Willy’s Apple Cider Vinegar

I’ve been using ACV for various different uses on and off for a couple of years now and when I came across Willy’s it just sounded so lovely I needed to try it. I got in touch with them and they sent me out some to try, a bottle of their original ACV and a case of their new energy drinks too! Apple cider vinegar has a huge list of uses from cooking, to skin care, using it as a weight loss aid to being an active ingredient in a plethora of home remedies. For your ACV to have all of its benefits is must be raw, unapsteuripsed and with ‘the mother’, the mother is the fermented bits of apple that you will see in your bottle which may look bitty and add to that cloudiness of your ACV. Theres an interesting article on the site for The Academy of Culinary Nutrition about the many different and amazing uses for ACV, check that out here

I use ACV to mainly promote digestion and weight loss and the way that I take it is by using a generous splash diluted in some water and I drink it first thing in the morning before I go about my day. The key difference between Willy’s and other brands of ACV that I have tried is that it tastes more of cider with a real apple taste than it does of vinegar with that real sharpness of other ACVs. It is extremely palatable and no nasty gag faces over here!

Willy’s apples are grown in 300 year old orchards on their own farm and they see through production from start to finish and see that every bottle is live with ‘the mother’ and all her goodness!

I have recently been using this one on a cotton pad as a toner too as my skin has been dreadful and I have found it’s really good for drying out spots and clearing them up a little faster, however obviously your face will smell of vinegar.

I did a previous post on ACV as a new user a couple of years ago which tells you all about my first thoughts and experiences, you can check out here

To sum it up I’m extremely impressed with this ACV, I actually can’t quite believe the difference in flavour to all the others I have tried in the past. They have also launched a brand new energy drink so watch out for a review of that coming soon!

If you fancy trying some of Willy’s products, here’s a link to their shop so you can buy! 

Thanks so much for reading!


The Cultured Collective and Exploring Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are a subject hot on peoples lips at the moment in the health and wellbeing circles and I’m here to look a little further in to why as a newbie to fermented foods myself. I’ll be exploring the full what, why and how! Fermented foods are an important addition to all diets and are something which I would recommend to consider if they are not something that you may have already been eating for sometime now without even knowing! They have been available for longer than we have been around but their amazing health benefits have made all types of fermented foods more trendy and talked about in the current health and wellbeing revolution. These probiotic heavy foods are amazing for a number of different health benefits from promoting good digestive health, to help balance and maintain a good gut bacteria, helping to achieve a healthy weight, boost you immune system and more! So what are fermented foods? The most common and the ones which I am going to be using are sauerkraut and kimchi but theres also kombucha, tempeh, miso, kefir and more! You’ll start hearing about these more and more as they are becoming very popular here in the UK. The process is…Fermentation promotes the growth and life cycle of good bacteria to transform the flavour and shelf life of ingredients.

So its pretty simple! They are packed with flavour and full of all the goodness to promote, maintain and develop good gut health!I’m using in my kitchen The Cultured Collective ferments and I have 3 Sauerkrauts and 2 Kimchi’s to add to my daily eating routine and experiment with. The Cultured Collective are a UK based brand of premium ferments available to buy jarred and infused with a number of different flavors so they are ready and good to go to top a dish a pack more than just the usual pickled punch of other similar products. The Cultured Collective say-

“All our kimchi and sauerkraut is handmade in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside using only the highest quality, natural ingredients. Never pasteurised, each jar is packed to the brim with good bacteria, which can help to keep your digestive system healthy. “

Sounds good to you but not sure what you would eat them with? Keep reading! Because Sauerkraut and Kimchi are cold one of the easiest ways to eat it is to use it as a salads topper, add it to buddha bowls-you get the picture, quick and easy but with their flavour infusions its nice to theme your dish to suit your ferment. I tried tacos with the chipotle sauerkraut, I did a ramen bowl with my white miso and turmeric kimchi, I had a falafel wrap, open deli sandwiches and of course just the humble salad. Here’s a few snaps of my favourite meals!

I’ve used them with at least one meal every day for one week! Some of the things that I have noticed are reduced bloating of my stomach, certain foods that I eat often aggravate my stomach and I bloat easily. Hand in hand with that, my digestion has been much more regular and has become very routine, I have been like clockwork as soon as I get up each day. I know that your gut bacteria can also affect your sleep and general feeling of wellbeing and I have been sleeping much better and less restlessly the last 3-4 nights. Which was just after the first few days of using the ferments and I definitely feel lighter and less sluggish too!

I’ve really enjoyed introducing these new foods into my diet over the last week and its something that I’m going to continue for sure, I would like to share with you my favourite recipe I tried which is an Easy Asian style ramen/pho bowl with white miso and turmeric kimchi.

Easy Asian-style Ramen/Pho bowl

Prep time- 5 minutes

Cook Time- 30 minutes

Serves – 2-4


  • Cultured Collective White Miso and Turmeric Kimchi
  • soy sauce
  • turmeric
  • ginger
  • fish sauce
  • vegetable stock cube
  • beansprouts
  • stir fry veg
  • mushrooms
  • sweetcorn
  • spinach
  • Noodles- whatever your chosen
  • fresh chillies
  • coriander
  • spring onion
  • Egg (optional, remove if vegan)


There’s 2 ways that you can do this recipe, in a saucepan on the hob or in a soup maker if you have one. The soup maker option is very simple and you just literally throw in all of the ingredients you want to be cooked (except the egg) and cook on chunky for about 15 minutes. So with both methods step one is to prep your ingredients so slice your onions, chillies and mushrooms and get all other ingredients portioned and to hand to chuck in the pot, this is a quick and easy recipe so I opted for many things pre prepared but do whatever suits you best ingredient wise. If you are cooking on the hob you want to get your stock going first, so start by bringing your water to heat and then add in the miso paste, soy sauce, fish sauce, turmeric and ginger and a vegetable stock cube, once you have all your ingredients simmering away it’s time to add in your ingredients, so thats your noodles of choice- I go for ‘straight to wok’ rice noodles but any noodles work well in this dish, add your veg, spring onions, sweetcorn, beansprouts, fresh chillies, mushrooms and carry on simmering on a medium heat for about 15 minutes, after around 15 minutes I like to add the greens as they take less time to cook so that’s the mangetout and the spinach (if you are cooking in the soup maker add a few minutes before the end to soften), if you’re lucky enough to be able to get  your hands on pak choi in your area this works perfectly but not always available at all stores. At the same time as cooking your stock get a small pan of boiling water on the hob ready to boil your egg, I like them soft boiled so I cooked for 6.5 minutes with a little salt and white vinegar in the water to ease shelling, after the 6.5 minutes plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process and leave until cooled and ready to shell and serve. Whilst you’re waiting for your soup to cook I like to prepare my raw, fresh toppings so I thinly slice some more spring onions, some fresh coriander, red chillies and beansprouts and have my kimchi ready to add too. By this time your egg should be ready to shell, place to one side and serve your soup into a large bowl, then add your egg and your fresh toppings and you are ready to eat! This is an easily adapted recipe! I’ve tried it also with king prawns, tofu, chicken! The options are endless and you can add different spices and flavours from your favourite corners of the world which inspire you!

Thanks so much for reading! Who’s trying fermented foods? Who already eats them daily? Fancy giving The Cultured Collective ferments a go? Where to buy here!


H x



Tea + New Flavours

Tea + drinks have had a rebrand and introduced some brand new flavours which are replacing the old ones! So T+ has become Tea+ and with a brand new super sleek packaging these guys mean business! 

The 4 new combos are-

Vitamin D- Pineapple and Mango 

Cleanse- Apple and Blackcurrant 

Defence- Orange and Blueberry 

Energy- Raspberry and Pomegranate 

They are still green tea based with all the extras included! I absolutely love their new look website which you can check out here. It is really clear and concise about what is in each tea and then has a little drop down to see why each ingredient is included, how it works and why it’s beneficial. Sometimes I think that we opt for things that we think we know are good for us but we can’t really explain why it’s good for us and this is really important when selling a product- to educate the consumer, so that’s a HUGE win in my books. 

I chose 2 of the 4 flavours to try and when I received them I was feeling that start of the year slump so I went for Energy and Vitamin D! Energy was my favourite combo which was raspberry and pomegranate and in the old style I loved Detox which was apple and blackcurrant and I think has evolved into Cleanse!

These teas are amazing for many reasons, they’re a quick and easy way of getting your intake of specific vitals which you can tailor to yourself, if you’re a tea drinker anyway why not add those vitamins? Also if you’re not really into the taste of green tea these are a great so you can feel the benefits without that taste! 

So who’s going to try the new teas?

Thanks for reading, H x

What I do to de-stress

Stress is something that all of us will encounter at points of our life, maybe a few minutes daily or an ongoing period of time either way it guaranteed to touch us all at some time and listening to your body and recognizing the signs of it being time to do something to make yourself feel relief and take care of yourself is vital to how you recover, grow and strengthen from these situations. There is only so much that any one person can take and sometimes something small like letting your brain wander to a better place for 5 minutes may be enough of a break before you go back to the grind, for others it will take longer and everyone is different. Here’s a few of the things that I do when I’m feeling stressed t reduced it in tough times but also things that I like to do as good practice in day to day life to manage and prevent any stress build up.

  • Exercise- This post isn’t a ranked list but for me for the last 5 years now this has to be my number 1 essential. For prevention and cure if I do not exercise for longer than a couple of days I feel the it very very quickly. I get a build up of nervous energy, it feel my frustrations are pent up and irritable and exercise just releases those things for me instantly. It’s always a solution for me. When I am stressed and have things on my mind its great to reduce anxiety and helps get a good night sleep too. Sometimes in those stressy times its really hard to feel motivated to get up and do something but you have to let that little voice inside you speak up and whip that head into shape and make you move and it always helps, those days its down to the will power.
  • Get outside- there’s something extremely cleansing about being in the great outdoors when you feel stressed, I’m not sure if anyone else feels this way but when you’re trapped within 4 small walls of your work and home problems can feel suffocating but when you get out into those wide open spaces I makes me feel so small in a really wonderful way and my problems even smaller in the grand scheme of the world. My favourite spots to visit are parks, woods, secluded coastline and old church and castle ruins, spoil me rotten with a splash of sunshine and i literally return home a new woman.
  • Have a de-clutter- Clear out a cupboard, sort out the fridge, streamline your wardrobe, sort out the junk draw, get rid of that pile of papers, do a bag for charity and then once you have decluttered your surrounding enjoy how cathartic it has felt and basque in your new more breathable environment. That might sound daft but trust me, theres something great about getting rid of a load of pointless materials which serve no purpose and then feeling a weight lifted and metaphorically less suffocated because of it.
  •  Get lost in your favourite hobby- for me that is cooking, I find it so relaxing, I really get in the zone when I’m having a cook up and I really switch off and barely any other thoughts slip in. What’s your escape? Drawing? Sewing? Puzzles? Computer games?
  • Have a cuddle- If you are someone lucky enough to have a dog to do this with you are envy RN but a cuddle with any loved one  helps- studies show that the positive chemistry activated by a hug is hugely stress relieving and relaxing, a pet or partner would be ideal but if I’m by myself on one of these moments I settle for a mountain of pillows and a fluffy blanket for that ultimate comfort and it seems to do the trick.
  • Give yourself the gift of time- you are your boss, are you stressed and in a situation with others and you are really affecting everyone and everything around you? Give yourself 10 minutes, no one is going to die (unless you’re a heart surgeon giving yourself this time mid surgery) and have a little pep talk with yourself, tell yourself why this situation won’t get the better of you, calm your breathing and take control and then get back on the horse. Positive mental attitude.
  • Read a book- I love reading, if I get into a good book I can lose hours into the pages. Theres is something very different for the mind that you don’t gain from TV. It more engaging for the brain, that focus and concentration and the actual engagement in the book is much deeper than any TV show where you may switch off for a few seconds here and there and keep picking up your phone and pointlessly scrolling.
  • Have a  pamper- some call it self care, some call it narcissism, I just call it taking care of ME. Whatever that looks like to you take a few hours one night every week or 2 to do what makes you feel good, I like to have a full beauty MOT, paint the fingers and toes, face mask, lotions and potions on the neglected body parts, chick flick, you know the drill. I always feel great after, it might seem conceited by some but if it makes you feel good who says self care can’t be heavily based around candles and a bath.
  • Phone a friend!- A problem shared is a problem halved! This cliche saying doesn’t exist for no reason its totally true! As you get older and gain more and more responsibility and you don’t see your friends as much as when you all know everything about each other it can sometimes feel hard to get your thoughts into words and share your worries. You may not want to be a burden or you worry about being judged but getting things off your chest helps so much and I’m sure you are on the receiving end plenty of the time. Don’t feel guilty or ashamed to share your feelings.

And lastly on the back of all this remember, it’s ok to no be ok!

I hope this post helps even if 1 person has a bit of a light bulb moment, stress can be so toxic so do what you need to do to feel good!

Thanks for reading, Hx

Les Mills Body Balance

So you’re thinking of doing a Body Balance class and have come across this post looking for some insights on what to expect and what’s its all about! I’m new to Body Balance myself having been more of an avid attendee for more high intensity classes to ensure maximum calorie burn but starting at the turn of 2019 I decided to introduce more exercise that is promotes flexibility, core strength, relaxation and stretching.

Primarily Body Balance combines a range of moves and techniques inspired by yoga, pilates and tai-chi. The class is done to music and is broken into ‘tracks’ like all other Les Mills classes. The class is done bare foot or in yoga socks and you have a mat for the floor work part of the class. I’m not sure if its the case every time but each class I have done starts with the strength work and the second section is relaxation based and finishes with meditation. When I say strength BTW these are all body weight and core exercises no actual weights are used. If you are brand new to any of these types of movements I would suggest that you position yourself somewhere that you can see the instructor so that you can really understand the technique that you should be performing and gage the posture.

As someone who likes to have that energy burn I love this class with the mixture of strength and relaxation as sometimes on days just doing a yoga class I feel the need to work out too but this class does allow you to feel the exertion of a workout and you leave feeling relaxed as yoga!

It’s a great class, don’t be scared or intimidated. It’s appealing for a number of reasons and to suit all needs and attracts a totally mixed clientele so I would highly recommend it! Go along, have a go and enjoy!

Thanks for reading, H x