Posts Tagged ‘Organic food’

Back-to-School with CLIFKid

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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.

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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.

 

 

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March and April Goodies for Mom


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I’ve been enjoying some great new products the past couple of weeks, thanks to my Ecocentric Mom Discovery Box. Every other month I anticipate what new and useful products I’m going to find. With Mother’s Day coming up next month, you should really consider gifting yourself or a special mom in your life a subscription to Ecocentric Mom. Just look at all the amazing things I received in my March/April Box…

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2 Degrees Food Bar ~It was a nice treat to find this healthy food bar in my Ecocentric Mom Box. I actually tried one for the first time just a few weeks ago and liked it very much. It’s not just tasty, but also vegan, non-GMO, gluten free and Kosher. The bars are made with Heritage Grains like quinoa, chia and millet. What I like most about 2 Degrees Food is that they donate a meal to a child in need for every bar sold. I received one bar in the Cherry Almond flavor which sells for $1.99.

BrewLeaf Organic Tea ~ I love trying new teas. I received a sample pack of caffeine-free Roman Provence Rooibos Tea by BrewLeaf. The tea leaves smelled fresh and the tea tasted fruity and yummy.  A regular 2 ounce bag can brew up to 25 cups and sells for $6.99 – $8.99. I also received a 20% online discount.

BluApple ~ Another great surprise! I’ve been meaning to purchase something to help my produce last a little longer in the fridge for a while now. BluApple is a safe and effective way to do just that. The apple-shaped blue gadget absorbs the ethylene gas that fruits and veggies emit, allowing them to last up to three times longer. I’m still testing the product out, but after a week my tomatoes still look good! A pack of 2 Bluapples sells for $9.99. I received one BluApple Sample Kit.

Oatmeal Grapefruit Face Wash Powder by Homespun Northwest ~ Talk about literally feeding your skin…this powder is made of ground organic oats, Kaolin clay and grapefruit essential oil. Just a pinch of it mixed in with a little water creates a face wash that is perfect for any skin type. Homespun Northwest also make a variety of natural and vegan, home, baby and other beauty products. I received a travel size of face wash powder which sells for $3.50. A regular 4 ounce size sells for $7 and there is a certified gluten-free version that sells for $8. I also got a 10% online discount code.

House Blend Organics Coconut Body Wash ~ Right now we have everything from coconut oil to coconut cereal in our home. A coconut body wash was very welcomed…and I am loving the House Blend Organics version. It has a nice, light coconut smell and rich lather that leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth. Best of all, its ingredient list simply consists of organic coconut, olive and jojoba oils, along with organic aloe vera and rosemary extract. This makes it a great choice for those suffering from dry skin and/or eczema and other skin issues. A regular 8 oz bottle sells for $14.95. I received a travel size bottle and a 15% online discount code.

MarieNatie All-Natural Lip Gloss ~ This came at the perfect time. I recently lost my favorite lip gloss and this Cotton Candy shade from MarieNatie matches almost perfectly. Best of all, it is free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances and dyes, phthalates and petro-chemicals. I’m going to have to check out the rest of the cosmetic line too. A full size lip gloss sells for $18. I received a travel size gloss, which sells for $5, and a 20% discount code.

Treefort Naturals Comfrey Salve ~ This all-purpose salve is sure to come in handy now that the warm weather is setting in and those pesky mosquitos and bug bites are coming back. The Comfrey Salve is handmade with natural and organic ingredients, containing only organic olive oil infused with comfrey and calendula, beeswax, and lavender essential oil. A full size tin sells for $8. I received a travel size tin and a 20% online discount.

Bach Original Flower Remedies ~ This line of natural remedies is a system of 38 plant and flower based essences developed by Dr. Bach. By placing a few drops in your water, you can help manage the emotional demands of everyday life. I received a bottle of Elm which “restores your normal strength and optimism when you are temporarily overwhelmed or burdened by responsibility.” This couldn’t have come at a better time! I’ve been extremely busy lately and counting down to my few days of break for the Easter holiday. Call it coincidence, but after a hectic week and placing a few drops in my water bottle each day, I did not feel as stressed and had a very productive and positive week. J I received a regular size bottle of essence, which sells for $19.98, and a $4 online coupon.

Powernap 2-CD Set ~ Someone is definitely trying to tell me to relax! 😉 I am definitely not much of a napper, but this CD set may convert me. In the first disc, you can choose from 3 long “naps” or two 5 minute programs. Each “nap” ends with chimes and a gentle voice to wake you. The second CD contains 19 songs with guitar and piano melodies that can help you sleep, relax, meditate, or even just get your creativity flowing. I actually plan to incorporate these CDS into the yoga classes I currently teach. The CD set sells for only $9.99.

Eco-Friendly Organic Acai Seed Bead Hair Barrette by Terri Jean’s Adornments ~ My daughter snagged this one from me! The hair barrette is very unique and I love knowing that it was designed with animals, nature and the environment in mind. It’s nice to see the growing trend in jewelry and accessories made with fruit seeds and other eco-friendly materials. One small barrette like this one sells for $5 on Etsy. I also received a 15% discount code.

Sport Suds Laundry Detergent ~ This detergent is formulated to completely get out odor-causing bacteria, oils and dirt from fabrics and leave them free of any residue. Best of all, it is biodegradable, made with natural ingredients and is non-toxic. I have yet to give this laundry detergent a try, but plan to use it this week on the hubby’s gym clothes. I received 2 sample packets and a 20% disount code. Prices for regular size jars, pouches and tubs range from $20.95-$59.95.

Along with discovering so many new and great products, I also received a $10 gift card for ESSIO, the world’s first aromatherapy diffuser for the shower.  Of course, my Ecocentric Mom box would not be complete without the March/April Expert Tips card. It included: Tips for a Safe and Non-Toxic Vacation by Kathy Scoleri and A Healthy and Tasty Lunch Recipe by Alysa Bajenaru.

This Mother’s Day, I highly recommend you give Ecocentric Mom a try. You end up getting so much more than you paid for…and who doesn’t love getting a surprise package in the mail? 😉

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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Green Your Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. While this special day is meant to celebrate the greatest gift of all, LOVE, it can be very easy to neglect our love for the planet. Greeting cards and plastic heart-shaped decorations end up in our landfills all too easily. Whether you are decorating, thinking of gift ideas or planning a romantic dinner, there are several ways you can help avoid unnecessary waste. After all, green is the new red. By following any or all of the following green tips, you will make it a healthy and happy Valentine’s Day for your sweetheart and the environment.

  • Look for Eco-friendly and Green decorations and gifts. Avoid plastics and other materials that contain toxic chemicals. Instead of stuffed animals why not make or bake a special gift. Homemade DIY crafts and baked goods make the the best, most meaningful decorations and gifts! If you’re looking for special jewelry, beautiful pieces made from organic, eco-friendly materials, such as tagua nuts, are the latest trend.  If shopping for clothing, look for natural and or organic materials, preferably made in the U.S.A.
  • Send some Fair Trade, Organic flowers and/or Chocolate. By supporting sustainable farming practices you are helping to protect workers’ rights, the planet, and avoiding chemicals that are toxic to your health. A house plant is a great alternative to flowers and will help keep the air in your home clean.
  • Skip the greeting card. You can send an E-card for free or write a special message on a photograph or gift. Save money and a tree!
  • Plan a romantic and healthy dinner. Serving up an organic, candlelight dinner should impress your honey, but if you’re not much of a cook, you can always do a little research for a restaurant or catering company that uses organic or local, fresh ingredients. Don’t forget the organic wine too!
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. As always, save money by shopping at second hand stores or yard sales; keep things simple, but tasteful; donate or recycle items you can no longer use; properly store items you can use the following year.

To read my article “10 Tips for a Green Valentine’s Day” on the GreenDeals Go Green Blog: Click Here 

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Happy Green Valentine’s Day!

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.

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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.