Monday, December 12, 2011

Aunt Patty's Organic Coconut Oil

Aunt Patty's -- Organic Coconut Oil

Coconut's have so many amazing properties. Coconut trees have been revered in tropical regions and called the tree of life because they have so many different uses (see my post on coconut water). One of the uses I will cover today is the oil. Coconut oil should be cold pressed, virgin and organic if you are wanting to attain its health benefits. The unrefined version of this oil can be used for cooking, internally, and topically. I have personally used coconut oil for baking, sauteing, tropical, Thai or eastern dishes. I also use it internally for a boost of energy and to aid in weight loss. It can be melted into its liquid state and be rubbed onto your skin to alleviate dryness and will kill certain types of fungal infections on the skin. Aunt Patty's Organic Coconut Oil is the most economical of the brands I have found and is a local company. Dr, Bruce Fife has written several books on the uses of coconut oil and coconut products, I suggest going to the coconut research center to learn more. I give this product 5/5 stars.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Coconut Almond Kind Bars


Looking for a low glycemic, energy raising, appetite appeasing, taste satisfying, nutrition bar? I love coconut and I love almonds so when I seen the coconut almond bar by Kind, I was excited to try it. It had big shavings of coconut and toasted almonds, with a lightly sweetened finish. I was surprised that it didn't make me feel sick after eating it like most energy or nutrition bars do, as they are usually full of sugar or filler ingredients. The only thing I would change is the soy lecithin. I am not a big fan of un-fermented soy products for various reasons. They are really sticky too, so a word of caution goes out to those with fillings, I don't have any fillings (no pun intended), but I know my husband would have a hard time chewing these up. I give this product 4/5 stars.

We look better nakedTM
Ingredients : Almonds, dried coconut, honey, non GMO glucose, puffed rice, chicory fiber, soy lecithin.
Vitamins and Minerals : Vitamin A (0% DV), Vitamin C (0% DV), Calcium (4% DV), Iron (6% DV)
Serving Size : 1 Bar (40g)
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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Numi Moroccan Mint Tea

I am not particularly a mint tea kind of girl, but I have to say this is quite possibly the best Mint tea I have tasted yet. It's not that I don't like the taste of mint, it's just that I never had a mint tea that didn't taste bitter or hay like. We used to have mint growing all over at my childhood home in California. As kids, my brother and I would eat the leaves right off the plant. While searching for a decaffeinated tea for my cleanse I was on, I saw Numi's Moroccan Mint was on sale. The label stated that it was hand picked and organically grown in Africa and is the sweeter "Nana Mint" variety. The other teas that were on my list given to me by my doctor were not sounding appealing. I had to choose between mint, fenugreek, dandelion, ginger, or comfrey. Peppermint sounded like the best choice. I did a little research on the benefits of mint to see why it would be on the suggested list of herbal teas. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center here are just a few of the benefits:

"In test tubes, peppermint kills some types of bacteria, fungus, and viruses, suggesting it may have antibacterial, anti fungal, and antiviral properties. Several studies support the use of peppermint for indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome"

They also site it as being useful for tension headaches, lowering blood sugar, reducing cold & flu symptoms, and is soothing when used on certain skin irritations.

Whether you are using it for it's medicinal properties or just drink it for the taste, Numi's Moroccan Mint is worth a try.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Benefits of Coconut Water

If you are looking for a way to cut back on sugary drinks and looking to boost your health; coconut water is a good start. There are many reasons to drink coconut water and I will go into that in a bit, but first, I will tell you my experience with it. I had tried it once or twice at my local health food store and I loved the taste (tastes like a slightly sweetened coconut flavored water). Twenty minutes had passed and I noticed that a slight headache I had before drinking it went away. When I got to reading the back of the can it mentioned some benefits that were unknown to me previously.

 It stated that coconut water had been used in place of saline solution intravenously in the tropics when saline was not on hand. It is completely isotonic and contains electrolytes to help balance out any bodily fluids that have been lost from illness or trauma. In fact  (after further research) it was used in World War II* and in the Pacific War** in place of blood plasma transfusions.  It is relatively low in calories, low in carbs, High in Potassium, and fat free.

After doing my own personal research over the course of a month I found that I felt more energy while drinking coconut water, my digestion had improved and I noted that after eating sugary foods (which tend to make me feel ill and lethargic if I even slightly over do it) it brought me back to feeling normal again. It also lessened the amount of migraines I had been getting. While all of the benefits sound amazing; keep in mind, this is no miracle worker and may not be right for everyone. If you are looking into healing with foods though, rather than drugs, this can be used for a variety of ailments. Please note, I have tried several different brands of coconut water and C2O is the best by far. Beware of other products found on the Massive grocery store chain shelf. I tried two of those brands (Zico and Vita Coco) and they tasted bitter and spoiled.

 Do your own research and discover the amazing benefits of coconut water.

Look at the list of benefits below to name a few:
  • Boost's immune system
  • May treat kidney stones
  • Replenishes electrolytes after illness or intense exercise
  • Helps detoxify your body
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Increases circulation
  • Helps control diabetes
  • Helps for either constipation/diarrhea
  • Raises metabolism
  • Contains anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-microbial properties
  • Research studies suggest that cytokinins(e.g., kinetin and trans-zeatin) in coconut water showed significant anti-ageing, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic effects***



(Please note this has not been evaluated by the FDA & is not to be taken as medical advice)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tired of fishy tasting fish oil?

Nordic Naturals Arctic-D Cod Liver Oil, Lemon
When my doctor told me to take a fish oil supplement, I was hesitant to say the least. The reason I was hesitant was due to a few bad experiences I had in the past. I tried several different higher end brand capsules and they all made me have the fishy tasting burps and some even gave me nightmares. I finally quit taking it because I was about to lose my mind with that constant fishy after taste and nightmarish sleep. Then when I explained the side effects to my doctor, she suggested I take the oil, not the capsules; which I was strongly opposed to before, because it was just the nasty thought of swallowing oil that tasted like fish. She explained the burps and fish taste was probably from the fish oil being rancid or oxidized. She also suggested I take the Arctic Cod Liver Oil over the fish oil, because of it's extra health benefits. When I was looking at all the options at the health food store, I decided to question the on staff herbalists. I asked them what the best bang for my buck would be and also was the least offensive tasting. I explained I had an easy gag reflex, I hate fishy tastes and this is something my kids would be taking as well. She immediately pointed out the Nordic Naturals Lemon flavored Arctic Cod Liver Oil.  It is in a beautiful dark blue glass bottle. I decided to go with it and I was pleasantly surprised. For one thing, no oil is easy to swallow. It is a consistency you just have to get used to over time. The first few times you feel like yakking, but the fourth and fifth time it's really no big deal. This formula is awesome, not only could I not taste the fish, I  never experienced any of the burpy aftertaste or nightmares. I give this product 5/5 stars. Open the hatch and here's to your health!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Shikai Cucumber Melon Lotion

Shikai All Natural Hand and Body Lotion Cucumber Melon, Cucumber/Melon

Shikai Cucumber Melon Body Lotion is another one of my lotion favorites. I just recently purchased this at Grocery Outlet for $2.99, it was so cheap because they changed the bottle style. I have used their brand for quite a few years and I really like their shampoo's for color treated hair. Their lotion is non-greasy and a lighter moisturizer for those who tend to have a dry, but not parched skin. The smell is a fresh non irritating scent, I tend to get headaches from natural and synthetic fragrances and this does not bother me at all. It contains aloe, borage and shea butter for that extra skin softening experience. I do notice that every time I put it on though, my dog comes running to lick it off of me, so you may want to note, it could be a canine attractant. I give this product 4/5 stars as I do think it should moisturize areas like dry scaly elbows better.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Best Herbal Remedy for the Winter Cold

Source Naturals Wellness Formula, 90 Tablets
Amongst all the herbs in my medicine cabinet, my most treasured is my bottle of "Source Naturals Wellness Formula." Having two young school aged children; the possibility of getting sick during the winter school months is a sure thing. As soon as I feel it coming on I dose up with this wellness formula which contains Olive Leaf Extract and Metabolic C. It contains a blend of 30 different immune boosting herbs and seven different vitamins and minerals. I first tried this product when my daughter was a year old and I haven't stopped using it since. I recommend taking it at the first sign of illness as it may help it from becoming a full blown cold and or sinus infection, which is what my colds turn into. I highly recommend this for men (like my husband), since I know most men are babies when they get sick. I have purchased an extra supply in advance to gear up for this winter season, something tells me this one is going to be a bad one. The price point on this product may seem a little high, but it's worth not having to pay for a couple of days of missed work and a doctors visit, only for them to tell you to drink plenty of fluid and get some rest. I have also used the kids wellness formula for my children, which is in liquid form. The kids don't seem to mind the taste, but it goes too quickly because of the amount I have to give them. A word of advice; I have been told to opt for the tablets over the capsules by an herbalist, as they are more potent. They do have a strong smell of olives (like the sour Spanish olives), and the tablets are quite large. Be sure to drink plenty of water as well. It can also be taken in a lower dose as a maintenance formula. I hope we all have a healthier year in 2012.

** Information on the traditional uses and properties of herbs are provided on this site is for educational use only, and is not intended as medical advice. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner. **

Saturday, November 19, 2011

This Could Rival the Barf Bunnie's...

I am terribly disappointed in PEELU toothpaste. I paid way too much for the tube of toothpaste to begin with; bad sign? Maybe, but the reaction from the kids said it all. "Ugh yuck", I hear; coming from the other room. My son comes running in, saying "that is the worst toothpaste ever." I pondered for a moment, I have heard this once before when I previously purchased anise flavored toothpaste. I asked him why it was so horrible and he said it was because it had chunks in it and was a foul flavor. How could this be? I paid $9.99 for this tube of toothpaste (yes insert blinking lights behind me that say SUCKER). Almost ten bucks for a tube of toothpaste, that's at least a $181.76 a gallon, yikes. Here's the story of why I paid that much. I had just got back from the store, after a long day of work, with a commute of 26 minutes from the town I work in. When I got home to make dinner, my husband says"you forgot the toothpaste again, I am tired of brushing with baking soda." Crud, that means if I want fluoride free toothpaste I either have to make a trip into town or go to the local vitamin shop. The small town I live in, doesn't have any competition for health foods, and with only one small supplement store in town, their prices are beyond astronomical. I decided to opt for the local store, because by the time I paid for gas and the time it took me to get there, I would be out more than I would have to pay at the health food store. I had two or three options once I got into the store and I remembered that this store had a $10 and over policy if you used your card. Dang it I thought all I really need is toothpaste. If I bought the cheaper toothpaste ($6.00) I probably wouldn't be able to find anything else in the store that would keep it at $10. I decided to go for the Peelu. The guy checking me out (no not that kind of checking me out; although he did look rather deviant) says, "it's a different type of consistency, but I like it." Looking back at it now that should have tipped me off right away.

I decided to go against the kid's judgement and try it for myself. It looked ok, although it was a weird tan/brownish color. As soon as I stuck it in my mouth, I knew what he meant about chunks. It was almost globby/slimy. It had a very bad taste and as I continued to brush with it, getting back near my molars and tongue, I started to gag. It was a horrible taste. Not sure how to describe it. It was down right awful for lack of a better word. I did some research on this brand, and it is the most natural toothpaste on the market, containing fibers from the Siwak tree, which will help whiten and protect (hence the clumpy texture). After brushing I did notice that my teeth felt extremely clean and polished. I might have to see if the cinnamon would taste any better. I would have to look online though for a cheaper price though, if I decided to buy another flavor. I won't do peppermint again. Not sure if I can get passed the taste of this stuff, but I loved the clean feeling.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Needing a Miracle??

Looking for a sweet treat that is raw, vegan & chocolate? I found one that you have to try. I had previously wrote about the Lemon Tart by Hail Merry, but recently tried their Merry's Miracle Chocolate Tart. It was super rich and delectable, so rich I could only eat half, and I had to save the rest for later. It was not a divine taste at all, it was more like a naughty, guilty, pleasure-loving, smooth fudge, with a yummy crust.  I am excited to see what Hail Merry will come out with next, right now they are offering a $5 dollar off coupon as well. Another 5 star review for Hail Merry!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kroger's Truly Awesome Cookies

Ok so the cat is out of the bag; I am a bzz agent and sometimes I get to try truly awesome products as a perk (no pun intended). This time I got to try Kroger's Truly Awesome Chocolate Chip Cookies. I received 2 boxes of Truly Awesome cookies through the mail from bzz agent. I also received five $1 off coupons to share with friends or family. Tomorrow I will be taking them to work and sharing those coupons with my coworkers as I have nothing left to share of the cookies, they are long gone. My nephew, kids, and husband devoured them last night. I got two of them and the rest was history. The cookies were kind of crunchy, but I like them that way as they go well with milk. I liked the fact that there were no artificial flavors and they were made with butter instead of soy margarine. I give this product 5 stars.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Zevia; Best Soda Ever

The worst a person can do for their health and waist line is to consume sodas full of high fructose corn syrup. At the other end of the spectrum some people also consume sodas full of artificial chemical sweeteners that have other known health risks.  So what soda can you enjoy without HFCS or artificial sweeteners? I have found one that is all natural and doesn't contain HFCS or anything artificial. Zevia is the best tasting no calorie soda I have ever tasted. It comes in 12 different flavors some with or without caffeine. My two favorite flavors are the Black Cherry and Cream Soda. It can be kind of spendy but I found it for $3.99 for a six pack on sale. I have noticed though that the price of regular soda isn't cheap either, and neither is the toll it will take on your health. So if you do have that craving for a soda every once in awhile this is well worth the splurge. I give it 5 stars, although I do wish I could find it on sale more often.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Eczema, Rash, Itchy Skin

During the winter my eczema seems to flair up worse than usual; my skin itches so bad, I sometimes feel like I would love to be drug by someones bumper down a gravel road. I have eczema in a few sensitive and embarrassing areas.  If it weren't for Florasone by Boericke & Tafel, I would be miserable. I love this stuff, it is not only effective, but does not thin your skin as does Cortisone. The main ingredient in this cream is Cardiospermum which is a flowering tropical vine that contains natural steroids which can help alleviate itching. Cardiospermum has been used for centuries in India and Africa and has little or no side effects (unless you are allergic to Cardiospermum). The only drawback to this product is the smell. I have been using it for the last 4 years now and I still don't care for the smell of it. It's a weird smell and comes from the plant it is made from. Other than that it beats having to claw at my itchy skin all day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Gluten Free Nut Thins

I have said before that I could eat small amounts of gluten without feeling ill, but over do it and I get sick. I went on an elimination diet to try and figure out what was plaguing me and one of the things I missed was salty and crunchy snacks. I missed cheeses too :(. So when I was able to go off of the elimination diet I tried Blue Diamond Nut-Thins as they are gluten free. They go great with hummus, smoked salmon and cream cheese, and all those fancy cheese spreads. For awhile there I would buy a box and get a package of hard salami and have enough for two lunch sized snacks, unless I took them home and the kids and husband devoured them in less than five seconds flat. My favorite flavor is the cheddar or ranch. Right now Amazon has a great deal on a package of 12 boxes. I give this product the 5 star rating.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Organic Hair Care by Renpure

my sassy hair needs shape! Shape & Design Hair Spraymy lifeless hair needs lift! Mousse


I was away on a last minute business trip when I discovered I had left all my hair products at home, even my straightener. I though alright I will just not wash my hair and therefore I won't have to style it. So I figured, I might as well hop in the shower and not get my hair wet. While in the the process of trying to figure out how to get the weird shower button in the shower to work it blasted me with water. There went my idea of not getting my hair wet. For those of you who don't know it, I go through a metamorphosis when my hair gets wet. I turn into this growling, frothy mouthed, beast, in search of a man to kill; Ok so not quite, but my hair gets curly and very frizzy so I need to have a good product and or tools to either tame or straighten my hair. I didn't bring my straightener so I would have to wear my hair curly, immediately after hopping out of the shower I pinned my hair back and got my stuff ready to go and headed for the nearest grocery store (which was the only store open at 6 in the morning). I went for the hair care aisle and by passed all the other products and one caught my eye. A brand that I had never heard of before. I picked up the mousse and the shape and design hair spray by Renpure and thought I would give them both a try. I took both products out to my car and distributed the mousse evenly and then added hairspray to prevent fly aways and frizz. The product smelled good and worked effectively. I even got comments on how nice my hair looked. I will use this on my daughter too as the poor girl inherited my crazy hair. I give this product 5/5 stars. It works fantastically and is also affordable.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Annie's Barf Bunnies

I have long been a fan of the Annie's brand. We have enjoyed the salad dressings, the mac and cheese and the cheddar bunnies, however, the fruity bunny cereal was probably one of the worst cereals I have ever tasted in my life. It went directly against it's claims on the box as it said that it was fruitfully good, I would like to say I found it frightfully horrible. It tasted like cardboard vomit. It was an awful and weird taste, almost acidic and bitter. After the first bite it was so horrible I had to spit it in the sink. My kids took the lead and tried it right after I did and each had the same reaction. I do have to say I was horribly disappointed in Annie's Homegrown, do they taste this crud before boxing it up? Also what does New Look and Taste signify in the top corner of the box? What did it taste like before? Sewer? At $3.99 for a 9 oz box I had to write about this. This is why I started this blog. So far I have not written a critical piece, but that's what this blog is about; products that are natural and worth our hard earned money. We usually have to pay more for products that are all natural and/or organic, thus the reason why I would like to know that my money was well spent on something that was a quality product with top notch ingredients. So in my not so humble opinion, I'd have to say I'd give this product 1/5 stars, I gave it 1 star because of the cute little games on the back of the box. My kids did enjoy those.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Looking for a healthier way to color your hair?

Naturtint is the answer for all you chemical conscious people who worry about grays and also your exposure to cancer causing chemicals; that are applied straight to your head. I found Naturtint through a local health food store, but refused to buy it due to it's high price. One day it went on sale from $15 bucks down to $10 or $11 and I bought two boxes (I have a mop, full head of hair) and boy was I shocked at how nice my hair turned out. I chose Dark Chestnut Brown and I was amazed how soft and silky my hair was after using it and I didn't miss the horrible chemical smell one bit. All in all it lasted just as long as a regular permanent dye if not longer. It is made with vegetable and plant based dyes, and I love how my hair didn't feel like straw after usage. It can be purchased at a discounted price online through Vitacost  or Amazon.

 I don't know how many times in the past (before I knew better) dyed my hair with box retail dye and had a horrendous reaction to chemicals that were in the hair color. I had anything from chemical burns, sores, itching, rash, headaches and my hair smelled horrible for days. Researching all the chemicals that have been in color hair dyes for years is enough to make you wonder why it's still legal to throw the crud into a mixture that you would apply directly to your head (which is one of the quickest ways into your bloodstream). Below are some excerpts I found on the topic.

"Our skin, the largest eliminatory organ in the body and our first line of immunity, it is permeable to all chemicals. Medical research shows that significant amounts of cosmetic ingredients, including carcinogenic substances, penetrate the skin and end up in the blood stream. Many chemicals in cosmetics don’t cause obvious signs of toxicity on the skin but slowly poison us through repeated use."

I know that it seems like everything causes cancer these days, but that is because our systems are so overloaded from years of us and our parents using these chemicals on our/themselves that we just can't take it anymore. Something has got to give. Think about it, would you shoot formaldehyde, ammonia or heavy metals into your bloodstream via an IV?? Then why would you put it into your blood stream by applying it to your largest organ that wicks up anything you apply to it like a sponge?

Funny how people forget that your skin can soak up things that you think it wouldn't; remember PCP people? I once heard a story from my physician about when he was in the service and the govt, was experimenting with the use of PCP. He apparently had some that was applied to his flight jacket and never knew it. Every time he wore the jacket he started to hallucinate and feel weird. He never put the two and two together for awhile and someone else brought it to his attention and told him to get tested (since they thought he'd been poisoned) they did blood work on him and found the drug in his bloodstream. Then he wondered where he came into contact with the drug and realized that he felt that way every time he put that jacket on.

Clairol, Revlon, all of the box shelf big name brands had a hazard number between 7-10 which was extremely high in toxic chemicals. See below link below. Save that website and you can freak out about all the chemicals you unknowingly use on a daily basis. I do of course like to use products that work and sometimes I breakdown and have to use the old standard, but I try not to make it habit and that's good enough for my eco trained health conscience.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Talenti Gelato

Tonight was the first night I tasted a bit of heaven; ok so heaven doesn't have a taste, but if there was something that you could eat that gave you the warm fuzzies inside or reminded you of the first time you rode your bike,how your mom used to sing you to sleep, or that time when you scrubbed the toilet with your brothers toothbrush, it would be Talenti Gelato. I read through the different flavors and found that it was so hard to choose one in particular because they all sounded so good. I finally wound up with pistachio, and I must say, it is the best I have ever tasted! The kids turned their noses up at first and then they tried it and we wound up in a gelato war. I can't wait to try the other flavors. Their Gelato's are free of hormones, HFCS, & free of gluten (except for Caramel Cookie Crunch).

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Clean Well Antibacterial Wipes

I have been looking everywhere for  all natural anti bacterial wipes which can be used for anything from hands,faces,and cleaning the scunge under the toilet. While Clean Well wipes are not geared towards cleaning bathroom floors, around doggy food bowls & such, I did find out that they do work for those things quite well. They have an herbal fresh scent and can be tossed when you are done using them. I picked them up at my coastal grocery outlet when I was vacationing at a beach house. They were well worth the $2.99 and I used them for everything, even used them to clean my dogs face. I give this product 5 stars.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Luna and Larry's

Dark Chocolate Coconut Bliss, is oh so Divine. This is not your everyday dairy alternative ice cream, this is the shtuff (excuse my language). I have been having a hard time finding ice cream that is dairy,gluten,& soy free, but look no further I found my new friends Luna and Larry. Their coconut milk based ice cream is phenomenal and super creamy. I used to try different ice creams made of rice, or almond, or just a sorbet, but it wasn't comparable to the ice cream I was accustomed to. This is just the alternative I needed and they come in all sorts of other flavors if dark chocolate is not your thing. Price point is a little high so I wait till this goes on sale, or I just buy it and hide it in the freezer under a bag or two of frozen peas.... no kids or husband will look there :).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Udi's Gluten Free Bread

White Sandwich Bread

Looking for Decent Gluten Free Bread?

Best thing since wheat bread! If you have gluten sensitivities, this is a yummy alternative to wheat bread. Keep in mind, if you are switching from wheat breads to gluten free breads you will need to have some realistic expectations, gluten free breads are not soft, but have a tougher, spongy texture. If you toast the breads first they will taste similar to regular toasted wheat bread. They are a little more dense and harder to digest as well (for me anyway). If you like toasted sandwiches like a tuna melt or grilled cheese this bread tastes perfect. I give this bread 4 out of 5 stars due to price of product. They have dollar off coupons right now though which makes it a little more affordable.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Body Wash that Tingles and Shampoo that is Squeaky Clean

Looking for a human/earth friendly body wash that leaves you with a fresh scent and a slight tingle? You have got to try EO Grapefruit and Mint Shower Gel. I just picked up a big 32 oz bottle at my local grocery outlet for $7.99 and it would normally be around $17 bucks. I instantly loved the feel of the gel and the citrus-mint smell. My skin feels refreshed and was left with a slightly cool tingle. I try to pick up several of their products at once when I can, so I also bought a bottle of their Chamomile and Hibiscus Shampoo (unfortunately I think they are discontinuing this one). It also had a pleasantly fresh smell & cleaned my hair so good. I usually have an issue with natural shampoos not removing oils and build up, but this one was extremely effective. I give both products from EO a raving 5 stars.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Stinky Dog Syndrome

Does your dog have a case of "Stinky Dog Syndrome?" My dog doesn't stink all the time, but he occasionally enjoys never passes up rolling in stinky stuff. We went to the beach this weekend and I noticed he loved rolling in stinky dead crab and dead birds that washed up on the shore. Unfortunately I didn't have my Tropiclean with me and we had to wait till we got home to bathe him. It is the only dog shampoo that is gentle enough yet cleans and "Deodorizes" effectively. It is made with natural ingredients and smells good enough to drink (do not drink, trust me it tastes awful). I also have a confession to make; I did use this shampoo on my daughter when I ran out of human shampoo and needed some in a pinch. It made her hair soft and smell terrific. Don't think me a bad mom, think of me as a good pet owner that would test this stuff out on my kids before I used it on my dog, ha. I give this product a 5 out of 5 stars. See my baby Bean below.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dirty Hands?

Hand Sanitizing Spray - 2 oz HANDSANITIZINGSPRAY2.0
My kids seem to bring home every germ known to man as soon as school season begins. While I want them to be sanitary and wash their hands as often as possible, that is just not easy for them to do when they are at school. The smell is a clean fragrance and not one that is harsh or smells like alcohol. Other hand sanitizers use toxic chemicals and can break down the skins natural defenses against skin growths such as warts. EO makes an all natural botanical based hand sanitizer that smells awesome and comes in a handy spray. I bought a bottle for each child and now I don't have to worry about germs or harsh chemicals either.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Zhena's Gypsy Tea

Pomegranate CiderPumpkin Spice

Ever feel a longing to be one with the seasons, traveling with the wind like a tumble weed?  I do, I am nomadic by nature. Only problem with being a gypsy is that while I like life in the fast lane, I unfortunately, am married to a speed bump. Ok so being a gypsy this day in age is also not very practical. Although, I can't tame the longing for being a wanderer, I can sit back and dream and drink a little bit of  Zhena's Gypsy Tea. I have spent hundreds of dollars in tea if not a thousand and this BY FAR is one of the best. They mostly use certified organic teas and pair them with several different complimenting spices, fruits, or flowers. My favorite was the Ambrosia Plumb, but it was seasonal: makes me sad to see the summer go. My new favorite autumnal tea is Pomegranate Cider and Pumpkin Spice. They are very warming and just make you want to settle into to fall and get cozy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

When life gives you lemonade....

when life gives you lemons make lemonade......but when you have no lemons go get some Santa Cruz Organic Lemonade! My favorite way to drink this lemonade is ice cold straight out of the bottle. If you want to go fancy, just add fresh blueberries and raspberries, ice, and bring to any gathering or picnic. I always get comments and questions asking if I made the lemonade and I just smile and nod. If you want to be extra fancy try the same recipe with pink lemonade.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lacking Sleep?

I am one of those people  that has a hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep. I am not desperate enough to go to a doctor and get on some mind numbing, zombi-fying, drug, but I do need a little help in the slumber department. One of the biggest pet peeves I have is that I am ultra sensitive to anything I take and if I take anything containing a sedative I will be groggy for days. I first experimented with Melatonin a few months back, some brands worked, some did not, and some made me feel like I was in a drug induced stupor that could not be shaked. One of the best working brands I have tried was Twinlabs Controlled Release Release Melatonin. One half dissolves quickly so you can get to sleep and the other half dissolves slower so you can stay asleep. I would recommend trying it on a Friday night though as every individual response is different and it could make you groggy the first time or two you use it. I was just told by my naturopath today that I can cut the grogginess by taking B-vitamins. As with any drug, over the counter,prescription etc.; use caution until you know how this will effect you.

This advice is not to be construed as medical advice and has not been proven to be effective by the FDA. Consult your physician before beginning any new health regimen.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

What's that smell?

Every time I use my favorite lotion by Pacifica, people at work say Ooooo what's that smell? "Smells like a Pina Colada." Both men and women compliment me on the smell of this yummy coconut  lotion. This lotion is light and sinks into your skin leaving a silky feel and a sheen to your skin. I first tried some of Pacifica's products around 2 years ago and bought their Hawaiian Ruby Guava perfume. Then I noticed an Indian Coconut Nectar gift set in Sephora and decided to try it. I loved it and so did the ladies at my office. The lotion and body wash were gone in no time, so I decided to have my local health food store order some for me. I am hooked on Pacifica's products and love all of their scents. I am usually perfume and smell sensitive, but not to their products 'cause they use real natural and essential oils to fragrance their perfumes. Check them out on the web; their company is based out of Portland Oregon and are designed by Brooke Harvey.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

"Almost Natural" Finger Nail Polish

Looking for completely non-toxic, all natural nail polish..... I got news for ya; it isn't going to happen, but, you can find some that doesn't contain a toxic, cancerous cocktail with preservatives for dead bodies (formaldehyde). The ever toxic, carcinogenic, organ destroying, Toluene is better known for it's reproductive harm it causes and is a class 3 hazard rating, while it's counterpart formaldehyde has a number 4 hazard rating. Dibutyl-Pthalate is a class 9, yes class 9 hazard rating. With all that crud  being in nail polish it's no wonder cancer numbers have sky rocketed. Does anybody even read labels or ingredients anymore? I paid $6 bucks for one bottle but it's just as good as OPI which is right around $9.

Here are the results for No Miss nail polish:
  • No Toluene
  • No Dibutyl-Pthalate
  • Formaldehyde
  • Colors free of D&C dyes
  • Chip resistant
  • Dries quickly
  • Durable

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wonderful Gluten Free Meyer Lemon Tart

This Gluten Free Meyer Lemon Tart by Hail Merry is so yummy, it will take you to another dimension with its mouth watering goodness. I occasionally look for new and different treats to have after lunch when I am at the local health food store. I truly love this little tart, it's full of high quality ingredients like super healthy coconut oil and sweetened with a little organic agave. The crust of this tart is made of crushed up cashews, shredded coconut, coconut butter, yum! Below is the ingredient list I took from their site. They are kind of expensive, but well worth the indulgence once in awhile. Now that I think of it, some people pay almost $5 bucks for a coffee everyday at Starbucks, and I'd much rather have spent it on this. The price point varies, but they were on sale at our health food store for $3.50 this week.

Ingredients: almond flour, organic raw blue agave, fresh lemon juice, organic cold pressed coconut oil, raw cashews, organic cold pressed coconut butter, organic palm sugar, organic shredded coconut, lemon juice powder, lemon zest, sea salt.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Got an Aging Feline?

Our little fuzzball is going on 17 yrs old. Seems like all she had the energy for doing was sleeping and eating. The minute she got up from her 10 hour naps, she was so stiff she could barely move. I experimented with several glucosamine supplements and formulas, but none seemed to work as good as Hip Flex by Overby Farms. The tart cherry nibs are formulated to reduce inflamation in your geriatric cat. Ever since we started giving Miss Annie her tart nibs it has increased her mobility greatly. Don't worry if you have a picky cat, my cat is queen finicky and she gobbles these up and begs for more. They are also nice and soft, easy to chew if your cat has missing teeth like mine does. This product is full of quality ingredients and can be purchased at specialty pet stores, health food stores, and ordered online through Amazon who has them at half price for the time being. They also make a canine formula.

WARNING: My cat suddenly started chasing the dog and jumping on top of the table after giving her these for a few days, so be warned it may give your cat a new lease on life.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Citrasolv Solves Your Toughest Cleaning Challenges

Are you looking for a cleaner that makes your house smell like a grove of orange trees? Looking for a cleaner that adds a little more power to your elbow grease? Sit back and let this product do the work for you. This works excellent for cutting grease and grime and refreshes the whole house as you clean. It's economical and goes a long way when you buy the concentrated version of it pictured on the left. It runs around $10-12 bucks for the smaller concentrated size and makes a few gallons worth of cleaner. I have used the citrus version of this product for years, although, I checked their website and now they have a lavender and bergamot scented cleaner as well. I give this product 5 stars.

Monday, October 10, 2011

These gluten free noodles are the best I have ever tried. I use them with Alfredo sauce, in hearty home made chicken noodle soup or in cold Italian pasta salads. The texture is superb and they hold up really well unlike other gluten free noodles. They are a great addition to any pantry as you'd be hard pressed to find the difference between them and regular wheat noodles. I actually prefer them over wheat pasta. The chef at our local health food store recommended them as I was extremely disappointed by other gluten free noodles I had tried. I easily give this product 5 stars.

Let's Do Organic Coconut Flour is an awesome alternative to wheat flour for all you gluten free people. I am not entirely gluten free; I can tolerate small amounts, but if I over do it, it makes me very ill. For those times when I want to indulge and don't feel like having a headache or feeling sick to my stomach; I use this coconut flour to make anything from sweet honey coconut bread , coconut pancakes, chocolate coconut brownies, or coconut bacon egg & cheese muffins. Yes it sounds a little weird, but you have to be creative when living a gluten free or gluten "less" lifestyle. The Pro: this is very economical for the amount of coconut flour per recipe that you use. The con: the flour is quite dense and soaks up any moisture so recipes require a lot of eggs and/or oil (may be able to use applesauce and a little less of the oil/eggs???). This is also ideal flour if you are on a carb restricted diet, as it has almost four times the fiber of bran. High fiber equals less net carbs. In all I give this product 5 stars. My favorite is the coconut bread slathered with Trader Joe's Lemon Curd. I bought this from Amazon as it was the most economical and shared it with other gluten free people I know.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Teeth Paste!

I chose to rename it teeth paste, since I have more than one tooth (all jokes aside); If you are looking for a great flavored, fluoride free non-toxic toothpaste, this is one of my favorite brands. The cool mint is a minty vanilla flavor and does not contain anything that will kill a small child if swallowed. The price point on this is about a buck more than regular toothpaste at a grocery store. I first tried this at my dentist office and the health food store carries it as well. Don't believe for one minute that fluoride is needed to keep teeth healthy; in fact the opposite is scientifically proven to be true. Fluoride is a heavy duty poison that can cause a variety of illnesses including death in humans and dental fluorosis (browning of the teeth see photo below.) How much can kill or damage your heart? Research says a half a tube of toothpaste can kill a child.  I am not one to press the issue to others, but it's something to think about. Pull out your tube of toothpaste at home and read the warning label it says to contact poison control if swallowed. Almost all off the shelf mainstream toothpaste also contains saccharin which has been known to cause various cancers. You may not have small children, but wouldn't you wonder how many years of putting it in your mouth is too much? Do beware though, products containing Xylitol can kill dogs if you have any.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

You Better Blue Leave It!

So as many of you know, I have the cutest, sweetest, smartest, stoutest, little-big Boston Bulldog ever. Ok so maybe I am a little biased; what mother isn't? Though I have two human bi-pedal children I also love my fur kid as one of my own, so it's important to me to feed him like I would my kids! No, I don't feed my kids dog food, but if I did, they would eat Blue Buffalo. When I first adopted my little Bean he was 10 months old, had itchy skin, shedding, digestive issues & ear problems. It was clear to me that something had to be done. He was on Diamond lamb and rice before we got him, and I decided to slowly try new sources of protein to treat his issues. I slowly switched him to a duck and potato food but he got a horrible case of diarrhea, then tried all protein and no grain which was also by Diamond called Taste of the Wild, same effect though. So I finally found Blue Buffalo at the local pet store and put him on their lamb and brown rice formula, since it was the same protein source as before, but a better quality of food. He right away took to it and seemed to be easing off the diarrhea he got from the other foods. That has been a year and a half ago and his coat looks shiny and healthy and he no longer has bouts of diarrhea or ear problems. I like that the product has cold formed vitamins (and doesn't render them ineffective by heating them to a high temp). This product gets 4/5 stars, I would give it another star, but I do wish they would use another higher quality oil besides canola (rapeseed) in their blend; since there have been controversies over rapeseed being harmful to both animals and humans. Face it, I am a working mother of 5 (2 humanoid children, 2 fur kids, 1 husband) I do not have time to make my own pet food as some have suggested, I barely have enough time to feed myself. We do supplement with raw lamb meat seared on each side and raw, uncooked bones, when they are on sale. Raw bones do not splinter like cooked ones do. If you are afraid to give your pets raw meat due to parasites, freeze the meat and then give it to your pup as a pupsicle. Freezing kills any of those things that your mother warned you about as a kid.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Biokleen "Put's the Green in Clean"


You simply cannot get any better family & pet safe cleaning products for your money. Biokleen has formulated a variety of natural, non-toxic, "Green" cleaners. They have a line of household and professional cleaning agents for jobs big and small. I have used the: All-Temperature Citrus Laundry Powder & Liquid (smells divine), Chlorine Free Oxygen Bleach Plus, Automatic Dish Powder, Spray & Wipe All Purpose Cleaner, Soy Toilet Scrub, & the Citrus Soy Solvent (works great for greasy stoves). Yes, I am quite the cleaner freak! Not saying that my house is spot free, but I have tried all these cleaners over the course of 5 years and I have to say, the products speak for themselves. The laundry detergent and spray cleaner contain grapefruit seed extract which has been said to be a powerful anti-microbial & anti-fungal agent.

Giovanni Organic Hair Care Triple Treat Shampoo

One of my most favorite all natural shampoos is Giovanni Triple Treat Shampoo. Most of the ingredients come from certified organic botanicals. It's great for itchy, sensitive scalp, and dandruff. The smell of tea tree does not offend in this peppermint charged concoction. This brand lathers particularly well and removes build up; all while making your head feel cool and tingly. There are no Parabens, Phthalates or Sulfates so you can sleep well at night knowing that this product does not contain any ingredients that will haunt your dreams.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Deodorant you can apply once a week?

Okay I know that sounds truly unbelievable and down right unhygienic, but it's true after one application you can remain odor free for up to a week. It's water proof so you can bathe, play sports, and arm wrestle wearing a red unitard with it on. It is a paste like consistency and a barbie sized spatula is supplied for spreading it evenly under your arms. It works best after you've went without deodorant for a day or two (I recommend staying in for the weekend) and then scrubbing off any remaining build up from previous deodorants. It should be applied at night before bed and it's best to make sure it has been applied to dry underarms as it can become very gummy when wet. It has a very distinct plant like musk smell, which is quite pleasant. I made the switch to aluminum free deodorants about 4-5 years ago and I have been bummed about the ineffectiveness of most aluminum free underarm deodorants. Some stick type glycerin based deodorants are so hard it made me wonder if any was actually being applied as it felt just like smooth plastic. Others made my underarms burn and I'd get a rash from a few applications. Then others just plain old didn't work and I would be smelling like a barnyard before noon. Lavlin claims you can remain odor free for up to a week which is partially true based on how much you sweat, what you eat and a few other factors. Sometimes I can go a week with no stink and other times I'd say it lasts 3 days. It is quite spendy for what you get if your mate is hogging it all with his hairy armpits, but I would say it is well worth it if you are the sole user. I give this product 4/5 stars.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ecos Laundry Detergent

For all of you out there that are wanting to try a new environmentally friendly laundry detergent, I would highly recommend Ecos. It is a lightly scented plant based detergent and does a great job for your everyday washing, with an occasional need for stain fighting- (add concentrated application of it to problem areas). It is economical if used in "he" washers and can be bought online or at Costco and local health food stores.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Burt's Bees Sensitive Skin Facial Line

So this is my first ever review on my new blog! I just received my Burt's Bees Sensitive Skin Formula kit in the mail from Bzzagent. I typically have extremely sensitive skin, and even with higher end sensitive skin formulas (purchased from a classy department store); I have experienced both burning and itching sensations which leave my face looking blotchy and unattractive. I am both eager and hesitant to try new things in this aspect because I want to find products that work, but I do not want to experience an allergic reaction to something that is supposed to make me look more appealing. So here's my low down on this new Burt's Bees Sensitive Skincare line:
The daily facial cleanser was lather free, lotion like, & had a subtle earthy scent to it. I applied it to my face in a circular motion and rinsed with warm water. One thing I noticed about this cleanser is that it left my face feeling soft and not at all itchy or burning. I then applied the Burt's Bees Sensitive Skin Daily Moisturizing Cream and was happy with the lightweight, non-greasy feel. This product is highly recommended for people with sensitive skin and people who are fragrance sensitive. Both products get the 5 stars they deserve and I am a happy camper.