As you gear up for the holiday travel and road trips to Grandma’s, “Mom” has put together a list of her favorite nutritious snacks for on-the-go that pack well and are healthy, too! Keeping a cooler in your car filled with fresh water, cut-up fruit and organic milk boxes are a good idea, too!

Viki's Granola Banana Walnut

Viki’s Granola

Baked with love! Nutritious & delicious gluten-free granola made with 100% all natural ingredients and minimal added sugar. Great for topping yogurt or just snacking on right out of the bag, Viki’s Granola boasts a fresh, soft, chewy texture with ingredients you can pronounce and no artificial aftertaste. Available in five delicious flavor varieties, including Original Honey, Blueberry Almond and Maple Cranberry, Banana Walnut & Apple Cinnamon. All three are simply yummy! Sold at retailers nationwide and online at www.VikisFoods.com.

Go Organically Fruit Snacks

When your little ones want a sweet treat, but you don’t want to give in to gas station candy, reach for a package of Go Organically Fruit Snacks! These perfectly packable little organic fruit snacks will keep both parents and kids happy, without an excess of sugar or processed ingredients! Go Organically® sources USDA certified organic fruit and other ingredients to offer three mouth-watering varieties: Fruit Medley, Mixed Berry and Tropical. “Mom” has been able to find these little snacks at Costco, which makes them both healthy and affordable! Visit their website for more retail locations nationwide.

Lifeway Kefir ProBugs - plain

Lifeway ProBugs

Little ones will love Lifeway ProBugs, which is tasty and nutritious organic kefir for kids, served in a fun, easy-to-hold pouch! Keep a cooler in your car for the long trip, filled with fresh water, fruit and these convenient, mess-free ProBugs pouches for a quick, healthy snack! Flavors include Pretty Plain, Goo Berry Pie, Orange Creamy Crawler, Kiwi Kale Critter, Sublime Slime Lime and Strawnana Split. “Mom’s” little ones love the Goo Berry Pie flavor! Visit the Lifeway website for a retail location near you.

Zbar Protein 3 Flavor fan

Clif Kid Zbar Protein

This protein bar is made just for kids, offering a tasty whole grain snack made with nutritious building blocks for kids’ growing bodies, especially when on-the-go! Made with organic whole grains, the bars contain no high fructose corn syrup, synthetic preservatives or artificial flavors. Available in three kid-pleasing flavors, including Peanut Butter Chocolate (“Mom’s” daughter’s favorite!), Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Chip.

*Companies generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Mommy's Bliss KidsWe all know that summer colds and flu are inevitable, so it’s only natural to want a solution that works fast, especially when away from the comforts of home. “Mom” is always on the lookout for new, natural ways to keep her little ones healthy while traveling. With a toddler who gets motion sickness on long car rides, Kids Upset Tummy & Nausea Relief by Mommy’s Bliss, is now a must-have for travel! This all-natural, sugar-free and gluten-free liquid herbal supplement for kids is designed to provide fast acting stomach relief in minutes. It also works great for indigestion, motion sickness, gas, and bloating. We are loving that it comes in extremely convenient single-serve packs making it a great choice for families on the go this summer!

Portable, convenient, and practically mess-free, the Kids Upset Tummy & Nausea Relief comes in a light cherry flavor, which is pleasing to little ones. We love that it is made with organic ginger, fennel, dill & peppermint to soothe tiny tummies naturally! Plus – no refrigeration is necessary, just tuck a packet or two in your diaper bag, backpack or purse for use when needed.

For more information on Mommy’s Bliss and the brand’s entire line of products, please visit www.mommysbliss.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

KIND GreenWith the holidays right around the corner, families will be on the go between the grandparents houses, holiday shopping, and more! Why not pack some healthy snacks to curb reaching for unhealthy foods while at the mall or at cousin Suzie’s house, and tuck these little goodies in your purse or diaper bag instead.

KIND Yellow

KIND Bars

To say we love these little bars of deliciousness would be an understatement! KIND Bars are our new favorite “go-to” snack for when we are on the move. Plus, if you struggle with getting your little to eat their daily dose of whole grains like buckwheat, amaranth, or quinoa, try sneaking them with KIND Healthy Grains in their hard to resist flavors like Peanut Butter and Vanilla Blueberry. We admit, we like to sneak them in too!

Flax Paks

Flax Paks

With Carrington Farms Flax Paks, you can now add Organic Milled Flax Seeds to a healthy diet on-the-go! Packed in portable and convenient single serve packets with a pre-measured daily dosage, Flax Paks answer all the needs for a busy and health-conscious family. With no refrigeration necessary, ready-to-eat Flax Paks can be used at after-school activities, in the car, at home, and more. It’s easy – simply add a pouch of Flax Paks into yogurts, cereals, oatmeal, smoothies, baked goods, or salads to ensure that the entire family is getting a healthy and beneficial serving of Omega 3s, Omega 6s, fiber, and lignans.

Fruit Bliss Medley

Fruit Bliss

As good as the name implies, Fruit Bliss offers a selection of all-natural, unsulfured fruit that is just as sweet and juicy as fresh fruit! Made using high-quality whole fruit sourced from Turkey, France and Tunisia, Fruit Bliss’ sun-sweetened whole apricots, plums, dates and figs are infused with moisture to deliver a deliciously juicy fruit every time. Packed with fiber and essential vitamins, Fruit Bliss snacks are Non-GMO Project Verified, Vegan and OU Kosher certified and available in five varieties in perfectly portioned 1.75 oz packages that will satisfy a sweet tooth and pack easily when real fruit may not be an option due to spoilage. We are loving the apricots – YUM!

*Companies generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Family Travel Tips for a Healthy End of Summer Vacation

Summer vacation may be coming to an end, but did you know that August is one of the busiest travel months for families? As parents are trying to fit in that last bit of fun before school starts up again, families everywhere will be preparing their carry-on bags and packing the car to hit the road. There’s no telling what adventures await you on your final summer trip, but you have to be careful, as traveling can upset your family’s health regimen and mastered schedule. Fortunately, a little planning ahead can help you fill your head with memories instead of regret!

Exercise Is Important, Even on Vacation

A great secret to staying healthy is exercising on a regular basis; this actually helps to boost your immune system! No time for the gym because your shopping too much? Take the longer route when walking to and from your car to the stores. Hitting the club scene? Dance the night away! Average 30-minutes of dancing can actually burn 150+ calories!

Upping Your Zinc Intake

Zinc Gluconate is clinically proven to short duration of a cold by almost half and if you start feeling symptoms of a cold, taking natural, homeopathic remedies such as Cold-EEZE Cold Remedy, which releases Zinc ions into the throat and upper respiratory system to prevent the cold virus from spreading. They are great to have on a plane, too. Sucking on a lozenge will alleviate the popping of your ears while flying!

Vitamin C – Complex B and Calcium

These vitamins not only strengthen your immune system, but they are easy to get a hold of as well! A glass of milk, orange juice or a quick trip the pharmacy can help you prevent a cold. Did somebody say Mimosa with extra OJ?!

Having Fun

Of course, stressing out before a trip is never any fun. Loosen up, laugh with friends, and dance a lot! Laughter reduces stress and the less stress you have helps your immune system function effectively

Don’t Deprive Yourself of Sleep

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and avoiding the cold! Getting 8 hours of sleep on regular basis (even on vacation) is important and can help protect your physical and mental health. Staying up late and waking up early doesn’t allow for your body to get the rest it needs to fight off germs.

About the Author

These timely tips were provided by Dr. Jennifer Collins, a New York based Physician specializing in Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

Eco-Family TravelEco-Friendly Family Vacation Ideas for 2013

A standard family vacation tends to be somewhat less than environmentally friendly, when you think about it. Consider, for starters, the high eco-impact of transportation. Airplanes certainly get you from point A to point B the fastest, but they ratchet up your carbon debt almost exponentially. Then there are hotels to consider, and between the disposable items in every guest room, the massive amounts of water used to wash sheets and towels daily, sky-high electrical usage, and the less-than sustainable materials used to build and outfit properties, you can be sure that the waste and pollution involved with your stay is significant. Plus, you’ll no doubt find yourself renting a gas-guzzler to tour your environs, eating out for every meal, and generally increasing your carbon footprint with every activity. This can be a hard pill to swallow for the family committed to doing their part to protect the environment. But there are alternatives that will still let you have the fabulous family getaway you’ve been dreaming of, and 2013 is the year you can make a change for the better when it comes to your travel plans.

While you can’t exactly negate the impact of flying, there are a couple of options you can choose to make your transportation less harmful. For one thing, you can drive to your destination if it’s not too far (or over water). And if you have a fuel-efficient or otherwise eco-friendly vehicle, even better. But if you simply can’t avoid flying, or the drive is too long to fit with your limited time, at least consider choosing an airline that offers the largest aircraft available. It will use only slightly more fuel than smaller planes, but because of the greater number of passengers the efficiency goes way up. Then, when you reach your destination, look for a car rental company that offers eco-friendly options (like hybrid or electric cars) or look into mass transit for your transportation needs.

As for hotels, you might be surprised to learn that many chains are looking for ways to green up the works, reduce their carbon footprint, and cater to travelers seeking eco-tourism services. You can find available options for your destination on greenhotels.com, or use travel sites like Orbitz and Travelocity that offer green options for the budget-conscious traveler. With the eco-tourism industry growing, you may even be able to contact your travel agent and find all kinds of package deals that include transportation, lodgings, and activities that fit within your green ideals. And if all else fails, simply take a camping trip. Getting back to nature is a great way to get some R&R, cut your carbon footprint, save a little cash, and really reconnect with your family without all the distractions of the modern world.

Just because you found some Vegas deals doesn’t mean you have to hop on an airplane and head to Sin City. When you travel smarter you can do your part for environmental protection and often save some money in the process. So skip the greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, and waste when planning your family vacations this year and you’ll have a cleaner, greener earth to show for it, along with years of awesome outdoor adventures to come.

How to Travel in an Eco-Friendly Way When Vacationing

Traveling in an eco friendly way is a great way to give back to the environment. Traveling can be quite a harmful activity for the environment, if you’re not doing it properly and not doing your research – so you should feel good about making the effort to travel in a green, environmentally-friendly manner – as every little helps.

There are, of course, various ways you can impact the world in this way – and lots of ways you can improve your carbon footprint and help the environment whilst travelling. One of the main ways when travelling, is choosing your modes of transport properly and properly considering every option available to you. This is unsurprising I think – as we all know that modern transportation is one of the most toxic things that harms our environment. So take charge here and embrace your new found respect for the environment.

Here are some of the most powerful ways you can make a difference:

1. Let’s Start at the Beginning
Your journey starts the very moment you leave the house – so ensure you get public transport (rather than a car or taxi) to the airport when your trip begins. This is already making a big difference – so you should feel great about getting your trip off to a good start! Most towns and cities will have shuttles or buses heading to the airport – and a quick browse on the internet will point you in the right direction.

2. Fly with a Newer Aircraft
Newer aircrafts have been proven to be more environmentally friendly – so if you can request at the time of booking, that you be travelling on your fleets newer aircrafts. The newer planes use less energy and have a better efficiency of fuel – which means you can rest easy knowing you’ve reduced your carbon footprint a little.

3. When You Land
It can be daunting when you arrive in a new place, and it can be pretty easy to just opt for the a private limo or taxi to your hotel. The truth is though – most major airport have cheap public transport on offer. When you arrive at the airport, ask the information desk at the airport the best way of getting into the city. It might be a train, a tram, a subway line, a bus or even a little shuttle mini bus. All of which are miles better for the environment than the taxi you were planning on taking!

4. When Changing Destinations
For travellers and backpackers – it’s common to flit between destinations every couple of days or weeks. For this – try to avoid planes, and see if there are any eco friendly transport options available. This may take longer, but it will likely cost less too and you’ll get to take in more as you travel on land instead of by air. Look for coaches, public transport or trains – all of those are great options. If you can – opt for the train over anything else though, because a train is more environmentally friendly an carries more people (making your carbon footprint smaller).

5. Use Eco-Friendly Tours
In most destinations there are many tours and day trips open to tourists. When you’re looking to book one of these – browse around for the eco friendly options. You’d genuinely be surprised at how many niche tours there are now for those looking to protect the environment, so keep a look out for any you can take advantage of during your trip.

6. Use Eco-Cabs
In countries such as Australia and New Zealand, there are now licensed cab companies that pride themselves on their USP. These eco friendly cab companies are not only driven in eco friendly electrical cars, but they also replant trees in developing nations too – to offset and give back any energy used. When you arrive in your destination, do a quick Google search and see if anything similar operates in the area.

About The Author
http://community.asiarooms.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/wanphing-315×223.jpg

This article was written by Wan Phing, resident travel writer and editor at AsiaRooms.com. Born in Penang, Malaysia (home of good food and Jimmy Choo), she is the ideas machine behind the blog. She loves coffee, books, films, stand-up comedy and peanut butter (smooth, not chunky). She loves wandering around aimlessly in strange cities, but she always has one purpose – to save the world through content marketing ROI, one blog post at a time.

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

Pack in an Eco-Friendly Way for Vacation

Eco-Friendly travel (or green travel – as you may know it) is a trend and a cause that is becoming more and more popular – and more and more worthy or your attention. There are some great companies out there that are exclusively offering eco-friendly tours and trips – and although this is a great step to take, there are a few smaller steps you can take personally too when heading away on vacation.

What is green travel?

Well, as you may recycle your plastics at home to help the environment – green travel and eco friendly travel, is all about helping to protect the environment when you travel. Travelling can potentially be quite a harmful hobby or interest – when you don’t take the environment into consideration, so it’s imperative that you take the environment into consideration and you employ techniques that go out of the way to protect and utilise the world’s own resources.

How can something as small as packing help?

Well you’d be surprised. It’s all about being thoughtful about how you pack – and (unsurprisingly) utilizing a bit of common sense too. Most people can easily pack for their travels a little more eco-friendly, without leaving important items behind or without sacrificing any fun too.

Here are the top 5 tips:

1. Pack lightly

Packing lightly is the first tip. If you’re heading away on a romantic weekend, instead of taking two bags or two suitcases (one each) take just the one and share the space. The less luggage you take with you, the less you’re having to cart around, which means less energy. When it comes to planes and fuel – if every couple took one bag rather than too – the plane would be using much less fuel – lowering the carbon footprint of that plane ride hugely. The same goes for if you’re traveling by car – as the less heavy the vehicle the less fuel it needs.

2. Pack sensibly

If you’re heading away for more than a few days – then there’s a chance you may need to do laundry whilst you’re there. This tip applies to backpackers and travellers in particular. To prevent doing laundry often (because doing laundry take up a lot of energy and resources) you’ll want to pack items that are going to stay clean for longer – which means pack darker items (not white linen trousers). Also – pack items that dry quickly too, as this means you needn’t use the dryer – instead, you can simply dry your clothing quickly and easily on the balcony in the sunshine!

3. Pack re-usable items

Things such as re-usable water bottles are great to have with you when travelling so make sure you’ve packed one. Not only is it cheaper to refill your own water bottle then keep buying new ones – but it’s also much more eco friendly and environmentally sound. One bottle (even a cheap one) can last you months, and a proper flask may last you years. Think about all the plastic you’ll be saving with just this tip.

4. Avoid disposable bags

Disposable bags, like the ones you’ll be given in duty free shops, supermarkets or souvenir shops – are all usually plastic – and definitely not eco friendly or green. Instead, pack yourself a foldable

5. Take a digital camera

Sounds silly – that this should even been included but packing a digital camera is an easy and effective way to improve your eco efficacy. Make sure you have multiple memory cards that are reusable and ensure you have rechargeable batteries too. Disposable batteries are terrible for the environment – so avoid those at all costs!

About The Author

This article was written by Wan Phing, resident travel writer and editor at AsiaRooms.com. Born in Penang, Malaysia (home of good food and Jimmy Choo), Wan is the ideas machine behind the blog. She loves coffee, books, films, stand-up comedy and peanut butter (smooth, not chunky). She loves wandering around aimlessly in strange cities, but always with one purpose – to save the world through content marketing ROI, one blog post at a time.

5 Green Alternatives To The Package Vacation

When it comes to planning the annual vacation many of us look to long haul, package trips to far flung destinations. The problem with these is the cost to the environment from all those jet emissions, plus in some destinations valuable environmental resources are being plundered just to satisfy our desire for exotic vacations. So this year why not think about booking something new? Summer is the perfect time to enjoy nature and getaway with family and friends. Instead of doing the same old mundane package vacation, you may want to think about exploring some different ideas for you and your family.

The following are some creative ideas which offer green credentials as well as giving you all a new experience you may just want to repeat for years to come.

No Frills Camping

Most people think that camping is already a no frills adventure. To take your camping experience to the ultimate level in green living, try leaving your electronics, fancy camping gear and any other items you think you can’t live without at home. Only bring the necessities like a tent, sleeping bag, basic survival gear and a cellphone in case of an emergency. Imagine yourself fishing, eating, hiking and camping out underneath the stars without any interruptions or connection to the real world. This type of trip will do wonders for your stress level, and it will surely recharge your mental batteries.

Retreats

There are a number of organizations that offer green getaways for you and family. They can last anywhere from an entire week to a long weekend. This is an interesting and fun experience that is typically held in a campground type of setting. You and your family will spend time learning about green living and sharing ideas within the community. This is a different type of vacation that gets the entire family involved. You could learn how to grow organic produce, get involved in nature and gain exposure to the various aspects of how to live a green lifestyle.

Visit Your Local Attractions

Staycations and visiting your local attractions is another creative green vacation idea. This saves on jet fuel, and it gives you a chance to discover the popular places in your own city. Visit zoos, museums, festivals and parks. Instead of taking your car, you may want to go green by traveling via bicycle or public transportation. This saves on gas, is better for the environment and is probably better for your pocket too.

Timeshares/Fractional Ownership

If you’ve had your eye on a luxurious vacation property and thought that it was out of your reach, you may want to think again. Fractional home ownership gives middle-income buyers a chance to share ownership in vacation homes that they’ve never dreamed about owning. The property is divided into more affordable sections per each individual, and it gives an owner specific privileges and property usage that is based on their shares. There are even fractional green vacation homes where the communities recycle, and they use only organic and environmental friendly products. Timeshares offer a lower budget option but you will be sharing the property with a larger number of people and their will be greater restrictions on when you can use your home.

Train Travel

Trains can be an adventurous way to see different parts of the country, and it can take you off the well-traveled path that most visitors take. This is an excellent way to travel green, and you can find fun and exciting places to visit. Take a train ride to a state park and learn about the various conservation methods that are being implemented to save our animals and nature. Combining train travel with any of the above ideas will give you the perfect stress free break without the hassle of airport queues, traffic jams and delays!

Most people are concerned about our planet today, and they want to do everything they can to be kind to the environment. When planning your next vacation, you can find a number of fun things to do, from camping to staycations and utilizing membership in your home clubs, as well as exciting places to see and still be good to Mother Earth.

About the Author

This article was written by Georgina Clatworthy who is an environmental blogger, and a contributing writer for Ritz Carlton Club, which offers fractional home ownership to those who want the ability to revisit their favorite locations, without the worry of upkeep and maintenance – backed by a company with a reputation for excellence and distinction.

How to Find the Best Eco-Friendly Family Vehicle

When you’re young and seemingly indestructible, driving a tiny, two-seater sports cars with a souped-up engine is the absolute bee’s knees (or so your Granny might quip). But you get a little older, a little wiser – before you know it you’ve had a few auto accidents, not to mention a few kids, and you realize that the flashy sports car is neither safe nor environmentally sound enough for your changing sensibilities. In short, it’s not a forward-thinking family vehicle. So you sell off the two-seater in favor of something that suits your new lifestyle. But what should you replace it with? Minivans, SUVs, and wagons may offer the space and safety you want when you drive your family around, but most of them suck down even more fuel than your zippy sports car did. So how can you reconcile your interest in keeping the planet clean for the future of your children with your desire to cart the kids around in a safe and roomy vehicle? Here are just a few tips to help you find the eco-family car you crave.

You first need to acquaint yourself with the environmental options on the market, and there are quite a few these days, such as plug-in hybrids and fully electric cars (both of which still qualify for both federal and state tax incentives, unlike the hybrids of old). And while these alternatives to the dominant mode of transportation (cars that run solely on petroleum products) are eminently eco-friendly, one still uses gasoline and the other may come with limited range. However, they definitely bear consideration, especially if you’re okay with simply cutting back on fuel consumption (hybrid) or you don’t travel more than, say, 50 miles in the average day (electric).

Of course, there are also a variety of alternative fuels to consider, and most offer better mileage (saving you money at the pump) and reduced (if any) carbon emissions. Cleaner-burning diesel and compressed natural gas (CNG) are two options that are taking the country by storm at the moment. The former can be found at most gas stations (although not all) and the number of stations supporting the latter is growing as more and more people convert their engines or purchase CNG vehicles. There is also ethanol, biodiesel, and a couple of other options to consider, but these types of fuel can be difficult to obtain, so you need to do further research on fueling stations in your area before you go ahead and make the leap to a non-gasoline alternative fuel.

Now that you know what’s out there, how do you go about finding the best green vehicle for your family’s needs? Well, you wouldn’t buy new cars or even used trucks without doing comparisons, checking consumer research, and reviewing safety ratings. The same holds true for purchasing an eco-friendly vehicle. So start checking magazines and blogs that are geared towards environmental technology or car culture to find road tests and reviews. This will help you begin the process of comparing green vehicles so that you can find the one that will best suit the wants and needs of your family.

Eco Friendly Travel Tips That Also Save You Money

Yep. It’s that time of year again. The time of year when people are booking flights and renting cars so that they can take a much needed vacation, yet no matter what mode of transportation you choose, it’s gonna be a bit pricey this year due to the (will it ever end?) rise in gas prices.

There are some ways that you can save a few dollars while on your travels, though. The added bonus is that the following tips are also eco-friendly. So, not only are you sparing a few trees by not spending so much money, but you’re also doing the environment a favor by cutting down on the use of your resources.

Do you want to know how to make that happen? Check out these ideas below.

Think about your mode of transportation. Now, more than ever, flying is more about convenience. So, if you’ve got a week to spend time in a place that’s over a thousand miles away, flying might be the best route to take. Make sure that you shop for special deals (that’s what HotWire, Orbitz and Expedia are for) and when it’s time to get your ticket, request an e-ticket rather than a paper one. If you’re going to rent a car, there are more rental companies with hybrids available (Enterprise and Budget are two of them). It may cost a bit more to rent the car itself, but with what you save not having to fill up at the gas station, it’s still well worth it.

Pack wisely. There are a lot of tips for this one. First, make sure that you use refillable bottles for your toiletries; there’s no sense in bringing full bottles of things like shampoo along. If you’re leaving for 10 days, you probably only need a couple of pair of jeans because you can interchange them with several outfits. In other words, don’t pack excessively. Make sure to bring along a reusable bag in case you plan on shopping for souvenirs so that you’re not wasting any paper or plastic shopping bags. Take a recyclable water bottle in case you’re thirsty at any time. It’s a lot cheaper and better for the environment than buying bottled water. Oh, and be sure to use a digital camera rather than a disposable one; mostly because a digital camera is one that you can use over and over again.

Prepare to go. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, right? Even before you leave the house, there are some things that you can do to cut down on electricity. Be sure to turn down your thermostat, unplug any appliances that don’t need to be in use while you’re away (ones that would are the refrigerator, for instance), turn down your water heater and make sure to turn off most of the lights (other the porch and a living room lamp) in the house.

Take a travel lunch. Even though lunch is no longer served on airplanes, if you’re hungry, there may still be the temptation to purchase a meal at the airport and that can be extremely expensive. Whether you’re traveling by air or land, you can save good money by preparing a lunch ahead of time filled with organic goodies like nuts, fruit and veggies.

Research where you’ll be staying. These days, there are eco-friendly hotels and restaurants in virtually every city. Therefore, make sure to do your research ahead of time. The great thing about “window shopping” online is that there are even places that will offer online private tours to help you in making your selection. Just remember that wherever you end up to use the same rules that you would at home when it comes to electricity and water usage. And be sure to ask if there are recycling bins where you’re staying, too!