Tag Archives: eat

ProBar Organic, Gluten Free Nutrition Bar Review: Part 2

Pro Bar

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

I immensely enjoyed sampling Pro Bar’s “Bite” bars prior to this goodie bundle. You can check out my thoughts on those bars here: Bite Bar Review. They are incredibly delicious! I also appreciate that Pro Bars are 70% raw, as well as organic.

My eyes got really big when I opened this assorted box of Pro Bar awesomeness. I especially go bonkers for their Base protein bars. They taste good, they’re more macro balanced than most nutrition bars and they pack a good punch of protein.

I see the Fuel bars as more of an intra-workout snack boost for when I need a source of carbohydrates that my body can quickly tap into. I

The Meal bars are perfect to pack in my gym bag when I need a well-rounded, convenient “meal” at my fingertips when I’m leaving the gym. They’re satisfying and make me feel like I’ve ingested enough to tide me over until I get home and have the kitchen to prepare in.

The Bolt energy chews are not something that I see as a necessity in my daily routine, but I did recently find them super handy to hand out to the players on my 12-year-old elite volleyball team mid-tournament. They loved that they resembled candy (except they’re worlds healthier in reality), gave them a boost and tasted yummy. I can see myself taking these with me for a mid-run refuel for a longer race (at least half marathon length), I just don’t do that as often as I used to. I’m more often in the gym lifting and doing higher intensity circuits to stay lean and strong. These chews would combat the fact that I try to limit extra sugar, so I would only consume them as needed during a grueling, endurance workout or race.

I totally dig on the tee & water bottle they threw in! I’m impressed with their range of products and suggest you give them a try if you are apprehensive about bars–the flavor & quality will get you on board!

 

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“Eating Consciously…It’s A Journey” by Kari Klinkenborg Anderson: Former Florida Gator VB Player, Actress & Model!

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Kari Klinkenborg Anderson is a former Florida Gator Volleyball player, Actress, Model and all-around super woman. She is also the founder of Feeding Soles, an organization which provides new shoes and socks to children in need.

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“Some people eat to live, and other’s live to eat.   I, myself, would be the latter.  Food is my love, my passion. People laugh when they hear me talk about food; it truly makes me come alive, and I often find myself thinking of my next meal before finishing what I’m currently eating.

Growing up as a competitive athlete, this was fine. However, as I’ve matured and no longer train 3-5 hours a day, I’ve had to face the harsh reality that my metabolism has changed.  I’ve heard it since I was a kid, “Oh honey, you’re so lucky, wait till you’re 25.” Inside I just laughed, I thought oh please, I’ll always be blessed w the ability to eat what I want, look good, and feel great.  Turns out, as with many things in life, you end up eating your own words, or in this case, I guess my own thoughts.  Allow me to explain…

Some of my earliest and fondest memories revolve around food – whether one of my favorite meals my mom or Grandma made, or simply deciding which box of cereal I was going to devour at 10pm when I finally made it home from practice. I can’t begin to adequately describe how I feel after I enjoy a fantastic meal, demolish a cheese plate, bake a delicious dessert, or have a great cup of coffee or wine after a long day.  Okay, yes, wine isn’t exactly food, but you get my gist, food is truly my happy place.  Food transcends time. It brings up memories. It’s exciting. You can have different meals based on the weather, region you live in, or the country you are visiting.  In fact, my ultimate goal is to own a coffee shop/cafe in a little town where everyone knows your name and you can eat healthy, yet indulge at the same time.

Healthy?   Did I just throw that in there?   Okay, after all that babble, I’m going to try and focus here.
 Growing up I was somewhat conscious of the foods I was eating, but I thought low-fat packaged foods were healthy and one pop tart versus two was exercising great self-control.  Ignorance truly is bliss.  I never knew what gluten was until I moved to LA, and I thought a Vegan was a fancy, more modern term for a vegetarian.  I’m happy to report that I now know what each of those are, however, I don’t adhere to either.  Not because I think they’re wrong, but because I’ve learned, and am continuing to learn, what works for me and my body.

First and foremost I have to admit, it is hard. It is very, very hard for me to consume less than I did when I was a competitive athlete burning thousands of calories per day.  I like to eat. Food tastes good. It is exciting, comforting, and downright satisfying.  However, I’ve learned the hard way that instant gratification is just that, instant.
Over the years I’ve enjoyed so many fabulous meals, yet I haven’t felt so great after I’ve consumed them. I always equated feeling bad with a rich meal or possibly (most likely) consuming way too much of the meal I was having.  When I was an athlete, cheat days were everyday.  No lie, I used to have people comment on a daily basis on how impressed they were with the amount of food I could consume.  I almost wore it as a badge of honor that I could maintain a decent frame and still eat what I wanted. It wasn’t until this year that I started realizing that maybe feeling sick after a meal, and actually wanting to vomit, meant more than I was just full or overindulged on my cheat day.    I wasn’t just uncomfortable, I was miserable. I was waking up with terrible stomachaches no matter how many hours had passed between finishing my meal and going to bed.  Of course I’d heard about “clean eating” and it changing peoples lives and blah blah, but that just wasn’t for me. I simply wasn’t going to put that much time, effort, and thought into what I was having for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

After sitting through a business dinner with very well respected individuals in the fitness industry, I started wondering if what they were saying about processed foods and hormones in our food could actually be true. The claims they were making seemed so ridiculous. If all of these things were so harmful for us, how were they allowed to be in our foods? Now I was interested, so when I got home that night, I hit Google University.

I started researching exactly what was going into the foods I was consuming on a daily basis.  Mind you, at this point, I’m not even sure I was aware of what processed food actually were.    Not only was I unaware of the junk I was constantly putting in my body (which tasted so delicious), but the research and studies were downright concerning.   I was truly floored when I researched the impact of red and yellow food coloring, and astonished at the amount of garbage (literally garbage) the FDA allows humans to consume. I would love to say that all of this knowledge allowed me to quit eating processed food and junk immediately, but it didn’t.

I started small. In fact, I decided to start by trying to be dairy-free for a week. I thought this would be so difficult because I love half and half in my coffee and I love cheese. Actually, I more than love cheese! But I had noticed that every time I consumed dairy I would start to experience the same symptoms. I just kind of thought I woke up with dull headaches and runny noses year round. But after my research, I had the feeling that maybe I had a dairy intolerance or allergy, hence my weeklong challenge to go without dairy. Yikes!

Even though I am competitive, I didn’t think I’d last more than 2 days without some form of dairy products. Turns out I went 10 days with absolutely zero dairy, zero. I couldn’t believe how much better I was feeling in the mornings. I wasn’t feeling congested immediately after my first cup of coffee, and I didn’t have a sore throat for the first half of every day. Pretty amazing, but I was not totally convinced. I was pretty proud to have kicked my half and half habit though. On day 10 a friend of mine was moving, so we decided to celebrate by going out for ice cream. Not fro-yo, but the real deal, full dairy, full fat, delicious stuff. It was so tasty and satisfying, but within 3 minutes of the first bite, I was sick. I mean pounding headache, nose running, sinuses hurting, needing to run to the restroom kind of sick. This was the day that I realized I had a severe dairy intolerance. I was pretty depressed because I knew this meant I was going to have to change my diet, and for more than just 10 days. But, it was also exciting to realize that I had found a simple answer as to why I hadn’t been feeling well off and on for years!

I did not give up dairy entirely; I have just learned what works best for my body. I can still enjoy cheese, I just try having it less often. When I do allow myself cheese, I’ve found the raw variety cause very little, if any, discomfort. I’ve learned that certain brands of coconut milk make my overnight breakfast oats taste way better than yogurt ever did, and for the days I’m craving yogurt, I opt for the coconut milk version. I think I was so overwhelmed with all the foods I’d be missing out on if I decided to scale back or go non dairy that I just decided that dairy didn’t negatively affect me, even though I knew it did. It turns out that there are so many delicious alternatives to most dairy products, and that having an allergy doesn’t mean that you have to limit yourself by eating boring foods, or limit what restaurants you go to.

After my dairy experiment I decided to try another one…no processed foods. This was very tough, because it meant I basically had to stay away from my cabinets. I’m always on the go, so I find myself stocking up on pre packaged food – mainly because it has a long shelf life and it’s easy to toss something in my purse and walk out the door. Well, if it can sit in a cabinet for years, what was it doing to my body? Again, I made excuses as to why I wasn’t going to be able to kick processed foods, mainly because I love the taste and I like carbs. I don’t like healthy carbs like oranges and sweet potatoes; I like crackers, chips, granola bars, cereal etc.

I decided I would eat zero processed food for a minimum of 5 days. I again think I lasted about 10, and it was pretty amazing because at first all I wanted was crackers and bread. After about 3 days, my body started craving the things I was giving it. It wanted more arugula salads, kale or mashed cauliflower, juicy watermelon (which I previously never liked), or crisp green grapes.

The hardest part of eating no processed foods for me is constantly having to grocery shop. Fresh food spoils so I only get the amount I can eat within the week so I won’t waste food. Aside from being at the grocery store 3 times a week, and it being more expensive to eat healthy, real foods, I have to say; there is nothing like the feeling of your body running at it’s best. I can truly tell you that my body has NEVER felt as good as it does when I am eating “clean.” I never wanted to be that girl who follows the fads, and I thought that clean eating and no dairy were just that. It turns out that everyone raves about it for a reason. It is a game changer.

Everything I do when I am eating clean seems easier. I’ve been able to do yoga poses that I never in a million years thought I’d achieve, or even want to. I can run further and faster without getting tired, and I wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to eat a healthy meal and start my day. My skin looks better. My body feels better. My mind is clearer. The benefits of eating a clean healthy diet and consuming a lot of water are truly indescribable.

This is not to say that I don’t still enjoy a juicy burger and fries or a big piece of cake or hit the candy bins. I still do all of that but I do it in moderation and I try and eat a juicy burger from a restaurant and eat organic beef instead of fast food. Like I said, my body has stopped craving junk the more I cut it out, and sometimes when I indulge in my old favorites, I literally get sick because my body is not used to that stuff anymore. Now, more often than not, I crave dark chocolate, and I’ve never been a chocolate person before. The more real foods you eat, the more your taste buds change and you start appreciating REAL flavors.

My advice to anyone looking to change his or her eating habits or start living a healthier lifestyle is to start small. Make a realistic goal like cutting out sugar or fried foods or dairy for a few days. You want to set yourself up for success. If you’re like me, and you suspect something may be upsetting your body, try eliminating that first and go from there. One of the biggest changes I’ve made is shopping the perimeter of the grocery store. Other than canned beans or tomatoes, peanut butters, Lara bars, or occasionally some crackers, I do not buy anything from the middle of the store. It is basically all processed junk. Buy organic when you can even though it’s a little more expensive. When using veggies and fruits to juice, it’s important that you’re not giving pesticides a fast track to your digestive system. I always buy organic meats if they’re available. This is one food item where I can absolutely tell a difference in the quality and taste. Try sticking to natural sugars. Real maple syrup, local organic honey, agave; they’re all delicious and a little goes a long way.

Find what works for you, and trust your body. Our bodies can tell us a lot if we are willing to listen and adjust accordingly. And don’t beat yourself up. If you want to eat something, do it. Just do it in moderation. It is okay to indulge. It is okay to have a cheat day or two. I usually eat something sweet at least once a day because I know if I don’t I will most likely binge eat. However, I now try and eat a piece of toast with honey and peanut butter, a piece of dark chocolate or an apple with almond butter.

I still live to eat, I just now do it more consciously.”

Author Bio:

Kari grew up the middle child of 5 girls.  A self-proclaimed tomboy, she grew up in Iowa, California and Denver, allowing her to fall in love with the city life while appreciating her country roots.   Kari played multiple sports during her middle school years in Iowa but realizing how much she loved volleyball she made the decision to move back to Colorado when she was recruited by one of the elite volleyball clubs in the country.   Kari competed with her high school track team and was captain of the volleyball team.  After earning All State and All American honors Kari was offered a scholarship to play volleyball for the #2 ranked Florida Gators.  While at Florida Kari was part of three SEC championship teams and lead the SEC in regular season hitting percentage in 2005.   Kari suffered a career ending injury after her junior season but continued to pursue her love of sports and entertaining while earning a Bachelor of Science in Communications, hoping to one day pursue sports broadcasting.  While at Florida Kari hosted a weekly sports show entitled “GatorZone” highlighting all the Gator Athletes and upcoming events.   This solidified her desire to pursue a career in entertainment.   Upon graduating Kari moved to Los Angeles where she founded a charity called Feeding Soles aiming to provide new shoes and socks for underprivileged men, women and children in the Los Angeles area each Christmas.  Kari has pursued acting for the past 4 years, appearing in several national commercials, TV shows and recently shot two feature films.  In her down time, Kari loves being with her family, her puppy Major, being outdoors, being active and traveling the world.

I am so thrilled to have Kari’s thoughts on story on ROO! Isn’t she incredible? I’m so grateful that she was willing to write a piece about healthy eating. Go Gators!

DrinkMe Organic Raw Blended Juices Review

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DrinkMe

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Drink Me:

“Drinkme was founded in 2007 when Christina Paganelli began making kale smoothies to satisfy her own health regime. From the Canadian prairies to the booming California market, drinkme rose to the top of the market in both Canada and the USA in 7 years. Brand Story, passion, science, innovation, and rock solid products have led their way to success for this organic and “Kale-roots” growth company.

Drinkme has pioneered the HPP technology in Canada, and has positioned as a first to market company in the fast paced, high growth beverage space in the USA.

We strive to be the best, most nutritious drink on the market. Cliché? We truly put only the most authentic, raw ingredients into our bottles. Read our labels, you’ll see. Every ingredient breathes light and positive energy into our delicious creations and you can feel the life as you drink.

We strive to create a business model that is sustainable. We have grown the organic and grass roots way, and know who we are!

ChristinasStory

Christina’s Story:

“My journey began when I was in the prime of my life, finishing years of university, getting married and starting my career. Suddenly, my vision blurred and I was seeing double. One eye went wall-eyed and I couldn’t see. If I tried to open my eyes I would fall over with dizziness. This introduced me to the medical system, and ultimately was sent to a “specialist” who diagnosed me with multiple sclerosis. Six months later, 4 ½ months pregnant, and still reeling from my last diagnosis, I was dealt another blow, I had thyroid cancer. In my fifth month of pregnancy, I underwent major surgery to completely remove my thyroid, and soon after, I was radiated. That’s when I found out that the cancer had spread to my lungs. Another radiation treatment, six months later made me very ill, but the results were the same. The cancer tumors were still the same size, at stage 4 and I was sent home to “wait it out” with cancer and MS.

I began taking an immune suppressant drug to help decrease the effects of the MS. After struggling a month to inject myself, and suffering with side effects, I was informed that the drug company would not allow me to take this drug because I had cancer too. What a waste of time, money, and added stress.

At age 26, I had been poked and prodded long enough. It became apparent that something was clearly wrong with the chemistry of my body. I decided to take my health into my own hands! I attended a health seminar about enzymes, probiotics, and raw foods, and I decided that I would try to heal myself. I made up my mind that I would heal and then I would use my story to inspire others too. My husband and I, and baby Antonio committed to changing our lifestyles and eating habits. We discarded every food from our cupboards, and replaced all of it with only raw organics foods. Then, our diet consisted of fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, oils, and top quality enzymes, probiotics, and other raw supplements.

The first few days and weeks of our new lifestyle proved very challenging. While my body detoxified, I experienced severe migraines, fever, and blurred vision. Twenty six years of processed and chemically laden foods finally came out of my body. I shed a pound a day and within 3 weeks of adapting to this new lifestyle, scar tissue began healing. Amazingly, I no longer required my prescription glasses.

 

For the last ten years, I have not required any subsequent medical procedures for either disease. Against all odds, I am still thriving. We even had another healthy child Giulia, who is now 7 years old. I attribute my recovery to my new lifestyle, food choices, and pro-active care. Today, my diet consists of at least 50% raw food, with all else as a secondary. drinkmeTM Beverages are an integral part of my day. I visit an endocrinologist yearly and thankfully, everything is normal. I have never felt better in my life, and I am committed to helping others.

A quote that influenced me, is…. “The only thing I drank was a cup of reality, with a shot of appreciation.”– Kermit the Frog.

The truth is, sometimes one has to hit rock bottom before one can bounce back. I am truly grateful for the life journey that I have been through the past ten years. When I hear people say, “I’m sorry for all that you have been through”, I respond, “don’t be sorry…it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me!”

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My Thoughts:

If you’re on the hunt for a raw, organic, cold-pressed juice, you’re likely to come across a handful of brands that are accessible at your local health food store. Many of them are great options and are highly nutritious.

What sets DrinkMe beverages apart from the world of juices is that these drinks are BLENDED, not JUICED. Thus, the naturally occurring fiber in the fruits and veggies used is intact in every bottle of DrinkMe. This makes each bottle more satisfying, more detoxifying and more in line with how nature intended us to consume it.

On top of the fact that these drinks are fiber rich, they are also entirely organic, raw and nutritionally rich. There are fewer ways to ingest such a hearty dose of healing nutrients in a short amount of time. A bottle of DrinkMe is ideal to grab on your way to work, with lunch or for a quick energy boost.

The frozen smoothie packs are an excellent way to store a healthy meal in your work’s freezer, or simply keep at home for a quick whip-up. The flavor of them is so fresh and delicious that I didn’t need to mix them with anything. I just let them thaw a bit before I drank them. Refreshing and delicious!

My experience with DrinkMe has been nothing short of spectacular. Christina is so generous, passionate, kind–and I absolutely believe in the products that she has created. My local Whole Foods has these products, making it easy for me to re-stock on them. For you guys and gals, DrinkMe makes it easy to find a store near you that carries DrinkMe. I’d recommend these to anyone looking to make a great, daily investment in your health. These drinks can help take your nutrition to the next level!

Vive 1-Day Detox Review

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Vive Detox

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

About Vive Detox:

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“Our specially formulated cleanse programs are based in nutritional and biochemical science. We provide the highest quality of clinically studied supplements available to support you in your goal to detox, build immunity or lose weight. The nutritional component of the Vive Detox is a success proven method of eliminating genetically modified, allergenic and toxic food substances from your diet in order optimize digestion, absorption and assimilation.

Each program is fully guided throughout, with day-by-day instructions, videos and challenges, as well as ongoing online support. Vive also draws its inspiration from Traditional Chinese Medicine, where Qi [chee], our life force, is tonified and organs are nourished to create balance and harmony within.

These empowering 14-day programs are all about choices: choices in what we eat, how we move, the way we want to live. It’s designed to allow the flexibility to build new habits and make healthier food choices while the body recalibrates. The end of a Vive Detox is just the beginning: it takes 21 days to build a new habit, after your 14 day Vive Detox you are two thirds the way there.

Each plan is dairy-free, gluten-free and refined-sugar free, with options for vegans, vegetarians and pescetarians. Guidelines are also provided for dining out and social events. The Vive Detox allows the body a chance to recalibrate. It builds a foundation for new habits and creates space for positivity. Vive provides a taste of how the benefits of a clean, sustainable lifestyle will feel in your body, for life!”

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My Thoughts:

I absolutely love and believe in detoxing plant based foods and supplements. Vive takes this approach to detoxing–and I dig it.

The Pure Encapsulations products (after delving deeper and looking at their ingredient lists) are above average. They contain entirely natural ingredients (recognizable plant sources) and also have a few organic ingredients. I would love to see an entirely organic ingredients list (as this would lead to optimum detoxing). As they are, these products are better than most, but not the very best.

In organic form, I love green coffee powder. It’s packed with antioxidants and some naturally occurring caffeine. Healthy sources of protein are a large part of my breakfast every morning. Thus, I enjoyed adding this powder to my morning shake. The nuts (though I’m unsure of the quality and whether they are raw or not) were a tasty source of good fats.

Vive has a great thing going in that they encourage individuals to detox by utilizing nature’s goodness. If it was all organic, I would be completely on board to load up on a longer Vive Detox. Vive is also a unique idea, as they work with several brands (some completely organic, some not) to compile a well-rounded bundle of detoxifying goodies. Most detox brands are exclusively juice, powders or pills. Vive offers all sorts of selections to suite what you’re trying to achieve.

My interaction with Vive has been nothing short of wonderful. They’re very helpful and generous. I recommend Vive to those new to detoxing, who’re looking to get started in a very doable, not intimidating way.

 

Health Ade Kombucha Review

This is a review of Health Ade Kombucha.

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Health Ade

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Health Ade:

“Health-Ade was formed by 3 very close friends, all looking to bring a BETTER kombucha to the Southern California market. Founded in Los Angeles, Health-Ade is made the “old-fashioned” way–as nature intended–dedicated to offering the highest quality and best tasting kombucha one can buy. They do this by committing to things like: pulling out all the stops to ensure the culture is healthy and strong, using only local and seasonal farmers’ market fruit for flavor, and keeping harmful plastic and UVs away from the entire fermentation and bottling process.

Origins

Made 100% in Los Angeles, Health-Ade also works hard to support the local community, as demonstrated by their efforts in growing Farmers’ Markets, their collaboration with regional non-profits such as Home-Boy Industries, and their drive to increase understanding and importance of health and wellness.

Health-Ade kombucha comes in our original formula, as well as 4 other tasty seasonal flavors. Remember, for the highest quality, we only use local seasonal, and organic produce for flavoring. Take your pick and make it a habit!

Why Drink Health-Ade?

Though different brands of kombucha are somewhat prevalent in health food stores today, most of these interpretations have a compromised quality due to efforts in mass production and hastening fermentation. Unfortunately, this has resulted in many products falling short of the real deal, often higher in sugar than ever intended.

Health-Ade Is

  • made using only organic and whole ingredients
  • produced by using the original recipe
  • 100% naturally fermented
  • flavored with local and seasonal farmers’ market fruit
  • made in small batches right here in LA
  • fermented and produced only in glass
  • manufactured and bottled in UV-sensitive environments
  • 100% raw, vegan, natural, and gluten-free
  • made, down to the bottle, in the USA

Health-Ade Is Not

  • made with genetically engineered sugars or powdered teas
  • made using concentrates, dilutions, dyes, or powders
  • hastening fermentation with added chemicals and powders
  • mass-produced and / or outsourced
  • fermented in plastic, potentially causing leaching
  • exposed to harmful UV light, potentially depleting its probiotic count
  • pasteurized (kills 50%+ of the probiotic) or unnatural
  • made and bottled overseas, impacting our Earth and economy.”

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My Thoughts:

Ahhhh… Kombucha. Bubbly, delicious, a bit sweet, satisfying. I can’t get enough. I love the ritual of opening a new bottle and taking the first gulp of effervescent splendor. I’ve found this drink can also help you to curb cravings and feel fill, as this bubbly drink temporarily creates the illusion that your stomach is full.

At this point, I’ve tried several brands of Kombucha–some great and some not quite as great. I have a few specs that I look for when I try a new kind.

My Preferred Kombucha Specs

-Bubbly, packs a punch

-Delicious and unique flavors

-Organic ingredients

Health Ade Kombucha meets all three of those qualifications, AND to top it off–the icing on the cake; they use and support local ingredients. To me, that is huge and it sets them apart from the other brands. Not only do they value organic, pure ingredients but they also see the importance of supporting local farmers and harvests. I just love that.

These flavors are all very tasty, interesting and unique in their own right. The newest kombucha flavor (to my palate) was the Cayenne Cleanse. As you can imagine, this one is zippy and heats up your mouth right away. It has just the right amount of heat–any more and it might be a bit too much for me.

But, I love that they use cayenne, as this pepper offers metabolism boosting benefits! If I had to pick one flavor as my favorite, it would have to be Pomegranate. It’s tart and fruity with a kick of sweetness. It’s delicious. I’d pick the California Grape as my runner up.

New to Kombucha?

If you have yet to try Kombucha, dive in! Especially if you are still a soda drinker, Kombucha is a MUCH healthier alternative to other carbonated beverages. I’d recommend these to anyone who is looking to enhance their digestion and overall health.

Check Healthade out here to get Free Shipping on all orders!