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Archive for Product Review

March 18th, 2016

Grassfed Yogurt: What Are The Health Benefits?

Grassfed Yogurt Health Benefits Groovy Green Livin

Have you noticed that there seem to be more and more products with a “grassfed” label?  And it’s not just beef boasting the label, dairy products from milk to yogurt are also prominently displaying a “100% grassfed” label.

Eager to learn more about this new addition to our labeling system, I had a chance to hear from Tim Joseph, the founder of Maple Hill Creamry and the supplier of the milk for all of Stonyfield’s “100% Grassfed” products.  Stonyfield just launched their 100% Grassfed yogurt in four delicious flavors (vanilla, plain, blueberry and strawberry). I know because I had a chance to sample each.

Part of my job as a Stonyfield YoGetter  is sharing with you new and exciting products as they make their way onto the shelves in the supermarket.  Early this morning I made a quick trip to our local Whole Foods Market and was excited to find Stonyfield Organic 100% Grassfed yogurt already on the shelves.

What is 100% Grassfed?

Healthy cows are happy cows! Cows have been eating grass forever. When we’re talking about true 100% grassfed products, they come from cows who have grazed in pasture year-round rather than being fed a processed diet for much of their life. Without going into too much detail, grass-based dairy farms are efficient, sustainable farming systems free of many of the resource consuming practices of large-scale conventional and organic dairy farms. Organic, grass fed dairy cows are healthier and live about twice as long as conventionally fed cows.

An interesting and confusing piece of the grass fed label is that “grassfed” is NOT a regulated term by the government on dairy products. However, it is regulated when found on beef products. If a product is labeled organic the USDA organic standards require only 30% of a cow’s diet to come from eating in a pasture and the remaining 70% of their diet can be from corn, soy or other fillers.

Benefits of 100% Organic Grassfed

There are so many benefits to eating products made from milk from a grass fed organic cow.

  • Milk that comes from 100% grass fed cows has a more flavorful fatty acid profile than from milk from conventionally fed cows. It is higher in omega-3 fatty acids and lower in omega-6 fatty acids (a healthier combination).
  • There are no GMOs, synthetic pesticides and herbicides used in organic cow feed or pastures.
  • No use of artificial growth (rBGH)hormones.

Stonyfield 100% Grassfed Organic Yogurt

Grassfed Yogurt: What Are the Health Benefits? Groovy Green Livin

The Stonyfield Maple Hill Creamery team sets joined forces to set a new standard with the creation of Stonyfield 100% Grassfed Organic Yogurt. If you look closely at the yogurt container you’ll see a PCO seal, which means that a third-party verified that the milk used to make the yogurt comes from 100% grass fed cows. The purpose behind this new label is to create traceability and integrity around the grass fed claim.

Stonyfield’s 100% Grassfed yogurt comes in four delicious flavors (vanilla, plain, blueberry and strawberry). I loved the vanilla, as I do with most types of yogurt. It was exceptionally creamy and had a light vanilla flavor. The strawberry and blueberry required a quick stir to mix in the fruit from the bottom. This yogurt is not a low-fat option since it’s made with whole milk. Overall my family gave the yogurt a big thumbs up as a special treat.

Have you tried Stonyfield’s 100% Grassfed yogurt? I would love to know what you think and if you’re able to find it at your local market.


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.


Disclosure: I’m a brand ambassador for Stonyfield Organics. I am compensated and receive product samples. All opinions are always my own. 

photo credit: Blueberries & Greek Yogurt via photopin (license)

March 14th, 2016

5 Green Products That Will Make Your Life Easier

5 Green Products That Will Make Your Life Easier @groovygreenlivi

5 Green Products That Will Make Your Life Easier

In honor of Earth Day, which is rapidly approaching on April 22nd, I gathered together a list of a few green products that are innovative and interesting. Many of these will make life easier, help the planet and also save you a few pennies in the long run.

Green Products That Will Make Life Easier 

Water Powered Digital Clock with Temperature ($19)
Are you tired of running out of batteries? The lxo Water Clock keeps perfect time without batteries or electricity. Just open the fill cap and add water. This cutting-edge technology enables the clock to generate it own clean energy.

Stainless Steel Compost Bin 5 Green Products That Will Make Your Life Easier Groovy Green Livin ($26)

Composting hasn’t come easily for me. It continues to be a work in progress. I now have all the right equipment- an outdoor compost bin and an indoor compost pail, which is always under the sink. It’s amazing how I’ve reduced the amount of garbage we throw away by composting our kitchen food waste.

Nest Learning Thermostat5 Green Products That Will Make Your Life Easier Groovy Green Livin ($238)

We’ve been using a Nest Thermostat for a few years and it doesn’t disappoint. Nest learns the temperatures you like and programs itself in about a week. It automatically turns itself down when nobody’s home to help you save energy. With the Nest app, you can change the temperature, check energy history and get an alert if your home is too hot or cold.

Reusable Organic Produce Bags 5 Green Products That Will Make Your Life Easier Groovy Green Livin ($10)

Concerned about plastic touching your food? These breathable drawstring reusable organic produce bags are made with 100% certified organic cotton so you can not only keep plastic from coming in contact with food, but also keep plastic out of our earth.

5 Green Products That Will Make Your Life Easier Groovy Green Livin
Tumbler That Keeps Drinks Hot Or Cold For Hours and Hours ($43)

Almost every day I make myself a cup of tea and then forget to drink it. By the time I remember the tea is cold and I’m no longer interested. Problem solved! This reusable mug is made from stainless steel and keeps ice cold twice as long as a plastic tumbler and also works well for hot beverages. One of the reviewers said she put coffee in the mug at 10:30 am and it was still hot at 3:30 pm. I’m sold!

Do you have any favorite green products that you can’t live without?


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.


*Some links in this post are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for your support!

 

March 10th, 2016

Change the Way You Live and Eat! Book Review and Recipe: Eating Clean By Amie Valpone

Change the Way You Live and Eat! Book Review and Recipe: Eating Clean Groovy Green Livin

When a friend does amazing work I always like to share. Amie Valpone, the Editor-in-Chief of The Healthy Apple, just launched a new “cook book”, Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body.

Although her book contains over 200 recipes, it is really so much more than a traditional cookbook.

I’ve been trying to remember when I met Amie for the first time. I think it was at a blogging conference in New York City in 2012. We were both at a breakfast sponsored by Stonyfield and happened to be sitting together. I was immediately drawn to Amie’s charm and wit, and her incredible story.

Amie is New York City chef specializing in simple gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free “clean eating” recipes. After visiting countless doctors and the Mayo Clinic with no results, Amie was able to heal herself from a decade of chronic pain and multiple ailments, including Lyme Disease, Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome, Hypothyroidism, Adrenal Fatigue, Leaky Gut, and Heavy Metal and Mold Toxicity. This “cook book” outlines her journey of how she healed from a decade of chronic illness and it’s filled with over 200 detox-approved plant-based recipes free of gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar, eggs, corn and processed ingredients.

Amie is a rock star in the cooking world and fills her time cooking for a variety of clients, including celebrities and people with busy lifestyles, who enjoy healthy, organic, whole foods.

Her new “cook book”, Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body is filled with gorgeous photos, deliciously simple recipes and information on how Amie found whole health. She was kind enough to share one of her fabulous recipes with us.

Her recipe for Coastal Carrot “Fettuccine” with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pumpkin Seeds intrigued me since I’m completely addicted to my new Spiralizer.

Change the Way You Live and Eat! Book Review and Recipe: Eating Clean Groovy Green LivinCoastal Carrot “Fettuccine” with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pumpkin Seeds

Serves 4

In this dish, the “fettuccine” is actually made from carrots shredded into ribbons with a vegetable peeler. I think you’ll be surprised at how much it tastes like the real thing. The sauce clings to the ribbons, giving each bite a delectable, earthy flavor. 

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 ½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 3 large rainbow or orange carrots, peeled
  • 1 cup Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted, for garnish

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and saute until soft and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of the basil and saute until the tomatoes burst and release their juices, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the carrots into ribbons, using either a spiral slicer (aka spiralizer) or a vegetable peeler (this is easiest when you hold the carrot down on a flat surface).

Add the carrots, Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce, paprika, salt, and pepper to the pan, and cook until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ tablespoon basil and the pumpkin seeds before serving.

This is just a small sample of what Amie’s innovative “cook book” has to offer. I have to admit that I’m excited to test out some of the other recipes.

If you’re interested in checking out Amie’s cookbook, Eating Clean, click HERE.

What’s your favorite “cook book”? You can add this one 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.


*Some links in this post are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for your support!

Text excerpted from EATING CLEAN, © 2016 by AMIE VALPONE. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

December 4th, 2015

A Stainless Steel Baking Sheet That Actually Works

A Stainless Steel Baking Sheet That Actually Works Groovy Green Livin

I’ve been gradually replacing my non-stick bakeware with safer options. It’s still a work in progress. Despite the ease and convenience of non-stick baking sheets, I’m committed to dumping the Teflon and replacing my non-stick with healthier options.

Non-stick cookware and bakeware are metal pans (such as aluminum pans) coated with a synthetic polymer called polytetrafluoroetheylene (PTFE), also known as Teflon. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), toxic fumes from the Teflon chemical released from pots and pans at high temperatures may kill pet birds and cause people to develop flu-like symptoms.

Stainless steel and cast iron are at the top of my list for safe baking alternatives to Teflon and other non-stick options.

Introducing 360 Cookware Stainless Steel Large Baking Sheet 

When 360 Cookware asked me to test out their large stainless steel large baking sheet I was thrilled.  I’ve worked with 360 Cookware before when I reviewed their one quart saucepan last year. We use their saucepan all the time.  I’ve been searching for a safe cookie sheet for years and haven’t had much luck. I was curious to see if my baked goods would stick to a baking sheet that wasn’t non-stick.

A Stainless Steel Baking Sheet That Actually Works Groovy Green Livin

360 Cookware is stainless steel (my favorite) and comes with a lifetime warranty. Here are a few other favorite features:

  • This baking sheet is strong. And I mean strong. No bending and warping like other stainless baking sheets that I’ve tried.
  • Conducts heat evenly and efficiently.
  • It’s large. The 14” x 17.5” area will accommodate lots of small cookies or just a few monster cookies!
  • The pots and pans are oven safe up to 400 degrees.
  • There are no harsh chemicals used in the finish of this pan and food rarely sticks.

If you’ve ever invested in quality pots, pans and bakeware you know that true quality comes at a price. This stainless steel large baking sheet
is not cheap ($99), but it is durable and will probably last you a lifetime.

Why 360 Cookware?

I have no choice but to love this company since 360 Cookware is manufactured in Wisconsin.  If you’ve been following me for a while you know that I spent most of my childhood in Madison, Wisconsin. I guess that’s not enough reason to love a brand, but it’s a good start! Here are a few interesting facts about the company with corporate headquarters in central Florida.

  • The entire factory is operated using power from wind turbines.
  • The factory has floor to ceiling windows which allow natural lighting and cut down on the need for and use of indoor electrical lighting.
  • The factory doesn’t have or use any smokestacks and there are no harsh chemicals used in the facility or in any of 360’s products.

There’s no denying that $99 is a bit pricey for a stainless steel large baking sheet, but the quality is there. If you’re buying top of the line cookware this is a great brand to check out.

Do you have a favorite baking or cookie sheet that works well?


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.


Disclosure: 360 Cookware sent me a stainless steel large baking sheet for review. Some links are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. All opinions are my own. Thanks for your support in this way!

 

 

December 2nd, 2015

6 Unique Eco-Friendly Gifts Under $40

6 Unique Eco-Friendly Gifts Under $40 Groovy Green Livin

 

Whenever I’m in need of gift I end up spending hours scouring various sites for unique gifts that will help the planet in some way. This year I came across a few gifts that made the list. Rather than reinvent the wheel I thought I would share with you what I found.

Hopefully some of these gifts will help you share the eco-friendly love this holiday season, and throughout the year. 

*There may be affiliate links below

Recycled Wine Bottle Glasses (Set of 4)6 Unique Eco-Friendly Gifts Under $40 Groovy Green Livin ($25)

Refresh 12oz Glasses are all created from wine bottles collected from local bars and restaurants in the Arizona Valley. Each bottle is then hand selected and transformed into the perfectly unique drinking glass. Refresh Glass saves thousands of bottles every week with a 1 million per year bottle rescue mission.

Grow Bottle – Basil6 Unique Eco-Friendly Gifts Under $40 Groovy Green Livin ($36)

Grow your own organic basil in just 6 weeks with this incredible Grow Bottle. The sweet tasting miniature leaves are ready for use straight off the plant. No chopping or mincing required. It will take 7-10 days for your seeds to germinate. You should be able to start using the leaves in about 6 weeks. Includes: organic basil seed, grow bottle, clay grow pebbles, vermiculite, wool felt wick, cork coaster, directions. Bottle 8″ high x 2.75″ diameter.

Stainless Steel Drinking Straws – Set of 6 with Cleaning Brushes6 Unique Eco-Friendly Gifts Under $40 Groovy Green Livin ($9)

Straws make it easier to enjoy your favorite drinks, but they’re far from easy on the planet. All of that plastic waste that straws create ends up lingering in landfills for years. Stainless Steel Drinking Straws are just like ordinary drinking straws in terms of their shape and size. These straws won’t rust, crack or become scratched, and their ends won’t end up crushed like a plastic straw’s does. Best of all, you can use them again and again and again.

DIY Lip Balm Kit6 Unique Eco-Friendly Gifts Under $40 Groovy Green Livin ($26)

This is a great gift for someone who loves lip balm. Make your own lip balm with this fun kit. This package contains four ounces of almond sweet oil; four ounces of shea butter; beeswax beads; twelve clear pots with caps; twelve plastic tubes with caps; one dram tangerine flavoring; one dram peppermint flavoring; one dram pineapple flavoring; one dram tropical punch flavoring; six stir sticks; twenty-four labels and instructions.

Bamboo Cutting Board Set 6 Unique Eco-Friendly Gifts Under $40 Groovy Green Livin ($25)

This 3-Piece premium bamboo cutting board set includes a large, medium and small board. Bamboo is a great green alternative to other woods. It is a renewable resource, capable of regenerating without replanting and it also has amazing anti-bacterial properties! These cutting boards are easy to clean- just wash by hand with soap and water and let them air dry.

Glass Tea Tumbler with Built-in Filter6 Unique Eco-Friendly Gifts Under $40 Groovy Green Livin ($30-$33)

This unique and innovative glass tea tumbler makes a perfect gift for a tea lover. At the top, it features a contained, all-glass filter compartment for loose leaves or tea bags. For a weaker brew, flip the bottle over just a couple of times, but for a stronger tea, simply leave the bottle flipped over for as long as you’d like. The all-glass construction of the bottle also means that the only material that will come in contact with your brew is glass, keeping the flavor fresh and uncontaminated (note there is a silicone grip on the exterior of the tumbler). It comes in black, green, orange and berry.

 

Do you have any favorite gifts to share? I would love to add them to my 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.


*Some links are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for your support!

November 9th, 2015

Style, Sustainability and a BIG prAna Giveaway! #JustBeYou

Style, Sustainability and a BIG prAna Giveaway! Groovy Green Livin

Style and sustainability are two things I try to look for in a company when I’m buying clothing.

It’s sounds like a simple task, but it’s not always an easy combination to find.

Just Be You with prAna and Stonyfield

Most mornings I’m in a rush to get to the bus stop before heading into my office. I try to fill my closet with clothing that allows me to quickly reach in and find something that reflects my true personality and what I value most. Pieces like the prAna Meryl Sweater Dress made with organic cotton are a perfect addition to my wardrobe since it allows for both comfort and style (see photo below).

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.

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 vStyle, Sustainability and a BIG prAna Giveaway! Groovy Green Livinery 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 gets to you.

If you haven’t already, check out the decadent and delicious organic Oh My Yog! The lid is made from foil instead of plastic and this means 16% less energy, 13% less water and 6% less solid waste was used to produce it. The lighter cups used for Oh My Yog! means 20% less greenhouse gas emissions.

A Perfect Day at the Office

If only all work days could begin with a blueberry Oh My Yog! and my prAna Meryl Sweater Dress made with organic cotton.

prAna Discount Code for Everyone!

All Groovy Green Livin readers are eligible for 15% off at prAna by entering this code at checkout: JBYF15GGL

Please note that the discount is valid through December 15, 2015 and is not valid for Influencers, on gift certificates or with any other offer.     

prAna Giveaway!

Now for the good stuff!  The kind folks at prAna and Stonyfield have joined forces to offer one Groovy Green Livin reader your choice of ANY ONE item in the prAna organic line for men or women, up to $99. How cool is that?! 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 November 15, 2015. 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 #JustBeYou.

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

October 13th, 2015

My Search for a Safe Waffle Maker

My Search for a Safe Waffle Maker Groovy Green Livin

My kids love pancakes and waffles. We’ve decided that almost everything tastes better with maple syrup. Most weekends we’ll have some variation of pancakes to start off the day. We add fruit, flax seeds, chia seeds and occasionally chocolate chips for a special treat.

For the past few years my kids have been begging for a waffle maker. Just for the sheer ease of making breakfast, I would love one too. I’ve been looking, but have had no luck finding a safe, non-toxic waffle maker.

Most waffle makers contain a Teflon (PTFE and PFOA), non-stick coating. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), toxic fumes from the Teflon chemical released from pots and pans at high temperatures may kill pet birds and cause people to develop flu-like symptoms. Not something I want on my waffles!

So what’s a waffle lover to do?

After searching for many, many months (maybe years?), I’ve come up with a list of safer waffle makers (affiliate links*)

Rome’s Old Fashioned Waffle Iron ($19.99)

We’re going old school here. This waffle maker sits on top of your stove top and makes traditional waffles. There’s nothing fancy about it, but it works. This waffle iron is cast iron so remember it needs to be seasoned to work properly.

If you’re not interested in cast iron for your waffles the next step up would be a waffle maker with a ceramic (PTFE and PFOA free) coating.

KitchenAid Waffle Baker with CeramaShield Nonstick Coating  ($399)

This waffle maker has a CeramaShield coating. I contacted the company to find out what exactly that meant. I was told that the coating was PTFE and PFOA free. Unfortunately this model comes with a hefty price tag.

Oster DuraCeramic Belgian Waffle Maker ($19)

This Oster Belgian Waffle maker is designed with a DuraCeramic non-stick coating. After speaking with the company they assured me that the coating is free of aluminum, nickel, cadmium, and Teflon (PFOA and PTFE free). The price is right on this model.

Pancakes too!

If you’re looking for a safe pancake griddle this one is the best! I use my Lodge cast iron griddle all the time.

Do you have a safe waffle maker that you love?

 


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 in advance.

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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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