The Benefits of Coconut Oil Toothpaste

The Benefits of Coconut Oil Toothpaste

I heard of this process called oil pulling to whiten teeth years ago from my sister-in-law. The concept is to take a spoonful of coconut oil and hold in your mouth for 15 minutes. Overtime this process whitens teeth and improves oral health.

I tried it a few times, but as the saying goes, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”, I quickly stopped doing it and basically forgot about it, until I got contacted by Dr. Ginger’s to try their toothpaste.

Dr. Ginger’s makes a coconut oil toothpaste developed by Dr. Ginger Price, a practicing cosmetic dentist in Arizona for over 35 years.

Dr. Ginger said she came up with the idea for the product after many of her patience talked about this oil pulling thing and as she researched further, found that in addition to whitening, coconut oil was great for overall oral health.

With Dr. Ginger’s coconut oil product line, you get the benefits of oil pulling without the hassle, mess and time consuming process. In addition, if not done correctly there are some hazards with oil pulling that can occur so using the coconut oil based products takes that away.

Below are a few reasons you are going to want to make the switch to coconut oil based oral hygiene products.

1. It Contains No Chemicals – Dr. Ginger’s coconut oil toothpaste contains no flouride, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, coloring agents or chemicals such as triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate.

2. Helps Fight Cavities – Studies have shown coconut oil kills bad bacteria that causes cavities and bad breath.

3. It Can Help With Tooth Sensitivity – The very best toothpaste for sensitive teeth is one that doesn’t contain harmful chemicals and detergents.

4. Improves Overall Health – Studies have shown that periodontal disease is directly linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, premature births and lower birth weights in babies. Coconut oil has shown to fight bacteria that can cause these problem.

5. Pure Coconut Oil is Safe for DogsAccording to Pet MD, applying coconut oil to your dogs teeth can help with bad breath.

My sample from Dr. Ginger’s contained a few days worth of toothpaste and I have to tell you it is really good. I think the flavor is amazing and can’t wait to try out the other products in their line. I struggle with tooth sensitivity so getting an all natural product that can help with that along with all the other benefits is a plus!

For more product or ordering information visit Dr Ginger’s website.

Photos courtesy of Dr. Ginger’s

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Switch to Switchel for Post Workout Recovery

Switch to Switchel for Post Workout Recovery

Next time you go to grab a Gatorade to replace lost electrolytes from a workout, hangover or whatever else you might use it for, try a switchel instead. I know you might be asking what in the heck is switchel?

Actually, switchel has been around long before Gatorade was even a thought. It was used to fuel and rehydrate farmers and workers in the hayfields during Colonial times.

Although farming has modernized quite a bit since those times, a farmer can still work up quite a thirst out in the fields. Just think how much thirstier a job it was for the Colonials when the grass was hand-cut with a scythe. I’m sure if Iron-Man races were a thing back then the athletes would have used it too!

Gatorade type drink were not around during that time as electrolytes were not even discovered until the 1900’s. And there were no scientific studies showing our bodies needed them replaced after exertion.

Somehow our ancestors knew what they were doing and what our bodies needed and created switchel to nourish them. To bad we didn’t listen and let preservatives and sugar take the place of this natural re-hydrator.

Switchel contains water, apple cider vinegar, ginger and a sweetener. The sweetener can be either molasses, maple syrup, honey or brown sugar.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is all of the rage now and is great for digestion and gut health. Many people incorporate ACV into their diets to aid in weight loss.

With the exception of water, all the other ingredients in the switchel contain potassium which is an electrolyte. Which we now know our bodies need to function properly.

I recently received a sample of switchel from a company called Up Mountain Swizzle, who make a sparkling switchel with fresh ginger, real maple syrup and apple cider vinegar

I have to say the maple syrup definitely makes it sweet and the ginger adds quite a bit of flavoring. It is also fizzy so it feels like you are drinking a soda. You could think of it as a healthy ginger ale! I never drink pop so this definitely feel a like a treat!

I’ve been drinking a concoction I call wetter water for about a year and half which has apple cider vinegar in it. I do it first thing in the morning to get my gut ready for the day.

I like that the Up Mountain sparkling switchel is a little sweeter than my wetter water and definitely more travel friendly. I can just toss a can in my bag or suitcase. I tried traveling with a bottle of apple cider vinegar once. It really did not work out so well.

If you are a Gatorade junkie, I would encourage you to make the switch to switchel. If you have been curious about all the health benefits of apple cider vinegar drinks give Up Mountain sparkling switchel a try.

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Silicone Kitchen Gadgets Every Kitchen Needs

Silicone Kitchen Gadgets Every Kitchen Needs

Silicone kitchen gadgets seem to be all the rage these days and for good reason. First of all they are easy to clean. Second the flexibility of the material makes for easy removal of food and allows items to be made in a variety of shapes. Third the heat safe temperature allows items to be used on the stove top, oven and even put in the dishwasher. And last but not least, with the material being reusable it can help make going green a little easier.

Assorted Silicon Kitchen Gadgets

Here are my favorite silicone kitchen gadgets I think every kitchen needs.

Bump It Off Silicone Multi Purpose Scrubber

I saw this handy gadget made by Goddess of Gadgets come across my Instagram feed and was immediately intrigued as it looked like a great sanitary replacement for my icky dish brush that was falling apart. I took a screen shot knowing I wanted to check it out when I had more time. Coincidently, I received an email a few days later asking if I would like to have a sample sent to try out. Of course, I said yes!

Bump It Off

Although, I always throw my dish brush in the dishwasher after using, the bristles seem to sometimes catch debris in them so I have to rinse it before even after being washed. Overtime the bristles wear down and becomes unusable.

After using the Bump It Off one time I was hooked. Not only did it do a nice job of cleaning the dishes and sink, it came out clean and sanitary right out of the dishwasher. As you can see with the different textures it has a variety of uses. I am going to buy a couple more to have in other parts of the house.

Silicone Oven Mits and Hot Pads

We all have done it, you go to pull the lasagna, cobbler or whatever you may be cooking out of the oven and there goes the thumb of you oven mitt right in the dish. Now you have stringy cheese or sauce stuck in the fibers of the mitt. Even after washing, the mitt will still have stains and for some reason seem mine always seem to shrink!

Silicone Oven Mitt

In the past I have laid out another oven mitt on the counter which makes an uneven surface to lay the baking pan on which is probably not the safest method. Having silicone hot pads on hand make an easy flush surface to lay out on the counter to place your hot dish. These are my favorite silicone oven mitts and hot pads but the there is quite a variety to choose from so you could certainly get the one that is perfect for you.

Silicone Sponges

Much like the Bump It Off, these handy scrubbers can be a replacement for that sponge that seems to lay on the side of the sink harboring bacteria as we speak. Eventually that sponge becomes slimy and gross so it is tossed in the trash adding to landfill waste. Silicone sponges are washable and reusable which keeps your kitchen more sanitary and the environment a little greener.

Silicone Bakeware

Who knew baking with silicone could be so easy. From pie tins to muffin cups, the flexibility of this oven safe material allows for bakeware to made in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Silicone Baking Liners

The reusable baking liners are a great replacement for parchment paper which again cuts down on landfill waste.

The silicone bakeware can be greased or sprayed with cooking spray which makes for easy removal of food. And although, the flexible material is great for making a variety of shaped bakeware, they can sometimes be a bit flimsy, so I always place my silicone baking dish on a flat sheet type pan before filling so it can slide easily into the oven.

This adjustable silicone divider called the Bakesplit can be placed on a sheet pan or baking dish to divide different flavors of cakes, dips, casseroles , sheet pan dinners and more. Great to use during the holidays to save on separate baking dishes for every dish.

Silicone Stove Top Gadgets

Prevent stove top splatters with Frywall. This handy cone shaped gadget comes in three sizes to fit 8, 10 or 12 inch pans. Be sure to measure your pan before ordering to get the best fit and results from the Frywall product.

Silicone pan handle cover. This cover helps keep the handle of you pan cooler so you can toss and flip or just hold the pan steady while cooking on the stove top.

If you have a gap between the wall and your oven and stove combo, these handy stove gap inserts will save the day! These gap covers will keep food particles and debris from falling in between the crack of the stove and the wall.

Silicone Kitchen Utensils

From scrapers to flippers you can find just about any kitchen utensil made of silicone. The heat safe material makes these utensils easy to use when cooking on the stove top. The flexibility makes scraping out that last bit of cake batter a breeze.

Having a silicone basting brush make grilling more sanitary as you can toss it right in the dishwasher after using it on raw meat.

Silicone whisks and tongs prevent leaving marks on nonstick cookware and enameled cast iron. I learned this the hard way while whisking a cheese sauce in my Le Creuset with a wire whisk. Imagine my panic attack as I see the all the gray scratches coating the bottom of my $300 pan. I was able to clean most of the pan using a little bar keepers friend but I will certainly will never use a wire whisk again!

Measuring and Miscellaneous Silone Kitchen Helpers

Silicone measuring cups

I received this set of flexible measuring cups a gift and love the versatility. The three sizes make it easy to measure just about any quantity and the flexibility allows for easy pouring. The large one is great to put a variety of batters in and makes it easy to pour out the perfect potion into you muffin pan or on the griddle.


Silicone infusers make it easy to flavor water by filling the infuser with loose leaf tea, herbs or bits of fruit.

Silicon Infuser

Collapsable items such as strainers and measuring cups saves on space in drawers and cabinets and work just as well, if not better than their metal and plastic counterparts.

Silicone Collapsable Measuring Cups

Silicone Collapsable Colander

So that is my list of some of my favorite silicone kitchen gadgets that have made cooking and clean up in the kitchen just a little easier.

I hope you try some of them out. Please comment if you have a favorite silicone kitchen gadget.

Notice: All links are affiliate links meaning I do make a small profit from your purchases. Your price is not affected by this commission. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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Airline Compliant Carry-On Travel Essentials

Airline Compliant Carry-On Travel Essentials

These travel essentials that are airline compliant can be put in your carry-on bag and will save the day should something go awry!

I have been traveling quite a bit over the past few years and am guilty of being an over-packer. After some trial and error have finally scaled down my bag but always include these travel essentials in my carry-on.

Whether I need to wipe down my tray table, my face, hands or take a spit bath when stranded in the airport.  I love these chemical free Waterpura wipes. I received these as a sample and have fallen in love with them.  I don’t see any sample packs available for sale on the website, so I will be investing in a travel wipe container as the next package I get will be way to large to carry-on

 

I am usually not a fan of the hotel soaps and shampoos and like to bring my own. I found these great containers at an IKEA store in Dallas.  I cannot find them online to give you a link.  They could be an in-store product only. The banded labels came from the Container Store.

IKEA Travel Containers

If your shoes start rubbing you the wrong way, the Fab Feet stick from target will help prevent blisters from forming. The tinted sunscreen from Chanel I found at Macy’s and that with a little tinted lip balm from Pacifica can help brighten up your complexion after a long day of travel. I also love the roll on perfume from Pacifica. It is lightly scented and easy to pack.

To freshen up my breath I love the Mouthwatchers travel toothbrush. MouthWatchers uses antimicrobial patented silver technology on its bristles which eliminate 99.9% of bacteria build up on the toothbrush bristles. The special designed bristles are thinner than that of other toothbrushes which clean in between teeth better and adds a flossing effect.

Mouthwatchers Toothbrush

I love having a pill box when traveling and fill it with prescriptions, pain relievers and any other medications or supplements I want to have on hand.

For a quick fluff of the hair, a travel brush and pony tail holders are a must. Tissues, mints, hand sanitizer, glasses, contacts, saline are a few of my other essentials. I always have a nail file and a little travel size of nail polish remover pads.

To put it all together,  the non liquids go in a zipper pouch from re-pac bags and for liquids we all know by now they must be in a TSA approved container.  Mine is a zipper package that some pillow shams came in.

Instead of spending money on those packaging cubes, save those clear zipper pouches that a lot of sheets or bedding comes packaged in. They make great packing cubes for items that will go inside your checked luggage. I love using them to organize my workout gear, swimsuits, accessories and anything else I want to keep from getting mixed into my other clothes.

Now that you have all of your carry-on items packed.  What is the best bag to use to put them in? I love a bag that has multiple storage areas like my Tumi bag.  It fits my laptop, carry-on essentials, sunglasses, snacks, chargers, headphones and pretty much whatever else I need while still being slim and compact.

I would love to hear some of your ideas on packing for travel and what essentials you take in your carry-on.

Safe Travels!

Sharm

My TJX Obsession ~ What I Love about TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods

My TJX Obsession ~ What I Love about TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods

If you are familiar with the stores; Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Sierra Trading Post and HomeGoods, then you have great taste! I love shopping at all the TJX Companies stores. I have been inspired to write this post after cleaning out a box of receipts I have been keeping for the past few months in case I needed to return something. After looking at the pile, and not returning much, I have come to the realization that I might have an addiction.

Although, this should probably be an inspirational post in sharing steps on overcoming addictions,  it is really geared more toward feeding the addiction. This is one addiction I am not willing to give up or go to therapy for, unless it is retail therapy!

Our nest is empty and my husband travels a ton for business so it is easy for me to tag along. While he is working during the day, I am off to find the closest TJX stores and will sometime frequent 2 or 3 in one day.

With the travel, comes quite a bit of exposure to swanky shopping districts and areas with high end and luxury brands. Although, I could probably afford to make purchases now and then at one of those stores, I just can’t bring myself to do it because I know there is a good chance I will find it at one of the TJX stores!

Some of my favorite finds have been a Trina Turk swimsuit for only $49.99 that I picked up at TJ Maxx in Washington DC.

Trina Turk 2 piece

Trina Turk Two Piece Swimsuit

My Kate Spade bag I found at TJ Maxx in Chicago for only $149.00.

Kate Spade Purse

My Michael Kors bag I scored at Marshalls in Denver was $199.00.

Michael Kors Bag from Marshalls

Michael Kors Purse

I found a pair of Frye shoes for my hubby at the Marshalls in Houston for $99.00.

Frye Shoes from Marshalls

I got two Le Creuset pieces a few months apart, one large and one small in Wichita. Both were under $200 bucks, One was from TJMaxx and the other was Marshalls, what a steal!

Le Creuset Pots

As you can tell by the pile of receipts that is just the tip of the iceberg of some of my favorites!

Marshalls, TJ Maxxx and HomeGoods receipts

Pretty much every piece of clothing in my closet is from one of their stores. My favorite brands I have found there are Max Studio, Kut From The Kloth, Hudson Jeans, Paige Premium Denim, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Coach, NYJD, Bobeau, Born, Max Studio, La Blanca, Trina Turk, Born, Frye, 7 for all Mankind and more! The active wear selection is out of this world and I get plenty of work out wear with RBX and 90 Degree by Reflex being a favorite brand.

Workout Gear from Marshalls

Sierra Trading Post which is another store under the TJX belt, sells mostly online. They do have a handful of stores in Colorado and Wyoming. It is more outdoor related and carry active wear, hiking gear, climbing gear, sporting goods and an amazing selection footwear. I got the cutest pair of Lane Brand Cowboy boots online a couple months ago.

Lane Cowboy Boots

I’ve also gotten Keen and Chaco brand shoes and have bought plenty of name brand clothing as well such as North Face, Columbia, Lucy and more. Our family is into indoor rock climbing so guess where I purchased our harnesses, shoes and gear needed for that!

My husband knows when he goes to Colorado for work, a visit to the Sierra Trading Post in Fort Collins store is a must! He has also come to the realization that I need the TJX reward credit card as I would be making money with the reward certificates you receive just for using it! Please note that if you are interested in the credit card only apply for it in one of their stores or through the official TJX website as other links to apply are scams!

Most of my home decor is from HomeGoods, Marshalls and TJ Maxx. Between the three of them it is easy to outfit your entire home. They have a great selection of lamps, pillows, bedding, curtains, towels, rugs, furniture, decorating accessories and more!

I am currently looking for a small love seat or chaise lounge to fill this big empty space in our bedroom.

Considering all of the recipes on this blog, it is safe to say I am an avid cook and get plenty of my kitchen gadgets there too!

I have started sharing some of my favorite finds on my Instagram account @sharminmeadows so be sure and follow me there to check out the latest. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

If you have not shopped at any TJX stores, I encourage you to start. I promise you will not be disappointed. If you do shop at the TJX stores, you know where I am coming from! I would for you to leave a comment below on your favorite find, or maybe I should say #fabfound!

Well, I am off to HomeGoods to look for a love seat and apply for my TJX rewards credit card!

Also to be clear I am not paid or endorsed by the TJX Companies to write this either, although I would like to be! I just enjoy using this blog to share the things that I have done a found that make living finer!

Happy Shopping,

Sharm

The Clean Living® Experience with Tosca Reno

The Clean Living® Experience with Tosca Reno

The Clean Living® Experience with Tosca Reno could just change your life.  It did mine, so that is why I am writing this today.

I first encountered Tosca Reno in 2007, when a magazine I subscribed to had her graced on the cover at age 40 in tip top shape. Once tipping the scale at 204 pounds she decided enough was enough and dropped the weight by using her eat clean® diet plan and eventually even competed in a figure competition.

The fact that she was older and had been overweight and now looked amazing, peaked my interest, so off to the store I went to get her Eat Clean® Diet book. It was easy to follow and it worked! I lost the weight I wanted to lose and I have been a fan ever since! I have most of her books, follow her on social media and subscribe to her newsletter, which is how I found out about this retreat.

A few weeks ago I got an email from her newsletter that she was hosting a wellness retreat at the beautiful Villa Estrella in Costa Rica through a company called Retreats Unlimited. Enough said for me as I know she knows her stuff and booked the retreat. I could not wait to meet her.

This retreat came at the perfect timing in my life as I have put back on a few of those extra pounds I lost so many years ago. In addition to the weight, my personal life was on the rocks as a move away from family and friends as well as becoming an empty nester all at the same time has thrown me into a tizzy. I know her plan works and thought this is just the ticket I needed to get recharged and back on track.

Once at the resort and meeting Tosca, it was clear I needed this even more than I thought. Not only did she address health and wellness issues, she gets to the core of the emotion. By sharing her own struggles, she became one of the group and made a safe zone where if desired, others could share their struggles. I’m pretty sure I was a blubbering idiot but it felt good to release the emotion.

Come to find out, we all have struggles and hurt, even Tosca. Your hurt looks different from my hurt, but it is still pain. It was comforting to see I am not the only one out there that feels like they are drowning in this thing called life.

Tosca worked ahead of time with the chef and every meal was clean eating® approved and delicious. Just after a couple of days of eating like this, the body starts detoxing as there has been no sugar intake, just clean healthy delicious foods. Some detoxing symptoms the group experienced were headaches and acne which is the bodies way of expelling the toxins we carry around.

With all of the amazing food, I really did not feel like I was losing any weight but decided to go ahead and weigh when I got home. I was down 3 pounds! Not bad for a four day retreat, I’ll take it!

Along with informational sessions on healthy eating, supplements, metabolism, and even a little sex, you will spend time with Tosca in the kitchen.

She will teach you her secret recipe for wetter water, plus easy tips and tricks to clean eating® so you will be able to cook and eat like this at home!

I am now back home and am back on track. My kitchen is stocked and I am not missing the sugar or anything else I have taken out.

Eating six meals a day, I had forgotten how much food you can really eat on this diet. Honestly, it is not a diet but more of a lifestyle way of eating as it is easy to follow and you get to eat real food.

For those interested in the fitness side you will not be left out. Tosca personally leads workouts in the pool, on the beach and fitness facility throughout the day. Nothing is mandatory at the retreat and at any time you may opt out of a session or workout with no judgement.

If all of the above is not enough, you also get a personal coaching session with Tosca if you wish.

There are a limited number of guests allowed on this retreat so the setting is intimate, personalized and Tosca is literally walking beside you!

Our group was very flexible and bonded well. I have made new friends that I will treasure for a lifetime. As a super fan of Tosca I thought it might be intimidating to meet her. It turned out to be the exact opposite. Tosca is humble, gracious, knowledgable, inspirational, strong and truly beautiful inside and out.

She was a blast and joined the group in all areas even accompaning us into the town to do some souvenir shopping and got a fish pedicure at the fish spa. So fun!

She took the time to bond with each one of us and embraced our individual needs.

She was gracious enough to sign all of the books that I brought and laughed when I was labeled the stalker of the group. I am honored to be called her friend now and not just a fan.

If you are in need of getting recharged physically, emotionally, mentally nutritionally or just looking for a fun getaway, I encourage you to seek out this retreat, it is truly a life changer.

The Retreats Unlimited staff go above and beyond to make sure you have the most amazing experience. They have more wellness events scheduled through out the year with various health and wellness ambassadors. Tosca’s are in March, April, May and October.  Get more information at the Retreats Unlimited website. For more information on Tosca Reno or to order her books visit toscareno.com.