Favorite Things Giveaway!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED, CONGRATULATIONS TO Sharmista FOR WINNING THE PURE WRAPS!

I struggled with the name of this post, ultimately I feel like you’re expecting me to wave my arms around and shout “and you get a car, and you get a car, and you get a car”. Heads up: that’s not going to happen. However, we will give one of the items below away to a random commenter – see bottom of post for rules.

Since we’ve been feeling hum drum Negative Nancy lately – it felt like high time to talk about some stuff we LIKE. The results are a list of our new favorite things. What have we spent our money on lately, and been happy to do so?

Mount Vernon Farms pastured meat. Half a pig and a grass-finished quarter cow, to be specific. When we lost power this weekend (a result of the “Derecho 2012″ DC Metro area storm) the first thing that occurred to me was how to protect my deep chest freezer filled with MVF meat. I’m not at all sponsored by the farm, nor do I get any affiliate money or discounts – I simply freakin’ love their farm.

If you’re in the area you should go. If you’re not, find a local sustainable farm through EatWild.com. For this giveaway item (unless you’re local) we’ll send you something from US Wellness Meats (as we lack the dry ice and Styrofoam shipping containers to ship our own supply of meat!), who does online orders and delivers products of the utmost quality. Might we recommend their “meat sticks”, hot dogs or 75% ground beef. Great option if you’re unable to visit and buy from local farms!

Photos by Molly Peterson, wife of Farm Manager Mike Peterson (who also happens to be a contributor for Paleo magazine)

No. 1 Sons fermented foods – another local resource, this adorable couple ferments for fun and the results are some phenomenal probiotic-rich foods our whole family enjoys. This week at the farmer’s market they had a “storm special” and we got fermented bloody Mary mix (tomato juice, jalapeno and spices), sauerkraut, salsa verde (great on eggs!) and dill pickles – every single one is fantastic. They’re my new favorite vendor at the Fairfax farmer’s market.

If you’re not local we can send you something from Fabulous Ferments, another legit and awesome fermentation vendor I recommend you check out!

Photos by No. 1 Sons Facebook page, we have 3 blond sons – we didn’t pick up a cute patriotic straggler!

The Essential Gluten-Free Baking Guide [Part 1] by Brittany Angell and Iris Higgins. I think you’ll LOVE this book. Maybe it’s because it’s got “Ask the Expert” interviews with some of my favorite ladies in the business including Spunky Coconut and Elana’s Pantry. Or maybe it’s because it answered the questions you all have been asking us for a LONG time and I now have a resource I can point you to.

No matter the reason why, I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone trying to learn and master grain-free baking. It’s a humble little book. Is it super thick and dense? No. Is it filled with gorgeous and glossy photos? No. Is it focusing on the information you’ve been trying to figure out since quitting processed foods and trying to bake with almond and coconut flour? Absolutely.

The Spunky Coconut Dairy-Free Ice Cream Cook Book by Kelly Brozyna. I talked about this book and paleo adaptations of recipes on the podcast I did with Kelly a few weeks ago. Admittedly, I hid the book from the boys for a few weeks until our case of coconut milk came in from Amazon. The last thing I needed was them knowing we had an entire book of ice cream they could have, with no ingredients with which to make it.

But with this week’s heat wave and my work load lightening up a little, the boys were thrilled when we pulled this out and told them they could make anything in it. Finian and I chose the Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Pudding Pops, but didn’t have the patience to wait for “pops”. We used our ice cream maker and it turned out just fabulous. ALL the boys give this book two thumbs up and are begging to make more recipes already! I only wish there were  a picture for each recipe, since Kelly’s photography skills have gotten ah-maze-ing!

Pure Wraps. Because sometimes you’d like to do as Lord Sandwich intended and eat your meat while you play cards. Or go on a picnic, or school or the millions of other places that make a sandwich convenient. We heard about Pure Wraps in passing online and tracked them down because they sounded too good to be true. But they are and delicious too!

These are the only ingredients in them: Coconut meat, Coconut water, Himalayan salt. It’s so fantastic it’s almost unbelievable! Would you like 4 packs of them?

Last but not least, our Soda Stream. Matt’s mom got this as a gift for him recently, and we’ve been using it ever since like crazy. The canisters are refillable (at any William-Sonoma or Bed, Bath and Beyond), the bottles reusable – making it a cheap and green option for carbonated beverages! Just don’t use the starter kit syrups!

I haven’t found a “kit” that doesn’t include those yet – but we threw ours away. Here’s our favorite “recipes” to make your own “soda”! A giant discovery for us was adding flavor extracts to the charged bottles. A whole world of possibilities!

Lemon & Lime Fizzy – Add the juice of a half lemon and a half lime, a few drops of stevia if you’re into that sort of thing
Almond & Orange Zest – Add a teaspoon of almond extract and the zest of one orange, a few drops of stevia if you’re into that sort of thing
Stacy’s Gin & soda – In a tumbler, add two shots of Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire gin, the juice of a half lime, add ice and fill the rest with plain carbonated soda water

Stock Photo from Amazon

[Edited to add] LAVANILA Healthy Deodorant, Vanilla Passion Fruit fragrance. I’ve tried almost every healthy deodorant on the market and they all left me feeling like a stinky hippy at the end of a long day. With 5pm meetings in a corporate world, I can’t feel stinky and was about ready to give up… until I found LAVANILA. It was quite an initial sticker shock, but I bought it at Sephora/Amazon where they accept returns unconditionally. I figured if I didn’t like it or find it worth the money I’d return it.

Instead I ended up going back weeks later and buying by the bulk! The stuff left me feeling clean, fresh and feminine all day long. It ends up costing about $.50/day (lasts about 6 weeks). For me, that’s a worthy investment!

Those are our (unsponsored) favorite things right now. Anything look appealing? If so, do all of the following and post a comment saying what you’ve done no later than Monday June July 9th.

  1. Be a good person, decent human being and share joy with those around you
  2. Like PaleoParents on Facebook and Twitter
  3. Use social media to share your item of choice with your online buddies  – even better, contact the vendor and tell them they are awesome and that we sent ya
  4. Reply to this post with a comment indicating which product you want and why

Only one comment per entrant, and please remember to leave your e-mail so we can contact you!

About Stacy

Stacy Toth has written 359 post in this blog.

Stacy is the matriarch of the Paleo Parents family. After beginning a paleo diet and founding PaleoParents.com in 2010, she lost 135 pounds and found health and happiness for the whole family. The following three years have been a progressive journey with a mission to educate people about nourishing their bodies by eating real foods. Stacy can be found on all forms of social media as @PaleoParents as well as the top-rated The Paleo View Podcast and her two cookbooks, Eat Like a Dinosaur and Beyond Bacon.