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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.

Monday, February 23, 2015

5 Signs You're Suffering from A Red #40 Allergy

What a stressful week it has been! 

I rarely go into detail about stressful period in my life, but in today's case, it's a bit relevant, so bear with me...
Image Source:

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Simple Ways You Can Improve Your Air Quality for Better Health

Image source:

Being a pet owner, and someone who suffers from allergies like crazy, I've been learning how to tackle and combat allergens in the home for the last several months now. Some of you may recall when I posted my experience trying an air purifier that plugs into the wall a few months ago. 

Maintaining quality air inside your house is complicated enough what with things like nature throwing pollen at you every once and a while, and that pesky dust that floats around in the air. 

Add a few pets to those typical air quality-reducing factors and it gets even harder. 

It just so happens that having a house full of pets (a wiener dog, 2 lovely cats, and a turtle that smells like pure sewage every 3-5 days) takes a lot of work if you want to keep the smells, allergens, dander, dust, and other cruddy air problems under control. 

So on my journey to try and get my air quality (and allergies) back under control, I've been experimenting with several easy and simple things you can do that's supposed to improve the air. Below are a few things I've found helpful. 

Helpful enough that I'm not sneezing my head off everyday when I wake up, if that tells you anything. 


From HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arresting) air purifiers -- something on my to-buy-soon list right now -- to HEPA vacuum filters, using HEPA technology can help cut down on everyday allergens and asthma symptoms. HEPA filters are able to catch the tiniest of particles that cause us to suffer so much. That's why they're so popular today. 

Add Activated Carbon to Your Air Purifiers
Combine activated carbon with HEPA and you get a filter that'll not only remove those tiny, allergy-causing particles, but also reduce the chemicals, gases and even odors that are harmful to breathe.

Vacuum The Bed
Vacuuming is something you already know to do,  and something that's likely not necessary to put on a list like this one (I do not want to insult your intelligence, dear reader,) but I have noticed a fairly drastic improvement in my sneezing and sinus issues when I began vacuuming my entire bedroom every single day, and that includes vacuuming my bed! 

Pillows, sheets, covers. I take the vacuum and run it over all of that, right after running it over my hard flooring. 

If you do not have pets who sleep in your bed, you may not require such an extensive daily vacuuming, but if you've not tried vacuuming your bedding on a very regular basis (like I do, daily), then this added tip might be useful to you to try.

Adopt House Plants
Many common house plants are effective in renewing air, and they're nature's natural toxin and pollutant filters. 
I know, I talk about aloe vera here at Ribbons & Pearls like it's the panacea, the cure-all to all of life's difficulties and problems and stresses... 

Well, it basically is.

When I discuss aloe vera (which is frequent, I know), I always make sure to mention the plant's awesome air-cleansing properties. However, there are a few more plants worthy of mentioning in this department.

  • Aside from aloe, Philodendrons, Spider Plant and Devil's Ivy are all also capable of removing formaldehyde from the air indoors, although according to NASA, Philodendrons are best at removing high concentrations of it from indoor air, while aloe is best for removing it in lower concentrations.

  • Chrysanthemum and Gerbera Daisies remove the carcinogen benzene from air.

Reduce Your Usage of Smell-Goods!
I know, it's one of the toughest things to cut for many folks. 

Putting a stop to using your chemical-laden perfumes and cleaners that work so well sounds like a life of hell, right?

I mean that Scrubbin' Bubbles (or Foamtastic) stuff works like magic, right? 

I know, but if you're suffering from migraines and allergies and you're using these chemical-filled products often, then you might  want to at least try cutting some of it out.

I love my easy cleaners as much as the next gal. I mean, nothing cleans the shower/tub out like Scrubbin' Bubbles! 

But, these migraines won't tolerate it. 

So, use the products you can't go without, but try to replace a few (especially the rip-off air "refresheners" that are basically just a bottle of synthetic fragrances (chemicals) that are sprayed into the air. They're useless. 

Instead, try essential oils, which are safe, natural and allergy-friendly. Peppermint will leave a truly lasting, clean scent. Vinegar will too, and it'll remove and prevent mold! 

Even lemon is a natural cleaner. Tea tree oil is an anti-microbial and anti-bacterial that has one heck of a strong, clean smell. 

Prevent and Remove Mildew
...Speaking of vinegar, use it to prevent and remove mildew, too. Mildew is a cause of wheezing and allergy symptoms. 

Add a de-humidifier into the mix (which will also reduce dust mites), and you should be just dandy. 

Clean it Like You Mean it
Don't forget to clean out small, odd spaces like the inside of your air conditioners, air purifiers, vacuums, heater vents, etc. These places are notorious for harboring dust and crud without you noticing it. Vacuum them up, wipe them down, and you'll be taking your allergy fight one step further. 

Give Your Ductwork a cleaning
While it's not something I've personally gotten around to doing at this point in my life, as an allergy sufferer, if you've already tried most of the solutions available to you like those listed in this article, you can take it one step further and have your ductwork cleaned. The accumulated debris within ductwork can unfortunately wreak havoc on your air quality, and allergies.

There are companies out there that do this cleaning for you, using their own ductwork cleaning tools like what AeroSeal Solutions offers, which has a camera attached to the tool to see everything within the ductwork (and make sure that all the built up debris and fuzz and nasties are cleaned out.)

So what do you do to keep your air quality up and allergies down?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

How to Jump Rope Like A Pro With Naturalico Ultra-Speed Cable Jump Rope

  It may seem elementary school, but jumping rope is one way to work multiple muscles in the body at once.

Plus, who doesn't want a little childhood gymnasium nostalgia?

I have to admit, I do get a kick out of swinging a rope over my head and jumping it, so when I read that

 "10 mins of jumping rope can provide the 
same calorie burn as 30 mins of slow cardio," I decided to add rope-jumping into my exercise routine. 

With that said, jumping rope is a perfect way to get into the habit of exercise, if you have a hard time bringing yourself to, and want to make it a regular thing. It's one of the easiest ways to exercise since it doesn't require strenuous activity or insane positions, and none of that huge equipment that threatens to squash you flat each time you attempt to get near it. 

I highly recommend taking up jump rope if you're someone who's looking to start moving a little more, and even if you're someone like myself who has managed to force themselves into exercising on a daily basis. 

 Bottom line: everyone can benefit from a little jumpin'. 

Plus, it's a little less boring than your typical sit ups and has enough health benefits to motivate you.

  "Perfect for busy people that want to be more fit, beginners, enthusiasts, WOD's, Cross Fitness Training, boxing, MMA training and much more"   - Naturalico
While creating a jump rope that's a step above your typical childhood rope, the folks at Naturalico opted for simplicity in their design, choosing to focus on what's important -- efficiency and functionality, to ensure you get the most bang from your workout. That's my impression anyway. 

Close-up of ball bearings

With ball bearings that are meant to increase the number of revolutions per minute, this is the ideal rope if you need to achieve double and triple unders, as well as best PRs in your workout.

Unlike other ropes which have cheap plastic ball bearings, this has 4 high-grade metal ball bearings, which promote faster turning of the rope and longer durability.

• The rope is also very light, making it easy for beginners to use.

• The cable is 10ft long, and adjustable to be used by people of different heights.

• With the rope, you also get a nylon drawstring carry bag,

although my latch that holds the bag shut slipped right off and I couldn't get it back on, so the bag doesn't close. It's still small enough to wrap up and toss in a bag or purse.

This rope comes with a limited lifetime manufacturer guarantee, whatever "limited lifetime" warranty means.

Using the Rope

How to Adjust  
Step on the middle portion of the rope with one foot,bringing the handles straight up. If the handles extend beyond your shoulder points, the ends need to be cut.

Once you've got your length adjusted to fit your height properly, use the screws to secure the end, near the handles.

While stepping on the middle part of rope, find the ends, and mark before clipping (using wire-cutters), if you need to clip the rope at all.
Note: The brochure said the ideal length was to the arm-pits. Other fitness folks suggest  shoulder-level length for beginners,  and armpit level or below for experienced users. For double unders, the ends of handles should reach around the nipple line. Even as a beginner to jump roping with a speed rope, I have to say, even at shoulder-length, this sucker was awkward and all over the place when I tried using it.

Being short as sh*t, it's obvious the length is way too long for my small self.

    The Ultra-speed Cable Jump Rope can be a great addition to endurance training or cardio exercise in general.  The folks at Naturalico state that by doing 50-100 jumps "a few times, and a few minutes daily," you'll "blast fat." I try to aim for 5 minutes at a time and 1-3 times daily, assuming by "a few times, a few minutes daily" that that should be enough.

My Experience

So far, I'm having quite the time trying to get along with this rope. I suppose the spinning of the rope, due to the ball bearings, and the length and thin-ness of the cord/rope is what makes it so awkward. 

For some reason, I can't seem to actually manage to jump when the cord lands at my feet. I either jump too soon, or way too late and end up wrapped all up in the cording. I am not sure why this is such a challenge for me, but I think with actual ropes, you feel the weight of them and know when it's time to jump. With this lightweight cord, I can't even begin to make a close judgement as to where it's at. Sometimes I swing it, and never know it even went anywhere until it lands on my head!

I am still trying to get the hang of it, and will likely have to keep experimenting with the length. It obviously needs to be cut extra short for me, but I've only been cutting a little at a time, in fear of cutting it too short and ruining the entire thing. 

Eventually, I should get the hang of it and be able to actually use it as a jump rope and not fumble and fight with the thing. I never expected to be challenged by a simple jump rope! I will master this thing. One day.

Once I do, I think I could get into it, and manage to do it on at least somewhat of a regular basis. It may not be something I incorporate into my every day exercise routine, though, if I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere with it. 

So far, I can say I've gotten a work out just by struggling with the thing, and jumping around all crazy! So that's something.

Benefits of Jump Roping

- Benefits the cardiovascular system.

-Strengthens upper & lower body

- Improves lower body muscle tone, especially the legs

About Naturalico's Cable Jump Rope Specs:

  •  Adjustable 10 foot cable length  (to be suited for everyone's height.) Note: the rope is made of wire, so you'll likely need to use wire cutters to cut the excess rope ends.

  • Comes with drawstring bag for easy storage and on-the-go use.
  • "High-speed," meaning this isn't your conventional jump rope. It allows for more workout in less time. Example: CrossFit "Double unders" are achievable using this rope.

  • The handles turns at  90 degree angles to prevent tangling and bending.

  • Instead of plastic ball bearings, this rope has 4 metal ball bearings, which are supposed to promote faster turning of the rope and longer durability.

• The rope is lightweight and beginner-friendly

 A Few Things I Was Impressed With:

-Shipped Fast.

-Kind, personalized card from the owner:
I was also impressed with the owner of Naturalico, Grace Young after reading the instructional card that came along with the jump rope. Here's a few snippets of the message that stood out to me:

After a sincere thank you for your business and support message, the owner of Naturalico goes on to write "I understand without folks like you, I do not have a business. This is something I do not take lightly."

"I really hope everything turns out fantastic for you and our product is what you expected...My number one goal is your satisfaction, and to meet and exceed your expectations! If you have any questions or need support, please reach out to my personal email..." Her email address was written directly after that sentence, but I won't post it here for various reasons...

The letter on the instructional card goes further to say "Ill make sure you get what you need and give you the service you deserve," and ends with detailed instructions on how to get in touch with Grace if you aren't happy with the product for whatever reason.

Grace has a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and as per the letter, she really does care to go above and beyond to be certain that her customers are given absolutely everything they could want in a company and product.

Have you ever received such a personalized, caring letter from a company?

I'm sure that message spoke volumes to you as well.

Grace obviously knows what she's doing as a company owner -- being personal rather than coming across as just another stoic company. It's almost as if you purchased a product from your BFF.

Going so far out of her way to ensure that every customer is happy, and the entire message warmed my heart so. I just thought it was so cool to get an actual human message instead of a generic "thanks for your order, now subscribe to our newsletter and buy something else" message that's so typical of virtually every company on the planet.

Companies have forgotten that humans want to buy from humans, not robots without feelings. This very fact is something I've learned a lot about in courses I've recently completed, and in my copywriting experience, yet most companies communicate in the same robotic tone time and again.

That was very off-topic, and perhaps a discussion/post that I might need to touch upon later, but for now, let's get back to this very modern jump rope.

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.