Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health. Show all posts

Sunday, April 5, 2020

5 Funny and Inspiring Things to Help You Smile During Crazy 2020

The Wild Ride that is 2020
Focusing on the good, that's what I've been doing through this global pandemic. However, I understand the difficulty for those struggling with illness and loss and certainly don't mean to minimize that pain.

I want to share some of the humorous and inspirational videos I've recently come across. I hope they fill up your soul during this crazy time.

1. Humor - Pluto Living

This video series by a creative Canadian has gone viral and for good reason! It's hilarious, cute, and addictive. She's developed quite a global following in a short time. Here's her most recent video post, you're going to love it! I've watched this one about ten times already. You can follow Pluto Living on Facebook and Youtube. Check out Pluto's hilarious video on Cats - omg, that one cracked me up.



2. Inspiration - Don't Give Up on Me by Andy Grammer, Featuring the PS22 Chorus

You may have seen this video come across your Facebook timeline. If you haven't, you're in for a moving experience. Whenever I need my faith renewed, I watch the faces of these beautiful little kids singing with Andy Grammer, and I'm reminded that yes, the children will indeed save us. Take a few minutes and watch - your cup will runneth over.



3. Hilarious - Sebastian Maniscalco, The Best Comedian Evah!

Several years ago, while watching a late show, this comedian I had never heard of, did a skit that left me rolling on the floor with tears of laughter running down my face! Right then and there I googled him and watched a full show. Again, tears of uncontrollable laughter ensued! I highly recommend following him and watching his skits and full performances. We saw him live in Toronto a few years ago and no surprise, he was fantastic. The 19,000 seat stadium was filled to the rafters! If you have an Instagram account, follow him: His family posts during quarantine are entertaining. The video below is a full show from 2013. He's created much more humor since then! Enjoy.



4. Spiritual - Off The Left Eye

Each night I listen to spiritual videos from Off The Left Eye. This isn't for everyone, but for me, it brings comfort. They exam the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1668-1772), a Swedish Christian theologian, scientist, philosopher, and mystic. His ten thousand pages of records about his visit to the other side while alive are broken down in video chat format. If you're seeking answers, this will help. Here's one of their brief inspirational videos on humanity.


5. Funny - Memes Are Saving the Day

You've seen many comical memes about quarantine and this terrible virus by now. One of my favorites from Boo *F Hoo is, "2020 - Written by Stephen King, Directed by Quentin Tarantino" (lol!). I even find myself wanting to create them now! Read the memes, share the memes, spread the humor.

2020 is turning out to be about mind, body, and spirit. All the best to you and your family. Stay safe during these challenging times. Blessings.




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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Activities For Kids Reviewed

What to do with the kids home

Are you struggling to find activities for kids to do while they are out of school? Let me review some ideas I gave my daughter to help keep my granddaughter entertained that did not involve sitting in front of the television set. With the schools closed across the nation, you might be pretty tired of playing board games and need some fresh ideas.

activities for kids
Keep the kids entertained
image courtesy of pixabay.com

I was talking to my daughter the other day and she expressed her frustration over how to keep my granddaughter busy and entertained after she has completed her online studies for school. I'm guessing there are a whole lot of parents who are feeling the same way. My daughter said that she was so sick of the board games they had in the house and needed some ideas on other things to do. So here are a few ideas that I tossed out for consideration.

One of the things I tried to keep in mind as I offered some options was that the activities needed to involve things that didn't require going out to buy new things. For one thing, we are supposed to refrain from leaving our homes but more importantly a whole lot of parents aren't working right now and money is tight. 

A Few Ideas To Keep Your Kids Busy

I suggested that on some days, my granddaughter could do some crafty type things. She loves to create all kinds of things so, I suggested that she make some things with the supplies she already has. A card to send to my Dad (her Great-Grandfather) to help cheer up his spirits. Cards for elderly neighbors that could be left at their doors keeping social distancing in mind. Pictures for her wall and that sort of thing. 

Another activity that would take up a little time was to go on an exploration for some fun facts. Have your child think of something they would like to know more about. Perhaps they are fascinated with Giant Squids. Have them do a search for those interesting creatures and then check out some of the sites that come up. While they are looking those over, jot down some other things to look for on another day. Perhaps it could be areas where Giant Squids can be found. Make it something they have an interest in so that they find it fun.

As I write this we are in the season where a lot of Bald Eagle's eggs are hatching. I suggested that my daughter might find one of the many nest cams so that they could watch for a while each day to monitor the progress of those eaglets growing. It is an incredible sight to behold! 

If you are able to, let the kids go outside in your backyard to play for a while. It can be like recess at school without their friends. Toss a ball, kick a can, skip rope, play hopscotch...anything to get their little bodies in motion to expend some pent-up energy. 

Have a good old fashioned scavenger hunt. Hide some things around the house with clues to the next item and then let them spend some time finding the items. Another option is to make a list for them to find the items on the list. Once you have done this, another day can be spent with them hiding the items and you have to find them. 

Try to think of activities you did as a child and introduce them to your kids, who are just as bored as you are by the way. Some you will be able to do and others might just make you smile at the memory. 

If possible, let the kids have some face-time with their friends or perhaps a grandparent. I love those video chats! We did one with my Dad the other day and he was thrilled to be able to see my daughter's and granddaughter's faces. She even showed him her progress with learning to play the fiddle...he loved it!

Look for inspiration either online or in books. A good source of ideas would be an activity book that you might have laying around or can buy for just a small bit of money.




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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Reviewing The Love Of A Friend

Honoring Friendship

My review today won't be about a product but instead will be about the love of a friend, a long time friend who was given her wings this weekend. She will no longer be here physically to talk to but she will always be in my heart. How could she not be in my very soul? We were friends for 56 years! Almost 6 decades of wonderful memories. Times of laughter, times of sorrow, times of struggle, and times of triumph; we shared them all.

love of a freind
There is nothing like the love of a friend
image courtesy of pixabay.com
Our friendship had an odd beginning. It began the year we entered 7th grade. We both came from small towns in small school districts. Those two districts had consolidated bringing us together that first year of consolidation. We had a lot in common before we ever sought each other out. We were both the oldest child in our family and we were both being raised by a single Mom. In 1964 divorce wasn't at all common, not in our area anyway. Up until the day our two schools merged, both of us were the only family in our school whose parents had divorced. Neither of us had someone to talk to about how we felt; to understand what divorce does to the kids. We both felt a little lost.

Oddly, my Mom had a date with her Dad. As far as our parents are concerned, that part of the story fizzled out pretty quickly. What did come out of that random date was a friendship that bonded the two of us quickly. Suddenly there was someone who understood! There was someone who cried with you when you missed your Dad. A person who didn't say dumb stuff like, "I'm not allowed to hang out with you anymore because you don't have a Dad." We would laugh about that one, of course we both had fathers; they just didn't live with us anymore. Comments like that seem odd in today's society but back then we both heard it a lot.

Looking back, I think we were meant to be friends. The connection was instant and strong. It almost seemed like in the matter of 5 minutes we were soul sisters. We were pretty much inseparable from that first day. There wasn't much we didn't do together. Trust me we did a whole heck of a lot together! It is probably best if most of that behavior is not mentioned here. 

We planned our weddings together, we had children together and raised them at the same time. As time passed we lived away from each other and there might be spans of time that we didn't see or speak to each other for months. You must remember that back then we didn't have cell phones or computers to connect with. A phone call to your friend was long distance and cost money to make; money that was short in supply in our early married lives. My granddaughters don't even know what a long distance phone call is! Anyway, my point is that after months of not seeing or talking to each other we would begin like we had just seen the other the day before. 

friendship
Friends hold your hand through life
image courtesy of pixabay.com

It is pretty special to have a friend that loves you through it all. They know all your faults and love you anyway. Her friendship was special like that, it is something I have always treasured and been in awe of. I've had many friends throughout my life but none quite like her. She was special.

When her daughter called me last week, things went very quickly. I wasn't able to go hold her hand one last time. I didn't get to tell her how much she has always meant to me. At first that broke my heart but then I realized that she of all people knew. She knew I wouldn't be able to come because of the restrictions the world is going through and she also knew that I loved her. It was more important that she be able to spend those last few days with her children, her grandchildren and her family. I'm glad she got that time with them. 

As much as it hurts to lose her, I'm finding comfort in that she didn't have to suffer very long. She had a rare form of cancer that took her quickly. I'm glad she was spared months and possibly years of pain and those horrible treatments. God was going to take her anyway, I'm actually thankful He took her before she had to go through much of that. Those of us who love her have lost her physical being but her spirit lives on in all of us. We have our memories to cherish as we continue on without her. I don't doubt for a minute that our souls will reunite. She is waiting, she is getting things ready, she will be standing there with open arms when I meet her again. Her fight is over but her memory will live on through all who knew her. Rest in peace my sweet dear friend!

My final message in this post is to remind you of that special friend you have shared your life with. Reach out to her or him and let them know what they mean to you. I don't care if you just spoke yesterday, tell them again today. Tomorrow is not a guarantee for any of us, make sure that those you love know how you feel today.






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Sunday, March 22, 2020

15 Additional Distracting and Calming Things to Do During Quarantine

15 Distracting Things to Do During Quarantine

Last week I wrote about ten calming and distracting things you can do during these crazy quarantine times.

This week I'll add another 15 suggestions for you.

1. 5000 Piece Puzzles

Ok, maybe just 1000 pieces will do. Family members of mine have tackled this one already.

2. Read the Hilarious Twitter Hashtag #QuarantineLife

The top tweets will crack you up. My mom and I were in stitches reading them!

3. Crossword Puzzles

Do you love to do crossword puzzles? If so, get out the book.

4. Redecorate a Room

That may involve trips to the store, so you may be restricted on what you can actually do. But hey, if you can even tackle one or two aspects of a redecorating project, good for you! Here's a brief helpful video on how to mix patterns in home decor:



5. Reorganize Your Cupboards and Closets

To some people, this is therapy, to others torture. Either way, get it done! If you've been putting off dealing with the disaster behind your closet door, now is a good time to get 'er done.

6. Learn a New Language

There are several common APPs you can use to learn a new language. Here are a few you can check out: Babbel, DuoLingo, and MemRise.

7. Learn to Play Piano Via an App

Yes, there's an APP for that. Here are two Apple Apps you can check out - Flowkey and Note Quest.

8. Assemble All Those Poems You've Written, And Self-Publish Your Book

Do you have a box of personally written poems that need a permanent place? How about writing that poetry book you've always wanted to write. I crossed that one off my bucket list last year and self-published my first book. I've since published five more and am working on my sixth. Here are some things I've learned along the way that may help you get started.

9. Crafts - DIY Crafting

I know, this is obvious. Knit, sew, or crochet those virus blobs. If you have friends who also enjoy crafts, turn it into a game. Tackle the same project and whoever finishes first gets a prize - maybe a book.

10. Learn Calligraphy

Family members of mine did this one the other day. You can get multiple tutorials on YouTube.



11. Coloring Books are Fun, Even for Adults

This is one I plan to do to relax. Coloring can be utterly satisfying. Color with the kids or you can always buy grown-up coloring books online.

12. Turn Your Life Into a Reality Show

If you're bold, go for it. Vlog your life and upload your daily routine to your social media audience. If you don't have an audience, you could end up with one fast lol - be careful!

13.  Take Cooking Lessons Online

Head over to Youtube and start watching all those addictive cooking videos! Have you always wanted to learn French Cooking? Now's your chance.



14. Assemble and Sort All Your Photos on Your Laptop & Phone

Sort all your photos and store them on a USB or in the cloud. Or create a family wall of photos - finally frame and display all those family favorites.

15. Handwrite Letters to Your Family

Handwrite a letter. Don't type it. Handwrite it and mail it to mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, or the kids. Include the kid's drawings or photos as well. Yes, you can do this online, but there's something very special about getting something like this in the mail.


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Thursday, March 19, 2020

Make Your Own Public Restroom Survival Kit Reviewed

Make Your Own Public Restroom Survival KitProtect Yourself in Public Restrooms! 


My husband and I enjoy making day trips as well as traveling. What I hate most about traveling whether for a day, or even a week, is the necessity to use public restrooms.  

By now, we have all heard that you should use a paper towel to open the bathroom doors since so many people do not wash their hands before touching the door knobs.  As if that is not enough to make you cringe, I was recently told that drug addicts will clean their needles by poking them in the toilet paper in the restroom stall.  This takes things to a whole new level of contamination concern.  

To be fair, I did check Snopes to determine if needle cleaning in public restrooms is a valid concern and found that none of the health services questioned had ever heard of that happening.  Still, it made me hesitate to trust the provided toilet paper in public restrooms.

For me and my family, I have decided better safe than sorry.  After all, we know there are germs in any restroom.  With the flu, a multitude of viruses, and the concern for cleanliness, why take the risk if not absolutely necessary? 

Some might consider this an extreme and unnecessary precaution.  Perhaps it is.  But, like any other precautionary measure, if it gives you peace of mind, why not.  You are certainly not hurting anyone else by carrying your own public restroom survival kit.


Items Needed for Your Public Restroom Survival Kit

Make Your Own Public Restroom Survival Kit
I assemble my own public restroom survival kit.  I include individually wrapped toilet seat covers, my own toilet paper in a sandwich bag, flushable single pack wet wipes, camp soap sheets, and a few of my own paper towels. 

I carry two different types of toilet seat covers.  One is the typical paper cover that you see in many public restrooms.  The other is a plastic toilet seat cover.  The plastic seat cover is not flushable, but I find it required in some public rest stops.  Even though it is made to encase the seat cover, I simply lay it on the seat.  If I won't sit on it, I certainly will not lift that seat to "gift wrap" it.

You all can stop laughing now!  No, I am not a germaphobe, but over the years I have truly seen some pretty nasty things in public restrooms.  I won't go into the graphic details and descriptions.  Suffice it to say, I've seen enough to know I believe in the proverbial "ounce of prevention".  In this case, I would alter that saying slightly to state an ounce of protection.

If you think I am alone in this concern, allow me to point out that Amazon.com even offers a pre-assembled public toilet kit.


In a pinch, I would totally invest in that "go bag"!  Because I have time to prepare my own survival kits packed with my preferred supplies, I don't mind putting them together myself.  

If you plan on traveling by plane, you may prefer a clear bag for supplies in your carry-on.  There are no liquids in my public restroom survival kit, but a clear bag might keep baggage inspectors from opening it and touching everything.  Hand sanitizer would need to go in your clear liquid carry-on bag.  If you are traveling by car, you can choose any tote bag.

I prefer a tote bag that will clip to my jeans belt loops or my camera backpack loops.   This is a nice inexpensive trio that I found.  I only need the medium sized bag in this set for my restroom survival kit, but I can always find different uses for the other two.
 

 

How Do I Know I Am Not a Complete Germaphobe?


A real germaphobe would recommend two more items!  After all, the dirtiest places in a public restroom are the floors, the toilet handle, and the faucet.

Eek!  Perhaps I should rethink this!   After all, I do wear my shoes in the car and in my home!  And, those gloves and shoe covers are disposable.



And if you really want to do things right, be sure to include your Poo-Pourri! It was previously reviewed by Dawn Rae and would make a fabulous addition to your public restroom survival kit. 
 

When you are out and about, be sure to be prepared, stay safe, and "rest" protected in those public restrooms!

 




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House of Sylvestermouse




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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

DIY Hand Sanitizer Reviewed

Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

Chances are you can't find hand sanitizer on your local shelves. Let me review how to make your own to use when soap and water aren't available to you. It is much easier than you might think!

hand sanitizer
DIY Hand Sanitizer
image courtesy of pixabay.com

We are all in the same boat with the flu & various viruses that terrorize the world. The importance of keeping our hands clean and the surfaces around us goes without saying. When it comes to being able to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with us on those occasions that we have to go out for supplies is pretty much impossible. The hoarders and the opportunists have cleared the shelves across the nation. Not to worry, you can actually make your own.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 empty hand soap or sanitizer dispenser
  • Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) 99% alcohol volume
  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • Essential Oil or lemon juice to make it smell nice (optional)
  • Large measuring cup with spout to mix and pour from

Hand Sanitizer Recipe:

3/4 cup isopropyl (rubbing alcohol)
1/4 cup aloe vera gel
10 drops of essential oil or lemon juice

Pour all of the ingredients into a large bowl or a measuring cup with a spout. Mix together with a spoon first and then whisk the solution to form a gel. Pour the mixture into an empty bottle for easy use and transport and then label it with the words "Hand Sanitizer".

That's it, it is that easy. Just a reminder that it is still better to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use the sanitizer when you are out and can't wash your hands. I like to place a dab on a tissue to wipe off the handle of the grocery cart before I place my own hands on it. 

Not sure how long the 20 seconds is? Sing the Birthday song through two times while washing your hands. Remember to pay attention to the tips of your fingers and between your fingers. 

Stay safe, follow the guidelines and we will all get through this together as a nation. 






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Sunday, March 15, 2020

10 Calming and Distracting Things to Do

Calming and Distracting Things to Do
With all that's going on in the world, some distraction is in order.

When you've had your fill of news, and consumed as much info as you need for a day or so, here are some things you can do to take your mind off the world.

1. Listen to Music

Yes, I know, that's predictable! You've heard it a million times. The principle of Occams Razor applies right now (the simplest solution is often the best or right one - paraphrasing). With that in mind, turn off the TV for a while or forever, and pick a few songs that speak to you.

Here, let me recommend a fantastic song for country music fans; have you listened to Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani's song "Nobody But You?" If not, take a minute. It's a perfect song to cuddle up to or think about the one you love, and what's most important in life.

Lyrics
"Don't have to leave this town to see the world
'Cause it's something that I gotta do
I don't wanna look back in thirty years
And wonder who you're married to
Wanna say it now, wanna make it clear
For only you and God to hear
When you love someone, they say you set 'em free
But that ain't gonna work for me"




It's currently my favorite country music song - hope you enjoy it.

2. Watch Inspirational Videos

This is a little self-serving; here's one of my most recent video-poems. Written about a month ago, it's about finding clarity and calm in life.

This year I've vowed to work on body, mind, and spirit. The video speaks to the spirit side of life. I call it Living in Light. If you need a little calm, mixed with a teaspoon of hope and faith, this one is for you.


3. Cooking - Do You Love to Cook?

If you love to cook there are a ton of recipes from our writers here on ReviewThisReviews. Be sure to check out the recipe section. You can find it here.

4. Puzzles and Games

You've already thought of this right? Board games, riddle games, and puzzles. If you're not in the mood to play family games, distract yourself with riddles. Yep, I happen to write them. Here's one, can you solve it?
Find more at StumpedRiddles.com
5. Dance in Your Kitchen

Oh, that sounds really dumb, doesn't it? It's not. Turn up the radio and dance. The exercise is good for us physically and mentally. Who cares how silly we look. Blast your favorite music and go for it.

6. Exercise

If your health permits and you have exercise equipment, use it. If not, there are plenty of yoga and exercise videos on Youtube and TV you can follow. I like this basic exercise video for Arms. This lady features short easy-to-do videos.


7. Draw, Paint or Create

Now is a good time to tackle that book you've always wanted to write. If books aren't your thing, sketch or paint. Stepping back in time, it's said that the plague may have influenced Shakespeare to create his best works. You can read about it here.

If you've wanted to write a book, but aren't sure where to start, I've written several articles with tips from my own personal experience of writing my first books. You can find them here:


8. Binge Watch TV

Oh my, that's too much couch time, but if you can't help yourself, here are some comical tips on what not to do when you binge-watch.

9.  Read a Book

If you're looking for a book to read, check out the book reviews by the Contributors on this site. There are some serious book-readers here! You can scroll through the reviews by starting here.

10. Express Your Love to Family and Friends

Don't hold back. Say it out loud or by text or phone if you have to, but say it. Say it over and over, and even say it for others to hear. Spread love - let your voice be heard.

My own Mind, Body and Spirit tips for 2020 are reviewed here.


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Friday, March 13, 2020

ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike Reviewed

Pro-Form 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike Review
Exercise is not my favorite pastime!  However, like everyone else, I need to exercise regardless of the weather.  Few exercise machines work for me because I have a severely curved spine (scoliosis), therefore strain on my spine causes a great deal of pain.  

Over the years, I have tried several exercise regiments and different low impact machines.  Until I discovered the recumbent exercise bike, all exercise ended in pain.  

While I would be the first to say there is no substitute for walking, I am grateful to have found an indoor exercise machine that actually works for me.  By the way, I have tried other types of exercise bikes, but the backless style puts too much pressure on my spine.


The Pro-Form 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike Information & Features


 ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent BikeCheck PriceOriginally, I planned to purchase a exercise bike made by a company that is renowned for quality bicycles.  My husband suggested  I go to a local store that has them set up and allows you to test them.  I am so glad I took his advice!  The one I thought I wanted was uncomfortable, which means I would end up not using it.  

When I sat on the Pro-Form Recumbent Bike, I was shocked at the difference.  The seat is supportive and quite comfortable.  Because the seat will move forward, I was able to set it for my leg length with my back pressed against the seat back for support.   
  
It is recommended that you exercise 5 days a week, for 30 minutes. I am easily able to peddle for 30 minutes without experiencing any pain, during or after.  That is amazing!  

There are 18 difference workout settings which emulate riding on various terrains, or you can simply peddle at your own pace and preferred resistance level. 

For example, I can take it slow and easy, with no resistance, for 30 minutes and burn 150 calories.  A real workout would obviously yield greater results. 


Additional Features

ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike
  • Requires 4 D Batteries for Monitor (a power adapter is sold separately)
  • Monitor shows time, speed, watts, & calories burned
  • EKG Grip Pulse
  • Built-in Audio for Ipod
  • Adjustable Cushioned Seat
  • Water Bottle Holder
  • Quiet (almost silent)
  • Approximately 5' long & 2' wide
  • 275 lb. Weight Limit


Other Considerations Before You Begin

It takes a few hours to assemble the exercise bike and having a second person to help is preferred.  You don't want to rush the assembly time!  

You will also need a carpet piece or mat underneath the bike to avoid damaging floors when exercising.  

Plus, be sure to buy your batteries or the AC adapter in advance.  You will want to be able to test everything immediately after it is assembled. 


Entertainment While Exercising


ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike Reviewed
Most often, I feel like I should be doing something instead of dedicating time to exercise.  After all, real bicycling allows you to enjoy your surroundings, the sounds, the smells, and the beauty of the great outdoors.  It is a totally different experience than just plain exercising.  

Frankly, I need a distraction when I exercise.  The ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Bike has a slot in front of the monitor for an iPad or Kindle.  Instead of watching the monitor, I watch a movie, read, listen to an audio book or to music.  Before I know it, the 30 minutes have passed.

Of course, you would set your own workout length of time and preferred resistance.  Just be sure to bring your water bottle and entertainment along for the ride. 

   





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House of Sylvestermouse




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Sunday, March 8, 2020

My Personal Keto Testimonial

My Personal Keto Experience

So, I'm going to do this ... drumroll ... I'm going to review my experience with the Keto Diet.

I've been reluctant to write about Keto because most people seem to have an opinion on it already. However, since I feel so much healthier than a year ago, I feel compelled to say something about my experience.

This review isn't going to include education on Keto, but I'll link to a few useful resources for those interested. This is more of a testimonial.

I Started Keto May 14th, 2019

Going on a Keto Diet wasn't planned. In fact, I knew very little about it. For several years previous, I kept seeing "Keto" recipes on Pinterest and wondered 'what the heck is Keto?'.

I was introduced to Keto by a family member. During our family gathering, we were all extremely impressed with her weight loss and wondered what she was doing. She's very gracious and only volunteered information because we were asking. Her position is that she doesn't talk about it to others because everyone has 'an opinion' and she'd rather not go down that road. We were all curious though, and since I'm an information junkie, I was all ears.

When I Was Young I Was Thin

Some people struggle with weight their entire life. My struggles only happened later in life: in my fifties. I wasn't 'thin-thin' in my 40's but, after dieting I would lose weight. In my fifties, things changed drastically, and even though I didn't eat much, I couldn't lose weight - or so I thought!

I Didn't Eat Much Prior to Keto - I Thought I Was Choosing Wisely, Was I Wrong!

When I was young, like many people, all I had to do was cut down food and the weight would fall off. After four children and entering mid-life, things changed.

Keto, it turns out, works for my body. When I reflect back, my young years didn't include a lot of carbs. During those young years, when I cut food down, more than likely I didn't have a lot of stored carbs. Plus, the obvious, I was young and active.

What food choices were so wrong for me?

Keto gave me an education on the number of carbs in food. What I thought I knew about food, was all wrong. I had no idea what sugar really is, what it's in, how it works in the body and what it can do to you.

Here's an example: Prior to Keto, I would start my morning with 2 small yogurts and a banana. Big mistake for me, huge. lol. The yogurts each had about 13 carbs, and the banana approximately 22 carbs. Add the teaspoon of honey in my tea, and my day started with over 50 carbs!

You may be thinking, so what, 50 carbs should be fine - ahem, on Keto my daily net carb intake is 15 to 20 carbs - that's for the whole day!

Add my additional daily mistakes prior to Keto - bread, pasta, a sweet treat, and my daily carb intake was a lot! My body couldn't lose weight because I was storing carbs like a squirrel stores nuts for the winter! So when my body needed energy, it would access all my stored carbs - it never got a chance to get to my fat!

Keto is NOT for everyone. Some people (like my husband) can eat carbs 'til the cows come home and not gain weight. He eats breads, pastas, sweets, and omg doesn't gain weight..ever. I'm not like that. My body doesn't do well with a higher carb intake.

That's what keto taught me about me. Carbs are not my friend; good fats, proteins, and limited healthy carbs are. That's what works for me. Keto foods are my fave anyway; salmon, chicken, cheese, pickles, dark chocolate, steak and on and on.

What is Keto?

The Ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein and low carbohydrate diet. Since you're running on low carbs, the diet forces your body into a state of Ketosis. Normally we fuel our body with carbs for energy - on Keto you fuel your body with fats (choose healthy fats).

Wiki Definition of Ketosis:
"Ketosis is a metabolic state characterized by elevated levels of ketone bodies in the blood or urine. Ketosis is a normal response to low glucose availability, such as low-carb diets or fasting"

Some people do 'dirty keto' where they allow themselves unhealthy fats. I haven't done that. I've been responsible with my fat choices; avocado, almonds, coconut oil, 85% dark chocolate for a treat, and so on. Once in a while, I have bacon, but not that often.

I Could Have Never Succeeded Without This App

The App is Carb Manager. That link takes you to the iTunes version of the App. You can also read more about the benefits of Carb Manager at CarbManager.com.

Follow the directions on the App, input your data, and it will allow you to track everything you eat daily as well as auto-populate the fields of portions for protein, carbs, fats, and calories for you.

I've never missed a day of entering my food in Carb Manager. Every single thing I eat is entered. I'm brutally honest as well. No point in cheating, because that's just cheating myself.

My Results on Keto to Date

My Weight:
Today is March 8th, 2020. I started Keto on May 4th, 2019. I've lost approximately 55 pounds to date. I want to lose another 20lbs. However, if my body says it's done, I'll stop, but so far, so good.

My Health
I was diagnosed in 2016 with Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is a serious auto-immune disease. (Most people confuse it with Arthritis). I was so sick in the early stages. Just horribly unwell. Since I've lost all this weight, I'm the healthiest I've been in my fifties. Cutting out all that sugar and gluten has changed my life. It's noticeable.

I'm not promoting or suggesting this way of eating is for other people. Everybody has to find what works best for them. I wanted to let others know who are on Keto or maybe considering Keto that this lady has had a very positive experience.

Keto is not a diet for me now, it's a lifestyle - it's a way of eating that my body and health are grateful for.

So here I am today - I'm 59 years old in this photo taken about a month ago - I turn 60 in August and am planning to be at my goal weight for that big birthday number.

50 Pounds Down after 9 months on Keto - February 2020
Life isn't perfect. It never will be. My motto is that I can't control other people, but I can control myself. I've been working hard to live that way in every aspect of my life over the past year. I feel as though I've just woken up and that life is only beginning - self-control, hope, bravery, love, kindness, patience, woman-power, and prayer - that's me at 59.

Note: This is not meant as medical advice - it's always prudent to check with your doctor before starting a diet.


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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Fiber Good Gummies Reviewed

Supplement For Adding Fiber To Your Diet

Today, I would like to review an alternative to the supplement often suggested by our physicians for adding fiber to our diets. Fiber Good Gummies are much more palatable than that awful powder that we are often directed to add to water. I'm sure if you have needed to add fiber to your diet, you know the product I am referring to. Oh my goodness that stuff makes me gag!

fiber good
Fruits can be a good source of fiber
image courtesy of pixabay.com

 I know that I should eat more fruits that are rich in fiber along with other sources like beans, nuts, and some vegetables. I know that I should, but I'll be honest; I don't do a very good job of seeing to putting those things on my plate. Several times, my doctor has told me that if I don't actually eat the foods for the fiber that I should use a product as a supplement. I'm sorry, the powder forms just make me nauseous. I've tried more than once but it just feels so slimy in my mouth and tastes nasty. 

Last week, I was at the local pharmacy looking for some things that my Dad needed. I found myself on the aisle where the above mentioned powders can be found. I noticed an option that I hadn't seen before. There on the shelf was a soluble fiber supplement in the form of gummies. I almost jumped up and down with joy as I read the label on the bottle! 

The gummies are made from fruits like strawberry, apple, grape, cherry, orange and lemon. They taste pretty good and I can chew those without feeling sick to my stomach. They are easy to use, too. Basically, you chew two Fiber Good gummies twice a day. That is it, it is that easy.


Fiber Good Gummies Work


So, I purchased a bottle and began taking them that day. It has been about a week since I began chewing the little fruit flavored gummies and I can see a difference. My digestive system is working better, much better, than it was. I wish that I had visited that aisle sooner.

The next office visit that I have, I'm going to tell my doctor about these little morsels. I think sometimes they might not realize that there are alternatives to the products they often recommend. At least he might consider telling his other patients that if they can't stomach that powder stuff that they can try the Fiber Good Gummies. 

If you or someone you know struggles with providing enough fiber in their diets, give the Phillips Fiber Good Gummies a try. They have worked for me and I plan to make them a part of my daily routine from now on. 




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Sunday, January 12, 2020

Life's Changing Perspectives - A Twenty Year Review Through Poems


How have you changed in twenty years?

I've declared 2020 the year of Body, Mind, and Spirit, with the main focus being on feeding my spirit to bring all aspects of my life into balance.

Remember Who I Am - Life Reflections Then and Now

Nearly twenty years ago, I wrote a poem called, "Remember Who I Am." The poem isn't about begging to be remembered, but rather about acknowledging the mistakes I made in life, and how ultimately I learned from those mistakes.

Looking back twenty years ago, when the video poem featured below was written, I clearly see my personal growth since that point in time.

I'm a different person at 59 years old than I was in my 30s. I suspect that's quite normal. God willing, if I get to 80 years old, I imagine my outlook will further change.

The most significant change inside of me is a grander understanding of inner peace, and what inner peace truly is.

There's so much I want to type about inner peace right now, but honestly, I don't think I can explain it? Let me say it this way, with these powerful words:


 "In the end, everything WILL be O.K."  - I get this now.


We're still dealing with some of the same life struggles we faced when I was in my thirties. Even though those struggles are still quite significant, I now see how mundane they are, and rarely pray on those. In the grand scheme of life, they don't rate.

When I was in church last week, I started thinking about my prayers from those times, and how I've grown to understand that the secret to solutions is within us - and that prayers for souls, the human condition, our community, those we love, and visualizing the good, is where ultimate peace rests.

I feel I'm awake now. 

As though I've been handed a book with some of life's secrets in them. I'm looking forward to the next book in twenty more years if I'm so blessed.

I've mastered forgiveness.

Without giving away anything overtly personal, I can unequivocally state, I've got this one down. What I understand most about forgiveness is that it's not up to me to 'forgive' others. It's lessons learned, from all sides.

I approach the mistakes others make that hurt me, family, friends, or strangers, as people who are either lost, dark, or learning at their pace. Life is school, and some of us are in pre-school while others have PhDs. No judging. Letting go.

Also, I don't agree with the saying, "I forgive, but I'll never forget."  For me, if I have to hold any grudge, including 'never forgetting,' it's not forgiveness. You can read a bit more about this in an article I wrote, many years ago called, "The Secret to Life."

Despite life's changes over the past twenty years, the words to this poem I wrote so long ago, still stand.



Angels on Duty - Starting Our Day with a Helping Hand

Again, I wrote this one about twenty years ago. Of all the poems I've written over the past fifty years, this is one of my favorites.

The poem was written to create a visual of how Angels begin their daily work, helping us, as soon as we wake up.

It's about waking up in the morning, swinging your legs over the edge of the bed, bending over with your hands over your face, as you pause thinking about the challenges you face today, and wondering if you have the strength to do it. Without knowing, there's an Angel present, whispering affirmations, and confirmations that 'everything will be ok' and that you're not alone, and yes, you can do it.


Towards the end of last year, I achieved a bucket list item: I published a book featuring 50 years of my poems. Change, perspective, growth - it's all good. #bethechange #spreadthewordofgood





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Saturday, January 11, 2020

Did You Know That January is Hot Tea Month?

I thought I'd review our love of tea here on Review This Reviews and also share with you the teas I enjoy during my day.

Enjoying a cup of hot tea as January is hot tea month
The tea pictured is Arbonne's Detox Tea, click this link to purchase.

The authors on this site do seem to enjoy their hot tea and you can check out Cynthia's hot tea article to learn more about the different types of tea available.

I used to enjoy several mugs of black tea a day and an occasional green tea, but these days I enjoy herbal teas - which tea lovers will (correctly) say aren't actually teas, but herbal infusions.

Which teas do you prefer to drink?   I would love to know in the comments.

My Daily Teas - Whatever Month of the Year it is!


I start every day with a mug of Arbonne detox tea which I absolutely love.

If I'm meeting a friend during the day I will choose peppermint tea as my drink of choice as it's available at most cafes these days.

I used to have peppermint tea every afternoon, but these days I only drink it occasionally as January in Queensland, Australia (where I live) is pretty hot so I tend to drink a fizz stick instead.  Sometimes I do feel like a hot drink and I will switch between my usual peppermint or a Twining's Spearmint and Peppermint tea..

Other teas I may have are from Arbonne's holiday tea range (I'll probably enjoy them more in our winter months though).

At night I enjoy Twining's Chamomile and Honey tea.   You may have noticed that I am partial to Twining's teas, my husband even brought me a couple of their cold infuse teas to try, but this is hot tea month so we'll talk about them on another article.

More Tea Please!


Let's have a look at what some of the teas our other Review This contributors enjoy:

Cynthia reviews Aveda Comforting Tea which sounds absolutely delicious.
Barb enjoys Lifestyle Awareness teas and reviews a couple of them for us - Immunity Now & Serene Slumber.

Of course you also need to be able to make tea which brings us to Barb's Tea Kettle review.

I have written a review on gift ideas for tea lovers which enjoys some gorgeous tea pots and fun tea infusers, check that out here - Best Gifts for Tea Lovers.

So if you're not a tea drinker already, why not try a few different ones this January in honour of Hot Tea Month?   If you do (and I hope you do) then be sure to come back and let us know what ones you've enjoyed.

Of course there's one thing any cup of tea is good with and that's a great book!


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Thursday, January 2, 2020

Noom Healthy Weight Loss App Review


Wouldn't it be great to kick off the new year with a five-pound weight loss?  I decided to get a head start on my resolutions and do exactly that.  Five days ago, I started my two-week Noom trial and have already exceeded my expectations for early success.  Here's a quick review of how the Noom healthy weight loss app has helped jumpstart a healthier 2020 for me.

Noom has been all over the news lately.  I kept seeing the promos and decided to check it out.  There was really nothing to lose in giving it a try (except maybe a little belly fat).

First, you need to know that I am not a fad dieter.  I was glad to learn that Noom is not a diet.  There's no special food to buy and you can pretty much eat what you want (within certain parameters).

It was super easy to get started.  I set up a trial account with Noom and downloaded their free app (available for both IOS and Android platforms).  All of that took less than two minutes.

Next, I was asked a few questions about my health goals.  Noom is a program based on tapping into your motivation and encouraging the behavior changes needed to support what you wish to achieve.  Whether you want to lose weight, feel healthier, be more fit, or eat right, Noom is there to gently nudge you in the right direction.

I want to do all of those things.  After plugging my answers into the app, I was provided with a two-week plan.  That plan includes eating more nutrient-dense foods, gradually increasing the number of steps I take each day (with an eventual target of walking 10,000 steps), doing a daily weigh-in, and logging my meals.

After calculating my weight-loss goal, my age, my current weight, and other pertinent factors (like any physical limitations, energy needs, etc.), I was given a target of consuming no more than 1,200 calories per day.  That may seem restrictive, but I have found it reasonable and doable.  I'm not starving or feeling deprived (because I am eating foods that are filling and satisfying).

Noom wants me to focus on caloric density when I choose my foods.  Eating foods with a low caloric density is one of the keys to successfully achieving my goals.  The app will teach you what you need to know, but essentially, fruits and vegetables typically have the best ratio when it comes to low calories and high nutritional value (think foods with fiber and a decent water content).

Foods are categorized into three color groups: Green, Yellow, and Red.  I am allowed to eat what I choose within those groups, as long as I don't exceed the calorie recommendations for each.  The Noom app provides me with an instant analysis of my food choices.


Noom is a research-based program that makes us more conscious of the triggers that guide our actions when it comes to eating and healthier living.  We are shown how triggers lead to thoughts, thoughts to actions, and actions to consequences.  I find myself being more mindful about my choices.

Who might be drawn to the Noom approach to healthier living?
  • People on the go with a busy lifestyle.  
  • Anyone who enjoys the convenience of interacting with an app rather than having to be in a certain place at a specific time.  
  • Those who enjoy a light-hearted interface that offers up quick, easy-to-understand tidbits of health-related information followed by fun quizzes.  
  • The individual who likes to be affirmed for making progress.  
Noom provides you with a personal coach who checks in with you at the start of the program (and at least weekly).  You can message your coach any time through the app.  Your coach will make suggestions after reviewing your goals and activities.  I just received these messages from my coach this morning:



To get the most out of Noom, I choose to engage in all of the opportunities on my daily action list.  When I log in each morning, I take a few minutes to check out these activities because I get a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment from doing so.  This was today's checklist:



In addition to the basics, there are a number of extras that can be added on.  Once your trial concludes, you have the option to continue for a monthly subscription fee.  I'm still in the first week of my trial, but can say it has been working well for me.  I would have been happy losing two pounds my first week.  To lose five pounds makes me ecstatic.

Having to weigh myself daily as a part of my Noom commitment is not my idea of a good time, but I must say that the accountability of doing so, and logging that weight, makes me try harder.  The same is true of logging my daily meals.  I'm not going to eat junk when I have to post it for someone else to see.  Accountability makes such a difference.

You know what else keeps me going?  Affirmations.  It is so nice to receive a high five when I do something right.  It's the little things like this that make me want to stay the course and keep on keeping on.



Earlier today, I asked one of my friends about her Noom experience.  This is what Jan had to say:
It was easy to lose weight, the daily information was fun to read, the program was/is sustainable.  I didn't participate often in the large group support activities and my personal coach was ok but not great.  I loved that I was able to recover from two knee replacement surgeries (low activity levels for several weeks) and still lose weight! 
Jan also mentioned that she had referred others to the program and was recently thanked for doing so.  One woman who lost 14 pounds as a result of that referral shared that it had changed her life.  It doesn't get much better than that!

I have no doubt I will reach my ultimate goals (and sooner rather than later).  Why don't you join me on Noom.  Give it a two-week go to see what you can accomplish in a short window of time.  If you use any link in this review, you will receive a free trial (I paid for mine) and a 20% discount on a Noom subscription.  Click here to try Noom for free.

Let's make 2020 our best year yet.  We hold the power to do so within us.  All we have to do is unleash it.







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Sunday, December 29, 2019

2020 is Body, Mind, and Spirit - Complete Life Balance, A Personal Commitment

2020 - Body, Mind, Spirit

Have you decided upon a new year's resolution for 2020? Do you prefer to avoid making one? When you review 2019 for you or your family, how does it rate?

2019 has been a challenging year for our family, and I know for many others. I'm looking forward to putting this year behind me.

I've made a resolution that I'd like to share here. It's about balance, but it's not about work-play balance. The balance I'm seeking is to nurse all three of these aspects in my life carefully.

Body, Mind, Spirit
Sounds corny right?

Not to me, not at this stage in my life. I've neglected my spirit. Even though it seems like I'm in a state of constant prayer, I still feel I haven't been feeding my soul properly.

The section on Spirit isn't meant to be about religion; I'm simply sharing what I do to expand my soul. However, whether you believe in God, a higher power, regardless of faith, or are a non-believer, we can all connect with our inner self, and free our minds with a little spiritual exercise.

I'm not an overtly religious person, but I do feel connected to a world beyond this one. It doesn't matter whether we feel that or not, what matters is that we make an effort to deepen our connection with humanity.

How I Personally Exercise Mind, Body & Spirit

The Mind

This one is pretty easy for most of us.

Chances are if you're reading this, you spend time online and probably have a blog, website, work for a company, or go to school. Just the amount of reading and learning we do to stay up-to-date with the above can give our mind a workout.

Most of my mind exercise comes from online reading. It seems I'm in a constant state of learning. If you're not online enough to be learning that way, then, of course, there are the usual, crosswords,  puzzle books, reading actual books and best of all, stimulating, productive and positive conversations with friends.

The Body

We all know that respecting our bodies can be pretty tough at times.

Eating healthy, exercise, and keeping ourselves free of substances not prescribed by a doctor are the common areas to focus on.

Personally, for health reasons, I made significant changes with my body in 2019. I decided to try the Keto Diet. I hate calling it a diet because, for me, it's not - it's a way of eating. I started May 4, 2019, and to date have lost 50 pounds; another 25, and I'm at my goal.  Anyway, I won't get into all the details of Keto; that isn't my point, taking control of my health is.

Sometimes caring for our body means relaxing more, enjoying ourselves more, and if we're healthy, merely being happy with the body we have.

The Spirit

In 2019 I did focus fairly successfully on Mind and Body, but I neglected spirit.

I started around December 12th, 2019, to do the soul work I should have been doing all year. The work I do is more than prayer. You can use the general concepts I use and convert them to fit your belief system. It's never my intention to push religion on anyone. I'm merely sharing the way I personally enhance inner-peace.

At night, a lot of people listen to meditation tapes, music, and audiobooks to fall asleep. If what you're doing is feeding your soul, keep doing that.

What I Do to Personally Feed My Soul

I was seeking a greater connection.

Six years ago, I came across a YouTube video Channel called Off The Left Eye. I had listened and followed them for several years, then life got in the way, and I drifted.

Off The Left Eye examines life through spirituality and faith, through the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg's (1668-1772 - Theologian, Scientist, Philosopher) personal experience with the afterlife.

Swedenborg was a famous scientist. After his otherworldly experience, he wrote ten thousand pages on his journey through the veil. Consequently, he was shunned by the scientific community of his day.

When I'm tucked in for bed, I listen to the videos featured by Off the Left Eye. Despite all of life's challenges, I do consider myself a peace-filled person. However, watching these videos expands my horizon and brings me to an even deeper level of understanding. Also, when I'm having a bad day, they're a must for rejuvenation.

These videos are erasing that persistent horrible feeling that another shoe is about to drop. I hate that feeling! I'm mastering its eradication with the help of these videos.

I love the metaphors that the Host, Curtis Childs uses; he has such a fun way of getting you to understand a concept that may seem too complex to grasp through Swedenborg's writing alone.

At any rate, for me, understanding the bigger picture is grounding. Letting God in, blocking out dark energy, and constantly praying (lol) makes for a happier me.

Whether you use music, quotes, other religious teachings, yoga, or meditation, it doesn't matter as all of it will feed the inner you.

Here's the very first video, from six years ago I tripped on by Off The Left Eye (It's a short inspirational summary of humanity):



Here's to a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2020. Happy New Year!





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