Fire Cider – Fire Cider Apple Cider Vinegar & Honey Tonic

Fire Cider – Fire Cider Apple Cider Vinegar & Honey Tonic

FIRE CIDER

Fire Cider Tonic
Key Factors

  • Biodynamic
  • Dairy Free
  • Egg Free
  • Fair Trade
  • Gluten Free
  • Kosher
  • Organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Nut Free
  • Raw
  • Soy Free
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheat Free

Overview
BRANDShire City Herbal
PRODUCT LINEApple Cider Vinegar Tonics
FLAVORSOriginal, Unsweetened, African Bronze Honey
ORIGINPittsfield MA
WEBSITEwww.firecider.com
PRICE$15 to $125
Rating
Taste20 / 20
Value18 / 20
Healthy20 / 20
Ingredients20 / 20
Appearance5 / 5
Packaging5 / 5
Eco-Friendly10 / 10
Total 98 / 100

Hot Diggity! This stuff is the BOMB!

For some people with a weak constitution it may be a GUT bomb. By now, you’ve probably heard all the great things apple cider vinegar (ACV) can do for you. Including, helpful for people with Type 2 Diabetes, heart health, digestive issues, and weight loss. I take it everyday first thing in the morning as an overall health and wellness routine. Basically, you should bite the bullet, plug your nose if you don’t like the smell and/or taste and add it to your daily routine.

I was sent a sample of FIRE CIDER APPLE CIDER VINEGAR & HONEY TONIC. And, I met them and sampled at the big natural foods trade show last March in Anaheim CA.  I love a company/brand with a sense of humor who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. These guys do it right in my book. Check out one of their videos here. They’ve taken ACV to the “next level”, and in my opinion it works and they’ve got a hit.

Here’s all the nitty gritty details:

Shire City Herbals is based in Pittsfield, MA and looks like a team of people I’d love to hang out with. Find out more about them here. They offer three different options: Original, Unsweetened (Certified Vegan), and African Bronze Honey.   As a total pushover for great packaging I’m lured in by the rustic and fun feel that jumps out at you immediately. What’s inside? Prepare yourself…..APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, HONEY, ORANGES, LEMONS, GINGER, HORSERADISH, ONIONS, BLACK PEPPER, HABANERO PEPPER and GARLIC. It packs a delicious sweet, spicy, and tart punch. The Unsweetened leaves out the honey for those who have eliminated all sweeteners from their diet and is also certified vegan. The African Bronze Honey substitutes this Fair Trade magical honey.  The products aren’t kosher yet but according to their website they’re building their own manufacturing facility and will become certified when they’re up and running. You don’t have to refrigerate it and it’s good for 18 months.

Transparency

You may have read my blog post on Transparency, you can read it here. Shire City Herbals, the maker of Fire Cider, is open and trustworthy in their practices. All ingredients are certified organic and they source as many ingredients as possible locally as long as they meet their high quality standards. Their commitment to supporting the bee keepers in Africa by purchasing and donating to their organization and purchasing their honey adds one more feather to their cap. And I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say they treat their people right.

There’s just one thing…

It’s a bit expensive and isn’t in a lot of stores. It’s in all GNC stores and they cover a lot of territory. Of course, you can find it on Amazon and available on the Fire Cider website. I usually spend a few bucks on Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar and it lasts a long time so this is a splurge. There are several size options from 8 oz. starting at $15 (just under $1 per serving) to 128 oz. for $125. It’s a bit hard to swallow (hehe) but nice when you want to switch things up. An 8 oz. bottle is 16 servings so that puts it at just under $1 per serving. Not bad depending on your mindset about investing in your health through food.     Let food by thy medicine, and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates

Lots of other uses

Their website has a nice selection of recipes and they love to hear about how their customers have used it. (Cocktails!! – and Mocktails). Check out the website too, they have some awesome packages and accessories. Go ahead! Give it a try!!

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WORLD OF CHIA – CHIA RASPBERRY FRUIT SPREAD


WORLD OF CHIA – CHIA RASPBERRY FRUIT SPREAD

World of Chia
Key Factors

  • Biodynamic
  • Dairy Free
  • Egg Free
  • Fair Trade
  • Gluten Free
  • Kosher
  • Organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Nut Free
  • Raw
  • Soy Free
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheat Free

Overview
BRAND World of Chia
PRODUCT LINE Fruit Spreads
FLAVORS Raspberry
ORIGIN
WEBSITE www.worldofchia.com
PRICE $4.99 – $6.99 each
Rating
Taste20 / 20
Value18 / 20
Healthy18 / 20
Ingredients18 / 20
Appearance4 / 5
Packaging4 / 5
Eco-Friendly8 / 10
Total 90 / 100

Let me start off by saying I’m not much of a bread eater. Toast isn’t a mainstay in my diet (especially after being diagnosed with celiac disease), nor do I ever even think of it when I’m hungry or grazing.  This all changed when I was introduced to this fruit spread. I had a couple old rice cakes so I just slathered some of this on and gave it a try. OH MY GAWD! This stuff is amazing!

World of Chia uses chia seeds in place of pectin and uses low glycemic index agave syrup instead of sugar. They’ve created a clean label, 4 ingredient product, natural, healthy, with all wonders of chia seeds (fiber, protein and omega 3) fruit spread to replace your jam. Chia is put to work with two purposes: By thickening the fruit spread with the prebiotic mucilage that covers the chia seed and reacts with water creating a gel (like aloe vera), enabling them to remove the industrialized pectins and acids used in traditional jams.

I promptly fled to the grocery store to pick up a loaf of gluten free bread and english muffins. I slathered it on, much more than the recommended serving size, everyday until I scraped the last bits from the jar.

Here’s the problem, it’s difficult to find. You can get a package of all three flavors at my Amazon store HEREThe pricing seems a bit wonky on the other Amazon listings. It’s not available on Thrive yet but you can order individual jars from their website HERE. 

Give it a try, you won’t be sorry.

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KNOW BRAINER COFFEE CREAMER

KNOW BRAINER COFFEE CREAMER

Know Brainer
Key Factors

  • Biodynamic
  • Dairy Free
  • Egg Free
  • Fair Trade
  • Gluten Free
  • Kosher
  • Organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Nut Free
  • Raw
  • Soy Free
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheat Free

Overview
BRAND Know Brainer
PRODUCT LINE Coffee Creamers
FLAVORS Regular and Casein & Lactose Free
ORIGIN Colorado
WEBSITE www.myknowbrainer.com
PRICE $13.45 to $24.99
Rating
Taste17 / 20
Value18 / 20
Healthy19 / 20
Ingredients20 / 20
Appearance5 / 5
Packaging4 / 5
Eco-Friendly8 / 10
Total  / 91

My morning routine is to get up, put the coffee on, 20 minutes of yoga then make myself a “butter coffee”. In case you don’t know what that is, let me explain. Butter coffee (or you may have heard about it as Bulletproof Coffee, the most popular brand of MCT oil) is coffee blended with grass fed butter or ghee and MCT (medium chain triglycerides) oil.

The idea behind butter coffee (or keto, or Bulletproof coffee) is to fuel your body with nutrient-dense, blood sugar stabilizing fat.  Here’s a great article from Buzzfeed: http://bzfd.it/2AeJzec. MCT oil is a concentrated form of coconut oil that goes directly to your liver to provide long lasting energy and improve blood sugar regulation and metabolism with the added benefit of improved appetite regulation.

Sometimes, when I’m in a rush or out and about and need another coffee boost during the day, its not always convenient to blend up a butter coffee. Enter Know Brainer! I discovered Know Brainer in an interview that the owner Shari Leidich did with a food industry magazine and was intrigued.  I contacted Shari to find out more and she sent me some samples to try.  They’re FANTASTIC.  Not only are they extremely easy and more convenient to use, they taste great too.  Initially, there were regular options of French Vanilla, Original, and Hazelnut they have casein and lactose free flavors of Mocha, Vanilla Bean, and Hazelnut.  All flavors are natural; my favorites are the Original and the two vanillas. Hazelnut is good and the Mocha was my least favorite. Recently, they’ve added options for complete instant coffee, matcha and chai tea and hot chocolate.  I haven’t tried the new instants but I will very soon and add them to this review.

I’ve never been much of a breakfast eater and Know Brainer solves that problem for me as I use it as a meal replacement for breakfast. I don’t have any hunger pangs or energy lags for the entire morning. Sustainable energy until lunch time eliminates my usual morning time drowsiness. I’m definitely a night owl.

Retail availability is pretty limited right now but they are available on Amazon and Thrive Market.  To purchase on Amazon click here: http://bit.ly/2B6ncHL (this is my affiliate link) Or to purchase on Thrive click here: http://go.thrv.me/SH3QY.

You can find out more about Know Brainer here  I hope you’ll give it a try and let me know what you think!

Until next time…..!

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Pure Growth Organic – White Cheddar Popcorn

Pure Growth Organic – White Cheddar Popcorn

PURE GROWN ORGANIC-WHITE CHEDDAR POPCORN

PGO Popcorn
Key Factors

  • Biodynamic
  • Dairy Free
  • Egg Free
  • Fair Trade
  • Gluten Free
  • Kosher
  • Organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Nut Free
  • Raw
  • Soy Free
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheat Free

Overview
BRAND Pure Growth Organic
PRODUCT LINE Salty Snacks – Popcorn
FLAVORS Organic White Cheddar Popcorn
ORIGIN Popped in the U.S.
WEBSITE http://www.puregrowthorganic.com/
PRICE $5.88 (Amazon)
Rating
Taste16 / 20
Value10 / 20
Healthy12 / 20
Ingredients12 / 20
Appearance4 / 5
Packaging3 / 5
Eco-Friendly7 / 10
Total 64 / 100

I Love POPCORN. I’m kinda a connesieur. Add Non GMO, Gluten Free, and Organic and I’M IN! Oh wait — this is for kids.  Pure Growth Organic started creating organic products to be marketed to kids because they believed more organic and convenient snacks should be available to kids. In particular, kids out of organic baby foods and advancing into regular food. I’m not sure how they did it but they snagged an agreement with Disney for packaging and they’re sold in Disney Theme Parks.

Kids snack. That’s a given. Having quick, easy, healthy snacks available when the begging begins is a godsend.  I gave these to my 8 year old grandson, Ike, and his best buddy Brecken. I interrupted damming the river and catching crawdads to get them to try the White Cheddar Popcorn.

Ike and Breck

They liked it and blasted through the bag at warp speed. Me, I wasn’t too crazy about it. The popcorn tasted kind of stale and wasn’t very fluffy; it had an odd taste to me. But, it’s about the kids, not me. So it was a success.  As far as ingredients are concerned, they’re fine. Organic makes you think that all the ingredients are going to be healthy. The White Cheddar Popcorn has Disodium Phosphate which you’ll find in most boxed mac and cheese, and Natural Flavors that I avoid; they may be considered “natural” but you’d be surprised where they come from and they’re highly addictive so encourage overeating. You’ll find them at Target, Walmart, Amazon (click here to purchase). They have a good selection so cruise around Amazon and give them a try.  Great for lunches.

 

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Hak’s Korean BBQ Cooking Sauce

HAK’S ONE POT COOKING SAUCES

http://go.thrv.me/SH5US
Key Factors

  • Biodynamic
  • Dairy Free
  • Egg Free
  • Fair Trade
  • Gluten Free
  • Kosher
  • Organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Nut Free
  • Raw
  • Soy Free
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheat Free

Overview
BRAND Hak’s
PRODUCT LINE Hak’s Paks One Pot Cooking Sauce
FLAVORS Korean BBQ with Sesame and Ginger
ORIGIN California, US
WEBSITE www.haks.com
PRICE $3.25 (Thrive Market) to $4.23 / $867 for 6 on Amazon
Rating
Taste18 / 20
Value18 / 20
Healthy18 / 20
Ingredients18 / 20
Appearance5 / 5
Packaging4 / 5
Eco-Friendly8 / 10
Total 94 / 100

HAK’S PAKS ONE POT KOREAN BBQ COOKING SAUCE

I had my doubts when I saw this product. My first thought was “Great, another overly sweet, processed cooking sauce full of crappy ingredients.” Nope! I’m happy to report that is sauce is GREAT.  I used it in a pot roast that I wasn’t able to give as much time as I usually give to slow cook. The meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender, slightly sweet and not too spicy.  I love spice but I was cooking it for my 90 year old dad who is ultra-sensitive to spice and he loved it too.  The ingredients made it a big winner; no artificial unrecognizable stuff, just water, tamari, sugar, rice vinegar, onions, garlic, sesame oil, canola oil, green onions, ginger, sesame seeds, corn starch, and crushed red peppers.

The maker is Sharone Hakman; he was in the first season of Master Chef. His brand was kicked off with exceptional BBQ sauce and has grown into cooking sauces and salad dressings in a pouch.  I can’t wait to try more of these products.

You can buy them on Amazon here  or Thrive Market here. Give these a try and let me know how you like them!

Michele Cole

 

 

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