Product Profile: My latest health and wellness picks
I’m always on the lookout for new and amazing health and wellness products for life in the kitchen, the gym and at home. Here are my current faves; a combination of some of the latest sample products (gifted) that have come across my desk for me to try out, and the products I’ve found myself that I can’t get enough of right now!
I generally do our home baking from scratch, but once – my only endeavour at baking a cake for someone else – I was asked to do one that was gluten and dairy-free. The logistics of making something like that when you are unpracticed at navigating alternative flours and substituting things like butter and milk can be daunting to say the least.
I was gifted three boxes of Kea Cookies which included Macadamia, Lemon Coconut and Choc Chip. Gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free and vegan, these delish cookies have a homemade taste and would do well for a treat. There are some e-numbers such as added colours in the ingredients lists, however, for those of you with allergies it may be a small thing for store bought cookies that have been made under strict safety protocols.
Kea Cookies are available in 10 flavours in 250g boxes (RRP $5.99) at selected supermarkets, health food stores and specialty stores nationwide.
Weleda Men Active Shower Gel
Since I started reducing chemical nasties from many of our household cleaning products and my beauty products, the husband has taken a lot of interest in what’s been going into his things too. He always struggles to feel that a natural shower gel has really done it’s job at cleaning when it doesn’t lather properly (and unfortunately, the stuff that makes shower gels lather is usually a ‘nasty’ that has been removed).
This offering from Weleda sent to me recently works into a light lather while also being kind to the skin and the environment which means it’s the best of both worlds and ticks the hubby’s boxes for a decent shower gel. Weleda Men Active Shower Gel (200ml; RRP $20.90) is available from selected online retailers, pharmacies and health stores nationwide.
Iberogast natural digestion support
Last week half my family had major tummy woes (happens more frequently now we have small children in the household) so I can appreciate how uncomfortable things can be when your gut isn’t happy!
I was recently sent this liquid herbal solution aimed at supporting digestion and reducing stomach bloating and gas. As I’m currently breastfeeding and as per the instructions the use of this has not been fully studied during lactation, I opted not to roadtest it, but have passed it on to the mother-in-law who showed interest.
At the end of the day I’m all for natural products; this one’s been available overseas for more than 50 years and has been clinically proven to help alleviate conditions such general tummy discomfort and IBS. Iberogast is made with nine plant extracts including peppermint, bitter candytuft, angelica, caraway, chamomile, St Mary’s thistle, lemon balm, greater celandine and licorice. If you’re interested in giving it a go yourself, this is available from selected pharmacies, naturopaths and health stores.
GO Healthy Turmeric
Aside from your standard multivitamin, protein, greens powders and fish oil, I don’t usually recommend supplementing unless you really need it for a specific purpose – i.e. to supplement. Turmeric has been used in naturopathic circles for centuries thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, but before you go adding spoonfuls of the yellow spice powder into your coffee (like I know some health magazines have been recommending!), the key active ingredient in its natural form is poorly absorbed by our bodies.
If you want to take turmeric to support joint health, heart function and digestion, you need to have it along with other ingredients to make it more available, or have a supplement like this that has been made for better delivery. I have PCOS – an inflammatory condition – and the only reason I’m not taking this supplement right now is because I’m breastfeeding which is one of the cautions on the pack.
Go Healthy Turmeric (30 capsules; RRP $35.90, 60 capsules; RRP $59.90) which I was recently gifted is available from health stores and pharmacies nationwide.
Striving to go clean and green hasn’t just been limited to our household beauty and cleaning products. We now also save our soft plastic packaging (which you can take into many local supermarkets for recycling) and have also been using biodegradable liners for our kitchen and bathroom bins. So when these samples of Ecobagsnz’s eco-friendly products arrived on my doorstep, they were right up my alley.
The Ecopack compostable liners are made from corn starch blended with other biodegradable materials, designed to take approximately 90 days to break down in a composting environment. Ecopack’s degradable range will break down between two to five years when exposed to sunlight, heat and oxygen. Any less waste in our landfills is better for our environment. I love it that they’re a New Zealand owned and operated company too – hurray for supporting local business.
Ecobagsnz string bags range from RRP $7.50 (for a bag with a short handle) to RRP $8.90 (for a set of 2). The compostable bin liners range from RRP $6.50 – RRP $8.80 for a variety of sizes and quantities, while the degradable bin liners range from RRP $4.99 – RRP $5.99. For more information visit www.ecobags.co.nz.
If you’re a cheese fan but you’re vegan or dairy-free, this is a great option for you. The husband and I have been trying to generally make more ethical and sustainable choices when it comes to our food choices, and this fits the bill. I was recently sent samples of this new plant-based cheese alternative that is GMO free with no additives or preservatives. Made with coconut oil, it tastes and melts just like dairy cheese so you can use it for everything from sandwiches to pizza, cheese platters to toasties.
Available in Cheddar Slices, Cheddar Block and Cheddar Shred ranging from RRP $11.49 – $12.49, Biocheese can be found in selected New World and Pak ‘n Save supermarkets nationwide.
Oats are one of my staples when it comes to breakfast foods and as a busy mum the single sachets can be a Godsend on chaotic mornings. I have high cholesterol even though I eat healthy, nutritious food the majority of the time and I’m active, so my doctor has recommended foods with added plant sterols as my key course of action. These new offerings sent through to me from Harraways piqued my interest as they are made with plant sterols and beta glucan aimed at helping reduce cholesterol absportion.
Available in two flavours – Original, and Original with Cranberry – Harraways Oat-Activ sachets are available in selected Pak ‘n Save and New World supermarkets nationwide for RRP $6.99.
The Collective’s Pro-Yo Skyr
This is my absolute fave yoghurt right now and a while back I received some delish samples of their convenient pouches. Skyr is a protein-rich traditional Icelandic dairy product that’s similar to Greek yoghurt but thicker. These are gluten free, suitable for vegetarians and free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives.
Great for an on-the-go snack, I always keep several tubs or pouches in the fridge for those days when the chaos of being a busy mum gets the best of me and I need a quick and easy protein fix.
Available in three flavours, Boysenberry with Pomegranate, Raspberry with Elderflower, and Vanilla. RRP $2.99 per 130g pouch.
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Images / NZ Real Health