Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lupine Dog and Cat products review

When it comes to dog collars and leashes I learned over the years that many companies offer either a great quality but boring design and colors, or a beautiful design but poor quality. My observations come from years of experience as a holistic pet nutritionist, store manager, and from volunteering at various animal shelters and from having my own animal companions. 
I would like to introduce you to a company that offers both, high quality and a beautiful design. Lupine company has been making colorful collars, leashes and harnesses for over 23 years. They build their products in USA (in New Hampshire). Their products are guaranteed even if chewed or scratched. I don't know any other company that would do that, other than Lupine. Their lifetime guarantee is amazing! If your puppy chews up his new collar, or your kitty scratches her collar, you can simply mail the damaged product to Lupine company and they will mail you a replacement free of charge the next business day after they receive the damaged item. No receipt, no questions asked! 
I have been buying Lupine collars and leashes for my Shelly, for friends and for shelter animals for years. Lupine products are inspired by the durable components found in climbing and hiking gear, ensuring that you can count on Lupine time and time again. However, even the best collar or leash can be chewed up by a dog so therefore Lupine's lifetime guarantee gives you peace of mind. 
Lupine offers lots of colorful patters, sizes and options when it comes to collars, leashes (I love their padded handle leads!), harnesses (they have "Step in" and "Roman" harness), matching keychains, and other pet accessories. 

Some of their beautiful, colorful patterns are peacock feathers, lizards, various flowers, bones, paw prints, turtles, apples, butterflies, planet Earth, peace sign, etc. 

They add new patters during the year so you and your doggie or kitty never get bored :-) 

Lupine kindly sent me a few of their beautiful products for review. 

Roman Harness, Collar and padded handle Lead (Leash) in "Puppy Love" pattern 

I love this pretty pattern with three different pink shades and beautiful heart design. Very girly! The collar fits snuggly and comfortable and it is easily adjustable. It is easy to put on and to take off. 
My English Cocker Spaniel Shelly likes to pull on her leash sometimes which puts too much pressure on her trachea. I started walking Shelly in this Roman harness several weeks ago and she no longer pulls as much and her neck is great. She would pull so much on a leash sometimes that she sounded like she was choking and this harness prevents her from doing that. Many vets and I recommend harness for small dogs since a harness is designed to eliminate pressure on their delicate trachea area. Harness can prevent small dogs from getting collapsed trachea which is common for small dogs, especially the ones who pull on their collar and leash often. My Shelly is not a small dog but she benefits from wearing a harness. This harness is also designed to help larger and older dogs up and down stairs. It is very easy to put on and take off after you do it once. The adjustable shoulder straps help to reduce strain on the neck and back. This harness is so comfortable that Shelly can sleep in it or play while wearing it. We love going to the park with this harness! We get so many compliments about the beautiful design :-) 

I keep a collar on Shelly all the time because I think it is important to have a tag on her collar in case if anything happens. You never know if she accidentally slips through the door and gets out. I think that everyone should have their dogs and cats microchipped and also make them wear collars with tags that have a phone number in case if the animal gets out. 

The leash with padded handle is strong and comfortable to hold,  and I trust it when walking around the busy road. 

 Shelly busy getting a peanut butter out of her toy. 

Shelly sleeping after a long walk :-) 

 Ready for a walk 

Shelly "reading" messages from other dogs :-) 

Leash with padded handle and adjustable collar in  "Moo Cow" pattern  

Aaaaaaaah, this pattern is absolutely adorable and perfect for me, the cow lover and vegan :-) 
I bought a keychain in that pattern many years ago so when I got the collar and leash I was thrilled! A beautiful, strong collar and leash with a message? Yes! Unfortunately this pattern has been "retired" but you can still buy it online if you search for Lupine Moo Cow collar. 

 Shelly taking her cows for a walk  :-) 

                              Shelly LOVES watermelon! 

 My very old matching keychain that still looks like new! 

Cat Safety Collars with Breakaway Buckle in "Big Easy" and "Peace Pup" patterns (one with added bell)

Lupine Cat collars are cute! I like the option of added bell for the kitties that go outside because the bell alerts wildlife about the kitty predators. Therefore kitties cannot easily sneak up on birds and chipmunks and kill them for fun. Yes, cats are strange, they are one of the very few (maybe the only one) animals who kill for fun not just for food. Many domestic cats and feral cats who get fed daily still kill little birds, mice and other animals, mostly for fun and to bring you a "present". The bell can save lives! Also the bell is handy if you have mischievous kitty under your feet so at least you know his/hers whereabouts. It is extremely important that you only use breakaway (safety) cat collars on your cats, because a dog collar can kill or hurt your cat. Cats get into bushes, under things and jump from place to place and if you use a collar that does not have a breakaway buckle, your cat can strangle itself if the collar gets caught on a branch or elsewhere. Also as kitties play together, they can easily strangle each other if the collar does not release when a pressure is applied. I have witnessed a horror story at one of the shelters I used to volunteer at. I was the first person to open the shelter in the morning just to find half dead cat due to a collar that did not release. I mentioned several times before that I did not like those plastic collars on the cats but nobody listen to me. The kitty was an orange tabby. I opened his cage and saw his collar stuck around his head, around his mouth (I guess he was grooming himself and his chin got underneath the collar and got stuck). He was foaming out of his mouth, his mouth was bleeding and gums pale. I grabbed scissors and cut the collar off.  I checked on his breathing and cleaned his mouth and rushed him to the vet. Luckily he survived this but since that day nobody was allowed to put any plastic or other regular collars on the shelter cats. They can only wear breakaway collars now. 

My kitties are strictly indoors but for their safety I like to keep a collar on them with a small tag. I was not able to take a good picture since their long hair camouflage the collars, but at least here is one picture of Bear wearing his collar :-) 

Visit Lupine Pet website 
Follow Lupine on Twitter
Like Lupine on Facebook  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ombar-raw superfood chocolate review

Few weeks ago I received a beautiful package with organic raw vegan chocolate from The Raw Chocolate Shop all the way from Britain :-) 

Ombar is no average chocolate bar. 
Ombar is superfood chocolate that is loaded with antioxidants due to raw cacao. The fruits that Ombar uses are dried using a low temperature technology to preserve as much of the natural goodness as possible. 
Some of their chocolate bars even contain probiotics (friendly bacteria) for healthy digestion. 
Ombars are sweetened with organic coconut sugar which is a low-glycemic, unrefined and incredibly sustainable sugar, ethically sourced from the sap of the coconut palm tree. 

The Chief Ingredient in Ombars is raw Ecuadorian Cocoa. Needless to say, this is the most important ingredient: The quality and origin of the cocoa define the character of the chocolate. The cocoa Ombar uses is from Ecuador, a country known for growing some of the world's finest quality cocoa beans, known as Arriba Nacional. The cocoa they use has a beautifully deep and complex flavor and, unlike most cocoa butters available, theirs has not been deodorized so it retains a rich and indulgent aroma.
Cocoa is a food that is rich in nutrients and a complexity still being discovered. However, probably the most well known health benefit is the remarkable antioxidant capacity of cocoa, due to the high polyphenol content. Polyphenols are delicate, heat-sensitive compounds that are largely destroyed in the chocolate-making process, often intentionally as the polyphenols are responsible for the bitter taste of cocoa. However, in line with SKS Farms' commitment to offer the very best of the Arriba Nacional cacao bean, they have developed a method of processing the cocoa beans- from harvesting through to chocolate-making - where the cocoa does not reach high temperatures which ensures that the 'cooking' process does not begin which would change the structure of the food. The aim is to make sure that you are taking as much of the benefit nature has packed into the cocoa bean as possible even after it's been made into a chocolate bar.

Ombar takes junk food to superfood! 

Here are the bars that I tried. My absolute favorite are Probiotic Strawberry, and Probiotic Coconut. 

Acai & Blueberry 

This bar is a nutritional powerhouse due to raw cacao, acai berries and blueberry. The rich chocolate flavor has appealing blueberry notes and lovely acai touch. It is like eating chocolate covered blueberries :-) Very good! 

Probiotic Dark 72% 

This divine robust chocolate is very strong and has deep, almost smokey cacao notes with a subtle coconut touch. It is so rich, even a small piece satisfies my chocolate cravings. 

Cranberry & Mandarin 

Sweet rich chocolate infused with distinctive mandarin and tart cranberries. This is a very interesting combo. I usually love orange and cranberry combo, and orange and chocolate so I thought I would love the mandarin & cranberry chocolate, but I did not. This bar was not my cup of tea. 

Probiotic Strawberry 

This bar blew my mind! It smells and tastes like chocolate covered strawberries that have been topped with whipped cream. Very fresh strawberry flavor is blended with smooth and rich chocolate. It is amazingly silky and creamy. I love this bar! 

Goji Berry

Deep complex chocolate flavor with gentle, extra sweet and tangy goji berries. Very good! 

Probiotic Coconut 

This excellent chocolate bar is creamy and silky and has a very exquisite coconut flavor. I love it! 

Visit Ombar and The Raw Chocolate Shop's  website and online shop 
Follow Ombar on Twitter 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cinnamon- New gluten-free vegan online bakery

I am excited to announce that my friend Geanna Marek has recently opened a new, online vegan bakery! Her bakery has a sweet name "Cinnamon". Cinnamon is 100% vegan, gluten-free and allergen-free which makes it a really good news for all vegans and gluten-free foodies. 

Cinnamon was founded in 2012 by Geanna Marek, who had suffered for years from various allergies and intolerances. After realizing there really wasn't anything on the market that she could safely and comfortably eat, she sought to create delicious foods for everyone - no matter what their dietary restrictions or preferences may be. She succeeded with making baked donuts, cinnamon rolls and cookies that are free from the top 8 common allergens (milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat), but are tasty, too.  
Cinnamon products are baked in a 100% gluten-free and vegetarian commercial kitchen that has been licensed by a state health inspector from the Department of Agriculture. Cinnamon products are baked with separate utensils and dishes, and are stored in enclosed containers to ensure that no cross contamination occurs. 
Cinnamon is located in Portland, Oregon. Contact Geanna at 971.258.2995 Tuesday-Friday, or email info@cinnamonpdx.com for more information. 

I was lucky to receive a few of her baked goodies right after my surgery. I received plain donut with cinnamon sugar, seasonal pumpkin donut with pumpkin glaze, and bite-sized "classic" chocolate chip cookies. 

The plain donut with cinnamon sugar was everything but plain. It started with the beautiful cinnamon aroma. Mmmmmmm. The donut was pleasantly soft and it was not greasy or overly sweet. It had a distinctive donut texture and flavor. It was very good! 

The pumpkin donut with pumpkin glaze was more dense and less soft which was a good thing since it was holding up well under a   generous layer of pumpkin glaze. The pumpkin glaze reminded me of pumpkin butter. A perfect autumn treat! 

Chocolate chips cookies were sinfully delicious! These sweet cookies very infused with strong vanilla and loaded with rich and decadent chocolate chips. The cookies had a nice crunchy texture. 

If you order baked goodies from Cinnamon, you will not be disappointed! Support a new vegan business and order now on Cinnamon's website.  
Follow Cinnamon on Twitter and like Cinnamon on Facebook.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sweaty Bands Giveaway Winner

The beautiful Sweaty Bands fitness headband winner is a comment number 29. It is a comment by "mommabosnick" aka Faith Amber Bosnick. Please, email me your address at 
czech.vegan (at) yahoo.com so I can ship you your prize. 

( I used random number generator on www.random.org )