Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Xtra Review

Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Xtra Review

I have recently started getting into vitamins and supplements, one of the latest and most important to me in terms of health benefits has been Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Xtra .  They come in soft gel caps, that aren’t too oversized or difficult to take, and this is coming from someone who does NOT like to take pills of any kind. They have a fresh natural lemon flavor, I love that, because some supplements can have an awful flavor. So what is in these capsules and what are the benefits?

Ultimate Omega Xtra Ingredients:

purified deep sea fish oil (from anchovies and sardines), soft gel capsule (gelatin, glycerin, water, natural lemon flavor), natural lemon flavor, dalpha tocopherol, vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol in olive oil), rosemary extract (a natural preservative).

Ultimate Omega Xtra Benefits:

Helps maintain a healthy heart and brain, bones, and your body’s natural anti-inflammatory response. This Xxtra blend combines enhanced omega-3s with natural vitamin D in the company’s best-selling fish oil concentrate. Ultimate Omega Xtra contains 150 mg of additional EPA, as well as contains 1000 I.U. of naturally-occurring vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), which plays an important role in immunity and regulating levels of calcium and other minerals involved in the maintenance of strong, healthy bones.

I also wanted to mention that Nordic Naturals is currently having a What’s Essential Contest and share the details with you, because the prizes are pretty amazing! Here are the details:

How to Enter: There are two easy ways to participate–enter via or Nordic Naturals’ Facebook page at Here’s your chance to get creative, share what matters most, and inspire others to do the same.

What You Win: The What’s Essential contest will award prizes to the best 19 entries.

  • Grand Prize Winner:One winner will receive a trip for two to Santa Cruz, California with all the trimmings, including airfare, car rental, hotel, spending money, Nordic Naturals award-winning omegas, and more!
  • Second Prize Winners: Each of the six Second Prize winners will receive one Canon®Vixia HF M400 camcorder and a one-year supply of Nordic Naturals award-winning omegas.
  • Third Prize Winners: Each of the twelve Third Prize winners will receive a one-year supply of Nordic Naturals award-winning omegas.

I received this product from, authors of ‘Unjunk Your Junk Food’ free for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

BistroMD – Giveaway!

So I have been using the BistroMD Meal delivery program and LOVING it!! The lovely people at BistroMD want to give one of you the chance to win a 5 Day Tasting Tour of their entrees!!! Whoo-hoo!

Easy Raffelcopter entry! Good Luck!

*If you don’t want to wait to see if you win…you just want to try it now- you can go HERE and use a $25.00 off coupon*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Natural Rx-Free Inflammation Relief



I’ve spoken with you quite a bit about the fact that I have joint issues, in my hands, one shoulder and one elbow. If you have joint problems you know that it can affect your life in a variety of ways. I have a hard time with some simple daily activities. As a matter of fact, that is the reason I don’t work as a stylist anymore- my hands can’t take it!  Luckily, I don’t hurt every day, but on my bad days I tend towards being a bit cranky!  One thing I have done with good results is to add superfruits to my diet, either in raw natural form, as a juice, or as a supplement. And there is a  large variety of fruits with proven benefits out there. One such fruit with detoxing properties is the  Nopal fruit, which comes from the Nopal cactus. The nopal cactus is native to the mountains of Mexico. It has been used since ancient times, both as food, and for its medicinal and health benefits. A juice you can try that contains this fruit  is Nopalea.   Nopalea is a product from TriVita, a company that specializes in wellness. Over 3 million bottles have been sold!  The antioxidants (Betalains)  it contains have been scientifically proven to help reduce inflammation, which is a leading source of pain. It can help your body cleanse itself of toxins, and promotes optimal health. It may help improve your breathing. You can try Nopalea for free (only pay $9.95 for shipping) by calling 1-800-203-7063.


*I Disclose* PayPerPost is not affiliated with Nopalea/Trivita*

CocoaWell Cocoa Heart COQ10 – A Review

I love taking supplements. Being able to feed my body some beneficial nutrients without consuming tons of extra calories appeals to me. Obviously I try to get what I can through food, but sometimes it’s virtually impossible to get what you need that way. So, you gotta love supplements right? One of them that is receiving a lot of attention lately is Cocoa. The very heart friendly effects have been talked about everywhere, online, in women’s mags,  by Dr. OZ,  mentioned in an article in Oprah magazine and you can find glowing reports on WebMD and other health related websites. CocoaWell has addressed these needs by releasing their line of Cocoa based supplements.Their formulas are enhanced with Pure Plant Flavanol Complex, which is an exclusive blend of plant sources that deliver the incredible health benefits of flavanols such as catechin, epicatechin and EGCG.

This is pulled from
Our formula is enhanced with Pure Plant Flavanol Complex, an exclusive blend of plant sources that delivers the remarkable health benefits of catechin flavanols. These potent polyphenols are shown to support energy as well as heart, brain and immune health, and are among the most researched of all phytonutrients.

Another really important element that has been a headline maker for years is COQ10.

Found in all human cells, CoQ10 is one of the most important, naturally occurring elements in the body for maintaining proper cardiovascular function. Your heart has high concentrations of CoQ10 that decrease with age, and studies show that cholesterol-lowering drugs, such as statins, may decrease CoQ10.

And this is interesting, too.  Hershey recently conducted a study that has  has demonstrated that the antioxidants found in cocoa powder were significantly greater even than other super fruits – including acai, blueberry, cranberry, and pomegranate. Really? Wow. Research from Harvard has documented that the Kuna Indians, who live on the San Blas islands off the coast of Panama, have 1/9 the incidence of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and cancer. That’s amazing!  They consume more cocoa than any other people in the world – up to 6 cups/day or 40 cups/week.

Right now they have three formulas:


Cocoa Energy Restore

And the formula I’m trying: Cocoa Hear COQ10.

You can find these exclusively at GNC. If you have been reading about the health benefits of Cocoa- this is an excellent way to nourish your body.




GNC Review and Giveaway closed


Did you know that September is National Fruits and Vegetables Month? I didn’t. It’s also National Mushroom Month.

You’re supposed to have 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies per day;  the Harvard School of Public Health recommends filling half your plate with fruits and veggies at every meal. And that doesn’t mean nuking a bowl of canned corn or peas- I think I’ve shared with you that hubby considers that a balanced meal. No what you are aiming for is a variety of colors. The idea being that different colors indicate different nutrients. So here’s the problem. I wrote about sneaking good for you foods into your meal plans so your picky family will get the good stuff without complaints, but what about when you just don’t have time? I live out in the boonies and there are still days when we are rushing here and there and have so much going on that dinner is a chore instead of an enjoyable way to spend time creating and preparing a good meal to savor with each other. Or at least something tasty we can all have in front of the TV. LOL.

Now if that isn’t tough enough, what do you know about mushrooms? I know that I love them, but again, my family doesn’t. However, in a nod to National Mushroom Month I spent some time reading up on the health benefits. Um, wow. I had no idea that they were so good for you. They do everything from helping you fight the flu to providing anti- cancer properties. Now, I’m obsessed with making sure my fam is getting mushrooms in their diet. This site had a lot of info. But we have the same problem- how do you get enough, especially if your kids and/or your hub just don’t like it? Enough fruits and vegetables to meet your recommended daily servings, enough mushrooms to reap the health benefits? Are you picturing 6 lbs of salad a day? Thank goodness that you can buy supplements. And thank goodness for GNC. It’s like a one stop shop for everything related to giving your body the good stuff. In fact several products that I’ve reviewed here at Howard House are available at GNC. I spent my time there today looking for some fruit and veggie  and mushroom supplements.

I found these, which I am ordering. The Fungi Perfecti Host Defense



It has dozens of different types of mushrooms so it gives you a wide range of benefits. Score! To help meet our needs for the fruits and veg I found something that looks really tasty. GNC Total Lean-Lean Protein Fruit and Veggies- Harvest Berry


I actually used to work two doors down from GNC and was good friends with Taylor, the girl that worked there. She was  GOOOOOOD at what she did and I spent A LOT of tips in that store! GNC wants you to see what they have to offer, too. One of my readers will win a $50.00 GC to GNC!   I’m doing the Rafflecopter Entry Form again. GOOD LUCK!!

* If you have been a lucky winner of a GNC gift  card in 2011- you are not eligible to win this giveaway*

Spencer Forrest – Solutions For Thinning Hair



I have had something called Alopecia Areata for more than a dozen years. I am one of the lucky ones so far, as I only lose my hair periodically and only in a few spots on my scalp. It isn’t a nutrient deficiency or from hair color or anything, it is thought to be hereditary.  So far my hair has always grown back. For me, instead of random areas on my head I lose a quarter to a fifty cent piece sized section of hair at each temple along my hair-line and sometimes behind my ear and just under the crown of my head. It almost  always comes with diffuse thinning all over my head, though. I have used one little trick forever to help disguise the bald/thinning patches. I used eye shadow. The idea being that it eliminates the contrast between scalp and hair so that the thinning area is not so noticeable. Of, course, it wipes off through out the day so you have to touch it up a lot. And you can’t go swimming with eyeshadow on your head. Diving in the water with the appearance of a full head of hair, only to surface half bald just doesn’t make it onto my fun list.



Evidently there has been a product around for about twenty years that does the same thing as far as making your scalp less noticeable, only it is way better. It’s called COUVRé. It doesn’t come off in the water(!) and it is a creamy liquid that is really easy to apply, and the coverage is far superior. I love it. Since I am right in the middle of one of those times where my hairline is disappearing, I’ve been using it every day. It actually comes with a cosmetic sponge to apply it, but a hard round brush used for stippling techniques works very, very well. That’s how I’m doing it. I also wanted to show you how well it works to disguise thinning hair on the guys, so I enlisted Mr. Howard’s help. Check out the pics at the end of the post. The top two pictures are of hub (he’s laying down but I forgot to rotate the pics, you can live with that, right? Thanks)  One shows how his hair looks  where it’s thinning at the crown and you can see the scalp quite clearly. Next, after I used COUVERè on his scalp, can’t you see the difference? Pretty great.  Next pics are of my hairline. You can see where my hairline should be, where it actually is, and how it looks filled in.  Awesome change!! Spencer Forrest also has a product called Toppik. This is from their site:Toppik fibers are made of all natural organic keratin protein, the same protein that hair is made of. The fibers in Toppik are charged with static electricity so they intertwine with your own hair and bond securely. Just shake on the Toppik fibers, they stay in place all day, all night. It’s the “secret weapon” used by millions of men and women around the world.



I tried this also. I think this will be the go-to product for my crown area as it continues to get thinner.  Of course you know I tested the water resistance of both products. They stayed on after dunking my head in my kitchen sink filled with water several times and lightly rubbing. They pass the test. I tried them separately two days apart. During my rigorous quality checks I thought  it was funny when hub walked into the kitchen… {him} “What are you doing now, honey? {me, muffled voice} ” Just trying, glub, glub something out for the blog, gurgle, glub” I lift my head up enough to peek at him out of the corner of my eye.. he’s just walking away shaking his head. Makes me laugh.


Also, in case you are wondering… with the cream, nothing showed up on my pillow case after sleeping with it on. The Toppik left a faint smudge but it actually brushed right off and didn’t stain. So your nice sheets and good pillowcases are safe :) Both COUVRé and Toppik come in a wide variety of colors so you can match it your hair. If you have issues with thinning hair…you really need to check out Toppik and COUVRé. They have a money back guarantee – so they make it really easy to try their products.


One of the newest hair loss products, the Spencer Forrest X5 Laser will be the topic of an upcoming review by yours truly. So stay tuned to find out about how you can actually experience NEW hair growth!!


Find  Spencer Forrest/Toppik on twitter and Facebook



$50.00 ReNew Life Giveaway CLOSED

ReNew Life has made it their business to educate and inform people about their digestive health. A quick look at their site reveals a myriad of products to help your tummy, your um, elimination issues, to cleanse and detox, even help you with your weight loss goals. And I found a great selection of supplements for pets! A closer look and you will find tons of info about the many ways your digestive system can impact your health. Interesting tidbit: Brenda Watson, CEO of ReNew Life was one of the main contributors of Suzanne Somer’s book Sexy Forever: How to Fight Fat after Forty – Shed the Toxins, Shed the Fat, helping her understand the complexities of the gut as it pertains to weight loss.

I’m trying the Ultimate Flora Critical Care 50 Billion, a high potency probiotic. What can you say about your digestive system? I sat here for a minute just looking at the screen, and I realized that there have been so many articles, television spots and general buzz surrounding probiotics that you are all probably aware of a lot of the issues.  Probiotics are actually live microorganisms. They are “friendly” bacteria. And you want them in your system!

Normally, I like to tell you all about a product, but I just haven’t been using this long enough to know how it’s doing. I can tell you that the dosage is only one capsule per day, a plus.  And, I can tell tell you what the site says about it .

Winner of Better Nutrition Magazine’s 2010 Best of Supplements Award

  • For Those with Troublesome Digestion
  • Ideal During & After Taking Antibiotics‡
  • Promotes Digestive Health, Regularity & Immunity‡
  • Allergen-free
  • Delayed release

Another product that I thought looked great was the Organic Fiber Bars.

  • 14g Fiber per Bar, Certified Organic



  • 4 Delicious Flavors



  • Gluten Free. No Added Sugars/Preservatives



  • Promotes Healthy Digestion & Detoxification

It can be hard to get your necessary fiber into your diet. This looks like a good way to get what you need.

They also have a category called the Fiber 35 Diet…if you are curious, go see what it is! Cool, huh?


Please view my Disclosure Policy for more info.

Schiff – A review

In 1996 Schiff introduced Pain Free, it was re branded as Move Free® in 2000, and has continued to be a leader in it’s category. As just one of several brands by Schiff, Move Free®is one I particularly interested in, because as I have mentioned, I have RA. And, of course there is hub’s knee pain and back issues. Move Free®  advertises that it can start comforting your joints in 7 days. Hub and I put this to the test. Before I tell you our results, here is a little info from the site:

Move Free® Advanced Triple Strength²    
Our original Triple Strength product was the first with the powerful Advantage of 4 – Uniflex® to protect your joints, Joint Fluid to replenish your joints and Glucosamine and Chondroitin help to rebuild your joints. It starts comforting sore joints in less than 7 days — and it’s clinically tested.†

Its Triple Strength formula means you ONLY have to take just 2 tablets per day. Plus, the tablets in this formula of Move Free® Advanced are smaller than other leading joint care brands.¹

After our 7 day test run, we weren’t sure if hub noticed a difference. He has been using a
device for back pain daily, and its hard to tell for him if there has been additional relief, besides what he is experiencing from the device. His knees seem to be the same, but he
has been doing a lot of kneeling and stooping as he was working on getting the chicken coop finished. Turned out super nice, btw. Our chickens have a nicer home than a couple of apartments I lived in when I was younger!
For me, I do think that I am noticing a bit of a reduction in stiffness in my shoulder, and my hands. I spend a lot of time at my computer typing, and I think my hands feel a little bit looser. Neither, hub or myself had any tummy troubles taking this supplement.
Now, the idea isn’t to just stop after 7 days, just that in that time you could see a difference, for better results, you would need to keep taking Move Free®.
Schiff has several formulations to choose from, including:

Move Free® Advanced Triple Strength²   plus MSM & Vitamin D
Move Free® Advanced plus MSM.

We are going to go ahead and continue taking Move Free®. And we’ll see where we are in a few months.

I was not paid cash for this post. Please view my Disclosure Policy for more info.

VacuPractor – Review and Giveaway CLOSED

This review will be more about my husband’s opinion than mine. He messed up his back when he was eighteen, and has had issues ever since.  If you or someone you know and love (or I guess someone you don’t love, but who complains a lot) has back pain issues, you know that it’s something that affects all aspects of day to day life. Certain activities can be so painful it’s not worth it to participate. For our family, sometimes hub is on the sidelines, like not going on rollercoasters with us and family hikes that are cut short when he needs to go home and lay on the floor. Or maybe he just needs to stay home some night when we had something planned. Even a desk job can seem awful when sitting in your chair all day aggravates your back. I’m not trying to imply that hub is always in pain. He definitely has good days, but bad days are very common for him.  You can imagine he was pretty happy to find out that he was going to be reviewing a product that offers lower back pain relief. Just to be a smarty, I told him he was going to write the review, too.

He didn’t think that was funny. I did, though, and isn’t that what counts? Anyway, since the VacuPractor showed up while he was at work ( I love that Fed Ex and UPS can get up our driveway again now that the weather has cleared) I decided I would try it first. I don’t have a bad back, per se. Just the normal lower back aches that hit everyone from time to time. I have been to the chiropractor due to neck and upper back issues- I get tight b/c of my shoulder- so why not give the VacuPractor a whirl?
First, you need a nice surface to lay on-
we have laminate flooring so I just threw a blanket down. Second, the device needs to be in contact with your skin, so I just took off my clothes. Third, you need to wet down the device; you can use a spray bottle or wet cloth. I used a spray bottle of “No No Spray”

(just plain water we squirt at the doggies if they do bad doggie things). Then you need to get the air out from between you and the VacuPractor. This pic explains how.
Now, I gotta say, the sound when the air is “expelled” sounds horrible. My dog Lucy, who was keeping me company, like to have jumped a foot in the air. Better than any whoopie cushion ever invented. I was cracking up b/c I knew I’d be teasing hub later when he tested it. It took me a few tries to get situated correctly so I didn’t “break the seal” when I straightened out my legs. Once I got it right though, just think, ahhhh. You  can really feel this gentle ‘pull’ on your spine/back. I ended up laying there for more than the 5-15 minutes. I just relaxed. I also noticed I need to clean bugs out of my ceiling light. I wondered if hub would notice that. (He didn’t.)
When he got home, I showed him how to use it. After I left him alone he was in there for about 40-plus minutes. I did tease him some, and it was fun. When he came out, after using this, he was absolutely happy. He informed me that:
A.) The stretch was really gentle but went deep.
B.) That the tightness in his back just got looser and looser as the minutes wore on.
C.) The  decompression of his spine was something he usually only felt after a chiro visit.
D.)  But, he said it wasn’t exactly the same kind of relief as when he goes to the chiropractor b/c he usually gets his neck adjusted, but that the relief from the lower back pain was significant, nonetheless.
E.) He plans on using this daily.
He skipped Advil that night. Neat. We both use ibuprofen, but it isn’t great for your liver- anything that helps in cutting back on taking pills is a good thing.
I just noticed that although I said this was mostly about Hub, I didn’t spend a lot of time talking about him! Oops. Oh well. The bottom line is, this is a great tool in relieving back pain. Hub is super pleased with it, and I’m happy that he has a new way to help his back. And it’s compatible with chiropractic services, too. While chiro can be expensive, VacuPractor costs only $59.95, and you can use it every day if you want- how can you go wrong there? Michael George, a trainer who has worked with stars like Reese Witherspoon and P. Diddy, has given VacuPractor his endorsement- you can read it here.  (Love Reese, btw.)

Giveaway Ended!

I was not paid cash for this post. Please view my Disclosure Policy for more info.

ResVitale Reseveratol Review

I am pretty good about taking my vitamins and supplements. One that I have seen, both on the news and talked about in women’s mags, is Reseveratol. I am going to let you read about what it is
by taking some information straight from the ResVitale website.

Resveratrol is a powerful polyphenol found in the skin, seeds, stem and vine of red wine grapes that exerts significant antioxidant properties. Thought to serve as one explanation for the French Paradox – the idea that the French have a remarkably low incidence of heart disease compared to Americans despite a diet rich in high-fat foods – Resveratrol has over 2,000 associated clinical studies documenting the amazing benefits.
Harvard University biochemists believe that Resveratrol turns on the sirtuin gene, also known as the SIRT1 ‘longevity gene.’ By activating this gene, scientists believe Resveratrol mimics the effects of caloric restriction, which is thought to slow the aging process by limiting dietary energy intake. Resveratrol is also thought to slow many of the degenerative effects associated with aging and may potentially increase lifespan. Some of these health benefits may include protection from Alzheimer’s Disease, Arthritis, cardiac disease and certain forms of cancer.
Trans-Resveratrol, the bioactive form of the Resveratrol polyphenol, has been proven in clinical studies to activate SIRT1 and enhance cellular productivity. Trans-Resveratrol has also been shown to increase the number of mitochondria in cells, thus increasing energy capacity and enhancing sensorimotor function.

Are you impressed? I was. I had read quite a bit about using Reseveratrol in the management of arthritis and
had been planning on getting some, so it was great to be able to review the ResVitale Reseveratrol.
I was sent a 60 capsule bottle containing 500mg per one capsule serving. This dose provides double the benefits of 1000 glasses of red wine, without the hangover.
I wanted to try them for a few days before I wrote about them, as some supplements can be a little hard on the tummy. I am happy to report that there are no issues with this, even when I tried them on any empty stomach.
The bottle I was sent retails for $69.99 and can be found at GNC.
Browsing their site, I saw three other products that look fantastic! Check out the Collagen Enhance Skin-Revitalizing Fruit Chews. Would love to try them! And their Keratin Enhance for healthy skin and hair, and Beautiful Legs to help with varicose and spider veins are products that I could definitely use!
I am impressed with the commitment to quality in sourcing their ingredients. They also have a scientific advisory board with some pretty impressive members.
I was not paid cash for this post. Please view my Disclosure Policy for more info.