September 26, 2007

SkinFree Skincare Products: All Natural and Petroleum-Free

dpp_0053.jpgMany thanks to the folks from SkinFree Skincare Products, who recently sent over samples of some of their moisturizers and soaps for sensitive skin. I wish I'd discovered them sooner!

SkinFree products are all natural, fragrance-free and petroleum-free. SkinFree owner Julie Hilton, a practicing pharmacist, designed the skincare line in response to customer requests for recommendations on products for difficult skin conditions, especially fragrance allergies. Her products are recommended for individuals with skin allergies, eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. They're also ideally suited for pregnant moms, babies, diabetics, renal patients and people undergoing radiation therapy. I can understand why.

When I was pregnant, I developed a sensitivity to petroleum-based ingredients in my regular skincare products. My skin was dry and itchy, but I couldn't stand the petroleum smell in products containing mineral oil or petroleum jelly.

SkinFree has three products I'd recommend for pregnant women, or anyone else with dry, sensitive skin: their Super Moisture Body Balm, their After Shower Moisture Spritz, and their Niaouli Butter Stick. These products are so gentle, I'd even recommend them for babies!

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Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

September 13, 2007

How to Recognize Bisphenol-A in Plastic Bottles and Containers

250px-Bisphenol_A.svg.pngWe've been reading up on the risks is Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical found in hard plastics that has been linked to cancer and hormonal disruption.

EWG, the Environmental Working Group, offers the following tips for avoiding exposure to BPA:

* Cut down on canned foods. To keep food from reacting with the metal of the can, a plastic coating made from bisphenol A is commonly applied to the inside of the can. This coating appears as a solid color on the inside of the can, and can leach into the food stored inside.

* Avoid eating or drinking from polycarbonate plastics – used in such products as hard plastic baby bottles, 5 gallon water cooler bottles, hard plastic water bottles, plastic silverware, and Lexan products. You can check for the type of plastic on the bottom of the bottle – polycarbonate bottles may be labeled with recycling number 7 ("Other" type of plastic) or may contain the letters "PC" below the recycling symbol. Bisphenol A may leach out of these types of bottles into your beverage or food. Alternatives include bottles and other materials made from glass, stainless steel, or polypropylene bottles labeled number 5 on the bottom (translucent, not transparent).

So, you may want to think about replacing your Nalgene bottles and your plastic sippy cups and baby bottles, and looking for alternatives.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

September 10, 2007

Safe Alternatives for Baby: New Site for Parents

Sandra Blum just wrote in to let us know about the launch of a new site for parents concerned making safe and healthy choices for their children - Safe Alternatives for Baby. She writes:
With this blog, we wish to shine the light from potentially harmful or toxic choices we may unknowingly make for our children, onto safer alternatives. We hope to inspire parents to become as aware as possible.

Initial entries focus on sunblock, water filters, baby wipes and pacifiers.

Good luck to Sandra and her partner Samantha on the new site. Sandra and Samantha, welcome to the blogosphere! Keep us posted.

Read more at Safe Alternatives for Baby.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

June 13, 2007

Eating Local with a CSA Share from The Food Project

4-About-Us-03.jpgHooray for June! Time for longer days, warm nights, and -- perhaps best of all -- the start of our CSA share from The Food Project.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. You buy a "share" of a local farmer's crop at the beginning of the growing season, and all summer you receive "dividends" -- baskets and boxes of fresh summer produce.

Russ and I bought our CSA share from The Food Project, a local nonprofit that employs city and suburban youth working organic farms inside and outside of the city.

In addition to growing veggies for CSA members, The Food Project distributes their organic produce to local soup kitchens and sells it at inner-city farmers markets. Youth who participate in the program learn about the food system, organic and sustainable agriculture, and about access-to-food issues facing inner-city residents.

Crew,-bulldogs,-04.jpgLast week, our share included enough greens to feed an army -- arugula, mizuma, spinach, lettuce, bok choy, baby field greens, and a handful of radishes and turnips. It provides a great lesson in eating locally (see Omnivore's Dilemma and Animal, Vegetable, Mineral), and a great reminder of how good food tastes when it's fresh from the farm.

Learn more about Community Supported Agriculture and find a CSA near you.

Support The Food Project.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

June 8, 2007

Weekend Reading: Vegan with a Vengeance

51TFFjknAVL._SS500_.jpgRuss and I are not planning to become vegans. But we're always looking for ways to eat more healthfully and "lower on the food chain." Vegan with a Vengeance : Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock by Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the perfect introduction to eating vegan-style without giving up good tasting foods.

Moskowitz, whose most recent book is called Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, is the queen of re-making non-vegan favorites as vegan dishes. Recipes in Vegan with a Vengeance include vegan versions of Spanakopita, Matzo Ball Soup, Glazed Orange Scones, and Seitan-Portobello Stroganoff. And, obviously, her vegan dessert recipes totally rock.

Buy Vegan with a Vengeance.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

June 6, 2007

Recipe: Oatmeal Pancakes from Cooking with Aloha


ReallyNatural's founder Jay Brewer recently returned from a trip to NYC where he met Ann Hall Every, the author of Cook with Aloha. We like the section of her site dedicated to Good Food, Good Health, where we found this recipe for oatmeal pancakes.

Cooking with Aloha Oatmeal Pancakes

1 cup quick-cooking (not instant) rolled oats
2 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 tsp. pure vanilla or almond extract
Canola cooking spray

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Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

June 5, 2007

Coffee Made from Soybeans?

Coffee Lover.jpgWill Soy Espresso be the next big taste trend in coffee shops? It will if Marina Kushner has anything to say about it. Kushner, founder of Soy Coffee LLC, sent an email last week introducing Soyfee, a soybean and caffeine-free coffee blend she is selling to health food and gourmet shops (and via her website).

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Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

May 14, 2007

Favorite Flax Seed Food Products

Eating flax seeds have been shown to reduce cholesterol, help fight diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, reduce menopausal symptoms and inflammation from arthritis and fight constipation. No wonder we know so many folks who are looking for ways to add flax to their diets.

You can grind your own flax seeds or purchase pre-ground flax seeds like Barlean's Forti-Flax, and add them to yogurt, smoothies and oatmeal.

Or, you can pick up some of the many foods containing flax seeds, some of our favorites of which are listed below:

51JKTT2RCDL._AA280_PIbundle-6,TopRight,0,0_AA280_SH20_.jpgNature's Path Flax Plus Granola Cereal with Pumpkin Seeds - Totally tasty granola - crunchy, not too sweet, and certified organic. Buy a six-pack on Amazon and save big-time over the cost of individual boxes in grocery stores.

Hodgson Mill Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Milled Flax Seed
- Whole wheat gourmet pasta with milled flax seed. 600 mg Omega 3 oils per serving. Again, certified organic.

Hodgson Mill Brownie Mix with Whole Wheat Flour & Milled Flax Seed - Brownie mix with ground flax seeds? Sign us up. Whole wheat flour adds additional fiber (and bonus points). I recommend sprinkling grain sweetened chocolate chips on top before baking. Yum.

Oskri Organics Flax Seed Bars - Gluten- and lactose-free, with flax seeds, sesame seeds, rice syrup and date syrup. No refined sugars. Chewy and delicious.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

April 9, 2007

RabbitAir BioGP Air Purifier - On Sale for $330 (40% Off)

B000CP55VW.01-A3EGJ8JN2OW2WE._SCLZZZZZZZ_V25112185_AA280_.jpgHey folks, RabbitAir sale alert! Amazon has the air purifier on sale for $329.95, more than 40% off the retail price.

We've written about the RabbitAir BioGP Air Purifier before and have received emails from readers raving about it. We're not sure if this sale has anything to do with the Easter holiday, but we recommend you get yours now before it's gone like the Easter bunny on Monday morning.

Buy the RabbitAir BioGP Air Purifier.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

March 26, 2007

BabyGanics Non-Toxic Cleaners on SuperCoolBaby

A shout out to our friends Peter and Laura Kovacs at for blogging about BabyGanics non-toxic cleaners.
The folks at BabyGanics have created a line of cleaning products that are safe for children, pets, and the environment. Created using all natural ingredients, BabyGanics claim to have superior performance to conventional cleaners. The cleaners have no fillers or dyes, contain no pollutants, caustic ingredients or volatile organic compounds.

You don't want your baby crawling around on a floor that's been cleaned with toxic chemicals, right? Neither do we. Thanks, Peter and Laura, for letting us know about BabyGanics.

Read more at SuperCoolBaby.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

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