Graze Box

Graze Days – my Gaze Box Review

I’ve been meaning to write about this for ages but I’m finally gettingaroundtoit … I’ve been subscribed to Graze for a whole semester now and I’m loving it.

Graze Box

Graze Box

Graze Box

If you don’t know who Graze are they’re a company that send boxes of healthy snacks to ‘make snacking more fun’ and healthy. So it’s free to sign up for the website and it is a subscription box but you can postpone or change the delivery date as much as you like, so you’re very much in control of how much you spend on it. You can also usually find coupons to have like 1st and 10th box free in various magazines and sometimes with other online orders – they’re all the hype apparently.

Graze Box

 

It’s a really cute little box, I especially love that the packaging is almost 100% recyclable, and I feel like a few boxes would make a really good gift for a friend who’s on a health kick, or a chocolate box for valentines day for a girl friend or something.

What do I get?

I get the Nibble Box. It’s a box of smaller snacks, 4 each time, which are designed to nibble on.

Graze Box

How often do I get it?

Twice a month, or once every two weeks, this is plenty for me really, any more would be a waste of money.

 

How much do I pay?

£3.99 per box – yea it’s not cheap, but it doesn’t kill you either.

Graze Box

 

Is it worth it?

Well, yes. For £3.99 you’d never get four such nice snacks anywhere, and I love that sometimes it comes with teabags too (BONUS!). Is it necessary though? No, absolutely not, it’s more like having a mini-Christmas every two weeks. I get excited to get the box, I usually scoff it all within two days and it’s definitely a lovely treat. But this is a lifestyle luxury for a student like me, I wouldn’t get it if you’re pushed for money.

 

Here’s the low-down on what I’ve had in my box so far:

Graze Box

LOVES

Banana Cake with an Afternoon Infusion

Super Carrot Cake with an Afternoon Infusion

I’ll just go for both of them at once. Bottom line, anything that comes with a teabag will win me over. No doubt. But there’s kind of the golden rule that, if you’re feeding me, you can’t really go wrong with cake either. These are bite sized and delicious. It’s an excuse to take two minutes out and make yourself a mini-afternoon-tea.

Mixed Olives with Rosemary and Lemon

Basil & Garlic Olives

Yet again you can’t really every go wrong with olives for me. If they were too spicy I might have an issue but that’s it really. The rosemary and lemon ones are very light especially, neither flavour will be offensive to anybody because they’re so gentle. These aren’t extreme. Warning though, they do come in oil (I guess that’s so they keep longer), so if you aren’t a fan of oily food, or your skin is particularly sensitive to it or something, then I wouldn’t recommend them.

Fruit & Seed Flapjack

I like flapjacks when they aren’t too dry, I hate a dry flapjack. Graze flapjacks are delightfully springy. These is my favourite because it’s pack full of more ‘stuff’ than oats. The sunflower seeds are the best bit, it’s super yummy.

Fruity Mango Chutney

I adore mango chutney, so this was a winner. The sad thing is you don’t get very much but then it is a snack box. You get a small pot of chutney attached to a box of mini bread sticks in various flavours. These are a great Reading Snack, I like to have something fuss free to keep constantly stuffing in my mouth while I read a paper or an essay… thus Reading Snack.

Cherries & Berries

I always love just plain fruit. And dried fruit like cherries, cranberries, raisins – they’re the best. So if you’re a fruit fan too you can always tailor your box in the direction of fruit, Graze have a whole section of berry and nut mixes.

Graze Box

LIKES

Tropical Daiquiri

This is on the dried fruit list too, it’s an interesting mix including dried pineapple. Now, I’m not a fan of dried banana, or dried mango, but dried Pineapple was actually quite pleasant. It’s not something I’ll be dying to turn up in a box again but I won’t be sad if it does, it’s a nice mix of fruits and it’s pretty satisfying.

Graze Popping Corn – lightly salted and slightly sweet

My only problem with this is that I don’t have a microwave. So I have to keep taking it to other people’s houses and sharing it (sad times, although probably better in the long run). The plus side is that it’s actually a reasonable size to share. My favourite is the lightly salted, because I’m really a savoury girl at heart, and the bag was just right to share with the boyfriend while watching Chuck. If you don’t have a microwave though, I would make sure you hit ‘bin’ on the Graze website so this doesn’t appear in your box.

Smokey Chipotle Dip

My Thai

Two more chips and dips, slightly spicier than the chutney but give you a nice kick. They kind of wake you up. Not too much to say, I just know that I like these and they’re great for the same reason as the Mango Chutney one. If you’re into spicy things, these are a good place to start and I think you can select some with increasing amounts of spice when you’re on the graze site.

Apple and Cinnamon Flapjack

See above, r.e. Flapjacks. I like it a lot, it’s nice and tasty. I’m often not crazy about apple in cakes, but if you tend to love apple flavoured things, grab this straight away.

Pomodoro Rustichella

Just nice little sun-dried tomato-y croutons. I like them.

Rhubarb and Pear Compot

Okay not one I expected to like, since I’m not even to sure what a compot is. It was basically a tasty chewy, dried fruit mix with surprisingly soft dried pear and rhubarb. It’s a really ‘different’ flavour if you’re bored of your normal dried fruit.

Cracking Black Pepper Cashews

Om nom nom. So good. If you like cashew nuts you’ll love these. Avoid if you don’t like nuts.

 

DISLIKES

Cookies & Cream

I don’t know why I didn’t like this, I just found it a bit too sweet and the chocolate-y bits too much. This is one of those where you may well love it though if you have a sweet tooth.

Dark Rocky Road Granola Topper

I found something in this a bit too much, I’m not sure what, maybe the dried strawberries. I don’t really eat toppers on yoghurt though, so it’s worth a try if you’re usually into this sort of thing, I just found it quite rich.

Marvellous Macaroon

I don’t like white chocolate or coconut and I found both in this. Sorry Graze.

Toffee Apple

I haven’t actually tried this, I ruled it out right away because I don’t usually like toffee.

Bonnie Wee Oatbakes

The oat biscuits, little baby round ones, were actually okay but very dry on their own. Sadly the chutney they came with was very onion-y, I don’t advise this if you’re not an onion fan.

Graze Box

Are you subscribed to Graze? Tell me what you get and what snacks you’ve loved so far!

*No I’m not sponsored by Graze and haven’t received any free samples from them*

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Bean salad

Not-So-Baked Beans #freshersfood!

I’ll begin with a little disclaimer…re-starting University ate me alive, and therefore my blog died a death! I still feel a bit like I’m being repeatedly beaten with the educational whipping stick, but I’m getting into the swing of it. SO sorry to anyone who signed up for FitForFreshers expecting more – I was too! I hope to do it again next year, but better. Anyway…

Bean salad

This is an AMAZING recipe – if I can really call it that – there’s little to no cooking goes into this it’s just ‘these things go together… like doowap doowap…*cue Grease moment*’.

Beans – those of the non-baked variety – are such an amazing food; they help me bulk out any meal super cheaply and you don’t feel even remotely guilty. They’re a vegetable but they will you up too, which is perfect, So I usually have a pack of peas, broad beans and green beans in my freezer at all times (they’re taking up no fridge space and keep forever) so I can always head to a Bean Salad if my fridge is looking a little sad and empty. All of these cost about £2 or less from most supermarket freezer isles and they go a really long way. I cook all of these in a steamer, which by the way is one of my favourite kitchen utensils ever (erm… sad much?), but if you don’t have one of those just boil them.

Bean salad

om nom nom

 

Then you can add ingredients as you please. If you can’t cope without meat then why not chuck in some ham/bacon or fish fingers as a super cheap alternative!). Other than that I tend to add cheese because…cheese. Then I keep the rest of the salad raw; you can add leaves of your choice, spinach (cheap in Lidl & sometimes Sainsburys) or rocket or bog standard lettuce, and then usually some tomato and cucumber (olives could work for a Greek style combo), spare peppers…you get the gist. I usually dress it too, this is mum’s homemade blackberry vinegar (thanks mummy!) but you could go for olive oil and lemon juice, or a low fat dressing of your choice. Or, you know, ketchup & mayonnaise, it’s your choice… you’re a student after all!

Bean salad

Tomatoes and Feta are two of my favourite tastes

Ingredients (in mine):

Broad beans
Green beans
Pease
Spinach
Tomatoes
Feta cheese
Dressing

Other Ideas:
Peppers
Cucumber
Ham/bacon/fish fingers
Olives
Glass of wine/bottle of beer…
Netflix

Bean salad

for extra mmm add spinach

 

Restaurant Oludeniz

Can you not gain weight at an All Inclusive?

No.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m joking of course! It’s actually very dependent on will power I must say, which is probably obvious, any buffet eating usually has me so excited by choice that I feel the need to have five plates (come on, it’s all you can eat) and everything possible on each one. Me and Chinese buffets are a very terrible idea. But this time I had a whole week, so that ‘oh my gosh I’ve got to eat everything right now’ feeling was quelled slightly by knowing there was going to be this much food every day.

Aside: I don’t know why I get so excited when there’s so much food, I’ve never been starving or anything, I just like food a lot.

So how did I cope with the All Inclusive and not put on weight?

  1. Don’t eat every meal! Seriously this place offered three main meals plus unlimited burgers, chips and snacks all day and unlimited alcohol after a certain time of day. I don’t even know if I could eat so many meals but thankfully we left the hotel every day so I was never around for lunch. It’s good to remember that just because it’s all paid for it’s not all obligatory.
  2. Go for the salad first. If you’re like me you’re eating more than one plate of food, Fo Sho! So, when you head up for your first plate, head to the salad bar first so you can grab plenty of healthy veggies and cous cous etc to fill you up before you head back to the more dangerous realms of fried food and big kebabs.
  3. Consider going veggie. Temporary veggie I call it, it limits what I can shovel down my throat basically. I still eat a lot I just eat a lot of vegetables, and that ultimately can’t be a bad thing. Sure the veg can be fried, roast, covered in cheese or whatever but it’s definitely going to be leaner than if you were eating a burger too.
  4. Avoid the stuff you can get in Mcdonalds. If they are offering chicken burgers, nuggets and things to help keep everybody happy then try and avoid them in favour of healthier more local options – provided you like said options of course. It’s a great way to avoid those nasty, deep fried things, especially when they’re breaded too. You can opt for a grilled fish or something as an alternative and you have a much healthier meal.
  5. Maybe don’t have 8 beers… yea, I know drinks are all inclusive (woop woop!) but beer contains a lot of hidden, or not so hidden, calories. Opt for a juice sometimes or a chilled white wine, gin and tonic – anything less calorific really.
  6. Head out for one meal. If you feel like you have the money (I know not everyone even takes cash with them on all inclusive holidays) maybe head out to avoid the hotel lunch and have a lighter snack option. I personally don’t need three full meals in a day (I could have them, believe me) so I chose to have an afternoon snack out. You’re paying, so you’ll consider more carefully what you ‘need’ and there will be a range of restaurants to choose from, so you can head straight for somewhere healthier. Or a kebab shop… your call 😉

My favourite things to eat at the hotel were: melon and watermelon, salad and especially olives, some chilli rice thing they made, grilled fish with lemon juice, grilled aubergines, a spinach salad.

Can you go to an All Inclusive and not end up regretting it? I was pleasantly surprised; after the first night at least, I managed to exercise some self-restraint. Want to read more about Turkey or my paragliding experience there?

British Schnitzel Outing

Saw Schnitzel, ate schnitzel… didn’t die!

I know…I can hear a few people I know counting and calculating the calories as they look at that. I get it- that is not a ‘healthy’ meal, per say. It’s no dieter’s meal for sure. But oh my goodness was it delicious.

Schnitzel Griechische Art beim Drei Linden

I love steak. Yep. I love Schnitzel too – that’s what that monstrous beast is if you’re wondering, it’s not, in fact, a whole animal or an extra-terrestrial being. I also, in case you hadn’t guessed, love my body- I love exercise and eating healthily and looking after my body to the best of my ability. But eating that monster there and keeping my body fit and healthy are not mutually exclusive; therein lies the problem with a lot of diets, and attitudes in general, these days.

It’s not like I go out and eat Schnitzel from that restaurant every night and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it. I do, however, know that a little bit of most things is okay now and again- if your favourite food is bacon that’s not a crime. If you really love cheese (hi, yes, I do too!), don’t stop eating it to keep to a soulless diet. Food makes us happy, and the love of food is a really healthy powerful thing. Food is fuel, fuel equals miles. I believe it’s much healthier to eat a variety of exciting food than to limit yourself to one type of food or cut off multiple food groups because of their bad factors. We all have our light and dark side right? Well then, don’t hate on all fats just because some of them are bad for you!

British Schnitzel Outing

Now straight up and honest the only healthy thing on my Schnitzel was the feta cheese; however I don’t think that treating yourself to something wonderfully indulgent once in a while is ever a disaster, definitely not something worth punishing yourself over or thinking you’ve failed your diet. For me, planning evenings where I eat meals like this is essential, it helps you not go crazy and order burger and chips at midnight or suddenly stuff an entire bag of candy floss down your face because you’re stressed. You could call it damage control, I call it damn good. Either way- don’t be scared of the steak, slim healthy humans consume that stuff too.