Blueberry, Spinach, Banana & Acai Superfood Smoothie

Happy Easter! Spring is finally here and after the long weekend I’m feeling refreshed and relaxed. I’m ready get summer ready and refocus on my health and wellbeing (especially after indulging in a few too many Easter eggs).

Breakfasts can be one of the trickiest meals to keep healthy, especially if you’re a busy mum, working full time or studying and need to be out of the door quickly in the morning. Smoothies have changed my life when it comes to having a fast, nutrient packed breakfast with minimal clean up.

One of my favourite breakfast smoothies is this blueberry, spinach, banana and Acai superfood smoothie, which is packed with antioxidants, potassium and iron. It takes five minutes to make and is a delicious and healthy start to the day.

Get your free printable recipe here.

 

Blueberry, Spinach, Banana & Acai Superfood Smoothie (Free Printable Recipe) | Gypsy Rova Blog

Here are some time saving tips for your smoothie preparation:

  • At the start of the week prepare individual bags with daily servings of your banana, blueberries and any other fruit and freeze. Not only will this prevent waste and save time, but the frozen fruit will make your smoothie chilled and creamy.
  • Your smoothie can be made the night before. Just fill an airtight jar or container right to the brim to prevent it from oxidising and keep it in the fridge overnight. Shake well in the morning before drinking.
  • Store your rolled oats, superfood supplements, nuts and any other dried goods in airtight jars in a dark place for freshness and easy access.
  • Don’t be scared to add more spinach, replace it with kale or use a mixture of both – just make sure you use a high speed blender, particularly with kale.
  • For added natural sweetness use pineapple, stevia, dates, honey or agave syrup.

Do you have any time saving tips or favourite smoothie recipes? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Enjoy!

PRIVATE PROPERTY-5

Blueberry, Spinach, Banana & Acai Superfood Smoothie (Free Printable Recipe) | Gypsy Rova Blog

Blueberry, Spinach, Banana & Acai Superfood Smoothie (Free Printable Recipe) | Gypsy Rova Blog

Blueberry, Spinach, Banana & Acai Superfood Smoothie (Free Printable Recipe) | Gypsy Rova Blog

 

2016 – Finding balance during loss.

2016 Finding balance during loss | Gypsy Rova Blog

‘Sometimes the things we can’t change end up changing us’.

2015 was a difficult year for me – a funny old year. Frustrating, stressful and often downright raw; it was a year that I was quite honestly glad to see the back of.

I started out the year full of optimism and hope – I had just launched my blog, completed two diploma courses, and by March I had secured a role in marketing – a career change I had been working towards for over a year. I was feeling more positive about the future than I had in recent years.

Unfortunately, with the loss of some close family members, health challenges and job losses it went downhill as the year went on and while not a ‘bad’ year it did have more than its share of sadness and trials. The year ended with a real blow, when we lost our beautiful mum after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease on New Years Eve.

Somewhere in amongst all of the sadness and bewilderment of the year goals had been long forgotten, my blog was all but abandoned, and I had completely neglected my health. I was feeling overwhelmed, lost and afraid of what lay ahead.

Its taken a couple of months and while I’m still grieving, I do feel like I will eventually come out the other side of it. It won’t happen overnight as they say – but it will happen. So I’m trying to be gentle with myself and give myself time, while also doing the things that I know make me feel more positive, energised and give me a general sense of well-being.

2016 Finding balance during loss | Gypsy Rova Blog

  1. Having a creative outlet – I always feel more inspired and connected when I take the time out to do something creative. Whether it be writing a new blog post, working on blog graphics, enjoying some photography or even spending time browsing Pinterest I am trying to put time aside each weekend for creative pursuits.
  2. Learning – gaining new skills that are valuable either in the workplace or for my blog always motivates me and gives me a sense of achievement. This year I’ve enrolled in an online Graphic Design Diploma, which focuses on the Adobe Creative Suite. I’m really looking forward to getting started!
  3. Eating well – I don’t know about you, but when I’m stressed I have a tendency to comfort eat. I started off last year with such good intentions, but as soon as things started to get on top of me, old unhealthy habits crept back in. I’m trying to get back on the bandwagon this year and be organised with work lunches and healthy snacks to avoid the temptation to go for unhealthy convenience foods.
  4. Exercise – exercise is one of those things I have always struggled with. Once I get started I love it, but finding the motivation to start and stick to it is the battle! So I’m starting off gently with at least 30 minutes three times a week and I’ll work up from there.
  5. Reading – over recent years (probably since I discovered Netflix) I have read less and less. It is something I have really missed and have started to get back into this year. As a child, my mum would take me to the library at least once a week and this was what started my love of books. It was a shared passion and something that always makes me feel close to her.
  6. Having a bedtime routine – I generally find it difficult to get to sleep when I’m feeling stressed and have the tendency to lie awake and allow negative thoughts and worries to creep in. Finding time for quiet reflection and developing a bedtime routine which helps me wind down has really helped (more on this in a future post).

So here’s to a healthier, happier and all-round more positive year. I look forward to sharing it with you through the ups and the downs. 2016, I’m ready for you!

PRIVATE PROPERTY-52016 Finding balance during loss | Gypsy Rova Blog

Raw Banana Nut Energy Bites


Raw Banana Nut Energy Bites | Gypsy Rova Blog

 

 

If you read my post on setting aspirations for 2015, you’ll see that one of my goals is to eat better. I am trying to follow more of a plant-based diet and cut out a lot of empty calories. In general, I don’t have the biggest sweet tooth (that crown goes to my sister). It tends to be savouries that are my stumbling point when it comes to eating well. What I do tend to find is on the odd occasion when I get a craving for something sweet, it seems to be insatiable. No amount of chocolate seems to help, cake doesn’t scratch the surface and sweets are just a drop in the pan. So it became clear another approach was needed.

Through Pinterest and Instagram I have discovered an array of healthy options that I never knew existed. You can make ‘ice-cream’ from bananas and fruit – who knew? Chia puddings, overnight oats, and healthy brownies – the options are endless. Then I discovered raw ‘no-bake’ slices and bars and I was sold. What’s not to like? After experimenting with different recipes, and taking bits I liked from here and there I came up with this.

 

Raw Banana Nut Energy Bites | Gypsy Rova Blog

Raw Banana Nut Energy Bites | Gypsy Rova Blog


Raw Banana Nut Energy Bites | Gypsy Rova Blog

 

Raw Banana Nut Energy Bites | Gypsy Rova Blog

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Setting Aspirations in 2015

 

Setting Aspirations in 2015 | Gypsy Rova Blog

 

It’s that time of year again – the time when we set resolutions to be better, thinner, richer, get up earlier – the list goes on. January 1st comes and we have that renewed spring in our step – all the sins of the past have been washed away. We have turned over a new leaf and this will be the year we stick to it. Then somewhere around the middle of January our resolution starts to weaken – it’s generally on a busy Wednesday when you think ‘will it really hurt if I press snooze one more time?’ or ‘a pizza and wine after work won’t kill me – I will work out for twice as long tomorrow to make up for it’. From there it slowly goes downhill until February finally comes and that list is a distant memory. There’s always next year right?

So this year I have decided I will not make resolutions as such. Instead, I have a list of aspirations – things I want to gradually work at and improve on. What’s the difference? For me resolutions always feel very set in stone. If you mess up and miss the gym, or heaven forbid eat half of the McDonalds menu after a night out,  it feels almost as though you’ve failed and it’s time to throw in the towel. As the saying goes ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ – equally so, we are not going to wake up on January 1st with a complete personality transplant, so why put ourselves under such pressure? It is a process and as my brother recently said, many things are a lifelong battle, so lets be a bit gentler on ourselves and do the best we can day-to-day. We are after all only human.

“And suddenly you know … It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” Meister Eckhart

 

01. Get out of your comfort zone – I have found that since I’ve been settled in one place after years of living a rather transient lifestyle, I am less and less inclined to put myself out there and challenge myself. Comfort has wrapped me in its warm embrace and the world outside suddenly seems a bigger, scarier place. This is also something that naturally starts to happen as we age – our friends start to settle down and we don’t see them as often. Nights in on the weekend soon become the new norm – no longer are you out dancing around a circle of handbags with a bunch of complete strangers. Pyjamas and Netflix anyone? This year I am determined to get out more often and meet some new people. As an expat, for me the first step has been joining the local branch of Girl Gone International – a fun and friendly community for a new generation of women living abroad. What will your first step be?

02. Read more – In these days with the constant barrage of  ‘noise’ from social media, emails and movies on demand, it’s hard to find time to read. Or so I keep telling myself. I find myself going to bed and catching up on a show I missed on my iPad while simultaneously looking at Facebook, Instagram and emails on my phone. It’s really not the kind of restful activity that induces sleep. So this year I vow to unplug at bedtime and get back into the habit of picking up a book instead – even if it is on my kindle!

03. Take more photos – ‘More?’ I hear my husband saying. Anyone who knows me well, knows I click away a lot – even to the point of distraction when I’m travelling. I’m the girl that is too busy with her camera to her face to notice the sudden dip in the pavement or the odd unexpected step – who put that there? My trusty camera strap has saved my camera from many a near death experience. So what do I mean by ‘take more photos’?. I am great at taking hundreds of photos when I’m away somewhere new, but not so great day-to-day. I forget to look up, see things from a different angle and find the unexpected in the everyday. This year I will try find the beauty that is around me all of the time.

04. Eat better – I am one of those vegetarians that has fallen into the trap of replacing meat with far too much bread, pasta and cheese. The result has been low energy levels, little to no immunity and definitely no skinny jeans. I have tried diets before and failed miserably. I will be the first to admit I don’t have the strongest willpower in the world and when there is a cheese board calling my name, it certainly doesn’t have to call twice. So instead of dieting, I am trying to take a completely new approach to food. I am eating a much more plant-based diet with lots of green drinks, smoothies, salads, stir-frys, soups and grains. I also try to incorporate more protein to keep the cravings at bay and have stopped treating wine like one of my five a day (although in my defence it is made from grapes).

05. Move more – I have had a life long love-hate relationship with exercise. I hate the thought of it and really struggle to find the motivation to get started. What I love is the results and the added energy and feeling of well-being it gives me. So this year I don’t have any grand plans to take up hill-walking, run a half marathon or even join the gym. I simply want to increase my steps per day and do at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise  five times a week. I think even I can stick to that.

06. Learn something new – My mother has always said that learning keeps you young and I would have to say I strongly agree. Last year was a steep learning curve for me – I did courses in Online Marketing, Social Media Strategy and taught myself to muddle my way around WordPress. After years of not studying I’ll admit it wasn’t easy at first, but like anything the more you do it the easier it becomes. This year I want to become a Photoshop whizz and improve my photography skills. Whether it be studying towards a change in career, finally learning that language or taking salsa lessons, it will hopefully enrich your life and if nothing else, give you something to look back on and laugh about.

07. Don’t leave things until the last minute – This one is definitely very much a work in progress. I say this as I sit here and finalise my posts for tomorrows blog launch! I have always said I work better under pressure – that has been my excuse and I’ve clung to it. The reality is that it causes a lot of unnecessary stress and late nights spent cursing yourself. Time management is something I am great at in the workplace, but for some reason it doesn’t translate into my personal life. I am going to try and be more structured in my planning and stop setting myself up for nail biting pressure.

08. Remember to breathe – It sounds obvious right? If you’ve ever sat there at 5.00pm on a Friday with your desk still piled high you’ll probably know exactly what I mean. I find myself getting so tense that I sometimes give myself a headache. My shoulders end up in knots, my jaw is clenched and I can literally feel the stress bubbling up within me. At 3.00am, I find myself lying there worrying about things that need to be done, should be done or could have been done better. We all know the feeling. This year I am going to try and consciously take deep breaths and remember that the world isn’t going to end if I don’t respond to an email until the morning (or whatever similarly trivial scenario is keeping me awake).

What are your goals and aspirations for 2015? I’d love to hear so please share them in the comments!

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