Food Over Medicine: Food for thought

This summer BenBella Books sent me another great read to review, Food Over Medicine, The Conversation That Could Save Your Life Pamela A. Popper, PhD, ND, and Glen Merzer.  They talk about the the current state of health in America and how diet can improve peoples conditions.  They share success stories, recipes and tips on managing your doctors.  This is an easy read book that keeps you engaged and  provides important information that can change the quality of your life.


About The Book

Almost half of Americans take at least one prescription medicine, with almost a quarter taking three or more, but diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and dementia are growing more prevalent than ever. Overmedicated, overfed, and malnourished, Americans fail to realize the answer to lower disease rates doesn’t lie in more pills, but in the foods we eat.

In Food Over Medicine, Pamela A. Popper, PhD, ND, and Glen Merzer openly discuss the dire state of American health, the result of poor nutrition choices stemming from cynical food politics and medical misinformation. But, more important, they share the key to getting and staying healthy for life. As executive director of The Wellness Forum, Popper works to change lives through diet and lifestyle, reduce medical costs for businesses through health education programs for employees, and educate health care professionals on the healing potential of an optimal diet.

Backed by numerous scientific studies, Food Over Medicine details how diet can dramatically improve health and turn around alarming diagnoses—such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and other major health problems—and do so more effectively than drugs that often have lingering side effects. Including recipes from Del Sroufe, author of the bestselling Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Food Over Medicine reveals the power and practice of optimal nutrition in a highly accessible way.


About The Authors

Pamela A. Popper, PhD, ND, is a naturopath, an internationally recognized expert on nutrition, medicine, and health, and the Executive Director of The Wellness Forum. Dr. Popper serves on the Physician’s Steering Committee and the President’s Board for the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C. Dr. Popper is one of the health care professionals involved in the famed Sacramento Food Bank Project, in which economically disadvantaged people were shown how to reverse their diseases and eliminate medications with diet.

Dr. Popper is part of Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s teaching team at eCornell, teaching part of a certification course on plant-based nutrition. She has been featured in many widely distributed documentaries, including Processed People and Making a Killing and appears in a new film, Forks Over Knives, which played in major theaters throughout North America in 2011. She is one of the coauthors of the companion book which was on the New York Times bestseller list for several months.

Glen Merzer is a playwright and screenwriter living in California. He is coauthor with Howard Lyman of Mad Cowboy, and with Howard Lyman and Joanna Samorow-Merzer of No More Bull! He also coauthored Chef AJ’s Unprocessed. He has been a vegetarian for almost 40 years, and a vegan for almost 20.


Enter to  win a copy of Food Over Medicine, The Conversation That Could Save Your Life from BenBella Books. 


A copy of Food Over Medicine, The Conversation That Could Save Your Life was provided to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own. 

CamelBak Eddy Water Bottles Great for Back to School

Last week CamelBak sent us 3 Eddy .75L water bottles.  I don’t know who was more excited, my husband, little monk, or I.  They even sent one in “Sunset” orange, which is my son’s favorite color.  These great bottles retail for $15 and come in 9 colors.  I took the clear and my husband got charcoal.

Camelbak Eddy water bottle great for back to school


Our best-selling eddy™ now has a redesigned cap for greater durability and faster flow. The eddy™ .75L bottle is 100% BPA-free and built with our patented flip-top bite valve that lets you sip without tipping or spilling – perfect for hydration on the go. Integrated loop handle can be hooked to a carabiner or carried in the crook of one finger. Dishwasher safe.

Camelbak eddy bite valve



We try to stay active and hydrated.  These CamelBak eddy bottles are lightweight, easy to carry and clean.  The bite valves works great and my son has proven that they truly are spill-proof.  These are perfect for kids to bring in their lunchboxes or to keep on their desk at school.  We have taken ours hiking, biking and we use them around the house.  I fill mine with filtered water before bed and in the morning I have a nice bottle of cold water to bring to work.


Where will your CamelBak go? 

I was provided with the CamelBak bottles to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.


Vegan For Her Book Review

The publishers at DaCapo sent me a copy of Vegan for Her, written by Virginia Messina with JL Fields, to review.  The subtitle is The Woman’s Guide to Being Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet One thing that jumped right out at me is that the author states that the book does not need to be read cover to cover but rather stick to the sections that are relevant to your needs.  Most chapters are written so that if you read them alone, they have all the information you need on that topic. The book covers topics like, Healthy Eating for All Times Of A Woman’s Life and Fighting Pain with Plants.  The book also emphasizes that eating a plant-based diet should not cause stress and anxiety. The book includes over 50 recipes including Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner AND Dessert!  I really enjoyed reading this book and I know I will refer back to it often.  At the top of my list of recipes to try are the Coconut-Gingered Black Bean Brownies.  Yum!!

Vegan For Her book review

Vegan for Her is a guide to meeting the unique needs of vegan women, with recipes and practical information for optimal health at every stage of a woman’s life.  In Vegan for Her, dietitian Virginia Messina tackles the issues most pertinent to women who follow or who are considering a vegan diet, and JL Fields provides health-supportive recipes and tips for taking your veganism beyond the plate. With specific guidance on meeting women’s unique nutritional needs throughout the lifecycle and information about food choices that relate to many health concerns, Vegan for Her is a practical and realistic guide to making sure your plant-based diet is as healthy as it can be.


Ginny and JL 400 w

Ginny Messina, MPH, RD is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in public health from the University of Michigan. Vegan for Her is her second book on vegan nutrition. She co-authored Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet in 2011. Her blog is

Ginny also produces vegetarian educational materials for health professionals. She has written papers on vegetarian, vegan and soy nutrition in peer-reviewed journals and co-authored a vegetarian textbook for health professionals. She regularly consults for organizations producing vegetarian materials and speaks at scientific events for both health professionals and the public. She serves on the board of directors of Vegfund, and is on the advisory board of the Vegetarian Resource Group.

Ginny taught nutrition to dietetics students at Central Michigan University, was a dietitian for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and was director of nutrition services for the George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, DC.

She lives in Port Townsend, Washington with her husband and an ever-changing population of rescued cats. When she’s not researching and writing about vegan nutrition, she volunteers for her local animal shelter and spay/neuter group, practices piano, gardens, collects vintage kitchen linens, and is learning to knit with vegan fibers.

JL Fields, M.S. is a vegan cook, lifestyle coach and educator.  A devoted culinary student, JL has studied at the Natural Gourmet Institute and completed the Intensive Study Program at The Christina Pirello School of Natural Cooking and Integrative Health Studies.

You can find Vegan for Her online and in stores for a suggested price of $16.99.

A copy of the books was provided to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.


Futures at Fenway with Kidz Bop

A few weeks ago we were invited to visit Fenway Park in Boston for a fun day of watching Baseball and Kidz Bop for the Futures at Fenway program.   We got to see Boston’s Double A affiliate, the Portland Seadogs play against the Harrisburg Senators.  The Seadogs won with a final score of 5-2.

Futures at Feway park


We had great seats behind home plate and loaded up on hot dogs, peanuts, pretzels and cotton candy.  It was a gorgeous day at a historic and cool ball field.  This was the first time in the history of Fenway Park that they allowed dogs in the park, we even saw one man carrying his cat.

Fenway Park Seadogs

The game was followed by a Kidz Bop concert and then we spent a couple of hours walking up Newbury Street and at Faneuil Hall.  It was really a great family day.


kidz bop at fenway

Keep your eye out for more Futures at Fenway days.  It was a really great experience for us and we would go again.  Futures at Fenway gives families a really affordable way to visit the park– ticket prices are just $5-30 for the event and all concessions are half off.  That’s a huge savings!  It also lets the Double A affiliate teams have a chance to play in the park as well.  This year, dogs were invited (with a signed release/waiver at the entrance) to enjoy the event as well.  We’ll be going next summer as a group with friends- won’t you join us? Eyewear Review Eyewear has a great Get Your First Pair Free program.  In addition to my first pair, they sent me another pair to try out.  I have always wanted to have more than one style of eyeglasses to wear but eyeglasses can be expensive.  All I had to do was get an eye exam at my local eye doctor and use my new prescription to order two new fun styles of eyeglasses. eyeglasses

 You can do the same, just head on over to and start browsing all the modern and flattering eyeglasses.  But, before you totally fall in love with a pair make sure they are from the Get Your First Pair Free selections.  They have over 300 styles to choose from so you are bound to find something you like.  They have brands like Lucky, Nicole Miller and more.  Once you find the pair you like click continue and you are on your way to a new pair of glasses.  You enter your own prescription and it most likely will not have your PD (pupil distance).  This is easy enough to measure with a ruler.  The website has easy to use instructions.  Here comes a slight twist, the frames are free but there is a charge for the lenses, if you are getting single vision standard lenses it will be $29.95 or $39.95.  Progressive lenses or sunglass lenses do cost more.  But, still a much better deal than can be found at a local eyeglass store.  

Here are the two styles I choose.  

#1  Vintage VN0100 065 Olive Reddish Brown I love plastic frames so these were an easy choice.  I got single vision standard lenses for this pair. Derik Cardigan glasses firstpairfree

#2 Derek Cardigan 7008 Smoke with progressive lenses.  It has been interesting getting used to wearing progressive lenses but I have to admit my vision is not getting any better. Vintage FIRSTPAIRFREE glasses


Each pair arrived quickly and they come with a hard shell case, and a cleaning kit with an eyeglass screwdriver.  That is more than most local eyeglass stores will give you.  Overall it was a great shopping experience, I would and I have recommendedit to friends. Eyeglasses repair and cleaning kit

I received the glasses to help facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.  

Which pair are you going to choose for your First Pair Free?

Mastrad Topchip Microwave Chip Maker Giveaway

Mastrad sent me a TopChips microwave chip maker to review.  I know what you are thinking, a microwave can not make crispy chips.  I thought the same until I sliced up a potato using the mandolin slicer that comes with the kit and popped the chip maker in the microwave.  Seriously, 3 minutes later I had crispy and delicious potato chips.


Description  With Mastrad Topchips chip maker, make your own homemade, fat-free, oil-free, and guilt free crispy fruit and vegetable chips in just 3 to 5 minutes!


– Mastrad’s TopChips chips maker with mandolin set comes with Two chips maker tray and one mandolin slicer to make the perfect thickness chips.

– Make healthy chips by using potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, apples and pears. Cooking chart included. For microwave use only.

– Tray diameter is 11″

– TopChips chips maker trays are stackable up to 3 high to make chips for the whole family

– Trays are made of non-stick FDA silicone

– Can be used with potatoes, carrots, beetroot, and fruit.

– For microwave cooking only

– Cooking instructions included

– Dishwasher safe

My zucchinis are just starting to grow in the garden so I will be making zucchini chips and I am going to try sweet potato chips.  I also want to make some plantain chips.  This is a great way to make quick, healthy and tasty after school snacks for the kids.  It is definitely a kitchen gadget that will stay handy and be used often.

TopChips can be purchased online through, Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond for $29.99 and comes in four colors; purple, green, red, and charcoal.


Two readers will each win a Mastrad TopChips chip maker!  

I was provided with the product to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.


No Bake Peanut Butter Bars from Plant-Based Recipes Cookbook (Giveaway)

Last week I received a copy of The China Study Plant-Based Recipes Cookbook from BenBella Books.  They know how much I like to read cookbooks with plant-based recipes and The China Study Cookbook does not disappoint.  Written by LeAnne Campbell, daughter of The China Study author, T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and mother of two hungry teenagers, The China Study Cookbook features delicious, easily prepared plant-based recipes with no added fat and minimal sugar and salt.  I would try almost every recipe in this book from Blueberry Coffee Cake and Sesame Noodle Salad to Granola Fruit Wraps and Fresh Strawberry Pie.


Today I am going to share a recipe from The China Study Cookbook.  Given the recent heat waves and my family’s  love for peanut butter I choose the No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars.  These were so easy to make and a huge hit.  The husband’s first reactions was, “These are awesome”.

The-China Study-vegan-No-Bake-peanut-butter-bars-recipe

4.7 from 3 reviews
Plant-Based No Bake Peanut Butter Bars
Prep time
Total time
No Bake Peanut Butter Bar recipe using vegan, plant based ingredients
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup low-fat graham crackers, crushed
  • ¼ cup crushed walnuts
  • ½ cup reduced-fat, unsweetened coconut
  • ⅓ cup natural peanut butter
  • ¼ cup nondairy milk
  • 1 cup nondairy chocolate chips
  • 5 tablespoons rice or almond milk
  1. Crush graham crackers in food processor.
  2. In separate bowl, add walnuts, coconut, and peanut butter.
  3. Stir in crushed graham crackers.
  4. Slowly add milk and mix. (If mixture does not hold together, continue adding additional milk until all ingredients stick together. However, don't make it too soft, and, if necessary, use your hands.)
  5. Spread mixture evenly into a 9 × 9 nonstick baking dish.
  6. In a saucepan, melt chocolate chips together with rice or almond milk over medium heat. Stir until smooth.
  7. Spread chocolate mixture on top of peanut butter mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until hardened. Cut into squares and enjoy!

In addition to the over 120 Whole Food, Plant-Based recipes there are sections on planning, chef tools and how to start your own journey.  The China Study Cookbook is a great place to start if you are thinking of switching to a plant-based diet.  It has fresh, new recipes that anyone would enjoy.


You can get your copy online or at most major book retail stores.  BenBella books is also offering a free copy to one lucky reader.

Enter for a chance to win a copy of The China Study Cookbook.  

I was provided with a copy of The China Study Cookbook To facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.


Vino2Go™ Wine Sippy Cups

The Vino2Go™ wine sippy cups I received for review from are perfect for two of my favorite things, wine and being outdoors.  This BPA-free, durable drink-ware has a familiar wine glass shape making it a convenient and easy to use product. I received one 8 0z. Vino2Go with a verde green lid and one one 12 oz Vino2Go XL with an ice clear lid.  These cups make a great gift and every time we go camping I get comments on them.

Vino2go Vino2goXL wine sippy cups

The Vino2Go holds 8 oz of your favorite wine or other drink in a BPA free plastic.  I love that the cup is insulated so my whites don’t get too warm on a summer day and the top keeps out any bugs or dirt.  Overall, the Vino2Go is functional and fun.  They offer the lids in at least 13 colors to match any color themed party.

The Vino2Go XL comes in the same great variety of lid covers and holds 12oz of wine or an entire bottle of beer.  Yup, my husband figured that out really quickly!  The first XL we received did have a breach between to the 2 layers and was very quick to replace the cup.  Great customer service goes a long way in my book.

Vino2go XL beer and wine sippy cup

We have used our Vino2Go wine sippy cups in the house, on the deck and while camping.  Their next trip will be to the beach.  Sunsets, sand and wine sippy cups!  What a great combination.

Where will you use your Vino2Go wine sippy cups?

I received products to facilitate this review, all opinions are my own.

Food Should Taste Good Chips

We buy Food Should Taste Good chips as a treat.  We don’t eat a lot of chips so when we do we want them to be great.  Food Should Taste Good sent me a sampling of their chips made with real ingredients.  The chips did not last long in this house.  The multigrain chips are my favorite and the Olive chips surprised me, they are really good.  Both sweet potato varieties got devoured by my husband and son.

Food Should Taste Good Chips

About FSTG

Founder Pete Lescoe created Food Should Taste Good, Inc in 2006 with the goal of making a unique new snack with great taste, real ingredients, and sophisticated flavor – the qualities he is most passionate about in food.

With a name that speaks for itself, Food Should Taste Good® chips are made from high quality ingredients. All chip varieties are gluten free, cholesterol free, have zero grams trans fats. They are also certified Kosher.  Plus, many varieties are certified vegan.

Food Should Taste Good® chips are available nationally at conventional grocers and natural food markets you can also buy them online at

Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato ChipsFood Should Taste Good has 16 varieties of Tortilla chips including; Blue Chip, Chocolate, Jalapeno, Kimchi and Lime.  The tortilla chips are crisp and hold up very well to dips and salsas.  They also carry four varieties of kettle chips; Barbeque Sweet Potato, Original Sweet Potato, Salt & Pepper Sweet Potato, and Salt & Vinegar Sweet Potato.

Food Should Taste Good Chips

So, head on out and grab a few bags of Food Should Taste Good chips.

What flavor are you going to try?

Food Should Taste Good sent me product to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

Magellan eXplorist GC Geocaching GPS

Thank you to Magellan for sending us the eXplorist GC GPS to use while geocaching.  The GPS is great and has begun my family on a new and active hobby.  In the three weeks since we recieved the Magellan eXplorist GC GPS we have discovered trails and parks that we did not know existed.   It has got us outside hiking and being together as a family.  It is also a great way to start teaching children about directions and distance.  I am hooked and find myself hunting for Geocaches when I am running errands.
GPS for Geocaching
So, What is Geocaching?
Geocaching is the 21st century treasure hunt that kids and families can enjoy together.  According to  it  is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocache’s existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS unit can then try to locate the geocache.
Magellan eXplorist GC GPS

The Magellan eXplorist GC GPS provides a user-friendly experience that helps a novice geocacher discover the world of high-tech treasure hunting, and sophisticated features to give an experienced seeker an advantage in the field. The lightweight outdoor handheld GPS, with a 2.2-inch color daylight-readable screen, is pre-loaded with 999 of the most popular geocaches in the world, and is capable of holding 10,000 downloaded geocaches. For the first time, users can customize their eXplorist GC GPS with National Geographic TOPO maps or DigitalGlobe satellite imagery. Magellan has also enhanced the eXplorist GC main screen with a new, easy-to-use menu of features to give users an intuitive presentation of options for navigating through geocaches, waypoints, maps and other tools.


Handheld GPS Device Exclusively for Geocaching


  • Seamless connection to
  • Free 30 day premium membership to
  • Pre-Loaded with the Most Popular Geocaches in the World
  • Complete paperless geocaching
  • Holds 10,000 caches

What do you find in a geocache?

Inside a Geocache

In every geocache is a log to sign with your geocaching handle.  Some geocaches are micros or nanos and only have a log to sign.  Others are larger and have items to trade.  You should always trade for equal value or leave an item of higher value.  Often the items are small toys or gift bag items.  We have also found plant seeds, a compass, money and more.  Kids love to bring and item and trade.  There are also items called travel bugs that can be taken and moved to another cache.  The object is to see how far it can travel and the movement is tracked on  There are really so many great lessons that can be taught to kids through geocaching.

The first day we got our Magellan eXplorist GC we were able to get out and find 3 geocahes in our neighborhood.  Geocaches can be anywhere.  Some are in shopping plazas, town parks or in the middles of the woods.  We love the variety and they fact that we can find at least one anyplace we go.  After explaining geocaching to a friend she ordered and eXplorist and started geocaching with her daughter.  It is fun and addictive!

Where will you look for geocaches? 

A Magellan eXplorist GC was provided to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.