Posts tagged care for the planet

Company Review: Raw O.N.E. Food – Raw, Organic Savory and Sweet Snacks

Raw O.N.E.(Organic/Nutritious/Enriching)Food company began in 2009

When I go shopping (such as to Whole Foods, in this case), I usually look around for new products that I could perhaps review. That is how I found this one. Of course, I do my research first and after looking at the product in the store, I spend some time on the website looking through the products and what the purpose is for what the company is doing. I have very high standards as to what I am willing to review and share with my readers. If there happens to be something that I feel does not go along with my principles then I will not even give it a second thought. I have even removed previous reviews I have done for companies because they had added new products with ingredients that are highly toxic to the body. I do not want to no will I ever be willing to give in for any price, even though I get samples of the products and the people are very nice.
I am happy 🙂 to say that Raw O.N.E. Food is a great company and have high integrity and purity in their products and personal character.

My email to Dion Taylor, co-owner of Raw O.N.E. Food:

Thanks for the package. I appreciate your generosity in sending me all the products. The packaging itself is exquisite, informative and educational (also love the additional inspirational words inside the flaps of the flax cracker boxes and on the underside of the granola bags (I have not opened the biscotti, to see if there, as well). Since you sent me everything, I will still sample the sweet products, even though I am not fond of honey. As I mentioned previously, would you consider switching to date syrup or coconut nectar for the sweetener and then the products can all be vegan, too!

Response from Dion:

Thank you Mindy for offering to review the line, I do remember that you are vegan but we wanted to feature the entire line, even though you may not review the ones that contain honey, we’d like the general public to know the complete line. Sandesha, my wife, Founder and our Head of Product Development and Production…might want to chime in on her thoughts about alternative sweeteners….so I’ll punt to her for that.

We look forward to your review and appreciate your kind words on the packaging. We set out to both nourish, educate and inspire as we see this as our responsibility to those who, in some small way, trust their wellbeing to us…Conscious Capitalism is what we strive for Purpose driven over Profit driven.

My review of the products

General information: I LOVE the packaging as it has eye appeal (I love colors) and great nutritional information that educates/informs you about the products. It also has words of inspiration on the underside of the granola bags, the inside flap of the flax crackers and biscotti. What a pleasant way to start the day and make you feel happy and inspired. You can use the affirmation/saying as part of your meditation or say it when you need a spiritual “pick me up.” Who would think that the package of the product could nourish you and this company has figured out a great way to do so. Sometimes we may go to eat a snack because we are feeling down, depressed, bored and here you can feel great, perhaps even without eating/overeating anything and simply open up the package and read the words. Of course, you would want to try this products as they are delicious and the best ingredient in there (written on the packaging) is “Lots of Love.” All the products are certified organic, non GMO, gluten free, raw and kosher (Kosher Certification for Kosher, Natural and Organic Products – See more at: http://kosherorganics.com/ Bringing highlighted public awareness of Kosher Dietary Laws and Earth-Friendly Natural and Organic Foods and Products to everyone). It would be great to start seeing products like these (while I call them snacks they are really whole food products with all the goodness of fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and lots of love) in mainstream places like 7-Eleven, Starbucks, Walmart and get rid of the rest of the junk that is just making people sick, fat and tired. I hope it will happen in my lifetime – it would be time to celebrate and see people wake up to realize their health matters!

I will also share with you my RVG(Rawsome Vegan Gal)Rating for all the products I tasted and reviewed here.

Flax Crackers

There are 4 different varieties that I will review individually. Overall, I enjoyed the different flavors of these flax crackers (made with golden flax seeds that are high in omega essential fatty acids). They are nice and crunchy with the right thickness. They are also vegan and the packaging is colorful and educational, as mentioned above. They are all great, but I rate them according to what I prefer according to my tastes. I am including photos of each product for you to see. The products are beautiful to look at, like art! You can click on each picture to view it in its full size and see the details.

Rosemary-Sundried Tomato
This is #1 favorite flax cracker for me! I love sundried tomatoes and the dried herbs used, namely, rosemary and parsley. It has a mild flavor and not very spicy, as I like it that way.

Flax Cracker Rosemary- Sundried Tomato

Flax Cracker
Rosemary- Sundried Tomato

Rawritos
This is the #2 favorite flax cracker for me. This one has a lot of different yummy ingredients mixed together from tomato, bell pepper, onion and garlic powder, etc. It also has a slight peppery flavor from the cayenne and black pepper, but is not too strong for me.

Flax Crackers  Rawritos

Flax Crackers
Rawritos

Tumeric-Nori
This is #3 favorite flax cracker for me. It has a mild flavor initially and then as I chew it, I get the added “Kick” from the cumin and cayenne powder. It is rich in antioxidants from the tumeric and nori.

Flax Crackers Tumeric-Nori

Flax Crackers
Tumeric-Nori

Garlic With A Kick
This is #4 favorite flax cracker for me. At first bite it did not taste very strong, then with the second bite I felt the “heat” from the chili flakes. I was able to handle it (I did not grow up eating spicy foods, so I personally stay away from “hot” foods) because I was not eating the chili by itself, since it was part of a cracker and listed as the last ingredient on the package, so there is much less of it in there.

Flax Crackers Garlic with A Little Kick

Flax Crackers
Garlic with A Little Kick

Granola

There are two varieties of this product and when you open it, it is more like a granola bar then granola you would put in the bowl, as cereal. You could crumble it up and add vegan milk (such as from sesame, hemp, almond, etc that you can easily make yourself), if you would like it that way. It is nice that you can actually see the “whole food” in the product and identify it. There is raw honey in these products, but it only has a mild sweetness. I abstain from honey, as a rule and would prefer if there was a vegan sweetener used, such as, date syrup or coconut nectar. After looking over the ingredients on the package, I wonder if honey is even needed, as there are so many different delicious fruits and berries in the granola that would probably make it sweet enough. It might be something for the company to consider and make a “test” batch to see how it’ll taste (and the same would apply to the Biscotti that I will review below).

Goji-Mixed Berry
This is #1 favorite for me of the granola. I can taste the goji berry (chock full of antioxidants) – yum! and it is has a nice crunch with all different types of berries, including strawberries, blueberries and cranberries. It is a very good combination of ingredients and has a mildly sweet flavor.

Granola Goji-Mixed Berry

Granola
Goji-Mixed Berry

Banana-Walnut Cacao Nibs
This is #2 for me. I do not usually eat bananas because they don’t agree with me. This is different because it is dried and chips. The flavor is nice and mildly sweet. Also has a well thought out mixture of ingredients. The cacao gives the added benefit of antioxidants.

Granola Banana-Walnut Cacao Nibs

Granola
Banana-Walnut Cacao Nibs

Biscotti

I do not know if I ever tasted biscotti before or if it is traditionally made by baking it. These are so yummy! There are moist and chewy, to me, more like a soft cookie with great flavor, texture and eye appeal. They are also rich in antioxidants like cacao, goji berries and cherries. They are more like a work of art to be displayed in a museum (or maybe a food museum and when you get hungry you eat the art and feel good about it (ha! ha! and it would be delicious “real” food and not the junk that is sold in the convenience stores).

Goji-Cherry Pistachio

This is the #1 favorite of the biscotti for me. I love the mixture of goji with cherry and the whole pieces visible in it. I would display it on a plate with some goji berries, cherries, almonds and pistachios. These were so good (even though they have raw honey, but a very low glycemic load) that I could eat the whole box in one sitting (of course, I would not do that because I want it to last a while).

Biscotti Goji-Cherry Pistachio

Biscotti
Goji-Cherry Pistachio

Cacao-Incan Berry-Hazelnut

This is #2 favorite of the biscotti for me. It is decadent and yummy. I do not usually eat cacao, so it a real special treat for me. When I opened the package up I could smell the cacao. Again, a great combination of ingredients and flavors (probably took a while of taste testing to get it right and I wish I could have been there to do the sampling) 😉

Biscotti Cacao-Incan Berry-Hazelnut

Biscotti
Cacao-Incan Berry-Hazelnut

Overall, I am a bigger fan of the savory snacks. The sweet ones were very good, but I would like to see them without the raw honey as they already have a lot of sweetness from the other fruits in them.

To check out this great company and learn more about their products and purpose, go to: http://www.rawonefood.com

I also did a video review on my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal
Subscribe to my youtube channel if you have a Gmail, Google+, Picasa, YouTube, Orkut or Google Chrome account and then you can also leave a comment and like my videos, with a “Thumbs Up!”

Disclaimer: I was not sponsored to write this review, but I did receive a sample of the product(s). These are strictly my opinions. I only review products that I, myself would use and purchase.

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Company Review: S.W. Basics of Brooklyn – Truly All-Natural Sustainable Skincare, Part 1

S.W. Basics of Brooklyn: Truly All-Natural Sustainable Skincare, Part 1 in business since 2009 under the name “Sprout Wellness” and the current brand name since November 2012

I met Adam Poor, VP of S.W. Basics of Brooklyn at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim during the month of March 2013. The company was introducing their products at the Organic Marketplace (features only certified organic products). I am always searching for the best products that are also of the highest quality and integrity. I don’t want you, my readers, to settle either. I hope you do your research as diligently as I do before you shop for any and all products you use – food, household, body and skincare. If you are lazy, they you came to the right place because I do the “legwork” for you. When I find a product I don’t simply use it because the company makes the “claim” that it is healthy, natural, good for me. Those words are used too commonly and matter-of-factly in the world today and have lost their true meaning (back in the day products were made by your grandmother/great-grandmother from natural ingredients you had in home like oils, vinegar, beeswax, essential oils, herbs, flowers, etc). I research the ingredients used, check out there site, talk to them in person/on the phone and them I am ready to test it out for myself if it meets my “hyper-high” standards of purity, integrity and environmental consciousness.

You may say, it is nice to talk about this, but are there really companies creating/producing products that are truly natural? Yes, there are! There are those people who are “fed up” with all the “garbage” sold in the supermarkets, drug stores, retailers and even health food stores (sad 😦 to say, they aren’t immune from it and sell products that used to be authentic, but now have “sold out” to BIG companies that are only looking for profits as their “bottom line!”)

S.W. Basics of Brooklyn is definitely in the category of doing it right! They only use 5 or less ingredients in all their products. On top of that, they are organic, fair trade, American-made, ingredients sourced from small family farms, made from scratch without synthetics or cheap fillers. You get the whole potent product that isn’t watered down. Too many products claim to have in them, for example, an essential oil and either has a very minuscule amount in it or is a chemical derivative and doesn’t even ever resemble the natural ingredient in smell or look. To put the “icing on the cake,” they even have the “nerve/chutzpah” to put a beautiful picture on the bottle/container of the herb used to create the essential oil to trick the consumer/customer to believe it has that ingredient in it. Most of the time, if you took it to a chemist to analyze, there may not even be a trace of what they claim. I wish there was more “police-ing” of the health and beauty industry to filter out all the crap from what is truly made with integrity and care for the people and the planet.

Adam was nice enough to send me the 4 varieties/flavors of the beeswax lip balms to test out and review on my blog. As I said before, their products are made with 5 natural ingredients or less and that holds true for there lip balms, as well. If you don’t believe me (ok, so if you are a new follower, you may be skeptical and if you are a “regular,” then you know I am not fooling you because you have probably already tried other products I recommended in my posts), then check the website for yourself (link is on the right-hand side of the page under the column titled Blogroll.

Each one of the lip balms has a distinct taste to it. Yes, that is what I said! Remember when you put any lip gloss, lipstick or lip balm on your lips, ultimately you will taste it in your mouth from licking your lips or after you bite into some food while it is still on. If you are eating the healthiest and best organic food, why would you want to also “consume”chemicals by way of what you put on your lips? Maybe you never thought of that, but it is absolutely true! You don’t have to worry when you use these lip balms, as they will not harm you.

The most basic of the 4 lip balms, is the Cocoa variety that only had 3 ingredients. It goes on smooth and has a silky feel. I can smell (yes, there is the added benefit of aromatherapy when you breathe in the ingredients) the cocoa butter. It brings back memories of when you could detect the aroma at the beach as people slathered it on their bodies. With all 4 varieties, my lips stay moist and healthy. The next flavor, Peppermint has 4 ingredients and makes my lips tingle – it lasts for a while so enjoy the sensation. It perks you up, too when you breathe in the peppermint. It doesn’t have that “fake” unnatural scent. I know because I am a vegan/raw food chef and use lots of fresh herbs to add flavor and accent to my dishes. The third flavor, Citrus has 5 ingredients and I can smell the citrus immediately. Again, their is the aromatherapeutic affect (you can put it on your lips and also smell it!) which you may not realize. This is one of my favorites. I will give you the RVG (Rawsome Vegan Gal)rating at the end. The final one is, Cinnamon that also has 5 ingredients. As soon as I take the cap off of it, I can smell the cardamom. It has a strong and powerfully distinct aroma.

The RVG Rating (Rawsome Vegan Gal) for the four lip balms (in order of like – Disclaimer: this may be different then on my YouTube video, as I made that first and don’t remember what I said 😉

1- COCOA: I like the simplicity of ingredients, subtle flavor and the creamy texture
2- CITRUS: I love citrus and it is also aromatherapeutic – added bonus
3- PEPPERMINT: Nice tingle, smell isn’t offensive or overbearing and it perks you up
4- CINNAMON: Strong aroma and to me has a more masculine appeal

Please check out their website http://www.swbasicsofbk.com for more information about all the skincare products and their fantastic story. Scroll down this page and on right-hand side you will find the link under the column titled Blogroll.

Disclaimer: I was not sponsored to write this, but I did receive a sample of the product(s). These are strictly my opinions. I only review products that I, myself would use and purchase.

I also did a video review http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KARSWDd32Ro
and had FUN doing it and my disclaimer/preface is: “don’t mind my manners” and I repeat it in the video, as well (you’ll see why). You can check out my YouTube channel for this and other videos: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal

Subscribe to my youtube channel if you have a Gmail, Google+, Picasa, YouTube, Orkut or Google Chrome account and then you can also leave a comment and like my videos.

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Will you allow me to get a free pass this time and I don’t do “9 To 5!”

So what is up with my title?
I am making excuses, I know and I said in the last post that I would try to write once a week.
Well, I want to make time to write, as I love writing and then I don’t seem to get to post on my blog, as much as I’d like because “LIFE” comes up for me everyday and I need to work on continually creating income for myself, since I don’t work for others, but for myself (I know my Mom and Dad get at me every so often to find a “Real Job”). I am not a nine to five-er type of person and never have been. I also don’t care to work in an office (as a rule) and prefer doing different kinds of work to make a living. My passion is definitely in the health and wellness field and I love to teach people about the way/path to living a vibrant and meaningful life. I also know that I will continue to do it in some capacity. If I do get that one client that hires me and has no qualms to pay me what I know I am worth and then some (I have had some short-term clients like that in the past), I will be “happy as a clam” (only an expression, as I don’t eat any being a raw vegan) and not have to do anything else to be financially secure. Being a private chef, is a great job and it is also very demanding and requires a tremendous amount of time with shopping, menu planning, food prep and also standing on your feet. This is the reason why I like to dabble in other activities, such as participating in research studies, focus groups, working as a portrait model (no I don’t do nudes, so don’t get all bent out of shape or excited, it is a personal preference and I like to dress up!) and home office/personal assistant.

I also have my own projects to do (that will come about when I have the funds to not have to work as much and my time is more free) such as various books I’d like to write on health, humor, poetry, etc. I know that it all will come about in the right time and as I choose to manifest them. Your mind is very powerful and can help you create the life you want and desire. I found that actually surrendering to whatever you consider your Higher Power will bring you more of what you want then asking for it. If you think about it logically, if you are already asking then there is no room for anything else, whereas you leave a blank slate it can be filled up (an example to relate to, would be a glass that is filled with water to the very top and as you continue to pour water into it, the vessel can not retain any more of the liquid). I tested this out (the surrendering) and it actually worked, as I manifested some part-time home office work with someone who I already knew as a friend (he told me that he was actually looking for someone to assist him that is living in a like-minded lifestyle) and also someone else I know may be interested in the same.

It is amazing to see what unfolds when you let it happen without any judgement or attachments. The same holds true, when it comes to your personal health. I am not saying that you don’t need to take responsibility for your health, but try not to “beat yourself” if you takes 1 step forward and then 2 steps back, at times. Think of the positive (you did make a step forward) and look at the bright side. One thing I know for sure, no matter what anyone ever tells you, it is never ever too late to make a change (in your food choices, habits, relationships, job, etc) for the better/higher/healthier/optimal life and lifestyle. I’m not perfect and make no claims to it, but I do know that every day I am working/striving to achieve and fulfill my purpose and true potential.

I say go out there and give it your all. Live life to the fullest and care for and about the environment, people, animals, trees. We are living on this planet, but it is not for us to abuse and take for granted. Show compassion by eating lower on the food chain (I am a raw vegan, so that is pretty LOW, I’d say), riding the bus/carpooling/bicycling/walking to school/work/errands, composting your vegetable and fruit scraps (it is so easy, and you can simply make what I call a “Compost Soup” by blending them up and then pouring it outside on your soil – so yummy for the earth!), recycling/reusing your paper, plastic, etc.

Well that is all for me today, I think I have ranted and raved enough and I don’t promise, but I will try my best to write more often.

Until next time – Wishing you Happy Holidays!

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