Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Sunshine and Pastries

Having recently got back from a house-hunting trip in Portugal, I just had to share with you the incredible eye-opening, mouth-watering food journey I went on!!!

Portugal is known for its sunny climes, hundreds of Brits descend on the Algarve each year to escape the chilly UK winters, and now I see why. When you think of Portugal, it brings to mind, sandy beaches, rocky coves, golf, and of course wine. But did you know just how fantastic Portuguese food is? 

We started with the CATAPLANA during a day trip in Tavira. (Tavira is situated in the east of the Algarve, 28km from Faro, and near the Spanish border. It's a quaint, charming and unique town home to over 30 churches, well worth a visit.)


Cataplana de Piexe

Cataplana is the name for the copper pot that the meal is cooked in, there are several varieties, all of which are delicious, Cataplana with Clams and Pork, Fish Cataplana, Seafood Cataplana.....

Clams, Mussels, King Prawns, arrive steaming hot and fresh at your table, with arousing aromas, so that the guests at adjacent tables turn and twist to see what your having! (see simple recipe below)


Seafood Cataplana Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ounce sausage or fresh chorizo, removed from the casing
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sliced shallot, optional
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 pound fresh clams
  • 1 1/2 ounces medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup crushed vine ripe tomatoes, fresh or canned
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • Smoked paprika
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving

In a cataplana pan or shallow-sided pot with cover, heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until lightly browned. Add the shallots, if using, and garlic. Cook until softened and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the clams, shrimp, tomatoes, wine and some paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and steam gently over medium to medium-low heat just until the clams open and the shrimp are pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Sprinkle with the remaining oil, chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon. Serve directly out of the pan. Enjoy!

Everyone kept telling me how fresh and yummy the local fish was so I had no choice but to give it a try. We scouted out the local fish markets, all in our bid to find the freshest fish available....

Fresh Sardines from Quarteria Fish Market

We took our sardines home and grilled them on the barbecue on our balcony. Added a little salt and pepper to taste and lots of lemon. Delicious.

I had been told (warned) about the Pastel de Nata (Portuguese Egg Tart Pastry) before I arrived in Portugal, namely that they were dangerous and should come with a 'eat-me-and-you-will-want-more' sign. 

I visited a local bakery and bought half-a-dozen just baked tarts that were still warm - well half of those were eaten before we reached the car. I kid you not, the beautiful balance of light fluffy pastry and smooth, slightly sweet creamy filling does tantalizing things to your mouth.

Pastel De Nata

A trip to Portugal would be amiss if we didn't try the Peri-Peri Chicken - washed down with a hearty, full bodied and quite frankly generous glass of red wine - the wine here is delicious and also very cost effective!

Crisp, spicy, succulent chicken that we ate quickly, maybe too quickly, but it was so damn tasty. Paired with a tomato, oregano and sweet onion salad that was both refreshing and juicy.

Tomato Salad Recipe


3 Beef Tomatoes
1 Sweet Onion
2 Tsp Olive Oil

Slice the tomatoes and onion thinly. Mix olive oil, oregano and salt to taste, and pour over the tomatoes and onions, mix thoroughly and then serve.

Alas my visit to Portugal came to an end, I admit I was a little sad to leave, I'd had such a fantastic time during my short stay, my stomach growled a little in protest on the way to the airport, so I stopped for a cafe and pastry before climbing aboard my plane, ah, perfecto!

Monday, 6 March 2017

31 Days of March

March is here! Finally we can look forward to Spring being just around the corner.  

31 Days of March is about being fitter, healthier and happier! I'll be sharing 31 days of FOOD, FITNESS and EXERCISE tips, on Twitter and Instagram @halesgolfwear so come join the #31DaysofMarch movement! Let's get MOTIVATED and step into Spring with new energy and focus.

Day One. Hydrate.

Probably the simplest and the most effective activity you can do for your body and mind. Drink plenty of water. Add your favourite fruit or vegetable to a glass of water for maximum hydration benefits. For some seriously yummy fruit-infused water inspiration look here

Day Two.  Start Your Day Right.

Kick off your day with Slow Release Carbs and Protein. This will keep you feeling full for longer and ensure that you don't indulge in sugary snacks! Try adding banana, almond milk and peanut butter to cooked oats or quinoa with pumpkin seeds, strawberries and coconut milk.

Day Three. Don’t be too Shy to Sweat.

Sweaty is the new Sexy. Try high intensity workouts to get your heart pumping and release endorphins - superhero hormones that make you feel amazing!!!

Day Four. Plan Ahead.

You know that calendar thingy in your phone? Use it! Schedule your workouts and classes for optimum results. Send yourself fun reminders to help motivate. Try adding your fave music as a alarm to get you going!

Day Five. Know Yourself.

You know YOU better than anyone else in the world. What is your fave type of exercise? 
Do more of what makes you happy, then it won’t feel like a chore.

Day Six. Try Quinoa

Add PUMPKIN seeds and coconut milk to freshly made (and still warm) quinoa for a healthy, hearty and delicious start to your day!

Quinoa with Strawberries, Pumpkin Seeds & Coconut Milk

Day Seven. Team Work.

Let's get fitter, healthier and happier together! Go to a dance class with your friends, shake your booty at Zumba with your work colleagues or go for a weekend hike with your kids!

Retro Group Workout - Courtesy of Vogue UK

Day Eight. Don't Beat Yourself Up.

Don't stress if you skip a workout or make unhealthy choices. Start fresh tomorrow.

Day Nine. Move Your Body.

The best workout is one that burns calories fast! Find out which ones are the best for you here - FastBurn

Day Ten. Strong is Beautiful.

I was afraid of 'Bulking Up' by doing too many weights but now I love how weights tone and strengthen my body. Also its impossible to 'bulk up' without the proper nutrition and supplements! 

Me at the Gym

Day Eleven. Spinach.

Have it with salmon or eggs. Add it to salads or smoothies. I simply love this versatile veg so much! Full of B vitamins and iron – natural energy boosters. 


Day Twelve. Dive in.

Swimming is a FUN way to stay FIT! It burns calories and reduces stress.  

Me at the Pool

Day Thirteen. Shake It Up.

Keep your workout challenging! Try surfing, indoor climbing or kickboxing. If you don't challenge yourself and keep your fitness fresh and exciting you'll more likely to get bored quickly and give up!

Indoor Rock Climbing

Day Fourteen. Frutilicious.

Eat colourful. Aim to eat fruit and vegetables of every colour each day. Read more about my rainbow wheel of fruit and vegetables here. 

Rainbow Fruit Bowl

Day Fifteen. Drink Up.

Remember to replace fluids when you're active! I aim for 3 litres of water a day, more if I'm working out a lot! If you're a big coffee drinker remember to drink one glass of water for every cup of coffee to keep hydrated. 


Day Sixteen. Positive.

Think good thoughts. How you think about yourself affects how you feel. So only feed yourself with loving and positive thoughts. Healthy body and healthy mind go hand in hand.

Day Seventeen. Work Out With Friends.

Group fitness is way more fun than going alone! You'll help to motivate each other and naturally work harder together too!

Six30 Sportswear

Day Eighteen. Protein.

Start your day with high-protein for more energy throughout the day and mental efficiency. Good quality protein like salmon can boost your mood, and the enriching fish oils are great for skin, hair and nails!

Day Nineteen. Get Some Fresh Air.

Take your daily workout up a level by training outdoors! Run, walk, hike or cycle in the fresh air and get a natural dose of vitamin D. 

Hales Golf does the Camino!

Day Twenty. Go Green.

Try adding spinach to your smoothie for extra vitamins and energy. Blend blueberries, spinach, turmeric and coconut water for a delicious smoothie!

Spinach, Blueberry, Turmeric & Coconut Water Smoothie

Day Twenty-One. Cardio-oh-oh-oh.

Spin your way into spring with the ultimate calorie burning classes - choose from spinning, HIIT (high intensity interval training) and kettlebell to lose weight fast plus tone and strengthen your body.  

Day Twenty-Two. Watermelon.

Hydrating and refreshing. Mix it with mint in your morning juice for a quick energy boost! Watermelon is a natural diuretic, add to cucumber, and coconut water for a refreshing smoothie. 

Watermelon Slices

Day Twenty-Three. Gratitude.

Your body is amazing. It can do incredible things. Be thankful. Be kind to your body. Treat every body with love. 

Day Twenty-Four. Super Snacks.

We love @pipandnut blueberry and almond muffins! They're perfect for breakfast, or to pop in your bag for when you need a healthy snack on the go! 

PipandNut Almond & Blueberry Muffins!

Day Twenty-Five. Balance.

Cardio drops the pounds. Weights build strength and muscle. You need both to see best results! 

Day Twenty-Six. Switch it Up.

Challenge yourself and try something new. Keep fitness exciting and never boring! 

Day Twenty-Seven. Get Creative.

Pizza used to be my guilty treat but not any more. Now I make my own gluten free pizza, where I can control the amount of cheese and also choose my fave healthy ingredients. Tip: try artichokes, mozzarella and oregano!

Day Twenty-Eight. Don't Compare Yourself to Others.

Figure out what works for you and do more of that. Everyone is different, and there is only one you, so never compare and put yourself down. Celebrate your uniqueness.

Day Twenty-Nine. Avocado.

My fave food. Use it in salads, smoothies and on its own. Super nutritious and versatile, packed full of vitamin e and healthy fats.


Day Thirty. Get Your Skates On.

Bring the YAY to your workout today. Who said fitness couldn't be fun? 

Day Thirty-One. Big Up Yourself. 

You've worked so hard this month - Keep Going! 
Run, Swim, Climb, Dance - do what makes you feel good, gets your heart pumping and sweaty! 

Here's to living more active, healthier and happier lives!

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