Well it was raining at the start of August when I wrote my July favourites and it’s raining now at the end of August! But we have had some beautiful sunny days in between which have inspired some of my favourites below…
EATING / DRINKING
Pip and Nut Almond Butter & Almond Milk
I have to admit I was a bit late to the whole Pip and Nut party. A new brand on the block, Pip and Nut has a range of nut products including butters and milks. They have a few combinations but this month I started with the classic plain almond butter and almond milk to compare them to other brands I use. Both of these products always get a lot of use in my house. Whether it’s in breakfast smoothies, homemade energy balls, or simple nut butter on toast.
The butter was an instant win for me as I find the Meridian almond butter too claggy and often goes solid in the tub with the oil separating on the top making it difficult to mix, drizzle over porridge or just use in general! I’m definitely converted on that one and am looking forward to trying some of the other flavours.
The milk I’m on the fence about. It’s great as it’s free from additives, preservatives and stabilisers which are added to some brands of plant milks – ALWAYS READ THE INGREDIENTS PEOPLE! Its ingredients are simply water, almonds (3%) and salt. I paid £2 for 1L which is reasonable in my book for a natural, stabiliser free plant milk, although I have a feeling that was an introductory price. It’s cheaper than the other ‘clean’ brands I buy (Plenish and Rude Health) but also has less % almonds and less protein per 100ml so pros and cons! I’ve also only used it in smoothies and bircher muesli so far so can’t testify whether it works in tea or separates – as is often the problem with plant milks.
The Coconut Collaborative Snowconut
You know those ‘healthy’ foods which you convince yourself it’s okay to overindulge in because it’s ‘healthy’ and therefore doesn’t count? This is one of those. I used to love ice cream (Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food anyone?) but other than the occasional treat of a real ice cream on holiday (it would be rude not to) I generally don’t have it in the house anymore as it’s packed with sugar, dairy, not to mention e-numbers, preservative, additives etc.
But when we have a hot summer’s day I often crave something cold, sweet and icy but prefer to have dairy free. I’ve not found a sugar free and dairy free ice cream before so was super excited to try; Snowconut. I bought it in Sainsbury’s and Waitrose (yes we’ve devoured two tubs in two weeks!) and found it in two flavours: coconut & vanilla and chocolate.
It uses grape juice as the sweetener and although it does contain some stabiliser and emulsifiers so isn’t ‘perfect’, it also contains probiotic cultures so it’s repairing the gut while satisfying those sweet cold cravings. But as I said before, it’s very easy to overindulge in something we perceive or which is marked as ‘healthy’ or even just ‘free-from’. Yes, this is dairy-free, but that shouldn’t be a licence to eat two tubs in two weeks – between two of us but still! Like any foods containing sugar – natural or otherwise – it needs to be eaten in moderation and seen as a treat. Personally, I don’t believe in banned or naughty foods, I believe that everything fits within a scale of nutritional value and as long as we eat highly nutritious, natural foods most of the time, a few indulgences now and then is not only okay it’s actually a healthy, balanced and realistic way to eat. And let’s face it, this has got to come higher up the nutrition scales than my old tub of Ben & Jerry’s!
Following on from my April Natural Beauty haul I’ve added two new bits to my collection, further reducing the toxins in my life without having to compromise on my appearance.
I wouldn’t say I was ever a big eye shadow wearer, but I do think it’s nice to have the option and now I have eye shadows I’m comfortable putting on my skin, I’m really enjoying mixing and matching the neutral, simple colours in this pallet and they make me feel more ‘complete’ every time I do my make-up.
I opted to buy this cream blusher/lip colour duo so I had a couple of options and it felt like I was getting better value for my money. The pallet is called Nudist and includes ‘nude berry’ – a rose-pink colour similar to the powder blush I used to wear, and ‘nude peach’ a more brown-orange colour which I wasn’t sure about when I ordered it but now I have it I wear it as much as the nude berry if not more! Cream blusher wasn’t something I’ve used before and it took a bit of getting used to, but now I’ve got the hang of it I actually prefer it to powder blush and wouldn’t go back. I also love the fact that I have lip and blush colour with me in one handy pallet.
I love listening to audiobooks and podcasts while I’m doing chores around the house or travelling. I generally listen to ‘self-help’ type books and find it uplifting to hear something motivational while doing a mundane task like cleaning the bathroom! This book is all about decluttering and living a more minimalist life, something which I am trying to embrace in my own home and life. Check out my November clutter challenge from last year to see more!
So that’s it for my August favourites. As we head into September it feels a bit like we’re going into a new year – must be that back to school vibe and I’ve got some exciting things planned to get me (and you – hopefully) motivated to have an awesome healthy autumn so watch this space!