Tea Time Thoughts Episode 5: The Ninja Kitchen System 1100

Sharing my thoughts and a video review using the Ninja Pro System 1100 Blender.

In this YouTube video I share my favorite recipe for making a smoothie using the Ninja Kitchen System 1100. The demonstration includes an overview of the features of the Ninja as well as how I make my favorite weight loss smoothie using Team Beach Body Fitness’ favorite meal replacement, Shakeology.

My husband usually makes my smoothies so it’s his hands you see doing the preparing and mixing of the smoothie. He’s using:

  • Shakeology
  • 1 Banana
  • 1/2 cup of Almond Milk
  • 2 teaspoons approx. of cinnamon
  • 4-5 ice cubes

Once the smoothie is done (literally seconds), it’s poured into a portable cup that I can take with me for the day.

If you have not purchased the Ninja Kitchen System 1100 yet, you’re missing out~

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Izzy’s Organic Blue Agave – The Best Sugar Substitute Available

Some say that the health claims of agave are just hype. I disagree. If you’re trying to minimize your family’s sugar intake, in my opinion organic blue agave is the way to go. If you watch the Dr. Oz show, you know that the doc recommends consuming raw Organic Blue Agave as a sugar substitute. I concur. My alternative health doctor also recommends using it in place of sugar. She’s been treating patients for years successfully helping them beat sugar addictions.

I’ve tried Splenda, Stevia and other sugar substitutes and nothing compares to agave.

What is Agave?

Agave nectar comes from a plant commonly found in Mexico. It’s the same plant that is used to make tequila. The nectar from the agave plant is extracted to create a sweetener that’s very low on the glycemic index. That’s great for diabetics. It’s also sweeter so you don’t need to use as much as you would sugar.

Agave syrup is available in different colors: light, nectar and amber.

Not All Agave is The Same

Just like with any food, how it’s processed and where it comes from is important. You don’t want to consume agave that’s been processed with chemicals or other pollutants. There’s also white agave and blue agave.

The first brand of Agave I tried was from Trader Joe’s. It was absolutely delicious. It was a blue agave and costs slightly over $3 for an 8 ounce bottle.

The next brand I tried was Madhava Agave Nectar. I’m not sure if this is white or blue agave but it was good. It was the most expensive of the 5 brands I’ve tried though.

I also tried Whole Foods brand of organic blue agave and this was by far the worst tasting in my opinion. It was also expensive.

The fourth brand I tried was by a company called Izzy’s Organic. This brand was the best tasting. It’s right up there with Trader Joe’s and it’s only $4.99 for a 23 ounce bottle, making it the most cost effective.  Hence, this is my brand of choice.

The last brand of organic blue agave I tasted was by a company called Wholesome. This was similar in taste and price to the Whole Foods brand. I would never buy either of these again. An important reason is these two brands were dark in color and therefore processed longer. The longer processing brings out a stronger flavor.

While no brand of agave is exactly the same due to extraction methods and other factors, you should try various brands for yourself. You can find the various brands in supermarkets. This way you’ll get a taste for what you prefer. I prefer the lighter nectars for taste.

For more information on agave, here’s a site with more detail: http://blog.xagave.com/tag/agave

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How You Can Get 6 Hours of Herbal Stress Relief

Last week I shared how a buckwheat neck pillow can be taken with you so you can get some extra sleep while you travel.

Today’s stress relieving product is also portable and helps you to catch some shut eye. Even more valuable is it also helps to relieve muscle pain naturally.

Herbal Stress Relief

The Herbal Stress Relief Gift Set from Spa Comforts is all you need to get some quick unwinding and muscle relief. It contains a sleep mask, a jar of Shea Butter that’s whipped with soothing herbs and a comfort wrap that can be used chilled from the freezer or warmed from the microwave.

Find out more about this Herbal Stress Relief set at http://www.antistressandpain.com/stress-relief-products/herbal-stress-relief-gift

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Comment Luv Premium Give Away

There is a hot new WordPress plugin coming soon! Cathy Stucker is giving away a free copy at her book marketing site, SellingBooks. Learn how you can enter and win by visiting Cathy’s CommentLuv Premium giveaway page.

Here’s what Comment Luv Premium Can do:

  • Gets you more backlinks to your blog.
  • Combines eight useful plugins into one must-have plugin.
  • Increases your blog traffic and comments, and builds a community on your blog.
  • Encourages readers to share your blog posts on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
  • Helps to combat spam comments.
  • You can even track your comments on other CommentLuv-enabled blogs.
Find out more here: CommentLuv Premium giveaway

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Are There Better Diapers for Older Kids?

At 10 yers old my son is still incontinent. For reasons the doctor’s can’t even figure out, he’s still not learned how to communicate his bathroom needs.

The only current option is for Christopher to wear some form of diapers.  Because he’s not walking, pull up style diapers are not an option. He has wear traditional style diapers for older kids but that close with tape or velcro tabs.

disposable diaper for incontinence

Using Kendall Disposable Briefs

Our service coordinator hooked us up with a medical supply company, Landauer Metropolitan. They provide us with disposable briefs by a brand named Kendall.

While this brand of briefs is popular for incontinent people, I have a few problems with it:

  • Unlike other brands of diapers, the tapes can not be resealed if opened.
  • There is no size that fits completely correctly. The child size is too small and cuts him on the thigh. The next size is adult and it’s way too big.
  • The diapers sometimes leak.
  • While the brand says Kendall on the box, the bags of diapers are clear and unmarked making me wonder if this is some bootleg brand.

After doing a little research I discovered that Kendall brands is now a part of a company called Covidien. Upon browsing their website, I couldn’t even find the diapers I receive! This makes me think that maybe we are getting left over stock because the only incontinent diapers I could find are these:

incontinence briefs

Seems there’s nothing available for my son’s size and height. Seeing how thin my CJ is, you have to wonder.  If these are supposed to be for incontinent people with special needs, why aren’t there additional sizes to compensate?


I wish I had an alternative to these disposable briefs because while I’ve figured out a way to tape the diapers so they stay on, CJ’s school caregivers have not.  Often, he comes home with his spare change of clothing on.

The message I’d like to send to these providers of medical supplies is for them to be more cognizant of sizing. No one size fits all. Children with physical disabilities are often not “built” like children with no physical challenges. They need to make diapers for older kids who like those with cerebral palsy.

Kids with certain medical conditions may be classified within an age group but their bodies are under developed. Creating a diaper that is adjustable is a potential solution.  An example of an adjustable item to accommodate skinny but tall guys like my CJ is pants from The Children’s Place.

Special Mom – Is your child incontinent? If so, what sort of underpants to you use? Do you find it difficult finding diapers for older kids?

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Free Guides to Help With Managing Stress

Some time ago I put together a number of free guides and special reports to help folks like me with managing stress.

While I’m not the most creative of the bunch, I do pretty well with research. You’ll find the following free resources over at http://www.antistressandpain.com/stress-and-pain-information/free-reports:

  • 10 No Fail Stress Relievers to Help You Take Back Control of Your Life
  • Top 5 Natural Remedies to Reduce Eye Bags
  • Mini Guide to Foods for Less Stress
  • Mini Guide to Anti-Stress Exercise
  • Key Areas to Manage for Healthy Stress Levels
Just visit http://www.antistressandpain.com/stress-and-pain-information/free-reports and you can download any of those reports/guides without needing to provide an email address or anything. Each of these are instant downloads.
Please share this page by tweeting it, Digging it, Stumbling It or posting a link to it on your Facebook page. Thanks in advance for spreading the word.

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New York Based Orthotist Creates Best Orthotics Around

Tight hamstrings and heel cords are often a problem for people with cerebral palsy. If the muscles are very spastic, surgery is sometimes done to loosen up these areas. However, if good quality orthotics are used, surgery can often be avoided. That’s why today instead of a product review, I wanted to share more of a provider review.


When my CJ was younger he had to have surgery to loosen his hamstrings. His muscles tightened up so much that by the time he started wearing braces, he needed surgery.  After the surgery, his hamstrings were kept from over-tightening by having him wear HKFO’s (long leg braces). The AFOs are worn daily keeping his feet in a 90 degree angle so his heel cords don’t tighten up too much.

Look how straight his legs are with these orthotics

The Best In The Business (as far as I’m concerned)

Kenneth Lynch of Amken Orthopedics has been making my son’s orthotics for the past 8 or 9 years.  His work is impeccable and he has such a wonderful way with families and making children feel safe and comfortable.

Amken Orthopedics makes CJs AFOs, HKFOs and has in the past made special orthotics for him to sleep in (no longer needed). When Ken makes CJs braces, one adjustment is required after the initial fitting.  I’ve not had any problems with CJ getting red marks which is a great testament to the workmanship. I once has another orthotist make CJs braces (well, the school did) and the work was shoddy. Several adjustments needed to be made and my son still had problems with marks on his skin.

Contacting Amken

Amken is a small family based business. They take the time to do the work right and don’t mass crank out orthotics.

I thought it befitting to share Ken with you. If you are in the New York (Westchester and Rockland County) areas, check Ken out at 845-356-9357.

You’ll especially want to check Ken out if you are not happy with your current provider.

*I was not paid or asked for this endorsement. It’s sheerly my own opinion. Check out some of my other product reviews here.

Please Tweet this post or mention it on your Facebook page. Some of your followers may be in the Westchester/Rockland County areas.

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Thank You to The Children’s Place

Kids with cerebral palsy typically have a hard time either gaining weight or keeping weight on. I shared this in a recent post: Alternatives to Pediasure for Failure to Thrive. Well, now let’s look at another challenge…

On and Off The Growth Chart

When my son was first born, he was way off the growth charts. At 10 lbs 14 oz, he was bigger than the average newborn. As a matter of fact, he was the biggest little guy in the NICU!

Fast forward a year. No, two. He’s older but not much bigger. While my CJ does get taller by leaps and bounds, he does not gain much weight. That creates an entirely different dilemma for us both.

Finding Clothes That Fit

Because CJ is so tall and thin, it’s difficult to find clothes that fit him. If I get a size that fits him in the waste, they are 2 feet too short!  If I get a bigger size to fit the length of his legs, I can fit another child on the inside of his pants.

Belts are not an option because they are usually too big with not enough holes.

The Children’s Place Discovery

While the Children’s Place isn’t really a discovery, they have these pants that are perfect for kids like my CJ.  I love jeans and pants from the Children’s Place because of the way they are made:

They have the elastic band with buttons that allows me to get the pants in the length I need them and adjust the width of the waste so they can actually fit without falling off.


While I have seen jeans by brands like Arizona like this, I’ve not seen any dress pants or khakis like these anywhere else.  If they are out there, they’re certainly not easy to find.

Do you buy clothes from The Children’s Place? If so, what are your favorite buys? Let me know in the comments section.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to subscribe here to receive notifications of when I share more posts like this one.

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Miracle in Westchester

The Miracle League of Westchester remains one of my favorite charities for kids with special needs.  During the fall and spring, my CJ gets to partake in America’s favorite past time……Baseball!


Yes, ladies and gents. The Miracle League of Westchester is a non-profit organization for special needs children and adults that enables them to play baseball at a specially designed adaptive field at no cost.  The Miracle League of Westchester was founded in 2006.  Their motto is “Everyone deserves a chance to play baseball.”

The community of families is overwhelming and there are no boundaries from religion, race or any other differences. We are all just there to have a good time and cheer our kids on. It’s the best! Volleyball and Kickball have been added for those who can participate.

This past Friday was supposed to be Movie Night on the Field but the weather “threw us a curve ball.”  Thundering, lightening and torrential downpours ruined it for us so the movie was canceled.  🙁

Well, at least we have Fall ball to look forward to!

To find out more about MLWNY and to donate, visit http://mlwny.org

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Hospital Stay Checklist for Parents – Free Download

My son has been admitted to the hospital 10 times.hospital stay checklist

  • Once for eye muscle alignment surgery
  • Once for having the Epstein Barr virus
  • Twice for undescended testicle surgery
  • Twice for bilateral hamstring releases (one of those stays included a hip abductor release) and
  • 4 times for video EEG Monitoring

Each of these times I wish I had some form of checklist to help me get organized (so not like blowing your to do list).

Finally (and yes it took me 10 times), I decided to create one. And because I love my fellow caregivers, I’m sharing it with you.

The best part is you can download it here with no strings attached. That’s right. There’s no need to give me your email address or jump through any hoops to get this checklist.

Us caregivers need to help each other out.  That’s why I created what I am calling the  Somewhat Humorous but Mostly Helpful Hospital Away from Home Checklist.

To make it comfortable for you, I added some commentary and a little humor to some of the items on the list.

Without further ado, you can download it here: “Somewhat Humorous but Mostly Helpful Hospital Away from Home Checklist”

All I ask is that you share it with others.  Tweet It, Stumble It, Digg It and what other way you can think of to point others to this page to get their own checklist.


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