Made from the finest responsibly-sourced Madagascan cocoa and crafted by expert Belgian chocolatiers, these dark chocolate chips from Nibble Simply are sweetened with coconut sugar, which the experts say, is better for you! Grown in mineral-rich soil, Madagascan cocoa is one of the very best and one of the most exclusive, cocoas in the world, accounting for less than 1% of chocolate globally.
Another thing, cocoa is full of flavonoids with antioxidant qualities which help protect skin against damage from UV rays and pollution that speeds up skin ageing.
Goodies from the Nibble Group are fabulously different! Their lower-in- sugar, vegan snacks and bites are made with the best all-natural ingredients, nothing at all nasty lurks within! And they contain a fraction of the sugar of other snack bars. The two delicious ranges are:
NIBBLE SIMPLY: Made with a handful of the finest ingredients, the little keto-friendly bites are super healthy with 55%+ fewer carbs, 60%+ less sugar and 160%+ more protein than their cookie counterparts.
NIBBLE PROTEIN: Protein-packed bites are made with antioxidant dried plum purée. No sugar-laden dates or high GI sweeteners here.
I was sent a pack of Nibble's yummy Madagascan chocolate chips to try and yes, they are fabulously rich and tasty! Definitely moreish!
All NIBBLE natural bites are vegan, soy and gluten free. The clever people there have avoided the most commonly used proteins: whey (dairy-based) and soy. Instead they opted for pea protein which
contains no dairy or soy (common allergens) and it is sustainable - so, goodie! no cows required! It is also alkaline forming to help keep your body in balance and since it is a slow digesting protein, studies show it keeps you fuller for longer than whey protein. What's not to like?
Nibble also contains other healthy ingredients including gluten-free oats, toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds and tasty dried plum purée. Now, dried plums, prunes by another name, are in fact, the original superfood. Well-known for being high in fibre, they're also tops for antioxidant power and contain over 40% less sugar than dates. As well as that, nutrient-rich dried plums are a good source of iron, potassium, boron - necessary for strong bones & muscles, magnesium and vitamins K and A. Wow! They are deliciously low GI too. No wonder dried plum purée is the base of the Nibble Protein range.
JRNY shakes are ideal for increasing your protein intake and, for those in a hurry, a healthy on-the-go, tasty meal. Good so far? Read on.....
JRNY shakes comes in two flavours, Madagascan Vanilla and Double Chocolate Brownie. They're vegan, free from GMOs and don't contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners. There is one serving in each sachet and all you have to do is add water and drink. How simple is that?
Protein in the shakes comes from peas and white hemp. Some protein shakes offer a single source of protein, usually hemp, soy, rice or pea, but JRNY go one better to offer a blend of different plant proteins. That way you benefit from different amino acids. The shakes also contain 16 vitamins and minerals essential to women's health and energy and are ideal for vegans who can find it difficult to get enough protein in their diet.
JRNY is a first class way to support a healthy, active lifestyle
How to make JRNY shakes
Add 200 to 400 ml water depending on how thick you want your drink to be and mix it in a blender. JRNY shakes mix easily, so you won't get any yukky lumpy bits.
I really like the fact that JRNY’s website reinforces the message that health is not about a specific body shape or certain size . The company promotes body positivity, so extra kudos to them.
Protecting the environment is important. JRNY comes in paper sachets inside a cardboard box. Everything is recyclable or biodegradable.
My verdict? I REALLY like JRNY Vegan Protein Shakes. They're tasty, convenient, eco-conscious and healthy. What's not to like?
Head to JRNY website where you can buy the plant-based protein shakes. In the vegan line of protein powders, you can choose either the double chocolate brownie flavour, Madagascan vanilla flavour or throw caution to the winds and order a combination of the two.
www.yourjrny.com for more info.
Disclaimer: The lovely people at JRNY sent me sachets for review purposes. My opinions are my own.
images (c) JRNY
Thank you JRNY for sending me this product to test.
Start-up drinks brand Bemuse is shortlisted in the Brand Launch of the Year category in the Food and Drink Federation Awards 2022. Having just celebrated its first anniversary, the brand is vying for the ultimate crown against food and drink sector big-hitters including Mars Food, Princes and Walkers.
Nature inspired Bemuse supports the UK’s dwindling bee population by reimagining ancient honey drink mead for a modern audience. My interest piqued, the company kindly sent me some drinks to try. I can say that they went down very well indeed especially on these, the hottest days of the year! Besides the fact Bemuse is deliciously tasty, the drinks are low in sugar, alcohol and calories, all natural and gluten free to boot. Can't be bad, can it?
Let me tell you about the flavours available. Light and fruity Hops Infused Sparkling Low Alcohol Mead is described as 'curiously crisp and hoppy.' Brewed with wildflower honey, the flavour may change slightly depending on the flowers the bees go to. Pair this one with fish or barbecued meats.
Raspberry Sparkling Low Alcohol Mead is described as 'curiously fresh and aromatic'.
Light and refreshing, this contains orange blossom honey and raspberries. The scent is light, citrusy, with a super-refreshing taste which has the merest hint of sweetness. Pair with tart dressings and sauces or enjoy with cheese, salad or dessert.
Ginger & Cardamom Sparkling Low Alcohol Mead is described as 'curiously zesty and fragrant'.
Brewed with apple blossom honey, it has a pleasant, fresh scent and added zing due to the addition of aromatic ginger and cardamom. Pair with spicy, highly seasoned foods or something with a sweet glaze or sauce.
Tarragon, Basil & Hops Sparkling Low Alcohol Mead is described as 'curiously tangy, smoky and refreshing'. The honey is from ling heather blossoms found on Scottish moors with the addition of tarragon, basil and hops. Delicately refreshing, it is slightly tangy with a mild sweetness and hint of smokiness. Pair with light seafood or herby dishes .
Co-founder Anna Chalov explained, 'From the beginning, we had a very clear vision for Bemuse and wanted to create a non-alcoholic drink that was refreshing. tasty, low in calories but which also supported the natural world. In Bemuse, we have created a unique drinks category as the only range of non-alcoholic craft meads and which are produced by natural fermentation of honey, water and yeast, infused with natural ingredients to create four distinctive flavours. '
FDF award winners will be revealed at a ceremony hosted by Jay Rayner on 15 September.
Bemuse sparkling low-alcohol meads are 0.5% ABV and available in 330ml fully recycled cans. https://www.bemusedrinks.com
images (c) Bemuse & Mike Pickup
Stockists include WiseBartender - Cake Room - The Laboratory
Bemuse has achieved wide distribution through online and specialist UK drinks retailers and the lightly sparkling, low-alcohol meads are a refreshing alternative for hot summer days. Bemuse has recently expanded distribution into the Netherlands, with discussions ongoing for distribution in other overseas markets and will shortly launch a crowdfunding campaign to expand and secure additional listings.
The other evening, I went to the Cambridge Theatre in Covent Garden to see The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical. I loved it! For one thing, it is so ridiculously and fabulously over the top - but that's to be expected since the inspiration behind the musical is Roald Dahl's book.
Let me tell you a little bit about this multi award winning musical - only a teeny tiny little bit mind, because you should really go to see it for yourself. Oh and I should say, this is a musical which appeals to adults every bit as much as it appeals to children.
In a nutshell, it is the story of an amazing little girl who loves books and stories. She has an extremely vivid imagination and razor sharp mind. However, her parents can't see the point of books or stories and are really mean to her. As if THAT'S not bad enough, Miss Trunchbull her headmistress is a bully. So, what does Matilda do? With the help of Miss Honey, her really nice class teacher, she takes a stand in order to change her own destiny.....
'‘Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world.’ (Matilda)
This show has incredible energy. It is dynamic, charming and exuberant. The cast are fabulous, they obviously love what they do and it shows. As Matilda herself says,
‘Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it's unbelievable...’
A 'relaxed' performance will take place on Sunday 19 June 2022 at 3pm. This offers full access to the theatre for those with autism and learning disabilities and their families. This follows the sold-out success of Matilda the Musical's six previous relaxed performances. What does this mean exactly? Well, a relaxed performance provides a comfortable environment for everyone, with elements of the production adapted to reduce anxiety and stress, including adjustments to lighting and sound levels to soften their impact. The ambience of the auditorium and theatre ‘rules’ are relaxed, everyone is allowed to make noise and move around without restriction.
Designated ‘chill-out’ areas outside the auditorium provide soft seating and activities for those who need to take a break. The production will be captioned and audio-described with an accompanying touch tour. All theatre staff, crew and company members receive specialist training to anticipate a wider range of different audience needs.
Tickets for the relaxed performance are at the reduced rate of £15.00, £25.00, £35.00 and £45.00, bookable online at http://uk.matildathemusical.com/tickets/accessibility/ or by phoning 020 3925 2998. Trained staff are available to speak to bookers to ensure their specific needs are considered when allocating seats. All bookers will be sent a visual story to help familiarise themselves with the plot, characters and setting before arrival.
MATILDA THE MUSICAL Cambridge Theatre Earlham Street London WC2H 9HU
For full performance schedule and to book tickets visit: www.matildathemusical.com
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical premiered at the RSC’s Stratford-upon Avon home in 2010 before transferring to the West End in October 2011.
Matilda The Musical swept the board at the 2012 Olivier Awards with a record-breaking seven awards and won four Tony Awards and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater for the four girls sharing the title role on Broadway. It has since toured North America, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland, South Africa and China and played its first non-English language production in Seoul, South Korea in 2018/19.
Adapted from the much-loved Roald Dahl book and commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, Matilda The Musical has won 99 international awards including 24 for Best Musical. It has been seen by more than 10 million people across more than 90 cities worldwide. With the upcoming film adaptation from the same core creative team as the theatre production, Roald Dahl’s themes of bravery and standing up for what you believe in will continue to inspire young audiences all over the world. Sony Pictures U.K. and Tristar Pictures will release Matilda across the U.K. and Ireland exclusively in cinemas on 2nd December 2022 . Netflix will release the film in the rest of the world in December 2022.
all images (c) Manuel Harlan
Grace Foods UK, the UK's no 1 supplier of Caribbean food and drink, celebrates their 100th anniversary this year. Since it coincides with the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, they have given her a box of Jamaican-style Jerk BBQ Sauce and Dunn's River Jamaican Jerk Seasoning. How better to help her add some Caribbean island ‘flava' to her Platinum Jubilee celebrations?
Parent company Grace Kennedy began its food and drink journey in 1922, four years before Her Majesty was born. Over the ensuing 100 years, the company has grown to become the world's leading supplier of Caribbean food and drink. Now, to celebrate this milestone anniversary, the company has launched special-edition gold bottles of their legendary Jamaican-style Jerk BBQ Sauce and Dunn's River Special Edition Jamaican Jerk Seasoning.
They kindly sent me samples which I was delighted about as I love Caribbean flavours. The box of goodies came with a Jamaican-style Jerk Chicken recipe but instead of using chicken thighs, I made a meat-free version, using a selection of vegetables. Non meat eaters can of course also substitute the chicken with tofu.
Vandu Patel, Marketing Manager, Grace Foods UK, says: "We are so excited to be celebrating our 100th anniversary in the same year that the Queen celebrates her Platinum Jubilee and we wanted to be able to give Her Majesty a special gift from us that will bring ‘flavas' of the Caribbean and the Commonwealth country of Jamaica to her celebrations. A recent survey by Mintel found that 46% of UK consumers chose Caribbean as a food they wanted to sample, so indications are that Caribbean food will be popular this year. We hope that by delivering our special-edition gold labels bottles of jerk sauces and seasonings to the royal household, the Queen will be able to enjoy some Caribbean food and Grace will get the royal seal of approval!" Vandu went on, "Here at Grace we love Her Majesty the Queen, the Queen of Jamaica since 1952. A lot may change for Jamaica in the near future as regards links with the UK royal family but the people of Jamaica will always have a special fondness for the Queen and wish her well in this, her platinum year."
more at gk-100.gracefoods.co.uk
Many of us have problems with our hair - whether it's lacklustre, skimpy, falling out or just simply doesn't have the - 'oomph!' - that we want. No need to fret though, because Hair Gain says all that could be a thing of the past .... read on for more
Backed by trichologists, Hair Gain hair care range combines the clinically-tested AnaGain™ ingredient . Derived from organic pea shoots, biotin, selenium and zinc all contribute to the maintenance of normal hair. Yes, the pea shoot is small but jolly mighty when it comes to hair loss. Its super powerful phytonutrients are clinically proven to stimulate fuller and thicker hair at the root.
Why does our hair fall out or get thinner as we age? It isn't unusual and happens to lots of people. There are many reasons. It can happen when we are stressed and of course starting to lose our hair makes us more stressed. Bad situation. When stressed, different things happen to our bodies, not just the outward signs that you might be aware of like poor sleep and the familiar frazzled-brain feeling but it can affect your appetite which often has a knock-on effect on our hair health too. Calories, ie energy, are required for new hair follicle growth and if you experience extended periods of inadequate calorie intake, this can make horrid things happen to your hair. If you find yourself eating less, your body starts to conserve calories you eat for vital bodily functions - that's the brain, heart and liver. Not hair growth, that isn't at the top of the list.
Some real life, 'before and after' stories are on site here > Hair Gain
Taking time to de-stress is important for mood, sleep and hair. Try to give yourself an hour every day to unwind and relax. This should help alleviate unnecessary adrenal strain and help keep your hormones balanced. Read a book, have a bath, practise mindfulness or yoga. Sleep can help improve hair health, too. Try to sleep in a cool, dark, well-ventilated room and add warm milk or herbal teas to your bedtime routine to help you relax.
And here's a thing. Did you know, water plays a key role in the health of your hair? Not only does water make up approximately 55% total blood volume, the key fluid for nourished hair; it is also necessary for hair follicles to grow optimally - new proteins can only occur in the presence of well-hydrated cells. Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water, experts say at least two litres daily.
Then there's tea or coffee, a different story. Try and keep a check on how much you’re drinking, because too much isn’t good. Tea and coffee act as diuretics and drinking more than three cups daily could be more dehydrating than hydrating. if it's a problem for you, swap your caffeinated cups for herbal teas and non-caffeinated brews.
Hair Gain has lots of useful information about hair health on their site, do take a look. I'm giving some of their lovely goodies a try and will report my findings in a couple of months or so.
I'm Gilly, award winning journalist /author of 13 books. Credits incl: Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, CNN, BBC mags, The Scotsman, Daily Express, Country & Town House, Metro, Countryfile, Tatler, trade & consumer cruise titles etc.