Showing posts with label healthy living. Show all posts
Showing posts with label healthy living. Show all posts

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Reviewing How To Reboot Your Body

reviewing how to reboot your body
The end of the year is often a time for reflection  and our New Years start off with  promises to ourselves of keeping good habits, kicking bad habits, taking time out for gratitude and other things.

This year I started my January by doing Arbonne's 30 Days to Healthy Living and Beyond plan and I felt fantastic on it.   This plan is a great way to basically give your body a reboot!

I will be 'rebooting my body' again in January 2019 and I'm going to review the reasons why as well as the what, whys and hows of the plan.

Why I Love The Basic Principles of The 30DTHL Plan


There are three principles behind the plan as I see it -
  • First foods that are often allergenic, acidic or hard for the body to digest are eliminated - don't worry it's only for 30 days!
  • Second, you nourish your body with good, clean food and quality supplements.
  • Thirdly you support your body as it goes through it's rebooting process.
Doesn't that sound good?  This was what attracted me to this plan as I had discovered over 10 years ago that a certain food could cause my Rheumatoid Arthritis to flare up and yet other foods that cause other people to flare up didn't appear to affect me.

The idea of eliminating and then (this plan does include the words and beyond) re-introducing the different foods gradually so that you can see how they may or may not affect you, this idea is one that I think is brilliant.  Everyone is different, but I do think that everyone would benefit from a reboot at least once so that they can find out how different foods affect them.

I also love how the importance of nourishing your body correctly is handled.  This program provides you with protein powder to use twice a day leaving you to only have to prepare one meal a day (and snacks).  Initially I was a little unsure how I felt about this, however if I had to prepare three meals to the proportions recommended and not including processed foods I would probably not have lasted the whole 30 days.

We live busy lives and that's what Arbonne gets.   The protein powders are specially formulated (and by the way all of the products are vegan, gluten-free & kosher) and although I was skeptical about them filling me up they really do!   If you don't want shakes that's fine as you can cook with the protein powder too and there are recipes available for protein porridge, pancakes and lots more ideas.

Personally I love making up a shake in the morning as I find it quick, easy and filling.   On the weekends I will often treat myself to a smoothie bowl -

https://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2018/05/reviewing-smoothie-bowl-recipes.htmlReviewing Smoothie Bowl Recipes
A smoothie bowl is essentially a thick smoothie that is served up in a bowl with a variety of toppings. It is delicious and feels like a decadent treat while also being a very healthy choice.

Gently supporting your body in a delicious way with their herbal tea and body cleanse is also great.   If you live in the US, Canada or the UK you also get what they call Digestion Plus to take every day and this works wonders on your gut health which is really important.

Who Needs to Reboot Their Body?

I think most of us need to reboot our body at some point so that it's working efficiently.  I think of when my internet connection is dropping out or just seems to hang, the first thing I do is hit the reset button on my wifi router and 99% of the time that's all it takes.

So why would you need to hit the reset button on your body?  Well let me list a few symptoms that may show your body isn't working as well as it could be -


signs you may need to detox
  • Bloating
  • Bad Breath 
  • Feeling Tired
  • Dry Lips 
  • Insomnia
  • Sore Muscles 
  • Hormonal Imbalance
  • Low Libido 
  • Brain Fog
  • Skin Breakouts 
  • Headaches
  • Depression 
  • Gas
  • Skin Rashes 
  • Low Energy


What Do I Get with the 30 Day Pack?


When you order the plan you will receive 2 x bags of protein, 2 x boxes of herbal tea, 2 x boxes of fizz sticks, 1 x bag of fibre, 1 x box digestion plus*, 1 x box of Body Cleanse and 1 x tub of Greens Balance.

*Only available in the US, Canada & UK

You also get access to a private coaching group on facebook, a downloadable recipe book, 30 days worth of meal plans (both vegan and non-vegan plans) and you can message me any time.   I've actually done this plan a few times so can help with any questions you have.

30 days to healthy living and beyond - rebooting your body the healthy way
30 Days to Healthy Living and Beyond

Changes I Have Personally Experienced


When I did my first 30 days to healthy living I found that I had lost 5kg (11 lb), I had lots of energy, I wasn't experiencing any mood swings (I am menopausal and these had been quite bad), my hot flushes had stopped, my sleeping had improved, my energy levels were really high and (as a total surprise) I was no longer sore or stiff in the morning when I woke up.

Now that last point was a big surprise to me as I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis approx 16 years ago.  I had come off of my medications about a decade ago and had been managing my condition with diet & lifestyle.   I had accepted, however, that I would be stiff in the mornings and sometimes a little sore - a combination of RA and getting older.   I have discovered that while doing this plan that was no longer the case and hasn't been all year!

Now I'm not claiming that this will work for everyone, but I can't think why you wouldn't give it a try!

What Happens After the Reboot


Part of the health reboot is eliminating certain foods for 30 days, now if you want to maximize the effect of this plan you need to gradually reintroduce these foods one at a time over the following few weeks.   This way you can pinpoint which foods (if any) effect you.

Foods can affect you differently as you age as well.  When we get older our bodies produce less digestive enzymes and this is why when I was on an elimination diet over a decade ago only one food seemed to effect me.   I now know that I have to reduce how often I eat other foods too.

The other thing that will happen after you've been making your clean meals for one meal a day (most people have dinners, but you may have chosen lunch) is that it's much easier to make your second meal as well.   I admit that a number of people I know actually continue to have a smoothie for their breakfast after finishing the plan.   In my case it's because it's easy, yummy and keeps me full!

Interested in Learning More?


Contact me via messenger on my Facebook page or leave a comment below and I'll get back to you with more information including how to order it at a discount.





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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Reviewing 3 Natural Ways to Relieve a Headache

3 natural ways to ease a headache
Headaches are no fun, but did you know that you don't have to reach for your bottle of asprin or paracetamol/tylenol when you feel one coming on. 

There are a number of natural remedies that you can try first.

I'm going to review 3 different ways to help relieve a headache that I have tried myself and have found successful. 

I have studied aromatherapy and herbology in the past, but I am not a doctor so if you have persistent headaches please consult your medical practitioner.

Using Aromatherapy to Ease a Headache


A very effective way to ease a headache is with lavender oil.   Now if you headache is caused by stress then relieving your stress levels is a great idea so check out this article -

Aromatherapy for StressReviewing How Aromatherapy Can Help Relieve Stress
If stress is getting you down then you need to use a little aromatherapy magic. Let me show you what essential oils you need to use and exactly how to use them to effectively ease stress.


Now back to lavender oil.  This is one of the few pure, essential oils that you can use undiluted.  Simply tip the bottle upside down onto your index finger on one hand and then do the same on the other.  You should end up with a drop on each finger.

You massage your fingers into your temple like the photo below -

relieve headaches by using these massage points
Photo courtesy of Lou's Designs


I used to try this for migraines (which I used to get every month before I had my daughter), it used to reduce the severity of the headache, although it didn't help with the lack of balance and light sensitivity (but you can't have everything!).

When it comes to just a standard headache, if I'm at home with lavender on hand this works really well.

Eating Almonds, Not Asprin for a Headache!


Now when I was told last year that merely eating almonds could help a headache I was a little skeptical, but then I tried it with success.  Initially I wondered if it was just a coincidence, but I have tried it a few times now and it has worked.

I have also looked into why this works and when I saw that almonds are a good source of magnesium I realized that's why they're effective.  Magnesium actually helps to relax your blood vessels and it's often when your blood vessels are tight that you get headaches.

How many almonds to take?  The recommendation is 10-12 almonds, but when I've tried them I've only taken 6-8 each time, then again when I have resorted to taking paracetamol/tylenol I only take 1 not 2.

Hydration is Vital for Keeping Headaches at Bay!


I read somewhere that dehydration is one of the leading causes of headaches, now I don't know exactly how factual that statement is, but it wouldn't surprise me.  Most people I know just do not drink enough water and by consuming more processed foods we are also digesting less water through our meals as well.

When my daughter complains of a headache the first thing I ask her is 'have you drunk much today?' the reply is usually no!  Now when you're dehydrated just drinking water sometimes isn't enough to ease the headache quickly as you need to get electrolytes into your system too.

If you have any watermelon on hand this is an excellent source of natural electrolytes and it has the added bonus that most kids who don't want to drink water will happily consume a slice or two of watermelon!

Another option is to have an electrolyte drink (often marketed as sports drinks).  This will work, but the side effect with most of the ones on the market is that they tend to be really high in sugar.  This is one of the reasons (I believe) that after drinking them you are sometimes left feeling even thirstier.

One drink that I use and also give my teenager is Arbonne's Complete Hydration as it's much lower in sugar and is formulated to hydrate on a cellular level.   This means that it doesn't leave you feeling thirsty.

Have You Tried Natural Ways to Ease A Headache?

I'd love to know if you've tried any of these three ways to ease a headache or if you have a different natural method to help your headaches.



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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Reviewing Greens Balance by Arbonne

greens balance - adding nutrition to your day the easy way!
Greens Balance
We all know that we need to eat lots of veggies, most of our moms would tell us to eat up our greens when we were growing up and I know I used to challenge my daughter to eat a rainbow every day when she was younger (I made sure to let her know M&Ms did NOT count!).  Sometimes it is hard to get as many serves of fruit and vegetables that we should have into our daily lives though.

It can't just be a problem for me can it?  I didn't used to have any veggies with my breakfast until I discovered green smoothies, which meant I had to up my game come lunch time.  Dinner has always been easy to fit lots of vegetables into and fruit can be consumed as a snack, but I would still have days when I came up short on my 5 serves of veg and 2 of fruit.

Next I heard that instead of 7 a day we should be eating 10 a day and I must admit my first reaction was to throw my hands up in the air and give up!

Now some readers will know that I embarked on a healthy weight loss journey in December 2017 and this has been successful in both weight loss and health benefits - I have so much more energy it's like I've rediscovered my inner spark!  My journey uses Arbonne's 30 Days to Healthy Living and Beyond plan and it was through this plan that I was introduced to Greens Balance.

So, What is Greens Balance?


Greens balance is a deep green powder that reminded me (in color and smell) of spirulina when I first saw it.  This is hardly a surprise when you look at the ingredients and see that it contains this nutrient dense algae along with wheat and barley grass and an array of different fruits and vegetables.

In just one scoop of this powder you really can say you're eating a rainbow!  A few of the fruit and vegetables that are in this powder are kale, broccoli, pomegranate, tomato, pumpkin, mango, blueberry and purple sweet potato.   As well as containing all the nutrients different colored fruit and veg provide, this powder also contains a powerful prebiotic fibre to help support a healthy digestive system.

How Do I Use Greens Balance?


As it's in powder form this makes it very easy to use, some people mix it in a little water and drink it like a shot of wheatgrass.  Personally I do not like the idea of that as I think it would taste awful!

I like to add a scoop into my breakfast smoothie, when I add cacao powder or a handful of berries I find that I can't even taste the greens balance and yet I'm getting all of that goodness.

I usually only have the one scoop a day, but when my family (and a number of work colleagues) were sick with a flu virus earlier this year I actually added a scoop to my lunchtime shake as well.  I never got the virus despite being surrounded by all the germs!

You can also add the greens balance to dishes when cooking to increase the vegetable content, I haven't personally tried this, but it sounds like a great idea.

Does It Really Help Though?


"It sounds good, but how do I know if it's doing anything for me?"  This is often a problem when you're doing lots of things to improve your health and you're not sure which ones are really necessary, but I will NOT be giving up my greens balance ......

I am feeling a lot healthier this year and my energy levels are fantastic, my immune system is awesome, my hormones are balanced, my rheumatoid arthritis is not only under control, but I wake up to no pain or stiffness at all.   Let's just say that what I'm doing is working really well.

A few weeks ago I actually ran out of greens balance (I thought I had another tub, but didn't), my order was delayed and I went 1 day with only half a scoop and 3 days with no greens balance.   Now I didn't think much of it until I got home from work on the 2nd day of not having any and I was really tired.   When I said to my husband how shattered I felt his first response was have you eaten enough?  I had eaten plenty, but that's when I realized that what was missing was the greens balance.

I am not letting the tub get too low before re-ordering again!

Do I Need Greens Balance if I Have a Good Diet?


I think I have a good diet, I have at least half a plate of vegetables with my main meal every night, lunches have been a problem in the past, but the past couple of years they have usually included either a salad or a vegetable soup (depending on the season).  Breakfast would often be my downfall, in the summer I would have some fruit and occasionally some veg included, but in winter when I used to have porridge there wouldn't be any fruit or veg. 

I still feel I need greens balance.   Only you know how much you eat, but I don't think you can ever have too much good nutrition.  I seriously am now considering it to be as important as my health insurance.

Where to Get Greens Balance?


You will need to purchase your greens balance online through any of the links I've provided, but if you want to contact me via my facebook page (Louanne Cox Business) then I can let you know how to get 20% off the standard retail price   Well worth looking into if you're planning on taking this every day.

How Long Does the Greens Balance Last?


At one scoop a day a tub of greens balance will last you 30 days.


Have More Questions?


If you want to know the full list of ingredients or have any questions that I haven't covered here then go straight to the website - here - and look at the product sheet.  Alternatively comment below or message me privately (via my facebook page or instagram).

Another Fun Way to Increase Vegetables in Your Diet


If you're not a fan of adding a nutritional supplement to your diet then you have to get creative with ways of increasing your veggie count and one way I do this is by using a spiralizer ...

easily increase your vegetable intake with a spiralizerEasily Increase Your Vegetable Intake with a Spiralizer
A fun way to increase the vegetable content of your meal is to turn vegetables into noodles. This is really easy to do with a spiralizer.



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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Why Drink Kefir? If You're Not Including this in Your Diet, You May Want to Rethink That...

Are You Familiar With Kefir?

If you haven't read up on Kefir, you're going to be surprised by all it's benefits.

In case you aren't familiar with Kefir, Kefir is fermented milk. Hey, I heard that gag.

I remember when I first told my mom about Kefir, and used the words 'fermented milk' to describe it, she about up-chucked on the spot.

However, stop right there, it's not sour milk .... it's more like drinkable yogurt.

Kefir comes from the Turkish word 'Keif' which means, "good". So that settles it, it's good.

So Why Drink Kefir?

I tripped upon Kefir's benefits about two years ago while researching inflammation remedies for a very unexpected health matter. Since then, it's been a daily (or almost daily) inclusion in my diet.

According to Healthline there are a number of Benefits to Kefir - Here's a summary of a few of Kefir's good stuff:
  1. Kefir contains high levels of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes and probiotics
  2. There are approximately 30 strains of good bacteria that help protect against bad bacteria overgrowth, tumors, leaky-gut syndrome and more.
  3. It helps to boost immunity. One of the ingredients that's unique to Kefir is Lactobacillus Kefiri which aids in the protection of other harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. Coli.
  4. Another ingredient in Kefir is Insoluble Polysaccharide, also known as "Kefiran" and Kefiran is said to be an antimicrobial that guards against Candida. (Candida is a type of Yeast Infection that's mostly found in the mouth, vagina, intestinal tract, mucus membranes and skin). By the way Candida can give you a lot of symptoms - A white coating on your tongue, fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, gas, bloating, chronic sinus issues and more.
  5. Kefir is made from Whole Fat Dairy and has high levels of Calcium. Due to it's make-up it also helps you better absorb the calcium. All of this is good for your bones, especially if you're battling Osteoarthritis.
  6. It's anti-carcinogenic benefits make it a good cancer prevention addition to your diet.
  7. All of the above components give it the traits that aid the fight of Allergies, Irritable Bowel Syndrome as well as improving your skin.
  8. This one benefit may be hard to believe considering it's made with milk, however, it is said to help those who are lactose intolerant. Like yogurt does, Kefir does this more effectively: It's live microorganisms help your immune system suppress allergic responses.
So How Does It Taste?
Lifeway Probiotic Low Fat Plain Kefir, 32 Ounce -- 6 per case.Lifeway Probiotic Low Fat Plain Kefir, 32 Ounce -- 6 per case.
There's plain Kefir and flavored Kefir. I've had both, and tried many flavors. As mentioned above, it tastes like drinkable yogurt, but has a slight tang to it. However, it's not tangy, it just has that hint of difference from other typical drinkable yogurts.

Drink it or Make Smoothies With It

If you can't stomach drinking Kefir (and once you start drinking it, you'll oddly begin to crave it) - then make smoothies with it.

I like to keep a flavored Kefir in my fridge when I'm not in the mood to make a smoothie, and I keep a bottle of plain Kefir for smoothies. I find plain Kefir too hard to drink, but added to smoothies it's ideal.

My Favorite Kefir Smoothie Recipe:

In my Vitamix:
  • 1 Cup of Frozen Pitted Cherries (buy them in the frozen fruit section of your local grocer). The frozen cherries replace 'Ice' - If you use fresh cherries, you'll have to add ice - (too much work)
  • 1/2 Cup of Kefir (honestly I don't measure, I just kinda pour it in)
  • I'll add one single cherry flavored yogurt cup (any flavor is fine - buy regular fat yogurt, don't use any of that '0 percent stuff'- it's all fake sugar!)
  • About 1/4 cup of lemon water (we always keep lemon water in the fridge - just water with two whole lemons cut up in it) - use plain water if you must
  • Optional: a handful of spinach
  • Adjust the thickness you want by adding more or less of any of the above ingredients - just play with it. If you want a richer cherry flavor, add more cherries.
By the way, I'm not a doctor or health professional! Because of my own health issues I had to become informed on the right foods to include in my diet, and Kefir hit my radar.

Here's to your health *clinking kefir glasses*



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Monday, August 14, 2017

Reviewing Gentle Yoga Accessories

Gentle Yoga with help from Yoga Accessories
I have recently joined a weekly Restorative Yoga class (also called gentle yoga). The yoga has been so beneficial to my physical and mental health that I wish I had the time to attend the class several times a week. Sadly, I do not. But I do have an internet connection and access to gentle yoga "classes" in the comfort of my own home. Whether in a class or at home, there are several items that make this Yoga more effective; mat, blanket, bolster, blocks, and a strap. I want to share a quick overview of these items and the supplier I've found.

If you are familiar with the benefits of yoga and yoga accessories, please feel free to jump ahead to the Yoga Accessories store. I have found that they offer high quality items, affordable prices, and fast delivery.


The Benefits of Gentle Yoga


I have always enjoyed yoga. And up until a few years ago, I really enjoyed the Yoga Burn type of yoga. The type where I felt as though I was working out and working up a sweat doing it. But as the years have gone by, I have gained weight, lost muscle, lost flexibility, and my lack of range of motion is embarrassing.  I have allowed a stressful job to negatively impact my health.

I needed something, some form of exercise, that suits my current physical and mental state. This gentle yoga class is good for my body as well as my mind. I am increasing flexibility and range of motion. I am also finding that the meditative style of this yoga is helping me to release stress. I am more calm and sleep much better after the yoga class. I can feel my stress level lowered.


Gentle Yoga Accessories


In this yoga class, I have been introduced to several helpful accessories; blanket, bolster, blocks, and a strap. As I have begun to do yoga at home, I have found a reliable supplier for these items.  I highly recommend Yoga Accessories for your yoga supplies.

Mat - Yoga mats are familiar things to most folks. They provide a bit of padding as well as a no-slip surface.  I love that Yoga Accessories offers mats in many different colors. They also offer mats in different thicknesses. My preference is the very thin mat that provides no-slip and a sort of hygienic barrier between me and the floor. But there are also thicker mats of you are looking for more padding.


1/8" Lightweight Classic Yoga Mat

Bolster - Bolsters come in several sizes and either a round shape or a more flattened-oval shape. I am getting a lot of use from my new round bolster. It is used to prop up the knees, to assist while laying in the child pose, and my favorite pose - laying on it along my spine. This pose seems to release tension in my back and shoulders.


small junior sized round bolster (22" x 7")

Blanket - A blanket does what a bolster does, but on a thinner scale. You can also use the blanket to sit on, adding padding between your bottom and the floor. I also often use it under my head and under my neck for padding and support. 


Yoga Accessories Traditional Mexican Yoga Blanket

Blocks - Blocks are used as props for stability and/or for comfort. For example, while in certain poses that are meant to be restful, if you aren't quite flexible enough you aren't able to relax. The blocks can be placed to help you relax.


High Density and Lightweight Foam Yoga Blocks


Strap - As I mentioned, I have lost flexibility and range of motion. A few years ago, I could grasp my hands behind my back, lean over, and raise them above my head. Now I can barely clasp my hands behind my back.  A strap can be used to help with that move until you become able to perform the move without the extra assistance.  In only 4-5 weeks time, I am noticing improvement in my flexibility and will soon be working without the strap.


8' Cinch Buckle Cotton Yoga Strap



An Amazon Prime Free Gentle Yoga Video


I love this gentle yoga so much and am realizing so many benefits from it in just a few weeks that I've begun to practice at home. I was thrilled to find a free video, that is included with my Amazon Prime membership, that is very similar to the class I attend. If you have a Prime membership, you can take a peek at Easy - Gentle Yoga with Michele Fife to see what I am trying to describe.


A relaxing and helpful pose with the help of a bolster
photo: Yoga Accessories

*photo credits: all photos from Yoga Accessories 




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Monday, October 24, 2016

Natural Sinus Relief with Neti Pot

Neti Pot is a method of natural sinus relief and health that has been relied upon for centuries in other parts of the world. It's use in the US is increasing as more people find increased sinus health and infection prevention with regular nasal irrigation. I am convinced that my own Neti Pot use has prevented many sinus infections and headaches. In this quick review, I will outline how I use Neti Pot as an almost daily part of my health and hygiene routine. 

As the seasons change, my co-workers have taken turns fighting sinus infections and illnesses that involve pain, phlegm, and missing days of work.  I have not yet caught this round of sinus germs and I attribute that to the Neti Pot. I recommended nasal irrigation to a friend at work, and had a hard time explaining it to her. As I was searching for a "how to Neti Pot" video for her, I decided to share the information here.  I would like for everyone possible to find sinus and allergy relief. I also should add that at times using the Neti Pot has alleviated some of my migraine pain.


Sinus Irrigation as Illness Prevention


In the spring, our own Bev Owens reviewed NeilMed Sinus Rinse. She shared how adding this sinus irrigation to her daily hygiene routine has alleviated her sinus headaches. Please take a peek at her review to learn how helpful nasal irrigation has been for her.

Personally, I use a ceramic Neti Pot, warm water, and a bit of salt. Initially, I tried to learn how to Neti Pot when I was already ill.  For a week or so, no water passed through my nasal passages - that is how swollen and congested my sinuses were at the time. Thankfully, I did not give up.  

Every morning I lean over the bathroom sink and use Neti Pot.  Since I've begun this routine on a regular basis, I've only had a sinus infection/bronchitis type illness that required a doctors visit and prescription medication 2-3 times over the last decade. Historically, I'd visit the doctor for such illnesses 4 - 6 times each year!

It is very important that the water is a good temperature.  I check my water temperature on my wrist, as I did with baby's bottles. Too cold is painful.  Hot water could be damaging.  Baby bottle temperature is soothing to me. Learning to relax enough to allow the water to pass through is not an easy thing for some people. But I encourage you to try and to practice before giving up. I believe it is well worth the practice.

I prefer the ceramic Neti Pot because: 

  • it holds the warmth longer than plastic
  • it seems to be easier to clean than plastic
  • the Neti Pot (versus a nasal spray bottle) holds more water and more fully flushes my sinuses
  • the model of Neti Pot I use, has a partial top covering, which prevents me from spilling water on my face
ceramic Neti Pot




Others Who Recommend Neti Pot and Nasal Irrigation


I am not a doctor. Nor can I give trained medical advice. I highly recommend that you choose Neti Pot and nasal irrigation after consulting with your doctor. I am only sharing what has worked very well for me and has nearly eliminated my use of allergy medications and visits to the doctor for sinus/congestion types of illnesses.  

The writers on WebMD shares a brief history of nasal irrigation, comments that research proves that it works, why it works, and how to use a Neti Pot.  This is a fairly complete and concise overview for beginners.

Many hundreds of Neti Pot purchasers give 4.5 - 5 star ratings on Amazon Neti Pots. See their recommendations on the various styles

I know someone who frequently tells me that because I Neti Pot, I'm going to die from the water-born, brain-eating amoeba.  My first thought is that swimming in fresh water during the summer months is far more dangerous than using my Neti Pot. But, out of an over abundance of caution, I am including this informative video from The Doctors.  I have also begun to refrain from using tap water in my daily routine. The Doctors speak of the amoeba concern as well as demonstrate how a Neti Pot is used.




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opening photo design courtesy of FotoJet and Pixabay



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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Review of Products That Help Me Get a Good Nights Sleep


Do You Have Trouble Getting a Good Night's Sleep?




I find it hard to fall asleep. Not only am I very distracted by any sounds that aren’t relaxing, I’m also pretty wound up before I go to bed. I do most of my writing at night, and often the ideas are still buzzing around my head when it hits the pillow. Many times I’m not even sleepy. I’m only going to bed because I know it’s past time. 

A Review of Products That Help Me Get a Good Nights Sleep
My Son Asleep on Floor of Motel Room, © B. Radisavljevic

Some people, like my son in the picture, can  fall asleep almost anywhere, as he did on this motel room floor. My husband is another one who can fall asleep the minute he puts his head on the pillow. Sometimes he even falls asleep in his chair. Not me. 

Here's What I've Done to Start Falling Asleep Faster


Nutritional Supplements that Help Me Fall Asleep

For some time now I've been taking a couple of nutritional supplements that have helped me relax if I take them about half an hour before bed every night. One is Natrol® Melatonin 5 Mg, 250 Fast Dissolve Tablets Strawberry Flavor. It has worked better than any other Melatonin product I've tried, and I've tried a lot of them. I usually buy mine at Costco, but I have linked to Amazon here in case Costco isn't convenient for you. I also take an amino acid, Nature's Plus L-Tyrosine with B-6 500mg/50mg - 60 - Capsule. I'm  not so fussy about the brand for this. This combination helps me relax. 


Noise Blockers


I am also very sensitive to noise, and noises can keep me awake even when I'm relaxed and very tired. Before I moved here, my computer was in my bedroom and I didn’t like to turn off more than the energy- hogging display. If I tried to put it to sleep, it didn’t do any good, because for some reason I haven’t yet figured out, it suddenly woke up anyway. So as I was trying to sleep, I heard my computer working in the background, making those distracting little clicking sounds. Sometimes there were animal noises outside or the neighbor on the hill was having a very late party. Now that I've moved to the city, there are even more outside noises, as well as clicking sounds from my windows when the sun comes up. 

It seems the thing that relaxes and soothes me most when I am lying in bed is the sound of rain on the roof. It doesn’t matter how loud the rain is; it’s like a lullaby to me. I finally got the bright idea that I should look for CDs that make rain sounds. But they were hard to find. Almost all the nature sound tracks I found had more than rain in them. They had orchestral accompaniment, bird song, and other things included that although meant to enhance, only disturbed me and broke the steady sound of the rain falling.

It was only after I’d bought and tried about five other CDs that didn’t work for me that I saw Rain and Relaxation on Amazon and bought it. It’s made a great difference. If I go to bed tense or still full of creative fervor that wants to leap back to the computer and write more, I just play the CD, which I keep loaded in my CD player in my clock radio. All I have to do is press the button in the dark to start the process of calming down enough to sleep.

This also works after my early morning bladder wake-up call. At 6 AM the sun is about to rise or has already risen. The birds start making noise outside my window swamp cooler, and sometimes the neighbor’s dog is barking. Later my husband is in the kitchen making his breakfast or talking on the phone. I want to keep sleeping until about nine after my late night writing, so I play the CD again, loudly enough to block out the other noises.

I highly recommend this solution to others who find it hard to fall asleep at night or who fall back to sleep in the middle of the night after using the bathroom. It’s made a great difference in the quality of my sleep. It’s also made a great difference in my temperament in the morning when I wake up.


When Rain Alone Doesn't Do the Trick

Sometimes I need something a bit different than rain alone to put me to sleep. I have shared some of the other recordings I have used below. Although you may also feel the need for white noise, maybe something different like ocean, night nature sounds, or even electronic relaxation is what you need to do the trick. Check  these out, as well as some others that may be suggested as you look at them. 

One more hint. I have a repeat function on my CD player, but it only repeats one track. It really helps to get a CD with everything on one track. The last suggestion here, Summer Evening Serenade, is the one I currently use, since my rain cd wore out and I haven't remembered to replace it yet. It has everything on one track, and I keep it repeating all night. It used to be when a CD ended, it would wake me back up with its whirring sound as it shut off. When it keeps repeating, it doesn't do that. Some of my suggestions below are also available in digital downloads if that works for you.  

Recently I also decided to buy a white noise machine that does a fantastic job of blocking out louder sounds than the CD's  can cover up. Read my review of the Marpac DOHM-DS. 



If you have a way to watch a video on your computer until you fall asleep, I would suggest this one. When I try to put it on my computer the display goes out and I can't hear it anymore, either, so I need to use the CD's.




If You Need to Sleep During Daylight


If you sometimes need to sleep after the sun is up, I have found another useful product. I have had two  surgeries in the last year that required me to move into a one-story house to heal. Fortunately I inherited one I was mostly using for storage and entertaining from my mother , but it's in a neighborhood in the city limits, unlike our rural home. It is much noisier than in the country, and my CD's have become even more important with noisy vehicles parking outside my window and then leaving before even the roosters wake up.

This house also has lots of windows in my bedroom and they face east. Once the sun is up the room is flooded with light. After many mornings trying to keep my head under the covers to block out the sun, I finally broke down and bought this set of eye shades that comes with ear plugs -- Bedtime Bliss® Contoured & Comfortable Sleep Mask & Ear Plug Set. Includes Carry Pouch for Eye Mask and Ear Plugs - Great for Travel, Shift Work & Meditation.

I could kick myself for not getting it sooner. When I had my second surgery last December, I took them to the hospital, and you know how hard it is to have it dark there. The sleep mask was a great help in keeping light out of my eyes, though it couldn't keep the nurses from waking me up. I wasn't quite as happy with the ear plugs, but I've tried every ear plug I've been able to get my hands on, and none of them do much for me.

Begin Now To Sleep Better and Longer


If you have trouble getting a good night's sleep, I hope one of the ideas or products reviewed above will help you. Before you take any supplement, especially if you are on any prescription medications, it's best to check with your doctor first. Just because something is right for me might not mean it's right for you. The sleep mask and music I believe would help anyone. Why not click some of those links now and begin sleeping better very soon. Believe me, a good night's sleep is worth every penny it takes.  


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Monday, January 26, 2015

Inexpensive Home Fitness at 50

I am not a fitness expert. Nor have I had any formal physical education training. So why am I writing a workout review?  Because I am like many other busy women who want to be fit but have a really hard time committing time and energy to working out. If we share what works for us we will all be more apt to be healthier people. 

I want to be a healthy person.  I don't want to gain more weight.  In fact, I'd like to lose a few pounds.  But at age 50, it becomes more difficult to not only lose weight but to remain toned.  My muscles seem to be turning to jelly.  Everything sags.  My muscles jiggle.  I can feel that I'm losing strength and stamina.  And I don't like it.

I am very busy. By the time I end each day at my job it is often all I can do to get home, walk the dog, make something to eat, and wander off to bed. The lack of time and energy is my biggest excuse to avoid exercise.

My second biggest excuse is cost.  My budget doesn't allow a gym membership. Besides that, I don't want to work out around people. I am not a social sweater.  I want to sweat in private.

Those reasons to avoid exercise are excuses.  I know it. You know it.  We all know it. There are quick, easy and inexpensive ways to get some exercise, at my age and at home.  I'm going to share  three of my favorites with you.

Walking

I have always been good about parking a little farther from the front door of a store. Or walking the dog farther than I have to.  The nearest bush for the dog to potty on is about 12 steps from my front stoop. Instead of walking those 12 measly steps,  I always make sure I walk him to at least the end of my parking lot.  I have no excuse for not walking a bit more each day. Walking is free.  However, I should be walking around the entire block. At least.


New Balance Women's Walking Shoe
When I spend a little bit of money on walking, it is to buy a good walking shoe.  I have had good luck with New Balance walking shoes. I find that they seem to fit my feet well - my high arch, wide foot, and narrow heel. You may or may not have the same luck with New Balance. There are plenty of shoes to choose from that will meet your walking needs and the important thing to focus on is having a comfortable pair of appropriate shoes. 


Hula Hooping 

I enjoy hula hooping and now that I have my own grown-up hoop, I have no excuse for not hooping.  I'm not very good at it. But it is a great aerobic exercise and excellent for strengthening my core.  It is also a lot of fun.   It doesn't seem as though it would burn calories but it does. 

"An average woman can burn about 165 calories in 30 minutes of hula hooping, and an average man can burn about 200 calories in 30 minutes of hula hooping" - an article by the Mayo Clinic

Hooping doesn't seem like work. It seems like fun. So it isn't very difficult to hoop for 15 to 30 minutes at a time.


Yoga

Yoga is great for both strengthening and for relaxing.  The thing that triggered the writing of this article was getting back to my yoga DVD on a regular basis. I feel such a difference.  I enjoy this workout immensely and wanted to share it with you.

YOGA BURN with Rodney Yee
There are many things about this workout that I like.  My job is a high stress situation.  I become tense physically and mentally.  I love my Yoga Burn DVD by Rodney Yee.  It is not easy yoga and is called Yoga Burn for a reason.  It makes me sweat (in the privacy of my own home).  I cannot do all of the moves fully, hold them for the entire time, or get to the end of the workout.  But I modify.  I take breaks. And I do as much of the workout at one time as I can.  Little by little I can hold the poses and make it farther through the workout.  I like Rodney Yee's instruction, the pace of the workout and the difficulty.  It is not so difficult that I feel like it is impossible and end up quitting. But I definitely feel that I am working out. 

I ALWAYS feel better when I do this workout.  I can feel my spine re-align (as I loosen up and work out, I actually feel it pop back into place) and I feel my muscles strengthening.  I also feel more relaxed mentally when I am finished.

If you are looking for a way to become more physically healthy and relaxed, this workout may be a good choice for you too.

Photo Credit - photograph courtesy of Pixabay CC0



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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Nature's Easter Eggs


Photo Credit: Natural Easter Eggs
You can color me green in terms of lifestyle, but healthy living is really a lovely palette of so many beautiful colors.  With Easter just a few days away, I’ve been considering how I want to apply the colors of the rainbow to create this year’s dyed eggs.  As I searched for holiday decorating ideas, I took a few scenic detours and started reading about chickens and their eggs.  When it comes to making gorgeous shells, the chickens are already several steps ahead of me.  I don’t even need to break out the dye.

As one who is on a quest to grow all of my own food, I currently have a fascination with raising backyard chickens.  My goal is to start with three laying hens this spring.  Along with the search for construction plans to build a chicken coop, I am thoroughly enjoying what I am learning about the different breeds of chickens. 

Did you know you can look at a chicken’s earlobe to potentially determine what color of egg she will lay?  I've not personally checked any earlobes to test that little tidbit of chicken trivia, but you can learn more by watching the short video clip presented in the first article linked below.  Wouldn’t it be fun if we had a similar way of seeing what our future children might look like?  But I digress. 

As I was saying before I interrupted myself, I now know why chickens produce different colored eggs, as well as which breeds to buy if I want to have delicious Easter eggs every day of the year.  Do you know which chickens lay blue, pink, green, or brown eggs?  I do now thanks to several interesting Squidoo articles. 

With the countdown to Easter, let’s have some fun by going on a virtual Easter egg hunt.  Read about Nature’s Easter Eggs and a very doable DIY backyard chicken coop.

Do you raise backyard chickens?  Have you built a hen house?  If so, I would love to read all about it.  Why not write a feature article or review of your top backyard chicken product.  I might even reward you with a basket of your favorite Easter candy.  So what will it be?  Mini robin's eggs?  Peeps?  Did I mention chocolate?



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