Some great news: EarlyBird’s first stockist!

We are so excited to announce that B Street Deli on Bermondsey Street will now be selling our healthy, vegan snacks! 

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Don’t we look good together?

Head down to B Street Deli and pick up one of our snacks – perfect as an accompaniment to one of their delicious coffees, or as a healthy sweet treat after one of their beautiful salads!

Open seven days a week, you can find them on 88 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3UB. The closest station is London Bridge and you can check out what other delicious indulgences they have on offer here!

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Word is out! EarlyBird snacks have arrived – and it has got people queuing out the door at B Street Deli in London! 

On sale at the deli this week is our Chestnuts by the Fire snack, which is part of our Bites range. We use chestnuts as a natural alternative to traditional flour in our warm and spicy chestnut cinnamon bites. High in fibre and with no refined sugars, they still deliver a rich, cakey satisfaction and are complimented by the blanched hazelnuts and naturally sweet sultanas in this snack.

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Fancy seeing us in a coffee shop near you? We would love to hear where – let us know by commenting below and we will see what we can do! Your ideas and suggestions are much appreciated!

Don’t forget: our snacks are social. We love seeing you tag us in your snaps on Instagram! Let us know if you head down to B Street Deli too. Check out these awesome snaps from @mindfullymoni, @naturallymeghan and @littleblogofgl of how they enjoyed our bites range: 

In the meantime, you can order our snacks online here!

We can’t wait to snack with you soon,

The EB Team

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Health goals you can achieve

Something about the air in September, or maybe as a consequence of the “back-to-school” fever in September, often has you wanting to set new goals for yourself. This is positive but be careful of falling into a trap of setting unrealistic expectations for yourself, expecting drastic change and ending up further away from your wellness goals than you were before.

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Wellness goals: it’s a marathon not a sprint.

We are all about making things easy at EarlyBird so our nutritionist, Sophia, has shared her simple and easy health tips to help you with your wellness goals. None of these require you to eat a special type of hard-to-come-by superfood, or cut out any food groups from your diet. They are just simple pieces of advice to help you come closer to realistically and safely achieving your health and fitness goals.

Discover what is good for you

Some people need three big meals a day, some are better with smaller meals more often. Some need to snack constantly, some not at all. Find your balance and what you and your body feel at your best doing.

Aim to eat mindfully

Take a little time out of your day to mindfully eat your meals away from your desk or laptop.  Increase your awareness of how you are fuelling your body and enjoy every mouthful. Treat food as a sensory experience, appreciating the smell, texture, taste and flavour as you eat. This will help you feel more satisfied, prevent overeating and aid digestion.

Aim for a balanced plate

When you look down at your plate of food, make sure it is well balanced. Always aim to include a big portion of vegetables, a form of protein and complex carbohydrates. Don’t be scared of fats: by adding the right type of fats such as those  found in coconuts, nuts and seeds, you will allow your mind and body to work at their optimum. 

Always drink lots and lots of water

Try infusing your water with mint, lemon or colourful variety of fruit. Drinking plain hot water throughout the day can gently aid digestion plus you can also add some fresh ginger for a more warming digestive aid.

Always eat breakfast

Try to eat within thirty minutes of waking up to keep your blood sugar levels constant and regular. It is also important for breakfast to be as balanced a plate of food as lunch and dinner. 

Choose nutrient dense snacks

Whilst snacking is meant to keep you going between meals by ensuring blood sugar remains constant and energy is sustained, don’t try and achieve this with empty calories. Your snacks should be as nutritious and as balanced as your main meals. An ideal snack should be between 100-200 calories, and it should be nutritionally balanced to include a complex carbohydrate, protein, and a little bit of healthy fat.  You can check out the full range of our nutritionally dense snacks here! 

Remember to listen to your body

Are you hungry? Then eat. Are you satisfied? Then stop eating and save the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. This is easier said than done of course: we all overindulge sometimes. Learn from these moments to give your body what it needs. Don’t starve yourself when you are hungry as a weight loss tool, this will not work. Feeding your body what it needs, when it needs it, will.

To help you with your September wellness goals, you can get your first EarlyBird snack box half-price for just £2.48 with code SEPTEMBER. Hurry though - this offer ends at the end of the month.  To get started click here.

 

The benefits of snacking between meals

Everyone loves to snack. But not many people know that the benefits of snacking reach far beyond just beating daily hunger pangs.   Check out the ways below that snacking can also help stabilize blood sugar levels, boost your nutrient intake and increase your metabolic rate: 

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Snacking helps your body get all the nutrients that it requires in a day. The more often you eat, the more opportunity to get essential vitamins and minerals which are important for helping you avoid getting ill.  Just make sure that you are choosing nutritious options.  For instance, if you know that you do not include enough fruits and vegetables in breakfast, lunch or dinner, then opt for a snack which provides one of your five a day, such as freeze dried vegetables or kale chips.

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Fruit balls are perfect for getting your five a day on the go.

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Eating every few hours helps keep your metabolism burning at a consistent level. If you skip meals, your body actually slows down your metabolism, so when you eat again, you are not burning those calories as efficiently as before.  

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Eating at regular intervals can help boost metabolism, just like exercise.

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Snacking between meals can help you avoid becoming famished and hitting starvation mode which increases the chances of you overeating at meal times or reaching for unhealthy options.

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Healthy snacking can help you make healthy meal choices.

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By snacking consistently throughout the day, you are keeping your blood sugar stable, which in turn prevents you from getting irritable and forgetful (hangry), two common signs of low blood sugar. 

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Take a guess: happy or hangry?

Remember: An ideal snack should be between 100-200 calories, and it should be nutritionally balanced to include a complex carbohydrate, protein, and a little bit of healthy fat.  Listen to your body and what it needs but snacking healthily 2-3 times a day between three balanced meals should help you avoid blood sugar crashes, boost your metabolism and keep you and your gut healthy and content.  

We want you to get the amazing benefits of healthy, smart snacking ASAP, so you can get your first EarlyBird snack box half-price for just £2.48 with code SNACKING. Hurry though - this offer ends at the end of the month.  To get started click here.

How to have a Grade A Brain

We’ve all heard of food that is good for the soul. But did you know that food is good for the mind too?

Have you ever felt a bit hazy or fuzzy when reading a piece of crucial study text, whether it’s a science journal, or novel, or part of your coursework? Do you ever find information swimming in your head or on the page? This experience is colloquially known as ‘brain fuzz,’ ‘mental fog’ or reporting the feeling that your ‘brain feels foggy’.

Our brains are energy hungry: they consume a quarter of our total energy at rest. Your brain has to deal with molecules making their way through the blood-brain-barrier, a special membrane that divides the general body bloodstream from that blood which makes it to the brain. With the blood comes a whole host of small molecules and even hormones. Imagine, then, how your brain feels when it isn’t sitting in its perfect environment.  Stressful situations like exams, deadlines or anxious friends are a lot for your already busy brain to cope with! 

The mechanisms underpinning this mental fog are not precisely known but we do know that diet can play a major role in reducing the problem. One issue with this is that we are “neurodiverse”, which means that our brains and nervous system have different needs and different sensitivities. No one is the same. Given time, an individual can tailor his or her diet and working patterns through a process of trial and intuition.

However, we decided, what with back to school fast approaching, that we would do some of the hard work for you. We hope this post helps you reach an awareness of your own body more quickly, by outlining the factors that might be preventing you from reaching the top of the class.

Here’s our integrative and practical guide to optimising your brain and environment quickly, so that you are your most focused and positive self and that you perform to your best for the big moments. It’s the best of science and practical advice brought together.

Brain hack 1) Feed your brain directly; Fat fat smarty pants

There’s been a conspiracy theory blocking your brain for years and finally it’s been debunked. Low fat diets are not smart diets. The way of thinking started in the US, when the government in the 60s & 70s took some rather shaky research and decided that animal fats, also known as saturated fats, are bad for us, causing heart disease and obesity. They changed the recommendations for health and promoted a low-fat diet for all. Then their heart disease and obesity numbers grew faster than ever.

Innovative researchers have now thrown this idea out of the window, with more detailed explorations of our need for fats. In doing this, they have also discovered that certain fats may in fact protect us from heart disease AND help us actually form memories. Pretty useful for studying.

How? Firstly, we now know that brains have receptors all over them sniffing out a type of fat molecule called LDLs (low density lipoproteins), and if you completely deprive a person of these molecules (as certain drugs have accidentally done) it causes a state of amnesia.; memory loss. We also know that fats are not equal in their effects – for example, MCTs (medium chain fatty acids) create the substance surrounding our brain cells, making the cells communicate faster.

With this in mind, here are the fats to consume, and those to avoid, when you want to beat the dreaded mental fog:

Good for the mind:

MCTs (medium chain fatty acids). Found in coconut. Coconut oil! Coconut flesh! You name it coconut has it.  

Omegas, especially omega 3 (which most western diets are deficient in).  This isn’t just found in fish though – nuts and seeds in particular chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds have a high Omega content too. 

Grass fed animal fats. At EarlyBird, all of our products are vegan, but that’s not to say a bit of butter or meat isn’t a good addition to your diet if you aren’t. Look out for grass-fed products as these have fats that also contain natural fat soluble vitamins.

Bad for the mind:

Artificially saturated fats: Our brains cannot feed from fats that have been artificially changed, such as the ones we find in margarines, sweet spreads and products labelled ‘low fat’. These types of fats may very well clog up our vessels and whatsmore, these products generally have a lot of artificial ingredients and sugars added in the process to make them low-fat.

Brain hack 2) Find your happy brain state, get rid of the stressors.

When we’re stressed, by even just the thought of an exam or that person next to us in the library with a frown planted on their forehead, a special gland on top of our kidneys releases a hormone called cortisol. This hormone is great at mobilising sugars into our bloodstream and keeping them there. It’s great at pumping our heart fast and hard and it makes us feel twitchy. It’s a really important stimulator, but too much of it can leave us plump, tired and craving sugars.

So what can we do about it? Regulate! Eat foods at set times of day to fuel your body. So for breakfast, think about energy in a slow release form. For example fats (of course!), soluble fibre, and micronutrients from seeds. Fats stay in our stomachs longer, requiring more time to digest, and directly triggering hormones that say you’re full.  If you eat at defined times, it will reduce the stress of digesting for the body, which will free it up for other tasks. Lunch should include a good source of protein because amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, stimulate a special group of cells in our hypothalamus (the regulatory part of our brains) and make us feel more awake. As a vegan, you can find protein in nuts and pulses.

Brain hack 3) Inflamed? Cut it out.

There is a strand of research which found that some of us are walking around in a state of low grade inflammation at all times. Loosely speaking, inflammation means a cascade of little proteins which are very reactive, are triggering others and creating ill-effects in the body: think of someone dancing in a full room: it’s infectious when one person starts, then the others get the bug and start to jive too. Inflammation is a little like this, one little protein triggers another then another. And, like any party, there are party starters and party poopers. The party poopers have an important part to play because without them the dancing goes on for too long; the furniture’s ruined, the carpets are worn down and the room (your body) suffers. Your body needs some down time . 

The question of why we are inflamed in the first place, is a complex one with roots in our modern lives and eating. Since what we want to provide you with here are some simple nutritional solutions to help with your studying, we suggest that creating an eating style that removes any potentially inflammatory foods – as if you’re getting to a clean baseline – is a very good place to start.

So, what are the inflammatory culprits? Well thankfully you won’t find any of them in Earlybird’s foods. Top of the list, yes you know it – gluten! It’s the scourge of our modern age according to many. Yet does anyone actually know why it’s so bad for us? Well, frankly, it isn’t a food demon, most of us can manage it in small amounts with no difficulty but some of us are far more sensitive to it, and even that might be because of other digestive difficulties.

Gluten is a natural component of certain grains which have been propagated for centuries. In the past, gluten made up a tiny proportion of these grains, until we engineered them to be massive and contain lots of that sticky substance.  Why? It makes food into the chewy and fluffy stuff of dreams: a nice chewy bagel is hard to beat, after all. However, our digestive abilities haven’t hanged at the same pace as our food engineering; simply put, we didn’t evolve to eat gluten in such large quantities.There is evidence that it can be a bit tough on our systems. Some researchers – like the neurologist Dr Perlmutter – go so far to advocate a completely grain-free diet. Gluten from grains, he claims, create inflammation that fuzzes our brains and ages us.

Dr Perlmutter identifies a second factor that causes us to get all inflamed: sugar. Remember what we said about the stress hormone cortisol earlier? It’s all linked. Cortisol out-competes insulin, and stops us from using glucose in the blood stream as we normally would. Therefore we might get shaky, nervous or even feel a little ‘sugar high’. None of these things are good for performance and focus.

A top tip, the, would be to try gluten free and refined sugar-free. Give the body a break and watch yourself feel lighter, let the party inside you cool down. Note – you require at least three weeks to feel any difference.  It might seem that all the good stuff is off limits. But don’t worry, Earlybird is here to keep the sweetness in your life and to help you avoid the spiking and crashing that can stress out your body and mind. All of EarlyBird’s sugars are natural, come with fibre and are derived from fruits – they give you energy but in a gentler, more balanced way.

Brain hack 4) Final flourish

One final, rather smelly, tip to help you reach study success. The part of our brain critical in driving our motivations is called the VTA (ventral tegmental area).. When placed in brain scanners, people who can activate their VTA perform better at tasks. The problem is that not many people know how to tap into it. It’s possible to buy equipment that provides feedback when that area is stimulated but there’s a much simpler (and cheaper) approach and one that has been used to switch on motivation for centuries: smell.

Smell is the most ancient and valued of our senses. The receptors for it reach right up and into our brains right through a special plate at the base of our skull. It can bring to mind extremely powerful memories, almost instantaneously.

But how can you use it to focus and study better? Find a smell that is very particular, for example, a cinnamon stick. Then take that scent and only smell it when you are really really focused. Perhaps you play a sport and you feel really motivated just after scoring: smell the cinnamon stick. Perhaps there’s something you can think about, like a trip you’ll take after exams, think about it in a really focused way, then smell the cinnamon stick. What you’re doing is building a repertoire of smell linked to focus and motivation. That way, when comes to exam day, you can smell that cinnamon stick and take yourself immediately to a place of focus.

Let us know if any of these strategies work for you – tweet us at @earlybirdsnacks or email support@earlybirdsnacks.com – we would love to hear!

The best healthy, vegan chocolate recipes

Today is National Milk Chocolate Day. A whole day dedicated to just one type of chocolate. Today is our kind of day.

To celebrate #NationalMilkChocolateDay the vegan way, we have rounded up the best vegan chocolate recipes. As well as containing no animal products, they are also all free from refined sugars and anything unnatural – just like our snacks.  Let us know if you have any other great recipes for dairy free and healthy chocolate up your sleeve! Have a happy #NationalMYLKChocolateDay!

Dairy free chocolate truffles by the glorious @minimalistbaker.

Nutty, decadent and delicious. Free from refined sugar and animal products. Recipe here

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Raw vegan chocolate from @nutritionstripped

Six raw chocolate recipes for the price of one. Now that is decadent. Choose your favourite here

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Pure chocolate from @deliciouslyella

Simple and effective. You are just three ingredients away from making pure vegan chocolate. Recipe here

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Raw Cacao Ice-cream from @donnayhay

Few ingredients, much pleasure. Recipe here

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Superfood vegan chocolate by @talesofakitchen

Carob, hemp, cacao in the same sentence as chocolate. Recipe here

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Rose & pistachio dairy-free chocolate bar from @honestlyhealthy

As posh as it gets. Recipe here

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Vegan chocolate sauce by @naturallymeghan

No more words needed. Recipe here

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Raw-vegan-chocolate-peanut-butter-cheesecake from @createnplate

What a mouthful. Recipe here

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Vegan chocolate and raspberry tart from @ascensionkitchen

Not just a pretty face. Recipe here

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Raspberry Ripple Chocolate from @theeasyhealthyway

Swap the butter for coconut oil for vegan dairy free goodness. Recipe here

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Check out EarlyBird’s range of healthy, vegan chocolate here. Use CHOCOLATE to get your first snack box half price today!

 

Does your breakfast need an upgrade?

While breakfast has long been considered the most important meal of the day, it has only been in the last few years that breakfast has taken off with a culinary force and following all of its own. Hundreds of social media accounts are dedicated to it (@whatiateforbreakfast, @breakfastlondon and @symmetrybreakfast to name a few) and new healthy breakfast ideas appear everyday (search #breakfastsalads, #yolkporn and #smoothiebowl for inspiration).

While you may think your healthy breakfast is giving you everything you need, it can actually be really hard to get all the nutrients you need from every meal.  The recipes below take your normal healthy breakfast ideas and give them a nutritional boost to make sure you are getting the most from your food.

Berry and banana smoothie bowl upgraded by Flat Pack Brownie and VITL’s vitality supergreens supplement

The #smoothiebowl trend shows no signs of waning and why should it? They are a delicious and easy way to start your day.  Using banana as a base for smoothies not only gives them a dairy free creamy texture but the high healthy carbohydrate and potassium content also gives you the morning energy boost you need.

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Support the goodness of this breakfast option by sprinkling our Flat Pack Brownie snack on top. The healthy fats found in the chocolate buttons made from coconut oil and coconut milk are different from other fats as the energy within them is readily available rather than stored and converted later into sugar.  This means your body can use the fats found in coconut straightaway giving you an instant but sustainable energy boost. VITL’s “Supergreens” supplement from your daily pack is full of extracts from the world’s healthiest foods from spirulina to acai. This will ensure you are getting all the goodness provided by this range of superfoods, alongside the nutrients from the fresh fruit in your smoothie bowl.

To upgrade your smoothie bowl:

  1. Blend one banana with a handful of frozen berries and a splash of almond milk.
  2. Sprinkle your Flat Pack Brownie snack pod on top in the prettiest pattern you have time for in the morning!
  3. Enjoy alongside VITL’s VITALITY SUPERGREENS supplement.

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Fresh fruit salad upgraded by ABC nuts, Pineapple Chia Pud and VITL’s immunity multivitamin

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A fruit salad is a great way to feel healthy and bright in the morning. It is common knowledge that fruits such as oranges work wonders for strengthening your immune system but nuts are also a great way to support the immune system too, and each type of nut gives a different range of benefits.

This is why we have chosen the specific mix found in our ABC nuts snack: magnesium from the almonds, selenium from Brazils and vitamin E, K and B6 from the cashews. Adding nuts to your fruit salad in the morning can help support your immune system even more. VITL’s immunity multivitamin also offers a comprehensive range of essential vitamins and minerals designed especially to support your immune system and general health.

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To upgrade your morning fruit salad:

  1. Add 50ml of almond milk to your Pineapple Chia Pud pod and allow to soak for up to 10 minutes.
  2. Chop up a range of fresh fruit – oranges, strawberries, pineapple and papaya are particularly good for strengthening the immune system.
  3. Once the chia pud has soaked up all the liquid, add your fresh fruit and your ABC nuts pod on top.
  4. Drizzle a tablespoon of almond butter over the pud, fruit and nuts.
  5. Enjoy alongside VITL’s IMMUNITY MULTIVITAMIN supplement to seriously boost your breakfast.

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Tag us in your creations and show us how you are upgrading your breakfast too! Try these breakfast ideas yourself and get your first EarlyBird box half price for £2.48 with code TRY-EARLYBIRD.

Looking for a summer internship?

We’re looking for an intern to join our PR & Marketing team!

Role: PR and Marketing Intern
Duration: 3 months
Application closes: 10th June
Start date: 19th June (flexible)
Location: London Bridge
Salary: Travel and other reasonable expenses

We are offering an exciting opportunity for a PR and Marketing intern to join our team for the summer (three months) to assist the marketing team whilst gaining experience in a fast paced start up. You will be given the freedom and responsibility to use your own initiative to lead projects, as well as working under the guidance of the CEO and Marketing team to develop your understanding of consumer focused marketing and PR.

Responsibilities will include but are not limited to:

  • Working on photo and video shoots
  • Planning and executing promotional events
  • Assisting on projects such as our customer loyalty scheme – monitoring, developing and analysing results.
  • Expanding the PR database – searching for and reaching out to bloggers and press contacts
  • Putting together and sending out PR samples
  • Generation of both written and visual online content
  • Assisting with social media and customer communications

Skills required:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Confident content writer
  • Knowledgeable and confident using a range of social media channels
  • Experience and an eye for photography would be beneficial

Person Specification:

We hire on attitude as well as ability. In the successful candidate we are looking for a:

  • Team player who is happy to work with and support all members of the team
  • Hardworking & positive individual who can get stuck in to a range of tasks
  • Student with the ability to manage numerous projects at a time and work well under pressure
  • Individual with a passion for PR and marketing

 

If you think you might be suitable for this position please send your CV and cover letter to anna@earlybird.fm by 10th June. We will contact all applicants in writing.