Monthly Archives: July 2016

Happy Yorkshire Day

Happy 1st August, otherwise known as Yorkshire Day.

Why Yorkshire Day?

Yorkshire is the largest region in England, centred on the county town of York, and was originally composed of three sections called ‘Thrydings’, or Ridings -North, East and West, which includes modern day South Yorkshire where I live.

Calm Yorkshire day

Yorkshire people  are often immensely proud of their county, commonly referred to as ‘God’s Own County’. It has it’s own website  and you can also read a list of 27 reasons why this may be the case.

Gods own countryI’m a Yorkshire Lass

When travelling and I am asked where I come from, I proudly say “Yorkshire, England”.  Yorkshire folk  are often stereotyped as being warm and friendly but ‘bloody minded’,or stubborn and argumentative, descriptions which those who know me would use for me!

Yorkshire Lass mug

Ten other characteristics of Yorkshire folk that I identify with are:

  1. Started a conversation with ‘now then’
  2. Winced at the price of something down south (like a pint… or a house)
  3. Owned a Yorkshire terrier
  4. Drinking ale or cider from a Yorkshire brewery
  5. Said ‘aye’ instead of yes, or said ‘ay up’ instead of hello
  6. Been able to sing the first line of ‘On Ilkley Moor b’ah tat’ but that’s about it
  7. Gone on a day trip to Whitby
  8. Gone on a school trip to Eureka
  9. Tried to make Yorkshire puddings, and had at least one batch that sank pitifully before nailing the perfect recipe – I think it’s all about the eggs – contact me for more details
  10. Celebrated Yorkshire Day

So Why the First Day of August?

August 1st was chosen as it has special significance in the County’s history. On this date in 1759, Yorkshire soldiers ensured a famous victory, displaying death defying bravery, during the battle of Minden in Germany.

The date also alludes to the anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire in 1834, for which a Yorkshire MP, William Wilberforce, had campaigned.

So if you are from Yorkshire, and even if you’re not, how will you celebrate Yorkshire Day this year?

Yorkshire Calm


Yorkshire PuddingCelebrating the Day

Apart from the obvious of having Yorkshire puddings for my tea – with gravy, as a starter rather than with other food as my grandmother started me doing, I will be celebrating wearing one of my Yorkshire roses. There is a simple or double version:

  fabric brooch  – Yorkshire Roses

Helen Moyes Designs Yourkshire Rose brooch 1Helen Moyes Designs Yorkshire Rose brooch 2

If you would like me to send you the tutorial for my Yorkshire Rose Brooch please contact me and I will email it to you.

Yorkshire Rose


The origin of the Yorkshire rose  is said to have first been adopted by Edmund of Langley, the first Duke of York, in the 14th century. It represents the Virgin Mary who was often called the ‘Mystical Rose of Heaven’. During the War of the Roses the white rose was used as a symbol by supporters of the House of York. During the Battle of Minden in 1759, it is said that Yorkshire soldiers  wore wild roses that they had plucked from the hedgerows as they advanced to engage the enemy. Other account say they wore them after the battle in honour of those in Yorkshire regiments who had fallen.

Yorkshires White Rose Flag was  officially registered with the Flag Institute in 2007 and it can be flown without planning permission on any building. I came across this Yorkshire Flag Poem by Geoff Williams.

Yorkshire Flag poem by Geoff Williams

Yorkshire Flag poem by Geoff Williams

I wonder what the Yorkshire flag makes you think of?

Yorkshire Flag

Wooly Landscapes

All this said, because I’m from Sheffield in the extreem south of Yorkshire, I am also extreemly attached to the Peak District on my doorstep. I have been reflecting on what Sheffield means to me for a couple of textile art projects  and the Peak District is certainly part of my love of Sheffield, as well as many Yorkshire landscapes further up north. My wool work often upcycles wool I have collected from barbed wire and bushes, when on walks in both Yorkshire and Derbyshire!

laughing sheep

Here is a wool landscape I am working on at the moment

Helen Moyes Designs: Wool Landscape in progress

Helen Moyes Designs: Wool Landscape in progress

Some designs have sheep made from local wool in them:

Helen Moyes Designs Ecclesall Textile School Felt Picture 16

If you would like more details on either purchasing my art work, or coming on a workshop then please contact me.  Please note: non yorkshire folk are very welcome!

You can see some pictures from a recent felting workshop.

I am also proud to be a British baker, as well as a keen up-cycler.  I make aprons from cast off jeans which can be found in my Etsy Shop.


I would love to hear your thoughts on Yorkshire Day.

healthy eating at work

What is the most unhealthy food you eat? That was a question I asked at a recent Home Coaching Healthy Food At Work Workshop.

Home Coaching Healthy Food At Work Workshop5

For me the answer would be a Mars bar. However, one standard Mars bar contains around 280 kcalories, 43g of sugar and 6.4g of saturated fat. Does that matter? Well if I only occasionally have one as a treat, then not at all, I am a great advocate of the fact that there is no such thing as an unhealthy food, but unhealthy diets. It is not an occassional treat that matters but our more regular dietary habbits.

Home Coaching MarsBar

Maybe for me one of the reasons a Mars bar is my treat, is because when I was ill as a child, my grandmother would wrap me up in her comfy chair, let me watch TV and give me a drink and a pate with a mars bar cut up into slices. I enjoyed the slices during the day, and perhaps there is great wisdom in cutting up a treat to make it last.

It is not that we want to see some  foods as “bad” or not be enjoyed occasionally, after all, as soon as we tell ourselves we can never eat something, we usually start craving it! Increasingly though, it is sugar that we are seeing as being a real health issue, and it is recommended that we should have no more than 30g of sugar ( 7 cubes) a day.(World health Organisation) Sugar can harm us even if we don’t put on weight – lowering of beneficial gut bacteria– fluctuating blood sugar levels wreaks hormone production, contributing to excess fat around our middle, inflammation, heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, auto immune conditions, the list goes on…

Home Coaching Sugar Kills

Sugar fulfils four of the five criteria for an addictive substance, so my advice is to go easy and wean your self off sugar. I have found this really works, and now find some of the sweet things I once enjoyed, just too sweet now!

Home Coaching Cut back on sugarAnd I would recommend this taste change rather than consuming food and drinks with artificial sweeteners.

Home Coaching Eat less sugar

And i’t not just what we eat, drinks can contain a really high level of sugar. Just one 500 ml bottle of Coca Cola contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is more than an adult woman’s maximum recommended intake of added sugar for the whole day. So have a check on the label of drinks and remember we should have no more than 30g of sugar a day.

Home Coaching How much sugar drink

Public Health England has released a new phone app which can count the amount of sugar in a product.The app comes as Public Health England has warned that many British children are consuming their own body weight in sugar each year. The Sugar Smart app can be downloaded in the App Store or Google Play and ITV News has put together a guide on how to use this app.

Home Coaching Sugar App

 One way I find to combat both the urge for sweetness and the grabbing of food on the go, is to plan ahead. If I have my breakfast smoothie, (banana, oats, nut butter & milk) I have both quick release and slower release carbs to give me energy, with protein which will slow down that blood sugar rush even more. I can blend it and go even if I’ve no time to stop, and will be less likely to be thinking of cake mid-morning.

Taking nutritious food to have at work, or when out and about saves us time and stress as well as money (what home coaching is all about in fact). We have it with us when neaded and we know we won’t be tempted in shops by the less healthy options.

Here are some of my favourite /easy to prepare at work recipes, which I shared at the recent Home Coaching Healthy Food At Work Workshop at A Tarmac cement works, health week.

Tuna Pasta Salad

Home Coaching healthy Food tuna pasta salad1

440g leftover cooked pasta (about 200g dried)

100g can tuna in oil

400g can cannellini beans, (borlotti or butterbeans are also good)

1⁄2 red onion, or bunch spring onions, finely chopped

zest and juice 1 lemon

large handful parsley



Tip into a bowl. Mix through the remaining ingredients (the warm pasta will really soak up the flavours). If using chilled leftover pasta, simply mix everything together – it will still taste great. You can also add some mayonnaise. Can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.On the day, add chopped cucumber, tomatoes, tinned sweetcorn etc.


Home Coaching Healthy Food Hummus

200g/7oz canned chickpeas

2 tbsp lemon juice or more

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp ground cumin

100ml/3½fl oz tahini (sesame seed paste) optional

4 tbsp water

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp paprika

Drain the chickpeas and rinse. Reserve a few whole chick peas for serving.

Combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, tahini, and water in a food processor, or with stick blender, and blend to a creamy purée.

Add more lemon juice, garlic, cumin or salt to taste. Turn out into a dinner plate, and make smooth with the back of a spoon. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and scatter with the reserved chickpeas.

Sprinkle with paprika and serve with pita bread, bread sticks, vegetable sticks, in a wrap with salad.

Home Coaching Healthy Food Hummus & Spinach Wrap

Porridge in the microwave

For each person use ½ cup rolled oats, 1 cup water, and ½ cup low-fat milk.

  • Mix rolled oats, water, and milk in a bowl (use a large bowl to prevent spilling over when cooking).

  • Cook uncovered in the microwave on high power for 1 ½ minutes. Stir.

  • Cook for another minute. Repeat if necessary until it boils and thickens, and becomes smooth and creamy.

Tip:Add your favourite toppings such as sliced banana, sultanas, canned or fresh fruit, chopped dates, or yoghurt.

Home Coaching Healthy Food At Work Workshop Microwave Porridge

Sweet Potato Curry

1 onion chopped

1″ piece of ginger, peeled & finely chopped

2 green chillies, finely chopped

2 crushed or chopped cloves of garlic

1 teasp garam masala

1 teasp ground turmeric

1 teasp ground cumin

1 teasp ground coriander seeds

1 or 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

chopped vegetables of choice eg. Cauliflower, green beans, red pepper

1 banana (optional)

  • Dry fry onion, ginger, chillies & garlic.

  • Add spices and some water with seasoning or stock

  • Add chopped vegetables and cook for 10 minutes

  • Add chopped banana

  • Serve with yoghurt mixed with cucumber and mint.

Sweet Potato Curry

Home Coaching Healthy Food Chicken Noodle Soup

900ml chicken or vegetable stock (or Miso soup mix)

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, about 175g/6oz (or any cooked chicken)

1 tsp chopped fresh root ginger

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

50g rice or wheat noodles

Bag of stir fry vegetables

2 tsp soy sauce, plus extra for serving

mint or basil leaves and a little shredded chilli (optional), to serve

  • Gently fry the vegetables(and cut up raw chicken if using raw chicken) in some oil (toasted sesame seed oil or coconut oil)

  • Add stock and noodles. Season with soy sauce and herbs, to taste.


Egg in a Nest

Egg in Nest

Egg in Nest

Potato (approx. 150g)

Small onion

1 rasher bacon

half a red pepper

1 spoon red kidney beans

1 egg

pinch of chilli powder (optional)

half teasp. paprika

  • peel & dice potato, microwave cook with a little water for 2 minutes on full power

  • heat a little oil in a pan and fry chopped bacon and onion, add paprika and chilliesadd potato, pepper and beans, mix well

  • spoon mixture into a bowl, leaving a hollow in the centre

    At this point you can cover the owl and take it to work sith you to add the egg and cook for 2 minutes!

  • break egg into the hollow, pierce skin of yolk with a cocktail stick/folk

  • cover dish with a plate and microwave cook for approx. 2 minutes until egg white has set

  • sprinkle with extra paprika

    Home Coaching Healthy Food At Work Workshop9I had a great day at this work place, with groups of workers choosing which recipes they wanted to have a go at, and then trying the different foods.  If you would like me to come to your workplace (if in Yorkshire or Derbyshire,  UK) please contact me. I would love to hear what healthy food you take to or make at work, and also your experiences of cutting down on sugar. Please comment below.