highly recommend this oil, putting emphasis on the merit of using it on temporarily 'stressed out' and/or sensitive skin. By Sarah Organic Facial Oil launched today, it is £16.50 for 10ml and £38 for 30ml. 

Healthy Skin

Amber Macintosh

Our faces share with the outside world our health and happiness, emotionally and physically. When we feel well it shines through radiant skin.

I fell in love with skincare when I went to work as the Communications Manager of Creme de la Mer 13 years ago. I went on to work for other skincare brands within the Estee Lauder stable, but this one has and will stay with me, I use their new formulation of moisturiser, soft cream, every day. For my body I swear by Aurelia probiotic skincare (you will find a blog about this and the importance of dry body brushing further down). The kids and I both use natural brand Weleda, I love their almond range in the evening as my daughter and I have sensitive, reactive and spot prone skin and we cleanse with de Mamiel balm. 

Whist I wanted to share my go to skincare brands I also need to remind us all that this is only half the story. How we hydrate, nourish and rest our bodies will be a deciding factor in our skins radiance, flexibility and ultimately how our skin ages!

Over the next few weeks I will be tackling SKIN in depth, something I have wanted to do, but especially now, as I will be trialling beauty products over the next few months as a judge for the Beauty Shortlist awards 2018. For more than 7 years Beauty Editor, Fiona, has unearthed budding new skincare and makeup brands and championed the market leaders who carry natural, organic and/or green credentials. 

I hope you enjoy the next few posts, particularly one I am preparing to write on problem skin; my own skin journey as been fraught so a 'selfie' here has been hard! xAmber

 

 

Cardamom & Coconut Raw Porridge

Amber Macintosh

Bircher muesli remains as popular as ever but I like the idea of a little twist on it so I would call this bowl a raw porridge. As with many of my recipes it is suitable for those that are gluten, diary and refined sugar free, this is also suitable for vegans. 

Ingredients for 2 servings: Coconut Milk, 6 cardamom pods,  handful of small organic oats, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds & vanilla powder

Directions: Pour our can of coconut milk into a bowl so that you can use throughout the week, all you will need is one heaped tablespoon mixed with filtered water to soak your oats and chia seeds in overnight. To flavour this mix crush up the seeds inside the cardamom pods, add some vanilla powder, stir and leave!

In the morning add your choice of fruit, top with granola (preferably homemade so check my next recipe) and add a big tasty spoon of peanut or almond butter, we love Pip & Nut as they do not contain palm oil.

As you can see there is no need for any sugar, though if sharing with kids you could try some honey. This bowl works nicely for breakfast but also a nice tea time snack which is blood sugar balancing, protein packed and keeps you full up till lunch. Enjoy! xAmber

Breakfast Bowl & Granola

Amber Macintosh

By way of follow up to last weeks Yoga & Wellbeing workshop, and for those that could not join us, here is the recipe for the Summer yoghurt bowl. This makes a complete breakfast but also a fantastic light pudding layered into pretty glass cups or trifle bowls.

Passion fruit coconut bowl with mango & buckwheat granola (serves 2)

Chop 1 mango into little pieces, squeeze over the juice of 1 lime plus zest, a tablespoon of maple syrup, and leave whilst you prepare the other ingredients, or leave over night if preparing breakfast the night before. Fold the contents of 1 passion fruit with 1 small 125ml tub of coconut yoghurt. You can now bowl up, starting with the passion fruit coconut yoghurt, then mango mix and top with buckwheat granola (recipe below). Keep doubling up the amount of ingredients if making for this for a dinner party pudding.

Options: I have added some more pictures for you to see how you can adapt this recipe using chia pudding or soaked oats instead of yoghurt, topping with a nut butter - all equally delicious as breakfast, an afternoon snack or pretty pudding. 

 

Granola - mix and match your way!

When buckwheat is baked it has a lovely crunchy texture that is a great alternative to nuts in granola and the tiny prism shape allows the sweet coating you create to surround each grain. Simply warm a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large roasting tray and toss in your chosen granola ingredients along with a good sprinkle of vanilla powder, spoon of honey or coconut sugar, ground ginger cinnamon and a pinch of salt. The base of this granola is buckwheat to which you can now add seeds of your choice, nuts if you wish, pistachio works beautifully in this, and bake for 10 mins on a very low heat or bottom right of the aga. Stir ingredients and bake again for another 10 mins. Leave out to cool and then add to a Kilner jar, with your choice of dried fruit.

Each time that you make a jar you can change up the base ingredients adding oats, different nuts or seeds and fruit, the choice is yours. Coconut chips and dried mango are lovely in Summer, dried blueberries and cranberries for Autumn, maybe extra cinnamon and dried figs for a Winter feel - you get where I am going with this, and the customisation gets all the family involved.

Note: Please don't forget that oils in nuts and seeds go rancid quite quickly. I advise making up small batches once weekly. Granola on top of porridge or yoghurt gives added texture, vital fatty acids and minerals. You can also blend down your granola to use as a healthy crumble topping, or to make eating nuts easy on the digestion if you suffer with IBS or gut inflammation.

Beautiful Aurelia Bodycare

Amber Macintosh

If you've been to a yoga course with me you will know I encourage body brushing; it increases circulation and improves natural lymph drainage. Finding a beautiful body wash and moisturiser to complete the routine isn't easy so I was excited to try Aurelia's New Restorative Cream Body Cleanser and their Firm & Replenish Body Serum. 

The sulphate free wash is creamy and even in hard water leaves skin feeling hydrated. The serum appears as a cream straight from the pump but becomes lightweight, melting as it touches the skin. It envelopes you in a silky freshly scented layer that instantly absorbs, so throwing on your clothes straight away is not a problem. 

Aurelia, renown for creating the first probiotic skincare range, combine ethical, sustainably sourced bio organic ingredients. In this body collection Aurelia use steam distilled essential oils, suitable for use during pregnancy. They also combine the unique moisturising benefits of their signature African botanicals, Boabab and Kigelia, which deliver Omega 3,6 and 9. I recommend you give this new botanical bodycare a try, it lives up to it's promises and truly nurtures body and mind. 

Organic Superfood Chocolate Quinoa Slabs

Amber Macintosh

I recently opened an Instagram account to record the recipes I am creating for my Diploma in Culinary Medicine. A bit late to the party but I am a pretty private person and have mixed feelings about the way we use social media channels. One big positive for me is finding fabulous individuals that give me the inspiration to try new ideas in the kitchen, like these quinoa chocolate slabs on Nourishing Amelia's blog. I made some tweaks with my favourite superfood chocolate from Doisy & Dam and puffed vanilla quinoa from Qnola, the result is simply delicious!

Ingredients: 1 bag of Vanilla Qnola (link on my shop), 7 x40g Doisy & Dams bars, I used their mulberry, black sesame and spirulina. 1 tablespoon of organic maple syrup & 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil.

Directions: Break up the chocolate bars and melt slowly in a bain marie. Add maple syrup and coconut oil toward the end and take off the heat. Tip in the puffed quinoa, stir and pour into a small but deep tin, lined in baking paper. Smooth evenly and allow to cool in the fridge for a couple of hours. Take out, cut into squares and store in an air tight container in the fridge, they will keep for a couple of weeks....you will eat them all before that! 

Notes & Tips: This recipe is gluten free, refined sugar free, diary free, and suitable for vegans. Vanilla Qnola does contain a mix of almonds and seeds so if you are nut free choose a brand that make puffed quinoa alone. Quinoa contains fibre and protein which balances the natural sugars in dark chocolate, making these slabs blood sugar friendly and suitable for diabetics. 

Thai Butternut Squash Curry

Amber Macintosh

This is a totally thrown together recipe created the other night with the limited ingredients I had because I was waiting for the online food shop to arrive. With a red onion, butternut squash, a bunch of coriander and a pouch of Thai curry paste I rustled up the most delicious and incredibly quick curry for two, here's how:

Ingredients: 1 butternut squash, 1 red onion, 2 cups of Thai fragrant sticky rice, fresh coriander, 1 can of organic coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of Thai curry paste and a teaspoon of coconut oil.

It's quick because butternut squash cooks so quickly! I just threw in the sliced red onion and butternut squash together in coconut oil and fried until the butternut squash could be easily cut with a knife. I then added the curry paste and half the can of coconut milk. Simmered again for 5 mins, in total it took just 15 minutes and I let the rice cook alongside. Just sprinkle with chopped coriander and a sprinkle of black sesame seeds.

This recipe is refined sugar, diary free, gluten free and suitable for vegans.

Top tip: save some of the rice and the half can of coconut milk in the fridge for a breakfast porridge, recipe to follow!

 

Protein Smoothies

Amber Macintosh

Protein smoothies are not just for gym bunnies and weight lifters but for anyone leading a busy, active lifestyle. I also think they are great for our kids, giving them an extra boost especially if they enjoy a range of team sports. On the days that I leave early for the school run straight to the yoga mat I am just not hungry enough to eat a big breakfast before I leave home. A protein filled smoothie makes a fantastic breakfast replacement and will also help to avoid snacking before lunch. I favour flavourless or vanilla pea protein as whether you are vegan or not plants are the best way to get a protein boost and are gentle on the tummy. Below is the smoothie recipe most requested by our Instagram friends.

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Ingredients:

cashew nuts (handful), cinnamon (good pinch), hymalayan salt (tiny pinch), 1 date, vanilla powder, paste or fresh pod (1 teaspoon), filtered water (1 cup), scoop of protein powder (I prefer Pulsin vegan pea protein), handful of organic jumbo oats.

That's it, just blitz in the nutri bullet or food processor, adding an ice cube on a sunny day. 

Pro-biotic protein smoothie bowl

Amber Macintosh

I had to share this recipe because I love smoothies on the go and smoothie bowls for breakfast. This one is a unique combination of antioxidants, protein and live cultures for good gut health. Most importantly it is the most delicious combo that my kids also love.

* 1 heaped tablespoon of Protein powder (I use Pulsin vanilla vegan pea protein powder)

* 1 heaped tablespoon of flaxseed

* 1 tablespoon of Kefir coconut yoghurt

* 3 tablespoons of frozen berries and banana

* 6 blanched almonds

* 1 teaspoon of maple syrup

Add to a nutribullet or blender, just covering ingredients with filtered water (double the water if making a smoothie) and blend. You are now ready to enjoy with granola on top (I love vanilla quinoa granola by Qnola) and a fun sprinkle of lingonberry powder for an extra antioxidant boost from Arctic Berries.

Really quite delicious! Enjoy. xAmber

My Inspiration

Amber Macintosh

Is you.  Every one of you that brings your courage, determination and campassion to the mat inspires me! When life gets difficult making time for yourself can be hard. The assumption of many going to relaxing treatments or private yoga sessions is that they are indulging themselves in 'me time'.  Often it is just that, a chance to step out of routine, with it's everyday stresses, and pause, refreshed when they return.  For others it may be a very different story, a private one.  Loss, pain, grief, anxiety and even despair are brought to the yoga mat and the treatment table. There will be not be a quick fix but there is the same moment, a pause, time to breathe space into life's impossible situations. For these people their moment gives just enough determination to keep up the fight, the courage to continue and the compassion to carry another.  You are truely inspirational! x