About the Young Idea - Music, food and culture

You may or may not have heard of The Jam - a late 70's/early 80's mod/punk/rock band who's songs include "Going Underground" and "Town Called Malice"? No?

Well, if you haven't they were pretty huge in the UK, and their songs continue to be played in indie bars and clubs today. Their mod style was fiercely popular and their fans are pretty die hard.

Healthy snacking ideas: How to ward off hunger at home or at work

Snacking is one of my favourite things to do - I'm not even kidding. But snacking in the wrong way can set any of your health and fitness goals back by miles. I'm not saying don't have a treat every now and again, but if you're trying to cut back there is still a way to snack while sticking to your goals!

Friday nights are one of my most difficult times because after a full week in work, and the gym, my healthy stir fry for dinner just doesn't cut it. And while everyone else is posting pictures of their post-work wine and cocktails, I'm sitting at home watching Netflix and dying to reach for crisps or popcorn and a glass of red wine.

Every now and again this is fine, but not all the time, so I've devised a trick, which is not a trick at all, but makes me feel like I'm indulging without actually doing so.

Trail mix and mocktails! Ok, OK hear me out. This is slightly souped up trail mix and is super easy to do yourself - take a good handful each of unsalted almonds, and unsalted cashews - this should make up the main part. Then mix with a small handful of chocolate or yoghurt raisins or a mixture of both (this is the treat bit), and a small handful of dried cranberries. Mix it all together and serve in a fancy bowl to nibble on while watching non-stop re-runs of The Office or Friends. You can even add all sorts of extras such as plain raisins, a small amount of popcorn, fresh blueberries, or coconut chips. You could even replace the chocolate raisins with some chopped up dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips - yum!

Now to wash it all down, mix the juice of a quarter to a half of a pink grapefruit - depending on the size and how much you want it to taste of grapefruit really, with the juice of half a lime and a tiny squeeze of lemon, add as much ice as you'd like and top with cold sparkling water. These Perrier cans are so handy but I like San Pellegrino as well - and yes different sparkling waters do taste different, to me any way. It's sweet, slightly sour and fizzy which makes it feel more indulgent than it is!

Some other excellent options, which are also work friendly and will usually be found in my lunch bag for when the mood strikes are:
  •  homemade bliss balls, try this recipe for a simple version
  • vegetable crisps (just make sure you limit the amount as they still tend to be quite salty)
  • a couple of squares of dark chocolate (if you're on the go Pret do an amazing salted one, just enough for one person)
  • a couple of tablespoons of natural yoghurt mixed with blueberries and a sprinkle of granola for crunch
  • an apple dipped in a tablespoon (or two) of almond butter
  • a selection of celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks and a couple of small cubes of cheese, with a good tablespoon of hummus - preferably homemade, but if you're buying it don't buy low fat, get the full fat version as you're only having a small amount and it will have less (not, none, but less) additives in it.
Always open to more ideas if anyone has any...

Yoga to de-stress, unwind and workout

I've recently been feeling the need to make some changes, and with autumn and winter fast approaching I wanted to do something for me that would make me feel positive give me a renewed sense of purpose and some added motivation.