Monthly Favourites: The Catch Up

To say that it’s been a while since I updated my favourites would be an understatement but it’s definitely been a busy few months! May to September has been packed full of massages, driving, good food, friends and puppies.

May

Lush Spa Tailor Made Massage For my 18th Birthday I was lucky enough to receive a voucher for Lush’s tailor made spa treatment; a deep tissue massage which concentrates on areas of tension in the body. The whole treatment lasted around an hour and as stated in the name, it was completely tailored to me. It began with a short consultation, in which I asked for the focus to be on my back and neck, I chose a bath bomb which flooded the room with scent and picked my own massage bar (which I got to take home with me at the end!). Before I settled down for the massage, I was given the opportunity to use the bathroom which was packed full of lush goodies! The therapist was so lovely and made me feel so at ease. The treatment room itself was almost in complete darkness and had a nautical theme accompanied by sea shanty music. It was super tempting to fall asleep during the treatment and despite the slight pain, I was left feeling energised and revived. I was even offered tea and biscuits at the end! I wasn’t surprised to be told that I had a lot of tight knots in my back and it definitely did hurt at times but nothing completely unbearable. I did also ache for a couple of days after but overall I was left feeling so much better. Plus what’s so special is that it’s such a customisable experience, that it really would be unique to everyone and would make the perfect gift!

Love Thy Neighbour, Liverpool There are so many new vegan and veggies places popping up in the North West which makes me so happy and out of the few that I’ve tried, this is one of my favourites! I went for the chickpea pancake with hummus, cherry tomatoes and added sweet potato and it was amazing. The sweet potato was especially delicious and I can’t wait to go back!

Medjool Dates There’s something about sweet, gooey dates that make breakfast seem so much more indulgent; I’ve loved adding chopped dates to a big bowl of chocolate nice cream or sliced on nut butter toast! What I haven’t loved on the other hand is their price tag…definitely worth it though!

Vega Vero Probiotic Mix Suffering from IBS means that good gut health is always at the forefront of my mind and I always make sure to supplement my diet with a good probiotic. These Vega Vero ones are probably the best that I’ve tried – my bloating has subsided so much and my digestion has never been better.

June

London In June, I headed down to London for my first ever blogging event – the HBCxMeet! I was so apprehensive before hand and making the journey to London alone having only visited twice previously was a little daunting but it was so lovely to be surrounded by and chat to so many lovely people! It was such a good afternoon, with several brands sampling their products and informative talks. It was so nice to finally put faces to names and whilst social media definitely has it’s negatives but the positives outweigh them all for me – I’m so grateful for the opportunites that blogging and Instagram have provided me with and to have met my best friends through this platform.

Jarr Kombucha One of the brands sampling at the HBC event was Jarr kombucha – having never tried kombucha of any kind I was definitely excited. I opted for the ginger flavour and not only does it taste incredible, but it does wonders for your gut by improving digestive health too! I’ve since tried the passion fruit and raspberry flavours too and they’re both equally as amazing.

Courgetti Blog This month’s blogging event gave me the perfect opportunity to meet one of the loveliest ladies – Laura, also known as courgetti blog! We’d been chatting through Instagram for months along with a few phone calls but it was so amazing to finally meet in person. We got on so well from the very first second, there was never an awkward silence and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to spend the day with. Before heading to the event we popped in to Selfridges and had a much needed trip to Deliciously Ella’s deli. I went for the falafels, hummus and Israeli salad and it was incredible! We then whizzed off to Neal’s Yard Pride for iced matcha latte’s before the event. I don’t think that I would have had the confidence to go without Laura’s support and before parting we had a much needed stop off (and stock up) at Planet Organic. I feel so lucky to be able to call her one of my best friends.

Healthy Living James’ Superfood Bread If you follow me on Instagram (especially my stories), you will know that I am absolutely obsessed with this bread recipe to the point where I actually know it off my heart now. I used to alternate my bread recipes but since finding this, everything else is completely out of the question. With simple, nourishing ingredients and the most incredible flavour and texture, this bread is so versatile. I love it toasted with mashed avo and tahini or to make a loaded vegan sandwich. I’ve made countless loaves of this bread and I don’t think that’ll be changing anytime soon!

Cashew Milk This is by far my favourite non dairy milk; with a creamy texture that froths beautifully, it’s perfect for my morning matcha latte.

Humble Brush Bamboo Toothbrush During my birthday trip to London in April, I spontaneously picked up two Bamboo toothbrushes (fully taking advantage of the buy one get one half price offer) and I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised. Not only do these brushes do the job perfectly, they’re made from sustainable bamboo which means that they’re a lot gentler on the environment. And the best part? For every toothbrush bought, they donate one directly to a child in need too.

July

Puppies I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t nagging my mum for a dog and in July it actually happened?! After years of persuasion my mum finally agreed that I could buy a puppy and so we went to view a litter of Shih Tzu puppies where I picked out Maisie and she is the sweetest little thing! She’s brought me so much happiness already and although she can be a handful at times, all of the hard work is so rewarding.

Pooch + Mutt Puppy Development Treats I concentrate so much on packing wholefoods in to my diet that I knew that I would want to do the same for my dog and that’s where Pooch and Mutt comes in. Their branded as health food for dogs, with a basis on Hippocrates ethos of ‘let food by the medicine and medicine be thy food’ and I couldn’t have been happier to find them. It’s safe to say that Maisie is absolutely obsessed with these treats and I can’t wait to try all of the others in the range.

Pip and Nut Coconut Almond Butter If you haven’t tried this nut butter yet then you are seriously missing out! With the perfect amount of sweetness from the agave and a hint of coconut, I’ve been adding this nut butter to absolutely everything that I can! And what makes it extra special is that when you add it to cold dishes, such as nice cream, the coconut oil makes it set and you get chunks of nut butter.. absolutely dreamy.

Falafels They might be a stereotypical vegan food but I’ve been completely obsessed with falafels over the past month, especially the recipe for my red lentil and sesame falafels – I’ve been making at least two batches a week!

August

Crunchy Peanut Butter It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with nut butter but throughout August, meridian’s crunchy peanut butter was my favourite – slathered on a homemade vegan burger, rice crackers or with falafels, I was looking for any excuse to add it to my meals.

Farmacy, London After meeting Jordan at the health bloggers event back in June, I was kindly invited to her birthday meal at Farmacy, along with a bunch of other lovely ladies. I met up with Laura beforehand, and we had the loveliest day. I was so grateful to be invited and it was good to see some new faces too. After visiting Farmacy with my mum, I knew that I wasn’t going to be disappointed by the food and as tempting as it was to order the burger again, this time I went for their mexican bowl; sprouted coriander rice, romaine, guacamole, frijoles, tomato ceviche, salsa, sour cream, purple sweet potato, corn chips and chipotle mayo and it was outstanding. So many different flavours but they were all perfectly balanced and it was so satisfying too! Everyone else decided to get dessert and despite it being my first in years, I challenged myself to one too! I went for their famous nice cream brownie sundae; I knew it was going to be good but it completely surpassed all of my expectations! It’s definitely not the cheapest place to eat out in London as a vegan but it’s more than good value for money – and it definitely won’t stop me from going back because there’s still so much more stuff that I want to try from their menu!

Driving After 10 months, 60 hours of lessons and more money that I would like to admit I finally passed my driving test (first time!!!) with just two minors! No passenger experience or practice outside of my lessons meant that it wasn’t the easiest process for me and there were times when I thought that I wouldn’t reach the point of a test at all. But I am so grateful to my driving instructor for everything that he taught me!

Fiat 500 Lounge After passing my test came the most exciting part – getting my first car! I’d been lusting over fiat 500’s for the past year and they’re what I had my heart set on, so when we went to view cars and I saw this one of the forecourt, I instantly fell in love! In pasadoble red with a matching red and cream interior, I couldn’t be any happier.

Hummus After last months falafel obsession, it was only a matter of time before the hummus obsession kicked in too! Slathered on a vegan burger, on toast, in veggies bowls or as a snack – I just can’t get enough of the stuff. I opt to make my own garlic free hummus but it’s incredibly creamy and packed full of flavour.

Vivo Life Acai and Blueberry Perform I’ve never been quiet about the fact that I love Vivo Life’s products and everything that their brand encompasses so it was a given that I would love their latest flavour protein too!

Leitchy Creates I know that it may seem a little strange to include a person in your favourites, but despite only meeting in June me and Jordan have become so close! Not only do we get on really well but everything that she’s achieved in the past few years and the journey that she’s been on is so inspiring. She’s always there if I need support or advice, never fails to make me laugh plus she makes the most amazing chocolates! Everything that she’s achieved so far with her business is bloody incredible and for someone so young it’s amazing to see how successful she is. Such an inspiring young lady and I couldn’t be prouder of her, it’s so lovely that she’s a fellow northerner too!

Another Heart To Feed Living so close to one another, it seemed silly for me and Jordan to not make meeting up a more regular thing and so we planned a girly day out in Manchester. One of our first stops was lunch at Another Heart To Feed – Jordan had their smashed avo with feta, poached egg, seeds, dukkah, beetroot hummus and fresh lime on sourdough whilst I opted for the vegan version which subbed in an extra slice of bread. The food was delicious and the company even better!

September

Cauldron Foods Tofu For the longest time I refused to eat tofu, or soy products of any form – it gets such a bad reputation but as long as it’s organic and free from gmo, there’s really no need to avoid it. I’ve been loving it pan fried with sesame oil and tamari until crispy, then served in a loaded sandwich or alongside sweet potato and veggies.

Leitchy Creates Summer Chocolate Box I couldn’t meet up with Jordan without buying a box of her chocolates and trust me if you order anything of hers then you definitely won’t be disappointed! I love that the box contained such a variety of different flavours and with everything from lemon drizzle to a berry baobab bomb and peanut maca fudge, there really was something for everyone. The individual flavours in each chocolate complimented one another beautifully and surprisingly my favourite was the orange and cardamom truffle! Other than their taste, the chocolate’s were so aesthetically beautiful too and it amazes me how talented Jordan is! It definitely won’t be the last time that I make a purchase.

Rhythm 108 Biscuits Choosing a flavour of these to try was a hard decision, but being the chocolate addict that I am I naturally went for chocolate hazelnut. I’d heard rave reviews about all of the flavours so I knew that they were going to be good, but they even exceeded my high standards! Reminiscent of Maryland cookies, they’re my newest obsession and I can’t wait to try the other flavours!

Baking I’m ashamed to say that before this month, the last time that I actually took the time to make something sweet was my birthday cake. For some reason I’d completely fallen out of love with it, accompanied by the fact that my snack drawer was crammed with goodies that I’d picked up on my various London trips. But this month I decided that I was going to get back into it and I’ve made everything from chocolate caramel bars to cookies, fudge bars and my favourite; peanut butter caramel chocolate brownies.

Federal Cafe Bar, Manchester Myself and Jordan had another one of our girlie trips to Manchester and stopped off at Federal for lunch. We may have had to queue out of the door but the wait was so worth it. Despite its small size, the decor is on trend and the staff were all so friendly and welcoming. Whilst it was busy, it kept a cool atmosphere and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. I opted for their citrus avo bagel and switched the bagel for toasted sourdough and at just £5 (£4 if you’re looking to take out), it was more than good value for money!

Pics Crunchy Peanut Butter I’ve tried lots of different nut butters, but as far as peanut butters go this one is in a whole other league. It doesn’t taste quite like your regular nut butter due to the hioleic peanuts that are used to make it – not only are they less susceptible to mould, but they have the most incredible flavour and boast a much higher protein and fiber content.

What are your favourite things at the moment? Leave them in the comments below or let me know on Instagram @nourishingyas x

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