5 healthy food and drink trends you need to know for 2018

Food trends are ever changing, it can be hard to keep up! But what should you be adding to your shopping list in 2018?

Healthy drinking

Many of us enjoy drinking alcohol, whether it’s when socialising with friends or drinking a complementary glass of wine with a meal. However, we are becoming more health conscious and calorie counting doesn’t go well with a taste for liquor…

This suggests the upcoming trend of 2018 — healthy drinking. This new trend allows us to drink and be sociable without consuming extra calories. The low-calorie option amongst alcoholic drinks has been a rising segment for many years and will continue to grow as we increasingly monitor what we eat and drink.

There is already low-calorie beer available and it is likely that low-calorie cocktails could be the next big thing. Now, 78% of bars offer cocktails which is up 12% on 2016 — driven by social media and people’s willingness to post photos of their fancy drinks. Zach Sasser, a head bartender, predicts that ingredients such as beetroot juice, kale and pureed carrots will be popular. “Going into this health-conscious age that we live in, I believe integration is inevitable,” he says.

There is also further potential for integrating healthy ingredients into cocktails. In one survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association, 700 chefs were surveyed on what they think the latest culinary trends may be. They said that the relationship between the bar and the kitchen is to become stronger. Can we expect vegetable-infused cocktails in 2018?

Rise in mushrooms

Research has revealed that many fungi, such as mushrooms, are good for you as they produce ‘adaptogenic’ compounds — assisting in anti-stress and anti-cancer treatments. For this reason, we predict that mushrooms will be the next big thing in 2018. In fact, Food Navigator found that year-on-year sales of food products that include medicinal mushrooms have risen between an outstanding 200-800%, depending on the variety.

Consulting firm, Grand View Research, reported that the mushroom market is expected to exceed $50 billion (£37 million) over the next six years. Making its way into the food and drink sector through mushroom-infused coffees and mushroom smoothies, many cafes and retailers are already profiting from the trend.

The special ingredient is finding a place on supermarket shelves in other ways too — through hair and skincare products! Different species of mushrooms are chosen for their varying properties — for example shiitake mushrooms are known for their richness in antioxidants and high vitamin D content, and the reishi mushroom is selected for its anti-inflammatory properties.


In recent years, we have seen a rise in the number of people turning vegetarian and vegan. In fact, the number of vegans in the UK has risen by 350% in the past decade — predominantly driven by the younger market, with half of those opting for this diet falling between the ages of 15 and 34. Some people are enjoying the best of both worlds with a flexitarian diet — primarily vegetarian with meat and fish occasionally.

Many people believe that there is little room for indulging or eating unhealthily on a vegan diet and we predict that this could all change. With so many people transforming to a ‘flexitarian’ diet, there is a new market for vegan fast food.  

This may include seeing more of plant-based ‘meat’, such as the innovation that Leonardo DiCaprio has invested in called Beyond Meat. This could come in the form of burgers or fried food. Expect to see other indulgent food too, such as extravagant vegan desserts.

Plant-based protein

Possibly due to the rise of Instagram foodies and chefs, healthy smoothies have been big in 2017. Finely ground tea leaves, matcha and powdered super vegetables such as kale, spirulina and spinach have been popular too — their texture making it easy to add to soups, smoothies and salads. Registered dietician, Abbey Sharpe, explains their popularity: “I think people love a quick way to get in their healthy-eating fix, and powdered substances are seen as an easy way to pack in the nutrition.”

This year we are expecting to see an increase of garden plant based proteins to support healthy diets and act as workout fuel. One of the newest forms of this is pea protein which has many benefits including its neutral taste — making it favourable for regular consumption.

Domestic produce

With Brexit on the horizon and the uncertainty of trade regulations and costs, it is very likely that we will be embracing home grown produce this year. Brexit is already changing our views on food shopping. In April 2017, one in five said that they were more likely to buy British food after leaving the EU to support the economy. However, this was dependent on pricing, and if prices rise, many will go for cheaper alternatives.

We experienced rising fruit and vegetable costs in 2016 — vegetable prices rose by 6.6% and this was explained by climate problems in Europe which led to shortages in some items. Can we risk facing these soaring prices again? Many think not. Instead, keen and amateur gardeners are heading to their back yards to plant their own vegetables and it’s expected that this trend will continue.


Get Your Skates on and Get Fit in 2018

The new year is a time when many make resolutions and one of the most popular is to endeavour to get fit. Gym profits take off and sales of protein shakes go through the roof. While running, aerobics and palates may be flavour of the day, they are not everyone’s cup of tea, so something a little more unusual may be what they are looking for. Here we take a look at four ways to keep fit on skates.

Ice Hockey

At the highest level, ice hockey is a physical sport that is fast and furious. Teams of six players pit their wits and skills against each other and the goal is to put the “puck” into the opposing teams net. In the UK, ice hockey is more popular than you would imagine and clubs can be found up and down the country. To play ice hockey, you will need a good pair of skates, protective pads and helmet and of course a hockey stick.

 Terry Matthews

Ice Skating

Perhaps the most graceful of sports, ice skating is fantastic for your core strength and all round fitness. Whether taken seriously, where entering competitions and wearing fancy costumes is what it is all about, or enjoyed as a day out with family and friends, ice skating is terrific fun.

All you need to take part is skates, which can be bought, but novices can borrow a pair, free of charge, when they turn up at the local rink. Oh and don’t forget to wrap up warm.

Inline skating

Those who feel the need for speed may want to explore the world of inline skating. Here skaters wear specially designed rollerblades and use them to race around a track – those with the most strength, skill and speed and who cross the finish line first are the winners.

Inline skating is closely associated with a number of other sports, such as vert skating and freestyle skating – all of which demand the need for protective headgear and pads.

Roller Derby

The somewhat crazy sport of roller derby involves two teams, each comprising of five members and it is a contact sport on roller skates. The object of the sport is simple, the team who lap their opponents the most after completing a predetermined number of laps around a track wins.

Roller derby is not for the faint hearted as players are allowed to block and push opponents and catapult their own players forward to take an advantage.

With so many options to choose from you’d be mad not to get your skates on and get fit in 2018.



My 2018 Comping Aims

my 2018 comping aims

Now if you’ve been around here for a while, there is a chance you will know that I absolutely love comping and a competition. I love running them – you only have to check the giveaways category on this blog to see that – and I love entering them too.

I haven’t been entering them as much as I used to – the last few months of 2011 were where I really went crazy for it and the prizes showed it – £400 worth of saucepans that we still use today, a vegetable hamper just in time for Christmas, a curry hamper, £8888 from ITV from one of their web competitions. I’d love to replicate that success again some day.

The comping landscape has certainly changed over the years. I’ll be honest, I stopped entering as much last year because there seemed no point – it seemed like the world and his wife was entering all the competitions I found. However my love for it reignited, I had some fab wins such as an £100 John Lewis voucher and a Amazon Fire tablet and I started falling in love with it all over again.

As the advents came to a close at the end of the tail end of 2017, talk turned in the competition groups of our comping resolutions. I hadn’t really given them much thought but I had a chat with Steve and chose a few things that I would like to achieve over 2018.

Win Things That I Can Donate

I donate a lot to my local food bank and local charity shops already but I’d love to put my comping to good use in this way. I currently only enter for things I or my family and friends need or want but I will now also be entering for more food items so I can add a little extra to my food bank donations and I will be entering for the things that are trends at the moment so that I can donate to the charity shop and they can ride the wave and sell it for a decent price while everyone is looking for them – could you imagine donating something like a Luvabella or Fingerling to your local charity shop? They’re sought after items that people are prepared to pay a decent whack for – and the charity would benefit.  I would like to be able to add both an extra donation for the food bank and the charity shop each month.

Win Stuff For Presents

I don’t remember a year where Jack’s birthday or Christmas presents haven’t featured a win of mine or been partly paid for by a win of a voucher or something. I’d like to continue this in 2018 – winning items for the kids for their presents but also for friends and family. I like to make my friend up a beauty hamper for her birthday so I’d love to win her some beauty products for it. Steve and his brother and dad love golf so I’d love to win them some golfing stuff for their presents and Steve’s mum loves handbags so I am always entering competitions for new handbags for her. Hopefully I can pretty much finance 2018’s presents through comping.

my 2018 comping aims

Try Something New

I am fed up of doing the same kind of competitions day in, day out. I would love to try something new so I’m going to give creative competitions a try and perhaps more postal entries. It is far too easy to get sucked in to entering the competitions on social media but these are where everyone is entering – I stand much more of a shot trying my hand at something else

Pay Off More Debt

My final comping aim of 2018 is to get it to help me pay off more debt. I will be entering all the cash comps I see – I know these can be high entry so they may not be that easy to win but I may as well give it a try. If I win vouchers for the supermarket, I will use them for my food shop and use the money I would have spent on debt. Finally, if I get a win that I wasn’t expecting and that I didn’t enter for (we all know the ones – the runners up prize you didn’t know about that you’ve already got three of or that isn’t your size or colour?). Well those I will put up on Facebook Marketplace and my local selling page and use the money to pay down a little more debt. Every little helps after all.

Have you got any comping aims for 2018?

L.O.L Surprise Pets – What Pet Did We Get?

L.O.L Surprise Pets

We were sent one of the L.O.L Surprise Pets for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Having previously reviewed the L.O.L Surprise dolls and doing an Easter hunt with them, we were chuffed to be asked to review one of the new L.O.L Surprise Pets. Jack is a massive animal lover so he couldn’t wait to see what was inside so much so that him and Olivia got a little too eager and took off the first layer before I managed to take photos, oops!
L.O.L Surprise PetsAs you can see, the L.O.L Surprise Pets are much like the dolls in terms of the layers – I think the only difference is that pets don’t really wear clothes and the addition of the litter box (where you can scoop for surprises). L.O.L Surprise Pets include puppies, kitties, bunnies and hamsters and there is 7 layers of surprises: 1 x secret message, 1 x collectable sticker sheet, 1 x water bottle charm, 1 x scooper, 2 x accessories, 1 x pet and collector’s poster. You can feed your L.O.L. Surprise! Pets with the water bottle or bathe them to find out if they cry, spit, tinkle, or colour change!

L.O.L Surprise PetsL.O.L Surprise PetsSo who did we receive?

L.O.L Surprise PetsWe received Midnight Pup, she is a popular pet and is from the Cosplay Club. She is very cute and when we dug in the litter tray to see what surprises were in store, we found her collar. These went great with her bat wing accessories!

L.O.L Surprise PetsL.O.L Surprise PetsJack fed her water to see if she colour changed, cried, spat or tinkled and he deduced that she spat!

So what do we think? We think that L.O.L Surprise Pets are a fantastic addition to the L.O.L Surprise range – Jack can’t wait to collect some more and see just what pets he gets. Now I’ve just got to persuade Jack that he wants to give Midnight Pup to me – after all, it’s so cute!

You can buy your own L.O.L Surprise Pets from Smyths here for £9.99.

Happy Birthday, Olivia

How are you one, Olivia? How has that year gone by so quick? It seems I forgot to do your October, November and December updates – oops.

So what can I say about you? You are a very vocal, very temperamental child. You are crawling like crazy, forming some words and taking steps with help. You’ve recently managed to stay stood still on your own for a couple of seconds. You are doing so well and I am so proud of you. You still haven’t cut a tooth – if this still hasn’t happened in a month or so, the health visitor advised us to see the GP.

We’ll probably have a small birthday tea later for the immediate family and perhaps take you to soft play at the weekend for your very first experience. Our year with you in it has been a total whirlwind, I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.

Love Mummy xxx