Nutribuddy Breakfast Shake: a review

The New Year brings new challenges and having already undertaken the Veganuary challenge I decided to try a weight loss challenge as well. I used Nutribuddy’s breakfast shakes for 14 days to see what effect they would have on me and my body and this review is all about that experience.

I chose a 14 day supply of Nutribuddy’s Vanilla Breakfast Shake and with it came a glass jar to store the shake powder, a bottle to drink from, and the shake itself. Nutribuddy kindly sent me this package to review their breakfast shake and I was already expecting to enjoy it because there’s so much I like about the brand and their standards, but I was surprised to find that the shake is also really tasty and filling and it’s so convenient for me to just make this for breakfast before rushing off in the mornings.

So what do I love about the brand? Let me list the ways.

  1. Vegan friendly and gluten free
  2. Soy free & sugar free
  3. 121 calories per shake
  4. Source of fibre
  5. Organic, natural ingredients
  6. 31 day happiness guarantee
  7. Recyclable glass packaging

This breakfast shake contains oats, seeds and coconut and is completely organic and vegan friendly. It’s free from preservatives, emulsifiers and stabilisers, so no nasties to be found here.

When I received this product in the post, I found the glass jar was wrapped in the most impressively sturdy bubble wrap I have ever seen – I’m going to save it for future house moves for sure. Also, can I just take a moment to congratulate Nutribuddy on using glass as a storage jar – in this plastic-frenzied dystopian world, it’s so reassuring to see a company taking the effort to send fragile glass jars in the post because they recognise that we need to move away from plastic storage and embrace recyclable packaging. Plus, it’s a great storage jar, so if you don’t replenish your stock of Nutribuddy shake (why wouldn’t you?) then you can reuse it to store pasta, rice, grains, etc.

IMG_2057

What about the taste?

I’ve used a well-known weight loss shake before and using their powder forms I had a lot of trouble shaking it enough to make it all mix in – I would always get unpleasant lumps of powder, no matter how vigorously I shook the damn thing. Not so with Nutribuddy – it blends in instantly, and because it’s made with oats, you do get flakes of oaks as you drink so it feels like real food but it’s part of the drink and not a horrible lump. The vanilla flavour I used is really nice, very subtle and not too sweet (I don’t always like sweet things in the early mornings.)

What I loved most about Nutribuddy is the convenience – their breakfast shakes have given me an extra 20 minutes in bed every morning. I cannot understate how valuable this is to me. To be able to prepare and drink my breakfast 5 minutes before I need to leave the house for work is an absolute godsend.

So thanks, Nutribuddy, for sending me your delicious vegan breakfast shakes, helping me to lose a little bit of weight after my festive indulgences, and thanks so much for giving me a lie in.

IMG_2051

This is a post about Tea.

Being a tea drinker is an unavoidable part of being British, we know this, but we’re not very good at drinking herbal or fruit teas in this country. It’s more of a social occassion than something we do for our health. I’ve managed to get in the habit in recent years of (usually) not drinking any caffeine after 6pm – that includes “normal” tea so I’ve been drinking the fruity or relaxing herbals kinds instead.

I’ve been interested recently in exactly how healthy or not tea is for us, in any of its delicious varieties. If you want a more detailed look at how different types of tea are harvested, click here but basically there are 4 types: black tea, white tea, green tea, and oolong tea. Remember that all tea hydrates, is warm, cosy and edifying, and performs a social bonding function that does more good than chucking down vitamin tablets could ever achieve.

Here we have 10 teas and how they can help your health.

  1. Green Tea – the Messiah of the Teas. Green tea has an antioxidant called catechin and some studies suggest that drinking one cup of green tea per day can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by 10%.
  2. Chamomile Tea – the ultimate relaxer and my personal favourite, it also helps with a range of ailments including hay fever, muscle pain, insomnia, inflammation, and menstrual disorders.
  3. Echinacea – often overlooked, echinacea tea can help prevent commons colds and reduces the risk of infection.
  4. Lemon & Ginger tea – not my favourite but again, another tea that fights bacterial infections.
  5. Oolong tea – the fat burner. Can help you to burn fat faster than you might otherwise as it stimulates an enzyme that prompts weight loss.
  6. Black tea – has the highest caffeine content and can lower cholesterol levels. Crucially, drinking 4 cups of tea a day can cut the risk of stroke by over 20%.
  7. Blueberry tea – now we enter the realms of flavoured tea. If you choose a tea flavoured with a superfood like blueberries you get a double whammy of antioxidants (but avoid the nonsense sweetened versions.)
  8. Peppermint tea – does wonders. Aids digestion, cures bad breath, boosts the immune system. Smells delightfully minty.
  9. Rosehip tea – this is a new one on me. Apparently a great plant source of vitamin C, so it helps skin and tissue health.
  10. Rooibos – 50 times more antioxidants that green tea! Thwarts those free radicals like a mother. Good for digestion and lowers blood pressure.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about tea. I hope you enjoy all aspects of tea.

Here are some photos off tea.

 

On the importance of house plants

I have a minor obsession with house plants. I’ve got spider plants, rubber plants, ivy trailing everywhere around my home. I frequently run out of pots to put them in and have to buy more pots; this frees up the smaller pots, and I buy more plants.

Vicious cycle.

But I really do think they improve my day, and there’s lots of evidence to suggest that they improve your health as well. I like seeing greenery indoors, I enjoy watching them grow, and the cat likes to chew the leaves.

So what are the benefits?

  1. Purify the air: plants can absorb harmful toxins from the air, break them down, and release the harmless by products.
  2. Remove carbon dioxide: it has been suggested that plants can remove up to 10% of carbon dioxide from the air. (So’s it’s really concerning when trees are cut down when we have a global problem with carbon…)
  3. Increase the humidity: this is much healthier than dry or dusty air, which causes throat, nose, and eye irritation.
  4. Improve relationships: caring for nature increases compassion and boosts our mood, making us just a bit better at putting up with each other.
  5. Help us to think: plants increase our capacity for memory, increase productivity and creativity.
  6. Help us to heal: patients recovering from surgery heal better when they can see plants – they have lower blood pressure, and less pain and fatigue.
  7. Reduce noise pollution: this probably helps more with outdoor plants, as you can plant a large hedge between your house and the road to block out the traffic noise.

Which plants should you choose if you want to improve the air quality in your home?

NASA went to great lengths to thoroughly study which plants could be used to purify the air in space facilities, so we have a pretty good idea of which plants to buy if we want to improve the air quality in our homes.

Snake plants – otherwise known as ‘mother-in-law’s tongue’ (because they are sharp.) They give out oxygen at night, unlike most plants, so they work best in the bedroom.

download

Broadleaf lady palm – to be honest, I had never heard of this one. Apparently it can extract ammonia from the air so is really helpful at detoxifying the air after using cleaning products.

download (2)

Aloe vera – a spiky succulent that fights benzene, which is found in plastics and detergents.

download (3)

Spider plant – combats carbon monoxide. What a beauty!

download (4)

Chinese evergreen – likes humidity, thrives in bathrooms where it can tackle the formaldehyde from cosmetics.

download (5)

Ficus/ weeping fig – cleans the air of fireplace smoke so perfect for rustic living rooms.

download (6)

English ivy – removes airborne fecal matter!

artificial-english-ivy-plant.jpg

Orchids – another one that gives off oxygen at night time so perfect for bedrooms. Also tackles the chemicals found in shoe polish. (So fill your shoe polishing room with orchids.)

images (1)

 

Looks like I need to plan a trip to a garden centre soon…….

Trump’s threat to tear up the Paris agreement could help to make it law

Climate change denying president-elect (said with the contempt it deserves) Donald Trump has reiterated his campaign threat to tear up the Paris agreement signed less than a year that committed all nations to limit the global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees.

Trump believes (or claims to – who really knows what’s going on beneath the wig?) that climate change is a Communist conspiracy invented by the Chinese to bring down American capitalism. It’s not.

Last year, the UNFCCC managed to sign up all 195 nations of the ailing planet to a voluntary agreement to limit the global temperature increase and mitigate climate change; it’s key pledge is to:

Hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change

This is the world’s first comprehensive climate agreement and is absolutely essential in reducing the impact of climate change before it is too late. Within a year, 111 of the 195 countries have ratified that deal, making it official. It is a monumental achievement that both the US and China, which together account for over 40% of global emissions, actually agreed to do this, and Trump has promised to retract that commitment.

It’s not clear whether Trump will be “allowed” to back out of it; however, the actual agreement is voluntary, and consists of promises to change behaviour, and crucially there is no fiscal punishment for backtracking or failing to keep those promises.

It’s tempting to deny climate change – I was never very clear about the evidence myself because apparently the climate has changed a lot throughout the history of the planet. But it’s obvious to me that humans are destroying the earth – we’ve been cutting down those rainforests for decades with no thought or care about the wildlife housed within them, and polluting the oceans with our discarded plastic. So it makes perfect sense that there would be some environment consequence of this.

There’s not much we can do on an individual level, apart from recycle the little we can, limit our waste and consumption where possible, and walk the distances we can manage rather than driving. But what’s the point of me carefully cleaning out yoghurt pots when China and America keep on coughing up coal?

This song ‘4 degrees‘ by Anohni is an ironic anthem for our doomed planet and a challenging reminder that we’re all part of the problem.

climate_change_health_impacts600w
If climate change deniers don’t give a damn about the environment, maybe they will consider the health impacts on people demonstrated in this graph.

 

 

Will the plastic bag charge in England make any difference?

From 5th October, if you go into a supermarket in England and fill up your trolley with the weekly shop, you better hope you brought your own bags with you. From now on, any shop in England with over 250 employees will have to comply with a new law to charge 5p for every plastic bag used by customers.

The scheme has already been underway in Wales, Scotland and Ireland, and it is hoped that the law will see an 80% reduction in plastic bag purchase in England. The aim is to reduce the use of plastic bags, which are littering our countryside and oceans and harming the animals that often become entangled in them.

Here are some frightening statistics to digest:

The magnitude of the paper bag problem can be better understood when one takes a look at the staggering statistics of how many bags are produced each year, and how few bags are actually recycled. It has been estimated that over one trillion plastic bags are used worldwide each year and .5% to 3% of all bags winds up recycled. In 2006, the United Nations found that each square mile of the ocean has 46,000 pieces of plastic in it.

But is this small charge enough? Will people still use them? And what can we do about the plastic bags already in existence, which are taking hundreds and hundreds of years to degrade..

While a decrease in production of plastic bags will undoubtedly be beneficial, it doesn’t go far enough in solving the huge problems caused by all plastics in the environment. I’m looking at you, plastic bottles.

Plastic bottle tops are currently not recyclable, and as with plastic bags they often end up at the bottom of the ocean, and in the stomachs of a variety of animal species that mistake them for food. One albatross that was recently found dead on a Hawaiian island had a stomach full of 119 bottle caps.

Next step is to ban plastic bottles. Read the rest of the One Green Planet article to understand the health impacts of plastic bottles.