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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bright, White and Lives Up to the Hype: Luster Distinctly White Dual-Action Whitening System and Luster NOW! Instant Whitening Toothpaste

I have some scary teeth, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Okay, maybe a little. I drink coffee, tea and cola. You name it, I stain it. I've used whitening toothpastes, rinses, trays, and strips, and I always bail. Why?

No instant gratification. It takes forever to see any results, and in the meantime, I'm merrily restaining away.

Enter the Luster Distinctly White Dual-Action Whitening System. Thank you, BzzAgent, for the free product!


Exhibit A: My nasty teeth.






Now scope this: My nasty teeth after two applications.


Tell me you can't see the HUGE difference there. You can't? Here's a side by side.



I know the pic colors look a little off, but my teeth really were that hideously yellow. They look that good now, after only TWO applications.

So what voodoo is required to get pretty pearlies? Surprisingly little.

If you're just using the system, you start by rinsing with the Accelerator Mouth Rinse, a slightly peroxide-tasting mouth wash type thing. 10 seconds, focusing on your front teeth, or your "smile teeth."

Next, the Super Whitener Gel. This is the easiest thing in the world to use. It comes in a squeeze tube with a brush on it, kind of like lip balm. Squeeze and paint, again focusing on the front teeth. You really need to glop it on. One thing: the instructions tell you to avoid getting it on your gums, lips or tongue. Heed this warning well. My gums and tongue weren't bothered by it, but it stings like you wouldn't believe if it gets on your lips. It's very thick and clingy, though, so it's fairly easy to avoid that issue.

Next? You make this face.



You need to keep your lips and tongue off of your teeth for 30 seconds, to give the Gel a chance to adhere to your teeth. It's not too stressful, but you do look weird. My son ran out of the room. Anyway, if you look, you can see the foaming action of the Gel between my teeth just going to town.

Once you can relax and look normal again, you wait ten minutes for the magic to happen. And magic it is.

After one application:



I mean, look at that. One use, about ten minutes, and BAM.  And again, after two applications:



Now, you can also add a little kickstart with the  Luster NOW! Instant Whitening Toothpaste. I gave that a whirl as well. I have to admit, on its own, not as magic. Visually, my teeth seemed a teeny bit whiter, about what I would get from a typical whitening toothpaste.

However...if I may add a little TMI at this point, it's what was in the sink that counted. I saw yellowish stuff I've never seen before. That tells me there was more removed than meets the eye. I'm going to try it a bit more and see if I'm right.

I am seriously in awe at the results. In my opinion, it meets and exceeds my expectations. I can't wait to see what brightness the future brings. In the meantime, I'm going to get a latte, secure in the thought that my yellow teeth will be contained.

The Luster Distinctly White Dual-Action Whitening System sells for 12.99, and can be purchased here.  The Luster NOW! Instant Whitening Toothpaste sells for 7.99, available here.

In store, they can be located at;



I received free products from BzzAgent in exchange for my review. All opinions and statements are my own.



Monday, October 21, 2013

Kashi Hummus Crisps: Deliciously Different, and Good for You, Too!



 The options for chips have really expanded, with all sorts of flavors and ingredients...some not so good for you, some good for you.

But can you believe...hummus in a chip?

Believe it.


Thanks to the amazing people at BzzAgent and Kashi, I was able to try the new Sea Salt and Olive Oil Hummus Crisps for free in exchange for my review.

So, what the heck is a hummus crisp? Well, it's a combo of popped whole grain chips with the goodness of chickpeas. Chickpeas are, in fact, the first ingredient listed. The benefits of that crazy matchup? Behold the short list. (Information via the Kashi site.)
  • 27 Crisps
  • 120
  • 3.5 g
  • 180 mg
  • 4 g
  • 3 g
  • 6 g
Seriously. 27 chips for 120 calories, with all those other nice stats. The usual chip suspects are much meaner than that in the calorie department. In addition, there's no partially hydrogenated oils, no high fructose corn syrup, and as the bag tells me, "No artificial anything".

And they look a little something like this:


Texturally, they're in between a popcorn chip and a tortilla chip. Nice and light, but dense enough to pick up dip and with a great crunch. They're about the size of the bite-size round tortilla chips.

Ah, but since they're so healthy, they must have the flavor spectrum of styrofoam, right?

WRONG. So VERY wrong.

The taste is lovely. Despite the name, it's not just olive oil and salt, but an array of seasonings that meld together to really create a tasty snack. I thought I detected a bit of rosemary, myself. It's tangy, salty and the combination gives a comforting down home feel that makes this healthy crunchtastic nibble a comfort food. The flavor makes a statement on its own, but I really enjoyed it with my personal favorite dip: Medium-heat salsa.


 I offered them to my kids, ages thirteen, four and nineteen months. The teenager snorted and walked away, and the four-year-old enjoyed a handful.The  youngest adored them. So two out of three of my children liked them. We ignore the teenager's opinion generally, anyway.

There are two other flavors available: Caramelized Onion and Sundried Tomato Basil & Feta. I am on a mission to find them both, though I admit, the Caramelized Onion sounds incredible. I'll update once I find them and devour them.

Speaking of updates...if you want to keep up with Kashi and their innovations, get with them on Facebook or Pinterest. It's really a good idea to stay abreast of the deliciousness.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013

Garcinia Cambogia Weight Management: One Woman's Perspective

STRAIGHT UP: This is not going to be one of those chipper short pieces where I tell you I lost fifty pounds in a week and was still able to eat ice cream and french fries. The concept of the magic weight loss pill isn't something I subscribe to. However, I will be enlightening you on my perspective of Garcinia Cambogia Extract.

In my opinion, the most important part about taking an herbal supplement of any kind is if it improves your health or your outlook in some way, not if it performs a magic act. In short, if you going to use something long term, it better make a happy.

I received a 90 capsule bottle of Garcinia Cambogia via Influenster and The Vitamin Shoppe for testing purposes. I had heard a lot about it here and there, and I was most curious. The capsules I took were a combination of Garcinia Cambogia Extract (1000 mg) and Chromium (200 mcg).



First dose: I took it 30 minutes before a meal, per directions. After a few minutes, I was starving. No joke. I was like, wait, I thought this was supposed to be an appetite suppressant?

Be patient. That's why you gotta wait the 30 minutes. I drank water in the meantime. After about 15 minutes, I felt less hungry. After the full 30 minutes, I was still hungry, but it was no longer the ravenous "attack the kitchen" mode I had felt earlier. I was more alert, more focused...I felt very clearheaded. I also had to visit the restroom.

I hear you...TMI. Bear with me. There's a reason I mention it.

I'm the master of the trendy diet...I've done plenty. I'm also very in tune with my body. All of these sensations in a combo are a sign that my poor, abused metabolism is kicking it up a notch.

When I ate, it was amazing how quickly I felt full. I'm a girl who really likes her food, and it's obvious by my pants size. I ate a good amount less than I normally would have. The beauty part? I stayed full longer, too.

I continued the dosing, taking two capsules before each meal. It seemed to have a cumulative effect...I found myself eating less and less, and after a few days on it, found I had less cravings for junk food in general, which was a nice bonus. I was aiming more towards proteins than carbs, too. For me, that's another sign that my metabolism is heating up.

I had no bad side effects that I noticed. The positive ones were more energy, less snacking, less overeating, and an inclination to want healthier choices. In general, it made me feel more alert and upbeat. I'm assuming the Chromium helped with that. No digestive issues, nothing like that at all.

I know, you'd like to see huge loss numbers and a sexy before and after pic. I don't have that. I've lost about four pounds in four weeks. Not bad, but hardly a miracle. The big thing is, I FEEL a lot better, which gives me more energy and gets me moving, and I am eating a lot less. During that time frame, I still had some naughty things as well, probably more than I should have. This all adds up to a weight loss helper I can see using long term. The 90 count bottle retails for 16.99 on The Vitamin Shoppe website.

Allergy People: It does not contain:

Yeast, Wheat, Gluten, Sugar, Salt, Starch, Dairy, Citrus, Fish, Preservatives, Artificial Colors or Flavors.


 




It's All ZonePerfect® Greek Yogurt Bars To Me

One of the joyful goodies in my Good Life Vox Box, compliments of Influenster, was a ZonePerfect Greek Yogurt bar. I hear you...SO many bars out there...why should I care?

You should. You totally should.
First, it's about 180 to 190 calories. In that tiny amount is 12 grams of protein and three grams of fiber. And the flavors.  Hello, the flavors:

Chocolate, Raspberry, and Vanilla Berry. My treat was Vanilla Berry.

 It had the texture of your standard snack bar: a bit dry. Ah, but the taste. That's the kicker. The flavors were great...the berry really came through, and the yogurt coating was nice and thick, adding to a "candy bar" feel. It's a nice thick bar, too, very suitable for nibbling.


My thoughts were that if I got "candy bar" from the berry flavor, the chocolate flavor must be fabulous.

Guess what. It totally is. Same snackbar texture, but a great cookies and cream taste that makes you feel like you're being naughty. I can't wait to try the raspberry flavor.

The bar is pretty good sized, and what is there is very filling...normally when I'm hungry, I can drop a couple of these, but this did a great job, even in the case when "snack" replaced "lunch". It's like it expands after you eat it. I've started keeping them handy in my desk, so I don't fall into the "no time to stop and eat" trap. That can seriously rack up your metabolism.

They do contain gluten, dairy and soy, so it's not one for those sensitive to those items. As far as kid appeal, they only liked the chocolate, and even then, not very enthusiastic. That works for me, as it keeps them from stealing them. But never fear: ZonePerfect has a line of bars just for kids. Check it out here. The Yellow Cupcake flavor was a big hit with mine, FYI.

Basically, if you need healthy snacks, ZonePerfect is perfect for your needs. Check them out...you won't be sorry.

I received this product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. My opinions are honest and my own, albeit a bit goofy.