Gluten Free

Oumph!

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With the average global temperature at an all-time high, at The Amazing Blog we’ve made it our goal to be more conscientious in the products we use and consume. We’ve already begun the shift towards using paper straws, reusable shopping bags and even reef-safe SPF but now we’ve taken on the challenge to switch to a more earth-friendly, plant-based diet that’s tasty yet easy to cook. That’s where the vegan company Oumph! comes along.

Based in Sweden, Oumph! has aimed to make meat substitutes and other vegan frozen foods that are low-impact to the environment. All of Oumph’s six plant-based frozen foods are made with a mixture of soya beans and organic herbs and spices combined into a flavourful vegan substitute. In addition to being gluten and dairy free, Oumph!’s high protein and fibre levels along with its sources of iron and folic acid make sure you’re getting your daily nutrients without having to eat animal by-products. We got to try all six of Oumph!‘s food varieties which we can say made our goal towards plant-based eating much easier (and tastier).

The first product we tried was the award-winning Oumph! Kebab Spiced. Seasoned with spices classically found in kebab, the plant-based strips are a great alternative to the English favourite. Next, we tried the Pulled Oumph! to spice up our weekly Taco Tuesday. Marinated in a vegan BBQ sauce, these Oumph! chunks placed in a taco shell with veggies and some salsa had us feeling moreish. Want a basic Oumph! to add your own seasoning? The Chunk only contains soya beans, water and salt for a perfect base to any dish you want. We tried The Chunk by using one of their recipes for a Tikka Masala on their website, and all we can say is yum! Oumph’s other two plant-based meats Thyme & Garlic and Salty & Smoky were an excellent substitute for a just ass hearty breakfast. If you’re craving a more cheesy alternative, Oumph!’s brick-oven Pizza topped with veggies, vegan cheese, herbs and pieces of Oumph! is a easy and tasty Friday dinner. To join the #greenproteinshift, see Oumph! for stockists, it can be found in the frozen food section at your nearest Whole Foods Market or Tesco.

SARYA Couture Makeup - Eye Shadow

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With the April showers finally in the past, flowers are beginning to bloom everywhere in London. While there are so many different colours around us, The Amazing Blog has been inspired by the colour pink. It is in the flowers and sunsets, clothes in shops, even cocktails at bars. There's a reason why millennials adore this colour and it's because it is no longer reserved for super 'girly' women, but can be embraced by everyone. This is where SARYA Couture Makeup comes in with its beautifully pigmented Italian-made vegan eye shadows.

The brand offers four different shades of eye shadow, but Pastel Me (a light rose colour) is what got us into the whole 'pink craze.' It is a nice rosy shade that has a smooth texture and diffuses easily into skin using fingers. The product creates a perfect base for other colours in an eye shadow look but leaves a subtle and pearlescent finish by itself. While it is sold as an eye shadow, we found that this colour looks particularly nice on the apples of your cheeks – as if you’ve just returned from a beach holiday. This versatile and pretty shade has all of the necessary components a quality eye shadow must have, but what makes SARYA Makeup’s product stand out are its slightly more unusual ingredients which include the likes of: Fossil flour, extracted from fossilized fragments of aquatic algae, Organic Shea Butter, rich in Vitamin A, E , F and  Karanja oil for its antibacterial properties.
 

Sarya launched in the summer of 2018 by Claudia and Teodora, who share the same passion for beauty and bio and do not consider it only a passing trend, but they see it as the future of the production for the entire industry. The pair has an ideology of ‘purity and transparency’. ‘Purity’ begins with products that have no added mineral oils, perfumes, or phthalates while ‘transparency’ is seen in all of the products being certified organic, vegan, cruelty-free, gluten free, and paraben free. On top of all this, the eye shadow has an organic formula of bio apricot oil for moisture and bio shea oil for essential vitamins A, E, and F. This eye shadow will not only provide maximum health benefits to your skin with its antioxidant-rich formula, but it also won’t make your spring allergies act up. Join the pink craze this spring and purchase the eye shadow here for €20. Or here Amazon UK . We just can’t wait to try more from this brand!

Mindful Bites - Nut Butter

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Who doesn’t love a good snack? Yup and it’s generally naughty little things like crisps that are our bad habit at The Amazing Blog We have been looking to substitute this potato addiction with ‘good snacks’, which is where Mindful Bites comes in. Founded in 2014 by Stephanie Peritore, Mindful Bites aims to change the way people snack, not on empty calories but on protein rich butters ‘one bite at a time’ they want to promote intentional eating.  We are finding that Mindful Bites' Nut Butters are the perfect vegan and gluten-free solution to our snack cravings.

Mindful Bites is built on the company’s four pillars of mindful eating (Intention, Attention, Gratitude, and Pleasure) and these pillars are reflected in the Nut Butter. The thick and creamy texture of the product slowly releases delicious flavours, which allow you to savour what you're eating. The carefully selected ingredients, including a blend of superfoods and high-quality nuts, also have you actively thinking about what you put into your body. However, it's not just the tasty and nutritious flavours that have us drawn to the Nut Butter; it is the way it makes us feel after eating it. The plant-based protein, made with no added sugar or sweeteners and palm oil, is a game changer for reinvigorating yourself during a mid-afternoon slump. Spread sparingly on some oatcakes  (in our case) it is filling and delicious and has made our cravings disappear resulting in a better, more energetic mood here in the office.

We had the chance to try all four of their  Nut Butter flavours (Hazelnut & Berries, Brazil Nuts & Cacao Nibs, Almond & Maca, Cashew Nuts & Baobab). Our personal favourite was Hazelnut & Berries. It has a rich taste of hazelnut, not dissimilar to Nutella, but with a yummy hint of a berry flavour which stays gently with you. However, if you want a more intense chocolate flavour, we suggest trying Brazil Nuts & Cacao Nibs. While nut butter is traditionally eaten on toast or straight from the jar with a spoon (not so good for an office share!) Mindful Bites suggests adding it to a smoothie, porridge, or yogurt for a protein boost.

You can purchase a single jar (185g) of their Nut Butters here for £6.99 or a box of all four for £25 here.

PHB Ethical Beauty – Pressed Minerals 6 Piece Palette

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The brand that gives back is back on The Amazing Blog! Regular readers will know that we’re fans of PHB Ethical Beauty, an award-winning, family-run company that gives 20 per cent of its net profits to charity. Check out our brand directory here to see all of their products we have reviewed. The next product to add to that list is the Pressed Minerals 6 Piece Palette in Night.

Keeping with the brand’s all-natural, cruelty-free, and handmade products, this pallet’s formula is made of pressed minerals including mica, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide. Mica naturally reflects light, perfect for enhancing your eyes, while minimising the appearance of pores. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide create natural SPF30 protection, especially crucial when using the blushers during the daytime. The formula is gentle for use on all skin types (even sensitive and acne-prone skin) as it is 100 per cent natural, vegan, halal certified, gluten-free and paraben free.  

This pallet has four highly pigmented colours: Almond (a light cream), Onyx (a black with light flecks), Celestite (a periwinkle blue), and Grape (a purple with bronze undertones). Each colour offers a satin-like finish that looks gorgeous on any skin tone and will last all day or night. The pallet includes two blushers to finish your look: Camellia (a bright pink that matches the blooming flowers outside) and Peony (a subdued dark rosy colour ideal for a date-night look). Both diffuse nicely into cheeks with a makeup brush for a healthy glow. While this pallet advertises a night out look, the bright finish and versatility of the colours can create a perfect springtime look.

The four eye shadows and two blushers come in a sturdy, flat palette that includes magnetic sealing and a large mirror. You can try the Pressed Minerals 6 Piece Palette for yourself here for £49.95. While the price is quite high, we feel the organic ingredients are worth it plus the highly pigmented eye shadows have great staying power.

Bay’s Kitchen: Stir in Sauces

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There are days in TheAmazingBlog Towers when we get to tell our fabulous followers, not just about a great product, but one that has an inspirational background story and clearly a very exciting and fulfilling future ahead of it. And for this one, we invite you to focus on the glorious part of our fair British Isles known as the Cotswolds, to learn about an incredible young woman called Hayley Burdett whose love of cooking has led to a fiercely delicious range of what will fast become essential for our larder’s shelves. However, in so doing, she has done this with a mission to encourage understanding and help alleviate the symptoms of the often debilitating condition of IBS.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome has a tough ask in getting the airtime such a condition needs, mainly because the whole subject is one most people have felt embarrassed or unwilling to talk about. However, the truth is as many as 1 in 7 of us will suffer from it, and for many of this group, they will suffer quietly without much backup unless they are prepared to invest their time in serious research for their personal symptoms. IBS takes so many forms, and can kick off with many triggers - not simply a case of what an individual eats, but also stress levels and other lifestyle choices. The good news is that because of the amazing work carried out by The International Foundation For Gastrointestinal Disorders there is an immense amount of information, help and advice now literally at our fingertips to ease the discomfort. The IFFGD designated April as IBS Awareness Month many years ago, and have given countless people a portal through which they can find some answers in their own personal journey.

Each story is as individual as the people who have to deal with the condition, which is why, when we hear about such an amazing young entrepreneur as Hayley Burdett, we literally want to shout it from the rooftops … or the highest point of TheAmazingBlog Towers to be more precise! The fact that this success story encapsulates one of our favourite and very necessary pastimes  of eating and cooking is a very happy bonus indeed.

Having suffered from IBS for many years, Hayley put her considerable energies into researching the causes and coming up with solutions for her own needs and now thankfully for the needs of her ever-growing legion of culinary fans. She set up Bay’s Kitchen bringing her own brand of delicious stir-in sauces quite literally to our table, and in so doing has helped to make life enormously more comfortable for many people, but also fabulously delicious for us all.

Bay’s Kitchen currently offers three sauces: the Tomato & Basil Stir-In Sauce, the Sweet & Sour Stir-In Sauce, and the Jalfrezi Curry Stir-In Sauce - all of which we can confirm not only set our tastebuds humming, but also continues to satisfy them most effectively! Each of the recipes are certified Low-FODMAP, Gluten-Free and totally Vegan, and aside from the gratitude of many, Hayley is collecting awards for her creations in increasing number, gaining Gold and Silver at The Free From Awards 2019 .

Competitively priced at £4.15 for a 260g two portion serving, and available through their online shop here However, for anyone who finds themselves in the sometimes excrutiatingly uncomfortable pangs of an IBS onslaught, we urge you to check out Ms Burdett’s comprehensive website and also visit for further information, help and advice.