Shopping at Ocado for Free-from Food & Review of Items

Why Ocado?

I’m not able to get out of the house much (especially in the warmer weather) and I feel awful sending my Dad and my bloke out with lists of incredibly specific items that not every individual supermarket stocks. Imagine my Dad asking a member of staff for “This quinowaa stuff in a tub? It was on the Instagram.” “Sounds exotic, try the foreign isle.” (That’s the only thing they ever suggest because they can’t be arsed looking) and my bloke trying to explain that “No, harrisa paste won’t be in the DIY section!”

Is it easy?

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So easy! For a start there’s a ‘Browse Shop’ tab (top left) which reveals all of the different sections of the shop including toiletries, gardening, baby as well as frozen, fresh etc. I chose ‘Free From & Organic’. From the next list I choose ‘vegetarian’, ‘dairy free’ and ‘gluten free’. You can also filter by brands and what’s on offer. Minimum order is £40, which I would say is an average family, weekly shop anyway.

Booking and deliveries

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It’s displayed on an easy to understand grid, with the dates across the top and the 1 hour delivery times underneath. I’m not sure how far into the future you can schedule a delivery but it’s best to bear in mind that a product may be available when ordering but not necessarily available by the time your delivery happens.

You can alter your delivery times and edit your basket (you do have to check out again for the latter) up until the day before it’s due to arrive. You get a text the day before your delivery reminding you of the time, then another on the day telling you the name of your driver, the colour of the van (‘lemon’ which had giant lemons all over) and the reg. It also tells you if any item is unexpectedly out of stock. I found it amusing that, of all things they’d run out of my plain old toothpaste.

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Staff are so friendly and will carry your shopping right into your kitchen for you. Everything comes in named and colour coded bags so you can see where everything should go.

It is easy being green!

A little green van symbol indicates ‘greener delivery slots’. These are when an Ocado van is already doing another delivery in your area, so less millage and fuel burnt. You keep your bags and hand them back and any cardboard beer/wine holders on your next delivery.

The Food

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The Good

Everything by Sacla is always perfect.

Biona Fruit Bears are so much juicer better than Haribo.

Nakd Salted Caramel Bars are perfectly balanced between sweet and salty. They are so soft that it’s better to store them in the fridge on hot days.

Livia’s Nuglets are similar in flavour and also better kept in the fridge, for that chunks-of-cookie-dough-in-ice-cream effect.

Gu Spanish Lemon Cheesecakes are absolutely dreamy!

Gosh! Spinach and Pinenut Bites are basically a mild, soft falafel. These taste great with a few drops of water splashed on and warmed in the microwave for 10 seconds, then teamed with humus and salad.

Soulful One Pot, Brazillian Tomato and Black Bean with Cashews and Quinoa was so creamy for something dairy free and the ingredients were all so perfectly balanced, it was a delight to eat.

Violife block of cheese is the best dairy-free cheese I’ve eaten. Like a giant block of Dairylee slices.

Quorn Peperoni slices do contain milk in the flavourings but not enough to have an effect on me. Perfect cold in sandwiches with American mustard or hot on a pizza.

The Bad

Bakery of Main GF Muesli Banana flavour – No where near enough banana pieces!

Warburton’s GF Loaf – Sticks to your teeth like a sponge rehydrating it’s self. schaar white loaf is so much better.

Free and Easy Chickpea and Vegetable Curry – I was expecting something like an Indian daal, what I got was a Mexican chilli. Hmm.

The Meh…

Soulful One Pot, Mexican Bean and Sweet Potato with Quinoa – I thought I might not like the flavour of the quinoa but it was pleasant. I was disappointed that the flavour of the sweet potato was barley noticeable. I found that I was begrudgingly plodding my way through it, simply because I was hungry.

Clive’s Pies – These came out of the oven so damn dry! It didn’t say to microwave them but I did and they came out like a pudding from the chippy, nom! Still not a patch on other veggie pies I’ve eaten as they are stingy on the filling. Sort it out Clive!

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I’ve found the whole experience so much less stressful and time consuming than doing a physical shop. It wasn’t anymore expensive and I now have a fully stocked kitchen of lovely food that won’t make me ill. I accepted my second delivery (filled with more every-day type stuff, as well as a few new things) as I was typing this. After I’ve tried everything I’m going to edit my favourites list online and then just have it as a repeat order every month I reckon.

Chrissie

 

 

 

 

What I’ve Been Up To Lately

Well, the answer is not much as I’ve had a cold for a week but luckily the evening before it started me and the bloke went to the pub. We love The Gateway in Didsbury as it has friendly staff and punters, free wi-fi, lots of cheap but tasty veggie food, a nice gluten free beer as well as many guest beers and ciders. Plus, the loos are down stairs so it’s not like navigating that Escher painting trying to find them.

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I was too hot and restless to sleep in so I got up and ‘painted’ my hair again. Literally just slapped it on the front bits with a tint brush, then read a magazine for an hour and then sat on the bathroom floor, leaned into the shower and rinsed it off.

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‘Discovered’ a great takeaway called Saki in Droylesden on Justeat who do veggie sushi, this lovely mixed tofu salad, Gyoza dumplings and ramen. Okay, I’m getting hungry now…

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I can take no credit for this what-so-ever, it’s all down to my Dad!

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I found this plastic glass at the back of the cupboard which has inspired me to make banana and strawberry milk shakes, with a splash of almond milk.

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I changed my avatar to look all summery (they didn’t have a streaky hairstyle, just posh balayage) and then, of course, it pissed it down for the rest of the week.

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Came across this great graphic on Instagram and gave the little guy an activity to do because disabled people also do things.

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To use up some stuff I made a deli bowl of Mediterranean salad, pomegranate bits, mixed seeds, stuffed vine leaves, the ever important inclusion of pickles, and pieces from a giant block of silken tofu I cut up into big chunks and fried in sesame oil (tastes like chicken).

Over the past four months I’ve been watching The Goldbergs, then Schooled, Speechless and Young Sheldon and The Big Bang Theory nearly every evening. I’m at a bit of a loss now that two have ended for good, one might not be coming back (Speechless) and two are in between series.

I seem to have replaced them with the gameshows Tipping Point (based around the 2p waterfall arcade machine), Pointless, Egg Heads and The Chase. My general knowledge is pretty impressive now and it’s massively helped my recall and logical reasoning. Oh and there’s series five of Black-ish starting!

Coming up soon I review green mascara and purple lip gloss from The Body Shop and two Rockabilly blouses from Hell Bunny.

Chrissie

 

Kirsty’s Classic Margherita Pizza Gluten & Dairy Free review

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It’s unusual for me to find a pizza that is GF and DF, especially one that has a fair amount of toppings. I found this in Tesco.

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Studies have found that our gut health does directly relate to our emotions because they are connected by the vagus nerve, which transmits signals between them. Ever been really nervous and had a slushy feeling in your stomach or received bad news and felt your stomach drop? Ever eaten something you know doesn’t agree with your stomach in the evening and then had really chaotic anxiety dreams? It does make you wonder!

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They could add more cheese around the edge but the sauce is delicious and the thin base is lovely and crispy so I wasn’t too bothered. My only complaint is that the ‘cheese’ was too sweet. Nice flavour to it but I had to add salt and pepper to make it more savoury.

In my gas oven I had to put this on the shelf that’s above middle but not right at the top, rather than the middle as suggested. I also had to put it on gas mark 7 (higher than the temperature suggested) and leave it in for five minutes longer. Frustrating at first but I’m glad I persevered.

The bloke cooked his in a microwave-combi oven and followed the instructions exactly. It came out perfect!?

Rating 4/5 (depending on oven)

Chrissie

 

The Basic Skincare Regimen That’s Made a Huge Difference

The reason for my delicate snowflake skin

As a (sometimes) beauty blogger I used throw an awful lot of different brands and products at my skin; no wonder it was so confused! It would go from too oily to really dry within hours and sometimes it would be oily but dehydrated at the same time. I was also eating a lot of dairy (the reason for so many spots) and gluten (the reason for redness, water retention and inflammation). Nowadays I eat a mainly free-from diet with just one cheat day a week and stick to these gentle skincare items.

My skins needs

My face doesn’t seem to shed old skin cells very well, resulting in dullness, blocked pores and poor absorption of products so a frequent radiance peel is so helpful! Although I don’t have sensitive skin, it does still get red easily because of allergies or sudden temperature changes so products that are calming and balancing are also a must. I feel there’s room to fit in a pampering sheet mask as recommended by the awesome Hunida over at Hunida’s Blog or a pink clay mask to reduce my pores, once a week.

The wonder products!

B. Miceller Water to cleanse twice a day. The least drying and most effective cleanser/toner I’ve tried.

Murad Intensive Radiance Peel, twice a week. Gentle enough for my skin with natural acids.

Nip+Fab Hyaluronic acid everyday. Helps skin to absorb moisture from the atmosphere and my moisturiser.

Weleda Pomegranate Body Lotion, everyday. The naturally occurring Vit C in this calms redness and inflammation. It’s also so light but hydrating my face loves this as well as my body.

Weleda Pomegranate Body oil, everyday. This has totally rescued my pout from cracking in drying central heating. Vit C also helps to regulate sebum production.

What are your everyday must haves?

Chrissie

Oumph! Kebab Spiced

Oumph! Kebab Spiced strips really do taste like Greek or Turkish kebabs made with traditional spices.

I’ve used them to add texture and protein to a salad; I’ve had them in a wrap with fried onion, mushroom and bell pepper with a little yoghurt sauce and thinly sliced cucumber and as a simple burger replacement topped with melted cheese, tomato sauce and lettuce.

The first word that comes to mind when describing the texture is chewy. ‘Very resilient hot dog sausage’ is a fair comparison. Be aware that this does not change, no matter how much you fry them.

I love them for their authentic flavour, versatility and yes, even the texture. A girl can only eat tofu for so long without wanting a change.

Rating 5/5

Chrissie

Dying My Hair Peachy-Pink with Manic Panic!

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Does anyone remember ‘tiger stripes’ from the early 2000’s? Well I got a subtler version done as a base for my colour. My lovely hairdresser Maria informed me that the lighter you bleach your base, the lighter the colour will be, perfect for pastels. But if you want a more vibrant colour then leave your hair a rich gold tone to give your colour more depth. I got a few inches cut off too.

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I used Tish & Snooky’s Manic Panic semi-permanent colour in Pretty Flamingo, a pinky-peach, to colour some streaks but not others creating an effect like a Fruit Salad sweet. I’ve always wanted hair like that since being a kid! Now my hair has gotten naturally lighter I thought I should go for it.

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According to The Bloke, who generously volunteered to do it for me as long as he chose the music (Thin Lizzy) it’s creamy and easy to apply. Maria kindly gave me a tint brush which made it much easier. It’s left my hair soft, shiny and conditioned, even though we rough dried it to create a grungy texture.

Although I love the colour, I know it’s going to fade too quickly unless I dye it one more time for more depth. I think I’ll just do the top layer myself and then leave it at that.

Chrissie

 

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation V’s e.l.f Beautifully Bare Foundation

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation (£16/30 ml)

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Pro’s

Medium build-able coverage and covers redness

Goes on easily with brush or beauty blender

Very long wearing

Very lightweight/natural feel

Non drying

Non greasy

Available in realistic skin tones

Easy pump action, let’s you choose the exact amount you use

Easily recycled glass bottle

Reasonably priced

SPF 15

Exact colour match as small colour sample on the website

Contains English Rose Water and Aloe Vera

Con’s

Way too matte. Doesn’t give a ‘fresh’ or ‘natural’ finish.

e.l.f Beautifully Bare Foundation (£9/14ml)

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Medium build-able coverage and covers redness

Goes on easily with brush or beauty blender

Very long wearing

Very lightweight/natural feel

Non drying

Non greasy

Available in realistic skin tones

Easy pump action, let’s you choose the exact amount you use

Easily recycled glass bottle

Very reasonably priced

SPF 25

Exact colour match as small colour sample on the website

Contains Vitamin A, C, & E, Grape Seed Oil, Pomegranate Oil, and Goji Berry

Con’s 

Almost too matte. Sadly, it doesn’t make skin look ‘radiant or dewy’.

The winner

e.l.f Beautifully Bare Foundation

It has ten more SPF than The Body Shop Fresh Nude foundation; works out slightly cheaper and contains more active ingredients for healthy skin. It changes over three hours of wear to look a little less matte, which I’m very glad about.

 

 

 

 

 

Gluten and Dairy Free Crisps from Aldi

I think I’ve found the Holy Grail of crisps for people with dairy and gluten intolerance!

Wait, what actually is a food intolerance?

Food intolerances, although not as dangerous as some allergies, can have a very real and detrimental affect on daily life. Sometimes causing severe bloating/water retention, facial redness, shortness of breath, bad skin, serious gut pain, bowel problems and fatigue. As a result of the body seeing this food as alien, it not only raises histamines (very stressful for our immune system) but the body doesn’t absorb much goodness from the food so vitamin and mineral deficiencies are common.

Can’t you just avoid cheese, milk, pasta and bread then?

This is exactly what I thought at first, until I discovered that Lactose (a milk sugar) and Gluten (a grain protein) are often used in flavourings to bulk them out and to get them to stick to the snack. I’ve honestly been in so many supermarkets where I couldn’t buy ANY crisps or flavoured rice cakes or popcorn, not even trusty Salt & Vinegar flavour sometimes because of either Lactose or Gluten in the flavouring. The big bags of ‘posh crisps’ tend to be a little better I’ve noticed but they are so dear!

So do they taste any good?

All of these flavours taste unique and wonderful. Ranging from sweet but spicy Serrano Chilli & Yucatán Honey along with Tomatillo Salsa, to the spicy, smokey but slightly sharper Chipotle and Lime, to traditional Sea Salt and Black Pepper and the more unusual, zingy Sea Salt and Lime. My fave surprisingly.

Any other good stuff?

Both ranges are pleasantly affordable and the textures are crunchy but not too hard, a lot like handmade tortilla chips you would get in a hipster bar.

The Specially Selected range contain 2.5% seeds, including Golden Linseed, Sunflower Seeds, Brown Linseed and Millet. The Tortillas With Spirit are made from Whole White Corn and Green Lentils.

Nom, nom…

A big handful of these dipped into hummus, chunky salsa or dairy free yoghurt are so filling and energy giving that I’ve been having them for lunch (on slower days) rather than just as a snack. Also, very nice crushed and sprinkled over salad for extra protein and texture.

🖤Chrissie🖤

Yaoh – Organic Hemp Seed Oil Shampoo & Conditioner

Yaoh Organic Hemp Seed Oil Shampoo – Coconut and Lime (£5.99 240ml)

Contains extracts of rosemary, lavender and chamomile and is free from sodium lauryl sulphate and other harsh chemicals. The lime and coconut scent reminds me of a delicious holiday cocktail. I have tried shampoos in the past (most of the generic brands from big companies) that have left my hair feeling like tangled straw. I’ve tried shampoos that are a lot more gentle but didn’t really do the job. Yaoh shampoo removed a huge amount excess grease, dirt and product build-up but didn’t strip my hair of it’s natural oils. Sometimes I co-wash (meaning just washing with conditioner to gently refresh hair and re-define it’s shape) but I honestly could have sham-washed with this shampoo, it’s that gentle and nourishing.

Rating 5/5

Yaoh Organic Hemp Seed Oil Conditioner – Summer Breeze (£5.99 240ml)

I have to get this out of the way first; both me and my bloke hated the scent of this so I only used it on the back of my hair for the purpose of reviewing it and then my usual conditioner on the rest.

Rating 2/5 (only for that scent though)

Overall

My hair has never been so soft ever before, not even as a child. It’s like I have a totally new (and much calmer) hair type that just falls into shiny loose spirals – wow!

For 33% off all bath products Nov-Dec use code SHAM33

Chrissie

Yaoh Skincare

Yaoh are an independant vegan company based in Bristol, UK who are one of the original hemp beauty companies. They were the first cruelty free and natural beauty brand that I ever used, around ten years ago. Since then they have extended their range which includes bath products, skincare, suncare, lipcare and even organic food!

Deep Forest Moisturiser £6.99, 56g

Containing multiple essential oils this is an incredibly effective moisturiser. It has the thick consistency of a luxury night cream but sinks in fairly quickly. This would be the perfect base for foundation if you have very dry skin and primers don’t work for you. My skin has become a lot drier since turning 30 (on the exact day, I swear) but Deep Forest Moisturiser replaces everything I’m naturally lacking for healthy, younger looking skin. For combination skin I’ve found applying an essential oil based moisturiser like this (sparingly), after cleansing, can re-balance it over a week or two.

Tropical Fruits Body Butter £11.99, 200g

I find this to be more of a cream, rather than a butter or balm but it still hydrates really well and feels lovely; a little like comfort-food for the skin. I love that it doesn’t leave my skin feeling really tacking and so I’m able to put on leggings and/skinny jeans within a few minutes of application; something that’s often impossible after using a lot of other body butters. One thing which does disappoint me is the ‘tropical fruits’ scent. I was expecting it to smell like a giant holiday cocktail but it just doesn’t. I am glad that it doesn’t contain any synthetic perfumes though so…

50% off all body butters throughout October 2018 Use code BUTT50

Lip Balms £2.95, 4g

Made with Candelila Wax, Olive Oil, Vitamin E and Comfrey, these lip balms are work really hard to rescue dry damaged lips and also act as a barrier against harsh weather. They have a nice scent but don’t taste of much, which I like because otherwise I’d lick it all off!

50% off selected lip balms Oct-Dec 2018 Use code LIPS50

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Look out for my upcoming review of Yaoh Shampoo and Conditioner!

Chrissie