Five Signs You’re Forgetting to be Unapologetically YOU!


We all do it; forget to be ourselves sometimes!! How ridiculous does that sound. But I think it’s particularly true in an age where other people are show-casing their perceived highlights of their lives on social media. We compare ourselves to those highlights, then feel inadequate, then quickly try to do things we normally wouldn’t just to bring our life standards up to social media levels. But it’s unrealistic. It’s unsustainable.

I think being yourself is one of the biggest things you can do for your over-all well-being, and particularly your mental and emotional wellbeing. Not to mention your social wellbeing! When you forget to be yourself, these things can happen:

  1. reprimanding yourself for not being yourself
  2. feeling guilty for not being true to the people around you, and subsequently feeling anxious about your next actions or words
  3. YOUR life passes you by while you live someone else’s… you’re filling your schedule with crazy activities that you don’t really want to or have time to do
  4. ignoring your actual feelings and pretending to be happy and resilient ALL the time… it is OK to feel the bad ones!! It is even GOOD and NECESSARY to feel the bad ones. It helps you grow.
  5. losing sight of your actual dreams because you’re too busy pleasing others

And HERE are some ways you can be your amazing self more:

  1. trust your gut… most of the time
  2. do the stuff you love to do and less of the stuff other people love you to do
  3. take steps towards your dreams every day
  4. speak your mind or don’t speak at all
  5. always be honest… especially to yourself
  6. acknowledge your actions even if those actions weren’t great
  7. dress and present yourself how you like to, not how others expect to you to (when I first became a teacher, I went out and bought lots of ‘teacher clothes’ so I could fit nicely into the role. I would always wear makeup to work even though I don’t wear it outside of work. Now I wear what feels good, while still being teacher appropriate, and not a drop of makeup… unless i feel like it!)
  8. Just do and say the stuff that feels right to you, that you don’t look back on and wonder why you did or said them (granted, everyone will do this at some stage as they grow… I look back on my first year of uni and wonder why I did things all the time!)

You can read more about how I try to live my own life here.

Go ahead and reflect on whether you’re being unapologetically YOU. Whether you’re letting your true self shine! I think we all need to work on this, especially when we’re on social media or with people we don’t know really well. So why not start now?

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy


Cauliflower Cakes

Ingredients: 1 cauliflower head, 4 eggs, ¼ cup of gated tasty cheese, a small handful of fresh parsley all chopped up, a good grind of sea salt and pepper.

Steps: Chop the cauliflower into small florets. Throw into your food processor and blitz into fine crumbs. You might need to do this in two lots, especially if you have a food processor with modest strength like I do! Transfer to a large bowl and mix through eggs, cheese, salt, pepper and parsley. Use coconut oil to fry in spoonfuls in a good quality non-stick pan. Use as a side dish for pretty much anything!

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy

5 Ways with Beetroot!

Beetroot…. that lush, vibrant blood-red vegetable that lures you in at the shops only to sit in the vegetable bin of your fridge to go a bit soft. Then QUICK, you find a way to use it because you hate waste!! Amidst the use-all-the-old-veggies rush, half the kitchen surface (and your body) are stained with red.


Here are five ways to use that luscious vegetable and make it shine like a star instead of remaining an end-of-week after-thought…

  1. Grated salad – beetroot makes for a salad feast for the eyes as well as the mouth… grate it up with carrot, purple cabbage, zucchini, and add your favourite dressing or dried fruit, nuts and seeds… I love beetroot, carrot, roasted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and a squeeze of orange!  
  2. Baking – the resulting moist-ness of using beetroot in your baking is amazing. Try these Chocolate Beetroot Brownies for a decadent real-food treat.
  3. Meat patties – grate ‘em up and add them to the mix of your meat patties. Try this Beef ‘n’ Beet Burgers recipe. 
  4. Smoothies – grate it up and throw a small handful into your next smoothie for a nutrient boost. You can freeze the grated beetroot in ice-cube trays for an easy smoothie go-to ingredient. Goes well with berries and cacao!
  5. Scrambled eggs – next time you scramble your eggs, toss through a handful of grated beetroot about half way through. Add a bit of chopped feta cheese and you’ve got yourself an irresistible brekkie or lunch!

So go ahead, embrace those red hands and enjoy creating new things with your beetroot!

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy

Coco-Blueberry Oat Cake


A light, fluffy but moist baked blueberry slice!

Serves: 9      Time: 45 mins, mostly hands-off

Ingredients: 1 cooked kumara (sweet potato – I just boil mine, skin and all), 5 eggs, 2 tablespoons of honey, 1 ripe banana, 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries, 50 grams of melted butter or coconut oil, 1 cup of oats, 1 cup of shredded coconut,  1 teaspoon of baking powder, a sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon, a grind of sea salt.

Steps: Throw all of your nutritious ingredients into your food processor, and blitz for a minute or so until lovely and smooth. Pour into a baking-paper lined square slice/cake tin, top with extra frozen blueberries, and bake for 35-ish minutes, or until just cooked through. It should still be nice and moist. Take it from the oven and let cool for 10-15 mins. Pull the sides of the baking paper to remove from the tin, place on a chopping board and slice carefully. Enjoy with a dollop of coconut cream (or thick, full fat, natural greek yoghurt) and a sprinkle of cinnamon! And, a steaming cup of tea would keep it company quite nicely…

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy

#10 Manage My Stress: Jasmine’s Healthy Habits…

 … that you can do too!

Ok so ommmm isn’t quiiiite the sound-track of my life as I juggle work, study, blogging, and other real life admin and activities. But I do take a good shot at being aware of and managing my stress. Someone (who I cannot remember) said that you can’t reduce stress, but you can manage it. Stress is always there in some way, especially in this fast-paced modern life. But I choose to respond to the stress strategically so that it doesn’t control my life. Some ways that I manage my stress include…  

  • Saying no! Postponing or cancelling plans if I have too much on my plate
  • Taking some ‘me time,’ as I have also written about here
  • Write… write anything!
  • Doing stuff that makes me feel good
  • Exercising, even for a short ten-minute walk or skipping session in the back yard
  • Talking… to a friend, family member or colleague
  • Practicing yoga
  • Meditating
  • Reading a book
  • Taking some deep breaths
  • Pottering in the garden for a little while
  • Patting and smooching my cat on the VERY odd occasion she obliges
  • Hugging my partner, a friend or a family member (hugs are just MAGICAL)
  • Putting my thoughts into perspective… will it matter in a five years? Granted this can be difficult when you’re feeling stressy.  
  • Having a solo dance party in the kitchen while cooking a darn good meal (neighbours, you are most welcome for the show-stopping dance performances)
  • Cranking up some feel-good music on the UE boom (again neighbours, you are welcome)… my go-to is The Cat Empire
  • Cranking up some let’s-get-frank-and-maybe-a-little-cynical-about-life music, such as Lily Allen

These are NOT strategies for ignoring the stress that I feel. Rather, they are strategies for reducing the negative impact that stress has on my life. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes, I just have to ride it out and accept that I’ve taken on too  much because I am an over-committer and just need to be really super stressed for a minute!! And then I get over it and all is good, as I realise I wouldn’t want live my life any other way. I like it to be full.

These are some of my tools for stress management. They might work for you too. What can you add to the list?

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy  


Spag Bowl


Serves 3, Takes less than half an hour!

Ingredients: A really good drizzle of olive oil, 5 ripe tomatoes all chopped up, 2 tbsp tomato paste, 1 handful of fresh herbs (basil and oregano went down very well!), 1 roughly chopped large shallot, 1 fresh garlic clove, 1 tbsp paprika, 2 pitted olives, salt, pepper, 500g beef mince, 2 cups full of finely chopped baby spinach or Swiss chard (get rid of any stalks) 1 packet of soy bean noodles.

Steps: Heat olive oil in a good pan to a low-medium heat. Add the beef mince and cook until beginning to brown, breaking up and stirring with a wooden spoon as you go. Blitz all the remaining ingredients (apart from the noodles and spinach or chard) in your food processor until super smooth. Add the newly formed sauce and leafy greens to the mince, stir it all through to combine, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Keep stirring it every now and then. It should reduce nicely into a thick meat sauce. Cook the noodles in boiling water and drain (it will tell you nitty gritty details on the packet). Serve your tomato-ey mince on the noodles, with a bit of chopped avocado on top if you wish! Enjoy.

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy

#9 I live My own Life: Jasmine’s Healthy Habits

…. That you can do too! 

Warning: this blog post is ALL ABOUT MEEE!


I am happiest when I truly live my own life. When I’m travelling on my own journey, and nobody else’s. Here are six ways I live my own life:

  1. I set my OWN goals (don’t follow anybody else’s) and maintain the belief that anything is possible if I put in the effort and seek the knowledge and advice that I need.
  1. I do what makes ME feel good, not what makes others feel good. I eat the way that makes me feel good, rather than following super-food (and junk-food!) trends. I do the exercise that makes me feel good, when I feel like doing it. I spend my downtime in a way that makes ME feel good… often in the outdoors, or snuggled up reading a good book with my cat Meila (if she’ll oblige…)!
  1. I have a career that makes ME feel good, and I fulfil my professional role in the way that works for me.
  1. I am ME, in all situations; at work, at home, around my friends, around my partner’s friends, around my friends’ friends, out in public, meeting new people, in job interviews, during teaching observations, and more! ALL the situations!
  1. I question everything. I take advice on board, but only implement the stuff I agree with or works for me.
  1. I know my own values and stick to my guns… my beliefs and opinions are MINE to keep and embody… and I’ll voice them if I feel I need to. I won’t do something that I don’t want to if it doesn’t line up with my values.

So there you have it, six ways that help me live my own life. It keeps me focussed. It keeps me genuine. It keeps me happy. So go ahead and be YOU too xx

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy


Cumin Spiced Summer Salad

Ingredients: 4 cups corn kernels removed from the cob, 2 grated carrots, 2 chopped avocado, 3 medium, finely diced kumara (sweet potato), 2 cups finely shredded baby spinach, 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup finely sliced spring onion, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 lime, drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Add some fresh coriander if you’re adventurous.

Steps: Bake the tiny squares of kumara, spread out on a large tray on around 200 degrees Celsius, for about 20 minutes or until soft. Let cool. No need for any oil or fat here. Simmer the corn kernels in a pot of water for about 15 minutes. Drain and cool. Throw all the ingredients into a large salad bowl and toss really well to combine. Serve with roast chicken or add to your summer barbecue spread!

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy

#8 Smile, Laugh, Have Fun! Jasmine’s Healthy Habits…

…that you can do too!

In every situation, I find a reason to smile, laugh or choose to have fun. It enhances my happiness, or flips gloomy-ness on its head. So when I find myself in a situation that is super BORING, dry, serious, depressing or tense, yepp….I smile! And, everything feels better. When choose to smile or laugh, these things happen:

  • Difficult tasks get easier
  • I feel good…. more relaxed and happy
  • Others feel good too, because when you smile at someone, they return the smile, and then they feel more relaxed and happy too!
  • Tasks become more fun and fulfilling
  • I feel like I can tackle anything!

Why do these things happen? Studies suggest that laughter and smiling (which for me are both involved in having fun!) can be a useful tool for decreasing the production of stress hormones and enhancing one’s current mood[1] at least for a little while. But I reckon if you do it all the time, it has long lasting effects! Right?! It even applies to forced smiles and laughter… and if you have ever attempted this, you will know that it usually leads to REAL smiles and REAL laughter, and just general ridiculousness.

These results suggest that adults who act happy (broad smile; hearty laugh) for a minute a day are likely to elevate their mood for at least a few seconds.

So becoming one of these happy-acting adults might just help you become a more wholesome, happy, healthy human. I hope you give it a try!

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy

[1] Neuhoff, C. C., & Schaefer, C. (2002). Effects Of Laughing, Smiling, And Howling On Mood. Psychological Reports,91(3f), 1079-1080. doi:10.2466/pr0.2002.91.3f.1079


Zucchini Carbonara with Cauliflower and Parmesan Crumb

Serves 3-ish

Takes about 30 minutes

Ingredients: half a head of cauliflower, 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, about 6 medium to large zucchini, 2 free range eggs, 2 finely chopped fresh garlic cloves, 100 grams of finely chopped pancetta (the stuff without any additives!), dollop of good quality butter, 2 cups baby spinach, 1 teaspoon quality sea salt, good grind of pepper.

Steps: Chop the cauliflower into small-ish bits, pop in the food processor, and blitz ‘til it becomes fine crumbs. Spread the cauli’ crumbs out onto a baking tray, sprinkle evenly with ¼ cup of the parmesan, and pop it in the oven on 200 degrees Celsius for about half an hour. You will need to take it out and mix about with a fork a little two or three times in the half hour.

Spiralise your zucchini into noodles using a spiraliser. Set aside. Whisk eggs with a fork in a bowl with the remaining parmesan cheese (you should have about half a cup left). Heat a good pan with butter to a medium heat. Add the garlic and pancetta and stir until aromatic. Add the zucchini noodles and continue to stir occasionally until it begins to soften. Turn off the heat. Add the eggy-cheese mixture, the baby spinach, salt and pepper to the zucchini noodles and stir through gently. The heat of the zoodles will allow the eggs to cook a little. Serve the cauli-parmesan crumb on top of the zucchini carbonara and devour. This one even deserves the accompaniment of a good glass of wine! Enjoy.

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy