Tuesday, 20 February 2018

I've been eating (mainly) Vegan for a month!

Hey everyone!

So the last time I checked in I told you guys that I had been trying a meal delivery service called 'Freshly'! I also mentioned that I was about to start a different meal delivery service called 'Hungry Root' and that I would update you on that one once I'd tried it... well it's about that time!

Freshly Vs Hungry Root
'Hungry Root' is different than 'Freshly' in many ways - with freshly you get pre-packaged and pre-portioned meals that you simply heat up in the microwave and enjoy: while this offers great convenience and portion control I did feel an urge to start cooking my own meals once again(and not simply microwaving them). To read my review and blog about 'Freshly' click here!
With 'Hungry Root' however you receive fresh ingredients that you then follow instructions to cook and create amazing vegan meals. The idea behind 'Hungry Root' is to recreate indulgent foods using vegetables, legumes and nuts!

Going Vegan
I am a huge animal lover! I've grown up with lots of pets including dogs, cats and horses and living in Ireland I was never far away from farm animals such as cows, sheep, chickens etc.. I have a great respect for animals and I always connect really well with them. I feel that their souls are so beautiful and wise and I have therefore always had an interest in being Vegan and battled with the hypocrisy of loving animals and yet eating them. For many years I have stuck to a poultry or fish diet as much as possible and stayed away from red meat and pork! My main reasons for not trying veganism or being a vegetarian was 1) when living at home I ate what my family ate 2)not wanting to be too fusy when at other peoples houses or in company 3) thinking it was an expensive life style to adapt and 4) while I would often opt for the vegetarian or vegan option when eating out I did notice that accessibility and options were very limited!
However now that I am not living at home and living in a city where being vegan is very popular and therefore much more readily available in restaurants, cafes etc.. I figure why not give it a go?!!

When I found Hungry Root it seemed like a good foot in the door so to speak and a great way of trying out a vegan lifestyle! and I feel it has been just that! I am currently on my 5th box/delivery which means I have just started my 5th week using Hungry Root and I must say I am loving it!!!

About the food
The food is absolutely delicious and I can make most meals in under 10minutes! I have not been hungry at all - in fact sometimes I feel really full like I have eaten too much! the meals are hearty and there are plenty of breakfast, snacks and desert options! However despite feeling full I have lost 3pounds.. its not a huge amount but slow and steady wins the race and I wasn't adapting this lifestyle to loose weight in the first place! My skin has also totally cleared up and has been extra glowy! cough: major plus!

My plan
I am on a plan called 'The Good Life' and this plan is $99 a week! it is a lot but for me it has been well worth it as it is introducing me to recipes and a vegan lifestyle which I knew nothing about before! It also means that all I have to pick up in the grocery store is rice milk (for my be-loved irish tea of course) and maybe some bread and oatmeal. In the past I found myself spending $60/$70 easily when I went in to Trader Joes and yet was left feeling like I didn't have my meals for the week and would run out of what I did get very quickly!
With my meal plan I get 5 meals (but there's 2 servings in each meal so for one person you could see this as 10meals) plus 5 sides, snacks or sweets! for me one "sweet" such as the chickpea cookie dough would last me most of the week.. as I wouldn't eat the whole tub in one sitting - instead I split it and bake like a cookie a day (it's still a large cookie) and that's my desert!

Note: There is also a starter plan available which is cheaper if you wanted to give that a go first!

Here's an example of my meals this week! 

  • Crispy coconut breakfast Hash: these are crispy browned sweet potatoes with a subtle sweetness guaranteed to spice up your morning routine. It includes the hungry root sweet potato ribbons and organic coconut curry. 

  • Ginger Yuba Quinoa bowl: a hearty meal to satisfy taste buds includes organic Ginger Tahini Yuba Noodles and Lemon Artichoke Quinoa Bowl.

  • Kohlrabi Kale with sauteed greens: This includes their Kalebeet Blend and organic Kale Pesto. 
  • Sweet barbecue chilly jackfruit: this is the perfect melding of sweet, tangy and spicy! their Sweet Barbecue Chili Jackfruit is so hearty you won’t even know you’re eating a plant. Great on its own or paired with rice, pasta or greens (comparable with bbq chicken!)

  • Black garlic superblend saute: The is the perfect dinner when you're looking for a hearty, creamy meal. It includes their Superblend Salad, organic Chickpea Alfredo and Italian Herb Chickpea Medley.
  • Avocado chickpea noodle bowl: Packed with protein and healthy fats, this creamy noodle bowl will more than satisfy your appetite. Includes Sweet Potato Ribbons, Italian Herb Chickpea Medley and Avocado Crema.
  • Chickpea pita mezze platter: party platter made with chickpea pita bread, a lentil medley and spinach artichoke dip. Includes Fluffly Maple Chickpea Batter, Spinach Artichoke Chickpea Dip and Cruncy Carrot Lentil Mix. 
  • Butternut squash bean skillet (this is what I had for dinner today.. it was YUM!): Includes Butternut Squash French Fries and Cucumber Corn Black Bean Salad.
  • Vanilla Bean Snickdoodle dough: This is delicious and definitely the one to satisfy your sweet tooth! you can eat it raw or bake it!
  • Coconut lemon bites: packed with coconut and ready to eat! these taste like lemon cake in bite size form! 

The above shows this week's meals but each week is different - so far I have let the team at Hungry Root surprise me and I have not yet been disappointed! however you can also customise your delivery ahead of time to include the meal selection you would like! but hey variety is the spice of life!! :) 

This is how the ingredients comes packaged

and you receive these in a large cardboard box surrounded by ice packs!


Final words...
I really feel like I am enjoying the health benefits of using Hungry Root and eating a mainly vegan diet (I have slipped up once or twice but forgive me as it's only the beginning and at least I'm trying!). All their food is 1) Vegan 2) Gluten free 3) High in nutrients, fiber and good fats 4) Low in sugar, sodium and calories! check out their website to learn more!
I really love this service and I enjoy cooking the meals!I would highly recommend it to a friend! 

My only complaint is that they once sent me gone off cocoa milk but they did reach out to me and give $10 off my next bill and a free almond chickpea cookie dough in my next order.. however it is now 2 orders later and while I did received the $10 off I have yet to receive my free cookie dough :(

Please know that this is not a sponsored post - I wasn't paid or sent any of my meals for free.. I simply love it and wanted to recommend this wonderful service that I truly feel could literally be life changing to my diet of the future! However with that being said if you do feel like trying it out please use my code: 
with this you will get $30 off on your first order and so will I! as I plan on keeping this up it would help and why not benefit each other :) you will also receive your own code once you've started that you can then pass on to your friends for them to save and you too! 

Have a wonderful day! evening! or night! (depending on when you're reading this!) 
and if you made it this far then fair play as that was a long post! 
anyhow follow me on my socials @ShahiraBarry 

Lot of Love, 
Shahira XO

Thursday, 25 January 2018

I tired a meal delivery service - FRESHLY

Hi everyone!

Hope 2018 is going well so far!

well it's the new year and you know what that means..everyone is trying to be on their "New year new me!" routine. It's the season of trying to get fit and healthy once again and the bid to get rid of those extra few pounds that we may have gained during the Christmas and holiday period! The gym memberships are likely renewed and it's all steam ahead to that summer bod!
However, as we all know - establishing a fitness routine is only half the battle and what experts say matters the most is what we are eating! as they say you can't out exercise a bad diet!

I know from my personal life eating healthily can be really difficult! My schedule is all over the place, I'm surrounded by bad food and drink temptation and finding the time to shop for groceries and then cook a healthy meal isn't always easy! and don't get me started on when I shop on a hungry belly.. that in itself is a recipe for disaster!! I pick up everything that is quick and bad for me, I'm sure you've been there before too?! Anyway, what's been popping up on my socials a lot lately are adverts for meal delivery services.. "Healthy" meal delivery services at that! and they've really intrigued me!

Now.. is it ideal?..No! in an ideal world we'd all have time to frequent the farmers markets and the needed grocery stores to shop organically and be really good in the kitchen at whipping up a fresh and healthy meal! However, we don't live in an ideal world - busy work schedules and hectic lifestyles where we're just doing our best to fit everything in gets in the way!
Also I believe that often cooking for one is quite the task in itself! I don't know who else is only cooking for themselves reading this.. (I guess most of these meal delivery services really are geared towards the lone dinner, lol) but I find - I buy a loaf of bread for example and half of it goes off and goes to waste, and getting the portions right when cooking for yourself is the same thing!

I've been so intrigued by the idea of these meal delivery services that I decided to check some out! A couple of months ago I started with 'Freshly'. When trying to decide on which service to go with I wrote a post on my Instagram story (@ShahiraBarry) asking if anyone had tried one of the services and could recommend which one I go with..?? Freshly were one of my options and they were kind enough to reach out to me after my post and offered me 9 free meals to try! this was fab as I was planning on trying them anyway! YAY!

Anyhow this is how they are packaged. As you can see you can simply eat them from their container after heating if you wish - I did this most of the time (lazy girl problems)

I am absolutely rubbish at plating and making food look appetising but here are some of my meals that I did plate and show off(I say that lightly)on snapchat haha


I received my 9 meals and loved the service!
Freshly offer chef cooked meals delivered to you! They promise convenience along with fresh and healthy meals!
Every meal is

  • All natural and nutrient rich made from high quality ingredients!
  • Packed with protein! 
  • Free from refined sugars, artificial ingredients and hydrogenated oils!
  • and gluten free! 
They have been written about by Forbes and The Huffington Post to name a few! 

How it works: 
  • Freshly is a subscription service! each week your meals are delivered to your doorstep! they are packaged in a big box surrounded by ice packs and insulation to keep them fresh before they reach your fridge! 
  • You customise and plan your own weekly meal selections ahead of time so you always know what you are getting! 
  • All you need to do is heat up your meal and enjoy! 
The Cost: 
  • Use code "nocook639" and you'll recieve $20 off your first order on a 6 meal plan! 
  • After that 4 meals per week is $49.99 
  • 6 meals = $59.99 
  • 9 meals = $89.99 
  • and 12 meals = $107.99 
It is quite costly but for the convenience, especially if you're living on your own, I think it's worth it! I was on the 6 meal plan and it really worked for me! I used to find myself a couple of times a week in Trader Joe's spending $60/$70 here and there and I never really felt like I had gotten that much or legit meals for the week! with a service like freshly I just needed to pick up some breakfast bits and milk and I was good to go (presuming one day a week I ate out or had another dinner).  It is a subscription service but you can cancel any time or skip a week if you don't fancy it or you're going out of town etc..! 

While I was given 9 free meals to trial this is not a sponsored post! I was not paid to write about or promote freshly in any way! once I finished the trial I happily subscribed to the service with my own money and have been using it ever since! 

The pros: 
  • Super convenient!
  • A wide range of meal selections including catering for some different allergies!
  • Keeps you on top of and on track of what you're putting in your belly! 
  • All the nutritional information is available on their website! 
  • The portion sizes are decent: I find their size to be satisfying and it probably stops me from over eating from that point of view! 
  • You don't have to be home to accept a delivery as the meals are well packaged.

The cons: 
  • If shopping for more than yourself it probably would be cheaper to do a normal grocery shop! 
  • While the meals don't compare to traditional microwavable meals (they are way better taste wise- Freshly meals actually taste GOOD!) after a couple of weeks of using them I do find myself wanting a break for a little while however I think this is simple because of the packaging - I could just plate my meal but I'm lazy! lol 
To wrap it up my first experience with a meal delivery service was a really great one! I'm pretty much hooked with the convenience of it! If it's something that would suite your life style I would definitely recommend Freshly! Remember to use the code "nocook639" to receive $20 off a meal plan of 6! (this is not my code fyi. it's just a general code that was given to me to share if I liked it but it is not linked to me and won't benefit me if you use it.. (again no sponsored post here) but it will save you $20 and saving is always a good thing!! :)
This week I am taking a break from freshly to try out 'Hungry Root' which is a Vegan meal delivery service (but with Hungry Root you do have to cook your meals - though most meals can be prepared in under 10 minutes) I will keep you posted on how I feel about it and how it compares to freshly! so watch this space! 

Thanks for stopping by! 

Shahira Xo 
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