California Girl living in London, working model, practicing wife to a Pie Loving Husband, trying not to eat myself out of the day job.

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Real Juice with Madeleine Shaw and Philips #RealJuice

Who else is spending a small fortune in juice bars? I know £7 is a ludicrous amount to pay for a small bottle of juice, but these elixirs are so nutritionally dense and taste so refreshing, I can’t help myself. I’m addicted.
Juicing is the perfect addition to anyone’s diet, especially those who are new to clean eating and would like to have a healthier lifestyle without going through too many major changes at once. Juicing allows for better absorption of nutrients, enzymes and minerals as opposed to bottled juices full of additives and preservatives or even, believe it or not, eating the whole fruit and vegetable. This is why the healthy community is so mad for Real Juice at the moment. 

From nutritional healthy coach, Madeleine Shaw

Juicing for me is a way of life. It is amazing how a juice can fix a 4pm slump, cure a hangover or fuel you through a workout. Whilst it might seem like a convenient option to grab a bottled juice when on-the-go, fresh is definitely best due to the higher levels of nutrients it contains.

So, when Philips got in touch about their ‘Campaign for Real Juice’ and offered to send me their Viva Collection Juicer to try along with 6 unique juices designed by the ever inspirational Madeleine Shaw, I was more then happy to oblige. The aim was to show how juicing at home can easily become part of your every day, and boy did it. 
The Pie Lovin Husband and I have been making juices almost every day since the arrival of our Viva Juicer and we’re both establishing it as a happy addition to the morning routine.
For me, the most welcomed benefit has been the improvement in my skin. I don’t think it’s ever been this clear without being on a full detox. Juicing has also helped me get over the pregnancy slumps, I’ve been suffering in the afternoon and I am now sleeping much better at night. I don’t know for sure but I feel like this new juicing habit has helped to balance out my pregnancy hormones and I feel much more like myself. All good things. 
As for the Philips Viva Collection Juicer, it’s a little centrifugal wonder machine, blitzing through beetroot, ginger and carrots in no time. It’s deceptively powerful. It’s super compact and clean design mean that I am happy to leave it on the kitchen counter top. Perfect for city living and people on the move. 
Granted centrifugal juicer aren’t as nutritional as a cold press juicer, but it produces a very impressive yield (the waist is super dry) in no time at all and even makes quick work of leafy greens. No more picking half pressed spinach out of the filter. Retailing at £70, it will pay for itself in no time.
Our favorite Juice of the six sent to try was the Classic Cleanse. An all around general crowd and liver pleaser:
Classic Cleanse

3 medium carrots
1 beetroot
1 green apple 
2 stalks of celery.
Thanks Philips and Madeleine Shaw for this awesome little juicer and inspirational week of healthy habits. Sponsored post.

To Celebrate with Red Velvet Cake

It’s my Birthday. Hooray. Never one to adopt a bah humbug attitude when it comes to birthdays, I believe life is worth celebrating and that includes getting older, wrinkles and all. Besides, ‘growing older is a privilege denied to many.’ Anyway it is a time to reflect, improve and set goals for the year to come, plus you get to make birthday wishes! What's not to like about that. This year, my wish is a simple one, but I'm sure you can guess.
With copious amounts of champagne off the table, I decided the try my hand at a Red Velvet Cake. Last time I attempted Red Velvet, you could have bounced the bloody thing off the wall. So, instead of experimenting I’ve trusted the ever fabulous Harry Eastwood’s recipe. It’s healthy-ish for a cake. The ingredients included a beetroot, rice flour and almond flour, but still it contains quite a bit of caster sugar and nutella. So, again healthy, with a big emphasis on the -ish. I have no intention of eating ‘perfectly’ on my birthday. This is a model's day off treat!

Here is Harry Eastwoods fabulous recipe from Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache:
Red Velvet Cake

Serves 12
Total time: 1 hr 20 minutes (Pre time 35 min / baking time 30 min /presentation 15min) 
3 medium free-range eggs
180g caster sugar
200g topped, tailed, peeled and finely grated beetroot
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out
180g white rice flour
180g ground almonds
2tsp baking powder
1tbsp good-quality cocoa powder
1/4tsp salt
284ml buttermilk
1tsp red food colouring paste (I used a natural food colouring, but didn't get that great red colour)
For the filling:
6tsp Nutella or other chocolate spread
For the icing:
2tsp vanilla extract
170g icing sugar
2tbsp water
1/4tsp cream of tartar
White of 1 medium free-range egg
Small pinch of salt
120g Hazelnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 and lightly brush the base and
sides of the tins with vegetable oil.
2. Line the bases with baking parchment and lightly grease again.
3. Toast the hazelnuts for the sides for 10 minutes on a baking sheet. Recommended to set a timer so you don't forget they're in there. Once toasted, chop them up finely and set them aside for later.
4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk up the eggs and sugar for 4 minutes until they are light and fluffy. Next beat in the grated beetroot, as well as the vanilla seeds from the scraped-out pod. Add the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt, and whisk until well combined.
5. Finally, add the buttermilk and red food colouring. Whisk well to make sure that the elements in the bowl are well introduced.
6. Divide the mixture evenly between the three tins and place them in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes.
7. When the cakes are cooked, remove them from the oven, unmould and place them on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Peel off the paper and sit them underside up to cool quicker.
8. Use this time to make the icing. Place all the ingredients in a big mixing bowl over a pan of boiling water. Stir with a clean metal spoon for 2 minutes exactly to dissolve the sugar. 
9. When the mixture is warm and the 2 minutes are up, remove the bowl from the heat and beat with a hand-held electric whisk. Whisk for 9 minutes until cool. The mixture is ready to use when it's standing up like snow-covered Swiss peaks. 
10. When the cakes are cold, spread 3btsp of the Nutella or other chocolate spread between the first and second tiers of the cake, then another 3tbstp between the second and third tiers.
11. Cover the whole cake with the icing, and pat on the toasted, chopped-up hazelnuts. Serve on a cake stand if you have one. 
This cake keeps for 2 days in a tin or other airtight container.


Santa Barbara Shrimp Tacos 

With the change in the weather and fighting a cold without the help of modern medicine, I can’t help but hanker for home. In Santa Barbara harbour, there is this little rustic place called On the Alley just below the iconic Brophy Brothers, that does the most amazing Shrimp Tacos with Cali style salsa. These bad boys burst in your mouth with freshness and spice. So, spurred on by my jealousy veiwing Cali friends Instagram photos, I decided to try and recreate this taste of home.

Santa Barbara Shrimp Tacos


Serves 4

Jumbo Shrimp (Frozen Prawns while shopping in the UK):
1 tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, to sprinkle on top.
550g Jambo King Prawns 
Cali Style Salsa:
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 chilli or jalapeno pepper, deseeded and finely chopped.
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tomato, chopped
1 avocado, cut into chunks
Juice from half a lime
¾ tsp salt
Small handful of Parsley leaves, roughly chopped
Extra Assembling Bits:
8-10 Corn tortillas
a head lettuce, shredded
2 limes, cut into wedges
Plain Greek yogurt, for garnish


1. Prepare your prawns; toss the prawns in Cajun spices and olive oil until evenly coated and set aside to marinate a little bit.
2. Make Cali Style Salsa; combine all the chopped ingredients into a bowl and set aside. If you’re not serving these right away, squeeze some more lime juice on the top of your salsa to stop discoloration, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. For a super fine salsa, combine in a food processor. 
3. Warm tortillas; sprinkle each tortilla with a little bit of water and place in a preheated oven (50°C/120°F) to warm. Prepare the lettuce, lime slices and yogurt. 
4. Lastly, heat a grill. Place prawns on grill and cook until just opaque, about 1 ½ minutes each side. Sprinkle with additional cayenne pepper according to taste.
Once the prawns are ready, spoon the Cali Style Salsa into warmed tortillas, top with prawns, lettuce and yogurt. Serve with lime wedge on the side. Yum. 

UK blog Awards

 PS: I’m also up for the UK Blog Award #UKBA15. If you have a minute, pop along and vote for me. You’ll find the Model Foodie in Food & Drink and Health categories. Thanks Guys.



Aubergine and Courgette Gratin

My number one pregnancy craving has to cheese. I adore cheese anyway but at the moment, it seems to feature in some form at every meal. Well, at least the types that are dubbed pregnancy safe.

So, there has been a lot of cheese bakes coming out of my oven of late. They’re great because these dishes always feed us for a few days and like a stew, seem to get better the following day.

This Augergine and Courgette Gartin celebrates all that is fabulous about Italian cooking with none of the heavy pasta weighing it down. It make’s a great vegetarian option to comfort you as the nights start to draw cold and dark again. Served with a simple salad of rocket and avocado, it’s the perfect meat lovers’ meat-free meal.

Aubergine and Courgette Gratin (Eggplant and Zucchini bake)

Serves 6

Prep Time 30min / Bake time 50min


1 aubergine, cut into thin slices
1 courgette, cut into thin slices
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
½ tsp dried Italian seasoning
¼ tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (8-ounce) package button mushrooms, roughly chopped
½ cup good red wine
¼ tsp black pepper
1 (8-ounce) organic tomato pasta sauce, divided
2/3 cup (about 3 ounces) mozzarella cheese, divided
¼ cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese



Pre heat oven to 175°C/375°F.  Turn on your grill. Prepare a boiler or grill tray. 
1. Toss the aubergine and courgette slices in olive oil and arrange on baking sheet. Broil 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet, coated with a little olive oil and sweat the onions and garlic for a few minutes until softened. Add the dried Italian seasoning, salt and mushrooms. Cook for 7 minutes or until tender, stirring mixture occasionally. Increase heat and add the red wine and pasta sauce, uncover and cook for 2 minutes or until liquid partially evaporates.
3. Spread half of mushroom mixture in bottom of baking dish. Arrange half of aubergine and courgette slices over mushroom mixture, sprinkle with a little peper. Layer with 1/3 cup mozzarella and repeat. Spread remaining mushroom mixture over mozzarella and top with remaining veggie slices. Add salt and peper to taste, cover and bake for 45 minutes. 
4. To finish sprinkle with 1/3 cup mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Let stand 10 minutes.



Giveaway Time! But First, Coffee.

Above and beyond missing wine, being able to caffeinate at will has to be the number one thing I have missed during pregnancy. I know coffee is dehydrating and a stimulant that messes with our hormones, but it’s just such a seductive social habit and the one vice I allow myself to indulge in guilt free. However, what if there was a coffee out there that was good for you too? 

A few months before I fell pregnant a friend introduced me to Organo Gold Coffee, a product I have been meaning to tell you about for a while now. All based around apparently magical Chinese mushrooms called Ganoderma, which makes this coffee extremely beneficial for our bodies. You know how much I love a super food.

Here come the selling points, Organo Gold is very alkalizing, a natural antioxidant, enhances the immune system, promotes weight loss, anti-aging, and circulation. All of which will give you a huge boost in the gym! Sounds like a miracle drink, doesn’t it. Well, like everything else on the market, it will help aid your body, but reaping the full benefits depends on your lifestyle, meaning eating clean and getting enough exercise. 


I can vouch firsthand for the taste and benefits. I was enjoying Organo Gold for a few months before falling pregnant and loved the taste and the buzz it gave me. My energy levels where definitely up and my skin was vastly improved. Add a teaspoon of coconut oil for an extra creamy flavour. Plus, the little sachets make it really easy to take to work, school, studios, etc. As soon as this little boy is out of my belly, I will be using it as I get back into shape.

Anyway, I’d really like to give you a chance to try it. So, for the next two weeks I’ve teamed up with Organo Gold to give away a couple boxes of coffee for you to try. All you have to do to enter is post your best coffee selfie on instagram or twitter with the hashtags #TheModelFoodie #ButFirstCoffee. Bonus points for anyone who manages a selfie with a Oregano Gold sachet in shot. We’ll pick our two favourite and send a box to your door. So, go on and show me your best selfie. 

If you'd like to try Organo Gold here is 10% off any order 

with the promo code: modelfoodie10

Sponsoured Post