Fuel For Sport Core Nutrition is a new meal prep company providing ready-to-eat meals for those who have a busy lifestyle but still want to eat healthily. We were lucky enough to be able to try some of their meals and give our verdict.
The meals come in vacuum packs which means they don't need to be refrigerated which is a huge convenience, especially for those who travel a lot or need to take food to some sort of event where refrigeration or storage isn't possible.
Each meal has a 12 month shelf life which seems a little long, I prefer knowing that my food is fresh so that it's more nutritionally beneficial. Despite the claim that the meals have a 12 month shelf life, the best before end on mine are August 2018 so it makes me wonder were they made last year!? The only downside to the convenience of these meals is that there's no way of knowing when they were produced and therefore no way of knowing how fresh or otherwise they may be.
The meals can be eaten hot or cold and fit into standard Tupperware containers meaning they are perfect for personal trainers, those in active jobs, or just anyone who wants a proper meal on the go.
There is between 28g and 40g of protein per meal which is fairly decent, but they are also very high in carbohydrate (upwards of 50g for every meal). The easy way around this would just be not eating all of the pasta or rice, but this seems a little wasteful.
The meals are designed to be high calorie so as to be a complete, filling meal which sits well with me. If you're hungry at work or after a tough training session, one of these meals is exactly what you need. If you are trying to lose weight by following a low-calorie diet, these are not for you.
Turkey Meatballs and Wholewheat Pasta
This was the first meal that I tried from Fuel For Sport. I warmed it up in the microwave which was super easy and also very quick. The overall meal was tasty with great seasoning and a lovely texture. The meatballs were well flavoured and were an excellent size. The macros are quite decent although 63g of carbs in one meal is fairly high for me. I had this as a post-workout meal after a long run and even then it was so big I couldn't finish it! Definitely no complaints there though, it means you're getting value for money.
Mexican Tuna Pasta
This was the second meal I tried and had it as lunch at work. As such, I had this one cold from a Tupperware container and it was still very enjoyable even though it wasn't warmed up. I found it so convenient being able to bring it to work and I actually looked forward to my lunch break knowing I had a hearty meal to enjoy! I always get very hungry in the afternoon at work so it was perfect being able to have a proper meal to keep me satisfied.
The pasta was a little dry and had a texture like cardboard; it was a little unsettling the way it came out of the package all in one lump! The perils of vacuum packing I suppose. The beans and sweetcorn add a lovely texture and the flavour is fantastic with a hint of spiciness. This meal was definitely better than anything I could have made myself at home which means it's definitely value for money.
Thai Chicken Curry
I warmed this one up to have for lunch at home after a long weekend run. Sadly this was the first one that I didn't really like. The curry was a lot more watery than I was expecting, but this did mean the meal wasn't too dry at least. The chicken was quite dry, however, and fairly chewy and tasteless. The overall flavour of the curry was okay, but I didn't really enjoy the texture. I think a Thai chicken curry is perhaps something best prepared and served using fresh ingredients and not stored in a vacuum packed container for months.
Chicken and Tomato Curry
This curry was actually much nicer than the Thai chicken curry with its rich tomato flavour and thicker sauce. The rice was still a little undercooked for my liking, I'd say I preferred the meals that feature the wholewheat pasta. Still, it was a tasty meal and definitely filled me up.
Chilli and Rice
This was another that I brought to work in a Tupperware container to eat cold at my desk. The rice looked a little odd, not like the nice fluffy rice I'm used to, and tasted extremely crunchy. I actually like my rice cooked al dente, but this was a little much. Apart from the rice, this meal was very enjoyable. Another hearty meal which filled me up and left me feeling satisfied for the rest of the afternoon. The chilli had a great texture and flavour and tasted very authentic, as if it had been made at home the night before. This meal has a much better ratio of macros, with 40g of protein to 56g of carbs. It's certainly and does taste good, it's just a shame about the rice on this occasion.
I am so impressed by these meals! I actually had very low expectations because I have tried meals from meal prep companies before and was very disappointed, I found that they were just very basic foods stuffed into a Tupperware container which I could have easily done myself and didn't even provide nutritional information. Fuel For Sport give a great first impression because their branding and packaging is very attractive, user-friendly, and enticing. The nutritional information is stated boldly and readily on the front and you know exactly what to expect thanks to the fantastic photos on the front.
The convenience is also superb as you don't need to refrigerate the meals and they can be eaten hot or cold. They are easy to transport and it's great knowing you've got a high quality, tasty meal to look forward to. They taste great and are interesting meals, not just the standard plain chicken and rice!
These meals are perfect for anyone who has a busy lifestyle or just doesn't have the means to cook a lavish meal either at work or on the go. They are definitely more suitable for those who are active and need to refuel after burning a lot of calories rather than those on low-calorie diets. My only concern is that the food is not fresh when you eat it, so my score for Fuel For Sport Core Nutrition is a 9 out of 10!
The Protein Ball Co have two new delicious flavours made with plant protein, making them some of the most exciting vegan and gluten-free protein snacks on the market! We were lucky enough to have a taste test and give our verdict.
The Peanut butter + Jam flavour protein balls contain 7g of fat, 20g of carbs, 18g of sugar, and 7g of protein. The sugar and carbohydrate content seems rather high at first, but the sugar is all naturally occurring as there are no artificial sweeteners or sugars in any Protein Ball Co products so this is a big bonus.
The Raspberry Brownie flavour protein balls contain 4g of fat, 22g of carbs, 18g of sugar, and 5g of protein. They feature a little less protein as they have no peanut butter in them, but this is still a decent amount for such a small, tasty snack.
The Peanut butter + Jam protein balls only contain a few ingredients, such as dates, peanuts, fruit juice, pea protein and brown rice protein, blueberries and strawberries. These are all whole and natural foods so there are no nasty surprises and you can eat this snack knowing there are no harsh chemicals. The Raspberry Brownie flavour also only contains a few ingredients, including dates, cashews, cacao powder, fruit juice, pea protein, and freeze-dried raspberry powder. Again, all very healthy, natural ingredients which you could find in your kitchen at home and have not been manufactured in a laboratory. The use of dates as the base of the recipe is very common in a lot of healthy snack brands and this is where most of the sugar comes from.
For those who follow a free-from diet, these tasty protein balls are gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, wheat-free, natural, GMO-free, no soy, and contain no added sugar. Phew!
My first impression of these protein balls was that they aren't super sweet, but then again brownies aren't supposed to be overly sweet. The raspberry flavour comes through amazingly and tastes real and authentic. The freeze-dried raspberry gives an awesome tang and there's a pleasant crunch from the seeds. There is a little taste from the cacao but it is overpowered somewhat by the raspberry which is very fruity and sharp. What's great about these protein balls is they are not too moreish, so you're left feeling satisfied without wanting to binge.
Peanut Butter + Jam:
As soon as you take a bite of the Peanut Butter + Jam protein balls, the genuine peanut flavour comes through straight away with a lovely earthy taste. The fruity flavour is much more muted in the Peanut Butter + Jam protein balls compared to the Raspberry Brownie flavour and they have a more savoury taste. In fact, the strawberry is subtle in a good way, meaning it's not overpowering but is just about there in the background. The real peanut pieces add a fantastic crunch and texture to the protein balls. The overall texture is absolutely spot on; not dense at all and very easy to chew. They are really light and almost fluffy, although this flavour is very moreish and you are left wanting to devour more!
I absolutely love the appearance of these protein balls. The electric red colour from the freeze-dried raspberry powder makes the Raspberry Brownie protein balls look absolutely amazing and really inviting. It makes my mouth water just looking at them! The Peanut Butter + Jam flavour also look fantastic and the most striking thing is that they look home-made, which really hammers home the fact that they are a natural, healthy snack.
I think the fact that The Protein Ball Co have managed to create natural, healthy protein balls which are suitable for so many people from vegans to those with Coeliac disease is fantastic. They taste sublime and really look amazing too. They make the perfect grab-and-go snack and would be ideal in a child's school lunchbox or to take to work with you to satisfy those pre-lunch hunger pangs. They are a completely guilt-free treat and really fill a niche. The only thing I'd say is it's a shame they are not suitable for those with a nut allergy, however there are plenty of healthy snacks on the market which fill that gap. It's a 10 from me!
Hippeas are a brand of baked, puffed chickpea snacks which could be the savoury answer you've been looking for if trying to cut down your consumption of fatty potato crisps or lose weight while still allowing yourself tasty snacks. We gave peas a chance and review these tempting chickpea puffs.
Taste & Texture
I was pleasantly surprised by the light, crispy texture of the Hippeas chickpea puffs. They are slightly comparable to Wotsits, especially as they are the same shape, but are a lot lighter and crunchier.
I sampled the Salt & Vinegar flavour chickpea puffs and the taste was absolutely delightful. Being a healthy snack, you don't compromise on flavour and they really work when trying to satisfy a craving for salty, savoury snacks. You can't particularly tell that these aren't classic potato chips or corn snacks.
Hippeas are available in the UK from various supermarkets including Waitrose and Tesco as well as online. I bought my bag of Salt & Vinegar Hippeas from ASDA where they retail at £1.99 for a 78g bag (at Tesco they are £1.60 for the same bag so slightly cheaper).
For comparison, your favourite bag of Salt & Vinegar Kettle Chips retail in ASDA at £1.99 for a 150g bag. This makes Hippeas a little more expensive gram for gram, however you are paying for a healthier product and if you catch them on offer, you may end up paying less than other brands. Bag for bag, they are the same price.
The smaller bag may seem like a drawback but I actually think it's a great idea. 150g bags are designed for sharing, but anyone who loves a tasty snack will know how easy it is to polish off a whole bag in one go. The 78g bag of Hippeas is the perfect size for one person to eat guilt-free, especially as it contains only 316 calories in the whole bag, compared to an eye-watering 770 calories in the 150g bag of Kettle Chips – that's twice the calories per bag! To me, it's a no-brainer.
I love the idea of using chickpeas as a base for this snack as chickpeas are naturally rich in protein and fibre and are a great crop to farm as they release nitrogen back into the earth as they grow so they're good for the environment and for us too!
The fact that all of the ingredients used in this product are organic is a real bonus as that can be hard to find these days and you usually pay quite the premium for this privilege. As well as chickpeas, Hippeas use quinoa in this product which is another excellent food which is rich in protein and fibre and is a great addition to your diet. Being able to snack on these tasty puffs is a really easy way for the everyday person to get these grains and legumes into their diet without having to feel like they're forcing themselves to eat quinoa and chickpeas just because they're healthy.
Hippeas are organic, naturally gluten-free, vegan, low calorie, high fibre, and a source of protein. They have tons of excellent nutritional credentials and are suitable for pretty much everyone, no matter what diet or lifestyle they follow.
At Sundried, we love this product and will continue to eat these chickpeas with joy!
You can find out more on the Hippeas website
Olivia Wollenberg was a self-confessed sugar addict until being diagnosed with severe food intolerances in 2014. She started by making her first recipe – crumble – in her parents' kitchen and then began sharing her free-from recipe creations on her blog.
Fast forward 5 years and Livia's is now a well-established gluten-free vegan snack brand with several delicious and enticing products on offer, from millionaire bites to cookies with nut butter dips. We were sent a few of her products to try and give our verdict.
Million Squares - Chocolate Orange
The main ingredient in all of the Livia's products we were sent is date paste, making up over half of the product at 57%. The other ingredients include foods like coconut oil and maple syrup, meaning all of the ingredients in these products are natural. Dates are a popular choice for health food brands as they provide natural sweetness and are suitable for people with an intolerance to allergens like wheat and dairy.
Each 60g serving of Livia's Million Squares contains 212 calories which is very respectable for something that doesn't pretend not to be a 'treat'. There is 26.8g of sugar which is very high, however these are not marketed as being healthy, they are marketed as being an indulgent treat for people who can't enjoy the usual choices of chocolate bars or cakes.
The chocolate orange flavour is really delightful in these Million Squares and they are definitely a delicious alternative to classic millionaire shortbread. This product utilises orange oil and orange zest, both of which bring out a subtle yet tangy orange tang and make these bites really enjoyable. Each 60g packet contains 3 little squares and the serving size is perfect.
Nugglets - Raw Choc Brownie
I was really excited to try the Nugglets as the bite-size pieces are really fun and inciting and they make the perfect mid-afternoon snack to munch on at your desk when you're feeling peckish after lunch.
The raw choc brownie nugglets are devilishly dark and chocolatey without being too bitter and are definitely reminiscent of a chewy, delicious brownie. I'm a huge fan of chocolate brownie anyway, so having a version that is appropriate for people who can't usually enjoy brownies is great. All of the ingredients in Livia's products are natural which makes these treats almost guilt-free and they are an excellent alternative to highly processed foods which are full of chemicals, refined sugar, and other nasites.
Nugglets - Raw Cookie Dough
I am a huge fan of cookie dough – as I am sure are a lot of people! – so finding a completely guilt-free raw cookie dough treat is like finding Atlantis. These raw cookie dough nugglets really do taste like delicious cookie dough which I found very impressive.
There are quite a few vegan recipes circulating fitness and health blogs which utilise chickpeas to make it edible raw, however these often end up just tasting of chickpeas and not like the tasty cookie dough we know and love. On the contrary, Livia's vegan gluten-free cookie dough nugglets really taste like cookie dough and are absolutely delicious! The chocolate coating adds a touch of luxury and they are the perfect snack for any occasion or for putting into kids' lunch boxes for school.
Nugglets - Salted Almond Butter
Saving the best until last: the salted almond butter nugglets were my favourite out of all the Livia's products I was sent to try. The chunks of almond dotted throughout the tasty little bites created a delicious texture and the delicate chocolate coating added just enough sweetness and indulgence without being too sickly or overpowering. The texture is soft and chewy and they were all gone before I knew it!
These treats make for the perfect sporting fuel thanks to their high sugar content as well as just being an occasional treat, especially for people who have an food intolerance and don't want any pain or discomfort associated with eating gluten or dairy. Sundried have a few ambassadors with Coeliac disease and I'm sure that treats like this would be immensely popular amongst them!
Livia's treats are available in Waitrose, Tesco, Boots, WHSmith, Sainsbury's and many other stockists.
Perkier Foods was founded by Ann Perkins and Steve Turner with a mission of bringing the nation a healthy on-the-go snack made with the most nutritious ingredients. All Perkier bars are gluten-free and plant-based and never use palm oil. We were lucky enough to try a couple of the bars and give our verdict.
Peanut Quinoa Bar
I found the peanut quinoa bar to be really delicious and definitely moreish. The whole chunks of peanut were really satisfying and along with the quinoa and sticky peanut butter created a really tasty and delicious bar. Each of these 35g snack bars contains 150 calories, 10g of sugar, and a hefty 6g of protein meaning they are ideal as a grab-and-go healthy snack for fuelling while training or re-fuelling afterwards.
The Peanut Quinoa bar by Perkier is also high in fibre, rich in antioxidants, and vegan and gluten-free so it's suitable for people on free-from diets.
I really enjoyed this bar and found myself wanting more! It was perfect to take on long runs and was a delicious snack that I could look forward to after miles of running.
Goji & Cranberry Quinoa Bar
I was really impressed by the Goji and Cranberry bar. It was really tangy and refreshing thanks to the mixed fruit while the quinoa and soya crunchies added a delightful crunch. Goji berries have a whole host of health benefits such as boosting your mood and promoting healthy eyes, skin, and hair. Goji berries aren't an ingredient I would usually find in my diet and so having them present in this handy bar was a real bonus.
The Goji and Cranberry Quinoa bar by Perkier contains 129 calories, 14g sugar and 5g protein. The low calorie content means it is perfect for those trying to lose weight as well as giving to children in their lunchbox or as an after-school snack.
I instantly fell in love with the Perkier bars as they are so tasty and moreish. The texture is really great and they taste a lot more unhealthy than they actually are! They serve several purposes as you could eat one before, during, or after exercise and they're ideal as a low-calorie snack to curb mid-morning hunger or to give children who are hungry before dinner. Each bar contains whole, organic ingredients that a lot of people usually wouldn't eat which not only makes them interesting but also very beneficial to your health. It's got to be a 10 from me for Perkier!