Lockdown Heroes – The Essentials Seeing Us Through
We’ve found ourselves reaching for snacks, wine *and* dumbbells a lot more in lockdown. If there are any positives to take from the last few months, we can say we’ve enjoyed a little more time to focus on exercise, our eating habits and daily rituals to keep the spirits up.
Here’s a selection of the best products we’ve been kindly sent to review, or absolute favourites we turn to in times of crisis, helping to keep the balance.
Body By Ciara Home Workouts
Ciara Madden AKA Ciara London is changing the way women think about fitness and exercise, from her very own living room during lockdown. For £15 per month, she’s uploading classes from several different instructors to her Instagram account, from 6am to 7pm every day of the week. Try yoga, pilates, boxing tabata, meditation and circuits, not to mention dancehall party sessions and fitness & nutrition Q&As with Ciara and other prominent trainer friends. The queen of squats drops in to teach a brutal HIIT or AMRAP session at least 6x per week herself – her positive energy will never fail to lift your spirits (and your booty!).
Lush Twilight Shower Jelly
Exuding the same sleep-inducing scent as the rest of Lush’s Twilight range, this tonka & lavender shower jelly is the last word in comfort. Use the jelly as a whole or break off a small piece, before working into a smooth lather to release powerful calming notes that’ll put stressful days to bed.
MyVegan Gooey Filled Cookies
All that exercise has meant were a LOT hungrier, but we’ve been trying out some tasty snacks to keep our nutrient levels high without compromising on dessert. MyVegan sell a range of ooey gooey dessert-like snacks, that pack a huge protein punch – our favs being these soft chocolate cookies, filled with a creamy peanut butter centre and dotted with chocolate chips. Each has 15g of protein and just 3g of sugar – and they’re vegan, too!
My LIfeline CBD Coffee
‘Calm but kick ass’ is the tag line of this innovative new product, a cooling cold brew blend of Indian, Peruvian and Colombian coffee augmented with 20mg of CBD. We’ve enjoyed the coconut flavour most, its sweetness taking the edge off what’s quite a strong brew. Normally after a strong coffee we’d be a little wired, but these feel us feeling switched on and serene. Great for powering one through a two hour Zoom meeting (yawn).
Lizi’s Super Muesli
Available in blends to help you ‘Glow’, ‘Cleanse’, ‘Boost’ and ‘Focus’, Lizi’s Super Muesli combines the likes of almonds, linseeds and quinoa for the perfect crunch – with much less sugar than the usual suspects. High in fibre and vegan-friendly, a bowl of this properly preps us before a high-energy class with Ciara – just be mindful of the nutritional info if you’re counting calories – the high (good) fat, nutrient-dense ingredients mean the calorie count is relatively high.
Encona Hot Pepper Sauces
If you’re anything like us, lockdown’s made you sick to death of cooking – not to mention googling recipes and loading the dishwasher. We jumped at the chance to sample three bottles of Encona’s latest hot pepper sauce flavours, which effortlessly add kick to a ton of different meals. Thai-inspired Chunky Sriracha draws on flavours from the East (best in fried rice, with an egg on top), while Scotch Bonnet jazzes up fajitas and prawn dishes.
Two Brooks Boozy Sparkling Water
We’ve been exploring the world of hard seltzer in lockdown, a healthier alternative to fizzy, sugar-filled mixers to spice up our picnics. Two Brooks sent us a box of Lime Coolers, Mango Hi Balls and Passion Stars to try out, perfect for cracking out on a sunny day safe in the knowledge they’ve no added sugars, are gluten-free, vegan and low in calories.
Nurishment Milk Drinks
Packed with protein and fortified with vitamins, there’s plenty of good in Nurishment milk drinks. Old-style ring pull cans and dated packaging put us off them in the past, but now available in handy bottles, we were tempted to try them out. Pitched as a convenient snack for the school run or post-workout, we were sent a bottle of each flavour to try. They’ve a milkshake-like texture, perfect for blending into smoothies or drinking before a run or weights session – and they’re light on the stomach, too.
YaconViva! Organic Cacao Nibs
Ideal for sweetening a healthy snack (we tried blending frozen bananas with peanut butter and cocoa powder), Yacon Viva! vegan, organic cacao nibs deliver a tasty treat without the guilt. You could use them to top your porridge and sprinkle over energy balls, but if you’re anything like us, you’ll find yourself grabbing a cheeky handful when you fancy a little reward after a long day!
Nutriburst Plant-Based Gummies
We love the fact these little gummies taste like a tiny treat each day, yet they’re sugar-free *and* vegan (they used a pectin-based gelling agent, so you can guarantee no nasties). Available in five variants, we opted to try ‘Energy‘ and ‘Healthy Muscles & Bones’. The first is packed with Vitamin C, making it ideal for fighting off hay fever as it acts as a natural antihistamine. The latter tops up your Vitamin D and Calcium, perfect for aiding muscle development – exactly what’s needed while we’re all smashing the home workouts.