Tuesday, March 27, 2012


There certainly are a lot choices when it comes to herbal weight loss supplements. In fact, there are so many options to choose from it can be overwhelming.  You’ve got protein powders, fiber blends and green tea, just to name a few.
Protein powders replace some carbohydrates with protein, which gives your metabolism a boost and curbs cravings. A top selling plant-based protein powder at my store is Vega by Sequel.
If you’ve watched Dr. Oz recently, you may have seen him promote PGX, a fiber blend that has proven in studies to control appetite and keep blood sugar stable.
One of my personal favorites is green tea. That’s right, good old green tea. Almost every natural weight loss formula lists green tea as one of the ingredients.  Green tea contains epigallacatechin gallate (The compound known as EGCG), which helps the body burn fat. A study in Switzerland found drinking the equivalent of 2-3 cups of green tea daily caused the participants to burn 80 extra calories each day, without increasing their heart rates. Weight loss is just one of many of green tea’s benefits so if you consume caffeine, switching to green tea would be a fantastic choice for improving your health.
Another option is the homeopathic form of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG), which is known for causing rapid weight loss without hunger.
You may also consider natural weight loss formulas that include ingredients like African mango, tyrosine, l-gluamine, 5-HTP, and B vitamins.
So, what am I giving the Skeptical Husband?  Well, we’re going to see if LifeSeason’s Metabolism Weight Control supplement has any effect on him. It comes in capsule form, which he has to take with each meal. The ingredients in the supplement include:  kidney bean extract (a natural carbohydrate blocker), cocoa bean extract (an antioxidant), glucomannan (a soluble fiber that makes the body feel full), chromium (a nutrient that reduces sugar and carbohydrate cravings), and theobromine (a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant that has a diuretic effect). This formula will help manage his appetite and support his body’s ability to burn fat.
Just so we’ll know whether it’s truly working, The Skeptical Husband has been enjoying the same foods he loves (which sadly includes a few runs to Taco Bell) and he’ll continue his usual exercise routine. He’s agreed to do a weigh-in at the beginning and again at the end and will let us know if there has been any difference. We’ve got a three-week supply (retail price $35). He actually started taking the supplement two weeks ago, so he has almost finished and he'll have a full report soon!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Skeptical Husband's 21-Day Meditation Review

As far as challenges from The Herbal Remedy Wife go, this one was a piece of cake. I didn’t get injected with anything. I didn’t have to eat anything nasty.  I didn’t have to drink any mysterious concoction.  For three weeks I just had to put on my headphones and listen to my iPad for a 15-minute mediation each day.
Most of the meditations followed the same basic format: a short introduction, a couple of minutes of talking and ten minutes of calming music. Each meditation had a different topic, a few even offered some thoughtful nuggets of information to ponder, and a couple went off the metaphysical rails a bit.
For instance, during one meditation I was told to think about a part of my body that had pain. That’s easy - I have plantar fasciitis and my heel friggin hurts like a gunshot wound. Then the meditation guide told me to breathe into that part of my body. What?  How in the hell am I suppose to breathe into my heel? That’s crazy talk!  And then there was the laughing meditation.  That’s right, 15 minutes of random people laughing, which was equal parts odd and annoying.
I didn’t really mind the more typical mediations, like the one where you had to repeat the same two-word mantra over and over for 15 minutes, but my throat got a bit parched after that one. I probably fell asleep during half of the mediations, an unexpected bonus, so I can’t say exactly what happened at the end. 
Overall, the meditations were very calming. Now, I’m not running off anytime soon to hug that Amma lady (Google her if you don’t know what I’m talking about), but on a stressful day if I had 15 minutes to spare I’d consider listening to a mediation to help me relax.  Luckily for me, they are all available for purchase: a perfect symbiosis of capitalism and Eastern Philosophy.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


The husband and I had a very intense conversation about deodorant last night. I asked him if he will try a natural alternative to the Gillette deodorant that he has been using for years.  He responded emphatically, “Hell, no!”
The Skeptical Husband’s firm reluctance to natural products isn’t uncommon, and I think I know why.
There is a big misconception that natural products won’t be as effective as their conventional counterparts.  I’m not sure where that comes from, but this is big reason people shy away from natural products.
I understand that people can be very attached to their favorite body care products. I’ve even seen people on Pinterest who posted boards titled “This is Me,” and they have photos of their favorite shampoo.  Wow, they must really love their shampoo. 
But I truly believe that a lot of natural products are just as good as their more toxic alternatives.  And I really do mean more toxic.
Are there poisons in your products? Yep, there is a good chance there are – especially if you live in America. The European Union has banned 1,136 ingredients from body care products because they have been deemed unsafe. Check out this website for a complete list: EU banned list

In the U.S. the FDA has banned eight. That’s right, eight! See the FDA banned listSo Americans are exposed to 1,128 ingredients that are forbidden in Europe. If possible, I’d like to try to avoid those 1,128 ingredients. 
I’ve read that the skin absorbs 60% of skin care products, and there is concern that a significant amount of cosmetic ingredients, including carcinogenic substances, penetrate the skin and end up in the blood stream and slowly poison the body through repeated use.

One thing I am really concerned with in particular is aluminum chlorohydrate, an active ingredient conventional antiperspirants and deodorants. This is why I pressed The Skeptical Husband to try a natural alternative. 

Proponents of natural products believe that there is a connection between antiperspirants, underarm shaving and cancer. I also do not like antiperspirants because they interfere with the body’s ability to cleanse itself of toxins, and many people believe there could be a connection between aluminum in deodorants and Alzheimer’s. 
For those considering a switch to a natural deodorant, my favorite brands for cleanliness and scent are Aubrey and Weleda. But don’t just take my word for it. Check out this super informative website by the Environmental Working Group to get recommendations and ratings for the safety of hundreds of personal care products. They even have a wallet guide with ingredients to avoid that you can take with you next time you shop for personal care products.

The Skeptical Husband says…
First, show me the study that shows there is a direct link between cancer and/or Alzheimer's and deodorant. 

And second, I’m not trying a natural deodorant. I'm just not doing it!  

There is nothing "natural" about natural deodorant. What is natural is the fact that people have body odor. It is unnatural to try to cover up this odor.  But I'm good with that.

I am sure the people who share a tiny office space with me appreciate my firm position on this issue. Listen, I’ve been to enough Grateful Dead concerts to know that natural deodorants don’t work. So I am not doing it. 
I’d be willing to try natural shampoo, shaving cream moisturizer, etc., but not deodorant.  I am a smelly guy. I accept this. Without my Gillette Cool Wave Antiperspirant I’d smell really bad.  Maybe I’m ingesting toxins – but hey, I’m willing to take one for the team on this one.

Okay, deal.  After you're done with the 21-day mediation challenge, I'll have a list of natural body care products for you to try, with the exception of deodorant. Oh, and how is the meditation going? 

It's going great. I'm about halfway done.  I'll have my review ready in about 10 days. I'm becoming real familiar with some guy named David G., who is very mellow. He reminds me a lot of the Tim Robbins character in the movie High Fidelity, the guy who  Jack Black and John Cusack give a good beat down.