Embracing a Healthy Family: Organic Reviews

Organic Reviews

NOTE:  Please go to the tab BEAUTY for other products that might not be organic. To read other posts on non-products such as bioceuticals, free radicals and more, search my site using the word "beauty."

Index of Reviews & Posts:

Bioidenticals & Custom Compounded Hormones - scroll down please
Leptin - scroll down please

Some posts are listed in this sections and others have a link connecting you directly to the review.



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Organic Pharmacy Green Coffee Massage Treatment

If you read my blog, you might have seen that I post frequently about the Organic Pharmacy because I truly like their products. Based out of London, the Organic Pharmacy is the most respected and trusted organic personal care company in the UK. They have an almost endless supply of organic products to keep you healthy, keep you looking good and beautiful.

The latest product they are offering is green coffee, not in a cup but in a new proprietary massage treatment focused on firming, draining and breaking down fat cells to reduce the appearance of cellulite -- The Green Coffee Body Sculpting Treatment.

Click HERE for the full post.

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Happy Green Bee Organic Kids Clothing and Organic Baby Clothing

Wouldn't it be great to find organic clothes that are gender free and are made of sustainable earth friend manufacturing practices to give you a piece of mind?  Happy Green Bee Organic Kids Clothing and Organic Baby Clothing offers comfortable, organic cotton clothes in simple yet stylish designs. 

If you don't like the bold, colorful stripes, there are many options of single colors to choose from.  Children love bright and bold colors and these provide a fun feeling to them.  Colors include such fun varieties such as Butterscotch/Chocolate, Radish/Bean, Chocolate/Bean, Blueberry/Sky and so many more.


I received from Happy Green Bee Organic Kids Clothing a pair of soft and stretchy organic cotton tights.  They have a variety of colors such as Radish/Bean, Pumpkin/Radish, Pumpkin/Butterscotch/Radish/Bean and Watermelon/Sky.  I don't know about you but I think they are absolutely adorable!  Granted my 21 year old stuck her in a dress WAY too small for her as she wanted to make her look like Cindy Who but it was too cute for me. 


Click HERE for the full post on Happy Green Bee Organic Kids and Organic Baby Clothing

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Ever heard of Green Mountain Coffee?   If you haven't, you should as not only are some of the brands organic but they are recognized as a socially responsible, innovative, high growth company by Forbes, SustainableBusiness.com and others.  They also have been ranked #1 on the list of 100 Best Corporate Citizens twice.  Green Mountain Coffee was founded in 1981 and are recognized in the industry for producing award-winning coffees along with innovative brewing technology.

Green Mountain Coffee has over 100 types of coffee that sell under the Green Mountain Coffee name and Newman’s Own® Organics brands, including one of the largest selections of Fair Trade Certified™ organic coffees in the country.

Click HERE For the full post on Green Mountain Coffee and Fair Trade Certified Organic Coffees.

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Earth Baby Organic Hair Detangler Review
 
Earth Baby provided their organic Baby Hair Detangler for my review. What I thought was cute were the words "Forget me Knot" imprinted on the bottle. I was given the opportunity to review this product because of my membership at The Product Review Place.

When I received the Baby Hair Detangler, I liked the bottle as it was attractive and had a tiny picture of the endangered Tarsier Monkey which they are a friend of (support through charity). The bottle was white with light green accents and had an easy flip up top. I stress that as I almost bust my fingernails opening other bottles.

Click HERE for the full post on Earth Baby's Organic Baby Hair Detangler
 
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Gluten Free Betty Crocker Simple Joy (Fruit Snack) Review and Giveaway

With more and more health concerns emerging about gluten-free products, Betty Crocker has answered the demand to offer great choices at affordable prices. Not only are they answering the demand to add a variety of products to their line up of gluten-free, they have partnered with Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) to further generate awareness for celiac disease.

Celiac disease, a chronic inherited digestive disorder, can cause damage to the small intestine. It is estimated that one in 133 Americans suffer from celiac disease – 3 million adults and children are living undiagnosed with this autoimmune disorder that is managed by following a gluten-free diet.


Click HERE for the full post on Betty Crocker's Gluten Free SnacksHERE
 
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I am so excited to announce a new giveaway sponsored by SproutBaby
If you are not familiar with SproutBaby, I have another post where I was able to try and review several flavors of their baby food.

Sprout Baby was co-created by chef and father, Tyler Florence. With his culinary experiences and knowledge, he was able to create recipes that included multiple ingredients to offer a delicious complimentary combination.

Click here for the full post and review.

SproutBaby has a new product called the Thinkbaby Stainless Steel feeding set which offers the latest in 100% sustainable and certified organic utensils specifically made for newborns and babies.  Given all the news and concerns with BPAs and who knows what else is molded into plastic, I became very concerned.  I even swamped my daughter's plastic water jug for school with a stainless steel alternative.  Had I known about Sprout Baby then, I would have bought one of theirs as it looks sleek and cool!  They have many options to choose from but this is my favorite.  Click here to see the various types and options available from SproutBaby.

Click HERE for the original post on SproutBaby's ThinkBaby Stainless Steel Feeding Set

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SproutBaby.com Organic Baby Food

I got on a health kick about a year ago as I was hearing more and more about how bad processed foods were for us. Namely, processed flour and refined sugars. They seem to be a culprit in so many health woes to include obesity. Coupled with that are all the concerns with preservatives and colorings and how they had possible long term implications. Once I started educating myself on the benefits of organic food, I became interested in organic baby food. I was also concerned given the alarming number of news events surrounding various baby products.


At my local Publix, they did have organic baby food much to my surprise. My little one loved it but it was not so convenient as it's frozen. It's nice that they did offer divided portions in little sections but it's hard to try to cut them apart to thaw out. I had little options until now.


I was given the opportunity on The Product Review Place, to try Sprout Organic Baby Food in five different varieties:
  1. Roasted Bananas & Mango - my daughter loved this and the aroma was appealing. The texture was consistent with other baby foods but tasted much better. The mixture of different foods enhances the appeal.
  2. Peas - I can't really judge this as neither one of us like peas.
  3. Sweet Baby Carrots, Apples & Mango - she loves this one and again, the taste and smell was amazing. I had to try it too :)
  4. Oatmeal with Roasted Cinnamon Applesauce - I'm an oatmeal fan along with cinnamon applesauce so this was another winner with both of us. I'm very pleased how Sprout takes a number of ingredients to make one great, healthy dish.
  5. Baked Sweet Potatoes - again, great! She loved it.
Sprout was co-created by chef and father, Tyler Florence. With his culinary experiences and knowledge, he was able to create recipes that included multiple ingredients to offer a delicious complimentary combination.


What I like more about Sprout, is they set their standards based on Healthy Child Healthy World:


Products must:
"Most people want to consider the health and environmental effects of the products they buy, but lack the time to research high-quality, non-toxic options." Healthy Child Healthy World
Pro's:
  1. Great tasting and healthy.
  2. Convenient packaging as they are in pouches that allows you to serve what you need and place it in the refrigerator for later.
  3. Catered to children 6 months and older.
  4. Not frozen so readily available to use.
  5. Pouches that are environmentally friendly (less waste) and less costs to produce.
  6. Free shipping on orders of $75 or more.
  7. Free Sprout Club membership where the more you buy, the more you save by automatic shipments.
  8. Many products are available on Sprout such as food, baby products, books and items for moms.
  9. A nice breakdown of common chemicals found in baby products are listed on their website.
  10. Created based on year's of research and development.
Con's:
  1. Limited availability in stores (select H.E.B., Publix and Central Market) but they are expanding and you can purchase online.
  2. A little costly but most organic foods are since you are ensuring your children are digesting healthier, chemical/pesticide free products ($16.65 for 12 pouches).
  3. Not available for toddlers.
In summary, I definitely prefer this over any other baby food. I would love to see foods at the toddler stage.

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Bioidenticals & Custom Compounded Hormones



Organic, natural, alternative and the list goes on as the age of internet produces more information to anyone with access can handle.  The ease of researching and to promote and publish books is making it blatently easy to market your opinions and products whether founded or not.  We all are hearing the benefits of organic products and who can not admit that the concept is good?  The older I get, my quest to stay younger and live longer has grown beyond my wildest imagination.  Now when I crave a Big Mac, I contemplate the millions of calories I'm adding to my already challenged body not to mention preservatives, flavorings and hormones utilized in the meat and buns.

I work at a pharmaceutical company so I understand the in's and out's of clinical trials and research.  The trend within the whole beauty and well being market is on bio this and bio that and gene this and gene that.  The latest buzz and I might be wrong but I think Suzanne's Somers book has started the flap is around BioidenticalI admit that I've not heard that term until this morning when I was reading this AP article titled "'Bioidenticals' Not FDA-Approved, Contain Estrogen."

The key take away from this is any health care supplement/product that is deemed natural is not required to go through the FDA process of proving safety and efficacy.  You might recall the Hydroxycut recall and prior to that, years ago, ephedra (I think).  Both products were deemed "natural" so the unsuspected user assumed it was safe and I was one of those. 

This trend with Bioidenticals is within the name as the appeal to consumers.  Per the article: 


"Bioidentical" is a marketing term that has no accepted medical meaning. Its implied benefit is not unique to alternative remedies; many prescription drugs contain hormones that chemically match estrogens and progesterones made naturally by the body.

Women need to understand there's no rigorous evidence these preparations are any more effective or any safer than traditional hormone therapy. In fact, there's much less evidence for efficacy and very little research on long-term safety," said Manson, who has no industry ties and was a key researcher in the big federal study that warned women in 2002 of the health risks from long-term hormone use."

The article also mentions compounding pharmacists which according to the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists are those 'who provide personalized medication solutions, mixed safely by trained, licensed pharmacists.'

I had no idea that they could do that either so I definitely learned a lot about this topic.

One final quote from the AP story:

In 2001, the government tested 29 products from compounding pharmacies and found that one-third did not meet standard quality benchmarks, including potency problems, Manson writes in her book, "Hot Flashes, Hormones and Your Health."
Want to know more or look at available products? Try Amazon:

       

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Leptin

Leptin (Greek meaning leptos) is a protein hormone that helps to regulate metabolism, body weight and reproductive function. I just read a story by Dr. Mercola who I absolutely love since he’s into more organic foods and natural ways to take care of your body. He’s also anti-vaccination due to the wicked amounts and different types of ingredients that make up this hodge-podge of products injected into humans but that’s another story. Anyway, leptin as one site explains, “is expressed predominantly by adipocytes, which fits with the idea that body weight is sensed as the total mass of fat in the body. Smaller amounts of leptin are also secreted by cells in the epithelium of the stomach and in the placenta. Leptin receptors are highly expressed in areas of the hypothalamus known to be important in regulating body weight, as well as in T lymphocytes and vascular endothelial cells.”


Leptin functioning was observed in the 1950’s by studying mutant obese mice. It was discovered in 1994 by Jeffrey Friedman and collegues via a colony of obese mice. Per Wiki, this is a biomarker for body fat as well as a way to measure individual energy levels via testing leptin in the serum. It also states that although the obese mice had little or no leptin, obese people typically have too much leptin.


Leptin plays a big role in many facets of the body but another component is aging. As Dr. Mercola’s article points out, “Leptin appears to play a significant role in obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory diseases and cancer. These are the so-called “chronic diseases of aging“.


“To sum up a complex process very simply, the hormones your fat cells produce impact how much you eat and how much fat you burn.


One of these hormones is leptin, and leptin sends signals that reduce hunger, increase fat burning and reduce fat storage. That is, if your cells are communicating properly and can “hear” this message.


If you are eating a diet that is high in sugar and grains — this is the same type of diet that will also increase inflammation in your body — as the sugar gets metabolized in fat cells, fat releases surges in leptin. Over time, if your body is exposed to too much leptin, it will become resistant to the leptin (just as your body can become resistant to insulin).


When you become leptin-resistant, your body can no longer hear the messages telling it to stop eating and burn fat — so it remains hungry and stores more fat.


Leptin-resistance also causes an increase in visceral fat, sending you on a vicious cycle of hunger, fat storage and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and more.”


From what I can gather, fish oil might be the source of leptin but it appears that research is on-going.


This product claims to be a skin strenthening complex repair cream: http://www.loveyourlook.com/NIA24/repair.aspx and its key ingredient has “5% Pro-Niacin allows for conversion of nicotinic acid into NAD, which plays a central role in energy metabolism. NAD helps repair, promotes skin cell generation and stimulates the release of leptin. “


The Skinstore.com website has 12~ reviews on various skin products from this company which were overall pretty good but it costs $85 for 1.7 ounces. The ingredients do show olive oil:


Ingredients:
Water (Aqua), Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Myristyl Nicotinate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Cyclomethicone, Squalane, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetyl Alcohol Glycerin, Polyacrylamide, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Seed Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Pentadecalactone, Methyldihydrojasmonate, Dodecahydro-3a,6,6,9atetramethylnaphtho( 2,1-b)furan, Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Kernel Extract, Maltol, Ceramide 3,Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate), Sodium Hyaluronate, Ceramide 2, PEG-8, Phospholipids, Tribehenin, PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Dimethicone Crosspolymer-3,BHT, Laureth-7, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Polysorbate 60, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate,Methylparaben,Propylparaben


Amazon.com users (24 in all) gave the Skin Strengthening product 4.5 stars out of 5.0 with one negative user giving a rating in spite of not using it.


I’m going to try it and will post the results after awhile. Anyone else try it?


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