Tag Archives: aloe vera

Five ways to beat hunger with my Healthy Snacks round-up

We have a hard and fast rule in our house about snacks. Healthy snacks are fine, fruit and rice cakes, that kind of thing. But if you want a biscuit or some crisps you have to put your shoes and coat on and walk to the shop and get it. The thought of making an effort to get a treat is often enough to put us off and turn to something healthier, and if you do put your coat on and go and get your treat, then you’ve earned it, enjoy it.

But try explaining that to a 5 year old. A hungry 5 year old who has to wait a few minutes to be fed is essentially a tornado of rage. The living embodiment of “hangry”.

healthy snacks

Top tip: A hungry (hangry) 5 year old will happily eat carrot sticks and other normally shunned fruit and veg if they are hungry enough. A bag of carrot sticks to munch on the way home from school is a good way to deal with the tornado of rage and the 5 a day problem at the same time.

Having some healthy snacks on hand for when your family need a little something to tide them over is incredibly useful. I’ve picked out some healthy snacks which we enjoy at home.

1. More Cheese Please!

Cheese is in the small boys top 3 favourite foods, we always have a handful of Babybel in the fridge. It’s easy for me to slip a couple in my pocket for him to munch on the way home from school and I don’t mind him snacking on cheese because it’s full of calcium and other good stuff.

2. Fruit Bowl Snacks

We discovered Fruit Bowl about 6 months ago and the boy has been enjoying sprinkling their fruit flakes on his yoghurt ever since. The Fruit Bowl peelers and school bars are great little snacks for nibbling on the way home from school, contain no added sugar and count towards your five a day.

healthy snacks

3. Chocolate!

Yes really. Sometimes you really NEED something sweet and often a couple of small pieces of good dark chocolate is enough to satisfy your craving. Of course my son won’t even contemplate dark chocolate, but having some small individually wrapped pieces of good chocolate, like these from Drop Dead Chocolates is enough to stop you accidentally devouring a 1kg bar of Dairy Milk. Sometimes. 

4. Stick the kettle on

Sometimes you can feel hungry but you’re just thirsty. I always give the small boy something to drink and have water freely available to him. If I’m feeling especially hungry I find a nice cuppa can fill the gap for an hour or so, or sometimes I’ll have a glass of juice which I usually add a splash of water to so it is slightly diluted, but that’s a personal preference.

I do enjoy drinking aloe vera juice and I’ve tried for a while now to have a small glass of aloe vera juice on a daily basis. It’s not for everyone in the same way that orange juice with bits in isn’t for everyone, but it’s worth trying if you like the sound of the many health benefits of drinking aloe vera.

healthy snacks

The aloe vera juice from Grace Foods UK contains 50% less sugar than other brands I’ve tried. These handy 500ml bottles (I drink 100ml per day) are available in three flavours, Original, Strawberry and Mango and contain real aloe vera pieces. They are gluten free and suitable for vegetarians, with Original and Mango containing 100% RDA of Vitamin C. It’s available from a wide range of retailers including Tesco and Waitrose. I love aloe vera juice, I think it’s very underrated. 

5. Rice Cakes and peanut butter

This may seem very dull indeed, but I always have a packet of Co-op unsalted rice cakes in my cupboard. They’re just 25 calories each and if I’m ravenous and simply cannot wait, or if I’ve no time to make myself something more exciting for lunch, a couple of rice cakes with reduced fat peanut butter are enough to tide me over until tea time. In fact the small boy is also a big fan of this as an after school snack, so we’ll often indulge together. Rice cakes are remarkably filling and contain very few calories. Trust me, I didn’t think I’d like them either.

What are your go to healthy snack choices? I’m always after munchable inspiration!

Review: What is Just Drink Aloe like?

I’ve never been one for New Year resolutions, or falling for that ‘New Year – New You’ nonsense. But I think after the heavy duty gorging over Christmas, it’s natural to want to eat things which may contain traces of salad. I was feeling a bit run down and cream filled after the festivities, so a few healthy changes were required. Fortuitously I was sent some Aloe Vera juice from Just Drink Aloe to review. So what did I think?

Just Drink Aloe sent me the mango, strawberry and lychee flavours, though they also make pomegranate, passion-fruit and original flavoured juices. Each bottle contains 500ml and a serving is 100ml. I decided to drink one serving of Just Drink Aloe a day to see how I’d get on.

Just Drink Aloe

To the uninitiated Aloe Vera juice can seem a bit alien. It’s a clear-ish juice with bits of Aloe pulp in it. It’s hard to describe, but my best advice would be try it a few times before making your mind up, because it might take a bit of getting used to.

I started with the mango flavour, it didn’t have a strong smell and it tasted nicely of mango but was not overpowering. It was a refreshing way to wake up in the morning. I suspect the Just Drink Aloe mango flavour would make a nice ice lolly.

The strawberry flavour was the one I was least looking forward to. I don’t like strawberries (yes I know I’m weird). This had a stronger smell than the mango and unsurprisingly it tasted like strawberry juice, it was quite delicate. I could drink it for the five days but it wasn’t for me, I just can’t get along with strawberries. If you love strawberries though you’ll probably like this.

My favourite flavour was the lychee. I wasn’t sure what to expect really, but what I got was a lovely delicate, almost rose flavoured drink. I literally couldn’t keep my hands off it. Every time I went near the fridge I’d be sloshing a bit in a glass. Sweet but not too sweet, the lychee did not last the five days it was supposed to which was entirely my fault. Oops.

Just Drink Aloe

Update 2017: Just Drink Aloe have added two new flavours to their range Hawaiian Pineapple & Coconut and Tropical Passion Fruit, Mango & Orange. These are a interesting addition to the range and I was especially fond of the Tropical Passion Fruit, Mango & Orange, whereas my husband preferred the Hawaiian Pineapple & Coconut. Both are true to the brand, fruity, sweet and packed with Aloe Vera pieces, which personally is something I enjoy.

Review: What is Just Drink Aloe like?

Just Drink Aloe drinks have no artificial preservatives, no artificial colours or flavours and are made from fresh juice and pulp, not powder. They contain just 27 calories per 100ml serving and are apparently an excellent source of vitamin C. Aloe Vera juice has long been associated with a range of health benefits including balancing the immune system, encouraging a healthy (and regular) gut and digestive system, improving the condition of skin and hair, healthy joints and lots more.

It’s difficult to gauge in just two weeks the effect of drinking Just Drink Aloe juice on me. But my digestive system wasn’t as sluggish as usual and my skin looked a bit brighter too. I felt that if I continued drinking 100mls a day over a period of time then I’d see a bigger difference. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals, so I’d much rather have a slug of aloe juice every morning than a handful of vitamin tablets, especially with the other benefits which aloe gives you in terms of digestion etc.

I’ll be keeping an eye out for their lychee flavour (I’m addicted now). So if you spot any, do let me know!

You can find out more about Just Drink Aloe on their website.

Note: I was sent these Just Drink Aloe drinks for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.

Aloe Vera Juice – did it put a spring in my step?

We’re not big juice drinkers in our house. We tend to get some in if we’re feeling run down just to give us a bit of a boost. I don’t think it’s ever occurred to us that drinking good juice might stop us feeling run down in the first place. Doh.

I was given the chance to try the Aloe Vera juices from Taj Foods. I was a little sceptical. I looked at Aloe Vera juice when it first came out a couple of years ago and wondered, if like goji berries they might be a health food step too far. I was wrong and actually pleasantly surprised.

I was sent the original and the mango flavour to try. They come in 500ml bottles which I found was enough for about 4 or 5 days of morning juice drinks.

Original & Mango flavour Aloe Vera Juices from Taj Foods

Original & Mango flavour Aloe Vera Juices from Taj Foods

Aloe Vera juice is low sugar, apparently aids detox (it regulates the bowel), boosts immunity and is energising. There are 24 calories per 100mls and I was having around that each morning, so my calorie intake wasn’t taking a massive hit.

I started off with the mango juice. I’d heard Aloe Vera was an acquired taste so I thought I’d ease myself in with a familiar flavour. The juice wasn’t too sweet, but sweet enough, it contained pulpy bits which I took to be mango but on closer inspection were the pulp from the aloe plant. I like a pulpy juice so this didn’t bother me. The drink was very pleasant and enjoyable.

Once I’d polished off that bottle I cracked open the original flavour. I really didn’t know what to expect having never tried plain aloe before, but I was pleasantly surprised. The original was quite sweet, again it had pulpy bits but not unpleasantly so, and I quite liked it.

They do a range of flavours including lychee, strawberry, passion fruit and pomegranate & cranberry. I’d be keen to try some of the other flavours which are available online and you can also find them in Morrisons.

So, did it make a difference to me health wise? It’s difficult to say after only two weeks, but Aloe Vera does regulate the bowel and having been on heavy duty painkillers for over a year now, any help in that area is welcome (sorry, TMI?). I did feel more regular. My skin seemed to be clearer too and I’ve had a number of comments from people about how well I was looking lately.

I’ve got a friend who has been drinking the juice for a few months now and she looks amazing, her hair is shiny and her skin radiant, she has also reported the, erm, bowel regularity.

Given the fact my friend now looks like a shiny haired goddess I think I’ll be sticking with my morning Aloe Vera boost, given it’s only 24 calories a time and all of the reported health benefits of Aloe Vera it’d be rude not to.

It’s important to note that Aloe Vera drinks are not suitable if pregnant, lactating or for children under 3.

Disclaimer: I was sent two bottles of Aloe Vera juice to try for review purposes, this is my honest review.