Inspired Living Awards

In lieu of awards-show season, I thought I’d grant some honors to this year’s favorite finds and must-haves that deserve a shout-out for their outstanding performances in the healthful living category. With a nod to the under the radar, hard to find and new, here are the tried and true natural winners:

1. Best cell phone and IPad case: Pong (


Did you know your cell phone comes with warnings from its manufacturers on how to avoid exposure to radiation? Me neither and unfortunately, few of us use our phones in the recommended manner. Enter Pong: The FCC has consistently confirmed that Pong’s patented technology reduces the amount of electromagnetic radiation absorbed into the user’s head by up to 95%. It’s head gear you won’t mind using. And if it’s more of a “lap” phone like mine, you’re covered there too (wink, wink). Available for iPhone, IPad, Blackberry, and Android

2. Best new snack: The Perfect SNAQUE (

They say healthy foods are non-addictive but I beg to differ. My relationship with Chili Chia Crunch borders on needy. Whole grains, protein, and fiber aside, it comes in a convenient grab-and-go flip, tip, and pour case that feeds my cravings anywhere, anytime. There are three tastes to choose from. Whole-y crunch time.

3. Best new food innovation: Betty Lou’s Just Great Stuff Organic Powdered Peanut Butter (

Thanks to its simple ingredients–peanuts, coconut sugar (which has a lower glycemic index than cane sugar and is high in vitamins and minerals), and sea salt–Betty Lou’s powdered peanut butter is 85 percent less fat than the traditional variety. Pure genius. Add water to create desired smoothness; great for lunch boxes, camping trips, picnics, etc.


4. Best vegan cookies: Eat Pastry ( 

If you think vegan and decadent is an oxymoron, Eat Pastry’s Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough will make you think again. Even the discerning cookie monsters in my house were hoodwinked.

5. Best cookbook: The World’s Healthiest Foods by George Mateljan (

There’s nothing in the healthy food category that this book doesn’t cover. It has become my kitchen bible for its indispensable tips on how to make meals healthier, such as, marinate meat in lemon before cooking to reduce its carcinogenic effects. And the book doesn’t cater to one type of diet, i.e, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, it offers practical and healthy advice for all, no matter how you slice it.

6. Best non-toxic skincare line: Tata Harper (

When you consider 60 percent of what you put on your skin gets absorbed into the body, wouldn’t you want your products to be safe enough to eat? Free of all toxins (such as parabens, phthalates, dyes and synthetic perfumes), this stuff is like a nutritious meal for your skin, feeding it with up to 29 active, albeit natural, ingredients grown and harvested in Vermont on Harper’s own organic farm. But it’s not all

hippie dippy, either. The fashion flock and skin-obsessed celebs are already clamoring for it. Glamourous and healthy. Done.

7. Best natural makeup: Josie Maran (

This makeup line is the nonpareil of pure and natural. Not only vegan, non-toxic and bio-degradable, it’s gluten-free as well, which for anyone with an allergy or intolerance is a lifesaver. All of the model/founder’s products are smooth and blend-able for that fresh-faced no-makeup, makeup look. Just out: Argan Balm for dry skin. Can. Not. Wait. To. Try. It.


8. Best conditioner for dry hair: Aubrey Organics White Camellia Ultra-Smoothing Conditioner (

No more wild hair days for me (technically speaking): For the especially dry, coarse, and unruly, this is the lion tamer of hair products. If your mane has dissimilar but equally dislikable characteristics like mine, Aubrey’s entire line offers something pure, natural, and mighty for everyone.

9. Best nutrition poster: Greenleafy (

I originally found this wall art poster in London a few years back and have come across it again stateside so I bought more. I display them allover my pantry walls as a healthful reminder to all who enter. Decorating and nutrition…new category?


10. Best clean-air sinus inhaler: Neti Stik (

When you need to clear passages ASAP without the dreaded runny-nose side effects of the Neti Pot, this is your quick fix. With or without a cold, I use it on airplanes and in public places to keep the bugs away. Did someone say germaphobe?

11. Best natural cold cure for adults: Umcka ColdCare (

I didn’t stand a chance against the stomach virus this year but I did fight back and win the battle of the colds. My weapon was Umcka ColdCare and it kicked my congestion to the curb. A leading medicine in Europe, Umcka employs a clinically proven preparation of Homeopathic herbs that reduces the severity of coughs, congestion, headache, sore throat, and other common symptoms. It’s in the medicine cabinet, front and center.

12. Best natural cold care for kids: Boiron Children’s Coldcalm Pellets (

As adorable as they are, the kiddos are walking petrie dishes–and their friends are too, as witnessed while volunteering to tie ice skates during school this year (I was in the line of fire for coughs, sneezes, and errant sputum). Go ahead, say it [cough] germaphobe. Given at the first sign of sneezing or a runny nose, Coldcalm has been our saving grace, having fought off every last nasty symptom, every time. One caveat however, it needs to be administered often and consistently for it to work, so tell the littles ones to be patient.Yea right.

13. Best green drink: Kyo•Green Powdered Drink Mix (

This is one green drink you don’t have to choke down for health’s sake. Just one teaspoon in eight ounces of apple juice yields phenomenal energy thanks to young barley grass, young wheat grass, brown rice, chlorella, kelp, and FOS. I still require my morning Joe but this is a healthy pick up for that 2pm lull. You know the one.


14. Best Deodorant: Alvera Aloe and Almonds All Natural Roll-On Deodorant (

If you happened to miss the May 2011 post titled “Eau I Stink” (, then you wouldn’t know I’ve been on a mad hunt for a natural deodorant that can stand up to my sten…er, essence. Happily for all, I found my match: Alvera’s Aloe and Almonds roll on may sound more like a granola bar than A deodorant but it really works and as far as I’m concerned, almonds are like the Meryl Streep’s of health: You can bet on them every time.

15. Best vegan protein smoothie: LifeTIME Life’s Basics Plant Protein (

This is the only one, I repeat, only one, of its kind that I like (and I’ve tried a lot). When you eschew animal protein, it’s good to have a plant-based smoothie like this on hand to keep you well-balanced, full, and satisfied so you don’t munch on the wrong stuff. Protein-packed with pea, hemp, rice, and chia seeds, it’s my go-to recovery drink after a workout or as a snack in the afternoon. Yeast, corn, gluten, soy, wheat, milk, egg, preservatives etc…it’s pretty much free of everything but great taste and a hefty amino acid profile. Get on the bus.

16. Best (beauty-enhancing) green supplement: High Vibe Beauty Greens (

I found this product in Maine in the cutest little coastal smoothie shop. The girl behind the counter was so natural and so gorgeous, and I wanted all that. High Vibe Beauty Greens is her secret. Now it’s out. And I’m all over it.

17. Best equally yummy and enviro-conscious snack food: Popghum Popped Sorghum (www.popghum)

Admittedly, I’m a popcorn junkie but not such a big fan of those pesky hulls and neither is my dentist. Sorghum, a cousin of corn but much smaller and sans hulls, is just as delicious. Popghum offers many flavors (my favorite: sea salt) but it’s always organic and gluten-free with nothing artificial. And, as if too good to be true, when you buy Popghum, you help support global conservation efforts through WWF. I’ll take a family pack.


18. Best body moisturizer: Mountain Ocean Skin Trip (

I almost don’t want to share this one because I’ve been using it since high school and it’s like, mine you know but then that would be so “high school” of me and not very journalistic. With it’s just-split-open coconut scent and skin-softening effects, there’s no comparison. One sniff recalls mountain and ocean, skiing and surfing…I am transported.


2 Responses to “Inspired Living Awards”
  1. i love your research, Meredith. thanks for being such a good reseracher, editor and guinea pig. im sure you’ve weeded through many useless, over-priced, products to find the best ones. i just did a ton of e-commerce all thanks to you and it’s only 7.47 am.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: