Northern Juice Review

Northern Juice pack contents
Northern Juice juice pack juices review
JNorthern Juice Shim Sham and Charcoal Lemonade


I've wanted to do a juice cleanse for ages so when I discovered Northern Juice which delivers nationwide, but is based in the centre of Newcastle on High Bridge Street, I jumped at the chance to try their beautifully packaged, fresh, health and wellness focused juices.

If you're new to the idea of a cold pressed juice, it's basically a way of turning fruit and veg into juice which, unlike when heated methods are used, retains almost all of the products' original nutrients and vitamins. So basically, it's really good for you! And Northern Juice source as much of their ingredients as possible locally and they source their fruits, herbs and veg each day so their juices are super fresh.

As you can see from the selection I tried, they also offer 'Wellness Shots', a little bottle filled with health and wellness-boosting ingredients with medicinal properties - mine was made of ginger, lemon and organic Manuka honey (Manuka honey is used for everything from aiding sore throats to digestive problems as it's packed full of even more vitamins and nutrients than regular honey). Like a lot of the juices from Northern Juice, this certainly had a kick, which I personally loved as I don't mind spice and they're great for your metabolism.

I also got their 'Charcoal Lemonade', a water-based drink infused with lemon and activated charcoal which aids digestion and is a great detox ingredient, plus some even say it can prevent a hangover, which kinda makes sense as it clings on to poisons and toxins and pulls them out of the body. I must admit taste-wise it had nothing on the flavour-filled deliciousness of the juices, after all, it is just flavoured water, but the lemon makes it more enjoyable than plain water and the health benefits definitely make it worth drinking. Especially if they can extinguish the hangover (fortunately I haven't had a chance to test this).

The juices themselves were absolutely delicious. They all have cute and quirky names, but my favourites were Doodle Fire - orange, lemon, grapefruit and cayenne extract, Shim Sham - orange, satsuma, raspberry and cayenne extract, Shuffle - apple, lemon, mint and pineapple and Jig Walk - kiwi, green apple, nappa cabbage, lemon and lime.

I originally planned on going down the 'juice cleanse' route and having one each day for breakfast, but I ended up eating breakfast anyway (cos I'm greedy) and drinking 1-2 of the juices per day in addition to my normal diet (or actually a bit more than my normal diet to be honest because I ate out a few times and had dessert) yet I still lost weight throughout the week, which could have been coincidence, but I really do think the juices worked wonders for my metabolism. I also managed to go to the gym a lot more (which could also be why) as I had a lot more energy than usual.

I'd definitely recommend these juices, whether you are looking to boost your health, lose weight in a healthy way or simply have a delicious drink delivered straight to your office for free (yep, free delivery is available across Newcastle).

www.northernjuice.com



Healthy lentil curry recipe


Healthy vegan lentil curry with avocado

Okay so I am no chef and I followed no recipe for this delicious and healthy vegan curry, I just made it up as I went along based on what I thought I would like the taste of and what I know is healthy (I often add certain herbs and spices solely for the health benefits so apologies if some of these are a bit random). But this went down a storm after I snapped it for my Insta story so I am kindly sharing my skills...

For the reasons mentioned the measurements below aren't - and don't need to be - precise. I don't use proper measurements myself, I just judge the amounts - so when I say 'dash' I mean literally a sprinkle from the bottle, and when I say a teaspoon I mean a few dashes that look something like a teaspoon amount when they land in the pan. But I think the most important thing with cooking is to know what you personally like, and to adjust to fit your own taste buds and eating requirements (whether you're veggie, vegan, dairy free or gluten free I know it's often hard to find tasty recipes to fit your needs). There's no point chucking in a hefty pile of garlic if you hate garlic, right? Recipes are guidelines - have this attitude and you literally cannot go wrong is what I've learned.

Having said that this was bloody delicious, super quick and mega healthy, and I think you should all copy so here we are:

What you need:

200g red lentils
1 tin of chopped or plum tomatoes
Dash of cinnamon
Teaspoon of paprika
Teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Half a red onion chopped or diced
1 teaspoon ground garlic (or a clove)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of turmeric
Rocket, parsley or basil to garnish
Half a medium avocado

*Note: I rarely buy fresh versions of the above because I never plan ahead and it's so much cheaper and easier to use ground herbs and spices.

What to do:

1. Place the lentils in a pan, pour boiling kettle water on top until all the lentils are covered and let them simmer at a medium heat until the water has evaporated (this should take 15 mins and they should look at least half cooked - if they don't just pour a bit more water on and check every 5 mins until they have softened a bit).

2. Pour the entire tin of chopped tomatoes in the pan with the lentils, add the cinnamon, paprika, cayenne pepper, onion, garlic and turmeric and let simmer for a further 15 mins.

3. While waiting, slice half an avocado but don't remove from the skin (you probably know this but slicing it while it's in the skin then scooping out is the way to go with avocado prep).

4. Once the 15 mins are up pour a quarter of your curry into a large bowl, scoop out the avocado and throw it in and garnish with your selected green leaf for an extra nutrient boost.

Follow me on Instagram for more meal ideas

Health & beauty benefits:

Lentils: They are high in fibre which is great for weight loss as it keeps you full and prevents spikes in blood sugar, and they're a good source of iron which keeps illnesses like anemia at bay - so lentils are a must if you're a vegan or vegetarian, or simply don't think you get enough iron from meat.

Tomatoes: As well as a lot of vitamin C to keep colds away, they are full of antioxidants and are said to help promote healthy skin and hair.

Cayenne pepper: Helps boost metabolism

Avocado: Avocado is great for your skin as it's packed with omega 9 fats which help heal skin and reduce redness/irritation and are also said to help control acne. Plus the Vitamin E and C helps keep your skin looking young and firm. Apparently Carol Vorderman eats two a day to stay youthful lols.


Health & Beauty Resolutions

Makeup brushes and tools white background

Beauty resolutions


1. Clean makeup brushes regularly
There are many reasons we should clean our makeup brushes and tools regularly, not only will dirty brushes break us out, dirty eyelash curlers are likely to rip out eyelashes and cleaning is actually good for the brush itself - it will keep it intact and it will last much longer.

I know all of this yet I still don't always do it, I probably wash mine every 1-3 weeks when really it needs to be every week at least. I'm going to invest in another one or two foundation brushes as I feel they need cleaning more than once a week, so I will use them for two or three days then rotate and wash the whole set at the end of the week.

2. Cleanse day and night 
And by this I mean have a thorough cleansing routine for morning and night which I will always complete. Even after an evening of gin drinking.

One of my overall goals for the year (and a goal I've always kinda been aiming for) is to get that perfect healthy, clear, glowing skin and frankly I don't think you can ever achieve this without keeping your skin as clean as possible and well moisturised. Unless of course your blessed with naturally amazing baby skin for life.

Some say over cleansing is bad but in my experience sleeping and going to the gym with makeup - or makeup residue - on your face is worse. Yes, scrubbing your skin too much or using a harsh cleanser can lead to irritation for sensitive skin, but you can get cleansers aimed at sensitive skin, natural cleansers and hot cloth cleansers - all of which shouldn't cause any damage. At night or before a workout it's worth either double cleansing to ensure your skin is completely clean when you wipe a cotton wool pad over it (there should be no makeup residue) or using two different cleansers depending on your needs.

For further tips on getting perfect skin and which products I have tried and tested check out this post.

If you're wondering how to clean your brushes - baby shampoo, hot water, a sink and a flannel is all you need, simply blob a bit of shampoo onto the brush, mix with a bit of hot water, rub it in thoroughly like your hairdresser would on your head and rinse with hot water, then place on a clean flannel to dry.

3. Moisturise daily
This relates heavily to the above. I am going to moisturise my face and body (at least once a day for body and twice for face) because not only will it help skin look and feel good in the short term, it will (hopefully) keep lines and wrinkles at bay for as long as poss. Plus it takes seconds and makes you smell amazing - why would you not do this?! Click here for further details on my skincare routine.

4. Eat clean
You are what you eat, and if I eat crap I'll probs look like crap. So as well as having a daily Berocca and supplements (Iron/Evening Primrose oil/Vitamin E) I will be eating as much fruit and veg and as little processed food and alcohol (disclaimer: I may still be posting pretty cocktails to my Insta story - I am not going cold turkey) as possible to help achieve the glow I have been wishing for.


Health resolutions

1. Eat clean
This is in both sections as it will also help health as well as beauty - in terms of actual medical health and being healthy and fit and toned.  

3. Exercise well
This encompasses a few things - by exercising 'well' I do mean frequently but more importantly I mean effectively. Rather than go to the gym and spend 20 minutes on each machine plodding on, not getting v out of breath and hating life, I am going to do quick and speedy workouts such as a mix of burpees, lunges and squats, or a circuits class. Joe Wicks says it works so I am not gonna argue. If it's motivation you struggle with this post may help.

4. Eat my 5-a-day
I am going to make a conscious effort to eat more fruit and veg. Not only will it help my skin, I feel accomplished when I achieve this and it will probably lead to a healthier diet overall because I'll be eating less of the other things. Or that's the idea but knowing how capable I am of eating I will probably end up eating my 5-a-day alongside my usual popcorn and biscuit snacks.

5. Be more organised
When I have stuff to do I tend to do half the job then give myself a break. Right now for example I am in the middle of a housework and life admin day but halfway through have decided to sit down and write this which, yeah, isn't necessarily unproductive but if I was thoroughly disciplined I would complete one job before moving on to the next, and I'd feel much better going about it that way, but sometimes I am just too lazy and impatient.

48 hours in London

I actually go to London frequently but for some reason haven't blogged about it since 2013 when I did this lolable post and also this even weirder one

This time, however, I have compiled a decently wordy piece on where we went and what we did because there are some places which are amazing and you just absolutely have to go if you can.

We didn't have THAT much time as it was a fleeting visit, but we crammed in some amazing eateries (which we had discovered via Instagram), bars and even an exhibition (luckily we didn't have to queue for 678687839 hours like we did for the last one we attended - Mademoiselle Prive at the Saatchi Gallery was free entry and we went midday on a weekend cos we are stupid). 

In my post on the highlights of London, I mention way more places than we managed to get to this weekend, so if you want more inspo head here. But do read on for a snappy little overview of my weekend.

Breakfast

For breakfast we went to Friends of Ours in Shoreditch. A tiny little place, you wouldn't really notice it from the outside (unless you saw the queues which developed as we were leaving) , but their Instagram popularity/photogenic food is so significant that the menu features an extra little side note saying that, if you're in doubt, you should check Instagram for many shots of their delicious dishes (or something along these lines). I applaud this because all I ever feel like doing when I'm reading a menu is checking Instagram for visual proof of said meal quality. I mean, a picture rly does speak a thousand words. For proof of this just Google Eggs Benedict, while most look amazing, some look not so fabulous, and then there are the Benedict Cumberbatch variety...

Once inside, we were seated on a long bench as all the little tables were full (this was 10am, it's mega popular), which although I'm sometimes a bit wary of sharing my personal space with strangers actually proved quite useful in this instance because we got to be nosy and view real life live previews of a range of meals - they all looked amazing, especially the scrambled eggs which I'd have to try if I returned. 

I have a sweet tooth however, so I opted for the Coconut Rice Pudding which came with raspberries, blueberries, roasted plum, hazelnut crumb, toasted coconut chips and plum syrup, which was all vegan and gluten free, while Sian got the Sweetcorn and Potato Fritters with roasted beetroot, kasundi, feta, mint, poached egg, avocado and coriander - all of which is vegetarian and gluten free. I also got some delish Japanese tea...

Friends of Ours Shoreditch brunch
Friends of Ours Shoreditch coconut rice breakfast


Culture

We visited the V&A for the Records and Rebels exhibition. I don't technically think I was supposed to photograph this exhibition but YOLO it was gr8. It takes you through the years and social changes and includes some real moon rock (the geek in me was mesmerised) Jimmy Hendrix's smashed guitar and some rather amusing communications between festival goers written on paper plates and signs - thank goodness we now have mobile phones, and please festival gods, never let them run out of battery because this looked traumatic. 

Oh and the exhibition also includes a headset which as well as giving you interesting info, has the best playlist of songs from the era.

V&A Records and Rebels sixties
Records and rebels v&a


Lunch

For lunch we went to Farmstand in Covent Garden. Everything is well sourced and well cooked. You can build your own lunch box for £7.50 with one main (the mains include salmon, meatballs, aubergine, beef and chicken) and two sides which include mixes of grains, beans and veg all cooked with herbs and spices.

Alternatively, if you're as indecisive as Sian they will be so sick of you they'll let you have half portions of six sides. She got the meatballs, broccoli, sweet potato, bean, pepper and pumpkin mix and some other stuff which I can't remember as extra. I got the aubergine, bean mix and sweet potato. As you can see below, the drink options were also amazing, and we got a brownie and Sweet Muffin (made dairy and gluten free with blueberry, coconut, chia seeds and unrefined coconut sugar). 

Farmstand Covent Garden lunch box
Farmstand Covent Garden drinks
Farmstand Covent Garden interior
Farmstand Covent Garden muffin brownie


 Drinks

For drinks we went to Sky Garden which is essentially a venue in a greenhouse atop a skyscraper. The views are amazing, as discovered via Instagram, but unfortunately we went on the only day you couldn't actually see out of the windows, or venture out on to the terrace due to the terrible weather. As you can see below we did actually vaguely spot the Gherkin.

Regardless of the fact the main appeal of this place was rendered useless, it's still lovely with greenery everywhere and cocktails which are a work of art (pricey at £12, but it's worth it). I got the Flower Power gin cocktail and it was so attractive that people were asking me which one it was.

Sky Garden London Flower Power cocktailSky Garden London Flower Power cocktail

That turned out not to be that snappy didn't it... If you would like to hear more of my ramblings on this city, as I say, head here for the ultimate guide!x






Top 10 2017 Fashion Trends

1. Hot pink
I hate being a stereotypical girl but I love pink (although I really am highly stereotypical and I don't do much about it). It is just so bold and eye catching and pretty, and this hot shade makes an excellent change from the tame pastels of previous fashion weeks. It reminds me of my B&Q wall paint colour of choice at the age of ten which immediately got knocked back by my mum, I think it was called something along the lines of Sexy Pink...

SS17 Topshop Unique pink
Topshop Unique


2. 80s silhouette
YES big shoulders small waist - a flattering silhouette which I am definitely on board for. I'm happy about the large shoulder trend especially as my shoulders are oversized as is and it always makes like easier if your bone structure is on trend. Time to invest in a waist cinching belt and shoulder pads.

Saint Laurent metallic mini dress ss17
Saint Laurent


3. Flower Power
Forever a fan of the floral print I will undoubtedly be jumping aboard this beaut of a trend. Go hard or go home in my opinion - there's no shying away with a ditsy print.

Isabel Marant floral hotpants ss17
Isabel Marant


4. Graphic
Best worn in the form of knitwear in my opinion - a bold statement jumper is on my wish list.

Proenza Schouler ss17 stripes
Proenza Schouler


5. Skin tight
Spandex is fashionable apparently. From leggings to full-on jumpsuits, skin tight clothing is back, looking cool and providing yet more reason to go to the gym...

Balenciaga floral jumpsuit ss17
Balenciaga


6. Metallics/iridescent materials
I am like a magpie in that I am always drawn to anything shiny. Iridesence just makes shiny stuff even prettier in my opinion so if I see a bold AF purple/pink retina offending skirt I will probs invest, yes.

Kenzo


7. Sheer
I love this look. I would definitely wear a sheer skirt/dress on a night out, or I would shove a sheer t-shirt under a strappy dress.

Dior


8. Yellow
Having been put off this colour for the past 16 years after my parents decorated my room in the sunshine shade from birth-7yrs old, I am finally regaining my appreciation of it. It's quite a happy colour really isn't it - and a great signifier of Spring. New year, new me, no more yellow-hating. I actually think a bright yellow jumper would look amaze.

Prada

9. The polka dot
I've always loved this print, stripes and polka dots are my ultimate faves when it comes to geometrics in fashion and while the star print lives on, I'm so glad this has returned, it has that classic, vintage, stylish vibe which you just can't beat.

Dior


10. Fringing
I have always been looking for an excuse to invest in a fringed leather jacket, they're just so nice, and a refreshing change from the standard All Saints biker - don't get me wrong I love mine, but one jacket style for life is just unacceptable I feel.

Rodarte





OOTN: Floral x Velvet

Velvet trousers and off the shoulder crop top



velvet trousers and off the shoulder crop top
Necklace: Primark (altered - I pulled off some feather details)
Velvet trousers: Pretty Little Thing
This is what I wore for New Year's Eve however I reckon it's the least NYE-esque outfit ever. I really wanted to go all out with sparkliness and wear this Motel dress but alas I decided to try to maintain my fitness levels over the festive period so I went for a Boxing Day run and I fell over and now have a disgusting bruised and scabby knee. However it could have been worse because the fall was dramatic and even my face hit the ground - no more judging people who manage to fall on their face, turns out it's an easy thing to do.

Anyway these velvet kinda flares kinda wide leg pants saved the day when I teamed them with this bargain £7 top from Asos. I felt far from NYE appropriate but I did love this outfit.

If you're reading this and you have also fallen flat on your face please feel free to let me know so I can feel like less of a clumsy idiot xo