Thursday, October 25, 2012

Try YogaEarth for something scrumptious


Keen-Wah Decadence Protein bars, what a great way to start the day. I tried the Organic Chocolate Chia and wow, what an incredibly rich, smooth and creamy chocolate taste.  The bar is very filling made with quinoa, and doesn’t taste like your normal protein bar, which lets be honest - can often be dry and tasteless.

This was really, really good, tasting far more like a special treat than it does a protein bar, which makes it perfect for breakfast or an anytime snack. If your need to eat to ground as a part of your practices this is a great bar for that too.

With about 200 calories per bar, these are a perfect snack to sneak in if you are watching your caloric intake.

Keen-Wah Decadence Protein bars are available in Organic Cayenne Cinnamon, Organic Coconut Almond, and Organic Chocolate Chia.

Also from Yoga Earth, is the Coconut Water Purity drink mix. This drink mix was my first introduction to coconut water and as someone who can’t stand the taste of coconut, I was pleasantly surprised.  While I had expected a strong, overpowering, taste of coconut, this was nothing like that.  It was very light, very refreshing. The mix dissolved quickly and easily when added to water, and had a really great taste with no powdered texture.

Each package of the drink mix adds 50 calories to your water, and because of the convenient packaging, you can take it with you anywhere.  A glass of  coconut water and a bar and you have a 250 calorie lunch that will help get you through the day as it packs you with some real energy and not a sugar rush.

Both of these items are great to keep on hand in your home this winter for those power outages and in your car along with some bottled water for your emergency kit in case you get stranded.  Being stranded of course is no fun, and while you could use any kind of a protein bar and drink, it might be more comforting to have something extra special on hand.

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's that time of year

So far we have done the corn maze, decorated for Samhain and Halloween, hunted down apple cider that didn't cost $5 a gallon.

This Friday night we have a haunted hayride, followed by popcorn, hot apple cider and a bad 80's Zombie movie.

Saturday night we will hold our Samhain ritual and celebration for The Gathering Grove. Each year we try to add something new to our festival. so this year will include the decorating of sugar skulls.

On Samhain itself, I will be meeting with another coven along with a friend of mine to join in with their Samhain celebration.

This time of year brings many mixed feelings for me.  Its a time to start winding down after all the festivities, I often become quite the homebody, and often the weather does also keep me inside a bit too.  It's also a time of remembering those who have gone on before us and this can become quite sad, and overwhelming. Some people have been lucky and experienced very little loss in their life, others have not been so lucky and have experienced tons of death. This time of year can feel like they are carrying around a bag of bricks on their back.

Unfortunately, I entered the latter group at a young age.  Though fall is my favorite time of the year, as the veils thins, I can feel the spirits of those who have passed on reaching out, for just a slight touch. I have spent so many days over the years trying to block them out, trying not to hear what they have to say. Why? It's hard to hear it.  Those few moments of connection, that are then cut again, are painful. They just plain hurt.

This year I'm going to try to do something different. I don't want to block them and lock them out any more. It's time to hear their messages, to see what they need to share. As painful as it may be, they keep talking. They have something to say. I hear them in distorted whispers now, but they are getting clearer, closer. They will be here soon enough. And it's time for me to listen.

Xylitol products reduce caloric intake and offer additional benefits

Xylitol is an all natural sugar alcohol found in fruits, vegetables and even produced by the human body. It contains 40% less calories than actual sucrose, and does not effect insulin nor promote tooth decay.  It also has a low glycemic index so blood sugar level is seldom effected by it.  Safe for diabetics, there are also several other health benefits including. Xylitol has shown it has potential as a treatment for osteoporosis. It helps control Candida yeast, it helps increase the activity of white blood cells that fight bacteria, and chewing Xylitol gum has been shown to decrease ear and upper respiratory infections.

Xylitol, which is far more popular in other countries than it is in the United States, can be found in several products including XyloSweet, Xlear, Spry gum, toothpaste and mouthwash, and SparX Candy.

Made to help battle irritation from allergens, pollutants and germs, this nasal spray really helped with my allergy attacks. The spray does not burn, but instead soothes and moisturizes the nose relieving pain, swelling and itchy feelings.  Because of the Zylitol it has a sweet scent instead of a medicinal one.

Spry Spearmint Gum

I am generally not a gum chewer simply because it often hurts my extremely sensitive teeth, but I did try out these small pieces of gum. They are a little on the hard side until you get the chewing going some, but I felt that more in my jaws than in my actual teeth.  The flavor is good, and it does lasts for a significant amount of time. Each stick has less than 2 calories, and chewing after a meal may help to prevent dental problems such as cavities.  The gum comes in several flavors including: lemon mint, cinnamon, fresh fruit, green tea and peppermint.

Spry Lemon Blast Mints

I loved the flavor of these mints, but kept finding myself wanting to bite them and boy are they hard! They come in peppermint, and berry mint also. These are extremely low in calories and are recommended for use after eating to freshen breath and to reduce plaque forming bacteria to prevent cavities from forming.

Spry Xylitol Cinnamon Toothpaste

Great tasting non-flouride toothpaste (fluoride varieties are also available), that leaves your mouth feeling clean and fresh.  Even the mint toothpaste does not have that over sweet taste to it making it taste almost like candy.

Spry Oral Rinse

Even though this mouth rinse does contain alcohol, it doesn’t give you the shudders like some of the ones out there.  Made with many natural ingredients such as marigold, thyme, Echinacea extracts and aloe vera, this mouth rinse taste goods, kills germs and bacteria and freshens breath in a natural way without using ingredients that can actually end up harming your teeth in the long run.

XyloSweet  sugar substitute

As a tea drinker, I did like the XyloSweet, though it did seem I did need a little bit more than what I would have used of other sweeteners.  It has 1/3 the calories of regular sugars and a glycemic index of only 7.

If you are looking for a new alternative to sugar, Xylitol may be worth looking into for you.

Hungry? Try a Larabar

Larabar – The original fruit and nut bar

I had no idea that these bars came in so many different flavors. Made in Colorado, these bars have a taste for everyone, whether you prefer something fruity and sweet or something rich and chocolately.

Some of the flavors include chocolate chip cherry torte, peanut butter and jelly, blueberry muffin, carrot cake, apple pie, key lime pie, and tropical fruit tart. Each flavor varies in calories but average around 200 per bar making these great for breakfast, lunch or a snack.

These bars start with a date base that is added to with other fruits, nuts, and juice concentrates to create these incredible flavors, and they definitely are well flavored.  They don’t have a taste that slightly reminds you of what they are named, they are potent and full flavored and really taste like their name describes.

Larabar also has the Uber line. This line is focused more on salty nuts than the date mix, and everything is larger chunks, and still there are great flavors including: bananas foster, cherry cobbler, apple turnover, and roasted nut roll. They also contain about the same number of calories as their fruitier counterparts.

These are great to keep on hand for regular meals and snacks, but they are also a good food supply to have around in case of an emergency.  For those of us who live in states that actually know what a major winter storm is like, we know how important it is to keep easy to eat food on hand, both in our homes, and in cars. You don’t want to get stranded anywhere without a food and water supply, so if you live in a wintery state, now is the time to start packing those emergency supply bags with blankets, flashlights, batteries, food, and water. These will make a great addition and give you something that not only will give you energy, it will taste great as well.

Check out all of the flavors and try some for yourself!