Dr, Scholl’s Active Series Insoles

These insoles are great. I usually buy another style of Dr. Scholl’s and replace them a few times a year. They are okay and do the job, but I find my feet still hurting after a long day of working and/or working out.
These insoles are a gift from the Heaven. They have more arch support, (which I need because I have high arches) and heel support than standard Dr. Scholl’s. I like them so much that I have bought a total of 2 pairs. I got one pair free from Influenster to try out, so shout out to #influentervox for letting me try them! They are great for running shoes, work shoes, and street shoes…hence why I wanted 3 pairs. 😉
When I was buying a new pair of running shoes, the sales associate asked me to try on a pair of their brand of insoles because they claimed they gave more comfort and support than my Dr. Scholl’s. I tried them on and I tried not to laugh. Dr. Scholl’s active are the best out there that I have seen. Get some for all of your shoes. You won’t be disappointed! Your feet will thank you. PS. They also feel nice and fit nicely in ‘regular shoes’, like my Toms. I wear an 11 and they are a little narrow, but that doesn’t seem to bother me. I have a little wider foot, so be mindful of that if you are exceptionally wide width, you might want to get you some for men.

Green Mountain Coffee

Fair trade is new to me, so when I was allowed in the Green Mountain Coffee bzz campaign I was so excited. Green Mountain is the largest purchaser of Fair Trade Certified coffee, Green Mountain Roasters, Inc. knows the quality is second to none. That’s why they offer a wide selection of Fair Trade coffees, including brand-new Three Continent Blend, which combines the flavors and aromas of South America, Africa, and Asia into one harmonious Extra Bold Blend. I told them I got the Extra Bold Blend from bzzagent and it FINALLY got chilly here in the TX morning and it was amazing to have an excellent cup of coffee in the morning.

It has a rich taste without being obnoxiously heavy and leaves no bitter aftertaste in your mouth. I will definitely be buying this coffee in the future.

For my readers, here are some special coupon codes to buy this online: FTBZZ-WKDVN4H, FTBZZ-WKDW386, FTBZZ-WKFMV8H, FTBZZ-WKGBKD5, FTBZZ-WKGDVDQ, these are 1 time use for $2 off. Enjoy!

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YUMMM TRUVIA

So, I got to try some truvia from #Crowdtap and I really really like it. I needed to research it and find out exactly what it was that I was putting in my body.

Truvia is the new “all-natural” sweetener created from the stevia plant. Thanks to it’s claim to being “natural,” many health-conscious shoppers have been swayed into believing that Truvia is a healthy alternative to sugar.

After all, Truvia has no calories! And it’s sweet! And it’s natural! On Truvia’s website, we read that it’s “the first great-tasting, zero-calorie natural sweetener that’s a miracle of nature, not chemistry.”

So, is all this marketing true? Is Truvia actually a miracle of nature? Is Truvia Healthy?

Is Truvia healthy?

First, we should ask if it’s really a natural sweetener. The short answer? No.

But wait! I thought Truvia was made from stevia. Stevia is a natural sweetener. It’s a plant that I can grow on my patio. I can harvest the leaves, dry them if I want to store them, then use them (dry or fresh) to add a hint of sweetness to just about anything — cool, refreshing iced teas, naturally healthy lemonade, and more.

That said, Truvia is not stevia. Stevia looks like what it is — a plant, an herb. It’s green, and can be purchased in a dried, powdered form. Some companies make extracts of stevia in a liquid form — something you could do, too, with a little bourbon or vodka on your side. Either way, this is something you can grow and make in your own kitchen. But what about Truvia? Truvia looks like table sugar. It’s crystallized sweetness. Can you make Truvia in your kitchen?

Of course not! Despite attempts to get straight answers from the folks at Cargill and Coca-Cola who manufacture Truvia, all we know about it is that it’s made first by steeping the stevia leaves in boiling water. But how it goes from being “stevia tea” and gets converted into a crystallized ingredient called rebiana is a mystery of the food industry. Surely there’s some kind of processing involved, no?

PureVia, a competitor to Truvia created by PepsiCo, also extracts an ingredient from the stevia leaf called “Reb A.” (Sounds similar to rebiana, doesn’t it? That’s because both are actually alternative names for rebaudioside A, the “active” ingredient in stevia.) From PureVia’s website, we learn:

The pure Reb A from the stevia plant that sweetens PureVia starts with stevia leaves, which are first milled and then steeped in water using a brewing method that is similar to brewing tea. The resulting stevia extract is then further purified to separate the Reb A through a proprietary technology using ethanol.

Another mystery of the food industry, but at least we know it involves ethanol.

Then, on top of rebiana, Truvia also contains erythritol (a sugar alcohol like xylitol) and “natural flavors.” Lovely.

Sugar alcohols like erythritol and xylitol, while being somewhat better than artificial sweeteners, aren’t truly “natural” sweeteners, either. From the article Sugar Free Blues, author Jim Earles writes:

The final word on sugar alcohols as a group seems to be a mixed message. The evidence does seem to support the positive claims made on behalf of these sweeteners, and perhaps this gives them a valid place in certain applications. For example, given the choice between treating a child’s ear infection with a course of antibiotics or with administration of a therapeutic dose of xylitol, the latter option would certainly be preferable. Of course, there may be even better options.

While sugar alcohols may indeed occur in nature, their usage as sweeteners also suffers from the same problem as many other sweeteners, pharmaceutical drugs and other substances today–one single factor from a natural food item is being isolated from its normal co-constituents and consumed at levels that are difficult to obtain when eating the food item itself. Rarely, if ever, does this situation lend itself to good health. While sugar alcohols are certainly the lesser of two evils when compared to the non-nutritive sweeteners, they should be consumed with prudence if at all. There are better choices.

Conclusion: Is Truvia Healthy?

What do you think? It’s not natural, but rather made by a mysterious, patented refining process to extract rebiana from the stevia leaf. Plus, it contains other ingredients besides rebiana, including erythritol (a dubious sugar alcohol) and “natural flavors” (whatever they are).

I’ll leave you with a final thought. Why aren’t Coke and other companies using just plain stevia to sweeten their beverages? Could it have something to do with how it took the FDA all of three seconds to grant Truvia the coveted GRAS (generally recognizede as safe) status? (GUILTY! I’m exaggerating. It was more like 3 weeks.) How Monsanto spent 20 years blocking the FDA’s approval of stevia when they thought it posed a threat to NutriSweet?

All in all, like any other artificial sweetener, it sweetens and with no calories, so cheers to that!

Lysol Power and Free

Thanks again to Bzzagent I got to try some more products for free. I was sent a bottle of Lysol Power and Free cleaner and a canister of Lysol Power and Free wipes. They are made with peroxide instead of bleach. I was really skeptical about this working because I have been a diehard bleach cleaner user, but when I used this on my hard water stained sink in the bathroom it really worked. I especially liked that there wasn’t a bleach smell. There was a fresh clean scent and everything sparkled. I definitely will buy this and very thankful I got to try it for free from bzzagent.

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If your fume-free, sparkling clean house inspires you to clean house under the kitchen sink (or wherever you keep those other cleaning products), here’s a look at the full line of Lysol® Power & Free cleaners. Stock up on these family friendly options for a truly healthy home!

Lysol® Power & Free Multi-Purpose Cleaner

  • Great for cleaning many household areas, including surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom
  • Powerful cleaning without the harshness of bleach
  • Available in two fresh scents: Citrus Sparkle Zest and Oxygen Splash
  • Starts at a suggested retail price of $1.97 or $2.77, depending on the size

NEW! Lysol® Power & Free Multi-Purpose Cleaning Wipes

  • Great for quick clean ups and disinfection of all kinds of kitchen and bathroom surfaces like counters, sinks, and more
  • Does not leave a harsh chemical residue
  • Starts at a suggested retail price of $2.47

Lysol® Power & Free Bathroom Cleaner

  • Cuts through stubborn stains like soap scum in tubs and on shower doors
  • Leaves a fresh, clean scent
  • Starts at a suggested retail price of $2.97

Lysol® Power & Free Toilet Bowl Cleaner

  • Cuts through toilet grime and even tough stains like rust and limescale
  • Does not contain bleach and does not leave a harsh chemical residue
  • Starts at a suggested retail price of $1.97

Lysol® Power & Free Toilet & Bathroom Wipes

  • Great on a variety of surfaces, including: sinks, bathtubs, toilet seats, shower doors, and bathroom fixtures
  • Leaves a fresh, clean scent
  • Starts at a suggested retail price of $2.47

Ivory® 2-IN-1 Hair & Body Wash

This product is awesome! I highly recommend it for anyone that likes the convenience of a 2-IN-1. At first, I wasn’t sure that it would work well on my hair, and I thought it would be a little sketchy because it is also a body wash. It conditions well and smells clean (not overly perfumed). my husband also loves it. The price is also great for the size of the bottleI was very surprised at the quality of this product. When I think of honestly think of Ivory, I think of having dry chapped skin. I have been using this product for a week now thanks to Influenster. I was sent a full size bottle to try and I really like it. My skin feels great. I even used it on my face because I left my usual face wash by the bathroom sink. I will definitely buy this product in the future. It’s even great for my toddler!

More about Kroger and their frozen yogurt bars!

I had my sister’s family over this Memorial Day weekend. We grilled and ate hearty, but for some reason we always want to skimp on dessert even though we just glutted out. I was thankful to have some of these fresh frozen treats. I told my sister I #gotitfree from bzzagent and that they are low in fat and sugar and guilt free. Her husband and kids were listening intently. They all tried the frozen yogurt bars and agreed that they are sensational. I handed them some coupons so they could swing by Kroger on the way home and get some for themselves.