Let’s Talk About Apple Cider Vinegar!

Let’s Talk About Apple Cider Vinegar!

There are certain things that get a ton of buzz in the media. These can include food, diets, exercises, apps, books, technology products and more.

One thing that has gotten a lot of media exposure is that of apple cider vinegar. It has been touted by celebrities and regular people as doing various wonderful things. Does it really though?

Let’s look at what the research has to say about apple cider vinegar!

What is apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is like white vinegar except that is made from fermented apple juice instead of grain alcohol. That is why it is brown instead of clear. They both have a strong scent but you can definitely pick out the apples in apple cider vinegar.

Vinegar contains something called acetic acid. This is a chemical that has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Apple cider vinegar is about 5-6% acetic acid with the rest being water.

This type of vinegar has a PH level of two which means it is mildly acidic. It contains trace amounts of potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, calcium and sulfur.

You can also find apple cider vinegar in gummies and capsules.

What can it allegedly do for us?

There are a lot of claims in regards to what apple cider vinegar can be used for. Some of these claims have a little bit of research behind them and some are purely anecdotal.  

Here is a list of what people use apple cider vinegar for and if there is any evidence that it can actually help:

  1. Weight loss- This is one of the uses for apple cider vinegar that people read/hear about the most. There are only one or two scientific studies that show it aiding in weight loss. It is probably best not to rely on this if you are trying to lose some weight.
  2. Diabetes- There are a few studies that show there being a small decrease in blood sugar levels when apple cider vinegar is consumed. These studies involved two tablespoons of it a day.
  3. Blood pressure- Only one study showed a small decrease in blood pressure and it was done on rats.
  4. Skin- There are accounts of people using vinegar for issues such as acne, eczema and itchiness. A couple of studies done show that there is no significant benefit for its use in treating skin conditions. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence of it helping though.
  5. Varicose veins- Some people say that soaking cotton balls with apple cider vinegar and putting it on varicose veins will improve the appearance of them. There is no scientific evidence that it will do this at all.
  6. Acid reflux- Using apple cider vinegar for acid reflux is thought to work because of it balancing the PH level of the acid. This is another case where there is only some anecdotal evidence. It may actually make the burning worse in some cases.
  7. Stomach flu- On some parenting/mommy blogs you will read about people taking apple cider vinegar to prevent and kill off the stomach flu. There is absolutely no evidence for this and it may actually make things worse.
  8. Sore throats- Some people think that apple cider vinegar will kill off bacteria that is causing the sore throat but researchers say that it probably will not help at all.
  9. Yeast infections and fungus- There is very little scientific evidence to suggest that apple cider vinegar can treat yeast and fungus issues. Lots of anecdotal evidence though.
  10. Hair and scalp- People say it can help with dandruff, itchy scalp and build-up in the hair by way of lowering the PH level. This is all anecdotal.
  11. Hair loss- Apple cider vinegar has been touted by some to help with hair loss. No evidence of this has been found.
  12. Food- No scientific evidence needed for this one as anecdotal is just fine! There are lots of ways to use apple cider vinegar in recipes. You can use it in salad dressings, sauces, meat marinades, baking etc.
  13. Household uses- There is plenty of anecdotal evidence about its use around the house. People find it is useful for laundry, deodorizing, shining, removing stains, killing mold and more.

Some warnings on using it

Apple cider vinegar is not totally harmless. Here are some things that one needs to be aware of if they choose to use it in any way:

  1. It needs to be diluted- Vinegar is very strong and can cause burning and erosion at full strength.
  2. May cause stomach discomfort.
  3. May drop potassium levels.
  4. May cause slow digestion

How I use it
Okay, so I do love apple cider vinegar even though there is very little scientific evidence for the benefit claims. The following is a list of how I use it:

  1. For my hair- Once every other month I use it to “restore” my locs (I call them that because they are NOT dreadful!). I soak my hair for a few minutes in a big bowl of water mixed with apple cider vinegar and baking soda. After rinsing it out and shampooing/conditioning, my hair looks and feels wonderful. The color looks less dull as well. I also have used the vinegar as an after-shampoo rinse when we have hard water from not refilling the water softener machine. It prevents the dry feeling I get if I were not to do that.
  2. In my “hot toddies”- I put up a post about these hot toddies I make before. They are alcohol free and have apple cider vinegar instead. I just love the taste of vinegar (strange, huh?) and I do not really expect it to do anything for me health wise.
  3. Toilet bowl cleaner- Instead of always buying the containers of toilet bowl cleaner, I pour in baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I then scrub the bowl just as I would do if it were the cleaner I sometimes buy.
  4. Laundry- If some of our clothes are particularly stinky for whatever reason, I pour some apple cider vinegar in with them in the washing machine. Works like a charm!

Lots of people like apple cider vinegar

No, apple cider vinegar does not have a lot of scientific evidence behind it but people obviously still like using it. Through trial and error there are many different ways that it has been used.

Apple cider vinegar works great for me and I will continue to keep it around.

Do you use apple cider vinegar? If so, how?

Thanks for reading!

#applecidervinegar   #health  #science  #researchstudies  #vinegar

Here Is My Workout Routine! What Is Yours?

Here Is My Workout Routine! What Is Yours?

Hi all! I hope you are all doing well and taking the appropriate precautions to reduce your risk of contracting the virus.

I just wanted to share my workout plan for the next 6-8 weeks. If you are looking for a new routine, try this one with me and let me know how it goes!

Weightlifting days

I will be doing four days of weightlifting- two for upper body and two for lower body. They combine cardio intervals and supersets.

Upper body days-

Each set (A,B,C, D, E and F) is done two or three times

A1. High knees (done for 1 minute)

A2. Chest press

A3. Chest flyes

B1. Jumping jacks (done for 1 minute)

B2. Bent over rows

B3. Back flyes

C1. Star jumps (done for 1 minute)

C2. Shoulder press

C3. Lateral raises

D1. Mountain climbers (done for 1 minute)

D2. Hammer curls

D3. Tricep kickbacks

E1. Butt kicks (done for 1 minute)

E2. Push ups

E3. Tricep push ups

F1. Jump forward and run back to start place (done for 1 minute)

F2. Wide push ups (arms out wider than a regular push up)

F3. Skull crushers

Lower body-

Done the same way as the upper body workouts.

A1. Jump squats (done for 1 minute)

A2. Regular squats

A3. Stiff legged deadlifts

B1. Jump lunges (done for 1 minute)

B2. Reverse lunges

B3. Plie squats

C1. Turn jumps (done for 1 minute)

C2. Legs together squats

C3. Wide deadlifts

D1. Star jumps (done for 1 minute)

D2. Side lunges

D3. Hip thrusts

E1. Jump squats (done for 1 minute)

E2. Regular deadlifts

E3. Inner thigh raises

F1. High knees (done for 1 minute)

F2. Forward lunges

F3. Outer thigh raises

Cardio days

I like to do two days of cardio a week. My favorite form of cardio right now is to do about 30-40 minutes of cardio movements without stopping (or briefly stopping to get water halfway through).

After doing the cardio I also follow it up with a couple of ab exercises or I do a short Pilates workout.

There are SO many wonderful free cardio workouts you can choose from!

Off Days

I have decided for my off days I will be doing restorative Yoga if the mood strikes. If not, I will be doing nothing!

Getting in exercise is important

I love to come up with exercise plans for myself as that is how I am able to be consistent. This workout plan is very similar to what I have been doing but it is just slightly different so that my body keeps getting challenged.

What workouts are you doing or planning to do?

#homeworkouts #weightlifting #fitness #homegym #cardio #yoga #health

dminder App For Vitamin D Levels + Review

dminder App For Vitamin D Levels + Review

It is important in these times to get your body as healthy as possible. This means getting in nutrients, sleeping well, taking care of your mental health and exercising.

One of the things I keep reading about lately is vitamin D and the role it can play in our health. I have been interested in getting my levels of this vitamin up due to what I have learned.

Recently, I tried an app on my phone that will help me with increasing my vitamin D intake and I wanted to do a review on it.

Why I think I need vitamin D

Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” by many. This is because there is an abundance of it in the sun.

An immense amount of people are low in this vitamin due to not being in the sun very much, there not being very many foods that have a lot in it and some people just don’t absorb it very well for whatever reason.

While many people can absorb more of it by choosing to sit outside for a while everyday, those with darker skin are still often deficient because the melanin blocks it. Since I am a black woman with dark skin, I may be deficient because of that.

Another reason for me thinking I need to focus on getting more vitamin D is because I do not consume the food that contains good amounts of it (ex. mushrooms).

What vitamin D may be able to do for me (and you!)

My main goal right now is to get my immune system in tip-top shape. Vitamin D has shown evidence that it might help with that.

There has been quite a lot about it possibly playing a role in the severity of COVID19 infections. Researchers are saying that getting our vitamin D levels up can make the virus less severe if one catches it.

Vitamin D also shows evidence at helping with PCOS and PMS. Regular supplementation with the vitamin might treat the underlying metabolic issues that come along with PCOS as well as reduce the intensity of PMS symptoms. Those are two areas I definitely need help with!

Of course there are scientists that completely disagree with vitamin D having benefits but for now I will be continuing my quest to improve my levels.

The dminder app

I happened to come across an app called, “dminder” on a forum. The people were mentioning how helpful it was so I decided to look into it.

The dminder, is an app that helps you get your vitamin D levels up or maintain them. It is able to do this by tracking the sun wherever you are at as well as taking into account the supplements you consume.

To get started with it after installing, it has you set up a profile. This includes putting in your weight, height, age, skin pigment, gender and how much vitamin D you typically get each day in supplements. From this, it sets a daily goal for you.

Each day you are to record how much vitamin D you got in through supplements and your time in the sun. With the latter you can either input a prior time in the sun or start a timer.

When you are putting in sun sessions or starting them, you are to also input what you are wearing as well as how much the the sun is out in the sky. This important for the app to get the best estimate on the level of vitamin D you have gotten.

The app provides a sunscreen reminder feature. It will keep telling you when it is time to reapply your sunscreen throughout the day.

The home screen on the app is specific to your location and will show when vitamin D is available through the sun during the day. It also gives reminders about when your opportunity is coming to an end.

There is a free version and a premium version of the app. The premium version costs $2.00 and includes history reports.

My review of the dminder app

I love this app and I am so glad I stumbled across it!

The science behind getting vitamin D from the sun is really interesting to me. I learned how easy it can be to get my levels up by being outside.

Before I started using this app, I had already been taking vitamin D supplements. It was eye opening to me to see what they estimated I should be getting based on my information I put into my profile.

I had only been taking 2000 IU of vitamin D per day and not sitting in the sun at all. The app says I need at least 5,000 day! I have now started to take 4000 IUs per day in gummy form and being outside for an hour, weather permitting.

Great brand!

In terms of PCOS and PMS, I have not noticed anything yet. I will continue to keep track of how I feel each day in my health journal so I can see if things change in those areas in a few months.

I would recommend this app

If you are interested in increasing your vitamin D levels, this app is definitely for you! It is really easy to use.

In these times, it is important stay healthy. Since vitamin D shows some ability to help our bodies out in various ways, it is worth considering getting more of it (in my opinion).

Do you supplement with vitamin D and/or get out in the sun a lot? let me know!

The dminder app: http://dminder.ontometrics.com/index.html

#vitamind #health #supplements #sun #immunesystem #nutrients #nutrition #covid19

Reliefband For Nausea + Review

Reliefband For Nausea + Review

If you have read my other posts, you would know that I have suffered from chronic nausea for the past five years. Although I have had it under better control lately, I still experience it once in a while.

There are already effective things that I keep around for when the nausea hits, but I have no qualms about trying new ones!

My husband recently bought me a Reliefband which is used to quell nausea. For this post I will be providing some information on it and giving my review.

What the product is and does

The Reliefband is for relieving nausea. It is like a motion sickness band in that you wear it on your wrist. What makes it different is that it is digital and provides electrical stimulation to the area instead of just pressure.

The types of nausea it says it treats are pregnancy sickness, motion sickness, chemotherapy, and post-operative sickness. It is said to be effective on its own but can be even better as an adjunct to other antiemetics.

There are five different nausea relief intensity levels to choose from. The company makes sure to state that the Reliefband may not work for some people even if it is at the highest setting.

The Reliefband comes with instructions and a small tube of conductivity gel. There are batteries pre-installed in the band, so it is ready to be tried out right when you get it. The batteries are said to last for up to 150 hours depending on the intensity levels you choose.

How to wear it

Just like motion sickness bands, the Reliefband is to be worn two finger-widths down the wrist. You are to put a small amount of the conductivity gel on this area and rub it in a circle, gently.

The band is to be placed on the gelled area with a tight fit. You then press the power button. To switch the intensity, you keep pressing the power button until you get the level you want it at. If you want to turn it off, you press the button and hold it.

Once it is on, you will feel an electrical pulsing up through your wrist. To know if you have it in the necessary spot, you are to close your hand. If you feel a tingling sensation in your palm and fingers, it is in the correct place. It must hit the median nerve for it to work at all.

If you plan on wearing the Reliefband throughout the day, you are to reapply the conductivity gel periodically so that it keeps working effectively. You can switch wrists if you need to as it should be on whichever one you feel the most tingling in.

It is splash-resistant, but you should still not immerse it in water. This means that you need to take it off if you are going to take a bath, shower or go swimming.

Wearing the Reliefband may cause skin irritation and allergic reactions if one has a latex allergy.

My review of the Reliefband

I was excited to try out this product and chose to use it during my fertile window when my stomach feels awful.

I loved that there is just one button that you need to press. When I want nausea relief, I do not want to have to fiddle around with something complicated.

I really appreciated the large sheet of information and instructions that it comes with. It explains everything very well. I am glad I did not throw it away which I sometimes do for things like that.

Getting it on the correct spot on my wrist was pretty easy. I also found it comfortable to wear.

The feeling of the electrical pulse was strange in my opinion and it took a little bit to get used it. It feels similar to when your limbs fall asleep. Not painful, just weird.

I turned it up to the highest intensity level due to my nausea usually being tough to break through. This increased the pins and needles feeling but it still was not painful.

In terms of nausea relief for that particular day, I can’t say I noticed a difference unfortunately. I used it by itself for a while and then I ended up having to take my other nausea relief things with it.

Even though I reapplied the conductivity gel periodically, I still ended up with an itchy rash and swelling. I am not allergic to latex so I am thinking the electrodes must have nickel in it (I have a nickel allergy). Or maybe I am just plain sensitive to it.

It might be hard to see but my skin was really irritated here.

Another thing I do not like about it is the cost. While it was nice of my husband to buy it for me, it is expensive and he really shouldn’t have. Way overpriced.

It may have not worked for me, but it might work for you

The Reliefband did not work for me unfortunately and the rash was uncomfortable to say the least. I am not opposed to try it out again if I am truly desperate for some relief though (that probably sounds crazy of me!).

There are many people who have been happy with it so do not let my review deter you from getting it if you are really interested.

Let me know what works for you for nausea!

Reliefband site: https://www.reliefband.com/pages/relief-band-special-5?discount=SPRING25&google=TRUE&gclid=Cj0KCQjw6PD3BRDPARIsAN8pHuF90LGGjQzayuMu5oJ6oEmrZtsrdhWMHUL-2FX9lyuV5SsKpFkLjwEaAv_zEALw_wcB

Buy it on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Reliefband-1-5-Motion-Morning-Sickness/dp/B00PG4NUOS/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_bdcrb_top?ie=UTF8

#nausea  #health  #motionsickness #morningsickness #surgery  #chemotherapy  #periodproblems

Rosemary: Why It Should Be In Your Kitchen!

Rosemary: Why It Should Be In Your Kitchen!

I have always loved lots of flavor in my food. That means that having a full spice cabinet is a must in our household!

It is interesting to me that a lot of these things we use as flavoring have health benefits and have been used to treat certain things. I enjoy reading about them regardless if I will ever be using them.

I have done blog posts about herbs and spices in the past. Since rosemary is herb that I really like, I decided to make this post about it!

The what and why of rosemary

Rosemary is a wonderful plant that most people have heard of. Another name for it is Rosmarinus officinalis. It is pretty easy to grow and a great option for your home herb garden.

Native to the Mediterranean region, rosemary is recognized for its strong scent and the distinct flavoring it adds to foods. It is great for meats, soups, stews, potatoes, sauces, dips and breads.

Rosemary has also been used in traditional medicine since around 500 B.C. It is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, magnesium and potassium.

The alleged benefits of rosemary are as follows:

  • Cognitive performance- Some studies have shown that smelling rosemary’s strong scent can improve memory, reaction times and mental math skills. It has also been looked at for possible use in the treatment of dementia.
  • Mood improvement- Some studies have shown that smelling rosemary and applying it in oil form to wrists can improve one’s mood.
  • Inflammation- Some studies have shown that rosemary has anti-inflammatory benefits. It has been taken for things like osteoarthritis, muscle soreness, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and joint pain.
  • Boosts immune system
  • Antioxidant effects
  • Anti-cancer effects
  • Anti-microbial and anti-bacterial effects- Some studies have shown that rosemary oil can fight E.coli and salmonella in meats.
  • Blood circulation- Some studies have indicated that it has circulatory benefits that make it helpful when it comes to hair growth.
  • Color loss- Some studies have shown that it delays oxidation. People have used it to help darken grey hairs.

While there are seemingly some good benefits to rosemary, there are also some side effects that have been noted. When too much is consumed, vomiting and kidney issues can occur. Also, it can raise blood pressure, so people need to be cautious of this.

Rosemary can be found in the forms of fresh leaves (straight from the plant and cleaned), dried leaves, powder, essential oil, tea bags and capsules.

My use of rosemary

Back when I was in middle school, I was fascinated by herbs. We went to a garden center one day and my mother let me pick out some plants to take home. I randomly chose rosemary and basil.

While I loved the smell of both of them, rosemary’s scent was especially interesting to me. I would often go out on the deck where we had them and just breath deeply. It was so relaxing to me to be out there on a sunny day, among the plants.

I used to make tea out of the rosemary leaves as well. It is probably too strong for a lot of kids but for me, it tasted great. At that time, I didn’t know much about the benefits of plants but I did have a feeling that I was doing something good to my body when consuming it.

These days, I mainly just use rosemary in cooking instead of drinking the tea. On my high carb days, I add it into basmati rice and in biscuit recipes. I also use it for chicken and beef recipes. Soon, I plan is to make these low-carb rosemary crackers: https://simplysohealthy.com/low-carb-rosemary-parmesan-crackers/.

A while back I bought a box of rosemary tea but I have yet to drink it. Since I am all about anti-inflammatory and immune system boosting things, I might start drinking two cups a day.

I found out around a year ago that rosemary essential oil could help with hair growth. Since I do a hair mask before I wash my hair, I sometimes will add in drops of the oil into the mask. Being that PCOS can cause hair loss, I will be making sure to add it in every time from now on.

I also plan on using diluted rosemary essential oil on my eyebrows to see if I can make them grow. They used to be nice and full which required me to get them waxed once or twice a month. Since I got pregnant and gave birth, they have become sparse and will not grow at all unfortunately.

Rosemary is good to have around!

This plant is strong in smell and flavor which might turn people off from it. I would highly recommend always having it around if you do enjoy it though. You can combine it with other herbs/seasonings/spices to come up with a new dimension of flavor in your recipes.

You can also make tea out of it to get the health benefits it has. If you do not like drinking tea, you could make some anyway, cool it down and use it as an after-conditioning hair rinse. The latter can provide moisturizing and growth benefits for your hair!

Do you like using rosemary?

Thanks for reading!

#rosemary  #plants  #herbs  #gardening #supplements  #immunesystem  #health  #naturalmedicine