February 8, 2011

New Study: Nitrates in Dark, Leafy Greens Build Muscles, Not Iron


Spinach and kale are foods I equate with healthy eating. I feel good when I eat spinach, and I always assumed it was from the iron-rich dark leafy greens. A new study has found it's actually nitrates in greens, like chard and spinach, that helps us build muscles.

The Globe and Mail reports: 

In the study, healthy people took nitrate supplements - the equivalent of 1.5 cups of cooked spinach - for three days. At the beginning and end of the experiment, participants rode an exercise bike while their oxygen intake was measured.

Taking nitrate supplements resulted in more efficient muscles - the amount of oxygen needed to fuel exercise was reduced by as much as five per cent.

It's thought that dietary nitrate helps the mitochondria - the power plant inside every cell - run more smoothly and effectively.

I would think that fresh, dark leafy greens would yield better results than supplements.

Photo:  AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by avlxyz

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

February 1, 2011

Takeya Glass Water Bottle Made in Japan

I've never had a problem with stainless steel water bottles causing the water to taste like metal, but I often hear this complaint from friends and family. Recently, I discovered another glass water bottle that I adore.

The Takeya Classic Glass Water Bottle with Silicone Sleeve is made in Japan.

Product Features

  • Size: 22-1/2-Ounce

  • High quality glass bottle provides a healthier way to drink

  • Silicone sleeve provides a good grip, a see-through window, and protects the glass vessel

  • Eliminates toxic leaching that plastic can cause

  • Innovative design holds 22-1/2 ounces

  • Dishwasher safe

Of course, a glass water bottle is heavier than its plastic equivalent, but it is much better for your health. You don't have to worry about any leaching with a glass bottle, and I like the ease of being able to throw it into the dishwasher, sleeve and all!

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

January 19, 2011

As Seen on Entourage: Avion Tequila Made from Blue Weber Agave

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The first time I heard of Avion Tequila was on the HBO series Entourage. I didn't realize it was a real product until I was sent a bottle.  This tequila is made from one of the world's finest agaves.

Tequila Aviõn is produced with only the finest Blue Weber Agave found in the highest regions of Jalisco, Mexico. Higher elevation and topography creates more stress on the plants which in turn leads to more depth and character in the tequila. The plants found in this region are known to be the most coveted plants for tequila production due to their rich mineral content and distinct quality and character. Once harvested, the Tequila Aviõn agave is slow roasted in brick ovens under low temperatures, producing a more rich and robust flavor.

There are many delicious cocktail recipes that can be made with Avion.
Refreshingly Citrus Cocktail


1.5 oz Tequila Avion
.5 oz Orange Juice
.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.5 oz Fresh Lime juice
1 oz Simple Syrup


In a cocktail shaker Muddle 5 mint leaves
add Ice and build all ingredients Shake until ice cold and frothy
Serve over fresh ice, garnish with a Mint leaf and lemon Twist

As far as the eco-friendly characteristics of this tequila, it is made naturally with traditional methods. Of course, the glass bottle is recyclable. I am not aware of other sustainable practices.  

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 at Permalink social bookmarking

January 10, 2011

Eco-Friendly Spirits: Puerto Rican DonQ Rum's Green Initiatives

Nothing is more refreshing than a mojito, and you don't have to feel green guilt if you use DonQ Rum in your mix. DonQ has been produced in Ponce, Puerto Rico since 1865. This very old, family-owned American business is on its way to being 100% sustainable.

We approach sustainability as the challenge of finding ecologically responsible solutions within the context of an economically viable enterprise. Our waste reclamation program not only allows us to maximize our production capacity, it provides valuable energy return and cost reductions in the form of Biogas, electricity, service water, and industrial products that we can sell to other businesses. All this while we do what's best for the vibrant ecosphere of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Sea.

I applaud all of DonQ's green efforts, and there is a lot of information available on their website, including this chart.
Screen shot 2011-01-08 at 8.23.38 AM.png

And here's the recipe for a delicious mojito:

1 1/2 oz.......................................................LIME JUICE
5......................................................CRUSHED MINT LEAVES
1 1/2 oz.......................................................DONQ CRISTAL
Crush mint leaves with sugar,rum and lime juice, shake well, add ice and a splash of club soda.
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 at Permalink social bookmarking

January 7, 2011

Made in France: BPA-Free Glass Reusable Water Bottle with Silicone sleeve

The search for the best reusable water bottle has ended! Lifefactory Beverage Bottle is made of glass, the safest container for your beverages. The lid is plastic, but fortunately it is BPA-free plastic. The glass bottle is protected from breakage with a silicone sleeve that is dishwasher safe.

  • Glass beverage bottle with 22-ounce capacity protected by stylish silicone sleeve in green
  • Glass does not add a chemical or metal taste to your beverage
  • Patent pending silicone sleeve provides a great gripping surface and helps to prevent breakage
  • Wide mouth bottle makes it easy to add ice, citrus slices and tea bags
  • Both bottle and silicone cover are dishwasher safe
Lifefactory creates innovative, non-toxic products that make it easy to lead a healthy and eco-conscious lifestyle. They fuse modern sensibility, eco-friendly composition, and exceptional utility to produce a glass beverage bottle that is free of known harmful chemicals such as BPA, phthalate, PVC, and polycarbonate. All materials are FDA approved. The unique patent pending silicone sleeve is free of plastics, 100% non-toxic, provides a great gripping surface and helps prevent breakage. The benefit of using a glass beverage bottle is that there is no risk of chemicals leaching into your drink and no metallic taste. The widemouth bottle design makes it easy to add ice, citrus slices, tea bags, etc. Beverage bottles are easy clean and dishwasher safe (the glass bottle and silicone sleeve can also be washed together in the dishwasher)

I recently bought a Lifefactory bottle for every member of my family: no metal taste, no plastic safety concerns. I like that the bottle is made in France (the silicone sleeve is from China). I really love our bottles!  Staying hydrated is the single most important thing we can do for our bodies and minds. A safe vessel for beverages is crucial. I am so happy I found Lifefactory!

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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