No Bake Raw Banoffee Bites

After making my last batch of raw millionaire bites it made me think how nice they would taste with some banana. So I adapted the recipe and sure enough another perfect treat that consists of four different layers that melt into each other. Not only are these little beauties rich and smooth in taste but they are healthy too. Packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals that help provide energy, anti inflammatory, reduces the risk of anaemia and boosts the immune system – to name but a few.

Bananas do contain sugars but these are natural occurring sugars A medium banana contains around 14 grams of sugar but they are also filled with nutrients that your body needs for good health, including fibre, potassium and B vitamins.

These bites are perfectly balanced out with a smooth melt in your mouth cashew base, topped with the sweet banana and the gooey date and cacao that adds in a depth of richness.

No Bake Raw Banoffee Bites

No baking required, these bites are super easy to make and can be stored in the freezer for up to a month.

Ingredients

  • 300 grams Medjool dates
  • 3 tbsp Organic peanut butter
  • 2 Bananas
  • 300 grams Raw Cashews
  • 4 heaped tbsp Raw Cacao Powder
  • Coconut Oil
  • Agave or honey

Instructions

Base

  1. Ground the cashew together with 2 tbsp of coconut oil, until its crumbly

  2. Place into the bottom of a 9x9 tin/silicone.

    Press down firmly and put into the freezer to set

Centre

  1. Mash together the bananas and place on top of the frozen cashew base. 

    Place back in the freezer to set

  2. Blend together the dates and peanut butter with 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil until it is a smooth caramel like texture. Add in a couple of tbsp of honey or agave nectar and mix well.

  3. Take the base out of the freezer and add on the date mixture. Press down with the back of a spoon and smooth over.

    Place back into the freezer to set (about half an hour)

Topping

  1. In a saucepan on the hob place the cacao powder, 5 heaped tbsp of coconut oil and 2 tbsp agave or honey

  2. Melt together until runny. Mix well
  3. Take the base back out of the freezer and top with the cacao mixture
  4. Place back into the freezer to set

  5. Once all set and the chocolate has hardened, take out of the freezer and leave for about 10 minutes then cut into bite size pieces. 

  6. Store them in the freezer for when you fancy a treat

Give them a go and let us know how you get on

 

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A Week of Sporting Achievements for the Boy

I bring to you a very proud parent post..

The week started off pretty dire for my son. He had spent the weekend not feeling very well and ended up in bed, missing school on Monday due to throwing up the night before.

He was due to race in the Year 7 Essex Cross Country Championships on the Wednesday; something he been looking forward to doing for a long time. He had spent the last couple of months training hard for it and really wanted to enter. Racing and running has been something that he has got into through his Dad and older brother – both compete at competitive levels.

By Tuesday he was back in school and back at training. The training session was really just to test if his fitness was ok to compete in the race, he seemed to be ok and didn’t complain of feeling ill.

Wednesday came and his Dad picked him up from school at midday to take him off to the cross-country race. He was the only boy who had been entered into the race from his school so it was up to us, his parents, to get him to the event.

He was excited but nervous. He really wanted to do well in this race. Back in November he raced for his school in the borough championships and didn’t do as well as he as expected. In my eyes he done brilliantly, but to him he knew he could have raced a quicker time.

When you look forward to something for so long, the nerves take over, especially when you want to do well.

He lined up on the start line, the only child from his school, ready to move at the sound of the start gun.

Doesn’t he look small at that start line?

Growing up watching and supporting his elder brother competing in races for the borough and County just made him very determined to want to do the same. He had looked forward to following his footsteps and couldn’t wait until he was in Senior school so that he was able to do so.

He ran a superb race, crossing the finish line in 6th place  and securing a place to represent the County in the Inter-Counties Cross Country next month.

Safe to say I had a very happy boy. His persistence paid off and he never gave up. He had his sights on something and grabbed at it with all that he had to give.

On Friday he came home from school sporting a new badge on his blazer. He had called me on his way back and I was a little worried as i had missed his call and he wasn’t answering my returned calls. He came straight over to me saying

“Do you notice anything different?”

Of course I did. I noticed it straight away.

A new badge on his lapel. An Achievement Award Badge rewarded from Jack Petchey Foundation.

There was more. He reached into his bag and pulled out a framed certificate and a letter

He had been awarded Outstanding Achiever after being nominated by another child in his year group at school.

I cried.

Sending your child to a school where they had no friends from their junior school and always wondering if they have made friends or if they have fitted in, is a big worry. So, to read how he was nominated by another child for his running achievements in school but also because he is always engaged and focused in all school activities and school work. His peer also said that he is always willing to help others. This makes me well with such pride.

Just look at his little face in the picture above and see how proud of himself he is!

He has also been rewarded £250 to spend in his school, he needs to choose a department to spend it in. Which, he already knows. Without a doubt it is going to be the P.E department as he wants the school to supply children in athletics a vest to wear instead of wearing their PE shirt.

And if that wasn’t enough of his achievements for the week he topped it all off today by competing for a place in the boroughs team to compete in the London Giving Mini Marathon and securing a place.

My only wish for my boys is to have the very best life, to play hard but equally work as hard to achieve the imaginable. My boys are the greatest thing that ever happened to me, there is nothing more than seeing them smile and hear them laugh. I am super proud of all of them and the young men that they are becoming.

I am one very proud parent

 

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Pop Up Lego Cafe In London

The boys cross country race and football was cancelled today so whilst I was strolling through my twitter feed I came across a status retweeted by Warner Bros UK about a pop up coffee shop opening just for a couple of days in London. The Coffee Chain, inspired by the cafe that is featured in the Lego Movie, was opened up yesterday by the stars of the film Chris Pratt (Emmet) and Tiffany Haddish (Queen Waterva Wanabi) on the Southbank alongside the Thames.

The pop up cafe was brought to life with around 48000 bricks including a LEGO coffee machine, donuts and the morning paper.

 

We popped onto the train and went along to grab a coffee and hot chocolate. My son is absolutely mad about LEGO and couldn’t wait to get there. He was so excited when he saw that not only was there a LEGO cafe but also there to greet the public was Emmet and Sweet Mayhem.

It certainly made our trip worthwhile.

The public were encouraged to donate a small sum of money towards UNICEF.

As we entered into the cafe there were lots around us to keep us entertained

 

Joseph took along his very Joseph took along his very own LEGO character that he created of himself as a runner and they allowed us to take a photo of it on top of a donut

We are now looking forward to watching the movie when it comes out next week

Are you?

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Flashback to the Operating Theatre

It’s been over 2 years now since I had my operations, one to remove the tumour and one to correct a complication that happened after the first one.

Life has been great since coming out of hospital and I would like to think that I have adapted well to having a stoma now. I still have my moments and it has affected my confidence immensely, but since receiving the news that I had Cancer it made me realise that life is too short to hide away in the corner and beat yourself up about things that you can not control. I now try hard to fight my emotions with the ‘you can do it’ attitude.

I often visit the hospital for Oncology and stoma appointments, I have at least 6 appointments per year. Last week I had an appointment that had nothing to do with my Cancer and whilst I was there I bumped into my surgeon. I hadn’t seen him around the hospital since I was discharged back in December 2016.

I was waiting around for my medication from the pharmacy so i thought i would grab a quick drink from Costa, whilst in the queue I looked over to my left and I had to double take. There he was standing next me, smiling away, it was his smile that I noticed straight away. I remember his smile being very kind and gentle. And as I stood there, I really wanted to say hello, but was worried he wouldn’t remember me. I looked over at him again and this time I didn’t see his smile but instead I saw him in his scrubs. I had to blink and look away to take the image away from my mind.

The flashbacks came.

Being wheeled down from my hospital bed to the theatre in the early hours of the morning.

Laying on a bed in the operating theatre.

Looking around me and feeling cold.

The bed was cold.

My toes were frozen

People walking around, hurry about with tools, talking medical terms to each other

White walls

Beep Beep Beep…

Opening my eyes to seeing faces all around me

I remember struggling to breathe

Feeling pressure and tugging in my abdomen

Worried eyes

Beep

It was cold, so cold. It even smelt cold

Bright lights in my eyes

I felt uncomfortable. So much pressure

Urgency in peoples voices

Raised voices. Lots of words that just seemed to blur into each other

Slowly drifting off

And then waking up in a different room

Pain. In so much pain

Crying and screaming about the pain

Another surgeon giving me injections

Feeling so tired

Waking in my hospital bed back on the ward.

For days after I didn’t feel right. I was in lots of pain, but it wasn’t the pain that was worrying me. It was that uncomfortable feeling of being pulled from my inside, of feeling pressure and movement in my abdomen. I didn’t sleep well days, every time I fell asleep I had nightmares of waking during my operation. It took a good few weeks for the feeling of what may have happened to subside.

I have no idea if I awoke during my operation, maybe I dreamt it all, maybe I just imagined that it all happened.

But, seeing my Surgeon brought all those feelings back. As fresh as it was back then. This was a few days ago and I am now waking up during the night sweating. Whatever happened in that operating theatre It has certainly left me with more than a physical scar to look at!

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24hr Swim Challenge to Swim the Length of The Thames

Everyone Active opened a new 50m pool today and to launch the grand opening the public were invited to go along throughout the weekend to take part in free activities which included group exercise classes, family swim sessions and fitness challenges.

The Leisure Centre has worked in partnership with Total Swimming to expand the swimming provision to local residents. The new 50m pool is a first for our area as it designed as modular format. The only other Olympic length pool is London Aquatics Centre in east London.

Along with many sport activities that were all free to local residents and members was swimming sessions in the new pool. We booked onto a couple of sessions, including the swim challenge and life saving course.

The boys were very excited to be amongst the many people to jump into the pool. I had signed them up to help contribute into the challenge which was to swim the length of The Thames from Source to the Thames Barrier which os 288.2km.

The youngest managed to swim 550 mtrs and the eldest swam 2600 mtrs. They were lucky enough to swim alongside Olympic swimmers James Goddard and Joanne Jackson, who we found to be very friendly and were very interested in making conversation about how well the boys were swimming.

Both boys were rewarded with a medal once they finished and a signed card from the British Olympian James Goddard.

Olympic swimmer Grant Turner gave the eldest some top tips on how to perfect his swimming stride.

With the pool so close to where we live we are looking forward to spending more sessions in there in the future.

 

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15 Signs You Know You Have a Teenager When…

The change is almost over night; one day you have an adoring young child who would do anything for you to make you happy and the next BAM! You’re faced with a moody, angry teen who slouches around the house and argues back at you when you ask them to do a chore.

Now, I am quite lucky that most of these signs I only had when my son went into secondary school and, to be fair, they didn’t last for long (maybe a year or so). I think it took me falling ill for him to shake his butt and get a grip with his emotions and feelings. Some of the signs are still happening and, well, I could be talking about the significant lazy other half too! (but that’s another blog post lol)

We all have our own experiences with our teens – some good, some bad. Here are some that I have experienced with my sons:

  • They no longer feel the cold and go out without wearing a coat in the Winter. Wearing a coat is to uncool!
  • Teenagers know everything! There is no need to use the internet anymore, just ask your teen. Oh, and they have an answer to everything too (that’s if you can hear them talking through their mumbling)
  • There is no need for a cloak cupboard anymore, teens will leave their coat and bags at the front door as soon as they enter. They say it’s easier for them to grab the next day
  • They have a better social life than you. As soon as they turn 13 they will be attending anyone and everyone’s party.
  • They live in their bedrooms. You will never see them unless there is food on the table and it’s time to eat
  • They begin to mumble in a low voice when they are talking to you. You will never make out what they are saying
  • You will never get to use your own charger anymore as it will be claimed by them to charge their tablets or phones
  • They want every item of clothing to be designer and are no longer happy with Primark or high street clothing
  • Their friends are allowed to do EVERYTHING that are not allowed to do and you will constantly hear about a friend who can do what they want
  • If they DO pick up their dirty dishes and cutlery and take it to the kitchen, it will not make it into the sink but instead it will be left next to the sink ready for the cleaning fairy to wash them
  • You will find dirty, stinky socks all over the house. Say goodbye to pairing them up, you will have odd socks everywhere
  • They constantly have their phone next to them, headphones plugged in. Now, I’m pretty sure that they are not even listening to anything it’s just a way for you to not talk to them
  • Sleep. They can sleep all day long. It may be because they don’t got to sleep until the early hours as they have spent most of the night on social media
  • There is never any food in the house even though you just filled up the cupboards and fridge with food. Either they have just eaten it all or they mean that there are no snacks for them to grab and eat straight away
  • Say goodbye to that expensive hair shampoo or body lotion that you save for special occasions as it will get used almost immediately. Oh, and your bathroom will have  a cloud of smoke in their from all of the deodorant that was sprayed.

Don’t worry, the teen years don’t last for long, You will soon have that loving little child who once ran from their classroom door straight into your arms because they were thrilled to see you. They no longer fit onto your lap for a cuddle and you may have to stand on a stool to hold them in your arms again but their loving and caring side soon comes back.

Do you have any signs to share?

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