Tag Archives: omega 3

Life Equals Ambassadorship + Discount Code!

When I first moved to Kansas City, I linked up with the owners of Life Equals and did a blog review on a few of their products at the time–not knowing that a few years down the road I would be a Balance Your Life Team Member (demo girl) and Ambassador!

So here I am, a few years later, revisiting this local brand and the new stuff they’ve got going!

This brand is taking care of my daily needs in various ways. Nutrition on-the-go? Check. Brain-boosting and recovery enhancing fish oil? Check. A women’s multi that keeps me healthy and beaming? Checkity check check check. They value quality and an overall state of BUMPIN vitality. I so dig the lifestyle they promote.

Curious about more product-specific deets? Check out the breakdowns below.

Use code Jes50 at checkout!

These are the Life Equals products I’m currently using:

Balance: The Superfood Shot

About:

Balance is two ounces of delicious, 100% organic pineapple, lemon, carrot, beet, cranberry, blueberry, cherry, spinach, kale, acai berry, camu camu, goji berry, elderberry and dragon fruit (with a little turmeric thrown in). This convenient, recyclable bottle is a half day’s fruits and vegetables that goes anywhere you are and provides you with all of the missing nutrients your body craves and deserves.

-Provides 1/2 your day’s fruits & veggies.

-100% Organic and Non-GMO

-No Added Sugar & No Preservatives.

-Goes Anywhere

-Nutrient Dense & Antioxidant Rich

Women’s Multi

About:

-Whole-food based vitamins and minerals to help fill daily nutritional gaps

-Superfood whole-food and Herbal Blend further promotes maximum absorption

-Plant-based Digestive Enzyme Complex to support happy digestion

-Full B-Complex, including vitamin B12 to maintain daily energy levels

-Non-constipating iron to boost energy and help prevent anemia

Omega-3

About:

-Sustainably sourced wild-caught Omega-3s (2000mg) per serving

-Powerful 2:1 ratio of EPA (800mg) and DHA (400mg)

-Protects inflammation caused by the Standard American Diet (SAD)

-Cold-pressed and enteric coated — so no fish burps

-Supports a healthy heart, limber joints and a sharp mind

Use code Jes50 at checkout!

 

 

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Recipe: How to Make Bulletproof Coffee

Bulletproof Coffee

Have you heard of this? Bulletproof coffee is becoming increasingly more prevalent–as it should. Without diving-head-first into the boat loads of science behind these ingredients and the synergy that exists between them, I’ll give you the…

Semi-basic run down for why bulletproof coffee can take your coffee routine to the next level & a few tips on making your own:

  • Improves your mental clarity
  • Slows the assimilation of caffeine and fats in your body, making them more filling & giving you sustained energy versus just a quick boost.
  • Coupling the coffee with fats like grass fed butter, MCT oil (you can also use palm oil or coconut oil) improves the satiating effect of the drink and the natural caffeine content of the coffee bean helps make the fatty acids more readily available for absorption and energy use in the body.
  • Laird describes this robust drink as one that will give you “a whole new focus.”
  • The presence of omega-3 fatty acids in the butter and oils help reduce inflammation in the body by decreasing triglyceride levels.
  • Make sure to choose a coffee blend that is organic (preferably a dark or espresso roast, as those often contain less acid.
  • You can make this completely vegan and dairy free just by using the MCT oil, coconut oil and/or palm oil.

My interest in bulletproof coffee has existed for a while now–initially prompted by this video by one of my main professional-athlete-inspirers (surfing legend, fitness & nutrition guru), Laird Hamilton.

 

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My Recipe for Bulletproof Coffee:

(created with inspiration from many!)

No exact measuring here! Everything is approximate.

Instructions here are minimal:

  • Simply combine all ingredients (sans coffee) in your coffee cup.
  • Brew your coffee as usual, separately.
  • When finished, pour the hot coffee into your cup to combine all of the ingredients.
  • The heat from the coffee will liquify the oils and help everything to combine.
  • Stir & ENJOY!

I’ve loaded up that list with the links to all of the products that I used.

Also, it’s just worth mentioning that I drink this is the morning in place of a breakfast. Lately, I’ve been practicing intermittent fasting (only liquids until 11amish, then eating from about 11am-7pm) paired with a ketogenic approach to eating. I’m not counting macros right now, but I mindfully to good sources of fat for energy and then an adequate (filling) amount of protein.

Have you ever made your own bulletproof coffee? I’d love to hear about it. Happy Brewing!

More Than Alive Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds & Cacao Review

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More Than Alive

Overall Rating: images

I have forged a fantastic relationship with such a gold mine of a shop in More Than Alive. I am so thankful for this relationship because it has allowed me to discove an incredible jackpot of foods and skin care product. I find this site to be one of the very best resources for many organic necessities. They carry essential oils, superfoods, activated charcoal, bulk herbs and bulk foods. They also are reasonably priced (I’ve done the leg work–and you’ll save money on organic superfoods by shopping thru More Than Alive).

You can read some of my prior More Than Alive reviews and giveaways here:

http://runonorganic.com/2014/07/25/more-than-alive-vitex-dong-quai-giveaway/

http://runonorganic.com/2014/02/27/more-than-alive-diatomaceous-earth-review-giveaway/

http://runonorganic.com/2013/11/24/more-than-alive-scarf-essential-oil-review-giveaway/

http://runonorganic.com/2013/10/13/more-than-alive-bulk-superfoods-pack-review-giveaway/

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Raw Walnuts

About:

“Walnuts are one of the best plant sources of protein. When it comes to health benefits, walnuts definitely are not a hard nut to crack. This delicious nut is rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants such as Vitamin E. Nuts in general are high in plant sterols and fat-but mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (omega 3 fatty acids-the good fats).

Omega 3 is a protective fat the body cannot manufacture. Walnut’s concentration of omega 3s has many potential health benefits ranging from cardiovascular protection, to the promotion of better cognitive function, to anti-inflammatory benefits helpful to asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. In addition, walnuts contain an antioxidant compound called ellagic acid that supports the immune system and appears to have several anticancer properties. More than a decade of scientific evidence shows that incorporating walnuts in a healthy diet reduces the risk of heart disease by improving blood vessel elasticity and plaque accumulation. Omega 3 has also been shown to lower LDL cholesterol.

Walnuts have often been thought of as a “brain food”, not only because of the wrinkled brain-like appearance of their shells, but because of their high concentration of omega-3 fats. Your brain is more than 60% structural fat. In order for your brain cells to function properly, this structural fat needs to be primarily the omega-3 fats such as those found in walnuts.

Melatonin, a powerful antioxidant, has also been discovered in walnuts, in a bio-available form. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland, which is involved in inducing and regulating sleep. Melatonin has been shown to help improve sleep for night shift workers and people suffering from jet lag. Maintaining a healthy level of this hormone is important for everyone over the age of 40 since the amount of melatonin produced by the human body decreases with age.

Studies show that enjoying just four walnuts a day significantly increased blood levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids and alpha linolenic acid. This proves even a very simple change in diet can have a highly beneficial and lasting effect on our health. Boosting your body’s supply of omega 3 fatty acids couldn’t be any easier. Just add a few walnuts to your morning cereal or daily salad or grab a handful for an afternoon snack.

In fact, people who eat nuts at least twice a week are much less likely to gain weight than those who almost never eats nuts. Study authors concluded, “Frequent nut consumption was associated with a reduced risk of weight gain. These results support the recommendation of nut consumption as an important component of a cardio protective diet and also allay fears of possible weight gain.” So, don’t let concerns about gaining weight prevent you from enjoying the delicious taste and many health benefits of nuts.”

Organic, Raw Pumpkin Seeds

About:

“Pumpkin seeds are one of nature’s almost perfect foods. They are a natural source of beneficial constituents such as carbohydrates, amino acids and unsaturated fatty acids. They contain most of the B vitamins, along with C, D, E, and K. They also have the minerals calcium, potassium, and phosphorous. Pumpkin seeds have mainly been used to treat prostate and bladder problems, but they have also been known to help with depression and learning disabilities. They are generally recommended in some countries as a “brain food.” Pumpkin seeds can improve bladder and urethra function and prevent hardening of the arteries. Native American tribes were among the first people to notice the beneficial aspects of pumpkin seeds. They used them to treat kidney problems and to eliminate parasites from the intestines.

Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of proteins and monounsaturated fat, as well as providing a wide range of traditional nutrients. Our food ranking system qualified them as a very good source of the minerals, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron, copper, protein, and zinc. One half-cup of pumpkin seeds contains 92% of your Daily value of magnesium, which a nutrient most Americans as deficient in.

Zinc is one further nutrient found in pumpkin seeds that might impact prostate function. The fact that pumpkin seeds serve as a good source of zinc may contribute to the role of pumpkin seeds in support of the prostate. Benign prostatic hypertrophy, (or BPH) is a condition that commonly affects men 50 years and older in the United States. BPH involves enlargement of the prostate gland. One of the factors that contribute to BPH is overstimulation of the prostate cells by testosterone and its conversion product dihydrotestosterone (or DHT). Components in pumpkin seed oil appear able to interrupt this triggering of the prostate cell multiplication by testosterone and DHT. Because of the pumpkin seed oil extract, scientists began to conduct research on the pumpkin seeds themselves. The prostate-helpful components found in the pumpkin oil extracts are definitely found in the pumpkin seeds. Men with higher amounts of carotenoids, which are found in pumpkin seeds, are at less risk for BPH.

In addition to maintaining prostate health, another reason for older men to make zinc-rich foods a regular part of their healthy way of eating is bone mineral density. Although osteoporosis is often thought to be a disease for which postmenopausal women are at highest risk, it is also a potential problem for older men.

Phytosterols, found in pumpkin seeds, lowers cholesterol. When phytosterols are present in the diet in sufficient amounts, they are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the immune response and decrease the risk of certain cancers. Phytosterols beneficial effects are so dramatic that they have been extracted from soybean, corn, and pine tree oil and added to processed foods, such “butter-replacement” spreads, which are labeled as cholesterol-lowering foods. Why settle for an imitation when nuts and seeds are a naturally rich source of phytosterols and cardio protective fiber, minerals and healthy fats as well?

The healing properties of pumpkin seeds have also been recently investigated with respect to arthritis. Unlike synthetic drugs, pumpkin seeds do not increase the level of damaged fats (lipid peroxides) in the linings of the joints, a side-effect that actually contributes to the progression of arthritis. Adding pumpkin seeds to a daily diet helps reduce the inflammatory symptoms of arthritis.

Using pumpkin seeds in cooking is popular in many cultures. Adding roasted pumpkin seeds to soups and salads provides a nutty flavor. Pumpkin seed oil can be used as a salad dressing when combined with products like honey and olive oil. Roasted pumpkin seeds are of course commonly eaten as snacks, but be aware that while roasting brings out their full flavor, the heat also destroys their natural fatty acids. Thus they are most nutritious when eaten raw. Also make sure to refrigerate pumpkin seeds so the oil does not turn rancid.”

Organic, Raw Cacao Powder

About:

“Cacao is the bean that chocolate is made from. In its raw state, it contains more antioxidant flavonoids than red wine, green tea and blueberries. Our raw cacao powder is rich in a number of essential minerals including magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese. Raw cacao powder also contains many rare key nutrients that enhance physical and mental well-being.

Cacao contains anandamide, which is also produced naturally in the brain. It is known as the “Bliss” we feel, because it is released while we are feeling great. Cacao contains enzyme inhibitors that decrease our bodies’ ability to breakdown anandamide. This means after eating cacao, that a natural anandamide and/or cacao anandamide may stick around longer, making us feel good for a longer period of time.

Cacao has been proven to be an excellent source of PEA (Phenylethylamine). It is an adrenal-related substance that is also created naturally by the brain and released when we are in love. This is one of the reasons why love and chocolate have a deep correlation.

Antioxidants are what keep you looking younger and help fight disease. An antioxidant laboratory analysis confirms that there are over 25,200 antioxidants in a single spoonful of raw cacao powder. Dark chocolate has been touted as a source of antioxidants, but this raw chocolate is way beyond that. Researchers found eating 100 grams of dark chocolate each day for 15 days lowered blood pressure. Another study concluded that the body’s ability to metabolize sugar (a problem for people with diabetes) was improved. Cacao also contains the antioxidant of catechin, which has a protective effect against heart disease and some cancers.

Cacao seems to be the #1 source of magnesium of any food. It contains massive quantities of this essential nutrient. Magnesium is used to balance brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and helps regulate your heartbeat and blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency, which is present in approximately 80% of Americans, is linked with hypertension, heart disease and joint problems.

Cacao is also high in the beauty mineral sulfur. Sulfur builds strong nails and hair, promotes beautiful skin, detoxifies the liver and supports healthy pancreas functioning. One of the key amino acids, Tryptophan, is found naturally in cacao. Tryptophan enhances relaxation and promotes better sleep. Cacao powder also contains Arginine, the aphrodisiac-like amino acid believed by body builders to build muscle and aid in muscle recovery.

Cacao contains subtle amounts of caffeine and theobromine. However, experiments have shown that these stimulants are far different when consumed raw, rather than cooked. One experiment conducted with a decoction of roasted ground cacao beans in boiling water produced an excitement of the nervous system similar to that caused by black coffee. Interestingly, when the same decoction was made with the raw unroasted beans; the effects were unnoticeable, leading the researchers to conclude that the physiological changes were caused by aromatic substances released during roasting.

So, use raw cacao when you get those chocolate cravings! This raw cacao powder can be used in place of cocoa powder in any recipe. This will not only add great taste to whatever you’re making, but it also adds all these health benefits as well.

This cacao powder is certified organic and raw. Our premium cacao beans come directly from the farmers who cultivate them. These farmers grow their crops on their own land, using the same sustainable methods that have been used for generations. These cacao beans are guaranteed to be free of heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides. They are USDA certified organic. They are imported from Peru and Ecuador.

The cacao powder is created by cold-pressing raw, organic cacao beans into a pressed cake separating the oil from the protein and fiber. The temperature is never allowed to exceed 120° F and is usually 104° F (all other cocoa powders are exposed to temperatures as high as 300° F!). A high-accuracy thermometer monitors the process. The remaining dry ‘cake-like’ material is then cold-ground and fine-milled so that only the finest raw cacao particles become the finished product.

This raw cacao powder has antioxidant activity as exhibited by an ORAC score of 1377 TE/g and is an excellent source of magnesium (42% DV) and iron (22% DV).

Suggested Uses:

  • Get your day started right, by adding raw cacao powder to your morning smoothie.
  • Create a protein drink from cacao. It’s a perfect fuel for competitive sports.
  • Bake your own raw chocolate bars or fudge using cacao powder.
  • Blend into cold coffee drinks.
  • Sprinkle on banana, other fruits or your cereal.”

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My Thoughts:

The only reason you don’t see a 5-star “WAHOO!!” rating is because I do not believe that the walnuts in this bundle are organic. However, I am crazy about the quality of the cacao powder and the pumpkin seeds.

Cacao powder: where do I start? If you start incorporating one single superfood into your diet, make it raw, organic cacao powder. Be very mindful about what you’re buying. The majority of what you’ll see on grocery store shelves is cocoa powder, which has been heated to extend the shelf life. In that process,  a large mass of its nutrients have been stripped. That’s why raw is so important. Raw cacao (just like merely any plant other food) is so much better or you when it’s raw, as the nutrients and antioxidants are the most plentiful in this state. Not only is cacao one of the best (if not the best) tasting superfoods, but it’ll serve you as a natural energy booster and can even contribute to skin health, among a bunch of other overall health benefits. I use a few tablespoons in my morning superfood drink that contains: cacao, turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon & maca powders.

I do my best to keep my consumption of junky fats to a minimum (over-processed oils, butters, etc.) However, I do not fear fat. Your body truly needs fat in the diet to operate optimally. Amongst various tasks, dietary fat plays a key role in the endocrine system, helping facilitate hormones dispersement. I say all of that to say–walnuts and pumpkin seeds are two healthy, nutrient dense options of fat sources. You can add them to a smoothie, a fruit bowl, make them into nut or seed butter, or even make your own homemade nut or seed milk! (it’s super simple: a handful of nuts or seeds into a blender filled to the top with water. Then blend! Voila!)

 

Body Vega Fish Oil Review

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BodyVega Nutrition

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

About BodyVega Fish Oil:

  • “TOP RATED FISH OIL ON AMAZON: Happy Customers Love BodyVega, And We Love Them! We Go Out Of Our Way To Ensure That Every Customer Is 100% Satisfied With Their Fish Oil, Giving Us One Of The Highest Levels Of Customer Satisfaction Anywhere. If That Rubs You the Wrong Way, Feel Free To Grab a Bottle From Any Of the Other Brands on Amazon Who See You As Just A Number. If You Are Not 100% Satisfied With Your Omega 3 Fish Oil For Any Reason, We’ll Replace It Or Refund It, No Questions Asked.
  • #1 CLEANEST AND PUREST FISH OIL: Sourced From Deep Sea, Cold Water Fish for Maximum Omega 3 Potency And Tested For Over 250 Contaminants, Including Mercury, And Molecularly Distilled For Guaranteed Purity, Giving Us The Purest Fish Oil Available On Amazon.
  • STRAIGHT FROM THE SOURCE: From Chile and Norway, The #1 Recommend Source For High Quality Omega 3 Fish Oil, So It Is Free Of Pacific Toxins Caused From Nuclear Fall Out.
  • MAXIMUM OMEGA 3 POTENCY: Doctor Recommended 1,500mg Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Up To 50% More Than Competitors’) For Guaranteed Reduced Inflammation and Less Joint Pain, And High EPA and DHA Levels Support Long-Term Eye, Heart and Joint Health, While Boosting Mood, Focus, and Productivity.
  • 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE: Love It Or Leave It. If, For Whatever Reason, You Don’t Love BodyVega Fish Oil, Just Return The Empty Bottles For A Full No Questions Asked Refund.”

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My Thoughts:

Though I always make sure I get enough healthy fats in my diet (through seeds, nuts and oils), I don’t often purchase a fish oil supplement. I realize that fish oil provides a concentrated dose of omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential to overall health. Other food sources with a high omega 3 concentration include flaxseeds and walnuts.

I regularly consume ground flaxseed in my morning smoothie–thus, I likely get enough omega 3s. However, I do see a value in changing up your diet (to prevent boredom and also insure that you’re getting a wide range of nutrients). I also believe that fish offer a complex and hearty nutritional profile as a healthy source of protein and good fats. But when it comes down to it, I would recommend getting your healthy fats (fish oil included) from the whole, real foods themselves. I don’t like the idea of eating an incomplete diet and then expecting supplements to fill that void.

A supplement like this fish oil can be useful on occasion, but should not be relied on for omega 3 fats. In regards to quality, this brand of fish oil is amongst the very best, as they encapsulate clean, pure fish oil that is free of contaminants.

Hilary’s Eat Well Review (Kansas City Local!)

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Hilary’s Eat Well

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Hilary’s:

“Our core principles include making delicious high-quality products, corporate transparency, creating sustainable systems, and having a positive community impact.  Below lists our certifications that reinforce those values.  We love aligning with partners who support our goals and help us change the way our food system works for a better world.

The Hilary’s Eat Well team is committed to the company’s core values of sustainable connections, transparency, and partnerships; we seek to limit ecological impact and increase community impact.

Hilary Brown

Hilary Brown

Founder & CEO

Hilary is the creative chef behind Hilary’s Eat Well creations. She spent a year working as a farm apprentice with the Growing Growers program prior to opening Local Burger®, a first-to-the-market sustainable fast food restaurant in Lawrence, Kansas, in 2005.  Now, she’s is hanging ten on the big learning curve of wholesale food business. Digging the challenges as much as the successes and thanking the Universe for the opportunity to work with an energy packed creative team committed to creating a better future for all.

What do you love right now?
Millet, Hemp, Grass-land, Elk, Turmeric, Kim Chi, Trees, Bats, Crows, People, Worms, Dancing, Tipping Points, breathing and hiking with my family at Clinton Lake…just to name a few. :).”

Products I have been lucky enough to try:

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Hemp & Greens Burger

About:

“Hemp and greens and thyme… oh my! Follow the yellow brick road to great taste and healthy eating. This delicious burger is filled with good-for-you greens, wholesome hemp seed and tasty thyme.

Ingredients

Water, Millet, Leafy Greens, Hemp Seed, Parsley, Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil, Redmonds Season Salt®, Psyllium Husk Powder, Arrowroot, Thyme.”
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World’s Best Veggie Burger

About:

“When Hilary created this recipe in 2005 for her restaurant, Local Burger, she wanted it to taste great and be free of all common food allergens and artificial ingredients. She met all of her goals with this recipe, and now shares it with everyone!

Ingredients

Water, Millet, Quinoa, Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil, Sweet Potato, Spinach, Onion, Psyllium Husk Powder, Arrowroot, Apple Cider Vinegar, Real Salt, Garlic.”
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Black Rice Burger

About:

“Love at first sight and taste! When the Lotus Foods Rice team shared their heirloom climate-smart More Crop Per Drop™ rice with us, we fell in love with the taste, integrity and the team. This burger is singing the song of biodiversity with the addition of millet, adzuki beans and health-supportive greens. Flavor and sustainability in perfect harmony.

Ingredients

Water, Adzuki Bean, Lotus Foods Organic Brown Jasmine Rice, Millet, Leafy Greens, Sweet Potato, Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil, Lotus Foods Forbidden Rice®, Real Salt, Garlic, Apple Cider Vinegar, Psyllium Husk Powder, Arrowroot, Cumin, Lime Juice.”
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Root Veggie Burger

About:

“Turnip the beets! This deliciously crunchy millet-based veggie burger is filled with organic root vegetables and a kick of mustard. On a bun, as a side dish, on top of a salad–any way you have it, you’ll be feastin’! Fall in love with these easy-to-prepare patties–it’s eating well made easy!

Ingredients

Water, Millet, Turnips, Sweet Potato, Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil, Beets, Psyllium Husk Powder, Arrowroot, Garlic, Mustard Seed, Apple Cider Vinegar, Turmeric, Paprika, Real Salt.”
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Adzuki Bean Burger

About:

“Millet, adzuki beans, cumin, coconut oil, and Real Salt® are just a few of the stars in this fantastic burger.. We use real-food ingredients that nourish your body and support healthy ecosystems. You’ll fall in love with these easy-to-prepare patties.

Ingredients

Water, Millet, Adzuki Bean, Quinoa, Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil, Sweet Potato, Onion, Mild Green Chilies, Psyllium Husk Powder, Arrowroot, Real Salt, Apple Cider Vinegar, Garlic, Cumin, Chili & Chipotle Powder, Lime Juice.”
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Original Veggie Bites

About:

“From freezer to table in minutes, these versatile veggie bites are great for busy lives.  Use them as a tasty appetizer, as an addition to salads and casseroles, or as a great way to get kids to smile while eating some veggies. With our stellar ingredients, you’ll feel good about serving them to your family, to party guests, and to yourself!

Ingredients

Water, Millet, Quinoa, Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil, Sweet Potato, Spinach, Onion, Psyllium Husk Powder, Arrowroot, Apple Cider Vinegar, Real Salt, Garlic.”
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Creamy Remoulade Dressing with Dill Pickles

About:

“Ask anyone who ate at Hilary’s restaurant, Local Burger, and you’ll be assured that our Remoulade is a fan favorite! It’s great on salads, spread on sandwiches (or veggie burgers!), or used as a dip. You’ll be amazed that something free-from dairy, egg and more can be so creamy and so super delicious. Bubbies Kosher Dill Pickles, coconut milk, and mustard are the star ingredients in this versatile dressing.

Ingredients

Organic Coconut Milk (Coconut, Guar Gum), Water, Cold-Pressed Grapeseed Oil, Organic Mustard (Organic Grain Vinegar, Water, Organic Mustard Seed, Salt, Organic Turmeric, Organic Paprika, Organic Spices), Bubbies Kosher Dill Pickles (Cucumbers, Water, Salt, Calcium Chloride, Garlic, Dill, Spices [Contains Mustard Seed]), Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Redmond’s Real Salt®, Organic Gum Acacia, Organic Guar Gum, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Onion, Sweet Leaf® Stevia.”
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Ranch Chia Dressing with Omega 3’s

About:

“This beyond dairy-free dressing is packed with omega-3s and is sure to satisfy. Our beloved Ranch Chia offers the comforting taste of your favorite ranch, while flaunting an all-star list of clean, real food ingredients including healthful organic chia seeds. That’s one rockin’ ranch.

Ingredients

Organic Coconut Milk (Coconut, Guar Gum), Water, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Cold-Pressed Grapeseed Oil, Organic Chia Seeds, Redmond’s Real Salt®, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Mustard (Organic Grain Vinegar, Water, Organic Mustard Seed, Salt, Organic Turmeric, Organic Paprika, Organic Spices), Organic Garlic, Organic Onion, Organic Gum Acacia, Organic Guar Gum, Organic Black Pepper, Organic Dill, Organic Marjoram, Sweet Leaf® Stevia.”
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Apple Fennel Dressing with Dandelion Root

About:

“Tart, tangy, and oh so tasty! Our Appel Fennel Dressing is made with thoughtfully-sourced ingredients including organic apple cider vinegar, cold-pressed hexane-free grape seed oil, and health-supportive organic dandelion root powder. You’ll love fixin’ and mixing’ your salad with this delectable dressing!

Ingredients

Water, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Cold-Pressed Grapeseed Oil, Organic Apple Concentrate, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Redmond’s Real Salt®, Organic Dandelion Root, Organic Gum Acacia, Organic Guar Gum, Organic Fennel, Sweet Leaf® Stevia.”
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Balsamic Thyme Dressing with Eyebright

About:

“Who doesn’t love the classic flavor of balsamic dressing? Well, even if you don’t think balsamic is your thing, we challenge you to give ours a try! You’ll love the earthy organic thyme with a hint of sweetness.  Top it off with innovative ingredients like organic eyebright and you’ll be hooked.

Ingredients

Water, Organic Balsamic Vinegar, Cold-Pressed Grapeseed Oil, Redmond’s Real Salt®, Organic Gum Acacia, Organic Guar Gum, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Thyme, Organic Eyebright, Sweet Leaf® Stevia.”

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My Thoughts:

This review will be a little bit scattered and full of random thoughts, as I have so many jumping into my head with this brand.

Out of all of the reviews I’ve written, this is one of my favorite. It added an extra layer to my appreciation for this brand to get to tour their facility with my husband. Becky at Hilary’s Eat Well could not have been more welcoming and eager to show us how Hilary’s Burgers are made–and she did so with enthusiasm. That, perhaps is my favorite aspect of the people behind this brand. You can tell that they believe in it, are passionate about it, and enjoy coming to work because of that. It’s infectious! Paul and I were lucky enough to meet Hilary, herself while touring the facility. She couldn’t have been more bubbly, free spirited and awesome. What a treat!

Hilary’s creates their burgers in Lawrence, Kansas, which is right down the road from us in Kansas City. It feels really good to genuinely feel supportive of a local brand–believing that they are doing great things and positively impacting how people eat.

I’m appreciative for the fact that this brand has reminded me that not all grain-like seeds are empty calories. I typically advocate and practice a way of eating that is loosely-based on the Paleo approach to eating. In summation, Paleo eating doesn’t allow any dairy, grains or processed foods. Needless to say, that idea is neat in theory, but not everything I eat has been picked fresh from our garden, and I’d be lying if I said I never took a bite out of a block of cheese. The idea is good, though–to refocus yourself to eat real, organic food. I aim to keep my percentages good–meaning that 80-90% of the time, I’m eating nutrient dense, real foods. The other 10-20% of the time I don’t beat myself up if I feel that I want to splurge.

I say all of that to say, Hilary’s has reminded me that you don’t need to be scared of healthy legumes (like beans), grains and seeds (that are commonly labeled as grains), as strict-paleo followers will have you doing. If you are consuming large amounts of real, whole foods, including lots of fresh vegetables, then there’s no need to be neurotic about eliminating these food groups. Just pick good ones that are rife with nutrients. It’s all about the quality of these products. You don’t want to eat a bunch of over-processed bread from your local grocery store, but you can seek organic, whole grain-like seeds and beans that will provide you with a dense nutritional profile. That said, I also believe very much in BALANCE. Allowing grains and beans doesn’t mean eating them all day every day, it just means that you can appreciate what they offer your diet and you can incorporate them in some fashion.

This variety of burgers allows you to do that, in an organic, junk free way. Though my husband and I do consume meat, I’d imagine that the fact that these Hilary’s burgers are vegetarian will appeal to many. They are also free of many common foods that contribute to sensitivities like: gluten, nuts, soy, dairy, yeast and corn. All of these ingredient lists are organically sourced, top to bottom. During our tour, I also learned that Hilary’s sources only high quality, organically grown ingredients that often times are from local farms. They even donate burgers that don’t pass their quality tests (shape & thickness) to a local food bank–so thoughtful and neat to me.

To elaborate on the grain discussion: By grains, I am referring to the millet and quinoa used in most of these burgers, and the black rice used in the black rice burger. Though I consider millet and quinoa to be seeds, many lump them into the grain category and avoid them because of that. I personally do not enjoy the calories from rice as much as quinoa and millet, thus the black rice burger isn’t one that I’ll come back to often. I also hardly ever buy rice, simply because I enjoy getting my carbohydrates from other sources instead. I do realize, though, that many enjoy rice and to them, I’d recommend that burger, because it’s got a great, tasty, hearty flavor. For those looking to stick to just seeds, sans a grain like rice, you can eat all of these burgers (exempt the black rice) and keep within your parameters. I realize those last two paragraphs were a whole lot of rambling, but that is the best way I know to get all of my thoughts out.

As far as which burgers I’ve enjoyed most and see myself purchasing often: I am loving the Root Veggie Burger and the Hemp & Greens Burger the most. I’m so impressed with the seasoning in both of these burgers–they are right on the money and make them so palatable and tasty–even to those who eat meat-based burgers. Hilary & Becky even shared a fantastic idea in combining some organic, grass-fed ground meat in with these veggie burgers to create a more robust, protein filled circle of goodness. I have yet to try it but eagerly await testing it out!

As for the dressings–WHOA! All of them are so good in their own right. What a genius idea to put chia seeds in an organic ranch dressing recipe. As far as initial wow factor in regards to the taste, my husband and I both agreed that the Creamy Remoulade Dressing is to die for. Hilary’s even mentions that it was a favorite at Hilary’s restaurant in Lawrence, Local Burger. It tastes like creamy, mustardy, zippy goodness. My husband suggested even using it as a dip, all by itself–its that good. I typically lean towards thick dressings, but actually really enjoyed the flavors in the Balsamic Thyme & Apple Fennel dressings. I was impressed to see the use of Dandelion root & Eyebright, two healing plants that give these dressings an extra punch of health. Becky at Hilary’s mentioned using the Apple Fennel dressing on a bean salad. After trying it, I’d agree it would be delicious when used that way. Even if you are unsure about these flavor combinations, trust Hilary! These dressings will really “wow” you.

My 5 year old stepdaughter tried the bites last night at dinner with the Ranch Chia alongside and had nothing but good things to say about them. She was “mmmmm”ing the whole time while eating them. It’s safe to say they are a hit with our young in! They’re a convenient food you can feel good about feeling your child (and your whole family!).

I’ve had such a pleasant experience interacting with the Hilary’s team and can’t sing their praises enough. This kind of company is RARE. They truly put the time and effort into making sure they heard my feedback in person, as well as making it abundantly clear how much they value quality and how they source their ingredients–& I think they’ve only just begun! Their passion for what they create will continue to grow and “infect” more people with this positive health bug. It’s so refreshing and I am eager for all of you to try their products. Get one of everything! You can shop on the Hilary’s Eat Well site or use their store locator to find your closest grocery store that carries them. Let me know how you like them in the comments below 🙂