Thursday, 30 June 2011
I can't believe I ran into this site. It's extremely hateful. Not only is it making bad comments to overweight people, but also calling them 'whores' just because of their weight! Join me in petitioning to take this site down!
Sunday, 19 June 2011
I went to school for dental hygiene and I have tried my fair share of dental whitening products. Below is my review of several products you can get WITHOUT paying extra for a dentist (but still see results):
1) Rembrandt Whitening Toothpaste - This isn't a typical flavored toothpaste; it seems weird brushing your tongue with it. This product does whiten, but very slight. If you want a noticeable difference, I'd recommend something else. This is best if you've whitened your teeth already and want to maintain it.
2) Crest 3D Vivid Whitening Toothpaste - I hadn't noticed a difference using this product, even when combined with their corresponding whitening mouthwash. Our school strongly recommends Crest and Colgate toothpastes, but as far as whitening, I wasn't WOWed. (And after my research project and reading many lab studies and comparing ingredients, I prefer Colgate Total as an everyday toothpaste.)
3) Crest Premium Whitestrips - Very slight change and annoying! You've constantly got to check to be sure the strips are still covering your teeth evenly, as they tend to move around if you talk. There is no significant change in color. Only like a shade or two.
4) Go Smile - I personally didn't use this but I dated a guy who did use them. He used them religiously, eager to see results, but there was NOTHING. I felt so bad about all the money he spent on the product with no results whatsoever. I tried other 'paint on' whitening products years ago that assured me saliva wouldn't rinse it off and it would leaving you with lasting, whitening results. It did not work either. I dont believe there is any 'paint on' whitening product on the market today that works. In the future, I see this happening, but not today.
5) Opalescence 10% gel - I did not use custom fitted trays (I'm getting veneers to straighten a couple teeth, so no point paying for it if I can only use it for a short period of time), but I did use the mouth guard you get in stores and run under warm water. Although a custom fit tray would make things a WHOLE lot easier and more comfortable, I dont think using a basic one from the store would effect your results. I have some stubborn stains from "cement" brackets that were placed when I tried invisalign (a rip off. Always get that from an orthodontist.... don't trust a general dentist when it comes to straightening your teeth! Turns out that invisalign could not help my significantly crooked incisors, so I wasted thousands of dollars on it and no matter how hard I fight, I cannot get a refund). I had some Opalescence 10% gel from school (my school only had the lowest strength) and I noticed a few shades difference after only a few uses (wearing an hour each time). I was thrilled to finally get something to penetrate that cement (they ground it down, but there's still a thin layer). There was no sensitivity whatsoever.
6) Aquafresh Whitening Trays - I love their toothpaste for a slight change in color, but I wasn't impressed whatsoever with their whitening trays.
7) Rembrandt 2 Hour Whitening Kit - I thought with using a fresh capsule of gel every approx. half hour, I'd surely see results after two hours. Nope, not a thing. However, I went to bed and woke up the next morning and saw some white "spots" (I'm assuming the spots were on thinner areas of the cement on my teeth, because I only noticed them on the teeth which had the cement). It must be like a spray tan... you see results after several hours. I'm not sure it was enough to be worth the money and two hours though... there are better products out there for cheaper (opalescence).
8) Waterpik Whitening Flosser - all I can say is... nothing.
9) Plus White 5 Minute Bleach - I should have known better, but this is one of the first whitening products I tried many years ago. Again, no results.
10) I tried some product that had a light, which I thought (after seeing Zoom ads) would work. However it didnt. I even tried grimacing for 20 minutes in a tanning bed to try and whiten my teeth. All it did was give me a few funny tan lines around my mouth. Haha.
11) Opalescence 35% - after my great experience with the 10% gel, I went for the 35%. I tried the 'mint' scented gels. I'm not sure if it was the strength of the gel, or the mint (alot of time, menthol is used for 'mint' and I have an allergy to mental. However, I figured a slight bit wouldnt hurt), but I didnt have an immediate stinging and burning sensation along my gum line (this would not be a factor for those with custom made trays). My eyes watered and I wondered, "can I really make it the full hour?" After about ten minutes, the sensation calmed enough that I could relax and open my eyes, but it was still rather uncomfortable for the duration. When I took off the tray and rinsed my mouth, I did see a little difference, but more so, I had completely bleached part of my gums where the gel had squished over (wasnt even the same area that was stinging before). It doesnt hurt, but it does look silly. I recently had a gingevectomy (surgery to cut off extra gum tissue) between my front central incisors. They tissue looks a little red, but it isnt sore at all.
This photo shows how the 35% bleached a portion of my gumline (see left side of pic). Also shows crooked teeth and why I'm getting veneers! lol
Final recommendations: I LOVE Opalescence for whitening. It is professional strength and sold in many dental offices, however, they sell the same strengths online! I'm not sure how they can get away with that, but they do. I'm prone to tooth and gum sensitivity when whitening, but didn't experience any when I used the 10% gel. If you want to be cautious, you can begin with the 10%, but otherwise, I would recommend using the 15% or 20% gel. If you purchase a mouthguard to whiten your teeth, as opposed to a custom made tray from your dentist, trim off a little excess of the tray if it overlaps your gums quite a bit, so you're not tempted to fill the entire tray up to the gums. Only put gel on the facial side of the tray (the side where your teeth with show. Not the biting surface or the side facing your tongue). Avoid biting hard on the tray, as it will bite through after a couple uses. Wear the tray for an hour. Do this while watching tv, etc. If you have custom trays, you can sleep with them in because it will create a seal (but I would only do this with the 10% or 15% gel. Our school taught us that its bleaching effect would quit working after an hour anyway so you could sleep with it in. However, many website state that it works for 8-10 hours. I wouldn't want to test this theory over night and wake up with extremely sensitive teeth. Also, custom trays create a seal, so you dont have to worry about any of the gel slowly oozing down your throat while you sleep. DO NOT sleep with store bought trays in with the gel in place; without gel is fine if you grind your teeth... but not with whitening gel!) When down, rinse with room temp or luke warm water (the cold can cause sensitivity. Like drinking cold water after chewing on minty gum! Sha-zaam!). If there is excess gel remaining on your teeth, gently brush away with a SOFT bristled toothbrush. You can then repeat the process a second time (I wouldnt recommend doing more than two back to back). Prior to whitening, brush your teeth and floss. I know flossing sucks (I admit I dont do it as often as I should), but to take full advantage of the whitening, you want to make sure you dont have plaque on your teeth causing a barrier to the whitening gel). I'd prefer using Colgate Total Whitening toothpaste, Aquafresh Whitening toothpaste, Rembrandt toothpaste, or Crest Whitening Toothpaste (in order of my fav to least fav of the top choices of toothpaste). For flossing, I dont like waxy floss because it can leave just as big a mess in your mouth. You still want the easy-to-slide floss so you dont "snap" it and hurt your gums. My FAVORITE floss is GLIDE! It slides easily between your teeth, has a great taste (honestly, if I need to freshen my breath quickly and dont have a mint, I suck on a string of this for a minute!), yet it doesnt have any wax; this stuff is THE #1 floss, I'm telling you! Multifunctional floss, lol. If you dont have any sensitivity, repeat the process back to back (do not exceed two per day) and repeat the next day, etc until desired whitening is achieved. I do not say desired RESULTS however, because many people are unrealistic. I've also worked in a dental lab and learned the basic undertones of tooth colors. Most people have 'yellow'. These people can have 'white' teeth, but it will never look like most celebrities (most have veneers with 'blue' undertones or their photos have been airbrushed). A lucky few in the world are born with the blue undertones (like my new boyfriend. Doesnt floss or whiten and he has the most gorgeous teeth I've ever seen. bastard! lol), so feel free to 'love to hate' on them. :)
Tuesday, 31 May 2011
In a recent post, I talked about The Master Cleanse detox diet. I went to the grocery store, looking for the few items needed for the cleanse. However, I could not find the Grade B Maple Syrup. While standing in the aisle wondering if I could get away with just a "natural" maple syrup, I quickly did a google search on my phone and found that because of how the syrup is processed and the sugars involved, you must use the organic Grade B Maple Syrup. I found there's been a natural and organic food store hidden just a couple blocks down from my house! I went inside and yes, the packages were all very different. Some things looked interesting, others just looked or sounded disgusting (but, we know you "shouldn't knock it before you try it.") The syrup was pretty pricey, as were other items in the store, but alot of items were also very reasonable. While wandering around the shoppe, I just felt inspired and motivated to research new ways to live a healthier life. I did several searches to compare the difference between 'natural' and 'organic', find out if organic is really healthier (it's a huge debate), etc. I wish I had saved the sites in order to source them on this site for ya'll.
The Master Cleanse calls for all ingredients to be organic. However, before I did my research and discovered there indeed is a difference between 'natural' and organic', I didn't see any organic Cayenne pepper or Sea Salt in my grocery store, so I just bought the 'naturals' of each. When I found the health food store in my town, I checked out their organic Cayenne pepper, it was the same price as what I paid in the grocery store (about $5). Since the recipe only calls for a small amount with each serving, and I dont use Cayenne pepper at any other time, I figured I'd go ahead and not waste $5 on getting a separate bottle just to make it organic. Also, I was surprised to see that they carried several brands of sea salt, but I didn't see any organic sea salt. One of the brands may have been organic, but I already felt a little out of my element in the store, so I didn't ask any of the staff. Again, I bought a huge thing of Natural Sea Salt from my grocery store, and I dont use sea salt at any other time (I prefer the sodium-free salt substitute), I decided not to worry about it. It cost me less than two dollars, but I hate wasting so what would I do with all this extra salt if I ended up finding an organic? I did make sure the syrup was grade B and organic. Also, the lemons were organic, and only 88 cents each for their large.
If you've been following my posts, you know I prefer to weigh first thing in the morning. I'm going to start this ten day challenge and measure all my beginning stats first thing in the morning. No, the weight lost in this diet is not fat; it is excess water weight and toxins. I believe it's healthy to have a good detox every year. There are pills you can buy to detox, but I don't believe their as effective, plus it costs so much money! Also, this diet will help your stomach (in time) adjust to eating smaller amounts. There is a post-diet diet to help your body ease back into eating solids again. Again, the information about The Master Cleanse is all over the internet, but I have posted the link at the end of this article that will give more information about The Master Cleanse and the post-diet diet.
I have also been thinking about eating more organic foods. Yes, many organic items are pricier, but think of the excess as your contribution to protecting the environment and the health of our farmers. Also, I'm not going to go 100% organic. I still love certain food brands that are not organic and I don't plan on giving up on them completely, just cutting back and replacing what I can with organic or natural foods. It would be interesting to see if those who live an organic or natural life have less health problems then those who eat regular foods found in the grocery store (fast foods would obviously throw this study off though). Also, if those living organically and/or naturally have to put less medication (all those pills and their chemicals) in their body compared to others. I'll have to do some more research and see if such a study is out there to review (perhaps not since whether or not organic is better for health continues to be such a big debate). I am on several medications so I guess I'll conduct my own little study and see if my need for those medications will diminish in time.... but this could take years, who knows! Either way, eating healthier and exercising more will make anybody feel better and potentially lose the need for heart medications, etc (which is not what I am on. I take medications for depression, allergies, anxiety, insomnia, and when I'm desperate enough then I'll take prescription pain pills... otherwise, I prefer to swallow as little medications as possible. Especially prescription strength meds.)
I'm sure my energy levels will be drained while on The Master Cleanse diet, but I will be sure to at least do a yoga workout each day.
What you put on the inside effects what comes out on the outside. Eating healthier can effect your skin, hair, nails, mood, etc. How many of you have switched to eating organically? What benefits have you noticed? Did you have to adjust to the taste of any foods, cooking styles, etc?
Saturday, 28 May 2011
Be Careful What You Wish For:
A couple years ago, I went through a bad breakup and I let it bring me down. I tried several different weight loss and detox pills. I lost 9 lbs in the first 3 days, and 20 lbs that month. Of course, the secret combo of pills I had only took off water weight and after that month passed and my regimen ended, I regained all of my weight and then some. All of the diets out there, workout programs, and pills ask you to speak with a doctor first.... while I have never done so, I do recommend you at least listen to your body. You'll regret it down the road if you end up with organ damage because you wanted to drop weight quickly and you made yourself a deadly cocktail.
The Master Cleanse:
I want to restart a healthier life, and to do so, I believe detoxing every so often is important. How can I start off a healthier lifestyle by detoxing in my previous unhealthy way (combing multiple pills)? I began researching different, healthy ways to detox. One detox is in a form of a diet, and it seems to have surfaced more than any other. It's called the "Master Cleanse" detox diet. Supposedly, celebrities such as Beyonce have used this detox diet and have lost up to 20 lbs of toxins and water. Of course, this is no replacement to losing FAT. However, it is a great jump start. It will even help train you to eat less, because you will grow accustom to not eating at all for ten days! Yes, that sounds horrific, but try to not think of it as a whole 10 tens... try to think of each day one at a time.
I tried the NutriSystem diet once. I did find it beneficial in getting me adjusted to portion control, but I absolutely hated the taste of their foods. They replace the flavor of fat and salt with various herbs... and I'm not a fan of spicy. What's the point in spending money on that plan when you wont eat it? So, that didn't last long for me. If you enjoy cooking with several different things in your spice cabinet, then sure, I would recommend this for you. The plan could be better now.... they have gotten more food choices since I tried the diet.
BeachBody Workouts and Products:
I admit, I'm one of the many American's out there with a gym membership that I do not use. I even have an old treadmill in my living room I haven't been on more than a few times (I would so much rather have an elliptical! Muscle and cardio at the same time, plus it's less stressful on your joints. However, I can't complain when I got the treadmill as a free hand-me-down from my grandmother, along with what my older sister and I called a "booty shaker" as kids.... I still don't know what it's for, but it's cool. Haha!). I have also purchased a few of the BeachBody Workout DVDs, including: 10 Minute Trainer, TurboFire, and P90X. All three DVDs are extremely tough! You do need to have at least some sort of stamina built up before you can do these DVDs. If you cant jog around the block without having to stop, feeling like your going to have a heart attack (cue my grand entrance), then this is not the product for you... yet. Once you build up some stamina first, so you can do these workouts without killing yourself during the warm-ups alone, these are all amazing calorie burners! I don't know if I'd recommend one more than the other; they are all equally efficient. However, if you're wanting to lose a significant amount of weight, you need to combine a few of the 10 Minute Trainer DVDs, rather than just doing one and calling it a night. I have tried the "Shakeology" drink mix and I thought it was absolutely disgusting! No protein drink is all that great, but this is probably the worst one I've tried. I've also tried Tony Horton's (BeachBody's) Activit Multivitamins. These are amazing! When I take these, I have just the right amount of energy and no jitters (unless combined with caffiene or diet pills). I've never been one to like vitamins (except those chewable Flinstone vitamins for kids). However, I had a free bottle of these and have been buying them ever sense. They can be somewhat pricey, but are well worth the money.
Flirty Girl Fitness:
Yes, the first thing you think of when you hear 'pole dancing' is 'strippers'. Sure, it can be slutty if the "dance" is made out to be, but it can also be really cool! Youtube some of the pole dancing competition videos and you'll be amazed at some of the stuff they can do, and believe me, it is NOT as easy as they make it look! The Flirty Girl Fitness kit is a good deal for everything that's included, but if you want high quality, I would watch some free tutorials online and invest in a much better pole. With the pole Flirty Girl Fitness provides, you can accidentally loosen it if you 'spin' in the wrong direction (mostly dependent on your left- right- handedness). The pink feather boa doesn't really do anything to make me feel sexy, LOL, and I was disappointed in half of the DVDs. It is nice that you can take down the pole for space, or when company comes over, but I would much rather have a more permanent pole installed in a furnished basement with some mirrored walls. Hey, the guys can have their 'man cave' with sports memrobelia and deer heads, so who says us ladies cant have our own dance studio!?
I was checking out protein bars at my local drug store a few weeks ago. I had heard on some tv talk show (probably Dr. Oz), that alot of protein bars don't actually contain that much protein. I was comparing every protein bar the store carried (I had a few weird looks, but totally worth it from what I discovered). Most bars had hardly any protein, but were stuffed with carbs and sugars. I did find one bar packed with protein and minimal amounts of carbs and sugars! And it actually tasted good... although I do wish they had more flavor options. Unfortunately, I do not remember the name of this bar and I haven't stocked up in awhile, but I will check it out if someone is interested. Otherwise, please do your homework and compare what's there!
I got a deal on the Exerspy Armband with my gym membership. Pricey, but well worth the money! I dont believe it's an accurate "step counter", but it's pretty accurate in counting calories and even monitoring your sleep efficiency. With it, I received a free membership to dotfit.com. DotFit is a great website! I was a member of another website that helped your monitor your nutrition, exercise, weight, etc. but they kept updating the site and changing it and in doing so, they left behind some of my favorite features. Once I was set up with DotFit, I loved it! There are some ways you can get a free membership to this site, so you will have to check into that if you are interested. I'm not honestly sure what the membership prices are otherwise. Their website also includes many articles and products. I have not yet tried any of the products, but I will be sure to give an update when that day comes. The armband is comfortable... I rarely can tell when I wear it. I'm a pretty light sleeper (every little thing bothers me), but I can still sleep comfortably with this thing on. The only time I take this thing off is when I'm too lazy to count my daily calories (thus making it pointless to monitor what I burn), showering, and tanning. This is also a very pricey piece (over $200), but it's a new product and I'm sure the price will drop in the next year or so. I've tried cheap pedometers from Dicks Sporting Goods, Best Buy, Walmart, etc. and they just are not as accurate, or doesn't monitor as much information for the money. This is an investment piece and I do believe it's worth it.
Weight vs. Fat:
Alot of women lose hope when they quit seeing the numbers on the scale go down. The first week or two you will lose more weight than normal, but don't think you're not burning as much fat as you were before. You very well may be (depending on if your maintaining your diet and workout, increasing difficulty, or if you toned it down a notch), but much of what you burn at first is only water weight. Another issue is you will gain some muscle (no, you wont bulk up. Women who compete in body building are working out and lifting weights pretty much all day everyday. I know... I have a few weightlifting male and female friends). In the long run, muscle will help raise your metabolism and burn more calories and you will lose weight, but don't fret over those numbers on the scale. If you have a scale that monitors water percentage and fat percentage, then you should focus more on those number than the weight. If your one of those women that fret over the scale and measure yourself constantly, then it's time to put away the scale. Put it up high in the linen closet where you have to get a stool to reach it. If you are still obsessing that much, then maybe you should have a friend hide the scale from you. Also, when you do weigh in, make sure you weigh at the same time every day. I prefer first thing in the morning, after having my morning potty break, before eating or drinking, and naked. That way I dont get tempted to say 'oh, well those mysterious 10 lbs are from my pj's and cup of coffee.' haha!
You are indeed what you eat. What you put in your body shows on the outside. Yes, the doughnuts show on your hips. But, if you're also missing certain vitamins, it'll show in the health of your hair, skin, nails, etc. Take a good multivitamin and eat your fruits and veggies :) Some even believe in eating only organic. I cant say much on that, but I'd love to try going all organic if I had the money to spare.
Sites Worth Checking Out:
http://www.beachbody.com/product/supplements/best_sellers/activit_multivitamins.do (Activit is now 1/2 the price it was when I first made my purchases.)
http://www.curvygoddesslounge.com/1634/weight-loss-cleanses-how-to-do-the-lemonade-cleanse-aka-master-cleanse/ (This is the direct link to the recipe for the Master Cleanse detox diet. I recently found this website and it has some good articles and information. The entire website is worth looking into!)
Friday, 27 May 2011
Inner Beauty: Popularity
The inner and outer thought of the day: "The greatest treasures are those invisible to the eye but found by the heart." I cannot take credit for this beautiful thought, but the author was not posted on the website where I found this(1). Growing up, I always wanted to be in the popular crowd, with the cheerleaders and models, beauty pageant winners and girls published as a 'most likely' in the yearbook. I went from my days of eating my school lunch in a study hall, to sitting at the biggest (most populated) lunch table in high school. When I was at the table, I got to know some of the girls more personally, and learned about all their fears and worries. Being popular to them mattered more than anything else. Their day-to-day was staying atop the battle to stay popular and stay at that lunch table. Sure, most of them stayed in the group (but many were in and out like a new pair of shoes), but not many of them moved on to make anything of themselves after high school. They had focused so much on being the most beautiful and most popular that they didn't exceed in classes. There is also only a small percentage in the world who can move on to be Beauty Queens, professional cheerleaders, Supermodels, etc. Many models are even forced to retire in their mid-20s! You have to be awfully amazing to make it passed that point. Yes, many in the world have, but compare them to the millions who haven't. On the other hand, I've seen many of the "nerdy girls" blossom into being very fashion forward and successful! High school, junior high, and even elementary school can be brutal. But push forward in being the best you can be and knowing you are able to achieve your dreams. Do not become arrogant and snub the other girls. But find what makes you happy, not others, and in time, it will be worth your while. Tough roads are going to cross your path for the rest of your life, although I do agree that the worst was high school, but you need to hold through the tough times in order to truly appreciate what you will earn as you press forward. For those who are passed your young adult years, think about all you've accomplished and what you have left to accomplish. It's easy to start thinking about what has slowed you down, and that's fine.... but cut it out of your mind once you have acknowledged it and make a plan to keep whatever it is from preventing you to achieve your goals again. Post a comment and tell me what today's quote means to you.
Outer Beauty: Loose Ringlets
Little Beauty Secret: I'm a hair product/cosmetic fanatic. If it's out there, I've more than likely tried it. I know what products you have to buy the pricier version of, and what you can get away with for less than a buck! One of my favorite hair do's, when time allows, are the well-known, long, cascading curls. Kim Kardashian wears this alot and looks great! If your hair is naturally sleek straight, scrunch your hair (using a defuser attachment on a hair dryer will make it easier and keep you from burning your fingers) to give it some movement. If your hair is naturally wavy or curly, skip the step and just let it air dry (so much better on your hair, especially if it's already course). Use a flat iron to smooth your <IMG src="IMG URL" align=left>
hair from root to tip (slowly close the flat iron as you go down the roots so you dont make the hair on your scalp too flat, or get a line from the iron). I know it sounds weird to straighten your hair before curling it, but if your hair already has the natural ability to curl, you want to smooth the follicles down first. Divide your hair into 1"-2" sections. I personally like to go across the nape of the neck, then up a layer each time. (I use a ponytail holder or a clip to hold the hair I'm not working on yet out of the way.) Take a small section of hair from the first layer, brush through it and then spray it with hairspray, being careful not to over spray and make it 'wet'. My favorite hairspray is Aussie's Flexible Hold Hairspray. It smells great and holds great without being impossible to brush through or have any bounce. Brush through the hair again to smooth it out and then roll it around a spiral curling iron (you can use a regular curling iron, but it just wont work as good). After the hair has had a chance to heat through, carefully let the hair loose and use your fingers to gently roll it back up and pin it to your scalp with a bobby pin (letting your hair cool off while pinned in a curl will help it keep the shape longer). When you finish your hair, keep it pinned up as long as you can (if your getting ready for a date, now's the time to do your makeup, then get dressed before moving on to the next step). After the hair has had time to cool, carefully take out the bobby pins and gently shake the curls loose. Use a pin, large-tooth comb, or even your fingers to run through the curls and break them up. Don't worry about the curls separating; the point is to keep the hold of hairspray in your curls while also allowing it to move naturally. If you want to back-comb your roots at all, or style the hair with any cute barrettes, etc., go ahead and do so now. When styling is complete, squeeze a couple pumps of hair serum in your hand (I prefer John Frieda's hair serum because it does the job without weighing down the curls and making them lose their hold). Rub your palms together to gently flip your head upside down and stroke your hands over your hair (this helps get all the layers). You can use more serum if needed, but only use a couple pumps at a time! Slowly stand back up and hang your hair over your shoulder and stroke the serum over your hair again. Repeat over other shoulder. This should redefine all of your curls again. Ta-Da! Gorgeous, Kim Kardashian style locks! All this heat and hairspray can be harsh on your hair if you tend to do this style on a regular basis, so I recommend doing at-home, deep conditioning treatments with every shower. My favorite is Aussie's 3-Minute Miracle reconditioner. Put it in your hair after shampooing and clip it up while you shave and do the rest of your bathing. Rinse with cool water to lock the conditioner into the hair's cuticle.
Products Used: Spiral Curling Iron ($16.77 to $18.77 at Walmart); Aussie Mega Hairspray with Flexible Hold ($3.99 at Walgreens); Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Deeeeep Conditioner ($3.99 at Walgreens); John Frieda Frizz-Ease Hair Serum ($9.99 at Walgreens).