Archive for the ‘Recently Reviewed’ Category

Bees Lotion Stings

In Natural Beauty on June 19, 2013 at 10:27 am

Now that the warmer weather is finally here, it’s time to get ready for summer. Mind you, in Toronto it’s been hot and humid one week then cold and rainy the next, but that’s the Canadian climate for you. So not a day goes by when I don’t wear sunscreen on my face – it’s not really an optional choice as I burn really easily.            

Burt’s Bees Radiance Day Lotion 

burtsThe combination of a day lotion with sunscreen always appeals to me, as who wants to put yet another product on? PRODUCT NOTES This light lotion has almost no scent and absorbs quickly without any greasy feeling. It also comes in a pump bottle, which is really convenient. But I find it stings my skin a little going on even though there’s no alcohol in it. Luckily it quickly passes and leaves no redness. BOTTOM LINE An SPF15 is considered low by my standards, as I like to have maximum sun protection on my face. With that in mind, I’ll keep looking for something with more SPF and less irritation.

Veggie Ground to Keep Around

In Good Eats, Recently Reviewed on June 18, 2013 at 10:32 am

I’ve finally found an organic ground beef substitute! When I stumbled upon this non-GMO-verified version from Sol Cuisine, I couldn’t wait to try it in my usual recipes such pasta sauces, stir fry’s and Sheppard’s Pie.

Sol Cuisine Organic Veggie Crumbles, $4.99, Loblaws . vegground

We eat a lot of soy products, so I try to find organic ones wherever possible since I discovered that soy is one of the most genetically modified (GMO) foods out there. This ground is also vegan and gluten free. PRODUCT NOTES Looks and tastes as good, if not better, as the other veggie grounds we’ve used in the past. My family devoured the spaghetti sauce I made. Not even a speck of it was leftover for lunches the next day. BOTTOM LINE Lately, I haven’t been able to find this product in my regular supermarket although I noticed they do carry other Sol Cuisine products. I’ll have to shop around, as it’s too good to pass up. More importantly, we don’t want the GMOs that you get in regular soy products or other foods for that matter.

Get Glowing with Oatmeal Scrub

In Natural Beauty, Recently Reviewed on June 6, 2013 at 10:50 am

With all the pollutants and extreme weather we face everyday, even healthy skin can easily look dull and lackluster. There’s never a time when my skin doesn’t benefit from a good facial scrub. Luckily, I’m pleased that my neighbourhood drug store now has an entire section devoted to natural and organic products – and the selection seems to be continually expanding! Seems I’m not alone in my desire to purchase organic skincare products that don’t test on animals or contain a variety of toxic chemicals.

scrubCreation’s Garden Oatmeal Facial Exfoliator What’s not to love about this certified organic scrub? Thankfully it’s getting easier to find products that are both organic and free of parabens. And often I found other scrubs to be too grainy or rough on the skin. PRODUCT NOTES From the lovely oatmeal smell to the gentle cleansing action, I highly recommend this quality product. It left my sensitive skin feeling refreshed and invigorated. BOTTOM LINE If you’re in the market for a new scrub, this is definitely one to try. And for those of you who’ve never tried using a facial scrub before, it’s time to get rid of those dead skin cells and go for the glow.

Another Day, Another Dessert

In Good Eats, Recently Reviewed on June 4, 2013 at 10:01 am

cookiesIf you’ve ever eaten any desserts from Sweets from the Earth, you know how rich and delicious they are. So you can imagine how excited I was to see frozen cookie dough in the freezer section of my local health food store. In our shopping flurry, I grabbed the gluten-free chocolate chip dough and later lamented it wasn’t nut free. We checked their website though and noticed they offer both types – too bad they don’t make a dough that is both gluten and nut free. Plus there are other varieties – so we’ll just have to soldier on and try them all!

Sweets from the Earth Gourmet Cookie Dough, $5.99, Qi.

doughIt’s amazing to finally find products that include quality organic ingredients just like you would use at home. Why did it take so long? PRODUCT NOTES The dough looks and performs as well as any frozen cookie dough you might have used in the past but is certified vegan. The only thing we didn’t like is that it didn’t include a suggested yield – we made 24 mouth-watering chocolate chip cookies. And they certainly didn’t last long. BOTTOM LINE Stock your freezer! You never know when you’ll be in the mood for some freshly baked cookies. Bonus: If you’ve got kids, they’ll need no coaxing at all to whip up this quick treat without using every bowl, measure and utensil in the house.

Lemon Zinger Leaves Sour Note

In Good Eats, Recently Reviewed on May 9, 2013 at 11:07 am

As you might have noticed, I’m always interested in trying out new products particularly if they are organic. Some of the places where I shop know this too, so staff will even make the effort to point out recent arrivals. This was one of them.

chutneyDown To Earth Organic Lemon Chilli Chutney , $4.49, Sanko.

Indian food has become a staple in our family and thus we’re keen to find authentic additions to our menus. PRODUCT NOTES Now I like lemon but this is way too lemony even for me and there’s very little chili flavour. BOTTOM LINE Doubt I’ll get this one again unless I find a really good use for it because used on its own as a relish or chutney, we didn’t really enjoy it. Perhaps I’ll try mixing it into a sauce, dressing or marinade.

Do You Like Waffles?

In Good Eats, Recently Reviewed on May 7, 2013 at 9:10 am


Yes, I like waffles – so the Parry Gripp song goes. If you’re lucky enough to have time on your hands and a waffle maker to boot, then you probably make waffles all the time. My brother-in-law has it down to a fine art so when he and my sister visit, we try to be as welcoming in our hospitality but it’s hard to do without said appliance. Add to the mix the fact that my niece has a peanut allergy and you can see why I was quick to jump on these nut free Belgian waffles.

 El Peto Belgian Waffles Loblaws $5.29

They look exactly like the fancy versions you get in restaurants and match the texture. I whipped up a lovely fruit compote to top them off and have to say they were quite tasty. PRODUCT NOTES Not too sweet – but in my mind, this is a good thing. Although they are not vegan they are gluten free, wheat free and trans fat free for those looking to avoid a slew of other ingredients. BOTTOM LINE For those occasions when I don’t have time to bake, I’m always on the lookout for good nut free products. So this is definitely a good one to grab when you’re pressed for time as you simply heat and eat!

Deodorant Debate

In Natural Beauty, Recently Reviewed on April 12, 2013 at 10:32 am

tomsWe first discovered Tom’s line of products a few years ago when my daughter, then a tween, was at that difficult stage when deodorant becomes a necessity. Frankly, I’d never given these products much thought before but my husband, we discovered, is pro-deodorant and anti-antiperspirant. Who knew? So the search began for natural products that actually work. And recently when I ran out of the antiperspirant I had used for many years I thought, why not try something new?

Tom’s of Maine Naturally Dry antiperspirant deodorant  The natural powder scent reminded me of the baby powder scent my former faithful had, and I was attracted by the allure of “clinically proven” and “naturally dry.” Here’s a classic case where I should of read the actual ingredient list instead of just the highlighted “petroleum free” and “no artificial preservatives” lines. Then I would have seen it contains aluminum chlorohydrate. PRODUCT NOTES Feels a bit sticky going on. Except during those night sweats (another topic all together), I’m not one to perspire a great deal. That said, no noticeable difference was found using this product versus my former chemical-laden one.  BOTTOM LINE Just when I thought I was doing myself a favour by using a natural product, I realize it wasn’t entirely the case and I paid a premium to do so. Next time, I’ll go for their aluminum-free product.       

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Benefits of Bee Pollen

In Good Eats, Recently Reviewed on April 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm

pollenRecently I read an article in Vitality Magazine that highlighted the benefits of using bee pollen. After being plagued for years by a variety of allergies such as dust and mould as well as seasonal hay fever, I have also developed mild asthma–making breathing easy an ongoing concern. My body’s reactions to allergens fluctuates in severity from year to year, so anything that reduces my dependence on antihistamines and allows me to enjoy the great outdoors without tissues in hand would be welcomed.

Canadian Bee Pollen Gold for Allergy. If you’re looking for guidelines be warned! The only instructions read, “start with a small dose and increase gradually…” Luckily the article suggested starting with about half a teaspoon and work up to a full one. Apparently bee pollen is best consumed with fruit, so I’ve been sprinkling it on my morning cereal, which I top with fresh or dried fruit. PRODUCT NOTES The pollen looks like tiny yellow stones. They’re somewhat granular to chewy in texture and not really tasty eaten on their own. If you didn’t know it came from bees you’d be hard-pressed to make the connection, as it doesn’t taste like honey at all.  BOTTOM LINE While I haven’t noticed any dramatic change, the height of allergy season has yet to arrive so I’ll continue my research into spring and see how I feel when the garden explodes to life. A word of warning though, some people could have severe reactions to bee pollen.