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Influenster XO VoxBox Review!

Hello, world!

I recently received my first VoxBox from Influenster! I was checking the mail anxiously everyday waiting for it to arrive, lol! So what exactly is a VoxBox? Basically, it’s this box of free products to test out and review! Did I mention it was free? Oh yeah, it’s pretty great. They send out a survey, and if your answers match the type of people they are looking for for that particular box, they ship it to you! Therefore, my answers to the survey qualified me to test these items out.

Here’s a video from the unboxing of everything inside:

In total, I received:

  • Colgate Optic White Express White Toothpaste
  • Colgate Optic White Toothbrush + Built-in Whitening Pen
  • John Frieda Beach Blonde Collection
  • John Frieda Luxurious Volume 7 Day Volume In-Shower Treatment
  • Skinfix Hand Repair Cream
  • Tide Pods with Febreze
  • Coupons for Adore Me, Lands End, and John Frieda!

Now for the important part: what did I think? I really really love the Colgate toothbrush + toothpaste combo! The brush does a fantastic job of scrubbing, and the toothpaste is foamy, so it really distributes throughout the mouth. You know you’re getting a deep clean with this combo, and it has a very strong mint flavor, so I feel I don’t need mouthwash afterwards! They also did a great job of removing surface stains and making my teeth look whiter after 1 use, which is fantastic in my book. The gel on the other hand is interesting. I appreciate that you can apply it after brushing and don’t have to worry about rinsing, but it feels a little awkward. You literally have this gel on your teeth which is very obvious, so I don’t suggest immediately seeing people until you swallow/lick it all off lol. It definitely has a MUCH better taste than other whitening gels, so I 100% like that. Although the gel doesn’t give a dramatic whitening effect, I think it does help make my teeth seem a little “brighter” if that makes sense. When I tested going back to my normal toothpaste/toothbrush, my teeth didn’t seem as “bright” anymore.

In regards to the John Frieda Beach Blonde line, I was a little disappointed. Granted, I’ve been using a cleansing conditioner for months now so I’ve had no need for a real shampoo. They smell exactly like a Cool Lime Refresher from Starbucks (pretty nice), and I feel like it did an OK job of moisturizing my hair, which was the main claim it boasted. The real problem came from the Sea Salt Spray. The spray made my hair feel so dry, stuck together, and it didn’t improve the natural waviness of my hair. I feel it was the antithesis of the shampoo+conditioner- why would you use a highly moisturizing product for after going to the beach, just to dry it out with a spray? So I say the spray is a no-go, however the shampoo and conditioner were pretty good!

With the Skinfix hand cream I only had 1 problem- I’m allergic to it! I was unable to test it because it contains sweet almond oil, however I let my friend use it, and she said that it was incredibly creamy, absorbed into her skin well, and really helped moisturize! Sounds good to me!

Finally, the best for last: the Tide Pods! I was very very excited to try these, and they surpassed my expectations! They’re little pods of detergent that you can throw into your washing machine! I tried them with a couple loads of jeans and tops, and it not only did a wonderful job of cleaning, it also didn’t seem to fade any of my colors, AND it made all of my clothes smell fantastic, even after drying! I never have that kind of success with other detergents. This was probably my favorite item from the Vox Box, and I will be buying this product in the future!

So you’ve heard what I had to say, what do you guys think? Have you tried these products, or have you ever gotten a Vox Box? Let me know in the comments below! πŸ™‚

Also, make sure to check out my Spring to Summer Fitness Challenge! It’s never too late to start!

Peace and love!

Nutrition

To Be Gluten-Free, or Not To Be?

Hello World!

Now I’m sure you have noticed the gluten craze building in the nutrition world. Tons of people saying gluten is terrible for you, and yet other sources say whole grain breads and pastas are wonderful for you! What should you believe? Which side should you join? Well, I’m going to give you both sides of the argument, so you can make the educated decision for your body! Let the debate begin!

Whole Grain Argument: The main point of the whole wheat argument is to eat only 100% whole grain products as opposed to bleached or enriched wheat. When wheat is bleached or enriched, it means that it has been stripped of its nutrients (and that’s why it has to then be enriched). This stripped down wheat acts as a simple sugar in your body- it burns quickly, so you become hungry shortly after, and it is ranked high on the glycemic index, which means it spikes your blood sugar. Wheat that has not been bleached and retains its nutrients is whole wheat. Products that are 100% whole grain are lower on the glycemic index, and digest slower, thus keeping you full longer. They are a great source of vitamin B, zinc, iron, and especially have a lot of fiber. B vitamins give your body energy, while fiber helps regulate digestion and can protect you from a multitude of health problems. Many nutritionists caution against going gluten-free because you run the risk of becoming deficient in those nutrients.

Gluten-Free Argument: First of all, what is gluten? It’s a protein found in wheat and other grains like barley and rye. It helps bread rise, keep its shape, and adds elasticity, which gives the bread its chewy and fluffy texture! However, Gluten has been linked to multiple health risks. As you may have heard, people who have Celiac Disease have an immune response to gluten (like an allergy). Studies have shown links between gluten consumption and thyroid disease or even so far as Alzheimer’s. Many people may even have gluten insensitivity- think of this like the difference between lactose intolerance and a milk allergy. An intolerance makes it uncomfortable to eat the food, while an allergy makes it dangerous to eat the food. Many find that by reducing or eliminating their gluten consumption, they get more energy, less “brain fog”, and other benefits.

Overall, both sides have benefits and problems. There is not an ultimate answer. The amount of information on the internet about both sides is enormous, and the best we can do is to become as educated as possible so that we may make the best decisions for ourselves. Do a little experiment- eliminate gluten from your diet for a week or two. How do you feel?

Peace and love!