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Friday, May 1, 2015

Review and Personal Experience with Transdermal 5-HTP Patches

As many of you know, I've been using 5-HTP for quite some time now. However, I was recently blessed with the amazing opportunity to try 5-HTP in the form of a transdermal patch instead of the stomach-turning capsules I've been taking every day. 

I'll go ahead and say that I'm incredibly happy with the patch form, and absolutely prefer it over the capsules for many reasons -- all of which I will happily detail in this review. 


Being that I've had such a journey through my use of 5-HTP (and other supplements I've documented my experiences with here at R-and-P), I was compelled to document it as well, since I'm having such a different experience with the patches than I did with the capsules.

The 5-HTP transdermal patch comes in a little envelope-like package that includes 30 small squares. 

Each square contains 5 milligrams of 5-HTP and 4 milligrams of magnesium oxide (the only other ingredient in them is the adhesive.) However, 5HTPPatch does carry other amounts, for example, a 3 month supply pack.

Why I wanted to try 5-HTP in the transdermal patch form instead of continue with the capsules I've been using

The most important reason for me wanting to try these 5-HTP transdermal patches was because they deliver directly to the bloodstream, bypassing the stomach and intestine. And secondly because of the 24 hour continual release, which means no "peaks" and "troughs." 

Unlike the capsules, the 5-HTP Patches deliver a continuous stream of on-going 5-HTP.


How to Use 5-HTP Transdermal Patches:
The instructions state to apply 1 square daily to clean, hair-free skin. The patches can be applied to the upper arm, thigh, or upper leg, chest, or upper back/shoulder area, making sure to apply to a new area of skin each time.

The directions state to remove the patch within 24 hours.

 Pros:
  • Starts working quicker than 5-HTP in supplement form. 
When I was using the capsule form of 5-HPT, it would take a full 2 hours before I actually felt the effects, which probably just means that was the "peak." However, that also meant waiting for 2 hours before the sought-after beneficial aspects of 5-HTP really kicked-in for me -- loss of hunger, a mood perk, etc. The patch begins working instantly.

  • Less negative side effects as the capsules.
For me, a lot of times when I would take one 100 milligram capsule (the regular dose I use of 5-HTP), I would sometimes get extremely sickly feeling with severe nausea, headache, chills and tiredness. This would happen once the 5-HTP reached its peak (about 2 hours after taking.) It was pretty severe and really hard to deal with, but oddly enough, it only happened sometimes. 

So far, I've not experienced any sort of negative side effects with the 5-HTP patch. I've stuck it to my skin on a completely empty stomach and had no problems with any side effects.


  • Keeps my insane, out-of-control cravings in-check!
Something I've discussed a lot here on R-and-B is my cravings and how I've been working on keeping them to a more tolerable... normal level. Sometimes, a sweet craving can feel like it's taking over my entire life! 

The 5-HTP patches are doing a very fine job of keeping these cravings in-check, and keeping me from having those desperate urges to just keep on consuming more and more sweet junk foods. I've noticed that I'm having only a little of those snacks and the cravings aren't as intense. So I'm able to get to a point where on most days, I'm not eating just anything in sight just to satisfy cravings, but am eating more consciously and having meals + small snacks instead of a meal or two a day with tons of sweets and snacks in between.
At this point, with the 5-HTP patches combined with a few healthier snack and food options, I really think I could kick the intensity problem of my cravings if I keep this up. I feel confident that by staying on this route, I may be able to stop feeling like I always have to snack on sweets, and get more of a balance going on.
  • Stays on the skin well. 
  • Easy to use, and easy to hide. (I wear it on my upper leg/thigh area. Arm is fine, too though.)
*Additional Note/Tip on cravings that may be useful for people like me:

1. Eating breakfast with protein can significantly help reduce sugary cravings throughout the day, and also reduce belly fat while revealing your abdominal muscles.

(Sometimes I try to have a fruit smoothie or something with a scoop of hemp protein powder to get it all in at once.)

2. Spinach can help suppress your appetite, and may help keep you feeling fuller longer.
(I add spinach leaves on sandwiches, and don't mind it at all in smoothies or on other foods if I have it on-hand.)

3. Get plenty of choline
Choline, a B-Vitamin can play a major role in things like bloating and weight. For example, a choline deficiency can cause weight gain around the liver, and in turn, cause your belly to enlarge. Choline acts on the genes that cause fat storage in the belly. 

3. Get plenty of fiber, like grandmas and your doctor keep sayin'
I know, I'm tired of hearing this one, too, but supposedly, fiber from fruits can significantly reduce belly fat. 

Weight Loss Question Answered:
Have I lost any weight yet, according to the scales?

A: I've only been using these patches for less than a month. Maybe a couple, or three weeks max. 

However, I did have a 2-pound loss when I was weighed at my doctor's office this week. 

No, I haven't changed my diet in the slightest, except eating less snacks due to the 5-HTP Patches lessening cavings.

I've not taken any other supplement or product for weight loss while using this patch (I wanted to be able to really document everything possible about its effects.)

So far, I am confident though, that I will be able to significantly change my sugar-snacking a little. In time.

I can say that over the course of the couple or few weeks I've been using these, I have actually been going to bed without a snack! It was becoming a habit for me to snack as I laid in bed, reading a book on my Kindle to fall asleep.

I have not snacked in bed all week! 

*Updates will be coming up as I go along. Questions are welcome, and if you're interested in the 5-HTP Patches, you can find them here. 

(At the moment, it looks like 5HTP Patch is offering free shipping for US order on their US site here, and same for UK orders on their UK site here.)






Disclaimer: I am not a specialist, expert, professional or doctor of any kind. Content on this blog is not intended to be taken as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or advice of any sort. I'm simply sharing information about my own experiences and results from use of a product or activity in hopes of providing useful information to readers, not to be taken as a patient/medical adviser relationship. I am not responsible for what readers choose to do after viewing the content here. Furthermore, I do not hold an "exceptional" or other special relationship with any company mentioned on this site. I'm simply a consumer who worked with the company on a review that is in compliance with FTC's guidelines. That means, everything you read here is my own words, not anything of the company's. I was not provided with monetary compensation for my review. All information posted has been done so with complete honesty. No action should be taken based solely on the content of this publication ( I'm not responsible.) Readers who rely on the information in this blog to replace the advice of an appropriate health care provider assume all risks of such behavior.

Non-GMO Bumble Bar Review





Bumble Bars are nutritious, organic, certified gluten free, healthy, digestive-friendly energy bars made mostly of sesame, sunflower, and/or flax seeds.

With the exciting healthy and safe ingredients in Bumble Bars, let's just jump right into pointing out the good stuff:

GMO free
Ethically Sourced
Kid Approved (IMO, especially the chocolate flavor.)
 Vegan Approved
 Organic Energy
Sesame Snack Bars

About Bumble Bar:
BumbleBar has been the original organic, vegan, gluten free, ethically sourced sesame bar since 1995. Still handcrafted in small batches by a company that follows the People, Planet, Profit business model.
 
So far, the Bumble Bars have become one of my favorite bars as far as satisfying a sweet craving and feeling truly satisfied after eating goes. 

I'm also super fond of the health benefits of the ingredients. Flax and sunflower seeds are healthy, filling, and beneficial for the digestive system. Really beneficial. If you're like me and suffer with digestive issues like IBS-D, then I say these are a perfect way to get the benefits of flax seeds! 

I also think these are absolutely one of the best ways to... how should I put this? As the commercials on TV put it, "regulate you." Seriously, these healthy snack bars, probably due to the seeds, are the real deal if you have trouble in that area.

I won't go any farther on that topic.


The different (and awesomely unique) Bumble Bar flavors include: 
 Original Peanut, Chocolate Crisp, Amazing Almond, Lushus Lemon, Chai Almond, Classic Cashew, Chunky Cherry, Harvest Hazelnut, Awesome Apricot, Mixed Nut Medley, Paradise Pineapple, Cherry Chocolate, Chocolate Mint, and Chocolate Peanut Butter.

Gotta love the variety of unique flavors available, especially since they help keep you from getting bored or burned out on the same flavors, although it's possible that I'd be able to eat the same flavor of these everyday forever and never get burned out with them.
 

TASTE:
So far, most of the bars taste a lot like honey and seeds. The sweet flavor is like that of  honey. 


 


The chocolate and peanut butter bar are somewhat similar to the taste of a brownie, and the peanut butter flavor wasn't very noticeable to me. It mostly tastes of a hint of chocolate.

The bars, and their flavors are very simple yet totally satisfying. 

Amazing Almond has delicious slivers of almonds in it, along with the same crispy rice that the Chocolate Crisp has. I'm really fond of that since as it gives the bars a crunch and more texture. I absolutely love almonds (and most nuts. Edible ones, that is) Bonus: almonds are a source of energy, so they're perfect in the Bumble Bar energy bars.

Cashew: Is pretty much exactly like the almond, only with a couple cashew slivers thrown in. I'm a major cashew-lover, so of course, these were great.

Lushus Lemon has an absolutely divine aroma of lemon. I basically inhaled that one! It has a sweet, lemon-y flavor that could easily be a favorite among lemonade or lemon-drop lovers like myself. I love a fruity bar of any type, and this totally fulfills my craving of a fruity, sweet snack.
This is the Lushus Lemon Bumble Bar. All the flavors I've mentioned look almost exactly alike, slightly differing where there's almonds, rice, and chocolate.

Chai Almond was has a very different (if not somewhat odd)  flavor from anything I've eaten. It's kind of spicy, and of course sweet at the same time. I didn't taste the almonds so much in this one as with the Amazing Almond.

So far, my favorites have been the Chocolate Crisp, Amazing Almond, Peanut, and Lushus Lemon.

Satisfying and Filling:

As most of us know, a lot of sweets and junk foods in general, leave us only wanting more. It's almost like the more you eat of it, the more your body begs for more of it. Yet if you simply want to get rid of that nagging sweet-craving, so you indulge thinking you'll only have one cookie. 

Until you're reminded that one isn't ever enough. Then, you're reaching into the bottom of the container only to realize you've completely over-done it, and now you're bloated and feeling yucky, but something inside of you is still screaming "but I'm not fully satisfied just yet. Just one more!"

It's an ugly, vicious, never-ending cycle, and I've been determined for several months now to kick its behind.

Naturally, as I hunted down more and more healthy alternatives to these outrageous sweet-food cravings I get, I finally ended up being turned on to these Bumble Bars. When one of you readers described them to me, I was intrigued from then on, and eventually became more and more interested in trying them out for myself that the awesome, kind folks at Bumble Bar agreed to collaborate with me, giving me an opportunity to try them for myself. 

I'm a big fan of "bars." I could live off granola bars, cereal bars, and snack bars and those super-filling protein bars found in gas-stations. I haven't ever came across any "bar" that I didn't absolutely love, even the peanut butter ones I made myself and posted the recipe for a while back.

I wasn't surprised that I fell in love with the Bumble Bars. But I was surprised that the bars -- made mostly of packed-together seeds that have some flavoring to sweeten them -- were so satisfying to me and my vicious cravings. 

I'm glad that every night, as my sweet-tooth kicks in and starts screaming at me to stop working and start devouring any sugar-laden product in sight, so far I've been able to replace the junk with one Bumble Bar and be completely satisfied, the screaming craving calmed.

This is quite rare for me. In fact, I can't think of any other sweet that does actually leave me feeling satisfied and not hunting for more before the night is over. 


 It's extremely rare for me to feel that I've fully satisfied my sweet craving (and you guys know I've tried virtually every sweet-junk-food alternative and every healthy option out there.) I find that one Bumble Bar leaves me completely satisfied and not thinking about how I want more. 


I love the natural taste of these and that I can eat a Bumble Bar, feel decently satisfied as far as hunger goes and not feel all crappy after having one. Other sweets tend to leave me feeling bloated and just not well after I indulge, but the natural, healthy ingredients of Bumble Bars don't.

You really notice a difference in the "fullness" you feel after eating a healthy, natural food than the not-so-satisfaction you get as a result of eating unhealthy ones. I can even eat an entire fast food meal and it's like my stomach begins to get a bloated sensation more than the true "full" sensation that comes with natural, cleaner eating.

That, and the fact that the bars are filling as a snack are my favorite things about the Bumble Bars.

Aside from that, I love that the bars are basically just flax and sunflower seeds. I was super surprised that they were filling at all. I didn't expect a bunch of seeds to be filling, but I can eat one Bumble Bar on an empty stomach and it quietens my hunger pretty decently for a good while. I can usually hold off eating a huge meal if I will just have a Bumble Bar an hour or less before I go into a meal. 

With that said, I feel like these bars could be a sort of  alternative to deterring from sugar-laden, unhealthy snacks as well as possibly an aid for portion control. I tend not to pig out so much if I've eaten a Bumble Bar within an hour before a meal. 


All the different Bumble Bar flavors can be found and purchased here.


P.S. Needing extra protein and don't mind a few extra calories from peanut butter? Add a slather of it (or Nutella... Yum!) over the bars before chowing down. Also a perfect way to get kids to eat them, if they're weird about seed-bars, which I doubt they will be.








Disclaimer: I am not a specialist, expert, professional or doctor of any kind. Content on this blog is not intended to be taken as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or advice of any sort. I'm simply sharing information about my own experiences and results from use of a product or activity in hopes of providing useful information to readers, not to be taken as a patient/medical adviser relationship. I am not responsible for what readers choose to do after viewing the content here. Furthermore, I do not hold an "exceptional" or other special relationship with any company mentioned on this site. I'm simply a consumer who worked with the company on a review that is in compliance with FTC's guidelines. That means, everything you read here is my own words, not anything of the company's. I was not provided with monetary compensation for my review. All information posted has been done so with complete honesty. No action should be taken based solely on the content of this publication ( I'm not responsible.) Readers who rely on the information in this blog to replace the advice of an appropriate health care provider assume all risks of such behavior.

Using Eggshell Calcium for Osteoporosis and Depo Provera Patients

How and Why I'm Using Cheap Eggshell Calcium as a Depo-Provera Patient

I tend to grow more concerned than usual every 3 months when I've just had yet another Depo-Provera injection. I've been on this medication for 9 years -- since I was 15 years old. Obviously, that possibly puts me at risk for bone loss and osteoporosis, so I've actively worked towards taking preventative measures over the years.

If you folks have been reading Ribbons and Pearls for long, you are likely aware of my struggles through severe, debilitating IBS, accompanied by endometriosis for most of my teenage life. 

Those two issues caused me even more trouble in the area of my health because 1. my weight got down to 70-something pounds. 2. I was unable to eat a single bite of anything without having severe gastrointestinal and stomach pain that would leave me in bed for days at a time. 

Being sick like that for so many years -- especially since this was occurring during all of my teenage years, the ones that are said to be the most important when it comes to building healthy bones -- left me depleted of vital nutrients, electrolytes, minerals, and deficient in virtually every vitamin.

I couldn't eat, so I couldn't obtain the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc. necessary for good health, or to help fight what felt like a raging alien invading my entire abdominal area (and uterus).

"Just take a multi-vitamin every day,"

"Or drink those Ensure things! Even Pedialyte," people suggested, on the odd occasion that I did see human life other than my amazing love and two parents. 

Others would say "Gosh, I just wish I could get sick and be skinny without having to do anything!"

Yea, let me tell you, I too wish you could do this and while you're at it, take the problem away from me please! You go ahead and take this life of virtual non-existent. Most of my teenage years spent going nowhere but from a bed to the bathroom. Yes, please. Do take this "easy" way to skinny-ness. By all means! Because it's totally worth it in the end. To be so ill that you think you're going to die before you ever even get to experience actually spending time outside the home with your spouse. Never getting to see friends. Often having to call off absolutely every event imaginable because hell, who wants to be stuck in a bathroom at someone's fun party, or during a vacation to the beach writhing in pain and having bouts of painful...


Okay!

Let me just stop myself right there.

 I forgot how bitter I could get when I thought back on the times when so many have "envied" my "luck."

I didn't intend to go there at all, so let's just move on. You get the picture -- I was pretty much deathly sick. 

Just a few years after living with those problems, I, inevitably, began experiencing some dental health... issues. 

I spent an entire year researching, experimenting, and documenting everything I did to improve my dental health right here on Ribbons & Pearls. 

I tried various calcium supplements, herbs, multi-vitamins, expensive supplements that left me in sticker-shock. Just for a simple 1-2 month supply of friggin' calcium!

I finally burned out and simply couldn't afford all the demanding "you absolutely must take this expensive-as-heck cod liver oil, and buy expensive groceries to remineralize your teeth and never touch any conventional foods again..."

Talk about head-spinning.

And while I'm not by any means demeaning the works, suggestions, and recommendations from the many experts who have given such advice (I've seen several people who blog their experiences remineralizing teeth using those methods), as hard as I tried, I simply could not afford to take on such a diet. Or even obtain the cod liver oil, for that shamefully embarrassing matter!

I went in search for "alternatives" to these expensive options. I found out about "eggshell calcium" from other health-bloggers who know far more than I do in the world of nutrients, vitamins, etc. 

So, when my mom made potato salad for Christmas eve, the same week after learning about eggshell calcium, I quickly snatched up her remaining eggshells, dumped em' all in a blender (that was already broken in two places... Now three. Oops!), and went to town.

The blender did not do the job. 

So my perfect nephews and significant other took turns with me crushing them in a bowl using nothing but a spoon (and occasionally experimenting with rigged, materials.)

By late-night, we were so sick of crushing eggshells that none of us could stand to look at them anymore. 

I even placed them in a baggie and went to town hammering down on them to make them more tolerable... or shall I say swallow-able.

It's not that they tasted bad, or at all. It's that not having them blended into a fine powder feels a lot like swallowing tiny glass shards without anything to drink. 

I was certain at one point that the very tiny, but not finely-powdered shells were scraping gashes into my esophagus as I swallowed.

So long story slightly less long and painful: That was the last time I bothered with eggshell calcium. I simply didn't have the proper food processor to turn the suckers into a fine powder, so I gave up.

And then, I went back in for my Depo-Provera shot this week and was reminded of how long I've been on it -- 9 years. I quickly felt the panic re-occur, creeping back up into my mind telling me "you're going to break your bones! You'll have osteoporosis at a young age. F--k the hard work involved and start chowing down on those damn eggshells!"

So, here I am. A full circle I have made and I'm about to attempt this experiment one more time, and hopefully find a cheap way to powder those eggshells so that I can use this super cheap method of getting plenty of calcium everyday.

I know, I should "invest" in a "good food processor," but honestly, that won't be happening just yet. Other things on the list to-get-asap.

However, since I've diligently shared every piece of information -- from oil-pulling, which yes, I do still practice, to eggshell experiments -- regarding ways to improve various health challenges, I decided I'd have to share this too.

This is the study I came across just today, and decided that I'd waste no time getting those eggshells smashed.

To be quick about it, here's a snippet from that study that totally sold me on eggshell calcium for increasing, improving, and just maybe, arresting the bone-density loss that may have already occurred: 

"A positive effect was observed on bone density in animal models of postmenopausal osteoporosis in ovariectomized female rats. In vitro eggshell powder stimulates chondrocyte differentiation and cartilage growth. Clinical studies in postmenopausal women and women with senile osteoporosis showed that eggshell powder reduces pain and osteoresorption and increases mobility and bone density or arrests its loss. The bioavailability of calcium from this source, as tested in piglets, was similar or better than that of food grade purified calcium carbonate. Clinical and experimental studies showed that eggshell powder has positive effects on bone and cartilage and that it is suitable in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis."

Plus, just one spoon of the powder is said to contain from 800 - 1,000 milligrams of calcium!

*Some recommend taking magnesium with the shells because it may further improve tooth restoration.

*It's also important to try your best to get Vitamins D and C, at least. They go hand-in-hand with calcium, and are required for proper absorption.

If you too are interested in making your own eggshell calcium to consume, then I recommend seeing this informative tutorial-style post on how to do just that, and more on why you may want to.


*Source: National Institute of Rheumatic Diseases, Piestany, Slovak Republic. Rovenský J1, Stancíková M, Masaryk P, Svík K, Istok R.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Sod or no Sod? Revamping the Lawn

Photo by: Kevin Dooley

With our current horrifically busy work schedules, Me and B haven't been getting to spend as much time together, and it has taken a stressful toll on us both. 

Within the last month, I've had a request from one of you beautiful readers asking me to do more vlogs, more specifically, a couple-vlog since I do so much discussing about my love-bird and I. 

I want to let you guys know that this is something we're considering, and hoping to work out some time to actually do. 

However, I can deliver on one thing -- the request for more "personal" topics regarding our everyday lives together, as a couple. I was surprised that so many would be interested in this, but I'm definitely happy to take a shot at that every once in a while.

Today is one of those. 

Me & B got to spend our entire day together today since we had to be at the local health department (and he always attends my visits with wonderful moral support) and unfortunately, we completely changed our schedules for the last 2 days, including our work to make it to the appointment. Only yesterday, I had worked early the night before so I could get to bed earlier and get up earlier, which I did. Only guess what? We didn't make it. They had closed a smidgen earlier than normal.

So we both took yet another day to completely skew our schedule (and my sleep!) to make it down there today. Welp, we finally get there and I go jerking on the door handle of the doctor office only to be greeted with a disappointing jarring of the door... 

It was locked! I went into a fury.

And right beside the door was a brand new plaque displaying the department's brand new time schedules -- something that has been the same ever since I was a baby, at least. No joke.

I was furious! Within the last 9-10 years that I've been going to this place every single 3 months (literally), I have had this sort of thing happen more often than not. We've actually spent 3 days trying to get me seen by the nurse more times than I can count. 

Sometimes there simply is no nurse in. Sometimes they simply are just closed at random, despite their time schedule saying they're supposed to be open.

To put it shortly, it's just always been the biggest, most insane mess when it comes to getting your appointment to actually happen with this place.

So, we turned and left the office, me complaining about how they demand that I call them every once in a while before my appointment just to see if they might have "changed" my fee before I come in. Yet they can't call me when they completely re-do their entire schedule? 

It took a while before I could shake off my anger on this one.

The next time they're open will be next week, so both my spouse and I will have to re-do our entire schedule yet again for the third time just to get one simple thing. He'll miss yet another day of work, and I'll have to miss yet another decent amount of sleep. Ugh!

Anyways, I was able to come back around to a happy, peaceful mood when we decided we'd just spend the rest of the day together -- something we've not had the opportunity to do in so long. 

Being that we've also been trying to make plans to do some house-work and stuff, including the lawn that needs work, we spent some time outdoors discussing plans for the yard and house. 

It was a lovely, sun-shiny day, too. So that really perked my mood. I desperately needed some good ol' sunshine in my life. 

While we debated on many different possibilities with the lawn (it needs some work, and grass), we had a couple of neighbors who stopped in to chat and give their own suggestions.

One of them suggested something called "sod," which I'd never heard of before, but it sounded good to me. 

Since the old driveway spot needs filling in with grass because it's so dead, the neighbor (who's lawn is immaculate and full of perfect, even grass) said we "really need to get some of that sod" like he had.

What on earth? 

But, he kept stressing this "new sod" and saying we need to consider it. He explained to us that it was basically installed grass that actually comes in different "types." There's such a thing as "Bluegrass" and "Fescue," which were the two he highly recommended for our lawn. 

I had no idea so much went into grass! 

But we were intrigued enough that I couldn't get it out of my head -- this "sod" stuff. I finally done a quick Internet search to see what it was all about and check if perhaps it's something we could even be bothered with (you know, affordability, is it worth it, does it require any special maintenance, etc.) and I can't believe I'm saying it, but we might be considering having grass installed onto our lawn. 

Another thing that's been increasingly taking over my thoughts is a garden. I'm so afraid of my capabilities (ahem, or lack thereof?) when it comes to gardening, but oh how badly I've been wanting to plant some nice ingredients to use in the kitchen! I love veggies of all kinds, especially fresh ones, and fruit! Pears, peaches, apples, strawberries... I could almost live off fruit, but it would be wonderful to grow my own little veggie and fruit garden so I could have fresh (and safe) foods straight from my own garden.

Only I'm so inexperienced and lacking in the time department that I am hesitant about diving into a garden. I typically keep aloe vera plants on-hand year round, and spearmint in warm months, and can handle those, but my desperate attempts at growing herbs have failed. 

However, I'm seriously considering trying out a mini garden, perhaps starting off with simple, easy-to-grow, low-maintenance items just to see where it leads. Maybe cucumbers, squash, okra, tomatoes? 

But, first, the lawn must be fixed up. We're undecided on it for now, so I thought I'd ask my wise readers -- what would you suggest as far as grass and "sod?" Have you used it? Is it low-maintenance? 

I'd also like to ask you, my trusty readers for your gardening suggestions as well. What low-maintenance veggies (or fruits) would you suggest for starting out with a mini garden? What are some of your favorites? Do you have any tips/tricks/suggestions as a seasoned gardener that you'd like to share with a newbie? 

I'd love to hear any suggestions you guys may have, or any recommendations you may be comfortable giving out.

You folks never fail me in the answers and advice department, let's hear it, comment away!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Energy and Weight Loss Supplement Scam - MethylHex 4.2 and Rapid Action Energize

I want to some insight shed light really quickly regarding the energy/weight-loss supplement MethylHex 4.2. 

MethylHex 4.2 is an energy supplement that claims to also cause weight loss. A 60 day supply costs $60 to $80, depending on where you purchase.

That's pretty expensive considering it has the exact same ingredients in it as the Rapid Action Energize 2-way supplement found at gas stations for around $5 for 4 tablets. In fact, an entire case (24 packs) of the Rapid Action tablets can be bought for less than $50.

So basically, this high-priced MethylHex 4.2 garbage is nothing more than an extremely, painfully over-priced knock-off with huge claims and promises. Some of those promises include: energy, weight loss, focus and mental clarity, and even improved mood.

I would like to dive deeper into this particular topic, but I'm late for work right now and just wanted to put that little snippet of information out there as quickly as I could since many people are paying such outrageous prices for a product that's basically identical to one much cheaper.

I have used the Rapid Action Energize stuff and absolutely hated it. It came with a host of disgusting side effects that just made me feel downright shitty. It made me sweat like a beast all over my body, although I felt chilled. A lot like a bad fever. It made my head feel like it was spinning (and not in the good way.) I felt like my mind was all over the place and I couldn't focus for the life of me. 

Furthermore, instead of energizing me, it made me feel ill where I only wanted to lie down and not move, but with the most extreme jitters I've ever had. I felt like my entire body was vibrating, and to put it simply, just nothing in my body felt "right." 

So, I'm not endorsing or recommending either of the two products, but think it's important to let folks know when there's two products that are the same, but with hugely different price tags.

Lastly, upon an Internet search, I also came across a "Warning Letter" to SEI Pharmaceuticals (the makers of MethylHex) issued by the FDA. Seeing an FDA "Warning Letter" is always a red flag. 

At this moment, I don't have time to dig deeper into the letter or the manufacturer or the supplement itself, as I'm late for work as it is, but I encourage you guys to do some research if you've been using the MethylHex or have been considering taking it.  
 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Easy 3 Minute Strawberry Smoothie


This smoothie is a great for "masking" the flavors of your daily extra protein powders, coconut oil, kefir, and chia seeds and stuff as it works well for masking virtually all of these things.

Grab yer blender, a few small-medium sized strawberries (leaves removed, of course), a half a banana, and some ice cubes and let me show you how I make a 3 quick 3-minute one-serving strawberry smoothie!

 First things first, my magnificent owl mug gifted to me from my equally magnificent mother. 

The owl cup, it's really a must for me, so go ahead and grab your own favorite mug before we start.

Now, the ingredients (for the exact easy smoothie like the one shown here) requires: 
3 small-medium sized strawberries 
Blender
About 4 ice cubes (or depending on how you like it)
A half a banana (or more if you like the banana flavor to be strong. I don't.)

Optional ingredients:
  • Sweetener of your choice. This is a pretty sour tart smoothie. Okay let's be honest, this baby is downright sour without sweetener! I used a tablespoon of strawberry ice cream, but vanilla works too. You can use  milk, a shot of creamer, or even honey or vanilla extract, if you prefer non-dairy.
  • Kefir

  • A teaspoon (or less if you're like me) of peanut butter
  •  A dash of orange juice for the extra Vit. C (preferably the real stuff)
 
  • A scoop of chia seeds or Mila seeds, which is what I had on-hand.
 
  • A teaspoon of coconut oil, for the extra health benefits
  • A scoop of hemp protein powder. (I used Manitoba Harvest's Hemp Pro, which I've reviewed here, if you're interested.)

  • A scoop of whey protein powder (I used Summit Nutritions' vanilla flavored pure whey protein, which I reviewed here.)







Monday, April 6, 2015

Qure Water Giveaway and Review

Me proudly taking a picture with Qure Water
Qure Water  is an alkaline, purified water that's super smooth and infused with ionic, alkaline minerals. Qure Water is designed to "counterbalance acidity."

Qure Water has a stable alkaline pH of 9.5+.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the following video to understand the pH Scale. Video by Qure Water.



Check out the rest of their educational videos on Qure Water's Youtube Channel.


 Positive, Note-Worthy Aspects of Qure Water:

  • Stable Alkaline pH of 9.5+ with a 2-Year Shelf Life
Qure symbol 9-Stage RO Purification & Mineralization Process
Qure symbol High-Quality Ingredients
Qure symbol Infused with Electrolytes
Qure symbol Free from Impurities and Pollution
Qure symbol BPA-FREE PET 1 Bottles
Qure symbol Distinguished Smooth Taste
Qure symbol Counterbalances Acidic Beverages
Qure symbol Alkaline Cellular Hydration
Qure symbol Proper Hydration Aids Detoxification Naturally
No Unstable Electrolysis Process
No Synthetic Ingredients
No Artificial Chemicals
No Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)
No Fluoride
No Preservatives
No Harmful Leaching Plastic Bottles
No Sugar
No Calories

 Qure Water uses a "9-stage reverse osmosis purified water and mineralization process with natural traces of alkaline minerals such as: Calcium, Potassium and Magnesium."

Check out this quick 1 minute video on their intriguing production process:


Pretty impressive so far, huh? Exactly why I was so intrigued by this water in the first place, but let's not forget taste.


As Qure Water says, their water is exceptionally "smooth," and pure-tasting, which means it goes down really easily. Like pouring liquid silk down your hatch.

In fact, I would say it's flavor-less, especially if you compare it to the taste of cruddy tap water, or even filtered water, which is what I end up drinking most of the time. I've wanted to do reverse osmosis for years now, but that kind of system is mind-bogglingly expensive, for me anyways. So, I've kind of settled for cheaper, less clean options like the typical charcoal filters, which do not remove harmful chemicals like fluoride (something that has concerned me greatly.)

Although Qure Water contains electrolytes, they aren't noticeable to the taste. I am usually turned off by drinks with added minerals or electrolytes, such as Gatorade because I find the taste of them unpleasant and somewhat salty.

Same when I add my own mineral drops to a large glass of water -- I find it unpleasant to drink at all because I'm so un-fond of the taste of added minerals/electrolytes, so I was happy that they aren't noticeable in this water, and extremely happy that Qure Water adds them!

Which brings me to something I can't ever resist including in a review -- ingredients and the benefits. 

For instance, did you know that magnesium plays a huge role in depression for many? I'm one of them. 

Magnesium deficiency is extremely common and has been linked to depression. Same with Vitamin D. 

Back when I was struggling with some symptoms of depression myself (which I've discussed in this section of R&P), I  learned that vitamin and mineral deficiencies play a huge role in things like depression. 

Having added minerals in the water I drink is definitely something that makes me more likely to drink it.

It's odd, but I found myself easily drinking an entire 1 liter bottle of this Qure Water within hours of getting it, and it didn't even have a chance to refrigerate as I was too excited to try it right away when it arrived. 

I typically have a great deal of trouble getting in just a small regular water-bottle sized amount of water in an entire day. That's so-called pure water, too. And same with the water I drink from the Brita filter in the fridge. 

I normally end up with such discomfort and bloating in my stomach by the time I've gotten through one small glass of any water that I don't bother trying to drink anymore than that in one day, so I was quite pleased and weirded-out at the same time that I'm finding it so easy to just down the huge bottles of Qure Water. Could it be all the chemicals in my typical water, I wonder?

I can take out an entire bottle of Qure Water within just a few hours of waking up, without any stomach bloating or discomfort, so I'm pretty curious about the big difference between this and other water.

That aside, I also wanted to mention how much I love the large 1 liter bottles. It also helps ensure that you'll actually drink more water. As many people say, as long as they have water on-hand, they'll keep drinking it. So, having a huge bottle like the Qure Water comes in will be an immense help for most people who just need it on-hand in order to drink it.







Another proud pic of me and Qure Water
Needless to say, I'm beyond impressed with Qure Water, just take a look at those pros listed. Truthfully, this water really does have everything a person could want and hope for in water -- purity, minerals, free of all chemicals, etc. 

With that said, if I were to put a rating on Qure Water, it'd be a 10/10, no doubt. I can't say I've ever been so fond of water before, and this is coming from someone who lives near a natural spring, which is amazing. But I've definitely developed a love for Qure Water and would find it hard to ever purchase other bottled water.

P.S.  
I didn't realize it until the entire case of water was empty but Qure Water had included their pH testing kit (which comes with strips for testing your saliva/urine pH as well as a liquid pH reagent test kit, which is for testing all water and clear beverage  pH levels. 

The kits are extremely useful since you can find out if the water you're drinking (whether it's from your tap or not) is as a proper balance, and same for your body! 

It has been really interesting and useful to test my own pH and be able to see how it changes throughout the day, that way I can better alter how/what I consume in order to keep it properly balanced.
 
The test kits are available through Qure Water, and the water test kit is only a couple of dollars; the urine/saliva testing kit is about $10, at the time of writing.




 Giveaway:

The lovely folks at Qure Water have offered to collaborate with Ribbons & Pearls on a giveaway for 1 case of Qure water.

Please fill out the form below to enter the giveaway. 
Note: "Liking" Qure Water on Facebook and Following them on Twitter are mandatory for entering the giveaway.






 Disclaimer: I am not a specialist, expert, professional or doctor of any kind. Content on this blog is not intended to be taken as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or advice of any sort. I'm simply sharing information about my own experiences and results from use of a product or activity in hopes of providing useful information to readers, not to be taken as a patient/medical adviser relationship. I am not responsible for what readers choose to do after viewing the content here. Furthermore, I do not hold an "exceptional" or other special relationship with any company mentioned on this site. I'm simply a consumer who worked with the company on a review that is in compliance with FTC's guidelines. That means, everything you read here is my own words, not anything of the company's. I was not provided with monetary compensation for my review. All information posted has been done so with complete honesty. No action should be taken based solely on the content of this publication ( I'm not responsible.) Readers who rely on the information in this blog to replace the advice of an appropriate health care provider assume all risks of such behavior.