Healthy Easter Eggs Recipe!

recipe by Saskia Gregson-Williams

This healthy recipe for easter eggs require absolutely no moulds, so don’t worry you don’t need to rush to the shops! All you need is two halves of an avocado, which make the perfect Easter egg shape. These eggs are incredibly indulgent, as they have no hollow inside, which makes them even more chocolatey! I always end up cutting into these and sharing them with friends, as they’re so rich I can never eat a whole one! The egg halves are stuck together with our amazing chocolate-caramel icing, which I then love to spread around the whole egg, for some serious raw chocolate action.

This recipe takes around 20 minutes to make in total, so you can even do it on easter morning as a bit of messy chocolate fun!

Makes 1 easter egg

For the Mould:
1 avocado

raw chocolate:
1/2 coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup cacao
2 tbsp maple syrup

Chocolate-Caramel Icing:
3 medjool dates
1/4 cup cashew nuts
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1-2 tbsp cacao powder

Start by making the raw chocolate. Melt your coconut oil and mix well with the other ingredients. Using a knife slice your avocado in and scoop out the flesh. Pour your chocolate into the skin (half and half) place in your freezer to harden for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile add all ingredients for the icing into your food processor and blend until smooth. When the eggs are hardened, peal the avocado skin away. Then add two tablespoons of the icing into the middle of avocado, spread it across and stick the halves together. Coat with more icing round the sides and freeze again until ready to munch!

* Note, if you have bought easter egg moulds the raw chocolate mixture is what I use for them!

healthy easter eggs

Body By Lara – Not your average Pilates Class!

Having practiced it for many years throughout my ballet days, Pilates is completely second nature to me. I’m such a huge fan and it just feels right for me and my body. I also enjoy HIIT as part of my exercise routine, I love the burn and it’s fast paced style. Wouldn’t it be awesome if someone invented a method that combined the precision and strength of Pilates with the short, heart-raising bursts of interval training? Well I think I’ve found it!

Spiral Body, a quaint little Pilates studio in Kensington, is where I headed off to one sunny afternoon to experience its most popular class, Body By Lara. Founded by body conditioning guru, Lara Hassan, this technique focuses on re-sculpting and shaping the body. And when I say body, I mean your WHOLE body! I don’t think there was a muscle I didn’t use!

After a speedy but adequate warm-up we were straight in to toning and pulse like movements that targeted everywhere from your thighs, to your triceps. Lara’s enthusiasm and energy willed me to push through the burn (on many occasions!), and within minutes I was as red as a rose! I loved the fact it was mostly body weight and low impact and it was all very rhythmical and dance-esk – each move flowing into the next, almost like a dance routine. I really enjoyed the constant change between signature Pilates moves to the super intense, sweat inducing exercises. Lara knew exactly how to challenge me and make me work to the best of my abilities, but there was never a point where I felt uncomfortable. She got the balance just right. Time flew by and towards the end of the 50-minute session, we focussed on some deep breathing and some cool down ballerina stretches, which I really enjoyed and most definitely needed!

The best part about this class is that after a challenging, heart-pumping workout, I had all the energy in the world! I felt amazing! My endorphins were buzzing and my metabolism was flying high! Body By Lara at Spiral Body is a guaranteed feel-good class that will leave your mind as well as your body feeling healthy and happy.

For more information on class times and prices click here.

Our fave chocolate treats this Easter! (And they’re good for you!)

Easter can still be delicious without the guilt, so we wanted to share with you all, are favourite healthy chocolate bars that we will definitely be enjoying this weekend!


We love ombar for it’s super creamy consistency… you would never know it’s dairy free!


This clever little chocolate bar is sweetened with low GI coconut blossom nectar which is especially high in potassium, vitamin C , vitamin B1 and is a natural source of iron, copper and zinc! IQ packs a punch!


Love Chock
Raw foodies make note, Love chock is 100% organic, raw and refined sugar free! We love all the quirky flavours too! Goji/Orange is our fave!


Give your tummy a little helping hand this Easter with Ohso, a dairy free chocolate bar with live probiotics!


Not only are Conscious dairy, gluten, soya and refined sugar free, it also uses biodegradable and compostable packaging. Conscious chocolate really is conscious!


Of course the best raw, dairy and refined sugar free chocolate is ours! (I guess we are a bit biased) Get in your kitchen this weekend and whip up these simple Chocolate Truffles for your friends and family. We promise they won’t disappoint!


Image: Pinterest

Wheat, Dairy and Sugar Free Chocolate Cupcakes

For the cupcake:

85g wheat free flour

45g gluten free cornflour

45g ground almonds

1 tsp gluten free baking powder

175g of Natvia

175g dairy free spread

3 large eggs

80g cocoa powder

2 tsp of vanilla bean paste

For the frosting:

200g Nativa

3 tsp of gluten free cornflour

100g dairy free spread

60g cocoa powder


1. Preheat the oven at 190c

2. Combine the flour, cornflour, almonds, cocoa and baking powder together. Sieve 4 times to make sure all ingredients are incorporated together.

3. Cream the dairy free spread and the Natvia together until light and fluffy.

4. Crack eggs in a separate bowl and beat lightly.

5. Add a spoonful of flour mixture to the sugar and butter and slowly add the eggs.

6. Beat in the vanilla bean paste

7. Gently fold in the flour mixture

8. Divide between 12 cupcakes cases and bake for 15- 20 minutes

9. Whilst cupcakes cool make the icing sugar

10. Beat the Natvia in a food processor so it becomes fine and dust like

11. Sift together with the cornflour

12. Beat in the dairy free butter and slowly add the cocoa

13. Pipe onto cupcakes as desired

Recipe credit: Created by Boonie’s Bakehouse for Natvia

Buy your Natvia here

Continue your sugar-free journey by checking out the Natvia Sweeter Life club which is packed full of sugar-free recipes!! 

Summer Coverup: Read this before you buy your suncream!

 Is SPF Good For Us Always? 

words by Frankie Rozwadowska

They say that trends come back in fashion, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to tanning. Just as it was back in the 16th century (when women used lead to create a whiter than white complexion), sales of skin whitening creams are rocketing and pale is in. More and more stars are gracing red carpets looking perfectly porcelain, just look at Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchet, Anne Hathaway and Kristin Stewart – there’s not a hint of bronze or a whiff of fake tan on these leading ladies.

It’s therefore needless to say that more and more of us are doing all we can to avoid the effects of the sun, be it via large hats, cover-ups, or the use of an SPF.  We are constantly being barraged with campaigns telling us to protect ourselves from harmful rays, to wear sunscreen and a high SPF and to reapply it often, but recent developments show that SPF isn’t quite what it seems. We all assume that as it offers protection from harmful rays (which cause sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer) it must be good for us, and so we proudly slather it on thickly and frequently. When in fact – it could be doing just as much harm as the sun itself. It’s time to reveal the secret side of SPF…

UVB Rays
To most of us, an SPF is a number we rely on to tell us how long we can stay in the sun before we start to burn and cause damage, and how high a level of protection we are receiving from our sun-cream or skincare product. What it doesn’t tell you, however, is that this number only refers to UVB rays – not UVA. Although UVB’s are arguably more harmful and are the biggest cause of malignant melanoma skin cancer – the o-zone layer absorbs most of them before they reach us, which means that 90-99% of what hits us are UVA. So next time you reach for that tropical smelling bottle, make sure it’s a broad spectrum SPF which will keep UVB and UVA rays at bay.

Higher SPF is not necessarily better
There’s also the issue of high factor SPF’s. We’re talking 50+, like Neutrogena who have gone so far as to claim that theirs are SPF 100. This instantly makes you think you are receiving almost 100% sun protection, right? Wrong. And this is the deadly mistake that many of us are making. High factor sunscreens give a false sense of security, resulting in less reapplying, more time in the sun, and more burning and harmful damage. The US Food and Drug Administration have even proposed a ban of labels higher than SPF50+, stating that they are “inherently misleading”. There is no such thing as a 100% protective SPF, nor is it the case that an SPF 30 is twice as effective as an SPF 15. In fact, an SPF 15 blocks 94% of UVB rays, whilst an SPF 30 blocks 97%. So next time you look at the number, really look at what it means.

Check the ingredients
SPF confusion aside, there’s also controversy surrounding the ingredients. Yes, sun-creams often bring back nostalgic memories of holidays with their tropical, summery scents, and they leave skin feeling soft and smooth – but there are hidden dangers lurking beneath the beach beautiful bottles. In fact, it’s been reported that over half of retail ready sunscreen products may actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer. Scary. This is predominantly due to the inclusion of Vitamin A, or its derivatives, which are used in skincare as an antioxidant to slow down ageing. Again, sounds great, right? Not so much. When exposed to the sun, Vitamin A can contribute to the cause of cancerous tumours due to its photocarcinogenic properties. The Environmental Working Group conducted laboratory tests that resulted in tumors and lesions developing 21% faster after the use of Vitamin A laced sunscreens vs. vitamin free creams. So look out for Retinyl Palmitate (a derivative of Vitamin A) or the vitamin itself when selecting your sun-care.

Also check the back of the bottle for Oxybenzone – an active chemical ingredient used to absorb ultraviolet light. It’s easily absorbed into the skin, which means it penetrates into the dermis – a problem if the research showing that it can promote cancer in cells by disrupting hormones is true. Labelled another toxic ingredient in sunscreens, the EWG advises you to add this to your list of things to avoid. Dr. Lamees Hamdan, founder of luxury, natural skincare brand Shiffa Dubai, argues for avoiding chemicals in our cosmetics, especially now we are subject to them in all aspects of our lifestyle. “In a world where most things are packaged and chemical, why shouldn’t our skincare be natural? The skin absorbs what is put on it.” She also believes that avoiding chemical ingredients allows our bodies to function better, stating that natural ingredients “get absorbed better and therefore work better to give more effective results. More importantly, they’re excreted easier by your body so there’s no heavy build up internally and no over loading your liver and kidneys”.

Diet can help
You should also indulge in natural ingredients from your diet. Red foods rich in lycopene, e.g. tomatoes, grapefruit and watermelon, can help reduce sunburn by up to 33% as they absorb free radicals and prevent DNA damage – so eating red can stop you turning red! Other sun-fighting foods are citrus fruits, foods rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids (oily fish, walnuts, flaxseed), green tea, leafy greens and dark chocolate (great news). Eating your sun protection? What a bright idea.

Of course the sun isn’t all bad. Our bodies do not produce their own Vitamin D, but it is vital in keeping us happy and healthy. It releases endorphins, helps maintain a healthy immune system, keeps bones strong, can lower blood pressure, protects against heart disease and improves muscular function. So the sun can be your friend and not your enemy – just make sure you’re SPF savvy… and  wear a hat.


Spring Breakfast Healthy Granola Parfait Recipe

serves 1


1/2 cup raspberries

1/2 cup blueberries

1 tsp cinnamon

Quick granola topping:

1/2 cup oats

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp natvia

2 tbsp mixed nuts of choice

1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp goji berries

Coconut cream (makes a jar):

1 can of coconut milk

2 tbsp natvia

1 tsp vanilla extract


1) Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.

2) Start by making the coconut cream; open the tin of coconut milk and scoop out the solid coconut cream layer, discarding the water. Put it in your blender or food processor with 2 tablespoons of natvia and a drop of vanilla extract, blend until smooth. Pour into a jar and place to the side.

3) Then make your granola by melting the coconut oil and adding it to a mixing bowl with all the other ingredients. Mix well and pour into a small baking tray, lined with parchment paper. Place in the preheated oven for around 5-10 minutes until crispy but not burnt!

4) Finally make your berry base by adding the berries, cinnamon and a tablespoon of water to a saucepan and stirring until they heat up and start to burst. Then to compile add the berry layer to a parfait glass, top with your granola and a drizzle of coconut cream!

 Buy your Natvia here!

Naturally Sweet: Healthy Sugar Substitutes

We all know sugar is bad for us, but do we know why? And do we know what types of sugar? Every week the average british person consumes around 238 teaspoons of white refined sugar – that is an awful lot. This over-consumption has been linked to many of our countries most serious health problems: diabetes, heart disease, obesity, behavioral problems and many, many more. Sugar has a similar effect on the body as drugs, yes… drugs! It is totally addictive as when we consume it, our bodies can quickly break it down and convert it into energy so it sends messages to the brain that this stuff we just put in our body is good – it’s a sure fire way to get a boost. But it doesn’t end there. What if we don’t need the energy (and often we don’t) then it gets stored as fat. And there are so many other amazing foods out there that can serve our bodies in this way, giving them an energy kick, without all the terrible effects that refined white sugar has! Most of these other foods also come with a host of health benefits! So ditch the white toxic powder, and pick up a new sweet tooth habit… Here are Hip & Healthy’s favourite alternative sweeteners:

Organic Agave Nectar
Agave comes from a Mexican plant similar to a cactus. The syrup-like substance has a much lower glycemic index than refined white sugar (which measures at 30 as opposed to sugar’s 100) so it is broken down and released much slower into the blood stream. It also naturally contains calcium and iron. Plus it is much sweeter than sugar so you use much much less for the same sweet effect!

Natvia is derived from the stevia plant and is 100% natural. Although stevia is almost 300 times sweeter than sugar it has almost no effect on blood sugar levels, making it great for diabetics. It also is super low in calories (Natvia has 0.6 calories per teaspoon compared to sugar’s 16 calories per the same amount) and is heat stable making it the ideal baking ingredient. For a super delicious Lemon Drizzle Loaf recipe using Natvia click here.

Honey has been used as both a sweetener and a medicine for thousands of years. It contains propolis that is antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal and if you buy the good, organic local kind (of which we of course recommend) it will be a big boost for your immunity and has been known to help with issues like hay-fever! A quick shout out for Manuka honey is also deserved, which has been shown to be brilliant for the  gut health, throat issues and skin conditions such as acne and eczema. It provides what is called non-peroxide activity (NPA), which is a unique antibacterial property that is not so easily affected by heat, light or chemicals in the gut. Aim for 5+ – 15+ UMF (Unique Manuka Factor).

Dates are often overlooked as being a sweetener – but they often make one of the best, healthiest ways to satisfy your cravings. Not only are they rich in fibre, but they contain a host of vitamins too and they have even been found to help regulate the digestive process. We like to add ours to smoothies, cakes and puddings.


Lemon Drizzle Loaf

This delicious Lemon Drizzle Loaf makes the perfect tea time treat! We can’t wait to make ours for Easter Weekend!


225g (8 oz) vegan butter (we use biona)

150g natvia

275g (10 oz) spelt flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

4 eggs

4 tablespoons oat or almond milk

finely grated rind of 2 lemons


50g natvia

juice of 2 lemons


1) Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celcius, and grease and line a loaf tin with parchment paper.

2) Measure all the ingredients for the tray bake into a large bowl and mix well until totally smooth, around 2 minutes. Turn the mixture into your already prepared loaf tin, levelling the top.

3) Place in the oven to bake for around 35 minutes, until you can stick a knife through it and it comes out clean!

4) Let the loaf cool slightly before drizzling the crunchy topping over the top!

Note: If your vegan you can try using chia eggs in replace of regular eggs. One chia egg is made by combing 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to 4 tablespoons of water, and letting sit for 15 minutes.

Feeling inspired by our 10 Day Sugar Free Challenge? Create your own sugar-free recipe using Natvia and enter Natvia’s Easter Bake Off to win prizes including a Magimix food blender

Healthy Sugar-Free Ketchup

Like your ketchup but hate the amount of sugar it has? Join the club. Ketchup is the vegan burger‘s best friend (more on that recipes here)… Well that’s why we made a super delicious tasting sauce with none of the sugar nasties! Plus – its so easy…

1 cup sundried tomatoes
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1.5 cups passata
3 tbsp Natvia
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder

Method: Soak the sundries tomatoes in boiling water for 5 minutes. Then add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth!

Buy your Natvia here!

A WORTHY CHALLENGE FOR CHARITY: Plus win a PT Session with a Top Trainer by donating!

He’s just a normal guy (a tad on the skinny side) on a mission to raise money by beefing up for Charity, read about Sam Worther’s Challlenge…

The Challenge
2014 March, so it’s a little late for New Year’s resolutions but if you wind back the clock to January 2014 my year kicked off with a desire to do something different and challenge myself.  So I decided to raise as much money as possible for the Peter Westropp Memorial Trust by entering a Men’s Physique fitness competition.

Fund Raising
So many of my friends had already taken the plunge and put themselves through great fundraising marathons, triathlons and more jovial budgie smuggler running all with fantastic aplomb.  I also wanted to play my part but do something leftfield. Having joked with Peter in the past about the Pumping Iron and being an avid viewer of Schwartznegger films targeting the UKBFF London South East Championship on Sunday 11th May appeared a great fit. This was not something to take lightly and would be incredibly tough for me to do whilst working full time on a startup and completing an MBA.

Fitness Competition
Unlike traditional bodybuilding competitions a new style of competition has been developed where people who love to exercise and look  toned and athletic can put themselves through a step by step process to create a lean toned muscular physique. Competition prep is basically a test of your physical, mental and emotional endurance.  It takes many weeks of a structured exercise plan sometimes taking up, hours of every day. Physical and mental conditioning when you are tired or hungry or craving other foods to push through to complete your mission. Temptations are everywhere.

So I hadn’t been to the gym since August 2014 and my knowledge was grounded on my school boy rugby days.  So now as a fairly recently-turned 30-year-old who was born with the skinny gene I’d have to get serious.

Fortunately a friend put me in contact with Ronni Mackay ,who has over 20 years of bodybuilding and competing experience.  She has forged my training into 3 stages.  Stage 1 involved some introductory weight training to get my muscles used to working out again.  Stage 2 centres on bulking up, maxing my nutritional intake whilst weight training.  Finally stage 3 is the “cutting” phase where you maintain weight training but include significant cardiovascular work to get lean.  I’m currently at stage 2 of this process and what has quickly transpired is the difficulty of eating enough good calories.  In my opinion bodybuilders are the best nutritionist and nutrition is around 70-80% of the equation when it comes to maintaining a honed physique.

6 Meals a Day not 3
You need to consumer smaller meals more often.  Instead of the standard you need to eat 6 meals a day (yes at awkward times) every 3 hours.  So this does mean getting some strange looks from your colleagues at the office, tooling up with a tupperware and viewing food as fuel. You don’t eat for taste, you eat for function.  In the main my 6 meals a day are mainly consisting of:

  • 1 x Carbohydrate (200 grams) – Sweet Potato  – Brown Rice / Pasta
  • 1 x Lean Protein (200 grams) – Chicken – Eggs – Fish – Steak
  • 1 x Green Veg – Broccoli – Green Beans – Spinach

If there is one thing you take away from this blog it would be that Food is the most important part of the equation if you’re looking to put on lean muscle and within that I’d advise:

  • Batch shopping – big on-line grocery shops every 2 weeks
  • Stocking up on Tupperware
  • Batch cooking – cook a 6 – 9 meals every 2-3 days

The Peter Westropp Trust
All of this is in aid of Peter Westropp, great friend, surveyor and incredibly good guy who tragically passed away in 2011. His charity support’s the Carers Trust, the largest provider of comprehensive carer support services in the UK. An exceptional cause and one that reflects Peter’s desire to include anyone who felt that they were on the periphery of any given situation and make them feel like a valued and important part of their social surroundings. If you’d like to follow my fund raising physique journey please go to

You could WIN a training session with expert PT Ronni herself just be donating to Sam’s challenge! Click on the link below & send us your contact details to [email protected] with DONTATED in the subject so that we can get in touch with you if you win! Winners will be chosen on 12th May.


Sweet Almond Butter!

Sweet Almond-Butter 


2 cups of almonds

a pinch of pink Himalayan salt

1 tbsp Natvia


Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius. Place your almonds on a roasting tray and roast for roughly 10 minutes. Make sure they don’t burn!

Remove from oven and allow the almonds to cool. Then place the nuts and a pinch of salt (and the maple syrup if using) in a strong food processor. Blend for around 15 minutes until smooth. You may have to stop and scrape down the sides of the food processor, before continuing to blend.

Once it’s smooth to perfection, pour it into an air-tight container.

Feeling inspired by our 10 Day Sugar Free Challenge? Create your own sugar-free recipe using Natvia and enter Natvia’s Easter Bake Off to win prizes including a Magimix food blender!

How I Retrained My Sugar-Loving Brain

Writer, Elle Young, from, talks us through how she retrained her brain to go sugar-free

When it comes up, as it invariably does, in conversation that I don’t eat refined sugar, people’s usual reaction is: “I couldn’t do that, I eat chocolate everyday.” I normally just laugh it off and steer the conversation away from the subject as I haven’t got time, or the person doesn’t want to listen anyway, to explain that they could give up sugar if they take the time, and effort, to retrain their brain.

As a person who likes to think, analyse and evaluate absolutely everything, it was natural for me to analyse my cravings when I was giving up sugar. When in the tumultuous throes of a sugar craving, I took the time to think what it was I wanted, whether something else would satisfy it and why I wanted it.

Nine times out of 10, I was either bored or simply had to have the cake/biscuits/sweets. I was never actually hungry. I asked myself why I had to have it and I didn’t really have an answer. It’s just what I did. In the afternoon, I had a cup of tea and a piece of cake or some chocolate digestive biscuits. When I went out for dinner, I had dessert, because that’s what you do in a restaurant. When I went to visit my Grandma, of course I had some biscuits with my tea. I could go on…

I’m not advocating skipping the Granny visits, or offending her with a sharp retort of “get those discs of death away from me”, I’m simply highlighting the many associations that we have made in our brains which involve sugar. I have a dream image in my mind, I call it my ‘bubble’, which is what I’m heading towards. It involves a long table in a hot country, covered in delicious healthy food, surrounded by friends and family. It’s my ideal life…I’m sure most women have a bubble of some form. For me, the key part of my bubble is sharing nutritious food with good company. Food is a big part of life, culture and society and should be celebrated. It’s natural to associate certain types of food with events, but just because associations have been made between an event and sugary food, it doesn’t mean as a person choosing to live sugar-free you can’t join in. You just need to be aware of these associations and be willing to change them.

There is a lot of research surrounding mental associations. The most prominent study that springs to mind is Ivan Pavlov’s classical conditioning experiments with dogs. He rang a bell when he fed them and, sure enough, they associated hearing the bell with being fed. By the end of the experiment, if a bell was rung, the dogs would start to salivate as they knew a meal was imminent. Although we wouldn’t like to think of ourselves as being trained like dogs, there is a lot to be said for mental associations and the ability to make, and break, them. Health psychologist Phillippa Lally, from the University College London (UCL), found that subjects, who were trying to learn new habits, took an average of 66 days for the behaviour to become increasingly automatic. This explains why it took me a good few months to be 100% refined sugar free and shows that you need to give something a really good go if you’re determined to change it. Be it exercising more, eating more healthily or being more positive, see it as an 8-9 week commitment. Write out a week-by-week plan of how you’re going to retrain your brain, get the highlighters out and colour-code everything in sight (satisfaction guaranteed!) but most importantly, stick with it!

Since I started the process of removing refined sugar from my diet, I have  managed to retrain my brain’s associations so I know it’s possible. Whereas I used to associate my afternoon tea with cake, I now associate it with protein in some form; it’s usually peanut butter, let’s not beat around the bush. My Granny visit association is the same, I’ve just tweaked it slightly so it involves just a cup of tea, and I kindly decline the repeated offering of biscuits. It is possible, and after a few months, your brain will be retrained and you’ll have forgotten that you ate a chocolate bar at 4pm every day for 10 years.