This Page

has moved to a new address:


Sorry for the inconvenience…

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Green+Aquamarine: April 2014

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Nākd Celebration Box Review

Another review today! A couple of months ago, Natural Balance Wholefoods celebrated it's 10th birthday with a flash sale, and I used the opportunity to treat myself to the Nākd Celebration Box, which normally retails at £13.99. Some two or three weeks later, my goodies arrived. Because of the huge demand, they were a little slow in arriving, so Natural Balance kindly threw in an extra bar of Caffe Mocha and a £5 off voucher.
Inside were 18 snacks from the Nākd bar, Nākd Oatie bar, Nākd Crunch bar and flavoured raisins ranges. There were a few flavours that were included twice, which I believe to be amongst the most popular that the brand sell. I love all the bars that I've tried so far, except for Cashew Cookie (easily passed on to my visiting cousin along with a packet of cola raisins) so it was nice to try a few more flavours. The one bar that I'd really like to try -Pecan Pie -wasn't included, but I'll definitely be snapping that up if I see it. 
I think that the Banana Bread may just be my new favourite, and the Cherry Raisins kept me going through a shift at work -I couldn't believe how good the flavours were for the raisins, which isn't something that I'd ever normally eat on it's own. Cherry gummy sweets, eat your heart out.
All the bars are raw and vegan and unrefined, so make the perfect guilt-free snack. I'm trying to really cut down on eating animal products, and treats like this make it much easier. Almost all count for one of your five (or seven!) a day, so I usually pop one in my bag if I haven't already eaten lots of fruit with breakfast. Most of the bars are made up with a high percentage of cashews, so if you have a nut allergy you'll need to stick to the raisins.
Passing on some comments from my wonderful fellow reviewer -aka, my little cousin, the texture of the Cashew Cookie bar was surprising, but tasty, although for die-hard (milk) chocolate fans, the taste of the Cocoa Orange bar isn't especially strong.

Overall, I think this box is really good value at about 77p per bar at full price, plus FREE DELIVERY(!!) if you want to have a try of a few more flavours than you might normally be able to try. I love, love, love Nākd bars so I'd definitely buy again from Natural Balance's website, although I'd probably try a different box next time for variety.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Teapigs Mao Feng Review

Teapigs is one of the most popular mid-range to premium tea brands, known for it's quirky and bright packaging and whole-leaf teas. I've tried a few of their infusions before -Lemon and Ginger, Chai, Rooibios crème caramel -and have enjoyed them all, but I wanted to try a direct comparison of my favourite leaf, green tea, to see if it was worth the price tag.
I picked the pure Mao Feng green tea, described as the "green tea liked by people who don't like green tea" for it's delicate flavour. Despite this, it didn't taste too weak, still having lots of flavour. I was also impressed at how the tea bags lasted me a good 3-4 cups, which certainly bodes well for someone who gets through a few cups daily, like me!

One thing that did concern me was the tea temples (bags) themselves, since they didn't look like they were suitable for composting. However, a quick look on Teapigs website reassured me that the temples are a bioplastic made from cornstarch that is 100% biodegradable. I was pretty impressed by all their other green credentials too.
While I will be keeping my cheaper teas for quick common room mugfuls, I will definitely be buying Teapigs on a more regular basis. I'm lucky enough to have a shop that sells all of the standard-seized range of teas, so I may try and work my way through a few of the range -chocolate flake tea anyone? They also sell matcha tea powder, which I'd love to try, both as a pure drink and in cooking.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Moving Home to Find Myself

This is my competition post for the Blogger's Lounge "Your Biggest Adventure" competition.Thank you to GapYear.com for sponsoring this! Although I initially considered it, I felt like I could hardly call any travelling that I've done an adventure since it has almost always been organised for me. I am instead writing a more personal post.

My little happiness board by my desk!

At the end of the summer of 2012 I found myself 250 miles away from the house and area that I'd grown up in, some three days short of starting Sixth Form in a new city. A year and a half later I find myself reflecting on this time and realising how much I've grown. My biggest adventure so far has not been so much of a physical one, but an emotional one, as I've realised how much more confident and involved I've become.

I made the decision to study twenty miles away from my new home, which has forced me to become more independent, even if it has often meant leaving the house at 7am to get to the railway station, or not getting back until nearly 7pm if I'm lift sharing. Despite the distance, I have become more involved in my current school than my last, assisting in lower school classes, tutoring GCSE students and becoming our Sixth Form chair. I'm now working with a prom committee to get our end-of-year ball organised, dealing with booking and accounts. It is definitely strange to start to take on more responsibility, but I've been enjoying it.

Meeting new people isn't something that comes naturally to me, so I think that that part was the hardest thing about moving. It took some time, but I've met the nicest people, and I am going to miss a lot of them when we all go our separate ways to university this autumn. I'll definitely be staying in touch. However, I do now feel much more equipped myself to when it comes to moving on again.
I have committed myself to becoming more active since moving, mostly with running and yoga. I still don't train as much as I'd like to, but it is a big improvement, and I am starting to really appreciate my runs, as I'm doing them, rather than after. Getting into fitness is what inspired me to start writing this blog, There's something lovely about documenting my thoughts onto a little piece of the internet that I've made myself, regardless of whether anyone reads it.

There have been a few sacrifices, leaving old friends and having to put my sailing instructing on a back burner thanks to a lack of sailing youth clubs near me. But, since I will be living on the coast next year, I am hoping to get on the water again soon.
  This post hasn't been about glittering events, or exciting places, but for me, the last two years has been a pretty big adventure. And, more importantly, it has made me ready for my next one. I hope to study abroad for a semester or a year, learn to scuba dive to a high standard, and get involved in some conservation work that I am passionate about. Life is an adventure, and I can't wait.


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Healthy Breakfasts

Sorry it's been a couple of weeks since I last blogged. I've got two weeks off for Easter revision now though to recharge a little. (less than two months until my final exams though -eek!!)

Today I'm summarising some of my Instagram photos to give some inspiration for healthy, filling breakfasts.

Porridge, or oatmeal, is the nicest treat to have in the morning. I've been really taken by nut milks and I'm always pleased to take an alternative to animal products. That being said I, don't buy soya products if I can help it due to huge amounts of deforestation being linked to soy beans, and due to potential health problems linked to it. If you have an extra couple of minutes, cook the porridge over a hob rather than the microwave; it tastes better and preserves nutrients.

Flavour your porridge with cinnamon, ground nuts, cacoa powder, or even blended up roasted pumpkin for an autumnal twist.
Up the nutritional ante by adding seeds, nuts and fruit, which will help to keep you full too.
I really like the sound of this Middle-East inspired porridge from Dale Pinnock via BodyFit magazine.

Bircher Muesli and Overnight Oats
Both of these involve soaking oats in cold liquid overnight with lots of different ingredients. A basic Bircher Museli,to serve 2-3, requires half a cup of natural yoghurt, a handful of rolled oats, one grated apple and a splash of orange juice. Add nuts and seeds and leave to soak overnight. Add extra liquid if needed, and top with fruit.
 Overnight oats is more of a loose term, but follows the same principles. Sometimes I like to use chia seeds with, or instead of the oats. Chia swells to ten times it's size when soaked. Chia also makes a delicious alternative to rice pudding when combined with almond milk overnight.

Smoothie Bowls
I love smoothie bowls! You'll get at least three portions of fruit from this, so I wouldn't recommend it everyday. Essentially it is a smoothie thick enough to eat with a spoon. I made a smoothie bowl using one and a half bananas and a handful-ish each of blueberries and raspberries. If you have time, freeze the fruit overnight, loosening with some almond milk to get an even thicker texture. Or add full-fat yoghurt. Top with nuts, seeds or granola.

Lighter breakfasts
Breakfast isn't for everyone. If you don't have much of a morning appetite, try a small glass of green juice to hydrate and energise you at the start of your day. Combine a handful of kale or spinach with quarter of a cucumber, a stick of celery, a small apple and half a lemon. Add ginger, cinnamon or chilli for extra benefits.
Come summer, I love to have a small bowl of natural or Greek-style yoghurt, topped with fruit and granola.
Alternatively, have one of my energy bars for a meal on the go.

What are your favourite healthy breakfasts? Are you a sweet or savoury breakfaster?