• The Honestly Good Smoothie Company Review

    honestly good smoothie company review sundried

    The Honestly Good Smoothie Company was founded by mother and son duo Vikesh and Neeta Kotecha after Vikesh experienced digestive trouble in 2015 and was advised to consume more fruit and vegetables. Falling in love with the energy smoothies brought him, Vikesh soon tired of chopping and preparing ingredients each morning. Mother Neeta stepped in with daily creations for her son and Vikesh realised how accustomed to the luxury he became, and left his job to start The Honestly Good Smoothie Company so others could experience this too.

    Upon placing an order online, customers are treated to a wool-lined temperature controlled box to keep smoothie pouches fresh. The packaging is recyclable or compostable which is in line with Sundried's sustainable and responsible ethos. The company work with award-winning nutritionist Caroline Farrell and head chef Blake Bowden. Founder, Vikesh Kotecha, says “I wanted to do something simple that wasn’t being offered. Honestly good smoothies delivered to your door, no cheap fillers, and no nasty surprises.” Vikesh continues, “We have really exciting plans for the future with a new protein smoothie range launching for the New Year, tasting events across London and charitable donations from each customer purchase.”

    The Honestly Good Smoothie subscription is £27.50 per week for 5 pouches making 10 smoothies. 

    Berry Nice

    Ingredients
    • 100g banana
    • 70g strawberry
    • 50g raspberry
    • 40g rhubarb
    • 1tbsp hemp seeds
    • 1tbsp chia seeds

    I really liked this flavour, I had mine with almond milk rather than just dry. It was nutty and full of berries which tasted fresh and tangy. It was very substantial and could definitely replace a meal, although I wouldn't always recommend that. It's not too sweet which I liked and the main positive is the convenience of it.

    The hassle and ensuing mess of making a smoothie can be a nightmare, especially if you're short on time or have kids, plus I've made quite a few horrible ones when just experimenting with ingredients from my cupboard! The fact that this recipe is not only well thought out but created and verified by both a professional chef and nutritionist means I can trust the ingredients and health benefits. Overall, I loved it and would definitely have it again. 

    The Waldorf Cool

    Ingredients
    • 100g Granny Smith Apple
    • 100g Cucumber
    • 60g Curly Kale
    • 20g Light Walnut Halves
    • 2tbsp. flax seeds
    • 1tbsp hemp seeds
    • ½ tsp Kelp
    • a pinch of pink Himalayan salt

    The ingredients in this smoothie are pretty interesting (the kelp and Himalayan pink salt are pretty exotic to me) but they all looked super fresh on arrival which was impressive. I also made this one with almond milk but found that the consistency was a little too thick for my preference, I wonder if apple juice might have been better but then it would have potentially been too sweet. Again, the nuts gave a great flavour and texture and the apple and cucumber meant it was super fresh and zingy. 

    Verdict

    I think the concept of this brand is great, and people who have a lot of disposable income and not much time on their hands would benefit greatly. However, those with kids or just those who don't work 60-hour weeks and don't have the money to spend over £100 a month on smoothies might not need ready-prepared ingredients delivered to them, especially as you still have to blend it yourself and therefore wash up afterwards too.

    For some people, the process of making a smoothie is the best part, however others would argue that having the ingredients already weighed out and ready to blitz is a life-saver. With this service, I think it really depends on your lifestyle and personal preferences but I can see why it would be great in the right circumstances. I also think it would be important for customers to receive the nutritional information of the smoothies along with their packages (calories, sugar, protein etc) as this is not currently provided.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • getbuzzing Nut Free Flapjack Review

    Get Buzzing Nut Free Snack Healthy bars

    getbuzzing was founded by Kate Wallace in 2009 when she realised there was no product on the market which was made with natural ingredients, tasted amazing, and was completely nut-free. With a mission to create a snack that everyone - including nut allergy sufferers - could enjoy, she created getbuzzing. We got the chance to try a few of these exciting bars and taste for ourselves to see if the taste really is 100%!

    Flavours Nut Free Healthy bars

    Banana

    The USP of getbuzzing is that they only use natural ingredients. The Banana Nut Free Flapjack contains oats, dried banana, golden syrup, sugar, butter, honey, and apricots.  Flapjack is a very energy-dense food and so would be perfect after a very long and tough training session where you've burnt upwards of 1,000 calories and need to replenish with simple sugars. This bar tastes absolutely delicious! The organic dried banana comes through really well and the texture is sticky and dense, just how a good flapjack should be. It's definitely impressive that it's made with ingredients you could find in your own kitchen, as more often than not I'll check the ingredients on a snack bar and can't even pronounce half the ingredients used.

    Wowbutter

    The other USP of getbuzzing is that they're products are all nut-free, meaning they are accessible for those on a free-from diet and those suffering a nut allergy. getbuzzing state that their Wowbutter flavour "tastes just like peanut butter!" which is a revelation for those who can't eat nuts and are missing out on the joys of peanut butter! Their nut-free 'Wowbutter' is made using toasted soya and soy oil which is fantastic. This bar only has 13g of sugar in it which really impressive for such a deliciously decadent bar. It's thick and gooey and very satisfying!

    Date & Seed

    I really loved the texture of the seeds in this bar and the dates give a luxuriously sticky texture. It's not overly sweet like other bars of this type and the dense texture is really moreish. It's a hefty bar and makes a really satisfying snack. Definitely my go-to when I'm feeling peckish between meals!

    Protein Crisp & Cherry

    I absolutely love the sour cherry flavour in this bar. The cherry pieces are really authentic (thanks to the all-natural ingredients) and it's a really refreshing and unique flavour that I haven't tasted in this type of bar before. The protein crisps add a great texture and the stickiness of the other bars is still present here. With 15g of protein per bar, it's perfect for post-workout, especially a particularly tough session. It's a really great grab-and-go snack and you know you're getting a great protein boost too.

    Mixed Berries

    Before I even took my first bite, the tartness from the freeze dried berries made my mouth tingle and water! This bar is very buttery and indulgent, and with nearly 25g of sugar per bar it's definitely a sweet treat. The berries provide a gorgeous flavour and the tangy edge makes it really exciting. The oats make the bar very dense and it's super satisfying and filling. This would be perfect as fuel for an ultra run or a long hike. One of these bad boys would give you enough energy to last all day! 

    Mint Chocolate High Protein

    This flavour was my absolute favourite! The mint flavour is perfect - I am a big fan of mint-flavoured-anything, but I am aware that a lot of people tend to avoid it lest it taste of toothpaste. This getbuzzing bar, however, managed to stick with the mint choc chip ice cream type of flavour which was refreshing and delicious. The chocolate chips add an interesting texture and the overall taste is very indulgent with its sticky composition. This bar only has 16g of sugar (compared to 20g in the banana flavour) and it packs an impressive 13g of protein. I often get annoyed when health foods claim to be 'high protein' and then only contain a measly 5g or so. 13g of protein is a decent amount for a bar like this so I was really impressed. What's more impressive is that this bar has recently won a Q Award! It won the Grab & Go Sweet Category at the Food Service Q Awards.

    Verdict

    It's incredibly refreshing to find a snack brand that is completely nut-free and getbuzzing really have found a niche in the market. Flapjack is always going to be a winner as it's so delicious, so having flavoured versions in a ready-to-go bar is perfect for fuelling a tough training session, re-fuelling post-race, or just to take to work or school. I love that the ingredients are truly natural without compromising on taste and I think getbuzzing are on to a real winner!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Nibble Protein Bites Review

    Nibble Protein Bites promise to be different from all the other protein balls, bites, and bars on the market by having less sugar and more protein than the competition. Founded by Erin Moroney, Nibble Group Ltd has the mission of standing out from the crowd and being different. We were excited to try these inviting bites!

    Made with low GI ingredients, Nibble Protein Bites avoid the usual sugary suspects of dates and brown rice syrup which are a common ingredient in 'healthy' protein snack foods. Using dried plum puree as a base, Erin has found a way to keep the sugar content of her protein bites low while maintaining a delicious flavour and texture. Using pea protein to enhance the protein content means they are vegan-friendly and also allergen-free making them more accessible for more people. 

    Lemon

    Thanks to the plum puree base, the flavours of Nibble Bites really pop. Lemon is a strong flavour at best and overly tart at worst, but Nibble Bites have got the balance perfect. The character is beautifully authentic thanks to the Sicilian lemon juice and oil, it almost transports you to a balcony in Italy! The sprinkle of coconut flakes on top really grounds the flavour and adds a lovely texture. 

    Mocha

    The all-natural ingredients provide a really genuine flavour and the mocha bite is no different. The mocha nibbles are made with real coffee and Dutch cocoa powder to add a touch of class and sophistication. Again, this has the potential to be an overpowering flavour, but the balance is perfect and the rich, deep flavour just floats through effortlessly without being overbearing. Cacao nibs and a dash of cinnamon are also added to the nibble to give it an extra flavour boost and element of luxury. These bites are definitely more sophisticated than your standard protein ball or bar!

    Sour Cherry

    The super tart sour cherry nibbles have a hint of orange and a pinch of allspice to give them a unique taste. I'm a huge fan of sour cherry flavour anyway so this was always going to be a hit with me! Another sophisticated, strong flavour, these bites stay true to their ethos with the low sugar content and the gluten-free oats mean they can be enjoyed by those on a free-from diet. 

    Choc Chip Cookie

    Choc chip cookie was the flavour I was looking forward to the most; it certainly looks like a cute little chocolate chip cookie bite! The little bites are very tempting and inviting and the flavour doesn't let them down. This flavour is made with 72% dark chocolate and also has toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds added to it for an exciting texture and added crunch. The low GI ingredients mean it's not overly sweet or sickly and the lack of dates and syrup means it's not horribly gooey or sticky. Just a perfect snack for on-the-go or after training.

    Verdict

    I absolutely love the ethos behind this brand as too many protein food companies lack finesse and decent flavour. Eating a sticky ball chocked full of dates and rice syrup is hardly healthy and the protein content is usually modest at best. Nibble Protein Bites have hit the nail on the head with this gap in the market and I'm sure it'll be a huge hit! The choice of sophisticated flavours really stands out from the crowd and they've hit a real niche with their honest mission. It's a winner for me!

    You can buy your own Nibble Protein Bites from their website at £18 for an 8-pack (RRP £2.39 each, here £2.25).

    Nibble Protein Bites are also available to buy on Ocado

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Nike Metcon 3 Review

    Nike Metcon 3 CrossFit Shoes

    If you're looking for a new CrossFit shoe, look no further than the Nike Metcon 3 shoes. Perfect all-round trainers, you can run, lift, and jump with confidence in these shoes. We take a closer look at CrossFit's favourite trainer.

    Nike Metcon 3 Kettlebell CrossFit Trainers

    When it comes to CrossFit, you need a shoe that can do it all. One minute you'll be running, next minute you'll be on the floor doing burpees, then before you know it you're on the platform doing max rep snatches. That's where the Nike Metcon 3 shoes come in. 

    Practicality

    The first thing you need for CrossFit is a weightlifting shoe style heel. You need a solid base for your heels and something that feels like a weightlifting shoe that you're used to lifting in. With a drop-in mid-sole, the Nike Metcon 3 has a very sturdy heel and when you slip it on, it feels exactly like a lifting shoe. The clincher, however, is in the softer forefoot. When you're wearing the Metcon 3 you can almost feel the difference in the mid-part of the foot where the solid heel turns into a soft forefoot for running and sprinting. You would never run in your lifting shoes - it doesn't even bare thinking about - so you need a shoe that has the flexibility needed for running and jumping and the Metcon 3 has this. The front of the shoe feels just like a regular trainer, with the flexibility you'd expect for athletics.

    The sole of the shoe is made from rubber and the grip on the platform is exceptional. I've gone through numerous different shoes to find the perfect deadlift shoe. Converse (Chuck Taylors) gave me blisters and boxing boots didn't have enough support. The Metcon 3 trainers have incredible stability and I felt really steady on the platform. This is crucial when it comes to heavy lifts.

    There's even a textured rubber area in the mid part of the shoe to give excellent traction while climbing a rope. Nike really have thought of everything for this shoe, and it shows. CrossFit is a challenging sport - that's why we love it - so it's tricky to find the perfect shoe for all the different movements you'll be doing. Thankfully, Nike has everything covered.

    Fit

    For me, the only drawback to this shoe is the low heel. I would assume this design is so that you have more freedom of movement and flexibility while training, however I found it made the rear part of my foot feel very unsupported. The front of my foot felt great, very locked-in, but then my heel was slipping out the back a little. 

    I also found that during the first couple of sessions wearing them, my big toes ended up a little bruised. The front part of the shoe is pretty solid, and moving around doing burpee box jump-overs caused a fair amount of pain to my big toe. I understand that all trainers need to be worn in so I'm sure they'll be fine after a while, but just be warned.

    Size

    I'm usually a size 7 in trainers but for some shoes (especially New Balance trainers) I find I have to size up to a 7.5. The Metcon 3 trainers are very true to size and I have plenty of space in a size 7 so my advice would be to stay true to your size as it'll be a perfect fit. I definitely wouldn't have wanted them any bigger. They're also very generous width-wise so if you have wide feet you can be confident that these shoes will fit you well.

    Appearance

    Nike is a huge brand, we all know this, and all the big CrossFit stars from Mat Fraser to Sara Sigmundsdottir can be found wearing the Metcon 3 shoes. You feel like a real pro strolling in to train in these shoes. There are lots of different colourways to choose from and you can even customise and design your own with Nike iD. 

    Verdict

    You're never really going to go wrong with a pair of shoes from Nike, that's why they're one of the biggest brands in the world. They've really thought these shoes through and they're designed with true CrossFitters in mind. Being backed by the big CrossFitters gives these shoes a big boost but the flawless design and superior comfort stands alone anyway. The RRP is £114.95 but you can find most pairs on sale now at around £79.95 putting them in the same price range as a pair of Reeboks. 

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Rolla Granola Review

    Rolla Granola was created after a trip to America where the Longden family tried some granola. They loved it and after returning to the UK, they couldn't find any products that were close to what they tried in the States. So in 2014, Robin Longden decided to create his own granola range. 3 years later, their range of granola now includes sugar-free, gluten-free, and paleo options.

    There are currently 16 flavours available at the Rolla Granola Store:

    • It's all about the nuts (Wheat free with nuts, seeds and oats.)
    • Neanderthal nibbles (Vegan & Paleo friendly with sweet potato, cashew and pine nuts)
    • Caveman bite (Vegan & Paleo friendly with raspberry, almond and black pepper)
    • Berry low (Wheat free & Low sugar with pistachio, raspberry and almond)
    • Cashew craze (Vegan Friendly with cashew, macadamia and oats)
    • Energise (Wheat free with macadamia, pistachio and oats)
    • Revive (Wheat free with pistachio, chocolate and oats)
    • Cavemans dream (Gluten free apple, cashew and cinnamon)
    • Zesty caveman (Vegan Friendly & Gluten free with pecan, maple and apple)
    • Skinny walnut (Vegan Friendly & Wheat free with walnut, apricot and hazelnut)
    • Cool raspberry (Vegan Friendly & Gluten free with raspberry and macadamia)
    • Diabetic & Delicious (Wheat free with pistachio, almond and berry)
    • Nuts for chocolate (Vegan Friendly & Wheat free with cashew, raisin and chocolate)
    • Hot raspberry raw (Vegan Friendly & Gluten free with raspberry, macadamia and chili)
    • Pecan and maple twist (Wheat free with pecan, maple and apple)
    • Healthy Hazelnut (Vegan Friendly & Wheat free with hazelnut, date and almond)
    • Awesome Almond (Vegan Friendly & Wheat free with almond, date and cashew)

    My favourite flavour was the Revive multi pack. The multi pack contains twelve 80g packs of the same Revive flavour. Each pack contains 20g of protein, just over 12g of sugar, and just over 18g of fat. Each pack is vegetarian-friendly and contains anti-oxidants which are good for your heart and may also lower your chance of getting some infections and cancer.

    Rolla Granola is a great brand which has granola suitable for everyone, starting from £5. Check out all their flavours here. Rolla Granola is also available from SimplyFresh, sourcedbox, Budgens, and Patridges.

    Review written by Matt Sladden.

    Posted by Guest Reviewer