Tag Archives: health

Food Review: The Ginger People



“The Ginger People is the leading brand of ginger in North America. With state-of-the-art ginger factories in both California and Australia, we take pride in being the most innovative, quality-oriented and environmentally conscious ginger producer in the world.”
Their products are also available in the UK, from places such as Holland and Barret, Julian Graves and independent health food shops.

After getting in touch with the kind folks at The Ginger People after reading a press release from them, I was lucky enough to be sent a box of samples to review. Here are my thoughts:

004 Gin Gins hard candy was the first product I sampled,
From the website these are described as "Double strength hard ginger candies made with all natural ingredients. Enjoy as an after dinner digestive or a throat lozenge to both warm and soothe.”
Both the box (bright yellow with the ginger people logo) and wrapper are eye catching and attractive. The sweets are individually wrapped making them perfect for popping in your pocket or bag. The ingredients list is reassuringly short: cane sugar, glucose syrup, ginger and three sweets contain just 35 calories.

The taste? Fantastic. Strong, but not too strong ginger and not too sweet. I had a cold when I tried these and they really did soothe my sore throat and provided a warm feeling against the Autumn chill. I now keep a handful in my handbag for when sore throats, or nausea strike, or I just fancy a  taste of winter.

001 Next up to be tasted was Gin Gins Boost “Gin Gins BOOST is a super-delicious, super-soothing candy packed with a whopping 30% fresh ginger – our most potent candy yet!”
Again these came attractively packaged and individually wrapped. The ingredients for these are:  cane sugar, glucose, ginger, modified cassava starch, non-hydrogenated palm kernel oil (trans fat free), salt, soy lecithin and they contain the same calories as the hard candy.

Were they strong? Yes! But not too strong for this hardened ginger addict. These sweets are slightly chewy with a deeper taste than the original Gin Gins, a little reminiscent of some kind of toffee, without the jaw breaking stickiness.  As promised, these were fantastic whilst travelling (I tested this by reading a book in the car, an activity that usually brings about much nausea) and again, I keep a handful in my bag.

002 Moving on to the Ginger Chews, I firstly tried the original version. These are bigger in size than the Gin Gins and the packaging is slightly more muted in it’s colouring. “America’s #1 selling ginger candy and winner of Fiery Food Association’s Scovie Award for "Best Candy," our Original Ginger Chews are natural, stimulating and delicious. Given ginger’s queasy-quelling properties, Ginger Chews are great to fight off nausea while flying boating or going on a bumpy road trip. Surprisingly and satisfyingly spicy. The only candy that bites you back!”

These chews are 20 calories a piece and just three ingredients: cane sugar, ginger, tapioca starch. They are also gluten free and all natural.

Taste wise, this have a good ginger kick and a fantastic stiff, almost jelly sweet like texture. Wonderfully addictive the box didn’t last long once opened and I am thankful that the Julian Graves near me keeps these in stock!

003 By far, my favourite variant from the range was the Peanut Ginger Chew.
”Like the coveted cashews in a bowl of mixed nuts, Peanut Ginger Chews are the first ones to disappear first from our company candy dish. Our delicious peanut ginger candies are reminiscent of those chewy peanut treats from our childhoods. Peanut Ginger Chews capture the gentle sweet heat of ginger and the nutty goodness of peanuts. Beyond yummy, ginger and peanuts are also rich in antioxidants. Satisfy your warmest and nuttiest desires with these exceedingly pleasing candies.”

Again, each chew contains 20 calories and the ingredients are: cane sugar, ground peanuts, ginger, tapioca starch. CONTAINS: Peanuts.

These were just fantastic, they had a richer, darker taste than any of the other products, and having never tried ginger combined with peanut, I was wonderfully surprised at how well the two worked together. These are definitely one to track down if you are a ginger fan, they make the perfect Autumn sweet treat.

Other products in the range include ginger drinks, cooking sauces and crystallized ginger.

They seem to be a bit elusive to track down in the UK, but I’ve done some searching and found the full range of Gin Gins and Ginger chews on www.amazon.co.uk by searching for “the ginger people”, you’ll also find products available here https://www.yourhealthfoodstore.co.uk. Hopefully other online retailers will soon start stocking them! For US readers, you’ll find these treats widely available online.


Your Low-Cal Shop

By Laura

A few weeks ago I posted my review on PB2 powdered peanut butter, noting that the one place it’s available to buy in the UK is a site I’d never come across before: Your Low-Cal Shop

Simone Jacobs, the owner of the store got in touch to tell me a little bit about herself and her business and so that’s what I’m going to share today.

Simone Jacobs became obese at the age of eight and continued to gain weight until she became morbidly obese in her early twenties. After many unsuccessful attempts at weight loss, her doctors warning of impending illness finally gave her the wake- up call she needed to do something about her unhealthy size.

At 31 years old, and after finally reaching her goal weight (losing over 10 stone), Simone realized that a new chapter in her life had begun. She now faced new challenges on how to maintain her weight loss, and found the answer in a new career in the Low Cal food industry. After starting her business from home, of selling low cal dressings and sauces, her business has now grown into a full service E Commerce shop called Your Low-Cal Shop.

Your Low Cal Shop carries a variety of no calorie and low calorie delicious products such as coffee flavourings, cooking sprays, puddings, snacks, sauces and sensational peanut butter. The product line is continuously expanding and Simone is always asking for feedback and suggestions from consumers on her website.

In a short amount of time, and after a lot of hard work, Your Low Cal Shop has become the online destination of choice for a delicious selection of healthy foods to help you maintain a balanced lifestyle.

For more information, please visit the website: www.your-lowcalshop.com

The shop is a treasure trove of goods that have until now, only been available to the USA.
Perfect for dieters and those who like to save their calories for the main part of their meal, I’m most intrigued by Walden Farms Apricot Fruit Spread (£3.99), Froops Natural Apple Crisps (79p) and of course my beloved PB2, as well as flavoured Splenda packets for your morning coffee.

Simone is currently on an adventure in America tracking down new products for the shop and according to the website we can look forward to Low Carb Protein Cereals later this month. The website also features a newsletter and recipes, which include a tempting sounding PB2 French toast. Shipping starts at £3.50 for up to 1kg of products, which in my eyes is a bargain..much, much cheaper than a flight to the USA after all.

many thanks for getting in touch with Can’t Help but Be, we look forward to seeing more from your shop and wish you the very best of luck with it.

Ease Your Way to 5 a Day

We all know the importance of eating our 5-a-day but how many of us actually achieve it everyday? And what actually makes a portion? Well, to try and solve confusion and to show just how easy it is to get fruit and veg in your diet, Can’t Help But Be has come up with a reference guide, the do’s and don’ts and great ideas of how you too can enjoy getting your 5-a-day.

Do: Use your imagination. The key to bringing in any changes to your lifestyle is to keep things as enjoyable as you can. 5-a-day is not a diet, it isn’t something to dread everyday, it should be fun and the more you enjoy eating the portions the more you’ll forget that you have to do so!

Don’t: Count potatoes as a part of the 5-a-day. Yes sad news that the humble potato doesn’t count, as lets face it, we all love spuds. This isn’t to say they aren’t good for you though, and they are essential as part of a balanced diet (though sadly not when deep fried), but because they are one of the starchy foods they aren’t deemed to count.

Variety is the spice of life! Make your choices as varied and as colourful as possible. This isn’t just for the visual appeal, although it is important as we do partly eat with our eyes, but  also because the more colours you have on your plate the more vitamins and minerals you are taking in, meaning more health benefits for you.

Fresh is great but tinned, dried and frozen fruit and veg all count too. When buying fresh produce look for what’s in season, you’ll be surprised at how different food tastes when it’s actually in season (as well as it being much, much cheaper) and not forced- organic is best all round but don’t panic if your budget is low, you can often find organic bargains and frozen offers in many supermarkets, and at the end of the day non organic fruit and vegetables are still fantastic for you, just wash them well before use.

If you have a fruit bowl with items that are going past their best then don’t discard them. Banana’s that are blackening make amazing smoothies- if you have a bunch of them pop them into the freezer and use them when you are ready. Frozen banana’s make the smoothies even smoother and the darker they are the sweeter they become. Bananas are also a great breakfast addition, sliced on cereal, whipped in to porridge or mashed up on toast.

If you think 5-a-day means having to eat like a rabbit all the time then think again. If you enjoy a pizza then why not throw on a few button mushrooms, or a pepper- both count as a portion and will liven it up. Tortilla wraps, pita breads and bagels make excellent pizza bases. Use tomato puree, loads of chopped vegetables and a sprinkling of cheese for a healthy treat. Having sandwiches for your lunch? then great just add one tomato and that’s another portion clocked up. Other sandwich additions could include; cucumber, lettuce, beetroot and apple or banana slices (with peanut butter!)

Do you crave crunchy snacks? Well replace the crisps for carrots, peppers, celery or cucumber- your body will love you for it and they make excellent dipping tools. Salsa and carrots, or thousand island and peppers are always a hit, as are hummus and sour cream dips, and if you are in need of a treat how about peanut butter and celery (with raisins for bonus nutrition)?

Fussy eaters come in all ages but that is no excuse to not meet your 5 a day goal. If you make bolognaise or pasta sauce and have people who will pick out the veg then use a magi mix and blitz them up really fine before you cook them- that way you all get the benefit and the plates come back clean! This works great for onions, mushrooms and carrots, you can blitz them and use them in burgers too.

Need a cold treat on a hot day? Well remember the smoothies, they really are wonder foods- when you make up a batch keep some in reserve and pour into ice lolly moulds, or even ice cube moulds- place in the freezer and voila, beautiful fruity treats that add another portion to your day.

When it comes to everyday foods let your imagination go wild. Having a yogurt, with a tablespoon of dried fruit counts as one portion- a handful of berries also counts as one portion. To make an elegant treat place some berries of your choice in the bottom of a glass, then add a layer of yogurt, another layer of berries, another of yogurt and finish with a granola topping. Cereal is the perfect vehicle for a portion, or two, sliced banana, strawberries, raisins and blueberries all make yummy additions to the morning routine.

Remember every meal is an opportunity- having a salad? Then why not add some radishes or spring onions?; a stir-fry can offer up many portions in one go and can allow you to be exotic with Chinese bamboo shoots and Chinese leaf; for a snack  apples, pears and oranges are always firm favourites; frozen pineapple makes an excellent stand by for puddings and home made berry compote on top of ice cream or yogurt is always a winner.

Being on the go is also no excuse for skipping the fruit and veg. At the start of each week freeze a bunch of grapes and pop a handful in a snack bag before leaving the house. By the time you get to your break they’ll be perfectly defrosted (though are also super good to eat frozen!). You can also buy bars such as Nakd bars which count as at least one portion, or prepare Tupperware pots with all kinds of dried fruits; branch out from raisins and try apricots, figs, dates, prunes and apple rings for variety.

Here is our guide to what makes a portion;
(as listed on the NHS information page)

  • Quick guide to fruit portions:
    Fresh fruit:
    Small-sized fruit: 2 or more, for example 2 plums, 2 Satsuma’s, 3 apricots, 2 kiwi fruit, 7 strawberries, 14 cherries, 6 lychees
    Medium-sized fruit: 1 medium fruit, such as 1 apple, banana, pear, orange, nectarine, or 1 sharon fruit
    Large fruits: half a grapefruit, 1 slice of papaya, 1 slice of melon (2-inch slice), 1 large slice of pineapple, 2 slices of mango (2-inch slices)
    Dried fruit:
    1 tablespoon of raisins, currants, sultanas, 1 tablespoon of mixed fruit, 2 figs, 3 prunes, 1 handful of banana chips
    Tinned fruit:
    Roughly the same quantity of fruit that you would eat as a fresh portion: 2 pear or peach halves, 6 apricot halves, 8 segments of tinned grapefruit.
  • Juices:
    A glass (150ml) of 100% juice (fruit or vegetable juice or smoothie) counts as 1 portion, but you can only count juice as 1 portion per day, however much you drink. This is mainly because it contains very little fibre. Also, the juicing process ‘squashes’ all the natural sugars out of the cells that normally contain them, which can be harmful for teeth – especially if you drink a lot of it in between meals.
  • Quick guide to vegetable portions:

    Green vegetables:
    2 broccoli spears, 8 cauliflower florets, 4 heaped tablespoons of kale, spring greens or green beans
    Cooked vegetables:
    3 heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables such as carrots, peas or sweetcorn
    Salad vegetables:
    3 sticks of celery, 2 inch piece of cucumber, 1 medium tomato, 7 cherry tomatoes
    Tinned and frozen vegetables:
    Roughly the same quantity as you would eat as a fresh portion. For example, 3 heaped tablespoons of tinned or frozen carrots, peas or sweetcorn
    Pulses and beans:
    3 heaped tablespoons of baked beans, haricot beans, kidney beans, cannelloni beans, butter beans or chick peas. Remember that beans and pulses do count, but only as 1 of the 5 portions, no matter how much you eat.

We believe that food companies should take more responsibility and put clearer labels on items so you know exactly how many portions you are getting so that keeping track is easier. Some companies do list on the back of their packs that they contribute to your 5-a-day but lets see more doing the same!

    We at Can’t Help But Be would love to know if you have any tips on getting your 5-a-day, or how you cope with fussy eaters? Let us know if you think 5-a-day is an easy target to reach or if you struggle to fit in all in.