December 21, 2012

Organic Andean Superfruit: Navitas Naturals Golden Berry Powder

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I love to make smoothies. They allow me to get many servings of fruit and vegetables in one punch. Now, thanks to Navitas Naturals, I can add super fruits to the mix. 

 We were sent organic freeze-dried goldenberry powder to try:

Goldenberries have been cultivated for thousands of years beginning in the Incan Empire. Also known as "Incan Berries" or "Cape Gooseberries", these warm-climate fruits are handpicked and sun-dried. Goldenberries, and this freeze-dried powder made from them, are a tart and tasty source of key nutrients including beta carotene, bioflavonoids, vitamin A and protein.

This golden berry powder is perfect for not only smoothies, but it is also great to use in oatmeal and salad dressing. I love it! It's raw and vegan too!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Read More in: Food | Product review

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

December 19, 2012

Hawaii Handcrafted Organic Ocean Vodka

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Looking for some handcrafted organic spirits this holiday season?

Organic Ocean Vodka is the official vodka of the Aloha state. Even if you can't visit Maui during the cold mainland winter months, you can enjoy the refreshing deep ocean water used to make Ocean Vodka.

The mission of Ocean Vodka is to create a superior organic, value-added agricultural product from Hawaii that supports the local economy, competes globally based on quality and raises awareness for ocean conservation.

We are eco-conscious producers and our devotion to the preservation of our planet compels us to utilize only the safest, most sustainable production methods available, from seed to finished spirit.

Inspired by our love and respect for the ocean, Ocean Vodka supports organizations charged with oceanic conservation. Since we produced our first bottle of Ocean Vodka in 2006, we have strived to give back and help to protect those ever-so-delicate oceanic eco-systems that so deeply influence our lives. We welcome those dedicated to conserving ocean resources to help us increase awareness about oceanic causes, and are always open to discussing support and partnerships with like-minded efforts.


Furthermore, Ocean Vodka bottles are made with 60% recycled glass. Recycled glass melts at a lower temperature and quicker than virgin glass, thus energy is saved in addition to the recycling efforts.

This is the only vodka made from organic sugar cane!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Read More in: Food | Product review

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

December 18, 2012

Lanfill Harmonic Recycled Orchestra

Landfill Harmonic is an upcoming feature-length documentary about a remarkable musical orchestra in Paraguay, where the musicians play instruments made from trash.

Landfill Harmonic movie teaser from Landfill Harmonic on Vimeo.

Read More in: Kids | Recycling

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

December 17, 2012

SeabuckWonders: Affordable High Quality Sea Buckthorn Personal Care

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Dr. Oz, although not my favorite celebrity health care advisor for calling organic food "elitist, has called Sea Buckthorn a "miracle berry". Sea Buckthorn is very beneficial to skin, as it reduced the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes, as well as helps reverse the signs of sun damage.

The original company to sell Sea Buckthorn supplements has introduced a personal care line. We were sent the following products to try:
Seabuckwonders Sea Buckthorn Exfoliating Facial Cleanser:

Super charged with powerful antioxidants and containing more than 190 bioacitve nutrients, vitamins and minerals, Sea Buckthorn has been used traditionally for its amazing cell membrane supporting abilities to nourish and maintain beautiful, healthier skin, hair and nails. Sea Buckthorn Facial Cleanser cleans skin gently, yet effectively, without stripping the skin of its natural oils. It exfoliates to remove dirt and impurities, while hydrating skin for a smooth, clear complextion.

Seabuckwonders Sea Buckthorn Facial Cream
Sea Buckthorn Facial Cream supports a healthy mositure balance deep within the skin. This hydrating, yet lightweight, formula absorbs quickly and nurtures the skin for a soft, smooth complexion.

Seabuckwonders Sea Buckthorn Deep Hydrating Serum
Sea Buckthorn Deep Hydrating Serum nourishes and supports cell regeneration to minimize fine lines and help maintain a youthful, healthy glow.

Sea Buckthorn Body Lotion - with Organic Sea Buckthorn
The famous pro-skin contents including Omega 7, Vitamins C, E, A, SOD(superoxide dismutase) and about 200 other bioactive elements and their synergistics effect offers excellent protection, restoration and rejuvenation to your fair and young looking skin

Compared to other Sea Buckthorn beauty products, these are very fairly priced. They are vegan and non-GMO, as well as cruelty-free.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Read More in: Beauty | Product review

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

December 14, 2012

Raw Food for Dummies: Recipes and More!

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Although I find the title of the Dummies books, well insulting, they do contain useful information in a user-friendly format.

Recently, we were sent Raw Food For Dummies by Cherie Soria and Dan Ladermann.

Celebrities like Sting, Madonna, and Woody Harrelson have drawn attention to the newest trend in eating: raw foods. Raw foodists--people whose diets consist of at least seventy-five percent raw foods--eat an uncooked, unheated, unprocessed, and organic plant-based diet. For those looking for informative facts about this way of life, the newly published Raw Food For Dummies® shares reasons for incorporating raw food into your diet and tips on how to do it, as well as more than 100 recipes covering breakfasts, lunches, dinners, appetizers, and snacks.

Followers of a raw food diet cite numerous health benefits, including healthy detoxification, increased energy levels, improved appearance of skin, improved digestion, and weight loss. Raw foods are nutrient dense with little to no saturated fats or sodium, and because they're high in potassium and rich in fiber, they are important factors in helping to reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic ailments. Raw Food For Dummies covers these benefits, as well as information on transitioning to the raw food lifestyle (including where to buy and how to store raw foods) and the popular methods of preparing meals (sprouting, dehydrating, juicing, greening, and more).

After two of my close friends went on an Ejuva Intestinal Cleansing Program, I became inspired to eat more raw foods. Currently, I eat mostly raw foods. I feel so much healthier!  The only time I eat cooked foods is at dinner.

Raw Food for Dummies has a lot of useful information and recipes for anyone wishing to eating more food the way nature intended. I especially like the "Sweet Endings" chapter. I can't wait to try the Sweet Nut'ins 'n' Chocolate Kiss Cookies (no, they don't use Hersheys).

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Read More in: Food | Health | Product review | Really Natural Books

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

December 13, 2012

To Fast or not to Fast?

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Fasting is defined as "voluntarily not eating food for varying lengths of time." People fast for a variety of reasons from losing weight to spiritual practice. 

 Fasting makes my body feel good. I do not fast for long periods of times, sometimes I do juice fasts, sometimes just herbal tea; however, some doctors have expressed concern for what happens to our bodies during fasting.

LiveScience explains:

The side effects aren't surprising, said registered dietitian Joy Dubost, a spokeperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

"You're putting the body under tremendous stress," she said.

Within the first 24-48 hours of calorie deprivation, the body depletes its glycogen stores from muscles and the liver -- basically, that's the carbohydrate stores that provide quick energy, Dubost said. Then it starts breaking down protein within muscles and fat to produce energy. During that process, the body's metabolism slows down in order to conserve energy, she said. Meanwhile, hormonal reactions will fluctuate...

While Dubost sees no benefits in complete fasts, others think that a milder form of fasting could help certain populations. Intermittent fasting, proponents say, produces a milder stress on the body similar to exercise.

"Exercise is an energetic stress, where you have a marked increase in energy expenditure," said Mark Mattson, chief of the laboratory of neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging. "Conversely, fasting for even a relatively short period of time like 16-24 hours also puts an energetic stress on the body, but in kind of the opposite way, through reduced energy availability."

And the adaptive responses to that mild stress of not having food? In animal studies, Mattson and other researchers have found positive changes in nerve cells. Intermittent fasting can protect neurons from becoming damaged by oxidative stress, for example, and better regulate glucose.


Most Americans overeat or eat food lacking in quality nutrition. Fasting helps cleanse the body and focus eating on more healthy choices, in my experience. Extreme fasting could be detrimental, but fasting is one of the "oldest therapies in medicine". It is always good to consult health care practitioner and listen to your body.

I highly recommend short fasts (12-18 hours) during the holiday season to compensate for all the feasting!

Read More in: Health

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

December 12, 2012

Kitchen Gadgets: The Garlic Chop

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The Garlic Chop is a kitchen gadget designed to make dicing garlic easier and hands-free, for those who wish to avoid the odor on their fingers.

I grow a lot of garlic, and yes, sometimes I am lazy about using it in my cooking, as I don't want to peal it and clean the garlic press. The Garlic Chop does not change the need for peeling garlic, but it is easier to clean than a press.

The Garlic Chop is powered by your hands and with a simple side-to-side twist, perfectly chopped garlic is revealed. A conveniently placed button on the rear of the design escalates a patented riser plate that pushes the garlic upward, which can be removed with a knife or spatula.

It has the makeup of handheld food processors and quickly dices up to four peeled cloves at a time. Small ribs on the side of The Garlic Chop allows for an easy grip and the interior plastic teeth are sharp enough to create a chopped, pulp-like consistency ideal for fish, meats and potatoes.

It is dishwasher safe.

The Garlic Chop does not cut up the garlic as fine as a press, which is good if you want bigger chunks. It also only accepts pretty small cloves. The first clove I tried it with was way too big, and I had to cut it up to make it fit in the Garlic Chop. I like to grow bigger cloves, as they are easier to use in cooking. Often, they need to be cut up for the press too.

The Garlic Chop would not work with elephant garlic unless you cut it up ahead of time.

There is nothing eco-friendly or natural about this product. It is made in China.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Read More in: Food | Kitchen | Product review

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

December 11, 2012

SportsArt Fitness Green System: exercise equipment that produces electricity


I am fortunate enough that I can get enough exercise to stay fit without the need of exercise equipment or a gym membership. For city dwellers, the gym keeps them in shape, yet there is a lot energy wasted that could be used as people workout.

SportsArt Fitness has developed a Green System that hooks up exercise equipment to an inverter:

What is the green system?
The Green System consists of a pod of products connected to an inverter. The inverter is connected to a 208-240VAC (commonly known as 220 Volt) power supply. Once the users begin exercising, power is generated and fed back into the power grid to offset other power consumption in the facility....

If the green system makes power, why connect to the electrical grid?
The Green System is made to produce power and immediately send it back into the electrical grid. This is much more efficient than battery storage systems which are expensive, environmentally harmful, take up space, and require processing that wastes power. With the Green System, the power produced via exercise is immediately fed back into the grid to be consumed by other electronic devices...

How much energy can the Green System produce?
Up to 2000 watt-hours, per pod of products at maximum capacity.

This green system can be used in both a residential or commercial setting.

Read More in: Alternative Energy

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

December 10, 2012

Ditch Paper Towels with Jimmy Pocket Towel

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Did you know that:

51,000 trees are cut down every day to make paper towels.

13 billion pounds of paper towels end up in landfills across the U.S.
every year.


Having a new puppy in the house, I fear we are contributing to this problem.

Jimmy Pocket Towel is a new company aimed at reducing the evil paper towel habit by creating a reusable, washable towel in a zipped up case you can carry with you anywhere.

Jimmy Towel is an ecologically-driven product company based in San Luis Obispo, CA. Its first invention, the Jimmy Pocket Towel, provides an alternative to paper towels in hopes of reducing waste in landfills, saving trees and conserving energy.

Who is Jimmy?
Though Jimmy is not directly involved in the company--he runs his own theater poster design studio--he's provided the most critical ingredient to its evolution: inspiration. In 2011 Alec, Lee, Jimmy and 33 other concerned community members joined a yearlong leadership program through the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce. In one of the workshops on sustainability, the group was sharing ideas with each other on ways to reduce their ecological impact. Jimmy shared how he hadn't used a paper towel in over a year by simply wiping his hands on his pants. It was a small and simple act, but the cumulative effect over time proved to be significant. The group felt that if everyone in the world made the same small commitment, we could make a big stride in reducing our overall environmental impact.

I do the same thing in public restrooms, often to avoid germs on paper towel dispensers, as well as to reduce my use. I'm not sure I would carry one of these around in my pocket, as they are already pretty full, but I like the idea of keeping one in the car. I always have to pour water on my hands after recycling and never have anything to dry my hands on.
disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Read More in: Product review

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

December 8, 2012

Liberty Bottleworks: The ONLY American Made 100 Percent Recycled Aluminum BPA-Free Water Bottle

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I can't believe I have never heard of Liberty Bottleworks before! This great company makes 100% recycled aluminum water bottles in Washington State. Most metal water bottles are made in China, with the exception of Swiss made Sigg bottles, although the company does not have the best track record with honesty and BPA. Liberty Bottleworks is a fresh alternative!

We were sent a Liberty Bottleworks Pearody Sport Water Bottle. The spout straw tips up easily with the little loop handle, and I do like the lid design.

Product Features

  • 100-Percent American Made on all American Machinery

  • Made from 100-Percent Recycled Aluminum

  • BPA Free Materials provide confidence in your healthy choice

  • Our high resolution textured digital technology allows us to replicate art in full color and "feel" it, too

  • PureShield Liner provides a healthy and easy to clean alternative to porous bare metal that can hold bacteria and odors


Recently, Liberty Bottleworks wons the first American Made Outdoor Gear Award!
The 2013 American Made Outdoor Gear Award harvested a variety of intriguing data regarding U.S. manufacturing and sourcing. A sample of statistics from entries include: 80 percent of applicants own their own facility; 74 percent of applicants created new manufacturing jobs in the last year totaling over 500 new jobs; and more than 60 percent of the applicants reported that 90 percent or more of all the goods they sell are made in the U.S.

I love Liberty Bottleworks!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Read More in: Food | Product review

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

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