Posts Tagged ‘healthy snacks’

Back-to-School with CLIFKid

PicsArt_1407891797720

Last year I shared my love for CLIF Kid snacks with you (to read post: Click Here). My family and I have been a big fan of their Zbars for a while now. Well, with back-to-school around the corner, I could not pass up the chance to share their latest product with you…CLIF Kid Zbar Protein! These nutritious snack bars are made with organic whole grains and contain 5 grams of protein. They are also a great source of calcium, fiber, iron, zinc and vitamin D. They do not contain any high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, preservatives or artificial flavors. They are also low in calories, fat and sugar. They are a great alternative to conventional granola bars, snacks and sweets that are filled with sugar and unhealthy ingredients.

PicsArt_1408391836396

Zbar Protein is available in 3 flavors: Chocolate chip, Chocolate Mint (my daughter’s favorite!) and Peanut Butter Chocolate (my favorite!).  All three are super yummy…your kids won’t even know they’re actually good for them. A box of 5 sells for approximately $4.99…just around 99 cents per bar!

Zbar makes a great addition to your child’s lunch. It can also be used as an after-school snack, fuel for after-school activities, or a post-practice recovery snack. It is essential that growing, active children get their daily intake of nutrients in order to perform and flourish. I don’t know about you, but this is the type of snack bar I am happy to pack in my little girl’s lunchbox…

So, in honor of Back-to-School, I would like to offer one lucky reader the opportunity to be a “lunchbox hero.”  Be the first to leave a comment below sharing your most creative healthy lunchbox snack and you will win a half dozen variety of the new CLIF Kid Zbar Protein snack bars…simple as that!

For more info on CLIF Kid visit the Website or follow them on Facebook, and Pinterest.

 

 

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:

PicsArt_1394148151068

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

or

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube

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.

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.

pumpkins

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.

Back-to-School Green Giveaways!

For most of us, back-to-school season is in full swing. However, it is never too late, nor too early, to pack a healthy and eco-friendly lunch for our kids.  I have three great ways and products for you that will help make that an easy task. Even better, I am hosting TWO giveaways so you can get started on packing your child healthier, green lunches…for free!

Up first…let’s discuss those darn lunchboxes!

If your lunch box from last year is still in good condition…use it! It’s all about reducing, reusing and recycling…upcycling too! However, if you need to shop for a brand new lunch box…I have a great alternative to those plastic boxes or brown paper bags. Introducing the New Wave Enviro Litter-Free Lunch Bag Kit!

PicsArt_1378416196824The unique, colorful designs will definitely set your child’s lunch apart from the rest.  My daughter loves hers. I love it because it makes packing lunch such an easy task. The litter-free lunch kit comes complete with a BPA free water bottle (avoid waste from juice boxes and plastic water bottles) and four “green” reusable containers (made to fit sandwiches and other snacks perfectly). No need for wasteful plastic baggies or tinfoil or other unnecessary trash!  The lunch bag itself is insulated and lead-free. The whole set is so easy to clean and maintain. You can find them online and at Whole Foods Market for an average price of $25. Considering you’ll be using it for years to come, you will be saving lots of money…and the Earth!

Now how about what goes into that lunch box?

PicsArt_1378415603027Well, a few months back I posted about a healthy, organic snack bar for children by CLIF Kid.  (To read the original post: Click Here)  CLIF Kid Zbars are nutritious, perfectly proportioned, vegan (except honey variety) bars containing about 8-10 grams of whole grains, 12 vitamins and minerals, 120 calories, 3 grams of fat, 11 grams of sugar and 3 grams of fiber per bar. They are also made with 95% Certified USDA Organic ingredients and do not contain any high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, trans fats, preservatives, artificial flavors or colors. They are the perfect snack alternative to traditional granola bars and even special treats for young active kids. You can find them for as little as $1.69 per bar at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market. Zbars are soft and chewy and come in a variety of flavors like Iced Oatmeal Cookie, Honey Graham, Chocolate Brownie, Smore’s, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip.

Right now I am offering one lucky reader the opportunity to win a 6 count variety pack of CLIF Kid Zbars! Winner must live in the USA, provide a valid email (that you check often), and be at least 18 years of age. Raffle ends on Friday September 27, 2013 at 11:59 pm.

To enter Raffle click link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Final “Green” Touch…

To complete your healthy and eco-friendly lunch, a reusable napkin is the perfect final touch. A few months back I wrote a review and hosted a giveaway for Funkins. (To read original post: Click Here). PicsArt_1378480549703Funkins come in a variety of colorful designs for all ages. Put one in your child’s lunch and it can be used as a place mat and then a napkin too!  You can avoid creating unnecessary waste from paper towel and napkins. Just wash your Funkins and reuse over and over again.  Place it in your Litter-free Lunch bag and you have a truly waste-free lunch, saving money and the planet.

Right now I am offering one lucky reader the opportunity to receive a set of THREE colorful reusable napkins/place mats from Funkins!  Winner must live in the USA, provide a valid email (that you check often), and be at least 18 years of age. Raffle ends on Friday September 27, 2013 at 11:59 pm.

To enter raffle click the link below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

July Mom Discovery Box

PicsArt_1374703539313Once again, my monthly Ecocentric Mom Box subscription did not disappoint.  Every month I am discovering new products which fit perfectly into my family’s green and organic lifestyle. It really is encouraging to see that more and more companies are catering to those of us who would like the same convenience of on-the-go snacks, great beauty and skin care products, and items for the home…without all those dangerous and toxic chemicals and ingredients!

Check out what I received in my July Mom Discovery Box…

Vance Family Soy Travel Candle ~ I eliminated the use of traditional candles in my home a few years ago. I appreciate that these are travel candles, as I travel quite often. More importantly, I love that these are sustainable, GMO-free, made with only pure essential oils and organic plant-derived flavors, and contain low-smoke cotton wicks. One candle sells for $5 and lasts a long time!

Greene Street Soap ~ These soap bars are made with food grade, organic oils, along with butters derived from nuts such as Cocoa and Shea. They are lightly and naturally scented with essential or fragrance oils. They are vegan-friendly and come in eco-friendly packaging. I received a trial size which sells for $3. A full 1 oz size sells for $14.95. I also received a 10% off online discount.

Wellinhand POWER PRISM Deodorant ~ What a great find! Finding a natural deodorant that truly is free of chemicals and synthetic ingredients, and that actually works, is difficult. I am loving this easy to use spray-on deodorant. It really works! Not only can you use it under your arms, but on your feet and in your shoes. It is made with only natural mineral salts. The 2 oz bottle I received goes for $5.99. I also received a 10% off online discount.

Lotus Moon Hibiscus Flower Hydrating Lotion ~ Another great find! This moisturizer is very light and absorbs into your skin quickly. You can definitely feel a difference. It contains aloe vera and coconut oil which helped my skin feel soft and smooth immediately. The Hibiscus Flower is a natural source of the antioxidant Vitamin C which makes it great for all skin types. The 1.7 oz bottle I received sells for $27.95. I also received a 20% off online discount.

Crunchy Mamas Lip Balm ~ Yet another great healthy and safe alternative to traditional beauty products. This is a great lip balm that is natural, organic and free of chemicals, GMOs, preservatives and dyes. The cute label made this a favorite for my 6 year old daughter. 😉 One lip balm sells for $3. I also received a 10% online discount.

Willow Tree Minerals Organic Cranberry & Cucumber Eye Gel ~ I have yet to use this since I’m still trying out the eye gel I received in last month’s Ecocentric Mom box. Willow Tree Minerals carries only 100% natural products. The eye gel contains cranberry, cucumber, resveratrol, chamomile, vanilla, and aloe. It promises to reduce puffiness and calm tired eyes. I received a trial size which sells for $3. A full 1 oz size is very affordable at $14.95. I also received a 20% off online discount.

Peepods Panty Liner ~ Many people do not even realize that there are actually ways to be eco-friendly even during that time of the month. Peepods offer washable pads for periods, postpartum and mild incontinence. I received one eco-friendly panty liner with a pretty design. They sell for $10 and are very durable.  I also received a 10% off online discount.

Honibe Honey Lozenges and Honibe Honey Delights Candy ~ We have yet to try the lozenges but the honey candy was a big hit with my daughter. The lozenges are the first ever to be made from 100% pure dried honey, containing its natural properties. I usually only treat my family’s coughs or sore throats with honey, so these will definitely come in handy this cold and flu season.  The candies are also made with 100% pure dried honey and are so yummy. They are a great alternative to typical candies made from refined sugars. The 10 pack of lozenges I received sell for $4.99.  The bag of 20 candies sells for $5.99. I also received a 20% online discount.

Organic Flavrz Drink Mixes ~ Sometimes plain water just does not cut it, but I’m not a big juice or soda drinker. These drink mixes are great for those special thirsty moments. I received 3 different pouches, each made with organic ingredients to serve a specific purpose….Boost, Energize and Revive.  Just mix to taste in your water. They taste great.  A pack of 8 sells for $8.99. I also received a 10% off discount code.

Eat Green Tea ~  I have not tried this yet, but this is a great way to truly get all of the benefits of Green Tea. I received 3 packs of the Eat Green Tea, which is made from some of the purest green tea whole leaves from organic farms all over the world. Each individual pack sells for $1. I also received a 30% off discount code.

Cascadian Farm Oats & Honey Crunchy Granola Bars ~ This was a tasty snack. The crunchy bars are very satisfying and made with up to 9 wholesome ingredients, including organic oats.  An added bonus is that Cascadian Farms in now enrolled in the non-gmo project. A box of 5 granola bars sells for about $3.30.

LARABAR ALT Protein Bar ~ Another yummy snack. The Alternative Protein Bar is Larabar’s first bar with added protein….and the protein comes from peas! The bar is also vegan, gluten and dairy free, and non-gmo. One bar sells for about $1.69.

Right now when you “like” Ecocentric Mom on Facebook you will receive a $4 off coupon for one of their monthly boxes. Check it out! http://woobox.com/o3puh4