The year is nearly at an end and it’s been another big year for health and wellness.
Now more than ever, people are starting to appreciate health more and therefore the health food and wellness product market has exploded. You just have to look at the sections in the supermarkets now that are dedicated to plant based/free from items to offer people compared to a few years ago when it was very difficult to find goji berries except in your local hippy health food store!
With so many products having come out it can be a mind field trying to figure out what you need/should try so I’ve summarised here some of my favourite products of the year which I’ve been quite fond of and will continue to purchase in the future.
Note: Obviously before trying any new supplements consult your GP first esp if on medication!
1) Karine jackson shampoo (Beauty kitchen brand)
This shampoo is made with all natural, chemical free, ingredients and smells lovely to boot! I love this one because it has ingredients that protect the hair but also help pull out pollutants that get in there from the days air/environment. Due to the nature of the ingredients it’s great for anyone with sensitive skin, the only issue i would be mindful of is that there are some essential oils in it which may not be suitable for skin with a lot of broken skin patches.
Find it: Holland & Barrett or online
2) Gato plant based cookie
Who doesn’t want a healthy cookie? I love these raspberry ones that are made with high fibre plant based ingredients, it’s also not too rich, but still feels like a treat without leaving you feeling sluggish or regretting your treat the way some richer foods can do.
Find it: Sainsburys, Holland & Barrett, Ocado
3) Ginseng green tea (rebranding from Qi to Herbal health teas)
Ginseng is an adaptogenic herb that can provide energy and help the body deal with stress better. This combined with organic green tea is a great combo especially if you need some energy in the morning. The green tea is also full of antioxidants and has a mild caffeine level, plus is organic meaning it’s free from contaminants that may be in other brands. This particular flavour also has some spice in there too which I love as it gives it a little kick of flavour. This tea brand is also one of my favourites in general.
Find it: Holland & Barrett, health food stores or online e.g. Amazon
This tablet contains a mix of rhodiola (adaptogenic herb) and passion flower which are helpful for dealing with stress and anxiety, the tablet also contains some zinc which is great for immunity and quite complementary as stressful times lowers your immune system, plus B vitamins too for energy release. I take this in the morning when I know I’m going to have a stressful day at work and let’s face it, most jobs are like that these days, so it gives a helping hand to your body.
The dose of rhodiola compared to tablets on their own isn’t huge but it combination with the other stuff it can be a helping hand to your body. On a side note, I’ve also been using some ashwaghanda for cortisol balance which is also released when we’re constantly stressed. Everyone’s body is different so you may respond better to one than another.
Find it: Holland & Barrett or online
5) Ape snacks crisps
These beauties are a great snack based on real food ingredients and the “cheese” flavoured ones are amazing, they really taste like Whotsits but with better ingredients. What I really like is that they use coconut oil which is more stable at higher baking temps whereas most other crisp brands use unstable regular sunflower oil which turns rancid and isn’t great for the heart so if you eat a lot of crisps I’d look carefully at what they use.
Find it: Holland & Barrett, sainsburys, Amazon or Boots
6) Seedful olive loaf
This. Is. Delicous.
I love this bread and couldn’t believe how good it was when I first tasted it. Normally a wholefood, high fibre gluten free loaf is pretty dense or dry but this is neither. It tastes amazing because of the chopped olives which give a mild saltiness which contrasts with the tangy apple cider vinegar for amazing flavour, plus the cider vinegar helps avoid the bread being dense and the healthy fats from the seeds keep it moist, I can’t recommend this brand enough!
Find it: Holland & Barrett
“Taco” a look at this indulgent, healthier Saturday night fakeaway! (sorry, couldn’t resist).
For those of you not from Northern Ireland you may have a different idea of what a taco chip is but over here it’s a typical takeaway dish that uses fried white chips that get covered in mince, melted cheese and a special taco sauce. It’s a properly indulgent, Saturday night blowout kind of treat. I’ve only ever had it once or twice in my life and I’m not going to lie, it’s flipping delicious! However, I’ve never really liked red meat so would always pick around this bit and I’ve been craving one recently so I decided to make a healthier one. This is what I tend to do with my cravings, I’ll try to satisfy them with a healthier homemade version first, which works 9 times out of 10.
What’s even better is that this version contains 2/5 a day (the tomato puree actually counts as 1 as it’s so concentrated) and contains many more nutrients with none of the deep fried fat as it’s baked, you can also get some good omega 3 fats in there too by choosing an organic cheddar cheese.
As for the mayo and cheese, I feel no guilt with these ingredients as I use good quality versions and the rest of the dish is pretty lean therefore it actually needs the fat for flavour and moisture, otherwise you wouldn’t really want to eat it, but trust me, if you make this version, you WILL!
Didn’t think there could be a healthy, tasty, low sugar AND low carb donut? Well think again because I created one!
I was so careful with this recipe to strike the right balance between using low carb coconut flour (which I’ve found in Tesco before) but also making sure that it was really moist too, I finally nailed the recipe and I’m super proud of it!
PLUS, as I used lemon zest and juicy blueberries for flavour it means it’s also refined sugar free, but as always feel free to adjust it to your desired sweetness/tastes, you can use vanilla extract, some liquid stevia if you have it or a drizzle of honey if you like, it’s entirely up to you.
A note on coconut flour
I have been able to get a 500g bag of fat reduced coconut flour in Tesco for £3 on offer or £3.75 normal price, now although it’s more expensive than other flours one thing to remember is that this fat reduced version is VERY absorbent meaning you need far less for recipes, usually 1/3 of normal flour. For example, this recipe only needed 35g, for my sweet squash loaf I only needed 40g, therefore a 500g although more expensive will last you a long time. Furthermore, if you’re looking for high fibre, low carb baking options then this is definitely an ingredient you should consider.
Tiana is another brand that’s fat reduced and is available in Holland and Barrett.
As this recipe is high in fibre and good fats, low carb and low sugar it also means it’s quite a good option/treat for anyone with diabetes as I often hear from one of my friends that their diabetic siblings don’t really have much choice of treats that aren’t filled with lots of different artificial sweeteners/weird ingredients.
These donuts are made with real food, nourishing ingredients so you can even have them for breakfast and not feel guilty, seriously I’ve done this, it makes your early starts much better, try it and thank me later, hehe.
OMG, I’m so proud of these! This recipe is actually quite low in sugar with lots of healthy fats from nuts, seeds, coconut and some protein powder. Plus the colours can be achieved from many different fruits so this recipe is super easy to make, don’t be thinking you won’t be able to find half the ingredients, this one is quite versatile.
|Super food unicorn bars 2 different ways!
I’ve made the topping for these 2 different ways so that if you can’t get hold of the coconut yogurt (Coyo) which I used (I got it in a big Tesco) which is my first choice for best results, then you can still make them using a full fat can of coconut milk which you can get in any supermarket. It must be full fat as you need to use the solid parts to make it set. I prefer and used Biona organic coconut milk as they have more coconut than water, other brands can be more dilute so you might not get the right amount of solid coconut that you need, plus they don’t have preservatives either.
|Coyo 250g coconut yogurt-this gave the best results
|The fat at the top of the can is what you need
You can also use whatever fruit/powders you have in your kitchen to create the colours, I made this a few times and used a variety of foods such as:
OMG this is the best salad I’ve ever made!
Super tasty, super easy and you only need to use 1 bowl (besides your serving plates) meaning minimal washing up, yay!
I highly encourage you to do the simple sweet chilli sauce yourself, rather than buying one from the store as they’re full of refined sugar, this one however uses only 1 tablespoon of honey for 2 servings yet still has lots of flavour.
I love this recipe because of how the blueberries cook slightly from the heat of the pan and go all juicy when you bite into them, delicious! Plus it looks so pretty too, that lovely deep purple colour.
This is a great morning breakfast booster as it has fibre, protein, good carbs and some matcha (green tea powder) which will help perk you up but without any jitteriness. Aim for a good quality matcha.