Queen of Herbs – Organic India Tulsi Tea review (and coupon code)

My favorite thing about trying new products is filling my brain with new information. It’s one thing to try a new type of yogurt or a sample cookie mixes.. it’s another when there is an actual learning moment. This is the second time I was lucky enough to sample Organic India Tulsi teas via Green Moms Meet. Last time I learned all about the health benefits of Moringa and made some awesome Moringa coconut pineapple n’ice cream. This time I got to enjoy their line of teas. For a tea drinker like myself.. opening my sample box from Organic India was a gift in itself. Warm and fragrant, notes of rose, peppermint, utter sweetness. Organic India produces over twenty different types of organic tea as well as supplements.

OrganicIndia-logo

What is Tulsi?Tulsi – named after the Goddess Tulsi and known as Holy Basil – is a herb native to India. Tulsi has firm roots in Hindu culture and the Tulsi plant is common in everyday life. The Tulsi plant can be harvested for its tea leaves, used for creating essential oils, and the wood used to create beads. Holy Basil is considered an herbal supplement and has many healing properties – high in antioxidants (protects against cell damage& free radicals), stress relief, immune support as well as positive impacts on your metabolism, mood & energy levels. In my research I also learned that Tulsi tea and oils can be used as a remedy for cold sores and bronchial ailments.

Tulsi Tea

I’m neurotic about cold brew tea and coffee. The process is easier and for me I think you get a stronger, richer flavor. For Tulsi Iced Tea it’s as easy as throwing a couple of tea bags into a mason jar (don’t forget to gently remove the tag & string!), fill with water and throw it in your fridge overnight. It’s ready to go for that pesky commute to work or school drop off. If I’m feeling saucy I might add some frozen fruit, lemon slices or a dash of honey.

Right now I have a steaming cup of Honey Chamomile on the desk (always late with my reviews tsk tsk). It’s officially fall in New England – window fans during the day, freezing at night, pouring rain.. you get the idea. As long as I can break out my fleece pajama pants and cozy up with a book & a cup of tea.. it’s all good.

Have I convinced you to try Organic India Tulsi tea yet? Organic India tea retails for $5.99 for a box of 18 tea bags. For a limited time you can save 20% if you head to www.OrganicIndiaUSA.com and use the code kiwi20.

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. 

Review – Nogii protein bars and powders – Gluten Free and super delish!

Gluten free has come a long way. I remember almost 10 years ago the lack of options and FLAVOR! I am not GF but have always tried different GF options. Needless to say I was pretty psyched to try the Nogii line.

nogii-logo

I wasn’t familiar with Nogii so I took to the www to do some research. Nogii was founded by none other than Elisabeth Hasselbeck from the talk show The View. Her story of what lead her to Nogii was interesting to say the least. She struggled with stomach issues and fatigue and it wasn’t until a forced 39 day detox (being on the show Survivor will do that to you!) that she found out she suffered from Celiacs Disease. Celiacs Disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the small intestine and can affect how you absorb food.

nogii 1

The product line for Nogii is impressive. Protein powders, bars, snack bars, paleo bars and kids bars. If you’re new to the whole GF way of life you can even pick up Elisabeth’s book – The G Free Diet. Nogii products are made with sustainably sourced, premium ingredients, NoGii bars have an ideal balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, and do not contain any trans fat, hydrogenated oils, or high fructose corn syrup. Score!

The D’Lite bars were my family’s fave. The kids couldn’t get enough. We tried the Caramel Bliss..  a perfect 120 calories when you’re craving a not so friendly candy bar. Plus they’re the perfect size for your little ones!

nogii twins

My next favorite was the Chocolate Coconut High Protein bar. If you know me AT ALL or even read my occasional blog.. coconut or chocolate is definitely a recurring theme. They have high protein bars which average about 17 grams of protein and 230 calories. They also have super protein bars which are 30 grams of protein and about 400 calories. I found the super protein bars were great on a work out day as a meal replacement. The Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Crisp bar was ridiculously good. Just look at the pictures of the Peanut Butter Chocolate High Protein bar and the Cookies & Creme Super Protein bar. Stop drooling..

nogii cookies  nogii bar detail

The Nogii Whey and Quinoa Vanilla Bean Protein powder was a great addition to smoothies – 20 grams of protein! I didn’t really like it in my blender bottle. I didn’t find it to satisfy my hunger like some other protein powders do.

By now you must be at least a tad interested in trying these items yourself. Definitely follow my links! They have a store locator and i was amazed how many places close to me already carry them!

While you’re at it enter their #NogiiTableSetters contest! You can win an overnight trip for you and a guest to NYC to meet Elisabeth Hasselbeck! Enter here!

Links:

Nogii

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

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. 

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.

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.

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.

2015/01/img_39111.jpg
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. 😊

2015/01/img_3913.jpg
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!

2015/01/img_3914-0.jpg

***** 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.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————

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

————————————————————————————————————————————————————

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.