Sunday, 10 December 2017

Sugar Free Breakfast Favourites

If you know me, you'll know I love breakfast. If you don't know me then let me tell you, I LOVE BREAKFAST. It's always been my favourite meal of the day and I used to be the biggest cereal fiend to the extent that I'd happily count it as an evening meal while I was at uni. It's a well known fact that most cereal is packed full of added sugar so when I gave up refined sugar I was a little worried that I was going to lose out on my favourite thing ever, but it's just meant I've had to get a little creative and put a bit more effort into breakfast, which is no bad thing at all. I thought I'd share my favourite refined sugar free breakfasts on here (but don't worry, there's plenty of the natural kind).

Homemade Granola | Granola has long been my favourite kind of cereal and I actually used to make my own long before I gave up sugar unless I was feeling particularly indulgent (or lazy). It's so easy to make and it actually tastes SO much better than the shop bought stuff I promise. I used to follow this Deliciously Ella recipe, but now I mix it up, adding different things or whatever needs using up in my cupboard. Because of that, my recipe varies every time, but the base of it tends to always be oats, flaxseed and ground almonds plus whatever nuts and seeds I have in the cupboard. Once I've mixed all that together I heat some coconut oil in a pan, mix in some maple syrup and cinnamon and pour that into the dry mixture to bind it all together. I don't measure anything, just throw it all in! Sometimes I'll add different spices (for my latest batch I added ground cloves so it's like CHRISTMAS granola) or I'll add some cacao powder to make chocolate granola. Sometimes I'll add dried fruit or coconut flakes after it's cooked, but whatever I do it's always bloomin' tasty. My favourite way to eat it is with natural yogurt and berries on the top.

Peanut Butter and Banana Porridge | I love having porridge at this time of year and however much I try to mix it up, this is the one I always come back to - peanut butter and banana. Tell me, is there a dreamier combination? I make my porridge in the microwave because this girl ain't got time for the hob when she's hungry. I just pop my oats, almond milk and broken up banana (this girl also ain't got time for chopping) in for two and a half minutes then stir in a (large) spoonful of peanut butter (crunchy OFC). Quick, easy and bloomin' lovely cause the banana goes all warm and mushy. 

Gingerbread Latte | I'm not a massive fan of Christmas coffee/hot drinks (shocker I know) because I just like straight up coffee, but back in my sugarful days I was partial to a gingerbread latte because they're not quite as sweet or gross as the others. Obviously they're out of the question for me because they are extremely sugary, but I made my own version that isn't too shabby that I have as an occasional weekend breakfast treat. We have a Nespresso machine so I do the coffee shot using that as normal then as well as the milk I add a bit of ground ginger and cinnamon (more cinnamon than ginger even though its a gingerbread latte because ginger can be pretty overpowering) and a dash of maple syrup into the milk frother, whizz it all up and add it to the coffee. Nom. Again, I don't measure anything so I'm sorry I can't give exact measurements if you want to make your own, but I kinda thing people would like different amounts of everything anyway!

These might not be the most revolutionary breakfast ideas ever, but I'm not someone who can spend ages making breakfast because I'm always so ready for it in the morning I want it there and then so simple is best for me!

What are your favourite things to have for breakfast?

Amy x


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Is Getting Older Really So Bad?

Last week I turned 27. Twenty. Seven. I realise that is in no way old, but I do feel a little squirmy when I think about it too much. Have I achieved everything I wanted to by now? Am I on track to achieve everything I want to by the time I'm 30? Am I stocked up on anti-wrinkle cream? (The answer is no to all but the latter.) When I was 21, fresh out of uni with my whole life ahead of me, 27 seemed like a long way away. Then life just happened and where have those 6 years gone? What have I done with them? If I could take a snapshot of my life now and send it back to my 21-year-old self she would not be happy. My life now is not what 21-year-old Amy wanted for herself. But 27-year-old Amy is actually pretty darn happy. And although I'm the first one to join in with the 'OMG we're getting so OLD, isn't it AWFUL?!' conversations, I actually don't think it's all that bad.

We're conditioned from a young age that getting older is not a good thing. You should be upset when you no longer get ID'd and poke fun at your friends by buying them hilarious birthday cards pointing out how ancient they are. And there are some things about getting older that I don't like. I don't like the crow's feet that are there even when I'm not smiling. I don't like the feeling of pressure that comes with being a woman who wants a career and a family and feels like she's running out of time for both (which is probably a topic for a whole other blog post in itself). I don't like the fact that I seem to be getting older so quickly and I might just blink and miss my whole life.

But but BUT there are things that I do like very much. The older I get the more I accept myself for who I am, imperfections, character flaws and all. The older I get the more I also accept that said imperfections and character flaws are mainly my own insecurities and probably go unnoticed by everyone else. The older I get the more my self-confidence grows and the more I value my own worth. As someone who can look back at her early 20s and remember an insecure, awkward girl who was completely and utterly unsure of herself, I've come a long way and I think that's all to do with getting older and maturing. Make no mistake, I am still horrendously awkward, but aren't we all? For me, getting older has meant growing as a person and although I'll probably never like the physical changes that come with getting older, the mental ones are proving to be only positive so far.

So here's to being 27, which is hopefully going to be the best year of my life so far.

And on a completely different note, here's to my new winter coat. It's red and it's cosy and it was from Primark so it was cheap as. Happy Amy.

Coat - Primark (current) | Boots - Topshop (here) | Bobble hat - Primark (current)

How do you feel about getting older?

Amy x

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Recent Reads I'd Recommend

Growing up I was rarely seen without a book in my hand. And when I say that I mean I used to get up, pick up my book, read it walking down the stairs, while eating my breakfast, only putting it down to go to school to pick it back up again as soon as I got in and keep it in my hand right up until I went to bed. Reading is actually quite a big part of my life so it seems kind of odd that I've never written a post on my blog about books. The longer I have this blog the less I'm trying to fit into some sort of niche (which I think is probably why I haven't written about them in the past) and I've read quite a few books recently so thought I'd do a round up of three I'd recommend (FYI I don't think any of these books are necessarily new, I've just read them for the first time recently!):

After I've Gone by Linda Green | I picked this one up as part of the 2 for £7 deal in Tesco that I get so easily drawn in by and I wasn't actually expecting much simply because I'd not heard of it, but I was gripped. It's a kind of social media thriller (I'm sure that's becoming a genre) that focuses on a girl who keeps seeing Facebook posts from her future and whether she's able to change that future. It's one of those books where you're almost screaming at the main character to not be such an idiot, but they're the best ones aren't they? It was very easy to read and equally as difficult to put down.  

Lyrebird by Cecilia Ahern | This was another one I couldn't put down (well, all three of these are, hence them making it into this post). It's a difficult one to try to describe and the story line is kind of odd, but in a magical way. It's about a young girl who has lived alone and away from any civilisation for years before being discovered by a film crew who are captivated by the way she can mimic the sounds of nature (like a Lyrebird). As they begin making a documentary about her and her exposure to the 'real world' they start to fear that they're destroying her innocence and her happiness. I've seen a lot of people describe this book as 'twee' and 'boring', but personally I thought it was beautiful and such a unique idea for a plot.  

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes | Shockingly I'm probably the only person who has never read (or seen) Me Before You but I'll definitely be seeking that out after enjoying this one so much. The Girl You Left Behind (which, just to clarify is not a sequel to Me Before You) is written across two different time periods - the First World War and the present day - and tells the stories of two separate women linked together by the fact that Liv (present day) possesses a painting of Sophie (1917), which becomes the subject of a legal battle resulting in Liv discovering details about Sophie's life. It's one of those books that feels so real, particularly the wartime part, which made me pretty emotional because I'm sure countless similar things actually happened. I empathised SO MUCH with Liv and I do love to get emotionally involved in a book. 

Have you read any of these? What did you think? Let me know if you have any recommendations! 

Amy x
© Call Me Amy | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig