Creamy roast garlic avocado dip!

This recipe turned out so well! It made the perfect late evening Friday night veggie tapas feast!

The idea came to me while I was nearing the end of a day of teaching yoga in different parts of the city and giving massage treatments. I was starting to get that “I am at end of a hard day’s work and I deserve a treat” feeling. Initially I thought, I am going to buy a delicious block of cheese and have a nice glass of wine with it. In some instances I go for the wine and cheese option but I am very aware that a hard-working body deserves the treat of something more nutritious even if the brain is saying “glass of wine please”!

So then this idea came to mind! The creamy’ness of an avocado and the rich oven roasted garlic flavour would satisfy any craving. I also included a simple roast vine tomato salsa to compliment the avocado dip, Magic combo! vitamin c and healthy fats go together perfectly and also roasting your tomatoes is the best way to get the lycopene boost (lycopene is that powerful antioxidant which helps decrease the risk of disease) Win!

And instead of wine I created a juice/smoothie to go along with it.  So many vitamins! Once I had it in mind this idea seemed far superior to the wine and cheese option, mind and body were on board!


Creamy garlic avocado dip

  • 1 avocado,
  • 100g of organic full fat plain yoghurt or coconut cream (vegan/dairy free option)
  • 3 cloves roasted garlic
  • half a lemon
  • handful of spinach
  • pinch of salt

Blend all together and serve, I topped it with a sprinkle of cress.

Vine tomato salsa

  • 10 cherry vine tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Roast the tomatoes and garlic in the oven for 15 minutes at 180 degree. Blend all the ingredients in a bullet or food processor. This also makes a really nice sauce for patatas bravas or courgette spaghetti!

Green mango juice

  • 1 small mango
  • 1/2 lime
  • handful of spinach
  • filtered water


Let me know if you try any of these! take a picture and tag me in on it on instagram

Have a wonderful weekend!

Feel at ease.

Ana Maria




How to accentuate the benefits of Yoga,massage and nutrition!

Answer: Create synergy!

In this post I would like to share with you just a few of the therapeutic benefits of yoga and massage and how certain foods can increase your in take of certain foods to boost these benefits for an all round improvement in health and wellbeing.

I came to massage after discovering that similar benefits to those achieved through practicing  yoga could be attained and shared on a more individualised healing level through body work therapy i.e. massage.                                                                                      And therefore I found a way to share these benefits more broadly with people who don’t have a practice but could benefit from the effects.
I grew up on an island on the West coast of Ireland, experiencing organic home grown vegetables and fresh caught fish as the norm, I was raised with an appreciation for the amazing nutritional quality and exceptional flavours of natural unprocessed foods, which I now value more than ever. I also grew up seeing and helping my mum share her cooking skills and inventive healthy and wholesome meals with the customers in her restaurant on the island. It  has always inspired me to  create my own recipe’s and to want to share the gift of nutritious food with others as well.

Massage and yoga both work in a way which encourages the steady development of flexibility in the body. Through yoga the muscles are encouraged to gently lengthen in each asana. And during a massage the therapist works the muscles warming and lengthening connective tissue to improve flexibility.
Increased range of motion and greater flexibility in the joints and muscles helps to promote better posture and can help towards improving breathing.
Sesame seeds are considered highly beneficial for muscle and bones they are naturally high in calcium and easily digestible.

* Foods which may decrease flexibility-alcohol, and food that is processed or refined.


A good massage and a good yoga practice can increase the movement of oxygen and nutrient rich blood through the systems.
The increased free flowing movement of blood throughout the body has been shown to beneficially lower blood pressure which an overall positive effect.
Some foods to consider if you are trying to improve circulation ; Ginger-this warming root is energy building it has a stimulating effect on the blood circulation and it has an added anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic effect.
Oranges and other citrus fruits that contain high vitamin C are natural blood thinners and are said to strengthen capillary walls.

Stress less
Too much stress has been proven to have a detrimental effect on all systems of the body. We can’t remove stress completely from our lives in fact some amount of stress is necessary however we do need to find ways to manage our stress levels and to turn stress responses off when we don’t need them, yoga and massage and a healthy diet can be key elements in contributing to stress regulation. A regular yoga practice and regular massage can have the kind of effects that help to improve sleep, increase your ability to relax quickly and efficiently and improve physical and mental performance therefore helping you to cope more easily with potentially stressful situations.
A food which is highly regarded for it’s beneficial effects on improving

Depression has been linked to low levels of folic acid, vegetable that boost levels of this mood-enhancing nutrient include dark leafy green vegetable, Brussels sprouts asparagus, dried beans, peas and nuts.
Like you need an excuse to include more avocado in your life-they contain B vitamins which are essential for healthy nerves and brain cells, they also reduce tiredness and fatigue due to their important role in cell metabolism. No wonder it makes me so happy to eat them!

I hope you have found this helpful.

Please feel free to send me any questions or comments!

Feel at ease

Ana Maria Conneely



What is deep tissue massage?

Deep tissue massage is a powerful and effective healing tool to relieve tense, strained muscles and to bring the body back to homeostasis.

This treatment has excellent healing results. It is a technique that uses really slow movements with firm pressure.

What is causing the tightness?

Tight and tense muscles are the result of over use or too much time in the same position putting your body under strain and weakening muscles. This creates blockages in the body, where there are blockages tension builds and problems are created.

How it works?

Muscles respond best when they are being eased out of tension. The firm pressure restricts blood flow momentarily and then encourages new blood to flow into the area as the pressure is moved along the muscle this helps to decrease the blockage and ease tension.                                                                                                                                                                                      If muscles are worked too hard and too fast they tighten up as the body tenses to protect itself this in turn can create tension in other areas.

Who it’s for?

Deep tissue massage is an ideal treatment for people who are training or working out and trying to speed up recovery. As well as for anyone who is dealing with tension that has been building up over time for example in the shouder area from working at a desk for long hours.

It really is important to have regular treatment and to address problem areas before they begin affecting other parts of the body and other parts of your life.


Ana Maria Conneely

Feel at ease.



Natural facelift massage

A deeply relaxing and highly beneficial treatment which targets the surface layers of the face as well as the deeper layers of facial tissue.

I love this treatment, not only do you feel completly relaxed afterwards you can also feel the results. The skin feels invigorated and refreshed. I use high quality jojoba oil which helps to balance the skins condition, it is basically an adaptogen for the face. It works wonderfully on areas of either oily or dry skin.

Natural Facelift Massage uses Acupressure and the traditional Eastern systems of massage such as Ayurvedic Indian Face massage. It also adopts some techniques from Facial Reflexology all of these methods help to restore and reinvigorate the skin giving you a healthy glow.

Just like any other part of the body the muscles in the face can become tense causing fine lines. Also exposure to pollution and over use of products can leave the skin looking a bit dull. Natural facelift massage can help to releive tension in the face and stimulate blood flow for a healthy and radiant complexion.

For further details and to book an appointment contact me on:


Feel at ease.

Ana Maria Conneelyfullsizeoutput_477


5 week ‘Back to Balance’ programme


Most of my clients and students live very full lives. They work a lot. They have family and social time. They exercise and they probably squeeze a few extra work or extracurricular activities into each week, which in theory is all wonderful but it leaves them feeling stressed at times, tired, experiencing tight, tense muscles (often more than they give themselves time to think about) and generally feeling worn out and therefore not able to entirely enjoy their lives to the full.
So I put together a programme to help to bring you back to balance in a truly holistic way.
I provide deep tissue massage, a firm pressured slow treatment to ease and relieve the tension that has been building up in the muscles over a long time. In my experience these treatments are most effective when received on a weekly basis for a length of time. This programme includes 5 weekly massage sessions.
To accentuate the benefits of the deep tissue massage treatment, I provide a personalised, restorative sequence of yoga postures. This will help you to commit to a habit of creating a  ‘you time’ ritual, time and space for you to restore and recharge!
In addition, I assess your diet and help you make adjustments to optimise your nutrient intake, and give you menu suggestions and recipes to adopt an all round lifestyle transformation.
What is included in the programme?
5 deep tissue massage treatments to ease and release tense, strained and over-worked muscles (1/week)
Personalised yoga stretch and restore programme to use daily
Nutritional advice and meal planning for the duration of the programme
‘Keep me on track’ weekly email feedback and guidance to make sure you fulfill your goals.
Feel at ease .
Ana Maria Conneely
Facebook @awaytolivewell

Quinoa and poppy seed loaf (GF) (V)

This is such a simple recipe, I can’t believe I never made this before! I will undoubtedly be making it again.

The texture is really crispy on the outside as the quinoa gets toasty and golden and the inside is soft but it all holds together really well, which is brilliant considering it does not contain even a pinch of any kind of flour.


1 Medium to large courgette (grated)

300g Quinoa (soaked overnight to activate and then rinsed)

60g of chia seed

2tbs of coconut oil

salt and pepper to taste

1tsp of gluten free baking powder

1 tsp cumin (optional)

poppy seeds to top

The method

Grate your courgette and mix the chia seeds in with it. Leave to sit overnight in the fridge or at least for a few hours.

Soak your quinoa in water overnight, then drain and rinse.

Place the  pre-soaked quinoa and prepared courgette and other ingredients (except poppy seeds those are for topping) in a bowl and blend with a hand blender, if you have a food processor that would be a good option as well. Make sure it all blends together really well.

Prepare a bread tin with some coconut oil to prevent sticking and then empty the quinoa mix into it. Smooth out the top and sprinkle with poppy seeds!

Bake on 180 C for about 45minutes or until golden brown all over.

Easy and delicious!

I had a slice with some home made almond butter, I also tried it with a soft goat’s cheese both options were yum!

Let me know if you try this recipe.

Post a photo on instagram and tag @awaytolivewell I would love to see your creations!IMG_3689


Gauranteed Delicious Vegan Quiche (GF)

Texturally the crust is thin and crispy and the filling is soft and surprisingly egg like with tons of flavour.

I am not a vegan but I do enjoy eating and prepairing vegan food. Interestingly I am also not a really a fan of quiche, however this is a very delicious adaptation which I have become quite partial to.

It only takes about an hour in total to make and does not require an excessive amount of ingredients or prep. Also you dont have to role out your dough you can simply press it into shape in your pie dish, which is nice!

A bit about buckwheat; I really love this psuedo-grain(like a grain but not), it is a coplex carbohydrate power house to give you that sustained energy fuel you need! I like to sprinkle toasted buckwheat on my porridge at breakfast. Despite it’s name it is actually a seed and it’s more closely related to rhubarb than any kind of grain.
However if you are gluten intolerant or celiac pay close attention to if the buckwheat has been processed along side gluten full grains making it not quite gluten free friendly.
Or you can purchase the raw seed and grind it into flour yourself!



340g Tofu firm
2 medium onions
2-3 cups fresh spinach
4-5 mushrooms
5 juicy Spanish olives
2 tbs of nutritional yeast
1 tsp of onion powder
1/2 tsp pepper
pinch of salt


2 cups buckwheat flour
4 tbs of olive oil
2tbs of water (depending on the consistency you made need more)
3 crushed garlic cloves
A couple sprigs of thyme (optional)
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
coconut oil to grease the pie dish

How to…

Prepare your dough- place the flour in a mixing bowl then add the cloves of crushed garlic, olive oil, thyme (chopped), salt and water together. Add the water in a little at a time, adding more as necessary.
Until your ingredients come together to form a dough. Press the dough into your pie dish, pierce the dough with a fork and then bake blind at 180 for 10-15 minutes or until it begins to turn slightly golden.

Prepare the filling- while your crust is baking place your tofu, nutritional yeast and onion powder in a food processor blending until smooth.
Pan fry your onions and mushrooms and cooking until soft adding the spinach in last as they really don’t require much cooking. Adding salt and pepper to taste.

Once the veggie’s are cooked mix them together with your blended tofu, remove your semi baked pie base from the oven. Pour your tofu mixture into your pie base and smooth it around with the back of a wooden spoon and then garnish with slices of juicy Spanish olives.
Pop it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until the top looks dry and it starts to get a little golden.

Let it sit for 5-10 minutes after removing from the oven then slice and enjoy!

Serve with a light salad for a tasty healthy vegan lunch!