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Healthy Summer Beverages

What could be better than an ice cold refreshing drink on a hot summer day? Today, I am going to share a few of my new favorite, thirst quenching, perfect-for-summer beverages with you!

BRUCE COST GINGER ALE is made from whole, 100% fresh ginger, unlike competitors who use artificial ingredients like “ginger oil”. You can actually SEE the ginger pieces in each bottle, and it’s recommended that drinkers “shake gingerly” before twisting off the cap and enjoying! Naturally sweetened with pure cane sugar and locally crafted in Brooklyn, Bruce Cost Ginger Ale is currently available in seven flavors – Original Ginger Ale (bottle and can); “66” (66 calories with monk fruit); Jasmine Tea; Ginger Beer; Pomegranate with Hibiscus; Passion Fruit with Turmeric; and Blood Orange with Meyer Lemon. (Available on Amazon.)

BROOKLYN ORGANICS are perfect for those looking for a sugar free option as all the line of USDA Organic-certified sodas are gently sweetened with plant-based Stevia. All varietals are non-GMO, Kosher, Gluten Free, Caffeine Free and Vegan. Each contains a bold fizz in a svelte package, made with ingredients that are good for you and for the planet. Brooklyn Organics flavors include: Classic, Cola, Acai, Coconut & Guava. While I find these sodas very sweet on their own – from the stevia – they pair well with alcohol for a low calorie cocktail. (Available on Amazon).

GAEA, the leading Greek food company specializing in authentic Mediterranean products such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Olives (Snack Packs, Pouches and Jars), is breaking into the cocktail mixer industry with Dirty Martini Juice – a natural fit considering olives are at the core of their business. With only two ingredients per flavor, Gaea Dirty Martini Juice is the perfect mixer to accompany vodka and gin. Gaea Dirty Martini Juice for Vodka contains red pepper stuffed green olives brine with hot red pepper, while Gaea Dirty Martini Juice for Gin contains green olives. Cheers to that! 

Looking for something for your kids? AquaBall is the only zero-calorie, sugar-free and preservative-free children’s beverage currently on the market. The naturally flavored water is available in four flavors: Berry Frost, Fruit Punch, Grape and Strawberry Lemonade, and features fan favorite characters from Disney’s “Frozen”, Disney Princesses, Marvel’s “Avengers,” and Disney Classic Characters. AquaBall is the simple solution to finding a beverage that both kids and parents will love.

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Which beverage do you want to try most this summer? Leave a comment below!

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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Zemas NEW bite-size cookies

Now more than ever before, people with food allergies, on specialty diets, or those who just want to eat healthy are looking for products that are not only good for you but TASTE GOOD, too. A few years ago I was introduced to Zemas Madhouse Foods, a line of ancient whole grain baking mixes, and met the founder Jill when I was living in NYC. Since then, Zema’s has come out with a new product; mini cookies! 

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Zemas recently launched a new product crunchy, free-from, bite-size cookies! Zemas bite-size cookies are clean, simple and packed with better for you ingredients like nutrient-rich ancient whole grains and a superseed trio of chia, hemp and flax meal. 

The cookies are available in 4 flavors:

  • sweet potato spice: ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg provide big flavor and nutrition alongside our vitamin A packed Peruvian sweet potato flour.
  • oatmeal cranberry: Dried cranberries make this a unique treat packed with uper seeds (chia, hemp, flax) add healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
  • double chocolate: Antioxidant rich cocoa powder meets nutrient-dense, ancient whole grains to deliver a deep, rich chocolate flavor with a big crunch and superfood health.
  • chocolate chip: This classic childhood cookie just got a nutritional boost. To be honest, this was the only flavor I did not really enjoy. 

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While I really liked the sweet potato spice cookies and oatmeal cranberry, I wasn’t a big fan of the other two flavors. But, my sister’s boyfriend LOVED the double chocolate so I gave him the rest of the box! These cookies are good for when you need sweets but don’t want all the sugar and other ‘bad’ ingredients that come along with it. While they do not taste like your ‘typical’ cookie, they will satisfy your sweet and crunchy cravings!

Not only are Zemas products made from ancient whole grants, all products are free from the top 8 allergens. Zemas products are not only certified top 8 allergen free, but also Kosher, Vegan, GFCO and Non-GMO Project Verified and made without refined sugar. 

You can purchase Zema’s cookies on Amazon (free shipping for Prime members!) and in grocery and health food stores across the country, including Legman’s and Price Chopper. Click here to find a retail location nearest you. 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

 

 

 

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Celebrating National Chocolate Day with Lily’s Sweets!

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Chocolate lovers, rejoice! National Chocolate Day is July 7, which means it’s time to celebrate one of the world’s best sweet treats: chocolate. Nobody needs an extra reason to eat chocolate, but if you and your family are particularly passionate about the cocoa confection, then you’ll want to celebrate!

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This year I am celebrating with Lily’s Sweets; premium chocolate bars and baking chips. Lily’s stevia-sweetened chocolate has all the indulgence you crave but with a lot fewer calories. They use only the finest non-GMO ingredients, including genuine, Fair Trade certified cocoa. All Lily’s bars and baking chips are certified gluten-free. 

What sets Lily’s apart?

  • Stevia-sweetened (less than 1g of sugar per serving)
  • Fair trade
  • Gluten free
  • Non-GMO
  • Vegan (select products)
  • Available in chocolate bars, snack bars and baking chips/bars

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Cynthia and Chuck named Lily’s Sweets after Chuck’s niece, Lily, an inspired – and inspiring — young lady and childhood brain cancer survivor. Since being diagnosed at age 7, Lily has been raising money for other kids battling cancer, and Cynthia and Chuck are proud to honor Lily’s bravery and commitment to aiding others by contributing a percentage of profits each year to non-profit organizations that provide services to children with cancer and their families. As for Lily, she is now in her teenage years, has celebrated her 5-year anniversary of diagnosis and remains cancer-free and dedicated to helping others in need. In addition to supporting children’s cancer causes, Lily’s Sweets is further committed to operating ethically and sustainably. 

You can find Lily’s Sweets online at Amazon as well as hundreds of retail locations across the country including; Whole Foods Market, Star Market, and Stop and Shop.

Healthier chocolate from a company with a heartfelt mission – indulgence has never tasted this good! 

But why restrict yourself in celebrating Chocolate Day? If you eat good-quality chocolate or chocolate treats in moderation, then any day can truly be Chocolate Day, even while you maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. For those who are true lovers of chocolate, the celebration of Chocolate Day knows no bounds.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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Keli’s Sauces // Gluten Free Asian and Hawaiian inspired Sauces

Keli’s Sauces is a line of gluten free Asian and Hawaiian inspired sauces. They are a female owned and operated company and since starting in 1992, they’ve been making the best Polynesian style sauces in the U.S.and all of them are naturally gluten free, vegan, nut-free, low fat, no MSG, and 50% lower in sodium than most teriyaki on the market!

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Gluten free teriyaki is not easy to find and when you do find it, it is loaded with sodium. Keli’s Sauces include:

  • Polynesian Sweet-N-Sour
  • Hawaiian Ginger Garlic Teriyaki Glaze
  • Spicy Hawaiian Ginger Garlic Teriyaki Glaze
  • Pineapple Hawaiian Luau Teriyaki Marinade 
  • Pele’s Fire Hot Teriyaki

I was thrilled when Teresa – Keli’s daughter – reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in trying their sauces. Jeremy and I went on our honeymoon last month to the French Polynesia and I was excited for the opportunity to taste some of those flavors again.

The sauces are great for marinading and glazing, grilling, stir frying and can even be used as dipping sauces. 

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The Polynesian Sweet-N-Sour is my favorite! It’s not too heavy and it has a great flavors it reminds me of being in the islands! I’ve used it on shrimp and tofu and I can’t wait to try it with more dishes. 

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Currently, you can purhase Keili’s sauces online and in select retail locations in Hawaii, Washington and Oregon. 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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Grainful // savory oatmeal meal kits and frozen entrees

Grainful chef-inspired frozen entrees and meal kits are made with 100% whole grain steel cut oats. Instead of rice or quinoa as the base, Grainful uses steel cut oats.

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Steel cut oats are a complete protein, meaning they contain all 9 essential amino acids. They are also high in fiber, making you feel fuller longer, and full of calcium, iron, magnesium, B-vitamins and antioxidants. Steel cut oats also Contain high levels of Beta-Glucans, which help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, are low in unsaturated fats and sodium, and can also help regulate blood sugar levels and enhance immune defense.

Made with 100% whole grain steel cut oats, Grainful all-natural frozen entrées are the perfect quick and healthy lunch or dinner. The frozen entrees are great tasting and convenient. Bring them for lunch or heat them up for the whole family for dinner. Grainful chef-crafted recipes inspired by bold flavors from around the globe will leave you wanting more!

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Meal Kits can be used as a side or transformed into a full entree by simply adding vegetables and/or protein. These chef-crafted blends of steel cut oats, spices and vegetables are transformed into a delicious meal with the addition of meat, seafood or extra vegetables. With Grainful Meal Kits, the opportunities are endless. 

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Flavors include:

  • Tomato Risotto
  • Homestyle Cheddar
  • Madras Curry
  • Jambalaya

All products are gluten free certified, contain no GMO ingredients or perservatives, and almost all are vegan. 

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It’s simple. Clean ingredients and bold flavor profiles. 

You can find Grainful products at Wegmans, Safeway, and natural food stores across the US. Click here to find a store location nearest you.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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ColorKitchen Decorative Food Coloring From Nature

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While a growing movement of consumers have prompted major manufacturers to remove artificial colors and flavors from their foods, it’s still a challenge to find naturally colored frostings or decorations in the baking aisle. But that is changing thanks to ColorKitchen. ColorKitchen is introducing a new array of natural color and rainbow sprinkle sets that come in seven exciting combinations. The new line combines sprinkles and food color packets into convenient 5 Party and Holiday sets that includes enough food coloring to color a pint of frosting, along with a bag of coordinating sprinkles. 

ColorKitchen colors are sourced from the finest, most vibrant plant sources available. ColorKitchen colors are made from simple ingredients, containing pigments from turmeric, spirulina, beet, radish, cabbage, and annatto. ColorKitchen products are gmo-free, gluten-free and vegan,  but they are manufactured in a facility that also processes nuts and other foods with allergens. 

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The party and holiday sets include: 

  • Blue, with multicolored rainbow sprinkles
  • Pink, with multicolored rainbow sprinkles
  • Yellow, with multicolored rainbow sprinkles
  • Be Mine, a Valentine’s Day set with pink frosting and pink, white, and red heart sprinkles
  • Holiday, green frosting with green and red tree-shaped sprinkles

What are artificial food dyes?  

Coloring agents such as FD & C Red No. 40 are petroleum-based, chemically produced dyes that were invented in the early 1900s. Little was known about the effect of synthetic food colors on our health, but with increased manufacturing production and grocery distribution, food companies found inventive new ways to market foods using artificial food coloring.

Dangers of using artificial food coloring

Through the years, concerns have been raised about the safety of artificial food dyes, mostly surrounding behavioral health disorders, allergic reactions, and carcinogenic properties.

  • ADHD
  • Carcinogenic contaminants
  • Allergic reactions

The major concern is the effect artificial food colorings have on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Even more severe health issues have been brought to light. According to the CSPI, the three most widely used dyes, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, are contaminated with known carcinogens. Red 3 has been a recognized carcinogen by the FDA for years, yet it is still allowed in foods.

Allergic reactions to artificial coloring are widely reported, from rashes and watering eyes to asthma.

More major players are sure to follow suit, proving the public has decided to advocate with their buying dollars and put their children’s health first.

You can find ColorKitchen products in retail locations across the US, including Whole Foods, and dozens on health food stores. To find a location nearest you, click here.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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Detox Water

Detox Water is not a raw juice and it’s not another flavored water. It’s the best of both combined to create a refreshing and all natural organic aloe water.

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Considered a miracle plant by the ancient Egyptians, Aloe Vera is a potent natural antioxidant known for its many health benefits to help detoxify and cleanse the body internally and externally. 

Aloe Vera contains 20 minerals to detoxify the body of metabolic wastes and 19 amino acids to fight inflammation and bacteria, it also has strong scavenging activity in terms of getting rid of toxins internally from the stomach, kidneys, spleen, bladder, liver and colon.

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The ACTIValoe® in each bottle of Detox Water contains the power of aloe vera’s naturally-occurring polysaccharides, which are long chains of sugar molecules, clinically proven to support immune function, healthy digestion, nutrient absorption and youthful-looking skin (improvement in skin elasticity).

The patented technology allows Detox Water to isolate the most effective polysaccharides within the plant and maintain batch-to-batch consistency of ACTIValoe® gel flakes in every bottle of Detox Water. Batch-to-batch consistency is the key to delivering optimal benefits at all times. Detox Water is your healthy hydration alternative that not only quenches thirst, tastes delicious, but also delivers the plethora of health benefits associated with drinking the most premium aloe in the world.

Detox Water is available in 3 refreshing flavors: Pinamint (Pineapple and Mint), Mangaloe (Mango), and Original (Lychee and White Grape)

Feel great and not guilty. Detox Water is 15 calories per serving and the most rejuvenating, refreshing aloe vera water paired with organic and natural flavors. Detox Water contains no artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Detox Water is also vegan, organic, Kosher, gluten free, non-GMO and locally grown in Texas and Mexico.

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Aloe Vera water is able to provide healthy hydration from the best of what nature has to offer. Packed with electrolytes and only 4 grams of sugar, it is a better choice for a post-workout drink. Or replace your sports/electrolyte drink during your workout with Detox Water for a satisfying and hydrating healthy alternative.

Detox Water can be found in retail locations across the country. Click here to find a retail location near you. 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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PEREG NATURAL FOODS INTRODUCES KOSHER FOR PASSOVER BABY QUINOA

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With Passover approaching (April 10-18, 2017), if you are like me you are already planning the menu. Pereg Natural Foods offers a variety of new, all natural, vegan, Non-GMO and Kosher for Passover (OU-P) products that offer versatility and great taste just in time for Passover 2017.

New from Pereg this year is Baby Quinoa (Kañiwa) – Dark reddish-brown in color and about half the size of a tiny quinoa seed, Baby Quinoa cooks up quickly to resemble a smaller version of red quinoa.  Unlike regular quinoa, Baby Quinoa doesn’t have saponins, the coating that gives quinoa a somewhat slightly bitter flavor if not rinsed properly. Baby Quinoa is a great source of iron and other important nutrients. 

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Also available new for Passover is Pereg’s White Quinoa, Quinoa with Mushrooms and Quinoa with Vegetables. White quinoa is great for cold salads such as kale and quinoa with a lemon vinaigrette or quinoa with strawberries and pecans. Experiment as you would with rice and substitute quinoa in stuffed peppers, quinoa cheese casserole and quinoa meatballs.  

I always like to bake something for Seder and thanks to Pereg’s new  Kosher for Passover flour, available in quinoabananacoconut and almond meal gluten free varieties, it’s easier than ever to bake something that everyone will actually enjoy! From cakes and cookies, to pancakes and pizza crust, these Passover flours offer a plethora of delicious recipe options that offer great taste and texture.

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Pereg was established in 1906, and is based in Clifton, NJ. They first became known for their vast variety of pure and natural spices and spice blends, more than 60 in all, from traditional favorites to exotics from around the culinary world. Today Pereg produces an array of all- natural products that includes ancient grains and ancient grain blends, gluten free pasta, couscous, rice, gluten free cereal and much more.

You can find Pereg Natural Foods products at retailers throughout the US, and online via Amazon.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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Ardenne Farms NEW gluten free products + giveaway

Ardenne Farms is on a mission to help those living gluten free and/or those with a sweet tooth. Ardenne Farm (pronounced Are-den) started by using a variety of innovative high-quality gluten-free flour blends, creative imaginations, and over 20 years of experience working in the food business. Ardenne Farms makes Gluten Free baking mixes that are vegan, Kosher and produced in a peanut and tree nut free facility. Ardenne Farms is certified gluten free and carry the GFCO’s GF symbol. Every batch is tested to ensure that all our mixes contain less than 10 ppm gluten.

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Ardenne Farms makes a variety of baking mixes; from muffins and pancakes, to cookies, brownies and cakes. 

Ardenne Farms recently launched three new baking mixes: Lemon Poppyseed Muffins, Pumpkin Streusel, and Snickerdoodle Cookies. 

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The NEW Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin mix bakes up muffins that are so decadent and moist, they’ll soon become your new morning pick-me-up! I brought them to work and everyone in my office devoured them. I got so many compliments, and requests for more! They taste so good that many people did not know they were gluten free until I told them. 

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I also love the new Snickerdoodle Cookie mix. I love the flavor of cinnamon and vanilla; yum! You can purchase Ardenne Farms products at retail locations across the country, including Roche Brothers, and Natural Food Stores. Click here to find a retail location nearest you. 

Now for the giveaway! One lucky reader will win all three NEW baking mixes. To enter simply leave a comment below then head over to Instagram, like and comment on this post

This giveaway will end on March 12, 2017 at 11:59pm. Open to U.S. residents only.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review. 

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Belvoir Elderflower and Rose Lemonade

Belvoir Fruit Farms make naturally delicious Cordials, Pressés and Fruit Crushes at their home in the gorgeous Lincolnshire countryside.

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Mary Manners, the wife of founder Lord John Manners, started making cordials in her kitchen in the seventies by infusing the elderflowers and pressing the fruit grown on their family farm. Since then, Belvoir has carried on the same method of infusion: pressing and cooking of fresh flowers, fruits and spices, which are then blended with local spring water to make their delicious drinks. Never compromising on quality and choosing only the best ingredients, everything that goes into their drinks is real and natural with nothing artificial at all.

The heady floral taste of soft rose petals blends beautifully with the delicate scent of Elderflowers to form a deliciously perfumed sparkling drink. Pink and perfect, this drink will quench your thirst! 

Belvoir Elderflower Lemonades come in a variety of organic flavors in glass bottles that are beautiful and perfect for health conscious drinkers. Made with 100% natural ingredients, the lemonades are also non-GMO, gluten free, vegan, and contain no preservatives, no sweeteners or artificial colors.

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The Elderflower and Rose Lemonade can is a great addition to champagne or Prosecco creating an instant crowd pleasing cocktail; perfect for your Valentine’s Day celebration. You can also create an afternoon refresher, by adding a little water and a twist of lime making for a healthy substitute for a sugary, carbonated beverage! Belvoir lemonades add a refreshing and effervescent element to any cocktail or drink.

As soon as I opened the bottle, I could smell the the sweet, fresh aromas of Elderflower and Rose. It is light ans slightly sweet, not too sugary. I tried to savor every sip and wish I had a bigger bottle!

Belvoir Fruit Farms beverages are available in restaurants, cafés, supermarkets, specialty grocery stores and boutique hotels in more than 25 countries across the globe. You can also purchase it on Amazon.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.