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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

It`s Cycle Season! Nutriforme Meal Replacement Bars and Super Energex!

It`s Cycling Season!   



I love the presentation of the boxes I receive from Chickadvisor – always so creative and usually has a little surprise inside as well.  This package included 5 meal replacement bars, 20 ampoules of pure energy, and a meal plan guideline.
As cycling season is upon us again, it`s time to think about Protein bars, Granola bars, more Protein, and energy doodads. 

A Canadian company based out of Quebec, Adrien Gagnon, is a new company to me, and I love supporting Canadian businesses in any way I can (our economy could use all the help it can get!)




Founded by pioneering naturopath AdrienGagnon ND, AG Natural Health Ltd. is among Quebec’s oldest and Canada’s largest natural health companies. Over the past 60 some years, they have earned a reputation as the leader in science-based natural health products. They currently offer more than 150 natural health products including vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements. Through the years, innovation, commitment, selection and value have been the keys to their success.

Considering we live a 15 minute drive from the Quebec border, I had no idea about their existence.   I checked out their website, and their pricing seems quite reasonable, with free shipping over $50 (I am all about the free shipping).

NutriformeDecadent Fudge Meal Replacement Bars

$11.49 for 5 bars
These bars provide 24 essential vitamins and minerals to support metabolism.
15 grams of protein and 270 calories per bar.
Replace 1 or 2 meals daily with a Nutriforme Bar to help reduce the number of ingested calories and promote weight loss. 



I`ll be honest – I did not follow the meal plan. I feel meal plans prevent the spontaneousness of my lazy healthy-ish eating habits. I never know what I will be in the mood for before dinner time, so it is always a surprise.  Breakfast, daytime snacks are generally the same weekdays – smoothie, homemade chili, light cheese & poultry wraps, cucumbers & carrots, and sometimes a quarter cup of salt free nuts.  Dinner is a free for all that is usually simple yet healthy, and I really don`t want that planned ahead of time.

Ok. So maybe I do plan ahead. For the same meal every day for a year until I switch it up.

I had a meal bar after my coffee in the morning (8 am), and it took me about half an hour to eat.  I found it quite filling, and by noon, my stomach was not growling one bit.

The texture was light, and I am not a big chocolate fan.  This was not overpowering, however, thus I actually enjoyed eating my daily bars. There were some crunchy crispy bits inside (no idea what they were), but I wish there had been more!  On the Adrien Gagnon Website, there are several flavours of meal replacement bars, so if this one is not to your liking, there are a plethora of other types to try out.

I actually only had my lunch and protein wrap (light cheese and turkey or chicken), and couldn`t even think about eating my vegetable snacks, let alone my nuts.

I am unsure what happened, as I`ve been the same weight since the fall, despite my almost daily Beachbody workouts, but over the last week I lost 2.2 pounds. And it has stayed constant over the last few days. 

I was also able to still exercise and even start up cycling for the year without requiring a protein snack before my workouts as I felt I had enough energy to plow through them. 

I can attribute this to the combination of the Nutriforme Bars and Super Energex.  I like energy!

Overall, I would definitely get these bars as part of our regular routine – tasty, simple, and effective!

SuperEnergex

$12.49 for 20 ampoules (box)
An energizing tonic that fights fatigue and helps increase resistance to stress.  Fast and sustained action.



This liquid energy supplement is full of super healthy natural ingredients, such as Vitamin B, Maca, and Ginseng.

I haven`t really been stressed out, and let’s face it – I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, so it would take a tank to give me super energy. I did, however, find I still had energy at the end of the long busy workday to go cycling , walk the dogs, cook dinner, clean, and even read.

I will definitely attribute the Energex for that little extra boost of zip in my day!

It smells and tastes like Vanilla Extract…which I found out my first day using it.  I would not recommend using it in just plain water if you`re not too keen on the smell.  Since I really don`t have a lot of sugar, I found mixing it in a small glass of water with some Mio or Cristal Lite made the sweetness tolerable. 

It takes me about half an hour to finish it – I do not recommend chugging it – it is quite potent!
Overall,

For me, it was okay – it really does take a lot to give me an extra boost – I just didn`t give me enough to warrant using this on a regular basis.  No fault of the product, I am just built a little bit different!

I certainly am willing to try other Adrien Gagnon Products, as I really like their products and what they provide to the health field and the economy.


*** I received this product free as part of the ChickAdvisor Review Club for my fair and fabulous review ***

Sunday, 24 April 2016

My Yummy Review of Sweetsation Therapy's Very Berry Masque

I became a fan of Sweetsation a few months ago when I had the opportunity to review and test out I-Organic Brightening and Line Smoothing Treatment.

Not being a huge chocolate fan, I gave it a go, and love it

Once again, Natalia has proven once again that Sweetsation is an amazing experience at home - and brings the spa right into your own bathroom!

I promise I won't eat it, but the Very Berry Organic Oxygen Masque & Scrub  smells more like light chocolate than berries.



It comes with a spoon applicator to blot on your face, however, I just dive right in and use my fingers to dab it on either cheek and forehead.  Rub it in using circular motions until it has covered your whole face, and wait about 10 minutes for it to dry.

While drying, it doesn't tighten up my face, and I honestly forget that I'm wearing a mask.

It's light pink, so it is barely noticeable that I am wearing a mask, hence I don't terrify husband with it like I normally do with my face masks.  I love to use masks twice a week and treat myself to an at-home spa regimen, as I work doggone hard and deserve it!

It rinses off quite easily, and afterwards - my face feels so soft and smooth. I even noticed that my skin tone is even immediately after rinsing and drying - sweet!  Normally masks leave my face feeling dry and it requires immediate moisturizer to bring it back to its normal soft young appearance.

The mask itself uses Hyaluronic Acid (very popular in anti-aging products these days), papaya, and pineapple to rid your skin of dead skin cells, and the Vitamin C brings back an even skin tone.

It contains natural antioxidants, but also does not cause my skin to break out (which has happened with some antioxidants that I've put on my face before).

It does smell more like chocolate than berries, but I won't hold that against it - it is not an overpowering scent once applied to my face.

Overall, I feel this is a great value for the size of the container - it should last me quite awhile due to the easy and efficient application.

This is also my anti-Lush product.  I love Lush. But I also love finding products that I love just as much as Lush's.

So, I did a face-to-face comparison.  I decided to play the Mad Scientist, and put Lush's Mask of Magnaminty on one half, and Sweetsation's Very Berry Masque on the other half



At the end of just over 10 minutes, I rinsed off my face.

Although Very Berry doesn't have the mint tingly feeling of Magnaminty, it definitely leaves my face feeling much softer and less itchy after use - the overall results deem Very Berry as the leader, since I can use it multiple times a week without drying my face out.  Magnaminty is a once a week maximum mask due to it's power and drying effect.

I am glad there are other natural North American skin care products that leave me feeling good about what I am putting on my skin (hence inside my body).

I am looking forward to more Sweetsation products coming out in the future!

*** I received this product at a reduced cost for my fair and fabulous review ***

Friday, 22 April 2016

Bring the Salon Home - My Review of the Xtava Allure 2200W Professional Ionic Ceramic Hair Dryer



I’ve had my Conair Hair Dryer for…about 9 years now.  I purchased it as an easy to travel dryer when I started dating now-Husband long distance (Toronto to Ottawa).

I also seem to leave JUST enough time in the mornings to get everything done – except dry my hair.  Drying my hair always makes it look fuller and healthier, as It gives me the opportunity to use volumizing mousse and have awesome hair.

I normally run out of the house with my hair brushed and lanky.

Then the Xtava Allure 2200W Professional Hair Dyer arrived at my doorstep.




First impression – it came in a really fancy smancy box – great to reuse for rewrapping gifts with!

Second impression – it was really big. Size sometimes DOES matter!

Third Impression – I read the technical data, which indicated…”Do not use in a bathroom, near bathrubs, showers, or basins or other vessels containing water…”  Where else do people use hair dryers?? 

I’m a rebel and use my hair dryer in the bathroom.

First off, there are several settings – three for heat and two for air speed. There is also a cold air switch, which locks in your style once your hair is almost ready to show to the world.

It is no louder than my old Conair – but has superior power and effectiveness.

The Dryer itself has some decent weight, and although it is made of plastic, it seems durable enough – dropping it may not be advisable!

The back part (where the air exits) has a metal grid and plastic ring around it to keep the grid in place. 




The cord is almost twice the thickness of my current hair dryer cord – and the plug itself is also massive – with a safety off switch.



It also includes a nozzle piece, which intimidates me. It’s a little bit weird to get used to, but reminds me of a salon experience.

 Speaking of a salon experience – this dryer sounds like the dryers at the salons, and has the same power – it is kind of like being in a wind tunnel!  Due to the power, I can literally dry and style my hair in 5 minutes. 

For me, the time saving in the morning means I not only can get the dogs, parrots, and myself ready for work in under an hour – but now I have the time to actually dry my hair and make it fuller and more stylish for the work day!

My Gangsta Hair Look


I would definitely recommend this for anyone who wants to have a more salon quality hair style at home – I have been convinced that my old Conair shall be retired, and a shelf in the closet dedicated for my new dryer. 

It is unfortunately too big to fold up and put in a compact space like my old dryer – I’ll take quality over size in this particular case.

*** I received this product at a reduced cost for my fair and fabulous review ***

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Bright Outdoors Solar Lantern/Flashlight - a Necessity for Camping and Outdoor Life!

I enjoy camping. And the outdoors.

We also sold our tent trailer last year after our poor truck was totaled, hence have to condense our camping gear once again.

What's more useful than collapsible camping gear that doesn't take up a lot of room?

Introducing this handy device:


It's small, waterproof, and sort of mighty.

It's an Outdoors Solar Lantern and Flashlight with Emergency power bank courtesy Bright Outdoors!

This handy device is pretty compact when pressed into flashlight mode - at 3.4" x 3.4" x 1.8" - as pictured, you can see it literally fits in my hand.  



I have used it several times, and have not run out of power yet - apparently it gets up to 10 hours of light and would be handy to have in case of an emergency - like a black out.   It's definitely bright enough to get me from a tent to the washrooms late at night while camping.

With 3 modes of light for the flashlight - low, high, and flashing - I could see this coming in handy in the car or while cycling near dusk as well, especially when it's on flashing mode to indicate there is an emergency.



For camping, it can be charged via the sun - so pending it's not an overcast rainy trip, you will be guaranteed light!

It also has its own USB cord, and can not only plug in to charge, but also can serve as an emergency charger for your phone!  How handy is that when you're in an emergency situation (like forgetting to charge it, take too many pictures and use up all your phone power while camping).  It charges my phone up to 50% from 5% - so this is suffice to get a normal person by - especially in an emergency!


Another neat feature is the handle for the lantern itself - it makes it easy to carry around.  It's not the sturdiest plastic, but as long as you treat it gently, it should last awhile.

Speaking of the lantern - expanding from flashlight to lantern mode requires some patience - it sticks, and doesn't pull apart easily.  But if you pull it apart too quickly, I can certainly see the plastic part of the lantern tearing.  It just doesn't seem too durable.

Overall, I absolutely love this concept, however, I feel the plastic on the handle and lantern should be more durable and it should convert from flashlight to lantern easier - especially for its purpose.

If you'd like your own funky lantern flashlight, check it out on Amazon or The Bright Outdoors!

*** I received this product at a reduced cost for my fair and fabulous review ***

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Having a Spot of Tea with Collect Teables!

I recently started drinking tea - several cups a day - and want more than a Tetley tea drenched with milk and stevia.

That dry gross feeling of mainstream teas is what stopped me from drinking them in the first place.

I totally blame ChickAdvisor for sending me my "Wake Up. Be Awesome. Repeat" Mug with 50g of Blueberry Jam Tea leaves from that fancy tea place that starts with a "D".



This was a few months ago, and since then, I have indulged in 6 flavourful bags of tea.

But...sometimes I want tea that isn't so messy to deal with. The leaves. The diffuser. The loud crinkly bag the leaves are in (I can drive myself crazy with Misophonia sounds too - it's NOT just other peoples sounds that do that).

I was fortunate enough to have received a plethora of tea samples courtesy of the Tea Book Team to taste the first 2 teas in their Kickstarter (which goes live April 3, 2016).


Basically they will have a monthly subscription, and each month will feature a different artists work, cute Teariffic saying on the back, and different tea.  The art may portray an author, philosopher, animal, musicians, and more!

Agatha ChrisTea is an Earl Grey Tea, created with Organic Black Tea and Natural Oil of Bergamot.  It has an appealing Earl Grey scent, and I can drink this without Milk and Stevia (unlike other Earl Grey brands).

Her saying is, "Tea is a marvelous thing.  It can neither be explained nor ignored"

I agree with Agatha! When all I really drink is water and milk....adding flavour via tea is essential!

I like this as my morning tea to give me a bit of an extra boost.

 ShakespearMint is  delicious and require no additions besides boiled water! It includes mint tea.  It has just enough pop to it to be refreshing, but not so much that my mouth doesn't tingle inside.

His saying is, "To Tea, or Not to Tea,"  Simple, yet to the point - and always "To Tea!"

I do hope they have some more off-the-wall flavours in the future, so tea time can be a spur of the moment adventure with each drink.

Their Kickstarter project also wants to launch a neat tea book - which literally reminds me of the albums Husband uses to hold his Magic The Gathering Cards - but made with tea bag shapes in mind.  This is for the tea fanatic who loves their bagged teas and wants to condense their cupboard space (a lot).

Check them out and support their monthly tea subscription at www.collectteables.com

I have a feeling this will take off - as really, who doesn't love monthly subsriptions? And who can't relax with a spot o' tea?

***I received these teas at no cost for my fair and fabulous review ***