SEEDS: Lots of Nutrition in a Tiny Package

Puritan's Pride SeedsI LOVE pepitas (and it’s fun to say.)

Mostly we eat raw nuts and seeds around here, but once in a while, roasted pepitas are SO good.

When my son and DIL recently visited, I arranged a healthy snack platter that included a little bowl of pepitas.

It was emptied in SECONDS, and I had to refill the bowl at least three times. My son couldn’t stop eating them — and that always makes me happy.

What ARE pepitas?

Pepitas are the green kernels from pumpkin seeds. The seeds are removed from the pumpkin and then dried.

They’re a good source of zinc and protein and they also provide iron, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, some B-complex vitamins, and dietary fiber.

Pepitas can be eaten as they are, sprinkled on top of cereal, added to salads, savory dishes, and roasted vegetables.

Seeds are often the forgotten sisters of nuts, but seeds have many amazing health benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked, according to Kristin Schierenbeck, Director of Nutrition at Puritan’s Pride.

The good people at Puritan’s Pride sent me an amazing and delicious array of samples from their collection of wholesome foods.

See that one picture? I had to be quick as a bunny to snap it because my son packed EVERY SINGLE item to take home with him. That’s how much he loved them.

So much for me cooking and baking, but it’s even better knowing that he’ll have great sources of good nutrition.

Seeds contain protein, essential fatty acids, fiber, vitamins and trace minerals.   Some other favorites:

Hemp Seeds:

  • Hemp seeds are one of the few vegetarian sources of a complete protein.
  • Hemp is one of the earliest known cultivated plants with a history dating back thousands of years.

 Chia Seeds:

  • Chia seeds are a good source of fiber.
  • Fiber helps to lower the glycemic index of meals and helps maintain blood sugar levels already within normal range.
  • Fiber also helps maintain healthy functioning of the GI tract and can support colon health.
  • Fiber promotes heart health and helps maintain cholesterol levels already within normal range.
  • Chia seeds provide Omega-3 in the form of Alpha Linoleic Acid (ALA) and Omega-6 as Linoleic Acid (LA) – vegetarian sources of these essential nutrients.
  • Essential fatty acids provide support for heart and skin health.

Sunflower Seeds:

  • Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of Vitamin E. One of tugboat man’s FAVORITE ways to eat sunflower seeds is sprinkled on salad. I’ll have to remember that before he returns, which better be soon!

Flax Seeds:

  • Flax seeds provide Omega-3 and Omega-6 – 2 essential fatty acids that can’t be produced in the body and must be obtained from diet.
  • The Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to heart health and provide an energy source for the body.
  • Flax seeds provide Oleic Acid, which contributes to nerve health.

My son throws the chia, flax, and hemp seeds in his daily protein smoothies and combines the pepitas and sunflower seeds with nuts and dried fruits for his surf trips to Santa Cruz.

I’ll be heading up to visit him in a couple of weeks and will finally be able to bake cookies and protein bars using all the seeds as ingredients.

I was provided product and no monetary compensation; the reviews are my own.

Heart Your Curls with Mixed Chicks

Like many other curlyheads, I’ve spent my entire life hating or loving my curly hair.

orangejuicecanI’ve fought it, ironed it, straightened it, hated my genetics for not endowing me with straight blonde hair, and bought every product under the sun to tame the curls and control the frizz, from Dippity-Do (anyone remember that?) to sleeping — painfully– on hair set with orange juice cans.

I know I could get a Brazilian BlowOut and end up with the straight and shiny hair I’ve always dreamed about — but my stylist has convinced me to love the hair I have — it’s who I am — and now, finally, I do love my curls.

A good cut and color made me fall in love with my curls. Plus, my tugboat man said the first thing he noticed about me — well, ONE of the first things he noticed — was my hair. It’s true, opposites are attracted; I loved his stick straight surfer blonde hair. Now, his is not so blonde nor as thick, but it’s super straight and I’m totes fascinated by that!

Yup, when I talk like that, you know I’m already missing the big guy. Sigh…

Yesterday, I was out shopping (what else) and stopped in a little beauty supply store nestled between Ross Dress For Less and Pier One in Encinitas. (I wasn’t really looking for anything, not REALLY; just a bit of browsing therapy. Of course, if anything caught my eye, I wouldn’t have — couldn’t have–resisted.)

When the sales associate asked me if I was looking for anything specific, I pointed to my hair and asked if they had anything for curly hair like mine. She directed me to Mixed Chicks which I had never heard of before and said I’d really love it.

According to the Mixed Chicks website:

Finally, a curl-defining system for “us”. Whether you’re black, white, asian, latin, mediterranean, or any glorious combination of the above, you’ll love the way these non-sticky, lightweight curly hair products leave your hair inviting to touch as they define and lock moisture into every curl. Be a proud part of our multiracial movement…

Mixed chicksI got the shampoo and leave-in conditioner which doubles as a styling lotion.

The shampoo info: 

…quickly cleanse your defiant hair with a combination of borage seed and avocado oils that work harmoniously in a blend as unique as you are. botanical extracts are infused for their healing properties. silk amino acids, soy protein, and panthenol penetrate the follicle and add luster.

I do so love good ad copy, don’t you?

Last night I used the shampoo and I have to admit that I’m not totally convinced I like it…my hair certainly felt clean but I had to use another product for a rinse-out conditioner because it was impossible to comb through. SoCal has extremely hard water, so maybe that’s part of the problem…

Then I used the leave-in conditioner. I could immediately feel it soak in and caress every wave and define each and every curl.

See? What do you think? No frizz, right?

curls1

I’m kinda loving the Mixed Chicks leave-in conditioner.

curls2

To summarize: I’m not overwhelmed by the shampoo, but I’ll give it another try. It’s a definite thumbs up for the leave-in conditioner, though.

If you’re a curly girl like me, give it a try it and let me know what you think.

Creation’s Garden Natural Products

I’ve been looking for “more natural, less chemicals” hair care products; while browsing through TJ Maxx a few weeks, ago I found a line of products from Creation’s Garden and thought I’d give them a try.

They all contain Argan Oil. Argan Oil from Morocco creates anti-frizz and exceptional shine to the hair. This 100% pure Argan Oil from Morocco is a superior source of antioxidants and delivers instant shine and long-lasting rejuvenation.

Argan Oil naturally penetrates to moisturize each layer of the hair strand for healthier, silkier, and extraordinarily shiny hair while offering protection from environmental toxins and chemical treatments.

I’ve been really pleased with the results; my hair is soft and shiny, and the curls are softer and less frizzy. They have great customer service, too!

creations-garden-85459259

Creation’s Garden’s® proprietary, technologically advanced nutritional supplements are created with the highest quality certified organic and standardized ingredients at their  licensed cGMP manufacturing facility.

This is what I’ve been using. They’re all reasonably priced under $10.00.
Moisturizing Shampoo with Argan Oil from Morocco
Moisturizing Conditioner with Argan Oil from Morocco
Leave in Conditioner With Argan Oil from Morocco
CreationsGarden