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Friday, April 24, 2015

New Sod bluegrass Fox Blogger JOB *

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 
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.

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.


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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pure Whey Protein Review

I received 3 sample packets (a total of 3 servings) of the all natural "Vanilla" flavored Pure Whey Protein in exchange for an honest review. I was planning to use this before workouts, and see if it didn't give me better results than the hemp protein I've been using (which has been giving me stomach cramps.)

I want to make it clear that I have tried other Summit Nutrition products in the past and have been pretty happy with some, but I can't seem to tolerate the consistency, flavor, or texture of this particular powder.

It might be important to also note that I have tried dozens of protein shakes and powders, and dozens of vanilla flavored weight-loss shakes. I've never been particularly fond of the vanilla flavored shakes and powders of any of these except for one, and it isn't this one.

As the sample packet directed, I poured the contents into the blender with milk and ice -- you can use water, but I couldn't even go there -- thinking this would be pretty tasty, especially since the powder itself was.

Trying to actually down the stuff was a whole 'nother story. I couldn't finish a small cup of it.

I tried adding some to my coffee. I was able to drink it, but not without gagging.

Why? I think it's mostly the consistency for me. It took on a lumpy, thick, slimy, gel-like consistency once mixed with a liquid.

The lumpy I don't mind, but the slimy got me.

To describe the flavor itself... I can taste that over-powering Stevia taste that kind of feels funny on my tongue (always has, not sure why.)

Secondly, I can't say the "vanilla" tastes natural to me, and if I were to taste it without knowing it was labeled a "vanilla" flavor, I wouldn't have known it was supposed to be vanilla.

It's not creamy, and it tastes mostly like what you might expect if you tried a protein powder that was supposed to be unflavored.

The powder is very fine and white. It blends well without as much clumps as other brands.

At this point, I've reached the conclusion that this would best be taken in a thick, fruity smoothie. That would probably mask the sweet, but almost flavor-less thick goo.  I do like super thick shakes and smoothies, just not gooey.

The powder by itself on the other hand is divine! I love the fine powder, the creamy and somewhat vanilla-y. The aroma is perfectly vanilla-y and sweet, so I definitely was surprised by the taste mixed with liquid.

I do think I would enjoy this a little if I were to try it masked well into some super fruit smoothie. Hopefully, I'll be able to do that one day soon.

In the meantime, I plan to try this mixed with a shake powder I use (in chocolate flavor) that's for helping you not have such intense cravings and hopefully the delicious taste of that can somewhat compliment this (or mask it), and I can get it down. 

I just finished experimenting with adding my chocolate powder (Shake the Crave) in with this Whey Protein powder and I'm so happy so say that I liked it! It was far tastier and easy to get down than without the chocolate. 

 I simply added one scoop of chocolate powder to the blender along with milk and ice and the Whey Protein powder. It was very sweet, but tasty enough that I downed almost all of it before being too full to drink anymore. 
With that said, I can say that if anybody else has trouble with enjoying the protein powder, then chocolate powder (even cocoa powder) will more than likely make it far more palatable. 

I've read reviews that say the chocolate flavor is amazing, so I think I'd have done better with that flavor of this stuff since I am a chocolate kind of girl.

There are some very nice aspects of this powder, and I actually hated to say that I didn't like it. The flavor, texture, and consistency aside, I am highly impressed with all the healthy claims this stuff makes.

With that said, I'd like to highlight those positive points:

- Supposed to target muscle groups and provide higher muscle growth -- something that's important to me.

- Can improve immune system.

- May boost your energy

- Powder contains no GMO,  no gluten, no lactose, (although it does contain ingredients *derived* from milk), no soy, no whey concentrate, no fat, no sugar, no artificial ingredients, no dextrose or maltodextrin, no BSE/TSE. No fillers or banned substances.

- 100% Bio Pure Whey Protein Isolate: whey protein is isolated from whey protein concentrate by using patented ultra-microfiltration process which preserves natural profile of amino acid unlike other whey protein isolates that denature the Protein profile by using ion exchange method. 

- Free from protein spiking or amino acid spiking

- Low sodium

-cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Facility), Made in USA.

- Full label disclosure: Every ingredient is listed on label -- no proprietary blends.

- 110 calories.

- 0 grams fat, <1 br="" carbs.="" cholesterol="">
-Non denatured, non ion-exchange.

-Contains 90% protein (26 grams) per scoop with 3.6 protein efficiency ratio, and 159 biological value.

-Claims to contain the maximum amount of BCAA's (5.6 Grams.)

- Contains 4.8 grams of Glutamines.

- 5.22 grams Glycopeptides (GMP)

- 1.0% PDCAA's

It is my opinion that this is a high quality whey product, even superior to non pure whey, and I am not going to stop trying to work with it, but I do think it will take a lot of experimenting to find a way to get it down smoothly for those like me who aren't a fan of the texture and consistency. I'm thinking the best bet is adding a chocolate flavored something to it. Perhaps even cocoa powder alone, if you don't have a favorite *healthy* chocolate flavored shake to  combine it with.

P.S. You can find this stuff on Amazon 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.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Studies Show Junk-Food Cravings Can Be Stopped in 15 Minutes

Guess what you can do to stop food cravings brought on by stress? 

Take a 15 minute walk of moderate intensity.

It's true. Studies say so.

In "normal weight" people, the study found that "high-calorie" snack cravings are reduced after "physical activity." Same with "overweight" people.

So, it stands to be true that even some moderate physical activity can be a huge key for us in maintaining (or reducing) our weight.

Apparently, some folks were asked to not eat their usual comfort (junk) foods for a period of time (3 days) and then they were given a test to increase their stress levels.  

The folks conducting the study then gave the participants a sugar-laden snack to hold but not eat. The people would be be over-ready to indulge since they weren't allowed to do so as usual for a period of time before they were put in a stressful situation, but the participants who were made to walk on a treadmill afterwards had significantly lower cravings than the ones who only sat down.

  • Acute exercise reduces chocolate urges. 
  • Exercise reduces the urge for sugary foods, and reduced stress-related cravings.  

If you're anything like me, you know the almost intolerable urge to bite into something sweet. Sometimes, it's enough to drive you mad.

Trying to do your job and that overwhelming urge to locate sugar asap kicks in. You  suddenly can hardly continue focusing on the task at hand because some tiny red fella (he's gotta be red because we know he ain't wearing no halo!) keeps nagging at you in the back of your mind until his nagging becomes yelling.

"Find sweets and devour them now... Or else I'll devour you."

Before you know it, that vein in your temple is bulging and you feel the first knocking of a headache showing through. 

Now you're downright irritated and you furiously rip open your snack drawer, tear the wrapper off whatever your hand finds first and start chomping down, almost mindlessly. 

You hardly even taste that damn snack you're cramming into your mouth to feed (and shut up) that hungry, incessant a-hole who won't leave you alone until you devour the sweets.

All you know is you must stop the craving that continues to threaten you. 

Now you can finally focus and get back to work.

Only sometimes, if you're a lot like me, that first snack only makes you crave more. 

If you've been around here at Ribbons & Pearls with me for long, then you know that one of my many documented struggles is sweet cravings. 

Sometimes I'm not even certain that it's not those irritating, incessant cravings consuming me. If I had it my way, I wouldn't be consuming them at all, but they love to keep their claws tangled deep within...somewhere.

You may have read all about my adventures in trying to remedy the intense cravings-monster. I've used virtually everything imaginable. Shake the Crave (a chocolate-y shake mix that can help tone down the viciousness of some of those cravings sometimes) is my current form of removing some of that urge. 

When I'm having a late work night (like I will be tonight) and I've already had dinner, but the sweet cravings-monster won't subside and just let me work, I'll often turn to my trusty ol' chocolate Shake the Crave.

I've also taken up the famous Garcinia Cambogia supplements, another journey I'm currently documenting, which can be read about here

That's not even close to all the remedies I've tried, though. Those are just my current two, and they appear to be having somewhat of an impact.

Even more recently, I tried adding in another "weight loss" supplement known as raspberry ketones, and just quit taking them a few days ago when I put 2 and 2 together and realized that they seemed to be causing my innards to feel... swollen and inflamed and bloated.

I was actually beginning to think I was putting on weight until I skipped the raspberry ketones supplement for a night and noticed my stomach was totally flat and comfortable the next day. I wondered if perhaps it was the raspberry ketones having a less-than-positive affect on me, so I skipped my dose again the next night, only to wake up with a flat, comfortable belly. 

So I've now given the raspberry ketones up and have had no bloating and swelling of my innards, my stomach is flat and not distended. 

I have a long, ugly history of IBS, candidiasis, and endometriosis, so this could be part of why my body reacted negatively to the ketones.

Now, I think I'll go add a burst of jogging in place to my day before I start off to work! 
Reading that interesting study that said bursts of physical activity could lessen cravings really gave me another ray of hope. 

Oh, for those of you who are closely following my journey, I have been meaning to share that I read sometime a couple weeks ago that walking 10,000 steps a day amps up the calorie burning, so I began walking in place, and also walking back and forth through the house when I get the chance. 

     Just standing in front of the TV while having my daily coffee, I was able to get in 500 steps before I'd ever even come close to finishing my cup of coffee! Talk about super multi-tasking: having my coffee while watching a few minutes of my favorite show (Criminal Minds) and getting in some calorie-burning exercise! That's my kind of productivity, and the perfect start to my day.  
    What types of physical activity/exercise do you guys try to fit into your day? Have any of you used any weight-loss supplements? Please take a minute to share your own journies, experienced, and goals with me in the comments section!

Details of the study, found within PLos ONE Journal
Research has shown that acute exercise reduces urges for chocolate in normal weight people. This study aimed to examine the effects of an acute exercise bout on urges to consume sugary snacks, affect as well as ‘psychological and physiological responses’ to stress and a ‘sugary snack cue’, in overweight individuals. Following 3 days of chocolate-abstinence, 47 overweight, sugary snack consumers were assessed, in 2 randomly ordered conditions, in a within-subject design: 15-min brisk walk or passive control. Following each, participants completed 2 tasks: Stroop color–word interference task, and handling sugary snacks. Urges for sugary snacks, affective activation and valence were assessed. ANOVAs revealed significant condition x time interaction effects for: urges to consume sugary snacks, affective valence and activation. Obtained data show that exercise reduces urges for sugary snacks and attenuates urges in response to the stress situation and the cue in overweight people.

Source:  PLoS ONE Journal ( Ledochowski L, Ruedl G, Taylor AH, Kopp M (2015) Acute Effects of Brisk Walking on Sugary Snack Cravings in Overweight People, Affect and Responses to a Manipulated Stress Situation and to a Sugary Snack Cue: A Crossover Study. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0119278. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0119278)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pure Garcinia Cambogia & Cleanse Fat Loss Kit Review & Giveaway

 If you've been keeping up with me (and my crazy journies), you probably read my recent review and experience with taking Garcinia Cambogia, a "fat-loss" supplement. 

If you are in the dark, then I recommend going to read the post "My Journey With Garcinia Cambogia" first because it contains extensive, in-depth information on everything you'll need to know about Garcinia Cambogia as a supplement.

I first began my journey with Garcinia Cambogia in January.

As of yesterday, February 14, 2015 (Valentine's day, actually), I received the "Fat Loss kit," which includes a bottle of "Pure Garcinia Cambogia Extract" as well as a bottle of the "Slender Cleanse Advanced" supplement. 

As of one week now, I've began taking these two supplements together, which are what I'll be reviewing here in this post today.

For starters, we'll discuss the claims and possible benefits of this "fat-loss" kit, starting with the Slender Cleanse, an awesome supplement that's designed to really "cleanse" your body of toxins and also promote healing in the entire digestive system. Slender Cleanse Advanced is full of healthy, beneficial ingredients that have immense benefits for overall health, and especially the "gut." 

With well-known natural and digestive-friendly ingredients like Psyllium husk, and aloe vera, the digestive system is not only "cleaned," but soothed. 

The cleansing effect that takes place once you've began taking Slender Cleanse can no doubt help you drop some pounds, especially if your extra weight is due to an improperly working digestive system.

All this combined with a Garcinia Cambogia supplement can boost your weight-loss, due to the Garcinia Cambogia's power to not only limit fat production, but burn existing fat as well.

Let's dive right in, starting with the Slender Cleanse product that comes with this 2-supplement fat-loss kit.

So, what is Slender Cleanse?

Slender Cleanse Advanced is a 7 day all natural, gentle and controllable method to break up and flush away pounds of unwanted toxins and build up from the walls of your colon and intestines.

The product is supposed to help with the following:
 -Weight Gain
-Mood Swings & Irritability
-Gas and Bloating
-Sleeping Problems
Product Specs:
Serving Size: 2 Tablets
Servings per container: 30


Oat seed, Alfalfa leaf, Psyllium husk, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Rhubarb root, Gentian root, Aloe vera leaf, Cascara sagrada bark, Goldenseal root, Buckthorn bark, Bentonite.

Let's take a moment to look into the ingredients and what they do, so we can better understand what results and effects may be experienced by using the supplement.

Oat seed:  
Can't find any info on "oat seed," or it's benefit.

Alfalfa Leaf: Contains essential Vitamins, minerals, protein, chlorophyll, and amino acids. Supports immune system and healthy circulation.

Note: In Chinese medicine Alfalfa leaf is used to stimulate appetite.

In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, it's used to reduce water retention (hence the "reduce bloating" claim this supplement makes.

Among many beneficial properties Alfalfa leaf has, here are a few important ones to note:

  • Purifies the blood and liver
  • Promotes bowel movement regularity
  • Detoxes urinary tract
  • Improves digestive problems
It's also been used to help with many ailments, including menstrual problems.  

Goldenseal Root: Cleanses and increases fluid elimination from the body, removes toxins, improves function of virtually every organ including liver, intestines, pancreas, colon, spleen, the respiratory and circulatory system, etc.

Psyllium husk: Rich in fiber, psyllium husks can give a sense of feeling full, therefore reducing appetite. It also cleanses the system, improves digestive problems, helps with weight control. Reduces bloating and flatulence.
 Lactobacillus acidophilus: A friendly bacteria found in the "gut" and other areas of the body. Can help with diarrhea, helpful for all colon and digestive issues, including inflammation, helps clear acne.
 Rhubarb root:  Removes toxins, treats both diarrhea and constipation, reduces inflammation in the colon, helps the intestine to regulate fat absorption.
Gentian root: Used to promote appetite, and used as treatment to gain weight. Stimulates digestive system, improves slow digestion, prevent flatulence, used as a remedy to improve mental exhaustion. Has anti-inflammatory effects. Used in Chinese medicine to treat toxicity of the bowels,
Aloe vera leaf: Aloe is my all time favorite "remedy" for virtually everything. It's a panacea, in my opinion, and as many of you know, aloe is what healed me of debilitating IBS, candidiasis, and even improved endometriosis problems! 

Aloe is an anti-inflammatory, it kills candida albicans (which cause candidiasis), it's a natural anti-bacterial and has anti-viral properties. 

It soothes the internal organs, especially intestines and digestive system almost as soon as it goes down. It soothes the organs, prevents spasms and inflammation like nothing else.

Helps remove extra water in the cells, can aid in burning excessive fats, promotes muscle development, reduces BMI (body mass index),
 Cascara sagrada bark: A stimulant/laxative commonly used for constipation relief by irritating the colon muscles, causing them to contract. *Spastic colon sufferes should be very careful with this!* As someone with a history of severe IBS and candidiasis, including what my doctor called "colon spasming," something he noticed during surgery -- I am able to take this supplement without ill side effects, but am extremely cautious not to ever take more than 1 tab daily or else I'm afraid I would be right back in the severe digestive flare-up pain that I used to suffer daily with. If you suffer from similar disorders, try taking only half a tablet to start.

**Make sure you're getting plenty of electrolytes if taking anything with this ingredient since it can deplete the body of electrolytes (usually through diarrhea), and that can be severe. Also, it's not to be used longer than one week, and this is probably why the Slender Cleanse Advanced label advises to stop using after 7 days.

 Buckthorn bark: A mild laxative and intestinal stimulant that causes rapid evacuation of the bowels. Known as an irritant that can cause spasms, diarrhea, vomiting, cramps. The same warnings as the above mentioned ingredient-- cacara --also apply for this ingredient.
Bentonite: Absorbs water, then remains in digestive tract to bind to and flush out toxins. Bentonite is used for treating constipation, detox, IBS, flatulence and bloating. People with IBS have reported to have improved symptoms after using bentonite.

My Results/Experience with the Slender Cleanse Advanced part of the fat-loss kit:

So far, I've been using the Fat-Loss Kit for one week, and while I will have to update the results and experience section of the review as I go, I want to go ahead and make note of a few things I've experienced so far. 

- Being hesitant about going full-force with a "cleanse" supplement, due to the possibility of the supplement being overwhelmingly powerful, I opted to start off only taking half of a tablet each day, instead of the full tablet.

As someone with a history of severe stomach and digestive disorders, I like to go into things like this slowly just in case it might mess with my innards and cause discomfort, pain, or some sort of IBS flare up. 

After the 4th day, since everything was going well and I seemed to be tolerating the Slender Cleanse supplement well without any harsh or painful side-effects, I went ahead and began taking it as recommended -- the full dose.

 So far, I actually have noticed some... cleansing going on, if that makes sense. 

It's likely that during the first week or so (depending on your system, and probably depending on the amount of toxins in your system), you're more than likely going to experience a change in bathroom habits. More frequent, regular, and some have said "complete" bathroom visits occur during the first weeks of using Slender Cleanse Advanced.

All I will say is those statements are most definitely true. 

However, I'm so happy to report that my stomach has been tolerating this awesome supplement well, and I have experienced no pain or flare-ups, just some very noticeable digestive improvements, which I feel like happened quite rapidly, within 2 days of taking the supplement.

With that said, I can definitely say that the "regularity" claim is true, and hopefully, I will also experience an improvement in acne and my skin, as well as the other claims for this supplement! So far, I'm pretty impressed.

I also would like to make note that due to the minor, but noticeable digestive change I've experienced so soon in this journey, I do believe some people will experience some weight loss, simply due to the 'cleansing' effect, if nothing else.

Stay tuned for further updates as I continue this journey!

Pure Garcinia Cambogia Extract supplement:

"Garcinia Cambogia was developed with the TV doctor's strict criteria for the proper Garcinia Supplement."

Claims, Possible Benefits of Taking Pure GC

According to the label:
- Limit fat production,
- Burn existing fat for energy
-Boost energy and mood naturally
- High level of HCA helps stop the stress hormone Cortisol.

If you read my post "My Journey With Garcinia Cambogia," which contains information on how Garcinia Cambogia "works," what to be aware of before you ever purchase a Garcinia supplement and more. I've truly covered everything about this supplement in that previous post. However, it's important to put some of that information in this post, too. 

"An effective Garcinia Cambogia supplement should contain between 1,500-1,600 mg, with at least 60% HCA, and potassium to help with absorption-- and nothing else."
According to Team Innovations, this supplement contains 60% HCA.

This particular supplement, the "Pure Garcinia Cambogia Extract" comes in at 3,000 milligrams of Garcinia Cambogia extract (when taken as directed, which is a total of 6 capsules a day -- 2 capsules taken 3 times during the day, according to their Amazon page. The label, however, only says "take 2 daily.")

Obviously, it's also important that the Garcinia Cambogia supplement is 100% pure and contains no fillers,  binders, or artificial ingredients. The company does claim to follow all of those rules.

Another Important Note:
(That's Been Covered More Extensively in my first GC post:)The Consumer article states that an effective Garcinia Cambogia should contain nothing but the active ingredient and potassium. Potassium chloride does  appear on this Garcinia Cambogia supplement label, but it probably wouldn't hurt to make sure you're getting plenty of it elsewhere, whether it's through a multi-vitamin, diet or other supplement.

* The article also mentioned that "recent studies have shown that it's possible calcium can work against absorption" of Garcinia Cambogia, and this one does contain calcium since it occurs naturally in the plant. Again, this too is covered more extensively in my first GC post.

Product Specs:

Garcinia Cambogia Advanced with 60% HCA
60 capsules comes with 30 servings/30 day supply.

Serving size: 2 capsules
Instructions: Take 2 capsules daily, according to the bottle.

According to the Amazon page, you should take 2 capsules, 30 minutes before eating, 3 times a day, which would equal 3,000 milligrams of Garcinia Cambogia extract.

Calcium carbonate (50 milligrams per serving)
Chromium (200 mcg per serving)
Potassium Chloride (50 milligrams per serving)
Garcinia Cambogia fruit rind (1,000 milligrams per serving)
Extract Complex (with 60% Hydroxy Citric Acid/HCA)
Other ingredients: Gelatin

Recommendation from the company, Team Innovations, LLC: : "This product is specifically designed for men and women that NEED TO LOSE MORE THAN 10 LBS
*If you LOSE MORE THAN 10 POUNDS your first week please discontinue use*"
close-up of Garcinia Cambogia capsules

Why I'm Fond of The GC Supplement: 

  • Gluten-free
  •  Made in a "State of the Art" GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) facility in the USA.

  • Contains the least amount of HCA  necessary (60%)  in order for the GC to actually work
  • Absolutely no side effects at all. Someone asked if Garcinia Cambogia was a "stimulant." While I've read people saying that they feel more energy once they began taking it, it's not a coffee like energy. I personally am a huge caffeine user, so I probably won't see an energy increase so much as someone who doesn't use caffeine at all. 
It's possible that you could notice a little more pep throughout your days, but it isn't anything like a stimulant. You won't be kept awake, jittery, or crash. If you do notice energy, it'll be the clean, natural kind. 

Another important aspect of the Garcinia Cambogia supplements are that they've been absolutely easy on my stomach and digestive system. No negative effects, or changes what so ever, in that area. As someone with a history of candidiasis, IBS and endometriosis, I tend to be sensitive to any diet or weight loss (and other supplements) product, but this doesn't give me any trouble. I can take the supplements on an empty stomach without problem. 

My Results and Experience with the Garcinia Cambogia supplement:

If you've been following my journey with the Garcinia Cambogia supplement I'd posted about previously, then you know how fond I've been with the great stuff. 

I've tried virtually every single "diet" product you can imagine -- popular products in your everyday shopping centers, and those that aren't so well known and popular. 

There has been a product that I've been fond of as far as helping with cravings for sweets, but when it comes to any diet or weight-loss supplement/product, I've never in my life had results. Not even a pound shed, not a single difference made. 

As I've updated my experience as I go with GC, I've found myself growing more and more fond of using it. 

So far, I actually have been seeing results. As I mentioned in my latest update on the first GC post, my stomach has become "flatter," whereas before, I was constantly bloated. 

My endurance has increased to a noticeable level, making my exercise routine more effective. I've also noticed that it appears that the exercise routine I've been doing strictly since last summer has begun to give me more dramatic results, suddenly.

Since all of my "weight-loss" product experienced have produced absolutely zero results for me, I have taken these GC supplements without the so much as a thought towards seeing any results from it. 

So, when I started waking up with a flat stomach day after day (until that yucky old monthly cycle hit me and bloated me a bit), I realized that something has changed. 

Looking deeply into my recent habits and eating, trying to find out what could've caused such a change in the bloated belly I've had for years, it hit me. Garcinia Cambogia! That's the only thing I've changed.

That was my first inkling that the stuff could be actually producing some results for me.

Soon after the bloating went down, I noticed that my body started looking a bit differently. 

It was as if the exercise routine I've been following since last summer finally began showing results. All at once. 

I've been looking at my abdomen area and back-side with a feeling of being quite impressed! It feels good, for once, and I'm feeling like the toning of my muscles is starting to show at a rapid pace. 

This is amazing, and I feel happier than ever about my body. 

I have even had a few comments from other people since I began this experiment. 

My nephew commented on how flat my stomach was one day, as I was fighting to remove my pesky hoodie sweater. I was shocked to hear that since I kind of felt quite the opposite of someone with a flat stomach. 

In fact, when he said that, I had actually been feeling like I was putting on some weight. 

It wasn't long after that I started seeing quite significant changes myself. 

For instance, when I was sitting down (a position that when wearing tight jeans typically results in a "roll" around the lower belly area), I glanced in the mirror and was truly amazed at what I saw.

I expected to see a roll lopping over the top of my jeans, and instead, what I saw truly took me by surprise! My stomach was not a big roll dripping off of my jeans. It was barely a roll at all!

Normally, my pair of tight jeans are not comfortable, and when I sit, I have a small roll, so you can imagine my pleasure at seeing something completely different.

Someone else commented on my weight with "you're so skinny," as well.

My significant other, who some of you know as Bronson, has even made comments himself, although he claims I have always been this thin. 

Tonight, he gushed over me with"oh my gosh. Look at your body. You're absolute perfection." 

And just a couple days ago, "Look how sexy you are! You almost don't even look real! You look like you've been airbrushed. There are no flaws on your body at all."

 Now, these "you're so sexy, and perfect, etc." are not exactly brand new comments from him, he's always been a huge complimenter, but it was the first time I'd ever heard the "you look airbrushed" compliment.

It's possible that a little bit of extra confidence on my part is also having an impact, but when he's gawking at me, and pouring out the compliments, there's so much enthusiasm and feelings behind them. Not that there wasn't before, but it's like he's seeing me for the first time. Even when I've looked in the mirror over the last month, I even feel shocked and wonder 'when did that happen?'

I can see that he's truly amazed, and whether he's conscious of it or not, my body has undergone some changes, especially toning.

These reactions from people who see me on a daily basis really confirmed the effects for me.

As far as the scales go, I haven't seen a drop in numbers, but I don't put much into that as one can easily fluctuate from 5-10 pound differences on any given day depending on so many factors. However, I will begin weighing regularly so I can document that as well. 

My Concerns About this Supplement

  • The company refers to the capsules as "pure vegetarian capsules," but the in the ingredient list on the label, under "other ingredients," the only thing listed is "gelatin," which means the capsules are gelatin capsules. This raises concern over whether their "pure vegetarian capsule" claim is true or false because gelatin is an animal product.

 Consuming gelatin isn't a problem to me, which is why I didn't label this issue a con -- the issue of the company referring to the capsules as "vegetarian," although in the ingredients, gelatin is listed. However, it could be a serious issue with someone who's a vegetarian that consumed this supplement under the impression that it was vegetarian. 

If you're a vegetarian and would like to still take this GC supplement, there are some ways to get beyond the issue, although inconvenient: empty the contents of the capsules and either consume the powder, or re-capsule each one into veggie capsules that you've purchased from a reputable manufacturer.


While the Pure Garcinia Cambogia supplement does follow the majority of the requirements necessary in a Garcinia Cambogia supplement for it to do you any good, and I do feel like it's a useful product, especially combined with the Slender Cleanse Advance, I personally think I would prefer sticking with the first GC supplement I was using since it contains a higher amount of HCA.

Both of the Garcinia Supplements I've discussed -- this one and the first one I wrote about -- do have information between the Amazon page and the bottles themselves that conflict with each other, which has kind of made me wary. Due to this, I have to give a disclaimer and tell you that you should not rely solely on the information found on the products' Amazon page. This exact disclaimer is also found on the Amazon pages, so please take these 'warnings' to heart and do not mistakenly follow the information only on the Amazon page without considering what the product instructions themselves instruct.

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.