Monday, April 14, 2014

Got the Holiday Blues?

photo courtesy 123rf.com
How many of you are upset because you did not win my Easter & Passover Giveaway? Awwww, no worries and it's ok that you are feeling a little blue because I have a last minute extra giveaway for you! No, it's not the Easter Bunny and no, it's not your favorite family member that you like to see during Passover...it's a bear. (Pssst, what is she talking about?! Has she gone bonkers??) Bonkers, well maybe but in fact, this giveaway is hosted by a great company that I just came into contact with. And what better way to show all of you who they are than to offer an extra giveaway. Are you smiling now?

Everyone, I would like to introduce Blue Bear Aware. Blue Bear Aware, these are the people that I told you about. I know everyone will get along nicely and I'm happy to show you the wonderful things that Blue Bear Aware has graciously sent to give to two winners. They have sent a Zipzicle, two coloring pages, a gift certificate for $25 for purchase of Blue Bear Aware items and they have secured it all together with an even cuter paper clip. How can you beat that?!


I bet you are wondering what the heck a Zipzicle is, right? You know all of those corn syrup-laden ice pop treats that everyone eats? Well, this is their wonderfully healthy version of how to make your own popsicle. Not only can you pick healthier, safe ingredients but wait until your child gets to make it themselves! I warn you that there may be a fight over who gets to try them first.

Now although this is great, I do recommend that you also check out all of the other awesome items at their site. They have badges, temporary tattoos, clothing auto injector pouches, books and they are all allergy-related with a twist of coolness.

Ready for the Giveaway Rules? I will post a Blue Bear Aware logo on my Facebook page every day now through April 21. When you see the Blue Bear Aware logo, click "Like" and comment on how "I am aware because". Two winners will be chosen and announced on April 22. As always, I ask everyone to share the contest links as sharing is always nice.

Only two winners will be chosen BUT you may enter as many times as you want too as long as you have clicked "Like" on the Blue Bear Aware logo reminder.

A special thank you to the folks at Blue Bear Aware for allowing me the honor to spread the word about their great products! Please visit their site at www.bluebearaware.com and let them know that Nutrimom sent you.

Ready....Set..GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Who Gets A Bag For Easter & Passover - Winners!

Wow! Can I just say thank you to everyone for the amount of attention this giveaway received? This includes the wonderful companies that participated, the other great pages on Facebook and Twitter that shared my announcements, and best of all- ALL OF YOU! The comments were awesome, the participation was overwhelming and it makes me so happy to see so many of you excited about this too!

Before I continue, please makes sure that you stop by the websites of all of the participating giveaway suppliers and let them know how much it meant to you. Big shout outs to SurfSweets, Winona Pure Oil, S.A.F.E. (Smart Allergy-Friendly Education), Enjoy Life Foods, Team Nate-the-Great FARE and SnackSafely.


SO WHO ARE THE WINNERS?!!!!!

Jennifer Johnston McFadden (Easter) 

Lisa Blocher Klein (Passover)

(crowd clapping)

And what will they get? (Get ready to be ultra jealous!)

Easter Bag:                                                  
~ 1 EACH (2.75 oz) SurfSweets Organic Jelly Beans, Sour Worms, Organic Fruity Bears & 1 (8 oz) bag of Organic Spring Mix Jelly Beans
~ Winona Pure Oil- 1 EACH (5 oz) can of Olive Oil and Sunflower Oil
S.A.F.E. (Smart Allergy-Friendly Education)- 1 Set of Food Allergy Labels
Enjoy Life Foods- 1 Box Soft Baked Snickerdoodles
Team Nate-the-Great FARE- 1 "I Love Someone With Life Threatening Food Allergies" car magnet
SnackSafely- 1 "Warning Mother of a Child with Food Allergies" mug
+ 1 (16 oz) jar of SunButter Natural Crunch  and 2 Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery Free Product coupons from none other than ME, Nutrimom!


Passover Bag:                                                  
~ 1 EACH (2.75 oz) SurfSweets Organic Jelly Beans, Sour Worms, Organic Fruity Bears, Peach Rings & Watermelon Rings
Winona Pure Oil- 1 EACH (5 oz) can of Olive Oil and Sunflower Oil
S.A.F.E. (Smart Allergy-Friendly Education)- 1 Set of Food Allergy Labels
Enjoy Life Foods- 1 Box Soft Baked Snickerdoodles
Team Nate-the-Great FARE- 1 "I Love Someone With Life Threatening Food Allergies" car magnet
SnackSafely- 1 "Warning Mother of a Child with Food Allergies" mug
+ 1 (10.5 oz) box Yehuda Gluten Free Matzo-Style Squares and 1 (8 oz) Jennie's Macaroons from me again, Nutrimom!

Please allow 7 - 10 business days to arrive for shipping. If the winners do not respond within 7 days of this announcement, an alternate winner will be chosen.

I can truly say that I am grateful to all of you!

Thank you for participating and for being a part of what I do~

Tracy

*Photo courtesy 123rf.com

Friday, April 4, 2014

Easter & Passover Giveaway


Who loves Easter & Passover? 
Who feels like the kids are the only ones to get some goodies? 

I am happy to announce that thanks to some wonderful companies, we are sending out 1 Easter gift bag and 1 Passover gift bag that has some sweets and goodies for both parent and child! Are you curious yet? Good- check out what you could win ~
photo courtesy 123rf.com

 Easter Bag:            
Surf Sweets- 1 EACH (2.75 oz) Organic Jelly Beans, Sour Worms, Organic 
   Fruity Bears and 1 (8 oz) Bag Organic Spring Mix Jelly Beans
Winona Pure Oil- 1 EACH (5 oz) can of Olive Oil and Sunflower Oil
S.A.F.E. (Smart Allergy-Friendly Education) - 1 Set of Food Allergy Labels
Enjoy Life Foods- 1 Box Soft Baked Snickerdoodles
Team Nate-the-Great FARE- 1 "I Love Someone With Life
  Threatening Food Allergies" car magnet
SnackSafely- 1 "Warning Mother of a Child with Food Allergies" Mug
PLUS- 1 (16 0z) jar SunButter Natural Crunch and 2 Rudi's Gluten-Free
   Bakery Free   Product  coupons of yours truly, Nutrimom

photo courtesy 123rf.com
Passover Bag:
Surf Sweets- 1 EACH (2.75 oz) Organic Jelly Beans, Sour Worms, Organic Fruity Bears,
Peach Rings and Watermelon Rings
 Winona Pure Oil- 1 EACH (5 oz) can of Olive Oil and Sunflower Oil
S.A.F.E. (Smart Allergy-Friendly Education) - 1 Set of Food Allergy Labels
Enjoy Life Foods- 1 Box Soft Baked Snickerdoodles
Team Nate-the-Great FARE- 1 "I Love Someone With Life Threatening Food Allergies" car magnet
 SnackSafely- 1 "Warning Mother of a Child with Food Allergies" Mug
PLUS - 1 (10.5 oz) Box Yehuda Gluten Free Matzo-Style Squares and 1 (8 oz) Jennie's Macaroons also from yours truly, Nutrimom



READY TO ENTER? Click "Like" on any of the Giveaway posts that I share on my Facebook page and tell me why you love your holiday (please specify if it's Easter or Passover). Reminder posts will be shared daily and the more times you comment and like, the more chances you have to be entered to win! Sharing is optional but very much appreciated. Contest is open to all.

2 winners will be chosen (1 for Easter and 1 for Passover). Contest ends April  8th at 12 Midnight. The winners will be announced on my Facebook page & blog. If the winners do not respond within 7 days of the announcement, an alternate winner will be chosen. Please allow 7-10 days for the package to arrive. Short & Sweet, right ?  (get it sweet?!) 

Now get to work and enter NOW! Good luck to everyone.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

We Got The Beet

Before I start, how many of you are humming the Go-Go's song in your head? Come on, I know I am not the only one! That's neither here nor there- I'll keep it between us.

photo courtesy 123rf.com
I am amazed every single day at how food can be used in so many different ways. I have learned over the years how it can be used not only to nourish us but also to make our bodies become stronger, better and (dare I say) as a form of our own medicine? Now I'm not saying that food is the end all, be all but I am saying that I believe in the power of healthy foods being used to optimize our health. I am saying that there are so many foods out there that are just waiting to be discovered as yet another key to some of our health issues.

Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor,I am not certified in any way but that my journey through food allergies has opened up my eyes to having to look at alternatives for many different things in my life. This includes utilizing foods to promote a healthier immune system. I will admit, when I was offered a chance to try out Pines Beet Juice Powder, I was a bit on the fence. I have had many people ask me to try out things such as essential oils, protein powders, supplements but I usually decline because I am uncomfortable telling people that these are safe for them. The fact remains that just because something is natural or organic does not mean that it is safe for anyone. But I was intrigued with the Beet Juice Powder. This was a bit different to me- it wasn't mixed with anything else, it doesn't contain any ingredients that I was unsure of and upon checking out the company's website at WheatGrass.com, I felt more at ease at giving the powder a shot.

Beet Juice Powder...What the heck do you use it for?! That was my first question. I mean, I am truly not a beet person. Beets- blah! Don't like them pickled, in salads, nothing. But I realized that I need to do what I recommend to others and that is to keep an open mind. So, I did what everybody else does- I Googled it. What I found was interesting. It turns out that these juicy little guys can reduce blood pressure, improving blood flow and stamina. I also found that it may provide protection against stress-related disorders and beets contain antioxidants (that word has been popping up all over the place lately!). Antioxidants keep our immune system strong by protecting or delaying healthy cells from getting damaged. Kind of like Superman in a food fending off kryptonite.

And, the Taste? This is where it gets difficult for me to describe so just bear with me. The smell of the dry powder reminds me of roasted vegetables. Not too bad, right? The taste is something like a cross between carrot juice and the leftover warm milk after you have eaten Grape Nuts cereal. If you have ever eaten it, you understand me. It's not a terrible flavor but it's definitely not something that you try for the first time and say "Wow, now that's awesome!" It has a funky, kind of earthy taste and the taste does linger a tiny bit afterwards but it's not something that stopped me from trying it each day.

I first tried it in water, then in a bit of juice. I can say that the juice mixture was a bit better but I do recommend mixing it with a small amount of warm water first to prevent clumping. I also advise that you start off with a smaller amount so that it's easier to swallow down. Again- it's not terrible but it's easier to get used to when there's less of it to drink.

What Did I Notice From It? I do have to say that there were some noticeable plus's to using the Beet Juice Powder. Keep in mind that this is just my own personal experience so it may be different for someone else. I did notice that I had a bit more energy, my 3 o'clock lull was not dragging me down and I felt as if my mind  was a little more clear. I'm not saying that I went out and ran a marathon while reading War & Peace but I did feel a boost both mentally and physically. It was like I had a cup of coffee without the jitters.

Will I Continue to Use It? Yes, I am going to use it for awhile and see if I feel that it's a helpful supplement to my dietary needs. (See, if it was that terrible, I wouldn't) I am interested to see how it helps out my husband as well who goes to the gym regularly but is trying to increase his cardio workouts. I think he's afraid to try it out but I keep pestering him to add some into his shakes.


I would like to thank Pines for the opportunity to review their product. I do want to mention that the product was sent to me at no cost and specifically for me to review. I was not compensated in any way (other than the free product). For a complete list of their products, you can visit them at www.WheatGrass.com or check them out on Facebook.  Pines is also gluten free, certified organic, they are Non-GMO Project verified, certified kosher and they support and are member of the Natural Products Association.

Now with all of that to brag about, how can you beet that?!

 
photo courtesy 123rf.com



Thursday, March 27, 2014

SunButter For One, SunButter For All


As you know, I am proud to be an official SunButter Blogger. Our family has used SunButter for as long as I can remember since it's healthy, allergy-friendly and very versatile. I love to play in the kitchen and see what new recipes and ideas pop into my head to share with everyone. And now, SunButter is asking everyone to let them know what you can do with it too.


It's simple, easy and everyone who enters will receive a free jar of SunButter of their very own (yay, clapping, happy dancing all around). Ready for all of the details so you can get started?

#1: Visit SunButter's Facebook page (HERE) and post your photo or video of how you use SunButter

#2: Complete the form found on their Facebook page to get that jar of SunButter into your very own hands

#3: Continue repeating the clapping and happy dancing until you are tired, bored or your jar of SunButter has finally arrived (no particular order is necessary)


Now how fun is this going to be?! It's clearly a win-win situation. You get to have fun, share with everyone else and you get some more SunButter to do it all over again just because they appreciate you.

But, Wait, How Long Do I Have to Enter???? As of today, you have 25 days to enter. Are you freaking out because you were away and just opened this post now? No worries, when you open the form it also has an automatic countdown on it to keep you up to speed on how much longer you have. But why wait, get to it NOW!

As my daughter always says "SunButter is the best butter!"



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cremeless Creme Egg?!


I seem to have had Easter early at my house. Well, when I say "I" what I really mean is "me". I had another package arrive for taste-testing and who can turn down chocolate? Not me. Ever.

What was it? Well, do you remember an ooey, gooey treat called Cadbury Egg that was usually hidden in your Easter basket amongst the other goodies? I guess you could say this was a product that puts an allergy-friendly twist on that egg. The best thing is that not only is it safe but it was a near perfect replacement egg. Indie Candy makes a Fancy Creme Egg that is even better than that measly Cadbury item. I mean come on, look at the inside- perfect! Still looks like the other but it's not all running down the side of the chocolate onto the floor. Thicker outer chocolate and larger overall size = happier, more content nosher. Speaking of nosher, check out who else was trying to get his nose into it ~

Ingredients, Please Luckily, this guy is free of gluten, dairy, nut/peanut, soy, sesame and it's vegan. It is also produced in a facility that is certified top 8 allergy free and the chocolate is also certified dairy, gluten and soy free. The ingredients include dark chocolate (chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, evaporated cane juice), cane sugar, organic tapioca syrup, vanilla extract (vanilla, corn alcohol) and beta carotene from carrots.(Carrots! Does that mean this could fall under my daily serving of vegetables?! Hey, maybe that's why the rabbit is going after it!)

How Do I Get One? Indie Candy products can be purchased online or at any of the stores listed on their store locator (click HERE to see what's close to you).  Or, if you have been very good all year, hang tight and the Easter Bunny might leave one for you.
If you are looking for other Easter products as well, check out Indie candy's entire line of products on their website at indiecandy.com It's not just Easter candy- they have a full line of toffee, truffles, marshmallows (corn free!!) and much more. Big, chocolaty smooches to the folks at Indie Candy for sending me this egg to give it a try for them - I appreciate it and I appreciate that they have such a great selection and variety for those of us who have yearned for it.


*I was not compensated other than receiving a free product item for this product review.





Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How to Find Premium Chocolate



photo courtesy 123rf.com
I remember as a child waiting to wake up on Easter morning and ripping into my basket of goodies. Nothing, nothing beat that chocolate bunny that would be in there. You know, the one that (for some reason) you always eat the ears off of first before anything. So when I had my son and started to put his Easter baskets together,I realized that his baskets would require a bit more effort past the local pharmacy for that little hollow guy. Food allergies and candy are not as magical as the Easter bunny is.

For many years, I have followed and been told about an allergy-friendly chocolate producer called Premium Chocolatiers. I will admit that until this year, I have not ordered anything from them so when I contacted them and asked if I could try out one of their bunnies, I was overjoyed that they took me up on it. If you go to their website, you will be amazed at all of the different selections that are available for holidays, special occasions and just for down right munching. They also offer many allergy-friendly versions of the candies that you wish you could eat while having a food allergy, such as chocolate bars, covered pretzels and candy-bar like treats. It's like you died and went to food allergy-friendly heaven. I could just imagine a real-life "kid in a candy store" in their store- oh goodness!

I was lucky enough to receive Mikey the Magical Milkless Bunny. Check out how cute this little fellow is- 
He's dotted with some non-dairy white chocolate and he's hollow, just like the bunnies that you used to get when you were younger. Not only is he cute but he is free of dairy, peanuts/tree nuts, egg, gluten and he is vegan. That's one tall order for such a small, yummy guy. But I have to say that he lives up to his reputation. Even though this chocolate is dairy free, it tastes just like a milk chocolate. Their is no strange after-taste that you sometimes find with allergy-friendly products. I am willing to bet that if you put him next to your run-of-the-mill chocolate bunny that you can find anywhere and asked who could tell which was which, there would definitely be some splitting of hairs (get it- hairs, rabbit...never mind). What I did find out is that there is a  magic ingredient inside little Mikey that made the dark side of my child appear (chocolate, dark- another one..it's funny, come on!). As with many sweets and goodies, beware- when you least expect it your child will defy you and all that you have told them and eat the last piece of poor Mikey! Mothers will gladly give their last bite of food to their children but this is not the same thing at all -

  

Do you see the ferociousness? The pure intent?

I did want to mention something else that happened as well. I wasn't going too but I think it's a necessary reminder to us all. During our taste-testing, my son began to have a small reaction. This being said, I want to clarify that I don't believe it was due to anything in the chocolate. The representative from Premium Chocolatiers was on the ball and was very fast at responding to my email of questions and concerns. Re-accessing the situation, I (believe) what happened was due to something that I overlooked, meaning I stupidly used a napkin to break up the chocolate that I thought had been replaced after my lunch of shrimp and pasta (my son is allergic to shellfish, among other things).

Why am I telling you this? For a few reasons. First- I want to reiterate how the situation was handled by the company, letting us know that they don't take food allergies lightly. This is key in finding safe products.

Secondly, that even the best of us can make a simple mistake at anytime.  Looking back, I even remember questioning myself as I went to grab the napkin if I had gotten a new one or not and I didn't listen to that little voice, as I should have. Always, always be cautious and double-check (triple check if you have too). I feel horrible and guilty for allowing that to happen to my son but it put me back on guard to always be ready for anything. I have to say, the calmest person when it happened was my son which tells me that he has been educated about his food allergies. That gives me comfort but I owe him for failing him this time.

photo courtesy of Premium Chocolatiers.com

A big thank you to the folks at Premium Chocolatiers for allowing me to try out their product and (again) for the reassurance that they care about their customers and what they eat. Please visit their website at Premium Chocolatiers to view their complete catalog of goodies as well as their Facebook page to say hello and see what their latest news is. I have also listed them as an allergy-friendly product in my book The Stepping Stones to Food Allergies which can be seen at AllergyPhoods.com because sharing is caring.