Grass Fed Collagen Review #grassfeedcollagen

Want to be fit? Then protein is it?!? Actually, there's a lot of science behind how much protein we need and how much is too much. I highly recommend you spend some time on google scholar or perusing pubmed to get a better understanding.

Here's my quick 2c (not to be construed as medical advice!) We need protein - period. We need somewhere between 10-35% of our diet to come from protein. Too much of any one amino acid and be detrimental to our health. Because people eat less organ meats, bones, fat, skin, gristle, and "other" parts of the animals today, many are deficient in glycine. There are so many reasons why this is bad! What do I do about it? I eat organ meats. I make bone broths. I eat skin and cartilage and choose tough gelatinous cuts. And I eat gelatin.

But having the option of a quick - high protein product like this Grass Fed Collagen was something that made my life a lot easier. My kids love to drink smoothies for breakfast. Milk and fruit. Tasty and full of vitamins, but not much protein. I will occasionally add grass fed whey protein, but collagen is less insuligenic and has an amino acid profile that is more complimentary to our overall diet.

It doesn't seem to add a taste to the smoothies we make. But it does add satiety and I have noticed better skin tone. It's a nice, easy way to get more glycine in your diet (and packs a whollop of protein for your meal too!)

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Dollar Shave Club Review

Do you enjoy buying razors? I don't. I am not a fan of the cost, the selection, or the waste. So when I was offered the chance to check out the Dollar Shave Club, I was interested.

It's called the "Dollar" shave club because it costs just $1 to start - with free shipping. Then it's about $3/month after that to receive a cassette of blades.Again with free shipping.

 It's a pretty good deal, but I have found that I don't need a cassette of razors every month. Good news - you can adjust how frequently you get new razors. You can even shut of your shipments and turn them back on when you need a new razor.

Pretty cool. The razor is nice and heavy - not a cheapo plastic razor that breaks or "melts" in the shower. I have had many razors bend/break, with the top strips melting into a mess and covering the blades. I have not had this issue with any of the blades or handles from the Dollar Shave Club.

But it's not all good stuff. I found the website irritating to use. It should be so simple, but in the simplicity it was difficult. During my first order, I had a hard time ordering extra blades. My only options seemed to be the handle and some creams/lotions. I didn't want any creams/lotions, but they seemed to be the only options for purchase.

After I made my first purchase, I found the blades and was able to order them. I would have rather ordered them all together and I was annoyed. I also found it difficult to navigate to the area where I could change my shipment frequency. I did eventually find it and it all worked out well.

In the future, I will set my frequency to every 4 months (because that's how often I need new blades) and just never look at it again. That way I wouldn't feel frustrated with the website and I won't really have to think about buying razors.

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The links in this post may be affiliate links and products are often received for review purposes. Read the full disclosure.

MouthWatchers Review

How often do you make changes to your life? If it's going well, why not just coast, right? Wrong. As humans, we always need to keep growing and improving. Otherwise, we get stagnant and start to grow old. Here's a new idea - take a look at your oral care and maybe make some updates.  Why? Because the mouth, eyes, and skin are windows into your overall health. 

This month, I was fortunate to be able to try out a new type of toothbrush. If you've been reading this blog for some time, then you know that I like to try new things and I have actively experimented in the dental world! It's good to try new things! This month, I had the opportunity to use the new Mouthwatchers® antimicrobial toothbrush! Here is what the manufacture has to say about their toothbrushes:

  • Eliminates 99.9% of bacteria that builds up on bristles in 6 hours with EPA- approved silver bristle technology
  • Revolutionary Flossing Bristles™:
  • long, soft bristles with 1 micrometer diameter tips reach areas missed by other toothbrushes
  • Gets deep into teeth grooves and pockets for a superior clean
  • Comfort grip handle
  • PBT bristle material outlasts traditional nylon used in competitive brushes
Here's what I think about it:
This brush is noticeably different. The bristles are more dense and differentiated. The brush is supposed to eliminated bacteria (based on silver technology) but I have never worried or noticed anything wrong with my usual toothbrushes. What I liked about it was the function! 

This brush really gets your teeth clean! It's almost like flossing - meaning it gets into the crevices. It doesn't hurt or irritate, but it really does a much more thorough job. Take a look at this head. 
It's bristly. Why aren't regular toothbrushes made like this? My teeth feel cleaner after using this brush and it does a great job on plaque. !I scale my own teeth (instead of having a dental hygenist do it) and I keep track of how much plaque I accumulate. I have seen it change from different toothpastes, supplement use, flossing, etc. I have noticed that this toothbrush does a fantastic job of keeping the plaque down.  Why haven't toothbrushes been designed like this forever? Why have we all settled for garbage for years? This brush is a huge improvement and I don't imagine ever buying a "regular" brush again. 

Please consider supporting this Blog by CLICKING HERE whenever you shop Amazon. Costs you nothing and is wildly appreciated.
The links in this post may be affiliate links and products are often received for review purposes. Read the full disclosure.

The Importance of Maintaining Good Oral Health

The Importance of Maintaining Good Oral Health

If a person has good oral hygiene, it means that their teeth look healthy and smell healthy. Their teeth are going to be free of debris, and they are going to have pink gums. Their gums shouldn’t hurt when they floss, and they shouldn’t constantly have bad breath.

If a person’s gums do hurt, if their gums to bleed while they are brushing or flossing, or if they have bad breath that just won’t go away, all of these things are indicative of a problem.

It is good to visit the dentist and have them do an examination to see what is causing these undesirable conditions. A person may want to read a dental journal that highlights some of the common problems that patients experience and provide practical solutions to these problems.

Having good oral hygiene is really not that difficult. When a person has teeth that look and feel good, they can chew properly, they can speak properly, and they have an increased sense of self-esteem. Good oral health is key to an overall sense of well-being.

If a person practices good preventative care, and this would include things like brushing their teeth regularly and flossing regularly, they are going to avoid developing expensive and worrisome dental conditions. They are not going to have to worry about their teeth falling out prematurely. If a person takes the steps to keep their teeth healthy on their own, then when they make their regular visits to the dentist, it’s not going to be overwhelming. They will not be terrified that every single dental visit is going to reveal a new cavity or a new tooth that needs to have a root canal.

Preventative care can help stop serious dental problems before they even start. Anyone who has had the horrible experience of sitting through a root canal wishes that they would have just taken the time to maintain their teeth before and not have to go through such of a painful and uncomfortable experience.

Part of having healthy teeth includes eating a healthy diet. Of course, you need plenty of nutrients in order to allow your teeth to have the calcium and other substances they need to stay healthy. Having a healthy diet can also contribute to clean teeth. Foods like on buttered popcorn, celery sticks, carrot sticks, and apples can all do wonders for your teeth. If you are a parent, make sure you include the snacks in your child's diet. This is an easy way to have healthy and clean teeth.

Good oral health is not that hard. When a person learns how to take care of their teeth from childhood, they can develop habits that will keep their teeth safe for the rest of their life.

The SIRTFOOD Diet review

What is the secret to weight loss?  Better health? Are they one and the same? In my opinion, yes. Human metabolism is one of my favorite subjects, and is the area I study more than any other.

As a former biochemist, I know what Sirtuins are (SIRT for short.) What I don't know is whether they are "the magic bullet" or if we can effectively change their role in our metabolisms.

So I was happy to take a peek at The SirtFood Diet when it came across my desk.

What is it?
A food plan that includes 20 major "SIRT" food and a little longer list of minor foods
Short-term calorie reduction
No real exclusions
No command to exercise

What do I think?
The short: I don't know. Sounds interesting. I would have to do more research and modify the food options to fit my lifestyle.
The long: For some time, I have been working on a theory regarding energy metabolism and food signalling. So the SIRT food list was something I wanted to see - to compare notes. Some of the foods I have identified as metabolic improvers were on the list, but not all of them. Those that slow metabolism where not on the SIRT list. That proves nothing, but I found it to be interesting.

I have to step back and talk about the book as "a diet" first then I will dive into "the science." As a diet - it is sound and most people would be healthier for following the guidelines in this book over the standard American diet.

There are almost no processed foods in the diet. Instead, it is filled with whole foods, colorful vegetables, whole grains, meats, etc. I read through every recipe and did not find a disagreeable ingredient (from a health perspective.)

Unfortunately, I found the list of SIRT foods to be off putting. Meaning, I don't like many of them. I love vegetables and fruits. I have eaten almost every documented north American wild food. I have my own organic garden and recently bought 40 acres just so I could experiment with growing even more!

So for the SIRT foods to be the exact foods I don't like is outrageous! You may not have this problem. (for the record: I like 4 1/2 of them - meaning 3 I eat all the time, 1-2 I would eat as a seasoning occasionally)

There are green drinks in this diet plan. Hate them. And a 1500 calorie/day diet. Personally, i would starve at that level. Actually, I counted calories once and "starved" at 1800. I did it for 3 days and lost 6 pounds. It took me a long time to gain that weight back. We are all different. But....this is a perfect time to talk about the science.

It's almost non-existent. This is why I started by saying - "the diet is sound." If you want to try it as the new thing, go for it. You will probably be better for having done it. But there is nothing in the book (studies or references) to suggest that these specific foods actually effect SIRT1.

The authors reference one study regarding the SIRT diet. It was a 7 day study with 39 participants. There is almost no way any results from this type of data could be considered significant and the author's make no statistical claims.

But let's humor this ridiculous 7 day study with 39 people. The first 3 days, participants ate 1000 calories/day, the last 4 days they ate 1500 calories/day. Holy bananas. That is a low calorie diet.

The diet participants ate 1 SIRT meal and 2 SIRTfood green juices per day. There was no control group and the participants were actively exercising during the study.

If someone is used to eating 2000 calories/day that is 5000 calorie deficit. 5000/3500 is 1.42 pounds of fat and everyone knows that the first week of a "diet" causes massive water weight loss and is the time when your body will dump weight without trying to reset your metabolic set point.  The participant were active exercisers and exercised during the study - meaning they were most likely more metabolically active and using more calories per day.

If someone is used to eating more than 2000/day (for example I eat between 3-4000/calories a day) then a large weight loss from starvation alone would be expected.

The actual results: an average of 7 pounds of fat lost in 7 days, an average of no muscle loss. The range is not given. How many gained weight? How many of the overweight or obese (17 of the 39) lost way more than 7 pounds? How many people actually lost muscle? Was it more likely in the overweight or healthy weight individuals?  Even though the "average" is 7 pounds lost, 0 pounds muscle lost - there is now way to know if the SIRT foods are responsible for this weight result and/or if the results are even accurate. There was no control group on a comparable non-SIRT 1000/1500 calorie diet and none of the data range was given or any information on what happened to the healthy weight versus overweight individuals. We all know that 1000/1500 calories will result in weight loss and studies have shown that low calorie diets with strength training exercise (there is no indication of what exercises were used) can limit muscle loss for a short time. This study was 7 days!

This type of science is hogwash and it enrages me to no end! Yes, it might be okay for a "pilot" study. But a control group is still needed and there was no larger study conducted or referenced! This is the type of study that gets plastered on news magazines and facebook pages - encouraging people to buy products and change their lives without giving any real scientific proof! Garbage!

Throughout the book there are tons of "case studies." These are individual people's success stories. Great. This again proves nothing. If my sister eats cake for every meal and remains svelte, does that mean anything to you? No.

But hold the phone. I did say that most people would be better off following their plan. Why?

Have you ever finished a "green drink?" Not one full of sugar. Yep, they are gross and turn you off from eating. But healthy, right? Maybe. Could better than having breakfast at a fast food restaurant. Either way, fluids fill you up and I'm going to guess it will take you longer to finish the green drink than it would take to finish a soda.

If you are overweight - any calorie reduction will probably help you short term - as a jump start to your body's cleansing mechanisms (resetting your leptin/insulin sensitivities, clearing out fatty deposits, etc.) and 7 days isn't all that bad. But for healthy weight individuals that want to improve their health, the authors do not recommend the calorie restrictions - just adding the SIRT foods. There is nothing to be argued with here - if you can stomach the choices.

The recipes are all clean and wholesome. But they are wholesome in the quinoa/tofu way or the medjool date energy bar way. Good or Okay. But the type of food that sinks in your gut and stays there. Still - an improvement for most people and for people that need to retrain their sweet taste buds and wean off of processed food.

The bottom line - this is not a magic bullet but the book may have recipes you would enjoy. If you want to figure out your metabolism, SIRT1 is a great place to start. Spend some time on Pubmed and branch into NAD+ (you'll find it as soon as you start reading about SIRT1), mitochondrial function, antioxidant and mineral functioning, the elecromagnetic frequency of the sun/mitochondria, the actual science behind omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, epigenetics, and how food/sun/exercise effect your hormone function. It's rad stuff and it's never ending. So grab a notebook before you jump down that rabbit hole. Then remember to get outside and eat real food - real GOOD food and enjoy your life. You only get one!

Products were received for review purposes. No compensation was received. The links in this post may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure  

Hunting Camping glove review #camohuntinggloves

We have gone through more gloves this year than any other time in our lives! Being active outside requires gloves. My number one concern is function and comfort - do they perform and do they fit? After, that it's fun to pick out styles and patterns.

We had the opportunity to try out these men's hunting camouflage gloves and they were pretty swell. They are a thinner glove, but are great for the in-between seasons and for people with naturally hot/sweaty hands. They were comfortable and durable. I would definitely get them again.

*Products were received for review purposes. No compensation was received.

MyoBuddy Review

Whenever you purchase a property (farmland, house, townhome...) it should really come with a warning label....and a massage!! Home and land improvements are hard work!

We bought a farm last fall, and it has consistently kicked our butt every weekend since! So when I had the opportunity to review the MyoBuddy, I thought it was a great idea.

If you're like me, then you've probably tried every massage product available. Personally, I've had the most success with foam rollers and tennis balls - but that's because I'm pretty much stuck with my own two hands when I'm in need of muscular therapy and I really prefer deep tissue work.

The Myobuddy is best described as a belt sander - or auto detailer - for your body. It's powerful and able to cover a big distance in short time. 
The Myobuddy plugs into an outlet, but has a reasonably long cord so you don't have to be stuck to the wall to use it. It has multiple speeds, and (in my opinion) the top speed is best. 

It works and it works well. It's more on the line of a vigorous Swedish massage and not deep tissue, but that just so happens to be what my husband prefers. And I prefer using the myobuddy to spending hours wearing my hands out. It really worked great! **UPDATE** I have recently learned that by using the side of the Myobuddy, it can be used for deep tissue massage. 

Even though it spins quickly, it didn't cause any hair pulling or discomfort. To be kind though, I wouldn't stay focused in any one area for too long - move it around! 

All-in-all, it was a great tool and one that I would recommend to others. 

*I received a complimentary MyoBuddy for review purposes. No compensation was received.

Making Your Own Chocolate Chips - a Head to Head Challenge

As I've grown older, my food knowledge has evolved. I've been a label reader for years, but it has taken me a long time to truly understand how the various "ingredients" effect our bodies and which ones to avoid. How scary is it that we even have to think about "avoiding" certain foods because their ingredients aren't good for us. Something is very wrong with that system!

And so....I have embarked on a renewed quest to "make our own" convenience food products. This week, I made chocolate chips for the first time. Next week, I'll be tackling tortillas.

The chocolate chips were surprisingly easy to make, and it was wonderful knowing what ingredients went into them and at what proportions! 

To make these - I melted 3 tablespoons of coconut oil (you could use cocoa butter or butter if you wanted) over a double boiler, then added 2 tablespoons of sugar, 6 tablespoons of cocoa powder, a sprinkle of salt and a splash of vanilla. 

I poured the mixture into silicone hot pads (they make great molds!!)

Then popped them into the freezer for a few minutes. Seriously, it was maybe 2 minutes and they were ready! 

The results:

I really liked them, but they were a bit bitter. They melted in your hands very quickly and were a nice chocolaty indulgence. The texture and consistency was just about right. 

In the future, I will keep the ratio the same 3T oil 8T dry ingredients but I will change the amount of cocoa powder down and add a bit more sugar.

This is all assuming you want to "eat" the chocolate chips (like candy). Actually, I made a few in a gummy bear mold that were awesome!! 

We usually use these for chocolate chip cookies, so I set up a head-to-head test with store bought chips.

I made the batter, then divided it in half. Then I measured out an equal portion of chips.
I baked them on the same pan at the same time so everything would be equal.
The homemade chips "spread" a lot more and did not hold their shape. But they tasted great. I could not tell a difference between the two cookies. 
Clean up was a little different story. The cookies with the homemade chocolate chips left more "oil" or "chocolatiness" behind on the pan. Is this a good or bad thing? It was a little messier to clean up, but I felt good knowing there wasn't random "soy" ingredients in my recipe.
 Absolutely worth making again - and much less expensive than store bought - plus I was aware of all the ingredients!!

Tortillas next....

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If you do anythign outdoors then you might want some #tiedownstraps

Over the past 6 months, we have been outside more than any other time in our life! That's because we bought a farm and have been busy fixing it up. Along with all that outdoor time, comes a lot of tools and equipment. The first thing we bought was a trailer and tie downs.

Tie down straps are essential! And they come in all different shapes and sizes. There are bungees, rachet straps, hook straps. This review is centered on these Tiger straps:

They are long and strong!! We usually use straps to tie down our atv, and this weekend we had to use straps to pull a bobcat out of the lake!! Holy smokes. For our usual work, we wouldn't need a strap that is as strong as the tiger straps (or as long) but I have found the perfect use for them. They helped us transport a huge corn crib (the length was awesome) and helped us cinch it back together once we found it's forever location. Awesome!

They are great straps. I would recommend them to others.

*I received a complimentary set of straps for review purposes. No compensation was received.

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What does your Bookshelf say about YOU?

A look into my book basket
What does your bookshelf say about you? Recently, my husband was preparing for a job interview and he worried they might ask, "what's the last book you've read?" He reads a lot, but not in book form - so the question worried him.

I, on the other hand, am a book wielding fiend! I have read a zillion books  (see my faves here) and my book basket is currently full of gems just waiting to be opened. My kindle currently has 250 unread books!! OMG! There are so many great books to read and so little time....

FYI - you can get the kindle app on any device for free. I have it on my samsung galaxy tablet and my iphone. I can rent books from our local library and download books from amazon. Some are free or there are often discount coupons that make them free.

Most of my books center around sustainable farming, spiritual enlightenment, human health, food, raising children, and war history. What kind of a person does that make me?

The "A Beginner's Guide to Reality" with the creepy bunny has been sitting at the top of my basket for awhile. What do people think when they see it? What does it make you think? I'll tell you what it means to me - it means I'm open to alternate possibilities. The world is not black and white. It may not even be real. It's definitely crazy. I like to see what other people have to say. I am looking forward to reading the "creepy bunny" book soon.

And to working my way through my kindle library....

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