Must have Natural Household Cleaners

Some favorites of ours when it comes to household cleaners that are natural and safe for your home.

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day –  Awesome household cleaners and they can be found at just about any grocery store.  The lemon verbena, basil or lavender scents are light and refreshing. But they have many more lovely scents.



Method – They carry some great products from antibacterial cleaners, floor cleaners, all purpose cleaners, bathroom cleaners and more. This post is about household cleaners but I also must say I love their hand soap to!


Naturally it’s clean – 100% Made in the USA. Enzymes are a new way to clean for a healthier home. Find out why here.




Better LifeNatural cleaning products at it’s finest! They were even on Shark Tank.



Trader Joe’s Organic Liquid Stevia Review



What is Stevia?

Stevia is a plant.

If you are new to Stevia, let me help you catch up. You can find out more about Stevia and what it is here and here.

Is Stevia safe?

The food babe did a awesome post that is packed full of helpful information about Stevia.

Fun Facts on Stevia:

  • Stevia is a plant.
  • You can purchase Stevia in powder and liquid form.
  • Stevia is a lot sweeter than sugar.
  • Stevia is calorie-free.

Now for my review on the Organic Liquid Stevia from Trader Joe’s.

I love that it comes with a dropper, this makes it handy for those who want a couple drops in their coffee, tea or smoothies. Everyone has their own preference but I actually like the liquid over the powder.  For me the taste was something I had to get used to. But that is just the stevia taste in general nothing to do with the Trader Joe’s brand. Overall this product is great and Stevia is a great alternative to sugar and other artificial sweeteners.








Capri Sun Alternative

Full Circle Foods brings us Organic Wild Cherry Juice Drink. To be honest it reminds me a lot of a Capri Sun with similar packaging.

Remember those pouch drinks you would grab on that hot summer day.

Open the fridge grab it and go!

Right back out the door to meet with your friends to play outside until the sun went down.

Or maybe your mom packed these pouch drinks in your school lunch or they were in a cooler on your road trips.

Back then my parents didn’t know what they were giving us could be so bad and then was there even such a thing as “High fructose corn syrup” in Capri Suns?

Why I searched out a alternative to Capri Sun drinks for my kids:


They contain 0% Fruit Juice.

They have High Fructose Corn Syrup and sucralose (Splenda brand) for sweetener.

So next time the kiddos ask “Mom can we get Capri Sun juice?” grab these at your local health food store or if your grocery store has a health section you are bound to find these.


Full Circle Foods Organic Wild Cherry Juice Drink

USDA Organic

Contains 10% Juice

Sweetened with Organic Cane Sugar and Organic Pear Juice


Don’t get me wrong my kids love water and it’s the best thing for all of us. These drinks are purchased as a treat and they do not drink them daily.



*Full Circle Foods has not compensated us for this post. We did not get anything free. We purchase these drinks on our own and our kids love them for a healthy alternative to Capri Sun, Sunny D or any of those other drinks with nasty ingredients.

Superfoods to eat for more brain power

Eat these superfoods for brain power!


1. Raw Almonds: the only nut to contain a significant amount of vitamin E which may help to reduce cognitive decline.

2. Cashews: rich in antioxidants which help with memory.

3. Walnuts: rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are important for helping to maintain cognitive function.

4. Dark Chocolate: considered healthy because of its high antioxidant content; the darker the chocolate, the better. Chocolate also has caffeine, which stimulates the brain increasing alertness and focus.

5. Apples: contain antioxidants and fiber. Bonus: fiber helps to keep us fuller longer so we eat less and ultimately weight less.

6. Avocados: rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are important for helping to maintain cognitive function.

7. Blueberries: rich in antioxidants and anthocyanins (the compound that makes blueberries blue and may have an anti-diabetic effect).

8. Cinnamon: spices are one of the foods highest in antioxidants, and cinnamon is at the very top of the list. Antioxidants help with memory.

9. Oregano: like spices, herbs are also high in antioxidants.

10. Kale, spinach, and other dark, leafy greens: rich in iron and phytonutrients (natural-occurring chemicals in plants that may help prevent disease and keep your body working as it should).

11. Coffee: like chocolate, coffee contains antioxidants and caffeine.

12. Sweet potatoes: are loaded with phytonutrients, fiber and vitamin A.

13. Coconut Oil: metabolism, weight control. Being overweight is linked to decline in cognitive function. Coconut oil primarily consists of medium-chain fatty acids. One 2008 study examined the effect of medium-chain fatty acids and olive oil on weight of 31 participants over a 16-week weight loss. Two of the three subjects in the medium chain triglyceride (MCT) group with evidence of metabolic syndrome at the group’s beginning no longer had symptoms 16-weeks later.

14. Olive Oil: high in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats and offers protection against heart disease.

15. Chicken or turkey, skinless: great lean protein and helps to keep you lean.

16. Eggs: excellent source of protein and helps to keep you lean.

17. Salmon: loaded with brain-boosting omega-3s.

18. Shirataki Noodles: from the root of a wild yam plant. They are high in fiber and low in calories.

19. Green tea: contains antioxidants and the metabolism-boosting compound epigallocatechin gallate; also contains L-theanine, which helps you relax and focus at the same time. Contains less caffeine than coffee.

Getting your diet right can benefit others, as well as yourself. In my experience, when you get your diet right it has the potential to carry over to help other people in your family, community, place of worship and workplace. I have seen this repeatedly in my own practice and in my work with corporations and churches.

Readers – Have you developed ways to incorporate these healthy brain foods into your diet? Which is your favorite food on the list? Or maybe you have issues with food that keep you from eating the way you know you should. Leave a comment below, and let us know.

In brain health,

Daniel G. Amen, MD

-Dr. Daniel Amen

Dr. Amen is a psychiatrist and Founder of Amen Clinics in Newport Beach, San Francisco, Bellevue, WA, DC, Atlanta and New York. Amen Clinics have the world’s largest database of brain scans relating to behavior. Dr. Amen is also the host of 7 popular shows about the brain, and he is the author of 55 professional articles, and over 30 books, including Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, Magnificent Mind At Any Age, Change Your Brain, Change Your Body, and Use Your Brain to Change Your Age. In February 2013, Crown published Dr. Amen’s new book, Unleash the Power of the Female Brain.

Join Daniel G. Amen M.D. on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for daily updates on how to lead a brain healthy life. For more information on the Amen Clinics, click here: To learn more about how to unleash the power of your female brain, go here:

INVISIBLE GMO INGREDIENTS – Read your food labels


Processed foods often have hidden GMO sources (unless they are organic or declared non-GMO).

The following are ingredients that may be made from GMOs:

Aspartame (also called AminoSweet®,    NutraSweet®, Equal Spoonful®, Canderel®,  BeneVia®, E951)
baking powder
canola oil (rapeseed oil)
caramel color
citric acid
cobalamin (Vitamin B12)
condensed milk
confectioners sugar
corn flour
corn masa
corn meal
corn oil
corn sugar
corn syrup
cottonseed oil
food starch
fructose (any form)
glutamic acid
glycerol monooleate
high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
hydrogenated starch
hydrolyzed vegetable protein
inverse syrup
invert sugar
lactic acid
malt syrup
malt extract
milk powder
milo starch
modified food starch
modified starch
mono and diglycerides
monosodium glutamate (MSG)
oleic acid
phytic acid
protein isolate
soy flour
soy isolates
soy lecithin
soy milk
soy oil
soy protein
soy protein isolate
soy sauce
stearic acid
sugar (unless specified as cane sugar)
teriyaki marinades
textured vegetable protein
tocopherols (vitamin E)
vegetable fat
vegetable oil
vitamin B12
vitamin E
whey powder
xanthan gum
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) although usually derived from corn, is probably not GM because it is not likely made in North America.
List Source:

Read your food labels and try to buy verified NON-GMO products.

The Gluten Free lifestyle Part 2: Hidden Sources of Gluten

It’s easy to recognize gluten in food like breads, pastas and pastries, but it can be a bit harder to find the hidden sources of gluten in other products and foods. Below is a list of the hidden sources of Gluten.

These ingredients and additives can include gluten, but sources must be carefully scrutinized. For example, modified food starch from corn is considered gluten-free, so long as no wheat starch is included. Apple cider vinegar is acceptable, but distilled vinegars contain gluten. If you’re unsure, check the labels or contact the manufacturer for detailed production information.

  • Binders
  • Blue cheese
  • Brown rice syrup (if barley malt enzyme is used)
  • Buckwheat flour and soba noodles (if combined with wheat)
  • Caramel coloring (made from barley malt enzymes)
  • Coatings
  • Colorings
  • Dextrins
  • Dispersing agents (i.e., cellulose, citric acid)
  • Emulsifiers
  • Excipients (added to prescription medications to achieve desired consistency)
  • Extracts (in grain alcohol)
  • Fillers
  • Flavorings (in grain alcohol)
  • Flours, breads, cereals, crackers, pasta, sauces and condiments made with the primary gluten source grains or their derivatives
  • Grain alcohol (beer, ale, rye, scotch, bourbon, grain vodka)
  • Homeopathic remedies
  • Hydrolyzed protein, hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP), hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
  • Malt or malt flavoring (barley malt)
  • Modified starch, modified food starch (when derived from wheat)
  • Mono-and diglycerides (made using a wheat-starch carrier)
  • Oils (wheat germ oil and any oil with gluten additives)
  • Preservatives
  • Soy sauce (when fermented using wheat)
  • Spices (if contain anti-caking ingredients)
  • Starch (made from primary gluten source grains)
  • Vegetable gum (when made from oats)
  • Vegetable protein
  • Vinegars (distilled clear and white or with a mash starter)
  • Vitamin E oil



1. Scrambled Eggs: Some restaurants add pancake batter to their scrambled eggs to make them fluffier.
2. Fish/Seafood: Sometimes fish and seafood is dusted with flour to keep it from sticking to a cooking surface.
3. Vegetables: They could be steamed in the same water that is used to prepare/reheat pasta.
4. Soups: The soup base, or roux, is often made from a flour base.
5. Potato chips and tortilla chips: These are often contaminated with gluten when they are prepared in a fryer that is used to fry other breaded and battered foods.
6. French fries: Can be coated with a flour mixture, and just like chips, they some often contaminated with gluten when they are fried in a fryer that is used to fry other breaded and battered foods.
7. Crab: Make sure to eat real crab!! Real crab is gluten-free, imitation crab often is not.
8. Sauces: Oftentimes, the base of sauces are made with a roué, which uses flour.  Other sauces, like soy sauce and teriyaki sauce typically contained fermented wheat.
9. Burgers/Meatballs/Meatloaf: Breadcrumbs are often added to burgers, meatballs, and meatloaf.
10. Mashed potatoes: Flour is sometimes added to mashed potatoes as a thickening agent.
11. Vegan meat substitutes: Vegan meats products are often made from wheat.
Make sure that you talk with the restaurant manager to find gluten-free items on the menu before ordering. Remember to tell the manager or chef that both the meal AND its preparation must be gluten-free.


  • Foods that may contain soy sauce, such as in an Asian restaurant. Soy sauce contains wheat unless you purchase a wheat free version. You’re not likely to find that in a restaurant.
  • Sauces of all types, including salad dressings and condiments, marinades, gravies
  • French fries are often dusted in flour to give them more crunch. So even if they are cooked in fresh oil they are still not safe to eat.
  • Pilafs often contain rice shaped pasta, called orzo.
  • Spice mixtures may use wheat as an anti-caking agent, filler, or thickening agent.
  • Foods that come prepared may have gluten hidden in a filler or thickener, or a coating or sauce. In restaurants these foods are very common.
  • Processed cereals often contain barley malt.
  • Ice cream may have flour as an anti-crystallizing agent.
  • Beverages such as rice or soy may have barley malt or malt enzymes may have been used in manufacture.
  • Beer, unless it’s marked gluten free.
  • Imitation fish, bacon, lunch meats, self-basting poultry
  • Stuffings
  • Communion wafers



We hope you found this list helpful in your Gluten Free lifestyle.

Reduce Your Risk Of Cancer

Although much of cancer risk can be rooted in genetics, there are positive steps you can take to minimize your risk and help you fight back and recover faster.


If you smoke, Stop. Smoking is linked to more than just lung cancer. You may be surprised but according to the Mayo Clinic, smoking raises ones risk of cervix, bladder, esophagus and kidney cancers as well.



Eat a variety of healthy foods with cancer fighting nutrients. Most organic veggies and fruits provide nutrients that fight with oxidative damage and cellular inflammation that can lead one to tumor formation.




Exercise and do it regularly. Go on a brisk walk, bike around the neighborhood, swim daily at the local pool and activity that feels like a mini vacation and you will enjoy yourself at the same time.



Be smart about the sun. Catching a few rays is not only healthy, but it can actually help your body produce the valuable vitamin D you need to protect yourself from the various diseases, including breast cancer, ovarian, colon, pancreatic and prostate cancers. But know your skin type. About 10 to 15 minds of sun time without sunscreen or wide-brimmed hats and protective clothing is fine but don’t over do it.

Source: Good Health Lifestyles



The Gluten Free lifestyle Part 1: What is Gluten?

This will be a series of posts but let’s start off with

What is Gluten? What does it do? and how can it effect one’s health?


Gluten-free eating can be very simple if you stick to whole, unprocessed foods and avoid wheat, barley, rye and all their derivatives, then you’re good to go when trying to achieve a Gluten-free lifestyle.

Primary Sources of Gluten

  • Wheat (including semolina, durum, spelt, triticale, and KAMUT® khorasan wheat)
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Oats (oats don’t naturally contain gluten, but are often subject to contamination with small amounts of it, so many gluten-intolerant people avoid them.)

Resources, Information & Support

Your best defense is to arm yourself with information. Talk to your doctor and learn more from these trusted sources:




Gluten causes health problems in sufferers of celiac disease (CD) and some cases of wheat allergy. Some people believe that there are health benefits to gluten-free eating for the general population, but there is no published experimental evidence to support such claims. For those diagnosed with celiac disease, eating gluten-free is following an undisputed medical directive. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance may not exist.



If you’re already somewhat on the healthier bandwagon then you probably won’t have much issues with making a switch to a Gluten Free lifestyle. A lot of products are now available gluten free and they taste great. In some food items you will taste a difference and in others/most you won’t taste any alteration to the taste. We have found in our family we love Gluten free snacks and food items. Look for future posts on different gluten free food items we enjoy we are excited to share some reviews with you.

Chipotle’s Non-GMO lead! Stock prices soared over 30%!

Chipotle takes the NON-GMO lead! And tell me that doesn’t make a statement when stock prices have soared over 30%!


Have you seen Chipotle’s video ‘The Sacrecrow’?

“The Scarecrow,” the companion film for Chipotle’s new app-based game. Then download the free app at and join the quest for wholesome, sustainable food.chipotle-comp

We decided we’d rather try to avoid GMO ingredients until perhaps the science is more clear…

The popular Mexican casual food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill saw its stock prices soar on Friday by more than 15 percent, a day after representatives from the company said they would likely need to increase prices to cover supply changes to almost entirely non-GMO items for its menu.

Founder and CEO Steve Ellis said that a price increase somewhere in the 3-5% range should be expected as the company continues to search for non-GMO alternatives to its current cooking oils, corn flour and corn starch in its products. No date was given this week as to when the shift to more non-GMO ingredients would be completed in 2014, however.

Earlier this year Ellis said, “We decided we’d rather try to avoid GMO ingredients until perhaps the science is more clear,” said Ells earlier this year. “There are some things that we just can’t, today, get non-GMO.”

Looking for more sources

But the company, despite its impressive size (which has been growing due to strong customer support) has remained committed to resolving customer concerns over the GMO ingredients and will continue to pursue more alternatives.

They are also looking for more sources of antibiotic-free and hormone-free meats that are not from animals fed GMOs as well. Ellis added that it’s especially hard to ensure on a large scale that animals are not fed GMOs. If that’s the case, customers may want to choose vegetarian options when patronizing the restaurant to be sure they will be able to avoid GMOs.

Chipotle Stock Price Soars Even on News of Non-GMO Price Increase

Despite the possible price increases, stock of the company soared on Friday, with a closing rate of $510. The stock had traded in the low $200 range earlier in the year due to economic fears, but it has persevered and shown that food made from real ingredients (current GMOs notwithstanding, but at least they’re working to fix that) at a higher price can work.