Xlear Care Kit review and special deal for you!

When I was sent my free Xlear Care Kit from Green Moms Meet I immediately went to Google. What is the deal with Xylitol? Here are some facts I found:

  • Xylitol is a sugar alcohol extracted from plant material. 
  • Xylitol is diabetic friendly because of its low impact to blood sugar. 
  • Xylitol is actually benefitial in dental care products because it helps reduce cavities and actually promotes remineralization in teeth. 
  • Some studies show xylitol actually can help reduce the incidents of middle ear infections. 

The list goes on and on. Needless to say I was pretty psyched to try my kit. The kit includes:

  
1.5fl oz Xlear Nasal Spray

3 pack of .75fl oz Xlear Nasal Spray

Non-Fluoride Peppermint Toothpaste

Spearmint Oral Rinse

Two 40ct Gems Mints

Six 12ct Stronger Longer Gum

This entire kit at normal retail would cost $65. Until the end of June you can purchase this same kit for $25 (plus s&h). That’s a $45 savings! 

My take on some of the products:

  • My fave – toothpaste! I personally have seen such a great impact on my kids teeth. It’s not too spicy for them and not packed with sugar.  It’s always freaked me out that most conventional toothpastes AREN’T for kids and say harmful If swallowed. What the what?! No way to flouride too. 
  • Runner up – their gum! Sometimes I eat stuff during the day that makes my breath stiiiiiinnnnnk. Seaweed. Ew. Brussel sprouts. Oof. Not good when your job makes you talk to people all day. This gum is perfect if you can’t get to a toothbrush in time. Makes your mouth feel fresh and tastes great. 
  • We didn’t get a chance to try their nasal sprays this time around but we’ve used them in the past. Gentle and helpful when your congested or feeling a bit under the nasal weather. One of my boys is SUPER prone to ear infections so now that I’ve read how beneficial xylitol can be we’ll be adding it to his daily regiment. 

In the end this is one of the best freebies I have received. I’m blown away by the quality of their products and the impact on our dental routines! I’ll definitely be purchasing another kit before the month is out. 

  
Social Media links for Xlear:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

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Vegan coconut pineapple NICE cream with Organic India Moringa Powder 

Moringa?! Seriously before I was sent a free sample from the kind folks at Green Moms Meet I had never heard of such a thing called Moringa. I’m pretty well versed with things on the super food spectrum. Totally not this one.

OrganicIndia-Moringa

Moringa originated in northern India but it is now grown all over the world. The plant itself is considered a super food because it’s rich in vitamins, minerals and and amino acids.

Some things I didn’t know about Moringa:

-Moringa is considered one of the most complete, nutrient-dense plants on Earth, containing over 90 nutrients, 46 antioxidants, and abundant minerals.

-Moringa leaves have been eaten for thousands of years as a superfood nutritional supplement, and are often used to combat malnutrition in impoverished countries.

-ORGANIC INDIA Moringa is USDA Certified Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, Kosher and Halal certified, gluten-free, and vegan.

Wow! Sign me up! I work full time (not to mention a two hour commute each day), have 3 crazy energetic boys. Not to mention a Husband who works just as hard and gets just as tired. I was very excited to get the opportunity to try the Moringa Leaf powder and supplement capsules for free!
For me – the real challenge was figuring out how to use it daily. We put it in our smoothies which was great! I’ll admit the taste takes a bit of getting used to. Anyone familiar with any sort of greens supplement will understand what it tastes like ;o)
For me the capsules were a tad easier to remember. I took the Moringa supplements for a week and noticed a difference especially in my PM commute. I didn’t feel so exhausted and didn’t want to crash the second I got home. SCORE!
Using the powder at home was much easier. My favorite concoction – Vegan Coconut Pineapple Nice Cream with Organic India Moringa Powder! Creamy, delicious and a dairy free treat for the family. We used our Kitchen Aid Ice Cream machine. Since I had some technical difficulties (my paddle broke UGH!) I did a small batch in the ice cream machine and another just in some Pyrex in the freezer.
moringa nice cream
Ingredients
-Two 15oz cans of whole fat coconut milk
-One to Two cups of fresh, cubed pineapple – add more or less based on your preferences.
-3 teaspoons Moringa Powder – we found this to be the perfect amount. Gave it a bit of green color without a strong greens    taste
-Your favorite sweeteners – this is TOTALLY optional. We added a bit of maple syrup to give it a bit of sweet but not too much.
-blend all the ingredients in your Vitamix/blender
-refrigerate until fully chilled. the colder the ice cream base the better it works in the ice cream machine.
-if you’re not using an ice cream machine just put into a freezer safe dish with a lid.
The batch in the ice cream machine was smooth, creamy and super delish. It was great knowing we were having a dairy free snack with some added health benefits. My kids absolutely loved it. We’ll be experimenting with other coconut milked based ice creams soon.
moringa nice cream bowl
The freezer batch wasn’t as creamy but still just as flavorful. I let it sit out for about a 1/2 hour. I found it easier to cut into squares.. could you say possible ice cream sandwich ingredient???!
Overall I could see Moringa being a pantry staple in this house. Getting my kids to eat their share of veggies etc is a daily struggle so Moringa powder could be my saving grace! One 8 oz. canister (approx 48 teaspoon servings) of Moringa Leaf Powder retails for $22.99, and 90 capsules of Moringa retails for $19.99.
OrganicIndia-logo

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

Giveaway! Harvestland natural chicken, pork and turkey vouchers!

Do you ever just have those moments where the planets align and things just fall in place? Or the moment where you are sent a  Green Moms Meet blogger kit for Harvestland natural chicken, pork and turkey and realize all your wildest, meat loving dreams have come true? Same thing right?!

HARV-logo

My family is ultra familiar with the brand Harvestland. We do a lot of our shopping at our local BJs and they offer a lot of Harvestland products. As a family with three boys who seem like they NEVER stop eating, buying in bulk is the way to go for us. Before I was given the opportunity to try other Harvestland products we mainly purchased their kielbasa, frozen chicken breasts and hot rotisserie chickens BJs cooks in-house. We ended up also trying their Florentine chicken burgers, Italian pepper & onion chicken sausage, buffalo meatballs and frozen chicken breakfast sausage. The Harvestland product line includes fresh chicken, turkey, and pork products, as well as a variety of fully cooked refrigerated, frozen, and deli meats. Harvestland also offers USDA-certified organic chicken. These chickens are raised without antibiotics on free-range, organic farms and are fed an all-vegetarian diet of certified organic ingredients.

meat products
What makes Harvestland different:

-No antibiotics ever. Antibiotics are widely used on livestock in the US. The more we use antibiotics the more resistant those strains become. The scary part is that even if we consume the meat that was raised with regular antibiotic use – it increases the chances that we will become resistant to those strains of bacteria etc too. Brings new meaning to ‘you are what you eat’. Check out this article from Prevention magazine if you want to read more on the subject.

Fed All-Vegetarian Diet With No Animal By-Products. Used to increase protein levels in livestock feed, animal by-products have been linked to outbreaks of major animal diseases as well as increases the risk of transmission of bacteria like Salmonella. 

No nitrites or nitrates added except for those naturally occurring in sea salt and celery juice powder. No MSG (people still use that?!)

All of these standards are VERY important for us. We believe that conventional groceries are full of preservatives, colors and everything icky. We are label readers, WE have standards!

 

OK I have one gripe (besides the fact they don’t offer bacon yet). What bums me out about Harvestland:

-Their website states they only feed their organic chickens GMO free feed. C’mon Harvestland.. spread the wealth. Get certified from the Non GMO Project. All the cool kids are doing it.

non-gmo-project-logo

Overall – Harvestland offers a delicious, convenient product at a great price. Their product variety is great and easy to find.

Want to try your own Harvestland products? Visit Harvestland  on social media (links below) and let us know what you like about Harvestland. Leave a comment below by Sunday 3/1/2015. We will pick a random reader to win $15 in free product vouchers so you can try some yourself!

In the meantime check them out online –

Harvestland @ Facebook Instagram Pinterest Twitter

And don’t forget to follow us online as well –

matchingmummies @ Facebook Instagram Pinterest Twitter

 

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

Living microwave free – The Popcorn Edition

A few years ago we made the decision to live microwave free. We had one… rarely used it.. so it was the obvious decision.

I’m sure I could go on and on citing a trillion different articles as to why using a microwave is bad for you etc etc. But I’m not gonna. Google it my friends.

That being said there were a few adjustments. Like my favorite Whole Foods Market frozen rice. 😢 just not the same without a microwave…

And those awesome microwaveable scented pad things that you can put on your shoulders and neck. They’re delightful… But what to do when you don’t have a microwave?

One thing that’s MUCH better? POPCORN! Nothing beats stovetop popcorn… My popcorn could kick microwave popcorn’s ass. Maybe even that neat silver JiffyPop we all have fond childhood memories of.

Step 1 – use a large pot – like that you would use for pasta. Give those kernels some room to grow why dontcha?!

Step 2 – pick the right oil. Again there are a million different articles as to why one oil is better than another. Not going there. I choose Coconut. It leaves a very faint coconut flavor, isn’t over oily when popped and has some health benefits.

Step 3 – heat the oil at medium heat. Drop a couple kernels into the melting oil and cover. When those babies pop.. You know it’s time.

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Step 4 – pour about 1/4 – 1/2 cup into the pan depending on number of servings you require I’ve been making it so long I know that if I cover the bottom of my pan it’s approx 10 servings. Know your oil and know your pan. I usually add a bit more oil at this stage for a kick of flavor and benefits.

Step 5 – Put a lid on it! No seriously. And keep it slightly vented to let steam out.

TADA! Delish, healthy stovetop popcorn. No microwave needed. 😊

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I typically just throw some sea salt on but tonight I went all out. I threw on some Penzey’s Spicy 4/S salt. It is now my fave popcorn topping!

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***** What items did you re-learn to cool when you ditched your microwave? Leave me a comment! ***

xoxo
Sarah

Next up – Monk Fruit in the Raw

Thanks to the kind folks at Green Moms Meet and In The Raw I was able to try the new Monk Fruit in the Raw. Most people are familiar with the Sugar in the Raw… turbinado sugar. What the heck is Monk Fruit??

monk fruit

Monk Fruit aka Luo Han Guo hails from Asia. Super sweet like sugar.. none of those pesky calories. Having diabetic family members – I was pretty psyched to try this too! It has less than 1 carb and low glycemic impact. Both very attractive to those that watch their carb intake for dietary reasons. Can you say JUST IN TIME FOR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS!!??

So how does it taste? Sweet! I am always hesitant to try sugar alternatives. Why? I blame Stevia. I find Stevia to be very bitter and not enjoyable at all. No matter what the product I can tell if it’s in there. However Monk Fruit in the Raw flies under the radar. I tried it in my tea.. perfectly sweet.

Oh and it measures cup for cup for regular sugar. Only difference.. its SUPER lightweight. I almost threw the bag across the room the first time I picked it up! I used it in my Christmas sugar cookies too! No one could tell the difference. Want the recipe? Head over to see a bunch of other good ones too.. like the Peppermint Brownie Cookies.

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Classic Sugar Cookies (from the In the Raw website)

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted sweet butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg plus 1 yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup Monk Fruit In The Raw® Bakers Bag
1/3 cup Sugar In The Raw®, for decoration

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on medium-high to beat the butter until fluffy, 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture for 3 minutes. Add the egg, then the yolk and vanilla, beating well between additions. Add the Monk Fruit In The Raw Bakers Bag and beat until just combined. Reduce the beater speed to low and gradually add the dry ingredients, beating until the mixture is clumpy. Stop blending and use a flexible spatula to complete mixing the dough by hand.

Turn the dough out onto a counter and divide it in half. The dough will be soft and sticky. Shape each half into a log 6-inches long and 2-inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours, and up to 3 days.

To bake the cookies, center a rack in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the Sugar In The Raw in a small bowl.

With a sharp, thin knife, cut each log into 1/4-inch slices. If the logs have flattened on one side, use your fingers to gently shape the slices into rounds.  One at a time, lightly press one side of the cookies into the Sugar In The Raw, then place it sugar-side up on the prepared cookie sheet, leaving 1 1/2-inches between cookies.

Bake for 11-13 minutes, until the cookies are firm when pressed in the center and evenly pale gold in color. Let the cookies rest for 1 minute on the baking sheet. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely. Keep the Sugar Cookies tightly covered in a tin, for up to 1 week.

Per serving: 120 calories, 6 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 16 g carbohydrate, 8 g sugar, 2 g protein, 0 g dietary fiber, 38 mg sodium, 15mg cholesterol

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What else do I love about it? Well.. the obvious! Bright orange packaging! Oh and it’s GLUTEN FREE!

If you’re like myself and watch your sugar intake, I definitely recommend giving this lovely Luo Han Guo fruit a shot. Head here for some pretty awesome coupons!

xoxo

Sarah

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

the unwanted phone call

Last week my life was put into perspective. The gravity of a lifetime being put into perspective is HUGE. I, like everyone else, live day to day, Husband, kids, work, lather, rinse, repeat. We get caught up in these routines, monotony, schedules.

My Endocrinologist thinks they found an ‘abnormal growth’ in my thyroid.

abnormal.

what.

We had been monitoring my Thyroid for 2 years now. It all started with some sluggishness… then it became enlarged. Blood tests came back negative for any Thyroid issues.. slides of cells told nothing.

I went for my yearly check up and things seemed routine. Ultrasound & needle aspiration. Done and Done. My Doctor started off by saying things seemed fine and normal and no need to do a needle biopsy this time. 20 minutes later that changed.. Let’s do one for good measure, she said.

Two days later, with my kids fighting in the background, headed out the door to get my Kindergartner… the word Cancer has possibly been introduced into my life. My head was spinning. Hysterical thoughts, mortality, what about my three boys? In 1 second life comes to a screeching halt.

They found abnormal Follicular cells and I would need to have a thyroidectomy. They will need to remove half of my thyroid in order to figure out if it is indeed Cancer, what kind, how big, if it has spread. She said they will run more tests and make decisions while I am on the table. There is a good chance they might take the entire thing.

After crying, fighting back tears as we picked up our son from his second day of Kindergarten.. I did what any person would do. Google.

I found out the following things:

This is the SECOND most common Thyroid Cancer

If you’re going to get Cancer… Thyroid is where it’s at. The survival rate, if detected early, is good.

I should be getting a call this week from my Surgeon. Add that to the list of things Adults have… Lawyers, Life Insurance Agents and Surgeons.

I have become oddly at peace with things. Maybe because crying about the unknown seems like such a waste of time. I’d rather be hanging out with my family in the woods somewhere. Not saying that fear or sadness don’t creep into my thoughts.

I keep telling myself that things will be fine.

xoxo

Sarah