Friday, 19 September 2014

Introducing: Battle Oats

Having immersed myself into a health & fitness regime these past few months, I was quite keen to try out some protein bars to see what all the fuss was about. I was recently sent two protein bars from Battle Oats to test out - Cranberry & Blueberry Fusion* and Dark Choc Chip*.

Battle Oats are a new company who produce 100% natural high protein oaty flapjacks. Their bars are free from gluten and are suitable for vegetarians. They use ingredients such as natural butter, coconut oil, gluten-free oats, and isolated soy protein. Each bar contains 22% protein, making it a great choice for refuelling and topping up your energy levels. 

Before I get onto the taste and all that, I'd just like to point out my one little gripe with the packaging. The side of the packet states that "snacking never tasted so awesome" and, personally, I've always had a bit of an issue with energy bars being marketed as snacks. For me, an energy bar, particularly one high in protein, should really only be eaten if there is a need to refuel and/or if you can't get hold of any food such as when you've had a workout, when you're commuting, or even if you're going on a long walk. If you've just been sat down most of the day and fancy a snack, you're better off picking up a piece of fruit and ensuring that you're eating/cooking healthy meals. Otherwise you'll just be overloading on nutrients, which can actually be quite harmful to your body. There IS such a thing as "too much of a good thing". Let's not forget that you'll also be consuming more calories too.

Right, now that I've cleared that up, onto the taste.... As much as I love flapjacks, I often struggle with large flapjacks as it's a bit of an oat overload so I was pleasantly surprised to see that this didn't really resemble a flapjack at all when I looked at it. The taste is oaty but it's been mixed in well and it kind of reminds me of a mix between a flapjack and a cake, and it's a little bit powdery.

The first one I tried was the Cranberry & Blueberry Fusion which I had high hopes for because I love anything fruity, and it definitely didn't disappoint. It had a distinct taste of berries without tasting like I was eating a fruit bar. I actually split this one in half and had the fist half an hour before my workout, then I had the second half straight after my workout. Not sure if it was the bar or the placebo effect but I definitely felt more energised during my workout and it was a great way to refuel too. Plus, it's so tasty!

The second one I tried was the Dark Choc Chip one which I was initially apprehensive about as I'm not the biggest fan of chocolate but I like to try everything so I gave it a go and although I do prefer the Cranberry one, this one wasn't bad either.

I really like the texture of these bars and I hope that Battle Oats make some more flavours in the future, ideally fruity ones! I'm still in two minds about whether I need protein bars in my life but these are tasty enough for me to want to purchase for a pre-workout or post-workout snack.

What are your favourite protein/energy bars?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Be A Kid

Who says we have to grow up so fast? It's almost like once education is over, you're an adult and you're expected to act a certain way and speak a certain way. Responsibilities and pressure starts to increase, fun starts to become a thing of the past. 

Now I'm not saying that we should all throw away our responsibilities, in fact, that's absolutely not what I'm saying but it's okay to have fun. It's okay to be a kid and enjoy all the wonders of the world. It doesn't matter if you're 12, 22, or even 62. If you want to build sandcastles at the beach then go for it. If want to swing on a tree then that's completely fine. If you want to tip out your old lego bucket and start constructing lego houses then that's okay too. As long as you're not harming anyone then there really isn't a problem.

Whatever your age, it's important to maintain a youthful spirit. There are so many amazing things in this world, and so many small things that can bring a lot of joy and magic. Don't let a number define when you have to suddenly stop having fun.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

What's In My Mini Bag?

I love anything mini and that includes bags too. I know that a lot of people prefer to carry large bags and have everything that they could possibly need for an apocalypse but I just don't like carrying around so much weight with me so I usually opt for a small cross-body bag.

This is the Mini Twist Leather Crossbody Bag from Topshop, it's also available in black. I obviously don't use this tiny bag all the time as I can't actually fit that much in there but it's good if I'm just popping out for a bit, if I'm seeing a friend, or if I'm just going out for lunch. The less bulk the better.

So, if I can't fit much in this little bag, what do I put in there?

Purse and card holder. This "card holder" is actually a pass holder from Paperchase but I use it to store my bank card, driving license, and possibly some loyalty cards if I'm going shopping. It just means I don't have to carry my larger purse with me. I love this little purse, it was from Accessorize years ago and is just big enough to fit my coins and a few folded up notes.

Anti-bacterial hand gel. I can't even imagine what life was like before these pocket sized gels were readily sold. I'm a little obsessive over germs so I always carry one of these with me, I tend to get a bit paranoid if there's ever a day where I don't have it with me. Maybe we should all start installing sinks everywhere... Then again, I'd probably just end up carrying hand wash around with me.

Tissues. For whenever I get struck by a cold or hayfever. I also love being the one to offer someone a tissue when they knock food or drink over. It happens.

Lip balm. No matter whether it's raining or sunny, it's important to keep your lips moisturised. This is my favourite as it glides on so well and also has SPF, not that I'll be needing SPF for much longer! I sometimes carry a tinted lip balm but at the moment, this one has been by my side the majority of the time.

So there you have it - the contents of my mini bag!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Review: Aquis Microfiber Hair Turban

Hairdryers - who needs them? I for one like to let my hair dry naturally and I guess I'm lucky that my hair actually dries straight. The only time I use a hairdryer is if I'm in a rush, so I was very excited when this Aquis Microfiber Hair Turban* arrived through the letterbox for me to test out.

I have to admit that the colour isn't to my taste and I think this would like much more appealing in a different shade, perhaps something brighter, but I guess I'm not exactly going to go out shopping with it in my hair so no one is going to see it anyway!

This is made from a special fabric containing fine microfibers to make it lightweight yet super absorbent. It's designed to speed up natural drying time which will then reduce the amount of time you need to blow dry your hair. Of course, I don't really blow dry my hair often so this just speeds up the natural drying time for me. 

I normally use a small towel to wrap my hair up onto the top of my head but it always ends up unwrapping and falling off because my hair is so long and heavy! With this, it has a button and a loop so you can securely fasten it to the top of your head. My hair is quite long, it reaches to my lower back so I was a bit unsure as to whether it would fit into this hair turban but it just about squeezed in. My hair stayed secure which was such a welcome change as it made it so much easier for me to apply body lotion and get changed whilst my hair dried off a bit.

Although I don't use this everyday, it always comes in handy when I'm in a rush and it means that I use the hairdryer even less now which is a massive bonus for me. It doesn't dry my hair completely but it absorbs more water than the average towel and it stays put. In fact, the hair turban still felt so light when I took it off my hair that I actually placed it on my bed, and then I came back about 15 minutes later to find a massive puddle! That's how much it absorbed without me even realising. So definitely make sure you hang it up somewhere to dry afterwards.

This is available online in celadon, white, and pink. The RRP is £14.99 but it is currently on offer at £9.95.