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

Second Half of My Top 10 at Expo East (kinda)

Well, friends, it’s clear I’m not going to be able to only do a “top 10” from Expo East. I loved too many things there! So, I’ll finish out this second half of the Top 10 list, and the others will be written about in their own posts. So, here is the second half of my (still not finished) Top 10 List of products from Expo East 2012:


REED’S ORGANIC KOMBUCHA: this is only the second store-bought kombucha that I really loved the taste of. They are organic (bonus!) and low sugar. Fantastic. I need not say more. Love me some ‘bucha! for a store locator. IF you have a ginger allergy like my sister, you are out of luck here, since every kombucha flavor has ginger in it.


INBAR: I hope to do a full product review on this new bar, so I’ll keep it brief for now. Great taste and low sugar. Made especially for people with diabetes, and everyone else too. Brand new product just launched, so you may not be able to find it in stores yet, but I’m sure it won’t take long since it fills a great niche!


THE ORANGE OWL: all natural body products made in Vermont. The owner of The Orange Owl, Akshata,  gave me a cinnamon & spice lip balm that I have loved. It smells like autumn every time I wear it! This is also a new company, and you will probably need to order from for now. Besides being an “all natural 100% chemical free” line, they use green packaging, and the owl is too cute!


VERMONT Soap ORGANICS: this family owned organic company has many different wonderful organic products and I hope to do a full post on them. They were mentioned in LivingMaxwell’s blog for his Top 5 non-food products from Expo East, so you know they’re the real deal! We have tried their body soap and toothbrush sanitizer and have enjoyed them both. You can see a full list of products and where to buy them at


THREE TWINS ICECREAM: Wow! Was this a yummy treat! And organic, even better! I think they gave me a coupon (I really need to go look through that pile of paperwork!), so when I use it, I can write a post with more specifics. All I remember is that is tasted amazing and they had very unusual flavors! From the response I got from you guys on InstaGram, you love this product too!

So, there it is! The second (and last) half of my “Top 10 at Expo East 2012”, but I will post SEVERAL other great products (which are also in my “top 10”) later. They will receive their own individual product review and maybe even a few give-aways! So, I guess I really will end up with more like a Top 20 list, but that’s OK! There were thousands of great products at Expo East! If there is something you are specifically looking for, let me know!

Lastly, I want to include some trends I noticed at the Expo, and I will just bullet point these quickly:

gluten free is huge, and will probably only increase in the years to come. I have met so many people who have recently been diagnosed celiac, so I am sure there will be a large enough demand for these companies  to increase their product lines.

coconut oil is hot hot hot! The world is opening its eyes to the nutrition and safe cooking aspects of coconut oil (stable at high heat), and it’s only going to get bigger. I saw flavored coconut oils, and flavored liquid options, and some refined products that will not have the coconut flavor that some just can’t tolerate. Also, it’s used in beauty products and other foods as well. I am so happy to see it expand in many ways!

nuts and seeds were huge too! Quinoa, hemp, and chia seeds were sprouting up everywhere (hehe), and nuts covered in everything from chocolate to spicy seasonings.

labeling is important and consumers are educating themselves on reading labels & ingredients, and looking for “organic”, “kosher”, “GMO free”, and others. If nothing else, consumers want ingredients they can read and know what’s in there. We (in America anyway) are starting to wake up to reading ingredients and paying attention to what we’re eating and giving our children to eat. I applaud every minute of it! I believe this trend is here to stay, and will only improve the quality of foods offered by manufacturers and farmers.

organic is expanding in EVERYthing and I couldn’t be happier!!:) Of course! Not only at the end-product, but even at the manufacturing plant itself. There are companies going to extremes to be cleaner and greener and organically certified in their buildings. Organic cleaning products, foods, clothing, body products, tea, energy drinks, protein powders, supplements, and the list goes on and on. I hope to introduce you to many of the organic product lines coming out soon. This was the highlight of my Expo trends! (not that something HAS to be certified organic for me to like it, but it’s always a nice bonus!)

If you try any of these amazing products, be sure to let me know. Many of you already have, and I appreciate it so much! Even more importantly, let these companies know how you heard about them and what you like about their product line. Let’s cast our vote at the cash registers and let farmers and manufacturers know we want more truly natural and organic and GMO-free products! They keep making/selling what we keep buying. It’s simple economics: Supply and Demand.

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

We’ll call it OMG, Organic Mexican Goodness

For those who know us, you knew it couldn’t be long before I posted some kind of Mexican recipe! Well, here ya go. My gift to you, dear fans of the taco in any form. Let’s call it Mexican Lasagna, Organic Eater style, or OMG for short:)

Mexican Lasagne

copyright 2012 Mexican Lasagna, aka OMG

This was one of my first attempts at taking a “regular” recipe and making it Organic Eater approved. And si, it was wildly successful! Ole! My family is crizazy about Mexican, to the point that Hubs has been nicknamed “Taco” by those who know him best. See picture below. We love chips & salsa so much, we take pictures of it when we eat out. Sad but true.

My "Taco" at Taco Boy, in Charleston, SC pre grain-free life, circa 2010

Cutting out chips and taco shells has been the hardest part of cutting grains from our diet, but we’re finding ways to substitute or cut back. Here is the link to the original recipe called “Cheesy Enchilada Casserole” at GetOffYourButtandBake. Yep, that’s the website’s real name!  I suggest going there to print the original, then use my notes on how to make it OE approved. And btw, it was voted #1 Casserole at Taste of Home, so you know it’s gonna freakin rock!

Use grassfed beef (if you are in Charlotte and need a local source, leave a comment)

I used the Pineapple Salsa from Trader Joes (if you are on Advanced plan diet, the pineapple makes this off limits to you) but you can make your own salsa in the blender. I had time restraints or I would have.

I used fresh cooked (from dried beans) black beans. I try to use as few canned goods as possible since the lining is coated with BPA (except for a few brands like Eden Organics).

I could not find an acceptable organic Italian Dressing when I was shopping, so I just added olive oil, crushed garlic, and italian seasonings.

I used Trader Joes taco seasoning, but there are lots of homemade taco seasoning recipes that may be even healthier.

TJ corn tortillas

I used Trader Joes soft CORN tortillas (no wheat in them, so gluten free) but you could make coconut flour tortillas instead, to be grain free. Just don’t use wheat or any brands that have lots of ingredients, which will be difficult to find unless you go to a health food store. If you cannot find or make wheat-free, you could use Ezekiel brand sprouted wheat tortillas as a third option. They’re better than the chemical ingredient loaded processed flour ones (Good, better best always)

I used frozen organic corn instead of canned. You can delete this to comply with Advanced Plan.

Stonyfield yogurt

I used plain whole fat organic yogurt instead of organic sour cream (only because that’s what I had on hand) Delicious substitute! And hopefully it added some probiotics, which would be awesome.

I used raw milk cheddar cheese from Trader Joes, but if you cannot find raw, you could at least use no hormone cheese. Cabot, found at most groceries, is my go to brand when I cannot buy organic. Do not buy the bagged cheese that has added ingredients to keep it from caking. Buy the block of white (no orange color added) cheddar and grate it yourself.

I added fresh cilantro to the meat mixture and added more on top when the casserole came out of the oven. Benefits of cilantro. It’s amazing! We add plenty of it to every Mexican dish we make now!

I used a 3Qt rectangular glass Pyrex dish because I didn’t want lots of “layers” of corn shells. I ended up with 2 layers of shells this way, which made it acceptable, but don’t go crazy eating seconds and thirds…. you know you’re gonna wanna, it’s that good! I think you could easily get away with only 1 layer of shells, which I will try next time.

Lastly, “Taco”, I mean Hubs, likes his cheese a little crunchy on the edges, so I did NOT cover with tin foil until the last 10-15 mins of baking. And we used yogurt as the sour cream on top of the lettuce and tomatoes added at the end.

Mex lasagne in dish w cilantro

copyrith 2012 Mexican Lasagna topped with cilantro, aka OMG, Organic Mexican Goodness!

I did as the original recipe suggested, and cut my shells into squares, and fried the cut off edges in coconut oil and topped with a sugar substitute and cinnamon. Yummy!

Cinnamon sugar chips

copyright 2012 Cinnamon sugar fried "chips"

KEEP IN MIND this is not grain-free food unless you make it with coconut flour tortillas and delete the corn in the meat mixture. I considered this a “treat” meal on the weekend, so I left the corn in mine (80/20 rule). Go HEAVY on the organic lettuce and tomatoes on top, and go lighter on the serving of casserole underneath. Or, ditch the shells and put the meat mixture on a salad. It was absolutely delicious before I ever put it in the dish with the shells. The original also suggested crushing msg covered, fake orange-colored Doritos on this. Good grief.  I implore you not to do that!:) Please don’t tell me if you do.

Enjoy my amigos!! You can thank me later, go make this!!!!

Remember you can always cut my commentary and print just the necessary items using the “Print Friendly” button. I know this is an extra long one, so cut the fluff. Who wants 20 page recipes anyway?! not me!

Encouraging Health,

Organic Eater

Quick Video on labels & ingredients

I want to share this quick video via the Charlotte Today show, where Brooke Thomas of reviews several popular “health” food items, explains why they are not actually healthy, and what a truly healthier option would be. “Front of the box” labels are not what we should be looking at, but rather the INGREDIENTS LIST is the key!! Keep a “good, better, best” mindset and decide what changes you need to incorporate for YOUR family. I also recommend the locally owned Healthy Home Market for finding many of these items, if you are in the Charlotte area!

Encouraging health,

The Organic Eater