Give BackJoy

I bet you think the title is a typo. It’s not though. I had the opportunity to trial BackJoy products this past week. BackJoy makes products to sit, stand, sleep and move more comfortably. I’ll tell you about that experience next. But remember #Give BackJoy for later.

They sent me several products to try and I was excited since I live with chronic pain from my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. My joints dislocate daily, so having something to support my body is a big plus. First I tried the SitSmart Posture Plus. It took a little adjusting but it really kept my back and pelvis in alignment. I’ve been using it for the past three days on my office chair. I have the best posture ever! No slouching. As they say, improve posture to prevent back pain. I’m all for that!sitsmart

I could have put it in my car too but I love in in my office chair. Maybe I’ll try that next.sitsmart car

They also sent a pair of shoes or as as BackJoy calls them, Stand Right. Now I have the Worse. Feet. Ever. I have had 19 foot surgeries. My right foot has bone removed, wires and screws placed and bones fused. It’s not pretty and NO shoes fit it or feel comfortable. I skeptically tried the shoes on. It was a little tough getting the right one on because of my swelling (always) but here’s the weird thing… they were comfortable! I mean really comfortable. When I went to bed, I told my husband that I didn’t want to take them off. He said, “What? What did you say?” He was shocked. They are cushiony and have a great arch, but not a hard, uncomfortable one. The interesting part is the sizing comes in a feature called Dynamic Fit. The upper fabric is a technically engineered textile that adjusts to your unique foot, so there is a range of sizes. I have particularly difficult to fit feet and they did adjust to my feet.

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The last product I got to trial was one of their BackJoy Gear- Roller Balls. It’s a portable self-massager. It works very similar to the two tennis balls in a sock technique that my physical therapist showed me for myofascial release. It felt great. I tried it on my back, my IT (iliotibial) band and the bottom of my feet. I had been working at my computer for several hours and had discomfort between my shoulder blades. I used the roller balls for a few minutes and it felt so much better. image (5)

Now back to the #Give BackJoy. As part of BackJoy’s Give Back, Spread Joy Campaign, $100 worth of their pain-relief products will be donated, in my name, to chronic pain and rehabilitation centers (such as the Wounded Warrior Project and the UC Denver Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center) just for reviewing their products.

I often have the opportunity to review products and only agree if 1) I like the products and 2) the company has a positive mission.  BackJoy has both.

Take a look at not only the ones I tried but the other BackJoy products. These are great holiday gifts. And you will also have the chance to be entered to win a nice prize pack of self-care products if you use the #GiveBackJoy hashtag and share how you are giving back this holiday season.

Eating Out

We almost always eat home, but occasionally, eating out with friends is a fun treat. This past week, I had the opportunity to get together with 8 other friends (missing one who couldn’t make it) for an enjoyable time at a local restaurant,

Eating out does not have to be an all or nothing experience. If you think that since you don’t eat often, you’re going to really enjoy the treat by eating whatever and as much as you want, this will only leave you feeling overfull.

I totally recommend to choose the foods you like. Don’t choose a meal because it’s low-calorie if you’d rather have the lasagna. One of the most important parts of Mindful Eating is choosing foods you really enjoy.

Starting your meal with a broth-based soup or salad is another good strategy because it fills you up with nutritious food. Splitting your dessert with someone is another good idea. No deprivation!

So I ordered chicken piccata with roasted potatoes and spinach. I started out with a delicious salad of field of greens, tomatoes, dried berries, carrots, cucumbers and homemade balsamic vinaigrette. My main meal was huge, so I ate about half and had it wrapped right away. Less chance of picking at it if it’s already wrapped.

I split dessert with one of my friends. I ate the decadent white chocolate mousse. It came with raspberry and chocolate mousse too. It was delicious and I savored every bite. I drank plenty of water throughout my meal. I did not feel full and certainly not uncomfortable. I followed hara hachi bu, or as the Okinawan’s say, 80% full… just perfect.

The holidays are here and eating out may be more frequent. Rather than stuffing yourself, savor your favorite foods. What are your favorite restaurants? This is a photo of our group last week.Eating Out with friends

Skoop Protein Shake With a Twist

Occasionally I’m contacted by companies asking me to try out their healthy products since my readers clearly are interested in good nutrition. Recently, a company called Skoop contacted me to try one of their products and I chose the protein shake.

Opening Skoop package


But this is not just any protein shake. I’ll give all the good things about the shake next but the cool twist about this company is that for every serving of Skoop sold, they donate one serving of free fresh fruits and veggies to a school lunch program in America! A company that cares!!

Okay, now about the important nutrition. The Skoop B [strong] protein shake is a 100% plant-based protein. It’s dairy, soy and gluten-free with no artificial anything. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, omegas and Mediterranean fruits.


It came with a special shaker container with a metal spiral ball that did effectively mix all of the powder. You can mix either with water, milk, or non-dairy milk. I used unsweetened almond milk since I’m dairy free. It didn’t have a strong vanilla taste but decent flavor.Skoop shakerWith Almond Milk






I decided I’m spoiled by always making my shakes with frozen fruit. So next, I tried the same almond milk, Skoop B [strong] protein powder and frozen strawberries. A couple of minutes in the blender and now I have a “milkshake” consistency. Good stuff. Strawberry Skoop

Whether you’re dairy, soy and gluten-free or not, if you’re looking for a high-quality, nutritious and tasty protein shake, give Skoop B [strong] a try. And help feed kids fruits and veggies for school lunches. Also, check out their website for other products- Skoop A and Skoop B [lovely]. SkoopB

Red Plates to Eat Less

I believe that your immediate environment can add to or decrease your success in losing weight. One of those environmental tips is to use red plates to eat less. Of course the most important thing is to listen to your hunger and fullness cues, but these environmental supports add to that.

Apparently, seeing red acts as a subtle stop sign in our mind at an unconscious level, according to a study done by psychology doctoral students, Oliver Genschow and Leonie Reutner at the University of Basel in Switzerland.

We know that the size of the plate, size of container and how food is served alters amount consumed. Now we can add the color of the plate, so we eat less.

So, use a salad size plate instead of dinner plate, don’t buy food in bulk or jumbo size packages, serve from the kitchen, not family style and to cut down mindless eating, eat off red plates. All strategies to eat less.

Oh, and drinking from red glasses cuts down on the amount of sweetened drinks. If you like these tips, please share using the “Share this” buttons below. Empty red plate

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