Thursday, February 26, 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

in which I review the FoodSwitch ap...

Please note, this is a sponsored post

Last week, I was invited to review Bupa's recently updated FoodSwitch ap. The ap has a built-in scanner which lets you photograph/scan the barcode of a selected product, and provides you with a breakdown of the amount of fat, salt and sugar, as well as suggesting healthier options of a similar nature.

I have actually used the previous version a fair bit in the past (and mentioned it on here!), after reading about it in Choice magazine a few years back. So I was excited to get the chance to road-test the new and improved version!

Bupa sent me a $100 grocery voucher to give the ap a whirl, and I headed out last Wednesday with my trusty minion/shopping buddy, and my gorgeous mum in tow...

One of the reasons I don't use the FoodSwitch ap on a daily basis is that I don't tend to buy a great deal of "packaged" food, ie muesli bars or biscuits. Things like raspberries or lemongrass don't really require nutritional comparison! But for things like crackers or yoghurt (which Evie eats a lot of!), or even just tinned tomatoes, it's quite handy to have on your phone.

The new ap has options for SugarSwitch, EnergySwitch and FatSwitch - I think the GlutenSwitch one would be particularly useful if you were allergic, as so many products contain traces of gluten! I kept things simple and left it set on FoodSwitch, which provides healthier alternatives in all categories.

I like the traffic light system for rating products, very easy to read and understand!

The Greek yoghurt baby squeezies that my daughter is obsessed with, weren't actually "rated" as they didn't have a category - but the ap provided a breakdown anyway which was useful. I don't stress about fat for her, she's only 1! And as my mum pointed out, people tend to be very brand loyal, and even if their favourite product is a bit high in fat/salt/sugar, they may chose to stick with it rather than switch to a healthier suggested alternative. It's all about knowledge is power, really - giving you the information to make the call. I am pretty set on the yogurt brand I eat every morning, and even though it read as one of the higher fat options, I can't see myself switching anytime soon.

This photo simply had to be included by reason of the hilarious barcode - my mum and I were in hysterical giggles (with her insisting, "that can't be the actual barcode! Keep looking!" It wouldn't scan at all, which I was disappointed by, as E has VitaBrits most mornings for breakfast and I know they are a low-sugar, low-salt option, but it would have been very interesting to compare to other similar products. 

This is clearly not a defect with the FoodSwitch ap, and is down to Uncle Toby's bizarre barcode - but I think it would be good to have an option to manually search for a product if you can't get the scanner to work. There were a couple of other items which were difficult to scan due to shiny packaging, so this would have been a good option.

Another reason I only used the FoodSwitch ap infrequently in the past is that not all products are included in the database. I kept finding that my favourite products were not recognised. There is an option to scan and send the product details to Bupa/The George Institute for inclusion. I did generally try to do this. I am pleasantly surprised to report that many of the products that were not included a few years back, have now been added to the database.

The ap can be downloaded for free from the Ap Store on your iPhone. I would definitely recommend it. It's not perfect, but is extremely handy, quick and easy to use, and provides a good informative reference point when you are out shopping!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

monday musings...

I have become a person with allergies! Aargh! Nary a sniffle from me pre-pregnancy, no seasonal sneezes or hayfever - but this summer, I have been a mess! I officially called it when I lit up a trusty candle this afternoon, and had to promptly extinguish it after I become unbearably itchy and sneezy.

Not sure what to do about all my half-used Glasshouse candles! *sadface* 
(Eek have just realised that I haven't finished that book club book sitting on top there yet!)

How hot has it been??? Crazy! I am longing for autumn and cool breezes, even a nice downpour. We have been hanging out indoors under the aircon far more than I care to admit - indulging in homemade fruit ice blocks...

... and general indoor play. The kiddo looooves jigsaw puzzles! Loves them! And is pretty good at them, to my (admittedly biased) eye. Hopefully she has inherited her father's hand-eye coordination rather than mine hahaha

V is away this week, waaaay out west, so I can't really complain about the heat to him, it's about 5 degrees hotter where he is!

I am currently watching If You Are The One and indulging in a mint slice biscuit (or three!) Le Jia is kind of my hero <3

See you next time! (hehe)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

sunday at the zoo...

Seeing as the weather was looking promising, we packed the kiddo up nice and early this morning and headed off to Symbio wildlife park. We arrived just after they had opened, so it was nice and quiet and not too hot.

I honestly think she would have run and jumped on top of a kangaroo if we had let her - we were having to restrain her from getting too up in their faces (a couple of the bigger males were quite aggressive!) She just adores them, wants to feed and pat and cuddle them. If one of them started jumping, she was delirious with joy.

The reptile house would have to be her favourite spot, with the cotton top tamarin monkeys a close second (she cried when we walked away from them!) Unfortunately, the tiger was sleeping out the back somewhere so we missed out on seeing him, which was a pity as Evie loves the tiger (or "meow" as she terms all cats, big and small).

The highlight of the day was watching her talk to the echidnas and reach out to pat one - at which moment V and I both realised that yes, her arm was in fact small enough to fit through the bars, and we just about knocked ourselves out grabbing her in time. That would have been a major ouch, for Evie and the poor echidna!

We stopped off for coffee and gelato at the top of the mountain, before scooting home and bundling the kiddo into bed for a nap.

Now I am currently making Hay while the proverbial sun shines (geddit?), and meal planning for the week - loving the special Donna Hay fresh+light magazine! The miso-glazed salmon and brown rice parcels will most definitely be featuring on the menu.

Hope the weekend has been good to you all!

Friday, February 13, 2015

happy weekend, happy valentines day...

We don't usually "do" Valentines Day gifts - V will buy me a bunch of flowers (bless!), I supply champagne and a gourmet dinner (I am over going out for tea, toooo crowded and exxy!)

Today, he surprised me with my favourite Flowerbomb perfume. I was a tad overwhelmed. Especially as I *temporarily* forgot his birthday on Thursday (I don't want to talk about it). At least I had an awesome birthday present for him, right? Right?

A month back to work, and we are really into the swing of things. I think it's safe to call it, and say I am LOVING it! Love love love my new colleagues, the partners, the environment and especially the new areas of law I am practicing.

Being away from this one for those days makes me all the more focused on her when I am around. I read an interview with Julia Roitfeld, and on working motherhood, she commented that it was important for her to be 100% at work during her work hours, and 100% at home when she was home. I don't have work emails on my phone, I don't think about work and completely switch off and immerse myself in this little one. So far, so good.

Keeping everything running in a domestic sense is proving somewhat more of a challenge,  it I'm keeping on top of it. Any tips?

Happy Valentines Day, lovely readers.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

my little mate...

I have been missing this one like crazy on the days I am at work! Like a limb is missing. I'm not always consciously aware of it, but there's a constant dull ache in my mind to remind me.

Work is a great distraction - so interesting and also very challenging to be learning new areas at this point in my career. Lucky I'm a quick study. So thankfully I don't have time to sit and muse. Knowing how happy she is in daycare is a big help, and really eases my mind. And that moment when I go to pick her up, and see that grin of pure joy - just priceless.

We are seeing a real language explosion (partly I am putting this down to daycare). She will ask for "more, ta" so politely! And I have just gone from being "mum" to "mumma" which is so ridiculously cute, I cannot even. I feel like she changes subtly every day, and it's just so wonderful and beautiful.

This really is the best fun I've ever had.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

the end of the world as we know it...

V is back at work this week, after four weeks' blissful time off together. And back off on the road, this time to Griffith. Not too remote, luckily!

It's been some kind of wonderful having our little family together, 24/7, for such a long period of time - it's the longest he's had off work since E was born! And we really enjoyed every second of it. I anticipate feeling a bit lost in the coming weeks!

Lots of swimming, at the pool...

And here! Yeah, I don't exactly soak up the sunshine at the beach hahaha Shade tent FTW!

I am actually feeling a bit teary today missing my gorgeous husband - I know he will only be gone for a short stint, but after so long spent joined at the hip, this will take a bit of getting used to again! Thank goodness for my little girl, to keep me company, and busy! And for work, for similar reasons.

The little one and I headed to the pool after breakfast today, despite the rain, keen to keep up our holiday fun as long as we can. 'Chinos for both of us afterwards, naturally. Now I'm making the most of this cool change by baking sweet potato wedges for her, while she sleeps. Back into the routine of things around here!