You’re The Apple Of My Eye

I am ecstatic about this dietary antioxidant! Like most people, I have seen the word “antioxidant” here and there, but also like most people, I don’t accurately know what it is and what it does. So when I received press samples from Renovatio, I did some quick reading to get to its core.

Renovatio, an Australian superfood company, makes the world’s strongest antioxidants from Australian apples. Made from wholesome ingredients, the vegan products are sold as supplements and skin cream, and they are delivering extraordinary results across the world. And now, I’m the latest convert.

Consider this: The human body is made up of trillions of cells (hair, skin, organ, brain) and healthy cells means healthy body. However, our cells are under attack all the time from free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules missing an electron so they steal electrons from cells. These rotten baddies can come from air pollution, alcohol, stress, and are a by-product of the body’s systems. When free radicals attack, the cells become badly damaged and cause inflammation which leads to body pain, illnesses, and diseases.

The only prevention against these free radicals and their damaging effects is by consuming safe dietary antioxidants. Antioxidants move through the body assisting with cellular health. They mop up free radicals which damage cells causing serious health conditions such as cancer, inflammation and other chronic health conditions. Renovatio produces supplements and skin cream containing activated phenolics made from Australian apples. Activated phenolics are the super heroes of antioxidants because they are 12 times more potent than other antioxidants, because it is 90% abosorbed by the body. Renovatio was founded in Sydney, Australia and born as a result of 6 years of dedicated research by Indonesian-born Dr Vincent Candrawinata. Dr. Vincent achieved world health history when he discovered a way to extract activated phenolics from produce without the use of chemicals and solvents – the result being a bionic antioxidant which is easily absorbed by the body.

OK, science class’s over.

There are three products we are looking at here: dietary supplements Activated Phenolic Antioxidant Tablets and Activated Phenolics Powder, and APSKIN Face Cream. Face cream is no stranger to me, and tablets are fine, but I was not accustomed with powder supplements. After several weeks of apple-eyeing (applying!) all three, my fave product turns out to be the powder.

A scoop of the supplement is equivalent to 2kg of apples. A heaping teaspoon dissolved in water and taken twice a day is all there is to deliver the antioxidants into our body. The experience is not unlike drinking apple juice, with a familiar friendly flavor, while the sweetness has been curbed to a very mild level. Incredibly I feel great and happy whenever I drink this, perhaps the familiar fragrance of fresh apples is an uplifting factor. I have been sipping this every morning to jumpstart my day. I will save the capsules for when I travel since it more practical than packing a tub of powder into my suitcase (been striving to travel light these days).

The face cream is a pleasant surprise. It is moisturizing and also has a gentle apple fragrance which is lovely and calm-inducing. Even though the packaging is as plain as it gets with no frills, the cream itself feels great on my face and leaves a soft dewy finish. It is suitable for all skin types, and according to the brand, some people have even found that it heals eczema. You know what will be cool? If Renovatio can add body lotion to its product line in the future, so that  the entire body is taken care of inside and out.

This is a line of family-friendly products, so it is safe even for kids to take the supplements. For children, the antioxidant supplements help boost immunity support to fend off colds and flu, as well as improving concentration, learning, and brain functions. For adults, this superfood helps to fight off fatigue, expedite recovery after exercise, alleviate digestion and gut issues, and maintain healthy skin and hydration. For seniors 55 years and older, these dietary supplements help to prevent inflammatory joints and joint pains, protect liver, kidney and pancreas, improve memory, concentration and alertness, and strengthen the immune system.

As the saying goes: An apple a day, keeps the doctor away. I am genuinely enjoying these products and will be introducing them to my parents, my sis, and my young nephews.

Renovatio can now be ordered online with free shipping in Singapore. Use code “MOONBERRY” to receive 10% discount at check out and start enjoying the benefits of activated phenolics in your daily supplements.

Family Outdoor Activities that Blast Calories

Toss a Frisbee with the family and burn 159 calories in an hourGather the family and get fit together. Enjoy beautiful weather by heading outside for some of these family-friendly activities that also burn calories for a great workout.

An afternoon at home

Hula hoop: Even if you have a hard time keeping the hoop around your hips, you can still burn calories trying. Set up a fun competition and time each family member to see who is the hula hoop champion. 60 minutes of hula hooping burns 405 calories.*

Hopscotch: Grab the sidewalk chalk and create your own hopscotch course on the driveway. It will keep the whole family entertained and active for the afternoon. 60 minutes of hopscotch burns 319 calories.

Planting and weeding the garden: Not only does growing a family garden keep you active, it is educational and supplies nutritious, fresh food. 60 minutes of planting and weeding the garden will burn 278 calories.

In the park

Trac ball and Frisbee: Whether it’s a game of disc golf, playing fetch with the dog, or playing catch with the family, the park is a great place to spread out and get moving. Outdoor game sets are inexpensive, and they can become a regular part of your active family time each week. 60 minutes of tossing around a Frisbee will burn 159 calories.

Rollerblading: Strap on a set of wheels, find a smooth path, and start rolling. Rollerblading or skating provides a great cardiovascular workout. 60 minutes of rollerblading blasts 877 calories!

Hiking: Pack some water and binoculars and head out on some easy trails with the family. The slight inclines and rougher terrain will burn more calories than pavement walking, and you’ll have the opportunity to see some wildlife. 60 minutes of hiking with up to a 9 pound pack burns 478 calories.

On an active vacation

Horseback riding: Saddle up and spend some time with animals while you explore nature. Even though you are being transported down the trail, horseback riding uses core and lower body muscles while burning calories. 60 minutes of riding will burn 239 calories.

Canoeing: Get out on the water and explore the lake in a canoe. Pick up the pace and have a family race to make it an even better workout. 60 minutes of moderate canoeing (4 to 5.9 mph) burns 478 calories.

Rock climbing: See nature from a new perspective and set out for a beginner rock climb that the whole family can handle. Once you reach the summit, take in the views and enjoy a healthy picnic lunch. 60 minutes of rock climbing at a low difficulty level will burn 393 calories.

*All calorie estimates are based on a 150-pound female.

Lightened Up Deviled Eggs Recipe

Lightened Up Deviled Eggs RecipeDeviled eggs are a staple for spring parties and picnics, but they are often high in unhealthy fat, cholesterol, and sodium. This version uses fewer egg yolks and adds non-fat yogurt to reduce the saturated fat and cholesterol. Herbs and spices add flavor to the filling without excess salt.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 deviled egg

Amount Per Serving

% Daily Value*

2%Saturated Fat 0.4g

Trans Fat 0g


Total Carbohydrate 0.4g

Sugars 0.2g

Protein 3.1g


The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Yield: 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes


  • 4 large, hard-boiled eggs
  • ¼ cup non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ tsp chopped fresh chives + plus extra for garnish
  • ½ tsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1/8 tsp hot or sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp fine ground sea salt
  • Pinch of ground black pepper


  1. Carefully cut the hard-boiled eggs in half. Gently remove the yolks. Place two of yolks in a small bowl and discard the other two. Place the egg whites, cut-side up on a serving plate.
  2. Add the yogurt, chives, dill, paprika, salt, and pepper to the two egg yolks. Use a fork to smash the yolks and stir all ingredients. Stir for about 30 seconds, until smooth and all ingredients are blended.
  3. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag with a star tip, or to a zip lock bag with the bottom corner cut off. Pipe an equal amount of filling into each egg where the yolk was held. Sprinkle with any remaining chives and serve.

Tips for Controlling Emotional Eating

Controlling emotional eating may be an important step in reaching your fitness goalsUsing food to celebrate good news or to comfort yourself when you feel down is not uncommon. The problem arises when these emotional triggers begin to drive cravings that lead to overeating. If you struggle to control emotional eating, try following these tips.

Identify it

The first step to controlling emotional eating is to recognize the triggers. When you feel cravings coming on, stop for a minute and assess your situation. What are you feeling? Happy, sad, or stressed? Did something occur before you got hungry, such as a stressful work meeting or an argument with a loved one?

Recognize true hunger

Once you recognize the cause of your food craving, assess your hunger level. How long has it been since you ate? Is your stomach grumbling? True hunger usually occurs about four hours after a healthy, balanced meal or snack. If you are truly hungry, eat something. Choose a meal or snack that is balanced in protein, healthy fat, and complex carbohydrates. If you simply cannot put off your craving for a sugar-filled treat, limit it to a few bites. The goal isn’t to deprive yourself. It’s to slow down and stay in control of your food choices, which can save you from downing a whole bag of chips or a box of cookies. Often just a taste will satisfy a craving and it will save you from overdoing it on calories.

Get distracted

If you identify that your hunger and cravings are directly connected to an emotional trigger, the best course of action is to distract yourself. Respond to the email in your inbox, run an errand, or take a 10-minute walk. If you can get your mind off of the situation that created the craving, even for a few minutes, you can often bypass the urge to overeat.

Find healthy substitutes to satisfy cravings

If you can’t seem to kick the cravings caused by emotional triggers, create a healthy list of substitutes that you can keep on hand. Do you crave salty foods when you are stressed? Try lightly salted, air-popped popcorn. Need a sweet treat when you feel like celebrating? Have one square of dark chocolate or make a natural frozen yogurt. Vegetables with hummus are great for crunchy food cravings, or try a slow cooked oatmeal for something rich and creamy.

Strawberry Muffins Recipe

Muffins make a quick breakfast when you are on the go, but store-bought varieties are often loaded with calories and saturated fat. You can make a healthier muffin when you prepare them at home. The mashed strawberries and applesauce in this muffin reduce the need for added sugar and oil. Whole wheat flour adds fiber to make them more filling.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 muffin

Amount Per Serving

% Daily Value*

3%Saturated Fat 0.6g

Trans Fat 0g


Total Carbohydrate 23.8g

Sugars 9.3g

Protein 5.2g


The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Yield: 6 muffins

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Bake time: 20 minutes


  • ½ cup sliced fresh strawberries, mashed
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup raw sugar
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp fine ground sea salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a standard 6-muffin baking tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the mashed strawberries and applesauce. Stir in the egg until all ingredients are mixed together. Stir in the raw sugar and vanilla extract.
  3. Add the baking soda and salt. Stir well until there are no longer any white clumps from the baking soda.
  4. Fold in the flour and mix just until all ingredients are incorporated into a batter. Transfer the batter to the muffin tin, filling each slot with an equal amount.
  5. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes, remove from the muffin tin and serve warm, or transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cardio or Strength Training First?

Deadlifts strengthen your hamstrings, glutes, back & coreYou want to make the most of every workout, so what should you do first — cardiovascular exercise or strength training? There are arguments and research to support both sides, leading most experts to determine that it depends both on your goals and your personal preference.

Cardiovascular Endurance

If your goal is to improve cardiovascular endurance, especially if you are training for a distance race, doing cardio exercise first may be the best choice. Starting your cardio with fresh muscles will help you push through the time or distance you need to accomplish. Glycogen stores (glucose stored in the muscles for energy) are important for longer cardio sessions. Strength training can deplete these stores making cardio more challenging.

Improving Strength

If improving strength is your top priority, it may be best to do strength training first. Gaining strength requires that the muscles are challenged close to exhaustion. Performing a lengthy cardio session before strength training may reduce your ability to push your muscles as hard as you would if they were well rested. A Finnish study found that when healthy men and women did cardio training first, it initially interfered with strength training performance. However, after 24 weeks of training, this interference was less notable and both groups had similar gains in muscle size and strength. So if you absolutely love doing cardio first, this likely won’t hinder your ability to gain strength over time.

Weight Loss

If weight loss is your goal, recommendations are mixed. Cardiovascular exercises use large muscle groups for longer periods, which results in greater calorie burn than most strength training sessions. By doing cardio first, you may have more energy to push harder and exercise longer leading to more calories burned for weight loss. Some experts argue that when you do strength training first, the body relies on fat for energy during the cardio session, making it a better method for weight loss. It comes down to picking the combination you like best and one that you will stick with long term.

Choosing What Is Best for You

There are pros and cons to each exercise order, but the benefit is that you have freedom to structure your workout based on your preferences without negatively influencing your long term results. Here are a few things to consider when deciding if you should step on the treadmill or pick up the dumbbell the next time you hit the gym:

  • Do what you like the least first. If you love your time on the elliptical, but feel less enthusiastic about lifting weights, it may be easy to find an excuse to leave the gym once your cardio is done. Lift weights first and you will have it out of the way so you can thoroughly enjoy your cardio session.
  • Save time by making cardio your warm-up. All workouts should start with a 5 to 10 minute warm-up to prepare the muscles for activity. If you start with strength training, it’s best to hop on the treadmill or the bike to get warmed up. If you do your cardio first, it can take the place of your warm-up and save you valuable minutes of exercise time.
  • Separate your workouts for safety. Regardless of whether you choose cardio or strength training first, your muscles will be fatigued when you move on to the next type of exercise. Fatigue can result in poor form that leads to injury. If your strength sessions are intense and your cardio sessions lengthy, consider doing these workouts on separate days.

9 Plant Nutrients that Improve Health

Plant-based foods are full of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, but they also offer natural chemicals called phytonutrients that improve health. While these plant nutrients are not essential for normal body function, they are powerful in disease prevention – making plant foods an important part of a nutritious diet. Enjoying a variety of foods will help you maximize your intake of these phytonutrients.

Ellagic Acid

How it helps: A disease fighting phytonutrient. Research shows that ellagic acid may promote the death of cancer cells.

What to eat: Blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, pomegranates, pecans, and walnuts


How it helps: These anti-inflammatory compounds may help reduce the pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

What to eat: Ginger root


How they help: Glucosinolates breakdown into active compounds when vegetables are chopped or chewed. These compounds may fight cancer by preventing DNA damage from carcinogens or the creation of cancer cells.

What to eat: Arugula, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and radishes


How it helps: This flavonoid has been found to reduce the inflammation associated with chronic disease reducing risks for cancer.

What to eat: Citrus fruits


How it helps: This phytonutrient has been found to reduce the risk for chronic disease by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.

What to eat: Broccoli, beans, endive, grapes, kale, leeks, strawberries, and tomatoes


How it helps: Some studies suggest that lycopene can reduce the risk of cancer by blocking the growth of cancer cells. It is also associated with a reduced risk for heart disease and age-related vision problems.

What to eat: Tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, guava, and papaya

Organosulfur Compounds

How they help: These compounds may protect against gastric and colorectal cancer. They may also reduce the the inflammation that is associated with cardiovascular disease.

What to eat: Chives, garlic, leeks, onions, and shallots


How it helps: Research shows that this flavonol may reduce the risk for asthma, cancer and heart disease.

What to eat: Apples, berries, grapes, and onions


How it helps: This antioxidant has been linked to the prevention of blood vessel damage, reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol, and reduced risk for cancer.

What to eat: Blueberries, cranberries, red grapes, peanuts, and pistachios


Cabbage and Beetroot Slaw Recipe

Beets contain phytonutrients called betalains that act as antioxidants and are shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Betalains are sensitive to heat and decrease when beets are cooked. This recipe uses raw beets to help maintain their valuable antioxidant content. They are mixed with cabbage and carrots for a crisp slaw that makes a great side dish for cookouts.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1/4 recipe

Amount Per Serving

% Daily Value*

0%Saturated Fat 0g

Trans Fat 0g


Total Carbohydrate 8.9g

Sugars 5.9g

Protein 1.4g


The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes


  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded (about ¾ cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 4 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 small beets, peeled and shredded (about 1 cup)


  1. In a medium bowl, toss together the cabbage, carrot, garlic, and chives.
  2. In a small dish, stir together the vinegar, honey, and salt. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat.
  3. Add the shredded beet and gently toss all the ingredients. The beet will slightly color the other vegetables. Serve right away.

How About That Pee?


In this episode of the Escape Diet Prison Podcast, we share our craziest dieting adventures: from fat melting belts to smelling our pee – we did it all.

We also talk about health not being a law, coffee abuse, our wise, wise bodies and treating them like they’re stupid anyway.

And much, much more.

Check out Deb’s new blog “We are more than good enough” here.

If you’d like more support from Leila, join The Dressing Room. Go here.


Check out my new Email Series 365 Journaling Prompts for more Body-Confidence, Self-Love & Happiness. This soul-opening program will be delivered to your inbox every single day for a year. Get the details here.

Love and light,

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Want more support? Join the free Escape Diet Prison Facebook group to engage with others who are on the same path as you. We can only grow if we surround ourselves with like-minded people. If you don’t, you’ll stay stuck and that is a promise.

Enjoyed this episode? Share it with others in your life who MUST listen to it right now. YOU are a change maker in this world and your voice needs to be heard.

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Connecticut Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation, CT Addiction Treatment Programs

Over the last 2 decades the drug situation in Connecticut has worsened and both heroin and crack cocaine have become significant problems in the State. Once renowned as a State with minimal drug problem, Connecticut has now become a major transit zone of illicit drug transfer from New York to the East coast because of Interstates 95 and 91, which link most of the North Eastern USA and Northern Canada. These interstates (also known as the New England Pipeline) intersect in New Haven and are considered a major route of drug transfer.

The major drug of abuse in Connecticut is cocaine, but heroin abuse is not far behind. The majority of users use crack cocaine because of its ready availability and cheaper price. The majority of cocaine entering Connecticut is from Columbia but at the local level, the drug is distributed by Mexican and Dominican organizations. The majority of cocaine arrives from New York City and then is spread across the North East by the same drug cartels.

Heroin rivals cocaine in use because of its easy accessibility, low price and more potency. Heroin abuse is a major epidemic in urban Connecticut. Even though the drug originates from Columbia, it is widely spread at the local level by Mexican and Dominican drug traffickers. Like cocaine, heroin is transported from New York City. The major route of transfer is via automobiles with the drugs hidden in various compartments.

Like everywhere else in North America, methamphetamine abuse is on the rise and methamphetamine laboratories have been discovered in Connecticut. The majority of methamphetamine abusers are teenagers and young adults who frequent rave parties.

Another class of drug which has been on the rise is Club drugs, the majority of which arrive from New York City. MDMA has become one of the most prevalent controlled substances encountered by law enforcement. It has become a popular drug of choice among college and high school students. The club drugs are commonly available at nightclubs, primarily in the urban areas and on college campuses. Because of the low price ($20-30 per tablet), these club drugs are commonly used at all night parties.

Marijuana is widely available in Connecticut. The majority of the commercial grade marijuana available in Connecticut comes from either Mexico or the Southwest U.S. The bulk of shipment to the State is via Courier services using various types of cargo services. Recently home grown marijuana plants have become widespread in the New Haven. These home laboratories are sophisticated and expertly wired to avoid high-electricity usage detection by utility companies. These illicit laboratories are a part of small clandestine operations growing and selling marijuana for both local and national use. Home grown marijuana is more potent and sells for as high as $4-5000 per pound.

Like everywhere in the US, illicit use of pharmaceutical drugs like oxycodone, oxycontin, benzodiazepines continues to be a major problem in Connecticut. Ritalin, Xanax and Diazepam are among the most frequently abused perted pharmaceuticals. These drugs are frequently obtained using forged prescriptions, employee theft, “doctor shopping” and online shopping.

Recently there has been an increase in the use of PCP in Connecticut. The PCP is frequently transported from Southern USA with the use of couriers. The PCP is either taken orally or smoked.

DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams

To counter the drug problem in the State, DEA Mobile Enforcement teams have been established. The major function of these state and local enforcement agencies is to curb the violence associated with drugs and control the spread. Together with the DEA, Regional Enforcement teams are targeting drug organizations operating in the United States where there is a lack of sufficient local drug law enforcement. This Program has helped identify and shut down numerous drug networks and control drug trafficking

State Drug, Alcohol Rehabilitation and Treatment Programs

Like California, Connecticut has now established Drug courts and drug treatment centers to allow for drug rehabilitation of drug addicts. The state run agencies have both in-patient and outpatient drug treatment programs. The Connecticut legislature has been working on issues ranging from methadone maintenance to prison reform to medical marijuana. The use of marijuana for medical reasons is currently being introduced in the State legislature. The bill will allow doctors to provide certificates to qualifying patients who they believe would benefit from the medical use of marijuana. The patient or designated caregiver would then be allowed to grow up to five plants in a secured place in their own home. The patient would have to register with the Connecticut Department of Public Health after their doctor recommended marijuana for use.

Browse Connecticut Addiction Treatment, Drug Treatment Centers, Detox and Connecticut Substance Abuse Treatment Programs in your city.