• Primal Pantry Paleo Protein Bars Review

    Primal Pantry Product Review Sundried

    Primal Pantry's handmade cold-pressed products are all made in the UK with headquarters in Kent. Primal Pantry was founded by nutritionist Suzie Walker in 2013 when she wanted to find some healthy snacks for her kids that weren't packed with sugar and artificial ingredients. I was thrilled when they sent me a box of their goodies to try!

    There is up to 10g of protein per bar which is great for those who need a protein boost in their afternoon snack or if you struggle to hit your daily protein consumption. Each bar contains no more than 6 ingredients which is fantastic. In this modern world, snacks can be packed with all sorts of nasty additives and extras, but Primal Pantry strip it back to basics and keep it simple which I love. One of the common ingredients in the bars is coconut nectar which is a low GI cane sugar alternative. It is the perfect natural plant-based alternative to artificial sweetener or sugar used in most products these days. The bars contain nothing artificial or chemical and they are vegan, raw, and paleo. They do contain nuts so are not suitable for those with an allergy. The packaging is very attractive and the branding is modern and appealing. 

    Primal Pantry Sundried Product Review

    Cocoa Orange

    This bar is from the protein range that Primal Pantry offers and packs 19% protein in a 55g bar. It has a very deep taste of orange and the fact it comes from real dried orange rather than artificial flavouring really shines through. There are tasty little crunches in each bite to keep the texture interesting and it is very moreish! The chocolate taste from the cocoa will cure a sweet tooth craving but it is much healthier than a classic chocolate bar.

    Apple & Pecan

    This bar is quite soft compared to the others, and the apple flavour is refreshing and tangy. As with the orange bar, you can tell that the fruit flavouring is not artificial and instead comes from organic fair trade apples, which means it's ethical too! Pecan nuts are absolutely packed full of various vitamins and minerals, whcih means that this bar provides numerous health benefits as well as being super tasty!

    Coconut & Macadamia

    The coconut & macadamia bar is made from dates, macadamia nuts, cashews, coconut and a hint of almond oil. That's it! Just five ingredients, meaning it is completely vegan and paleo. Macadamia nuts are a rich source of Vitamin A and iron meaning they can help contribute to better circulation and support a healthy immune system so there are plenty of health benefits to this bar. The coconut flavour is very strong so if you love coconut you'll love this as a snack, or with your morning cup of coffee. 

    Cocoa Brownie

    The cocoa brownie was definitely my favourite flavour, it's so satisfying! Often, after I eat an energy bar or a protein bar, they're so moreish that I'm left wanting more and more, but somehow Primal Pantry has absolutely cracked it as I felt perfectly satisfied after eating this bar! It's lovely and chocolatey, so it cures that sweet tooth or afternoon chocolate craving. And knowing that it's vegan and paleo means it's guilt-free! I predicted that this flavour would be my favourite and it absolutely was.

    Mixed Berries

    This flavour was also a personal highlight as it was so fresh and delicious. The mixed berries include raspberries, apricots, and goji berries, so there is a good mix of super fruits in there! Goji berries contain high levels of antioxidants which provide fantastic health benefits, and they also promote healthy skin and eyes so you'll end up glowing if you eat enough! I wondered if this flavour would be nut-free but it does include almonds, so not appropriate for those with a nut allergy or intolerance.

    Verdict

    I love how simple these bars are, they really are just made from simple, natural ingredients which could be found in my kitchen, so I know that what I'm eating is healthy and not overly processed. The bars are all true to flavour with interesting textures and combinations of fruits and nuts. They are satisfying enough that you don't find yourself reaching for one and then another and then another, which I can be guilty of! I think Primal Pantry would do well to do a completely nut-free version so that those with an allergy can enjoy them too, so it's a 9 from me!

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    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Mindful Chef Food Box Review

    Mindful Chef Food Box Review

    Mindful Chef is a health-focused food box company set up by school friends Giles, Myles, and Rob in 2015. Since then, they've been delivering fresh produce and tasty recipes to thousands of people from small farms in Devon where they grew up. Their ethos is helping people lead a healthier life by reducing the intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates. None of their fresh food boxes contain pasta, bread, or white rice, but instead are packed with fresh vegetables and wholesome ingredients. They cater for all different dietary requirements, including vegan, which is the option I went for when they offered to send me some of their fabulous meals.

    Teriyaki tofu, seaweed & brown rice bowl

    The concept of Mindful Chef is fantastic. They send out a box full of fresh ingredients, all weighed out perfectly, and a simple recipe which is easy to follow. Now I hate cooking, and I am terrible at it! I'm talking undercooked veg, overcooked rice, and bland everything. But with Mindful Chef, even a rubbish cook like me can whip up a tasty and nutritious dinner with minimal fuss! The other thing that I love about this concept is that I ended up eating foods and flavours that I would never have otherwise. I don't think I'd even know where to find seaweed let alone how to add it to a recipe! So their teriyaki tofu, seaweed and brown rice bowl was a big winner for me. The flavours are fantastic and really clever; they work wonderfully together to create a really delicious dish. Everything you need is right there in front of you so after a long day at work, you can come home knowing that a healthy dinner isn't too far away. 

    Teriyaki Tofu Vegan Mindful Chef Recipe

    Brazilian black bean stew with brown rice

    This recipe also got a big thumbs up from me. The macros for each meal are very handily listed on the recipe card, and can also be found on Mindful Chef's website, so for those counting macros or preparing for a competition, the hard work is already done for you. Again, the flavours in this dish were fantastic, with the sweetness of the creamed coconut marrying together with the bitterness of the beans to create a great balance. Mindful Chef also includes raw cacao powder in this dish which is a good source of magnesium, used by the body for energy production and promoting good circulation. Another ingredient which I would never have thought to include in my dinner so I love it! 

    Sugar snap, chickpea, and cauli rice biryani

    One of the main ingredients included in this recipe was cauli rice, which I had heard of but never tried. Cauliflower rice has up to 75% fewer calories than regular white rice and it stays fresh for up to 12 months with no preservatives so it is definitely a healthier option. This recipe was also delicious and super easy to make! Its nutritional information is also very balanced, providing 447 calories, 53g of carbs, 21g of fat, and 21g of protein which is very good for a vegan meal.

    Verdict

    I love the ethos of Mindful Chef and the fact that it is a humble British brand just trying to help the nation become healthier. They have so many different recipes that you would never get bored and it also encourages lazy people like me to get more active in the kitchen! It makes cooking easy and they cater for everyone. Their recipes are delicious and healthy, as well as being varied and exotic. I think I might have to sign up for a subscription myself! It's a resounding 10 from me.

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    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Pip & Nut Peanut Butter Review

    Pip & Nut Peanut Butter

    Pip & Nut was founded by Pippa Murray who has a fascinating story behind her brand. She won a competition to live rent-free in a shed in London, which allowed her to save the money she needed to start up her business. Leaving behind an unfulfilling job, Pippa was able to follow her dreams of running her own business and providing high-quality products to the nation. I was thrilled when I was sent her famous nut butter to try.

     Crunchy Maple Peanut Butter

    I was really excited to try the crunchy maple peanut butter, not only because it sounds insanely good, but also because my colleague absolutely raves about it. And she's right, it's fantastic! I added it to my daily smoothie and it blends really well, adding a very indulgent twist to my otherwise boring smoothie. Of course, I couldn't resist having it by the spoonful too as it tastes fantastic. It's fairly runny compared to other peanut butter products because it does not contain palm oil. I actually prefer it being runnier because it's easier to spread, and palm oil is bad not only for our health but also the environment, so it's really important that Pip & Nut avoid this ingredient. The Crunchy Maple Peanut butter contains maple syrup, roasted peanuts, coconut oil, and sea salt. Just four simple ingredients! 

    Honey Cinnamon Cashew Butter

    I am a new convert to cashew butter having only ever tried peanut butter up until very recently.  Pip & Nut's Honey Cinnamon Cashew Butter is delicious; it's lovely and smooth, and again is fairly runny which makes it perfect to go on toast or a bagel. The honey adds a subtle sweet taste while the warming cinnamon provides a spicy kick which isn't too strong. Again, it only contains whole ingredients, and no chemicals or e-numbers so you know that what you're consuming is good for you. This flavour pairs really nice with the natural flavour of apple, so slathering onto apple slices makes the perfect afternoon snack!

    Pip & Nut Healthy Peanut Butter Cashew Butter Product Review Sundried

    Verdict

    I love Pip's ethos and the values that she delivers. All the products contain very few ingredients, all of which are wholesome and natural. They believe that nuts should be embraced, along with the natural good fats that they provide. Peanut butter can get a bad wrap sometimes as it can be calorific, but in sensible quantities, it can be enjoyed as an indulgent yet healthy snack! I love the variety of interesting and unique flavours that Pip & Nut provide and I absolutely cannot fault these products! It's a 10!

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    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Garmin Forerunner 935 Review

    Garmin Forerunner 935 Triathlon Running Watch Review

    Garmin's new Forerunner 935 is a top-of-the-line triathlon watch designed for serious athletes and people who deeply care about using training statistics to improve their racing performance when it counts.

    Advanced Features

    The Forerunner 935 is designed for elite athletes who are at the top of their game, and this is reflected in the calibre of technology that this watch boasts. It features a built-in barometer and altimeter to provide elevation changes and monitors your performance so that you are alerted if you are undertraining or overdoing it. Very technical features such as ground contact time balance, stride length, vertical ratio, and even more truly set this watch apart from its competitors and show how it would make the perfect companion to a dedicated athlete.

    This watch, like other watches in the Forerunner series, features wrist-based heart rate monitoring and all-day activity tracking such as step count so that you can track your progress all day and even all night. It's waterproof so that you can wear it swimming, and offers both indoor and outdoor options for all three disciplines- swimming, cycling, and running. The multisport features mean you can switch sports at the touch of a button and use it for brick workouts as well as triathlon races.

    Johnny Riall British Triathlon Coach Athlete Garmin Forerunner 935 Sundried

    Specifics

    The battery life on other Garmin watches such as the Forerunner 735XT is a little questionable as it doesn't seem to last as long as you'd expect from a triathlon watch, however on the 935 that definitely isn't an issue. The Forerunner 935 boasts a 2-week battery life when used just as a watch, and up to 24 hours in GPS mode meaning you could complete a full ironman or ultra marathon while tracking and not have to worry about losing your progress. 

    Weighing in at 49g, this watch is a little heavier than some of its siblings like the 735XT, and the watch face is much larger meaning it is not quite as suitable as an everyday activity tracker or even just as a watch. It has an extra button too which means it's a little more complicated to use, however this just reflects the fact that this watch is not designed for your everyday gym goer and is meant to be used thoroughly and to its full potential by a competitive athlete or coach.

    Verdict

    The Garmin Forerunner 935 is an exquisite piece of technology and features advanced training information which is sure to boost the performance of its wearer if used correctly. Its attractive design means it can be worn all day, and the built-in heart rate monitor and step tracker means it even covers the all-day activity tracker market that is so popular at the moment. It's definitely not for the faint hearted and is better suited for serious athletes and prolific competitors in the sport of running, cycling, and triathlon. It loses a few marks from me as it's a little too big to be comfortable all day, and the rubber strap meant I got a sweat rash from continuing to wear it for long periods of time after training. However, the technical information remains unbeatable and very impressive.

    Comfort: 7

    Durability: 10

    Battery Life: 9

    Technical Information: 10

    Value for money: 10

    Overall Score: 46/50

    Garmin Forerunner 935 Triathlon Running Watch Sundried

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Squirrel Sisters Energy Bars Review

    Squirrel Sisters Raw Energy paleo bars

    Squirrel Sisters comprises of sisters Gracie and Sophie Tyrrell who are both passionate about health, wellbeing, and nuts! They have developed all their products from scratch in their UK kitchen, with a little help from mum Jean, and I was really excited when they sent me some of their products to try.

    Squirrel Sisters products are labelled as 'energy bars' meaning that they are not specifically high in protein, but are made with the highest quality natural and whole ingredients and are vegan, raw, paleo, high-fibre, gluten-free, and sugar-free. This means they are the perfect healthy snack for those who are health conscious, and those who suffer from food intolerances or allergies. The bars are cold-pressed, which means they retain all of the fibre, flavour, and vitamins during the production process.

    Squirrel Sisters raw energy bars

    Cacao Orange

    Each product comes with two 20g bars in a packet. They are beautifully packaged with stunning branding and design which makes them really tempting and attractive. The bars themselves are the perfect size for snacking, either at your desk or to take out on a run or bike ride. The cacao orange flavour is absolutely delicious, with a real taste of chocolate orange running through it and a devilishly dark undertone from the cacao.

    Cacao Brownie

    The cacao brownie is definitely my favourite flavour of the four on offer by the sisters! It is wonderfully chocolatey and very moreish! I definitely wanted more after I had finished eating it! This flavour is not too sweet thanks to the cacao, but it is by no means bitter which is great.

    Coconut Cashew

    The coconut cashew flavour is very decadent. It's really quite sweet because of the coconut, so that would make it the perfect solution to a sweet craving. 

    Raspberry Ripple

    The raspberry ripple flavour is also very sweet, with little hints of pink raspberries running through each bar which makes them very attractive. Again, this bar is very moreish! But the small portion size is perfect as it means you do not end up over-indulging. 

    Verdict

    I love the homegrown aspect of this brand and how humble both the girls are. They also run a blog with training tips, fitness ideas, and recipes which is a great backbone to their brand. Everything from the packaging to the bars themselves is so original and you can really tell this brand has been developed with care. The bars are gorgeous and delicious, and in perfect handy snack sizes for on-the-go clean eating. The only point I'd make is that making a high-protein range should definitely be something next on the girls' list. It's a 9 from me!

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    Posted by Alexandra Parren