Organic Eater’s Top 12 in 2012, and Product GIVEAWAYS!

Since so many of you have liked, commented, and asked questions about the awesome products I used in my first year of blogging, I thought you would enjoy a recap and “Top 12  List of Things to Buy” before we close out this fabulous year. It’s a list of my “can’t live without” store-bought items. January 2013 will include lots of new starts, changes, and steps towards better health for many of you, and these products can help you take those steps: some of them baby steps, some of them full-out hard core giant steps! There will be something for everyone wanting to incorporate healthier purchases in 2013. AND HERE’S THE BEST PART: we’re giving away some of these products this giveaway is over now, but the information on all the products is below to help you get started in the New Year!!  Yes!  Zevia,  Falafel Chips  and  Healthforce Nutritionals are generously helping you start off 2013 in the right direction! There will be 4 Grand Prize Packages that include products from all 3 companies, plus 8 more prizes of individual products, totaling 12 prizes in all (12 prizes in 2012, get it?!) WooHoo!!! The details will be included in the bottom of the post. And now for Organic Eater’s Top 12 in 2012: Things to Buy….


Starting Top left, in no particular order, because it was hard enough just narrowing this list down to 12! There is no way I could put them in order of importance or value to me!!! They are all invaluable!

ACURE facial products: I found this organic line at Earth Fare (natural grocery store) and flipped when I realized the price point! Affordable and Organic. Heck Yeah! Then I tried some of them and, although I know the scent has nothing to do with the efficacy, they smell like heaven to me, and they work! My husband stole my olive oil facial cleanser (pictured) and recently confiscated my (almond scented) shampoo, so they can be used by both sexes, for the most part.  I (we!) have thoroughly enjoyed every product I’ve tried so far. The price is right, no toxic or questionable ingredients,  and the scents make me smile. My skin is loving them, and I actually look forward to the “chore” of cleaning my face every night so I can smell the products:) They’re easy to find: Google them and purchase on-line at many retailers, or at any of the national natural foods groceries. Easy to find.

ZEVIA “saved me” when I was trying to get off soda just a couple of years ago. Read that blog post to hear the full story of how much I appreciate this product and how much it helped me! Sugar and artificial sweetener free, it makes the transition off regular soda sooooo much easier!!! These days I usually drink water or tea, but when I want that yummy fizzy, I can grab a can without guilt and enjoy. And it’s fun to have a soda to offer guests too, since there is no sugar-soda or “diet soda” in this house! This is the perfect product for you if you’re trying to cut out/down on regular or artificially sweetened soft drinks in the new year! I gave some to my dad at Christmas, who is trying to cut out sugar for specific health issues this year. I gave some to my organic CSA farmer, who has plenty of healthy meats and veggies, but I thought they might like a little treat after a long day gathering vegetables. I actually gave this to several friends and family this year, who I wanted to encourage with healthier options!

FALAFEL CHIPS were a new discovery for me this year, and boy have we enjoyed them! Wow! The switch to healthier eating for this little organic-eating family has proven to be challenging in one area in particular: the chip. We are HUGE chip fans, especially with our Mexican food, and home-made chips have not been successful for me! Thankfully Flamous Brands created these Falafel Chips (spicy, regular, and Zatar flavor) that are not only organic, but high ORAC score! ORAC measures the amount of anti-oxidants in food, and these chips score a 6500! Gluten free, organic, nonGMO, here’s the list of NOs: no wheat, dairy, lactose, trans fat, msg, cholesterol, hydrogenated oil, preservatives, artificial colors, artificial flavors, or nuts! They are absolutely delicious plain, but of course great with humus or salsa or guacamole, and they’re a product no one would EVER believe was a healthier version! This is another product I gave out at Christmas because I wanted to give healthier options to those I love!

HEALTHFORCE NUTRITIONALS is an extensive line of real food “supplements”. Vitamin C is  pictured here because I love what it is doing for my skin, but their protein and maca and greens are fantastic, and I am planning to do a full post in January to tell you a lot more about them! Exceptional quality, and effective. Their own label describes them as “hard core”, and I think that’s a perfect description! You don’t take these products for kicks and giggles. They are serious about nutrition and health, and I’m looking forward to telling you much more about them, since we use them constantly. There is an Instagram Post about the Vitamin C if you’re interested  in reading about that little jewel for your skin! I shared these products with friends and family this Christmas and of course they were thrilled!

VERMONT SOAP ORGANICS is my absolute favorite soap now! They have completely won me and my family over! The Lemongrass Zen is THE best smelling lemongrass scented soap we have ever found! Lemongrass is our family favorite, and this one smells divine, and makes the kitchen sink area smell so good. Another reason we LOVE this soap is because of the way it feels. I  know that sounds weird, and it’s very difficult to explain in this post, but when you try it you will immediately feel the difference I’m talking about! I had a few comments on an IG post about this soap, where others felt the exact same way! I have been requested to order one for every sink in the house:) The Liquid Sunshine soap can be used for a multitude of cleaning purposes. I clean a LOT of coconut oil covered frying pans, and this soap handles it with no problem. Anything that makes my cleaning life easier is greatly appreciated, and these soaps go in my  life-changer category I love them so much:) Beyond the fantastic products that the entire family can use, the company itself is exemplary and they believe in organics! I met the founders/owners of the company at Expo East this year, and was inspired by their enthusiasm for the organic industry. You can find them at, and they have soaps for people, pets, dishes, exercise mats, produce, and just about anything! If you have allergies or sensitivities to soaps, you definitely need to check them out! Made in the USA, which is highly appreciated by this Organic Eater!

AMAZING GRASS completely lives up to its name with every product. Wheat grass is a GREEN and is not a grain, so eating Amazing Grass products helps you get servings of greens in a tasty way! Their organic wheat grass is grown in Kansas, where it can develop deep roots all winter long for maximum nutrition levels. The Kidz products have the antioxidant equivalent of 3 servings of fruits and veggies in one scoop! My kids eat this daily, either as a drink, or in applesauce, or plain yogurt. I have posted several times on Instagram about the health benefits and awesomeness of this product line. I can’t say enough good things. Everything you know about the goodness of organic greens is in these products, so I whole heartedly endorse these, especially for those who don’t eat enough leafy green vegetables on a daily basis. The ORAC product in the picture above  scored a 15,000 ORAC value (measures antioxidant levels). It’s my superfood of choice, and it taste good, so it’s easy to get anyone in the family to take it! I used it to boost my husband back to health when the flu hit him hard before Christmas! Only out for 2 days! I have been reading/studying wheat grass for several months, so if you have any questions about AG products, please feel free to leave a question in the comments and I’ll be happy to help!

Top12-2CLOISTER HONEY is my favorite Charlotte local honey. The whipped cinnamon is my favorite treat (“treat” since my body doesn’t process sugars of any kind very well) and I like to use it in place of icing on a muffin! They are now in the Charlotte Whole Foods store, but you can also order on line. I know there are benefits to eating local, but this is so good, even if you’re not local, you should try it!!! There are many flavors to choose from, even a chocolate one! The people who make it are just as sweet as their product line!

OUTTA THE PARK BBQ SAUCE is a mostly-organic-ingredients sauce that is a winner in this Organic Eater’s house! We put it on most anything, and use it in place of ketchup sometimes. Put it in the crock pot with a chicken breast for ready-made dinner when you get home. Love it. You can also find this in Whole Foods (east coast at least) and you can order on line. They have an “original” and a spicy version that is vegan! Absolutely delicious and clean ingredients! Congrats to OTP for another Scovie award for 2013!! Here is a post I wrote earlier this year for more info.

INBAR is my favorite bar this year because it’s low sugar, made especially for the diabetic, without artificial sweeteners. But everyone should try these because they’re so tasty! See my Expo East post for more info on where to find them. They are new, so you might have to look a little harder to find them, but they’re worth it!

COCONUT OIL AND GRASSFED BUTTER are my two favorite healthy fats! Now, before you balk at these fats being healthy, see this post or this page and keep an open mind to the possibility that they have been demonized for the last 30 years, but the truth is finally coming out! I love them both, use them liberally, and have no regrets as my joints are feeling great, my hormones and skin are improving, and generally increasing my health overall. Note: I also use ghee, but I never use regular butter, as it is hormone filled and genetically modified, I only grassfed or organic butter. At the very least, make sure it’s hormone free (“rbgh free” or “rbst free” will be on the label somewhere).  If there is an organic coconut oil company who would like to be the official coconut oil for Organic Eater, please contact me asap!

MOUTHWATCHERS toothbrush is my favorite toothbrush, and was just featured on the blog recently, so click on that red highlight for much more information about this fabo little brush! There are links to toothpaste and dental floss there too. Buy them (only $5!) at

FLAX SEASONING was another jewel I found at Expo East this fall, and we all love this jar of tasty organic goodness. My son requested that his boiled eggs only have Flax Seasoning on them from now on. I use it on chicken and salmon, and veggies too. Adds lots of great flavor, and it encourages my kids to eat more veggies. They also have a sweet version that we love, but the sugar content keeps me from using it every day. Great on oatmeal or toast. LOVE this stuff!! Try this link to purchase or find a store.

So these are 12 of my favorite products, because they have made healthier-choices easier for me and my family this year. And sometimes, it just needs to be “easy” to get us to try it! I hope they will help you make better choices as well! It was hard to get this list down to 12. I have MANY favorite things, so if there is something you’re curious about finding/trying, leave a comment and I’ll try to help you.

As 2012 comes to a close, I want to say “thank you” to each one who follows this blog. I am so honored you are here, and I hope you found some encouragement towards good health here this year! From the written comments, likes, emails, and comments made personally, I am excited to say that blogging is an effective way to minister to people. The negative results of this “fake food”, high-sugar and grain-eating world are a burden to me because I see how they’re hurting people who have no idea, how they are affecting the health of too many and keeping people from living out their calling in life. When you let me know about your steps towards health, it encourages me so much! My goal is to educate and encourage here, so you can live out your purpose in this life and do/be all you’ve been called to. What you feed your mind, your body, and your spirit make a HUGE difference in life. It’s a constant balance of all three, and I know it’s a challenge! I’m right here with you! It’s a challenge for me too, and I’m on this journey just like everyone else! If there is something specific you want more information on in the new year, let me know by leaving a comment.  I pray all the best for you in 2013!

AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY DETAILS: the contest is ONLY on Instagram this time, not on the blog. Download Instagram then follow Organic Eater there. The pictures above will be posted on my Instagram feed (after 1pm today), with details written underneath the pictures, on how EASY it is to enter this giveaway.  See you there!

Thank you again for following Organic Eater this year! and Healthy New Year!!!

Encouraging Health,

Organic Eater

“How to turn any Recipe into a Real Food recipe” from Homemade Mommy

This post from was SO helpful, I just had to share it with you real-food-fans here at OE! I would also add “organic” to all applicable items on the list, if your budget can swing it!:) There is also a chart near the end, that’s perfect for printing and referring to later. Enjoy!

How to turn any Recipe into a Real Food recipe | Homemade Mommy.


Encouraging Health,

Organic Eater

Hashtag Envy


I don’t fit in. I’m not a vegan, vegetarian, raw foodist, or paleo. I’m not a Traditional Foods expert either (I don’t even know how to make my own yogurt for heavens sake!).  I LOVE all of those diets/lifestyles for different reasons, I just don’t fit in to only one of them 100%. The closest title I might fit is “real food” foodie, I suppose. But I do eat what some consider “processed food” (think protein bars and powders, not Doritos, here people), so I’m not a real food purist either.  I’m an organic eater, obviously, but my blog goes into detail about how even that‘s not always my top priority in every food selection.

I do not diet. I did for 12 weeks while detoxing, but as soon as that contest was over, I figured out how to make food and exercise fit my real life, for the rest of my life. This is a lifestyle I choose to embrace and encourage others to do the same, but it’s hard to name it exactly….

I’ve been a little bummed, not fitting in with a particular food crowd, trying to navigate exactly where I fit in. I wanna #hashtag that identifies me a little better. Haha! And my problem was solved this week! I listened to a podcast at Underground Wellness (the guy who created “Just Eat Real Food”), and on there someone (forgive me for not researching and giving the credit) mentioned what will be my new mantra in eating: a LOW CRAP diet! Yes, that suits me just fine. I like it. It incorporates all my food beliefs into one simple phrase and makes me smile every time I hear it! I’m still Organic Eater (I love my social media name!), I just so resonated with this “low crap diet” thing! That broadly describes the way I try to live: low crap, real food, mostly organic and/or pesticide free, pastured animal products, traditional, and FOR ME it’s gotta be low sugar and grain because that stuff makes me FEEL like crap! So, I encourage you to find out what makes you feel like crap, and get that out of your life!! If you’re not sure, start with grains, dairy, fast food, processed foods, or sugar. Start eliminating one at a time and see how it goes. Experiment with your own lowcrap diet and see what works for you, just give it a couple weeks (at least), for each elimination and really pay attention to how your body is reacting. It could get worse before it gets better. There are lots of elimination diets out there, so contact me if you want some direction getting started.

So, how about you? What would you say your eating style would be named? Are you a purist at whatever food lifestyle you choose, or do you put an “-ish” on the end of whatever name you give yourself? Thanks for letting me rant a little, and now you will understand why you’ll see #lowcrapdiet on mysocial media posts from now on! 🙂 Enjoy!

Encouraging Health and low crap,

Organic Eater

Year One of “The Good Life”

This week marks the one year anniversary of life change for me and my family. I have been “into” organic for many years, but April 29 is the day the contest started that changed my life (I believe) forever! I am so grateful to God for all the ways He is giving me the tools and blessings to do “the natural”, while He takes care of the “supernatural”. And note that I said “do”, knowing I have a part in this. This lifestyle requires choices and discipline and some sacrifice. God blesses me with untold blessings, that far outweigh any sacrifice I am making, but the two work in synergy to create change. Every breath I take comes from Him, so I want to take this time to be grateful for my good life. Very good life. If you want to read a long list of specific ways my physical body has positively responded to removing grains and sugars and only eating “real food”, here is the link. But I want this post to be more about how I’ve changed on the inside, and how my family has changed. The good stuff.

This was taken after our first 5k! What a special memory and huge accomplishment for us! Thank you, Susan (behind hubs), for all your training!

There seems to be a new girl in here who is quite happy to cook up these amazingly healthful meals, from scratch, almost every day of the week. I am blessed to live in a house with a functioning kitchen, and be able to buy the food we eat. I don’t take any of it for granted. Amazingly, we rarely want to go out to eat anymore.  And I’m not a great cook, people. This is new (and still learning) territory for me! I’m embarrassed to tell you I’ve had to watch a You Tube video this past year on how to boil an egg properly. For real. And that’s part of what I mean by God giving me “tools” like YouTube and other foodie’s blogs, some caring people, my iPhone, computer and internet! I have had to learn so much! And there have been sacrifices: cable tv and home phone to name only a couple.   But I look back with great joy over how I’ve changed and how these changes have affected my family.

We didn’t have sickness this past year. Maybe a sniffle or cough during flu season, for a day or two. The hubs made it through his company’s “busy season” in November and December without missing a day, when everyone (in close contact) around him was getting sick. My kids are trying new foods they’ve never eaten before, and I am shocked at what I’m learning about them. For example, I never knew they love asparagus! My kids (and hubs) are proud of their “weird” lunches at school (and work), and they’re very aware of how differently our family eats. My kids probably know more about grass-fed beef and hormone filled milk than most adults do. They’ve “bought in” to this lifestyle and really do believe me when I say “it’s good for you”. They’re seeing results like feeling great, no more belly aches, clear skin, etc., just like their mom. We’re all much more conscious of what we’re putting in our bodies and how it makes us feel. It’s been an “awakening” of sorts. I’m shocked we didn’t make the connection before. The kids have responded well to the change. The challenge has been on the other end: teaching them how to show grace, and when to “backoff”, so as not to sound judgemental about other’s choices. (I may want to re-think telling them, “we don’t eat crap like that anymore”. They tend to repeat it.) And of course that fine balancing act of knowing how to handle all of this with extended family who may see things differently. That’s always a fun one.

The hubs is thrilled with his cooking-like-a-maniac wife, of course. Being the Eater he is, this new life suits him just fine. He has seen results similar to mine, so the “sacrifice” is worth it for him too. He’s behind me 100% in this, so that makes it much easier for me to keep going, and it’s another thing I’m thankful for! Our only real challenge in doing this now is the budget, because I want more appliances, gadgets, and expensive specialty food items! In fact, I’d like a whole new kitchen, thank you! I’m still learning contentment (remember that whole “journey” thing I wrote about?). This last year has brought tremendous change for us. More than I ever thought could happen, actually. And we weren’t obese, nor did we have major health problems or food allergies before we started. We were just a “normal” American family. And that’s the part that’s strange to me. I thought we were doing pretty well. I had no idea all those things were symptoms that something was wrong with me, us,  and could be changed with our diet (and a few adjustments). I had no idea how much better things could be.

These last couple months seem to have plateaued for my weight loss, so I need to decide if I want to turn it up a notch to lose more, or keep happily doing this and maintaining where I’m at just fine. We shall see. I like where we’re going. I see all areas of my life improving along with my physical self. I am happy to know I can still do a lot of changing at 44. I am encouraged that my “best days are ahead”. I know they are. I am filled with more purpose than ever before, ready to tackle what God has next for me. I can feel Him preparing me for what He has prepared for me. All of this physical, mental, and spiritual change has been supported by some very special people who I want to thank here. My Pastor, Steven Furtick, for creating the contest and more importantly for teaching us every week how to implement change in every area of our lives; Buck Buhler for implementing the contest; Dr. Tony Hyser for taking good care of me and my family and showing us the way to true health, and Susan Black for training me in how to run (which gave me the confidence to even enter the contest). God’s been good to me, and I’ve made changes to improve my health, so I’m thankful for my “good, good life”.

I encourage you to just take that first step, whatever it is for you. Let me know what you’re doing to change, or what’s holding you back from doing it. Writing it out may be the first step towards your good life.

Encouraging Health,

Dana, the Organic Eater

I promised in an earlier post that I would show you an “in process” picture. Here’s One Year ago, and April 2012 (I’m still not ready to call it the “after” picture)

Shocking Article on Wheat

A variety of foods made from wheat.

I just added the most shocking article about wheat, to my “Sugar and Grain-free Life” blog Page, but also wanted to add a separate Post, so that all my blog followers would get an email with this update, and have a chance to read this article. I normally do not like to be any kind of “alarmist”, but this article was too intriguing, and I had to share.

Thank you, @wellnessmama, for the first tweet I saw on this!

Happy Reading. Let me know your thoughts.

Encouraging Health,

Organic Eater