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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Digestive Aids - Are They as Safe and Effective As you Thought?

Through all my years of struggles and pain and cramps and bloating and, well, you get the idea -- I've learned one thing about digestive supplements or "aids." I was unfortunate and learned the hard way, but knowing what I know now, I never buy/use a digestive aid that doesn't follow the few standards outlined in this article.

You wouldn't expect to have to worry that the supplements placed in stores across America could have the potential to harm us. In fact, most of us would never expect a supplement to have any negative effect on us. Sometimes the supplements and "aids" we take don't seem to help much, but we'd never expect them to be downright harmful to our health.

However, the sad truth is that there have been instances where the vitamins and other supplements proved to be harmful in some way or other.

That's the bad news. The good news is that after reading this post, you won't have to worry so much about ending up with a digestive aid that harms you as you'll know what to look for.

Always check the ingredients label to make sure you know what you're taking. Be wary of products with really long ingredient lists or that contain words so big you don't know which end to start pronouncing from. A good rule of thumb that most people follow is if you can't read the ingredient, be wary of it. You can always research ingredients to learn of their safety-ness and effectiveness at helping your digestive system.

Probiotics often don't contain a lot of harmful additives, but it's still important to look at the label and be sure.

2. Is it Really Natural?
It all boils down to quality. You have quality supplements that are made with safe and effective ingredients, and you have those who's quality is questionable. Perhaps the label doesn't boast "all natural" or even worse, perhaps it does, but upon looking closer, you find that the it isn't as "all natural" as you thought. Or it is, but still contains ingredients you aren't sure are safe.

Opting for a "100% natural" claim is best, in my opinion.

The supplement industry isn't really regulated and some manufacturers take advantage of that fact. Since the product only has to contain so much natural ingredients, manufacturers can get away with including non-natural ingredients as well. Your best bet here is to check the label and if in doubt, contact the manufacturer. Most of the time, a reputable manufacturer/company will gladly get back to you and assist you with your concerns/questions. If I ever don't get a response, I will not use the product.

When it comes to my digestive system woes, I never skimp on quality supplements and other products. It absolutely must be useful in improving my digestive system and also safe and without harmful ingredients. Those are my first three concerns any time I use or purchase a supplement. If the product passes those three concerns, I typically find that it tends to pass many others as well.

3. Are the "Active Ingredients" Known for Improving Your Problem?
You'd be surprised, but there actually are digestive aids out there that contain ingredients that aren't touted as being very effective when compared to others on the market. You must watch out for filler products that contain very little of the active ingredients too.

When it comes to a digestive soothing and rejuvenating type of supplement, I always go for a natural, herbal remedy supplement. In this case, there are a lot of natural, herbal plants out there that are extremely effective for digestive system issues.

I typically look for a blend of herbs that soothe such as Valerian root, lemon balm,etc. As a side note, I also like to use mint to help relieve painful cramps and spasms. I keep a mint plant right on the porch and chew a few leaves when the problems hit.

I also love aloe vera for digestive problems and if a digestive aid also contains aloe, then that's icing on the cake. I have used aloe in treating debilitating IBS and it never fails me when an episode strikes.

If I'm buying a probiotic to help the "good" bacteria flourish and stop the bad, I typically look for products that contain a lot of bacteria strains (2,000 BU is how much one supplement I use contains.)
I've found that a lot of the store bought drinks and yogurts that are praised for being probiotics don't contain a whole lot of the healthy bacteria anyways.

In the end, it all boils down to quality. Always remember to look for labels with quality assurance and "quality guaranteed." Also try to opt for those that boast the Certified Organic stamp and even the Manufactured in a Safe Facility stamp.

There are good, quality digestive aids that allow you the safety and comfort of knowing that they've done the research and consciously chose to use only safe and effective and high-quality ingredients without adding artificial crap. For example, while I don't endorse any product, I do feel comfortable personally, with brands such as Cambridge Laboratories as they promise that their digestive aid is a natural remedy product.

Always put your health first and try to opt for brands that use ingredients you know and ingredients that have some kind of backing as far as their efficacy goes. You don't want to swallow a water pill every day and keep hoping your digestive system will become healthy.

Avoid as many negatives as possible when it comes to using a supplement product by choosing those that can boast the kind of qualities discussed above, and avoid anything that doesn't contain "active ingredients" that are known for being used in treating/improving the problem you're looking to improve.

Relationship Rule of Thumb - Argument

-----------INSERT FOXY BLOGGER LINK !!!!!!!!

Rule of Thumb: Only argue to reach a better place. An argument should always be effective in getting you both to a better place. An argument should be done for a good reason. Sometimes arguments are ways to get a relationship back into alignment.

A lot of arguments occur when one or both spouses have allowed upsets or resentment or some kind of unhappy feelings to build without dealing with them. If things continue in such a way, it results in the couple becoming distant from each other and tension in the relationship.

Sometimes we simply don't know how to express something that's bothering us in our relationships, so we just say nothing at all. When the "problem" is something that needs to be dealt with, a lot of times that will manifest in the form of an argument and I think it's because when the argument breaks out, you typically stop holding back and get honest with the things that have been bothering you, and therefore, you're able to start dealing with them and clearing things up.

An effective argument is supposed to cause a positive change in the relationship and allow you to become more bonded at the end.

Once the argument dies down and understanding begins to occur, the couple should feel relieved and enthusiastic about moving on with new, positive goals that contribute to both parties' happiness.

Never allow an argument to take place between you and your loved one unless you
During an argument with your spouse, always go in the direction of a solution to the problem. Never allow yourself to waste time just trying to hurt each other or cause each other to feel badly (guilt, etc.)

A good rule of thumb I've found useful is to only say things that take us in the direction of a solution or a better place. Always make sure if you're going  to argue that you come up with a solution to the problem, otherwise arguments aren't useful but only drain you and cause negative feelings between you and your loved one.

Ultimately, an argument should allow you to get to the bottom of things.

Any other argument is simply not worth arguing over. An effective argument (such as what I've described here) should be the only one you allow yourselves to engage in. Simply being mad or in an ill mood is never an acceptable reason to allow an argument to go on. The best thing you can do when you feel the beginnings of an argument coming from something useless such as being in a bad mood is to immediately stuff it out. An effective way to do this is by simply saying "I'm so sorry. I'm just in a bad mood right now. Let's stop here and let me work on getting myself into a better mood (alignment)."

It's hard to respond to that sentence with an argumentative attitude, so use it when necessary to keep from arguing over the minor, useless issues.

Save the arguments for times when you know something positive can come from it.

Law of Attraction Challenge - Manifest 3 Things in One Week

A 'Law of Attraction Challenge' has been circulating amongst bloggers. The idea is to manifest 3 different things (can be anything as long as it's something believable for you)
in one weeks time. Needless to say, challenge accepted!

I thought I'd share the challenge as well as my results and process with you guys, so come along.

Here's how it works:

Name 3 things you'd like to manifest and write them down. Writing down your manifestations and goals is touted as a powerful part of manifesting anything, so this step is important.

Then spend a few minutes daily (as little as 2-3 minutes) working up a feeling of relief as you imagine, one-by-one, each item on your list being in your experience. 

So, if $20 is on your list of things to manifest, you'll write it down and then everyday for the next 7 days, spend a couple of minutes (more if you want) imagining yourself having it and then feeling relief and joy for it. A lot of people find that feeling gratitude can be powerful in manifesting things, so keep that in mind as you go.

1. A need
The first item on your list should be the "big" one, typically something that's along the lines of a need, but not something that you have any resistance or stress or disbelief around. A believable amount of money is what most people use as #1. 

#1 on my list is the typical $1,000 goal that's usually recommended. However, if you find it hard to believe you could receive $1,000 in one week, then go for a smaller amount.

It can also be a totally different kind of need or something that generally happens to be important to you at the moment.

Here's a video that you may find very encouraging on this topic:

2. A material item

(My #2 is odd, but I'll share anyway. It was an energy supplement that I used to use for extra energy and mental clarity. It's one I've even reviewed here on R&P before, but I'd had a tough time purchasing any since for the last 6+ months it seems the product is out of stock and perhaps even discontinued altogether.

Lately, it's been really clear to me that I could use an extra boost of energy since I've been feeling exceptionally crappy. So, I went ahead and put the energy supplement on my list as #2 since it's something I'd really love to have right now, but nothing that I'm too attached to.

The second item, the material item, is "smaller," or "easy," meaning it's something you would like to have but not necessarily a need or something that ranks of any major importance. Again, it needs to be something you can easily see/believe. For most people, a huge, luxury item is not going to be easily believable, so avoid going too grandiose.

Basically, item #2 on the list should be something fun, something that causes you to feel really good if you were to get it, or beneficial to you in a positive way.

For example being given a small gift without having asked. A pencil, a sticker, a free sample, or even aim to manifest being offered a freebie item next time you're in a store or restaurant. 

Maybe you frequent fast-food restaurants, so you could write down "I'll be given a free drink (or ice-cream, or something along those lines) next time I place a food order at a restaurant." This one in particular is a fun one for me.

Short story about just one of the many times I successfully manifested a #2 item:
I recently manifested not being charged for those little "shots" of espresso and creamers in the coffee section of the gas station. I love those espresso shots, and sure enough, within the next few visits into a gas station, a woman working there befriended me and told me on my second when I asked if they did discounts on coffee like they do for the soft drinks and she told me that anytime she's working, she will let me have free coffee!

And then, just tonight she didn't charge me anything for those espresso shots I love so much. She even let me take some extra creamer shots, too!

That is a good example for the #2 item on your "To-Manifest" list because those are small items that are not needs, but just random items that you'd really enjoy having, but wouldn't be attached to in any way if it did or did not happen. That's basically what you're aiming for when manifesting the "small" things.

 Doing this actually makes a world of difference in your abilities to manifest anything because it causes you to be undeniably aware of your possibilities, and because every single time you manifest something (or even attempt to), you're making great progress even if it isn't instantly visible. 
The things you manifest do add up in your experience over time, and a lot of times, you'll find that just manifesting a "small" item one time ends up causing the item (or experience, whatever you choose to manifest as your "small items) to happen over and over again as time goes on.

Moving on...

 3. An Experience

(Number 3 on my list is a fun event with all of my family together in one place.)
We've covered a need and a want (the material item), now to come up with an experience you'd like to manifest.

This one is often the most fun of all since it's not something you'd really get too disappointed about if it didn't happen (meaning through the week-long challenge, you won't you become attached to this manifestation so much that you resist it).

Your 3rd item on the list should be something of no importance really, something you have no trouble believing can happen.

An example for #3 could be running into someone you'd like to see, perhaps someone you haven't seen in a long time. Or it could be a phone call/text/friend request.

A lot of people like to try to manifest contact with an ex, but be careful that it isn't something/someone that you're too attached to because it often backfires if you begin to develop strong feelings towards the result. 

Wanting it "too much" can prolong "it" from arriving into your experience, so just remain a gentle in your feelings on this one.

If you have a tough time thinking of an experience you'd like to manifest, perhaps you could go with something like the experience of getting to work on a new project or something along those lines. 

An example for this:
We've been trying to finish this amazing garden I've planned for months, and when we ran into issues that require professional servicing, I was really bummed to say the least.

After my initial fit of frustration, I tried "manifesting" that the help would come into our experience somehow. 

It wasn't two weeks after I'd sat quietly with my thoughts, contemplating all the ways we could go about "fixing" this awesome garden I'd had in mind when my significant other ran into someone at work who happened to give him a Burlington lawn cutting service business card.

The card was left in his truck, without him ever putting together that a landscaping professional is basically just what we needed.

The card laid there until I spotted it that evening and asked him where it came from.

On the front was an image of a beautiful rock garden with a waterfall to the side (a real dream), and colorful flowers placed inside the rocky ring.

The beautiful image is what caught my attention or else I'd never have bothered to glance twice at the card. It looked so much like image of the garden I've had in mind.

When I saw the landscaping information on the back, I realized this had something to do with my manifesting help so that we can finish our own garden.

I'd managed to get a start on the questions I'd been asking and help I'd been praying for and trying to manifest. It came in the form of a business card, but we have since lined up a plan for completing the garden I've been dying to have.

You could also use something like getting to go somewhere fun or do something you'd like to do (attend an event, go out someplace enjoyable, etc.) for your #3 item.

I could go into about 4 dozen instances where I've manifested something of this nature -- being asked to go someplace I'd been wanting to go, attend an event, concert, etc. I will spare you my loads of personal success stories here (I'll save it for another post if anybody is interested in my 'success stories'. Just let me know if you are).

More examples could be simply coming across something in your experience. I find that I can easily (too easily in many cases) manifest certain insects and creatures into my experience! In fact, my deep fear of spiders has caused me to manifest them like crazy

In fact, I manifested three of the nasty suckers earlier because last night, I decided to proudly share with my spouse how the spray I used must be amazing because I'd seen zero spiders in the house since. 

Then of course the image and fear and dread of seeing them in the house came rushing into my mind and what do you know? Three were in the house today and guess who came across them? Only me!

I also accidentally manifested a snake just last month! I was sitting on the couch day dreaming when a random image popped into my head of a snake slithering across the back of the couch. I don't have a real fear of snakes or anything and rarely even see or think of them, but for some reason, that image came to my mind. The next day, I woke up and stood on the back porch for a long while playing with the cat and looked down to see a huge snake sniffing my ankle!

There have been many, many instances where I've manifested similar things as this. I seem to have an easy time manifesting creatures into my experience (frogs, insects, etc.)

You could try for a creature that you enjoy. A specific bird, a lizard, turtle, etc.
 Note: Starting out with no more than 3 simple items is best as trying to manifest too many things in one short week can overwhelm you to the point you simply can't continue working at it. So, keep it at three or even less if you feel that's best for you or if your spare time is really limited.
 I'd like to include one more to this list -- a feeling/emotion to manifest -- but will save it for next week to avoid adding too many to the list for the week.
If you'd like to stay tuned, I will document my results of this week's challenge, and then make a post on manifesting a feeling/emotion next week, if you'd like that. That is a fun area, especially in the area of relationships/love!

*** Today is Friday June 20 (if my laptop is correct). The challenge is for one week long, so I will be back here next Friday to update you on all 3 items within this challenge. I'll let you know which I have success with.  In the meantime, please do take a minute to let me know if this type of post is something you're interested in reading more of.

I hope ya'll found this post to be useful or enjoyable or interesting. I know a lot of you are also fellow 'creators,' so since we share that interest, I thought I'd document how the challenge ends up working out for me and share how it works in case any of you would like to join in. If this topic does interest you and you'd like to see more posts like this, please do let me know. I love and appreciate feedback from you guys. When I don't get feedback regarding a somewhat new topic (like this one) here at R&P, I typically avoid posting in the category in the future because I get the impression people weren't interested in what was posted. So, you must let me know if this is something you want more of. ;)

Also, if any of you would like to read more of my success stories regarding manifestations and Law of Attraction, I will gladly share those. It's such a thrilling topic for me to discuss, and over the last year of studying this whole area, I've accumulated some pretty neat successes in manifesting.

Two other areas that I've become incredibly familiar with are relationships/love-life and happiness/feeling good and of course health, but I feel I've made great progress with the first two (relationship and happines categories). With that said, I was just thinking about possibly sharing my tactics and techniques for happiness/feeling good and relationships. I have a very methodical 'technique' that I've developed and been using as far as happiness/mood/feeling good go, so I'll consider sharing that if anybody becomes interested in following along.

If you have any questions (regarding this topic, the challenge, my experiences, my successes and failures, or even something completely un-related) don't hesitate to reach me via email (find it under "contact me") or by commenting. I always read my messages/comments and reply.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Glacial Mud Sample Kit Review

Sample box of Alaskan Glacial Mud Co.'s face mud

I received this cute sample kit of Alaskan Glacial Mud Co's Purifying Glacial Mud Masque. Let's take a look at what's inside the sample kit...

Inside the kit is 3 sample packets of Alaska Glacial Mud -- the "Relaxing Vanilla," the "Unscented," and the "Lavender Peppermint" -- and an application brush.
A close-up along with the informational paper

The mud masques are made with "mineral-rich, pure glacial clay from the waters of Copper River Delta in Alaska and enriched with a special combination of certified organic and wildcrafted botanical extracts from the Pacific Northwest." The mud also contains 60 trace elements, which are delivered to the skin for healthy skin cell regeneration.

The Lavender-Peppermint and Vanilla Lavender are very similar in scent. In fact, I found that all three masks seemed to be pretty much the same as far as how they look, feel, and "work" goes.

The only real difference I noticed was that the peppermint one had more of a neat cooling effect when applied to my skin. Each of the three different muds were magnificent and felt pleasant on my skin.
The mud masques have a perfectly fine, gritty texture for exfoliating away dead skin and dirt. 
My skin was left feeling cool, and deeply cleansed. Using the masques is a really pleasant and relaxing experience and I looked forward to every shower.

The masque is fairly gentle, especially since the grit is so fine and does such a great job at removing dead skin cells and impurities. I love the exfoliation this mud provides, but find that with my combination skin, it's best not to use it too roughly on my skin everyday. I like using it to gently massage my face every other day so that I don't over-do it and cause the dryness of my combo-skin to become a bit dryer.

However, I do feel like this mud is great for all skin types, including combo-skin as long as you don't get carried away and scrub harshly, which some people with dry skin tend to like doing because we get confused and think the rougher we scrub, the better our skin will be. 

Keeping in mind that rough-scrubbing is bad, this is the most pleasant mud I've ever used on my face and I love how soft and smooth my skin is after using. 

I also like that it does remove some of the extra dry flakes while helping balance out the overly-oily T-zone area.

The Alaska Glacial mud masques are the perfect addition to my daily routine and I feel like they cleanse my skin so deeply and thoroughly that I don't even require soaping it up first. In fact, cleansing with soap first and then using this felt like overkill as the mud cleans very well.

This mud is also gentle on sensitive skin and contains no irritants, only safe, effective, and healthy ingredients (my favorite thing about it!) 

Active Ingredients:
 Glacial clay and silt - exfoliating and detoxifying natural deposit with more than 60 nourishing major and trace elements, including Mg, Cu, Z, S, Ag, Si, Ca, Na, K and Fe that promote anti-aging, help skin hold moisture and form collagen resulting in radiant skin.Certified organic and wildcrafted botanical extracts including kelp, nettle, horsetail, elderflower, yarrow, cranberry, blueberry and vitamins e and b5.

Talk about amazing ingredients, huh? I loved using these muds, knowing that they were not only detoxifying and cleansing my skin, but also delivering very healthy and beneficial vitamins and nutrients and minerals.

I have to say, I'm impressed with the awesome ingredients Alaskan Glacial Mud Company chose to include because I feel like it's so necessary to give your skin the vitamins, minerals and nutrients the rest of the body needs and it's so rare to find skincare products that will take care of every bit of your skin's needs. 

I feel confident that using the mud was basically taking full care of my skin and that was amazing. Not having to spend an hour a night adding all sorts of extra products to my skin, knowing the mud basically did it all was really gratifying.


 -  Anti-Aging
-Contains "immuno-protective properties"
- Moisturizing
- Detoxifies
- Exfoliates
- Softening 
 - Allergy-free
- Safe on sensitive skin, non-irritating
No synthetic fragrances, colors or fillers. No propylene glycol, no pthalates or parabens
- No animal by-products or testing
- Sustainably hand-carved glacial mud
- 10% profits donated to wilderness preservation, habitat restoration, environmental defense and education in the Copper River Watershed.
To sum it up, I could absolutely use this mud on a regular, even daily basis and feel confident and comfortable that my skin's needs are being fully met, and in a healthy, safe way!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Amazingly Beautiful Moisturizer and Revitalizer (Review)

Amazingly Beautiful is a body moisturizer and revitalizer made with 100% pure botanical oils -- from Trusted Health Products -- that provides a super safe, effective way to moisturize skin deep within.

I just received a bottle of 'Amazingly Beautiful' body moisturizer and revitalizer and boy am I in complete bliss. I just took a shower and slathered myself from head to toe in this divine-smelling oil. And then I came straight here to share about it because I couldn't wait to talk about this stuff.

This Amazingly Beautiful moisturizer comes from the same company as the OraMD products that I've rave-reviewed here, and Beautiful AM and Beautiful PM oils that I've also reviewed here at Ribbons and Pearls in the past. 

Those are for your face, and if you haven't adopted the "oil cleansing method" into your skincare routine yet, then I highly suggest you take a few minutes to read up on why everybody and their dogs are replacing their soaps with oil.

The Amazingly Beautiful moisturizer, on the other hand, is for your body, but I couldn't resist and had to try it on the dry areas of my face as well, and I was equally as fond of using it on my face as I was using it on my body.
- Decreases the appearance of spider veins and blemishes

- Smooths appearance of rough and scaly areas
- Reduces appearance of age spots, discoloration, and sun spots
- Firms and tones appearance of skin
- Completely gets rid of dry skin

-Pores are minimized and overall complexion appears improved and smooth

- Leaves behind a subtle, healthy glow and no gross greasy residue
- Fully absorbs into the skin, providing real nourishment and true moisturization

- Contains no dead or processed chemicals. Only healthy, natural botanical oils

Instructions say to lightly and gently spread over skin, avoiding rubbing it in.

I became incredibly fond of this stuff pretty much instantly. From the second I inhaled the squeaky clean and fresh, natural aromas of citrus, I couldn't wait to shower and basically roll myself in it.

Citrus tends to be among my favorites scents for everything from soaps, perfumes and lotions to cleaning products. In fact, my everyday perfume-of-choice that I've stuck with as my "signature perfume" for nearly a decade now has citrus-y notes. Same goes for my all-time-favorite body wash.

The scent of Amazingly Beautiful is refreshing, clean, and pleasantly long-lasting. It's the only scented product I can use that everyone in the house is pleased to smell lingering.

There are so many awesome qualities about this Amazingly Beautiful moisturizer (including some pretty odd ones), so I don't know where to even start, but I'm determined to pack every ounce of information about it in this very post, so just bear with me please.

I've discussed how pleasant the aroma of this stuff is, but an even more important aspect is how it feels on your skin.
Oil as Skincare
A lot of folks are funny about using oil on their skin. There's of course the myth that oil on your skin will cause breakouts by clogging pores. You can go ahead and forget about that possibility because it doesn't. Perhaps vegetable oil (that you cook with) would, but not pure oils like this.

Secondly, some people are put off by using oil on their skin because of how oil typically feels -- greasy, uncomfortable, and weird!

If you've ever gotten oil on your hands while cooking or something and tried to wash it off.. It wasn't pleasant, right? I've always had an issue with odd residue being on my skin. I hate the feeling of sticky, or slimy skin. 

Yet I'm a pretty hardcore oil user when it comes to my skin. I lather my face with it, I wash my face with it, I moisturize my entire body from head to toe with it (I even use an oil-based foundation on my face! It's a natural, herbal oil of course.)

You're probably thinking I must have very greasy skin, and run around looking like a total grease ball, right?

 I actually happened to have oily skin on my face in some areas. I'm one of those combination-skin types where the forehead area, nose, and chin are typically a bit oily while the rest is so dry it could crack like porcelain.

And I still use oil all over.

That's because it has so many awesome skin benefits, and it helps balance the crazy combination skin. 

Instead of the oil causing your skin to look oily, it just balances it out.

It's false that using oil on your skin will cause it to be more oily. It will only help balance it out, keeping it from being over-dry or over-oily, and even promote healing of any spots, scars, acne, etc. Don't forget it's probably the best anti-aging remedy out there, too. 

In fact, I once read, years ago that a queen (who I cannot recall, apologies for that) used to bathe in olive oil daily because it was her ultimate "beauty secret."

As the story goes, the queen had the most beautiful, healthy skin thanks to her oil baths.

Amazingly Beautiful Moisturizer and Revitalizer naturally nourishes skin, and almost instantly provided my skin with visible results. You can tell the oils are being truly absorbed by the skin and leaving mine looking better than it has in years.

I normally have extremely dry skin that sometimes even looks like it has cracks throughout it! I have struggled trying to improve my skins appearance for years, but lotions only make it appear smooth and moisturized for a few hours at best.

I've noticed that even after a total 24 hours later, my skin looks fantastic, moisturized, and so healthy. The oil seems to absorb fully, leaving no residue behind and no bizarre layers of residue on my skin. 

My skin doesn't look greasy or oily after the product has absorbed, but only healthy and nice. I'm 100% pleased and thrilled with this.

Trusted Health Products uses truly pure, healthy, and effective ingredients in every one of their products. You guys may recall me sharing about that in my other reviews. Amazingly Beautiful is no exception -- it reeks of high quality.

The best part is that they don't use fillers or any of the harmful chemicals and other junk that's often in skincare products.

That's something that has irked me for years -- harmful chemicals in my daily beauty/hygiene products. There are a few lotions from the stupidly famous (and even more stupidly over-priced) Bath and Body Works that I absolutely adore, but I hate the feeling I have when I slather it onto my skin because I know that it's 1. not completely safe ingredients and 2. not actually effective at doing anything for my skin aside from providing a sticky moisturized illusion. It doesn't have healing properties, it doesn't truly moisturize skin. It doesn't feel good (it's sticky and not pleasant on) and it does absolutely nothing for your skin. It has no anti-aging properties, no health benefits for skin. 

That has always bugged me! 
If I'm going to take the time to rub something all over my entire body, then it better actually do something good for my skin besides just make it smell pretty. After all, that's what perfume is for and perfume doesn't require all that rubbing. It also doesn't leave my entire body a sticky mess.

There I go again, finding a window to rant. Enough complaining. 

My point is, I prefer using a moisturizer that's going to benefit my skin in the long run (and make all that time spent rubbing it on worth it.) 

The 3 Qualities Every Moisturizer Should Have 

Oh, and the money. It's not worth it to me to purchase a moisturizer if it doesn't actually benefit my skin. I like anti-aging, healing, and moisturizing properties -- 3 things that every "moisturizer" should have.

There are only 6 ingredients in the Amazingly Beautiful moisturizer, and they're all healthy and beneficial, and truly moisturizing: 100% pure botanical oils of orange, lime, lemon, avacado, olive, and almond.

If a moisturizer doesn't have ingredients that have at least the moisturizing and some healthy benefits for my skin in the long run, then I won't waste my money on it.

This is a pretty exciting product. While its main use is for your skin, it actually has quite a few other nifty uses as well. 

- A skin moisturizer
-Makeup Remover
- Deodorant! 
You read that correctly. As per the information within the paper insert, this stuff can be an effective deodorant, and it's natural! I've wanted to start using only natural deo for years, and have tried (and reviewed) many natural deos, but haven't ever been able to stick with them as the odor would always come through.

However, the citrus scent in this oil could be a much better alternative to others I've used since it is quite powerful, and could likely work better at keeping odor at bay.

I did use some on my pits after my shower tonight, but since tomorrow is going to be a long day outdoors in the heat, I went ahead and swiped some actual deodorant on too since I don't want to risk the possibility of getting really sweaty and stinking around the people I'll be with tomorrow.

I will, however, apply it alone the next day and report back here how that goes. 

I liked using this as added protection against odor, especially during these warmer months. I haven't had the opportunity to use it by itself, but I've been swiping some of the oil on my pits before applying deo and it does help keep odor away, even when I spend a day outside in the smothering heat -- no odor at all.

- Fragrance (for your body or as a room fragrance)
When Amazingly Beautiful first arrived to me, I was just about to leave the house, so the first thing I did after smelling of it was dab some onto my neck and wrists because it has such a divine, clean aroma, and works beautifully (or should I say "amazingly beautifully?") as a light body fragrance.
Secondly, after reading the paper insert it came with, I added a few drops to a tiny container and let it sit in my bedroom as a room fragrance! I have to say, it's the best room-fragrance I've ever used, especially since the pure botanical oils are natural and safe to smell (and don't cause me a migraine like most smells), and will freshen the air pretty well. 

A bonus is that the citrus oils are useful at keeping pesky insects away! Sometimes, these are even added to bug-sprays to keep you from being bitten while outdoors. I wipe my arms and legs down with this before going outside and it prevents me from being eaten alive by mosquitos.

 I leave my window open (for my darn pets who can't seem to decide whether they want in or out) so maybe the scent will also help keep away those nasty insects. 

I've read that spiders taste with the hairs on their nasty little legs, and they are supposed to hate citrus. Many people use citrus oil to wipe down their window sill and stuff. I've used it around windows and on the legs of my bed. Yes, I'm extremely paranoid and phobic when it comes to those nasty creatures. I absolutely loathe them with every speck of my being. 

Moving on...


As shown in the photo, the oil comes with a spray top so that you can simply spray it on yourself, but I have not yet switched to the spray top since I was so afraid of it getting knocked over and ending up leaking (I have cat. Enough said, huh?) 

However, I do love the ease of being able to just spray it right on! 

The top it comes with is a typical one for oils of this nature -- it has a stopper in it, so that it won't come running out all over the place when you tilt the bottle. 

The largest size bottle comes with 3.4 oz of product (I believe), which is the size I have right now. 
Trusted Health Products carries it in several different sized bottles, including a travel-like size. I like having a variety of options to choose from, but personally, I can already tell that the large size will be necessary for me. 

I say that because I've had the bottle for 3 days and noticed a significant decrease in the amount of product when I went to use it tonight.

It's possible that I'm over-using a little bit since I like to sure that all of my skin is completely covered and it can be hard to tell because this stuff isn't greasy, but somewhat like a dry oil. 

Being that I have quite the severe case of dry skin, especially during the warmer months which we're starting to experience here already, I have to use a lot more than someone who has relatively normal skin.

Plus, I use this from neck down, only skipping the most sensitive body parts. 

For a limited time, the manufacturer is willing to offer my readers one free bottle (free aside from shipping and handling). They said they would love to have our readers try out Botanical Splash and agreed to send one bottle free, provided you pay the shipping and handling charge. Click here to get that offer.

If you'd like to visit Trusted Health Products on social media, you can find them on Facebook and here at their website.

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.

The Book That Changed My Life -- Do The Clearing

Book Description, as posted on Amazon:

"Whether it was through luck, serendipity, or some sort of divine intervention, you’ve found yourself here. Where is here? Here is where you take the life you’ve been living and turn it into the one you really want. Do the Clearing is your restart. It’s your chance to make important changes, to make things right, even to reinvent yourself completely. In these pages, John guides you through the 7 steps he uses with his clients to finding, and then letting go of, what’s holding you back. He shows you how to use your surroundings to gain an advantage and how to take the events from your past that have been pushing you toward failure and give them new endings that will inspire you to succeed."
About The Author, John Benz: 
"John went to his first Weight Watchers meeting when he was five years old. Thirty years later, he discovered a process that helped people lose weight and live happier lives like nothing he'd experienced before, a process he would eventually detail in his book, Do the Clearing. Today, John is a triathlete and IDPA Marksman, devoted to his clients, his dogs, and finding the best greasy spoon in whatever town he’s in. He spends most of his time coaching, writing, speaking, and traveling the country helping people do the Clearing." -Amazon Page

I read this book several months ago and continue to have an increasing appreciation for the author's system as times goes on.

Before I dive into my review on this book, let me just say that you do not have to be a minimalist to adopt or appreciate or even utilize and adore the system John Benz tells us about in Do The Clearing.

...The author's approach is incredible

The way the book is written makes it feel almost like having a one-on-one coaching session with an expert who seems very genuine. A gimmick-free self-help book that has had a lasting impact on me in so many areas of my life that I find myself incorporating his powerful techniques in more and more new ways, even all these months later.

The author knows how to deliver his message and self-help techniques in a way that will stay with a person for a lifetime, and in many areas of life. I felt like Benz's method and way of getting his message through were extremely well-laid out, professional, and simple enough that anybody can follow and apply the techniques in their everyday life.

I have to admit, it took some time for the authors' teachings to really resonate with me on the level that was intended. That's because as a person who tends to have a lot of... stuff  -- because I *might* need this old, outdated remote for a TV that I don't even have, or plan to have, in the future -- part of me was resisting the strong message to get rid of so much of my belongings.

In fact, even after all these months, I'm still learning. I found myself really resonating with his message just a couple of weeks ago when I looked around my bedroom and felt such a dreadful, overwhelming feeling at all the stuff. I mean, a lot of my stuff I *need.* Basically living out of my bedroom, which is pretty much what I'm doing at the moment,  is hard, so it's been difficult to honestly figure out what items should be gotten rid of. As someone who's accumulated a lot of stuff that I keep because either 1. it's too useful to just throw out (but not so useful that I'm actually using it), and 2. it's something I can't just give away for various reasons. For example, a huge box of various supplements I've accumulated but never finished. You can't give an open bottle of weight-loss pills to away, you can't donate them to charity, but it feels so wasteful to throw them away.

That type of situation has been very typical for me in this lifetime journey of really figuring out if you need every item you've accumulated.

A couple of weeks ago, long after I'd read this book and even forgotten about it for a short while, the message hit me and resonated with me stronger than ever.

That's what I like about the author's awesome approach and technique here. For the rest of my life, I'll likely have these moments where the message comes back to me and reminds me that I have to do something about the items I accumulate over time.

It's so easy to stash random objects that are, like I said, useful enough that you don't want to toss them, but not so useful that you find yourself using them on a regular basis.

But there comes a point where the author's words are such pure truth that you look at your accumulated stashes and think "yep, it's time." I had a kind of realization where I asked myself 'why keep any of this stuff that I've never even touched since I first got it? It genuinely felt bad when I saw it cluttering up my space, so what excuse could possibly justify keeping anything that doesn't feel good?'

The overall message the author is so perfectly portraying is that what we surround ourselves with, especially the objects and "stuff" that lives alongside us does have an impact on us. Our happiness, even things you'd never even think of -- such as weight! Or feeling insecure, or not being able to lose weight, or over-eating, etc.  For the first time ever, we're learning (thanks to John Benz) that the things we spend the most of our time with do impact so many aspects of our lives, including parts that are holding us back or keeping us unhappy.

I have to give him credit for this genuis discovery because this never would've occurred to me, but I'm finding (although somewhat reluctantly at first,) that his words are true.

We need to declutter our lives and really get honest with ourselves about the types of emotional responses we're picking up over the things we live with.

I'll admit that at first, I found it tough to relate something like a mirror hanging on the wall to something like being obese.

Benz not only tells the reader how this whole thing works and how to improve your life by using techniques to create a space that actually gives you power and happiness, but also shows you real instances through examples and stories of other people who took on this journey.

You'll find dozens of useful accounts of different people who Benz coached, some who were open to the ideas and techniques and improved their lives immensely as well as some who completely walked out on him when he mentioned the "Do the Clearing" idea/technique, then ended up resonating with it in such a positive way that they went back to him to share their life-changes.

As other readers of this book have said, once you are able to do some "clearing" of the items in your household that you know are holding you back, or contain something negative about them, it is quite freeing and empowering.

The only tough thing about this is actually finding it within you to apply the "clearing." It can be hard. It can feel impossible. You can even think hell no, I'm not getting rid of anything I own. But you'll definitely find yourself giving it thought.

If you're anything like me, every time you look at any object in your house, you'll ask yourself 'how do I feel when I see that?'

Answering the question can be a little confusing. There will likely be some items (or if you're like me, many) that you'll need to ponder on for some time, and that's okay. I've learned for myself that if it feels bad to put it in the trash, then that's probably an important sign to pay attention to as well.

I've allowed myself to ponder. To get certain before making the decision to completely toss something that felt important or that didn't feel thrilling and good to get rid of.

A little technique I've been using that seems to be helping me along immensely is going through my objects (especially stuff I've got stuffed in the closet or under the bed), and when I come to one that I simply can't decide on, or it doesn't feel "right" to just toss it, I'll set the object(s) out on my dresser or counter for a week or so. I make sure to place it somewhere I'll have to look at it multiple times a day, and each time I see it, I pay attention to how I feel about it. Is it cramping up my space enough that it's just downright irritating at this point? Can I move it somewhere else and enjoy it? If both of those fail, then I feel comfortable in my decision to get rid of it.

That's just one small additional technique that has helped me to really decide on many items that I simply couldn't get an answer to when asking "does this dolphin lamp make me feel powerful?"

This is not something you'll complete in one night, or probably even one week unless you're a minimalist, then it'll be pretty easy probably.

This is something you'll likely use for the rest of your life. Every time you look at your junk drawer, or see the stash of old electronics hanging around under your bed (or wherever you keep them.)

If you're like me and tend to have to really be convinced that you're better off (and that it IS OKAY) to let it go, then you may even need to take time before you can really answer whether or not some items are worth keeping or are holding you back in any way.

Once that really kicked in for me, I found it so easy (and thrilling) to fill up an entire trash bag!

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.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Review and Personal Experience with Transdermal 5-HTP Patches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The directions state to remove the patch within 24 hours.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have not snacked in bed all week! 

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

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

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