May 18, 2012

It's Poison Oak/Ivy Season: Tecnu Outdoor Skin Cleanser

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Spring is in full force! With warmer temperatures brings more outdoor adventuring just as the poison oak is busting out its oily leaves in its prime.

I am highly susceptible to getting poison oak. I joke that I can just look at the plant and break out in an itchy, oozy rash. When I know i have been heavily exposed, I turn to Poison Oak And Ivy Treatment Tecnu:

Remove irritants from your skin that could turn into itchy problems. Use Tecnu® Original Outdoor Skin Cleanser after you have been outdoors to remove the rash causing oil, urushiol (oo-roo-she-all) from poison ivy, oak and sumac.

Unfortunately, this product does receive a hazard score of five out of ten from the Environmental Working Group. Of particular concern is the ingredient Propylene Glycol. The Good Human writes:

What is propylene glycol? It is is a chemical found in personal care products that acts as a penetration enhancer that keeps products from melting in heat and/or freezing when it is cold...
But why should you avoid propylene glycol?

For starters it alters the structure of the skin by allowing chemicals to penetrate deep beneath it while increasing their ability to reach the blood stream. Sounds lovely, right? So even if propylene glycol was good for you, it's main job is to help any other chemicals you come in contact with reach your bloodstream.


I also don't know anything about the ingredient Octylphenoxy-Polyethoxyethanol.

Although Tecnu is not all natural, and there are wonderful natural treatments for poison oak, I do like to keep Tecnu around for extreme exposures.  

There are also many great all natural Poison Oak Soaps.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

May 16, 2012

Zero Peroxide: Whiten Your Teeth Naturally with Whitening Lightning

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As I age, I notice the effects of coffee and red wine on my teeth. At one point, I tried Crest Whitestrips, even though I knew they were not all natural. Unfortunately, they hurt my teeth.

I recently discovered a natural tooth whitener that does not use peroxide. The Zero White Whitening Lightning Pen uses all natural botanical ingredients.

ZERO White contains no harmful peroxide and will not cause sensitivity. It is specially formulated in our lab and made from all natural ingredients. Finally, a whitening product for teeth left sensitive by other products that actually tastes great too. Restore your teeth, crowns, veneers and caps to a natural white the pain free way with ZERO White.

With a money back guarantee, this product promises to lighten your teeth seven to ten shades in 14 days.  It's kind of expensive, but it is made in the USA.  I found it on sale at Pure Citizen for half price. 

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

May 10, 2012

Made in Vermont: Organic Joy Tonic by Urban Moonshine

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One of the easiest and most convenient ways to get the benefits of herbs is through tonics and bitters. Urban Moonshine handcrafts this historical practice of herbal supplementation organically in Vermont. We were sent a new blend to try:

Urban Moonshine Joy Tonic

Our Certified Organic Joy Tonic is a carefully formulated blend of aromatic herbs and flowers that help to support you through life's transitions (big and small) with grace and ease. We know stress is inevitable, and rather than trying to stimulate our way through it, or sedate our way out of it, we do best when we relax, focus, and engage the stressor. Our Joy Tonic adjusts the level of tension in our nervous systems, internal organs, and blood vessels. Its volatile components can reawaken us when we feel sad, uninspired or withdrawn and relax us when we feel stressed, anxious, frazzled, and overwhelmed. Feedback between body and mind moves towards synchrony and we feel peaceful. From this place we make better decisions and become more inspired and creative. Stress becomes a tool for positive change rather than a source of anxiety.

This product uses the power of organic motherwort, organic linden, organic rose, organic lemon balm, organic lemongrass, and organic mugwort. It is very convenient to keep in your purse or backpack for a little spritz when needed.

Who doesn't need a little more joy in their life?


disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

May 9, 2012

Live Healthy: Probiotics for Dummies and Probulin

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I teach science to sixth graders, and recently we were learning about the digestive system. The topic of bacteria came up, and these sixth graders all had the notion that bacteria was bad. I quickly corrected this falsity. Our bodies depend on beneficial bacteria.

Probiotics For Dummies by Dr. Shekhar K. Challa, a board certified gastroenterologist, explores the topic of in depth. From allergies to probiotic recipes, this book answers all your questions about improving the health of your digestive tract.

Probiotics are beneficial, live microorganisms (in most cases, bacteria) that are similar to those found naturally in the human intestine. Also known as "friendly" or "good" bacteria, probiotics are the cornerstone of any successful health program because they restore a healthy balance between friendly and bad bacteria in the intestinal tract, a balance that is critical for the health of the entire body. Probiotics are associated with treating everything from IBS to certain forms of cancer, allergies, eczema, and even the effects of aging.

Probiotics For Dummies reveals how taking the right probiotics--in the form of food and supplements-- as part of a total health program benefits one's overall health, as well as improving specific conditions. This hands-on, essential guide features 20 probiotic recipes and gives you a step-by-step plan for infusing probiotics into your diet to improve the health of the GI tract, alleviate allergies and asthma, restore reproductive and urinary tracts, bolster the immune system against disease, enhance weight loss, and more.

We were also sent samples of Probulin Probiotic, which is mentioned in the book. It is a "gourmet" probiotic, combining beneficial bacteria with inulin, "a plant-produced high density dietary fiber that helps your digestive system".

I am always suspect of probiotics that are not kept in the refrigerator. I don't know why, but I was told by my health care practitioner to only purchase refrigerated probiotics.  Probulin is not refrigerated.  

Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

May 2, 2012

All Natural Cotton Yoga Mats by Bendala

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I practice yoga everyday. My body and soul needs it.

Unfortunately, most yoga mats are made with synthetic materials, some even contain PVC. The smell of a new yoga mat off gassing is gross and worrisome.

I do have a jute and rubber mat I practice on regularly. It smells more like rope than rubber, yet there is still that feeling I am not practicing on the most natural mat possible.

The practice of yoga is millennia old. Fancy mats were not part of this original practice, nor does it have to be now. Simple fibers, simple mats help us connect to the sacredness of this ancient practice.

Bendala makes all natural, cotton yoga mats:

Bendala's hand-woven cotton yoga mats provide an all-natural, toxin free, beautiful and sweat absorbent surface for your practice. Through Bendala also discover other great products to compliment your yoga practice on and off your mat. Bendala Gives Back. With each mat purchase, we donate to create yoga for kids!

I love my Bendala mat! It is so beautiful!

On it's own, it does rumple a little and slide around if used on a wooden floor. It is recommended to use it on top of a typical sticky mat, which I haven't tried yet. I wanted to leave the whole thing behind.

It was so much more pleasurable to have my face against the Bendala mat!

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

April 18, 2012

Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Science: LifeSpice Essential Herbal Spice Supplements

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A few years go, I attended a workshop on neuroscience and language developmental disorders. One of the presenters mentioned how beneficial turmeric was for our brain. According to the Brain Research Institute at UCLA:

Modern medicine is starting to sit up and pay attention. Scientists are taking a closer look at this Asian wonder spice, teasing out active ingredients and testing its age-old cultural and medicinal uses in 21st century laboratories. The National Institutes of Health has funded at least eight studies investigating turmeric. The spice and a chemical it contains -- curcumin -- are being probed for their potential to prevent and treat a broad range of diseases: cancer, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer's and arthritis.

LifeSpice Essentials supplement combines the beneficial properties of over 20 spices and 100 antioxidants and phytonutrients. It is 100% natural and free of gluten, animal products, dairy, or yeast.
LifeSpice Essentials is a premium nutrition supplement that harnesses the scientifically proven healing power of herbs and spices. With its range of powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients, it can help protect your body against stress, toxins and disease.*

This is a great blend of spices that would be impossible to get through cooking everyday.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

April 12, 2012

Lose Weight Naturally: The Dash Diet Action Plan

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Most Americans are overweight by at least a few pounds. These extra pounds contribute to health problems, such as high cholesterol and hypertension. The standard American diet (SAD) and our sedentary lifestyles only contribute to the problem.

Rated the number one diet by U.S. News & World Report, The DASH Diet Action Plan: Proven to Boost Weight Loss and Improve Health combines diet and exercise to help you lose weight.


Rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat and nonfat dairy, lean meats, fish, beans, and nuts, DASH is grounded in healthy eating principles that lower blood pressure; reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer; and support reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. No diet has a medical pedigree like DASH, and this book is a simple, actionable plan that can fit seamlessly into everyone's life and lifestyle. It includes:

  • 28 days of meal plans at different calorie ranges

  • Simple tools to help you personalize a DASH Diet Action Plan for guaranteed success

  • DASH-friendly recipes and shopping lists

  • Tips for eating on-the-run

  • Advice on healthy weight loss and exercise for every lifestyle.

DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.  Even if you don't suffer from this illness, the eating suggestions in this diet are good for all.

This book contains good advice for eating out, like sharing meals. I also appreciate the advice on juice, as my family often criticizes me for not drinking as much as they do.

Juice is less filling then fruit, making it easy to overdo calories. Juice also does not contain the beneficial fiber of fruit, and ounce for ounce, has more sugar than regular pop.

The last part of that statement I do feel is misleading. There is a difference between naturally occurring sugars in fruit juice and high fructose corn syrup in soda.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 27, 2012

The Autism Puzzle: Environmental Toxins and Rising Autism Rates

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One of the greatest health concerns of modern times is the rising rates of autism. This spectrum disorder varies in severity greatly and is as individual as each person is unique.

Scientists and doctors have been somewhat puzzled as to why autism is much more prevalent in modernity. Theories, such as vaccinations, have been refuted and proven countless times. 

I am not a doctor, but the explanation that makes the most sense to me is the interplay between environmental toxins, including those possibly in vaccines, and our genetic make up. I believe epigenetics is at the root of rising autism rates.

The Autism Puzzle: Connecting the Dots Between Environmental Toxins and Rising Autism Rates by Brita Belli explores the how common toxins we are exposed to ever day combine with 'genetic susceptibilities" to cause the 57% increase in autism since 2002.

Journalist Brita Belli brings us into the lives of three families with autistic children, each with different ideas about autism, as she explores the possible causes. She interprets for readers compelling evidence that environmental toxins--including common exposures from chemicals mounting in our everyday lives--may be sparking this disorder in vulnerable children. Belli calls for an end to the use of hazardous materials--like toxic flame retardants used in electronics and furniture, which have been banned elsewhere--insisting that we cannot afford to experiment with our children. The Autism Puzzle puts a human face on the families caught in between the debates, and offers a refreshingly balanced perspective.

This book is easy to read, and it should be of interest to everyone, not just those affected by autism and their friends and families. We should all be concerned about how common toxins, such as BPA and flame retardants, are altering our genes.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 26, 2012

GMO-Free, No HFCS, Gluten-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free 24/7 Meal Replacement Made with Rice Bran Superfood

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With 120 antioxidants, NanaCea's 24-7 Meal Replacement by Patty McPeak featuring Stabilized Rice Bran is low calorie (110) and features whole food nutrition.

24/7™ Meal Replacement for Life is the most nutrient-dense delicious meal replacement drink featuring stabilized rice bran with its 120 antioxidants and phytonutrients.

Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol, which include two servings of foods that provide a daily total of at least 800mg of phytosterols in two meals, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Two servings of NanaCea 24/7™ provide 800 mg of phytosterols (400mg of phytosterols per serving).

It has high quality hypoallergenic protein, fiber, and phytonutrients. 24/7™ is rich in biotin, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin C, pantothenic acid, folic acid, vitamin D3, magnesium, manganese, selenium, potassium, phosphorous, gamma oryzanol, phytosterols and many other phytonutrients. Along with its 9 grams of hypoallergenic protein per serving, it contains tocotrienols, tocopherols and gamma oryzanol. It is easily digestible, very bio-absorbable and provides instant energy.


Although this product is chemical-free, soy-free, GMO-free, HFCS-free, gluten-free, corn-free, it is not made with organically-grown ingredients.

I've never been one for meal replacement shakes. When trying to maintain healthy weight, I simply drink lots of water and herbal tea and exercise at least an hour a day. Seaweed is also a really good low calorie snack.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 21, 2012

All Natura, Sulfate Free Monkey Balm with Organic Sea Buckthorn Oils

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It must be sea buckthorn oil week at Really Natural! On Monday, we reviewed Sibu beauty products made with sea buckthorn. Today, we review a product designed for children with this amazing oil.

Balmers Monkey Balm is designed for "baby soft skin for your monkeys".

Monkey Balm is a 100% homemade, all-natural remedy for eczema and extremely dry skin and is formulated specifically for children and infants. This formula includes all-natural ingredients and features the amazing healing power of the sea buckthorn berry. Sea Buckthorn (seed and fruit) oil is time-tested and clinically proven to soothe irritation and heal dry, cracked, even abrasive skin resulting from eczema, rosacea, dry climates, seasonal changes, sunburn, rashes, and even minor burns and wounds. Sea buckthorn has been used for centuries in Asia and Europe to heal skin problems and is considered a Holy Fruit by ancient and modern Tibetans. Its been recommended by doctors (even Dr Oz) as the best natural cure for acne. Monkey Balm incorporates these oils from the sea buckthorn berry with other soothing botanicals like cocoa butter, and Vitamin E to create a truly remarkable product in an easy-to-use use 2.0 oz lotion-bar, kind of like a super-sized lip balm for your whole body.

I do like the bar applicator, as my son has sensory issues and does not like lotions. He does not mind stick applicators for sunscreen, and this is very similar. I also trust this product as 100% natural. It's great for grown-ups too!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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