Camping with wAckY AppLE *review + giveaway

Local (to Colorado). Organic. Philanthropic. Delicious.

This is my best summary of the products Wacky Apple sent me to try out recently and why I admire this company. They are a family-owned, family-operated apple orchard out towards the Western Slope of Colorado. They went into the manufacturing of simple apple products three years ago in response to the need for healthy snacks in our schools. The products are good, like real good. I do not buy much processed foods but was eager when approached by them with the summer coming up and some things about their company that fell in line with my values.

They tugged at my heart-strings with their involvement with the Food Bank of the Rockies by donating about $14K in product. If you read this blog then you know I have massive love for FBR and there is a need for healthy donations like this.

They do not add sugar to their products but use fruit that they produce.

They recommend reusing containers. One of their recommendations is to use them to start seeds for gardening which is a great activity to do with kids.

The products arrived and I decided my husband begged me to make some cookies with the apple sauce ahead of our camping trip to Mesa Verde National Park over Memorial Day weekend.

Peanut Butter and Tahini Cookies with Wacky Apple Applesauce
Peanut Butter and Tahini Cookies with Wacky Apple Applesauce

We also took the Fun Pack with us (the same kind of Fun Pack you can win).

Wacky Apple Snack Pack with juice, sauce, and fruit leather
Wacky Apple Snack Pack with juice, sauce, and fruit leather

Mesa Verde for a few days was awesome with the cliff dwellings and family times outside.

Spruce House cliff dwelling with my guys
Spruce House cliff dwelling with my guys
Toddler Hiking Petroglyph Loop
Toddler Hiking Petroglyph Loop

There were even bears and lions in our campground (tradition of putting kids into warm costumes for chilly CO nights when camping that I started with our first son)

bear cub infant in the a.m. (do not fret about his safety, he is was in a moses basket both nights separate from our sleeping bags)

lion toddler in the a.m.
lion toddler in the a.m.

In between our meals and activity we snacked like crazy – the Wacky Apple came in handy

Wacky Apple Fruit Leather

Wacky Apple Applesauce

 

The trip was obviously good.  Both boys did great.  I was glad we had the Wacky Apple Snacks because they were really good and an easy source of calories.  The apple sauces were tasty and I appreciate that there is no refined sugar added.  In the juices, leather, and sauce you could actually taste apples.  With so few ingredients all you have to rely on is quality.  I can see our family buying from this company for road trips and camping to make life easy in the future.  The cookies also came out well and were useful on the trails.  I can see having some of the apple sauce on hand in the pantry for cooking and not needing to open up large quantities of sauce for baking.

In my area Wacky Apple is available in King Soopers, Sprouts, and Whole Foods.  However if you would like to win a Fun Pack like the one I have depicted in the picture at our campsite enter and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget below.

 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Opinons expressed here are my own. I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a Fun Pack to sample.

Genetic Roulette – Review

In the United States our food industry is screwed. We have poverty, hunger, obesity, nutrient-poor diets as a mainstay, food allergies, food intolerances, highly-specialized diets by choice, highly-specialized diets by medical necessity, government subsidized nutrient-sparse foods… we run the gamut of issues. We also have an independent film industry attempting to examine every one of these issues. I do not watch every food documentary, but enjoy the more optimistic and less gross-out ones that come my way. Recently I viewed Genetic Roulette by Jeffrey Smith from the Institute for Responsible Technology. This film highlights GMOs, their prevalence in our food supply, and how their presence affects consumers and suppliers.

Genetic-Roulette-movie

It is a dense film giving anyone a primer on this topic or ideas of where to find more specialized information. The cast includes many notable personalities who have worked in agriculture, advocacy, and research on the topic.

I have been well-versed in GMOs encroaching in the marketplace for quite a while. My first formal/academic exercise in the topic was in grad school as part of a natural resource conservation class. We looked at Bt that had appeared in agricultural seeds less than a decade prior to discuss the “what-if’s” that science had not acquired long-term data on. I have to admit that the topic of GMOs and were I source food in my food supply has not scared me as it has for some others in recent news trends. I have had the good fortune of knowing how to cook from whole-food products most of my life, I have been weary of toxins and deviations from natural whole foods most of my life, and I have had access and knowledge to avoid a processed diet at home my adult life. Yet for all of this I do have a sugar cane allergy that developed as an adult and do question if it developed from eating out where I did not control the ingredients I consumed. Who knows?

If you are new to food issues and concerned about GMOs in your diet I highly recommend this film. I wrote it is dense – and it is but the film takes a nice approach to educate a wide spectrum of people with varying food knowledge. The film has a good introduction of the topics and is clear about sub-topics it addresses through its duration. About 1/3 of the way into the film there is a review. And then with 20 minutes to go there is an optimistic topic of reversing the GMO-damage that goes over a case study as well as actionable steps consumers can take.

While most Americans are concerned with personal finances it is easy to gloss over food issues. However those questioning the rise in gut disorders since the 90s should watch this film. Those questioning exactly what “voluntary compliance” means when the FDA tells companies genetically engineering seeds that they could be their own watchdogs should watch this film. Those questioning why the USA is one of the few industrialized nations that allows these foods into our marketplace without labeling should watch this film.

Personally I have never bought the fallacy that GMOs are needed to feed the world, especially in the US when we cannot adequately feed ourselves right. I believe the feeding the world b.s. is a marketing ploy/scare tactic propagated by companies including the very powerful Monsanto that just last week snuck a long-term rider to stay in business without legal constraints or ramifications into a short-term budget bill that passed in our government.

For those asking where all the conclusive scientific proof is that this kind of engineering is bad for our collective health I can counter with a couple of thoughts. It is hard to tease apart GMOs from all the other invasive, manmade influences in our lives due to complex synergisms. Researchers who attempt to do conclusive research are urged (sometimes violently or financially) not to do such work since biotech companies fund a lot of academic departments (something I learned early on watching Tyrone Hayes fight with it out at UC Berkeley over atrazine and amphibians). And long-term controlled studies on humans are hard to start as well as keep going.

For other bloggers looking to view and post about this film consider applying for link to be sent to you. For the general public you can support the filmakes with a $2.99 donation to view the film online or buy a DVD copy.

Educating ourselves about how our food supply is sourced can be a scary and overwhelming prospect since there is so much money and misinformation abound. However living with long-term consequences of when food makes you sick can be expensive and deadly. I urge for people to educate themselves about the one thing we vote on with our dollars multiple times during a week.

Ignite Fitness and Giving Up Teaching #365Yoga

First off I forgot to mention to this group about Ignite Fitness and Fitbloggin. There is a blogger conference in Portland, OR this June and I organize the Ignite Fitness keynote event where you speak for 5 minutes with 20 auto-advancing slides about something you are passionate about. I have done a yoga and tech talk to an 850-person audience before with this format and would love to invite #365yoga people to apply if you are anywhere near Oregon or curious about the conference. If picked you earn a full-conference pass for your participation. Click here to apply, but hurry submissions close tomorrow.

That up there is my pitch to you all, this down here is some display of my ego. I am officially on maternity leave and gave up my classes over a week ago. At this point I am only emergency subbing if I feel rested and up to it. This baby is due any day. I also did not make plans to resume classes, I figured I woud start slowly on sub lists once I felt comfy with my body and a new baby at home.

Well I have been a little irked at giving up classes because apparently my ego has not fully let go. I instructed a prenatal class I really developed and was irritated that a competing teacher decided to teach another prenatal class 3 hours prior to the one I led in the last 6 months at the same studio. Then she moved her class to within 2 hours of my class and started sniping my students. I say sniping because I subbed her class one day and there were some of my students who expressed to me they thought the class was moved to an earlier time because of my pregnancy. Le sigh. I let it go and was fine with giving her all Friday class business as I got ready for the baby. I gave this notice over a month ago.

Well she up and decided to quit doing Friday classes to coincide with my leave. The Friday class I taught then went to someone who has subbed for me before. I am fine with that because I feel she is a capable instructor. Then I get a blanket email the other night with other instructors asking us to sub her class and that it should be worth our time since she has developed such a large following for this day. Um, she just took over this class 2 weeks ago and it appears to be the same number of following I developed. Grrrr. See ego. Also, she mentions it as “her” class as if you can have ownership over something like that. Once again… my ego.

There has been other studio politics that have bugged me. For example at another studio there was a time slot I really wanted and an instructor was giving that slot up and I told her I wanted it. She said no since I would be going on maternity leave a few months later. She gave it to someone else – and that person has recently asked for someone to take it over because she realized she had been overextending herself and picking up too many classes. Grrrrr, again.

I am way too pregnant these days to be patient with studio politics. I am also cognizant that my ego needs to be removed from this equation and that I’ll be ready to jump back in “the game” (and it is a game) when I am ready at some undetermined time in the future. For now I really do need to do some Pali-focused breath on letting go… and let it go already. For the moment I am no longer a yoga teacher.

Present #365Yoga

Here I am in the middle of the night knowing I may pay for it in a few hours when the sun is up. That is fine. I am present and content with this moment.

I have been thinking about presence a good deal lately. On Friday I was at a symposium and talking about my blog being really stripped down right now on purpose since I converted it to a new theme and that this move was on purpose. Why? So I could be present with my pregnancy and not so concerned with my blog. In time I plan to spruce this thing up for max analytics, SEO, and broadcasting once baby is here and we have had enough time in our little love cocoon. And I am also hoping Twenty Thirteen is ready to download buggy-free around that time.

In the past few days I have been seeing people I really like broadcasting with the #expowest and #SXSW hashtags and enjoying their content, but not wanting to be at the expo or spring break for geeks. I am here, in Colorado, with a snowstorm one day and sun the next, being patient with my body as we prep for baby any day now. Forget networking out of town, chanting “Ganesha Sharanam Sharanam Ganesha” in a quiet room to my child has been a more fulfilling priority.

I am in the final days or weeks of being able to be selfish with what I do before we expand our family and sacrifice our precious spare time with a newborn.

Meditation has been even more delicious lately. Having a few moments to move my body outside or hop on my mat are a known treat for me. I have an idea of what is to come in the near future. However for this moment, even with baby moving like a bandit on the inside and keeping me awake before the sun rises has me in a great, mindful mood.

Image via http://www.sarahkatebutterworth.com/ with much gratitude
Image via http://www.sarahkatebutterworth.com/ with much gratitude

I Hear the Train A Comin’

VLAWWWWG….

Good week. Big highlights were my home birth crew making the home visit. This included my direct entry midwife, the secondary midwife, our friend/doula/toddler wrangler, my father, husband, toddler, and me. Phew… we had to go over logistics in preparation for the idea that the baby can safely be born at home after March 12th through some point in April. I really hope I do not go into April but babies do arrive when they want.

I am no longer regularly teaching yoga classes as of this week – sort of on maternity leave for that. However, with that said I am covering for friends this week in both Boulder and Denver. I feel great though – my focus is on my endurance and strength these days. I am diligent with my heart rate monitor training and pushing my ceiling to see how fast I can recover and drop down at least 10 bpm from that ceiling. Do you see that Polar Ambassador badge on the right? I wear that badge proudly. There are post-partum plans involving Polar products but that is for another post with what I hope is mindful birth recovery and preparing for endurance events.

The next big thing I need to make sure is happening as we work up to delivering this baby is my diet. Now this is gonna sound vain and silly but is a consideration – I need to eat well and regularly because at any given time I can be pushing this baby out soon and do not want to worry about a bloated gut or the poop not coming out regularly. Let’s be real. No one wants that.

Before we fast forward into all that though I get a do-over on my blessingway that was supposed to be last weekend but postponed due to a Denver blizzard that shut everything down. So in a little over 12 hours there will be a party that will most likely be about MEEEEEEEEEEE with some dear ladies who mean a great deal to me. Woohoo! This is a good lesson to stay in the present and not miss the moments we are living in right now.

Have a great week everyone. xoxo

Kalso Project Earth Wrap-up

Celebrate Earth Day Everyday… right?
I hope that whatever you did to celebrate last week that you enjoyed yourself. Myself I was locked up on the 4th day of a yoga teaching intensive with a lovely group of women as we got bendy and dove into our teaching philosophies and studies.

Going into Earth Day I was happy in offering my community FREE non-toxic household cleaning workshops and would love to share that information with you.

HERE is the Bodhi Bear Non Toxic Household Cleaning Guide I made and want to share with you if you were not able to make it. It is a six page document and is intended to be double-sided printed then stapled on the center spine if you plan to print it and keep it for a long time. If you download it to pull up on your tech then I hope it makes sense with the structure. I did not label the cover page, inside page (which is blank), or about page which is the last. Please take note of the ingredients and their functions and precautions as the two most important pieces of information as you begin to make your own cleaners.

Thanks to Kalso Earth Shoes (see their Twitter and Facebook channels to thank them for me regarding this opportunity)

I am editing away to get the video content up for you with this project but have a number of things going on so that content may not be up until Tuesday night or Wednesday.