Harissa spiced Quinoa & mixed bean salad


If you follow me on social media you might have noticed that I’ve recently been cutting down on meat, in fact I’ve more or less given it up altogether.

I recently wrote an article on healthy eating and the environment (for another publication) which led me to look into animal agriculture and it’s effect on climate change. Through my research I found that meat production was responsible for 15% of all greenhouse gases, which is higher than all cars, planes, trains and ships put together.

I won’t go too much into this now as I want to dedicate an article solely to this in the next couple of weeks, however in the meantime you might want to watch Cowspiracy, or head to the Guardian for an interesting read on the subject which was published just this week – click here

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been speaking with several friends on the issue, many of whom have spoken of how they struggle to eat more plant based diets, whether this is due to a poor palate, lack of experience in the kitchen or simply missing meat too much. So, I’m here to stay firstly, even though it would be ideal, you don’t have to give up meat altogether (or at least not at first), every meal without meat is a step in the right direction. And secondly, it’s not as hard as you think to put together some delicious and filling vegetarian meals.

I’ve been obsessed with this recipe lately, which is ideal for making in large batches and taking to work during the week to be eaten hot or cold. It’s also a great recipe to get creative with you could swap out for your favourite veggies or change the harissa for some curry paste for a spicier version!

So what are you waiting for – write a shopping list, go grab some ingredients and get cooking…

What do you need:

  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup giant cous cous
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut/olive oil
  • 1 tin Mixed Beans (240g drained)
  • 1 squash (chopped into chunks)
  • 1-2 tbsp harissa


  • Spring onion
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Seeds
  1. Put squash in ovenproof dish with 1tbsp oil and 1 tbsp of harissa and roast at 180° for 35-45mins
  2. Whilst cooking heat 1tbsp oil in a medium sized pan and add chopped onions, cook until soft (around 5mins) 
  3. Rinse 1 cup quinoa in a seive and add to the pan with onions and add with 2 cups water
  4. Season (you could also add extra spices)
  5. Bring to the boil before simmering for 20mins
  6. Add the giant cous cous and continue to cook for a further 10mins (add more water if needed)
  7. Once your grains are cooked, remove from the heat and pour into a large serving dish
  8. Add your mixed beans and cooked squash
  9. Top with tomatoes, spring onions, seeds (For a cold salad leave to cool before adding)

It’s as simple as that.

Remember, we only have the one Planet Earth so it’s up to us to take care of it!







(I topped with a fried egg for extra post workout protein but if you are vegan you can obviously skip this part)

How to stay healthy in your 30’s (Guest post)


This weeks post comes from My Big Fit Diary’s first ever guest writer – the lovely Amy Mia Goldsmith all the way from Melbourne.  Amy is a literature and biology graduate from Melbourne, with a passion for fitness and a healthy lifestyle. You can contact Amy on her  Facebook page and Twitter.

I hope my readers find this article interesting – I know as I approach 30 I’ll be taking on board a lot of Amy’s tips. And as always, let me know below what you think… happy reading!

Health Guide for Women in their 30’s


Though it has been said that life begins at 30, this is also the age when every lady should start paying more attention to her diet, fitness, and well-being in general. Staying healthy, beautiful, and in shape in the face of approaching middle age calls for a tad more effort and care than back when you were an energetic, breezy 20-something. Here are some useful tips on how to stay on top of your health and life as a tricenarian:

Testing Times: Preventing Screenings for Your 30s

Once the 30th candle on your birthday cake goes down, it would be wise to have your overall physical condition preventively screened. Tricenarian ladies should have their blood pressure and cholesterol tested biannually, while clinical breast exams and Pap tests are usually carried out on a three-year basis. Diabetes screenings, thyroid tests, and eye exams are normally performed on a five-year basis, and you should also have your skin inspected by a dermatologist once a year. Also, do not forget to visit your dentist every 6-12 months for optimal oral health.

Sleeping Beauty: Importance of Proper Rest

Coping with multiplying responsibilities becomes slightly more difficult when you dock at the 30-something port, so strive to keep your batteries high and make most of your daily rest. Unlike in the 20s, sleep deprivation at 30+ entails a prohibitive price beyond light drowsiness and dark eye circles. Most women in their 30s need 6-8 hours of sleep a day, so do not miss out on your nightly shuteye if you want your skin to remain radiant, your hair healthy, and your mood positive.

Work It: Regular Exercise is Key to a Healthy Body

Regular exercise is essential to preserving a sexy and healthy body. This becomes extremely important once you turn 30, as this is normally the stage in human life when muscles begin to turn into fat. To preserve optimal muscle strength and bone density despite passage of time, make room for 30-60 minutes of cardio, resistance, and/or strength exercises at least 3-5 times a week. Warm up before and stretch after the training to avoid muscle strain and soreness. The best activities for 30-somethings include swimming, hiking, cycling, jogging, tennis, dancing, and gym workouts.

Key to Healthy Nutrition

One of the most important things is creating a balanced and nutritious meal plan for yourself. This is a crucial point in your everyday life and especially when you hit the number 30. The best way to maintain a balanced diet is to think colorful. This means that you should incorporate different varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables in your meals. Women in their 30s are more prone to weaker bones which may further cause osteoporosis. Because of this, make sure to eat plenty of dairy and leafy green vegetables. Also, consider eating foods that are rich in fiber like whole grains and beans.  Meal planning is a great idea as you can plan recipes for the week ahead during the weekend.

Important Skin Care Tips

As we grow older our skin tends to lose its elasticity and moisture. This means that special care should be focused on proper hydration and nourishment. Another thing that worries most of women in their 30s is the sudden appearance of wrinkles and pores. These issues can be easily fixed just by changing a few of the usual habits. For instance, cutting down or actually quitting smoking is the first step to healthy skin. Always make sure to properly nurture your skin by applying sunscreen and preventing it from sun damage. When it comes to using cosmetic products, make sure they are based on natural ingredients and with no alcohol, as it tends to dry out the skin.


Top Tips for staying hydrated this Winter


We all know we need to drink lots of water, especially during the Summer months when temperatures are high and we tend to do more physical activity. But did you know that it’s probably more important to stay hydrated during Winter?

Water makes up over two-thirds of the body, lubricating your joints and eyes, flushing out toxins and helping to keep your skin plump and healthy. However, the body loses water through day to day activities, sweating & urination, and even more so in Winter as the cold, dry air pulls moisture and water out of you skin (especially when you sleep at night) – ‘Say Hello chapped lips and flaky face!’.

Not getting enough fluids into our bodies can cause muscle cramps, headaches & dizzy spells, tiredness and dry mouth & eyes.

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Vivo Life Interview

Vivo group shot

This week I interview another inspirational up and coming business within the health & fitness community. I’ve been following Vivo for a while now and am a huge fan of many of the products they stock, from their health range to their ethical & often organic beauty products (I’d buy the lot if I had the money!).

I recently connected with one half of Vivo Life and after chatting over email I knew I had to interview him. Here’s what he had to say…


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Healthy Spiced Apple Crumble


It’s that time of year when we are craving our favourite comfort foods – and for me the biggest comfort of them all is warm apple crumble. If I’m feeling snacky but want to stay healthy, I’ll often pop a chopped apple, some cinnamon and a tsp of water into the microwave, however, if I’m feeling a little more indulgent I might make the below recipe (I’m even eating it for breakfast as we speak – naughty!!).

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Top 10 ways to de-stress


I’m one of those annoying people who have a hard time relaxing and can’t sit still for more than 5 minutes. I have a free evening and think to myself, right – this is my chance to unwind, I’ll get home, walk the dog and do a quick clean and cook before plonking myself on the sofa with a magazine, some treats and my favourite film BUT before I know it, it’s 10pm and I’ve managed to sit for all of 5minutes, instead I’ve blogged, baked, emailed, worked and generally stressed myself out even further. Yes even the things that should be relaxing and enjoyable become stressful. I often put too much pressure on myself to be achieving and even when I’m physically relaxing, my mind is in knots, thinking about how I can progress at work, at Crossfit, in rehearsals and generally, how I can be a better person. Sounds exhausting right?!

Stress is our bodies way of protecting itself, when we feel threatened we get stressed, encouraging adrenaline and increasing our cortisol levels. This triggers the bodies ‘fight or flight’ mode which makes us more alert – your heart rate and breathing increases, muscles tighten and your blood pressure rises. Yes, stress isn’t all bad – it helps to keep us on our toes and avoid danger should we need to… the problem is, we often don’t! 

So with a busy month ahead, I’ve taken it upon myself to take time out every day to de-stress (or at least to try!). Here’s how:

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Beau-tea-ful: Parched Tea Interview


As the nights draw in and a chill spreads through the air there is nothing better than lighting some candles and snuggling up on the sofa with a hot mug of tea and a new boxset (I just started Narcos last night and I’m obsessed!).

I’ve been a big fan of tea for a long time and have recently really started to appreciate my loose leaf teas.  It’s not just the taste but the whole ritual of tea making that I love.  From waiting for the kettle to boil, to seeing the tea change colour as it brews and watching it flow from the pot to the cup, in my mind tea making allows us to slow down and really focus on the present.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing a friend of mine (and the Queen of puns) from the wonderful tea company Parched Tea.  Here’s what she had to say… 

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Trespass Review: These boots are made for walking



For those of you who follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I’m a fan of long Sunday walks with my husband, friends and of course my gorgeous King Charles Cavalier… say Hi Hudson.




Several years ago I would have said that walking was strictly for the over 50’s, whilst the youth were left at home, laid out on the couch watching full box sets and gaming.  Fast forward to 2015 and it seems that outdoor activity is on the rise even amongst the super trendy members of hashtag ‘fitfam’.  Walking has become the new ‘active rest’ and is in my opinion the perfect way to practice mindfulness. 

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Crossfit for beginners



If you still don’t know what Crossfit is then firstly ‘Where have you been hiding?’ But don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to give you the run-down of what Crossfit is, why it’s so special, how to find a good box (studio) and what you might expect to come across in a WoD (workout of the day).

Don’t be scared by the Crossfit language, heavy weights and super strong women, it’s actually one of the most community led sports out there and you will immediately be accepted into the pack.

So, what is Crossfit?

Crossfit is advertised as the sport of fitness and it’s just that.  A strength and conditioning programme of constantly varied, functional movements, worked at to a high intensity.  Crossfit seeks to give you a broad fitness making you ready for any physical challenge that may be thrown your way…


If you want to read the rest of the article click here and make sure you check out there product too – you can get 50% off a monthly subscription with my coupon code MBFVITL

Smoked mackerel, leek and dill scramble


Breakfast can often be one of the most difficult meals of the day – either we can’t find the time or struggle to come up with new, healthy ideas – so it’s refreshing to be able to indulge in some heart warming early breakfasts at the weekend.  

I normally always opt for some sort of hot meal at the weekend shunning my weekday Chia Puddings and Rawnola and opting for some eggs.  Last weekend a fellow Crossfitter was sat tucking into her breakfast post workout and I couldn’t help but feel slightly jealous.  After asking what was in the dish I rushed to the supermarket, picked up some ingredients and preceded to make my own and the result was simply delicious.

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