Hey guys, happy Sunday Funday! Hope everyone has had a fab weekend & an awesome month. I have been struggling to find time to write blog posts recently – started a new job, doing a lot of video editing & I have been managing to attend 4 work out classes a week with Guava Pass – BOOM!
So understandably I couldn’t have been happier when I discovered NBARS here in the UAE – Vegan Energy Bars – yasss! They come in 6 delicious flavours with mixes of different seeds, fruits and nuts. Oh & they all contain chocolate – ahhmazing,
This fab brand was started in 2016 by a lovely lady called Nisha. She fancied a break from corporate life (don’t we all lol) & took a sabbatical which in turn lead to a series of events that created NBARS. My curious nature just had to get the lowdown (curious/nosey same thing right?)
When did you realise that ‘holy moly I make good energy bars and I can sell these!!’? Tell me your story!
“In 2014, I took a sabbatical from corporate life and with more time on my hands, I was hitting it at the gym and I became hungrier during the day. I looked for a sustainable bar at retail across all grocery formats (organic, supermarkets, etc) with nothing that ticked all the boxes. The existing bars are either too sugary or taste like there are chemicals in them or just not tasty enough. So I took over the kitchen at home and experimented with existing recipes but was still not satisfied….
So I created my own formula different from all the recipes out there by adding and subtracting ingredients, via trial and error over 6-9 months. I handed samples out to friends and family and when they came back for more I KNEW I had to pursue this journey.
That was 2015 and I ended up getting a new job in 2015, because starting a business was too scary. As luck would have it, I did not enjoy the new job enough to keep doing it. So after 8 months in the new gig, I quit this very safe job in July 2016 to start NBARS. I took 3 months to create the brand and launch strategy and come November I launched with full on events during open season.”
Whats your fav flavour?
“Without a doubt NARANG is the star of the family 😻 though every flavor has their ‘fan club’
Any new flavours expected?”
Any new flavours on the horizon?
“The classic collection of 6 flavors will continue. Limited editions such as the Xmas bar… the NATIONAL bar is a tribute to UAE flavors and customs: Qahwah, chopped dates, pine nuts, watermelon seeds and a hint of saffron. It was launched on National Day (Dec) last year, brought back for Art Month (March) and most recently during Ramadan this year. The NATIONAL will be available at select outlets year round on popular demand.”
I am so in love with these NBARS! It is amazing to find 1. energy bars that are vegan (lol) & 2. energy bars that are vegan, healthy & still taste good! In a world full of ‘fake health’ products (like natural bars full of chemicals GROSS) – NBARS are a godsend (via Nish!)
She explains 2 awesome concept behind her brand;
TIME: NBARS were created to give people back their time. That’s what I truly believe we are doing. (1) Breakfast on the go (2) snacks between meals (3) pre/post sport because life is busy and most people are not so good at prepping their own snacks so you grab a bar and get on with life, always prepared with something tasty yet good for you.
BALANCE: NBARS was born out of a search for balance. Between health & pleasure. Most people would like to be healthy but at the same time we don’t want to sacrifice on taste and enjoyment. By throwing in a bit of 70% dark choc in each bar, the brain gets a signal of pleasure and satiety. So while the bar exists to feed your body (fiber, good fats, natural sweetness, vegan etc), the dark choc feeds your soul. Again we see balance of body & soul
So, you might be asking yourself, where can I purchase these bad boys?
NBARS are available in 30 locations in Dubai, a mix of specialty cafes, fitness studios & yoga studios. For those who order directly from us, they drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org or Whatsapp us +971501499515 and there’s a preferential (better than at retail) rate based on order size.
I totally recommend these NBARS, they are an amazing pre work out snack & also a fab mid morning bite. Because they taste so friggin delicious you can enjoy them guilt free. Be sure to check out the Insta page here.
Let me know if you try them! J xxx
KOSMÉ Paris – A Natural, Luxury Skincare Brand – Launches in The Middle East
New vegan beauty products in the UAE? Yes please!
Ok so as you guys know I am all about finding & sharing natural, vegan beauty products & I am so excited to share KOSMÉ Paris with you.
Founded by Sophie Allouche, KOSMÉ Paris was created to harness the power of natural & organic ingredients, because lets face it – nasty toxins are just not good enough anymore. There are so many reasons why I love this brand, one of them being that they are totally committed to producing preservative, silicone & paraben free products. They are also committed to making sure that the sourcing & production of their amazing products is carried out in a sustainable way – yay!
KOSMÉ Paris use only the most beautiful ingredients – Prickly Pear seed oil, Acai Berry, Babassu Nut butter, Argan oil & Kukui nut oil are just to name a few!
Here are the products I was lucky enough to get my hands on;
- Rose Argan Oil
- Moisturising Scrub with Sea Salt Crystals
- Orange Blossom Floral Water
- Legends Elixir Anti-aging Serum for Face & Neck
I have been using these gorgeous products as part of my beauty routines for just over a week now & it is safe to say I am 100% sold. This is a high-end beauty brand for sure, every single product leaves me with that ‘fresh out the spa’ feeling – who doesn’t want that!? Here is why I am obsessed with these KOSMÉ Paris products;
Rose Argan Oil
This Argan Oil is on the top of my ‘amazing vegan beauty products’ list for a few reasons. Firstly, I am a two-birds-one-stone kind of girl, so the fact that you can use this stuff on both your hair & skin works perfectly for me. Argan oil is packed with Vitamin E, which is known for possessing anti-oxidants so strong it has been known to help with hair regrowth.
How to use it;
- This Rose Argan Oil works as the perfect natural hair mask – apply to dry hair & leave for at least 1/2 hour before rinsing & washing.
- You can also use it as a body oil or even a bath oil – why not add a drop next time you are going for a soak?
Why I love it:
- After using as a hair mask, I was left with a luxurious, silky mane.
- The subtle scent leaves you smelling like a bed of roses & is super relaxing in the bath – zzzzz.
Moisturizing Scrub with Sea Salt Crystals
You guys know I am obsessed with scrubs & taking my scrubbing ritual very seriously – lol. Scrubbing is great way to revitalize by getting rid of dry skin while stimulating blood circulation. This Scrub with Sea Salt Crystals is a three-in-one treatment to exfoliate, purify & nourish the epidermis. Enriched with Apricot Oil, I really haven’t smelt a beauty product quite like it. Apricot Oil contains ‘gamma linoleic acid’ (also known as GLA) which is known for maintaining moisture as well as firming & toning skin.
How to use it:
- Apply twice a week to dry skin (I use it before my shower) with gentle massage movements. Rinse thoroughly with water.
Why I love it:
- The sea salt crystals work perfectly to exfoliate & my skin literally glows after I use it.
- The Apricot Oil smells divine & it really feels like you are having a spa treatment when you use it!
Orange Blossom Floral Water
Floral Water is a new one for me, there has been a lot of hype recently about floral waters so I was interested to see why exactly everyone is obsessing. A by-product of the distillation process that creates essential oils from bitter-orange blossoms, Orange Blossom Water has been used for years in beauty. It is great for toning, soothing & smoothing skin. You guys know I am a total minimalist with my skin care routine (the fewer ingredients/products the better) but this floral water is making the cut for sure.
How to use it;
- Apply in the morning to cleanse & purify the skin in a gentle way, or at night to complete & perfect make-up removal.
Why I love it;
- It leaves my face feeling really refreshed & smelling like I just had a facial in a fancy spa
- It helped calm down my sunburnt face at the weekend!
- Also helped balance general redness
- Relaxing & soothing product to use before bed
- Gives my skin an extra ‘once over’ after removing make up/washing my face
Legends Elixir Anti-aging Serum for Face & Neck
Ok I will admit it, I have started the whole anti-aging-products-please-don’t-let-me-get-wrinkles stuff. The past 6 months or so I’ve started to look at natural ways to fight signs of aging for my face & neck area. Living in a hot country & having so much exposure to the sun, there is a much higher chance of skin aging (tough life I know). Sun exposure is actually the biggest cause of sun damage to the face, resulting in form of wrinkles & hyper-pigmentation. Although there are a lot of vegan anti-aging products in the market, this serum is the only one I have found to be chemical free; 100% natural – preservative, paraben, mineral oil & silicone free.
How to use;
- Apply 3 drops, morning & evening, on face & neck. Gently massage.
Why I love it;
- The formula is based on a precious combination of Prickly Pear seeds, Acaí Berry seeds, & Rose Geranium essential oil.
- My face glows & looks immediately revitalized as soon as I apply the serum.
- Unlike other oil based serum, my face doesn’t look or feel greasy & my skin literally soaks up the serum.
- It smells beautiful!
I am totally in love with this KOSMÉ Paris & recommend these products from the bottom of my heart. Packed with anti-oxidants, it is great to find another beauty brand that actually does what it says on the bottle. All of these products smell beautiful & leave you looking & feeling spa fresh.
Also, if you fancy a bit of pampering, KOSMÉ Paris is available at luxury spas across the UAE, including The Ritz Carlton Du-bai, The Four Seasons DIFC & Imar Spa.
Have any of you guys tried KOSMÉ Paris!? Let me know! Happy pampering – Jess xx
Spice up your life
“You have to taste a culture to understand it” is what they say & after my all my travels so far this year I could not agree more. It doesn’t matter where you go in the world, the food plays a huge part in telling a story.
One of my absolute fav things about India was the food! & lucky for me, apparently over 30% of Indians are vegetarian. Eating vegan was a breeze – just hold back on the cream and the ghee.
From my observations (or just pure nosiness I guess peering over at people cooking where I could), I couldn’t help but feel inspired when I saw how resourceful people were with their food. I was literally eating meals made from a handful of ingredients & if you follow my blog you will know I am a ‘less is more’ kinda girl (when it comes to ingredients obviously).
The great thing about this recipe is you can use any veg you want, I went for the cauliflower because 1. they used it a lot in India & 2. it is super filling.
All you really need for this recipe is some veggies, garlic, tinned tomatoes (or fresh I guess) & some spices. I made a huge pot of this curry & took it in for my lunches for the week, it lasted around 5 days in the fridge & is a seriously cheap eat! Enjoy! Jess xx
PS – If you haven’t had a chance to check out my latest India vlog check it out here!
- 2 cans tinned chopped tomato
- 3 large carrots chopped (or any other veg such as mushrooms)
- 1 can of sweetcorn & 1 can of peas (or 2 cups of mixed frozen veg or other canned/chopped veg)
- 1 large red onion (chopped)
- 3 gloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 large cauliflower (or 2 small)
- 1 tbsp. masala powder
- 2 tbsp. curry powder
- 1 tbsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. chili powder (optional)
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- Chop the cauliflower into florets and boil for around 10 minutes
- In a seperate large pan/pot, saute the onion, garlic & chopped carrots in the coconut oil until the onion browns and the carrots become soft
- Pour in the tins of chopped tomato, add the spices with the sweetcorn/peas & cauliflower
- Simmer for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally before serving - enjoy!
- Add water & stock if you want a thinner curry.
- To thicken it up add flour.
Cause you health is your greatest wealth
Hey guys, good morning & Happy Thursday! I have been totally lacking with the recipe posts (well just posts in general let’s be honest.) Things have been pretty crazy here with course work & I have also been video editing from my trip to India. I was also in Hong Kong for vacation which was amazing – lots of nice veggie options in that part of the world – be sure to get in touch if you want any recommendations!
Anyway I think maybe due to all the craziness, my body is frantically screaming at me ‘OMG will you slow down you crazy so & so’. Now I NEVER get sick, especially since going vegan (& no I am not just saying that lol). But this week I haven’t felt good, just pretty crap in general. I’ve learned from experience that it is super important to listen to your body and take some time off & I am not a very productive person if I don’t feel great.
What you eat plays a huge part in how you feel on a day-to-day basis; it determines how strong your immune system is, how quickly you can fight off infection & sickness when it comes to mess up your life (even when you have a super busy weekend ARGH). One of my absolute fave ingredients as you guys know is Turmeric, especially when I feel bad. This little beauty of a powder is a natural painkiller & possesses an amazing strong anti-oxidant.(Read more about why I am obsessed with Turmeric on my blog post ‘What’s the deal with Turmeric?’)
I chucked some of this super hero powered into my oatmeal yesterday morning & it tasted great & I wanted to share the recipe with you guys. I used 1/2 tbsp. of turmeric, but if you don’t like the taste so much you can add a little less, but I would recommend trying to sweeten it with maple syrup before reducing the turmeric amount. I topped my turmeric oatmeal with powerful little treats including blueberries, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries but you can go with whatever. I hope you guys found this post useful & if you are feeling like crap I hope you feel better soon! Lots of love Jess xx
- 1/2 cup of oats
- 1/2 cup of plant milk (I like almond or rice milk for breakfast as they are light)
- 1/2 tbsp. turmeric
- 1/2 tbsp. maple syrup (if you want to sweeten it, try it first)
- Your fav fruits/seeds for toppings - I used blueberries, pumpkin seeds & dried cranberries
- I don't need to tell you how to make oatmeal do I?