I consider myself to be an excellent consumer, in that I am always interested in trying new products — particularly anything you might call a health product. That being said, I’ve bought a lot of supplements, personal care products, and food items over the years to fill a good-sized dumpster. Spending years in the health food industry gave me monthly access to one new health product after another. And at trade shows, I was often sneaking away from the booth, to investigate new products by other companies, get a sample, and then experiment. Sometimes those experiments didn’t work very well, like the time I tried the herb Ma Huang (no longer on the market) with a new “healthy” caffeinated soda (no longer on the market) and didn’t come back to planet earth for twelve hours…
Of course, health products that worked for me at age 30 are not, in many cases, what I buy today, so with the aging process, my needs have certainly changed. That being said, here are some of my favorite products of 2013:
Probiotics: Renew Life’s Ultimate Flora (15 billion CFUs) or Garden of Life’s Primal Defense Ultra (5 Billion CFUs). As we get older, our need for probiotics increases. I take Renew Life’s Ultimate Flora when I travel due to the increased stress on my GI tract, and when I am home I take Garden of Life’s Primal Defense. Although I do use Stoneyfield’s organic yogurt in my smoothies, it doesn’t have a high enough CFU count to take care of my aging GI tract.
Nut Butters: One of my favorite foods for lunch is banana with nut butter: either almond, cashew or peanut. Nut butters are more concentrated than whole nuts, and provide important fats and nutrients. I am a big fan of Whole Food’s freshly ground cashew butter (high in protein, provides B-vitamins, and iron); I love MaraNatha’s organic roasted almond butter (almond butter provides vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and potassium), and for variety I love Better Than Roasted’s Raw Italian Almond Butter (unsalted) which is a sprouted raw butter made from Italian almonds. When it comes to peanut butter (high in protein, manganese, copper, also provides the phenolic antioxidant resveratrol) my stand out favorite is Reginalds’ Homemade Nana Honey Peanut Butter (and you thought I’d say Skippy!) Yes, it does have honey in it as well as banana, but it is one of the best tasting peanut butters I’ve ever eaten. I am not much of a peanut butter fan, so finding a peanut butter I like is huge.
Hemp Hearts: I have been a fan of the hemp-related health product for years (and yes, in times past, I did inhale). I have been using hemp protein, and hemp seed oil for a decade, and recently discovered Manitoba Harvest’s hemp hearts, which are dehulled organic hemp seeds. With 10 grams of protein and 10 grams of the omegas, hemp hearts are a fantastic snack, and the single serving size is great to travel with on planes. I also mix the hemp hearts with some almond butter or cashew butter and eat the combo by the spoonful!
Face Cream: Name a product, and I’ve probably tried it, when it comes to dealing with aging skin….a few months ago I tried Living Clay’s Rejuvination Face Cream and it was a WOW. With shea butter, calcium bentonite (clay), aloe, coconut oil, grapeseed oil it is a whipped topical that is excellent as a night cream, but may be too nourishing for under 30 year old skin. It feels so good on skin I want to slather it all over my body.
Anti-Stress Aromatherapy: My hands down favorite scent is Frankincense and Myrr, available in a roll-on applicator from Indigo Wild. Since I don’t use perfumes anymore, this roll on aromatherapy is the perfect antidote to stress and tension. Just roll it on your pulse points, and neck, and breathe the calming blend. Indigo Wild also has a custom roll on, so you can pick your own aromatherapy scents and have them blended.