Dairy Free Products- My Opinion

lactoLacto-Free Milk (Normal, Sachets and Chocolate!)

  • This is my all time favourite go-to milk. It’s the one I always have in my fridge and it tastes exactly the same as normal milk. Unlike quite a few dairy free milks, the lacto-free milk doesn’t congeal or separate.
  • It also comes in long life little sachets, so you can carry it with you wherever you go.
  • The chocolate milk is a perfect treat and I seem to consume far more when I have deadlines. What can’t chocolate fix?

Soya Milk 

  • Soya milk is sweeter than lacto-free milk and has a thicker consistency than soya milkalmond milk. Whenever I am out and about, and I fancy a drink from a coffee shop, I always order soya or almond milk.
  • Soya is fattier than almond milk, but more nutritious. If ever I have something chocolate based, such as a Frappe, I choose soya, as it’s the creamier alternative.
  • I don’t, however, enjoy having it on my cereal, and sometimes it has the tendency to separate in drinks- so I make sure to keep a spoon by my side if ever I use soya.

Almond Milk

  • This is the bees knees in a Frappaccino- almond is even sweeter than soya milk. I prefer having almond milk in warm drinks or on ice. Again, it can have the tendency to separate, but tastes delicious. Starbucks is the best.

Lacto-Free Cream Cheese 

  • Is the boss. It’s great for cheesecakes and with crackers. I have (over the last yecheese---soft-cheesear) got into chutneys, and lordy the cream cheese and chutneys go together brilliantly. This is a dairy free diet must-have.

 

 

Alpro Soya Cream 

  • It can be simply poured, put on deserts and in main meals. Sometimes it quite easy to rule certain meals out, whether they are cream, milk or cheese based. But these alternatives are so good.

Oatly Milk

  • This is my preferred milk (other than lacto-free milk) in cereal. Though, once again(!), it can separate- but for some reason it doesn’t in cereal!
  • This is my entire family’s favourite milk to use with our coffee machine- it froths so well and tastes just as good as any alternative milk.

 

oatly

Koko Yoghurt 

  • This with granola, as a snack or even to have with fresh fruit is so scrummy. It’s coconut based, really smooth and the berry yoghurts are my favourite.

Violife cream

violife

  • This is a vegan alternative to cream cheese. I love the taste, but the consistency is a little bit jelly-like. That’s my only complaint.

Feta 

  • Feta is so fresh and actually quite a strong flavour, so you don’t need much on top of pasta, or as part of a meal.
  • It also lasts a long time.
  • Plus, I prefer feta to goats cheese. I do eat goats cheese, and quite often, but feta is creamier! My all time favourite salad (of which I have uploaded the recipe on my blog) consists of feta, watermelon, cucumber and fresh mint. It’s the best combination.

Lacto-free custard

custard

  • This is super yummy and super creamy, You can heat it in the microw
    ave or just have it cold. Some things I really missed when I first started a dairy free diet, things such as cream and custard on deserts were one of the big ones. This is so yummy and is by the same brand that creates the lacto free milk!

 

I think that when you have to rule out such a seemingly large part of your diet, it can sometimes seem rather limiting. But I think, especially in today’s food domain, having a  dairy free diet is actually pretty easy. If anything, you learn more about flavours, about nutrition and alternative food groups. Whether you are trying new foods, getting used to a dairy free diet, or simply want a healthier lifestyle, try some of these products. They are so yummy- trust me.

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20 Life Lessons, learnt in 20 years.

  1. Money does not equal happiness.
  2. Saying no is OK.
  3. Empowered women, empower other women.
  4. Stand up for what you believe in- always.
  5. Don’t compare your life to others.
  6. Surround yourself with those that love you and make you feel worthy.
  7. Giving will make you happier.
  8. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
  9. Nobody is in charge of your happiness but you.
  10. Paying someone a compliment can make their day.
  11. Avoid negative people.
  12. Be honest.
  13. Admit to your mistakes- don’t let them define you.
  14. Family comes first.
  15. People come and go, enjoy every second.
  16. Be yourself- you’re one of a kind.
  17. The grass is always greener on the other side.
  18. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
  19. Life’s greatest lessons are usually learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes.
  20. Having dark days simply makes the bright days brighter.

Day Trip to Kew Palace and Gardens

Hey!

Having been bogged down in University work recently, and having even more pressure as I’m going on holiday at the end of this week (!!!) – getting out this weekend was perfect.

My family and I visited Kew Palace last weekend and it was the ideal place to fully enjoy the warm weather. I honestly had no idea how big the gardens were and would actually love to go back another time. There were people playing games with their children, reading books, sunbathing, having picnics, sleeping and even running in the grounds. Plus it’s unbelievably pretty. I went a little photo crazy, so I’ve tried to put in just a few!

We had coffee in the old orangery, we walked around the gardens, with croissants and fanta and we did the tree top walk. Personally, the green house tipped me over the edge slightly- being the hottest day of 2017 so far! But it was super pretty, so I’m not complaining.

Kew Palace itself was not what I expected. In fact, I felt properly stupid after asking what the red building was- to be told it was the Palace we had driven to London to visit! It’s funny the Georgians obviously liked very square, symmetrical buildings. It was certainly aesthetically pleasing. Another thing we visited was the Hive, a Bee Hive shaped sculpture that you could walk in, and you’re meant to feel a sort of vibration, but it was super busy so we didn’t experience it, but nonetheless it was impressive.

I am always conscious when I go to London, or any big city, that I will stand out as a tourist. Sometimes it’s really easy to identify them- a prime example being the tourist with a huge camera, disrupting the steady flow around the palace- to take a picture of King George’s toilet…

Overall, it was a sunny, yummy croissant, perfect picnic kind of day!

If you like reading my blog, please like and follow!

Bee xoxo

Gluten-Free Banana Pancakes!

With my holiday to Portugal in two weeks time, I am starting to think that I should do a last minute health surge to (hopefully!) make me feel that little bit better in a bikini! I wouldn’t necessarily use the word ‘detox’, but I am definitely trying to avoid foods that will make me bloat, and am trying to eat as much fruit and veg as I can. I have never had the flattest of bellies, and I try to do sport as much as I can, but I can confirm that I notice a big difference if I cut out all wheat and limit the amount of dairy (or lacto-free dairy) in take I have. Downside: this can make me a lil grumpy.

So this morning I thought I would try some Banana Pancakes- I had heard of them before and thought I would give them a go- and they were pretty damn good!

Banana Pancakes: 

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Serves 2 people: makes 4 pancakes- don’t worry they’re pretty filling!

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 2 large eggs
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • A dash of vanilla essence
  • Oil- I used olive oil

Method 

Beat the eggs in one bowl and mash the banana in another. Make sure the banana is pretty well mashed, more of a paste. Then mix the banana with the eggs and add the vanilla and a pinch of baking soda. Mix it all together and you have your pancake batter.

I always seem to add too much oil so today I brushed it onto the pan, so I had a thin coat of oil on the pan. Heat the pan on a medium heat. When the pan is nice and hot, spoon out enough mixture for two pancakes- so half the batter.

Leave them to cook for one to two minutes on each side, and then flip them. Once they’re done, put them to one side and do the other two. Remember to add another coat of oil on the pan, and remove any burnt or excess pancake from the last lot- burnt pancake can smell pretty gross.

Then enjoy with whatever toppings you like, or even plain! They’re pretty sweet due to the banana and the vanilla.

Here are a few of my favourite toppings: 

  • Cinnamon and sugar sprinkled over the top.
  • Honey, maple syrup or golden syrup- depending on how healthy I am feeling.
  • Nutella- for my cheat/treat days!
  • Caramelised apple with cinnamon- I have blogged about these before and OMG they taste insane, however do contain a bit of sugar, so probably not the healthiest option.
  • Lemon or orange and sugar.
  • Chopped fruit- strawberries and raspberries are the bees knees on pancakes.
  • Yoghurt- I have lacto-free yoghurts, or soya yoghurts, but my favourite is the strawberry flavoured.

I hope you love these as much as I do- kick start your day with a healthy, non-bloaty breakfast and experiment with your toppings.

Bee xoxo

Beauty and the Beast- Review 

When I went in to watch the new Beauty and the Beast I was expecting to see far more sexuality references than I did, given the media surrounding Gaston and his supposed homosexuality. Often with a spin off or remake of a film, it is either mind-blowingly fantastic or a complete flop.


Twenty-six years ago, the original Disney production of Beauty and the Beast was produced. Today, I went to see the new version described by Empire as:

“An anabashed musical with its heart on it’s sleeve and energy to spare, it is undecidedly unbeastly”.

I can, hand on heart, say that it was one of the best remakes I’ve ever seen. Emma Watson, will most definitely no longer be Hermione Granger, but in fact Belle. I love the idea that young girls watching the new Beauty and the Beast will be idolising Emma Watson. It’s been suggested that Watson refused to wear a corset, stating that if gives an unrealistic image of women. The more I learn about Watson and her Feminist Campaigning, the more I appreciate her influence on the cause.

Emma Watson’s singing voice is also fab, of course, in Harry Potter, Hermione Granger had no need to sing, but blimey that girls can belt some decent notes!

As a Downton Abbey fan, I also adored Dan Stevens, who played the Beast. It’s funny when you walk into a cinema with an idea of the character a person can play, to me he was this Upper Class Englishmen that soon became a fantastic reincarnation of the original Beast.

As a child, Belle was not the top of my list to be. I was more interested in Cinderella and Snow White personally. But in reflection, Belle is arguably the figure I would most encourage my children to aspire to be- clever, independent, level headed and brave.

The entire film was full of incredible music and vibrant, almost hypnotic colours.

It was truly fantastic and to anyone that is thinking of going- do it! You won’t regret it.

Fun in the Sun

Life Update:

Number of:

  • Deadlines completed: 0
  • Mock Exams completed: 0
  • YouTube Videos watched: at least 15
  • Workouts: 0
  • Procrastination Status: Queen

Whenever I come home from University, I try to be as realistic as I can when it comes to work. I think: ‘give yourself a week off, get back into the zone, then you’ll be ready to smash the deadlines.’ Nah. It just doesn’t seem to work like that. My ‘week off’ of University work has turned into 2 weeks off.

I seem to be able to fill my time with the most random of things, for example rearranging my bedroom. At the time this seemed like a necessity- in hindsight it probably wasn’t.

Likewise, I started to watch Broadchurch, the third series. Having been pretty gripped, I decided to watch the first and second series too… and then moved onto Happy Valley. Essentially, I have been doing anything but work.

I went holiday shopping with my Mum and sister and visited the cutest coffee shop in West Quay, Southampton. As you have probably gathered, I am a complete sucker for coffee shops.

I feel like all I ever do on this blog is post pictures of walks and beaches, but I can honestly say the beach is my happy place. The beaches near me aren’t typically ‘scenic’, in fact they’re stony and have huge vessels sailing past all the time. And the water can be pretty gross at times too if I’m honest. But it’s almost always sunny, most definitely windy, always noisy and you can see the Isle of White across the boaty water. It’s somewhere I always drag Jack out to, to grab a coffee- surprise surprise!

Yesterday we took a stroll with some friends to the beach and sat on the stones for a while, before heading back for a roast. It was my favourite kind of Sunday.

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Hope you all had a great weekend 🙂

Bee xoxox

Blustery Walks

Today was one of those kind of unexpectedly chilled days. Working for the Nursery Agency means that I am on call between 7 am and 10 am, and if I don’t get a call between those times, I am free to spend my day how I wish. This obviously has it’s perks- having unexpected days off- but also means I have less money! So being in the latter position, Jack and I decided we would make the days productive and spend as little money as possible.

So we started the day off with driving into Fareham and collecting Jack’s suit. I haven’t really discussed Jack much on this blog, but he is in his first year of a Law Degree and has managed to get an Easter internship at a Law Firm in London- which is of course fantastic. But also requires Jack to look super smart and was the perfect excuse for a new suit. Anyway, after collecting the suit, we headed for a coffee in Whiteley and decided to bring my dog, Jim, along for the ride too!

Today was just one of those productive days, spent in the the grey and soggy england, cuddling cats and dogs, spent mostly singing to Ed Sheeran in the car and drinking coffee.