Category Archives: food

Guest post: Common Keto Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

I understand, it’s hard for you to gauge your progress when you’ve only followed the ketogenic diet for a week or two, or even a whole month. The magic happens internally, and the only way for you to record your progress is using the weighing scale or measuring parts of your body (and how you feel too, to an extent).

A lot of beginner’s screw things up at the beginning once they realize things aren’t as straightforward as it was thought to be.

Here are some common keto mistakes beginners make and how YOU should avoid them, so your keto journey doesn’t have to go through hiccups and you can maintain your ketosis stage.

Obsessing over the scale!!!

If you’re stepping on the scale when you wake up, before lunch, after lunch, and after dinner, then STOP! This obsession will only lead to disappointment. Your weight changes throughout the day, especially after meals.

When you’re frequently disappointed, you’ll start to self-doubt that may lead you to throwing in the towel.

Sure, you’re on a low-carb diet … But you really think your weight isn’t gonna change after a meal? Be reasonable!

Woman on weighing scale

Photo source: https://pixabay.com/ (Creative Commons license)

The best time to step on the scale is the morning when you wake up. If possible, every morning, around the same time for consistency. Keep it fair to yourself, and don’t fret too much about the digits on the scale! Write down what you see every morning for the next few weeks.

Once you see a pattern emerging, you’ll thank yourself for doing this.

Too much meat, bro

Yeap, too much protein can be counter-productive for you in a keto diet. When you’re in a low-carb diet, your liver can convert amino acids into glucose for energy, in a process called gluconeogenesis. Fancy, huh?

Remember, the point of entering ketosis is to prevent the body from using glucose as a main energy source. The protein you consume should only be enough to maintain muscle mass.

You should be keeping your daily protein intake below or at 1 gram of protein per day, per kg of body weight. So, if you weight 60 kilograms (133lbs.), keep your protein at 60 grams a day.

A good place to estimate your keto macronutrient needs that suit your goals is by using a keto macro calculator (like this one from Perfect Keto.)

The wrong mentality

A lot of people start with a diet to lose weight in a short period of time. It is possible, but you must be realistic.

An internet “guru” can claim that he lost 15 lbs within the first week of a diet he discovered (followed by a link to a course you have to buy), just as I can claim I have found the eternal cure to cancer. Don’t be fooled by these crazy marketing claims.

If done right, you can lose a lot of weight (2-10 lbs) within the first week, because your body loses WATER WEIGHT, not fat. And this too, depends on so many factors such as your metabolism, how active you are, and so on.

In the medium term, due expect weight loss of only 1-2lbs a week, and even a slower rate in the long term. You can’t get discouraged. Following a ketogenic diet is a lifestyle and a commitment in the long run. When you’re not there mentally, you’re gonna give in to sugar cravings and the hunger, which will kick you out off ketosis!

Taking the wrong types of fats/proteins

Keep your fats in check. Fats are a necessary part of a keto diet, but not all fats are good. Processed fats, such as hydrogenated oils and partially hydrogenated oils in junk food, fast food, and margarine should be avoided.

Avoid processed vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil soybean oil, and a few others.

The best proteins to take on a Keto diet are plant-based proteins, not to say you can’t have animal meats, though. Too much fatty meat has been linked to heart diseases and high cholesterol levels. You should not follow a ketogenic diet just to lose weight, but to have a healthier life in the long run.

Keto protein supplements are a great way for you to meet your protein needs when it’s not convenient for you’re a strict-protein diet.

Take-Home Message

To every keto beginner out there, you need to have a lot of patience and commitment. Do your research, stick to your plan, be honest to yourself, and the results will come forth. As mentioned, you may lose a lot of weight initially, but don’t expect it to be like that the following weeks!

Guest post by Sarah Peterson
“Sarah is the Content Director at Perfect Keto, with a mission to help as many people as possible achieve optimal health and well-being.”

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Have you heard of Wallaroo – plus giveaway

I’m always on the lookout for healthy snacks, particularly as son2 is always ready for a snack on the bus on the way home from school. He would very happily munch on biscuits or crisps, but I do prefer him to have something more healthy. So I was very pleased to be offered the opportunity to review some natural snacks from Wallaroo for free. And I love their unique name. When I googled it, I wondered how I hadn’t spotted the obvious – a wallaroo is a marsupial size in-between the kangaroo and wallaby. I wonder how they came up with that identity for their snacks?

Wallaroo snacks

I received one pack of each of the current range as follows:-
Gently dried mango slices
Gently dried pineapple chunks
Toasted organic coconut chips

So firstly the mango. Son2 was very pleased to see this as he already loves mango, whether fresh or dried. And this packet certainly lived upto his expectation. He reluctantly let the rest of us have a small taste. From my point of view, it is great that it is in a portion-controlled size, as son2 has been known to take a 100g pack of dried mango from the store cupboard and quickly scoff the lot.

Wallaroo snacks

I’m the only one in our household who loves coconut, so I took this pack as a snack to work with me. It was yummy and very moreish. However I managed to only eat a few at a time, so that it lasted throughout my entire shift. Great result therefore avoiding eating additional snacks. And the coconut is 100% organic.

Wallaroo snacks

Similarly, I am the only one in our family who usually eats pineapple, but son1 gave the pineapple flavour a try, seeing as son2 had hogged most of the mango. He was very surprised to find that he did enjoy it, although he said he preferred the mango.

Wallaroo snacks

Wallaroo snacks are 100% natural with no added sugar, salt, preservatives or sulphites. They are also vegan, gluten free and non-GM. And the mango and pineapple packs are each equivalent to 1 of your 5 daily portions of fruit and vegetables. However I must warn you that the packets mention that they have been packed in a facility which handles nuts, peanuts and sesame.

One feature that I was especially delighted to see is that the packaging is home compostable with no plastic waste. I’ve not come across such a feature before, so full marks to Wallaroo. We’ve all got to do our bit to beat plastic pollution. I’ve popped the empties in my food waste bin, but I can’t stop to watch them biodegrade before I post my review. That could be ages, as the best before dates range between January to March 2019. I just hope, that unlike my food bin liners which are already biodegrading on the roll and splitting, that the packaging really does last until that date for anyone who can hold out that long before munching these tasty snacks.

Wallaroo compostable packaging

Wallaroo snacks are available online with a current RRP of £1.45 per 30g pack and are also sold in boxes of 10 for £12.50. I do not know where you can purchase them in-store, although I understand that they are also sold in-store. And certainly their eye-catching packet designs are very attractive. In summary, a great snack in my opinion and I hope they add some more flavours to the range.

Also as a runner, it was nice to read that Wallaroo had sponsored a running event in their local community. Their snacks would be an ideal energy boost after a long run.

And I have an offer to pass on to my readers – 15% off all purchases at Wallaroo with discount code: AUTUMN15

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway one pack of each of the three Wallaroo varieties to one lucky winner. That is 3 packs in total.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear what other flavours you think should be included in the range? Son2 has suggested apricot.

With only one pack of each variety, there wasn’t enough to think about saving any for a recipe. However I would be keen to hear your recipe ideas using any of the flavours.

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Disclosure. This post is a review of products I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

Sweet Victory Products review and giveaway

For the last 2 or 3 years, I have become more aware of how bad sugar can be for us. It is known to be one of the worst foods for a variety of common diseases like arthritis, cancer and autism. I enjoy cakes and biscuits far too much to eliminate them, but I do try my best now to reduce my sugar intake. I’ve made a few little changes like always having fruit with my porridge instead of sugar and sometimes opting for something like a cheese scone or slice of fruit bread rather than cake.

So I was delighted when Sweet Victory Products contacted me to offer a free hamper of some of their products to review. They had seen my Zollipops review, which is one of the products they stock. Their aim is to help as many people as possible to change their relationship from High Sugar to Sugar-Free and healthier alternatives. This is exactly what I would like to do, if only I had the willpower.

Sweet Victory hamper

It didn’t take long for a beautifully packed basket to arrive which contained all the following goodies.
Virginias B-San white chocolate coated digestive biscuits no added sugars 130g
Diablo sugar free chocolate chip cake 230g
Jim Jams no added sugar milk chocolate spread 350g
Sweet Switch No added sugar Premium Belgian milk chocolate confetti 22g
Sugar free gummy sweets pick and mix 100g
Sugar free sweets pick and mix jar
2 sugar free cherry lollipops
2 Tplus+ immunitea vitamin tea orange and blueberry sachets
Cadbury highlights reduced sugar hot chocolate 11g
Cadbury highlights reduced sugar fudge flavour hot chocolate 11g

Sweet Victory hamper

So focussing on the individual products and starting with the digestive biscuits, which son2 was over the moon to see, as chocolate digestives are his all time favourite type of biscuit. I don’t think any of us had come across a white chocolate version previously. These contain zero sugar, and are sweetened with an ingredient I haven’t heard of called maltitol. We all enjoyed these. I haven’t done a direct price comparison on any of these products but I would certainly be happy to pay more for these sugar free digestives when I consider how quickly we get through a regular pack in our household.

Virginias B-San white chocolate coated digestive biscuits no added sugars

Next the cake. Once again sugar free and sweetened with maltitol and acesulfame K. I’ve not heard of this sweetener either. However I wished that I hadn’t looked at the ingredient list, as 16 E numbers sounded rather excessive. Luckily I didn’t look until after I had tried it. The boys enjoyed the cake, but I only thought it okay. Like many shop bought cakes, it tasted rather synthetic to me. I’m much more a fan of a homemade cake.

Diablo sugar free chocolate chip cake


And the chocolate spread. Jim Jams is a brand that I heard about earlier this year and have been unsuccessfully looking out for, so I was very interested to try this. Again this contains maltitol rather than sugar. Rather than just spreading it on toast, I decided this deserved a recipe.

Pain au Chocolat (Chocolate Croissants)

Ingredients (makes approx 4-5)

250g puff pastry
approx 75g Jim Jams chocolate spread

Method

Preheat fan oven to 200 deg C.
Grease baking sheet.
Roll out the pastry.
Cut pastry into similar sized rectangles.
Spread a length of chocolate spread along one edge of each rectangle.
Roll each rectangle up from that edge.
Place on baking sheet.
Cook on middle shelf of oven for about 10 minutes.
Remove from baking sheet immediately and place on cooling rack.
Serve either warm or cold.
Enjoy.

These were delicious warm. We all enjoyed them. For a store cupboard essential like chocolate spread, I definitely plan to switch to the Jim Jams brand in future.
Pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant)

And then there were four types of sweets. Firstly the Sweet Switch chocolate confetti which look very similar to smarties. The product name on the website indicates that these are made from premium Belgian milk chocolate, but this isn’t particularly promoted on the packet, with just a small mention of Sweet Switch address in Belgium. Tasty but again I wished I hadn’t looked at the packet, as I was confronted by 8 E-numbers. No added sugars, but more sweeteners that I hadn’t heard of – maltitol again plus sorbitol and steviol glycosides.

Sweet Switch No added sugar Premium Belgian milk chocolate confetti

And then the sugar free Gummy Pick & Mix Sweets with all our favourites like cola bottles. The packaging advises you to refer to their website for ingredients, but as it is a pick & mix product, you would need to look at each sweet type individually. I only looked at the cola bottle page, which does show that they contain pork gelatine, so I feel that this ought to be highlighted on the Pick & Mix webpage itself.

Sugar free gummy sweets pick and mix

Wow what a lot of different varieties of sweets in this pick and mix jar. Just looking at it brought back happy memories of visiting the local sweet shop as a child. And just think, these are all sugar free. There are a few familiar brands like Werthers and Mintoes, nether of which I realised did a sugar-free variant. But mostly just dip in for a tasty surprise. Again you would need to refer to individual sweet webpages for ingredients, but you can request for a particular sweet to be excluded. All of Sweet Victory weigh-out sweets can also be purchased in 100g increments. With Halloween round the corner, these would be fab for Trick or Treat.

Sugar free sweets pick and mix jar

And of course lollipops. I didn’t get to try these myself as there were only two and both boys wanted one. However they said they were good. These are sold in packs of 10. Again more unknown sweeteners on the ingredient list – acesulfame K again, plus sucralose and isomalt.

sugar free cherry lollipops

Next for a cup of tea. This was very pleasant and apparently contains an immune boosting blend of beneficial herbs, green tea, fruit and 50% RDA in 9 daily essential vitamins; Vitamin C echinacea and ginseng. I’ve never really thought about tea in the context of free-from but according to the website, this is gluten-free. So does that mean that some teas contain gluten? I never knew. This is sold in boxes of 15 sachets.

2 Tplus+ immunitea vitamin tea orange and blueberry sachets

And finally the hot chocolate. This is marketed as a low sugar product, rather than sugar-free and is something I have purchased previously. So I already knew that I liked both flavours. However I just scanned the barcode with my food scanner app and found that they still have 3g (original) or 3.4g (fudge) sugar in an 11g product. That is not really low sugar in my opinion.

Cadbury highlights reduced sugar fudge flavour hot chocolate

After sampling all the goodies, I had a look round their online store and can certainly see plenty of other tempting products, including some which would make lovely gifts. I think I would like to give the Xylitol a try, to see how that works in baking. And I also noticed that they stock Real Good Tomato Ketchup which is another product that I have previously reviewed. I have looked for this in vain at a couple of local branches of the Co-op, so very pleased to identify an online stockist.

And I was pleased to see that delivery costs are very reasonable, starting at £3.55 for second class. There is also a reward points scheme. I am definitely happy to recommend Sweet Victory Products.

But looks like I need to do some research into sugar substitutes next. Find out a bit about maltitol, acesulfame K, sorbitol, steviol glycosides, sucralose and isomalt.

And I have an offer to pass on to my readers – 10% off your first order at Sweet Victory Products with discount code: YABM10

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a hamper of treats from Sweet Victory Products to one lucky winner. What a tempting prize bundle. Contents will be similar to those that I received.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear about your favourite reduced sugar treats.

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Disclosure. This post is a review of products I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

Father’s Day gift idea – hamper review plus giveaway

Guess what lovely item I have received free to review?

Prestige hamper unboxing

Prestige hamper unboxing

Yes it is a gorgeous hamper. When I unpacked it, I discovered all the following goodies, carefully packed in an attractive tray. Not even a single cracker was broken, which shows how much care was taken. I was also impressed to read the leaflet detailing their environmental packaging policy. And delivery was super speedy too.

Prestige hamper unboxing

The contents were:-
Primera Luz Chile Sauvignon Blanc Wine 75cl
Simply Cornish Clotted Cream, Apple & Blackberry Shortbread 200g
Crunch Craving Fruit & Nut Mix
Grate Britain Cheddar Crackers 45g
Linden Lady Handmade Luxury Florentines
Oloves Basil & Garlic Natural Green Pitted Olives 30g

Shortbread from Prestige Hampers

Plus the Shortbread, Crackers and Florentines are all handmade and utterly delicious. Just the sort of thing you never buy for yourself but are always delighted to receive.

Crackers from Prestige Hampers

Florentines from Prestige Hampers

This hamper is from Prestige Hampers who offer a wide range of gifts from letterbox size right through to huge wicker picnic baskets, full of tempting treats. And they have something suitable for every occasion.

So with Father’s Day just round the corner, how about taking a look. Certainly the Dad in our household gave the thumbs up to all the treats in our hamper.

You may see their Father’s Day range here.
https://www.prestigehampers.co.uk/fathers-day

There are hampers with sweet treats, cheese, fruit, wine, beer and various spirits to name but a few. And you can add a personal message.

The hamper I received was from their luxury range and is called a Tray of Delights. It currently retails for £34.99 and can be ordered for next day delivery.

Although this particular hamper includes products containing nuts, some of the range are nut-free. And they do cater for a range of other dietary requirements including gluten free, diabetic and vegan.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a gorgeous hamper just like the one I received, courtesy of Prestige Hampers to 1 lucky winner.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your ideas of goodies to include in a hamper.

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Disclosure. This post includes a review of a product that I received for free. All opinions are my own.

The Great Oreo Cookie Quest

Britmums have challenged bloggers to take the #OreoCookieQuest Challenge. And as one of the first 100 to sign up to the challenge, I received two free packets of Oreo cookies, for the family to enjoy a tasty treat.

Great Oreo Cookie Quest

I decided that we would have a fun Oreo cookie quest at home. I hid the treats and thought up some clues for the hiding places, then gave the clues to the boys for them to figure out.

Great Oreo Cookie Quest

Son1 immediately headed to the kitchen and after a false start rummaging through the chiller drawer in the fridge, he discovered his first Oreo in the fruit bowl.

Great Oreo Cookie Quest

Meanwhile son2 rushed upstairs and found Oreos on my pillow.

Great Oreo Cookie Quest

They found most of the Oreos quite quickly, but the final hiding place was a bit more tricky. They were on the right track looking in the freezer, but they needed a little hint to prompt them to look inside the ice cream carton. What a delicious combination of 2 Oreos and ice cream, 2 being the perfect serving size.

Great Oreo Cookie Quest

Oreo is celebrating The Great Oreo Cookie Quest with a fun and interactive way to win great prizes. Oreo fans have the opportunity to win a once-in-a-lifetime wonder-filled trip to California and the Googleplex through an on-pack promotion. I downloaded the app to try our luck and son2 had great fun scanning for Oreos. He found about 25 in half an hour but this is his favourite below. No points for guessing where he scanned. Certainly not one of the places I would choose to hide an Oreo!

Great Oreo Cookie Quest

So try your luck by popping a pack in your trolley on your next shopping trip. And I’ve still got another pack of Oreos left. Think I might try using them to cook a tasty treat for the family. Anyone got a recipe suggestion for me?

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Disclosure. This post mentions a product that I was sent for free. All opinions are my own. This post is an entry for BritMums #OreoCookieQuest, sponsored by Oreo.

Sweets that are good for your teeth – Zollipops review and giveaway

I have received some free Zollipops and Zaffi Taffy to review. Not heard of these? Nor had I, but I was very impressed to hear that these sugar-free treats were inspired by a 7 year old asking her dad “Why can’t we make a lollipop that’s actually good for your teeth?”

Zollipops and Zaffy Taffy

So how are these sweets good for your teeth I hear you ask?

Well after a meal or sugary snack, our mouths can become very acidic. This acidic environment is when tooth decay is most likely to spread and also tooth enamel is at its weakest. However it is not good to brush your teeth immediately after a meal due to the enamel being at its softest. I always brush my teeth before breakfast and last thing at night to avoid mealtimes.

But instead the ingredients in Zollipops, Zolli Drops, and Zaffi Taffy work naturally with our bodies to help reduce the acidity and balance the pH in our mouths. Thus reducing the risk of tooth decay and future development of cavities by having this treat after a meal or eating or drinking a sugary snack. And our teeth can re-mineralize faster, making them stronger and harder.

So these are branded as the sweet that is good for your teeth. A treat that you can have after you eat for a healthy smile. With a recommendation of upto 3 Zollipops or upto 5 Zaffi Taffy a day.

They are the perfect treat for kids and parents don’t need to feel guilty about giving them to kids. Also they are sugar free, gluten free, vegan, dairy free and only contain natural flavours and colours.

Son2 was particularly pleased when he heard that we were going to be reviewing lollipops. He always loves that the hairdresser and some restaurants offer him a lollipop whilst I’m thinking just the opposite.

Zollipops

So firstly trying the Zollipops. These come in 6 flavours: Strawberry, Grape, Orange, Raspberry, Pineapple, and Cherry with 8 in the bag. Currently available online at £2.49 so significantly more expensive than a standard lolly, but well worth it in my opinion, to reduce the risk of tooth decay. And thumbs up from the boys who couldn’t taste any difference from an ordinary sugary lollipop.

Zollipops

And secondly the Zaffi Taffy. These come in 5 flavours: Strawberry, Grape, Orange, Cherry, and Pineapple. There are approximately 16 sweets in an 85g packet. Currently available online at £3.49, so again they look dear for the size of the sweet, but think about how you are reducing the risk of developing cavities. These were my personal favourite and the boys agreed too. Nice and chewy.

Zaffy Taffy

Zaffy Taffy

Zaffy Taffy

Also nice to see that 10% of their profits go to support oral health education in schools.

There is also Zolli Drops in the product range. I didn’t review this, however I understand it to be similar to Zollipops but without the stick.

These products are also available via Amazon.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a packet of Zollipops, a packet of Zolli Drops and a packet of Zaffi Taffy to one lucky winner. What a tempting prize bundle.

Win Zollipops, Zollidrops and Zaffi Taffy
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear about your favourite healthy sweet treat ideas.

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Disclosure. This post is a review of a product I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

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Britmums Rustlers Burger Hacking Challenge

Britmums have challenged bloggers to take the #RustlersHack Challenge to use Rustlers Southern Fried Chicken Burgers in a crowd pleasing balanced meal. And as one of the first 100 to sign upto the challenge, I received a free £20 Tesco giftcard to buy Rustlers Southern Fried Chicken Burgers twin packs and other ingredients.

#RustlersHack Challenge

Now on days when we need something quick to eat, due to other commitments in our busy lifestyle, I have usually relied on the slow cooker for our family tea. But of course that does mean that I need to be organised earlier in the day.

And I have to admit that I do already enjoy a Rustlers Cheeseburger when working night shift with a microwave as the only cooking option. However I hadn’t introduced the rest of the family to the delights of Rustlers.

#RustlersHack Challenge

They really are quick, as they only take 90 seconds in the microwave. I did contemplate buying some of those micro-fries for the hack, since no point in waiting for the lengthy time it would take to cook oven chips. That would totally defeat the speedy plan. Instead I decided to opt for a more healthy hack.

#RustlersHack Challenge

I quickly chopped up some vegetables, prepared a salad, sliced a selection of cheeses, opened some dips and coleslaw and popped a few rashers of bacon on our new George Foreman grill. Then I let everyone choose what they wanted for their own hack, as it is much more fun for the kids to prepare their own.

#RustlersHack Challenge

Of course the boys avoided the salad.

#RustlersHack Challenge

And greedy son1 took 2 chicken burgers and hacked them into a double towering stack.

#RustlersHack Challenge

Here’s mine including a large dollop of peppered mayonnaise that came in the Rustlers pack. I did notice at 140g that it was a smaller portion size than their cheeseburger, but I still felt full after eating it. And of course this will make it ideal for little hands and mouths unlike the piggy below with his towering stack.

#RustlersHack Challenge

Son1 said it was the best burger ever, so I don’t think my personal Rustlers night shift stash will ever be safe in the fridge again.

I was also very pleased to note that the packet indicates that the burger uses only the finest quality chicken which is fully traceable to the farm of origin. And they are nice and affordable, currently retailing at £2.50 for a twin pack at Tesco.

So I do recommend you pop along to Tesco and try the Rustlers Burger Hacking Challenge yourself.

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Disclosure. This post mentions products I purchased using a voucher that I was sent for free. All opinions are my own. This post is an entry for the BritMums Rustlers Burger Hacking Challenge, sponsored by Rustlers.

Another Chewy Moon snack box review and giveaway

Regular readers of my blog may remember how much we all loved Chewy Moon healthy snacks when we reviewed them last year. Well I’m very pleased to say that we have received another free snack box and this time it is cheaper per snack and bigger. Yes you read that correctly.

Chewy Moon snack box

By changing deliveries from weekly to fortnightly, reducing packaging and portion sizes slightly, they have reduced prices from £1 per snack to £0.50. So customers get 25% more snacks for every £ spent now.

Chewy Moon snack box

So 10 snacks now instead of 5 and yet they still fit through the letterbox. Wow what great news and the boys couldn’t wait to dive in. Plus lots of fun with a sticker book, a fungi fact sheet and 2 battle cards. And a nutrition leaflet for the parents.

Chewy Moon snack box

The 10 snacks we received were:-
Silly Circus (Honey Cookies)
Crack A Beet (Organic beetroot crackers)
Jack N Berries (Flapjack, pure strawberry fruit hearts, cranberries, blueberries)
Silly Vanilly (Vanilla Cookies)
Freaky Fruits (Blackcurrant drops, apricot sticks, cherry cubes, peach cubes, raspberry strips)
Nature’s Cherry Cola (Natural cola flavoured raisins, cherry, cranberry)
Boogie Bites (Popped cheddar cheese, pesto breadsticks)
Safari Snack (Italian herb cashews, garlic mini bread chips, popped cheese)
Strawberry Munch (Strawberry fruit strings, strawberry fruit stars, strawberry fruit hearts)
Beary Friends (Pure strawberry fruit hearts, cranberries, blueberries, raspberry strips)

Chewy Moon snack box

Son2 chose the Silly Vanilly Chewy Moon snack first based on it being the only one with a pug on the box, his favourite character from last time, but it was a great choice as he loved the vanilla cookies. He read the limerick on the back of the box, telling me they had been learning these at school.

Chewy Moon snack box

Meanwhile son1 selected the Beary Friends first. He wasn’t overly fond of the raspberry strips but liked the other fruits. They soon discovered that there was a sticker in each snack for the sticker book.

Chewy Moon snack box

With so many choices, we found on the whole that son2 liked the cookie types best followed by fruits, whilst son1 liked the savouries best followed by cookies. Son2 wasn’t convinced about us being addressed as Moonas though!

Chewy Moon snack box

These packs are ideal for an after school snack and some of them count as 1 of your 5 a day. They are 100% natural, being free from added sugar, artificial colours, flavours, preservatives and other nasties. But if your children attend a school that has a nut-free policy like my boys’ school, then you wouldn’t be able to send Safari Snack in as a playground snack. However there are “no nuts” and “no dairy” options when ordering.

You get to rate the snacks, to build up a profile of which your child does and doesn’t like for future boxes. Each box of 10 snacks currently costs £4.99 including P&P, but you can get your first box free. Additional sibling boxes are £4.50 and there is also £2.99 option for a 5 snack box. You select between fruit box, variety box or savoury box and you can order for multiple children. The boxes are aimed at children from age 3 upwards. The boxes are delivered fortnightly and you may cancel your subscription at any time. A very competitive price in my opinion.

Also I was very pleased to note that every box sold sponsors a hungry child‘s lunch. You may read the details here.

Plus I have a special offer to share with my readers, where you can get your 1st, 3rdand 5th boxes completely FREE. Just use code AEP4LUV.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a 3 month Chewy Moon subscription worth £30 to one lucky winner. What a tasty prize.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear about your favourite snack ideas.

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Disclosure. This post is a review of a product I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

Appy Kids Co Juice Drinks review and giveaway

Appy Kids Co is a new multi-award winning start-up brand producing drinks and snacks aimed at children, using goodness from nature. Their mission is to be the number 1 healthier choice for families and their vision is to empower families to make healthier choices everyday.

Appy Kids Co values families before profit, so all their wholesome products are created using ethically sourced premium ingredients, to ensure that they are always affordable, approved by the family, and loved by kids. They are on parents’ side, and believe that parents should have the freedom of choice when choosing better produce for their family. They have spent many years developing their own formulations and flavours to have lower sugar and calories without compromising on taste or quality. With no added sugar, GMOs or artificial preservatives, their products are kinder to teeth and a healthier option for children. In addition they are gluten free and Vegan Approved by the Vegetarian Society, as well as dentist and nutritionist recommended. They only favour renewable resources for their packaging. And not only use recyclable materials but give back by replanting trees.

Although I never purchase the likes of coke and lemonade, my kids seem to have developed a taste for them, so I’m always on the lookout for more healthy drinks to take out and about with us. So I was very pleased to be offered a selection of free Appy Kids Co drinks to review.

Appy drinks

The parcel had experienced a misfortune en-route even though it was clearly packed with fragile tape. Obviously it had been stacked under something heavy at the depot and unfortunately, two drinks had burst, causing rather soggy packaging. Even though I still had 28 drinks, Appy Kids Co kindly sent a replacement package.

So the contents of each parcel was as follows…

6 boxes containing 5 drink pouches each, which were:-
Paw Patrol 200ml apple juice drink (2)
Paw Patrol 200ml orange juice drink (2)
Minions 200ml tropical juice drink
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) 200ml multifruit juice drink

Wow 58 free drinks in total.

Appy drinks

The boys started by trying the Paw Patrol apple juice drinks and we immediately ran into difficulties. The straws were almost impossible to insert into the pouch. None of us could do it and I eventually had to use a cocktail stick to make a hole in the pouch first. Not very good if you were planning on putting the drink in your child’s lunchbox.

Moving onto the taste, son2 said it was good, whilst son1 voted it okay. I thought it fine too.

Appy drinks

Next the boys tried the TMNT multifruit juice drinks. This time I had better success with getting the straws in, although the boys still failed. I thought I found it easier due to the hole position being in the corner rather than the middle like the apple.

Son1 thought this tasted better than the apple, whilst son2 preferred the apple.

The tropical flavour was son1’s favourite although son2 wasn’t particularly keen on this one. And neither of them cared for the orange flavour. Personally I thought all the flavours were fine.

Appy drinks

Following a change in contact person, an unexpected third parcel arrived, although similarly to the first parcel, one drink had burst in transit. So I do recommend that they use stronger packaging. But this shouldn’t be an issue when buying these drinks at the shops.

Update – now 77 free drinks in total.

This parcel of 4 more boxes introduced us to yet another flavour. This time Dora The Explorer mixed berries. However the boys both refused to be photographed holding this pink pouch. But they did agree to taste it, so long as I poured the pouch into a beaker. And actually it turned out to be son1’s favourite flavour. So perhaps consideration should be given to offering all flavours in all designs, as the character is just as important as the flavour to a child.

The boys’ favourite packaging design was the Minions, but it is good to see that thought has gone into including a range of characters that appeal to different age children. In addition to the ones we received, they also have Peppa Pig and Roald Dahl in their range and those have no added sugar. And they also sell dried fruit too.

I have to say that I gradually improved on the opening technique with practice, although the boys didn’t. So I would suggest that it would be better for the pouches to incorporate lids instead. Also less likely to get spills that way, although the pouches do balance upright well.

The outer boxes have Appy fun puzzles for the kids and they can also try out the app. Here son2 has converted me into Mrs Pineapple.

Appy Kids app

A great selection of healthy drinks in my opinion. 100% natural, lower in sugar and fortified with vitamins A, C and E. So thumbs up from me.

These drinks are sold in major UK retailers including Tesco, Ocado, B&M, Wholefoods, Toys ‘R’ Us and Spar.

Appy Kids drinks

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a bundle of 40 Appy Kids Co drinks (4 x 5-pack TMNT and 4 x 5-pack Dora and Friends) to one lucky winner.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear what is your favourite soft drink?

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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Chimasu Asian Snack box review & giveaway

I always love the surprise of what I may find in a subscription box. And we’re definitely partial to a snack here, so I was looking forward to my free Chimasu box of Asian Snacks arriving. Beyond prawn crackers, I have to admit that I am rather ignorant regarding types of Asian snacks. So I took a sneak peak at the Chimasu website in advance, where a familiar brand with a twist caught my eye, a Wasabi KitKat. I’ve heard of Wasabi but have no idea what it tastes like. Would there be one of those in my box?

Chimasu Asian Snacks

When it arrived, I found a huge range of items inside. More than I was expecting for the size of the parcel, but most were quite small, meaning more variety could be included, which I thought was an excellent idea.

Chimasu Asian Snacks

Chimasu Asian Snacks

So the contents were as follows…

Pu Erh Tea
Jasmine Tea (2)
Sesame Pastry (2)
Roasted Rolled Crispy Seaweed (2)
Shrimp Flavour Yummy Flakes
HiChew Green Apple
HiChew Strawberry
Wasabi Peas
Rice Cracker (2)
Kabaya Milk Chocolate Biscuit (4 panda)
Lotte Rakuten bear cake (9 Koala biscuits)
Korean Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup
Nissan Demae Ramen
Orion Seaweed Flavour Korepab Snack
Banana Kick Snack

Pu Erh Tea
This is not a type of tea that I had heard of so I looked it up on Wikipedia. Just one tea bag, so I served it in traditional Chinese tea cups, so that two of us could try it. A pleasant flavour.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Pu Erh Tea

Jasmine Tea
I always order Jasmine Tea whenever I go to a Chinese restaurant and this Ten Ren brand tasted just as good as any other Jasmine Tea.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Jasmine Tea

Sesame Pastry
This was also labelled as Silang Crispy Pastries with Nutlet. Allergy warning, it contains peanut. There were two of these, individually wrapped, each containing a 13g biscuit. Son1 and I loved these. First time I’ve come across black sesame seeds.

sesame pastry

Kabaya Milk Chocolate Biscuit
Son2 immediately grabbed this 17g packet when he saw it. Inside were 4 tiny chocolate filled panda biscuits. He did reluctantly let son1 and myself share one of them. We all loved these.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Kabaya Panda Biscuits

Lotte Rakuten bear cake
Again this appealed to the boys. Inside were 9 milk flavoured tiny koala biscuits, each with a different design koala. One was even wearing glasses. I did have one, whilst the boys quickly ate four each. Good but the pandas were better. According to the website, this 19.5g packet also comes in a mango flavour.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Koala Biscuits

Wasabi Peas
A small 10g packet but any more would have been too much as we found them rather spicy. I had never tried anything wasabi flavour previously and didn’t particularly like this, but son1 enjoyed a few at a time.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Wasabi Peas

Shrimp Flavour Yummy Flakes
A small 5g packet which son1 and I both loved. It had the texture of a Pom Bear snack. We would have liked this in a bigger size.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Shrimp Yummy Flakes

HiChew Green Apple / HiChew Strawberry
Just two individually wrapped sweets which son2 had his eye on. He did let me cut a sliver off the end of each to test. They are similar to Starburst.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - HiChew Sweets

Kameda Seika Soy Sauce Flavoured Rice Crackers
These 16.8g individually wrapped Rice Crackers had the shortest shelf life, with less than 6 weeks. Everything else was dated 2018. Both son1 and I loved these.

Rice Cracker

Roasted Rolled Crispy Seaweed – Select Rolling Bite spicy flavour
These were labelled as no MSG, low fat and gluten free. We are all seaweed fans but son2 refused to try these as the packaging said they were spicy. Son1 and I both found them reasonably pleasant.

Seaweed Roll

Banana Kick Snack
This was a family size bag and they looked rather like Wotsits and with a similar texture and crunch. But the banana taste was very different. It didn’t particularly appeal to the adults, but the boys loved it.

Chimasu Asian Snacks - Banana Kick

Orion Seaweed Flavour Korepab Snack
Another pleasant savoury snack all in the shapes of various sea creatures. Tiny and hollow. Plenty in the pack.

Orion Seaweed Snack

Nissan Demae Ramen
This made a tasty sesame flavour noodle soup which son1 and I enjoyed. Just add 500ml boiling water, cook for 3 minutes. Then stir in contents of the flavouring sachet and oil sachet.

Noodle soup

Korean Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup
Another simple soup to make. This time add 550ml boiling water, stir in contents of the flavouring sachet and flakes sachet, then cook for 4.5 minutes. However the big difference was that this soup was very spicy indeed. We still liked the noodles but the liquid was too spicy for any of us. The packet is labelled as Gourmet Spicy.

Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup

A great varied selection of snacks in my opinion.

You may choose between a month to month subscription at £18 per box or prepaying for 3, 6 or 12 boxes or buying a single box for £20. Prepaying for 3 equates to £17 per box and prepaying for 6 equates to £16.50 per box and prepaying for 12 equates to £16 per box. Very good value in my opinion and it also includes free shipping within the UK. You pay extra for shipping to other countries.

You also get the option to indicate which categories you love (always include), like (sometimes include) or don’t want from the following list of categories. A very useful feature in my opinion.
Biscuits and Cakes
Crisps
Candy
Nuts, Peas and Seeds
Noodles and Soups
Teas
Fruits
Seafood

Plus I have a special offer to share with my readers. £6 off your first Asian Snack Box and a free Japanese Kit Kat when you use coupon code TOKYO444 at checkout.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway an Asian Snack box from Chimasu to one lucky winner. This may contain a different selection of products to those featured here, as my review is of what was in the October selection.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear what is your favourite Asian Snack?

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

Family Fever

Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.