by Sharm | Jul 26, 2018 | Articles, Beauty, Health, Lifestyle & Technology, Products & Reviews, What I Love
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 Dogs – According 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
by Sharm | Jul 17, 2018 | Articles, Giveaways, Health, Lifestyle & Technology
Can falling in love help you lose weight?
According to Nancy Bryan, author of Thin is a State of Mind, The No-Stress Weight Loss Guide, the answer is yes!
Easier said then done, and what if you are not looking for love and still want to lose? Then Thin is a State of Mind is a book you will want to read and Author Nancy Brian is offering my readers one to giveaway. Keep reading on how to enter the giveaway.
Thin is a State of Mind is emphatically not a diet book but a problem solving book, thus should be read before attempting any weight loss. The value of the book is that it demonstrates how one solves problems better if one can manage to bypass the anxiety-ridden thoughts produced by the conscious mind.
Anyone who has ever tried and failed at losing weight deserves to be given the mental tools to help achieve success the Thin is a State of Mind offers.
Readers of Thin is a State of Mind will also learn:
• How anxiety can make you fat – and what can be done to prevent this.
• Why it is that falling in love is one of the best weight-loss tricks there is.
• Why happiness makes people thin, not the other way around.
• Why weight loss is a time of learning for the body; how to stop “trying” to lose weight and let the body do its job rather than getting in the way.
• Why focusing on trivia such as obsessively counting calories is counterproductive, as is the application of “willpower.”
• What weight loss has in common with surfing.
Thin is a State of Mind helps readers embark on the path toward these inner, and then outer, changes. It gives readers the minute details of how, exactly, to encourage the body to become healthy from the inside out. It includes methods such as relaxation or meditation, as well as effective approaches to achieving digestive fitness and body awareness.
To enter the giveaway, please share a comment below. It can be anything related to dieting wether you have a great tip to share, how many diets you have tried, what your vice is, (mine is key lime pie) or anything else you would like to share.
Last day to comment to enter the giveaway is Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Winner is chosen in order of comments by random.org. Winner will be notified via email and the book will be shipped directly from the author to the winner.
About Nancy Bryan
Nancy Bryan, Ph.D., author of this revised and updated edition of Thin is a State of Mind (first published in 1980 by Harper & Row, and subsequently by CompCare Publications), has spent her entire working life as an editor: in the sixties at The Rand Corporation; in the seventies at an ARPANET research institute; in the eighties at a worldwide employee-benefits consulting firm; and in the nineties for the J. Paul Getty Trust. In addition to Thin is a State of Mind, Bryan has written a doctoral dissertation on the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop, and has ghostwritten a bestselling self-help book. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Self, Family Health, and various museum and computer-science publications. She is currently working on a forthcoming title, Metathinking: Working Knowledge for Women.
by Sharm | Jul 12, 2018 | Articles, Food & Drink, Health, Products & Reviews, What I Love
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.
by Sharm | Jun 6, 2018 | Articles, Health, Lifestyle & Technology
These tips come from Heidi Schauster’s book called Nourished which focuses on healing your relationship with food, body and self.
I had a chance to review this book and loved Heidi’s approach. I can tell you I was not always a healthy eater and it showed. When enough was enough I knew I had to change.
In the beginning of my journey I was very guilty of the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” in step two at times. I knew I should eat the fresh fruit for dessert and shouldn’t eat my favorite sea salted chocolate chip cookies.
It doesn’t feel good to beat yourself up every time you eat something you shouldn’t. If you find yourself always tell your self you shouldn’t, incorporating the spot clean eating approach and giving yourself choices to choose better foods, can help you transition you into a very clean eater. At least that was in my case.
Overtime, once I started replacing sugary snacks with fresh fruit or replacing half of a mac and cheese serving with some veggies to go along with my steak. Eventually that became a habit.
Pretty soon the fruit tasted sweeter, the veggies kept me full longer and I lost the craving for the junk. As I watched the scale go down, my energy level increased. Adding in some exercise helped change my body shape.
Seeing the positive changes in the way I felt inside and out kept me motivated to continue.
My rule of thumb is an 80/20 approach. 80% of my diet choices are clean foods and 20% are more indulgent. If you know you have an occasion coming up where there will be plenty of indulgent foods you will want to partake in, be sure your meals prior to that are clean. Then when the time comes eat those forbidden foods, enjoy the indulgence and get back on track the next day.
Life is full of times where food is involved and you should enjoy those moments! Depriving yourself all the time just sets you up to fail. Using the spot clean eating method allows you to still have some of the foods you crave, which keeps it easier to stay on a path to success.
It’s a tough battle as we are the only ones that can control what goes into our mouths. As with any battle, you need some good training and tips to help you win the war.
If you are looking to make better choices in what you eat or wonder why you may stress or overeat, Nourished can help you get to the bottom of those triggers and give you a healthier and happier way to look at food.
4 Tips for “Spot-Clean” Eating
by Heidi Schauster, MS, RDN, CEDRD-S.
Everyone is talking about “Clean Eating.” I’m all for a let’s-get-back-to-recognizing-our-food way of life. I appreciate shorter ingredients lists—ones where I can find whole foods listed and not chemicals. I like shopping at farmers’ markets, eating seasonally and locally. I believe that our bodies and the planet benefit when we eat more whole food and more plants. But as a nutrition therapist and eating-disorders specialist, I worry about us taking clean eating too far.
Listen to What Feels Best for Your Body
Now, you might say, isn’t it clear that some foods are really more healthful than others? Remember, I’m not talking about unconscious eating here. I truly believe that when we make conscious choices, thinking about our own innate preferences (this sometimes takes trial and error), we end up eating in a balanced, healthy way most of the time.
No “Shoulds” or “Shouldn’ts.” Just choices
“Shoulds” get in the way of actually tuning in to what feels best in our bodies. Sometimes the foods we say we “shouldn’t” eat become more attractive just because they are forbidden. If I set up a “should eat” situation (that the rebellious part of me might want to undo), then I am using my mind and not my body to decide what to eat. The eating experience is bound to be less satisfying when I apply “shoulds” than if I am making choices from my own body wisdom, learning, and self-care.
You are the Guru
There is a flurry of conflicting nutritional advice on the internet. How can someone who doesn’t know my body and lifestyle tell me how to eat? Personally, I learned over many years the kinds of meals and snacks that “work” for me. And, in the process, I have maintained enough flexibility so that I can enjoy so many different kinds of foods in different settings. Every once in a while, I discover something that doesn’t feel great in my body. If I trust the latest advice from a nutritional guru on the internet, I might bypass the wisdom that my own body affords me every time I pay attention when I eat.
Black and white is out. Gray is in
My client Elizabeth has been working hard on finding gray areas in her life. She shared an instance where she found the gray regarding housecleaning. She read in a housekeeping magazine that she was supposed to wash her bathroom floors weekly. She has had that task on her to-do list for a long time but realized that it was often not getting done. And she was really beating herself up about it, particularly when time would go by and she really didn’t like the way the floors looked.
Black-and-white thinking kept her stuck. She either cleaned the bathroom entirely, moving all the furnishings and making the floors gleam—or she let it go and had to live with floors that were messier than she liked. It never occurred to her—until recently—that she could spot-clean the floors in between. Instead of thorough weekly cleaning, she could clean the floors well monthly and then spot-clean in between, picking up the things that collect on the bathroom floor without the whole procedure.
So, what does this have to do with food?
It parallels some of Elizabeth’s struggles with eating. She goes back and forth between eating “perfectly” and “cleanly”—following all of the rules of the blogs that she follows—or she rebels and starts eating, in her words, “… like crap.” She knows that neither feels good, although the “cleaner” eating has the illusion of feeling great at first; it’s just never been sustainable.
The spot-cleaning of her house gave her more freedom and rest to pursue other passions, and spot-clean eating shifted her challenging relationship with food. Instead of eating a large plate of just vegetables or a whole box of plain buttered pasta (one virtuous, in her mind, and one not), she started combining the vegetables and noodles and made a middle-of-the-extremes dish that was satisfying and felt good.
So, the next time you are out and you don’t know if the yummy meal you are being served is as “clean” as the one you eat at home … Please don’t panic, don’t starve, don’t ruminate over the ingredients! Make an informed choice whether to eat it or not, based on your knowledge of what feels good in your body. When you find yourself frustrated with eating “good” and “bad” interchangeably, try to give up the struggle. I propose Spot-Clean (versus Clean) Eating, which allows flexibility, pleasure, ease, and space for the rest of the joys of living.
If you enjoyed this edited excerpt from Nourish: How to Heal Your Relationship with Food, Body, and Self, by Heidi Schauster, you can obtain the entire book at https://www.anourishingword.com/the-book/.
Heidi Schauster, MS, RDN, CEDRD-S is a nutrition therapist, writer, and the founder of Nourishing Words Nutrition Therapy in the Greater Boston area. Heidi facilitates the No Diet Book Clubs, supervises other nutrition therapists who treat disordered eating, and encourages embodied eating and living for all.
by Sharm | May 8, 2018 | Articles, Cocktails & Wine, Food & Drink, Food Finds, Health, Lifestyle & Technology, Products & Reviews, Recipes
We have all been there and know that spike and then crash and burn feeling we get after eating a high carb meal. But how can we avoid it while still enjoying some of the foods we love like pasta, bread and even cocktails.
I know it sounds to good to be true, but the makers of Good Idea Drinks, have found a solution. I had the chance to get a sample of these drinks and chat with founder Björn Öste. Keep reading to get the scoop on this sparkling water that can lower blood sugar.
Good Idea Drink
In a nutshell, researchers found a connection between the intake of dairy and a relatively high insulin response. They found that the intake of whey before and with a meal rich in fast carbohydrates could substantially lower the blood sugar spike following a meal.
The effect was also observed with protein that contained the presence of five specific essential amino acids. Repeated meal studies confirmed that the effect on insulin and glucose response from whey could be mimicked by serving a drink containing a proportion of the five essential amino acids before and with the meal.
Good Idea Drinks
As an additional development of the concept, a small quantity of chromium was added. Chromium is well known by scientists to have an important role in blood glucose regulation. Taken together, it was hypothesized that a combination of amino acids and chromium would have a synergistic effect that would further improve the effect on blood sugar rise.
After creating this dink the researchers studies results consistently showed a typical reduction of 25-30% in blood sugar rise following a meal rich in carbohydrates, compared to placebo.
Good Idea Drinks Nutrition
To get the full details of all of the science behind the drink and results of the study can be found on the Good Idea website as well as answers to some FAQ’s.
I had a few FAQ’s of my own and after my chat with Björn here is our Q&A session.
1. How did you come up with the idea for Good Idea Drinks? After learning of the research results from Lund University our company formed a collaboration to create the dink.
2. Can it help people with diabetes? Although it is not specifically targeted for that, it would be something to ask your doctor about to see if it might be a “good idea” to include it into your diet.
3. I have heard chromium can be used as a weight loss supplement. Can Good Idea drinks be used for weight loss? It is not marketed as a weight loss tool. However, studies have shown that chromium has shown to reduce the glycemic index which makes you eat less therefore could cause weight loss.
4. Why does it taste sweet when there is no sugar in it? It is flavored using natural flavor.
5. What exactly is “Natural Flavor”? How do you make it? Where do you get it? Great question.
6. Would it be helpful to drink while eating a dessert? Yes.
8. Would it be good to use as a mixer in cocktails, as alcohol is considered a sugar and most drinks are made with sugary mixers or juices? Yes.
This sparkling water is a little sweet and definitely has the flavor. I loved the idea of making a cocktail with it and had a bunch of limes on hand so thought I would take a stab at creating a “Good Idea” Mojito.
Although, this mojito recipe does not have any actual sugar in it, this flavored sparkling water will help the spike caused by the sugars in the alcohol or added sugars should you decide to sweeten it up yourself. Details on how to do that are listed in the directions of the recipe.
The Good Idea Mojito
I wish to thank Good Idea Drinks for the sample. For more information on the drinks or how to purchase them visit the Good Idea website.
Cover photo from Good Idea.
by Sharm | Apr 10, 2018 | Food & Drink, Food Finds, Health, Products & Reviews
It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a product but when I received an email offering a sample of these high protein Planetarians Sunflower Chips, my interest was peaked. The email noted, “Planetarians is developing high protein snacks for growing population from by-products of the food industry, without the need to grow more crops.”
I was like what? How does that work? I am always looking for a snack high in protein that doesn’t contain nuts so I asked for a sample.
Turns out, the chips are made from sunflower meal which is the by-product from the production of sunflower oil. It’s referred to as an oil cake, which contains both protein and fiber.
I’m kinda on this kick about how much food waste is in our country. Although, there is not much one can do once the food is delivered to the masses, founder Aleh Manchuliantsau explains on the Planetarians website, that using by-products from the production of products (how’s that for a tongue twister) is a good place to start. I like his approach and hope there are others that will follow in his footsteps.
Now, back to the chips. Planetarians Sunflower Chips come in three flavors. Firey Sriracha, Sweet and Smokey BBQ and Sweetly Cinnamon. I got two packages of each in my sample pack. I’ve tried all three flavors and have to say they are all pretty good.
The crunchy texture of these bite-sized squares are a little grainy, but I wouldn’t say its bad, just different. Especially if you are expecting it to be like a greasy potato chip. They are definitely thicker, which makes them a hearty little snack.
I love sunflower seeds and sunflower butter. I would say these have a hint of sunflower seed taste but with the flavoring added you taste mostly that. The flavoring of the Sweet and Smokey BBQ definitely reminded me of the GUYS brand barbecue potato chips, which I haven’t had for years! These were a real a treat that brought back some fun memories of my youth! The Sriracha was not that fiery but had a good spicy flavor. I would say the Sweetly Cinnamon reminded me of the cinnamon and sugar toast I used to eat as a kid.
I try to eat pretty good most of the time and am always looking for healthier snack that is easy to take on the go. They do have some sugar in the seasoning, but they also contain protein and fiber, which is a little hard to find in crunchy snacks these days. Each flavor differs and you can find all the ingredients and nutritional information here.
My bottom line on these would be that although, the texture is not quite that of a potato chip, it does satisfy when you are craving that crunch. The taste satisfies when you craving something salty with the Sweet and Smokey BBQ and Fiery Sriracha flavors, while the Sweetly Cinnamon can cure a sweet tooth.
I would also consider these a transitioning food/snack. By that I mean if you are trying to eat healthier but still like some junk food, replace you snack attack item with Planetarians. It will satisfy the crunch and flavor you are craving while giving you a little more nutrition. If you have some young children or even not so young, try substituting these in place of their other chips and snacks and see if they like them. The pre-portioned packets make them super easy to grab on the go or throw in a lunch box.
If you are interested in trying Planetarians Sunflower Chips for yourself or family, the company is offering 25% off the 1st purchase on Amazon using code: 25cycled
Feel free to comment below if you have tried these and how you liked them.