Happy Earth Day!

edn logoWhat started as a yearly Earth Day Newsletter will now be integrated with the mad good recipe blog. I love to share my discoveries of high energy foods, restaurants, businesses, products, people and places in hopes of supporting and propagating options for healthy living and a happy planet. Click on the edn category to see a full list of green posts.

The future is now – let’s live it up!


Happy Earth Day, Friends! This year brought a lot of changes for us – from starting our first garden to having our first baby boy and being faced with lots of decisions on his behalf. We hope the choices we make keep him and our beautiful planet healthy.

We discovered the joys of young Thai coconut meat and fermented foods. We joined the local co-op and started buying in bulk.

Each fork in the road brings us closer to a greener future and celebrates our love for one another and our Earth. I’d like to share with you some of my favorite discoveries and applaud these individuals and companies for their dedication to their vision and to us. Our world is a better place with them in it!

Sending peace & love and thanks for reading!

~ Laurie

Maurice modeling Honest diapers

honest company

I must start with the Honest Company. We use so many of their products, from cleaning supplies for home and body to the monthly diaper service to vitamins. The monthly subscriptions help to remind us of the things we need before we run out (and have to run to the store with baby in tow).  They list all allergens and chemicals the products are made without which helps to ease a new parent’s mind. Our favorite is opening our diaper supply with the new seasonal designs of their plant-based diapers. They keep our baby fashionable and dry!

Honest Company also recently joined forces with other like-minded companies to form The Collective – a group of products catering to family living.

Food from Door to Door Organics

door to door organics

We used the Door to Door Organics ‘Kitchen’ page for our whole Thanksgiving last year. This food delivery service specializes in organic and local food and they even supply the recipes to help you use it! They have seasonal boxes with pre-selected fruits and vegetables that range in size from bitty to large, and you can switch out the produce you’re not so fond of in addition to selecting from a large selection of grocery items to be delivered on your box day.

The ‘Kitchen’ feature helps you plan your meals for the week by selecting recipes, bookmarking them and buying all the ingredients needed to make them right from home. The recipes are excellent and available online even if you don’t use the service.

Thunderbird bars

thunderbird energetica bars

What could be better than a portable sustenance bar that’s vegan, agave-free, soy-free with no added sugars? One that comes in a compostable package! Enter Thunderbird Energetica bars. Started by Katie and Taylor, a couple of endurance athletes who needed a food source that would allow them to power through without ingredients that disrupted their flow. These bars are made with the same clean burning fuel humans have enjoyed over the last 10,000 years and they’re raw, certified non-GMO and gluten-free.

My favorite is the cashew fig carrot – these bars have gotten me through some long nights and ‘oops, I forgot to eat’ moments.

Delicious Food from Tropical Traditions

tropical traditions

It all started one day in Freedom, Wisconsin, when Brian Shilhavy crashed his car across from a bar called The Crash Inn…

I can’t say enough about Tropical (and Grassfed) Traditions. We enjoy a healthy supply of coconut oil, coconut cream, coconut food and body products from them, but probably some of the most exciting for me are the soy-free eggs and raw meat patties for the dogs made from organic chickens (& coconut!). I’ve found that organic raw dog food is hard to find unless you make it yourself or buy it from these guys. The chickens eat a blend of organic, non-GMO, soy-free feed that includes coconut so even the dogs get to benefit from its superfood power.

The Gold Label coconut oil is made using a traditional method to extract the oil.  Fresh coconut is grated, extracting the coconut milk, and then let to stand in a covered container for about 24 hours. After about 24 hours, the oil naturally separates from the water producing a crystal clear oil that retains the full scent and taste of coconuts.

If you’re in Chicago, you can find some of their coconut products for sale at Raw in the French Market at Ogilvie Transportation Center.

Mountain Rose Teatime

mountain rose herbs

Mountain Rose Herbs is the type of company I love to find and support. Not only do they provide stellar products – from supplies for homemade lotions, healing balms and bath salts to amazing tea blends, including the herbal coffee I’m drinking now! This group of passionate individuals, along with their collection of organic farms and farmers, are true stewards of the soil and the land. They care deeply for their roots and the botanicals they purvey.

Started in 1987 by the founder of the California School of Herbal Studies, Rosemary Gladstar, Mountain Rose Herbs has changed hands several times and now employs over 100 people. Hailing from Eugene, Oregon, it provides a fantastic source of ethical, environmental and sustainable herbal products and tea. Be sure to grab a cup before checking out their website, as it is best viewed while sipping.

Cards from The Found

the found

Another awesome place I’m glad to have found is The Found! Started by my yin yoga instructor, Jim York and his partner, Albert Tanquero, this Chicago-based company has excellent greeting cards, calendars, stationery and gifts made by local artists inspired by found art, ephemera, and pop culture.

Cards are one thing I just can’t digitize. The thought of being able to seal up your love and send it to someone to brighten their day is something that is dear to my heart. Being able to hold things in our hands is a delicacy not well-shared by the virtual world. These cards are printed on recycled paper, not to mention charming, whimsical and unique.


ambrosia juice company

I was so excited to see a healthy juice bar open up outside of Kenosha, Wisconsin – a real juice bar, that serves fresh juice made from things like kale and beets, not just another smoothie shop, although they do have some tasty smoothies as well! They also have a selections of soups and sandwiches that are worth checking out.

Responders to the lack of real juice joints in this world and lovers of all things local, Ambrosia Juice Company has a good thing going on. They love trying new recipes and finding ways to give back to the community. We try to stop by at least once when we’re in town to see what else they’ve come up with.

The Stray Dog

the stray dog

Welcome back to The Stray Dog! This oasis of tasty food and warm, friendly service welcomes you whether you’re on the trek from Illinois to Michigan or summering in New Buffalo. After a fire took their building and worldly possessions in 2012, the crew rebuilt and reopened in June of last year. And it’s now better than ever!

Jack, the original ‘stray dog’ was rescued and adopted by Marjorie and Ivan Bloom from the Michiana Humane Society. He was such a character that Marc and Leslie Danesi named their restaurant The Stray Dog Bar and Grill in 2001. Photos and pictures adorn the walls of faithful companions found and loved. One is a portrait of Jack painted by Suzanne Frazier. It was the only thing left untouched by the fire.

While you’re there, pick up a t-shirt to support the Jack Fund where proceeds go to charities that benefit our animal friends.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. ~Mohandas Gandhi



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