Weight maintenance: Review on – Carnation Breakfast Essentials Powder

As I’m nearing the end of my gym trial (two weeks) at my local gym, I have to come to a decision if I’m willing to commit to a one year contract to not only the gym, but working out. A couple concerns about committing have arisen, one in particular is maintaining my weight.

One thing that has always been something I’ve been concerned about is my weight fluctuating, particularly in regards to losing weight. I have always had an issue with keeping weight on, and many have told me they wish they had this issue rather than being concerned with gaining weight. Let me tell you, it is not fun. Being underweight, like being overweight can be just as bad for you. One thing I noticed a few years back when I was even lighter, was my lack of energy and poor memory retention. It was an issue.

Now that I’m nipping this is in the butt and have steadily gained weight for the past year (+12 lbs to be exact), I have to up my food intake, particularly protein in order to gain weight to turn into muscle which will make it less easy to lose weight (Muscle weight is harder to lose than fat weight).

I’m finally at a good enough weight that I can now work on building muscle. I recently made a purchase for a breakfast blend drink to help me maintain my current weight and provide enough calories so I can build upon what I already have.

I recently purchased this pack of breakfast essentials in addition to my high protein breakfast of eggs, cereal and yogurt. I mix this in with my glass of milk and drink up!

I’ve only drank this about three times so far and I’m already noticing an improvement in the amount of energy I have.

Price: $6.49 

Availability: Most grocery stores (I got this from Bottom Dollar)

Ingredients: Nonfat Milk, Sugar, Maltodextrin, Cocoa processed with Alkali, Lactose, and less than 2% of Dicalcium Phosphate, Magnesium Hydroxide, Sodium Ascorbate, Soy Lecithin, Carrageenan, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Ferric Orthophosphate, Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Niacinamide, Salt, Copper Gluconate, Zinc Oxide, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Phytonadione, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12.

Directions: “Mix with milk for a nutritional drink loaded with nutrition and flavor. Just a single powder packet mixed with 1 cup fat-free milk provides 220 calories, 13 grams protein to help build and maintain muscle, and 25% or more of the daily value for 21 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin D to help build strong bones.” -Nestle

Re-purchase?: Yes. At $6.49 a container that has 14 servings, this is well worth the money. Many nutritional powders are quite pricey and I can’t afford to spend a whole lot. I’ve noticed a slight increase in my energy and I LOVE the taste. It tastes like chocolate milk without the weird chemical taste that many nutritional powders may have. I’m actually going to make a glass now, despite it’s 6pm in the evening. 🙂

***Find about more information about this product here: http://www.nestlenutritionstore.com/brands/carnation/carnation-instant-breakfast-essentials-powder?rank=5&v1=rank&asc=1&catpath=

(pictured in the link is a 60pk, I purchased a different size that has only 14 servings).

A New Oil for My Skin and Hair Regimen: Apricot Kernel Oil

This season I’m loving oil. Natural oils are a great way to help combat the cold, dry air here in the Northeast and tri-state area. One particular oil that has become a staple in my hair and skin regimen is Apricot Kernel oil. Strangely enough, I found it while browsing amazon.com while on the hunt for coconut oil to replenish my stock. Amazon.com has a great feature that suggests other products for you to look at and try based off of past purchases and past history of other customers. I clicked on an image of apricot kernel oil and decided to purchase because of vague information I knew of it off the top of my head, probably information I retained from a skin or hair forum I’m a member of. Coconut oil is also a staple, and so is olive oil, but I sometimes find both of these oils to be too heavy for every day use.

What I particularly love about apricot kernel oil is its lightness in both consistency and smell. It smells faintly of nut and goes on very lightly. I also love that is relatively inexpensive in comparison to other light oils such as jojoba oil. For 16 oz, I paid only around $7 (not including shipping) for the oil from amazon.com.  I don’t have to worry about being heavy handed and running low on it.

Here are some benefits of Apricot Kernel Oil I found and researched about*:

  1. It is a great source for Vitamin E! Super nourishing for both hair and skin.
  2. It is also rich in fatty acids and high in Vitamin A.
  3. It is also good for mature skin in that it promotes elasticity and suppleness.
  4. It has a longer shelf life than other oils, such as sunflower seed oil which tends to go bad fairly quickly.
  5. Its a very gentle and mild oil, so it benefits those of us with sensitive skin and even is safe enough for babies!

Apricot kernel oil is made by cold pressing and refined from dry kernels of an apricot. Also, the oil is readily found in many cosmetics. And, it is also edible in its pure form!

 

How I’ve added it to my regimen?

1.) My face:  After I’ve washed and used a toner, I place a dollop of apricot kernel oil and place it on a cotton round  and swipe it gently all over my face as a moisturizer. I use this only at night so far because I have combination/oily skin that is prone to oiliness.

2.) My Hair: After I’ve cowashed my hair in the shower, I coat my hair with my cantu shea butter leave-in and use a dime-sized amount of the apricot kernel oil and pat it throughout my hair. I then style with pink ecostyler or whatever styling product I choose for that day.

 

 

*Research information found on from healthguidance.org (http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/1807/1/Benefits-of-Apricot-Kernel-Oil.html)

The Importance of ROUTINE

Life has been exciting this past month. So many great opportunities have arisen in my direction and I’ve taken advantage of them in every way possible. Recently, I found myself frantically trying to get myself out the door for my first day of my new job. I nearly sprained my ankle in my attempt at looking cute for the first day of work with shoes and clothes all over my once pristine floor. After feeling like I had lost my mind as I messily got myself together, I realized this wasn’t fun, this was stressful and I obviously knew there was an easier more organized way to get ready.

So many people nowadays work multiple jobs with unpredictable schedules, leaving many of us out of sync and out of routine. I know when I’m all over the place, I find myself more exhausted and overall a feeling of disconnect. Fall is a great time of year to revisit and edit my daily regimen.  I like to organize my schedule by the amount of time it takes me to do each chore instead of waking up at a specific time, as my work schedule is tentative and ever-changing.

I split my schedule into night/day so that I can allocate enough time to do everything. I like to have this amount of time so that I don’t feel rushed and so that I feel refreshed.

This is what my routine in preparation for work tends to look like:

 

 

 

 

(1)    30 minutes: Nightly yoga or jog

(2)    10 minutes: Hang my clothing up for the following day

(3)    15 minutes: The night before I shower, and sleep with a microfiber hair turban

(4)      3 minutes: brush teeth

Total time: 58 minutes

 

 

 

 

(1)    5 minutes: get dressed

(2)    10 minutes: wash face and then apply make-up

(3)    10 minutes: style hair

(4)    3 minutes: brush teeth

(5)    20-30 minutes: prepare and eat breakfast

(6)    10-15 minutes: check e-mail, social media and news

Total time:  1 hour and 23 minutes

 

What does your routine look like?