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food

Posted on December 12, 2016

Merry Christmas From Graze

food

graze box

There is no fitness update this week. I think I mentioned in last weeks update that I started to struggle with vertigo. Things have been really bad and I’ve had to take time off work and go to the doctors. I’m being referred to a specialist but in the mean time I have to rest and wait for it to pass before I can move about or exercise again. It’s making me feel rubbish about my body because exercise really helps me feel better about myself. I feel frumpy and awful. Do not look at me. I hope I’m better soon so I can get myself back to the gym!

Instead I wanted to share with you this present I got from Graze. They surprised me with a lovely stocking with my name printed on it, mince pie flap jack and some nutty treats 🙂

Thanks Graze!

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Posted on November 23, 2016

Herbalife Nutrition Protein Bars

diet/ food/ review

Herbalife Nutrition Protein Bars

In the exercise pack I got from Herbalife last week, I was sent a box of protein bars.

The chocolate flavoured bars contain only 139 calories and 10g protein. They’re small in size, too, so ideal for the back of cycling jerseys or for popping in your pocket if you’re going for a run. They’re about the size as a chocolate biscuit, rather than chocolate bar.

I’ve been taking these to work and either having them for breakfast with a piece of fruit or for dinner with fruit after having a bigger breakfast.

They are very chocolatey and sweet. The consistency is similar to a chewy nougat/mars bar type filling. If you’re not a fan of sickly protein bars, then give this a miss, but if you have a sweet tooth then you’ll love them!

Do you have a favourite protein bar or snack?

Herbalife Nutrition Protein Bars

Herbalife Nutrition Protein Bars

Herbalife Nutrition Protein Bars

Herbalife Nutrition Protein Bars

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Posted on November 3, 2016

Halloween Treats from Graze

food

Halloween Treats from Graze

I was a bit too late to do the pumpkin challenge that was set with this box due to it arriving after Halloween. Oh no. Sorry Graze.

Although I still wanted to share the pumpkin-themed treats in case you are still holding onto Halloween and want to stay in the mood.

I highly recommend the cinnamon, date, and honey bites. They’re addictive.

Halloween Treats from Graze Halloween Treats from Graze Halloween Treats from Graze Halloween Treats from Graze Halloween Treats from Graze Halloween Treats from Graze Halloween Treats from Graze

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Posted on October 26, 2016

November is World Vegan month, are you up for the challenge?

diet/ food

November is World Vegan month

Being vegan is an idea I’ve toyed with a lot, so something like a challenge throughout World Vegan Month sounds ideal for someone like me.

I stopped smoking during a month challenge and never went back. Stop eating meat during a week challenge and never went back. What’s not to saying doing a months-long challenge can have a similar effect?

Many celebrities including Liam Hemsworth, J Lo, Brad Pitt and even Beyoncé credit their weight loss and healthy complexions to a vegan diet – so it’s something worth looking into if you’re wanting to improve your health. 

There are many benefits, both inside and out, that you’ll feel from a vegan diet, so why not give it a go this November for World Vegan Month? 

November is World Vegan month

8 Tips to keep you healthy and happy during World Vegan Month:

Let your timeline motivate you!

Keep your motivation up during the month by following social media accounts that will encourage you to keep at your vegan diet. There are loads of Instagram accounts dedicated to vegan diets, as well as videos on YouTube showing you what vegans eat in a day. 

Protein Power

Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at Superfooduk.com explains that there are many more nutritious protein packed alternative to meats:

“Don’t rely on ‘fake meat’ soy- and gluten-based products; keep them for an occasional treat. Consume pulses every day! These include lentils, peas and all kinds of beans. These are packed with protein and complex carbohydrates”.

If you are worried about getting enough protein you can always add a vegan protein powder to your morning shake.

Cultured Cuisine

Going vegan can be the change you need to try out some new foods around the world. Thai and Middle Eastern restaurants will have plenty of vegan options to keep you satisfied.

When I became vegetarian, it motivated me to try loads of foods I hadn’t before!

Top up on Vitamin D

Cutting out protein can mean that you are missing out key nutrients that are vital for your general health and wellbeing.

Dr Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading nutritionist and author of ‘Natural Alternatives to Sugar’ says:

“Natural food sources of vitamin D are few. It is found in oily fish and eggs, and other sources would include fortified foods such as margarines and breakfast cereals. The advice now from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition recommends that adults and children take vitamin D every day especially over the winter. When selecting a supplement containing vitamin D, choose one where the form of vitamin D is D3. I would suggest trying NHP’s Vitamin D3 Support in a convenient, spray from (£10.97, www.naturalhealthpractice.com).”

Don’t overload on unhealthy carbs

Going vegan is not an excuse to eat loads of bowls of pasta! Make sure you fill out your meals with some healthy carbs, Shona says:

“Don’t eat lots of refined carbohydrates. Focus on varied wholefoods like quinoa, millet, rye, basmati rice, oats, and buckwheat.” 

Get your Omegas

Cutting out meat and fish means you are also cutting out a great source of omegas, as Shona explains, you can get them from vegan-friendly foods:

“Our skin needs fat. It’s an essential element in retaining both the moisture and barrier function of the skin. Certain fats such as omega 3, 6 and 9 are of particular importance. Omega 6 (linoleic acid) fats are readily available in most nuts and seeds such as flax, hemp and evening primrose, while omega 9 (oleic acid) is best found in olive oil, avocados and almonds. Omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid) can be found in flaxseed, chia and avocado.”

Stock up on your vitamins!

Many people who stick to a plant-based diet are lacking in Vitamin B, in particular B12, which is great for keeping your energy up!

Shona says:  “In general, if you eat dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, lentils and brown rice you will be getting B vitamins but the following foods are good sources for the individual B vitamins.”

“It is usually best to take B vitamins in a complex. This is because the B vitamins work in synergy with each other.  If you take too much of one particular B vitamin it may put the others out of balance.”

Lily Soutter, nutritionist and weight loss expert at www.lilysoutternutrition.com, adds:

“With a zero meat policy, vegans and vegetarians are at risk of iron deficiency. Our richest and most bioavailable source of iron come from meat and fish. Whilst plant sources such as beans and green leafy veg do contain iron, the abundance and bioavailability is much lower. However if vegans and vegetarians supplement with vitamin C at each meal, this can help with absorption rate of iron from their food.” 

Check your cupboards

If you decide to make your new found veganism more of a lifestyle rather than just a diet, make sure you check you bathroom cupboards!

It’s also important to educate yourself on what you can and cannot eat as there are loads of animal products hidden in foods that you wouldn’t expect!

Choose beauty products that don’t test on animals and use all natural products.

Using completely organic products might even improve your skin, as Sonja Dymalovski, skincare expert at What Skin Needs explains:

 “Hydration is the key to young looking skin, and adding a serum to your night time routine is a great way to wake up with youthful glow. I would go for a serum with natural oils that have anti-inflammatory and soothing properties like Jojoba oil and Plantolin. Try Hydrating Facial Serum by What Skin Needs (www.whatskinneeds.co.uk, £17.99)”

Hope these tips help. Will you be joining in on World Vegan Month?

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Posted on October 19, 2016

VEGFESTUK 2016

food

vegan festival

Since going to the Leeds Vegan Festival in summer, I’ve been interested in attending more. Although I’m not a vegan, I find it enjoyable to go along and see all the different food they have to offer. Festivals like this can really show you that there’s more to being vegan than just eating boring vegetables.

VEGFESTUK London takes place at Kensington Olympia on October 22nd – 23rd 2016 and attracts more than 12,000 visitors a year. It’s great for vegans and those who are interested in the vegan lifestyle.

Caterers at this year’s show includes:

  • Freshly-made juice experts Damage Limitation
  • Organic burger and smoothie wonders Hempen
  • Italian street food legends Just Fab T
  • he always moreish Ms Cupcake.

Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy activities such as:

  • The Vegan Athletes Summit
  • Live cookery demos
  • the Vegan bodybuilding contest
  • Kids cookery classes
  • a Pro-Intersectional Vegan Conference, which looks at entangling social justice issues from a vegan perspective.
  • Animal rights workshops
  • live music.

As well as loads of stalls of vegan food and lifestyle products.

london vegan festival

Have you ever been to a vegan festival?

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Posted on October 5, 2016

Superfood Pouches from Graze

food

Graze superfood pouches

As you all know, I work with Graze on a regular basis. They’ve recently sent me a lovely package of some of their superfood range, that would work great in smoothies and sweet dessert recipes.

They also sent me some amazing baking equipment with my Twitter handle engraved in. Pretty brilliant as I didn’t have any baking things before! It all belonged to my housemate in my old house!

So thanks, Graze!

Check out the superfood pouches here: Graze superfood pouches.

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Posted on September 28, 2016

I love soup. Souper.

food/ review

Beverly LeBlack

Soup is brilliant. What I love about it is that you can make it how you want. You can make it as thick or thin as you want. You can make it full of nutrition or a little bit naughty and indulgent. It can be low in calories or packed with enough that it’s like a whole meal.

Also, it’s comforting in the cold weather. Which is now coming. Doom.

I was sent this book to review. FYI.

I love soup by Beverly LeBlack has 100 of the worlds more delicious and nutritious soups. Each one is unique I’ve never even heard of most of them before.

What I like about the book is at the top, it’s clearly indicated what soups are suitable for vegetarians and people with various types of food allergies.

Most of them are meat based, but you can always use a meat substitute or leave it out.

It’s clear, simple and beautifully presented.

Are you a soup fan?

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Posted on September 23, 2016

Degustabox September

food/ review

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It doesn’t seem like two minutes since I was reviewing the last Degustabox! It’s come around so fast.

For those of you that don’t know, Degustabox is a monthly subscription box that sends you food, snacks, and drinks to try each week. A mixture of classics and new products and brands. I’ve been working with them for the past few years to help spread the word about the boxes and what’s inside.

Let’s take a peek at the September Box!

degustabox September Hartley's No Added Sugar Jelly Pots.

Hartley’s No Added Sugar Jelly Pots.

Jelly is a lot of fun and these are great as a low-calorie sweet snack or in a lunch box. Although the ready to eat ones don’t have gelatin in them, most do contain a colouring called Carmine, which is basically crushed up bugs, so be careful if you’re not a meat eater.

50p each. 

degustabox september Metcalfe's Popcorn Thins

Metcalfe’s Popcorn Thins

These popcorn thins are made from corn so have a unique texture and crunch. I’m kind of excited to try them and love that they’re individually wrapped!

£1 each

september degustabox Mrs Crimble's Fusilli

Mrs Crimble’s Fusilli

When I think of Mrs Crimble, I think of the chocolate coconut macaroons my Mum used to get when she first found out she had IBS. Since then, the gluten-free range in supermarkets has grown loads. Now you can get things like these easy to make pasta meals in sauces. It never would have been this simple to eat gluten free 10 years ago!

£1.99

degustabox september Chia Bia Whole & Milled Chia Seed Sachets

Chia Bia Whole & Milled Chia Seed Sachets 

Chia seeds have become really popular lately and I do have a bag already. They’re expensive but do last for ages, so it’s not such a big deal. They have Omega 3, fibre and protein. They also help to keep you feeling full and they’re a great addition to smoothies or sweet deserts.

I’ve never tried milled ones before though!

£1 each

september degustabox Ciro Borlotti Beans

Ciro Borlotti Beans

Ciro is a brand that regularly features in Degustabox, but usually their tomato based products. These beans are picked, freshly shelled and quickly steam-cooked in the can for freshness.

They’re a good source of fibre, vitamins, proteins and carbs.

£1.89 per pack of 3

degustabox september Teisseire Sirop

Teisseire Sirop

I love these! I used to have them in France all the time when I lived there. Although the directions say it’s to add flavour to still or sparkling water, it can also be used in beers, spirit drinks and cocktails.

£.2.99

Say YES to No Bread Chips

Say YES to No Bread Chips

I don’t get the name of this brand because it says say yes to no bread. But it is bread.

It’s natural as bread and tasty as chips.

I’m confused by their branding but they seem nice.

£1.49

Get Fruity Bars

Get Fruity Bars

These fruit and oat bars come in six flavours. They’re gluten free and have virgin coconut oil – each bar is 100% natural.

£1 each

Miso Tasty Miso Soup

Miso Tasty Miso Soup

I love miso soup. Most of it isn’t vegetarian but this one is, woo.

It’s made from 12 months fermented soybeans and rice with a hint of Japanise shichimi spice. They’re not only vegetarian but vegan, gluten free and only 45 calories each!

£3.65 for 4 servings

degustabox september Cape Drinks

Cape Drinks

Cold tea. I’ve never tried cold tea before I don’t think. They’re Rooibos tea though which I like warm but never tried cold. I’m a little scared.

It has no refined sugar and only has natural ingredients.

That’s the box.

Get your own box from www.degustabox.com and get a massive £7 off your own box with the discount code: BLDEG15

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Posted on September 21, 2016

New in // Sci-Mx Pro2GO Caramel Crisp

food/ review

Sci-Mx Pro2GO Caramel Crisp

My old housemate text me a few weeks ago to say I had a package. I had no idea what it could be. When I went to pick it up, I had been sent this little surprise.

I’ve worked with Sci-MX a few times, trying out various products of theirs.

This is the new Pro2Go caramel crisp protein bar which has a massive 21g of protein per bar. Each bar has 253 calories so it’s probably not a dieter’s choice unless you’re using it for a breakfast or meal replacement. But if you’re trying to get more protein in and build those guns, this is one to look out for.

As for the taste, it is one of the better tasting bars I have. It’s kind of like a cross between a Twix and a Mars bar.

Want to try for yourself? Get hold of them here.

Sci-Mx Pro2GO Caramel Crisp

Sci-Mx Pro2GO Caramel Crisp

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Posted on September 8, 2016

Degustabox August 2016

food

Degustabox August 2016

Right. Let’s have a look at the August box, shall we? This box was very picnicky, I guess that’s because IT’S PICNIC SEASON WOOO.

Anyway, let’s go and get on with it, shall we?

Degustabox August 2016

Nutripot // £2.49

These look lovely, kind of like pot noodles with vitamins and minerals in them. They’re quite costly though and I’m not sure I’d spend £2.49 on one!

Degustabox August 2016

Mahou Cinco Estrella // £1.20.

I love beer! This is a premium lager from Madrid and it’s always fun to try beer from different countries. I love lagars too, always light and refreshing.

Degustabox August 2016

Willy Chase’s Fit Corn// £2.19

Posh-type popcorn is the new avocado. Or something like that. These are available in a few flavours and I was sent salted honey. I don’t think I’ve ever tried honey on popcorn, so I’m looking forward to the experience!

Degustabox August 2016

Dorset Cereals Bircher Muesli // £3.49

I love Dorset Cereals, but there’s always so expensive compared to their competitors, even when they are on offer. These can be soaked for 30 minutes, rather than overnight, for a cooler creamier muesli.

Degustabox August 2016

Greeta’s Curry // £1.00

I’m so glad these are vegetarian-friendly! Yay! There’s nothing worse than a sauce that has an animal in it. Thai curry, I’m looking at you.

I bought some Quorn style chicken to try these bad boys with!

Degustabox August 2016 Degustabox August 2016 Degustabox August 2016

Degustabox August 2016

Rakusen’s Snackers // £1.49

I got both the plain and gluten-free versions of these. They’re less than 1% fat and only seven calories per cracker!

These will be great for my next wine and cheese night. Or, for wine and cheese on my own. Mwhahaha.

Degustabox August 2016

Clipper Tea // £1.59

I love ginger tea, it’s my favourite, although I’ve never tried it with lime before. Sounds like a strange combo but looking forward to tucking in!

Degustabox August 2016

Tabasco Sauce // £1.99

I’m a condiment fiend and always looking for a new way to spice food up and this looks interesting. A BBQ with the rich and smoky taste of Tobasco Chipotle sauce. Sounds amazing.

Degustabox August 2016

Olovoes // £1.00

I LOVE OLIVES. These aren’t a bad price and I’d totally grab this for lunch if I saw them for sale. There’s no stones or fuss, just open and enjoy.

Degustabox August 2016

Get More Multivitamins // £1.45

I’m sure these have been in Degustabox before. A clear drink with added vitamins and minerals to give you an extra bounce in your step. I always save these for hangovers. If it’s not the drink helping, the placebo does.

Degustabox August 2016

Degustabox August 2016

The details of the above two are not on my leaflet, I would expect they’re in the non-alcoholic box. As I review the boxes, we get sent all products from the alcoholic and non-alcoholic box. Looking forward to some gin with the posh drink!

See a live action review in this vlog:

 

Degustabox August unboxing: Get your own box from www.degustabox.com and get a massive £7 off your own box with the discount code: BLDEG15

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