Thursday, September 14, 2017

Review of Redmond's Earth Paste Cinnamon

http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-8361242-11950483?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwell.ca%2Fproducts%2Fredmond-earthpaste-amazingly-natural_60994.html&cjsku=60994


I've been using this tooothpaste for years now, so I thought I'd write a review.

The reason why I chose to buy it initially was because it was the best EWG-rated toothpaste that I could find for sale at well.ca. You can see how good it is in the ingredients list: they are few and all pronounceable.

The paste itself is very different from conventional ones, in that it doesn't foam (but apparently, foaming agents are bad for you, so that's a good thing). That took a little bit of getting used to.


The other thing I noticed with this toothpaste is that it doesn't have that fresh/minty feeling after I brush. As a society we are conditioned to think that our mouth will only be clean if we have that sensation, so it took me a while to get used to this different feeling. Now that I've been using this toothpaste for a while, though, whenever I try a "regular" toothpaste, it tastes really chemical and super harsh on my mouth.

But most important of all, I feel really good using this toothpaste because I know I am taking care of my body.

I highly recommend this toothpaste, and will beep on buying it.

PS: You can use this link and Promo Code 3HFALL to save $10 off your first $40 purchase (and yes, they do ship outside of Canada).

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Review of One Degree's Organic Quick Oats





When I first saw these for sale (in 2014), I was super excited. I had been moving all my food to organics and pure oats (without flavours or refined sugar) were one of the few things that I had not been able to find an organic equivalent.

This tastes delicious. It's so much better than the Quaker Oats I used to buy. In this product you can taste the real oats. As with all organic foods, the taste is just so much stronger than their non-organic equivalent.

And it works just as well as Quaker's in terms of preparation. I usually just put my oats in a bowl with 1 cup of non-dairy milk and microwave for 1:45 min. It's the perfect quick breakfast for a busy morning routine.

Of course this was (and still is) a very expensive product. I only bought it because it was on sale at Whole Foods. But the minute I tried it (as with all other organic foods) there was no going back. So I kept on waiting for it to go on sale to buy it again.

Unfortunately for them, I have found other organic oats that are just as good but much cheaper (stay tuned for future posts about these other brands). I would still highly recommend this product, though, if you can find it on sale.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Review of Amy's No Chicken Noodle Soup



Ever since I started eating healthy, I've loved Amy's soups. They are delicious and much better for you than the usual Campbel's or even store brand soups. Most of Amy's soups are also Organic and (I believe) all of them are free of refined sugar. I think those are the reasons why I started buying them in the first place.

As I mentioned before, I've been eating these soups for 3 years now, and always enjoying it. They are the only canned soups I buy and I just love all of them. Or loved, until I tried this one.

Having only eaten organic for 3 years, my palate is very refined and anything that is processed or non organic tastes really terrible or tasteless to me (just the other day I ate some non-organic strawberries and it felt like I was eating water). And this soup was no exception. The only non-organic ingredient (Hydrolyzed Corn And Soy Protein) made the "chicken" taste kind of chemical or artificial. That completely turned me off from this soup. I ate it but did not enjoy it.

The soup has some little squares that do look like chicken meat. I noticed that the bad taste came from those pieces. I think the problem is that they tried to make those squares taste like chicken by adding some (obviously) artificial flavour. And that just made it taste horrible. I believe they would have been much better off not trying to make the soup taste like chicken, and just creating a new flavour.


I will continue buying Amy's soups, but not this specific flavour. Or at least not until they change the ingredients. If you are used to only eating organic like me, don't buy this.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Review of Organic Valley's Unsweetened Soy Milk



I tried this when I was in the US a while ago (I've never seen it for sale in Canada).

I was amazed at how much better this tasted when compared to Silk's Unsweetened Soy Milk. It was the same reaction I had when I first tasted organic fruit. Organic food just tastes better.

Remember that, since it's USDA Certified Organic, it's also non-GMO. Also note that this brans rates very high (4/5 stars) on Cornucopia Institute's Scorecard, so you know you are getting a much better product that Silk (which rates 0/5).

This was also a bit creamier than Silk, which means it would probably be good for smoothies and gravies.

Of course one of my main reasons for buying this is because it doesn't have any sugar added. If you want to keep a refined-sugar-free diet, always look for the word unsweetened in your non-dairy beverage package.

I also liked that it's got organic fair trade vanilla in it. Kudos to them for adding that.


Overall, this is a good product. It's a pity I have never seen this for sale in Canada, or I might have considered buying it. If you live in the US, I highly recommend this brand.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Review of Great Value's Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce






In the picture you can see Walmart's Great Value Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce with Felicetti's Organic Fusili, Raincoast Trading's Sustainable Tuna, Yves Veggie Cuisine's Organic Canned Peas, and Swiss Chards from my own garden.


I have talked on previous posts about how excited I am that there are more and more organic store brands.

This tomato sauce is one of my latest reasons for excitement. The sauce is much cheaper than regular organic brands - end even cheaper than PC Organics. Walmart's regular price is the sale price at Loblaws. So thats one more reason to shop at Walmart.

Another main reason why I decided to try this is because it has no refined sugar. I love that Walmart has tuned into that and added such a healthy product to their organics line.

Now moving on to the sauce itself:

Yes, it is not as wonderfully amazingly tasting as other fancy expensive brands - that cost 2 or 3 times more - but it is good enough for daily pasta meals. And if you are on a budget, good enough is.... well, good enough.

I do have to say that it tastes pretty good for a Walmart brand. I can taste the tomato, and even a bit of the basil. I think if they added some more spices they could make this taste really amazing.

Overall, this is a good sauce. I have bought it many times, and plan on continuing to buy it every time I'm at Walmart - especially because the price is so much better than anywhere else.

This is one more product that, as I've mentioned before, is making organics more affordable and more accessible to people. Kudos to Walmart for doing that. I just hope they keep on selling this product (instead of suddenly removing it off the shelves like they did with their store brand organic cereal). I also hope they add even more organic products to their store brand line (Great Value).

Conclusion: I highly recommend this if you are looking for a tasty daily pasta sauce. Plus, your wallet will thank you.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Review of Field Roast Company's Italian Vegan Sausage



I bought this a few weeks ago because it was on sale and I have absolutely loved it!

The first thing I love about this is that it has no sugar (please note that all the other flavours from this brand do have sugar).

I also loved that it has a genuine Italian taste to it. Most other vegan sausages/dogs I've tried just have a very hot spice - and call that Italian seasoning. This one really does taste like an Italian made it!

The only thing that could make this better would be if it were certified organic.

I enjoyed this with Whole Foods' hot dog buns, spinach, vegan cheese and some peas. I usually split the sausage in two to fit all that into the bun. I'm one of those people who like Chicago-style hot dogs - loaded with toppings!

Back to the sausage, I will definitely buy it again whenever it goes on sale. If they had a family pack that would be even better!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Review of Luke's Organic Wavy Potato Chips



Finally! Organic chips! I was so tired of "having" to buy non-organic chips simply because I couldn't find organic ones for sale. Now my problem is solved.

It is not cheap, but I managed to get a good deal last week. I wish they sold this in bigger packages (like the Kettle Brand's 450g one), so that I could get a better price.

I loved that the ingredients are simple and (of course) that there is no refined sugar. The chips taste good. They are not too fatty nor too dry. It's also quite low in salt, which is great for most people (except for low blood-pressured beings like me, who need a bit more salt).

I will definitely buy this again (on sale) and keep hoping to see a bigger package in stores soon.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Case for Biking


I have always loved biking. I have fond memories of learning how to bike as a kid, with my dad putting on the training wheels, then holding the seat behind me and finally, me finding my balance and riding on my own.

After I grew up, I had less time for biking, the air became more polluted, the streets became more violent.

Moving to Canada allowed me to get back to this wonderful physical activity. Here the streets are safe, there are quiet parks everywhere (where you can bike away from the fumes of cars and trucks), and I learned to fit biking into my routine.

When the weather is warm, I try as much as possible to take my bike instead of public transit or cars.

If you are thinking about buying a bike and using it more often, I strongly encourage you to do so. Why? because biking is 3 good things in 1:

When you bike you are:
  1. exercising and staying healthy, happy and healed
  2. saving money by not spending it on gas or transit passes
  3. saving the planet by not producing any kind of emissions whatsoever
So this Summer, think about how you can use your bike (or get one). If there is a trip you need to make that is too far to walk, try taking the bike instead of a car or public transit. As you use your bike more, you will get stronger and will be able to go longer distances on it.

Go bike!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Review of Jordans' Organic Muesli



A few weeks ago I talked about my disappointment with the PC Organic cereals. I also mentioned that I had a new candidate in mind for my daily breakfast cereal. And this is it: Jordans' Organic Muesli.

I've been wanting to try it since then, but I've been waiting for a sale, because the price is quite high. And last week I finally got a good deal ($3.99). (you can find it for sale at Well.ca in Canada)

The reason why I had this cereal in mind is simply because it is the only cereal (other than the PC ones) that I can find that is organic and has no sugar. The current state of the breakfast cereal industry is pathetic. They are failing miserably to satisfy the really conscious consumer like me.

After this slight rant, let's move on to the review:

This cereal smelled amazing as soon as I opened the package. I had it with almond milk and it tasted delicious. It tasted like real food (no chemical taste).

the plain cereal and with almond milk


I also loved that it has hazelnuts (which reminds me of nutella, and brings me happy memories without the sugar and other terrible ingredients they add to it).

The downside is that it is quite sweet, because of all the dried fruit and coconut shaves they add. So I will probably not have this cereal in the winter.

For the price I got, this is much cheaper than the PC Organics, because I only needed 1 serving to feel full and well-nourished.

Conclusion: I think I found my new cereal!


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Review of Life Choices' Chicken Nuggets



I'm not one for processed food, but sometimes I get busy and need a quick and healthy protein. And for that, I usually turn to Life Choices' Chicken Nuggets. I love these nuggets!

First of all they are made from free-range, responsibly raised chicken without hormones or antibiotics. For the past 4 years I've been eating mostly vegetarian, but I occasionally do eat chicken. And when I do, it's always responsibly raised (either from Life Choices or from Whole Foods). I figured if I'm only eating organic, I also need to be consistent with my meat, and only eat healthy, chemical-free animal products.

The other reason is that I love the taste of these nuggets! I was invited by some friends to a popular local restaurant last year, where I tried a chicken dish. Oh how I regretted it! The chicken felt completely tasteless! And to make it worse, the consistency was very unpleasant: it felt like I was biting a rubber sole. It reminded me of why I never eat out. Life Choices' Chicken Nuggets, on the other hand, have real chicken taste. The difference is amazing! They are soft and crunchy. Once again, I realised how spoiled my palate has become.

The price is a bit high (about $14 in Loblaws in Ontario), but if you wait for them to go on sale, you at least get the best deal you can find ($9). Whenever this goes on sale I usually stock up on 2-3 packages.

I love these nuggets and will continue buying them as long as they keep making and selling them. I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to eat healthy or even, those who are vegetarians due to animal welfare concerns.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Re-Review of President's Choice Ancient Grains Cereal

http://www.extrafoods.ca/en_CA/products/productlisting/pc_organics_ancient_grains_cereal18222.html

A few months ago, I reviewed this cereal by singing its praises. I'd been eating it daily for breakfast for several months (if not years) and loving the crunchy, filling wholesome flavour.

However, a month or so after I published that review, I started noticing that one serving (half a cup) was not satisfying me anymore.I thought maybe it was because I'd been doing more exercises, so my body was asking for more calories.

Then, in the last 2 months, I've noticed that the cereal has gotten lighter, in colour, taste and weight. It does not have that heavy, whole grain taste anymore. I've also noticed that the colour of the cereal itself has progressively gone from a dark brown to light brown. The flock of cereal has also gotten lighter (I can feel that just by holding it between my fingers). The texture has also changed to be much smoother and not full of grains like before. They've made that change slowly and progressively, I think in the hopes that people who eat it every day like me wouldn't notice, but I did.

I'm almost sure they've also decreased the weight in the box (from 475 to 375). I don't have any pictures or old boxes, so I can't state that as a fact.

And the same ingredient and box weight alteration has happened to the other flavour which I would occasionally eat: "7 reasons".

I am quite disappointed. I hate having to re-review products because they changed ingredients for the worst, but it seems to be the trend in the cereal industry (see my other re-review of my previous daily cereal). I'm sad to have to say goodbye to this cereal, which has been my favourite for so long, but there it is.

So I will finish the boxes I have at home, and will start buying another cereal from now on. I see no point in continuing to eat something that doesn't fill me.  When you've been eating only whole grains like me for 3 years, anything short of that (from light brown to completely white bread) feels tasteless and empty - it's like eating air.

Moreover, if I have to eat twice as much for the cereal to fill me, then its price has effectively doubled for me. So I've decided to try something else which I've found might be more nutritious and affordable. Stay tuned to find out what it is!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Review of 365's Organic Corn Tortillas

https://www.365bywholefoods.com/product/365-everyday-value-365-everyday-value-organic-corn-tortillas


I love Whole Foods! And I love 365 (their store brand) stuff even more because it makes organic so much more affordable!

Some of the things that are hard to come by at the supermarkets are organic tortillas, pitas, pizza dough and other related round flat breads. Most organic bread brands concentrate on loaves and bagels.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this for sale at Whole Foods a while ago.

The taste is great, and I love that it has no sugar (I wouldn't have even bought it if it did). But the tortillas are too crumbly. I don't know if it's because I kept them in the freezer or that's just how it is.

I stored them in the freezer after buying and thawed them in the refrigerator when I actually wanted to eat them. I then just microwaved them with each meal. Maybe there was a "proper" way to heat them up?

For now I'm not sure if I will buy these again. I might if I know I will eat them immediately. But I will most likely just buy the whole grain version instead.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Review of Gogo Quinoa's Quinoa and Amaranth Burger



I bought this because it was on sale, so I thought I'd give it a try.

The mix was indeed quick to prepare - as is advertised on the package - but the instructions are in dire need of improvement.

The first thing I noticed was that the instructions didn't say which heat level I should be frying it on (low heat? medium heat? high heat?). I had to "play it by ear", but for a less experienced cook these are crucial pieces of information.

I added the recommended amount of water and it was still very dry. Adding "a little" like they say on the package still didn't help. I had to add a lot more than they recommended.

I also noticed that in order for the patties to actually fry, it needed a good amount of olive oil (1-2 tbsp) and not "a bit" as it says in the instructions.

There was also absolutely no instructions on how to form the patties. I tried forming them by hand but it was very hard (they were too flaky). I ended up using a spoon.

Even after I had cooked them, they were still very brittle. At each bite they would just crumble apart - very different from normal burgers, or even vegan burgers like SOL's.

I also noticed that the mix lacked salt, but that might intentional considering all the high blood pressure people in this world.

Conclusion:

I won't buy this ever again. It's too much work (and poor instructions) for such a flaky end result. I'll just buy SOL burgers instead.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Review of SOL Cuisine's Original Burger

http://solcuisine.com/products/original-burger/



This has become my favourite vegan burger (mostly because all of the other brands either have refined sugar or carrageenan in the ingredients list).

I love that I can just microwave it and it's done. It's an easy - but healthy - solution for a quick weekday meal. Perfect for a busy professional like me.

It tastes really good. And the taste, quality and size of the patties have stayed consistent with time (unlike some other health foods - more on this later).

I used to be able to find the family pack reasonably easy (and on sale) but I think they only make it in the summer. I try to buy the 4-pack on sale too, since it is still a bit expensive.

For my microwave, I have to use 1:30 minutes instead of the 1 in the instructions - but that isn't too hard to do, and not too far from the instructions.

It's also a Canadian brand, so that's one more good reason to buy from them.

Looking at the package I noticed that it's Non-GMO certified - awesome! It also seems to be Kosher and Halal (the more blessed the better!)
 I really love this product. The only thing that could make this better is if it were Organic. I try to only eat Organic, but I also love burgers. So until I have the time/patience to make burgers myself with my own Organic ingredients (or someone starts selling Organic burgers), this will have to do. For now I will continue buying this product.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Review of Silk's Unsweetened Creamy Cashew Milk - Vanilla


I tried this one a bit after I tried the original one.

The taste is very similar to the original one, but even closer to ice cream topping or even ice cream itself. I think the vanilla is what makes it taste like ice cream, and then the cashew flavour just reinforces that by tasting like ice cream topping. It's a great combination!

Like the original one, it is also very thick in consistency, which I love. (I can't for the life of me enjoy rice milk because of how runny it is. I think the thicker it is the closer the consistency to normal milk, so that's why I prefer ticker milk substitutes.)

As mentioned on the post about the original flavour, although Silk is not a saint when it comes to ingredients, I keep buying this because I don't have that much better options at the grocery store. And of course, I only buy it when it's on sale.

If you're looking for the creamiest milk substitute you can get or if you want to make home-made non-dairy ice cream or smoothies, I highly recommend this one.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Review of GoGo Quinoa's Mushroom and Quinoa Cream Soup


https://www.gogoquinoa.com/products/mushroom-and-quinoa-cream/


I bought this because I thought i t was going to be one of those quick practical soups, similar to the Knorr or Campbell's ones.

When I read the directions on the package I was already a bit discouraged, since it involved the stove-top (I had bought it online, so I hadn't really read the cooking instructions before buying). When I finally felt like I had some time to cook this, I decided to make it.

The instructions tell you to mix water and milk if you want it to be creamy. I followed the instructions and it was still super runny. Then I read the next step and it said to keep simmering until the consistency was more creamy. I simmered for the length of time they advised and it was still far from creamy (and I used cashew milk, which is by far the creamiest of all milk substitutes).

It turned out very grainy (like when you put too much cocoa powder in your milk and it gets full of little grains because it didn't dissolve properly).

I also didn't like that I had to "stir occasionally". I don't have time for that. For me, cooking is: put something on the stove top and forget it until the timer tells me it's done. I have work to do. I have other house chores to take care of. I can't afford to sit in front of the stove stirring stuff (thats why I rarely make things that are stir-fried).

The soup itself was also very grainy in the sense that it had seeds (I think flax and some others). I was expecting it to be more creamy, like the one from Amy's.

The taste was good though. It even had some carrots, which made for a nice surprise when I did bite one.

But overall, this is not something I'd buy again. It takes too much time and doesn't have a very good consistency. If you are retired or have nothing else to do, sure, give this a try. But if you're a busy professional or mom trying to stay healthy, just go for Amy's soups instead.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Review of Silk's Unsweetened Creamy Cashew Milk - Original





When I first tried this, I loved the taste. It tasted a little bit like those ice cream toppings I used to have as a kid. It is also much creamier than the other milk alternatives (like rice, almond, and even soy milk).

I like that they made this unsweetened version. It helps me to continue eating sugar-free.

The ingredients list is not too bad, but of course could be better ("sunflower lecithin" and "natural flavour" sound like euphemism words for something not so natural and probably not so healthy).

It's nice that it's non-GMO. But would be better if it were organic too.


I have been buying this when it's on sale, and will continue to buy it (when it's on sale and the other items on sale are of the same quality).

I know Silk is no saint when it comes to ingredients, but unfortunately there aren't that many better options at the grocery store.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Review of Daiya's Cheezy Mac - Deluxe Style Alfredo


http://daiyafoods.com/our-foods/cheezy-mac/deluxe-alfredo-style/


My opinion of this product is very similar to the one for the Cheddar flavour.

When I opened the package, I noticed again how small the pasta is.
 IT did grow after cooked, though.

However, like the cheddar, the Alfredo sauce tasted just like the regular cheesed Alfredo sauce. There was still a very slight chemical taste, but not nearly as much as the cheddar.

Similar to the cheddar, the Alfredo sauce also tasted a bit sandy. I don't know if that's the sugar of if it's something else that doesn't dissolve properly.

Talking about sugar, I was again weary of eating this because it contains refined sugar. I looked at the box and it says "Sugars: 0g" so I understand why I bought it. But it is listed in the ingredients list, so I know there is a little bit.

Still on sugar, I also felt a small "more more more" addictive craving for this pasta. Not nearly as much as the cheddar, but still a little bit.

I wouldn't buy this again because of the sugar, but in terms of taste it is ok.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Review of Great Value's Organic Corn Flakes



For those who don't know, this is a brand owned by Walmart.

I decided to give this one a try because a) it has no sugar, b) I love trying new things and c) I want to encourage Walmart to keep on making affordable organic food. I'm hoping it will help people (who think they can't afford organic) get into organics.

Overall the cereal is ok. I think it's a good transition for those who already eat normal corn flakes. It tastes just like the non-organic corn flakes.

But if you are spoiled like me and have been eating only whole grains for 2 years, I'm pretty confident you will find this cereal tasteless.

Ever since I switched to whole grains, whenever I eat white bread it tastes like I'm eating air - because of the lack of fibers and nutritional value. So after eating President's Choice' Ancient Grains for over a year, this one tastes like paper. (In fact, looking at the Nutrition Facts on both boxes, the PC cereal has 3 times more fiber than the GV one!)

It is cheaper than the PC, though. So if you are tight on budget or want to try switching to organic, this could be a good option.

Personally, I won't buy it again. For me, the nutritional value of the PC cereal is worth the extra money.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Review of PC Organic's Ancient Grains

http://www.extrafoods.ca/en_CA/products/productlisting/pc_organics_ancient_grains_cereal18222.html

This cereal has quickly become one of my favourites.

After I found out that Whole O's now has refined sugar in the ingredients, I went looking for a replacement for my daily cereal.

And I was pleasantly surprised to find this one. In fact, I've been pleasantly surprised to find a lot of organic products from the PC brand. It's made organic food much more affordable.

The fact that the cereal only has whole grains and - more importantly - no refined sugar, was what made me try it.
And after I tried, I loved it!
I have been buying and eating this for months now.


I haven't found any other organic cold cereal that doesn't have refined sugar for sale, so this (and the 7 Reasons flavour) are the only cold cereals I currently buy.

I wish PC would make other organic cereals without sugar. They have a lot of other organic cereals but they unfortunately all have sugar (or its euphemisms). But I'm glad that there are at least 2 that don't have sugar. It's better than nothing.

I am becoming a big fan of PC Organics products.