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Product Review: Olivado Oils

This past weekend I put together an oil tasting dinner. We had 3 different oils from Olivado. We tried them with bread, on a salad, in cooking beans and to deep fry fritters on another occasion. Avocados in general are not a favorite of mine, (I know, vegan blasphemy) so eating oil made of avocados made me feel a little apprehensive. The omega plus oil and macadamia oils were my favorite. They had mild flavors and went well with everything. The virgin avocado oil went over well with my family, but the avocado flavor was too strong for me. Olivado also offers virgin coconut oil. I fried fritters with it and it worked very well. It melted quickly and easily without burning, and didn’t leave an aftertaste. You can find them at the usual locations, Publix, Whole Foods, etc. and prices are comparable to other brands of olive oil. I still think that plain extra virgin olive oil is the choice for me when cooking and on salads, but if you’re looking for something different to add to your salads or cook your vegetables in, then these are worth a try.

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About Olivado Oils:

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Olivado’s Cold Pressed Extra Virgin oils retain all of their natural goodness and taste with minimal processing.  Grown in New Zealand, or sourced from the best international ingredients, the Extra Virgin range provides oils of exceptional quality and nutritional value.

Olivado’s philosophy is Natural Nutrition: that a balanced everyday diet combining a variety of foods should give a person all the nutrition they need.

Current research suggests that many food supplements are not an effective way of obtaining nutrients; that Nature’s bundle of nutrients in vegetables and fruits works best, rather than extracting what we think is the important ingredient and taking this in a tablet.

For example, a 10ml (2 tsp) serving of Olivado’s extra virgin cold pressed avocado oil provides 20% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin E.

Extra virgin avocado oil has been proven to be one of the healthiest and most versatile of culinary oils.

The rich smooth taste enhances the flavours of delicate foods, and its high burn point makes it the best choice for healthy pan frying and high heat cooking. And of course it’s perfect with salads, vegetables, in smoothies, even baking. Add to that an extraordinary list of health benefits, including high levels of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, Vitamin E, Omegas 6 and 9, lutein, alpha and beta carotene, and many more.

For more information or to buy your own Olivado products:

http://www.olivado.com/

Or visit this page to find where you can buy them locally:

http://www.olivado.com/where-to-buy-usa

 

Product Review: Dr. Bronners

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Dr. Bronners products are a vegan staple. They are certified fair trade, biodegradable, organic, and vegan. How could you go wrong? I love the peppermint “flavored” line of products. The hair creme made my head feel tingly, moisturized my hair and kept my style in place all day.  I only had to use a little bit, too much and my hair was greasy. The lip balm is nice and moisturizing, They do have beeswax, though, so whether or not you consider them vegan all depends on how you feel about using bee products. Sal suds biodegradable cleaner is an awesome multipurpose soap. I cleaned my bathroom, the kitchen, dishes, the toilet, my car..everything with it! Considering most of their products are concentrated and long lasting, the price you pay for them is well worth it. I’ve been able to replace most of my cleaning products with something from Dr. Bronners: shampoo, soap, toothpaste, multipurpose cleaner, lip balm and the list goes on.

About Dr. Bronners:

Dr. Bronner’s was founded in 1948 by Emanuel Bronner, a third- generation master soapmaker from a German-Jewish soapmaking family. He used the labels on his superb ecological soaps to spread his message that we must realize our unity across religious & ethnic divides or perish: “We are All-One or None!” Still family-owned and run, Dr. Bronner’s honors its founder’s vision by continuing to make socially & environmentally responsible products of the highest quality, and by dedicating our profits to help make a better world. All-One!

https://www.drbronner.com/

Product Review: Rhythm Superfoods

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Oh kale. The multipurpose leaf, feeding vegans everywhere. When I first became a vegan I thought kale was disgusting, the thorn in my side. Over the past year, though, I’ve grown to love it and try to put it in as many dishes as possible. Rythm Superfoods has helped me love kale as a snack. I tried all 10 flavors in the photo and I definitely have some favorites. The zesty nacho and kool ranch kale chips are at the top of my list. I know you may not believe me, but they are actually a good replacement for Doritos! The richness of the nacho and ranch flavors is so satisfying that I almost forgot I was eating dried up kale. The garden ranch broccoli bites are equally delicious.

The roasted kale, on the other hand, wasn’t as good. The leaves had a very strong kale taste, almost bitter. And for some reason I just couldn’t get myself to finish a serving of the beet chips. Overall though, their product lineup was pretty good. If you’re looking for a replacement for your unhealthy potato chips or for a “nutrient-dense” snack, give these a try!

About Rythm Superfoods:

Our journey began with a simple concept: when you need a snack, you deserve delicious, nutrient-dense options that are all-good for your body. We started experimenting with air-crisped Kale Chips in the kitchen of The Daily Juice, a little juice bar in Austin, Texas.

Our original products were so popular, we perfected our recipes and made our move to become the superfoods snack innovator we are today. We’ve got multiple superfood snack lines and oodles of flavors to keep you in your groove. Our snacks are all good, not just “less bad” — we hope you’ll try them all!

http://rhythmsuperfoods.com/

Product Review: Kite Hill 

I just have one thing to say about kite hill products: I LOVE THEM! I have been searching high and low for a good cheese replacement and I’ve found it in kite hill products. While they don’t have sliced cheese yet, the products they do have are an awesome start to a cheese replacement lineup. I’ve tried all of the cheeses: cream cheese, ricotta, soft truffle, dill and chive and love all of them! You can spread them on crackers, bagels or add into lasagna. There’s no yucky soy aftertaste, because they are soy free! They also do not taste like almonds, like other products do. Kite Hill cheeses just have a mild, smooth flavor and texture. While their website states that they do not use organic almonds, they do note that their products are non-GMO and without artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or sweeteners. They also note that they stay away from organic to keep costs low. At around $6 for a small container of cream cheese and $9 for ricotta, I can’t imagine what they’d cost if they used organic!

About Kite Hill:

We began with a vision for a plant-based food that would have all the qualities we relish in the best artisan dairy cheeses. As we believe the best part of eating is inviting everyone to the table for a convivial meal, these products had to entice the full range of food lovers, from those dedicated to a plant-based diet to others simply curious about a healthier lifestyle.

Today, Kite Hill represents much more than artisanal almond milk products. Kite Hill stands for the very best tasting alternative dairy products made with the simplest ingredients using traditional methods — from artisanal delicacies, nut milk yogurts, and cream cheese style spreads to entrées and even deserts.

http://www.kite-hill.com/

Product Review: Nutpods

I tried the three flavors of nutpods in my morning coffee: french vanilla, hazelnut and original. Like most almond and coconut milks, these were not very creamy, so I had to add a good amount before my coffee turned that caramel color that I like. While nutpods are flavored, they do not have added sugar. This can be a good thing for most people because then you can add whatever sweetener you like, be it stevia, or sugar in the raw. I like to steam my milk/creamer before putting into my coffee using my Starbucks milk frother at home. Unfortunately, these milks did not froth very well and simply warmed up. To me all 3 flavors tasted the same, like almonds, but I love almonds and anything almond flavored, so I was ok with that. Even though these “creamers” are not exactly creamy and definitely are not sweet, they still are a good replacement for dairy creamer or even soy. They are GMO, soy, dairy and gluten free and better for the environment and cows!

About nutpods:

nutpods was born out of founder Madeline Haydon’s impatience for a wholesome dairy-free creamer that had the richness and creaminess of half & half. For years, she waited for a company, any company, to develop this type of product – without carrageenan or the “usual suspects” of titanium dioxide, mono and diglycerides, hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated oils. Carefully crafted to be wholesomely delicious and developed to give you the freedom to choose your own sweetness level, enjoy the rich creaminess that come from MCT-rich coconuts and the balanced taste with heart-healthy almonds. All free from GMOs, soy, dairy, gluten and artificial flavors/colors.

nutpods is a dairy-free creamer made from heart-healthy almonds, MCT-rich coconuts

https://www.nutpods.com/

Product Review: Clean Machine CellBlock 80, Month 1

 

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I’ve just completed month 1 of Clean Machine’s CellBlock 80 natural supplement. This product claims to “address all 5 phases of testosterone production”. I’m no doctor, but I decided to give it a try.

I do not work out everyday and I am not a bodybuilder. The most I do is walk up and down the stairs at work and go for an occasional walk at the park. I wasn’t planning on taking this for increased muscle mass and the thought of increased testosterone scared me! What if I go bald? What if I grow a mustache?! What if I become all big and bulky??

So far, NONE of these things have happened. In fact, only good things have happened. I suffer from endometriosis. Every month I endure extreme pain, like two strong hands twisting my insides. I’ve tried everything for this pain: Advil, heat packs, birth control, prescription medicines. Nothing has worked. I’m left twisting and turning all night from the pain, with migraines not far behind. My menstrual cycle during month one was miraculous. No pain, shorter duration, no migraines. It was heavier though, but well worth the benefits.

Another perk I’ve noticed is slightly clearer skin. During the hot summer in Florida I usually suffer from a rash on my forehead. It got pretty bad this year. It seems that once I started taking CellBlock80 it cleared up. It hasn’t totally disappeared, but to me it’s noticeably less. My energy level and sleep cycle have also changed while on this pill. I’m now able to wake up earlier and fall asleep faster every night. I use to lay awake in bed trying to fall asleep. Now I can’t even remember how I fell asleep!

The one thing I’m mildly concerned about is my increased appetite. I feel hungry all of the time! With little exercise and increased food intake, I’m afraid of gaining weight, so for month 2 I’ve decided to add in a workout routine. My goal is to increase my strength and stamina by adding light weight lifting and cardio to my daily routine.

I’m going to take the another month of the supplement to see if the benefits repeat themselves. I’ll post an update mid September. Stay tuned!

 

About CellBlock 80:

How it Works

Product Review: Crystal Springs Deoderant


I sweat. ALOT! and with sweat comes odor and embarrassing pit stains on my shirts. As a vegan, I’m always looking for a deodorant that can help me with both problems. I’ve tried herbal deodorants, crystal rocks, baking soda….everything. I found out about Salt of the Earth deodorant from a vegan magazine. I researched it and it had tons of good reviews so I decided to give it a try.

Crystal Spring took their “award-winning Natural Deodorant Spray and added the most charming 100% natural scent….Fragranced with a fusion of over 15 natural botanical extract and oils, the lasting impression is a gorgeous lavender and vanilla fragrance that is fresh, floral and sweet..”

Well…..it’s definitely floral and sweet. I suffer from pretty bad allergies and this spray was a little too floral for me. I still decided to give it a try since I’m determined to find a vegan option. After a day of wearing it, I am unhappy to report, I still had underarm odor and I was sweating profusely (this isn’t an antiperspirant, so it never promised to help that).

Even after that first day, I decided to give it a try for a little while longer. After a few days I gave up using it during the day and chose to just use it at night, while I was sleeping. I figured I don’t sweat a lot at night and using this instead of antiperspirant would give my armpits a rest for at least half of the day.

It worked well as a nighttime deodorant and the lavender scent was even soothing and helped me relax before going to sleep. I’ve also used it as a deodorant body spray and it worked well for that too. It even makes a good air freshener and tackles some of the toughest bathroom odors.

While this product has many benefits (listed below), I’m not convinced that I can ditch my daily antiperspirant….yet. I’ll keep this as a back up deodorant, room deodorizer and night time spray, but for the rest of the time I’ll have to depend on something else.

 

 

About Pure Aura Natural Deoderant:

FRESH NATURAL FRAGRANCE
This soft, floral fragrance, of lavender & vanilla, has been created with over 15 natural botanical extracts and oils.

LONG LASTING PROTECTION
Pure Aura’s active deodorant ingredient rests on the surface of your skin providing you with protection that lasts longer.

NO WHITE MARKS
Pure Aura does not contain any antiperspirant ingredients that can cause white marks on your clothes.

WITH ORGANIC ALOE VERA
Known as a wonder ingredients, it is used in Pure Aura to help soothe and moisturise skin.

100% NATURAL INGREDIENTS
All the ingredients in Pure Aura are natural and effective.

SUITABLE FOR KIDS 8 +
This product is suitable for young ladies of 8 years and older.

NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS
Pure Aura, a natural deodorant spray that has not been tested on animals.

FREE FROM
This crystal deodorant is free from: Aluminium Chlorohydrate, Alcohol, CFC’s, Propellents, Parabens, Triclosan.

 

 

For more information:

https://crystalspring.co.uk/

Product Review: Go Raw Bars & Bites

While wandering the aisles at Walgreens for a healthy snack I came upon a “raw snacks” section. I don’t usually eat raw snacks, but these seemed really interesting and came in flavors like carrot cake, pumpkin seed and zesty pizza! They were a little pricey at $3-$5 each, but I thought I’d give them a try.

 

 

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Go Raw: Sweet Spirulina Energy Bar
I was intrigued by this bar as spirulina can sometimes be an overpowering flavor. The bar itself was surprisingly light to hold and this was mirrored in the texture as well. The banana and coconut flavors complemented the spirulina flavor and provided a tasty and substantial treat! I was able to divide the bar into two snacks and found both snacks a delicious treat without the texture of the bar compromised.

 

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Go Raw: Chewy Apricot Sprouted Bar
Not being a big apricot fan, I tentatively tried this bar and was pleasantly surprised at the mildness of the fruitiness of the bar. The flax seeds were fresh and did not provide a strong aftertaste. Overall the bar reminded me of a healthy version of a fruit roll-up. Nice and sweet, chewy, but with the added health benefits that Go Raw offers.

 

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Go Raw: Zesty Pizza Sprouted Flax Snax
I am always looking for healthy alternatives to put in my mouth when I have cravings for salty chippy snacks. The Zesty Pizza Snax did not disappoint on flavor. The strong herb and tomato flavoring definitely conveyed “pizza” and took care of the craving without an overpowering saltiness. The Snax are crisp and filling. A little bit goes a long way though and the snax last awhile which, I guess, is a good thing!

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My two favorite snacks have to be the carrot cake sprouted cookies and the pumpkin seed sprouted bites. Both are loaded with fiber and protein and provide a satisfying mid day snack. I keep them in my desk drawer at work and pull them out whenever I’m tempted to eat the various snacks my coworkers bring in. Both the carrot and the plain pumpkin seed snacks are lightly sweetened and I only need to eat a few to satisfy my cravings.

 

 

About Go Raw (taken from their website):

“Go Raw makes super tasty junk-free food. We’ve reinvented common snack food flavor profiles, shapes and sizes with an emphasis on making really easy, through convenient on-the-go offerings. We combine simple and honest ingredients with creativity, making a healthier snack that focuses on genuine plant-based foods that work for almost any diet or lifestyle. We’re getting the junk out of snacks so that people can enjoy tasty and convenient foods without guilt or worry.

We’re passionate people who recognize our responsibility to making meaningful and beneficial contributions to society and the environment. By supporting and promoting responsible farming and foods we’re doing our part to heal the earth and it’s citizens in our own small ways. We realize that we must take an active part in being part of the solution. We strive to refine our business practices for maximum benefits, that continue to reach beyond our own walls. We’re people that believe that our future is in healthy kids and family and that by helping to promote responsible eating habits and awareness, we’re shaping a more sustainable future.”

Junk-Free | Sprouted | Raw
All Organic | GMO-Free | Vegan

For more information:

www.goraw.com

Product Review : Vegan Smart Protein Shake

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This week I tried a Vegan Smart Protein Shake.  I got the Chai flavor. I followed the recommended directions on the packet and mixed with 9-11 oz of soy milk.

I didn’t expect much. Normally I don’t enjoy protein shakes. They usually leave a chalky after taste, use artificial sweetener and few are vegan. This one exceeded my expectations! It wasn’t chalky, uses natural stevia as a sweetener and it’s vegan, of course.

At first I was like wow! This is great. I can’t wait to drink it every morning. Then the sweetness got to me. The packet says it only has 5g so it shouldn’t be this sweet. I also realized that I was using Vanilla soy milk. Maybe that made it that sweet??

Outside of the sweetness factor, it was really good. It has a delicious chai flavor with a nice touch of cinnamon. I drank it for breakfast and wasn’t hungry until lunch. Typical shakes leave me hungry 10 minutes after drinking it. This was a nice thick consistency with substance, making me feel like I ate a meal.

I had a second packet of chai so I decided to stray from the directions the next morning. I added more soy milk and a frozen banana this time. It still came across as a little too sweet and the banana flavor was lost to the cinnamon. The consistency was nice though, almost like ice cream and left me feeling full for longer.

I definitely recommend this protein shake. It’s filling, nutritious (as you can see from the nutrition info below) and it’s vegan! It’ll satisfy any sweet tooth and won’t leave you felling bloated. I think I’ll buy another packet and make it for dessert next time around. 🙂


Directions (adults):Mix two level scoops of VeganSmart™ All-In-One Nutritional Shake in 9 to 11 ounces of ice-cold water, juice or non-dairy beverage, shake well and enjoy. VeganSmart™ is also a delicious, nutrient-supplementing addition to your favorite smoothie recipe – just blend and enjoy! Take one, or more servings daily for optimal health.* After opening, store in a cool dry place with the lid tightly closed.

VeganSmart™ is also a delicious, nutrient-supplementing addition to your favorite smoothie recipe – just blend and enjoy! Take one, or more servings daily for optimal health.*

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ABOUT VEGAN SMART:

Naturally  certified-vegan

  • Complete Protein Blend
    Contains 5 different non-GMO plant based proteins providing all the essential amino acids in precise proportions for building and repairing tissue and muscle.*
  • Whole Food Complex
    Provides 9 different healthy colorful fruits and vegetables known to contain polyphenols, antioxidants and flavonoids to support overall wellness.*
  • 22 Vitamins & Minerals
    Act as catalysts in thousands of biotechnical reactions every day to support normal and healthy cell function.*
  • Fiber & Omega Blend
    Provides 6 grams of dietary fiber to help keep you regular. Also contains over 200 mg of Omega-3 to support a healthy brain, heart and circulatory system.*
  • Prebiotics
    Contains 150 mg ActivAloe® bioactive polysaccharides that stimulate the growth and maintenance of beneficial intestinal flora.*
  • Digestive Enzymes Blend
    Assists in digesting foods more completely for greater absorption of nutrients and the good health that goes with them.*

For more information and to order online: http://vegansmartshake.com/

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