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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Does Drinking Tea Help Fight Off Sickness?

We have probably all been there sometime this winter - sore throat, sneezing, runny nose, the works. It is not fun, but sickness seems to be running rampant this winter. Can you protect yourself? Can you feel better faster? And what does tea have to do with all of this? First off, check out Top 12 Tips For Staying Healthy Through Flu Season.

The key with drinking tea to fight sickness is to pick teas with high quality ingredients that are shown to fight off illness and get you feeling better sooner rather than later.
Pukka is a brand of organic herbal tea that I have been using a LOT of this winter. Not only is a steaming cup of tea very soothing when you’re stuck in bed with the sniffles, but I have found that several of their teas have helped me knock my symptoms out quickly. 
 Lemon, Ginger, and Manuka Honey
 Elderberry and Echinacea
Three Ginger

Each tea is soothing, full of flu fighting ingredients that work to boost your immune system, and taste great! I have had great success with them, and I make sure I always have some on hand in case I start to feel that tickle in my throat.

throat cozy 11_12_14

I also like to support my immune system with tea from Choice Organic Teas, like their Breathing Space or Throat Cozy, which can help maintain healthy airways or soothe your throat. Lemon Lavender Mint, Ginger, and Chamomile.

Two of the things that compromise my immune system most are stress and lack of sleep. To help with these things, I rely a lot on Choice Lemon Lavendar Mint and Choice Chamomile teas. Not only are they delicious, but they really do relax my body and allow my immune system to work the way it should!

Check out all the 80+ varieties of organic, non-GMO verified Choice Organic Teas!

So, does drinking tea help fight off sickness? In my experience, it absolutely does! Tea is one of the important parts of my daily routine, especially during cold and flu season. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Shake the Crave

I was given product to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Do you drink a shake as part of your healthy lifestyle? I honestly do not usually recommend drinking packaged shakes, because they are so chock full of additives and extra junk. I would rather have my clients eating healthy food than drinking a bunch of chemical junk.

When Trusted Health Products offered to send me samples of their new Shake the Crave shakes, I was skeptical. I did what I always do first. I checked the ingredients. Surprisingly, they were simple, and I knew what each one meant. Imagine that!

Here are those ingredients:

Organic Non-Fat Dry Milk, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Coconut Powder, Organic Ground Vanilla Bean (in Vanilla Shake Mix), Organic Cocoa Powder (in Chocolate Shake Mix), Electrolyte Blend (Potassium Citrate, Calcium Chloride, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Sulfate, Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride).

Shake the Crave is their brand new, incredibly delicious, guilt-free shake that fills you up, boosts your energy and helps you feel full longer. I decided to give them a shot, and see if they had any place in my diet.

I started drinking them mixed in with my favorite protein shake before/after workouts. I absolutely love the taste of the shakes, and I feel that they give me the perfect energy boost and workout prep or recovery drink.

Now, you might look at the Shake the Crave shakes and say, Whoa! That is a lot of sugar! The type of natural sugar in these shakes converts to glucose quickly, which fuels ATP production in your body. ATP is what gives your body the energy to think, move, perform – it is the currency of your body and without it you can’t sustain life. This formulation will give you a smooth energy boost and help keep you full longer, plus it tastes great.

If you are looking for a great portable, clean ingredient energy boost, these shakes are great. If you are looking to get a little bit more out of the Shake the Crave shakes, check out their game plan below.

The Shake the Crave Lifestyle Game Plan

Follow this simple 5-step plan to achieve maximum results in your lifestyle:

1. LEARN – the secrets to the Shake the Crave lifestyle by reading the goals, game plan, tips, do’s and don’ts and the good and bad foods – go to shakethecrave.com for these resources. Begin implementing what you learn. Read this information often as you continue to implement more and more of these tips so you can begin to shake some of those craves that have been haunting you over the years and begin developing a better you.

2. SHAKE – Enjoy two delicious shakes a day – one at breakfast and one at lunchtime (your choice of meal times). These will help you feel full longer.

3. SNACK – Eat two or three low-calorie snacks throughout the day to curb cravings and boost your energy – preferably around 100 calories each of raw fruits or veggies. Eat organic as often as possible for better vitamin and mineral content.

4. MEAL – Take your time and eat a sensible dinner. The more whole foods in the meal, and the more natural the meal, the better. Be sure to get your recommended daily allowance of essential nutrients each day.

5. MOVE – Exercise with moderate aerobic activity (like brisk walking) five to seven times per week, plus muscle strengthening for at least 10 minutes, two times per week. Follow the U. S. Surgeon General’s recommendations:

For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a
week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity
aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and preferably, it should be spread throughout the week. Adults should also include muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.

Sound like something that would work for you? Check it out more and remember to get enough protein in your diet!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Tips to Conserve Energy

This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are 100% mine.

The environment is becoming a great concern to people now more than any other point in human history. People are constantly thinking about the environmental impact of everything they do in their daily lives. One of the biggest topics that environmentalists talk about is how much energy is wasted by average households. However, there are many simple things that anyone can do in order to reduce the amount of energy that is consumed. There are various energy books you can buy online that teach ways to save energy. Here are some tips to conserve energy and use it in a more efficient manner.

1. Computers

We are living in an age that is dominated by computers. They are an integral part of our lives. If you have a computer in your home, you should make sure that it is always put into sleep mode. When it is in this setting, it will only use a minimal amount of power when you are not using it. The control panel of your Windows operating system contains the power management settings you will need to accomplish this. For people who use a Mac, the Apple menu will have system preferences, under which you will find energy saving settings. You can also set your PC to go into hibernation mode if you have not been using it for at least 30 minutes. This shuts the computer down in a manner that will not require a full restart when you turn it on again.

2. Unplug

If you have appliances in your home that do not get used very often, it is a waste of energy to keep them plugged in day after day. You will be surprised how much having these appliances plugged in adds to your electric bill every month. You most likely have many devices that require charging on a regular basis. Cordless shavers, cordless screwdrivers, digital cameras and smartphones are just a few examples of items that need to be charged. When you are not charging a device, unplug the charger. Power strips are good to use for stereos, home theaters and TVs. Although you might turn them off, they are still draining power.


 
Shut off the lights!

3. Lights

This one may seem like simple common sense, but it is amazing how many people don't do it. When you are not in a room, turn off the light. In offices, lights left on for no reason cause massive energy expenses every year. This has caused many offices to install timers and motion detectors in bathrooms. If no motion is detected in the bathroom for a certain period of time, the lights will automatically turn off.

4. Temperature

The thermostat in your home is another source of wasted energy. Many people turn on the heat much more than they need to in the winter, then they jack up the air conditioning in the summer. If it is a cold winter night, use a few extra blankets and wear a nightshirt and socks. This will prevent you from having to turn on the heat to a high level. In the summer, use electric fans to help circulate the cool air from the air conditioner around the room. You should also know when to use sunlight and when to block it out. In the winter, keep your shades open when the sun is out. In the summer, block the sun from entering your home as much as you can.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Celebrate Chocolate Mint Day

I received product to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are 100% my own.

Today is National Chocolate Mint Day! Time to celebrate!

Actually, I started my celebrating a day early. Yesterday, after a super intense workout, I enjoyed the new Mint Chocolate Chip No Cow Bar.


A balanced blend of refreshing mint and creamy chocolate, the Mint Chocolate Chip No Cow Bar is made with cutting-edge ingredients, including plant-based organic brown rice and pea proteins, prebiotic fiber, and natural sweeteners like monk fruit and stevia. Ideal for a protein boost on-the-go, the Mint Chocolate Chip No Cow Bar has 20 grams of protein, 1 gram of sugar and only 160 calories. Good news for vegans: it’s vegan too!

It tasted delicious! I did not taste anything artificial-like, just rich flavors of chocolate and mint. With the amount of protein it packed, it was great for a post-workout indulgence without adding in too many calories. 

So, go get your workout in and celebrate National Chocolate Mint Day with a delicious Mint Chocolate Chip No Cow Bar! 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How Vitamins Can Affect Your Skin

 This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% mine.

Current research studies show that vitamins can be very beneficial for preventing and reversing the signs of aging skin. Although a healthy diet is important, it can only deliver a certain percentage of vitamins to your skin. As a supplement, topical creams and lotions can help to deliver maximum anti-aging benefits. They aid in improving skin texture, even skin tones, and dark under-eye circles. 


Vitamin A

Vitamin A is proven to reduce wrinkles, fade ugly brown spots, and smooth and soften rough skin. Vitamin A creams contain retinoids, an ingredient that contributes to younger looking skin. When using vitamin A creams and lotions, it's best to apply them at night because sunlight can deactivate the benefits of vitamin A. Although prescription retinoid creams work faster, they can cause redness and skin irritation. If you want to try some of these creams, over-the-counter versions are less irritating.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 increases skin hydration and reduces redness. The key ingredient to look for in creams and lotions is niacinamide. By adding moisture to your skin, it becomes stronger and more subtle. Vitamin B3 is great for dry skin, rosacea and dark spots that often appear with age. For best results, you should apply vitamin B3 creams and lotions in the morning and evening. For a super skin boost, you can also mix vitamin A retinoid creams with vitamin B3 creams without any harmful effects. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has a lot of powerful anti-aging ingredients. It helps to prevent wrinkles and sagging skin and fades brown spots. It's known to soak up harmful free radicals that cause damage to healthy skin. When using vitamin C creams and lotions, look for a concentration of 5 percent or higher for maximum benefits. You can apply topical vitamin C creams and lotions any time day or night with no harmful side effects. Studies show that using vitamin C creams and lotions for six months or longer can have significant impact on improving your skin health. 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E helps your skin retain natural moisture and fight off dryness. It's used in most sunscreens and is one of the best anti-aging products on the market. When using vitamin E creams, look for products that contain at least one percent of vitamin E for maximum benefits. You can apply it any time, but it should always be applied before and after sun exposure. Studies show that just one exposure to strong sun and UV light can destroy half of your skin's natural supply of vitamin E. 

Taking vitamins and using topical vitamin creams and lotions can significantly improve skin health. 

For information, visit your local pharmacy where Chemist Australia stock Blackmores.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Get Your Kids Ready for Spring!

I received books for review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Yes, it is still snowy and freezing cold here in Minnesota. However, Spring is only a little over a month away, and we are getting very excited for it! One of the things we are doing here in our home is reading books about Spring. Thanks to one of my favorite book publishers, Dawn Publications, I am able to teach my children lots of great concepts through some of their newest Spring books.


Pitter and Patter by Martha Sullivan and illustrated by Cathy Morrison is a fun, adventurous book that will help you teach your children about the water cycle. Tumble from the sky, careen off a leaf, plunge into a stream as you travel through a watershed. Then take a ride with Patter—even through an underground cave. Oh, the places you'll go and the creatures you'll see. A water drop is a wonderfully adventurous thing to be! Following the main story is a large, attractive schematic showing both the parts of the water cycle and how each drop took different paths through the watershed.

The “Explore More” section for teachers and parents offers a very clear presentation of states of matter (“Same but Different”), the water cycle (“Around and Around”), the watershed (“Going Down!”), and water’s role in habitats and humans (“Around and Through”). For each of these concepts, which may be challenging for children to visualize, there is one or more suggested activity to help make the concepts less abstract.


Noisy Bird Sing-Along by John Himmelman showcases how every kind of bird has their very own kind of sound - cheerful sounds, mournful sounds, sweet sounds, weird sounds. You can tell who they are without even opening your eyes. And what fun to sing along! John Himmelman knows those sounds well and loves to share his enthusiasm for birds. He explains how to call birds by “pishing,” gives tips on how to attract birds by feeding them, how to make your list of birds, and more.

My kids got the biggest kick out of this book! They were imitating bird calls all day long! Plus, it is very fun to try to identify birds that we see out at our neighbor’s bird-feeder. We are looking forward to identifying more as they come back from down south.


Over on a Mountain: Somewhere in the World by Marianne Berkes and illustrated by Jill Dubin is a fun counting book. Discover twenty cool animals, ten great mountain ranges, and seven continents all in one story! And do it in the age-old style of children the world over — by clapping, counting, singing, and acting like . . . well, animals! What fun! Following the main story, this book is chock full of resources for parents and teachers, including facts about each of the animals featured (including the hidden animals) and about mountains. A simple world map makes it easy for children to locate the continents and the mountain ranges where the animals live. A “Tips from the Author” page has suggested activities and a “Tips from the Illustrator” page offers an interesting perspective from the artist, who created the illustrations using cut paper.

For all three of these books, additional free downloadable activities can be found at www.dawnpub.com.

When your kids are getting stir-crazy, having to stay indoor through this long winter, why not use these awesome books to bring some fresh and fun activities into your day? You will all have fun and learn a lot!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Organic Valentines Treats Are Here!

I received product to review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.

 Stop! Put those artificially flavored, artificially colored, chock of full of chemical Valentine treats back on the shelf! Thankfully, there are better options. Organic Valentines are here!

This year I am sending my son to school with Valentines that will not cause the kids to go bonkers or compromise their health. 

Annies Bunnies are now ready to be part of Valentine's Day. Not only are these a great organic alternative to artificial sweets, they have a blank space where you can write friends, classmates and secret crushes names. There is even an extra Valentine that you can cut out of the side of the box for your teacher! My son is super excited to share these with all his friends and teacher. He already has them all ready to go!

I also love that the serving in each bag is small enough not to have your child overloaded with sugar, but big enough for them to taste a delicious fruity snack. 

On this holiday of love, what better way to show others you love them than with quality treats!