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I have to apologize for taking so long to get to this post – things have been hectic around here and a switch to a new computer and being without internet for two weeks really slowed me down! I’m sure you understand and will forgive me. :)

I was approached by a Swanson employee about doing another product review and I jumped at the idea. It was wonderful timing as my husband and I were nearly out of our vitamins so we decided to try something new. I also got one stick of chap stick since I had a little left to spend after the vitamins. :)

In the past we both used whatever cheap vitamins I could find at whatever store I happened to be shopping at at the time. Our last batch of vitamins were purchased quite a while ago and since then we’ve started shopping at local co-ops almost exclusively. I buy most of our hygiene products from Swanson because the prices are significantly better than the co-op (or “regular” stores for that matter). I had briefly glanced at the vitamin selections when shopping and was taken aback by the prices. If I were to stock up on our vitamins I would surely use our entire grocery budget on two bottles of vitamins, a gallon of milk, and a potato.

For myself I chose Nature’s Way Completia Prenatal Vitamins. No, we’re not having another baby. I’m taking them because I’m nursing so it keeps me stocked with extra important vitamins for both myself and for Olive.

The actual vitamins are a little large and a serving size is two tablets. I typically dislike taking any sort of pill (usually because of the size) but I do my best with prenatals as I know they’re important. While these are large (which always bothers me) they seem comparable in size to other prenatal vitamins that I have tried so I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing, but I suppose it’s not a good thing either.

However the vitamins have a rather unfortunate smell. It only bothers me slightly right now but I can imagine that the smell may bother a pregnant woman immensely so I would have to suggest not purchasing these vitamins if you’re sensitive to smells during your pregnancy.  If the vitamin smell doesn’t bother you then go right ahead and order yourself a bottle!  :)  They’re a wonderful addition to my morning routine and make me feel great!  There is no yucky vitamin feeling on an empty tummy either.

Some of my favorite features of these vitamins are that they do not contain preservatives, artificial flavors, colors, yeast, milk, lactose, wheat, or corn. The bottle contains 120 tablets making it a 60 day supply and costs $9.78 (retail is $16.99). Click on the image below to see the nutrition information in more detail.

For my husband I ordered Country Life Core Daily 1 Multivitamins for men.

These vitamins were attractive to me for multiple reasons but primarily the prostate health components sold me. They contain saw palmetto, pygeum, lycopene, and pumpkin seed for prostate health which is important to me because prostate cancer has crept up in both of our families. Another selling point is that it contains probiotics and enzymes for healthy digestion which I was hoping would help my husband’s occasional tummy upsets. In addition it’s base is comprised of whole, raw, fermented fruits, vegetables, seeds, legumes, and sprouts! And it does not contain artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. And while it is not important to us the vitamins do not contain wheat or gluten.

The bottle contains 60 tablets and a serving size is only 1 making the bottle a 60 day supply. It costs $9.20 and retails for $19.99.

He hasn’t given me too much information about the vitamins, it’s a little harder to have things to say about a vitamin than a bottle of lotion, but from what I can tell he likes them! Taking only one pill a day is very convenient, they don’t have a noticeable smell or taste, and the benefits are plentiful.

Click on the image below to see the nutrition information in more detail.

For myself I threw in a Naturally Fresh MoistStic with Tea Tree Oil. This little chap stick has only six ingredients and they’re so simple and easy to pronounce! :) Coconut oil, beeswax, lanolin, peppermint oil, vitamin E, and tea tree oil! I am particularly picky about products that go on my skin and lips and in my mouth because inevitably it is ingested by us and by our baby whom currently likes to explore our mouths with her fingers and whom we kiss quite frequently. I feel safe putting this product on my lips and it works great! The peppermint oil is so refreshing – I absolutely love it and for only $1.98 I highly suggest you try it, too!  :)

Once again I only have positive things to say about the new products that I have tried from Swanson Health Products. I encourage you to try them out if you haven’t already! Shipping is FAST and it costs $4.99 (but it’s usually pretty easy to find a coupon code for $1.99). In fact, if you use code DONTWAIT at www.swansonvitamins.com you can take 10% off of your entire order AND get $1.99 shipping! The code is good until midnight CDT 9/13/11. Enjoy! :) And thanks again Swanson for the great deals and the chance to try out even more of what you have to offer! :)

Last week I received my package of products to review from Swanson Health Products. I was happy to have been able to choose, with a $25 budget, what I was going to review. For the most part I found Swanson’s website easy to navigate and found a decent amount of information about each product. I did my best to rearrange my shopping cart multiple times in an attempt to get the price to approximately $25 – that was rough.. I wanted so many things! I was impressed with the great prices, too!

I ended up with the following:
Lemon Glycerin Liquid Hand Soap
JASON Natural Aloe Body Lotion
Crème de Mint Toothpaste
Jojoba Revitalizing Shampoo
Jojoba Revitalizing Conditioner
Baby’s Bliss Gripe Water

The package arrived quickly and I was impressed by the care taken to pack the individual products. Most were sealed in plastic and had tape over the top to prevent having a box full of globs of lotion and shampoo sitting at my doorstep. The two items in cardboard boxes, however, were a little banged up (Baby’s Bliss Gripe Water & Creme de Mint Toothpaste). This would be a major downside if I happened to be ordering these items to give to someone (gripe water could be a potential baby shower gift I suppose.. a gift of toothpaste might be kind of rude) but I immediately took both out of their cardboard boxes and proceeded to recycle the boxes so it was no biggie.

The first item I was eager to try was the Lemon Glycerin Liquid Hand Soap from Avalon Organics which I placed in our kitchen. I ordered it to replace the harsh and extremely unpleasant commercial grade soap we had in there (which has now moved to the basement utility sink). I have only good things to say about this soap – it is so silky smooth between your fingers when you’re washing your hands, it lathers nicely, and you’re left with a wonderful lemon scent. My husband also commented on how much he enjoyed the lemon scent after trying the soap. Lemon Glycerin Liquid Hand Soap contains organic lemon essential oil – not artificial fragrance. It also contains aloe and vitamin E, among many other (good!) things, is 70% organic, and does not contain parabens. I highly recommend Lemon Glycerin Liquid Hand Soap!

The second item I tried was JASON Natural Aloe Body Lotion which I was extremely excited for. I didn’t have any decent lotion and was hesitant to use any with parabens or fragrances since I touch Olive so often and she tries to eat my hands and arms so often. This lotion is a nice big bottle with a pump top. I like pump tops for lotion so you can grab it in when in a hurry (such as when you have a tiny crying baby waiting impatiently for you) and you don’t have to fool around with a bottle and a lid and get everything all greasy. JASON Natural Aloe Body Lotion is 70% aloe vera, and paraben free. Wonderful! So far it’s been working well – I have used it on my hands multiple times, my face a few times, and on my body this morning after taking a shower. My skin was not irritated by the lotion and I have not needed to reapply it throughout the day as I do with some lotions. I recommend JASON Natural Aloe Body Lotion as well.

Next I tried Crème de Mint Toothpaste from Nature’s Gate. My husband was just about out of his somewhat natural toothpaste from Trader Joes and I was eager to try something other than the Rembrandt Canker Sore tooth paste I’ve been using for years. I get canker sores frequently and most toothpaste has an ingredient that can cause them or make them worse! This toothpaste is fluoride free and made with baking soda and spearmint oil. I’ve found many recipes for homemade toothpaste that also contain baking soda and an oil but have not gotten around to making them. For less than $3 this is a decent alternative to homemade! The ingredient list is simple and easy to understand which I like when it’s something I’m going to be putting in my mouth. Crème de Mint Toothpaste is minty but not overpowering and it gets pretty foamy when you brush. Overall my teeth feel clean after brushing which is what I expect from a toothpaste and I don’t feel bad taking a drink of water or swallowing, for that matter, after brushing my teeth. Recommended!

Next up are Jojoba Revitalizing Shampoo and Jojoba Revitalizing Conditioner, both from Nature’s Gate. I believe there are three Nature’s Gate Shampoo & Conditioners to choose from and, based on the descriptions of what hair type they are for, I choose Jojoba as I typically look for a little pick me up for my hair but not too much volume or I turn into a poof. I personally like this shampoo & conditioner thus far (I have only used it once). It smells nice and my hair didn’t come out frizzy but it has good volume and shine. On the negative side the shampoo did not lather well and this usually leads me to use too much shampoo because I don’t feel like it’s working unless I get a good pile of bubbles. I refrained from getting more and found my hair to be squeaky clean upon rinsing despite the little lather. Also on the negative, my husband was not as pleased with shampoo & conditioner. He found it to cause his hair to be frizzy. The effectiveness of these two products probably depend on your hair type. My hair is thin, long, and gets oily easily. My husband’s hair is more coarse and has less volume than mine. I recommend Jojoba Revitalizing Shampoo and Jojoba Revitalizing Conditioner – my husband does not.

Lastly is a product for little Olive – I couldn’t leave her out! We tried Baby’s Bliss Gripe Water in an effort to ease her evening colic. From what I’ve read, the way that Olive acts, and what eases her colic, I don’t feel that colic is tummy related, at least 100% of the time. Gripe water works sometimes and sometimes it doesn’t. It has calmed her rather quickly more than 50% of the time. When she begins to get fussy, typically in the evenings, we try to the usual circuit – nursing, changing, snuggling, carrying, etc. When those fail we fill up a tiny bottle with one teaspoon of gripe water and she sucks it down surprisingly well. Despite having tasted only breast milk previous to her first bit of gripe water Olive latched on to the bottle and sucked away! It didn’t take long for her to calm. Like I said – this does not work 100% of the time but it is a useful tool for a fussy baby. It is easy to use, Olive likes the taste, and the ingredients are simple and natural – more acceptable to us than most gripe waters that we researched. If you have a fussy or colicy baby I suggest you add Baby’s Bliss Gripe Water to your bag of tricks!

I will be buying from Swanson Health Products in the future!

** Swanson Health Products sent me these products for free in exchange for my honest review **

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