Staying at the Sandymount Hotel, Dublin

There’s always something special about staying at a hotel in the city you live in. It feels like a real treat, a brief blast of indulgent escapism from your normal life of doing the dishes, grudgingly sorting out the laundry and throwing together dinner from last night’s leftovers before settling down to your ‘Sex And The City’ boxset.

This weekend I got to indulge in 24 hours of escapism when I stayed at a Dublin hotel I’d shamefully never heard of before – The Sandymount Hotel, a family-run home-from-home that’s been in business since 1955 and that’s right beside the Aviva Stadium. (FYI if you’re attending a match or event at the Aviva, this is THE place to stay, as I soon found out on Saturday morning as I bravely battled through the deluge of enthusiastic rugby fans heading in the opposite direction.) Continue reading “Staying at the Sandymount Hotel, Dublin”

We Need To Talk About Endometriosis

Did you know March is Endometriosis Awareness month? More importantly, do you know what endometriosis actually is? Maybe you read Lena Dunham’s heart-breaking essay in Vogue about her decision to have a hysterectomy after years of endometriosis hell. Maybe you’ve recently been diagnosed. Or maybe you’ve never heard of endometriosis until now.

Hopefully you’ll hear a lot about endometriosis over the next month but nonetheless, I wanted to do my bit to shine a light on this largely overlooked condition and the diet and lifestyle choices which can ease the symptoms of endometriosis, a condition that has very much disrupted my life.  Continue reading “We Need To Talk About Endometriosis”

Cozy up with this comforting sweet potato soup recipe

Today I realised that I’ve eaten soup every single day since last summer. Yes, that includes Christmas, birthdays and everything in between. Do I qualify for My Strange Addiction yet?! I know it’s really basic but there is nothing better than fresh soup when you’re starving, don’t have time to eat (note to self: make time!) or feel under the weather. It feels like a lazy choice but soup is an excellent way to get your 5-a-day or if you’re trying to adopt a plant based diet but you’re not sure what to eat, soup is the place to start.

For this Wellness Wednesday, I wanted to share the recipe for my favourite soup which I’ve been pretty much living on this winter. Of course, it contains sweet potato (told you I have a problem) and the sweet potato makes this the perfect soup to cozy up with if you’ve got the winter blues. Trust me, it’s so comforting. If you’re looking for an easy vegan lunch recipe, the leek and celery give this soup a reviving quality I just love, especially at lunch time when my face feels ready to fall off and I need a pick-me-up. Continue reading “Cozy up with this comforting sweet potato soup recipe”

Wanderlust inspiring wellness holidays

Is it just me or was that the longest January ever? Even though it’s now February and some would argue that it’s officially spring (FWIW – it’s not), it’s hard to shake the winter gloom and all that comes with it. One guaranteed way to beat the winter blues is to book yourself a holiday so you’ve got something to look forward to. An even better way to beat the blues is to make it a wellness holiday where health, relaxation and your overall wellbeing take centre stage. Continue reading “Wanderlust inspiring wellness holidays”

Energising beetroot smoothie recipe for when you feel completely zapped

If I hear myself complain about being tired one more time… But we’re all in a collective state of tiredness, right? Welcome to adulthood.

In winter, I seem to feel particularly sluggish and there’s something about the cold weather that makes me reach for junk food quicker than the healthy snacks I usually take smug pride in gobbling. I’m also trying to quit caffeine which is all kinds of fun. I’ve been using the excuse that it’s too cold for smoothies but today I decided to get back into my daily beetroot juice routine, in the hopes it’ll give me a much needed burst of energy. Continue reading “Energising beetroot smoothie recipe for when you feel completely zapped”

Living the lagom lifestyle

I have a confession to make. Even though over 20 books were written about hygge in the last few years, I never got the Danish hygge buzz. While I’m as guilty as the next person of wanting to inject some of that effortlessly cool Scandinavian style into my life, hygge seemed a step too far into twee territory for my liking.

If you somehow missed the hygge train, let me fill you in. Lifestyle trend hygge has been described as the Danish secret to happiness. Put simply, hygge is that warm cosy feeling. Think warm blankets, candlelight, hot chocolate. It’s that Christmas feeling all year long.

I love the idea of that cosy vibe but the older I get, the more I appreciate using what I’ve got, as opposed to the pursuit of more, and that’s why when I heard about another buzz-worthy lifestyle trend that’s about less is more, I sat up and paid attention. Say hello to Swedish lagom. Continue reading “Living the lagom lifestyle”

How to quit caffeine and not lose your mind

For the fourth time in my life, I’m trying to cut out caffeine and all I can say is hold me. Somebody. Anybody. The headaches, the tiredness, feeling so irritable you are this close to giving Michael Douglas in Falling Down a run for his money. The joys of caffeine withdrawal.

So, why am I doing this to myself? As well as being a sucker for self-punishment, it’s that time of year when we are all vowing to be a bit healthier, to drink more water and turn ourselves into Gisele, all within the space of January, and I’m as guilty of this as the next person. Also, as you may recall from my golden milk recipe post, coffee has been exacerbating my anxiety in the last year or so. Even though I used to drink up to 6 cups a day – insert beating heart emoji – these days all it takes is that second cup and my heart is aflutter…and not in a good way.

Continue reading “How to quit caffeine and not lose your mind”

Baked sweet potato bean burgers recipe

How much sweet potato is TOO much sweet potato? That’s one of life’s big questions, really. Even though I’m this close to going a shade of oompa loompa with all the beta carotene, I’m unapologetic about my sweet potato obsession and I’m always looking for new ways to eat it.

If you’re not a sweet potato addict (explain yourself!) and you’re wondering why sweet potatoes are so good for you, rest assured – these starchy root vegetables are a nutritional rock star. Rich in antioxidants, high in fibre and bursting with vitamins and minerals – these are just a few of the health benefits of sweet potatoes.

Whether you’re a committed vegan or just taking part in Veganuary and you’re looking for a quick and easy, nutritious vegan recipe, these baked sweet potato burgers will not only give you another excuse to stock up on sweet potatoes but they’ll really hit the spot. You could also make this recipe into small falafel style bites, if you fancy a savoury vegan snack. Continue reading “Baked sweet potato bean burgers recipe”

Wellness hacks for the January blues

January always feels to me like cracking open a new notebook and feeling the nervous possibilities of that crisp blank page. Whether you’ve got your whole year planned out ahead of you or you’re gonna fly by the seat of your pants, for many of us, January’s newness can be a blessing and a curse, with the unknown creating a palpable sense of panic. There’s also the dreary weather, dark mornings and darker evenings to contend with. After the buzz of Christmas and New Year’s Eve, January just can’t compete, can it? No wonder we’re all swamped in the January blues.

In my opinion, this makes January the perfect time to look after yourself, experiment with wellness and make self-care a real priority. And no, I’m not talking about food fads, drop a dress size diets or dangerous juice cleanses – I’m talking about wellness activities that’ll snap you out of the January blues and that you can practice throughout 2018. Continue reading “Wellness hacks for the January blues”

5 lessons I learnt in 2017

I really should’ve called this blog ‘Dear Diary’, shouldn’t I? It’s that time of year when we start to look back and make all kinds of fancy resolutions to hopefully make the next 12 months better than the last 12, and maybe even become shiny new versions of ourselves.

Taylor Swift aside, the general consensus is that 2017 was a shit show but, in an effort to be more positive, I learnt a lot this year. My wellness obsession swelled to new heights and led me to spend a lot more time delving into self-care and self-help, spaces I previously scoffed at. There’s no book, blog post or podcast which changed my mind about these things – maybe it’s just part of getting older – but this year I’ve spent more time considering my own choices, looking at why I and those around me do what we do and, as twee as this sounds, generally seeking to be a bit more understanding.

Here’s 5 of the big lessons I learnt and started to apply in my life in 2017 and a few podcast recommendations thrown in for good measure:

Continue reading “5 lessons I learnt in 2017”