Friday, January 16, 2015

Review of Lumosity Brian Games and Brain Training


In this day and age of mental shortcuts and gadgets that do everything for us it is important to keep the brain fit. Studies have shown that regular mental exercise greatly reduces the risk of age related brain deterioration such as Alzheimer's disease and because of this a large market has surfaced to offer "brain training". Brain Age on the Nintendo DS was one of the early modern brain exercising video games but things have come a long way since then. Lumosity is a new web oriented series of brain training games that target specific areas of cognitive tasks.

Lumosity has taken scientifically tried and true exercises and has developed them into genuinely fun games. One plays 5 games a day which comes out to 15 minutes a day, 3 to 5 times a week. Just this short amount of time dedicated to keeping your brain sharp will have definite results. You get better and better at the games and they get harder and harder. New games are always being developed which is good because after a while I found I could master some of the games. Having new ones to try keeps you on your toes and encourages the brain to work better. My favorite game so far is the penguin maze game which pits you against a computer operated penguin to reach the end of the maze first, each time the maze getting longer and the other penguin getting faster.

Mental arithmetic has always been a challenge for me but I can wholeheartedly say that since playing the Lumosity games for a few months now I can much more easily calculate tips and everyday mental math.

Lumosity shows you how your brain compares with others of your age group and what areas you excel in and those you need to exercise more. A very detailed personalized program is developed for you with lots of eye pleasing graphs and easy to read results. This sleek design definitely makes it fun to keep coming back and I personally never struggled to keep it up every week.

Lumosity is available on computers, tablets, and smart phones so it is easy to access wherever you are. Certain games are available for free but for full access to all the games and training programs (which I recommend) is priced at $14.95 a month or $6.95 a month if you do a whole year. Family packages and lifetime memberships are also available. Try the free games first then decide for yourself.

Pros :
  •          Loaded with fun interactive brain training games
  •          Personalized and sleek design
  •          Keeps your mind sharp
  •          Fairly priced
  •         Better and more fun than similar products
  •         Multiplatform so you can train anywhere! 
  •     You can skip games that you might find boring.




Cons :
  • Sometimes the games have failed to start with certain browsers and this impairs your score for that session. It can be irritating to have to restart the game to correct this.
  • Some of the games are tedious. 
Check it out at www.lumosity.com

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tropical Traditions Coconut Concentrate

Coconut products are becoming more and more popular because of their delicious flavor and health benefits. Tropical Traditions Coconut Concentrate is an organic coconut cream that has a very rich taste and a variety of uses. It is made of 100 per cent coconut unlike many commercial tinned brands which often add water and additives to prevent the coconut oil from separating from the water.

Very addictive and with an ultra-creamy taste, this concoction can be mixed with water or juice, added to curries, ice cream, soups, and it can be eaten on its own spread on toast. Slightly sweet I find it very hard to put down and often go back to it many times in an evening for just another spoonful. Anything you can use butter for save frying foods you can use this coconut cream, baking included. My favorite way to use it is in my morning coffee as a creamer. It is so creamy no milk needs to be added and it adds a subtle coconut tinge. I once found myself choking on the creamy delicacy because of overdoing it on too many slices of toast, it dried my mouth out in a similar way to peanut butter so best to have with a glass of milk if had on dry toast or crackers!

Coconuts are full of healthy fats that the body can use easily as a good clean energy. Weight loss effects, heart health, anti bacterial, antifungal, and improved brain function are all well documented benefits of the humble coconut.

Pros:
·         Delicious taste
·         Wide variety of uses
·         Great non-dairy substitute for butter
·         One jar goes far
      Effective dieting

  Cons:
·         Some may consider it a bit pricey but in my opinion worth it as is the best coconut cream I have been able to find.


Where to buy:
 Tropical Traditions has an awesome online store front.
The Ionlife Zapper Z4e is a small battery powered little black box which sends specific frequencies to two copper rods that the user holds in their hands to rid the body of parasites, prevent inflammation, stave off sickness and infection and more. Zappers like these were first brought about by Dr Hulda Clark, who theorized that almost all of the illnesses and weaknesses we encounter in our daily lives stem from parasitic organisms poisoning us.

According to the Ionlife website the average adult has 2-3 pounds of parasites in their body and as I am sure as many of those who have suffered with these wriggly worms know that they are easily taken care of with a pill from the pharmacist, but I prefer as I'm sure many of you do to fix the problem without nuking my gut. This device can be used as a routine preventative medicine.
Someone in my house was coming down with the flu and we were feeling the beginnings of the virus. After using the zapper each day we manage to fight off the illness. The zapper is a great tool that can be used to keep the body healthy by nipping problems in the bud.

There are three different frequencies on the Zapper Z4e: 30Hz, 2.5Hz, and 15 Hz. You must zap at least three times in one session in order to ensure that all the parasites die along with the eggs and viruses that they leave behind when they perish. Any of the three settings will be effective for treatment but they also have other varied uses if you want to delve deeper into it. A mild to surprisingly strong tingling sensation may pulse into your hands, I felt the sensation to be quite relaxing. You zap for seven minutes and then you rest for 20 minutes and repeat twice. Make sure you drink plenty of water while using the Zapper.

Many people, myself included, who use this product may feel the effects of a Herxheimer reaction (the process in which the toxins produced from the dying parasites cause the body to feel depleted). I used the zapper to eliminate a severe infection in my jaw. Although the zapper was effective in combatting the infection, I had to stop using it because of the severity of the Herxheimer effect. Hydrating properly can minimize the severity of the tiredness but I found myself feeling quite exhausted despite hydrating properly. My advice on this is if you have a heavy infection and are sensitive to a Herxheimer reaction then you may want to consider something else or use it sparingly.

There is a much higher quality of build in this zapping model than others I have found on the market that tend to fall apart more easily. The copper is smooth and shiny and has no sharp edges.
Tip: Soak two paper towels in water with sea salt added in and wrap them around the copper rods to increase conductivity. 


Pros:     
  •   High quality, fairly priced zapper
  •   Amazing tool to fight off infections before they develop further
  •  Parasitic cleanser
  • Can be used daily
  • Can be used for meditation
Cons:
  •   For those sensitive to a Herxheimer effect, the zapper can be quite draining.
Where to buy:
Online




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.

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


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




Tip:
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.

Pros:
  • 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

Cons:
  • 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.

Tip:
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.