Tuesday, 28 July 2015

New Products Tried and Tested by Moi

Hello everyone, I'm back as promised with some new products I've been trying out. The following items have either been sent to me as gifts to try out or I have got them myself and I wanted to share my thoughts with you because I'm pretty sure they would be right up your street! All thoughts and words are my own and this will be an honest review but I wouldn't give you anything less : )

Natures Path - Honey Sunrise


First up is this brightly coloured box of cereal from Natures Path, I have tried lots of their products and have never been disappointed so when offered to try out this new Honey Sunrise cereal I said a big yes! Before I tell you about the cereal I wanted to tell you about the great Bee Scene Campaign Natures Path is sponsoring this year, as we all know the lovely bee population has been declining due to agricultural practices and this campaign encourages families to get out and about to discover the nature on their doorsteps you can find out more here.


Ok the cereal! For me cereal is a bit of a treat as I can eat a box in a couple of days when I have it in the house who's with me on that?! I like the new Honey Sunrise cereal it tastes great and is gluten free so its a winner in my book, I did find it quite sweet so wouldn't eat it all the time but it make s a nice change and makes for a nice quick snack during the day not just for breakfast.

Steve's Leaves - Persian Cress & Herby Baby Leaves


Next up is some yummy salad from Steve's Leaves perfect for summer days, although with the grey sky outside my window right now I am wondering if summer has been and gone? When it comes to salad leaves I like to have a range of leaves like spinach, rocket and watercress I'm definitely not an iceberg lettuce kind of girl. I was more then happy to try out this new salad bag of Persian Cress and Herby Baby Leaves because it sounded really tasty and I can confirm it was! 


This salad tastes really fresh and the herbs in it bring an extra kick of flavour which works well, the persian cress has a peppery taste a bit like rocket which is very yummy. I could happily eat this everyday and I'll be looking out for other products from Steve's range for sure.

Hampstead Tea


Now lets talk tea, I drink the odd tea but when it comes to hot drinks I favour coffee or just plain hot water but chilled tea is definitely something I like especially when its flavoured so these Green and Oolong teas from Hampstead Tea are right up my street. Again perfect for a hot day straight from the fridge these drinks are a refreshing way to drink tea and the flavours work well.


My favourite's were the Green teas they are so good and I'll be looking out for these in the shops plus as they are organic and made with natural flavours they're a much better choice then something fizzy.

The Protein Works - Choc Almond Cinnamon Butter


I'm always on the look out for new nut butters and I recently came across The Protein Works range which are a little different to others I have tried so I got myself some to try out, I chose their  Choc Almond Cinnamon Butter and am happy I did it's a pretty tasty pot of goodness!


This almond butter has no nasties added to it and is a nice change from the plain stuff, for some reason it does taste like it has linseeds in it, it doesn't, but thats ok as I like the taste of them anyway! It won't replace my straight up nothing added almond butter but as I said its nice to have an alternative to choose from. 

Fitbit - One


Last but not least after eating all that food I need to burn it off and I've had some help tracking those calories I've been burring from this neat little device a Fitbit One. The Fitbit One tracks the steps you've taken, stairs climbed, calories burned, tracks your sleep and works as a watch which is pretty cool seen's as its a tiny little device you can clip on to your top or bottom's. It also links to your phone and the app gives you all your info which is great to keep track of your daily activity and gives you a little push when your slacking which is never a bad thing! I haven't taken my One off since I got it and would definitely recommend it if your looking for an exercise tracker. 

Alright thats all my reviews done and dusted hopefully you've enjoyed the read and maybe seen something you might like to try yourself. 

Question:

Have you tried and of the above, what did you think?

Monday, 27 July 2015

Fitness First Competition Winners!

Happy Monday guys, hope you had a fun weekend? I literally worked from Friday 3pm till Sunday 3pm so its safe to say I'm feeling shattered but I do get to do the fun thing of announcing the winners of my Fitness First competition today so here goes:


Photo Credit : Designbull


Congratulations.......


and 

Lucie from The Glow Within

I hope you have fun ladies trying out your local Fitness First gyms, I would love to here how you get on! Please email me at tamzin_sparkles@hotmail.co.uk with your preferred postal address. 

As for me I'll be back tomorrow with some products I've been trying out this month, until then x

Monday, 20 July 2015

My Favourite Ways To Use The Gym + Fitness First Giveaway!

Happy Monday everybody, I hope your all ready for a new week? I've had a bit of an up and down weekend due to one of the people that lives in the house I work at being admitted to hospital but I am thinking positive thoughts and hoping all turns out well. But I'm not gonna think about that lets think about fitness! 


I haven't written a fitness post for ages so when I was told about the new refurbishments at the Fitness First gyms it brought back all the fun I had when I worked in their Brighton gym. One of the things I miss most since moving back to Hastings is the gym, yes there are gym's here but they just don't cut it for me. The great thing about Fitness First is they are always on the ball with the latest fitness trends and equipment which makes being a trainer or member lots of fun. Being a PT I have so much equipment at home I don't really need to be a member of the gym but if there was a Fitness First near by I think that would be different because I do miss it and here is why:

My Favourite Ways To Use The Gym


Group Exercise

I love a group exercise class and being a trainer its quite nice to be told what to do by someone else for a change. One of my favourite classes is Spin and boy do I miss getting on the bike for a good sweat session. The Fitness First spin rooms are great, dark, disco lights and loud music make for a really good class you don't ever come away feeling like you haven't done anything thats for sure! Fitness First also offer a wide range of group classes ones that are main stream and others that are unique to them and little more of a test for you like there Freestyle Group Training classes which you can check out here. Plus now they are the official partners of Team GB ahead of the Rio Olympics they are offering Team GB classes which sound like fun. 


Strength and Cardio

Group exercise is fun but I also love sticking my headphones on and doing my own thing, using the gym equipment to make up my own workout. I am not a lover of weight and cardio machines I really like to use other equipment to do my strength training and cardio like Vipr's, medicine balls, bosu's stability balls and the TRX as well as my own bodyweight. I have done a lot of training to be able to use these pieces of equipment but in my experience the gym instructors at Fitness First gyms are very knowledgable and always on hand to help or of course you could hook up with one of their in house PT's for a couple of sessions to get you on your way which is a great idea for gym newbies. 


Swimming

I am not the best swimmer its true but I do like the option from a gym to take a dip if I fancy it, it can be quite nice to do a killer workout followed by a few lengths in the pool. Its also a great way to the start the day, a good swim can make you more then ready for breakfast! 


Sauna, Steam Room and Showers

Lastly I do love to also have the option to do some relaxing in the gym and if they offer a sauna and steam room thats a big bonus. Having done a workout that has really stressed the muscles to then go and sit in the sauna and relax is a pretty good way to end the session. I also appreciate a good shower room with cubicles and good mirrors, I like to workout make up free and become a sweaty mess but I certainly don't want to leave the gym looking like that! 

Fitness First Giveaway!!


Ok my lovely readers you now know how I like to use a gym but how do you? 

The lovely peeps over at Fitness First have been kind enough to give me two £30 vouchers that entitle two people to 3 complimentary visits to their chosen gym, a chance to find out for yourself how good their gyms are so if your lucky enough to have one close by this giveaway is for you! 

The Rules:

You must live in the UK

Comment on this post telling me why you would like to win one of these vouchers and what you would like to try out when you go to Fitness First.

And thats it! 
Good luck peeps, I will pick winners at random and announce it next Monday. 

Friday, 17 July 2015

Cheats Red Thai Curry

Happy Friday readers! I imagine most of you are are dreaming for work to be finished so you can get on with the weekends activities am I right? I'm working most of the weekend but I do have some time off tomorrow afternoon to go to a baby shower which I am looking forward to : )

Changing the subject, you guys know how I love to make quick and easy meals that are healthy, taste good but don't take too much time/prep which is why I wanted to share this super easy recipe. I love a good curry and Dale is a big fan too but when your busy making a curry from scratch with all the spices etc can be time consuming but I have found a nice easy way and thought I would share it...

Cheats Red Thai Curry


Ingredients:
(serves 2-4)

Essentials:

1Tbsp oil
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 red onion diced
3 Tbsp Red Thai Curry Paste (I use Asda's)
1/2 Tbsp Turmeric
1/2 can coconut milk
1 can chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper

Veggie Selection 

Mix of: carrots, peppers, broccoli, courgette, mushrooms, spinach, baby corn, mange tout or any that you prefer. 

Protein

Chickpeas, chicken, quern chicken pieces or again anything you prefer.

Plus rice to serve it with or sometimes I just like to eat the curry without it.

Method:

Add oil, onions and garlic to a heated pan and cook for a couple of minutes before adding in turmeric,  and curry paste cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add your chosen protein, turn the heat to low and cook for until protein is coated or if meat sealed. Add your chosen veggies, salt and pepper then stir coating the veggies/protein in the spices then add the tin toms and coconut milk. Turn up the heat and once bubbling turn down and simmer for 20-35 minutes.

(If the liquid doesn't reduce to a think sauce you can always add a little coconut flour or corn flour to thicken it up)

Serve with with boiled rice if you so wish and enjoy : )


Simple! And I can confirm this tastes so good and is a hit with the boy which is always nice plus being homemade it is healthier then getting a takeaway curry and tastes way better if you ask me! 

Questions:

Do you make your own curries?

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Muesli For Breakfast Anyone?

Hi guys how's July going? This month has already been lots of fun this side of the screen, I had this past weekend off and as its Dale's birthday tomorrow we started the celebrations early. Saturday we went to Brighton for the day with some friends and did a little shopping and went to Pho for lunch which was delicious as always then in the evening we had a little party at ours before heading off to town, Sunday was all about the hangover which was well worth it as we had loads of fun!

I love a hangover day but I also love getting back to eating well which is where the title of this post comes in, without a blender I am having to look for other breakfast alternatives that are not hot and I am loving me some soaked muesli. 


The way I like to eat my muesli? Well I put some gluten free muesli (my favourite is Asda's own) in a bowl the night before and cover with either lacto free or almond milk and leave to soak, then in the morning I team it with some fresh berries, blueberries or strawberries are my favourite and add a little more milk and there we have it simple, filling and delicious : )

Gotta say I am missing having a smoothie in a bowl but alas until I can afford a blender alternatives will have to do! 

Questions:

What are you loving for breakfast at the moment?

Are you a fan of muesli? 

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

June 2015 Highlights in July

Well it would be fair for you to say "hello stranger" to me as its been rather quiet round her to say the least! I had all good intentions of blogging before I went away to Glastonbury but there was just no time and since getting back there hasn't been either so finally I am here to say hello and I hope your all well and having a fab July so far. 

So I don't bore you with way to many pictures I thought I would blog today about my June Highlights, I had a fantastic month and there was so much going on in went by in a flash! I had lots of fun days with friends and also tried a new to me product which is up first.....

teapigs matcha drinks and powder



The drinks I have never tried and was excited to as I have seen them about for a while, I loved the elderflower best and the apple came a close second but the grapefruit was definitely not for me.


Before my blender broke (booooooo hooooooo) I was enjoying some yummy smoothies with an added boost of matcha powder which went down very well. I am now just dreaming about smoothies as I can't afford a new blender right now : (

One Of My Best Friends Hen Party


Ha ha! Obviously a hew party is never complete without a penis straw! We had a great girlie night and gave her a good send off!

Wildlife Festival


The day after the hen party me and another friend went to Shoreham to spend the day at the Wildlife festival which was slightly painful with a hangover but I soon forgot about that as we were having so much fun: )



The people I was desperate to see was Disclosure and they didn't disappoint, the set was awesome and was well worth paying VIP to see : )

The Wedding


I was a bridesmaid at my friends wedding, which insanely I did not get any pics of, it was a lovely wedding, a lovely day and I think they are going to be super happy....I love a day of love! 

Glastonbury!!


Well what can I say we had a blast, the weather was only crappy one day and we saw some great artists my favourites being Lionel Richie, Jamie T, The Libertines and Pharrell. It was five days of fun in the sun with great friends and a little too much cider! Roll on next year....if we get tickets of course! 

So that was my rushed June catch up, thank you for popping by to see what I've been up to, expect to see a lot more of me from now I have lots coming up so keep your eyes peeled : )

Question:

Tell me one of your June highlights....GO!

Friday, 12 June 2015

At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen by Amy Chaplin

Over the years I have reviewed some fabulous recipe books, I love new ideas and flavours to excite the tastebuds so when I was offered a copy of Amy Chaplin's new book I said a big yes!

"Amy Chaplin has worked as a vegetarian chef for over 20 years in cities that include Amsterdam, London, Sydney and New York. Raised in rural New South Wales, Australia on a whole food diet by vegetarian parents, Amy’s approach to food is inspired by nature and the healing benefits of whole food ingredients." - taken from Amy's website.


When I received my copy in the post and had a look through I was very excited, the photography is so well done that you just want to jump inside the pictures to devour the food on offer. There is over 150 vegetarian and vegan recipes that are also mostly gluten free which is great for me.


The books starts with some great advice on what to stock your pantry with and how to store different types of food. Then the recipes start and its a party for the mind, I want to make everything from this book and I plan to work my way through it thats for sure! 


I thought I would pick a favourite looking recipe to share with you and as I usually go for a sweet dish this time I went savoury. I had a friend round for dinner a couple of weeks ago and it just so happens that she is vegan which was the perfect excuse to get in the kitchen and try out this recipe:

Roasted Winter Vegetables And Rocket Salad - with mustard dressing


Serves 4 to 6

Roasted Vegetables:

1 sweet potato, halved lengthways and cut into 6mm slices
1 parsnip, halved and cut into 6mm slices
2 carrots, cut into 6mm diagonal slices
1 golden beetroot, halved and thinly sliced
3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Dressing:

1 tablespoon wholegrain djion mustard
1 tablespoon unpasteurised apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
60ml extra virgin olive oil

Salad:

160g cooked chickpeas
40g chopped toasted walnuts
100g baby rocket leaves

Roast The Vegetables

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment and set aside.
 In a large bowl, toss sliced sweet potato, parsnip, carrots and beetroot with olive oil, salt and pinch of black pepper. Divide between trays, spreading vegetables out in single layers and roast for 20 minutes. Stir, rotate trays and roast for another 20 - 25 minutes or until vegetables are browning. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Make The Dressing

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to mix; set aside.

Make The Salad

Place chickpeas, toasted walnuts, roasted vegetables and rocket in a large salad bowl and toss to combine. Drizzle dressing over the salad and toss again. Serve immediately. 


This dish went down a storm, it was delicious. I did make a couple of changes, I couldn't find a golden beetroot so I used a purple one and I used almonds instead of walnuts but I'm sure it was just as good. My friend absolutely loved it and I am looking forward to trying out more of the great looking dishes from this book they all sound amazing!

If like me you are a lover of vegan and vegetarian dishes made with wholesome ingredients then this recipe book is definitely one to check out : )


At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen officially releases on 18th June and is published by
Jacqui Small (www.jacquismallpub.com)

All images are extracted from At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen by Amy Chaplin. Photographs by Johnny Miller.