John Pierre

“Think good thoughts, do good deeds.”

John Pierre’s Living With Harmony non-profit

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Through John’s 501(c)(3), Living with Harmony, he plans to offer visitors, volunteers and supporters the opportunity to learn and heal through activities such as caring for animals, gardening, learning from speakers and eating plant-based meals. The sanctuary will offer educational, motivational and enjoyable opportunities for people of all ages. The sanctuary is a reflection of who John is and what he teaches his clients every day.

Click here to be directed to the Living With Harmony website.

 

 

Chef Marina’s June Product Review

Dara's Raw Balls

Finding snack foods that are actually good for you just got a little easier thanks to Simply Dara, a family owned and operated company in Boulder, Colorado.

Created and founded by Dara (pronounced Day-rah) Haid, who came up with tantalizing recipe combinations that wowed her family, friends, and acquaintances, Dara knew she had something very special to share with the world−real food that tasted great and was good for you. Her delicious, nutrient dense vegan raw treats are something that you’ll definitely want to have on hand when you’re looking for a satiating and tasty snack, dessert, or anytime treat.

At first glance, I didn’t expect the Simply Dara Raw Balls to be so hearty and filling, but I quickly found out just how satisfying they were. I became delightfully satiated after eating only two! My body got the “I’m happy now” signal fairly quickly because it recognized the nutrient dense ingredients−it knows quality food!

Simply Dara Raw Balls are available in 4 unique flavors that are sure to appeal to everyone: Apricot oat, Cranberry Almond, Dark Chocolate Chile, and Original Cacao (my personal favorite). All are Non-GMO Project Verified, contain 99% organic ingredients, are gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and have no refined sugars, additives, preservatives, or oils. Check out their awesome ingredients here.

Not many companies today can boast that they have 100% sustainable packaging, which is just one of the many reasons that Simply Dara Raw Balls hit a home run when it comes to doing their part to help our environment. Each ball is individually wrapped in a BPI Certified compostable, wood cellulose film that will compost in a back yard compost in 12 weeks. Along with being made from post-consumer waste, their boxes are 100% recyclable and printed in a zero waste facility using vegetable inks.

I offered Simply Dara Raw Balls to my guests as a dessert treat and received numerous compliments. Everyone wanted to know how long it took me to make the delicious balls, but I couldn’t take the credit−it deservedly went to Simply Dara, a great family business with a commitment to things that matter. Thanks Dara!

Chef Marina

Chef Marina’s April Product Review

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My introduction to Matt’s Munchies happened at the Natural Products Expo West show in Anaheim. I was attracted to the colorful fruit snack packages and the inviting and friendly atmosphere of their booth. Curiosity inspired me to check out what Matt’s Munchies was all about and I’m totally thrilled that I did.

I found that Matt’s Munchies is a small company that makes their products with care and attention. It’s a family operated business that came about when Chef Robert (aka dad) decided to create his own wholesome and satisfying munchies that would support a healthy lifestyle. After devoting 6 months to perfecting his tasty creations, Chef Robert emerged with amazingly tasty and nutritious premium fruit snacks. He named the new product Matt’s Munchies after his son, Matthew, who helped develop the unique flavors. Chef Linda (mom), and brothers Joe and Sam are also involved with the family enterprise.

Meeting Matt and the rest of the team at the booth was lots of fun. Matt is an easygoing, down-to-earth guy who’s proud of the great products he had a hand in creating. That shows in his words and actions. It was easy to see the amount of effort that went into everything associated with the company. That’s one of the things that I miss the most today in our modern landscape of impersonal corporations. And it’s a big reason to support small businesses that are trying to add something positive to this world. Tasty and nutritious snacks are always in that important category.

Of course I’ve tried all sorts of dried fruit, but Matt’s Munchies are quite unique. That’s because they’re made from organic fruit concentrates, which, in my opinion, enhances the flavor and texture of the product. This unique consistency makes them easier to bite and chew; making them perfect for individuals who might otherwise avoid dried fruit because of those reasons. I’ve also noticed that the taste of some dried fruits can vary significantly even when they’re from the same package. Yes, that’s expected, since different dried pieces of mango, for example, often have a slightly different taste and texture depending how close they were to the peel or the pit. Matt’s Munchies avoids these issues entirely because they’re made from the organic fruit concentrate, which makes the taste consistent (delicious) in every package.

The other good news about eating Matt’s Munchies is that they’re surprisingly low in calories (less than 100 per pack), especially since they’re so satisfying. As a dedicated snacker, well versed in the art of munching, I couldn’t finish the whole pack at once−although I eagerly came back to it a little while later.

I put Matt’s Munchies to the test on the airplane as I was heading back home from the Expo. I knew that they would come in handy for flying, train or bus commuting, and when carpooling with others. My usual “aromatic” snacks such as hummus, guacamole, and garlic chips can sometimes cause fellow travelers to frown at the potent smells, sending peculiar looks (of envy no doubt) my way. But eating Matt’s Munchies didn’t invoke any of those responses because of the lack of odor, and it was also less messy and cumbersome.

Matt’s Munchies come in 6 delicious favors: Mango, Island Mango, Mango Acai, Banana, Apple-Licious, and Mango Ginger. I hear they’re coming out with two new flavors: Banana Coconut and Mango Apricot. Yum! More tasty combinations to look forward to! My favorite so far is the Island Mango, which is simply a mixture of organic mango puree concentrate, organic coconut flakes, and organic coconut flavor concentrate. It looks like I’m not alone as it’s also one of their top sellers along with Mango and Mango Acai.

Matts Munchies are practical to keep in your car, or carry along with you in your purse or bag. They’re packaged in little squares, which stick to special paper, so you can easily share some with others. I’ve seen Matt’s Munchies in one store nearby and I’m going to ask the large health stores in the area if they can carry them too. If you can’t find Matts Munchies in your area, you can order them directly from the company here. Or ask your local store to carry them in stock too.

Let’s support this dynamic family team for succeeding to “brighten our snacking landscape” with tasty and organic snacks.

Chef Marina

 

Chef Marina’s March Product Review

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I’ve recently had the pleasure of meeting Alina Z, an award-winning, board certified raw vegan chef, detox specialist, author and health coach. Alina’s radiant smile and exuberant energy is so infectious that you feel delightfully uplifted in her presence. In addition to her many achievement’s, including being an AADP certified Holistic Health Coach and the author of Traveler’s Guide to Couture Nutrition, Alina also co-created DLrevAmp;TM an organic, plant based food detox plan that invites individuals to embrace positive eating habits.

The idea of DLrevAmpTM is to supercharge your menu with fresh, organic salads, light soups, fresh juices, and more, for a certain amount of days of your choosing; allowing your body to conserve some digestive energy while still obtaining nutrient dense foods that help it cleanse and detoxify. Plans are available from three to 10 days.

Alina graciously invited me to try out the 3 day “refresh” to get a sense of the program and I was eager to give it a go!

On Tuesday morning a large box arrived on my doorstep, and when I opened it up I found that it was a cooler with ice-packs that was loaded with all kinds of foods and drinks. There were color-coded bottles of various sizes, all clearly labeled and filled with colorful liquids and mixtures. There were also containers of various sizes with fresh looking salads and goodies. Included was an insulated tote, a T-shirt, a lymphatic brush, tea, and a colorful instruction guide that was brilliantly easy to decipher (thank you).

I couldn’t help but appreciate the amount of attention to detail that went into putting something like this together. Everything was extremely well thought-out and organized. It felt like I being invited to take a min-vacation where I didn’t have to cook or prepare meals; instead, I was the one who was going to be pampered and recharged!

Because everything is so clearly labeled and color-coded by day−even by the hour−it was easy to organize the containers and bottles according to what needed to be consumed in its proper order in the fridge.

I began the program with the Cran-Lemon Chia Water, a tangy drink that was surprisingly filling because of the chia seeds. The next hour called for the Heirloom Seeds Pudding, which was delicious and satisfying. Later, I had the Sublime OnJuice, and at 1pm I had the Oriental Noodle Bowl (which I couldn’t finish because I was too full!). 2 pm was my cue that it was time for the Sweet and Spicy Power Shot (grapefruit juice with cayenne). I later had the Sunny Ginger Kale Chips, and at 7 I had the Namaste Broccoli Soup, which I also couldn’t finish because it was so filling. When it was time to get some slumber, my appetite felt completely satisfied and my body still had a tremendous amount of energy. I definitely felt a difference in just one day!

The second day called for a similar protocol but with different tasty offerings. One of the things that really started to stand out for me was the attention and consideration that was given to the different tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, spicy, etc. It seemed that all of these tastes were included daily in the recipes, and this satisfied my taste buds in a big way. It brought about a sense of balance, both to my appetite and to my moods, and uplifted my energy even more on the second day. Because I felt more energetic, I accomplished much more during the day than I expected and even had a surplus of energy in the evening again. I found that the insulated tote came in surprisingly handy to carry my juices and foods around, and it reminded me to keep going with this good habit to avoid both dehydration and feeling famished.

The other really important elements that started to stand out was the focus on hydration. I know just how easy it is to loose track of time and forget to hydrate but this plan really had me looking forward to trying a new juice combination so I was diligent in keeping up with the recommended schedule. That really paid off quickly for me when I felt an increase in energy levels.

When day 3 came, I found myself savoring each meal and juice combination. I was now feeling the full positive effects from the organic juices and the salads (there were also some treats included!) and I felt like I could have easily gone for another week! The salads were fresh and crisp and the food was exceptionally high quality and organic.

In looking over the DLrevampTM website, I noticed that Harpers Bazar put DLrevampTM on their list of “Best Diets for 2015.” I have to disagree on only one point: I don’t consider DLrevampTM a diet. I consider it an invitation to a lifestyle. Diets come and go and are not sustainable for the longterm. This program is different. It helps you to create good habits like hydrating yourself often, eating organic live foods, and even taking the time brush your skin to encourage good lymphatic flow. These are all habits that build a healthy lifestyle. Once a person experiences the profound effects that even a few days make on their energy levels and moods, I think they’re more inclined to gravitate toward this way of living. And that’s where DLrevampTM succeeds.

So if you’re ready to pamper yourself with a mini-health-vacation or want to treat someone to an introduction into healthy living, check out DLrevampTM for more information.

Special thanks to Alina Z; you can check out her radiant smile here.

 

Chef Marina

Learn about John’s non-profit organization Living With Harmony

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My experiences over the past three decades have shown me that there is nothing we need more than a space to heal, connect, and grow. In the face of an increasingly harmful and isolated culture, a physical place that provides such an environment is absolutely essential. It is with this in mind that my lifelong dream to create a progressive, inclusive, and life-affirming facility is now in the process of becoming a reality. Based on the core values of Compassion, Acceptance, Refuge and Encouragement (C.A.R.E.), we will soon be breaking ground on the C.A.R.E. Center and would love nothing more than for you to be a part of this life and world changing project. Please Click Here to learn more about Living With Harmony.

Chef Marina’s August Product Review

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I enjoy supporting family owned businesses that have an impressive tradition of growing and making products of exceptional quality; especially those offering organic foods that are nurtured with great care and pride. These companies are truly rare gems in today’s world and deserve our gratitude, respect, and patronage. That’s why I’m especially delighted to have recently discovered a company called Olea Estates; which specializes in olive products, Greek oregano, and Greek tea.

Olive trees have been around a long time, dating back some 6,000 years. They’re native to the Mediterranean, Asia, and Africa; and in the past, their branches were used as symbols of abundance, glory, and peace. Olive trees produce a small drupe fruit that’s often harvested in the green to purple stage; and these tasty fruits are a great source of vitamin E, and phytonutrients such as oleuropein (found only in olives). Oleuropein functions as an antioxidant; helping to protect nerve cells from oxygen-related damage. Olives are also revered for the quality of their fat content−over 75% monounsaturated fat; which has been linked to better heart health. Olives are generally too bitter to be eaten right off the tree and must be “cured” to reduce their bitterness. There are various methods to cure olives and pack them in combinations of water, vinegar, and spices (this is an art in itself) which gives them their delicious flavors.

Biting into an Olea Estates olive was truly a taste-bud delight. The rich flavor makes it hard to eat just a few of these amazingly nutritious fruits. These are, without a doubt, the best tasting olives that I’ve ever tried. If you love olives and enjoy them in salads or in recipes, definitely treat yourself to Olea Estates olives. Keep in mind that Olea Estates olives are non-pitted, so be sure to remove the pits beforehand. Olea Estates also carries other olive products, including a soap which I tried and thoroughly enjoyed. It’s uniquely different from your standard store variety; providing a generous lather and a rich emollient feeling that left my hands feeling clean and soft. It also kept its form very well, reminding me of a good quality old-fashioned soap.

Along with olive products, Olea Estates also carries Greek Mountain Oregano. Now, as most of you know, I’m a spice connoisseur, and I’ve tried just about every brand of organic spice out there. So I must confess that I was expecting a similar oregano experience−and was I surprised! I’m not exactly sure what the official definition of the “Wow!” factor is, but if tasting something makes you say “Wow!” out-loud then Olea Estates Greek Mountain Oregano did that for me. This is like no oregano I’ve ever tasted. The smell was robust and fragrant, surprisingly so; and reminded me more of an oregano essential oil rather than a dried product. The taste was zesty, almost spicy, similar to arugula, with a definite “kick” that I really enjoyed. I have to say that after a taste of Olea Estates Greek oregano, it’s tough to even consider using another brand. According to Olea Estates website, their Greek oregano is grown at high altitude, in mountainous regions that are mineral rich. Oregano is also well known for its long list of health-promoting properties, such as iron, vitamin E and K, and its abundance of antioxidants. If you’re a fan of dried oregano, look no further and prepare to be “Wowed!”

Finally, I tried Olea Estates Greek Mountain Tea. Of course I’ve tried just about every tea under the sun, but I was completely unfamiliar with Greek tea. When I researched Greek tea I found out that it’s made of the dried leaves and flowers of Sideritis plants (ironwort). The ironwort name acknowledges its hardy flowering perennials, which are cultivated only in Greece on rocky slopes at elevations over 3,200 feet. These remarkable plants have adapted to survive with little water and little soil, making Greek Mountain tea enormously popular in Greece. It’s said that Greek Mountain tea assists with colds, aches, pains, as well as respiratory problems, digestion issues, and mild anxiety. It’s high antioxidant content helps boost the immune system and also assists with inflammation. Olea Estates Greek Mountain tea was a completely new tea experience for me. The smell was fragrant, similar to a fresh bouquet, and pleasant, but it was the taste that surprised me the most. Olea Estates Greek Mountain tea was absolutely delicious. The taste was flowery and nurturing; reminding me of subtle hints of chamomile and green tea (without the aftertaste). Olea Greek Mountain tea is a unique experience in tea and well worth adding to your tea collection. It’s now taken the forefront of being one of my favorites.

Olea Estates carries additional products that are worthy of longer reviews that I will save for a later time; in the meantime, check out Olea Estates and definitely try their amazing products.

Chef Marina

 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

 

Join John Pierre in New York for the I Can Do It! September 2014 event sponsored by Hay House

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The I Can Do It! weekend retreat in New York begins on September 20, 2014 through September 21, 2014. John Pierre is scheduled to speak on Sunday, September 21, at 1:50 pm. The vent will be held at the Javits Center-Special Events Hall.

Please click here for more information and to sign up for this amazing event!

Chef Marina’s July Product Review

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Plastic throwaway-straws are a big strain to our ecological problem; with enough plastic straws produced annually to fill 46,000 full sized school buses. That’s a significant number of plastic straws that end up in landfills every year. This is the reason I’m a big fan of durable, handmade glass straws.

I discovered a company called glass dharma which makes attractive and affordable glass straws and began using them. Surprisingly, the straws are easy to clean, especially if they’re rinsed in a fair amount of time after their use. They’re also dishwasher safe.

Glass straws are fun to use and look great in a glass. They make thoughtful and unique gifts that just about everyone can enjoy. It also feels good to know that you did your part in keeping a plastic straw away from the landfill. Glass dharma has a lifetime guarantee on their straws, which means that if something happens to yours, you can simply send it to them and they will replace it.

If your goal is to replace the plastic in your kitchen with more ecological and permanent alternatives then glass dharma straws are for you.

Chef Marina

Chef Marina’s June Product Review

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If you like to carry a water bottle around for on-the-go sipping or during your workout, then you’re going to love this review.

One of the problems with most water bottles is that when they’re left in a hot car for some time or they’re strapped to a bike during sunny weather, the liquid inside gets unpleasantly lukewarm−and the last thing you want to drink during hot weather is warm water.

That’s why I was really impressed to hear that Hydro Flask came out with double-wall vacuum insulation water bottles and food flasks. The flasks are made of high-quality 18/8 food grade stainless steel inside, and BPA-free materials on the outside. Hydro Flask products state that cold liquids stay cold up to 24 hours and hot liquids will stay hot up to 12 hours.

I decided to put two Hydro Flask products to the test: both the 40 oz Water Bottle and the 12 oz Food Flask. The weather has been in the 80’s lately, with some days reaching the low 90’s, so it was the perfect time to see if the liquids and foods in the flasks would live up to my expectations.

I filled the Hydro Flask 40 oz water bottle in the morning with water and a full tray of ice cubes. After sipping cold water throughout the day with ice cubes intact, I decided to leave the sealed container out overnight to see how it fared until the next day. When I opened it the following morning, I was very impressed to find that most of the ice was still intact, thought smaller than their original size. That means that my water was still ice cold even after over 24 hours. Fantastic!

Now it was time to test out the 12 oz Food Flask. I placed some chilled organic grapes in the Food Flask and sealed it closed. This was a particularly hot day, with temperatures in the 90’s outside, so I placed the Food Flask with the chilled grapes in the front seat of the car while it was parked outside under the hot sun. The Flask sat there for about 8 hours. I was excited to open it up and see if the grapes would even make it, but I was surprised to find that they were cold, crisp, and delicious after sitting in very hot temperatures over the course of the day. That gets a big thumbs-up in my book!

I’m a fan of the Hydro Flask products now and highly recommend them because of their quality, durability, and their satisfaction guarantee. I’m looking forward to trying them out during the winter months for hot liquids like soups and hot teas, as well as hot foods. In the meantime, I’ll enjoying sipping the icy cold water during the hot months.

Check out Hydro Flask for their full line of practical and reasonably priced items. If you purchase 2 water bottles the shipping is free.

Chef Marina

Chef Marina’s May Product Review

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I purchased my Instant Pot over a year ago and it’s become one of my favorite staple kitchen appliances. I’ve put Instant Pot through rigorous cooking-use and it’s delivered great results every time.

Instant Pot is a well-made pressure cooker that quickly and easily makes just about anything. I’ve used it to cook all kinds of bean soups; along with rice, vegetables, and chili. It also conveniently keeps the food warm after turning itself off when the designated cooking time is over.

One of my favorite features about the Instant Pot is that it’s super easy to clean. The stainless steel container inside is simple to remove and cleaning only takes a few minutes.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a great pressure cooker that’s sure to become one of your favorite kitchen items, consider Instant Pot. Click Here for their store link and use code JP to receive a $45.00 discount during checkout.

Chef Marina