Saturday, August 30, 2014

Shake The Crave - Health Weight Loss Shakes

Many weight loss shakes don't taste very good. Is Shake the Crave different?

I'm excited to tell you that I recently got a chance to try a new brand of weight loss shakes called "Shake the Crave". It's made with organic ingredients and is sweetened with natural cane sugar, vanilla, and coconut powder. My review was mainly just for taste, but soon I will try a full-scale 90 day challenge to test how it works. For now, we'll just talk about what this product claims it does and my experiences with it.

Claim 1 - Tastes Like an Old Fashioned Hand Dipped Milkshake

My response? I wouldn't go that far. I don't know if I just need more practice making the shakes or if it's something else, but the finished product was not thick and creamy. The only way it could live up to that claim would be if you made it with ice cream, which would kind of defeat the purpose.

But does it taste good? You bet. Good enough to use it long term to reach your weight loss goals? Most definitely. I tried both chocolate and vanilla and thought they tasted really delicious. Confessions, I added about a quarter of a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to my vanilla shake to make it taste how I wanted it to. On it's own...I didn't quite like it; but, with only that one change I plan to use both the chocolate and vanilla to help me reach my goals.

Claim 2 - Helps You Feel Fuller Longer

In my experience I would answer both yes and no. As far as keeping me full to where I didn't want anything else to eat for a long while, no. As far as feeling more satisfied and and not eating as much for the rest of the day? Yes.  I tried these on different days so I only had one shake for the day each time I tried it. I felt hungry again about an hour after drinking each shake, but each time I did eat something else, it was only necessary to have a small snack to satisfy me. I also ate less at meal times. 

Claim 3- Gives You More Energy And Over All Feeling of Well-Being

In my experience I'm going to give this a positive response. I didn't feel like running a marathon after I drank them but I definitely felt a sense of peppiness that I did not have before consuming the drink. Keeping in mind that I only had one drink each day, I'd like to see if I really notice much more of a difference after drinking it twice a day, every day for a while. 

Other Important Information

Aside from the claims of taste, satisfaction, and energy, you'll probably be interested to know that this product is 120 calories per serving. Whichever milk you add will increase that number. For the vanilla I used skim milk and for the chocolate I used almond. To be fair, I will say that next time I drink the vanilla I'm going to use coconut milk. Then, I may not even need to add the little extra vanilla extract, but as it is a pure ingredient, I may just do it anyway. You are allowed to use almond, coconut or skim milk. Most weight loss programs recommend that you don't go under 1200 calories per day, so you'll need to add up the calories in whichever milk you choose to use and figure up your caloric intake accordingly. The full program is much like others you've heard about, one drink for breakfast, one for lunch, two to three healthy snacks in between and a sensible dinner. 

The product has a low 0.5 grams of fat, so again you're going to need to check the label on the milk you choose to keep track of the total fat grams per drink. 

You'll be glad to know there is no high fructose corn syrup, MSG, GMO's, fillers, or binders. They have also left out the artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors, and preservatives.

Allergy Notifications

If you have allergies to soy, egg or gluten you'll jump for joy that they are not in this product. It does however contain milk and tree nuts (coconut). If you are allergic to one of those two, you won't be able to try it.

Try Before You Buy

Trusted Health gives you the chance to try this product before you buy the full size item. I think that is so smart, because if you don't like the way it tastes, you're not going to use it long term. If you don't know if you like how it tastes, you may not jump in with both feet and purchase a full size container. The samples are free, but you will need to pay $4.95 shipping and handling. 

My Overall Review

My overall feelings of this product are fantastic. I can't wait to try the full program. I am extremely optimistic that it will help me to reach my goals. This review was mostly about taste, which is really the most important aspect of any person using it long term. Especially in comparison with other popular weight loss shakes, I'd give this one five stars. As most of you guys know, I'm about to go into the hospital with Anna for three I'm waiting until I get back to get started; but, I'm looking very forward to the day I can begin.  

My Video

I made a quick 3 1/2 minute video of me trying the product. Watch if you like:

Disclaimer: I received two free samples of Shake The Crave from Trusted Health, Inc in exchange for a review. All opinions posted here are mine.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Pregnant? Learn More About Cord Blood Donation

Having a baby is an amazing thing. Helping another person keep their baby is something more of a miracle. Find out more about cord blood donation.


Our Story

My daughter Anna, age eleven, has been battling Large Cell Lymphoma for over a year and a half now. As soon as her first year of treatment was over, we thought that was the end of the road and she was in remission. Unfortunately, she got very sick and two months later (and several hospital stays later) we got the news that she had relapsed. We were told that we would need a stem cell transplant to save her life. You may also know it as a bone marrow transplant. Those with blood/immune cancers like leukemia and lymphoma are not always candidates for a transplant, but those who are candidates have a real chance of beating it for good. They are literally given brand new immune systems. How incredible is that?

As we wait and wait to find word on a donor, we are told that the doctors are looking at a few umbilical cords as the match. I am in awe that someone donated a cord at the time of their baby's birth, and that may be the only thing that can help me keep my baby girl.

Where You Come In

Please watch the video posted below and then go to Be The Match to learn how to donate your baby's cord to help save another life. You can also encourage your friends and family to go to the site and get a free test kit to increase the national registry of donors. It's a simple cheek swab to test your DNA. When you are contacted as a match, the person who is in need of a transplant would use their insurance to have you tested again, have a health work up, and then you would need to carve out a time to have a relatively simple procedure to have your bone marrow harvested. Teens who have had the procedure done have reported that they were sore but otherwise unaffected from the procedure. It is much easier to use a blood cord because then the patient does not have to wait for a person's schedule to be able to get the transplant.

Not every cancer can be cured, but let's cure the ones we know can be. Think of it, your little miracle...born a hero. I don't know if I'll be allowed to know and contact the family who will save my daughters life and give her a brand new immune system. If I can, I know I will cry and not even be able to form the words of gratitude I feel. I hope you will share this information with everyone you know who is having a baby. Be blessed and congratulations!

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Tale of Two PET Scans

Anna had a PET scan this past week, as did her friend Kayla. The two outcomes were completely different. How do parents cope?

If I haven't updated my readers on Anna's current situation, it's only been because we have been so busy figuring out what her situation is. Her cancer recurred immediately after the end of her first year of treatment, and we had to go back on chemotherapy in the form of an antibody specifically targeted toward lymphoma. We are waiting for news on a donor for a stem cell (bone marrow) transplant. We are ready and prepared to spend three months away from home to get that done and finally, finally feel like she's going to be better. To be able to move forward with the transplant, she had to be back in remission, seen clearly on a PET scan.

To tell the rest of this story I need to back up and tell you that when she was first diagnosed, we met a lovely girl named Kayla who went to the same clinic for treatment. Kayla has a completely different type of cancer called neuroblastoma. This is a cancer that is most common in very young children but happened to grow in Kayla even though she is a young adult at 18-19. I spoke with Kayla's mom and we became facebook friends. We talked about the trials of having a child with cancer, and Kayla was able to express to me what chemotherapy was like for her as Anna can't do that with her special needs. I knew keeping up with them through facebook that the trials Kayla faced with neuroblastoma seemed much more daunting than what we faced with lymphoma. Cancer is deadly no matter what type it is, but some types are just easier to treat than others. 

This past week we completed Anna's PET scan. It was hard to do. Anesthesia always makes me nervous. Seeing my baby strapped to a table moving through a huge machine is hard for me. Helping her come off the loopy-loo phase when she wakes up is comical and also unnerving. There's nothing fun about a PET scan. Yet, when we got the results they were the most beautiful words I'd seen in print...maybe ever. They read, "Currently there is no PET/CT evidence of disease." She's clear. My baby currently has no cancer in her body. We can move forward with the transplant and know we have a real chance of beating this thing for good.

Kayla also had a PET scan this past week. Her news was not as good. New cancer had grown during the treatment. Her doctors told her that at this point there is not much chance of ever beating it, but the new course of action is to keep it at bay as long as possible. I can't imagine getting that kind of news. It's just as possible for us as it is for any other cancer patient. Yet, my news is thrilling and people we've shared this experience with got horrible news. I don't know how to feel. I'm not giving up on Kayla. I'm continuing to pray for her and hope and believe. I also feel guilty. I know I have no reason to but I guess its a human emotion, a natural reaction.

How do parents cope? I have no idea. I was hoping you did. The only thing I can ask of you if this story has stirred your heart is to give to PEDIATRIC cancer research. Not Susan G. Komen, though that is a worthy cause. Not The American Cancer Society, though that is another worthy cause. Those are for specific types of cancer that have nothing to do with these kids. For Anna, it's the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. There is also a Neuroblastoma society. Either way, find a cancer society for children, so that kids like Anna can keep getting great news and young adults like Kayla can get better news than she got. There are new treatments discovered every day (the antibody that put Anna in remission is new). We need help for science to continue to find them.  

Thanks for reading. If you are praying person, please pray for Kayla and for Anna. Be blessed. 

(photo source)