Hidden Gem of London: Palm Vaults

I am a sucker for a place with a cute aesthetic and healthy, good-tasting food. Needless to say, Palm Vaults offers both of these, all in the heart of Hackney.

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The café truly is an Instagrammer’s heaven with the green plants hanging from the ceiling, marble tables, velvet couches, and pink accents. Not to mention the takeaway cups which are chic enough to include in your next #ootd post.

Palm Vault Dragonfruit Smoothie

My friend ordered the “Unleash the Dragon” smoothie which is undeniably the prettiest smoothie I have ever seen. It still amazes me how a fruit can produce a color as bright and vibrant as this one.

Palm Vault London

Palm Vaults is known for their endless selection of artisan lattes. Tumeric, violet, red velvet, blue moon tea, and charcoal are just a few options included in their menu. I ordered the red velvet latte and was surprised to taste a beet flavor. It turns out the pretty red color is acheived using the natural coloring of beets. While it is definitely an acquired taste, it makes me feel better knowing that I am not consuming artificial chemicals. The beet and mocha flavors surprisingly complement one another very well!

Palm Vault acai bowl

I ordered the “Pataya Bowl”, decorated with raspberries, coconut, blueberries, and goji berries. After seeing pictures of my favorite bloggers eating these bowls on tropical islands such as Hawaii and Australia, I had to have one. This bowl brought a little slice of the warm tropics to London, right before walking outside into the rain of course.

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While I loved being in such a pretty atmosphere, with yummy food, places like this attract certain kinds of people. Of course I am not hating on us bloggers, being I am also that girl that has to rearrange the table to get the perfect picture of what I am about to consume, but it is also important to enjoy the moment you are living in.

Often at times we tend to only do things for the image that it portrays on social media. We all get caught up in capturing that perfect picture with the perfect lighting. While this is ok to do to a certain point, there comes a time when it’s necessary to put the camera or phone down and focus on what’s in front of you. Enjoy your delicious food. Enjoy the atmosphere you’re in. Most importantly, enjoy the time with the company that surrounds you.

The next time you go out to brunch or coffee with friends, spend the first 5 minutes rearranging your food and posting it all over social media. After, put the camera away. Put the phone away. Take the time to really talk to your friends and really taste your food. It is amazing how much more enjoyable life becomes when you shut out the digital world and embrace the present.

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The Power of Being Awake

February is almost over… The month where those New Year’s resolutions you set are no longer so new. And when things are no longer new, they usually are no longer any fun either. Resolutions, your new iPhone, your latest boyfriend… Everything loses its glisten  as January 1st fades into February and February fades into March.

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During these long winter months after the holidays, it is hard not to dig yourself into a funk. It is easy to lose motivation and not want to leave your house or spend those hours studying in the library. Often I need to find something small to motivate me to push towards these goals that I have set (like reading a new book every week).

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One of those little treats that I use to motivate myself is caffeine. I know, not the best choice for my health, but it is the one thing that always gets me going. Luckily I recently discovered the brand Sunup. Sunup is a company based in Brooklyn that sells green coffee. Green coffee tastes like coffee and tea in one- the best of both worlds. Now I don’t have to decide which I would rather drink in the morning!

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Green coffee has the same amount of caffeine as a medium iced coffee but doesn’t leave you with jitters and a bitter after taste. I genuinely look forward to waking up, grabbing my laptop and books, and hitting the library when I have a Sunup in my hand.

Don’t let these long winter months get you down. Find something small that you can look forward to everyday to get you up and ready for the day. Or, better yet, think about all the steps you could be taking towards achieving your wildest dreams. Success doesn’t come easy, it comes with hard work.

What were your New Year’s resolutions, and have you continued along with them into February? Let me know by leaving me a comment!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Recipe

With Thanksgiving coming up, I have one thing on my mind. PUMPKIN. Ok, maybe mashed potatoes and stuffing as well…

During the fall time I crave every kind of food in a pumpkin flavor. Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin soup, you name it. There’s just something about fall that makes me want to eat it all of the time. Pumpkin puts us in the holiday spirit and makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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I recently discovered Bliss Nut-Butters through Instagram and have been eating their nut-butters nonstop since. I will admit, I practically ate the whole jar of their Cinnamon Chia Seed Peanut Butter before I could even share this recipe. It really is THAT delicious. What’s their secret to making the butters so addictive? I would have to say the sea salt combined with the sweetness of the cinnamon!

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After eating half the jar I had the idea to include it in a smoothie with pumpkin. I figured the cinnamon would act as pumpkin pie spice and the peanuts would add some extra flavor and nutrition. For this recipe you will need:

1/2 can of pumpkin

1 spoonful of Bliss Nut Butters Cinnamon

1 frozen banana

soy milk

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Simply blend up all your ingredients and add soy milk as needed.

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Enjoy! The cinnamon peanut butter adds the perfect hint of sweetness to the pumpkin without overdoing it. It’s like a pumpkin pie without the excess sugar. Next time you feel like cheating with a slice of pie, blend this smoothie together instead!

Juice Press Rainforest Smoothie Recipe

If you are a juice and smoothie lover you are probably obsessed with all the boutique juice shops in the city. Juice Press is just one of these stores that offers delicious, fresh but overpriced smoothies. While it is nice to treat myself to one of these every once in awhile, this college student has a budget to follow.

I am always messing around with my Vitamix (aka the most life-changing gadget you can have in your kitchen), looking for the perfect green smoothie recipe. While the other recipe I shared on my blog is one of my staples, this new recipe just might be replacing it for the next few weeks.

If you have ever had Juice Press’s Rainforest smoothie, this is exactly what that tastes like. Filled with kale, mint, lemon, and coconut water, you really can’t go wrong. I even added my own little twist by making it with frozen banana and pineapple. This helps to balance out the taste of the greens.

In order to make this you are going to need:

Kale on kale on kale

Mint leaves

1/2 of a lemon

1 frozen banana

Coconut water

Frozen pineapple

Start with your greens. Feel free to add as much mint as you like. I pile in the mint because I love that refreshing ting early in the morning after a long yoga session. It is also great for indigestion!

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Next, add your kale. Once again, load this in; the more greens the better! I was lucky enough to be given kale straight from someone’s garden. I lack any sort of green thumb but tasting this fresh kale has inspired me to possibly start growing my own greens.

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The kale was so fresh that I kept finding inch worms in it! I returned these little worms back into their natural habitat and made sure to clean the kale over and over again.

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After you add all of your greens be sure to juice half of a lemon into the blender. If you want a tangier taste feel free to squeeze an entire lemon into the juice.

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Next, I added my frozen banana. I buy a bunch of bananas and freeze them in ziplock bags to make them much more accessible whenever I want to make a smoothie. This way you don’t need to worry about the time it takes to freeze a banana once your smoothie craving comes on.

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Coconut water is going to allow the Vitamix to blend everything together smoothly. You want to start by adding a good amount and then continue to add more as the smoothie is blending. The coconut water is going to make the blender’s job a lot easier, and prevent it from breaking.

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Lastly, add your frozen pineapple. Once again, there is not a specific amount that you need to add. It is all up to you and which flavors you want to be most prominent!

Now blend together and it’s ready to drink.

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Let me know what you think of this recipe when you try it. Be sure to share it on Instagram and tag @maemaddie. Happy blending!

A Green Smoothie For Those Against Greens

Every morning I wake up and look forward to a tall glass filled to the brim with green smoothie. Needless to say, I am a firm believer that a green juice a day keeps the doctor away. Cheesy but true. Greens are packed with vitamin K, fiber, and even calcium (perfect for the vegans out there!), so you really can never get enough of them.

Being the health nut that I am, I am always trying out new green smoothie recipes and feeding them to my friends. While they may not have been too happy with some of the smoothies I have fed them, this one is always a favorite. You can’t even taste the greens, making it perfect for those appalled to the idea of green smoothies.

In order to make this green smoothie you are going to need:

Lots of greens! (spinach is my favorite)

1 Frozen Banana

Frozen Pineapple Chunks

Frozen Peach Slices

Almond Milk or Coconut Water

Chia Seeds

First, start off with your greens. It is important that you add them to your blender first since they are the most difficult to blend into a liquid texture. Having spinach chunks in your smoothie leads to spinach in your teeth and nobody wants that, especially if you have one of those friends that is too awkward to tell you that it’s in your teeth. Don’t be afraid to add handfuls of your greens to the smoothie; I promise you that you won’t even taste them!

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Next, add your frozen fruit. I try to add just enough fruit so that you don’t taste the greens but you also don’t get an overload of sugar. I recommend adding 2 or 3 peach slices and half a handful of pineapple chunks. Less is always more.

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Once everything is in the blender, take you almond milk or coconut water. If you like your smoothies to be sweeter, opt for almond milk. However, coconut water is a healthier option to use because of its low calories and little sugar. If you are new to drinking green smoothies begin with the almond milk and ease your way into the coconut water.

Here you want to eyeball the amount of liquid that you are adding to the greens and fruits. Add a little at a time, blend, and if the blender is giving you trouble then add more! You don’t want your smoothie to be too liquidy which is why it is important to add a little at a time.

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And there you have it; your green smoothie is finished. Sprinkle some chia seeds on top and it is ready to drink. The chia seeds will add a little crunch while also keeping you full for hours to come.

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This green smoothie is delicious, healthy, and doesn’t cost $200 like the smoothie that Gwyneth Paltrow makes herself every morning. Beauty on a budget! If you try this smoothie be sure to post it on Instagram or Twitter and tag me.