We all like reviews when it comes to making choices for our health with products we use regularly! Especially when there are so many products with hidden, toxic ingredients we need to avoid. I'm thrilled to learn about Reviews.com and excited to share with you some excellent references! Reviews.com's passion is to share their unbiased research with those it would help most.
The Best Natural Deodorants
The top choices are vegan and cruelty-free!
The 30-Second Review
The best natural deodorant fends off odor without using ingredients that are likely to be toxic or irritating. After talking with a dermatologist, a chemist, and two natural deodorant creators, we hand-tested 23 to find our top picks: aluminum-free formulas with pleasant scents, goop-free application, and minimal residue.
The 30-Second Review
The best probiotic supplements contain at least one billion bacteria cultures and are certified by an independent lab for purity and potency. Even better, they’re guaranteed to be viable; after all, we want those guys alive, not dead. To find the best, we enlisted the help of probiotic and health experts, dug into clinical trial findings, and examined the finalists ourselves. We chose four top picks that each target a specific health goal.
I wrote this review for the Vegan Outdoor Adventures. GoRaw Banana Bread Sprouted Bars were included in the Fall 2016 Vegan Outdoor Adventures Seasonal Sample Box. Original post is here.
goRaw Sprouted Bars Rock! I was stoked to see a sample of the Sprouted Bar included in the Fall VOA Sample Box! As an avid runner, hiker and outdoors gal, proper nutrition that’s clean and serves a purpose is very important to me. Not to mention, I’m also a plant-based health coach so I’m always analyzing ingredients vs. label claims.
goRaw Sprouted Bars are “real food”. The seeds are cleaned, soaked, sprouted, and mixed by hand. By gently drying goRaw products in their state of the art custom dehydration rooms, they are able to preserve powerful nutrients and enzymes. There are 5 different flavors of goRaw Sprouted Bars (Sweet Spirulina, Chewy Apricot, Banana Bread, Raisin Crunch and Pumpkin Seeds) and 2 sizes (.4oz and 1.8oz).
goRaw offers a plethora of healthy junk free snack varieties (over 45 products) that have all been crafted from raw, organic sprouted ingredients. What does this mean? You get a nutrient-dense enzyme-packed snack that is always vegan, non-GMO, gluten free and raw. Boom!
So, why is raw so important? There are numerous benefits as the process of cooking can destroy much of the enzymes and nutrients in foods. By keeping foods raw, you are able to preserve more powerful nutrients for optimal health benefits. FYI – in this case, raw is defined as keeping dry (dehydrated) under 105 degrees F.
Freeland Foods was started in 2002 when founder and CEO, Robert Freeland, started selling flaxseed crackers at San Diego’s Ocean Beach Farmer’s Market under the goRaw brand. They sold out quickly! Today Freeland Foods is the world’s largest raw food manufacturer.
A cool thing to test:
Take your goRaw bar next time you are on a 2-3 day hike and it will grow sprouts by the time you are back to the trailhead. (Or try at home.) This test proves that the product is truly live and the enzymes are still there. It’s the sprouted flaxseed that continues to grow after it’s dried. Even the bars with sunflower seeds will do the same. Did you know that sprouted seeds are easily digested too?
Ingredients and Taste:
All goRaw Sprouted Bars have between 4-6 ingredients. That’s it! They are minimally processed, however there are no harsh processing aids and the plant itself is sun lit. Only sustainable seeds are used and they source locally when available. Almost all ingredients are fair trade. They even use fresh bananas and fresh dates. The flavor and texture scream natural and healthy. They each contain a little bit of a different combination of natural sweeteners (from dates, to raisins, to agave), but in very small amounts so the sugar count is very low.
The goRaw Sprouted Bars are my go-to choice whether it’s for an on-the-go snack or regular fueling while out in the backcountry. They will truly keep you going until your next meal. Thanks again VOA for including this in the Fall Sample Box!
I'm a huge fan of Vegan Outdoor Adventures (VOA), owned by Jessica Ryle. If you aren't already following VOA, now's the time! She does all of the leg work so that you don’t have to spend forever searching for outdoor essentials that are vegan! She makes it easy for you to find everything to compliment your cruelty-free outdoor lifestyle, including:
* Links to vegan outdoor equipment
* Interviews with nature-loving vegans
* Gear reviews
I've been fortunate to write a couple of product reviews for VOA, including: My Love for Osprey Backpacks - GO VEGAN and Patagonia Layering System - Vegan Style.
VOA recently launched the Seasonal Sample Box and it TRULY ROCKS! Jessica created this project to help others discover vegan outdoorsy snacks and products for their outdoor adventures. We all know how frustrating it can be searching for options, so having an expert do the research and personally test and approve everything is priceless! I just received the my Fall Box and WOW! This is such a brilliant way to be introduced to some great vegan products and snacks.
The fall box included 7 vegan, cruelty-free & US made snacks and products:
Be sure to stay connected and sign up for the VOA Newsletter so you don't miss out on the upcoming Winter Sample Box!
Savory, simple, stuffed peppers with spinach, flaxseed Italian seasonings and tomatoes! A hearty, healthy, plant-based meal.
Perks of this recipe? They easily can be made ahead of time. Simply prepare (15 min) up until the point of baking, refrigerate, and then bake when you need it. The whole thing comes together in about 1 hour
Recipe type: Entrée, Side
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free
Vegan Chipotle Lentil Lettuce Tacos
Recipe by Erin McClung
Makes 4 servings - 3 lettuce tacos per serving
12 large romaine lettuce leaves washed & dried
For the lentils:
2 cups cooked french green lentils (or any hearty lentil)
1 jalapeno, chopped
1/2 c onion, chopped
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp chili powder
1/2-1 chipotle in adobo chopped + a little (or a lot!) sauce
water or broth as needed
1/2 C toasted pepitas
To make the pepitas:
In a dry pan over low heat toast the pepitas until they begin to get brown. Remove from pan & set aside.
Cashew Chipotle Queso (adapted from Minimalist Baker- http://minimalistbaker.com/ )
3/4 C cashews (soaked for 2+ hours, or for 20 mins w/ boiling water, you can omit the soaking and the queso will be a little less smooth but still amazing)
1/4-1/2 C water
1.5 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 chipotle in adobo + sauce
To make the Cashew Chipotle Queso:
Put the cashews in a food processor or high speed blender with 1/4 c of water until a paste is formed. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Add more water until you achieve the consistency you desire.
To make the lentil meat:
Coat a pan with a little olive oil (or oil of choice) over medium heat. Once oil is heated add onion & sautee for a few minutes until softened. Add jalapenos & sautee for another minute or two. Add the cooked lentils, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, chili powder and salt. Stir to incorporate. Add the tomato paste and chipotle + sauce to the pan. Adding water or broth as needed to fully incorporate the tomato paste. Cook until lentils are warm.
Divide the lentils evenly onto each lettuce leaf. Top with salsa, black olives, cashew chipotle queso, pepitas & any other toppings you desire. Pick up & eat like a taco! Enjoy!
Cotopaxi Paray Lightweight Jacket Review
First off, as a proud Cotopaxi Local Ambassador for the PNW, I’m grateful to be able to test and review Cotopaxi’s awesome and innovative gear. I’ve recently been testing the performance of the Paray Lightweight Jacket during runs and hikes.
From city street runs, mountainous trail runs or backcountry hikes, the Paray appears wherever wind blows! I'm always happy to have this jacket on me to whip out whenever brisk breezes blow. It really is the jacket for all year long, especially here in Seattle. It is now my goto jacket for when there is dense fog, light rain, and chilly mornings. I layer it with a simple synthetic base layer due to it’s rockin’ athletic fit that provides unrestricted mobility. Also, because of it’s DWR-finished 20D mini-repstop nylon, it is surprisingly durable for its light construction.
I tested the jacket on a several 5-10 mile runs with and with light rain as well as half day hikes with elevation change. When hiking, I didn't even notice it when stowed in my pack or clipped to my backpack, but once I felt a windy chill, this jacket really came in handy. I can' t wait to take it alpine hiking this summer and on windy trail runs. As far as rain is concerned, it does great in light showers, but I wouldn't recommend it for heavy rains or intense snowfall.
I was truly impressed with every aspect of the design. It has everything I needed – "The athletic fit provides unrestricted mobility, and it’s cut to work in conjunction with light layers underneath. A scuba hood provides additional protection for your neck and head, while elastic binding throughout keeps the Paray in place as you move. An internal chest pocket, dual hand pockets, and internal key pouch offer refuge for your essentials, and logos front and back provide small hits of reflectivity." - Cotopaxi.com
My favorite all-around feature that makes this product incredibly unique is the minimalist design that literally packs down to the size of a large avocado!
Who Should Buy It: Runners, hikers, mountain climbers and anyone who wants a very light, breathable windbreaker with moderate rain protection.
Specs: The Paray is a featherweight running, hiking, climbing, do-anything shell. Ultralight 20D mini-ripstop nylon, a polyurethane backing, and DWR finish are the key players in this packable, highly breathable jacket.
Learn more about why I LOVE being a Cotopaxi Ambassador here!
Edestin globulin protein found in Hemp seeds contains all 8 essential amino acids. This makes hemp the superior source for this protein in the plant kingdom. Edestin is a type of plant protein that is similar to protein found in the human body, and thus is perfectly suited to aid in meeting the body’s cellular needs such as DNA repair. Since much of hemp’s protein resembles that found in human blood, hemp protein is very easily digested and assimilated. In addition, another one-third of hemp’s protein is albumin, another high quality globulin protein.
With a protein structure of 66% edestin and 33% albumin, hemp seeds (latin: sativa) contain all 8 essential amino acids plus 2 conditionally essential amino acids. In addition to its surprising protein profile, it also contains the perfect ratio of omega fatty acids researchers recommend for good health: 3- omega-3`s to 1-omega-6.
Why Are Amino Acids Important?
A human being needs 21 amino acids to survive: Eight are essential and must be obtained from food; two are conditionally essential and can be synthesized if all the eight essential amino acids are consumed. No other plant or animal source, aside from hemp, contains the first ten amino acids necessary for health. Nor do any of them contain the fatty acid ratio essential for life.
Tips to help lower and regulate Cortisol:
What to Eat/Foods to Incorporate
It’s a huge mountain, the tallest in Washington, a major victory, and an emblematic challenge for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s the big one—Mount Rainier—with nearly 9,000 feet of elevation gain, roughly 2/3 the amount of oxygen available versus sea level, and 50+ pounds of weight on your back. But it’s totally worth it when you’re standing on top of the 14,409-foot peak, with walls of ice and breathtaking views of the sun coming up over the curve of the earth, in front of you. Don’t be surprised if you’re at a loss for words. - Kristin Wuhrman
We've all heard of cleanses and food detoxes, but what about a mind detox? Just like our bodies need a period of time to get rid of toxic or unhealthy substances, our minds need a period of time to get rid of or at least minimize negative and unhelpful thoughts. Here are some key signs that you need a mind detox:
1. You have high levels of anxiety, racing thoughts and/or panic attacks
2. You are always feeling overwhelmed
3. You seem to be comparing yourself to others a lot
4. You are glued to your phone and social media
5. Negative talk gets your excited
6. You feel disconnected from the world
7. You tell yourself you don't have any friends
Do you relate to any of these? If so, be honest with yourself about your thoughts/behaviors and dive in and try a mind detox! I've included some suggestions below to help you move away from negative thoughts and towards a more positive and healthy mindset.
1. Creative a list of positive experiences you enjoy/love for yourself
2. Find a hobby you enjoy
3. Engage in daily meditation (traditional or active)
4. Start Journaing and reflecting back on positive moments and experiences
5. Engage in physical activity
6. Spend time outdoors!
7. Unplug for a few hours
TIP: Make extra. This is killer!
Total Prep Time: 5 Minutes
2 cups Cauliflower florets cut into small pieces 1 Tsp. olive oil
1 TBSP Nutritional Yeast
Dash of Cayenne pepper
Dash of Sea Salt
**Can substitute coconut aminos to taste
You can do everything to taste. It’s easier than following a recipe because you can make it exactly how you like.
IE: Add nutritional yeast and cayenne to make it extra cheesy and spicy. You can delete the cayenne and substitute any spice you like such as cumin or garlic.
Add all the ingredients together:
You can eat raw OR decide to dehydrate:
TIPS & NOTES
From the Sea Guacamole
TIPS & NOTES
Great on crackers, tortillas, on tacos, in chili or in a wrap!
Owner of BEVEGAN® Grassroots Health. Board Certified Holistic Health Coach. AKA Miss Bellevue Vegan. Plant-Based Health Consultant. Vegan Athlete. Outdoor Enthusiast. Outdoor Gear Reviewer. Author. Cotopaxi Local Ambassador. Animal Lover. Dreamer. Believer.
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