How to: Make your own Matcha Latte.

I love matcha. It’s so caffeinated that it gives me just the right buzz. However it is very bitter, so a whole lotta agave syrup (or plain ol’ sugar) is required! This will get your morning off to a great start, or give you that push when it’s just one of those days. You don’t need an electric milk frother, but I highly recommend one!

All you need is:

1-2 Tsp. matcha powder

about 10 mls boiling water (or enough to make the matcha into a paste)

hot milk, enough to fill the cup to the top

agave nectar

I think I’ve basically given you the know-how through the ingredients list! Put your matcha in a cup and add enough boiling water to make a paste.

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Add in the hot milk and froth it up.

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Sweeten with your syrup and drink up!

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Banana and Peanut Butter Powershake.

It was my last session of the 6 week bootcamp last night. I am so going to miss it! Having someone shout at you to keep holding that plank a little longer, or get your knees a little higher changes everything – I can’t slack like I would if I was doing a DVD (not that I’m saying I would.. *cough*). I definitely feel better for it – so much so that I’ve decided to do a more intense 4 week course. What have I let myself in for..

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Anyway, I woke up this morning achey but raring to try and stay fit on my own, so I whipped up a smoothie for breakfast – perfect for before my run!

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Ingredients:

1 very ripe banana

1 Tbsp. smooth, organic peanut butter

1 Tbsp. flavourless whey protein (I use the Protein Works)

smidge of vanilla extract

250ml coconut milk (or milk of choice)

Blitz it all in a blender until it’s smooth and enjoy!

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Ginger Zinger.

Perfect to wake you up on your juice day, or any day even! Naturally healthy and good for you, this juice will help you start your day in style. The lemon is a real eye opener first thing. Adjust the ginger to suit you – I’m a little obsessed so I put in far too much for other people’s taste!

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Ingredients:

2 carrots

2 apples

large knob of ginger

1/2 lemon

Whack it all in your juicer and slurp up!

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Chia Fresca.

I did a juice detox on one of the busiest days at work – what a mistake. I was lagging a bit towards 10pm (understandably I think!) and needed some fuel, but obviously caffeine is out of the question on a juice day. Damn my caffeine addiction!

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I’d read this recipe (well found a lovely picture of it on pinterest and decided to give it a whirl myself) and it’s a natural energy drink originating from Mexico consisting of just 4 ingredients:

  • water
  • chia seeds
  • agave syrup
  • lemon juice

Basically, you mix 1-2 Tsp. chia seeds into a glass of really cold water, add a dash of agave and a squirt of lemon. It looks like little bugs floating in your water so it’s a great way to scare kids (not that I condone that… much). The chia seeds go all gelatinous so it’s easy to swallow with the water – however, this drink is definitely not one for people with texture issues! The seeds will either float at the top or sink to the bottom, so keep stirring!

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ALSO – the chia seeds get majorly stuck in your teeth, so beware!

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Juice Detox: Sunrise.

You may have seen I did a 3 day juice detox a while back ( https://fatbitchlovesfood.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/my-juice-detox/ ) but that was pretty hardcore for me! SO I’ve decided to just do it one day a week. I get to play with my fabulous juicer whilst having a cleanse from all the usual junk I throw in there (I mentioned I like chocolate, right?). Here’s one of my simpler creations, perfect for straight after you wake up as the cayenne pepper jumpstarts your metabolism.

  • 2 carrots
  • 2 apples
  • 2 stalks celery
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

You don’t get much simpler than that!

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My juice detox.

After my super unhealthy last few days in France (did you see the amount of cream on everything I ordered?!), I decided to undertake a juice detox. Mum bought me a juicer especially for my return back home! Obviously she’s seen the pictures.. 

 

So a juice fast for 3 days – how hard could it be?
 
First off, buying the quantity of fruit and greens BEFORE I EVEN STARTED was eye opening (and expensive!). But this amount of goodness must surely do me some good, yes?


Day One: 

Start with a cup of green tea for a slight caffeine hit. I need my caffeine! 

Breakfast juice: 
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. flax seed
1 punnet raspberries
A handful of spinach
1 Tbsp. almond butter
Squeeze of lemon
1 mashed banana (bananas can’t go in the juicer due to their make up)

I really enjoyed this juice! The almond butter gives a depth and a thickness to the otherwise watery juice, but even without the sweetness of the raspberries makes it taste good. I didn’t enjoy the texture of the mashed banana in it – it’s lumpy and you have to eat it at the end. Reminds me of baby food.. Yuk. You don’t notice the spinach at all, so I’m getting in my veggies without realising!




Lunch juice:
4 celery stalks
1 cucumber
2 handfuls kale leaves
1/2 green apple
1/2 lime (put this in the juicer last)
1/2 mugful quinoa milk (or any non-dairy milk you have on hand)
1/3 of a fresh pineapple 









This juice is a lot more green than the breakfast juice so I feel like it’s probably better for me – less sugar, more goodness. That being said, I prefer the morning juice – probably for that exact reason! With this juice, the pineapple is a necessity – it brings the only sweetness to the drink.



I repeated the breakfast juice as I was feeling a touch peckish.. And to be fair, these juices do curb your appetite! I’ve not felt stupidly hungry all day.. It’s more a mental thing, I think. I feel like I should eat, not I need to eat.




Evening juice:
1/3 of a fresh mango
1 punnet blueberries
1 1/2 mugfuls coconut water
2 handfuls kale leaves
1 cucumber
A squeeze of lemon
1/2 avocado
1 Tbsp. flax seeds










This was nice, and the fact it has avocado in really fills you up for the rest of the evening. I went to bed feeling fine – I hate going to bed hungry! However, I did develop a bit of a headache but I was warned this would happen.



Day Two:

Woke up feeling light and clean.. I know that sounds weird, but I did. No hunger pangs and I slept better than I’d done in a while.

Green tea again.

Morning juice:
1 mug water
1 Tbsp. flax seed
2 punnets raspberries
A handful of spinach
1 Tbsp. almond butter
Squeeze of lemon

I omitted the mashed banana because I didn’t like it, so I put in an extra load of raspberries. For some strange reason this juice was half the size of my breakfast juice yesterday, which I don’t quite understand but hey, tasted good. I may have licked the spoon of the almond butter.. That’s not cheating, right?

 

Lunch juice:
4 handfuls kale 
2 apples
2 handfuls spinach
1/2 cucumber
2 celery stalks
2 carrots

1″ ginger
Not the most attractive juice – in fact it looks like puréed grass. However this is my favourite so far! The ginger gives it a nice hit, but the juice just tastes so… fresh! It’s all the tastes of summer: freshly cut grass, warmth on your neck. I think I’ve put the message across that I like this one! 
Dinner juice:
1/2 handful kale
1/3 of a fresh mango
1/4 of a fresh pineapple
Small handful of blueberries
1 Tbsp. flax seed
1 apple
 

This is basically just a green coloured pineapple juice – it’s fine. Nothing to write home about though. The flax seeds didn’t get crushed as well so I ended up with a sort of paste left at the end, which was rather icky. 

Day Three:

I woke up fairly hungry so I went straight for my morning juice and skipped my green tea – I’ll save that for later.

Morning juice:
2 apples
1/2 cucumber
1 punnet blueberries
1″ ginger
1 Tbsp. flax seed
Squeeze of lemon
1 handful kale



I may have overestimated 1″ of ginger so that’s all I can taste in this morning juice! Not overly pleasant I must admit. I do enjoy the colours of it though – reminds me of a cocktail!


























Lunch juice:
1 apple
2 stalks celery
1/2 punnet blueberries
2 carrots
Good glug of coconut water
1 handful kale




This was an unusual colour, but it tasted fabulous! I enjoyed this one massively, and didn’t need an afternoon juice before having my evening one, though I did have a probiotic yoghurt. 



























My final juice! Also known as, using up what was left in the fridge:

1/2 cucumber
1 green apple
1/4 of a pineapple
1/3 of a mango
A handful of spinach
A small handful of kale
1 punnet raspberries
1 Tbsp. agave nectar



I whizzed up the ingredients and found it rather bitter, so I added in the agave syrup which improved it no end! Even my mother (who detests these juices and the idea of a juice detox) said she could drink it a couple of times a day if she were to undertake one.. Oh how one can change! 

So in all, it’s been challenging – I definitely thought of packing in the towel on at least 3 occasions, but I’m so glad I didn’t! I don’t know if it’s done me any good, but I certainly feel fresher – and as a bonus, I even lost 4lbs! I don’t know whether I’d do any longer than 3 days, but I’m definitely going to aim to do at least one day a week – probably Monday, after the weekend binge.. 

Nothing quite like a cocktail…

As you may well know, cocktails are my vice (along with shopping, food, etc). But basically, they’re my downfall.

 
So here’s a roundup of some of the cocktails I’ve had in my time in France! I just hope I can remember what’s in them so as to recreate them.. Somehow I think remembering things and alcohol just don’t mix..
 

Le Parfait, from La Fabrik.
 
And my good-ness, it is perfect. Tasting kind of like gummy sweets, it’s the right amount of alcohol to get you slightly merry but not be able to taste the alcohol – very dangerous, but so worth it. Go on, live vicariously!
 
 
Helen – Strawberry daiquiri 
 

Me – Martini Royale
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




In this instance, I preferred the slushiness and sweetness of Helen’s daiquiri to my rather potent martini, though the champagne in it was a definite bonus!
 
 
I don’t know if you can count these next two as cocktails.. They are twists on the Kir Royale, but instead of using Kir I went for a lychee liqueur, and Alice went for a lavender one. Just what the doctor ordered after an exam! 

Nice, Monaco and a lot of Champagne.

Tom came to visit me in Monty P again, but as it’s not the biggest of places we thought we should venture further afield. To Nice, for instance. 

Despite it drizzling pretty much non-stop, we managed to explore La Vieille Nice, the old town which is stunning, and climb the hill to an old castle with the most beautiful view (above) and waterfall (below) ever.

 












Of course this called for a photo opportunity. 






























Before dinner, we thought an aperitif was in order, so we headed to a champagne bar for a glass of Mumm each and some nibbles. 







For the evening meal, we had meat fondue, which, I’m ashamed to say, is the first time I’ve ever had it.. But it was worth the wait. This photo was taken in-between our restaurant and our walk to the next bar; just look at that sunset!




After gorging ourselves on meat, chips and some vin, we went for cocktails. This place, I wish I could remember the name! It was underground, bustling with locals, and the choice of cocktails… It was like being in a dream! 

 





After ordering a few rounds, the bartender realised we weren’t going anywhere, so gave us both a free shot with liquid ice – amazing!
 
 
 
 
 
 
The place was so buzzing but relaxed, and we wanted to stay, so Tom splurged.. 
 
 
But he was upset that it didn’t come with sparklers. 
 
The next day, we found out it was only half an hour to Monte Carlo, so that was a no-brainer. The weather unfortunately got worse, but we’re Brits, and we’re used to the rain, and we didn’t let it ruin our day (despite having wet feet by the end). 
 
The Casino
 
Inside the casino

The rain got too much, so we went for lunch. Hands down, the best view for a lunch time meal I’ve had…

 
 

Espresso Martini.

Alcohol. In the form of a cocktail. It’s like being Carrie from Sex and the City: “yes, my life might be spiralling out of my control, but at least I look classy when I get drunk”. Or is that just what I think?

 
 
Look at the dark, mysterious nature of this bad boy. Mmmm. Plus not only do you get a kick from the vodka, you get the high of the super-strong coffee. 
NB. Not one to have right before bed.
 
Ingredients.
  • 1 oz cold espresso
  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1 1/2 oz Kahlua coffee liqueur
  • 1 oz white creme de cacao
Pour ingredients into a shaker filled with ice, shake it like the TicTac’s advert and strain into a chilled glass. Drink, enjoy, and don’t blame me for your drunken antics.  
 
 

Black cow.

The black cow, or root beer float as it’s more commonly known, is something of a mystery to we Brits. Ice cream in a drink? But NOT a milkshake style thing? Totally unheard of. So of course I just had to try it. 

 
 
 
 
 
These are the types of things you see in those 50’s diners on old films, so we went to one of those places. This one is my step-sister’s favourite: Gunther Toody’s in Arvada, Colorado.
 
 
 
And I have to tell you, I thought it was absolutely disgusting.
 
 
 
 
 
If you’d like to try it anyway (we all have different opinions!), you literally scoop some vanilla ice-cream onto a root beer, but it’s VERY unlikely that you’ll come across root beer anywhere outside of the US or Canada (because it’s so icky…).There must be something about it though, or it wouldn’t be as popular today as it was 60 years ago.