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Live In the Now.

Recently I’ve been thinking about my motivation towards university, as admittedly it’s been a lot lower than what it usually is. Although this doesn’t worry me, because I know my determination will see me through, it made me question why I feel the way I do.

The other day on my Instagram I read a quote which made a lot of sense to me;

If you are depressed you are living in the past. 
If you are anxious you are living in the future. 
If you are at peace you are living in the present.”


― Lao Tzu

I think there is a lot of truth in this, especially as I have been feeling anxious recently due to deadlines, dissertation uncertainty etc (all things which concern the near future). When relating this back to my own motivation levels, I think it can be said that I’m living in the future, instead of appreciating where I’m currently at. I’m so excited and ready for what the next chapter holds after uni, that sometimes it negatively affects how I’m viewing the present moment.

Living in the future is something I think we all do at times, especially if you’ve been in full-time education for what feels like a lifetime! As much as I have enjoyed my degree, I do believe that our education system encourages anxiety due to the silent pressure and expectation placed upon students to know what they want to do with the rest of their lives upon graduating. I’m very much somebody that when I have a goal in mind, it’s all I think about. Although this can have its benefits, it can also cause anxiety and a lack of appreciation for where I’m at now.

Of course, living in the future doesn’t just relate to education, it’s far broader than this. Every year most of set new years resolutions (goals which we believe will better ourselves or another in the future), we work hard and save for something we want in the future, we do so much to benefit our future selves.

But what about now? 

It’s so important to stop, take time out, and reflect where you’re at now. Having goals and a future incentive to work hard in the present is great for motivation but we have to know when to stop living in the future. A little appreciation for where you’re at now will go a long way! This is exactly what I’m trying to do – I have a clear plan for what I would like to do when I graduate, and I’m so excited to get to work on making this a reality, that I feel it’s becoming a distraction to what I’m currently trying to achieve.

Just live in the now – you never know what will happen tomorrow or next week and that’s the beauty of it. The future might not be all that it cracks up to be, and then you’ve set yourself up for a lot of disappointment, whereas right now we have the power to make each day exactly what we want it to be. Look forward to the future, cherish the past, but most importantly live in the now…

Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤

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Foodie Finds – October 2018

These posts seem to be getting later and later :’) Since starting my third year of uni, I feel like my dissertation is taking over, but I know it will be so worth it in the end! Also, how is it Christmas next month?! Crazyy! I was only able to find a few things this month as most of my time was sat in front of my laptop, but here are the goodies!

1) Nature Valley Salted Caramel, Pretzel, and Almond Popcorn Bar45747793_272937843350503_7681665157696585728_n

I thought this was quite different compared to your standard cereal bar. The texture is so light, and it tastes delish. Each bar has 89 calories which is so good for how yummy it tastes. Would recommend as a light pre-workout snack.

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2) Asda Reduced Sugar Granola

I have been on the hunt for a low sugar granola forever! A lot of people think granola is healthy, and although what it’s composed of is (to some degree), the amount of sugar that gets added counteracts this. There is only 1.1g of sugar per 45g of this which is so good when considering other granolas can be around 10g of sugar! You get exactly what it says with this, a natural tasting, and low sugar, granola perfect for adding to greek yoghurt.

3) Engevita Yeast flakes, B1245797654_894882637368939_4760867549925605376_n

Admittedly it does look and smell a bit like fish food, but I’ve been adding it to every dinner and I love it. The only way to describe the flavour is that is taste’s a bit like cheddar!  I think it adds depth to any dish without being as calorie dense as cheese. Also, research suggests that it can lower your cholesterol and boost immunity, so it’s a good thing to be adding to your meals.

45740567_259402118076348_5332040342789160960_n4)  FibreOne Triple Chocolate Cake Bar

You know when Fibre One comes out with something new, it will be a winner. This is so chocolatey and delicious, that it tastes like it should be way more calories than what it actually is. How they managed to make it taste so good for only 89 calories is a mystery! It is like eating a chocolate brownie but with added crunchy bits…yum!

Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog

Comparison – the thief of joy

I think this is something we are all guilty of…

It’s so easy to open up Instagram and compare yourself to the first person that comes up on your feed. You may not even notice you’re doing it, I think half the time this is something we do subconsciously, and then wonder why we don’t feel any happier after spending half an hour scrolling endlessly through our feeds.

For me, I believe social media is great depending on how you use it. Of course, you will feel like you’re not working hard enough on your goals if you’re comparing yourself to a model on Instagram who does this for a living. It’s no wonder social media will make you feel inadequate, in turn lowering your self-esteem and self-confidence. It begs the question, why do we continue to use it in this way?

I am all for social media, apart from its tendency to encourage self-scrutinizing comparisons. I think it’s a great way to connect with others and open yourself up to many opportunities, however, I do feel strongly about the way in which we use social media. By becoming more optimistic users I feel we could reduce some of the issues and feelings that Instagram and other social media can cause. For example, optimistic use could be using it to provide yourself with inspiration, motivation, and connectivity. When you know how to use it in the right way, it really can be an amazing community to be part of.

Moreover, I think another crucial step is to have a social media cull and ask yourself do the accounts that you follow make you feel good and provide you with motivation? If no – bin them, you don’t need the unnecessarily high standards on your timeline giving you ammunition to alter your self-image.

Yes, there will be days where you compare yourself, even to those accounts that you find inspiring, but I think this is an inevitable risk we take by signing ourselves up to social media. My main point here is to be aware of how you use social media, and if you need a break from it – take one. Ultimately, you are in control of the way social media makes you feel and that there are solutions to overcome this. We are all on our own journies, we are all doing enough, and we all need to focus on our own personal growth and stop the comparison. You are who you are, irrelevant of likes and followers, and you should embrace every part of you.

Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog

Foodie Finds – September 2018

A little bit late with posting this, but better late than never! This shows what a busy month September was for me, but probably the best month of the year so far! I went to Egpyt for a holiday which was incredible, I turned 21, and to top it all off I also started my third year of uni!

But I’m officially back and full of blog ideas! Despite this busy month, I still managed to find some goodies…

1) Whey Box cookies & cream protein sachets43356915_312586136236288_6768224763157413888_n

I wanted to include this mainly due to the convenience that this gives. I bought two sachets to take on holiday with me, as you never know where you are going to get your protein from when abroad :’) I rate the protein highly on taste, texture, and it also mixes well, so it’s a good option for if you want a quick protein hit on the go.

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2) Fulfil chocolate hazelnut whip

One of the best protein bars I have had! I’m a big fan of the hazelnut and chocolate combo and this really does it justice, I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a more chocolatey protein bar than this. Whenever I see it when I’m out, I just have to buy it :’) Definitely would recommend if you’re a Nutella fan!

 

3) Minimoos vegan honeycomb chocolate bar43318838_276645512971876_621280454024101888_n

I was craving some chocci, and this somehow managed to find it’s way into my basket! This was my first time trying any vegan or gluten-free chocolate, and I certainly couldn’t taste any differences. I think the honeycomb is a great addition to this bar, it’s a yes from me! Also, I think it’s the perfect size as I realise with myself I can’t open a bar of chocolate and finish it all…so you’ll be safe with this if you’re like me!

43313674_296929884472683_5817522220200624128_n4) Fulfil triple chocolate deluxe protein bar

Back at it again with another protein bar (help!). I’ve been looking out for this one for quite a long time, and it didn’t disappoint. I like fulfil bars because of the added vitamins that they include, which other bars often don’t. Very chocolatey, very delish = a chocoholics dream.

 

5) Candy Kittens Eton mess43437576_269592967020590_8240858440663040000_n

Saving the naughtiest until last! Someone actually bought these for me, but when I tried them they just had to feature in the foodie finds! Eton mess is one of my favourite summer desserts and these sweets do it justice, for sure! Also, they are vegetarian and gluten-free.

Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤

 

Blog

How to Overcome Homesickness at Uni

This is something that I really didn’t think I would experience.

I am so independent, and I couldn’t wait to get to uni to have my own freedom to live exactly the way that I wanted to live. BUT in the first few weeks, I felt so homesick that I seriously considered quitting uni altogether. I would get the train back home every weekend, and would absolutely dread it come Sunday when I had to travel back. It’s when you are put in a situation like this that you appreciate all the things and people that you feel lost without.

In my opinion, starting uni is one of the hardest things to do as you become so accustomed to having a long summer off, doing what you want when you want, allowing you to get somewhat complacent, then suddenly September comes and so many changes arrive all at once. It’s not just the moving to a new area, it’s all the things and loved ones you are forced to leave behind, the new friendship groups you have to make, getting accustomed to how uni works (making sure you don’t miss the dreaded 9am 😉 ) and getting involved with that uni lifestyle. On top of this, you have freshers week which as fun as it is, it is very exhausting …sleep deprivation and homesickness definitely do not go hand-in-hand!

To me, homesickness is not a sign of weakness and I think everyone experiences it to a degree when they first start. I think that is where half of the problems occur as people don’t know how to deal with it, and will often turn to other coping mechanisms (especially alcohol) in hope to overcome this, but that is the worst thing to do! I think it’s best to acknowledge it, accept it, and understand it – you will feel like this at times, it’s perfectly normal when going through a major life change such as this.

I’m now in my second year, and I haven’t felt like this at all! I always feel a little lost when I first start uni after summer, due to the extreme contrast of seeing loved ones every day and then suddenly once every three months…But I learned last year how to deal with these feelings and I’d like to share them with you ❤

1. Home is everywhere

If you truly look and are mindful of your surroundings then reminders of home can be found everywhere. I came to uni with stuff that would help me feel connected to home such as photos, ornaments, candles etc, anything that will make you feel grounded.

2. Stay Connected with your Family

I think students think when they come to uni they have to paint a perfect picture to their loved ones that everything is okay, but that is simply not the case. I certainly didn’t, I made it very clear to everyone how I was feeling and they all helped me so much and made me feel very anchored. My mum actually sent me up a mindfulness book to help me overcome this. I was always Facetiming my family, friends, and my pets :’). Use whatever social networking helps you, I used Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat and these all really helped.

3. Talk to your flatmates.

Everyone is in the same boat as you! When I felt bad I would always talk to my flatmates about it. However, I think the key thing here, is that you don’t compare your experience to another’s – we all experience the same event differently, and just because someone may not be feeling as homesick as you, it doesn’t mean they don’t feel it at all.

4. Go home

Failing all of this, then go back home and visit those who you love! Touch base for a few days and you will feel so much better and refreshed on return. Uni will certainly make you realise how much you value your family and friends (and a nice home-cooked roast…make sure you binge on them before you come to uni because they will be very missed :’) ).

Although overcoming homesickness is mostly about finding what works for you, I hope you can adapt some of my tips to help you out! Uni is a great thing to do and it will open up so many doors and opportunities for you – make sure you enjoy every moment, as it will go by quicker than you think.

Thank you for reading, and I hope this was helpful.

Jazzy B ❤

Blog, Treats

Vegan Biscoff Tiffin

OH. MY. probably the best tiffin I have ever tasted! First of all, I should really explain what Tiffin is, as I was unaware of how many people hadn’t heard of it before! It is a dessert typically made from crushed biscuits, golden syrup, raisins, and chocolate. I think the texture is what makes tiffin so unique as it melts in the mouth, but you also get a juicy burst of flavour from the raisins and a sweet crunch from the biscuits.

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Tiffin is one of my favourite things to make because it is hassle-free, and doesn’t require lots of ingredients. It’s one of those desserts that you can guarantee will go down a treat!

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I’m collaborating with the lovely Blogtastic food to vegan-ify some classic desserts and sweet treats, and so naturally I wanted to put a vegan spin on one of my favourites. This tiffin is made using Biscoff (yes, they’re actually vegan!), and I think it only adds to the flavour! Sometimes tiffin can be quite rich, but I find with the addition of biscoff biscuits it balances out the sweetness from the chocolate.

When I shared this with family and friends, I didn’t tell anyone that it was vegan. I think people always expect to taste a difference between vegan and non-vegan desserts, but with this tiffin, you really can’t! I was actually told it tasted better!

Ingredients:

(makes 9 squares)

  • 4.5 tbsp of agave nectar
  • 150g of unsalted butter (I used dairy free flora)
  • 250g of vegan chocolate (put 50g aside)
  • 50g of white chocolate
  • 250g of biscoff biscuits, 100g put aside
  • 150g rich tea biscuits

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Method:

  1. Measure out all your ingredients beforehand and line a square tin with greaseproof paper or cling film (I used clingfilm) with enough to overhang the tin.
  2. Place a glass bowl over a barely simmering pan of hot water and add the 200g of chocolate, butter, and agave nectar until melted. Leave to cool for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, crush the biscuits in a food bag until there are no large pieces of biscuits left.
  4. In a separate bowl add all the dry ingredients (raisins, rich tea biscuits, biscoff, and remaining chocolate, broken into pieces) and mix.
  5. Once the chocolate has cooled, gradually add the dry mix, until it starts to come together.
  6. Spoon into a square tin, and pack the mixture down with the back of a spoon, then leave to chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
  7. Melt the remaining milk chocolate to coat the top of the tiffin, then once completely set, repeat for the white chocolate and drizzle all over.

In terms of storing the Tiffin, this all comes down to preference! If you like a bit of bite to your tiffin store it in the fridge, but otherwise, it’s perfectly fine out of the fridge. To serve, I crumbled biscoff on top and topped with raspberries, but you could also serve with a scoop of ice cream.

I hope you like this recipe,Vegan-Lemon-Meringue-Pie-Marked-2-632x741

Jazzy B ❤

 

For more vegan dessert inspo be sure to check out this lemony goodness!

Below are the links to all of the delicious vegan desserts that are also part of this collaboration:

JULIAJulia from Julia Recipes who has made a coconut-lime vegan tart that looks incredible!

 

A slice of honey

Sarah from Slice of Honey has made some vegan shortbread cookies with a dark chocolate drizzle

 

 

Ally from Allybakes has made a ginger coconut ALLYpear cake – I bet this tastes amazing!

 

 

 

Anthea from SaltyBiscotti has made a Antheavegan chocolate salami

 

 

 


img_1801Winola from The foodscape has made this delicious vegan banoffee pie

 

 

mayaMaya from Maya’s Beehive has made a blackberry pie with a walnut crumble

 

 

cupcakesTeresa from Cupcakes and Couscous has made a chocolate caramel tart…how amazing does this look?!

 

 

strudelKathy has created something different with her berry and brie vegan strudel!

 

Reka from Holy Whisk Blog has made some beetroot brownies holy

 

 

 

Marie from Sugar Salt Magic has made a vegan lemon coconut frangipane tart vegan lemon

 

Blog

Foodie Finds – August 2018

How are we at the end of August, already?! I feel like ever since uni ended for summer, that I haven’t actually stopped :’) Still, I’m feeling ready to go back and take on the third year! I’m also looking forward to September as it’s the start of new beggings (and my birthday! 😉 I Found lots of goodies this month (mainly grenade products because I’m well and truly obsessed!). Let’s get into ittt…

40436300_325124618242772_7928773953588297728_n1) Grenade Carb Killa Shake

Despite my love for grenade bars, I had never tried their shakes until recently. I purchased the cookies and cream and the fudge brownie shake, and they basically taste like the bar! I personally wasn’t keen on the cookies and cream shake, as I found it far too sweet but the fudge brownie one, on the other hand, is delish! I would definitely choose the bars over the shakes, but I get that it’s a convenient way to get your protein in.

2) Sour Cream & onion Quinoa Bites40479100_520616281730775_865848574896766976_n

I love finding healthy alternatives to crisps, and these do not disappoint. They are only 85 calories per pack, and yet taste so amazing. Quinoa flour is the main ingredient in them, giving them a slightly different texture to normal crisps…I rate them!

 

40463890_312172739557121_8970093069470793728_n3) Grenade Birthday Cake Carb Killa

This looks way better than it tastes! I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing this one as it was too sweet or me. The vanilla is very overpowering, making it very sickly to eat. Although the texture is a lot softer, compared to the others, the cookies and cream will always have my heart :’)

4) Tan Rosie – aubergine and mushroom spread40444606_492000197982278_3487029448782381056_n

This stuff is so good! I first discovered Tan Rosie products at the Chilli Fiesta in August. I love how their products use such simple ingredients, yet the flavour is incredible. You can literally do anything with this product, I was having it on toast and mixing it through quinoa and spaghetti. I haven’t seen a foodie product like this, and I definitely think there is room for something like this on the market…good luck to the ladies who are running this!

40409988_256969575153157_582020510158684160_n5) Grenade Carb Killa Chocolate Fudge Brownie

Back at it again with another Grenade product :’). I had been wanting to try this bar for so long, and I wasn’t that pleased with it. I think the original grenade bars have set the standard so high that nothing can compare! It tastes very chocolatey, but I found it a bit too rich!

6) Nims Pineapple Fruit Crisps40525842_2107629889249869_6587183104127926272_n

I thought this was quite a novel way to get your five a day in, and so had to give them a go. The only ingredient is dried pineapple, that has been dried naturally. Although they are high in sugar (naturally occurring), with each bag containing 14g, they make a nice sweet snack that also counts towards one of your five-a-day.

Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog

‘Beach body’ ready – is there such a thing?

First of all, I would just like to say that getting ‘summer ready’ shouldn’t be your only focus when it comes to going on holiday and enjoying your summer. I think we are so quick to focus on getting ‘bikini ready’ these days, rather than looking forward to the actual holiday itself. Remember, you’re on holiday too, you have every right to be carefree and body confident! However, I do understand the desire to want to look and feel your best when on holiday, especially as for most of us in the UK, it’s the one time in the year that we can whip out the sassy swimwear ;).

I set myself a goal, 4 weeks prior to my holiday, to work on defining my abs more, whilst keeping the progress that I had already made (the struggles :’). I didn’t want to drop my calorific intake too much, as I think I’ve found my maintenance level, but I did want to make my abs more defined. In order to achieve this, I increased the amount of cardio by doing treadmill sprints for 10-15 minutes for one session, stairmaster for another, and LISS (Low-Intensity Steady State) for my final cardio session. Also, I included supersets on leg day (where you perform two exercises back to back) which really increases the intensity, and therefore the number of calories burned. Another thing I aimed to do, was to ensure I was snacking on healthy foods. For example:

  • Avocado on brown toast
  • Greek yoghurt and berries
  • 30g of oats mixed with a scoop of whey protein
  • Fruit
  • A handful of nuts
  • Banana and nautral peanut butter on toast

Below are a few tips that I would recommend if you wanted to shape up, however I do believe this should be something that is done way in advance of your holiday, as short-term weight loss plans are often so drastic and unattainable.

1) Are you actually hungry?

Our bodies are very clever when we are dehydrated at tricking us into feeling hungry when in actual fact we are thirsty. If you think you’re hungry you might actually be thirsty, have a drink and wait 10 minutes, if you’re still hungry after treat yourself to some food (healthy, of course ;))!

2) Increase your cardio

The thought of doing cardio is not as bad once you’re actually sprinting for your life, and the endorphins are keeping you company :’). HIT is the best for using up those energy reserves and helping you to get your sweat on!

3) Diet is key

Eating a healthy and nutrituos meals will do wonders for your wasitline! It really is that simple – eat a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and snack healthy and you will be well on your way!

I don’t think that there is anything wrong with working towards getting your body ready to a point that you feel body confident, as I state in my blog post all about setting yourself a goal – this is a perfect example of that, and can be a good motivation. But what I do believe, is that we should go about this in a healthy and sustainable way, besides there is far more to life (and holidays) than looking good in a bikini. Be confident, be happy, and enjoy your summer break,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog

The importance of setting goals

One thing that I have learnt since I started taking my fitness seriously, is to never underestimate the importance of having a goal to focus on. Time after time I would aimlessly wander into the gym and do the same thing every day (cardio, of course) and wonder why I wasn’t seeing the results that I wanted. I now know this was because I hadn’t considered a specific goal to focus on, and so I wasn’t working towards anything.

Since setting myself goals (both aesthetic and strength) I began to notice improvements with my body and mind. My long-term goals have been to improve my strength when lifting, strengthen my abs, and of course work on the booty. With these goals in mind, I started researching as to how I could achieve them. However, I do understand that it’s not as easy as that, with so much conflicting research it requires trial and error, but you will eventually find a way of achieving your goals that is best suited to you. With my long-term goals in mind, I will then make a mental note of what I want to achieve in the short-term to help my progress towards the goal e.g to deadlift/squat a certain weight.

If this method isn’t for you, you might consider setting yourself ‘SMART’ targets. This is a way to set a goal that encourages you to deconstruct your goal to make it more achievable;

Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time

Once you have a goal in mind you can begin to think about the ways in which you can achieve it, measure your progress, and keep on the right track to reaching your goal whilst ensuring it is manageable. The key thing here is how you interact with your goal – it’s something that you should be investing energy and focus into.

I know some people may think that having a goal takes the fun away from getting fit and staying healthy, but I love how flexible you can be with your goals. They can be long-term, short-term, generic, or specific, the important thing is to have something to work towards which will help you to see those results! My experience is that a goal helps to keep me motivated as I’m so determined to achieve it.

Setting yourself a goal also has other benefits, such as providing you with a sense of achievement, and helps you to keep track of your progress by forcing you to see how far you’ve come – something we could definitely all acknowledge and appreciate more!

To wrap this post up, if you’re not seeing the changes that you want to get I would seriously recommend coming up with a long-term goal or area to focus your efforts on, then work out how you are going to achieve this by setting attainable short-term goals to keep you in the right direction.

Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤

Blog, Treats

Greek Yoghurt Desserts

We all know the feeling when you’ve had a lovely dinner, but you would love something sweet after, that won’t make you feel guilty.  I’ve created my go-to greek yoghurt ‘desserts’ for when the sweet cravings are real! Also, they taste pretty similar to the actual desserts I’ve based the recipes off of, without all the sugar and saturated fat. If you are a vegan you can easily substitute the greek yoghurt for a vegan alternative such as Alpro. I have tried this myself, and the recipes still taste just as good. Let’s get into the desserty goodness…

1) Apple Crumble

If you love your traditional British desserts, then this is the one for you. I’ve added Myprotein toffee flavdrops which sweeten’s it up and adds something extra to this dessert. Also by using granola, it replaces the crumble without adding all the fat and sugar that would usually go into the traditional dessert.

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Ingredients:

  • x1 apple, sliced (I used Gala apples)
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Toffee flavdrops (available from Bulkpowders or Myprotein)
  • Granola (Preferably reduced sugar)
  • A drizzle of honey
  • Chia seeds (optional)

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2) Strawberry shortcake

SO good! The combinations of the crunchy shortcake biscuits and the fresh strawberries makes this taste so dreamy. To sweeten it, I drizzled some honey over and sprinkled some chia seeds to add in some healthy fats and omegas.

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Ingredients:

  • x1 crumbled shortbread biscuit
  • Strawberries
  • A drizzle of honey
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Chia seeds

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3) Banoffee pie

This one looks a lot unhealthier than what it actually is, as it uses sugar-free digestive biscuits (from a brand called Siro, which I purchased from Sainsbury’s ) and a grating of dark chocolate.

 

Ingredients:

  • Dark chocolate chips or grated dark chocolate
  • Toffee ‘flavdrops’ (Myprotein)
  • 1/2 a banana, sliced
  • x1 digestive biscuit, crumbled
  • Greek yoghurt

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4) Eton Mess

Saving the naughtiest one until last! This pretty much is the real thing except without the cream, making this one somewhat healthier without compromising the flavour. Also, this is definitely my favourite one of the bunch as Eton Mess is one of my favourite summer desserts. I found some tiny coconut meringues in M&S that make this taste so good.

eton mess 2.jpeg

Ingredients:

  • Mini meringues, whole or crumbled
  • Strawberries
  • Chia seeds
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Honey (optional)

eton mess 1

I hope you try a few of these out as they are so delicious! Thank you for reading,

Jazzy B ❤