Milkshakes from Jude’s Review

When I was younger, I used to live on milkshakes. Literally. But that’s a story for another time. Today I’m reviewing a particular brand of shake. To me, milkshakes are that mix of nostalgia for your childhood and a sweet treat that makes you feel a wee bit naughty when you’re a proper grown up because they’re so creamy. One of the reasons why I don’t have milkshakes as often as I used to is because they take so long to make and they’re high in calories. Step forward, Jude’s Milkshakes, who take both those concerns away. I received a gift of three cans of the milkshake from Jude’s so I could write an honest review and post on Instagram about the shakes, but all opinions are my own.

jude's milkshakes

You might have heard of Jude’s Ice Cream. That’s where I heard the name from. Created in 2002, the family brand made a name for themselves creating delicious flavours in their barn. They were named after the creator’s wife, Jude. Unfortunately, for me, I can’t try the ice-creams because they contain one of my major allergens, but the milkshakes? I’m all over these. They come in three flavours, namely chocolate, salted caramel and flat white coffee and the cans hold 250ml of shake. They don’t have to be kept in the fridge but I’d recommend chilling them before you drink. It’s just so much nicer to have an ice-cool shake!

jude's chocolate milkshake

One of the selling points for me is that 10% of the profits go to a charity, but I’d love to know more about which charity exactly they go to. Am I supporting a cause I don’t believe in? It’s not clear and perhaps this is for a reason. Maybe they like to support different causes or maybe there just wasn’t enough room on the can. It certainly makes me think positively of the Jude’s brand though because I like a socially conscious company who aren’t all about profit and making money – they like to give back.

salted caramel milkshakes

I really enjoyed these milkshakes, especially the chocolate one. Obviously I did, that’s my favourite flavour of everything. I like the fact that there is a flat white coffee flavour too though. I’m not sure if there’s caffeine in this – I would assume so. I shared that one with my husband, just in case, and also because he is the coffee fan in the family. He really enjoyed it and is keen to buy more – that’s probably the best compliment anyone can pay a brand, isn’t it? Repeat purchase is a clear sign of approval. As for the salted caramel, absolutely delicious. I did have concerns that it might be a bit too sickly sweet. There are certain salted caramel products that can be a bit much, but this is not one of them. It’s just the right size, and not too salty either.

flat white coffee milkshake

The good thing is, if you just want a taste, you can open the can and the refrigerate it. As long as you drink it within 2 days, it will stay fresh. What I also like about these is that they don’t need to be chilled, so I can drink a milkshake on the go. Sometimes, you just want something different from a fizzy drink or water and this is a perfect alternative. Another good point is that they are not too high in calories. The salted caramel shake has 61 calories per 100ml, so in the whole can, if my arithmetic is correct, it’s around 152 calories. If you’ve had a low calories lunch this is a great choice of drink. Also, it’s cool, creamy and refreshing and has a lot less calories than my favourite choc-ice brand.

jude's milkshakes cans

If you’d like to try Jude’s milkshakes, there’s a handy “Where To Buy” section on the website which allows you to enter your postcode and get a list of stockists in your area. It also tells you which of their products are available. For example, the ice-cream is available in my closest supermarket, but the milkshakes aren’t. However, there is another branch of that store in Glasgow that does sell the shakes. How handy is that? Generally, Sainsbury‘s is a good place to try. They cost £1.60 per can in there.

Have you tried any Jude’s products? Let me know what you thought of them in the comments below.


Quick and Easy Lamb Bhuna Recipe

There was a time when I didn’t enjoy cooking. I was more of an eat-to-live kind of person and it’s only since my son has started to take an interest in joining me in the kitchen that I’ve begun to enjoy preparing meals. Today I want to share a recipe that I’ve been making for a few years now, for lamb bhuna. This is a dish I first tried out when I was pregnant and preparing meals to freeze for those difficult “babymoon” days when your mind is mush and you need something quick and simple that you can remove from the freezer. So, here is my recipe, which takes around 20 minutes to make and costs less than £10 for all ingredients and condiments.

NB: This post is an entry for the #MeatMatters Challenge, sponsored by Simply Beef and Lamb. Learn more about the benefits of cooking and eating beef and lamb along with recipe ideas and inspiration here: I did not receive any money for creating this post, but I did receive reimbursement for the ingredients and as it is a contest, I will be entering this post into the #MeatMatters Challenge for a chance to win a shopping voucher.

It’s really important to me to use high quality ingredients, and these don’t have to cost the earth. I’ve listed the ingredients I used below, together with a note of how much these ingredients cost me. I’ve used lamb in this dish because lamb is naturally rich in protein, which is great for a growing family and lamb provides seven vitamins and minerals (niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, zinc, a source of potassium, phosphorus and pantothenic acid) that support good health and well-being. That’s why it was a great choice for my post-partum days when I was getting my strength back.


2 brown onions, sliced (£0.19)

2 cloves of garlic, chopped (£0.30 per bulb)

2 inches of ginger, grated (£0.31)

400g diced lamb (£4.00)

4 tbsp tomato puree (£0.50)

1.5 tbsp curry powder (£1.00 for a tub)

2 tsp turmeric (£0.85 for a jar)

2 tbsp tamarind paste (£2.00)

150 ml boiled water

A little vegetable oil, if not using a non-stick pan

lamb bhuna recipe #meatmatters challenge simply lamb and beef

You can use any oil you like, but I choose to use a non-stick pan and omit the oil to keep the calories and fat levels to a minimum. We’re very conscious of how much fat we eat in our house because my husband has had a stroke, so this is also a good choice for those who want a low fat meal.

Most of these ingredients should be readily available in your local supermarket and the prices I’ve quoted were correct on 20th March 2019. The only ingredient I had a tricky time finding was tamarind paste. I had to go to a larger supermarket for that but I used a small amount from the jar and kept the rest in the fridge. Obviously the prices quoted for curry powder and turmeric also refer to a whole jar or tub and you’re only using a small amount, so the price of this dish is actually slightly less than quoted. It serves three, unless you like a larger portion, in which case it would serve two. We like to bulk up with naan bread and poppadoms or rice. Sometimes, if we’ve defrosted this and had it for lunch, we’ll just mop up the sauce with bread.

The sauce is really rich and tomato-y (did I just invent a new word?!) and I’d describe the heat level as medium. You could use more or less curry powder to fire this up or tame it down, depending on your own personal tastes!

lamb bhuna recipe #meatmatters challenge simply lamb and beef


The best thing about this lamb bhuna is that it’s super simple to make and it takes about twenty minutes to cook altogether. Here is the method below:

  • Fry the onions in a non-stick pan for around 8 minutes, until they are softened, but not browned
  • Add the lamb and seal it
  • Add all the other ingredients to the pot, bring it to a point where it is simmering but not bubbling too much. The trick is to not over-use the heat. Leave it covered and simmering like this for 5 minutes
  • Serve it with rice, naan, poppadoms, chips or any other accompaniment of your choice.

lamb bhuna recipe #meatmatters challenge simply lamb and beef

And I’ve just realised there’s a chip in the plate I used. I suck at food blogging! But, see how easy this recipe is? It’s super quick and simple to make and is a perfect choice for weeknight dinners when you don’t have much time to cook. It’s also a great staple item to have in your freezer and defrost the night before if you have zero time to cook. It’s also a great choice to have as an alternative to take-away meals. It’s as good as anything you’ll get from the take-away and if you put it in little silver foil disposable pie trays, you can pretend you got it from the restaurant. One thing I really love about this dish is the vibrant red colour too, thanks to the 4 tablespoons of tomato puree. And tomato puree counts as one of your 5-a-day. 1.5 tablespoons equals one portion, and half an onion counts as a portion too, so that’s over 6 portions of fruit in veg in one batch of this bhuna.

I’ve shared a few pictures of Alex and Luke enjoying it. Or should I say, Alex enjoying it and Luke interrupting him and wanting a bit of his Dad’s after he had already finished his own? That’s just a typical dinner time in my house!

If you try this recipe and enjoy it, let me know because I’d really like to hear from people who make it themselves.


Egg Free French Toast Recipe – Perfect For Egg Allergy Sufferers

One of my big goals in life is to find egg-free alternatives to all my favourite eggy foods. One of the first on the list was French toast, although it has taken me twelve years to find one that I liked since my egg allergy diagnosis. I had to do a bit of shuffling of ingredients to get the right mix, but when I did find it, it was absolutely delicious and so simple, I can’t figure out why it took me so long to get here.

So, here’s the ingredient list:

1 slice of white bread (not too soft)

125 mls skimmed milk

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence

1/2 teaspoon of cornflour (you call it corn starch in America)

2 slices of fatty bacon

2 teaspoons of olive oil

Obviously, this recipe is not vegan or vegetarian. And it’s very fattening, so it should be kept as an occasional treat! The method is simple. Fry the bacon, without oil, in a non-stick pan. Drain the fat and set it aside as it is cooking. You’re going to use this. Once the bacon is cooked, remove and set that aside too.

Next, beat the milk, cornflour and vanilla together. Then dip the bread in for just long enough to get it coated. Fry the bread with the olive oil in the same non-stick pan you cooked the bacon in, at a medium heat. While the bread is cooking, dribble half the bacon fat onto one side. It should be cooked for a couple of minutes until it’s golden brown on that side. Then turn and drizzle the rest of the bacon fat on the cooked side. After a couple of minutes, when the underside is cooked, give the bread one more flip and cook that side again for thirty seconds.

You can eat it with the bacon if you like. It’s delicious on it’s own and you could use the bacon for something else. Try it and let me know what you think.

The 10-A-Day For A Month Challenge: The Outcome

Back in August of this year, I undertook a challenge to eat 10 portions of fruits or vegetables a day for a month. I did promise back then that I would update you all on how it went. So, here’s what I discovered happening to me and my body following that challenge to eat more fruits and vegetables. The results were surprising!

The first thing I noticed was an emotional shift. I didn’t cut anything out at all. I simply added more nutrients and raw fruits and vegetables. For the first two or three days, I was feeling this kind of rage that I haven’t experienced in a long time. It was like the worst PMT of my life. I also suffered some blinding headaches. I must stress again that I cut nothing out. I don’t drink any caffeinated drinks anyway, so that made no difference. I only added to my diet. FYI, I usually eat between 2-7 portions a day. Most days it’s on the lower end of the scale, but there are days when it’s higher.

10 a day fruit and vegetables

The next thing I noticed was around day four or five. My eczema, which has been well under control for the last five years, returned with fury. You could say this was a total coincidence, but it went away again when I went back to a normal diet and hasn’t returned.

Around day seven, my physiotherapist remarked that I looked like I had lost weight. My husband made a similar comment. I was delighted. So, I weighed myself but to my absolute horror, I had gained three pounds (which I am still trying to lose again). I measured myself with a tape measure and found that my waistline had decreased by around an inch, yet my weight had gone up. I can’t explain that one.

5 a day orange juice 10 a day fruits vegetables

By the end of the second week, I had death breath, terrible indigestion and was very irritable. I couldn’t sleep for a full night. My sciatica was causing me more and more problems and I was suffering from terrible leg cramps. My depression was worsening and I was tearful. In fact, every time I drank a green smoothie (two handfuls of spinach, a whole peach, half a can of mandarins and three tablespoons of fat free natural Greek yogurt) I felt very nauseous. Could there be such a thing as too much nutrition?

I returned my diet to normal early. I couldn’t last the whole month. I did find myself naturally turning away from refined sugars when I was on the challenge and eating less chocolate but I didn’t feel healthier in any way. In fact, I felt pretty grouchy. And the death breath was just gross. I’d like to know if I had continued would these mood swings have gone away but when it was affecting my emotional health in such a way, I didn’t really want to take the risk of finding out.

soup vegetables 10 a day

So, my conclusion after this experience is that yes, there is such a thing as too much nutrition. Everybody’s body is different. Those who say you should up your fruit and vegetable intake and cut out refined sugar are not living in your body. They don’t have your metabolism. They have a different lifestyle and motivation and I believe moderation in everything is the healthiest way to live. I know this is a controversial viewpoint as many people who read this post will be devoted to a healthy lifestyle and it’s quite trendy these days to shun sugar in favour of raw foods. But here’s the thing. The most toxic thing for your health isn’t sugar, it’s sadness. And if eating all that fruit and veg is going to make me feel sad, I’d really rather not. What are your own thoughts on this?

hot chocolate

The 10-A-Day For A Month Challenge

It’s well known that in the UK, the recommended government guidelines state that we should eat five portions of fruits and vegetables a day. This doesn’t seem like a lot, because it isn’t but somehow I still fall short and eat less. Some days, I don’t manage to eat any so I down a glass of orange juice with dinner in the hopes that it will make a difference.

5 a day orange juice 10 a day fruits vegetables

In other European countries they recommend seven portions and when I did some research into the anti-inflammatory diets that are recommended to chronic pain sufferers, they suggest nine portions a day. It’s thought by some that ten a day is the best way to go for optimum health. So, I decided to go super healthy and try to eat ten portions a day and document what happens.

In my teens, I ate very little fruit due to some illness and dietary restrictions that were outwith my control, so in my twenties I was angelic when it came to my diet. After having a child at thirty and becoming depressed, I then started to choose comfort foods over healthy foods. I also developed an itch whenever I ate apples or drank apple juice which made me fearful of fruits in the same family as apples and it snowballed into a weird aversion to fruits. Having conquered this, I now want to address the problems that have stemmed from that, i.e. my health has rapidly declined in the four years since the apple intolerance started.

apple poison allergy

My first job was to figure out how the hell I would fit all these fruits and vegetables into my diet. I mean, the logistics of it had me sighing before I even started. So, as I start tomorrow, I did a supermarket shop today for all sorts of things that count toward my ten-a-day. I headed for the dried fruits aisle first and picked up raisins and apricots. I then browsed and purchased a huge jar of olives, some pickled beetroot and onions and then some tinned peaches, mandarins and pears. Apparently beans and pulses count but I’m not a huge fan of lentils (my food hell, to be honest) so I stocked up on baked beans, kidney beans, canellini beans and chickpeas. I even bought a can of butter beans, which I haven’t had since I was a little girl but I was willing to try them again. I picked up canned tomatoes, sweetcorn, carrots and asparagus.

soup vegetables 10 a day

As for frozen foods, that was easy. I love peas, broccoli and cauliflower. Then, I bought fruit juice. Lots and lots of orange juice, pineapple juice and grapefruit juice.

Actually, there was quite a lot there. It looked like this was going to be easier than I thought, and that was before I even got onto the fresh items. Bananas, pears, sweet potatoes, butternut squash (my food heaven), cucumber, onions, carrots, leeks, celery, sweet potatoes, courgettes, strawberries, raspberries, pink grapefruit and cherries. I threw in a couple of corn cobs because I saw on a random website that someone likes having them instead of crisps at night. I like that idea.

corn on the cob

I certainly wasn’t going to starve but my worry was that all the fresh food would be wasted. Well, that wasn’t the only thing I was worried about. I looked in my trolley and thought, this is a farting spree waiting to happen.

It’s surprising the things that count toward your fruit and vegetable intake that you would never imagine. Like popcorn? Seriously? Isn’t corn a grain rather than a vegetable anyway? There’s also a lot of conflicting advice out there, even from reliable sources. On the British Heart Foundation website I found one page advising that vegetable soups, olives and sandwich fillings count toward your five a day. Then on another page, it said they don’t because they’re too salty, too processed or so dilute in nutrients. It’s confusing, to say the least.

Then there’s portion sizes. Ugh, I feel like reaching for the ice-cream just thinking about trying to navigate all that. However, if in doubt, I will go with the old fashioned rule that a portion is either three tablespoons or as much as I can hold in the palm of my hand.

I’ll be updating regularly on my progress and if anyone would like to join me, please do!

10 a day fruit and vegetables

Pre-Challenge Diary

I feel tired and sore. I don’t know what else to say. I have pain in my left foot, leg thigh, tummy, left buttock and groin area. My skin is ok but I look tired and pale. I have raging PMT today and a desire to get loads done but very little energy. I sleep well some nights and badly on others. It sometimes depends on how my son sleeps so it’s not really a good benchmark for my health. I get quite thirsty in the mornings. I struggle to eat whole meals and my appetite is poor. I crave chocolate and sugar often. Libido is low, probably due to the pain. I often feel depressed. My anxiety is managed quite well at the moment but I do have bad spells. I find it easy to smile but it’s not always a natural smile. There are all my complaints, things I am hoping will get fixed magically with a better diet. Disclaimer: I am also attending physiotherapy, but progress is slow.

Read the results of the challenge here.