Monday, November 5, 2012

Barlean's Review and Giveaway!

Some major growing up has been going on at The Pierogie Mama! Today I am hosting my very first review and giveaway. I get to talk to you about Barlean's Omega Swirl and Flax Oil - one of the ways that I make sure that I'm getting the proper amount of Omega 3's into my diet. Want to learn more about the importance of Omega 3's? Check out this truly adorable video!

Barlean's was first recommended to me by my midwife, and I found their gel caps at my local Fred Meyer in the organic vitamin section. I tried these with hesitation - I had taken fish oil in the past and was seriously grossed out by the fishy smell coming from the bottle and from my pores later. With the Barlean's gel caps, I was so pleasantly surprised!  When you twist open the bottle, you're greeted with a citrus scent, which reminds me of squeezing lemon onto my fish chips! And I'm also sure you're dying to know - I never felt like I was sweating fish.  Even for someone who does have difficulty swallowing larger pills, these gel capsules are very easy to take. More recently I've gotten the chance to try the Omega Swirl (which comes in many flavors).  This is in liquid form so it's even easier for those of us who have difficulty with pills. Here's another cute video...
When I squeezed the Omega Swirl onto a spoon for the first time, I found myself humming "just a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down..." And again, Barlean's has proved me wrong. The Key Lime flavor was actually yummy! Would you believe me if I told you that I look forward to taking this each and every morning? It's the truth!  When Penelope was born and in my bleary alertness in the first couple weeks, there were a few days that went by that I'd forget to take my supplements. One of her eyelids had a tendency for being dry and flakey, which I was treating with Aquafor several times per day. I soon found a correlation between whenever I was good about taking my fish oil supplement, the irritation went away. I talked to our pediatrician about it, and she agreed that taking fish oil daily would help with Penelope's skin as well. The other supplement that I've become more knowledged about since having Penelope is flax seed oil. Barlean's prides itself on having the freshest flax seed oil around, with a proprietary press that extracts the oil from the flax seeds without damaging the product. Their Flax Oil is also organic and non-GMO certified (this is important, folks!! Read more about why you need to know about GMO's here) Now, to be completely fair, I also tried the flax seed oil straight via tablespoon and I wouldn't liken the taste towards "yummy." It truly had a very fresh grain taste to it. The consistency is a little less viscous than olive oil but it looks very similar, and can be incorporated into many different recipes without anyone being the wiser, like salads, cookies or soups . I've mixed it in with my cereal, oatmeal and cream of wheat. For a list of recipes that you can use any of Barlean's organic oils with, check them out here. You might find yourself wondering, what is the difference between Fish oil and Flax Oil?
  • Both provide Omega-3 fatty acids that many of us do not have enough of in our diets. To get it the old fashioned way, one should eat oily fish (salmon and mackerel are good examples) several times per week, which is not feasible for many families. Getting your daily requirement of Omega-3's is so easy with Barlean's Omega Swirl or Flax Oil. 
  • According to the Barlean's website, Flax Oil and Fish Oil have the following mutual benefits: Heart Health, Cholesterol Levels Already Within a Healthy Range, Joint Mobility & Bone Density, Energy & Endurance, Blood Glucose Levels Already Within a Healthy Range and Skin, Hair & Nail Health. 
  • Flax Oil is a great way for vegetarians to get their Omega-3's.
  • Flax Oil is a natural lactogenic - meaning it can help increase your milk supply while breastfeeding.
Ultimately, you'll find that both oils have many similarities but a few key points will help you choose which is best for you.  
Big, Scary Disclaimer:  I am not a health professional! Please run any of your questions by your doctor!  
Happy Disclaimer: Barlean's provided products for me to sample so that I could post my review to you, however all opinions expressed are my own. I promise you that I only give stellar reviews to products or services that I really love and think my readers will love too. 
Bottom line:
I love the Barlean's brand because while Penelope is still relying on me for her nutrition, it's of the utmost importance that I can incorporate organic, GMO-free, and simply healthy ingredients into my diet. Barlean's goes through a lot of trouble to get ingredients of the highest quality and my family deserves no less. Another (albeit small) point is that Barlean's is based out of little old Ferndale, WA - a stone's throw from my college town. I love supporting local whenever I can.  Now for the fun part! Barlean's sent me a bottle of the Omega Swirl and Flax Oil to try out - now you get a chance to try it out too! One lucky winner will have a choice of either the Omega Swirl or Flax Oil.  Check out the giveaway details and enter via the Rafflecopter window below! You can also sign up for a free sample and check out their store for more of their great products. Fine Print: This giveaway is open to US residents only. One winner will be notified within 48 hours of the end of the contest and will have one week to respond with their mailing address. Good luck!
This giveaway is over - thanks to all for entering! 
Keep an eye out for more Pierogie Mama Giveaways.

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