Review: Diet cupcakes?!?

A while ago I reviewed some products that Exante diet kindly sent me to try – and since then I’ve bought some of the shakes and bars to have, particularly when I’m in a rush, or need a breakfast before working out that I’m not going to vom back up again after 10 minutes of a cardio workout!!

Anyway – the lovely guys at Exante messaged me to see if I’d like to try some of their new range of cupcakes – well, how could I refuse!

The box arrived and I excitedly opened it looking forward to trying a cupcake – and found out it was packets that you had to make up!  Initially I thought ‘what a faff’ – but I guess it does stop you just stuffing them blindly in your face when you have to think about making them – so maybe that’s a winner?!?

Anyway – whilst I must be the only person in the country (or so it feels from my Facebook timeline on a Wednesday evening) who isn’t Great British Bakeoff obsessed – my daughters are – and what’s the point in having loads of kids if you can’t make use of child labour!  (The day the eldest could make me a G&T was a very proud moment.)

So children 1 and 3 were voted cupcake makers!

Each set of packets (one for the cupcakes, one for the icing) makes 2 cupcakes – so we decided to use 3 of each so all family members could try them.  The 2 cupcakes would be a meal replacement and contain 200 calories and 16.7 grams of protein – so very similar to the shakes and bars throughout the range.

And so – the cupcake baking began:

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Cupcake 1 Cupcake 2

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They didn’t exactly rise evenly – and I have to say that I’m not sure Paul Hollywood or Mary Berry would have been that impressed with the presentation!  But surely the taste is the main thing……

And so – the other members of the Price family verdict:

12 year old ‘They work really well as a diet food, because they are so disgusting you never want to eat cupcakes ever again.’

5 year old ‘I don’t want one, they look funny, can I have an apple instead?’

Husband ‘Oh my God these are disgusting, why would anyone eat these, don’t let the children eat them.’

So not exactly universal praise…….

They do taste very synthetic – particularly the icing (it is the brightest pink I have ever seen!) – but I guess I am more used to ‘protein’ based flavours than the rest of the family.  If you were being hardcore on Exante and were really missing cakes then I guess maybe they would be ok – but they are definitely my least favourite of all of the products I’ve tried.  And the faff of making it all also massively counts against them for me.  I’ll be sticking to the shakes and bars in future.

I was sent this product to review for free, but all opinions (as you can probably tell!) are my own. 

Review: Exante diet products

I spotted a Twitter request for people who are on a diet and like Bounty bars. Now I am on a diet BECAUSE I like Bounty bars – and any other chocolate bar, and wine, and cake, and basically anything you can eat or drink! So I immediately replied! The very lovely people at Exante then offered to send me not only some diet Bounty bars – but also some other of the Exante diet products that are available to trial.  There’s even salted caramel pudding in there – boom!!

Exante

X Factor winner Sam Bailey is doing the Exante diet at the moment with great success and is blogging about it here.  Exante basically offer a wide variety of meal replacement products that are high in protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.  There are numerous plans you can follow to suit your lifestyle to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle.

I am not following a plan – but thought I would try out the products and let you know what I thought of them!

Day 1

The fist thing I tried was the chocolate coconut bar – the aforementioned ‘diet Bounty’!  I had it post workout, when I needed a protein / energy fix – and at 207 calories and 17g of protein, it seemed like a good plan.  I have to say it was more chocolate than coconut, and didn’t have the consistency of coconut – but was a bit ‘gritty’ – but in a good way, adding texture to it.  It had a typical ‘protein bar’ taste to be honest.  Now a ‘proper’ Bounty is 270 calories but only 2g of protein – so whilst it might not taste quite the same, it’s a better alternative – and way better than no chocolate at all!!

Day 2

Today, in lieu of breakfast, I had the strawberry shake. I was going to go for a run, and didn’t have time for ‘proper food’ to go down and thus a risk of it coming back up over the treadmill – so the shake was the perfect substitute. With 201 calories and 14g of protein, I figured it would power me through my run! I used the shaker that I’d been sent – which had a clever metal spiral ball inside which helped mix up the shake really well. It recommended 200-250ml of cold water – and I went for the maximum amount – but the shake was still incredibly creamy. The powder had been white – but the shake was a lovely strawberry colour (keeping all senses happy!) and tasted really nice. Some protein shakes can have a weird synthetic aftertaste – but this didn’t at all. I really liked it.

Mid morning – I had the choco balls as a snack.  These are fabulous – like super crunchy Maltesers. At 79 calories and 7.5g of protein per serving – not too naughty either!  HOWEVER, a serving is only half of the bag!! This is as ridiculous as the fact that a ‘serving’ of Cadbury’s chocolate fingers is only 4!  Obviously once I’d popped I couldn’t stop and ate the entire packet – whoops.  This lack of self control is another major factor in why I’m 5 stone overweight…….

For lunch I had the tomato and basil soup. I was at work and therefore had neither a blender or whisk to had – as they advise – so had to make do with a fork. Consequently the soup was a bit lumpy as I couldn’t get all of the powder to disperse properly – but it was really tasty – and with similar calories and protein to the breakfast shake, I can positively polish my halo today with eating!!

Day 3

I’m having a shake as an early lunch before a gym session with my PT – and today’s is the creamy coconut shake. This has the same calories as the strawberry one (201) but a whopping 16.9g of protein. The description was perfect – it was very creamy and coconutty – and again, I really liked it.

Day 4

Today I am at home with a poorly daughter – and so even more time poor than usual – and in need of a treat – so I thought I would try the gooey salted caramel pudding.  I mixed this up as per the instructions and it made quite a paltry amount, and when I licked the spoon it had more than a passing resemblance to butterscotch angel delight.  I then had to microwave it.  I did it for 1 minute (as per the instructions) but that was too much in my 900W microwave, and I’ll do the gooey chocolate pudding for only 40 seconds I think.  It expanded brilliantly – and tasted like a proper pudding.  There was no gooey middle (hence the fact I think I’d over zapped it) but it was really tasty.  I had very low expectations, and was concerned I was going to slate it – but I needn’t have worried, it was great! And with 205 calories and 16.7g of protein, should keep me going with playing nursemaid all afternoon.

Now – I still have the aforementioned gooey chocolate pudding, along with chocolate, white chocolate and raspberry, and strawberry cheesecake shakes to try – but I wanted to get this initial review up for you all to read – and I think it’s a pretty safe bet that these shakes will be lovely too!

I was very pleasantly surprised by all of the products I was sent to test.  I’m not sure I could be as hardcore as to do one of the total replacement diet plans – but they are great meal replacements for a busy Mum like me.  Having looked on the Exante website there are loads of different ways to purchase the products that work out very reasonably, so I will be shopping later!  And maybe I should just try it hardcore for a few weeks……….

I was sent these products to review, but all opinions are my own.

Health and Fitness – The Photo Gallery week 219

I have blogged before that I haven’t represented my country at sport – but even that could overstate my love of things sporty.  At school my best friend was off being BRILLIANT at hockey / tennis / skiing – in fact, anything vaguely sporty that she turned her hand to – whilst I was really good at quadratic equations and playing the flute.

Since my Uni years I’ve worried about my weight (although looking back at photos of then – WHY??) and have been anything from a size 8 up to a size 18 and everything in between, with 4 pregnancies thrown in too.

After my second child I discovered ‘The Idiot Proof Diet’ (basically low carb-ing) and was really successful with it – hey, I even appeared on the ‘before and after‘ page of the associated website. To be honest, right at this moment I’d take the ‘before’!

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But children 3 and 4 and associated 5 stone (yep – count ’em!) weight gain means I’m up near the top end of the last 20 years weight-wise.

I’ve always adopted the Meghan Trainor approach to size:

“Yeah it’s pretty clear, I ain’t no size two
But I can shake it, shake it like I’m supposed to do
‘Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase
All the right junk in all the right places
I see the magazines working that Photoshop
We know that sh*t ain’t real
Come on now, make it stop
If you got beauty beauty just raise ’em up
‘Cause every inch of you is perfect
From the bottom to the top
Yeah, my momma she told me don’t worry about your size
She says, boys they like a little more booty to hold at night
You know I won’t be no stick-figure, silicone Barbie doll,
So, if that’s what’s you’re into
Then go ahead and move along”

But – it’s not ‘all about the weight’ (do you like what I did there?!) – it is about my health and fitness.  We’re just back from an amazing family holiday at Bluestone in Wales – where we did loads of brilliant activities – but they nearly broke me.  I am black and blue from clinging onto a cargo net for dear life – partly fear of heights, partly fear of being pretty damn close to the weight limit for the equipment.  In one way (the shallow way) it’s the fact that I don’t like the size of myself in the photos I can see from our trip – but more importantly, I have 4 fabulous kids who I want to be able to be ‘Woodland Warriors’ with in years to come, without nearly passing out having walked up some steps through a forest.

And maybe if I write it down here, I have to stick to it?

I am really lucky in that as my own boss I can factor exercise into my daily life – I do pilates once a week (which in 2 years has sorted my dodgy back out amazingly) and I have PT sessions twice a week, so the exercise side of my fitness should be covered.  However, I’ve been told that 80% of health / fitness / weight loss is what I put into my mouth – and I am the only one who can take responsibility for that. So that means healthier food, limited booze and really grasping the nettle (perhaps to make some nice tea?!?)

This was supposed to be a photography feature – as usual with The Gallery – but has turned into a bit of a heart to heart with you all – sorry!

Dumpy and determined
Dumpy and determined
Ready for yoga
Ready for yoga

Do go and see how others have interpreted ‘Health and Fitness’ – hopefully with much better photography than me!

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery