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How to have a lip-smacking good Earth Day

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Earth collage by Meryl Ann Butler using Earth Globe Clip Art from VECTOR.ME (by rg1024)
Earth collage by Meryl Ann Butler using Earth Globe Clip Art from VECTOR.ME (by rg1024)
(Image by VECTOR.ME (by rg1024))
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In the Five Elements of oriental medicine, wood, fire, earth, metal and water, the earth element is associated with the digestive system and the sense of taste -- so Earth Day is a great day for exploring delicious, sustainable and earth-friendly foods!

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According to earthday.org, "The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, mobilized 20 million Americans from all walks of life. Their actions led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Today, over one billion people in 192 countries participate in Earth Day activities, making it the largest civic observance in the world."

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Gifts from Mother Earth: Organic Superfoods

I first discovered Organic Living Superfoods as a result of a desperate internet search after our local Whole Foods stopped carrying my granddaughter's favorite chewy dried strawberries (the most essential item in gramma's bribery toolkit!) Once I discovered the wide assortment of Organic Living Superfoods' treats, I also became enamored of many of their additional items, including the pineapple rings, mulberries, goji berries and nuts. So yum!

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Seven Wonders of the World Mix by Organic Living Superfoods
Seven Wonders of the World Mix by Organic Living Superfoods
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These healthy and filling snacks are all raw, organic, dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan. They are available in different sizes, but the 1.5 oz package fits perfectly in a purse or pocket for a healthful, earth-friendly, on-the-go snack, and you can order a sampler so you can try out several items.

The author's 4-year-old granddaughter enjoying her Organic Living Superfoods dried strawberries.
The author's 4-year-old granddaughter enjoying her Organic Living Superfoods dried strawberries.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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Organic Living Superfoods' "Raw Natural Juice-Infused Strawberries" are moist and chewy little nuggets of paradise. According to OLS, strawberries "have some of the highest antioxidant values of any fruit." In addition, they have anti-inflammatory nutrients, and they "excel in three major categories: cardiovascular support and prevention of cardiovascular diseases, improved regulation of blood sugar, and prevention of certain types of cancers." Of course they are also rich in Vitamin C, phytonutrients and fiber, and low in calories. But mainly, they are scrumptious.

Gramma tip: I cut the strawberries up into bit-sized pieces and pop just a few into a snack bag to keep in my purse. Then, when my granddaughter does not want to get into her carseat, I let her know that there is a bag of these little treats to be enjoyed after buckling in, and she can hardly get in fast enough! Of course she also finds these in her Christmas stockings and Easter baskets. (And gramma loves them, too!)

In addition, I love their Organic Superberry Antioxidant Smoothie Mix. I blend it with coconut milk and frozen organic raspberries. This has an exceptionally fresh taste, unlike most other smoothie mixes.

Organic Superberry Antioxidant Smoothie Mix. blended with coconut milk and frozen organic raspberries
Organic Superberry Antioxidant Smoothie Mix. blended with coconut milk and frozen organic raspberries
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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Bruce Nameson, Organic Living Superfoods president, was formerly partner/owner of Prana Cafe - a vegan restaurant in Newton, Massachusetts. OEN asked why he got started in the business:

Organic Living Superfoods President Bruce Namanson holding HowGood Award at Expo West in Anaheim, California
Organic Living Superfoods President Bruce Namanson holding HowGood Award at Expo West in Anaheim, California
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"Craig Singer and I founded Organic Living Superfoods in 2012 based upon the premise that incorporating plant-based organic superfoods into your diet, as opposed to drugs and pharmaceutical, can naturally aid in preventing, and even reversing diseases such as cancer, heart disease, depression, inflammatory diseases and a plethora of other illnesses commonly associated with the Western diet.


"When I was involved with Prana Cafe, I spent hundreds of hours tirelessly searching and sourcing the best quality products for the development of recipes. I used my extensive knowledge in building the Organic Living Superfoods brand. We strive for excellence in quality and taste and continually bring our customers new and cutting edge products backed by reputable information as to the benefits of maintaining and incorporating plant-based products into your diet."

eam OLS at Expo West in Anaheim, California!  Pictured from left to right - Founder Craig Singer, NYC Sales & Territory Manager Lisa Brown, President Bruce Namenson, and Merchandising Specialist Andrea Rezendes
eam OLS at Expo West in Anaheim, California! Pictured from left to right - Founder Craig Singer, NYC Sales & Territory Manager Lisa Brown, President Bruce Namenson, and Merchandising Specialist Andrea Rezendes
(Image by Organic Living Superfoods, used with permission)
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Independent research organization "HowGood" provides a ratings system for sustainable and socially conscious food items. They recently awarded Organic Living Superfoods with their "Best of the World" identification, reserved for companies and individuals who bring transparency to the food industry and for products that are considered some of the best, most sustainable food products on the market. Organic Living Superfoods was in the top 5% out of 170,000 food products rated.

The Gillett brothers, Alexander and Arthur
The Gillett brothers, Alexander and Arthur
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Alexander Gillett and his brother, Arthur, started their HowGood rating system in 2007 out of concern for the environment. They knew that consumers who wanted to choose the best quality food from ethical sources did not have all the info they needed in order to make an informed choice. Gillett said, "We incorporate factors within our ratings that are overlooked and rarely addressed by the industry, such as animal husbandry, a company's conduct over time, sourcing standards and up to 60 other indicators."

An example HowGood's analysis chart
An example HowGood's analysis chart
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In additional to nutritional factors, some of those 60 indicators which are calculated include where ingredients are sourced from, how the company treats employees and how the company deals with hazardous waste disposal. All this adds up to a rating, accessible on the internet or via ap on the Apple App store or the Android App store.

Earth-Friendly, Diet-Friendly Chocolate: Your Mother (Earth) Wouldn't Lie to You!

ChocoPerfection chocolate
ChocoPerfection chocolate
(Image by ChocoPerfection, used with permission)
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A non-gmo, naturally sugar-free, low glycemic, high fiber delicious chocolate that you can use for weight loss? Hell froze over and we all just died and went to heaven! We joke about the health benefits of chocolate, but who knew it could actually be true? And this cocoa is even sourced from a consortium of growers in compliance with ethical treatment of their workers.

ChocoPerfection creator, Mary Jo Kringas, weighed 300 lbs and had struggled with her weight for over 30 years. She developed her chocolate in 2003 to help her with weight loss, and lost 75 lbs in one year without struggling: it was pain-free, guilt-free, long-term weight loss! Now she's looking super svelt after losing over 200 lbs!

Mary Jo Kringas, before and after
Mary Jo Kringas, before and after
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Low Carb RN blogger Kelley Pounds, a Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator, wanted to find out what the effect of eating a full-sized ChocoPerfection bar was on blood glucose levels. So she ate one from a fasting state, and tested her levels five times over the following two hours. The results surprised her -- Mary Jo's ChocoPerfection had "zero glycemic impact."

OEN visited with ChocoPerfection's Mary Jo for more of the backstory:

Meryl Ann Butler: Mary Jo, thanks for visiting with us! Your amazing chocolate was recommended to me by positive music artist and fellow chocoholic, Greg Tamblyn. It's so delicious, and no yucky aftertaste like other sugarfree chocolate. Can you share with us why your chocolate is different, and what inspired you to develop it?

Mary Jo Kringas: Thanks, Meryl Ann! Yes, the main sweetener in ChocoPerfection is chicory root fiber, a prebiotic fiber that helps with normalizing sugar levels and planting good bacteria in the colon and intestines. It tastes good and does not raise blood sugar.

Back in 2000, I weighed over 300 pounds and I could just not find a way to lose weight. My naturopath told me I had a "raging candida yeast infection" that caused me to crave sugar. He put me on a low carb diet and I lost 6 pounds in one week... but, I could not live without chocolate. The sugar free chocolate on the market was made with maltitol, which completely stopped my weight loss. I found out about using chicory root fiber as a sweetener and developed ChocoPerfection using this sweetener. I lost 75 pounds the first year and 130 pounds within 3 years by eating about 100g to 150g of ChocoPerfection every day as part of a low carb eating plan.

ChocoPerfection chocolate
ChocoPerfection chocolate
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MAB: Music to my ears! Can you explain a little about the problems with maltitol, and other sugar alcohol sweeteners? I have never been able to tolerate them, they give me a tummy ache. And I seem to be allergic to stevia, i get bad gut reactions from it. When i researched stevia, I discovered it was related to the ragweed family (which I have known allergic reactions to). So finding sugar substitutes has always been a problem for me. And I understand some of them still raise blood sugar, right? And why do they stop weight loss?

MJ: Maltitol is the most common artificial sweetener used in sugar free products. Although maltitol is classified as "sugar free," it actually has a glycemic index of 35-50 and raises blood sugar levels significantly. This will stop weight loss because when blood sugar spikes due to eating high glycemic foods or artificial sweeteners, insulin is produced. Insulin is known as the "fat-building and fat storage" hormone. It is much easier to lose and maintain weight loss by eating very low glycemic index foods so as not to produce insulin. Not all sugar alcohols have a high glycemic index like maltitol. Xylitol and erythritol, are both derived from fermented yeast and have a glycemic index of zero.

MAB: This is very informative, thank you so much. And thanks for visiting with us, Mary Jo!

Readers, in case you are having a craving, in addition to the website, about 500 health food stores carry ChocoPerfection, as well as Amazon. The ChocoPerfection Facebook page is here.

And Organic Living Superfoods products are available here, and their Facebook page is here.

Have a scrumptious Earth Day!

 

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)
 

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