Sophia-Jane

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Easy-Peasy Protein Pancakes


Ta-daaa, my first ever recipe post on the blog! 
Disclaimer: I'm no Gordon Ramsey so expect simple and easy recipes that may not look pretty on the eye (I'm working on that part) but will taste bloody good and are healthy...ish! Up until about a year ago, if I was cooking you dinner you could expect nothing other than pasta with sauce from a jar or beans on toast - lol. Since having health issues with my digestion/bowels and bla bla (the list goes on) I have become more passionate about my fitness and health and, in turn, have got stuck-in in the kitchen. Now I really enjoy cooking from scratch and baking yummy treats - so here we are! 

I thought I'd kick things off with my Protein Pancakes recipe because A) who doesn't love pancakes? and B) It's literally the simplest recipe, like ever. I usually have these as a dessert when I'm craving something sweet so the portion size is quite small (the recipe makes two pancakes). So if you were to have these as a meal for say, breakfast, I would adjust the recipe by adding extra ingredients like oats to keep you fuller for longer - I'll do a breakfast pancake recipe later! 

You will need: 1 Egg, 1 Banana, Coconut Oil & 2 Scoops Protein (I use Form Nutrition)

1. Blend all ingredients until you get a smooth consistency with no lumps
2. Heat a teaspoon of coconut oil over medium heat in a pan
3. Pour the mixture into the heated pan, creating two equal sized pancakes
4. Cook one side until the top becomes to bubble, then flip
5. Cook until nice and brown

& voila - I did say it was easy!

Now for the fun part, toppings! For mine I added some strawberries, frozen berries, peanut butter, desiccated coconut, sunflower seeds and a drizzle of Sweet Freedom's liquid chocolate..YUM!




You can also switch up the flavour of the protein powder. Here I made two pancakes using Form's Choc Peanut flavour & the other two with Vanilla. I've gotta say, it's a toughy to pick my fave but my no.1 food critic (aka Mum) reckons the chocolate was the winner! 

Have a go and lemme know what you think!

Ps - for those tracking their macros - here's the nutritional info for one portion (2 pancakes) with no toppings. Please be mindful that these will vary depending on which protein powder you use.

CALORIES: 397
PROTEIN: 33G
CARBS: 32G
SUGAR: 16G
FAT: 15G


Happy pancake making! :)

SJ




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Sunday, 29 July 2018

Sustainable Style With Adrenna


Happy Sunday lovelies! 
I'm currently tucked up in bed, windows open, listening to the rain and breathing in the fresh smell that accompanies it - my idea of a perfect morning set-up. Well, without the breakfast in bed..does anyone fancy delivering me pancakes? 
So yeah, that rain smell that I loveeee.. I googled it - it's a thing (I'm not crazy) -  "Petrichor is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil." See! I actually welcome the rain right now, mainly because my plans today are to do sweet fa, BUT if it could kindly piss off for Thursday (I'm going to Thorpe Park) that would be most lovely.

So anyway.. who else loves my power-ranger'esque two-piece? As a kid I always wanted to be the pink one (lol, was this just me?)..so thank you Adrenna for making my childhood dreams a reality. Ok, so I'm not quite a superhero *adult reality hits* but when you're wearing something that looks good and sustainable - you can at least pretend for a second or two! 

That's right, although it may look pink, this lil outfit is in fact completely green! As well as being environmentally conscious without sacrificing style, each piece is made-to-order using quality fabrics from Italy. 

You can also have a say in your own design, just choose your colour combo and features and voila! I went for the Fuchsia, having nothing like it already and well, it was a no-brainer to add pockets in the leggings - super handy for your phone. I've also got my eye on the black set.. you can never have enough black in your wardrobe! 

If I'm being completely honest with you guys, I am and always have been a 'shopaholic'! I had never spared a single thought to the effect the retail industry has on the world. So when I did, it really surprised me to learn that the mass-production of clothes makes this industry the second most polluting, after oil. Adrenna tackle this ordeal with their made-to-order concept, ensuring that no waste is produced and preventing mass-production.  They also use non-toxic dyes in and produce locally to minimise carbon emissions. For any more info on Adrenna and their work towards sustainability, including a peak at their collection, click here.



If, like me, you find the whole sustainability idea slightly overwhelming (I wouldn't even know where to start!) One of my closest friends (Hey Zar! https://zara-williams.com/) is a Sustainability Consultant - sounds pretty fancy eh - and she has given me 5 tips on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle: 

1. Find your cause
As there are so many environmental and social issues to be aware of and we can’t always address them all, figure out which are most important to you. You can then support the companies that address the causes closest to your heart.

2. Do your research
When there’s a piece you want to purchase, research options with a lower environmental footprint or a positive impact of the people throughout the supply chain. 

If waste is your cause, seek a product made from waste materials, one that can be recycled or reused after your use or one made-to-order like Adrenna to minimise production waste. If it’s employment conditions, look for a company that is transparent about its operations and how employees are treated. 

3. Think long-term
When shopping, think about whether the piece you’re contemplating will last you through time and trend. Is this high quality? Do you want it just because it’s “in” right now? Will you still want to wear it in 6 months time? Follow Livia Firth’s #30wears rule for fashion and ask yourself would you wear it at least 30 times. If not, put it back on the rack...

4. Share,  swap and rent
Save storage space at home and share, swap or rent, from fashion to furniture. If it’s something you won’t need on a daily basis, like an occasion dress or a lawn mower, figure out whether it’s something you can borrow from friends, family or neighbours. This will save you space and money, plus it’s provides a perfect opportunity to keep connected with the people around you. 

5. Carry reusables

Avoid single-use carriers and bring tote bags, water bottles*, coffee cups and so on with you in your bag. These simple and easy actions reduce your environmental footprint and save you money too!

*I am on the hunt for a reusable replacement to my plastic bottle (seen in the shots) as we speak.. :)


Now, I can't promise that I will stop buying clothes.. lets be realistic! But, I can say that I will be more mindful about who I am buying from and whether I NEED the item or if its just an impulse buy. Small steps lead to big changes, after all - (ok, I may have completely made that up but hey, it sounds pretty good!)

Anyway, I'm gonna stop rambling now .. aka, Love Island is starting :D
 But whether you're into wearing sustainable clothing and buying from conscious brands, or simply love to feel good whilst working out - have a little look Adrenna's way!

SJ

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Thursday, 5 July 2018

A Day In Havana

"Havana, oo na-na" .. ok, that had to make an appearance sooner or later. Tick, let's move on! 

Yay, I've finally got around to writing this up for you guys! For those of you who follow my Insta you'll know that I recently went on holiday to Cuba. First things first, Varadero is where you wanna be for that relaxing beach holiday - think white sands, clear blue sea.. dreamy right? Well, the only downside is that it is a good 2 hour drive from the capital - Havana (I knew I took Geography for a reason -lols). As soon as we booked the holiday I was so excited to see Havana and the 50's vintage American cars that this wasn't really a deal breaker for me. Queue Havana photos:
Any of these will do!
Yep, that is a Dachshund wearing glasses (hehe)
 Havana is the political capital - full of history, colonial ruins and museums. All that being said..if you're after a historic run-down on why that was built, who lived there..then I'm not ya girl. My priorities stem from food, picturesque cobble streets.. and, well food. So huge apologies to our tour guide who dished out so much info.. it did really just go in one ear and out the other (oops). 

That aside, I fell in love with the character and culture of this city - it really is nothing like I've seen before. The crumbling, colourful buildings and vintage cars made me feel like I had time-warped to another era. You can easily spend hours strolling the streets, brought alive by the music of the Cuban buskers. This is also where you will find many of Hemingway's famous spots - one of which we popped in for a lil visit.

Say Hello to Hotel Ambos Mundos -
The views from the roof terrace
 Keith in that tropical shirt tho #WhenInCuba
That awkward 'my skirt just blew up and I flashed my buttocks to everyone' look

Ok ok, I hold my hands up.. I didn't put this on the 'to-visit list' because Hemingway stayed here - I was already sold at rooftop bar and cocktails! And if cocktails aren't really your thing - a) are you ok? and b) not to worry, the view itself is worth a visit alone. I'm still a bit sad that I didn't go for a Pina, I've heard they come in coconuts and, lets be honest, even if they are horrible - you got yaself a coconut for a cute pic #WinWin. I did, however, go for a Mojito..
Ok, so it weren't as 'instagrammable' but it was definitely refreshing. I was kinda put off a bit by how much sugar they used though *. I know I know, I'm cringing at myself even  saying  typing it. Yes, it's a cocktail and I'm on holiday and all that jazz but I get more than my daily allowance in ice cream as it is so.. more rum less sugar please :)

*note to self: don't watch your cocktails being made

If I'm being totally honest - I don't feel like I saw (ate) all that Havana has to offer.. I was unfortunately ill for pretty much the entire holiday *cries inside* so I couldn't take full advantage of the cocktail menus and glorious food as much as I would have liked to - which, lets be honest, is one of  the best thing about holidays. So, as much as I would love to sit here and recommend the best ice cream parlours, cocktail bars and brunch spots - I can't, I'm sorry </3

I can, however, recommend Restaurante La Casa - a cute lil family run restaurant which has been quite the popular spot for celebrities. I mean if it's good enough for Jude Law..
Sadly, he wasn't at the table next to us (that's my night ruined) but Jude Law or no Jude Law, this little gem is well worth a visit! The staff were so friendly, I can easily say it was the best service we experienced all holiday. We had a set menu but, no matter, the Chef went out of his way to whip up a bespoke dish for Keith's little nephew - including some hand-cut crisps that were a winner all around! I didn't get any food snaps so just trust me when I say that the seafood is bloody delicious. And if the food and service doesn't win you over.. there is a cute little pond that flows around the back with turtles - turns out, they are quite the friendly little fella's!

As it was an early dinner, and still daylight, I feel like we didn't experience the true beauty of this converted house - the trickling wall fountain and fairy lights are sure to be a winning combo when the sun goes down. Never-mind, we had a show to get to!

Hola, Club Tropicana!

 The show was included as part of the Havana trip which we booked through our rep. Heads up for those of you with kids - they aren't allowed to watch the show (I soon understood why)..lets just say the boys had a great time! In this case you can pay 5CUC to the Cuban man outside to watch them whilst you're enjoying the show.. ok ok,  just kiddin' - you'll need this if you want to take photos during the show (totally not kiddin')
On arrival the guys got a cigar and us ladies received a flower (cute!) I, being me, decided it was a great picture opportunity to do the whole 'look at me I'm cute with a flower in my hair' look..
Yeah, turns out a girl trying to get a flower that's tangled in her hair isn't so cute after all. The good news is, we also got a bottle of rum on our table - now the party had really begun!

Luckily the rain held off (it was an open-air theatre) and we enjoyed a night jam-packed with crazy, bright outfits, energetic Latin dancing and singing. Granted, the songs weren't really to my taste but it was just a feel-good vibe all around! I'm sure one of the costumes involved a lamp shade as a headpiece.. as I said, crazy but entertaining. It was also handy to have table service throughout the show- it is 2 hours after all .. dangerous but handy!

This was our last night of the hols, waa, and it was definitely my favourite! What I would say is, if we were to go back to Havana, I would not get a tour guide. I'm not into the whole history thing (not sure if you've noticed?) and I'd just like the freedom to explore. I'd also go later in the year, turns out June isn't the best time for sunshine - lesson learnt!

Right, I'm gonna wrap this one up cos, well, Love Island. Thanks Cuba, it was a pleasure <3



SJ






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Friday, 11 May 2018

AMSTERDAM BABY!

HALLO! (Lol, I wanted to greet you guys in Dutch.. to then find out it's just 1 letter different from our Hello.. which now just looks like a typo). IT'S NOT A TYPO, I'm glad we cleared that up..

So those of you that follow me on Insta will know that it's been quite a few weeks since I went to Amsterdam. I'm sorry for the delay, my laptop blew up (not literally, slightly dramatic there) and I've not long had it back! HOORAHH, I'm back :)

So as soon as I booked this lil weekend trip away for my boyfriends birthday, I just knew I had to blog it for you guys. It was my third time visiting and I absolutely love this city! We had already done the main tourist'y bits during our previous trips so here's a quick summary of my must-dos (that we didn't re-do on our third visit) that you just NEED to know about:

- Visit the Ann Frank House
I don't think I've ever seen a 'must-do Amsterdam list' without this being on it - that's gotta count for something right? Well, I personally love a bit of World War 2 history - I think it's something that has rubbed off on me from my ole' man. The first time we actually under-estimated the queue and didn't get a chance to go so BOOK YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE GUYS. This actually is your only option at the mo anyway (due to some reconstruction work) but hey, just always buy them online, ok? 

- Rent bikes and cycle everywhere
We were super lucky the second time visiting, it was actually my birthday weekend (early April), and the weather was lushhh. We hired a tandem - lol, legit the scariest thing ever..(in a fun way) - and cycled everywhere. Not only is it bloody good exercise but everywhere is so beautiful and by cycling you really can see it all..especially if you're short on time! I say exercise but I definitely just sat with my feet up at the back whilst Keith done all the work (lol, soz babe). Not only that but I feel like you really are in Amsterdam, if that makes sense? Like, this way you really are experiencing their culture. So guys, join the locals and hop on ya bike!

- Picnic in Vondelpark
So if you are as lucky as we were with the weather, cycle up to Vondelpark - the largest in Amsterdam - and enjoy a picnic, pimms & ice cream (dream combo) in the sunshine! In the summer they put on outdoor live concerts so deffo check that out too! 

- Visit Bloemenmarkt
Tulips are a symbol of Dutch culture so it wouldn't be right to visit Amsterdam without feasting your eyes on the beautiful Bloemenmarkt - the worlds only floating flower market, pretty cool huh! And guys, every girl likes to be bought flowers... #justsaying!

So now I've got those out the way.. let's take you to my third visit!
Sadly, we weren't so lucky with the weather this time around. When I say it was cold, I mean it was bloody freeeezinggg (-6 to be exact). I'm not usually put off by the cold, I'm more of a wrap up warm and suck it up sorta gal - but blimey, I struggled. Luckily, as we had done all these incredible things listed above already, the focus quickly shifted to food (I mean, it wasn't far off anyway) and the best places we could eat. So if you're hungry, I'd grab some snacks cos there's a lot of good food coming your way...don't say I didn't warn ya!

MAMMA KELLY'S

Our first evening I had pre-booked Mamma Kelly's - a chicken & lobster restaurant whose all pink everything interior I fell head over heels with. It's not particularly central so you do need to get a taxi but it's well worth the ride! Reservations can be made 3 weeks in advance and, lil heads up for ya - I received an email just before our booking date asking me to confirm that we were still coming.. in Dutch. No confirmation, no booking! I deffo just thought it was a 'looking forward to seeing you' aka junk mail but hell no - translate them emails!


In true Sophie fashion, I went straight to the bar for a cocktail - I mean, can you blame me? The bar is pretty snazzy! So it turns out the 'all pink' doesn't stop with the interior.. my cocktail was pink too! I can't remember the name but I feel like you wont go wrong with any cocktail you order here. 

Now, let's get into the food..I'd re-eat this all over again right now if I could. For my starter I went for a bbq chicken salad and it really was the turning point for me when it comes to salads. I've always had the opinion that they were boring, flavourless and would leave me unsatisfied. Oh how I was wrong! The chicken was so soft, cooked to perfection and the watermelon added the perfect sweetness to contrast the bbq sauce - ok, not quite a Masterchef description but hey, you get the idea. Keith opted for the Calamari (his personal fave) and there were no complaints his end either! 

We couldn't decide between chicken or lobster for main so we opted for both to share with a side of chips! I love the whole sharing agreement but there's always that one dish that wins you over just that little bit more. For me, this was the lobster. Maybe it was because I had chicken to start or maybe it was because the sauce was to die for but either way I did not want to share that lobster (still regretting that decision today - can you tell?)

Luckily for me, I did not have to share my dessert. Oh. My. Goodness. My first ever Blondie and it has set the bar high! I even contacted them after we left to check what exactly it was (I had no idea a Blondie was a thing) just to make sure I could tell you guys.  Well I can confirm it was their white chocolate brownie with caramel and sea salt and it is bloody amazing (picture above) <3 <3

METROPOLITAIN

Ahh Metropolitain <3 So, we did not stumble across this little gem either - I had a sort of restaurant bucket list going on and this was straight off it (what can I say? I take my food seriously!) GO FOR BRUNCH! The end. Just kidding, well kinda.. because it really is the perfect place for brunch. It's so cute and chilled, you really could sit in there for hours! I had my normal brunch dilemma of do I go sweet or savoury? The outcome always being the same - both, duh! When in Dam eh..

NOOCH

Ok, I confess.. another one on the list! This was actually super last minute so we were so lucky to get squeezed in - I always take it as a good sign when a restaurant is fully booked! An Asian kitchen that fuses Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indonesian & Thai - now if that's not spoilt for choice then I don't know what is. To be honest me and Keith were totally out of our comfort zone here - me being an Italian cuisine sorta girl and him a steak/burger sorta guy. But if there was one place that surprised me the most it was Nooch. Bloody delicious! For starters we had the Duck Pancakes *best duck pancakes ever* and for main I went for the Curry King Prawn *best curry ever*. Those words literally came out of mouth after every dish. I now have a new found love for curries but am yet to find one that can compete with this!


THE DIRTY CHICKEN CLUB

Now this one was a find! Ok, I confess.. I did have a cheeky little google before stepping inside (reviews are important ok) but it was not pre-planned - I know, I'm so wild.
If you're looking for good cocktails, street art & dirty chicken - ta daaa! We sat in these really cool converted carriage booths (picture below) giving some serious NY underground vibes. I'm such a kid when it comes to sitting in something a little different to your average table and chair - like c'mon, lets change things up a bit. Ok you got me... I didn't read the reviews at all, I saw the cool chairs and I was sold.

To start off we went for the 'Dirty Chicken Nachos' to share. Chicken on nachos? I know, this was new for me too but omgaddd they were dreamy! Literally everything you'd expect from 'dirty' nachos and more..Move aside pulled pork - there's a new combo in town.

For main I went for the 3 Pulled Chicken Tacos.. yes yes yes! One thing I would say is, if you've got a big appetite or haven't stuffed your mouth with nachos beforehand (#sorrynotsorry), it is on the smaller side. But even so, definitely worth an order. I need to go again, not only because their burgers look insane but also because I didn't get dessert - who even am I?




PLUK AMSTERDAM

Ok guys, I've saved the best til last.. my personal fave - Pluk Amsterdam. I may have been swayed by their Unicorn smoothie bowl and their homemade cakes (yum) - but can you blame me?




I would recommend visiting on a week day, as it gets super busy over the weekend and it is quite small inside. And if you're not already convinced, they sell the cutest bits for your home, kitchen and food-related products - so you could just pop in for a cheeky shop. Of course I couldn't leave empty handed (and by 'empty-handed' I mean with 1 smoothie bowl, 2 cakes and 2 coffees) - so I took home a mug as a little souvenir. Truth is, I could have taken the whole shop if I had the suitcase space. 

So there we have it folks! I told ya to grab some snacks didn't I! 

If you've got any recommendations of your own, I'd love to hear them for next time. Also, if you do happen to take my advice on any of the above, lemme know what you think! <3 

Until next time Dam,


SJ


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