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Thoughtful Tuesdays : Business Start-Ups

So, for those of you that follow me, I want to apologise for not being 100% real about me and my business journey.

I’m a huge one for keeping up with the optimism and the positive air, even though sometimes I am extremely stressed and uncertain on things.  And the reason I’m being open with this, is that it dawned on me today, when I left my accountants – he’s literally my ‘Ask Jeeves’  – that there are so many of you out there also running your own businesses, or trying to set them up, that are also in the same rollercoaster of a boat. (Sounds more like the log flume but you get the picture).

I want to try and relate and also get some comfort from those who are on the ‘log flume’ journey, knowing that we are in it together.

No one tells you how hard it is; how you suddenly should know everything. Because honestly I have to play about 25 different job roles within my business and, holy moly, I do it quite well but it’s definitely not always a smooth ride.

I encourage, and will always do so, for everyone to follow their dreams and do what they love but I have to be real and say being an “entrepreneur” is probably the hardest career to go down. Definitely the most rewarding but the most challenging.

Key factors to consider or things to have when opening your own business, and ways around them if you don’t:

Contacts
Some of you may be lucky that we are already surrounded by people who can help benefit our brands and businesses, and if so, GREAT, use them!

Regardless if you know them, and it may be feel awkward, asking for help or for insight when it’s for free should be the first thing on your list to do. And if you don’t… well, NETWORK! There are SO many networking events out there. Get your best clothes on, jazz yourself up and go and talk to complete strangers, because honestly it’s done wonders for me. www.eventbrite.co.uk

Finance
So this is sometimes a tricky one. I started my own by initially working and saving, working and saving and working and saving! Then I put that money into the start of this business. Having started and shown promise, I was then lucky to have some help from family to help me progress further!

So if you know someone who can help then great! If not, there are plenty of options – crowdfunding, bank loans, government grants and more. Or work and save as I did. All the options are out there.

The right attitude
Working for yourself can be challenging, SO CHALLENGING, so make sure you REALLY want to achieve your goal. Badly! I’m lucky that I’ve always been that annoying 5.45 am riser, bouncing full of energy, ready to take on the day. But, truth be told, I’m also very disorganised, so it took me a while to really get into a routine for working. You have got to want it to work because if you don’t put 100% effort in… then who will?

And for those of you that are a total whizz at everything with the contacts, the funding and the right attitude, then go be fabulous my friend! But what I’ve learnt is that sometimes it isn’t always possible to have all of those key things.

It’s weird to call myself an entrepreneur because when I started, I was just simply ‘Evie’, creating some cool stuff in the kitchen and selling them! I liked to think of myself more as a creative. It is only until now that I’m trying to grow my business (and oh it’s growing), and since going to E-Spark in Manchester (business accelerator), that I’ve realised that I AM an entrepreneur …and really I need to start acting like one.

Cue briefcase and blazer!

Just kidding. But honestly, it does mean that I have to play the parts of roles that, really, I know nothing about. It means that things are going to get tricky and I can’t just stick to the parts I love. And finally, it means that your motivation and attitude needs to be on fire.

I’m currently reading a book called ‘Create Special’ by Jim Duffey, which I won by the way for presenting the best Pitch in a small competition (smug Evie). And it is amazing! I highly recommend you read it as it’s already providing me with even more motivation.

Enough from me now,

Much love

Evie Xx

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5 Ways To Beat The Winter Blues

The darker days are looming, the break up with summer ’17 is official and I’m feeling just as heartbroken as you. With winter around the corner, it’s normal to be feeling a little bit drowsy, lethargic and unmotivated. Don’t worry, we’re all in this together.

 

If you’re already turning to the hot chocolate instead of the iced tea, or the scarf instead of the sunglasses, or rolling out of bed instead of springing, then check out these 5 ways to fight the winter blues.

 

Take Up a New Hobby!

 

It’s cool, I get it. The last thing you want to be doing when you’re waking up in the dark to go to work and coming home again in the pitch black is finding the energy to do something other than snooze on the sofa binge-watching Netflix.

 

However, according to Sue Pavlovich of the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association (SADA), Keeping your mind active with a new interest seems to ward off symptoms of SAD, says Pavlovich. “It could be anything, such as playing bridge, singing, knitting, joining a gym, keeping a journal, or writing a blog. The important thing is that you have something to look forward to and concentrate on,” she adds.

 

Dose up on Vitamin D

 

It’s the time of the year where we’re swapping the sunshine for vitamin D capsules. Since we see a break in the gloomy clouds approximately once a month during winter, it’s wise to get your vitamin fix elsewhere.

It’s not a coincidence that you may feel low during this time of year, so many diseases correlate with vitamin D deficiency – the most relevant being depression.

 

So, fight them winter blues and head to your local pharmacy ASAP! The New York Times best-selling author Joseph Mercola, DO, suggests that adults take as much as 5,000 IU per day. Certain foods are good sources of vitamin D, including cod liver oil, swordfish, salmon, tuna, milk, yogurt, sardines, eggs, and cereals fortified with vitamin D.

 

Go Carb Crazy

 

Carbs are your friend. Eeeeeeek!!! Yes, you read correctly. Complex carbs don’t cause spikes in blood sugar that can create roller-coaster moods; they also increase levels of serotonin in the brain so you won’t feel as drowsy and as dull as the weather.

Opt for whole grains and complex carbs like spinach, yams, broccoli, beans, zucchini, lentils, skim milk, and more, which will fill you up while also providing long-lasting nourishment.

 

Don’t Over-Indulge

 

Unfortunately, ‘storing food for the winter’ isn’t a good enough excuse to be eating rubbish. You’re not going into hibernation – it’s winter, not the ice age. Researched published in the Public Health Nutrition journal found that people who consumed fast foods were 51 percent more likely to have low moods. During this time of year, try super hard to stick to your routine, it will benefit you now more than ever.

 

Fish are Friends…Not Food!

 

Omega 3 is your best friend during the snowy season. Studies have long linked deficiencies of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids to Seasonal Affective Disorder. A 2011 study in Nature Neuroscience has even demonstrated how lower omega-3 levels change brain activity. With high levels of omega 3 racing around your body, you’re also more likely to fight off the dreaded cold and flu that creeps up on us every icy season.

 

With these tips in mind, you stand the best chance of staying healthy (and most importantly happy!) during the winter, whilst maintaining a balanced diet and energy levels.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Much Love,
Evie Xx

SMOOTHIE OF THE WEEK

Hello friends and followers,
I hope you’re all doing well and the happiest one can be.
I have a smoothie to share with you all that is just…divine.

I wish I could keep it a secret to myself but at this moment in time I’m bursting with energy and love and I must share it amongst those who love their greens and goodness.

PROTEIN MINT BLISS

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One whole coconut (obviously we’re not using the shell!)
3 frozen Bananas
1/2 tsp of spirulina
1 scoop (24 grams) of vanilla pea protein
1 dash of peppermint essence

Whizz this concoction together in a blender until ingredients are all combined and the mixture is of a nice smoothie-like consistency. Pour this mint-full beauty into you’re nearest glass or jam jar (if you’re that kind of person) and enjoy!
It’s probably the most delicious smoothie I’ve ever come across and a perfect post-workout meal especially when you’re not exactly feeling you can stomach a big meal just yet.

Please, give it a go! You wont be disappointed.
Let me know your thoughts.

Much love friends of the world

Evie X

 

TOP TIPS TO KEEP HEALTHY WITH A BUSY LIFESTYLE

TOP TIPS TO KEEP HEALTHY FOR A BUSY LIKE YOURSELF

The biggest question / advice that I get asked for is:
“ How do you live such a busy lifestyle with business and social but still keep healthy”.

It’s not as hard as one would think, BUT it does requires determination, time management and passion.
Don’t get me wrong though, I probably push myself too much, trying to fit in SO many things into one day and then also workout, I am rather tired most of the time but my passion for what I’m doing gives me that energy that I need to run out on those long days. This is what you need to remember too!

Before I started my business, I was gyming once or twice a day, practicing a lot of yoga, eating very freely and healthily because I had the time to use. However, when I started this calm and Evie free world I was living, suddenly came to a crashing holt. I struggled massively. To fit in my workouts around my busy day. To eat healthily as I was forever working. To get some down time for brain space. Yep. Evie was on the road to increased weight and wrinkle overload.
It took time and it’ll time for you, to find your feet and get back into a routine. Whether that may be a longer daily routine.

Now …*sigh* … Get out your rulers Ladies and gents because you’re about to enlarge your day-to-day planners.

Tip 1) Get up earlier. I get up every day at 5.30/5.45 to fit in going to the gym. This means I am out and at work for 7.15/7.30 to start my day of craziness.
I’m guessing the general internal response to my 5.30 wake up, is “ew”… am I right? But honestly, I’ve never felt so good. It means I have WAY more time in the day to do my work and then actually go and give my head a break and meet a friend for a well-deserved coffee.
Also, it helps, to get it done in the morning and then voila you’re dreading it throughout the day or too tired to train when it hits night time.

 

Tip 2) Plan your schedule. Quite recently, I’ve started planning my weekly workouts. So, every Sunday, I’ll sit down for 15 minutes and schedule in my workouts for the week. This includes booking onto classes.
This week, my workout schedule looks like this:
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Sounds a little lame I know, but sometimes, don’t you ever feel a little tired of having to think? Well… this helps massively.

Tip 3) Do not leave yourself too hungry that you end up craving sugar and then splurging crap.
This is my biggest downfall. I’m lucky that I actually ENJOY eating healthy wholesome foods, and I can (usually) walk past the sweets isle without a blink of an eye. However, sometimes when I’m running around like a mad woman from the crack of dawn… I tend to forget to eat. This means that eventually when I do finish up for the day, my hunger pangs kick in and I’m craving anything quick and fast for a boost of energy.
I usually make sure I have a huge salad at lunch time which keeps me going till I end up home.

Tip 4) Schedule some YOU time. 
This means physically writing in : ‘ hour to myself ‘ into your day-to-day schedule. This could be as small as a half an hour lunch break, (taking no phone calls) or a whole day at the weekend where you spend all day doing what YOU want. For me, working out is massively important and I always schedule that and at least an afternoon off at the weekend. I also try to keep an hour in the evening solely to myself with no contact with anyone else. Watching a lame programme or reading a book. It’s good to switch off and very beneficial so you don’t burn out.

Hope you found these useful!

Any questions, please email me on evie@rawbakestation.co.uk

Much love

Evie X

Things I learnt from doing a Food Show

Well hello again,

It’s been a short while since I last posted… as you may know ( or not ) , I attended the free from and allergy show at the Olympia exhibition hall in Kensington, London. Yeah.. I know, big scale things and a long way for little me, BUT I did it! and that’s what has been consuming all my time and energy the last few weeks.
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SO… from this, I wanted to share with you my own experience and what I have taken from doing this.

Firstly, to enjoy every minute. I found I was on a rollercoaster of emotions, as I was running on little to no sleep for the first 2 days of setting up and the first show day… I know. However, I was unbelievably lucky to have my partner in crime helping my for the whole weekend who handled my crazy soul for a whole 5 days, very well. A big thank you again, I couldn’t have done it without.
Once I learnt to let go and just be in the moment rather than worrying if everything was perfect or tasting perfectly, I absolutely loved it. After all, I do love talking…

Secondly, for a food product, packaging is key! I learnt a lot from the friends we made at the show, whether that be customers or other stand holders. Packaging is the main attraction. Unfortunately, you could have a fantastic product but in poorly presented packaging and you’d get nowhere near as far and as fast as if you had eye catching packaging. SO… for me, this is the next step for Raw Bake Station. I hear pouches are the way forward..
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Thirdly, to keep in contact with all the people that you met, again whether that be buyers, consumers or stall holders. Everyone of them will have a purpose and help to flourish your business, especially stall holders. Making friends with people there wasn’t hard, especially when every morning we were both bouncing on in, with a smile on our faces and being (probably annoyingly) energetic as always. These wonderful people are what made the long days so much easier, but not only that, they also gave me some comfort in knowing that I wasn’t alone in all the struggles of starting a business. It’s  so easy to look at someone else’s business or another company and think they’re getting it all right and you’re not. At the end of the day, everyone’s on the same journey, we all have our hurdles and our peaks. Take note of other peoples advice and share your own too. It’s nice to be nice.
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Lastly, to focus on the bigger things than on the smaller things. Moving forward, my main aim of the game is to sort my packaging out and work out a stronger plan. Watch this space!

I’d highly recommend anyone who is in the food world, to get yourselves onto a food show. The contacts, the experience and the future business you create makes it all worth while.

Any questions please feel free to email me !

Much love

Evie X

 

It’s a smoothie thang’

Good morning world,

I wish you all a fabulous weekend and hope it’s even better when you try out my FAVOURITE delicious green smoothie.

So just to recap my rules for the whole juice/smoothie malarkey:

  • no more than 1 piece of fruit per juice/smoothie
  • an add in of a superfood

A green goddess of a smoothie : 

Juice: 2 celery stalks
1/2 cucumber
2 handfuls of spinach
2 broccoli stalks
1 handful of kale
1 chard leaf
4 sprouts (this is the only time you’ll find me consuming these awful balls of veg)

Then blend with half an avocado and 1/2 tsp of spirulina.

This is the ultimate blend of a drink, super creamy and filling.

If you like your drinks less earthy, try with less spirulina and add in either :

– mint leaves
– some ginger
– lime
-half an apple

Any of the above additions will make it an even more delicious drink. My favourtie is ginger!

Because of its high fat and fiber content, this is the PERFECT drink for any time of the day.

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Enjoy lovers.

 

Much love

Evie X

 

A bendy weekend.

What a weekend.

A weekend full of getting bendy.
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So, for those that weren’t watching my one million gazillion Instagram stories, I spent my Saturday morning with the Lulu Lemon crew at their second yoga event in the city!
I had the pleasure of joining in, on the hour of yoga class… which was amazing! The teacher was, by far, the most hilarious yoga teacher I have ever come across, she had the whole room laughing with her crazy lingo and prosecco phrases. Find her at Loft Yoga in Eccles!
I then jumped straight from the yoga to spreading the Raw Bake Station love to all those that came!
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It was a wonderful morning, spending an hour of connecting with my body with another 150-beautiful people. Namaste lovers.
To top that off, on Sunday, I went down to the Magna Pass’ yoga in the city event, situated in an unbelievable space in the old Granada studios! Fortunately, the sun was glistening hard that day so whilst lying in savasana pose, we all had the pleasure of the warm tingles off the sunshine blaring down from the glass roof. Dreamy.

If you haven’t yet checked out Magna Pass, they are a platform of fitness classes and unique workout sessions.  The best way to find out what classes are around you at that time… aka the bomb of an organiser.

Another hour of yoga to then a break with Raw Bake Station treats.
This was like the dream team morning which I was so happy to be involved in.

So, a totally different way of spending my Bank Holiday weekend but an absolute flower of one. Feeling totally revived for a new week ahead, and woke up this morning with no headache ( thank you, thank you ), no grogginess and body that is feeling totally relaxed.

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Hope you all had a smashing weekend.

Chow for now.

Evie X

Raw Cherry Ripe Bars

A twist of the classic “Cherry Ripe” bar, a sugar filled, gluten disaster of a bar that I fell in love with whilst bumbling around the warm sunny streets of Australia.

In other words, I was obsessed… with bar that is. Oh… and Australia, yes.

So, whilst swirling around on my computer chair, trying to do some work but thinking only of what brain food can I be feeding on next… Well it came to me, a raspberry and coconut concoction to satisfy my cravings and feel me up on the good stuff.

It’s so easy to grab a chocolate bar or even a breakfast bar ( which, yes, they are terrible for you), when you’re in need of a quick fix energy boost and they’re the closest thing lying around.  But what you are actually doing, is feeding an inner demon inside who wont want to stop at just chocolate bar. Not when the sugar kicks in.

So being the whizz kid I am, I’ve created a healthy version of my ultimate dream bar which hopefully you will enjoy too!

 

Ingredients :

Base:

300g Almonds
150g Desiccated coconut
3 tbsp melted Coconut oil
2 tbsp of water
3 tbsp of Cacao
6 dates
Raspberry Layer:

500g Cashews (soaked over night)
100g of Desiccated coconut
3 tbsp of melted coconut oil
1 cap of vanilla essence
3 tbsp of maple syrup
200g of Raspberries

Chocolate décor ( optional)

Either 100g of 70% cacao Dark Chocolate
Or
200g of Coconut Butter
2 tbsp of Cacao
2 tbsp of maple syrup

Method (in the madness)

– using a 25 x 25 cm square spring base tray.
– Blend the almonds, desiccated coconut and cacao in your mixer until combined into larger breadcrumbs.
– Add in the dates, coconut oil and water and whizz away until the mixture starts to collect together and bind as one.
– Scoop out the chocolate goodness into your tray, and press down firmly so you have a nice layer of Chocolate brownie for your base.
– Set in the freezer

– Using a sparkly clean blender, add in the cashews, raspberries, desiccated coconut and the maple syrup and blend.  Blend for about 5 minutes.
– Ensure you scrape down the sides of the blender to get all the loose bits of the ingredients back into the mix. Blend again for another 3 minutes.
– Wonderful. Pour the raspberry mixture onto your chocolate galore base and set in the freezer for around 3 hours.

 

Topping:
– Blend the coconut butter with the maple syrup and the vanilla until it becomes a creamy liquid state.
– Add in the cacao and watch the magic happen.
– Once you’ve combined all the ingredients, you have officially made a raw chocolate mix! Lick the spoon… I dare you!
– Decorate to your desire! I used a piping piece of equipment (aka. My new shiney toy) to produce some fancy swirls and design… after much practice. However, you can simply spread to chocolate over the top of the raspberry layer! Both will taste the bomb.

– Freeze again for another 30 minutes, and then once the time is finally over, cut the beauty into rectangular bars and serve with (or without) some delicious dairy free icecream.

 

By far, the BEST home-made goodie to have on any occasion.

 

Enjoy!

Much Love

Evie Xx

Raw Lasagne

Hello friends,

Is it just me or is this year is flying by??

Quite scary really, whilst I’m trying to get my summer body into play, it seems the retail world is wanting to challenge me with yet another Chocolate fest! Yes we are all guilty of it… using Easter as an excuse to get chocolate rich.

*Sigh*

Now although I have nothing against chocolate, I decided to play around with some savoury dishes to come up with a new raw recipe to take the edge off my guilty head with all the feasting I’m doing.

I’m not usually one to go for Italian food as it leaves me feeling extremely heavy and sluggish but this dish is so much more than your everyday pizza/pasta… Raw Lasagne is the ‘bomb’. This dish is raw, vegan and free from gluten, dairy, wheat and all of the heavy bloating guilt. Super easy too.

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Shopping list

5-7 courgettes
Bunch of spring onion
Bunch of parsley
Bunch of basil
Bunch of dill
Bunch of thyme
Cherry tomatoes
A bag of spinach
2 chard leaves
A bag of kale
300g of pinenuts

A deep lasagne dish is necessary for this beauty!

Method:

– Slice 5 of the courgettes into thin strips (if feeling rather lazy, you can buy pre sliced courgette) and set to one side
– Add the parsley, basil, thyme, kale, chard leaves ( leave out the stalks), cherry tomatoes, spring onion to the blender and mix for 1 minute until all combined and smelling fresh.
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– Once you’ve made your filling, pour mixture into a bowl and place in the fridge whilst we make our pine nut cheese!
– Now for the creamy goodness : into a clean blender, add in the rest of the ingredients. All of the pinenuts, the spinach, a handful of dill and thyme, the chard stalks, and 2 chopped courgettes.
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– Blend the ingredients all it becomes a creamy thick delicious whirl of pinenut cheese.

– Now for the fun part! Layer the base of the dish with courgette, then add 2-3 spoonfuls of your filling and spread evenly.
– Add another layer of courgette, the filling and now for the creamed pinenut!
– Repeat this layer action until the dish is completely full with the “cheese” layer being last.
– Decorate with cherry tomatoes and pine nuts if you have any left!
– And there you have it! You’re very own raw and vegan lasagne.
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This dish is super filling but extremely healthy for you so don’t be worried about having a big slice! I enjoy mine with a side salad but I’ve known people to want new potatoes with it.

And and the beauty of making this dish is that if you have any left overs of any of the filling or “cheese”, they are perfect with raw flaxseed crackers or to be enjoyed as part of another home-made salad.

God I’m good.

Enjoy and send me in your own creations of this recipe.

Check it out on the YouTube channel also: a more visual guide on how to make this dreamy dish.

Think More. Think Raw

Much love

Evie X

Nuts it.

SO working in the industry I’m in, I guess it’s a written rule that you have to be completely in love and obsessed with nuts. Especially nut butters.

Now being a big sweet treats supplier, the amount of nuts I order in is crazy. I remember the first time I made a big order with suma wholefoods and they rocked up in a huge lorry carrying just nuts… I mean, it’s totally nuts.

Well, now I have tubs (the size of huge baths) full of nuts, I’ve been experimenting with my own nut butters.

I have to say my favourite nut butter of all time is almond butter… I’m literally obsessed and I just can’t make anymore myself nor can I buy it. It’s a sad fact, that if left to my own devices, i’ll devour the whole lot in one afternoon…

I wanted to share with you though, my own recipe for almond butter because if I can’t eat my weight in it, I believe you should be able to.

Ingredients:

210g of unsalted raw or roasted almonds
1 teaspoon of coconut cream
1 tbsp of maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Method: 

-Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and wack the almonds in the oven for 10 minutes. This help with the blending and mixing of them as they release all their natural oils once warmed up.
-Add the almonds to your blender and whizz away.
It is normal for this process to take up to 20 minutes so sit back and relax.
-after 10 minuteso f blending, scrape the sides of the blender to ensure all the mixture is getting thoroughly binded.
– Once you can see it’s becoming more of an ‘oily’ mud like state, add in the maple syrup, salt and coconut cream and blend for an extra 5-10 minutes.
-Voila, there you have it! You’re very own gorgeous, home-made almond butter.

Perfect for snacking on with sliced apples

Be Warned. HIGHLY addictive! 

Much love

Evie Xo