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Guilt-Free Snacking: It's Okay to Overindulge on These Healthy Snacks

Guilt-Free Snacking: You’ll Love These Good-For-You Snacks

We’re avid snackers. Try as we may to reduce the number of snacks we eat, there’s just no winning the war. Luckily, we’re slowly winning the battle by switching to healthy snacks; all thanks to the fact that they are all freaking delicious and we can enjoy some guilt-free snacking. The guilt and shame we felt ravaging a bag of potato chips, cookies, or a pint of ice cream are dissipating quickly because we’re enjoying healthier options that taste just as good.

Guilt-Free Snacking: It's Okay to Overindulge on These Healthy Snacks

Thanks to guilt-free snacking on things like the protein and fiber dense options from Nature’s Path; the wholesome and flavorful handmade crackers from Top Seedz; the protein-packed beef jerky from Old Trapper; and the savory, toasted crackers from Mary’s Gone Crackers. The wonderful thing about these snacks is not only are they beneficial to your wellbeing, they will help you snack better. We have absolutely noticed a change in our snacking habits.

NATURE’S PATH

Guilt-Free Snacking: It's Okay to Overindulge on These Healthy Snacks

Granola is a terrific way to give your body the healthy sustenance it needs while keeping the bd away. If regular granola is good for you, Superfood granolas are incredibly beneficial to the body. We discovered this when we were introduced to the Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified granolas, cereals, oatmeal, waffles, and more from Nature’s Path. We had the opportunity to treat ourselves to the Golden Turmeric Superfood Granola, their newest flavor Smoothie Bowl Superfood Granola, and their Golden Turmeric Superfood Oatmeal. Hands down, our absolute favorite (although the other two were enjoyed almost as enthusiastically) was the Golden Turmeric Superfood Granola.

This addictive power snack features invigorating turmeric granola with crunchy cashews and powerhouse ingredients turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper, which are known to support anti-inflammatory and blood sugar balancing functions of the body. If you’ve ever had a real Golden Milk then you know that the addition of black pepper magnifies the effects and benefits of Turmeric. Add in its delicious taste and you can’t go wrong. Other reasons we love this are it’s sweetened with low GI coconut sugar (only 5g sugar per 30g serving);  is baked with coconut and avocado oil; and it’s snackable clusters with a delicious, cookie-like melt in your mouth texture. We wanted to see how it would taste with milk but not one cluster made it near a bowl. It was straight from the bag to our waiting mouth.

TOP SEEDZ CRACKERS

Guilt-Free Snacking: It's Okay to Overindulge on These Healthy Snacks

As of today, with two full containers devoured, we find ourselves addicted to the Kosher certified, vegan, and gluten-free crackers. We have not yet been able to get to the point of putting anything on these delicious, crunchy seed crackers. Available in four flavors, these Top Seedz crackers are so delicious, we’ve been enjoying guilt-free snacking directly out of the package. We will try to resist the urge to gorge on the next flavor of these without topping it with Top Seedz’s recommended toppings. Speaking of, see them below:

  1. 6 Seed Crackers: The newest addition, the 6 Seed Crackers are vegan, gluten-free, and grain-free and also include chia and hemp seeds. Pairs well with: Goat cheese and a bit of tapenade; almond butter and golden raisins; hummus
  2. Sea Salt Crackers: The most versatile of the bunch, the Sea Salt Crackers can be your everyday cracker substitute. Pairs well with: Swiss cheese and a slice of dried salami; sliced apples or bananas with your favorite nut butter; smoked salmon with a touch of cream cheese and a sprig of dill.
  3. Rosemary Crackers: With a hint of rosemary, these take your charcuterie board to the next level. Pairs well with: Honey drizzled over baked brie with prosciutto; sliced fig and ricotta; sliced peaches, pears, or plums.
  4. Cumin Crackers: Move from the ordinary with the Latin flavor of the Cumin Crackers. Pairs well with: Black bean dip or a plain hummus; avocado smash and alfalfa sprouts; smoked salmon with fig compote.

The best part, those with nut allergies can fully indulge in guilt-free snacking as these are made with seeds, not nuts. Why seeds you ask? Seeds are known for their specific taste, texture, and nutritional benefits, such as protein, fiber, and iron. They’re also known for a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They’re a great source of energy, they aid in digestion, increase muscle mass, enhance brain activity, and so much more. For those who love everything DIY,  Top Seedz has the first-ever bake-at-home cracker kit! Now you can now make your own Top Seedz crackers at home. Indulge in as little or as much of the seed varieties as you want.

OLD TRAPPER BEEF JERKY

Guilt-Free Snacking: It's Okay to Overindulge on These Healthy Snacks

If you’re familiar with our adventures, you know we’re not vegan. So we’re taking a brief break from the vegan offerings to highlight the only meat option in this snack feature. While we do enjoy several vegan foods and snacks, we are full carnivores. Naturally, any snack list we share will have our main source of protein, meat; in this case, beef jerky. Sometimes nothing beats the delicious taste of a good cut of beef. For the times when you crave meat protein but don’t want to partake in a full burger, or steak meal, old-fashioned lean pieces of beef jerky will sate your appetite. Old Trapper makes beef jerky the way it was meant to be.

The ingredients behind the company’s 50 years of success are as short as its actual ingredient list: lean high-quality meat, quality seasonings, real wood-fired smoke, and a hands-on manufacturing process. Couple that with an affordable price point and you see why Old Trapper has outlasted the competition.

Old Trapper offers a variety of lean high-quality jerky, including Old Fashioned, Peppered, Hot & Spicy, and Teriyaki flavors. Their last product launch was their quarter-pound bag of jerky, which goes against the current industry trend of giving LESS product in the same size bag. If you’ve purchased any bag of potato chips in the last 2-3 years, you know what we mean. Old Trapper offers delicious ways to give your body the protein it needs. What we loved most, aside from taste, was it wasn’t overall dry and the flavors were perfect.

MARY’S GONE CRACKERS

Guilt-Free Snacking: It's Okay to Overindulge on These Healthy Snacks

Mary’s Gone Crackers proves that healthy snacks need never lack in flavor! Focused on impeccable quality and taste, Mary’s products speak for themselves with their delectable, unique texture, and flavor profiles which can only be accomplished by carefully baking whole, organic ingredients to toasted perfection. Crafted with whole ingredients such as brown rice, quinoa, flax, and sesame seeds, each cracker is the perfect pairing of toasty flavor and crunchy goodness. All of Mary’s snacks are certified organic, gluten-free, allergen-friendly, and vegan to fuel active, health-conscious, and epicurean lifestyles with delicious and nutritious snacks. They recently launched 3 new real thin flavorsOlive Oil + Cracked Black Pepper, Chipotle, and Tomato + Basil.

we’d love to hear which of these guilt-free snacking options you’d love to indulge in most.

What's for Dinner? Verve Culture Thai for Two Cooking Kits

What’s for Dinner? Verve Culture Thai for Two Cooking Kits

One thing we are enjoying about the months-long lockdown is we can experiment in the kitchen. Whether it’s trying a new recipe or a new dish in general. We were not-so-recently introduced to Verve Culture, we previously highlighted their Tortilla Cast Iron Press Kit, and we’re excited to share another of their wonderful products, the Verve Culture Thai for Two Cooking Kits. Prepare easy-to-make meals with these authentic ingredients from Thailand; just add your own protein and vegetables.

What's for Dinner? Verve Culture Thai for Two Cooking Kits

There are so many things to love about the Verve Culture Thai for Two Cooking Kits. We love the convenience, the simplicity of preparing, the break from ordering in, the change of basic cuisine, and of course the fantastic taste. The Thai for Two Cooking Kits are available in five varieties – Pad Thai, Organic Green Curry Kit, Organic Tom Kha Soup, Organic Panang Curry Kit, and Organic Red Curry Kit. Naturally, the taste is at the very top but a very close second is how quickly a meal can be prepared. You see, these organic Thai for Two cooking kits take only 7 steps and your meal can be fully prepared in 7 minutes. The numbers increase by one for the Pad Thai making it 8 steps and 8 minutes; they are decreased by 2 for the Tom Kha Soup, making it 5 steps and 5 minutes.

What's for Dinner? Verve Culture Thai for Two Cooking Kits

If you are fans of the big, fragrant, and creamy flavors of Thai food, the Verve Culture Thai for Two cooking kits will not disappoint. We had the pleasure of trying out the Organic Red Curry Kit and Organic Green Curry Kit, both over rice. For the Organic Red Curry Kit, we added beef as our protein and followed the 7 easy steps and our delicious dinner for two was complete. Each kit comes housed in a black and gold pouch with each ingredient individually packaged and sealed.

What's for Dinner? Verve Culture Thai for Two Cooking Kits

The Organic Red Curry cooking kit included: Organic dried herbs, Organic red curry seasoning, Organic red curry paste, and Organic coconut milk. For those who prefer a tamer spice level, you can use 1/2 – 3/4 of the curry paste; for the rest of us, use the entire packet or add some of your own red curry. The above is a deep plate (more of a soup or stew plate), so all our red curry is at the bottom. Nevertheless, we were more than happy with the result and this did not last very long. For the Organic Green Curry kit, we chose salmon as our protein and choose a different mix of vegetables.

Thai for Two - Organic Green Curry KitThai for Two - Organic Green Curry Kit

Once again, this no-fail cooking kit did not disappoint our tastebuds. If you’re looking to wow your family or just want to spice up your lunch or dinner, these Verve Culture Thai for Two Cooking Kits are what you need. We can’t wait to try the other Thai for Two cooking kits, especially the Pad Thai.

Skinny & Co. Coconut Oil: The All Season Hydrator

As one who has used an almost immeasurable amount of body moisturizers to keep our skin hydrated throughout the year and through the various and vastly different seasons, we can 100 percent say there is nothing like the hydrating and protective benefits of coconut oil. Of course, the best coconut oil to use is a high-quality one that leaves the raw nutrients intact; that coconut oil is 100% virgin coconut oil, Skinny & Co Coconut Oil.

Skinny & Co Coconut Oil is the only raw, 100% alkaline coconut oil in the world; it is made with hand-picked wild-Harvested, not plantation grown coconuts. What makes Skinny & Co Coconut Oil even more amazing is that is cold-processed, not just cold pressed, thanks to their patent-pending Nutralock System. You already know coconut oil has over a hundred uses. You can cook with it, substituting it for butter and other oils, condition your hair, Oil pulling, and of course use it as a moisturizer on your face and body.

You will immediately notice the difference between Skinny & Co Coconut Oil and other brands. It absorbs much better into your skin and keeps it hydrated and moisturized all day, even on the coldest winter days. We’ve been using Skinny & Co Coconut Oil for two seasons now and our skin couldn’t be happier. It’s become our go-to lip, scalp, and skin moisturizer, makeup remover, cuticle hydrator, and cooking oil.

The 100% raw coconut oil isn’t the only product we’re loving from Skinny & Co Coconut Oil. You’ll love the Coconut Oil Bar Soaps (available in five scents); the deeply hydrating Skinny Shampoo Bars that delivers intense hydration to your hair without creating excess oils (your hair will love you for this); the Whipped Body Butter that’s perfect to use as an all over moisturizer, hair mask or conditioner, or shaving cream; the Skinny & Co. Sugar Scrub, a pH balanced scrub that can be used as an all-over body exfoliant, prep for self-tanner, and as a lip scrub; and a Clarifying Moisturizing Facial Oil for blemish-prone and oily skin types. We know what you’re thinking – why would I put oil on my oily skin? This 100% oil moisturizer helps clarify and balance by removing impurities and congestion from the surface of the skin. These wonderful products are just some of the great skincare products from Skinny & Co, check out their site to see more.

Do you use coconut oil in your beauty or skincare regime? Are you looking to trying a great coconut oil? Don’t take our word for it, check out Skinny & Co’s customer reviews and see who else is loving their coconut oil.

Going Back to the Roots for National Agriculture Day

Did you know there’s a special day celebrating just about everything! Of course, we don’t mind because we think celebrations make for a happier life. Take today, for instance, today is National Agriculture Day, also known as National Ag Day, a day to celebrate the contributions of agriculture and those who contribute to agriculture, which is why we’re highlighting the wonderful offerings from Back to the Roots for National Agriculture Day. This amazing company, which we met at the Editors Showcase during the Fancy food Show, has made us realize that just because you live in the city (and most likely, a shoebox of an apt), doesn’t mean you can’t grow your own food. Two of their very cool products, which we’re highlighting today include the Garden in a Can, and the Organic Mushroom Mini Farm (they have so many other very cool ready-to-grow products, you have to check them out).

Back_to_the_Roots_Garden_in_a_Can_www.mylifeonandofftheguestlist.com

These ready-to-grow cans make it fun and easy to grow and harvest organic herbs right from your windowsill or fire escape. All you have to do is plant, water, and watch it grow! Back to the Roots makes it easy to buy, offering a set of four herbs in its own can: basil, cilantro, sage, and dill. The set includes organic seeds, nutrient rich soil, biochar technology that helps your herbs grow for months. what you don’t get are no messy drainage holes, no chemicals, and no need for transplanting. Plus for every photo you share using the hashtag #GardenInACan, Back to the Roots will donate one to an elementary school classroom.

Back_to_the_Roots_Mushroom_Mini_Farm_www.mylifeonandofftheguestlist.com

Love mushrooms? Then grow your own gourmet, organic oyster mushrooms right out of the box it comes in……..in just 10 days! This mini farm is truly the lazy person’s garden, just open the box, mist with water, and watch your mushroom harvest 10 days later. The Mushroom Farm lasts for months in the box unopened, making it a great gift for kids, families, foodies & chefs!  The kit includes organic plant-based soil (which can grow multiple crops!), oyster mushroom spawn, spray mister, and as a bonus: organic heirloom tomato seeds to grow with your composted mushroom kit. How cool is that?

So my fellow city, and small apartment-dwellers, would you be open to trying out your green thumb? What are your thoughts on these Back to the Roots products?

Malie Organics: A First Class Ticket to Pampering!

Celebrate your own natural beauty and the cultural wonders of Hawaii with Malie Organics.  Founded in 2004, Malie Organics offers a luxurious line of all-natural and organic beauty products that are approved by the Natural Products Association.  Honoring their Hawaiin roots, all Malie products feature indigenous and local Hawaiian flora and  are all proudly made in the USA. Malie does not use petroleum, mineral spirits, sulfates or parabens in any of its products.

I had the opportunity to try the Malie’s Jet Set gift set that includes (TSA-friendly) 2.5-ounce bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body cream.  My experience was like a day at the spa.  Available in Plumeria and Mango Nectar scents, this beautifully packaged travel set retails for $39.50.

Malie’s Jet Set Gift Set

malie organics plumeria

I’m always looking for all-natural and organic products to use on my hair. I found both and so much more with Malie Organics shampoo and conditioner. Are you looking for a color safe, sulfate free, rich lathering shampoo and moisturizing, hair softening conditioner?

Malie Organics Plumeria Shampoo 

malie organics shampoo

Malie Organics Plumeria Conditioner

malie organics conditioner

Malie Organics shampoo and conditioner left my strands feeling clean, moisturized and silky soft.  I also enjoyed the soft and gentle essence of plumeria. The shampoo gently, but thoroughly cleansed my hair without stripping hair of its natural oils. I love the conditioner as well as it is excellent for detangling my thick curly locks.  My hair felt so moisturized and soft after using this shampoo and conditioner combo.  Best of all, Malie products are 70% organic and don’t contain the harmful ingredients found in many hair-care products. And the nose-pleasing scent of the Malie Organics shampoo and conditioner duo lingered on for hours after use.  For only $23.50 each, this high-end quality shampoo and conditioner are a steal.

Malie Organics Plumeria Body Wash

malie organics plumeria bodywash

Close your eyes and imagine the most enjoyable and elegant shower or bath you could  ever experience. Now open them and find a bottle of  Malie Organics Plumeria body wash.  This sulfate-free body wash wrapped me in thick, rich, skin-softening suds and left my skin feeling soft and smelling beautiful.  My skin was not left feeling tight and actually felt very moisturized even after drying off.  I am so impressed with this body wash and my hubby loves the way my skin smells when I climb into bed.  Pamper yourself with an 8.25 oz bottle of pure indulgence for only $28.00!

Malie Organics Plumeria Body Cream

malie organics plumeria body cream

The moment I started to massage the Malie Organics Plumeria Body Cream into my skin, I knew I was saying goodbye to the dry itchy skin that often plagues my skin during the cooler months.  I am in love with the soft and fresh feminine scents of citrus, peach, and jasmine.  The Malie Organics Plumeria body cream left my skin feeling soft, silky and moisturized all day. Spoil yourself with this 70% organic luxurious body cream that can be purchased for just $32.00.

All Malie products are all-natural, organic and wild-crafted ingredients. They are  free of harmful ingredients. Malie does not use animal products or test on animals.

Turn Back Time with Nordic Beauty’s Organic Skincare

One thing women have been trying to do since the beginning is turn back time. For centuries, women have tried several beauty regimens and rituals in the battle against aging, with minimal luck – but here is one beauty label that is sure to make you feel like you’ve frozen time, without leaving you with a frozen face, and a body full of toxins. Nordic Beauty is a 100% natural and organic skin care line that will deem other anti-aging products obsolete, thanks to its special ingredient, Marine Collagen Peptide.

These products use nature’s beauty secrets to keep you looking young and beautiful, with healthy, moisturized skin. The Marine Collagen Peptide used in the Nordic Beauty line comes from wild caught Norwegian Cod skin, from the cold waters of Northern Norway’s deep seas. The brand uses Cod Fish Collagen because it contains much larger amounts of amino acids, glycine and proline than other proteins. These tiny peptides penetrate deep within your skin to help form new tissue cells, resulting in beautiful and youthful looking skin that is younger, softer and more radiant, with optimal results after 33 days of use. Other natural ingredients include Lingonberry Seed Extract, Sweet Iris Stem Cell, Edelweiss Extract, as well as organic essential oils including Frankincense Essential Oil, Sunflower Oil, and Sweet Almond Oil.  The products are gentle and non-irritating, which is perfect for those with sensitive skin. What more could you ask for?

Being able to read the ingredients of the Nordic Beauty products is a real treat that we don’t often get when it comes to what we put on our face. Natural ingredients are very important to Nordic Beauty CEO Mette Risdal, “I hope to elevate consumer awareness of the dangers inherent in the many synthetic ingredients found in so many beauty products today,” says Risdal. “It isn’t worth the short-term gain if a product degrades your appearance or the health of your skin a few years down the line. Our Nordic Beauty products not only make you look good; they are good for you, promoting skin that glows with health and resiliency.”

You can also feel good about supporting Nordic Beauty, as they give 10% of their profits to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and Susan G. Komen Foundation, as noted by the pink bow and message stated directly on the packaging. By purchasing Nordic Beauty products, you are not only helping yourself, but other women as well! To learn more about Nordic Beauty or try it for yourself, head over to www.nordicbeauty.com. Let us know your results in the comments below!

EDITED BY GLASGOW SKINNER

Make Thanksgiving Better w/ Shady Brook Farms & Honeysuckle White Turkeys

With Thanksgiving happening this week, we have one thing on our minds: FOOD! The star of the Thanksgiving dinner is of course, the turkey. We have great news: The well known Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White have been working with over 700 independent farmers to bring you fresh, whole bird turkeys raised without growth promoting hormones antibiotics – at an affordable price! Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White believe that everyone should have access to healthy, organic food that hasn’t been pumped with chemicals and hormones.

Look out for this packaging at your local grocery store when turkey shopping!

This is huge and amazing news – they are the first major turkey brands to implement this change on such a large scale. By buying a turkey this year from these brands, you can take a step in the right direction toward healthy and organic eating this Thanksgiving. We had the chance to sample this Gluten-free, MSG-free turkey from Shady Brook Farms and it is superbly delicious!

Now you can feel a little better about stuffing yourself on turkey day, because your turkey will be hormone antibiotic free! Living in a time where we barely know where our food comes from and how the animals that we consume are raised, Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White taking the initiative to give us turkey that is raised the healthy way is a breath of fresh air. You can look forward to even more turkey products without growth promoting antibiotics soon, because they will be removed from all turkeys by 2015. With Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White, you can be sure that you are serving your loved ones something that not only tastes great, but is great for them.

What We’re Loving – Maple Hill Creamery Creamline Yogurt

Maple Hill Creamery serves up yogurt that is not only great tasting, but also great for you! Their delicious Creamline Yogurt is made from organic milk from 100% grass-fed, cows. Living in a time when we barely know what we are consuming, Maple Hill Creamery is a welcome change. I was very eager to try this yogurt because the packaging is simple yet artistic and eye-catching.

When I opened the European-style yogurt, there was a layer of cream on top known as the “Creamline”, hence the name of the yogurt. This cream on top of the traditionally tart, full-fat, barely-sweet, smooth yogurt, is the result of a layer of milk fat that naturally rises to the top during the yogurt’s cooling and culturing process.

The cream on top is natural – just stir and enjoy!

You don’t usually see this naturally occurring process in other yogurt brands, because when theirs is being processed, they remove it for aesthetic reasons.

The cream on top of the yogurt.

Once the yogurt is stirred, its ready to eat! The first thing I noticed with the first taste was the tartness. The flavor is somewhere between regular and Greek yogurt. I did not find the pungent tang to be overwhelming, although it did stand out. The vanilla flavor itself was not overpowering, which allowed every aspect of the yogurt to shine through.

Maple Hill Creamery Creamline Yogurt has a very smooth and luxurious texture that I really enjoyed. I like the distinct flavor, and can definitely taste a difference between Maple Hill Creamery and other non-organic brands. Grass-fed cows make a huge difference, not only in the meat of the cow itself, but the milk it produces as well. Maple Hill Creamery’s yogurts make for  a great nutritious snack. I’m looking forward to trying their other flavors! Have you tried Maple Hill Creamery? What is your favorite flavor?

EDITED BY GLASGOW SKINNER