Fudgy Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Chips & Biscoff

January 14, 2017

This recipe is an excerpt from my cookbook 'Sweet Simple Cooking' which you can get HERE. I wanted to share this mouth-watering, eye-opening fudgy chocolate chip cake with you as it's my absolute FAVE to bake for friends or for myself (who doesn't love a good chocolate cake with vegan nutella and biscoff or speculoos all for themselves?). Let's get baking!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup unrefined cane sugar
1tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
2tbsp cocoa powder
1,5 cup rice milk
2tsp vanilla extract
1,5tbsp apple cider vinegar
1,5 chia egg (1,5 tbsp chia to 6tbsp water)
Handful vegan chocolate drops
2tbsp vegan nutella
1/2 cup speculoos



HOW TO:

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a round baking tin with non-stick baking paper. Make the chia egg by combining chia seeds with water. Set aside for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, mix the flour, cane sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. In another bowl, mix rice milk with apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and give it a quick mix. Then add the chia egg and blend until any clumps have disappeared. Lastly, mix in the chocolate drops.

Pour the mixture into the baking tin and let it bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.

To make the topping, crumble the speculoos in a mug. Check if the cake is ready by inserting a toothpick, if it comes out clean the cake is ready. Leave it to cool down for 5 minutes. You want to smear on the nutella whilst the cake is still warm so it melts nicely. Sprinkle on the crumble and your cake is ready to be served.


Healthify yourself in 2017

January 10, 2017

 
With New Year's resolutions still fresh in your mind and the recent release of my ebook 'Sweet simple cooking', I thought I would write a post about how to improve your eating habits and overall health. Being healthy and the feeling of being fit have, personally, increased in importance over the last three years. Once I realized the difference my eating habits and fitness routine made to both my physical and psychological health, I decided to improve my lifestyle and make lifelong changes. I know I'm using big words, but it's so important to care about yourself and to invest both time and motivation into creating those lifestyle changes.


1. CREATE A WORKOUT SCHEDULE & STICK TO IT

Trust me when I say that working out wasn't my forte in the past. Although I've always been quite a sporty girl, I thought working out was a complete waste of time as the only one who had to put up with my body was me. But, working out isn't just about feeling and looking fit, it's about having a better night's sleep, speeding up your metabolism, challenging your body and improving your eating habits

I try to work out at least three timesa week, preferably four, for 40 minutes but I make sure not to overexercise as I've been through a phase of exercising seven days a week and thus exhausting my body until it (nearly) shut down. As I'm currently training for a half marathon, it's easy for me to stay motivated. I really want to reach my goal which makes exercising a lot more fun. Try to set a goal and work towards it. This can be a set distance you want to run, a certain amount of kgs you want to lift or just improving the way your body feels whilst exercising.

2. EAT MORE & DON'T STARVE YOURSELF
 
I'm not lying when I say that some of my portion sizes are huge compared to my relatively tiny body. As I'm only eating plantbased foods, which are much lower in calories than animal derived foods, I can eat more and still not gain weight. The only weight gain I've recently experienced is due to muscle gain. Most people have the new year's resolution to 'lose weight' translating to 'starving myself' which isn't a healthy mindset. If you want to lose weight, try to exercise more, eat more plant foods, less animal derived products and less sweets. Starving yourself will most likely lead to binge eating and isn't a long-term solution for weightloss. Diets don't work, a change of lifestyle, on the other hand, does work

3. DRINK MORE WATER & HYDRATE YOUR BODY

Drinking more water has an endless list of benefits, as it clears your skin, strengthens your hair and nails, cures headaches, keeps your energy levels up, fights bloating, aids in digestion etcetera. I try to drink at least 1,5 litres a day (more if I'm exercising that day) and make sure to drink it before my meals. I'm not saying I never overeat when I drink before I eat, but it makes me feel less hungry almost instantly which leads to eating (a little bit) less.


4. A NUTRITIOUS START: GET YOUR BREAKFAST GAME ON

Something most people skip when creating better daily routines, is breakfast. If you start your day with a nutritious meal to keep your energy levels up, you're most likely in a mindset that wants you to not ruin the progress you just made and, consequently, your other meals will be healthier too. Don't skip breakfast, but have a large meal in the morning, a slightly smaller lunch and an even smaller dinner. Also, don't forget to snack in between meals. I tend to have a handful of almonds, an apple or tangerines and a less healthy Lotus biscoff during the day. 

5. BALANCE IS KEY (AND KIND OF THE SOLUTION FOR EVERYTHING)

As I mentioned before, having balanced meals and workout plans are key to creating a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy most of the time, but allow yourself to have a snack now and then. That's exactly why diets don't work, because you're forcing yourself to do something that isn't natural. Unless it's a lifestyle change, it's most likely not going to lead you to living a healthier life.

6. WALK MORE & GET OUTSIDE

I try to walk for at least 30 minutes every day to get my heart rate up and get some fresh air in my lungs. Sometimes thirty minutes of walking may seem like an incredible waste of precious time, but the benefits of those minutes most definitely outweight the time it takes. It increases your energy, reduces stress and provides better sleeping patterns. So get moving!

What are your tips for improving your lifestyle in 2017 and making this year all about treating yourself better?


SWEET SIMPLE COOKING IS OUT NOW! BUY HERE

My Resolutions for 2017

January 1, 2017


Last year, I promised myself to get fitter and to work out more often. That's exactly what I did in 2016 and despite having had surgery twice and going through three months of recovery, I actually managed to run a solid 15K once. I'm still building up to my half marathon, but I'm getting there slowly but surely. This year's resolution? Probably beating my PR and running 21K. I'm still working on cutting down sugary foods, but I love the occasional gingerbread biscuit or chocolate pie (all vegan, of course).

I managed to get pretty good grades which made me blog even less. Oh how often I've wished for a personal photographer to shoot my outfits in the streets of my city. Instead I've been traveling to lectures or finding ways to spice up my oatmeal game. Maybe I'll manage to blog more often next year? Fingers crossed.

The other big goal I've set is to visit Great Britain in 2017. Edinbrough is the city I've been wanting to visit for ages and I'm hopefully going to turn my dreams into plans. I would love to be an exchange student in England and study in a different country for a semester. These are my realistic resolutions for 2017, what are yours?:

· Run 21K aka a half marathon ·
· Cut down my intake of sugary foods ·
· Explore Great Britain and go on Erasmus·
 · The usual 'upgrade my blogging game' ·
· Take things as they come and accept them as they are ·
· Introduce more people to a plantbased lifestyle for themselves, the animals and the environment ·
· Publish my first cookbook 'Sweet Simple Cooking' ·
·  Finish writing a novel (first chapter on Wattpad fyi) ·
 

LIFE | December Thoughts & Inspirations

December 19, 2016


I can't believe it's almost 2017, I haven't even completed my list of good intentions (yet!). It's quite hilarious how every year, I write down a list of things I want to accomplish in the following year when instead, I should just follow the flow of life and take things as they come. If I were to evaluate 2016, it wouldn't be getting good ratings as this has probably been one of the hardest years of my 20 years of existence. I've dealt with physical problems that have lead to mental changes and my perception of events. I learned to focus on the good and not be ashamed of having a cry now and then. It's okay to be soft nowadays and don't let people or situations make you feel indifferent about anything. I learned that letting go is easier said than done. I learned that, despite thinking I know myself completely, I'm still discovering who I am and what my goals are in life. I also learned that learning is a good thing and it's something that will always be present in everybody's life.

LIFE | Turning 20 and The Bucket List

December 8, 2016


The feeling of turning twenty is frightening yet freeing at the same time. To me, no longer being 19 means having more responsibilities, less spare time and being myself. Successful people (singers, actors, CEO's of multinationals) seem to have an incredible list of accomplishments on their curriculum vitae or they're well-known and famous at the age of twenty. For a university student with little to no accomplishments on her cv this can lead to frustrations sometimes. I know it's not the most important thing to worry about, but it does bother me now and then. 

As a fifteen year old girl, I always thought being twenty meant that I would completely know myself, I'd have my life figured out and my social contacts would be booming. Also, I most likely envisioned myself with a cute guy on my arm when instead, I'm watching Ed Sheeran's 'funniest moments' and I can only dream of meeting a guy like him one day. What I'm trying to say is that you shouldn't let yourself guide by an ideal that you or someone else imprinted in your head. It's okay not to have a picture perfect life with Bridget Jones being incredibly and scarily relatable (she too got married in the end with a lovely man). 

I've been struggling with anxiety a lot lately and it's not the easiest mindset to live with. Everything that goes wrong or feels wrong is giving me nightmares and heart palpitations. I'm working on my own brand (aka my blog), I'm finishing an ebook and I'm pushing myself to be who I am. Those projects make me feel proud of myself, but they also stress me out. To prevent these anxiety attacks I wrote a list of things I want to accomplish this year and it's not the most mainstream one, but it's part of my 'ME' project where I want to be completely in peace with who I am and where my life will take me. Life is a crazy, scary ride with unexpected events along the way, but a gift wouldn't make you as happy as it does now if you always knew what the content would be, right?


· THE BUCKET LIST ·
· Getting a tattoo 
· Publishing my ebook 'Sweet Simple Cooking'
· Go on Erasmus to England to improve my English skills
· Continue building my blog and YouTube channel
· Travel to Edinburgh and visit Tom Riddle's grave
· Finish writing my fantasy novel
· Getting my ear pierced       

STYLE | Shades of Beige

December 4, 2016

One of the perks of the not so pleasant winter weather is the sun. The lighting for photos is absolutely gorgeous and I could take a thousand pictures of the sunset (I've taken about a hundred already, don't judge me). The temperature, on the other hand, isn't my thing. It's freezing and my hands were completely stiff and frozen after taking these photographs. I'm also attempting to film a lookbook for my YouTube channel, but not having someone to film and being on my own with my trusty tripod isn't ideal.

This outfit is pretty much my basic winter attire and the only thing that switches up is the color of the sweater and which pair of black trousers I'm wearing that day. Other than that, I keep myself warm with a thick scarf, warm gloves and winter socks (yes, the ones that your grandma used to buy for you). I would love to know what your basic winter outfit is!

shoes: Doc Martens // Trousers: Only // Sweater: Ichi // Scarf: H&M 




STYLE | Christmas and Birthday Wishlisting

November 29, 2016

Festive socks & slippers: Etam // Pinafore dress & sweater: Topshop // backpack: Topshop // Embroidered denim: Topshop // Candle: Dyptique

I've said this multiple times before and I'll keep repeating myself every single year or until Christmas stops exisiting. It's my favorite time of the year and I'm so incredibly excited for the holidays. As a student I know that Christmas is a synonym for studying and locking yourself up in your bedroom until the day passes by. That, however, doesn't mean you can't make yourself comfortable and cozy in the room that might possibly drive you nuts whilst studying. December is also my birthday month (only 9 days to go until my 20th birthday) which means that my family members are constantly questioning my wishlist. Time for an update it is!

FOOD | What I Ate Today #7

November 22, 2016


It seems like I only blog about food and most of my time goes to filming and editing YouTube videos, but I promise it's not true. It's simply much easier to film something in bad lighting than to take photographs in awful lighting or maybe that's me being a perfectionist when it comes to photography. I hope you're enjoying the videos, though, and I hope I'll be able to write more fashion-related posts soon.

I've just been feeling really, extremely crappy lately and I'm not in the mood for photographing my face. If you don't feel well, there's no fun in photographing those moments to then having to look back at them later. Anyway, I hope you'll enjoy this short what I ate today video! XX

FOOD | Oats & Book Fairs

November 13, 2016


Friday was a pretty busy day, not only did I film my first ever morning routine, I also visited a book fair in Antwerp and I filmed what I ate that day. Lately I've been really enjoying filming videos and editing them. After nearly four years of writing blog posts and taking photos, which I really do enjoy, don't get me wrong, it's been lovely to have a change of scenery. YouTube videos have always been my favorite waste of time and making them might be either a bigger waste of time or a way to be creative on the Internet. 

My old computer, however, hasn't been the biggest fan of the YouTube game and I'm afraid it's about to give up on me... Thank goodness I bought another one recently after a year of saving up money. Anyway, what are your thoughts on YouTube and as I've got a bit more spare time on my hands, which kind of videos or blogposts would you like to see in the near future? Nausikaä


LIFE | A Morning Routine

November 11, 2016

I finally got enough courage to film a Morning Routine for you. You probably wouldn't say so, but I'm extremely camera shy. I don't like seeing my face on photos or videos and that's why I've always put off making YouTube videos. But, since I'm starting to accept myself more and I'm no longer too shy to make a camera appearance, I filmed myself for the first time! I tried to make this morning routine as accurate as possible and I really hope you'll enjoy it! Nausikaä