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linwoods super food products {review}

August 26th, 2013 | Comments Off on linwoods super food products {review}

It’s hard to believe, when I think about it, what I used to eat on a regular basis. I was a certified junk-food addict for certain parts of my life, but I could easily justify it because I was so active that I was always thin. Trouble was, I was never healthy. I suffered severe sinus problems for years, respiratory illness was common for me in the Winter and my skin was always breaking out. I may have been a year-round bicyclist, riding upwards of 100 miles a week or more, and taking leisure rides for hours at a time, but on the inside, my body was showing all the signs of relentless poor nutrition. It wasn’t until I had a small child, and saw the foods that I was teaching him to eat that I decided I had to make some permanent changes.

Thankfully I’ve managed to move away from the poor foods and junk that I used to consume, and eating healthy is a huge priority for me and my family. Even my boy, an avowed carnivore, has embraced the plant-based eating that Mike and I took on in 2011, as long as he can still have a steak here and there. Mike does not eat any meat at all, no eggs and very little dairy. I will eat a small amount of meat, I eat eggs and a bit of dairy, but at home, we follow a vegetarian diet, with grains, nuts and seeds and legumes as well.

When the makers of Linwoods Super Food Products contacted me about sampling some of their items, I knew it would fit right in with our way of eating. Linwoods Super Foods are packaged and ground foods that pack a crazy good nutritional punch.

From their website:

“Super foods are also known as Functional Foods, or a food that delivers a Structural or Functional benefit. Our Super Foods range offers you a wide variety of health benefits due to the vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids that are found naturally in these foods. When used daily, they may help maintain a healthy heart, boost your energy and support a well-balanced diet
and active lifestyle.”

Out of all the choices Linwoods offers, they sent me three varieties.

The samples can be used in multiple ways, from adding to baked goods to sprinkling over Oatmeal or other hot cereals, or adding them to smoothies. I received small sample packets and basically just poured them over my cold soaked Oats that I eat every morning. The flavor is minimal, mostly a nutty texture as the product is fairly well ground. I like that it’s simple enough to use that I just need to open a package, and not go through chopping nuts or grinding flaxseeds. I use whole nuts, flaxseeds and other items like this already in my kitchen, but sometimes those extra few minutes to chop or grind and add them hardly seem worth it. The Linwoods products make it a lot easier.

Linwoods has a wide selection of packaged and ground Super Foods available, and their website also lists extensive nutritional information on what these products can do for your health. I love the combinations they have, and at reasonable prices too, considering what you’d pay if you purchased all of these separately. And if you need inspiration for them beyond using on cereal or in smoothies, they have a nice recipe page to peruse, too.

{I was provided sample packets of Linwoods Super Food Products free of charge in exchange for this review.
All opinions are solely my own, and I was not compensated for this post.}

deliberateLIFE magazine {review}

August 19th, 2013 | Comments Off on deliberateLIFE magazine {review}

I’ve been loving my iPad mini.

It was a complete surprise gift from Mike back in late Spring. We’d been sharing a standard iPad at home, and I’d been using the mini at work for a few months so when Mike handed me my very own mini for home use, I was just thrilled.

One aspect of using the iPad that I really like is reading digital magazines. I’ve discovered a wealth of digital options through ISSUU– a self-published site with a huge variety, plus food magazines like Relish, Food & Chef, and Food Fanatics (you can search for these on an iPad only- you won’t find them if you search by computer) but one of my most favorite digital magazines that I’ve discovered has to be DeliberateLIFE.

The title is what really drew me in at first; I’m all about working to live with more intention in my life, and DeliberateLIFE’s tagline of ‘Inspire. Engage. Do good.’ appealed to me, plus, in the first issue I read, Editor Fay Johnson’s notes stated:

…one Deliberate Life’s core beliefs is that our relationship to nature and the world around us matters. Stepping away from our controlled surroundings into expanses too grand to bottle, embrace, or capture in a simple photograph- we can again find ourselves in the quiet and be reminded that we are only one part of the grand story of the universe.”

With that, I dove in, and swiped page after page, enthralled at the words, images and information. It was like being around a table of inspired and creative individuals, telling their stories, sharing the photos of their lives and passing a plate or two of good food, a tumbler of cocktails, soft breezes across the table, and talking long in to the night. Magazines, for me, need to tell me stories that transport me to other places and time. They need to be void of the unrealistic fluff, pointing me in the right direction, making me salivate and wanting to book a flight across the country, or the globe. And most of all, they shouldn’t portray their information in unattainable ways. You know what I mean…. you pick up a glossy tome and start riffling the pages; pages full of impossibly beautiful people, in impossibly beautiful settings, with nary a stray hair or smudge of dirt visible. I don’t want a magazine that shows me something out of my reach. That doesn’t make me dream. That makes me fling it aside forever. I don’t want to see photos of people wearing white clothes and supposedly eating messy, glossy, saucy ribs at a barbecue (with no sauce on their hands or face? What a crock.) because in the real world, that never happens. But I’ve seen it in a paper magazine. And I flung it aside in disgust.

DeliberateLIFE portrays real life, from travel stories, to interviews with people who are really making a difference in the world, to smart ways to handle the crush of life, to unique products that help support the way we ease through our days.

The current issue is all about back to school, and, as Fay states, “…the internally ingrained sense that new beginnings are just around the corner.” Every Fall season makes me yearn for something new; a new notebook for my writings, a new big book to learn from, a sharp pencil. The start of school brings a melancholy to my life, as if my very nature shakes off the barefoot feel of Summer and wants to buckle down to ….. something. Anything. I might or might not be done with school, with intentional learning and education, and I’m always open to where my life might lead me in that regard. I hope to never, ever feel like I should stop learning as I grow older.

The very first essay in this issue is titled ‘The Secret to a Vacation State of Mind.” and talks about how to capture the calm and magic of vacation days, even when your tied to a desk. And speaking of being tied to your desk, the section entitled ‘Corporate Play- Learning on the Job’ gives us many reasons for constant growth in your work, and chosen field even after you’ve hung your diploma on the wall. The Odyssey Initiative outlines a grass-roots group of New York teachers who traveled across the United States to find out what innovative and effective teaching practices educators are using to connect with students. Other articles talk about the importance of adaptability in learning, the impact of mentoring on students, ways to nourish school children through interesting lunch box ideas and ways to eliminate waste when packing school lunches. The Lunchskins, Smart Planet’s Eco Collapsible Meal kits and adorable Takenaka bento boxes all make me wish for days of packing school lunch again so I can use these great items.

By far, my favorite section of this issue is all about the education and empowerment of women.

“Society appears to be making room for girls to transcend traditional expectations about abilities and aspirations,
just as long as they also conform to conventional notions of femininity.”

~~The Supergirl Dilemma, Girls Inc.

The Supergirl Dilemma is that American girls can have it all, but they must navigate all these hypocritical expectations: Dream big, but without aggression. Be smart, but not too smart. Change the world, as long as you look good doing it. (There’s a perfect example of why white clothes at a messy Barbecue make me fling a magazine aside.)

Multiple organizations are at work with American girls to dash this dilemma on it’s head, and I love how the article states “We must encourage our girls to pursue their dreams, without apology, embracing tenacity, grit and aggression, if needed.” Not only in the United States, but worldwide you will find organizations set up specifically to help support women’s rise out of poverty through education and DeliberateLIFE highlights several worldwide groups helping bring change to women everywhere.

And? They’re raising money to build a school. How can you not love something like that? Follow the link for more information.

Do you have an iPad? I challenge you to download just one issue of DeliberateLIFE, read it through and try not to fall in love with it.

Seriously. I bet you can’t.


{{I was asked to review the current issue of DeliberateLIFE magazine, but all words and opinions [[and rants. Sorry.]] are solely my own. Especially the rants. [[Sorry.]] I was not compensated for this review in any way. And I was already on the fan train before they asked for a review. Isn’t that cool?! }}