Category Archives: Eats

Urban Fruit Review + Giveaway

I am obsessed with dried fruit, it’s my favourite sweet treat- give me that over chocolate/sweets any day! I use it pre/during workouts, for baking and snacking too.

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I like to focus on natural unprocessed products so I’m always concious of avoiding dried fruit products with excess added sugars, oils and preservatives. This is where Urban Fruit comes in as a company whose slogan is: Just fruit, gently baked. There is nothung added or taken away which is music to my ears!

Urban Fruit make a whole range of delicious dried fruit products, they are easily available in large supermarkets as well as independent health stores and they are very affordable, often on offer too! They carefully pick the delicious fruit when it’s perfectly ripe, and then gently bake it at low temperatures so it retains all the good stuff. There is no sugar, oils, sulphites, concentrates or anything else added- simply fruit!

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I was recently sent a bumper box of the products which I have been munching my way through! The Banana, Apple + Pear and Cherry have already disappeared…

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This summer they have launched two new products to the range: Banana and Blueberry/Blackcurrant making these delicious fruits easier to carry with you and snack on the go. I pretty much demolished the bananas- being my favourite fruit, I enjoyed mixing it with some nuts for a healthy trail mix and adding some to banana bread. They are sweet and chewy, I love the texture. Blueberry/Blackcurrant is packed full of antioxidants and Vitamin C, it is not only delicious tasting but super good for you as well!

GIVEAWAY

Urban Fruit were kind enough to send me these products to try and they are also giving away 5 Urban Fruit tote bags filled with their delicious fruit!

To enter and have a chance of getting your hands on this yummy fruit just let me know your best tips for keeping healthy on the go? For an extra entry send me a tweet @PoweredbyPB and let me know your tips with the hashtag #mangoonthemove.

The competition is open until 12pm on the 11th July.

Disclaimer: I received this product for review, all opinions are my own.

A Juicy Weekend

Post Ultra we went out with my family/extended family and my aunt had mentioned that she had recently done a 3 day juice cleanse- which I thought was awesome. I’m a huge fan of juicing, and have done a few periods of juicing in the past. Randomly that evening Nick said to me that he wanted to try it out, which I was shocked and amazed at, he’s always looked on in disdain whenever I’ve juiced in the past, so I was excited that he wanted to get involved.juicy fridge

I’d been thinking about juicing again for a while now, as I’ve had the most horrific few months of hay-fever symptoms including awful fatigue, and I wanted to try and sort out these allergies. I’ve also been getting increasingly bad period cramps as well as other symptoms and I wanted to kind of do a reset to try and see if I can pinpoint what’s causing it and alleviate it. Post Ultra I was feeling a bit blah both physically and mentally, drowning in a world of carbs pre/post-race and struggling mentally with feeling a little lost now it’s over. So what better way to give myself a boost than by juicing.

I know people are wary/skeptical of juicing/detoxing, but I do think it’s a good thing to do every now and again. Yes our kidneys/liver etc are very capable of detoxing, but the environment we now live in, toxins/pollution, and our food are all extra stressors on the body that we just weren’t adapted to deal with, hence why it’s good to give it a little juicy boost every now and again.

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I decided 3 days would be a good amount of time for us, and so on Friday we got under way. I didn’t have a nutrition lecture this week, so was at home, which made it easier to juice, but also difficult to keep myself distracted. I had a lot of reading to do for the course so got stuck into that. We’ve been having 5-6 juices a day, filled with fruit (more for Nick, less for me), veggies (mostly me!), avocados and super-food powders.

On Friday, Nick was a bit later going into work so I made him a breakfast/brunch juice, and then he took some Savse juices with him to have during the day, as it was easier to transport. He resisted temptation with beers/doughnuts in the office which I was super impressed with! We had evening juices when he came home, and also a warm apple/cinnamon juice as a cosy evening treat.

I found the first day quite tough to be honest, I think a combination of coming from such a high calorie intake after the ultra, not exercising (which I find actually helps when juicing) and just being in the house made it feel tough. I just felt really drained and lacking in energy, although I have been feeling like that for a while now anyway. I was also really really hungry, which is unusual as I don’t remember feeling like that when I have juiced before.

Saturday we were up early for house viewings. I made us a breakfast juice and a huge vat of juice to take with us. We viewed 4 properties, 3 of which we liked, so hopefully after two recent failed attempts, something might come good for us. We ended up walking over 9 miles all over Greenwich/Charlton, and I felt pretty awful, just weak and lethargic like my legs didn’t want to work! We stopped at a health store in Greenwich to pick up some more fresh juices as we were out for longer than intended, and pretty hungry. Nick had some fruity ones, and I stuck to more vegetable based ones.

Nick has really struggled the whole way, he just keeps asking me if he can have a burger/pizza, I’m trying to tell him that that isn’t the point of this but he doesn’t seem to get it, and is just craving junky food- which he doesn’t even eat that often anyway! In contrast I am massively craving a huge salad! I was in a bit of a cooking/food slump pre juicing, so I’m hoping this will really encourage me to get back into it.

Unfortunately I broke the juicer when I stuck a spoon in it to try and get the sieve out which formed some kind of vacuum, the spoon went right through the mesh and created a huge hole. No bueno. I spent the afternoon/evening/this morning making our juices with a vitamix and straining them, they were nowhere near as good which made it a bit more challenging!

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This morning we went to the farmers market, I got some lovely strawberries which I am looking forward to having tomorrow. Nick thought it was like torture being at the market! I went for my first run post ultra, a gentle 3 miler, with a few niggles/aches here and there. The body wasn’t overly happy to be back out there! I ran to Argos where I picked up a new Phillips juicer, slightly upgraded from my old cheap Argos one. I carried the thing home and set about juicing. The first juice with it tasted so so good! I’ve actually felt much better today too, less tired and less hungry.

Nick really struggled this afternoon and was thinking about giving in and having something solid for dinner, but I’ve told him he has to ease out gently with something healthy- I think that has fallen on deaf ears though. I’m pleased to say despite feeling pretty hungry/weak, he is still going. I’m trying to explain that it isn’t the juice that’s making him feel bad but the foods he was eating before, unfortunately he doesn’t see it this way!

I watched Super Juice Me last night, and it made me so pleased I had rediscovered juicing, and will be incorporating it on a regular basis again. It’s free to watch this weekend, and I urge you to do so, it just totally fits with my view of the power of healing with food. 8 people with pretty chronic conditions, and on stacks of medication, turned to juice for 28 days to try and heal- the results are incredible.

I’m going to ease out of this slowly, with probably more juice featuring for breakfast/snacks tomorrow, as well as salad, whole fruit, psuedo-grains and beans. So excited for a salad! I think Nick is massively regretting ever suggesting doing this, and I can’t see him doing it again, although I’m proud of him for lasting the three days.

It’s been a pretty expensive few days- downside of juicing organic fruit/veggies- but I’m glad we’ve done it, I feel a bit better already physically/mentally and I’m glad to have rediscovered juicing!

Give yourself a boost with Geco Chlorella

How many of us think we eat the perfect diet? I think we’d all like to think we are doing the best by our bodies, but in truth there are so many different aspects of our modern life from stress and pollution, to a lack of vitamins/minerals in the soil that means that even if we are eating a “healthy” diet we still might need a little extra boost. I think the perfect way to do this is to add super green products like chlorella, spirulina or wheatgrass into your diet. I see these superfoods almost like natural multi-vitamins, rich in so many different essential nutrients, and well absorbed as they are a whole food source.

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I was recently sent a bag of Geco chlorella to try. I am a big fan of green foods generally, but over the past few years have become an avid user of green products- chlorella, spirulina or wheatgrass and add them in almost daily to my green smoothies.

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I first came across chlorella a few years ago when I discovered Vegan triathlete Brendan Brazier and his book Thrive Fitness. I was really intrigued by his claims about the product and how it had helped his training on a Vegan diet. So I started regularly adding it to my diet. I’ve tried loads of brands over the years, and tend to use it for a while and then switch to another green to mix things up. I usually add it to a smoothie, which is perfect if you don’t really like the smell/taste of the greens as they can be quite overpowering. Adding it to a smoothie or a juice, especially if it includes banana will totally cover the taste. If your hardcore you can always just mix it in with a bit of water and neck it too!

Chlorella is a blue-green algae considered to be one of the most complete foods on the planet. There is a lot of research about super-greens being the food of the future as they are rich in so many essential nutrients, as well as being highly sustainable. There are different types of chlorella and the one you want to go for is the broken cell wall chlorella, this means the tough cell wall which we can’t digest has been broken down ensuring you can absorb maximum nutrition from the product. Chlorella also comes in tablet form, I’d always prefer to take something in a powder rather than tablets but that’s down to personal preference.

Geco’s organic chlorella is grown and harvested on a small island in the southern Chinese sea away from farming and industrialised areas. This is really important for me, as I’m always wary when the country of origin is China just due to the amount of pollution and organic standards. It is grown in deep ground water ensuring that it contains no fertilizers, pesticides or chemicals of any sort . After the chlorella is harvested it is washed by hand, dried and then ground up to break down the tough cell wall, which ensures the maximum bioavailability of the nutrients.

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Chlorella contains some essential omega fatty acids, it is extremely high in protein (60g per 100g), which is one of the highest sources on the planet. It is also rich in vitamin A, B vitamins-particularly B12 which is almost impossible to get in a Vegan diet without supplementing-vitamin C, Calcium, Phosphorous, Iron, Iodine, Magnesium and Zinc.

Geco has a really thorough guide to chlorella and the research behind it here. I think it’s such an awesome way to boost your diet. It can contribute to a healthy immune system, energy levels, bone support, thyroid support, as well as alkalizing and detoxing the system. It’s something I’d definitely recommend you check out particularly if you are Veggie/Vegan and do a lot of training.

Are you familiar with Supergreens?

How do you like to use them?

 

Disclaimer: I was sent this product for review, all opinions are my own.

Fuel up Friday: Superfood Smoothie

I started out the week in a bit of a funk, my calf injury was really getting to me- it’s painful even to walk-so I’ve spent most of the time at home studying, as well as moping. I was feeling fed up, and not really at my best, so yesterday I decided to snap out of it. I decided to get as many amazingly nutrient dense foods in my body as possible to help the healing and deal with any inflammation. I also got in some yoga which always makes me feel more centred and some upper body weights, which is about the only thing I can do right now.

Superfood Smoothie

I’m just taking things as they come, and hope that one day soon I will wake up and my calf will magically be better! Focusing down on my nutrition right now certainly won’t do any harm, as I am a firm believer in the healing power of food. I’ve been lashing in enormous smoothies and juices chocked full of everything and anything super. As a side note Jay Rayner wrote a pretty poor article in the Guardian yesterday condemning super-foods as a “cult” and trashing alternative medicine.

Yesterday morning’s breakfast was a beautiful one, packed with pretty much anything I could find in my cupboard/fridge which I deemed worthy of being a super-food! If I’m having a smoothie as a breakfast option I like to eat it in a bowl, there is something so satisfying about it, and I love the thicker textured smoothies.

Superfood Smoothie

Superfood Smoothie (Serves 1)

  • 1 Banana (Frozen)
  • 1 Cup Blueberries (Frozen)
  • 1 Cup of Water
  • Mega Handful of Kale (or other green)
  • 1 Tbsp Almond Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Hemp Protein
  • 1/2 Tbsp Maca
  • 1/2 Tbsp Lucuma
  • 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Flax Seeds
  • 1 tsp Spirulina

Blend. Enjoy.

That’s quite an extensive list, fear not as substitutions can be made all over the shop. Although for me the banana is a mainstay in smoothies, avocado works equally well. You can sub in any berries or greens. You can also use coconut water/any non dairy milks instead of water. Any nut/seed butter. Any kind of protein, and whatever superfoods you have on hand- cacao, chlorella, acai etc. I topped mine with some hemp seeds, and chia seeds, but you can drink it naked (the smoothie that is) or top it with anything that takes your fancy, cacao nibs and goji berries would be awesome!

This smoothie pretty much has it all, good source of carbohydrates for energy from the banana, antioxidants in abundance from the berries. Magnesium/Calcium amongst a ton of other vitamins/minerals from the kale and almond butter. Good plant based protein from the hemp, and seeds as well as a good source of plant based omega 3! Iron and Protein from the spirulina, and not forgetting lucuma and maca for a good source of vitamins and minerals and hormone balancing effects!

It might still be a bit chilly outside, but I am well and truly back in love with smoothies and this one made an incredibly satisfying breakfast which fueled hours of studying! Just hoping all the amazing nutrition in it is going to work it’s magic on my calf!
This recipe was submitted to Ricki’s Wellness Weekend

Fuel up Friday: Stuffed Socca

Lately I have become a complete socca addict, more often that not having it for lunch alongside a salad. I remember the first time I made it a few years ago, it was a total disaster and ended all raw and uncooked and subsequently, in the bin. I’ve managed to perfect the art now, so it’s a quick go to meal for me. It’s amazingly filling and does a fab job of quelling the runger which is now a permanent state that I live in.

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Socca is kind of a cross between a flatbread/pancake and it couldn’t be easier to make. It’s just gram flour (also known as chickpea/besan) mixed with water! This really isn’t a recipe as such, more an assembly of ingredients, it’s so basic so it makes a great option for a quick lunch/dinner.

Stuffed Socca

  • 1/2 cup Gram Flour
  • 1/2-3/4 cup Water
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric, Cumin + Coriander
  • Seasoning
  • 1/2 Cup Chickpeas
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1 Tbsp Hemp Seeds

Whisk together the flour and water (less water= thicker pancake) ensuring there are no lumps, then add seasoning and spices. Heat a pan lightly greased with coconut oil over a medium heat. Pour the batter into the pan, give it a few minutes until it looks like it’s cooked/set on the top, then whack the pan under a pre-heated grill for a few more minutes until cooked through. Remove and allow to sit for a couple of minutes before taking it out of the pan.

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My favourite food combination right now is either avocado and hemp seeds, or avocado and chickpeas. So I thought why not combine all of them together. This was dreamy. Stuff the socca with whatever fillings you like- why not go all out chickpea with some hummus instead?!

Plenty of good carbohydrates for energy levels, protein for recovery and repair, turmeric and essential fatty acids from the hemp seeds for inflammation, good fats and all the essential amino acids from the avocado. It covers all bases and is a true super combination!

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It’s great as a healthy lunch or dinner served alongside some greens or a salad. It’s really filling and will help you to power through those long days. I find when my training runs get longer my hunger is out of control, so a meal like this is really good for quelling that. It also tastes amazing, and I now have to restock my gram flour as I’ve been eating it quite a lot!

You can buy gram flour at most supermarkets, Asian food stores and health stores. It’s also relatively cheap which is a bonus and a packet does last for ages- or not so long if you eat this all the damn time like me.

 

 

This recipe was submitted to Ricki’s Wellness Weekend.