Ingredients (to serve 4)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
300g risotto rice
1 garlic clove, crushed or chopped very small
200g chopped mushrooms
900ml hot vegetable stock
75g frozen peas
Salt and black pepper to taste
Heat up the olive oil in a large frying pan, then add the onion and cook on a medium-high heat.
After a couple of minutes add the rice and turn the heat down to low. Cook for about two minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the stock, mushrooms, garlic and peas. Turn the heat up to high and bring to the boil. Add plenty of salt and pepper.
When it starts to boil, turn the heat down. Cover and simmer for around 20 minutes, stirring often. If the rice seems to be sticking before it is cooked, add some more water. Once all of the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked, your risotto is ready to serve.
Chicken burrito bowl
1.5 cups of brown rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 chicken stock cube
2 large chicken breasts, cubed
1 white onion, diced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
10 mushrooms, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jar salsa
1 tin of black beans
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Paprika to taste
Cajun seasoning to taste
Cook the brown rice in hot water with the chicken stock cube.
Whilst the rice is cooking heat the oil in a large frying pan. Fry the onions until softened then add the chicken. Add salt, pepper, paprika and cajun and cook until chicken is sealed. Add pepper, mushrooms, carrots and garlic and cook until veggies have softened.
Pour over the salsa and beans. Drain the rice, add to the frying pan and mix.
Healthier fried rice
Ingredients (to serve 4)
1 cup quinoa
1 veggie stock cube
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 white onion, chopped
4 chicken breasts, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 handful broccoli, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 eggs, broken into a bowl an beaten
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Rinse quinoa in cold water.Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan with the veggie stock cube, and then reduce to a simmer. Season with salt.
You may have heard of the phrases 'sober curious' and 'mindful drinking', which have appeared amidst our vocabulary over the last few years. But if you're still curious about what these terms mean, read on for everything you need to know.
A mindful drinking is somebody who is paying close attention to their relationship with alcohol, and how alcohol impacts various aspects of their life, such as work, relationships, and sleep. They may not cut out all alcohol completely forever, however they reduce their intake. If you're not sure that cutting alcohol out entirely is for you, then mindful drinking offers a good middle ground.
Being sober curious is sort of a precursor to being a mindful drinker. Sober curious people are reflecting on their relationship with alcohol, and may be considering reducing their intake, however they have not taken any steps to do so yet.
If you want to start drinking more mindfully, you should consider the life you want to live, and how alcohol fits into that. Consider if you do want to cut back, and how that may improve some aspects of your life. Think twice before reaching for a glass of wine, and ask yourself if you really want it. Look for patterns - are there certain days or places where you drink more? Or certain people who you associate with drinking more than you want to?
You may decide to cut out alcohol for a certain period of time - three months is an excellent time frame, however one month is also good. You may start drinking again after this, however your relationship with alcohol may have changed.
You might opt to only drink at the weekends, in order to feel fresh at work. Or you may choose to stop drinking when you're alone. Alternatively, you might change what kind of alcohol you are drinking, as different types of alcohol may affect you differently. You might decide to stop getting double vodka sodas at the pub and switch to single measures, or alternate between an alcohol drink and a soft drink.
There are a range of alcohol-free beers, wines, and mocktails available these days to make it easier for those who are cutting out or cutting down on alcohol.
However you decide to change your alcohol habits, it is important to reflect on how it impacted your life. Maybe you got more done at the weekends, or maybe you have lost weight or your skin is looking better.
Mindful drinking is about everything in moderation, and you can choose the extent to which you allow it into your life.
We're thrilled that businesses have reopened, and we're all out and about again. However, it is important to remember that things aren't back to normal, and it's just as important to take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Follow our top tips to support your health and wellness at this time.
If you want to lose a few pounds for summer, exercise is key. Not only can it help you to fit into your perfect party dress, but it also helps us to feel our best throughout winter. It's essential to remember that as with many things, workouts aren't a one-type-fits-all kind of thing. If you want to be as strong as possible in your older years, be sure to do the right kind of exercise when you're younger and throughout your life. Here's the type of exercise you should be doing, according to your age group...
Right now you're at your physical peak of strength, speed and recovery. If you want to maintain that as much as possible later in life, then you should try to lay down healthy eating and exercising patterns now. Aim for five workouts per week with a mix of moderate aerobic activity and strength training. Enjoy a variety of different workouts to endurance, strength and lean muscle, which will be easier to retain later on in life.
As your body and lifestyle changes in your 30s, so should your workouts. It is recommended to focus on pilates or a dynamic form of yoga in this time to improve your cardiovascular system as well as your flexibility. The stress-relieving benefits of yoga also compliment the often more stressful lifestyle of those in their 30s.
In your 40s and 50s you begin to lose muscle mass and cardiovascular function begins to decline. Weightlifting and body weight exercises can be extremely beneficial to combat loss of muscle mass, whilst HIIT is the ideal option for busy ladies to burn fat and improve cardiovascular function, with highly effective workouts taking as little as 20 minutes.
At this time your thoughts may be turning to maintaining your physical functionality as you age. Increased weight training will help you to maintain muscle mass, whilst swimming will help to maintain cardiovascular functionality. Exercises such as pilates, dance and yoga can be extremely beneficial to help you retain flexibility and balance as you age.
Regular exercise offers protection against ageing. The focus should now be on low-intensity, low impact workouts, such as tai chi to improve joint health and balance. Brisk walking and even running can also be extremely beneficial at this time in your life.
If you're having trouble losing those last few stubborn pounds this summer, then Bliss is here to help you move forward with 3D lipo - a non-invasive form of weightloss. Learn more here or purchase online as a voucher here.
Last week we brought you 3 top tips for better sleep, and now we're back with 9 foods that can improve your sleep. With many of us being out of our usual routines, and stressing about the state of the world, our sleep may be taking a hit. Getting a good nights sleep is essential for your overall wellbeing. Short-term effects of sleep deprivation are linked to issues with concentration, memory, and judgement. In the long-term, sleep deprivation has been linked to a plethora of illnesses, both mental and physical.
So why does diet help?
Firstly, our bodies contain a neurotransmitter called tryptophan which modulates sleep. There are some foods that naturally contain this, and eating them about an hour before you go to bed can really help you to fall asleep, and improve sleep quality. Furthermore, one major cause of insomnia is anxiety. Including more magnesium in your diet can relax your body and mind, helping you to fall asleep and sleep better.
So here is our list of the top 9 foods to improve your sleep.
1. Walnuts and almonds
These nuts are an excellent source of magnesium and melatonin - the sleep hormone!
Turkey contains high levels of tryptophan, as well as plenty of protein which is also beneficial for falling asleep.
Kiwi contains a high level of antioxidants, so when eaten regularly it can improve both sleep quality and the amount of sleep we get.
4. Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is high in tryptophan, as well as having a high protein content.
Dates are an excellent source of melatonin, which helps to lull your body into a sleepy state.
Bananas are a great pre-bedtime snack, containing magnesium, potassium, and tryptophan.
7. Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea calms the mind and eases anxiety, eliciting drowsiness.
8. Fatty fish
Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout are high in vitamin B6 which encourages the production of melatonin.
Not only is milk packed with tryptophan, it contains high levels of calcium which also helps us to drift off.
As well as including these foods in your diet for better sleep, it is also best to avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and processed carbs such as white bread and pasta, particularly after 6pm.
With many of us being out of our usual routines, and stressing about the state of the world, our sleep may be taking a hit. Getting a good nights sleep is essential for your overall wellbeing. Short-term effects of sleep deprivation are linked to issues with concentration, memory, and judgement. In the long-term, sleep deprivation has been linked to a plethora of illnesses, both mental and physical. These days we see a wide range of products available to help us to sleep better - from special pillows, mattresses, and duvets, to essential oils, to apps, to technology products. Who knows what we can trust anymore?
Here are our top, tried and tested methods to improve your sleep:
1. Keep your bedroom for sleeping only. Working or other activities in your room can affect the way your brain reacts to being in the bedroom. If it's just for sleep then your brain knows it's time to go to sleep when you head in there.
2. Try to maintain a regular routine. Keeping to the same (or similar) sleep and wake up times each day should help.
3. Minimise general blue light exposure before bed.
Other things may help you personally, everyone is different. If sleep deprivation is affecting your life, sometimes the only thing to do is get to the root of the problem. The NHS backs an online sleep cognitive behavioral therapy course called Sleepio, which is a great way to do this and is free in many parts of the country.
During these challenging times, it's just as important to take care of your mental health as it is to look after your physical health. For those who are isolating, or simply distancing from others, this can be challenging. It's understandable. But there are a few things you can do to boost your mood and maintain your wellbeing.
1. Don't cut yourself off
Just because you can't spend time with your loved ones, doesn't mean that you're alone. Keeping in touch helps to boost oxytocin levels, so schedule some Facetime with your nearest and dearest.
2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Healthy eating and exercise can also boost your mood. Try to stay active and hydrated, and spend time in the sunshine if possible.
The simple act of smiling can boost mood-improving neurotransmitters, increasing levels of serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. Even better if you smile at somebody else and they smile back.
4. Download a meditation app
Meditation can be incredible for boosting your mood, and as an added bonus it also helps to strengthen the immune system!
5. Recovery breathing
Set aside 10 minutes per day for recovery breathing to keep your cortisol levels at bay. Breath in through the nose and out through the mouth with a steady count. A longer out breath helps to dispel excess co2, which also helps to reduce excess cortisol.