Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Summer Surprises from Ecocentric Mom

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My May/June Ecocentric Mom boxes arrived this week and, once again, they are packed with stuff I have already started putting to good use.  This time around, I received both the “Mom” Discovery box and the “Mom-to-Be” box. While I’m not expecting (yet!), as a Doula I like to know and share the latest safe and eco-friendly products available for mama and baby. This month I discovered some great new stuff. Check it out…

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May/June Ecocentric “Mom” Box

~Playmaker Nutrition All Natural Gummy Vitamins – So far, this might be the best surprise I’ve ever gotten through my Ecocentric Mom boxes….TWO full-size bottles of Playmaker Nutrition! I received the multi-vitamin, as well as the Calcium Vitamin D. These typically sell for $13.99 per bottle! Talk about this subscription box paying for itself! Best part is…my daughter loves them. I love them because they give my active 7 year old extra nutrients she might need without any added junk most vitamins contain…and they are made in the USA. I also received a 20% discount code.

~Licious Organics Raw Honey Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie – what a great treat. These unbaked cookies come from an old family recipe and are made with only the finest ingredients. They are gluten, soy and wheat free and made with organic chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, peanut butter…and Utah Pink Salt. You would swear they were baked. Each cookie costs $1.20. I also received a 10% discount code.

~All Natural Chocolate Caramel Swirl by The Lovely Candy Co. – sweet treats! Love that these are made with all natural ingredients and contain no GMOs, no gluten or soy, and no high-fructose corn syrup. My daughter and I truly enjoyed the soft, buttery chocolate caramel. I received 6 caramels. A full 6oz bag sells for $3.99-$4.99.

~Boiron Arnicare Gel -another favorite. I am a big fan of Boiron products and recently purchased the Arnicare Gel. It works great for when my daughter gets those inevitable bumps and bruises from playing in the school yard. Arnica montana is a homeopathic remedy that helps with muscle pain, stiffness, swelling and bruising. The gel is unscented, non-greasy, absorbs quickly and is paraben-free. I received the travel-size which sells for $1.99 and will be taking with me on my Summer travels. A full size sells for $10.99.

~The Sili Squeeze with Eeeze – what a great invention. This reusable squeeze pouch is ideal for toddlers and school-aged children. It is made of 100% toxin-free materials and has a free-flowing spout, making it safe and easy for them to use. You can fill it with smoothies, yogurt, applesauce and the like. Perfect for school lunches. I received one Sili Squeeze which sells for $14.99, along with a 10% discount code.

~ORGLAMIX All-Natural “Hot Mama” Eye Shadow – I love getting make-up samples and learning that there is a big variety out there that is safer than conventional brands. Orglamix is free of parabens, sulfates, synthethic fragrances and dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMOs and Triclosan. The eye shadow I received is the perfect natural shade I typically use. It sells for $9. I also received a 20% discount code.

~Antioxidant Rich Organic Nightly Repair Nectar by La Mav – I received a sample of this serum and used a little the same night. I have to say, I noticed a little boost in my tone and firmness almost immediately. It contains omega 3 and 6 in Acai Pulp Oil and Lingonberry Oil and is formulated to fight signs of aging and protect skin. I’m hoping this “natural botox” really does help smooth fine lines and wrinkles with continued use. The full size sells for $49.95. I also received a 10% discount code.

~Monarch Farm Rose Complete Rejuvenating Face Cream – Another great skincare product! I used this face cream just this morning and my face felt very moisturized and soft. It absorbs quickly and smells like a beautiful bouquet of fresh roses. It is made with Rose petal infused Rosehip Seed Oil, Rose Absolute & Rose Hydrosol, all formulated to regenerate the skin and fight the advancement of skin aging. I received the  travel size which sells for $5. There is also a 1.75 oz for $15 and a 4 oz for $25. I also received a 15% discount code.

~Rise & Shine Organic Coffee Body Scrub by Simply Rustic – I love coffee, but coffee on the skin? YES! This scrub will truly awaken your skin. It is 100% natural, loaded with antioxidants, and has so many benefits. The caffeine can help reduce inflammation from fluid build up, promote circulation and even breakdown fat cells! I received a $3 value travel size. A full 8 oz size sells for $12. I also received a 20% discount code.

~LrCrem Naturals “LeRevital Riche Body Souffle” – I love this stuff! It feels so light and fluffy on your skin and has such a pleasant, light, cherry scent. It leaves your skin feeling revived, moisturized and soft. Best of all, it is all natural…made with neem, rosemary, jojoba, avocado and essential oils. There are no extra additives, petroleum or parabens. I received a travel size which sells for $3. The full size (8oz) sells fo $24. I also received a 10% discount code.

~Wild Orange Natural Organic Solid Deodorant by Natures Natural – Finding the right natural and/or organic deodorant can be a challenge. Well, thanks to Ecocentric Mom, this is the 2nd deodorant I learn about that truly works for me! It has a great citrus scent and is 100% organic. I wore it all day today and it did the job! I received a travel size which values at $1.95. The full size sells for $5.95.

~Along with all these goodies, I also received a $15 gift card for KISS ME ORGANICS.

~Last, but not least….the topics for the Ecocentric Mom May/June Expert Tips Postcard were: “Eco-Friendly Picnics” and “A fun family workout that you can do with kids of any age.”

As if all that wasn’t enough, I also received the “Mom-to-Be” box,which included several of the same items, but some great new finds too…

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May/June Ecocentric “Mom-to-Be” Box

~Sunshine Organic Herbals Healing Herbal Sitz Bath – this will make a great recommendation for my doula clients. This blend of healing herbs will help reduce postpartum inflammation, aches and pains and help speed up the healing process. I received a 1 oz bag that sells for $4. There is a 1/2 lb bag available for $16 or a full pound for $30. I also received a 10% discount code.

~Ancestry Shampoo Bar by SoapMuffin Organic and Holistic Products – I have yet to use this but love it already. It is made with raw coconut milk, fresh herbs and….the secret ingredient…clay. This shampoo bar claims to be rich in lather, leave your hair soft and manageable, and rinse out with no residue. If for some reason it does not live up to its claims, I’ll make sure to update my post! 😉 I received a travel size sample. A full bar sells for $5.

~Novena Organic Anti-Aging Mineral Sun Block SPF 30 – A few months back I received a sample of Novena’s Eye Gel in my Ecocentric Mom Box and fell in love with it. I know I will definitely be putting this sunscreen to use this Summer too. It is made using high quality ingredients that are safer and more effective than conventional brands. I received a full size which sells for $26.99.

~Knocked Up Nails – Exclusive 50% Ecocentric Mom Discount Offer to shop online for this pregnancy-safe nail polish line that has been featured on E! TV, Baby Talk Magazine, American Baby Magazine, etc.

The following items were featured in the “Mom” box as well:

~Licious Organics Raw Honey Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie

~All Natural Chocolate Caramel Swirl by The Lovely Candy Co.

~ORGLAMIX All-Natural “Hot Mama” Eye Shadow

~Antioxidant Rich Organic Nightly Repair Nectar by La Mav 

~Monarch Farm Rose Complete Rejuvenating Face Cream

~LrCrem Naturals “LeRevital Riche Body Souffle”

~Wild Orange Natural Organic Solid Deodorant by Natures Natural

~Expert Tips Card

As usual, I was introduced to several products that I will most likely use again. Just about every single one I would recommend to clients, friends and family. If you’re interested in a subscription box service or know someone who would love to receive goodies every-other-month, I highly recommend Ecocentric Mom.  They never disappoint.

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Have a Green Easter

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Easter is around the corner and you may want to consider some safer, healthier alternatives for your kids. While conventional Easter egg kits seem convenient and easy, they are loaded with toxic chemicals that are harmful to your family. The following infographic from Door t0 Door Organics shows just how simple it is to create a variety of dye colors using simple and natural ingredients.  Think of it as an art and cooking lesson all in one! For more ideas on how to make your Easter safe and fun, check out my article from last year Happy Eco-Friendly Easter. Enjoy your holiday!

Vegan Makes the Cut

I was recently invited to check out a new snack box subscription service…Vegan Cuts. As a former vegan, I was intrigued. Back when I was a vegan, it was rarely heard of and there were not many snack alternatives to conventional brands out on the market. I was curious to see what kinds of things have become available today for vegans. I have to say, I was very surprised to see that there’s a nice variety…enough to start a monthly subscription service! I was even more surprised at just how tasty the snacks were in my sample box. I just might be going vegan again soon. 😉

This is what I received in my Vegan Cuts February Snack Box:

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1. Earth Balance Kettle Chips – Cheddar.  The whole family loved these chips. They were my daughters favorite item in the box. Not only are they yummy, but they are made with non-GMO ingredients!

2. The Daily Crave Veggie Chips. There are a few veggie chips out on the market that claim to be all-natural, but actually contain one or two questionable ingredients. The Daily Crave is the real deal. You won’t find anything artificial in these veggie chips. They are 100% vegan, non-GMO, and tasty.

3. Nākd Berry Delight Bar by Natural Balance Foods. This healthy, moist and chewy bar is made with nutritious raw fruits and nuts…nothing else. Great for those on-the-go moments when you need to fuel up. Vegan-friendly, non-GMO, Kosher, gluten and dairy free, they are better and less messy than trail mix!

4. Two Degrees Foods – Cherry Almond Bar.  Another vegan snack bar made with simple ingredients that pack lots of nutrition. You can never give me too many snack bars. 😉 Gluten free, non-GMO and tastes great!

5. Naturade’s VeganSmart All-in-One Nutritional Shake. This was one of my favorite items in the box. I’ve seen this before at Whole Foods but hesitated to buy it. Now that I’ve been able to sample it, I’m definitely adding it to my grocery list. Protein powders can be very deceiving. You may think you’re getting nutrition, but you’re also getting a ton of chemicals, dyes, artificial sweeteners, sugars, and other junk. VeganSmart is loaded with vitamins, minerals and 20 grams of protein in a serving! It’s made with a protein blend of pea, hemp, chia, potato and chlorella. It also contains whole foods, fiber and a probiotic blend. The vanilla flavor made my protein shake taste very good.

6. Runa Clean Energy – Tea. I received two RUNA tea bags….Traditional Guayusa Tea and Cinnamon-Lemongrass Guayusa Tea (my favorite). The Guayusa leaf helps to promote focused energy by balancing caffeine with antioxidants. This super-leaf is found on trees in the Amazon Rainforest. The teas are Organic and Fair Trade Certified.

7. Hail Merry Macaroons – Strawberry. I’m a big fan of Hail Merry snacks. They are made with coconut oil and non-GMO ingredients. The macaroons are a nice, sweet treat and gluten-free too!

8. Equal Exchange Dark Chocolate. I’m always on the hunt for Organic and Fair Trade Certified dark chocolate. Normally not a fan of fruit or nuts in my chocolate, I actually enjoyed this chocolate bar. It’s made with raisins and almonds. The chocolate is perfect…not too bitter, not too sweet. Best of all, it supports farmers and sustainable practices.

9. Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates. More chocolate! I have had Sjaak’s chocolates before and enjoyed them very much. Very decadent. I ended up giving this heart-shaped cherry chocolate truffle to my daughter. 😉

As you can see, I got lots of great goodies. You can get snack boxes like this for less than $20 each month! It’s great to come home to a monthly surprise, all for yourself. Vegan Cuts also offers a Beauty Box. Shipping is free and you can cancel at anytime. Vegan Cuts also has an online store so you can shop for skincare, fashion and other products from vegan-friendly businesses. If you’ve been thinking about going vegan or just looking for new and healthier snack and beauty products, I highly recommend Vegan Cuts. 

For more info visit the Vegan Cuts Website

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Sun Cups in Your Stocking

PicsArt_1387413942344I was recently contacted by Sun Cups to sample their line of chocolate butter cups. Being a (peanut) butter cup, chocolate, and sunbutter fan, I was ecstatic to learn about this great alternative to traditional peanut butter cups. However, I was also a little bit hesitant. While I love the idea that those who are allergic to peanuts can indulge in the delight of a butter cup, I was honestly expecting the taste to be no comparison. Luckily, I was wrong…soooo wrong! Sun Cups are beyond delicious!

I was able to sample four varieties….Milk Chocolate Sunflower Butter Cups, Mint Cups, Caramel Cups, and my absolute favorite…Dark Chocolate Sunflower Butter Cups. Not only did these cups compete against the popular conventional brands, they surpassed them in flavor, in my opinion. I am quite honestly a huge fan now. The richness and taste of both the chocolate and the sunflower butter is just the perfect combination.

What makes Sun Cups even more unique is that they are both health and eco-consicous. The Sunflower butter, chocolate, and other ingredients used are organic and non-GMO. Sun Cups are free of soy, gluten, peanuts and tree nuts. Additionally, the cacao used to make them comes from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.

So if you’re looking for a safer, healthier sweet treat for your family, Sun Cups can be found at Wegmans and a few other stores or online. For more info or to order your Sun Cups, visit their WEBSITE or follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Trust me, one bite and you’ll be in love too! Perfect for the holidays.

Happy Non-GMO Thanksgiving!

I recently shared the following infographic from the Non-GMO Project on the GreenDeals Go Green Blog and felt I should share it here too. (Join me in helping spread the word!) It is a great guide to ensure we keep our family well fed, safe, and healthy this holiday season. Be careful of those hidden ingredients and remember to buy local, organic, and look for the non-gmo label. You can even find a shopping list template, cookbook and recipes from the Non-GMO Project: Click Here. Happy Thanksgiving!

October Mom Goodies

PicsArt_1383584866047I think this may be a record-breaking month. I received my Ecocentric Mom Subscription Box for October just last week and not even 3 days later, I tried ALL my goodies!  This wasn’t even a matter of wanting to sample them, but more that I NEEDED most of the items.  Check out my October Mom Goodies:

FiberLove Bars ~ When I opened my Mom Box, this is the first thing I grabbed. I was on my way to a Yoga class and starving.  The chocolate brownie FiberLove Bar saved me.  Not only is it high in fiber, non-GMO, kosher, and Vegan, but this is probably one of the first “brownie” bars that actually tastes like one! So yummy. I also received a cinnamon raisin flavored bar. One bar typically sells for $1.99.

Ruger Gluten Free/Wheat Free/GMO Free Wafers ~ After all the Halloween candy we ate, it was nice to indulge in a “healthy” treat. These wafers are made with Teff Flour, a Super Grain which was recently featured on Dr. Oz.  These are a great alternative to conventional candy, cookies, treats and other snacks. My daughter really liked them. I received one pack of chocolate wafers which sell for $1.29

Lilapops ~ This was a great surprise. At first glance I thought it was just a lolipop. Turns out they are natural cough drops too, made with honey and marshmallow root. This was perfect…my daughter was battling a cough as she got over a cold, but refused to take the natural cough drops I offered because of the taste.  I handed her one of these and she thought they were just a lolipop too. 🙂 I received 2 pops. A bag of 15 sells for $8.99.

RW Garcia Curry & Mango Dipping Chips ~ I had just made a guacamole salsa the day before so this was another case of perfect timing. This chip blend of spicy curry and sweet mango is so unique and tasty, you really could skip the dip. I finished the whole snack bag myself! 😉  Best of all they are natural, gluten-free and non-GMO. One snack size bag sells for $2.99.

Salba Chia Seeds ~ I threw a pack of these right into my smoothie today for lunch. It’s such an easy way to get Omega-3 (ALA), fiber and minerals. The Salba Chia seed is known for being very high quality. Non-Gmo too! One pack sells for $1. I received two.

Stur Natural Water Enhancer ~ Yet another easy way to get nutrients. This natural Stevia liquid adds flavor to, sometimes boring, water plus 7 essential vitamins. No calories! This is a great way to make sure we drink plenty of water. I received a bottle of the strawberry flavored enhancer. It is available in several flavors at $5 per bottle.

Miss Tea Certified Organic Loose Leaf Tea ~ I tend to drink a lot more tea during the Fall and Winter months. I was so excited to get an adorable small glass jar of Oolong tea, a traditional Chinese tea that is a little fruity and sweet. Miss Tea is known for it’s high quality loose leaf teas and herbal infusions. They are packed by hand and vacuum sealed in glass to keep the leaves and flowers as intact as possible, maintaining freshness and health benefits. Non-GMO. One jar sells for $12.

Aquatowel ~ I always carry wipes in my purse but had been out for a few days.  I received 5 individual packs of Aquatowel and through them right into my purse. The very next day, while at a “cooking” birthday party for kids, I was able to sample one. This is a very versatile towel. Unlike regular wipes, these wet towels are made of 97.4% water and are quite durable. I was able to wipe my daughter’s face, hands and then the table, all with one towel. I love that it doesn’t contain any of those harsh chemicals found in conventional wipes and that they come individually wrapped to ensure moisture and sanitation. A pack of 5 sells for $2.50.

Rockin’ Green Eco Friendly Laundry Detergent ~ Another life-saver. I was out of laundry detergent, so I decided to give this a try before going to the store. So glad I did. I love this stuff. I always look for green detergents that work well and are also safe for my family. It’s not an easy task. Rockin’ Green is definitely rockin’. It’s biodegradable, dye-free, phosphate free, SLS & Paraben free, gluten free, vegan, made in the USA and scented naturally! It’s also cost effective. All I needed to add was 2 tbs of the powder and it left my clothes clean and smelling fresh. No residue from the powder. Works with all machine types. I received 2 packets of the Classic Rock Motley Clean. (Love the rock theme!) A full size bag sells for $15.95.  I can say I’m now a groupie. 😉

Unboxed Art, “The Earth, the Alphabet and Me” Book ~ I was so surprised to find a book in my box. My daughter picked it right up and read it. She loved it. She even said to me, “Mom, this book has really good ways to be green.” Yes, my heart melted. 🙂 Unboxed Art also creates unique poetry, illustrations, jewelry, and other eco-friendly artwork at affordable prices. The book I received sells for $12.95.

Of course, along with all my goodies, I received coupons and online discount codes for just about every single item. I also got my Ecocentric Mom Monthly Expert Tips card. This month the topics were “A Green Halloween” and “October is Non GMO Month”.  This is a truly great subscription box service. So, if you’ve been thinking about signing up…what are you waiting for?  Just click here. 😉

Green Your Halloween

A dried flower arrangement in a painted watering can for decorationThe following are five easy ways to green up your Halloween. You will save money while protecting the environment!

1. Green Decorations. Instead of spending money on decorations made of plastic and other toxic materials that end up in our landfills, get crafty! Pinterest has some creative and simple ideas. If you must shop, look for eco-friendly alternatives.

2. Do-it-yourself Costumes. You don’t have to be a fashion designer to put together a great costume.  You can find some great things in your own closet to create a fun ensemble. If not, look in a friend or family member’s closet! You can also shop at a second hand store or swap last year’s costume with a friend.

3. Green Candy Bags. Instead of spending on a plastic bag or bucket your child will probably only use once, have them decorate their own eco-friendly tote or pillowcase to use every year.

IMG_20131025_1951194. Healthier Treats. If you opt to stick to traditional candy look for organic lollipops and Fair Trade chocolates. If you don’t mind starting a new tradition, hand out pencils, pens, erasers or stickers made of recycled materials.

5. Save! Make sure you pack up all your decorations and costumes and store them away for next year. Whatever you’re certain you won’t use make sure to donate or recycle.

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Happy Halloween!

To read my original article on the GreenDeals Go Green Blog: CLICK HERE

To instantly receive $5 in your account just for signing up for Green Deals: CLICK HERE and enter GREENFRIENDS5 at checkout.