. MOON JOURNAL . NEW MOON IN GEMINI .

May 25th, 2017

This powerful super moon in Gemini invites us onto the path of self-reflection by serving as a mirror onto our inner world. As events occur within our lives that feel beyond our control, we are encouraged to move our awareness to the heart and ground ourselves in simplicity. From here we can honestly ask ourselves about our actions; do our decisions come from a place of fear or love? We can use the darkness of this potent moon to plant seeds of intention that are truly aligned with our soul purpose.

When we are acting in alignment with our inner guide, without obsessing over the external result or worrying about how we are perceived, we are empowered by our own strength. Against all odds we can use this limitless source of energy to form a bridge between our inner and outer worlds. This is a time of creative revelation and spontaneous insight, in which new projects, relationships and ideas can be formed. 

Even as the world feels chaotic, we can ground ourselves in a daily practice of expressing love, kindness and compassion towards ourselves, and each another. By choosing to act with grace and quiet strength, we find that in spite of all of our differences, there is an eternal love that unites us all.

. RECIPE . ALMOND, AVOCADO & COCONUT GELATO .

For many of us, eating ice cream is often a 'spoon in the tub' kind of activity; without an ice-cream maker (and let's face it, no one actually owns one), homemade ice-cream can be a bit of a faff. Which is why you're going to LOVE our easy almond, avocado and coconut gelato.

With the sun finally shining, we're in prime ice-cream season - impress your dinner party guests or eat the whole lot yourself, either way this vegan. refined-sugar free recipe is a total summer winner.

INGREDIENTS
2 ripe avocados
¼ cup almond or coconut milk
6 heaped tbsp solid coconut milk
Generous pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp raw honey / coconut palm sugar / agave / 2 medjool dates
2 tbsp flaked almonds
2 tbsp hulled hemp seeds

Optional:
1 tsp instant coffee powder
1 tbsp ground chicory powder
1/2 tsp medicinal mushroom powder (reishi / shilajit / chaga)
Handful fresh mint
Cacao nibs

METHOD
1. Blend all the ingredients except for the flaked almonds and hemp seeds in a high speed blender or food processor for 2 - 3 minutes. If you are using the optional powders, add them now - apart from the cacao nibs or raw chocolate, which should be stirred gently through the main mixture before freezing.
2. Blend until smooth and fully combined. Taste, and add a little more sweetener, salt or flavourings to suit your tastes.
3. Transfer to a deep container or bowl and stir in the cacao nibs or mint, if using.
4. At this stage you can also add dried fruits, nuts, seeds, nut butter, berries or compotes.
5. Serve straight from the blender as a pudding / mousse / yoghurt or freeze for around 4 hours (depending on the depth of your tin) or overnight to turn it into a rich, creamy ice cream.

If you are serving as an ice-cream, make sure you’re organised as without an ice-cream maker, the texture can be a tad tricky to work with. All you need to do is remove from the freezer 1 hour before you wish to serve. Let the mixture thaw at room temperature for 20 minutes and then leave to thaw gradually in the fridge for a further 40 minutes. When ready to serve, simply scoop single portions into bowls and top with the flaked almonds and hemp seeds, to add protein and healthy fats, as well as texture and sprinkle-like excitement.

. SIMPLE MEDITATION TIPS TO HELP YOU WORK WELL .

On an average day, various small challenges and obstacles arise that have an uncanny ability to impact your entire week. In order to prevent these moments from manifesting negative thoughts and feelings, it's important to embrace and handle them as soon as they happen.

We've come up with five simple meditative tips to help see you through the day with your dignity (and sanity) fully intact. Read on to hear our suggestions for coping with: the daily commute, receiving stressful emails and hitting the 4pm work wall.

WHEN YOU'RE COMMUTING:
For most of us, the commute to work is the worst and most stressful part of the day. If you ride public transport, more often than not you'll find yourself squashed into someones armpit and simultaneously trodden on - all before you've even had breakfast. In these instances you should stand as still as possible, close your eyes and visualise looking out over the ocean or up at a blue sky - you'll instantly feel more relaxed.

IF YOU'RE QUEUING:
From standing in line at the Post Office to paying for your morning coffee, queuing is a simple and unavoidable fact of life. Focus on your posture and ground yourself by standing with equal weight on both feet. As you breathe in, imagine your breath dropping to your feet and as you exhale, picture it rising to your head. Think positive thoughts to share with those around you and you'll feel better for sending others good vibes. 

WHEN YOU RECEIVE ANNOYING EMAILS:
Stressful (and often rude) emails are a common part of many peoples working life but they don't need to ruin your day. If / when you receive an email that gets your blood boiling, take time away from your screen to do something positive before responding. Go for a walk, make a cup of tea, talk to a colleague - it'll allow you to have some perspective when you return to your desk. Before you reply, ask yourself if your message provides the best solution for both parties. 

WHEN YOU HIT THE AFTERNOON SLUMP:
You've been working hard all morning and before you know it, it's lunchtime. Despite that wholesome salad you prepared last night, come 4pm you're craving something sweet. We've all been there. Chances are you're bored rather than hungry so try reconnecting your mind and body with a simple breathing exercise: inhale and lift your arms above your head, exhale and lower them. 

IF YOU'RE HAVING TROUBLE SLEEPING:
The more you think about falling asleep, the less likely you are to peacefully drift off. You don't need us to tell you that an overactive brain doesn't make a happy snoozy bedfellow. Lie flat on your back with your hands on your stomach, feeling it rise and fall as you breathe. As you inhale think 'rise' and as you exhale think 'fall' with a short 'relax' period in-between. If you notice your mind wandering simply start the practise again, focusing on your breath and the motion of your stomach.

. NEW STOCKIST . THE GATHERED GOODS CO .

With a carefully curated selection of the best wholesome free-from foods, The Gathered Goods Co is a one-stop online shop for paleo, vegan, raw and organic supplies.

Like us, The Gathered Goods Co believes that the food we eat has a huge impact on our physical and mental wellbeing and should always be nourishing and free-from unnecessary additives. Every product on the website has been handpicked to help support and maintain a healthy lifestyle, including our full range of quinoa breakfast granolas.

We're thrilled to share digital shelves with the likes of Rebel Kitchen, Rude Health, Biona Organic, Raw Health and Pip & Nut to make the world a better, healthier, more wholesome place - one breakfast at a time. 
 

. WHAT WE'RE MADE OF . BEETROOT .

This week, we're exploring the powerful health benefits of the humble beetroot. One of the delicious, less traditional flavours in our best-selling Beetroot & Pistachio blend, this sweet earthy vegetable is packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for a satisfying and sustainable start to the day.

An incredibly adaptable vegetable, beetroot can be enjoyed roasted whole, blended into soups and smoothies, used in baking, grated into curries - the list goes on. We use organic beetroot powder to naturally sweeten our popular breakfast granola - a single teaspoon is equivalent to one beetroot, meaning you can easily achieve a concentrated combination of nutrients by incorporating just a small amount into your diet.

Below are just a few of the reasons we love this functional purple superfood and why we'll continue to use it throughout the new Qnola range:

- Used in both savoury AND sweet dishes, beetroot is super versatile and easy to cook - blend with chickpeas and garlic for a more-ish hummus, finely slice and layer with salmon, bake in pastry with goats cheese for a delicious tart or use it to add depth and richness to chocolate cake.

- Although available all year round, fresh beetroot is best enjoyed from June to October when it is sweetest and most tender.

- A large beetroot (or three diddy ones) counts as one of your NHS approved 5-a-day and contains essential vitamins and minerals including: potassium, iron, vitamins A, B6 and C, folic acid and soluble fibre.

- Essential for muscle movement, growth, brain functionality and maintaining an active metabolism, beetroot is a rich and natural source of iron.

- Helping to support a healthy balance of bodily fluids, potassium is an electrolyte that aids and allows proper nerve and muscle function. This super mineral is essential for maintaining a healthy heart, brain, kidney and other major organs.

- Studies by Queen Mary University showed that those who regularly consumed beetroot were likely to have much lower blood pressure than those that didn't. It also increased blood flow to the brain in older people that could help prevent the progression of dementia.

- Up to 10% of beetroot is sugar BUT don't let that put you off as it has an incredibly low GL - glycaemic load; the sugars are released sustainably and slowly into the body to help keep levels stable. It's also virtually fat-free and low in calories!

Make your next beet hit count and give our Beetroot & Pistachio flavour a whirl.

WAKE UP WELL GUIDES . MORNING YOGA ROUTINE WITH TARA STILES

If you know us well, you'll know by now that we believe living and feeling well each day begins with waking well. And if you know us really well, you'll know that, although we love breakfast, we believe that waking up well is influenced by more than just your morning meal choices. From enough sleep, meditation, exercise and gentle morning stretches to natural beauty regimes and coffees, teas or tonics, there is a variety of things you can do in the morning to enhance your mental and physical potential for each day. To support and inspire, we're introducing Wake Up Well Guides - a series of useful videos to assist and inspire your morning routines. If you don't have time for a gym class or can't afford a private meditation session, you can benefit just the same from the comfort of your own home.

This week, let Tara Stiles guide you through a quick (and we mean quick!) morning yoga routine that you can do pretty much anywhere.

. MADELEINE SHAW GUEST RECIPE . MAPLE & MISO RED RICE SALAD .

We've been dying to share this delicious Maple & Miso Red Rice Salad recipe from Madeleine Shaw's new book - A Year Of Beautiful Eating - since we clapped eyes on it last month. We love making the most of seasonal provisions and are always looking for new inspiration on how to use them. Keep this one up your sleeve for when the sun next comes out and you'll have your BBQ guests coming back for more.

Serves 4
100g pecans
200g red rice
1 tbsp avocado oil, coconut oil or melted butter
Pinch of salt
100g watercress

For the roasted radishes and broccoli
300g radishes
200g purple sprouting tenderstem broccoli
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp avocado oil, coconut oil or melted butter
1 tbsp lemon juice

For the miso dressing
2 tbsp miso paste
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp freshly squeezed
lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Heat a small frying pan to a medium–high heat and toast the pecans for 3 minutes, shaking the pan to prevent them burning. Leave to cool on a plate.

2. Rinse the rice in a sieve under the tap until the water runs clear. Put the oil for the rice into a large pot. Add the rice and stir into the oil with the salt, then pour over 500ml of water and bring to the boil with the lid on. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 35 minutes (or as per the packet instructions). Fluff up the cooked rice with a fork and leave to sit for 5 minutes with the lid on.

3. While the rice is cooking, cut the radishes into quarters and slice the purple sprouting broccoli in half lengthways. Place on a roasting tray and drizzle over the maple syrup, oil and lemon juice. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes until golden and cooked through.

4. Blend or whisk the miso dressing ingredients together. Mix the cooked red rice with the roasted veggies, watercress, miso dressing and toasted pecans. Serve warm.

This salad will last for 2 days in the fridge.

. NEW STOCKIST . THE NED .

If you haven’t had a chance to visit London’s newest hotspot The Ned yet, well, what are you waiting for?! Nestled in the heart of the city opposite the Bank Of England, The Ned is a joint venture between US hoteliers Sydell Group and the super-exclusive Soho House Co. With a whopping 252 hotel-rooms, three bars, a spa, rooftop pool (of course) AND nine different restaurants under its grade I listed roof, The Ned has become THE go-to hangout spot for creative Londoners since the launch last month.

Set within the original grand banking hall, the vast food court is open to the public and offers a tempting selection of culinary treats. Serving a sunny slice of California to hungry, health conscious Londoners, Malibu Kitchen is The Ned’s new concept restaurant; think botanical juices, raw poke bowls and wholesome plates of fresh, zesty salad with wellness shots and kombucha thrown in for good measure.

We’re excited to announce that Qnola is available to enjoy from Malibu Kitchen’s breakfast menu - the fresh Acai Bowl with fresh berries and bee pollen features a generous sprinkle of our best-selling Almond & Vanilla blend whilst our energising Cacao & Cashew flavour adds crunch to the Banana & Chocolate Mascarpone dish.

Next time you’re in town, make a food-pilgrimage to The Ned and enjoy the very best of what London has to offer – all under one glorious, gold-gilded roof.

Malibu Kitchen, The Ned, 27 Poultry, London, EC2R 8AJ

. MOON JOURNAL . FULL MOON IN SCORPIO .

May 10th, 2017

The Full Moon in Scorpio makes a luminescent appearance in tonight’s sky, inviting us to step into our personal power, and lay the foundation for a new cycle to begin.

Referred to as the Wesak Moon, this is the first full moon of the astrological year, a time for celebration in which we can release what no longer serves, and lovingly plant our seeds of intention for the highest good of ourselves and the planet.

When we raise our eyes to the night’s sky and see the light of this full moon, we can find stillness, breathe deep and tune into our heart. As we open the space for compassionate self-inquiry, we can listen for any signs, nudges or inner wisdom looking to be brought to the surface.

As we allow our intuition to take the lead and let the mind take a back seat, we are able to ask ourselves honestly about our dreams and visions. In what ways are we holding back from taking action and making our dreams a reality? Do we believe wholeheartedly in ourselves, and the unique gifts we have to share with the world? This full moon is a call to transformation, encouraging us to be brave and let go of any fear that might be holding us back.

Fire up the imagination, draw, paint, sing, dance, write, create freely, letting go of all inhibition and see where spirit takes you. Anything is possible.

Happy Full Moon x

. LET'S GET ETHICAL .

When it comes to eating well, we'd like to think we've got it sussed; from generally steering clear of refined sugars and additives to enjoying the occasional glass of wine, it's all about balance and moderation. You don't need us to tell you that what you put into your body affects your mood and general wellbeing.

With that in mind, the same can also be said for what you put on your body; natural and organic skincare has never been so popular (see some of our favourite's at Content Beauty & Wellbeing, Glasshouse and Skin & Tonic)  and ethical fashion has never looked so cool. Gone are days where sustainable = hemp peasant blouses, the latest sustainable fashion brands are making a meaningful impact on not only the way we dress but the way we work out.

We caught up with Rachel Bauer, founder of eco-activewear brand VYAYAMA to discover the long-term benefits of investing in sustainable fabrics and how we can all help reduce our impact on the environment through more ethical fashion choices.

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What inspired you to launch VYAYAMA?
I wanted to create a line of clothing that would respect not only the environment but the people producing it. Clothing that would be kind to the skin, beautiful to wear and give the consumer a mindful choice. I wanted to create clothing in line with yogic values that could also become an integral part of a fashion wardrobe.

One design inspiration to that end, was to satisfy my own desire to wear leggings that were made from natural fibres and were also a deep, long lasting matte black; because I don't believe mindfulness should compromise style! The result is our custom fabric KALABLAKTM range made with eco-friendly Tencel® and black Italian elastane. All of the clothing in the line is created from custom fabrics in natural and noble fibres. So VYAYAMA is a clothing line I am very proud of. 

How did you initially set about sourcing sustainable fabrics and what led you to use Tencel®?
Ethical fabrics and production was a necessity, as we wanted to create zero impact on the environment. Synthetic garments will never biodegrade and contribute to global warming. Cotton production uses too many pesticides. Growing organic cotton takes a lot of water consumption and clean water will be as valuable as oil in only a few decades. The problem with both synthetic and cotton fabrics is that they do not naturally have the properties we need in active clothing. They need to be sprayed with additives that can be absorbed by the skin or washed out in laundry to damage the planet. As we set out to find a healthier alternative for both our skin and the environment, we found Tencel® from Lenzing.

Tencel® made from sustainably-farmed eucalyptus trees is a natural, plant-based source rather than oil-derived. The trees originate from a South African wood that is Forest Stewardship Council-certified sustainable. The pulping is done in an energy-efficient plant in Austria and the fibre is closed loop, meaning that most all solvents and water from the process are recycled.

How is natural fabric better for the body than modern synthetic fabrics?
Unfortunately, we find that many people are not yet informed about the level of toxins in their clothes, specifically synthetics, which make up most of the yoga wear clothes on the market today. These garments have performance features that are chemical treatments, which could have a potential negative impact on personal health.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, some of the commonly occurring chemicals found in synthetic clothing - such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (flame retardants) and phthalates - are capable of causing skin rashes, birth defects, developmental difficulties in children and cancer.

Our garments have absolutely nothing harmful that pose a risk to human health. VYAYAMA clothing is naturally wicking, anti bacterial and PH Skin friendly. One big plus with nontoxic clothing, is the skin friendly pH. When the skin's pH level is compromised by toxins, your defences are down, leaving the body vulnerable to bacteria, moisture loss, and irritation. Our Oeko-tex certified garments avoid all these stresses and feel lovely against your skin.

Describe the VYAYAMA woman:
The VYAYAMA woman is a free spirit with a love for travel and curiosity for the adventures of life. She values the beauty of nature and makes conscious daily decisions to preserve the environment, but doesn’t compromise on style or fun! A VYAYAMA woman's lifestyle is about the balance of awareness and joie de vivre.

Why VYAYAMA?
VYAYAMA pronounced 'vai'-ah-mah' is a 3000 year old Sanskrit word 'to move.' to tame the inner breath'. The ancient Ayurvedic texts describe vyayama as movement designed to stabilize and strengthen the body. 


Here are some of our other favourite ethical and sustainable brands, let us know in the comments section if you have any recommendations!

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Matt & Nat 
Inspired by nature, Canadian accessories brand Matt & Nat are committed to not using leather or any other animal-based materials and often experiment with different recycled materials such as cardboard, rubber and cork. 


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SVILU
Made using environmentally sensitive fabrics (including organic cotton, model & tencel) SVILU creates thoughtfully designed staples for the 'modern' woman. We love this camel coat - an investment piece to see you through to Summer.


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WORON
Founded by Danish sisters Arina and Anya, WORON creates timeless lingerie staples that are comfortable without compromising feminine shaping. Every garment is made using modal fabric; the beech trees are sourced from sustainable forestry plantations in Europe to keep production as 'close to home' as possible.


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Stella McCartney
Luxury vegetarian brand Stella McCartney strives to operate a business that 'respects the planet as well as the people and animals on it'. They use vegetarian leather, wood & paper from sustainable sources, polyester from recycled bottles and organic cotton where possible.


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O My Bag at The Acey
Made from eco-leather and tanned using natural ingredients to protect the environment, this pixie pouch by O My Bag is the perfect size for cards, cash and handbag essentials. The Acey is your one-stop shop for all things sustainable and ethical - we'd thoroughly recommend a visit to their website, though your bank balance might not thank you for it, your conscience will.


. MORNING MANTRAS TO WAKE UP WELL .

Living well is much more than just the food we eat, it's an all-encompassing lifestyle and we work hard to encourage you to Wake Up Well in order to stay uplifted throughout the day.

For many people, adjusting each morning to embrace the new day can be a struggle as our thoughts start focusing on work, chores, exercise... the list goes on. Allow yourself a few extra minutes to incorporate the below meditation mantras into your morning routine and feel inspired to make the most of the 'right now' and enjoy the present.
 
I am well.
I will make a meaningful impact on someone's day.
I will embrace change.
I am thankful for all that I have.
I am strong.
I will be grateful for today.
I will try my best and if I do fail, I will try again. 
I am in control of my own feelings.
I will use any frustrations as motivation to achieve and succeed.
I will not compare myself to others.

Like everything in life, no one size fits all - find a mantra that resonates with you or be creative and make up your own! Repeat it daily, or just when it feels right. Don't forget to take some time each day to check in on how you are feeling. Mantra's are a great way to reassess and to stay grounded!

. WAKING WITH . GRACE & THORN .

Since opening her first shop in Hackney six years ago, Nik Southern of Grace & Thorn has become the go-to florist for the movers and shakers of London with clients including the likes of Levi’s, Estee Lauder, Alexander McQueen and Giles Deacon. Grace & Thorn’s style is modern but naturalistic, combining flowers with foliage to create off-beat bouquets.

For many of us, living in a city means the only greenery you regularly see is the salad you have at lunch (or if not, that of the person next to you!). It can be hard to accommodate lush cheeseplants and grow your own herbs when the air quality is poor and your kitchen rarely sees natural sunlight – the frustration and shame of having to throw away another dead coriander pot can take its toll.  Thankfully, Nik is on hand to help city-dwellers ‘green up your gaff’ with creative and forward-thinking plant and floral arrangements.

Her debut book How Not To Kill Your Plants – available in early Summer – is a plant bible that not only shows how to care for your leafy friends but how to style them too. We caught up with Nik to talk indulgent breakfasts and making the most of time spent at home.

“After 13 years of working in recruitment, I decided to do something else. I’d always been keen on gardening and did a month’s career course in floristry and fell in love with it. I set up shop from my living room and then by networking through a lot of friends who worked in fashion, did more and more events. Within 2 years I opened my first shop in Hackney.

On an average morning, I generally wake up about 5am. Coffee is my first priority and then I get the dogs up on the bed for a hug. Half of the beauty of being the boss is working from home in the morning but I’ll usually leave around 8.30 / 9am.

During the week breakfast is coffee and a banana - maybe a smoothie if I’ve got time. At the weekend’s it’s avocado, vine tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs on a bit of sourdough & a bloody Mary! My most indulgent breakfast would be scrambled eggs, puff pastry and asparagus & buck’s fizz from Balthazar in NYC. The best brunch of my life that I could eat over and over was at Five Leaves in Brooklyn.

I Wake Up Well by going to bed early! Usually before 11:30pm. The earliest I’ve ever woken is at 2am because of insomnia, the latest is 9.30am when on holiday and after a lot of sunshine.  The best place I’ve ever woken was at the Hilton in the Maldives.

The last thing I see at night and the first thing I see every morning is my phone, one thing I need to do less of in the mornings is work. I used to be really annoyed that I couldn’t sleep in and would always wake up early but have finally accepted that I’m just an early riser; my best piece of morning advice? Accept your sleeping pattern.

Cuddling the dogs and watching rubbish TV in my beautiful home would be my ideal morning with no plans. On the weekends it’s Bloody Mary’s, the pub and my dogs!”

. WHERE WE'RE WAKING . BROADWAY MARKET .

Londoners are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating well and are lucky enough to have an abundance of incredible shops, restaurants and delis to satisfy any appetite or craving. Broadway Market in East London is one of our favourite places to spend a lazy Saturday; one long street filled with artisan food shops and independent traders selling everything from organic oil to vegan wraps, what's not to love?!

Some of the best food we've had the pleasure of eating hasn't been from expensive or Insta-famous restaurants but from street vendors with a passion for good, fresh, uncomplicated ingredients. 

If you have the chance to visit Broadway Market over the coming months, make sure you arrive hungry - we can guarantee you'll want to try a little bit of everything from our top spots below...

The Market Café
2 Broadway Market
Nestled at the foot of the market close to the canal, Market Café has a great outdoor space for al fresco brunch - great for people watching when the sun is shining. If you're feeling REALLY hungry, indulge in a hearty fry up or for something a bit lighter try the beetroot cured salmon & avocado.

The Bach
12 Broadway Market
We love The Bach's commitment to serving a variety of seasonal, fresh and wholesome dishes with allergies and intolerances in mind. For the sweet toothed, we love their figs, honey & pistachio on toast and for savoury lovers, the spicy sweet potatoes with chilli jam is not to be missed.

Pavillion Bakery
18 Broadway Market
A classic little bakery at the heart of the market, Pavilion started life as a cafe in nearby Victoria Park and serves fresh, locally baked loaves to takeaway and enjoy at home.

Tiosk
33 Broadway Market
Nestled halfway up the market, Tiosk is a mecca for London tea-lovers with a huge selection of teas to either enjoy freshly brewed and ready to drink or dry packed to takeaway. Enjoy Tiosk's black chai with some of their sweet counter treats for an afternoon pick-me-up.
 

Climpson & Sons
67 Broadway Market
Climpson’s set up shop on Broadway Market nearly 15 years ago and is an essential coffee stop for any discerning aficionado. Not only does the coffee taste amazing, it’s ethical too – they work closely with farmers from the origin to ensure producers receive a fair price.

. MOON JOURNAL . NEW MOON IN TAURUS .

April 26th 12.16pm 2017

As a new cycle begins, this Taurus New Moon invites us to simply be with our lives as exactly as they are. As we choose to let go of labels and judgements of our experiences as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, we allow greater space and freedom to see the beauty of being alive. 

The building momentum and retrograde energy over these last few weeks may have resulted in a gnawing sense anxiety for many. Yet this is a powerful healing time, allowing us to address what needs to be released in order to move forward with clarity, having shed the weight of the past.

If we are experiencing any fear, can we sit with this feeling? Without being harsh or criticising ourselves, but simply allowing it to be. The value and importance of this time, is being able to see everything that arises as a vehicle that brings us closer to our own personal truth.

In this cycle we are inspired to look at the world from our heart space, to feel into the moment rather than looking at it from the mind’s point of view. What does life look like when we feel into it from the heart? This simple change of perception can alter our lives dramatically.

A beautiful grounding practice on this New Moon is to find a comfortable seat on the ground and visualise roots growing beneath us. As we breathe deeply into the vital and strong energy that arises from the core of the earth, we are connected to the source of all life.

. WHAT WE'RE MADE OF . ALMONDS .

We like to think of Qnola as much more than just a breakfast granola - we see wellness as an all-encompassing lifestyle that supports the mind, body and soul, much like our range of superfood breakfast goods. We only ever use the purest, most natural ingredients in our granolas to deliver a delicious AND nourishing snack - morning, noon and night.

This week, we're exploring the history and health benefits of one of our favourite nuts: the almond. As one of the main ingredients in our best-selling original Almond & Vanilla flavour, this versatile little nut is one of the best out there...

Almonds are the edible seed of a tree typically native to the warm climes of the Middle East, India and North Africa. Spread by humans during ancient times, almonds are now widely grown in California, Spain, Australia, Iran and Morocco. In 2014, California accounted for a whopping 57% of the worlds almond production - that's a whole lot of nuts. 

Here are just a few reasons why we love the humble almond and why it will always hold a place in our heart as part of the original Qnola gang:

- Used frequently in both sweet and savoury dishes, almonds are incredibly versatile: they can be ground into flour for gluten-free sponge cakes or macarons, sliced and toasted to enjoy with a tagine or ice-cream, chopped and roasted for homemade granola, pan-fried with rosemary and salt as a dinner party nibble or simply eaten straight out of the bag as a healthy snack.

- A highly nutritious nut, almonds are a rich source of vitamin E - which helps maintain healthy skin and strengthen the body's natural defence against illness and infection. Research shows that people who ingest high levels of Vitamin E are 30-40% less likely to contract heart disease.

- Almonds are a good natural source of magnesium, a mineral that allows us to Wake Up Well each day feeling restored; magnesium is needed by the body to help prevent osteoporosis, heart disease and regulate blood pressure. 

- Owing to the amount of highly processed foods currently on the market, people in most countries aren't getting enough zinc or iron in their diets. Zinc is needed by the body for immune function, wound healing, blood clotting, thyroid function whilst iron is essential for muscle movement, growth, brain functionality and maintaining an active metabolism. Thankfully, our nutty little friend is a great way to up your intake of both.

- Almond milk is one of the best alternatives to cows milk and if you're vegan or lactose intolerant, it's a great source of calcium. Our favourites are Plenish and Rude Health

- Good for the brain, almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine which have been proven to increase brain activity. Riboflavin is also good for energy levels - another reason to grab a handful of almonds before or after your workout!

- If you struggle to regulate your gut, just four or five almonds a day will help contribute to a healthier digestive system - they're high in fibre so be sure to drink a lot of water. Dehydration is not a good bedfellow for smooth bowl movements.

. HAPPY EARTHDAY .

April 22nd 2017


In 1970, the Earth Day movement was inspired by a devastating oil spill in Santa Barbara, and 46 years later, billions of people all over the world are still uniting to celebrate one of the most environmentally conscious movements of our time.

Earth Day stands as a way to remind us that we live on one hell of a precious planet, and boy do we need to be careful with it. Earth Day raises awareness of all the serious threats our planet, and ourselves, have been facing for some time. Climate change, deforestation, pollution, rising sea levels - and the list don't stop there. Earth Day, though, has become more than just a day, and has inspired and encouraged all kinds of mini-movements across the World to ensure support, protection and appreciation is enforced wherever and however it is needed. Although action is being taken constantly, as we become more conscious and more careful, this particular day comes as a reminder for us to tune into what is really happening to our habitat, and to consider ways in which we can do our bit to help create a better and safer place in which to exist.

Each year, festivals, rallies, talks, public demonstrations and activites are held in over 192 countries to encourage people across the world to become more environmentally friendly and considerate. So this year, channel your energy towards doing something to help, and potentially save, the planet on which we live. The Earth provides us not only with a home and space to live, but also essential substances for survival, such as water, plants, heat and each other. Take some time today to think about how you could be gentler with the Earth, how you can help to make a change and how you could make more friendly decisions and habits during your time here. Together, if we take more care of the Earth, it will in turn take more care of us, and become a safer place in which generations to come can thrive.

. NEW STOCKIST . CITIZENM .

What better way to start your Sunday than with a hearty brunch at citizenM? With three locations across central London - Shoreditch, Bankside & Tower of London - citizenM has the vibe of a boutique hotel without the hefty price tag.

The ultimate in affordable luxury, each hotel has been artfully designed; contemporary bedrooms with superfast WiFi and Insta-worthy interiors come as standard but the best part? Their food offering is available 24 hours a day. Whether you're a guest at the hotel or simply fancy a change of scenery, our range of quinoa granolas are currently available to enjoy as part of the brunch buffet at their Shoreditch site on Sunday's (Expansion to other locations tbc)

Kickback on the sofas, #workwell in their loungey laptop area, or make your way onto the terrace, accompanied by hot or cold drinks, unique snacks and a bowl of the good stuff.

. RECIPE . RAW CAPPUCCINO CHEESECAKE .

After discovering that our range of quinoa granola goes with Plenish nut milks better than avocado goes with eggs, we came up with a dreamy raw cheesecake recipe using their creamy milks in the filling and our crunchy cereal as the base. Throw in some coffee and voila! You've got one decadent pudding bound to impress any discerning coffee lover. 

INGREDIENTS
Makes 4 - 5 small cakes or one 8-inch cake

BASE
50g macadamia, cashew or brazil nuts
60g pecans
90g dates
4 tbsp raw or activated buckwheat
30g desiccated coconut
20g coconut oil
1 tbsp tahini
1 tsp maca
⅓ tsp Himalayan salt
4 tbsp Cacao & Cashew or Almond & Vanilla Qnola

FILLING
350g soaked cashews
100g coconut oil
110ml Plenish almond or cashew milk
15g vanilla paste
1 tbsp maca
60g coffee extract (or add 60ml water to 4g coffee powder)
35-45g coconut syrup or date sweetener
1 tsp Himalayan salt
2 tbsp cacao powder
Cacao nibs to serve

METHOD
For the base:
1. Place the nuts in a food processor or blender and blend on a high speed for one minute until fine and crumb-like.
2. Add the dates and blend for a further 30-60 seconds.
3. Add all of the other base ingredients apart from the Qnola and 10g of coffee extract, blend for a further minute until combined.
4. Add your Qnola flavour of choice to the mixture and stir together with a spoon.
5. Spread the mixture onto the base of your cake tin (or equally between individual ramekins or glasses), pressing down with the back of your spoon so it is compact. Place in the fridge to set.

For the filling:
1. Place all of the filling ingredients apart from the cacao powder in a food processor or blender. Tip – start with a little less sweetener and coffee, as you can increase these to taste.
2. Blend on a medium speed and gradually increase the speed of your food processor until it reaches its highest setting. It should run smoothly. Blend for a further 2-5 minutes depending on the power of your processor. If some of the mixture sticks to the side of your processor, scrape down with a spoon and add a little more nut milk.
3. Once smooth, pour three quarters of the mixture into a bowl.
4. To the remaining quarter, add the cacao powder and about 10g of the reserved coffee extract or powder (to taste). Whisk together with a fork and set aside.
5. Remove your cake tin (or individual ramekins) from the fridge. Take the main portion of your filling mixture and pour it onto your base. Top with the cacao mixture – either work in layers, pouring the cacao mixture evenly on top, or create a marble effect by spooning a small amount of the cacao mixture on to the top of the cake and swirling it in with the handle of a teaspoon. Return to the fridge to set.

To serve – drizzle with any leftover cacao mixture and add a sprinkling of cacao powder and cacao nibs.

. MOON JOURNAL . FULL MOON IN LIBRA .

April 11th 6.08am 2017

A full moon in Libra inspires us to see our lives through a new perspective, as we are encouraged to review, re-evaluate and refresh.

Aligned with Jupiter, the feminine and emotional aspect of this moon leads us into the heart to engage a new vision of the world and our place in it. No matter what is happening in our lives, even if we are amidst great upheaval, we are being encouraged to engage a new perspective. And in doing so we learn how to hold on to a strong sense of self which is rooted and balanced.

To assist us in times of great change and transformation, we can focus on the beauty that exists in the world around us – whether this is through our connection to nature, art, music or the friendships we nurture. By focusing on beauty, we are able to see the gifts and guides supporting us within our everyday lives.

This is a perfect time to look inward to see what it is that truly excites us. Rather than being overwhelmed or afraid of the unknown path that lies ahead, we can use this time to follow our intuition, and inspire a dream for ourselves that is in harmony with our global family and the planet. 

. WAKE UP WELL WITH HOTPOD YOGA .

On Sunday 23rd April, we're collaborating with Hotpod Yoga Hackney for our latest Wake Up Well event. Join us for an energising morning yoga session followed by a nourishing Qnola breakfast and treats from Nut Blend - Coconut Macadamia Butter, to be precise - all for free! Our Wake Up Well events are designed to help you wake more positively and more grounded; we believe that if you give yourself a little more time in the mornings to focus on thinking positively, you're more likely to think openly about each new day. 

WHERE - Hotpod Yoga, 9-15 Helmsley Place, London, E8 3SB
WHEN - Sunday 23rd April from 8 - 9.30am

Tickets are free but spaces are limited so be sure to book your place in advance to avoid disappointment. Just email us on hithere@qnola.co.uk with Hotpod Yoga in the subject line and we'll reserve your spot.

Image credit - Sinem Erdemli