Thursday, 29 October 2015

Delicious Autumnal sweet potato & carrot soup

The days are noticeably shorter, the weather is positively Autumnal, and the trees are shedding their gorgeous golden leaves. Autumn is definitely in full swing. And I'm sure you're feeling similar to me: lethargic, a little low on energy, and having to use every tactic possible to keep those Autumn bugs at bay. (They nearly got me earlier this week but I think I've managed to fight them off with good food, lots of ginger and lemon tea, and early nights!).

But fear not! Eating well and listening to your body can do wonders to help you stay fit and healthy during the Autumn and Winter months. One of my greatest weapons in helping me do this is soup! And in particular this gorgeous sweet potato & carrot soup. I can safely say hands-down that this is my favourite soup of all time. It's absolutely delicious, nourishing, full of vitamins, filling, and soup-er easy to make (sorry...terrible pun!).

I first stumbled across it on Madeleine Shaw's website about two years ago, and since then it's been a failsafe recipe that I've come back to time-and-time again.

Ingredients to make 5-6 bowls:

3 sweet potatoes
3 carrots
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 crushed garlic clove
1 chopped onion
500ml veggie stock
Chunk of raw ginger (I added this to the recipe for even more tummy-loving goodness!)
Flaked almonds & pomegranate seeds to sprinkle on top

To see how Madeleine does it click here

My method is pretty much the same:

1. Prep by peeling & chopping your onion, garlic cloves, ginger, sweet potatoes & carrots (I always leave the skin on my carrots for extra goodness!)

2. Pop the chopped onions into a pan with coconut oil & a pinch of salt for 5 minutes

3. Add the sweet potatoes & carrots and sauté for for 3 minutes (keep stirring!)

4. Add the veggie stock & chopped ginger and allow the ingredients to simmer for 30 mins

5. Once the sweet potatoes & carrots are completely softened the pan can be removed from the heat, and whizz the ingredients into a purée using a hand blender.

6. Sprinkle with flaked almonds and pomegranate seeds for extra protein, texture and taste

Serve and enjoy! 

I really cannot recommend this recipe enough, so if you're feeling like Autumn is doing it's best to bring you down then definitely give it a go. 

Also to help you stay Beautifully Healthy this Winter remember to keep exercising (I will be bringing you a special "firing up" yoga practice to help you heat up during the colder this space), drink lots of warm drinks & water, and keep nourishing your body with good quality food - plenty of vegetables and fruit! 

Let me know if you give this recipe a go :)

Love & light! Namaste y'all. 

Lucy x

Saturday, 24 October 2015


Here's a (condensed) list of things I hate about my body:

My wobbly thighs
My bingo wings
My sticky-out tummy
That squishy bit between my armpit and my arms
My skin
My big boobs
My (sometimes double) chin
My unshapely bum
That muscle above my knee

The list could easily go on, but you get the picture. As I'm sat here writing this it's actually making me quite emotional thinking about all the bits I really dislike about my body.

But here is a list of things my body has allowed me to do over the years:

Endless hours of yoga
Running a half marathon
Swimming 1.4 miles in the sea for The British Heart Foundation
10 years of gymnastics
Skiing every year since the age of 2
Netball at county and 1st Team University levels
Representing my school in Athletics, Netball, Hockey, Tennis and Swimming

Again, the list goes on, but you get the picture. My body has been key to helping me do things in life that I love. I run regularly, I have an active job - sometimes teaching yoga 4 or 5 hours a day, I do my own self yoga practice, and I generally eat healthily. I am beyond lucky that my body is fit and healthy - it has allowed me to do so much, and yet I treat it with so much disdain, disappointment and hatred. I know I am far from alone in these feelings and IT MUST STOP.

My body allows me to do the thing I love most 

We must stop doing this to ourselves. We are all beautiful no matter what our body size, shape, skin colour, gender, disabilities, illnesses - there is not one-size-fits-all for beauty, and neither should there be. It is our differences that make us beautiful.

Body image is a hot topic of conversation at the moment even in the "celebrity" world. Everyone from Gigi Hadid to Robyn Lawley to Ashley Graham have all had something to say about it in recent weeks. Gigi defended herself against negative comments on social media, Robyn wanted to highlight her stretch marks just a few months after giving birth, and Ashley is tirelessly campaigning to show women of all shapes and sizes that they are beautiful.

So it seems that even the women who are known for being "beautiful" feel as though they have to fight such negativity. And the worst part? It's our own fault. We do it to ourselves. How many times on a daily basis do you put yourself down for the way you look? If you're anything like me you'll be up in triple figures!

Okay, so it's not all our fault. It has actually been this way for thousands of years. I was mesmerised by a recent YouTube video: Women's Ideal Body Types Throughout History. It shows that even in Ancient Greece there was an ideal body type for women, and although the "Ideal Body" has changed dramatically over the years, the poisonous sentiment that there is an "Ideal Body" sends shivers down my spine. How can we narrow down beauty to such few physical assets? The word shallow most definitely springs to mind.

And although it's something I know less about, this isn't just a problem for women. I know many guys who are tough on themselves for what they look like. They feel the pressure to be strong, tall, muscly. Often taking steroids and pushing themselves to extremes to achieve "The Body".

But please don't misunderstand me - equally, just because someone does fit into the ideal of beauty, does not mean that we should put them down either. No one should be put down. We should all be celebrated exactly as we are - slender, athletic, curvy, disabled - we are all beautiful both inside and out. Our bodies are walking miracles and we should learn to appreciate them as such. You can breath. You can think for yourself. You can do amazing things with your bodies. They allow us to experience pleasure, pain, fatigue, adrenaline, achievements - without them we would not be able to experience this crazy thing we call life.

We need to learn to open our eyes and our minds beyond the preconceived notion of a "beautiful" body. There is not one type of beauty. All types are beautiful. All types are equal. You can appreciate the beauty in all of your friends and loved ones - they don't look the same, do they? So why can't we appreciate the beauty in ourselves? You are beautiful too. I promise.

Image source: Pinterest

I know this hasn't been my cleanest piece of writing, but it's a topic that deeply upsets me, and when you're so passionate about something it can be hard to clearly communicate what you really want to say. You may be thinking "how can someone who sees themselves so negatively write about positive body image", and my response would be: that's exactly why I'm writing about it. I'm fucking sick of being so mean to myself, and something must be done. We must learn to see ourselves positively. Time is too precious to waste on negative emotions, especially when they make no sense.

I'll end by saying this: love yourself. Work on your relationship with yourself. Be kind to yourself. You are BEAUTIFUL.

Love Lucy x