Posts Tagged ‘whole foods’

REVIEW: Gluten Free Go Raw Chocolate Super Cookies

Health Values: Gluten free, organic, wheat free, nut free, vegan, no added sugar, GMO free, handmade in USA.

No sugar or sugar substitutes in a gluten-free chocolate snack? I’m in!

gf go raw choc cookie front of bag

My local Whole Foods had a few flavors of Go Raw Super Cookies (they recently changed their packaging and product names, as you’ll notice on the website), so naturally I decided to try chocolate first. The ingredients are proudly displayed in large print right on the front of the bag – that coupled with the fact that there were very few ingredients was a good sign. Here is the simple list:

  • Organic Unsulphured Coconut
  • Sprouted Organic Sesame Seeds
  • Organic Dates
  • Organic Cacao

gf go raw choc cookie back of bag

I couldn’t wait to try them as soon as I got home. I have one suggestion for anyone trying these for the first time: don’t think of them as traditional “cookies”. Instead, think of them as snack wafers; if you’re expecting a traditional cookie, your taste buds won’t give them a fair chance.

Once I got past the cookie expectation, I loved them. To be able to satisfy my chocolate craving while eating a raw, live, healthful snack is more than I ever expected. These are not what I would call sweet, but they have just enough sweetness to do the trick.

gf go raw chocolate cookie

They’re also a very convenient little snack – each hand made “cookie” is about the size of a quarter, so you can easily pop them into your mouth without making a mess or leaving a trail of crumbs. Very good as an on-the-go option or as an office snack.

They’re a little pricey – $4.79 for a 3 oz. bag – but they’re definitely worth it when you consider the wonderful taste coupled with the health values. I’ll be trying the Ginger Snaps next and then I’ll hunt down their lemon Super Cookie, which wasn’t at my Whole Foods. But you can bet that I’ll find them!

5-okays

 

Keep on living the wheat free life!

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SKIN CARE REVIEW: New Creamy Brightening Cleanser by Mineral Fusion

Let me preface this review by saying that I haven’t changed face washes in over 10 years. Why? Because my skin is so deathly sensitive that whenever I try a new one, it has a horrible effect in one way or another. I have learned to fear change when it comes to anything I put on my face. But lately I’ve been questioning whether I have bad reactions because of the ingredients of drugstore brand face washes, foundations, and the like.

I have been using Clean & Clear Daily Pore Cleanser all this time and I thought it was doing a good enough job. It has those micro-scrubbers that aren’t overly rough, which seemed like a good idea all this time. But what I never used to look at was the ingredients. There isn’t a single thing on there that’s in plain English – all synthetic, it seems – except for fragrance. That word I can read. Ugh.

The good news is that I wrote to Johnson & Johnson to check if their products are gluten free and they said that any products with gluten in them will have “gluten” or “wheat” somewhere in the ingredients list. Otherwise it should be safe. So my chosen cleanser was safe from gluten, but what about all those other hard-to-pronounce ingredients? It still wasn’t good enough for me.

I saw that Whole Foods was having a sale yesterday on a whole bunch of different beauty products, and everything Mineral Fusion was on sale. Perfect timing to look for a new face wash. I came across Mineral Fusion’s new creamy brightening cleanser and was automatically skeptical because the word “creamy” is used, and cream-type products don’t agree with the skin on my face. But still, it’s Mineral Fusion and their lip products and nail polishes and eye liner seem to make my skin happy, so I went against all my doubts and picked it up.

Mineral Fusion new creamy brightening cleanser

I was thrilled to see that I could read and understand almost every single ingredient in this cleanser, and not a single one am I allergic to. Shock of all shocks, that’s next to impossible! It’s also free of all kinds of nasty stuff, which I like. The only fragrance in here comes from natural oils, no synthetic or added fragrance.

Mineral Fusion creamy brightening cleanser ingredients

Mineral Fusion creamy brightening cleanser free from

Before I did a review, I wanted to use this product for 24 hours and see what happened. With my sensitive skin, things can take a couple of minutes or a couple of uses before it shows a bad reaction. I used the face wash at night and followed the instructions. It says to wash your face with the cleanser for 1-3 minutes. I haven’t seen that on a product before! I wash my face for 1-2 minutes because I’ve read it’s the only way to take off makeup and then get down to the naked skin and exfoliate it. I used a small amount, just like the bottle said, and massaged it into my skin  for the minimum of 1 minute in case it gave me a bad reaction. The exfoliants were small, which is food. Large ones can irritate the face more than help it, depending on how sensitive your skin is.

Mineral Fusion creamy brightening cleanser product

It smelled half like clay and half like orange, and after I rinsed it off, the orange smell is what stayed. The cleanser was easy to rinse off, and a little certainly did go a long way. After I patted my face dry, I noticed that my skin was well moisturized and definitely better exfoliated. I didn’t feel any tightness because there was no drying effect. My skin was a little red from massaging, but didn’t feel hot. That seemed more normal than what can happen to my skin on a regular basis with Clean & Clear.

The next morning, I washed my face with it again, and this time I found that my skin really did seem brighter! I have never seen that happen before. My pores also looked smaller, another thing that has never happened to me before. Still nice smooth skin, the cleanser caused no breakouts, no rashes, no extra oiliness or dryness. My skin seems to be in better condition than when I used Clean & Clear.

Well I was shocked. I had hoped that this product wouldn’t bother my face and might be better for it, but I didn’t expect it to make such a huge difference in my skin. And without all those chemicals and synthetic ingredients, I feel that it’s better for me anyway. This is something I’m definitely going to continue using.

Have you used any Mineral Fusion beauty products? I just bought the BB Cream and SPF40 moisturizer to try too, now that my skin seems to agree with the cleanser. If you’ve used this brand before, what do you think of Mineral Fusion products?

Keep on living the wheat free life!

Two Moms in the Raw Gluten Free Goji Berry Nut Bar

Health Values: Gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, refined sugar free, no added oils, raw, vegan, organic

Have you ever heard of the brand Two Moms in the Raw? I hadn’t until I got a sample of their Goji Berry Nut Bar from the Seashore Celiacs’ Gluten Free Picnic.

Two Moms in the Raw Gluten Free Goji Berry Bar

Although it’s called a bar, it’s actually broken down pieces of what were probably multiple bars made of just nuts, goji berries, agave, spices, and sea salt. And it’s all organic!

Gogji Nut Bar Ingredients

I really like anything high on protein that I can snack on, something that can help fill me up and give me energy but also tastes good. It’s hard for me to find pre-made food like that because I have so many other allergies and intolerances other than gluten and dairy. If it doesn’t have gluten and dairy, it has tapioca. If it doesn’t have tapioca, it has sesame seeds. You know how it goes.

I was so happy to see a nut bar I could have – and it’s really good!

Goji Nut Bar

 

The agave and sea salt don’t overpower the nuts – it wasn’t too sweet or too salty. Instead, both ingredients balance the flavors to give it a taste that appeals to all your cravings: sweet, salty, and nutty. The goji berries are a little sweet, but not overly so, which I like. I could really eat half a bag of these at a time, even though I’d be overly full – that’s how good they are! They’re extremely snackable, so take them on your next road trip or even to the mall for a power snack. You can find them at Whole Foods. That’s the only place I’ve seen them so far.

5-okays

Keep on living the wheat free life!

 

Sugar Detox Day 3: Reinvent Your Sugary Drinks

A lot of people miss sodas and juices and seasonal drinks (read: fall) on their sugar detox. And what do I always say when it comes to missing things? Never eliminate, always replace! Here are some really awesome replacements that will do the trick.

Use seltzer inventions to quench your soda cravings:
– squeeze orange juice straight from the orange into a glass of plain (unflavored) seltzer for a replacement orange soda. Experiment with the ratio of seltzer to juice – everyone’s preferences are different. This will not be as sugary as orange soda, but it’s a good substitute, plus the sweeter the orange, the better the replacement! So be sure to look for very orange oranges – in my experience, they’re usually the sweetest.
– squeeze half a lemon into your glass of seltzer. It can be a bit sour, but it can also kill the sugar craving!
– squeeze half a lime into your glass of seltzer. Lime tastes AMAZING all by itself in seltzer. And if you want to try something a little different, try this recipe for Zingy Salted Lime Soda!
– any combination of the above!

Homemade fruit waters happen to be popular right now:
Don’t even bother with the bottled stuff; it almost always has some kind of sweetener in it. Instead, make a quick batch of fruit water in a jar or even a pitcher to last you longer! Here are some great ideas collected on Buzzfeed, complete with recipes.IMG_1080

Break out your juicer:
Now is the time to juice it up, especially with things that will satisfy that sweet tooth. My favorite is baby carrots. The juice is so incredibly sweet, you’ll swear there’s sugar in there somewhere.

Buy stuff:
– Whole Foods carries loads of fresh juices with no sweeteners in them. In fact, you have your pick of raw, cold pressed, lightly pasteurized, organic, GMO-free…I could go on and on.
– some restaurants and upscale grocery stores now have juice bars! Need I elaborate?

Partake in holiday drinks:
Since fall is here and we’re all very excited to have some apple cider, DON’T DEPRIVE YOURSELF! You can still have apple cider without sugar – and it tastes just as good! Believe it or not, apple juice with nothing in it tastes much better than the stuff typically ingested in your youth like Motts.
– make sure the apple juice you choose has no other ingredients and is not from concentrate. In my opinion, the best apple juice of all time is Whole Foods brand Organic Honeycrisp Apple Juice. It tastes like there’s sugar in it because honey crisp apples are so sweet!
– get a package of RW Knudsen Organic Mulling Spices. They come in a box and within the box are a bunch of tea bags with apple cider spices!
– stick your apple juice in the microwave for as long as you’d put tea or coffee water in. Then steep a bag of the mulling spices in the hot apple juice. In just a few minutes, you have incredible preservative free, sugar free, organic apple cider!

~~~

So you see? It’s definitely doable! What do you use to replace sugary drinks when you detox?

Keep on living the wheat free life!

Gluten Free Mrs. May’s Naturals: Almond Crunch

Health Values: Gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, no cholesterol, vegan, no preservatives

In my search for a somewhat filling yet tasty snack that fits in with my anti-inflammatory diet, I found Mrs. May’s Naturals at Whole Foods and decided to try it.

Am I ever glad I did!

I love these snacks. They have all of 4 ingredients: almonds, rice malt, evaporated cane juice, and sea salt. Okay, the small amount of cane juice is a tiny stray off the AF diet, but the total sugar count is very low – only 3 grams per 6 pieces. And it’s a whole lot better than any alternatives I’d find in regular snack foods.

gf mrs mays almond

One of the things I love about these snacks is that they’re “poppable”; meaning, they’re small enough to just pop into your mouth when you need a quick snack. No muss, no fuss, no mess. And when I’m on the run all day with nothing available to fill that inevitable hunger void except the usual unhealthy roadside options, these are a great choice.

There’s a little transparent “window” in the back of the bag where you can see the snacks. At first look, I thought they’d be like a nut brittle, which I like. But they’re not nearly as sweet – just enough of a sweetness touch to make them addictive. Plus they have that wonderful crunchiness that makes you feel like you’re actually eating something substantial. After a few of these, my hunger is quelled and I’m good to go.

5-okays

(Contributed by raisingdaisy)

Gluten Free Kind Almond Cashew with Flax and Omega 3 Bar

Health Values: Gluten free, wheat free, non-GMO, dairy free, cholesterol free, no trans fats

I had this bar with me on a recent trip to the mall; it was my plan to take one bite, then put it back in my purse and take the rest home to take a picture and write about it. But it was so darn good, I blew through half of it before I’d even realized what I’d done.

gf kind almond cashew flax

Sorry about that.

Between the dates and the nuts in this Kind bar, it satisfies both crunchy and chewy texture cravings for me plus gives me that bit of sweetness that replaces a candy bar. And that gave me the strength to walk past the uber-tempting Gloria Jeans coffee guy brandishing his silver tray filled with flavorful whipped cream-topped vanilla caramel latte samples of eye-rolling lusciousness. I didn’t even feel the pain.

kind almond cashew flax 3

Kind snacks are made in the USA and they’re a great way to get a little more fiber and Omega-3s into your diet. There are a lot of different flavors, just check the ingredients (all natural) to make sure you’re not allergic or sensitive to any of them. I have an unfortunate sensitivity to apples, so a few of the Kind bars are off the list for me because they use apple juice as a sweetener. But there are so many different types, you’ll probably be able to find one to suit your tastes and dietary needs.

5-okays
(Contributed by raisingdaisy)

Follow Your Heart Organic Vegenaise

Guest blogger raisingdaisy is back with another product review.

I lamented the loss of mayo when we started our gluten-free/leaky-gut/anti-inflammatory diet (that’s a mouthful all by itself!). No more of my favorite lunches – chunky chicken salad, the occasional tuna salad, and lettuce wraps with flavorful homemade aiolis.

And then came Vegenaise. vegenaise

I wrinkled my nose when I heard about this stuff, thinking it would be another of those flavor disasters that would take hours to get off my tongue. But when it went on sale at Whole Foods, I decided to bite the bullet and try it.

I prepared: I had a flavorful treat open and waiting on the counter in case my low expectations became a reality. I wanted to immediately counteract whatever nasty taste this pseudo-mayo would force upon me.

Turns out, I didn’t need to go through all those theatrics.

They should have called it Better Than Mayo. It’s got the right creamy consistency and tastes so much like mayo that it would probably even fool the CEO of Hellman’s. But it’s better than mayo because it’s heart-smart, allergy-smart, organic, and has a little something extra about it that gives it a slightly better flavor than plain mayo. (It does contain soy.)

I’m thrilled to say I’m once again enjoying my chicken salad and aioli lettuce wrap lunches. I could never go back to regular mayo again, even if all our allergy issues suddenly vanished.

5-okays