Savse Smoothies Review

I’m currently in London living this week on a course. That sounds quite dull but it’s actually very cool – and I get to stay in London rather than do the dreaded commute, which I rarely ever do. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in London longer than one night! So prepare for some hipster-style cold brew iced lattés (don’t think that’s a thing), avocado on toast breakfast, roof-top yoga and street food extravaganza. Ha, I wish.

But back to my post for today. I was kindly sent a selection of Savse Smoothies try out. So here’s what I thought.

Savse drinks (1)

I’ll say upfront I’m not actually a smoothie person. I don’t drink them regularly and rarely ever buy them. I just prefer eating fruit. But I tried them all, and my parents got in on the action too so they gave me some of their thoughts as well. And they’re serial orange juice drinkers so this is right up their alley.

Savse drinks

What makes these smoothie special? There are quite a lot of smoothies out there. These are a little different to most because they’re cold-pressed, 100% natural and contain no added sugar. I actually had no idea what cold-pressed was… Basically it’s using high pressure processing (HPP) to extract the juice from the fruit and vegetables. It means that it doesn’t need to be pasteurised as the bacteria etc. has been wiped out by the process but the vitamins and goodness remain. This means they can last for 45 days in your fridge (unopened)! I tried quite a few different flavours. I won;t go through each one as i

Super Orange

Super Orange Savse

Contains: mango, celery, apple, lemon, orange, passion fruit and carrot. It has 110 calories per 250ml bottle.. It was one of the sweetest smoothies of the bunch and had a definite underlying taste of mango. It was very tasty!

Super Red

Super Red Savse

Contains: strawberry, orange, kale, spinach, broccoli and celery. It has 98 calories per 250ml bottle. This was lovely and tangy and not overly sweet. Very refreshing and one of my mum’s favourites.

Super Blue

Super Blue Savse

Contains: Blueberry, kale, beetroot, spinach, blackcurrant, apple strawberry and orange. It has 105calories per 250ml bottle. This was very tangy!

Protein Punch

Protein Savse

Contains: coconut, pineapple, lime, vanilla, maca and whey protein. Each 250ml bottle has 175 calories and almost 11g of protein. This really tasted like a non-alcoholic piña colada, it was lovely and creamy. It felt a bit more filling than the others. Definitely one for post gym or to tide you over between meals if you’re in a pinch.

My favourite though was…

Super Purple

Super Purple Savse (1)

Contains: beetroot, apple, lemon, lime, mango, avocado and coconut. Each bottle has 105 calories. It wasn’t very sweet at all (just enough) but had a very earthy flavour due to the beetroot, which I love. I’m a big beetroot fan and I love the beetroot shots you can get to help with endurance so this was right up my alley. My parents weren’t as keen though so perhaps it’s an acquired taste!

The two other flavours I tried were the Purple Carrot and the Super Green. Both contained vegetables, such as carrot (obviously) and broccoli, and though you could kind of taste they were there it worked well in the smoothie. You felt saintly drinking them Winking smile

Overall thoughts? I quite enjoyed them. They were very refreshing on a hot sunny day and I like that there’s a lot of goodness packed into them. I’d still personally prefer eating my fruit and vegetables but that’s probably because I like volume over convenience. So for people who struggle to hit their five a day these would be handy as it’s really not a struggle to drink them at all!

Do you drink smoothies?

What’s your favourite fruit and vegetable?

How do you get your five a day?

**Full Disclaimer: I was sent the smoothie for free in return for my review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

Secret London #SecretFitness Session

I’m not usually that keen on going to London because it’s such a faff; I hate trains and I’m a country bum. Buuut when I got invited to the Secret London event that involved getting my hair done, Alpro products and yoga on a stand up paddle board, well I was convinced!

The location of the event was a mystery until 24 hours beforehand (hence the “secret” part), though I was told it would be around Oxford Street so I could at least plan my parkrun into the equation!

It was actually really easy to get to and was set in the lovely location of Merchant Square.IMG_4278

I was greeted straight away by the very friendly people from Secret London and Collective Two (the organisers of the event) and shown the cool set-up they had.

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I got to choose a pair of SuperDry flip flops and sipped on a delicious Alpro Berry and Coconut Smoothie while I waited to get my hair done by the guys from Headmasters.

IMG_4261From Secret London’s Facebook

Charlie (from TheRunnerBeans blog) and Bex (from TwinsInTrainers blog) were already getting their hair done so I went and said hi. IMG_4180

It was a bit like meeting the cool kids from school to be honest as their blogs are a lot more popular and known about than my iddy biddy one. They were lovely, of course.

Headmasters UK[Source]

I can’t tell you how nice it was to have someone do my hair for me. I am the girl who has my hair cut once a year and the most exciting thing I do with it is put it in plaits (braids) or a pony tail because my capability to do anything else is beyond me. We were all having braids done and in cool styles. I literally said to the hair stylist, do as you wish!

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In the end it looked fantastic (if I do say so myself!). It’s definitely not a style I’d be able to recreate at home or that I’d normally choose. While we were all chatting and enjoying ourselves there was a camera crew hovering around and a photographer snapping away. It felt very glam but made me a little insecure…There I was, fresh from parkrun with no make up on. Bex and Charlie looked so effortlessly glamorous in comparison, clearly more used to this sort of thing than me!

And then we headed to the water area to begin our stand up paddle board yoga. We were all fairly nervous because there was a genuine risk of falling in. I’d brought spare clothes and a towel but still! The instructor, Jen, from Pure Yoga Zone was lovely though. And she had the most adorable little dog, Clyde, with her too (yes, he went on the SUP with her too!).

Secret London Session(2)[Source]

We got on board and headed out onto the main bit of the water. It was fairly windy so our SUPs clustered together but this meant we could chatter and giggle together while trying to master the yoga moves.

Stand up paddle board yoga[Source]

The yoga moves weren’t tricky at all in themselves. It was fairly ‘entry level’. But on a paddle board it was a different story. Even moving from your knees to your bum was a dodgy episode that required balance and strategic navigation.

Secret London Session (11)[Source]

And yet as the time went on we all became more and more confident. It required us to think carefully when doing the moves and to use our core to keep us balanced on the board.

Secret London Session (16)[Source]

It was actually quite a tough session! I’ve done yoga before but sometimes you can ‘sleepwalk’ through it. Despite the tranquil surroundings there was no sleeping through this session!

Secret London Session[Source]

At the end we got our boards together in a line (no easy feat in the wind I assure you) and posed together like the yoga buffs we’d become.

Secret London Session(9)[Source]

Then after safely getting back onto dry land we headed for some vital refuelling (I hadn’t eaten breakfast or eaten post parkrun so I was definitely ready for food!).

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We were treated to a smoothie bar that was stocked with the toppings you could imagine (OK, relatively healthy toppings you could imagine) and smoothie flavours.

Secret London Session(3)I love this photo – it’s just so “me” around food [Source]

I went for a berry smoothie with just about everything in it from chia seeds, to fruit, to nuts and almond butter. Delicious. Now I’m not usually a smoothie lover but I was very happy to chomp this down.

Secret London Session(5)[Source]

The three of us then had a little interview to talk about our session and were chuffed to hear that we sounded almost like we’d had media training with the answers we gave and our ease in front of the camera. Dahhhhhling we’re bloggers, don’t you know? This is what we do. (<—Ummm, yeah I’m about the most awkward person in life ever).

It was a fantastic experience and I fully recommend SUP yoga (and now want to go SUP’ing again asap). If you get the chance to go to a Secret London session I’d definitely give it a go. It was a fun experience Smile And we got lots of cool goodies to take away with us too.

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You can buy tickets to these events, it wasn’t purely invite only, so keep your eyes open if this is your thing!

Have you ever been SUP’ing before?

Do you do yoga?

What’s your perfect smoothie creation?

Afternoon Tea Connoisseur

Thank you all for your lovely and kind words for my last post. It’s a fairly rubbish situation, I won’t lie, but such is life.

Having a marathon to look forward (yes I am really looking forward to it weirdly enough) and having a training focus really helps. It means weekends are pretty much spent running, seeing friends/family, and eating. Very good uses of my time, I’m sure you’ll agree 😉 No sitting around on my own feeling sorry for myself.

This weekend was good fun. I had parkrun Saturday morning and when I looked out the window at the sunny, cloudless sky I was very happy. That was until I stepped outside to give Alfie a quick walk before I left. It was freezing! OK, not freezing, but the wind had a nasty bite to it.

I wrapped up warm to help set-up and then reluctantly peeled off my layers at the last possible minute.IMG_0370

Brrr! My legs were chilly! My friend Mike turned up without a coat in just shorts and a T-shirt and I felt very sorry for him. He was jumping around desperate to get warm. The weather can be very deceptive!

Anyway off we went. It was a frustrating run. It felt great, I pushed hard and I thought I was running faster than before…but I wasn’t. I’m consistent at least but I just cannot get past 21 minutes – not on the current course anyway. To be honest, I’m not that bothered as being near 21 minutes is good enough for me as I haven’t been there in a while and my 5k time is right at the bottom of my running wishes at the moment (keeping injury free, enjoyment and marathon training are my priorities right now). But it still irks me!

IMG_0367 I did get to wear my new Nike running top though so that was nice. It fits like a dream and is a really nice cut. Also nice that I coincidentally have a matching hair band – small things 🙂 And despite being freezing at the start, I started getting really hot on the second mile so I was glad to have worn what I did.

I saw my parents in the afternoon (after quite a cathartic deep clean in the house – very refreshing!) and my dad and me went for another nice walk along Stokes Bay with the dogs. They’re all very good after the walk at just jumping straight into the boot of the car…except Dylan.IMG_0368

Dylan, bless him, is not what you’d describe as an athletic dog…the others will zoom across the fields and chase birds, while Dylan will trot beside you gently. He’ll keep looking up at you as if to say “are we done yet?” And at the end of the walk he just lies down and rolls over when we try to get him into the car. Very cute, but a little annoying!

In the evening I saw some friends and we just hung out having a very easy evening chatting and watching Britain’s Got Talent. It was a lovely, relaxed evening. I headed back home afterwards, rather than stay at my parents (sort of got to get a grip with spending Saturday night’s alone at some point!)

This meant a new route for my long run on Sunday morning. I had 17 miles planned and decided to psychologically break it up so it didn’t seem so scary. I ran towards where my local parkrun is held (Netley Abbey) which is about 4 miles, ran around there for a bit as it’s very pretty and off-roady, then ran back past my house to find another seven miles. It almost felt like two runs if that makes sense. It also meant that on my pre-run walk with Alfie I could leave a bottle of water in a plastic bag in some bushes near my house.

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Though I actually didn’t feel thirsty at all during the bulk of the run so I left it there. It was literally only the last mile or so that I fancied any water and passed it again just at the end so it worked out nicely.

IMG_0375 The run felt really good and the change of route was a nice change. Though it had more hills than the beach run I do at my parent’s. This meant a far quicker start as I went downhill at the beginning, then slower coming back. Despite my best efforts to keep things consistently slow I just couldn’t get to grips with what I should be running with all the elevation changes. So instead I kept an eye on my heart rate and effort level.

(Ave. pace 7.59mins/mile)

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I only started to find the run tough towards the end, probably 14 miles onwards. It didn’t help that I had changed my route last minute and was having to mentally work out where to run and the mental arithmetic involved (the simplest maths becomes very tricky on a long run). My legs felt tired but not niggly or broken, so I pushed through and finished strong.

IMG_0373 Cat photo bombing!

My lovely short tan lines are reappearing again. Good job I have no holidays in sight requiring me to wear a bikini!

I enjoyed such a luxuriously hot shower after the run. It sounds weird but, as hot as I was running, there is nothing more lovely that a hot shower afterwards!

I stole borrowed my parent’s Nutribullet so I could have a post-long run smoothie. Unfortunately I had limited ingredients so it was just kale, blueberries, summer berries, almond milk and the Nutribullet super powder mix.

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There you have Smoothie Sludge. There are other descriptions but I’ll leave it to your imagination… I’m not sure why it turned so brown (all the dark berries?) but there you have it. It was edible, that’s all I’ll say. I hope my body appreciated the goodness at least! I wasn’t hungry at all so it was a struggle to drink (spoon?).

My mum popped over to go for a walk with Alfie and me which was lovely. I always find a leisurely walk after a long run really helps keep things loose. It’s tempting to sit down and stay there all day but from past experience I know this doesn’t help. Plus, who wants to be inside on such a sunny day?

Runger appeared with a vengeance suddenly as we headed back from our walk. This was handy because we’d planned to have afternoon tea. We went to a different tea room this time as unfortunately our plan to go to my local and favourite tea room, Elsie’s in Botley, had a private party.

We went to The Tea Party (another tea room in Lee-On-Solent). The perk of this place is they have a licence to sell alcohol so we had a cheeky glass of Prosecco to toast the cake occasion.

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The Tea Party is lovely and quirky with its decoration and the range of cakes looked delicious.

IMG_0380We both ordered afternoon tea. I went for ham and mustard sandwiches and a slice of lemon meringue cake (my mum had cheese and chutney sandwiches and toffee apple cake).

IMG_0386 I like to think of myself as somewhat of an afternoon tea connoisseur having done this now a fair few times so I feel I am a good judge on these things. The sandwiches were lovely. Lots of cheese for my mum and thick tasty ham for me. The scones were warm and crumbly but smaller than other tea rooms I’ve been too, and we had a small pot of cream to share between us. For someone who struggles with sharing food, this was annoying.

My cake was absolutely divine. Very light and lemony. However the slice was small. Now perhaps this is the Cake Monster within but my mum also commented that they looked small. She took hers home though in the end whereas I polished mine off very easily and quickly. Very nice, but slightly disappointing.

I probably should find better ways to refuel after long runs, but this is a far more fun way to do it!

What do you look for in a good tea room (and/or afternoon tea)?

Have you had any smoothie disasters?

How do you stay hydrated during long runs?

Easter fun – part 1

Happy Easter everyone! Hope you had an egg-cellent time (sorry, couldn’t resist). Mine was jam-packed, which was brilliant but means I don’t feel that rested for work!

I had Friday and Monday off of work, which I suppose is the norm but I know a lot of people still had to work (I would never work in retail for these reasons!). On Friday I popped to the gym in the morning to do my strength training, though thankfully not having to get up at 5am! I was there for the more reasonable time of 8am. Though this did mean it was far more busy than I’m used to. People all over the place!

Then after breakfast my mum popped over and we headed out, with Alfie, for a lovely walk in Queen Vitoria Country Park which is where my local parkrun is held. Though the weather was a bit grisly, it was nice to walk and chat. And Alfie just loves to walk straight through all those muddy puddles! Walking is helping my mum’s back and she’s trying to swim a bit more too but she’s still off of work and will hopefully have her MRI booked in soon 🙁

We dropped Alfie back off at home, de-wellied ourselves and headed out for lunch at Gunwharf Quays. But the traffic was dreadful. The queue to get to Portsmouth was just chock-a-block so we made the most sensible decision to come off at Port Solent instead and have lunch there. Obviously this meant Zippers (which I’ve been to a fair few times I must admit). Sadly there was no salad bar anymore! Apparently people weren’t fussed with it? This does not compute with me.

Zippers Port SolentBut I still got a very tasty chicken, avocado and bacon salad (with a side of chips…). I absolutely couldn’t resist their fantastic chocolate fudge cake either. I’ve had it every single time I’ve been there and it’s consistently amazing. I would go back to Zippers purely for that cake.

Saturday was finally my 50th parkrun! It’s been a long time coming as I’ve been going to parkrun for two years. I baked some double chocolate chip cookies (a very standard recipe, nothing crazy) and they actually turned out OK which is something for me as usually I’m a terrible baker.

parkrun cookiesI went down early as normal to help set up and as I stood waiting for the others to come I saw my dad pull up. He had said he might come down to watch (he loves supporting races and seeing me run, bless him, and he’s never been to a parkrun before so my 50th seemed an ideal one to watch) but I didn’t know for certain if he’d come. I’d told him to come for 8.30-45am if he was coming so I was quite surprised to see him so early. So I dragged him into setting-up as well. hHe didn’t mind and found it quite interesting.

50th parkrun with my dad

He was my own personal photographer as well which was cool, as well as a brilliant cheerer.

50th parkrun Netley Abbey Annoyingly I hadn’t charged my earphones and hadn’t realised till I got there so I had to run music-less. I wanted to push it and find without music it’s so much harder. Probably need to work on this I suppose as it’s such a mental crutch. Though it was nice to not have music for once and enjoy the atmosphere.50th parkrun (4)I ran it in 21:14 which is slower by 10 seconds or so than last week but I felt strong so I’m happy with that! I feel like I’m being consistent which is good.

The rest of Saturday I spent with my mum again and Di, my mother-in-law. We went to Lymington for a mosey around some shops and lunch.

Lymington high street

Lovely violinist setting the tone

There was a market which was cool but it was very busy. The weather was nice, it was Easter weekend…not surprising really! It was lovely to mooch around little independent shops and the market.

For lunch we stopped in a lovely little pub called The Hobler Inn.The Hobler Inn food

I had a lamb kofta for my starter, followed by a mango Cajun chicken salad. Both were delicious and I’d really recommend this pub. It felt very food-focused and the staff were lovely.

Sunday morning was long run time again. This time 14 miles was on the plan and the wind was practically non-existent thank goodness as I was running along the beach again.

It was a good run; I felt comfortable and my legs felt strong (how long will this last??). 7:47mins/mile average.

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The only annoying thing was that I got really bad stitch about four times during the run (probably nine miles onwards) and I had to stop a few seconds to try and get rid of it. I wasn’t running fast so I wasn’t sure what was wrong (though I had eaten a lot the night before in the shape of an Indian take-away…but this has never been a problem before?). Though it was annoying it was strangely a good thing because as it kept creeping back I worked out a way to get rid of it while running so didn’t have to stop anymore. I held myself up taller and took big breaths whenever I felt it starting. And it died away! So actually quite good to have happened during a training run to work out how to get rid of it.

After the run I blasted up a beasty smoothie at my parent’s house after showering.

Nutrbullet smoothieThis contained half a banana, loads of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, semi-skimmed milk, orange juice, the Superfood power (<– not an affiliate link!) and kale. Very tasty and it made two lots so my dad got a superfood boost as well.

Right this post is getting too long so I’ll leave it there for now and recap the rest in another post.

How was your Easter?

How do you motivate yourself to run fast?

What is your perfect pudding? Fairly boring but mine is probably a brownie/chocolate cake with ice cream. But if there’s no ice cream I won’t have it as it’s too rich and I don’t like cream!

Finding the small things

I don’t know about you but when I get stressed, or angry, or sad sometimes I can find myself wallowing in the emotion. This isn’t good to do for long periods of time obviously. It’s not good for your mind, your health or you spirit.

Pardon my French, but when the shit hits the fan I just want to run away and hide. I want to moan, cry and beat my fists: “why me?”. But what good does this do really? OK sometimes it’s very cathartic and I’m not saying to have a good cry is wrong from time to time. But you still have your life to live and things to get done. So when I’m feeling this way I try and find stuff to keep me smiling and make me happy.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love reading. I’m a self-confessed book worm and I am not ashamed! After the very sad death of Terry Pratchett I realised I hadn’t actually read many of his books (possibly just one, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents which was one of his younger books). My dad is a huge Terry Pratchett fan so I asked his advice about where to start because the Discworld (where most of the books are set) is massive. I was slightly dubious as I’m not that into fantasy but I thought I’d give it a crack. My dad leant me Going Postal and I’m hooked.

Going Postal Terry Pratchett Source

It’s exactly what I need right now – a story about a world far enough from reality that I can forget any problems I have and just sink into the story. For me reading is a brilliant escape and perfect to help you relax just before you go to bed (that terrible time when the demons always appear).

And in daily life seeing the hints of spring always makes me feel good. Knowing that better weather is round the corner, lighter evenings, lighter mornings and wearing less layers.

Spring daffodilsLet’s not think about losing an hour this weekend though! Meaning my 5am gym wake-ups might feel like 4am for a bit. Dear lord.

And spring time means my motivation to walk Alfie is far higher. It’s no longer a trudge through the cold, but sometimes the sun is shining and it’s just perfect. I know I keep going on about them, but the Jabra ear buds are also making walks with Alfie easier.

IMG_0174 Having a dog lead and ear phone cables to contend with makes things a bit stressful and occasionally I’ll accidentally catch the cable and yank one from my ear, which is always painful. But as the Jabra ones are wireless it means just one thing to contend with – Alfie…who’s hard enough on his own with chasing birds and pooing in bushes!

Obviously running makes me happy and is a fabulous escape and refresher of the mind. I’ve been running the same very hilly 10k(ish) route every week around Basingstoke where I work before I go home on a Wednesday night. Strava is brilliant because it let’s me compare runs when I do the same route. I’ve now done this route five times and so far I’ve just kept improving slightly.

image To be honest though I don’t think I can continue this trend. It is a hard run and I’m not sure how much faster I can do it. But it’s not necessarily just about the speed for the run – it’s about those horrific hills and the strength I’m hoping I’m building up in my legs.

image There’s no point just running easy flat routes all the time. Make your training hard to make racing easy is my plan. Though always remember to make it easy when your body tells you to – we’re not superheroes!

As I run from work on a Wednesday night it means I’m not going to get dinner until I get home. So by the time I’m home and dinner is prepared it can be at least an hour and a half later. I do need something to refuel me to make the next day not feel like hell. The people from Upbeat sent me some protein smoothies to review for my blog.

IMG_0167 So I’ve been taking them to work and having them post-run on a Wednesday night when I drive back home. Luckily we have a fridge at work so I just grab it as soon as I’ve finished my run and drink while I do some stretching in the mini work gym.

Upbeat smoothie Post run stretch and refuel

Upbeat drinks are dairy protein drinks. They’re high in protein (20g per bottle – and this comes from whey protein from the milk), low in fat and relatively lower in sugar than most smoothies. Each bottle also has less than 150 calories. The available flavours are Strawberry, Blueberry & Raspberry and Mango & Passion Fruit. The ingredients list reads very nicely without any crazy artificial flavourings or chemicals.

Mango and Passion Fruit Upbeat

My thoughts? I actually really enjoyed these, which I was surprised about as I thought “ooh whey protein and a smoothie? Hmm”. The consistency was fairly thick (like a smoothie) but lovely and, well, smooth. I definitely felt like I was being filled up when I drank it. It didn’t feel like “empty calories”. I never want actual food straight after a run but the length of time between running and dinner is too long to not have something and this fits the bill perfectly.

Upbeat bag

They also sent me a lovely material bag for life and notepad as well, which just made me smile. Maybe I’m not feeling that upbeat right now, but it helps to have a reminder to at least try!

And if all else fails, just have a bit of what you fancy. I don’t believe you should eat for your moods all the time but I do believe sometimes you just bloody well need chocolate.

IMG_0198How good does that sound?? Salted fudge! It’s currently sat in my fridge just waiting…I’ll crack into it soon (no pun intended…) but just knowing it’s there like an old friend ready to help me when I most need it is just wonderful.

How do you get yourself out of dark moods?

What is making you smile lately?

What is your perfect East egg?

***Full Disclosure: I was sent the Upbeat protein smoothies for free to review. All opinions are my own honest ones.***