May 3, 2015

CushionCare Memory Foam Coccyx seat cushion is a lifesaver! #CushionCarePromotion

I am amazed at the difference this product has made! My office chair is comfortable when I first sit in it, but after a little while it feels like I'm sitting on a hard bleacher seat at a ball game or something. Not comfortable at all. I keep shifting and twisting, trying to get comfortable, to no avail.

But when I received this cushion I put it right to work, and I could tell almost immediately that this was what had been missing from my normal office chair. See that little groove at the back? You'll want to make sure that groove is situated over your tailbone as you sit on the cushion because that's what alleviates pressure on your spine, which is what causes muscle fatigue and aches and pains.
I have to position the cushion so that it just hits the backs of my knees as I sit down, which puts the groove right where it's supposed to be. But that's all the adjustment needed. After that, I'm good for hours of sitting at my desk without discomfort. If I get up for more coffee or something, I have to reposition it again, otherwise my tailbone won't hit the right spot, but that's a small price to pay in extra effort for the marvelous benefits gained. I'm sold on this cushion! Only wish I'd found it years ago!

It's a great investment if you spend a lot of time in your chair. It's portable too, so take it along for seminars and meetings. You'll be the envy of all your associates!
And another feature I love is the removable washable cover. Now coffee spills are not a problem. I simply replace the soiled cover with the included free cover, and toss the dirty one in the wash. Easy peasy!
{Disclosure: I was provided a sample product to facilitate my review. No monetary consideration was involved, and my opinions are my own.}

#purevitamins Daily Multicaps

I've been taking a daily multi-vitamin for years and never thought much about them. But recently it's come to my attention that not all brands of multi-vitamins are created equal. So I was glad to find Pure Vitamin Club Daily Multicaps. With a name like Pure Vitamin Club, you know you're getting the best quality at a great price. I've experienced no unpleasant side effects at all. Sometimes vitamins cause stomach upset for me, but that hasn't happened with this product. Very happy with it!

Many multivitamins on the market do one of two things wrong: they bulk up with so many vitamins in a single serving that you run the risk of getting too much--which your body spits out without ever using--or they don't have enough of the vitamins and minerals in a single cap, which means you need to take up to four pills a day to get the vitamins your body needs.

Pure Vitamin Club Daily Multicaps contain no fillers, no binders, no artificial colors, sweeteners, or added ingredients that many other vitamins on the market include. There are no grains or preservatives, fillers such as silica (aka sand), flow agents like magnesium stearate, or mineral whiteners such as titanium dioxide, which means you're getting more of the vitamins you need without all the junk! Yep, that means they're also gluten free, soy, and dairy free. In fact, the only part of the capsule that isn't a vitamin or mineral is the capsule, which is made from vegetable-based cellulose. Simply the perfect blend of vitamins and minerals to supplement a balanced diet.

The Pure Vitamin Club formula is designed to function as a once-a-day vitamin, and has been specifically developed to provide the optimum supplementation for active adults in combination with a healthy balanced diet. Pure Vitamin Club Daily Multicaps fill in gaps that can still occur even when you're eating your best. Just pop one with breakfast and you're good to go for the day. If you're not up to swallowing a pill, you can also open the capsule and add the vitamins to a glass of water or a smoothie.

Taking a daily multivitamin supplement is just one thing we can do to help our bodies stay healthy. By choosing a multivitamin supplement that is all-natural and made from only the good stuff, that's an extra step in the right direction.
{Disclosure: I received a sample product to facilitate my review. No monetary consideration was involved, and my opinions are my own.}

Cutis Vita all-natural moisturizer #CutisVita

I'm sold on the wonderful benefits of aloe. I keep a bottle of aloe gel handy at all times. There's nothing like it for sunburn, insect bites, scrapes, bruises (yes, it even lessens the impact of bruising, at least for me). So whenever I find a product that has aloe as one of its main ingredients, I'm gonna check it out.

Cutis Vita is an awesome moisturizing cream! Made from the highest quality all-natural ingredients, like aloe barbadensis, shea butter, macadamia nut oil, rosemary leaf oil, rose hips oil, Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, and extracts of comfrey leaf, ginseng root, fennel fruit, chamomile, and green tea. Whew! The Cutis Vita folks know their natural moisturizing ingredients!

This is not a lotion, it's a thick cream. Usually I don't care for thick creams because they tend to just sit on my skin and not absorb quickly enough. But not Cutis Vita. The first thing I did was open the jar and rub some on my horrible elbows. I have very rough, dry patches on my elbows that nothing seems to help. Well, nothing until now. Within moments the skin of my elbows was softer, less abrasive, and soothed. Perfect for both men and women.

I'm sold on Cutis Vita Advanced Skin Revitalizing Cream. There are so many skin products out there, it's hard to know which ones work. I can tell you from my own experience THIS ONE WORKS!

{Disclosure: I received a sample product to facilitate my review. No other monetary consideration was involved and my opinions are my own.}

Adding Upbiotics to your daily regimen #AdvancedProbiotic

Gastrointestinal health is more important than you realize. Did you know:

(1) Bacterial cells in the normal human flora outnumber the human cells in our bodies by about 10 to 1
(2) Gastrointestinal (GI) tract is responsible for 80% of the immune system health
(3) Overdosing probiotic bacteria can be as bad as lacking sufficient probiotic bacteria in the GI track and causes gas, bloating, cramp, constipation, lethargy, and depression

Bringing balance to the intestinal flora can:
(a) Promote daily relief from allergies, gas, bloating and constipation
(b) Improve digestive health
(c) Improve immune system
(d) Help control weight
(e) Improve mood and energy level

What I love about this product is I experienced no unpleasant side effects. By now we all know the benefits of adding probiotics to our daily supplement regimen, and "results" can be hard to quantify, so it really comes down to finding a product that suits you. This one suits me. I want products that do what they claim to do, and in the most non-intrusive or obvious way. And that's what I get with this product.
{Disclosure: I received a sample of this product to facilitate my review. No other compensation was involved and my opinions are my own.}

Amara Retinol Serum for fine lines and wrinkles #amaraorganicsretinolserum

If you're finally serious about stopping signs of aging, it's time to try retinol serum. Amara Retinol Serum with hyaluronic acid and Vitamin E may give you the results you desire. Hyaluronic acid helps activate the production of collagen, which is the "fountain of youth" responsible for soft, supple, dewy skin. As we get older, the body slows down collagen production, and guess what...sagging skin, loss of elasticity, fine lines, and wrinkles.

You can fight back!

Cleanse and tone facial skin as usual, then apply a thin film of Amara Retinol Serum over entire face and neck area. Let it dry for a few minutes, then apply moisturizer as usual. If you are going to be outside, it is recommended that you use sunscreen or an SPF moisturizer, since retinol increases sun sensitivity.

That's it. Use it morning and night for best results. I love how this product makes my skin feel. Fresh, clean, rejuvenated, and like I just did something good for myself. I've been using it daily for a couple of weeks now and I can tell the difference already. My skin feels more supple, more resilient. And I've noticed I don't have as many acne outbreaks, so it must be doing some good for my pores too.

It's good to know I'm doing what I can to fight the signs of aging!

{Disclosure: I received a sample product to facilitate my review. No other compensation was involved, and my opinions are my own.}

April 25, 2015

Seeking joint pain relief? These products may help!

I was born with a dislocated hip. The hip joint on my left side never formed properly, resulting in pain and a noticeable limp from when I first learned to walk. At age twelve, I had hip surgery to repair the malformed hip, and it lasted for most of my lifetime. Then at age 50, the pain and inconvenience had become so severe that I needed hip replacement. Although the surgery was deemed successful, it wasn't long before I started experiencing pain and weakness again, and my limp was now so severe that I required a cane just to be able to walk around a shopping mall.

I've lived with that for roughly the last ten years, and I've tried all kinds of medications and nutritional supplements seeking relief. Another surgery is out of the question at this point in time, so I am in something of desperation mode to find the right products to help my situation.

Recently I had the chance to try out a couple of new products on the market designed to help alleviate joint pain and also help repair joint function.

Glucosamine Chondroitin has been around for years, and I've tried it several times in the past with no noticeable results. But after reading up on it, I realized that results directly stem from the quality of the product taken as well as the potency.
100Naturals Joint 3X provides triple strength joint support in a glucosamine chondroitin capsule. It helps maintain strong, healthy, flexible joints, supports the body's comnective tissue, and as a plus also benefits hair, skin, and nails! Five capsules daily with meals is the recommended dosage.
(Warning: it does contain shellfish {glucosamine} so keep that in mind if you are allergic to shellfish.) But it has no chemicals, preservatives, or artificial ingredients. Nothing but natural ingredients to help your body repair itself.

Another product I've been trying lately is Primal Anti-Inflammatory Joint Support pain relief. This product contains curcumin C3 complex turmeric, boswellin, pine bark extract, white willow bark extract, bromelain, olive leaf extract, and other natural ingredients combined to give relief from inflammation and pain. It also contains a multitude of vitamins and minerals for overall health, with no fillers, no binders, no artificial ingredients at all. Three capsules daily before a meal with a full glass of water helps promote healthy joints, support mobility, and provide pain relief.
I've been hearing about curcumin lately and the role it can play in reducing inflammation and relieving pain, so I was excited to try it. I can tell you that I have experienced no unpleasant side effects at all. The gelatin capsules are normal size and easy to swallow. (Hint: if you have trouble swallowing pills, try sipping milk with them instead of water. Milk lightly coats the mouth and throat, making pills much easier to swallow.)
It hasn't really been long enough to tell any long-term improvements yet, but I can honestly say that since taking these products my symptoms have somewhat lessened. I suspect my damage is so severe and of such long duration that these are products I'll likely have to take for the rest of my life. But knowing that there's nothing in them but Nature's own gifts makes me feel a whole lot better about it.

If you suffer from painful joints and/or inflammation, you need to consider giving these products a try. Both are made in the USA under strict certified quality requirements. And that's important to know.

Of course, having limited mobility means I don't get around much anymore (hey, that reminds me of a song...) and thus my metabolism is pretty much shot. I've gained too much weight in the last few years, which certainly doesn't help my joints! But dieting alone isn't enough. You need exercise too in order to increase metabolism and get the body burning excess fat. That isn't going to happen for me, unfortunately. So is there another way to increase metabolism?
As a matter of fact, I've been taking 100Naturals Thyroid Rite dietary supplement for advanced thyroid support to help support healthy thyroid function and thereby healthy metabolism. Am I going to be running a marathon anytime soon? Not likely! But I can tell you that it has increased my energy level and I'm not as fatigued as I usually am. So there are benefits to be had, even if they don't seem overtly obvious.
So a combination of glucosamine chondroitin, curcumin, and two capsules daily of Thyroid Rite should get me back on track to increasing mobility, alleviating pain, and increasing energy and weight loss. That sounds like a reasonable plan to me!

{Disclosure: I received these products either free or at a discount in order to facilitate my review. However, no monetary consideration was involved and my opinions are my own.}

April 19, 2015

BakeItFun Silicone #bakingmat brings back the joy of baking!

I'll be honest: I'm not fond of baking.

There. I said it.

I'm not talking about roasts or casseroles or stuff like that. I'm talking about pastries, cookies, baked goodies and treats. It has to be a really enticing recipe to inspire me to tackle a baking project.

At least, up until last Christmas. Because for Christmas, I got the two items guaranteed to get me back into baking mode:

A heavy-duty stand mixer

Silicone baking mats

I couldn't wait to try them out, so I immediately went looking for something out of the ordinary to bake. Not Christmas cookies...everybody was doing that. I wanted something a little different, maybe something savory instead of sweet.

Then I remembered Cheddar Cheese Straws. Eureka! That was it. That was what I'd make for my contribution to Christmas snack goodies. And it would be a welcome alternative to yet more sweets.

My Christmas cheese straws were a big hit. They disappeared faster than you can say Ho-Ho-Ho!

But I haven't made them again since Christmas. I've been wanting to, but just never took the time. So when the BakeItFun people gave me the chance to try their silicone baking mat, I knew Cheddar Cheese Straws would be perfect for a product demonstration.
There are a multitude of recipes for cheese straws online. I urge you to experiment and find the recipe that is right for you. Some have a lot of cheese, others have a lot of spice. Some are like pie crust pastry, others are like cheese crackers. There's a recipe for everyone, or you could do like I did and try a number of them, then adjust to fit my own preference.

So here's my recipe for Cheddar Cheese Straws...but again, this is just a starting point. Make the recipe your own.

2 sticks butter (not margarine) softened to room temperature

1 pound grated extra sharp Cheddar cheese (I used 2 8oz. packages - you may prefer mild, or some other cheese) softened to room temperature (do not use packaged grated cheese - something is added to this product that prevents individual pieces from sticking together, and thus it won't blend well with butter and flour for this recipe)

1 tablespoon sea salt (or regular salt - adjust to your taste)

1 teaspoon black pepper (optional)

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (optional - adjust to your preferred heat level)

3 cups all-purpose flour (do not use self-rising)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place BakeItFun silicone #bakingmat on flat cookie sheet.
In stand mixer, cream together butter, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Gradually add in cheese. After all cheese is added, mix on medium speed for about 15 minutes. This insures everything is creamed together properly. Very slowly begin to add in flour. You'll want to check the consistency as you go. Depending on the temperature and consistency of your butter/cheese base, it could take less than 3 cups of flour or more than 3 cups of flour. What you want is a soft dough that has pulled cleanly away from the sides of the mixing bowl.
I used a frosting bag and large icing tip to pipe the dough into 2-inch straws. Make sure your dough is the right consistency to flow through the icing bag easily or you'll struggle with this step. (I learned this the hard way!) You can get a lot of these on a silicone baking mat, since they are made with all-purpose flour and won't spread or rise. What you see is what you get after baking. So don't be afraid to crowd them a little.

If you don't have an icing bag, you can roll the dough into long thin strips and then cut them to your desired length. You can also roll dough into a log, refrigerate for several hours, then cut into thin slices for round wafers instead of slices. You can drop dough by 1/2-tablespoons then flatten with a fork. So many ways to get creative. Just remember to keep everything thin so it all cooks at the same rate and comes out crispy.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes. It may take a little more time, depending on your oven's efficiency. Just keep checking after 15 minutes or so. Straws will not turn brown, but may have slightly darker edges. When they are firm to the touch, they are probably done. Again, this may require some experimentation on your part. They should be very crispy and not doughy at all.

Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack. This is the fun part! Nothing, absolutely nothing, sticks to the BakeItFun silicone baking mat! In fact, you'll want to be careful moving the baking sheet because the cheese straws might just slide right off! I had to fish a few out of the bottom of my oven the first time I used a silicone baking mat. :)
You may notice a crumb or two left on the baking mat, but that's all. No scraping with a spatula, no broken pieces, just beautiful baked goods. Let the mat and cookie sheet cool a little before starting your next batch, or better yet buy two BakeItFun silicone baking mats and have the next one ready to go into the oven right away. And clean-up is a breeze. Just swish in hot sudsy water, rinse, and air-dry flat. So super easy!

Silicone baking mats have revolutionized baking. And they're economical. No more cooking sprays, no more parchment paper, no more throwing out blackened cookie sheets.
They can be reused for years and years, and contain no harmful components. Silicone baking mats can be used in ovens at temperatures up to 450 degrees. You can also freeze with them, use them in the microwave, or just use them underneath casseroles or pot pies to catch any drips or spills for easy-peasy clean-up. I haven't tried pizza on one yet, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it doesn't turn out just perfect, and without sticking or making a cheesy mess.

BakeItFun silicone mats have rulers and circles printed on them, making it easy to roll out dough or cut uniform cookie sizes. It's the perfect pastry sheet because nothing sticks to it! No matter how ooey-gooey!

So do yourself a favor and revolutionize your baking by ordering a couple of BakeItFun silicone baking mats. This is one item you'll kick yourself for not buying before now!

{Disclaimer: I received a BakeItFun silicone #bakingmat gratis to facilitate my review. However, my opinions are my own and no other monetary consideration was involved.}