Special delivery

28 Apr

Mail rocks. I feel like I never get anything fun in the mail anymore except for Netflix once a week and a random card or package. But this past week has been full of nice surprises….

1) Starbucks free petit treat coupon

At first, I thought this was my free drink coupon and was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t. But then I got excited since I’ve been eyeing their cake pops. I’m all about having a small sweet  in the afternoon for a little pick me up.

2) Books and coupon!

I won this book through a giveaway on  Looking Up While Slimming Down.  Neyal even sent me a coupon for Chobani Champions since she knows I love the CHO and knows I love saving money even more!

3) Swanson Health Products!

I recently had the opportunity to try three Swanson Health Products.

*Hyaluronic Acid Firming Serum

As much as it pains me to say, I’m getting older and along with that comes changes in my skin. The texture of my skin has changed due to age, sun damage and other factors and I am not 100% happy with how my face looks. Every day I wake up, I see lines that never used to be there and bags under my eyes. This is not a good look for me. When I received this in the mail, I opened it up like a little kid on Christmas and tried it out immediately!  The serum is clear and not gooey like other products out there. The scent is citrusy with a hint of woodsy. I put it on the area of my face I want to firm such as my forehead, cheeks and around my eyes every morning and night. It’s very light weight and it only takes a small dab to cover the areas I wanted to get. It didn’t take long to dry after applying so it was easy to put on my night time moisturizer or makeup on afterwards. I’ve been using it for the past two weeks and can say my face feels tighter in those areas but not a 180 in firmness since I haven’ been using it too long .  I would buy this product on my own since it is very reasonably priced compared to other firming serums out there. My only gripe was that the bottle is silver so you can’t see how much you have left.

* Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

I’ve been reading about coconut oil in the blog world and wondered what the hype was about. I love coconut anything and regularly use use vegetable and extra virgin olive oil  to cook with, so I figured, why not give coconut oil a shot? But when I got the tub of coconut oil and opened it up, I had no clue what to do with it since it was in a solid form.

I did some research online and you can heat it up or you can add to smoothies, granola and many other things. Works for me!

My first experiment with it was with tofu. I breaded the tofu with plain breadcrumbs while the coconut oil was warming up. I used about to tablespoons of it since it packs some calories and fat with it

The coconut oil warmed up very quickly, so I tossed in the tofu and let it fry. Maybe it was the music I was jamming to or I wasn’t completely ravenous but it seemed to take shorter to cook than when I use vegetable oil—nothing wrong with that!

As much as I love coconut. I was a bit weary about it coming out completely coconut flavored  but the tofu came out crispy with barely a hint of coconut. 

I also used coconut oil in my smoothie to give it a little hint of coconut which brings us to the third item I received

*Nutiva Chia Seeds

CHIA SEEDS!

Yet another item that I’ve been reading about in the blog world for some time but never knew why people were so crazy about the chia seeds. From reading about them online, I wondered—did people like them because  they that tasty or that beneficial to your health?

Turns out there are many benefits to chia seeds–From What’s Cooking America:

Chia – 10 Health Benefits of This Superfood

  1. Supports Heart Health
    Chia seeds can help reduce blood pressure. The seeds contain one of the highest known plant sources of essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6). EFAs cannot be synthesized by our bodies however, it is very important that we get enough to support our immune, cardiovascular, nervous and reproductive systems. EFA deficiency is quite common in North America.
  2. Stabilizes Blood Sugar
    Chia seeds slow down the rate at which complex carbohydrates are digested and then assimilated into the body. The soluble fiber helps to stabilize blood glucose levels resulting in steady, sustained energy. In one study on diabetic patients, Dr. Vladamir Vuksan of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, found that blood was thinner and less prone to clotting and blood pressure of participants dropped significantly, after three months of taking Chia seeds daily.
  3. Energizing
    The word “Chia” comes from the Mayan language and means strength. Chia seeds are a balanced blend of protein, carbohydrates, fats and fiber. It is said that 1 tablespoon of Chia can sustain a person for 24 hours. Athletes have reported that Chia seeds help them perform at optimal levels for much longer periods of time.
  4. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
    A number of arthritis sufferers have reported reduced pain and inflammation after a few weeks of taking Chia seeds. The high concentration of omega-3 helps to lubricate joints and keep them supple. Additionally, Omega-3s are converted into prostaglandins which are known to have both pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.
  5. Weight Loss
    The essential fatty acids contained in Chia seeds helps to boost metabolism and promote lean muscle mass. The seeds are sometimes added to food to provide bulk and nutrients while adding very few calories. For these reasons, many people have found Chia quite useful in weight loss and weight maintenance.
  6. Detoxification and Elimination
    Similar to psyllium, the swelling action of Chia in the body helps to cleanse and soothe the colon, and absorb toxins while lubricating and strengthening peristaltic action.
  7. High Quality Protein
    Chia seeds contain about 20% protein, a higher percentage than found in many other grains such as wheat and rice. Chia seeds contain strontium which helps to assimilate protein and produce high energy.
  8. Antioxidants
    Chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants containing even more antioxidants than fresh blueberries. The high amounts of antioxidants in Chia seeds also keeps the oils from going rancid – contributing to a long shelf life.
  9. Provides Fiber and Other Nutrients
    Besides EFAs, Chia seeds also provide fiber, iron, calcium, niacin, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus.
    2 tablespoons of Chia = 7 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 205 milligrams of calcium, 5 grams omega-3
  10. Brain Power
    EFAs are known to make cell membranes more flexible and efficient making nutrients more readily available and nerve transmission more efficient. This helps to improve brain function (including memory and concentration).

I’ve just tried it in my smoothies but want to start adding them to my yogurt and oats. I’ve been soaking the chia seeds in water for five minutes before adding them to my smoothies to soften them up a little. I’ve enjoyed them so far, they don’t have a real taste to them and if you soak them, aren’t too seedy. But give me all those benefits in one little serving? You can be sure I will continue to use chia seeds!

That being said,I still want a Chia Pet

(source)

Thank you Swanson Health Products for sending me the three items and giving me the opportunity to try them out!

What’s something exciting you’ve gotten in the mail lately?

If you use coconut oil and chia seeds, what do you do with them? I need ideas!!

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12 Responses to “Special delivery”

  1. Amy @ Second City Randomness April 28, 2011 at 7:00 am #

    I won paintings in a giveaway from another blogger! They’re sort of awesome… one of the coolest things I’ve received in the mail yet! (pictures will come)

  2. dianacheung April 28, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    dude…I couldn’t taste the coconut either…I ended up buying coconut butter and slathering it on bagels…so I have no idea about the oil…rub it on yo body? BTW I love mail!! Can’t wait to get a housewarming gift from you when I move! hahaha…btw…2 more daysssss

  3. Carly April 28, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    I got a new bathing suit in the mail the other day! Woo hoo, beach weather!

  4. leashieloo April 28, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    I’m way intrigued by coconut oil, I’m glad to know that it’s not excessive coconutty!

  5. Stephanie @ The Cookie Battle April 28, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    I’m going to be honest and say chia seeds scare me…I know they are good for you and all that, but the thought of them expanding in my belly really freaks me out.

    I would definitely try coconut oil though!

  6. Jen@jensdaily April 28, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    I just bought some coconut oil, but haven’t tried it yet. I’ve heard it’s crazy delicious to cook chicken in it; maybe I’ll try that tonight. I love me some chia and add it to anything I can; oats, smoothies, yogurt, cereal, pretty much anything with liquid 🙂

  7. Mindy@FindingSilverLinings April 28, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    I wanna try a starbucks cakepop!!!!! Do they have the coupon available online? Do tell 😉

  8. vixter2010 April 28, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    Oooh love goodies in the mail. I got a book from amazon today 🙂

  9. OliePants April 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    I use coconut oil on my face for a little hydration therapy and also in my hair for the same purposes. Love the stuff!

  10. Monique April 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    dude, share the coconut oil love.

    looks amazing though. I know one blogger putting the coconut oil in her OATMEAL! run and tell dat!

  11. Karla April 28, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    I love mail surprises! I got a card signed by a bunch of my friends back home. It was really nice to know people are thinking of me while I’m away.
    Although I won’t lie, a starbucks treat in the mail sounds damn good.

  12. According to Gus April 28, 2011 at 11:18 pm #

    Oooh – can’t wait to hear how you like the cake pops. I’ve been wanting to try one!

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