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Big Berkey Water Filter Review

This post contains a Big Berkey Water Filter System Review.

big berkey water filter in kitchen

Big Berkey Water Filter Review

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Berkey:

This powerful water filter purifies both treated water and untreated raw water. Including: such sources as remote lakes, streams, stagnant ponds and water supplies in foreign countries, where regulations may be substandard at best. Perfect for everyday use, outdoor activities and a must in hostile environments where electricity, water pressure or treated water may not be available.

The versatile Big Berkey Water Filter removes viruses, pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites. It also extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes. It also reduces rust, silt, sediment, foul taste and odors and unhealthy minerals such as lead and mercury.

This system is so powerful it can remove red food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs. Virtually no other system can duplicate this performance.

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Specs of the Big Berkey

The Big Berkey is constructed of highly polished 304 stainless steel. The system comes complete with two purification elements and utilizes the latest technological advances. This water filter has a storage capacity of about 2.25 gallons (8.5 liters) and when in use it stands 19.25″ in height with a diameter of 8.5″. The upper chamber nests within the lower chamber for transport and stands only 13″ in height.

Configured with two Black Berkey™ Purification Elements the system will purify up to 3 1/2 Gallons (13.3 liters) per hour*. This system can be expanded to use four purification elements and is capable of purifying up to 7 Gallons (26.5 liters) per hour*.

*Flow rate calculated with upper chamber full to top. Flow rate decreases as water level declines.

Big Berkey Water Filter Removes:

The powerful Black Berkey™ purification elements also remove or reduce viruses, pathogenic bacteria, cysts, parasites, harmful or unwanted chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides, VOCs, detergents, organic solvents, trihalomethanes, cloudiness, silt, sediment, heavy metals, foul tastes and odors. Yet, they leave in the healthful and beneficial minerals that your body needs.

big berkey water filter in kitchen

Why a Berkey Filter?

The water my family and I drink has always been in the forefront of my mind and at the top of my priority list in regards to health. I do not go the bottled water route for a few reasons:

1. Bottled water is typically bottled in questionable plastic (made in large amounts, often containing BPA and other potentially other harmful substances).

2. Bottled water is not cost efficient! Investing in a filter for your home will ultimately save you money and is more convenient, to boot.

3. The water in bottled water sits in that same container for potentially months before it is actually consumed. This means that whatever that plastic is made of is having a gigantic window of time to leach into the water.

Those are a few reasons that made me choose a Big Berkey for my family’s drinking water supply. Berkey also offers fluoride filters (without getting into an elaborate discussion about fluoride–I’ll just say I avoid it).

Benefits of Using a Berkey:

-Takes heavy metals out of our water

-heavy metals cause a multitude of health defects including hormone disruption, brain fog and chronic inflammation)

-Strips contaminants from water so you don’t ingest them

-As scary as it sounds: parasites, pharmaceuticals, environmental pollutants and mold can all be present in our water supply. Each of those will impact your health negatively, especially through daily exposure through drinking water.

-You’ll experience increased health overall

-I notices that my skin is clearer, I sleep better, my energy levels are higher and my tests came back very low for toxic contamination in my system.

big berkey water filter in kitchen

Daily Life With Our Big Berkey

This filter sits in our kitchen and is our source of water for drinking, cooking, making coffee, filling up our dog’s water bowl–you name it. I would say that we use quite a bit of water! I’m frequently making almond milk, brewing coffee, making smoothies and filling up blender bottles. All of these activities require water from that filter.

We keep a big pitcher next to the Berkey for a quick fill up. We usually have to refill the filtering tank every 1-2 days. It’s not inconvenient, and only takes a few minutes a day. All in all, we love our Berkey filter and are happy to have it as a staple in our daily routine.

I recommend this filter to everyone! Even my parents & brother own one.

I highly recommend this filter to anyone–especially families looking for a non-contaminated source of water. This size works well for us! But, Berkey also makes them bigger and also smaller (more portable) with the same thorough filtering. You don’t need to replace the filters until they’ve filtered 3,000 gallons of water, or 6,000 gallons for two filter elements (we have two). For us, I believe it will end up being every 3 years.

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SCD Probiotics Organic Drink Review

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SCD Probiotics

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Essential Probiotics

About:

SCD Essential Probiotics® satisfies your body’s need for healthy bacteria, restoring balance in the digestive tract and supporting a healthy immune function†.

  • 11 Live Probiotic Strains
  • Shelf Stable, pH Balanced Liquid
  • Supports Healthy Digestion†
  • Promotes Regularity†
  • Survives Stomach Acid
  • Supports Intestinal and Immune Health†
  • Relieves Gas & Bloating†
  • All Natural, Not Genetically Modified
  • Zero Calories
  • No Refrigeration Needed

SCD Essential Probiotics® combines state-of-the art probiotic science with artisanal manufacturing. This proprietary consortia technology delivers a probiotic unmatched in type and activity. It supports healthy digestion and immune health.

Advanced Liquid Delivery
Most microbial technologies today are based on “pure culture” methods of manufacturing. This means the microorganisms are grown as individual strains in a sterile environment. If a finished product contains more than a strain, each strain is typically grown in pure culture then blended at time of packaging. SCD Essential Probiotics® is fundamentally different because the selected strains are grown in “consortia,” a process of co-growth that combines multiple strains during production. Therefore, each strain develops while interacting with other strains.

Through our proprietary manufacturing process, the microorganisms become a small eco system – much more resilient and capable of working together synergistically. This methodology is similar to how microorganisms survive in the natural environment. In nature, strains never exist in isolation or pure culture. They are always interacting with other strains.

How SCD Essential Probiotics® Consortia Technology Works
We all have a digestive tract populated by a microbial ecology. We are not born with many intestinal ‘helpers’ or good bacteria. Instead they must be introduced into our system via the food we eat and drink.

Try as we might, we don’t always make the healthiest food choices and that can be lead to an imbalance in our ecology – more bad bacteria than good – which can lead to a number of digestive issues. The use of antibiotics and certain medical conditions can also cause a reduction of healthy digestive microflora. The repetitive introduction of beneficial probiotics found in SCD Essential Probiotics® will ensure that healthy microbes dominate the harmful ones.

Usage Directions:
Adults and Children 12 and up: Mix 1 Tbsp. with smoothie, juice or water daily.

Children 2 to 12: Mix 1 tsp. with smoothie, juice or water daily.

Ingredients:
Liquid fermentation product of water, organic sugarcane molasses*, organic juice concentrates* (blueberry, cherry, pomegranate).

*Certified Organic Ingredients.”

† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

*Based on survivability percentage in simulated gastric pH (pH 2.0) for 3 hours.

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My Thoughts:

I am such a huge proponent of probiotics because I have felt first hand what probiotics can do for my body, my gut and my overall livelihood. They really help keep my digestion regulated, my body feeling balanced and my abdominal bloating down.

When comparing SCD probiotics to other brands, I find myself really appreciating the fact that they use organic ingredients in addition to the probiotic cultures. You’re getting healthy, clean ingredients AND gut-pampering bacteria: awesome!

I take a gulp out of the bottle every morning on an empty stomach and find that works for me–as I won’t forget to take it and my tummy starts the day off on the right foot, so to speak. The flavor of the drink itself is a bit robust–but I’m used to consuming all kinds of vinegar-rich-tasting drinks so it was no big deal for me. I can see some people may want to amp up the flavor or sweetness by mixing it into a smoothie or boosting a shot of it with some stevia.

Probiotics are an absolute must for me these days. When I am trying to achieve optimum healthy, they are a facet of my diet that I do not overlook. I highly recommend this brand (They are also local to me–from Kansas city!) Their customer service has been nothing short of knowedgable, helpful & attentive as well. All good things with SCD Probiotics!

 

Erbaviva Organic Skin Care: Shaping Products Review

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Erbaviva

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

About Erbaviva:

“Erbaviva was born to bring the world a luxurious collection of the purest organic skincare products available.

OURSTORY

With a passion for pure ingredients and their own children as inspiration, Robin Brown and Anna Cirronis created Erbaviva, a beautiful line of authentically organic skincare products for baby, mothers-to-be and everyone else.  The exclusive, handmade collection is Certified USDA Organic and Demeter Biodynamic.

In the defining spirit of voyagers, Robin and Anna were among the very first to seek out and source the highest quality organic ingredients possible for their original organic baby skincare line in 1996.  Desiring the healthiest, safest and most natural products for their newborn, the couple developed distinctively pure products, consciously crafted with ultimately nourishing living herbs and botanicals and free from harsh detergents, chemical fragrances and other unhealthy additives. Erbaviva was born.

Dedicated to bringing equally effective and synergistic organic skincare products to more than only the babies of the world, Erbaviva soon after created a line of premium pregnancy products, a luxuriant bath and body collection and superior, organic and wild crafted essential oils.  Organic luxury for everyone.

Erbaviva remains ever true to its originating philosophy of authenticity and enduring commitment to people and the environment with its products, manufacturing and global community service.  Erbaviva is a proud financial supporter of The Blink Now Foundation and its invaluable work to sustain and care for the lives of impoverished children in Nepal.  Since the founding of the company, Erbaviva has also been an integral part of an artisan project fund that provides direct financial benefit to the Pwo Karen hill tribe of Northern Thailand and Burma.  All of Erbaviva’s products are compassionately made by hand at the company’s own renewable energy powered facility in Southern California.  A Certified B Corporation, Erbaviva consistently implements and supports sustainable and environmentally responsible principles with every practice and partnership as possible.”

Shaping Salts

About:

“With the natural thermal and therapeutic properties of a signature blend of organic essential oils, Erbaviva Shaping Salt helps promote the appearance of tighter, smoother skin by alleviating water retention through stimulating circulation and detoxification. Certified organic essential oils of pink pepper, grapefruit and ginger combine to naturally promote shaping and circulation. Massage on skin together with Erbaviva Shaping Oil for a spa inspired scrub or soak up the transformative benefits in the bath. Pores gently open from the natural thermal action of the oil-infused premium salt, preparing skin to receive the complementary nutrients of Erbaviva Shaping Oil. Use Phase I line for 2 to 4 weeks, continuing with Phase II line. Repeat process as necessary or desired. USDA Certified Organic.

Ingredients:

Maris sal (sea salt), *helianthus annuus (sunflower) oil, *rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, tocopherol, *zingiber officinale (ginger) root oil, *citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel oil, *citrus aurantifolium (lime) peel oil, *abies balsamea (balsam Canada) needle oil, *schinus molle fruit extract, *juniperus communis fruit oil, *citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil, *vanilla plantifolia (vanilla) fruit extract, **limonene. *denotes certified organic ingredient. **denotes component of certified organic ingredient.”

Shaping Oil

About:

“Luxuriate in Erbaviva Shaping Oil, a signature blend of organic essential oils effectively combined with the highly penetrating, nutrient-rich base of avocado and olive oils. Organic pink pepper stimulates healthy circulation and tone. Organic ginger naturally warms the skin, supporting healthy circulation. Organic grapefruit promotes vibrant skin tone and complexion, while its diuretic properties are known to help alleviate water retention. Beautifully complements Erbaviva Shaping Salt to naturally shape and detox. Use Phase I line for 2- 4 weeks, continuing with Phase II line. Repeat process as necessary or desired. USDA Certified Organic.

Ingredients:

*Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, *olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, *persea gratissima (avocado) oil, *rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, tocopherol, *zingiber officinale (ginger) root oil, *citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel oil, *citrus aurantifolium (lime) peel oil, *abies balsamea (balsam Canada) needle oil, *schinus molle fruit extract, *juniperus communis fruit oil, *citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil, *vanilla plantifolia (vanilla) fruit extract, **citral, **limonene, **linalool. *denotes certified organic ingredient. **denotes component of certified organic ingredient.”

Vanilla Grapefruit Lip Balm

About:

“Nutrient-rich, long-lasting organic Erbaviva Vanilla Grapefruit Lip Balm nourishes and protects lips with super moisturizing organic essential oils of grapefruit peel, lemon peel and vanilla extract infused in a hydrating base of organic shea butter. This delightful infusion flavors the balm with a sweet and subtle citrus scent. USDA Certified Organic.

Ingredients:

**Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, *butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), *cera alba (beeswax), *ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, *simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, *rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, *triticum vulgare (wheat) germ oil, *citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel oil, *vetiveria zizanoides root oil, *citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil, *vanilla planifolia fruit extract, **limonene. *denotes certified organic ingredient. **denotes component of certified organic ingredient.”

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My Thoughts:

Zowwweeee! I love Erbaviva. That’s the simplest way I can put it. The integrity, quality, thought and beauty that goes into these products is not lost on me. Never, ever do I have to worry about anything-distantly-related-to-junk making its way onto my skin with Erbaviva. Knowing that there’s a brand like this out there (it’s one of few that really commit to incredible, organic ingredients–not just non-toxic ingredients) is refreshing, comforting and it something I’m driven to support.

The idea of “shaping” products was a new one to me. As usual with Erbaviva, the ingredients in the shaping salts and oil are stellar.

In the winter months, I try to reel in the frequency with which I exfoliate because my skin tends to dry out quicker. That said, I still feel a need to take care of the grime and build up on my skin that accrues after lots of sweaty workouts. That’s where the salts come in. I love that they help achieve glowing and minimize skin imperfections, but I would use it for the refreshing feeling alone. I make sure to follow up every shower (when I use the salts) with the shaping oil–this helps nourish and replenish my skin’s moisture. The use of ginger and pepper in the mixture is invigorating. Plus, pure organic oil just makes your skin glow! That is my single-favorite organic skin care item: body oil. It’s just such dense nourishment & I don’t ever have to worry about my skin reacting to it. Erbaviva oil blends are excellent in that you can tell they’ve concocted their products with thought and care–and it shows–my skin LOVES these products. The salt + oil routine is a must to get your skin (head-to-toe) summer ready!

As expected, I love the lip balm as well. It’s the perfect thickness–it provides sheen and moisture to your lips but also has some great staying power. I don’t find myself needing to reapply it many times throughout the day. The vanilla + grapefruit combination is genius–it’s a decadent piece of zesty heaven. It rocks!

You need some Erbaviva in your life if you believe in taking great care of your skin. They have an incredible thing going! (They also have products specifically formulated for babies and mommies!) 🙂

 

On Juice Advanced Cleanse Review

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On Juice

Overall Rating: 3 Stars

About On Juice:

“OnJuice takes its cue from Mother Nature herself. Simplicity, purity and balance are the three pillars upon which our juice line is built. We make use of nature’s own gifts by nourishing our bodies with only locally sourced, fresh fruits and vegetables. Using the purest produce we can lay our hands on ensures that every OnJuice bottle that leaves our kitchens is a well thought out and encouraging prescription for health – from the inside out.

The body is a machine while the mind is an engine. We aim to strike a balance between the two by nourishing and protecting both entities.

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We’ve done the research, prepared the product and pressed the health right into your hands! All you have to do is take a sip!

OnJuice is a complete lifestyle and wellness company with a mission to bring health, nutrition and balance to your life through a wide range of cold-pressed juices, smoothies, milks, tonics, nutrient packed soups and freshly prepared raw foods. Raw juice is the purest form of juice. Using only the finest 100% locally sourced fruits and vegetables, OnJuice is unpasteurized, cold-pressed, glass bottled and completely chemical-free. The crucial component of our liquid magic is the cold-pressed process that the ingredients undergo before they make their way to your grateful lips.

Our cold pressed technique locks in all the crucial vitamins in fruits and vegetables that are lost during conventional juicing, cooking, baking and heating methods. Our “pressed to perfection” method takes place on a hydraulic press, which extracts only the best produce directly from the pulp of the fruit or vegetable. This process minimizes oxidation and facilitates the release of vitamins, minerals and enzymes for maximum nutrient retention! This process is what separates OnJuice from the juice you can make at home. Drinking raw fruits and vegetables in this way is the most efficient way for the body to absorb essential enzymes and nutrients. Made fresh daily in our local kitchen, OnJuice is a vegan delight, glass bottled and delivered straight to your doorstep to ensure the ultimate in freshness and quality.”

Unbeetable

About:

“Tackle your toughest skin imbalances with the most simplistic all-natural ingredients. Improve your complexion, repair damaged skin cells and give yourself that glowing look you’ve always admired for results that are truly UNBEETABLE. Let your health shine from the inside-out!”

Skinny Greens

About:

“Vanity may only be a by-product of juicing, but in our SKINNY GREENS juice this by-product is more of a feature presentation. Balance out your body’s alkalinity and give yourself the chance to finally let go of those final few pounds with our secret weight-loss weapon.”

Deep Green

About:

“Are you a serious juicer? If you said yes, then Deep Green is the perfect juice for you! Packed with super ingredients like spinach, parsley, romaine, lime, ginger and chlorella, this hearty green juice is the ideal way to start your day – full steam ahead. Experience increased energy, improved digestion, a boost of immunity, and gorgeously glowing skin, one simple sip at a time. The benefits are endless and it tastes phenomenal too! There’s no denying it – this juice is your salad in a bottle!”

Upskale

About:

“UPSKALE your diet with the perfect combination of hydrating ingredients that will make you feel rejuvenated and refreshed in even the worst nutrient droughts. UPSKALE is the ideal component in any juice cleanse as it provides relief from many of the common health ailments caused by improper diet and unhealthy eating habits.”

Sublime

About:

“There’s a reason your mother always pressured you into finishing all your fruits and vegetables. Keep seasonal colds and flu at bay all year-round with Vitamin C, Vitamin E and healthy phytonutrients. Maintain and improve your immunity with this delicious green juice that tastes just as SUBLIME as the name suggests. This juice is also the perfect breakfast option as it is sweetened with green apple and lime, complete with all of the health benefits from spinach, ginger, cucumber and parsley!”

Lemon Aid

About:

“Used for centuries to detoxify the body and cleanse the liver, lemon has the unique quality of tasting great while still treating ailments such as throat infections, indigestion, constipation, fever and high blood pressure. Combined with sweet agave nectar, organic cayenne pepper and ginger, our LEMON AID is the perfect juice for anyone searching for a well needed immunity booster.”

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My Thoughts:

I am a huge advocate of organic, cold-pressed, raw juice. I see it as one of the quickest ways to ingest a large amount of live enzymes and nutrients. Fresh juice also provides a bountiful range of health benefits including clear skin and improved digestion. I am always eager to try new brands and see they’re take on juice.

I loved the range of On Juice flavors, with my favorite being the Lemon Aid (taste wise). In regards to nutrition, my favorite are the greens–as green vegetables are amongst the most nutrient dense. I always get an incredibly refreshed feeling after consuming green juice.

After speaking with an On Juice representative on the phone, I learned that On Juice uses some organic produce, but not all. He also did not know whether they used local produce or not. The website states that they do–the lack of knowledge was all a little unnerving.

The thing that really bothers me is that is was SO hard to get that information. In my opinion, it should be clearly stated on the bottled what ingredients are organic. If the brand’s website nor bottling clearly discloses this, I have a bad taste in my mouth about it. Transparency is so important to me when discovering new brands. If you know organic is best, and you don’t use all organic produce, then you won’t get my biggest nod of approval.

That said, I do appreciate that On Juice uses SOME organic product. I certainly wish I had a better idea of what kind of percentages we’re talking about in reference to that.

Though I felt light and refreshed on this cleanse, I don’t know that I’d recommend this cleanse to many organic gurus. I have to believe in the quality of the products that I stand behind–and since the source of these fruits and vegetables is unclear, I am resistant.

*These complimentary products have been generously provided to me for the purpose of trying them in order to write a review on my experience.

Bob’s Red Mill Whey & Hemp Protein Review

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Bob’s Red Mill

Overall Rating: 3 Stars

About Bob’s Red Mill:

PRESERVING NUTRITION THROUGH TRADITION

At Bob’s Red Mill, we know that you can’t rush quality. That’s why we manufacture our products using time-honored techniques, like grinding whole grains at cool temperatures with a traditional stone mill. This production ‘secret’ allows us to seal in the freshness and bring you wholesome, quality foods, just as nature intended.

Our beautiful stone grinding mills are much like the ones used during early Roman times. And to this day, our quartz millstones remain the best way to produce the finest products available. Unlike high-speed steel rollers, our stone mills ensure the most nutritious parts of the whole grain remain, so we can pack all-natural goodness right into your bag.

MILLING, TESTING, PACKAGING, DISTRIBUTING—ALL UNDER ONE ROOF

We’ve known from the first day we opened our doors in 1978 that to make the best products possible, we’d have to be able to do it all ourselves. And with our state-of-the-art milling, packaging and distribution facility located right in Milwaukie, Oregon, we’re able to guarantee quality, every step of the way.

Bob’s Red Mill takes great pride in handling all aspects of the production process in-house, starting with processing, washing and inspecting the grain, and ending with shipping the finished product to your door.

Each product undergoes extensive quality control tests within our in-house laboratories. During this testing phase, our gluten-free offerings are segregated from our other products, and tested in special gluten-free-only ‘clean room facilities.’

But don’t just take it from us; you can actually see the results of all our hard work. With our special clear packaging, you get to be the final judge of the quality and freshness of our products, before you take them home.

SOURCING THE FINEST PRODUCTS
FROM OUR FARMS TO YOUR TABLE

Our relationship with our product starts at the source, with the farmer who produces the grain. We maintain personal relationships with farmers from across the country and make an effort to visit their farms. Together, we ensure that we’re offering the best product available, while always using best practices.

ENSURING CERTIFIED ORGANIC, WHOLE GRAIN GOODNESS

We often hear the question from our customers, ‘What does organic really mean?’ It is, simply, a label assigned to foods that are produced without synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizers, and that do not contain genetically modified organisms (more commonly known as GMOs). Organic food production also supports farming methods that are deemed environmentally sound.

We’re proud to offer one of the largest lines of organic, whole grain foods in the country. When you see the ‘USDA Organic’ label on our products, you’ll know that to earn that label, Bob’s Red Mill had to complete a rigorous certification process through the USDA’s National Organic Program.”

Whey Protein

About:

“Whey Protein Concentrate is a high quality,complete protein with all of the essential amino acids. Dissolves instantly. Excellent for protein drinks and baking.”

Hemp Protein

About:

“Hemp seeds are one of nature’s best sources for plant-based protein. Containing all of the essential amino acids the body needs, our hemp protein powder is a perfect boost to your morning. Try adding hemp protein powder to your smoothies, shakes and yogurt, or use hemp protein to replace up to 25% of the flour in a baked good.

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My Thoughts:

Organic, powdered proteins are a part of my everyday diet. They are sure and quick way to ingest a dose of protein on-the-go, without compromising the quality of the food I’m eating. I am always open to trying new, organic proteins and was happy to discover that Bob’s Red Mill makes whey & hemp protein. My family has used various Bob’s Red Mill products in recent years, mainly the flaxseed, coconut flour, almond flour and gluten free baking mixes.

Many of Bob’s Red Mill products are certified organic, but I’ve recently learned that these two proteins are not. That was a little discouraging to learn–after usually looking at this brand in a very positive light. These proteins are, however, both non-gmo.

Taste-wise, both proteins taste pretty bland (to be expected). I’ve found that adding liquid vanilla stevia to my protein shake helps add some flavor and sweetness.

When I construct these ratings, I have to consider everything that I’ve tried. In this case, I know of many organic hemp protein brands and many organic whey protein brands. Unfortunately, this leaves these two Bob’s Red Mill products in the dust. If the day were to come that Bob’s held these two products to a higher standard (organic), I would surely be on board with them. Until then, I’ll have to seek other brands for my dally protein.

*These complimentary products have been generously provided to me for the purpose of trying them in order to write a review on my experience.