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.







When you have a boss breathing down your neck, family’s needs to attend to, or financial obligations to settle, it can be difficult to maintain composure. Sometimes all the responsibilities and expectations may become too overwhelming that stress gets the best of you, and when it does, the results could be far from pleasant.

Stress is considered a normal part of life. A little stress can motivate you to achieve your goals, but too much of it can leave you paralysed and distracted. And usually, how you respond to it creates the difference.

If you’re struggling with stress each day of your life and are close to waving the white flag, here are five ways to help you stop it from sucking the life out of you:


Whenever things don’t go well as expected or challenges become too much to bear, breathe. Concentrate on your breathing for at least three minutes and observe how it eases your anxiety. If you’ve noticed, people who practise yoga or meditation typically start their exercises with deep breathing because it has a calming effect on the nerves and drives out negative thought patterns which may cause one to panic and make poor, hasty decisions.

Remove Your Cape

The stress you are experiencing probably comes from your desire to rescue people from their troubles. But however you would want to solve all your office or family problems, accept the fact that you’re no superhero and you can’t fix them all. Refuse to take further obligations and learn to say no if you already have a lot on your plate.

Take One Step at a Time

This is, perhaps, one of the hardest and most clichéd advice, but taking it one step at a time allows you to cope with your struggles without neglecting the joy of the present. Learn to set priorities and goals for the day and try to achieve them. As much as possible, avoid procrastination as this would only result to unproductive days and half-baked works.

Tap into Your Support Network

Joined HandsOne of the best ways to de-stress your life is to tap into your support network. Confide in your close friends and family members about your present circumstance and draw strength from them to overcome your challenges. You could also seek the guidance of a life coach or a personal development coach to help you deal with your struggles. A personal development coach can assist you in identifying your strengths and weaknesses, improving your potentials, and finding the path to self-discovery. You can look up for personal development videos online to understand what is involved in life coaching and to start your journey to self-awareness.

Indulge in the Arts

If you have a knack for poetry, painting, music, or any activity that encourages your creativity to run free, now is the time to indulge in them. Art is known to offer therapeutic effects to those who take pleasure in them, and it is also during stressful situations that art becomes a healthy avenue for one to communicate his or her troubles, worries, and unrealised dreams.

Stress may come in all shapes and sizes, but remember that you have the power to tame it. It may take some time and plenty of courage, but eventually all your efforts will pay off once you decide to stave off stress when it strikes.


Debra Wright blogs about a plethora of topics including Online Guided Meditation and other fields. Wright considers Lauren Ostrowski Fenton as one of the leaders in Life Coaching Online.





Art Therapy: Creating a Better You




The importance of finding a relaxing outlet in life should never be underestimated.

Lifestyles are unhealthily hectic these days, with the potential for health-ravaging stress facing us daily, especially when you have a family to take care of. With so much going on, our own needs can easily be overlooked, occasionally leaving us unfulfilled, miserable and sometimes even depressed.

Having that ‘me time’ to purge the stress of daily life is imperative for your mental heath, and given that they both have influence over one another, your physical health too.Making that time and finding a therapeutic outlet is often a challenge within itself, but it’s important to do so.

As a person, it’s difficult to be positive or be at your best if your life doesn’t offer any mental ‘pressure’ release. This all might sound somewhat cliché, but how many times have you tried to give yourself that ‘me time’ only to end up struggling to commit to it as your mind can’t temporarily detach from your responsibilities? This is why pursuing therapeutic activities often prove to be more valuable than simply setting aside an hour to sit down and do nothing. They rejuvenate the mind, allowing it to unwind, instead of just halting it for a while. There are countless activities out there that offer this ‘pressure release’, or catharsis. Some seek it through exercise, others in gardening, and many in reading; though many also find a great deal of relaxation, release and fulfillment in creativity.

Creativity in any form can be a powerful therapeutic tool, allowing us to ‘let go’ of it all and put it somewhere else; be it on a canvas, into a song or any other form of artistic expression. Some of the greatest artworks and music of all time have been a result of a person purging themselves of their troubles and channelling it in a creative way. When this is prompted as a means of therapy, professional or otherwise, it is commonly known as ‘Art Therapy’.

What is Art Therapy?

prato fiorito in riva al mare indacoThe definition of art therapy can vary, but can usually be divided into two distinct categories: Art within therapy, and art as therapy. The first being the therapeutic use of creating artworks within psychotherapy, usually for the benefit of those with illness, psychiatric conditions, trauma or other challenges within their lives. The second, a means of creative catharsis, for those with comparatively more ‘normal’ lives.

Within a psychotherapy environment however, art therapy is a much utilized method for professional therapists to communicate with patients; particularly with children or people that find communication via normal means challenging. Using art as a means to express their emotions, they are able to ‘talk’ with less inhibition; a therapist will interpret expressions made within artwork, and then through discussion will elicit interpretations from the patient, opening a channel for gentle, mostly indirect, communication.

Art therapy can also be used as a distraction technique, where a patient can immerse themselves within an enjoyable activity such as painting, which acts as a diversion whilst talking, allowing less conscious communication with a mental health professional.

Art therapy is also used in a less structured ways within certain environments, such as rehabs or prisons. Recovering drug addicts, prisoners, and others distanced from society can often find solace within the arts as they prepare to reintegrate themselves back into the world. Art can allow them to connect, or indeed reconnect with their authentic selves once again.

However, art therapy isn’t strictly reserved for those dealing complex mental health issues, or those on the fringes of society. People with more common conditions, such as depression or anxiety, can also benefit from art therapy; as can those with relatively untroubled lives seeking self improvement.

Art Therapy & You

viso-di-donna-con-capelli-castaniThese days there is very little stigma when it comes to finding help when you’re going through a trying time. We all know someone who has benefited from having therapy, though very few of us know someone who has tried art therapy – despite its origins being firmly rooted within psychotherapy itself.

A quick internet search yields thousands of results for those looking for a therapist offering such methods, along with courses, groups and websites dedicated to the practice. However, you don’t necessarily need a qualified therapist to take advantage of art therapy, nor do you need any artistic skills or talent. It can all be done from the comfort of your own home. An open mind, an hour or two to yourself, a few materials (they don’t have to be expensive ones) and you can be well on your way – and prepare to be surprised with what you come up with.

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things”Ray Bradbury

The one obvious difference between art therapy and your average therapy is that artwork is used to communicate, instead of words. In much the same way as holding back words would slow the process of a therapy session, so would holding back your artistic expression – and this applies either at home, or within a professional therapy environment. Therefore, at least initially, it’s better not to over-think what you intend to create; be that the subject matter, or the composition – and especially anything in relation to the possibility of someone else seeing your artwork. All that will do is make you focus on making it look ‘pretty’ so others judge it favourably, which entirely defeats the purpose of art therapy. Remember, this is purely for you, so treat it like no one else will see it (and if you create an utter monstrosity then no one has to see it anyway!).

The point of art therapy is to let go completely and express yourself, with no boundaries, no inhibitions, and no fear. Don’t over-think what you create, or you risk diluting true self expression. Let your emotions out as you as you work, and if it helps, play music that mirrors how you feel to encourage them to flow.

As you paint, or draw (or whatever you may prefer to do) you may begin to learn things about yourself that wouldn’t have otherwise been revealed. For those that don’t view themselves as creative by nature, this may surprise them. You can interpret a lot from your own artwork. For example, it can be as simple as harsh, ragged brushstrokes revealing the extent of your frustrations within life, or a scattered drawing comprised of many concepts that may reveal a cluttered mind beyond what you initially realised.

Art therapy allows you to view yourself from an objective perspective through your work, holding up a mirror to the ‘real’ you. It can expose your fears, your insecurities, your strengths and any other positive or negative aspects of your mindset. Using art takes these internal emotions and brings them to the surface where you can see them, allowing you to confront them, deal with them, or accept them – which is the goal of any therapy; allowing you to move on and continue on with you life unburdened.

As you begin to feel more comfortable creating art and self expression starts to feel more natural for you, perhaps then is the time to focus a little more on creating something aesthetically pleasing and artistic; but don’t make that the only priority. Remember, a piece of art without emotion or meaning behind it is entirely pointless, and of ceases to be art.

Creative Catharsis

If you want more of the therapeutic than the therapy, then a creative activity will offer that to you if you simply take it up as a cathartic hobby. As well as a fun and worthwhile outlet to dive into during your down time, the proven health benefits are pretty fantastic. It goes without saying that any relaxing activity you enjoy will decrease your stress levels, which in itself will lead to better over all health – instantly making it worthwhile. Aside from that however, getting creative stimulates the brain. Keeping your mind stimulated keeps it sharp, which is especially important as we age. Studies have consistently shown that creativity is especially beneficial as we get older, particularly for those with dementia. As Dr. Bruce Miller, a neurologist at the University of California states “Even though our brains age, it doesn’t diminish our ability to create” and is therefore encouraged for the elderly. Those with dementia who engage in creative activities have been shown to have improved cognitive processes, improved positive emotional responses, and a better mood and attention span – leading to a better quality of life.

As well as keeping your mind healthy now and promoting its vibrancy well into old age, being creative is just good old fashioned fun, and it’s rewarding fun too. Self expression is part of what makes us human, and channelling that into art has been something we’ve been doing throughout the ages. However there are many people in this world that simply don’t consider themselves at all creative, and dismiss their abilities as non-existent, usually before they’ve even explored them. The fact is as humans we ALL have the capacity to create and it’s important to remember that creativity comes in many, many forms – not just the obvious few such as painting, writing or music. There truly is something out there for everyone, and it can enhance your life unlike anything else.

Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up” – Pablo Picasso

The Whisper of Humanity – an Art Project

whisper-of-humanity-1A friend of my grandaughter is doing an arts degree and she has come up with a rather nice idea for a project she needs to complete.

Rowena has designed some cards which she handed out to friends, with the idea that they would post them in different places and take pictures of them and send copies of the pictures back to her.  Well this is not going quite as well as she had hoped.

So we suggested that we put them up on our blog and our Facebook page asking everyone to share or like one or the other of the pictures, or even both.

So in the comment field either here or on Facebook you can do one of two things

Share the picture and leave the comment ‘Shared’ and the country you live in i.e Shared-Australia.

or you can simply like the picture but still add the country you live in just so she has some idea of how far afield this goes.

So please take a few seconds to help this young lady complete her assignment.


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