Review: Green Virgin Products

I recently had the opportunity to try laundry detergent and handcrafted bar soap from Green Virgin Products. It’s always so nice to discover new, natural, green products on the market!

soap nuts

Green Virgin Products are made from soap nuts, which I had never heard of before. It turns out, soap nuts are berries!

Soap Nuts are not actually nuts. They are berries from the Chinese Soap Berry Tree (Sapindus Mukorossi). These berries are harvested, and then are dried in the sun. There are no chemicals added. Soap nuts are then added to your laundry to be used instead of chemical laundry detergents.

How cool is that?! Soap nuts contain the hypoallergenic, natural, eco-friendly saponin to clean laundry.

When I received the sample bottle, it look pretty teeny – the bottle is only 8 oz, compared to my other natural laundry detergent I use which is in a giant 100-oz container – but, unlike most natural laundry detergents, you only need to add a small amount to your loads. The small 8-oz bottle contains enough detergent for 120 high-efficiency wash l0ads (compare that to my 100-oz container, which contains enough for 40 loads).*

The natural laundry detergent smelled a little funny when I opened it, and it was an odd brown color, so I have to admit I was hesitant to try it on clothes. I decided to mix it with towels first just in case it stained. I have a top loader washing machine, so I used 4 pumps for my load of towels rather than the recommended 2 – 3 pumps per load (it just seemed like such a small amount to put in the machine!).

The result was, to be honest, totally awesome. My towels lately haven’t been smelling super fresh even after they’ve been laundered (which drives me insane, since I am just a little bit obsessive about having a new towel out every day if not a couple times a day). Not only did the strange brown soap nuts liquid not stain my towels, but my towels also smelled fresher and better than they have in weeks! This tiny little bottle is going to last me a very long time, and wow does it work well.

soap nuts liquid

Soap Nuts liquid detergent.

The handcrafted bar soap is equally as great – it has a lovely peppermint scent, and it contains both soap nuts and organic moringa (a plant grown in the sub-Himalayan areas and the tropics). The ingredients used in these Green Virgin products are delightfully simple, but highly effective! They are a really nice choice if you are looking for natural household products that go the distance.

*As advertised.

Have you tried Green Virgin Products? What’s your favorite brand of natural products? Why is using natural products important to you (or why do you choose not to use them)? Share in the comments section below!

Disclaimer: I received these Green Virgin Products free of charge.

Get Green Virgin Products:

Exercise I’m Currently Loving: Push-Ups

How awesome are push-ups? My exercise routine changes up fairly regularly, and over the past year I’ve gotten away from lifting weights and *conscious* strength training (while still definitely gaining strength from walking, running, Pilates, and yoga!). But I’ve never really *gotten away from* push-ups. I might let a few weeks go by without doing a set, but push-ups are a fairly consistent component of my fitness life.

push up at Angkor Wat

Me (from MANY years ago [check out that BLONDE hair!] – but while I was still blogging! Goodness this blog has been around for a while :)) doing push-ups in Cambodia.

There’s a few reasons why I love push-ups:

Continue reading ‘Exercise I’m Currently Loving: Push-Ups’ »

Finding our natural talents

For my 26th birthday, Mr Science took me dancing.

We’d been talking about taking dancing lessons for quite a while but we just hadn’t gotten around to it. So we took dancing lessons on my birthday!

We went to the Ted Motyka Dance Studio in Winnipeg (parts of Shall We Dance were filmed in the studio) for a drop-in beginner class on the waltz and samba. As it turned out, there was only one other couple attending the class, so Mr Science and I pretty much got a private lesson for an hour. It was awesome.

Since neither of us have ever danced properly before (unless you count me doing ballet for a year when I was in elementary school, and then taking salsa lessons for a week in Costa Rica about 10 years ago), the instructor started with the basics. The very simple first steps of the waltz. But when we were able to do those without any difficulty, she showed us more new steps. And more new steps.

Throughout our lesson, she kept asking us, “Are you sure you’ve never danced before? Really?” The truth was, Mr Science and I were both actually very good at the waltz! We picked it up very quickly.

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What’s life like on a farm?

I’m blogging for My Farmers’ Market and I had the opportunity to interview Ashley from Food Ethos Farm last month. It was super interesting to learn all about what life is like on a farm – I am such a city girl (and more specifically, a center-of-the-city girl), so I loved getting a glimpse of a totally different lifestyle than mine.

I thought some of you might be as curious as me about it, so here’s some of the interview:

1) What made you decide to start farming?

There were a number of reasons we got into farming. Curtis got diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and shortly after that we went to Asia where he thought he would have trouble with all the food being spicy. Turns out it was the best he had been in a long time due to the fact that all the food is fresh! That is when we figured out his trouble was more about processed foods; whole foods, he was great with. We changed the way we look at health, starting with what we put in our bodies.
A friend had told me to try a Manitoba Farm Mentorship internship and I tried my hand at working on a farm for a season. We like being outside and growing things and had a family farm to go back to, so we just went for it and have never looked back.
day in the life of a farmer

How cute are these guys?!

2) Why is growing your own food important to you?

Growing our own food is important to us because it means we will never be hungry. This is our way to ensure we have lots of healthy good quality food all the time. We found something we love, and by farming and selling food we have found a way to make a living and a job out of it.

3) What have been some of your biggest challenges in farming?

Some of our biggest challenges in farming have been finding employees; you get to the point where you can’t work more, and there are not enough hours in a day to get in everything that needs to be done. There are not a lot of people who want to do this work! Another big challenge has been finding a work-life balance which goes hand-in-hand with the amount of work it takes to run a farm. This is something I think most farmers struggle with, as farming is a lifestyle and work and life blend together.

Click here to read the rest of the interview (including what a day in the life of a farmer is like, healthy eating tips, and more!).

Blog Makeover: 2014 Edition

Living Healthy in the Real World has undergone quite a few blog makeovers over the six years that it’s been around, and now it’s time for another one!

Over the past couple years, I haven’t been blogging as much as I’d like, in part because I’ve been trying to figure out what I want this blog to be and where I want it to go. I’ve also been itching for a little more structure lately (probably since my freelance life is inherently rather structure-less!). And then I was featured in an article on the Top 10 Health & Wellness Blogs in Canada, with this description:

top health blog

To be honest, I was blown away by the accuracy in the description for my blog. I’ve struggled to define what exactly my blog is, and in just two sentences, AHAALiving has nailed it exactly! It also reinforced that itch for structure and balance for writing about different topics within my overarching blog themes.

Continue reading ‘Blog Makeover: 2014 Edition’ »