Before we get started, I’d just like to clarify that this post isn’t about new gardening ideas but rather, ideas for our new garden. You see, just a few weeks ago we moved into a new house primarily so we could gain a garden for our little girl to play in and us all to enjoy. I’ve also been working on a few gardening copywriting projects this year, so I’m feeling rather inspired and eager to get stuck into remodelling our small patch of land. Steve is also quite particular about what he’d like to include, so this garden plan is a mish-mash of both our ideas and hopefully will accommodate the needs and wants of the whole family.

This is how our garden looks right now. See if you can spot Alex lounging in the background and Ruby soaking up a little sun.

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Zoning the garden

As you can see, we’ve got a relatively blank space to work with. There are a few obvious things on our to-do to-do list like trimming the hedge, painting the fence and treating or potentially re-laying the moss heavy lawn. After that, we plan to zone the garden into three areas for growing fruit and veg, space for Alex to play and a very important small area for cooking, eating and entertaining. The first zone starts at the patio as we work backwards towards the fence.

The entertainment area

We love a barbecue, my parents have always thrown the best barbecues and I’ve had the pleasure of helping to cater for some of them in the past with pizzas cooked on my pizza stone and summer cocktails. I’m hoping we will be able to hold our own soon. We’ve already got a patio table and chairs that my parents gifted us, which makes a perfect spot for a sunny breakfast. Ideally, I’d like to upgrade our barbecue and invest in something like one of the small garden gazebos from this garden camping range. It would be good to have somewhere guests can dive under cover if a little drizzle comes our way or where Steve could maybe set up a pop up bar. He’s a firm believer in barbecuing whatever the weather brings and wanted an awning for the yard in our previous home so that he could barbecue in the rain!

Also on the list is some pretty lighting. There are some solar lights on the back fence, however, I’d love some colourful festoon lights or fairy lights to brighten the space. I’ve already been looking around for lights but if you have any recommendations of where to buy some, give me a holler!

The play area

It’s hard to know what to do with Alex’s play area as inevitably, what she’s into now will not necessarily be the same in a couple of years. She loves swings and we don’t have a park with them very nearby, so we’re hoping to install a small swing and slide but leave plenty of space for running around or playing with other outdoor toys like paddling pools and balls. Her Grandad has mentioned he might build her a small wooden bench and table too where she could have her lunch or do some colouring in outdoors, which I think is a lovely idea.

The growing zone

Steve and I both love cooking, so we’re very excited to have a little more space to grow our own produce. We already have a fairly good collection of potted herbs and a bay tree, which we use for flavouring food and drinks (mmm, a spring of fresh rosemary in gin is lovely). We’re hoping to put a little greenhouse in the back right corner of the garden so we can grow some fruit and veg. Where borders have previously been dug along the path, we’ve started lining them with our herb pots. We’ll re-dig the borders when we get the chance.

Welcoming wildlife

I’m feeling really lucky to finally be in our new home, it’s nothing flash but it has space enough for the four of us and has a great layout for us too. Alex is showing a real love for gardening already and has her own tool set at my parents, she’s obsessed with bird spotting. Magpies in particular (maybe she’ll be more into football than me). While we don’t plan to have a dedicated ‘wildlife’ zone in the garden, we would like to encourage wildlife into the garden. I’ve found this guide from Ulster Wildlife helpful with planning. So far, Alex and my Dad have added a bird box on the back fence and a feeder on the side fence. I’m hoping that by next year we’ll have a border of flowers to attract butterflies and bees and perhaps a little log pile somewhere at the back too.

Up until now, I’ve never been a huge garden fan but more of a garden party enthusiast. Whether it’s age or the excitement of having our own little plot of earth I’m feeling really inspired and keen to get stuck in. If you’re a keen gardener and have factored similar priorities into planning your outdoor space, I’d love to see what you’ve done – leave your links in the comments.

This post was written in collaboration with Garden & Camping

This weekend marked my second Easter as a dairy-free mum and in all honesty, it was pretty damn good. With 18 months of avoiding cow’s milk behind me, I found it much easier to hunt out alternatives, including Easter eggs for me and the little miss. She was far too young for chocolate of any kind last year. However, while we don’t make a habit of giving her super sweet things like chocolate on the regular, this year she had a dairy free egg all of her own. Here she is preparing to crack open her Tesco white chocolate button egg mid morning.
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I’m not much of a white chocolate fan personally, but it went down a treat with Alex, even if it tasted slightly like icing or frosting to me! Luckily, this year I was very happy to receive a few Easter packages of my own, featuring some fantastic goodies from two of my retail favourites, M&S and Hotel Chocolat.

M&S Dairy Free Easter

I’ve always loved a bit of M&S for a treat. Percy Pigs have a special place in my heart and since going dairy free I’ve been delighted to discover the growing Free From range at M&S. I was invited for an introduction to the range at my local M&S Silverlink last year and was suitably impressed with the efforts the retailer has put into this growing market. Their coconut & chocolate cream Bailey’s alternative caused a frenzy at Christmas and the Coconut Cream Dessert they sell is a consistent favourite here served with strawberries.

For Easter, the brand put together some nice non-egg options, including some gorgeous little sweet boxes with deliciously juicy jellies, which just happen to be my personal weakness. Dark chocolate eggs also feature in the range. I know some parents would prefer to have a ‘milk’ chocolate alternative for little ones, but Alex rarely gets chocolate and is very happy with a little taster of dark chocolate as a result. Plus -the egg came in very shiny and elaborate wrapping – which she’s usually far more interested in.
M&S dairyfree goodies

Hotel Chocolat Dairy Free Easter

Hotel Chocolat is another brand I’m pretty smitten with. When friends, family, clients or colleagues are due a gift, it’s my go-to retailer for choosing something tasty to send. Two years ago I completed one of their Bean to Bar experience days and along with being a heap of fun, it helped me learn a lot about the brand’s ethics, sourcing and ingredients and in turn won my customer loyalty. Buying boxes of Hotel Chocolat at Christmas for clients has become a little envy inducing since I’ve gone Dairy Free but I’m glad to see the retailer stepping up and offering more vegan products within their range. For Easter they had a really decent range of dark chocolate eggs. We received some delicious almond and raisin studded dark chocolate eggs from my mum and Hotel Chocolat were kind enough to gift Alex and myself these beautiful eggs too. Again the child option is dark chocolate, but it was wrapped to appeal to littles. The ginger studded slabs with the adult egg make the perfect accompaniment to a coffee and if you act fast, you can snap them up at half price in the Hotel Chocolat Easter sale. Egg-cellent!
Hotel Chocolat dairyfree Easter eggs

Looking ahead to Easter after the ladder

Alex is now over half way up the milk ladder. In fact, if we can just get her to happily eat some baked cheese and not stay up all night screaming, her next rung up is milk chocolate. This means there’s a very real chance that next year we won’t need to launch a dairy free egg hunt at Easter. The reintroduction of dairy still produces mixed feelings for me as her mum. I’m excited for us both that a future without vigilant label checking and restaurant managers who make me cry is well within sight. However, I’m not too sure I can go back to consuming dairy to the scale I once did. I won’t go back to using it in my coffee or cereal at home because I simply don’t think we need to. Nowadays, I much prefer the taste of a good quality dark chocolate than milk chocolate too. In fact, chances are I’ll be hoping for something from the M&S or Hotel Chocolat dairy free ranges next Easter too. It’s amazing what a difference a year makes. Last year, I felt a bit deprived at Easter time and Easter weekend 2018 has been thoroughly indulgent. Here’s to retailers continuing to step up by providing delicious dairy-free alternatives ,so kids with allergies and intolerances never need to feel left out!

I was lucky enough to be gifted Dairy Free Easter packages by M&S and Hotel Chocolat. However, all the opinions expressed in this post are my own and I received no money for publication of this post.

When I was pregnant, I did the sensible thing and batch cooked loads of my favourite meals and put them in the freezer to make life a little easier when baby arrived. Smashing, eh? Except all of those meals contained milk, butter and cheese to some extent, so when we discovered three weeks into the rollercoaster that is being new parents that our screaming, sick but beautiful bundle had CMPA (cow’s milk protein allergy) it was up to Steve to eat every single one of those meals out the freezer, while I needed to adopt a whole new shopping and eating strategy. Over the last 16.5 months I’ve learned to scan a label pretty darn quick and made clever swaps in all of my favourite recipes. We do a monthly online shop at Tescos for special allergy treats and a weekly top up of fresh veg at Aldi.

I get hangry pretty quickly, a trait my daughter shares with me, so it’s important we’re never caught out without suitable easy meals or snacks to grab. If you’re just starting out on  your CMPA breastfeeding or weaning journey, here are some of the habits we’ve adopted to ensure meal times go smoothly and we never have a food SOS. I hope you find them useful.

Menu Planning

I’ve planned evening meals for years. Not only is it cheaper but it makes organising cooking and eating around multiple work schedules much easier. When Alex began weaning she was still struggling to gain weight, so we wanted to make sure she had exposure to lots of interesting, nutritious and high-calorie foods. To help with this I wrote out a meal plan for her breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week ahead and popped it in the fridge so whoever was looking after her that day knew what was on the menu. This really helped to ensure she was getting lots of good fats and calcium in her diet. As a plus, when we have a dietician appointment and they ask what she’s eating, we can just take along a few of the old menus as examples. My dietician was pretty taken aback with how organised we were but doing these little meal plans really helps to give me peace of mind. Now, we generally only plan our evening meal but I’ll pore over our cookbook collection regularly to look at new meals to introduce. I find looking through cookbooks really relaxing so this is never a chore to me.

Batch Cooks

Chilli

As anyone who has a baby or toddler knows, cooking time isn’t in plentiful supply some days. However, since neither I or Alex eat milk or soya products, it’s not really easy to grab lots of prepared packaged food. It’s not too healthy to do so either ,so we still do a lot of batch cooking or making extras for the freezer. We use products like Oatly cream, Oatly creme fraiche and Violife cheeses in some recipes, and I’ve been experimenting with a lot of vegan recipes lately.

We’re really not fans of eating the same thing every day for a week anyway, so extra portions always go in the freezer in those nifty tinfoil trays, so that we can take them out on days we know cooking from fresh will be a squeeze. We also make mini versions for Alex that we can just lift out of the freezer the night before and send to Granny and Grandpa daycare with her if needed. I love having soups for lunches, so I throw extra portions of those into those special freezer bags so I can have a different flavour every day.

Below is a sample of what’s nestling in our freezer right now. We always have plenty of frozen veggies in there too as accompaniments, including things like broccoli, chopped butternut squash and green beans. As you can imagine, the freezer is pretty packed out, so much so I’m starting to wonder whether when we move it might be wise to invest in some kind of huge commercial type freezer like these from Alexanders Direct.

In our freezer for quick meals

  • Pasta bake
  • Shepherds/cottage pie
  • Stew and dumplings
  • Chilli
  • Bolognese
  • Lasagne
  • Soups

Takeaway Alternatives

Fish and chips

Oh how I miss takeaway. Eating takeaway with an allergy to cater for has unfortunately proved an absolute minefield. I’ve become a bit of a grump about it and hate hearing delivery drivers ring the doorbells in our street. Luckily, I now have a plan for when the desire for takeaway type foods arises and that’s to reach in the freezer. Sainsbury’s stocks a breaded cod fillet that’s milk free in their fridge section, which goes down a treat with some Mayflower curry sauce (buy in B&M) and some frozen peas blended with mint, a squeeze of lemon and Oatly cream, not forgetting some home cooked chips. Tesco has a few different options in its free from section including a sweet and sour. Asda has a chilli beef, lemon chicken and prawn toast in its fridge takeaway section, which we simply add some stir-fried noodles and veg, and voila! Waitrose has a couple of super-tasty curry options that Alex loves too. I’ve a future post earmarked to cover current options in more detail because I’ve personally found the odd takeaway ready meal to be a shopping saviour. The key is to know what’s in your nearest supermarket for if the takeaway urge should bite or like us, have a few things stashed in your freezer.

We’ve had some horribly unsuccessful attempts at ordering from takeaways including one attempt to have a Chinese when trialling soya. This ended up with me in tears and eating toast because the takeaway called us just as we plated up our meal to tell us it did have milk in after all. I wanted to eat that takeaway so much, after that I made a concerted effort to look for fakeaway options every time I go to a new supermarket. I love cooking Thai, Indian and Chinese food from scratch but sometimes you just want to put your pyjamas on and take the easy option. Keeping a stock of safe alternatives at home makes these occasions far more stress free for us.

Toddler Snacks

Pasties and Pinwheels

From dropping off the centiles in the red book to steadily climbing then galloping upwards once allergen free, we’ve done a pretty good job at fattening up our dinky daughter. We tried to follow BLW as much as possible, though we did give some foods like dairy free yoghurt on spoons, handed those to her to eat. We found a lot of the ‘safe’ toddler snacks lacked calories and flavour. Rice cakes, puffs etc didn’t cut the mustard so we didn’t bother with them. The one exception to this being Kiddylicious wafers, which Alex still loves more than, well, me. Shop bought toddler snacks and particularly allergy safe ones seem to be crazy expensive, so we keep a variety of snacks for Alex in resealable bags that we can just take out on the day and pop in the changing bag or her Yumbox. Our favourites include:

  • Savoury flapjack
  • Pinwheels and pastries (many readymade puff pastries are dairy/soya free)
  • Muffins – banana and blueberry, olive and cheese, carrot cake are regulars
  • Pizza slices (made with pastry)

Alex isn’t much of a sandwich fan at the moment, despite being a carb lover generally. If she does decide to change her mind on that front I’ll be following Nomi Palony’s tip of freezing sandwiches to grab and go on days we go to soft play. We’ve only just recently felt brave enough to start going to soft play with Alex but have quickly learned that the ones in our area are absolutely terrible for catering for CMPA, so we’re developing our own SOS strategy for that too.

If you’re breastfeeding a CMPA baby and wondering how you’ll adapt, hopefully this post has given you some reassurance and ideas. It’s a learning curve but with a few shopping strategies under your belt it’s easier than you’d think.

If you have any questions about our transition to a dairyfree diet, please pop them below. I’m always happy to help other CMPA Mamas get into the swing of things.

 

 

collaborative post

You may have noticed I’ve not posted for a while, eating out isn’t something I get to do very often at the moment, which is why yesterday (my birthday) was all the more upsetting. I’ve decided not to mention the restaurant name, at least at this stage, because I don’t think one staff member’s attitude should reflect on an establishment. Also, your boss did try and rectify the situation and then as we were settling down for the night you sent my partner an email. Before I respond to your lengthy communication, let’s take a little look at the comments you wrote on our booking and left on the bar for everyone to see, including my partner who spotted his name as we walked past to leave the restaurant after taking the decision to cancel our booking. He snapped this photo. I think it’s important to highlight that the notes next to the booking about my dairy allergy and us possibly wanting the tasting menu ‘waa waaa waaah!’ were added at the time of booking.

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Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 06.42.56It’s a long one isn’t it? I do think you could have safely cut it to start at “I hope that our Chef/Owner following my ghastly unforgivable actions was somehow able to provide you with an experience that met your requirements”. As it happens, he did cook us a lovely meal, it came out quickly, which suggests putting together something dairy free wasn’t beyond the capabilities of a talented kitchen team, after all. I’ll add some fancy numbers to this when I get the chance so that it’s easier to see which of your points I’m addressing, but for now I’ll just approach this in order, as I should be getting ready for work after a poor night’s sleep.

The narrative

Thank you for iterating the order of events from my partner contacting you on numerous occasions prior to our visit up to and through our attempts to order food yesterday. Please note, we aren’t actually married, sorry about that, my boyfriend did mention I was his girlfriend but let’s not quibble about a lack of wedding ring. I agree for the most part with your account of our attempts to order and thank you for offering up your ‘feelings’ about it. Let me tell you about mine. Dining out is embarrassing for me. Asking questions makes me feel awkward, difficult, guilty even.Once the things you can’t have start stacking up, you begin to feel more and more disappointed. While you did suggest changes to the dishes mentioned, these were, let’s be honest, for the most part omissions. Scallop and pickled veg in place of scallops, pastry and other delicious accompaniments isn’t as innovative as your restaurant ethos. And being offered lamb and double cabbage for mains while probably lovely tasting was making my tummy grumble louder. I’m a breastfeeding mum who doesn’t get much sleep and runs around a lot, which is why we asked if you could offer any carbs. I suggested chips as I know some restaurants cook them separately. I’m sorry that’s not the case at your establishment and that my partner suggesting you make some was so ridiculous. I was hungry. What would have been really lovely is if you’d actually taken the time to talk me through what I could have on the menu or what could be created easily without too much inconvenience. Whether subsconsciously or consciously your curt manner, sighs and lack of effort to check in advance about the suitability of the menu items that day made it obvious to us that we weren’t going to dine as valued customers. At this point, rather than eating a meal we would be disappointed in we decided to pay for our drinks and go elsewhere.

Being a Mombie on Halloween

To address the confusing paragraph about the wine – which only serves to highlight your lack of allergy knowledge – it was indeed a horrific oversight on my part to forget to check if the wine contained milk. That’s what we were checking for by the way – if a bottle mentions sulphites ( a separate allergen) it should make mention of whether it’s milk filtered. Thankfully, it wasn’t. In a full year of being dairy free, I’ve never forgotten to check, I was incredibly upset because the reality that my baby might be caused pain as a result sunk in quickly. Yes, that’s right, it’s not myself who is allergic to dairy, it’s my child. Over the past few weeks as a sleep deprived parent I’ve put things meant for the dishwasher in the fridge, for the dishwasher in the bin and worn both my underwear and outerwear inside out. Too much information? My baby is teething and I’ve not been getting much sleep, I can only presume my one and only oversight was due to that and the excitement of dining at what was previously my favourite restaurant. I would mention however that you did know I had a dairy allergy – your staff are required by law to be trained on allergens in ALL your products and to check labels of any ingredients or products. 

 Gross Misconduct

It was on the way out that my boyfriend spotted his name on the iPad, photographed it and showed it to me. I felt my face flush and eyes wet. HOW DARE YOU. Your job is to make diners feel special, as I questioned at the front of the restaurant – do you have no empathy? I didn’t choose the dairy free life, it chose me. Previous to yesterday we’ve dined with you a handful of times since you opened and had a completely different experience, we were treated as valued customers. As we told you, I’m dairy free because my daughter has a cows milk protein allergy and feeding her myself is the best possible thing for her. It’s hard. I have to check every label for the supermarket shop, I pack snacks for us both wherever we go, I miss social occasions, I haven’t been blogging. But I do it because breastfeeding is proven to help allergies, it helps heal, prevent further allergies and is a great comfort to my daughter during a reaction. Guidelines recommend I continue until she is two years old. Just as some added information, my feeding her rather than giving prescription formula (which is without the benefits I listed) also saved the NHS upwards of £5,000. I appreciate society didn’t ask me to breed, but I do hope that money saved is useful for operations and paying for NHS staff. Maybe think about that next time you’re sat in the doctors. Additionally, breastfeeding lowers my chances of cancer and my daughter’s risk of developing problems such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. More money in the bank for other poorly folks,  I’d say!

After some shouting and crying you were persuaded to get the owner, so I would like to apologise to other diners who were disturbed. They may well have been celebrating special occasions too and I hope it wasn’t spoiled for them, though I think the responsibility for that situation undeniable lies with you, your lack of professionalism and your prejudiced attitude. We are all human, it’s true, but if you are, as you say, ‘cynical’, and you’re unable to direct frustrations appropriately, I’m not sure the hospitality industry and in particular, front of house service, is for you.

Let’s talk empathy

Addressing your request that we are empathetic to restaurants because of my whacky dietary requirements that have been successfully managed by kitchens including your own with ease, I’d like to just outline why we’re luckily in a great position to be empathetic.

  • I’ve worked on and off in the hospitality industry since I was 13 years old. I’m not ashamed to say I was 34 yesterday, so not quite your 22 years. Also, I’ve only worked in lowly positions like waitress, deli assistant, bar person, events assistant, street food server. I’m proud to say I’ve never treated a customer as you have.
  • My partner has worked in the hospitality industry on and off since the age of 14. He’s a year younger than me, as he loves to remind me, so that clocks up a nice 20 years. He has (and does) work in managerial positions. He would be sacked on the spot if he wrote the comments you did on that iPad.
  • We didn’t just land and expect you to cater for what is a very common dietary requirement – particularly with the rise of veganism. You were given 11 days notice, multiple calls and emails from my partner – this should highlight that the dietary requirement was serious.
  • While cross contamination is always a risk, environment health best practice advises keeping allergens separate. Sensible measures like washing hands and cleaning pans and substituting with safe ingredients is sufficient to avoid issues for us. We have dined out successfully in high street chains and other award winning restaurants. At both ends of the scale servers elsewhere have made an effort to identify and satisfy my requirements without making me cry. One to think about when you look in the mirror there. Time to sharpen up those customer service skills,
  • With the notice given, it would have been perfectly possible to make some simple changes in advance. My partner had stated we would be happy if there was just one option for me. For example, that pastry that couldn’t be eaten because of the milk glaze? You could have simply made one portion without milk glaze that morning. Genius, huh? If you’d like any further tips on easily adapting your crazily complicated menu, I’d be happy to put you in touch with my mum, who successfully cooks multiple course Sunday dinners for myself, my diabetic dad and my baby. All with a smile on her face despite having MS.
  • Our booking was purposefully midweek, early lunch so that you wouldn’t be too busy and would therefore find it wasier to accommodate us. The restaurant wasn’t busy when we arrived. You made the difficulty.

I am grateful to the chef who cooked us a delicious meal – provided on the house. Waaaa waaaa waaah, indeed. I can appreciate you can’t work a million iterations of the menu through the kitchen but cooking for me was certainly possible. I drank an additional gin and tonic and cup of coffee on the house too, for reference, and added my delicious Oatly Barista to finish it. Your younger serving staff were a credit to your establishment. Hopefully they won’t pick up your prejudice or cynicism and go on to have successful careers in catering. I would like to thank them for making extra effort to make me feel at ease after your failings.

Unsurprisingly, we won’t be dining at the restaurant again while you remain working there in your role. You guys probably won’t miss the few hundred pounds a year we spent with you since you opened or the votes that I made for those awards that you’ve won. I’d suggest you review your career path and implement proper allergy training. When our next special occasion comes round, we’ll spare you the incredible inconvenience of trying to eat with you.

Regards, Fay Nyberg (also known as Mrs Lightley, though somewhat lacking in the relevant sparkler or marriage ceremony)

My phone is filled with photos of delicious things we’ve made at home but I’ve never blogged about, so I’m making more of a conscious effort to share the recipes I think other people might find useful, starting with these delightfully named and superb tasting, protein poo balls.

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I was initially going to hold off posting these as the photos I have of them aren’t too appetising but as we’ve started referring to them aspoo balls in the house I thought it might not matter too much that the photo isn’t that appealing. (There’s been lots of fun and games asking each other to pass the ball bag so I can pop it in my packed lunch). I promise you they taste nice. Recently I’ve been feeling even hungrier than usual. On a good day I carry a full bag of snacks to work – a mixture of fresh fruit, maybe a low fat yoghurt, perhaps a few crustless quiches but I’ve been finding myself lured over to the office biscuit table. Worse still, on days I’ve been working from home I’ve been rustling up concoctions of pasta and sauce, pickled onion Monster Munch, pickled onions and smoked cheese. I blame the baby.

In an effort not to do so much naughty snacking, my work mate suggested I started bringing some protein balls to work. I love nakd bars and to me these are a similar type of treat, except with a bit of weighing and measuring and a lot of rolling they’re a lot cheaper and I’ve been using them as my hex b and saving precious syns for my new pickled onion Monster Munch addiction. Back when I lived in Leeds my friend Lucy made her own ‘poo bars’, which were DIY nakd bars, so these balls were named part in homage to her and also because I purposefully included some Linseed in my recipe to encourage regular pregnant lady toilet trips.

I scoured the internet for similar recipes and concluded that the general basic recipe was to mix something like one part dates with one part almonds (lovely filling nutritious almonds). I don’t really eat any nuts other than almonds so this directed my ingredients choices a lot. Many recipes for protein balls use added coconut oil, peanut butter, honey or agave syrup to stick things together but I wanted to keep syns low, so instead I chose to use sticky medjool dates to ensure my mix stuck together.

The recipe – makes 20 balls

150g almonds (this worked out as 80 almonds and 5 hex b)

25g linseeds aka flax seeds (1 hex b)

A capfull of vanilla essence

175g Medjool dates (4 hex bs)

30g cacao nibs (10 syns)

Method

Blitz the almonds in the food processor, adding the dates, vanilla essence and flax seeds (we’d pre-pitted so our hex b weighing may be off a little but as I’m preggaz I didn’t worry too much). I added the cacao nibs last without blitzing to retain some crunch. Working the mixture together I then rolled out into 20 balls and left to set. I worked this out at one hex b per two balls plus 1 syn or half a hex b plus 0.5 syns per ball. Don’t take my word for it though, my maths is sometimes off!

These poo balls have been stopping me from snacking quite so much and are a great way to use the extra healthy b you get when pregnant. I just pop a few in a sandwich bag and stick them in my handbag each morning. I’m already planning a few new variations – using cocoa powder and orange or rum essence is on the cards at the weekend. The total cost of ingredients was approximately £3.33, which I think is pretty good – less than a chocolate bar and about half the price of a Nakd bar, though I’ll still be investing in those now and again too.

How do you stay full during the day? Do you eat protein balls or would you consider giving them a go?