A&K-Approved on Buy.o.logic

Thursday, 28 June 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On our new series Buy.o.logic, we offer our top pick on health products that have helped us personally in our own lives. And we want to share these products tips with you! Here are some products to put on your shopping list:


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Episode 1: The Neti Pot

A natural remedy that is hundreds of years old, the neti pot is great for those suffering from sinus infection or allergies. It changed Anna’s life when she had a sinus infection!

  • Many neti pots come with pre-made mixtures (preservative-free salt, baking soda) and you add filtered or distilled water (gentler than tap water).

  • You can also make your own mixture. Be sure to use kosher salt or sea salt.

  • Use it over a sink or tub. Hold the neti pot spout up to one nostril, tilt your head slightly to find the sweet spot, and begin pouring the mixture into your nose. The mixture should start dripping out the other nostril.

  • The neti pot is drug-free, no antihistamines required. A&K-approved!

  • Where to buy: Look for neti pots at your local pharmacy or health food store. Check out the selection online at Well.ca.

Episode 2: Wax Ear Plugs

If you’re a light sleeper or a frequent traveler, you definitely need to invest in a few pairs of ear plugs. Ear plugs can reduce sound by 15-30 decibels. It makes a big difference when you’re trying to get some peace and quiet!

  • Common, inexpensive foam ear plugs can start to hurt after a while if you have sensitive ear canals.

  • The corkscrew style ear plugs work well and are often specially-made for swimmers. However, they’re made of a harder material that makes them uncomfortable to sleep in.

  • Silicone ear plugs are similar to wax ear plugs, and can be molded to the shape of your ear. But if you have long hair, you’ll want to steer clear. Ouch!

  • Our very favourite type of ear plugs are wax. They are a combination of petroleum jelly and wax. Super customizable, you can shape them to fit your ear canal and opening. They stay in all night!

  • Earplugs may not seem sexy, but being well rested IS sexy, so do what you can to make sure you get your beauty sleep!

  • Where to buy: Look for wax earplugs at your local pharmacy, or browse the selection online at Well.ca.

Episode 3: Compression Socks

Traveling or sitting for long time periods? Your circulation may suffer. Wear compression socks to keep that blood pumping. After long haul flights, Kristina’s feet swell and she can’t put her shoes on. Not a pretty sight!

  • Compression socks help reduce leg swelling by compressing the veins, thereby driving more blood back to the heart to improve circulation.

  • Compression socks are said to be up to 90% effective in reducing deep vein thrombosis, which can be fatal!

  • Compression socks are made to be graduated in pressure. They are tightest at the bottom (foot), which is furthest from the heart.

  • Never fold them over! Doing so doubles the compression at that part of your leg, which could be too tight and actually cut off circulation.

  • Check the mmHg number on the box. This is the measurement of pressure. For optimum comfort, look for a number between 12-20.

  • Compression socks are also recommended for many people with diabetes. They’re also great if you sit or stand all day.

  • Where to buy: compression socks can be found at most medical supply stores and some pharmacies. You can also find a good selection online at Well.ca.

Episode 4: Anti-nausea bracelets

Kristina suffers from motion sickness – planes, trains, automobiles, boats, you name it. She found the anti-nausea bracelet on a cruise ship one year and now doesn’t leave home without it!

  • Motion sickness happens when the fluid in your inner ear gets out of sync with what your eyes are seeing.

  • Anti-nausea bracelets apply pressure to an acupressure point on your wrist, which tells the brain to release endorphins, a natural painkiller.

  • Anti-nausea bracelets are drug-free, which makes them good for pregnant women, and people on other therapies.

  • There was one time on a very bumpy plane ride that the anti-nausea bracelet didn’t work for me. But most cases it does. –Kristina

  • Other motion sickness tips: always face forward when traveling, and breathe as much fresh air as possible.

  • Where to buy: anti-nausea bracelets can be found at most pharmacies and health stores. Browse the selection online at Well.ca.

 Episode 5: Chlorella & Spirulina supplements

If you ever have digestion trouble or just don’t feel like you’re as fluid and regular as they should be, you may want to look into trying chlorella & spirulina supplements. They make Anna feel “well-oiled”: regular, lighter, more energetic, and spry!

  • The basis of chlorella and spirulina supplements is chlorophyll, which is an important part of your diet.

  • Chlorophyll is a nutritional powerhouse, full of vitamins, folic acid, and protein. Chlorophyll is also an immunity booster, breath freshener, and helps with regularity!

  • Chlorella is a green algae that contains a high amount of chlorophyll.

  • Spirulina is a microscopic plant high in chlorophyll and  full of antioxidants.

  • Eating greens full of chlorophyll increases your body’s alkalinity. Cancer cells have a difficult time growing in an alkaline environment.

  • Chlorella & spirulina can be found in powder, liquid, or tablet form. (Be careful, it can stain your clothes green!)

  • You may not be able to find them combined together as one product, but taking them separately will likely have the same effect.

  • Be Aware: Never take any nutritional supplement or medication without consulting with your doctor first!

  • Where to buy: Chlorella & spirulina can be found at most health food stores. You can also buy it online: browse Well.ca’s chlorella and spirulina selection.

Episode 6: Eye Masks


If you’re a light sleeper, a frequent traveler, or both, you must put an eye mask on your shopping list. Sleep is essential to health. Losing just 1.5 hours of sleep per night can reduce your daytime alertness by 30%.

  • Dealing with external stimuli like light & sound are about 90% of of your central nervous system’s workload.

  • By reducing the light coming into your eyes (even when closed) by just a little bit can make a big difference to achieve a deep, restful sleep.

  • An eye mask can even help reduce stress, even using for just a few minutes a day!

  • Decreasing light & sound in your environment increases your melatonin levels and decreases cortisol levels, which leads to a reduction in stress.

  • Choose an eye mask for your sleep type. Back sleepers will want a smooth strap (no buttons or clips). If you have long hair, avoid Velcro straps. If you’re a side sleepers, go for a mask that is flexible or that is soft with no internal structure.

  • For an extra-soothing experience, look for eye masks that are infused with the calming scent of real lavender.

  • Where to buy: look for eye masks (aka sleep masks or slumber masks) at bed stores, lingerie stores, pharmacies, and more. Browse the selection of sleep masks online at Well.ca

Episode 7: Holy Basil (Tulsi)

Stressed? A relaxing bubble bath may be on your agenda. But if you don’t have time, put Holy Basil on your shopping list.

  • Holy Basil is not the same herb you use in salads and sauces. It’s been used for centuries in India and Ayurvedic medicine as a calming agent, among other benefits.

  • When you’re stressed, your adrenal glands the release stress hormone cortisol. Holy Basil helps regulate your cortisol levels to keep you calm and level.

  • There isn’t much western medical research available on Holy Basil, but the Mayo Clinic says taking 400mg/day helps lower feelings of stress.

  • The effects of Holy Basil even mimic some anti-depressant drugs!

  • Holy Basil is available in plant form (may be hard to find), as a tea, or in capsule form. It makes Kristina feel zen!

  • IMPORTANT! Some studies have shown Holy Basil (aka Tulsi) may cause infertility. (But it’s definitely not a birth control method!)

  • Holy Basil (Tulsi) tastes different than regular basil; it has more of a clove-like flavour. Note that cooking may affect its medicinal properties.

  • Where to buy: Holy basil can be found in many health & natural food stores as a tea or supplement. You can also find supplements & tea at Well.ca. If you want to grow your own, we found seeds available in the medicinal herbs section of SaltSpringSeeds.com.

Episode 8: “Elevate Me” Energy Bars

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Some people, including Kristina, can’t absorb nutrients properly due to gluten in food. This condition is called gluten-intolerant. Since being recommended to go gluten-free, Kristina has been on the hunt for snacks that fit the nutrition bill, and that also make the grade on taste.

  • People often think gluten-free means weight loss, but the opposite may be true. Many gluten-free diets are high in fat & sugar.

  • When looking for a gluten-free energy bar, read the ingredients. Avoid any with excess sugar. Some can have over 30 grams, which is the same as a chocolate bar!

  • Look for a gluten-free energy bar sweetened with fruit or juice instead of sugar.

  • Elevate Me energy bars are sweetened with fruit, and they’re not baked (which breaks down nutrients). Elevate me bars get the A&K Stamp of Approval!

  • Where to buy: you can purchase Elevate Me bars online, directly from the manufacturer.

Episode 9: Nutrition & Fitness Apps (MyFitnessPal.com)

Fitness & nutrition apps are a great way to count calories and keep track of exercise and nutrition. Study after study shows that by keeping track of what you eat, you’re more likely to achieve your goals.

  • There are lots of apps out there. Some focus on nutrition, some focus on exercise and some on weight loss in general.

  • An app called MyFitnessPal is Kristina’s favourite tool for tracking calories & activity. And it’s free!

  • Nutrition apps can help you track things like cholesterol, sodium intake, and also fibre, vitamins, and protein.

  • Look for a fitness app that includes all kinds of exercise activities, from going to the gym, to walking, to shopping! (What else?!)

  • Some apps even let you share with friends. There’s strength in numbers! When your willpower wanes, look for support.

  • Nutritional & fitness apps (like @MyFitnessPal) are A&K-approved!

  • Where to buy: look for fitness & nutrition apps at the iTunes Store or the Android Market.

Episode 10: White Tea

If you love tea, but don’t love the bitter taste of super-antioxidant green tea, white tea may be your healthy solution!

  • White tea, black tea, oolong, and green tea all come from the same plant: Camelia sinensis.

  • The darker the tea, the more processed it is, and the fewer the health benefits.

  • Research shows that white tea in particular is very effective in preventing certain cancers, especially colon cancer.

  • White tea also has significant anti-aging properties.

  • Unfortunately, white tea is quite expensive because there’s only a short harvest window and the quality of leaves chosen for the tea must be very high.

  • To get more mileage out of your white tea, go loose leaf, and use it twice. Steep it the second time around much longer than the first.

  • White tea also tastes delicious, served both hot and cold!

  • Where to buy: look for white tea at specialty tea shops (like David’s Tea or Tweed & Hickory in Canada). Also check out our tea infusers test for loose leaf lovers!

Episode 11: Bobble Water Bottles

With 38 billion water bottles ending up in landfills every year, it makes sense to buy a refillable one. Better for the environment AND your wallet!

  • The is made from recycled plastic and it has a charcoal filter to purify as you drink.

  • We tested the quality of Water Bobble-filtered water in a lab and found it reduced chloroform, a by-product of chlorination from the disinfection process of municipal water systems. The Water Bobble also reduces mercury, lead, & copper.

  • It’s a great accessory to use if you don’t like the taste of the local water when traveling.

  • The Water Bobble’s charcoal filter is good for 300 refills/two months. The plastic is also BPA-free.

  • Note: not all refillable bottles are made equal. Make sure you choose one that is dishwasher safe.

  • Also, be careful with the Water Bobble. Squeeze too hard and it may crack!

  • Filtered water bottles like the Water Bobble are A&K-approved!

  • Where to buy: You can purchase online at Waterbobble.com or check their “where to buy” page.

Episode 12: Gym-to-Go

If you’re a frequent traveler, or a workaholic, make your own gym-to-go for a workout wherever you are!

  • Grab a resistance band and stand up from your desk or plane seat for a few minutes. Put your foot down on the band and pull up, out, over, etc. Works your triceps, biceps, legs. Great!

  • For a really great yet simple cardio workout, go old school and grab a skipping rope! If you’re skipping indoors? Use a vinyl rope so it won’t scuff. Also, check there are no lights or fans on the ceiling above or around you to catch on.

  • To measure the proper length for your skipping rope, the handles should come up to your armpits when you stand on the centre of the rope.

  • Skipping rope is also good for agility and co-ordination!

  • Next, stretch it out. Put on your yoga gloves and socks and downward dog your way to a long spine. Wearing these gloves & socks means you don’t need to lug an awkward and heavy yoga mat around with you!

  • We made our gym-to-go with separate pieces, but you can buy kits that include a resistance cord, a skip rope, and yoga gloves/socks. A&K-approved!

Episode 13: Pets!

Pets are good for your health! They have both physical and psychological benefits, and lots of love to give!

  • Research shows that by spending 15-30 minutes/day patting a cat or dog, or watching fish reduces stress & anxiety. Levels of cortisol (stress hormone) go down and levels of serotonin (linked to wellbeing) go up.

  • Pet ownership is linked to reduced cholesterol, reduced triglycerides, and reduced blood pressure, and also lower rates of cardiac disease. And you get way more exercise!

  • Pets also can make you laugh everyday – even more health benefits!

  • Children who grow up in homes with pets are less likely to develop allergies, asthma or eczema.

  • Remember, however, pets are a BIG decision and require a lot of time and energy, as well as budget for food.

  • Pets are A&K-approved! Consider adopting a pet from your local animal shelter. Many pets are looking for loving homes!

Thanks for watching buy.o.logic!

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