Categorized as: Blog

The best vegan choc cake!

Livia’s kitchen is my favourite vegan dessert book! It is filled with the most delicious cakes, tray bakes, and breakfast inspos! This year is was my Nan’s 80th and I wanted to bake her a cake for the occasion. Rather selfishly, I wanted to make her a vegan cake so I could ensure I could have a piece (or three). My Nan being completely against Veganism, of course I couldn’t tell her the cake was vegan, she would have turned her nose up and not had a piece. Safe to say she had no idea, hastily scoffed down two pieces before I revealed the truth and for that 2 minutes I may have turned her! One thing to note is this cake is EXTREMELY caloric, so if you are watching your calories don’t make it because you won’t be able to resist eating the whole thing in about 48 hours…it’s perfect for a weekend treat for the family or a special occasion cake.


500g medjool dates

65g Cacao powder

700g Almond butter

600ml oat milk


Now I made my own frosting up – there are loads of dairy free frosting recipes online so you may want to find your own but I used to below ingredients- I cant remember the exact quantities but I basically just mixed it all together until it came to a nice thick buttercream consistency!

Dairy free butter

Icing sugar

Almond milk (tiny drop)

Cacao powder


  • Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease two 18cm cake tins with coconut oil.
  • Blend all of the cake ingredients a food processor until well mixed.
  • Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. You want the cakes to be firm along the sides, but bouncy in the middle.
  • Whilst the cake is baking, make the frosting by adding the ingredients to a food processor until well mixed.
  • To assemble the cake, spread half of the frosting onto one of the cakes and then place the other cake on top, finishing with the remaining frosting.
  • Top with your choice of berries – blueberries, strawberries and raspberries all work well.


Please let me know if you decide to make this ! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


Jess x

Veggie chilli

Veggie chilli

This is a great winter warmer! Super easy – super quick – and full of lots of plant based goodness! You can make a huge batch and take some in for lunch the next day.

The beauty of a chilli is the different variations you can do. Add kidney beans, quinoa, chickpeas, different spices! You can serve it with a jacket potato, roasted veg, rice or cauliflower rice! If you are missing the texture of meat, then a great addition is Quorn –


Serves 4

2 sweet potato’s

1 Teaspoon Cayenne pepper

1 Teaspoon ground cumin

Oliver Oil


1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper

2 cloves of garlic

1 fresh red chilli

2 x 400g tinned beans (kidney works best but you could use chickpea, or cannellini)

2 x 400g tins of plum tomato’s


Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400˚F/gas 6.

Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into bite-sized chunks, then place onto a baking tray.

Sprinkle with a pinch each of cayenne, cumin, sea salt and black pepper, drizzle in oil. Roast for 40 minutes until tender.

Peel and roughly chop the onion, garlic, and peppers and deseed and finely chop the chilies.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat, add the onion, peppers, and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the spices and chili, and cook until softened!

Add the beans and tomato’s and ix them around so everything is submerged! Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and leave this for approx. 25 mins.

When the roasted sweet potato is finished stir this through – serve with your chosen side dish!








Veggie Shepherds Pie !

Another delicious winter warmer – great for all the family to enjoy! Throw in all your left over veg at the end of the week or make a huge batch to have for lunches with a salad. One of my favourite dinners served with some green veg!

Serves 4

3 sweet potatoes’ (you can also use normal potato’s, or parsnips although you will need more of these to create the topping- basically anything you can mash!)

2 x 400g tinned tomato’s

Teaspoon cumin (ground)

Teaspoon Turmeric (ground)

1 garlic clove

1 onion

300g mushrooms

1 large courgette

Bread crumbs – optional


(You can also add in the Quorn mince from the chili recipe if you want a meaty texture/taste!)


Boil the potatoes (or whatever you have chosen to be your topping) until they are soft.

Whilst these are cooking chop the onion, courgette, garlic and mushrooms roughly into small pieces and add with the spices into a large pan until the vegetables are almost all soft! Add in the tinned tomatoes and summer for a further 5 minutes. Pour into a baking dish.


Drain the topping and mash – you can add a little butter and salt and pepper to season – roughly mash (I keep the skin of the potato son! ) and spread along the top of the vegstble layer. To add crunch sprinkle on some bread crumbs!


Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins until to top layer is golden and crispy.


Serve with green veg or a salad!





Chickpea and vegetable coconut curry

This is one of my favourite dinners! You can throw anything in – add anything you fancy or whatever you have left in the cupboard. As long as you have some spices, a tin of coconut milk you’re good to go! This also tastes great with Tofu – I’m not a huge fan of tofu but added to curries it can add texture and bulk! I serve this with brown rice.


1 diced Onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon ground ginger

50g diced tomato’s

1 can chickpeas drained

70g diced carrots

50g peas – these can be frozen!

1 table spoon of curry powder

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1 400ml can coconut milk

240ml veggie stock

Spinach to garnish


(Optional – diced butternut squash is a great addition! Roast in the oven first and mix in later!)


Add oil to a pan and fry off the spices, adding in the onion and garlic until brown. Add all the ingredients into the pan and simmer for 30 mins on a medium heat. Keep stirring to avoid anything sticking to the bottom. If the curry seems too thick add a little water, if it seems too watery add more veg in – you can never have enough veg!!


I mix spinach through at the end – and serve with brown rice!




Everyday Hero – Mark D’Souza

Name:   Mark D’Souza

Occupation:   Electrician

Family:   Fiance + 2 young sons

Height:  5’10

Weight in September 2016:   150kg

Read More

FitLife – Year 1 in Numbers

As year 1 of Fitlife draws to a close we have put together our year in numbers….

646 people have joined Fitlife as a member

184 have left

462 remain Read More

Your holiday blueprint….

Holiday season

Yep, last week of July and it is holiday season! You have worked hard to get yourself in shape to look good in your beach wear and now’s the time to let all that hard work unwind… OR IS IT!

Read More

Do we really need to detox?!

Do we really need to detox?

Summer is approaching which means most of us want a quick fix diet to help us lose weight fast. This is the perfect time for companies to draw us in with the word ‘detox.’ But do we really need to detox? And does this do any good for us?
If you type in the world ‘detox’ to Google, “7 Day Detox Plan” or “Juice Fast” appear all over your page. Whether its eating cucumber soup for 30 days or sipping on a juice at every meal – a huge audience of people would do anything to lose fat as quickly as possible.

Read More

Big thanks and best wishes – from Meg

Fitlife members!

My final day at Fitlife has soon come around so I would like to take this time to thank you all for making my time here a pleasurable one! You guys very much made my working environment one to which I was pleased to be returning to, always knowing I was gonna get a good laugh! Going to miss that greatly but i shall undoubtably be catching up with you all, G&T in hand down the local (when you know you know), as well as obviously popping down to Fitlife for a session with you guys!

I would also like to thank all of my work colleagues for making my time at work enjoyable (even you with your questionable puns, Chazza), I am very lucky to have entered with both colleagues and members and leave with friends.

Thank you once again guys for all the great chats, laughs, support and well wishes! You’re all absolute legends. Keep training hard, thinking positive and enjoying life to the full.


Best wishes,

Meg x

Want to be beach ready?! Put the running trainers away..

Running just isn’t enough

So the sun is out, the birds are singing and it has us all looking at the calendar marking out how many days until we jet off on our summer holiday. In turn, this increases the number of pavement pounders that we see on the roads clocking up the mileage to shed those winter pounds.

Make no bones about it, running is a great exercise. It increases your blood flow, burns calories and is brilliant for your mental state but will it get you what you may call ‘beach ready’. Sadly, the answer is no, and here’s why. Read More