Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Crio Bru Brewed Cocoa Drink

I have been a coffee drinker for years and at one point I found myself dependent on coffee to fully wake up in the morning. Then I found Criobru; a hot morning pick me up made from cacao beans. Criobru is similar to the consistency of coffee but has its own slightly chocolately flavor. The energy high is much longer lasting and has a much slower onset. I also don't find that I get the crash that comes a few hours after having a nice cup of java.

Criobru comes in a variety of flavors. I found Vega Real to be my favorite. A nice subtle strawberry flavor and left me feeling energized and ready for the challenges of the day. I wasn't so keen on the Pumpkin Spice.  Make sure to give all the roasts a try.

It contains little to no caffeine and the buzz you get from it comes from a similar but non-addictive chemical called theobromine. Also high in antioxidants this is the perfect replacement for the caffeine addict! Although those hooked on the taste and texture of coffee may find this drink slightly thin.

This is a great new superfood drink that will keep you alert for ages and won't build addictive habits in the long term.

  • Great tasting
  •  Long lasting energy boost
  • No crash
  • Non addictive
  • Available in a variety of roast
  • Contains Anti-oxidants and minerals

  •         May not be an acceptable replacement for the true coffee head
  •     Some may find the consistency a little thin.

Try mixing with some cold brew coffee for an extra kick.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Review of Morrocco Method Henna Hair Dye

I have been using Morrocco Method Natural Henna hair dye for several years now. The line of products are raw, vegan and wild crafted. I have tried other brands when I have run out of this product but I really do prefer this particular brand for my hair. The ingredients are all natural without chemical additives that might irritate sensitive scalps. There are no metals or toxins so in terms of purity you are getting the real deal. On EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database the product is given 0 meaning a low hazard rating.

Colors available in this line are black, red, dark brown, medium brown, light brown, marigold blonde and neutral.  There is no fear of your hair turning out orange as was the case back in the day where home done henna rinses often turned the hair a grisly burnt orange! I have tried all of the colors except for black and neutral. I like to experiment with mixing different shades together to create warmth and depth to my hair color. My current favorites are dark brown and medium brown which turns my naturally brown hair a richer tone with chocolate hints. I have received many compliments on the color and I get a kick out of telling people I did it myself!

 I have also used the marigold mixed with light brown and red and that mixture gave my hair more of a coppery sheen. I like this look for the summer with its brightness but for the fall and winter I am really loving the darker browns.

 For instructions on creating the perfect henna hair color click here.

I have used the Morocco Method products for years now and I keep coming back to it as my hair responds nicely to the gentle ingredients. The company's website offers a lot of information and tips on how to best use the products. There are how-to videos as well as a FAQ section. There is also a handy Lunar Hair Chart which tells you the optimum days to get your hair cut depending on what your goals are.

For further details visit the site today

 Disclosure: I am an affiliate for Morrocco Method products. I only endorse those products I have tried and that have passed my test of using non toxic ingredients, good performance and great customer service. In my opinion and after a number of years testing the products out, Morrocco Method attains this criteria.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Review of Rawmio Organic Raw Chocolate Truffle Cake

Always on the look out for healthy treats I found the perfect morsel in Rawmio's Organic Raw Chocolate Truffle Cake. It is absolutely delicious! I bought one yesterday from my local health store and I had intended on giving it to somebody or other in a fit of goodwill at some point over this coming season of giving, but in a moment of weakness opened the treat and haven't been able to stop munching since. Still there isn't much to feel bad about ingredient wise :Crust (Raw Coconut Flakes, Raw Almonds, Raw Currants , Raw Cacao)  Filling (Raw Coconut Flakes, Coconut Sugar, Raw Cashews , Raw Cacao, Celtic Sea Salt.  Shelf life is 6 months but good luck with keeping it that long!

The texture is spot on too, with a velvety, truffle like consistency that has a really satisfying mouth feel. There are large chunks of almonds along the crust that add interesting texture. I wouldn't exactly call it a cake, it really is more like a giant truffle but it is packaged like a cake. I am going to buy a bunch of them and give them out as Christmas gifts as I love the fact that the product is extremely tasty and good for you at the same time. Coconut sugar is a good sweetener to use as it is low glycemic so won't send blood sugar levels on a roller coaster. Anyone with a sweet tooth will be happy with this and not feel deprived. I didn't find it sickly sweet either. Rawmio has created a good balance with the coconut sugar and currants. There is quite a strong taste of coconut from the coconut flakes which I enjoy and tempers the cacao flavor so that the flavors blend well. Overall this is an elegant concoction that will delight chocolate lovers. 

You can buy  Rawmio Organic Raw Chocolate Truffle Cake in natural food stores or online.

Got Cacao? Order some today!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Review of Hydrabrush 30 second smile toothbrush

First of all, this is a funny looking device. It doesn't look like any brush I have ever used before and is almost sci-fi in its conception. For one thing, it has 6 micro brush heads that swivel and rotate as it moves across the teeth. Undeterred by the look, I bought a brush at my dentist's as the hygienist recommended it. I was also quite excited at the thought of being able to clean my teeth in 30 seconds!

I have to say I absolutely love this brush. It works better than any toothbrush I have tried, and my gums prove the fact that it does a stand out job. It took a couple of weeks for my gums to become accustomed the new technique and I was almost put off using it at first as my gums bled and felt quite sore in places. The makers do warn you about this as the brush is getting into the places other toothbrushes leave behind, so there can be some tenderness in the beginning. I am so glad I stuck with it because now 4 months later my gums have never looked so good. They are a healthy pink color whereas before I had slightly red edges around my gums.

I also love the fact that it really does do my teeth in 30 seconds! This is brilliant in my mind because prior to this my tooth cleaning regimen used to take over 5 minutes what with flossing, brushing, blotting etc etc. I never looked forward to brushing my teeth , it was a chore that had to be done twice a day much like the washing up. Now I don't mind because 30 seconds is nothing , it's almost enjoyable in fact. I still do use my ionic toothbrush after the hydra brush for a few seconds, then I floss , then rinse with mouthwash so I expect the whole regimen takes 2 minutes or less but that is much preferable to the previous time spent.

The brush hits the teeth and gums at the right angle and is fashioned upon the Bass brushing technique which gently massages the gums and does not cause damage as the angle the brush heads hit is not harming the gums. Each brush head hits all the surfaces on the tooth at the same time and cleans them properly with the bristles hitting the correct places.

Once you get the hang of it the brush is very easy to navigate around the mouth. Basically you turn it on and place it between the front top and bottom teeth then gently bite down as you slowly move the brush across the teeth.

  • My gums are healthier
  • My teeth are whiter
  • Cleans teeth quickly
  • Competitively priced compared to other electric toothbrushes ( mine was $99 at the dentist)
  • Rechargeable

  • Mine stopped charging after only 4 months of use. However, the company sent me out a new charging station immediately free of charge so I was only without the brush for a few days. In fact this was a good experiment as I was forced to go back to my manual toothbrush and my teeth did not feel as clean or as smooth as they did with the hydra brush
  • The design is such that water can drip into the unit. To avoid this I put my brush at an angle to dry so that water does not drip into it. 
  • There is a short period of adjusting to the brush, or at least there was for me, and like I mentioned my gums were sore and bled. However , after the first two weeks my gums started healing and now they are looking and feeling healthy.

I buy replacement heads on Amazon for around $6. I plan to change the heads every 3 months or so. You can buy the Hydra brush at some dentists, or online by googling Hydra brush.

I will be interested to see what my next dental cleaning and check up will be like. I am particularly keen to see whether the small pockets have decreased with my new toothbrush. I will update this review when I go to the dentist.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Review of Frownies Eye Gels

Considering myself to be  a health conscious person I am interested in treating the signs of aging in as natural way as possible. I have always had a tendency towards darkish rings under the eyes( called allergy Shiners by some docs!) as well as puffiness. Depending on the allergy season the puffiness can be quite noticeable and I think makes me look tired.

I came across the Frownies website and decided to give the eye gels a try to see what magic they could work on my puffy eyes. The product claims to help decrease puffy bags and touts its anti-aging anti oxidant properties. The company also describes the product as having anti- wrinkle benefits, with perks such as these it was worth a try.

The product itself is cut in the shape of the under eye contours and is made of a gel type materiel that contains cactus collagen, bear berry extract(Arbutin), vitamin C, E and hyaluronic acid, glycerin, aloe vera, vitamin B3, L-Lactic acid, Dimethicone, Xantham Gum. I also got a bottle of rose water spray that keeps the frownie eye gels moist in between use. 

They are simple to apply, simply press gently under they eye and leave in place for 30 minutes. The treatment feels quite pleasant as it has a cooling sensation. I am pretty sensitive to products and I had no adverse reaction from using the gels. When I gently peeled the gels off I was gratified to see that the puffiness did decrease quite a lot and the under eye area was noticeably smoother.  I was quite impressed with the refreshed look I now had and consider the $29.95 invested was well worth it. In each pack you get three sets of gels which is enough to last for approx  5 -7 weeks if you follow the recommended regime. I noticed after a few hours the puffiness started to come back gradually so this is an ongoing treatment if you want to maintain the effects.

  • Fairly affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Worked for me

  • The product contains Dimethicone ( basically a silicone oil which is used in many personal care products). The FDA rates it as safe to use .The Skin Deep Database also gives this ingredient a low hazard rating. However purists might want to know that this ingredient is used.
  • I found the scent of the rose water a little strong for my sensitive sense of smell. However it does dissipate after a while.

Overall I am very happy with the product and have bought it a few times now as it does what it claims to do.  I know it is a temporarily fix but I'll take it!

You can buy Frownies online or at selected stores.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

raw cashew cheese

raw cashew cheese
I made this raw cashew cheese the other day as I can't eat dairy and was missing cheese! The added spices and herbs of garlic powder, onion powder and dill really did lend a nice cheesy savory taste. It was very easy to make and by using agar agar in the recipe the cheese mixture firmed up nicely. It slices and grates just like regular cheese. I even melted it on some rye sourdough for my version of a cheese melt- yummy!
I soaked the cashews before hand for about 4 hours and made sure they were raw and organic. They blended up really easily with a touch of salt and lime to enhance the flavor. You could add jalapenos, black pepper, or any other spices that you enjoy. Next time I am going to try it with some spicy peppers and paprika for a taste kick. I think the flecks of color will look attractive too.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Brain Wave Optimization- balance and heal the brain naturally

To enjoy greater health, emotional balance and mental clarity, a person needs to have a balanced and healthy brain. Our brain waves cause certain symptoms for each of us and is the underlying cause of many afflictions such as ADD, depression, suicidal tendencies, anxiety, sleep disorders, physical pain, learning difficulties, addictions, PTSD to mention just a few.

Recently I learned of an exciting and harmless therapy that helps the brain balance and calibrate itself by resetting the brain waves. There are no drugs, medication or side effects to this unique and revolutionary modality. Simply put by listening to certain musical tones the brain is able to balance out irregularities that may have manifested through stress, childhood traumas, daily living, accidents, illness - all manner of things that can interrupt the balance and function of our brains.

After an initial brain assessment which takes around 40 minutes and requires the participant to undertake certain activities whilst electrodes attached to the scalp record the brain waves, the program determines which tones are to be used in the first session. The activities that are initially done in the assessment might include reading a short passage and then summarizing it, looking at a picture, basic math sums.
A person usually does at least 10 sessions and each session's data is run through the brain state optimization algorithms to determine the brain waves in different parts of the brain. The client can see these brain waves and the patterns that their brain is making and therefore can monitor and analyze each session's progress in real time.

The therapy itself is very pleasant and relaxing. Depending on the need there might be 6 or more exercises per 2 hour session. Some of the sessions might require the client to visualize a peaceful place in nature, or a relaxing place full of color. Electrodes are attached to different parts of the scalp during the sessions and the person listens to different musical tones through an ear piece. The brain waves are recorded and the data is run through the hi tech software each time. During the sessions the person reclines comfortably on an anti gravity chair and this helps with the ability to relax and let go.

I had 13 sessions in all and will definitely have more as time permits. My initial assessment showed that I was left brain dominant which meant a tendency to analyze and think a lot. The goal for a balanced brain would be to have equal strength in both the right and left brain to ensure optimum health and well being.
I was fascinated with the data of my brain waves after each session. Initially there was quite a gap between the right and left brain, but after around the fourth session the brain waves started to come together in a beautiful and symmetrical pattern.

One month on I can see some major benefits from having had this therapy. I have less pain in my neck and shoulders. I have a calmer mind and feel generally more creative. I am sleeping better and have found the motivation to exercise on a more regular basis!

This is of course a layman's testimonial - for a more scientific and rigorous explanation of exactly how Brain wave optimization works please click here.

I had my sessions with Dr Sung Lee in Sedona-  who is the lead researcher for Brain State technologies. It was a wonderful experience and I learned so much from my time with Dr Lee, who is a caring and diligent practitioner with a real ability to put the patient at ease.

To experience this therapy in a  Californian Monastery retreat setting please check out this link.