One of the perks of a paleo diet is that I don’t try to limit my chocolate intake. I just make sure it is dark chocolate and I enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! I have tried so many different and wonderful dark chocolates since I started this new “diet” and I have been blown away by how much I actually like chocolate when I am eating the good stuff. Most of the chocolate marketed to us is crap…nutritionally and taste-wise.
One that I tried many weeks ago and forgot to mention (oops!) is Lily’s Dark Chocolate. They sent me four of their chocolate bars to taste and I have been dreaming of them ever since, one of them in particular.
But the details first…what makes Lily’s a little different? Well, they are made with fair trade chocolate and are certified. They have no GMO ingredients, they are organic, and they are 55% Cocoa. That is actually a little on the low side for me since I like 80-90% cocoa for uber dark chocolate but for a once in a while thing these are prefect. What I like most though is that they have no added sugar and are sweetened with Stevia. This makes these bars 25% lower in calories. Now I am not very calorie conscious but even I cringe sometimes when I see that the chocolate bar I am about to eat has 450 calories. 340 calories sounds much better to me, especially since chocolate is a snack or a dessert, not a meal.
All of their bars are tasty but I am not likely to pick up the crispy rice version again (not paleo). The regular dark chocolate and the almond were divine but the standout winner is the coconut. Yum times infinity!
TGIF! Have a great weekend and Mother’s Day all! I am hoping to kickstart my weekend this morning with a viewing of Dark Shadows at the theater and then watching the Central East Regional CrossFit games on ESPN3 since some of the guys/gals from my gym are competing. Go team CFNA! It would be lovely to go in person since they are in Columbus, OH but I think my kids would be bored out of their minds. The rest of the weekend is pretty up in the air. We have been invited to a picnic and there is an herb festival the next town over. Lots of possibilities.
Stuff I am Reviewing…
Nature Box – This is another one of those monthly box deals and it is all about healthy snacks. We enjoyed our box and would have enjoyed it much more prior to going paleo since a couple of snacks were grain based. The dried cherries were phenomenal though, yum! My husband also really liked the dried veggie crisps and my kids did enjoy some non paleo snacking for a time. My kiddos never had a fig newton before trying the ones in this box, LOL. That kind of blew me away.
This concept is really awesome if you have a hard time sticking to your guns when it comes to healthy snacks. I don’t think they are organic but they are pretty natural and without artificial sweeteners, HFCS, food dyes, and other nasty stuff. The promo code HEALTHY may be used for 25% off your first month of subscription, if you care to give them a try.
Full Circle Fresh Air Kitchen Compost Collector - We got this shortly before Earth Day and I gave it a try. I didn’t realize at the time that it relies on bio plastic baggies to collect the kitchen scraps and I am not a fan of that but it it is still a good kitchen option for those who are not composting. It sits on your counter and you just drop the scraps in as you collect them. Every 3 to 4 days you are supposed to remove them but we typically went longer than that. There was no smell, which is a bonus, but it did attract fruit flies. I will be donating or freecycling mine as I just don’t like having to use plastic bags.
A Hadaki Cosmopolitan Tote bag – They consider it an eco-friendly option because their products are AZO free, contain no Phthalates / DEHP or DBP. I think we differ somewhat in our definition of eco friendly but I do not mind plastic based tote bags so much because they are durable and reusable. This particular bag is quite awesome in size and I can see myself taking it to the farmer’s market, the local pool, and to BlogHer12 in New York City (only 3 months away!) to carry all my goodies.
Astroglide Natural - Got some of this last week. I am not going to go into how I personally like it since that’s none of your business. :) I do however like that so many of the companies that make these personal lubricants are removing the toxic ingredients! Astroglide has no glycerin, fragrance, parabens, or alcohol. I also ran the ingredients list through the Skin Deep database and all scored a 1 or 2. Pretty good.
Books I am Reading…
The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year was one of my recent reads. I am not expecting nor will I ever be again, or that’s the plan at least, but I still enjoyed reading this book. I think it would have been much more beneficial to read a book like this when I was newly pregnant instead of the standard What to Expect books. It challenges many of the conventional ideas on birthing and baby care and it is so refreshing! It really takes a look all aspects of bringing a life into this world and caring it, and re-frames normal. I liked that it strongly advocates for attachment parenting and using your intuition as a guide, keeping birth interventions to a minimum, breastfeeding on demand, co-sleeping, and elimination communication among many other things. The tone was also very upbeat and encouraging, not scary. A+
168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think - Just finishing this book. It basically addresses the fact that we all have 168 hours a week to work with and that most of are not actually crunched for time we are just not using that 168 hours wisely and in ways that make sense for our dreams and goals. If we make sure to fill those hours only with things that deserve to be there, we build the lives we want. I really enjoyed this book.
Fifty Shades of Grey - Had to read it after all the media buzz and I was kind of surprised to find that I was not the least bit shocked by this book. I adored it actually and ordered the next two pronto. The author has been quoted as saying it is like the grown up version of Twilight (but with BDSM instead of vampires?) and I agree.
Other Link Worthy Stuff…
Love this Kickstarter Project for an iPad Sustainability story.
Hoping to make and eat soon… these Raw Lemon Pie Bars and these grain free Cake Batter Balls.
This Climate Change Carnival at Big Green Purse has many awesome links including one of my own articles. Check it out when you get the chance.
BlogHer Green also featured my stinky towels post.
Enjoy your weekend!!
We have had a really fun and enjoyable weekend. I got to spend it with people I love and we had lots of our favorite foods. The pace was slow and I was able to savory every second. Even got to see a movie with my Dad, my hubby, and my youngest son. We saw Wrath of the Titans. We just don’t have enough of these weekends!
We dug out the bunny decorations and fake grass we have used for years. The Easter Dinner table was set…
And we were ready to eat! Shortly after I snapped the picture below, my youngest son completely filled his plate with carrots, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli. That is all he ate. Considering all the other good stuff on the table that is pretty darn weird!
As is customary for us on Easter, we had prime rib. Nom, nom.
For dessert we had organic, primal carrot cupcakes with creamy dreamy, cream cheese frosting. The recipe came from Make It Paleo. YUM!!!!! And they are so healthy… carrots, coconut flour and coconut oil, nearly a dozen pastured eggs, cream cheese, dates, and pure maple syrup.
How was your holiday?
One of the things I thought I would have do without after deciding to go grain free was pancakes. Honestly I was not that sad though since I am not a big pancake eater. Of course that was before I tried these coconut pancakes. Now we have a nice treat for Saturday or Sunday mornings when all of us are together and oh my goodness they are divine! Yum!
I don’t want to list the exact recipe since we got it from The Primal Blueprint Cookbook but it would be a very wise time investment to pick it up at the library so you can try them yourself. The bulk of them is made of coconut flour, coconut milk, butter or coconut oil, eggs, and honey. We did not have any maple syrup though and we can only get the fake stuff nearby so we opted to make compote. We don’t usually buy blackberries out of season but I figured it was better than Giant Eagle brand syrup. The compote is just blackberries, honey, and coconut milk. Also on the plate is local, nitrate free sausage.
I highly recommend these pancakes! You won’t miss grains at all.
A company called The Conscious Box recently contacted me and asked if they could send me one of their “boxes”. I had never heard of the company before but I was familiar with what they were offering. I have seen it in one other place and fell in love with the concept. For whatever reason I never ordered though. Instead I would just see a link or a mention somewhere and think to myself that “gee I need to order of one of those” and then promptly forget. Thanks to this inventive company I finally got my goodie box! It is just as fun and exiting as I suspected it would be.
The idea is that you buy a monthly subscription and get a box filled with mystery goodies delivered to your door each month. You have no idea what will be in the box only that it will be a mish mesh of green and ethical goodies. Each month you get pure and natural products from organic food to vegan beauty supplies. The companies behind the products are all ethical and purpose driven businesses and the hope is that you will discover and fall in love with some wonderful new products and companies. You get to support companies that are working to make a happier, healthier planet, and a healthier you with natural and safe products. There is a card in the box with tips for ways to reuse the cardboard box your goodies came in. LOVED the idea to use it as a window box and plant flowers in it or use it as a picture frame! Attached to the box is a card with the monthly theme. For November it was gratitude, which is an easy sell when you open such a yummy box. The little quotes about gratitude were awesome at any rate.
I think the reason I love this concept so much is because I love surprises. Getting a surprise box every month is so much fun and I get to try stuff I might not otherwise have tried. Almost every single thing in the box was new to me. Woot! This is what came inside my November box:
A Mary’s Gone Crackers Double Chocolate Cookie – Yum! Dark, rich chocolate and by a company that makes several crackers that I love. I had no idea they made cookies though. Guess I haven’t been to Whole Foods in awhile. The only issue I had is that it has soy in it. As you may know… soy and I are not on good terms.
Funky Monkey Dried Pink Pineapple – Another yum. Major yum. They are vegan, raw, and gluten free. My kids descended on these like vultures and begged that we keep buying. These would be perfect for school lunches IMO.
Living Nutz Bodacious Banana Bread Walnuts – We are not newbies to Living Nutz. They are fracking awesome in our estimation. We had never had the Banana Bread Walnuts though. Yummo! They do in fact taste just like banana bread. You can buy them at Raw Food World.
KIND Almond and Coconut Bar – I have seen these around but never tried one before. Whoa baby they are good!
Honest Kids Tropical Tango Punch – What can you say about juice boxes really? My 5 year old drank it up and claimed to liked it, LOL. They are organic, contain half the calories and sugar of most children’s drinks, and have no high fructose corn syrup.
CocoaWell Pills- These I had never seen before. Apparently they give you a dose of cocoa without the calories and fat you would get from eating chocolate. The cocoa is infused with green tea and acacia catechu – nature’s richest sources of pure plant flavanols. Fair trade!
Glee Gum – We got mint and lemon-lime. Glee Gum is a natural gum alternative, with no preservatives, artificial flavorings, or colorings. It is also the only gum on the market which contains chicle in its gum base. It is not 100% plastic free gum but it comes much closer than other gum products. My 11 year old son liked the mint flavor and my 7 year old daughter HATED the lemon-lime for the record.
Pharmacopia Organic Verbena Body Lotion and Body Wash – These two smell divine, that’s for sure. Since we don’t buy products like these they seemed like a super luxurious shower treat. Formulated with certified organic ingredients and an aromatherapy blend of essential oils.
100% Pure Nourishing Cream – We got Vanilla Bean and Green Apple. – Haven’t tried them personally since I am not big on lotion and I don’t have a need for it really but I suspect I will enjoy them sometime this winter.
Loved the experience of getting this box and I will definitely have to become a subscriber!