We are delighted to introduce you to one of our very wonderful stockist, Pretty Local. Based just down the road from us in Kingsbridge, in sunny Devon, you can find the lovely Andrea and the Pretty Local HQ!
Pretty Local provides the option to have your weekly shop delivered right to your door with minimum food miles. The company offers everything from fresh seafood and meat, to fruit, veg, freshly cut flowers and all your cupboard essentials; all from a selection of trusted producers located in South Devon.
So why did Andrea start Pretty Local? “There is an abundance of wonderful food being grown, harvested or caught within a few miles of my home, but no easy way to buy it all at once. I created Pretty Local to provide a one-stop shop supporting the fabulous producers, farmers, fishermen and growers on our doorstep and bringing their produce closer to our community.” Says Andrea – and we utterly adore this idea!
Whilst living in the USA, Andrea unfortunately fell ill with Lyme disease. With no medical care, she decided that eating better would be her road to recovery. Sugar, processed foods, gluten and dairy were all eliminated from Andrea’s diet, as she focused on being healthier. This highlighted, to Andrea, the importance of sourcing her food. However, when she returned to Devon, the local produce she was looking for just wasn’t that easy to get a hold of…until now. Pretty Local became the solution to our’s, your’s and Andrea’s food sourcing struggle and we think it’s pretty amazing!
Pretty Local currently deliver to locations within the South Hams, but not to worry if you aren’t quite in the delivery territory, Pretty Local also have multiple collection points for you to pick up your delicious goodies! Have a peek here for further delivery and collection info!
Meet Jess; a self confessed foodie, keen blogger, health enthusiast and creator of the Marvellous Raspberry Mug Cake. Known as Jessicalilylou on Instagram, Jess frequently shares a wide range of recipes and very, very yummy meals on her blog and social channels- Make sure you have a gander at her other magnificent creations!
Making The Marvellous Raspberry Mug cake:
You will need:
4 tbsp of gluten free flour
1 flaxseed egg (ground flaxseed and warm water)
2tbsp of milk
1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
Crushed Portlebay Popcorn
Method (in one simple step!):
Mix all the ingredients together and place in the microwave for three minutes! Once you hear that magic PING- you are free to enjoy your Marvellous Raspberry Mug Cake !
As this week is Mental Health Awareness week, we have an amazing blog post to share with you, written by Amy, the author of the blog ‘Surviving Now Thriving‘. Amy has had a very incredible and inspiring journey that she has shared with us and we think she is truly spectacular! YOU GO GIRL!
Who am I?
Popcorn addict, Plant-powered, Positive, Passionate Psychology graduate – think that pretty much sums me up (I do love a good bit of alliteration).
I maybe should have started with my actual name, but that’s not half as fun – I’m Amy (not Surviving as I laugh about being called) and I started blogging on Instagram last year at www.instagram.com/survivingnowthriving.
From numerous failed suicide attempts to now living every moment as if it’s my last, I created my blog to inspire others to do the same. Struggling with anorexia, binge eating disorder, depression, anxiety, acne, trichotillomania, and a make-up addiction, I know that my past struggles put me in a unique position to truly be able to help those currently struggling. And that is exactly why I do it. Because I don’t want anyone else to have to go through the torture that I did. My past does not define me, but it has certainly shaped me into the warrior of a woman I am today.
My blogging is extremely diverse covering a whole range of topics, but one of my main passions is mental health. I actually think it is becoming more normal to have suffered or to currently be suffering from some form of mental illness than not. Therefore, it’s of vital importance that we talk about it! In my experience, openness encourages openness. From sharing my story, this has inspired so many others to tell their own and also to seek help. In addition, it assists in improving awareness and understanding, and also to decrease the stigma around mental health that still prevails.
I could write a book (and I actually have been asked to) on my advice on recovering from mental illnesses. But the truth is, everyone is different. Mental health is not a one-size fits all approach, and what works for one will be highly detrimental to another. I have experienced this first-hand in that reccommendations from mental health professionals have made me a lot worse. For example, last year, in the roots of my depression and anxiety, I was told that I had two options – take anti-depressants or go into hospital. Otherwise, I couldn’t expect to get any better. And that was traumatising for me to hear at such a vulnerable time of my life, because I didn’t want to do either. I ended up sectioned in a mental health hospital against my will. I had been hiding away from the world for almost half a year and was forced into this place where I would have to be around so many people. It was a mixed ward too which meant there were guys asking me questions, and the last thing I wanted to do or felt comfortable with was talking to anyone. Thankfully, I was discharged after 2 weeks and was able to make a full recovery all by myself.
But how did you do it?
Well, mental illness is not a choice, but recovery is. Both myself and my family had accepted that I was going to be this way forever. Locked away in my home, never seeing anyone ever again. I decided to fight, and here I am writing this now, living and THRIVING.
Here’s 10 simple tips on how to thrive:
Love yourself like your life depends on it.
Boring but important – nutrition – Food affects your mood so nourishing your body is a massive help.
Move your body in a way that you enjoy, and also make sure to rest.
Surround yourself with good people ONLY, and cut the rest – choose radiators over drains.
Find what you’re passionate about, follow your dreams and never stop until they become your reality.
Write down what you’re grateful for every single day.
Never stop learning.
Learn from the past, live for the present, and believe in the future.
Train your mind to focus on the positives in everything.
Spend time visualising your life exactly the way you want it to be, and watch it materialise (this sounds crackers I know, but I have manifested A LOT through doing this).
If you are currently struggling with your mental health, I want you to know that you are not alone. Be gentle with yourself and know that you can get through this. You can get through anything. Never give up. And remember, difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. A life filled with technicolour is awaiting you.
These tasty Popcorn Bars are a must-try! They are full of lots of goodness but will still satisfy that sweet craving! For more yummy recipes and healthy ideas make sure you follow truthfullyhealthyfood on Instagram!
-25g cinnamon swirl Portlebay Popcorn
-100g peanut butter
-25g almond butter
-1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil
-25g sunflower seeds
-25g pumpkin seeds
-20g chia seeds
-25g desiccated coconut
-Pinch of salt
-10g sugar free dark chocolate
-Melt the peanut butter, almond butter, honey and coconut oil on a low heat in a pan and stir until smooth.
-Add in the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, desiccated coconut and pinch of salt and stir until coated.
-Compact the mixture into a pan lined with cling film then drizzle the melted chocolate on top. Freeze for 45 minutes then cut into 10 pieces.
Store in the fridge! (If you haven’t already gobbled up these deeeee-licious bars)
If you are a lover of popcorn like us, then this blog post will bring a little bit of extra joy to your day! Here are some wonderful health benefits of munching on popcorn for you to enjoy! Go on, grab a bag of popcorn to nibble on whilst you’re reading!
1. Fibre, Fibre, Fibre!
The American Chemical Society (ACS), recently discovered that popcorn is 100 percent unprocessed whole grain. Fibre is found in grain, which can significantly help to lower cholesterol levels, as well as help to control blood sugar levels. Fibre is also great for digestion and can keep bowl movements working properly and functioning on a regular basis!- Keep eating that popcorn!
Dr Joe Vinson from the University of Scranton, recognised that the average person only consumes half a serving of whole grains a day and that popcorn can provide more than 70% of our daily intake of whole grain. The answer to our whole grain shortage- POPCORN- yay!
The American Chemical Society also reported that popcorn has more of the healthy antioxidants, ‘polyphenols’, than many fruit and veg!- We wouldn’t suggest swapping fruit and veg for popcorn but it is a pretty crazy fact!
Whilst many snacks are calorific, popcorn is actually low in calories!- YES! Our Portlebay Popcorn has roughly 115 calories (115-120) per 25g bags/ per serving and so is a great snack if you are being careful with calories!
Also, as Matt Dustin recognised, if you are watching what you eat, popcorn can be a great snack to add into your diet, as foods that are high in fibre take longer for our bodies to digest and so keep you fuller for longer! -That’s a handy tip!
4. Gluten- Free!
Popcorn is also completely gluten free and so those that struggle to digest gluten can happily indulge in popcorn! Just be sure to check the other ingredients that are often added to the popcorn, as some ingredients that are added for flavour can in some cases contain gluten. Our Portlebay range is completely gluten-free, so all six flavours are Coeliac friendly!
Guest blogger Bella created this scrumptious recipe which we think is da bomb!
Lovely Bella is the owner of the recipe based blog Sprinkle Of Goodness. After falling unwell two years ago with ME, Bella started to take great care with what she was eating and developed a real passion for cooking as she experimented with healthy recipes. For Bella, cooking has not just been about about eating the right things but also it gave her a reason to get out of bed when she was unwell and helped her to regain her strength. Today Bella is fully recovered and her passion for cooking has flourished further, checkout her blog and Instagram for many more yummy recipes!
Sesame And Tamari Stir Fry Topped With Wasabi And Ginger Popcorn
· 1 tbsp sesame oil
· 2 nests brown rice vermicelli noodles (if using another type of noodle, adjust cooking time accordingly)
· ½ a courgette
· Large handful purple sprouting tops
· 200g baby button mushrooms
· 1 carrot
· 2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
· ½ a small bag Portlebay Wasabi and Ginger Popcorn
· Salt, pepper and a pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
1. Firstly prepare your vegetables. Cut the courgette and carrot into small cubes, wash and cut up your sprouting top and slice your mushrooms.
2. Heat the sesame oil in a pan over a medium heat and then add the mushrooms and sprouting tops, and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently.
3. In the meantime, boil your kettle ready for the noodles.
4. Add the courgette and carrot to the pan and cook for 2 minutes.
5. Put the noodles in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water for 2 minutes.
6. Add the soy sauce to the pan, stir in well and then drain and add the noodles.
7. Stir for a minute or so before serving into bowls, top with the popcorn, and add a sprinkle of chilli flakes. Enjoy!
Our small Portlebay team are proud of our all natural popcorn that we hand pop ourselves. Our range has been carefully crafted to reduce any allergens, to cater for those that are vegetarian and vegan, and to offer a healthier snack alternative to crisps and other popular snacks. Along our quest to create tasty treats, we also endeavour to be conscious and thoughtful with our actions, in order to conserve and safeguard our beautiful home and those that inhabit it. For these reasons palm oil is a big no no and we strongly dislike the stuff!
What is Palm Oil?
Palm oil is type of vegetable oil, that is traded globally and is present in many of the products we see on the supermarket shelves. The oil is derived from the palm fruit, which grows on the African Oil Palm Tree. Today palm oil is grown throughout Africa, Asia, North America, and South America. Currently, the majority of palm oil is produced and exported from Indonesia and Malaysia. As noted by the activist group of Say No To Palm Oil, the demand for the oil has very rapidly increased in recent decades, as it has been made widely available, is inexspensive (due to small production costs) and is a diverse product with regards to its uses. The group also highlighted, that the oil is found in a huge amount of household products including baked goods, confectionery, shampoo, cosmetics, cleaning products, washing detergents and toothpaste, leaving the average Western citizen consuming more than 10kg of palm oil annually.
What are the issues with palm oil?
A great proportion of palm oil development occurs at the expense of the environments in which the palm oil is sourced. As identified by the WWF, palm oil plantations have a number of environmental impacts including:
large scale forest conversion
soil and water pollution
The most significant issue of these is the large scale forest conversion. In Indonesia and Malaysia there is a direct relationship between the growth of palm oil plantations and deforestation. In 2007 the United Nations Environment Programme published a report which professes that oil palm plantations are the leading cause of rainforest devastation in the two countries. The extensive forest devastation of palm oil plantations is resulting in calamitous effects for a large number of plant and animal species.
Palm Oil Investigations, a non profit organisation which focuses on educating and raising awareness about the hazards of palm oil, passionately talk about the species which are edging towards extinction, as a result of the habitat destruction that is taking place during the production of palm oil.
Both the Bornean and Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered due to palm oil plantations. Orangutans create nests to sleep in during the night, and reside in smaller nests during the day time. In order to survive orangutans need trees and forestry, however the higher the demand for palm oil the less forestry there is for the orangutan.
The Bornean orangutan is a Borneo native, which today is a protected specie, with specific ares of Borneo specially protected, however it has become apparent that a large majority of these orangutans currently
are living outside of these protected areas. The distribution of the Bornean organutan is extremely patchy throughout the island, with fewer than an estimated 60,000 left in the wild. This figure is significantly declining, with the rapid expansion of palm oil plantations in Borneo, as the lack of forestry leaves the orangutans vulnerable to poachers. The demolition of forestry is forcing the orangutan populations to shrink and making the creatures more prone to genetic drift and inbreeding.
The Sumatran Orangutan are being threatened by both illegal and legal logging, the conversion of forest land to agricultural land and palm oil plantations. Sumatran orangutans are currently forecasted to be one of the first Great Apes to become extinct, with there being less than 6,000 remaining in the wild.
The Sumatran elephant is native to the Indonesia island of Sumatra and are smaller than African elephants. These elephants are being threaten by habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation, and poaching. Subsequently, there less than 2,500 Sumatran elephants remaining in the wild. In the last 25 years 69% of potential elephant habitat has been lost, leaving much of the remaining forest in limited sections which are too small for elephant populations to live in.
Due to habitat loss and a lack of food, elephants are frequently being poisoned as they are forced to stray into plantations and villages which have strategies to prevent elephants impeding on the areas. This conflict between humans and elephants is becoming more frequent as habitats are cleared for palm oil, putting the Sumatran elephants at even more risk.
Sumatran tigers are the smallest of all tigers and have more of beard and mane than most. The Sumatran tiger resides in the forest of the Sumatran Island where they are fighting for survival.
Currently there are approximately 300 Sumatran tigers existing in the wild. With the acceleration of deforestation for palm oil and poaching, the tigers could in time be extinct. The deforestation is not only depriving the tigers of a habitat but also of food. With both poaching and deforestation showing no sign of slowing the tigers are increasingly at threat. Other Animals
There are even more animals which are being threatened by the palm oil plantations, including:
Sunda Clouded Leopard
Crested Black Macaque
None of these creatures should be disregarded and certainly not pushed to extinction as a consequent of our own actions.
Survival, a global group devoted to fighting for tribal people’s rights, passionately notes that many indigenous tribes are under great threat from palm oil plantations. One woman from the Penan tribe (a group of hunter-gathers) from Malaysia told Survival, ‘The forest is my roof and my shelter and the forest is also where I can find food to eat. But when the oil palm comes in, everything will be gone.’
Although palm oil plantations frequently promote bringing development to rural areas and providing employment for some locals, the impact of the plantations have also had devastating effects on locals living around the affected areas.
As the plantations are destroying the rainforest, the local people are having no other choice but to work for and depend on the income from the plantations. These working conditions are of a poor standard and many of the workers do not earn enough to support their families. Furthering this, child labour has also become an issue in some areas, with children suffering from heat exhaustion and gaining injuries from climbing thorny oil palms.
Although it has been evident that indigenous people have in some cases benefited from the palm oil industry in Indonesia, these situations are particularly rare. Palm oil has on frequent occasions had a long lasting negative effects, which has subsequently altered the lifestyle of many. More often than not indigenous people have become subject to cruel and greedy palm oil labour, with little choice in the matter.
Is palm oil bad for your health too?
A Common Ingredient
As mentioned by the organisation Live Strong, which provides expert information on all topics that contribute towards a healthy lifestyle, palm oil is less expensive than many other oils and can be utilised to extend the shelf life of processed foods, as a result of this it is often found in our supermarkets and often a substance that we consume.
The organisation further this stating that palm oil in an oxidised state can be a danger to our physiological and biochemical functions. Manufacturers of processed goods do often oxidise palm oil found in these products for culinary reasons, which consequently means a great deal of the palm oil consumed by shoppers is in this oxidised state. The threats of oxidized palm oil include organotoxicity of the heart, kidney, liver and lungs and reproductive toxicity. Not nice.
Erica Kannall, a registered dietitian and certified health/fitness specialist, emphasised that palm oil is notably high in saturated fat. Diets which are high in this saturated fat can contribute to high levels of cholesterol and also a build up of plaque in the arteries. If the consumption of saturated fat is continued for a long duration it could lead to a heart attack or stroke. The NHS recommend that the average man should not eat any more than 30g of saturated fat per day and no more than 20g of saturated fat per day for the average woman. One tablespoon of palm oil contains 7g of saturated fat. This means, a person consuming products containing palm oil could easily reach their recommended limit, without even considering products with no palm oil but still high in saturated fat.
What do we use instead of Palm Oil then?
During the process of hand popping our delicious popcorn we use rapeseed oil instead of palm oil. Our rapeseed oil is both grown and produced in the UK and so doesn’t travel far before arriving at our little Poppery! At all stages of the rapeseed oil creation process no people or animals are threatened or harmed.
Rapeseed oil is also low in saturated fat and so is far less likely to cause a build up of plaque in the arteries. Not only is rapeseed oil
low in saturated fat but, as stated by BBC Good Food, it has been acknowledge for having a range of health and nutritional benefits. This includes the oil containing omega 3, 6 and 9, which helps to reduce cholesterol and also maintain healthy joints, brain and heart functions.
We believe that our popcorn should be created with the best natural ingredients, that can be enjoyed and consumed without contributing to any health issues. We also aim to be conscious and thoughtful with our decisions throughout the popcorn process, as we live in a beautiful world, with many beautiful creatures which we would hate to harm or deprive in any way.
Popcorn granola? YES PLEASE! The very cool and talented vegan recipe blogger Steph, also known as StephiDFitness, created this wonderful recipe which we think is super fun and guaranteed to help shift those January blues!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes Yields: 4 portions or 12 balls
Storage: Sealed container (for the granola) or fridge (for the balls)
150g rolled oats
50g almonds – lightly crushed (or other nuts)
40g hazelnuts – lightly crushed (or other nuts)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. maple syrup
30g desiccated coconut
20g dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
20g dried goji berries (or other dried fruit)
25g Sweet and Salted Portlebay Popcorn
For Granola Balls:
200g pitted dates (blended into a paste)
3 tbsp. golden syrup
Pre-heat your oven to 150*C (fan oven)
Add the oats, almonds, hazelnuts, oil and maple syrup and stir until thoroughly mixed
Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread the oat mixture and bake for about 15 minutes until brown (make sure it doesn’t burn!)
Then, in a bowl, stir in the rest of the ingredients
Enjoy warm or cooled!
For granola balls:
6. Mix in the dates and golden syrup until all the dates are coated and sticky
7. Use your hands to form balls by squashing the mixture together
8. Optional: dip in vegan chocolate to finish and enjoy!
Do checkout The Vegan Recipe Blog, for many more sweet and savoury vegan friendly treats created by Steph! Be prepared to be made very very hungry! Also checkout her super inspiring Instagram page here!
Bored of your regular smashed avocado on toast? Fancy kicking your pancake game up a notch? Using no flour and no sugar, these banana oat pancakes are a barely naughty alternative to your regular Sunday brunch!
For 1 person you will need:
• 1 banana
• 1 egg
• 65g of rolled oats
• ½ a teaspoon of baking powder
• A pinch of salt
• A pinch of cinnamon (depending on your cinnamon taste levels)
• Whatever you would like to serve! We used maple syrup, fresh raspberries and cherries, and a sprinkling of Cinnamon Swirl Popcorn.
• Use either a blender or tonnes of elbow grease to mush up the banana and egg, and then use your remaining strength to mix in the oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
• It can be as smooth as you like it – we used a blender so it was silky smooth, but I’m sure it would be just as nice with a few chunks of banana inside!
• Let the batter have a little time out for 10-20 minutes so it can thicken.
• Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, and plop in a blob of coconut oil (or any oil you prefer).
• Fry generous spoonful’s of batter on both sides until golden brown, and good enough to wolf down in one bite.
• Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup and lashing of popcorn and fruit!
By this time in January, you’re either powering through your New Years resolutions like a determined stallion, your fridge is full of courgetti spaghetti, or you’ve decided you’re actually pretty awesome, so no need for #NewYearNewMe. To be frank, you can be healthier at any point in the year, but it does make things easier when yoga mats and gym memberships are on sale.
For those who’d like a little fitness inspiration, we’ve been trying out a mix of healthy snacks and quirky exercise classes to see the lighter side of being a healthy bean in 2017! Exercise never has to be a seasonable thing, so expect our active investigations throughout the year 😊
The first activity this year to tick off our list: Trampoline Aerobics at Super Tramp Parks!
Apart from the most obvious benefit of bouncing up and down like a giddy toddler (or maybe that’s just me?), trampolining is also an extremely low impact sport for your joints, especially when compared to jogging or tennis! Repeated classes can also lead to stronger bones, a faster metabolism, and a pretty good bum if your fitness instructors make you do enough lunges.
I unfortunately didn’t finish the class, as I was busy Snap Chatting and Instagramming a lot of it…and that was the biggest mistake of my week.
If you work through all the exercises, the bouncing from one trampoline to the other and the 50 or so sit-ups, you’ll end the class with a nice relaxing series of yoga style moves to gently work through, demonstrated here:
Without this essential part of the work out, you will be guaranteed to be aching for DAYS. Literally DAYS. For complete transparency, we attended this class on Monday evening, it is now Friday, and only today have I felt comfortable enough to crouch down and stand up again without the aid of a chair or nearest person to grab on to. The cool down part of any exercise class or activity should never really be missed, but with classes that don’t feel too intense on the surface, it’s probably even more import to do them. Lesson = Learnt.
This is not your standard trampoline jaunt; this will leave you feeling like you just bounced up a mountain, and lunged all the way down again, but you feel all the better for it. If you’re looking to brush away those Christmas cobwebs, or you want an exercise class that feels more like fun than work, or you just want to see what Buster the Boxer was so excited about, this is definitely the class for you.