Trim Healthy Mama Sweet Blend

I really wanted to like this sweetener.  I wanted to LOVE it.  In fact, I started to love it before I even got it.  I dreamed of all the very low glycemic index foods & drinks I’d be able to enjoy while getting my health in order.  I was a bit skeptical, though, as every natural, alternative sweetener has been very disappointing in flavor.

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Trim Health Mama (THM) is an eating plan to help people (not just women) lose weight & restore health.  The basic premise is to have protein as the main part of every meal & snack.  For “S” meals, you have protein with fat & non-starchy vegetables.  For “E” meals, you have protein & a small about of healthy carbs.  You wait about 3 hours between meal & snack types.  I’ve lost 6 pounds in three weeks following these principles.  So I was really looking forward to liking this sweetener!

THM Sweet Blend is a blend of erythritol, a sugar alcohol that has no effect on glucose levels, and stevia.  I think everyone is familiar with stevia.  I have never liked stevia but everyone said such wonderful things about THM Sweet Blend!  “It’s just like sugar”, they exclaimed.  “It’s so yummy”, “Best sweetener ever”, and so on.  I knew it wouldn’t be JUST LIKE SUGAR.  I was not expecting that.  I was expecting a great tasting stevia based sweetener with a slight bitter aftertaste (even though everyone said there was no bitterness).

My Sweet Blend finally arrived!  But…my husband misplaced the mailbox key!  I was sooo anxious to try this sweetener & take my THM regimen to the next level!  He found the key the next day & started using the sweetener.

To my surprise…it TASTED GOOD!!  Great, in fact!!  I said to myself “Wow, I can enjoy a stevia-based sweetener!  I can make yummy low carb goodies & stay on-plan!  I can enjoy frozen mochas & continue losing weight!”.  I used it in my Singing Canary drink (recipe to follow) which I drink every day.  This drink is already delicious but with Sweet Blend it was FAB!!  I was so pleased!  I made dinner (pizza with cauliflower crust, a THM recipe).  That was yummy, too! I drank my Singing Canary after dinner, and got a bad stomach ache.  I thought it was from too much pizza. I’d had an extra slice, after all.

The pain lasted all night, and all the next day.  I was upset because the pizza was really good!  I wanted to eat something but my stomach was just not in the mood.  I ate a little yogurt with some Sweet Blend.  I felt better for a few minutes then the pain came back. I ate a spoonful of yogurt every 20 minutes or so, thinking the probiotics would help somehow, and the creaminess would soothe my stomach.  I was wrong.  I felt like I was on the verge of vomiting for the rest of the day & through that second night.  The next morning I was 100% better.

I ate eggs & turkey bacon for breakfast, then made my Singing Canary drink a couple of hours later.  With Sweet Blend.  After the first sip my stomach immediately began to hurt.  I thought “Oh no!  Please don’t let it be the Sweet Blend!  I’d rather have it be the pizza!!  PLEASE!!”  I waited a while then took another drink.  Instant stomach pain. I waited a few minutes & took another drink.  Pain.  I got the picture.  This Sweet Blend is just not going to work for me 😦

I wanted to give it another go a few days later but I just couldn’t do it.  Who enjoys a stomach ache?  Not me.  Like I said earlier, I REALLY wanted to like this sweetener.  And I do like the taste.  It’s really good.  The most sugar-like in texture & flavor you’ll find on the market today.  Alas, it just does not agree with me 😦

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of people who use THM Sweet Blend daily & have no problem with it.  It’s $10 for a pound, you can buy it here.  You can also get the Trim Healthy Mama book, eBook, and other sweeteners.

Singing Canary is a drink designed to help heal adrenal fatigue. Here’s the recipe from The Laundry Moms! My comments are in (parentheses).

2 lemons (I used smaller lemons the first several times.  The most recent time, I used bigger lemons & boy, was my drink SOUR!)

4000mg of buffered Vitamin C powder, without sugar.

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 flat teaspoon virgin coconut oil

3 splashes of vanilla extract (I use 2-3 teaspoons)

2 teaspoons vanilla whey powder (I use Swanson brand)

3 pinches of high mineral salt, such as Celtic sea salt or Himalayan pink salt

Sweetener to taste (This is where Sweet Blend comes in.  I use about 2 teaspoons of grade B maple syrup & don’t notice any spike in my blood sugar.  If you have blood sugar issues, ask your doctor or nutritionist what you should use if you can’t use alternative sweeteners)

4-8 drops of certified therapeutic grade Lemon essential oil (I use 8 drops of Wild Orange essential oil, YUM!)

Directions:  1. Peel only the yellow rind off two lemons using a sharp pearling knife, leave as much of the white pith intact (the bioflavonoids in the white are an important, healing component of the drink). Slice each lemon into four chunks, take out the seeds and throw lemon pieces into your blender with 3 cups of water. If you use a high speed blender, such as a VitaMix, it’s okay to leave the seeds in.  Blend well.

2. Time to sieve this liquid because as you’ll want your Canary smooth and creamy. The easiest way is to pour the ingredients through a nylon mesh bag into a bowl or pitcher. You can purchase these bags at a paint store very inexpensively. Squeeze the bag well and allow all the lemony goodness to ooze out.  (I use cheesecloth folded over 3 or 4 times or a fine sieve) It’s worth a trip to the paint store for a few of these bags as you can make homemade cheese and almond milk with them. If you want to make this drink now and you don’t have a bag, then use an old nylon stocking or a fine sieve.

3. Pour your fresh juice back into the blender. Add all the other ingredients and blend (for about 30 seconds, if using a high speed blender).

4. Fill a two quart glass mason jar with ice to the tippy top and then pour your SINGING CANARY juice over the ice. If it doesn’t reach the top then add more water to your jar.

5. Put on a lid on the jar and shake like you are a professional drink mixer.

(6. Remove the lid & taste.  Add more sweetener and/or vanilla if needed)

Drink between meals every day.

eSalon

It’s been a loooooong time since I’ve logged in here!  After all this time, I have a review for you.

A few years ago, I thought I’d let my hair “go natural”.  I have loads of grey, it runs in the family.  I started getting greys when I was 12 years old.  I started coloring my hair at 14.  The chemicals always concerned me but not so much that I would stop coloring my hair.  After the loss of my son, grief & illness really took a toll on me.  I’ve aged 10 years in only two.  The mass amounts of grey hair weren’t helping.  I’ve got my health mostly under control, so I thought coloring my hair would take me the rest of the way.  I had read great things about eSalon, so I gave them a try!

They have a fun site, where you put in your info – current hair color, your skin color & ethnicity, then you choose the hair color you want & get to see it on a model with similar coloring/ethnicity.  I went for a burgundy/aubergine color.  Once that is all done, the color is formulated just for you & is shipped.  You get to choose how often you want a hair color delivery!  And it’s super easy to make changes to the formula.  I had to do that twice.

The first time, the color was too brown for my liking.  I’m the type of person who thinks “If you’re going to expose yourself to harsh chemicals, why go for a natural hair color? You might as well get something fun”.  eSalon had emailed me to see how I liked the color & service.  I told them the service was fab but the color wasn’t exactly what I wanted.  I asked for them to please make it darker & more purple.  And they did!

The second time (ilke the first), the grey around my hairline didn’t take in the color.  When I got my next color shipment, the color was more of what I wanted but not quite dark enough but it was darker than before.  I decided to focus on the greys.  I emailed eSalon & asked if my color can be reformulated for resistant greys.  They said yes!  They also altered my instructions.  You get a personalized set of instructions with every delivery! Your name is on the bottle along with your formulation number!

The third time, the greys took on more of the dye but not enough!  The color looks darker, even though I didn’t ask for the formula to be made darker this time.  And it is perfectly beautiful!  THIS is the color I wanted originally!  It might have to do with the fact that I switched to a color safe shampoo between the 2nd & 3rd times, though I always use the color safe shampoo & conditioner that comes in the coloring kit.

Oh!  What comes in the kit?  Your personalized hair color, a bottle of developer & instructions, an application brush (1st kit only), a tube of stain guard, a stain removing wet towelette type of thing which works amazingly well!  I need more than one, though, maybe I’ll ask if they can send 2 or 3 in my next shipment.  You get 2 pairs of gloves and the tubes of shampoo & conditioner that I just mentioned.  It totals $25, which includes shipping!

This Isn’t My Photo. Sorry, I Don’t Know Who To Credit.

My hair looks great, feels great, and I feel much better about my personal appearance.  Thank you, eSalon!

Update! TRULY Delicious Apple Cider Vinegar Drink (Recipe)

If you’ve been with me here for a while, you know I’ve tried just about every apple cider vinegar drink recipe out there.  They’re all described as “delicious”, “amazing”, “just like lemonade”, “your kids will love it, etc…ALL LIES!  They have all been truly horrible!  Unpalatable.  Completely undrinkable.

I started using essential oils in June.  One of my favorites is Wild Orange.  It smells absolutely wonderful, helps my high blood pressure (one of the reasons I want to drink ACV), and keeps my heart palpitations under control.  And it’s really good in water.

I decided to give the ACV drink one more go.  My blood pressure has been getting REALLY high lately.  I took a couple of sips & it was awful.  Then I saw my bottle of Wild Orange sitting there & decided to add a drop.  It made all the difference!   I was able to drink it!  And enjoy it!  I am going to put in 2 drops today to make even tastier.  ***Update*** Apparently, the first time was the best time.  The drink tasted much more vinegary the next day (& the day after that).  I guess calling recipe “TRULY delicious” isn’t really true.  Sorry 😦  But it is better than the other recipes.  If you can handle ACV drinks, then this recipe will probably be delicious to you.

TRULY Delicious Apple Cider Vinegar Drink!

Before you go taking essential oils internally, I must tell you this – ONLY use essential oils that are CERTIFIED pure & are therapeutic grade (CPTG).  The essential oils you buy at the supermarket or health food store might be labeled pure, but did you know they only have to contain 3% essential oil in order to be labeled as pure?  Essential oils that are *not* CPTG are for aromatic use only – you can’t even use them on your skin.  I use doTERRA.  doTERRA’s oils will have “supplement facts” on the bottle so you know they’re approved for consumption.  I’ve found them to be really high quality & to be more effective than pharmaceuticals.  They smell SO much better than the oils I’ve bought from the health food store.

So here’s the recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon organic, raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon organic, raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 glass of water (8-12oz)
  • 1-2 drops Wild Orange essential oil

Mix the honey & ACV together until it’s well blended.  Then add the water & essential oil & enjoy!  You can add more essential oil if you want, but start out with one or two drops.  My sister accidentally poured a little too much Tangerine in her water (the citrus oils seem to be ‘thinner’ than other oils & come out the bottle really quickly) & she got a stomach ache.  If you’d like to purchase Wild Orange essential oil (or any others) from me, do let me know!  Or you can purchase directly from my website.

***UPDATE*** Turns out ACV is too acidic for me & gives me a stomach ache 😦  I drank this for 3 days & had to stop.  I take ACV with cayenne powder in capsules.  It’s a lot of  capsule for one tablespoon of ACV (about 20!)  I really wish I could drink this without problems.  I read that you can add baking soda to it but I imagine that would make it taste horrible!  And wouldn’t there be a vinegar/baking soda volcano eruption in my glass?

I’m still going to look for a TRULY DELICIOUS apple cider vinegar drink that gets results.

OraWellness Brushing Blend

I read some testimonials about OraWellness’ Brushing Blend & had to try it!  The one that got me was the one that stated cavities were healed.  I’ve been trying to transition to a nutrient dense traditional diet in order to heal & prevent tooth decay.

Misfit Mama Reviews ~ OraWellness Brushing Blend

©OraWellness

Brushing Blend is a blend of essential oils in an almond oil base.  The essential oils are ~ cinnamon, peppermint, spearmint, clove, myrrh & manuka.

I put 1 drop on my toothbrush, then put toothpaste on, then put 2 more drops of the oil blend on top of the toothpaste.  I don’t know why I do it this way, I just do!  I normally make my own tooth powder but I’ve been out for a while & haven’t restocked the ingredients.

I’ve been using the drops for almost 3 weeks.  The first thing I have to say is WOW!  My mouth has never felt cleaner!  My teeth feel smooth ALL DAY, no matter what I eat or drink.  Even after eating popcorn, my teeth feel smooth & clean.  When it’s time to brush before bed, I don’t feel like I NEED to brush.  My mouth still feels clean!  Of course, I do brush at bedtime, but if I missed the night time brushing, I probably wouldn’t really notice.

My teeth are whiter.

I have 2 very small cavities, one on each front tooth.  The dentist said they were too small to fill.  He had a “wait and see” attitude about them.  One of the cavities is almost gone & the other is smaller!  I wish I had taken before & after photos!  Maybe I’ll take a photo anyway & post it later.

The Bookworm’s teeth are noticeably cleaner & whiter.  She has a small cavity on one of her from teeth but I haven’t seen improvement in that.  She’s not  obsessed with these drops like I am.  I use them as a mouthwash, on my floss, etc.  And she’s not trying to eat a traditional diet.

The Baker’s teeth are noticeably cleaner.  Troy’s teeth are whiter.

I love Brushing Blend so much, I gave a bottle to my sister for her birthday.  I want everyone to have these drops!

I think Brushing Blend has been better for my oral health than oil pulling – read about my experiences here, here & here.  And faster!  And cheaper.  I’m not saying oil pulling doesn’t work, but for me, these drops are better for oral health purposes.

I highly, HIGHLY recommend these drops to everyone!

Topic Spill Meme| Customer Service Rep VS The Angry Customer

Being on the receiving end of complaints, it is always very much appreciated when customers articulate their complaints in a calm, respectful manner – partly because it is so rare! But mostly because what they’re complaining about isn’t my fault.

Topic Spill

Customer Service Rep And Angry Customer

Too quickly we forget that there is a person on the other end of the phone. We all assume customer representatives are robots programmed to be immune to our insults. Of course we expect them to be emotionless because they are paid to hear us bitch them out. The truth of the matter is they are typically your last line of defense in getting your way.

Have you heard the old saying, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” It’s true, if you present your position in a calm manner the customer service representative will be more inclined to want to go out of their way to resolve your complaint. If you are kind to them they will look for ways to help you.

By all means be assertive but don’t belittle them and treat them as your punching bag. They deserve your respect as much as you demand theirs.

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Coconut Oil Deodorant

***Updated on May 12, 2013***

The other day, my hair & scalp were really bothering me. I mixed a few drops of tea tree oil in about a two-thirds cup of coconut oil. After rubbing it into my scalp & hair, there was a lot left over. I remembered seeing this recipe on Pinterest for coconut oil deodorant.

The recipe calls for coconut oil, shea butter, baking soda, cornstarch & essential oil. I didn’t have the shea butter. I didn’t refrigerate the mixture. I also don’t know how much coconut oil/tea tree mixture was left from the hair & scalp treatment. I’d guess 1/4-1/3 cup. I didn’t measure the other ingredients, just stuck a spoon in & dumped them into the coconut oil & mixed them in. This is how the deodorant would look if I had followed the recipe & instructions:

Misfit Mama Reviews:  DIY Coconut Oil Deodorant

©CoconutOil.com

Mine is semi-solid & I scoop it out with my fingers.

I applied it to my underarms. It goes on wet but only takes a minute or so to dry. It didn’t leave any white marks on my clothes like I thought it would. *Note: Let it dry before you get dressed*

It smells like baby powder. More importantly, IT WORKS! It works better than apple cider vinegar, which I reviewed here. We’ve had a very hot Spring this year & the ACV just wasn’t cutting it. I was having to wash, then reapply. I don’t have to reapply this stuff, which means I don’t have to worry about it wearing off/sweating off, when I’m away from home! I will update this review when we’re in the brutal heat of Summer.

Some people think I’m cuckoo for not using regular, store-bought deodorant. There’s a warning on most deodorants that reads “Ask a doctor before using if you have kidney disease”.

*** On Saturday, May 11th, I noticed I had developed a rash on my armpits.  It’s not painful, just red & worse on the left side.  I used extra tea tree oil, so that might be the cause of the rash.  I don’t think it’s the tea tree oil alone.  Prior to using this deodorant, I would put a few drops of tea tree oil on a cotton pad & wipe my underarms with it.  I think it’s the combination of tea tree oil with baking soda and/or cornstarch.  When I make another batch, I’ll leave out the TTO.***

Misfit Mama Reviews:  DIY Coconut Oil Deodorant

©http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov

A doctor told me that when anything has a statement such as this, it means that item can cause that problem. For example, if an OTC pain reliever states not to use if you have liver problems, then that medication can cause liver problems.

Kidney problems seem to run on my Dad’s side of the family. I’ve already had severe kidney issues due to the complications of my son’s birth. I don’t want to further stress my kidneys.

Everything we wash off our bodies (and anything else) goes into our water supply, so why use this junk when I can make a natural version?

Blah

I’d like to blame my lack of posts on being busy.  The truth is I’ve been scatter-brained & a poor manager of my time. Also, not having my own home at the moment, it’s difficult to do what I need to do.

We didn’t plan to be here this long.  The economy is terrible & we’re not making as much money as we used to.  We’re making less than half of what we used to make.  MUCH less than half.  It’s been nearly impossible to save any money.  The Bookworm hasn’t been able to find a job.

Some good news…my Mom is visiting in May!  Troy should be hearing from a long-term job prospect soon.  

I started another blog for my spiritual posts.  I’ll link to it as soon as I have a post there.

That’s all for now, folks.

BzzReport: Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil

I’m a BzzAgent & got this for FREE (in exchange for my opinion)!

I normally use coconut oil for my face, hair & body.  While it moisturizes my face & tames my hair, it doesn’t moisturize the rest of my skin very well, so I was happy to try a new oil.  Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil spray contains olive, shea & avocado oils.

This dry oil smells SO GREAT!  It sprays on wet but dries quickly & leaves my skin really soft & smooth.  I use it on my hair & it  leaves my hair soft, smooth & smelling great!  The Bookworm has been using it on the dry, red, flaky patches she gets on her face (not sure what this is, some say it might be seborrhea) & it works really well to reduce the redness as well as the flakiness.  Troy gets dry spots on his face & around his hairline & he uses this oil for that every day.

I have oily skin, so people always freak out when I tell them that I use coconut oil on my face.  It seems counterintuitive to put oil on an oily face.  In my experience, putting oil on my face makes it less oily.  It’s no different with this Miracle Oil.  My skin drinks it in & it looks & feels fab.

It moisturizes the rest of my skin really well, too.  I have super dry skin, thanks to my health problems, plus I started using this in Winter.  Suuuuuper dry skin.  When I use this oil, my skin isn’t nearly as dry as when I use coconut oil.  I’d actually say it was moisturized.  AND IT SMELLS SOOOO GOOOOD!!!

I was going to post a picture of my hair but on a whim, I cut it all off two days ago.  All of it.  It’s about an inch long now.  Maybe The Baker will let me take a photo of her hair.  If so, I’ll add it later.  Maybe I’ll get a before & after pic of the Bookworm’s flaky patches, too.

To sum it up, this oil is fab & I would recommend it to anyone!

Did I mention how WONDERFUL this stuff smells??

tripleNutritionOil