5 tips to help you stop eating on auto-pilot

Have you ever gotten to the bottom of a plate a food and almost can not remember the experience of having eaten ythe meal?

If you are eating your food on auto-pilot you are at greater risk of over eating and ultimately not enjoying your meal. You are probably not paying attention to how much you have eaten and how you are feeling during and after. You may be full but don’t even realise it!

You may find the following mindful eating tips helpful.

# Pause before you begin your meal Taking a moment to stop and appreciate your food and to be grateful for it before you take your first mouthful.

#Switch off try to eat your meals without distraction. Avoid sitting in front of the television or your laptop or using your phone during meal times (I am guilty of this). If you can take some time away from your desk at lunch time to sit outside and eat your lunch then I would encourage you to do so. Try to make your meal your main focus and then you can return to whatever you were doing with more clarity and energy.

#Pay attention Be mindful of each mouthful, note the textures, the flavours and the temperature. Preparing meals that are full of colourful vegetables, mixing raw with cooked and adding loads of healthy flavour through the use of spices makes for a more appetising and nutritious experience.

#Share the experience My favourite meal times are the ones I have shared with others. This is such an important aspect of life throughout history people have gathered to break bread together (fast forward to today-pass the quinoa) Food brings people together, it’s a talking point. And even if it doesn’t interest you that much it is still a vital ingredient to leading a healthy life and definitely worth some thought.

#Take a moment It’s not a race to the bottom of the bowl! Why not take some time to sit and appreciate the meal time experience, perhaps you are sharing it with family and friends or perhaps you are sitting somewhere with a nice view. Try to take in the more global experience, these moments are so important and contribute to your overall wellbeing.

#Bonus tip Allow time once you have finished the meal to sit and allow yourself to digest. You use up about 10% of your calories in the process of digesting, absorbing and metabolizing. The body does this most efficiently when it can focus on just this process.

Overall it is about taking your time and giving it your full attention. It plays a huge role in your energy levels and long-term health. It is worth the time. If you don’t have the time to linger over a well prepared meal than make nutrient dense choices and have smaller meals. Lean grass-fed meats (if you are into that kind of thing) protein rich grains and plenty of vegetables, oil and healthy fat rich foods like seeds and avocado’s. Choose a natural diet! It’s simple.

Feel at ease.
Ana Maria Conneely


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 @awaytolivewell.com

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



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!

Raw Cacao Fudge


These are deliciously rich with a buttery texture and intensely chocolate crunch to fix any chocolate craving.

Soak the dates in some hot water for about an hour unless they are already really moist and juicy already, in which case you probably just need to soak them for 10 minutes and then drain. (you might want to keep that juice for a smoothie, sweet and nutritious) Then blend the dates in a food processor so that they form a paste. (I consider dates to be pretty much a super food. Not only do they have loads of fibre they are also packed with minerals, calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium.)

Melt the cocoa butter and coconut oil together, you can do this in a microwave(just be vigilant) or in a water bath (a heat proof dish suspended over a pot of boiling water. You could also add some extra pieces of dark chocolate.

Mix the melted ingredients with the date paste and then stir in the cacao powder and nibs, pinch of salt and cayenne chilli.

Spread evenly in a baking tray or tupperware (this is convenient for storing) top each section with an almond and let them rest in the fridge for atleast an hour. Once cooled and firmed slice into individual sections.

Theobromine the phytochemical component of cacao is even more potent in darker chocolate and especially raw cacao it has a relaxing yet stimulating effect without effecting the nervous system. Helping you to feel alert but calm…

It is actually a really lovely complement to meditation, if you are so inclined.
Otherwise these cacao fudge bites are delicious with a nice cup of herbal tea!




10 Medjool dates
2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon of cacao nibs
1 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of cacao butter
pinch of salt and cayenne pepper(optional but delicious)
Almonds to top

Portobello mushroom burger with goat’s cheese and rosemary sweet potato chips.

Sometimes you just get that burger and chip’s craving! And this recipe more than satisfies that desire while staying true to  your vegetarian/ whole foods /gluten free way of life.

Tasty, nutritious and satisfying.

4 Portobello mushrooms
3 Large sweet potatoes (I always just wash them and bake them, love those crispy skins)
Sprig of rosemary (from your garden if you happen to be so lucky)
2 Chunk’s of goat’s cheese (optional)
Rocket or spinach to garnish
2 tbs olive oil or coconut oil

1 tbs wholegrain mustard
2 tbs Tamari (or soy sauce if you don’t have a problem with gluten)
1 tsp Raw honey
1 tbls sriracha or hot sauce of your choice
pinch of salt and pepper

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl, mix well. Place the mushrooms in the bowl and envelope them in the marinade. Cover and let them soak up all those flavours in the fridge for about an hour.


Meanwhile…..Slice your sweet potatoes into wedges or your preferred shape of chip  and place them on a baking tin. Liberally cover them in oil and add the sprigs of rosemary and a pink of salt. Bake in the oven for 1 hour on 180 degrees. tossing as necessary.


When your chips are getting near to ready pop your saucy marinated mushroom onto a baking tray and into the oven for about 15 minutes.

Remove everything from the oven and get ready to plate up.
You can personalise your mushroom burger with different garnishes. I went with goat’s cheese and spinach for a tangy iron rich finish!
I also used a gluten free seeded bun, you can also go bunless!

Extremely nice and a little bit bold…go on!