Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tip of the Week - Natural Solutions Magazine December 2010/January 2011 Issue

     This week I'm sharing a link to a bi-monthly digital magazine called Natural Solutions.  This is from their December 2010/January 2011 issue.  The edition has a good article about the 10 best foods to fight off colds and the flu.  It also has an article about healing foods.  This is a free online edition and a great way to sample the magazine.  Enjoy!

Click here for your look at the free December 2010/January 2011 edition:  Natural Solutions.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mix 1 All Natural Protein Drinks

A couple of years ago one of my Mom's friends was going to be having surgery and her doctor told her about Mix 1 drinks.  He told her to start drinking these protein drinks to prepare her body for surgery.  My Mom told me about the drinks and I saw them at the grocery store and decided to look at the ingredients.  They have all natural ingredients so I tried one and also bought one for my husband.  The drinks are a different consistency than a regular juice or sports drink.  They have different flavors such as mango, strawberry banana, lime, peach and berry.  We buy them regularly, drink them often and we each have our own favorite flavor, mine is strawberry banana and my husband's is mango.
The company is based in Boulder, Colorado and their mission is to change people's lives by promoting athletic performance and overall health through all-natural products that deliver truly functional nutrition.  The drinks are a good way to help get your full servings of vegetables and fruits one drink contains 3 servings.  They are also free of lactose, gluten, soy and caffeine.  If you happen to be busy in the morning, they are a great on the go alternative.  They are also great for pre workouts and post workout recovery.  If you have a meeting running late, you can have one of these drinks to help keep you focused. It's a good, healthy alternative to coffee or soda pop.  I have found them in our local grocery store and I buy them in the bulk size containers to save on cost.  And they have long shelf dates.  I've also seen them sold on  Check out their website to see more about the company (Mix 1) and this good, healthy alternative drink. You can click the company name (Mix 1) to get to their website.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tip of the Week - Booty Back Burn (Blast)

     This week I'm attaching a link to a video of a quick exercise that doesn't take too much time and can be easily worked it into regular routines.  This one is called Booty Back Burn (Blast).  This one targets glutes, hamstrings, back and triceps. It's from Real  Enjoy!  (Click on Real to get to the video)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yes To Carrots Broadcast Tonight

     Yes To Carrots had a broadcast tonight announcing some new products they will be launching.  A few mentioned tonight are already available to purchase on their website.  (Yes To Carrots Website Link)  They also announced the award PETA has given the company for the 2nd time in three years, "Best Cruelty Free Cosmetic Company" for PETA's 5th annual Libby Awards.

     Yes To Carrots wants to know what type of new products we (consumers) would like to see in the future from their company as well as what types of magazines, blogs etc we (consumers) like to read.    You can post your suggestions and comments on their Facebook page.  Their next broadcast will be on Thursday, April 21st.  The company would like our input as to the time of day the broadcast would be best to view.  You can also post your suggestion for time of day to watch the next live broadcast to their Facebook account.  I'm attaching the link for tonight's broadcast for you to watch.  Yes To Carrots Broadcast Thursday February 17, 2011. The surprise for tuning is was for a free tube of the Intense Hand Cream.  If you go to their site and enter the promotion code (in capital letters) INTENSE you can receive the free Intense Hand Cream, you will only need to pay for shipping costs. 

     Since this company is new, it is exciting to watch as it grows.  It's also nice to see a company that cares about consumer’s wants and needs but also has high ethical standards.  Congratulations on the PETA award Yes To Carrots!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Today's Featured Product Burt's Bees Lip Balms

     Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm is 100% natural and includes Vitamin E and Honey.  I've been using this one through fall and winter and my lips have not had any problems being chapped.  The featured ingredient in this balm is Honey.  It keeps my lips moisturized and soft.  When I first started using it, I noticed the scent was different than other lip balms and seemed stronger than others I have used in the past.   I really like the way it tastes and will continue to use it because it works and I’m now used to the scent.  I would recommend this one as a good lip balm to use in the cooler months.
     I've also been using Burt's Bees Sun Protecting Lip Balm which is also 100% natural.  The sun protection ingredient is Titanium Dioxide and it's listed with a sun protection factor of 8.  If I'm going to be outside in the sun for a period of time, I use this lip balm with sun protection.  This one is not as moisturizing as the Honey Lip Balm, but it does keep my lips from being chapped.  It also has more coverage on your lips so it will make them appear to have a pale shade if you don’t put any lip color over the balm.   The texture is different than other lip balms but it works.  I would recommend this lip balm if you are going to be outdoors for a period of time to keep your lips protected from the sun exposure. 
     They are both long lasting through the day and the tubes have lasted a long time as well.  Both keep my lips smooth.  They are natural and work as well as other lip balms I've used in the past but without harmful chemicals.  These two lip balms do not contain any Sulfates, Parabens, Phthalates or Petrochemicals.   On their website, they now have tinted lip balms which I will probably try out in the future. They are also listed as 100% natural.  I would recommend the Burt’s Bees lip balm line to anyone who wants to use natural lip balms. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Shampoo Switch (Update)

    My husband has been using the Yes To Tomatoes shampoo for a week now and I asked him how he liked the shampoo.  He said it was as good as the one he was using before.  This is a success because if he didn’t like it, he would have wanted me to switch back to the one he was using before.   So we will keep buying this shampoo going forward.  This one costs a little more than the one we used before, but I’d rather be using a shampoo that doesn’t have parabens and is also 99.4% natural.  They also have a shampoo for different types of hair such as normal to dry, color treated, and fine or thin.  I will be trying some of the other products from this company in the future such as the eye creams, facial cleansers and scrubs and I’ll write a review in the future what I think of those items.  If anyone has a twitter account and is interested Yes To Carrots will be having a live broadcast on Thursday February 17th at 7:30 est/4:30 pst.  They will be introducing new products, answering questions and they will also have a special surprise for everyone who logs on to their broadcast.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tip of the Week - True Citrus Substitute

     There is a good natural substitute for salt and sugar you can use in drinks or foods.  True Lemon, True Lime and True Orange are a few of the choices you can use to sweeten teas, water, meats, fruits and vegetables.  They are cold-pressed and crystallized citrus that come in packets, and shakers.  You can use them in place of artificial sweeteners that contain aspartame and they taste just as good.  If you happen to be on a salt restricted diet you can use this as a salt substitute.  It's a healthy alternative that has 0 calories and 0 carbohydrates.  They are sold in local grocery stores usually in the baking aisle and on the True Citrus website.  There is also a form on the website you can complete to request your store to carry the products if you can't find them at your local store.  They have added new products and the company offers free samples from their website.  If you haven't tried this healthy product yet and you like citrus fruits this one is worth tasting.  I've used the True Lemon, True Orange and True Lime in water, guacamole dips, salsas and in teas.  I really like the taste and the price is reasonable.  I even bought the shakers so I can add some to my food while cooking.  This is one product I'll keep using and keep recommending to others. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Today's Featured Product Bare Minerals Original SPF 15 Foundation

      For the past 5 years I've been using Bare Minerals Foundation make up.  They use the highest quality ingredients to give consumers what they want without anything the skin doesn't need. The company thinks of make up as skin care, not a way to cover up your face.  Their makeup is so pure you can sleep in it.  The foundation looks like a powder, but when you apply it to your face, it feels creamy.  It doesn't dry out your skin.  I've been using the original SPF 15 foundation makeup.  Their technique is to swirl, tap and buff.  You put a small amount of the foundation in the lid and use your brush to swirl it around.  Then you gently tap the brush and begin buffing it on your face.  The makeup blends in with your skin and feels so soft.  You almost forget you are wearing anything on your face.  If you use one of their special kabuki brushes you can apply the makeup with a little more coverage but it will still feel smooth on your face.  And this make up lasts all day.  You don't feel the need to reapply during the day or in the evening.  I've also noticed that my skin has a natural glow that people comment to me about frequently.  This foundation is clinically proven to improve the appearance of your skin over time.  My skin is very sensitive and breaks out easily if I use certain products.  Since I have used this one, my skin has not had any irritations or break outs.  There are several different shades and textures to choose from in the foundations.  I find that in the summer I use the medium beige more and in winter I use the medium shade more.  Sometimes I even mix the two together for a slightly different shade.  These make ups are not only good for your skin, but they are also fun to use.  One great thing to point out about this makeup is that is last a long time.  I only have to buy about two containers per year.
     The company creator and CEO is Leslie Blodgett.   When she speaks about the products, you can tell she really believes in them and has a passion for her line.  She interacts with consumers and listens to their comments.  She receives thousands of letters and emails and personally responds to them all.  She demonstrates tips on videos personally to show how the latest products work and what you can expect from them.  This is a company that cares what consumers want and they are working to make better products for us to use.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentines' Day is Coming Don't Forget the Dark Chocolate

     If you have a special person who has a sweet tooth you can get them dark chocolate for Valentine's Day and not feel too bad.  It's known to be good for your heart and a small bar each day can help keep your cardiovascular system running well.  Two good benefits from dark chocolate are that it helps lower blood pressure and helps lower LDL cholesterol.  Some other good benefits of dark chocolate are it tastes good, it contains serotonin, which acts as an anti depressant and it stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure.  So if you want to get something sweet for your sweetie on Valentine's Day go for the dark chocolate!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Nutrition Trivia

Serving size and portion size is the same thing.  True or False?

The answer is False.  A serving size refers to the amount of food listed on the nutritional facts label.  A portion is how much you choose to eat.  The portion size may equal two or more servings.  Many times packaged foods such as soup cans contain more than one serving.  Always check your packages for the serving size so you know how many servings you might be consuming.  If you see the calories listed per serving and the package contains two servings, you will be consuming twice the calories if you eat the full package.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shampoo Switch

        Yesterday I switched the shampoo my husband was using with an organic shampoo called Yes to Tomatoes.   I didn't tell him this was an organic shampoo.   After using it for a few days I want to see what he thinks of this shampoo compared to the one he was using before.  I liked this brand because this shampoo is paraben free and it is 99.4% natural.  The company website says they have been in business since 2006.  The official company name is "Yes to" because they have a few different product lines.  They have some called Yes to Carrots, Yes to Cucumbers, Yes to Tomatoes, Yes to Blueberries and Yes to Baby Carrots.  Their line includes face care, body care, hair care, lip care, an SPF line and a line for babies.  And they cover different hair types, skin types and consumer needs/wants.  They are a company based on positivity.  They make products with fruits and vegetables and mix them with Dead Sea Minerals to lock in the magic.  You can order their products online or get some of the products in local stores like Walgreens (I purchased the Yes to Tomatoes Shampoo at Walgreens).  I like supporting companies that are making natural products that are effective but also responsible.   This company has a non-profit organization called the Yes to Seed Fund which gives grants to schools and communities to help them build gardens and promote access to healthy nutrition.  I'll update you with my husband's results in a few days. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Recap of One Segment of Dr.Oz Show Today-All Star Alternative Health Experts

      Today Dr. Oz had on three experts in alternative health.  His first all star expert is Dr. Arthur Agatston who focuses on heart disease and weight loss.  He was the first doctor to introduce a scale to show your diet can not only prevent heart disease, it can reverse it as well.   In the early 80’s he introduced eating lean protein, vegetables, whole grains and whole foods which he believed would help his patients prevent heart disease.   He wanted to help his patients proactively instead of waiting to treat patients after they had already had a heart attack.  Dr. Agatston next talked about cholesterol numbers. He believes you can’t rely only on the number but also the particles in your veins.  Even if you have a good number you could have bad particles that could be clogging your arteries.   And vice-versa, if you have a bad cholesterol number you could have good particles that would not be clogging your arteries.   He believes this is more important than the actual cholesterol number.  Dr. Agatson recommends eating more cold water fish like tuna and salmon, using more olive oil and canola oil because they act like lubricants for your arteries.  They keep your arteries clean. 
     Dr. Oz’s next alternative health all star is Dr. Nicolas Perricone who believes wrinkles are optional.  He believes your skin shows your overall health.  If you have healthy skin, you likely have better overall health.  The doctor believes you start with your diet.  Salmon is great for your skin and makes your skin glow.  Dr. Perricone believes putting an anti inflammatory directly on the skin will greatly reduce wrinkles in your skin.  He recommends DMAE topical skin cream.  He says once you apply a cream with this ingredient, you will notice an instant change in your skin.  You will see immediate radiance and change in your skin tone and the effects are cumulative.  Dr. Perricone next discusses skin cancer.  He says watercress is good for fighting skin cancer because it contains sulforaphane which is more powerful than any antioxidant.  It detoxifies your body while decreasing your risk of skin cancer as well as breast cancer according to Dr. Perricone.  He recommends all women start including watercress in their diets.  The doctor says you can take a supplement with sulforaphane but he recommends eating the watercress because it has so many other things working synergistically to help fight the cancers.  As a doctor, he’d rather see people eating watercress than taking the supplement.
     The last alternative health all star is Dr. Christiane Northrup who discusses estrogen.  She discusses with Dr. Oz the possible link between estrogen and cancer.  Dr. Northrup says too much estrogen acts like a growth hormone in the cell and causes abnormal cellular growth.   She believes it must be balanced with progesterone (the forgotten hormone).   The doctor believes diet will also help a great deal with balancing your hormones.  She says if women have had their ovaries removed before the age of 45, they will need hormone replacement therapy.  Dr. Northrup suggested to keep your ovaries if you can they are there for a reason.  She believes you should not use synthetic hormone replacement therapy only bio identical hormone replacement therapy because the synthetic hormones do not fit with your real hormones they way they should.  Dr. Oz asked her if she takes bio identical hormones.   Dr. Northrup says she tried them but she didn’t notice a difference and she likes the way she feels so she doesn’t take any hormone replacements. 
     All the doctors on the show today agreed that eating a balanced diet is important in maintaining overall health.  It was an interesting segment with some good information.  And having these doctors discuss their expertise is a plus for those of us who may not have access to these types of doctors. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Natural Deodorants

     About a year ago my family switched over to natural deodorants.  Many deodorants on the market contain aluminum and parabens.  According to the National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet reviewed January 4, 2008, scientists know that aluminum causes a temporary plug within the sweat duct that stops the flow of sweat to the skins surface.  And scientists also agree that parabens, which are preservatives used in deodorants, have been shown to mimic the activity of estrogen in the body’s cells.  Although there is no conclusive evidence that links deodorants with breast cancer, if the above ingredients are not needed to make effective deodorants why would consumers want to use them?  If the sweat glands are being blocked, that means the toxins your body is trying to release naturally are being trapped inside your body.  And if an ingredient is strong enough to change your hormones is it necessary to use?  For my family the answer was easy, we didn’t want to use any unnecessary and potentially harmful ingredients. 
     We began using deodorants made by Tom’s of Maine, the same company that makes the toothpaste and mouthwashes we are currently using.  We tried the regular and long lasting deodorants and although they worked, they needed to be applied frequently through the day and they really didn’t work well to cover odor if you were working out.  Given that, we tried another brand by a company called Jason Pure, Natural and Organic.  We started using their fragrance free deodorant and it lasts through the day keeping odors away.  If I am going to work out, I apply some right before and it seems to last for the workout like any other deodorant I’ve used in the past.  They list their deodorant as aluminum free and paraben free.  So far we are happy with this product.  However, I noticed that Tom’s of Maine has updated a few of their deodorant products and I haven’t tried the newer versions yet.  If anyone else out there has tried them, I’d like to hear how the newer versions are working.  It’s nice to know they are working to make improvements to their products.    It is good to know there are alternative products out there we can use that are effective and can also give you peace of mind. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tip of the Week - White Tea and Your Skin

    According to recent studies, white tea extracts have an anti inflammatory effect that slows the breakdown of collagen and elastin in skin.  Drink white tea to help keep your skin smoother and if you keep the tea bag after your drink, you can blend the tea leaves with oatmeal for an inexpensive weekly facial.  Leave the mixture on your face for about 20 minutes then rinse off.

Friday, February 4, 2011

How to Get Rid of Germs With Essential Oils

      I've been watching a channel called Veria on Dish Network channel 218 and there is a show called "Everybody Nose" hosted by Noelle Katai.  Noelle is a certified Aromatherapist from the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy in San Rafael California and a member of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA).  She has been practicing aromatherapy for over 15 years.  Here is a link to her website:  I'm going to recap a show where she discussed making a blend of essential oils for naturally fighting germs.  I've discussed earlier on one of my posts how many of the anti bacterial products have ingredients that are killing not only the bad germs but also some good germs we need to stay healthy.  So when I saw this particular show it captured my interest.  I still believe it is good to be able to fight off bad germs, but I want to stay healthy in the process.
     In this episode Noelle was discussing how to get rid of office germs.  The first ingredient she used for her Germ Control Blend was Pine Oil, it's a powerful anti bacterial, anti fungal essential oil.  Next, she used Lemon Oil which is also a disinfectant and an anti viral, anti bacterial oil.  Last, she used Eucalyptus Radiata Oil which is the most mild and sweet smelling strong anti viral oil.  In an essential oil spray mix bottle she added 5 drops of the Pine Oil, 10 drops of the Lemon Oil and 10 drops of the Eucalyptus Radiata Oil.  She then added distilled water mixed with 50% white vinegar to fill the bottle.  She discussed that the white vinegar by itself is a natural disinfectant which is easy on the skin and easy on most surfaces.  However, she also mentioned you can leave out the white vinegar if you like and just use distilled water to fill the rest of the bottle.  Once this is done you want to shake the bottle.  You can then use it to spray your keyboard, phone, desk and even just spray in the air to refresh your space.  Noelle also explained that Lemon Oil had been used in World War II to disinfect hospitals. This is a natural way to kill not only office germs but germs in your home with essential oils.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

How to Clean Showers and Tubs With Natural Products

     If you have any mold or mildew starting to form in your shower there are some natural products you can use to keep the showers clean.  If you have mold in the tile grout of your tub or shower, this can be a problem as well as a health concern.  You can fill a spray bottle with one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts water then spray the mixture directly on the affected areas.  Wait at least one hour before rinsing away.  Another alternative for mold and mildew in the shower or tub is using either vinegar or lemon juice full strength.  You can apply directly to the affected areas with a sponge or cloth and scrub away the mold or mildew.  However, if you are cleaning an area with grout, be careful using these choices because the acid can eat away at the grout.  Do not use too much or leave on for long if you are using an acid based cleanser. 
     For a regular cleaning of the tub and tiles, you can use baking soda to scrub with a sponge or cloth then rinse with water.  And you can also use the vinegar and lemon juice mixture in a spray bottle to help clean as well as disinfect your tub or shower. 
     If you happen to have any rust stains on your tub, you can put a little salt on the affected areas, and then squeeze the juice of a lime over the salt until it is well soaked.  Leave this on the rust for 2 to 3 hours.  Then you can use the left over rind of the lime to scrub away the residue left behind.  When you rinse any of these products down the drain, you will not be adding harmful chemicals into the water supply.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Recap of One Segment on the Dr. Oz Show Today-5 Anti Aging Foods

     I'm going to recap one segment of the Dr. Oz show for those who may not have been able to see it today.  Dr. Oz and author Kate Geagan (Go Green Get Lean) talked about the 5 best age defying foods.  Kate Geagan stated it's always best to look for the most colorful foods.  Her first food is watercress which is good because it acts as a natural eye sun block.  It's a leafy green vegetable that has a peppery taste.  Next on her list, apricots because they are high in potassium which is good for our hearts and according to Kate in recent studies apricots will also give our skin a natural glow.  She then talked about cucumbers being good for our skin because they contain silica which helps to plump wrinkles.  And it was emphasized that the skin on the cucumber is the best part for us to eat.  If you are afraid of wax on the cucumbers, remember to select the ones that when you rub them, you can smell the cucumber.  If you can’t smell a fruit or vegetable when you rub it, it probably has a wax coating.  The forth item on her list was blood oranges.  They are even higher in vitamin C than regular oranges and they have a purple color flesh which is great for our skin and boosts our immunity.  Last, she listed eggplants because their skin is nutrient rich.  They can be used as meat substitutes and they are good for the fat tissue layer of our brains.  This is only the top 5 she recommends there are many more to choose from when eating.  If you go for the colorful fruits and vegetables,  you will be helping your body with anti aging effects.  There is a recipe included on Dr. Oz's website that incorporates these 5 foods.  The link for the salad recipe is as follows:  Anti Aging Salad

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Natural Sink Cleaner

     When we are cleaning our homes, there are many products we use that contain chemicals and strong scents.  As an alternative, you can make some homemade cleansers that work, are environmentally safe and are far less expensive. One easy cleanser to make for your kitchen sink contains white vinegar, lemon juice (or essential oil) and baking soda.  First, rinse your sink thoroughly to remove any loose debris and then place the sink stopper in the drain.  In a bowl mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of  lemon juice(or 3 drops of essential oil) and 1/4 cup of baking soda.  Mix the ingredients well, and pour into your sink.  Wipe the entire sink with a sponge or towel.  You can also use this on the spout and handles to clean them as well. Take another 1/2 cup of white vinegar and rinse the sink to remove the baking soda residue.  If you have a spray bottle this works better so you can spray the vinegar and wipe the sink and faucets. Next, rinse the sink with hot water and rinse off the faucets.  If you have a garbage disposal, turn it on so the mixture can work on any odors as it drains out of your sink.  When done, you can dry off your sink and faucets with a towel and your sink will be clean, disinfected and odor free.
     Michael Mullen, a spokesperson for the Heinz Corporation, says that 5% vinegar will kill 80% of germs and viruses.  Baking soda has long been known for its deodorizing properties, we've all had a box in our refrigerators at some point to keep out unwanted odors. It also cleans and scours.  Lemon juice has antibacterial qualities and is effective against most household bacteria.  With this natural household cleanser, you can economically clean your kitchen sink and feel good knowing you are not using harmful chemicals.  It's better for your family and by using the natural ingredients; this mixture will not harm the water system as you rinse it down the drain.
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