BioCare have added some new supplements to their range to make sure that your body is prepared for the colder months and help prevent Winter colds and runny noses. Usually probiotics have to be kept in the fridge but the new Everyday BioAcidophilus comes in a very convenient capsule form which makes it easier for people with busy lives to take.
Being great for your gut and an additional source of friendly bacteria naturally found in your digestive system, this is a great way to boost your immune system in addition to a healthy eating and balanced lifestyle. I like the way there are 7 capsules to each strip in the box. That way I can easily tell if I’ve had each days supplement as by taking the first one in a strip on a Monday and then you can tell which day of the week you are due to take.
In addition to the adult’s version there is a tasty children’s supplement, the Red Berry BioMelts containing a unique live bacteria with added vitamin D. The innovative product is a no mess, no fuss supplement makes giving your kid’s their daily dose of vitamins a whole more fun. The delicious berry flavoured sachet dissolves on the tongue, designed to give children the essentials they need for immunity support. I tried this with 9yr old Miss M who actually though this was quite nice and has been happily taking one each day in the morning. I find children’s supplements can be hit and miss as to whether my children will like them and finish the packet but so far so good with this one.
Overall I’m pleased with the BioCare range of supplements keeping our immune systems boosted, they are simple to use and so far we are all feeling well and in good health!
All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.
Recently I was inspired by Britmumsto make tasty family meals that included a jar of Dolmio. From Spaghetti Bolognese to Mushroom & Spinach Cannelloni and a Vegetable Moussaka we’ve been enjoying delicious vegetarian dishes that are simple to put together and provide really hearty family meals packed full of healthy vegetables along with Dolmio.
With a delightful array of ingredients sent to us, I was excited to get cooking. Being vegetarian I used soya mince in the bolognese which the kids enjoy (even though they are meat eaters) and the other dishes were purely vegetable based. I was surprised to learn that each jar of Dolmio provides a family of four each with 1 of their 5 a day.
Dolmio Bolognese Original 500g sauce is 100% natural. In each jar, you’ll find at least 10 juicy diced tomatoes, a dollop of tomato puree, half an onion, a tablespoon of sunflower oil, a couple of cloves of garlic, a handful of herbs including basil, a teaspoon of cornflour, a teaspoon of salt, a pinch of pepper, two teaspoons of added beet sugar for taste, a squeeze of lemon juice, a splash of water and nothing more.
We had to start with a traditional style bolognese – one of the kids favourite meals and one that the family all really enjoying sitting down to on a weekday evening.
Not being one to measure my quick dinner ingredients, I used approximately:
2 diced onions
1 grated carrot
1 diced courgette
half a diced red pepper
1 jar of Dolmio
appropriate quantity for 4 of wholemeal spaghetti
sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese
Mushroom & Spinach Cannelloni
Now when I saw cannelloni tubes in my shopping delivery, I did think what on earth am I going to do with those? As much as I love an M&S spinach and ricotta cannelloni for a lazy meal, I’ve never braved cannelloni tubes myself. So looking at the ingredients I had and knowing the husband is rather fond of mushrooms I decided to concoct a rather simple vegetarian cannelloni with the added help of some Dolmio.
Half a jar of Dolmio
Bechamel sauce (made with Cheddar cheese, milk, flour)
I lightly fried some mushrooms along with some of the frozen spinach balls.
And then came the tricky part…. stuffing it into the cannelloni! Clearly I hadn’t thought this through and as I pushed the hot mixture into the tubes they started going slightly soft.. arghh! But not to worry, a little perseverance and I soon had all the tubes well and truly stuffed! I layered a little Dolmio under the tubes then another layer on top before adding some grated cheddar and topping with Parmesan.
Thankfully the dish looked rather scrummy as it made it’s way out of the oven and the husband thoroughly approved! (Result for mummy!)
I rather enjoy Moussaka and don’t really follow a recipe, just throw in any vegetables I have around.
For this one I used:
2 white onions
Bechamel sauce (made with flour/butter/milk/Cheddar cheese)
I started off my slicing and lightly roasting the courgette and aubergine slices and whilst they were cooking I drained the chickpeas, lightly fried the onions and made the cheesy Bechamel sauce.
I then simply layered Dolmio with roasted vegetables, lightly fried onions, a handful of chickpeas and then repeated. To top it of I poured over the Bechamel sauce, added some grated Parmesan and black pepper and cooked in the oven until done.
Voila! One delicious, homemade, vegetarian Moussaka!
Bonus Extra Quick Cheat Meal – Kids Pasta
Having enjoyed Dolmio so much we popped a couple of jars in the trolley when we next visited the supermarket. When the kids need a quick tea between school and evening clubs we just cook up a bit of pasta with some chopped ham, cocktail sausages and grated cheese and that’s their quick bite to eat that they love.
This week however they asked me if I could put some of that ‘yummy’ sauce on it (aka Dolmio), they are a bit fussy with ‘other’ jars of pasta sauce, so I added a few spoonfuls of Dolmio to their cooked pasta, heated it up and there you go – two incredibly happy filled little tummies!!
This post is an entry for the #Dolmio #ThankGoodness Challenge, sponsored by Dolmio.
Slimfast is one weightloss plan I go back to again and again because for me it works. I like knowing what I am going to be eating during the day, I enjoy the shakes and I like the ready packed snacks which are easy to grab on the go.
Slimfast have just relaunched their products along with a new image and some great new products which I am going to share with you and let you know what I think.
Above you can see the newly launched 7 day starter box, a fabulous introduction into the world of Slimfast that comes with enough snacks and meal replacement products to last you a week along with recipe ideas for your evening meals. For anyone that hasn’t tried Slimfast before this is a great way to get introduced to the various products on offer and taste a variety of flavours. Included are a selection of ready made shakes, meal replacement bars and snacks, including crisp type snacks and chocolate bars.
Personally I love the savoury snack bags of Sour Cream and Chive Pretzels or Cheddar Cheese Bites, they are just what you need mid morning to keep you going and replace a high calorie bag of crisps that I’d usually grab!
The 3.2.1. plan allows you to have three snacks a day, two meal replacements (either a shake or meal bar) and one healthy evening meal.
A new product to the Slimfast range are noodle boxes! The amazing thing about these noodle snack boxes are that all the flavours contain less than 100 calories with the Spicy Thai flavour containing just 70 calories. These can be replaced instead of any snack and are a great alternative if you are looking forward to a savoury snack. They come in three flavours, Chicken Tikka Masala (81 cals), Spaghetti Bolognase (76 cals) and Spicy Thai (70 cals) which is a vegetarian one.
They are made with SlimTaki® noodles which are made from konjac, the Asian root vegetable that contains virtually no calories and zero fat and sugar. So what do they taste like? I have to say I was very impressed, they come with a thick, rich sauce and smell delicious. What I would never believe though is that there are just 70 calories in a box, that’s quite amazing and there is not much else you can eat for such a low amount other than a piece of fruit!
I started the 7 day plan and find it really easy to follow. For me to stick to a plan I have to know exactly what I’m eating so I get all my snacks and meal replacements out the night before. You can eat other snacks instead of the ones provided and I often add a piece of fruit or low fat yoghurt into my day. I also find it important to plan my evening meal and although there are some recipe ideas included in 7 day starter box, I did find that there are many more idea on theSlimfast website. Knowing what I am eating is half the battle of losing weight for me and being planned helps me keep on track and get the results.
So for my results:
I lost 6lb in 7 days – yay!!! I do find that in the first few days of following the plan I lose a lot of water, especially if I’ve not been eating so well in the few weeks before. I know in future weeks I can only expect to lose around 2lbs per week if I stick to the plan but that’s good for slow steady weightloss that’s maintainable.
I really enjoy the Slimfast plan as it allows me to eat food I like, a lot of the snacks feel like treats and a 600 calorie dinner at the end of the day feels quite generous. I add plenty of vegetables and it’s easy to fill full after eating a big plateful even though it’s low calorie.
You can hear my thoughts on the Slimfast plan here in this short video:
All reviews are my own and my honest opinions and I received the products in order to write the review.
Mexican is one of my favourite meal choices and something we eat regularly at home. With the range of Mexican inspired store cupboard ingredients available from Santa Maria, you really can make up your meals simply and easily just be adding a few fresh ingredients.
Being vegetarian I always serve vegetarian fajita’s. For tonights meal I am adding Quorn along side various fresh vegetables with my special ingredient being courgette which really helps fill out the meal and gives you a nice addition to the peppers, onions and tomatos.
I’m also using Santa Maria wraps, Fajita seasoning and salsa which make it really easy to get that spicy Mexican flavour.
After lightly frying the onion, I add the Quorn to brown off, then the other vegetables and sprinkle with seasoning, continuing to cook to until my kitchen is wafting in Mexican fragrances.
I like to serve my fajitas with a side salad to make the perfect meal, ideal for all the family on a Saturday night!
Once served add a light sprinkling of cheese and some ground black pepper. Tasty!!
We were provided with Santa Maria products for the #TASTEsantamaria Fab Fajita challenge.
Jane Plan is a delicious diet plan that is delivered to your door monthly. Having put on weight and overeating since my youngest was born four years ago, I’ve felt really uncomfortable in myself and have a wardrobe full of clothes I no longer wear. With my 40th birthday coming up in March this year, I knew I had to change the way I eat (and drink wine!) to start enjoying life to the full again instead of hiding away in leggings and baggy tops, feeling uncomfortable at social occasions and wondering what on earth I’m going to wear on the beach this year for our family summer holiday!
When Jane Plan spoke to me about trying their program, I knew this could be the answer to get me on my way to feeling fit and fab again. With the food delivered to my door, I couldn’t dish myself up oversize portions and along with working and a busy family life, I wouldn’t have to worry making myself different meals to the rest of the family as it was all taken care of for me. So I placed my order with Jane Plan and looked forward to the delivery.
Aimed at providing you with around 1200 calories a day, you are sent your choice of 28 breakfasts, 28 lunches, 28 dinners and 28 snacks from the fairly large choice available. The only thing you need to add is milk or yoghurt to use with breakfast and additional fruit and vegetables to supplement your meals should you choose to.
I chose all my meals based on a vegetarian diet and tended to pick soups and salads for lunchtimes and pasta based meals for dinner. When the box arrived it seemed like a lot of food, but had to remember that this was to last me for the next 28 days!
Although the meals are long life, they are freshly cooked and packaged using the SousVide method, avoiding any artificial preservatives, colours, or additives. This is done by steaming the food to a high temperature then sealing each portion whilst still hot, thus preserving it naturally.
The daily snacks included in Jane Plan consist of either a single small round biscuit or three mini oatcakes. I chose a variety of each in quite a choice of flavours from toasted almond shortbread, to vanilla crunch and fig & hazelnut cookies. The oatcakes came in plain, cheese or black pepper varieties. I was slightly concerned when I saw a lot of these biscuits were gluten free as I’ve not found gluten free products to be very palatable before but there is only one thing I can say about every one of the snacks you see in the above picture – Absolutely delicious!!
The biscuits are quite small but they are thicker than your standard biscuit. Every mouthful tasted rich, buttery and just melted in the mouth. I couldn’t wait for my daily snack each day as it really was that little bit of something sweet I craved each day. I did really enjoy the oatcakes too and with three in each pack, it gave me something to nibble on to help beat afternoon cravings. It’s lucky the snacks are individually wrapped as I don’t think I could have just eaten one otherwise!
I started each morning with a bowl of porridge or Maca’s Secret Muesli which I added natural yoghurt too. I found all the breakfasts totally satisfying and the perfect way to start the day. They were all quick to put together too, the porridge (both plain and vanilla) microwave in a couple of minutes with some added water in the bowl you eat out of, so no added washing up!
For lunches I tended to have soup when at home, which came in a pouch that you simply heat up in the microwave. I usually added a couple of low calorie crispbreads or occasionally a slice of unbuttered bread to help fill me up.
When at work or out of the house I opted for a salad, which came in a small pot that just required a fork to eat with. I had both a couscous salad and wholegrain salad to choose from and although I enjoyed them both and found them quite pleasant to eat, they both contained red kidney beans and sweetcorn. I would have preferred them to have been a bit more varied with perhaps something green in them. There is a three bean salad which I wish I had tried, not sure how I missed it but as I’ve mentioned there is quite a lot of choice available on the Jane Plan menu.
Dinner time was something I eagerly awaited each day whilst following the plan and have to say I found the meals really tasty. I chose a lot of Mediterranean dishes such as pasta arrabiata, vegetable lasagne and ratatouille. I have to say my absolute favourite is the pasta Mediterranean which was delicious in a rich tomato sauce with peppers and courgettes (two of my favourite vegetables!). The lasagne was good too, once I got used to the fact that it had no cheese on it! lol I have to say cheese was one of the food items I did miss throughout the month.
So how did I find it?
For the first three or four days, there is no denying it was hard!! My body is used to me grazing all day, then enjoying a couple of glasses of wine in the evening. I did find the gap from breakfast (7am) until lunch quite hard particularly on work days, but I had some fruit mid morning to see me through. Likewise going from lunchtime (12pm) through to bedtime which is often 11/12pm with just a small biscuit and a single course of dinner could be tough, but I found my body soon learnt to adjust and the stomach rumbles eased off. I found cups of green tea with lemon (which I really enjoy) to be a big help between meals to see me through and a bowl of grapes in the evening (rather than the liquid variety) would help me last until bedtime.
I found having the food ready made and portioned to be an enormous help. I am a working mum with two young children, a husband who works shifts and life is hectic enough. The portions ensured I kept on track and didn’t leave me open to temptation as I know I would have been had I been preparing my own food. This is definitely the kickstart I needed and now feel my body is used to eating less food, so I feel more confident continuing myself after finishing on Jane Plan. Although should you wish to continue they do offer money saving plans if you sign up for longer periods.
And the question you’ve all been waiting for – how much weight did I lose? 12lb
So as you can imagine, I’m thrilled!! As much as I did stick to the plan, I have to admit to having a couple of glasses of wine one weekend and a couple of other extras sneaking in. But what I have proved to myself is that I can do it and Jane Plan really helped me achieve a great first month’s weight loss. I still have a further couple of stone to lose (yes really – fresh bread/cheese/chocolate/wine all have a lot to answer for!) and then I hope to be at my pre childbirth weight and feel fit and fab throughout my forties!
Keep an eye out as I will keep you updated with my progress in the upcoming months.
At the start of the summer I was invited to a blogger event at my local Lush store. Lush being that shop that emits a heavenly fragrance across the mall before you even reach it, inviting you to step inside and try it’s delectable handmade products. Being 100% vegetarian, not tested on animals and using only natural, ethical ingredients, this certainly ticks a lot of boxes for me so I was intrigued to find out more.
Walking into the shop, you can’t help but be mesmerised by the vast arrays of freshly made products, sitting naked on the shelves waiting for you to inhale their individual aroma’s, eager to try them on your skin. When I walked in I was greeted by a friendly bunch of staff who turned out to be incredibly knowledgeable and full of facts and information about each of the numerous products on their shelves. They gave us a demonstration of some of their top summer products, showing us the individual raw ingredients as well as letting us smell and try them out upon our skin.
Buffy – a body butter with exfoliator. Made with cocoa and shea butters for moisturising, ground rice, almonds and aduki beans for exfoliation and some essential oils for both calming and uplifting. This is a must have shower product to leave your skin silky soft all year round.
African Paradise – a body conditioner designed to be used in the shower and rinsed off leaving your skin perfectly hydrated. This is made with softening and scented ingredients from mango juice to moringa oil, shea butter to aloe vera – leaving a very relaxing soothing, finish to the skin.
One of the highlights of the evening has to be making my very own Big Blue bath bomb!! I never expected to get this close to making a product let alone actually doing it! The Big Blue has calming properties using arame seaweed for it’s softening ability along with many vitamins and minerals. Also both lemon and lavender oil are included which are both fragrances that appeal to me.
Once seeing a demonstration, it was time to make our own. We were each given some ‘attractive’ blue rubber gloves, a Lush bomb mould with which we filled with ingredients, swishing and turning until we had the perfect ball!!
Ta-dah!! Above you can see my perfectly formed Big Blue, I’m still in shock I actually made this and didn’t really want to use it but, well, I kinda had to!
So how did it feel? Incredibly softening, more than I could have imagined. It had a heady, calmy fragrance that was totally relaxing. I was really surprised at how soft the water felt, really leaving my skin feeling soothed, mosturised and supersoft. With it’s turquoise blue hue and floating bits of seaweed, it felt tranquil and allowed me 20 minutes of child feel relaxation, something that’s a bit of a rarity these days!
After receiving a demonstration of Stepping Stone, a foot shaped scrub, we were given one to try at home. I was so looking forward to trying this as my feet do suffer, particularly as I’m prone to wearing flip flops over the summer months which doesn’t do my heels any favours leaving them dry and prone to cracks.
Stepping Stone can be used as a foot pumice or foot soak and I did both by breaking a piece off and letting it fizz in water to soak my feet and the rest I used to scrub over my feet to combat the dry skin. With lime, lemon and lemongrass oils to combat foot odour this really smelt heavenly!
The new range of suncare products from Lush was rather interesting. With unusual formats and textures they were very different but seemingly effective. Sesame Suntan Lotion is a light creamy lotion giving SPF10 that sinks easily into the skin. The Sunblock is a solid sunscreen wash giving a high SPF30 protection. It works by massaging onto damp skin in the shower then with a gentle pat dry you are fully protected head to toe.
I took home a tub of Lifesaver, a rich, highly moisturising sunscreen cream with an SPF30 protection. I saved this little tub until I went on holiday to really test it out. With the sun quite hot and a tendency to get burnt shoulders I covered my arms and shoulders with this quite liberally and then sat on the beach. Being on their for 3 or 4 hours I didn’t reapply but found this easily protected me and I didn’t burn in the slightest. With moisturising shea butter this meant my skin didn’t dry out either leaving it feeling soft and soothed even at the end of the day in the hot sun.
I’ve really enjoyed trying out some new and different Lush products, it’s definitely made me realise that Lush has so much more to offer than just bath bombs and soap bars which are the main products I have used from there previously. Being a highly ethical company and using lots of amazing natural products and fragrances, I’d definitely suggest popping in to try something out. The staff members are welcoming and knowledgeable and can guide you towards products suitable to needs and skin type.
All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received some Lush products in order to write the review.
Nothing But. are a new, healthy snack that not only contains real vegetables but each pack contains 1 of your 5 a day portions of vegetables. I was fortunate to receive a couple of packs of Beetroot & Parsnip and Mange Tout & Red Pepper flavours.
I was really excited to try these for many reasons, I love vegetable snacks, I’m trying to follow a healthy eating plan and I’m vegetarian. They are also suitable for vegans, are gluten free with no added fat, sugar, salt or preservatives.
These are literally freeze dried vegetables in a packet with just 26 calories a pack for the Mange Tout & Red Pepper snack and just 36 calories for the Slice Beetroot & Parsnip snack. You can’t get better than that!
I was amazed by the bright, vibrant colours of the vegetables, they looked crunchy and inviting. When you bite into them they are light as air, although the taste of the vegetable clearly comes through.
I enjoyed these and think with them being one of your five a day and low calorie makes them ideal for healthy eating, although you have to bear in mind that they won’t be overly filling. I also would have liked to have seen a few more in each bag than there was.
What I did discover though it that these make the perfect low fat accompaniment to houmous. I had some red pepper houmous in the fridge and dipped the freeze dried vegetables into it – absolutely divine!! It gave an added burst of flavour and for me is an ideal healthy, low calorie snack.
Nothing But, for me, make a delicious snack with houmous and I’d definitely have this again. They are also available in another flavour, Pea and Sweetcorn which would be interesting to try.
All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write the review.
Everyone loves munching on some crisps for a tasty snack so when I was sent some of the new Walkers Mighty Lights crisps to try, I knew I’d have plenty of willing taste testers at home to give me their thoughts.
With just 114 calories per pack and having 30% less fat than standard crisps these have got to be worth a try. For an everyday snack or lunch boxes, these are ideal knowing that you are eating a tasty snack that doesn’t pile on the pounds! It also means they are handy to keep in your bag for when you have that urge to snack or to have a pack with a glass of wine knowing you are not adding too much extra fat and calories to your day.
Another bonus with these crisps are that all flavours are suitable for vegetarians, great seeing as me and husband aren’t meat eaters so it’s good to know we can enjoy these crisps just as much as anyone else.
The Walkers Mighty Lights crisps themselves are made from real potatoes with no artificial colours or preservatives and are a source of fibre. Each crisp is ridged giving it that extra texture with each bite and they come in three varieties of flavours – Roast Chicken, Cheese & Onion and Lightly Salted.
So time to taste and 5 yr old Miss M was first up eager to open a bag. She tried the lightly salted variety as she is not keen on too much flavour with her crisps. The packet didn’t last long as she sat there munching them and when I asked for her thoughts on them I got “Yummy, I really like them mummy”.
Mister B also went for the Lightly Salted, and his verdict was “Mummy can I have some more”.
Daddy tried the Roast Chicken and thought they were really quite delicious, definitely something he’d be happy to eat again. He said the flavour wasn’t too strong, there could be more but he was quite happy with them and said it actually meant that the flavour wasn’t overpowering. He really enjoyed the texture of the crisps being a bit of a fan of ridge style crisps.
He also taste tested the Cheese & Onion, as this is one of his favourite flavours, and it didn’t disappoint. He’d happily eat these in his pack lunch at work each day.
I tried them and although I have nothing particularly against them, they wouldn’t be my crisp of choice. I’d definitely purchase them again for the rest of the family as they all enjoyed them and knowing that they are that bit healthier than normal crisps, being 30% less fat, that is a bonus. I’d much rather them eat lower fat snacks if possible as that leaves room for other treats now and again.
So overall, the Walkers Mighty Lights were a success in this house, something that had a good crunch and texture and enough flavour to keep everyone happy. A good choice of flavours too, something for everyone. We’d recommend Walkers Mighty Lights – why don’t you give them a try?
Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican festival celebrated with singing, dancing, fireworks and most importantly fantastic food. With celebrations happening on 5th May each year across Mexico and parts of the US, Discovery foods kindly sent us a bag of Mexican culinary delights to try out and help us celebrate the occasion. With Mexican being one of my favourite cuisines I couldn’t wait to get cooking.
Here’s what we were sent:
A Perfect Fajita Kit including flour tortillas, fajita seasoning and salsa
The *new* garlic and herb sour cream
A jar of Cajun Cooking Sauce
I decided to try the Cajun cooking sauce first and being vegetarian went for some lightly roasted vegetables covered in the seasoning then added the sauce and served on a bed of wild rice.
To make this you’ll need: 1 jar of Discovery Cajun Cooking Sauce 2 Red Onions 1 large green pepper 1 large red pepper 2 courgettes 250g cooked Long grain & Wild rice Discovery Garlic and Sour Cream to serve
1. Chop the onions, peppers and courgettes and add to a roasting tray with a drizzle of oil and place in oven for 20 mins
2. Add vegetables and spices (in top of jar) to a pan and stir through letting the spices absorb into the vegetables and then mix in the Cajun sauce
3. Serve on a bed of cooked Long grain and Wild rice and drizzle with Discovery Garlic and Sour Cream to serve
The Discovery Garlic and Sour Cream is a NEW addition to the range and comes in a squeezy bottle. It’s suitable for vegetarians as well as being gluten and wheat free. The handy bottle can be stored in a fridge for up to 7 days once opened which gives you a few more days to use it than a fresh sour cream. We found it a handy, cooling topping ideal for hot dishes and I particularly liked the added garlic and herb as opposed to plain sour cream.
Keen to try the other Discovery goodies we were sent, the next evening we decided to try the Perfect Fajita Kit which comes with flour tortillas, fajita seasoning and salsa. To this we added Quorn pieces, red and green peppers and some salad leaves and not forgetting a drizzle of Discover Garlic and Herb sour cream to cool down the spice.
We found the spices in this the perfect heat for us and accompanied by the Garlic and Herb sour cream perfectly delicious. A thoroughly tasty meal that we all enjoyed.
We have really enjoyed trying the Discovery range of foods, particularly the ones we hadn’t used before. We have had a truly Mexican week for Cinco de Mayo with several inspired meals adding in some tortilla crisps and guacamole while we were cooking! Oh and the odd glass of wine 😉
All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions. We are not paid for reviews although we do receive the product to try out and enable us to write the review.