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  1. Healthy raw chocolate and fruit snacks

    I placed a rather large order with The Raw Chocolate Company recently on their website.  Maybe it’s because I’m now 37 weeks (and 6 days) pregnant, but I can’t stop eating!  I have been munching anything and everything for around one week now, but nothing seems to fill me up.  I remember feeling like this towards the end of my pregnancy with my daughter, Bella, too.  It must be my body getting ready and loading up on energy for the big day! 

    To make sure I don’t overload on really bad sweet treats, I decided to see what The Raw Chocolate Company had to offer.  I already use their raw cacao powder to make super delicious (and nutritious) chocolate milkshakes or chocolate porridge, so popped to their website to see if they sold anything else I’d fancy. 

    Oh my.  Yes they do!  Along with these two great snacks I purchased raw goji berries, coconut palm sugar, a couple of bars of dark choccie and more cacao powder of course.

    the raw chocolate company review - The Raw Chocolate Company Review: Cacao Raisins & Goji Berries Healthy raw chocolate and fruit snacks

    Mmm Mmm Mmm.  These are delicious.  Raisins and goji berries covered in tasty nutritious chocolatey raw cacao.

    These cacao covered raisins and goji berries are great for getting your chocolate fix without any nasties.  They contain the berries or raisins coated in a mixture of raw cacao mass, coconut palm sugar, virgin cacao butter and cacao powder.

    Coconut palm sugar includes these benefits over other refined sugar:

    • Most sustainable sugar on the planet
    • Half the GI of cane sugar
    • Contains minerals, B vitamins & amino acids
    • Unrefined with a fab caramel taste

    Cacao is better than cocoa for reasons such as:

    • It is unprocessed & not ‘Dutched’ (washed in potassium carbonate, which cocoa can be to remove the bitter flavour)
    • One of the best sources of antioxidants available
    • Mood booster
    • Rich in many, many vitamins & minerals

    The goji berries are definitely my favourite!  I love the tough chewy texture of these berries anyway, so the chocolate taste is a total bonus.  The raisins are also great with their softer chewy texture and a much healthier alternative to standard chocolate covered raisins.  The taste is so rich with the cacao I find I need to eat less to be satisfied than I would with milk chocolate coated raisins & fruits.  I’ve mixed mine up in a big jar and grab a handful every now and then if I feel like I am craving a naughty chocolate or sweet snack!

  2. The benefits of sweet potatoes and why I'm hooked

    Sweet potatoes seem to be everywhere right now.  I’ve noticed them popping up on menus, in pubs especially, whereas a few years back they’d not have been on the menu at all.  It’s definitely not a bad thing as the sweet variety is super tasty offering some great vitamins and a lot of manganese.

    I first tried these delicious sweet potatoes whilst on holiday in Los Angeles, USA.  The bars served them with marshmallow dip (yep really) and although strange, they were so moreish!  I won't be eating them ever again with sugar filled marshmallow dip as I've cut out refined sugar , but since then I have been hooked on this orange variety of potatoes.

    Why are sweet potatoes so good for you?

    They are particularly high in vitamin A.  One regular sized sweet potato can provide four times the recommended daily amount of vitamin A, but a white potato contains 0%.  Some of the reasons we need vitamin A are:

    • Great for your skin (retinoid produces collagen which can keep wrinkles at bay!)
    • Keeps eyes & skin moist
    • Improves night vision
    • Boosting immune function

    sweet potato chunks & homemade avacado tomato & onion dip lylia ros

    Sweet potatoes are also much higher in vitamin C than white potatoes, providing over a third of our daily allowance in one serving.  Some of the reasons we need vitamin C are:

    • Boosts immune system
    • Powerful Antioxidant
    • Helps the body absorb iron, particularly non-haem, more readily
    • Wound healing

    They are also remarkably high in manganese, providing around 50% of our daily intake in just one medium sized potato.  Manganese is great for:

    • Optimal skin health & healing skin
    • Bone production
    • Activating enzymes required for digestion
    • Energy production
    • A feeling of well-being

    Even with all this in mind, we still tend to buy white potatoes most of the time.  This is of course fine as they provide so much goodness too, including more iron and potassium, so both types are great for your health.  I’m going to make a conscious effort to buy more organic sweet potatoes from now on as it’s great to have the variety (and the amount of vitamin A provided is rather impressive!).

     

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  3. A peek at my new wall art from the incredible Paper Panda

    Yippee!  I finally have it!

    I have been a fan of artist Paper Panda for a long time, starting a couple of years ago when I still had my Facebook account.  I stumbled across her page and was hooked.  It was the first time I'd ever seen the paper craft 'papercutting' and I was intrigued.  Being crafty at the time myself and loving paper it seemed like an ideal hobby!  My only problem is I can't draw to save my life, so it won't ever be a talent I'll own! 

    I absolutely adored papercut artist Louise Firchau’s complex paper cuts and it was thrilling to watch her likes grow and grow at an extraordinary (but much deserved) rate.  As I write this Paper Panda has an incredible 214000 likes on her Facebook page!

    paper panda papercuts the stag teal canvas lylia rose blog post

    ‘The Stag’ Canvas by Paper Panda

    I always knew I had to have something from her wonderful collection one day, and whilst browsing the website last summer I found exactly what it was. 

    ‘The Stag’ canvas just kept popping out at me almost shouting ‘Me, here, look, pick me!’

    The design is simply amazing; though it’s actually far from simple and rather fantastically intricate.  The stag’s antlers twist and turn into a beautiful tree outline, which is filled with entangling branches ending in pretty leaves which add softness to the piece.  The print is bold, eye catching and definitely makes a statement.

    I am so excited to finally own this wonderful printed canvas.  I waited so long as we moved house and had only a new log burner installed just last week.  I just knew it would complete our new fire place.

    I went for ‘The Stag’ Chunky Canvas size 30x30” in Teal.  Louise's website is here: http://www.paperpandacuts.co.uk

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  4. Discovering Peppersmith Chewing Gum with Xylitol

    Mmmmm here are my naughty(ish) Valentine’s Day treats from Ben.  I didn’t expect anything as we don’t usually do anything, except maybe cook a nice meal or have a takeaway, so this was a lovely surprise.

    lylia rose valentines gifts wholefoods thornotons peppersmith

    Ben knows how my eating habits have changed over the past few months and I want to cut out lots of questionable ingredients.  With this in mind he went to Wholefoods to buy the crisps, choccie and chewing gum.  There was also a Thorntons chocolate heart and a single rose.  Very sweet!

    Here’s what I gave Ben…!

    funny typography valentines card

    Find this fab card & many more here: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SiouxAlice

    He wasn’t trying to tell me anything by buying me chewing gum!  I like to have a piece after meals to freshen my breath and I've been wondering for ages if there’s a better alternative to the mainstream brands of gums.  These all contain lots of bad for you sweeteners, including aspartame, so I did not want to buy them anymore. Ben saw the Peppersmith chewing gums in Wholefoods and thought I’d like to try.

    Peppersmith Natural Healthy Chewing Gums with Xylitol

    These Peppersmith chewing gums contain xylitol, a natural sweetener that is also meant to reduce plaque rather than cause it.  Peppersmith say ’It is a completely safe ingredient (as certified by the World Health Organisation) without the side effects of controversial artificial sweeteners like aspartame. It’s not only naturally derived but also sustainably sourced, has fewer calories than sugar (about 40% less) and has a low GI (of 7).’ 

    This xylitol stuff definitely sounds much better than artificial sweeteners used in other chewing gums!  Interestingly some fruits naturally contain xylitol, such as strawberries, which I’ve heard are a ‘natural toothpaste’ before.

    The boxes are easier to find in my bag than regular packets and one even contained a little booklet.  I ignored this little booklet poking out for a couple of days as I thought it was a list of ingredients or similar.  Then I decided to have a look.  Turns out it was a little paper booklet with tear out sheets so you have something to discard your gum in.  How clever!  No more being stuck in an awkward situation with chewed out flavourless gum and nothing to dispose of it in!

    The flavours don’t last as long as the mainstream gums I’m used to and they are a little tougher, but I quickly got used to this and it’s an easy sacrifice to make for a healthier natural alternative.

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