#SummerCravings with Stonyfield + prAna [Giveaway]

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What do you crave this summer? What I’m craving right now is my summer vacation to North Carolina. All I can think about is a pair of comfy, sexy jeans that can be worn to the farmer’s market in the morning, a beautiful hike in the afternoon, and seamlessly transition to an evening at the winery. Those are three of my favorite summer activities, which I look forward to every year as the days get longer and the weather balmier. The abundance of fresh veggies, outdoor exercise, friendly people, and the feel-good food that comes out of a trip to the farmer’s market and hike just can’t be beat, in my opinion. It’s a great family activity that I often do with both my son and husband.

While my family is on vacation, we spend mornings at the market picking up fresh bread, cheese, and herbs to make a tasty dip, then spend the afternoon hiking one of our favorite mountain trails, only to be finished off with a relaxing evening next to the bubbling river at the winery. Is there a more perfect way to relax than sipping good wine and enjoying homemade, healthy treats? It’s one of my family’s favorite ways to spend a day there. We all love these little getaways—even my 15 year old, who spends our winery time either sketching on the mountainside above the winery or reading a book while he literally sits on a rock in the river.

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Whether I’m just stopping by the farm stands near home on the weekend, or going to the market near the vineyards during our vacation, I like to be dressed for the occasion. I tend to favor simple, classic wardrobe items from brands who focus on sustainability and natural materials. I appreciate being able to get clothes that suit my lifestyle and which work with my values. Right now the item of clothing that is in top rotation is the Kara Jean from prAna. Versatile, comfortable, and fashionable, they’re made with 75% organic cotton denim and come in a wide variety of colors and even prints!

I can see these working really well with a simple tee for daytime, layered with a button-down shirt, or dressed up a little with a cute blouse for dinner and drinks. prAna has been mentioned by me before, because they’re a company that really gets it; they value sustainability and well-made products. Their organic cotton collection definitely has some of the most stylish earth-friendly clothing I’ve laid eyes on. Colorful, pretty, and practical, I’d wear it every day; clothing that makes me happy and works with the kind of life I live.

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One of my other #SummerCravings which I like to indulge both at home and on vacation is a delicious bit of Greek-style yogurt. The best brand for this, in my opinion, is Stonyfield Organic. They have a wide range of yogurts, from 0% to full fat, plain or flavored, and even with fruit and chia seed additions! Best of all, the milk comes from pasture-raised cows, and is free of pesticides and antibiotics. For a savory treat, I love a little whole-milk Greek yogurt mixed with fresh herbs from the garden or farmer’s market, to go with a yummy baguette and glass of wine. On days I’m looking for a simple, healthy dessert, the yogurt with fruit add-ins is such a delight. Stonyfield is definitely a major player in creating satisfying summer snacks for me and my family.

Yogurt

Today prAna and is offering one of my lucky readers (U.S. only) a chance to win their own pair of Kara Jeans (value $89), to get you through the summer months in comfort and style.

To enter, leave a comment telling me what your #SummerCravings are and how you’re going to indulge them. The winner will be announced on June 30th!

Even if you don’t win, you can enjoy 15% off any purchase from prAna, with code: SCS16JELY

This offer is valid from now through July 7th, 2016. Code cannot be used for gift certificates, or in combination with any other offers.

Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Stonyfield and prAna – all opinions expressed are my own.

Wild Selections® Solid White Albacore Tuna is Perfect for Lunch!

Wild Selections® Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water 1

Since I am so busy during the week, I really don’t have time to stop in the middle of my work day to make lunch. This means that I have had to come up with several make-ahead lunches that I can grab in between conference calls and projects. One of my favorites is Wild Selection® Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water on a bed of lettuce. Wild Selection® Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water is one of my favorites because inside you will find delicious, delicate tuna that comes from all-natural sources. There are three ingredients: white tuna, water, and salt. That’s it! Every can of tuna is Non-GMO verified too. Now, I obviously love the product, but what really gets me feeling passionate is the philosophy of the company behind the fish!

People talk a lot about sustainability nowadays but for the folks at Wild Selections, it is their entire business model. The entire product line is the only one in the world that is Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified as sustainable seafood. You can trust that the blue MSC eco-label on every can means that the fish inside only comes from well managed fisheries and healthy fish stocks. For even more proof, just log onto the Wild Selections website and actually see where the fish in your can was caught! If we want our oceans to be teeming with life in the future, everyone should start to follow Wild Selections’ lead.

Wild Selections® Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water

Their commitment to ocean health and sustainability goes beyond just their products. For every can of Wild Selection Premium Seafood sold, they donate 13 cents to the World Wildlife Fund for marine conservation and to fishery improvement projects all over America. Wild Selections projects that by 2018, they will have donated a total of $1 Million towards saving our oceans. Partnerships between companies like Wild Selection and organizations like the World Wildlife Fund are helping lead the way to a sustainable tomorrow.

Wild Selections wants to make it as easy as possible for you to find their fantastic products. Check out their store locator to find stores where Wild Selections Seafood is sold. There are many other products available, including salmon, sardines, and shrimp. And you can be sure that every one is as environmentally friendly as their tuna!

Wild-Selections®-Solid-WhitIf you want to learn more about how Wild Selections is helping to save our oceans with sustainable fishing, you can check out this infographic. Or you could visit their YouTube Channel to learn more about their partnership with the World Wildlife Fund and Marine Stewardship Council.

When all is said and done, it is just a delicious product. And one that will help you do your part to save our planet. You can’t ask for more than that!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Stonyfield Whole Milk Greek Yogurts – Even Your Teenager Will Love

Stonyfield Whole Milk Greek Yogurts – Even Your Teenager Will Love Them

Sometimes, it is easier to trick a teenager into eating healthy than to make a convincing argument. As a Stonyfield blogger, I receive shipments of yogurt periodically, and normally, my son won’t touch the stuff, he doesn’t’ care how good it is for him, he would rather skip it. I usually sneak yogurt into his smoothies, dips and a tablespoon on his baked potato! And I secretly don’t mind that he usually doesn’t like the fruit based yogurts, because I love the stuff! Ha!

But recently I discovered that Stonyfield Whole Milk Greek Yogurt comes in flavors that include real organic fruit cup sidecars. You just pull the top off the container and pour the contents of the fruit cup into the yogurt (Check out the photos). And or whatever reason Eben loves this! He has taken to eating one every day after school while doing his homework. The fruit is organic and delicious, mixing with the creamy yogurt to make a sweet snack. Eben likes them all: cherry, blueberry, strawberry, and honey. All organic, all sourced from all over North America!

These yogurt cups are fantastic for when you are on the go and you need a quick snack. For road trips, just toss them into a bag with some ice to keep them nice and cool until everyone in the car could use a healthy pick-me-up! Same with a day at the beach! If you and your kid are having a playdate in the park, bring a few cups along. Kids love them because the organic fruit or honey makes the whole milk yogurt taste like a sweet dessert. If you prefer yours without any additions, they also sell delicious plain yogurt as well as yogurt with a twist of vanilla bean!

The great thing about Stonyfield Yogurt is that you can trust they are only made with the best organic ingredients. They have never even come close to toxic pesticides and are non-GMO. Stonyfield guarantees that all of their products are both gluten-free and certified kosher. They source their ingredients from organic farms all over the United States and you can always be sure that the yogurt comes from cows that are pasture raised and ethically treated.

Stonyfield makes a ton of great products, but I think their Whole Milk Greek Yogurt might just be the best. Heck, if they can get my kid eating healthy yogurt, they must be good!

I am a Stonyfield blogger, and all opinions are my own.

The 5 Most Polluted Seas in the World

The 5 Most Polluted Seas in the World

NOTE FROM SWEET GREENS: This article wasn’t written by me. GD Environmental is a specialist waste collection and disposal company based in South Wales. Its aim is to improve local waste management by recycling more than 96% of all waste it collects, so if you’d like to see how many of your items are recycled, pay one of its centers a visit and see the magic at work! Thank you for supporting the companies that keep Sweet Greens in business.

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We all know that recycling is important and as safe waste management processes have grown in use over the past few years, many of our streets and much of our countryside now look cleaner than ever. But what about the areas of the world we don’t see on a regular basis, like underground at landfill sites or far out to sea?

Here we take a look at 5 of the most polluted seas in the world, what’s causing the rubbish pile up and what is being done to tackle this issue head on:

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  1. The Atlantic Ocean (Gulf of Mexico and North Atlantic)
    As the second largest expanse of water (after the Pacific Ocean) it is unsurprising that the Atlantic Ocean is home to some of the world’s worst pockets of pollution. One of which is centered on the basin in the Gulf of Mexico.This enclosed section, surrounded by the USA, Mexico and Cuba, is known as one of the largest dead zones in the world. The water in the Gulf is highly polluted with nitrogen and phosphorous which has come from American agricultural practices. This means the water is hypoxic (low in oxygen) and fish cannot survive here.The North Atlantic is also highly polluted. The North Atlantic Garbage Patch is essentially a gigantic rubbish island which floats around in the North Atlantic Gyre. First discovered in 1972, the Patch has continued to grow and scientists now believe it is hundreds of miles wide with more than 200,000 pieces of waste per square mile.

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  1. Indian Ocean
    According to the Indian Ocean Experiment (INDOEX), the Indian Ocean is extremely polluted, with nearly 4 million square miles of coverage. Scientists also claim that tropical cyclones are increasingly common in the Arabian Sea (part of the Indian Ocean) as a result of this pollution.In 2010, a monstrous plastic and chemical sludge patch was found floating in the Indian Ocean and is now categorized as the third largest of its kind in the world.

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  1. Mediterranean Sea
    Many of us may be found sunbathing on the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea during the summer months, but did you know the Mediterranean is one of the most polluted oceans in the world?According to The United Nations Environment Program, there is 650 million tons of sewage and a combined 230,000 tons of mineral oil, mercury, lead and phosphates dumped into the Mediterranean Sea each year.

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  1. Baltic Sea
    Overfishing and pollution mean species living in the Baltic Sea are at extreme risk. Along with oil spills, these threats have resulted in more than half of all fish species here being categorized as at a critical level. As a result the Finish government has rationed some types to avoid extinction.

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  1. Caribbean Sea
    Another part of the world known for its beautiful sandy beaches, the Caribbean in the north of the Atlantic Ocean is recognized as one of the world’s worst affected areas by human activity. Waste and chemical pollution, oil spills, over-fishing and climate change all mean that marine life here is slowly dying off.

Cleaning the Seas One Bottle at a Time

From floating plastic bottle islands to chemical-induced hypoxic waters, all of this damage is man-made. So, it is our responsibility to rectify it and put things back the way they were.

One simple way you can help save our seas is to recycle more, because the less waste there is, the less likely it is to be dumped. And if you will be using chemicals on your garden or agricultural land, make sure to use non-toxic alternatives. If you’d like to be even more hands on and you’re unhappy with the state of your local beach, why not sign up to become a litter picker along the shoreline this summer?

If everyone made a small effort today, the cleanliness of our seas could benefit hugely.

(Information taken from IBTimes UK report here.)

3 Good Reasons to Consider Making Sustainable Fish a Part of Your Meal Plan

3 Good Reasons to Consider Making Sustainable Fish a Part of Your Meal PlanA Note from Sweet Greens: This post wasn’t written by me – thank you for supporting the companies that support Sweet Greens.

If you’re like me, part of kicking off a new week involves sitting down and planning out meals for the week ahead. Not only does it make it easier for me to get all my grocery shopping done in one trip, but it allows me to feel less stressed during the day knowing that I already have everything I need to whip up a quick and tasty meal for the family. It takes a little while to get into the habit, but once you’ve got it down, you’ll wonder why you weren’t already planning your meals in advance!

That doesn’t mean it isn’t sometimes still challenging to get enough variety into your diet, though. Many of us can slip into a groove where cooking the same foods week after week is both effortless and comforting, so we never try new things. I know this is what kept me from adding fish into our weekly plan for a long time! However, there are some pretty excellent reasons to consider making the change. Once you think about the benefits, it’s practically a no-brainer! But what exactly makes fish a good fit for your next week’s meals? Here’s what sold me on the idea.

  1. Eating fish in moderation comes with measurable health benefits. It’s no secret that fish is chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, which doctors say keeps your heart healthy, but those acids also play a significant role in a young child’s brain development. If you’d prefer not to take fish oil supplements, adding fish into your weekly diet provides a simple, easy way to get those vital nutrients.
  1. There are now sustainable seafood sources of seafood on the internet. What is the difference between sustainable and wild caught? According to the National Resources Defense Council, “The health of different species varies by fishery. Alaskan seafood such as salmon and halibut, when caught in sustainable ways, is generally good for you and the environment. Use the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guide to learn which fisheries provide the most sustainable seafood choices.”
  1. These sustainable sources can come right to your door with little difference over fresh fish.Rapid shipping and refrigeration technology combine to get fresh seafood delivered to your door. How amazing is that? You can even buy Alaskan seafood, including wild Alaskan salmon — a prime source of omega-3s. Just one serving delivers the equivalent of three days of fish oil capsules! Wild salmon is even better for you than farm-raised, so having a convenient way to obtain it is just incredible.
  2. Fish like salmon are extremely easy to prepare in simple, healthy ways. Maybe you’ve been hesitant to put fish into your plan because you aren’t sure how to cook it. Don’t worry! Salmon especially, is easy to prepare. Even on my busiest days, it’s not hard to throw some fresh salmon into a tinfoil pouch with herbs, olive oil, and lemon. The foil pouch even acts as a serving tray – just throw it away after dinner! Who doesn’t love skipping the hassle of doing the dishes?

With all of that in mind, the choice to keep fish on the menu each week for my family was a simple one. Plus, when it’s just so easy to get fresh scallops, crab, fish, and even lobster delivered fresh, it’s hard to resist all the tempting dinner possibilities!

Next time you sit down to plan your weekly meals, give fish a second chance. Experiment with seafood more often and you might discover a brand new family favorite! Don’t forget to download my free meal plan sheet to make the process even easier. Use it to plan your next trip to the supermarket for all kinds of tasty side dishes to accompany fish!

5 Budget and Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift Shopping Tips

5 Budget and Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift Shopping Tips Sweet Greens

While this time of the year is the most wonderful  – it is also the busiest. You may feel like there are so many things that you need to prepare and buy and deciding where to start can be overwhelming. Instead of getting things done ahead of time, many of us tell ourselves we will get everything done when the holidays get closer. Then, the next thing you know the holidays are upon us and we end of spending too much money, getting completely stressed out, and not making the best choices – not exactly the feelings that you want to experience. It happens to the best of us, right?

To get your holiday shopping off on the right foot, I thought I would share my favorite budget and eco-friendly holiday shopping tips. These are all tips that I use every year to make sure that this time of the year is definitely the most wonderful without breaking the bank or losing my head!

1. Make a List – Check it Twice
Every year, I create a simple holiday gift list in my iPhone. It includes the name of everyone on my holiday shopping list, gift ideas for each of them and my spending limit per person. Since my list is on my phone, I can consult and update it at anytime. Then, I mark off each person as I finish their holiday gift shopping. This has saved me a lot of time and money and I never have to ask myself – did a buy a gift for so and so? Or, how many gifts did I buy for Eben or the mister? I just check the list and I am done!

2. Start Early
The earlier that you start your holiday shopping, the better. Just think, if you finish all of your holiday shopping early, you can spend the day after Thanksgiving at home, snuggled up with your family and a yummy warm beverage. I can’t think of anything more stress-free then having all of the holiday shopping done before December even arrives. It really frees up all of December to focus on making fun memories with my family. This is another place that #1 comes in, if you shop early picking up items when you find them on sale – you save a ton of money.

3. Shop Locally
Instead of hitting the closest big box store this holiday season, consider supporting small, independently owned businesses. Many towns have a shopping area that is filled with adorable shops that focus on the work of local artisans and many have eco-friendly options. In my opinion, a handmade gift is the best gift! You could also give a gift from your local farm, such as; fresh vegetables, fruits or dairy items. Another option is to check out Etsy for fantastic handmade goods, you can click here to shop Etsy shops located in your local area.

4. It’s All About Quality
Each year, I like to focus on purchasing the mister and Eben quality gifts that they will enjoy for years and years to come. I focus on items that I think they will really enjoy and steer clear of items that are disposable, or would only be enjoyed temporarily. My favorite items to purchase for them include; books, experiences (see below), heirloom quality items that they will keep forever and gifts that focus on their favorite hobbies.

5. Give the Gift of Experience
I am a huge fan of giving the gift of experience, some that I have given in the past include annual passes to local nature and science museums, state parks, botanical gardens, art centers and even scuba lessons. I think gifts that allow the recipient to learn something new or go to place they have always wanted to see builds memories and brings much more happiness long-term than any material gift could ever could. Plus, it’s just another excuse to spend more quality time with my family – and that is the best gift of all.

What are your favorite holiday shopping tips? Please share them in the comments section – I would love to hear! 

Helping Holidays: 4 Green Gifts That Give Back

The holidays are all about celebrating acts of giving, making it the perfect opportunity to make your gift giving smarter this season. There are so many amazing businesses out there that give back when you purchase one of their products. These companies are tied to doing good somewhere in the world every time a purchase is made. Read on for my 4 favorite gifts that give back – and if you hurry you can still get these goodies by Christmas.

1. Warby Parker Glasses

Eben and I both wear glasses and love the stylish, affordable frames from Warby Parker. For every pair of glasses that you buy, a pair is donated to a person in need. If you don’t wear glasses, that is alright – Warby Parker also offers fantastic sunglasses.

+ Warby Parker  

2. Feed Bags

I have been familiar with FEED Bags for a very long time – I remember first seeing them in Whole Foods back when we lived in Georgia! FEED Bags come in a huge selection of styles and sizes and with each purchase a portion of the proceeds go towards feeding the children of the world.

+ FEED Projects

3. TOMS Shoes

Most likely you are already familiar with TOMS shoes – for every pair you purchase a pair is donated to a child in need. With a great selection of shoes for everyone on your list, TOMS is the perfect holiday gift!

+ TOMS
4. Smile Squared

Every year I stick a toothbrush in the holiday stocking – this year I will be stuffing a brush from Smile Squared! Smile Squared is another company that donates a product to a child in need – in this case, an eco-friendly bamboo toothbrush – because a healthy smile is a happy smile.

+ Smile Squared

Do you have a favorite gift to give that gives back too?