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Alive Expo Review – Atlanta 2011 May 24, 2011

Saturday was hot so I started the day with a $1.00 rapture beer at Jack’s Pizza & Wings. Then I took shelter in the air conditioning at the Alive EXPO.  My friend, Britt N.E. and I had a great day. We had a massage, sipped some wine and got a makeover. Here are some of my favorite highlights:

  • Conceived By Nature was a pleasant surprise. They are a line of natural shampoos and conditioners made by trusty old Mane & Tail. They gave out samples of their Lavender & Rosemary products. I can’t wait to try them. I loved mane and tail when I was a kid.
  •  Squattie Pottie. The idea is that women can go anywhere anytime with a pocket-sized potty. I’m not sure if I really need one but I was definitely amused and interested. (I have  two little boys; the word potty is very funny to me.)  I didn’t buy one but the price was right.
  • Jennifer of Red Hair Girl Designs, introduced me to keynote speaker Kat James. She was a lovely person and has done a terrific job helping my friend achieve her goals.
  • Aubrey Organics  is a classic in the natural health world. I had a great time getting my make-up retouched and picked up a few samples to review on here. Bonus: I scored some Gaia Adrenal Health samples from Tina after the show. Yeah!
  • Ron from Earthshine sales and marketing was showing seasonally appropriate Greenerways Organic Bug Spray. They have a USDA organic label on this product and I can’t wait to try it out. I’m always looking for safer ways to protect my kiddos.

I enjoyed failing the bean bag toss at the Organic Valley booth. I need to brush up on my lawn games this summer. But they gave me yo-yos for my boys and some awesome coupons despite my lack of skill. Of course, a natural products show must have yummy food and beverage samples. I scored samples of Larabars, Cascadian Farm Granola, Natalie’s Orange Juice & Naked Grape Wine to name just a few.

  • Top 3. I loved Relax Wraps! Relax wraps are flax filled hot & cold therapy pillows. These were very relaxing but a little pricey for my taste. I know what flax seeds cost so I couldn’t justify the pricing. But they felt terrific. These wraps are the perfect safe alternative to heating pads and electric blankets for loosening tight muscles. And the weight of the flax applies pressure in all the perfect places. I definitely wanted to visit this booth again after receiving a harsh massage from a masseuse who was upset with her man. Lol.
  • In my top 2, Rooibee Red Tea was a new name in the tea market to me and they had some terrific flavors. I particularly loved the cranberry pomegranate flavor and they are all organic. This flavor got a thumbs up from my friend Britt N. E. too. Organic and tea almost always get a thumbs up from me!
  • My favorite booth goes to Esther’s Beauty Secrets. If this line can keep up with demand, I think they will go far. They were very clean. It didn’t irritate my extremely sensitive skin. And they work for all ethnic skin types. Plus the price was definitely right! I loved the scrubs and body oil. And I really want to give the natural deodorant a try. If I was a buyer, this is a product line I would definitely pick up. I plan to buy some soon.
At the end of the day, I felt great.  I had a wonderful time with my friend and found a few new things along the way. Hooray!

The Great Greenwash Brainwash April 8, 2011

Filed under: Natural Living — njr711 @ 9:08 am
Tags: , , , ,

Americans have made it clear that they prefer natural products. When you go to your grocer today, it would seem that manufacturers and stores have risen to the challenge and made these products much more available. There is always an option in a light brown and olive green bottle boasting “includes natural ingredients.” Some products claim to be “dye free” and others “includes whole grains”.  Dairy products proudly label they are free of Rbgh. My absolute favorite marketing term that’s been used since I was a kid and always makes me laugh in the aisle is “100% juice.”

America is good at two things really: innovation and marketing. Nobody can BS like our marketing gurus. They’ve heard our cry for safer natural products and they’ve BSed us. Think about the term “includes natural ingredients” and use oatmeal as an example. You start with wholesome oats, tasty cinnamon and a drop of honey. All of these are lovely natural ingredients. The you added sucralose or aspartame, peach flavoring (what the heck is this even made out of?) and preservatives. Now you have a toxic cocktail in your warm nourishing oatmeal. Well, they didn’t lie. Truth in labeling movements can’t help you here. It included natural ingredients. You didn’t think about what that label didn’t mean when you put it in your cart.

Take a look at this seemingly wholesome natural product. Two things struck me right away. First, notice the multiple terms for sugary syrups. This is a diabetic nightmare. Second, tripotassium phosphate is not the kind of potassium you find in a banana. It is a chemical used in pesticides and often blamed for the death of aquatic wildlife. It may be used here as a preservative or it might be left from the production of the oats and sugar. I’m not quite sure why it is in this but it shouldn’t be. My advice in this situation would be to buy 100% organic oats. Surprise, they are pretty much as instant as instant oatpacks. You can add your own honey and real fruit to taste.

You need to pay attention to beauty products and home cleaners too. Unfortunately the U.S. doesn’t really have any labeling guidelines when it comes to these two so you’ll have to do a bit more research. The bottom line is: Don’t fall for the marketing hype on the front of a container. Read the ingredients every time. If you don’t know what something is, look it up when you get home. When a product contains ingredients you don’t want to be eating, don’t stress yourself out. You’ll know to try a different product next time.

Next Lifestyle Blog: Decoding the label – Food


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