Southport Food & Drink festival 

At the weekend there was a Food & Drink festival in Southport so my partner and I went to check it out.


It was a great day out, there were so many stalls selling products ranging from Olives and sun blushed tomatoes to Cold Pressed Olive oil and Thai spices.


One of the vendors, Rose Cottage Liqueurs had some amazing flavoured Gin Liqueurs. My favourite flavour was the Rhubarb & Rose Haw, which would go perfectly with Prossecco.


Another company Riverside Gin Liqueur had bottles of Passion fruit Vodka which when added to Prossecco would make an instant Porn star Martini.


Riverside Organic Farms had a booth so of course I headed straight there.



Riverside are purveyors of Organic Fruit, Veg & meat boxes based in Lancashire.

I wanted to take a look at their boxes and compare them to Abel & Cole my current Veg Box provider.


They offer a number of options which I photographed so I will pop that below.


 I opted for their Bumper Veg Box which contains around 12 items of Veg for only £21.45 plus free delivery. Which works out at just under £5.00 cheaper than Abel & Cole so I have now switched to Riverford Organic.


I will do a full review when I Receive my first box.

My partner & I didn’t want to miss out on any of the catering vans so we did a complete circuit before deciding on what to eat.

I opted for Persian Street Food by a company called Kababoom.

 I ordered the Falafel Flat bread, which came loaded with Humous, three Falafel, couscous & salad with a dash of Cucumber & mint sauce. I also ordered a side of Holoumi fries which were delicious.


My partner who is currently on the Atkins Diet opted for a Peri Peri Chicken Salad.


It was a lovely day and the sun was shining throughout. I will definitely be attending next year.

 The Secret Girly Girl

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Snacking Essentials 

When I decided to start eating a Plant based diet the one aspect that I thought I would struggle with was Snacking.I don’t tend to eat three square meals a day I have a tendency to graze throughout the day and then have a main meal when I get home in the evenings.

I was blown away with how easy it is to get healthy snacks to graze on throughout the day which help to maintain my energy levels so I thought I would share with you guys some of my favourite ‘Healthy’ Snacks.


One of my favourite things to snack on is dried fruit, but there are so many dried fruit snacks that are rammed full of sugar and other chemicals so I was so happy when I found out about Urban Fruit. Urban fruit have a range of gently baked fruit that taste so good without any added chemicals. My favourite are the Coconut chips (Only 118 cals per pack) and their Pineapple pieces.


 I have also fallen in love with the Nākd Bars and nibbles. They consist of nothing but pressed fruit and make delicious fruity snack bars. My favourite are the Coconut Bliss Nibbles. They remind me of a healthy version of the Bounty Chocolate bar, they’re perfect for snacking on.

 

Another thing I came across in my local Booths store is the Deliciously Ella energy balls. I like the Hazelnut & Raisin ones but I’m Obsessed with the Almond & Cacao ones! They’re like a ball of chocolate fudge – so yummy!!

 

Finally, Fruit & Vegetables have become one of my favourite things to snack on when I’m at work. As I run my own business I don’t really tend to get a dinner hour I just snack at my desk and so fruit & veggies are perfect for this.

My favourites are Cherry vine tomatoes sprinkled with Garlic salt & black pepper and Apple chunks dipped in Cashew Butter. Super tasty and part of my 5 a day!

 

What are your favourite healthy snacks? I’m always looking for new ideas so let me know!

The Secret Girly Girl

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Plant Based Diet – An Update! 

So it has been a little while now since I decided to eat more of a plant based diet.I now haven’t eaten meat for seven weeks and I haven’t missed it at all.

What is even more shocking is that I have gone from snacking on Junk food and fizzy drinks on a daily basis to not having touched a chocolate bar in six weeks, and again I haven’t missed it!

I am also feeling changes to my body too!

Weight: I’ve lost half a stone (7lb), which may not seem like a lot but I never set out to lose any weight, I set out to eat healthier and think more about what I was putting into my body. I have gone down a dress size. I was a UK size 18 and now a sized16 jeans are starting to get a little baggy on me – an amazing bonus!

Energy: I have so much more energy too. Before I was eating so much sugar that I was constantly in a cycle of sugar highs and crashes. I now seem to maintain a constant energy level, which means when I get home from work I have the energy to cook a nutritious meal and do chores or some more work whereas before I was so tired I just wanted to go to bed. 

Skin: I have never had problem skin but I did used to get really oily skin on my face and dry skin on my body but now my skin feels radiant. My friend even commented on how well my skin looked which was a great complement to receive.

Bowel – Now this is going to be somewhat of an over share but I used to go to the toilet for a bowel movement around once every five days. I was always constipated (because I consumed next to no fibre) and when I did go it was often painful. Now I go daily and I no longer feel bloated or uncomfortable.

Tummy Troubles – For over three years I suffered from quite nasty Gastritis. It would sometimes get so bad that I would be in agony and go through spells where I would be sick on a weekly basis. Now that I’m not consuming as much fatty foods this seems to have cleared up.

Mood – I feel so much happier at the moment. I have more energy, I’ve lost a little weight and I’m nourishing my body which all has an impact on my mood. I never thought of myself as a great cook but now I am so much more confident in the Kitchen. I can make healthy meals, I don’t feel daunted by trying a new recipe and I’m finding new things I love to eat all the time (Puy lentils – Who’d have thought?).

I am enjoying eating the nutrients that my body needs and I really want to continue trying new foods! I think a Plant based diet is really working for me at the moment!

The Secret Girly Girl

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  New Book & a new perspective

I wanted to put together a blog post to let you know about the book ‘Swallow This’ By Joanna Blythman.


I started reading this book around three weeks ago and it has really changed my outlook on food.

This book is the inside scoop on what really goes into our food.

All the hard to pronounce chemicals that we see on our ingredients lists but cant even pronounce are demystified in this tell all book.

I am usually a huge junk food fan, snacking on crisps and chocolate to give me energy and relying on Coffee to get me through the day but this book changed my perspective of food.

Instead of looking at what I ate as a whole I have started to look at my meals (and snacks) as the sum of their parts (including their chemical & manufacturing processes) and many foods I have found myself not wanting to eat because now I know what is in them.

I had no idea that store bought sandwiches and vegetables are packed in gas contained packaging to stop the decomposition process so they last that few days longer.

So I decided to try eating foods that are less processed.

Over the years I have swapped back & forth between eating meat and being vegetarian. I always seem to go back to being vegetarian because I end up not really enjoying meat all that much, so I decided to cut out meat because I don’t really miss it anyway.

The first action I have taken is to sign up to a weekly Organic Vegetable box. I decided to go with Abel & Cole (www.abelandcole.co.uk).

They had an introductory offer in which you get first Box for half Price and then your Fourth box also half price (Plus a free bottle of organic Prossecco). I will be taking delivery of my fourth Box on Friday!

I really like Abel & Cole because they allow you to change the contents of your box weekly and remove items that you won’t use. Each week is different and all the vegetables are organic and seasonal.

 

I order the Large Very Veg box, which is usually around £26.00 a week. This contains 8 packs of vegetables. A mixture of Veg, salad and root vegetables.

The day before my box is delivered I search for recipes online for fun things to cook, I print off the recipes and buy any other ingredients I may need, then I am ready to cook as soon as my box has arrived.

I used to cook quite a bit but never from scratch. I always bought store bought, ready to cook potatoes and bagged veg but having all these fresh vegetables that are organic and full of nutrients has inspired me to cook every day.

I have used my veg box contents as the main focus of my meals.

Here are just a few things I have made:

courgette Bolognese

Home made Tomato & Red Pepper salsa & Guacamole.

Mushroom Stroganoff
Spicy Carrot Soup

Creamy Courgette Lasagne

Mushroom Spinach & Potatoe Pie

What’s more, I have had so much fun doing it too!

I would Highly recommend this book to everyone who is interested in knowing what they are really eating and You should check out the various Organic boxes of Meat, Fruit & Vegetables by Abel & Cole too!

 

The Secret Girly Girl

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