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While looking for a healthier option for breakfast I discovered Nestle Cheerio's; I thought maybe I should steer away from having toast with butter and chocolate spread every morning (naughty, naughty). These little circles of wholegrain are a lot better for you than most other cereals, you don't have to add sugar, just milk. The circles are three different colours because they use Oats, Barley and Wheat, I think that these colours also make them more appealing to children and yes why not (adults too). When I bought these at Tesco two weeks ago they were on offer, two 600g boxes for the price of one £2.77. Cheerio's for breakfast for about a month me thinks. The box is white with a big blue band across the top and the words Big Family Pack written in yellow and white. Underneath that there is a green band with the wholewheat tick on it and the following nutritional information: Calories 110 Sugars 6.4g Fat 1.1g Saturates 0.3g Salt 0.4g These guidelines are for a 30g serving, I don't tend to weigh things, the portion size as with most people I think depends on how hungry you are at the time. They also contain a lot of other goodies like Vitamin C, Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin, Vitamin ( B6), Folic Acid, Vitamin ( B12), Pantothenic Acid, Calcium and Iron. I think I am right in saying that even a bigger portion is still better for you than my previous breakfast choice. Nestle also have Honey Cheerio's and Oat Cheerio's which I haven't tried yet but I'm sure I will at some point, so watch out for more Cheerio reviews.
Years ago when my children were all at school I discovered Tunnocks caramel wafers, the kids loved them and so did I, but i hadn't had them since the kids have grown up and left home. This week my partner did the shopping and came home with ( yes you guessed it ) Tunnocks caramel wafers. So after dinner we sat down and each opened one of these delicious chocolate caramel delights. I have to say that they haven't changed one bit in all those years they are just as lovely as before, needless to say they don't last very long we only have two left. They come in packs of eight and the outside wrapper is the same as the individually wrapped wafers, red and gold stripes and have the word Caramel right in the centre of the wrapper. Also on the wrapper is the address of the manufacturer which is in Uddington Scotland, they also state on there that they make and sell 5,000,000 of these biscuits per week which I find astounding, Each bar is 30g and contains:- Caramel 50% Glucose Syrup, sugar sweetened condensed milk, invert sugar, syrup, vegetable oil, flavour, emulsifier, soya lechithin E322 milk chocolate cocoa solid and a few other ingredients. These are not good for you as they have a lot of sugar and syrups in them, but certainly are good, if you are on a diet leave them alone, if you,re not you really should give them a try, once eaten never forgotten.
Hosted by Noel Edmonds, Deal or no Deal was first broadcast on Monday October 31st 2005 and is still going strong today. The show is aired every weekday at 4.15pm on channel 4 and also is on one weekend day, but this varies; sometimes it's on Saturday and sometimes Sundays. The series has a break in the summer for a few weeks before a new series starts. Each show starts with 22 players - eleven on the west wing and eleven on the east wing. Each player has in front of them a red box with a number on it ranging from 1 to 22. The computer then flashes all of the players names up on a screen randomly and the name that it stops on is the contestant that will play the game that day. The contestant then comes to the table in the middle of the room, and Noel then asks them if they chose their box at random (this is done for the viewers information). The prize money ranges from 1p to £250.000. From 1p to £750 are on the blue side of the board and from £1000 to £250.000 are on the red side. ~ First Round ~ The contestant begins to choose the first five boxes, one at the time he chooses a box with the number he wants to play. Some players come to the table with a system, eg. relatives birthdays etc. Noel then asks the person holding the box to open it, and it is then placed under the table and that amount is removed from the prize board. After this process has been done five times the phone rings and the banker makes the player an offer for their box. After a while of being alowed to think about the offer Noel will then say Deal or no Deal and if the player decides they want to play on they say 'No deal'. The amount that the banker offers is determined by which boxes the player has left; if they take out a lot of the higher amounts then the offer will be low and vice versa. ~ Second Round ~ In this round, and all subsequent rounds, the player chooses three boxes and then the banker rings again and makes another offer, and so on until they are left with just two boxes; one on the players table and one on the wings. Sometimes at this stage the banker may ring and offer them a swap with the other box that is left on one of the wings, in this case it is possible that they could end up giving a large amount away and ending up with next to nothing. There has only ever been one winner of the quarter of a million, but a few people have won some of the other big amounts. There is also a 1p club which you join if you go away with 1p. There are currently 18 members, the last one to join was yesterday, poor woman. I really like this show and find myself feeling very sorry for the contestant especially when they say no deal and the very next box they open has the quarter million in it, I think that its a cruel game and it makes me sad when they end up with nothing. On the other hand its really great when you see someone who needs the money win a big amount. Lets face it even £75,000 can be life changing for most people. Another reason I like the show is that you get to hear so many different life stories from the contestants, some are sad and some are funny and Noel does always make something of these funny stories, but I think he takes it too far sometimes in as much as it can get a bit too silly and some may say that he gets on your nerves a bit, but I like him and I don't think the show would be the same without Nolly.
I normally only ever drink coffee, no other hot drinks. I also stopped using sugar in my coffee years ago. Just recently I started buying a few of the mini sachet's of hot chocolate drinks, they are so sweet, I don't know if this is because I don't take sugar or not, but I found that I couldn't drink the whole mug. While rooting through the sachet's that I had bought I came across a skinny cow hot chocolate and I was pleasantly surprised. On opening the sachet I found the smell a very chocolatey one so I went ahead and tipped the contents into the mug, I then poured a small amount of cold milk and stirred it in, I find that doing this stops it from going lumpy when you pour the hot water in. Having made my drink it was time for the taste test. Another surprise, it was really smooth and creamy and actually did taste of chocolate and was very nice. I didn't think that there was any difference between Skinny Cow and any other hot chocolate. Skinny Cow Nutritional Values per serving: Calories 37, Protein 2.0g, Carbohydrates 3.9g, Fat 1.5g. Options Nutritional Values per serving : Calories 37, Protein 1.1g, Carbohydrates 5.0g of which sugars 4.0g I would recommend this product to anyone that likes chocolate drinks but does not want too many calories.
I've just had a Birdseye Healthy Option Chicken Curry for my dinner. I utilized Tesco home delivery service this week, and ordered two of these as they were on offer. They would normally be £1.48 each, but are currently 2 for £2. This was the main reason I was drawn to this item, as well as the fact that it claimed to be a healthier choice. When my shopping arrived, I was quite surprised by the size of these. The box was considerably smaller than other ready meals I have had in the past. I suppose they are around the same size as Weight Watchers meals. It is a frozen ready meal which can be cooked in the oven or microwave, although it is advised that it is 'tastiest when microwaved straight from the freezer'. They come in a green and white box with a picture of a very appetising looking meal on the front. In this picture I counted about 12 pieces of chicken and a reasonable portion of long grain rice. So anyway the instructions read as follows: Pierce the film lid and cook on full power for 4 minutes then peel back the film and stir sauce and rice, replace the film and cook for a further 2 minutes. These times are for a 850mw microwave and other times are given for lower powered ovens. So after following these directions I served one of these meals to myself and the other to my partner. My first impression was that it smelt nice and looked quite yummy, but on further examination I found only 6 pieces of chicken swimming in a lot of runny sauce. Also, there were a few bits of red pepper and I believe I found 2 small pieces of tomato. However, when I tucked in I was pleasantly surprised, as it was actually very tasty. It wasn't too spicy, which pleased me as I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to curry, and don't like it too hot. It wasn't at all bland though, as there was a good balance of fairly strong flavours. The rice was nice and fluffy; quite a rarity with these kind of meals, as the rice is usually clumped. I have to say, I usually eat portions that are about three times the size of this one, so I did have doubts about whether this dish would satisfy my appetite. We had broccoli with it and also ended up having 2 slices of bread and butter each. At the moment I feel sustained, but I have a feeling that within a couple of hours we will probably have the kitchen cupboards open looking for something else to eat. The Nutritional Values are as follows: Calories 350, Sugars, 10.0g, Fat, 3.5g, Saturates, 0.7g and Salt 1.0g. So yes, it is a lot healthier than normal ready prepared curries but because its such a small portion you end up finding other things to bulk it out (as we did) so not a good idea really unless you are a serious dieter, or just have a stomach the size of an egg cup. Overall, a nice enough meal. I have definitely tasted worse, but it just wasn't big enough. As it has such a low fat content already, I feel that increasing its size wouldn't necessarily remove the 'Healthy Option' label. A larger portion please Birdseye.
I am someone who has to have something on my toast other than just butter. A few months ago I started buying Nutella. This is a chocolate spread with Hazelnuts and very yummy, but it is quite pricey; £1.89 for a 400g jar. So last week while doing our weekly shopping I went to the Jams and Spreads section to pick up a jar of said Nutella and I spied a jar of Tesco value chocolate spread with hazelnuts. So I bought a 600g jar for only £1.20 and at this point I might add that I am also someone that normally would only buy brand names where food is concerned. This spread is a lot softer (some might say runnier) than Nutella but I think just as nice, not as nutty though. Because it's softer it goes further, therefore making it even more economical and I should only have to buy a jar every fortnight instead of every week. Nutritional Values per 15g serving: 90 calories 5.7g fat of which saturates 1.1g 8.4g sugar Trace of salt Nutella per 15g serving: 80 calories 4.7g fat of which saturates 1.6g 8.3g sugar Sodium 5.1mg As shown above, the Tesco value contains a few more calories than Nutella but as I wont be using as much per sitting I wont worry too much about that. Of course the packaging isn't as fancy as the Nutella, it comes in a round jar with a white lid and has the usual Tesco value packaging, white with blue and red bands, thats one of the reasons it's cheaper. In my opinion this chocolate spread is just as nice and it spreads a lot easier than Nutella on hot toast, goes on a lot smoother and therefore you don't use as much. It's well worth buying and I will probably continue to do so (once a fortnight).
I wont go into too much detail regarding the history of Lake Powell. Those of you that may get the chance to visit will no doubt find out more about the place at that time. However, here are just a few facts about Lake Powell. It is named after Major John Wesley Powell who was a one armed explorer who led an expedition down from Wyoming. The lake was first established in 1963 with the Glen Canyon Dam being built between 1956 and 1972 the latter being when the Lake reached full pool level. My partner and I discovered this amazing place while on a fly drive holiday in August this year. I would go back in a heartbeat, as it is absolutely beautiful with all its colourful sandstone rocks and weird shapes. I've never seen anything like it. The lake itself starts in South Central Utah and stretches 180 miles into Arizona. Lake Powell is the second largest man made lake in the USA. It is located near a town called Page and there are 3 main Marina's. We stayed at Lake Powell Resort at Waheap, which is located near th Glen Canyon Dam. The other Marina's are called Bullfrog and Halls Crossing. When you first get there and see the layout of the rooms it looks a bit like Butlins with just two story buildings, long lines of them. The rooms are comfortable but just standard American hotel rooms with the usual coffee making equipment, Tv, bath and shower and two Queen sized beds, but neverthe less nice enough. The location is absolutely beautiful. If you drive away from the resort a little way you can find little parking places where you can park up and climb down the red rocks to the edge of the lake and swim.There are signs telling you that you can do so at your own risk, but the fact that there seemed to be no restrictions was actually really nice, because we were able to explore properly. We didn't take any swimwear with us (stupidly) so we took our shoes off and paddled which was lovely anyway because the weather was so hot. On the first night we went to the Rainbow Room restaurant to have our evening meal. This offers spectacular views of the lake and the food was the best we had in the whole time we were in the States. The service was excellent; the staff were very friendly and attentive. There was a coffee shop called Java City just inside the main building, where we bought pastries for breakfast and took them back to our room to eat with our coffee. Also in the main building was a nice poolside bar called the Driftwood Lounge, where we enjoyed several ice-cold beers outside on the patio whilst watching the sun set over the lake. The obligatory gift shop which sells all the usual T - Shirts and keyrings ect, is also located here in the main building. At Lake Powell you can rent a Houseboat and actually take your holiday on the Lake which I think, if you like to stay in one place that would be brilliant. You can find out more about this great holiday resort on www.lakepowell.com all information about the resort, the houseboats and the Marina's. There were two places we would have liked to see had we stayed longer. They were Antelope Canyon and Rainbow bridge national monument. The resort did offer boat trips to these as well as other areas around the lake, but we felt that they were very expensive and crowded, so we decided to try and see as much as we could by car. Unfortunately, we discovered that Rainbow Bridge was not accessable by car and for some reason we couldn't find Antelope Canyon until we saw signs on the day we left. We saw plenty of pictures of both, as most of the postcards available in the area seemed to feature one or the other, and I think these would be pretty awesome to see. Although we saw many great places on our trip to the USA, Lake Powell, for me, was the highlight of the trip.
Ovaltine Options are the perfect option if you like hot chocolate drinks. They are almost as chocolatey as many other drinks with less of the harmful stuff like too many calories. I had an "ooh la la" vanilla this afternoon and it was really very nice, you just empty the sachet into a mug and add hot water although I have to admit I added a small amount of cold milk (semi skimmed of course). This makes it taste creamier and more like hot chocolate. I bought four sachets for £1 in Tesco which is a good way to buy them because then you get to buy lots of different flavours. The other flavours I bought are: Caribbean Coconut, White Chocolate and Hazelnut, and will no doubt try any other flavours available. Each sachet contains one 11g serving and has only 32 calories and 0.8g of fat Ingredients: Whey Powder, Fat-Reduced Cocoa Powder (20%), Acacia Gum, Dried Glucose Syrup, Chocolate (6%) (Sugar, Cocoa Mass, Fat-Reduced Cocoa Powder, Flavouring), Skimmed Milk Powder, Flavourings, Vegetable Fat, Salt, Stabilisers (E415, E340), Sweetener (Aspartame), Emulsifier (Soy Lecithins), Anti-Caking Agent (E551). These drinks are so much healthier than the usual chocolate drinks and are just as tasty. However there is some controversy over using certain sweeteners .They use Aspartame in these drinks apparently not as healthy as Sucralose.
I've changed my shampoo a couple of times in the last year or so, mainly because I was trying to find one that does not leave my head itching after use. My hairdresser recommended a cheap coconut shampoo from Tesco which I used for about a year, then I found my scalp started to itch again. So I started to look around for an alternative and decided to try Vo5 Sheer Vitality Elixir. I bought the green bottle of shampoo and the conditioner that matches. It comes in a cream bottle with a lid that matches the shampoo bottle. Both bottles are 300mls and boast 5 vital oils and I was really pleased with the results from using these products. They leave my hair feeling clean, shiny and revitalised. So far, no sign of the old itching problem since I have started to use these products. Last week I inadvertently picked up the wrong bottle of shampoo - Vo5 2 in 1 - and used this a few times. My hair feels course and unclean after using this, I don't like this product at all, in fact I am not a fan of 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner in general and after using this product I have not changed my mind. The smell is not great but it tends not to linger once you have rinsed it off. Although it smells and looks the same as the shampoo alone, it's nowhere near as good as using the individual shampoo and conditioner. I would therefore not recommend this product.
I've always been a Walkers crisps fan, especially cheese & onion. Now that's not a problem if you are not particularly worried about how much bad stuff you feed your body. However, I have recently decided to take more care over my diet after inadvertently catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror! I recently discovered Walkers Baked. We bought a multi pack of 12 which gives you 4 packets each of Salt & Vinegar, Cheese & Onion and Ready Salted, all for £2.24 (Tesco Sept 2009). Needless to say I pinched all of the Cheese & Onion and left the Salt & Vinegar for my partner to dispose of. We did share the ready salted though. I also noticed that they sell each of the individual flavours in multi packs of 6 for £1.34. A Walkers Baked 25g bag contains: 99 calories 1.9g sugar 2.1g fat 0.3g saturates 0.4g salt When compared to normal Walkers crisps, these are clearly better for you. A 35g bag of the original Walkers Cheese & Onion contains : 181 calories 0.9g sugar 11.4g fat 0.9g saturates 0.44g salt So although Walkers Baked do contain more sugar for a smaller bag, they have a lot less fat and calories. These crisps are a different texture to conventional crisps. They are crunchier, and have ridges but are very tasty. They are not at all bland like many other low-fat options do tend to be. There aren't many in a bag though, which always makes it more tempting to have two. These have to be a better option if, like me, you are on a diet and can't live without crisps. I really like them and will continue to buy them regularly in the shopping.
As I have now been doing 12hr night shifts for 9 years I decided to give the energy drinks a try, so I started drinking Red Bull, I didn't like the taste much but persevered with it. Just recently I have discovered a drink called Relentless. I have tried 2 different ones, they are Origin and Juiced Energy, the latter being my preference as it is a fruity one. Comparing this drink with Red Bull is easy, no contest really, you get 250mls of Red Bull for roughly £1 and 500mls of Relentless for about the same price, my local McColl's and Tesco are selling these 2 for £2 at the moment. These drinks are really bad for you if you have, too many of them, I only drink one a day and even then not every day, some people are drinking 2 or 3 a day and are suffering heart palpitations and stomach problems, this is not good these drinks can become addictive. Having said all that about the bad points I have to recommend Relentless as the best, both in taste and value. You must just be sensible about it and not get hooked on it, everything in moderation. Too much caffeine is bad for you whether it is an energy drink or coffee, personally I do prefer a nice hot coffee. One 500ml can of Relentless contains 230kcal, 53.5g sugar 0.4g salt but no fat or sats. One 250ml can of Red Bull contains 45kcal, carbs11g of which sugars 11g no fat or sats.
My partner and I have just returned from our first trip to Vegas. Wow! Over the top, glitzy, and truly wonderful. Three nights at the start of a flydrive holiday and two nights at the end. If you can't take the heat, don't go in the summer. We went in August and I found it pretty uncomfortable. Having said that, you are free to walk in and out of any of the hotels to take advantage of the air conditioning. I found that thirty minutes at a time was enough and I still managed to get a tan. We stayed at the Excalibur Hotel for the first three nights which is at the south end of the strip and has free parking. This Hotel is also known as The Castle and looks exactly like a fairy castle from a Disney Movie. The room was comfortable with two Queen sized beds a nice bathroom with a large shower but unlike the Hotels on the rest of our trip you don't get any tea or coffee making facilities in any of the rooms in Vegas and I must have my coffee in the morning. There was a little place downstairs that sold coffee and pastries but I found this very expensive. They don't want you in your rooms when there is gambling to be done. It also sports six restaurants. The Hotel also has a spa and fitness centre and four swimming pools with a jaccuzi. The widescreen rooms have 42" plasma tv's. There are 3,991 rooms plus two towers with twenty eight floors in each tower. Also there is a show called Tournament of kings if you buy a ticket for this show dinner is included. We didn't see it because there wasn't enough time. I think you need two weeks to see and do everything in Vegas and then some. When my grandkids saw my photos they couldn't believe I stayed in a fairy castle! The Excalibur is a nice Hotel despite its bizarre look from the outside, and there is a moving walkway that takes you straight into the Luxor, or you can use the free monorail which takes you to the Luxor and the Mandalay Bay hotels. Although the Excalibur is quite noisy and very busy we found it to be a very pleasant place to stay because it is on the strip where everything happens and we did enjoy having a little flutter on the slots. The downside for us was that we didn't realise that all drinks are free as long as you are gambling; we only found this out when we got home. We went to the Mirage Hotel where we found Siegfried & Roy's secret garden and Dolphin habitat. The Dolphin habitat has a main pool where you can sit round and watch the Dolphins perform at close range.The keepers also tell you about the birthing researching pool. They also have Lions and Tigers right there in the Hotel grounds. At the front of the Mirage they have an erupting volcano which appears to have lava and flames spewing from it. This erupts every few minutes. During these three days we went to the Stratosphere which is right at the North end of the Strip. The tower, which has a revolving restaurant, is the highest building west of the Mississippi river and right on the top are three pretty scary rides that take you out away from the building and you find yourself suspended over the city.These rides are quite expensive but well worth it for the adrenalin rush but if you book a table for a meal you get into the tower free. The food was very good but personally I think a little over priced, we had lunch there and spent about sixty dollars plus the tip. To get to this northern end of the strip you can use the monorail, which runs from the back of the MGM Grand all the way up to Sahara, with several stops in between. You can get a single ride ticket for $5, a 24-hour ticket costs $15, or a 10-ride ticket costs $35. The downside of the monorail is that whichever Hotel to travel to it drops you at the back of the Hotel and it can take you a good half an hour to get back to The Strip. Something else we learned quite quickly was that you don't pay $4 dollars a bottle for water ( it's essential that you have a bottle with you when you go out during the day ) there are street vendors on all of the walkways selling water for $1 and its ice cold, they may be illegal vendors but I know which I would rather pay. The Luxor Hotel is where we stayed on our return to Vegas for our last two nights, this is also located at the south end of the strip between the Excalibur and the Mandalay Bay, we stayed in the pyramid but there are also two enormous towers as well which we could have upgraded to but we decided it would be nicer in the pyramid . The Luxor has an Egyptian theme there is a huge statue of the sphinx at the front of the hotel and inside the entrance there are more huge statues. The inside is also done in the same theme. Registration was a bit of an ordeal, the queues were extremely long but I must say there were lots of desks open and they dealt with everyone fairly quickly. We were a bit disappointed with the room however. The iron had a dodgy lead that you had to move about to make the iron stay on, the sink plug had black gunge all over it, and at least one of the electrical sockets seemed to be hanging off the wall, apart from those minor issues it was comfortable enough. On our penultimate night we had tickets for the Caesar's Palace Colosseum to see Bette Midler we bought the tickets in the UK, very expensive but well worth it. She was amazing. The last night we walked back up to the Bellagio Hotel to see the fountains. This show of water dancing to music cannot be missed. They start at 3 pm Mon-Fri, or noon at weekends, and are shown every 30 minutes until 8pm. It then changes to every 15 minutes until midnight it was one of the highlights of my stay in Vegas. Las Vegas may be glitzy and way over the top but there is so much more to it than just gambling, lots to see and do for everybody.