Posts tagged Water
Late last month I took delivery of the April edition of my monthly surprise food box, Degustabox, and boy is it a good one! In my review of the March Degustabox I mentioned that, though I enjoyed the contents of the box, the distinct lack of sweet treats was slightly disappointing, but April’s offerings sincerely make up for that. In fact, this latest box is crammed full of so many of my favourite things, it’s as if it was put together specifically with me in mind!
The April Degustabox contains nine different brands, and fifteen individual items, which for £12.99 is a lot better value than most food subscription boxes I’ve seen. So without further ado, here are my thoughts on each item…
Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer with Raspberry (RRP £2.19)
Crabbie’s alcoholic ginger beer is one of my favourite alcoholic drinks, and is so refreshing when it’s been chilled. This particular bottle has a raspberry flavour, which I admit isn’t my first choice of flavours, but with the ginger it is really quite nice. The beer is a lovely pink shade and the raspberry flavour shines through, before the warm, comforting burn of ginger kicks in. I think I prefer the original version, but as a cool drink every now and then during the summer, this would be ideal. I also want to try the strawberry and lime flavour that I know other people received in their Degustabox.
Lindt Lindor Milk Chocolate Bar (RRP £0.80 each)
I’ve always been a fan of Lindt’s Lindor truffles, so when I saw that they’d been transformed into bars, I was curious to see whether they were as nice, and as it happens, they are! These bars have the same cool, creamy taste and texture as their spherical counterparts – the chocolate itself is sweet, but not sickly, and the truffle it encases is luxuriously smooth and delicious. These bars may be thin, but they feel like a proper treat, and I’ll definitely be buying more.
Cawston Press Rhubarb and Apple Sparkling Drink (RRP £1.00)
Cawston Press’ Rhubarb and Apple drink was an unexpected highlight for me. I don’t often drink fruity fizzy drinks, but this one tastes a little bit more sophisticated than the usual. It’s free of any preservatives, additives and artificial sweeteners, and is made from concentrated fruit juice combined with sparkling water, so is light and refreshing. The rhubarb flavour dominates, and is reminiscent of the rhubarb and custard sweets I used to eat as a child, without the overpowering sweetness. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more from Cawston Press, as this tasted lovely and I’d like to try some of their juices.
Clearspring Miso on the Go Soup (RRP £1.29 each)
Soup isn’t my thing, especially ‘cup of soup’ type things, so I wasn’t incredibly enthusiastic about these Clearspring Miso on the Go sachets when I first saw them. I received two flavours of soup – White Miso with Tofu (pictured above), and Red Miso with Sea Veg, which I’m yet to try. One thing that did stand out with these is that they’re vegan, and only contain 29 calories, so they’re healthy at least.
The soup is easy to make, and involves mixing 160ml of hot water in a mug with the freeze-dried block that the sachet contains. I was surprised to see such chunky ingredients floating around in the soup, namely cubes of tofu and pieces of spring onion, and though it doesn’t look the best, the White Miso actually tastes rather nice! At £1.29 each I probably won’t be buying these again, but I’m glad I tried them.
Go Splash Blackcurrant Water Flavouring (RRP £2.45)
After seeing the Robinsons equivalent of Go Splash in supermarkets recently, I’d been keen to try something like this, but unfortunately I was slightly disappointed with Go Splash. In theory, it’s a great idea – a little container of sugar-free, low-calorie fruit flavoured concentrate to add to water to make it that little bit more exciting, but I’m not sure the brand quite pull it off. The packaging says to add one squirt to 200ml of water, which I did, but it made no difference, so I added another and still wasn’t happy. The water still tasted like water, but I was left with an artificial, saccharine taste in my mouth after swallowing, with just a hint of blackcurrant. Not the best, and I haven’t used it since. I was looking forward to carrying this with me so I could enjoy it on the go, but I think I’ll pass.
Keogh’s Atlantic Salt & Irish Cider Vinegar Crisps (RRP £1.00)
Salt and Vinegar is my crisp flavour of choice, so I was always going to love these, but they even managed to exceed my high expectations. When I visited Dublin last year I was really taken by just how well Ireland do crisps, and these are close to perfect. Keogh’s Farm is a family run potato growing and crisping business based in North County Dublin, and the family’s 200 years of potato expertise really shows. The packet even features a ‘Spud Nav’, which tells you exactly which field the potatoes were grown in, the variety of potato used, and who cooked the crisps. Brilliant!
The crisps are thick and crispy, not at all greasy, and incredibly well-flavoured, as the Irish cider vinegar gives them a pleasantly sweet tang, rather than a sour one. They’re also gluten-free, made from all natural ingredients, and come in a generous 50g bag. Walkers crisps don’t even come close to these!
McVitie’s Jaffa Cake Mini Rolls (RRP £1.30 per pack)
I like cake, I like chocolate, I like Jaffa Cakes, so finding these in my Degustabox was another pleasant surprise. The Mini Rolls come in two flavours – Tropicool, a mix of tropical fruits, and Berry Burst, and each tastes like what it says on the packet, although not intensely so. The packaging states that these can be frozen, so I decided to give the freezing a go to see if it made much of a difference, which it did. They were firmer and chewier, and obviously colder, which suited them well. I think these would make a nice light treat in Summer when you’re getting tired of eating ice cream.
Mornflake Superfast Pots (RRP £1.20 each)
My Degustabox also featured two Superfast pots by Mornflake – a Fruit & Nut Muesli, and a Raisin, Honey & Almond Granola – both of which are right up my street. Each pot has a handy little spoon in the lid, and contains powdered milk so you can just add cold water to the mix and stir, which is really handy when you’re on the go. Both of these tasted delicious, especially the granola, and the portions are generously sized. I’d definitely pick one of these up if I was in a rush on my way to work.
Dr. Oetker Fine Cooks’ Chocolate (RRP £1.69 each)
There were also two bars of this Dr. Oetker Fine Cook’s Chocolate in April’s Degustabox – an Extra Dark one with an intense 72% cocoa solids, and a creamier Milk chocolate, coming in at 35%. As an avid baker, these were a nice little addition to the box and I couldn’t wait to try them out, so I whipped up a batch of tiffin as soon as possible. Tiffin is a fantastic no-bake, easy to make treat, so I thought I’d share my recipe for…
Chocolate Ginger Tiffin
115g Dr. Oetker Fine Cooks’ Chocolate Extra Dark 72%
115g Dr. Oetker Fine Cooks’ Chocolate Milk 35%
150g Ginger Nut Biscuits
75g Rich Tea Biscuits
100g Dried Mixed Fruit
110g Butter or Stork Margarine
2 tbsp Sugar
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
4 tsp Cocoa Powder
1. Line a large, square baking tin with greaseproof paper.
2. Crush the ginger nut biscuits and rich tea biscuits until they are broken into small pieces.
3. In a pan, mix together the butter, golden syrup, sugar and cocoa powder over a low heat, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
4. Add the crushed biscuits and dried fruit to the pan and stir until everything is coated.
5. Tip the biscuit mixture into the baking tin, spread out evenly and press down.
6. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts until fully melted. Pour over the biscuit mix and spread out evenly.
7. Leave the tiffin to set in the fridge for about an hour, before cutting into pieces. This recipe makes about 18 decently sized pieces.
8. Serve and enjoy!
Of course, I gave the chocolate a little nibble whilst I was cooking (and I got to lick the bowl – cook’s perks!), and it’s delicious even as an eating chocolate. I may even finish the bars myself…
The overall RRP of April’s Degustabox is £20, so for £12.99 you’re definitely getting a good deal. Once again, everything in the box is vegetarian, and the abundance of sweet goodies is a winner with me. I’d even go as far to say this is the best subscription box I’ve ever received from any company!
Will you be subscribing to Degustabox? If so, if you use the exclusive code ‘4K0P6‘ when registering, you can get a £3 discount!
PS. You can check out the rest of my Degustabox reviews here.
*This Degustabox was sent to me by Degustabox for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
I drink a lot of water every day, especially when I’m at work, but I really begrudge paying for bottled water when you can get it for free from the kitchen tap, especially as the bottles that bottled water comes in aren’t widely recycled, so the majority end up on landfill, littering the streets or even floating around in the ‘plastic soup’ that is our oceans! As such, I have long been on the look out for a more environmentally friendly, reusable bottle, so I was extremely pleased when I discovered Dopper on Twitter.
Dopper is a Dutch product which was invented with the aim to put a stop to the damaging effects that plastic bottles have on the environment. Dopper is a unique reusable bottle which has a zero net carbon footprint, and is BPA-free, meaning that the Dopper is free of the harmful chemical usually used in plastic production.
Dopper bottles are completely sustainable, as they can be refilled and used over and over again, and promote the drinking of free, calorie-free, thirst quenching WATER! There’s even a Dopper app so you can find out where to refill your bottle for free. The brand also contribute to water projects around the world through the Dopper Foundation, with 10% of all Dopper sales going straight into the Foundation to fund the introduction of safe, clean drinking water and facilities in countries such as Nepal.
If you want to find out more about Dopper, their work and ethos, click here.
What I love about my Dopper is that it doesn’t look like a normal bottle. It has an unusual but fashionable design which is also practical, and comes in a wide range of colours. The Dopper has a wide, flat lid which, at first, seemed a little unnecessary, until I realised why… Not only does the lid unscrew, but the white section unscrews as well, so you can use it as a drinking cup if you don’t fancy drinking straight from the bottle. An absolute genius addition to an already excellent product. Luckily, both the lid and the cup screw back on securely, so there’s no need to worry about leakage.
The Dopper holds 450ml of water, just a little less than your average bottle of water from a shop, and is the ideal size to carry with you in your bag, fit into the cup holder of your car or take with you on a run or whilst exercising. I can’t express enough how much I absolutely love my Dopper. The design is so innovative and functional, but it also looks fantastic and, most importantly, it’s so much kinder on the Earth than the bottled water you buy in shops!
In fact, I believe in Dopper so much that I have something very special to share with you… I have not one, but TWO Doppers to give away to two lucky readers – a red and an orange that both really stand out from the crowd.
To enter, all you have to do is complete as many of the tasks as you want/can on the Rafflecopter form below. The competition will run for three weeks, and will end at midnight (GMT) on 26th November. The giveaway is open WORLDWIDE and all entries will be checked. The winners will be chosen at random and announced the next day, and contacted via email, and will be given 48 hours to respond with their postal address. If no reply is received within this time, another winner will be chosen at random. Good luck!
Over the past few months, I have been trying my hardest to live a healthier lifestyle, both physically and mentally. I have always eaten quite healthy main meals as I have been vegetarian for eleven years, and the meat replacements I use, along with vegetables, contain far less saturated fat than meat. Snacking was my main problem as I have a gigantic sweet tooth and as such I find it very difficult to say no to chocolate and cakes! I also had a mentally unhealthy attitude towards exercise – I saw it as a chore and often underestimated my fitness levels. However, about six months ago something clicked in my head and I realised that I needed to alter these attitudes. I by no means needed to lose a drastic amount of weight, but I felt a few pounds would help tone me up in the right places and show off my hourglass figure. So far I have lost about 12 pounds, which is a very gradual weight loss which came from adjusting several aspects of my lifestyle which I will now highlight.
- As I said before, I have always been a big fan of sweet, chocolatey snacks and puddings. I now eat far fewer snacks than I did before, which I admit makes me appreciate my main meals a lot more, but when I do snack I try to have fruit, yoghurt or crackers etc instead.
- I do still have sweet things, just a lot less of them. For instance, I’ll buy a bag of treatsize chocolate bars instead of full size bars and make them last, or I’ll have smaller pudding portions.
- I have always drank a lot of water, but I’ve found that replacing the juice or fizzy drinks that I’d have with water has helped me cut down on sugar. I still have them sometimes every now and then though
- I got into the habit of using the bus to travel short distances just because I have a student bus pass. I now leave my bus pass at home on purpose when I know I won’t be travelling far so that I have to walk. I really enjoy walking, especially when I have someone to walk with, so me and the other half regularly go on long walks. I usually take my camera too which gives the walk a point!
- My other half’s parents recently invested in a Wii Fit, which I have found very useful. Even when it’s raining outside, exercise is still possible and the games are fun so before you know it you’ve done half an hour of exercise!
- About 2 months ago I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app on my Android phone. Once you input your height, weight and weight loss aims, the app tailors a plan to suit you. It gives you a calorie target to keep to each day and lets you know whether you’re eating too much fat, sugar etc, which helps you see where you’re going wrong. I’m not much of a fan of calorie counting as it become quite obsessive, but this app really has helped me keep my focus! You can add other users of the app as friends and they can comment on your achievements which is a great encouragement.
- I’ve learnt that denying yourself the things you love only makes you miserable! You only live once (that old cliché) so enjoy these things whilst you can, just do it in moderation. Gorging yourself on bars of chocolate isn’t healthy, but one bar every now and then isn’t going to hurt.
- Being realistic is also important. At first, I felt that the MyFitnessPal calorie target was far too low for me when I told the app that I wanted to lose 1.5 pounds per week. I kept going over my target by a few calories each day, and though I was still below the recommended calorie intake for a woman of my age, I started to feel guilty. I reflected on this, changed my plan to 1 pound loss per week, and had 200 more calories per day to play with, which is perfect for me.
Obviously these techniques won’t work for everyone and I’m not saying everyone should follow this plan, but this has worked for me and I definitely feel healthier and happier. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep it up!
What have you done to improve your health and fitness?