Green, green grass

I thought I’d post a short update on progress.  I’ve been taking the wheatgrass and vitality juice shots since my last post – about 12 days.  I certainly feel better for it, and fought off a cold that was brewing faster than I usually would.  It’s early days though, and I have six weeks’ worth of wheatgrass still in the freezer.

I only had 10 shots of the vitality juice as this was a freebie when I placed my wheatgrass subscription.  I have ordered some more as I liked it so much.  It tastes good – made up of pomegranate (34%), red grapes (34%), goji berries (17%), raspberries (10%) raw aloe vera and matcha tea – and goes well in my morning smoothie, but would be easy to drink as a shot on its own.   This one has anti-oxidant properties and is meant to boost energy, while the high levels of vitamins and minerals should improve my immune system, support blood cell development and assist with healthy skin, nails and vision.  I’ll take it for another month and see if I notice any changes.

The wheatgrass is slightly less palatable, but not awful; tastes a little bit like kale and is very green.  My friend takes hers straight but I found this repeated a bit much for me (apologies if TMI!) so I add it to a small amount of apple juice.  It’s easily drinkable that way, but can also be added to smoothies or other drinks or food.  As it’s frozen in individual sachets it’s really easy to serve with no messing about measuring etc.  This is meant to contribute to healthy energy levels, reduce tiredness and fatigue, boost physical and mental performance and support a healthy immune system.  I need all of those at the moment!

The Arctic Omega-3 oil finally arrived today, from Norway via Poland for some reason!   I was beginning to think it would never get here.   I  will update in a week or so on how I’m getting on with that.  I have sent off my blood test for analysis though, so can get the results in a couple of weeks and then see if taking it daily makes any difference to my omega-3 and omega-6 ratio (see my earlier post for more information on this).

If you’re interested in the juices, drop me a message and I can give you a referral discount code.

That’s it for now, I’ll have more to update on later this week.  Thanks for reading 🙂

 

 

All Change

Yes I’m back again and things are changing.  I spent sometime in the Outer Hebrides over the summer, which allowed for a period of reflection and contemplation.  On my return I decided I fancied a change of career.  I was able to negotiate leaving, and my last day was at the end of September so I have spent the last few weeks enjoying some downtime and researching various things.

Some of you will know that I have been losing weight over the last year or so, having lost over five stone so far.  I achieved this with the Cambridge Weight Plan and have decided to become an independent consultant for their newly rebranded 1:1 Diet to help others who wish to lose weight as well as continuing my own journey.  I am waiting for my training course place and hope to be ready to go with my own clients in the New Year.  Exciting times!

I have also been looking at improving my health and vitality generally and, after speaking with a friend of mine, have just joined the Wheatgrass Juice Club started by Dr Britt Cordi, a molecular biologist.  Fresh wheatgrass juice can contribute to enhanced energy levels, reduce tiredness and fatigue, boost physical and mental performance and support a healthy immune system.

Britt’s juice is flash frozen to  retain as much of the good stuff as possible and there is a 4-week trial with a 110% refund guarantee if you don’t notice a change.  It seems like a win-win, particularly with a 50% off Black Friday deal (result!).  I started this morning, so will update on how I’m getting on.

The frozen juice shots arrived packed in dry ice which was pretty cool, with a free two-week trial of their Vitality juice included.  This has anti-oxidant properties, boosts the immune system and helps with healthy skin, nails and vision.  All good things.  It’s also delicious!

As well as wheatgrass, I’ve been looking at research into omega 3, 6  and 9 levels and the impact this has on our body and long-term health.  I eat very little fish so have always been a bit concerned about it, but have only recently had the time to spend time investigating.

Modern diets generally mean that we have a predominance of omega 6 fatty acids compared to omega 3 ones in our cells.  The recommended ratio is 5:1 but most people have a ratio between 10:1 and 20:1 due to the amount of processed foods, farmed meat/fish and vegetable oils in the Western diet.

A ratio higher than 5:1 can increase the amount of chronic inflammation in the body, which can lead to the development of joint problems, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and obesity.  I definitely want to reduce my risks of developing any of these.

One company I was recommended offer a very pure omega-3 oil, sourced in Norway, blended with cold-pressed olive oil from Crete containing omega-9 fatty acids, which helps to maintain healthy blood vessels, heart health and controls blood sugar levels.  They recommend increasing the intake of both omega-3 and -9 fatty acids, along with a reduction in omega-6 ones to prevent the development of inflammation and cardiovascular disease.

They also supply tests for you to check your omega 3 and 6 levels before starting a course of supplements, and again 180 days later to see how much your levels change.  I am expecting my ratio to be pretty high, unfortunately.

I have ordered my first batch and they should arrive shortly.  The oil also comes with a sample of a vitamin K2 supplement, which is meant to assist in delaying the development of age-related osteoporosis and arterial stiffness.  I shall be bursting with energy in 2019!  Who knows, I may even have renewed vigour for the dismal dating scene. Lol.

I’ll be updating with how I get on with my new career as well as the health supplements.  If you’re interested in the wheatgrass juice or omega oils drop me a message and I can refer you on.

Thanks for reading – come back soon 🙂

 

 

 

Aloe goodbye

So my Forever Living product trial is over, they’ve all been given back and my bathroom cupboard looks sadly empty. I’ve enjoyed the experience and am grateful to jenniferpow.com for giving me the opportunity to try them.  My top six are pictured, and I’ve placed an order already.

What this last week has confirmed to me is that the older I get, the more I prefer tailored products.  By that I mean products that are designed for one specific purpose rather than having a variety of uses. Creams and lotions that are designed for face and body don’t give enough nourishment to my face now I’m no longer in my twenties (or thirties, come to that!) and my hot picks reflect that.

The multi-use products are great value though, and would be good as face and body moisturisers for teens upwards of any gender.  The lack of strong fragrance definitely makes them suitable for the men I know who run a mile from anything “girly”.  And although I’m not a fan of the packaging, I think it probably helps make a lot of the products non gender specific.

I’d definitely give some of the ranges as gifts to friends (particularly the Relaxation products) and would recommend them to pretty much anyone.  I have a couple of weddings coming up later this year so may well have to resort to the weight management shakes to get rid of those pesky last pounds before hand!

They are available from your local Forever Living supplier, or you can order on-line from thefabulouslife  and say “Aloe” to some new products.

 

 

 

Aloe Fresh

Today’s review is of two slightly less glamorous products – hand & face soap and ever-shield deodorant.

The hand and face soap has a subtle fragrance and lathers well.  It seems quite mild and is fine as hand soap as it doesn’t dry the skin.  I’m not sure I’d want to use it as a face soap personally, but I have heard other people say they use this as a baby wash and a shampoo so it’s clearly a useful one to have around.  It would also be good as a shower gel for those (particularly men) who don’t like scented products.

I use handwash pumps in the kitchen and bathroom, but prefer those that are anti-bacterial.  I know that aloe vera does have some anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, but I’m not sure whether this product does.  I’ll have to do some research.

I wasn’t sure initially about the deodorant as it isn’t an anti-perspirant, which I usually prefer.  However I gave it a go and was impressed.  It is a big stick and glides on easily.  It has a subtle fresh fragrance, and you don’t get sudden whiffs of it during the day as you can with other roll on or stick deodorants.  It has very few ingredients so is pretty natural and will leave your underarms nice and soft too.  It also doesn’t leave white marks on your clothes – result!

Unfortunately I had to stop using it after a few days as I had a reaction to it.  I suspect this was due to the Triclosan;  I have a skin allergy to zinc and, having done some research, have discovered that Triclosan is often synthesised with zinc oxide.  This trial has been very educational!  I also looked up to see if others had experienced reactions to this product and couldn’t find any negative reviews.  I knew I was special…. 😦

I am sad I can’t use it, as I think this is a great product – and really reasonably priced.  It’s £6 for the stick and it lasts around 9 months.  Great value!

Not long left with the trial and only a couple more products left to review.  Shame, as I’ve been enjoying it.

Aloe body

I have both these aloe lotions in my trial pack, and I must admit I am not entirely sure what the difference between them is.

The packaging of the lotion says it contains jojoba and vitamin E, while the moisturising lotion says “with collagen and elastin”.   The brochure says they are both formulated with jojoba oil, collagen and elastin; so the only difference seems to be that the aloe lotion contains vitamin E.  However scanning through the ingredients list on the moisturising lotion shows that also contains vitamin E.  Colour me more confused….

They are both described as maintaining the skin’s natural PH balance while moisturising, and ideal for face, hands and body. The moisturising lotion says it is also good as a primer for make up while the aloe lotion can be used as a toner, conditioner, after sun, post-shave balm and emollient.  As they seem to be pretty much the same product I struggle to see why they both exist and why they have such different uses promoted. I’m sure they could both be used for the same things.

They, not surprisingly, have similar textures and fragrances and I’m not sure there’s a need for either in my skincare regime.  Neither seem that rich for a body lotion or hand cream to me, and I’d have to apply them more than once during the day.  I definitely don’t find them as moisturising (or as nicely fragranced) as the lavender and aloe massage lotion in the Relaxation range. The Propolis creme is definitely better for my “more mature” skin as a face cream too.

I think I may just have to accept that I’m not the target audience for either of these products! I’m pleased to have tried them though and would recommend either (not both!) to those looking for a multi-purpose, easily absorbed lotion.

Shake it up

I know how to live on a Saturday night, so clearly a meal-replacement shake and a face mask are top of the list of things to do….

I dug out my much under-used blender and mixed up the Forever Lite Ultra Shake vanilla powder, 3ooml of skimmed milk and a handful of blueberries and raspberries.  I’ve done meal replacement shakes many moons ago and they were not the most pleasant thing so I wasn’t expecting much (hence the fruit addition).  This was surprisingly okay – I’m not going to pretend it was the best dining experience ever – but it didn’t taste too synthetic.  The vanilla was sweet but not overpowering and the texture was fine.  The powder all dissolved pretty easily.

I think I could manage one of those a day for a week if I was looking to shed a few pounds quickly.  The pack makes 15 shakes, and is priced at around £20 so seems fairly reasonable.  Each serving contains 200 calories, and around half of the daily recommended intake of protein and also half of the major vitamins and minerals.

I also have the chocolate version to try, so may do that one this evening.  Chocolate on Valentine’s is the way to go, right?

I also had the Aloe Mask from the Aloe Fleur de Jouvence Collection to try.  That translates to the Flower of Youth, and the mask offers to rejuvenate by smoothing, conditioning and cleansing the skin.  The range contains collagen and elastin as well as camomile, apricot kernel, jojoba and of course aloe vera.

To make the mask you have to mix a powder with an activator solution.  There is meant to be a measuring/mixing spoon included but that was missing from the trial pack so I had to improvise.  The instructions say to mix until a “lotion consistency” is reached, and then to apply with a brush.

I think it was a bit runny and so was a bit of a performance to put on, but the quantity was good to cover the face and neck.  I’d been warned that it’s nicknamed the “botox facial” as it sets solid – and that’s definitely true.  You leave it on for around 30 mins before removing with a hot cloth.   After 30 mins it was solid and my face was smooth and shiny (before taking it off!) as you can see from the scary photo below!

It was easy to remove, although I had got some of it stuck in my hairline.  I was as bit pink and blotchy afterwards but that wasn’t unexpected.  My skin can be a bit sensitive and I had already done the marine mask this week. I put on some aloe gelly and left my face to calm down, which it did relatively quickly.  My skin is very soft and smooth (but not shiny!) this morning and looks refreshed.  Not sure I look youthful but definitely improved.

All in all, I’ve had worse Saturday nights!

Facing up


The trial continues…. I’ve always been interested in beauty products and skin care and always try to use good quality products which deliver results rather than those that are at the cheaper end of the market with lots of synthetic ingredients.

I worked for a premium skin brand for several years which was developed by a consultant dermatologist based on many years of medical research which increased my knowledge and broadened my understanding of the science of skincare.  One of the reasons for volunteering for this trial was to try another range of naturally derived products with some research behind them.

I’d always followed the cleanse-tone-moisturise mantra, but after working for Murad I realised the benefits of adding in a treatment step between the toner and moisturiser stages. I usually have a mix of Murad and Elizabeth Arden products in my bathroom cabinet for my skin care regime.  For this trial I’ve replaced my usual serum and day and night moisturiser with these two Forever products.

I love the nourishing serum. It’s from the more premium Sonya range which has completely different packaging to the other products I’m trying.  It has a great texture and glides on well over toned skin (tip: leave a few minutes after applying toner before applying a treatment product for better results) and smells gorgeous; a bit like lemon meringue. It’s subtle though so you won’t smell like toilet cleaner or anything else that smells artificially of citrus!  I’ve been using this morning & evening for a few days now and it’s keeping my skin texture smooth and reducing visible poor size. I’m definitely a convert to this one.  Although it’s around £34, that’s really good value for the amount you get when you compare price per 100ml with equivalent products from other brands.

I was a bit more dubious about the propolis cream; as mentioned before, the packaging doesn’t really sell it to me and the name is frankly weird!  It’s a fairly thick product when you squeeze it out, and is the consistency of a cream-gel. It’s a bit of an odd colour but applies easily, particularly over the serum. It is fairly rich so is good as a night cream and definitely left my skin feeling nourished.  For the trial period I have been using this in the morning as well, although I wouldn’t usually as it doesn’t contain an SPF. It’s protected my skin nicely though during the biting cold morning walk to the train so I can’t complain too much.  Not convinced this will feature permanently in my regimen as anything other than a night cream but I would definitely say it’s worth a try.