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Archive for Healthy Living

June 20th, 2016

Top News and Other Groovy Green Updates

Top News and Other Groovy Green Updates Groovy Green Livin

As summer vacation rapidly approaches for my kids (yes, they still have one more day of school!) I wanted to take a moment to update you on a few top stories of interest and other happenings over here.

TOP NEWS

Helpful Tool: Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Food Scores app rates more than 80,000 foods

EWG’s Food Scores helps us find healthier choices in nearly every aisle of the supermarket. EWG’s Food Scores is the first app to rate foods for their: nutritional value; health concerns about ingredients (including additives and preservatives) and contaminants (such as mercury, arsenic and BPA); and the degree and type of processing.

I did a test run by looking up Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies. With 1 being the best score and 10 being the worst, they overall received a 6. The biggest issue for Annie’s, according to the EWG app, was with processing. Annies scored a 5, which means the product likely has more artificial ingredients, more ingredients that have been significantly modified from whole foods, and more ingredients overall.

This app provides a great starting point when you’re at the market. Remember to always read the labels!

Philly Enacts Soda Tax

Philly takes the lead and imposes a sugar tax on all sugar-sweetened and diet beverages. According to Philly.com: “The tax will hit thousands of products – essentially anything bottled, canned, or from a fountain with either sugar or artificial sweetener added, with a few exceptions.” The money raised will be used to expand prekindergarten programs in the city; creating community schools; improving parks, recreation centers, and libraries; and offering a tax credit for businesses that sell healthy beverages. Fingers crossed that other cities and towns follow their lead.

GROOVY GREEN UPDATES

Thanks to Cilantro Cooks for including me in their Expert Interview Series. What a fun experience. You can read it HERE.

I’m honored to be included in Tiny Box’s list of 27 of Our Favourite Eco-Friendly Blogs.

Thank you to Laura Wellington and ThreadMB for the wonderful article highlighting my site in her article: ‘Groovy Green Livin’ Is Groovy, Green and Growing! So many friends and colleagues reached out to let me know that they had seen the feature.

Top News and Other Groovy Green Updates Groovy Green LivinFirstSiteGuide.com was kind enough to list Groovy Green Livin as one of The Best Eco & Green Blogs To FollowThey went a step further and made me my own avatar. What do you think? Does it look like me?

Happy summer everyone! Do you have any top news to report? How about big plans for summer vacation?


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


 

June 14th, 2016

Eco-Friendly Beach Essentials for Everyone!

Eco-Friendly Beach Essentials for Everyone! Groovy Green Livin

Summer is finally here and for many it’s also time to head to the beach. This year I wasn’t only on a mission to find the safest sunscreen, but I was also determined to discover a few safe-for-the-beach products for everyone.

Here’s my go-to list for eco-friendly beach essentials this summer.

Goddess Garden Spray Sunscreen ($17) Eco-Friendly Beach Essentials for Everyone! Groovy Green Livin

Goddess Garden spray sunscreenis the only sunscreen my kids will use.  Goddess Garden Everyday SPF 30 Sunscreen is my absolute favorite sunscreen this season. It smells great and is easy to lather on any squirming child. If you have a child that really doesn’t like sunscreen application try the Goddess Garden Spray Sport Sunscreen or the Goddess Garden Kids SPF 30 Trigger Spray Sunscreen. Goddess Garden is certified organic, reasonably priced and was rated a top choice for sun protection by EWG.

Coyuchi Beach Towel ($68)Eco-Friendly Beach Essentials for Everyone! Groovy Green Livin

I’ve been a big fan of Coyuchi® Organic Beach Towels for a while. These lightweight organic towels are perfect for a trip to the beach. Spend time on the beach or at the pool knowing that toxic chemicals from conventional towels aren’t coming in contact with your skin.

Klean Kanteen Reusable Water Bottle With Bamboo Cap ($24) Eco-Friendly Beach Essentials for Everyone! Groovy Green Livin

Say no to plastic bottles this summer with this Klean Kanteen reusable water bottle with a bamboo cap. This is a great water bottle to carry with you everywhere year-round. Breaking the plastic disposable bottled water habit reduces the use of fossil fuels and toxic greenhouse gases that come from manufacturing plastic bottles.  By using a reusable water bottle you are also helping reduce the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfills, sitting for years while they try unsuccessfully to decompose.  I am hooked on Klean Kanteen.

Organic Cotton Bucket Hat ($29)Eco-Friendly Beach Essentials for Everyone! Groovy Green Livin

Protect your face and head with this Organic Cotton Bucket Hat. I love that this hat is also UPF 50+ and crushable if you’re traveling.

Planet Flops Natural Rubber Flip Flops ($30)Eco-Friendly Beach Essentials for Everyone! Groovy Green Livin

Made in beautiful Brazil with the highest quality natural rubber from the rubber tree (Hevea Brasiliensis), Planet Flops Natural Rubber Flip-Flops are so comfy! Natural rubber, as opposed to synthetic rubber, comes from the rubber tree (Hevea Brasiliensis). The harvesting of natural rubber occurs by harmlessly “tapping” into the tree to remove a milky sap from the bark and doesn’t affect the health of the tree.

 

What’s your favorite eco summer essential?


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


Disclaimer: Please know that if you make a purchase using a link on this page, I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you), which in turn helps support this site. None of the companies I promote on this page have paid me, I just really like their products. Thank you
June 9th, 2016

How to Tell if a Watermelon is Ripe

How to Tell If a Watermelon is Ripe Groovy Green Livin

Last night I went to the supermarket in search of a watermelon. I was on a mission. What I thought would be a quick trip to the market ended up taking much longer than expected. After arriving at Whole Foods Market I almost immediately spotted a bin filled with watermelons. I stood there, looking at the melons for what felt like hours. I had decision paralysis and couldn’t decide which melon to choose. We all know what a disappointment it is to take that first bite of melon only to find that it’s not sweet or ripe. I was determined to not let that happen. I asked for help and ended up learning so much from the produce department about how to find a sweet, ripe watermelon.

How to Pick a Ripe Watermelon

Watermelons, unlike other melons and fruits, don’t continue to ripen once picked.

  • Check out the color. The color of the melon should be a dark green and not too shiny.
  • Look at the exterior. The watermelon should be firm and not have cracks or deep scars.
  • Tap it. Ripe melons will have a hollow sound when you tap the outside.
  • Look at the underbelly. Look for the patch on the melon where it would have been resting on the ground (the field spot). If it’s a milky yellow color it’s most likely ripe. If it’s white it’s probably not ripe.  A good rule of thumb is the darker the spot the better.
  • Lift it. Lift the melon before purchasing to see if it’s heavy. If it feels heavy it’s ripe. You might want to lift a few melons for comparison.
  • Shake it. Shake the watermelon and if you hear things moving around inside it’s quite possibly overripe.
  • Don’t forget to buy organic when you can. Watermelon is number 32 on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list.

Before you cut into your watermelon you can store it at room temperature for up to two weeks. Once cut, place the melon in the refrigerator. It will only last a few days.

Do you have any tips for picking a ripe watermelon to add to the list?


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


 

 

June 8th, 2016

What Are You Craving This Summer? Yogurt and BIG prAna Giveaway!

What Are You Craving This Summer? Yogurt and BIG prAna Giveaway! #summercravings Groovy Green Livin

Right now I’m craving summer. Real summer. The temperature feels like summer, but my kids are still in school for another two weeks and I’m working my regular hours. I’m craving a vacation. I’m craving not running out to catch the bus every morning. I’m craving a day without a set routine. I’m craving time to eat meals together again. Where homework and projects aren’t a worry. Don’t get me wrong, I know summer comes with a whole host of other challenges, but I’m ready.

Thanks to prAna I have a new Quinn dress to wear on those relaxed summer days. Maybe I’ll wear it while I’m eating my favorite Stonyfield Greek on a beach somewhere far, far away.

What Are You Craving This Summer? Yogurt and BIG prAna Giveaway!

This dress is incredibly comfy and the fit is perfect-lose in all the right places and snug where it should be. It comes in 10 great colors and has an internal shelf bra for added support. I’m about 5’4″ and the hemline hit me right at the knee.

What Are You Craving This Summer? Yogurt and BIG prAna Giveaway! #summercravings Groovy Green Livin

prAna and Stonyfield, a Perfect Match

I’ve been wearing prAna for many years. When I took my very first yoga class years ago I was wearing prAna. I remember their tops were trendy and comfortable, with patterns that truly stood out. I still have a few originals in my closet to prove it. Their clothing line is stylish, extremely comfortable and the company emphasizes sustainability. Fast forward and I’m still wearing prAna today.

prAna’s long list of sustainable initiatives is impressive. This is a brand that I was initially drawn to because of style, but knowing that they truly care about our health, the environment, and our planet makes wearing the clothing that much more appealing. I’ve been a prAna influencer for many years.

Stonyfield is another company that focuses on sustainability. I’ve been working with this fantastic company for many years as well and I know firsthand that they take sustainability very seriously. Stonyfield puts thought into the impact of everything they do–from what’s in the cup and how it’s made, to how it makes its way into your home.

So as I sit here craving the carefree days of summer I thought I would offer you a summer discount and giveaway!

prAna Discount Code for Everyone! What Are You Craving This Summer? Yogurt and BIG prAna Giveaway! #summercravings Groovy Green Livin

As a special thank you, all Groovy Green Livin readers are eligible for 15% off at prAna.com by entering this code at checkout: SCS16LOAL

Please note that the discount is valid through July 7, 2016 and is not valid for Influencers, on gift certificates or with any other offer.

prAna Quinn Dress Giveaway!

Now for the good stuff!  The kind folks at prAna and Stonyfield have joined forces to offer one Groovy Green Livin reader the same Quinn dress that I’m wearing in the photos (value $79). How cool is that?! You can choose your size and color (there are 10 colors to choose from!) if selected as the winner. By entering your name and other information you acknowledge that you have read and are agreeing to our Official Rules. This is only open to my US readers through midnight on June 26, 2016. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Take a look at some of the other Stonyfield YoGetter and Clean Plate Club sites for prAna giveaways! Or search for #summercravings.

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Disclosure: I’m a prAna influencer, which means I receive special pricing on prAna products as well as sneak peeks at new collections and product releases. I’m also a Stonyfield YoGetter Captain and I do receive compensation.  I was sent a prAna Quinn Dress for review. All opinions are, of course, my own.

May 31st, 2016

Groovy Green Livin Favorites: Top Picks for Safe Sunscreens for Kids (Adults Too!)

Top Picks for Safe Sunscreens for Kids (Adults Too!) Groovy Green Livin

Safe Sunscreens are big business these days. New brands continually make their way into the sunscreen market with the hope that they too will be added to our ever growing arsenal of safe sun protection. Once the warm weather hits I find myself sounding like a broken record every time one of my kids heads outside: “Did you remember to put on sunscreen?” I know I’m annoying, but I don’t really care. With startling statistics like these I have to do my best to protect my children:

  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
  • An estimated 76,380 new cases of invasive melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2016.
  • Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40 percent and the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.

So without further ado, here are my favorite safe sunscreens for kids this year.

Goddess Garden Sunscreen ($11 for 6 fl oz)

Goddess Garden Everyday SPF 30 Sunscreen is my absolute favorite sunscreen this season. It smells great and is easy to lather on any squirming child. If you have a child that really doesn’t like sunscreen application try the Goddess Garden Spray Sport Sunscreen or the Goddess Garden Kids SPF 30 Trigger Spray Sunscreen. Goddess Garden is certified organic, reasonably priced and was rated a top choice for sun protection by EWG.

All Good Sunscreen ($16 for 3 fl oz)

All Good SPF 33 Kids Sunscreen Lotion doesn’t leave any  white residue. I’ve been pretty obsessed with not looking like Caspar on the beach and last year put together a list of sunscreens that don’t leave  a white residue. The active ingredient is Zinc Oxide 22.5% (Non-nanoparticle). It’s also not greasy and easy to apply. The Environmental Working Group found gave All Good a low hazard score and rated it a top choice for sun protection.

ThinkBaby and ThinkSport Sunscreen ($10 for 3 fl oz)

Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+ is free from harmful chemicals including avobenzone, oxybenzone, parabens, phthalates, PABA, 1,4 dioxane or UV chemical absorbers. It has an SPF 50+ and is water resistant for up to 80 minutes. I love how easy it is to apply. If your kids won’t use anything with the word “baby” on it, try
Thinksport Kid’s Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+. Both are rated a top choice by EWG for sun protection.

Of course, each of these sunscreens is for adults as well as children!

What’s your favorite safe sunscreen?

Here’s more information on sunscreen if you’re interested:


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


Disclaimer: Please know that if you make a purchase using a link on this page, I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you), which in turn helps support this site. None of the companies I promote on this page have paid me, I just really like their products. Thank you!
May 23rd, 2016

5 Foods to Boost Your Mood Naturally

5 Foods to Boost Your Mood Naturally

The direct link between food and mood can’t be denied and that old adage ‘you are what you eat’ still stands true. Hippocrates was the first to suggest the healing power of food when he said “Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food”. If you’re feeling down in the dumps or a little off there are a few foods to consider adding to your diet that might help.

Here are five foods to help improve your mood**

Salmon (and other fatty fish)

More and more evidence has shown that omega-3 fatty acids (found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, sardines, and tuna) may help boost your mood. Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and other fatty fish including herring, sardines and tuna, can impact your mood, behavior and personality.

Chocolate

Any list that includes chocolate is my kind of list! There’s more and more evidence that dark chocolate can enhance your mood. Chocolate has been shown to “improve depression and anxiety symptoms and help enhance feelings of calmness and contentedness.” Make sure the chocolate you’re consuming is dark chocolate without added sugar and milk, organic and fairly traded.

Fruits and Veggies

Eat your veggies! In a study of close to 3,500 men and women those who ate their fruits and veggies were less likely to report feeling depressed than those who ate processed foods, refined grains and high-fat dairy products.

Vanilla Yogurt

We’ve known for a while that fermented foods, including yogurt, help boost our mood. A recent study found that a spoonful or two of vanilla yogurt be a quick fix. What’s the reason that vanilla yogurt seems to do the trick? The vanilla flavor could be comforting. It’s known that certain scents can boost your mood via endorphins and vanilla happens to be one of those special scents.

Of course my favorite vanilla yogurt is Stonyfield!

Swiss Chard

Add a bit of Swiss chard to your diet to bump up your mood. All types of chard contain high levels of magnesium, a necessary nutrient to help your brain and boost your energy levels. Did you know that magnesium deficiency is a common condition among people diagnosed with clinical depression? My favorite way to eat chard is in a stir fry with a little olive oil and garlic. Here’s another Swiss chard recipe that looks delicious.

If you’re looking for a few superfoods to help beat anxiety check out my list HERE.

What’s your favorite food to help improve your mood? I’m still sticking with chocolate!

Remember a change in diet is a only a first step. Don’t forget to get enough sleep, drink water and smile when you first wake up in the morning!

**Before starting any new diet and exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise and/or diet changes with them before beginning. I am not a doctor or registered dietitian. I do not claim to cure any cause, condition or disease. I do not provide medical aid or nutrition for the purpose of health or disease.


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


May 18th, 2016

11 Green Websites You Should Know About

11 Green Websites You Should Know About

My work day begins most days with a quick read through my news feed and a giant cup of tea. When it comes to hot off the press green or eco news I have a few go-to websites that I generally turn to for all the important information.  I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t missing anything so I recently reached out to many of my trusted blogger friends in the green blogosphere to see what websites they turn to for everything green. No surprise, they had some fabulous suggestions!

Here are a few suggestions for websites covering everything green 

Food Tank

Food Tank is a website that runs on the premise that our food system is broken. The site focuses on building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters. They spotlight environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty and create networks of people, organizations, and content to push for food system change.

Robyn O’Brien

Robyn shares a wealth of information concerning our broken food system and the need for GMO labeling. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Robyn’s work she’s a former financial and food industry analyst, who has been called “food’s Erin Brockovich” by the New York Times and Bloomberg. She triggered an allergic reaction in the food industry when she asked: “Are we allergic to food or what’s been done to it?”

Climate Nexus

Climate Nexus is a site dedicated to highlighting the wide-ranging impacts of climate change and clean energy solutions in the United States. They believe that the human cost of climate change is too great to ignore. They work closely with NGOs, institutions, and other key influencers on climate change and energy issues to raise awareness, dispel misinformation, and showcase solutions in the U.S.

Environmental Health News

Environmental Health News is an independent, foundation-funded news organization that reports and publishes news stories on environmental topics. They cover stories about health, water, children, food and more.

TreeHugger 

TreeHugger is a sustainability site which strives to be a one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information. Their topics vary from week to week and include stories about cutting-edge green information. I’ve been following them for many years and am impressed by their ability to churn out multiple stories on a daily basis.

Civil Eats

Civil Eats provides daily news and commentary about the American food system. The site brings together over 100 contributors who discuss sustainable agriculture.

Grist

Grist is a site that makes me laugh out loud several times a day. With their catchy (and sometimes shocking) post titles, they end up making me chuckle and want to read more. They’re an online news organization that uses humor to interpret green issues & inspire environmental action. They cover climate, energy, food, cities, politics, business, green living, and the occasional adorable baby animal.

Ecowatch

Ecowatch is relatively new to the green scene and has quickly become a  leading website reporting on environmental news, green living, sustainable business, science and politics. The site works hard to unite all shades of green to ensure the health and longevity of our planet. I’ve been following Ecowatch and often share their information. I admire how they use their platform to share environmental news and encourage individuals to take action.

FairWarning 

FairWarning is a nonprofit investigative news organization that focuses on public health, safety and environmental news, and related topics of government and business accountability.

Greenbiz.com

Since 1991, GreenBiz has chronicled, and been a catalyst for thought leadership in aligning environmental responsibility with profitable business practices. They cover topics such as sustainability, energy, buildings, supply chain, water, transportation, and cities.

The Guardian (UK)

The Guardian (UK) edition is more of a general news source, but many times will focus on green or eco news. I scan through it daily to see if there’s anything relevant. Many times there is something green or eco that’s of interest.

Twitter, Facebook and Other Social Media Sites

Twitter, Facebook  and other social media channels are a great first step when looking for breaking green and eco news. My first stop is my news feed on Twitter and then a quick scroll through my business page feed on Facebook for all that’s happening in the green and eco worlds. It’s a nice way to get a sampling from many different sources.

Thank you to Diane from Big Green Purse, Jen from Jen and Joey Go Green, Ronnie from Econesting, Erin from ElyOrganics, Betsy from Eco Novice , Kristi from Savvy Women’s Alliance, Leigh Ann from Green4U, Anna from Green Talk and Amity from Green Child Magazine for sharing their trusted green and eco resources.

What are some of your top websites for green and eco news?


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


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Alper-46

About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us.

Click HERE to contact Lori

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