Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Yummy Yogurt Cake (Gluten and Dairy Free).

When Provamel got in touch and asked if I'd be interested in joining their No Sugars, No Limits challenge I was super excited to find out a little more. The challenge was to create two recipes using the Provamel Plain Sweetened with Agave Soya Yogurt and a recipe using their Natural Sugars-Free Soya Yogurt as an alternative to other products. I really enjoy alternatives to yogurt so I was really interested to see how the yogurt compared. 

My first recipe came half from Nigella and half from me. I made a twist on Nigella's yogurt cake and created this gorgeously moist ginger cake. Here's what I used:

1 Cup Provamel Plain Sweetened with Agave Soya Yoghurt
2 Cups Sugar
3 Cups Gluten-Free Flour
1/2 Cup of Oil
3 Eggs
2 Tbsp of Ground Ginger

This recipe couldn't be simpler, you pop all the ingredients into a bowl and mix. Then pour the mixture into a 10-Inch tin and pop into the oven on 180 degrees. My cake took around a 45 minutes to cook through, although I kept an eye on it from 35 minutes so it didn't burn.

This cake was so delicious and the yogurt really gave it an extra something. Not only was the cake much more moist, it kept preserved for a week after baking. I love the idea of using yogurt instead of butter and the soya alternative was a perfect addition to this yummy cake.

You can check out other people's recipes by following the hashtag #nosugarsnolimits on Twitter and Instagram. My other recipe will be up next week!

Katie xx

*Sponsored post, all opinions are my own

Sunday, 14 September 2014

eBay Wishlist: Winter Coats.

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The most exciting thing about moving in to Autumn for me, is finding my Winter coat. I've looked at hundreds online and in the shops but they are all way too far out of my price range. In the past I've waited until the sales to pick up a bargain, but last year's coat is on it's last legs so I'm hunting for the perfect coat to replace it. That's where eBay comes in super handy, I've found all of these coats for so much cheaper. Plus the good thing about ordering from Asia, is the sizing tends to be smaller. I adore the over sized look but even a size 6 in this country looks ridiculous on me. I can't wait to order a coat (or two) and start of my Winter wardrobe.

Have you seen any coats you like?

Katie xx

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Combating Mental Health: Counselling & CBT.

Image from Google

I got an amazingly positive response after writing this post a few weeks back about mental health, that I felt I wanted to write a little more about my experience. I feel now I'm in a better place to discuss it a little more and slightly less nervous of the response. 

Today I'd like to discuss a little thing called counselling. After going to my GP early this year I was immediately advised to seek some counselling, along side my medication. I'm sure there are others out there that feel like talking to a stranger is the last thing they want to do, but after a few months I finally bit the bullet. There are options to gain counselling on the NHS but I chose to find a private counselor because I thought this was the right thing for me. It also means I get a choice over when my sessions are and also let me find a counselor that specialised in what I thought I needed.

Around 6 weeks ago I went for my first session and since I've been for three more. I was hugely skeptical about whether it was the right step for me to take but I am so glad I did it. Of course I was very anxious before my first session and didn't sleep much the night before, but once I arrived I quickly settle. I am surprisingly open with my counselor and feel like talking to a stranger really helps. The fact that she knows nothing about my life other than what I tell her, makes me feel a little less vulnerable.

My lovely counselor also incorporates cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) into sessions which is all about changing the way we think. This has been the biggest thing for me and I would without a doubt recommend it to anyone that needs a little help. I've been given homework weekly that generally is all about my thinking patterns and turning negative thoughts into more positive ones. The few exercises I've been given really keep me focused until my next session and over the weeks I've noticed that I'm doing it without thinking. 

I've only made small changes but I can feel that the more I change my thinking the more positive I feel about life. I know I can't change a habit of a lifetime overnight but I'm certainly becoming a more positive and less anxious person as a result. My counselor actually said this week 'who are you, and what have you done with Katie?' after I'd achieved a lot of goals from the previous week.

I hope this is a little helpful for anyone questioning whether to go for counselling. I won't promise that it's easy but I do promise it will be worth it.

Katie xx