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).

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Product Review: As I Am Coconut Cowash

I’ve had this product for a couple months now and thought it’s finally a good time to give my opinion of the product so this won’t be a first impressions kind of post. I realize that loads of ladies have already done reviews and most raved about it. I’m happy to say, I just purchased my 2nd container of the product from Amazon.com because I liked it so much.

This is a great alternative to shampoo, so if you do “no poo” washes, cowashing is a great way to cleanse your hair and scalp without stripping your hair of necessary oils. As you may know, sulfates, which are readily in most shampoos (unless otherwise noted as sulfate free) lather and strip your hair. I personally like to shampoo once a week because I have dandruff and product build-up issues, but on the days I don’t shampoo, I like to cowash. This product is also CG friendly if you use the Curly Gurl Method. Methylisothiazolinone, which is listed in the ingredients list of the product is a PRESERVATIVE and not a silicone, in case you’re wondering. 🙂

Product size: 16oz
Product price point: $6.99-$8.99
Availability: Sally’s Beauty, Amazon.com, AsIAmNaturally.com
Product features: “This light no suds conditioning cream gently removes residue including all of the things you’ve used to style and maintain your coils and curls. Now it’s time for a sparkling new beginning. This cowash is different from any other because it contains a special blend of natural ingredients that work to promote healthy hair growth from the follicular level.” -As I Am Naturally

Ingredients: Aqueous (Water, Aqua Purificada, Purified) Extracts: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) and Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine)¹, Cetyl Alcohol², Cetrimonium Chloride, Cetearyl Alcohol², PEG-40 Castor Oil, Stearlkonium chloride, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil², Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil¹, Phytosterols¹, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract¹, Quaternium-18, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance/Parfum, Limonene, Methylisothiazolinone

Directions: Wet hair thoroughly. Rub a liberal amount of As I Am Coconut CoWash within palms and distribute throughout hair. Work product through hair and massage scalp with fingertips as you would a conventional shampoo. Carefully detangle hair with a wide-tooth comb. Rinse well.

Application: I wet my hair completely root to tip and then lathered the product on in sections. Because this product also has amazing slip, I will detangle in the shower with my shower comb. I detangle from tip to root since my ends tangle more than the rest of my hair. I then rinse is out completely and leave none in. Once, I did leave it in and it left my hair a little drier than I like… So, I don’t recommend it as a leave-in.

Scent: Because the key ingredients are *Tangerine, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Saw Palmetto and Phytosterols* it smells delicious. Not quite as strong as a Pina Colada, but similar to a coconut sweet. I smell the tangerine and coconut oil together.

Verdict: 4.8/5 – LOVED IT. This is officially a holy grail product in my hair care regimen. The only thing I don’t like, which many others have already mentioned, is the tub. I prefer pumps in all my products because it’s the easiest to get out. It’s a jar, so water can easily get in it in the shower and it’s inconvenient to dispense. For the size, the price and the ingredients this is not only very affordable but also good for your hair and scalp! I love cost effective products. One tub has lasted me over a month, too! I’m not heavy handed, though.

Have you used any As I Am products? Which one is your favorite?

 

*Product was purchased with my own money. I was not paid to do this review.

BEE•U•Ti• FUL Moisturizing Deep Conditioner review!

I was recently sent a sample size 8oz tub of Bee Mine’s new product: “BEE•U•Ti• FUL Moisturizing Deep Conditioner”! I was stoked to try out a product considering this is the first time I’ve ever tried a hair product from their line.

I have a preference for more natural based products (although I definitely don’t have all natural products), and having claimed they are “Silicone – Free / SLS – Free / Paraben – Free / Protein Free”, I was eager to try this out on my mane! haha. Because this product is protein free, this would be great for protein sensitive naturalistas out there.

The product arrived to me about three days ago and I did the review off of one use.

Also, side-note: I had a little too much fun editing the photos I took of the product. I hope you find it entertaining, lol.

Product size: 8oz (also available in 2oz and 16oz)
Product price point: $18.97
Availability: http://www.beemineproducts.com
Product features: “We are pleased to announce the release of our BEE•U•Ti•FUL Moisturizing Deep Conditioner; our first protein-free deep conditioner that helps to detangle your hair and provide excellent manageability. This deep conditioner is made with creamy and emollient Cupuacu butter, to promote smooth and soft hair while boosting the rebirth of the hair’s natural moisture and elasticity. Highly beneficial for dry and damaged hair. BEE•U•Ti•FUL also provides some protection from damaging UV-A and UV-B rays and helps to restore shine and moisture to stressed hair.”

Directions: “After shampooing, gently & evenly massage a generous amount of BEE•U•Ti•FUL into palms and spread evenly from root to ends of hair. Cover hair with a warm towel or plastic cap for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with water and style as desired.”
Ingredients: Distilled water, Cetearyl Alcohol, BTMS (mild emulsifier), 100% Unrefined Shea Butter , 100% Organic Coconut Oil, Cupuacu Butter, Calendula Extract, Chamomile Extract, Organic Raw Honey, Paraben Free Preservative, Fragrance (Phthalate Free)”

Application: First, I cowashed my hair with my coconut cowash from the product line “As I Am”. I then applied the bee mine deep conditioner in my hair in sections. Because the directions told me to leave it on for 10 minutes, I then put on my microfiber hair turban and let the product work its magic. I did not use a steamer, a hooded dryer or any heat. I therefore let the product sit a bit longer in my hair, around 20 minutes. I then rinsed out the product with cold water and went about styling my hair with my mango butter/shea butter mixture and pink ecostyler gel.

Scent: Without having read what the product says about the scent, my nose picked up on a honey/vanilla smell whipped together with coconut cream. It smells AMAZING. I’m quite picky when it comes to the scents I like to have on my hair, and this scent is one that I wouldn’t mind smelling all day long. The thing I also love about the scent is its longevitiy. I applied the product in my hair (and washed it out) yesterday morning and I can still smell a hint of honey and coconut. The scent lingers, but in a good way, in that freshly baked cupcakes at a bakery kind of way 😉

Verdict: 4.5/5 stars – I really have taken a liking to this product and this experience has encouraged me to check out other products from their line. Two things that are most important to me in a product are its (1) scent and (2) ingredients – and these two things are a go for me. I asked my mother for a quote in reference to how my hair looked by the end of the day and she said, I kid you not, “hot diggity dog.” She also had had a glass of wine, but hey, you get the picture 😉 I think I can pretty much surmise that that means it looked nice – lol. I like how my hair felt, granted my styling products had a lot of influence on how my hair turned out, too. I had “hand in hair syndrome” all day, oops. Is it worth repurchasing?? My response, “heck yeah!”
What are two things YOU find most important in a deep conditioning product?

Product Review: Dove Nourishing Oil Care line

Disclaimer: I purchased both of these products with my own money. I was not asked or paid to review these products!

As I was skimming the aisles of my local CVS, my eyes were enticed by pretty gold and ivory packaging of Dove’s new Argan Oil-based product line. I immediately knew I had to try it. Now that mainstream drugstore brands are catching onto the natural ingredient/natural hair fad (I’d call it more of a lifestyle change and awareness by consumers such as myself *ahem*), you can find big name brands trying to gain the attention of naturalistas everywhere with jargon such as “coconut oil”, “argan oil”, “organic”, and “paraben-free”/silicone-free” and more clearly visible on product packaging!

I knew I had to try it. I try to steer clear of buying products based on their “looks”, but I’m somehow always tricked into glossy, sleek and clean-looking packaging. Good job Dove marketing team 😉

The two products I decided to try out are: (1) Dove Nutritive Therapy, Nourishing Oil Care Daily Treatment Conditioner and (2) Nourishing Oil Care Anti-Frizz Serum with Argan Oil.


(1) Dove Nutritive Therapy, Nourishing Oil Care Daily Treatment Conditioner
Product size: 8oz
Product price point: Around $6.50
Availability: At most drugstores and grocery stores
Product features: “Conditioner and treatment in one
-Dramatically transforms even extra dry, rough and frizzy hair
-Formula with Weightless Nutri-Oils replenishes essential nutrients
-Deep nourishment for amazing smoothness
-Advanced care and repair for beautiful hair” – Dove website

Ingredients: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Lactic Acid, Behentrimonium chloride, Glycerin, Fragrance (Parfum), Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Dipropylene Glycol, Amodimethicone, Polyurethane-39, Petrolatum, Disodium EDTA, DMD Hydantoin, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, PEG-7 Propylheptyl Ether, Cetrimonium Chloride, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, PEG-180M, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Trehalose, Gluconolactone, Adipic Acid, Sodium Sulfate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Iron Oxides (CI 77492).

Application: I applied this product in the shower after co-washing with TRESemme Naturals conditioner (a staple in my hair routine). I squeezed about enough product to lather it on from root to tip. I let it sit on my hair for about 5 minutes before rinsing out the rest of the product. The consistency is of a thick butter and it comes out in two colors: yellow and white, kind of like crest toothpaste, haha. I got more than enough slip for my dry, fine curly “3c” hair.

Scent: It smelled very good, like most Dove products. However, it does not have a natural scent, it is definitely perfumed (as you can see within the ingredient list). I’d say it has a light floral/cream scent with a hint of almond.

Verdict: 3.5/5 stars. Love the scent, love the packaging, I wish the consistency were a little less thick and provided some more slip because I didn’t feel like it penetrated as much as it could have. It left my hair feeling pretty soft, but alas, I’ve felt it softer and more to my liking with other products. Repurchasing is unlikely however, as I know products that are better suited for my hair type and texture.


(2) Nourishing Oil Care Anti-Frizz Serum with Argan Oil

Product size: 1.35 fl oz (40 ml)
Product price point: Around $6.50
Availability: At most drugstores and grocery stores
Product features: “The Dove® Nourishing Oil Care Collection transforms dry, rough and frizzy hair into beautifully smooth hair that’s easier to manage and style.

Dove® Weightless Nutri-Oils, now enriched with Argan Oil, penetrate hair rapidly to deeply nourish, instantly smooth frizz and revitalize shine without weighing hair down.” -Dove website
Product Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Isohexadecane, Dimethiconol), Phenyl Trimethicone, Amodimethicone, Fragrance (Parfum), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil.

Application: I applied this after having used the daily treatment conditioner out of the shower. I wore a microfiber turban for about 20 minutes and applied it when my hair was damp and not dripping wet. It felt like a typical serum or an oil; consistency similar to that of an oil such as extra virgin olive oil. It’s clear and lightweight. I applied 5 pumps in total since my hair is a little bit passed BSL (bra strap length) when curly. It felt similar to that of Organix Coconut milk serum, as far as texture.

Scent: Similar to the conditioner… I smell a bit of almond mixed in with a light floral scent. Before I was saying it smelled like a creamy light floral. Smells beautiful!

Verdict: 4/5 stars. I liked the serum more than the conditioner. I loved the packaging, the smell and the consistency. I felt it locked in moisture and left my hair bouncy and somewhat defined. In the future, I will need to use some kind of mousse or gel to hold the curl better, but overall, it made my hair smell lovely, look good and didn’t leave it greasy!