Daaamn, those summers really do come around fast don’t they! Well, I had planned to sculpt myself a Victoria’s Secret supermodel body in time for the season and have cleaned my diet up tenfold but hey, time flies when you’ve been having fun. It’s never too late to make a start though…
I been drankin’ Captain Kombucha
Sipping on mugs of steaming herbal tea is a breeze during the cooler months but as soon as summer rolls around, all you want to do is hit the bar for an ice cold beer or something full of fizz and sugar to quench that thirst. Now I’m not a massive drinker (unless it’s a dessert cocktail and then you better step aside) but I do fall victim to the summertime sugar and alcohol craving so I thought it high time I found a satisfactory substitute for when enough is enough. That’s where Captain Kombucha sails in to save the day.
‘Kom-what?!’ I hear you ask… Kom-boocha – it’s a fermented fizzy tea drink packed to the brim with vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes and good acids that are all great for digestion, your immune system, your joints, detoxification and are even know to contribute towards weight loss and cancer prevention. Sounds faaar to healthy to be a substitute for alcohol or fizzy drinks, right?
Well I’ll admit it won’t give you the same fuzzy feeling as a bottle of Kopperberg but the California Raspberry flavour I popped open this weekend didn’t half taste like a lot like a nice cider so if you’re looking to cut some calories or lay off the units, Kombucha gets a thumbs up from me. At around £3 for a 400ml bottle, it is pretty pricey but this all vegan, all raw, all natural, gluten free, low calorie elixir gives you plenty of bang for your buck in terms of health benefits.
No’ mo’ Nutella
No. More. Nutella. What?! No I never thought I’d ever want to see those three words in the same sentence together either and believe me, you’ll still find me at the 1kg tub with a table spoon at least once a week don’t you worry. However our beloved hazelnut spread does get a lot of stick for it’s high sugar content and palm oil recipe so I set about finding something a little more health-conscious to shove my spoon into on the other 6 days of the week. My remedy comes in the form of Funky Nut Company’s Milk Chocolate peanut butter and oh my giddy aunt, you’re going to want to get your chops around this one.
The perfect combo of chocolate and peanut butter with just a sprinkling of organic sea salt, this baby follows in the footsteps of all Funky Nut Co. products in making fresh taste fun. So if you love to spread your toast with something sweet or like to bring your porridge to life with a lil somethin’ somethin’ then check out the Funky Nut Co. website because they got flavours for days and nut butters for weeks.
Tame your inner cookie monster
Some people like takeaways, some people can’t get enough of triple-shot coffees with an espresso chaser. I like biscuits. Digestives, malted milks, Hobnobs… you name it, I dunk it. I am the cookie monster incarnate but with bikini season right in front of me and my conscious effort to cut down on gluten (take 25), it’s about time I tucked into something that’s going to help me beat the bloat.
There are lots of ‘free from’ biscuit alternatives on the market these days (Hobnobs even do a GF version now) but I just thought I’d show you a brand new crunchy contender that I picked up this weekend – the Nairn’s Choc Chip Astro Bites. Definitely designed with people less than half my age in mind but delicious nonetheless, these extraterrestrial wholegrain oat bites come with 40% less sugar and are totally free from gluten. Perfect for elevenses or with a cuppa after dinner.
Go gluten free at meal times too
Gluten doesn’t affect everybody, nor is it particularly detrimental to your health but I know there will be a lot of people nodding their heads in agreement when I say cutting out (or at least consuming less) gluten has SO many advantages. When I make the effort to choose GF options, I notice a drastic increase in my energy levels and a satisfying decrease in my waistline so on a plight to wiggle back into my smaller jeans, I’m waving goodbye to gluten (mostly) once again. This gluten free gnocchi from Difatti is the perfect alternative to pasta and regular gnocchi, giving you all the satisfaction of a hearty Italian dish without the telltale food baby bump and brain lag post-consumption.
I love mixing mine with chicken, Parmesan cheese and pesto but being the diverse little balls of doughy goodness that they are, you can do pretty much anything with gnocchi. Tweet me your creations @hihungryharriet!
Ice, ice, baby…
Last but by no means least we have the 100% natural ice lollies (lolly ices?) from the geniuses over at Smooze Fruit Ice. As a mix of real fruit purees and juices all freshly pressed with coconut milk, these little push-up frozen snacks are the must-have freezer snack this season. Reminiscent of your favourite childhood treats but with all the benefits of natural, dairy-free ingredients, Smooze have struck the perfect balance between health and hedonism.
When you’re full stretch on the lawn soaking up that Vitamin D, the last thing you want to do is tuck into a kale salad. You want something exotic to match your mood so tearing the top off of a Smooze is the perfect way to indulge guilt-free. I’ve only tried the banana and coconut offering so far but I was seriously impressed so I’ll be back for more for sure.
If you have any healthy alternatives of your own, don’t hesitate to share your secrets with me in the comments!