Sunday, 30 June 2013

Weekly food shop - June 30th

I am a person who loves watching grocery store hauls on YouTube, and as someone who is trying to loose weight I thought it might be helpful to share what I get from the supermarket to see me through the week.

I plan all my meals on Saturday/Sunday and either go to my local Tesco or order online. I have to have a strict list to stick to and I often write down the dates of what I need the products to last until on my shopping list, although if I shop online I have no control over the dates, although the expiration dates in store are normally pretty shit anyway. 

This week my food shopping is from Ocado. I'm a huge Ocado fan. Their customer service is great, the van drivers are always lovely, the dates are pretty good, they often send vouchers by email and the food is great quality. 
Ocado stock food from Waitrose as well as their own brand stuff, and they claim their own brand is as cheap as Tesco. Anyway, here is what I got this week:

If we start off with the fruit and veg, first up we have a cauliflower. Cauliflowers are a staple for me and I get one most weeks either to make cauliflower mash with or cauliflower pizza, it's a very versatile vegetable.
Baby spinach is another product I get most weeks. I use it as my base for salads and as a side for any meals when I want to bulk it out a bit.
Spring onions aren't something I normally get, but I plan to make my own chicken quesadilla in the week. Any leftovers will make a nice addition to wraps or salads I make for my lunch.
Tomatoes are another thing that I don't normally get, but for lunch this week I plan to have some wraps with tomato, mozzarella and basil, yum! Once again any leftovers just get chucked in wraps or salads.
Strawberries are in season at the moment and they where on offer so I thought I would treat myself to some. I like them as a dessert, a mid afternoon snack with a tiny bit of stevia, or to throw on some greek yoghurt with honey for a breakfast treat.

Moving on to the dairy type products, and egg whites, because I wasn't quite sure where else to place them....
I got a few Danio yoghurts. I love these yoghurts, they are very thick and creamy yoghurt with a layer of fruit, 0% fat, high in protein and delicious.  They are only 3 weight watchers points and I will normally have these for breakfast or a snack. The flavours I got are cherry, passion fruit and strawberry, be warned, the other flavours aren't 0% fat and 4 weight watchers points. They also have a bit of added sugar, which doesn't make them totally clean, but what ya going to do.
As well as the fruit yoghurts, I also got some Greek yoghurt. I always go for the Fage 0% fat variety. Greek yoghurt is another very versatile product, I use it in a lot of wraps, to make dressings and making fruity desserts or breakfasts.
Two little chicks is always in my fridge. It is liquid egg whites. I use egg whites for all sorts of things, from making protein pancakes to vegetable frittatas. The yolk contains most the fat and calories so egg whites are a good alternative when you are dieting.
As I mention before, I plan on having tomato, mozzarella and basil wraps, so obviously I need to get some mozzarella, I opt for the light type, to me it's the same flavour/texture, just less calories.
If you ever look at my Instagram daily food pictures, you will see I pretty much always have a Babybel in my lunch box. I love them as a snack, high in protein, under 80kcal, calcium and all that jazz, and only 2 weight watchers points! I opted for the original and cheddar. Cheddar is my favourite because it has a stronger flavour.
I also got some vanilla almond milk. This is a product I can only find at Ocado so I always pick one up when I order from them. The vanilla variety makes protein pancakes and chia seed pudding extra delicious. Ocado also do chocolate almond milk too!

Frozen fruit is my current obsession. It is frozen as soon as it's picked so it's at it's peak of freshness, which is also when it is most full of its nutrients, and in my opinion, it is tastier.
Waitrose is the only place I have seen that does single fruit bags, most places will do summer berries or black forest fruits, which I'm not so fond of.
The frozen fruit is on offer, 2 for £4 which I think is a great deal considering the size of the bag and a punnet of raspberries is roughly £2 at the moment for a small amount that will only last 2 days.
I just pop some in a tupperware box and take with me to work, by the time I go to eat them after lunch they are defrosted.
Frozen blueberries are also great to chuck into muffin batter and protein pancakes!

I eat a fair bit of chicken. I always go for free range skinless breasts, free range may be a bit more expensive, but I already feel guilty enough for eating meat and I don't want the added guilt of having made a chickens life extra shit.
This is actually my first time trying Quorn mince. I have a dish I like to make, srirchia beef mince and cauliflower mash (expect a recipe soon because it is one of my favourite meals) but I've decided to give Quorn mince a go to see how it tastes because it is lower in fat and calories but still high in protein. It looks pretty delicious so I can't wait to try it.

Lastly we have the cupboard items.
Peppermint tea is the only tea I drink. It soothes my stomach and I feel like it helps with my digestive system and bloating. Tea Pigs has a very strong peppermint flavour and is delicious, no other brand will do for me now. I always go for the 50 tea bag box, I drink it every day and it's better value for money.
Whole meal tortillas, pretty self explanatory, I specifically like these ones because they are 109kcal, a lot of wraps can be a lot more, and they are 3 weight waters points, the same amount as the weight watchers branded ones!
Another new to me product is the Bear Yo Yo's. I think these are actually just for kids but they are fruit rolls with very few ingredients, count as one of your 5 a day and will make for a delicious low calorie snack! I got pineapple, strawberry and mango to try, another product that was on offer!

So there you have it, a typical weekly shop for me. I hope some of you found this interesting, let me know if you would like to see any more of these and if you like this sort of thing you should definitely follow me on instagram because I'm always posting food diaries, @cocolikegnomes.
Sunday, 9 June 2013

Oh So Chocolate

Like many people, I quite enjoy a bit of chocolate, but as we all know chocolate isn’t exactly the best thing to eat whilst on a diet, so when I came across these Oh So chocolate bars I was very happy.

Oh So chocolate bars are Belgium dark chocolate that only have 72 calories per bar and contain around a billion Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria (the stuff found in those good bacteria yoghurt drinks,) so not only does it taste good, but it’s good for you too, well, that's what I like to tell myself...

I’m not normally a fan of dark chocolate, but I quite enjoy this one. It is only 53% cocoa, so quite a good introduction to dark chocolate, and the taste actually reminds me of the Marks and Spencers chocolate, not bitter at all. They also do a chocolate orange variety, but I haven’t tried that one yet.

I think the only downside to these bars is that they are pretty tiny, although where they have a stronger chocolate taste I find they satisy cravings quickly and I don’t need as much. They are also on the pricey side at £3.99 for a pack of seven, plus they are only online so you are going to pay at least £1 for p&p too.

Overall though, I really like these bars. I think they have some great health benefits, they fit into my diet easily as they are only 2 weight watchers points and they satisfy my chocolate cravings. It's also encouraged to give dark chocolate more of a go now! Oh So chocolate bars are available from their website and are also available to purchase through amazon. 

The Skin Regime, Boot Camp For Beautiful Skin + Give Away

Reading the intro to The Skin Regime Boot Camp Fo Beautiful Skin you are told to have a look at the picture of the author, Dana Ramos, on the back, so I did. She isn’t wearing any make up and is looking lovely and fresh faced, I would definitely like to have skin like that, then I read on a bit and see that she is 49. 49! I was genuinely so shocked, I don’t think the looks any older than 36. The Skin Regime instantly got my attention if I could get skin like that.

The Skin Regime is all about stripping back skin care and getting your skin into shape by going through the ‘bootcamp’ and which has seen some great results.
The book itself is split into different sections, first off Dana talks about the problems with a lot of skin care products on the market today. A lot of the stuff she said is very striaghtfoward and basic, it definitely made me think about how often I get caught up in the hype of products.
She then goes on to introduce her skin care regime, and then you enter the bootcamp section, which is all about retraining your skin to get the results you want.
The bootcamp section uses Glycolic Acid, a product I really like in masks and she talks about how this ingredient can be used differently in products, as well as giving you plenty of recommendations of products she approves of.
After completeing the boot camp there is the maintenance section of the book. Once again this is a great and interesting read, it really strips back the skin care routine and has definitely made me think about my routine and products I don’t actually need. A word of warning about this section though, this book is American and a few of the products she mentioned you can only get on prescription, not always the easiest thing to get over here.

                       Before Photo                                                                                   After Photo

The last section of the book
 addresses other parts of the body, like hair, nails and even has a nice little section on how to compliment your lovely new skin with some make up tips.
If you follow me on twitter, you may know that when I was in Florida I suffered a allergic reaction, and my skin hasn’t been quite right since so I have not been able to try out any of the recommended products. My mum however, who is a self proclaimed skin care junkie tried out one of the peels and loved the results. I will warn you though that she said her skin was tingling, so this may not be suited for those of you with sensitive skin. My mum actually loved this book and has taken it for herself and is currently hunting down more of the recommended products so if she keeps it up I will let you know how that goes!

Overall I found this a very interesting and informative read. As Dana says, this regime is not suitable for you if you are pregnant or have overly sensitive skin, so I won’t be able to try it out, but having seen the results on other people I have to say I am very impressed and think this book is definitely worth a read, even if it is just to remind yourself to stay a bit more grounded when buying skin care.
If you fancy having a read of the book, then you are in luck! Dana has actually given me a copy of the book plus one of the peels used in the bootcamp, so if you fancy your chances enter the competition below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out The Skin Regime website for product recommendations and more before and after photos.
Thursday, 6 June 2013

Yurbuds Review

Yurbuds are ear buds designed specifically for the athletic market and with their unique twist lock method, they claim to ‘never fall out’ which is a pretty bold statement to make.
I have quite large ears (thanks dad) so find that most headphones fall out on me even if I am just sitting, so trying to find a pair of headphones for running was a nightmare, I used to have to use overhead ones for working out which are horrible and make you sweat, until I got myself a pair of Yurbuds!

I went for the pink (obviously) Inspire for Women model. They also do the inspire range for men, as well as some behind the ear models, but I find them quite uncomfortable.

I have been using my pair for about a month now and thought I should share with you what I think because I have been so impressed.
So do they never fall out? Well yes and no. On my right ear it works amazingly well, but I will admit on my left ear it does fall out. This is down to the fact that I have a rook piercing which when I run moves around and knocks out the ear bud, very annoying. If I take my piercing out though it works fine, I just thought it would be worthwhile to share that with you in case you have any piercings too. On my right ear I have a tragus piercing and it isn’t irritated at all by the ear bud.

The sound, to my unprofessional ears, is of great quality, and yurbuds have been designed so that you can still hear environmental noises around you. This is great for me and any other runner who runs outside to still be able to hear any traffic, or as I run in the forest, if my dog is trying to call for me.

The headphones are also sweat and water resistant, another huge plus for anyone who is using them to work out. They are definitely a lot more comfortable then any other ear buds I have tried and I really like my yurbuds. If you are a very active person you should definitely check these out, best of all, they come in a great variety of colours too.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Holland and Barrett Haul

I think it's no secret that since getting back from Florida I have been on bit of a clean eating/lifestyle kick, so where does one go to get all the bits and bobs they need? Holland and Barrett of course! Here is what I picked up.

If we start off with the Slim Pasta and Zero Noodles because they are very similar products. They are noodles and pasta that are made from vegetable fibre meaning they have 0 carbs, 0 fat, 0 protein but a fair bit of fibre and they are only 7 calories a portion, making them a great pasta substitute for when your dieting (which I am).

I also got some milled flax seed. Flax seed has loads of lovely health benefits, lots of good fats, fibre and they also have a nice amount of protein. The main reason I got these though was for my weekend protein pancakes!

Last but not least we have nakd bars. Nakd bars are raw and vegan, with very few ingredients and no added sugars, so great for anyone on a clean diet. I actually ordered Pecan Pie, Cashew Cookie, Banana Bread and Berry Delight, but the Berry Delight and Cashew Cookie where left out of my order. The Holland and Barrett customer care team where really good, they didn't have any Berry Delight left, so they asked me which variety I would like to replace it with, I went for Pecan Pie and they actually sent 2 Pecan Pies and 2 Cashew Cookie as an apology.
None of the nakd bars are actually left because I may have eaten them all.....

That is everything I got, and I now have a Holland and Barrett loyalty card, which could get dangerous!