Monday, September 9, 2019

Top Favorite Brandless Products + Get 2 Free Products

Hey guys! I wanted to give you a review of Brandless, a company that we’ve ordered products from for about a year now. As a note, this post isn’t sponsored. We just REALLY love the company and their products, so I wanted to share a Brandless review. 



I’ll jump into the details of our most recent order below as well as a Brandless review, but if you’ve never heard of Brandless, it’s one-of-a-kind business in the healthy lifestyle space. The company has amazing relationships with its vendors and manufacturers so their products are super affordable. Pretty much everything on their site is between $3 and $6!

camping with brandless snacks; brandless review

Brandless Review

Because Brandless has so many great relationships with suppliers, the company is able to avoid extra markups. The packaging might look really simple, but trust me when I say that Brandless’ products are really high quality. Pretty much everything on their website is certified organic and GMO-free, and, if not, it’s all-natural. Brandless keeps adding more and more products! There are plenty of pantry staples and snacks as well as baby items (i.e. diapers, wipes), home goods (i.e. cleaning essentials, kitchen tools), health & personal care products (i.e. hair care, essential oils, vitamins, supplements, CBD) and fun pet things (i.e. treats, toys)! 

As if I needed another reason to love the company, every time you place an order, Brandless donates a meal to a family in need. I don’t know about you, but I find that to be pretty amazing. A company that keeps its prices low and also donates food to families in need? I have a hard time shopping anywhere else!

box of Brandless cheese square crackers; brandless review

Top Favorite Brandless Products

We switch things up from order to order depending on what we need and what new products we’d like to try, so a few of these products are new to us while most are oldies but goodies! 

  • Hummus CrispsNon-GMO, Gluten-Free, Made with Chickpeas, No artificial colors or flavors. These are so delicious, and Quinn really loved them! 
  • Cheddar Cheese Bites100% cheese, Gluten-Free, No Artificial Preservatives. A family favorite for sure!
  • Sweet BBQ Popped Potato CrispsGluten-Free, No Artificial Preservatives, No Artificial Colors, No Artificial Flavors. Great flavor and crunch! 
  • Organic Fruit & Vegetable PouchesOrganic, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Tree Nut & Peanut Free. Trader Joe’s has something similar, but I think these might be even cheaper. At $3 for four pouches, they’re a steal, and they come in a few different flavors, such as Organic Pear, Spinach, Kale & Pea. We also order just straight-up applesauce, since Quinn is picky! And yes, he’s five and still eating pouches – but you know what, they are packed full of nutrition, and sometimes even the adults in the house will grab one!
  • Maple Pecan GranolaWhole Grain, No Artificial Colors or Flavors, No Artificial Preservatives, Good Source of Fiber. So delicious! The bag did not last long in our house! 
  • Organic Fair Trade Decaf Medium Roast Ground CoffeeOrganic, Fair Trade, Farmed in Mexico, Made with 100% Arabica Coffee. We love their ground coffee! It’s only $3 a bag, and so good! I purchase decaf, but they do have a ton of caffeinated options!
  • Organic Cheese Square CrackersOrganic, Made with Real Cheese. These don’t taste exactly like Cheez-Its, but Quinn eats them right up, which is a good sign because he’s very picky about his cheese crackers! I love that they’re organic and free of GMOs and funny business. 
  • Organic Peanut ButterOrganic, No Added Sugar, No Hydrogenated Oils, Gluten-Free. This one was actually a freebie! 🙂 If you sign up for Brandless’ email list, they giveaway freebies all the time!
  • Organic Canola OilOrganic, Cold-Pressed, 100% Pure, No Preservatives. We were making cupcakes the other day, and I realized we were out of canola oil – oops! Time to reorder! 
  • Organic TahiniOrganic, Gluten-Free, Vegan, No Artificial Colors or Flavors. Another new product that I’m excited to try! I love tahini, especially these 3-Ingredient Tahini Protein Balls!
  • Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil SprayOrganic, 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil, No Preservatives, Non-GMO Derived Food. I love the price of this organic olive oil spray! 
  • Organic Vermont Maple Barbeque SauceOrganic, Gluten-Free, No Artificial Colors or Flavors, No Preservatives. Trust me when I say we use this all the time on everything! In fact, I’m surprised I only ordered one bottle because we go through it like it’s our job.
  • Organic Teriyaki Beef JerkyOrganic, Made from 100% Grass-Fed Beef, Hickory Smoked. Mal is a big jerky fan and snacks on it quite often. 

And that’s a wrap with my Brandless review! As you can see, we ordered a ton of products and the total was around $50-$60, so believe me when I say Brandless is super affordable and a great value. Bonus – if you use my affiliate link, you will receive $6 off of your first order, which is essentially two free products!

If you’re interested in trying Brandless, I hope you found this Brandless review helpful. And as always, if you have any questions feel free to reach out!

The post Top Favorite Brandless Products + Get 2 Free Products appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

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I Was Determined To Learn What True Human Health Meant

It’s Monday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Yup, success stories are back! And I’m looking for more. Follow-ups, mid-progress reflections—every story at every stage has the potential to inspire folks out there who are getting started or contemplating a new beginning. Contact me here to share your story. You never know who you’ll impact by doing it. Enjoy, everyone!

I was born, raised, and continue to live in the rural interior of Catalina Island. My roots run deep here as a fourth generation islander. While the island is just 22 miles off the coast of the concrete jungle known as L.A or what I call “The Mainland,” this place feels as if it were a world away. It’s the land time couldn’t command.

Being that this little island is the only place I’ve ever called home, it wasn’t until I was older that I realized just how unique my childhood was compared to most in today’s world.

I am constantly asked by visitors to the island if I ever get “island fever” or have the urge to get over to “the real world.” Honestly though, in my opinion, this place is as real as it gets. I know there are millions of beautiful places around the world, many in which I hope to one day visit, possibly even live. But wherever I go, I do know, that I will be eternally thankful for getting to grow up here on my island home and that I have this place to thank for making me who I am today.

As a kid I was able to grow up slow. I spent my days immersed in some of the best that nature has to offer. Whether I was out hiking the endless trails, running barefoot through the mountains in my backyard or playing in the surf at a beach on the backside of the island, I learned to love, respect, and honor the land and sea around me. Another question I am often asked is “Don’t you get bored living here; there is no mall or movie theater, not much to do.” To which I can honestly reply, “Nope, never!” And in fact it’s quite the opposite. Even when I was young, an all day hike was never out of the ordinary. My brother, sister, and I would spend hours outdoors, letting our imaginations run wild, and only return home to the sound of our mother calling us in as the sun sunk below the horizon. We would come running, usually a bit battered and bruised from the day’s adventures. We would greet our mother with a bouquet of wildflowers in one hand, and often an injured animal in the other, because we were determined to nurse back to health. My mother had an incredible green thumb and grew most all of our produce. Every meal was a home cooked meal and every night we would sit down to dinner around the table our father made and give thanks to the land for the food that it gave us. That also often meant some fresh yellowtail or local venison!

I was young when I came to understand that all things in the world are connected, that the great outdoors was also a great teacher, and that there was beauty and a lesson to be found in everything. The way the fullness of the moon pulls the tides in the ocean.

The way the location of the sunrise and sunset coordinated with the seasons. How the birds danced and feasted on the water before a storm. How animals fasted when they didn’t feel well. I learned to trust my instincts when crossing paths with a herd of buffalo or a coiled snake. I learned to feel the energy of the land.

These childhood adventures and exploration of the land and oceans around me evolved into the lifestyle I live today. This land is my playground, my gym, my sanctum. It has sparked, lit, and has been the fire behind many of my endeavors including my success as an adventure athlete, my love for being active outdoors, appreciation for the ocean, my pursuit of growing my own organic garden, sustainable living, giving back to the community, and learning something new every day. It has taught me that what’s simple is true and that you can live large even with very little, because it’s the little things in life that matter the most. I now teach sustainability, marine biology, and ecology for the USC Wrigley Marine Science and Ecology Center here on the island. I am a holistic health coach and personal trainer on the side. And I still have my everyday adventures as an sponsored athlete.

I found your blog about 8 years back when I was recovering from a serious bought of overtraining and adrenal fatigue due to running 80-100 mile weeks while training to paddle the channel between the island and the mainland (which I’ve done 7 times since), and working in a restaurant 10 hours a day. My body started to shut down (rightfully so), and I was determined to learn everything I could about the human body, holistic nutrition, what fitness really is, and what true human health actually meant. At the time I was also obsessed with reading books on anthropology and studying the indigenous peoples and tribes of far away places. Their ways of life, so interconnected to nature, made me feel like my own craving for being one with nature, wasn’t so abnormal. And of course, like most things about modern societal norms, I just couldn’t trust mainstream advice on nutrition and training.

So, down the unconventional rabbit hole I went and along the way I became a total primal/paleo/real food/lifestyle nerd. I tossed conventional wisdom out the door (I was always a skeptic) and realized that the life I had been living on the island was actually pretty darn “primal” and that I just needed to modify a few things. I always ate what I thought was healthy as I was an natural athlete from a young age and new the foods I ate made me feel great or not so great. That meant lots of homegrown veggies, wild fruits, local fish, venison, and meats. But I did grow up also eating pasta and a few processed foods like Kashi cereal, which I soon ditched. And the fats I was told were bad for me back in middle school health class, I became a big fan of because I discovered that I could perform better on the trail and in the water with them on board. The more I read your blog, the more the stars aligned…it all made so much sense!!!

I no longer run 80 mile weeks, but I still love a good trail run every now and then. If I’m going for long distance, I usually hike in my minimalist shoes instead. I average about 6-8 miles a day just in walking around the island doing daily tasks. I lift heavy things, climb trees, free dive, spearfish, SUP, prone paddle, mountain bike, play pick-up softball in the dirt lot with friends, gather with my people around campfires, follow circadian rhythm (it’s easy out here on the island), and absolutely am loving life! I recently circumnavigated the island on my paddle board with two friends and it was such a fun adventure! We even made it to SurfLine! We used the paddle as a vehicle to talk about plastic in our oceans.

I am all about living life to the fullest and really exploring our human potential, asking constantly “What does it mean to thrive?” and “What does it mean to be human?”. Thanks to the inspiration I receive from the MDA, paleo community, and our ancestors, I feel as though I am able to do just that, and now I share it with others. I coach and put on retreats and events all based around this lifestyle in addition to my work for USC.

I studied nutrition for a long time and I soon realized, it all came down to nature. I studied movement and fitness, and it again, it all came back to nature. Now I teach and study about the environment/ecology/sustainability, and what we can do to make the world a better place, and again it comes back to nature. It’s really very simple. It’s all interconnected and so are we. A part of nature, not separate from it. And we and our planet all have the ability to be healthy, happy, and thriving. So thank you Mark for all that you do! You have always been a bright light guiding the way and I have really looked up to you for years. I lived off the island for a few months in 2016 and worked at Sunlife at Point Dume. It was pretty funny how none of the celebrities caused me to feel star stuck but whenever you or Ben Greenfield would come in, my heart would skip a beat ; ) You are a legend and the legacy you are leaving is a much needed one. Thank you, thank you, thank you! If you ever want to host a PB retreat on Catalina, I’m your girl ; )

All the best from Catalina,

Adventure Athlete and Health Coach
Optimized Health, Wellness, and Fitness

Have a story to share? Email me here. Thanks, everybody, and have a great week.


The post I Was Determined To Learn What True Human Health Meant appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Mazen Turns Seven

Happy Golden Birthday Mazen! He turned 7 on the 7th and had a super fun packed weekend full of gifts and parties!

It’s so hard to believe he was this small…and that SEVEN whole years have passed by!

Friday Date

On Friday night Matt and Katie took Mazen out for a special pre-birthday dinner (to the Melting Pot which was fun!) and so Grammie and Pea played with Birch while Thomas and I went on a date!

I dressed in my new Athleta romper for the occasion 🙂 (Toms Lexie sandals on my feet)

We went to Bang! and got a handful of small plates to share. We realized after that we ordered all vegetarian!

We stopped by Tilman’s for another small plate and glass of wine before heading to Splendy’s for gelato to end the night and walk home.

The Birthday

We made special sprinkle pancakes for Mazey, and he opened a present every hour. Thomas made a scavenger hunt for him to find his brand new skate board!

He also got a ninja costume (that he asked for specifically to wear for Halloween too – win win!) and a cool suitcase from KK. Look at little Birch trying to be a big boy!

Emerson got Mazen his very first real guitar! I think it was his favorite gift. Matt is going to teach him to play.

Mazen’s Party: Jump Around

We held his party at the Jump Trampoline Park this year and had lots of fun bouncing around with some of his friends.

Matt and Katie made his cake this year – a decadent layer cake full of all things peanut butter chocolate! Those are Resee’s Pieces on the top!

Grammie brought the favors! Minecraft glasses and bracelets.

Rest Hour

We went home to rest while Mazen opened some gifts. Our car battery chose this weekend to bite the dust so we had to jump it a few times – including on the way to dinner!

Birthday Dinner

We took Mazen to his first hibachi grill experience at Sakura Steakhouse up by Target. He brought his good friend and neighbor Derrick along.

Our dinner was great. We were joined by Thomas’s side of the family, and everyone had a great time watching the chef cook our meal (onion volcano and all!)

Sleep Next Door

Derrick + Mazen got to have their very first sleepover! They sleep next door to one another every night so we figured it was time to combine pillows!

Football Sunday

Thomas was PUMPED for the first football Sunday of the fall, and so he planned a special smoked pork for the occasion. It was also the first SOCCER SUNDAY of the fall season, which I was more excited about 😉 We had a game at 5:00!

We had leftover pancakes for breakfast, and spent most of the day playing!

Hope you all enjoyed your weekends too, and that you have something fun planned for this week.

The post Mazen Turns Seven appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

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