Walking my little girl to pre-school last week in the pouring rain, I could see the miserable expressions on other people’s faces as they realised that summer is over and autumn has well and truly begun. Maybe I’m a bit odd, but I love the change of seasons, especially the change from summer to autumn. I’m just a big kid – the moment the summer holidays are over and the weather starts turning colder and wetter, I get this little bubble of excitement because, in my head, it’s not long until Christmas! It won’t be long before the Christmas decorations are up around town and I can fish out my favourite Christmas song CD…Alright, I know I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here. It’s still only September and I’m certainly not wishing away the rest of the year, but on a serious note, I always see the change of seasons as a perfect time to start afresh: to detox my body, set new goals and reassess my exercise regime.

September/October time is a particularly good time to do this because, even if you’re not a Christmas person like I am, the colder weather and longer evenings can leave a lot of people feeling depressed and lacking in energy. Even if you’re a fitness loving, health nut most of the time, at this time of year it can be tempting to slip into your pyjamas as soon as it gets dark, curl up on the sofa and fill up on heart-warming comfort food. However, you know you’ll feel much better and much happier if you stay active and keep on eating clean, refreshing, nutrient-rich foods. It’s a well-known fact that getting the right vitamins and minerals into your body and having enough endorphins flowing through you, will lift your mood and can help to fight off seasonal depression.

And then there’s the other great incentive to stay fit and healthy at this time of year – you want to look and feel great in your Christmas party clothes in a couple of months don’t you? I know I do!

SARAH THORP_PARTY DRESS PLAN FLYER 2015

I am nearly 4 months pregnant at the moment so by December, I certainly won’t be feeling sleek and trim in my party dresses, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be eating as well as I possibly can over the next few months and keeping up with regular exercise. And, although there’s not an awful lot I can do about my ever-expanding tummy, I still want to help other people feel as slim, toned, healthy and happy as possible this winter, which is why have put together The Online Barre Fit® Party Dress Plan. Starting on either Monday 5th October or Monday 2nd November, this online clean eating and exercise plan is designed to help you get fitter, slimmer and healthier than ever, just in time for the party season. I originally designed the plan for members of my local exercise classes, but I’m pretty excited about it and I want to share it with anyone who fancies giving it a go. SARAH THORP_PARTY DRESS PLAN FLYER 2015

It doesn’t matter where you live or how fit (or unfit) you think you are, you can take part in The Barre Fit Party Dress Plan, so do please spread the word and get in touch if you’d like more information: sarahthorpfitness@gmail.com

Whether you decide to sign up for The Party Dress Plan or not, remember to keep moving and stock up on those vegetables and healthy fats. You’ll be glad you did.

x

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Last month, I was contacted by the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance who asked me to join them in spreading the word for National Safety Month. Now being the person that I am, I’m a week late. National Safety Month was in June but I have decided there is no harm in carrying it into July! After all, keeping yourself healthy and safe is important at any time of the year.

Mesothelioma Cancer is a rare, devastating cancer that has been linked to environmental toxins such as asbestos and lead-based paint. Shockingly, these environmental toxins can still be found in many homes, schools and commercial spaces built prior to 1980. This infographic gives you some tips on how to check that you are safe and protected from these toxins:

Summer Safety in the Home (1)

Until I was contacted by the alliance, I had never heard of Mesothelioma Cancer, and it’s still something I know very little about so if you would like to learn more about it, go to www.mesothelioma.com  and read up about it here. However, I don’t need to be an expert on specific types of cancer, to know that toxins in our environment, homes and food are responsible for many diseases. Even low level health problems such as digestive issues, constant tiredness, PMT, anxiety, headaches, mood swings, low energy levels (the list could go on and on and on and on…) could be attributed to the toxins that we come into contact with every day.

I’ve talked a lot about eating clean food and it goes without saying that ensuring you eat clean, natural, chemical-free food is going to do wonders for your health. However, there are other ways that unwanted chemicals and toxins can get into our bodies: chemicals from plastic containers and packaging leach into our food, toxins in cleaning products and in toiletries (toothpaste, sun tan lotion, moisturiser, make up, shower gel, mouth wash) are inhaled and seep into our skin, and there are also toxins, hormones and all sorts of chemicals in our drinking water.

Now, I don’t suggest that you do what I have done several times; which is to freak out and vow that from now on you will use only white wine vinegar for cleaning and make all of your cosmetics at home from coconut oil! Believe me, if you are already trying to maintain a happy, healthy life-style that includes regular exercise, home-cooked meals, plenty of sleep, making enough time for family, friends and other hobbies…oh, and going to work, then trying to find time to make all of your own cleaning products and cosmetics as well, may just tip you over the edge. However, it is worth looking into reducing chemicals in your home.

As it is the summer, I think a good place to start is to look at the water you are drinking and the sun tan lotion you are using. So:

  • Whenever possible, filter your cooking and drinking water.
  • Try to use stainless steel or glass containers to store water (and food) and don’t leave plastic bottles hanging around in hot temperatures.
  • Use chemical free sun tan lotion: whilst it is essential to protect yourself against UV rays, most of the more readily available sun tan lotions are packed with chemicals, many of which are suspected to be linked to various cancers and thought to disrupt hormones. I have recently purchased some Neal’s Yard sun tan lotion for my holiday and use this on my face every day in the summer. Finding the correct lotions for you can be tricky (and sometimes pricey) but it’s worth researching. I found this article very helpful.

If you’re keen to go even further this summer, here are some other things you might want to look into changing when you have the time. I’m still researching these and refuse to beat myself up about not being 100% chemical free yet; however, I think just changing things one at a time and being aware of the risks is better than doing nothing at all.

  • Look into chemical-free moisturisers, soaps, shower gels and other toiletries: making your own can be fun and cheap. One of the most effective hand moisturisers I have ever used was made by whisking up shea butter, coconut oil and a couple of essential oils. It takes a while to soak in but it leaves my hands feeling incredible. My attempts at making shower gel have been less successful. I may have another go or I might just research toxin-free products and treat myself.
  • Avoid any cleaning product that contains the words ‘anti-bacterial’ in the description. Here’s an interesting article on the truth about antibacterial products: Five reasons why you should probably stop using antibacterial soap 
  • Use natural products such as bicarbonate of soda and white wine vinegar to clean and/or research more environmentally friendly and toxin-free cleaning products.

This is by no means an exhaustive list and I would love it if you would share your tips and ideas with me to make my never-ending quest for the perfect, toxin-free life, just a little bit easier.

x

Well, we’re a week into March and I’m still trying to keep up what I started in February with the ‘Love Yourself’ challenge. It’s been harder than you’d think to be consistently kind to myself but I’m getting better at it and just by being more aware of how I think and how I treat myself has led to all sorts of surprises. It’s amazing what you notice about yourself when you take the time to slow down and question your thought patterns. I went through February with an open mind and a new attitude.

Here’s what I learnt (or remembered in some cases):

1. It’s good to treat yourself

It sounds silly but treating myself to a new cookbook did wonders for my motivation and positive mental attitude. I allowed myself time to read through it properly and get some new ideas for meals and it made preparing meals so much more interesting. It just goes to show that treating yourself to a present from time to time is a good thing.

2. Doing what I love gives me energy

Writing is as essential to my mental and physical well-being as exercise. Exercise keeps me sane and gives me a lift, but when I’m writing fiction I get a completely different type of buzz that is just as energising and uplifting. It’s time for me to stop feeling guilty if I miss a workout in favour of doing something creative. I need to find a healthy balance between exercise and writing and remember they are both equally important to my well-being.

3. I need to stop stressing and start doing

Stressing about when I’m going to fit my workout in each day and worrying about my health and about my body shape takes up a LOT of my time; time that would be better spent doing something that would actually benefit me: cooking, writing, going for a walk, sleeping… I’m working on this one!

4. Sleep is the thing

One way or another I need to get more sleep. It doesn’t matter how good my diet is or how much I exercise and take care of myself, if I don’t get enough sleep I feel terrible. There’s no immediate solution to my toddler waking up every night and disturbing my sleep, but I have taken steps towards going to bed in a calmer state of mind. I try to turn off my computer an hour before bed and look at my phone as little as possible, and I’ve been trying this 4,7,8 breathing technique which does seem to help.

5. Drinking a green smoothie every morning ROCKS!

This is something we discovered as a group in my ‘Love Yourself’ Facebook group. You may have read my blog a while back about my first green smoothie. Since then I’ve tried a lot of green smoothies – which have been much more successful – and I have gone through phases of making them regularly and then forgetting about them again. When I started the ‘Love Yourself’ club, I was in a ‘no-smoothie’ place but one of the girls in the group mentioned she was going to have one every day and we all decided to follow suit. I really think it is one of the best ways to start your day. After I’ve had my smoothie for breakfast I feel healthy, driven and (let’s be honest) a little bit smug! You have to try it.

So that’s a little summary of how things went for me in February. I’m definitely going to keep on with my own personal ‘Love Yourself’ challenge. There’s lots for me to work on and I’ll never be perfect but I’m learning to accept that….slowly!

How about you? How did your February pan out and what are your plans for March?

x

OK, so this is not really health and fitness related but since I’ve been sharing my love of writing with you over the past couple of weeks and since one of my main goals for the February ‘Love Yourself’ project was to make time for writing, I’ve decided you’d forgive me for mixing things up a little bit. One of my children’s books is finally published! I’m so excited and it was just the boost I needed to keep me motivated and inspired this month. I’ve just written a blog post about how it all began over at the publisher’s website, here, so I thought I might as well share the good news with you lot as well.

My lovely little picture book, Lilly Mae, is a collaboration between myself (the writer) and my extremely talented sister, Ruth (the illustrator). It tells the tale of a feisty little girl who lives on a cloud and changes the weather according to her moods. If you’re at all interested in children’s books and beautiful design, please do head over to our website and take a look www.lillymaebook.co.uk.

Right, there we go: shameless plug and bragging over. I shall return to well-being related posts tomorrow. 🙂

x

Happy Valentine’s Day. How have you been getting on with loving yourself these past couple of weeks? Is it going ok? Have you been kinder to yourself in any way?

I have to say these past couple of weeks have been great for me. Just thinking about being kinder to myself has led to so many realisations about how my behaviour and thought patterns have been making me more stressed and anxious than I need to be. There are countless things I want to accomplish but the problem is I always try to do them all at once, or I do one thing on my list and then feel guilty about not doing another thing. The result is I get more and more frantic and less and less productive until I’m not achieving anything at all.

So for me, this month has been about slowing things down and focussing on one thing at a time. Every time I feel myself getting into a state because I haven’t done something, I remind myself it’s impossible to do everything at once. By giving myself time and space to breathe and by listening to what I really want to do rather than worrying about what I should be doing, I suddenly feel as though I have more time for me and for my family. I finally have time to concentrate on my health again, which in turn is giving me the energy and lift to be more creative and productive. I’m still not calm, collected and rational 100% of the time, but I’m getting better at being kind to myself and it is truly liberating. It’s the best Valentine’s gift I could have given myself. Thank you to me!

I hope you have all been getting on just as well. Please do get in touch and let me know.

x

We’re 10 days into February already. Where has that time gone?

How has your ‘Love Yourself’ month been going so far? For me, last week was all about getting back into my writing. This went brilliantly but I was still struggling with my other goal, which was to get back into my normal healthy eating habits. We’d had a flood at my house and ended up living with my parents-in-law for two weeks. It’s incredible how not having my own space to cook, exercise and relax in can have such a massive impact on my mood and eating habits. I love my parents-in-law and they couldn’t have made me feel more welcome, but I’ve never been good in other people’s environments. I’m a home-bird and for some reason, the moment I’m in someone else’s space I start to feel out of control and anxious, which leads to comfort eating. Sigh!

But, good news, we moved back into our house on Friday and I instantly began to feel better. As part of ‘Love Yourself’ February, I’ve decided to promise myself a treat each week. Last week I’d promised I would buy a brand new clean-eating cook book and set aside a couple of hours at the weekend to sit down and read through it. So I did.

I bought the new Deliciously Ella book and made a point of starting right from the beginning and reading through the introduction instead of skipping straight to the recipes. Ella is a beautiful writer and has an inspiring story and the recipes all seem to be very simple and relatively quick to make, which is always a bonus for me. I enjoy cooking, but I don’t have a lot of time in the week so I’m always looking for healthy, but convenient meal ideas. You can find out more about Ella at her website: www.deliciouslyella.com.

I took a few recipes from Ella’s book and also decided on a few of my old favourites that I hadn’t made for a few weeks. Then I got cooking. On Sunday morning, I did the fun baking stuff with my 2-year-old. We made raw chocolate energy balls (known in my household as ‘power balls’) to go in the freezer for when we want something lovely and sweet; we made blueberry muffins from the Deliciously Ella cook book and put those in the freezer too. Then I made a new batch of sweet potato gnocchi. I usually have this in the freezer at all times as a quick meal to give to my daughter. She loves it and once the gnocchi is made it’s even quicker than pasta to cook.

That was a pretty good start, but it got even better. Yesterday morning, I made my favourite homemade baked beans (just chop up and fry onion and garlic, then add tomato puree, passata, a bit of vegetable stock and some beans. I went with cannellini beans and butter beans this time. Yum!). I also made the the quinoa tabbouleh from Deliciously Ella’s cookbook, coconut chicken nuggets from I Quit Sugar and then I made a delicious frittata in the evening. OK, I know that’s a lot of cooking but it only took a couple of hours in the morning and about 30 minutes in the evening and now I have loads of delicious food waiting for me in the fridge. Just knowing I’ve put in all the hard work and have so much good food waiting for me when I need a quick meal makes me feel calmer and more positive about being able to eat healthily throughout the week. It may seem like a chore, but I definitely think it’s worth taking a little time each week to prioritise your health because if you can get that right, then you’ll have so much more energy and motivation in other areas of your life.

x

Ps. I’m sure I’m not alone in finding stories about people who have healed themselves through food intriguing and inspiring. As well as the Deliciouly Ella blog, I have found Against All Grain and I Quit Sugar so helpful and I go back to them time and time again for inspiration. I’d love to get some recommendations from readers if you know of any other good blogs.

This morning I had breakfast. I realise this isn’t the most exciting statement to open with but I don’t usually have breakfast before going out to see my first PT client. This is because a) it feels too early to eat and b) I often like to fit in a quick workout before I go. But this morning I just felt like doing things a bit differently so I decided to use my morning to eat a healthy breakfast and do some writing.

For me, this month is all about changing some of the habits that have become so ingrained I don’t even question them anymore; habits such as always putting exercise at the top of the priority list or getting in a state when my plans get disrupted in some way.

I know I said in my previous post that one of the keys to success is a bit of planning and I definitely think this is true. However, I also think I need to learn to be a bit more flexible and less hard on myself when things don’t go to plan because, let’s face it, they often don’t – that’s life.

So this morning, rather than getting straight into my workout gear as soon as I’d packed my daughter off to nursery, I chose to have breakfast and so some writing. As the guilt began to take hold at the thought of skipping a planned workout and eating breakfast instead, I reminded myself that one of my goals for February is to write more often. As I haven’t suddenly gained more hours in the day, fitting in extra writing time might mean exercise has to take back seat from time to time. Of course, I’m not giving up on exercise all together – that would be stupid and counterproductive – but if I want the odd day off then that’s OK. So long as I continue to eat healthily, nothing terrible is going to happen to my body if I skip a few exercise sessions but I might just find the time to do all the other things I’ve been promising to do for years.

Now that you’ve made your February ‘Love Yourself’ plan, take a look at it and see if there’s anything you can do differently or if there’s a bit of room for flexibility and change in there. After all, I’ve heard that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is madness!

x

Hello,

So it’s time to get ready for February. Before we start, we need to decide what it is we want to achieve this month. Try not to go to big. Remember, this is the ‘love yourself’ club and though the title is cheesy, the idea is that we approach things from a slightly different angle and hopefully learn to achieve more and succeed at our goals by being just a little bit kinder to ourselves rather than beating ourselves up.

For me, the key to sticking to anything is being a little bit organised so once you’ve decided on your goal(s), take a bit of time to plot out how your week is going to look. Plan out when you’re going to fit in whatever it is you want to fit in and what you need to do to prepare for the week.

My first goal is to find more time to write. This time is not going to just appear one day: I’m going to have to schedule it into my week and make sure I don’t give into other distractions (housework, coffee with friends, internet surfing etc.) during that time. My second goal is to curb my sugar cravings. I know what I’m like: if I let my blood sugar levels get too low or deny myself tasty treats completely, I end up caving and ‘pigging’ out, so I need to plan and prepare for this in advance to avoid it happening.

I have a day off on Monday, so I’m going to spend a few hours on Monday morning preparing some tasty sugar-free banana bread and homemade sweet potato crisps to pick at when I need something nice to munch on. I’m also going to spend 5 minutes each evening chopping up fruit and raw peppers so that I have them ready to snack on the next day. I love eating these foods but never have the patience to chop them up when it actually comes to wanting to eat them. Silly but true.

What are our goals and how are you going to go about achieving them this week? Please share on here or remember to send me a message on facebook so that I can add you to our group.

x

Hello. How has 2015 been treating you so far?

It’s been a busy few months for me: I got married in November and then there was Christmas and New Year, and then a couple of weeks ago we moved house. All of these are very happy events, but also immensely draining and I’m afraid to say they’ve left me a bit exhausted and lacking in ‘get up and go’! I know I’m not alone in this: a lot of people I’ve talked to recently have said they feel the same. We all started the year with such enthusiasm and with so many promises to be the fittest and healthiest we’ve ever been but I think the reality is that with dark mornings and evenings, cold weather, having to go back to work, and the after-effects of Christmas, many of us feel the strain in January.

That’s why I’m setting up a February ‘Love Yourself’ club. OK, I know this sounds a bit cheesy but it’s really not. This is a chance for you to spend a little bit more time focussing on yourself and what you really want to achieve. If you keep on promising to do something but never quite get around to it, now is your chance. Or if you think you’ve been too hard on yourself recently and fancy a break from all the negative, self-sabotaging thoughts, February is the month for you.

I don’t know about you, but I can be pretty nasty to myself sometimes. I boss myself about and deprive myself and judge myself in ways I would never judge anyone else, especially someone I love. I’m always telling my personal training clients to be kinder to themselves and forgive themselves when they ‘slip up’ by having a bit of chocolate or a couple of drinks, and yet I’m not always so nice to myself about these things. January can be an especially difficult month because so many of us start the year by setting ourselves harsh and overambitious resolutions; we then get down and disappointed when we don’t stick to these resolutions. Of course, it’s good to have goals and to challenge ourselves but it is also important to allow ourselves a little bit of down time to do what we want to do rather than what we think we should be doing.

This is where the ‘Love Yourself’ club comes in. It’s a chance to spend a whole month focussing on just one or two personal goals and learning how to be a bit kinder to yourself. Perhaps your goal is health and fitness related like trying out a gluten-free diet or working on a specific aspect of your fitness; perhaps you want to spend more time cooking healthy home-made meals or meditating or learning a new skill; perhaps you just want to find time each week to read a book. It can be anything really: for example, this February I want to curb my sweet tooth once and for all and I also want to find more time to write each week.

You can join in by following this blog and you can also join the private ‘Love Yourself’ Facebook group by finding me on Facebook (here) and sending me a message, asking to be added to the group. Anyone is welcome. Whatever it is you think you want to do, even if it’s as vague as being healthier in general, the ‘Love Yourself’ club is a chance for you to spend a whole month focussing on you and getting support and inspiration from others who are doing the same thing. 

Whether you’re joining me on Facebook or just joining me in spirit, here’s to a wonderful February!

x

This post is a bit unusual for me. A few months ago I bumped into Isabel, a lady who has set up a family business in her home, making and selling chocolate. This isn’t just any old chocolate: this is home-made, nutritious, delicious chocolate and it is made just up the road from me near Bicester in Oxfordshire.

As you will know already if you’ve read some of my previous posts, I have a bit of a sweet tooth but I know what refined, processed sugar can do to the body so I’m always on the lookout for clean eating treats and recipes that use natural, non-processed and health boosting ingredients. I was so excited to meet Isabel and to discover that someone local to me shared the same ideals and values as I did and had turned it into a business. I rushed out to buy a bar of her chocolate and I can confirm it is delicious.

I decided I had to interview Isabel and share her story with you all. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to run out and buy Isabel’s chocolate as soon as you’ve finished reading this…which is quite lucky really because we all know chocolate is good for us. See my previous post here if you don’t believe me!

So here it is, an interview with Isabel, owner and creator of The Chicken Shed.

Tell me a bit about The Chicken Shed. What do you do and what makes your chocolate special?

The Chicken Shed is Enrico (the man who makes the chocolate), me (I look after the website, the look and feel of our products and most of our customer contact), Ella (10 – she’s a great sales lady!), and Maya (7, fellow taster with Ella). We involve the children in most aspects, from testing new flavours to how our packaging looks, and they help us get ready for markets.

We make chocolate bars in 8 flavours at the moment (but more to come!), hot chocolate, and Belgian chocolates exclusively for Deddington Farmers’ Market as well as seasonal chocolate items. Our chocolate is organic, dairy-free and is made with raw forest honey rather than refined sugar. We also work the chocolate at lower temperatures than normal so as to ensure that we don’t “cook away” all the nutrients. Technically you’d class it as raw.

Tell me about the ingredients. What’s healthy and good about them?

All our chocolate is organic. It’s made with raw honey rather than refined sugar, so the GI is much lower, plus it boosts your enzyme and antioxidant levels. We deliberately keep the temperatures low when making our chocolate so that the nutrients stay intact. We’re careful about the ingredients we choose – if it’s over-processed, or has little or no nutritional value, it doesn’t make it in.  For example, we could have made our hot chocolate with conventional cornflour as a thickener, but we opted for purple cornflour instead. Purple cornflour contains an antioxidant called anthocyanin which a study by the State University of Ohio has shown to have amazing cancer busting properties: during the study, researchers found that anthocyanins extracted from purple corn killed 20 percent of in vitro cancer cells, while leaving surrounding tissue relatively unharmed.

One of your major selling points is that your chocolate is sugar-free. Why is this so important to you?

Refined sugar is just full of empty calories. We all know it doesn’t do your body any good, in fact there is research that suggests it feeds cancer cells. Why eat what the media are calling “poison” when there are healthy alternatives out there? We didn’t want our chocolate to taste like an alternative though! We wanted it to taste amazing, so you still feel like you’re treating yourself, but you’re actually doing yourself some good (as part of a balanced diet of course).

Have you always been interested in health and nutrition?

To some extent, yes. I became vegetarian when I was 18 (for ethical rather than health reasons)  – I was still living at home at the time – and my Mum was really against the idea because she was worried I wouldn’t get the right nutrients in my diet. It made me focus more on having a balanced diet. Having children increased that focus. They’re vegetarian too, and I wanted to make sure that, without meat and fish in their diets, they would grow up healthy.

Then, about 3 years ago, I became friends with Ellie Bedford who is now a raw food nutritionist. She introduced us to the concept of baking and cooking without refined sugar and white flour. We did our own research on the health issues linked to those two ingredients, and – now armed with healthy alternatives – decided to ditch sugar and white flour (and co-wrote the healthy desserts book with her).

Aside from avoiding refined sugar, what other healthy foods and habits do you try to incorporate into your life?

We don’t use white flour – we tend to use spelt a lot as an alternative. Our overall philosophy is really a common sense one – there are so many different diets out there and they contradict each other – it’s very confusing!

We just trust that nature has things well designed so we eat seasonal foods when we can, get some variety, and we try to not “mess” with food, because a lot of the time, that means you end up taking away a lot of the nutrients. For example, the process of refining wheat into white flour strips away more than half of wheat’s B vitamins, 90 percent of the vitamin E, and virtually all of the fibre.

What’s your favourite meal?

Enrico’s Italian, so we eat a fair amount of Italian food, so I would go for homemade pizza or pasta (made with spelt flour).

What’s your favourite snack?

Our chocolate! Yogurt with fruit and nuts, spirulina Bounce balls, and raw chocolate brownies.

What’s your favourite Chicken Shed flavour/product?

Personally, I think cardamom, but it really depends on my mood. Obviously I like them all, or they wouldn’t have passed our tasting tests 🙂  The children love vanilla, liquorice, and Serious (73%), and Enrico would say liquorice, but they’re all nice!

Where can people find you and buy your chocolate? 

We’re online on www.thechickenshed.eu, on Etsy and Notonthehighstreet, and are stocked locally at the Organic Deli in Oxford (www.oxfordorganic.co.uk), the Natural Health Store in Banbury, Uhuru in Oxford, the Duck’s Pantry in Hardwick and the Beanbag in Witney. The Varsity Club in Oxford sells our little chocolate eggs. We’re also regulars at Deddington Farmers’ Market and North Parade Market.

What is the future like for The Chicken Shed?

Well, we have a new flavour about to hit the market: Honey and Bee Pollen, which is exciting. We’re looking to expand, so hopefully more stockists. We’ve only been going for about half a year and in that time have changed the look of our packaging and almost doubled our range. Although we’re ambitious to grow, I’m hoping to get more balance in our lives as we do that.  Not quite sure how yet, but I’m working on it!