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

 

 

 

 

Drink 1 Litre of Water for 5 Days Challenge

Hi lovely people!

I don’t know about you, but I need to drink more water as I’m feeling thirsty far to often and my skin and energy levels hate me for it. So you’ve probably heard that Beyonce drinks 2.5 litres of water a day but seeing as I ain’t busting my arse in a studio or on stage and my day is much shorter, I thought I’d reign that goal in a bit. I’ve decided that 1 litre is more realistic for me, plus I like a few beers in the evening so I don’t want to end up all bloated trying to cram in too much liquid.

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The rules

  1. As my body has always loved to piss away most of the water I drink, rather than absorb it and because I have chronic fatigue, I’m filing the bottle up like this 1/3 energy drink, 2/3 water, with a pinch of salt included.
  2. I’m using the same bottle for each day
  3. I’m not counting tea, coffee, orange juice or beer.
  4. I’m starting at 12.30pm when I get up and finishing at 4.30pm so leaving tea-time and evenings free.

The Bottle

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It has a fancy button which pops open the spout and a button to lock that button so it’s safe to travel, oh and a handy carabina clip. It also has times for morning and afternoon down one side and measurements down the other. Really though you could up-cycle any bottle as long as you draw lines to show where each litre and half litre is. My memory is bobbins though so I appreciate that it’s divided into hours.

Day 1

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On track…

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Lagging behind by an hour and a half!

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Just finished it at 6.12pm. It was a real effort and I noticed that it really curbed my appetite so I’ve only eaten a small bowl of nachos and humus all day. That can’t be good can it?

Day 2

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Way ahead today as I woke up thirsty and it was a warm day.

Day 3

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Stopped at 3.30pm as I really fancied sitting in the sunshine with nice cold shandies. I did finish the rest off later though.

Day 4

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Kept perfectly on track all day and found it easy.

Day 5

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It was one of those days where the weather is changing like crazy – from getting baked out of bed and drinking water and craving a glass of cold, fresh orange – to it turning cold and making me need a coffee with 2/3 hot hazelnut milk in to warm me up. I’ve met my liquid intake goal, it just wasn’t all water.

Verdict

My skin does look really healthy and I must admit, I didn’t once get that ‘Oh, I really should get up and get a drink but I’m tired or busy so I’ll do it in a minute.’ attitude because the water bottle was always right next to me. I’ve been going to the loo for number two more regularly and seem to digest heavier foods quicker, which has made me less bloated. Was that TMI?

Doing this can be a great way of making sure you stay hydrated but I still think we should be intuitive and listen to what our body needs and when. There is no point in trying to force water into your body when it might need something else. Two things that weren’t factored into this challenge were a) The space in my tummy that food took up and b) I have a mainly plant based diet so I absorb water (a lot more easily) from my food.

I’ve kept up trying to drink my litre-of-water-a-day for just over a week now, with varying degrees of success but that’s ok as long as I’m not thirsty or too bloated! :o)

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

Ben & Jerry’s Vegan Coconutterly Caramel’d Ice Cream

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That’s quite a name isn’t it! I absolutely loved those caramel and coconut flavoured Bon Bon’s as a kid, so I was proper chuffed when The Bloke came home with this from Tesco.

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The two main flavours were perfectly balanced and the added chocolate chunks were huge! I didn’t notice the cookie content so I wished there were some little caramel chunks in there as well as it being swirled through, instead.

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You would never know that this is vegan ice cream and the flavour of the almond milk it’s made with isn’t noticeable.

Rating 4/5

Chrissie

Perfect World Caramel Pecan Vegan Ice Cream

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I came across this in Tesco and recognised the Perfect World logo (although it’s changed a little) from some of their ice cream I bought from Co-op a while back so I’m hoping Perfect World is now widely available.

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It’s a bonus that it has lots of vits and minerals in but let’s be honest, who worries about that when they are eating ice cream, eh? I also like that they haven’t gone over-board with the calorific content as I’ll be eating a LOT of it!

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The caramel is on the more saltier side, which I love and the pecans compliment it really well. I just wish they’d left them chunkier for added texture, rather than really finely chopped and blended in. As well as just eating it with a spoon out of the tub (me), this is also a nice alternative for people who normally eat dairy ice cream with desert.

Rating 4/5

Chrissie

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🖤

September – Monthly Round-up

Food & Drink

My Bloke got me these posh teas from Twinings so I can have hot drinks that aren’t builders tea (strong, milk, two sugars) which I’m not overly fond of. I can’t attest to their waking and sleeping powers as my brain seems to function in any other way possible, than what’s expected; I can say they both taste lovely though. Fairly subtle and fresh in flavour and not too perfumy.

We are successfully growing chillies! The plant is both male and female so you get a really soft and narrow makeup brush and act like a bee and go around all of the flowers pollinating it. We planted it at the start of summer and now have seven decent sized chillies, with lots of tiny little green globes that will hopefully grow bigger.

I’ve figured out the perfect way of making a vegetarian Roast ‘Chicken’ Salad & Fahita Filling.

Style

This is the one of my trusty styles for autumn, along with a more dressy look I’ll post next month.

Of course there had to be something Halloween related as we near October. Unbelievably some of the things I wanted to include in Halloween Fashion were already sold out!

I’ve never been a big Disney Princess fan, in fact the words used to make me shudder as a kid BUT I’ve always loved a good baddie. Perfect for Halloween Disney Style.

Beauty

Here’s why this GOSH BB Cream was both a hit and a miss.

Ooh pretty! See what I thought of the Barry M Holographic Eye Toppers and what look I created using the green one.

If you want an everyday mascara which will be kind to your lashes and the environment then PHB Natural Mascara is the one you need.

Random

Even though my Bloke has never watched friends he has somehow picked up on the recent resurgence of it and has started saying Joey’s expression “How you doin’?” to me. He started off enthusiastically (and hilariously) saying “How ya doing!!!” while wiggling his eyebrows up and down. Bahahaa! Nope. I told him it’s “How you doin’?” with one eyebrow raise to accent the word ‘you’, that makes ALL the difference. He is now utterly and disarmingly brilliant at it! I seem to have subconsciously picked up on the Joey look too.

Squirrels hate me. Yup. On three separate occasions I have been screamed at by a squirrel. Walking by one on a footpath, walking under a low hanging branch and yesterday one was on a tree, next to the window and I was inside the flat! I’m starting to agree with Carrie Bradshaw that they are indeed ‘Just rats in cute outfits.’ Although, that may be an injustice to rats.

Here’s an honest and lighthearted list of 15 Relatable Ways Brain Fog Effects People. You might think of someone or even yourself as rather ‘ditzy’ or sort of ‘head in the clouds’ but it could be brain fog if they/you have chronic fatigue or various other conditions. I’ve come out with some great one-linners and wonderings while feeling brain-fogged however.

 

Chrissie

What’s In My Fridge

Often when I explain to people that I’m veggie and have a gluten and dairy intolerance, they often ask “Then what do you eat then?”

Top shelf: Chilled Water; Burger Sauce (this is as close to prawn cocktail sauce I’ve found and I love it on salad); Spanish Tortilia.

Middle shelf: Giant Green Olives; Organic Humus; Quorn Smokey Ham Free Slices; Violife Block Original (dairy free cheese, which is great for gooey toasties).

Bottom Shelf: Humus, Artichoke hearts in oil, Sacla Free From Green Pesto, Tahini (perfect for making your own humus by adding the tahini with tinned chickpeas, garlic paste or fresh and olive oil and blending); Gosh! Veggie Moroccan Spiced Koftas.

Salad Draw: Usually iceberg lettuce, rocket, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper; Mixed pickled veg which I love as it’s so crunchy!

Top door shelf: East End Very Hot Green Chilli; East End Hot Mango and Chilli (can’t taste any mango but it is very refreshing, used sparingly); Pitted Black Olives x2; East End Tamarind Sauce (sweeter than the original paste); Sriracha Hot Sauce (sweeter and less vinegary than Tabasco).

Bottom door shelf: Tyskie (not mine, I prefer Peroni – gluten free);OKF Farmer’s Aloe Vera with Water Melon (tasty and so hydrating); Vita Coconut Water (er, so hydrating); Alpro Almond Milk (great with coffee or for making ‘cheese’ sauce).

I’d love to hear if you have any questions or if there are other ways that you would use these items?

Chrissie

July Monthly Blog Round-up

Turns out I’m still figuring out how to get my eye makeup to show up under my glasses. I’ve tried black eyeliner on the top and sparkly gold colours on my lids and lower lash line. This is the amazing result – oh. I’m going for masses of metallic blue and green liner next time, maybe a bit of pink!

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Ordered from Zad’s in Chorlton as I really fancied some veggie junk food. It did not disappoint – OMG it was lush!

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I reviewed the Pixi Strobe and Sculpt palette. It came out at just the right time when I needed to restock a few things, which all happened to be included in this palette! Read my review here.

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Not so great timing was finding this yellow colour corrector by Nip and Fab which you can mix with foundation that’s too orange – when I’d just thrown out three foundation which were, yup, too orange. Still, useful for that in the future and I can use it under lighter coverage foundation to tone down any redness I have.

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I found some really nice firm tofu called Toofoo. It’s great grilled with a coating of chilli oil or some BBQ sauce.

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When I heard that LUSH were releasing a solid foundation called Slap Stick and that it came in 40 shades with three undertones, I had to try it. See what I thought here.

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After half a year of summer I’d gotten a bit fed up coconut water or almond milk based smoothies. I chucked a load of blueberries and raspberries and water into a blender and blended thoroughly, then I added around 10 ice cubes and pulsed to create a slushy . It tasted wonderful!

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I bought some amazing unicorn inspired brushes and realised I couldn’t fit them into any makeup bags I own. I saw this sparkly pencil case in Tesco and they fit great…Now that I’ve sawn off the giant pointy bit at the end. I actually think they look better now and are easier to use.

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I have combination hair, y’know oily roots, meh mid-lengths and frizzy ends. I can’t tell you how many pre-wash treatments or overnight treatments I’ve used and two thirds of my hair LOVED them but my roots looked like I’d been at a festival – for a year. So I thought I’d share these two products that have solved the need for all of that, read the post here.

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This has been my fave outfit since the heatwave broke and I can stand to wear trainers – rather gladiator sandals – again. Doing outfit flatlays is hard! I miss Polyvore.

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Chrissie

 

 

Monthly Round-up June

Style

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Find this in a pile of the Bloke’s old clothes and ‘adopted it’.

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I finally found two dresses, that hide my pizza handles; are a practical but un-frumpy length (at least for me) and aren’t too prom-dressy. Both from EMP.

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When you can’t be arsed hiding your natural resting bitch face, ha! This Casual Urban Summer outfit felt surprisingly cool (before the heatwave) and also worked well with gladiator sandals for casual evenings.

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I’ve been trying to find sunglasses like these very old ones but haven’t been having much luck, as I guess they are very early-2000’s in style. I’m also learning how to take selfies with a point and shoot camera…I need more practice.

Food and Drink

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Someone gave us an Aloe plant about a year ago and this is the first time that I used it in a drink. It tastes so bitter but if you only use half a finger, somehow that tartness goes away when you mix it with anything sweet, like perfectly ripe strawberries.

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The Bloke has bringing me veggie koftas by Gosh from the ‘posh’ Tesco in Didsbury. I don’t always have enough energy to make and fry my own falafel or to get to the deli before they close so these are a great alternative and last for ages in the fridge.

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We bought some chilli seeds around two months ago and now we have this lovely gangly thing. In the morning it raises it’s leaves and then bends toward the sun in an arch throughout the day. Just after sundown, it lowers it’s leaves again and stays still. I’ve just pollinated it, with it’s own flowers but I can’t see any yellow pollen so I have no idea if it worked and we will get chilli’s.

Beauty

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Hempz, Herbal range are some of the best products I’ve ever used to style my crazy, frizzy natural hair so they were a joy to review.

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These three are the most borrow-able items in my blokes bathroom and they smell great too so I thought I’d review them in Pinching My Blokes Skincare.

Lifestyle

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I was offered a free star map from Modern Map Art and chose to get one done for my Dad for Fathers Day. Here’s my review if you want to know more.

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I found this, which made me laugh as it was so appropriate at the time ^_^

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I’ve nearly finished series 5 of Gotham. It has it’s usual gangster slant and a new intelligent baddy for young Bruce. They’ve added more of a horror element this series and also the violence is less comic book and just plain graphic. I’m not a big fan of either of the above. Poison Ivy and Butch aren’t pictured here, probably for good reason, so as not to spoil the surprise of how they look.

I made this using the Geek Alphabet created by The Nifty Nerd. Such a great idea!

Chrissie