If you’re single: fear not. Even though you might not have a man in your life, there’s still plenty of room for delicious food. Invite your bestie over and pig out on something delicious. There’s so much to choose from.

Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate brownies - ideas for a proper pig out

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Chocolate brownies are one of the most decadent and delicious foods on the planet. And thanks to a bunch of enterprising vegans, they can now be among the healthiest. It turns out that you don’t have to make brownies with the usual combination of sugar, white flour and egg. Instead, you can use black beans (yes, you read that right), wholemeal oats and maple syrup and create the same effect. Beans, it turns out, are the new flour, and they’re a lot healthier too. In fact, beans have been shown to reduce blood sugar spikes following a meal, helping to protect your pancreas. It’s all good news for those of us who like a bit of custard with our dessert.

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Pregnancy should be an exciting time, but it also places a strain on your body. By eating a healthy diet, watching your weight and staying active, your pregnancy can be far more pleasant.

As HARTMANN Direct highlight, making small changes to your diet can have a positive impact on your body. Before you make any changes, perhaps have a chat with your GP first if you have any existing medical conditions or are unsure about what needs to change.

pre-pregnancy diet

  • #1 Folic Acid

If you plan on getting pregnant in the next 12 months, you want to make sure that your diet is rich in folic acid and this means being proactive about increasing your intake of it.

You can take supplements and there is a growing range of pre-natal vitamins but if you prefer the natural approach, eating folic acid-rich foods in your diet is relatively simple. Folic acid is found on whole grains, cereals, vegetables and citrus fruits.

Pre-pregnancy you should be aiming for a folic acid intake of 400 to 600mg, increasing it to 800mg during pregnancy to minimise the risk of birth defects.

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Christmas has a habit of sneaking up every year. If you’re a little behind on the Christmas band wagon this year, you’ve come to the right place. It can be scary if you haven’t considered preparations or presents at this stage, but you still have time. The trick is to stay calm and think through what you need to do. Make a list and get going as soon as possible! No one ever needs to know you left things to the last minute. These pointers should help set you off in the right direction.

Last minute christmas shopping

Image from Flickr

CHRISTMAS SHOPPING

Your last minute Christmas shopping behaviour will be slightly different to your usual. At this late notice, it’s risky to order online. Some sites provide last delivery dates before Christmas. If you’re feeling brave, order from these. Though, bear in mind that items sometimes take longer than expected to arrive! If you can’t find dates on a site at all, it’s safest to assume that they won’t come in time. The only thing for it is to hit the shops! Plan your shopping carefully, to ensure you get it done as fast as possible. Plan where you need to go. Bear in mind that those shops are bound to be full now. Most towns have late opening hours over the two weeks before Christmas. Check if your chosen town does this, and take advantage. It may still be busier than you expect, but you won’t have to fight the crowds quite so much as you would during the day.

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Over the past few years I have gotten into making my very own Christmas cakes. Last year I made one. This year I’m attempting two! I always use the same easy Christmas cake recipe. I’m not sure how I came about it. I think over the years I have added my own bits to it. Now it really is the ultimate easy cake recipe. I think the most effort needed is to weigh out all the ingredients.

Easy Christmas Cake Recipe

Ingredients for your Ultimate Christmas Cake

  • 525g Currents
  • 225g Sultanas
  • 225g Raisins
  • 110g Mixed Candied peel finely chopped
  • 165g Glace Cherries halved
  • 300g Plain Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 300g Butter
  • 300g Soft Brown Sugar
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 6 Large eggs
  • 3 tbsp Brandy

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I love this time of year. A Lazy night in is exactly what you need after a busy day at work. With the dark evenings and cold weather, tucked up in front of the TV is just perfect.

Now if you are like me I must have snacks while I’m watching TV especially if it’s a great film!

The perfect little snack around at the moment is these little squidgy cake bites from Soreen. They are extremely moreish and trust me one is not enough!

Lazy night in with Soreen Squidgy cake bites
The Squidgy Cake Bites Come in this cute little sharing tub, which I did share with my husband. Although I could have eaten the lot!

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