Lean, Green and Mean. Let’s Juice!

As you know, I’m a huge fan of juicing and, after some encouragement, so is Lacie. It always, has to be my juice, mind, but that’s fine. I just make extra. Knowing that she’s getting some vegetables in her, definitely helps me sleep at night. These days, I can’t even place a vegetable on her tray. If I do, I get a huge ‘NOOOOO Mummy, and its given straight back to me!

Here’s one of our favourite recipes at the moment. It’s been created by Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach for Philips. I’ve only ever used a Philips Juicer – they are easy to clean (honestly cleaning these juicers can be a real drag!) and they are pretty compact, especially the Viva Collection Compact juicer, so they don’t take over the kitchen.

This recipe is called the Little Green Monster, and it is made from;

2 apples
3 handfuls of spinach
5 celery sticks
and a ¼ of a lemon.

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Give it a go and if your child refuses to eat vegetables, pop a fun, curly straw in your glass and encourage them to try it. Once they have a taste – you won’t get a look in, so next time, make double!!

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Have you tried adding a juice to your children’s meals? I’ve found the more colourful the better! You could even get them to help you make it – or pretend too!

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How to work out with your baby

I’ve heard it so many times, “I can’t work out,” “There’s no time with a baby,” “I don’t want to leave them in the creche at the gym.” But believe me you really don’t need a gym and you don’t need to miss out on quality time with your bubba either. I USED to go the the gym 6 days a week, more if I could. Now I’m lucky if I manage once a week in the evening whilst Lacie sleeps. I just don’t have the energy once i’ve put her down at 7:30pm. There’s bottles to be washed, dinner to be eaten and a bath every now and then is nice too!

But what about working out involving your little one in the day? There’s no harm in them seeing you working out. It can only create healthier habits for them in the future. When Lacie was first born, I would always pop her in her swinging chair, whIlst I did a quick 25 minute HIIT workout, or pop her on her play mat (when she was happy to sit still :)) and chat with her in between sets so she didn’t feel left out. I often chat with her whilst I’m doing my workout, telling her what exercises I’m doing and then counting my reps out loud. I will sing to her too and encourage her to bop about. So much fun.

Now Lacie is a little explorer, I tend to pop her either in her high chair and let her munch on her breakfast as she watches me jump around (she finds it super funny), pop her in her Fisher Price Sit-me-up Floor Seat during Milkshake on Channel 5, which she LOVES, pop her in the garden with a ball and her toys whilst I work out on the grass, or ideally I try and do it in the morning before she wakes. This requires me to get up at 7am – which to be honest isn’t the end of the world. I’ve also filled her travel cot up with ball pond balls in the past and let her play in there for half hour. She loves it (you can see it in the background of this pic!)

Someone kept me company in the gym today!

Watching Milkshake whilst Mummy Squats

By showing Lacie how to be active in any way I can, I’m hoping that she will develop a habit of being active from an early age, plus if I include her in a work out, we get to spend time together and learning things like how to count and how to jump. She already knows what to do with a dumbbell and likes to try and do press ups on my Reebok Step. I hope that it will also teach her that workouts don’t have to be a mysterious thing that no one should see you do. (Let’s be honest: we’ve all felt embarrassed about going to the gym and working out in front of people!)

Here’s a quick workout that you can do with your little one by your side. You don’t need any fancy equipment that can hurt them – or you don’t need loads of space either. If you don’t want to do it with your baby awake, then pop them in the pram come nap time, walk round the block to get yourself warmed up and then do it in a local park or in your living room whilst they sleep. You won’t of missed any quality time with them and it will inspire you to get it done super quick whilst they sleep.

Now I’m a mummy is definitely quality over quantity!

Here goes…..

* 30 seconds jog on spot – 10 high knees, 10 low knees. Keep repeating this sequence until your time is up.
* 30 seconds of press Ups
* 30 secs jog on the spot – 10 high knees, 10 low knees. Keep repeating this sequence until your time is up.
* 30 seconds plank
* 30 seconds jog on the spot -10 high knees, 10 low knees. Keep repeating this sequence until your time is up
* 30seconds of squat jumps
* 30 seconds Jog on the spot – 10 high knees, 10 low knees. Keep repeating this sequence until your time is up
* 30 seconds of burpees
* 30 seconds Jog on the spot – 10 high knees, 10 low knees. Keep repeating this sequence until your time is up
* 30 seconds of triceps dips

Repeat three times through – once if you are short on time. Something is always better than nothing!

A quick walk around the block come nap time always does the trick. Now where's the nearest park?

A quick walk around the block come nap time always does the trick. Now where’s the nearest park?

* Always warm up before you do this workout and check with your doctor before embarking on any fitness challenge.

Day 4 of my 21 day challenge

Day four already, and I’ve probably had more green stuff than I’ve had for a long time. Someone told me my skin looked amazing today too. An effect of the Purifyne Juices perhaps? I’ve also been sleeping so well, which I can only put down to the juices. God, I love sleep!

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So today, I went to gym first thing and now that I’m feeling better, I got back on my Bearwolf programme. I had an amazing workout, then had a juice straight after, followed by a juice at lunch time, which took me ages to drink. It was literally lemon, lime, kale, celery & cucumber. I found it very ‘green’, almost bitter’ish!

I then had a lettuce, chard, apple, asparagus and lime & ginger juice mid Arvo with my Brazil nut butter (I added a banana and some cinnamon as I find it really hard to swallow, then had another juice for dinner followed by a peppermint tea and a few hours of feature writing for WebMD.

So, that’s another day of juicing under my belt after yesterday’s antics, but I’ll be honest with you, I’m not sure if juicing suits me. I eat pretty well (most of the time) anyway and I’m actually starting to crave things I would never usually have, especially mid afternoon. It gets to 4pm and I just want to eat. Tips anyone?

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Day 13 of 21 day fat loss challenge.

After a good weekend, today has also been great.
Last night I spent an hour preparing all my food for the next few days and made an amazing chicken mix; chicken with pesto, spinach, apple and avocado. I had it for lunch with salad and in a wrap. It was lovely!

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Besides from that I had a fab without this morning before Lacie woke, then had two poached eggs and bacon for breakfast, a homemade CO YO cheesecake made with a flaxseed and almond base, then Bassa and sweet potato and veg for dinner.

I’ve also had a good walk with the pram and drinking lots of peppermint tea and water to keep me hydrated.

21 day fitness and diet challenge

Ok, I’m now on a MISSION to get down to 58kg. Lacie is 9 months now, and I have my sisters wedding in about 4 weeks. I have a gorgeous dress to wear and I want to feel simply amazing!

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I’ve been hovering around 61kg for the last few months…it’s so annoying, so I’ve written myself a 21 day eating plan that I’m going to stick to and see if I can sort this out once & for all.

I started yesterday and day one went really well.

I did a met-con session in the morning based around 400m sprints & high rep (50 to be exact!) squats, press ups, deadbugs and back pulls and ate well too.

I had a high protein breakfast with a handful of almonds, some soup and chicken pieces for lunch, a Slender Blend protein shake and 1/2 banana with coconut milk  and then salmon and veggies for dinner. My whole day totalled around 1400 calories – not that I’m a big calorie counter but it’s good to check in every now and then as it’s easy to not realise how much you are eating!

Keep checking in to see how I’m getting on. I will be posting every day for 21 days….

And squeeze….

Pelvic floor exercises are big news for pregnant women and beyond. I’m still doing mine and Lacie is coming up to seven months – You can’t do enough.

In the early days when she was first born, I downloaded an app, called My Pff, and always did the recommended programme from the app every time I fed her. It soon became habit and when I went for my 8 week checkup with my doctor and she asked me if I was doing my pelvic floor exercises, I told her about the app and my pelvic floor schedule. She said it was a fab idea and that she would pass it on to other mums. Hopefully she did.

So what are pelvic floor exercises and why are they so important?
The pelvic floor muscles form a sling-like band that surrounds and forms the base of your vagina, anus and urethra,” explains Hugh Hanley, National Personal Training Manager at Virgin Active. “These muscles also support all your abdominal contents, and your baby will pass through them as he or she is born. Strengthening these muscles is an extremely worthwhile and important activity.”

How to do Pelvic floor exercises: 
1.       Gradually tighten the muscles that you use if you want to stop the flow of urine when going to the toilet.
2.       Try to do it without holding your breath, squeezing your buttocks together,
3.       Hold the squeeze for several seconds and then relax slowly.
4.       Now pull the muscles up tight and fast. Then relax. Then tighten them quickly again. Use clenching and opening your fist as a visual tool to help you imagine the movement.

When I’m doing moves like glute bridges in the gym, I always make sure I  pause at the top to engage my pelvic floor or when I’m doing squats I make sure I ‘zip’ up at the top to get that engagement. You can also do them whilst watching the TV, cleaning your teeth, or reading this post (try and stop yourself!) You really can’t do too many. Now off you go…squeeze!!!

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Healthy Happy Fit Mums – Introducing Lucy Miller

I’ve been interviewed by Miss Independent Women , a fabulous website also known as The ULTIMATE GIRL SITE‘ – a one stop shop for everything GIRL. I hope you like it! 

Originally posted on Miss Independent Women…

MIW Welcomes you LUCY MILLER!

As the resident ‘mum’ on the panel of girls that make up Miss Independent Women – The Ultimate Girls Site; I wanted to share some of Lucy’s brilliant tips for keeping fit and healthy throughout pregnancy. For those of you who don’t know, Lucy is a Freelance Fitness & Nutrition Editor for Health & Fitness MagMail OnlineWeight Watchers,Fertility Road,  Glamour magazine & founder of Fitness and the Bump

In between juggling a family life of her own, she manages her busy schedule of working with her clients as a Personal Trainer and is also working with children to keep fit as a trained level 2 Children’s Fitness Specialist.

So I took some time out from heavily pregnant waddling, running around after Fin and working to catch up with Lucy – I hope you enjoy!

MIW: Welcome Lucy and thank you for talking with us here at Miss Independent Woman!
Lucy: Thanks for having me – Your blog is fab.

Ah thanks so much! I am so glad you like it and our site. SO! Tell us a little bit about how yourself and how you became the Fitness Editor for Health and Fitness Magazine?
I’ve always been a huge fan of sport and health. As a teenager I was a national gymnast and once I retired from that I got into marathon running and going to the gym.

I started writing for Cycling Weekly Magazine after doing my qualification in Nutrition for Health & Fitness, I looked after their nutrition pages and just loved how nutrition could have such a positive effect on your body and mind. I then came across a job at Men’s Fitness and went for it. I got the job and wrote all their fitness and nutrition pages, which I loved. Whilst there I did a part time Level 3 Personal Training course and the rest is history. Dennis Publishing (owner of Mens Fitness) brought Health & Fitness Magazine and it was a natural progression that I joined the team as the Fitness Editor. I worked there for five years before going freelance, as I knew I wanted to start a family and I had so many people wanted me to train them. I now juggle writing, personal training and being a mummy to my 4-month old daughter. 

What drives your passion for healthy living and fitness – particularly for children and pregnant women?
Exercising throughout my childhood gave me so many opportunities and good qualities. It taught me discipline, self-confidence and drive, and made me respect my body. I would love other children to discover this too and see that moving is fun and beneficial in everyday life. With regards to pregnant women, again, when I was pregnant it made me realize how exercise can make you feel so much better. I felt so out of control with my growing bump and crazy hormones, but by exercising I gained some control back. It helped boost my energy, kept any unnecessary weight gain off and stopped me getting a bad back, achy joints etc. It’s important that women realize that exercising when pregnant won’t harm them (if they are sensible) and could actually help them.

As you know, one of the reasons I wanted to interview you was because of your healthy attitude towards keeping fit during pregnancy. I think in today’s busy world, it is very difficult to stay as healthy as we would like (convenience food, cheap supermarket offers on less healthy food options, TV, the ‘eating for 2 excuse’! 

As a result of your own personal history and passion for fitness, do you work with many mums wanting to really make the conscious decision to change their lifestyle whilst pregnancy and do any of them find it difficult?
Yes for sure. They can get negative reactions from their partners and relations saying that they should ‘be taking it easy’ and that they should be making the most of being pregnant and enjoy ‘eating what they want.’

Energy levels, morning sickness, tender breasts and cramps and cravings can also make things difficult, but the right nutrition and exercise can help this.

From my experience, running around after a 3 year old helped me keep some of the weight off I may have put on and loosing the weight after my 1st born was so difficult; I vowed not to go too big again! I have definitely noticed a huge difference in keeping active and hope that it helps me in birth. However I am sure I could have done more….I’d love to hear how you help pregnant mums! 
I encourage them to eat lots of nutrient-rich foods and avoid empty calories and unhealthy additive. I also encourage them to be as active as possible by walking and by doing gentle exercise to keep them strong and supple and generally become more in tune with their bodies. It’s so important that you listen to your body during pregnancy, so I’m all for helping women take pressure off themselves and reminding themselves they are creating a new life. It’s a pretty big ask of their body!! Just knowing you are doing the best for your body and baby can make pregnancy such a positive experience.

What are your top tips for keeping active and why should pregnant women encourage themselves to remain as fit and healthy as possible?
Don’t do anything new – if you weren’t a runner before becoming pregnant then don’t start running now. Always seek medical advice also. Your doctor needs to give the go ahead to exercise and I would always go to a fitness professional who is qualified in pre and post-natal fitness. 

Gym membership’s can be expensive (and I have been mainly walking or generally being very mobile as mine was cancelled)…what can us cash strapped and time limited mums and mums 2 be do?
Walk, walk, walk! You can also walk to a park, park the pram up next to a park bench and use it for step ups, press ups, dips etc or use your living room as your baby sleeps. You don’t need any kit to get an all-over body workout – your bodyweight is more than enough. I use my stairs, my sofa, some light dumbbells and my bodyweight to get an all over workout as Lacie sleeps. Here are my top tips for losing the baby weight…

In terms of healthy eating – again, many mums struggle to resist the naughty treats and go for the healthy snacks! What advice would you have for a pregnant mum struggling to say no to the cakes and biscuits!
My top tip is to keep your blood sugar levels stable by eating little and often (every 3 hours), avoiding refined sugar like sweets and cakes, eating plenty of good fats like avocados, coconut and oily fish and be prepared. Have healthy food in the house so when you do get hungry you can grab something quick and healthy. Here’s an example of what I ate when pregnant…

Looking back on your pregnancy/pregnancies – did you feel the benefits of remaining active and if so, how did it help you?
Definitely. My energy levels always increased after a workout, I had no back pain, I kept good posture and my baby weight fell off me. I had a difficult labor (I was two weeks late and induced – here is my birth story) but my baby’s heart rate never dipped or increased, which I put down to the exercise. She was obviously used to me exerting myself. I don’t think I would have had the stamina to push for two hours either if I hadn’t kept the exercise up. I was in the gym the very day I was induced – I knew it would be my last session for a while J

 Now, I have always struggled with my weight and I am dreading the post baby body (especially with all the coverage beautiful celebrity mums get as they squeeze back into their size 8′s weeks after birth!). 

Is there anything in particular you could recommend for me and other new mums to work into the daily routine of a newborn (and possibly more children) that we could do to help our bodies get back to a more reasonable shape?

Sleep and listen to your body. Too much stress causes weight gain so if you’re tired, then sleep, don’t force yourself to get up and exercise if you need to rest. Walking with the pram is great exercise too, so try to head out for a walk at least once a day. When you feel ready try incorporating a gentle incline into your walks and make them slightly longer, working up to 45 minutes most days. Remember to walk tall too, sucking your abs in to activate your core and pulling your shoulders back. Good posture is vital and will make you instantly look and feel slimmer. There are lots of workout ideas on my blog also here

And lastly, we would love to know if you have any ‘off days’ and if so, how do you motivate yourself!
Of course I do! Ha! I remind myself that I will feel so much better after some fresh air and some exercise. I usually just tell myself I’ll do ten minutes and if I’m still not feeling it after ten then I’ll stop, but 9 times out of 10 I carry on. Putting on my favorite TV show or music can help too. Sometimes it’s good to catch up on some trashy TV whilst doing a little living room circuit. It distracts you.

 And before I let you go, we have some #MIW quick questions

Shoes or handbags?
Handbags

What’s your favourite treat?
Homemade banana icecream using CO YO (www.coyo.co.uk) and frozen bananas

Favorite holiday location?
Bali 

Hopes and dreams for the future?
To write for mother and baby magazines and help make fitness accessible for pregnant ladies and new mums. I want everyone to feel that they are doing the very best for themselves and their babies. 

Do you have a life motto or quote? 
Move, eat, sleep, laugh.

What woman or women have inspired you and who do you admire?
Jillian Michaels

It was great to catch up with you Lucy and thanks again for talking with us at Miss Independent Woman. Thanks for being a fan of the site and for our wonderful readers, more information is available here on Lucy’s website here

Time to Wean…Sweet Potato day

My baby turned 6 months today. I still can’t believe how much joy she brings into our lives. She’s great fun, even on those teething days!

Up until now I’ve exclusively breast fed her so weaning feels a bit alien to me. I was very overwhelmed by it all, but actually they say ‘food before one is fun’, so I’ve relaxed a little and am just going to experiment with her and give her the purest foods I can. ‘Healthy Mummy, Healthy Baby’ and all that!
So today I started my little munchkin off with some sweet potato, which is full of vitamin A, C and potassium.
She wasn’t impressed to start with but I’m definitely going to keep trying and stick to that particular food for three to your days so her taste buds can adapt.

To make it I boiled a sweet potato with a sprinkle of cinnamon then blended with some breast milk to make it extra creamy…20140725-203830-74310605.jpg

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As it’s six months since I had her I thought it would be rude not to post a progress photo. I’m getting regular workouts in these days, even if it means waking up a little early or having her in the gym with me. It’s definitely all about consistency so if you aren’t seeing results as quick as you would like then don’t give up. It will come! As always give me a shout if you have any questions….

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KX Pregnancy Programme

You’ve probably heard me talk about Gideon & KX Life a few times now. KX is the most amazing gym in Chelsea with great staff, a great atmosphere – and a great spa!
Gideon, my PT there has always been on hand to give me top-notch advice, whether it’s about pregnancy, working out post-baby and even the best formula to try when bottle feeding Lacie. He’s a walking health & fitness manual and someone I’ve trusted with my training pre and post baby.
As soon as I had Lacie and got the go ahead from the doctors to exercise again, I saw Gids straight away and have been seeing him on a monthly basis ever since. He’s given me a fantastic workout plan to follow three to four times a week, and although it’s nothing like what I was doing pre-pregnancy (we’re working up to that!) I love doing it every week and can really notice the difference with my posture, muscle-tone and weak areas like my glutes and shoulders. He’s one of the only trainers that truly listens to me and truly knows my body and A-type personality – and knows how to keep me occupied training wise. I certainly don’t want to overdo things again and get stuck in the ‘Over-Training, Let’s Abuse My Body Rut’!
Since training with Gids throughout my entire pregnancy, KX have launched a Pregnancy Support Programme, which not only looks after your nutrition and training but also physiotherapy and osteopathy; things tend to move a lot in during pregnancy due to a surge of relaxin and the extra weight your body has to handle.

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The programme took over a year to get together, as, as usual they wanted to collaborate with the best experts in the industry and provide the best information and service possible. Not only are they working with nutritionist and author of ‘The Health Delusion: How to Achieve Exceptional Health in the 21st Century,’ Glen Matten but, also Simon Rice and Boniface Verney-Carron, who can provide private spa-based physical therapy sessions.

So what type of exercises does Gideon have me doing?
A Turkish Get Up is the move that starts my programme off. This helps switch on my nervous system, switch on every single muscle in my body and helps me warm up and ease myself into my session. I’ve gone from using a 8kg Kettlebell to a 12kg and we’ve since progressed it so I do an internal and external rotation and a press in each position. It’s so challenging and I really have to connect my body to my brain during every position but I love it and once I’ve done this move a few times, I feel soooo ready to start my session!

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I’m also doing side lunges with a gliding disc to work my entire lower body, including those pesky inner thighs, back pulls with a resistance band to help pull my shoulders back (I feel so hunched over since having Lacie), lunges with a Kettlebell press for shoulder stability and a toned bottom and thighs side planks, one-legged Kettlebell deadlifts and renegade rows. Each session takes about 45 minutes, which is perfect for squeezing in the morning before Lacie wakes me up and generally keeps me busy for the rest of the day!

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I would urge anyone in the Chelsea area (or beyond) to contact KX if they are pregnant and scared to train or really want to be well looked after. Not only will you be trained in a fantastic environment but you can also indulge in the spa afterwards and have anything from a pregnancy massage to a Hydra facial. Their changing rooms are awesome too….there’s big fluffy white towels, dressing gowns, hair brushes, toothbrushes, candles and gorgeous toiletries. It makes going to the gym a real pleasure even if I do miss my little cherub….

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My day……..

I haven’t given you an insight into my day for a while now so thought I would share my day today. It’s been a fun one, full of smiles, training, good food and of course quality time with my little angel!

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To start my day off I had scrambled eggs with broccoli and a sprinkle of goats cheese.
I’ve really taken charge of my eating lately as I’ll be weaning Lacie in a few weeks time and won’t have the whole breast feeding excuse to eat what I like anymore. I thought if I rein it in now then it won’t be so much of a shock to the system. I don’t like change…and I’ll be honest the whole weaning process is scaring me slightly!

I then ventured to my local Virgin Active – my second home!
Today I played around with this interesting looking ball – also known as a Weightedi Ball, a functional piece of kit that’s a but like a medicine ball but squishy! You can kneel on it to do core moves like bird dogs or put your feet on it and use as a platform for things like glute bridges and lunges. I used it for a which warm up to help me engage my core and switch on my glutes and  away I went.

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I love my local Virgin Active – I only go once a week (twice as I take Lacie swimming on Tuesdays) as all the other times I use the great outdoors and my home gym in my garden whilst Lacie is sleeping or in the pram,  so when I do go, I really go to town. After my warm up I did a metabolic circuit compromising of a push exercise, followed by a pull exercise, a lower body exercise, plyometric jumping move and then finished off with a isometric exercise to really burn my muscles out. I repeated this circuit three times and Jeez I’m aching already! Yay! Feel the burn! They have a great selection of kit in the gym, so I found myself a spot and kitted myself out with a barbell, plyometric platform and a TRX. The hour flew by!

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When I go home, I fed Lacie and then made myself a chicken salad followed by some sparkling water with lemon, which helps to take the edge of my after meal cravings..

In the afternoon as Lacie cat napped I then caught up on a few emails and features before taking her to a school that I teach gymnastics at to meet all the children. Needless to say, they loved her and she enjoyed the attention. I then came home and had a few of my favourite RawLicious Raw Artisian Bread Crackers spread with Organic Butter to take the edge of my hunger whilst Lacie played in her favourite Fisher Price Sit Me Up Floor Seat and attempted to eat a carrot. I’m trying to give her things to experiment with at the moment so when it comes to weaning putting food in her mouth isn’t totally alien. She definitely seemed to like it!
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For dinner I had a salmon fillet (lots of good fats!) with broccoli, carrots, sweetcorn and green beans. I love filling up on vegetables at dinner time. I then had a few RawLicious Date & Cashew Snackaroons, which by the way are sooooooo delicious and free from wheat, gluten, sugar, refined salt or anything artificial. You must give them a try they are made from coconuts, dates, nuts, raisins, ginger and vanilla powder. No nasties in sight!

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