December 31, 2010

Honey Stinger Natural, Organic Energy Bars, Waffle Cookies, and Chews

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There are a lot of energy foods on the market. Most of them, in my opinion, leave much to be desired in consistency and flavor. Energ G has introduced a new line of energy snacks made from 100% organic honey.

  • Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews
    Ingredients: Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Grape Juice Concentrate, Organic Honey, Pectin, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Color (Black Carrot Juice Concentrate [red], Annatto Seed Extract (Orange), Natural Flavors, Potassium Citrate, Organic Sunflower Oil, Carnauba (Copernicia Cerifera) Wax

  • Honey Stinger Stinger Waffle
    Lance Armstrong helped develop the nutrient-packed, great-tasting Stinger Waffle with his company Honey Stinger, to provide organic energy bars to non-European cyclists. Based on the bars Lance encountered while competing in Europe, this sweet, 3.5-inch diameter waffle packs an energetic punch with its 100% USDA Certified Organic Ingredients. With 160 calories in a 30g waffle, you can easily stuff a couple of these in your jersey pockets and have a tasty snack when you need it most.

  • Honey Stinger Protein Bar Dark Chocolate Mint
    A smaller size version of the 20g Protein Bar, the Honey Stinger Protien Bar (10g) is a truly great-tasting meal replacement snack or after workout recovery bar. Honey Stinger protein bars are gluten free and contain no trans fats. This protein bar is truly unique in that is includes 30% USDA certified organic honey, 10 grams of whey protein (20% of the daily recommended allowance), 22 vitamins and minerals, calcium and antioxidants.

My favorite of the Honey Stinger products is the waffle cookie. It does taste like the Stroop waffle cookies I adore. I am not a big fan of the other products. I do not like gummy, chewy treats, and the mint was really strong in the energy bar.  Although my breath felt fresh after eating it, the minty flavor lasted a long time as I tasted the other products.  

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

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December 30, 2010

Rainbows from Solar Power and Reclaimed Water


Ever wanted to make your own rainbows? Now you don't have to wait for Mother Nature to give you the gift of color with the perfect amount of rain and sunshine; you can do it yourself with solar power and reclaimed water. Dvice reports:
That's the idea behind Michael Jones McKean's artificial rainbow maching [sic], which uses reclaimed rainwater and sunlight to create rainbows. It "uses a series of high-powered jet pumps and custom fountain nozzles to spray water into the air, creating the conditions needed for a rainbow to appear." If you want to see this bad boy in action, it's set to be installed at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Nebraska next June.
Personally, I like the magic of a Mother Nature created rainbow.

Image:  Attribution Some rights reserved by Peter Kaminski

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December 29, 2010

Natural Beauty: Derma e Peptide Plus Wrinkle Reverse Eye Creme

I am a fan of Derma e products, so I was excited to try the derma e Peptides Plus Double-Action Wrinkle Reverse Crème. Relatively odorless, this eye cream has a milky consistency that is thinner than my regular Dr. Hauschka Eye Contour Day Balm.

This revolutionary double-action peptide creme includes two of the most powerful peptides that bio-science has to offer. Formulated with Palmitoyl Pentapeptide to smooth away wrinkles and Acetyl Hexapeptide to relax muscles for healthier, younger-looking skin. Improves skin's resilience, tone and texture and also helps increase collagen and elastin production. A rich and luxurious moisturizing creme that saturates your skin with nutrients and softens even the deepest wrinkles. No animal testing. Made in USA.

Dr. Oz has recognized the peptide Argireline as an effective treatment for crow's feet because it relaxes facial muscles similar to the effects of Botox®. I can't say one way or another if this is true, as I have, nor would ever, resort to Botox.

Wrinkles are an inevitable part of the aging process. I think Americans' obsession with always looking twenty-years-old is unhealthy. We should embrace aging. I will use Derma e products because I like them, not because they promise to reverse the signs of aging.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

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December 28, 2010

5 Green After Christmas Deals!

solar_motion_light.jpg1. Concept SL-100 32 LED Solar Security Light with Motion Detector $79.95 $48.99

Add low-maintenance security light with this motion sensor, solar powered outdoor light. Just position the panel in a sunny location. At night, the light will automatically turn on when motion is detected and turn off again after a user-defined timer setting. No wiring is required, making this ideal for remote or hard to light locations. Brightness is equivalent to a 20 watt bulb.

2. Makita LCT200W 18-Volt Compact Lithium-Ion Cordless 2-Piece Combo Kit$524.00 $263.54
In addition to their breakthrough 18-volt LXT series, Makita has added 18-volt compact lithium-ion tools for cordless power in a more compact size. Makita's 18-volt lithium-ion batteries and ENERGY STAR rated Optimum Charging System provide several benefits over old battery technology. When compared to traditional 18-volt NiCd batteries, Makita's 18-volt lithium-ion batteries have 40% less weight, longer run time, and five times lower self-discharge to keep cells active and ready to use at any time.

3. Traditional Medicinals Organic Mother's Milk Herbal Tea, 16-Count Wrapped Tea Bags (Pack of 6) $33.00 $19.52
Organic Mother's Milk® promotes healthy lactation* and is traditionally used to increase breastmilk production.* This traditional combination of anise, fennel and coriander has been used for centuries by European women, often recommended by lactation counselors and medical herbalists. Organic Mother's Milk® is a pleasantly aromatic balance of sweet, spicy and slightly bitter.

4. Duracell Pre Charged Rechargeable Nimh AAA Batteries, 4-Pack $17.06 $8.26
Get hundreds of uses out of each Pre-Charged Rechargeable battery. Instead of replacing batteries each time they run out of power, recharge these batteries for long-lasting power.

5. Sunforce 50013 1 Watt Motorcycle & Powersports Solar Battery Charger $29.99 $24.98
The Sunforce 50013 1 Watt Power Sports Charger is the perfect solution for charging the batteries of motorcycles, personal water crafts, ATVs, snowmobiles and tractors. The 50013 is not only weatherproof, but maintenance free and extremely easy to install. With its built in overcharge / discharge protection, you cannot go wrong with the 50013 battery charger. This top of the line solar panel works in all daylight conditions to keep your batteries charged. Your purchase includes wires with quick connect technology, battery clamps, and an O ring connector and fuse.

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December 27, 2010

Really Natural Cookbooks: Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast & Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes

After all those holiday meals packed full of calories, you may be in need of some low-fat recipes to shed away those extra winter pounds. Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes is filled with delicious and interesting recipes you would never think were vegan or low-fat from their taste. From Mango BBQ Beans to Silky Chickpea Gravy, this is one mouthwatering cookbook!

In Appetite for Reduction, bestselling author and vegan chef Isa Chandra Moskowitz has created 125 delectable, nutritionally-balanced recipes for the foods you crave--lasagna, tacos, barbecue, curries, stews, and much more--and it's all:

  • Only 200 to 400 calories per serving

  • Plant-based and packed with nutrients

  • Low in saturated fat and sugar; high in fiber

  • Drop-dead delicious

You don't need to be on a diet to enjoy these meals and impress your friends with your vegan cooking abilities!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

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December 24, 2010

Really Natural Cookbooks: Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood

In my family, we love quinoa! This kid-friendly grain is quick and easy to prepare, but we rarely include it in a recipe. We just make quinoa for quinoa's sake.

Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood is an amazing cookbook that takes quinoa to the next level. Packed with beautiful photographs and recipes, this book has inspired me!

One of the world's healthiest foods, quinoa contains a perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids, and is a great source of protein, making it an increasingly popular food choice for those looking to incorporate "superfoods" into their everyday diets. Gluten-free, wheat-free, and nutrient-packed, quinoa is ideal for those who are health-conscious, vegetarian, and/or physically active, as well as for those with gluten intolerance, wheat allergies, and other digestive disorders. But that's not all: You can eat quinoa guiltlessly knowing it's free of cholesterol and trans fats. In Quinoa 365 sisters Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming show you how to use this miraculous superfood in all your favourite dishes.

From pomegranate, almond, and feta salad to cucumber, gouda, sprout sandwich, there is nothing you can't do with quinoa! The desserts look especially good and healthy, and I have added quinoa flower to my shopping list.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

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December 23, 2010

Vegetarian Cookbooks: Greens and Grains on the Deep Blue Sea

When I think of vegetarian food, I don't think of cruises; however, Sea cruises offers a Holistic Holiday. Greens and Grains on the Deep Blue Sea: Fabulous Vegetarian Cuisine from the Holistic Holiday at Sea Cruises is a collection of the most popular vegetarian dishes from these cruises.

Even if they don't have their sea legs, fans of vegetarian cooking will want to give this volume a look. Innovative takes on familiar themes dominate this compilation of more than 100 popular dishes served on Costa Cruise Lines' Taste of Health cruises, like the Seitan Paella and the playful Sushi Salad, in which shiitake mushrooms and tofu get tossed with seasoned brown rice and nori. Natural foods expert Pukel and chef Hanna offer clear instructions for preparation, but offer little background on their choice of ingredients; instead, it's assumed that the reader is familiar with arame, shoyu, kombu and lotus root.

I don't find this cookbook as aesthetically pleasing as others. There are no beautiful photographs of the dishes, and the nautical theme is a little strange for a vegetarian cookbook (I had to keep reminding myself this was not a seafood cookbook); however, from vegetable fritters with cilantro dipping sauce to winter root vegetable stew, there are plenty of recipes to make your mouth water whether on land or sea!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

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December 22, 2010

City Lights Exacerbate Air Pollution

We all know that city lights cause light pollution, but a new study has discovered they actually "boost" air pollution. According to the BBC:

Nature uses a special form of nitrogen oxide, called the nitrate radical, to break down chemicals that would otherwise go on to form the smog and ozone that can make city air such an irritant on the chest.

This cleansing normally occurs in the hours of darkness because the radical is destroyed by sunlight; it only shows up at night.

But new measurements taken from aircraft over Los Angeles indicate the energy from all the night-time light thrown out by this huge urban centre is also suppressing the radical. The lights may be 10,000 times dimmer than the Sun, but the effect is still significant.

"Our first results indicate that city lights can slow down the night-time cleansing by up to 7% and they can also increase the starting chemicals for ozone pollution the next day by up to 5%," said Harald Stark from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa).

Perhaps cities should pass ordinances to limit the amount of lighting left on all night long in areas where safety is not a concern. Perhaps motion sensor lighting could mitigate the effects.

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December 21, 2010

Earth Balance Natural Peanut and Almond Butter: No Stir and No Refrigeration

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There are two things that really annoy me about natural nut butters. First, when you open them, the oil is separated and requires manual labor to make the peanut butter the right consistency. Inevitably, it is a messy task that I give up in frustration. Second, natural nut butters require refrigeration usually, which means the oils then solidify making the almond butter harder to spread on bread. Earth Balance's new line of nut butters solve these problems.

Earth Balance Creamy Peanut Butter and Earth Balance Almond Butter, Creamy are gluten-free, lactose-free, and vegan. These nut butters are sweetened with agave syrup and require no stirring or refrigeration. The added flax seeds make these nut butters rich in ALA Omega-3.  My only criticism is they are not made from organically grown ingredients.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

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December 20, 2010

5 Green Deals: Hot, Flat, and Crowded; Hemp Dog Collar; Organic Cotton Mattress Pad, Recycled Cotton Rug, Biodegradable Mixing Bowls

1. Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America $27.95 $3.53:

Friedman explains how global warming, rapidly growing populations, and the astonishing expansion of the world's middle class through globalization have produced a planet that is "hot, flat, and crowded." Already the earth is being affected in ways that threaten to make it dangerously unstable. In just a few years, it will be too late to fix things--unless the United States steps up now and takes the lead in a worldwide effort to replace our wasteful, inefficient energy practices with a strategy for clean energy, energy efficiency, and conservation that Friedman calls Code Green.

This is a great challenge, Friedman explains, but also a great opportunity, and one that America cannot afford to miss. Not only is American leadership the key to the healing of the earth; it is also our best strategy for the renewal of America.

2. Newpoint Organic Cotton Queen Mattress Pad with Organic Cotton Fiber Fill $129.99 $54.91

  • Plush, environmentally-conscious mattress pad for Queen beds
  • Cover made of 240-thread-count, 100 percent organic cotton; includes a 100 percent organic cotton fiber fill
  • Quilted center panel; natural cotton coloring
  • Measures 60 by 80 inches; fits mattresses up to 22 inches deep
  • Machine washable for easy care; made in China
3. Park B.Smith Eco Houston 27 Inch by 42 Inch Recycled Cotton Chenille Rug, Denim $39.99 $33.50
  • Recycled - Eco Ordinates - It's all about environment
  • It feels so good to contribute to a cleaner safer earth
  • Reversible-Chenille
  • 95% Cotton / 5% Other fibers
  • Machine wash separately in cold water; Gentle cycle; Do not use bleach; Lay flat or line dry; Touch up with warm iron if needed
4. Planet Dog Natural Hemp Adjustable Collar $17.95 $13.23
Our naturally rugged hemp collar has an easy-to-use side release buckle. The flat 100% hemp leash is as rugged as the collar.
5. Reduce Melaboo Mixing Bowl, 5-Piece Set $34.99 $19.96
  • 100% Biodegradable and compostable
  • Five bowl sizes include: .25qt, .5qt, 1.25qt, 2qt, and 3.25qt
  • Non-toxic
  • Dishwasher safe
Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.
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December 17, 2010

Not Eco-Friendly: Brow Beauty Bubble Features Tweezers and 10x Mirror

I feel obligated to review every product we are sent for reviewing, even if it is not eco-friendly. The very point that a product is not natural is important for consumers to know. 

Tweezerman Brow Beauty Bubble, Candy Cane Wonderland might make it easier to pluck your eyebrows, but the product is housed in a plastic container that is sure to break if dropped repeatedly.

    • Our famous stainless steel Mini Slant Tweezer in red with white glitter-striped Candy Cane Print, featuring our award-winning, perfectly aligned, hand-filed precision tips for expert brow shaping
    • Great for "on-the-go" grooming, or coordinating, travel-ready Tweezermate 10X Magnify Mirror is optically correct - clear from edge to edge - with no distortion - for perfecttweezing
    • Clear Bubble Case is cute and super-packable while keeping mirror & tweezer easy to find, safely stored together, clean and protected. Perfectly packable for holiday gift giving - it's a wrap
    • Perfect for purse and travel
    • Fun and cute design
First, the candy cane striping does make this seem festive, but I really think it would be a strange stocking stuff. Also, the on-the-go marketing concerns me, as I just watched a woman applying makeup as she was driving on the freeway. Would someone be tempted to pluck while driving?


Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

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December 16, 2010

Wrinkle-Free Clothing Releases Formaldehyde

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Wrinkle-free clothing is popularly promoted by clothing companies, such as Van Heusen Men's Fitted Wrinkle Free Poplin Solid Shirt. The days of ironing are behind us, but at what cost to our health. According to a recent article in the New York Times, it's formaldehyde that makes clothing wrinkle-free.

Most consumers will probably never have a problem with exposure to formaldehyde, though it can have serious health implications for people who work with the chemical in factories. The biggest potential issue for those wearing wrinkle-resistant clothing can be a skin condition called contact dermatitis. It affects a small group of people and can cause itchy skin, rashes and blisters, according to a recent government study on formaldehyde in textiles. Still, some critics said more studies on a wider array of textiles and clothing chemicals were needed, including a closer look at the effects of cumulative exposure. At the very least, they said, better labeling would help.

"From a consumer perspective, you are very much in the dark in terms of what clothing is treated with," said David Andrews, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group, a research and advocacy organization. "In many ways, you're in the hands of the industry and those who are manufacturing our clothing. And we are trusting them to ensure they are using the safest materials and additives."

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December 15, 2010

Let Your Organic Cotton Fashion Educate Children in Developing Countries

GeboMana's organic cotton t-shirts are a win-win for everyone! Not only do these shirts feature fashionable, hip designs made in Bali, they support sustainable education for children in developing countries.

You have an opportunity today to explore Limited-edition Organic T-shirts that make a real difference. These organic T-shirts are unlike any fashion you will find anywhere in the world. Hand numbered, unique designs, that once they are gone, they are gone.

More than just high fashion, high quality T-shirts though, your fashion investment will help a child. Every time we ship a T-shirt, we can start educating another child from a developing nation in sustainable practices.

Just six t-shirts is enough to educate one child for a whole year! These are limited edition t-shirts, so get one (or six) before they run out!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

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December 14, 2010

Wooden iPhone and iPod Accessories from Renewable Materials

Modern culture is addicted to their electronic gizmos that are upgraded often and accessorized with products made from non-renewables. iWave Audio has created a Grass Roots Collection made from renewable materials like recycled wood.

I've been enviously looking at wooden iPhone cases, but I questioned their durability. Unfortunately, my concerns were valid when testing out iWave's wooden case. When placed on my phone, I noticed there was a little crack that had formed on the top of the case. When I tried removing the case, the whole thing broke into three pieces. I was sorely disappointed. Other wooded iPhone cases may be stronger, but I am not tempted to waste money and try one after this experience. I truly am saddened, as I liked the way my phone looked in the case.

The Grassroots Kaolin ECO-200 Earbuds (Natural) are more durable than the iPhone case. They also have an integrated microphone.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

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December 13, 2010

5 Green Deals: Solar Charger, Rocking Horse, Yoga, Radical Homemakers, Soccer

Today, we are starting a new weekly series in which we feature five green deals on sale. Here are this week's green bargains!
1. Solio Classic Hybrid Solar Charger (new) $99.99 $68.98

The new Solio Classic Hybrid Solar Charger (updated 2010) provides more power to more devices more quickly than ever. Updates include solar panels that are 20% more efficient and a bigger selection of adapter tips. The Classic works with iPhone/iPod right out of the box, and also supports Micro-USB devices such as Blackberry, Motorola, LG, etc. The Solio Classic Hybrid Solar Charger is the perfect lightweight travel charger, a primary power source when in remote locations, or an emergency back-up power supply. The Classic features a folding three-panel design, three photovoltaic cells plus a full-size charging battery enabling quick re-charging of your portable electronic devices.

2. Plan Toy Arabian Rocking Horse $69.99 $21.00

Plan Toy Arabian Rocking Horse is elegantly styled with a pleasing combination of curves reflect Euro-contemporary form. The Arabian comes with red peg handles and a red tail that doubles as a seat back. There are aqua footrests that match the aqua seating area. The gentle arc of the rockers prevents tip-over from during vigorous rocking. The Arabian is a great rocker for children ages 3 -5.
3. Manduka Black Mat Pro Yoga Package, Graphite, 71 Inch Mat $139.00 $80.99
Be ready for your yoga sessions while on the go about town with this Manduka BlackMatPRO Yoga Package, which includes the 71-inch version of the legendary BlackMatPRO mat and natural cotton canvas MatSak carry bag. With its denser, thicker form, unparalleled comfort and cushioning, superior non-slip fabric finish, and simple, elegant design, the BlackMatPRO comfortably cushions spine, hips, knees, and elbows on hard floors. And only Manduka yoga mats have the unique dotted bottom surface to reduce mat movement during your practice. Made from zero-waste, sustainable materials, it also features a slip-resistant--yet not sticky--surface even when wet from perspiration, OekoTex-certified, emissions-free manufacturing, and a lifetime guarantee.
4. Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture $23.95 $16.29
Radical Homemakers is about men and women across the U.S. who focus on home and hearth as a political and ecological act, and who have centered their lives around family and community for personal fulfillment and cultural change. It explores what domesticity looks like in an era that has benefited from feminism, where domination and oppression are cast aside and where the choice to stay home is no longer equated with mind-numbing drudgery, economic insecurity, or relentless servitude.
5. Eco Soccer Ball - Club (Size 3 Dots) $44.99 $34.99
  • Colorful and fun. This eco-certified soccer ball is sure to be a hit with your family!
  • Like our other training balls, this is our best combination of a quality and affordabilty.
  • Eco-certified, certified Fair Trade, and vegan.
  • Fair Trade means the adults who produced this ball received a fair wage - at no extra cost to you!
  • All after-tax profits go to children's charities.
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December 10, 2010

Green Beer: Fuller's 100% Organic Honey Dew

I am a former beer drinker. I've converted to wine as my beverage of choice, but I tried Fuller's 100% Organic Honey Dew for you, dear reader. It was quite a sacrifice, let me tell you.

Organic Honey Dew is the UK's best selling organic beer. Light and golden with a zesty edge and a bitter-sweet flavour, Honey Dew is a naturally palatable brew that is Soil Association approved.

Served chilled, Organic Honey Dew offers both refreshment and an unbeatable taste. The real organic honey in the brew gives a gentle sweetness that appeals to a wide range of people, even those who perhaps wouldn't usually drink beer, making it a very popular choice!

This beer has a smooth flavor, and before I knew it, the bottle was drained. There is a slight hint of honey, without the flavor being too sweet or overbearing. This is a tasty green beer!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

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December 9, 2010

Is Soy Dangerous?

I've been a vegetarian for over 20 years, and soy has always been part of that diet. More and more concerns about the The Hidden Dangers of Soy are being published, claiming soy has never been intended to be eaten in the quantity vegetarians embrace.

Dr. Mercola reports:

Soy Dangers Summarized

  • High levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking, but only with long fermentation. High-phytate diets have caused growth problems in children.
  • Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. In test animals, soy containing trypsin inhibitors caused stunted growth.
  • Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women.
  • Soy phytoestrogens are potent antithyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer. In infants, consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease.
  • Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase the body's requirement for B12.
  • Soy foods increase the body's requirement for Vitamin D. Toxic synthetic Vitamin D2 is added to soy milk.
  • Fragile proteins are over-denatured during high temperature processing to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein.
  • Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.
  • Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods to mask soy's unpleasant taste.
  • Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum, which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys.

From soymilk to tofu, I've always felt like I was being a good vegetarian when eating soy products.

Photo:  AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by FotoosVanRobin

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December 8, 2010

ZooBorns: The Newest, Cutest Animals From the World's Zoos and Aquariums

Who doesn't love a baby? Children especially are fascinated by baby animals. ZooBorns is a cute book of photography featuring animal babies of species found throughout the world.  In fact, these are the newest, cutest animals from the world's zoos and aquariums

ZooBorns showcases the newest and cutest animal babies from accredited zoos and aquariums around the world. With interesting animal facts and background stories on the featured babies, ZooBorns illustrates the connections between zoo births and conservation initiatives in the wild.

From clouded leopards to fennec foxes, this book is sure to educate and delight.

I like how this book not only features the baby animals, but it informs readers about endangerment issues. My only critique is that I don't see any information that the book is printed on recycled, forest-friendly paper. If this is true, it is a bit hypocritical to talk about conservation efforts when logging for paper production is responsible for habitat lost for some of these species.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

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December 7, 2010

Save Energy: Use Your Convection Oven

Chances are if you own a newer oven, it has a convection feature. Chances are, if you are like me, you don't know how to use it, or never have.

Last week, I was cooking a pumpkin to make curry soup. The pumpkin had been in the oven for a really long time, and it was getting late. I decided to try convection.

Wikipedia explains:

By moving fast hot air past the food, convection ovens can operate at a lower temperature than a standard conventional oven and yet cook food more quickly. The air circulation, or convection, tends to eliminate "hot spots" and thus food may bake more evenly.

A convection oven will have a reduction in cooking temperature, compared to a conventional oven.

Although cooking times will vary depending on the how full the oven is, general, you can lower your cooking temperature by 25 degrees and reduce time by 15 minutes when cooking with convection. There's even an online convection calculator to help.

Once I switched to convection cooking with my pumpkin, the flesh cooked up much faster and dinner was on time. I have become a convection convert.

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December 6, 2010

Handmade in Ecuador: Eco-Friendly, Natural Jewelry by Andean Collection

Are you looking for a unique, beautiful gift for someone green on your list? Andean Collection eco-friendly jewelry made from Acai and responsibly sourced from South American rainforests.

We create to encourage change. Andean Collection was founded to bring sustainable change to impoverished communities in South America. We offer artisans the opportunity to participate in the global market while inspiring our customers with access to the elusive world of the rural Andes.

We have a non-profit arm, Andean Project, to ensure that this change is productive and healthy and to address other poverty related social issues, all funded through our sales and private donations.

We were sent a pair of the acai chain earrings. My daughter and I both like them (she is wearing them now). They are pretty long, if you are not used to wearing dangling earrings. I especially like how they distinctive they are, and they are sure to catch attention from onlookers.
Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

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December 3, 2010

Streetcars Make a Come Back and Put Americans Back to Work

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Once upon a time, every major American city had streetcars. As American's love of the automobile blossomed and families moved to suburbs, cities pulled up streetcar tracks to make room for cars. Fortunately, streetcars are making a comeback, and one American company is leading the way.

The Apollo Alliance has identified United Streetcar, the only manufacturer of modern streetcars in the United States, as a having the "Right Stuff":

Chandra Brown, the president of United Streetcar, literally brought back the streetcar industry to the United States after a hiatus of more than 58 years. Streetcars are now being made in America again, by union workers, and are providing a clean transportation alternative to automobiles in more and more U.S. cities. United Streetcar exceeds federal "Buy America" requirements, with 70 percent of component parts coming from more than 20 different states. At the Monday night event, Brown said that her company is competing against European companies for a contract to build streetcars for Washington, DC, and that there is currently no incentive for our nation's capital to select a company that employs American workers.

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December 2, 2010

Really Natural Books: 48 Things to Know About Sustainable Living by Victoria Klein

48 Things to Know About Sustainable Living (Good Things to Know) by Victoria Klein is a great resource presented in a straight forward format.

While the debate over our changing environment rages on, one thing remains clear: being green is a hot topic - socially, politically, and economically. Whether you've "been green" from birth or don't even know what the three "Rs" stand for, 48 Things to Know About Sustainable Living can help you make small, affordable (or free!) changes that will have a major impact on the environment and simplify your everyday life. Chock-full of tips and useful Web sites, 48 Things will show you how to easily become planet-friendly by:

  • Discovering eco-friendly substitutions for everything from food and clothing to appliances, cleaning products, office supplies, and transportation.
  • Reducing waste and electricity, saving you time and money.
  • Taking advantage of both modern green technology and renewable natural resources.
Victoria is a former colleague of mine from Important Media, and it is with pleasure that I review her book. I know from personal experience that she is an excellent writer who knows her stuff!


From healthier hanky-panky to a truly green law, there is something for everyone in 48 Things to Know About Sustainable Living (Good Things to Know).  For example, I had no idea some condoms are not vegan.

My only criticism of this book is that I do not see any information or indication that it is printed on recycled paper. If this is true, it is a bit hypocritical to preach sustainability without practicing it in publication (although I know Victoria practices it in life).

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

December 1, 2010

Really Natural November 2010 Monthly Round Up



Energy Savers







Monthly Round-Up

Organic Food News

Product review

Really Natural Books



Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking
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