The Healthy Eating Game (+Our Choice: Clifbar)

Doesn’t it seem that healthy eating becomes more difficult everyday? Things that used to be as simple as choosing a snack with no added sugar has now become a game of interpreting names of ingredients and comparing nutrition labels.

At Go-Nayked.com we work tirelessly to identify the healthy living products that are truly healthy living. As a free resource to you, our writers and editors search out, test, and report back on true healthy living items. We play the games that you don’t have the time to play and give you the products and companies that are making a positive difference in your daily life and the world we all live in.


 

One of the biggest shell games being played right now is in regard to high fructose corn syrup. The ingredient has been linked with a host of health and environmental issues but is a staple of most processed foods and snacks. With growing awareness of the dangers of the ingredient consumers and government agencies alike have called for it’s removal from food products. In response the processed food industry had several options available:

1. remove high fructose sugars from foods (requires a natural healthier substitute)
2. fight the criticisms with good science supporting the ingredient (there is no supporting science)
3. changing the name of the ingredient (way easier). Of course they have decided to change the name. High fructose is now just “fructose”.

Like you we are tired of the games and at Go-Nayked.com we have identified several products that do not use high fructose, fructose or other fillers in their foods. Today we are going to give you one great snack option that is marketed towards kids but is just as good for adults too. It comes from a US based company that consistently donates and supports a number of great causes along with their commitment to sustainability.

 

Clifbar Company started out when a husband and wife decided to make honest healthy snacks for their family. The snack bars are the perfect size for a morning or afternoon treat and easily fit in the pocket of your favorite cycling or running clothes. We have sampled every flavor and would be hard pressed to pick a favorite.

(Their original energy bar is now accompanied by a host of other treats. Made with only organic ingredients, it is listed as USDA Organic, the bars come in a number of flavor choices including Chocolate Brownie, Chocolate Chip, Honey Graham, Iced Lemon Cookie, Iced Oatmeal Cookie, and S’mores.)

With a great mix of carbs, proteins, and vitamins the ClifBar is the perfect snack food that skips the corporate “guess the ingredient” game and provides you with an organic taste of what you want. Available online, through our store, or in your favorite big box stores ClifBar is our recommendation for a great snack. To see which Cliff Bar Products make our cut, check out the GO-NAYKED Marketplace

 


Healthy eating does not have to be difficult and should not require playing constant games. If you are going to buy a snack food why not buy a snack food that is made with healthy ingredients by a company dedicated to helping the planet? We are making it easy for you to find healthy living products from great companies, bookmark Go-Nayked.com and subscribe to our newsletter for more great tips on healthy eating and healthy living.

Essential Oils in a Everyday Product

Essential oils are all the rage and for good reason. Using naturally occurring and naturally supplied oils from plants with names you can actually pronounce is good for both your body and the planet.


 

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils first off are a product with an awesome name. Nothing sounds more perfect, natural, or organic than “essential oils”. Seriously it is “essential” after all… you must have it! The great thing about essential oils is unlike a lot of the great sounding but actually awful for you products out there essential oils are legitimately and truly good for you.

Remember long summer days as a kid when playing up in the hills or out in the fields you would come across a field of flowers and run through the sea of color. After playing for a bit you would return home and your clothes, legs, and shoes were covered with an oily color that matched those flowers? That was essential oils. It is the oils used by plants to serve some sort of purpose such as attracting pollinators, protecting against fungus, or waterproofing (to name a few).

Essential oils are derived from the distillation of natural plants. The oils are the combined secretions and pureness that every natural lover seeks in a product. Anyone looking to live naturally will love essential oils! Some of the best organic and natural products listed on Go-Nayked.com are Essential Oil based products.

Finding the Right Essential Oils for You

Due to their natural derivation you need to use caution when approaching essential oils for the first time. Depending upon how the oil is derived and your personal allergies and reactions essential oils can be dangerous if simply applied without testing. Before using a new essential oil understand the source of the oil, how it was pulled from the plant, and what if any additives have been mixed with it.

We have a product listed on the website right now that is a great starter product to demonstrate the advantages of essential oils Qet – Fresh Body Oil for Shaving, Showering & Massage With an ingredient list filled with great oils including Cold-pressed oils from seeds of vitis vinifera (*grape), olea europaea (*olive), helianthus annuus (*sunflower), brassica oleracea (broccoli), tocopherol (GMO-free vitamin E), essential oils of lavandula angustifolia (*lavender), mentha piperita (*mint), rubus idaeus (wild raspberry), rosmarinus officinalis (*rosemary), jasminum sambac (jasmine). nearly all of which are organic (denoted with the *).

The Qet Fresh Body Oil can be your everyday shower cream replacement for shaving and showering. Apply the oil after shaving and after your showers to keep your skin moist and nourished. The excellent mix of oils works to firm and hydrate your skin. How does it hydrate? By not breaking down the water bond in your skin cells it works to prevent cell destruction and help support the natural skin cycle. This product has met Go-Nayked’s strict product criteria and can be found here for further research and purchase.

For anyone looking to get in on the essential oil craze this product is an excellent way to get in the essential oil mood. You can find more essential oil based products over in the Go-Nayked.com marketplace. Let us know what you think of your favorite essential oil products and we will be happy to share them here.

EOS Lip Balm – A Tale in Natural Reactions

One of the hottest products in skincare is EOS “Evolution of Smooth” lip balm. Very popular and trendy with spokespeople like Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears the brand has used clever marketing and packaging to sell millions of lip balm containers in recent years. Being so popular the brand has recently been hit with some seriously bad publicity following a  lawsuit alleging the product caused severe skin irritation to users mouths.


 

As reported by TMZ the lip balm alleged caused reactions on users lips and surrounding skin.

tmz

The lawsuit seeks class action status. Without delving into the case itself we at Go-Nayked.com believe this is a perfect example of the mantra we have been preaching for a while. Just because something is advertised as natural or organic does not necessarily mean it is good for you. CNBC, also reporting on this story, had the following:

“Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it is safe. Anthrax is natural but not safe,” said Dr. Adam Friedman, associate professor of dermatology at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Organic refers to food—not skin care products—and no agency regulates whether beauty products are organic, he said.”

Poison Ivy is the perfect example of a natural and organic product that you do not want rubbing on your skin! While EOS is not using Poison Ivy in its products it is using ingredients that could potentially be irritating to some; sell enough of it and someone somewhere will have issues.

How to Deal with Problems

It starts with the stuff inside… the ingredients. Read the label and understand what is on the inside. Surprisingly the push towards more natural and organic products is causing more reactions in people. Suddenly product manufacturers trying to get a leg up on the competition are including ingredients that until now have not been used in wide circulation.

Become the Guinea Pig

We hate to point it out but you are forced in some cases to become the tester of the products. In skin care, unlike food, the laws are a bit looser allowing companies to stretch the boundaries of what they included. For the vast majority this is not a big deal but in the off chance you are sensitive to the product you sure will find out soon enough.

How to Recognize Problems Early

At Go-Nayked.com we do a lot of research about every product we list in our store. If there is a history of reported problems we will research the problems further, see if it has been rectified, or make a note on the product description about the potential issue. Whenever you begin using a new product, whether natural or not, use care the first few times to apply a small amount to an inconspicuous area of your body. Just like an allergy test at the doctor the best spot for cosmetics is to apply a small dab to the inside of your fore-arm.

Go-Nayked.com has yet to add any EOS products to our products list. What do you think about that? We do have a number of approved lip balms listed and invite you to give those products a try. In the world of natural and organic you need to be careful, use common sense, and test any new products to make sure you do not react to them. Go-Nayked.com is your ace in the hole helping you find great products from great companies.

Have you had any negative side effects from natural or organic products? We want to hear from you in the comment section below.

Natural Sunscreen Options

Growing up as a kid in the late 80’s and early 90’s I remember the vivid depiction of what was inevitable with the thinning of the ozone layer.


 

Nightly news spent days and days describing how skin cancer would go through the roof and how our very lives were in peril. All we had to do to fix it was to stop using aerosol spray cans… poof problem solved. Step forward 20 years (has it been that long!?) and guess what? The ozone hole surged to near record size just last month!

Enter the sunscreen market. Since the mid-80’s sunscreen usage has boomed. Sunscreen application is a daily routine for millions of people and sunscreens can be found in multiple forms including topical creams and spray on applications. With the proliferation of sunscreen usage one would expect to see a corresponding drop in skin cancer rates… right? Well in reality not so much… cancer rates have continued to grow.

Burned if You Don’t Cancer’ed if You Do

It turns out that “normal” sunscreens are filled with a ton of hazardous chemicals including:

  • Oxybenzone
  • Octinoxate
  • Homosalate
  • Octisalate
  • Octocrylene

These five are listed as the potentially most hazardous according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) due to the absorptive nature and ability to disrupt hormones or imitate vital functions. So the choice to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays is one of choosing to apply chemicals directly to your largest body organ or get burned.

Demand for Alternatives

As people have become aware of the dangers of the chemicals in sunscreens alternatives have started to pop up. Go-Nayked.com, as you are aware, spends all of our time finding natural and clean alternative products, testing them, making sure their ingredient list is good, and then making it easy for you to find them. We have 17 products with sunscreen/ sun protection related properties currently listed giving you some great choices.

Choosing a Natural Sunscreen

The problem with natural sunscreens is found in price and ingredients. It turns out that the synthetic and toxic chemicals are readily available and cheaply made. On the flip side the choice of natural ingredients is more limited and pricey. You get what you pay for… when it comes to cancer or sunburn isn’t it important?

A great example of a killer natural sunscreen are the products sold by Wotnot from Australia. The location of the company should be of some importance because Australia is regularly caught within the region where the bulk of the ozone layer loss occurs. People there are more exposed to the dangerous rays from the sun. Made with certified organic ingredients the Wotnot brand sunscreen is a perfect choice for everyday wear. Using naturally sourced zinc oxide the sunscreen also uses the following ingredients Grapeseed oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, candellila wax, beeswax, carnauba wax, shea butter, gmo-free vitamin e, purified water, certified organic aloe vera, silica, naticide (all natural preservative).

With natural sunscreens it is important that you regularly re-apply throughout the day. If you are spending more than 4 hours at the beach reapply the sunscreen around that 4 hour mark to ensure continued protection. Apparently the ozone is going to continue to expand and contract despite our best efforts to control the changes. Take the natural route in protecting yourself from both cancer and sunburn with natural sunscreens found here at Go-Nayked.com.

Natural Deodorant that Works

You know what is great about being a kid? Yes all the normal live free, play all day, and make games out of everything kid life but you need to think a bit more obvious. The best thing about being a kid is not stinking! Kids don’t have the stinky armpits. They can run, play all day, dig in the dirt and mud, and still at the end of the day smell like sweet little roses. Unfortunately as adults… we stink… but there are solutions.


 

Solution 1 – Go Hippie

One of the great, or not so great, things about being a true bonafide hippie is that you believe your natural scent is there for all to enjoy. You don’t need, want, nor wear deodorant or perfumes. Your natural scent will do the talking and as long as your meals are pure and your life low stress you can maintain a sweet smell. Some folks can actually pull this one off!

Solution 2 – Hit the Normal Store

For me it was junior high when my dad had to have the “talk”. After a long day of school and gym I came home and apparently didn’t smell as sweet as a hippie. He pulled me aside, handed me a tube of Old Spice and said this is deodorant; you rub it on your pits and your parents, friends, and importantly girls will not want to flee your smell. What dad didn’t think about and probably was unaware of were the crazy chemicals found in that bar of deodorant.

Regular Deodorant Ingredients = Bad

One of the primary ingredients used in all deodorants is Aluminum. The metal is intended to physically block sweat by plugging the pores. It has also been linked to increased breast cancer and potential Alzheimer’s risks. Another toxic ingredient, covered by Marko in detail here, are Parabens. These are simply bad and have huge potential risks to humans.

Deodorants also can contain propylene glycol a petroleum based product, Phthalates, and Triclosan – a freaking pesticide!

To reiterate you now have the choice of smelling like a hippie OR poisoning yourself… what to do?

Solution 3 – Go-Nayked

Honest Deodorant and a few other companies found in our marketplace are producing deodorants using natural ingredients devoid of the harmful chemicals. They even avoid the natural versions of the harmful chemicals and produce a deodorant that keeps you dry and smelling great.

Users have commented that these products work surprisingly well with a few caveats about application and length of stay. It is recommended that you apply and allow to dry before wearing a shirt and that you touch up the application every 10 hours or so. In the end just like regular deodorants there will be a learning curve to find the right product for your body type.

So now you can smell sweet as a kid without poisoning your body with harmful chemicals. That is worth the effort… isn’t it?

You Can Have a Natural Smile – Brush Your Teeth with Natural Products

Where do they get that pearly white look? Ever wonder why movie stars have such glimmering white teeth? Brushing your teeth is a habit taught from early childhood to prevent tooth decay and cavities. Go back just a couple decades and the natural hue of teeth was more yellow than pearly white. What has changed?


 

Thanks High Def

As with all things modern amenities have changed the way we look at people and the world. With super high definition TVs and celebrities always looking to standout from the crowd the subtle differences can make all the difference. Use Kim Kardashian as an example of someone who has built a financial empire on looks alone. What would have happened to her “career” if her teeth were yellow?

Imitate or Go-Nayked

We started looking around at what the secret of the stars white teeth is and you know what we found? It comes down to money. Basically stars use professional dentists to get their pearly white smiles. For everyone else the over the counter stuff really doesn’t work (and in some cases is very dangerous).

The danger in all the new over the counter toothpastes and mouth washes is found in the harsh chemicals and cleansers included to try and whiten or disinfect your mouth. The resulting concoction is poisonous and the packages carry clear and conspicuous labeling advising against swallowing! So let’s get this straight… to get a pearly white smile you have to either spend a bunch of money at a dentist to the stars OR you have to risk your health by brushing with toxic chemicals and poisons!? There has to be another way.

Another Way to Clean Your Teeth

It turns out there is another way. Bet you didn’t realize that the bulk of the cleansing properties of brushing is derived from the toothbrush bristles themselves. The application of toothpastes is to apply additional cleaning and polishing agents to the tooth via the brushing action. If you have learned anything over here at Go-Nayked.com it is that there are many natural alternatives to the harsh chemicals of standard products… no different for tooth brushing. Check out the oral section of the Go-Nayked marketplace to discover toothpastes and tooth whitening products that have cleared our stringent standards.

Real Purity, Peelu and Primal Life all offer naturally sourced ingredients and all do away with fluoride. Making the switch to a natural toothpaste will require some trial and error to find the brand and flavor that best suits your tastes and all four of these are so uniquely different that they offer you a real decision set to choose from.

Let us know which one you choose and your experience with the brand. We love hearing from and finding great natural products to help you. The next time you are watching a star on TV with pearly white teeth recognize that they paid a lot of money for that smile and also put their body through some harsh chemical baths to get the smile. You on the other hand are choosing to take the natural approach to a clean and beautiful smile.

Snack Food Without the Guilt

As an avid outdoors-man I am always on the lookout for great tasting and easy to store snacks. I have already covered Clifbar brand foods and their great taste and flavor but like anything, too much of one thing breeds boredom. We were testing a few natural food products and I fell in love with this Almond bar from Sage Valley.


 

The problem with most snack foods is that they are made with processed ingredients and fillers to hold them together and keep their freshness. When researching and testing products for Go-Nayked.com we actually take in to consideration these filler ingredients because, amazingly, they have the biggest impact on your overall health. For example a friend was drinking one of those sugary soda drinks advertised in between and during X-Games competitions. This company advertises to extreme sports fanatics with catchy commercials showing people doing all these amazing things… implying that the drink is the reason for their “awesomeness”.

The problem with this drink are the ingredients. Looking at the label the first on the list is water (carbonated) next and most shocking is High Fructose Corn Syrup followed by ingredients that would make Marko flip (he is our resident Pharmacist – read his recent post here). Basically Mt Dew is one of the worst products you can allow in to your body! The problem with other energy drinks and foods sold on standard store shelves is that they are not much better. For active healthy individuals what can you do? Go-Nayked.com and get some of these Sage Valley bars.

In a nutshell… get it… these are what you or I would make if we knew how and had the time. Almonds, toasted coconut chips, diced apricots, honey, whole grain crisp brown rice, and brown rice syrup all combined in to a tasty snack. The easy to access wrapper and small form factor make them perfect pocket stuffers to grab while on the go. With 190 calories the bars pack a punch with 12 grams of total fat and very low sodium content. The only caveat with the bar is that it has a bit of sugar from the honey and rice syrup totaling 17 grams with 11 of them from sugars… it would be a one meal snack for low carb dieters.

For a 2-3 hour biking or hiking outing these bars are a perfect second snack. They rotate well as the first bar 45 minutes in with the complex natural sugars giving your body a nice spike to keep you chugging along. You can then rotate in a good protein drink or bar 45 minutes later and a recovery snack of nuts and meat after the workout. We have been approving and adding a number of great protein choices to the marketplace recently and invite you to peruse the options available by clicking here.

For your next adventure trek grab some of these Sage Valley Almond Bars and hit the trails feeling good because you are eating well. Learn more about the Sage Valley Almond Bars by clicking here and ordering yourself a box of these tasty treats. Being an outdoorsy person does not require eating and drinking the junk marketed to you… take control of your diet.

Natural Cleaner for Home and Body

It slices, it dices, it cleans, it sweeps, it shines, it polishes, it turns black to white and white to black, it is the amazing cure-all from the far reaches of Africa step right up and get your bottle now!


 

One of the things we have discovered over here at Go-Nayked.com is that there truly are all-natural products that are measures better than anything else on the market. These products harness the power of the ingredients found in nature to serve a purpose important to people. Why don’t we hear about them and see them on store shelves? Let’s dive into the problem.

Productification

Productification is a word I just created and it really sums up the problem with everything we buy and use. In a consumer based society companies are looking to sell products that “work” but cost next to nothing to work. By mixing cheap and readily available synthetic chemicals companies can produce products that get the job done, smell pretty, and store forever. These products can be packaged smartly and sold/ marketed even more smartly to generate billions in sales annually… but at what cost?

For regular readers of our blog the horrible effects of the various chemicals found in “normal” products are mind boggling but the productification has generated a consistent demand that no one questions. When was the last time you actually stopped to look at the ingredient list on your shampoo, body soap, or laundry detergent? Some of these chemicals are toxic to living beings!

Old is New

The first step in living clean is to stop assuming that what you are doing now and buying regularly is right. Question the products, question the labels, and question the marketing. On our end we have discovered Dr. Woods Shea Vision Castile Soap with Organic Shea Butter and Pure Almond. This is the perfect cleaning product you may have never heard of. The key ingredients are in the name but deserve repeating: Almond, Castile Soap, and Shea Butter.

Castile Soap, or vegetable oil based soap, has been used for millennia and is derived from combining olive oil and sodium hydroxide. The main vegetable base may change but the underlying makeup does not… it is natural. Almond oil, like Castile Soap, has enjoyed a renascence of respect for all its great qualities on the human body. The natural character of the oil provides nourishment and cleansing in one package. Finally Shea Butter is derived from a plant found in the African Sahara that can be boiled down to key ingredients. The Shea Butter is the perfect moisturizer for skin.

By combining all these ingredients together Dr. Woods Shea Vision Castile Soap with Organic Shea Butter and Pure Almond provides a quality package of cleanser for your face, body, and hair that also can be used as a generic cleaner in laundry and for counters. As you can see this really is a product that does all the snake oil promises without the snake oil scam.

Go-nayked.com has identified several other natural quality cleansers and they can all be found and further research in our marketplace here.

What’s in a Name – Big Business in Natural and Organic

To the average consumer the words “natural” and “organic” seem very straightforward.


If something is natural it comes from nature and has no artificial or man-made ingredients. If something is organic it also comes from nature but from that special place in nature where only good things derive. Unfortunately much like unicorns and fairies the fantasies weaved around these two words have hidden their true meaning and left smart shoppers scratching their heads when reading labels.

Natural = Meaningless

Let’s get this straight from the beginning… natural is a meaningless marketing term and can easily be placed on any product label. Just recently the FDA had to tell cigarette manufacturers to stop overplaying the “natural” in their marketing! There are no statutes, regulations, or industry standards regulating the use of this term.

What this means is that natural is a meaningless word used to market products. Natural is a great marketing phrase and hence its popularity is derived from this; short, sweet, and descriptive the phrase communicates value and prestige. Product manufacturers need to only avoid violating FTC rules about misleading advertising in using the phrase. For example a soda drink company could reasonably use the term natural on their cans of sugar filled water because the “water” is natural but could potentially run into problems, like the cigarette manufacturers, if they then elude to some sort of health benefit from that natural ingredient.

Organic is Organic is What?

On the flip side the term “Organic” actually means something and does have a legal definition. The story on this phrase follows closely with natural in that it started to become a meaningless marketing term until concerned groups raised their voices. The problem was that certain susceptible individuals, those seeking organic due to health, allergy, or dietary requirements, were literally having their lives placed on the line due to the marketing. What exactly is “organic” and how should foods be labeled?

To be organic, a producer must abide by a stringent set of government standards set by the USDA. The specific requirements vary by product but generally the USDA qualifies produce as organic if no synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers or genetically modified organisms (GMO) are used.

Using organic ingredients some manufactured goods are able to carry and display the organic label but the labels differ in their meaning. There are currently four distinct categories of “organic” including:

  • 100% organic products
  • Organic (products containing 95% organic ingredients)
  • Made with organic ingredients (containing at least 70% organic ingredients)
  • Less than 70% organic ingredients (seals cannot be used but organic ingredients can be identified)

As you can see even the phrase “organic” can be a bit misleading.

What Can You Do

This is where Go-Nayked.com comes in. Our team has spent thousands of hours (and continues spending thousands more hours) vetting the various products available on the market. Visit the marketplace to see all the products we have cleared as truly being natural and / or organic. Our team reads the labels AND the ingredients AND vets the manufacturers to provide only the products that are good for you and this planet.

If you have a product you are wondering about feel free to leave a comment with the name and we will review it quickly for you.

There is Money in Them There… Soaps

In classic Americana television the wild west was dominated by gunslingers, gamblers, and gold prospectors. The dirty dusty open areas were home to wild gun fights, brothels and drinking… at least in the movies that is. In real life and real history the wild west was dictated and developed more for the ores available in the ground and not just the gold and silver. In fact Las Vegas, Death Valley and most of Eastern California was first prospected for the basic ingredient in soap!

Borax is scraped right off the ground and refined for use in a huge number of products including cosmetics and soaps. Now you will not find any products in the Go-Nayked marketplace that include Borax but the point is that there is a ton of money available for the producers of soaps.

The current “gold rush” in soaps is focused on liquid soaps, foamy soaps, and bath washes. These liquid forms of “soap” are marketed as better, more effective, and more hygienic. In reality liquid soaps tend to be a grab for your money and not an effective means for cleaning your body.

How Soap Works

Classic Soaps are designed for one purpose only… aiding water in the removal of dirt from your body. The chemical makeup of soaps and exfoliants (things that scrape skins cells off) are intended solely to interact with your skin, bond with the oils and remove the oils and dirt. The net result is a clean surface. The side-effect of this is the removal of your natural skin oils and cells leaving raw skin exposed to the elements.

Solid form soaps use a combination of ingredients to slough off dirt and leave your body clean. The details get more complicated depending on the product. For example, classic Borax is also used as an insecticide! Some of the tried and true standard off the shelf soaps utilize harsh chemicals to net their oil bonding results.

On the flip side the new generation of liquid soaps are in most cases a waste of money. To get the same cleaning results most standard pump style liquid soaps contain a wide variety of chemicals, alcohols and “lotions”. In addition the average squirt of liquid soap is about 2 to 3 times the volume necessary to clean… this means you are literally washing money down the drain!

Better Soaps

The best soaps for the money remain to be the bar soaps. We have a number of different options approved and available on the Go-Nayked Marketplace. There are a few liquid soaps that work but remember to limit the volume you use; pea size works fine in most cases.

There are two ways to remove dirt from the body: 1. hit it with harsh chemicals or 2. use the scrubbing action of washing to remove the dirt. By sticking to mostly bar soaps you get a more effective “clean” through the act of scrubbing and avoid the surfactants and chemicals found in the majority of liquid soaps.

Unlike the westerns of old you now know that the real money made in the west was from soap and to save your money and protect your health selecting a quality bar soap is the proper choice.