Portlebay Popcorn

It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a popcorn addict. I pop my own salt and pepper popcorn and have as part of my lunch every day at work. My office initially thought I was bonkers but now they’ve come to accept my weird little obsession.

Along with my more simple popcorn, I love trying the different flavours that have come out as well. There’s definitely been an explosion of popcorn in the past few years. No longer is it just the butter and sugar drenched stuff you buy to pop yourself and eat at home while watching a film or buy jumbo buckets of at the cinema. Recent flavours out there have also fully embraced the salty sweet flavour combo that is in full force at the moment too. It’s a match made in heaven in my eyes!

Portlebay Popcorn do a range of popcorn flavours called Kracklecorn which is “hand popped” in Devon.


Kracklecorn is where they’ve added raw cane sugar as the grains are popping which makes the popcorn more brittle and crunchy. They sent me a fabulous selection of popcorn flavours to test out and review. Honestly, I was blown away by the variety they had!


I’ve previously tried the Crispy Bacon and Maple Syrup flavour and adored it so I knew that flavour would be fine. But Lemon Sherbet? Very Berry? That sounds mental! The three new flavours that Portlebay have released are Very Berry, Cinnamon Swirl and Lemon Sherbet.

Lemon Sherbert popcorn

The Lemon Sherbet flavour was fairly subtle – don’t expect to get your head blown off. But it did have that tangy lemonness and fizziness you’d expect from the original sweet and it went so well with the popcorn. It tasted delicious!. It was my second favourite flavour (the maple bacon still has my heart).


The Very Berry flavour was equally as subtle and extremely tasty. There were hints of berry-ness without it being overwhelming. IMG_1277

The Cinnamon Swirl I was initially not sure about. It tasted very “American” if you know what I mean. It smelt quite synthetic. Cinnamon isn’t a huge flavour in the UK (unless it’s Christmas), unlike the US, and it reminded me of the sweet cinnamon things you can easily eat over there but not so much here. After a few bits I decided I did like it. Again, subtle flavours.

The one flavour I wasn’t sure about was the Smoked Cheddar. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t awful but it was just odd. It had a cheesy flavour but was still slightly sweet. I don’t think I’d have this flavour again, but I wouldn’t throw it back at someone if they offered me some!

I won’t go into the nutritional details for all the popcorn but I’ll give you an example.

Cinnamon Swirl (per 25g)

  • Calories: 111 calories
  • Protein: 1.3g
  • Fat: 4g
  • Of which saturates: 0.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 16.2g
  • Of which sugars: 7g
  • Fibre: 2.7g
  • Salt: 0.1g

The range of calories per bag for the flavours is around 110-115 calories, so less than a packet of crisps and nice and filling with the fibre. The ingredients lists are also fairly clean without any nasty, strange sounding chemicals. They’re not vegan (they contain lactose) but they are gluten free.

By far Portlebay are the best range of popcorn I’ve had. The crunchiness of the actual popcorn gives a nice eating experience (does that make sense?) and the flavours are really good. Big thumbs up from this popcorn addict! I just cannot buy bigger bags though as I won’t stop eating.

What’s your favourite popcorn flavour?

What do you snack on when you’ve got the munchies?

What’s the weirdest flavour you’ve tried (of anything!)?

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

Rants and Raves #9

Spring is on its way. I can feel it. OK maybe not every day but it is definitely soon(ish…maybe…wishful thinking?) When I come back from the gym in the morning and walk Alfie (about 6.45am) it is LIGHT. It is also light on my commute home. This is progress!

So another week, and another line-up of my rants and raves. This week I really had some genuinely ranty moments. Poor Ben. But let’s start with a positive…

Rave: At work I like to have a mid-afternoon snack (between my lunch and my 4pm apple and banana, not that I’m a creature of habit or anything…). Usually it’s something from my graze box or a handful of pistachio nuts. I ran out of my graze box (I get it every other week) and I wanted something sweet but filling. I saw a pack of these in Tesco so bought them and I’m addicted!

Nakd cocoa crunch They’re basically very similar to the normal nakd bars but they have this added crunch and more protein (5.5g total for 30g and 106 calories) which as a snack is really important to me as I want to be kept full and not reaching for something more afterwards (not that this always works mind you).

Rant: I have the lovely Kelly from my running club to thank for spotting this really infuriating detail of my next 10k race (Eastleigh 10k) I’m doing. Can you spot it?


The fact that the first 10 men will be award prizes but only the first SIX women. Er…what? I’m sorry but we’re missing four accomplished females here. It’s disgusting that there is still gender bias in races. Is the 7th/8th/9th/10th woman not as good as the equivalent placing man? What message does this give out to aspiring young female athletes? The argument of lack of money or that maybe more men enter the race than women does not work I’m afraid. Lower the number of prizes for men or raise the number for women. I could rant until I’m blue in the face about this one.

Rave: I did the worst possible thing: I let a strange man into my house when I was home alone. He asked all the right questions and spouted all the right things and I led him in – I’m that kinda girl 😉 No seriously, he was from Hello Fresh and his offer just sounded amazing and I was sold. I signed on the dotted line, gave my card details to him and boom I now have a subscription. I hang my head in shame…BUT I’m fully happy with my snap decision. Like I previously said, a proper post is on its way about what it is and what I think. Ben was somewhat surprised though getting in and seeing a strange man in the living room with me!

Rant: I saw a snapshot of The Sweaty Betty London Fashion Week catwalk advert on Facebook as I was scrolling through my time feed the other day and was shocked.

Sweaty Betty Catwalk

Is this representative of the target market buying these workout clothes? Where are their muscles? They barely look healthy. I’m not trying to thin-shame at all – I appreciate that slim people wear workout gear too and that you don’t need bulging muscles to shop at Sweaty Betty or to be healthy. BUT there were no athletic models at all here and just shows mixed messages about their company values. (For the full line-up check it out HERE).

Rave: I love films and I love the buzz around the award season, wondering who will win what. I also enjoy looking at all the beautiful stars dressed to the nines. However (and again we’re going to hit on gender inequality) I despise how most reporters will ask women “who are they wearing?” as one of their main questions. Not “how did you prepare for the role?” or “what was the hardest part of playing this character?” or something related to their actual ability as an actress, rather than the superficial quality of what they’re wearing. However, Reese Witherspoon refused to answer their questions about her dress but said “ask me about my role”.


She was championing the #askhermore Twitter campaign which is fantastic! Nicely done, Reese. For a funny twist on this check THIS article about how male stars react when asked similar superficial questions on the red carpet.

Rave: I believe it was Maria’s blog where I first saw these amazing marshmallow creations from Marshmallow Deli. As a surprise pressie for Ben for Christmas I bought two different marshmallow flavours. Due to high demand over Christmas we didn’t actually receive them until mid-January, but it was worth the wait.

Marshmallow deli - caramel swirl

I got him Salted Caramel Swirl (right) and Peanut, Choc Chip Caramel (left). Ben really enjoyed them. I tried both and preferred the salted caramel because the peanut one tasted similar to Snickers chocolate bar and I hate Snickers!

Another rave: This little face.


Just casually waiting at the top of the stairs. What would I do without him?

What are your rants and raves this week?

Do you get annoyed by gender inequality?

What snacks are you enjoying at the moment?

GoNurition Review

Today I have another review for you. This time it’s for GoNutrition products. GoNutrition is an online sports nutrition shop and have a range of high protein products to facilitate your sport goals. They kindly sent me a selection of goodies from their website for me to try so here are my thoughts.

GN Whey Protein 80 (find HERE)

Their whey protein powder contains over 19.5g protein per 25g serving and is rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s) and glutamic acid. I didn’t know too much about whey protein if I’m honest but after doing a bit of research it seems BCAA’s help stimulate protein synthesis and are therefore idea for muscle repair and growth. Basically it’s great for post-workout recovery.

image (Suitable for Diabetics, Gluten-Free, No GM, Hala and Kosher Suitable, No Artificial Colourings, Vegetarian)

  • Calories per serving: 96 kcal
  • Fat: 1.45g
  • Of which saturates: 1.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 1.2g
  • Of which sugars: 1.2g
  • Salt: 0.2g
  • Protein: 19.5g

My thoughts: There are loads of different delicious sounding flavours (maple syrup pancakes, jammie biscuit, key lime pie, etc.) available. I tried the triple chocolate flavour. You can mix the powder with water or milk, and the more you add of the powder then the more thick it is. I have to say I wasn’t a huge fan. I tried it with water first and it didn’t float my boat – I had to add more powder to stop it being watery and though the chocolate flavour was there it was still rather synthetic. Using milk made it a lot nicer though. Ben, however, really enjoyed it.

GoNutrition Whey Protein Powder I didn’t have a shaker so could only stir the mixture as much as possible

Original Protein Flapjacks (find HERE)

Again a high protein food, these flapjacks contain 18.6g protein and are made from oats so are low GI for slow-release energy. They have a chocolate-coating on one-side.


(No GM, No Artificial Colourings, Vegetarian)

  • Energy: 310 kcal
  • Fat: 8.6g
  • Of which saturates: 4.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 38.1g
  • Of which sugars: 8.5g
  • Dietary Fibre: 2.8g
  • Salt: 0.20g
  • Protein: 18.6g

My thoughts: Nice and tasty, very soft and chewy with lovely dark chocolate chips. The ingredient list looks a bit dubious with a some chemically sounding items and “chocolate flavour coating” though. Three-hundred plus calories for a snack in my opinion is on the high side but, saying that, flapjacks tend to be quite calorific anyway because they’re energy dense. Plus if you’re doing a big gym or long run then this could be ideal to hold you over between meals (hello, runger).

GoNutrition Flapjack

Protein Balls (find HERE)

Basically they’re crispy little balls of protein flavoured with spicy sweet chilli. Each 30g bag contains 15g of protein. Hilariously on the bag they were called ‘soy puffs’ which just amused me greatly.


 (No GM, No Artificial Colourings, Vegan, Vegetarian)

  • Energy: 124 kcal
  • Fat: 3.6g
  • Of which saturates: 0.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.7g
  • Of which sugar: 2.9g
  • Dietary Fibre: 0.5g
  • Salt: 0.78g
  • Protein: 15.0g

My thoughts: I actually really enjoyed these and checked the pack twice to see if I was only eating one serving because honestly there seemed a lot of, er, puffs for the calories (I’m a volume eater so this makes me happy). The flavouring was really good too, like finger-licking good. They sort of reminded me of those chickpea snacks. Very happy with these, very moreish.

GoNutrition Protein BallsA small sample of what you get 

Protein Cookie (find HERE)

This is what it says it is, a high protein cookie! A whopping 37.5g protein per cookie. To put that in perspective, there’s roughly 30g of protein in a chicken breast. 


(No GM and No Artificial Colourings)

  • Energy: 320 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 19.3g
  • Of which sugars: 7.2g
  • Fat: 9.9g
  • Of which saturates: 3.9g
  • Dietary Fibre: 1.7g
  • Salt: 0.5g
  • Protein: 37.5g

My thoughts: I tried the triple chocolate flavour, other options are cherry bakewell and chocolate orange. It’s a very soft cookie so it reminded me more of a brownie. There are big white chocolate chunks in it. It’s very tasty, but you know when you’re eating it it’s not quite the normal sugar-coma cookie you can buy in a bakery, but it is very satisfying and filling regardless. Again, long list of ingredients.

GoNutrition cookie

Protein Puddings (find HERE)

These are basically chocolate mousse pots containing 15g of milk protein but are low in fat and sugar. Ideal little snacks to stop you reaching for a sugary snack between meals, or good for a nice little dessert.


(Suitable for Diabetics, Gluten-Free, No Gm, No Artificial Colourings, Vegetarian)

  • Energy: 109 kcal
  • Fat: 3.0g
  • Of which saturates: 2.0g
  • Carbohydrates: 5.0g
  • Of which sugars: 1.0g
  • Dietary Fibre: 1.1g
  • Salt: 0.45g
  • Protein: 15.0g

My thoughts: Creamy, rich and chocolaty. Again the ingredients look a bit scary with flavours and sweeteners but it is what it is being a chocolate mousse pot. I wouldn’t eat one every day but they’re great if you’re craving a chocolate pick-me-up that’ll fill you up while you wait for something more substantial.GoNutrition Protein pudding

Whew! Lots of good stuff there. If you like your snacks to pack a punch and keep you full then these are ideal. They’re not whole foods or entirely clean by any means, but they’re great to tide you over to your next meal or help increase your calories if you’re working out hard. I just wish I had more soy puffs in my life 😉

Have you tried any GoNutrition products?

Do you aim for high protein snacks?

Do you regularly use protein powder?

[Disclosure: I was sent these products for free to review. However all opinions are my own.]

Clif Sports Energy Bars Review

Hey there. I’ve recently been sent some Clif Sports Energy Bars for review from Probikekit.co.uk. Probikekit is primarily an online cyclist shop, selling cycling gear, fitness clothes and nutritional items but it has also branched out into the running world.

I’ve seen Clif bars about all over the place. Other than sports shops (online and real), you can sometimes be lucky enough to get one in a race goodie bag or they might have samples going at different events. For instance, we saw them at the Portsmouth Marathon expo and at Endure 24.


Runners were like bees round honey at this free samples tent

I’d only tried little samples and found they were extremely moreish and very filling (a dangerous combo perhaps…).

Anyway I was sent a box to trial. Being the good wife I am I let Ben try some as well. He’s been enjoying them for breakfast and the occasional snack – he loves them. I’ve been having them as afternoon snacks (that awkward hungry time between lunch and dinner) and also for times when I know food is going to be a while round the corner, like bridging the gap between a race and a proper meal.

Clif BarBefore I get on to the nitty gritties about the taste and nutritional value, I must mention the ethos behind the company:

“Good food provides health, joy, and energy, and is a delight to the senses. And food, made right, can make the world a better place.

That’s why we use wholesome ingredients in all our products.  And all our food is free of hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup.

We recognize that food matters to our families, our communities, and our planet – as our food choices affect the physical, social, and environmental fabric of our lives.”


For these energy bars, they use 70% organic ingredients, they’re GMO free, vegan and a powerhouse of energy and nutrition: each bar (depending on flavour) contains 9-11 grams of protein, 4-5 grams of fibre, they’re free of trans fats and contain 23 vitamins and minerals.

There are several flavours available on the site: chocolate chip, chocolate and almond, peanut butter, white chocolate and the one I picked – oat, raisin and walnut. This bar contains 243 calories and tasted divine. A brilliant chewy texture with lots of flavour. It is nice and filling as well due to all that protein.

Clif Bar 2I would definitely recommend these as emergency snacks to keep with you day-to-day, or to fuel you during a long walk or cycle or even cut up and used on a long run if you’re able to stomach something as chewy as this (I tend to get a stitch sadly, but for walking and cycling these are perfect for me).

Have you ever tried the Clif products?

What snacks do you have to tide you over between meals?

What’s more important to you: calories or protein content?

**Full Disclosure: I was sent this product for review. All opinions are my own**

Let’s talk about food

Hey, hey, hey. So I know it’s been a lot about running lately. So I thought I’d talk about one of my other loves (no, not cake today). FOOD.

So I thought I’d join in with WIAW this week to liven things up (check Jenn’s blog out for more info).

I’ve been really loving using my slow cooker lately. OK yes it does involve a little forethought and preparation to get things going but once you’ve mastered the planning, it’s a dream. I love coming in at night from work and smelling a meal already on the way.

Bless Ben, I love him to be bits, but he doesn’t cook (beyond scrambled eggs or pasta with ready-made sauce). I don’t mind at all because I love cooking and, though I hate the term ‘housewife’, I love the idea that I’m fulfilling an ancient wifely duty of making a meal for my man. Plus I can bribe Ben with meals 😉

First up is a meal which is a firm favourite.

Slow cooker salsa chicken  

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken (Serves 2)

  • Two chicken breasts
  • One jar of salsa (I used Discovery)
  • Tin of adzuki beans (I’ve also used borlotti as well – any works)
  • Extra seasoning and spices
  • Optional toppings: cheese, sliced avocado, crumbled tortilla chips

– Put everything in the slow cooker.

– Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.

Yep that’s it. Embarrassingly easy really. I suppose you could make your own salsa but this is simply an easy weekday meal if you know you’re going to be rushed. As you can see, I served mine with roast butternut squash and, er, a lot of broad beans. Ben grated cheddar over his.

My next successful slow cooker meal that I’ve recently tried was also very simple (why make things complicated on a weekday?)

Slow cooker turkey leg

Slow Cooker Tandoori Turkey (Serves 2)

  • One turkey leg (remove skin if desired)
  • One white onion, chopped (not diced)
  • Tandoori spice blend (I used the one in the photo but you can use any or THIS recipe)
  • Juice from a lemon

– I removed the turkey’s skin as we’re not fans. Mix the lemon juice with your tandoori spice blend so it becomes a paste that you can spread evenly over the turkey.

– Put the onions at the bottom of the slow cooker, place the turkey on top. This helps it stop sticking and you get some lovely juicy onions to go with your turkey.

– Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.

**Word of warning: don’t then go to your personal training appointment (at 6.15am) straight afterwards. You will smell of Indian spices. It takes a while to stop smelling that way!**

– Remove turkey when done and basically the meat should fall off the bone. Remove any small bones.

Ben had his with onion rings and vegetables, while I threw mine in a monster salad.

Turkey leg saladThe photo is dreadful. I’m sorry. It’s also in a salad bowl if you can’t tell. *Hangs blogger head in shame*

Side note: can you believe I ate an entire turkey leg on our honeymoon?


Though not something particularly to be proud of…I do see this as an achievement.

And on a non-cooking note…The other week my work friends and I went out at lunch for Thai food. I went for fisherman’s soup to start (which was basically like a broth with seafood in it) and a spicy beef salad with crackers for my main.

Spicy Thai foodWell, the soup blew my head off. It was so spicy. My mouth was on fire and my eyes started to run. But I persevered!

Then the main came. My poor taste buds were inflamed once again. This meal was literally the hottest meal I’ve ever had. My mouth was burning. My eyes were running. I was sweating. I had to order a glass of milk. I kid you not. I felt sick by the end. It was nice, in a perverse “I’ll never taste anything again” way but seriously, 10 minutes later and I was still suffering. Everyone thought it was oh so hilarious.

Snacking-wise both Ben and I have been loving the Cocofina coconut and date bars that I won from lovely Lauren’s blog.

Cocofina coconut and date bars When I get that drop in energy mid-afternoon at work I have one of these bad boys and it helps perk me up. Very tasty.

This weekend, after Reading half, can you guess where we’re going to eat? My favourite restaurant of all time…Jamie’s Italian. And can you guess what I’m going to have? I’m so predictable. I swear if they don’t have the Turkey Milanese I will cry. It’s the best meal in the world (in my humble opinion). Happy days.

What’s your favourite restaurant? And favourite meal?

What have you been snacking on lately?

Do you use a slow cooker?