This month I’ve had the pleasure of trying out several new to me products, so I can share my thoughts on them with you here. All the following products have been gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. As always, all content and opinions are my own!
iQ Superfood Chocolate
I think I had tried this brand of chocolate before they updated their packaging, so I was super chuffed to be able to try it again. I have to say this is some of the best raw chocolate I have ever tasted, I really can’t sing it’s praises enough! The chocolate is raw and organic. I tried the peppermint, lime, original and coffee flavours which were all incredible, but the coffee one in particular stood out to me. I would love to try the cacao nib one. The chocolate is sweetened with coconut blossom nectar which is high in potassium, magnesium and zinc as well as being a source of B vitamins. Each bar comes in under 200 calories and costs £2.99 a bar. Obviously that is a lot more expensive that a regular bar of chocolate, but for a treat I would not hesitate to buy this and will certainly be stocking up when I can! Stockists include Planet Organic and Whole Foods.
I was very kindly send this lovely package of coffee to try from Puro. I have had this for a while, but have been working my way through the coffee. Puro is fair-trade, organic and shade grown coffee, which you can read more about on their website. After I did a post a few weeks ago all about fair trade coffee it’s certainly something I look out for with coffee now. Puro have filmed several videos which you can see here, all about how their coffee is produced in a socially and environmentally sustainable way. In addition to the coffee being well produced, it tastes delicious. If you’ve been reading the blog for any length of time you will probably already know what a coffee lover I am, and only recently from having the opportunity to try different coffees, can I now tell the subtle difference between blends. Puro coffee is undoubtedly excellent quality and excellent taste and now that they are available for sale rather than just through coffee shops I will be on the look out for them! Stockists include Edinburgh Woollen Mills, Baker and Spice and Crepe Affaire at £4.50 for a 200g bag.
Christmas gift idea alert! I was offered the chance to have a custom made iPhone case created with Wrappz. Wrappz sell cases for various smart phones and tablets and other technology. I wasn’t sure how easy it was going to be with uploading an image and getting it set up, but the process is ridiculously simple. I went for this high res cherry blossom image I found on MorgueFile. You can use any image you wish as long as you have the rights to use it, as well as being able to use an image from the Wrappz library. Once you are happy with your image and any text etc, then you click to purchase and receive your case in just a couple of days. Mine cost £18 and I am very happy with the quality. I think it’s far better quality than the Cath Kidson one I had been using! As I said I think these could make a great Christmas gift as you could add family photos or even create a collage with some of your Instagram pics.
Happy Snacks: Happy Kale
I was really excited when I heard about this product. I’m a big fan of raw kale chips, and I loved the idea of having them available in a little snack pack. They come in two flavours, BBQ and Carob and Coconut. Each 25g bag is under 120 calories, vegan, gluten and nut free. I really enjoyed both flavours but the carob coconut was my favourite. I did get my pet hate thing with kale chips which is when you end up with half kale chips and a load of crumbly bits – but that could have been due to the fact that these had come through the post. I think these make a great healthy and tasty snack and are of course a great way to eat your kale! The packets of kale chips are available from Whole Foods, Planet Organic and independent retailers at £1.49 per pack.
You can find out more about Happy Snacks from their website.
Vivid Matcha Drinks
Matcha green tea is something that I’ve been including in my diet via smoothies and matcha shots for a good few years now. It is the highly potent, powdered form of green tea which is high in antioxidants and is reported to support a health metabolism, as well as give you an energy lift due to it’s natural caffeine content. Vivid have combined matcha with natural fruit juices to create drinks that will give you a healthy energy lift, as well as some additional vitamin C. I’m not really the biggest fan of fruit juices as they tend to be too sugary for me. These are definitely sweet, but still taste good and I can certainly say they worked well to give me a bit of a lift mid afternoon in the office. They aren’t something I would drink on a regular basis as I generally find water a good enough pick me up when I need it, but if I was out and about I would certainly choose these over another energy type drink. They could be useful for anyone looking to get more of the benefits of matcha, but I would still prefer adding the powder to smoothies or just making matcha shots or lattes. The bottles of matcha drink are available from Whole Foods, Planet Organic and Independent Retailers for £1.89 for a 330ml carton.
Good Hemp Products and HI-PLANT PRO Protein Powder
I am such a fan of Good Hemp products and have been using them for a few years. For me, the hemp milk has a much more distinctive flavour than a lot of other dairy milks out there, the hemp oil has a delicious nutty flavour and is perfect in salad dressings, and the hemp seed sprinkle is another fab addition to salads as well as being sprinkled into smoothies, or even soaked and blended with water into a quick DIY hemp milk. All of those products are found in most super markets now which is marvellous.
The new product I was sent to try is their range of HI-PLANT PRO protein powders:
Good hemp have developed this new protein product to rival whey protein in terms of taste, mix ability and protein content, while still containing it’s blend of hemp and stevia. As much as I have enjoyed Good Hemp’s other protein powders I would not drink them on their own and would have to blend them with fruit to make them tasty. This new HI-PLANT PRO can just be blended with water as you would with some whey protein powders. As it’s made with hemp it has a great ratio of omega fats, is suitable for vegans and as there is no GM hemp, you don’t have the same worries you may have if purchasing a soy based protein powder. This does taste much better than the other versions of hemp protein powder I have tried, but if I’m being totally honest it still isn’t on a par with whey protein (or brown rice protein) in terms of taste for me. It did blend well, but had a bit of a gritty texture. I do think this would be great blended with some fruit, and I do love that is this sweetened with stevia unlike some whey protein powders. Of course if you are vegan, whey protein would be out anyway, so this would be a much better option than soy. The HI-PLANT PRO comes in banana, strawberry and chocolate and in Active Shake, Muscle Shake and Weight Check blends. You can purchase from the Good Hemp Nutrition website, prices start at £49.99.
SkinRevive City Supplements
It’s always quite hard to review supplements as really you need to have been taking them for a while to see any difference, and then I believe that supplements work in a culminate effect with your food and lifestyle choices to create an impact. I have been taking these SkinRevive City Capsules for the last few weeks, and it is hard to say they have had an impact and I can’t say I’ve noticed any particular differences. I do think it is a good idea to take some extra support for your skin if you live and work in the middle of a big city and the ingredients in this supplement have been tailored to address the impact that city living can have on the skin for example more harmful free radicals (which are atoms that cause damage to the skin which sometimes can show as signs of ageing). You can read more about the vitamins, collagen and antioxidants in the supplement here. It’s ingredients include pomegranate and acai berry extract alongside marine collagen. Of course you could just eat more fruit and vegetables for your antioxidants and healthy fats or bone broths for collagen! General good diet should always come first, but if you live in the middle of the city and feel like you would benefit from something extra, then the ingredients in these could be useful. Prices start at £25 for a one month supply and can be purchased from the Skinbiotix website.
Have you tried any new products this month?