November 12, 2010

Putamayo Presents Yoga: Music That's Not Just for Asanas

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Putumayo Presents Yoga is a musical CD filled with tunes from around the world. Although I am not a big fan of music during my yoga practice, these soothing tunes are comforting to play anytime.

Yoga is Putumayo's first CD release featuring songs selected to accompany yoga practice and serve as a relaxing soundtrack for daily life. Rooted in ancient Hindu, Buddhist and Jain traditions, the practice of yoga has evolved over the past 5,000 years. Adopted by millions of people around the world, yoga provides a vehicle for greater health and spiritual awareness. Music has long had a close relationship with yoga, particularly in the Bhakti tradition, which incorporates musical chants into its practice. Yoga features renowned musicians from around the world. British-born, South Indian artist Susheela Raman duets with Kenyan singer Ayub Ogada on the harmonious "O Rama." Krishna Das, who is the best-known US performer of traditional Indian kirtan-style music, demonstrates call-and-response chanting on "Hanuman Baba (Dub Farm Remix)." Costa Rican group Amounsulu create a serene atmosphere by blending sitars and glass bottles on the song "El Bosque Eterno de los NiƱos (Children's Eternal Rainforest)."

Many people find music during their yoga practice helps them focus their breath and clear the mind. This CD is a nice collection to accompany your asanas and vinyasa; however, I simply enjoy listening to it while I write and clean.  I think it would be too relaxing for driving; it might put me to sleep.

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

November 10, 2010

The No-Nonsense Guild to Popular Wines Ranks Vintages by Good, Better, Best

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Good, Better, Best Wines: A No-Nonsense Guide to Popular Wines is an easy reference tool for wine drinkers. Ranking commonly found vintages by from good to best, this handy little book makes buying wine easy.

The first buying guide to focus exclusively on the best-selling wines in North America that you can find anywhere!

When it comes to wine, your "wants" are pretty simple: a good wine, at a price you can afford, that's stocked at your local wine shop or supermarket. Good Better Best Wines gives you just that. It reveals in plain English, the good, better, and best wines available for the dollars you're willing to spend--up to $15--along with photos of clearly labeled bottles to make wine shopping easier.

And because Good Better Best Wines is the first book to rank the best-selling wines in North America--think names like Beringer, Kendall-Jackson, and Woodbridge--you bet they'll be stocked at your local store


Each variety is explained before ranking the popular wineries that make them. Since I only drink locally-grown wine from organic grapes, none of my regular brands are featured.  I can't really comment on whether or not I agree with the author's findings, but I do think a locavore wine diet is best.

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

November 8, 2010

Really Natural Green Holiday Eco-Friendly Gift Guide 2010

The following recommendations for eco-friendly gifts come from our favorite products we've reviewed in 2010.  Happy Holidays!

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Gifts for the Cook:

  • Really Natural Cookbooks: Greek Revival: Cook for Life:  Greek Revival: Cooking for Life by Patricia Moore-Pastides is a beautiful cookbook filled with delectable recipes and incredible photographs.  From roasted cumin carrots to stuffed eggplant and zucchini, there are plenty of recipes to please any palate from vegetarian to omnivore.  
  • Really Natural Cookbooks: Green & Black's Chocolate Recipes: From the makers of my favorite chocolate, comes an incredible cookbook! Green & Black's Chocolate Recipes, Revised Edition is the kind of cookbook that makes you drool. Not only is it filled with incredible organic chocolate recipes, it also gives you an education into cocoa (e.g. growers' associations, education, cultural information).
  • Really Natural Cookbooks: The Homesteader's Kitchen Recipes From Farm to Table: Every once in awhile I come across a cookbook that I get really excited about. The Homesteader's Kitchen: Recipes from Farm to Table is full of delicious, whole food recipes, as well as incredible photographs. It is motivating to me as a gardener to inspire new creations in the kitchen from what I have grown. From Miso Vegetable Soup to Brown Rice Cream with Dates, Cinnamon, and Vanilla, your palate will not be disappointed.
  • Really Natural Locavore Cookbooks: Emeril Lagasse Farm to Fork: If you have a garden or love to shop at farmers' markets, you know the value of cooking with fresh, local ingredients. Famous chef Emeril Lagrasse does to and has written a cookbook to help you stay creative while maintaining locavore ideals. Farm to Fork: Cooking Local, Cooking Fresh is an aesthetically pleasing cookbook filled with beautiful photographs and delicious recipes.
ArrowContinue reading: "Really Natural Green Holiday Eco-Friendly Gift Guide 2010"

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 5, 2010

Homeopathic Pain Relief by Topricin

topricin.jpgIf you suffer from chronic pain, like arthritis, or need relief from aching pain, such as a sports injury, Topricin offers a natural solution. Topricin makes "odorless, greaseless, FDA regulated homeopathic biomedicine formulas". We were sent three Topricin products to try:


  • Topricin Anti-Inflammatory Pain Relief Cream
    Great for your bag or pocket!!! Topricin provides pain relief by improving circulation and attracting and stimulating the body's healing chemistries at the site of pain. Topricin delivers reliable pain relief, improving quality-of-life, and providing a strong adjunct to professional care with no side effects or contraindications.

  • Topricin Foot Therapy Cream:
    By stimulating the body's desire to heal the damage that is causing the pain, Topricin Foot Therapy Cream drains the toxins and fluids that build up in an injured area to improve blood flow to the injured tissue. Made to penetrate the skin much like a moisturizer, Topricin Foot Therapy Cream is fast absorbing and paraben free.
Finding effective relief from pain naturally can be challenging at times, but most pain relief products contain chemicals that may help mask the pain but will contribute negatively to your health overall.  Homeopathy is effective, and I have used it for years to manage carpal tunnel and an arthritic hip.

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

November 3, 2010

Sweet Sally's Homemade Baked Goods: All Natural, but not Organic

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My grandmothers are both gone, and one of them clearly was a baker. She made the best cookies, and if I could order them and have them delivered to my door, I would. I miss the cookie care packages she would send me when I was in college. That's the premise behind Sweet Sally's: "Yesterday's Memories Delivered Today".

Sally Saltzbart Minier is a third generation baker and has been active in the kitchen since she was very young.

As a child, I learned the mathematical concept of "fractions" by working with measuring cups and was taught the basic "tricks of the trade" by my Grama Gracie and my Mom, Carrie. Grama Gracie was known for her Jewish specialties and Mom is famous for her world class Apple Pie, New York Cheesecake, Classic Spritz Butter Cookies and LBI Blueberry Buckle.


We tried:

  • Grama's Almond Dunkers (also known as Mandel bread): This pastry is similar to Italian biscotti, yet the dough is soft rather than crunchy. It's filled with jam, nuts and raisins and topped with cinnamon and sugar. Best when dunked in hot coffee or tea.

  • Right Size Chocolate Rugelach: A traditional pastry filled with chocolate, currants and jam; all rolled by hand into a three bite delicacy and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar for extra sweetness. Just like Grama Gracie used to make.

  • Rachel's Raspberry Hamantashen: A triangle shaped pastry typically served during the spring holiday of Purim. Each is topped with a raspberry filling and dusted with powdered sugar for extra sweetness.

  • Awesome Apricot Squares: A buttery crust topped with apricot preserves and a delicous streusel containing coconut and walnuts.


These are all tasty baked goods, but to be honest, they are not the same as fresh from the oven. I also think they should be made with organic ingredients and greener packaging, although Sweet Sally's did use eco-packaging peanuts in the big box.

If you are not a baker, Sweet Sally's does make it easy for you to send delicious baked treats to friends and family.


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

October 29, 2010

Halloween Sweet Treat Alternative: Popcorn, Indiana


Ghosts and goblins will soon be overloading the sugar content of our children. Whether organic treats or not, popcorn offers a nice break from the sugary snacks.

Popcorn, Indiana makes authentic, all-natural kettlecorn. Unfortunately, it is not organic, but it is tasty. It comes in many varieties:


My favorite flavors are the aged cheddar and gourmet, but I am too fearful to try the bacon ranch. It just sounds gnarly to me. It does not list bacon as an ingredient, so I am not sure if it is vegetarian. "Natural flavor" can mean anything.

Popcorn, Indiana is a real place (population 42 says the sign).

We are wildly fanatical about healthier, whole grain snacking. Our mission is to make the best tasting better-for-you snacks on the planet. We have our own facility, filled with honest-to-goodness corn that is specifically grown for popping. We have special kettles that are filled, by hand, one scoop at a time, by real people, who are carefully producing, oh-so-lovingly, the greatest popcorn you've ever had. That sentence had a lot of commas, so you know we're serious.

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

October 27, 2010

Really Natural Cookbooks: Greek Revival: Cook for Life

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I love Greek food! It is one food I craved when pregnant, and any chance I got to dine out on Greek food, I took. 

 I've never been one to make Greek cuisine at home, other than the occasional salad. That's all about to change!


Greek Revival: Cooking for Life by Patricia Moore-Pastides is a beautiful cookbook filled with delectable recipes and incredible photographs.

From Booklist

Down-home Greek, even Mediterranean cooking is best experienced as a meat-light peasant diet, embracing olive oil, grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits as its main ingredients. No wonder that public-health professional (and first-time author) Moore-Pastides, Greek by marriage, not only provides 87 authentic recipes but also promotes this healthy way of eating through frequent references to current scientific research. Many of these diet's benefits are widely recognized, especially protection against heart disease; other features, like the avoidance of highly processed foods and the use of omega-3 fatty acids, are well documented within her text and in the appended references. Each recipe, though simple to follow, doesn't emulate modern cookbooks in its format; instead, all are written in a narrative, surrounded by the author's stories of living in Greece and Cyprus. Color photographs and occasional sidebars also help cooks complete dishes successfully, whether a traditional gyros or saganaki or a special-occasion moussaka or tava (slow-cooked lamb stew). A foreword by Dimitrios Trichopoulos, from Harvard School of Public Health, emphasizes the goodness of Greek eats. --Barbara Jacobs

From roasted cumin carrots to stuffed eggplant and zucchini, there are plenty of recipes to please any palate from vegetarian to omnivore.  

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

October 25, 2010

Tom's of Maine Wicked Fresh! Toothpaste and Mouthwash Clinically Proven to Fight Bad Breath

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Wicked Fresh Toothpaste and Wicked Fresh Mouthwash are "Clincally proven to reduce VSC's - what bad breath germs produce".  That's a good thing, as I once had a student ask why teachers always have bad breath.  I told him it was the coffee :) 

 I've always been wary of toothpastes that promise fresh breath, as they are usually super strong in flavor. I was pleasantly surprised Wicked Fresh is actually mild-flavored. 


  • Cool Peppermint Wicked Fresh! Toothpaste: "the first toothpaste to feature the company's patent-pending, flavorless botanical licorice root extract combined with a punch of powerful natural mint flavor oils for refreshing taste that will help banish bad breath."

  • Wicked Fresh! Mouthwash:  "powered by the naturally sourced mineral zinc-chloride to help stop bad breath and uses a proprietary blend of natural mint oils to deliver great taste and a clean, cool feeling in your mouth."

This toothpaste does contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which I tend to avoid.  Tom's response:

As formulated for cosmetic use, SLS has not been found to cause cancer in any recognized scientific research studies. When used in our toothpaste, SLS has limited contact with the gums and is then rinsed out. In the body sprays, a very low level of SLS is used, just enough to disperse the fragrance oils. And to ensure consumer safety, a clinical study was run on the body spray to verify that this level of SLS in the product did not cause irritation when left on the skin. At the levels used in our products, SLS has no known toxicity--not even when ingested.

Tom's does make an alternative SLS-Free toothpaste.

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

October 22, 2010

All Natural Minerals Pet Odor Eliminator for Carpet and Furniture

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I love my pets, but the truth is, the dogs are stinky! From meeting skunks to just being dogs, their odor sometimes linger.

Earth Care Clear the Air Pet Odor Remover for Carpet and Furniture is all natural and pulls pet odors out of carpets, rugs, tile, linoleum, and hardwood.

Earth Care Clear the Air Pet Odor Remover for Carpet & FurnitureEarth Care Clear the Air Pet Odor Remover for Carpet & Furniture acts like a magnet by attracting and neutralizing smells. It is made from an all natural mineral, is non toxic and biodegradable and safe for Planet Earth. It is also safe around children and pets. Earth Care Clear the Air Pet Odor Remover for Carpet & Furniture adsorbs odors rather than masking them with a fragrance.

This product is made in the USA and can be added to your soil as a nitrogen amendment after use. 

The car is another great area for its application.  That's where I notice pet odor the most.


Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 20, 2010

Plant-Sourced, Certified Organic Calcium Builds Stronger Bones in 180 Days

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I have a hard time taking calcium. It usually upsets my stomach, but I have recently discovered plant-based calcium. It is much more gentle, and as a vegetarian, I am ensured my dietary ethics are not being compromised by my supplements.

AlgaeCal is derived from the South American Algae Algas Calcareas.

Most of the calcium supplements sold today are derived from limestone, so unless you know what to look for, the chances are that you're swallowing things like citric acid, oyster shells, coral and stones. This rock-sourced calcium can be difficult to absorb and can cause digestive problems. We're just not meant to eat rocks!

However, there's another type of calcium that's ideal for the vegan or vegetarian diet. Plant-sourced calcium comes from an edible substance: algae. A study shows that plant calcium can increase the growth of human bone building cells from 200 to 400% more than other types of calcium. AlgaeCal is raw, unbleached, completely plant-based and the only USDA Certified Organic calcium available. It is easy to digest, rich with other essential bone health minerals and ecologically harvested.

Furthermore, AlgaeCal backs its products with a 6 month refund guarantee if after 180 days your bones are not stronger as evident on a body DEXA scan.
In a six-month randomized, open label human clinical study, 176 women and men ages 18 to 85 used AlgaeCal Plus and Strontium Boost supplements and followed a healthy diet while participating in a light exercise program. In just six months (180 Days), participants experienced a significant average INCREASE in bone mineral density of 2.8% as evidenced by before and after DEXA scans. Highly compliant participants experienced an INCREASE in bone mineral density by an incredible 3.7%.
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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