Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Healthy "Raw" Snack Bars

A friend of mine recommended these snack bars to me.  She's very health conscious.

A health food store employee had introduced her to them, and I went along with her to the store to check out these snack bars.  (can't remember the name of the store, but its in in the Sunset Ridge shopping center off of N New Braunfels in Alamo Heights)

I found the ingredient list to be surprisingly simple for a processed bar of "raw" food.  They also use sprouted nuts in them too - I've been hearing more and more about eating grains and nuts that are "sprouted" but haven't had the time to investigate those further.

So I purchased one bar to try it out.  $1.69/bar.  My friend told me this is her favorite flavor, the Spirulina Dream.  (What is Spirulina?) My friend also warned me not to look at this bar, and to just put it in my mouth before I judge it.  (I have to admit, it was kind of funny looking - not gross, but just not sure how to describe it)

Anyway, I tried it.  It was actually pretty yummy for a healthy snack bar.  My husband tried a piece and he said it tasted like sweet feed.  :)  I think it tastes like sweet feed smells.  Kind of nutty and sweet and chewy. Not too bad.  I'm a horse lover so I happen to love the smell of sweet feed, and horses, and leather, but I digress.....

I could eat these every now and then, for breakfast in a pinch or something like that.

There are several other flavors, of which I have only tried one other (see below)

It was not as sweet as I expected, but still good.   I hope to try some more flavors soon.  The Whole Foods market on Blanco and 1604 carries these but only the two flavors I featured here and they are $1.99/bar  there.

I plan to make a trek to the little health food store and try some more flavors soon.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Baby/Child Toothpaste

I've been on the hunt for a less toxic version of baby/child toothpaste for my daughter.  We started out using the standard Baby Orajel (with the Elmo on it) that you can get in the local grocery store.  I wasn't really happy with it - since it was loaded with all sorts of parabens.

In my search I came across the brand Jack N' Jill.  I read some great reviews online about the toothpaste from several moms and decided to give it a try.

I soon found out that the company is based in Australia - wow.  However, they did ship to the USA, but shipping wasn't cheap.  After much debating, I decided to order 3 different flavors to make the shipping worth it.  I was pleasantly surprised and my daughter loves the toothpaste so much that she comes running to the bathroom when I tell her its time to brush our teeth!

I also love that the toothpaste uses certified organic flavorings - and they taste GREAT!  We ordered the strawberry (pictured above), banana and blueberry.  We've just finished the strawberry and started using the banana, and it is amazing how yummy each flavor has been.  No wonder my daughter loves brushing her teeth.  I'm looking forward to trying the blueberry flavor along with her in the future.

I also love that you can start using this toothpaste with babies that are 6 months old and it is safe to swallow.  Overall a great product and cute packaging too!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Safer Nail Polish

I say safer, because if you really don't want toxic chemicals on your nails, which in turn can leach into your body, then don't put ANY nail polish on.

Sadly, even the least toxic polishes still have some stuff in them that I would prefer not to put in my body if given the choice.  However, there are events that would require a bit more dressing up, and nail polish is a necessity, toxins and all.

For those events, I have found a brand of polish, Honeybee Gardens, that is reasonably priced ($7 a bottle), can be removed with simple rubbing alcohol from your medicine cabinet and dries quickly.

I have two colors so far in the polish, a bubble gum pink called Valentine (not pictured) and Goddess, a frosty plum (pictured below)
I've been using these polishes exclusively for about 6 months.  They work well for me and it was an easy transition to this brand from standard nail polish.  However, I have found that the longer you leave this polish on, the harder it is to take off.  When I mean "harder to take off" I mean it takes me a good 15 minutes to get the polish off my nails instead of about 5 with standard polish.  It does state this on the product label as well.

Overall, its been a good transition for me to a less toxic product.

I did come across another brand of less toxic nail polish called Aquarella, but it was more expensive and dictated that you needed their brand of polish remover to get the polish off.  Maybe at some point I will give that brand a try....as for now, Honeybee Gardens polish works just fine.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Natural Deodorant Update

Back in November last year, I made the switch to homemade deodorant.  Its worked pretty well for me.  There was an adjustment period that I went through since it is deodorant and not anti-perspirant.....It took a while to get used to having wet armpits now and then.  And if I would have a particularly stressful day, I would begin to get a little "stinky" about the time I was on my way home from work, ugh.

Surprisingly, its only been 11 months since I started using homemade deodorant and I've only had to make 2 batches of the stuff - it really lasts a long time!

My husband tried it a few times, but it didn't seem to be strong enough for him - he was stinky by afternoon.  I did play with the ratios of the ingredients on the second batch thinking I could make it more potent, but it didn't seem to work as well.  I cut back on the amount of coconut oil in it too, but I don't think that helped much either.

A few months back i found a website, Bubble & Bee Organics, that makes a non-toxic deodorant.  Looking at the ingredients list, its almost the same.  I had purchased a stick of it for my husband to try, since I was having trouble concocting a homemade deodorant that would work for him.

He tried it, but wasn't impressed.  So, it sat on his dresser for a few more months.  

And a week ago, I saw it and got curious (nevermind, that I was getting low on my homemade deodorant and was brainstorming new ratios to try on the next batch)

So I used it.  It had a very bright lemony smell, which I didn't mind.  

It worked pretty good!  Actually, it worked better than my version!  Ha!

I think I'm over trying to figure out the correct ratios - Bubble and Bee apparently have it right.  I've been converted.  I've been using this ever since.

UPDATE (5/10/2013) - Still using this wonderful Super Pit Putty from Bubble & Bee Organics.  I recently discovered that after applying the deodorant to my underarms, if I would rub the product into the skin and make sure it got smeared all over my armpit equally that completely stopped my random "stinky" moments.  Since making the switch to natural deodorant, I find that I don't sweat nearly as much as I used to when I first started (unless I just went for a 5 mile run, obviously) if I even sweat at all.  My hubby is still using conventional deodorant, but I have just found a new concoction to try on him.  Its a mixture of grain alcohol and Tea Tree Essential Oils sprayed on your pits.  It came recommended by another guy.  Stay tuned for the results!  :)