Posts tagged Certified organic

Q and A Series: People, Products and the Health of Our Planet – Interview with Sequoia Cheney, CEO of Wonderfully Raw

For the fourteenth interview, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Sequoia Cheney, CEO of Wonderfully Raw – makers of Coco-Roons, Brussel Bytes and Snip Chips

Even though Sequoia was unable to answer the questions I sent her, she provided me with a great article that tells her story.

HOW I FOUND MYSELF ON THE RAW ROAD
by SEQUOIA CHENEY

Sequoia Cheney in the kitchen with an abundance of fresh raw fruits and vegetables

Sequoia Cheney in the kitchen with an abundance of fresh raw fruits and vegetables

I find myself sitting here thinking about how grateful I am to be where I am right at this moment. I feel grounded, strong, healthy, vibrant and full of energy. I have to thank creator for making me choose health.

That has not always been the case. I was starting to believe that my days of being cute and attractive were over. I convinced myself that I had to accept being over weight, tired and old. That was what the rest of my life would look like. I was a grandmother and old people just don’t feel that good.

I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes about five years ago.

I think I was in shock and really didn’t understand how serious diabetes could be for the rest of my life. I did not even know what it really meant to be diabetic. I went through the diabetes education programs that my medical doctor recommended. I took my medication. I started to follow the dietary recommendations and realized that following these guidelines was not the answer. I was fooling my body and myself thinking I could eat just like everyone else, with a lot of packaged, preserved foods with lots of artificial sweeteners. This was not helping me cure my diabetes and or get to the core problem in my body. I decided to do my own research and started my own healing journey through diet and exercise and a spiritual practice. It has taken me five years of hard work, perseverance, and commitment, and many tears to heal myself.

As I said I started with the recommendations from the Diabetes Association of America. I also knew that loosing weight would also help tremendously with my blood sugar. I knew weight loss was essential. So I looked into and tried every single diet out there, the biggest looser, weight watchers, high protein, low fat, counting calories, carbs and fats. AM PM Fat loss program and I even went to a medical doctor for weight loss, gave me pills, shots and B12. None of those programs worked for me until I decided to carefully watch what I ate, exercised 3/4 times a week and checked my blood sugar before and after every meal to see how each food reacted in my body. Finally after many years I reached a good eating program that I was able to stop taking all my medication. I was eating very simply. Lots of Vegetables, Salad, 3 to 4 oz protein. The only grains I ate were Millet and Quinoa. Some beans, Good Fat olive oil, avocado, nuts. Special Bread from Julian Bakery “Mana Bread”. I did really well on this diet,I had lost a bunch of weight but I hit a plateau and I just was not losing even though I was eating perfectly and exercising. I just wanted to die, and I did shed a lot of tears. I couldn’t understand why my body was not responding. My husband Jack looked fabulous, was thin and doing exactly what I was even in larger amounts. Again I thought, well Sequoia you are just going to have to accept your body just the way it is…………. But I knew in my heart there was a way for me!

Well, Creator had a plan for me. I just love how he works in such mysterious ways. Before I knew it I was enrolled in a Raw Foods Chef program at the renowned “Living Light Culinary Institute” in Fort Bragg, California. A month prior I never imagined I would be a Chef, let alone a Raw Foods Chef. Although I have always loved to cook. I love to eat good food. I can not stick with anything if it does not taste good. Well, lo and behold I went to Ft. Bragg leaving my life behind to start this journey! Oh my god, it has been an answer to my prayers. My blood sugar is completely normal, and still without any medications.

I have learned to make the most wonderfully raw food. I never thought I would be eating lasagna, pizza,pasta,enchiladas, pies, cakes, soups, salads, quiche and so much more. I still can not believe what I am eating. I can literally feel the energy of the food. You feel healthy and full of energy. You will not be as tired because your body won’t have to use all your energy to digest the food you eat.

When we think of raw foods as I said before. We think of carrots, celery. The actual meaning of Raw means in its natural state. So the food we are putting into our bodies when raw means they are still alive, filled with enzymes and nutrients. This food supports every aspect of our physical body.

Sometimes it is really scary to make changes to ones habits I know!. So if you have a feeling that eating this way would be good for you. Good for your physical health, mental health and spiritual health. Start off in baby steps.

If you just do a few simple things like:

Have a smoothie in the morning
Have a green drink
Have a green salad before each meal

Just by doing those simple things you will be eating 50% RAW. I am so passionate about “Wonderfully Raw” foods that I can not wait to share what I have learned with you.

I am now a graduate of the “Living Light Culinary Institute Gourmet Chef/Teachers Program” and Jack is a certified teacher of ” The Science of Raw Foods” we will be offering a series of talks and un-cooking classes at Three Trees Retreat in Watsonville, CA.

I am also including a link from her site to find out more about this family run company
http://mycocoroons.com/pages/about-us

Mini Coco-Roons Flavors: Vanilla Maple, Brownie and Apple Pie

Mini Coco-Roons
Flavors: Vanilla Maple, Brownie and Apple Pie

Coco-Roons Flavors: Lemon Pie, Vanilla Maple and Brownie

Coco-Roons
Flavors: Lemon Pie, Vanilla Maple and Brownie

Coco-Roons Flavors: Apple Pie, Cacao Nib and Almond & Strawberry "PB & J"

Coco-Roons
Flavors: Apple Pie, Cacao Nib and Almond & Strawberry “PB & J”

Snip Chips- Parsnip-Coconut Snack Mix Flavors: Dill Pickle, Chipotle Cilantro and Cheezy  Herb Truffle

Snip Chips – Parsnip-Coconut Snack Mix
Flavors: Dill Pickle, Chipotle Cilantro and Cheezy Herb Truffle

Brussel Bytes- Brussels-Coconut Snack Mix Flavors: Chili Pumpkin Seed Crunch and Tamarind Apple Crunch

Brussel Bytes – Brussels-Coconut Snack Mix
Flavors: Chili Pumpkin Seed Crunch and Tamarind Apple Crunch

Back of package  Apple Pie Coco-Roons

Back of package
Apple Pie Coco-Roons

Back of package Organic Brussel Bytes - Tamarind Apple Flavor

Back of package
Organic Brussel Bytes – Tamarind Apple Flavor

Back of package  Snip Chips - Chipotle Lime Cilantro Flavor

Back of package
Snip Chips – Chipotle Lime Cilantro Flavor

Flyer with more info about Snip Chips and Brussel Bytes

Flyer with more info about Snip Chips and Brussel Bytes

Flyer with more information about Coco-Roons

Flyer with more information about Coco-Roons

Also check out my youtube channel for a video review of all their products: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal

To find out more about all the great products from Wonderfully Raw go to:

http://www.wonderfullyrawgourmet.com
http://www.mycocoroons.com
http://www.mysnipchips.com
http://www.mybrusselbytes.com

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Q and A Series: People, Products and the Health of Our Planet – Interview with Pete Overgagg, CEO Hollandia Produce – Hydroponic, Greenhouse Grown Vegetables

For the twelfth interview, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Pete Overgagg, CEO of Hollandia Produce: Hydroponic, Greenhouse Grown Vegetables

My Comments:

I have known about the “Grower Pete’s” Hydroponic Butter Lettuce, as I have seen it in health food stores in California and Florida. I loved to buy it because it lasts a lot longer then other lettuce, since the roots are still attached, which means, it is “living” as it is connected to its roots. It has a mild and delicious flavor. I had the pleasure to meet Pete and his lovely wife, Shelley at The Natural Product Expo/Expo West 2014 in Anaheim. I also did a live interview with him at the Expo, which you can check out on my youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal

Question #1 Tell me briefly about yourself and why you decided to get involved in the “health” industry?

Initially, I didn’t choose to be a greenhouse grower; I was born into it!! Both my grandparents were greenhouse growers. In the late 1960s, my parents moved us and the family business from Holland to California. We started as greenhouse flower growers, but in the ‘80s, we rebranded ourselves as Hollandia Produce, growing hydroponic, greenhouse grown vegetables. Today, I serve as CEO, and although I spend much of my day in the office, my greatest satisfaction comes from being among the plants and growing healthy, natural food for a living.

Question #2 If you were stranded on a desert island and were allowed to bring only 5 health-related items with you, what would you bring and why?

Well, to survive on a desert island, I’d need tools that that would enable me to create healthy sustenance. That’s why I’d bring: 1) a large bag of assorted vegetable seed, to grow my own food; 2) a survival/utility knife; 3) a solar still, to ensure safe drinking water; 4) a bucket, to store and distribute water and other things; and 5) a water proof tarp, to shelter me from the elements. I think these items would definitely increase my chances for long-term survival!!

Question #3 What message do you want to share with people of this world that is crucial for their ultimate well-being and longevity?

I would recommend that people focus on eating more vegetables, cut out as many grains as possible, stay away from processed foods, especially soda and, of course, don’t smoke.

Question #4 If someone could afford to purchase only one product at this moment to start their journey towards better health (food or health related), what would you recommend and why?

I would recommend he or she go out and buy the book Primal Blueprint, by Mark Sisson. They should read it, take it to heart, and I think they’ll find themselves quickly on their way to better health.

Question #5 Tell me more about your company and your products and how they help achieve optimal health and well-being?

We help our customers achieve optimal health and well-being through the products we offer and the methods we use to grow them. Our Live Gourmet® and certified organic Grower Pete’s brands of leafy greens and lettuce are hydroponically greenhouse grown in protected growing environments and one of the cleanest in agriculture. Our hydroponic methods use far less water than field grown crops, and we practice sustainability throughout our production process, including using recycled packaging. Because our vegetables are sold with their roots intact, our customers also enjoy maximum freshness because the plants are still alive.

Question #6 What are your hopes/dreams/aspirations for the future health of our people and the planet?

My hope for our planet and its people is that we continue moving toward eating more vegetables and naturally raised food rather than processed. This is how it used to be, but we evolved away, now it seems like awareness is growing and we are cycling back towards healthier eating.

Question #7 Who is your greatest hero and why?

My parents, both of them. They took a huge risk in moving our business and family to the United States, at a time when they didn’t even speak the language. Their determination has inspired and encouraged me to take more risks and to have the confidence, as they did, in my ability to continue to grow and succeed.

"Wall" of  Hydroponic Butter Lettuce at Expo West in Anaheim, March 9, 2014

“Wall” of Hydroponic Butter Lettuce at Expo West in Anaheim, March 9, 2014

Display of Grower Pete's at Expo West in Anaheim 3/9/2014

Display of Grower Pete’s at Expo West in Anaheim 3/9/2014

Pete and Shelley Overgagg at Expo West in Anaheim 3/9/2014 in front of "The Wall" of Butter Lettuce and other displayed hydroponic greens.

Pete and Shelley Overgagg at Expo West in Anaheim 3/9/2014 in front of “The Wall” of Butter Lettuce and other displayed hydroponic greens.

Certified Organic Living Watercress from Grower Pete's

Certified Organic Living Watercress from Grower Pete’s

Back of package of Watercress with "Our Story" from Pete and Family

Back of package of Watercress with “Our Story” from Pete and Family

Also check out my youtube channel for a video review of all their produce that I do a tasting of: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal

To find out more about all the great products from Hollandia Produce, go to: http://www.livegourmet.com or http://www.growerpetes.com

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Company Review: Living Tree Community Foods – Alive, Sundried, Wildcrafted, Organic and Kosher

Living Tree Community Foods

Here is some history about the company and the owner, taken from their website:

In 1979, Jesse Schwartz, a former college teacher and John Kozack a teacher and administrator with the BioDynamic Farming and Gardening Association of Southern California founded Living Tree Community in Marin County, California. We propagated historic and heirloom fruit trees, including over 80 varieties of old time apple varieties. Through the miracle of grafting we made “photocopies” and propagated them in quantity. We gathered many of these varieties on fruit exploring expeditions in Mendocino County, the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Sierra foothills. We were often guided by old timers who had grown up in the orchards and knew every tree. We brought back from near extinction several early California varieties including Hauer Pippin, Skinner’s Seedling and Pink Pearl, a pink fleshed variety.

We also introduced the Warren pear to California agriculture. It was discovered by T.O. Warren, a distinguished member of the North American Fruit Explorers. He found it in a rural area of Louisiana. He at once noticed something unusual despite the heat and humidity, it was free of fireblight. Its refreshingly sweet taste and fine texture were also exceptional. Family farmer Al Courchesne of Frog Hollow Farms in Brentwood commissioned us to transform an orchard of nondescript pears to Warren Pear. We did so over three years by a sophisticated grafting technique called frameworking, joining scions of Warren Pear onto the primary and secondary branches. By leaving the trees intact, we brought them back into full production in less than half the time it would have taken to plant an orchard anew.

Warren Pears
In regard to bringing back heirloom varieties, Thomas Jefferson wisely said, “The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.”

In addition to growing trees, we began manufacturing almond butter, which we offered in our tree catalog.

After a decade of propagating trees, we closed the Nursery. Jesse Schwartz founded Living Tree Community Foods, Inc. in Berkeley and we have since devoted ourselves to manufacturing and distributing organic food. Wherever possible, we buy our ingredients from family farmers. In particular, our pistachios, calymirna figs, mission figs, dried peaches, apricots, nectarines, medjool dates and halawi dates are grown by family farmers here in California. We feel privileged to support them.

Read more here: http://www.livingtreecommunity.com/store2/aboutus.asp

My Review

I’ve known the owner, Jesse Schwartz for a while and have seen the company grow from producing and selling a few nut butters to now selling seed butters, alive oils, alive chocolate, pestos, coconut products, dried fruit and vegetables, grains, seeds, etc. Their products are of the highest quality and the company has integrity and are concerned about the environment. They support family farmers and source the best ingredients.

Organic Alive Almond Butter

Info from their site: http://www.livingtreecommunity.com/store2/product.asp?id=11&catid=40

I am a BIG fan of almond butter! I love the creamy texture and the fact that they make it in small batches and slice not grind the almonds gives it such a smooth yummy taste. I guess I would have to see it, to believe it! Perhaps, I will have to one day go to Berkeley, CA to do a video of the process, as it would be interesting to see and share. I do not know of any other company doing it this way. The product is certified organic, kosher and made from California almonds. They are high in calcium and iron. I eat it straight out of the jar because it is so good and I can! I also love to use as a dip and “dunk” my carrots in the jar. I like the balance of flavor between the two. I also put it on celery and pieces of cabbage for a wrap. You can also use it to make a sweet or savory sauce/dressing depending on the other ingredients you add to it and use on your salad, pasta (I make mine out of zucchini because I do not use any flour products), etc.

Organic and Alive Sesame Tahini

Info from their site: http://www.livingtreecommunity.com/store2/product.asp?id=10&catid=44

Tahini is a versatile seed butter and can be used to prepare many different things. From sauces, dressings, dips, mayos, spreads, added to desserts, to make halvah, etc. It is high in calcium and iron, as it comes from sesame seeds. The seeds are sliced rather then ground, as I mentioned above regarding the almond butter. The product is certified organic and kosher. It also has a wonderfully creamy texture. Sometimes I simply add a bit of water to it and make a dressing with lemon, lime or orange juice and pour it on my salad – yum!

Organic Raw Black Sesame Tahini

Info from their site: http://www.livingtreecommunity.com/store2/product.asp?id=53&catid=44

I do not know of any other company who is making this seed butter. It is an exclusive creation. It has a variety of medicinal benefits including: to nourish blood deficiencies, lubricate the intestines and help move the bowels. It is also high in calcium. The texture is different as it is drier and not “pourable” like the other tahini I mentioned above. The product is certified organic and kosher. Again, you can use it to make many different dished, as mentioned above. It actually looks like caviar. Black sesame seeds are utilized in Traditional Chinese Medicine to nourish and fortify the liver and kidneys.

You can also check out my youtube review of these products, as I taste them “live.”
Living Tree Community Foods: Alive, Sundried, Wildcrafted, Organic and Kosher
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52yGVhs40Iw

To read more about this company and their extensive product line, go to: http://www.livingtreecommunity.com

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.

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Company Review: Foods Alive – Organic Raw Living Food Products Part 3

Foods Alive – Life Giving and Mineral-Rich Artisan Crafted Organic Raw Living Foods Part 3 In business since 2002

I am choosing to quote info from the company and their website, as they explain about the products very well and I wanted to make sure I give them credit for it. I am simply giving my reviews of the products based on tasting and using them to create delicious recipes which you can watch me make on my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal

From Foods Alive website: http://www.foodsalive.com/?Click=827
We source the highest quality and best tasting super foods from across the globe to bring you and your family the most mineral rich and nutrient dense foods available. Super Foods are a great source of Anti-oxidants, Amino Acids (proteins), Dietary Fiber and many other hard to find essential vitamins and minerals that are necessary for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Raw Super Foods

White Mulberry

From Foods Alive website: White Mulberries are naturally sweet, chewy, multi-seeded clusters of vanilla scented goodness! White Mulberries contain the most phenols among the various species. Recent studies show that Mulberries contain polyphenols (normally found in grapes and red wine), flavonoids, anthocyanins, alkaloids, and resveratol. For more info: http://www.foodsalive.com/White-Mulberries-Organic-8-oz-p/0027.htm?Click=827

My review: These are so yummy, I could eat the whole bag at once (then I would not have any left, so I will have to exercise self-control, but I could get more, right?). What a great snack when on the go and you can also add to a trail mix or fruit salad. These is no preparation involved, just take the bag with you and have some while you are hiking, walking, etc. And don’t forget to share some with your friends and let them know where they can get a bag of healthy goodness!

Coconut Sugar Crystals

From Foods Alive website: Food’s Alive’s coconut sugar is a sustainable, healthy, low glycemic alternative to common sweeteners. It can be used as an equal replacement for other sweeteners such as agave, turbinado, evaporated cane juice or refined white sugar. It has been a long celebrated tradition in food and medicine for thousands of years, throughout Southern and Southeastern Asia.
For more info: http://www.foodsalive.com/Coconut-Sugar-Crystals-Organic-14-oz-p/0065.htm?Click=827

My review: Great alternative to use for baking, smoothies, sweet dressings, sauces, salads, etc. I use it in my Superfood Beverage that you can watch me make and taste in my latest youtube video on my channel: http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal

Himalayan Pink Salt

From Foods Alive website: 100% Pure Mineral Salt from a pristine area deep in the Himalayan Mountain Range. Himalayan Pink Salt is the purest and most beneficial form of salt crystals in the world. This fine granulated crystal salt works well for salt shakers and cooking recipes. For more info: http://www.foodsalive.com/Himalayan-Pink-Salt-14-oz-p/0040.htm?Click=827

My review: It has a beautiful pink color and is a culinary delight! I use it in small amounts to add minerals to what I am preparing. It is also great to add to a foot soak or in a bath, as the body absorbs the nutrients quicker through the skin.

Glass Drinking Straw

From Foods Alive website: This unique 8-inch glass drinking straw is environmentally friendly and incredibly elegant. When you use your glass straw, you reduce the number of plastic straws that end up in our landfills and avoid consuming the toxins that plastic straws can leach into your drinks.
For more info: http://www.foodsalive.com/Glass-Drinking-Straw-8-p/0044.htm?Click=827

My review: I love this glass straw! It is a must if you have children and they like to use a straw to drink their beverage because it is a lot more fun that way! You do not want plastic, as the chemicals leach into your food and then you are drinking that. Yuck! It is very durable, dishwasher safe, non-toxic, hypoallergenic and can be used in hot or cold beverages. Lets keep more plastic out of the landfills bcause the situation is getting beyond a HUGE problem for the environment. You can go online and find endless video on this issue. Plastics are ubiquitous and if each of us can do one thing to start, then STOP buying plastic straws. You only have to buy this ONE straw and never get another one again. So, it is also very cost effective in the long run.

Travel Case for Straight 8 inch Glass Straw

From Foods Alive website: This Glass Drinking Straw Travel Case is the perfect way to take your 8-inch Glass Straws (sold separately) on the go. With it’s secure snap-lock mechanism, you can be sure that your glass straw will be safe and sound whether you are traveling locally to meet up with a friend for lunch or packing it away in a suitcase for a vacation. NOTE: The Straight 8-inch Glass Straw (sold separately) is the ONLY straw that will fit in this great case. For more info: http://www.foodsalive.com/Glass-Drinking-Straw-Travel-Case-p/glass-straw-case.htm?Click=827

My review: You must have a case for your straw (this one is only for the 8-inch size) to keep it clean and prevent breakage. Also, if you are traveling or have a picnic, potluck and know you will be having a smoothie, juice, etc. you will want to “show off” your glass straw to others because they may not know about it. Then you can tell others why this straw is a great investment for their health and the environment. I think, it is also lovely to see the beautiful colors of your fruit or vegetable smoothie or juice passing through the glass as you drink it.

Cleaning Brush for Glass Straw

From Foods Alive website: If you use your glass straw a lot, then that means that you’ve been cleaning it a lot too. As a result, we are now offering this cleaning brush separately, for those who might need a new one. Use this glass straw cleaner, to clean out those hard to reach smoothie remains inside of your glass straw, so that you can keep reusing that glass straw of yours, and continue to help reduce waste in our landfills. For more info: http://www.foodsalive.com/Cleaning-Brush-for-Glass-Straw-p/cleaning-brush-glass-straw.htm?Click=827

My review: When you buy the straw, you get a free cleaning brush, specifically designed to clean it. Since some particulates made get stuck inside the straw from the liquid that passes through it and does not come out simply with water. If you do not have a dishwasher to do the job, this is a great tool and cleans it out very well.

Foods Alive Gear

Foods Alive Post-It
From Foods Alive website: Foods Alive’s Post-it® Note pads are made with a minimum of 30% post-consumer content to reduce environmental harm. Our white paper Post-it® Note pads give you 50 pages to jot down notes and stick in important places. For more info: http://www.foodsalive.com/Foods-Alive-Post-it-Note-Pad-p/gear-post-it.htm?Click=827

My review: We are always looking for something to write a note on and do not always have the paper or the right size to use. Foods Alive has solved the problem, as they now have post-it notes with their company info on it. You can keep them in your handbag or backpack and have it handy when you need to jot something down. Of course, it is great that they are made of post-consumer content, as an environmental benefit.

Foods Alive T-shirt

From Foods Alive website: Looking for a great T-shirt to sport? Look no further than this awesome T-shirt from Foods Alive! Makes a great gift too! For more info: http://www.foodsalive.com/Foods-Alive-T-shirt-p/gear-shirt.htm?Click=827

My review: If you are looking for a great gift to buy for yourself or others, look no further then the Foods Alive t-shirt! The shirt is also a great way to promote this company and let others know where they can buy their awesome products.

Foods Alive Mug

From Foods Alive website: The 10 oz. Foods Alive mug is perfect for any hot beverage! It has a unique curved ceramic body and a c-shaped handle for an easy comfortable grip. Makes a great gift too! For more info: http://www.foodsalive.com/Foods-Alive-Mug-p/gear-mug.htm?Click=827

My review: Another great gift is the ceramic mug. It is the perfect size for your hot or cold beverage. I used it when I made my Superfood Beverage and you can watch that on my youtube channel: TheRawsomeVeganGal

This company offers so many great raw organic super foods to nourish and help you to achieve vibrant health. If you have not tried any as yet, now you have more information to do so. You can check out their website: http://www.foodsalive.com/?Click=827 to purchase direct or find which stores carry their products.

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.

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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 2

S.W. Basics of Brooklyn – Truly All-Natural Sustainable Skincare, Part 2 in business since 2009 under the name “Sprout Wellness” and the current brand name since November 2012

For part 1 of my review of this company and products click on this link:
https://rawsomegal.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/company-review-s-w-basics-of-brooklyn-all-natural-sustainable-skincare/

I was thrilled to hear from MacKenzie, the media gal, a couple of months ago via this blog to do another product review and also offer you an exclusive sale that expires on Wednesday night 11/20/2013, so make sure to read this post to the bottom of the page.

This company has taken a strong stance in what ingredients they use in their products and refuse to ever use any synthetic chemicals, toxic fragrances or cheap fillers. If you eat the best organic foods, you ought to most definitely do the same for your skin! The skin absorbs whatever you put on it immediately with no barrier directly/express into the bloodstream. Then if the body recognizes it as an “invader” or foreign substance, that is when the immune system kicks in, in an accelerated fashion and the “army” of antibodies has to come in to destroy what it does not like.

There is no logical explanation to keep taxing the immune system and is better to keep it calm and balanced/equilibrium. The immune system ought to be reserved for when it is absolutely necessary, why add “fuel to the fire!” It is like when you see a sign that says, “Danger! Do not enter! Minefield!” Are you going to be a “hotshot” and think that I know how to get around them and will be ok? Why put yourself in harm’s way for no reason, when you have already been warned of the likelihood to be injured? Now, you ought to understand what I mean!

Make it your New Year’s Resolution to change what you put on your skin and do the research to find the best and cleanest products. Since I have had the opportunity to reviews products and companies with high integrity and purity, you can feel confident that I am not out to sell you “a bill of goods.” I would not ever even consider reviewing a product before I research it and make sure it meets my incessant hardcore standards. This company. S.W. Basics of Brooklyn is without a doubt, one of those companies!

Here are the products I review for this post.

Eco Cotton Rounds

What an awesome idea for a product! There are enough cotton balls and rounds being sold, even though there are certified organic ones, too, they still get disposed of in the trash (they are no compostable or biodegradable ones that I am aware of). This company found a mother-daughter team that made these organic, unbleached reusable cotton rounds. They are nice and thick and very absorbent. I use it to apply toner and can also be for applying cleanser, makeup remover, etc. After use, put them in the washing machine in the little laundry bag that comes with the product. Now you will save time and money (because you do not have to drive to the store and keep buying new cotton balls/rounds) and also do something wonderful for the environment (less being disposed into the landfill). They also feel very soft against the skin (maybe next, the company will think about some other new product(s) using that same organic cotton, like a hand towel or wash cloth because it is such great quality and the best natural material).

Cream

Before I try any product on my skin, I always like to smell it. First, I read the contents, of course and with this company, there is no doubt about the purity of the ingredients (I would say that if S.W. Basic of Brooklyn, sent me a new product that had no label on it to try out before it goes to market I would not need to ask what is in it because I see their track record with all their products, so far – that is a bold statement to make and I will stand by it and take the dare/challenge, if the company want me to prove that they are truly natural by doing a “blind” product testing, I’m game! I will also record a video while doing it and try to figure out what are the ingredients – don’t forget everything is not more then 5 ingredients, so chances are I may figure some/all of them out).

This cream smelled very yummy, like coconut butter. It has only 3 ingredients: shea butter, coconut oil and olive oil. Since it does not use any water it can penetrate deep into the skin and stays there without evaporating. The shea butter is wild harvested from a Fair Trade women’s cooperative in Ghana.

When I applied it to my face, it was very thick, rich and concentrated, so I did not need to use much. These ingredients are very pure and do not clog your pores, like other commercially prepared products that “claim” they are natural and put it on their label (What a joke! Usually they have a list of ingredients a mile long and you can not pronounce them and maybe there is a drop of something that is quasi-natural because it actually is chemically derived).

Body Oil scented with lemongrass essential oil

I mentioned above that I like to smell products (one of my 5 senses, I like to use) and I also am very visual (using my sense of sight). I say this about the body oil because when I looked at the bottle it has such a beautiful vibrant and lively color. It is a deep rich yellow with a slight greenish undertone. Before I even opened the bottle, I felt nourished simply by the sight of it. Then when I took a whiff of it, the aroma was invigorating. It is also aromatherapeutic (free added bonus!) when you inhale the natural essential oils through your nasal passages.

I know they have a few different versions of the body oil that are scented and they must have known telepathically (ok, maybe I am “pushing the envelope” here, so play along and humor me!) that the scent of lemongrass takes me to an other world. A world that is filled with clean oxygen-rich air, sunshine, happiness, peace, serenity, rolling hills/mountains with fresh natural spring water free-flowing, fragrant flowers and herbs growing wild, tall grasses that I can run through and an abundance of organic wild berries that I can pick and eat to my hearts delight (I hope you enjoyed this visual escape/experience/journey I took you on simply from smelling this product).

Now, lets get back to the product. This body oil is great when you come out of the shower and best to put on your skin when it is still wet to lock in the moisture. It is made with sesame oil, grapeseed oil and avocado oil (also scented versions with either clove, peppermint or lemongrass). I loved how light it is going on, absorbed into my skin and made it feel soft and smooth.

Thanks to Adina, Adam and MacKenzie for the opportunity to do another review and I hope to do more in near future!

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

The company is offering an exclusive sale on their website to my blog viewers so don’t delay, especially if you have some holiday gifts in mind. Anything you buy from this company is a good investment for the health of you skin and your body (as the skin is the largest organ and whatever we put on the surface gets absorbed into the body immediately!). The code below is for 15% off products and will be good for ONLY 3 days, until Wednesday, November 20th 2013 at 11:59pm EST on the button.

Code: RAWSOME15

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.

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.

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Company Review: Food On Purpose – Organic Raw Vegan Snacks Part 2

Food On Purpose – Organic Raw Vegan Snacks Part 2 in business since 2007 Their motto is: “Intentional Choices, Powerful Foods”

To read part one of my review of these company’s savory raw snacks click on this link:
https://rawsomegal.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/company-review-food-on-purpose-organic-raw-vegan-snacks-and-treats-part-1/

I am reviewing the sweet raw snacks from this company. I am not a “fan” of using agave nectar, as it is equated to HFCS – high fructose corn syrup and is not recommended. I did sample these products, anyway, as GK was kind enough to send them to me for review.

I would say a better option is date syrup or coconut nectar, if a thick liquid syrup is necessary. I actually prefer using the green stevia leaf or powder as it is not sugar and merely a sweet leaf discovered in South America and it is antibacterial, helps regulate blood sugar, etc. To read more about this amazing sweet leaf, read the book, “The Miracle of Stevia,” by James A. May.

I emailed GK about the use of agave sweetener and received this response from him. In an email from GK (National Sales Manager), he says: “We do use agave in our Roonies. They are tasty (especially Choco Roonies) but we are looking at other sweeteners.”

Here is a review of the products: They are all dehydrated, dairy free, gluten free, certified organic and raw.

Granola In The Raw
This is a really nice granola and uses sprouted buckwheat, nuts and seeds. It is tasty and mildly sweet (even though it uses agave, but to me did not seem like a lot of it). The ingredients do not stick today, as in other raw granolas that use dates, but remain separated. I tasted it right out of the bag as a snack and also used it with some coconut water, as a cereal (or you can make a seed or nut milk yourself that is vegan, as I don’t recommend any dairy consumption).

Roonies (as in Macaroons) – 3 varieties
Overall, these are moist and chewy with each one having a different flavor, depending on the ingredients used. One thing I found unnecessary was the use of coconut oil as they are actually soaking in the oil at the bottom of the package (I did not find that “oil pool” in the Choco Roonies) I took them out and used a couple of paper towels to absorb the oil. The would still be delicious without the oil and with another sweetener (as I mentioned above).

Sunny Roonies
These macaroons use mostly coconut and lemon. I like the lemony flavor. It is sweeter then the cereal, as more agave is used and it is the first ingredient listed.

Ginger Roonies
These macaroons have ginger and maca powder. The taste is not strong or overly sweet as the previous one I mentioned. The ginger taste kicks in later and is not overpowering.

Choco Roonies
These macaroons use Peruvian organic cacao, maca powder and vanilla flavor. These has a sweet flavor, but are not overly sweet. I may try and make them myself and use carob instead of cacao or a mix of both of them for a different flavor.

Birds In The Nest
First, I like the name, it is very unique and clever. This is made mostly with cashews and has a raspberry jam scoop in the center of it. I love the color contrast between the macaroon and the fruit. Perhaps other berries can be used such as strawberries, goji berries, blackberries, yellow raspberries, etc (I am salivating, just things about the possibilities, as I am always creating recipes in my head, as I am a chef). This product is flakier, dry and mildly sweet.

To find out more about these products and the company, go to http://www.foodonpurpose.com
I also have a link on the right hand column of this page under the title Blogroll.

Check out my youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal for a video review of these products and for many more product reviews, healthy living topics and recipe ideas.

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.

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