OMG Tea Matcha Review

As part of Thrive Magazine‘s blogger project, co-hosted with OMG Tea (Organic Matcha Green Tea), I was commissioned to create two matcha recipes accompanied with social media posts, two recipe videos (which was so exciting and new for me!) as well as a review of OMG Tea‘s matcha powder…


For those of you who don’t know much about matcha green tea and are confused about what I am talking about, matcha is a powdered green tea grown in specific regions of Japan. Matcha green tea is absolutely incredible in terms of nutrient content as it contains over 137 times the antioxidants of standard green tea, as well as a ‘feel good’ amino acid derivative called L-Theanine. It is also known to improve mental focus and awareness; boost your metabolism (i.e. you can burn fat faster and easier); detoxify the body as it contains cleansing chlorophylls; help fight diseases; and have anti-aging properties.


Now, as a healthy food blogger, of course I’ve heard the plethora of amazing health benefits of matcha powder, and tried the superfood in a variety of ways – in smoothies, sifted and drunk as a tea, sprinkled over oatmeal etc. However, to be honest with you, I was not particularly taken by the craze of matcha – it is definitely for an acquired palette as the taste of matcha is quite strong; it is the chlorophyll and amino acids that give matcha its unique rich taste. I was also not so convinced that I could notice any significant difference in my concentration levels or metabolism – that was until I tried OMG Tea Matcha.


What makes OMG Tea special is that it is the highest quality matcha powder that you can find on the market – you can even tell by the colour of their matcha which is a lighter, more vibrant green colour than other brands of matcha which have a darker, duller colour! I most certainly felt much more energised and relaxed after starting to incorporate their matcha in my meals – blended in smoothies, sprinkled over my breakfast porridge bowl, at afternoon tea time… It was the increase in concentration levels and reviving feeling that most took me by surprise, and as a student I need to be in a focused and stress-free mood, I will definitely continue drinking OMG Tea daily for an energy boost – it’s much healthier and more effective than coffee! It’s now part of my daily routine and is the perfect way to put that extra spring in your step and feel more motivated 🙂 Taken daily, OMG Tea has helped me (and my parents) to shed a few pounds and keep generally fit and healthy.


All in all, I most certainly recommend you try OMG Tea ASAP!

Remember to use the hashtag #mindfullymade on social media platforms to share with me your creations 🙂

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Mindfully, Moni x

Rhythm108 Review


I was very excited to be offered a chance to sample the Rhythm108 Dessert Bar range – of course I wouldn’t decline such an opportunity! And I wasn’t disappointed either; look at that amazing parcel of goodies they sent including some matcha order, coconut chips and dried strawberries to experiment around with in the kitchen 😍


– BANANA MUFFIN: From just tearing open the colourful, vibrant and attractive packaging, my senses were raised by the luscious, dense banana-y smell reminiscent of banana bread. Excited to sample this Rhythm108 bar, I eagerly chopped up a half to try it as it was and oh my was it delicious! I loved the dense texture of the bar and that it wasn’t too chewy but held together nicely.. But the taste was simply perfect: not overly sweet that the treat felt decadent and sickly, but sweet enough to curb those afternoon cravings!
The other half (which I heated up as the instructions on the back recommended) was, of course, naturally softer and chewier but also slightly more crumbly which changed the texture to resemble more of a muffin which I really enjoyed as it felt more like a dessert so satisfied my sweet tooth!
– LEMON CAKE: Mmm this was so scrumptious – zesty, lemony and so light! Loved the spring/ summery feel to this dessert bar; totally getting me into a more positive and energetic mood 🙂 Loved how the texture was dense like the other bars, but not as rich which meant that it felt more like a snack rather than a heavy, decadent dessert so is more suited to the current warmer weather👌

Warmed up, this bar was even more delicious as the texture was softer and more gooey so a gorgeous warm and melty feeling in your mouth ❤️

– COCONUT MACAROON: I liked how this dessert bar had a different texture than the others: slightly more crumbly, although still dense, less fudge-like and more brownie-like! The taste was, as usual, spot on with the right balance between sweet and decadent; however, as a nutter for coconuts, I would’ve liked a stronger coconut taste but for most people it will probably be just right 🙂

When heated up, this bar simply came alive with a warm, pull-apart feel to it to perfectly accompany your afternoon tea ❤ I also think that the coconut flavour came out more strongly so I’d advise coconut lovers like me to heat this baby up 😜 And at only 175 per bar, it’s the perfect guilt-free treat!

– APPLE PIE: Omigosh this flavour was simply gorgeous! I loved the dense yet soft and chewy texture which was so easy to bite into and the melt-in-your-mouth sensation ❤️ The taste was, as ever, absolutely delicious with a strong cinnamon kick and apple flavour which reminded me of Christmas and warm apple pie on cold wintery evenings!

Perfect for the nostalgic sentiments of colder days – so is even more special when baked in the oven for a couple of minutes to get that soft and melty texture accompanied with a lovely cinnamon smell wafting around the kitchen👌

– CHOCO-WALNUT BROWNIE: Yummy is all I can say! I was actually pleasantly surprised when I bit into this bar as the texture and taste was not what I was expecting 😱 I thought the bar would be dense, rich and guilt-trippingly decadent but I was, instead, met by a light, crumbly, cake-like texture and a dark cacao taste that wasn’t overly sweet or sickening! It was love at first bite, I’m telling you ❤️ And the chopped up pieces of crunchy walnuts were a treat to complement the cake-like texture of the bar👌

For extra ooziness and cacao love, I’d definitely recommend heating this bar up as it really intensifies the cacao taste and creates a melt-in-the-mouth feeling of chocolately heaven.. Mmmm 😍

Mindfully, Moni x

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The Healthy Body Kit Review

 
With the winter months come cold, dark nights and so we tend to slip into bad habits – both in terms of dietary and fitness choices; so it only seemed the perfect time to try out and review The Healthy Body Kit! I love the fact that, at the HBK, they celebrate all things healthy and include some fantastic products in their boxes for you to try, helping you to feel a little healthier during a season where one naturally feels slightly sluggish and eat/ drink a little extra 🙂

Our aim is to help you become the best version of yourself that there is – fitter, healthier and happier! – The Healthy Body Kit

The Healthy Body Kit is a monthly subscription, especially designed for women who – like me – have a keen interest in Health, Fitness and Organic Skin Care; a fully body approach to health and wellbeing. Each month you can receive a selection of amazing products delivered directly to your door – so no need to make that trip to WholeFoods or Planet Organic! They pride themselves in only selecting the very best products for their kits and aim to provide you with a selection of fitness, health and organic skin care products to sample. 

 

What’s included in a Healthy Body Kit?

  • Fitness Supplements
  • Organic skin care
  • Health Supplements
  • Health foods and clean eats

Although that sounds (and is) incredible in itself, The Healthy Body Kit is much more than just a subscription box! Each month you will also have access to their online resource, called ‘A Healthier You’ which enables you to access a 30 day fitness plan, healthy recipes and meal plans, informative blogs to help support your steps towards a healthier lifestyle and amazing discounts for some of your favourite healthy products and brands. It’s an absolutely brilliant way to keep motivated and achieve all your fitness/ health goals so that you don’t feel like you have to do it all by yourself, making it less daunting and more manageable to accomplish your aims!

 I received the December Healthy Body Kit which had these fabulous products, carefully selected for their nutrition, health benefits and/ or organic sources:

  1. Terre Verdi FranChouliPom Facial Serum: With organic argan and pomegranate oils, which bring vitamins and antioxidants to your skin naturally, the FranChouliPom facial serum also brings frankincense and patchouli essential oils to the fight against the effects of stress and ageing. Like the rest of the Terre Verdi range, this facial serum is designed to keep your skin look fabulous: supple, nourished and taut. Use daily on your face to help prevent dryness and lines. It can also be used as massage oil. FranChouliPom facial serum is 99% organic and COSMOS certified organic.
  2. Love Your Blender’s ‘Super Berry’: A single serving sachet of superfoods, whole nuts and seeds, to boost your at-home smoothie with nutrition and flavour. Just add in your blender with fresh ingredients. Recipe suggestions are inside the label – follow the Intense suggestion for a decadently dark, intensely fruity drink; follow the Creamy suggestion for a comforting, velvety, sweet cinnamon treat. Both are packed with antioxidants, thanks to a trio of Brazilian berries – goji, camucamu and acai – and bursting with good fats, fibre and whole protein. No blender? Try stirred into porridge for a tasty superfood boost.
  3. Buff Bake Protein Nut Butter: Buff Bake offers a variety of flavours – I received the Snickerdoodle Protein Almond Butter, which was simply luscious ❤ Each 340g jar of this delicious nut butter is fortified with all natural whey protein so you’re guaranteed 11g of protein per 2 tablespoons, plus: 6g of Fibre,7g of Carbohydrates, just 1g of Sat Fats. It also has added chia, hemp and flax seeds – ideal for keeping your Omega-3 and antioxidant levels topped up. Handmade using the finest, freshest almonds, this fantastic almond butter has no added sugar (contains naturally occurring sugar) or salt and is even gluten free.
  4. The Chia Co 8g Chia Seed Sachet: A great way to get a nutritional boost on the go, two shots of chia a day will provide you with 3g of Omega 3 ALA, 6g of dietary fibre and more than 3g of complete protein. These nutritious little seeds can be eaten raw – sprinkle onto your porridge or granola or add to salads and smoothies.
  5. Healthspan Elite: Performance Greens has been developed by Healthspan Elite’s nutrition experts alongside their Official Partners, Team Sky, to provide a convenient means of topping up the fruit and vegetables you get naturally in your diet.Containing a high potency blend of 14 vegetables, fruits, herbs and botanicals, Performance Greens is a nutrient dense formulation packed full of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and fibre. Ingredients include algae superfoods, spirulina and chlorella, dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale plus highly concentrated matcha tea.
    As well as being rich in phytochemicals and polyphenols, these specific ingredients have been chosen as they are alkaline-forming. Effective cell metabolism is of critical importance for recovery and overall performance. Cells and tissues require a slightly alkaline environment to function effectively. One of the simplest ways of achieving and maintaining the perfect PH balance in the digestive system is through a diet that is rich in alkaline-forming foods.
    Created to be highly palatable, Performance Greens has a delicious natural lime flavour and is gently sweetened with stevia. Stevia is an organically formed product made from the crystallisation of plant leaf and has the added benefit of being virtually calorie free.

Mindfully, Moni x

Wild Thing Paleo Review


When Wild Thing contacted me looking to collaborate, I couldn’t say no to their exciting and vibrant Paleo bars. I knew that this was a company who I’d love working with as their ethos complements mine – bio, vegan, organic, Paleo and generally wholesome food without comprising the delicious factor!

I’m a big advocator for eating Organic foods because organic paleo food is grown without pesticides and in a way that helps bio-diversity thrive. It also guarantees that there are no additives, chemicals or unacceptable processing added during production. That’s why I love that Wild Thing organic paleo bars are made exclusively with raw ingredients.

BERRIES AND SEEDS: On an initial impression, I loved the look of this Wild Thing bar – the deep, vibrant purple colour and funky design gives the whole company and snacking experience a fun and carnival-like feel to it. And that’s exactly the sensation you experience when biting into the bar – a burst of wholesome nutty and berryilicious yumminess (sunflower seeds, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, blueberries, goji berries) 👍 I also loved the texture, the chewiness of the bar is perfectly complemented by the crunch of some of the bigger nuts such as the pumpkin seeds to give an all-round delicious tasting experience👌


COCONUT & CHIA: Loved the crunchy, flapjack-like texture to this bar. I’d say that it was actually my favourite one as it was sweet (I have a major sweet tooth) due to the main ingredients being dates, coconut and cashews. But it had truly divine taste – similar to that of golden syrup – which perfectly complemented the slightly more bitter taste of the chia seeds.

CACAO & ALMOND: Heightened by the luscious smell of cacao, I was particularly excited to try out this flavour – and I definitely wasn’t disappointed! Biting into the bar, my tastebuds were awakened by the strong taste of cacao – in all its raw, natural, bitter and earthly glory ❤️ Think it is the perfect bar as a not too indulgent, guilt-free treat as its’ not overly sweet or decadent – so is absolutely the right snack to curb any hunger pangs or chocolate cravings without the feeling of guilt/ failed self control afterwards. Also loved how the chewy texture was broken up by small chunks of almonds to provide a crunch every now and again 🙂


NUTS & SEEDS: I’m simply in love with all things nutty so this bar was delicious in my opinion! It had a slightly different texture to the others due to its composition of various nuts and seeds (sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds) and is crunchier, more grainy and has small pieces of nuts/ seeds distributed throughout the bar which I quite enjoyed as each bite has a slightly different taste and crunch to it 🙂 I was happy to find that there wasn’t simply one nut/ seed which overpowered the others in terms of flavour, each nut/ seed was definitely present in an equal and complementary way 👌 Absolutely divine!

Mindfully, Moni x

VitaLife: Matcha Review

I was particularly excited when VitaLife contacted me, asking whether I had tried out matcha green tea before. Of course I’ve seen matcha take over the health world and take over the fitness foodies’ newsfeed on Instagram, but I had never before ventured out to jump on the matcha bandwagon. That was, until I sampled VitaLife’s matcha tea.    I was even more thrilled at the invite to be part of the VitaLife affiliate programme, enabling me to offer my readers, followers and fellow healthnuts an exclusive discount off all online purchases from VitaLife. As featured on my discount codes page, you can use the code MINDFUL16 at the VitaLife checkout for 5% off all orders – the best news is that it’s unlimited use and has no expiry date so you can go absolutely wild with it 🙂 Maybe after reading my review, you’ll be inspired to try out their matcha green tea!?

For those of you who have never heard of matcha green tea and are wondering what on earth I am talking about, matcha is a powdered green tea grown in exclusive regions of Japan. Matcha green tea is absolutely amazing in terms of nutrient content as it has been found to contain over 137x antioxidants of standard green tea, as well as a ‘feel good’ amino acid derivative called L-Theanine. It is also known to improve mental focus and awareness; boost your metabolism (i.e. you can burn fat faster and easier); detoxify the body; and have anti-aging properties. With a plethora of health benefits, Vitalife offer the most extensive range of matcha green tea in the UK.


In terms of the taste, it is definitely for an acquired palette as the taste of matcha is quite strong – it is the chlorophyll and amino acids that give matcha its unique rich taste. Although matcha has an initial vegetal, astringent taste, it is then followed by a lasting sweetness which makes the overall drinking experience pleasurable and relaxing. I liked drinking my matcha in the traditional Japanese style: sifted (to remove the lumps) and then whisked with hot water to produce a full-bodied green tea as I enjoyed the intensity of the taste (I do love strong flavours such as dark chocolate). However, matcha is very versatile and can be added as an ingredient (to oatmeal, for example, smoothies or banana ice cream) since the taste of becomes much subtler – and turns the food a lovely shade of green.

Mindfully, Moni x

 

Hopps and Woolf Nut Milk Maker

I was so hyped when Hopps & Woolf contacted me, looking to collaborate – I simply LOVE plant-based milks (can’t even remember when I last drank cow milk) but they’re very expensive, and so as a student, it can be a bit of a squeeze for my budget. That’s why I was thrilled to try out the Hopps & Woolf Milk Maker, since it makes a massive batch (about 1L) of nut milk within just 25 minutes and is SO MUCH cheaper! The cheapest carton-ed milks cost £1.40 per litre and contains only 2% almonds; yet with a Hopps & Woolf Milk Maker, you can make a litre for 50p and it contains 8%! That’s less than half the price but three times the almond content.

Another reason why it’s much better to make your OWN nut milk is that it will contain none of the preservatives, thickeners or sweeteners you find in cartoned nut milk. The Hopps & Woolf Milk Maker gently pasteurises the milk so that it naturally lasts longer – for a week. It’s also very versatile, almond milk may be all the rave at the minute, but with the Hopps & Woolf Milk Maker, you can whip up almost anything which suits your tastebuds! You can use any nuts (such as hazelnut/ cashew nut/ peanut/ coconut), soya, oats, hemp seeds and more. I also like to add dates, cinnamon, vanilla or cacao for a fantastic natural flavour ❤ I share below two of my favourite recipes using the Hopps & Woolf Milk Maker but to find more recipes to inspire your milk making, click here or seach ‘hopps and woolf’ in the side bar or scroll down to the ‘homemade milk’ section of my recipe page.

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CHOCOLATE-ORANGE “JAFFA” ALMOND MILK

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Ingredients:

  • 60g almonds, soaked for 12hrs
  • 6-8tbsp Creative Nature cacao powder {use code MONI10 for 10% discount off entire order}
  • 2-3tbsp coconut sugar (Optional: omit if you like the taste of unsweetened milk but the cacao is quite bitter on its own)
  • Juice and zest of 3 medium Organic oranges
  • 1L fresh water

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Method:

  1. Add all the ingredients into your Hopps & Woolf Milk Maker and select Programme 1.
  2. Wait 25 minutes for the milk maker to gently heat, pasteurise and blend the ingredients.
  3. Once the programme is complete and the machine begins to beep to signal your milk is ready, turn off the milk maker at the power and take off the lid. Gently sieve the milk into a jug/ container.
  4. Let it cool down before placing in the fridge, or enjoy fresh and hot!
  5. Consume within 7 days of making.

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STRAWBERRY “CHEESECAKE” CASHEW MILK

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Ingredients:

  • 60g cashew nuts, soaked for 12hrs
  • 15 strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1-2tbsp coconut sugar (Optional: omit if you like the taste of unsweetened milk)
  • 1L fresh water

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Method:

  1. Add all the ingredients into your Hopps & Woolf Milk Maker and select Programme 1.
  2. Wait 25 minutes for the milk maker to gently heat, pasteurise and blend the ingredients.
  3. Once the programme is complete and the machine begins to beep to signal your milk is ready, turn off the milk maker at the power and take off the lid. Gently sieve the milk into a jug/ container.
  4. Let it cool down before placing in the fridge, or enjoy fresh and hot!
  5. Consume within 7 days of making.

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Remember to use the hashtag #mindfullymade on social media platforms to share with me your creations 🙂

Mindfully, Moni x

GLORIOUS! SkinnyLicious Soups Review

I was super excited when GLORIOUS! contacted me, asking whether I was interested in collaborating. Of course I wasn’t going to turn this opportunity down, so they decided to introduce their SkinnyLicious range to me.

The soups are not only packed with bold and exciting flavours, but also nutritional goodness from the fresh ingredients used. Each SkinnyLicious soup is less than 2% fat and under 150 calories per portion, without ever compromising on taste. So they are the perfect light lunch to heat up quickly in the office microwave or on the hob at home!


– MORE BANGALORE: This SkinnyLicious soup most certainly delivers on flavour, satisfaction and texture! The blend of rich Toor Daal lentils and chickpeas is absolutely first class, providing the soup with a hint of Indian tastes without being too overwhelming. I usually don’t enjoy Indian food but this soup is definitely unlike anything I’ve ever tasted – GLORIOUS! always gives MORE than the average food. I especially loved the subtle tastes of garam masala, curry leaves and mango chutney to present all the amazing flavours of India in one pot! To describe the taste would be impossible as there’s so many herbs and spices bursting in this pot – but it is definitely one for the exotic taste palettes. This thick and very filling soup is surprisingly only 147kcal per serving as well as 1 of your 5-a-day, and is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free. But these factors seriously do NOT compromise on flavour. I recommend serving with a sprinkle of chopped nuts and teaspoon of coconut yoghurt for a light, refreshing lunch which will transport you to the heart of India.

 

– GOA EXPRESS: I loved the warming combination of tomato and lentils in this soup, providing a unique twist to the classic and much-loved tomato soup. The spicy kick presented by the addition of smoked paprika, turmeric, cumin and chilli powder really presents an extra dimension to the tasting experience and captures the Goan lifestyle/ diet. This SkinnyLicious soup was quite thick, meaning that it was very filling and incredibly satisfying as a meal – helped by the fact that one of the main ingredients is low-fat yoghurt, whilst also constituting a creamy yet coarse/ granular texture. Because of its dense consistency, it is the perfect meal as it will make you feel fuller for longer, and with only 150kcal per serving, it simply feels like you’re cheating the system: packed full of flavour, low in fat and calories, plus satisfying… What more could you wish for!?

 

– SUN-KISSED IN SICILY: It’s safe to say that this one was definitely my favourite SkinnyLicious soup! The gorgeous blend of rustic pomodoro tomato and balsamic vinegar is just a match made in heaven ❤️ Now this is a traditional hearty soup transformed beyond its classical reputation into an Italian beauty! The subtleties of roast garlic, fennel and parsley all complement the pomodoro tomato flavour perfectly to constitute the most flavoursome and warming soup I’ve ever tasted. Absolutely incredible when served with bruschetta bread to dip in the steaming soup and drift off into an Italian, dreamy reverie!

  

– THAI TUK-TUKS & TURMERIC: A simply divine infusion of carrot and coconut that totally inspires me to dust off my rucksack and go travelling to Thailand. I usually find carrot soup bland and in exciting, but this wasn’t the case with this SkinnyLicious soup – the addition of coconut presents this dish with a creamy, sweet taste whilst constituting a smooth, rich texture. I loved the mix of flavours, spices and herbs – including lime, lemongrass, turmeric, ginger, coriander and chilli – which, when all combined, made this a totally ass-kicking soup to really set your taste receptors rocketing! With perfect taste, texture and consistency, I’m digging this Thai-inspired product. And with only 119kcal per portion, it’s totally acceptable 🎉🙌

– NEW ENGLAND IN AUTUMN: The beautifully luscious, deep orange colour of this soup is so inviting and welcoming – perfectly appetising on a cold, wet autumn evening. The smooth, creamy texture of this butternut squash soup is so light and easy on the heart. It’s truly a dreamy SkinnyLicious soup with a subtle hint of cumin for a bit of a spicy kick if you’re a fan of strong flavours! I loved the thick consistency provided by the potatoes which also help to make this a very filling meal. The autumnal flavours of nutmeg, cumin and smoked paprika were so soft and almost nostalgic as summer bids us farewell. I served a portion with a seeded wholemeal bagel for the perfect accompaniment 🙂


– SINGAPORE FLING: Mmm spicy, flavoursome and exciting. I can see why there’s an illustration of fireworks at a festival on the packaging of this SkinnyLicious soup: the heat will take you on a rollercoaster of a ride! No one can say that this is a regular tomato soup since there’s nothing bland about it whatsoever. The rich tomato taste is beautifully complemented with coconut for a delicious, hearty Asian soup that will release the inner spice fanatic within! What makes this SkinnyLicious product even more unique is the addition of basmati rice to provide a different texture, completing the meal gorgeously and leaving you satisfied for hours. With only 130kcal per portion, this is not a lunch you want to miss out on! 

    

– SAN ANTONIO FIESTA: Arrribaaa! This soup is definitely a FIESTA of flavours and all things yummy, encouraging you to rummage through your wardrobe and find that Mexican sombrero of yours! I would actually liken it to a fuse of chilli con carne, gazpacho and Mexican chilli dip. This hearty chilli sin carne soup (meatless) is slightly spicy to provide a fiesta kick to it but the heat is slightly softened due to the addition of a four bean mix (haricot, red kidney, black eye and black turtle) and basmati rice. The consistency is quite thick, resembling more of a sauce than soup and thus feels more filling as you have to chew a lot more than ‘regular’ soup. So at only 99kcal per serving, you most certainly get an impacting, flavoursome and satisfying meal but without any guilt👌 

    

Mindfully, Moni x

P.S. Taking photos of soup is actually really difficult!! It’s so hard to make it look interesting or appetising so sorry for the not-so-great pics :/