Over the last few months whilst being housebound, I’ve struggled with my eating pattern, as I’m sure many have. I was very ‘hot’ on what I was consuming in the run up to lockdown as I was training for Ironman Oceanside. Unfortunately, as soon as that dream of racing disappeared, so did my entire routine – both day to day regimes of training and how I was eating vanished. I would be drinking coffee, hardly eating anything with nutritional value, then having a binge of food in the evening because I’d not eaten during the day. Literally, the most textbook thing of not what to do and I was doing it. I needed to reintroduce some grazing and that’s where ZENB Veggie Sticks came in.
Who are ZENB veggie sticks?
ZENB are a company that produce delicious plant-based Veggie Sticks that are great to snack on. Unlike other snacks you find in the supermarkets, ZENB uses as much of the whole vegetable as possible, to help raise awareness of food waste., They are plant based and come in four flavours, Red Pepper, Beetroot, Pumpkin and Carrot.
My ZENB veggie sticks Challenge
I was tasked with introducing ZENB bars into my snacking via the #ZENBchallenge during a 7-day period. I’ll be honest, I’d normally associate a snack stick like this to be consumed as it comes, without using it in any other form of consumption, but I was wrong! You can do so much more than just eat it straight from the pack… and here is how I got on.
Day 1. Post Exercise
I decided to kick things off with enjoying a snack after one of my spin classes at home. I figure this was a great way to get used to having a savoury post workout snack. Ordinarily things I’ve had are pre-workout and they’re sweeter in flavours. I can confirm, it was a pleasant surprise!
Day 2. On my lunchtime salad
I’m usually pretty bad when it comes to lunchtimes, and I’m known for sailing past the mealtime completely. As I’ve now finally got a goal focus (last of my 12 in 12 challenges), I’ve started planning my meals carefully, so to spruce up my salad I took the ZENB Beetroot Veggie Stick and crumbled it over mine and my husband’s salads. Delicious addition.
Day 3. Breakfast Veggie Smoothie
My favourite meal of the day is breakfast, I’m always telling people that in order to have a good day, you need a jolly good start! I believe breakfast really is the most important meal of the day as it kickstarts your metabolism. I often have overnight oats or smoothies first thing, so I added another ZENB Veggie Stick into my week, I used one within my breakfast smoothie!
Day 4. Out on our hike
Did I tell you one of my 12 in 12 challenges has become climbing the highest mountain in Britain? Oh yes. I know – off to climb Scaffel Pike in August. Hiking is a huge focus of mine right now, and as it’s a slow burner activity, you sometimes forget that just because you’re not running, you’re still zapping energy up. I took 2 bars with me so my husband and I could enjoy a delicious snack whilst we take a break.
Day 5. Making summertime ice lollies
What’s that? It didn’t rain in the UK and we had a heatwave?! Yes, we did and I was so excited to recreate the ZENB recipe for ice lollies! We actually tend to have an ice lolly or a mini ice cream for our sweet treat post dinner. It was really nice making something healthier, knowing I wasn’t filling my body with sugar. Check out some awesome recipes here.
Day 6. Literally a snack attack
Stressful day – I won’t even begin! I was about to reach for the biscuit jar to comfort me when I realised I’d started being very good with my diet this week and that I needed to continue on. So instead of my cuppa with numerous Bourbon biscuits, I made a fruit tea and had a ZENB Veggie Stick.
Day 7. After my open water swim
I’d just done 2000m swim at Springlakes and needed a snack – especially with those wobbly post swim legs! After a triathlon style workout session, I’d reach for a quick fix in the form of a piece of fruit, so, it was so good to try with a savoury option like a ZENB Veggie Stick.
What did I learn from ZENB Veggie Sticks?
Snacks don’t need to be sweet. It seems daft but I’d really never given it much thought. I’d go for your standard cereal bar but I’m totally sold!
ZENB help raise awareness of food waste
As you all know I’m a Surfers Against Sewage Community Lead and also a huge advocate of being as eco-friendly as possible. Food waste falls into that, and ZENB ensure they use as much of the whole vegetable as possible, to help raise awareness of the issues around food waste.
Overall ZENB thoughts
After the challenge I was really surprised. Firstly, because the ZENB Veggie Sticks had so much more flavour than I had thought they would. The Veggie Sticks are organic, non-GMO, and gluten free. Plus, my husband and I are going more plant based to aid our training, so we’re slowly merging our lifestyle over to a more vegan focused diet. I was thrilled to learn that ZENB Veggie Sticks are also vegan. It’s a winner all around for my household!
*Post in collaboration with ZENB Veggie Sticks