Aldi Health Food Haul + Review

Lifestyle

Hello! Bit of a different post for you today. I was recently in Aldi (as I am quite a lot because they have the best bargains) and saw they had a little section for health foods like a whole bunch powders and bars. So I thought I would haul a whole lot of them plus some extras goodies and review them to see if they are any good. As in my opinion buying health foods like these can be so expensive and it really puts you off getting any. So if these are any kind of substitute for the big brands then it’s a win in my eyes. I have always been one for a bargain, so I am so excited to try all of these out and tell you what they are like! Everything I bought came to around £30 which considering the massive quantity I think is an absolute steal. Let’s get into it.

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I’m going to start with the powders that I got. There is a choice of 7 different powders all claiming they do different things. They are from a brand called Funktional Foods, which I’ve never seen before, so I assume it is one of Aldi’s own brands. The packaging is really sleek and professional with an easy to seal zip pouch. I was most intrigued by the protein powders, as I’ve wanted to try a protein power for ages and use it in shakes as part of my gym routine but haven’t found one that I liked. These seem natural and at only £2.50 a bag they seem so reasonable. They are 2 protein powders, the ‘Rice Protein Powder’ and the ‘Pea Protein Powder’, both claimed to be derived from the particular foods. These ones I’ve been adding into shakes or a little bit into my oats on a morning, and they are great!! They don’t have a very strong scent which I like, so it doesn’t really change the flavour. So far I’m really enjoying these, particularly after the gym, I’ll add both the powders to a banana, peanut butter, milk, and honey blend – delicious.

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The other powder I am really liking is the ‘Cacao Powder’, this was nothing new for me, as I’d seen this everywhere but it was always so expensive, so when I saw they had a pouch at Aldi for £1.99 I had to try it. The first time I used it, I put way too much in, about 2 heaped teaspoons, and it was so so bitter!! But once I got the measurements right, it was so lovely in porridge on a morning. You get a little chocolate flavour but without it being packed with sugar. This one is must keep on my shopping list as it’s so versatile, I really want to try it in baking too! I think it would be a great substitute.

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The next ones are the ones I was the most unsure about, either I wasn’t sure what it was or wasn’t convinced I would be able to use it and that it would taste nice. So let’s start with the ‘Spirulina Powder’. I had seen my boyfriends Mum use this when making cereal but I wasn’t 100% what it was, so I wanted to try it. Spirulina is a well known type of blue/green natural “algae” that can be found in oceans and lakes (apparently). It’s high in protein and a good source of antioxidants, B-vitamins and other nutrients. Sounds great right!? A part from the fact that it absolutely stinks off fish!! I know it’s understandable as it comes for the ocean, but for me it really puts me off as I don’t want the smell to come through. But I really wanted the benefits of this powder, so I found the best way to use it is to use a tiny amount, about half a teaspoon, in a fruit/veggie smoothie. The next one I didn’t really know anything about is ‘Maca Powder’, when I first saw it, I thought it was ‘Macha’ but I read it wrong (classic) so I was completely clueless on how to use this. But apparently ‘Maca Root Powder’ is considered one of the world’s natural “superfoods”. It’s great for balancing hormones, energy, mood, the immune system, sexual health and more!! (I’ve honestly learnt so much by doing this haul!) This powder doesn’t really have a scent, which I like, and is a light beige colour. Again I’ve been adding it into my protein shakes with the protein powders. And on my oats with the ‘Cacao’ powder. I think this one is another must have on my shopping list.

Only 2 left then I’ll be onto the bars I bought! The last two are more green powders, the ‘Wheatgrass’ and ‘Green Superblend powder’. The ‘Green Superblend Powder’ is a mix of wheatgrass, pea protein, barely grass, spinach, ginger and spirulina. So basically it’s an all in one kind of powder, which I love as I don’t have to try to balance which powders/nurtients I’m trying to add into my diet, I can just chuck this in and know I’m getting plenty of goodness. This has a bright green colour, and quite a veggie smell but not too strong. I’ve been blending this with the Aldi ‘Four Seasons Invigorate smoothie mix’ for the perfect green smoothie! To be honest I’ve not tried the ‘Wheatgrass’ powder as much as the others, but it’s supposed to be packed with iron so is great for tiredness and fatigue. These powders are all £2.49.

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Next I’m going to talk about the bars I bought. In the same section of Aldi where all the powders were, they had a bunch of different bars. I didn’t buy them all as some of them I knew I wouldn’t be a fan off, but I definitely bought plenty to review. One of the brands I came across here was the ‘The Foodie Market’, I’ve only ever seen this brand in Aldi so again I assume it is one of their own brands. Two of the bars I got from this range are the ‘Peanut and Choc Chip Cacao Brownie bars’ and ‘Almond and Raisin Cacao Brownie Bars’. Which both sounded delicious!! I’ve been grabbing these on a morning, or after the gym as a little treat on the way home, and they are so yummy!! I know they probably aren’t as natural and healthy as they want you to think, but for me it still has plenty of goodness in it so I don’t see the harm. The ‘Peanut and Choc chip’ is definitely my favourite. The next bars are more down the all natural, nothing else added route.

First ones I saw were the ‘Paleo Macadamia and Coconut Bars’. They are made from 5 all natural ingredients and are gluten free. Named for the ‘Paleo Diet’ that is apparently one of the healthiest ways you can eat. I’m not saying this is what I’m doing but I thought it would be interesting to try these bars. They are actually really really nice. They remind me off the ‘Nakd’ Bars, so these would be a great substitute as they are better value for money. One of the last boxes of bars I picked up was another one from ‘The Foodie Market’, the raw ‘Pecan Pie’ natural fruit and nut bars. I was excited for these as I absolutely love pecan pie, so if these were any kind of a healthy substitute then I was on board!! They were so good- these were definitely one of my favourites too, I really like nuts and fruit together so it is the perfect combination.

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I hate to end this section of food bars on a bitter note but I also picked up a few individual bars called ‘Hike’ bars, which are Aldi’s copy of the very popular ‘Trek’ bars that are vegan, gluten and dairy free. I love the Trek bars, they are so delicious you can’t even believe that they have goodness in them. So when I saw Aldi had tried to copy I was sooooooo buzzing. But oh boy, was I let down. They tasted so bad, I couldn’t finish it, I don’t know why it was so bad, as I like the ingredients, but I just couldn’t eat it. Don’t buy them. Yuk. Stick to the Trek bars.

The last few things I bought are more just little goodies, or just your basic healthy essentials. I got ‘The Foodie Market’, wholenut smooth peanut butter, I love peanut butter and I love having the 100% nut stuff over the sugar packed stuff, this was so inexpensive from Aldi so I had to get it. I also bought these flavoured instant coffee granules. Super random and not healthy but I thought they looked super cute and would be a great way to jazz up your morning coffee. I got both flavours, the hazelnut and chocolate. They both smell super sweet, and to get the best combo I would recommend you mix these with your regular coffee, as the actual coffee isn’t great but the flavours are yummy!

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Right….I think that is the longest post I’ve ever written, I did buy so much!! Thank you so much for reading! If you made it this far, well done and tweet me with a little food emoji to let me know you made it- it’ll be our little code!

Let me know if you buy any of the products I talked about, I’d love to know what you think! Aldi is the best, and has some great bargains so it’s always worth trying it out!

 

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My Perfect Valentine’s Day

Lifestyle

H A P P Y   V A L E N T I N E ‘ S   D A Y    E V E R Y O N E

I know Valentine’s can be a bit of weird holiday and I myself have never really celebrated it. For me it’s a really nice excuse (not that I need one) to go out and spend some time with my favourite people, where that’s family, friends or your partner. I am actually working on Valentines this year so we celebrated it the other day. It was a perfect day for me, super chill, but I find the little things you do are always the most special. I’m going to run you through what I did on that day, as our little celebration for valentines. (fyi my boyfriend is called Peter and that’s who I celebarted with BUT you celebrate with whoever you want or just treat yourself!)

Have a super chill morning

The best way to start the day is by sleeping in, you wake up feeling so refreshed and relaxed. We had a cuppa tea in bed and just caught up on the news before doing anything else. Had a quick bit of breakfast but nothing too much as we had plans for lunch.

Dog walk

After we were up and about, we took the pup for a walk, it was such a nice bright day, so it was really nice and peaceful. I love dog walks because for me it’s quality time with someone without any distractions. You can just walk, distress and talk about whatever you want.

Shopping

Next, we headed into town, we only had a few things to do, boring things like the bank but also I wanted to get some homeware bits. So we just spent some time bobbing around the shops, I love shopping with my boyfriend, we always end up having such a laugh and just joking around.  I ended up picking up a bunch of homeware stuff from Primark (soon to be seen in my flat ways and maybe a Primark haul…).

Meal out

After a bit of shopping we went for lunch, we LOVE going out for meals, we always looking for new places to try as we are both such foodies. So a meal was always on the cards for us. I’d wanted to try a pub style place in York called Brigantes. It wasn’t anything fancy, but we’re not fancy so it was the perfect pub grub. I always try not to worry about money when you eat out, as it can be a real downer if you’re just worrying about what everything is going to cost, so we always just get what we want and try not to think about the money. We had nachos to share to start, then I had a fish butty, and Peter had a burger. A few drinks (Gin for me obviously) and coffees after. Lovely!

More relaxing time

After our meal we had a quick stroll up to the Peter’s new house that he’ll be moving into soon, then it started to get dark, (since it get’s dark at 4pm) so took and nice long walk home for a cuppa and a bit more relaxing! We didn’t have any dinner as we ate soooooo much at lunch, so we just chilled and watched bit of TV, before heading to bed to do a crossword (super grannyish I know).

I know it doesn’t sound like anything special, but it was so lovely just to have a dedicated day to spend with that one person. It’s so hard to find time to do stuff like that when we are both so busy. I had such a nice day, so for me it was the perfect low key Valentine’s.

I’d love to know what your idea of a perfect valentines would be!

Thanks for reading x

Where I live : BEST BARS

Lifestyle

Hello! I really want to start doing posts about where I live, with the best hotspots for drinks, restaurants, hidden gems and whether the tourist attractions are worth it. I live in York, a major tourist destination in the North, so I thought it would be interesting to share what I think as I’ve lived here my whole life – basically is it all it seems. My first segment of this I’m going to stick it what I know – Best Bars/Pubs. I’ve worked in pubs since I turned 18, so it’s always been an interest of mine trying to find the best bars/pubs in my area. York has well over 200 pubs alone so I’ve never been without choice. I’m going to share with you guys my favourite bars in York and why I love them.

Sotano’s 

I’ll start with one of my all time favourites, it is quiet a hidden gem in my eyes. It’s pretty tucked away and I had walked past it many many times before I even knew it was there. It is advertised as a charcuterie and bar. I’ve never had food there in actual fact but it still wins my top spot on my list for the gin selection, atmosphere, events and decor alone. They serve over 27 gins and 60 different beers.  It has such a lively yet laid back atmosphere, situated in a basement style cellar, with pine wood walls and low ceilings- it’s just a really nice place to relax. If you love gin you have to try this place, not only is their selection top notch, the gin menu is so informative and helpful in advising you, you just know you’ll get a drink you love. The food is Spanish based with a Northern twist. It is the perfect place for a first date (aka where I had mine with my boyfriend), it’s so cosy and comfortable and on Tuesday’s they have Live Music which is always fantastic.

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Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

Price Point – ££-£££                                                                                                                                Address – 1 Little Stonegate, York, YO1 8AX                                                                                Contact- 01904 620230

Evil Eye Lounge

This place is definitely more of a cocktail bar with an edgy vibe. I first discovered this place on one of my first night outs in York (of when I was of legal age of course) and it immediately became a favourite. It is such a different place, with a funky colourful interior, beds upstairs to lounge on and a graffiti style inspired beer garden. A huge selection of cocktails with a wall of spirits behind the bar, you know you can find something different and creative (and sometimes lethal). With drinks prices ranging from your standard £3 for a beer, up to £8 for a fancy cocktail it’s easy to find something in your price range. For me this is the kind of place you start on a night- have a few nice drinks before moving on to somewhere maybe a little cheaper. If you are ever in York visiting, even just for the day, I would highly recommend popping in. They also do lovely coffees and awesome food- win win!

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Photo Credit: quirkyplaces.com

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Photo Credit:bestofengland

Price Point- £££                                                                                                                                      Address- 42 Stonegate, York, YO1 8AS                                                                                            Contact- 01904 640002

House of Trembling Madness

This place has more of a historic feel behind it, very medieval and rustic looking. On the ground floor, it has an alcohol tuck shop if you would, a huge choice of bottled beers from all over and the branded glasses to accommodate for sale. Along with all over types of bits and bobs for your drinking needs. When you venture downstairs there is a wall of spirits for purchase, a massive range of all types of liquor, it is such a collection, I always find it so interesting just to have a browse and discover new gins. After that, on the top floor is where you find the ‘Medieval drinking hall’. High ceilings with huge wooden beams, with a wall covered with animal taxidermy heads. It has a history dating back to 1180ad. It’s a very unique place and if you like history-this is your place. A must see.

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Photo Credit: tremblingmadness.co.uk

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Photo Credit: yorkmix.com

Price Point- ££-£££                                                                                                                                Address- 48 Stonegate, York, YO1 8AS                                                                                            Contact- 01904 640009

(As you’ve probably realised all of these places are very close together, basically on the same street, it is just a coincidence. But it is one of the best streets to see so many interesting different places all in one go, but nevertheless for variety here are some on the other side of town. Still great places but if quirky isn’t you’re thing then these might appeal to you a little more).

The Habit

This place has the best rooftop bar, if you are ever in York on a sunny day (good luck with that), this place is perfect, wall-to-wall sunshine with amazing views of York Minister. It’s worth a visit for that alone to be honest. Plenty of choice in terms of drinks, food and entertainment with live music being performed regular. It’s the perfect cosy cafe bar, it’s quite tucked away and wouldn’t maybe think from the outside it would be so welcoming inside but I find myself repeatedly going back- it really has become a ‘habit’ (I’m sorry that was bad), it actual fact the word ‘habit’ in this sense means the name of the building outlining the Minister that used to put up travelling monks. There is plenty of personality with the graffiti wall upstairs. Basically anything from breakfast in the morning, to a historic structure to live music in the evening…what’s not to like?

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Photo Credit: thedailytouch

Price Point- £-££                                                                                                                                    Address- 40 Goodramgate, York, YO1 7LF                                                                                    Contact- 01904 611072

The Attic Gallery Coffee Bar

I discovered this place after a recommendation from my cousin, she told me ‘we had to try it, it is the cutest!’. We decided to go on a date night as we always end up going to the same places so we wanted to try something new. It’s located at the top of a 3 story building, above their joining coffee shop called ‘Harlequin’. I’m so glad she told us about it, for one it would be impossible to find, so tucked away. And 2, it was so up our street, a lovely cosy, arty bar. The people there are so lovely and welcoming and have a real passion for artisan gin, so discovering a delicious concoction is easy. If you are more of a coffee person, they also have the finest coffee! A real hidden gem. A must see quick venue supporting local artists.

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Photo Credit: The Telegraph

Price Point- ££-£££                                                                                                                                 Address- 2 Kings Square, York, YO1 8BH                                                                                           Contact- 01904 630631

I hope you enjoyed this more informative style post guys about where I live. I’d love to know if you wanted to see similar posts like ‘Best Eats’ ‘Best Bits’ and stuff like that. I really like doing posts like, it makes me realise how lucky I am to live where I do.

Please give it a like or a comment – share the love!

Thanks for reading x

 

 

Best brunch in BC

Travel

Now…I’m not recommending that you fly all the way to Vancouver for brunch (even though it would definitely be worth it) but if you happen to be on the west coast or passing through, you definitely need to check this place out.

the-elbow-room-cafe-storefrontIf you’re wanting a big hearty breakfast this is the place to go. When in Rome (or Canada in this case), I feel like you have to follow the Canadian way and try some off the local cuisine – pancakes and maple syrup. Need I say more. When I was in Vancouver 6 years ago now, my family and I stumbled across this diner when looking for somewhere for breakfast and it was one-off the most interesting places I’ve been to eat, I remember it so vividly. It was called ‘The Elbow Room Cafe’ (560 Davie Street, downtown Vancouver). At first it just seemed like an ordinary brunch cafe, but whats special about it is their customer service is more on the sarcastic side of things. It. Was. Hilarious. The staff are very blunt, in your face and highly entertaining in the most friendly ‘unfriendly’ way possible. I’ve never been anywhere to dine where its the norm to be insulted for just asking ‘where are the toilets please?’ You feel a bit confused at first, but they do give you a little disclaimer that its nothing personal,  and invite you to join in on the banter. When you are first seating, for example, along with the menu on the table is a ‘set of rules’, as I would take as a warning off whats to come. here for some of the things listed:

  • “This is not a The Public Library, so stop wasting time, hurry up and order something!”
  • “We belive in fast service, so relax we’ll be with you when you’re done yakking!”
  • “Water? Do you mean club soda? Otherwise get it yourself.”

It’s not just the ‘customer service’ that gives this place top marks in my opinion, the menu is very diverse, ranging from your standard english breakfast (being British myself I didn’t dare order this from the fear off hearing a snarky remark) to all sorts off brilliant combinations, with a lot of the options named after famous people. I could pick a bunch off my personal favourite ideas but to be honest there are too many to choose from, so here’s a sample of the menu instead so you can see for yourself.o

I cannot remember what I ordered was called (annoyingly) but it was by far the biggest pancake I’ve ever had, filled with cooked apple, cinnamon and syrup. Now I have a very good appetite and I hate food waste, but I couldn’t finish it however delicious it was.

I would say if you get easily offended stay clear of this place, but if you’re up for a bit of a laugh, monstrous pancakes and great coffee, don’t miss out. I will definitely be returning to ‘The Elbow Room Cafe’ when I go back to Vancouver sometime in the future, maybe this time I’ll be prepared and be able to make it an even better experience.

Thank you for reading!