I love trying out supplements and we’ve tried a lot of them over time. I guess what I am looking for is something that works instantaneously. Most supplements need time to work so you don’t every really get the full impact of them until you’ve used them for months on end. This is generally why most people give up on them. We all want to see results now and we tend to lose interest if nothing happens within a week or so.

However, just recently we purchased a product called Better Than Coffee  from Primal Force (previously known as Choline Punch) and I have to say that I am mightily impressed. This is one of the first supplements I have tried that has had an immediate effect on me.

We found out about Better than Coffee from an email Wanda had received. In the past she had signed up to a newsletter by a Dr Al Sears. Dr Sears is one of those online doctors that focuses more on health products rather than pharmaceutical type products….which is always good to see! There are a few doctors like this – Dr Wright and Dr Mercola are another two. They basically heavily promote their products and if you have signed up to a newsletter you will probably be inundated with emails from them.

Now normally we would just ignore this type of promotional stuff because they are all generally the same. It usually goes something like this:

“This product is made from high quality leaf products picked by Nepalese Sherpa’s at the very top of Mount Everest under a full moon on the first Sunday in June.”

And the promotional blurb for Better Than Coffee didn’t sound much different but for some reason we decided to give it a try since we like to review products for this site. Yes we were skeptical even though we did buy 3 tubs of the stuff…go figure!

When tBetter Than Coffee Review - Choline Powderhe tubs arrived we immediately opened one to give it a try. We both had a smell of the contents and agreed it had a lovely sweet smell almost like berries. Not surprising really since one of the ingredients listed on the tub is Natural Mixed Berry Flavor.

We mixed it with juice to try. Once we drank it down we went back to the office and got back to work. We didn’t really think too much about it but within about an hour we started to feel really good. It was like a buzz of energy had hit us and we were feeling fantastic. We both had a very similar reaction.

Normally by around 2pm I am quite lethargic and feel like I need to have a sleep. My energy levels completely collapse and I struggle to keep working. But with this drink I had no problems and I was able to work until 4 or 5pm quite easily. I was literally astounded since I’ve never experienced anything this fast working before.

Choline Punch - Better Than Coffee ReviewNot only did it increase our energy levels but our overall mood increased as well. We both felt a lot happier and in a really good mood and it stayed with us throughout the afternoon and into the evening.

I personally find that if I take Better Than Coffee too early in the day it doesn’t seem to have the same impact. In the morning I am usually quite refreshed anyway so I don’t think I need it but when early afternoon hits and I take it I can feel fighting fit again within 15 minutes. However, if I take it too late in the afternoon I have trouble getting to sleep at night so between 1pm and 4pm is the right time for me to take this drink.

It really does get me through the day and I can function normally without feeling the need to take an afternoon nap.

What’s in it?

Choline

One of the main ingredients is Choline which is an essential nutrient that has been found to have some really amazing benefits.

Among these benefits are better mental clarity and  mental alertness.  It is also reported to give you better physical coordination and it may also help to prevent memory loss.

In fact if you don’t have enough Choline you will really feel the effects as your mind will be cloudy, you will probably feel tired during the day and you may also feel distracted and irritable.

Quercetin

This is one of those substances that is beneficial in many ways. It’s a natural anti-oxidant so its good for cleaning up those free radicals that run around your system doing damage. Quercetin  may also lower the bad cholesterol in your system and its a natural anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory.  Reports have shown that this supplement may also help to lower your blood pressure and therefore reducing your risk of heart disease.  And it may also inhibit the growth of tumors.

Guarana

It also contains Guarana which is a herb that works like caffeine but it does a better job because it gives an energy boost that is more powerful and sustained.  Guarana is used to fight fatigue and increase stamina and physical endurance.  It’s also used in herbal weight loss pills and there is some evidence that it may suppress appetite and increase fat-burning because of its stimulant properties.

As anyone coffee drinker will tell you that morning hit of caffeine gets them going, well Guarana gets rid of brain fog, and gives you a boost that is longer lasting than coffee.

And 19 Other Ingredients

Apart from these three ingredients there are 19 other ingredients to help give you a boost, including:

Vitamin B6 – which helps maintain healthy brain function.

Folic Acid – there is some evidence that a lack of folic acid is linked to depression.

Chromium – which may help to reduce bad cholesterol and raise the amount of good cholesterol in the body and it may help to reduce your blood pressure and your risk of getting heart disease.

 Acai (ah-sah-ee) Berry,  a powerful anti-oxidant that helps to improve mental function

Ginko Leaf – according to the University of Maryland, Medical Center, clinical studies have shown that it increases blood flow in your brain which improves memory, dementia and possibly Alzheimer’s disease.

Co-Enzyme Q10 – has too many benefits to mention but helps to maintain a healthy heart and is also beneficial in the treatment of migraine headaches.

So If you are looking for a boost of mental alertness with the added bonus of a long lasting energy boost then we highly recommend ‘Better than Coffee”

It really does work for us, we order Better than Coffee in bulk, on a regular basis.

What is the flavor like?

Better Than Coffee is a powder so you mix it with water or juice. You use one tablespoon per glass of water (8 fluid oz).  It’s quite sweet so when we first tried it with straight juice it really was overly sweet. We now make it with half juice, half water. We have tried it with straight water and it is easy to drink but it is much nicer with juice. The flavour really is delicious and we look forward to drinking it. We have tried many other types of energy drink but this one tasted the best by far.

Better Than Coffee Review - Choline Punch ReviewDoes it Mix Well in Water/Juice?

You can see from the image that it mixes quite well with juice although it’s not perfect. You really have to mix it in quickly as soon as you add it to the glass. We also find that we have to stir it between each mouthful otherwise some of it settles on the bottom of the glass and you can be left with clumpy bits at the end. Fortunately however the drink tastes great so even if you happen to find clumpy bits they are easy to swallow.

Would We Buy it Again?

Yes, definitely and in fact we have ordered another three tubs.

 

Read More -> Better Than Coffee (Primal Force)

The Benefits of Using a Sage Smudge Stick

sage-burning-hotel-am-stephansplatzOn our last trip to Europe we stayed in Vienna at the Hotel am Stephansplatz and one of the daily rituals of the hotel was the burning of sage throughout the rooms.  One of the hotel staff would come through the suite each day and waft the sage smoke around the room. This was usually done while we were out, although as you can see from the photo above, we did manage to catch her on one such occasion and asked if we could take her photo.

The suite always smelt fresh and inviting and I am sure it had something to do with this ritual. I mentioned this to my family when I returned to Australia.  And in amongst my Xmas gifts my  granddaughter had brought me a white sage smudge stick.

The idea behind burning white sage is to purify and cleanse the body, office, home and to get rid of negative energies.

You simply light the smudge stick at one end and blow on the embers to create smoke. You then move through the rooms moving the smudge stick in a circular motion.  Be relaxed and take your time when doing this, I believe that just the action of doing this is as beneficial as the warming smell from the smoke.

When you have gone through each room, make sure you extinguish the embers completely in sand or earth and store the smudge stick in a dry place for future use.

So what is a smudge stick?

Its a bundle of dried herbs bound with string into a small bundle and dried. The one I have is white sage that has been organically grown without the use of any artificial sprays or fertilizers and it has a pleasant sweet aroma.

Where did the idea come from?

Smudging is a Native American practice whereby certain herbs are used to purify people and places. White Sage leaves are the most often use in purification rituals.

They take great care in when they pick the sage for use in their rituals as the potency of the sage is affected by the seasons and time of day that the sage is picked.

Why Do I Do It?

Because it makes my house smell great, and I feel uplifted in spirit. There is something calming in strolling from room to room waving a sage stick around. Try it if you don’t believe me.

 

 

 

You-cannot-be-lonely-wayne-dyerI read this quote today by Wayne Dyer and it immediately grabbed me because I know a lot of people who just can’t be on their own – not even for 5 minutes. When  they find themselves on their own they begin to feel either bored, lonely, panicky, scared or all of these.

To give just one example, I remember watching a TV program where they were renovating a house and the husband mentioned how he had to build an open bathroom as is wife couldn’t have a bath without having him around to talk to.

I am the opposite. I personally love being on my own. Have you ever heard people tell you that they are lonely in a crowd of people – that’s pretty much what I experience.

I don’t mind being with people – I can enjoy their company and have a great time. But oftentimes to me it is very draining especially when I am around people that just constantly chatter about nothing in particular. By the end of the outing I just want to go home, relax and tune out.

We are all different and all experience different things but I just thought that Wayne Dyer’s quote hit the mark. Essentially he is saying that if you have difficulty just being alone with yourself then you probably don’t like yourself very much.

You have to like yourself to enjoy being in your own company.

So what’s the answer?

What you need to do is to figure out what makes you not like yourself and the answer to this is pretty much the same for everyone. You don’t like yourself because at some point in your life you started to believe what other people have said about you. It’s nothing more than that really.

Maybe someone once told you that you are ugly, your choice was either to choose to believe them or not believe them. If you agreed with what they said then you will believe that you are ugly. And that creates a cycle in your life where you start to attract people who think you are ugly and you believe them as well…and on and on it goes.

You have to remember that everyone has a different opinion about things. Just imagine for a moment that you have 10 people in a room – you might have your mom, your cousin, a couple of friends, a work mate, a neighbor and some random strangers you grabbed from off the street.

Now imagine you asked each of them to be totally honest with you and in this imaginary sequence let’s assume that they really ARE going to be totally honest. Now ask them a question. In our example, we might ask them “Am I really ugly?”

What do you expect to be the response? Do you really think that they will all give the exact same answer?

Your mom might say: “To me you are truly beautiful and always have been.” Mom’s do that.

A friend might say: “Well you aren’t really beautiful but you definitely aren’t ugly.”

A work mate might say: “I think you are gorgeous and have been wanting to ask you out on a date for months.”

Your jealous cousin might say: “I think you are ugly. I am the prettiest in the family.”

Your neighbor might say: “Hmm, you’re okay I guess but you ain’t going to make it as a model.”

A stranger might say: “I think you are quite pretty.”

Another stranger might say: “Yes I think you are ugly.”

So which one of those people is correct?  Well the thing is they all think they are the one telling the REAL truth and they could easily argue with each other until they are blue in the face about whether you are really ugly or not.

And why is that?

It is because each of those people have their own beliefs about what is beautiful or ugly and they truly believe those beliefs. Some have been brought up to believe a spider is ugly and something to be feared whilst others have been brought up to think that they are absolutely awesome.

So who is really speaking the truth? The answer to that is simple…they are all speaking the truth because it is the truth for them. On the other hand, they are also not speaking the truth because in reality a spider is just a spider. If you say it is ugly or awesome that doesn’t change the spider – it’s just a spider. It’s only your thoughts that change it for you.

So if we get back to the question we asked and the responses we received, how do we know which person is actually telling the truth about whether you are ugly or not?

Now if you consider the statements about the spider then you will realize that the same applies to you, so you can’t really say who is telling the REAL truth – because it is simply their truth.

Everyone has a different opinion and they each believe that to be reality – it is your choice as to which reality you want to believe. Unfortunately it’s human nature to always choose the most negative option and once we agree with someone’s low opinion of us then it tends to become our belief.

Once you become aware of this you suddenly realize that the beliefs in your head may not actually be true. This is so empowering as this realization allows you to start changing your thoughts so that you can begin to create new ones.

It’s not easy but by just being aware that your beliefs are not necessarily true can open up a whole new world to you. Forget the beliefs and opinions of others where you are concerned and change your thinking to believe how beautiful, intelligent, clever and talented you are and your life will improve in a myriad of ways.

Kundalini Yoga – My Yoga Journey Begins

meditation

 

 

Over the years my levels of exercise has decreased and I have found that my flexibility has also diminished.

Every now and then I go on a campaign to get fit, but the last effort resulted in a torn tendon in my foot which saw me spend the first part of my holiday to the US and Europe, in a wheelchair. The program consisted of going for a walk and doing fast sprints up hills. Obviously my body decided this wasn’t what it wanted to do. And the fact that I didn’t do a proper warm up would have had something to do with the outcome.

Well I’ve made the decision to not have this sort of problem in the future so Paula and I have embarked on a program that suits us both. This is the Kundalini Yoga: A Complete Course for Beginners.

So What is Kundalin Yoga:

kundalini-yogaKundalini yoga is known as the Yoga of Awareness and it  is a comprehensive practice of yoga that combines meditation, physical exercises, breathing techniques and mantras. Our teacher on the DVD is Nirvair Khalsa who studied for many, many years under Yogi Bhajan. He is easy to listen to, is very thorough in showing the correct technique for each pose and explains everything in detail.  There are parts where he tells a few anecdotes that you can simply skip over when playing the disc through again.

Kundalini literally means “the curl of the lock of hair of the beloved” and alludes to the flow of energy and consciousness that exists within all of us. The object is to awaken the power of an individual to excel and fulfill their personal destiny.

All this will no doubt come to me in time but what I want right now is the benefit of a program that will help me with flexibility as well and this is what I am finding with Kundalini Yoga.

Day 1: We popped the first dvd on and settled back to watch the introduction. Okay so far so good. OOPs now we need to start some gentle stretching and are introduced to slow, deep breathing.

Nothing too demanding. Of course there is a bit of reaction in some of my joints but nothing painful or unbearable.  Remember, this body hasn’t been strenuously tested for many moons.

At the end of day 1 I am comfortable with what has been achieved and I’m really looking forward to day 2.

Day 2:

A bit of a twinge in the joints on waking, nothing intense and it passes as soon as I start moving about.

So after we have done our daily gratitude journal we pop in the 2nd disc which starts with simple stretching and breathing exercises. These are a little more intense than day 1, so we have decided to do the Part 1 exercises for a few more days.

The stretches certainly reach deep into the muscles and joints and I am unable to completely master some of exercises just yet but even as I am doing them I can feel the flow of energy making it easier with each passing minute.  The deep breathing exercises help to relax the muscles making it easier to stretch longer and deeper. So all in all a good day. See how I front up tomorrow.

Day 3:

Feeling great, so I decided to try something a little more intense. I put on the weight loss disc.  Hmm, not quite flexible enough to tackle some of the routine but I’m reasonably happy with how I have gone when I get to the end.  I have to say that I am really enjoying this Kundalini Yoga course  and I am already starting to feel an improvement in my flexibility.

Day 4:

Well today didn’t go quite as well for either of us.  For some inexplicable reason both Paula and I  felt lethargic, and I definitely wasn’t quite at the top of my game. Everything was an effort to do.  I think my body has just realised that this is an ongoing exercise and decided to rebel.  Nevertheless I persevered and pushed through the twinge barrier. I dDidn’t feel quite as refreshed and invigorated at the end of the session but I’m looking forward to tomorrow as I firmly believe that the more I continue the better and easier it will get.

I love the music that plays during the exercises we went searching the net for it and found it on youtube. The piece is called “Rakhe Rakhanha’ by Singh Kaur, a woman with a truly beautiful voice. This piece of music is ideal for doing yoga or meditation.

 

I will keep you posted with my progression over the coming weeks, I have to say I am excited.

 

 UPDATE:

We have been continuing with our sessions on and off over the past few months. We are both feeling really great and I have noticed a marked improvement in my flexibility. And even when we take a few days off for whatever reason, it is never as hard to do as when we first started.

I will definitely keep doing these sessions.

 

 

 

Garcinia CambogiaIf you are a regular viewer of Dr Oz then you will know that in one of his past episodes he spent some time talking about a new weight loss supplement known as garcinia cambogia. Dr Oz referred to it as a ‘revolutionary fat buster’.

Now, Dr Oz doesn’t sell garcinia cambogia nor did he recommend any particular brand, so it left people wondering just which brand is the best. Fortunately Dr Oz, or should I say the guest MD, did state exactly what you should look for when purchasing garcinia cambogia.

These included the following:

  • The label should contain the words ‘garcinia cambogia’ or ‘garcinia cambogia extract’.
  • It should contain at least 50% Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA).
  • It should contain potassium and/or calcium.
  • It should not contain any fillers, binders or artificial ingredients.

I have struggled with weight gain for a number of years now and have tried various things to lose weight with varying degrees of success.  Knowing that Dr Oz has a reputation for only endorsing products that work, I have decided to try garcinia cambogia and am just waiting on my supply to arrive.  I will document my results on Just Loving Life and I must say I am looking forward to getting started.

So with this in mind, I went looking for some brands that met the criteria advised by Dr Chen. There weren’t a lot of them and in many cases, they missed the calcium/potassium or they were full of fillers and so on.

Remember that if you are going to buy garcinia cambogia that you will need a couple of months worth of tablets, and three months would be better. This is to ensure you give it a chance to work.

So assuming you take 3 tablets a day (500mg tablet taken before each meal) then for one month you will need 90 tablets, two months – 180 tablets and 3 months – 270 tablets. This is at the lowest dose. If you take the highest recommended dose of 1500mg before each meal (which would be 3 tablets before each meal) then you are looking at  270 tablets for one month, 540 tablets for two months and 810 tablets for three months.

I have decided to go for the higher dose as recommended by Dr Oz.

So at the end of the day, this is what I came up with, in no particular order.

1. Garcinia Cambogia Select

We actually contacted the manufacturer directly to find out more about this product. We were able to get the label sent directly to us so we could see exactly what is in it.

As you can see it meets the criteria as set out by Dr Oz plus it is made in the USA.

You can get more details from the manufacturer by clicking here.

Garcinia Cambogia Select Ingredients

 

2. Garcinia Cambogia Gold

This is one of the biggest sellers of garcinia cambogia on eBay. Interestingly enough it gets very mixed reviews. Even some of those who have lost weight using it have left only 3 stars!! Why wouldn’t you leave 5 stars if you had lost the weight while using it?! I don’t get it.

This is the one that I have purchased because simply because was the first one I found that had the right ingredients. And I just wanted to get started asap – I’m not known for my patience.

You can purchase from Amazon by clicking here.

Garcinia Cambogia Gold Ingredients


3. Pure Garcinia Cambogia Extract

This one gets quite good reviews on Amazon.

You can purchase from Amazon by clicking here.

Pure-Garcinia-Cambogia

 

 

 

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