Why we should be excited about autumn

Goodbye summer, it was a fleeting visit but I did love you while you were here. You’ll always be my favourite but it’s time to move on. Now that your mate autumn is here, we have some new things to do.

One of my favourite things about the autumn season is walking through the crunchy red and brown leaves through the park. I’m more likely to go out of my way to walk through the park or woods in autumn as the joy of kicking leaves is as thrilling today as it is when you’re five years old. It’s the adult version of jumping in puddles in your wellies.

Autumn is also a great excuse to go out for a luxurious creamy hot chocolate to warm you up after your walk through the park.

hot chocolate Continue reading

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Weekly round up #25

Hi everyone! Hope you’re having a great bank holiday weekend so far. I’m actually away in Belper, Derbyshire for the weekend for work, but I’m staying with friends and it’s always lovely to be away for a few days. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Going to a Fresh Meat meet: On Thursday I went out with some of the Brighton Rockers team for a Fresh Meat (rookies) meet up – it was so that all us newbies could properly have a drink and a chat with each other and the A and B teams. It was really fun, we went to the Hare & Hounds in Brighton which serves Mexican food from local restaurant La Choza. The food is so good! I tried pulled pork for the first time (I used to be a vegetarian for about nine years until relatively recently, hence my lack of meat experience!) and it was really tasty. I had a burrito bowl which was basically a burrito without the wrap which meant it was gluten free. It came with a salsa and a side salad which was a bit like coleslaw. It turned into a bit of a messy night for some as we were playing drinking games but I was sensible (or boring, depending on how you look at it) seeing as I had work the next day! It was really fun and it’s made me even more excited for the Rockers’ camping trip in a couple of weeks’ time.

Meating it up: Weirdly this wasn’t the only meat meet I was invited to this week. On the same day I was also invited to a Brighton bloggers’ meat meet (in conjunction with National Burger Day – who knew?!) but unfortunately as I’d already committed to the Rockers’ meet I couldn’t make it. It looks like it was a really fun event though!

Eating pizza with friends: More food, I’m afraid. In Northampton earlier this week I met up with a couple of friends for chit chat and pizza. I think that’s one of the things I miss most about living so far away from some of my friends and family – just being able to nip round for dinner or a cuppa and a natter. It was really lovely.

Shopping for a dress to wear to a wedding: My dad is getting married next weekend and the unpredictable weather *forced* me to sort out a few outfit options. Who knows whether it’ll be hot and sunny or cold and rainy? It just keeps wildly changing every day. If it’s nice weather I think I’ll wear the dress I wore on my birthday as I have only worn it that once and I really love it. I went shopping and got another, back-up dress in case it’s a bit chilly, together with a long sleeved cardy for the evening (as the wedding is outside) – all from H&M. This is my back-up outfit:

Dress for weddingI will, of course, iron the dress before I wear it…

Long lace cardiganI think this cardy is so pretty and will hopefully keep my arms warm in the evening

Buying new skating gear: Pay day means a week of spending – and this week was no different. I decided some of my skating gear could do with a bit of an upgrade, particularly knee pads as my knees have been hurting recently and I don’t want to break my knees. You only get one pair right? So I invested in a new, better, more cushy pair of knee pads and some better toe stops. So if I still can’t do derby stops I can no longer blame it on my rollerskates…

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Weekly round up #24

Hi everyone, how was your weekend? I’m currently staying with my parents in Northampton for a few days and I’m having a lovely time catching up. Here’s what I’ve been doing over the last week:

Enjoying the sunshine in the garden: I love sitting out in my mum’s garden in the sun and the end part of last week was lovely!

Sitting in the garden Continue reading

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Low FODMAP lunch ideas

I read a press release recently that said 95 per cent of workers eat out at lunchtime. Ninety five per cent! Is that the death of the homemade packed lunch then?!

My office must be in that five per cent, but then apart from a small canteen on site there’s not much around for miles so there’s little choice. That’s good news for my health and my purse.

Surely everyone else doesn’t have the money to eat lunch out every day? Even in my last job when I worked in central Brighton, I would try to take my own lunch in. And on the days when I didn’t I’d normally go to a goldmine café that sold jacket potatoes, salads and baguettes with as many fillings as you wanted for just £2. It’s called As You Like It FYI.

It’s so much cheaper to prepare food at home – and if you don’t have time in the mornings then you can eat leftovers from dinner or prepare a load of things on Sunday ready for the week ahead. I make up a load of different salad things and then grab a spoonful of two of each thing to put in my tupperware box. Perfect for summer.

I think preparing food in advance is especially important if you’re following the low FODMAP diet as eating out options are going to be scarce (hence why I always have a jacket potato if I grab some food from the work café).

pomegranate and kale salad

Here are some ideas of low FODMAP packed lunches you can mix and match:

  • Quinoa salad with lime dressing
  • Potato salad
  • Kale and pomegranate salad (pictured above)
  • Rice salad with feta, tomatoes and a small amount of sweetcorn
  • Gluten-free tortilla wraps with chicken/fish/veg
  • Sweet potato wedges (ensure you only have a small, tolerable amount of sweet potato)
  • Courgetti with lemon juice dressing
  • Gluten-free pitta mini pizzas
  • Sandwich with gluten-free bread
  • Gluten-free pasta bake/salad like my gluten-free pasta with spinach and broccoli pesto (pictured below)
  • Baked potato
  • Stuffed peppers
  • Homemade soup
  • Grilled meat/fish
  • Tinned tuna

Spinach and broccoli pesto with gluten-free pasta

Sides/snacks ideas:

  • Oat cakes with peanut butter
  • Olives
  • Spinach
  • Carrot sticks
  • Green beans
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Tomato salsa
  • Guacamole (if you can tolerate avocado – it’s low FODMAP if you have less than a quarter)
  • Oat biscuits like these I wrote about in my leftovers post
  • Flapjack made with maple syrup
  • Low FODMAP yoghurt such as plain Alpro Soya
  • Low FODMAP fruit in recommended portion sizes ie banana, melon, raspberries
  • No flour peanut butter cookies like these
  • Rice cakes
  • Plain crisps
  • Hard-boiled egg

For the most up to date information on the diet see the Monash University website.

 

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Weekly round up #23

It’s been another good week, filled with:

Friends coming to stay: Two of my oldest bestest friends came to stay for the weekend and it was so lovely to catch up. Laughter really is good therapy. We went out for a few drinks on Friday evening – firstly we went to the Tempest Inn on Brighton seafront which is a bar made up of small cave-like rooms and booths. Then we went to the Mesmerist which is always great for a good dance. We met up with another old friend, who by coincidence was in Brighton for the night too. On Saturday we went kayaking (more on that below) for the morning and chilled out a bit in the afternoon, mostly watching reruns of Dinner Date! In the evening we went to a local pub for a quick drink and then I made a big veggie chilli with salsa and guacamole. We stayed up watching films and giggling like nine-year-olds! They went home today and I feel a little bit sad like I always do when they leave!

Emily and Kieran Continue reading

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