Marconi Union’s “Weightless” Song: Best Music for Relaxation

best music for relaxation

The Study and the Song

According to a study commissioned by Radox, a UK manufacturer of relaxing bath products, the British ambient music band Marconi Union and sound therapists have created the best music for relaxation ever created. The study featured music from artists as diverse as Adele and Coldplay and genres from classical to techno. This study basically looked at every form of music known to man to find the most relaxing song.

The winner, “Weightless,” is an interesting mix of underlying bass tones, rhythms, frequencies, whooshing sounds, and note intervals that relaxes its listener like no other tune can, apparently.

A continuous rhythm with a tempo comparable to a human heart’s 60 beats per minute (BPM) causes the listener’s brainwaves and heart rate to slow to that tempo. Total synchronization occurs in a process known as “entrainment.” It takes at least five minutes for your body to be entrained by any particular piece of music. The song itself is just over eight minutes long (the whole Weightless album is just over 42 minutes long, and there’s an extended version looping for 10+ hours on Youtube), which you can check out below.

Mindlab International, the organization that conducted the research, found that “Weightless” reduces anxiety by 65% and even decreases physiological resting rates by 35%. This song can relax you so much, in fact, that it’s recommend you not listen to it while you are driving because you may fall asleep at the wheel!

The study found that this song is more relaxing than a massage, a walk, or a cup of herbal tea. As Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson, a scientist with Mindlab International says, “‘Weightless’ induced the greatest relaxation – higher than any of the other music tested. Brain imaging studies have shown that music works at a very deep level within the brain, stimulating not only those regions responsible for processing sound but also ones associated with emotions.” That’s partly why this song works so well to calm people down.

My own personal experience

In my own personal experience, I can say that this is definitely the most relaxing song I’ve ever heard. The first time I listened to it, I found the droning bass tones somewhat annoying, and I didn’t think it was really going to work to relax me. I didn’t fall asleep, but I did notice that when I tried to stand up after I finished listening to the song I was completely unable to. I mean, I couldn’t get my legs to work at all at first, and when they finally did they felt like jelly. I would say I was almost fully relaxed — and I didn’t even listen to the song all the way through the first time!

Then, a few days later, I took my Chromebook to the daycare where I worked so I could play the extended version on Youtube during naptime. This particular day, the kids (a classroom full of two year olds) had been running me ragged, and I was ready for a break, as in a quiet naptime. Several of these kids have a hard time settling down, and some wake up screaming soon after naptime starts. Still, I thought it was worth a try.

I was not disappointed. That day, I (and the kids) was (were) rewarded with TWO HOURS OF UNINTERRUPTED SLEEP TIME! Well, I didn’t sleep; the kids slept. I just got to enjoy the quiet. Nobody fought; nobody fussed. They all just slept. It was musical magic!

I was in another class with slightly younger children (about 18 months old) some time after that, and I thought I would try this song out with them. Yes, it worked like a charm again! The next day, I didn’t play the song, and everybody was up within an hour. They were fussy and cranky because they didn’t get their nap out, and I was completely convinced that “Weightless” has to be played during every naptime from now on.

Now, you may not have a room full of screaming toddlers you’re trying to get to go to sleep, but maybe you do have one or two. Or maybe you’re having trouble sleeping yourself. This song may be just what you need to finally settle down and get a good night’s sleep. It can’t hurt, right? And it’s most certainly worth a try.

Americans spent over $40 billion on sleep aids in 2015, and within the next two years that figure’s expected to go up to over $50 billion. Why spend money on sleep aids that may or may not work (and upon which you may grow dependent) when you can listen to some super soothing music for free, or at least very cheaply, if you choose to buy the song or album? In my experience, “Weightless” really works wonders. Don’t just take my word for it, though. Try it our for yourself today.

the 10 most relaxing songs ever

“Weightless” not your style? Don’t worry about it. Here’s the full list of the 10 most relaxing songs, just in case you want to check them all out:

1. Marconi Union and Lyz Cooper – Weightless

2. Airstream – Electra

3. DJ Shah – Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix)

4. Enya – Watermark

5. Coldplay – Strawberry Swing

6. Barcelona – Please Don’t Go

7. All Saints – Pure Shores

8. Adele – Someone Like You

9. Mozart – Canzonetta Sull’aria

10. Cafe Del Mar – We Can Fly

most relaxing songs ever

So, if you’re feeling particularly stressed out (or if you’re having trouble sleeping), take a listen to one or more of these songs. You’re sure to find something that will relax you. And if you want to find even more ways to relieve stress and anxiety, you might want to check out this post.

What Is A Meal Replacement Shake Diet … and Is It Right for You?

What Is A Meal Replacement Shake Diet … and Is It Right for You?

The object of any diet plan should be sustained weight loss — weight loss that you can keep off in the future, but finding a diet plan that works for you can be difficult. As is the case with dating, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince and live happily ever after. Many people feel that a meal replacement diet will be their diet true love, but some find that it’s just another frog. In this post we’re going to explore the reasons why. 

A meal replacement diet is one of the easiest and most impactful weight loss programs you can adapt to your lifestyle. Most dieters choose a low-calorie shake as an easy and fast replacement meal, but there are also other options – such as bars or a salad, as opposed to a burger.

The meal replacement diet is simply one type of diet plan you can choose. As with all diet plans, this one has both benefits and drawbacks.

slim fast

the popularity of meal replacement diets

I remember back in the 1980s when Slim-Fast was first gaining popularity. It seemed so easy — a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, and then a sensible dinner. It also seemed a little scary (remember: I love food). I mean, not eating solid food for two whole meals? Really?

Meal replacement diets have gotten even more popular in recent decades. One reason for this is that they take very little time, and you don’t have to think about various options or plan extensively to begin or carry through with your diet plan. And, instead of replacing two meals a day, most of the current plans only have you replacing one.

Many people choose a meal replacement diet specifically for weight loss, but those with digestive problems such as Crohn’s disease, gastritis, and ulcerative colitis may lack the appetite to eat three solid, fresh meals per day. For these individuals, a meal replacement diet can be a godsend, providing essential nutrition and much-needed calories they might otherwise miss.

How does it work?

For those who need to lose weight, the meal replacement diet is considered a rapid and easy way to do so. This is the type of weight loss plan that’s targeted to busy, on-the-go people who have little time to plan or cook healthy meals. When you replace at least one meal per day with a low calorie or liquid meal and enjoy healthy, low calorie meals and snacks at other times during the day, you will decrease your calorie intake.

While it’s best to focus on good habits such as exercise and a healthy diet plan, meal replacements can work for some people to help them stay satisfied without having to consume or be tempted by high-calorie meals. When you burn more calories than you put into your body, weight loss is bound to occur. 

diet shakes for women

 

it’s not all peachy keen

There are some drawbacks to the meal replacement diet. For example, although the shakes and other types of meal replacement products (such as Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig) advertise that they provide essential minerals and vitamins, they also contain super-processed ingredients — and some of them contain a whole lot of sugar. Side note: I was on the Nutrisystem diet for a while, and so was my dad. It works. I lost 30 pounds, and he lost a whole lot more. But when we quit buying and using the products, we gained all the weight back (well, I did. He only gained back some of it). Still, remember: we want SUSTAINED weight loss. 

Choosing whole foods on a low-calorie diet plan can provide a more balanced and nutritious meal than does a replacement. Plus, when you choose real foods, you’re more apt to make the choices you need to continue making to help you keep the weight off for good.

But if you prefer a liquid meal replacement to a healthy meal, you might want to try making your own smoothies as an alternative to pre-packaged shakes and meals. Smoothies made with healthy fats and protein can provide you with great nutrition and can be a filling meal substitute.

If you still want to give meal replacement shakes or food substitutes a try, be sure you read all the labels to see if you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and perform at its best.

meal replacement shakes for women

is the meal replacement diet right for you?

 

Obviously, the meal replacement diet is going to be more appropriate and effective for some people than it is for others. Some may find it’s very easy to stick to, while others won’t be able to suppress the urge to break away from the diet plan and engage in some major binge eating.

You might find the meal replacement diet particularly appealing if:

  • You’re not sure how to put together the most nutritious low calorie meals and snacks
  • Meal planning and preparation, in general, is a definite challenge for you
  • You love the convenience of having something you can carry in your purse or backpack so you can have it with you wherever you go
  • You don’t need to lose a lot of weight, but you want the pounds you do need to lose to go away fast
  • You cringe at the thought of counting calories; it’s a no-brainer with this type of diet

meal replacement diet

 

You might want to stay away from a meal replacement diet if:

  • You prefer a more satisfying meal; i.e., one that you actually have to chew before you swallow. You may fall off the wagon really quickly if you feel deprived in such a way.
  • Shakes and substitute meals are often laden with sugar, preservatives, and other unhealthy ingredients. There are some good alternatives out there. You just have to know where to find them.
  • Replacement meals may also prove to be too expensive for your budget. This is the main reason my dad and I stopped using the Nutrisystem diet. Be sure to some comparison shopping before you choose a plan.
  • You may not learn how to make healthy choices if you rely heavily on pre-packaged meals.

Before you decide to start on a meal replacement diet, you need to carefully weigh the pros against the cons to see if it’s the right diet choice for you. If you discover that it’s the perfect choice for you, you’ll want to look out for next week’s post, in which I’ll discuss how to prepare for a meal replacement diet.

Do You Eat Too Much? Here’s How to Tell

our love affair with overeating

Everybody eats. Everybody has to eat, or else they die. And, if we’re honest, we’d have to admit that most of us really enjoy eating, especially when we’ve come in contact with some great-tasting food! Unfortunately, we don’t always know when we need to stop eating. This is particularly true of the North American culture, in which we have some amazing food that’s served in very large quantities (anybody seen Supersize Me?). Do you eat too much? Think about that question for a long time. The answer may surprise you.

homer simpson eating donuts

While we may laugh at humorous situations like Homer Simpson eating until he can’t physically move and think it’s all fun and games, in reality it can be anything but. The negative consequences of eating too much can range from a simple mild stomach ache in the short term to the many health risks associated with chronic obesity, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes that affect people for the rest of their lives.

More often than not, the typical overeater does not stuff food in his or her mouth to the point at which his/her pants are about to burst wide open. Instead, we simply end up eating more than we need at any certain time, or eating until we’re full rather than eating until we’ve gotten the nutrients our body needs.

We do not have the natural constraints our ancestors did to prevent us from overeating. Several millennia ago, it wasn’t even possible for most humans to overeat because neither large-scale agriculture nor food processing even existed until fairly recently in human history. Currently, most humans (especially the ones who live in North America) have access to more food with more convenience than ever before.

freedom from emotion eating

what drives us to eat more than we need?

Even though we have more food more readily available to us than did our ancestors, we still have the power to stop eating before we get ourselves into trouble. So what keeps us eating, even though we know we don’t need to?

Emotional eating

Many people struggle with emotional eating. I know I sure do. I definitely have an emotional connection with food, and maybe you do. Do you find yourself eating more when you are depressed, stressed, or just bored? I sure do. And that’s not a good thing.

A study in the journal Appetite researched the eating habits of adolescents who were at an especially high risk for obesity. The primary result they found was that “depressive symptoms were associated with significantly greater consumption of total energy and energy from sweet snack foods, which, over time, could be anticipated to promote excess weight gain.”

One of the primary ways we can detect whether we may be eating too much is to monitor the reason why we are eating. Are we eating because we are hungry, or because of an emotional issue we are dealing with?

Knowing the importance of tracking what I’m eating and how I’m feeling when I eat it is what led me to create my 30-day food, exercise, water, fitness, and emotional eating tracking journal. You can get the PDF version for free when you subscribe to my email list, or you can buy the paperback version on Amazon.

personal fitness tracker

Hypoglycemia

Another consideration is symptoms of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. If you’re anything like me you know the symptoms of hypoglycemia well. But, just in case you haven’t yet had the pleasure of experiencing the symptoms of hypoglycemia, here’s a quick rundown:

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling shaky
  • Hunger
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Pale skin
  • Pounding heart; racing pulse
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Weakness

common symptoms of hypoglycemia

A research study from the Medical University of Warsaw found that hypoglycemic symptoms can lead people to eat more in order to satisfy their body’s urges to increase insulin. It is always important to remember to practice moderation when eating sweets because they (or at least the crashes that occur when we come down off of the sugar rushes) lead us to eat far more than we actually need.

Your Own Body Will Tell You

There really is no better indicator of whether you are eating too much than your own body. If you experience frequent constipation, blockage, bloating, vomiting, or stomach aches, your body is trying to tell you that it has had enough. More often than not, if you feel the constant need for laxatives or antacids, your body knows that you have taken in far more food than you need, and it wants you to know about it. 

In addition, your body’s energy and mental alertness levels will give you clues that you are eating too much. While we all enjoy an excellently cooked meal or delicious snacks, it’s important for us to remember that, biologically speaking, food is simply fuel our body needs to consume so it can turn it into energy.

When we bog our system down with excess fuel, or fuel of poor quality (junk food, anyone?), our energy will decrease. We feel sluggish and less alert. By eating the wrong kind of food we overload our digestive system, in effect, and we decrease our energy stores instead of increasing them.  

tips to stop overeating

Believe me, I love food just as much as the next person, and I’m totally guilty of overeating at times. In fact, I’m pretty grateful that our bodies give us warning signs when we’re eating too much, or too much of the wrong kinds of foods. 

Overeating evidences itself in emotional symptoms, like depression and increased stress, and in physical symptoms, like hypoglycemia, low energy, and digestive issues. If you experience any of these on even a semi-regular basis, you can be pretty certain that you do, in fact, eat too much.

But how do you stop? What happens if you know you’re eating too much, but you’re not sure what to do about it?

The truth is: going from eating too much to eating just the right amount can cause a lot of discomfort in the way of hunger pains. Your body gets used to a certain amount of food being given to it, and all of a sudden it’s not. It’s going to rebel against you for a while.

One of the best ways I’ve found to avoid hunger pains is to add a meal replacement shake and/or specially formulated snacks into your daily routine. I love the products from IdealShape. They block hunger for hours and really help keep you from eating more than your body needs. Plus, they have lots of awesome essential vitamins and minerals! You can read my full review of the IdealShape shakes here.

So, tell me: Do you think you overeat? Do you know you do? What steps are you going to take to change that?

Understanding Chronic Inflammation and Aging

Chronic Inflammation and Aging

Inflammation is a biological process that has received quite a bit of media attention in recent years and has been the subject of numerous health trends, especially in the fields of diet and weight loss. Inflammation is defined by the National Institute of Health as “a very complex response to an injury, infection, or other stimulus, in which many different cell types and secreted factors orchestrate protective immunity, tissue repair, and resolution of tissue damage.”

New research suggests that there is an important link between chronic inflammation and aging, with some scientists thinking that inflammation is THE single most critical factor in human aging. While the jury is still out on whether this is really true, we can certainly review the current existing information to discover whether inflammation is something we need to be concerned about if we wish to age gracefully. SPOILER ALERT: It is!

The Research

Most research has been focused on understanding the role of inflammation among the elderly, especially as far as degenerative diseases are concerned. While the overall role of inflammation in the human lifespan from youth to old age is still unclear, there is a fair amount of consensus that inflammation plays a primary role in the accelerated aging process that is usually seen among the elderly.

degenerative aging disease
Staff Sgt. Nick Crouse, a medical technician with the 193rd Special Operations Wing’s Medical Group out of Middletown, Pa., takes the blood pressure of a patient. Crouse and other members of the 193rd Medical Group provided free health screenings at the Hawaii County Office of Aging in Hilo, Hawaii, June 14. Members of the 193rd Medical Group are in Hilo for Medical Innovative Readiness Training.

 

A recent panel organized by the National Institute of Health and National Geroscience Interest Group on aging stated that “It is now recognized that a mild pro-inflammatory state is correlated with the major degenerative diseases of the elderly.”

What causes inflammation?

This begs the question: how does inflammation start in the body?  

A really accurate answer to this question requires a great deal of medical and scientific knowledge and jargon to properly express and understand. I don’t have this, and you might not either.

But a reasonably concise summary from a recent study in the review journal Recent Patents on Inflammation & Allergy Drug Discovery explains, “The inflammatory process induces oxidative stress and reduces cellular antioxidant capacity. Overproduced free radicals react with cell membrane fatty acids and proteins, impairing their function permanently.”

free radicals and inflammation

What exactly does all that mean? Inflammation, simply put, is the body’s attempt to repair an abnormal situation in the body. 

Here’s an example: You get up in the morning, but you’re barely awake. Your eyes aren’t fully open, so on your way around the bed, you stub your toe on the bed post. That toe, since you stubbed it really hard, starts to swell and goes from a bright red color to black and blue as it heals and goes back to normal.  That inflammation process is the body sending reinforcements to the hurt area to protect and/or heal it.

When inflammation goes chronic

Over time, unresolved inflammation can turn chronic. Chronic inflammation is what contributes to the aging process. As research has found, chronic inflammation induces stress (which is interesting, because it is a result of stress on the body, so it results in what causes it), and certain bodily functions and capacities (including the ability to deal with stress) are severely limited. Many of these are critical to the aging process, so these functional problems speed up aging. 

turn back the hands of time

how to prevent inflammation

Now that we have a basic understanding of the aging process and inflammation’s role in it, how do we prevent inflammation from occurring? There is no definite answer to this question; however, two different recent studies examined the role of calorie restriction on the inflammation process.

Both studies, from Ageing Research Reviews and Antioxidants and Redox Signaling examined the anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects of calorie restriction and exercise. This might not be a great surprise to anyone, but these studies found that an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle increased inflammation and, as a result, the aging process.

In fact, the study from Antioxidants and Redox Signaling found that “major chronic aging-related diseases such as atherosclerosis, arthritis, dementia, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular diseases, are inflammation-related.” It is certainly not a coincidence that most of these conditions are also related to a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet choices.

Antioxidants have been found to reduce the work of free radicals and inflammation within the body. Common antioxidants include vitamins A, C, E, folic acid, and beta carotene. One of the best antioxidant supplements I’ve ever found comes from Melaleuca. It’s called Peak Performance, and it’s been shown to lower free radical levels in the body by 10% after only one hour, and by 20% after 6 weeks. Significant improvements in cholesterol, heart rate, and blood sugar metabolism were also noted.

If you want to add years to your life and life to your years, you owe it to yourself to check it out. It was one of the first products I bought when I joined Melaleuca a few months ago, and it’s one of the main reasons I’m determined to stay a Melaleuca customer for life. It’s really that amazing!

Summing It All Up

It is fair to conclude that inflammation is strongly correlated with, and may even be a direct cause of, many aging and degenerative conditions we face later in life. We can also be secure in the knowledge that inflammation is a reactive process of our body in an attempt to heal situations that threaten physical balance, or to combat stress-inducing physical conditions, like poor dietary choices and lack of exercise.

To boil it down to the simplest of terms: inflammation increases the aging process, and poor diet and lack of exercise increase inflammation; therefore, stick to a healthy diet as much as possible and get regular exercise to stay younger longer!

What do you think? Have you ever considered inflammation to be a problem before? What steps are you going to take to reduce it for a healthier, livelier you?

References

 

All Natural Infant Colic Remedies

All Natural Infant Colic Remedies

Any parent whose baby has suffered from colic can tell you that it is one of the most excruciating experiences imaginable. There’s nothing worse than seeing your baby in pain and not being able to do anything about it. And you’ll try anything that might provide colic relief for your baby.

But before you can find the best colic remedy, you need to know for sure that your baby has a real colic issue and not some other, less serious, tummy trouble. How do you know if it’s really colic? Here’s a quick, easy guideline to follow:

If your baby cries for three hours a day straight on at least three days a week for three consecutive weeks, then you’re most likely dealing with colic.  

colicky infant

Thankfully, neither one of my babies suffered from colic, but my husband’s baby sister did, and I know of plenty of babies at the daycare where I work that have suffered from it. There are plenty of different remedies for colic, but not all of them will work for every baby. You’ll want, of course, to find the perfect solution for your unique situation. And, if you’re anything like me, you’re going to want to find an all-natural remedy. If you’ve tried all the proper feeding and burping techniques and your baby is still crying continuously, study the following list of some of the most effective remedies available and try one (or more) of them out today.

Music/Sound

Traditional lullabies, classical music composed for infants, and heartbeat/womb/white noise CDs are very popular relaxation aids for babies suffering from colic. You can even find digital versions of each of these types of sounds on Amazon. Some of the best ones are:

  1. The Happiest Baby on the Block
  2. Bedtime Mozart
  3. Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night
  4. Sleep Aid for Newborn Baby

Some parents have had great success by placing their baby in a car seat on top of a running dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, or by running a vacuum cleaner. A gentle shushing sound in baby’s ear can also work wonders, as well as soft whispers, humming, or singing.

Another popular choice for soothing fuzzy babies is the Sleep Genius app.  This app also works well for helping adults who are having trouble falling asleep!

diet/nutrition

Bottlefed babies with colic may show improvement if switched to a different formula, such as soy. I know this one little switch worked amazingly well for one infant at the daycare. Soy or lactose-free formula can be more expensive than other types of formula, but the extra cost you have to pay can be worth every penny when it comes to the extra comfort it buys your baby.

Mothers of breastfed babies may have to pay close attention to their own diets to make sure their babies are not reacting negatively to certain foods they are eating. Try eliminating the following common culprits one at a time for a week to see if your baby shows any  signs of improvement: dairy, caffeine, chocolate, and gas-producing foods like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, peppers, melons, tomatoes, citrus fruits, beans, and peanuts.

gripe water

As I mentioned earlier, my babies never had any problem with colic, but my older one did have some trouble with gas, even after we switched her to a pro-sensitive formula. Gripe water became my new best friend. Turns out, it can also be a helpful solution for colicky babies.

You have to be sure to check the ingredient lists before you select the best gripe water to buy. Many claim to be all natural, but a careful study of their ingredient lists reveals that they include artificial ingredients and preservatives. Colicky infants’ digestive systems certainly do not need any of these potential irritants, so avoid these at all costs. Two of the best all-natural gripe water brands are Colic Calm and Mommy’s Bliss.

You can also make your own gripe water by using the recipes found here and here.

all natural infant colic remedies

Digestive support

One of the things I didn’t know about before, so I wasn’t able to use them with my babies, is probiotics for digestive health. I’ve been taking them regularly for about a year now, and I wish I’d been using them my whole life. They make THAT much of a difference! I’ve also started giving them to my girls to improve their overall health.

You can start your infant off on the right track by giving them probiotics. This digestive supplement solves a whole host of physical problems, including colic. Several companies make infant probiotics, but the best come from Gerber, Mommy’s Bliss, and Culturelle.

You can also get something called Natrum Phosphoricum 6X. This is a natural salt your body (and your infant’s body) needs. Our adult bodies generally produce enough on their own, but this is not always the case for infants. Supplementing with this may help your infant overcome his/her problem with colic.

Warm Aromatherapy bath/Massage

I know I personally find a warm bath to be just the thing when I need something to soothe and calm me down. Some parents find that a warm bath calms their colicky babies down. Add a few drops (between 4 and 7) of lavender essential oil to a warm bath and get ready for the beautiful sound of silence.

For an even more soothing experience for your baby, follow up the bath with a massage. Focus on the tummy area to relieve painful trapped gas, and move your baby’s legs in a “bicycle” motion to help your infant get the gas out on his or her own. You can research other baby massage techniques on the Internet or in books like this one. You can buy massage oils specifically designed for infant massage to further enhance the relaxation.

swaddling

Babies are often soothed when they are swaddled or held close to their mothers’ chests where they can hear the heartbeat, since this reminds them of the comfort and safety of the womb. You probably learned the swaddling technique at the hospital before you brought your baby home. I know I did.

If they didn’t teach you how to swaddle your infant at the hospital (or you don’t remember what they showed you because you were busy focusing on other things), you can find lots of website tutorials on swaddling an infant. This, for example, is a great step-by-step guide. You can also find ready-made infant swaddlers, like the Swaddleme, on Amazon.

motion

Walking, rocking, vibrations (remember the washing machine mentioned above), and movement are very comforting to most infants. The good old-fashioned rocking chair may be all it takes.

Some parents have been known to take their babies outside (sometimes just a little fresh air helps) in a stroller or drive around in the car until the baby falls asleep. I know my husband did this with both my little girls when they were first born. It worked really well for the older one, but not so much for the younger.

You can also try walking around with your baby in an infant chest carrier or sling, so your baby can feel close to you and you can keep your hands free to do things around the house. You can also walk around the room holding your baby in “the colic hold.” In this position, your baby is facing down across your arm (with his/her head toward your elbow), and your hand is under your baby’s abdomen, where you can apply gentle pressure.

Another great motion tool is the infant swing. My younger daughter loved to be in her swing, and it almost always worked to get her to quit fussing and go to sleep.

milk allergy and infants

All of these things have been shown to help soothe colicky babies, although as I mentioned previously not all methods may work for every baby. Try one or a combination of all of the above to find the one that helps give your baby the relief he or she needs, and you might just find it ends your suffering as well!

Sugar Detox Diet Success Tips

diet success

Remember when we talked about how addictive sugar can be in the first post of this series? As you get further along in the sugar detoxification process, you may become acutely aware that you’re a sugar addict. And you might not even have realized you had a problem before. 

Researchers now know that withdrawal from soft drinks, sweeteners, and processed foods can be alarmingly similar to withdrawal symptoms experienced by cocaine and heroin addicts.

The sugar detox diet we’ve been talking about addresses some of these symptoms by offering solutions through food choices, vitamin supplements, and exercise. If you’ve become dependent on highly processed foods, you may feel some of these symptoms, but adhering to the diet plan can help reduce the symptoms. After you’ve been on the sugar detox diet and the withdrawal symptoms begin to subside, your muscle cells will once again become sensitive to insulin, and your body will begin to function optimally. You’ll even see some improvement in the appearance of your skin and hair.

Alternative Treatments

If you’re experiencing especially strong withdrawal symptoms as a result of your break from sugar, you may want to try some natural methods such as acupuncture and meditation. Exercise can also help lessen the impact of sugar withdrawal.

dietary changes

The sugar substitute galactose can also help you overcome strong cravings. It’s a healthier type of sugar that doesn’t have any effect on your metabolism. You can also help reduce your cravings by reducing your overall carbohydrate intake and increasing your essential vitamin and nutrient consumption.

It’s especially important to increase your intake of antioxidant supplements like vitamins E, C, and B complex, in addition to supplementing with alpha-lipoic acid supplement. Anything you can do to restore your metabolic balance will be helpful in reducing withdrawal symptoms.

Enlist the help of plants, roots, and herbs in your desire to break the addiction to sugar. Some of these additions to your diet can help restore the metabolic process. Some herbs that have been shown to definitely aid in the treatment of metabolic syndrome are ginseng, bitter melon, and berberine (found in Golden Seal and Oregon Grape).

nutritional data

increase your nutritional knowledge

Make sure you learn about the foods you’re consuming. The success of this diet plan depends on you adhering to a balanced diet of the five main food groups and being aware of your sugar intake at all times.

STICK TO THE PLAN

In the first two weeks, it is critical to strictly adhere to the plan. This takes willpower – especially if you’ve become highly addicted to sugar. Listen to your body, and don’t give in to the sugar cravings.

Wake up earlier

If you’re anything like I am, this next success tip is going to hurt. I like my beauty sleep. I’d probably hibernate for weeks at a time, if I could. But that’s not good for you if you’re doing a sugar detox.

Instead, you need to start waking up a little earlier — about 45 minutes before your normal breakfast time, when it’s easier to recognize real feelings of hunger. This will help you pay much more attention to the signals your body is giving you.

Sugar has become the nemesis of the modern world. Don’t let your sugar addiction get the better of you. Take the time to learn how you can resist sugar addiction and help your body return to health and vibrancy (you’ve taken the first step on this journey by reading this series of blog posts – good for you!). Take control of your health by cutting out the sugar, and check out my Thinkific course on the sugar detox diet if you want more in-depth information and more detailed meal plans. 

Sugar Detox Diet Meal Plan

sugar detox diet plan

If you’ve been following this sugar detox series from the beginning, you may be thinking that you’ll have to give up a lot of great-tasting food to achieve success. But that’s really not true. There are a lot of delicious recipes and foods available to help you reduce your sugar intake.

Some are convenient and make great snacks, while others take a bit more time to put together because they are natural and not processed.

Smoothies and Shakes

One meal that you can have for breakfast, lunch, or dinner is the ever-popular smoothie. I love a good smoothie, and it’s so easy to create without adding any sugar at all.  

It’s important to use fresh ingredients whenever possible when making smoothies. Fruits such as papaya, pears, and kiwi contain good sugars and can be used to make delicious smoothies. Blueberries are also amazing in fruit smoothies for weight loss, and they’re one of my favorite fruits because of their antioxidant value. I almost always use Greek yogurt as a base for my fruit smoothies because it’s low in sugar and high in protein, but you don’t really have to do that if you don’t want to. Almond milk also makes an excellent fruit smoothie base because it’s low in sugar, but it doesn’t have as much protein as Greek yogurt.

How about a vegetable smoothie? It probably doesn’t sound that great, but I promise you you can make it really tasty. I recommend using beet juice as a base for any vegetable smoothie. And check out this book for over one hundred of the best green smoothie recipes available (including both fruits AND vegetables).

In addition to smoothies, you can incorporate meal replacement shakes into your daily diet plans. I especially love using meal replacement shakes in place of breakfast (it really is the most important meal of the day). One of my favorite shakes is from IdealShape. These things are delicious and are full of protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. And if you’re looking for an IdealShape discount code, you’ve come to the right place. You can get one free when you buy two with code: SUPERSHAKE (for a limited time).

CHEESE

I love cheese – real cheese. Not the fat-free kind. That’s not really cheese. And I love that you can (basically) eat as much as you want when you’re trying to eliminate sugar from your diet. 

Choosing cheese on a sugar-free diet can be a bit confusing. Let me explain. Milk has sugar (lactose), so cheese made from milk also contains this sugar. It’s just that some kinds of cheeses contain more lactose than others, depending on the process used to make the cheese (some cheese-making techniques use a culture that consumes the lactose.

Goat and sheep’s milk typically contain lower levels of lactose. You can make a cheese omelet for breakfast (or lunch or dinner) adding in some avocado, spinach, and herbs like chives or parsley. That will give you the perfect healthy, sugar-free way to start your day.

Soups

When you’re eliminating or reducing the amount of sugar in your diet, you can easily turn to comforting soups that contain the right sort of carbohydrates to help increase your metabolism. Vegetable soup with tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, celery, onions and whatever other vegetables you enjoy is always a good choice for either lunch or dinner.

You can also branch out from typical vegetable soups to creamier versions using spinach and carrots. This is my favorite creamy spinach soup recipe, and this one is my favorite cream of carrot soup recipe.

breads

If you’re a bread junkie (we love bread here at our house), you don’t have to do without it on the sugar detox diet. You can get gluten-free bread at the supermarket or Amazon, or you can make your own (you’ll probably need a bread machine for this). There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh-baked bread.

If you don’t want to chance it with the bread, you can opt for gluten-free crackers when you want to try to make sandwiches.

SNACKS

Sugar-free snacks can revive you when you experience afternoon slumps. Instead of reaching for the snack-size candy bar, reach for the veggies. They always make great snacks, and you can make great dips from sour cream, onion, garlic, and other herbs and seasonings.

Can’t get past your desire for the candy bar? IdealShape also has some amazing low-sugar snack bars that can help you control sugar cravings and hunger pains throughout the day. This double chocolate one really tastes like a brownie. Who wouldn’t love to eat brownies while they’re losing weight and cutting sugar out of their diet? I was sold on the first bite!

healthy snack bars

DINNER IDEAS

Low-sugar dinners can be exciting when you create dishes that are both filling and beautiful to look at. Lamb, chicken breasts, and salmon are some main courses that will give your dinners plenty of variety.

For a ton of healthy, nutritious, low-sugar dinner ideas, visit this site.

Dessert

You can even have dessert on your sugar-free diet plan. One great option is to make a berry tart using a gluten-free pastry crust and coconut milk. Sometimes I’m tempted to skip dinner and head straight for the dessert when this is served. I love my berries! For more impossibly delicious low-sugar dessert ideas check out this site.

It’s not hard to keep things interesting on the sugar detox diet plan. By following some general guidelines about which food items to use and which to avoid, you can create some amazing low-sugar dishes that will delight your entire family!

How to Prepare for a Sugar Detox Diet

prepare for sugar detox

After you decide you’re going to detoxify yourself from the harmful effects of sugar, you should take some time to analyze your current diet. How much sugar are you eating each day? How many high-sugar foods do you eat per day instead of eating healthier alternatives because they’re more convenient … or they seem more convenient at the time?

man eating doughnut

While you’re analyzing the foods you now eat, be thinking about which food changes you could make that would help eliminate sugary snacks and sugar content from your main meals.

Identify where your sugar intake is coming from. Sugar is in so many foods it’s imperative that you know where in your diet you can make changes for the better. For example, ketchup has a lot of sugar – so you can make the swap to low sugar or sugar-free ketchup. You can even make your own no-sugar-added ketchup by using this recipe.

Write It Down

It’s important when preparing to undertake the sugar detox diet that you keep a daily food diary. A food diary can help you see where you might be overlooking a candy bar, soft drink, or other snack that you might mindlessly eat or drink when you’re having a really stressful day.

It’s best to jot the food down in the diary just after you eat it so you can plainly see where sugar might be creeping in during your day. The food diary should include details on nutritional information and all the various ingredients in certain foods that you may not know are there without reading the labels. Also, take note of what you drink – even water.

Include how you’re feeling when you eat or snack during the day. There may be an emotional pattern you can identify within your eating habits. I tend to reach for chocolate more when I’m having a hard day … or when I’m bored. Really, I reach for anything when I’m bored, but that’s when I’m more likely to reach for the sugar. 

Activity patterns are good to note as well. See where your bursts of energy occur during the day and when you have the best mental acuity. I’ll bet anything it’s not 30 minutes to an hour after you ate that donut for breakfast. I know I always feel pretty miserable right about that time.

Knowing the importance of tracking what I’m eating and how I’m feeling when I eat it is what led me to create my 30-day food, exercise, water, fitness, and emotional eating tracking journal. You can get the PDF version for free when you subscribe to my email list, or you can buy the paperback version on Amazon.

personal fitness tracker

Finally, you might want to track your sleep patterns. Here are some of the best sleep and activity trackers available on Amazon. See if your quality of sleep coincides with what you ate before bed and how hungry you are the next morning. Research suggests that eating a lot of sugar before bed can really decrease the quality of your sleep because of something called adrenal exhaustion. Adrenal exhaustion symptoms include:

  • Mild depression or anxiety
  • Multiple food and/or other allergies
  • Lethargy and lack of energy
  • Decreased ability to perform daily tasks
  • Decreased ability to handle stress
  • Dry and thin skin
  • Low blood sugar
  • Low body temperature
  • Palpitations
  • Unexplained hair loss
  • Alternating diarrhea and constipation

Adrenal hormones can affect blood sugar, and blood sugar spikes and drops can affect adrenal hormones. These things are inextricably linked. The only way to defeat adrenal exhaustion (or adrenal fatigue) is to limit the amount of sugar you put into your body … and your shopping cart.

Get ready to go SHopping

Before you get ready to shop for the food items you’ll need for the sugar detox diet, you have to get rid of the sugar traps that are already in your kitchen. Throw away the donuts and muffins (ouch!). And if you have any leftover Halloween candy, toss that too. Get it all out … even the ice cream.

Take a minute to breathe. … It’s going to be okay. I promise.

When shopping for sugar-free foods, concentrate on purchasing high-quality ingredients and whole foods such as meat, eggs, and dairy. Vegetables should be a focal point of your food shopping list. And any carbs that you buy should be of the whole-grain variety – pasta, flour, and rice. Quinoa (pronunciation: keen-wah, in case you were curious and didn’t know) is also pretty great. Even my kids like to eat it! We’ll get more into the sugar detox diet meal plan in the next post in the series, but for now I want to end with some motivating suggestions. 

Don’t give up!

Set reasonable and achievable goals for your sugar detox diet plan. It may look easy, but it may be difficult to adhere to 24 hours a day, seven days a week given the hectic pace of everyday life. Try to keep on track, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up every now and then.

As you progress through the sugar detox diet, you’ll quickly realize that ingesting snacks or a meal that consists of a high sugar content can make you feel sluggish. You won’t notice it at first because of the initial sugar rush, but you’ll feel it when the sugar wears off. You know what I’m talking about. I notice the crash when I’m not making a conscious effort to cut down the sugar in my diet, but the crash hits a lot harder when you start to cut it out all at once. But keep pushing through. As is the case with anything, it always gets worse before it gets better. Keep trying to cut out (or, at least, down) the sugar, and you’ll start feeling halfway normal again before you know it.

5 Reasons to Start a WordPress Blog

starting a wordpress blog

5 Reasons to Start a WordPress Blog

It should be no surprise that when I started this blog, I chose WordPress to host it. Well, I chose WordPress as my creation tool. I’m actually running a self-hosted site (which I’ll talk more about later). But WordPress is king when it comes to running any website efficiently and effectively. Maybe you’re not convinced (maybe you’re not even convinced you want to start a blog at all), and that’s why I wrote this post … to inspire you with some reasons to start a WordPress blog. Read on to find out more.

1 – Everything You Write Will Be Saved in “the Cloud”

If you’re anything like me, you like to write. You write a lot — anywhere and everywhere you can. I used to write everything down in spiral-bound notebooks. I’d fill up notebook after notebook after notebook … and that system worked until I had children. Then, suddenly, all my notebooks started disappearing, and I’d find them later filled with drawings and stories written in child scrawl (and sometimes my scribbled-down ideas would be written over or torn out).

The drawings and words were adorable, and it was very heartening to see that my children are so creative. But I wanted to use that paper! Now, with WordPress, the screen is my canvas. And I can generally keep my children away.  They don’t know how to log in to my blog dashboard… yet.

I’ve written things and saved them on computers too since I was a very young child (back when we had floppy disks that were actually floppy), but I soon found out how unreliable that was … Computers crash and burn, and sometimes you can’t restore the data that’s on them. I can’t tell you how many story ideas I’ve lost because I didn’t save them before my computer decided to die. You can solve the computer dying problem somewhat by emailing everything to yourself after you write it, but who remembers to do that all the time? I don’t.

When you create your posts in WordPress, you can write, edit, and save everything in “the cloud.” I’m still not exactly sure what the cloud is, but I know I like it a lot because it automatically backs everything up for me. Many people will tell you to write your blog posts in a Word document first, and then copy that into WordPress just in case WordPress crashes, but I’ve had more trouble with Word crashing and not restoring my documents than I have with WordPress, so I can’t see how that’s a very good idea. If you’re really afraid of something like happening, you can start out with Google Docs (which also saves to the cloud), but again I’ve had more trouble with lost documents on that platform than I have had with WordPress. I love WordPress’s automatic backups. I trust them 100%.

2 – You can Pick and Choose among numerous themes

Chances are, if you’re starting a blog you want people to read it. And the first thing people are going to notice when they come to your blog is how it looks. Your WordPress theme is what determines this. There are hundreds of available WordPress themes for websites, both free and paid. I’ve never felt the need to purchase a premium theme. The free WordPress themes look and work just fine, as far as I’m concerned. 

My current theme is the twenty-sixteen one. I love how clean and non-distracting it is. There’s plenty of white space, which is especially important for online reading. It kind of feels, to me, like you’re reading your favorite magazine. And that’s pretty cool!

3 – The Plugins Make your website awesome … and profitable

This is one of my most favorite things about a WordPress blog, and it’s the #1 reason why I totally recommend you start your own self-hosted site. I use GoDaddy, but a lot of people recommend SiteGround. I’ve heard some good things about Bluehost and A Small Orange as well. The main thing is: you want to host your own site. Yes, I know WordPress.com gives you “your own site” for free (Notice I put your own in quotes? There’s a reason for that!). I even went that route for my own site, mishaelaustinwitty.com. But I totally regretted that decision because I quickly learned who was really in control of my site. You got it: WordPress!

One of the main things missing from a free WordPress.com blog is that you don’t have access to all those awesome plugins (condensed, yet fully functional software programs). You do have access to some, but not all. And I wanted access to all of them, which is why I decided to self host when it came time to start this blog.

Plugins add some totally cool (and often useful) functionality. There are plugins for almost anything you can think of. You can add a contact form to your site. You can get plugins to make it look like it’s snowing on your website. And there are even plugins that can help your make money. For example, check out this great list of 15 Great WordPress Plugins to Help You Make Money Online.

starting a wordpress blog

One of my favorite plugins is strictly aimed at improving SEO (search engine optimization) functionality. SEO is what helps search engines like Google (or Bing or Yahoo) find your site. And, believe me, you want them to find your site. If they don’t find it, nobody else will. Then you won’t get your message out to the world, and you certainly won’t make any money from it (which is really, after all, why a lot of people start a blog in the first place).

The All in One SEO Pack is the best way to optimize your site. It’s easy to use (even I was able to figure it out), and it’s totally free. I first discovered the All in One SEO Pack going through the training at Wealthy Affiliate I made sure I filled out all the plugin information for each of my blog posts, and I saw some major traffic improvements in no time (Google is now my #2 source of traffic (behind StumbleUpon). If you’re at all interested in making money with your site, you HAVE to have access to plugins. No way around it.

4 – you can have a blog and a website all rolled into one

Say you’ve got a product to sell, and you want to start your own website to sell it. WordPress is the best way to do that. Online stores are great, but blogs are even better. With a blog, you have more content that is updated on a more regular basis. Remember SEO? Search engines love updated content, and they love frequently updated content even more.

And with a self-hosted WordPress blog, you have complete control over both your online store and your blog. You don’t have to split the profits with anyone (like Etsy, who charges you an upfront listing fee AND takes a cut of every sale). You keep EVERYTHING you make, and you’re at the mercy of NO ONE. WooCommerce is a free plugin that can easily up you create your online store in minutes, and if you use Bluehost for your hosting, you can automatically integrate it into your site. This is especially awesome if you don’t have a lot of technical knowledge (or interest in the technical side of blogging).

5 – If you don’t want to do it yourself you can easily outsource

Speaking of not having the knowledge or interest to do some things for your blog…

One great thing about having a WordPress blog is that there are a lot of people who know a lot of things about WordPress, and they would be more than happy to help you figure things out (or do things for you – you just have to allow them to sign up as an admin) … for a price.

Note: If you’re willing to let someone else sign up as an admin on your site (I do not recommend this), it has to be someone you really, really trust. Preferably, this will be someone you know personally, outside of the online world.

But there are tons of blogging tasks that you can outsource without giving someone else access to your site, like:

 

  1. Create custom infographics to correspond with your blog post.
  2. Create content upgrades – Give some added value to each and every blog post.
  3. Design social media graphics – Images to share, share, share … and get more traffic to your blog
  4. User test your website or blog – Do you really know what your site visitors’ experience is like? A user test will tell you.
  5. Write blog posts/articles – Note: You will still have to upload these yourself, but it can save you a ton of time. Writing takes forever. I’ve been working on this post for DAYS.
  6. Design blog graphics – Blogs are visual, so you have to add pictures to enhance the user experience. Somebody has to come up with them, and finding the right image (like writing the best content) can take time.
  7. Create custom forms – Remember that contact form we talked about earlier? It’s got to come from somewhere.
  8. Create a favicon or logo – What’s a favicon? It’s a special image that can help add identity and branding to your site. And if you don’t know what it is, you might need someone to help you design one.
  9. Design printables or ebooks – This can fall under the category of content upgrades, or these can be freebies you offer to email list subscribers.
  10. Write email sequences – After you get email subscribers, you will need to send them something, which means more writing … and more time spent writing. Let someone else do the work for you.
  11. Design an ebook cover or landing page – you’ll need something to drive potential email subscribers to your freebie offer. That’s what a landing page does
  12. Do keyword research – This is a biggie, and a lot of people don’t know where to start. You can find someone else who knows their stuff and can help you pick just the right keywords to rank on Google and get more visitors to your site.
  13. Create a content marketing plan – Do you have a plan for your blog … or for what to do with the content after you create it? Don’t know where to start? Let someone else come up with the plan for you.
  14. SEO audit – How does your site measure up in terms of SEO? The right virtual assistant will be able to tell you.

Where can you find someone who can do all these things for you? You’re not likely to find one person who can do ALL these things, but you can find several people who can do one (or more) of them. If you hire a bunch of different people to do things for you, then you’re going to want to find the best price possible. And there’s no better place to find the best price on a bunch of helpful services than Fiverr.com.

blogging tasks you can outsource to fiverr

 

You can literally find someone there to do each of these things, starting at only $5!

So, this is the first half of reasons for why you want to choose WordPress for your blog, but they’re pretty good ones, huh? Just wait till you see what comes next!

Which of these reasons resonates with you most? Is there something I’m missing? Let me know in the comments.

Ideal Shake Meal Replacement Review

ideal shake meal replacement reviews

A couple of months ago, I was looking for lower sugar food options, and I came across a meal replacement shake from Ideal Shape. I bought the slim down starter kit (it was only $10, so I didn’t have much to lose), and I’ve been going through it a little at a time.

THE BARS

I started with the ideal shape bar (the double chocolate one), and that tasted just like a brownie … just with a little less sugar.

healthy snack bars

 

THE SHAKES

Then, yesterday, the girls were pouring out milk into glasses (whole milk – I’m not all that concerned about reducing fat), and I remembered I still had those sample packets of the Ideal Shake I’d never tried.  I thought it might be a good idea to get them in on the taste testing — not that they need to lose weight; I just wanted a child’s perspective on how the shakes tasted. When I mentioned we could make shakes, the girls were all over it.

I made the chocolate for myself (I’m a sucker for chocolate), the older girl had the vanilla, and the younger one had the strawberry.

ideal shape shakes

I ended up having a little of all three because, well, I was the one who paid for them, and I wanted to try them all out to see how they compared to each other. And, yes, I did let the kids try my chocolate shake too. I’m not opposed to sharing!

I loved the chocolate. It was so delicious, thick, and creamy. My older girl wasn’t really impressed with the vanilla (out of all three, it was my least favorite), but my husband finished it up in no time flat and proclaimed it to be equally delicious. His exact words when he finished the shake were, “We need to get more of this.” This is a big thing, because he is a super picky eater.

The clear winner, though, was the strawberry shake. I liked the taste of the chocolate, but the strawberry was a whole other taste experience. Creamy doesn’t even begin to describe it. It was like the best strawberry ice cream I’ve ever had melting on my tongue in smooth waves. So, so good!

You know what I really love about the Ideal Shakes? They have 11 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar. You read that right: ONE GRAM OF SUGAR!!! But they really tasted like they had more than that, even my husband thought so. Obviously, there was some sugar in the milk (about 12 grams in a cup of whole milk), but compared to other milkshakes that’s basically nothing (which makes this the perfect shake to use as a meal replacement on the sugar detox diet).

THE HUNger block

I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical at first concerning the claims that it can block hunger for three hours, but I soon became a believer. I drank my shake at about 2 in the afternoon and tried to eat pizza at 6:30 PM. I got one slice down, and that was IT. Usually, I can eat about two or three slices, but not after enjoying that delicious shake. I had to stop at one!

So, 206 calories for the shake plus one cup of whole milk plus 350 calories for the piece of pizza = 556 calories, compared to my usual 700-1050 calories for two to three pieces of pizza.

Wow! I just realized how much of a difference that really made in my daily diet. Besides that, the Ideal Shakes have a whole lot more vitamins and essential nutrients in them than a piece of pizza does. I’m SO buying more of these shakes!

one word of caution

I’ve gotten into the habit of drinking coffee in the afternoon. On the sugar detox diet, you’re supposed to give up caffeine. I have not gotten that brave yet. My caffeine addiction is real … and it’s bad.

My husband fixed me my afternoon cup and got one for himself. This was about an hour or so after we had the shakes.

Note: You’re supposed to drink a full glass of water to activate the hunger blocker in the shake, but neither my husband nor I did that. I did drink some water after that, but i don’t think it was a full 8 ounces. You’re supposed to drink 16 ounces of water after you eat the IdealBar.

We both noticed a couple of hours later that our stomachs felt terrible … churning, nausea, and a whole lot of gas! This also made food less desirable for us, but I have to think that the coffee somehow reacted badly to the ingredients in the shake. Because of this, I don’t think I’ll be drinking any more coffee after I have a shake, and I don’t think anyone else should try it either.  Maybe something else caused our stomach upset, but I just don’t think so. The timing was just too perfect.

I can’t wait to buy more!!

I’m pretty sure our whole family is addicted to these shakes now. I can’t stop thinking about them, and even my husband is trying to figure out how to work it into our budget. We’re on a needs-only plan right now because money is kind of tight, but I think everyone in this family is thinking we need these shakes.

Not that my husband and my girls need the weight loss aspect of the shake, but the hunger block didn’t seem to work on my girls, anyway. They were ready to eat again an hour later. Still, everyone can benefit from the vitamins and minerals that are in these shakes — 20 of them, in fact:

I’ve already got three more tubs in my shopping cart, and I’m thinking about trying them with almond milk next time … or maybe water, to reduce the calories even more.

Next up

I still haven’t tried the Ideal Boost weight loss drink. I’ve got sample packets of the Pineapple Passion and Peach Mango flavors. I’m going to try one of these tomorrow instead of my afternoon coffee to see if it helps me stay awake past 7 PM. These drinks have as much caffeine as one cup of coffee, and they are chock full of B vitamins, so I’m hopeful that they will give me some much needed energy.

I’ll report back on how the Ideal Boost experience went as soon as I can. I can say, however, that as impressed as I’ve been with the other Ideal Shape products so far, I can’t imagine the Ideal Boost disappointing me … or anyone else! If you haven’t given Ideal Shape a try yet, I highly recommend that you do so. Your body will thank you for it!