Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Musselman's Gift Basket Winner

Cynthia, you are the winner of the gift basket compliments of Musselman's!  E-mail me (less dot sweet at gmail dot com) your snail mail address, please!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays from Musselmans!

Disclaimer:  Musselman's sent the same gift basket to me and then offered to provide one for a giveaway.   As always, I am under no obligation to provide a positive review - or any review - of any of their products.

Just in time for the holidays, Musselman's - the applesauce people - have generously offered up a gift basket full of HFCS-free goodies to a lucky reader!  The gift basket is full of some great products for baking and snacking.  Here's the rundown:

Wow!  What to do with all of this applesauce and pie filling?  Check out some ideas I posted recently on how to use applesauce.  Musselman's also has applesauce recipes on their site.  You could just make a pie with the pie filling...or go out on a limb and make one of the many desserts on the Lucky Leaf site.  

To win this basket of goodies, you can do any of the following.  Each that you do earns a separate entry, but you must leave a separate comment for each entry!
Entries will be accepted through Monday, December 27 at 11:59pm.  Winner will be announced the following day.  The winner must provide a US shipping address within a week of announcement.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Made for Earth discount just for you readers!

Disclaimer - I have not tried these products but will be receiving samples of some of Made for Earth's products in a few weeks.  Look for a review of the products later!

Just for A Life Less Sweet readers, Made from Earth is offering 5% off plus a free Strawberry Mocha lip balm with ANY order - no minimum.  Just enter the code "sweetlife" with your order.  This special discount will last through the Christmas season.

Made from Earth sells all-natural face, body, and hair care products.  I've not tried their products yet, but I find their product line intriguing and attractive.  Wander over to their website to look at their product line for yourself!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Wheat Thins winner is...

Congrats to Jennifer!  E-mail me your address (less.sweet *at* gmail.com) to get your Wheat Thins samples!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wheat Thins goes HFCS free and a Giveaway!

This is not the first time I've written about Wheat Thins.  First, I wrote about all of the high fructose corn syrup in Wheat Thins (and other crackers).  Next, I wrote about a HFCS-free Wheat Thins cracker that I happen to like a lot while bemoaning the fact that so many Wheat Thins products still have HFCS in them. 

Wheat Thins listened!  They have started to revamp their crackers to be high fructose corn syrup free!  Wheat Thins Original, Reduced Fat, Big, and Hint of Salt are already on the shelves reformulated sans HFCS, and similar changes are coming to other Wheat Thins varieties in 2010.  And the crackers reportedly remain free of hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated  oils.  Great news!

And now a little word about sugar and HFCS...  A lot has been made about companies making the switch from HFCS to sugar.  Companies are making the switch from HFCS to sugar and celebrating it - a smart marketing move. No, that simple switch does not make a product instantly healthier.  Too much sugar is still too much sugar, and we would all do well to limit our intake of sugar.  (Easier said than done for this sugarholic writer, but I'm trying!)  But, as you know, I hold a special feeling of disdain for HFCS and think we are better off just not consuming it.  I, frankly, am thrilled to see companies making the switch away from HFCS.  That's all I have to say on that for now.  Companies will listen to what their consumers want, so read those labels and let your pocketbook talk!

Back to Wheat Thins.  A rep working with Wheat Thins read my blog and sent me the good news.  (Special thanks also to Karen S. who let saw an article about Wheat Thins going HFCS-free back in August.)  Thanks for listening to your consumers, Wheat Thins!

The lucky winner will win a sample of the reformulated HFCS-free Original and Reduced Fat Wheat Thins.  To win, leave a comment.  For extra entries, you can do each of the following (be sure to leave an extra comment for each extra entry):
  1. subscribe to my main blog's feed,
  2. become a fan on Facebook,
  3. tweet about it,
  4. follow me on Twitter.
The winner will be announced on Thursday, November 19.  The winner must be willing to provide a US mailing address within a week of contest close.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Peter Rabbit Organics Giveaway winner...

The winner is KellieS!  Congratulations! 

Check back tomorrow for another great giveaway!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Love these Peter Rabbit Organics fruit purees! Plus a giveaway...

Disclaimer: Samples of this product were provided free of charge by Peter Rabbit Organics. I am under no obligation to give these fruit pouches a positive review.

I am really excited about the product of the day. Why? I just think it's so refreshing to find a fruit puree made of something other than apples. Not that applesauce is a bad thing, but my family is just not that crazy about it as a snack.

Peter Rabbit Organics fruit puree pouches
come in three flavors - mango, banana, and orange flavor; apple and grape; and strawberry and banana. The ingredients of each puree is exactly as described - no added sugar, no preservatives, nothing artificial. Take a look at the ingredients for the mango, banana, and orange flavor: Organic banana, organic mango, organic orange. That's it! Just the fruit, pure and simple! The apple and grape flavor has lemon juice concentrate added, but nothing more.

These fruit pouches have another thing going for them - no spoon required! Simply unscrew the cap and squeeze the puree into your mouth. That's really a nice thing when you're dealing with children. There's less mess (unless you squeeze too much into your child's mouth like I did at first - oops!), and it makes it so easy to toss a pouch into a lunch box or a purse or a stroller for an anytime snack.

But how do they taste? Exactly as you think that they would! The mango, banana, and orange had distinct notes of each fruit. The fruit flavors remained true in the pouch. The banana flavors are our favorites. Surprisingly, the banana flavor did not overwhelm the other flavors. The apple and grape flavor was good, but the apple was the main flavor while the grape flavor was kind of an after thought. Good, but not spectacular. Still, if you're an applesauce fan, this is pretty darn good applesauce.

What about the texture? Well, these are fruit purees. The texture is thick and not at all unpleasant. I'll admit that before I tried these fruit purees I was afraid that it would be like eating baby food. It wasn't.

Would I buy these? Yes!! These fruit puree pouches are being marketed for young children, but I have to tell you, I'm going to buy some for myself! (Ok, I'll grudgingly share with my children.) These pouches are downright tasty, whether you're an adult or a child. I think that they'll be a great healthy snack for on the go.

To see if your store sells Peter Rabbit Organics fruit puree pouches, click here. Looks like they're mainly sold in stores along the east coast, but Amazon also carries them.

GIVEAWAY time!!!

The folks at Peter Rabbit Organics were kind enough to supply some of their fruit pouches for a giveaway. The lucky winner will receive one of each flavor - Mango, Banana, and Orange; Apple and Grape; and Strawberry and Banana.

I'm trying something a little new this time. To enter, simply comment for an entry. To earn extra entries in this giveaway, you can do any (or all) of the following:
  1. Become a fan of the A Life Less Sweet page on Facebook,
  2. Subscribe to my feed over at my main blog, A Life Less Sweet,
  3. Tweet about this giveaway,
  4. Follow me on Twitter.
Leave a separate comment for each that you do above.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday, November 11. The winner must be willing to provide a US mailing address. The winner will have one week to get the address to me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fabulous new POM juices!

Disclaimer: I was given samples of these juices by POM. I am under no obligation to give these juices a positive review - or even to review them at all.

POM Wonderful recently sent me two new flavors of their pomegranate juice to try. I think that their plain pomegranate juice is fantastic (with some really appealing potential benefits to boot), so I was thrilled to be able to try these new flavors. The new flavors - Pomegranate Nectarine and Pomegranate Kiwi.

You may remember that I reviewed their new POMx tea recently with mixed feelings. I thought that the flavors were good (especially their peach flavored tea) though perhaps a little too sweet but was very disappointed to find fructose as an ingredient. I have no such issues here! These new POM Wonderful juices are all that I have come to expect from Pom. Take a look at the ingredient list for the Pomegranate Nectarine flavor: pomegranate (55%) and nectarine (45%) juices from concentrate, natural flavors. Simple. No added sugar. The Pomegranate Kiwi flavor (and all of their pomegranate juice flavors) has a similar ingredient list.

But how do they taste? The flavors are true. Kiwi has always struck me as a supporting flavor that doesn't really add a whole lot, and I think that this holds with this juice. Still, you can taste the kiwi, it's just a subtle flavor. I thought that the Pomegranate Kiwi juice had a nice flavor, but the pomegranate flavor is what takes center stage.

The Pomegranate Nectarine...wowzers! I love this juice! The nectarine is a type of fuzzless peach, and I am crazy about anything that is peach flavored. Where the kiwi was a supporting flavor in the other juice, the nectarine flavor is an equal player with the pomegranate flavor. This juice has a strong nectarine flavor that is quite marvelous paired with the pomegranate flavor. I have a feeling that this juice will become a regular in our house!

POM Wonderful juices aren't cheap, but their flavors are intense and consistent. I would highly recommend you give these new juices - especially the Pomegranate Nectarine flavor - a try!

POM is hosting a group of 14 bloggers at their orchards and plants in California. I'm looking forward to hearing all about it from Sagan at Living Healthy in the Real World. Go check it out!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

And the POM giveaway winner is...

Wendy! Congrats on winning the coupons for a free bottle of POMx Tea and a free 16 oz bottle of POM Wonderful juice! E-mail your mailing address to less dot sweet at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My thoughts on POM Tea and a giveaway!

I few weeks ago I was contacted by POM (the pomegranate juice people) asking if I would like to try their new tea - POMx Tea. I really like their juices, so I jumped on the chance to give their tea a try. They sent me a package with several different flavors of the tea, and my husband and I happily set out trying them.

What did we think? Hmmm...it was a mixed bag. First, if you're a serious tea drinker, don't get these drinks expecting a serious tea. (I know, duh! No self respecting serious tea drinker would expect a good bottled tea.) Tea (green, black, or white) is the first ingredient in these teas, but the juice flavor is the prominent one. That's not necessarily a bad thing, in my opinion. The juice flavor is good with the tea flavor as a subtle accent.

I enjoyed these drinks - especially the Pomegranate Peach Passion White POMx Tea, which has a wonderfully intense peach flavor thanks to peach juice from concentrate. My husband's first response was that these drinks are too sweet - and they are, but I like sweet drinks so that's not necessarily a turn off flavor wise for me. Which brings us to the next point...

One unfortunate ingredient No, no, it's not HFCS, but it might as well be as far as our diet is concerned. Sadly, all of the teas contain fructose. I didn't realize this until after I had tried all of the drinks. In fact, I actually bought a second bottle of the peach tea before realizing that it too contains crystalline fructose as an ingredient. (You can read my thoughts on crystalline fructose as an ingredient here. In short, if I'm going out of my way to avoid HFCS - an overly processed ingredient loaded with free fructose - it makes little sense to not also avoid pure free fructose - natural only in the sense that fructose also exists in nature - as an added ingredient.)

Let's take a look at the ingredients on my favorite tea of the bunch, Pomegranate Peach Passion White POMx Tea:
Gently Brewed White Tea (Water, Superior White Peony Tea Leaves), Fructose, POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice from Concentrate, POMX (POM Wonderful Pomegranate Antioxidant Extract - Patent Pending), Peach Juice from Concentrate, Passion Fruit Juice from Concentrate, Natural Flavors, Citric Acid.
Such great ingredients - except for that darn fructose. And the other flavors are similar - great ingredients plus fructose. POM - take out the fructose! The drinks don't need it!

And now for the giveaway Ok, so you know my thoughts on this tea. I liked the taste - hubby thought they were way too sweet - and neither of us liked that they have added fructose. Still...POM was generous enough to provide a coupon for a free bottle of their POMx tea, and I know that not everyone shares my dislike of fructose as an added ingredient. So, I'm giving away a coupon for a free bottle of POM tea...PLUS a coupon for a free 16 oz bottle of any flavor of POM Wonderful juice. You can read my review of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice (with no added fructose!) here.

To enter, simply leave a comment! You have until Saturday at 11:59 pm to leave a comment on this post. The winner will be announced Sunday afternoon and will have until the following Friday (Oct 2) to e-mail me their mailing address. Winners must have a US mailing address.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

And the spife winner is...

The winner of a handful of spifes is Choosing Losing! Congratulations! E-mail me your address, and I'll pass it along to Zespri so they can send you these unique kiwi tools!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Win a "spife" for your Zespri kiwi!

Do you like kiwi? Do you know what a kiwi fruit is? (If you don't, take a minute to acquaint yourself visually with this delicious fruit by popping over to the Zespri Kiwi site.) I love kiwi - juicy, sweet-tart, green goodness with little seeds that add fantastic texture. This fruit is a mixed bag with my kids. My son won't even try it, while my daughter usually likes it.

Zespri Kiwi
, sellers of delicious kiwi fruit, sent me an e-mail recently offering a handful of "spifes" - a spoon and knife (suitable for children) combo useful for eating their fruit. I can not wait to get the spifes, as I suspect that my son will be all over kiwi if he has his own special tool to eat it with.

Here's the great part - Zespri Kiwi will also send a handful of spifes to one lucky reader of this blog! To win, tell me your favorite way to eat kiwi in the comments section. Winner must be willing to provide their name and a valid mailing address to claim their prize. I'll announce the winner on Sunday, July 26.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sinupret gift pack winners!

And the winners of the Sinupret giveaway are:

The Happy Runner
Jill K

Congratulations to all of the winners! You'll need to e-mail me (less dot sweet (at) gmail dot com) with your mailing address by Tuesday, April 28 to claim your prize!

Didn't win? Hop on over to Living Healthy in the Real World for another chance! You have until Friday to enter!

Win a gift pack from Sinupret for Kids!


I must admit, I am generally not a user of holistic or non-traditional medicine. It's not that I think that it's all bad - quite the opposite - but I am often put off by the lack of real science backing claims in many cases. I hear so many moms touting the benefits of this wonderful herb or tincture or whatever based solely on anecdotal (and often very weak anecdotes at that) information. So many people wouldn't dare give their child over-the-counter or even prescription medicine but are fine with anything that is labeled as "natural." Natural does not always equate to innocuous or healthy, and that's where my problem lies.

So, when I was contacted by representatives from Sinupret for Kids, a herbal sinus remedy for kids, about holding a giveaway for their sinus medicine, I was skeptical. I ignored their requests for a while, but their persistence made me look at their information and search around the web a bit. I found nothing during my Sinupret searches that makes me nervous or worried about the medicine but did find many positive reviews of the product, so I decided to go ahead with the giveaway and give you readers a chance to decide for yourselves.

Before talking about Sinupret for Kids, I'll disclose that we haven't tried this product. It's a bit early where I am to need an allergy medicine, and fortunately noses are not running here at the moment. I may give it a try this spring if there is a need for it, though.

And now, for your reading pleasure, a little information on the product provided by Sinupret for Kids:

What is Sinupret for Kids?
Sinupret for Kids is a natural sinus remedy produced by Bionorica AG composed of a five-herbal blend of European Elder, Sorrel, Cowslip, European Vervain, and Gentian. Sinupret is availble as a syrup for kids ages 2 and older and in pill form for adults.

Sinupret for Kids:

  • Supports the upper respiratory system.
  • Promotes healthy nasal passages.
  • Strengthens the immune system.
  • Sinupret has been the subject of multiple randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials for efficacy and safety on more than 3,000 patients and recommended for children 2 and up.
  • Does not contain stimulants, caffeine, ephedra, or psuedoephedrine.
  • Sinupret has no history of dangerous side effects.
  • Sinupret is cited as safe and effective in several medical journals such as Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Plant Medica, the Pharmacist's Letter for Efficacy and Safety, and the American Council Guide to Herbs.
(Please note that Sinupret is not regulated by the FDA as it is a herbal formulation. The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.)

Are there any side affects associated with Sinupret?
Clinical testing of the product and consumption in the market have revealed no harmful side effects reported from Sinupret for Kids or adult use, and its efficacy is so well documented that it is the most prescribed/recommended product by pediatricians in Germany. In the 3,000 children trial, 0.08% experienced self-limiting side effects that included slight skin irritation or stomach upset.

Have doctors in the US used Sinupret for Kids?
Leading pediatricians, pharmacists, family doctors, and naturapaths in the US were asked to test Sinupret for Kids during the winter of 2007-2008, including Dr. Bob Sears, Dr. Jay Gordon, Dr. Narinder Duggal, and Dr. Marcus Laux. Their positive experiences resulted in dispensing Sinupret for Kids to hundreds of families with successful results.

Active ingredients: Sinupret proprietary blend - 880mg - European Elder, Common Sorrel, Cowslip, European Vervain, Gentian.

Other ingredients: water, maltitol, ethyl alcohol, cherry flavor. Contains 0.56 ml ethyl alcohol per serving.

Sinupret has been used in Germany for more than 70 years and now is available in the US. Use it to treat sinus ailments during cold, flu, and allergy season.

Giveaway time!
The people at Sinupret want you to give their product a try. Fifteen lucky readers - that's right, 15! - will receive a generous giveaway pack from Sinupret. Included in this pack are:
  • A sample of Sinupret for Kids
  • A copy of Dr. Bob Sears' book "The Healthiest Kids in the Neighborhood" (a very good book!)
  • Yellow children's binoculars
  • Sinupret for Kids activity books
  • Sinupret for Kids stickers
  • A mini plush bear
How can you win a giveaway pack? Easy! Leave a comment! You have until Monday of next week (April 20) to leave a comment. I know that not all of you have kids, so after today, add #sinupret to the end of your comment if you'd like your comment to be included in the giveaway drawing. One giveaway pack per winner. Enter as many times as you'd like by leaving genuine comments. Winners must provide a valid US shipping address.

This is a great giveaway pack! I read "The Healthiest Kids in the Neighborhood" last year, and it is a book worth reading and keeping.

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Have you tried Sinupret? What did you think of it? How do you feel about traditional and "natural" medicines?