Good for U (and green too!)
I have always been a Kashi Crunch fan, but I recently tried the new Kashi U cereal and may have to start crunching to a different Kashi beat. Kashi U was created to promote the vitality of the five body systems (heart, immunity, bone, digestion and mind). I love the fact that they didn’t go the route of the red berries that are popping up in a lot of mainstream cereals and choose to use black currants to give their cereal a berry twist. Those plus walnuts, granola and flakes help keep you full until your mid-morning snack or lunch.
Last but not least, you can’t buy the cereal in bulk, but the packaging is manufactured with windpower and made from 100% recycled paper and printed with soy inks, so they encourage you to toss it in the compost when you are done! (or of course, recycle it.)
Mochi – A Wholesome Treat
Ever heard of Mochi? I hadn’t either until a friend of mine from the co-op pointed it out to me as a great healthy dessert. Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of whole grain brown rice which is pounded into a paste and then molded into a flat shape. Then, when baked for about 10 minutes, the mochi puffs up into a chewy, pastry-like snack.
Mochi makes a wholesome snack or dessert which is gluten, wheat, and dairy-free and, most importantly, easy to prepare. My husband and I love to bake up a few squares of the cinnamon raisin flavor, stuff them with a local shredded cheddar cheese (by cutting a little slit in the sides after baking), and top them off with a little drizzle of honey. Here are a few other recipe ideas to get you started.
As summer creeps in and we enjoy the warm (sometimes even hot!) weather this time of year, I have found the perfect alternative to those sticky, sugary, brightly colored popsicles of the past – Wise Acre Frost Bites and Frost Tea frozen treats.
Dogs and Suds
Bathtime for Skyler is no day at the spa. It involves the bathtub, some shampoo, and one very wet & furry dog (see photo above). But when it comes to my pets, I try to be conscious of what they eat and even what they breathe. However, in all honesty, the main reason I concern myself so much with our dog’s shampoo is less about her and more about our cat, who has allergies and sensitive skin. That being said, I was happy to see that they did carry one brand of all natural pet shampoo at our local Petco. (Stay tuned for an article next week about another place to get your eco-friendly pet products.)
EarthBath products all-natural, bio-degradable and cruelty-free. For Skyler, we opted for the Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo. It not only got the job done (of a cleaner dog) but the smell was pleasant without being over-powering. The bath (along with a good brushing) left Skyler so soft that she even got a compliments on her coat from another dog owner who visited us for the weekend!
*Reader’s Tip* PerioBrite
After Liz’s post on a better toothbrush, we got an email from Tiffany in Florida about her favorite natural toothpaste, Nature’s Answer PerioBrite. (We love getting tips from our readers!) As Tiff put it: “I feel it is much better than all the other toothpastes at our health food store. There are no LSL’s or other gross ingredients and it has lots of really great ingredients! You’ll have to give up all the fancy colors as it is a lovely shade of beige but it leave one’s mouth fresh and clean.”
Liz still has a full tube of her Tom’s, so I was happy to pick some up at Winding Way Farms. (Truthfully, I have still been using the mainstream brands… tsk tsk.) I’ve had natural toothpaste before and have to agree with Tiff that despite the bland color, this toothpaste has a very minty kick. As for those great ingredients she mentioned, some examples are black walnut green hulls, grapefruit seed, Green Tea leaf and Echinacea. For more about their ingredients (and other products), visit the Nature’s Answer web site.
Do you have a great tip or recipe you would like to share? Go ahead and send it our way!
A word about kick-backs and endorsements
We do a lot of product reviews here at Green-Lemonade.com, but we want you (our readers) to know that we, in no way, get any money for endorsing them. While we get a lot of emails suggesting products that may interest our buyers, we always “test drive” them first (unless specifically noted) and do not receive any profit from our posts about them. If we ever do advertise a product for profit in the future, we will certainly make sure that our readers know it, loud and clear.
The local co-op recently started carrying this fun line of Lip Gloss from HoneyBee Gardens and I just had to give them a try since I’ve been on the look-out for more natural “beauty” products. So I picked up the “Glam I Am,” a nuetral plum tone with just a hint of mango flavor and scent. The verdict? I love it! It’s moisturizing, but not sticky and the color is a perfect light shade for a gloss.
The company was started in 1995 by herbalist and author Melissa Hertzler who was experimenting daily on her husband trying to come up with a shaving formula that agreed with his skin. After eventually finding the perfect combination, she knew she was on to something and Honeybee Gardens was born. They are committed to using 100% all natural ingredients (that you can actually pronounce), no animal testing and complete customer satisfaction. Not to mention, their prices are pretty reasonable.
I can’t wait to try the nail polish next!
A Side Of Rice
Yesterday’s post was partly inspired by my weekend spent in Las Vegas for a friend’s wedding. Admittedly, one of hardest things for me to avoid when I travel is picking up unnecessary souvenirs for myself, family and friends. Unfortunately, when those souvenirs are mass-produced in other countries, it probably isn’t supporting the economy of the city you are visiting. However, on my trip this past weekend I did purchase something made in another country, and I couldn’t feel less guilty about it.
I’ve had my eye on these Gecko Trader Bags for over a year, but I knew that I didn’t need another tote. However, when I saw these small ones for sale in the gift shop at Springs Preserve, I immediately picked up a pack. They are bright and colorful and perfect for carrying everything from credit cards to cosmetics.
Gecko Traders (a Fair Trade Federation member) employs disabled and disadvantaged workers in Cambodia to make these 100% recycled rice and feed bags. Furthermore, I was glad that I could get them at a place that promotes sustainability, and even has LEED Certified Buildings on site.
So one last tip for when your travel: Don’t be tempted by touristy trinkets. Instead seek out ones that are either made by local manufactures or artists, or look for ones that are made from recycled materials or are fair trade.
My Favorite PB
When I stumbled upon this brilliant line of peanut butters from the local Saratoga Peanut Butter Company last fall at our farmer’s market I was hooked before I even left their table! With exciting flavors like “Monkey Boy” (the standard PB mixed with plump raisins & banana) and “Blizzard Butter” (a creamy PB blended with white chocolate), what’s not to love?
My current favorite is a the “Adirondack Jack” which is a hearty mix of almond and peanut butters with cranberries, flaxseeds, clover honey, sunflower seeds and touch of cinnamon. I love the “Jack” in PB & J sandwiches and with carrots and celery for a little snack while the “Plain Jane” adds a great flavor to smoothies.
On top of all the exciting flavors, one of the best things about this PB line is that all of their nut butters are all natural with no added sugars or trans fats which makes it a great source of protein, folate and heart-healthy fats. If you live in New York, check out this list of places you can find it, otherwise you can order it here.
The Green Clean
It can be overwhelming these days trying to find the right cleaning products to get the job done. But try to find products that actually clean without the toxins that pose a risk to your health or pollute our water supply, and most people are ready to throw in the towel and buy the first bright blue bottle of “antibacterial,” “extra-strength,” and who knows what else, that they come across. But getting rid of the dirt, grime and dust can be as simple as a few key ingredients that are easy to find, most of which you probably already have on hand like baking soda, borax, lemons, water, white vinegar, a plant based liquid soap and even newspaper.
Try some of these natural, do-it-yourself cleaning solutions which will leave your home sparkling without leaving behind a toxic residue and fumes:
- For a basic surface cleaner: Start with a plant-based soap, add water. Really, it’s that simple. But if you need a little more scrubbing action, Martha suggests mixing a little baking soda and plant-based liquid soap into a paste and applying by using the cut side of a halved lemon.
- On mirrors and windows: Try a 2:1 ratio of water to white vinegar in a spray bottle, use newspaper, a coffee filter or a washable cloth rag to apply and say goodbye to the ammonia and synthetic colors and fragrances found in most commercial cleaners.
- Wood Furniture: Use a 1/4 cup vinegar and a few drops of olive oil.
- Bathroom needs: Baking soda and white vinegar for the toilet bowl and 1/2 lemon dipped in borax to get the dirt left on the tub and tile.
- Kitchen specifics: Baking soda and white vinegar for the sink too! Clean the oven with a sprinkling of baking soda, a spray of water, a soak overnight and a good scrub in the morning. And use lemons to cut the grease on the stove-tops.
For more specific cleaning needs, check out a few green cleaning guides from The Daily Green and The Green Guide. But if you just insist on going for a commercial cleaner, you must first educate yourself and read this primer from The Naked Truth Project so you know what to look(out) for, as it’s easy to get confused once your standing in a store aisle like the one pictured above!
Preserve Your Teeth
So I know it’s a little item and your probably asking yourself “how much impact can a toothbrush really have?” but every little “green” choice you make adds up. And I don’t believe and going out and replacing everything you can with its “green” counterpart all at once, but I do think it’s important to make better eco choices when it is time to shop for something new. I’ve been doing this for the past year now and recently noticed when looking around, just my kitchen and bathroom alone, how far I’ve come.
I first made a switch to an eco-toothbrush which features replaceable heads, but it was a big disappointment. Soon, maybe within a week, the bristles started to wimp out and eventually spread out making it somewhat useless. But, the purple guy in the picture above is my new Preserve toothbrush by Recyline, which is performing wonderfully. These brushes are made from 100% recycled plastics (including recycled yogurt cups), and you can print out a postage-paid mailer to return your used up Preserve products to be recycled, again. But the neatest part about this toothbrush is that the packaging it comes in doubles as a travel toothbrush holder!
Pair a new Preserve toothbrush up with your favorite eco-toothpaste (I like Tom’s of Maine Peppermint) and brush away!