Making the Gut Health Connection

This post was written in partnership with Moms Meet and Gut Connection from Country Life. All content and opinions are my own.

“All disease begins in the gut.” – Hippocrates

Over 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates made this bold statement. While science and medicine are still figuring out the validity of this statement, for me, my gut has a huge impact on how I am feeling overall.

I was recently introduced to a new line of products called Gut Connection from Country Life. Country Life’s Gut Connection connects the gut to individual health issues that matter using a range of scientifically formulated supplements. An unbalanced gut can lead to bloating, digestive discomfort and irregular bowel movements.

Gut Connection from Country Life
Gut Connection from Country Life

Gut Connection by Country Life is not a probiotic. Instead in contains prebiotics that feed the existing probiotics in your gut. Gut Connection formulas connect gut health to such health issues as energy balance, immunity balance, digestive balance, sleep balance, and more.

About Country Life

Established 1971, Country Life has been producing vitamins, minerals and supplements for over 40 years. Country Life displays their Pledge of Integrity on every bottle to fulfill their five core integrity standards:

  1. Authenticity of ingredients
  2. Cleanliness of ingredients
  3. Freshness of ingredients
  4. Consistency of the formula
  5. Accuracy of labeling

Additionally, all Country Life products are:

  • Non-GMO
  • USDA certified Organic
  • Certified Gluten Free
  • Certified Vegetarian/Vegan
  • Kosher / Halal

My Experience With Gut Connection

I have been trying out three of the different Gut Connection by Country Life products over the past month: Digestive Balance, Energy Balance and Immune Balance. For most of my adult life, I have experienced issues with my digestion. The most frequent issue I have is constipation.Digestive Balance contains ingredients that help stimulate the growth of Bifidobacteria in the colon, improve weekly bowel movements and reduce discomfort and bloating. After using Gut Connection Digestive Balance, I have noticed an improvement in my regularity as well as a reduction in the amount of effort needed to have a bowel movement.

Gut Connection Digestive Balance from Country Life
Gut Connection Immune Balance from Country Life

Gut Connection’s Energy Balance contains B-Vitamins to support energy production and coffeeberry to support alertness. Maintaining energy is something that I have struggled with since becoming a mother and using Gut Connection Energy Balance helps me to maintain my gut health while also giving me a boost of energy.

Gut Connection Energy Balance from Country Life
Gut Connection Energy Balance from Country Life

Finally, Gut Connection’s Immune Balance balances the health and gut connection by helping your body stay healthy in times of stress. Let’s face it, the last thing I want in my life is to get sick. A sick mommy makes for a huge inconvenience in the day-to-day life of my family, so doing what I can to make sure I am healthy as much as possible is crucial. 

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Gut Connection Immune Balance from Country Life

Where to Buy Gut Connection by Country Life

  • 60-count bottle typically retails for $44.95
  • Purchase at Sprouts, The Vitamin Shoppe, Natural Grocers Vitamin Cottage, and Amazon, and other natural health food stores
  • To find Gut Connection by Country Life near you, visit

Despite my busy life as a working mom, I make every effort possible to take care of myself because at the end of the day, I know that ensuring that I live a healthy lifestyle impacts every member of my family. When I discover products and services that make maintaining my health easy and give me peace of mind that I am doing the best I can for my body, I love to pass on this information to my readers.

Gut Connection Digestive Balance from Country Life
Gut Connection Digestive Balance from Country Life

To learn more about Gut Connection from Country Life, visit:

This post was written in partnership with Moms Meet and Gut Connection from Country Life. All content and opinions are my own.

Summer Grilling with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil

Nothing says the start of summer like grilling! Although summer still has not officially started yet, hubby and I have already entered grilling season. We recently moved into a new house and have not purchased an outdoor grill yet, but we do have a grilling pan that we have been using in the interim.

Summer Grilling with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil
Summer Grilling with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil

About a year ago, I was introduced to Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil and have been using it ever since! To read about some of my previous experiences with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil check out this post, which details what makes palm oil special, what makes Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil special as well as two of the recipes I made with palm oil:

Cooking with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil 

Grilling at home with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil

For dinner, I got out my grill pan and used Malaysian Red Palm Oil to marinate veggies and meat, as well as grease my grilling pan. On the menu were tuna steaks, oyster mushrooms, zucchini and yellow squash.


I sliced the vegetables into long segments and then let them marinate in palm oil, salt and fresh herbs from my garden. I used basil, sage and parsley that I grew from seeds starting this spring. I love having fresh herbs on hand!


After letting the veggies and tuna marinate and getting the grilling pan hot and nice and coated, I put the veggies on the grill for a few minutes on each side.


Once all of the veggies were done, I lightly seared our tuna steaks, which were marinated with palm oil and soy sauce. I love those grill marks! Dinner was served and it was delicious!


I am so happy that I tried grilling with palm oil! To learn more about Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil, visit

Upgrading Our Workspace with the AnthroDesk ErgoSlant Anti-Fatigue Mat

I received this product for free from AnthroDesk to use and post my honest opinions. 

Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, I spent my days sitting in an office while staring at a computer screen. Those hours, coupled with daily work commutes have left me with constant shoulder and back pain, along with poor posture. If I ever return to a desk job, the first thing I am going to request is a convertible sit-stand desk.

Luckily, our home office is equipped with an adjustable convertible sit-stand desk. I am sure you know that many office workers have found alternating between sitting and standing to have numerous physical benefits. In our home, this is true, especially when it comes to dealing with chronic back and shoulder pain.

AnthroDesk - ErgoSlant Anti-Fatigue Mat

While transitioning from sitting to standing can improve posture and reduce back pain, it can also result in unintended side effects, such as leg or foot fatigue. Adding a mat underneath your desk for standing on can help to make the transition easier.

AnthroDesk - ErgoSlant Anti-Fatigue Mat
AnthroDesk ErgoSlant Anti-Fatigue Mat

Use a Standing Mat

AnthroDesk: Standing Desk in the US recently gave me the opportunity to review its ErgoSlant Anti-Fatigue Mat for Sit Stand Desks. The ErgoSlant Mat’s ergonomic design helps to improve posture, reduce back pain and counteract the negative effects of wearing high-heeled shoes. What sets the ErgoSlant Mat apart from other mats is that it offers multiple degrees of cushioning depending on how the mat is positioned.

For me, the incline really helped me keep my back in alignment, which is something I am actively working on to improve my posture and keep my back and core healthy and strong.

The mat measures 22” x 34″, which makes it easy to store when your convertible desk is in the sitting position.

AnthroDesk - ErgoSlant Anti-Fatigue Mat

If you are currently looking to add a standing mat to your office, consider the AnthroDesk ErgoSlant Anti-Fatigue Mat. The mat is currently on sale for $69.99 on the AnthroDesk website.

I received this product for free from AnthroDesk to use and post my honest opinions. 


Preventing and Treating Diaper Rash with Boudreaux’s Rash Kicking Kit

I received this product for free from Moms Meet ( to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.


There’s nothing worse than going in to change your baby’s diaper, only to find that they have developed a red, horrible, uncomfortable diaper rash! It makes me so sad to see my sons so uncomfortable and in pain.

Thankfully, we started using Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Diaper Rash Ointment soon after my twins arrived, and their rashes are normally gone within a couple of days. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste gets their little tushies back to normal so quickly. We also exclusively use Boudreaux’s Butt Paste as a preventative in our household to keep those awful diaper rashes at bay as much as possible.

In addition to its Butt Paste products, Boudreaux’s also has the Boudreaux’s Rash Kicking Kit. This kit includes a 2 oz. tube of Boudreaux’s Original Butt Paste, a 2 oz. tube of Boudreaux’s Maximum Strength Butt Paste and a Diaper Cream Applicator. It makes a super useful baby shower gift!

Boudreaux’s Rash Kicking Kit

The Original Butt Paste is recommended to prevent diaper rash and to treat mild diaper rashes. The Maximum Strength Butt Paste is recommended for prevention and to treat moderate diaper rash. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste is also formulated free from dyes, preservatives, parabens and talc.

Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Original and Maximum Strength

Now, I have always been one to just use my fingertips to apply diaper cream, but let me tell you, the Diaper Cream Applicator is a game changer! Applying diaper cream can make a total mess and the cream is sometimes hard to wash off. The Diaper Cream Applicator makes applying the product mess free! Plus, the applicator is BPA free and made of soft silicone so it is gentle on babies. My sons didn’t even notice a difference. Diaper changes are messy in and of themselves, so eliminating additional mess is a good thing!


Boudreaux’s Rash Kicking Kit and other Boudreaux’s products are available to purchase on

I received this product for free from Moms Meet ( to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

Reducing Hair Breakage with Desert Essence Haircare Products

I received this product for free from Moms Meet ( to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.


There are so many things I did not know about pregnancy and postpartum. For one, I did not know how amazing my hair would be when I was pregnant. For as long as I can remember, I have lost so many hairs on a daily basis, but when I was pregnant, it became shiny, gorgeous and did not fall out much.

Currently, my hair seems to have returned back to its normal state. There’s a lot of it and I have problems with oiliness on my scalp and roots.

Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo and Conditioner

I was recently invited to try out Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair Mask. The products feature:

  • An exclusive blend of Country Life Maxi-Hair vitamins plus Biotin that helps reduce breakage by up to 61%
  • Jojoba and coconut oils, aloe and saw palmetto that smooth and fortify hair cuticles and revitalize hair strands to reduce breakage
  • Botanical oils and radish seed extract that provide shine
  • Aloe and moisturizing shea butter that help detangle and condition hair

How to Use Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Products

Shampoo – Apply a quarter-sized amount to wet hair, lather and rinse. Repeat if necessary.

Conditioner – Apply to wet hair and massage gently. Leave on 1 to 2 minutes, then rinse

Hair Mask – Apply to wet hair after using Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo. Since I have oily hair, I applied the hair mask only to the body of my hair and not to the roots or scalp. Leave on for 20-30 minutes and then rinse thoroughly.

I noticed that my hair was super smooth, shiny and moisturized after using the Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair Mask for several weeks.


In addition to the Anti-Breakage products, I also got to try Desert Essence’s Smoothing Shampoo, Conditioner and Primer. I loved how these worked with my hair type.

Special Discount

Take 20% off Anti-Breakage and Smoothing Hair Care Products on with the promo code DELovesMomsMeet

Desert Essence is sold at Natural Grocers, Luckys Market, MOM’s Organic Market and other natural food stores. To find Desert Essence Anti-Breakage Shampoo and Conditioner near you, visit


Curious about Trying CBD Oil?

I received this product for free from Moms Meet ( to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

If you are like me and tend to keep up with trends in the health and wellness realm, then you probably have heard about CBD oil by now. I have been seeing CBD oil everywhere but did not know anything about it.


Over the past month of so, I have been incorporating PlusCBD Oil products into my daily self-care routine and wanted to share with you what I have learned about CBD oil and my personal experiences with these products.

What is hemp-derived CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid found in agricultural hemp. CBD is non-intoxicating and will not make you high. CBD works with your body’s internal system with the goal of achieving homeostasis, maintaining a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment.

About PlusCBD

PlusCBD is North America’s leading CBD oil brand. It believes that in order to make the highest quality hemp oil products, it needs to be a part of every step of the supply chain process.

Their CBD oil products are produced with the following features:

  • Full Traceability – From Seed to Shelf™
  • Chemical-free CO2 extraction process
  • State-of-the-art laboratory
  • Quality assurance via independent third party analysis on all products
  • Non-GMO and gluten-free

PlusCBD Oil Products Formulas and Products

PlusCBD Oil offers three formulations:

  • Raw Formula (Red) – 90% plant material, 10% phytocannabinoids
  • Total Plant Complex (Green) – 85% plant material, 15% phytocannabinoids
  • Gold Formula – 75% plant material, 25% phytocannabinoids

The Gold Formula products are the fastest acting and most concentrated.

PlusCBD Oil products include CBD Oil softgels, capsules, sprays, drops, applicators and balms.

My Experience with PlusCBD Oil

I received five different PlusCBD Oil products to sample and review. Every person is unique and has a different, ideal dose for them. PlusCBD Oil suggests starting low and slowly upping the dose to find what works for you.

15 mg Gold Softgels ($19.95 for 10 softgels)

These softgels are formulated with an extra-virgin olive oil base and contain 15 mg of CBD per serving. Gold Formula products are great for those looking for high intensity support.

This was my favorite formulation of PlusCBD Oil that I received. They were easy to take in the morning with my other medications and supplements. The softgels themselves were tiny, so they are easy to swallow and did not have a noticeable aftertaste. For busy moms, I think these softgels are the way to go.

After taking these softgels for a few days, my chronic back and shoulder pain began to be less noticeable, but the biggest difference was that I was much more alert. My day-to-day is so exhausting that I often find myself in a mental fog. I felt a huge change to my mental clarity and alertness after taking CBD oil.

Total Plant Complex 15 mg Capsules ($69.95 for 60 capsules)

This formulation was also right up my alley because of the capsule form. Like the softgels, the capsules contain 15 mg of CBD per serving and are easy to swallow. They did have a bit of a taste to them, however, which I did not mind.


Total Plant Complex Extra Strength Peppermint Spray ($67.95 for 2 fl oz)

The Extra Strength Spray contains a lower dosage of CBD with 3 mg per serving. It is also easy to use. The suggested serving is two sprays. I was not a fan of this formulation. Both because I do not usually use sprays and I did not like the taste.


Gold Formula Unflavored Drops ($41.95 for 1 fl oz)

PlusCBD Oil Drops can be added to your favorite drink or smoothie, or you can simply place the drops directly in your mouth and swallow, like I did. Each serving contains 3 mg of CBD.

This formulation did not work for me because I could not take the taste. Next time, I will try putting it in a drink, but the taste was so strong that I am not sure that drops are the right fit for me.


Gold Formula Extra Strength Balm ($51.95 for 1.3 oz)

PlusCBD Oil Balm has been incorporated into my nightly regime. I just put a bit on the back of my neck, shoulders and stomach and it does wonders for my sleep.


I am so glad I got a chance to face my fears and try CBD Oil. If you are interested in learning more about PlusCBD Oil, MomsMeet and Dr. Aimée Shunney, Naturopathic Physician, put together this informative video. I recommend you check it out.

Special Discount Offer

Use code: momsmeet17 to receive 15% off online orders at 

To find PlusCBD Oil in your area, visit: for the full list of locations.

Disclaimer: These products are not meant to treat, cure, mitigate or ameliorate diseases or disease symptoms. If you are considering taking CBD for your health, please consult your primary care physician.

Cooking with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil

I received this product for free from Moms Meet ( to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

As a simple home cook, I tend to stick to what I know and hesitate to deviate from what works for my family. Since I started cooking, what I have known best in terms of cooking oils is extra virgin olive oil and use it for most of my cooking oil needs.


I recently had the opportunity to try cooking with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil. I did not know much about palm oil. One experience I did have with palm oil was that when I was getting my Masters in Business Administration, palm oil production was universally reviled.

When I heard about Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil, I was most interested in finding out what makes it sustainable. Through my research, I learned what makes palm oil special and also what makes Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil a good choice for palm oil.

What Makes Palm Oil Special?

  • Palm oil contains no genetically-modified organisms (GMOs)
    • As more and more consumers demand their food products to be GMO-free, many producers are using palm oil to fulfill this requirement. The majority of corn, soy and canola oils available in the United States are genetically-modified.
  • Palm oil is nutrient-rich. 
    • Palm oil is loaded with carotene and has more vitamin E than any other vegetable oil
  •  Palm oil is a natural alternative to trans-fat laden partially hydrogenated oils. 
    • Palm oil is semi-solid at room temperature, which eliminates the need for it to undergo hydrogenation.
  • Palm oil is ideal for cooking
    • I never knew that when used at high heat, some oils begin to degrade or lose its nutritional value. Palm oil, on the other hand, has a smoke point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much higher than other oils. Olive oil begins to degrade at 380 degrees, canola at 400 degrees and coconut oil at 347 degrees.  Additionally, palm oil has a neutral taste.

What Makes Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil Special?

  • Palm oil production has less of an environmental impact than other edible oils.
    • Palm oil trees produce more oil than annual crops, such as corn, soybean and canola. Palm oil trees also do not need to be cleared and replanted year after year like corn, canola and soybean crops.
  • Malaysia practices responsible growth to protect the country’s environment and wildlife. 
    • Palm oil trees are only grown on designated land, and Malaysia has pledged to keep at least half of its land under forest cover.
  • Malaysia plans to have 100 percent of its palm oil certified sustainable by the end of 2019. 


My Experience Cooking with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil

I decided to try creating two dishes using Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil. First, I made popcorn.

The first thing I noticed was the palm oil’s interesting red hue. It looks so unusual compared to other cooking oils I have used in the past.


To make the popcorn, I heated the palm oil in a pot with three kernels of popcorn and waited for the kernels to pop. When they did, I removed the pot from the burner and added the rest of the popcorn kernels to the pot. At this point, I partially covered the pot with a lid and shook the pot as the kernels popped. Unfortunately, as this was happening, the red oil was splattering all over my countertop and white cabinets. Not happy about this! But the popcorn turned out perfectly cooked and tasty.


The second dish I created with Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil is a staple in our weekly meals. It is a Mediterranean-inspired pasta dish.

Step 1: Boil pasta of your choice according to directions. I used some leftover linguine that we had in the pantry.


Step 2: As the pasta is cooking, cube a single boneless, skinless chicken breast and flavor with soy sauce, oregano and basil. Add Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil to a pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and stir-fry until cooked through.


Step 3: Remove chicken breast from pan. Add an additional tablespoon of Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil and a bag of pre-washed baby spinach. Cook until the spinach leaves are wilted.


Step 4: Add sliced kalamata olives to spinach and cook for 2 minutes.


Step 5: Add cooked pasta and chicken breast to pan. Season with more soy sauce. Cook for 3 minutes.


Step 6: Plate pasta in bowls and add sundried tomatoes.


I honestly found that Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil was a great addition to this dish that I seriously cook almost every week. It came out deliciously!

After learning about the benefits of using palm oil, this creature of comfort is feeling less comfortable about going back to my old cooking oil ways!

To learn more about Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil, visit

Fuel For Fire Fruit + Protein Smoothies for the On-the-Go Mom

I received this product for free from Moms Meet ( to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

2018-05-14 11.24.33

When do I get to eat? Once you sign up for motherhood, you can kiss nice, leisurely meals goodbye, unless you have someone else watching the kids!

That is why I am always on the lookout for healthy, convenient meals and snacks that fit into our current lifestyle. I was recently introduced to Fuel For Fire Fruit + Protein Smoothies, which come in super convenient pouches. They are a great option for a quick snack while you are out-and-about with the kids or as a pre- or post-workout snack between meals.

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Using Fuel for Fire on a walk with the kids and pup

About Fuel For Fire

Fuel For Fire was founded in 2012 by professional chef, six-time Ironman Triathlete and fellow parent of twins Rob Gilfeather. He wanted to create a convenient snack made from real food that provided natural energy to fuel and recover from his workouts. His mission is to change the way people eat on-the-go by making smart, impactful changes to their daily nutrition that support lifelong, healthy habits.


Facts about Fuel For Fire

  • Made with 100% real fruit puree and whey protein isolate that is 99.8% lactose free
  • No gluten, soy, nuts, GMOs, fat or added sugar
  • Each pack delivers nine essential amino acids in less than 125 calories and contains more protein than one whole egg
  • Conveniently packaged into single-serving pouches that come with a built-in straw
  • Pouches do not need refrigeration, but taste great when chilled

Fuel for Fire is available in five flavors:

Each coffee pouch has 122 calories, 11 grams of protein and 65 mg of caffeine! Ingredients include banana and coffee extract. I found the coffee flavor to be a little bitter and don’t usually need the added caffeine due to the time of day I would be needing a snack, so this was not my favorite.


Strawberry Banana
The strawberry banana pouch has 105 calories and 12 grams of protein. I loved this flavor.

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Banana Cocoa
The Banana Cocoa pouch has 115 calories and 10 grams of protein. Another great flavor in my book.

2018-04-28 10.28.05

Sweet Potato Apple
The Sweet Potato Apple pouch has the least number of calories at 93 calories and 10 grams of protein. Unlike the other pouches, this one included cinnamon as an added spice. I personally thought that the cinnamon flavor was overwhelming and for some reason, I thought the consistency was a little weird compared to the other flavors. This was my least favorite flavor.


Tropical *my pick*
The Tropical pouch has 116 calories and 10 grams of protein and included three fruits –  pineapple, banana and mango. This was by far my favorite flavor. It was light, refreshing and delicious!


While I was not a fan of each and every flavor, Fuel For Fire made a great impression on me. I used them as pre-, during, or post-workout snacks to get me through to the next mealtime, and I found them to be perfect for this purpose. I also preferred them chilled, but run temperature worked better when we were on-the-go.

Where to purchase

Fuel For Fire Fruit + Protein Smoothie pouches typically retail for $2.99 each. They are currently available for purchase at, and select retail stores. To find Fuel For Fire in your area, visit

I also wanted to share a special discount with you. You can get 40% off plus free shipping on any purchase on with the discount code SAVE40. Offer expires July 31, 2018.

Vegan Burritos, you say?

I received this product for free from Moms Meet ( to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

With two little babies (are they toddlers now?) running around, it is so difficult to prepare quick meals for myself. That is why I was super excited to try Alpha Foods 100% plant-based burritos.

Although I am definitely an omnivore, I actually do enjoy plant-based meals regularly. Coupled with the fact that these are quick, easy to prepare, grab and go meals, I was curious to see if the taste was also a good match for my busy mom life.


Alpha Burritos come in four different varieties: Philly Sandwich, Chick’n Fajita, Pizza and Mexicali. I was able to pick up all of the flavors except for Mexicali from a local Walmart. Unfortunately, when I went they were out of Mexicali, despite the fact that I looked on the store locator to make sure that all four varieties were available. They were not! Sad face.

The burritos can be prepared by microwaving or baking them in the oven. I tried both ways. I found microwaving made the tortilla soggy, so I actually popped the burrito in the toaster oven to give it a slightly crunchy exterior.


My favorite variety was Pizza, followed by Chick’n Fajita, then Philly Sandwich. They were very flavorful with excellent spices, and I did not miss the meat or dairy. The “meat” is soy-based, so they are not appropriate for those with soy allergies.


While taste and convenience are the most important features for me, some additional pluses about the Alpha Burritos include:

  • Free of animal products
  • No cholesterol
  • GMO free
  • No artificial preservatives, hormones or corn syrup
  • 11 grams of protein
  • between 300 and 320 calories per serving

For San Diego residents, Alpha Burritos are currently available at Ralphs and Walmart stores. To find Alpha Burritos in your area, visit

To learn more about Alpha Foods and Alpha Burritos, visit them online: