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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How I Highlight My Hair At Home (and What I Use) -- Video

I've had several requests regarding my highlights from some of you who read my blog & I've promised I'd eventually get around to laying out the process of how I do my highlights (at home.) So, in this video, I'll be sharing the techniques I use to highlight my hair, the products I use to get the best results, and more.

I also go over other hair highlighting techniques I've used and how they worked out, as well as the many different products and bleaches I've used and how they worked on my hair.

Since my hair is such a rich brunette, it's extremely tough to get bleach to take. It typically doesn't lift past a golden, brassy orange color, but I have had huge success with one bleach, which I'll be sharing in my video. 
 
This is the product I talk about using (and being my favorite) -- Kenra Lightener Color in the 1 oz packet, which I mix with 4 oz of volume 30 creme developer) from Sleek Hair.

 The bleaching powder I mention using is the Kenra Lightening Powder (in a silver packet, shown in the image) and it was Sleek Hair where I ordered it.

Some things to keep in mind:
- I'm NO expert or professional of any kind, especially when it comes to hair. I will be up front with y'all and tell you that I lack skills in this department greatly.

However, I've stuck to DIY-ing my hair color and bleaching from home since I was a kid. I've found a simple, screwy technique that tends to give me the best results every time I use it, so in my video, you'll get the low-down on that.

-Just because it works for me and my hair type does NOT mean it will for you.

- My hair is a very deep brunette, and it requires a lot of work in order to get my hair color to lift to a blonde shade (anything past brassy orange is very complicated to achieve for me without going to extremes.) So, that's what I do -- go to extremes. This does not mean you should do the same. I share this information, however, because I realize I'm not the only one with such complicated, hard-to-work with hair & therefore my experiences and the processes and techniques I use might shed some insight for others with similar hair.

- This video features what I call "mini product reviews" where I point out, briefly, some of the pros and cons of the products I use or have used and what I found useful or negative about them.

- Another intention of mine when making this video was to shed some light on what the experience of at-home, un-professional bleaching is like. I also hope this can help someone in some way. I want to be encouraging to those of you who are comfortable with taking the risk of at-home & un-professional hair doing, but I would like to put it out there that when we do this, we are taking a lot of risks and you need to be 100% sure that you're okay with whatever your finished result might be. That's a big step, and due to so many risks and possible mess-ups, I've made a point to carefully detail my own mishaps and what techniques cause me the most trouble, as a hair DIY-er with zero professional experience.

- If you're someone who can't bear to wind up with results that you find undesirable, then not only do I *not* recommend going the DIY route, but I highly recommend *against* attempting it.

- I *do* recommend having a back-up plan before you ever begin any process on your hair at home (whether it's dying it or bleaching it). I find that the experience is a lot more comfortable and less panic-y when I have enough product left over to do a whole 'nother "treatment" when bleaching my hair. This is due to my hair being so resistant to bleach and to make sure that if by the time I've rinsed and my hair is not lifted past a brassy color, I can simply add more bleach product & lift to the desired shade.

- I do not recommend bleaching your hair at all, much less more than once in one 24 hour period. But if you've made the decision tot do so yourself, then I do recommend having extra product on hand, whether it's a colored dye or bleach.

- I like to have a back-up plan, too, for the same reasons outlined above. Just in case things go wrong (and as someone who does this at home, by herself, that has happened more than once), you have at least some option for fixing. At the very least, it gives you something else to go on instead of ending up with a nightmare on your head & nothing to do to try and fix it. That would also leave you stuck with your nightmare results as you try to make your way to either a salon to repair it or the store in hopes of finding another product to fix it. Not having some sort of back-up plan means you'll just be adding panic and anxiety and stress to your nightmare of results.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Gnu Foods Fiber Love Bars! Review of the best bar ever!



Fiber One, move over! Someone has taken your place... And done it 100 times better. 

Who, you ask, is so special that I would start a blog post calling out the ever-popular Fiber One Bars? Keep reading, and allow me to blow your socks off...

A company who goes by the name of Gnu Foods has perfected 10 different "bars" packed full of fiber (48% daily fiber, in fact), delicious-ness and all healthy, Non-GMO Project Certified ingredients.


With real fruit, and flavors like coconut macaroon, carrot cake, banana walnut, orange & cranberry (which I just had), blondie, and the 2 to-die-for cobblers: apple cobbler and blueberry cobbler,  there's a flavor for virtually everyone. If you're like me, all 10 flavors are for you. And I'm about to give you lovely folks a review on every single one of those flavors!

Add to the already pleasant experience -- the total lack of artificial crap ingredients in the Fiber Love Bars, & you really get the taste of perfection (and the rare experience of real food) without the aftertaste of un-natural flavors or that dreadful heaviness in your stomach, or the sugar-film that coats your tongue and teeth. 

Those are just some of the many differences I've detected after this granola-bar-loving girl made the switch to trying Gnu Foods' totally natural, organic Fiber Love bars.

 Totally. Worth. It.


Taste



I'm going to start the review aspect of this post on taste since taste is pretty much the most important aspect of food because even if it is as healthy as these fiber bars are & made with the best ingredients, the decision of whether you will eat it or not is going to depend largely on how it taste, am I right?

I mean, it could cure cancer and if it tastes and smells like fried death, most people are not going to be able to eat it. 

Well, unless there was a way around tasting something that had the flavor of fried death (crush it up and make a capsule/pill-form of the fried-death-tasting-cure?)


 Sorry for that. I figured, it really wouldn't be realistic that most people would not eat something that could cure cancer, even it it was something dead, so I had to be logical here and well, it wouldn't be logical to think there wasn't a way around tasting something in this day and age when we can turn anything into a pill-form, or just crush up whatever it is we're wanting to consume without tasting it, and buy empty capsules to put it in. In that case, most people would definitely be able to tolerate swallowing anything.

Okay then! 

Let's just move on and get away from that. The taste of Fiber Love Bars. That's what we were talking about...

Flavors/Taste
At this time, I've tried the following Fiber Love Bars: Blueberry Cobbler, Apple Cobbler, and Orange Cranberry.

Since Blueberry cobbler was the first one I tried (blueberry cobbler has always been one of my favorite desserts since childhood,  making it the perfect comfort food), I'll go in order & begin with it, and I will update on the other flavors as I try them. 

Blueberry Cobbler:
Oh my! The taste of a homemade blueberry cobbler is nothing short of heavenly. Gnu Foods did a splendid job at creating our favorite comfort foods into an easy to gobble bar.

Surprisingly, it does resemble all the flavors in a homemade blueberry cobbler, and with every bite comes a chunk of real blueberry. 

As with all 10 Fiber Love Bars, the blueberry cobbler is very soft, chewy and with the tiniest crunch of the seeds and grains -- a combination that equals perfection.

Coconut Macaroon: If you've ever had a coconut macaroon, there isn't much difference between those and the Fiber Love bar, except texture. As all of the bars are, the coconut macaroon is also super soft, chewy and with various seeds and oats throughout. I have to say, there isn't a coconut overload in the bar like you get with a coconut macaroon. The shreds of coconut are thin and hardly noticeable, which will please many haters of the coconut texture.

Apple Cobbler:
Yum! Apple cobbler is one of my favorites. It reminds me a lot of the apple cinnamon packet oatmeal. Even the apples in the fiber bar taste just like those in oatmeal that comes in packs. There's a cinnamon flavor mixed in as well. I think most people are going to be a fan of this flavor.

Orange Cranberry:   
With squishy bits of satisfying orange and cranberry, I taste the orange the most in this bar.
Orange cranberry taste mostly like oranges. Actually, the bits of orange are more aromatic than they are flavorful, but good none the less. The aroma of orange peel (especially if you've ever squeezed the peel, it puts off a strong orange oil scent) is so strong that I didn't taste anything else. The cranberries went un-noticed by my tongue, but I really loved this fruity, sweet fiber bar! The seeds and oats work really well in combination of the oranges.

Peanut Chocolate Chip:  Peanut chocolate chip tastes a lot like dark chocolate. There's a minor hint of peanut throughout, but it could easily go un-noticed. I liked this one and think it'll also be a fan by most people, especially if you're  a chocolate lover. It's the perfect alternative to a candy bar. That's my favorite thing about these Fiber Love bars -- they truly do the trick, leaving me with a feeling of satisfaction rather than that crappy feeling of just wanting more, which I really hate!

Banana Walnut:
Carrot Cake: As someone who isn't a carrot cake fan, I was surprised to like the carrot cake fiber bar! Thankfully, it doesn't really taste like a carrot cake too much. It taste more like a sweet granola bar with some spice in it. I did enjoy the shreds of carrots within the bar, though. The subtle, but sweetly satisfying flavors are just right when you want something a bit dessert-ish but not sickingly sweet, or fruity.

Cinnamon Raisin:  I expected cinnamon raisin to taste much like an oatmeal cinnamon raisin cookie, but it didn't. It's just like an oatmeal raisin cookie without the oatmeal. Seeds and oats replace the oatmeal, but its equally as satisfying. The cinnamon isn't overpowering and the raisin in every bite makes this filling and delicious. 

Blondie: The blondie bar has a rich dark chocolate brownie flavor, which is the absolute perfect fix for a brownie lover or craving. Almost exactly like a chocolate brownie except I detected the real cacao in the awesome blondie bar!

Chocolate Brownie:  The chocolate brownie tastes just like, you guessed it, a chocolate brownie! It and the blondie bar are very similar in their brownie-likeness and their rich, dark chocolate taste. The chocolate brownie also tastes of real cacao. So rich and chewy and gourmet-like!


Note: I originally intended to do separate reviews for each bar, but I think it's going to be more logical to put it all in one post since I'm including all the other information on them and not just flavor info. I also wanted my readers to be able to find all the information in one place rather than have to keep viewing different pages of my blog to get the info they want.

 If for some reason, any of you prefer separate reviews, please let me know & I'll do that instead & just try to get all the other information that's universal to all the bars (such as price and health info) into each review as well. Believe me, nothing will be left out about Gnu Foods' Fiber Love Bars in this review!



Health Benefits/Results:


  By "results," I'm referring to the changes that I noticed while eating these. Even if it's just a food, when you make a healthy (or un-healthy) change in your diet, it's not un-common to feel changes in your body, so I like to include any of that information in a review when I do notice changes.

Digestive: The ingredients in the Fiber Love Bars, like the fiber content, real fruit, etc. can have a positive effect on our digestive system. When introduced to new or more fiber into your diet, like I have done since eating a Fiber Love Bar every day, it's possible to feel changes such as more regular bathroom visits, easing of constipation, etc.

As you'll see on the back of the label, "regularity," is something to expect if you're getting more fiber every day. This is something folks with digestive issues like IBS may welcome, including myself. The real fruit is also going to contribute to healthier bathroom visits. As many know, blueberries (and fiber) can help relieve constipation.

Perfect Alternative to Sugary Cravings
It's hard to find a healthier alternative to sweet treats. If you're a hardcore sweet lover who, like me, who can't seem to quell the irritating need for a sweet nagging at you until you give it what it wants, then you're going to love these Fiber Love Bars.


I tend to crave cake, cookies, chocolate, etc. at all hours of the day, and while I can ignore them for hours at a time, at the end of the day, the irritation in the back of my mind begging for sweets can be overwhelming. For a long time now, I've tried ways to change this -- by ignoring it all together (didn't work, and left me feeling irritable and un-satisfied any time I did eat), trying alternatives (which either tasted so badly that they didn't do anything for the craving for real sweets, or they tasted so unlike a sweet treat that it didn't offer any satisfaction at all, and in the end only intensified the sugar craving.

There have been some "alternatives" that were healthier than say cake and cookies, but their ingredients have been about as negative on my health as the real crap. 

Then there's the alternatives marketed as diet beverages and foods. Those have offered some decent results for me during the first several tries, but in the end, I've not been able to replace my sweet junk craving with them. They tend to put me back at square one -- feeling deprived or just un-satisfied.

So, these healthy, filling Fiber Love Bars have been the most satisfying thing all around for me as far as hunger and sweet cravings go.

I find that after almost finishing a Fiber Love Bar (before it's even gone, usually), I'm not only already feeling full, but I feel like my craving for sweets has been completely satisfied! And it doesn't come back. So far, one Fiber Love Bar a day (in fact, most of those days, I don't even finish the full bar!) has been plenty for me. Unlike with cookies and cake and candy -- including some "diet" cookies I've tried that contained little sugar and a lot of healthy ingredients), although plenty delicious, I'd eat one and only want more and more -- the craving completely subsides for me. So, I'm highly impressed on that aspect.

This is something I love about these bars as much as I do their flavor.

Filling and Satisfying: As I've said, the Fiber Love Bars are very filling, which I didn't expect when I first saw their size. They're somewhat thin and short -- a perfect serving size, but I was afraid that like cake and cookies, I'd only want more after I finished that last bite. This has not been the case, and they leave me feeling just full and satisfied enough to kill any hunger or snack craving from creeping up for hours. I typically get hungry as a hippo in the early evenings, which is when I tend to down the most sweets because I'm not quite ready for a meal, and my mind says "just have a cookie." Yet that leads to more, and within the hour, my stomach is growling again, which leads me to... Well, you know the never-ending cycle of this nightmare! 





Extra Information on Health and the Fiber Love Bars
As printed on the back of each individually wrapped bar's label, these Fiber Love Bars contribute to good health: Heart health, weight management, and natural regularity. 

Aside from the healthy benefits of eating something that tastes so divine and with the perfect hint of natural sweetness, the bars also contain 12 grams of natural fiber and 6 grains and seeds.

Also noted on the label is the important fact that "diets rich in fiber and low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease." 

And "fiber, along with a healthy diet & exercise may help maintain a healthy weight by increasing satiety and curbing appetite."

Those are just some of the great reasons I was so interested in these awesome Fiber Love Bars. 

The fruit in each bar comes with their own extra health benefits. For instance, the blueberry cobbler bar, provides antioxidants and vitamins (such as C) in the orange cranberry, etc. Talk about icing on the er, fiber bar?




Ingredients & Specs for Each Bar:

About 130-140 calories per bar.
3-5g total fat
12g fiber (8g soluble, 4g insoluble)
10g sugar, and 3-4g protein.

***The psyllium contained in the bars, like the blueberry is also widely used for its digestive and regularity benefits.

Blueberry Cobbler
Cal: 130   10 grams sugars  3 grams protein  12 grams Fiber

IngredientsGnu High Fiber Blend™ (whole rolled oats, organic whole wheat flour, wheat bran, organic KAMUT® brand khorasan wheat, psyllium, flax, millet), chicory root inulin, fruit juices, rice dextrins, plums, blueberries, non-GMO canola oil, raisins, vegetable glycerin, wheat protein isolate, blueberry juice concentrate, natural flavors, aluminum-free baking powder, lemon juice concentrate


Banana Walnut:

Cal:  140  Fiber: 12 Protein: 4 g  Sugars: 8 g
 
 (whole rolled oats, organic whole wheat flour, wheat bran, organic KAMUT® brand khorasan wheat, psyllium, flax, millet), chicory root inulin, fruit juices, rice dextrins, apples, non-GMO canola oil, walnuts, rice, plums, banana, wheat protein isolate, natural flavors, aluminum-free baking powder

Apple Cobbler: 
Cal: 140   3 grams of protein   12 grams Fiber 
 Sugars: 10 g

IngredientsGnu High Fiber Blend™ (whole rolled oats, organic whole wheat  flour, wheat bran, organic KAMUT® brand khorasan wheat, psyllium, flax, millet), chicory root inulin, fruit juices, rice dextrins, apples, plums, non-GMO canola oil, raisins, vegetable glycerin, rice, apple juice concentrate, wheat protein isolate, natural flavors, cinnamon, aluminum-free baking powder, salt


Blondie

 Cals: 140  Fiber: 12   Sugars: 11 Protein: 3

Ingredients
Gnu High Fiber Blend™ (whole rolled oats, organic whole wheat flour, wheat bran, organic KAMUT® brand khorasan wheat, psyllium, flax, millet), chicory root inulin, fruit juices, rice dextrins, organic white chocolate chips (cane sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, lecithin, vanilla), plums, organic chocolate chips (cane sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, lecithin, vanilla), vegetable glycerin, rice, non-GMO canola oil, wheat protein isolate, vanilla, natural flavors, aluminum-free baking powder, salt

Carrot Cake:  

Cal: 140  Sugars: 8 grams  Fiber:  12 grams  Protein:  3 grams
Gnu High Fiber Blend™ (whole rolled oats, organic whole wheat flour, wheat bran, organic KAMUT® brand khorasan wheat, psyllium, flax, millet), chicory root inulin, fruit juices, rice dextrins, plums, walnuts, non-GMO canola oil, raisins, vegetable glycerin, carrots, carrot juice concentrate, natural flavors, rice, wheat protein isolate, salt, aluminum-free baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice


Chocolate Brownie:    
Fiber: 12 g  Calories: 140   Protein:  4 g  Sugar:  9 grams

Ingredients
Gnu High Fiber Blend™ (whole rolled oats, organic whole wheat flour, wheat bran, organic KAMUT® brand khorasan wheat, psyllium, flax, millet), chicory root inulin, fruit juices, rice dextrins, organic chocolate chips (cane sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, lecithin, vanilla), plums, non-GMO canola oil, vegetable glycerin, cocoa powder, wheat protein isolate, rice, natural flavors, vanilla, aluminum-free baking powder, salt



Cinnamon Raisin:  

Cal: 130  Fiber:12 g  Sugars:11  Protein:3g

Ingredients:Gnu High Fiber Blend™ (whole rolled oats, organic whole wheat flour, wheat bran, organic KAMUT® brand khorasan wheat, psyllium, flax, millet), chicory root inulin, fruit juices, rice dextrins, raisins, non-GMO canola oil, apples, plums, rice, wheat protein isolate, vanilla, cinnamon, aluminum-free baking powder


Coconut Macaroon: 
Cal:  160   Fiber:  12g  Sugars:  8g  Protein:  3 g

Ingredients
Gnu High Fiber Blend™ (whole rolled oats, organic whole wheat flour, wheat bran, organic KAMUT® brand khorasan wheat, psyllium, flax, millet), chicory root inulin, fruit juices, rice dextrins, coconut, plums, non-GMO canola oil, almonds, vegetable glycerin, rice, natural flavors, wheat protein isolate, apple juice concentrate, aluminum-free baking powder, salt

Orange Cranberry

Cal: 130   Fiber:  12  
Sugars:  11  Protein:  3

Ingredients
Gnu High Fiber Blend™ (whole rolled oats, organic whole wheat flour, wheat bran, organic KAMUT® brand khorasan wheat, psyllium, flax, millet), chicory root inulin, fruit juices, rice dextrins, raisins, apples, non-GMO canola oil, plums, cranberries, rice, natural flavors, wheat protein isolate, aluminum-free baking powder

Cal:
160  Fiber:12   Sugars:8  Protein:4

Ingredients:
Gnu High Fiber Blend™ (whole rolled oats, organic whole wheat flour, wheat bran, organic KAMUT® brand khorasan wheat, psyllium, flax, millet), chicory root inulin, fruit juices, rice dextrins, peanut butter, organic chocolate chips (cane sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, lecithin, vanilla), plums, non-GMO canola oil, vegetable glycerin, peanuts, natural flavors, wheat protein isolate, salt, aluminum-free baking powder.




 


Pricing/Purchase Options

  I have actually enjoyed the Fiber Love Bars so incredibly much after I tried them that it's something I really, really want to keep on hand. They've been the perfect snacks for me in so many ways. So I went on to see my options for buying them & of course, in my area they aren't available in-store (many things aren't.) So, I wanted to check out my options for ordering them. Thankfully, Gnu Foods has a "club member" option (described below, along with prices) that appears to be the best deal for me. It' would also mean I'd be able to keep them on-hand pretty regularly.

 On the Gnu Foods' website (at the time of this writing), you can choose from a single bar ($1.99), a 5-pack (5 bars) at little under $10 or the 16-pack (16 bars) for $28. And shipping a little less than $5.

I also saw an option to join "the club," which is supposed to get you 30% off and free shipping. The information detailed on their club member page also says you can choose to receive your order every 2, 4, 6 or 8 weeks. You can change this shipping schedule as you wish. There is a 30-bar minimum requirement, though, if you're going to use the "club" option to order Fiber Love Bars. So you have to order a total of at least 30 bars at a time this way. You can choose from all the flavors, and mix it up any way you want.

I am thinking the club member option is a better deal since your total for just a single bar would come out at something like $14. And the regular price (non club member ordering) of 35 bars would be 76, while with the club option, 35 bars turned out to be $48.65.

Oh, and my total (for the 35 bars, 2 weeks that I described above) did in fact include free shipping! 

So, I myself am considering joining the Fiber Love Club for 4 or 6 weeks next time, that way I can continue to have them right at home & not have to remember to order them every 2 weeks. Now if you do have a place that carries Gnu Foods' products, then you might be able to find them in-store somewhere near you. You can check to see if they are available in your area by using their store locator here.

You can also do what I've done & follow Fiber Love Bar on Facebook to keep up to date with their products & for possible deals.









What do those of you who've tried any of these Fiber Love Bars think about them? Do you have a favorite flavor? Are these bars something you love or could do without? Did any of you ever notice any improvements in health or "regularity"? I'd especially love to hear from my fellow IBS (and other folks with digestive issues) about how these might've affected you.

















*Want to share your thoughts on my review format, style, or anything else? Please don't hesitate to leave feedback!

For example: Was this post easy to follow? Did the review include enough information that you could comfortably make a well-informed decision on whether or not the product I reviewed is a fit for you or did you feel that any area was lacking? What could I have done better? Are my reviews reader-friendly or is there something I could include to make them easier on you? Something else you would change? 

** It's really important to me that the reviews here at Ribbons & Pearls are as well-done and informative to you guys as humanly possible, so help me to make sure I keep bringing you the best! Feedback is always welcome (you can leave it via email, as a comment on the blog here, through Facebook, etc.)





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 advise of an appropriate health care provider assume all risks of such behavior.


Review of GT50 Small Space Plug-In Air Purifier



 The GT50 Air Purifier from Green Technologies  uses the scientifically-acclaimed power of activated oxygen (ozone), in conjunction with negative ionization, to destroy E-coli, MRSA, Legionella, Candida, Staph, Salmonella and Giardia more effectively than filters or chemical disinfectants. 

 With the GT50 Small Space Plug In Ionic Air Purifier the effectiveness goes way beyond what you see and smell. In fact, it kills E-coli more than 3,000 times faster than chlorine. It is Ideal for bathrooms, laundry rooms, work stations, janitorial closets or kitchens. It even kills mold and mildew in bathrooms.

The GT50 Ionic Air Purifier is "designed to purify the air in areas up to 50 SF, the GT50 is ideal for bathrooms, laundry rooms, office work stations, janitorial closets, trash areas, pet areas, and under or next to the kitchen sink-anywhere harmful bacteria may pose a problem."


The GT50 Up Close. Note the silver square at the bottom -- this is where the whoosh of ozone-smellin' air comes out.
 
While small spaces like bathrooms and closets are listed as the best spaces for using this air purifier in, I found it to be impressively effective at purifying the air in my bedroom. So much that even after smoking, the air purifier, turned on high is able to remove almost all detectable scent of smoke in a short period of time after smoking! 


 I also don't see smoke linger in the air when I'm running the GT50 Ionic air Purifier. For such a little fella, I'm totally enthralled by its ability to do such an extensive cleansing job in my bedroom! In fact, I want one for every room in the house. It's absolutely the perfect solution to smoke and pet odors, as well as reducing my constant sneezing allergy.

This little air purifier features a dial for controlling the purification power -- off, minimum or maximum. When it's just me in my bedroom, I only have to keep it on the minimum setting and it does a perfect job. When others are in the room, especially when they're smoking and the door is closed, I run it on maximum and they can smoke all they want & I never get my typical migraine!


  This has been a life saver for me, and one of the main reasons I was looking for an air purifier was to help with my headaches, the smoking that contributes to them, sneezy allergies, mold and well, the bacteria and virus reducing properties was icing on the cake!

I have a red ear slider (who takes up the entire top surface of a 6-drawer dresser with his aquarium set-up), 2 cats and a dog who stinks often. 


 The turtle alone is enough to stink up the room, much less with 2 cats and one small dog on top of it. They all stay in my one little bedroom most of the time & it always bothered me that they sometimes create an odor and I never really felt like the air was clean. 

 Needless to say, I really was amazed when I came home to enter a clean-smelling bedroom! I simply leave the GT50 Air Purifier running at almost all times, including while I'm gone. That way, when I come in, the air is already clean and ready for me.

I am now able to sleep and work in comfort. 


Below are more details about the product, including studies and product specifications.

    

In case you're more of a visual/auditory kind of person, I've embedded Green Technologies  video which quickly gives you most details on the GT50 Plug In Air Purifier. So, if you'd prefer to skip forward -- passing the detailed benefits and studies on the effects of ions and ozone and such, you can do so by scrolling down to those particular sections. Look out for the section of this review where I detail what improvements I've experienced with the use of the GT50! Also be sure to see my summary and "pros" section for a brief synopsis that sums up the greatness of this air-purifying product. 
Gt50 Air Purifier (plugged in upside down) Note the dial for easily adjusting the settings from minimum to maximum.


What are "Ions?"
Ions can be naturally created (by conditions of the atmosphere) or "man-made." High amounts of negative ions are often found in the air where water is typically present -- like the ocean, forest, waterfalls, after a thunderstorm, and even on mountains, etc. Places like the ocean and mountains are said to contain tens of thousands of negative ions, whereas the average home contains dozens or hundreds, many which register a "flat zero" (according to this WebMD article.)

According to a WebMD article, "Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy."

"Columbia University studies of people with winter and chronic depression show that negative ion generators relieve depression as much as antidepressants." -
Study conducted by Columbia University, (Finley M. 1996.) Possible contributor to the above statements from "The Action of Air Ions on Bacteria," Journal of General Physiology. Kreuger, A.P., Berkeley: University of California Berkeley1957


Effects of ions -- the Positive and The Negative
Negative ions contain more electrons than protons. Positive ions, vice-versa -- they contain more protons than electrons, if that makes any sense to you (it didn't really speak to me on a deep level since I draw a blank on most science-related stuff.)

While positive ions are those such as allergens like dust and pollen have a negative effect on us, negative ions -- strangely enough -- are actually "good" for us. 


One example is that negative ions increase oxygen to our brains, which is most certainly a "good" thing! Having an increased amount of oxygen flowing to the brain tends to result in increased mental energy, decrease in fatigue, which are positive effects of negative ions.

 I like to remember which is which by thinking of it as an opposite -- when you hear the word "negative" we typically associate that with "bad," and for the word "positive," we think of "good."  But when it comes to ions, negatives are the "good" guys.

It's interesting to know that many common indoor plants release negative ions, which  explains why we often feel as if our indoor plants have had a positive effect on our home, mood, etc by lifting our spirits or improving the mood in our space.

Allergens like pollen and dust have a positive electrical charge. Negative ions have been thought to have a counter-active affect on these positively charged ions, such as allergens. Interesting stuff, huh? So, it makes sense that having negative ions in our space and environments would have a beneficial effect.  In my own words, it's like the negative ions balance out the positive ions (such as the irritating allergens floating around in our air.)

Here's why negative ions are "good" for us:
 When negative ions are introduced to the environment, they appear to counteract the allergenic effects of these positively charged ions.

Many believe (and reasonably so) that negative ions seem to improve mood and behavior, and overall general well-being.

"They also may protect against germs in the air, resulting in decreased irritation due to inhaling various particles that make you sneeze, cough, or have a throat irritation." -Center for Applied Cognitive Sciences in Charlotte, N.C.




 Many have stated an improvement in migraine headaches due to the use of negative ions. Negative ions have also been said to improve sleep. 




What is "Activated Oxygen" or ("Ozone?")


Studies were done, testing ozone against air-borne bacteria. The findings: "Due to the fact that the ozone does not need to penetrate the cell wall, activated oxygen kills pathogens 3,125 times faster than chlorine, and without any chemical toxic residue left behind by the ozone. Ozone's kill rate is proportional to its residual concentration. In one study, at 500 to 600 micrograms of ozone per m3 for one hour, 99% reduction in all bacterial species was observed." 
 

Cool Fact:
In the presence of ozonated air, one will detect what some folks commonly describe as an "electrical odor." I've heard it described that way a lot, but I personally always described the odor of ozonated things (including oils) as having a very sterile (think hospital smells) and slightly new plastic-y smell. Since I'd used ozonated oils like ozonated olive and coconut and jojoba oils in the past (on my skin for healing of wounds, acne, etc.), I noticed this scent right away when I plugged in the GT50 Air Purifier! It leaves a really pleasantly clean smell in the air.

Effects of Activated Oxygen/Ozone



My Results After Using GT50 Ion Air Purifier (Hint: No More Sneezy Allergies!)  


I'll tell you one of the very first things that stood out to me in a huge way, from the very first night I used the GT50 Air Purifier: I woke up the next day, went about my day and for the first time in months, I didn't sneeze a single time! This is very big stuff, folks because I've been sneezing a good dozen+ times every single day, all day for months now. I kid you not, I was going through rolls of paper towels a day. I was totally shocked when time went on and I still hadn't sneezed! It's almost miraculous.


 I had been hoping to find relief at some point in my life from this, so this is just one of the many reasons I call the GT50 Air Purifier a God-send!

I know of at least a few of my readers here who have severe allergies, so guys, take heart! There is a way to relieve some of that suffering. 


Summary:
Absolutely the perfect product for indoor smokers, people with allergies, or pets, even for people whose pets have allergies! The GT50 Air Purifier is one of the only products in the world I feel comfortable saying every single person could use one, and likely benefit greatly from. 

Air quality improvement is for everyone, even if you don't smoke inside, have zero allergies and no pets. The fact that it reduces viruses, bacteria, mold and mildew alone makes it worthy of everybody's home. Seriously, I can't think of a single home that probably would not benefit in some way or other from using one of these little fellas.

I adore that this air purifier is affordable (especially when you compare it to the standing, bulky filter-using HEPA air purifiers you see often.) I've been hunting for an air purifier for a year now, and the cheapest one I could find (that actually worked to remove odor and bacteria) was $150. That's really high! At around $53, I would be more than happy to purchase a couple of these GT50 plug-in ones for around the house.

Apologies for the blurry, low-quality image here. Had to operate my camera with no flash in order for the blue lighting to show. This image shows the blue lighting on the "C" and in the hole where the purification stuff comes out.



 Pros:
- Affordable.
- Absolutely user-friendly and hassle-free.
The only thing you have to do is plug it in, and adjusts your setting (maximum, minimum or off), which is made easy with a turn-dial on the product.

- Virtually maintenance free.
Since there are no batteries or filters that have to be replaced or cleaned, this device is basically something you simply plug in and never have to maintenance. 

The small opening that blows out oxygen may need to be cleaned of dust and debris over time (if you have it in an area that collects that stuff easily). If this happens, the user manual recommends simply damping a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol (not saturating!) and spinning it around at the hole's opening. Very simple.

- Works very well to clean the air,
even in medium or the average bedroom. It may not remove something like cigarette smoke as soon as the smoke begins to fill the air (it takes a while to really start working at it), but it reduces the lingering smokeand the odor of it significantly! So much that I can walk into the room while someone has just smoked and not be able to tell right off.


  The smoke that would typically linger, and the intensity of it is reduced greatly.


- Low power consumption. Takes less energy to run than a night-light.

- Travel-Friendly size. The GT50 is small enough to travel along with you (for use in hotel rooms with a 50 square foot coverage.)


- Uses safe levels of purification. Great to know that the manufacturer was fully aware of all the possible effects (health-wise) of using their product, so they made sure to create one that used safe and healthy levels of ozone. (Too much activated oxygen/ozone can have negative health effects.)

-Has a Blue back-light ringing the opening, and around the front of the device, letting you know when it's on and working.  


GT50 works by using negative ions and generating activated oxygen (ozone).


-Consumes less than 7-watts of power.


Specs:
- Comes with 90 day limited warranty.
- 120 ACV - 60 Hz
- 10 - 25 watts
-Coverage : up to 50 square ft.




Studies
Negative electric ions are also said to even improve our immunity, making our bodies more resistant to illness while also strengthening autonomic nerve functioning, reinforcing collagen and also improving metabolism. -The above, a "Reprint from Economy Daily News (January 30, 2002") comes a frequently mentioned statement that circulates regarding the topic of negative ions. 

However, I've not been able to dig up anything under the name/title of "Economy Daily News," and therefore cannot confirm its legitimacy. However, I wanted to toss this statement -- whether it was ever actually made by this Economy Daily News or not -- out there in case someone has insight on it, and because it does sound very plausible. If anybody has a source for this statement, please do turn me onto it.


Negative ions "neutralize pollutants."

Note: the source "Negative ion regeneration for youthfulness and longevity by John Heinerman, Ph.D." is not available online (other than via humans typing it up on forums and blogs, so far as I can tell. So, while I would like to put the possibility of this effect of negative ions out there, I want you guys to remain cautious about statements that have this "unable to confirm total legitimacy" note aside them, like this one does. In the meantime, I'll hunt this source down. Just thought you guys would still appreciate the mention of it being a common statement by folks in the negative ion biz.

"Changes in migration of calcium ions which can either bring calcium ions to heal a broken bone in half the usual time, or can help move calcium away from painful, arthritic joints." -Dr. Robert O. Becker, pioneering researcher and author of the book, The Body Electric and Cross Currents

- A recent study by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture found that ionizing a room led to 52% less dust in the air, and 95% less bacteria in the air (since many of the pollutants found in the air reside on floating dust particles). 


The use of negative ions was even found by scientists to reduce the presence of airborne viruses by about 40%. A study featured in the 1987 issue also showed the negative ions are free from any adverse side effects. -Journal of Applied Microbiology

 Negative Ions, according to one guy, are said to be effective against "influenza, asthma and especially bronchial disease." -Pierce J. Howard, PhD, author of The Owners Manual for the Brain: Everyday Applications from Mind Brain Research and director of research at the Center for Applied Cognitive Sciences in Charlotte, N.C.


 Here's some impressive scientific test results regarding the efficiency of ionic air purifiers (taken from the Green Technologies' website, where more can be found.)

"Wein Mini-Mate and VI-2500 Ionic Air Purifiers were found efficient in removing fine and ultra-fine particles from indoor air."
Source: Lee, B.U.,  Yermakov, M., and Grinshpun, S.A. (2004). Removal of Fine and Ultrafine Particles from Indoor Air Environments. . . . Atmospheric Environment.


"Mini-Mate, VI-2500, Auto-Mate and Sani-Mate shown to significantly reduce contamination in the breathing zone."
Source: Grinshpun, S.A., Mainelis, G., Trunov, Adhikari, A., Reponen, T., and Willeke, K. (2005). Evaluation of Ionic Air Purifiers . . . in Confined Indoor Spaces.


"Mini-Mate, VI-2500 and Auto-Mate, Sani-Mate reduced even virus sized airborne particles."

Source: Grinshpun, S.A., Lee, B.U., and Yermakov, M. (2004). Indoor Air Purification by Ionic Emission. American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition.


Further Sources Mentioned in this review article, and some that weren't (for your own research and educational purposes)

Pierce J. Howard, PhD, author of The Owners Manual for the Brain: Everyday Applications from Mind Brain Research and director of research at the Center for Applied Cognitive Sciences in Charlotte, N.C.

http://www.biofircenter.com/info/tag/brain

Kreuger, A. P. (1954). "The Biological Mechanisms of Air Ion Action." Journal of General Physiology. Berkeley: University of California.

Finley, M. (1996). "The PC Blahs: Do You Have Ion-Poor Blood?" Future Shoes.
Sulman,  F.  G.  (1974).  "Serotonin

Migraine  in  Climatic  Heat  Stress,  Its  Prophylexis  and  Treatment".
Elsinore,  Denmark:  Proceedings  of  the  International  Headache  Symposium

American  Academy  of  Allergy,  Asthma,  and  Immunology  (1998).  AAAAI  Patient/Public  Resource  Center.

















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 advise of an appropriate health care provider assume all risks of such behavior.

OxyLife Relaxal Supplement Review




OxyLife supplement: Relaxal


Benefits:
Helps reduce mild anxiety
Improve mood and fight mid-day fatigue
Increase energy
Decrease appetite

My Results (taking one capsule)

In the midst of being down with some kind of awful cold that carried with it the worse-than-normal sinus congestion  -- that made me literally feel like my head was slowly drifting up and off my shoulders while pounding as if someone had taken a jack-hammer to my head. Sniffles and 40 sneezes in one day -- a product like Relaxal couldn't have been here for me at a better time, especially since my sickly weekend was filled with my favorite folks in the whole world (the whole slew of nieces & nephews, and of course my love who damn near kills his own self when he has to see me sick, bless his heart. This is the second time in just this month!)

Before I forget that this post was intended to be a review of this life-saving Relaxal supplement and not a re-cap of my sick, but joy-filled weekend, let me just get right to it...

You get it, right? I was sick, sick. And today, Sunday required a lot of energy to spend time with the kids and family all day. But not enough sleep, plus the lingering sickness like the migraine made it hard to keep up. So, just to give you an idea of the type of results one might get from taking Relaxal -- well, it's 1:16 AM and I'm still going! I got the little boost I needed after taking Relaxal and a BC powder for the killer migraine that was only worsening as the night dragged on.

and here I am writing up a review! Let me tell you, this stuff was perfect for reducing the tension and stress I've felt like crazy today and getting a little boost of mental and physical energy. Oh, I also just finished 200 rounds of abdominal exercises! Didn't think I'd have the energy left to do them tonight.

This is off one single capsule, of Relaxal,folks. So to say I'm happy would be an understatement. I'm feeling real relief after quite some suffering.  I'm also feeling my mood perk up just a hair, which is always something I can use.

The appetite decrease, which has been enough to keep me from even daring to take a bite of the other half of my sub, or even the delicious white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies I've got. After taking Relaxal (around 11 PM, I believe), my appetite has been nil. Hopefully it will come back before this sub gets too old! I'm certainly not complaining though.


What I'm really loving about Relaxal is that it doesn't make me tired or drowsy like many, many supplements and OTC meds do, even some that don't typically have that side effect. 

Most anti-anxiety and anti-stress medications and supplements tend to over-relax you, meaning you can't take them except around bedtime, so therefore your relief has to wait during day-time.

Another thing I love is that the manufacturer of this product (OxyLife) proves they know what they're doing with their supplements. Reading the ingredients list and seeing nice amounts of magnesium and calcium along with Vitamin B6, St. John's Wort extract (hence the mood improvement, probably) & 5-HTP (hence the decrease in appetite), Vitamin B2, Thiamin, and Niacin. These all play a great role in how you feel, energy-wise.

You guys may recall my previous talk about using both a St. John's Wort supplement and a 5-HTP supplement. If not, the St. John's didn't end up benefitting my mood "issue" and depressive symptoms in the long-term, and the 5-HTP supplement made me so nauseous! So, I was almost hesitant about using this Relaxal, but am very glad I did. No negative side effects so far!

Results are impressive enough that I'm quite excited for tomorrow, as I'll be using the second capsule that came in the 2-capsule sample pack sent to me by OxyLife for review (thanks, OxyLife! You guys rock!)

Would I recommend Relaxal?   Excitedly! In fact, I've already been planning to share the word with a family memebr who deals with similar issues (mood, depression, fatigue) except far worse than I do. She has recently expressed a desire to go off anti-depressants at some point and try St. John's Wort, so this could be exactly her remedy, especially since her anxiety is still there while mine is almost non-existent these days (thanks to the herbs I've used.)

I will admit, I didn't expect a single thing when I took Relaxal. If anything, I thought I'd get drowsy or feel that heaviness I get from many anti-anxiety herbs/supplements. I certainly did not expect to feel a boost of energy or in my mood. I'll update with tomorrow's results, letting you guys know how the second dose goes.  This is a 2-capsule sample, so keep in mind this review is not detailing effects of a longer-term use & it's important to remember than most herbs for mood improvement like St. John's Wort typically take weeks to "kick in."


Relaxal's Full Ingredient List:

Thiamin - 15 Milligrams.
Vitamin B2 - 15 Milligrams.
Niacin -- 15 Milligrams.
Vitamin B6 - 30 Milligrams.
Pantothenic Acid - 30 Milligrams.
Calcium - 150 Milligrams.
Magnesium - 100 Milligrams.
Proprietary Relaxal Blend -- 450 Milligrams: PEA, St. John's Wort Extract, 5-HTP from Griffonia Seed Extract.
Other ingredients: Vegetable capsule, Magnesium Stearate, Silicon Dioxide.






















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 advise of an appropriate health care provider assume all risks of such behavior.