Sunday, November 27, 2011

Benefits of Coconut Water

If you are looking for a way to cut back on sugary drinks and looking to boost your health; coconut water is a good start. There are many reasons to drink coconut water and I will go into that in a bit, but first, I will tell you my experience with it. I had tried it once or twice at my local health food store and I loved the taste (tastes like a slightly sweetened coconut flavored water). Twenty minutes had passed and I noticed that a slight headache I had before drinking it went away. When I got to reading the back of the can it mentioned some benefits that were unknown to me previously.

 It stated that coconut water had been used in place of saline solution intravenously in the tropics when saline was not on hand. It is completely isotonic and contains electrolytes to help balance out any bodily fluids that have been lost from illness or trauma. In fact  (after further research) it was used in World War II* and in the Pacific War** in place of blood plasma transfusions.  It is relatively low in calories, low in carbs, High in Potassium, and fat free.

After doing my own personal research over the course of a month I found that I felt more energy while drinking coconut water, my digestion had improved and I noted that after eating sugary foods (which tend to make me feel ill and lethargic if I even slightly over do it) it brought me back to feeling normal again. It also lessened the amount of migraines I had been getting. While all of the benefits sound amazing; keep in mind, this is no miracle worker and may not be right for everyone. If you are looking into healing with foods though, rather than drugs, this can be used for a variety of ailments. Please note, I have tried several different brands of coconut water and C2O is the best by far. Beware of other products found on the Massive grocery store chain shelf. I tried two of those brands (Zico and Vita Coco) and they tasted bitter and spoiled.

 Do your own research and discover the amazing benefits of coconut water.

Look at the list of benefits below to name a few:
  • Boost's immune system
  • May treat kidney stones
  • Replenishes electrolytes after illness or intense exercise
  • Helps detoxify your body
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Increases circulation
  • Helps control diabetes
  • Helps for either constipation/diarrhea
  • Raises metabolism
  • Contains anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-microbial properties
  • Research studies suggest that cytokinins(e.g., kinetin and trans-zeatin) in coconut water showed significant anti-ageing, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic effects***



(Please note this has not been evaluated by the FDA & is not to be taken as medical advice)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tired of fishy tasting fish oil?

Nordic Naturals Arctic-D Cod Liver Oil, Lemon
When my doctor told me to take a fish oil supplement, I was hesitant to say the least. The reason I was hesitant was due to a few bad experiences I had in the past. I tried several different higher end brand capsules and they all made me have the fishy tasting burps and some even gave me nightmares. I finally quit taking it because I was about to lose my mind with that constant fishy after taste and nightmarish sleep. Then when I explained the side effects to my doctor, she suggested I take the oil, not the capsules; which I was strongly opposed to before, because it was just the nasty thought of swallowing oil that tasted like fish. She explained the burps and fish taste was probably from the fish oil being rancid or oxidized. She also suggested I take the Arctic Cod Liver Oil over the fish oil, because of it's extra health benefits. When I was looking at all the options at the health food store, I decided to question the on staff herbalists. I asked them what the best bang for my buck would be and also was the least offensive tasting. I explained I had an easy gag reflex, I hate fishy tastes and this is something my kids would be taking as well. She immediately pointed out the Nordic Naturals Lemon flavored Arctic Cod Liver Oil.  It is in a beautiful dark blue glass bottle. I decided to go with it and I was pleasantly surprised. For one thing, no oil is easy to swallow. It is a consistency you just have to get used to over time. The first few times you feel like yakking, but the fourth and fifth time it's really no big deal. This formula is awesome, not only could I not taste the fish, I  never experienced any of the burpy aftertaste or nightmares. I give this product 5/5 stars. Open the hatch and here's to your health!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Shikai Cucumber Melon Lotion

Shikai All Natural Hand and Body Lotion Cucumber Melon, Cucumber/Melon

Shikai Cucumber Melon Body Lotion is another one of my lotion favorites. I just recently purchased this at Grocery Outlet for $2.99, it was so cheap because they changed the bottle style. I have used their brand for quite a few years and I really like their shampoo's for color treated hair. Their lotion is non-greasy and a lighter moisturizer for those who tend to have a dry, but not parched skin. The smell is a fresh non irritating scent, I tend to get headaches from natural and synthetic fragrances and this does not bother me at all. It contains aloe, borage and shea butter for that extra skin softening experience. I do notice that every time I put it on though, my dog comes running to lick it off of me, so you may want to note, it could be a canine attractant. I give this product 4/5 stars as I do think it should moisturize areas like dry scaly elbows better.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Best Herbal Remedy for the Winter Cold

Source Naturals Wellness Formula, 90 Tablets
Amongst all the herbs in my medicine cabinet, my most treasured is my bottle of "Source Naturals Wellness Formula." Having two young school aged children; the possibility of getting sick during the winter school months is a sure thing. As soon as I feel it coming on I dose up with this wellness formula which contains Olive Leaf Extract and Metabolic C. It contains a blend of 30 different immune boosting herbs and seven different vitamins and minerals. I first tried this product when my daughter was a year old and I haven't stopped using it since. I recommend taking it at the first sign of illness as it may help it from becoming a full blown cold and or sinus infection, which is what my colds turn into. I highly recommend this for men (like my husband), since I know most men are babies when they get sick. I have purchased an extra supply in advance to gear up for this winter season, something tells me this one is going to be a bad one. The price point on this product may seem a little high, but it's worth not having to pay for a couple of days of missed work and a doctors visit, only for them to tell you to drink plenty of fluid and get some rest. I have also used the kids wellness formula for my children, which is in liquid form. The kids don't seem to mind the taste, but it goes too quickly because of the amount I have to give them. A word of advice; I have been told to opt for the tablets over the capsules by an herbalist, as they are more potent. They do have a strong smell of olives (like the sour Spanish olives), and the tablets are quite large. Be sure to drink plenty of water as well. It can also be taken in a lower dose as a maintenance formula. I hope we all have a healthier year in 2012.

** Information on the traditional uses and properties of herbs are provided on this site is for educational use only, and is not intended as medical advice. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner. **

Saturday, November 19, 2011

This Could Rival the Barf Bunnie's...

I am terribly disappointed in PEELU toothpaste. I paid way too much for the tube of toothpaste to begin with; bad sign? Maybe, but the reaction from the kids said it all. "Ugh yuck", I hear; coming from the other room. My son comes running in, saying "that is the worst toothpaste ever." I pondered for a moment, I have heard this once before when I previously purchased anise flavored toothpaste. I asked him why it was so horrible and he said it was because it had chunks in it and was a foul flavor. How could this be? I paid $9.99 for this tube of toothpaste (yes insert blinking lights behind me that say SUCKER). Almost ten bucks for a tube of toothpaste, that's at least a $181.76 a gallon, yikes. Here's the story of why I paid that much. I had just got back from the store, after a long day of work, with a commute of 26 minutes from the town I work in. When I got home to make dinner, my husband says"you forgot the toothpaste again, I am tired of brushing with baking soda." Crud, that means if I want fluoride free toothpaste I either have to make a trip into town or go to the local vitamin shop. The small town I live in, doesn't have any competition for health foods, and with only one small supplement store in town, their prices are beyond astronomical. I decided to opt for the local store, because by the time I paid for gas and the time it took me to get there, I would be out more than I would have to pay at the health food store. I had two or three options once I got into the store and I remembered that this store had a $10 and over policy if you used your card. Dang it I thought all I really need is toothpaste. If I bought the cheaper toothpaste ($6.00) I probably wouldn't be able to find anything else in the store that would keep it at $10. I decided to go for the Peelu. The guy checking me out (no not that kind of checking me out; although he did look rather deviant) says, "it's a different type of consistency, but I like it." Looking back at it now that should have tipped me off right away.

I decided to go against the kid's judgement and try it for myself. It looked ok, although it was a weird tan/brownish color. As soon as I stuck it in my mouth, I knew what he meant about chunks. It was almost globby/slimy. It had a very bad taste and as I continued to brush with it, getting back near my molars and tongue, I started to gag. It was a horrible taste. Not sure how to describe it. It was down right awful for lack of a better word. I did some research on this brand, and it is the most natural toothpaste on the market, containing fibers from the Siwak tree, which will help whiten and protect (hence the clumpy texture). After brushing I did notice that my teeth felt extremely clean and polished. I might have to see if the cinnamon would taste any better. I would have to look online though for a cheaper price though, if I decided to buy another flavor. I won't do peppermint again. Not sure if I can get passed the taste of this stuff, but I loved the clean feeling.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Needing a Miracle??

Looking for a sweet treat that is raw, vegan & chocolate? I found one that you have to try. I had previously wrote about the Lemon Tart by Hail Merry, but recently tried their Merry's Miracle Chocolate Tart. It was super rich and delectable, so rich I could only eat half, and I had to save the rest for later. It was not a divine taste at all, it was more like a naughty, guilty, pleasure-loving, smooth fudge, with a yummy crust.  I am excited to see what Hail Merry will come out with next, right now they are offering a $5 dollar off coupon as well. Another 5 star review for Hail Merry!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kroger's Truly Awesome Cookies

Ok so the cat is out of the bag; I am a bzz agent and sometimes I get to try truly awesome products as a perk (no pun intended). This time I got to try Kroger's Truly Awesome Chocolate Chip Cookies. I received 2 boxes of Truly Awesome cookies through the mail from bzz agent. I also received five $1 off coupons to share with friends or family. Tomorrow I will be taking them to work and sharing those coupons with my coworkers as I have nothing left to share of the cookies, they are long gone. My nephew, kids, and husband devoured them last night. I got two of them and the rest was history. The cookies were kind of crunchy, but I like them that way as they go well with milk. I liked the fact that there were no artificial flavors and they were made with butter instead of soy margarine. I give this product 5 stars.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Zevia; Best Soda Ever

The worst a person can do for their health and waist line is to consume sodas full of high fructose corn syrup. At the other end of the spectrum some people also consume sodas full of artificial chemical sweeteners that have other known health risks.  So what soda can you enjoy without HFCS or artificial sweeteners? I have found one that is all natural and doesn't contain HFCS or anything artificial. Zevia is the best tasting no calorie soda I have ever tasted. It comes in 12 different flavors some with or without caffeine. My two favorite flavors are the Black Cherry and Cream Soda. It can be kind of spendy but I found it for $3.99 for a six pack on sale. I have noticed though that the price of regular soda isn't cheap either, and neither is the toll it will take on your health. So if you do have that craving for a soda every once in awhile this is well worth the splurge. I give it 5 stars, although I do wish I could find it on sale more often.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Eczema, Rash, Itchy Skin

During the winter my eczema seems to flair up worse than usual; my skin itches so bad, I sometimes feel like I would love to be drug by someones bumper down a gravel road. I have eczema in a few sensitive and embarrassing areas.  If it weren't for Florasone by Boericke & Tafel, I would be miserable. I love this stuff, it is not only effective, but does not thin your skin as does Cortisone. The main ingredient in this cream is Cardiospermum which is a flowering tropical vine that contains natural steroids which can help alleviate itching. Cardiospermum has been used for centuries in India and Africa and has little or no side effects (unless you are allergic to Cardiospermum). The only drawback to this product is the smell. I have been using it for the last 4 years now and I still don't care for the smell of it. It's a weird smell and comes from the plant it is made from. Other than that it beats having to claw at my itchy skin all day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Gluten Free Nut Thins

I have said before that I could eat small amounts of gluten without feeling ill, but over do it and I get sick. I went on an elimination diet to try and figure out what was plaguing me and one of the things I missed was salty and crunchy snacks. I missed cheeses too :(. So when I was able to go off of the elimination diet I tried Blue Diamond Nut-Thins as they are gluten free. They go great with hummus, smoked salmon and cream cheese, and all those fancy cheese spreads. For awhile there I would buy a box and get a package of hard salami and have enough for two lunch sized snacks, unless I took them home and the kids and husband devoured them in less than five seconds flat. My favorite flavor is the cheddar or ranch. Right now Amazon has a great deal on a package of 12 boxes. I give this product the 5 star rating.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Organic Hair Care by Renpure

my sassy hair needs shape! Shape & Design Hair Spraymy lifeless hair needs lift! Mousse


I was away on a last minute business trip when I discovered I had left all my hair products at home, even my straightener. I though alright I will just not wash my hair and therefore I won't have to style it. So I figured, I might as well hop in the shower and not get my hair wet. While in the the process of trying to figure out how to get the weird shower button in the shower to work it blasted me with water. There went my idea of not getting my hair wet. For those of you who don't know it, I go through a metamorphosis when my hair gets wet. I turn into this growling, frothy mouthed, beast, in search of a man to kill; Ok so not quite, but my hair gets curly and very frizzy so I need to have a good product and or tools to either tame or straighten my hair. I didn't bring my straightener so I would have to wear my hair curly, immediately after hopping out of the shower I pinned my hair back and got my stuff ready to go and headed for the nearest grocery store (which was the only store open at 6 in the morning). I went for the hair care aisle and by passed all the other products and one caught my eye. A brand that I had never heard of before. I picked up the mousse and the shape and design hair spray by Renpure and thought I would give them both a try. I took both products out to my car and distributed the mousse evenly and then added hairspray to prevent fly aways and frizz. The product smelled good and worked effectively. I even got comments on how nice my hair looked. I will use this on my daughter too as the poor girl inherited my crazy hair. I give this product 5/5 stars. It works fantastically and is also affordable.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Annie's Barf Bunnies

I have long been a fan of the Annie's brand. We have enjoyed the salad dressings, the mac and cheese and the cheddar bunnies, however, the fruity bunny cereal was probably one of the worst cereals I have ever tasted in my life. It went directly against it's claims on the box as it said that it was fruitfully good, I would like to say I found it frightfully horrible. It tasted like cardboard vomit. It was an awful and weird taste, almost acidic and bitter. After the first bite it was so horrible I had to spit it in the sink. My kids took the lead and tried it right after I did and each had the same reaction. I do have to say I was horribly disappointed in Annie's Homegrown, do they taste this crud before boxing it up? Also what does New Look and Taste signify in the top corner of the box? What did it taste like before? Sewer? At $3.99 for a 9 oz box I had to write about this. This is why I started this blog. So far I have not written a critical piece, but that's what this blog is about; products that are natural and worth our hard earned money. We usually have to pay more for products that are all natural and/or organic, thus the reason why I would like to know that my money was well spent on something that was a quality product with top notch ingredients. So in my not so humble opinion, I'd have to say I'd give this product 1/5 stars, I gave it 1 star because of the cute little games on the back of the box. My kids did enjoy those.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Looking for a healthier way to color your hair?

Naturtint is the answer for all you chemical conscious people who worry about grays and also your exposure to cancer causing chemicals; that are applied straight to your head. I found Naturtint through a local health food store, but refused to buy it due to it's high price. One day it went on sale from $15 bucks down to $10 or $11 and I bought two boxes (I have a mop, full head of hair) and boy was I shocked at how nice my hair turned out. I chose Dark Chestnut Brown and I was amazed how soft and silky my hair was after using it and I didn't miss the horrible chemical smell one bit. All in all it lasted just as long as a regular permanent dye if not longer. It is made with vegetable and plant based dyes, and I love how my hair didn't feel like straw after usage. It can be purchased at a discounted price online through Vitacost  or Amazon.

 I don't know how many times in the past (before I knew better) dyed my hair with box retail dye and had a horrendous reaction to chemicals that were in the hair color. I had anything from chemical burns, sores, itching, rash, headaches and my hair smelled horrible for days. Researching all the chemicals that have been in color hair dyes for years is enough to make you wonder why it's still legal to throw the crud into a mixture that you would apply directly to your head (which is one of the quickest ways into your bloodstream). Below are some excerpts I found on the topic.

"Our skin, the largest eliminatory organ in the body and our first line of immunity, it is permeable to all chemicals. Medical research shows that significant amounts of cosmetic ingredients, including carcinogenic substances, penetrate the skin and end up in the blood stream. Many chemicals in cosmetics don’t cause obvious signs of toxicity on the skin but slowly poison us through repeated use."

I know that it seems like everything causes cancer these days, but that is because our systems are so overloaded from years of us and our parents using these chemicals on our/themselves that we just can't take it anymore. Something has got to give. Think about it, would you shoot formaldehyde, ammonia or heavy metals into your bloodstream via an IV?? Then why would you put it into your blood stream by applying it to your largest organ that wicks up anything you apply to it like a sponge?

Funny how people forget that your skin can soak up things that you think it wouldn't; remember PCP people? I once heard a story from my physician about when he was in the service and the govt, was experimenting with the use of PCP. He apparently had some that was applied to his flight jacket and never knew it. Every time he wore the jacket he started to hallucinate and feel weird. He never put the two and two together for awhile and someone else brought it to his attention and told him to get tested (since they thought he'd been poisoned) they did blood work on him and found the drug in his bloodstream. Then he wondered where he came into contact with the drug and realized that he felt that way every time he put that jacket on.

Clairol, Revlon, all of the box shelf big name brands had a hazard number between 7-10 which was extremely high in toxic chemicals. See below link below. Save that website and you can freak out about all the chemicals you unknowingly use on a daily basis. I do of course like to use products that work and sometimes I breakdown and have to use the old standard, but I try not to make it habit and that's good enough for my eco trained health conscience.