Phuket and a Baby

_DSC7331Kata Beach at Sunset

It has been a while since I blogged between moving apartment, growing a human who is now a Baby Boy called Anraoí and finishing an MBA, there was not enough time to fit it all in. For the past few years, we have gone on holidays in October/November, so sticking with tradition we decided to venture back to Thailand with Anraoí this year. Unsure of what to expect, we packed the suitcase and off we went to Phuket.We stayed in the Chalong district. There is a strong focus on health and fitness there, so that was right up my alley.

Travelling with a Baby

IMG_9797These are my personal tips, other parents may do it differently. I have learned over the last few months there is no one size fits all approach to parenting. At the time of travel Anraoí was four months old, so I am sure as he ages the travelling experience will change. We travelled around by taxi or tuk tuk all week but we did see fellow travellers with their baby in a sling on mopeds. The choice is yours to make.

IMG_9768Morning Balcony View

What I learned is that when travelling with a baby the day starts early and can end anywhere between 7pm-9pm. So you learn to work the day and activities within that time frame. You need to consider nap times too. Therefore, try get accommodation that has a balcony where you can chill, practice yoga, tan, read a book or nap too. Source out restaurants that have air conditioning.

IMG_9791Attempting hollow back pose

It was a morning flight from Abu Dhabi, this helped with morning routine. The return flight was a night flight and this was brilliant as it accommodated for night time routine.Prior to leaving we arranged pick ups with our accommodation and a baby cot. For safety reasons we packed the car seat and it was helpful throughout the week. We packed a stroller and a baby bjorn sling. I know what you are thinking all this equipment for one week!

Other essentials included baby sleeping bag, suncream, baby shower gel, coconut oil, plenty of muslin cloths, light clothing, sunglasses, swim shorts and toys. The local supermarkets in Phuket stock nappies, there is even a Tesco but I brought my own supply and stocked up there too.

Eat & Drink

Munch on Protein Pancakes from The Shack

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Enjoy sunset and drinks at Kata Rocks, Phuket.

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IMG_9736Whiskey Sour 

Other places I recommend are:

The Boathouse, Phuket

The Red Duck

Santosa Phuket they offer a vegan buffet.

Pure Vegan Heaven

Greze Healthy Kitchen

Nommy Frozen Yogurt

Sweat

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You can join Unit 27, Thailand for a multitude of fitness classes every day. I joined the Primal Fitness Unit for the week because I am restoring that pelvic floor post baby, so no jumping or running movement, just yet. They have a cafe called Muscle Bar which in my opinion had the best smoothies of the week. Check out Unit 27 website for full list of classes and prices.

Fun & Frolics

Head to Nai Harn Beach and drink fresh coconuts by the sea shore.

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Old Town Phuket has beautiful architecture, street art, colourful buildings and coffee shops.

Street Art by Alex Face

There is an Cat Cafe in Phuket Old Town for cat lovers.

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IMG_9654Kata Beach, Phuket 

We survived the first holiday as parents and here’s to many more.

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Bite Size Blondies

blondiesRecently, I was researching almond flour recipes and came across a recipe for Blondies. A Blondie is essentially a Blonde Brownie. The recipe I had found online called for ½ cup of coconut oil and 1 cup of sugar. According to myfitnesspal.com a ½ cup coconut = 960 calories and 1 cup of sugar = 720 calories. I challenged myself to re-create the recipe omitting the above and decreasing the overall calorie content whilst keeping the delicious gooey Blondie consistency and texture. Baking with almond flour creates a dense, moreish Blondie, as you can see from the image. Allow them to cool before cutting into bite size pieces, this allows the mixture to set and easier to cut.

The Blondie recipe I re-created used fruit puree as an alternative to coconut oil and natvia stevia as an alternative to sugar. This reduced calories per serving from 205 to 128, however, this is not a reason to over indulge. Moderation is key however; it can be hard to exercise this mindset when presented with these tasty creations. Below is the nutritional breakdown from myfitnesspal.com:

calorie-content

Bite Size Blondies

(Bite size – 20 pieces)

2 cups Almond Flour

6 tsp. Natvia Stevia

1 tsp. Baking Powder

½ tsp. Salt

100g Chocolate Chips

100g White Chocolate Chips

200g Clear Spring Apple & Mango Puree

2 Eggs (2 egg whites, one egg yolk)

Made from Scratch:

  •  Preheat the oven 170, fan oven and grease an 8” square baking tray or line with grease proof paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl add almond flour,  natvia stevia, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl add eggs and fruit puree, combine well and fold into the dry mixture. Mix until combined well.
  • Pour the blondie mixture into the baking tray and level it off with a wooden spoon or fork.
  • Pop in the oven, bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool before cutting or it will crumble.

*All ingredients are available in Spinneys or your local supermarket. To read more about Natvia, click here.

Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch #makeandbakefromscratch and Facebook: Make & Bake From Scratch

Grecian Adventure Part I: Athens

AcropolisArcopolis, Athens

“Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.” 
― Jack Kerouac

Last week I travelled to Athens and Santorini. I had heard mixed reviews about Athens but Santorini boasts a glowing report. Why wouldn’t it, have you seen the pictures? I put the opinions of others to the back of my mind regarding Athens and decided I would make up my mind after my adventure. Needless to say, I appreciated Athens for all that it offers. It is a diamond in the rough. Santorini will be discussed in Part 2.

However, the only downfall is the challenge of procuring a nice healthy breakfast in the Plaka district at 9am on the weekend because nowhere opens till 11am. What the Greeks do well is an espresso freddo , of course they do other things well but I loved an  espresso freddo or three on the regular. So much so, I am trying to re-create it now I am back in Abu Dhabi. A friend recommended places in Athens too, that appeal to the health and fitness fanatic in me.

Accommodation

For accommodation in Athens I used booking.com and stayed in the Plaka District. This was central and it was convenient for walking all around the city.

What to do

The city is huge and you can wander around all day admiring the architecture  of Athens, there are many cafes and bars throughout the city and the more you explore the more intriguing Athens becomes.

Derelict building.jpgDerelict buildings, there is many thoughout the city

_DSC5952.jpgStrolling through the National Park, Athens

Watch the Sunset at Parko Thiseio. As you can see numerous gather with wine, guitars and food to watch the sunset over Athens on a giant marble rock, do not wear heels, I wore trainers.

Parko Theiso

Parko Theiso 2View from Parko Thiseio, Athens

Walking Tour

Athens Free Walking Tour : This tour was brilliant it lasted about 2.5 hours which takes you to all the main areas around the city – see images below. The tour is free but you can tip. Entrance to Acropolis is not provided with the walking tour because it is free. I emailed a few days before arriving to secure places on the tour as spaces are limited. You will learn about the history of Greece.

Temple of ZeusThe Temple of ZeusStreet ViewStreet View, AthensStreet GraffitiStreet Graffiti , this is prevalent throughout AthensNational GardensPalm Trees in National Garden, Athensolympic stadium 2Flags at the Panathenaic Stadium, Athens

olympic stadiumPanathenaic Stadium, seats 75,000 peoplestreet artStreet Art in the Plaka District, AthensFlowers

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Blue DoorThe last three images are of front doors or gates to houses in the Plaka Districtwhere is my mind.jpgWhere is my mind? Plaka District

Food, Fun & Frolics

Athens is jam packed with restaurants. It is a late city and there is a great buzz about the place from 8pm onwards. Strolling the streets and from recommendations I discovered these little gems which will appease the taste buds of meat eaters and vegans.

Avocado, Plaka District- delicious salads

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Evgenia, Athens, Plaka – Dakos Greek Salad

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Nolan, Plaka District. Greek food with pan asian twist

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Ipitou the Bar – this bar is cool and plays good tunes, it is close to Nolan restaurant and surrounded by other chilled out bars.

Ipitou Bar

Other restaurants not pictured, I recommend include Koi which serves sushi at a great price and Pure Bliss which serves local produce and delicious salads, it is very laid vibe where you could sit for hours drinking espresso freddo, sampling local wine and eating scrumptious food. Located in the same area as Pure Bliss, there are countless bars and cafes.

Fitness

No trip is complete without a gym session. Whilst in Athens I got a chance to to break a sweat in Planet Fitness, they offer a pay as you service which is handy and the gym is  central. See Planet Fitness for more information.

Concluding, Athens was fantastic trip filled with history , long walks,  traditional greek food and wine, chilled out bars, street graffiti, espresso freddos,a few gym sessions and a new passion for front doors.

 

 

Brunch by the Ocean

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Sun is shining, cool breeze blowing through the palm trees, glass is frosted ready to sip a passionfruit mojito, you can hear the laughter from tables as the band “Cuba Libre”, play music on the terrace. This enchanting place allows one to unwind and escape the madness of a busy week, “Chino Latino“, brunch by the ocean at Asia De Cuba and you can even have cake, just like the song!

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The dishes are cuban flavours with an asian twist. There is ceviche,  shrimp salad , BBQ meats, fresh seafood , tropical fruit and cheesecake lollipops. Feast your eyes on the mouth watering dishes.

_DSC5836_DSC5871_DSC5858_DSC5859_DSC5864_DSC5884_DSC5887_DSC5889Cake by the Ocean

Choose from three different packages: the cleanser at 325 AED, the live mojito at 425 AED or the Champagne brunch priced at 525 AED. For more details visit Asia De Cuba

Eat the rainbow, don’t chase it.

Blog Awards Ireland 2015

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Greetings Beautiful, Radiant Readers,

Hope everyone is great. This year Make & Bake From Scratch has made it onto the Blog Awards Ireland 2015 – Long-list! I am very excited to receive recognition for two categories in the Blog Awards 2015.

Make & Bake From Scratch has been long-listed in Best Diaspora Blog and Best Health and Wellbeing Blog. The long-list will be further reduced to a short-list, which will be announced on the 2nd of September 2015. The shortlist will then be opened up to a public vote which will begin on  7th September 2015 and stay open for 2 weeks.
Thanks for all the support.
Lynne x

Orange & Passion Fruit Buckwheat Protein Pancakes

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Buckwheat protein pancakes are super easy to make. Once the weekend lands, I love to spend some extra time making my breakfast. These pancakes are a luscious treat to fuel your weekend work out or indulge post workout. To get the perfect round shape, I used silicone egg rings from Lakelands. By using the egg rings the pancake mixture made 10 mini pancakes. However, you do not need to use egg rings, you can just pour the batter on the pan and make bigger versions.

Ingredients

6 eggs (3 egg yolks)

¼ Cup Buckwheat Flour

½ Banana

1 Sachet Natvia

¼ Baking Soda

1 Tbsp. Greek Yogurt

1 Tbsp. Milled Flaxseed (optional)

1 Scoop Vanilla Whey Protein

Orange & Passion Fruit Greek Yogurt

1 small tub Total Fage Greek Yogurt

Juice of Orange

1 Tbsp. Orange Zest

1 Natvia Sachet

2 Passion Fruit

How to Make from Scratch:

  • Preheat Oven 180°
  • Pancake batter – in a large mixing bowl add eggs, buckwheat flour, banana, natvia, baking soda, greek yogurt, flaxseed and whey protein. Use an electric mixer to blend the pancake batter to a smooth, runny consistency.
  • Cooking – in a large frying pan add some coconut oil (1/4 tsp.) place egg rings on the pan, leave some space between them. Pour pancake batter into egg rings using ¼ cup measurement, don’t fill to the top, half fill the egg rings. Once you see bubbles forming remove from pan. Finish cooking in the oven. See next step.
  • Oven- on a lined, greased baking tray, place the egg ring on the tray and gently remove the pancake by gently pushing it out. Give it a quick wipe to remove the excess batter and repeat the process until pancake batter is completely gone.Regularly flip pancakes over in the oven to ensure they are cooked evenly.
  • Orange and Passion Fruit Greek Yogurt- in a mixing bowl add greek yogurt, juice of an orange, orange zest, natvia and passion fruit- stir until combined.
  • Viola – plate up and enjoy.

Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch #makeandbakefromscratch and Facebook: Make & Bake From Scratch

Eat the rainbow, don’t chase it x

Recovery Rescue

Squats

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The festive season is over and it has been a wild ride. At this point it can be difficult to know where to start; your mind is racing, “new fitness programme”, or “new eating regime”. To get back on the health train it is best to make a plan, start it and stick with it. Don’t lose interest after one week; develop new positive healthy lifestyle habits. Over time you will reap the benefits. Be kind to your body feed it wholesome foods and put it through the paces of a sweaty workout. Remember inhale, exhale.

Try this Sweat Session I created over the festive season to help you kick start your fitness regime:

You will need:

  • Gymboss set 40 seconds on/ 20 seconds off (20 rounds)
  • Skipping rope

Sweat Session

Train

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3,000 meter Rowing. Once this is complete begin the following 5 rounds, set your gymboss timer.

  • Skipping
  • Bear Crawls
  • Walking Lunges
  • Burpees
  • Jump Squats

Next move to 5×5 sets to build strength:

  • 5×5 Lat Pull Downs
  • Press Ups AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
  • 5×5 Bench Press

Bonus Round

  • 100 Walking Lunges
  • 50 Full Squats

This is a great session to get your heart pumping and sweat those toxins from the festive silly season. Make sure you drink plenty of water both during your workout and afterwards.

Once you have the sweaty session completed, you will need to refuel your muscles for recovery. After working out I love recuperating with a smoothie. Try this Berry Bliss Smoothie Recipe:

  • 250ml Koko Coconut Milk
  • 50 grams Frozen Raspberries/Strawberries
  • 1 scoop Vanilla Whey Protein or Vegan Protein
  • 1 tablespoon Chia Seeds

Pop in blender, blitz till smooth and enjoy!