Gluten Aware

Conscious Cake Higher Heart Chakra Vanilla & Gold

The Conscious Cake Company Higher Heart Chakra Vanilla & Gold

What do you call a sugar-free, nut-free, wheat-free and gluten free cake? A Conscious Cake!

In addition to being the healthy, these cakes are also a movement for political, social and economic change in the food industry.

These Conscious Cake Company’s artisan cupcakes are not just the healthiest cupcakes money can buy – they are also a movement for political, social and economic change in the food industry and business in the UK and around the world.

Owner Danica Apolline started making healthy cakes for her young son, these cupcakes are organic, vegan, and free from cane sugar, wheat, gluten, nuts and GMOs. Passionate about the science behind blessing food with love, each has a wish for health, happiness and love for everyone who eats one.

The Conscious Cake Company Mini CupcakesYou’ll find flavours such as Root Chakra Chocolate Orange, Higher Heart Chakra Vanilla & Gold and Solar Plexus Chakra Lemon. Mini cupcakes can be purchased in boxes of 12 or 24 or you can opt for a chocolate or chocolate orange cake.

The Conscious Cake Company goes beyond their cakes when looking at how to challenge the status quo – they have also created a business environment free from toxic chemicals used in cleaners and air fresheners, challenged the wage disparity between employees and introduced a Kindness Policy across the business.

If you want to try their cakes for yourself you can order them from Yumbles (free delivery in London).

More info:

www.consciouscakecompany.com

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Dubbed the hidden gem of the Southbank, The Table Cafe serves their brunch with a side of social responsibility.

Brunch at The Table Café can be as sweet or as savoury as you want it to be. You’ll find brunch staples like eggs benedict and eggs Florentine in addition to specials like the Breakfast Bruschetta (below)- sliced tomatoes & avocado on sourdough toast, two poached eggs & streaky bacon or smoked salmon.

Breakfast Bruschetta Brunch at the Table

If you prefer a sweeter brunch there are classic pancakes and waffles to choose from alongside pancakes and waffles with a twist like the Belle Helene waffle (below) topped with saffron poached pear, mascarpone and hot chocolate sauce.

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Vegans can opt for The Vegan Borough – avocado on toast, steamed spinach, grilled tomatoes, homemade veggie baked beans, herby mushrooms & sweet potato wedges and vegetarians can try The Veggie Borough – organic fried eggs, grilled halloumi, buttered spinach, homemade veggie baked beans, grilled tomato, herby mushrooms & sourdough toast.

If you need a gluten free option try the No-gluten pumpkin and pecan pancake made with buckwheat, corn & gluten-free flour. For the meals that come with bread, just ask for the gluten free substitute.

Although the food at The Table Cafe is worth talking about it is the restaurant’s social responsibility that really sets it apart from the rest. In addition to a commitment to ethical sourcing and the use of quality British ingredients, The Table Café works with homeless charity St Mungo’s meaning that the herbs and vegetables yielded from the initiative are supplied to The Table Café, providing revenue for the charity, and fresh, local produce for the restaurant. The Table Café also has a two star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

So if you are ready to try a brunch with a difference, check out the menu at The Table Café. The taste and quality of the food is unforgettable, but the real attraction is knowing that your patronage benefits a wider community.

For more info visit:

http://www.thetablecafe.com/

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Velo Healthy Vietnamese Restaurant Takeaway Bag

Light, flavoursome, refreshing – those are the words we would use to describe the food at Velo.

Velo is a Vietnamse restaurant located near London Bridge station who pride themselves on making authentic Vietnamese street food that is MSG-free. You’ll find pho, banh mi, spring rolls summer rolls, Vietnamese noodle soup and more on their menu.

They also have menu options that are gluten free and suitable for vegetarians, vegans and those who follow a halal diet. You can also find the nutritional info of their menu on their site in the form of a downloadable pdf.

It’s one of those places that are great for people who want no fuss healthy food. In addition to the healthy food, the touch screen ordering service, Touch Me, is perfect for busy people who know what they want and want to get in and out quickly.

We tried the Chicken Summer Rolls and Velo Small Prawn Vermicelli – both of which were light and simple. The Roast Chicken Summer Rolls (194kcals, 13.5g pro, 28.8g carbs, 3g fat) are steamed and made with rice paper, making them light on the stomach.

Velo Healthy Vietnamese Roast Chicken Summer Rolls

The Velo Prawn Vermicelli (151kcals, 8g pro, 18g carbs, 4.6g fat) is made with thin rice noodles, crispy lettuce, fresh herbs, crushed peanuts, chilli & homemade sauce.

Velo Healthy Vietnamese Tiger Prawn Vermicelli

It’s definitely worth bearing in mind that the food served here is without MSG, so your first few bites may not be what your palette is expecting. However, if you stick with it, you may find that you redefine your expectation of Vietnamese food.

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No one disputes the health benefits of chocolate, however, a lot of the products that can be found on supermarket shelves aren’t ideal for someone with specific dietary requirements. With the Valentine’s season upon us, we thought we would pull together a list of traditional chocolate alternatives that might appeal to a Balanced Busy Body.

Protein Truffles

Protein Truffles BBBThese high protein, chocolate treats will be perfect for a Valentine who has a sweet tooth but wants to keep their carb intake in check.

According to the Protein Works, these treats are made by ‘infusing the protein blend with microencapsulated CLA, acetyl L-carnitine, chromium picolinate and fat-reduced cocoa powder to create a great tasting snack you can consume any time of the day’. For more info visit The Protein Works

Kallo Belgian Dark Chocolate Rice Cake Thins

Kallo BBBAt only 55 calories per rice cake thin, these are likely to appeal to a Calorie Counter. An ideal blend of ‘naughty’ and nice, these chocolate coated rice cakes are also suitable for vegetarians and coeliacs. You can find these treats in Waitrose and Holland and Barratt. Find out more about these lovely rice cake thins here

 

 

Choccy Apricot Munchy Seeds

Munchy Seeds BBBA long time favourite of BBB, these chocolate coated sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and dried apricot pieces can only be described as moreish. Suitable for vegetarians and coeliacs, Choccy Apricot Munchy Seeds are also a good source of Calcium, Vitamin E, Fibre, Zinc and Iron.

 

 

Bioglan Cacao and Quinoa Raw Bites

Bioglan Cacao & Quinoa BitesThese tasty bites are free from refined sugars, added flavours, colours and preservatives and contain two servings of superfoods. Made from only natural ingredients such as sultanas, cashew nuts, goji berries and cacao nibs (to name a few), these are perfect for Vegans. Find out more on their site

 

 

9Bar

9Bar OriginalLike other quality chocolate alternatives, this mixed seed carob coated bar is high in fibre, vegan-friendly, gluten-free and made with no artificial colours or preservatives. 9BAR’s partnership with Solar Aid, makes this treat twice as nice because every bar sold provides a night’s clean, sustainable light for a child in Africa.

 

 

Naked Cocoa Delight

Nakd Cocoa DelightThis lovely bar is made with only 4 ingredients: real cocoa, dates and raisins. Nothing is used to make the ingredients stick – they just get ‘smooshed together into a lovely, handy snack bar’. Dairy, wheat and gluten free these treats are suitable for vegans and vegetarians AND Kosher Approved. Find out more here

 

 

The Raw Chocolate Raisins

Raw Chocolate Co BBBThese raw chocolate covered raisins are simple but tasty. Organic, vegan, gluten free and Kosher, treats from the Raw Chocolate Co are another BBB favourite and can be found in Holland and Barratt or their site

 

 

 

What are you favourite alternative chocolate treats? Let us know in the comments below!

 

TWIST Drink Vanilla Creme

In short

An interesting marriage of coffee and protein.

Review

‘TWIST is a delicious blend of real Colombian coffee and whey protein isolate powder in a convenient bottle’.

The TWIST Drink appears to be created for those times when you kinda fancy a coffee and you kinda fancy a protein shake, but realistically we think it’s for those times when you need to top up your protein intake and don’t have the time, or aren’t in the environment to eat.

TWIST Drinks on the go

Whilst we love the concept and the detail of this product, we did struggle to understand exactly who this product is for. With 17g of protein and 73mg of caffeine per bottle it isn’t really a perfect match for the coffee connoisseur or the athlete. However, its nutritional profile does make it ideal as a stop gap product if your protein intake could use a boost.

The bottle size and easy mixing make it a great product for a desk drawer, bag or anywhere else BBusy Bodies stash their snacks. The TWIST drink ended up being a real life saver on days when there were back to back meetings.

Photo 23-06-2014 10 42 35One of the best features of the TWIST drink is the filter in the neck of the bottle, so that when you shake it up, you end up with a smooth drink. One tip: the colder the water, the nicer the drink!

The product is currently only available online but their Twitter feed suggests that they will be available in more retailers soon.

We quite liked the taste bit to ensure we weren’t biased we got the opinion of three testers. Here is what they thought of the Vanilla Crème Espresso drink:

Tester 1: It was good, but I wouldn’t necessarily buy it as it’s not a ‘special’ coffee

Tester 2: ‘I liked it! It tasted good and the bottle was well thought out. It’s like a healthy alternative to the high street iced latte’

Tester 3: ‘The sweetness of it stood out for me. I didn’t really get the coffee flavour that I wanted and it doesn’t contain huge amounts of caffeine or protein, but I’d reach for this over a protein bar if I needed a quick protein boost.’

If you like to the idea of your coffee with a twist or your protein shake with a twist, then is worth checking out. If however, you prefer keeping your coffee and your protein shake separate, you may want to give this a miss.

What we tried:

Vanilla crème espresso

What we liked

The bottle design ensures that your drink is always smooth

The size of the bottle makes it super easy to keep nearby

What we would do differently

Find a way to get the coffee flavor through

Suitable for

Calorie Counters

Carb Conscious

Gluten Aware

Value for money

There is currently an offer on their Espresso Protein Drink –  £11.94 for 6 but they are usually priced at £14.94 for a box of 6 which works out to £2.49 per bottle.

Find out more

http://www.twistdrinks.co.uk/

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In short

A great alternative to the typical lunch

Review

The sign outside of Hummus Brothers, Holborn is what caught our attention: ‘free-from wheat, gluten and lactose’. With that type of claim we had to check it out.

The Hummus Brothers experience is pretty straightforward – choose a topping for your hummus and use your pitta bread as a scoop – no cutlery required. Toppings include fava beans, guacamole, chicken and chunky beef. You can also add extra toppings such as sun dried tomatoes, jalapenos and feta.

In addition to having something on the menu for the Balanced Busy Bodies profiles, they also cater to a number of different dietary requirements. There’s a page on their site where you can do a search to find out which of their dishes meet your specific requirement: http://www.hbros.co.uk/ourfood/

The website is also the best place to find out the nutritional profile of the dishes – just remember that the information on the grid is only for the hummus and topping and does NOT include the bread.

While we are on the topic of bread there is a gluten free alternative for their pitta. We were half expecting a gluten free pitta, but in fairness, ensuring that the breads are different in shape reduces the chance of the wrong bread being served.

It’s also worth noting that the pitta bread can also be substituted for rice cakes, carrot sticks or corn tortilla chips

The space to eat in the Holborn branch was conservative so if you are planning to eat in, be prepared to sit next to strangers.

Although hummus tends to be treated like a dip, it is incredibly satisfying as a main. We would definitely recommend that you put this on your list of restaurants to visit, if you haven’t already.

What we tried:


Small hummus with a chunky beef topping

Hummus with Chunky Beef

 

 

 

 

 

 


Small Hummus with chicken topping

Hummus with Chicken

 

 

 

 


Gluten free pitta alternative

Hummus Bros Gluten Free Bread

 

 

 

 

 

 


What we liked

The food is simple but still tasty and filling

The provision of gluten free bread for coeliacs

What we would do differently

We’re curious to know how many calories are in the pitta

Who can eat here?

Calorie Counters Hummus topped with mushrooms with carrot sticks instead of pitta is under 200kcals
Carb Conscious Go for the chicken or chunky beef toppings and substitute pitta with carrot sticks
Gluten Aware All of the toppings are gluten free to just swap your pitta for the gluten free bread
Vegetarian Try the fava beans, vegetable salad, mushroom or guacamole toppings
Vegan Try the fava beans, vegetable salad, mushroom or guacamole toppings

Value for money

Small hummus with a chunky beef topping £5.50

Small Hummus with chicken topping £5.20

We think that’s pretty good value for a clean, filling lunch

Loyalty card

Buy 9 meals and get a 10” small hummus free

Buy 12 meals and get a 14” regular hummus free

Locations

Soho – 88 Wardour Street, London, W1F 0TH

Holborn – Victoria House, 37-63 Southampton Row, London, WC1B 4DA

St Paul’s – 128 Cheapside, London, EC2V 6BT

Exmouth Market – 62 Exmouth Market, London, EC1R 4QE

Find out more

www.hbros.co.uk

  

 

In short

A brilliant ‘clean eating’ dining experience

Review

This place absolutely knocked our socks off!

Visited by both amateur and professional athletes alike, the menu at the restaurant is designed for customers who know what they want, but kind to those who are still learning the ropes of good nutrition.

Social media has been buzzing about this place for a while and for good reason.

When we walked into the Leyton branch we fell in love immediately. Normally when you think of restaurants that attract clean eaters and athletes, you can’t help but assume that the interior décor would be equally ‘tough’ or ‘rugged’, but the restaurant is designed and decorated in a way that says ‘yes, our menu is perfect for clean eaters but everyone is welcome!’

Gyms Kitchen Interior

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything you need to make an informed decision is available on the menu: calories, fat, carbs and protein. The menu was also incredibly diverse and included appetisers, salads, wraps, protein pancakes – you can even order a banana split.

You’ll also find that there are options for vegetarians and the menu also indicates which meals are gluten free.

The food here is beautifully presented and the portion sizes are out of this world. When we ordered the tuna steak we genuinely expected one of those dainty sized portions that you get in other restaurants, but Gyms Kitchen make sure you leave fully satiated.

Another great attribute of this restaurant is the customer service – our waitress was polite, engaging, knowledgeable and friendly which added to our dining experience.

During our visit our server informed us that kitchen didn’t usually allow menu modifications as it could impact service times – an explanation we were quite happy with. Given that there is genuinely something for everyone on the menu, we felt it was a fair decision.

It’s obvious that a lot of thought was put into the execution of this restaurant, from the food and the staff to the bill pouch.

Gratuity was included in the price but we were so happy with the service that we wanted to leave a tip.

It didn’t feel like we were eating healthy as such, it felt as though we had gone out for dinner in a great restaurant that happened to serve nutritionally responsible food.

This is the type of place that we would like to see as a concession in gyms around the country.

Gyms Kitchen is proof that clean, honest food does not have to be boring or void of taste.

What we tried:

Gyms Kitchen Chicken Wings

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chicken Wings

Gyms Kitchen Grilled Halloumi 2

 

 

 

 

 

 


Grilled Halloumi

Gyms Kitchen Rump Steak 2

 

 

 

 

 

 


Rump Steak

Gyms Kitchen Tuna Steak 2

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tuna Steak

Gyms Kitchen Garlic Spinach and Spicy Rice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garlic Spinach and Spicy Rice

Gyms Kitchen Banana Split 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banana Split

Gyms Kitchen Peanut Butter Ice Cream 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Protein Ice Cream

What we liked

  • Nutritional information is easy to find
  • Portion sizes are ample
  • Customer service is second to none

What we would do differently

Give the option of peanut butter ice cream in the banana split (pretty please!)

Who can eat here?

Carb Conscious and Calorie Counter Busy Bodies will have the most fun here but Gluten Aware, Vegetarian and Vegan Busy Bodies will also find suitable options on the menu.

Value for money

Our bill for all of the above came to £41.72 including gratuity.

We think this was incredibly good value for money – especially given the portion sizes.

Locations

Leyton: 388-392 High Road Leyton London United Kingdom E10 6RT

Gants Hill: 376 – 378 Cranbrook Road, Gants Hill, Essex, IG2 6HW

Find out more

www.gymskitchen.com

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Valentines Day is upon us again! While you’ll no doubt be bombarded with adverts promoting mainstream sweets, we’re pleased to inform you that there are more nutritionally responsible treats available for balanced busybodies than ever before.

Two brands that have really grabbed our interest this year are The Raw Chocolate Company and Pudology which both happen to be vegan.

The Raw Chocolate CompanyThe Raw Chocolate Company has been established since 2006 and produce a wide range of raw chocolate.

They may not come in heart shapes, but when you open up a one of their 44g bars of  chocolates, you’ll find a message of love on the inside of the wrapper. Furthermore, they show a lot of love and respect to the environment by choosing ethically sourced ingredients and using renewable energy source for their production process.

You can buy their products directly from their website, or pick them up at a retailer near you

PudologyThe next brand we’re keen to introduce you to is Pudology. Gluten free, dairy free, egg free but delectable nonetheless. The Pudology philosophy is that you shouldn’t ‘miss out on indulgence because you can’t eat dairy’ – and we fully agree!

Whether you go for Banoffee, Chocolate, Strawberry, Lemon or all four, your Valentine’s Day won’t be short on decadence. These treats can be purchased at Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Waitrose and during Valentine’s week, you can get 1/3 off of these gluten free treats at Waitrose.

For more info head to http://www.pudology.com/

Happy Valentines!

In short

The gluten free menu additions are well thought through AND tasty

Review

Pizza Express feels like a British high street staple, however, until recently, if you are coeliac or gluten intolerant, Pizza Express would not have been high on your list of places to eat (for obvious reasons.)

Thankfully, Pizza Express have shown their awareness of changing customer requirements by launching a comprehensive gluten free menu this autumn.

It’s reassuring to see that a great deal of research has obviously gone into this menu. For example, the gluten free base is not available for all the pizzas, such as the Sloppy Giuseppe, because some of the toppings contain gluten. Furthermore, coeliacs can also safely enjoy a brownie AND a beer from Pizza Express which sets them apart from their competitors.

This shows that Pizza Express is not treating the gluten free movement as a trend but as a genuine dietary requirement.

Calorie counters can also find the nutritional info on the website and will be pleased to see that the new menu also includes a superfood salad which has baby spinach, roasted butternut squash, beetroot, light baby mozzarella and other nutritious ingredients.

Their lower calorie Legerra pizzas are also still available for their customers who tend to keep a close eye on their calories.

What we tried:

Gran Padano on a gluten free pizza base

Gran Padano on a Gluten Free base

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can taste the difference between the gluten free base and their standard base, but that’s to be expected and the taste wasn’t bland. The base did go hard a little more quickly than the standard base, but again that was to be expected (and we are notoriously slow eaters)

Superfood salad

Pizza Express Superfood Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our tester wasn’t a huge fan of it and felt that it was ‘filling but bland’

Pollo Ad Astra Legerra

Pizza Express Pollo Ad Astra Legarra

 

 

 

 

 

Again, this one didn’t get a great response from our tester as she felt that her ‘salad was just leaves, rather than an actual mixed vegetable salad, therefore very boring’.

What we liked

 

The food was visually appealing

There was no extra charge for the gluten free option

The gluten free menu was clearly thought through and well researched

Their website is clear and concise

Their allergy information can be downloaded from the site

Their nutritional information can also be downloaded from the site

What we would do differently

 

The superfood salad may benefit from a few more herbs to add more flavour without raising the calories

Who can eat here?

Calorie Counters Try the Legerra pizzas
Carb Conscious Superfood Salad with Chicken (ask for your balsamic syrup on the side)
Gluten Aware Anything with the GF symbol next to it
Vegetarian Anything with the ‘v’ symbol next to it
Vegan Vegans are limited to roasted tomatoes, olives marinate, macron almonds, dough balls (if butter is substituted for oil), a side salad, sorbet, Nocellara Del Belice olives.

Value for money

 

Gran Padano on GF base

Superfood Salad

Polla Ad Astra Leggera

Loyalty card

No loyalty card per se but there are regular offers and promotions available if you sign up to receive their newsletters. We used a 25% off voucher and the gluten free pizza base was included in the discount.

Locations

There are more than 400 in the UK. Find your local Pizza Express here

Find out more

www.pizzaexpress.com

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In short

A tasty wheat free, gluten free AND dairy free bread – now at a supermarket near you

Review

We discovered the BFree brand while visiting the International Food and Drink Event in ExCel last year.

BFree Bread Shaped BenchInitially we were intrigued by the bread shaped bench on their stand, but when we discovered that they were a gluten free brand we were excited! Staff was more than happy to chat with us about their brand and it only took a few minutes for us to realise that BFree Foods are serious about ensuring that coeliacs can enjoy a sandwich:

  • They work with experts in their fields to ensure that the full range has the best nutritional profile possible.
  • BFree has developed a recipe and composition that replaces the gluten and wheat and with natural ingredients.
  • BFree’s breads contain a blend of natural flours, starches and proteins and are made in a dedicated gluten free facility with batch testing done on all productions to ensure that there are no traces of gluten.

Most interestingly for us is the fact that unlike many GF products, BFree have the lowest fat content (1.5%), are high in fibre and have the lowest calorie breads in the ‘Free From’ market at just 60 calories per slice.

What more could you ask for in a gluten free bread?

Taste

Photo 20-03-2013 10 31 03When we tasted the bread we were pleased that we couldn’t tell that it was a gluten free bread, but to ensure that our opinion wasn’t biased (the stand was that cool) we asked some of our testers for their opinion.

Our coeliac tester said: ‘The bread was nice and soft and toasted well! It didn’t go horribly dry after toasting which happens with some other brands’.

Our non-coeliac tester noted that ‘the wraps are fine cold, but when we heated them they had a different smell than we were used to. That said, the wraps remained soft and not soggy after heating and I was able to make a lovely chicken wrap for dinner’

What we liked

The taste – you probably wouldn’t know it is gluten free by the taste alone

The packaging – may sound like a random point, but the packaging just makes eating gluten and wheat free food feel cool

What we would do differently

We’re looking forward to seeing BFree in more UK retailers

Cost

Wheat and Gluten Free Multigrain Wraps – £2.80 for 6

Wheat and Gluten Free High Fibre Brown Seeded Loaf (400g) – £2.49

Wheat & Gluten Free Low Fat Soft White Loaf (400g) – £2.49

Wheat & Gluten Free High Fibre Brown Seeded Rolls (4 x 75g) – £2.59

Wheat & Gluten Free Low Fat Soft White Rolls (4 x 75g) – £2.59

Where to find them

The Multigrain Wraps are available in the ‘free from’ aisle in Asda,

The full range is also available at Ocado

Find out more

www.bfreefoods.com

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