March 5, 2010

Hippie Chips: Peace, Love, and Gluten Free

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Rock and Roll Gourmet has several snacks that appeal to the hippie in all of us. With a slogan like "Peace, Love, & Gluten Free", who wouldn't want to try a flavor called "Woodstock Ranch" or "Memphis Blues Barbeque". Hippie Chips are all natural, but they are not organic. Personally, I think the flavored varieties are overdone, but the plain "Sea of Love Salt" was tasty.

Hippie Chips are the best tasting and most unique baked potato chip in the world.

Every chip's shape is as individual as you are. They are ultra light and low in fat and calories.

With superlative taste and exceptional texture, Hippie Chips will awaken the free spirit in you!

Don't Worry, Be Hippie!


Rock and Roll Gourmet also make Sweet Emotions. These snacks are also baked, made from multigrains and have only 60 calories. My daughter thinks they taste "a little funny", and I prefer simple organic chocolate when I need to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Rock & Pops is a flavored popcorn line by the company.  I just have a hard time getting behind snacks that are not organic.   

I think the gimmick of these products is cute, but in my opinion it is a little overdone. I am not sure if it is just another attempt to make money off of the 1960s or provide a healthy snack.

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

March 3, 2010

LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

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According to the Mayo Clinic:

Seasonal affective disorder (also called SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. If you're like most people with seasonal affective disorder, your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.

LUSH "Fresh Handmade Cosmetics" is tackling SAD head on with fun products to lighten your mood and cheer you up!

The Comforter Bubble Bar by LUSH:
After a chilly walk home in the snow, wrap yourself up in The Comforter Bubble Bar ($8.75). A hot bath of fruity, blackcurrant bubbles provides instant warmth and comfort inside and out. Formulated with bergamot, the uplifting essential oil calms nerves and is recommended for people suffering from S.A.D. - or those with regular winter blues.

Therapy Massage Bar by LUSH:
Calm your mind and your senses so you can feel at peace during these cold winter months with Therapy Massage Bar ($8.75). This 100% organic shea and cocoa butter bar increases circulation and warms muscles. The lavender plays a major role to ease senses, calm the nervous system and relieve stress.

Happy 4 SAD Shower Gel by LUSH
Need something extra to keep spirits soaring as temperature rapidly falls? Just in time for the coldest season of the year, LUSH has brought back Happy 4 Sad ($25.95) as a Retro product! The ultra-violet colored shower gel is perfect for when the UV index is at zero. It contains neroli oil, an anti-depressant to help make it through the darkest of days. So lather up with this scent that will keep you smiling throughout the day.

I am bugged by the fact that the shower gel contains D&C Red No. 33 and FD&C Blue No.1. None of these products have been evaluated by the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep cosmetic database, but other LUSH products have received hazard scores from three to seven.

Spring may be right around the corner, but these LUSH products are fun to use in any season or mood. They smell delightful and live up to LUSH's handmade, naked reputation.

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

February 23, 2010

Vegan, All Natural Chocolate Pear Cabernet Sauce Made with Organic Agave Nectar

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If you are looking for a unique gourmet spread, look no farther than A Perfect Pear from Napa Valley. Their all-natural, vegan Chocolate Pear Cabernet Sauce is sweetened with organic Agave nectar.

Made with premium Guittard chocolate, organic agave, cabernet juice and a hint of pear. Pour over a cabernet poached pear, vanilla ice cream or spread on brownies. Heat slightly and use as a fondue dipper with fresh strawberries.

I have yet to try this unique sauce heated, but it is delicious straight out of the jar. It is sort of expensive at $11 for 13 ounces, but it really does last a long time and is quite a treat. Another bonus is that a portion of profits is donated to children's charities.

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

February 19, 2010

Zero Calorie Skinny Water Uses Artificial Chemical Sweetener Splenda

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When sent a box of Skinny Water, I became suspicious of this product's marketing because use the word "skinny" in its title. Of course, drinking a flavored water will not make you thin, but I also don't think the company is trying to make this claim; however, flavors have names like "crave control" and "shape", and they include health fad foods like goji berries. Skinny Water comes in six flavors:


My concern with Skinny Water is its use of the artificial sweetener Splenda (sucralose). The safety of this artificial sweetener has come into question. Women to Women explains:
The FDA has no definition for "natural," so please bear with us for a biochemistry moment:
On the other side of the argument are responsible experts who say that Splenda is unsafe -- the latest in a succession of artificial sweeteners that claim at first to be healthy, only later to be proven to be full of side effects. These authorities say that Splenda has more in common with DDT than with food....

Splenda is the trade name for sucralose, a synthetic compound stumbled upon in 1976 by scientists in Britain seeking a new pesticide formulation. It is true that the Splenda molecule is comprised of sucrose (sugar) -- except that three of the hydroxyl groups in the molecule have been replaced by three chlorine atoms.

I found nothing wrong with the flavor of Skinny Water, but I don't think that people trying to lose weight need to sacrifice their health by using artificial sweeteners. Natural sweeteners may be used in moderation with a healthy, whole foods diet and exercise as part of any sensible weight loss plan. Besides, artificial sweeteners are turning up in our waterways and drinking water causing much concern for our health and the environment.


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

February 16, 2010

LED vs. LCD: Save Energy with a LED TV

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I live off-the-grid. A couple years ago, we purchased a Sony LCD television, and we were shocked to see the amount of power this TV actually used. It wasn't a huge set, but it did pull a lot of juice out of our batteries. When we had the opportunity to try a LED TV, we wanted to see if it actually did use less power.

We tested out a VIZIO TruLED. According to the manufacturer:

VIZIO's Eco HD models exceed the current Energy Star guidelines by 56% below Energy Star 3.0, which saves you money on your utility bills while limiting the impact on our planet.

In addition to the fact that LED HDTVs are more efficient than standard LCDs, the display's LED backlights do not utilize mercury, an environmentally harmful substance used in other backlights.


Some reviewers on Amazon have complained about the sound on the Vizio, and straight out of the box, I couldn't agree more. There was a strange sort of buzz and the volume needed to be cranked up for watching. The Vizio came set to "flat" in the audio settings. Switching this to "rock" fixed the problem.
 
Even thought this TV is larger than our TV, we noticed it uses less power. Obviously, that's a good thing for all consumers, not just those making their own power like we are. In fact, earlier this year California looked at regulating energy consumption of TVs.  LED TVs appear to be the solution, but I am not sure it warrants buying a new TV.  All of the energy and resources used in manufacturing a new set may not be offset by the energy savings.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

February 12, 2010

New Gluten Free Crunchy Maple and Vanilla Sunrise Organic Cereal by Nature's Path

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Nature's Path already makes many gluten-free, organic cereals, and now they have added to the bunch with the Crunchy Sunrise flavors of maple and vanilla.
Crunchy Maple Sunrise:

Made with love and ...
INGREDIENTS: Organic whole grain corn meal, organic evaporated cane juice, organic brown rice flour, organic yellow corn flour, organic inulin, organic quinoa puffs, organic maple syrup, organic flax seeds, natural maple flavor, organic buckwheat flour, organic quinoa, sea salt, organic amaranth, organic molasses, tocopherols (natural vitamin E). Produced in a facility that uses peanuts, tree nuts and soy.

Crunchy Vanilla Sunrise:
Made with love and ...
INGREDIENTS: Organic whole grain corn meal, organic evaporated cane juice, organic brown rice flour, organic yellow corn flour, organic inulin, organic quinoa puffs, organic flax seeds, natural vanilla flavor, organic buckwheat flour, organic quinoa, sea salt, organic amaranth, organic molasses, tocopherols (natural vitamin E). Produced in a facility that uses peanuts, tree nuts and soy.

Of course, you don't have to be one of the two million people in the US that suffer from Celiac Disease to enjoy these healthy cereals. There is no sacrifice of flavor in making these cereals gluten-free.


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

February 10, 2010

Get Stubborn Stuff Off Your Skin Naturally with Removeez

Screen shot 2010-02-06 at 10.02.17 AM.png Temporary tattoos on kids' skin, Sharpie markers, tar, sap, band-aid residue, etc....these are all stubborn substances that typically have to just wear off your skin unless you use harsh chemical agents. Removeez has the natural solution to "Get Stuff Off Your Skin".
Numerous hospital visits with our young son, and the skin-tearing sticky bandages that come with... Daily trips to our tar-ridden beach, and the impossible-to-remove-goop that come with it... A daughter who loves to play with Sharpies, and the permanent skin art that comes with it...

We found we needed something like REMOVEEZ daily. We had no desire to go into the shed for toxic mineral spirits and we were done with the "just rip off the band-aid" moments. We didn't want to stop our kids from being kids -- wearing temporary tattoos or playing with face paint; we just needed something to clean them up so they could look nice for the grandparents.

As California beach parents, we went looking for something natural, with additional homeopathic elements, because after all we were going to put it on our kids' skin. When we didn't find it, we invented it.


Using homeopathic extracts of aloe, bee pollen calendula, Hawaiian white ginger, and red clover blossome, Removeez comes in four scents:

  1. Removeez - Lavender/orange

  2. Removeez - Eucalyptus/orange

  3. Removeez - Clove/orange

  4. Removeez - Coconut/orange

Removeez is an "alternative to rubbing alcohol, baby oil, turpentine, mineral spirits, acetone, and industrial products not meant to clean the skin."

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

February 8, 2010

Freaky Plush Toys Based on Endangered Species

yoohoo.jpgAurora has created a line of plush toys called Yoo Hoo & Friends. Each character is based upon an endangered species, and a virtual world accompanies the toys at yoohoofriends.com. From lemurs to capuchin monkeys, each toy can be squeezed to make a noise and have certain characteristics online, like being "creative & smart".

Personally, I find these toys a bit freaky. Their color schemes are bizarre, and the sounds are not genuine to the animals they represent. I am not sure what the educational benefit is as far teaching children about endangered species, and these toys are made of synthetic materials. Unlike Aurora's Natural plush toys made from soy and kapok that more accurately resemble animals, I feel the Yoo Hoo line is all about marketing and trying to tap into the Webkinz frenzy.

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

February 5, 2010

Organic Gourmet Flavored Tortillas Made in LA by Tumaro's


Tortillas are completely versatile wraps, and now they are coming in more flavors than just wheat and white. Tomaro's makes gourmet organic flavored tortillas that are great in any recipe. Varieties we tried include:

Herman Jacobs originally retired in 1981 after selling two successful family businesses, Hain Pure Food Co. and Hollywood Foods. In 1994, Herman and his son Brian bought a tiny Mexican frozen entrée company named Tumaro's in Santa Monica, California. Together, they reformulated the product line to be healthier, tinkering with the tortillas they used in the process.

Soon after, they concentrated all their efforts solely on tortillas, infusing them with natural flavors and whole grains. They created the supermarket industry's first flavored tortillas and to this day, remain the largest seller of flavored tortillas on the market. In addition to adding flavors, they also set out to make them the healthiest too.

These are good tortillas, and we enjoyed them with our burritos. I like how the company discloses the percentage of organic ingredients in each product, instead of just saying "organic". 

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

February 3, 2010

Organic Meat Soups by Pacific Natural Foods

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Of course it is better to make soups from scratch, but the next best thing when you need a quick meal is canned organic soup. Pacific Natural Foods has just improved the flavors of its Hearty Artisan Soups that contain "organic meat protein". As a vegetarian, I could not taste these soups, but I did find an omnivore to try them out. He said they were good with some "doctoring" of Bragg Liquid Aminos and nutritional yeast. The five improved flavors are:


  1. Pacific Natural Foods Organic Savory White Bean With Smoked Bacon Soup

  2. Pacific Natural Foods Organic Spicy Chicken Fajita Soup

  3. Pacific Natural Foods Organic Savory Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

  4. Pacific Natural Foods Organic Chicken & Penne Pasta Soup

  5. Pacific Natural Foods Organic Split Pea with Bacon & Swiss Cheese Soup

Besides being committed to organic foods, Pacific Natural Foods is a top donor to the Oregon Food Bank. The company believes, "No one should go hungry."

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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