This is a warming, comforting recipe that’s packed with green goodness. By mixing raw, sautéed and roasted veggies and pulses, you get something totally wholesome. I created this dish on a lovely, rainy Sunday afternoon and it made me shine from the inside out.

Ingredients:
1 small Broccoli
3 stalks Silverbeet (or any spinach)
1/2 tin Chickpeas
1 small Zucchini / Courgette
1/2 small Avocado
1 large Clove Garlic
1 handful of Black Kalamata Olives
1 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil (or good quality olive oil)
Lemon
Fennel Seeds
Spices: I like cumin, paprika, turmeric
Salt
Pepper
1 tbsp Coconut oil

Turn the oven to 180 degrees. Put the coconut oil in a baking dish and put into the oven to melt while you wash and drain the chickpeas and chop up the broccoli. Put these into the baking dish and put the spices, salt and pepper over the chickpeas and just salt and pepper over the broccoli then turn them all over and around so it’s all covered in the oil and flavours. These can cook in the oven for around 25 minutes, until the broccoli has become crispy on the edges. Meanwhile, slice the garlic and cook in a little coconut oil. After a minute, add the sliced courgette and silverbeet; after another couple of minutes add the olives and let them all cook together on a low heat for another 2-3 mins. In this time you can lightly toast the fennel seeds in a separate pan and cut up your avocado. Finally, add you roasted broccoli and chickpeas to a plate long with the sautéed veggies then add in the avocado and top with a drizzling of oil, lemon juice, toasted fennel seeds and extra black pepper.

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Here is my first meat recipe. My diet is still very much plant-based, however after years of iron deficiency and a more recent b-12 deficiency alongside hormonal imbalances, I decided, with the help of my doctor and naturopath, that my body may just need a little red meat these days. I have started to include small quantities of the best quality meat as responsible meat eating is something I am passionate about. While organic food of all kinds is hugely beneficial, organic meat is massively important. Local, organic, grass-fed beef has become part of my weekly diet and so I experimented a little and created this delicious Bolognese that has been tried and tested on my friend who is a real meat-eater, he loved it and I hope you do too.

I think that it’s important to constantly reassess our bodies and check in with what they are telling us. Our body’s are constantly changing and a diet we may have thrived on in the past may not be the same forever. Listen to your body and let it be your guide.

Ingredients:
Organic minced Beef (I just asked the butcher for enough for 2 people)
1 Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 tin Tomatoes (I used organic tomatoes with basil & oregano)
1 tin Chickpeas
2-3 stalks Celery (whole – inc leaves)
1 tsp Paprika (if you don’t have all these spices don’t worry, just go with what you’ve got)
1tsp Cumin
1 tsp Ginger
1tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Coconut Oil
1 tsp Black Pepper
10 Kalamata Olives
A pinch of Chilli Flakes
1 tbsp Fennel Seeds

Heat the oil in a pan and add diced onion, ginger, garlic, cumin, paprika. After a couple of minutes, add the mince and break up in the pan. Add black pepper, chilli flakes and cut all the celery into slices then combine with beef. When the mince is brown, add the drained and washed chickpeas, olives, cinnamon and Garam masala. Add the tomatoes then fill the tin half way with boiled water from the kettle and pour into the pan. Stir thoroughly. Let the mixture cook for around 30 minutes, keep stirring every few minutes. Add fennel seed to small pan and turn on the heat to toast them. Use these to top the Bolognese after serving into bowls.

This is one thick indulgent shake that I cannot get enough of. Cardamom has overtaken cinnamon lately in the quest to become my most used spice. It’s so delicious, especially when paired with vanilla.

The vanilla in this smoothie comes from the paleo protein I’ve been eating, it’s mixed with organic vanilla bean and stevia so has a sweet taste. However, if you have a protein powder without such an appealing flavour you can mimic this one here by adding vanilla and your choice of sweetener, perhaps stevia or coconut sugar.

This is a good shake to have an hour or two before a workout as its full of healthy fats providing you with lots of energy. I like having some time to enjoy this alongside an amazing book such as ‘Bringing Yoga to Life’ – highly recommend!

Ingredients:
1 small frozen Banana
1-2 tbsps Avocado (as the sizes of avos vary so much)
2-3 tbsps Protein Powder
1 tsp Ground Cardamom
1 tbsp Almond Butter or any other nut butter
Rice Milk or any other non-dairy milk (the amount depends of the consistency you like)

Optional:
1 tsp Vanilla Powder
1 tsp Stevia or Coconut Sugar

A sprinkling of Coconut to top.

Add all the ingredients except the nut butter to the blend and create a smooth consistency. Check if you’d like more milk or if you want it thicker, add a little extra avo. At this point add the almond butter for a quick last whizz; this creates a super creamy blend and you get to have cheeky big dollops of almond butter mmmm.

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Who likes chai? I love chai; chai tea, chai lattes, chai chocolate, everything; so I thought surely you can’t go wrong with a banana chai bread…

This is a moist, sticky, aromatic, delicious bread that really hits the spot. It’s nut-free as I know that people with nut allergies can find it difficult when finding sweet treats. However, if you’re a nut lover you can top slices of banana bread with creamy nut butter when it’s fresh out of the oven. Honestly it’s amazing on its own but if it manages to last to the next day, it’s great toasting it and topping with butter or coconut oil and honey mmmm.

Of course, the bread is best enjoyed alongside a hot mug of chai – it’s a chai lovers dream.

Ingredients:
5 ripe Bananas
300g Oats
150g Raisins (sultanas, currents or anything similar will do the job)
6 tbsp Apple Purée (I make this in batches and store in the freezer)
6 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
2 tbsp Coconut Oil
1 heaped tbsp Cinnamon
1 level tbsp Ginger
1 heaped tbsp Cardamom
1 tsp Nutmeg

Firstly make the apple purée if you don’t have it already; you simply boil peeled and cubed apples in a little water, drain, blend. Turn the oven onto 180 degrees. Mash the bananas in a bowl and add all of the spices. Grind the oats into a flour and add to the banana mix along with the coconut oil, melt in a pan first if it’s hard. Grease a baking tin with coconut oil and add the mix to the tin. Bake for 50-55 minutes. This time can vary so just keep checking on the bread and when the top has become a golden brown and you can stick a knife in and it come out clean, it’s ready to come out. Leave for at least 30 minutes before removing from the tin and slicing.

I’ve cooked it for an hour before and although it was delicious, I prefer it super soft and sticky so I think 5 mins less works for me. Leaving it for half an hour after allows it to stick together even though it’s still soft.

This is an impressive brekky that’s really easy to throw together. It’s raw, vegan, gluten free and nut free so is safe for people with allergies, intolerances and other dietary requirements. The flavours work so well together and I love the mixture of textures. It’s filling and delicious yet still light and fresh. I tried out this recipe with a large audience of well-experienced foodies who work at the top cafes in Byron; they all loved it! I hope you do too.

Ingredients (serves 2):
2/3c Buckwheat Grouts
1 large ripe Banana
1 handful Desicated Coconut
1/2c Coconut Milk
1 tbsp Coconut Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Powder (or the seeds of 2 pods)
1 tbsp Chia Seeds

Optional sweetener
1 tsp coconut sugar / pure maple syrup

Soak the buckwheat in water and leave overnight. When you’re ready to prepare the raw porridge, drain the buckwheat and rinse well under running water, it will be gooey. Place 2/3 of this buckwheat into a food processor along with all of the other ingredients. Blend the mixture until creamy but not totally smooth as you don’t want it to end up like a smoothie. At this point, stir in the remaining buckwheat to add extra bite and maybe top with a sprinkling of extra coconut.

So as I went to make my morning porridge I realised, with shock horror, that I was out of nut butter…

Just a couple of days earlier I’d been talking to an Israeli about the wonders of tahini and that it goes with everything. He then told me that it’s even great for sweet things when combined with honey, and so, I gave it a try.

The tahini just gives the oats a lovely creamy dimension and I’ll definitely be doing this more often (as if I don’t go through tahini quickly enough already).

This is a simple porridge which can, as always, be jazzed up with different nuts, seeds, dried fruit, fresh fruit, coconut, granola, the list is endless!

Ingredients:
1/3 c Rolled Oats
1 Banana
1 heaped tsp Tahini
1 tsp Honey (local honey whenever possible)

Optional:
Prunes
Sea view

Boil the kettle and add the oats to a saucepan along with 1 cup of boiling water. Slice in the banana and turn on the heat. The type of oats can make cooking times vary but just keep an eye on the pan and stir at least every minute. When the oats have soaked up the water and are the right consistency for your liking, stir in your tahini. Pour into your bowl and then drizzle over the honey and any other toppings. Bon appetite.

These two towns are not far from Denpasar airport in Bali so can make a great first or last destination on Bali. As I spent so long in Ubud, I just spent a few days in each. I found them to have a similar sort of vibe: relaxed, surfer town with a good mixture of tourists and locals. I recommend both for some lovely chill-out time to enjoy the sun, the waves, and soak up the atmosphere.

Uluwtau
This place has really beautiful beaches which lay in between and underneath huge rock. You often have to make extremely steep conquests down to the beaches and may then dread the climb back up… But you can do it! A friend and I walked, or tried to walk from Padang Padang Beach but as the tide was out we had to walk along the road for the first half and then came down through Impossibles Beach where we then walked on to Bingin – such beautiful scenery.

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Food:
The Bukit Cafe:
This place is amazing. I ordered the veggie burger with sweet potato fries (my absolute obsession atm!) and my friend got the almond chicken salad. Mine was very nice but she absolutely loved hers! We both had green juices too and even though we were so full we just could not resist the dessert and wow was it worth it. I had the raw snickers cheesecake and it was one of the best raw desserts I have ever, ever had.

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Nula Bowls at Single Fin (there’s also one of these in Canggu, Ubud & Seminyak)

Single Fin is a really popular spot. It’s a bar on a cliff overlooking the vast ocean so you can spot the surfers and catch up with people from all over the world. They serve pizzas and whatnot in the restaurant but also have a Nula Bowls pop-up which serves acai and smoothie bowls. I have to say I think this place is really overpriced; I guess you’re paying for the view. I get the feeling that the business is really about making money rather than having a true desire to produce good quality, healthy food. It’s fine and nice that there is that option other than the pizza.

Muzz restaurant:
The menu here excited me a lot and it’s open as a restaurant into the night which is nice, however I only managed to get there for breakfast. On my first visit I had a delicious smoothie, eggs florentine and also a madras cacao ball which oddly enough was covered in curry powder… It was yummy. The next day I got the acai bowl. My first visit certainly had not been cheap but this acai bowl was so expensive and I have no idea why. Again, overpriced but the menu was very inventive; I’d recommend coming for dinner to enjoy the ambiance and try some of the evening dishes that sound great.

Land’s End:
Small cafe opposite where I was staying. It advertises itself as a healthy, wholefood cafe. Very simple food that doesn’t take much effort, yet has a high price tag. Still, always nice to have the option of hummus and smoothies etc.

Yoga:
Morning Light
I really enjoyed my class here. Firstly, the open air studio looking out to the ocean is so picturesque. The class was taught by a man trained in iyengar so was very focused on alignment which I think is extremely useful every now and then. He was lovely and ended up riding me up to Muzz on his motorbike where we chatted over smoothies. The best thing about the class is that you get a free cold coconut included in the 120,000 rupiah class price.

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Yoga Searcher
This is within the same establishment at Muzz restaurant. I turned up for the 7:30pm candle lit yoga class to be then told that the website is not kept up to date and the schedule on there is incorrect, so there was no class. I then had the problem of getting back to my accommodation without a motorbike (as a super kind local woman had dropped me there), but luckily for me the lovely receptionist told me he was just about to go home and would drop me back to my hotel on his bike. So, if you want to give this place a chance you must visit first to see the class timetable, and you probably want to get your own motorbike, unless you’re as lucky as me and manage to meet the kindest people who continually offer to take you places!

Canggu
Although the beaches aren’t as beautiful, Canggu is wonderful and I found it to have far more delicious food, both traditional Indonesian food and more modern health focused cafes. I really enjoyed my stay in Canggu with the highlight being my last night there, and of travelling as a whole, when I sat at Perenenan Beach, just next to the main Echo Beach, with all the locals eating the delicious street food and watching the sun set. I was surrounded by families, couples, children, friends, all sorts of people, all laughing and smiling and enjoying being together. I found the Balinese people to be ever so friendly and it was a privilege to spend my last night sharing the special sunset together.

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Food:
Oma Jamu
The best!!!! Wow did I love this place. I met someone at yoga who recommended this spot to me but it was a little far back from the beach… Can you guess it… She gave me a lift on he bike on her way home. This warung offers a daily vegan buffet for just 35,000 rupiah which is super cheap but then also has an incredible menu. I ordered the wakame salad with miso dressing. The salad was fresh and crisp and the dressing was thick and creamy, the perfect combination. After that, I was so excited by the menu that I ordered a second meal: traditional Indonesian black sticky rice porridge with coconut and banana – delicious. I loved my meal so much that I asked the owner if she did cooking classes. The beautiful, modest chef was so taken a back and flattered, she just laughed and showed me her tiny kitchen and said she couldn’t possibly.

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Sunday organic market at Samadi
When I found out about this market I knew I had to get there, so when Sunday came I walked for an hour to get there and I loved it. The market is on every week and has stalls of fresh fruit and veg, packs of nuts and seeds, oils, crackers, pesto, chutney, energy balls, cakes (of all kinds, sugar free, diary free, gluten free and also the usual jam packed with sugar and deliciousness type!). Also there’s some organic cosmetics, jewellery, clothes and swimwear. It’s just great. Samadi is a cafe itself which is open everyday and serves some lovely Indian dishes. I ordered the fermented rice pancakes with Indian chutneys.

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Shady Shack
This place is very popular and is easy to get to as it’s close to the beach. The seating is mostly outside within lovely trees and plants. I went here straight away as my friend has been and told me how much she completely loved it. However, I have to say that I was massively unimpressed with my cauli rice bowl. I had such high expectations but it totally lacked flavour. My raw lemon cheesecake just made things worse. Whereas the raw snickers at Buckit Cafe was one of the best ever, this was one of the worst raw dessert I’ve had. Even still, I trusted my friend’s judgement and returned to the cafe the next day. This time I ordered the Cacao Dream smoothie bowl and to my delight, it was great; thick, rich and oh so chocolatey. I loved all the many toppings and the cashew butter tasted fresh and homemade.

Yoga:
The Practice
This studio was even more impressive than the last! The whole structure was made of bamboo and was totally open, overlooking beautiful, green rice terraces. The breeze wafted through the structure during our hip hop yoga class. It was so fun and a great reminder not to take things too seriously. I’m sure Jay-Z would be happy to know he got our downward dogs shaking left and right. This class was pricy at 140,000 but I really enjoyed the experience. If you’re going to be in Canggu a while you can buy a class pass, like all other studios, which would make it cheaper.

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Serenity
I didn’t manage to get round to trying this studio but I heard very good things about it and I would have loved to try the high flying class where you’re suspended up in the air so get to do inversions without the pressure on your head. Also, it’s only 100,000 rupiah for a class here so it is a cheaper option than any others I found.

Samadi
This cafe which holds the organic Sunday market also does yoga classes. Again, I didn’t have the time to try it but they come highly recommended. The focus here is on ashtanga so I certainly doubt you’ll find any hip hop classes! Yoga and brunch here would make a lovely combo.

I’m very much near the end of this amazing 4 month travelling trip around South East Asia. Although travel has been the absolute wondorous whirlwind of adventure that one had hoped, I thought it would be nice to take more of a ‘holiday’ at the end. No matter how positively life-changing travel is, it is also exhausting. So I thought what better place to come than Bali, and in particular, I’ve spent the majority of my time in Ubud, known for its spiritual, holistic, healing ways.

I left revived with feathers in my hair and a spring in my step; I debloated that upset tummy of mine even though I was eating cake and choccy most days (pure cacao and vegan, wholefood treats that is of course) and best of all I was rested and regained some balance.

Accommodation:

Hostel Ubud: cheap, clean, very central. I stayed here for my my first night and it was perfect.

Neema Problema: this is where I made a home for myself and I loved it. The location isn’t ideal as its about a 20-25 minute walk out of town but I stayed there as it’s 5-10 minutes from the Yoga Barn. It’s cheap and super simple but the staff make it its absolute best by thoroughly cleaning every day and even our sheets and towels get changed which is such a luxury. Guests are welcome to use the kitchen and they also provide a free pancake for breakfast included in the room rate. Lots of space in the rooms, really nice and social but not in the ‘chug it!’ way; a really chilled vibe with cool people.

Eating:

There are some fantastic cheap, local food spots with a focus on vegetarian, healthy food:

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Puspa’s Warung
Sopa’s Warung
Dayu’s Warung
: There’s a raw, vegan, gluten free pie; the flavour is mango chai chocolate latte with turmeric and goji berries; buy it, delve into it and let your world change forever.

There are also more upmarket, trendy cafes and restaurants which are sure to impress:

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Alchemy: I got a build-your-own smoothie bowl here, so so good. I also had some of the organic, cold-pressed juices: nutrient-dense. I’ve been told by a good source that the raw banoffee pie is out of this world.
Earth Food Cafe & Market: good for buying snacks and bits to make yourself in your accommodation and the cafe is yummy, yet pricy.
Bali Buddha: I didn’t actually try the cafe but enjoyed the mart with fresh breads, cakes, dried goods and cosmetics.
Garden Kafe: part of the Yoga Barn – amazing food and the best deal is the family buffet on a Sunday; certainly the best buffet I’ve ever had! This wrap was part of their Ayurvedic menu created for health benefits.

Street food: I love the Indonesian food and there’s lots of stalls selling bits on the street, usually only being bought by the locals. Get in there and sample the good stuff! The sweet, black sticky rice with coconut is amazing.

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Spa:

Fresh Spa: beautiful staff who treat you so well. Pretty pricy but a bright, open space that’s welcoming.
Skin spa and organic waxing: perhaps the best wax I ever had, real skill and precision with totally organic products that are kind to your skin and the planet.
Jaens spa: really lovely service and I had a nice, relaxing Balinese massage here.

Spirituality:

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Sacred Healing Spring of Tirta Empul: I took part in a purification ceremony in these special waters which have magical curative properties, helping to cleanse sins, balance energy and provide good fortune.
The Yoga Barn: a wonderful place filled with wonderful people. It has a huge schedule filled with all kinds of yoga. During my time I attended a power yoga, yin, iyengar, a couple of vinyasa classes, a discussion on yoga and self realisation as well as health satsang and a full day workshop on balancing female hormones. On top of all that I ate in the amazing Garden Kafe and met so many interesting and inspiring people. The vibe and community here is great to be a part of and there are so many more wonderful classes I would have gone to with more time (kundalini, therapeutic yoga, kirtan, Tibetan bowl meditation, sound healing etc etc!)

And the rest…

Hike for sunrise: Mt Batur is the popular one which hundreds and hundreds of people get up in the middle of the night to hike up. Tours pick up from Ubud at 2am and make it up for sunrise. Mt Agung is higher and so pickups are around 11-12 and you arrive back around 10am, this is a much tougher hike.
Ecstatic dance: the yoga barn’s most popular event where you can swing, twist, jump and shake to your heart desire! Release and enjoy.
Paradiso cinema: 50,000 (£3) for film which can be redeemed on food & drink. Not your average cinema, modern loungers with comfy cushions and pillows. (Top tip: this is linked with Earth Cafe and you can half price food between 2-4 on Monday’s!)
Rice terraces: beautiful place to get lost and find your way back through meeting a local tending to their crops.
Tegenungan Waterfall: refreshing and powerful. The best tip I can give is to hike to the top and relax there by the palm trees away from all the tourists.

As it’s holiday season for my friends in the UK, I thought I’d share some simple tips that I go by to keep hold of my healthy lifestyle while travelling. I am currently two and a half months into my backpacking trip through South East Asia and the truth is that here, I simply cannot stick to my usual habits and this may be the case for you too. We’re not made of money and you don’t want every moment to focus on what you are going to eat that day. That being said, you certainly don’t have to throw all your healthy eating habits out of the window. I have made a list of some of the things that I do while travelling in order to help me to feel good without compromising other areas and hopefully they can work for you too, whether you’re holidaying in Spain for a week or taking on a 6 month travelling trip.

1)Be flexible and kind to yourself
I have put this as number one as I truly believe it to be the most important aspect of feeling healthy. This period of travel isn’t going to last forever; when you are back into a routine you can regain your usual healthy eating habits. For now, do the best with what you’ve got by picking your battles

2) Stick to fresh* foods

In terms of street food, which there’s a lot of in Asia, it may not use a particular oil that you like to fry in but it’s being cooked in front of you, this is a lot better than dried, packaged foods that have a crazy long use by date due to all sorts of chemicals and additives.

*by fresh here I don’t necessarily mean raw; food tends to be washed in tap water which in many places, shouldn’t be consumed; cooking food kills bacteria making it less likely to cause any problems.

3) Find out useful phrases such as ‘no sugar’, ‘I’m vegetarian’ and ‘vegetables’

You can simply google translate words like this and present them to stalls and cafes if you don’t feel comfortable saying them.

4) Do your research

I think that most cities now have vegetarian/vegan eateries and health food spots so while you are in more built up areas you can treat yourself to some healthy delights.

5) Take a daily probiotic and multivitamin

Probiotics designed for travel can help fight parasites. When put into a new environment your body may need an extra hand to deal with the new bacteria its faced with. A multivitamin will help top you up on any nutrients your diet may be lacking.

Happy travels!

Here is a simple, speedy, satisfying pasta dish that can be made in 5 minutes; that’s less time than you’d spend waiting for a take away. It’s ‘meaty’ due to the combination of mushrooms and beans giving this pasta that kind of dense, full feeling that people get with meat, which makes it a good option for any vegetarian sceptics and those used to eating meat, as well as anyone in need of some veggie-filled comfort food.

Pasta (I used brown rice and sweet potato pasta)
6 Mushrooms
1 large handful Spinach
1 Carrot
1/2 tin Black Beans (or any bean you choose)
2 tsps Tomato Puree
2 tsps Miso Paste
2 cloves Garlic
1 tsp Coconut Oil
1 tbsp Italian Herbs

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Warm the coconut oil then add the sliced garlic to the pan. Add the sliced mushrooms along with the dried mixed herbs. Allow these to cook for about 3 minutes before add the drained, rinsed beans, grated carrot and tomato puree. Allow the mix to cook for another minute before adding the spinach which you can stir through to let wilt into the mix. Turn off the heat and stir in the miso. Add the veg and bean contents to the drained pasta and combine before serving.