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Barnana is one of the newest, most delicious super snacks on the market. Created and distributed by Wholesome Valley Foods of La Jolla, California, a Barnana has one ingredient – an organic banana – a chewy bite-sized piece of banana that has been dehydrated at 104 degrees which allows the nutritional density and natural enzymes to stay intact. Gluten-free and a great source of potassium, fiber, vitamins and minerals, Barnanas are 100% raw and unprocessed…and did I mention moist and delicious? Read more »


Bragg’s Salad Dressings

Many people believe that a salad is not complete without a tasty salad dressing so the choice becomes whether to make a homemade version, which can be intimidating because there are so many decisions to make regarding the choice of ingredients (type of oil, vinegar, herbs, juices, spices) and determining the right combinations, or buy a pre-made salad dressing, which can be a huge timesaver (especially if empty salad dressing bottles are not in your kitchen inventory). Read more »


The “Trader Joe” Bowl

My family calls this meal in a bowl the “Trader Joe” Bowl because the main ingredients are purchased from Trader Joe’s. Years ago, my sister-in-law told me to go to Trader Joe’s because their stores sell the best avocados and they truly do. I’ve bought avocados from grocery stores and gourmet markets and the quality has never come close to the ones sold at Trader Joe’s. Rich, creamy and delicious, the avocados are consistently excellent and so I make a twice-weekly trip to Trader Joe’s to buy 4-5 avocados at a time (we eat a lot of avocados).  Although the avocados are often hard and green when I buy them, they ripen in 3-4 days. Read more »


“Safe As Houses”

Safe As Houses is a collection of short stories written by Marie-Helene Bertino and winner of The Iowa Short Fiction Award (2012). The title of the book – Safe As Houses – signifies what most of us believe a home should be: a haven from the outside world where families celebrate holidays and display refrigerator art and framed photographs, but Bertino shows the reader that home can also be a house that is wiped away in an instant, a place we flee from, or a prison in which we lock the world out. Despite the general belief that people are safe in their homes, the truth can be entirely different because what makes a house a home is its inhabitants, not the brick and mortar – and people can be dangerous. Read more »


Bariatric Surgery for Kids?

The Wall Street Journal ran an article this week entitled “As World’s Kids Get Fatter, Doctors Turn to the Knife” by Shirley S. Wang who reported that children as young as 3 years old are being considered for weight-loss surgery in Saudi Arabia. Seems that the rates of overweight and obese children age 5 and under are rising in much of the world but rising faster in developed countries, including Saudi Arabia. Why? That’s the million dollar question with the answer alarmingly apparent. Read more »


Premier Japan Teriyaki

Most cooks use teriyaki sauce to flavor food by marinading, cooking, stir-frying, or grilling with the sauce. The problem is that teriyaki sauces vary greatly which affects the flavor and nutritional value of the dish. Premier Japan makes a classic Asian teriyaki sauce that is organic, gluten-free and intensely flavorful. With no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or hydrogenated fats, Premier Japan Teriyaki Sauce tastes real, tangy and slightly sweet with just a hint of spice that comes from ginger and pepper. Read more »



Take the son of a cashew broker and a self-described life-long cashew nut, add two guys who used to work for a big granola company (two words: the first name is another word for “grizzly” and the other means “emperor’s clothes”),  and add a brand management guy – all of whom are athletes – and what do you have? Four guys who realized the market was in dire need of a lightly seasoned, dry-roasted cashew that makes people say “yum” as in “wow, these are delicious, please give me the whole bag so I can devour them right now.” That’s exactly what I thought when I tasted Yumnuts Cashews, of which there are five varieties: Read more »


José Andrés Potato Chips

If you asked me when I was 28 and in my wedding dress if I ever thought I would end up in my 40’s flipping my husband the bird over potato chips, I’d say you were crazy.                                                             Jenna McCarthy

Potato chips make people do crazy things and I am no less guilty especially if the potato chips are José Andrés Potato Chips – Spanish potatoes that are thinly sliced and then slow-fried, allowing the goodness and healthy qualities of the extra virgin olive oil to meld with the chips. The chips are then sprinkled lightly with Himalayan Pink Salt and packaged in an innovative bag designed to deliver the chip to you perfectly, as if just cooked. Read more »


“The Woman Upstairs”

I’ve finally come to understand that life itself is the Fun House. All you want is that door marked EXIT, the escape to a  place where Real Life will be; and you can never find it. No: let me correct that. In recent years, there was a door, there were doors, and I took them and I believed in them, and I believed for a stretch that I’d managed to get out into Reality – and God, the bliss and terror of that, the intensity of that:  it felt so different – until I suddenly realized I’d been stuck in the Fun House all along. I’d been tricked. The door marked EXIT hadn’t been an exit at all. Read more »



I used to be one of those mothers who took her kids to SeaWorld but I won’t be a grandmother who takes her grandchildren to SeaWorld, the Miami Seaquarium, or any park that holds orca whales in captivity. Years ago, I would watch the seal, dolphin, and whale shows at the SeaWorld in Orlando, laughing at the big tail splash and the human-like learned behaviors but never gave a thought to what the lives of those animals were really like, especially the orca whales. The audience sees crystal blue water, healthy looking animals, and trainers who appear to love them, so not much thought is given to what life is like for a 20-foot 12,000 pound animal who is meant to swim a hundred miles a day in vast open waters but, instead swims in a tank day after day, year after year. Read more »