Finally, a lightweight racing shoe suitable for runners who pronate
Nike have been very busy. Between Eliud Kipchoge's failed 1:59 marathon attempt back in 2017 and his history-making successful attempt in 2019, Nike have released a wide range of high-end, scientific, tech-heavy running shoes which are all designed to help us run faster.
The Nike Zoom Fly running shoes feature some of the same technology as Kipchoge's record-breaking ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% at a fraction of the cost, making them accessible to the everyday runner like you or I.
Not only am I your everyday, amateur runner, like many other runners I suffer from over-pronation, which means I have to be extra careful with my choice of running shoes. Thankfully, the Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit shoes did not disappoint.
First, the upper. I chose the Flyknit design because I've had success with it in the past (on Free Runs) and I love the way it shapes, expands, and moulds to your foot. I've suffered from numb toes with other running shoes in the past due to a cramped toe box as well as rubbing and blisters from shoes whose upper was too rigid. I was hoping the Flyknit technology would prevent all of that (spoiler: it did).
On first wear, I found that my ankle was slipping out of the back of the shoe so I tied the laces extra tight. Unfortunately, this meant my toes went numb after 2 miles of running. I spent the rest of the run stopping and starting to readjust the laces. In the end, I decided it was actually my socks that were super slippery so on my next run I wore different socks and found my ankle stopped slipping and I could loosen the laces, which fixed the numb toes.
On my third run, my toes didn't go numb at all and I was able to really enjoy the comfort of these shoes. The Flyknit does exactly as you'd hope and moulds to your foot, giving plenty of wiggle-room for your toes.
Now onto the sole. When I first put these shoes on, I was amazed at how soft, squidgy, and bouncy they felt. The sole is extremely thick and I felt like I was wearing platforms. Despite being very squidgy, they are simultaneously rigid and firm thanks to the high tech carbon fibre plate and give great support.
Overall, these are extremely comfortable running shoes and you shouldn't get blisters or experience any pain from rubbing or chafing.
I find that Nike is one of the only running shoe brands that comes up True To Size. My ASICS shoes have to be larger than my normal shoe size (1.5 sizes) and I've had to discard/send back Hoka, On running, and other brands due to them coming up way too small (like, 3 sizes).
The Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit running shoes are definitely true to size and I'd only recommend sizing up maybe half a size, if at all. It does depend how thick and padded your running socks are. Thankfully, Nike are generous enough to offer free delivery and returns so if they are the wrong size you can swap them for a different one.
This is the important part, because Nike have spent a lot of time, resources, and money on designing a huge range of running shoes which are the best performers in the world, if not in history. As mentioned above, I over-pronate so I usually have to buy stability shoes and as such don't have a lot of options. I've always stuck with ASICS as they have the largest stability shoe range, however I decided to take the plunge with these Nike shoes and I wasn't disappointed.
The super thick sole, although not designed to provide stability to pronators, does exactly that. The shoes are banana-shaped which encourages your feet to curve slightly inwards and create an artificial arch, which helps ward off the effects of pronation.
The incredibly bouncy, responsive soles really encourage you to spring off your toes instead of plodding along with a heavy heel-strike and I found my running form was instantly improved when wearing these shoes. They definitely helped me to run faster and more efficiently and I even got a new 10k PB on the third wear without really trying! They are super lightweight and feel great on your feet.
The Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit shoes feature the same carbon fibre plate as the iconic Nike Vaporfly shoes which is designed to help propel you off the ground and I'd say this certainly works for these shoes. They're very bouncy, springy, and help you to run faster.
The Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit shoes look very similar to the now legendary Vaporfly 4% shoes as well as other Zoom and Fly shoes in the Nike range. I personally think they look awesome and I feel great when I wear them.
They look very 'professional' in my opinion and when racing in them I think you'd definitely feel the part. They're sleek, clean-cut, and come in a range of great colours.
This is the fun part. Nike's shoes have been getting increasingly expensive over the past couple of years, first exceeding the £200 mark and now the ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% shoes will set you back an eye-watering £239.95 at full RRP. The Zoom Fly 3 shoes are £139.95 and the new Joyride shoes are £159.95.
However, these incredible Zoom Fly Flyknit shoes are currently on sale, down from an RRP of £139.95 to £97.47 - which actually is a very reasonable price for their performance qualities, great appearance, and unrivalled comfort.
What can I say? I'm in love with these shoes. I've been cursed for many years to wear clunky, oversized, heavy stability shoes because of my over-pronation issues and being greatly restricted in which shoes I can buy.
Until now, brands like Nike have only really offered very barefoot style shoes like their Free Run range, however these new offerings with much thicker soles, carbon plates in the soles, and other incredible technology means the Average Joe runner can lace up and hit the road in attractive, performance-enhancing shoes and feel like a real pro.
I haven't experienced any pain running in these shoes and I have now worn them for well over 100 miles of running. Go forth and buy yourself a pair, you won't regret it!
Doughlicious is a new cookie dough brand that is breaking barriers and changing everything you thought you knew about cookies. This sweet treat is now, thanks to Doughlicious, suitable for everyone from vegans to Coeliacs to athletes and beyond.
If you love cookies but hate dry, tasteless supermarket brands and crave a delicious, warm American-style cookie fresh from the oven without ruining your diet, Doughlicious is for you. We were lucky enough to get to review their amazing flavours and give our verdict.
Make sure you scroll to the end for a special discount so you can try them too!
What makes Doughlicious special?
Doughlicious has two big USPs that I can identify: the first is that the ingredients used are only of the highest quality with no nasty artificial chemicals and only ingredients you'd find in your own kitchen, making this otherwise naughty, unhealthy food really not that unhealthy at all and something everyone can enjoy guilt-free – even if you're on a diet or training for a sporting event.
The second is that the product is delivered as ready-to-bake cookie dough. Each box contains 6 perfect cookie dough balls so all you have to do is pop them on a baking tray and put them in the oven. This means you can bake them exactly how you like them; less time if you like them gooey and soft or more time if you like them crunchy. It also means that people who don't have time to spend in the kitchen baking from scratch can produce a delicious sweet treat for family and friends in a flash without the hassle of washing up afterwards. Being able to have warm, gooey cookies fresh from the oven in less than 15 minutes is a real luxury and something that will surely attract a lot of people.
Doughlicious pride themselves on using only the finest quality ingredients and offer something for everyone with vegan flavours, dairy-free flavours, and all of the flavours on offer are gluten-free. These cookies are like nothing you've ever had before and are perfect for those who care about what they eat but still want a treat on occasion.
How it works
The product boxes are delivered in a cold package with portable freezer bags to keep them cool. Store the cookie dough in your fridge until you're ready for your delicious treat, it's that easy. You can even freeze them and they have an expiration of about 3 months so there's no rush. Although, chances are you'll devour them all within days anyway!
Making the perfect cookie dough can be a real hassle, but nothing compares to having cookies fresh from the oven, so Doughlicious is the perfect solution. I have to say that cookies are my number one sweet treat; I could eat them endlessly. I find that a lot of commercially-available cookies are tasteless, dry, and really disappointing. So discovering the Doughlicious cookies which are completely flawless was a revelation. I'm hooked!
As far as I'm aware, there aren't any other brands in the UK that offer ready-to-bake cookie dough balls on delivery so Doughlicious are onto something really special. You can even use the cookie dough balls in other recipes to take them to a whole new level.
The cookies bake very quickly – in under 15 minutes – so you can quickly and easily whip up a batch for unexpected guests or if your kids get hungry (which is always!) The smell of freshly baked cookies is truly heavenly and tempting. Your guests will be very impressed, even if you can't bake!
There are nine tempting flavours to choose from and with vegan and dairy-free options, there's something for everyone. There are classic flavours as well as some which are more adventurous so you'll be sure to find one you love – but it's more likely you'll love them all!
Per cookie: 128 calories, 8g fat, 10g carbs, 4g sugar, 2g fibre, 3g protein
Ingredients: Carrots, oats, coconut oil, dates, almond flour, flax seed, pumpkin seeds, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, salt.
This is an impressively short ingredients list and they are all foods you'd find in your own kitchen with nothing artificial or unhealthy. Making use of flax seed instead of egg so that the cookies can be vegan is very clever and is something a lot of food bloggers are now doing. Making a flax egg can be a nuisance and very difficult to master, so I think a lot of vegans will love having the option of baking ready-made cookie dough which uses this ingenious idea.
This recipe is naturally sweetened with dates and maple syrup which contain more nutrients and antioxidants than refined sugar. Maple syrup is three times as sweet as sugar with fewer calories so these cookies are definitely healthier than commercial cookies, maple syrup has a lower glycemic index than sugar too so it could even be better for diabetics.
The kitchen smells absolutely glorious when you bake these cookies! The spices work perfectly and come through well without being over-powering. I really loved the texture of the pumpkin seeds and real grated carrot, it made the cookies taste very authentic and organic. These cookies are definitely reminiscent of carrot cake, which is one of my all-time favourites. All that’s missing is the fluffy cream cheese frosting; maybe there's scope for a recipe using the cookie dough balls which incorporates some sort of frosting to really elevate the taste experience.
Per cookie: 142 calories, 6g fat, 18g carbs, 9g sugar, 2g fibre, 2g protein.
Ingredients: Oat flour, coconut oil, unrefined brown sugar, unrefined cane sugar, cashew dairy-free alternative, potato starch, natural colours and flavours, salt, flax seed, almond extract, vanilla extract.
The Sprinkles cookies also feature a short ingredients list of mostly things you'd find in your own kitchen cupboard. Even the ingredients that might sound a little industrial, such as 'raising agent', are really just bicarbonate of soda and baking powder which all home cooks will be familiar with. Impressively, even the colours and flavours are natural, making use of ingredients like paprika extract and lemon juice instead of harsh chemicals and artificial additives.
The use of plant-based cashew dairy-free alternative and flax seed means these cookies are suitable for those who need a dairy-free diet and there are no eggs or milk to be found.
TasteI'll be completely honest: I wasn't hugely excited to try this flavour as I thought it might be a little plain compared to some of the others, but I was so surprised at the delightfully delicate flavour of these cookies! They are truly moreish and absolutely delicious, I couldn't get enough. The cookie itself is almond and vanilla flavour while the sprinkles add fun and extra sweetness. As soon as I put this cookie in my mouth, I was transported back to my 7th birthday party; I think that's possibly the last time I ate something with sprinkles on it! These cookies are sweet without being sickly and have a fantastic flavour.
Per cookie: 158 calories, 9g fat, 14g carbs, 8g sugar, 1g fibre, 4g protein.
Ingredients: Peanut butter, butter, oat flour, coconut sugar, unrefined cane sugar, eggs, rice flour, tapioca flour, maple syrup, salt.
I love the use of coconut sugar and maple syrup in this cookie for the sweetness, which is far better than refined white sugar. Coconut sugar contains healthy fats that are known to help prevent high cholesterol and heart disease as well as inulin, a type of dietary fiber that helps keep your gut healthy and balance your blood sugar. The refined sugar used in most commercially-available cookies is pure sucrose, whereas coconut sugar only contains about 75% sucrose.
I also like that there is no trace of nasty palm oil or any type of oil which you'd often find in a peanut butter cookie. The ingredients list is, again, wonderfully simple and allows you to enjoy this cookie without the guilt or otherwise inevitable sugar crash.
Peanut butter is the main ingredient used in these cookies, accounting for 25% of the total, and it really shows. The taste is smooth, authentic and everything a peanut butter lover could want. The flavour is delightfully simple but really delivers on the delicious peanut butter flavour and is a real winner for me.
Matcha and White Chocolate
Per cookie: 153 calories, 9g fat, 16g carbs, 10g sugar, 1g fibre, 2g protein.
Ingredients: Butter, oat flour, white chocolate, unrefined sugar, eggs, coconut sugar, rice flour, tapioca flour, matcha green tea powder, salt.
The use of matcha green tea powder in this recipe is pretty adventurous, but matcha is very good for you and this is a great way to add it into your diet. This is another short ingredients list which is very simple and they are still all things you'd find in your own kitchen.
I really wasn't sure what to expect from this cookie as it's such an unusual flavour combination and nothing like anything I've ever had before. All of the other flavours that Doughlicious offers are fairly traditional, so the Matcha and White Chocolate cookies really stand out. I was pleasantly surprised by the subtle yet sweet flavour of these cookies as I was worried the matcha would make them too earthy.
However, the combination of the super sweet white chocolate and earthy matcha works perfectly and I couldn't get enough. These cookies don't taste like matcha as you may otherwise know it, especially if you drink a lot of green tea or use matcha powder in smoothies. They are subtly sweet with a grounding earthiness and are tantalisingly moreish and delicious.
Chunky Oat Chocolate Chip
Per cookie: 140 calories, 7g fat, 16g carbs, 7g sugar, 2g fibre, 2g protein.
Ingredients: oat flour, coconut oil, dark brown sugar, Belgian dark chocolate, cashew dairy-free alternative, unrefined sugar, rolled oats, flax seed, vanilla extract, salt.
The Chunky Oat Chocolate Chip cookies are the second of the vegan flavours that Doughlicious offers, the first being the Carrot Cake flavour. The main ingredient in these cookies is oat flour which provides the delicious oaty base as well as real rolled oats which give the lovely texture.
The use of flax seed in place of egg, cashew dairy-free alternative instead of cow's milk, and coconut oil instead of butter is very clever and means that these cookies are just as delicious – if not more so – than traditional cookies. Anyone can enjoy these cookies and they don't compromise on flavour or texture.
This was my favourite flavour from the Doughlicious range as I love an oat biscuit and these take it to the next level. The double-dose of oats in the form of rolled oats and oat flour gives amazing taste and texture while the Belgian dark chocolate chips add an element of luxury and indulgence. These cookies are so soft and gooey in the middle with the perfect texture. Just like a naughty cookie but without the guilt!
Chocolate and Vanilla
Per cookie: 150 calories, 8g fat, 18g carbs, 10g sugar, 1g fibre, 2g protein.
Ingredients: Butter, oat flour, dark brown sugar, eggs, unrefined cane sugar, rice flour, Belgian dark chocolate, cocoa powder, tapioca flour, vanilla extract, salt.
TasteI love the clever idea of having both chocolate and vanilla in one cookie, and these look really impressive with the perfect half-and-half design. The Doughlicious Chocolate and Vanilla cookies were a real showstopper when I had family visiting for Christmas, especially as I would never attempt to achieve this cookie design from scratch. Everyone loved the rich chocolate flavour balanced by the light, subtle vanilla and it's a classic flavour combination perfect for anyone who doesn't know which they like best. Perfect for adults and kids alike!
I love that Doughlicious is not pretending or trying to be a super healthy brand and therefore compromising on taste. By simply using whole, natural ingredients which are of a high quality and that you would use in your own kitchen, Doughlicious have managed to achieve the perfect balance between taste and healthiness. In my opinion, that's far better than stuffing a product full of sugar alcohols and artificial chemicals so that you can say it's low in sugar.
The taste of these cookies is simply unbelievable and you really have to try them to find out for yourself. The texture is flawless; so gooey, soft, and indulgent. The range of flavours on offer is varied, interesting, and imaginative and there's definitely something for everyone. The fact that all the flavours are gluten-free and there are vegan and dairy-free options available is truly impressive and means these treats can be enjoyed by everyone and also means you can offer friends, family and guests something that they will definitely be able to eat without compromise or missing out.
These are proper American-style soft cookies, instead of other health food and healthy cookie brands which are dry, flaky, and just not really cookies! These are actually tastier and a better texture than any 'normal' unhealthy cookie I've ever eaten.
If you want to try Doughlicious Gourmet Cookie Dough for yourself, enjoy a special 20% discount when you buy 6 boxes or more. Just use code DOUGH20 at checkout when buying from doughlicious.co.uk (offer expires 07/03/2020)
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
Blonyx is a global sports nutrition brand that aims to deliver high quality sports nutrition products that are enhanced by science. We were sent a sample of their new Egg White Protein Isolate to try, here's our verdict.
Having tried quite a few different protein powder brands in the past, it's safe to say that they can range from absolutely delicious to completely undrinkable. It seems to be a gamble with flavours sometimes and some brands are going out there with all sorts of crazy flavours such as "Rainbow" from Myprotein (what could that possibly taste like!?)
With this in mind, we were really excited to try the new Blonyx protein supplement as it claims to taste exactly like chocolate milk! You really can't go wrong with chocolate, keeping it simple, and chocolate milk is always a winner. The instructions tell you to mix the powder with water but this made the drink a bit thin and, well, watery. However, it does taste like chocolate milk! In future we would mix this protein powder with milk (either dairy or an alternative like our favourite almond milk) in the hopes that it would taste richer, thicker, and even more delicious.
All that said, this is a really great tasting protein powder supplement and it went down an absolute treat. We wouldn't think twice about choosing this as our protein powder of choice and it would be well received after a tough training session.
As with taste, the texture of a protein powder can make or break it as some can be very grainy, not mix well, or just be completely unpalatable. Thankfully, the Blonyx Egg White protein isolate mixes really well even with water and the texture is perfect – it's not lumpy or grainy and it turns into a great drink.
The powder itself is really quite fine and you don't need a heavy-duty shaker with filters and metal balls in order to get a good result. Just a quick shake and you're good to go!
Once you've got past whether or not you can actually stand to drink the protein supplement, the next most important factor to consider is the nutrition. There's no point ruining all your hard work and progress by drinking a bulky supplement with lots of unnecessary carbs, sugar, chemicals, and not much protein content.
The Blonyx Egg White protein isolate contains 20g of protein per serving which is a very good amount, although it's pretty average compared to what other protein brands offer.
This supplement contains added organic cane sugar, and at 11g per serving this ends up being quite steep. We usually choose protein supplements that have minimal carbs and definitely no sugar. Save that for the cheat days and occasional treats!
Putting the relatively high sugar content aside, we absolutely love this protein powder! It mixes well and tastes fantastic. If you love a glass of chocolate milk just like us, you'll really enjoy this protein supplement. Whether you train a lot or not, many people could benefit from getting more protein into their diets, and so this easy-going supplement could be perfect for you.
USN's brand new protein bar, the Trust Crunch, claims to be a guilt-free snack and aims to replace your everyday unhealthy snacks. We gave one a try and give our expert review so you can decide if it's right for you.
Taste & Texture
We tried the Cookies and Cream flavour bar but there are three other delicious-sounding flavours available:
- Salted caramel peanut
- White chocolate cookie dough
- Chocolate brownie
The bar is coated in milk chocolate and as soon as you take a bite you realise how delicious it is! It tastes just as indulgent and delicious as a normal chocolate bar, perhaps even more so because of the additional caramel layer and crunchy pieces on top. The bar is very easy to chew and digest unlike some other protein bars which can be very dense and hurt your jaw.
Ultimately, this 'healthy' protein bar tastes nothing like a classic protein bar and certainly doesn't taste healthy. If you love an indulgent chocolate bar, you will love this as it tastes just as good if not better. It definitely tastes more like a chocolate bar than a protein bar.
USN claim that this bar is "guilt free" and "low sugar high protein" which would indicate that it would be very healthy. However, when you take a closer look it might not be as guilt-free as you'd hope.
The Trust Crunch bar is indeed low in sugar but it still contains 17g of carbs so it's not suitable for those following a keto diet or any other type of low carb diet. It's true that it has almost no sugar, however the sweetness comes in the form of polyols which are sugar alcohols and act as sugar-free sweeteners. This ingredient is used by many protein bar manufacturers, including the Grenade Carb Killa, so that they can say they are low in sugar.
If you take the nutrition information at face value, this indulgent chocolate bar does indeed seem very healthy and almost too good to be true thanks to the high protein content. However, the ingredients list is a far cry from being 'guilt free' or 'healthy'.
The number one ingredient is milk chocolate, which is definitely not the mark of a healthy, guilt-free snack. The rest of the ingredients include cocoa butter and cocoa mass which are also staple ingredients of standard chocolate bars. There are also plenty of chemicals and synthetic ingredients like malitol which is another polyol.
These polyols could be considered healthier than sugar because they don't cause dental caries (cavities) and don't affect the blood sugar in the same way as sucrose, so could be better for diabetics. However, isn't it better to stick with truly organic, natural foods like fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds instead of chemical compounds like these?
Essentially, this bar is exactly the same as your average, unhealthy chocolate bar but with sugar-free sweeteners instead of actual sugar and added protein.
To purchase these bars direct from the USN website you have to buy 12 x 60g bars at a cost of £24, working out at £2 per bar which is very expensive. To buy one individually, it'd cost you £2.79 from Protein Pick N Mix or £2.49 from Posted Protein which is even more scandalous. Considering you can pick up a Snickers bar for 60p or a piece of fruit for even less, I'd say this bar definitely isn't worth the astronomical cost. Price-wise, it's definitely not guilt free!
You can't argue with the fact that this bar tastes incredible. It's very chocolatey, indulgent, and delicious. However, I'd question the claims that it's 'guilt free' and 'healthy' and I wouldn't recommend using it as a snack alternative; it's probably best for body builders on a 'cheat day'.
It says on the USN website that the recommended usage of this bar is: "Whenever you're in need of a guilt-free snack, try our delicious Trust Crunch" but they are far too expensive to replace your normal chocolate bar and aren't that much healthier when you look at the ingredients. If you're truly in need of a guilt-free snack, you'd be better off having a bowl of Greek yogurt with fruit and honey or a nut and seed bar.